My Favorite Christmas Songs 2017 #4

“All I Want For Christmas Is You,” Vince Vance and the Valiants (feat. Lisa Layne), 1989

Vince Vance and the Valiants are a novelty group that broke style for this country ode to Yuletide desires.  This was their only song to chart, but what a song!

Click here for sixty more Christmas songs!

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My Favorite Christmas Songs 2017 #3

“Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home),” Darlene Love, 1963

This classic often accompanies Christmas scenes in movies, and why shouldn’t it?  It’s a wonderful song.

TRIVIA: Darlene Love appeared on David Letterman’s late night show nearly every year from 1986-2014 to perform this song.

Click here for sixty more Christmas songs!

My Favorite Christmas Songs 2017 #1

“Dominick The Donkey,” Lou Monte, 1960

Starting off 2017 with a cute bouncy song that musically seems to borrow a little from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.  It’s about a donkey that gives Santa a hand because his “reindeer cannot climb the hills of Italy.”

Click here for sixty more Christmas songs!

42 Things I Noticed at Guadalupe State Park

It has been a while since my last solo adventure at Guadalupe State Park. I had spent a night with friends in freezing temperatures back in December, but that’s neither here nor there.  As always, I noticed a few things…

handwriting
#1 Needs Improvement
  1. I wrote this list down on paper and thought about posting scans of the pages. I looked at my terrible handwriting and thought better of it.
  2. I think I like taking Blanco Road up to the park instead of 281, fewer lights and a more relaxed drive.
  3. Also more jackasses tailgating you on the slower parts, but what can you do?
  4. Had to take a site with electricity due to the water-only campsites being worked on, oh well.
  5. Nothing like that OH GOD, PLEASE DON’T BREAK feeling when putting up tent poles.
  6. Of course the sun comes out after I set up the tent and go hiking.
  7. Sound that I don’t miss: Vehicles.
  8. Yes, I have my phone on me, for pictures. With the ringer muted and my smartwatch on, I don’t have to worry about missing calls.
  9. There aren’t many people here, which is nice.
  10. Since I don’t go outdoors as often as I should, I find myself constantly wondering what all the noises are.
  11. Lots of butterflies about, even managed to photograph a few.
  12. More work in the park being done near the river, not sure what’s going on there.
  13. Beginning of hike: Feels good! One hour later: Whew!  Nearing camp on the hike back: OMG ARE WE THERE YET?
  14. Got spooked by a large bird taking off from the branches above me, nothing like that WOOSH of big wings flapping.
  15. As I neared camp, I wondered if maybe I should have packed sandwiches instead of canned food.

    butterfly
    #11 Butterfly!
  16. Surprised I haven’t burned off my eyebrows from lighting my camp stove yet.
  17. It’s nice to have camping cooking equipment instead of borrowing from the kitchen.
  18. Upon further review, hot food for lunch hit the spot!
  19. Slightly disappointed that I still have a cell signal, but at the same time it’s good to know it’s there.
  20. I’d been going nuts trying to find one of my flashlights only to find I had left it in my tent when I folded it up back in April.
  21. Note to self: Take the picture first before trying to move in closer. Armadillos spook easily.
  22. Also: Don’t only pack food things that contribute to heartburn. Off to H-E-B.
  23. Yes, I always have to say ‘LET THERE BE LIGHT’ whenever I light my lantern.
  24. Had a story idea pop in my head mid-afternnon. It had an unfortunate ending until a more optimistic one came to me during dinner. Don’t write when hangry if you want happy endings.
  25. If you like them, they’re ‘critters,’ if you don’t, they’re ‘varmints.’
  26. They had better not be any awoo-ing while I’m trying to sleep tonight.
  27. Heard a bunch of what I hope were fireworks at around 8:24pm.
  28. This being Texas, gunfire isn’t necessarily unusual, though.
  29. Shop towels aren’t bad for washing dishes.
  30. Always gotta find that one dark spot in camp for, how can I put it, ‘taking care of business’ without having to walk to the men’s room 😀
  31. Got spooked by a pair of raccoons fighting in a nearby tree.
  32. I had put up my food and know to not feed the wildlife, so to the victor, go no spoils.
  33. I’m not saying I’m paranoid about raccoons, but I’m making damn sure the Excelsior (my Honda CR-v) is locked whenever I’m not nearby.
  34. Almost fell into temptation during the trip to H-E-B, but avoided stopping at the Whataburger across the street for dinner.
  35. Thing I forgot: Radio.
  36. Idea: Replace the ‘nut-buster’ tripod chair I use in the tent with a small beanbag.
  37. Nice to know the animal I’ve been hearing for the last half hour was just an armadillo
  38. Armadillos are noisy!

