Saturday, February 28, 2009

If Prince had been Canadian, maybe the song would have been just a bit different.

Aaaaand, here's a nice little story about the GOP's great not-white hope. It seems he does hold with the well-established GOP tradition of lying (among others).

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Meanwhile, up here in the Great White North, the Mounties are considering a redesign of their uniforms. A switch to yellow is being considered. After all, if you have to kill an unarmed guy (O.K., at some point he did have a stapler in his hand, and we all know how lethal those can be) with whom there was no actual need to interact immediately, because you were scared of the way he was standing, well, yellow would seem to be an appropriate choice.

Unless, of course, you were just a thug with a badge, looking for action.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Well, as I thought, Gov. Jim-Bob Jindal, the Republican non-white answer to President Obama (where's the "blonde" answer, that's what I want to know. Or the "red head", for that matter. 'Cause, as we all know, hair colour is such a determining factor in intelligence and competence, even more so than skin colour.) is, to put it gently, a fuck-up. The link is to our very own National Post (the FOX News of Canadian print journalism). If these guys think he sucked, well, he sucked. The really great thing about that last link? He was slagging Sorry Palin's (remember her? with a shudder?) home state. Faaaaantastic! Way to shoot down your own party's Big Hope for 2012, Bobby! She's a money-sucking weasel! Oh, that's brilliant (not to mention true!).

Want to have fun with your Republican friends? Ask them to conjugate the verb, "to think". O.K., first of all you'll have to explain to them what "conjugate" means, but, once you've clarified that for them, get set for big time amusement. They won't be able to deal with either the first-person singular, nor the first-person plural. "I'll come back to that one. You think, he thinks, we th.....we! I'll come back to that one, too......" Trust me, you'll get hours of fun out of this. For a follow-up, try them out on the verb, "to screw". Trust me, they'll have no problem with either the first-person singular or plural. As we all know, when it comes to screwing, Republicans are your "run from" experts.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ahhhhh - isn't it wonderful? All you have to do is wait, and the Republicans will come up with yet another stupid idea. Today? Well, apparently they think Bobby Jindal is their answer to Barack Obama. Why? Well, because he's not white. It doesn't matter that he is, like the rest of the candidates they've been fielding, stupid. It doesn't matter that he's dishonest. It only matters that he's not white because, as far as the dimbulbs in charge of the Republican party are concerned, that's what's important these days. They fail to see (surprise!), let alone imagine, that maybe, just maybe, Barack Obama was elected because he's intelligent and concerned about the welfare of the majority of Americans, not just the rich.

Note in the linked story that it's the one hundred million dollars aimed at helping out people in need that Jindal objects to. He's perfectly willing to take the rest of the money.

A quick up-date. I just watched a couple of excerpts from President Obama's speech. How different from ol''s speeches! No paranoia. No calls to kill. No blood, no war, no macho. Instead? Better lives for Americans. Help for the poor. Help for the jobless. Tax breaks for the people who actually need them, not the rich. Improved health care. Improved education. Accountability.

I didn't, on the other hand, watch Gimcrack Jindal's response. Why? Well, I could be wrong, but I'll bet it would have made my head explode. Did he mention enshrining tax cuts for the rich? The wasteful spending on Medicare and education and social security that would undoubtedly follow as result of Obama's proposals? The need to ignore global warming? Come on...he did, didn't he? Of course he did.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Gee, times are tough for cranky folks like me these days. In the U.S., the Republicans are hardly worth mentioning anymore, as they dig themselves deeper and deeper into irrelevance, while, up here, Smirkin' Steve Harper (the world's dumbest leader, now that, um, er, um...what's his name? is gone) tries to figure out a way to tie his retrogressive "policies" (it's impossible not to use the scare quotes for his half-wit notions of governance) to the coat-tails of Obama's very progressive policies. What's a guy to do?

I'll think of something, I'm sure.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Looks like a nice bar. I'll have to go in one day.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

In this town, you'd better serve damn good sushi if you want to survive. These guys, evidently, didn't.

Finally saw "Gran Torino" today. Liked it. Lots. Mr. Eastwood would be an interesting person to talk to.

