Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Not owning a car means never having to deal with a place like this. Although, I have to admit, the folks that run this particular joint seem pretty reasonable in their rates.

Monday, June 29, 2009

News flash! I hab a code. Ever noticed how sneaky these things are? I had just finished serving up dinner (all veggie, all now) to my close personal associate, when I realized there was "that" feeling at the back of my throat. All day I'd been feeling a little "off", but not in a coldy sort of way. Then...bang-o! I hab a code. I hate that.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Who says newspapers are dying? Siddown, have a cappuccino, some pastry, and read the paper. What else would any sane person want to do on a Saturday morning?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sometimes, every once in a while, something good happens.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Yes, it's the same wall, and, yes, the colour balance is different. So? The post is early, too. Frankly, that's more earth-shaking.

But, speaking of pink... Who knew these morons were still around?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Zowee! Talk about a day passing in a blur! Mark Sanford's yet another Republican hypocrite! Farrah Fawcett dies! Then, not to be upstaged by someone with better hair, Michael Jackson dies! Mother of God! What next? The Second Coming?!?

Where to begin? Well, nice to know that the Governor of Hypocrisy has decided not to bill his state for his trip. Frankly, I'm totally bamboozled. Weren't the Republicans trying, just a month or two back, to get the Democratic party to change their name to...I can't remember...the Gosh-Darn Socialist party? Sooooo, will the Republicans change their party name to the "Dumbest Hypocrites Known to Man" party? Leapin' lizards! This has to be the greatest collection of losers ever assembled!

As for Farrah and Michael, well, what can one say? They were both human beings, with human weaknesses (although Michael's were, by far, the more highly developed of the two), and those weaknesses ruined their lives. Fawcett thought she could fight cancer with "make-a-wish" medicine. Would she have survived longer had she sought actual science-based medical care? Probably. Depending on the stage of the tumor at detection, over half of patients who sought convential care were still alive five years later. Farrah chose magic over intelligence.

Michael seems to have had a difficult life (to put it mildly) and it cost him. How many surgeries on his face to make him look like....what?....who?....Diana Ross?....ET? He was a talented guy who, for whatever reason, really didn't like who he was. And he was obviously surrounded by people who didn't care at all about him as long as he was cranking out the money. "You want a seventeenth facial reconstruction, Michael? Sure! Go for it." He was an easy target for mockery (trust me, I know - I've mocked him mercilessly for years), but, really, he was just normal human frailty written really, really large.

Of course, meanwhile, in Iran...thugs seem to have driven Neda's family from their home. And, funeral? Uh-uh. No way. Didn't happen. Mr. Moussavi? Seems to be under house arrest. Yep, that's one heck of a democratic republic they've got there.

And, last but not least, there's this. That Americans continue to put up with this kind of immoral stupidity is one of life's on-going mysteries. It's very depressing.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A wet day, here in Vancouver. Fortunately for me (and, for a change) I was high and dry on a bus, rather than on my bike.

Meanwhile, in South Carolina, water drops of a different sort (and kinda related to crocodiles, somehow) were falling. Can I just say that I love the American Republican party? Self-declared moral arbiters of America, they really do manage to show the rest of us how not to conduct our lives. I mean, they don't just say the game, they bloody well live it!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Yep. It's grass. In black and white. Yep.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Yep. It's a garage door and a fence.

It'd be nice to be able to comment on the current situation in Iran, but, well, what's left to be said? Murderous scum run the country. People are trying to change that. They're not having a lot of success so far. Some of them have been killed trying. Or, like Neda, been killed simply because they were there. Of course, if you're one of the thugs running the country, nothing says "Terror" like the cold-blooded murder of an innocent young woman.

And, for those nitwits who keep urging Obama to speak up and voice the support of the U.S. for the opposition folks? Get a fucking grip and read some history. Gees.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

No connection between the photograph and the comments tonight.

Went to see "Departures" today. Good film. Very good. It's gotten varying reviews (of course), and I agree with some of the criticisms (it's a tad sappy in places), but none of them legitimately add up to a "Skip it" rating. Definitely not. There aren't a lot of movies where no one - and I mean no one - moves as the credits begin to roll. Nobody made a move to leave till the last frames had gone by and the lights came up. Sooooooo, I'd say you ought to go see it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Honest - I took this photograph today. And, up until five minutes ago, I was all set to write a jokey little blurb about the dangers of being the sort of photographer who carries a camera pretty much everywhere, all the time. But, then I ran across this little essay by Wallace Shawn that puts a whole different, and much more meaningful, spin on the thing. Once again, serendipity rears its charming head. Um, so to speak.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

So, it seems the Republicans (the party of the truly dim) are trying, as usual, to scare the crap out of Americans. In this case, in regard to possible health care reforms. Charmingly, the AMA seems to be aiding and abetting them in this endeavour. They seem to like to use the Canadian system as a fear-inducer (though they obviously don't know anything about how it actually works). Given that I'm Canadian, I thought it might behoove me to correct the Republican depiction of our system.

