Monday, October 31, 2005

A fellow member of a mailing list I'm part of is currently in what may be the late stages of his life due to the leukemia he suffers from. He commented how the blood transfusion he had on Friday made him feel much better, and that he walked a mile today. Damn but does reading something like that, and about some of the other stuff he's doing even given his current problems, make me feel like a lazybones.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Sorry, Gandalf, but you're gonna have to wait just a bit longer. Hopefully not much longer.

Hmmm, I wonder if Halloween is the favourite day of the year of the dental profession?

Friday, October 28, 2005

The use of the term slash to denote fanfiction that involves homosexual relationships is generally believed to have originated with Star Trek fanfiction, coming from story descriptions that contained something like "Kirk/Spock" to denote gay content in the story.

Boy, will this news get some of the Trek slash fans going! George Takei, who played Sulu in the original series, has come out in a magazine article. He decided it was finally time to do so, although one would think those who know him well already knew, especially since he's been with the same man for 18 years. Takei says he grew up with the double whammy of feeling negative about his Japanese heritage because of being interned as a child during WW2, and feeling negative about his sexual preference given the prejudices of the time. Fortunately things have changed.

It should be noted that Sulu has a canonical daughter, who appeared in the film Star Trek: Generations, so he may very well have a wife. Of course in the 23rd Century of Star Trek who knows what technologies may be used to create children by those who don't want to or can't do it in the old fashioned way.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Its kind of ironic that as i was sitting here reading about guitar effects and synthesizers, including a page about the rare Yamaha DX1, I've been listening to Jin Jin/Firefly by Takashi Hirayasu and Bob Brozman, which is them on acoustic instruments in a small rural house on one of the smaller islands of the Ryukyu chain. I really wish I had some more recordings of Okinawan music.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

And the broom came
And swept the Astros away.

And the broom came
And swept the spectre of the Black Sox away.

But don't worry baseball fans, spring training is only 6 months away.
Hmmm, is that the sound of brooms I hear coming from Houston?

Talk about a grueling tv watching experience. These 5 plus hour games aren't good for me. But imagine being in an Astrodome seat for five plus hours. I would think it does some nasty things to your behind.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Just as a followup to my post yesterday about teen facist pop duo Prussian Blue I found out this afternoon there is a British blues rock group of the same name. Their website is here. I would imagine they aren't happy if anyone has told them about the American group. However they've apparently copyrighted the name, so perhaps it will stop the American group from using that name in the UK.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Rosa Parks has died at age 92. Its from small actions like her's in 1954 that revolutions are made.
Its sad the way adults exploit kids. A good example is Prussian Blue, who some are calling the Olsen Twins of the extreme right. Of course the big difference between the Olsens and these poor little girls is that the Olsens became millionaires as children, while these girls will be lucky if they don't end up in jail or dead sooner or later.

Its hard to say whether stories like this are a good idea. In some ways they could be considered little more than free publicity for the trash using these kids. On the other hand it might help some parents keep their kids away from the insidious poison these girls are being used to promote.

Friday, October 21, 2005

I occasionally get spam from alternative health types. I presume this comes from posting to places on Usenet like sci.skeptic and Today I got some for something called The Health Freedom Expo, scheduled for Dallas, Texas November 4th. One of the speakers will be Hulda Clark. I knew the name sounded familar and so I looked her up. Her ideas are very dubious. Imagine my surprise to learn that Clark has a degree from the University of Saskatchewan! Its ironic a practioner of kookie stuff like that would have a degree from a university where various medical advances have been worked on, such as the "cobalt bomb" cancer treatment device of the 1950s. Of course it should be noted that Clark's degree was not in medicine, and she possesses no recognised training in mainstream medicine. Her Ph.D is in philosophy.

Looking at some of the other speakers at this conference the thought comes to mind that it would be interesting to get them in the same room together. Their beliefs tend to be in contradiction with each other in one way or another. Clark's bugaboo is parasites in the body, which she claims cause things like cancer. Dr. Joel Wallach on the other hand claims all diseases are the result of not taking sufficient amounts of the right minerals, and if you do you'll never be sick and can live to be over 100. Of course what these people do share is a common foe, mainstream medicine.