Friday, February 20, 2009

One of the reasons I seldom (um, never?) comment on the "art" of photography is that so few people seem actually capable of using the vocabulary properly. There's been a lot of talk on a couple of blogs lately about "visual metaphors". Sadly, it would appear that the actual definition of "metaphor" eludes people. Paul Maxim, an undoubtedly very nice guy, would be a case in point. He confuses photos of a thing with a comparative reference to that thing. For example, he feels that Dorothea Lange's photo of a migrant farmworker is a compelling visual metaphor of the Depression. Well, it's not. It's a photograph of someone affected by the Depression, which means that it's a photograph of the Depression. A visual metaphor (in this case, a photograph) for the Depression would be a photograph of something else entirely that nevertheless calls to mind the Depression and its effects. An extremely unsubtle example would be a grindstone.

You can't discuss art if you're not familiar with at least the basics of language. All these people do is toss around polysyllabic words in hopes of sounding smart. Which they could very well be. But, if someone uses language unintelligently, well, it's kinda hard to tell, isn't it?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Well, it's kind of a metaphor for the current financial conditions, I guess. I hadn't intended it as such, but...downhill, one way, no help in sight...

Whoops - busy night last night, so here's the shot I should have put up.

Meanwhile, over in Vlad-the-Impaler-land, the message, "Don't piss Vlad off" is once again reinforced.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This guy's obviously deep in thought (or trying desperately to ignore the guy with the camera). Me, too. About Facebook. I've come to the conclusion, finally, that I really don't like Facebook. Why, you ask? 'Cause they want an awful lot. And that ain't all. Want to post a photo of your friends? Go ahead. Facebook now owns that photo. Forever. And, should Facebook choose to use that photo in a manner your friend disapproves of? Tough! Can your friend sue Facebook for such inappropriate use? Sure. But you're the one on the hook for any settlement! Lucky you! Facebook fucks up and you pay.

Not to mention that they can use your photos, any of them, forever, for their advertising and never pay you a dime.

And, every time you post something saying, "I like _____"? Wow! Talk about information that can be sold! Free market research. How great is that?

Needless to say, I don't be Facebookin' anymore.

Monday, February 16, 2009

There you go, folks - the first posted shot out of my swell, new D90. Can't tell any difference, can you? It's the web, for cryin' out loud! Oh, well.

So far? Faster. 'Way, 'way faster. Which is a ridiculous statement to make when you consider that any hand-holdable shutter speed, even with image stabilisation, is going to be a fraction of a second. But, there's a difference. Really. I've mainly been using a Nikon D50 (there you go, Tyler) up till now (with a bit of G10 tossed in over the past couple of months). A fine camera. I'd recommend it to anyone (if it were still available, that is). But, pushing the shutter release? The D50, though orders of magnitude faster than any digital P&S - trrrrriiiiippppp. The D90 - tp (and, if I could somehow typographically merge the "t" and the "p", believe me, I would). I hate to think how fast something like the D3X is.

But, enough of photo-tech talk. Here in British Columbia, we're about to enter the Age of Voodoo Medicine. Yep, our esteemed provincial government is leaning toward burning more of our already scarce healthcare dollars on Medicine for Morons. Memo to the dumb: There's no such thing as "Alternative Medicine". There's medicine and crap. How do you tell the difference? You do controlled experiments of proposed treatments. If the resulting data indicate that the treatment works, it's "medicine". If the data indicate that it doesn't, it's crap. How tough is that to figure out? Evidently, it's too much of a challenge for a large portion of the population (what a surprise), including our Minister of Health (even less of a surprise since having any actual intelligence is not a requirement for the position).

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Yep, I've gone 'round the bend. Plunked down my money and picked me up a spankin' new D90 (which this photo wasn't taken with, in case you were wondering). Have I gained anything? Dunno. On paper, sure - a whole ton of stuff. But, in reality? Dunno.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

You know, if Oby doesn't soon start mangling the U.S. constitution, or torturing people, or kidnapping them, or otherwise generally behaving like was that guy's name again?...well, you remember, right? Anyway, if he just keeps on doing what he's been doing, I might have to start actually talking about matters photographic!

And, no, this photo isn't a reference to the current economic badness. This is just a place that went out of business because, well, they didn't have anything anybody in their right mind would want to buy. But, about two doors down from here is "Zocalo", a nifty little (and I do mean "little") Mexic-oid restaurant where I spent the evening dining, listening to a couple of guys singing songs I didn't understand (but they sang 'em well!), and watching friends dance fancy-schmancy salsa and flamenco stuff. I do not dance. To me, it's too much like work. I'd much rather listen to the music. If you're in town, though, this is a darn fine place to spend an evening.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Quiet days. Have you noticed how the name of "He-Whose-Name-Shall-Not-Be-Mentioned-in-Public" isn't? Ain't it grand? The biggest news story (at least, the one that carries at least some international import) is the passing of the "stimulus" package. With, naturally, the Repubs fighting it tooth and nail. Other than the humour intrinsic to the on-going display of their "slow learner" mentality, this is just a big yawn. Which, trust me, is great.