    cooking
    #17 A perfect fit!
  39. My battery pack can charge my phone all the way…now that I have a smaller phone!
  40. The overnight weather was perfect, cool without being too cold.
  41. I chose poorly at breakfast; sometimes a McDonald’s McGriddle isn’t worth the lousy service.
  42. Going to pass by my old office on the drive home, going to be hard to not flip the bird at the building as I pass.

35 Things I Noticed After Upgrading to iOS 11 and an iPhone SE

iOS 11 just happened to drop on the same day I bought a new 32 GB iPhone SE in order to replace my 16 GB iPhone 6 and switch over to a prepaid plan. The 6 was running low on storage space and the SE was on sale, so why the heck not upgrade my OS and my phone on the same day!

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#19-YUUUGE!
  1. First things first: Upgrade my iPhone 6 to iOS 11. Maybe I can use that as a selling point after I move to the SE.
  2. I can’t help but cackle at glee at how many problems iOS 11 is likely causing for customers at my old job. Jerks.
  3. Yes, I am saying my former customers and my former employer are jerks.
  4. Free space on 16GB iPhone 6 before upgrade: 900 MB. Free space after: 4.9 GB. WTF?
  5. When I hit the Wireless or Bluetooth buttons in the Control Center I expect them TO TURN OFF, not just disconnect. No bueno. iOS!
  6. Is a Location on/off button in the Control Center too much to ask for?  Android has had one in their Notification Area for years. Don’t you want to be cool like Android, iOS?
  7. On a related note, the fact that Apple constantly wants to know where you are is mildly creepy.
  8. Why would I want to turn off the cellular part by itself? Isn’t that what Airplane Mode is for?
  9. The “Do Not Disturb While Driving” thing is pretty cool.
  10. The Pebble smartwatch app is still standing; it’ll be a sad day when it or my watch stops working. Stupid FitBit.
  11. From the ‘what took Apple so long’ department: Files. Yeah.
  12. Only four app updates to install…so far!
  13. All in all, iOS 11 is pretty nice, with a few annoyances I can live with. On to the new phone!
  14. Why not Android? Let’s see: For $200 I can get a questionable phone with a lousy camera and maybe one OS update or a really good phone with an awesome camera that will get updates for a few years.
  15. Despite the smaller screen, I consider the SE an upgrade. Better CPU, twice the storage, and a better camera.
  16. Yeah, yeah. I shouldn’t have bought the 16GB model two years ago, but here we are.
  17. The SE is small enough to fit in my pocket and not be constantly clipped to my belt looking like it’s there for something important.
  18. I’m sort-of trying to not be tied to my phone so much.  I don’t know how successful I’ll be, but I’m trying!
  19. Funny how my old phone is nearly as big as the box my new one came in.
  20. Shopping for a case was a little annoying because the iPhone SE section at Ye Olde Electronics Store was cleaned out. It must have been one heck of a sale, or maybe the SE has become the ‘poor man’s iPhone.’
  21. Found an OtterBox case on the cheap at Wally Martinez (Wal-Mart) so maybe there’s something to that.
  22. Yay, another set of EarPods and Apple stickers I’ll never use.
  23. I can never put screen protectors on right.

    21559118_10212527897727487_9185315891786187206_n
    Out with the old, in with the small!
  24. The gal at the activation line has an interesting accent. I wonder if she’s in the Philippines…FOR NO PARTICULAR REASON.
  25. Accidentally hung up on her once during the activation process. Oops.
  26. Apparently the dweebie at the Best Buy warehouse didn’t scan my new phone so it wasn’t technically ‘purchased.’ That led to WHY IS IT NOT WORKING ANYMORE ten minutes after activating it, which led to another phone call to Whereveritis-istan.
  27. Realization: I’m going to have to be super-careful to not drop this thing in the toilet.
  28. It took me a half day before I realized I hadn’t set up my ringtone.
  29. Apple productivity apps are useless to me without OneDrive support.  Buh-bye.
  30. Garage Band, iMovie and TV apps on a 4-inch screen? Um, no.  Gone.
  31. Free space: 22 GB  That’s more like it!
  32. What the hell is up with not letting me use my phone as a hotspot, cellular prepaid people? Crazy idea: If people use up all their data tethering, THEY HAVE TO BUY MORE DATA WHICH MEANS YOU MAKE MORE MONEY.  Idiots.
  33. Tethering seems to work just fine via USB, so neener-neener, prepaid cell phone weenies!
  34. Going to take a little adjusting to having a smaller phone, but I think the SE is going to work. Hopefully my new provider works out, too!
  35. I’m just waiting for that one friend (you know who you are) to see my new SE and say “OH MY GOD, IT’S A BABY PHONE!”

