Monday, February 25, 2008

Testing, Testing


You only love me when you're down....
You only love me when you're down....
You only love me when you're down....
You only love me when you're down....

Allrighty... it seems the office security was, for a while there, so tight that it choked some functionality to death.  Let's hear it for paranoia!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My Angry Letter To Apple

Dear Apple,

About two weeks ago (two Thursdays, to be exact), while getting out of my car in the afternoon at my office, I plucked my iPod Shuffle from the tape-deck converter cord and dropped it into my coat pocket, as I have done three or four times a day, every day, for several months. It is a well-practiced, well-rehearsed move. In spite of this, I missed this one time, and unbeknownst to me, my iPod fell between my shirt and coat, bounced off of my leg, or the edge of the car, and was swallowed by the snowy, muddy morass of our unplowed parking lot. I did not notice the iPod was missing for four hours, when it was NOT in my coat pocket upon getting back INTO the car.

Every day I checked the area near my desk, and the area around where I had parked that fateful day, to no avail. My iPod was nowhere to be seen, though to be fair, the snow and ice were very thick (parking lot not plowed, as I said) and I could have dropped an 80's style Sony Walkman in that snow, and never found it. I had given up all hope, and this very day, I started looking on for a replacement, finding a Creative mp3 player that had twice the capacity, and almost half the price I had paid for your product. I left my office, feeling rather bouyant that I would soon have a replacement music player, and I could finally retire my Rocky Soundtrack tape to it's place in my basement.

But no... no, today, after the big thaw we've had over the past two days, I walked past that fateful parking spot, and there, perched on top of a chunk of brown ice, was my iPod Shuffle. I stopped, agape, turned, and picked it up. It was dirty, it was scratched, and it has little droplets of salty water dripping out of the speaker jack. I brought it home, dried it out over a heater vent, and then cleaned it with Q-tips and alcohol. The dirt revealed numerous scratches, and since it has been two weeks in a busy parking lot, this iPod has no doubt been run over many, many times.

My anger reached a peak when, upon tentatively placing the iPod headphones into the appropriate receptacle, and flicking the little button to "On", the green light appeared, signaling the product was working. I pressed "Play", and what should greet my ears, but the soothing sounds of Minerva by the Deftones. My iPod was in perfect working order.

I can contain my anger no longer. Why, despite the massive technological achievements of Man, has no product I have EVER bought been capable of withstanding this sort of abuse until now? Nothing I have ever owned, including objects with no moving parts and homogenous composition, such as a fork, would have been capable of withstanding that sort of abuse over a period of two weeks, ten to twenty vehicles parking on it, two freezes, two thaws, and thirteen days submerged in snow and ice and mud. No product I ever WILL own will survive this sort of abuse, save my trusty iPod Shuffle.

Damn you, Steve Jobs. Damn you, Apple. My expectations have forever been lifted on the wings of hope. I hope you're fucking happy.


MJ The Happy Apple Owner

Monday, February 11, 2008

A $12,000,000,000 "Up Yours" From Russia, With Love

Economics is, at root, the study of incentives:
how people get what they want, or need, especially
when other people want or need the same thing.

I am referring to this article hnyah. To sum up:

Russia has agreed to write off $12bn (£6bn) of Iraqi debt built up by the regime of former leader Saddam Hussein to buy military supplies. In return, Russian companies, including oil giant Lukoil, will be given access to invest up to $4bn in Iraq. Lukoil is expected to develop oilfields including West Qurna, one of the country's largest. Russia said the deal was meant to help rebuild Iraq's economy and infrastructure following the US-led invasion, which it opposed.

HAH! Oh, man, I wonder who's going to come out this looking better in terms of world opinion (which matters much more than reality).

The world operates not on reality,
but on the perception of reality.

Sneakers. Sweet movie, and they had a point. America basically busts down the door and shoots everyone, and then Russia comes in and patches everyone up, peacefully, with the only thing that really changes how the world works: money. Sure, violence and force change things for the present, but money is needed to change things for the future, and it all depends where that money comes from. The nukes dropped on Japan basically gave them the incentive to become the single densest powerhouse economy on the planet, because they realized that force was not the way to respond.

America, you just keep aiming missiles at Russia and protecting yourself from Russian missiles being aimed by people who probably don't care anymore. The world has moved on from the Biggest Kid On The Block mentality, and we're all waiting for you to catch up. Come on! Look, Canada will even slow down and wait for you. Want a candy bar?

DINGER: YouTube is blocked at work now. CURSE YOU!!!! *shakes fist*

It should be noted that BlogSpot became blocked at work while I was typing, this, too, so I had to wait until I got home. They are cracking down haa-aa-aard at work (I really want to know who is spending time on "" and "" in my office...)

Friday, February 8, 2008

I Don't Know What We're Yelling About!

"The golden hour of invention must terminate like other hours, and when the man of genius returns to the cares, the duties, the vexations, and the amusements of life, his companions behold him as one of themselves--the creature of habits and infirmities."

