thanks for choosing god.

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

29 August 2003 : 17.07
I tried with Buffy.. I really did. I've watched a few episodes, but they've all been mindless pap. Predictable writing, angsty teenager Acting, etc. One of those things that everyone's into, but I just don't see the appeal. [shrug]

Now, can anyone tell me why in the hell someone would write a Doctor Who/Dawson's Creek crossover? I thought that the Absolutely Fabulous/Farscape one was stupid, but there's no comparison..

MUTANTS OUT! Chameleonic lifeforms? NO THANKS!
28 August 2003 : 15.30
Speaking of Farscape, I just watched the episode Twice Shy, where a strange alien creature called Talika comes aboard and sucks an emotion out of each member of the crew, and then Lister goes after it with a major, and I mean major leaflet campaign, and.. no, wait. That was Polymorph from Red Dwarf. Much the same thing, though. A chameleonic lifeform which salivates unspeakable slobber is loose aboard the ship, and the crew forms a Committee for the Liberation and Integration of Terrifying Organisms and their Rehabilitation Into Society. Or something like that. I'll photoshop D'argo into a "Give quiche a chance" t-shirt when I have a minute.

I hope that it was an homage, not a blatant rip-off. I've become quite fond of Farscape, and I'd like to think that it was more original than that.

Kiss that frog, and you will get your dominar.
28 August 2003 : 13.20
Downloaded a music video of Peter Gabriel's Kiss That Frog. Now the song won't get out of my head. But as fan videos go, it's not bad. More from the same creator here. And more videos in general here.

Blaster boots. Sounds like something out of Metroid.
27 August 2003 : 13.55
On a lighter note, I took my motorcycle boots back to the shop from which I bought them, since they didn't fit with my new pants, and ordered their replacement. They gave me too much of a credit, and the new boots are less expensive than the ones that I returned, so I actually made money on this purchase. :)

[sigh] You know you're attention deficit when it takes you three weeks to finally get around to going to your doctor to renew your prescription, you put the precious prescription paper into your wallet so that it will be safe, and the next morning you find your wallet in the bottom of the washing machine.
Ah well. Maybe the prescription is still readable enough that they can use it at the pharmacy.

Heh, this morning, heard on the radio: "And this week's mass shooting spree in america took place in Chicago."
Good thing they don't have gun control, huh? Everyone's so much safer without it.

I was out the other day, and on the side of a sheltered bus stop I saw an american flag sticker that someone had put up. Someone else had tried to peel it off again, and still another person had written "BOO!" over it with bold black marker.

Now, I go to drink hot chocolate.

27 August 2003 : 13.18
Perhaps I'm too sensitive. My parents had to have some trees cut down in their back yard.. five of them. They were unhealthy, their roots were breaking into the foundation and septic tank of the house, they were stealing nutrients from the rest of the trees, they were too close to each other, and they were starting to die anyway. But when I walked into the kitchen, and looked out of the back window to see all of those pieces of trunk and branch scattered across the yard, it was like looking out on the fields of slaughter littered with corpses. It made me physically ill to see what had happened, even though I knew that it had to be done.
Yes, they were trees. Yes, they were sick. But they were living beings.. it's hard to put down a dog or a cat, even when you know that it has to be done. Even when you know that it's for the best.
Apparently, though, my mother went through the trees to make certain that no one was living in them.. no squirrels, no birds. All of the cutting stopped at one point because one of the tree guys found a caterpillar. A little green guy just a couple of centimeters long. All of the work stopped while they relocated the little guy to a tree around the front of the house.
That makes me feel better about the whole thing, but it's still horrible to think of the trees being cut down.
There was a Clio award winning addy one year, ages ago, about the cutting of the rainforest. It shows a tree, there's the sound of a chainsaw, and as it cuts into the tree, it starts to bleed. I can't help but think of that whenever I see land being cleared of trees, for whatever reason. The idea of cutting down a living being.. it turns my stomach.

just a bit
24 August 2003 : 12.51
Why do so many songs contain various combinations of "baby," "yeah," and "you know," whether the 80s, 90s, or today? There are so many more words in the English language alone that it seems silly to just reuse the same few over and over.

" Imagine a piano keyboard, eighty-eight keys, only eighty-eight and yet, and yet, new tunes, melodies, harmonies are being composed upon hundreds of keyboards every day in Dorset alone. Our language, Tiger, our language, hundreds of thousands of available words, frillions of possible legitimate new ideas, so that I can say this sentence and be confident it has never been uttered before in the history of human communication: "Hold the newsreader's nose squarely, waiter, or friendly milk will countermand my trousers." One sentence, common words, but never before placed in that order. And yet, oh and yet, all of us spend our days saying the same things to each other, time after weary time, living by clichaic, learned response: "I love you", "Don't go in there", "You have no right to say that", "shut up", "I'm hungry", "that hurt", "why should I?", "it's not my fault", "help", "Marjorie is dead". You see? That surely is a thought to take out for a cream tea on a rainy Sunday afternoon. "
24 August 2003 : 12.50
Baby don't understand
Why we can't just hold on
To each other's hands

This time might be the last
I fear unless I make it all too clear
I need you so

Take these broken wings
And learn to fly again
And learn to live so free
And when we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up
And let us in
Take these broken wings

Baby I think tonight
We can take what was wrong
To make it right

Baby it's all I know
That you're half of the flesh
And blood makes me whole
Need you so

Take these broken wings
And learn to fly again
And learn to live so free
And when we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up
And let us in
Take these broken wings
You got to learn to fly
And learn to live so free
And when we hear the voices sing

Let us in
Let us in

Baby it's all I know
That you're half of the flesh
And blood makes me whole
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah so

Take these broken wings
And learn to fly again
And learn to live so free
And when we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up
And let us in
Take these broken wings
You got to learn to fly
And learn to live so free
And when we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up
And let us in

Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah

Damned 80s-themed game soundtrack.

wearing this much leather, I feel like a Peacekeeper. Except not quite Australian enough. Ahem: g'day Bruce! No.. it'll never work.
23 August 2003 : 13.54
Still looking at the R6 for my next bike. It's really nice in terms of look, but also for performance. From any angle, it looks like the best bet.

I picked up my leather bike pants this morning. And a good thing, too. It's sunny, but it's bloody cold on the highway. Unfortunately, the boots that I bought won't fasten around my calves when I'm wearing the pants. My calves are too big as a result of carrying my weight around. So I'm going to have to take them back and exchange them for another pair of boots which does fit. Ah well.
And I brought a pair of jeans with me, since I didn't think that hanging about at work wearing bike pants would be too comfortable. So I'm at work, all by myself, no one else on my floor, all comfortable with my After Eight hot chocolate and my streaming eighties music.. something hideous that Vice City has done to me. Listening to the radio in every vehicle I steal, I'm on an eighties kick.
Speaking of Vice City, I stole a helicopter last night, and got chased about by the police. The game lets you steal helicopters and boats as well as land vehicles. Flying a Hunter through the city while being chased by a police copter.. it's so much fun. :)

They really don't get why we hate them, do they?
22 August 2003 : 16.19
Went to Burger King for lunch today, since the person with whom I was having lunch wanted to go there.
While we were waiting for service, there were two girls from Washington state in front of us. One of them turned to me, as the louder of the two of us, and said "So do you like living in Canada?"
Being me, I said "Yes.. there's nowhere in the world I'd rather live. It's wonderful."
her, touching my shoulder as if in sympathy: "I'm sorry."
Wow, that's funny. americans are so fucking rude.
me: "Don't be. I've lived all over the place, and there's nowhere better in the world than Canada."
her: "oh.." [turning away] and then "This is my friend. She's also from Washington."
me, sincerely: "I'm so sorry." Turnabout, right? :)

The friend I was with said "Hey, that wasn't nice. We're supposed to be ambassadors, aren't we?" "Hey, bugger off. This is our country. They're supposed to be the ambassadors. I'd sooner that they went back home, if that's how they're going to behave. If america's so much better, I'll thank them to stay there."

Vice vice baby...
22 August 2003 : 14.36
Last night, waiting for Laura, I decided to try Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. It rocks. I might even go so far as to suggest that 17 R0x0R j00R 80x0R!!!!1
Ok, maybe not that far. But it's a truly excellent game. Visually, it's spectacular. Smooth graphics, fine detail, lens flares and light trails typical of 80s camera work (since it's set in the 80s), and nice little details like how the falling rain hits the camera lens.
I was going to play through the story, (which I never did with GTA 3) I really was, but then I discovered that you can steal a scooter. And buzz around shooting people. And do wheelies. At one point, I had dozens of police chasing me, blocking the roads, shooting at me from a helicopter, and all I had was a scooter to avoid them. And you can steal a sportbike, too. Of course, when I got onto my bike this morning, I felt as though I should have a machine gun.

Speaking of which, I had to ride in to work in the rain today. It's not very pleasant. The falling rain isn't the problem. The problem is the rain that hits the gas tank and runs down to be absorbed into my jeans. And the way the visor fogs up and prevents me from seeing. Ick.

Oooo eeeeee oooooooo
21 August 2003 : 17.35
Purchased more Doctor Who DVDs. Yay :) Resurrection Of The Daleks and Carnival Of Monsters. Now I only have a few more to get and I'm up to date.

Once I have it, a friend and I were going to take a day to watch the entire Key to Time series, which is six stories of roughly two hours each. There's a big projection TV at the theatre (not to mention a bar), so that would be a great place to do it.

And I got myself a pair of motorcycle boots, finally. They're far more comfortable than I expected them to be.
21 August 2003 : 13.30
The following is used without permission, because I think it's a really good article. I hope that no one minds.

You live next door to a clean-cut, quiet guy. He never plays loud music or throws raucous parties. He doesn't gossip over the fence, just smiles politely and offers you some tomatoes. His lawn is cared-for, his house is neat as a pin and you get the feeling he doesn't always lock his front door.

He wears Dockers. You hardly know he's there. And then one day you discover that he has pot in his basement, spends his weekends at peace marches and that guy you've seen mowing the yard is his spouse.

Allow me to introduce Canada.

The Canadians are so quiet that you may have forgotten they're up there, but they've been busy doing some surprising things. It's like discovering that the mice you are dimly aware of in your attic have been building an espresso machine.

Did you realize, for example, that our reliable little tag-along brother never joined the Coalition of the Willing? Canada wasn't willing, as it turns out, to join the fun in Iraq. I can only assume American diner menus weren't angrily changed to include "freedom bacon," because nobody here eats the stuff anyway.

And then there's the wild drug situation: Canadian doctors are authorized to dispense medical marijuana. Parliament is considering legislation that would not exactly legalize marijuana possession, as you may have heard, but would reduce the penalty for possession of under15 grams to a fine, like a speeding ticket. This is to allow law enforcement to concentrate resources on traffickers; if your garden is full of wasps, it's smarter to go for the nest rather than trying to swat every individual bug. Or, in the United States, bong.

Now, here's the part that I, as an American, can't understand. These poor benighted pinkos are doing everything wrong. They have a drug problem: Marijuana offenses have doubled since 1991. And Canada has strict gun control laws, which means that the criminals must all be heavily armed, the law-abiding civilians helpless and the government on the verge of a massive confiscation campaign. (The laws have been in place since the '70s, but I'm sure the government will get around to the confiscation eventually.)

They don't even have a death penalty!

And yet .. nationally, overall crime in Canada has been declining since 1991. Violent crimes fell 13 percent in 2002. Of course, there are still crimes committed with guns -- brought in from the United States, which has become the major illegal weapons supplier for all of North America -- but my theory is that the surge in pot-smoking has rendered most criminals too relaxed to commit violent crimes. They're probably more focused on shoplifting boxes of Ho-Hos from convenience stores.

And then there's the most reckless move of all: Just last month, Canada decided to allow and recognize same-sex marriages. Merciful moose, what can they be thinking? Will there be married Mounties (they always get their man!)? Dudley Do-Right was sweet on Nell, not Mel! We must be the only ones who really care about families. Not enough to make sure they all have health insurance, of course, but more than those libertines up north.