Meanwhile, around here, I'm inching closer and closer to doing my bit for boosting the economy. A D90 is hovering around me like some pesky horse fly - "Buy me! Buy me!" And my defences are weakening. Crumbling, even.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tax cuts take priority over education. Yep. Seems brilliant to me. Why plan for the future when you can feed the rich today?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Talk about healthy eatin'! Yessir - couple'a eggs, some bacon, home fries....oh, yeah - and a paper-thin slice of orange. But I'll bet the won-ton soup is killer!

By-the-by, if you're reading this on Thursday, Feb. 12, don't forget to raise a glass to Bobby (a.k.a. Charles Darwin), The Man. Nothing, and I mean nothing, tops his contribution(s!) to human knowledge. Relativity? Ha! Peanuts. Computers? Get a grip. Tinker toys for the easily distracted.

Happy birthday, Mr. Darwin!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It snowed today. It's not supposed to snow in Vancouver in mid-February. Or, for that matter, anytime in February. Damn you, Global Warming!

Meanwhile, time to watch "The Daily Show".

Monday, February 09, 2009

I don't know - the new office of a laid-off psychiatrist?

Meanwhile, I'm thinkin' it's about time Obama took off the gloves and started seriously slapping a few people around.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

A cold, cloudy day here in beautiful Vancouver. So, naturally, it was time to head down to the crummy part of town to photograph the usual grime. And it's got to be done now, 'cause that area's changing rapidly into yuppie heaven (in other words, hell). It's getting all spiffed up for the up-coming Olympics and the hordes of tourists (like we don't get enough now) that event will bring.

It's amazing to see. Where there used to be interesting low-rise buildings, relics from the early 20th, late-19th centuries, there are now high-rise condo blocks with hip, groovy shoppes and beestros at street level. And they alllllll look the same. And sell the same stuff. And serve the same food. And you couldn't swing a cat without knocking someone's iPhone flying. Hmmmmm, that might be satisfying. Not for the cat, of course, but...

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Yeah, I missed one. Oh, well, there's a good explanation.

Meanwhile, saw "The Wrestler" Friday night. Not that impressed, frankly. Saw "The Reader" tonight. Much better. People actually acted.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

This is what happens when you do other stuff when you ought to be taking photographs. What other things, you ask? Well, getting back to running, for one. And, in a scary development, I think I'm liking treadmills. I like to be able to let my mind wander when I run. I live in a relatively high-traffic neighbourhood, populated, in addition, by some of the world's worst drivers. Not a place to run with a mind in neutral. What to do? The answer was to join the local community centre (all of 100m away) and test out their treadmills. It's brilliant! Plug in the earbuds, crank up the speed on the mill, and just go.

The only weird thing I've noticed is that my poor little proprioceptive system (that's for you, Stac) gets thrown totally out of whack. When I stop the treadmill and step off onto the stationary world, my brain can't deal with it for a moment. "Hey! Weren't we just running, but not moving through space? I mean, that's what the eyeballs were reporting - no forward motion. And now we're walking and moving?!? What's going on? I'm soooo confused!" Yesterday, when I first tried the thing out, I nearly fell on my head when I stepped off. My brain seems to get used to the idea of the ground under my feet moving while my head stays in one place. Once both begin to move, it takes a minute or so to put the two back together. "Oooohhhh, legs, feet...and everything moving. I get it!"

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Well, at least he came to a bad end. Nowhere near as bad as he deserved, of course.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

These are plants. Tom Daschle, Nancy Killefer and Timothy Geithner are three people who share plant-like I.Q.s. What were these people thinking?!? Oh, wait a second....sorry, wrong verb.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Yep, the weather's pretty charming around here. It's just a middle-grey world.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

A sporting day. Football fans, puppy fans... I indulged in the "High Speed Grocery Shopping" event. In and out in less than 10 minutes!

And I'll let Frank Rich do my political snarking today. Meanwhile, speaking of people apparently incapable of learning, what's with Texas? All their brains been sucked into the intellectual black hole that is the resident ex-pres?