thanks for choosing god.



speaking of scams...
Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope.









Violently-Happy.net
16 May 2003 : 14.48
An interesting topic on True Meaning Of Life: a supplicant says: "Simply "not being evil" does not make one a good person. By what standards should a person be considered good?"
For once, I think that the games have it right. There are varying degrees of evil, just as there are varying degrees of good. Surprisingly, the AD&D model seems pretty accurate here with the concepts of alignment. Most people can be categorised, inasmuch as you can categorise morality, through some combination of Lawful, Neutral, and Chaotic, and Good, Neutral, and Evil, I believe. That is, unless you subscribe to some ridiculous idea that there are universal constants of the idealised "good" and "evil."
For those unfamiliar with the alignment concept in AD&D, it consists of three interests: Good, Neutral, and Evil, each of which is modified by three qualifiers: Lawful, Neutral, and Chaotic. So Neutral Good, Chaotic Evil, and so on.
The idea is that rather than being a black and white view of good and bad, it presents a range between selflessness and selfishness. So Evil isn't necessarily bad, it's just a different set of priorities. Lawful represents respect for law and government, while Chaotic is more anarchist. Again, being Chaotic is not bad in and of itself, but rather because the person in question believes that society would be better off without rules and government. And so you get alignment combinations like Chaotic Good, which is someone who feels that people would be genuinely better off without governments controlling every aspect of their lives. They use words like "freedom" a lot. So yes, it's a game, but it seems that through these alignment combinations everyone can be adequately categorised.
You can find a CGI quiz that determines your alignment. It's as accurate as such things ever are.

My result:
Raw Data
  • You have 5 points towards Lawful.
  • You have 1 points towards Evil.
  • Analysis
    You are True Neutral.

    Yeah, I suppose that that's pretty accurate.

    Wow.. it's really time to start a new page here. This one is really slow. Even just editing it is a problem.




    I had this gym teacher at school once who talked like this: Hey buddy! Hey boy! Hey buddy buddy buddy boy boy boy boy! Yeah! Hey baby! Yeah baby! Hey buddy! Yeah buddy baby boy buddy baby boy! Yeah yeah yeah baby baby boy! Yeeeaah buuuuddy. I liked him a lot cuz he gave me a D. Sure I did. When I told my mom about it she got so excited she baked me a cake. The end.
    16 May 2003 : 12.51
    Ok, so, I was sitting in this diner and this man walked up to me and he said "Hey buddy, I haven't had any I didn't have anything to eat in a long time" so I bit him! Ah hahahaha! Oh! Oh boy!
    I don't know if I told that one right...


    And now, experience
    Ninja's are TOTALLY SWEET!




    Kung-Fu Grip!
    15 May 2003 : 12.36
    I had dinner with my parents the other night. Chinese food. It's funny.. things that they think nothing of picking up are too hot for me to even touch. The foil containers.. nope. I yelp and drop them, they pick them up and look at me like I'm crazy. It's interesting how different people have different pain sensitivity.

    According to the 2001 census just released, religion is fading in BC. The number of people declaring that they have no religion is up to 1.3 million, or about a third of the population, which is up from less than a million in 1991. Check this out:

    religion19911991%20012001%+/- #+/- %
    No religion974 35030.0%1 356 60035.1%+382 250+5.1%
    Protestant1 359 80541.9%1 213 29531.4%-146 510-10.5%
    Roman Catholic595 31518.3%666 90517.2%+71 590-1.1%
    Other Christian86 6702.7%200 3405.2%+113670+2.5%
    Sikh74 5452.3%135 3103.5%+60 765+1.2%
    Buddhist36 4351.1%85 5402.2%+49 105+1.1%
    Muslim24 9300.8%56 2201.5%+31 290+0.7%
    Christian Orthodox23 5400.7%35 6550.9%+12 115+0.2%
    Hindu18 1560.6%31 4950.8%+13 339+0.2%
    Jewish16 6400.5%21 2300.5%+4 590-


    Canadians as a whole are taking religion less seriously, though.
    According to the census, 20 000 people gave their religion as "Jedi." And more than 75% of Canadian Jedi are from BC, Ontario, and Alberta. Yay BC!

    In other words,
    we're winning!

    Other news: if this is the formula for a popular movie, why does porn do so well?
    Actually, that's an interesting thought. Suppose that explicit sex were suddenly allowed in mainstream movies.. how would that affect the sex scenes that are included? But suppose that, in your movie, you could have complete hardcore porn. These days, in a death scene, you expect to see blood, extensive wounds, etc. You expect it to be explicit. So would explicit visuals become something that people expect in movie sex scenes? Suppose that the scenes in Basic Instinct had been hardcore. How would that have affected the popularity of the movie? After all, the major draw of that movie was the almost-explicit sex, and the Sharon Stone nudity. It certainly wasn't Michael Douglas or the plot.
    Funny to think that that movie caused such a fuss not too long ago, and it's pretty tame by today's standards. Compare that to Showgirls, for example.
    Not that I've seen Showgirls, you understand.
    I'm just saying.

    Personally, I don't know what all of the fuss is about. It's not like anyone doesn't know what any of the people on screen look like without their clothes. They're all basically equipped the same way as the rest of their gender. These days, on screen nudity isn't such a big deal, even if it's a body double instead of the actual star that you see. Is that where we're heading with sex scenes?
    That might be good. There's still such a hang-up about sex.. putting it that out in the open might help make it more comfortable. [shrug]




    at last.
    14 May 2003 : 13.35
    Added a new post. Haven't had time to make graphics yet. Livid. Give me ten minutes alone with that guy. And his blender.

    Ok. Calm.

    Going to pick up my bike tomorrow morning. Well, probably. I have to sign the papers to take possession, but they might not have one actually in stock yet. They should have, though, she says. Also have to order the helmet and jacket. I was reading a story about a rider who got a plastic bag wrapped around his head. Million to one chance that it could happen to me. Pratchet says "million to one chances crop up nine times out of ten." It only has to crop up once for me to be thoroughly buggered by it, though. So I get this, just in case. Would have turned a near disaster into about a second of inconvenience while he flipped the chin-bar up, clearing his vision and probably letting the bag blow off.
    The lack of ventilation on that helmet bothers me a little, but I don't think that it will be an issue. I treat the visor with anti-fog, and if it still fogs up, I just open it until it clears. Or open the chinbar to get some ventilation. I'll get a starter helmet in the mean time, though. That can be for my passenger when I upgrade, if I ever have one.

    Hungry. In the mood for Chinese food. Ph34r teh 1337 /\/\4nC|-|U \/\/0|< !!!!1

    Shaking. Could be the dexedrine. Could be hunger. Could be fury at reading that article.
    Not many things make me actually angry, but that.. that's beyond words.

    Re-established regular contact with a friend of mine after far too long. She's always been one of my favourite friends because she's so cool, and so odd. I've missed her peculiar outlook on life. I'm saddened that I let us lose contact.

    Now, let's talk about need...




    i wish there were something that i could do..
    09 May 2003 : 14.29
    It's been a few days, and I just haven't had time to update this page. I'm falling behind on my mail, too. However, I had to say this: Sombody get that fucking imbecile out of office! I thought that this whole sonar thing had all been settled shortly after I mentioned it, since the damage was so obvious, both to the environment and to the creatures who reside therein. Surely no one could possibly condone the use of this terrible device, given the harm it does. But apparently, they can condone it. And worse. Now, moronic george is trying to pass exemptions from environmental protection acts for the military. That means that the american military would no longer have to abide by "the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act and two laws governing cleanup of toxic waste."
    What kind of monster is running that country that they feel that their military is more important than anything else on Earth? Because that's what it comes down to. They're using sonar that causes whales' and dolphins' brains to hemorrhage. And that's just the damage about which they know. Who knows how much more damage they could be doing? All that should matter is that the sonar is dangerous. That should make it unusable. So how could any remotely responsible government let its military go on using it? This isn't necessary to maintain american military dominance. So stop it.

    The worst part is that, because they hold most of the power on this little planet, there's nothing that we can do to stop them using it so irresponsibly. If you're going to hold that kind of power, you need to use it to protect the world, not destroy it. Wars come and go. Superpowers rise and fall. These are human issues, and they should be settled without harming non-human inhabitants of this planet. For one government of one country to authorise the use of weapons that will torture and destroy countless creatures..

    Put it this way. The sonar that they're using is painful enough to the whales and dolphins that they're willing to throw themselves out of the water to escape it. They know that they'll die if they do that, but they'd rather die than suffer the sonar. Shouldn't this be illegal under all kinds of humane laws in america?
    Can't anyone talk any sense into these people?




    Arai!
    05 May 2003 : 13.56
    Going to see a man about a bike today.
    ZOOOOOOoooooom...

    As soon as my laundry has finished.
    The big question, of course, is if I buy it today, how do I get it home when I haven't a clue how to ride it, and haven't a license? I'll have to enlist the assistance of a friend, or my father, who used to be a rider. Can't see him on a sportbike, mind you. He likes the cruiser style.




    The difference between a cult and a religion...
    04 May 2003 : 17.46
    My head is still killing me.

    Had a good time at the closing night party last night. It was fun.. loud music, drinks, good food, and people I hadn't seen in a while. I really enjoyed it. And the show was excellent.
    The party was also about my father's birthday. He's 58. I think. And thus there was cake. And it was good. Greek food and blackforest cake and fresh strawberries and cream.. yummy.

    So tonight is the family dinner for the father. I just hope that this headache buggers off and leaves me alone so that I can enjoy it. It probably won't turn into a migraine, but it's still a pain.

    Kind-of-ex showed up last night with her boyfriend. When I glimpsed him, I expected to be all uncomfortable like I was last time.
    [ shrug ] I barely afforded either them or the matter a second thought, which surprised me. What I mean is, it surprised me that it's just not something that really matters any longer.
    He still looks like a ferret, though.




    So, why are so many people atheists?
    03 May 2003 : 15.54
    The Riddle of Epicurus
    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

    -positiveatheism.org

    Questions I've been asking for ages. They never get answered, though.

    It must be hard for people who come from religious families to go on living the lie, going to church, and everything else, if they don't believe. It must be equally hard to tell that family that you're sorry, but god is fiction, and you're not playing that game any longer. Of course, the family is horrified. As far as they're concerned, you're misguided, you're indecent, and you're dooming yourself to hell. So you know that they're going to react very badly to the news indeed.
    Fortunately, Dave Silverman has written Coming Out - Atheism: The Other Closet
    I'm an atheist, but I'm fortunate. So are my parents. And my grandparents, while respectably belonging officially to the Church Of England (because they're of that generation), don't actually believe in god. So I didn't have to tell anyone. Oh, I've had to break the news to friends who just assumed that I was religious (because I don't talk about it much in person) but that's infinitely easier than telling your family. I've no idea how I'd do that. I have such respect for the people who take that brave step. Particularly in america, where christianity still runs rampant. I'm amazed at the attitude toward atheists in america, particularly given the country's constitution and constant shouting about personal freedoms, including freedom of religion.




    Try refreshing christianity brand brainwash. For when reality is just too much.
    03 May 2003 : 11.35
    Yay! It's about time!

    On a completely unrelated note, there used to be a company that had a 1-800 number that you could call, and the menu sounded something like this:
    For information regarding current investment opportunities, press 1. To modify your contact information, press 2. To manage your portfolio, press 3. To hear a duck quack, press 7. To inquire about the state of your portfolio, press 5. To speak to a customer service representative, press 6.
    *7*
    Quack! Quaaaaaack!
    For information regarding current investment opportunities...

    Unfortunately, that option seems to have been removed from the menu. It probably generated the majority of their call volume

    christ my head hurts. I've a vicious headache.. and I have to go to the closing night of my mother's show tonight. Tylenol it is, then.

    Added a new series of email messages between myself and a religious guy who felt it necessary to email me to tell me that I was "incuring the wrath of god."
    Why can't the ranting hatemail writers ever spell?
    I get so much hatemail, and so little time to answer it. It's a shame, because the quick and easy ones like this one get responses in short order. But the ones who take the time to write something intelligent, using real facts and logical arguments, who deserve to have their messages taken seriously, have to wait until I can devote the time that their message deserves. Those are the messages that I enjoy, and the ones I have too little time to answer. I almost always do answer them, though. It just takes a while. After all, if I'm going to make a decent argument, I can't do it between when I get home, get changed, and head back out, can I?




    stolen from hardcorebodybuilding.com
    02 May 2003 : 13.30
    Story here about male body image issues. We have them. Well, we as a gender. Personally, I don't really care. I'd like to be less chubby, but not because I care what people think of my appearance. Oh, everyone is dissatisfied about something about their appearance, but for all of the self-deprecating comments I make, I'm pretty content. What I care about is how healthy I am. That's about it. I'm genetically pre-disposed to diabetes.. my father has it. I'm not likely to develop it unless I induce it by not looking after myself, though. So I want to avoid that. That's what the exercise bike is about. And yes, I'm working toward more muscle definition, but again, it's not really because of what others think of me. It's because I would like certain clothes to sit certain ways, partially because it's more comfortable. And also, the more I keep my muscles developed, the less likely I am to pull things, tear things, etc. And part of it is that I would like to be a better shape, yes. But I'm not freaky about it. There's a difference between wanting to improve yourself, and having body image issues.

    Having said that, males do suffer from body image as much as females. Consider that one of the things that really drives a man is sex. That's instinct. The attractive guy gets the girls. Consider also that males are very competition oriented. Also a hard-wired trait. The result is that males very often compare themselves to other males. Then consider what the images are that you see of men, held up as the object of female desire. These are the ideals against which the average guy measures himself.

    Your typical gorgeous guy consists, from what I have seen, of broad shoulders, a narrow-ish waist, the typical handsome face that you see in Hollywood all the time. He's tall, tanned, with perfect hair on his head, and nowhere else, according to the current fashion. He has low fat, and usually muscles that are at least defined, if not well developed. He usually has a square jaw, and perfect teeth. This is your typical media guy. You see a movie, a commercial, a print ad, whatever else, this is him. There are others who manage to be sexy even though they're skinny, with no muscles, and there are guys who manage to be attractive even though they're chubby, though I can't think of one at the moment. But generally, these are the rules. Those are all of the things that your typical guy in Hollywood is, and your typical guy outside Hollywood isn't.
    Is it any wonder that guys have body image issues? Because to many males, it's about competing. So when you see that, you have to compete. And that means that some people get obsessed. Just as some women go on desperate crash diets and purges and things in an effort to be thin, some men overexercise and take steroids in an attempt to get that ideal build. And just as some girls get obsessed with the need to be thin, some guys get obsessed with the need to be huge. So you get skeletal girls and massive steroid monkeys. But the cause of the problem is the same. It's a body image issue, and whether the goal is being so thin you're translucent or being six meters wide but only two meters tall, it's a problem with the manner in which you see yourself.

    Put it this way: many guys I know don't like the girls who are anorexically thin. They're too thin. Girls are supposed to have curves, not angles, they say, and those who don't are less attractive. So the girl who is working really hard to lose all of that weight so that she will be attractive is making herself unattractive. That's not even considering the health issues. Same with the guys. A man works out six hours every day, takes steroids, lifts ridiculous amounts of weights, and ends up being one big mass of muscles, with veins sticking out all over the place, and no neck. They're trying for perfection, largely to be attractive, but most girls I know say "ew" when they see them.

    Of course, some people jump right in with understanding about the issue:
    "Some women, like Gwynne Reynolds, a 28-year-old marketing executive, say it's about time. "I think it's only fair that men get a taste of what it's like to be us," she says."
    -infoplease.com

    Yes, that makes it ok. As long as everyone's suffering, right? The problem is that it's not a guy thing to admit to it. In matters of this nature, males do often get the short end of the stick. If you're a guy, it seems that you can't admit to many things, like body image problems, or spousal abuse, or sexual harassment because no one takes them seriously. You're a Man. Be a Man. Now you get a taste of what it's like to be female. Feh. It's no less a problem for males than it is for females. It's just more visible in women. And responses like that really annoy me. Why do you think that the guys who aren't professional bodybuilders still spend hours in the gym grunting and sweating and getting as large as they can? Does that seem like normal behaviour? To then belittle the problem by making it sound like it's not as serious as what some women go through can only make it worse. Which goes back to my Tyne Daly post.
    If we're going to strive for equality, let's realise that men are people too. They can be just as fragile and just as messed up as women. Let's address the situation for both genders, hm?




    Would you like a big fucking hook stuck through your lip? And to then be lifted by that hook into an environment that effectively has higher gravity than you've ever experienced? I didn't think so.
    01 May 2003 : 15.39
    Finally. I've been saying this for ages, and now it's documented. Yes, it hurts the fish. So stop it!

    It's sick that they had to perform experiments to determine this, but at least we know. Some people argue it. One guy says that "the fish brain just hasn't got the hardware to experience pain."
    Are you a fish? No? Then fuck off. In light of the evidence, your opinion is worthless.

    White people used to say that black people didn't feel pain the same way, and that that's why they made such good athletes and workers. To make this claim is not just wrong (and I'm not going into the whole morality issue here), it's stupid. If the fish is displaying disturbed behaviour following exposure to pain stimulus, and coupled with the firing of pain-related neurons in the brain, you're hurting him. Stop it. If this were a human today, regardless of race, just the suspicion would be enough to stop the people inflicting the pain. So stop hurting the fish. I don't care whether fishing is fun, and I don't care whether you eat the fish that you catch, or throw them back. You're hurting them. You're inflicting pain upon a creature that has done you no harm at all. And you're doing it for fun. That's all that matters. People justify hunting and fishing by saying that they eat what they kill. Why does eating the victim make it ok? When you look at the same behaviour in humans, someone who kills another human isn't as bad as someone who kills and eats another human. How is that any different? Yes, fish may be part of our diet, but you can buy fish in the shops who have already been killed, and who will just be thrown away if someone doesn't buy and eat them. Why kill more poor fish, just because you want to be the bloody-handed murderer? What kind of vicious barbarian are you that you actually want to kill, particularly when you have a choice?

    I can't believe that hunting and fishing are even legal. How can that be in any way justified? Easy. Licenses. As usual, money is more important than life. You can justify anything with money. Even the torture of innocent creatures for fun. Where the hell are the humane laws while people are out there shooting holes in deer, and boars, and birds, and even bears, and shoving big nasty spikes into fish? For fun! Why is this allowed?

    You want a blood sport, leave the neighbours out of it. Turn the hunters loose in the forest, and let the sick fucks kill each other. There's no reason that other creatures should suffer because humans want blood.




    Violently-Happy.net
    30 April 2003 : 19.55
    Daytona Cubs general manager Buck Rogers needs to be smashed across the face by the equivalent force of the baseball that hit that poor Osprey. Scaled up so that he knows what it feels like. He says "it was a bird" as if it's not important that an innocent creature has been killed for no good reason.
    I hate people like that. People who think that no one matters if they aren't human. Birds are not "it," they're "he" and "she" just like humans. Only a-sexual creatures are "it." And lawyers.

    [smash] "Look, Buck, you're blowing it way out of proportion. It was just a cannonball."
    Or a crossbow bolt. Or a Buick.




    Violently-Happy.net
    30 April 2003 : 16.58
    So I was walking down Robson street last night, and all of the cars were honking, and people were cheering, and I was thinking yes, thankyouverymuch, I'm lookin' good. Then I realised that they were waving Canucks banners. Damned sports, stealing my fans.

    Having spent yesterday hanging around with bikers (sport, not cruiser), I find myself talking about Gixxers, Kawies, Yammies, and so on. heh.. this from a guy who's never been into all of that kind of thing. But you talk to the sales guys, and they're so enthusiastic when they find out that you're new. It's not just the usual salesguy thing.. it's more like you're the newest member of the club. Yes they want to sell you something, but it's like you've just learnt the secret handshake.
    My motorcycle experience consists of this. Which is great.. so much fun. But when you're talking 49cc of scooter vs. 600cc of Kawie.
    I sat on the ZX-R6 yesterday. I want. It's gorgeous. Even the speedometer is sexy. I want. However, 636cc is too much for my first. So I'm probably going to stick with the ZZ-R250, which is still a really nice bike, and then upgrade when I've been riding for a few months. The R250 is small enough and light enough to make it easy to use for learning, but not so small and light that it won't be fun to ride.

    Yesterday, we went to Robson and sat at the Starbucks where the bikers hang out. And talked to them, and looked at the bikes. It was so much fun. I can't wait to be parking my own bike down there, too, and going for night rides with everyone. It's so cool.. you arrive, and just by virtue of being a biker, you're part of the crowd. Nice. At least, that's the way it seems. Whatever else you are, you're a biker.
    I have quite a few friends who ride, now. Even my father used to ride. I have a friend with a Yammie R6, one with a Harley Road King, another with a Honda CBR600, and others with bikes I can't even identify yet. But I'm getting there.

    More hatemail to post. I'll get around to it.




    .. when you get a job at Wendy's and are honoured with Employee Of The Month
    27 April 2003 : 16.35
    So I went to get McFood for lunch today, and on my way back, my brother called, just as I was getting to the security door that requires a security key to open. So I'm standing there, food in one hand, phone in the other, no way that I can get the security key into the lock, and people are passing and looking suspiciously at me.
    It's not like I'm a suspicious looking person, is it? Look at that company photo ID there. Is that a suspicious looking person?