This sort of behavior is a clear and present danger to all our stereotypes about Canada. It's supposed to be a cold, wholesome country of polite, beer-drinking hockey players, not founded by freedom-fighters in a bloody revolution but quietly assembled by loyalists and royalists more interested in order and good government than liberty and independence.

But if we are the rugged individualists, why do we spend so much of our time trying to get everyone to march in lockstep? And if Canadians are so reserved and moderate, why are they so progressive about letting people do what they want to?

Canadians are, as a nation, less religious than we are, according to polls. As a result, Canada's government isn't influenced by large, well-organized religious groups and thus has more in common with those of Scandinavia than those of the United States, or, say, Iran.

Canada signed the Kyoto global warming treaty, lets 19-year-olds drink, has more of its population living in urban areas and accepts more immigrants per capita than the United States. These are all things we've been told will wreck our society. But I guess Canadians are different, because theirs seems oddly sound.

Like teenagers, we fiercely idolize individual freedom but really demand that everyone be the same. But the Canadians seem more adult -- more secure. They aren't afraid of foreigners. They aren't afraid of homosexuality. Most of all, they're not afraid of each other.

I wonder if America will ever be that cool.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)

Author: Samantha Bennett

Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Copyright: 2003 PG Publishing



With Kung Fu Grip!
20 August 2003 : 15.02
Taken from an email conversation:
friend: please tell me that this is a joke.
me: The problem with that toy is that when you want to play with it, you can't find it.

That toy is perfect. They captured the blank facial expression very well. But don't the bad guys in GI Joe normally wear blue?

A friend of mine was just diagnosed with ADHD. We talked about it for ages, with me describing what it was like and him relating exactly. He has a Ritalin prescription now, and he's saying all of the same things that I said when I started on the Dexedrine. How suddenly he can focus on the task in hand, how he's no longer overwhelmed by the ambient noise around him, how he's less stressed because he knows that he's finished the tasks that he needs to finish, and lots of other things. A shame that we have to fill our brains with chemicals to fit into this world around us, but at least we have that option.

13 August 2003 : 13.09
Pregnant former co-worker came in to visit today.
Gah... I find pregnancy very squicky.
08 August 2003 : 15.43
When this happens, isn't the US government effectively trafficking drugs?

Do you know how hard it is to describe kung fu techniques over IRC? Well, be thankful.

And now, science fiction. The only fiction I find worth reading, as a genre (though Discworld is excellent). I can't believe that Dune is top of the list in books. It's dreadful.

Speaking of dreadful...

Moving so fast it's standing still.
06 August 2003 : 13.13
I've mentioned before that the job in which you get mail from Spider Robinson is good. But it doesn't get awesome until you receive email from William Gibson. Once again: I have an awesome job.
02 August 2003 : 12.56
Remember kids: god in his infinite compassion does not want you to go to hell, which he in his infinite mercy created.

Link goes to arguments for the existence of god. What's sad is that I've actually heard many of them used in real debate.
01 August 2003 : 17.01
yay the catholic church. Fuckin' mooks. Let's see, ""god" demands that people who are in love get married, "god" makes you gay (we know that it's the way you're born), but "god" condemns you if you love and marry someone who is also gay. Feh.
"society owes its continued survival to the family, which is founded on marriage."

Such nonsense. These days, most people are opting not to get married. And most children don't have both of their original parents.. you go and talk to any elementary school class.

But even if we accept that as true, marriage between two people of the same gender is just as valid as marriage between two people of opposite genders. The only people who argue this point base their arguments on what their god wants. Bugger their god, if (s)he's not the god of the couple people in question.

The catholics are going after same-sex adoption, too.

"As experience has shown, the absence of sexual complementarity in these unions creates obstacles in the normal development of children who would be placed in the care of such persons."

What? No.. actually, children raised by gay couples tend to be either as happy as or happier than children raised by straight couples. One example, mentioned in Deborah Blum's Sex On The Brain, is of a boy and a girl raised by a lesbian couple. The girl was perfectly normal, and hetero. The boy was also hetero, but wore a pink backpack because "no one was going to tell him which colours he could and could not wear because of his sex." That, to me, sounds like someone who is much more comfortable with being male than most boys raised by straight parents. It doesn't sound to me like he's been deprived anything. And as to the catholics' next claim that

"Allowing the children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children,"

That's just patently ridiculous.

"The Vatican says that while Catholic politicians have a moral duty to vote against the legalization of gay marriages, everyone committed to promoting and defending the common good of society should speak out against it."

The common good of society. Right. And gay people aren't members of society?

You know the funniest part of this, though? The vatican says that:
'While "Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts as a serious depravity," homosexuals must be treated with respect and sensitivity, and protected from unjust discrimination.'

I'd laugh, if it weren't so unjust. I also find it funny that, when Mr. Chrétien (a catholic himself) announced that his government would support the right to same-sex marriage, Calgary's bishop henry told a Toronto paper that he migth burn in hell. Ha!

Gah.. I hate simple, narrow-minded people who follow these nonsensical religions, and make people who are different from them (and the people who support them) feel like there's something wrong with them. Gay people are people, too, and if they want to be married, they have as much right as catholics. Marriage is a legal institution, with certain rights and protections, and gay people have every right to that, if they want it.

Along those lines, now that it's legalised in BC (at last), two gay friends of mine have decided to get married. Yay :) I still don't see the point of marriage, but if that's what they want to do, I'm delighted that they can do it. It's about bloody time that these stupid discriminatory laws get swept away. That would be like saying that black people can't legally be married. Or white people. Or redheads. It's not like you have a choice in how you're born.

Violently fast.
30 July 2003 : 17.10
Still looking for my next bike. I love my ZZ-R250, but I'd like something a bit bigger, faster, and most importantly, with more after-market parts. There's virtually nothing out there that I can use to modify my bike to make it unique to me, and that's very unfortunate.
Looking at the bikes that I like, there are three: the new Honda CBR600RR, the Kawasaki ZX-6R, and the Yamaha YZF-R6. The most popular? The Yamaha R6, by a long way. And therefore the one with the most after-market parts is the R6. I was totally sold on the Honda, but now there are new factors to consider. There are some really, really nice aftermarket parts for this bike, and that really sways my decision. Of course, I won't be upgrading for a while yet, but when I do, that's probably the way I'll go. Unless things change between now and then in terms of what's available for which bike.
30 July 2003 : 15.00
So my show just opened on Saturday. This is the first chance that I've had to write anything about it.
For those who don't know, normally a show has a bit more than a month to get ready. During this time, the cast learns its lines, movements (blocking), etc, the techs build and decorate the set, design the lighting, hang and focus the lights themselves, build the props, design and assemble the sound, and choreograph the set changes. Normally, this takes place in a theatre.
This show was somewhat different. It's sketch comedy, with my brother being the writer, my friend Chris being the other member of the two person cast, and me being the single technician. Since ther was really no crew, the cast was dealing with the props, costumes, and set changes. Me, being the tech, was handling lighting design, sound, and running the actual show. The show itself was taking place in the lounge above the theatre, which has a dancefloor with a little stage.. you know the sort, where they put the band in the corner to play. Triangular stage, mostly triangular dancefloor. No bars from which to hang lights, but I was told that we were going to be receiving lighting equipment from a friend of ours from another theatre.
So here's how it went:
  • Monday- first meeting between the cast and myself. The cast isn't off-book, meaning that they don't know their lines. Not my department, and they're both very good so I wasn't worried. We discussed what I'd need to assemble for lighting, sound, etc. Most of it was pretty general, but we had a week until opening, right?

  • Tuesday- lighting equipment was supposed to arrive at 1.30 PM. It was going to consist of a dimmer pack (which allows you to power the lights, and control the brightness), lighting board (which controls the dimmer), and two lighting trees (to which you attach lights when there are no bars). At 1.30 PM I was there. No lights. At 5.00 PM, no lights. No lights that entire day, and no communication with the person who was sending them because he was out of town. Oh boy. My brother spent the day building props, and we had a rehearsal that evening. The cast still wasn't off-book, and sound was still pretty general.

  • Wednesday- The lighting equipment arrived, but I had to work so I couldn't be there to hang and focus. So I sent specific instructions on how it should be done. My brother had to do a comedy gig at a club, so there was no rehearsal. I spent the night making a CD of music and sounds for the show, but I didn't have a lot of the things that I needed to get it done.. the show was supposed to have a theme, but I didn't know what it would be. So I did the best with what I had. Three days to opening.

  • Thursday- I worked until 8.00 PM, and there was a show in the theatre below us that started at that time, which means that I couldn't use any of the sounds on the CD that I had made, so we couldn't get a technical run in (where you run the show with sounds and lights). Also, the lights had been hung in more or less exactly the wrong places. My sound equipment consisted of a discman with a broken lid and no backlight, an amp with a jumpy volume control, and two speakers on the stage.
    On lighting: very simply, normally when lighting a show your lights are divided into two types: special and area. I was only using specials, so I'll describe them: a special is, essentially, a light which has shutters so that it can be shaped, and a focusing lens so that you can define how sharp or blurred the edge of the light will be. So you have have a small, hazy circle of light or a sharply defined rectangle of light, or whatever combination you would like. The lights that I had to work with were ancient.. the shutters didn't work for shaping the beam, and no one had the slightest clue about how to focus the beam. So I had three big, wide areas of light that spilled as much over the audience as over the stage. I wanted three distinct areas on the stage. So I spent the evening trying to relocate the lights to where they would do the most good. As quietly as possible so that I didn't disturb the show downstairs. No easy task. The boys decided to leave early that night, since I was spending my time fighting with the lights.

  • Friday- same problem.. got to the theatre as the show downstairs was beginning, so no sound. We ran through the show, and choreographed the scene changes. We had to reorder some of the sketches, but overall it wasn't bad. The boys were almost off-book, but still struggling. Props and costumes were coming along, and the set had been built by our delightful in-house set people. My lights were still a disaster, and we hadn't had a technical run yet, never mind a dress rehearsal. The sounds kind of worked, from what we could hear when I had a chance to run them after the show downstairs ended, but there wasn't time to actually try running the show with them. Finally found out the song that they wanted to use for the theme, so I spent the whole night working on redesigning the sounds CD, editing sound files to make them all fit on the CD, be the right length, automatically fade, etc, etc. I also built a preshow music CD. Can't have the audience being seated in silence. I finally got to bed around five AM.

  • Saturday- opening night. We still hadn't had a dress rehearsal or a tech rehearsal. Two shows downstairs.. matinee and evening. Our show opened at 11 PM. I got to the theatre around 3.30, having spent the morning in bed with a migraine and taking lots of different sorts of drugs to get rid of it. as soon as the show downstairs ended, I cranked up my new sound CD and played it through to make certain that it worked. Did the same with my preshow CD. Then I tried to set levels for the audio for the show, but without an audience full of people, it was hard to know how much sound I would lose. So I approximated the levels, and hoped for the best. Simon and Chris were out trying to find parts for their costumes and props, so there was no time for a run between shows downstairs. So no chance to test the sound with the guys. The lights were still a disaster, but I could work on that once the show downstairs started, since it wouldn't make as much noise, and I needed the time to get my sounds in order. I spent the rest of the time between shows trying to build a cue sheet to tell me which tracks to play at which volume at which time, and which lights to put up at which levels when during the show. Then, the show downstairs started, and I went to work on my lights.
    Over the course of the show, I managed to figure out that two of the lights had shutters and one didn't. I got the shutters fixed, after a lot of fighting, and then had to move the lights around again because the one without the shutter had to go where it would do the least harm. I also managed to figure out how to focus the lights, so I got my three distinct areas. I scrambled to rewrite my cuesheets, since the lights had all changed, and therefore invalidated all of my cues. With about an hour to opening, I tried to get a run of my cues in, to see whether they made any sense. Not that I would have had time to change them if they didn't.
    With no dexedrine and the distractions of Simon and Chris running lines, people setting up the bar for opening night, and the noises of the show downstairs, not to mention the stress of being so incredibly unprepared, I had a hell of a time trying to get through it. ADD is a bugger at the best of times, but moments like that make you so frustrated with yourself for not being able to focus, and the sounds are so overwhelming that you just want to hide. I ran the same six cues roughly thirteen times before I finally gave up and hid under my desk, trying to block out all of the noise. Fortunately, my brother noticed and chased everyone away for me. So with a bit of silence, I managed to get, eventually, through my cues. They were very complicated.. several cues for every sketch, with many of the sketches being just a few seconds long. So for a typical scene I would do this:
    fade out the music, bring up the lights, stop the CD, set the next track, reset the volume to the right level, preset the next scene according to my cue sheet, on the cue line, start the CD, fade out the light, and we're into the next scene where I do it all over again. When the sketch is as short as "The bush administration: first you get the oil, then you get the money, then you get the power" that's freaking hard.
    The seats were filling up with people, the preshow music was on, and I was stressed beyond belief. Opening night with no real rehearsal. With ten minutes to show, the cast and I huddled in my booth and rushed over the cues to make certain that they knew what would happen when, while I did emergency revision on my cue sheets. And then it was time to go.