Should I wake up tomorrow feeling less than perky, I can just phone up my doctor's office and make an appointment. Or, if I'm feeling really lousy, I can just wander into his office (at the moment, my family doc is a man). That's it. I'll see him, report how I feel, he'll either say, "What are you bothering me for? You're just being your usual hypochondriacal self," or, "Hmmmm, O.K., we need to do some further checking," or something else. I'll go home. Will I think about the bill that I'll be receiving? Nope. Why? 'Cause there won't be one. If he decides I need hospitalisation, will I worry? You betcha! But not about the money. There won't be any bill to worry about there, either.

Here in Canada, a person's health is regarded (so far, anyway) as a reasonable human expectation. As a "right". What it's most definitely not regarded as is as a commodity to be bought. As a target of blackmail - "You want me to heal you? Do you? Well, it's gonna cost you. Cost you big time."

And, you know what? If I need a CAT scan, I'll get one. If I need surgery, I'll get it. Chemo? No problem. And whatever treatment I need will be just as "cutting edge" or "up to date" as in the U.S. And I'll get treated in a timely manner, too! Amazing, isn't it? And I won't have to pay a dime. I won't have to mortgage my home, or declare bankruptcy, or sell my children into slavery. I'll simply get the treatment I need.

So, when the Reps and their good pals, the AMA try to scare you, tell 'em they're, well, just tell 'em they evidently have a significant blockage in their large intestine that seems to be interfering with their ability to think. (In layman's terms - they're full of shit)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Just a word to the wise: Don't mess with a woman who has access to very, very sharp implements. Especially if all you've got as a defence is a Wacom stylus. Verrrrrry risky.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Yep, it's a great divide. Which brings up the topic of what an interesting world we live in. People's lives are changing (or certainly have that potential) in immense ways, and one of the things facilitating that change is a silly bit of software invented to allow people to tell their friends that they're going shopping, or eating pizza, or staring mindlessly into space. Yep - Twitter's become a force for change. Who'd'a thunk?

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Monday, June 15, 2009

So, in a bid for international acceptance and respect, Iran's government told its people to stand up and be counted - vote! Well, that seems to have been a mistake, doesn't it? Who knew the people would (apparently) vote overwhelmingly for the wrong guy?!? Oops! Boy, do those folks have egg on their faces (not to mention blood on their hands) or what? Darn that whole democratic impulse thing anyway. Things are ever so much simpler in a nice little police state.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

A bug in the system? A comment on Iran's election?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Yes, O.K. - a little ham-fisted on the burning-in. Kind of like the results of the Iranian election, though, don't you think? Talk about ham-fisted. Gees. If you're going to commit fraud, at least do it subtly.

Meanwhile, on the good news front, there's this. The beginning of the "New Journalism"?

Of course, on the bad news front, especially if you're gay, Obama continues to disappoint. With "fierce advocates" like this, who needs enemies? And let's not forget his fierce opposition to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". Oh, wait. I forgot. There's nothing to forget. He doesn't oppose it. Is it just me, or does Oby seem to be, shall we say, flexible in his beliefs? Willing to shed a stand that sold well on the campaign trail if it looks like it might actually cost him something now that he's elected? And how's about Guantanamo? He's taken a pretty strong stand there, hasn't he? Hasn't he? C'mon! He has, right? Orrrrrr......maybe not.

Meanwhile, here's something you might consider signing up for. I've got this running on my home and work computers and I've never had a problem or noticed any slowdown.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

So, while looking at a tightly closed door, here's something to ponder. The attitude of the A.M.A. is, to put it mildly, um, well, O.K., pretty close to criminal. What other category does blackmail fall into? "Yeah, buddy? Ya want me ta help ya? What's it woit to ya?" The U.S. is pretty much the only "civilized" country left where people are held to ransom for their healthcare. Of course, it's also the only "civilized" country where citizens are encouraged to arm themselves as heavily as possible. Where domestic terrorism is ignored (just ask Dr. Tiller). Etc.

Ah, well. It's also about to sell the rights to the Hummer to China. Now that's humour.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Which one doesn't belong?

But, on a different note...literally, I guess...Erykah Badu. Good music.

