Thursday, April 30, 2009

Don't you wish you could find the person responsible for the phrase "The First Hundred Days" and just slap him or her silly? Granted, they probably thought it was a catchy little phrase at the time,!

I wonder - will we have a "The First Hundred Days of the Swine Flu"?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wow! From zero to 60 in no time. Swine flu, that is. O.K., it was zero to 5, but still... The surgical masks people seem so fond of are a nice touch. Pointless, but nice.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Life's funny, isn't it? I've got to tell you - there are times when I really wish it wasn't. Ah, well.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Life, when everything's working properly, involves non-stop growth coupled to equally non-stop death. Even within our own bodies. The story, of course, amply demonstrates what can happen when this balance gets thrown out of whack. There are, unfortunately, many other, less rare, examples.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

This is what I love about the American health care system - it's the patient's responsibility to avoid going bankrupt trying not to die.

Meanwhile, on a photographic note, there's this... Or this...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Read it left to right and see the future.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

This time next year, Vancouver will be deep into the post-Olympics hangover - "We owe how much?!?". For the moment, though, it's getting into the Olympiad-of-Craziness. Yep, a 73-year-old guy writes a letter critical of the enterprise and, next thing you know, he's - yep, you guessed it - a terrorist. Is it just me, or has grade-inflation obviously hit the pre-cop testing standards? I mean, really, I think the police are necessary and even, ideally, a force for good. But, these days? They're just getting dumber and dumber.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Are you, like me, exhausted from trying to keep up with the multitude of lies currently being promulgated by Republicans and their friends in falsehood at FOX news? Well, relief is at hand. Just head on over to "The Daily Doubter" for your daily run-down.

And, just in case you can't get enough...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

You know, up here in Canada, we tend to be at least five years behind American politics. Sometimes even longer (or does it just seem that way lately?). For example, right now we're being governed by a Bush Baby - Smirkin' Steve Harper. I can't tell you how badly I want us to catch up and get our own Obama-clone. I watched that guy on C-SPAN today, and I gotta tell ya, he's faaaaantastic. Of course, this might just be an enhancing effect of his following such an outright dimwit, but... The guy is great. He actually thinks. He's actually articulate. He can speak not only in complete sentences, but complete paragraphs! He's not insulting. He's not sarcastic. He's not a fear-monger (nor, of course, a war-monger).

And, of course, as always, Rachel Maddow. What more can I say?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sigh. You know how people used to have those obnoxious bumper stickers, "My Other Car Is a ..."? Well, this is my "other" car. And my only car. On the other hand, how many Porsches could be in this situation? Not to mention how many Porsches (or any car, for that matter) would still be running perfectly after 20 years of hard use? With less than a grand's worth of maintenance cost. Way less.

Remind me - people buy cars because why?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

You know, the only math I was ever any good at was geometry. You'd never have guessed, right?

Ah, another "TwoFer" day, folks.

Spent a bit of time riding around in the woods yesterday. It's one of the nice things about my part of the city. Lots of "not-city" to spend time in. Today, on the other hand, the plan is to ride around in the city. I usually find it hard to focus on photography properly when I'm on my bike because either I miss things or, I see them, but feel reluctant to stop, find a place to lean the bike, dig my camera out of my pack..... Anyway, I'm going to give it another try. Practice makes perfect, right?

And, went to see "State of Play" last night. It's pretty good. It would have been even better if the ending hadn't been so cheezy, but... Buy a ticket, get some popcorn, turn off your brain - you'll enjoy yourself.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fun with a pig:

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ahhh, software. I think I've mentioned that I recently bought a new computer. Being PC-oriented (yes, I've tried Macs. Not good), this means Vista. Evidently, however, Adobe isn't friendly with Vista. I'm a person of humble means (and needs), so I use Photoshop Elements to do my processing (with a little help from some nifty plug-ins). Elements, however, doesn't seem to get along with Vista. It's dropping images from the Organizer. As soon as I select one for editing, the Organizer loses the link, leaving a broken link icon where a perfectly nice (sometimes, anyway) image used to be. And there's no way to retrieve it.

At first I thought maybe it was just a problem with Elements 6 (it's older than Vista, after all), so I downloaded (otherwise known as "bought") Elements 7 thinking that might fix the problem. Nooooooo. So, I sent off an email to Adobe support. Wait, make that "support", as in "yer on yer own, pal". No answer. Luckily, there are altenatives. Sure, it's a pain in the butt to have to switch, but, if Adobe's support is going to be this cheezy...

So, I downloaded "The Gimp", an open-source program that's pretty good, and a "test drive" of Paintshop Pro, that also seems pretty good. Both, of course, are cheaper than Adobe's products ("The Gimp", of course, being free), sooooo....

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

The pressing question, of course, is whether or not they'll let you fax your adult magazines. Or, I suppose, do they fax you your adult magazines? And, do they provide translations? So many questions. So few answers (I could make a crack about Libertarians here, but...).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Let's face it - when you live in a town like this, every now and then you're just forced to take this kind of shot. It's a moral obligation, for crying out loud! And, really, I was just out looking to buy some olives.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm a bitter, twisted, black-hearted pessimist. Still, once in a while, there's at least some small reason for hope. In this case, it's nerds for the good. After extensive testing (4 whole searches!), I've found that Hoongle is just like Google (it oughta be - they piggyback on Google), but, not only is it not evil, it seems to be actively good. Of course, there's got to be someone out there looking to see if, in fact, these guys really have donated all that rice, but, for now, I'm going to go with the notion that they have. So, got a search that needs doing? Go nuts...but feed somebody while you're doing it.