    The result? The show was a massive success. The audience loved it, the couple of minor technical mistakes that I made weren't noticeable by anyone except me, and the boys were fine for lines and blocking. It was a great show, and the next one will be even better.

  • 27 July 2003 : 15.45
    For the last twenty-one years or so, one of the members of my family has been small, furry, and quite remarkably stupid. Someone who's been grouchy and demanding, and always there when I needed her. She's someone of whom I've been incredibly fond, and have spoilt beyond belief. She's had love and attention, which means more than anything else that I might give her. (Though she's had all of that, too)

    I just got a call from my father. My Tabitha cat died today. She was asleep on the deck, and everything just stopped. No distress, no suffering. Just a nice rest in the shade from which she didn't wake up.

    Though death is a part of life, losing family is never easy, even when you've known that it was coming for some time. She had a nice, long, easy life, surrounded by people who loved her, who looked after her properly, and made certain that she was always happy. And though I've always known that eventually she must die, I shall miss my lovely, grouchy, demanding old cat more than I can say. Goodbye, my dear little Tabitha.

    g'day Bruce!
    25 July 2003 : 12.12
    "Bruce is a Hynerian, Bruce there's a Sebacean, and Bruce here's a Delvian and is also the ship's medic. John Crichton, Bruce. John Crichton, Bruce. John Crichton, Bruce."
    "Is your name not Bruce?"
    "No, it's Crichton."
    "That's going to cause a little confusion. Mind if we call you Bruce to keep it clear?"
    20 July 2003 : 18.27
    Ow.. bugger. That's a violent headache two days in a row. Yesterday it was a migraine. Hopefully today it won't be. At least, not until after I get home, where it's safe to pass out.

    Our home and native land.
    20 July 2003 : 13.31
    Heh heh heh..

    So here comes the wave. You know what? I don't mind at all. You'd think that I'd have a problem with americans coming to Canada, but these sorts of people, the kind who are leaving america because the want the freedom that Canada offers.. they're welcome, as far as I'm concerned. When things like this happen, when people need to escape from america, whether we're talking about the slaves who came up here to escape the american way of life, or the people avoiding the draft (and who can blame them?), or anyone else who just needs to get out, they can come to Canada and find a better life. The americans that I don't like are the ones who are all Ra-Ra Yay america. Liking your country is one thing.. being unreasonably patriotic is another and if these people are willing to leave the country that they've always known because they see it for what it is, and realise that the problems, the bloody scary aspects of america today, outweigh the strengths, then good on them. I'm happy to share my home with them.

    "I pledge allegiance to and wrap myself in the flag of the United States Against Anything Un-American and to the Republicans for which it stands, two nations, under Jesus, rich against poor, with curtailed liberty and justice for all except blacks, homosexuals, women who want abortions, Communists, welfare queens, treehuggers, feminazis, illegal immigrants, children of illegal immigrants, and you if you don't watch your step. "

    --Matt Groening

    Hiiiii YA! Eh.
    19 July 2003 : 16.45
    Watching Farscape, I've come to the following conclusion: in the Uncharted Regions there are an awful lot of Australians.
    There's a comic in Vancouver who talks about how in the 80s there were a lot of ninjas. Ninjas appeared on just about every television programme, whether you're talking about the A-Team, Transfomers, or MacGyver. I'm sure that Jessica Fletcher had a throwing star hidden somewhere on her person at all times. It's funny how pop-culture goes through those phases. Ninjas, aliens, vampires.. it's interesting how a fad sweeps through entertainment culture. The trick is anticipating the fad and getting in early, and then getting out before it dies.

    A study that appears to support my conclusions, which I researched after I wrote this post. The wrong order, but I like to work things out for myself rather than just memorising facts.
    19 July 2003 : 12.42
    Story posted to Fark about men ogling women. Some of the reactions are interesting..
    Of course, this is going to sound defensive since I'm male, but there's not much that I can do about that.

    To ask a male to not look is stupid. Either he's that sort or he's not. If he is, he can't help it. It's automatic, and it's the way males are wired. See, the male has an enormous sex drive. Humans aren't meant to be pair-bonded, being primates, so the male is wired to be constantly looking for his next mate. That's instinctive. However, the average male isn't going to be out with his girlfriend, see an attractive girl, and drop the one he's with just like that. Some will, but that's because they're swine. To say that they do it because they look isn't realistic, though.

    Put it this way: looking isn't the same as acting. If you're just looking, you're looking to appreciate, not because you're seriously interested. It's like appreciating anything else, whether it's the taste of a rich cup of finely blended coffee, or the colours and brush strokes of a beautiful painting. It's just that what you're admiring is a person. Who has probably worked really hard to present an appearance that will generate that kind of reaction.
    I'm not talking about creepy guy staring, of course. No one wants that.

    The major concern is the effect that looking has on the girlfriend/wife. Apparently, many a woman gets all worried that her guy is, in fact, looking for her replacement. But if he's doing that, she's not going to stop him by being possessive and saying that he can't look, is she? More likely, that's fuel to the fire, and another reason for him to be looking. Because many guys don't like to feel trapped, and someone that controlling, telling him where he can and cannot look, is going to be someone with whom he won't want to be stuck. If, on the other hand, she were to join in and point out the girls, he'd probably think twice about letting her go. And anyway, is a guy who is seriously looking before ending things with her worth keeping? I wouldn't say so. If he wants to go, demanding that he stay isn't going to make everything ok.
    No moral judgements on whether guys should or should not be like that, please. That's just the way that some are, and others aren't.

    The other thing is that women get upset, apparently, when guys get upset about them looking at other guys.
    Well.. yes. Some basic male psychology will tell any woman that males are just as insecure as females. Where do you think that the stereotype of the jealous boyfriend/husband comes from? It's the way they're wired. Of course, if he can look, she should be able to, as well. Since jealousy is the result of insecurity, that's something that can be worked out. After all, people come out to be looked at. You go to the beach, you go to the trendy street/club/whatever, you go anywhere at all and people are showing off what they've got. It can't be avoided, so why not make it into something that both can enjoy?

    Why I'm thinking so much about this I don't know.. the matter of jealousy in either direction has very rarely come up with a girlfriend of mine. I might occasionally glace in the direction of a girl as she sways past, of course, but usually I've a girlfriend who will point them out. :)
    "Hey, check her out. I wish I had a body like that. Look. No, seriously, look. You like that skirt? Should I get one like that?" etc etc.
    I suppose that it's an interest thing.. where jealousy comes from. It's a very divided field. Males have their reasons, females have theirs. As nearly as I can tell, it's all about offspring. The male wants to propagate his genes, while the female needs to look after her young. We're talking very instinctively here. So she needs to hold onto him because he's security, protection, etc, and he needs to hold onto her because she's the means for his genes to be passed on. But since he can mate with multiple females, he tends to have a higher sex drive, and more of a tendency to stray. So he's constantly looking, but gets jealous if she does the same.
    Which suggests the root of the harem. High sex drive and possessiveness combined. And since, at least in mammals, females outnumber males, it all makes sense. Which is why in herd and family group animals (including primates, as I recall) the dominant male mates with every female. And beats the hell out of any male who might be in a position to compete.

    Interestingly, in "JEALOUSY IN MEN, WOMEN NOT SO DIFFERENT" the argument is made against the idea of jealousy as a function of reproduction. Professor Lesley Rogers of the University of New England in Australia claims that jealousy has the same roots in both genders. She mentions that "... the important thing is that Harris has looked across cultures. If evolutionary psychology has any substance and jealousy is encoded in the genes then it is going to be expressed the same way in different cultures. If it isn't, as she's found, it's a spanner in the works for a unitary global explanation for jealousy,"
    However, I think that, by looking across cultures, it strengthens the argument for jealousy as a function of reproduction. There's that harem, for example. I think what she's not taking into account with her arguments is the influence of religion on personal relationships. christianity, for example, says that sex is bad unless you're married, which is an emotional commitment (in theory). So sex without emotion is bad. And those values are so hammered into us as a society, even those of us who don't follow that religion, that they're going to influence the manner in which people respond to their instincts. Ever been happy and not known why? Ever had a bad day, though nothing's gone any more badly than normal? So why should anyone know what specifically is causing their jealousy? Further, given the manner in which many cultures push humans into a pairbonding situation, sex and emotions have become intertwined to the point where they're inseparable for most people. After all, you're only supposed to have sex with the person you love, right? So if your mate is cheating on you, it's emotional as well as sexual, and no matter how much you try, you'll have a hard time separating them. And given the influence of our current social values, emotional fidelity is considered more important than sexual fidelity (whether it is or not isn't imporant in this instance).

    Another paper, here, cites examples of studies (with references) that directly support the evolutionary standpoint. It does make a point that humans are a pairbonding species, though.. I'm not too certain of that, based upon what I've noted through studies, research, and observation. Comparing the behaviour of humans and their closest relatives, chimpanzees, making allowances for reasoning and cultural and religious influence, and physiological change over time, I think that you must define humans as a non-pairbonding species. If they were a pairbonding species, why would the male have such a constantly elevated drive to mate? If he's bonded to a single female, he can only mate a few times every nine months with any hope of success. So why is he still so ready to stray when his only mate is already securely pregnant? Perhaps it depends upon the definition of pairbonding, how loose the association between the two parties (taking each side's point of view into account, as well).

    18 July 2003 : 15.58
    Not so cool.

    "30 gunshot wounds in the back? Worse case of suicide I ever saw!"

    I'm not saying that he was killed. I'm just not ruling it out. Whether he was or not, it's pretty sad when you even feel that you have cause to suspect something like that.

    Tiburon. Zoom.
    17 July 2003 : 19.47
    Holy mother of ass! This is a seriously cool computer case. Very similar to the one I had in mind, except that I was planning to use more wood. And a liquid cooling system with a visible reservoir. With bubbles.
    I had planned, also, on doing something like this to my Tiburon, but prettier. In-dash DVD deck for the display, with the system in a standard case secured in the trunk and run to the deck and input devices (in the glove compartment and the coin box) through serious extensions. Simpler installation than she did, but a better effect, I think. Probably have to move the deck down to the space presently occupied by my plush shark, though, so that I can still access the climate controls when the display is open.
    17 July 2003 : 13.13
    heh, now here's a surprise.