67 Things I Noticed During San Japan X

#13 It’s YUUUGE!

The tenth San Japan came and went like a lion.  I had three panels to do and my compatriot WolfBoy had furry things to do.  As always, I noticed a few things…

  1. BEFORE-Okay San Japan people, I’ll do a third panel I’ve never done before and have to prepare in three days because you asked so nicely. Just spell my name right in the schedule this time, mmmkay?
  2. Time to retire my 2009 iMac from recording duties, it derped out on me when recording the pre-game podcast and ate some audio >.<
  3. I asked a friend if he was going to San Japan and he said he was more of an ‘indie rock’ guy versus ‘arena rock’ so I had to try to convince him that San Japan wasn’t just another ‘autograph-con’
  4. Holy cats, did we get salty during the pre-game podcast.
  5. I’ll be wearing my smartwatch for the first time since I got laid off because I HAVE IMPORTANT ANIME CON THINGS TO DO.
  6. I also won’t be wearing my rings. I’ve lost enough weight to where they’re starting to slip off my fingers now; a good problem to have.
  7. PROTIP: You can read the Chili’s lunch special menu through the window if you want to be weird
  8. Walking through the mall, WolfBoy and I decided to stop and take a seat…in front of the Victoria’s Secret. YEAH, NOT CREEPY AT ALL
  9. It says something that I can get 12 Streetpasses in my hotel room on Thursday night
  10. I finally remembered my Nintendo 3DS this time!
  11. As I get the presentation together for the third panel, I’m really looking forward to putting it on!
  12. Seems folks are taking a bit longer than usual to get set up, either that or were just really early
  13. I asked for a bigger panel room and I got it…boy, did I get it 0_0
  14. THURSDAY NIGHT-530pm No Japanese arcade machines set up. WolfBoy: “WORST CON EVAR!”
    1000pm Initial D cabinet set up. WolfBoy: “BEST CON EVAR!”
  15. Idiots asking “Is San Japan not happening because of Hurricane Harvey or gas shortages?” should be charged double for their badges.
  16. Concerning: Nobody was watching the entrances Thursday night
  17. Also concerning: The way too wide open aisles behind the artists with nothing to keep people from walking down them.  Hope there aren’t any thefts.
  18. At the risk of sounding like a shill, Verizon service has been pretty awesomesauce. A little slow at times, but ‘slow’ is better than ‘none.’

    #17 Maybe too much space, guys?
  19. FRIDAY-First the signs weren’t big enough, and now they aren’t spelled right. This is why Dave is already grey, people!
  20. Charger box things at the Henry B are almost a good idea, the flaw is that most folks can’t bear to be away from their phones
  21. Dear Guidebook: If I only have one event downloaded PLEASE OPEN THE FREAKING EVENT WHEN I LAUNCH THE APP, K?
  22. Also: TOO MANY SCHEDULE FILTER OPTIONS
  23. Artist friends: Don’t just say “I’m in artist alley, find me.” There are over 100 artists. I NEED DETAILS!
  24. Sure, WolfBoy, it’s only 90 degrees outside and you’re wearing a partial fursuit with a dark business suit LETS GO
  25. Always adorable to see little girls taking pictures with Wonder Woman cosplayers
  26. Not sure why, but they kicked up the difficulty on the Time Pilot game in the game room.  I spent longer than usual getting the high score.
  27. Got inadvertently put to work in Registration directing traffic for ten minutes. JUST WHEN I THOUGHT I WAS OUT THEY PULL ME BACK IN
  28. Almost lost my badge before Furry 101, yipes!
  29. As I saw people walk away from the convention center for dinner, I had a feeling attendance was going to be down for Furry 101.
  30. Dear former coworker: If I didn’t want to talk to you at work, what makes you think I’m going to want to talk to you outside of work?
  31. I apparently can’t give a panel if I can’t read my presentation, the rear projection screens at Furry 101 completely threw me off >.<
  32. Just as well, I don’t like presenting while standing over people on a stage.
  33. We had 150-200 people at the panel, I guess that justifies the biggest room at the con. 😛
  34. Annoying thing: People that use Q&A time to make dumb jokes.  Get a life.

