thanks for choosing god.

speaking of scams...
Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope.

Decepticons! Rave on!
17 July 2005 : 18.39
I dare you, I dare you to tell me that this isn't the coolest thing you've ever seen.

Fuck off, yes it is. Don't lie to me.

A victory for the little Jewish kid from Cybertron.
And now, boobies.
16 July 2005 : 16.52
How come nobody's called Benji any more? I mean, when I was in elementary school there were thousands of Benjis. The place was lousy with 'em. Now, I can't remember the last time I met a Benji. So where did they all go?
I don't know why I ask this.

I was going to natter on about something else, but by the time I'd opened this file I'd forgotten what it was. So tough, you don't get to hear my words of infinite wisdom.

Subway, that bastion of freshness, has removed the only sub I actually liked from their menu. Well, ok, not the only one I liked, but the only one I ever actually ordered. Now I have to make my own seafood sensation thanks to them, the load of ungrateful bastards.
Of course, I don't know the reason behind the decision. Maybe the pollock was intimidated by Jared's teeth. He'd make a megalodon blush, that man.
If there were any left, of course.

smick smack smickety slorp chatter chatter slurp mutter slurp 'cool' smack slorp laugh at nothing smick sluuUUUurp AHHHH!ad nauseum ad infinitum
14 July 2005 : 12.12
The manbudgie is eating again. My kingdom for some earplugs.

13 July 2005 : 11.25
Oh dear, Britain's been blown up. See, that's what happens when you side with the bullies. You make the terrorists angry.
It's common sense, really. There are always going to be extremists, and whether you call them heroes or villains, freedom fighters or terrorists, there are always going to be people willing to die for their cause. You can't stamp them out, you can't destroy them, and the harder you try the worse you make the problem. The solution, then, is to change the conditions so that they don't feel the need to attack you.
It's called compromise. Ok, Britain's never been good at that, but hopefully this big bang will have knocked some sense into their government. Maybe now Blair will see what the rest of Britain already knew.. making unjustified war is an open invitation to the terrorists. It makes you exactly what they believe you to be anyway, and they lash out because they think their cause is just.
I hope that Blair's watching this, sitting high atop Blair Castle, or wherever he lives, and realising that this is the result of his actions.

Yes, clearly a vile creature...
10 July 2005 : 18.10
Fun quote from Fark:
"Cats are disgusting from the perspective of being vectors for some of the nastiest parasites and diseases. They are tremendously odorous, cat pee and feces are smells that are relatively difficult to remove, and unless you take your cat into the chop shop once it comes of age it begins spraying foul secretions everywhere for it's own amusement. They will use their claws on anything around them if it is convenient for them, and if they are allowed outside this can lead to some truly nasty infections. For all their nasty qualities though, human beings are far more disgusting, and cats frequently make better companions."

10 July 2005 : 01.31
I mean, seriously, how can Natalie Portman be so obscenely hot even with such a blatant lack of hair? It's madness. Madness!

Mind you, she looks good in pink, too.

These girls need a sammich. Llama sammiches are L33T!!!11one1
09 July 2005 : 16.38
Along those lines, apparently promotes anorexia and bulimia.
Various sites are up in arms about it, of course, shouting that it induces eating disorders in the girls who buy the bracelets and hang about the chat rooms.
They suggest that girls who read these sites are victims, rather than idiots, because they stop themselves from eating, and because they hide their disorders from family and friends because they're obssessed with getting down to the lowest possible weight, even when they know that it's killing them. Sites like call it "thinspiration"
Personally, I call it "thinning the herd."

Natural selection in action. If there's a girl who knows that she has an eating disorder and goes out of her way to not get help because she'd rather be thin than alive, I say good luck to her.

Meanwhile, Alex the parrot is more intelligent than the entire Roman Empire. No surprises there.

For just a dollar a day...
09 July 2005 : 13.52
There's a foster parent programme on at the moment about starving children in africa. Wealthy americans are wandering about amongst the skinny little african kids making films about how good they are to be making films about starvation. It's very touching. There's a scene on at the moment about a starving family, with three children who they can't afford to feed. The children are thin.. really, really thin, and watching them, seeing how underfed they are, it really brings home to you the simple truth about their family, and that truth is this: if you can't afford to feed your children, you shouldn't fucking have three of them! jesus, it's not exactly higher math, is it? If you can't feed two people, you can't feed five, and that makes breeding a really bad plan for everyone involved.
People say "oh, it's because they're not educated." Fuck off. They don't need to be educated to know how they end up with children. That's pretty obvious, isn't it? And if you know what to do in order to get children, you know what not to do in order to not get children. The solution is simple! People say "well, they have to have a lot of children because the mortality rate is so high."
Of course it's really high! There's not enough food because they keep spawning truckloads of larvae. Cut the entire population back by reducing the number of larvae to one per family and the child mortality rate will decline sharply. Besides, it's not like they need to have multiple children from every single family survive, is it? Quite the opposite. They need to reduce the population, not maintain it.
Clearly, giving them money so that they can feed their offspring isn't the solution. Giving them birth control is. Whether they use it is up to them, but that's natural selection for you.

Think of the marketing possibilities of vat-grown wendy meat for Wendy's!
8 July 2005 : 18.00
If you haven't seen Robot Bastard, do so at once.
And most importantly, watch the trailers. Be sure to watch the Official one and the Japanese one, and in that order.

In other news, finally! I've been going on about this for ages! If they can grow skin in labs for burn victims, there's no reason that they can't grow muscle tissue, and if they can grow muscle tissue, they can sell it as meat. That's all meat is, after all, and vat-grown tissue would allow humans to stuff themselves with all of the meat they want without having to kill any more animals. Even the Japanese and their freaky desire for whale meat could be satisfied this way. It would be cheaper, more humane, and better for everyone involved. It's the perfect solution.
You could even sell vat-grown human meat, if you wanted. You'd have to call it wendy, though.
What? HuFu apparently sells really well.

On an unrelated note, I discovered that one of the Fun With CAP pages was buggered.. hadn't noticed that before. Fixed now, though.

On an even more unrelated note, discussion on Fark about classic toys.. G. I. Joe, Transformers, M.A.S.K., Star Wars, He-Man, Starcom.. wow, I remember those. Check out the Justice Jogger here.
Even though it was the first thing I thought of, I refuse to make any comment about Christopher Reeve. That would be in poor taste.

Oh, and there's this. The freaky thing is how, when she gets stuck, she keeps twitching.

the Martians are coming! the Martians are coming!
06 July 2005 : 17.47
We now join our website already in progress.

I mean, I know he's a pervy bastard but seriously, a hat rack and a garden hose? And I don't even want to think about the melon baller and the Dentyne.

Now then, on a completely unrelated note, I saw War Of The Worlds last night.
I suppose that it was inevitable that Tom Cruise would make a movie about aliens. Aliens are near and dear to his heart, after all.
As to the movie, it's not exactly fabulous, but it doesn't suck, either. It's enjoyable, and there are good bits and bad bits.
The good bits involve the Martian alien war machines and Dakota Fanning. Not necessarily at the same time, mind you. Dakota Fanning is brilliant, and the alien war machines are probably the best representation of H.G.Wells's tripods I've ever seen, though I didn't like the flexible legs. I always pictured them as more rigid, but then I've never been able to picture a tripod actually walking, so that works out ok.
The bad bits involve Tom Cruise and.. ok, mostly just Tom Cruise.
Actually, that's not fair. This is probably the best I've ever seen him, in terms of his acting ability. This performance carries more emotion and more depth than anything I've ever seen him do and surprisingly, that elevates him significantly in my opinion. Of course, he's still not as good an actor as, say, a sack of wet cement, but he's working on it.
And he's still better than Katie Holmes.

At this point, we're getting into spoiler territory, so abandon all faith, ye who hope here.

Or whatever.
Anyway, the movie bears little resemblance to the original book, or even the dreadful yet classic 1953 movie. Some of the changes I can understand, like the fact that the aliens aren't Martians any more. That would be silly in this day and age, and really, it's not such a huge change to just not say where the aliens came from rather than mentioning Mars, so that I'll forgive.
On the other hand, according to the small amount of narrative we get from some guy hiding in a basement, the alien war machines have apparently been buried beneath the surface of the Earth for a million years, waiting for the aliens to return. ... the hell? Firstly, why? I mean, why? And then.. no wait a minute- why? I mean, what's the point? Why bury your massive war machines on an uninhabited planet and then wander off to let intelligent life evolve? Did the aliens just forget where they'd parked? And why didn't we detect the machines? They're frigging huge. If something that big had been buried beneath the surface for longer than humanity had been wandering around above it, someone would have noticed.
But moving on, the war machines erupt from the ground all over the place, and proceed to slaughter just about everything in their path. I'm a bit grumpy when I first wake up, too, so I can appreciate that, but then doesn't the whole million-year plan seem a bit pointless, really? I mean, if they were just going to kill all of the intelligent inhabitants anyway..
Similarly, they kept the red weed, which is nice, but they made a fuss about the aliens intentionally cultivating it, and gave no hint as to why. Sure, life isn't full of answers, but if you're going to make such a fuss about something you really need to explain why it's so important.
Plenty of elements from the original survived, though in a heavily modified form. Tim Robbins plays the artilleryman type who wants to hide underground and fight back, there's the whole segment about hiding in the house while the probe searches for them, and there's the appearance of the aliens. And the final death scene is a nice recreation of the 1953 scary creeping silly suction cupped hand bit. That's nice.
There are lots of impressive but meaningless visuals, like at one point the screen is filled with the terrifying visage of a flaming monster. But I've talked enough about Tom Cruise already.

So the basic idea, as far as I can gather while still pretending not to have any experience with the story prior to this movie, is that alien tripods come to Earth not to get careers in porn, which is what you would expect of an alien tripod, but to conquer and destroy humanity. There's destruction, death, people being sucked by aliens (I'm sure they actually wanted to be in porn). There's also weed everywhere, specially cultivated by the aliens, and you can take that however you like.
Over the course of the movie our main characters are chased by aliens, caught by aliens, manhandled, looked at, carried, cuddled, and generally molested, but then they get to Boston and everything's ok. And everyone lives.
Meanwhile, the closing narration says nothing about bacteria. Seriously. That's sort of the whole point of the story, but it's not actually mentioned. I mean, what's the purpose of that? Cutting out possibly the single most important word in the story. I guess the movie was running over time so they thought hang on, we can save at least two thirds of a second here by cutting out this word! Most americans don't know what "bacteria" means anyway.

Speaking of america, one thing that I liked was how, even though the aliens are dying anyway, the americans still have to have an opportunity to blow them up. The aliens become sick, and apparently this means that their shields go down (oh, of course), and so naturally the american military rushes to the rescue and blows one of the war machines up. Just in time.. it had almost fallen over by itself. Ah, the yankees and their military obssession. It's funny.. one of the central concepts behind the story is that the military can't defeat the invaders, and yet this meaningless scene was written to show that eventually the american military does actually manage to do some damage. It serves no purpose other than to reassure the audience that the american military will save the day. Ridiculous.