    People ask why I care. I mean, it's america, right? Why should I care what happens to them? The more their government, and the country itself, falls apart, the happier I should be, they say. And you know what? There's an element of truth to that. Yes, I dislike america. However, if america were to collapse, what would replace it? Would it join Canada? That would be the best situation for them. Perhaps not for us, since we'd be bringing all of that american nastiness into our nation. But then, I don't think that that would happen. Too many people are fanatically patriotic. Even though joining Canada would mean that they had access to all of the things that make us better than them- healthcare, social programs, environmental programs, etc. I don't think that they'd go for it. More likely, if america collapsed, it would be replaced by a collection of nation-states. Like so many empires before it, it would shatter into pieces, and the result would probably be better. Eventually. But in the short term, it would be chaos. Though I don't know what kind of effect that would have on the world economy. americans like to say that america carries the world economy, but I think that if america were to shatter, very few of those nation-states would be self-sufficient. They'd end up spending most of their money trying to put themselves together, establish borders, governments, food sources, etc. So most of the money would find its way back into the economy, and the rest of the countries of the world would get stronger to take up the space left by america. There'd be a bit of a disaster, since so many companies would collapse along with the country, but I think that ultimately, the collapse of the yankee empire would help us move toward globalisation. We should be a world, not a collection of countries. And there are two ways to do that.. one huge, all conquering empire, or a willing arrangement between all of the countries of the world to accept a world governing body. I think that the latter is the only way that it's going to work. That's been proved by the failure of any empire to stand for more than a few millenia.

    Anyway, for the moment, I'm not certain whether I want to see america collapse. We rely on them pretty heavily, as I understand it, but we'd be in a stronger position if we were dealing with a collection of small nations than with the bloated monstrosity that is america today. And if america were to collapse, it would stop being such a threat to world peace.

    The Type 40 40th Anniversary Edition
    16 July 2003 : 17.56
    Wow... this is amazing. Check out the QTVR files on the TARDIS page. Oooo...

    Getting all into PC case modding again, only this time I'm going to actually do something about it. I had all of these ideas last time, but never actually got around to doing anything about them. This time, I'm thinking I'll start from the ground up, building my own case. Should be good.

    I worship _her_ shadow. Hubba! ahem.
    16 July 2003 : 12.13
    Sad. Wrong. Evil. I could hear that.
    I didn't even know I knew that song.

    See, this is why I never buy used hard drives.
    Speaking of hard drives, I just formatted and rebuilt my primary hard drive on my main machine. What a difference.. XP was sluggish and slow, which is typical Microsoft, but since I rebuilt it, it's been blindingly fast. I'll have to do the same to my other machines.

    I've been watching Lexx and Farscape lately. Lexx is still more original, but Farscape does much more with the characters. Lexx does some very cool stuff in the first season, which is all I've seen. However, is it just me, or does Kai sound like The Brain?
    "So, what are we supposed to do now?" "The same thing we do every night, Zev. Try to take over the world!"
    Ok, maybe not.
    I find that most of the complaints that viewers have with Lexx relate to the seasons following the first four-part. Since I haven't seen those, I can't comment. But the first season is really quite good. It's different.. you can't say that about most television programmes these days.

    Well Sergeant? Aren't you going to say that it's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside? Everybody else does.
    10 July 2003 : 16.24
    WOO! Someone's making a Doctor Who adventure game! I'm all over that. I hope he finishes it...
    In a way, I wish that the programme had never finished. Or that it could be resurrected. A regeneration. But then, that might ruin it. Times have changed, and Doctor Who wouldn't likely have the fan base that it had. If something like Farscape couldn't survive, Doctor Who, much the better programme, would likely share its fate. Either that, or it would be written to suit the current pop culture trends. Buffy, and the like. Better cancellation than that.
    So perhaps things are better as they are. But I still wish that there could be more actual episodes. There are audio adventures and books, good fanfiction and fan comics, but none of it is the same. Better than nothing, but not the same as bubble-wrap monsters and styrofoam sets.. all of the things that gave Doctor Who its charm. You had to suspend your disbelief, but it wasn't very hard. And Doctor Who had the best stories of anything on television, science fiction or otherwise.

    Speaking of Farscape, I watched the pilot for that, too. Not bad.. a little too Muppet for my tastes. And yes, I know that it was Henson. The thing is, those were the two big ones, right? Farscape and Lexx. Watching Farscape, it's just more of the same, you know? Human test pilot flung into an unfamiliar situation, pursued by a ruthless warlord bent on revenge, and fleeing from punishment for a crime he did not commit. All he's missing is a mysterious Gift, or power or something.
    Nothing terribly original. Even the organic ship idea isn't original. Lexx, on the other hand, has something new about it. The insect influence, largely, and the complete failure to have an actual hero. His Divine Shadow makes a wonderful badguy.. kind of like the Emperor from Star Wars, but better because he's essentially immortal. Yes, there are factors that have been reused in Lexx, as well.. there are only so many ideas, after all, but Lexx is less formula and more originality. I'd watch both, of course, but I prefer Lexx, I think. It's less

    My brother is looking for a bike. He's not into the sportbikes, though.. he wants something a little more old-fashioned. Cafe racer sort of thing.

    The patriot act.
    10 July 2003 : 12.21
    america is at war with Oceania. It has always been at war with Oceania.

    It's scary, but Orwell does appear to have been something of a prophet.. the patriot act, the feeding of blatant lies to the populace, and that populace's blind following of the government, it's very 1984. If you haven't read 1984, do read it. It's one of those books that's very important. I read it in high school. I hated it. But in the years since, I've seen parallels between 1984 and a number of other parts of the real world. Of course, it's not just america. 1984 can apply to organised religion, too, but at the moment, religion isn't the threat that the bush government is.
    american politicians are now saying that the war was never about new weapons. Even though we still have news stories by american government mouthpieces that say that it was about new weapons. Even though people remember speeches made that say that it was about new weapons. Even though the whole point was that america had sources that said that Iraq had new weapons. But now, expecting everyone to forget that, the american government is pushing a new story. Now that the rest of the world has been proved right, now that it's become clear that america was wrong in its invasion. And the people will probably believe it. Not all of them. Probably not even most of them. Even most of the sheep will have to stop and think about this. And some will realise how their government has lied to them. How it's cultivated their support, and used it to promote its own agenda. But many will believe the new story. Many will be glad that Rumsfeld and his ilk are telling them what to think, so that they don't have to use their brains. They will not only accept the story, they will believe the story.

    america is at war with Eurasia. It has always been at war with Eurasia.

    zoo ooom.
    09 July 2003 : 16.00
    So I'm thinking I'd like to get back into Japanese and Mandarin. I used to be pretty fluent in both, and I'd like to be again. However, I can't find a school that's specifically established for teaching non-English languages to English speakers in Vancouver. So it looks like I'll need to go back to school. The nearby college, in this case, since it's the most convenient for me to reach, and right on the SkyTrain route.
    Only two problems:
  • scheduling.. I'll have to make it work around my work schedule. Night classes would be best, but I don't know how available that will be. I'll have to go and find out.
  • Last I heard, my freaky, psycho ex was going there. Taking teaching courses, of all things. Still, it's a big school..

    I just decided this today, but it works out neatly because I happen to have just (finally) got back into contact with a friend who works at this college. Hopefully she won't think that this is why I contacted her after so long. Maybe I just won't mention it.
    I was supposed to have lunch with that friend today, but she had to cancel. Bugger.

    So anyway, I need to look at entrance requirements, scheduling, costs, etc. The school offers both Mandarin and Japanese, which is very convenient.

    Still looking at 600cc bikes. But now I'm torn.. the Kawasaki ZX-6R has been my favourite. Until yesterday, when I met the Honda CBR600RR. The ZX-6R is still a gorgeous bike.. I really like the look. And I've been really impressed with Kawasaki's performance in my experiences so far. But then, that Honda is really something to look at..
    I love how the pipe disappears under the seat. I really like all of the vents and things. Essentially, it looks more futuristic, I suppose, than the Kawasaki. But I really prefer the Kawasaki's instrument panel. And I'm not a big Honda fan. However, looking at the two of them, the Honda is really the one that grabs my attention. At the moment.

    Honda CBR600RRKawasaki ZX-6R

  • Achtung!
    09 July 2003 : 14.23
    Helped a friend move into her new place on Monday. Bloody hell she has a lot of stairs. And the heaviest furniture I've ever encountered. What's the point of making a couch weigh as much as a car?
    While we were there, we noticed that her new place was being explored by ants. Just a few little black guys.. nothing worrying, but she wants a way to get rid of them.
    The other guy who was there helping her move in suggested bleach.
    What a horrible thing to think. When I moved into my first basement suite, I discovered that I was sharing it with a colony of ants. They hadn't been visible when I first moved in, but once they discovered that I had supplies, I found them in my sugar, any dishes left out awaiting washing.. everwhere. Obviously not a good thing, but anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm not about to hurt a living being just for being who he/she is. The ants were just looking for food.. who can blame them for that? So what could I do?
    Fortunately, ants are very efficient. They're the Germans of the insect world. So when they find a source of food, they set up a highway directly to it, with one lane heading out and one coming back carrying the food. I followed them from my kitchen to a tiny hole in my wall, and determined that that was the point at which they were entering the house.
    Bleach indeed. I went out and bought some Kool-Aid. Strawberry, since it has the strongest scent, and I mixed it with twice the normal amount of sugar, and left it in my refrigerator. Using an eyedropper, I put a few drops on the tile outside the hole from which the ants were coming, which was fortunately in my bathroom. As soon as they discovered it, they surrounded it completely and started collecting it to take back. So I knew that they liked it, but there was still a line of them heading to the kitchen. I thought that this was likely because they required a certain amount of food to be brought in, and there wasn't enough space around the Kool-Aid to place enough collectors. So I chased the ants away, and put some more down, increasing the outside edge of the little pool. Almost immediately the line disappeared. After all, why go all the way to the kitchen when there's an easier (already dissolved) supply of sugar right at your door? No more ants anywhere in the house after that, ever, as long as I kept their Kool-Aid supply refilled. They were happy, I was happy, and no one had to die. It's so easy to make compromises like that.. why do people insist on killing when they don't have to?

    Exterminate! Exterminate! Let me just finish getting my new paint job.
    09 July 2003 : 12.49
    Oh, I feel the pain...
    Well, I felt the pain when I was trying to be a web designer full time. See, it doesn't matter how good you are (and people tell me I'm good [shrug] I'm never happy with the result) if there's no demand. These days, just about everyone seems to have a web site. Combine that with the fact that people, even companies seem so often content with mediocre work, and that with the advent of things like FrontPage, anyone can be a web designer, and the market for dedicated web designers seems to have dried completely up. You can design as well, but that seems to be it. At least, in my experience. Which is limited, I grant you.

    I was talking to dear Jez last night about Daleks. Unfortunately, you get me talking about something I like and I won't shut up. No, but see, there's a reason. I was reading fanfiction, some of which was pretty good. And then I had to watch a bit of Remembrance Of The Daleks, which I was watching when Jez arrived. So I was in full Dalek mode, and she got in the way. :)
    Anyway, we were talking about the radio controlled Daleks that Production Enterprise offers. Which got me wondering how difficult it would be to build a full sized radio controlled Dalek. And then, I started wondering about making an animated Dalek that essentially shouted, flashed, and moved its various bits when triggered by a motion sensor.
    Unfortunately, like all good ideas, it's been done. More elaborately than I would like, however. I'd make my Dalek an exact replica, with a random playlist of voice files, dome lights that react to the sound, and an animated dome and eyepiece. And stick the motion sensor between the gun and manipulator arm, so that when people pass the Dalek reacts. And radio control over the gun, manipulator, and movement would be good, too.
    The Imperial Dalek colour scheme and details, I think, are the coolest. Though the Resurrection/Renegade colour scheme is very cool, too. How awesome would that be? You walk past the Dalek and its domelights flash as it shouts "STAY WHERE YOU ARE! DO NOT MOVE!"

    Of course, I also need a radio controlled K-9.

    I wonder whether I should try writing a Doctor Who story myself. god knows I know the characters.

    06 July 2003 : 15.24
    After much encouragement, I finally downloaded and watched the first episode of Lexx. Or, as it's called by the non-fans, Sexx. It's not bad. Always hard to tell from the pilot, of course, but it has potential to be pretty good. So I'll probably go out and rent some more episodes to watch, when I have time. Also downloaded the pilot of Farscape, but I haven't had time to watch that yet. I'll see it when I see it.