    #58 Batteries not required!
  35. REALLY annoying thing: People that try to answer questions during the Q&A part of my panel. GET YOUR OWN PANEL
  36. The A/V guy was very complimentary after Furry 101, though.  Thanks man!
  37. The only time I get a ton of steps is at cons and after 20,000 today, my dogs were barking.
  38. By ‘dogs’ I mean feet, not like actual dogs or furry costumed dogs.
  39. SATURDAY-When you’re up at 6am on Saturday morning, you’re up, what can I say
  40. If you aren’t willing to make your own waffle at the hotel breakfast, YOU DON’T WANT IT BAD ENOUGH.
  41. There is another event happening at the Henry B, which answers the question of why there was a higher-than usual number of older Mexican women around downtown San Antonio in the morning.
  42. Weirdest thing I’ve heard so far: “Dad, doesn’t she have nice boobs?”
  43. There seem to be quite a few empty tables even in the Dealer’s room; an effect of Harvey, perhaps?
  44. The number of people donating blood is pretty awesome
  45. Peeked in on the panel that took my spot from the beta schedule and they had just as many people as I had the night before…maybe less.
  46. To be fair, they’re a major sponsor and I’m just a guy with a microphone, an attitude, and weird friends.
  47. I kinda want a Steven Universe T-shirt (think I got a little resemblance to Steven there) but I kinda don’t want to pay thirt bucks for one
  48. To the harpy working A/V before my audio panel: If you don’t want attitude thrown back at you, don’t fire first. I’ve done tech support too, but I treated my people and customers with respect until they gave me a reason not to.
  49. “Really Basic Auido Recording” was easily the worst panel I’ve done in a while; next time I’ll just say no…or hold another ‘hide Dave for an hour podcast’ panel.
  50. That said, the few people that did hang around had really good questions!
  51. Bad idea: Dragging a boom mic (and it’s heavy base) to the panel.  I think I’ll use a Rock Band mic next time to make a point.
  52. Heard an ambulance and thought ‘Oh boy, it’s a party now,’ but it didn’t stop at the con
  53. SUNDAY-Other artist booths : Out to lunch  Friend’s booth: Out Fursuiting

    IMG_2360
    #19 Someone needs to be fyred
  54. To the people playing Bee Gees and Michael Jackson on their Bluetooth speakers: THANK YOU FOR PLAYING GOOD MUSIC
  55. That said, can we just ban those damn things from cons already?
  56. Had to defend my honor by retaking the top spot on the Time Pilot game (see #26).  I doubled the score that had topped mine.  BEAT THAT, AAA!
  57. Parking lot guy: “Twenty bucks”
    Me: “Pass”
    “Ten bucks!”
    “Pass.”
    I parked at the city lot across from the Hyatt for $11 so NEENER NEENER PARKING LOT GUY
  58. Old hotness: Mind-reading robot cat ears
    New hotness: Ballcaps with words
  59. Thing to remember for next year: Fursuit straws!
  60. I think I’m finally over being weirded out by crossplay…mostly.
  61. Funniest question of the weekend: “Are you a Mawg?”
  62. E-book panel went awesomely; lots of people with good questions and I had JUST enough handouts!
  63. Two out of three good panels ain’t bad!
  64. Highly disappointed in the other ‘How to publish books’ panel; I spent 25 minutes hearing the guest blab on about herself and walked out.  I think I had a bigger audience, too.
  65. I’m going to be that old guy (because I am) and mention that too many products and displays in Artist Alley/Dealer Room had swear words on them.  There seemed to be less nudity than in years past, though
  66. AFTER- Might be time to retire my digital camera, too many ‘ghost spots’ >.<
  67. Step count: Thursday 19627, Friday 20797, Saturday 23268, Sunday 14284  I swear cons are the only place I get a lot of exercise, I should go to more!