    Speaking of looks, and I'm going to get all vain here for a moment. Ok, well, kind of. The roundness of my face in that picture got me thinking about my appearance for a moment. Mostly how round I was. That picture was taken, as I recall, about November 2001. I didn't really start to make an effort until this December just passed. Since then, I've become rather a different shape. Yay exercise bike! And other exercise routine things. Look at this for a difference.. in just a couple of months, I've gone from a round, heavy face to something much nicer. And the rest of me is improving, too. Definition is happening where it should, building this, trimming that. Happy happy. But mostly, the difference is visible around my cheeks, as you can see below.

    December
    April


    Not bad, hey? Not me, I mean the difference. I'm still a Gorgon, but at least I'm a somewhat more fit Gorgon. Compare that to the photo ID there. I'm doing something right. Try my new miracle diet! I call it "excercise." It involves burning off more calories than you're consuming. Try it.. it's easy.




    The Net Atheists. Not really doing anything, for no particular reason.
    27 April 2003 : 15.16
    Events of today:
    Park my car.
    Walk along the sidewalk to work.
    Get stopped by some older lady who steps in front of me and asks whether I want the copy of Awake magazine that she's shoving into my face.
    I've had enough of these people.
    Politely take magazine.
    Drop on ground.
    Stomp on, several times.
    Pick up. Hand back to lady with a smile. Say politely "No, thank you."
    Walk away as if nothing has happened.

    Childish? Perhaps. Fun? Oh, yes. But it comes back to what I was saying about how religion is constantly being thrust upon us, all of us, and why I'm such a vocal atheist.

    Normally, they don't irritate me so much. Normally I either ignore them or do something that amuses me. Once, some woman tried to hand me a copy of the jehovah's witness magazine. Watchtower, I think it's called. I took it, clicked out my pen, and said "Ok, who do I make this out to? [reading aloud what I'm writing] To my biggest fan. Love, heyzoos kristos. Who loves ya?" [fingerpistol, and strut away]
    Stupid bloody cultists.

    And speaking of cults, this is very frightening. To think that these people, this "church" has an office in Vancouver. It turns my stomach.




    Schnell!
    26 April 2003 : 19.47
    heh hehe

    "The 2002 is a little masochist of a car: "Punish me! Punish meeee! I've been a baaad coupe, I need to be punished!" Accelerate hard, brake hard, corner hard. The 2002 loves this treatment, and makes it clear."

    It's true.. it's still a little racer, even though it's as old as I am. Handles the corners (however sharp), accelerates much better than you'd expect, and does it all with a quirky style that really draws attention. Every other time I left it parked somewhere, I'd come out to find a card or note tucked under a wiperblade saying "Would you sell this? Call me."




    Headlight covers.. yummy.
    26 April 2003 : 17.05
    Still looking at bike bits, but more fun and fancy.
    And I'm getting an alarm, of some sort, too. I'm not having some miserable bugger stealing my bike.
    I'm not going to over-do the lights, decals, etc. Just have enough to look seriously cool with my paint, etc. Probably a headlight cover in the colour of the body, a couple of decals, a little neon and some LED highlights. With the lighting run to a kill switch on the dash so that they're only on when I want 'em. LED brake lights and turn signals, if the bike doesn't come with them, too.

    Yeah, I'm enthusiastic about my new toy. And I haven't even got it yet.




    ZOOOOO
    oooom!
    25 April 2003 : 13.38
    Looking at bike gear. It's getting to summer, and I want my bike. And with the bike, I need the appropriate safety gear. I'm not going to be one of those guys who rushes about with a helmet, jeans and a t-shirt. Hell no. You get thrown off that, and you never know when you will, and your jeans won't save you from the impact, your runners won't protect you from ankle injuries, you need gloves, and your t-shirt won't save your bones or your skin. If you don't want them cleaning you up with a mop, you need the right gear. I've looked about, and it comes down to a balance between price and reliability. Ideally, I'll never have an accident. But then, I don't have absolute control over that. That's why it's called "an accident" rather than "an on-purpose."
    Having looked at prices and safety ratings, user reviews, and so on, I've come to the conclusion that for my first, mostly Joe Rocket is where I want to go. And rather than the basic black, I think I might go with blue, both for the safety gear and the bike itself. Not completely decided yet, though. So, shopping list: jacket, pants (though I'm going to keep looking to see whether I can find other pants in colours that match the jacket), boots (in blue if I can find blue/black/white pants), gloves, and spine guard.

    The helmet is a different story. This Wolf looks good, but I really like these, too. These look like they escaped from Sentai. Or maybe the Knight Sabers hardsuit helmet.
    Mind you, that's not a bad thing. I think I most like the Roof Boxer. Rotating chinbar, matt, scratch resistent visor.. and possibly the coolest looking helmet ever. I think it's too much to spend on my first helmet.. who knows? I might really not enjoy the whole motorcycle thing once I try it. But I'll keep it in mind for my second, if I get that far. :)

    This will be my first bike, and I've done my research, but if anyone has any recommendations regarding riding gear, etc, please feel free to contact me.



    In other news, looks like Professor Chomsky was right. Trust bush to be right in there, though, with a diplomatic solution.. soothing words to tame the North Korean beast and make certain that a peaceful solution can be reached.




    speak!
    24 April 2003 : 19.20
    Yay.. corrections to the errors that most people make when speaking English. Which is good. They're really annoying.




    That'll teach ya.
    24 April 2003 : 12.56
    This is good. ZNet interview with Noam Chomsky. Excellent insight into what's going on. You read this, you see how the population of the US and Great Britain are being led. Chomsky talks about terrorism and dictators and popularising war, and where he thinks the american government is next going to point its guns. He's a well-informed and thoughtful person.

    As he says, the concern here is the development of "weapons of mass destruction" by foreign powers, and this is why america invades. What does this tell us? That conventional warfare doesn't work against america, but nuclear cold war does. Compare the US/USSR cold war to the US/Iraq conventional war. So what we can see from this is that america is, through its aggression, forcing other nations to develop nuclear weapons in self defence.

    (I always thought that matter could neither be created nor destroyed. ha. Physics humour.)






    Violently-Happy.net
    23 April 2003 : 16.22
    I was reading the "You know you have ADD when..." list, and I found this:
    You know you have ADD when...Your old neighbour for the third time this week rings on the door, and reminds you of the keys sitting in the door lock outside, because you forgot to take them out once you’d opened the door when you got home.

    For some reason, that reminds me of my townhouse in Prince George, when I was there for university. There was an old couple who lived across the road from us, also in the little townhouse complex, who had an old dog named Luke. I'm not certain what he was.. he was small and white, just tall enough stand on the road and rest his chin on the curb. The old chap who lived with him was retired, and on sunny days he and Luke would sit on the front steps in the sun and read the paper. Well, he'd read the paper. Luke didn't seem terribly interested, so he'd just sleep. Reading that quote from the list just made me think of all of the times I looked out through my kitchen window and saw the old guy and his dog just enjoying the day.

    This SARS thing is a bit of a worry, since so many people come here from China. Particularly Hong Kong.
    Mainland China has reported 97 deaths and more than 2,000 cases as of Tuesday.





    Homeland security. And racial purity.
    23 April 2003 : 14.29
    Wandering through a friend's LiveJournal, and I came across a link to a site that allows you to calculate your AD&D character stats. I came out pretty freaking well:

    Str: 18/50
    Int: 16
    Wis: 13
    Dex: 19
    Con: 14
    Chr: 17

    Woo. Now if only I could find the class for which I'm best suited. My experience with AD&D is limited to playing it in grade 9, and the Baldur's Gate/Icewind Dale/Neverwinter series, which uses the same rules. But I believe that, according to those stats, I'd be a good fighter, or mage, or thief. Or I could multiclass and do it all. You can test your alignment here.

    Popped into #callahans last night on IRC. Good timing, too.. people I hadn't seen in ages showed up. Many of whom I've missed, and had nothing whatever to do with why I stopped going. I've missed them.

    And now, this, also found on my friend's LiveJournal. Scary, scary stuff:

    We also remember that the Germans developed a new form of highly violent warfare they named "lightning war" or blitzkrieg, which, while generating devastating civilian losses, also produced a highly desirable "shock and awe" among the nation's leadership according to the authors of the 1996 book "Shock And Awe" published by the National Defense University Press.




    More than meets the.. holy christ, look at those in-game graphics!
    22 April 2003 : 19.41
    I will not get a PS2. I will not get a PS2. I will.. not... get.... a...

    o.0

    I must get a PS2. I must get a PS2. I must get a PS2. I must get a PS2...




    Ah, sweet caffeine.
    22 April 2003 : 17.37
    Went to Tim Horton's last night for, of all things, coffee and a doughnut. Of course, it's infuriating that they spell it in the simplified american way: "donut" but they are now an american company masquerading as a Canadian one, so that's to be expected (http://www.timhortons.com/english/1995.html). Still, a shame to see yet another Canadian company fall under the obese american corporate bulldozers.
    Anyway, I had me a Canadian Maple and an English Toffee Capuccino, yes I did, and mmm mmm. Canadian Maple doughnuts are totally the best. Bavarian cream wrapped in doughnut and covered with maple icing. I rarely eat doughnuts, so I thoroughly enjoy them when I do. And the coffee! Oh, the coffee! English Toffee.. sweet, but not too sweet. It was so good that I needed a cigarette afterwards. I had to ask the Tim girl at the counter "was that good for you, too?" it was that good.
    Or maybe it was because I was really tired at the time. Anyway, go, wigglies, and try these things. Fish and loaves and wine? Feh. The masses would have been better with Timmy Ho's gift certificates.

    But now, on a completely unrelated note (no, really) I go to work out.




    no gods.
    22 April 2003 : 16.36
    So I rant, and I rave, and I get really down on both americans and religious people. It suddenly occurs to me that I should point out that it's not all of them. Just the ones that affect me. But just as, say, the rabid religious right says things like "atheists are satanists" or servants of the devil, etc etc (all of which have been said to me), I generalise when it comes to religious people and americans. As I see it, you have your religion, that's cool. You're american, that's cool. But when you give someone a hard time in the name of one of those things, it reflects upon all such people. One Jehovah's Witness tells me that I'm a bad person, and I instantly think less of all of them. Which I shouldn't automatically do, but we all generalise to some extent. (heh, that was subtle humour there, that was.)
    Anyway, the people who hold certain beliefs about religion, patriotism, etc, and don't give me a hard time are fine, and I have no problem with them. So my ranting on here isn't directed at them, even though I generalise. Just so we're clear. :)

    I'm sure I offend.. well, you only have to look at the hatemail to see that. And I'm sure that various friends of mine don't care for my opinions. But you know what? At least I'm honest. At least there's no possibility that some day I'm going to mention something and shock them silly because they thought that I was someone I'm not. Better to be honest, I think, and have them like me for who I am, opinions and all, than to keep everything to myself, and lie by omission. I respect people's opinions, and they respect mine, or they bugger off. Seems pretty fair.
    Always open to discussion, though.

    Talking specifically about religion now, you've got to realise that most of this backlash comes from a) being told that I'm a bad person, immoral, evil, etc etc etc (which happens a lot), and b) being constantly forced to respect other people's beliefs, when my lack of a belief isn't respected. I can't wear a Darwin pin, if I want to, without someone giving me a hard time. But if you wear a crucifix, I'd better not say anything about it because that's your right. Yes, as a country we have freedom of religion, and that's great. But unfortunately, the rule that freedom of religion must include freedom from religion seems to have been missed. I don't just not believe in a god. I deny the existence of a god. My beliefs therefore conflict with those of someone who wears a crucifix to work. By wearing a crucifix, they're saying that god exists. So why are they allowed to assert their beliefs while I'm not? I don't make a fuss about it, of course. That would be silly. But it's just one of the many ways that religion is pushed on me, and other atheists. Religious people think that morality comes from religion, so that makes me immoral. They think that spirituality makes people deep, so I'm shallow. They assert that people need to believe in something, and that I don't makes them uncomfortable.

    I was out with a religious friend once. Yes, I have religious friends. And she had brought along some of her other religious friends. They were talking about their religion, of course, and I kind of zoned out. I tuned back in in time to hear "I don't think that non-christians can really understand what 'secular' means. Do you?"
    Irritating.
    me: "It means 'not based upon faith. Worldly, not spiritual.'"
    him: "yes, but I don't think that non-christians can know what it means."
    me: "I just defined it for you. I know what it means."
    [ uncomfortable silence. ]
    I suppose he didn't know that I was an atheist. And why should he? But he assumed that I wasn't, and that's what I'm on about.

    I can't put a Darwin fish on my car without having someone try to rip it off, or do something else unpleasant to my car. My mother's Darwin was removed. Who gives them that right? I don't go around removing "jesus saves" and "know jesus, know peace. no jesus, no peace" stickers and truth fish plaques from people's cars, do I? There's a difference. The Darwin fish, like my anti-religious ranting, is a backlash. It's a response to the religion that is constantly being pushed on us. It's just a little way of saying "hey, what about us?"




    Shallow?
    20 April 2003 : 22.39
    Just saw.. well, not all of it, but a large part of Shallow Hal. 'scuse me while I get all preachy for a moment.

    I can't stand Jack Black, but it's still a good movie.

    Here's how I see the matter: appearance does matter. Most people who tell you that it doesn't are lying. No matter how much you like their personality, the outside is a part of the package. That sounds terribly shallow, but it's true. The question, then, isn't whether it matters, but how all of the factors are weighted. Is someone who looks good but is kind of vacant better than someone who looks average but has a wonderful personality?
    That depends upon what you want. To me, and this is going to sound terribly "oh, aren't I a wonderful guy, then?" but it's true, personality and intelligence are more important than looks. Looks are a factor, but an intelligent girl of average looks with a great personality beats a vacant or unpleasant but gorgeous girl every time. Because though you do look at the person, and no matter how much sex you have, what you're going to do most is talk. And if you can't talk, things aren't going to last. But again, that depends upon what you want. Girls too, not just guys. If you want someone who is pretty to look at but not much else, that's a question of priorities. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's easy to say "Oh, that person's so shallow" but really, that's not fair then to the people with great looks and no personality. If it's not shallow to prize personality/intelligence over appearance, why is it shallow to prize appearance over personality/intelligence?
    I suppose that what it comes down to is mutual needs. Do you, as someone with a great personality but average looks, want someone who only cares about appearances? And if not, then why try to change them? Why not just find someone more to your taste? Does someone who knows that their only real attraction is their appearance want someone who will not care about it? Probably not. So maybe it's shallow to go only on looks. Maybe it's shallow to go only on personality. Maybe it's just a question of personal taste.

    Then you have people like me, with no looks or personality. :)




    Violently-Happy.net
    20 April 2003 : 19.58
    I've said before, and I'll likely say again, that I support Chretien in his opposition to the war. People.. the loud but ignorant ones who criticise him, say that he's a coward for not going to war.
    Hello? How is not going to war cowardly? Would he be in any danger if Canada went to war? Is bushy boy in any danger? No. No, he'd be caving in and giving the americans what they want. And he knows, as well as most of Canada knows, that that was an unjustified war. That there was no way it should have happened without UN approval. And he knew that by opposing america, he would bring the american wrath down on us. Oh, the yankees won't invade, but the tourists won't come as freely as they did, trade will probably suffer, and diplomatic relations will be a bit hurt. But in spite of all of that, he did the right thing, and refused to be bullied into going. That would have been the coward's way out. But instead, he, and the rest of the Canadian government, stood up and told the americans, just for once, that we're not going to be told what to do by some loudmouthed cowboy of a president just because his country has more money than ours. Jean Chretien isn't a coward. He's a brave man, an excellent example, and a real Prime Minister.

    In other news, Nicole Kidman isn't a scientologist any longer. Woo!




    original Thundercracker.
    reissue Thundercracker. You'd think that they'd at least put all of the bits on before they take the promotional picture, wouldn't you?
    20 April 2003 : 13.07
    This is going to sound a bit silly.. it does whenever I try to explain it to anyone in person. But screw you hippies.

    When we first came to Canada, my family was really poor. Like, seriously, we had nothing. It's expensive to move from one country to another, and it was more so back then. Particularly if you're bringing a dog with you, which we were. We sold as much as we could back home, gave a lot of it away, and shipped the rest over here. It was murderously expensive. But my parents wanted my brother and I to have the best life we could, and the best place for that was not in worn out old England. It was here, in beautiful British Columbia. Anyway, when we had been here for a couple of years, the Transformers came out. You remember them? They were the toy. Everyone was into them. My parents spent money that they didn't have to get me one.. Thundercracker, the Decepticon jet. My brother was given Skywarp, also a jet, but of a different colour. (The rabid fans tell me that the jets are called Seekers.)
    Thundercracker was so cool.. he transformed from a jet into a robot, he had missiles that mounted on his wings, and lasers that mounted on his arms. His cockpit opened, he had removable landing gear, and he was one of the coolest characters on the cartoon (which everyone watched religiously).
    Over the years, I got more toys, of course, and Thundercracker had pieces lost, bits broken, stickers peeled, and so on. But he was always my favourite because, even at that age, I realised how much my parents had sacrificed to get him for me. (I let them think I believed in Father Christmas.. it made them happy. :)
    So anyway, eventually, as with most of the Decepticon jet toys, the wings, the hands, the weapons and rudders and stickers and everything were lost, and all that was left was the body part. And like all children, I eventually grew out of my toys, discovered the joys (ha) of the social side of school life, and there was no more room for Thundercracker.

    On Thursday, I was out with my good friend Elaine, and we went to Toys R Us, just to see what kinds of toys there are these days. There were nifty things like Star Trek Enterprise figures and bridge components and vehicles that make noise and everything. There were Big Green Hulk Hands that you wear like boxing gloves, that shout "Hulk Smash!" when you hit things with them. And there was Thundercracker. Technically, "an exclusive Toys R Us reissue of G1 Thundercracker," who is very slightly different from the original, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that my favourite toy ever, the one that I always think of when I look back on on my childhood, is out again in brand new condition, and I have a chance to have him back. Just for the memories. Complete with wings and arms and weapons. Naturally, I had to buy him. I'll probably never even take him out of the box. This time, he's not for playing with. He's a reminder of my childhood, and a reminder of all of the things my parents did for me, and gave up for me because, frankly, I have the best parents in the world.





    My tool.
    20 April 2003 : 11.30
    Oh yeah, it's easter. The jesus reunion tour. I completely forgot. I'm not religious (obviously) but easter does represent one of the most important events in the year. And that, of course, is the easter chocolate clearance sale immediately following easter.

    Creative uses for the Leatherman Supertool, volume 4. When your company believes that no one needs airconditioning on the weekend, when you're the only person in, and the entire floor is like a sauna, and the manual override lives behind a plastic box that you need a key to open, use the Leatherman can-opener tool to pry the glue out of one of the narrow vents in the plastic lid. Then use one of the knife blades to whittle one of the chopsticks that you have in your bag (and don't we all?) so that it's narrow enough to fit through one of the little vents, and press the manual override. Ah, sweet a/c.
    Yep, I'm just like MacGyver.
    Without the mullet.
    Thank god.

    I don't know how long the manual override lasts, so I'll keep this tool, just in case. Heat is the one thing I can't handle, even though I'm somewhat less insulated than before. Particularly given that dexedrine boosts my body temperature.




    Look Eddie! It's fun!
    19 April 2003 : 18.04
    Sushi last night was a lot of fun. I don't know how many of us there were.. between twelve and sixteen, I think. It was good.. we were loud. We laughed a lot. One of the best sushi events ever, I think. Rather than being my usual shy self, I went over the top in the opposite direction, and that combined with the other people at my end of the table meant that one end was loud and obnoxious, and the other was much more tame by comparison. Right in the middle of the chaos again, where I should be. Yay :)
    It was good. There was Elizabeth, who is mean and hits me a lot. Actually, she's stopped with the hitting, and now just says nasty things about rabbits. There was Jen, who is cute and has pink hair. Or maybe she's cute because she has pink hair. There was Teri, who doesn't make any sense. There was Sarah, who does make sense most of the time, but not exclusively. There was Travis, who gets all of the obscure references, and so when I say "May I say that's a smashing blouse you have on, you raven-haired temptress from below stairs!" is likely to be the only one to laugh. There were many others, too.




    Violently-Happy.net
    19 April 2003 : 13.19
    Call me judgemental, but I still want to know: what kind of a moron do you have to be to believe that your loving, compassionate god wants you to nail yourself to a tree before he'll grant your prayers?

    Yay.. just saw someone I haven't seen in a couple of years, and she said "wow, you've lost a lot of weight,
    Daaaamn right. Who's the black private dick who's a sex machine for all the chicks?





    relax, they understand j00.
    17 April 2003 : 13.08
    Why are Sandler songs swimming through my head? Particularly "Ode To My Car."

    Megatokyo seems to be winding up. I hope not. It takes forever to get anywhere with the story, but it's nice. And Piro reminds me of me. Except that I can't draw. And I'm not an obsessive anime fanboy.