    Someone's making an Akira bike. Woo!

    So, a while ago, I decided that I was just going to watch a few minutes of the Transformers movie. Just because I was in that sort of mood, and I felt like watching the Prime/Megatron battle. You know how you're just sometimes in the mood for something like that? A certain song, a particular flavour of cookie? Well anyway, next thing I knew it was the end of the movie and I was late leaving home. Which makes you think.. the movie is childish, yes, being a kids' movie. But it's also totally filled with action.. it never lets go from the first moment, and even though the plot is simple, they still manage to get it across while keeping the action going. Which make it a pretty good movie, actually. It's entertaining, and keeps your attention.
    That said, it's hard not to take the mickey when there's so much wrong with the plot and the characters. If you know the movie, read this.. it's stupid. :)

    Kup: "This reminds me of the battle on Alpha 9. The Petro-rabbits were... Grimlock, get off my fucking leg!"
    05 July 2003 : 11.26
    Not that I'd ever even heard of Traci Lords before I read that story, of course.
    Funny how people seem to feel the need to qualify things like that, isn't it? "Oh, I don't watch poooorn. Ew!"
    Feh. Most people enjoy it, and if they don't, it's usually for some sort of externally imposed reason, such as religious morality that tells them that sex is wrong or evil or sinful. Or some such rubbish.
    Other people feel that porn objectifies women. I've already gone on about that, a while ago, but suffice it to say that porn is just sex. No one cares whether porn stars are nice people when they're watching. They're not watching personalities. Porn is the indulgence of the sex drive. Nothing more, and nothing less. No one worries about objectifying their waiter at a restaurant. Or objectifying Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan. So what's the big deal? Sometimes, objectifying is good. Let matters be simple, for a change. Besides, it's not like porn only objectifies women, is it? You think they go into detailed examinations of the male pornstars personalities? No.. they're more objectified than the women because they're there for one thing and one thing only. And it's not their brains.
    [shrug] Whatever. It's not like it has any effect on me one way or the other, is it? I just find it irritating when people express strong opinions without stopping to think about them first.

    Land of the free, huh? Land of the people who don't know their own frigging history.
    Sometimes, I think that I should put a disclaimer on here saying that I know that not all americans are stupid, obnoxious sheep. But then, the ones who aren't already know that I don't mean them, don't they?

    The Traci Lords. More of a legend than the hedgehog, and a lot less hairy.
    04 July 2003 : 19.30
    In other news, wow.. Traci Lords actually looks kinda cute in this picture. I've always thought that she was too pouty to be appealing.
    The story is about how america is starting to get the hang of sex, it seems, with an acceptance of porn. As much as some people are trying to push their morality on the general populace, most are realising that sex isn't such an evil thing after all. And porn is just sex on camera, so what's the fuss? I've never understood why people who like sex (which most people do) have such a problem with it being distributed on video. It's not like it hurts anyone.

    Who of nine? Sorry?
    04 July 2003 : 12.03
    How cool is this? Of course, we're all going that way, and it's just a matter of time until all of Vancouver is wirelessly connected. We've already got FatPort in a number of places, and a number of high-bandwidth wireless networks spanning the city. Right now, wireless Internet access through the cel. network is pretty pricey, I believe, but it will get better. And then there's 3G... I can't wait. The technologies are slowly merging. It's amazing to see how far they've come. Having worked in the digital wireless industry, I was hit with all kinds of details about where the technology has been, and where it's going. Think of it.. first, we had telephones. Then, we had telephones that you could carry with you. That's more of a significant thing than you think, because instead of calling places, you're now calling people. Before, it was "call me at home" or "call me at work." Now, it's "call me." I'm never without my phone, I'm always in touch, whether I'm at home or at work or on the Skytrain or in my car.
    Then we went digital, and wireless handsets went from being phones to being communicators. Not just voice any longer, now you can send text messages, email, pictures, video clips, sounds, all from your handset (depending upon the handset, of course). Now it's going further. Already we're seeing PDAs and personal phones being combined into complete personal management devices, with dayplanners, communications of all types, basic Internet access.. you name it. Anything your iPAQ can do, your phone can do. And more.
    But it gets better. With 3G, you'll have high speed Internet access directly to your handheld device. So you can videoconference, download, upload, sync, backup, etc etc. The idea, as they presented it when I was working in that field, was that everything will be connected. So not just wireless digital networks, but Bluetooth, as well. Which is already out. So your PDA will be a total solution. In the video that they showed us, a guy rents a car, puts his PDA/phone on the dash, and tells it (via voice.. a little unwieldy at the moment) where he'd like to go. Acting like a GPS by triangulating between cells, the PDA navigates him to his destination using voice prompts. In another scene, a woman sees a dress in the window of a closed shop. She accesses the shop's inventory through her PDA, makes the purchase by transferring funds from her bank account, and arranges to have the dress delivered to her hotel when the shop opens.

    All of it seems rather farfetched, but it's really not. The technology already exists. It just hasn't been implemented in this manner. Fido's wireless communications network in Canada allows banking from your handset- I do it now. A PDA can already be used as a GPS using a satellite receiver. Bluetooth wireless communication between machines, video conferencing.. it's all available now. It's just not in a single package yet. Put it all together, though, and you've got 3G. It's going to be so cool. :)
    And just think, with a handheld computer with broadband wireless Internet access to sites like, the idea of the Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy becomes a reality. That's got to be worth something.

    Personally, I can't wait for the wearable computers to become commonplace. Take all of that a step further, and make the PDA less of an inconvenience. My mother's big problem with her Zire is that she has to get it out in order to use it. It's inconvenient, and a hassle because she has to carry it around with her, dig about to get it out of her purse when she needs it, worry about battery life, etc. That's where the wearable computers come into it. Suppose that your PDA were always there, where you needed it. You were always wired for audio feed, video feed, wireless Internet access and communications.. everything you wanted right there when you wanted it, accessible with a gesture or a word. No messing about getting out your PDA, dialing numbers, learning Graffiti. The trouble is that no one wants to wear a computer. It makes you a geek, largely because you still have to look like a borg to have a decent system at the moment, what with the wires and things. It's getting better, though, and a lot of recent developments are improving the situation. For example, the computer designs at Ideo. And those are pretty old.. they've been out since 1999. Since then, Bluetooth technology has become more widespread, processors and storage systems have become smaller, etc. So picture one of those systems using several 1 GB Compact Flash cards as a hard drive, which means it's small, with no moving parts, so no noise. Using Bluetooth to integrate the input/output devices with the base unit, which means no wires. You could probably (I'm not certain about the details) power the input devices the same way as the Seiko Kinetic Watch, so no batteries, either. Make the display a normal pair of glasses with LCD lenses, instead of that monocle, though. Think how convenient that would be. More importantly, think of the online gaming that could be had. :)
    The point, I think, of wearable computers is that they have to be convenient. Not just to use, but to wear. If you have to think about it, it's not convenient. Back in the early days of cellular service, when a phone was something that you had to cart around in a bag, not many people wanted one. As they got smaller, they became more popular. Now, if someone says that they don't have a personal phone, they're usually trying to make some sort of point about how they don't like technology. The rest of us couldn't be without them. I don't know what I'd do without my Fido. Or my iPaq, for that matter. So we're being swept that way, whether we like it or not. There are very few people I know who don't have a phone, and even fewer who don't have a home computer. And many of the people I know have PDAs. The wearable computer is the next step. It just needs to be unobtrusive enough that people are willing to wear it.
    And as for the people who are trying to make some sort of point about technology, trying to hold back the tidal wave by themselves, most of the people who don't have personal phones say that it's because they don't like the idea of constantly being reachable.
    That's what the power button is for. Or call-display.

    One guy's tale of culture shock in Japan.
    03 July 2003 : 18.44
    My friend Mikiko just returned from Japan, where she was visiting her family. She said that it was a bit of a culture shock going back there. The crowds were too much for her.. very claustrophobic after she'd spent so much time in BC. Particularly on the train. Also, everything was very expensive. But something that I hadn't expected her to say was that she was surprised at how everyone looks the same. That is, almost all of the faces she saw every day were Japanese. In Vancouver, there are so many different racial types and mixes that most people don't even notice. And after being here for a while, she said that she missed that diversity in Japan. Which just reinforces her desire to remain here. :)
    I really admire her. She's a very brave girl. She left not just her country but her entire culture to come here to go to school. She barely spoke English when she got here, had to live on her savings, and didn't know anyone including her host family. And yet she's managed to make a life for herself. She's learnt English very well, she's no longer hesitant when she speaks, and no one really has any trouble understanding what she says (though her accent is still a little broad). She has a job, and she's working toward citizenship because she plans to stay. Leaving everything behind.. wow. I mean, when I came here, I didn't really leave anything. Oh, I left my country, certainly, and that was my home, but if you think about it, the differences between Canada and Britain are pretty small. Certainly when compared to the differences between western and eastern cultures. And Japan and Canada couldn't be more opposite in so many ways.
    She said that, in Japan, people don't touch. Well, not very much. She's never hugged either of her parents. Whereas here, every time I see her she gets a huge hug, and the same from all of her other friends in the theatre (I don't know about the ones outside the theatre). It's odd, though, because they have less personal space than we do. I mean, it's not really odd, given the population.. you don't really have enough space to mark much as your own, and that's probably why they don't touch. But it's interesting that our borders, as it were, are as sharply defined as theirs, and yet we choose to cross them quite frequently. Many of us, anyway. So we stand a respectful distance apart when we talk, but we shake hands with complete strangers when we meet.
    Funny how looking at another culture can turn your perceptions so inward, isn't it?
    Japanese people, at least the older ones, don't seem to show much emotion. I watched a program once where a trainer was teaching Japanese business people to interact with westerners in a more western manner. They had to learn to shake hands and smile. They had to put a pencil between their teeth to teach them how to smile in a manner that would seem friendly to western people.
    I'm not making fun of them. Not at all. Not having that behaviour is a function of their culture, and making fun of them for not knowing how to smile like a westerner would be like making fun of a western person for not automatically knowing how to use chopsticks. But it was interesting to see people having to learn behaviour that we take for granted here. Ever take a language class? You know how they pair you off and you have to have conversations to practice saying hello, etc? They were doing all of that, learning to shake hands, and smile warmly. "Warm" isn't really a term that you associate with Japanese business people, normally. Perhaps that's a stereotype, but it's also true.

    I knew that it would be a culture shock for me to go to Japan, but I suppose I never really thought about how much of a shock it would be for someone to go back there after adapting to life somewhere so different. Hearing her observations of Japan is very interesting, particularly to me because I would like to visit there some time soon. It's difficult for someone who knows Japan to explain it to a foreigner. I don't know how I would attempt to describe Canada to a Japanese person. Where would I start? What would be important to mention? I still have no idea why so many tourists come here. But now that she's been here for so long, she has an insight into what it's like for a stranger to visit Japan, while still having that grasp of the culture that a foreigner is never likely to attain. I should time my trip there to coincide with her next visit home. She's said that she hopes that she's there when I go, but now that she's planning to stay here, that seems a bit unlikely. But if I were to go with her, she could show me around, as she wants to, and I'd have a kind of buffer zone. I plan to do everything I can to learn about customs and manners there (I've already started), but there's always that chance that I'll do or say something wrong. It would be helpful to have a friend who could interject with "Don't mind him. He's Canadian."
    03 July 2003 : 16.07
    I've been drafted to work tech for a show at my mother's theatre. Far out.. I haven't been a techie in so long it's not funny. I'm really looking forward to it.

    I was in an IRC channel a while ago, and there were two people there who had each just discovered that the other was pagan. And immediately they started saying "merry meet" at each other, and things like that. And then one of them had to leave, and the other said "merry part, and may we merry meet again."