Aren't you gonna say that it's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside? Everybody else does.
03 July 2005 : 18.53
Heh, just goes to show you, no matter how rabid a fan of something you are, there's always someone who's more so.

The sheer scale of the project boggles.. it's a hell of an accomplishment.

In unrelated news:

"Nissan and Honda have encountered difficulties getting new plants up to full production in recent years in Mississippi and Alabama due to an untrained - and often illiterate - workforce. In Alabama, trainers had to use "pictorials" to teach some illiterate workers how to use high-tech plant equipment."
Sorry, was that "the greatest country in the world" they were talking about there?
02 July 2005 : 19.51
my god.. I just found out about this on the WSPA site.. I didn't even know about it..

There must be something that I can do about it. It's happening in my own freaking country, for christ's sake. Unlike china or korea or japan, at least here I can do something to force a change.

do something...
02 July 2005 : 18.39
Ah, Live 8. If you've been living in a cave without an Internet connection, or just generally avoiding all forms of media, Live 8 is collection of concerts held simultaneously at various places in various first-world nations with the intent of putting an end to African poverty.
The organisers want Canada to increase its aid to .7 % of our gross domestic product, meaning that they want us to more than triple what we give now. What we give now is three billion dollars every year, so to the organisers I say "fuck off."
Hell, we give three billion dollars to Africa every year, and for nothing. We do it out of the goodness of our hearts, though god knows we could use the money ourselves. Asking us to increase that to beyond what we can actually afford is ridiculous.
Sure, it would be nice if every country could increase the amount of aid it sends to Africa, but how much good would Canada be doing to anyone if it bankrupted itself trying to meet that expectation? What's the point of sending aid to another country and in the process reducing yourself to poverty? Because that's what they're expecting.

So Live 8 is a big fuss because the people in Africa live in poverty. And while that's bad, imagine how bad it could be. Suppose that the African people were kept in tiny, suspended metal cages, like Viet Nam POWs, and that two or three times a day they were hacked open so that the bile from their gall bladders could leak out slowly, drop by drop, to be collected in a bowl and consumed by their captors. Wouldn't that be horrifying? Never mind poverty, imagine the fuss that would be made about people being treated like that.
And yet that's what's happening in china. There are about 167 chinese bear farms where over 9000 bears are kept in tiny cages so that they can hardly move, kept in iron harnesses, barely fed, and mutilated several times a day for their bile, which is an important ingredient in chinese "medicine", tonics and wines. The chinese also consume it in tea.
So thousands of innocent creatures are being tortured several times a day so that some mindless chinese fuck can enjoy a cup of tea, or take superstitious, nonsensical medicine that can't possibly work. chinese bear farms produce about 7000 kg of bile a year. Think of how many bears that must mean, suffering every single day. Look here, if you can stomach it. And when bears stop producing bile, between five and ten years old, they're either just left to die either through sickness or starvation, or their paws are cut off because chinese people like to eat them. There are bear farms in korea, as well.
And that's just one species of animal being deliberately harmed by humanity.
And I'm supposed to feel bad for the Africans? And what are bob geldoff and all of the Live 8 celebrities doing about it?
They're doing fuck all.
And so we're supposed to get all worked up about saving africa, forgiving its debts, blah blah blah when this kind of horror is going on in the world. Where are the concerts? Where are the demonstrations? Why does it only matter if it's a human problem, even though this problem is being caused by humans? Why is the idea of this being done to humans so incredibly horrifying, and yet it's not such a big thing if it happens to another species?
In my humble opinion, there's no torture vicious enough to repay them for their cruelty, but the people responsible for this treatment, and those who benefit, should be stuck into the bear cages and left to starve to death. When they're not being beaten. I'm not going to get that wish, but at least something should be done. But no, we care more about hungry humans breeding themselves into poverty than innocent bears tormented because of ridiculous, moronic superstitions and vicious cruelty.
So fuck Africa. When humanity starts taking responsibility for the way it treats other species, when it cares about other life as much as it does itself, then I'll care about African poverty. In the interim, you'll forgive me for not actually caring about human tragedy, which is incredibly mild in comparison to what humans inflict on the rest of the life on this small planet, and for generously encouraging bob geldoff to choke on his humanitarian efforts.

01 July 2005 : 13.31
Ah, Canada Day. The day Canadians come together to celebrate the beloved beaver.

Now, I've shown you mine...

Aren't they beautiful? Shouldn't they be allowed to live? I don't see anyone slaughtering and eating the japanese.
24 June 2005 : 19.58
You know, there are times when I'm very fond of the Japanese, and then there are times when I am forced to ask questions like

What the fuck is wrong with you people?!!?

Honestly, there is no excuse for this. japanese whaling ships should be sunk on sight. Or rather, all whaling ships should be sunk on sight, and the crews left to flounder in the ocean, to fend for themselves against those better equipped to survive than they. That's only fair.
They say that it's part of their culture that they want to preserve. Their culture does not depend upon murdering and consuming innocent, endangered creatures. And even if it did, if it came down to preserving a culture based upon efforts to exterminate innocent creatures, or the various species of whales whose slaughter was the basis of that culture, then fuck that culture. Let it die if it's founded upon such a vile and unnecessarily vicious activity. Of what value is that sort of culture? It's barbaric, it's cruel, and it's harmful. When humans behave in that fashion, they're locked up or, in extreme cases, executed. Why should a collection of humans be exempt from humanity's own rules?
Every year the japanese kill 500 minke whales, 50 Bryde's whales, 50 sei whales, and 10 sperm whales, and they're planning to more than double that number! 1220 whales killed every year by japan alone! jesus christ, why is this being allowed? Whales are endangered, intelligent creatures, and they're being murdered for fucking profit! Why aren't the navies of UN member nations being mobilised to sink the bastards? Why aren't there boycotts of whaling nations' trade and commerce? Why aren't effective steps being taken? Oh, they're urging japan and other whaling nations to stop, but what good will that do? How will that protect the hundred, possibly thousands of whales that are being killed every year?
Motherfuckers! Something really, really severe should be done. We're talking about protected species here, endangered species, being further endangered for what? So that some assfuck can make some extra money? What the hell kind of justification is that for the unnecessary slaughter of innocent creatures who have never done anyone any harm? There should be vicious beatings and executions over this. These people are fucking lucky that I don't run the world.

Holy fuck, Batman!
22 June 2005 : 16.50
So I saw Batman Begins last night..

You know, I should make a movies page. Anyway, I saw Batman Begins last night..

Wow.. it's fabulous! Really, seriously very good. There are some bits that unintentionally made me laugh, but it was dramatic license, so what can you do?
For example, and again I'm going to try to avoid spoilers here for those who haven't seen it, there's a bit where a bad guy is chained to a searchlight for the police to find.
Yeah.. have you ever pointed a flashlight at your hand for a few minutes? You feel how hot it gets? A bad guy chained to a searchlight.. put it this way, the cops should have brought cutlery and condiments.
Similarly, (spoilers, highlight to read) the villains' nefarious plot involves dumping a hallucinogen into the city's water supply, and at one point the on-site expert says (just by looking at it) that it won't affect anyone if it's consumed with the water, it obviously has to be absorbed through the lungs. Because that makes perfect sense. So to render the hallucinogen airborne, there's a microwave generator that's being used to vaporise water. Ok, fair enough, that's feasible, though it would have to be a powerful bastard of a generator. But then it's surrounded by people all the time, people walking in front of it, walking around it.. and at one point it's in a train flying along high above the city, blasting microwaves downward which are powerful enough to penetrate the ground and the pipes, and boil the water therein. Hello? Human body? Fifty to sixty percent water? The people around the generator, and anyone on the street when the microwave generator passed overhead would die horrible, messy deaths as 50-60% of their body mass boiled and evaporated. Oh, and apparently superheating water in one location can cause a chain reaction throughout the rest of the water in the pipe system. Because water's just that volatile.

Aside from that, though, I have to say that the movie was wonderful. Michael Caine was brilliant, but what would you expect? Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, excellent as always. Christian Bale, not quite as psychotic as you might expect, but he carried the whole thing off admirably. Katie Holmes.. well, no movie is perfect, I suppose.
She's easily the weakest thing in it. Even with directions she couldn't act her way out of a wet paper bag, and while she was probably cast for her appearance rather than her abilities, I can't see why. I don't think she could be hot if you covered her with paraffin and set her on fire. Mind you, everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. And to mine, as it happens. And apparently, it's not exactly an uncommon opinion, either:

"She won't be in the sequel... the next romantic interest will be a much stronger actress."

Or, as The Filthy Critic put it, "Holmes is so damn lost she looks like she'd say yes if a gay scientologist asked her to marry him."

Initially I'd been sceptical of the movie, given the direction that Batman movies had been taking since the first Nicholson/Keaton/Burton film (i.e., downward) but, I thought, the script couldn't be that bad considering the people who signed on to do the movie. I mean, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson..
then I remembered that although Michael Caine is ridiculously good, he's a whore who will do just about anything if they pay him, and Liam Neeson was in The Phantom Menace. Enough said.
Even so, watching the trailers provides a great deal of motivation to see the movie. And the trailers completely don't do it justice.
And I'm not even a Batman fan. I'm certainly not a comic fan (though I hear good things).
Everyone's saying that it's better than even the 1989 one. That's hard to say.. the two are completely different, even though they possess, of course, the same basic elements. You totally can't compare them..
It is better than all of the others after 1989, even though Batman Returns had this going for it.

Sorry, where was I? Right. Batman. Stylistically, this movie is less sleek than Batman, less stylish, and rather less eighties. I think that the Batmobile, iconic as it is, is a good indicator of the style of the movie as a whole:

Batman Begins lacks the gothic feel that Burton's Batman had. It's not as elegant, but then it's not meant to be. Comparing Keaton to Bale, I have to say that Keaton is more compelling, a more impressive figure who comes across as finely balanced on the edge of being psychotic, consumed by the desire for revenge, and that psychotic side comes out in the Batman. Bale comes across as a bit unintentionally goofy when he's Bruce Wayne, and trying rather too hard to be a psychopath when he's being Batman. There's a scene where he pulls a guy up to a fire escape, and he's trying so hard to be angry psychopath Batman that he's actually vibrating. It looks a bit silly, actually. Keaton may not be a great actor, but I do feel that he makes a better Batman. Don't get me wrong.. I thoroughly enjoyed Batman Begins, but good though it was, I don't think that it compares to Batman.

your flexible friend
19 June 2005 : 18.32
Yay, my stomach is flat again. It's been a while since that was the case, no matter how hard I worked at it. Go me!
It's all the bloody walking to the SkyTrain station and back every day, that's what it is.
Yesterday I was almost savaged by a man-eating Shi Tzu. One of the extra dangerous fluffy white ones. Yes, I've learnt that the daily commute is not without its hazards.

