Thursday, November 30, 2006

Well, the snow's over. As far as falling goes, that is. Now we're into slush everywhere. The dark side of snow. But, it was fun while it lasted.

On the bright side of life, classes are pretty much over. That sound of rushing wind you hear is a collective sigh of relief from students, faculty and staff.

And, if you want to learn a bit about the civil war (hey, if Colin Powell can finally say it out loud, so can I) in Iraq, read "The Prince of the Marshes", by Rory Stewart. You'll be very depressed.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

As promised, entry #2. This is Jessie, a guy with a true scientist's mind. Note the elucidation of the process part of the snow-angel concept. Of course, and on the other hand, note also that, for a future nurse, he seems rather unconcerned about airway protection. But, what the heck, that's covered next term.

Unfortunately, I have no idea who the photographer is.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A "Shaggy Dog Pix" special, ladies and gentlemen - a guest photographer! Whose identity, unfortunately, I'm not entirely sure of. The subject here is one of my patho students - Drisanna. And, believe it or not, she's working on a class assignment. Yes, really!

O.K., sort of. Monday was supposed to be the last patho class of the term for her class. Technically, there's a class scheduled for Friday, but, given that their final exam is less than a week after that, I figured that ending Monday would give them some extra study time. Well, the snow day killed that plan, so, when breaking the bad news that there'd have to be a class on Friday after all, I told them that they had to go out and have some fun on Monday, and that there would be a prize for the best snow-angel photograph. So far I've only gotten 2 entries, but... I'll put up #2 tomorrow. Feel free to vote for your favourite. Vote early! Vote often!

Now, if only I could think up a prize. A laser-guided snow shovel? Thermonuclear thermal underwear? A big, honkin' box of chocolates? Hmmmm.....

Oh, and it's still too damn cold around here!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Wow! Sometimes life gets good. Tomorrow (Tuesday) is another snow day! On top of which, the snow is actually kind of charming.

It's just a little chilly, here in Vancouver. This sort of thing is not supposed to happen. Rain, sure, but no snow. On the good side, I don't have to shovel the front walk!

Now for my regular feature - the Little Daily Dose of Sunshine. For those of you sanguine about the future, read this.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

And this is what the night before the snow day looks like. Ooooooo....chilly.

Nice of my neighbour, the King of Kerrisdale, to put up festive lights for the occasion!

Last night, after the snow had been falling for an hour or so. And more continues to fall. Could tomorrow be a snow day? Oooooooooo........

The word just came in - it is! it is! it is a snow day tomorrow!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

What can I say? I just have an affinity for dumpsters.

Did I mention that it's snowing here? Gad.

Yep, you've seen him before. But not in black and white! Between the truly dismal weather lately, and work (who's idea was that?), I just haven't had a chance to get out and take pictures. Maybe today?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving, friends of mine to the south of here. I trust the turkey (or the non-actual-bird version) was tasty, the wine flowed nicely, and the realization that life's kinda really good was a big part of your day.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Is this the photoblog version of product placement? Or is the seemingly non-stop rain just forcing me to search among my old photos for material?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

O.K., O.K., the dumpster's done. O.K.? It was night-time, I'd just had a nice meal, I had my camera, I was bored, I was walking home...

As for movies worth watching, "Prairie Home Companion" is darn fine. I watched it over the weekend, and then read this morning that Robert Altman had died last night. He, too, was darn fine.

Tonight I watched "Iris", the story of Iris Murdoch's last (mainly) years. Alzheimer's is not for the faint of heart. Given the choice - get it or deal with it - I'll take "get it", frankly. Watching someone you care deeply about decay like that - I couldn't deal with it.

Monday, November 20, 2006

It's almost "paparazzoid", isn't it?

And speaking of paparazzi, interesting image of Jack the Ripper in the papers today. Too bad it's so unlikely anyone will ever be able to confirm it.

But, speaking of "rippers" and confirmation, I'm sure you're all as sad as me to hear that O.J.'s new book and TV interview have been cancelled. Sure is tough when a murderous slug (oh, wait - make that "alleged murderous slug") can't get some decent air time to describe "what he might have done had he done it, which, of course, he didn't". And who knew that Fox News actually had a limit?!? My world-view has sure been shaken.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Some things you just can't hide. Even at night.

I know that sort of line ought to lead to some sort of pithy political comment, but there's not that much happening now that George has had his hands slapped. Although, I did enjoy the picture of him and Vladimir Putin chatting that ran on the New York Times's web site today. Two paragons of the democratic process having a heart-to-heart. "So, Vlad, about that "bumping off nosy reporters" thing...How do you pull that off?"
The photo will come later. For now, here's today's "Doonsebury", in which Gary Trudeau reiterates a point I raised earlier this week (although Trudeau does it with a wee bit more humour).

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I finally ventured out with the new camera at night. Heck of a good time, really. Although, I have to admit that the old habit of being penurious with my shots (from the "old days" of film) dies hard.

And, I went to see "The Last King of Scotland" today. If Forest Whitaker doesn't get the Oscar for best actor, there's something seriously wrong with the world. He was amazing.