    When you join, do you get to learn the secret handshake, too? Is there a pagan treefort with "NO GURL'S ALLOUD!" outside?
    "merry part." Honestly! The rituals and spirits and things that go into religions in general are silly enough without adding special greetings that make you sound like a complete twonk. Scientology's little custom dictionary makes them a laughing stock, and if it works for them, it can work for you, too.
    I've got your "merry part" right here.
    Wow.. that was out of character.

    So you want to talk apex predator? If what washed ashore in Chile really was a giant squid, it's seriously at the top of the food chain.

    In the mood for a laugh? Go and check out the C.A.P. guy's review of Spirited Away. But don't do it until you've seen the movie.. it gives too much away, and it's such a good movie that that would be tragic.

    Still with the Shonen Knife. This time the song stuck in my head is Sushi Bar.

    It's amazing how many people believe that their Internet connection problems can't be because of their computer because they have a whatever processor with however much RAM, and however much hard drive space.
    "Ok sir, so you can't get onto the road. Are you in the right gear?" "I must be. I have a Ferrari."
    Fuck off.

    yay. I hope.
    02 July 2003 : 16.08
    On to other matters:
    The US public believes, by a small majority, that there was a link between Iraq and the World Trade Centre incident. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but if you're in america, you can fool most of the people pretty much whenever you want. 23% of people believes that the weapons were found in Iraq, in spite of the number of people who believe that the american government is lying or misrepresenting the truth. Fortunately, the number of people wanting UN leadership in Iraq's rebuilding has grown to a majority. Which should be fine with the american government, since the "threat" has been eliminated. All they'd be leaving behind would be the oil, and it wasn't about the oil, right?
    Story here.
    Of course, now that the circus has passed, bushy and his war drums have done their little dance, the Hussein leadership in Iraq is over, things can settle. And people can turn their attention from conflicts outside their borders to issues closer to home. And they can pay more attention to what their government has been doing with their economy and basic freedoms. Uh oh. Rattle a sabre, georgie! Rattle it hard! Get those weapons of mass distraction working for you again! Before everyone discovers what a dismal failure you are as a president, and what kind of evil bastards infest your government.

    But you know what's scary?

    Elsewhere: This is one of those things that is subjective. It's Dilbert. Lots of people think Dilbert is funny, but this strip in particular demonstrates the manner in which humour can be interpreted, I think. If the last strip is read as in "Sorry, did you say something?" I find it much funnier than if it's read as "You have a problem?" or "Something wrong?"
    Maybe that's just me.

    We get the Olympic Winter Games. I hope that this is good. The money that it will bring to the province will be excellent for our economy. We're already a tourist destination.. this will make us more so. However, the impact on our environment could be pretty serious. I hope that they take great care when building these things, and that the boundary between human civilisation and nature is respected at least as much as, if not more than it is now.
    Funny, though. On Fark, the headline was
    "Vancouver chosen as 2010 Winter Olympics site. "Freezing your ass off" added to list of medal events"
    Of course, anyone who's been to Vancouver knows that that's not the way things are here. In the discussion forum, someone wrote:
    "Newsflash: Go to Vancouver during the winter and you will NOT freeze your ass off. I lived there and it doesn't get below freezing very often unless you go to the mountains. Awesome place."

    Of course, "All Canadians know...the best looking women IN THE WORLD are from Vancouver and Calgary. Its like there's something in the water.
    /seriously...Im not kidding
    Woot. :)

    Oh, Canada. /Poundstone
    02 July 2003 : 12.23
    Another Canada Day. Many parties, many barbeques. And something that is becoming a tradition among my group of friends. Yes, of course I'm talking about Extreme Freestyle Bocce. Bocce, for those who don't know, is a game wherein a small orange ball (the pallino)is thrown onto the court, which is a large-ish, flat area. Teams take turns rolling coloured balls and trying to get as close to the pallino as possible. In Extreme Freestyle Bocce, the rules are a little different. It's played in a friend's back yard. Which is mostly forest. The court, such as it is, wanders around the house, is anything but flat, thoroughly overgrown, and dotted with chicken coups, creeks, ledges, woodpiles, a house, fires, lawn furniture, etc. Essentially, the rules are: get as close to the pallino as possible. Don't break any windows if you can help it. The pallino can be thrown down a hill, onto a ledge.. just about anywhere. And when we get to the area where the land slopes down into the creek, it becomes Extreme Elimination Freestyle Bocce Challenge, because if you go down the hill you have to spend the rest of the game trying to find your ball. My partner and I won. We rock.
    It's a lot more fun than it sounds, but it's one of those things that people only really enjoy if they're playing, you know?

    Spent a lot of time with my new friend Michelle. She's highly nifty, and I like her a lot. I'm hoping that she does leave america and come up here to live.

    Oh, and I saw spirited away. Wow.. just wow. You really need to see it.

    Now I have a Shonen Knife song about Gyoza stuck in my head.

    Canada Day is approaching quickly. How Canadian are you?
    29 June 2003 : 19.29
    Given the content of this site, why doesn't this surprise me?

    Happy Deathday!
    Your name:Wildsong
    You will die on:Sunday, July 28, 2024
    You will die of:Car Bomb
    Created by Quill

    How will you die?

    Now follow the link under the flag at left to see how Canadian you are. How Canadian am I? I may be an import...

    'That cat's one hell of a pilot.'
    29 June 2003 : 12.45
    Why is not dancing such a big thing?
    I was at a party last night at the theatre, and everyone was dancing. Which is good.. most people enjoy dancing. Even those who aren't very good at it. :)
    I can dance. I've been a dancer. The thing is, I'm fine with choreographed dancing, but just dancefloor dancing I'm really not very good at, so I tend to avoid it. I'll go, I'll hang out and talk and make a fool of myself in other ways, but I'm not comfortable dancing. So why is that such a big thing? It's like going to a restaurant on your own.. people seem all uncomfortable about it. And everyone thinks that by dragging you onto the dancefloor, they will somehow be making your night better.
    It's a bit like setting fire to you in case you're a bit cold.

    However, at the party last night, I did meet Michelle. Michelle is an american, but don't let that fool you. She's very cool. The Funk was on (oh yeah!) and Edwin Starr's War was playing, and she was demanding to know what it was good for, because she was an american, and that makes it very relevant to her. I've never heard anyone tear into america the way that girl did. Sweet. It didn't last long, but it was fun while it did.
    If more americans were so objective, so analytical rather than being led like sheep, I'd be a lot more fond of them. It's the ones who don't blindly follow the bleat of patriotism that I'm proud to know, and I think that America would be a much, much better place if they were the majority, rather than the minority.
    She's apparently looking to move to BC. Who can blame her? She does seem somewhat dismayed by the number of thongs in the lower mainland, however. Personally, I don't have a problem with it. :)

    That talk of Wing Commander makes me miss the game. I have this urge to fight Kilrathi. Wing Commander 3 is still a favourite of mine.

    This is cool, only because it makes me wonder whether my cats would ever be like that, if they weren't so lazy. A couple of them have the attitude for it.

    I've got the whole world..
    28 June 2003 : 15.46
    Mike's message. Read the whole site. It is good. Particularly the bit about the backlash against him after the Oscars.

    What I want to know is: how does a guy called Optimus Prime get a girlfriend? It would be one thing if his parents named him that, but he's called Optimus Prime voluntarily. I mean, come on..
    Maybe she's called Alita 1...

    In other news: this is freaky.. a bush-clone virus.

    Wow.. the inside of the new Galactica looks like a cross between the Red Dwarf science room and the sets from the live action Wing Commander games. A friend of mine is working on the new series as a scenic carpenter, so looking at that, I'm probably looking at bits that he's built. Mind you, I have no idea what he's doing there, so I don't know which sets he's building. But who cares? As long as he's working. Actually, the business is really picking up again in Vancouver. More series here, and way more movies. Smallville, the new Robin Williams movie (my mother was on that set last night), John Doe was here, while it was running, Dark Angel, Stargate SG-1.. the list goes on and on. You can hardly go a day without seeing the big pink arrows pointing the way to one set or another.
    Which is cool. Since so many of my friends are actors, scenic carpenters, voice talent, etc etc, it's good that there's so much work.
    26 June 2003 : 18.08
    This is good. But.
    All emotion aside, we have two things that are increasing on this planet:
    The human population.
    Medical science.

    In nature, there are factors that control population. Predators, disease, food availability, and so on.
    So the species removes itself from the food web. That means that one of the population controls has disappeared. Humans have learnt to make their own food. So that population control is no longer applicable. Medical science has extended human lifetimes, and put an end to most diseases. As a result, populations have exploded. The only things keeping human expansion in check are incurable diseases like HIV and cancer, and human social policies. And they're both fighting an overwhelmingly losing battle.
    The social policies aren't working. They tried.. in China they tried to enforce a maximum child limit. But as long as people all over the rest of the world are fighting for their human rights to have multitudes of squealing wretches, the human species will continue to devour this small planet. In america, you have people with ten children, none of whom is adopted. In Africa, you have people having children because they need people to work the farms, or because they have no access to any kind of birth control, but the mating instinct is too hard to ignore.
    In effect, the only real population control that was still effective was incurable disease.

    Now, don't get me wrong. It's wonderful that a vaccine for HIV might be in the making. Lots of people might be spared long, unpleasant deaths because of it. I know.. a friend of mine has AIDS. I'm not saying that HIV shouldn't be cured. I'm saying that if it is, that's one more population control factor that has been removed. So we need to work that much harder to get the population under control. Hell, we need to work harder anyway, because we're losing the battle. This planet can't support as many people as are on it, and the population is still increasing.

    Perhaps disease isn't the answer. Perhaps social policy is. But as long as spoilt, uneducated, selfish humans continue to whine about their right, and the right of uneducated third world inhabitants to have as many children as they want, and as long as that right is more important to them than the future of this planet and their own species, let alone the other species who are unfortunate enough to have humanity as a room mate, social policy isn't going to work unless it's enforced.
    You think that's harsh? Look at the future.

    26 June 2003 : 15.38
    See, Fark is good for more than just intellectual discussions. It's good for music reviews. For example:

    Creed sucks because: have you ever listened to them?
    Also using rock to spread their ultra christian beliefs makes me sick, being a christian in rock music is one thing but using rock as a way to infect others with Christianity that's just plain wrong.

    Fair enough.

    So, what was I saying about cel. phones causing a distraction? Oh yeah, they don't!
    But apparently, it's not just me who's figured this out. There's a story here that provides the numbers:
    16% of distracted driver accidents are caused by people gawking at accidents, etc.
    12% driver fatigue
    10% sightseeing
    9% passenger
    7% stereo
    and %5 cel. phone.

    Quick! For the love of god! Ban stereos in cars! They're killing our children! Drive responsibly. Don't take passengers. If you want to talk to your passenger, pull over to the side of the road. So that someone can gawk at you to see what you're doing, and hit the guy in front of them.

    Who da DJ, yo?
    25 June 2003 : 17.43
    Added some new mail to the McHappy Mail page.

    So, once again: [sigh] Guns, not brains. Is it any wonder that countries like South Korea and Germany are so anti-american these days? Which is a shame. It doesn't have to be like that.

    The brown recluse spider, known for its dangerous bite. But you learn something new every day, and what I learned from this story is that:

    "The Brown Recluse spider is normally a non-aggressive insect. Its life in the Carolina's is rare."

    Wow.. an insect, huh? Whose life is rare. Around the Carolina's. Where the hell did Naj Alikhan learn to write? Did no one advise this person that one should check the facts before reporting them? Or that, perhaps, one should learn how and when to use apostrophes? And how, exactly, does a brown recluse spider have a rare life? apparently has low standards when it comes to reporting. English, people!
    "The Beluga, or white whale, is a large fish that lives in the water's of the arctic."
    Honestly. If writing is your job, shouldn't you know how to do it?