    I downloaded the Explorers soundtrack. I love that movie.. it's everything I wanted when I was little.. adventure, science, computers (they were still very uncommon when I was young, even though I had one), science fiction.. it's probably my single favourite movie. You should definitely see it. But don't read the box, and don't read any reviews or anything before you do. That would ruin it.

    There's talk around me of who's the most desirable woman in Hollywood, from a shallow, surface-only point of view. One person says she likes Angelina Jolie.
    Um. No. She's repugnant. She always looks like she needs about fifteen hours of sleep. Another says Britney Spears. Maybe, in a trailer trash kind of way. A girl of negotiable virtue, is the impression you get. Jennifer Aniston? If she weren't a star, no one would notice her. I find her quite plain.
    Give me a Kidman, or a Carrere, or a Ricci.

    Just found out that Smallville is shot here. Smallville is apparently Cloverdale. :)

    Canadian Idol is holding auditions around here on Saturday. That means that there won't be parking anywhere from here to Alberta. [ sigh ] Just getting into the building will be an adventure.




    Tiffany.
    16 April 2003 : 22.33
    Listening to the Jeff Wayne War Of The Worlds. It's probably my favourite of the radio plays. Better, though less historic, than the Orson Wells version.
    I can't help but feel sorry for the Martian invaders, though, when they start to die. That sad howling is the worst bit. Imagine.. your own world is dying. You find a chance to save your race, to stay alive, to continue your way of life, your culture. And it goes as you plan because the future of your entire race depends upon it. No mistakes, because you only get one chance. So the new world is under your control. You have that chance. Your species won't die off. You've escaped extinction. And then, you start to die. One by one, but in increasing numbers, dropping like flies, your only hope for survival stolen from you by the bacteria of this suddenly hostile new world. To be so close to ensuring your future, to narrowly escaping extinction, only to have it snatched away from you.
    It may not be real, but it's still.. sad.

    So I got home tonight, and Tiffany was on that E True Stories programme. I remember when she first appeared. I was quite fond of her, actually.
    Yeah, shut up.
    Partially because she was a redhead, I'm sure. I've always had a particular weakness in that area, even back then. :) But also because I felt terribly sorry for her. Show business is a very difficult world, and a hell of a life for a young girl not much older than I was. I didn't envy her that life. She always struck me as a bit sad.
    Now, however, she seems way more in control over her life. She's trying to rebuild her career, of course, and she has a lot of hard work to do to get past her 16 year old image. But she's trying. It's good that she's so realistic about what she's having to do, and why she's doing it. With the Playboy spread and the appearances and everything. Having read that interview, she strikes me as a pretty cool. Someone I might like to know.
    I haven't heard any of her music, but after everything she's done, and the fact that even with the drugs and the teen-star thing, she's got herself together, and she seems really stable and sensible. And she has a sense of humour, and a realistic outlook.




    Violently-Happy.net
    16 April 2003 : 16.47
    Best. Car commercial. Ever.

    War comment for today: the americans have "liberated" Baghdad. Which means that they have toppled the government. Which means that no one is left to enforce the laws. Which means that looting happens. Which means that possibly the single most important museum of human history has been destroyed. And the americans were warned in advance how important the museum was, and how important it was that it be protected. They didn't bother. The loss, not financial, but historical, is staggering. Thousands of years of history of the development of civilisation on this planet lost.
    In the name of oil. In the name of some insane american government officials' lust for money. The land of the free. The home of the brave. There'd be no such place without all of that history. The very least that they could do is protect it. It wouldn't have taken much. Rather than staging the statue incident, if they'd just put a few guards on the museum, this great loss could have been averted.
    But I suppose that that's not the american way. All that matters to them is money.

    Looking for apartments in Vancouver. It will be time to move soon, once the renovations are complete.
    The renovations are coming along rapidly, too. One end of the basement is fully spackled, sanded, and painted, and the downstairs bathroom has been tiled, the light fixture and mirror changed, and the window trim repainted. The basement also has a new glass and white wood door, and I've repaired the ceiling. The baseboard is ready to install, too, but I'm going to wait until the rest of the basement is finished. Going to also install a huge book case against one wall, and maybe a mini kitchen at the other end, where the bar used to be.




    The Happy Anarchist.
    16 April 2003 : 13.19
    The show was good. It's darkly funny, and weird but not unwatchably weird. Go and see it. Right now. Go! Go damn you!
    Three friends of mine were in it, and another friend directed and wrote it, which just made it even better, but it was good in its own right. I laughed. I cried. It became a part of me. I have to get one of the nifty t-shirts that they were selling.

    Blech. I can still taste the marijuana from last night.
    The Happy Anarchist was held at The New Amsterdam Cafe. Yeah, New Amsterdam. I should have figured it out before I got there, but I was more concerned with finding the place. Fortunately, I had Elaine, my lovely and talented navigator, along to direct me. So anyway, I arrived, opened the door, took one step inside, and that smell hit me. You know the one.. sort of sweet, slightly bitter at the same time. Not as nasty as cigarette smoke, mind you. It's thinner, not as hard on the lungs, and somehow doesn't taste as much like ash. Maybe the airborne particles are more fine because of what's being burnt.. I don't know. Of course, I'm not about to complain, right? That's what the place is for, it's a public marijuana house, people go there to smoke. I went there, people were smoking. I don't like it, I can leave, right? To complain would be as bad as a smoker lighting up in a non-smoking restaurant, for example, and that's not cool.

    Having said that, it was interesting to note even the diluted effects of the smoke. I had a seriously sore throat when I left. I noticed dilated air passages, and a corresponding increase in the amount of oxygen in my blood, causing flushed cheeks and a slightly lightheaded feeling. And a mild headache. But then, I usually have a mild headache, so that doesn't count. I couldn't tell whether my judgement had been impaired, since you require judgement to do that, but I think that the level of smoke that I inhaled was probably so low that it didn't seriously compromise me. Fortunately, the effects are short term. Today, no trace of them remains except an echo of the taste at the back of my throat.
    I drove home very carefully. Just in case. :)

    For those who are into these things, this is the place:




    Violently-Decorating
    15 April 2003 : 12.52
    A-painting we will go, a-painting we will go. Hi ho the basement oh a-painting we will go.
    Fifteen coats later...
    or maybe two. Yeah, I think it was actually two coats. Something like that.

    Tonight, I go to see "The Happy Anarchist" in which my friend goes up on stage and flails about a bit. I think.

    Ok, back to the painting.




    Truth? Justice?
    13 April 2003 : 19.01
    Saw this on Fark:
    Wow, just saw that link of dead children from the war..

    can we stop now?


    I was reading about how the americans have been flying their flag over the cities that they've "liberated" on the way to Baghdad. That sounds a bit like occupation, to me. If you were liberating the people, you'd let them fly their flag. If you fly yours, you're showing that the city is under your rule. That's not liberation.
    But then, it's never been about liberation. It's an invasion. And the people do so appreciate it. We've seen them pulling down a statue of Saddam Hussein. Haven't we?




    Violently-Happy.net
    13 April 2003 : 16.25
    Watched an episode of Buffy last night. I'm not certain that I see what all of the fuss is about. The humour is, to me, rather clumsy and overstated, while the acting consists of a lot of overly dramatic striking of poses, pausing, and talking very low.
    And an awful lot of teen angst.

    However, this I find kind of funny.

    So, I've been watching a lot of 80s cartoons, just to kill time while I'm on the exercise bike. They're mostly dreadful, but they also provide an interesting insight.. kind of a little window into the past. I was watching GI Joe (it's like an army-themed B-movie) the other day, and the american troops were talking about being in the Soviet Union, and about how they never thought that the USSR would be glad to see them.
    wow..
    To think that that was such a huge part of life back then, and now many of us barely remember it. There are people growing up today who probably know nothing about the USSR, or the cold war, or the Berlin Wall. To many of us, it was life. To them, it will be History, of no more personal relevance than the colonisation of North America, the ancient Romans, or the French Revolution. It's funny to think that something so... big should be so quickly forgotten.




    please curb your dogma.
    13 April 2003 : 14.22
    I found this on Indiemedia.org:
    "ashamed to be an American"
    by born here Sunday April 13, 2003 at 01:34 AM

    Welcome to the club. To be American is a shameful thing. No wonder the world hates us. We are aggressors. At Nuremberg we hung Germans for doing to Poland what Bush is doing to Iraq. In those days one could take pride in America. But today, we're nothing but war criminals, and the taxpayers who enable them.


    It's true, but it's a shame. I mean, americans are, at heart, not much different from other people. A little more fanatically patriotic, but that's conditioning in the way they're brought up. A little less educated on average, but again, that's not their fault. Their government tells them that they should be rabidly patriotic, so they are, but not all of them are mindless sheep. And that's the part that is so sad. They don't have to be mindless sheep. They're so proud of their democracy (which many of them think that america invented), which should guarantee that their government and their country do as the majority of people desire. Yet if you look at the way many of them live, and the steady degredation of their culture, such as it is, I can't believe that the government is concerned with the will of the people other than where it affects their votes.
    america could be a great country. It really could. With the kind of financial power they have, they could end world hunger, promote amazing advances in science, work toward a truly democractic world government that would allow equality for all people and regions, celebration of diversity, no more recessions, no more conflict. If they did these things, the other countries would support them, ally with them, and eventually the world would be at peace. Simplified, but it works. Instead, what happens? They squabble over money. They build the biggest military so that they can push everyone else around. They tell us all how much better than us they are, and thereby generate massive amounts of dislike and resentment. The government leads the people, and the people blindly follow, discarding education in favour of ignorance. Look at america. Just look. The government isn't accountable to the people. And if you think that it is, just look at the vast amount of people that opposed the war one way or another. If the government were accountable, it would settle those matters before proceeding. The people don't want education, they want ignorance. They don't want to know about the rest of us, because it might hurt their image of america as "the greatest country in the world." They don't want to think, or to be critical of what the government does. They want quite the opposite.. many of them even think that the press shouldn't be allowed to criticise the military. For a comparison, look at the religious freaks. They won't read a book on evolution, or by someone who has lost their religion. Not even to find out why so many people have doubts.

    I would like america to be a great country. I'd like it to be a country that we could all respect and admire, that we weren't ashamed sat south of our border (Canadians, anyway), and that we could count on to do what's best for all of us, the nations of the world. I'd like to be proud that america is next to Canada, not ashamed. And when I see a washington plate on a car here, I'd like to not automatically mutter "bloody yankees" when I think that somewhere, some poor service person is going to have to deal with this visitor. Because most of them who come here are just unpleasant. And they broadcast their yankeeness in two ways. One, they're rude. Do they even know the words "please" and "thank you?" Two, they tell you. They seem to feel that being american accords them some special status. There was a time that I was standing in a line to get an icecream, and a couple of large southern women (they weren't ladies) tried to merge their way into the line. Being polite, I didn't push back. I stepped to the side. The girl at the counter saw, ignored them, and asked me what I would like. So I went to the counter, and heard behind me "Hah the heyal ded he git in fron' o' us? Hah did he git in fron' o' us? Tha's rude as heyal." Seeing that this didn't have any effect, as I was politely ignoring them (yes, politely. I didn't tell them what I thought of them, and their questionable parentage), they reverted to talking between themselves, loudly so that I could hear it. "It was double sweet (whatever the fuck that means) of thayat gah to gimme back money in american, huh." as if that would make a difference. Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realise that you were american. Please feel free to push your enormous backside into the line, then. May I shine your shoes? Thank you for gracing our humble country with your presence.
    fuck off.

    So I'd like america to be good, and nice, and someone I'd like to know. Instead, I see a loud, uncouth, reactionist, uneducated, beligerant, selfish, money-obsessed, religious jerk. Not my preference for a neighbour.

    No, not all of them. Some of them are really nice. Some of them are educated, thoughtful, and critical of their government's actions. But they're the vast minority.




    The borg move in mysterious ways.
    12 April 2003 : 16.28
    christ it's hot in here. I keep wandering off to the washroom to run cold water over my forearms and wrists. It cools me substantially.

    Downloaded Chatterbox radio from Grand Theft Auto III. It's stupid. I like it. Yay Fernando.

    Pardon my bluntness, but this is very frightening. america has a low enough standard of education as it is.. the influence of the religious wrong is only going to make that worse. As my brother says "When I was a child I had an imaginary friend. What was he called? Oh yeah, jesus."
    Evolution is scientific fact. Not necessarily human evolution, since we can't see that in action, but you can see evolution happening right now in bacteria, viruum, and so on. Look at the whole superbug crisis. Evolution is change, that's all. Usually prompted by natural selection. So you apply a filter, and those who are fit survive, those who are not die off. The species changes as a result. Like with the superbugs. Bug A is a bacterium who is immune to your antibiotic. Bug B isn't immune. Bug B dies off, leaving space for Bug A to reproduce, generating more bugs that are immune to your antibiotic. The species is now immune to your antibiotic. The species has evolved. That's a bit simplified, but it's essentially correct. To conclude, therefore, that this applies to all life isn't a stretch in the least. Changing conditions cause humans, animals, plants to adapt or die off. The ones who die off leave fossils, which we've found. The ones who survive go on and leave a traceable lineage, which we can also follow through the fossil record. We haven't found everything yet, but there's a hell of a lot to find, so that's going to take a while.

    Having said that, you can't see god in action. There's nothing that you can point to and say "that's god, that is." So why argue about it? Why not teach that evolution is fact, since you could prove it right there in the classroom (if you had the bacteria and the antibiotics). There's no real doubt about human evolution. It's a question of which route humanity took to evolve, but there's no question that it happened. Except in the minds of people so entrenched in their religion that they refuse to actually look at the facts. Or they just don't understand them.
    If god created humanity in his own image, why are there black, white, Native american, Indian, Arabian, Asian, Latino.. all of these variants. And within those variants there are more variants. Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Philipino.. they all look different. Why? Was jesus Korean? Was he Celtic? (That's "keltik," not "seltic," for the americans in the audience.) And if not, why not? If god is responsible for creating all of humanity, why didn't he place a son in each area? The Native americans had never heard of jesus until the invading white people told them. You'd think that if it were so important that they know, god would have raped.. sorry, immaculately conceived without consent with.. one of them, as well. And a Chinese girl. And one in South america. And Africa. And so on.

    I was digging through Usenet.. you'd be amazed at some of the things that are still on there. Anyway, I found this, from when I first posted my one Star Trek fan fiction. Which wasn't really a fan fiction.. just the expression of an idea that I had. I got quite a few responses, but there's only one preserved in this thread.
    It's funny to go back and look at things you posted years ago. This one was in 2001:

    Looking at the image at

    http://www.medfordoregon.com/PhotoGallery/index.cgi?&action=detail&scale=&file=Revelations_Illustrated-image33.jpg

    I don't remember the Borg invading in the Bible. Maybe I missed that bit. Or maybe the artist got his "Best Of Both Worlds Illustrated" mixed up with his "Revelations Illustrated" christians vs the Borg. Terror of the universe!
    They're pretty scary, hey? Mindless drones with voices in their heads.
    And the Borg are pretty frightening, too.

    heh heh heh




    Violently-Happy.net
    11 April 2003 : 19.00
    Off to opening night at my mother's new show.

    And I just realised that I haven't eaten today. Mmm.. foood.




    New paint job.
    11 April 2003 : 16.47
    Heh, someone asked last night whether my brother and I were twins. That hasn't happened in years. :)

    I don't understand tattoos. I have nothing against them, just as I have nothing against hockey. I just don't understand them.
    Well, no, I kind of do. Here's what I don't understand: given the choice, you probably wouldn't graft an item of clothing onto yourself. Or permanently change the colour of your hair. So why would you permanently mark yourself with a particular design?
    That might just be my short attention span talking.
    And what's the difference between a duck?
    I know lots of people with tattoos, and I couldn't picture them without them. It's a part of who they are, and that's fine. I know one person who has a design with lots of open spaces, and colours them with felt markers. :) What I don't know is why someone would permanently mark themselves, when there are so many temporary possibilities. Please understand that I'm not in any way putting tattoos down. People who have them are pretty enthusiastic about them, even fanatic in some cases. And that's great.. more power to you if you can modify yourself to make yourself happier with you. That's no different from my working out and weight training. It's all about what you want for yourself, after all. Some people pierce things, others add colour.

    At the same time, I can understand that you'd want something that makes you different. A unique marker that you choose.. you don't choose your hair colour, eye colour, skin tone, height, build, etc etc. And while you can modify all of those things to an extend, no change that you make will be permanent. Even piercings close over. Well, most of them. So I can understand the desire to permanently make a change. Sort of. I suppose it's just personal preference. I'd be wanting to change it after a couple of days. And you can have them removed, but it's expensive and painful.

    If anyone can better explain the appeal, please feel free.

    In the Early Days, before the Dark Times came to my relationship with the freaky ex, and she still apparently valued my opinion, she asked me once what I thought of her getting a tattoo. She wanted her name in Hiragana. It went like this (as best I can remember it):
    me: "Honestly?"
    she: "Of course."
    me: "Well, it's just my opinion, but I'd rather that you didn't. Not that it's a bad idea, or anything, and if you want it, then do it. It's up to you, it's your body, and what you want out of it comes first. It wouldn't affect how I feel about you, and I'd get used to it in time. It's just that, to me, you don't need it. You're lovely as you are, and I think that it would be a shame to marr that perfect skin with something that, honestly, couldn't hope to enhance your already wondrous beauty."

    Maybe I'm too honest; she got mad. But if you're going to ask my opinion, you're going to get my opinion. To me, honesty is important, particularly in a serious relationship. Had she had the tattoo when I met her, it would have been a part of the whole, and wouldn't have affected the way I saw her. It's just, I suppose, that when you get used to someone, a change like that is pretty dramatic. Maybe it was the way I said it. Maybe it came across as sarcastic. Who knows? But that's the way I felt. I'm always the most devoted boyfriend. :)
    If I were to start seeing a girl who had a tattoo, it wouldn't affect the way I saw her. In fact, some tattoos really look good. Right now, I'm liking the whole female lower back thing. Particularly the wide but shallow designs, usually tribal or floral, that just peek over the waistline of her jeans. (That's not a particular 'her,' just a general 'her.') The difference, I think, is going from zero to one. If the long-haired girl you're seeing suddenly shaves her head, that's a hell of a change. If she's always had really short hair and then shaves her head, it's not such a dramatic change.
    Well, just look at the reaction from everyone when I cut my own hair short. Cuz like some were all "Yay!" and others were like "aw" and stuff.




    What you say !!
    10 April 2003 : 19.09
    In A.D. 2003
    War was beginning.


    "HOW ARE YOU GENTLEMEN !! ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US. YOU ARE ON THE WAY TO DESTRUCTION. YOU HAVE NO CHANCE TO SURVIVE MAKE YOUR TIME. HA HA HA ...."



    for great justice.




    Drink up. The world's about to end.
    10 April 2003 : 16.41
    [sigh] How predictable was this? Fox, government mouthpiece second only to CNN, reports that weapons grade plutonium has probably been found underground in Baghdad. Stuff so powerful that there's no way it could have been missed by the UN inspectors.

    But the worst part, the bit that really smashes any credibility that this story might have, is when Capt. John Seegar of the american armed forces says: "How did the world miss all of this? Why couldn't they see what was happening here?"
    How delightfully transparent. Look everyone, america was right and you were all wrong. The United Nations was wrong. america is the greatest country in the world. blah blah blah.

    Whether it's true or not doesn't matter now because no one will ever know, and the vast majority of us outside america won't believe it. And the vast majority of those inside america probably will. It's justification. There was no chance that they wouldn't find anything there. No chance at all. Then all of the peace protesters the world over would have been right, wouldn't they? And the american government would have been wrong. ""How did the world miss all of this?"
    Probably because it wasn't there before america took Baghdad. Who knows? If the UN inspectors had found it, I would believe the story. Since it was found by the people who needed to find it in order to justify being there to find it in the first place, I don't. The american justice system calls this searching without a warrant. And evidence found in such a search is inadmissible. america, therefore, doesn't adhere to its own rules, let alone anyone else's. Either that, or it's not interested in justice, according to even its own definition.

    With this "success," the american people are going to feel vindicated in america's attacks on other countries. The apparent failure of the UN to locate the weapons grade plutonium is going to be used to show that america cannot rely on the UN to identify threats. Therefore, they will just move on anyone who gets in the way.

    Drink up. The world's about to end
    .




    Jackie Chan beats up a cigarette. :)
    10 April 2003 : 14.23
    Heh, co-worker just asked me if I smoke, and I responded without thinking. If I did, you'd be able to smell it. Unless you're a smoker, in which case your senses of smell and taste are massively dulled. I can't imagine doing something like that to myself. Sushi would be so.. bland if you couldn't taste the subtle flavours.
    "Hey, do you smoke?" "Ew no!"

    Actually, it's kind of funny what an effect it has on my perception of a person. The most gorgeous woman in the world walks past. The kind that really does turn heads. She looks in my direction. She smiles. She takes a puff of her cigarette, and suddenly she's revolting. Someone I wouldn't want to be near. She's stupid, because she smokes, and you have to be stupid to start smoking in this day and age. I know that she'll reek, so I don't want to get close. I know that her breath will be nasty with all of the stuff she inhales. I know that, were I to kiss her, she'd taste like an ash tray (been there). I know that the chemicals in the cigarettes are breaking down the elastin in her skin, and making it tough, so she's going to get prematurely wrinkled and leathery. And I know that nicotine is absorbed through the skin, which means that if I'm with her, she's poisoning me, as well as herself. No thanks. "Attractive" and "smoker" are mutually exclusive.




