Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sometimes I have time to kill in our college library.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Well, that was an eminently pleasant evening. Sushi with the "Ex". Who is, mind you, a truly fantastic person.

Monday, March 29, 2010

And, speaking of a loss of focus - how many more ways can America go totally nuts? Well, here's one. And, of course, the fact that there are so many Americans still loyal to the Republicans certainly constitutes another. The idea that anyone with an I.Q. higher than that of a newt (No, the amphibian. The other Newt's is too low to bother with) still thinks these folks have any sense of shame is laughable.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Just another night downtown.

Meanwhile, a wee musical interlude.

Hell No, You Can't: Obama and Boehner Duet at Last

And, what's behind Boehner's idiotic, vile vitriol? Could it be ...? You bet your ass it could. For him, and his friends. Not, in case you're just in from Mars, for the average American.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Another exciting night on Granville Street.

Oh, yeah. Went to see "Green Zone" today. Typical action movie. Lots of fun, though. The saddest part was the ending. It seemed to suggest that Matt Damon's character got the last laugh, scuttling the evil Greg Kinnear character's best laid plans. In the real world, of course, it would be Damon's character who would have suffered, while Kinnear's would have gone on to a lucrative career as a lobbyist, or a defence contractor, or a commentator on FOX.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The label on the cigarette pack mentions something about how smoking can lead to breathlessness. Really? How surprising that filling your lungs with particulate matter, various heavy metals, and assorted chemical toxins might lead to breathlessness.

Or, how about this? Ann Coulter's been to Canada. At at least one venue, protests against her presence lead to the cancellation of her talk. She got all miffed, accusing Canadians of being anti-free speech. I wonder if Ann smokes. Hypoxia does, after all, kill brain cells. But, that's neither here nor there. What's to the point is that Annie, like the nitwits who can't tell bad air from good, can't tell free speech from the spewing of irrational hatred and vitriol. There's no guarantee anywhere for the freedom to pursue that sort of discourse.

So, should the University of Ottawa have canceled her talk? Well, why not? Of course, it would have been better if they'd just ignored her in the first place and not invited her to give said talk, but, c'mon Annie, they were just indulging in their own form of freedom of speech. They spoke the word, "No". They expressed their change of heart. Which, of course, they were perfectly free to do.

It'll be a grand day (not to mention a cold day in hell) when bottom-feeding nitwits like Annie, and Rush, and Glenn disappear from the airwaves.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

In America, the Republicans (and plenty of other Americans) seem to lack a proper grasp of the meaning of the phrase "representative democracy". You see, what that means is that a whole bunch of people, eligible, and inclined, to vote do so. What they're voting for is a person to represent them when it comes to deciding on big issues affecting the population at large. The general idea is that "one person:one vote" would get just a tad cumbersome in the course of day-to-day governing. Better to choose someone likely to vote in a manner consistent with the wishes of the majority of the local population. Which, of course, is what happened in the last American election. Particularly the Presidential election. As we all know, most folks who could vote, and were inclined to vote, voted for Obama and the Democratic party.

Now, does this means that people disagreeing with ideas put forward by the majority are supposed to shut up? No. The "other side" can be (emphasis on "can") a valuable balance, preventing the winning side from proceeding unchecked with foolish ideas (like, for example, reducing taxes on the rich while increasing taxes on the poor, or starting a war which, disregarding the fact that it was uncalled-for in the first place, they were disinclined to actually pay for). The "losing" side can, given a willingness to engage in intelligent and ethical debate, act to temper potentially rash acts on the part of the "winning" side. Sadly, you'll notice I used the words "intelligent" and "ethical" in that last sentence. Unfortunately, those are two traits utterly lacking in today's Republican party. They're not the party of "No", as they're coming to be known. They're the party of nitwits. Add up the I.Q. points of the Republican members of both the Senate and Congress and you still couldn't get together enough candles to light up the birthday cake of a toddler.

This, of course, is why they're so reliant on "talking points". If these morons don't have a script to follow, they're helpless. Take, for example, Scott Brown, who claims to be running against Rachel Maddow in Massachusetts. When it was pointed out to him that Ms. Maddow was not, in fact, running for office; had not, in fact, been asked to run for office, Mr. Brown's response was, "Bring her on!". Bring who on, Scotty? She's not running.

By the by, folks who go up against Ms. Maddow ought to realise something. She's got a Ph.D. Why does that matter? Because one of the most important things folks who've gotten a Ph.D. learn is how to do a literature search. That is, she knows, deep down in her bones, how to find information, and why it's important to do it. She knows what tools to use, and she's got the patience to just keep going, drilling deeper and deeper until there's nothing left to find. If you're a lazy moron (i.e. a Republican), this is not the kind of person you want to take on. She will bury you. She will find every statement you ever made on any issue and if you've been inconsistent? or lied? Well, you'd better hope there's some sort of supernatural deity on your side.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wow! Just whets your appetite to look at this joint, doesn't it? (Hint: The correct answer is, "No!")

On a different topic, is it just my imagination or do Adobe products (in this case, Photoshop Elements 7) suck? Lately my version has insisted on running through its automatic update downloader routine every time I start up the program. Yes, I've "turned it off" in "Preferences". Evidently, what I prefer and what Adobe prefers are different, and Adobe wins. Of course, Adobe being Adobe (i.e. stupid), the updater completely takes over the program, making it impossible to carry on working. Who designed this? What sort of moron would do this?

Well, finally fed up with this, I uninstalled Elements, then reinstalled it. Guess what? Now it won't recognize files from my D90's SD card (can't wait to try the card from my G10). It'll recognize the ones that I imported yesterday (before I did the un/re-install), but none from the card. Fa-a-a-a-ntastic.

And, yes, I did download and install the latest version of camera RAW.