    Ok, enough ranting. Canada Day is coming up. Woo! Party, etc. That will be good. I'm looking forward to it.
    Speaking of parties, closing night for the current show at my dear mother's theatre is coming up, too. This weekend.. there's usually a party afterwards, but the theatre has no good music. Fortunately, I'm all over it.
    A little greasy 70s funk.. very good. A little bad 80s rock. Also very good. A pinch of high-energy 60s. A dash of disco, for flavour. And then a bunch of 90s-present. Sounds good. Good for dancing, particularly with a freaky theatre crowd.
    22 June 2003 : 16.04
    You know, I've said before that when it comes to america, it's all about the money. No tragedy is too great, no life too significant to stand in the way of the quest for the almighty dollar.
    No, I wasn't mistaken.
    All the individual lawsuits seem to have passed. Who else can make the WTC incident pay?

    Remember kids: dressing up like Hitler in school isn't cool.
    22 June 2003 : 12.47
    I watched about half of "Hitler: The Rise Of Evil" last night. Wow.. it's very powerful.

    Apparently, there were a lot of people who were worried that it would humanise Hitler, and thus make him less of a monster. I don't know.. watching it, he's still a monster, but you get an idea of what made him that way. I don't think that humanising someone like Hitler is a bad idea. No one worries about humanising figures like Mother Teresa, do they? It's good to remember that humanity has such extremes. To dehumanise Hitler is to pretend that he was outside humanity. That's a big mistake. Ted Bundy, Jack T. Ripper, Hitler himself.. they were all human. To pretend otherwise is to deny part of humanity's potential. Human kind has possibilities for great goodness, but even greater possibilities for horrific harm. To pretend that that's not the case is to turn a blind eye to an entire aspect of human nature, and given that it is such a dangerous aspect, that's not something that you want to do. Hitler wasn't some monster of mythic proportions. He was just a guy. A guy who believed so passionately in his cause (and for the moment I'm not judging that cause) that he swayed a lot of people to side with him. To pretend that he was anything more than just a man is to pretend that it can't happen again. What are the odds that another Hitler will ever come along?
    There are probably dozens of Hitlers all over the world as I type this. What made Hitler so dangerous, then, wasn't who he was.. it was the location and timing. Had he been anywhere else, or ten years later, things would have been different.
    And if we pretend otherwise, if we imagine Hitler to be this mythical fiend who was somehow different from all other humans.. if we pretend that he was some sort of creation of evil then we won't see the signs next time.

    The Hedgehog. Come on, ladies. You know you want him.
    22 June 2003 : 12.02
    Discussion on Fark about the merits of different types of porn. Best quote ever:

    "Guy/guy porn is gay."

    This is the story that started it all.

    21 June 2003 : 19.05
    Heh. I have a friend who is always trying to set me up with girls he knows. Everyone from his own girlfriend's sisters to his room mates and their friends. Today, he called to invite me to a party at his apartment. Instantly suspicious, I dug about a bit for further details. Yes, it's his new room mate's birthday, and she's having some friends over.
    The room mate is, apparently, a cute Japanese girl. As are all of her friends. How can this be bad, you ask? I'm not really into the idea of being at a party where firstly, I'm not one of the friends, and secondly, girls are being pushed in my direction, and I theirs. That sounds awfully uncomfortable.
    I like Japanese girls. No, not just because they're cute. Shut up. I like them because they're, in my experience, really nice people, but in a very different way from everyone else I know.
    No, I don't care if you don't believe that.
    And I know you don't.
    I'm a guy.. that means that I must be lusting after every woman in sight, right? Feh.
    In any case, I'd go if it weren't for those two things. I like meeting new people, though I'm rather shy.. particularly people from other countries.
    Speaking of which, I really should call my friend Mikiko to see how she's doing. I haven't talked to her in ages.

    Joe Rocket Blaster
    21 June 2003 : 16.54
    Got my new jacket. Who's a sexy bitch?

    america's fearless leader. This man represents america to the rest of the world.
    20 June 2003 : 13.08
    Ah, the missile defence shield. (That's 'defense' for the americans in the audience.) A flawed idea from the start, and one that was widely opposed. But they've sure proved the critics wrong, haven't they? Ok, yes, so the missile defence project is going to cost a ridiculous amount of money. The country's far enough in debt now that it doesn't matter, right? Alright, bushy has ripped wide old wounds with the Russians that have taken years to heal, and reversed decades of progress by withdrawing america from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. So what? That cold war wasn't that bad, right? The shield will keep the people of america safe from anyone who might one day attack them. If it ever works. Of course, changing the foreign policy would do that, too, but we can't have that, can we? bushy can't back down now that he's stepped up to the line to show the rest of the world who's boss. All them ferriners needs ta be learned a lesson, right georgie? Yee haw.
    As long as the project has the support of the people, that's what matters most. "...of the people, by the people, for the people."
    Mind you, looking at that picture, I wouldn't want to describe the governmental system that way. "By the people." That makes it sound as though georgie is one of the people in question, and if I were one of the people in question, I'd be wanting to distance myself as much as possible. You want to belong to the same group as that?

    I like this one. Yes, bush does appear to be trying to blame Columbine on the Internet.

    In other news, people keep getting more stupid. It's 867 5309 all over again.

    Happy Daisy. It's just a terrible shame that she had to go through so much to get that way.
    19 June 2003 : 17.55
    This infuriates me. Not that Daisy is doing well.. I'm so happy about that I can't begin to tell you. But that someone could do something like that... what kind of horrific monster could do such a thing to a sweet little dog, stray or not? Whatever punishment they assign him, it won't be enough.
    He should burn. People who abuse animals are vicious, horrible brutes, and they should be made to experience what they've brought about in others. Not just in the animals themselves, but in those who care about them. So burn Robert Aretz Lindsay, since he's so fond of fire. Let him know what it's like to be the victim, and see the result in his mirror every day for the rest of his life.

    What drives people to do these things? In the original story, they mentioned, as I recall, that Lindsay is "mentally challenged." Does that make it ok? No.. if he's dangerous, he shouldn't be out. Why do children pull the legs and wings off flies? Why do they pour salt on slugs and burn ants with magnifying glasses? I just can't understand the desire to cause suffering. Perhaps humans are just a cruel species by their nature, to take such delight in the suffering of others. And not just others of other species, but of their own kind.
    And yet, again, someone who tortures humans is considered worse than someone who tortures animals. Torture is torture. Pain is pain. Burning a dog is no less brutal than burning a child, and should carry the same penalty. Humans are more intelligent. That doesn't make them more important.
    Like this: "I wish I could go out and find a fish with that deformity. It would be the $100,000 fish," said company president Kevin Gaines.
    He's a life, not a toy. What's wrong with you? How many thousands of fish are going to die because mama's little child wants a pet Nemo? Mama's little child who isn't anything like responsible enough to look after the poor little person, and mama who's too fucking irresponsible to realise that she's handing a little life over to her precious darling, so that darling can make that life a living hell by not cleaning the tank, not providing food and medical attention..
    Animals, including fish, aren't toys and someone who wants to buy a fish because they saw one just like him in a Disney movie shouldn't be allowed to have one. All of those poor fish.. I can't help but think of them. Junior loses interest in a week or two. What then?

    19 June 2003 : 12.30
    Wow I'm hungry. I only had a hamburger yesterday, and nothing today.. when I'm not taking Dexedrine, I forget to eat, and when I am taking Dexedrine, it acts as an appetite suppressant. So either way, I forget to eat. I have to set reminders in my iPaq.

    Anyway, having read the news today, it amazes me the things that american politicians will do to garner votes. Well, not really. It amazes me the things that will garner votes for american politicians.
    And that's not an attack on america. I know, that's the assumption coming from me, but in this case, it's not. It's more of an observation regarding america's social values. The story to which I'm referring was posted on fark with this headline:
    "It's a horrible world we live in where teenagers can accept their awkward nude bodies instead of shamefully hiding them, declares lawmaker"

    Which is a good point. Nudity is only a big deal because people make it a big deal. In the article, it says:

    "Foley suggested the camps force kids to fixate on nudity during their impressionable years. Normal teen sexual urges can become inflamed by the nakedness around them, he said."

    However, I should think that it's just the opposite. Make nudity just a part of life, and they'll become less fixated because they'll be desensitised. A good example of this is alcohol. Speaking from experience here, my parents let me drink whatever I wanted, within reason, when I was growing up. However young I was (once I was old enough that it wouldn't harm me), I was allowed to drink with the adults. No legal age limits, none of that nonsense. Result? While all of the other kids were hiding out in the woods and behind the schools drinking booze they'd stolen or had someone buy for them, I was just not interested. To them, it was something new and exciting, made even more exciting by the fact that they weren't allowed to do it. To me, it was just part of life and frankly, I preferred to fill my time more creatively. Alcohol just wasn't the thrill for me that it was for them. And the long term result is that I don't drink. I'm still not interested. I'll have the occasional drink, socially.. I have nothing against it. I just don't see what the big fuss is about. So it is with nudity. You put a grown man in a room with a naked woman, and he gets all bothered, starts to get ideas, etc. Because to him, nudity means eroticism. You put a grown man who's grown up a nudist in a room with a naked woman, and he may not even really notice that she's naked because to him it's not a big thing. Nudity is part of life, not part of sex. Who, then, is the one with the sexual urges being "inflamed" because of nudity? Along those lines, someone posted to the discussion thread about this topic:

    "One thing that may be interesting to add to this thread...
    When I was stationed in Germany I spent a lot of time sunbathing in the parks. Many of the girls (of all ages) sunbathed topless there and in some cases, nude. The people sitting around with binoculars drooling all over themselves were almost exclusively American soldiers. Until nudity is disassociated from sexuality in the US, we need to protect the kids from the sickos. This isn't to say that the camps should be shut down, just that we need to be aware that while nudity in itself isn't a bad thing, the American association with sex makes it something we can't just be careless with.

    Personally, I'm not comfortable with the idea of nudity when I'm involved. I wouldn't care if I were around nudists, but I'm too self-conscious, I suppose, to join them. Still, I admire them for being able to leave behind all of the social pressures and be comfortable with themselves.

    Can you dig it?
    18 June 2003: 12.30
    Ole! So I've been absent lately.. too busy to type. But here I am. You all care. Yes you do. Shut yer face.

    Beat poetry is still as amusing as ever. A few years ago, I bought "Ralph: Coffee, Jazz & Poetry" which is a collection of beat poetry. It's enjoyable, in a Roger Corman kind of way. I picture Ralph buzzing around on a dusty, rusted old Vespa in his beret and black turtleneck, with a cigarette in its holder clamped between his teeth. :)

    Why don't we have a gender-neutral title in English? Like Mr., Ms., Mrs., why not something that we can use when we don't know the sex of the person for whom we are calling, or to whom we are writing?

    If you do doubt yer courage or yer strength come ne further FOR DEATH AWAITS YOU ALL WITH NASTY, BIG, POINTY TEETH!
    07 June 2003 : 03.48
    Why is it that the world never remembers the name of Johan Gambolputty de von
    grandlichgrumbelmeyerspellerwasserkurstlichhimbleeisenbhan wagengutenabenbenbitteein
    dankerkalbsfleischmittlerraucher Von Hauptkopt of Ulm?

    03 June 2003 : 19.22
    Wow.. I've been so busy lately, I haven't had time to update this site. I'm trying to get all of my projects under control, but there are quite a few of them. I'll try to keep this site up to date, though.

    In the mean time, I came across the best definition:
    Yankee: like a quickie, but a man can do it on his own.
    That wouldn't be so funny were it not for the american penchant for patriotic masturbation.