    I love chicken, I love liver.. mmm.. peanut butter and liver sandwiches.
    10 April 2003 : 12.50
    Hehe.. I like this (stolen from Wilwheaton.net, but only because I can't find it on the Man-Man site):
    "I write an internet comic strip called Man-Man. It chronicles the adventures of Man-Man, a hero who, after being bitten by a radioactive man, gained the proportionate strength, speed, and agility of...a man.

    He uses his astonishing lack of abilities to fight evil and such."


    That's beautiful. I haven't read the comic yet, so I don't know whether it's good, but I like that.
    Wil won the Forbes Celebrity weblog thing. By quite a bit. I'm thinking that this is because he's cool. And also because he's a Farker. But he deserves it.. a lot of what he has to say really makes sense, and is fun to read, too.

    Speaking of Fark, "Fiona_Applet" is the best username ever. Except possibly for "Stoatbringer," which sounds like the surname of a character from a Forgotten Realms fantasy book. The Great Wizard Stoatbringer.
    Ok, maybe it's more Discworld.

    I've never actually read a Forgotten Realms book, but given how much I enjoyed the Baldur's Gate series, and both Icewind Dale games, I'm tempted. I don't really like fantasy, normally, being a hardcore science fiction fiend, but if the books work as well as the games, it might not be bad.

    Which reminds me: on Space's HypaSpace, they mentioned that Heinlein's Have Space Suit, Will Travel has been targetted for a movie. I hope they do a better job with this one than they did with StarShip Troopers and The Puppet Masters.




    Orca Place.
    09 April 2003 : 19.54
    Ahem:
    Duh

    Heh heh.. someone once said to me in IRC "americans have got money because we've got brains, man."
    Brains. Yes.

    Having said that, there's good work going on in some places in america.

    Searching for somewhere to live. This is terribly helpful. This looks nice. It has a hot tub and a gym. But I think I prefer this one. 2 bedroom 910 sqft for $170000. With in suite laundry. That's something that is dear to my heart, that is.

    I like how "Comment On Reproductive Ethics" considers itself "Pro-Life," but wanted to stop two parents producing a baby that was tissue matched to their dying son, so that they could use stem cells from the new baby's umbilical cord to save the existing child's life. How pro-life is it to oppose the one chance that this child has, by opposing the creation of another child? That's two lives. Pro-life groups need to shut the hell up about things that don't concern them. Just my opinion. :)

    Wow.. time to go home. I hadn't realised how late it was, since I'm used to walking to my car in the dark. Since it's Daylight Saving Time, there's still light outside. Weird.
    Daylight saving time is stupid. Why not just set the clocks one way and leave them like that the year 'round? It's bad enough that we have time-zones. Why not just change everything to a 24 hour clock, with one time zone the world over? That will come in time, I'm sure. It's largely because people think that it should be light during these hours and dark during those hours.




    Violently-Happy.net
    07 April 2003 : 15.58
    A good day. A day of drinking Irish Cream coffee and repairing broken friendships. I'm glad things are settling as they should.

    Listening to The Muffs: Beat Your Heart Out. Oh, and it turns out that Build Me Up, Buttercup is by The Goops, not The Muffs. They sound pretty similar, though.

    Getting to work on the renovations of my basement. Right now, that's about the only thing holding me in my current residence. I can't move until I've finished what I've started. So painting and carpeting need to be done, and then moving.




    The Gallery
    07 April 2003 : 14.46
    Bugger. Just found out that the building into which I want to move has sold out. And the search is on again.




    Click for a larger version.
    06 April 2003 : 15.50
    I got a message from someone the other day asking which weblog software I use. Why, notepad, of course.

    I can't believe it's April already. It seems like just last week I was skipping the company christmas party.

    Found a punk version of Build Me Up, Buttercup. And it is good. I'm not certain who it's by, since the ID3 tags have been different on every copy I've found, but it sounds like The Muffs.

    Heh, ADD at its finest. Went for dinner with Elizabeth the other night. In true ADD fashion, I can remember now exactly what was said, but at the time, it went like this:
    "Ok, ten tuna sushi please, and ten salmon sushi. Four orders of California roll, please. Two kaki motoyaki, and one spicy tuna cone, please." So the server girl leaves, and I turn to Elizabeth and say "Did I order a spicy tuna cone?" "Are you joking? Jesus james!"
    Hee.. :) Yay short term memory! Woot!

    Speaking of ADD, I was working on a section of this page devoted to it. It's kind of done.. the formatting and everything. I just have to actually add the content. I've only got a couple of pages filled with content at the moment. I really need to get that finished and up.
    Web design is out of control. I'm supposed to be designing a site for my brother, but that's coming slowly. I need to gather him unto my computer one day and just work on it, because his needs are a little different as far as the information he needs to provide, and the format in which he needs to provide it.
    I'm also supposed to build a site for my mother's theatre. And another for a friend I haven't talked to in ages, but who just contacted me recently.
    All in all, I'm pretty busy.




    W O R L D  W I D E  P A N T S
    06 April 2003 : 14.08
    We were talking last night about how people get promoted in their company. There's nepotism, of course, but most companies are pretty cautious about that, and many have policies wherein you can't work in the same department as a relative, etc. But there are other, less traceable methods of being promoted. None of which works for me. Which is fine because I have no ambitions in this company, but it's interesting to consider. There's the smoking buddy approach. I've found that people who go on smoke breaks with the supervisors/managers/whatever often get the best promotions, special projects, etc. That's even more the case if you go out drinking with them after work hours, and more still if you share an affinity for hard drugs with them.
    Not that I have any experience with that sort of manager.
    But that doesn't work for me because I won't smoke anything.
    There's the social grouping.. where you find some sort of common interest with the manager.. books, computer games, whatever. My problem there is that I have far too little time to read these days.. a crime, in itself, and that I lose interest in most computer games after between half an hour and five days. There are some that don't get dull, though.
    Then there's the sex approach. You can flirt with the boss, or offer to sleep with the boss as a means of getting a promotion. I tried that when I first came to work for this company. I went up to the supervisor and flirted and smiled and everything else. Unfortunately, the supervisor was a large, hairy, Pakistani gentleman, so he wasn't too moved. Not even when I showed some leg.
    The next supervisor I tried it on was equally unimpressed.
    me: "My. It sure is hot in here. Maybe I should just take off my pants. Hey, how 'bout a little bit o' promotion for little ol' me? hmmmmmm?"
    him: "We have a dress code, you know."

    So my attempts to sleep my way to the top have been somewhat less than successful.




    Feesh
    06 April 2003 : 01.07
    I went for sushi. And I'm glad I did. I got to spend time with my odd friend Elizabeth, and my other friend who I haven't seen in ages, and his very cool girlfriend.
    I feel bad that I could have thought that he was just using me for a ride. I really do. He's a much better person than that. I suppose I was just upset at the way things were going at that point in the day, and everyone was looking like a villain. Once I stopped to think about it, I realised that. But I still feel bad that I could have thought such a thing, however briefly. I should have known better. Other people do that.. that doesn't mean that he will.
    But that means that I won't make that mistake next time.




    Click for a larger version.
    05 April 2003 : 16.54
    Now that that ridiculous bout of self-pity is over and done with, it's time for food. Mmm, food. My favourite dish. Today, grapefruit a la Leatherman. That eez, monsieur,a grapefruit zat as been carefully sliced into deux equal parts weez ze sharpest of ze Ledderman blades, and zen served at ze room temperature weez ze seelver cuillère du thé. Tonight, sushi.
    Grapefruit makes my tongue tingle. You all care.

    Found this posted on Fark.
    Best. Photoshop. Theme. Ever.




    [sigh]
    05 April 2003 : 13.00
    So I decided screw it, I'm not going to just be a ride. I'm going to my friend's birthday.

    Only I'm not. Since I was only told today that some people were bailing from sushi, it's too late to change the reservations so that I can go.

    fuck.




    people.. who hate people..
    05 April 2003 : 12.15
    heh, apparently Something Awful doesn't like it when you link to images directly from their server. And here I thought I was being nice by not downloading the image. That's what you get for trying to share.

    [sigh]
    People suck. I agree to go for sushi with a friend who always cancels, but who I haven't seen in ages. Shortly after I agree, I get invited to a dear friend's birthday. Birthday's come once a year, while sushi can happen any time, but I can't go to the birthday because I'd feel really bad about cancelling when I've made arrangements. So today, when the plans have all been finalised, the sushi person cancels. Why do I bother?
    And there will be another person at sushi who is expecting to see me, so I can't just back out anyway. Though he's probably expecting to see me because he needs a ride. And because I always make the reservations. I don't hear from him for a year, and then the night that he needs a ride he gives me a call.
    fuckers. I want to bail on the sushi thing and go to the birthday. What I'll probably end up doing is going to sushi anyway, because in spite of everything I'd still feel bad cancelling at the last minute.

    I hate people. If you're nice, they treat you like a doormat. If you're not, they hate you for being a jerk. It sucks to be nice, but you know what? I can't help it. I'm just not a jerk. I spend too much time thinking about how what I say or do will affect others to not take that into account when I'm saying and doing. I don't like to see people upset. So I do what needs to be done to make them happy, and I let things go when I really shouldn't. It's not a question of standing up for myself.. I can totally do that when it actually matters. It's a question of taking the easy path, letting myself get the short end of the stick so that someone else doesn't have to. To me, it's just being considerate. To others, apparently it's being a doormat.
    And no one respects a doormat.
    So do I keep being a doormat so that I don't hurt the feelings of people for whom I care? Or do I start doing what's best for me all the time, regardless of how it makes them feel? And then feel bad that I'm making them feel bad? Is it better to take that on myself than to heap it onto others?
    When I moved away from home, my mother wrote "This above all, to thine own self be true" on a card that she gave me. She's a big Shakespeare fan. I still have it, of course. And she's right. I should be. If it means so much to me that other people not be hurt, then making sure that they aren't hurt is what I shall do.
    It's just that sometimes, being nice sucks.




    Click for a larger version.
    04 April 2003 : 13.26
    Isn't this sort of thing supposed to be a sign from god or something?

    So when I'm on not on Dexedrine, I forget to eat. When I'm on Dexedrine, I remember to eat. When I'm on Dexedrine, and I have a grapefruit, I forget to eat. Apparently, grapefruit is an appetite suppressant. And it causes weight loss. Just like Dexedrine. Which is good, as long as it doesn't get out of control

    Other exciting things:
    ( Well, exciting to me )

  • revised my exercise schedule.. it was too easy to cheat. That kind of defeats the purpose. So I've increased the amount of weight training, changed the exercise days to better suit my schedule. Eg. Thursday nights I get home very late, so Thursday nights and Friday mornings I just haven't been exercising. Might was well make those my days off.

  • tracking down parts for the Beemer. Finding a body parts is turning out to be a bugger, but the rest isn't so bad. Mechanical and electrical parts are easy to find.

  • downloaded a Diana Krall song, which should have been "Peel Me A Grape" but instead started with "Yo. Niggras and niggrettes. Dis is da call. Y'all have five seconds ta put down ya drinks and report to da dance floor" which, as far as I know, isn't Diana Krall's style.

  • I find that I'm using the <li> tag a lot these days

  • I have need of another new computer. Mostly to be a file server.

  • the fact that I'm using the <li> tag a lot these days is not terribly exciting, so never mind.

  • yay! This is good!




  • If you could just go ahead and do that from now on, that'd be greeeaaat.
    04 April 2003 : 11.43
    "Corporate accounts payable Nina speaking. Just a moment."
    There's one of those on the reception desk in this department. Joy.

    Finally ordered my contact cards.. I wanted cards that would save me the hassle of having to dig out a pen and a piece of paper whenever someone wanted my email address, phone number, URL, etc. I don't have a business, so they don't need to be professional. So they current card gives my name, phone number, email address, this site's URL, and identifies me as a cynic, cad, and overall miserable bastard. I'll probably change it when I run out.




    Amazing. You listen to one song by her and you need a cigarette.
    03 April 2003 : 17.47
    Just before our love got lost you said
    I am as constant as the northern star
    And I said, "constantly in the dark
    Where's that at
    If you want me I'll be in the bar"

    On the back of a cartoon coaster
    In the blue TV screen light
    I drew a map of Canada
    Oh, Canada
    With your face sketched on it twice

    Oh, you're in my blood like holy wine
    You taste so bitter and you taste so sweet
    Oh, I could drink a case of you, darling
    Still be on my feet
    Still be on my feet

    Oh, I am a lonely painter
    I live in a box of paints
    I'm frightened by the devil
    And drawn to those that ain't afraid
    I remember when you told me
    Love is touching souls
    Surely you touched mine
    Part of you pours out of me
    In these lines from time to time

    You in my blood like holy wine
    You taste so bitter and you taste so sweet
    Oh, I could drink a case of you,
    I could drink a case of you, darling
    Still be on my feet
    And still be on my feet

    I met a woman she had a mouth like yours
    She knew your devils and your deeds
    She said, "Go to him
    Stay with him if you can
    But be prepared to bleed"

    You in my blood like holy wine
    Taste so bitter and you taste so sweet
    Oh, I could drink a case of you, darling
    And still be on my feet
    Still be on my feet

    Yeah, it's by Joni Mitchell. But Diana Krall does it so well.




    Serious about grapefruit.
    03 April 2003 : 13.29
    Now this is healthcare.
    So, I don't quite understand this. They know that it was consensual, they know that the boy hired the prostitute, and yet she's the one who could be charged? How is she even supposed to know? Is she supposed to ID everyone who offers to pay her?
    If you want to charge someone, the boy is the offending party. He knew how old he was, and he must have known what would happen to the unfortunate prostitute.
    More to the point, why's it such a big deal? It was consensual. You know this because had she sexually assaulted him, a she probably wouldn't have done it in a hospital, and b he probably wouldn't have paid her for it.

    Honestly. The boy and the woman both got what they wanted.. why not just leave it at that?

    But then, that's not as stupid as this.

    I found this at wilwheaton.net:
    "F___ Saddam. we're taking him out." Those were the words of President George W. Bush, who had poked his head into the office of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

    It was March 2002, and Rice was meeting with three U.S. Senators, discussing how to deal with Iraq through the United Nations, or perhaps in a coalition with America's Middle East allies. Bush wasn't interested. He waved his hand dismissively, recalls a participant, and neatly summed up his Iraq policy in that short phrase.

    The Senators laughed uncomfortably; Rice flashed a knowing smile. The President left the room. A year later, Bush's outburst has been translated into action, as cruise missiles and smart bombs slam into Baghdad.

    But the apparent simplicity of his message belies the gravity at hand. Sure, the outcome is certain: America will win the war, and Saddam will be taken out. But what is unfolding in Iraq is far bigger than regime change or even the elimination of dangerous weapons.

    The article is on CNN, so it's propaganda in a big way, but if you can look past that, it suggests that bushy knew that they were just going to invade anyway, no matter what. And the man has the brain of a four year old, so he couldn't keep the secret.

    I had an urge for grapefruit today, so I bought a bag o' grapefruits. And a spoon. Yummy :)




    Click for a larger version.
    02 April 2003 : 23.13
    Updated McHappy Mail.

    And added graphics for the Reincarnation? page.

    And took the exit transition out of the index page.

    And I'm spent.




    Asia Carrera. Link goes to a porn site.
    02 April 2003 : 19.24
    Speaking of porn...

    Some people say that porn objectifies women.. well, no. A lot of porn is written for women, and a lot of it is written by women. It no more objectifies women than kung fu movies objectify men. Which is.. a bit. But that's what entertainment is about. It's not about realism. It's about entertainment. In porn, you watch women and men have sex. In action movies, you watch women and men get hurt and/or die. Sometimes really nastily. There's not a lot of character development in either. Look at Bond. How long's he been going? Anyone know his favourite colour? Or his first pet's name? Of course not. All we know is that he blows things up, likes his martinis shaken, not stirred, and that he shags. A lot. So how is this different from porn? People watch Bond movies to see him blow things up and shag a lot while drinking martinis. People watch porn to skip the explosions and the drinks. What's wrong with that?

    It's commonly said that porn is degrading to women. Same argument. Does it degrade male porn stars? No. Why not? They're doing the same thing.. having sex on screen. Is anyone doing porn involuntarily? No. Are the people treated with any less respect because they're in porn? Only by the people who aren't in porn, who say that it's degrading. Did you know that a female porn star can make up to US$200 000 a year? And that the average male porn star salary is closer to US$40 000? Women are what makes porn work. You could have porn without men, but not without women. Gay porn makes up a very small portion of the market, I'm sure. Female porn stars, as they will tell you if you ask, are not being exploited. Not in the least.

    And yes, most porn is targeted toward men. This might surprise you, but most of the people who watch porn are men. Just as most of the people who watch action movies are men. Romance novels are targeted toward women. So are romantic movies. There are a lot of women who love action movies and porn, and there are men who love romance movies, and maybe even romance novels, but each of those genres has its target audience consisting overwhelmingly of one gender, and the vast majority of porn fans are male. Are you then going to market your product 50/50 toward females and males, when females are closer to 30%? No.. people who make porn are good at business. They know their target audience.

    Personally, I'm pretty indifferent. I don't really care one way or the other. I've had girlfriends who liked to watch porn, and others who didn't, and it makes no difference to me either way. But I find it odd that sex is so wrong, while violence is just fine. It's degrading to see a woman enjoying sex, but not to see a man begging for his life with a gun to his head, or crawling along the ground because he's had his legs shot full of holes. Doesn't that strike you as odd? And I'm not saying "we should ban violence in movies!" because that's silly. But I'm wondering why there's this acceptance of something bad, like violence, over something good, like sex. I mean, you have to be eighteen to rent porn, but cartoons like GI Joe (or whatever the kids watch these days) display violence on television to small children as perfectly acceptable. Does that make any sense?




    Undah da sea, undah da sea...
    02 April 2003 : 18.20
    wow..

    More wow..

    In other news, I can't believe that Tecmo didn't see this coming. Hello? There are nude skins for every game from No One Lives Forever to Quake II, and everything in between. Essentially, if there's a female character in the game, some horny net geek will create a nude skin for her. If Tecmo didn't see that coming, seriously, how in touch are they with the gamer world?
    Personally, I don't see the point of the nude patch. But then, I've had a real live girlfriend before. :)
    These are the same guys who get all horned up, as my brother would say, about anime characters getting naked in hentai. As I see it, if nudity/sex is required for the story, then sure, I have no problem with it. But nudity/sex in anime for the sake of nudity/sex? What's so exciting? If that's what you want, the real thing isn't hard to get.

    Meanwhile, the american "freedom fries" issue is going to do them more harm than good. america has gone a long way toward alienating Europe, and since Europeans contribute so much to the american economy, which is already in a downward spiral, this division is going to hurt america more than it will Europe. The american dollar is devaluing at a pretty high speed, their national budget deficit is skyrocketing, and their overseas trading partners are starting to turn their backs on them.
    Way to go, bush administration.

    And another news story.. I'm full of them today. But who would have thought that I'd agree with the religious right? In this case, I think that Aaron Gordon is just causing trouble.. maybe porn is perfectly legal in america, but the troops are not in america, and what right have they to force their culture on the local people? I have nothing at all against porn.. to me, it's less offensive than violence, and I'm a big proponent of the argument that it makes no sense to be allowed to show a naked blade but not a naked body. At least no one gets hurt in porn, and sex is much better than killing or maiming. But there are limits, and if the place you're in doesn't allow porn, you don't get to bring porn. But this is typical of the lack of respect of other cultures that has been displayed over and over, not just by americans, but by members of just about every civilised nation on the planet. The americans just do it more than everyone else these days. Having said that, there's a certain amount of global responsibility that needs to be had, and this is why conservation organisations like Greenpeace need ships with torpedoes. Fucking Japanese.




    Today I'll be spinning on a Wheel, I'm a slave to a Wheel, and there isn't any stopping. What mistake(s) could I have made? I'm a slave serving time for a life that I've forgotten
    02 April 2003 : 13.57
    Wrote a post about reincarnation. I haven't added a link to it on the link bar yet, or made the header graphic, but I'll get to that when I get home tonight.