I have nothing against investigating alternative medicine claims. If they can be proven valid scientifically we should use those concepts that are effective. Unfortunately the world is full of people like Clark, who make claims but are unwilling to properly test them, and who denounce any testing that proves their inefficacy as mainstream medicine trying to suppress "the truth."

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I received a rather amusing piece of penis enlargement spam today. It was one of those that are a first person testamonial about how using the product has improved the writer's sex life. However the first name on the "From" header on the email was Joanne! Somehow I suspect a lot of their potential customers would be turned off by a female identifying person using such products.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Congratulations to the Houston Astros on winning the National League pennant, the first time they've done so in their some 40 year history. Unfortunately for them I still think its the White Sox's year. Of course the Toronto Blue Jays took only 15 years to get into their first World Series, and they won theirs.
One thing I should have mentioned a few days ago when it happened is that the thermometer spider has disappeared. I have no idea if he left or if he dropped dead. His web was destroyed when we put on the storm windows and he made no effort to rebuild it, so perhaps his health was failing.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

How's this for a ridiculous screen name? Today I got some spam from Timetable P. Defecating. Chances are its the product of some virus.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The plot thickens. I wonder if Fox will make any more ad money because the Astros-Cards series will continue for at least another game.

I had a pleasant piece of e-mail tonight. It was notification of my 200th Willy hit. Next stop, 200 bills hit.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Congratulations to the Chicago White Sox for winning the American League championships. And my apologies to the Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals, but I'll have to throw my support to the Soxs. Its their time to win the World Series as it will make a cool followup to last year's breaking of the Curse of the Bambino by the Boston Red Sox.
The past couple of days I've been getting some rather unusual spam. Its for the Kavkaz Center, a pro Chechin "mujahadeen" web site. Interestingly on their site today is posted the following:

ATTENTION! Administration of Kavkaz-Center informs that russian special services in an effort to carry out a provocation are sending out unsolicited emails (SPAM) to internet users on behalf of our agency.
Kavkaz-Center notifies that it has no relation to this.

You'll forgive me if I'm skeptical. I think its more likely they did the spamming themselves, but when they started to get complaints decided to blame the Russians. And reading the site I get the impression these folks aren't particularly objective.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

I had to roll my eyes at an article in today's paper. Some US right wing folks are all upset, claiming Geena Davis' new tv series Commander in Chief is intended to be propaganda for a 2008 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Paranoid much? Interestingly the writers for the series made President Allen an Independant, which from a writing perspective is a good idea, allowing her to do things without viewers getting hung up on the idea that "a Republican/Democratic President wouldn't do that!" Of course they may have also been trying to forestall the criticisms that have appeared. Frankly I think the complainers would be just as upset if she was a Republican, claiming she didn't represent the "true" Republican Party.

As I was thinking about this silliness Kiefer Sutherland came to mind, since dad Donald is a regular on Commander in Chief. I wonder what kind of frothing at the mouth some of these people might do about Kiefer's series 24 if they found out that his grandfather was Tommy Douglas, an actual socialist and premier of North America's first democratic socialist government when the CCF won the 1944 Saskatchewan election.

Friday, October 14, 2005

I was just playing Delta Force 2, which I bought several weeks ago. All I have to show for it is sore hands, with no progress in getting on to the next steps in the campaigns. What an annoying game. But hey, I've played DF1 for a long time, and it was cheap.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Seeing as there are some errors in my recent posts about the Chicago White Sox here's the Wikipedia entry for the team, so you'll have the proper details. After all I don't want a bunch of angry White Sox fans showing up here all to flame me.
You know the market for so-called energy drinks is getting ridiculous when Steven Seagal has his own brand of energy drink. Note that the picture on the can is of Stevie back when his films were actually popular.

Monday, October 10, 2005

As I was sitting watching the Angels defeat the Yankees tonight I was trying to figure out which of the remaining teams I should support. Probably it should be the Chicago White Sox. After all they haven't been to the World Series since the days of Shoeless Joe Jackson.