    Ok, back to work. Later.
    28 May 2003 : 13.59
    Woo! GO Chretien!
    He's right.. the media only shows the bad things. It seems to be human nature to look for defeats rather than triumphs, and anyone who is successful is torn apart as often as possible. Just look at the popularity of the tabloids. So Chretien has had all of these victories in government, done a lot of good things, and what happens? He gets assaulted by the press. And criticism is good.. I'm not saying that it isn't. It's just somewhat unfair that all that is reported is bad, given that people usually can't be bothered to dig for the rest of the story.
    I hope that the next Prime Minister is a competent as Chretien. Time will tell.
    25 May 2003 : 15.57
    Apparently, I'm going out tonight. This comes as something of a surprise. I had planned to spend a nice quiet evening at home, trying to clear some space on one of my hard drives. I don't know how I manage to fill them all up so completely. Anyway, no idea where I'm going. No idea what I'm doing. Just that I'm going out. [shrug]

    23 May 2003 : 15.51
    Everyone here complains that it rains too much. We're in a rainforest, people!

    Exter.. no, wait. That's not right.
    23 May 2003 : 14.05
    Buh?! Wah!? Woo!
    Ahem. This looks good.
    I still need to acquire the 1953 War Of The Worlds on DVD, more because it's a classic than because it bears more than a passing resemblance to the original story. Fortunately, it was fifty years ago that it came out, so H.G. Wells might have returned to some state of rest. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, the procession of events went like this:
    Paramount decides to make a War Of The Worlds movie. It sets it in america. In 1953. Fair enough, modernising happens all the time. Paramount attributes the survival of Earth and its inhabitants to god. H.G. Wells achieves 14000 rpm in grave.
    H.G. Wells was an atheist. There's an interesting bit on this in a review at epinions:

    Back in the postwar years when terror of communism and the future ran rampant, much like in the thirties when Orson Welles terrified millions with his broadcast of novel The War of the Worlds, this movie fed upon the public's fears. I suggest it could do a pretty decent job of that yet today, too, as long as America has this Supreme court-elected doofus in office. The romantic and spiritual aspects of the movie are, in a word, dated, and not the main reason you will want to rent the DVD for, unless you particularly enjoy contrived, sappy romances and believe in the power of prayer. Interesting how religion was incorporated in the movie when H.G. Wells was an atheist and ignored religion in his novel! Some may argue that the world's prayers were answered in the end, but others like me have to wonder why it took so long for them to be heard.

    However, the new Pendragon Pictures version will be true to the original (and vastly superior) story. I can't wait! The War Of The Worlds is one of my favourite stories ever, and to have a large screen, high budget retelling of the story.. wow. That's very good news.
    The not-so-good news is that apparently, Paramount is thinking of making its own movie based upon The War Of The Worlds. It's supposed to star Tom Cruise. god help us all.

    Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, Doctor Who has been taking a crack at the War Of The Worlds story. Kind of. "With some genuinely out of this world 'merchandise' at stake, the TARDIS crew are forced into an alliance with a sultry dame called Glory Bee, Orson Welles himself and a mobster with half a nose known as 'The Phantom'." Why does this mobster have half a nose known as "The Phantom?" And what's the other half known as?

    Oh, that's so rude! I'm a nosey cow, but I can't hear the other side of the conversation. People who use cel. phones are SO inconsiderate!
    22 May 2003 15.35
    I don't understand why people say that it's rude to talk on a cel. phone in public. Is talking to a person in public rude? Then why does it make a difference whether they're actually there, or on the other end of a phone? The only reason that I can see this being a problem is if the people who are finding it rude are finding it rude because they can only hear one side of the conversation. But they shouldn't be listening anyway, because that's rude. So screw them with a big, knobbly stick.

    I also don't understand the attitude that driving and talking on a phone is dangerous. You're just talking. I can see a problem with dialling, but that's what voice-diallers are for. What, is talking while driving bad? Are we going to outlaw passengers? If anything, passengers are more dangerous than phones, because a lot of people feel it necessary to look at the person talking to them. The only time being on the phone in my car is a problem is if I'm having to turn and shift at the same time, but I can always just ask the person to hold on a sec, and put the phone down while I do it. And most people drive automatics these days, so they don't need to worry about shifting halfway through a turn. So what's the problem?
    [Beep] "Dial Jen" [Ring] "Hi!" "Hey Jen. I'm heading over now, so I should be there any.. sorry, hang on one sec while I turn this corner. There, sorry about that. I should be there any minute." "Ok, see you then. Bye."
    That's so dangerous!

    I have this sudden urge to get out Neverwinter Nights and mess with the editor. My city needs to be divided into districts, since it's way too big. Of course, with the roughly six hundred web design projects that I have at the moment, combined with work, combined with various other assorted activities, I'm not going to get a chance for some time.

    22 May 2003 : 1.22
    I went out for sushi last night with the family. It was my birthday a couple of days ago, and though I prefer that no one make any fuss over it at all, they will insist. It means more to them than it does to me. :) Anyway, as long as it makes them happy, I'll go along with it. But I forbid them from buying presents and things for me.. I always feel guilty about receiving presents, and I never know how to respond. Somehow "thank you" doesn't seem like enough. And combine that with the fact that, what with the ADD, even with the PDA, I usually forget to buy presents for other people on established occasions. I buy presents for other people when I think of it, but I often miss specific dates. It's not that I don't care. It's just that the iPaq reminds me several days in advance, and I can't go out that moment to buy a present, so I put it off until I have time. And by the time I have time, I've forgotten. Which makes me feel really bad when other people get presents for me and I've forgotten to get any for them. So the easiest thing is just not to bother.
    As a result, the only person who got me a present this year was my aunt. It was a highly cool present.. a CD of Doctor Who, but not like an audio story or anything. It was all of the songs and things that escaped from the 60's Dalekmania, when the Doctor Who movies hit the screen. The movies were dreadful.. they changed so much from the series.. the character wasn't The Doctor, he was Doctor Who. He was human, not a Time Lord. He created the TARDIS himself, and for some reason stuck it in a Police Box. Susan and Barbara were both his granddaughters.. the list of changes goes on. Still, they did what they needed to do to make the movies work, since they were essentially making a three year (at that point) series into a two hour movie. You don't have a lot of time for back-story when you're doing that.
    However, bad as they were, the movies did introduce the masses, even the people who had never seen Doctor Who, to the Daleks. And the Daleks made their mark in British culture. The result was Dalek toys, Dalek models, Dalek calendars, Dalek.. well, everything. Including Dalek songs. Oh god, the songs. Including such monstrous creations as The Go-Go's "Christmas With A Dalek" and Jack Dorsey's "Dance Of The Daleks"
    No, you can't imagine. That kind of pain has to be experienced. It's delightfully 60's.

    bagpuss bagpuss..
    17 May 2003 : 18.03
    My aunt arrives from England today. Yay! That will be fun. I haven't seen her in ages.

    I got a nasty fright the other day. Someone let my Tabitha cat out, and she caught a nasty chill. She's 21 years old, so her coat's getting a bit thin, and she's susceptible to the cold anyway, so this was a bad thing. I found her and brought her inside and wrapped her in her blanket. I gave her a hot water bottle, and some warm milk to drink, and I rubbed her all over to warm her up. She's back, mostly, to normal. The cold made her rheumatism worse, so her left side is a bit stiff. She can still jump up on the table, but she has a bit of trouble with her more fine motor control. She keeps standing in her water. She's been going that way for a while, so it's not a surprise, but this has just accelerated it a bit. Still, she's in good shape for a cat her age, and most importantly, she's happy. I've been spoiling her terribly, too. She gets milk, which they say cats shouldn't have, and she gets dried dog food, which she really likes for some reason. She gets lots of attention, and bits of my dinner that accidentally fall into her bowl. Of course, that isn't enough for her, and she jumps up onto the table to get at the source. The other day I was eating a piece of chicken, and she tried to take it right out of my hand. And then looked really irritated when I told her off. Mind you, she comes by that honestly. Her mother would sit on a chair at the table and peer over the edge at you, until eventually she decided that she'd waited long enough, and stuck out a paw to latch onto your plate to pull toward her. Not just something off your plate. Your plate. And if you swatted her paw away, she looked at you, slightly confused and affronted, and then did it again.

    Tabitha is a bit of a spectacle. She yowls as if she's in heat for no reason at all. She hasn't been in heat for about twenty years, but that doesn't seem to make any difference to her. She always looks grouchy. I think it's the scraggly whiskers. She stomps. Most cats are graceful people, but Tabitha.. isn't. She walks strangely for a cat. Most cats move smoothly, but Tabitha moves both legs on each side at a time. So both left legs and then both right. The result is kind of a lurching stomp that makes her look like she's in a perpetually bad mood. And she doesn't actually say much. She looks up at you, the colossal biped who is either in the way or not getting her a treat, and she makes a huge gesture that should produce a loud noise, and all you get is a sort of dry "nehh" noise.

    I shall miss her terribly when she dies, but in the mean time, I'll spoil her terribly. Just because I can.

    Das Bush.
    16 May 2003 : 19.39
    Because it's not about oil. Of course it's not. The bush family is above suspicion. A family of honour, duty, and loyalty to the american people before themselves. Right? Right?

    16 May 2003 : 18.02
    Wait.. wait.. this just in... there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Surprise! It's all been a totally unjustified waste of tax dollars and lives on both sides.

    A whole bunch of "orange alert" and "god bless america" and jingoism and propaganda. But when you get right down to it, the U.N. weapons inspectors were right. Imagine that! So were the anti-war protestors all over the world. In fact, everyone who opposed the war was right. But bushy and his government just went right ahead and did what it wanted anyway. Never mind the fact that belonging to the U.N. means agreeing to abide by its ruling. The point of a world governing body is that the members of that body agree to abide by its rules. It's a larger scale version of the way your own neighbourhood works. If you decided only to obey those laws that applied to you, how long would you last until those laws were enforced? The problem here is that no one has figured out a way to enforce those laws against america yet. And so, like some big street thug, it goes on about its business, doing as it sees fit, and bugger the rest of us.
    Are we bitter? Ask the Iraqi parents. And look at the massively anti-american sentiment all over the world. It was there before. Everyone knows that. But now, it's so visible that even the americans see it. Well, a lot of them, anyway. Those who care about the world outside their borders.
    The american economy is in terrible shape.. worse than it has been in a very long time. Many people won't be coming home from Iraq, and many people who live in Iraq no longer have a home. The ones who are still alive, that is.

    How was this invasion justified? It was the hunt for weapons that Iraq wasn't allowed to have Weapons that the U.N. said that Iraq did not have. Weapons that america needed Iraq to have because it needed an excuse to invade. So it made impossible demands of Iraq.
    america: "Put the gun down."
    iraq: "I don't have a gun."
    america: "I said put it down! Put it down now or I'll shoot you!"
    The american government's approach to the situation, and blatant transparency might be funny if it weren't such a serious issue.
    But the propaganda of the american government hasn't fooled all of the people. Some of the people, the thinking Americans, the ones who should be running the country, see the bush plan for what it is. Others are sheep, believing everything they're told.
    Saddam was responsible for 11 September. Oh, ok. Then he's bad. Saddam has nuclear and chemical weapons. He does? Down with Saddam!
    No demands for evidence. No proof that he was involved with 11 September. No evidence that he has that kind of weaponry. The people don't want to know. They want a cause behind which to rally. One that will make them Proud To Be An american (tm)
    The thinking ones don't buy it. The sheep want to be told what to think.
    Now, the american government needs to justify its invasion. As one farker posted in the thread about this issue:
    "We need more time!"
    "No more time!"
    "We need more time, really! We'll find them if they are here!"
    "No! We're going in!"
    *gunshots, missles.*
    "We need more time! We'll find them, really!"

    Most significantly, the american military, the ones that are supposed to be mindless drones sent into battle to carry out the will of the empe.. president, are starting to see what's going on, and are getting a bit upset about it all.

    "Why are we doing any planned targets?" Army Chief Warrant Officer Richard L. Gonzales, leader of Mobile Exploitation Team Alpha, said in disgust to a colleague during last Sunday's nightly report of weapons sites and survey results. "Answer me that. We know they're empty."

    But then, how can you doubt the word of a president as well-spoken and intelligent as bush?

    "We ended the rule of one of history's worst tyrants, and in so doing, we not only freed the American people, we made our own people more secure."
    George W. Bush, Crawford, Texas, May 3, 2003
    16 May 2003 : 17.07
    New page. No new link graphics yet, though. When I have time.

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