    Oh hooray for the.. um.. green, red, yellow and blue. Doesn't really flow, does it?
    01 April 2003 : 15.35
    I had a dream last night. I haven't had a dream in a long time.. I don't usually dream. I've mentioned before that I like Star Trek, but I'm not a raving Star Trek fan.
    Not that that's a bad thing, mind you. That link over there (behind the image) goes to the Klingon Language Institute. Now THOSE are serious fans. And people make fun of them for it, but why? I mean, how many people do you know who can quote sports scores, player stats, etc, from last night's game? How is that any different? At least you have to think about science fiction. Why is being able to name the captain of each of the five Star Trek series any more geeky than being able to name the current player lineup of the Canucks? Look at it this way: the guy who knows captain Kirk's middle name, or what dilithium does, is often called a geek by the guy who can name every player, and every player's statistic, of all of his favourite teams. Why does discussing the application of a non-intervention directive on any culture, be it human or otherwise, make you a loser, while discussing what a mistake it was for Edmonton to trade Smith to L.A. doesn't? But no one ever talks about hockey geeks. Sports has far less relevance to the real world than Star Trek, if you think about it. Star Trek routinely deals with issues that we see in the real world.. prejudice, war, ethics, and so on. What does sports have to do with the real world?
    well, the players get real money. And people say that Star Trek fans are geeks because they wear Starfleet uniforms or Klingon makeup to conventions. I see. So when you go to a hockey game, what do you wear? First of all, not all that many people dress up for Star Trek conventions, and secondly, they don't wear that stuff during their every day lives. How many people do you know who wear a Starfleet uniform to work on casual day? Thousands of people wear hockey jerseys to games, and they also wear them outside their games, in their normal lives. But that's just accepted. And they play hockey in their spare time. And they actually get into fights over whose team is better. And how many Trek fans do you know who have all of their friends over to watch The Episode? Yet having the guys over to watch The Game is very common. Most sports fans I know are far more rabid than most Star Trek fans I know combined.

    Anyway, that said, I've never before had a Star Trek themed dream. It was stupid.
    I was on a Bajoran ship... it starts out pretty seriously. I was on a Bajoran ship, and I knew it was a Bajoran ship, even though it was like any typical Doctor Who ship.. lots of ladders and gantries. And the ship was under attack by Klingons, Cardassians, and Founders. And essentially, it was a small group of either old or very young Bajorans and me defending the ship against the invaders. The only weapons we had were two disruptor pistols.. a Klingon one and a Romulan one. But for some reason, unlike the weapons in normal science fiction, these ones worked like really cheap water guns. You had to kind of squirt the disruptor energy onto the enemy, and the range wasn't very good, so it tended to sort of sprinkle. And you had to squirt them a lot to make them disintegrate. So you'd have this huge Klingon in armour approaching menacingly, and you'd be squirting like mad with your disrupter trying to shoot him down before he got to you. Which wasn't so bad, because there were a lot of stairs, so you could sprinkle him from above with your water disruptor, and because the invaders just sort of stomped along and didn't pay a lot of attention to what you were doing while they chased you, you could stand at the top of the stairs and squirt and squirt, and he attacker would disappear in a flash of pyrotechnics and computer animation shortly before he reached you.
    It was an odd dream. It didn't really go anywhere. I just thought I'd share.

    For those who are interested, but don't know what I'm talking about:
    About Bajorans
    About Klingons (another picture)
    About Cardassians
    About Founders





    'My name is Joe! And I Am Canadian!' Ok, his name is John. But He Is Canadian! thank you.
    30 March 2003 : 17.10
    The first impulse is to dismiss this guy as either really bad at making excuses, or slightly insane. Or more than slightly. But if you think about it, if you're a science fiction reader, what's to say that he isn't what he claims? I mean, yes, the motivation is a little odd. But still, there's nothing to disprove his claim.
    Of course, I'm not saying that I believe it. It's the Weekly World News, being reprinted by Yahoo. Anyone who's read the Weekly World News knows the kinds of stories that they print. But if you actually think about it, stipulating for the moment that the article were real, the there's no reason that it shouldn't be true.

    Meanwhile, here's what The Bartender has to say about Toronto.
    A few things he says, though, display a bit of ignorance about Canada. Which is to be expected.. he's a yankee.
  • why would you want to get beer from a convenience store or grocery store? Isn't that a bit like going to the grocery store for a muffler or a coat? Go to the places where they specialise in these things. Liquor lives at the liquor store.
  • Loonies and Toonies have much greater durability, which means that the government spends less of your tax money replacing them. We also print our bills on a higher grade of cotton than america does. I can't even tell whether american money is on cotton, or whether that's actually paper. Which would just be silly. Coins are also easier to use in vending machines, parking meters, and so on. Ever tried to pay a parking meter with a two dollar bill?
  • You can get unsweetened iced tea all over the place here. Granted, this is Vancouver, not T.O., but I'm certain that he's just not looking in the right place. If it sells here, it would probably sell there.
  • Yes, it's Regina. Re Jy Na. The name has been around longer than america, and that makes the american pronounciation incorrect, not the Canadian one. You want a town with a silly name, check out Dildo.
  • describing all Vancouverites as tree huggers suggests that we're all hippies. Which we're not. We care about the environment, we have more nature in our culture than Toronto, certainly. There are a lot of people skiing, hiking, biking on any given day. As Sarah McLachlan, a Vancouver resident, said at the last Lilith Fair (I was there :) This is Mountain Equipment Co-op country.


  • The Bartender's right about one thing, though.. I have no clue who or what a "Jimmy Buffet" is.

    But if you read PubClub's guide to Vancouver, you'll see this:

    Kitsilano. Locals call it "Kitsafornia," because it reminds them of California. This is Vancouver's beach scene, with blue-eyed blonde girls and muscle guys playing in the sand – and the beachside bars later in the day and night.

    Um. No. No, they don't. Locals call it "Kits." Oh, and PubClub? It's not "Victoria Island," it's the city of Victoria, on Vancouver Island. Just thought I'd mention that, being the capital of BC and everything.
    Has the writer actually been here? Most of the site reads like a guidebook written by someone who's just read another guide book.

    However, I wish that americans wouldn't do things like this. I'm sure that this is in fun, but they actually do it. And though they wrap themselves in the trappings of Canada, they still act like americans, and that behaviour gives us a very bad name. This sort of thing has been going on for a lot longer than these wars that america is charging about starting.
    There's a joke among Canadian travellers. A mild one. "How can you tell a Canadian from an american abroad? The american is the one with the maple leaf."




    See you, Jimmie!
    30 March 2003 : 13.09
    Woo hoo! Scottish victory over Iraqi forces! And there was much rejoicing! According to this article, it took "just one squadron" of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards to take out 14 Iraqi tanks. The British news services are making this look like a mighty victory. The paper gives the impression that this is a great triumph for the brave and highly skilled Scottish soldiers. But, you know, reading through the article, this is what I get out of it:

    "TANKS crewed by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards destroyed an entire squadron of 14 Iraqi tanks and wiped out four key infantry positions before dawn yesterday."

    Ok, so 14 Iraqi tanks were destroyed.

    "One tank officer said of the contest between the T55s and Challenger 2s: "It's like the bicycle against the motor car.""

    Ah, so the Scots were better equipped, with more powerful tanks. Still, one squadron against fourteen Iraqi tanks is quite an achievement.

    "The tanks of C Squadron split into two groups of seven tanks as it approached the enemy positions."

    Two groups of seven. That makes the Scottish squadron a group of fourteen tanks. So there were "just" fourteen superior Scottish tanks against the overwhelming odds of fourteen Iraqi tanks of inferior power.

    "One half came across a troop of T55s which were in the process of being deserted as their occupants realised they were being overwhelmed by air and ground assaults."

    Let me get this straight, then. One group of seven powerful Scottish tanks came across a troop of somewhere between two and twelve vastly inferior tanks, most of which had been abandoned by deserters running for their lives due to the massive air and ground assaults. And then the other seven Scottish tanks took out the remaining inferior Iraqi tanks with no losses at all.

    "When the old Russian-built Iraqi tanks made themselves visible... "

    Oh, and the Russian-built T55 tanks that the Iraqis were using were old, too, while the Challenger 2 tanks of the Scottish squadron were brand new, barely used.

    A mighty victory indeed. I can see why they would be so proud. Let's hear it for spin.

    Wanks. Not the Scots.. they did their bit, did what they were told to do. But the news services should tell it as it is.




    Click for a larger version.
    30 March 2003 : 12.15
    I'm going to whine for a minute:

    I have a big evil headache.
    I'm tired of having headaches every other day.
    I'm dizzy, and my vision is blurry.
    And my shoulder still hurts.

    I need a new host body.




    And Nero fiddled. Remember what I was saying about Chinese 'medicine?'
    29 March 2003 : 19.40
    And tonight, when I leave the work environment, tonight I go to fix a computer. Bloody Nero. I have to fiddle with it to get it to burn audio CDs.

    Fiddle? Nero? Oh, please yourselves.




    Ow.
    29 March 2003 : 16.03
    Ow. I seem to have pulled my shoulder while I was asleep last night. I tend to sleep by bending my arm at the elbow, flat on my bed palm down, and resting my head on my bicep. Judging by the location of the pain, and the movements that trigger it, I think it's the supraspinatus. It bloody hurts, but I find that if I press very hard on the back of that shoulder, the pain goes away and I have full range of motion. Still, it should be fine in a couple of hours. You care.


    Yes you do. Using a mouse all day isn't helping, though.




    fly.
    29 March 2003 : 12.35
    So I was driving home last night, crossing a bridge, doing a little over the limit but not much. You know, comfortable cruising speed, not delaying traffic or anything. So I just crossed the bridge when this silver two door Honda, I think, blasted past me as if I were in the way, almost clipped my back bumper, and disappeared up the carpool lane. I muttered something about someone being in a hurry and thought no more about it.
    I was on cruise control, so my speed didn't change, but eventually I caught up with this guy. When you're weaving, and there are no other cars on the road, that's a bad sign. When you're weaving just within your own lane, you're probably a drunk bastard.
    I hate drunk drivers. I've known a few people to suffer the result of someone driving drunk. A friend of mine smacked her teeth into her steering wheel when a drunk driver swerved into oncoming traffic and hit her head on at high speed. She was driving an old Excel, so the seatbelt didn't catch the way it should. Fortunately, there were no scars or anything, and she had her teeth replaced exactly as they were. You can't even tell now, but that's really not the point.
    So I hung back a bit, timed it carefully so that the drunk moron wasn't going to hit me, and put on a serious burst of speed to get past him and out of danger. That would have been it. I should have called it in, but I just wanted to get home.
    Next thing I know, the boozehound is behind me with his highbeams on. Like behind me. As in, if I tapped my brake, he'd hit me. Even if he weren't under the influence. Bugger. Ok, not looking for trouble, I changed into the slower lane so that he could get past me. He wants to go fast, fine, let him go fast. Not looking for trouble, right?
    He changed lanes and stayed behind me. So I let off my throttle, and started coasting, thinking that the gradual decrease in speed would be enough that he wouldn't hit me.. he'd see how I was slowing down, and get impatient and drive off, right? And eventually he did.
    So, he disappeared, and I went back to the cruise control for the rest of the time I was on the highway. But apparently, sustaining high speed is something that you can't do when you're drunk, and once again I caught up to him. In his drunken state, he must have assumed that I was giving him a hard time. He slowed down and sped up a couple of times. Unfortunately, he took the same exit that I was planning to take, so I'm sure he thought that I was following him. He slammed on his brakes at the exit, but Tiburons handle really well so I just went around him.
    Behind me again, high beams ablaze. So back into the slow lane on this road, release the throttle, and hope that he buggers off. So he got in front of me again, and hit his brakes. [ sigh ] What do you do with a moron like that?
    "Hi, RCMP? There's a silver sedan, Honda, I think, license place 194 JDK weaving all over the road, giving me a hard time, flashing his highbeams and honking his horn at me. All the classic signs of being drunk. Or at least extremely reckless. He's right on my rear bumper as we speak."
    Once I made the call, the guy passed me and got behind me again, a few times, and was still harassing me, so it was time to go. I had to lose him.. I was running low on fuel, so I had to get to a gas station. And yes I study kung fu, and yes the guy(s) in the car was drunk, so it would have been no contest if he had followed me to a gas station to give me a hard time. That's not macho posing.. you have to consider these things at the time, to determine whether you're actually in any danger. And who knows, he (she, they, whatever) might have been armed or something, and I don't need to deal with that. And anyway, since I'd reported him the police should be looking, and if there were an incident I would have had to be involved with them, making statements, etc etc. Too much hassle. I don't like dealing with the police at the best of times. So I floored it, and lost him. I thought, the worst that happens is that a cop stops me for speeding, at which time I point out the drunk guy and get the cop to contact dispatch to confirm. I should get off ok, and the drunk guy gets that much more busted.
    There are never cops around when you need them. Ever notice that? I'm all in favour of the roadblocks, ever since my friend had her teeth smashed in by her steering wheel. It's funny how, until something like this hits you close to home, you always think that it's being blown out of proportion. My father still does. When I tell him about last night, maybe it will help.
    My mother's theatre used to have one of those stupid lodge things above it. The Fraternal Order Of Eagles, I think they were called. Ridiculous organisations born of people's need to belong. All they did was drink and play billiards up there, as far as I can tell. There were occasions, though, that people would come out of there drunk out of their minds. I mean drunk. Barely able to stand. And they'd head straight for their cars, trucks, minivans, etc. What kind of tiny little brain do you have to have to think that you can drive if you can't even stand? One time, some old guy came out, weaving all over the sidewalk, hanging on to signposts to try to hold himself up, and headed for his minivan. He sort of weaved around the front and headed for the door, and then took a head-first dive straight into the road. Like, no hands to block his fall... just crack! loud enough that you could hear him. I would have left him there. There's a police station right across the road.. maybe someone would find him, keys in hand, and he'd get the punishment he deserves. As far as I'm concerned, the moment you decide to drive, drunk as you are, you're deciding that other people's lives aren't important. Because you're taking that risk, and you're willing to injure or even kill them. At that point, you become not worth saving. If you go out to your car, pass out in the street, and someone hits you, I didn't see anything. Unfortunately, I was with my mother that night and she's far too soft and squishy, and she insisted on taking the guy back upstairs to the bar where they could look after him. I'd have at least taken him to the police station, though I don't know what they could do since he wasn't actually driving. They can't prove that he didn't just go to his van to get something.
    Other times, I've taken drunks' keys away and tossed them in the river or into a mailbox. Maybe that's not legal.. I don't know. But at least it means that he won't be driving home. And that means that maybe someone will live who otherwise might not have. Anyone who knows me knows I don't like people in general, but for some drunk guy to be operating a fast moving vehicle out of control, and maybe kill, or worse, paralyse an innocent person.. that's just not right.

    Hm. This got a bit long. Maybe I'll move it to its own section over there on the link bar.

    In other news, things with Girlfriend Of Brother are all better. Which is good. I hate to put him in that position. He has to be on her side, but he has to be on mine, too, and that's really not fair to him. So she's behaving, making an effort, and since she doesn't want me to write about her on here, I'll comply. I'm not looking for trouble, after all.




    Schnell!
    28 March 2003 : 19.57
    Updated the 2002 site.




    And the pork-pied piper blew that song, And the Jericho walls came a-tumbling down And the rats assembled in the middle of the town And they danced into the shadows and right out of reach.
    27 March 2003 : 13.43
    The Acceptable Use Policy department of the local cable ISP (Shaw cable) is hiring. The Acceptable Use Policy department essentially disables the modems of users who abuse the network. They want essays from applicants on why they should get the position. Naturally, I want to make a good impression, so here's what I was thinking of submitting:

    I have a great deal of experience in the area of customer service, particularly with difficult customers. I live to bring pain and suffering to those who would abuse. With rage and bile I shall strike them at the very heart of their blackened souls, disabling their modems and dismembering their violated corpses! I shall with fury born of righteous wrath Strike Down Those Who Would Oppose Us!! And With The Storm Of Change At My Back I SHALL LEAD THE RIGHTEOUS ARMY OF SHAW UNTO VICTORY, CRUSHING THE PETTY UNCLEAN MASSES AND TAKING OUR RIGHTFUL PLACE AS THE SUPREME POWER OF THE UNIVERSE!!! I'm also very polite on the phone.

    I think I have a pretty good chance, don't you?

    Comedy night tonight. Fun fun.

    I bought a porkpie hat the other day. It's highly stylish, and has been very well received wherever it went. It goes very well indeed with my wingtip Docs. Yay me. And it will go very well, I think, with my 2002, when it's fixed up and looking beautiful. The wingtips go very well with older-style scooters, too. So eventually, when I get one, they're mandatory scooter-wear.

    Compulsory war comment: According to the americans, the Iraqis killed prisoners of war. That's a war crime. Kind of like invading without the sanction of the UN. If you're not playing by the international rules, why should they? You can't have it both ways, you know. Idiots.
    I'd wager just about anything that america, once it's taken Iraq, will "find" nuclear weapons. And then there will be a lot of "See? We were right!"
    Just like the way the cop you just called a fat, stupid pig "finds" a kilo of cocaine in your car.

    And more to the point,
    this is frigging scary. Is it just me, or is america supposed to have freedom of religion? Guaranteed by that.. oh, what's it called? That charter thing. The constitution. That's the one. Maybe the american government "recognizing the public need for fasting and prayer in order to secure the blessings and protection of Providence for the people of the United States and our Armed Forces during the conflict in Iraq and under the threat of terrorism at home." isn't the best way to go about protecting that freedom. Just my opinion, of course.




    Goes like schnell.
    27 March 2003 : 12.55
    Ok, so the time has come to sell my Tiburon. I really like it, but with fuel prices going up, and the insurance being rather high, it's time for it to go to a better home. Besides which, I'm kind of bored with it, to be honest. I like the sunroof, and the cruise, the power everything, and the a/c (oh, how I love the a/c), but it's been ages that I've had the car now, and it still doesn't so much as have a name. I mean, my beetle was Heinz, my BMW is Amadeus. My Tiburon is.. my Tiburon. No personality. It's sexy, but it doesn't have the same kind of style that the little '76 BMW 2002 has. So I'm going back to the Beamer.
    The only unfortunate thing about my 2002 is that it's a third generation, which means that it doesn't have the cool round tail lights. Instead, it has the later rectangular ones. And one rectangular wing mirror, too. I don't think that there's anything that I can do about the tail lights, which is unfortunate, but I can replace the one wing mirror with two round ones.

    I'd forgotten, but when I was driving my BMW, it got lots of attention everywhere I went. I kind of miss that. I mean, the Tiburon gets attention, but it's a different sort. That's just generic sports car attention, which means very little. 2002 attention is similar to Austin Mini attention, or Beetle attention. It's quirky-but-cool, "hey what's that?" attention. And I like it. :)

    So there's the plan to really get to work on the restoration of my BMW. First of all, it needs to be made reliable. It's not 100% reliable at the moment, and that's the whole reason that I got the Tiburon in the first place. So we resolve this little issue, and move on to the more fun stuff.
    Since the 2002 has some pretty rabid followers, I'll try to keep a record of the restoration as it goes along. I've said before that I'm really not a car person, but this is a chance to make something new out of something old.. be it a car or a chair or a set. It would be nice to have a record of the entire procedure.
    So, if you're interested, look for more pictures on the 2002 page in the near future. Provided that I remember.
    More details on the restoration project on the page.




    Bitter? Damn near ripped her arms off!
    26 March 2003 : 17.17
    Downloaded and watched billy's balloon. Brilliant. My favourite of the Bitter Films. The others are excellent, too. lily and jim, ah, l'amour, the classic rejected, and the amazing genre. I bought rejected.. if and when he releases the others on DVD, I will so completely order them. Particularly billy's balloon and genre.




    Click for a larger version.
    26 March 2003 : 15.23
    Went to a Chinese supermarket for sushi today.They have a traditional Chinese medicine section, with things like dried oysters and shark cartilage. There's a perfect example of wisdom of the ancients being lost to the mists of time, huh? I mean, if you look at some of the practices and ideas of traditional Chinese medicine, some of them have merit, and you can totally see where they were going. Take chi. One name, but if you look at it using modern scientific principles, you can see that it refers to kinetic energy, potential energy, and so on. If you look at something like acupuncture, you can see how it requires a pretty advanced understanding of the interaction of different parts of the nervous system. The same goes for things like green tea, and its medicinal properties. Having said that, the actual practical parts of traditional Chinese medicine have been so lost in the reams and reams of mindless, stupid superstitions that the people who practice them now seem to just accept that they work because they work. An awful lot of traditional Chinese medicine these days seems based upon faith, and that's not a good way to study medicine. And this results in the horrific treatment of animals at the hands of traditional Chinese medicine practitioners. If you look at the attrocities that have been committed by the Chinese in the name of medicine, and all without any valid reason, there's simply no excuse. Live bears with their paws cut off so that the superstitious fools can have their claws, for example. It would be bad enough if it actually worked, but bears' claws are no different from human nails. They're just big, tough calcium. Does grinding up and consuming human nails have some sort of medicinal value? It's horrific, and it needs to be stopped. How many poor animals are going to suffer these kinds of horrors before something is done? And more to the point, how can anyone seriously believe that causing that kind of harm could ever produce any good?
    Superstition is not just silly, it's dangerous. It, like any other religion, comes from fundamental ignorance of the nature of things. And yet people cling to that ignorance, those superstitions, and refuse to be educated. Certainly, today's science doesn't have all of the answers, but it makes a hell of a lot more sense than using shark cartilage to alleviate joint pain. Hello? Again, would eating a human nose or ear alleviate joint pain? No, no it wouldn't. So why the hell do people cut off shark's fins and throw the poor sharks back into the ocean? Why the hell do so many sharks die every day in India, for nothing? Elephant tusks, Rhinoceros horns, whales, seals, tigers.. the list goes on and on and on.