I get to see Jozi tomorrow, which is good because that doesn't happen very often. Really should do something about that. I hate losing touch with my friends.
Speaking of which, I got a message from Sam!
You know, I've no idea why I tell you these things. It's not like you know any of these people.
But this is happy, so shut your face.

Heh, yesterday morning a guy from some retail credit card company called me, and launched into a speech about how important it is that I subscribe to their identity theft protection plan for $130 per year. It was a very carefully rehearsed speech, though it did sound as though he was reading rather than talking about how wonderful the thing was. Anyway, he tried the whole assumed sales thing wherein I was already subscribed, and would have to contact them to cancel if I decided that I didn't want it, and all he needed was to confirm my address.
I think it took him by surprise when I said no, I didn't need it. He immediately launched into a carefully prepared recovery sales pitch about how he could understand that I might have another service, and which one was it, but was then completely thrown when I said that no, I didn't have another one, I just didn't want it. Suddenly there was no more smooth sales pitch voice, there was a lot of uh, um, er, like, and that sort of thing. Lots of stumbling over his words and trying to figure out what he could possibly say that might convince me. He tried the fact that I would be able to check my credit rating for free, which would normally cost about ten dollars every time, and they recommend that I do that four times a year. I pointed out that, if price was the issue, four times a year at ten dollars each time would be forty dollars, significantly less than the $130 he wanted to charge me. He tried to convince me that I could get free groceries, but I mentioned that other companies like President's Choice Financial offer free groceries, and with them I could get a full scale Mastercard with a low interest rate, and still not have to pay $130 a year. He tried to convince me that I would benefit from the reduced rate that, for some reason, the identity theft program gives me on locksmiths. I mentioned that in my entire life I've needed a locksmith once, and that it cost me about sixty dollars. By this point, the poor little fellow was so far away from his script that he just started apologising.. I've no idea why. So eventually I told him that I had to go, and promised not to think about it, and he seemed so relieved that he had hung up before he finished saying good bye.
I hate telemarketers, but that was so pathetic that I can't help but feel sorry for him.

w in love isn't it sweet?
18 June 2005 : 18.28
Just a quick reminder here: the "weapons of mass destruction" still haven't been found.
I just thought you should know.

What have been found are these pictures of George with his new girlfriend

So they've moved me at work. I still have to put up with the manbudgie, but now there's a hypochondriac old woman with a metric tonne of really bad makeup, who has to tell every single person in the world the story of how sick she is, every hospital visit, every tired detail, and all in an excrutiatingly annoying nasal whine punctuated by the nastiest smoker's cough I've heard in some time. And they sit new trainees with her, so every day she gets to tell each of the unending stories. every. single. day.
She's the one I was talking about when I mentioned Lewis Carrol.
And there's also the paranoid guy who thinks that I'm spying on him with my camera phone. He clearly has an over-inflated sense of his own importance.

Hang about.. a paranoid guy. That could be fun. The occasional click of the camera, being "accidentally" caught watching him a few times a day.. how many ways can paranoia be exploited for entertainment purposes? One way to find out!

In much more important matters, I'm off to have lunch and then see Batman Begins on Tuesday with the Ngaire. Yay! This can only be a good thing.

Today's fish is Trout à la Crème. Enjoy your meal.
14 June 2005 : 23.12
Got to go out for sushi with Bonnie Wee Greggie tonight. And his lovely wife, too. That's a good thing.. I haven't been out with him in ages and ages, and that sucks. Hopefully the trend is broken now, and it can go back to being at least a semi regular thing.

The holy McLachlan is having another concert in Vancouver. Will I be able to attend? That's a good question.. last time a friend of mine got me tickets to the rehearsal, and then at the last minute I couldn't get out of work and I couldn't go. It sucked more than I can express. Partially because I was deprived the religious experience, but mostly because my friend had gone to so much trouble to get the tickets for me, and it ended up being for nothing. I felt really bad about that.
Well, it wasn't for nothing.. another friend of mine got to go in my place, but that's not the point.
Anyway, hopefully this time I'll get a chance to attend.
And now, fellow McLachlanists, in that spirit, please turn to hymn I:II
In the desert of my dreams I saw you there
And I'm walking towards the water steaming body cold and bare...

12 June 2005 : 16.48
Groovily, a friend of mine has just had his talk show picked up. Yay him! It's called Roundtable, and I believe that it airs on KVOS on Saturdays, starting on the 25th.

Just got a message from another friend that I haven't seen in over two years. She's called Sarah, and she's very quiet. Or at least, she was. Whether she still is remains to be seen. We're getting together for coffee sometime next week, I think.

I'm very hungry at the moment. Something needs to be done about that, I think.
10 June 2005 : 15.53
I went out with the Ngaire last night. Hadn't seen her in ages, but fortunately she's still just as cool as she was the last time I saw her.
And if you have any idea how much coolness I attribute to her, you'll realise how important this is. There's a critical shortage of really cool people on this planet, so we need to conserve those we have.
I'm fortunate, and I know it. All of my friends are really cool people. Which, of course, they would be. That's why they're my friends, instead of just people I've seen around. So anyway, I'm going to have to make certain that I don't lose touch with Ngaire again. That wouldn't be good.

Wow.. downtown Vancouver is packed with Muslims here to see the Aga Khan at Canada Place. Huge herds of humans blocking all of the sidewalks, lined up in courtyards, and being directed by crowd control specialists. Apparently, they've come from all over the place. I went to Subway for lunch, primarily because I was hungry. The girl beside me, one of the multitude of Muslims, was ordering her food, and seemed somewhat short of manners. There was a lot of give me this and I want that. Enough that I thought that she should be a yankee, she was so impolite. I almost laughed aloud, though when she impolitely demanded to know whether the apple turnover, which was in a basket full of cookies, contained either beef or chicken. Even though it was coated with crystalised sugar. Then the guy with her asked about stamps, and she mentioned that even back home in Chicago they'd stopped the stamp program.
I actually wish I were surprised.

09 June 2005 : 19.38
Now this is interesting. Apparently, bush's approval rating is fully twenty points lower than Clinton's was on the day he was impeached.
And not without reason, of course.
Could it be? Could the american masses actually be... thinking?

Not that it matters. Too little, too late. They've already re-elected him, he has no hope of re-election, so short of impeachment, public opinion isn't a concern for him.

09 June 2005 : 18.36
I woke up this morning with a song in my head.. that sounds like the beginning of a song in and of itself. Anyway, I woke up this morning with a song in my head, stumbled over to the radio and turned it on, and there was the song playing merrily away on the radio. I'd call it just a curious coincidence if it weren't the third time in the last week that it's happened.
Who installed the antenna in my head, that's what I want to know.

Now, in more important matters, sushi with the Ngaire tonight. Yay!

In Hollywood gossip, to which I never pay any attention, apparently there's a big fuss being made about how Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie weren't together, but now suddenly they are because the tabloids saw them having lunch together.
Didn't they just work on the same movie? Hello? Like no one else in the world ever has lunch with a co-worker. god, why do people get so worked up over this stuff?
I don't know what the big fuss is about Hollywood gossip. I suppose that it's a way of bringing excitement to the average person's dreary life.
09 June : 15.03
Now here's something spiffy.. I'd missed this story, but apparently artifacts showing that Neanderthals had art have been found. I knew that they would be. Well, I suspected that they would be, anyway. After all, if they had religion, they must have had imagination, and if they had imagination, artistic expression seems unavoidable.
A lot of people seem to be opposed to the idea that the Neanderthals were more advanced than humanity at the time, and probably more intelligent. There's a great deal of resistance to the idea that a more intelligent species than homo sapiens could have evolved on the Earth. From the creationists I can understand this point of view.. it challenges their fundamental beliefs, and their defence is mindless denial, but from the rest of humanity I would have expected better than blind xenophobia.
Well, I might have expected better were it not for the fact that humanity is still so primitive itself. Oh, humans like to think that they're advanced and intelligent and everything else because of the world that they've constructed about themselves, but realistically the advances have been made by a small number of people and adopted by the pointless masses who know virtually nothing of how it all works. Seriously, how many people do you know who understand how a pen works? Or their microwave? Or what causes rainbows, or why they always bleed in red no matter where they're cut, or how their VCR stores information? Most people are mystified by the timer on their VCR, let alone the principles of its operation. So the civilisation has advanced because of relatively few exceptional individuals out of the teeming ranks, and even that kind of advancement is virtually inevitable. Think monkeys, typewriters, and Hamlet, and you'll probably get an idea of what I mean. Technological progress is virtually unavoidable, but humans in general are still so mind-numbingly primitive that wiccans, for example, still attribute magical properties to candles. That's fire worship and really, how much more primitive can you get than that? Take a bunch of wax (or fat), shove a burning wick into it and suddenly it has amazing powers, apparently. Does this make any sense? And yet there are thousands of people who actually believe it. Druids think they can make magic using sharp bits of metal, and christians offer sacrifices to a sky god, which is also insanely primitive in this day and age. The idea of a magical, invisible old man who created the entire universe in one work week and then celebrated by raping an innocent virgin and smashing a few cities is not the result of a rational mind. Neither is the acceptance of such an idea, and yet people believe it. Millions of people, all over the world. Tell me that's not a sad statement on the nature of humanity, I dare you.
Less specifically, humans demonstrate incredibly primitive behaviour every day, like being afraid of harmless insects, engaging in pointless displays of wealth or dominance, and throwing money into just about any body of standing water from ponds to fountains to wells, which is just another form of offering and most people don't even know why they do it. If you ask them, they'll probably say that they're making a wish. Ask them how throwing money into water causes that wish to be granted, or by whom, and they won't be able to tell you, but they do it anyway. Why?
So what qualifies humanity as the intelligent, advanced civilisation that it believes itself to be, as opposed to a primitive, blundering species existing in a society that it has built, but that is beyond its own comprehension? What is there to refute the idea that regardless of the trappings of civilisation imposed upon him/her, the average modern human is little different from the savage brute who slaughtered the Neanderthals?

Realistically, if humanity were as advanced as it thinks itself to be, there would be none of this nonsense about, for example, teaching creationism as science in schools in the southern US because there wouldn't be anyone who actually believed it. Well, except for the insane, and they'd all be properly looked after.
"Are we still talking to 'god' Mr. bush? Isn't that nice. It's time for your medication again."

