Thursday, December 31, 2009

Asian Canadian girls remarkably cheerful about getting STDs.

It's just a bad choice of a stock photo - I think I saw the same pair of models on a earphone package. One would expect a more serious expression on the cover of a pamphlet dealing with a virus that can lead to cervical cancer!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

H1N1 intimations of mortality

A little boy was looking at an elderly man leaving the clinic after the flu shots - he asked "Look at the old man - Why is he old?". His mother said everybody, including him, was going to get old.
"I don't want to walk with a cane!" he said.
"Maybe if your bones stay strong and your spine stays straight you won't have to." she said.

I had both the H1N1 and the seasonal flu shots today - neither has given me any real discomfort. There were a lot of Mohawks at the clinic, since the news says that natives are most affected by this virus.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tilley Socks do keep their promise

Tilley Walking Socks are supposed to have a three year guarantee against holes - mine did get one only a few months after purchase - it didn't look like hole developed from wear - it looked like some type of chemical had eaten away the material - but they did replace it with a new pair although I only mailed in one damaged sock and did not charge me for postage.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Stew Cameron

Stew Cameron - possibly the only victim of Socred inspired terrorism - was a cartoonist who published editorial cartoons that enraged the Social Credit premier of Alberta, "Bible Bill" Aberhart in the early 1940s.  In his book on Canadian cartoonists The Hecklers, (1979) Peter Desbarats reported that Stew's home "was once fire-bombed", but John Adcock has said he could not substantiate this. Cameron is best known for his cowboy cartoons.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cariboo Cameron House

Cariboo Cameron was a miner who struck it rich in the goldfields of California and British Columbia. His wife had died after childbirth in a mining camp and he shipped her home in an alcohol filled casket. Cameron had to bribe Tammany Hall appointed custom clerks in New York to get the casket home and had to exhume her after a newspaper claimed that she was not in the casket and that she was still alive since he had sold her into slavery - supposedly the grass wouldn't grow for years near her grave in Salem church after they'd dumped out the alcohol. This is his home in Summerstown, Ont - the head of the scotsman is said to be him and the woman his wife Sophia.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ubuntu AMD64 and flash

If you have a computer with a  AMD64 processor you can install a free Ubuntu operating system and get the benefit of 64-bit processing (basically it's faster) without getting a Windows Pro OS.
One mistake I made was when I installed Adobe's flash for AMD64 was not  removing the nspluginwrapper which let 32 bit flash, which I had previously installed, work with a 64 bit system, as suggested by Softpedia.
Not removing made it hard to click on the play and volume buttons using youtube and other video sites.
All you need to do to fix it is run Synaptic Package Manager, look for nsplugin and remove it and the other programs that work with it. Youtube now worked fine and I didn't need to reinstall anything.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Winter Gear

Winter Clothing

It was about - 20 this morning, with a wind chill. The face mask is thin neoprene, so it doesn't absorb water from your breath and turn into ice.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Why is there a cowbell on the desk of the speaker of the Irish parliament?

Recently, Paul Gogarty, a Green Party member of the  Dáil, the Irish Republic's parliament, said "F**k You" to fellow member Emmet Stagg.
 Lots of commentators thought it was quaint and compared it to James Joyce - it wasn't and bringing up someone's Irishness whenever they behave like a jackass in public is stupid. (Saying 'dat' and 'witdraw' instead of 'that' and 'withdraw' is just an Irish accent, not a sign of feeble mindedness, and doesn't excuse misbehavior!)
I was wondering why there was a cowbell on the speaker's desk - it isn't a cowbell, according to Edward Canavan, spokesperson for the Irish parliament, who said it was the Ceann Comhairles Bell,  a half-size reproduction of a bell that was found at "Castle Island, Lough Lene, Castlepollard, County Westmeath in 1881", and presented to the house in 1931 by the widow of Major Bryan Cooper, a former member.
(Image of Ceann Comhairles Bell taken from homepage of the oireachtas, (Irish Parliament))

Sunday, November 15, 2009

When will we fall?

I never went to Berlin when the wall was up. I only crossed the Iron Curtain once, when I was in Hungary in 1982, and the boundary was a lot easier to cross than it had been. In my friend's village he had a reel-to-reel tape recorder with a tape that his friend had sent him - he'd taken it to an English teacher because he couldn't understand it - she couldn't understand it either. It was the Sex Pistols. I told him what they were saying - when they got to Holidays in the Sun with the line "I'm looking over the wall and they're looking at me" he said he'd been in East Berlin and gone to the place where West Berliners could look into the East - Brandenburg Gate? - and he stood looking back at them too.
"When will we fall?" - Back in 1977, even as late as 1989 we thought that we'd be the ones to fall, the wall would be up forever, or the world would end in a nuclear war.

Monday, October 26, 2009

free geocities no more

I started posting my stories and blog on Geocities after starting off on Compuserve's personal web page sometime around 1996. And now it's  gone!
Yahoo! could have made Geocities into what Facebook is now years ago.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Roman Polanski Ironic Post

I am soooo annoyed at the Swiss for arresting and continuing to hold genius Roman Polanski without bail. So annoyed that I'm eating Troblerone and Lindt chocolate bars and thinking of buying a swatch.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Call in the Bin