For the first time in quite a long time, I was struck by the inspiration fairy this morning, stemming, as always, from music. However, the creative rivulets of thought were particularly random this morning. The Rocky soundtrack (the old one) got me thinking about the old Rambo movie (Stallone, you know) and somehow carried over to the book Stardust by Neil Gaiman, and there was some sort of record-skip to 300, and then the Rocky sad song played while I thought about 300, and out of nowhere, the first few chapters of a story leapt into my head. Pretty much everything but character names, but I have the tropes almost fully fleshed out for the five major early players, and hints as to where the plot goes.

"After being Turned Down by numerous Publishers, he had decided to write for Posterity."

And while we're on the subject of creativity, I just want you all to realize that someone thought that the subject matter of the following video was a good idea (and I'm guilty of agreeing, I used to watch this show, mostly because Thuy Trang was hawt).

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

And The VHS Shall Inherit The Earth

Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear.
~Book of Job

Never be afraid to try something new.
Remember that amateurs built the Ark.
Professionals built the Titanic.

Sometimes it amazes me just how much Throkky knows about me. Here I go on, day by day, wondering how well she knows me, if at all, because I both know little about her and rarely speak of myself... and then she ups and gets me "Demon Knight" on VHS. See, that's love, right there.

Along movie lines, did you know that in the first Rambo movie (actually titled "First Blood"), there is only one death, and it's accidental? ONE DEATH. The character of John Rambo is created and cemented (and filmed in Hope, BC!) in a movie that has but one death. Yes, it's a violent movie, but it's a character piece more than anything, sort of like Rocky. Rocky has one fight, and no-one's even knocked out... the rest of the movie is a sobering, dramatic look at a small group of working-class Philadelphia schmucks (with a bloody beautiful soundtrack, too).

And what happens in the new Rambo? Slightly under 3 deaths per minute, if you average it out. Thats one death every 20 seconds. It would have been considerably less, per minute, if they hadn't edited out the damn plot, but the first half of that movie is very true to the Rambo character. I liked it a lot.

But watch "First Blood", and watch "Rocky", and tell me that movies need big budgets to be good anymore.


Thanks, Billy Zane.

And Billy Zane's best sequence ever.
(NOTE: Stop halfway if you're squeamish)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Ok, Now I'm Pissed

War does not end strife - it sows it.
War does not end hatred - it feeds it.
For those who argue war is a necessary evil, I say you are half right.
War is evil, but it is not necessary. War cannot be a necessary evil,
because non-violence is a necessary good. The two cannot co-exist.

This article in particular just blew me away.

So many things about this article caused tremendous despair. Let's try to sort these suckers out.

1.) America believes that it somehow needs to protect itself from Russia.
2.) Poland believes it needs American help to protect it from Russia.
3.) This wasn't even 'front page news' on the BBC.

I would just like to grab all of the First World leaders by their necks, shake them swiftly and violently, and scream "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU THINKING?" Does ANYONE, even in passing, believe we still live in a world where the superpowers might eventually get into a major nuke-throwing dust-up with eachother? What level of mental retardation is required for this sort of policy to get passed not by ONE country, but TWO COUNTRIES TOGETHER??

Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
~ Herman Göring, Nazi War Criminal, During His Trial

Does anyone think China is any sort of a physical threat on any field except informational and economic? Does anyone still think that Russia wants to wipe out 'The Western Way Of Life' and replace it with a big red flag and socialism? Do we, as a species, still need to place missile defense systems on foreign soil just in case some Communist heathen gets tetchy and starts pushing launch buttons? What was the purpose of the last few decades of global war and suffering if not to drive the fucking point home that there is a better way?

And there, my rage sort of petered out... until this.

The Strangulation Of Gaza

To quote my friend Belial, Is anyone else grimly amused by the irony of Israeli Jews sequestering, restricting, and starving an "unwanted population"? I do not know all of the specifics of this particular situation, but any time there is an article along these lines, or a news report, or a blog post, or ANYTHING which shows two groups, both utterly convinced of their righteousness, basically banging their fucking skulls together to see who's better, I can't help but pay for the swift, timely death of everyone involved, so the rest of humanity can go back to looking towards the future.

Peace is not the absence of anything. Real peace is the presence of something beautiful. Both peace and the thirst for it have been in the heart of every human being in every century and every civilization
~ Maharaji

They know that war is hell; but peace, peace is fucking boring.
~ Ray Elwood

And I guess that about sums it up.


It's hard to focus, but here's a movie.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Devil You Sparkle & Bandaids

Did you forget, Did you believe in it
Did all those things I promised come out empty in the end
In every breath, And the dreams I missed
Comes with complications, Serenity (yeah yeah)

You smiled and looked at me and said

You don't know what it's like
You don't know what it's like
I feel like nothing at all
You don't know what it's like

I forgot just how good live rock shows are, ESPECIALLY live Canadian rock shows.

I am hugely impressed with how well everything came together last night. The kids got picked up by Farm Grandma, Throkky took the bus into town, we met up at The Commodore on time. Enjoyed a nice meal, had a few drinks, picked up one friend and met up with another. Had a few more drinks while we waited for the doors to the Grotto down the street to open, and made it inside with a minimum of fuss. There was no lateness, there was no panickation... there was just speakers and booze and pure liquid awesome.

And now I'm tired, and my throat hurts from singing along / screaming along.

Awww, yeah.