A polite invitation to all things conservative. Starting with stephen harper, but generously extended to gurmant grewal.
05 June 2005 : 16.16
Ah, the conservatives. "Stand up for Canada" they say. "The Conservative Party will operate in a manner accountable and responsive to its members" they say. They claim that "The Conservative Party will be guided in its constitutional framework and its policy basis by the following principles:", with one of those principles (virtually the last one on the page) being "A belief that good and responsible government is attentive to the people it represents and has representatives who at all times conduct themselves in an ethical manner and display integrity, honesty and concern for the best interest of all"
Sure it will. They go a long way to uphold those values. No, really. It's all over the news. For those still not familiar with the grewal tapes incident, allow me to summarise even more briefly than the timeline:
  • The conservatives call a vote of no confidence in the current Liberal government, citing a financial scandal that happened back in the nineties. Ok, fair enough, they can do that, even though it's clearly a petty attack on the current government. That's what the conservatives do, so it's fairly typical. The vote is set for the 19th of May.
  • Late in the day on the 18th, less than twenty-four hours before the vote, Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal appears claiming that the Liberals tried to bribe him into abstaining during the vote against the government. He has recordings of his conversations with Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh and chief of staff, Tim Murphy that apparently prove this. Naturally this claim comes so close to the vote that there's no time for a proper investigation.
  • Of course, both Dosanjh and Murphy deny Grewal's claims, saying instead that it was Grewal who approached the Liberals with this deal, looking for a Cabinet appointment for himself, and an ambassadorial or Senate position for his wife (also a conservative MP), and that he came back several times when his demands were rejected. Of course, there's still the recording to support Grewal's side.
  • The next day, with the vote just a few hours away, Paul Martin rejects the idea that Grewal was offered anything. He says that "offers were solicited and offers were turned down." Not only that, but Liberal supporter Sudesh Kalia says that Grewal contacted him the previous Sunday and asked him to arrange a meeting with Dosanjh.
  • The Liberals survived the vote of no confidence, but it was a close thing. Meanwhile, an RCMP investigation into the incident can now be launched. After all, there's a recorded conversation as evidence.
  • The Conservatives take five days to translate and transcribe the recorded conversations between Grewal and Dosanjh. stephen harper says, in support of Grewal, that anyone has the right to record his private conversations. Upon hearing the tapes, Dosanjh says that they have been altered.
  • June 02, CBC News and the Canadian Press each hires an audio expert, and each comes independently to the conclusion that the tapes have, in fact, been altered. The next day, the conservatives release a statement saying that the tapes appear to have been altered because of a "technical glitch" that deleted some parts of the audio. Fuck off.

  • So in upholding their dedication to "at all times conduct themselves in an ethical manner and display integrity, honesty and concern for the best interest of all" they call a vote of no confidence using an old issue as justification, and then attempt to sway the opinion of the voters by producing blatantly manufactured evidence, resulting from the unsuccessful attempts of one of their own members to solicit a bribe, so shortly before the vote that there isn't time to properly investigate it. It's a loathsomely transparent attempt to prejudice the voters so that they will vote against the Liberals. And then, of course, they lie about it during the official investigation, using an insultingly implausible excuse to account for their clumsy manipulation of the evidence.

    The conservatives would have us believe that the Liberals approached Grewal and attempted to bribe him into abstaining from a vote that they didn't know the conservatives were going to call (since it was a vote of no confidence), and that Grewal had the presence of mind to record the resulting conversations. And that Grewal deciding to release this information when he did is entirely unrelated to the vote of no confidence that his party had called, scheduled for less than a day later. And that during the transfer of the tapes to a digital format, a "technical glitch" unfortunately deleted segments of the recording, quite accidentally producing incriminating evidence that appeared to support Grewal's claim. And he not only failed to notice (as indeed did the entire conservative party), he actually denied that the tapes had been altered. People actually vote for this party? How much of a fucking sheep do you have to be to believe this?
    This is integrity and honesty to the conservatives? christ, it's no bloody wonder that Belinda changed sides, is it?

    The Jerk
    03 June 2005 : 18.58
    Ah, see, it's not just me. I was talking to a friend last night, and she sees pregnancy in the same parasitic light as I do.

    Hm. I have to update the Star Wars page, since Revenge Of The Sith has addressed some of the continuity problems, and introduced others.

    And now, in the "bleeding obvious" category...
    Of course, until bush gets some sweet, sweet intern love, you know it's not going to happen.

    Posted on Fark, as are so many wonderful things, is an article containing a list of the "ten most harmful books of the 19th and 20th centuries". Just take a look at some of the titles.. you can tell that the judges were conservatives. The Kinsey Report? The study of human sexual behaviour. Oh, we can't have that, now can we? It's sinful! The Feminine Mystique? The suggestion that women might actually live for themselves rather than being merely mother and wife, honouring and obeying all their lives? Shocking! Heresy! And, of course, The Origin Of Species (they got the title wrong, unsurprisingly), The Descent Of Man, The Second Sex, and, naturally enough, On Liberty. And these people are teachers in yankeeland. Wow.. that's scary. Scary that people so stuck in hideously outdated moralities, social values, gender roles, and sky god worship that they consider some books to be dangerous are actually teaching, in theory shaping the future generations of america.

    Oh, my ears and whiskers, I shall be too late! Oh belgium!
    02 June 2005 : 14.17
    So this is the scene: I work in a call centre, surrounded by support reps on the phone, and I write email all day. It's very exciting.
    Anyway, I'm currently reading Alice In Wonderland, since I haven't read it for years, and it's sitting on my desk. One of my co-workers wanders past and mentions that it's a good book, and that Lewis Carroll was a great writer, but that he must have been high at the time. A discussion ensues:
    co-worker I: "He must have been high at the time. You should talk to [someone or other], he can tell you some things about him."
    me: "Yes, there must be a pharmaceutical explanation for some of it. Either that or he was a real headcase."
    co-worker II: "Who's this?"
    me: "Lewis Carroll"
    co-worker II: "Oh yeah, we all know that one. But at least you don't have to talk to him on the phone like we do."

    ... [ sigh ] I weep for the future.

    Actually, I don't think that Lewis Carroll was necessarily all that unbalanced. Or chemically adjusted. Just really odd, very imaginitive, and not particularly well suited to his time.
    Not that he wasn't high while he was imagining flamingo croquet and the Hatter's unending tea time, of course. Just that I can see how he could have come up with it without.

    Work will be over soon, and then there will be sushi with Jozi. Mmm.. food...
    Speaking of food, isn't this a lovely little site?

    My backpack's got jets. I'm Boba the Fett. I bounty hunt for Jabba Hutt to finance my 'Vette.
    2 June 2005 : 13.03
    Ok, but seriously, you need to see Fett's Vette. Watch the original, fourth one down.

    And now, a tender moment with Bush and Kerry.
    01 June 2005 : 18.57
    If you haven't seen it, check out You think of an object, and Lord Vader attempts to read your mind through a cunning game of twenty questions. It's really quite impressive how accurate he is, actually. Of course, you have to be fair. You can't think of your great aunt Agatha's artificial left leg and expect him to get it, but if you think PDA or banana or golgi apparatus, he's pretty certain to get it. Some of the questions are a little odd, though. The last question he asked before guessing mobile phone was "Is it pleasurable?"
    This after asking whether it was battery-powered, made of synthetic material, and flexible. And whether you could use it at school.

    Along those lines...

    In unrelated news, there was a comic around Vancouver called Kliph Nesteroff a while ago. He's apparently retired, so I don't feel bad sharing this. Not that I would feel bad anyway, mind you.
    He saw the art in all things.
    Ok, so I only remember one bit. The point is that it works. He said that if you read the back of a Trivial Pursuit card, it makes great beat poetry. I searched Google to find one, primarily because I'm too lazy to find one myself and scan it. Check this example out, and hear the bongos, daddy-o:

    French Fries
    Earthworm Jim
    Woodrow Wilson's cardiopulmonary resuscitation

    Right on. Can you dig it?
    Yeah cats and kittens, lamp that crazy hep clambake this black at the frolic pad, you collar Buddy ghee? It's solid murder that'll blow your wig. I haven't a clue what the hell I'm talking about, either.

    Lower budget but much, much more Zaphod.
    29 May 2005 : 23.10

    I've seen it. It's rubbish.

    Seriously, it amazes me that they actually released it. If this were my movie I would crawl shamefacedly into a hole and pull the entrance in after me. It's dreadful. It amazes me that people who haven't read the book, watched the original series, or listened to the original radio version can follow anything that's going on. The original flow of the story has been so hacked and slashed that it jumps about without making any sense at all. It's clumsy, the humour is forced and very americanised, and the characters are dramatically different from who they should be. Ford doesn't come across as even slightly unbalanced, which he's supposed to be, Zaphod comes across as being too unbalanced, but as though he's trying far, far too hard to be, and Trillian is an entirely new character. I like her, but she's not Trillian. Slartibartfast is terrible, and Arthur.. the less said about him the better. Even Rickman sucks as Marvin. I didn't think that Rickman could suck. I thought that it was against the physical laws of the universe, but he totally phones in the performance. Which, I suppose, he could do, since he's not actually on screen at any point. Maybe that's why he seems not to have actually made an effort. He was the one thing about the movie to which I was looking forward, even after reading the painful reviews. "Who could be a better Marvin than Rickman?" I thought. Well, lots of people, apparently.

    When I heard that a Guide movie was in the works, I was seized by dread that they would do it wrong, but at the same time thrilled that if they did it right, it could be such an amazingly wonderful thing.
    They didn't do it right.

    I'll try to confine myself to non-spoiler material here, just in case you're going to voluntarily dispose of the almost two hours of your life that you can never recover, and see the movie.

    I have to agree with the Planet Magrathea guy. The people who made this movie seem to have completely missed the point. They've made a whole love story thing around Arthur and Trillian where there wasn't one, they've completely lost sight of the insanity of the Douglas Adams universe, and they clearly didn't understand the humour. It's like all of the cleverness, the wit, and the absurdity has been stripped away and replaced with the sledgehammer sitcom humour that marks most american comedy. That's why we get stupid things like the Infinite Improbability Drive causing the Heart Of Gold, and its crew, to change shape all of the time, even though that has virtually nothing to do with probability. As the Planet Magrathea review says, it's like someone scanned the story, noticed that at one point the missiles turn into something else, and just assumed that that's what the drive does. It's why we get tired old gags, like Arthur trying to fly the ship and turning on the windshield wipers. It's why we get weak-ass physical comedy instead of the clever word play that made the HitchHiker's Guide series so popular in the first place. The people who made this movie clearly didn't understand the wit involved with the dialogue, which is why virtually the entire bulldozer scene has been cut, and as for the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything, they just missed it completely. The point is that it doesn't make sense. Nothing in the universe makes sense. It's utter chaos, madness, and absurdity. That's what makes it funny.
    Instead, in the americanised version, we get people getting smacked in the face with shovels on Vogsphere. Why the hell were they getting smacked in the face with shovels on Vogsphere? Why the hell were they on Vogsphere? So many wonderful scenes have been hacked to pieces or amputated completely, and so much pointless rubbish written in that the movie bears only a passing resemblance to the original stories. Enough that now it's been ruined for anyone else who wants to make a Hitchhiker's Guide movie, but not enough to satisfy the fans. Except, perhaps, for the american ones. And then, only those who didn't appreciate the humour in the original works anyway.
    There are huge changes, like all of that extra Vogon nonsense, and there are small changes, like the fact that the doors sigh rather than saying "Glad to be of service," and "Please enjoy your trip through this door," and there are bits that just betray a lack of attention to detail, like the fact that they're heading toward the restaurant at the end of the universe, and Marvin says that it's at the other end of the universe. Did they have any exposure to the original at all? The restaurant is at the end of the universe. The end of the universe. Like the end of the world only much much bigger.
    All of that said, there were a couple of nice moments. The lightsaber noises from the kitchen knife were cute, and the cameos by the original Arthur and Marvin were a nice touch.
    But overall.. well, let me put it this way. On a scale of one to Catwoman, it's considerably worse than The Phantom Menace. It sort of hovers around the This Island Earth mark. Only without the charm.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and watch the original series to, as the cool girl from work would say, cleanse.
    29 May 2005 : 17.25
    Wow.. anthropologists have reconstructed a twenty year old Neanderthal girl. She looks like this:

    Isn't she cool? Almost human, but just not quite. From everything I've read, the Neanderthals were an advanced people for their age. More so than Homo Sapiens. They had religion, which suggests an intelligence such that they were already wondering about and trying to explain their world, they had medicine, they buried their dead and left flowers on the graves, and they cooked their food. One of the curious things about them, however, is that they don't seem to have had art. So say the detractors of the idea that they were more advanced than humanity. I say that even if no artifacts had been found, that proves nothing. Maybe their art was all performance-based.. music, dance, that sort of thing. Similarly, many people claim that Neanderthals did not invent language, but I would argue that, there is no way to know that. Ok, they didn't invent written language, or at least not in any form that survived the millennia, but how do we know that they did not speak? It's not like words fossilise, is it?
    One thing is certain, though.. they weren't nearly as aggressive as Homo Sapiens.
    Which is good and bad. Good in that had they survived as the dominant species instead, the world would likely be a much more pleasant place than it is today. Bad in that war and aggression seems to drive most technological innovation, so they might be far behind where we are now. Still, a small price to pay, I think. Better a world that advances slowly but peacefully than one which advances in leaps and bounds over the corpses of the victims of war. Of course, being as intelligent as they appear to have been, they might have progressed faster than Homo Sapiens after all.

    And speaking of war and performance art, here's a clip from Adolph Hitler's famous interpretive piece, Meine Wassermelone:

    No, watch it a few times, particularly paying attention to his expression. I defy you to keep a straight face. There's a larger version, but it's not as good.

    28 May 2005 : 21.14
    On my way home, I had a disturbing exerience. It went like this:
    [ listening to Saturday Night At The 80s ]

    vaguely familiar intro music, and then increasingly familiar lyrics /
    ... .... .... . .... ...... ....... .. ....
    . .... .. .... ... ...... messin' around
    ... ... really jealous .... .... ....... .... a clown

    . think of you .... night and day
    ... took my heart .... you took my pride away

    I hate myself for loving you
    Can't break free from the things that you do
    I wanna walk but I run back to you that's why what the fuck? Why the hell do I remember this?

    Darth Tater. Potato of the evil empire.
    28 May 2005 : 16.11
    Ah, freedom fries. And freedom toast. And freedom kissing.
    Ok, maybe not freedom kissing.
    The point is that never has such a stupid, petty gesture echoed so loudly around the world. At least, not as far as I am aware. For those who might not be familiar with the story, in March 2003 america was determined to find any excuse to invade and occupy Iraq in order to liberate its oil. Most of the rest of the world saw this blatant oil grab for what it was, and opposed it. France, used its power of veto in the UN to oppose the invasion, which is to be expected. That's what the power of veto is for, after all. As a result restaurants and, more notably, the cafeterias in official government buildings, loudly declared that in support of the invasion they were going to stop serving French fries, and instead start serving freedom fries.
    It became a huge joke, and all around the globe, people made fun of america and its "freedom fries" at every turn.
    However, this is a sharp reversal:

    "I represent a district with multiple military bases that have deployed thousands of troops," Jones said in a statement. "As I've watched these men and women wave good-bye to their loved ones, I am reminded of the deep love they have for the freedom of this nation and their desire to fight for the freedom of those who are oppressed overseas. Watching France's self -serving politics of passive aggression in this effort has discouraged me more than I can say."

    Mr Jones, who in March 2003 circulated a letter demanding that the three cafeterias in the House of Representatives’ office buildings ban the word french from menus, said it was meant as a "light-hearted gesture".
    Asked by a reporter for the North Carolina News and Observer about the name-change campaign - an idea Mr Jones said at the time came to him by a combination of God’s hand and a constituent’s request - he replied: "I wish it had never happened."

    In related news, the BBC has released a series called The Power Of Nightmares. This is the first I've heard of it, but it looks as though it might be worth watching.

    "See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." (Applause)
    --george w. bush
    New York, May 24 2005

    Don't Panic. Don't waste your money, either.
    27 May 2005 : 16.57
    The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times over many years and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers.

    The introduction begins like this:

    "Space," it says, "is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mindboggingly big it is. I mean you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space. Listen ..." and so on.

    The web site has this to say about The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy movie:

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie is bad. Really bad. You just won't believe how vastly, staggeringly, jaw-droppingly bad it is. I mean, you might think that The Phantom Menace was a hopelessly misguided attempt to reinvent a much-loved franchise by people who, though well-intentioned, completely failed to understand what made the original popular - but that's just peanuts to the Hitchhiker's movie. Listen.

    And so on...

    Far back in the mists of ancient time, in the great and glorious days of the former Galactic Empire, Life was wild, rich and on the whole tax-free. In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were REAL men, women were REAL women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were REAL small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.
    25 May 2005 : 16.42
    It's Towel Day. Listen. It's a tough universe. There's all sorts of people and things trying to do you, kill you, rip you off, everything. If you're going to survive out there, you've really got to know where your towel is.
    don't panic

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels. A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an intersteller hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you -- daft as a brush, but very very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough. More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: nonhitchhiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, washcloth, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet-weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the might accidentally have "lost." What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through and still know where his towle is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with. Hence, a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in "Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There's a frood who really knows where his towel is."
    (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)

    24 May 2005 : 23.25
    Madly rushing about doing family things.
    Saw Revenge Of The Sith tonight. Oh yes. This is what it's supposed to be about. If you haven't seen it, do so at once. It's excellent. It makes up for the last two.
    But not for the holiday special.
    The movie addresses a great many of the continuity issues, but more importantly, it blends the styles between the new movies and the originals. I'll rabbit on about it at length when I have the time.

    Your safety is our priority.
    20 May 2005 : 22.39
    Bloody LAX. Honestly, do I look that suspicious? I mean really! Here I am, having made certain to not wear my steel-toed boots, having taken off my belt before I get to the metal detector thing because I know that it would be an issue, certain that everything is cool, I approach the metal detector arch, and the guard woman steps aggressively forward with a hand out like she's going to push me, and says "You need to take your shoes off, sir,"
    Oh belgium. Not again.
    I'm pretty certain that I'm quite inoffensive looking, you know. Non-threatening. I mean, I don't have any scary tattoos, or ragged scars, or a turban or anything.
    Yes, I know, that last one was racist. Or more appropriately, culturist. But that's the point. That seems to be their policy. Ethnic profiling. I think it's ludicrous myself, but I don't set the policies. Anyway, back to me. There's nothing that I have said, or done, and nothing about my appearance that screams that I'm loaded down with explosives and a suicide bomber mentality, so why single me out? And why act all aggressive, as though I've disobeyed a rule? There were no signs that suggested that I should surrender my shoes, and it's not as though anyone else was being asked to do the same, so what was with the attitude? If it were a single incident I'd probably assume that it was random, but it happened both times I boarded the plane. That's 100% of the time. And on top of the actual check, I get an attitude from the security woman that I wouldn't expect even if I'd just eaten her children. Seriously, what is it about me that suggests that I might be prone to terrorism?
    If you don't know me, I mean.

    You should see it. The climate of fear in the airport is freaky high. Everyone seems terrified to say or do the wrong thing. It's like a bad science fiction movie loosely based on 1984. Right down to the point that there's a haughty female voice in a prerecorded announcement every few minutes which demands, for some reason with a British accent, that any suspicious activity be reported immediately, and all announcements seem to end with the catch phrase "Your safety is our priority."
    Dogma, dogma, over and over and over, like brainwashing. It reminds me of something, but I can't think what just at the moment.
    Everyone seems to be afraid of the security people, who are on their own little power trip. They come across as under-educated, under-intelligent henchmen who've been given way more authority than they have the maturity to use, and are enjoying it in the most malicious fashion possible.

    Other than that, it was a great holiday, and I had a wonderful time. What a relief to get back to Vancouver International, though, from the rude, pushy, unpleasant staff at LAX to the nice, polite customs official who checked out my ID and then, with a warm smile, welcomed me home.

    19 May 2005 : 23.15
    Oh god, I'm so full of food. The Blue Bayou.. it's fabulous. If you're not familiar with it, this is essentially the thing:
    When you go to board The Pirates Of The Caribbean, you start out in New Orleans Square out in Disneyland, and pass into what appears to be a large house in the Louisiana style. Just inside the front door is a loop of water along which small boats continuously pass, each filled with the excited chatter of people who have just emerged from the pirate cave and are approaching the point at which they must leave their tiny vessel and return to dry land. Beyond them, an animatronic parrot with a tricorner hat and eyepatch sits on a treasure chest, looking around and snapping his beak. The line carries you away to your left, where you find yourself once again in the fresh air, on a lantern-lit walkway of rough planks, which leads to the nearer of two piers on the water. The boats pass through the space between the piers, and the passengers embark for their journey through the Pirates Of The Caribbean.
    The boat leaves the dock, and slowly makes its way along the dimly lit bayou, swaying gently with the movements of the water. On each side, fireflies dance amongst the plants, and overhead the stars twinkle in the midnight blue of the night sky. If you stare upward for long enough, you might see the faint streak of a shooting star. The air is cool and fresh, a gentle breeze carrying it over the boat, and into the distance where the faint light from a cabin can be seen amongst the trees. Closer to your boat, to your left you can see old wooden shacks built on stilts to keep them above the water, and all around you, the sounds of the birds and the crickets, and the gentle swishing of the water can be heard. And faintly, somewhere up ahead you can hear someone lazily playing Oh Suzanna on the banjo in a cabin lit with flickering candles. On the right, the rear face of a white southern mansion rises above you, tall, grand, and stately. The garden between the water and the mansion is illuminated by suspended paper lanterns, and filled with candle-lit tables laden with fine food. This is the Blue Bayou, where diners enjoy fine cuisine and unique atmosphere as, just meters away, the boats carry their passengers on into the darkness. The food is divine, the service excellent, but most of all, the ambience is magnificent.
    My table was at the very edge of the back garden, almost close enough to reach out and touch the water.