Friday, November 17, 2006

It's still pouring rain, so getting out to get new pictures is something of a challenge. Although, if pressed, I could Return to the Laundry Room.

The other drawback to all this rain is that it's now beginning to interfere with Vancouver's cultural identity. One of the sacred food groups in this town is coffee and the rain is making obtaining it impossible or risky. We get our water from reservoirs in the mountains nearby. This sounds charming, and usually it is, but, the rain has caused a number of large landslides into the reservoirs. In some parts of town, the water is now very, very brown. And the whole city is under a "Boil water" advisory, just in case nasty things were carried into the water along with all that mud. The water in commercial coffee machines (i.e. Starbuck's et al) isn't boiled. Soooooooo, no coffee. Needless to say, the withdrawal symptoms aren't pretty.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

And, of course, there's always the potential for hand laundry. Not for me, mind you, but...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

They just sit there, taunting, "C'mon, dry me. I dare you." Or is the current non-stop deluge just starting to get to me?

But, back to politics. I'm sure a lot of Americans, now that the Democrats have taken back the reins from the dimbulbs, lunatics and crooks who've held them for the past few years, are thinking, "Oh, yay! At last we can get out of Iraq!". Well, no, you can't. Ever hear the old saying, "You break it, you've bought it"? Well, America broke Iraq, and now America owns it. It would be morally indefensible to try to just say, "Oops. Sorry. Our mistake," and hit the road, wishing everyone who would then be about to die "Good luck!".

Thanks to Dumb George and his Criminal Sidekicks, a stable country, albeit one run by a tyrannical lunatic murderer (originally aided by America), is now a maelstrom with no safe place for any of its citizens. A country where the rules, draconian as they may have been, at least existed. Now the place is lawless and no one has a clue what the "rules" might be. Who's fault is it? Well, um, yours. You elected that meathead. You backed his war. You let him do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. Clinton - blow-job, bimbo? remember? - him you wanted impeached and wouldn't let him get a thing done until you'd raked him over every coal available at least twice. But, George? He lied to you (but in the name of security), he hacked away at your civil rights (but, only as a measure in the on-going and noble war on terrorism), he gutted environmental protection laws (sure, but only so his friends could make lots of money), he mortally pissed off every ally America ever had (well, yeah, but they're all Frogs!), he pretty much bankrupted America (but the rich are even richer - that's good, isn't it?) - in short, he screwed America big time. But, is that grounds to impeach him? So far there doesn't seem to be a lot of movement in that direction. Might there be, at last, a small civic awakening? Might some attention be paid to the very real criminality of this jerk? Is this too much to hope? Oh, probably.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I like a patriotic laundry room. How about you?

13 days left in the term. Then, finals, mark 'em, hand 'em in, declare another term done. Happiness will reign for some, heartbreak for others. And, of course, a certain amount of indignation from the few students who are just darn sure they deserve an "A", despite the fact that they didn't pass a single exam all term.

By the way, did I mention that Richard Ford's latest, "Against the Day," is pretty darn good? Not quite as good as "The Sportswriter", or "Independence Day" (the first two novels in what has, so far, become a trilogy), but darn good nonetheless. Very dry. Very real life. And how much more fearsome can anything get?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Another perfect day to do laundry. Too bad I got it all done yesterday.

And all's pretty quiet (aren't you glad?) on the political front, here and in the U.S.

Here, Garth Turner, rebel Tory (how did this guy ever wind up in that party?), is about to make some "big announcement" regarding the antics of his former party. I'm guessing his big news will be that the Conservatives are a bunch of narrow-minded, big-business-oriented, homophobic, gun-loving weasels. Wow! Now that's what I call news.

And, in the U.S., you've got to admire George's continuing loose grip on reality. He says he's "cooperating" with the bipartisan group working on a new strategy for Iraq. "Cooperating"? Um, has he actually got a choice?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The day started off with heavy rain. Then it switched to light rain. Then, evidently thinking that it had been right the first time, it went back to heavy rain. At the moment, I believe it's gone for a happy middle ground - just rain.

What's to do when it's raining? Laundry, of course!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

There's a line in Shakespeare's "Henry VI" that says, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers". Now, given that my father is a lawyer (retired) and my uncle is a lawyer, and that I have friends who are lawyers, I can't really say that I endorse this sentiment. At least, not precisely as it sits. I'd be happy to go along with it (well, O.K., not literally) if it could be amended to, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the really stupid, greedy lawyers, and their really stupid, greedy clients". Now that I could go along with.

Why am I bringing this up? Read this story in today's New York Times.

And, for any fans of ancient Chinese medicine and the notion that it's somehow superior to (or even vaguely equivalent to) the unclean, unholy, inhuman modern science-based medicine, read this.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Well, speaking of having to scrounge for photos. But, it's a long weekend, so maybe I'll be able to find something new. When I'm not marking exams, that is.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Yep, it's time to hit the streets again.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wow! Some days are just a pleasure to wake up to, and this was definitely one of them. The States finally has a chance to get back some dignity, some class, some responsible government. It's been awful watching Dumbya and the rest of the Republican party ruin their country.