In the world of "The Real News"? Same old, same old. Bary won't move on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", nor, evidently, will he do much to defend abortion clinics, and he seems bamboozled regarding Guantanomo. Meanwhile, the Republicans are continuing to display their utter lack of intellect, here in Canada we've got our own share of "Dimwits in Power", and, last but not least, how 'bout that crazy Silvio Berlusconi guy, eh? Sigh.

Don't get me wrong - I like Obama. Let's face it, after the nitwit running the joint for the previous eight years? The guy is a god! He can actually speak! But, either he's turned chickenshit, or he's not actually the saviour the American left was hoping for. Bary! How hard can it be? "I hearby declare "Don't ask, don't tell," to be the dumbest thing to ever hit the military. It's gone, by golly!"

Ah, well. It's June, the weather's darn fine (especially for here in Vancouver), and life's mostly good. Quit whining.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

O.K., my file name for this photo is "vacant". Now, pop quiz - which side represents Oprah Winfrey's brain, and which side represents Suzanne Somers's?

Give up? Well, it was a trick question - they're both equally vacant. If you know anything about biology, reading the linked article will a) make you laugh so hard, tears will spring to your eyes, or b) simply bring tears to your eyes at the thought of how these two dimwitted bimbos are spreading this nonsense across the world. I'll take Opie's word for something the day she can lose those 50 extra pounds and keep 'em off. It ain't that hard, you know. Eat less, move more.

Thanks for pointing out the story, Stac!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Goin' up to the movies. Sadly (for them), they were probably going to see "Lost", a film that seems to have tanked hugely. But, a little farther on up, the guy started waving to me. I waved back, of course, but from behind the camera, so I'm not sure they noticed. Oh, well. I, on the other hand, was off to see "O' Horten", a nifty little Norwegian film about a retired train engineer. If you like your movies quiet and human, it's a good bet.

On a different front, the mourning for the demise of Polaroid goes on. And the mourning is valid. They had some nifty films.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Once upon a time...like yesterday, today and tomorrow...kids died of a variety of childhood diseases before age 5. Here in the "developed" world (no comment on intellectual development implied) anyone with at least one functional neuron left in their cerebral cortex gets their kids vaccinated, thus eliminating such worries. Measles? What's that? Deadly? What?

In the not-so-much-developed world, measles regularly kills kids. In 2007, 197,000 people died from measles. On the off chance that that's not an easily graspable number, try this - that's 22 deaths per hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Picture a couple of jumbo jets a day crashing. Every day.

Impressed? You oughta be, but that ain't nothin'. Try rotavirus. Half a million kids a year?!? The good news is that there's now an effective vaccine. It's just that it's a tad tough to get in places where the per capita annual income is somewhere around nothing.

Sooooo, on the off-chance that you've got a spare buck or two, maybe you could give it to these folks. Heck, I did.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

As if winding up in a parkade isn't punishment enough! Have these people no mercy?!?

Friday, June 05, 2009

Happy June 35th (O.K., that was Thursday, but...). I'm a big fan of the site "The Big Picture", and their photos of Tiananmen in 1989 and now provide a nice little reminder that people tried, and scum prevailed. It'd be nice if that happened less often, wouldn't it? Not to mention how nice it would be if the scum weren't still in control. Ah, well.

On the other hand, how often do you get to see the Secret Police deploy umbrellas as a weapon of suppression?

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

You've really got to love the folks who run China. They're just so retro. And, well, kinda stupid. And, O.K., evil, really.

Great shot from Tiananmen Square, 1989, on the New York Times's "Lens" blog, by the way. That guy, whoever he was, you've got to hand it to him.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Sometimes it seems as though the bus will never come.

On a completely unrelated note (for a change), having a stats aggregator (or whatever they're called) is a fascinating thing. First of all, the number of regular visitors here seems to be growing. Is it a sign of poor self esteem that I find this puzzling? Gratifying, mind you, but still...

Secondly, what's up with the hits that seem to go on for not mere minutes, but actual hours? Among today's visitors there's one that stayed logged on for 23 hours! I'm going with the conclusion that this person logged on, got a phone call, forgot he/she was logged on, went home, slept overnight, came back to the office in the morning, went "Oops!", and logged off. I can come up with other scenarios, but they all involve hemodynamic problems and unpleasant results, so...

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

I dunno...kinda reminds me of China.

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Monday, June 01, 2009

Meanwhile, from the land of the psychopaths... Not to mention the terminally stupid. There are days, you know... I read a quote earlier today from some nitwit who said, "You know, there's justification for this sort of thing in the scriptures." Yep, just like there's "justification" for mass murder in the Koran.