    The Blue Bayou is reached through New Orleans Square, through an unassuming little doorway in a short alley. Passing into the restaurant itself, the illusion is almost compelete. So much so that the first time I rode Pirates Of The Caribbean, I did not realise right away that it was indoors. It was a clear, starry night outside, and the freshness of the air and the realism of the sky were so perfect that I didn't even notice. Normally you can tell when you're indoors, no matter how complete the illusion, but this was stunning. It wasn't until I saw the shooting star that I actually became suspicious enough to look closely at the sky, and make out the tiny details that betrayed it as a ceiling. But even knowing that you're indoors, it's easy to forget, and what better way to dine than outside, under the stars, on a clear night whose weather will never be less than perfect?
    The images linked above are just ones that I found on the web. I'll post the ones that I took (not that there are many.. it's dark in there) when I get home.

    18 May 2005 : 22.25
    It was back to Disneyland today! Woo! Disneyland is the whole reason I'm here. Tonight was the Parade Of Dreams, which was wonderful, and the fireworks, which were breathtaking. There were fireworks for each of the major attractions in Disneyland, with one part themed after the Pirates Of The Carribean, one related to Indiana Jones (with huge freaking pillars of flame!), Star Tours (with lasers!), the Haunted Mansion, and many more. And most astonishingly, they've run cables from the Matterhorn Mountain to Big Thunder, and Tinkerbell (who's my favourite character, you know) comes out and flies around the castle as the fireworks explode around her. Ok, so it's a girl dressed as Tinkerbell. Shut up. Still, wow.. it's amazing, and truly a shame that it's likely to go away after the 50th anniversary has ended.
    The Aladdin show at California Adventure was amazing, too. If you're going to California, check out the Aladdin show. Seriously, it's fabulous! It's almost the movie, but not quite. Very British panto in parts, too, which only endeared it to me further. At one point prince Ali arrives through the audience on an almost life sized elephant. And at least part of A Whole New World takes place on a carpet flying over the audience. The costumes are magnificent, the actors stunning, the sets are amazing, and the show as a whole is wonderful!

    Hey Zeus it's hot here, though. Bloody hell. They have this thing in California Adventure that's essentially a huge mockup of a jet engine, and it sprays water vapour at the people who stand underneath it. The idea is that it cools you down, but it's so hot that it's not very effective. The Grizzly Rapid Run is much more effective because you get absolutely soaked. Completely absolutely.. I don't think I could have been any more wet if I'd climbed out of the raft and into the water itself.
    I have a park hopper pass, so I can dash from Disneyland to California Adventure and back as much as I like. Which is good because there's good stuff in each, but mostly in Disneyland. Tomorrow night I'm having dinner at the Blue Bayou. If you aren't familiar with it, you're really missing out. More tomorrow. Sleepy now.

    Oh shut up. Like you don't have a favourite Disney character.
    17 May 2005 : 22.21
    Universal Studios today. Ick. It's crap. Don't go. It's become a cheap commercial venture. I mean, it is a commercial venture, obviously, but it never used to feel so much like one. I was there for about an hour before it was time to leave, it was so lame. Everything seems to be aimed at selling you things, or at pushing the newest movies at you. The staff was unpleasant.. the whole place was a pretty typical reflection of the america outside the park gates.
    Like, when you go to Disneyland, yes it's designed to part you from your money in the most effective possible fashion, but it's also about the experience. There's no experience at Universal. It spends a lot of time telling you about how great it is, but when you get there, it's all unjustified.
    Yeah, just like america.

    15 May 2005 : 19.38
    I went to SeaWorld in San Diego today. It was beautiful. Not so much the park, though it's nice, but the people in it. Manatees, rays, sharks, dolphins.. all in lovely habitats, apparently well cared for. The park seems to have shifted its focus, and it's hugely into conservation now. That can only be a good thing.
    The penguin habitat is lovely.. it's all dark and cold, and they have several different types of penguins sharing the same space. It's lovely, but it looks a bit like an uncomfortable office party because of the way they stand around or shuffle from place to place. They preserve the environment carefully, so you have to stand on a conveyor outside the habitat and move past.. you can't get in to talk to the penguins.
    There are otters, too, who are absolutely adorable. They give them tubes which have been filled with water and shellfish, and then frozen, so the otters spend a lot of time banging them against rocks, and against the windows. They're so adorable!
    The shark habitat.. wow. It's huge, and there's an acrylic tunnel through the middle where you can look up at them from beneath. That's it over there. Fabulous.

    Looking for somewhere to eat, I discovered PoFolks restaurant. Seriously. PoFolks? How on earth do they get away with that? Particularly given how ridiculously sensitive people are here. You can't have a master/slave editing system in California, you can't use the word niggardly because it sounds a bit racist, but you can have a restaurant called PoFolks?
    My my my, looky heah, we done got no money fo' food! Gots ta go ta PoFolks again! Lordy lordy!
    It sounds like a bad 1950's stereotype. I'm just amazed that no one has sued yet.
    14 May 2005 : 20.23
    Took it easy today. That's what vacations are for, right? Just wandered around and investigated the place. Venice Beach, which is lame now. Just a row of shops all selling the same things. Cheap sunglasses, tacky silver, cheap clothing.. nothing of note. Still, it was a good day. I drove through Hollywood, wandered about on the highways.. my god, the highways down here are massive!

    14 May 2005 : 00.12
    And thus ends the first day at Disneyland. Wow.. it's fabulous! The parades, the rides, the cute princesses..
    I'll post some pictures when I get back to my computer and can resize them. I watched the Disney Electrical Parade, and I have images of that, too. They're a bit wobbly, but they're good.
    California Adventure is fantastic, too. The thing is, america doesn't actually have a very interesting history, largely because it's so young, but Disney does an amazing job with what they have to work with. The Grizzly Rapid Run is great fun, and you get so wet.. went on that a few times. Soarin' Over California is good, too, with the whole flying experience.
    I saw the Electrical Parade, which was wonderful, full of Disney characters from so many of the films, but I have to say, I wish that they hadn't ended it with a whole bunch of flag waving and a stupid light-up eagle. Not just because I have such a problem with america as a whole, but Disney seems as though it should be separate from political boundaries. At least, to me. You watch Snow White and Alice In Wonderland and The Lion King and The Little Mermaid, and you don't think about nationalism, you think about magic and romance and all of the lovely things that Disney brings to what they produce, things that transcend borders and politics. To then add a message of national pride and bash all of the viewers over the head with a political message seems to weigh down the whole thing, and make it too real to be what Disney is supposed to be. It kills the innocence.
    As I see it, anyway. I realise that they're an american company, and that they have the right to make statements and wave flags and everything, and that's fine. I just think that it ruins the magic. I'd feel the same way if it were Canadian.
    California adventure is great and everything, but it lacks the magic of Disneyland. Disneyland itself is better than ever! Particularly because this year is the 50th anniversary, so everything is gold and special and lovely.

    Of course, the park was full of tourists, but not as much as I expected. It was actually pretty quiet compared to other times I've been there. Weebles everywhere, of course, but they're everywhere outside the park, too, so that's to be expected. I'll say this for america: it makes me feel good about myself. And about the country I'm from, too. So yay for being me.

    Mother of god it's hot here, though. I don't know how they live like this. Particularly the HUGE ones. I'd be dead in a month if I stayed here.
    Assuming that I didn't get myself arrested for sedition or something.
    Which seems inevitable.
    Having to seriously watch my tongue while I'm down here. The wrong word in the wrong place and I could end up on the business end of the patriot act. Not a happy thought.
    12 May 2005 : 17.37
    I'm in california! It's been ages since I've been able to take a vacation, and I was going to use my vacation time go to Tennessee this year, but that kind of fell through, so here I am. Lurking about Disneyland.
    Wow security is strict on the airlines these days. They were all "Do you have any sharp objects in your luggage?" and "Sir, you need to put on some pants."
    Actually, they did make me take off my belt and my boots. How weird is that?
    The flight attendant was checking me out on the plane, though. It was just a three hour flight, but I got so much more attention than the rest of the passengers, way better service, and plenty of coffee.. Yeah, who's a cutie? Of course, nothing could have come of it, He really wasn't my type. Too many Y chromosomes, you know.
    Anyway, once I got to LAX I caught a shuttle to my hotel with Smitty the bus driver. He's great! He's your stereotypical New York cabbie, from the way he drives to the way he talks. It wasn't exactly surprising to discover that he's from the Bronx, and that he was a cab driver there. He was really nice, and told me which attractions were "da bomb" (his words) and where to get the best food. See? It's not all americans.
    Just most of them.
    That said, there's a stereotype that most americans are rude, and since I'm here surrounded by them, and have current, first hand experience, I just want to set the record straight right now so that there's no possibility of mistake: yes, they are. The only people who've been remotely polite so far are those associated specifically with hospitality. The tourism people, Smitty (who's just cool), the restaurant wait staff in the Disneyland area, etc. The actual people, though.. nooooo. No smiles, no pleases or thank yous, no common courtesy.
    Speaking of restaurants, I went to Denny's for lunch. My only excuse is that I've been up since four, and my judgement was skewed. Strangely, Denny's doesn't seem to be the nasty greasy spoon here that it is in Canada. In Canada, you go to Denny's if nothing else is open, or if you have no money. Here, it seems as though they actually make an effort to make it nice. They fail miserably, but it seems like they're making the effort. It's funny, though.. it's the little differences that surprise you. The big differences between Canada and yankeeland don't come as a surprise because you're expecting them, but the little ones sneak up on you. Little stuff that you wouldn't even think of, like the fact that they don't sweeten their iced tea (ick), or the fact that you can't get salad instead of fries. Mind you, the latter isn't really surprising. americans are fat, fat people. Not all of them, but my god, you should see the population around here. HUGE! Seriously, a goodly percentage of the people are built like Weebles. Other little things, too, like the fact that they don't have LED traffic lights, they still use those huge nasty incandescent bulbs that waste so much energy. It's no wonder they have an energy crisis when they're just wasting power like that. I mean, think about how much power just one incandescent green light uses in a year.. it buggers the mind how wasteful yankees are. And I mentioned rudeness.. it seems as though they don't know how to say please when they're ordering. Every person I heard around me ordering food said "I want x" or "I'm gonna have x" rather than "I'd like x, please". No pleases, no thank yous.

    From Stage 29 at Paramount studios, on Melrose Avenue, in Los Angeles California, in this Galactic Empire, on the planet we call Coruscant... It's the debut episode of 'The Space 'n' Vader Show' (with guest Brooke Shields). And now here he is it's Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarth Vader! (Woof! Woof! Woof! HHhhh hhhh)
    11 May 2005 : 17.27

    Judge me by my size do you? Huh bitch? Yeah, back the fuck up you better cuz the Force got ma back, yo! Mace, get ma sabre, this muthafucker is dead!

    So Star Wars comes out soon. I'm actually looking forward to it immensely. Yes, Lucas completely destroyed the faith that a lot of the fans had in him with the last two movies, but this one looks like it's going to make up for all of that.
    Of course, I'll believe it when I see it, but new Star Wars is always a cause for enthusiasm.
    Except maybe for the holiday special.