Bibble. It's a nice program and I think I'm just going to have to learn to work with it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wow! Joe Biden said, "This is a big fucking deal," to Obama, and, evidently, totally freaked out the world's news media. Well, what did everyone expect him to say? Signing that bill into law is a big fucking deal. For fuck's sake, people! Grow the fuck up! I mean, fuckin' hell.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Just another day in automotive storage.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

You know, despite everything stupid that they've done (and, let's face it, that's basically everything they've done since, oh, I don't know...since Ford pardoned Nixon?), the Republicans have actually accomplished something. They've actually made Richard Nixon look good. Now that's a truly amazing accomplishment.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A quick quote from Doug Plummer: "At dinner, Othello, WA. Table next to us, overheard farmer bragging about shooting 8 cranes that were eating his alfalfa."

Yes, folks - they're stupider than dirt, and they're armed. Thank-you, NRA!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Such a deal - $99.00 for permanently straight hair. I mean, compared to $169.00, that's a steal, right? And, for just $60.00 extra, you can give a stone, hot or cold, a massage! Who could pass this up?

Say, speaking of permanently straight, how 'bout that crazy ol' General John Sheehan? You'd think he'd be an expert on the "Don't ask, don't tell," thing, wouldn't you? But, noooooo - he told. When asked if he was stupid, he said, "You darn bet I am!". Now, will he get his ass shit-canned from whatever "responsible" position he currently holds? Don't count on it. He may be dumb, but he's their kind of dumb. Trust me, he'll have a job on FOX in no time. "You're absolutely right, Glenn, Maoist-Nazi space aliens have taken over Washington! And they're coming for our women!"

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Gosh, I'm excited that Tiger Woods is going to make his comeback. Aren't you?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

O.K., I'm mystified. Who, with an I.Q. above 6, would vote for this guy? What kind of moron (or selfish creep) would say, "Health care? I don't need no stinkin' health care!"? Are there really people out there who believe they'll never need expensive medical treatment? What? Are they planning to kill themselves the instant they get a diagnosis of cancer, or heart disease, or Alzheimer's?

O.K., yes, there are. I know of one. He spent his life whining and complaining about paying into the Canadian system (because, of course, he, like me, is Canadian). "It's too expensive! It's costing me money! I'm fine!" He's not saying that these days. In fact, he's not saying anything. Why? Did he learn his lesson? No, he didn't. In fact, he's never going to learn anything again. A series of strokes has left him pretty much totally fucked. Totally dependent on, you guessed it, the Canadian medical system for his survival...such as it is. He's going to cost the system millions of dollars. He'll never recover, but he will get care. And his family won't have to declare bankruptcy to make sure he does.

Call us crazy. We like to treat human beings like human beings rather than profit potential.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hey, if you want to spend 8-ish minutes having fun, watch this.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Well, America's come up with the "Tea Party", the "Coffee Party"... I'm holding out for the "Malbec Party". I could get behind that.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Usually I try to avoid photos of graffiti, but this spot just had "Exception" written all over it. Somewhere. I'm sure. Under some of that other stuff.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ever have one of those days where you go off to take photographs and it's just not happening? That's how it felt today. Funnily enough, though, this photograph seems to capture that. Broken connections. Diverging paths. None of which I was thinking at the time I took this.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Don't you hate it when early in the day you have some profound thought and think, "Oh, now that'd be perfect for the blog", and then you forget it by the time you get around to making the day's entry? I know I do. Especially since thoughts with that "profound" quality come so very rarely.

Although, come to think of it, I did have this little comment to make about the American health care system. This is how it treats America's "heroes". Yep, "the market", making sure that people who risked their lives on the ever-popular 9/11 have to sue America in order to get decent treatment. Thank god the damn 'Bama-care soshlists aren't in control, otherwise these people might actually get taken care of....without anyone profiting from it!

And, meanwhile, down in Texas, education takes a back seat to stupidity. Now, will textbook publishers show any spine and just say no (as that great Republican goddess, Nancy Reagan, used to advise)? Not likely, but...

Which, of course, is one of the reasons I don't require textbooks for any of my courses.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

O.K., I say this as someone who, if given the choice, would have a dog around the house rather than a cat. But, look at this cat. Is there any question that it owns that house? No. It's saying, "Go away, Camera Guy". A dog, on the other hand, would be saying, "Are you sure I should be here?" Dogs always seem to be looking for permission, no matter how much they might not seem to be. You can see it in their eyes. Cats, on the other hand, are always saying, "Are you talkin' to me? Are you talkin' to me?".

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ah, urban decay. It's just everywhere, isn't it?

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Hey, want to have fun doing science at home? Want to actually do real science, science that's valuable? That you probably won't even understand (I know I don't...mostly)? Hit this link and download the software. Yes, you too can do valuable medical research in your computer's spare time.

And, if you really want to get carried away, hit this link, too, and download their software. What the heck - you can never get too involved in basic science.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Well, at least it's not a shrub, right?

Sunday, March 07, 2010

It's all about forethought, isn't it? So important.

Shrubs and garages. What's wrong with me? Well, aside from a somewhat twisted sense of humour....

Friday, March 05, 2010

Does any other town have Vancouver's fascination with shrubs? Pruned, planed, smoothed, shaped - anything but natural.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

One last (maybe) blast from the Olympics. People were definitely having a good time, no matter who was standing on the medal podium. Even for a congenital grump like me, it was actually nice to see.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

They say timing is everything. I guess Obama's finally decided that the Republicans' time is up. Can you say, "About fucking time!"?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A slight change of pace from my normal "isolation and decay" theme. When it's as "in your face" as this, it's kind of hard to resist.

Monday, March 01, 2010

It's so very quiet around here all of a sudden!