    And for what? For money? Two hundred years from now, we probably won't even have currency. Two hundred years. If that. That's a very short time. Look at how long humanity has existed, and it's still in its infancy. Look at how many millions of years it has taken to produce the incredible variety of life forms on Earth. Is it worth destroying the wonderous range of species just to make a dollar? Even if that dollar means the difference between life and death for a human? An entire species for a few human lives. Not exactly a fair trade, is it?
    And look at the motivation. Mostly it's about basic human needs.. food, shelter. You want to talk about money.. those needs, the entire world over, could be eliminated if america would stop spending 1.08 billion dollars per day on their military, and devote some of that to helping the poor. And not just america, of course. The reason I mention them is that 1.08 billion per day simply cannot be justified, and meanwhile so many americans write to me to tell me how much america is doing for humanitarian aid the world over. It's a joke. Stop building your armies. Stop preparing to kill, and start helping people to live. The main reason that people fight is because of the things they need. If those needs are satisfied, you won't need the army anyway. Oh, there are morons who engage in religious wars, but america isn't too concerned about dealing with that anyway, so trimming the military wouldn't have any effect. Instead of going and harassing harmless countries the UN, and america in particular, should be pouring resources into humanitarian and wildlife protection programs all over the world.
    Feed and house the people, and protect the innocent creatures that humanity is destroying.
    They deserve a future, too, and they shouldn't be made to suffer and die because humans can't survive in the society that humans have built for themselves. Not for profit, not for entertainment, and not for stupid, superstitious "medicine."




    I Paq, you Paq we all Paq for iPaq!
    26 March 2003 : 13.50
    Hm. All of the girls in this department seem to be obsessed with the idea of getting married. I still don't see the point.

    Geek moment. I'm a geek, so I'm entitled.
    I didn't think too much of the HP/Compaq merger. I wasn't concerned, right? As long as the iPaq keeps being the best pocket PC on the market, who cares what happens to the company, yes?
    No. Apparently, in its wisdom, HPCompaq, or whatever they're calling themselves now, has decided to merge the iPaq design with the inferior Jornada. The result? A diluted iPaq. Whatever, doesn't affect me, since I already have an iPaq, right? Well, yes and no. There were a number of additional accessories that I was thinking of acquiring. Car charger, Stowaway keyboard, aluminium case, etc. Since the original iPaq is disappearing, so are the accessories. Yipe.. I'd better get moving if I'm to acquire them before they become extinct.
    Kind of puts an end to my plan of acquiring a GPS receiver for my iPaq, too. Smeg.

    Along similar lines, as an early birthday present, my mother bought me a clear faceplate and mod for my phone, which makes the whole front light up with blue LEDs that flash in a about ten different patterns in sequence. Far as I can tell, the lights are activated by radio pulses, since they don't seem to be connected to anything other than the battery. That means that the phone sends or receives a call or a message, and the light sequence is started. Signal stops, the lights stop. Nifty, no? It also starts the sequence when you turn the phone on and it signs onto the network, and when it signs off when you turn the phone off. Also, it seems to be triggered as the phone moves from cell to cell on the network.
    Pretty lights. Now I have to get the blue flashy battery and a crystal keypad. Flashy stuff isn't just nifty, though. Now my phone has three modes of alert.. there's the aural, the tactile, and the visual.




    At least their families will know that they died for a good reason. Oh, no, wait a sec. No they won't. They'll know that they were killed by accident, by a moron with a big, destructive toy.
    23 March 2003 : 18.19
    Damage control.. "Oh, the British fighter didn't have its IFF transmitter broadcasting that it was a friendly plane, so we had no way of knowing."

    Ok, first of all, even assuming for the moment that that's not just spin, and that the plane really wasn't broadcasting, it was a Bitish jet, with British markings. Secondly, it was returning from a mission, so it should have been tracked. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly,
    Iraq doesn't have any fucking planes!

    Oh, and the americans have crashed yet another helicopter, killing six more people. Military intelligence at its finest.
    american "strategy" seems to involve throwing as many large numbers at the enemy as possible. Large numbers of missiles, large numbers of bullets, large numbers of troops. And if some of them get killed, so what? There are always more. There's an inexhaustable supply of rednecks who want to join the military.

    christ, I treat StarCraft marines better than that.

    Wow.. look at this. A perfect picture.. evil bastard and retarded son.
    Old george says he talks to his son all of the time. I'm sure he does. Can't let him make any decisions for himself, after all. Tell him what to do, and give him a cookie when he's done it.




    closer than you think.
    23 March 2003 : 16.46
    Ah yes, patriotism. The anxious watchword of the american government. It was patriotic spirit that they stirred when they were attacked on 11 September. It was patriotic spirit that they flourished when they attacked Afghanistan. It's patriotic fever that they're using now to generate support for the invasion of Iraq.

    "Why, of course people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece?

    Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.

    Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

    - Herman Goering


    Look at it. Just look. The american people are being fed all kinds of non-facts, and are believing them. What do the numbers actually say? They paint a much less pretty picture of "Operation Iraqi Freedom." Whether you look at the friendly fire aspect of american warfare, or the objectives, or the methods, or the motivation, it's an ugly, ugly thing. The leaders set their objective, whether it's the invasion of Iraq or the conquest of Panama, and they feed the people whatever they need to hear to go along with it. After all, the american government is of the people, by the people, for the people, right? Of course it is. The government is responsible to the people. And if you believe that...

    Realistically, the american government is doing far more harm than good. Just look at the opinions of the world in relation to america. And on a smaller scale, look at 5-year-old Doha Suheil. All in the name of freedom, right?




    Apparently, 'patriot' means 'tool used to smack things until they break.'
    23 March 2003 : 15.55
    Oh, wait, wait. This just in: going to war with america is very dangerous. It doesn't matter whether you're with them or against them. In case you're wondering, yes, there's been more friendly fire. Yay for the greatest country in the world.

    Yes, that was sarcasm. For christ's sake.. they go on about how great they are, how powerful and well trained their military.. you'd think they'd know which way to point their fucking "Patriot" missiles, wouldn't you? You'd think that they'd learn after the Afghanistan disaster that killed the Canadian soldiers that maybe, just maybe, it's a good idea to confirm before blowing people up. Just to, you know, make certain that they're not actually on your own side! But hey, that's ok. In the 1991 Gulf War, the yankees killed nine British troops. So there's a precedent for this incident. Yeah, and Saddam Hussein is the threat. jesus.

    Along those lines, this article was posted on Reuters:
    KUWAIT (Reuters) - Ten soldiers have been wounded in an attack on Camp Pennsylvania, a military base in northern Kuwait, the U.S. military said on Sunday.
    A U.S. military spokesman gave no further details. But Jim Lacey, a correspondent for Time magazine who was at the camp, told CNN two grenades had been rolled into the command tent in the camp, in what appeared to be a "terrorist attack."

    Heh.. terrorist attack. If you go to war with someone and they use guerilla tactics, that's not terrorism, my friend. That's called "war." You know, war? The thing that the yankees and their pet Blair started? You know, the thing that's got British secretaries and ministers resigning because they see that it's wrong? The one that's generating peace protests all over the world because apparently everyone except bush and blair can see what a bad idea it was?
    And anyway, it turns out that it wasn't war that caused the incident. Not directly, anyway. The americans have the pride of their armed forces to thank for that.

    Oh yes, and the americans have already hit Iran, an allied country, with four cruise missiles. Can't single out the British, can we?





    ... Of the way we were...
    23 March 2003 : 12.52
    oooh... Type I Compact Flash memory cards are so cheap right now. A 256 MB card is going for $129.99. That's so much better than even a few months ago. I should buy a few of them.. I'm thinking that this decline in price is because they're being cleared out, now that the type II is becoming more commonly used. But my iPaq and camera both use type I, so it would behoove me to acquire as many cards as possible before they disappear, since I don't intend to buy another camera for some time. And a reader, too.
    Well, they're either clearing because type II is out, or because this is about to hit the shops. Mmm... a handheld computer with over a gig of storage space...
    Wouldn't this be fun?

    Hey, shut up. I'm looking for a very good reason. I want to.




    Happy birthday? How can I have a happy birthday when I'm responsible for the lives of four hundred and thirty crewmen?
    22 March 2003 : 19.24
    William Shatner, as of today, is seventy-two. Let me put that in perspective for you.


    He's 72!


    Bloody hell. And look at him. He looks pretty damned good for seventy-two, doesn't he?
    So does his daughter, Lisabeth, for that matter.
    Look good. Not look good for seventy-two.
    And please, no comments about wanting to beam her up.
    That's just childish.




    Kong
    Zhi
    meng
    22 March 2003 : 15.12
    To me, it's cool that the young Chinese people who come to Canada, or at least to BC, choose English names so that they fit in with our format. I'm not certain how necessary it is, but I'm sure they know better than I about that sort of thing. Besides, to an English speaker, "Rachel" is easier than Zhang Zi Yi. If I were to move to China, I would probably do something similar, though I think that English names work pretty well in the Chinese format. Probably because of Hong Kong. Anyway, when I worked a Chapters, I used to see young Chinese people coming in all of the time and going to the baby names books. And I had no idea what they were doing, of course, until one of the managers explained it to me. Apparently, since Chinese names still have meaning, when choosing an English name, most of the Chinese people go to the baby names books and look up names with meanings that they would like to attach to themselves. So they end up with names like Lambert (wealthy), Leon (lion-hearted), and Blythe (joyous). Not common names, and they don't fit in as well as they people who choose them seem to hope.
    I mean, look at my name. James is a fairly popular name, but you know what it means? Depending upon the source, it means either "conqueror" or "One who supplants." One is a pretty desirable name, perhaps. The other makes the bearer sound like a weasel. If we took meanings seriously here, I probably wouldn't have been called that. However, at least they're trying. The older Chinese people, and those of other cultures, too, come to Canada and make no effort to fit in. The probably sounds racist, but it's not. It's culturist, if anything. I mean, if I were to go to another country, I would work like hell to learn the language, the customs, etc. I did, when I came to Canada. I was only coming from England, but you'd be amazed at the differences. I've worked several retail jobs, and I've had to deal with older people coming in and being very angry that I didn't speak their language. English and French, ladies and gentlemen. Speak one or the other, huh?

    So I looked up my name on a language tool. Kong Zhi (purpose, will, determination) meng (dream; visionary; wishful). Kong Zhi meng. I kinda like that. :) Of course, I'd actually ask a Chinese speaker to help with the selection, if I were to adopt a Chinese name.


    Oh, and that whole war thing? Remember how I was going on about the few, the proud, the incompentent american armed forces? Yay friendly fire! Idiots.
    Along those lines, "Hey, is this a crack in this helicopter's rotor? Shouldn't we do something about that?" "Nah, no one will notice."




    'That grand Spectrum.' My first car was a Spectrum.
    21 March 2003 : 18.42
    I was reading a "nice guy vs jerk" discussion on Fark.. about how girls all go on about how much they like nice guys, but never actually go out with them. To me, it seems that girls want guys to ask them out, and nice guys are too afraid of coming across as aggressive or pushy, and want the girl to be comfortable rather than pressured. For me, I've never asked a girl out.. there have been many girls that I've liked, many crushes, but I never wanted to risk making them uncomfortable by being aggressive. Or, suppose they don't feel the same way? Then by asking, you put them in the uncomfortable position of having to hurt your feelings by declining. Not a nice thing to do. Even knowing that forwardness is what some girls want, how do you know which ones? How do you know whether your crush is waiting for you to say or do something, or whether you're going to put her in a really difficult position of you do? And so the opportunities slip past because you're too nice to take the chance. Anyway, one of the people posting, who is on the autism spectrum to the discussion had this to say:

    I have a theory about some "nice guy" shyness behavior. A portion of geeks, myself included, are afflicted with a condition similar to Autism, only milder, known as Asperger's Syndrome. One of the subtle symptoms (subtle because you don't know about what you're missing until its explained) is an inability to correctly process non-verbal cues, particularly under stress. In my particular case, it can take hours or even days before I pick up on the physical subtext of a conversation, especially with a member of the opposite sex who I'm interested in, but not yet comfortable with (low stress diminishes the effect quite a bit).

    What this means is that a person who has Asperger's will completely MISS little non-verbal "hints" that the other person is receptive/interested. Most people take these for granted. I can't count the number of "opportunities" I've missed, some that get discretely pointed out by friends after it's too late, others I "figure out" on my own LONG after its too late.

    It used to depress the hell out of me, then I just stopped looking all together.

    That sounds awfully familiar. I'm not suggesting that I have Asperger's Syndrome. I'm wondering whether there's a corrolation between that and ADD. I know that's a stretch, but there's a reason for that speculation. It's already been documented that ADD/ADHD affects not just concentration, but emotions, and social interaction. What I wonder is whether the effect of ADD on social interaction could cause similar problems with social development, leading to difficulties with the interpretation of non-verbal language. When you're young, when you're learning to interact with the world around you, you need the social side in order to learn how to properly communicate. Many people with ADD learn pretty early to keep their distance from others, largely because they say or do things impulsively, come across as stupid because they can't pay attention during the simplest of conversations, and so on. So, by keeping their distance, they make it impossible to interact with others, and therefore impossible to learn about communication, which of course damages their social development. These same children are often, like myself, voracious readers or, unlike myself, obsessed with television because it gives them the social interaction they need, but they don't have to be a part of it, and take the risk of being rejected for being different. So they can observe the manner in which characters interact, focussing only on the words. In some cases, that results in someone who is very skilled with words. Writers, poets, that sort of thing. However, since communication isn't purely verbal, you need to actively participate in order to learn about the non-verbal aspects. That means that someone who's learnt most of his/her social skills by observing rather than participating has a problem. After all, if you read a story in which two characters interact, every movement is described. There's nothing subtle about it at all. "He could see she was flustered." Ok. How could he see that? But that's not important, and so it's not in the story. And if it's not in the story, and the story is pretty much your only source of information on human social interaction, you're not going to learn, are you? "She arched her eyebrows, surprised at his tone." Not a lot of room for interpretation there, really. And given that the vast majority of non-verbal communication in the real world is very subtle, it's hardly surprising that they miss it. And good luck trying to learn that kind of instinctive behaviour when you're no longer a child.




    Impartial journalism. Heh heh heh.
    21 March 2003 : 14.39
    For a live broadcast from bushy, the BBC had the feed, but "accidentally" went live a little before they should. Result? bushy, with hairstylist, being groomed for the american people. You know what's scary? Look at that.. an expression like an abandoned house.
    "Ok, everything plugged in? It's been having a bit of trouble with the vocaliser, but it should pass for a real person for the broadcast. Ted? For god's sake Ted get an expression on that face, would ya? We don't want another September 11th speech incident. Besides, it gives me the creeps, sitting there all blank like that. What's that light? What? Are we on? Christ, we're on!"

    The BBC has apologised to the white house. But you know what? I hope that they ran the feed live intentionally. That's something that everyone needs to see. Unfortunately, the american people probably won't see it. They'll think that the president was just shown getting his hair brushed, and that everyone's making too big a deal of it. That's the only part that the american press has covered. Not surprising. But that's not the part that has the rest of us worried. That's not the part that the white house is hiding. That's not the part that's freaking terrifying about this moron, this child that's supposed to be in charge of the world's most powerful military. The commander in chief.. he acts like one of those special kids who was in your class in elementary school. You know the ones. The kid who didn't understand what was going on around him. He acted stupid, making stupid faces and stupid noises, trying to be funny, to find approval, but you knew that at any moment he could turn aggressive. That at any moment he might just snap and attack you. A child, but a dangerous child. That's your president, ladies and gentlemen of the usa. It's no wonder that the white house is so upset about the video footage that escaped. It's pure visual documentation. It shows the president as he really is. It's scary as hell.
    Change the mantra, kids, and move it a little closer to the truth.

    god help america.




    So if plain text editors are like cars with standard transmissions, then FrontPage is like a bus. Big, clumsy, giving you no control and writing way too much HTML. Ok, so the analogy only goes so far.
    21 March 2003 : 12.20
    Mm. I just discovered that if you hit F5 in Notepad, which is what I use to write HTML most of the time, you get a timestamp that looks like this: 12:21 PM 3/21/2003
    How cool is that? I might just stop using the format I'm using now for timestamping these posts, and use the F5 format instead.

    I know. Exciting. Shut up.

    I'm liking the new department. That is all.




    shhh....
    20 March 2003 : 17.02
    Since my shape is changing, what with the exercise, maybe I should change my look, too. I've been a plain jeans-and-t-shirt person for ages. Which is fine, because that's comfortable, but since I've cut my hair, maybe I should change everything else, too. Just to see what I like. I hate to say it, but I feel.. dull. Plain, you know? I used to really stand out.. I was odd, different. And I still am, but not as visibly. If you were to see me on the street today, you wouldn't think anything of me. If you had seen me on the street a little while ago.. well, I was more noticeable. This is going to sound egotistical, and I know it, but I was known for being a freak, I had no shortage of girls taking an active interest, I had a lot more fun. I had a beetle. :) And a stupid hat.

    Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I think it's time to make some changes. I'm.. well, mostly, I'm bored. Bored with me, bored with life. It's all just so.. routine. And I know I've been grumbling and muttering about this for a while, but only because I can't actually do anything about it at the moment.

    Along those lines- I went to move my car today.. another part of the tedious routine. And while I was waiting for an elevator to take me back up to my floor, I overheard some guys talking. And it went like this:
    "Steve wanted me to go for a smoke. He said 'hey wanna go for a smoke on work mode?' That guy's crazy."
    "Yeah, he's crazy, that guy."
    Ok, the massive vocabulary and rapier wit of the participants of the conversation aside, going for a smoke break in work mode is crazy? Wow. Work mode essentially means that your phone doesn't take the next inbound call. You're supposed to use it to finish the details of the last call.. updating records, that sort of thing. Ooh! Let's sneak out on work mode and have a cigarette! Isn't that crazy? Isn't that daring? Isn't that.. small? Really, come on guys. That's crazy? No. Wallpapering the huge granite foyer would be more along the lines you want, I think. (Though it's not terribly original.)

    There she goes
    There she goes again
    Racing through my brain
    And I just can't contain
    This feeling that remains

    There she goes
    There she goes again
    Pulsing through my veins
    And I just can't contain
    This feeling that remains

    There she goes
    There she goes again
    Racing through my brain
    And I just can't contain
    This feeling that remains

    There she goes
    There she goes again
    She calls my name,
    Pulls my train
    No one else could heal my pain
    And I just can't contain
    This feeling that remains

    There she goes
    There she goes again
    Chasing down my lane
    And I just can't contain
    This feeling that remains

    There she goes
    There she goes
    There she goes
    How about parking a cow in one of the reserved stalls, just to watch them try to tow her away? More fun if you get her a parking pass, of course. All very tame, but much more fun than [gasp!] sneaking out for a smoke break. That's as wild and crazy as skipping class in high school. Woooo.. you rebel you.




    Sir yes sir! National Guard Firefighter reporting for duty sir! But can he transform?
    20 March 2003 : 15.39
    My first day in the new department. It's me, a couple of other guys,and a whole lot of women. Everyone seems to have a lot of fun. There was a lot of girlish giggling and chattering and silliness... guess I'm just happy to be here. :)
    Actually, there's a lot of laughter in this department, and a lot of fun. Good good. No huge desire to leave at the moment, then.

    In other news.. ah, the military. Undoubtedly some of humanity's greatest minds.

    Dizzy, lightheaded.. hardly surprising, what with all of the Dexedrine in my head. Which is good, but the down side is that I don't get the time compression effect any more. Which made the day go by a lot faster.
    Oh yeah, and made me less productive. But whatever.




    Click for a larger version.
    20 March 2003 : 02.10
    Oh wow.. I feel so bad. I invited a good friend to sushi, and totally forgot to tell her that it was at a different place from usual. It wasn't intentional, of course, and she didn't seem upset, but that doesn't make it ok.

    i suck.




    Don't gimme none o dat jive.
    19 March 2003 : 17.41
    Leaning up and looking large in a swank Delancy bar, I was aqua vitae and "who loves ya baby?" I was three fingers tall in a malt whiskey jigger, knowin' just how far that that jive was gonna get me. Now, I don't say I got the right, I'm just tellin' what it's like. My friends say "what you got to go shoutin' about? Unsound and senseless, unruly and reckless and callin' some heavy cat out!" But I was gassed up and geared up, and brother, don't you know it, I was greased up and run-way ready. I was two pair better than that cat's high-card bluff 'till I ran two yards short in the city.
    She drove a Mean Mercedes, hard and death card coloured she pushed her white walls up against the curb. I said, "That ain't no way to go and treat that good rich rubber," she said, "You better cart your carriage out of here." 'Cause she got a kid leather gorilla man and from what I understand, he's first in line every time and every where that he goes with a wide stride cock-walk like he owns the whole sidewalk a brass cheek and a face that nobody knows. Consequently, she had nerve in her curves, but that ain't the worst. She could sex you but she sure weren't pretty. She was tore up from the floor up with a fish-eye grin, and I landed two yards short in the city.
    And the subliminal criminal, at the four transit terminal robs you blind when you're just standing there talking. With no scratch until Tuesday and no line of credit, you'll be lucky if you leave and you're still walking. 'Cause with everyone sweating,' workin' hard at not workin', big wheels and sweet deals, and angles everyday. I figure one score more and they'll be bodies on the floor, so don't you give truck to what the suckers gotta say. 'Cause I had an outstanding plan to take on the Man. I had green on the hip and cash in the kittie. I was two Lincolns long at the Chase Manhattan, 'till I landed two yards short in the city.
    And I say, who cares if you're King of the Hill Jack, in some speck on the side of the road-map, gettin' fat, pullin' slack, fingers folded in your lap. A frog prince in frilly fancy pants, I say, give me the brush-burn abrasion and the stinging sensation of hunger and liquor and lust. Give me shadows that breathe like true living things in the din of the ram-shackle rush, and when the devil-may-care testosterone stare and the glare in this eye turn to spaghetti, I'll be two days older, a hundred years smarter, and two yards short in the city.