Cornwall, Ontario - Call In The Bin is the name of a local bin rental service whose name plays on a locally used phrase. Caline de Bine is an expression one hears in Quebec and Eastern Ontario, sort of like "Gosh Darn It" - if someone with a French-Canadian accent said "Call in the Bin" it would sound exactly the same. In Cornwall, this phrase is used in English, as well as some of the other French-Canadian swear words, like 'tabernacle' and 'sacrifice'. These are only swear words in Cornwall and area English when used with a French intonation - with the English pronunciation they are innocuous. "Caline" can be used by itself for a euphemism for "Calice", as in  the song "Câline de blues" ('Darn blues') by Offenbach."Bine" as used here is just a rhyme word that softens the phrase even more, but bine or binne does mean "bean".  Bin also means the same as it does in English. There are take out food places called "Bineries" that sell baked beans - there is even a Festival de la Bine in Plantagenet, Ontario, organized by the local binerie.   On Twelfth Night, or "Fete du Roi", celebrated twelve days after Christmas, sometimes a bean, or a coin is baked into a cake and whoever get the piece of cake with the bean in it becomes the King or Queen of the party. People who have the family name Lefebvre can pick up the nickname "Beans" (binnez??) because "febvre" (smith, as in blacksmith) sounds like "fève" (bean). There is also a  Butte et Bine in this area, a bakery and farm homestay, but in this case the Bine refers to using a hoe (a binette in French) and the Butte is for mounding, like when planting potatoes.
Calice is a quite strong swear word, and should not be used casually. Most French-Canadian swear words use religious objects or persons, unlike French, or even Acadian. You could shout 'calice' in the street in Paris and people would just be puzzled! I wonder if this doesn't come from the Basque and Spanish habit of swearing using phrases involving doing certain bodily functions on holy object or persons. For centuries there were lots of Basque whalers who had established stations in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Jacques Cartier mentioned meeting them in his voyages to Canada, and they are supposed to have contributed some words to Canadian languages, like the word 'Iroquois'. It may have been that the full phrase was "I (censored) on the chalice!" and over the years it was modified into just the mention of the holy object being defiled.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

C and S toke on the beach

It's a form of compressed tobacco - strawberry flavored in this case. The hookah is called a shisha - up till a few years ago it was only middle easterners who smoked them, but there are trendy clubs nowadays. S started talking to me about the loss of the library of Alexandria, c... hmmm... 300 A.D? which was the lede used by an NPR story talking about how Google wants to be the new library of Alexandria that I heard on the radio about 20 minutes later. Synchronicity? Naaahhh..... common theme and I listen to the news all the time.

C's tat reads "Pursue your dreams to the stars" in English.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Faux Teutonic Demonic

A carnival in Belleville - a lot of the funhouses I have seen seem to have come from Bavaria or Austria, where they take Carnaval seriously - this one obviously isn't but tries to be...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rusty the Kitten vs. Ministry of Truth,

Rusty the kitten jams Radio China after the unpleasantly named China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Centre noticed this week that there was porn on the internet and the gov. of China blocked some Google searches.

Friday, June 19, 2009

cmos battery connector tip

I tried splicing the wires from a cmos battery that I need to change from a two socket to three socket connection - it's hard! Then the guy at the store told me you could change the connector just by lifting the tabs on the plug - it's hard because it's so small, but easier than splicing - lift the tabs with a small screwdriver put under the side of the tab away from the entry and gently pry up - the wires should have the indentation facing down as shown. You might need magnifying glasses!

Irridescent cloud

Here's a rainbow cloud and the sun with a ring.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Drag Me To Hell (2009)

I've watched the Evil Dead movies dozens of times, but I walked out of Drag Me to Hell - it was just too mean - starting off with gypsies cursing a Mexican boy to be dragged to hell by a demon because he stole a piece of jewelry his parents tried to return - this is just plain nasty - Gypsies, better called Roma, still live under persecution in Europe - and the Hungarian woman that is implied to be gypsy is a grotesque, snot-filled caricature.
In the Evil Dead movies the grotesque things were done to or by demons, not just confused old ladies.

Monday, June 1, 2009

A faun in the afternoon! It was sitting near a stream - the mother was probably nearby. Eyes are blue.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Signs of Spring

Yellow Perch are spawning

Red head is male - trying to attract mate by strutting.

The Garter snake has awoken from hibernation.

The Colt's Foot is the first showy flower of spring.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Beavers gathering food

Here's a beaver leaving its lodge to gather food - they eat bark!

They eat bark - birch, maple, willow.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Voluntary Obama Post

During yesterday's visit to Ottawa, President Obama didn't meet the general public at all, except when he jumped out of his car to shop and get cookies - there were only American reporters that were in his press pool with him, which means that the Prime Minister's Office didn't know it was going to happen - where Obama stopped is a few blocks away from the US Embassy in Ottawa, so they must have told him where to stop and shop. Prime Minister Harper and the new Conservative Party have had strong connections with American conservative groups. The official part of Obama's visit had the lowest visual presence of any major head of state visit I've seen - the people who had stood for hours on Parliament Hill only saw him waving for an instant behind bullet proof glass.

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's about time somebody did that!

(image via Happy Famous Artists)
Hirst did the jewel encrusted skull called "For the Love of God" which it was claimed sold for 50 million pounds to undisclosed buyers (I'm doubtful - I haven't seen any proof that much was paid, and you'd need a forklift to deliver that much in cash) - this sculpture by Eugenio Merino sold for a more reasonable $41,290, and as Hirst threatened to sue a 16 year old, who was ordered to fork over his 200 pound profit by a British copyright group, for selling some derivative artwork, I couldn't think of a nicer guy for the subject of satire.
Here's Merino's Website.
I've just joined his fanclub!
Update September 5 - and the kid has been charged for stealing a box of pencils from Hirst, who claimed that since the pencils were part of a display they were worth half a million pounds.
A desktop sized version of this sculpture would make a swell action figure....Morally Bankrupt Man?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mandatory Obama Post

Learn English the Obama way! This is a collection of his pre-inauguration speeches with a booklet with translation and CD for Japanese learning English. Something that I doubt they'd do with Bush the Younger.... you'd have to explain why nuclear was transcribed Nu Ku lar. Sells for about $ 10 US

Update - made the BBC News on the 28!