Now, just to maintain my twisted, black-hearted pessimist standing, there's this little piece of heart-warming news. Notice how Fox News immediately labelled the release of this information a plot on the part of the Obama administration to discredit the Right. Once again, obviously, Fox News has missed the story. The Right doesn't need any help discrediting itself. After all, teabagging anyone?


Monday, April 13, 2009

So, the latest "feel good" thing was "Let's Turn Off Our Lights for an Hour Day". Now, I'm all for saving the planet. Really. But, frankly, I was more tempted to turn on every light in my place for that hour. Admittedly, that wouldn't have added much to the world's energy consumption, but, still... Now, why would someone who rides a bike, or takes transit, everywhere (or - gasp! - walks), burns one lamp (CFL at that) at a time, etc., take such a Grinchian view of an earnest (which was the best that could be said of it) gesture of green enthusiasm? Well, 'cause it ain't gonna do no good, folks, until people catch on to the idea that 6 billion+ human beings on the planet (and growing - fast) is waaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy too many. Over-population is our biggest problem, ladies and gentlemen, and, until people realize that, nothing is going to make any difference to our ultimate fate (not to mention that of a lot of other organisms on the planet). Don't believe me? Well, how about David Attenborough?

I've been saying this for years (as have many, many others), but it doesn't seem to sink in. Oh, well.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Went to see "Gomorra" last night. Good movie. Maybe, actually, a little too good. It's all about the Camorra, a bunch of extremely not nice folks. Life, for someone in the Camorra, seems to be long stretches of nothing happening, with intermittent, very brief, moments of intense excitement of the "will I live, or will I die?" kind. In this the movie was, maybe, just a little too realistic. In just over two hours maybe 20 minutes were of the tense kind. Or maybe I was just tired? I enjoyed the movie, but I nearly fell asleep a couple of times.
Just a little something for a rainy (around these parts, anyway) Sunday:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Last one off the mark, or first one home?

And, can I just say that I'd marry Rachel Maddow in a heartbeat? Well, I would if she weren't gay (Which makes me ineligible, not her). And if it weren't for the fact that she might not regard marriage to me as the pinnacle of her career. Nevertheless, I'm telling you, I love this woman.

Sadly, N.O.W. (a.k.a. "Nitwits or Meatheads") have made her (or, let's face it, MSNBC) take down her brilliant critique of their moronic ad. Still, there's this.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Till the "official" post later, here's something to enjoy:

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Image. It's all about image.

It'll be a "two-fer" today, folks. How exciting is that?

I got a new photography book in the mail yesterday (have I mentioned how much I love Amazon and Chapters/Indigo?) - "America", by Zoe Strauss. Great photos. On top of that, Ms. Strauss, from what she's written in the book regarding a couple of the photos, and this video, seems like a truly (that word!) nice (in the best sense of that word) person. She likes the people she photographs, engages them, is interested in them, respects them. And, they seem to feel the same way toward her, despite the fact that they may share virtually nothing in common. Aside from their humanity, that is.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Well, my photo or something important? I'm going with "important".

And, in case you missed them, here's Danner's first article and his second. There's a link in the articles to the actual the Red Cross report, justin case you're curious.

Monday, April 06, 2009

There are a lot of amateur philosophers out there and, unfortunately, many of them maintain photography blogs (a fantastic source of amusing thermally-enhanced air). Apparently one of them recently posted a longish treatise on the questionable nature of "truth". As in, there's no such thing as. Which, of course, can only be greeted with a deep, deep sigh (Really! It's true!). Apart from such statements leading to the over-obvious question as to why anyone would write such a thing, expecting others to then agree to it (meaning, of course, that they, too, regard the statement as, um, "true")...oh, wait. Nope. That pretty much refutes the idea, doesn't it?

Still, good for a giggle.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

If you haven't seen "Duplicity", go ahead. It's good. Honest. Nothing goes "boom!", there's never a gun in sight, people just talk. You know - they use their brains. Not necessarily to their best advantage, mind you, but...

Friday, April 03, 2009

I'm lazy. Yep, I confess it. I'm lazy. I've got one of those swell WhiBal cards nestled in my wallet. My wallet, of course, nestles in my back pocket when I'm out wandering. Do I ever take my wallet out of my pocket in order to actually use that wonderful WhiBal? Nooooo..... Of course, maybe I'm just absent-minded. Yeah. That's it. I'm absent-minded.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

I don't know why more people don't do this. Got somewhere to go? Get on a bus, take a seat, plug in your MP3 player, and reeeeeeeeelaaaaaaaax. Toss in a good book and, well, life hardly gets any better. No traffic to fight. No car maintenance, insurance, gas... I love buses. Unless, of course, I'm on my bike. Bicycle, that is. Also a practically perfect way to get around. And, let's not forget, I live in Vancouver, a.k.a. "Rain City".

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The photo is (accidentally) related to this. Sue me. You've got to love Isabella Rossellini, especially after that. Especially if you happen to be a zoologist.

And - you heard it here first, folks - Fred Herzog's coming out with a new book this fall. I'd say, "Place your orders today," but there's no title, no nothin'. Yet.