    Arr! Look alive, ye scurvy dogs! Hoist the mains'l, and batten down the retractable glass dome over the jacuzzis, and swab the three-deck Grand Plaza atrium featuring two panoramic lifts, three show lounges, and a glass-walled nightclub! Arr!
    8 May 2005 : 16.18
    Cruise ships sounding their horns shortly prior to leaving port sound just like giant, angry, asthmatic bagpipe players. Just so you know.
    They look very impressive, though. Which is funny, because Tom Cruise looks like a badly aged ferret. Who's been up all night drinking.

    actual size.
    8 May 2005 : 12.00
    heh heh.. I just got an email message from a customer named Wei Ting. Seriously. Wei Ting. But why did his parents give him that name? Hm? For what reason? What's he Wei Ting for? Eh? Waiting? Wei Ting?

    Yeah I got nuthin'.

    I've been fiddling with the scheduling software at work. Normally it greets you by name when you log in. Mine now says "Hello, O benevolent and sarcastic one! All hail!"
    I have my own fun.

    Dear god I'm tired. And I ran out of dexedrine again, so I'm not even being kept afloat by its buoyant effect. So tired I just want to crawl under my desk and sleep..
    It's amazing what a difference it makes.. you get used to being constantly this full of energy because of the amphetamine effect, and then when you're suddenly deprived you're like a deflated balloon. Funny how my sense of time goes back to virtually zero, too.
    But it could be worse. There are only eight hours more of work ahead of me. I think.
    Had a dream last night about being threatened by a guy with a ham radio.
    Hell, I don't know. Don't ask me.


    7 May 2005 : 14.53
    I was reading an advance review of the new Star Wars movie. One of the comments was:

    "Sometimes I put geckos in my pants and then call my dad on the phone. He used to molest me and call me his sticky lizard. That is why BOBA FETT LIVES! FUCK JANGO!!!"

    Yes, Star Wars fans can be very passionate about their movies.

    And speaking of passionate, how fucking desperate do the bible thumpers have to be for something remotely resembling a sign from their god that they'll worship anything that even slightly looks like one of the paintings in their churches. You know, if you really squint at it. That image there, that's supposed to be the virgin mary in the glass. And look at all of the offerings and the people praying and everything. It's pathetic, it really is. Worshipping a power that can create the universe, but only shows itself by putting images that vaguely resemble its mom into the windows of random office buildings, or under bridges, or in hospital windows? Seriously, I don't even have to make fun of them. They do it to themselves with these ridiculous displays of desperation.
    Personally, I think that this one looks more like a mystical image of a giant vulva. And look at all of the chairs and things in this one. You're worshipping a frigging window people!
    They say that god is trying to communicate. Hello? Is this the same all-powerful god who was responsible for pillars of salt, destruction of entire cities, and parting the red sea? Is his credit so bad that no one will give him a phone line? Can't he even pop in and say hello in person? There's supposed to be nothing he can't do, remember? Hell, if I wanted to communicate, I wouldn't go around carefully crafting images out of stains on walls and windows, and I'm not even the creator of the universe. So what we have here, aside from a failure to communicate, is justification fueled by a need not just for meaning, but for reassurance. These people go through life never actually seeing anything that proves the existence of their god, and so they cling frantically to whatever they can find.
    To think that the same species responsible for Hawking, Einstein, Darwin, and Gallileo (to name but a few) produces people like this. I weep for the future, I really do.

    Case in point.
    And now,

    Questions? Check the FAQ.

    I heard a rumour. They say you've got a broken heart. I heard a rumour.
    06 May 2005 : 17.17
    Now, I eat the banana.

    06 May 2005 : 16.37
    Bugger. One of my machines crashed last night, and took a bunch of data with it. I lost a bunch of email, and all of my MSN Messenger message histories. Fuck.

    In other news, went out with Jozi last night. She's quite insane. Most excellent. :)

    And now, defiance.

    30 April 2005 : 18.24
    Speaking of coffee..
    And later on, when we become more mature, we have that line, where if you're talking to someone, getting on well, you can say that great line, "Do you want a cup of coffee?" And if they go, "Ah… yeah, okay," then sex is on, yeah? That's the unwritten rule. Doesn't always work. If the President of Burundi says, "Would you like a cup of coffee," you're not supposed to go, "Oh, I'm in here!"
    "And how do you take it?"
    "Any way I can find it big boy! Oh, just a cup of coffee? All right... I thought you meant 'Do you want a cup of coffee?' So you're from Burundi, are you? Fantastic! Yeah! No, I know, it's near Zaire, isn't it? Near Tanzania, yeah. Yeah. No, I learned them all when I had chicken pox. I have to go now, ‘cause my grandmother's on fire..."
    But normally it does work as long as you keep the chat sexy. "Yes, I like my coffee hot and strong. Like I like my women! Hot and strong... With a spoon in them. Ah, the curve of the spoon, the curve of your breast! I like to run the spoon ( talking with the tongue sticking out ) across my lips..." Then you're pretty close, yeah?

    “Oui, j’aime beaucoup le cafê, le cafê noir and très fort; très choud… ( inhales ) avec une cuillère dedans… ( mocking sound ) Ah, le virage de la cuillère; le virage des poitrines… Je mets la cuillère dans la bouche…”
    “Je suis le Président de Burundi.”
    Ah, oui, Burundi! Je le connais bien! C’est tout près de Zaire, oui? Tout près de Mozambique… No, Tanzanie, Tanzanie! ( chuckles falsely ) Oui, je les ai appris quand j’ai les pox de poulet. Je dois part maintenant parce que ma grandmère est flambèe…”

    If you don’t speak French, by the way, all that was fucking funny, all right?

    Who's a pretty boy then?
    30 April 2005 : 18.09
    So I have a nifty new friend. She's called Jozi, and she's very cool. And bold. Definitely bold. I hardly know her, and already I'm very fond of her.
    "She is not quite what you would call refined. She is not quite what you would call unrefined. She is the kind of person that keeps a parrot." (slightly paraphrased Mark Twain from Following the Equator)
    So there. We're having coffee or something next week. I'm supposed to call her on Monday. Of course, the shyness will rear its ugly head, but I'm tired of letting it get in the way when I meet cool new people, so I'm determined not to be too shy this time.

    28 April 2005 : 18.37
    Isn't my city lovely?
    As cities go, if you overlook the massive ecological damage they do, I mean.

    But the quality of life survey is in again, and Vancouver is number three, after Geneva and Zurich.
    As an aside, yankeeland, known to its residents as "the greatest country in the world" TM, ranked 25th in overall quality of life, and 45th in personal safety.
    "All of the Canadian cities covered by the survey appear in the top 20 rankings for personal safety and security. Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver rank jointly in position 18 with scores of 112.

    In the US, Honolulu, Houston, Lexington, San Francisco, and Winston Salem rank highest in joint 45th position with scores of 104.
    So it's not just the city, it's the whole of Canada.

    Lick them over there!? Sounds a bit RUDE! Sounds a bit like... BUM!

    Just what the hell does 'our last, best hope' mean anyway?
    27 April 2005 : 16.03
    So I've been watching Babylon 5 lately. The cool girl from work insisted, and once I'd given it a try I was quite drawn in. The first season is a bit weak, of course, but then it is for most new shows, particularly science fiction. After all, launching a new SF show involves more than just building interesting characters. You have to create new an entire world and, in cases like Babylon 5, Star Trek, etc, you have to create entire new races and cultures, not to mention new technologies, political situations, and so on. So I can forgive B5 for being a little underdeveloped in the first season. It's busily establishing everything, most importantly the characters and the political climate, so that it can do something with them. Without introducing those aspects of the programme, B5 couldn't have worked. After all, it's hugely political, and enormously occupied with conspiracies.
    Season 1 is very mild.. no serious depth to it at all, but you can see the potential even through the problems with the first season. Except that Sinclair has to die a horrible screaming death. Messily.
    Which is kind of a shame, since I like the character, but the actor is.. well, to give you an idea, the cool girl calls him "Captain Wooden". He's terrible. He delivers his lines completely flat, and when he has to GASP! show emotion, the only expression he has is smirk.
    There's one episode where he, essentially, has to tell a child that because of his parents' religion, he's not going to get the essential operation he needs to save his life. Sinclair smirks his way through the entire scene as though he's enjoying some private little joke and hasn't the good manners to share.
    Ok, so maybe the actor's playing Sinclair as a sadistic, smug bastard, but this isn't the sort of person you want as a leading man, is it? Ok, it isn't the sort of person that most people want as a leading man.
    The other annoying thing is that all of the measurements are in Imperial. No, really, they measure things in miles, and other ridiculous units. Backward though it is, even the american military already uses Metric, so it's hard to believe that in the future Imperial units would have made a comeback. Retro or not. But that's a very minor complaint, really, and likely intended to help the yankees of the audience feel more comfortable with the show.
    I'm only about halfway through season 2, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it. It's getting really complicated now, and the more complicated it gets, the more it draws you in. If you haven't watched B5, I recommend it, particularly if you like political conspiracy.

    I still prefer Doctor Who, though. Mind you, I prefer Doctor Who to everything, so that's hardly a surprise. And I can't wait to see what they've done in the new series with the Daleks.

    teh r0x0r.
    25 April 2005 : 16.36
    I finally managed to track down my friend Ngaire. Yay! I've missed talking to her. She's one of the coolest people I know. In fact, I might go so far as to claim that she is teh r0x0r.

    teh r0x0r... hmm. You know, I should find an algebra textbook and see whether there are secret messages in L337 5p33K..
    If T=0 and M=0 and 4(TM)+6[(F+34W)(LT)]=G, then 0MG = WTF = L0L.
    Simplify the following expression: dUd3, 74H7 |20x0r j00|2 |30X0R

    It's a whole new field! 7H30|2371c4L 50c14L /\/\4T3Hm471c5!!!11one1
    F34|2. Ph34r w17H 6Re4T P|-|33R.

    man, or manbudgie?
    22 April 2005 : 12.16
    smick smack smickety slorp chatter chatter slurp mutter slurp "cool" smack slorp laugh at nothing smick sluuuuuurp AHHHH! [ ad nauseum ad infinitum ]

    kill me.

    No, wait. Kill him.

    Every time I try to talk to someone it's always sorry this and forgive me that and I'm not worthy...
    19 April 2005 : 21.47
    shamelessly pilfered from Fark, since I'm too lazy to make one myself.