    -Big Rude Jake.




    Click for a larger version.
    19 March 2003 : 13.51
    Finally back on the Dexedrine. Wow.. that's a shock to the system. None for like 6 months, and then 15 mg in one dose. I'm vibrating, seriously. All of the nasty side effects.. I'm really hot, right on the prickly edge of perspiring, dry mouth, rapid heart rate, mild headache. But I'm focussed. Woo! It's like the light has been switched on, and I'm no longer stumbling about in the half-lit room.

    These ought to see a huge market. :)

    Apparently, 33% of girls in america thinks I'm girlie. To them, and only to them, I say:
    "Get your bitch ass back in the kitchen, and make me some pie!"
    Isn't stereotyping of genders something that women have been fighting for countless years? It's not a one-way thing, you know. Not all males want to be macho car freaks. Not knowing about cars isn't girlie. It's a question of interest. I have a friend, female, of course, who's way more into cars than I. That doesn't mean that she's some big, macho moron. It means that she likes cars. I don't. I don't dislike them, but I know very little about them. I like computers and fine art and sushi and things. Maybe that is girlie, but you know what? That's me. Your gender isn't defined by your interests.






    who wants to play with me sack o' gold?
    17 March 2003 : 22.32
    Happy St. Patrick's Day ya baastards! Tonight I should be at either the Heather or Atlantic Trap and Gill. Drinking Guinness. That would be good.

    Irish for genius.




    Click for a larger version.
    17 March 2003 : 21.13
    Whew.. that was close. america came narrowly close to avoiding a war.
    I caught part of bushy's big speech today. I found it hilarious that he was going on about how Saddam Hussein is the greatest threat to peace today.

    Hello? Who's the one who's been trying to start a war here, no matter what? Who's the one who's going ahead without UN support, even in spite of the opposition of the entire world? Who's the one who's actually saying to the people of Iraq "Don't destroy the oil wells" in his address? How bloody obvious can you be?
    I can't be the only one who sees the irony in what he's saying. I mean, look at this:

    President Bush Sunday said, "[Nations] must demonstrate that commitment to peace and security in the only effective way, by supporting the immediate and unconditional disarmament of Saddam Hussein."

    Ok, so we're going to preserve peace by going to war with a country that's, at present, no threat to anyone? That's completely complying with UN directives? (Unlike america) Right now, the only threat to world peace is america. They've caused problems with Iraq, they've caused problems with North Korea. And for what?

    President Bush Monday said,"The United Nations Security Council has not lived up to its responsibilities, so we will rise to ours."

    Ok, you can fuck off now. The United Nations was doing what was necessary, getting the results that everyone wanted, and that's why america had to move now if it wanted to avoid averting a war.
    Something has to be done to remove this freaky dictator from his office. Even his own people hate him. Come on, america. Where's this democracy you're always going on about? Everyone hates the guy, no one agrees with what he's doing.. why the hell is he still doing it? Isn't he supposed to be representing the people, doing the will of the people, etc etc blah blah blah? So why do the people have to protest? And be ignored?

    The monster has to be deposed! He's a dictator! He's dangerous! He's a warmonger with weapons of mass destruction! He's bent on starting world war three! He can't be trusted! He's the greatest threat to world peace!
    Hussein, or bush?




    Click for a larger version.
    16 March 2003 : 19.45
    Apparently, the guys who robbed the 7-eleven while I was there, went straight to the other 7-eleven.. the one that I went to and finally got my drink. They were trying to break in through a service door at the back, which would have been around the same time I was inside. Woo. Excitement.




    Duh I'm president!
    16 March 2003 : 15.31
    Remember I was saying that it was starting to look like the americans were listening to reason? I take it back. Typical.. just pushing blindly on, regardless of the harm that they are doing. And for what? Iraq isn't a threat to america. Anyone who actually looks can see that. They're only a threat to other nations of their scale.. they couldn't touch England, Canada, america, or any of the other major countries. Even the american people are protesting the actions of their country, as are the people of every other country that's involved. Come on guys, get the message.


    Meanwhile, in a kitchen...




    Perfect for kitchen or hold-up!
    16 March 2003 : 00.14
    This narrative will be completed entirely in the present tense. Because it's really annoying.

    So I'm heading home from work, and I'm really thirsty, yeah? So I decide to stop off at 7-11 for something to drink. I pull into the parking lot, and get out of my car, and the two boys who are sitting in front of the door say "It's closed."
    It's not closed, it's a 7-11. That's when I notice the Burnaby Police car outside the door, and the copper inside talking to the clerk. Bugger. It is closed, due to a robbery. No problem. I know where there's another one. So I jump back in my car, and head over to the other one. I get out of the car, and mosey (yes, I moseyed) toward the front. As I walk past the compulsory phone booth and garbage bin, the three scraggly-looking guys there pause in their rummaging through what look like clothes, and time slows for just a moment as I lock eyes with the one who looks like he's about to put on a sweater. Something goes ping in the back of my brain.. "suspicious guys. Watch." but me being me, I'm not really paying attention, so I continue into the store. I get to the drinks cooler at the back, and I'm about to open the cooler door when I hear the front door go bang and the place is filled with "Gimme all the money in the fucking register!! Open the fucking register!!"
    Aw man. What a pain. So I'm standing near a wide pillar. I casually move closer to it, out of sight, slowly so that I'm not noticed, and peer around to see what's happening. There's a guy with what looks like a sweater tied around his head, with a fuck-off big kitchen knife in his hand, menacing the clerks. Not just a big kitchen knife. A big kitchen knife. Like, you know how kitchen knives come in Wee, Not So Wee, and Friggin' Huge? This was the most friggin' huge, shiny fucker I've ever seen. "Get on the fucking floor! Now!!"
    I withdraw behind my pillar, and watch the guy's reflection in the cooler door to see whether he's spotted me, and I try like hell to remember the knife defence techniques I learnt in kung fu. "Knives can't hurt unless they encounter resistance. Don't resist, flow with the movement of the blade. Now, was it the same hand or the opposite hand that intercepts the forearm?"
    This is going through part of my mind, while the other part is occupied with "What does it matter? You've never faced a knife that big before. You try to oppose that, you're good and fucked."
    Yeah, positive thinking is the key to self defence.
    Of course, the nearest phone booth was outside, to changing into my cape and tights was out. Lucky for the innocent bystanders. They'd have been blinded for life.
    So I stayed behind my pillar, and waited for the guy to get his money and bugger off. Which he did.
    So, let's think about this. You're about to rob a 7-11. A rather large, and certainly muscular guy seems to take a good look at you on his way in, and you still go ahead with it without waiting for him to leave first? And when you're in there, you don't think it odd that he's not around? It's amazing that they can tie their shoes in the morning. Honestly.
    Who fucking robs a convenience store with a kitchen knife? Yeah, the clerks are scared, but don't you feel stupid wielding a frigging Ginsu?
    "Don't make me use this fucking thing! See how it saws the top off this pop can? And it's still sharp enough to slice a tomato!"
    Second robber, entering "Hey, Chuc.. stranger, is that a new Ginsu 2000?"
    "Why yes it is Ted. And did you know that the Ginsu 2000 comes with this set of six steak knives, and the miracle paring knife, absolutely free?"
    So, robbery over, the place fills with people. I'm thinking, dammit, the police are going to be here in a minute, and they'll want to talk to me. I didn't see anything anyway.. I don't remember the guy's face. (Thanks ADD!) So why hang around? So I left. On my way toward the door, some girl intercepted me.
    "You were stuck in here the whole time?!"
    "Yes. It was very exciting. Excuse me." Went to the third 7-11, which has a gas station built into it. The guy inside had obviously heard, judging by the amount of suspicion with which he regarded me as I stood at the door waiting to be buzzed in. Come on, though.. you don't hold up a convenience store with a remote door with a knife, do you? Idiot. Finally got my Clearly Canadian, which is all I wanted, and headed for home.




    He's so CUTE!
    15 March 2003 : 16.13
    Hockey game is on at work. It's the Black and White guys against the Blue guys. That's about all I've been able to figure out.
    Yeah, hardcore sports fan.
    I don't get why they have a guy talking throughout the whole thing. I mean, I watched a bit of hockey the other night at Malarkey. The guy's always too late. He's always telling you what just happened. Um.. so what's the point in watching then? And there's such a huge lag between something happening and the guy saying it.
    [bam!]
    ... "he shoots!"
    Never mind that you can see it happening, and that, as far as I can tell, the puck thing is almost always in the centre of the screen so it's not like you have to even follow it yourself, there's a lag of at least a second between when something happens and when you hear about it. That's enough time that it's no longer relevant, surely. I mean, the game seems to be pretty fast-paced, right? So why the running commentary?

    A lot of my friends seem to think that I'm all anti-sports. Just like they think I'm anti-marriage, anti-religion.. ok, I'll give them that last one. But I'm not anti-sports. I just don't understand the appeal. I mean, I could see the appeal, maybe, if you were actually playing the game, or controlling the characters on the screen, sure, but just watching it happen? How do you get an adrenaline rush watching some guy in a funny shirt smack a piece of rubber (?) at a guy in a funny hat in front of a net? There's no denying that people love the game, and that's fine. It obviously has an appeal to them. I just don't know what that appeal is. I mean, ultimately, regardless of who wins or loses, regardless of who plays on which team, it in no way affects me. Ok, so maybe you can quote statistics, player bios, and all of the other stuff, but really, when you get down to it, why?

    Having said that, I love the interviews with the players afterwards.
    "So, you won. How do you feel about that?"
    "Well, you know, uh everyone went out there, and uh played their best, you know, we had some good plays, they had some good plays, and I guess it uh.. I guess it just went the way it uh went."
    alternatively:
    "So, you lost. What do you think happened?"
    "Well, you know, uh everyone went out there, and uh played their best, you know, we had some good plays, they had some good plays, and I guess it uh.. I guess it just went the way it uh went."


    In other news, apparently, only 17% of British Columbians smokes.

    ahem.

    Woo hoo! We're winning!

    thank you.

    In other news: bahahahaha!

    Supposed to be going out with the Amy late tonight, depending upon how awake she is. Only one more day in my horrific week, so I don't mind how late it will be. I'll likely sleep through tomorrow at work.
    This is day six of my seven day week. Haven't had a day off since Sunday. Which isn't too bad, really, but when you're not used to it, you get tired by day six. I'm not exhausted.. just getting low on energy.




    Just don't.
    14 March 2003 : 19.54
    Wow.. how brave do you have to be to write an article like this about yourself?

    And now, Fark.




    TALKING... TO... AMERICANS...
    13 March 2003 : 16.23
    My dear friend Elaine sent me this:
    A truly Canadian Apology to the USA... courtesy of Rick Mercer from CBC Television's "This Hour Has 22 Minutes":
    On behalf of Canadians everywhere, I'd like to offer an apology to the United States of America. We haven't been getting along very well recently, and for that, I am truly sorry.
    I'm sorry we called George Bush a moron. He is a moron, but it wasn't nice of us to point it out. If it's any consolation, the fact that he's a moron shouldn't reflect poorly on the people of America. After all, it's not like you actually elected him.
    I'm sorry about our softwood lumber. Just because we have more trees than you doesn't give us the right to sell you lumber that's cheaper and better than your own.
    I'm sorry we beat you in Olympic hockey. In our defense I guess our excuse would be that our team was much, much, much, much better than yours.
    I'm sorry we burned down your White House during the War of 1812. I notice you've rebuilt it! It's Very Nice.
    I'm sorry about your beer. I know we had nothing to do with your beer, but we feel your pain.
    I'm sorry about our waffling on Iraq. I mean, when you're going up against a crazed dictator, you wanna have your friends by your side. I realize it took more than two years before you guys pitched in against Hitler, but that was different. Everyone knew HE had weapons.
    And finally on behalf of all Canadians, I'm sorry that we're constantly apologizing for things in a passive-aggressive way which is really a thinly veiled criticism.

    I sincerely hope that you're not upset over this. We've seen what you do to countries you get upset with.
    Thank you.

    Hardly surprising.

    This is lovely. It's all true.




    Hyuk hyuk hyuk...
    13 march 2003 : 15.08
    Bahahaha!




    Check out the Lekku on that one! Hubba hubba!
    13 March 2003 : 2.56
    So I'm ready to quit. I'm going through the courses at UBC and SFU. I'm right on the edge of resigning at any moment, and I get called into a meeting with the head of another department. They want me to move. They want me in their department, still doing what I'm doing. Lots of perks.. lots of good things. The department is 83% female. That doesn't hurt.. I've always got along better with girls than with guys. :) I'll be leaving behind a lot of cool people on this floor, which is unfortunate, but I'd be doing that if I quit anyway, so that's not so bad. I'm still planning to do the other things that I was going to do. School, etc, but now the urgency of leaving my job isn't so.. um.. urgent. I don't need to resign. I can get everything else in order first, and take my time, and resign when I no longer need the job. So yay. I'm a happy worker. For the time being.

    Star Wars Galaxies is coming out soon. I'm looking forward to it.. I've never played a massively multiplayer online role playing game. Everquest never really grabbed my attention, nor did any of the other ones. But Galaxies looks like it could be fun. You've got the various Star Wars species to play (I'll likely be a Twi'Lek). I like the look of the character customisation tools.
    When I'll have time to actually play, I don't know. But I'll figure something out.

    Are the yankees listening to reason? Probably not, but it's starting to look like they're realising that almost the entire world is against them. Money or not, military or not, america can't survive on its own. It needs to be friendly with the rest of us, or collapse. Personally, I'd like to see it break apart into city-states and gradually join Canada. The americans would be so much better off with a Canadian government. :) Healthcare, social programs, environmental policies, manners, gun control, all of the things that america doesn't have. At least, not to the same degree that we have them. Let the assimilation begin!





    Click for a larger version.
    12 March 2003 : 17.48
    Got to get out of this company. I'm sick of technical support, big companies, people, and even computers. Though not of Bridge Commander. :)
    I've been looking at courses at UBC and SFU, but I can't decide what I want to do. I mean, going to university is a big deal when you're committing that many years... you want to get it right.
    But what to choose? Biotechnology? Arts? Medical research? Physics? All fields that interest me, but it's hard to know what I won't get bored doing in three years. I suppose I can change my major as often as I change my mind.

    I feel like ice cream. Fast food soft serve. Or Baskin Robins. Mmm..
    Going for sushi tonight. Yummy.

    Some people still think that the Iraq war thing isn't about oil. Heh. That's cute. These are the same people who order "freedom fries." Freedom? Read this, and get an idea of the freedom that america promises Iraq.


    I need to get a nice farm on Fiji. And I could get a sheep and a cow, and breed horses.




    Spyker cars. Niiiice.
    12 March 2003 : 13.33
    I'm not a sports person. Not by any stretch of the imagination. But the other day, I watched a bit of Lacrosse. It used to be Canada's national official sport thing. Now it's been kind of bumped to Canada's official summer sport. Even though no one I know watches it. Hockey is the favourite Canadian sport, obviously. I don't know why.. Lacrosse, from what I can tell, is like hockey but not on ice, and since the ball travels through the air, you've got three dimensions instead of two. Much more interesting.

    The manbudgie feels the need to slurp his drinks, and go "AH!" after everything he swallows. I feel the need to hit him with a brick. Cretin.
    (Yes, it's /kret'in/ not /kree'tn/ )

    In other news, Spyker cars are sexy. I want one. How much do I want one? Not 215000.00 Euros worth, thank you very much.

    This is a nice story about the father of one of my co-workers, and his best friend Judy.




    Shields up! Red Alert!
    11 March 2003 : 17.10
    Wow.. played Star Trek Bridge Commander. It's the most excellent Star Trek game ever. I'm not a rabid Star Trek fan.. I like the programme, yes, and yes I know all of the details (technical details, etc) but that's because if they mention it in the show, it sticks in my head and won't go away. Anyway, this is the best Star Trek game ever because you're the captain. You start out on the Dauntless, a Galaxy class starship. Each part of the game is run like an episode, so you get personal log entries of various officers, cinematic camera work, Starfleet directives, and character interaction. It's not just a question of zooming around and shooting things. You see everything from the point of view of the captain, which means that to interact with your bridge officers, you have to look at them. Your tactical officer can be completely autonomous, so when you're at red alert, fighting with a Cardassian ship, for example, you can watch everything take place on the main viewer from the captain's chair. Which is how you would, if you were the captain. And the bridge shakes and consoles spark and things when you get hit. You get damage reports from all stations, have your engineering officer (a Bolian called Brex) manage power distribution, your science officer can take sensor readings of the target or object, and your tactical officer can destroy or disable your target as your helm officer moves to intercept. You can also take over manual tactical control, and micromanage your battles, which is good in player vs player. It's the best ship to ship combat game I've played in the Star Trek universe. Much better than Starfleet Command because you have the bridge.
    Though Starfleet Command looks pretty damned cool. Of the Star Trek themed games I've played, this is the best, followed by Armada II. Voyager Elite Force was pretty good.. the nature of Star Trek makes first person shooters impractical, but it wasn't bad.

    In other news, the american government is petty and stupid. Obviously. "Freedom Fries." Honestly. So we're against all things French, are we america? Better get started on packing up the statue of liberty. She's a French lady, you know. Idiots. What's next, "Freedom Kissing?"

    I like this one.
    "On this matter, the American people are becoming increasingly impatient with the U.N.," he said. -Ari Fleischer
    Has he been paying attention? The american people largely oppose the war, you dork.

    I'm English. I'm sort of obligated to dislike the French. However, yay France for standing up to the americans. More countries should do that.




    http://www.violently-happy.net/moi/wild/picture295.jpg
    07 March 2003 : 21.33
    There's a little McDonald's in everyone. Everyone except for me. There's a whole lot of McDonald's in me. Mmmm MMmmmmm.

    Snowstorm outside. Pretty impressive one, too, but isolated to the top of this hill. You go less than a kilometer in any direction and the storm disappears completely.

    Just rediscovered this commercial. Lovely.




    Click for a larger version.
    07 March 2003 : 19.55
    This makes me sad. Teresa used to be a girl I knew, on whom I had a bit of a crush. She was really thin, anorexic, but recovering. She looked really good with her hair up. She was an actor.. I met her when she played Corie in "Barefoot in the Park," and I was stage manager. I used to give her rides home in my beetle. We took the show to a festival. She was good. She's changed so much... she seems to have lost that little spark she had. The one that came through in all of her pictures.
    I can't help but feel a sense of loss having found her on this site. Catholicism claims another one. I can't help but feel I let it happen. [ sigh ]




    Such a serene image.
    07 March 2003 : 17.29
    Not only do I get colder, the more weight I lose, not only that, but I find that my centre of gravity is shifting. My balance is slightly off because I'm used to having the extra weight at the front. Now that I'm going from "chubby" through "a little bit chubby" toward "low fat," my centre of gravity has moved back slightly. I also have to get used to my clothes hanging differently. I find that shirts now come out over my chest, where I've built it up a bit, and hang straight down. Kind of makes me feel like a coat hanger. It's funny, the things you notice when your shape changes rapidly. You don't notice these things when you change slowly. My face is changing a bit, too. Becoming less round. I was going to get my hair cut, but I think I'll wait until I reach the shape I'm going to remain. Otherwise I'll be stuck with something perhaps not so flattering.
    I wonder what I'd look like with shorter, spiky hair. Maybe in indigo. Hm.

    They've changed my job description at work. Now I'm supposed to start taking calls. Bah. Time to dust off the resume. It was one of those things- the only thing keeping me at this job was the fact that it was a great position, just writing support email all day. No stress, no hassle, and no need to talk to people. Now, since they've taken away the only reason I stayed, it's time to bugger off. Just have to find something else. But the job market is getting better, at last. There was a boom, there was a crunch, and now we're getting back to normal.
    I wonder whether I should head back to university... I still don't know what I want to do. I decided that programming wasn't for me. Graphics, maybe? More slave labour. I need something different, something fun. I could teach English. Like, English language. Like, in Japan. If I had a degree in English. Maybe I should do that at university. I'd like to get into research, though. Science.. AI. Or theoretical physics.. particularly temporal physics. That would be fascinating. Time to order the course list, I think. :)




    Only a matter of time...
    07 March 2003 : 16.16
    Quote of the day: "... I've been reading about reincarnation, and the Buddhists say we come back as animals and they refer to them as lesser beings. Well, animals aren't lesser beings, they're just like us. So I say fuck the Buddhists."
    Björk rocks.