And Dumb Donnie's gone! The little video clip on the New York Times' web site showing Bush's announcement was hilarious. "I thought we were gonna win this election. Shows what I know," he said with a laugh (He really did). Did he realize what an idiotic statement he'd just made? How everyone else in the world was saying, "Exactly, Dumbya. You don't know anything and that's why we all want you gone."

And, later this evening, I see that Georgie wants to make nice with the Democrats. Now he wants to be a uniter, not a divider. Now he wants to embrace a spirit of cooperation, conciliation and togetherness. Which means, of course, that now is the time for Georgie to be stripped of any and every shred of power he might once have thought he held. Now is the time to show him just what a dimwitted fool he is and show him the inky black pit into which history is going to toss him.

O.K. - I can dream, can't I?

Oh, it's been a wonderful day.
Normally, I hate waking up early in the morning. Today, not so bad. This cartoon by Jeff Danziger kind of sums it up nicely.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Oh, it's a fine, fine, fine evening! The Democrats have taken back the American House of Congress at long, long last. Why they haven't also gained control of the Senate, I have no idea. But, I'll not whine, I'll not snivel. So, congrats, folks! Maybe this ship can be turned around and put back on some sort of reasonable course.

I can hardly wait to wake up tomorrow. Not, I suspect, a sentiment shared by Dumbya and his pals. Which, of course, is only cause for even more celebration!

It's only 7:20 p.m. here on the Wet Coast, so it may be a bit early to begin celebrating, but Republicans do seem to be falling. I'm particularly pleased (so far) to see that that evil weasel, Rick Sanctimonium, has bitten the dust. Here's to more of his creepy cronies following him.

Monday, November 06, 2006

This little rug shop has been in business ever since I've known Kerrisdale existed, which is about 25 years. And, everything's been on "Sale!" "50% Off!", "Clearance!" throughout that entire time. Do you think they could be fibbing?

Of course, there's a connection to tomorrow's election in the States. "Be afraid!", "You're either for America or against it!", "Weapons of mass destruction!", "Evil dictator!". Do you think they could be fibbing?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Well, it's not exactly stygian, but...

Yes, Saddam will soon be crossing the Styx to join the thousands he acted as travel agent for. This is what I love about society - a guy murders a bunch of people, so, to punish him and show how much such acts are disapproved of, he himself is murdered. Now, my memory is fuzzy, but it seems to me that I've often heard some saying along the lines of, "Two wrongs don't make a right". State-approved murder isn't any better than plain old murder. Let's face it, Saddam's murders were, at the time, "state-approved". Oh, well.

Of course, this picture could also call to mind the folk song, "Neck Deep in the Big Muddy". And that, of course, would bring us to The Great White Dope, George "I Never Met a Stupid Idea I Couldn't Fully Embrace" Bush. Will next week bring his little reign of stupidity to an end? Slow it down, at least? "I hope it can, I hope it can, I hope it can..."

Saturday, November 04, 2006

An early post from way out here on the Very Wet Coast. It sure doesn't look like this around here today!

If you're looking for a way to fill a couple of evenings, I'd suggest renting a set of DVDs called "The Up Series". It's a collection of documentaries that follows the lives of a bunch of British school kids, some from the upper class, some from the lower, beginning when they were 7 back in 1964. The film crew came back every 7 years after that to see how they were all doing. It's an amazing series. Some of the kids have changed remarkably little as they grew into adulthood, while others have undergone amazing changes. If you haven't seen any of these films, you really, really should.
Just an early morning thought: I see that the verdict on Saddam Hussein might come down tomorrow. Good. One lunatic dictator down. Now, anyone up for arresting and trying Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove? They've murdered thousands of Iraqis, after all. And, as far as I can recall, isn't that what Saddam's facing the death sentence for doing? Heck, Fox News would love it! Talk about "Fair and balanced"!

Friday, November 03, 2006

"Ted, just go to the end of the corridor, open the door, and step on through into oblivion. Take your pal George with you."

If anyone ever needed proof that there is no god, this guy (along with his cronies) is it.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Tick-tick-tick-tick...Oh, how I hope that's the sound of time running out for Bush & Co.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Success at last! See below for the accompanying text (if you feel like it).
Well, Blogger seems to be having difficulties (again) with posting pictures, so we'll just go with text for now.

Election time is fast approaching south of the border and we're all waiting to see how America votes. Will the country see two more years of unfettered Bush & Co. incompetence, or will Americans toss what Republicans they can out on their ears? Will they support a president who lied to suck them into a war that was not necessary, had no moral justification, had no strategic justification, had no justification whatever, and that not only can't be won but can't be walked away from either? Will they support a Congress and Senate that have taken a record budgetary surplus and turned it into a historically-unprecedented level of debt? Will they continue to support the stripping of their civil liberties by these dimwits? Talk about suspense!

Frankly, I'm laying in a large stock of whiskey. With any luck, it'll be consumed in the spirit of celebration, but, well, it works well at wakes, too.