    Chantal Crème Brûlée
    18 April 2005 : 23.21
    Went to the Bell Canada 125 birthday party thing at The Centre with a dear friend. It was spiffy.. Bell was having parties all across the country, and as I recall, there were concerts in Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, and Vancouver. Ottawa got Jann Arden, Montreal got the Barenaked Ladies, Quebec City got some French guy, but then that serves them right, and we got Chantal Krev.. Chantal Kremey.. the lovely Chantal Kreviazukstanistanovich...
    Just Chantal and a grand piano, with white drapes and candelabras, all top-lit by motorised lights with gobos and gel scrollers in everything from marine colours to pinks. It was like we were underwater.
    Except, you know, for the fire. And the pink. And the singing. Shut up.
    She's very cool. She was one of those artists who I'd heard but never really noticed, even though she's got a hell of a voice and really knows her way around a piano, but she was most excellent, and I feel the need to actually buy her CDs now. I know! Like, with money and everything!
    She picked on one singing girl in the audience mercilessly, and she was very pregnant, so there was a lot of talk about that. I find pregnancy repugnant, of course, but she made it funny.
    And impressively, she'd start singing a song, stop halfway through the intro and chat for a minute about silly things, and then pick up exactly where she was without being so much as a semitone off. And when she attacked the keyboard for a solo during Leaving On A Jet Plane it was really something to see. And hear.

    Stick a fork in me 'cuz fuck it's hot. Or something.
    15 April 2005 : 12.12
    <whine>This heat is killing me. I walk to the Skytrain every morning, and the whole way is in direct sunlight, so that doesn't help, either. Even coated in SPF 70 I'm still burning. </whine>

    Subjectively, it feels like it's getting worse every year. Objectively, it is.
    If it were just humanity, I wouldn't care so much. It's humanity's mess, let them suffer. But it isn't just humanity. Think of all of the other wonderful creatures and plants and natural structures that are suffering because of human behaviour. And think how much of that human behaviour is motivated by money.
    As if money matters. In the grand scheme of things, it's very short term, and in a few centuries, maybe less, we won't even have money. The whole concept is very immature, and to me it's a sign of a civilisation still in the early stages of development. So who cares about how much money you'll make, or how much money you'll save if the price is the end of the world? What's more important, money, or life? Because that's what it comes down to.

    it's very small, really, and very fragile. And very, very beautiful.

    Ivy. Ivy? Hello? I. V. Roman numeral for four? It's a visual pun! It's wit! Honestly, why do I bother?
    10 April 2005 : 11.25
    My god it's hot. No, like hot. It's obscene, and the summer hasn't even begun yet. Unfortunately, heat gives me headaches, so I hate the summer. Gah. It's going to be a hell of a year.

    So my ISP has decreed that henceforth, the top speed of my Internet connection will be seven! Seven megabits per second! Ah Ah Ah! That's bloody fast for residential Internet service.

    I was wandering around Burrard street the other night, and they were shooting Fantasic Four. Again. they were shooting it in the same area way back in October. Oh, this movie is going to suck. Something that's been shooting for this long, and endured as many rewrites as I've been hearing, is going to be a dismal failure. Besides, Fantasic Four.. who's a fan of Fantasic Four? I mean, if you're going to make a comic book movie, you need to make one that will appeal to people who aren't comic fans, as well, since they make up the majority of the population, and how many of them have ever even heard of Fantasic Four? It's not exactly a major player in the comic book world, is it? I mean X-Men, ok, Superman and Spider-Man, obviously, but they have name recognition. Fantastic Four might be really good, as comics go, but it's a bit obscure to make a hugely expensive movie out of it, don't you think? I predict enormous crowds flocking to... something else. Star Wars, I shouldn't wonder.

    Fortunately, Holly was recast at the last minute before Red Dwarf went to camera.
    03 April 2005 : 13.20
    Bloody daylight saving time. I was late for work this morning because of it. brakka frakka mung dang noodle frikka...

    Hey, Star Trek: The Motion Picture is on Space. Which reminds me, I was going to take up a campaign to have Star Trek III: The Search For Spock re-titled Finding Nimoy.

    Oh, like you weren't thinking it.

    So now the pope is dead.
    The pope. Sounds like a dance from the 70s. Anyway, now that the pope is dead, there's a vacancy, right? He must have been doing alright, too.. head of a huge corporation, house all covered in gold, and his only boss is a figment of his imagination. Not to mention the catholic girls everywhere...

    Sorry, where was I?
    Oh, right! Sounds like a hell of a gig!
    So I would hereby like to announce my campaign for the position of pope. I have a resume and everything.
    Shut up. I'd be a good pope. Oh yes I would. And I'd change the title from pope to POP3, so there'd be servers all around the world named after me. Now that's marketing. And bugger the popemobile. I'd get around on a moped and go "ciao" at everyone. A pope moped. A poped, in fact.!
    How long until Sinead O'Connor is tearing up my picture?

    I'm Batman.
    02 April 2005 : 12.42
    Aw, now I have to make new images.
    One more time!

    02 April 2005 : 09.21
    Heh, language is a funny thing. It's funny, I mean, how a word can mean one thing in one place or time, and something else in another place or time. Think of the consequences that this could bring about.
    With that in mind, I offer this low-brow example:

    01 April 2005 : 13.31

    31 March 2005 : 15.31
    Fuck. The amazingly cool girl has a new boyfriend, from work, and it's not me.
    He's a nice guy, kind of a friend of mine, and so I'm happy for both of them.
    And no, I'm not bitter.


    If I was a rich girl, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, See, I'd have all the money in the world, if I was a wealthy girl
    30 March 2005 : 21.21
    Just paid off my last student loan.
    And in just five years!
    Who's a sexy bitch???!!!11one1

    Quickly Robin! To the Elephant!
    30 March 2005 : 14.33
    So the other night I had a new girl in my bed. I know, you really needed to know that. But there's a reason that I bring it up, you see. After all, what is it you do when you have a girl in your bed? That's right.. so we're talking about superheroes, and it struck me that Batman seems to have every mode of transportation except an elephant. Now, would that not strike ph34r into the hearts of criminals everywhere, seeing a bloody great elephant, painted black and wearing a bat cowl, bearing down on them? Of course, he might be a little hard to park.
    Alfred, I need to go into town. Prepare the Battephant.
    And the Battephant would have body armour, of course, and rocket launchers. I'm telling you, this would be the ultimate weapon in the war against crime!
    I'll photoshop it when I have time. I've been busy lately.

    The crystal Xbox. Oooh, shiny!
    20 March 2005 : 19.33
    Yes, now I have an Xbox. Not just any Xbox, mind you! A Crystal Xbox! King among Xboxen!
    I know, like it makes any difference. But the controllers are clear acryllic, too, so you can see the little vibrator motors spinning up when something happens.
    You know, if you happen to be staring closely at the controller when they do that sort of thing.
    Shut up! It's shiny and pretty and I like it. So there. And you should see Vice City on this system. Wow.. so much better than even the PC.

    This is an ex-parrot!

    Irish for Genius. Brilliant!
    17 March 2005 : 13.21
    Happy St. Patrick's Day! It's Celticfest!
    Drink, ya bastards! It's tradition. It's also a bloody good excuse. An international holiday in honour of drinking? Trust the Irish!

    Ooo eee oooooooo....
    16 March 2005 : 19.10
    "I'm the Doctor by the way. What's your name?"
    "Nice to meet you Rose. Run for your life!"

    So, the new Doctor Who series...
    I tried to be good. I really did. I tried to resist the unbearable urge to watch the leaked episode. I was going to avoid it, I was going to wait.
    But I'm not that strong. Offer me money, offer me power, and I'm unmoved, but offer me the first new Doctor Who episode in over sixteen years and I fold like a cheap whore. Or whatever it is that cheap whores do.
    So what did I think? In a word, WOW! Or maybe that should be "Ace!"
    My huge worry was that they were going to modernise it too much, change the wrong things like they did with the TV movie, but they didn't! It's different, yes, but it manages to be the same. I mean, the pace is incredible. The original series took two hours, sometimes more, to tell the story, while the new series does it in forty-five minutes. But though that means a less developed story, it will make certain that the programme will keep the interest of today's audience, who doesn't want to think too much about its entertainment, and wants mostly more action now.
    Rose is a fabulous companion, and the Doctor is wonderful! He has elements of many of the previous Doctors, from the fifth Doctor's vulnerable side to the sixth Doctor's impatient superiority, with hints of the fourth's surface silliness and the sense of mystery that surrounded the seventh. But in spite of combining elements of so many of the previous Doctors, he still manages to take the part and make it his own, so that even though he's new, he's still the Doctor.
    Even the new Tardis interior is growing on me. I say growing.. I've watched the leaked episode six times so far. I can't help it.. we don't get the broadcast version until the fifth. I'll watch it then, too. :)
    The writing is clearly intended to focus more on character development than it did in the original series, so the Doctor and Rose have a much more interesting interaction. They argue, they hold hands, they develop in a way that the original characters didn't. And this is only the first episode.
    There's more of a sense of the alien about the Doctor this time, too, which is where they were heading toward the end of the original series, I think. His behaviour, the Tardis interior, all of it points to someone who's definitely not from around here.
    And while a lot of people were worried that the increased budget, better special effects, and improved monsters would ruin the programme, I'm happy to say that it's quite the opposite. With the original series you had to be a bit forgiving when watching it after its initial broadcast because the effects and the monsters did become a bit dated, but this series.. wow. It's done right. Everything is done just right, and it's not a remake or a reimagining, it's a faithful return to the best programme on television.

    As the new Doctor says, "Fantastic!"

    I'm just glad they didn't call it something lame, like Doctor Who: The Next Regeneration.

    Repeat to yourself: there is no hanky-panky in the TARDIS. Pretend that it helps.

    "Really though, Doctor, tell me. Who are you?"
    "D'you know like we were saying, about the Earth revolving? It's like when you're a kid, the first time they tell you that the world's turning and you just can't quite believe it 'cause everything looks like it's standing still? I can feel it. [takes Rose's hand]
    The turn of the Earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinnin' at a thousand miles an hour, and the entire planet is hurtling 'round the sun at sixty-seven thousand miles an hour and I can feel it. We're falling through space, you and me, clingin' to the skin of this tiny little world and if we let go... [drops Rose's hand]
    That's who I am. Now forget me, Rose Tyler. Go home."

    15 March 2005 : 16.22
    The other day I helped a new girl move into my building. She's tall and skinny, with frizzy red hair and freckles. She's really nice, but she moans in her sleep. ;)

    Oh, oh, and I got my new phone! Yay me! It has midi ringtones, themes, all sorts of nifty things. If you're a T610 user, you can grab spiffy software, ringtones, themes, wallpapers, etc, from

    I laughed, I cried...
    01 March 2005 : 18.22
    So my show was a huge success. I took to lurking about as the people left, listening to the response. Everyone really enjoyed it. Yay! I might have to give it another go, this directing thing.
    I mean, it was amazing to sit in the house and listen to the crowd laugh and react to the bits I'd set, the ideas I'd had.. I was so freaking nervous before opening night, but now that I have some background, the next time will be easier.
    And there will be a next time.

    What is the matrix?
    21 February 2005 : 12.22
    Finally saw the second and third Matrix movies last night. Wow.. just wow. They were almost, almost as lame as I had heard.
    Almost. It would be hard for anything short of Catwoman to be as lame as these were supposed to be.
    But on a scale of one to Catwoman, they're right up there in terms of dialogue, plot, acting, and.. well, everything short of special effects. Those were pretty special, I'll give them that.

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