I am certainly happy that Atlanta was eliminated. Their "tomahawk chop" nonsense and stupid chanting thing annoy me to no end, and should be eliminated forthwith.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Sad news to report for Toronto Blue Jays fans. Tom Cheek, long serving voice of Blue Jays radio broadcasts, has died of cancer at 66. Cheek started his career as Blue Jays broadcaster with the team's first game in April of 1977. He would announce every game until June 3rd, 2004 when he took time off after the death of his father, a streak of 4,306 regular season games and 41 post season games. Cheek was diagnosed with a brain tumour soon after. He would be healthy enough to broadcast several games after his diagnosis and treatment in 2004, but hopes that he might broadcast some of the 2005 season were not to be.
I haven't been able to get into my main e-mail account since Friday, and as you might imagine it was rather full this morning when I was finally able to get in. One of the pieces of spam had a message line about obesity problems. Yeah, I've got an obesity problem. My wallet isn't fat enough.
Gack! I just clicked on a link that had generated a hit here, and it was a pornblog with some explicit pictures on it. Frankly I'm surprised that these continue to be allowed on You'd think that either someone would have complained by now, or someone at would have decided they don't want to risk the liability.
I was just watching Game of Death, the posthumously assembled Bruce Lee movie. My advice, try and see this on tv if you get the chance and actually want to see it. I don't think its worth the money for a rental, and certainly not for purchase.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Ah, what a bunch of geniuses they are over at Rogers Sportsnet. Those of us who get Sportsnet West found ourselves cut off from the finale of the Chicago White Sox-Boston Red Sox playoff series so they could present a Calgary Flames hockey game. Right, switch over to an early season hockey game that is meaningless at the moment and miss Chicago's first post season series win since 1917. I sure wouldn't want to be the e-mail and call screeners tonight.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

What's in a band name?

As I sit here I'm listening to Blurtonia, the second, self titled album by the band of that name. Blurtonia was Ian Blurton's group after the breakup of Change of Heart in 1997.(Geez, 8 years already!) His current group is C'mon, who recently played Saskatoon, although I wasn't able to see them. I can sort of see why he dropped the Blurtonia name, as C'mon is a power trio versus the bigger Blurtonia with its more varied instrumentation. But in any case I wonder why he dropped the Change of Heart name in the first place. The interviews I've skimmed indicate he probably thought its day was done, which I can understand. Sometimes a name outlives its usefullness.

On the other hand there's something like Grady. This is Gordie Johnson's, of Big Sugar fame, current band. In his case I'm a wee bit skeptical of the name change. Johnson was Big Sugar. So why drop the name and pick up a new one? Its not as if Big Sugar didn't go through a number of sound changes over the years. The early Big Sugar releases were pretty straight blues versus the rock-blues-reggae-dub mix that made Big Sugar a big time act in the late '90s. I suspect in Johnson's case dropping the Big Sugar name may have been a way to get free of a record contract he didn't want any longer. I remember reading after Brothers and Sisters, Are You Ready?, the last Big Sugar release, came out that Johnson had been having troubles with the record company, such as wanting a song that mentioned Alberta changed or replaced. It would hardly be the first time an artist has reluctantly dropped a moniker to ensure his escape from a problematic contract.

The practice sometimes goes the other way as well. The late bluesman John Lee Hooker had material released under a variety of names in the late '40s and '50s because he would record for a record company even if he was contracted to another record company at the time. So the recording would be released under an alias, some of which were not particularly concealing, such as John Lee Cooker.
Wondering what he might think of Nick Cage calling his kid Kal El I decided to visit Peter David's website. Nothing there as I write this. But if you're familiar with Mr. David perhaps like me you wonder how he has the time to regularly write stuff for his website. This guy writes books, comic books, TV scripts, and who knows what all else. You'd think the last thing he'd want to do in his spare time is write yet more stuff.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Ever since the NHL strike was resolved Rogers Sportsnet has been running NHL related ads with the tagline "Hockey that matters." Personally I'd find that very insulting if I were a fan of non NHL hockey. If we're to take that statement at face value Sportsnet thinks if its not the NHL then its meaningless as far as hockey goes. Any sort of other hockey they broadcast during the strike? It was all meaningless. Olympic hockey, or other international "amateur" tournaments? Also meaningless. University hockey? That too.

Nice move, guys. Insulting possibly large segments of your potential hockey audience.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Time for another eye rolling name from the world of celebreties. Actor Nicholas Cage has named his new son Kal-el. No, its not a joke. Yeah, the kid will likely just be called Kal, but still, you have to wonder what the hell was going through his head. If you were gonna name your kid after a comic character, Nick, why not Bruce Wayne Cage?