    "Life in Lubbock, Texas taught me two things. One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, dirty thing on the face of the earth and you should save it for someone you love."
    -- Butch Hancock.

    They say that you should respect your elders. Why? I mean, you're supposed to respect the old people, but what for? Most of them haven't done anything worthy of respect. I mean, are you supposed to respect them just because they're old? That's like respecting someone just because they're blonde. Being old isn't an accomplishment. In this day and age, with our medical technology, you have to work pretty hard to die before you're sixty. You respect people because they have done or been something worthy of respect. To respect them just because they're old makes that respect worthless. It suggests that just being alive is worthy of respect. Then, perhaps, we should just respect everyone. And then they say that you're supposed to show respect for the dead. Why? Because they're dead? You know, that's not much of an accomplishment. Unless you committed suicide, of course. That's taking charge, that is.
    Some people work for respect. It takes more than aging to be worthy, I think. Respect needs to be won.

    Updated the New York, New York page.





    I like the pretty bike.
    06 March 2003 : 17.18
    Now, try the Flash Mind Reader!
    For it is nifty.

    Bunch o people at work are getting bikes. I have to step up my schedule for the summer. :) We could have a riding group going.. that would be fun. One guy on a Honda CBR600, another on a Buell Blast, me on my either ZZ-R250 or ZX-6R. I haven't decided yet which I'd prefer, but I'm leaning toward the 250. It's going to be more fuel efficient, and with prices at more than 89 cents per litre this morning, that's important. Also, who needs 600cc in the city? The 600 is prettier than the 250, but the 250 is more practical, and a better price for a first bike.




    Forward 10. Right 45 degrees. Wait 2. Fire 3. Go. Beepboop boopboop beepboop grnnnnnnn. grnn. byew byew byew. Beepboop boopboop beepboop
    05 March 2003 : 17.18
    Took the Jasper/Goldberg Adult ADD Questionnaire. I got 77. Here's the write-up:

    Results of your Jasper/Goldberg Adult ADD Questionnaire
    You scored a total of 77.
    You appear to be suffering from severe attention and concentration difficulties often associated with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder . People with similar scores have great difficulty concentrating on a single task, and cannot pay attention in meetings, discussions, or stay 'on task'. These symptoms appear to be causing you some serious impairment and distress in your normal, everyday functioning.


    Yay me. Defective and proud. Ok, so I'm not defective. Feels like it sometimes, in this stupid, linear society. It's pretty sad when you have to take drugs to make you think like everyone else just so that you can get along. Everything's too slow.. people, society plods from point A to point B, and so on. It's unbearable, at times, when you could be jumping from A to Q to G, and so on. The slow progression of linear thinkers is stifling. Trying to function in their world is like trying to swim through treacle. How non-ADD/ADHD people can be content with the slow pace of their lives is beyond me. But then, maybe for them the world is too fast. Who knows?

    Wow.. this takes me back. I had one of these when I was young.
    Another classic.




    Yeah, I can see why a god would put this on earth to serve humanity.
    05 March 2003 : 14.00
    So, in his review of Final Fantasy, the CAP guy says that all life on Earth has been put here to serve humanity. Ok, so explain the mosquito. And the Black Widow spider. The tapeworm, the sunfish, the polistine wasp, the rat, the nautilus, the spitting cobra.. the list goes on. These creatures don't exist to serve human kind. I'd like to see an unarmed man convince a hungry shark that he has dominion over her. (I'm aware that sharks don't normally attack humans, thank you.) I'd like to see a human demand that the mass of screwworm larvae burrowing through his flesh vacate immediately because he's a man and they're there to serve him. How, exactly, does a crab louse serve humanity? And does this apply to bacteria? Viruum? Is ebola here to serve humanity? HIV? Meningitis? christianity is such nonsense. Honestly, people believe this rubbish.




    Click for the webcam
    02 March 2003 : 17.43
    Headache.
    And now, a webcam. This Mardi Gras thing is such a big fuss. Honestly.
    I'm thinking of moving downtown. When I do, I'm probably going to have to set up a webcam looking down into the streets of Vancouver. There aren't enough webcams in Vancouver.




    A taste of the old country...
    02 March 2003 : 14.35
    Went to the pub last night. Ah, the Heather. My friend Becca was there, who I haven't seen in a while, as well as the cute girl from last time. :)

    I got there early, so I waited outside for everyone else to get there. This was Gastown, so there wasn't a lot of traffic. I stood, in my long black coat, at the corner of Gaoler's Mews, a cobbled alley that winds between the buildings and past the back of the Irish Heather pub, and watched the people going about their business. The clubs around me were all quietly throbbing with the repetitive thump of dance music, pulsing lights leaking from ill-sealed doors and the large, second story windows that framed people as they bounced and swayed to the music. The flavours of the street.. a combination of the old-fashioned restaurants, the people, the clubs, the smokers huddled outside, and that indefinable scent that says "heritage." Gastown is old. It's got that feeling.. that sort of old Dublin charm, but taken out of time. Not Now, now Then. You can just as easily picture the clop of hooves on the cobbled streets as you can the purr of engines. It's modern and aged all at the same time, with people of all different sorts, from the pretentious to the homeless, with the club-goers somewhere in between. So it was that I met Gordon The Preacher. I stood and watched a line of people waiting to get into a club, and listened to the thin, spiky-haired guy just outside the Heather talk quietly into his phone, and noticed the homeless lady rummaging through a rubbish bin, when I heard the distinct sound of a harmonica. I had no idea what it was playing.. it wasn't terribly good. But the sound was enough out of place that it caught my attention, and I glanced across the road to see a shabby fellow stamping along, clearly filled with purpose, but not quite certain as to what it was. He turned a corner and started to move away, just as some very cute, though slightly accessible-looking girls wandered past in a swirl of fragrance, dressed for clubbing, and I lost him. So bored again, and waiting, I gazed up the street toward the Heather, wondering about the time, when suddenly the harmonica player was back, stamping toward me, a rendition of "I'm Henry the Eighth" finding its way out of the depths of his beard. And such a beard it was. Castro himself could not have conjured such a beast. It clung to his face for dear life, as though he would be only too happy to leave it behind if it let him. As I turned my attention toward the sound, the beard and its owner appoached, with a purpose now very obvious. Here was a homeless man, and he was about to ask me for money. I braced myself to utter the standard "Sorry, I don't have any change," and waited for him to ask me. He wandered up closer, but not too closely, giving me my space, and finished his song with a flourish.
    "I played that because you look like royalty, man. I mean that. You remind me of Henry the Eighth. Just put you in the robes and everything, the crown and everything, and you're just like him. I mean the guy had so many wives, he must have had a good thing. Variety, you know, bro?"
    Ok, an interesting opening. Any second now he'd ask me for change. Any second.
    "I like the guy, you know? He was cool. Didn't hurt no one, bro. Just liked his wives."
    Well, aside from all of the beheadings, ok. But perhaps this scruffy creature didn't know about that. Since he was clearly taking his time to get around to asking for money, I took a moment to actually look at him. He had clean, washed hair, not the greasy mess that homeless people usually have. Not that they have a choice, of course, but it was a stark contrast. He wore a fraying green jacket, with a thin, striped sweater beneath it. I didn't take my eyes off him long enough to look any further down, since Gastown does have a reputation. Never lower your eyes, particularly when dealing with desperate people. In his face, there was no trace of drug use. There was no trace of alcohol abuse. And though his clothes could have used a good wash, there wasn't even the reek of tobacco smoke about him. Normally, you can tell a druggie from the eyes. He was completely clean. If he'd ever been into drugs, it had been so long ago that he showed no signs of it any longer. Clean and sober. Someone who was really trying.
    "You going to the Heather tonight?"
    "Yes." What do you want, then?
    "You Irish or Scottish?"
    "A little of both, though mostly Irish." Why haven't you asked for money yet?
    "I should a been Scottish or Irish, bro, you know what I mean? I mean, I'm Yugoslavian. I was totally born in the wrong place, you know? My mother always said 'You're not Yugoslavian. You should a been from Ireland,' you know? That's why, you know, I always watch the old movies. When they're in Scotland or Ireland, and I recognise that stuff, the country and everything."
    And he proceded to play "Scotland The Brave" on his ratty old harmonica. And he was really playing.. either very good at improvising or he had been practicing. Probably the latter. But he was so earnest that I couldn't help but smile. Over the course of the next little while, he told me about how he believed in reincarnation, and about how he had been Irish in a previous life. He told me about how he had been homeless until a few weeks ago, and about the things that happen to people on the streets. He explained that his time on the street was obviously so that he could learn a lesson, thanks to "The Big Guy," who had some sort of plan for him. He told me of his philosophy, about how the way he treats people will change the way they treat him. I heard about how he was trained as a boxer by a world champion, and about how he's living at a hotel that costs fifteen dollars per night. That was when I thought he'd hit me for money, but he didn't. He just kept talking. It's why they call him The Preacher, apparently.
    "What's your name, man?"
    "James."
    "I'm Gordon. Yeah, Irish, huh?" I felt obliged to shake the hand that was offered, even though I had no idea where it had been. I did make a mental note to scrub my hand the moment I got into the Heather, though. But for all of his strange appearance and behaviour, and his odd outlook, I quite liked Gordon The Preacher.
    "Did you come from The Old Country?" The Old Country? That's going a bit far, Gordon.
    "Yes, some time ago." He was delighted to hear that, and immediately launched into a rendition of "Gypsy Rover" featuring harmonica and jig.
    For almost forty minutes I talked to The Preacher about life, society, personal interaction, respect, and many other subjects, and listened to him play his favourite songs, including a very heartfelt "Danny Boy." I heard all about his most recent altercation with a bouncer, his incident with a crack dealer, and many other stories.
    Eventually, as I knew it would, the request came.
    "James, I'm trying to find work, but I've got to get by while I do. I'm only accepting fifties and hundreds tonight, though. See, there's that laugh. I like you, bro, you've got a sense of humour. Is there anything that you can do to help me out? If you can't, that's no problem, man."
    "Sure Gordon. Here's twenty dollars,"
    Yeah, it was probably all an act. Either that or he's a little off centre. But you know what? I liked Gordon The Preacher. He worked very hard for that money, and he was probably only expecting a small handful of change anyway. Sure, he doesn't have a job, but he's still working as best he can to get by. I have my nice, clean office, and my nice car and clothes and everything else. I can spare twenty dollars for someone who goes to this much trouble for some change. He works much harder than I do.
    His eyes lit up when I held out the fresh, uncreased bill. He took it quickly enough that I couldn't change my mind, but still politely enough that he wasn't snatching it from me. In one hand he clutched his harmonica and his twenty dollars, with the other he insisted on punching my fist.
    "Hey, thanks a lot, man. Listen, if you ever need anything around here, if anyone ever gives you a hard time or you need to find something or someone or anything, you just let me know, ok? Thanks a lot for this,"
    "No problem Gordon. It's the least I can do for another fellow from The Old Country,"




    Nightclub stampede!
    01 March 2003 : 16.05
    So many stupid deaths these days. So many stupid people.




    Click for a larger version.
    01 March 2003 : 13.32
    Feeling good today. Yay exercise bike! I've been using the thing every morning and every night, just 15 minutes at a time, but it's definitely working. Yay me! I'm actually starting to get back to my proper shape, which is good. Now I need to have sushi for breakfast.
    It's funny, I'm going through something like five litres of water a day, and since I started drinking so much, I've gone right off coffee. I used to drink several cups of coffee each day, and I've been drinking it since I was six, but now just the thought is kind of icky. Compared to the clean, clear water I'm drinking, coffee just seems.. I don't know. Murky. Dirty. Not appealing.

    Fuel prices are still going up.. 82.3 cents per litre this morning. Wow.. that's brutal. I remember a couple of years ago it was 23 cents.
    Still, this isn't such a bad thing, this price increase. I mean, we want to get rid of the gas burning vehicles, right? We need to, for the sake of the environment. You can try to reason with people, you can explain that they shouldn't be driving a massive SUV because of the amount of pollution and fuel consumption involved, but most people don't care. All that matters to most of them is convenience. How is it going to be less convenient for me to drive my SUV than it will be for me to find an alternative? Well, here's your answer. You want a big status symbol, you'd better be able to pay for it. There's a guy in my building, comes to work every day in a massive Range Rover. The thing is HUGE, with a good twelve light fixtures at the front, roof racks, big wheels, chrome everywhere, a big impact guard at the front, etc etc. Ridiculous. He's one of those who dresses in the perfect suit, with the briefcase on wheels, and from the moment he leaves his house he's sneaking furtive glances to see whether people are looking at him. And his status symbols. Such nonsense. So as I see it, this tax increase will decrease the amount of fuel being consumed as people either stop driving or change to more fuel efficient vehicles, and will therefore help reduce the amount of pollution being produced.

    Speaking of pollution...

    And in other news, yay Chrétien again! Our Prime Minister rocks. He's outspoken, saying the things that we all want to say. Well, those of us who think about the long term consequences of georgie's little war. You notice that the people who criticise him are either opposing party members or supporters of america. Realistically, what they lose sight of is that Iraq is no threat to Canada, and we have no business changing their elected leader. We're not america. We're not about puppet governments and world domination.




    Click for a larger version.
    28 February 2003 : 19.09
    Yes, cock punching ass hatchet is the best insult ever. Praise Fark.

    Quote of the day:
    "I'm embarrassed that my country has sunk to the level of a third-world police state, all thanks to President Bush and John Ashcroft. I voted for Bush in 2000. Never again."




    american idol.
    28 February 2003 : 17.11
    Also: Awww.....

    And: god bless america? Apparently not.
    George Bush demands God disarm lightning bolts immediately

    Yay american government terrorist warnings. (humour)

    Yay american government terrorist action. Bastards. (not humour)




    Like the hat.
    28 February 2003 : 12.09
    You have a nifty job when you get email from Spider Robinson. Even more so when it turns into an ongoing correspondence.

    I have a nifty job.




    Click for a larger version.
    27 February 2003 : 18.02
    Hm. I'd forgotten that tonight was comedy night. er.. props (?) to Ngaire for reminding me.
    (Though what "props" means I've no idea.)




    Ask yourself, 'why do people feel this strongly about america?'
    27 February 2003 : 12.54
    You know, I try not to generalise the americans.. I really do, but it's hard not to seriously dislike them when you read things like this. It's not what the business people are doing, it's the general public's approval that's the problem. The businesses are just jumping on the bandwagon to make more money. The fact that there is a bandwagon is what makes them look bad. It reflects very poorly on the rest of america. Keep in mind that this is all most of us see from outside yankeeland. This is the visible portion of the american people. Well, this and the government, but you don't really want the rest of the world to judge you by your government, do you america? How do you think the rest of us will see you when you have george bush jr. representing your country?
    But leave Carolyn Parrish alone.. she's just saying what most Canadians already feel.

    In other exciting news, yay Canadian Coalition for Fair Digital Access! It's just a shame that we need them. Honestly.. the whole levy thing is really unfair to those people who don't download and burn, or just copy, copyrighted material.




    We all miss Shirley's hair. Her new look was.. um.. not as red. She seems to be over that now, though. Yay!
    26 February 2003 : 15.47
    The Chinese have very strange tastes. The ones who make these buns, anyway. Who would think to combine shredded dried pork with green onions and then with cornbread and cream? And who would have thought that it would be so good? I know, it sounds disgusting, but it's really yummy.

    And now, Tatu.




    Pointy ears just suit some people.
    26 February 2003 : 13.53
    I'm not a movie person. Not by any stretch of the imagination. However, Monday night I saw Shanghai Knights, which is Jackie Chan's new movie, and Tuesday night I finally saw The Two Towers.

    Shanghai Knights: save your time.
    The Two Towers: See the movie. Don't drink anything first. It's thirty-seven hours long.

    Whatever charm it was that made Shanghai Noon so likable has been carefully amputated in this movie. There's a lot of Britain bashing, which is typical for an american movie, but it's quite uncalled for. There's some good kung fu, but there's an awful lot of wire work that ruins it. Jackie's kung fu has always been completely real, though improbable, but this is seriously lacking in that department. Owen Wilson doesn't come across as likable as he did in Shanghai Noon, either. Oh, and the movie is filled with bad British accents. There are also too many "clever" things in it, and I won't tell you what in case you do actually see the movie. In fact, there are only two things that are really any good in the movie, as far as I'm concerned: The bad guy is a little unconvincing, but evil enough that you can forgive him for it. And then there's Fann Wong...


    Sorry, what was I saying? She's great.. whether the kung fu is real I can't tell, and that's what matters most in a movie. She looks like she knows what she's doing. And then there are her photogenic qualities...

    And then there's The Two Towers. I can't begin.. just see it. But see or read Fellowship first, because otherwise you'll have no idea what's going on. If you have a spider phobia, skip The Return Of The King. Shelob will give you nightmares for ages. I obviously haven't seen her yet, but think about it. She's a spider the size and shape of.. um.. a very large spider.
    Heh, there was a comic going on about how the Lord Of The Rings represents marriage. You put on the ring, everything goes all cold and dark, none of your friends can see you any more, you have this eye constantly watching you..

    "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and did shimmy like unto your sister Kate"

    Speaking of which, what kind of a sick freak is god, anyway? I mean, stipulating for the moment the existence. christians like to portray him as a good, kind, benevolent dude who created Earth solely for humanity. Oh, no, wait, they don't say that. They say that the world and everything on it was created for man, not humanity. My mistake. According to christianity, women are possessions. I was forgetting. Anyway, so god creates everything on the Earth for humanity. How, exactly, does this do human kind any favours?

    I feel like Chinese dried pork. It's yummy.

    So I've been watching a lot of Enterprise lately. I don't watch television, largely due to time constraints, so I have to download episodes of the programs I like. The trouble with that is that you get to the end of one episode and there's the next just waiting for you.
    Enterprise is good, I think. Light science fiction, pop-culture, but good nevertheless. I like the characters. I don't know what the big noise is about T'Pol, though, when Hoshi is so much more yummy. I guess it's because T'Pol wears a tight outfit. Feh. I ask you, which has the higher yumminess quotient? T'Pol or mmm mmm Hoshi goodness.
    (Now I'm just wondering why she's standing in a TARDIS in that picture.)




    Morrisey the hedgehog. Not Ron Jeremy.
    23 February 2003 : 15.39
    Yay 2010 Olympics! I can't believe that people were opposing it. What? Do you have a problem with the thousands of tourists that this will bring to BC? Is the fact that it will make Vancouver a world-wide name a problem for you? Do you think that the ongoing long-term boost to BC tourism as a result of the news coverage will somehow hurt Vancouver? Idiots.

    And yay onigiri, too. Mmm.. perfect lunch. That and Chinese buns (Japanese, too). If you're not familiar with them, essentially they consist of a bun with something cooked into the middle. So on the outside, just a bun, but inside they have things like dried pork, chicken, coconut, pineapple, barbequed pork, curried beef.. so many things I can't begin to list them all. And the local Chinese supermarket has them for either $.89 or $1.04 each. Which means that I can buy a good sized lunch at a tiny little price. Which doesn't suck. Not only that, but the buns aren't labelled individually, and they all look the same. Which means that with my really bad short term memory I go through and choose the ones that look good, and by the time I've got to the cashier I've forgotten what I chose. I've got four here, and no idea what's in them. Yay surprise lunch. Shut up. I'm trying to make the ADD thing work for me, not against me. :)
    I really need to start making my own onigiri. One of these was filled with shredded crab like a California roll, which was really good. I could make that.

    I've been looking for somewhere to live, since I'm thinking of moving soon-ish. I'd like to live in the West End, or Yaletown. I've inquiries into a couple of places. We'll see what happens. I don't actually need a lot of space, but I have quite a few computers.

    Anyone who has been reading this site knows that I'm very fond of hedgehogs. I used to have two of the little monsters. Anyway, that's why I take great delight in the fact that Ron Jeremy, porn legend, is called "The Hedgehog" by his fans. The more pictures I see of him, the more he actually does resemble a hedgehog. Hee!

    Now, to play more Ant City.




    The Irish Heather. Best Guinness in The City. 'Irish food. Irish drink. Irish staff. Irish design. Irish fixtures. Irish music. Irish owned. Irish managed. Irish welcome.'
    23 February 2003 : 12.57
    Went to the pub. Drank a couple of Guinness (Guinni? Guinnii?) and had bangers and mash, which I haven't had in years. See, the Irish Heather is an Irish pub. Sort of. Mostly. It's not 100% authentic because, like any good business, it has had to adapt slightly to its surroundings. Those surroundings being exotic Gastown. But it's the closest thing I've seen over here to a real Irish pub, and the last time my aunt was over from England she was impressed. I love Vancouver.
    My brother was there, and my friends Robert and the D. Leif Miltenberger. And the cute girl from Malarkey music night a while ago, whose name I won't attempt to spell.
    It's really spiffy, actually, to sit in an Irish pub and talk about things like cinematography, politics, comedy, cybernetics, temporal physics, crime, and countless other things. I like that our conversations can range so freely. I have the coolest friends. :)

    Now, I'm hungry.






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