Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Let them eat burgers

Ladygoat, of Foodgoat, discovers that some Japanese men are embarrassed to be seen eating cake. Why this is, I have no idea. Is cake thought to be too femme? Men over here eat kielbasa all the time and don't think it harms their standing in society. My personal pet peeve is men or women who are eating while walking, which makes me think they were raised in the proverbial barn or raft that I've oft heard tell as the origin of all uncouth.

The Squeaky Wheel

The Squeaky Wheel is a new blog by veteran Cleveland area journalist Roldo Bartimole. Roldo has a history of focusing like a well-informed laser (and how many of those are there? The last laser I talked to knew nothing about ill-advised tax incentives Cleveland has been offering businesses over the years). I've read Roldo since I moved here in '98, and he has a habit of bringing up poor people, when other think if we don't mention them perhaps they'll go away like an undesirable party guest. Link via another vet writer, John Etorre of Working with Words. Roldo says he's looking for contributions.
Let me be blunt. I think the squeaky wheels in this town have skewed the priority agenda of community needs. The squeaky wheels in recent years have been the sports teams, art, bicycles, towpaths, lakefront parks, convention centers, fancy bridges, downtown housingÂ?all in some way worthy causes, most of them causes of middle and upper class desires.

However, these voices�many good�have championed these needs incessantly. The echo of that chorus overwhelms needs that have no vocal champions. These other voices are seemingly now passé and off the community agenda. These would voice the needs of the powerless, in essence, the poor.
(link).

Gun wielding Border Guards

The idea of armed border guards is - to date - alien in Canada. It's one policy of the new Conservative government that should be acted on with all haste. When some murder suspects from California tried to make a run for Canada, the border guards on the B.C. side had to leave their stations, as they had no guns. For some reason, most of my fellow Canadians have a thing against guns, and handguns in particular. But I no more think that Canada would suddenly have US levels of murders if guns were more readily available than Switzerland would. I suppose I voted with my feet on this issue, to some extent.

From Suicide Bombing to good government?

The rise of Hamas has Israel and the United States worried because of the group's sponsorship of suicide attacks against Israelis.

Abbas, however, has said he welcomes Hamas's participation in the political process, believing bringing the organization into the system would tame the group and help the peace process.
(link).

Hard to imagine any sane government welcoming a group that has sponsored suicide bombings to the table. Hamas recently "removed" calls for the destruction of Israel (read: all the Jews there) from it's "platform". You can't negotiate with someone who dreams of genocide.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Canadian revolutions?

For those who are wondering what the Canadian election of a Conservative party minority government means...well..first of all, is this the first time you noticed Canada? Michael Moore notwithstanding, it's not such a big deal negatively as those on the left think, and not such a triumph of the Republicans as those struggling for an analogy of joy on the right want. Maple Revolution? Please. Is every election in over-a-hundred year old democracy called a revolution now? Can I start calling laundry day the Underwear Revolution too?

For those panicking on the left, be aware that the Conservatives have a minority government so will have to get some agreement with many from at least two other parties, including the left-of-the-Liberals NDP, to get anything done. So it's likely if he wants his government to avoid a non-confidence vote, Prime Minister elect Harper will not be passing any laws that are too wacky. That being said, they will be driving - so expect some fights on their platform. Harper has already said no to Canadian troops in Iraq, as one example that he is not simply Bush in a mountie uniform. My old home town voted Conservative - as they will do until the end of time, so that's one example that Canadians are not found of radical change. The long term government by the Liberals, since 1993, may have made enough people sick of them to try someone else for a while, if not without reservations leading to a minority government.

For those who think this is a revolution, it isn't so much. After Mulroney, many in the Progressive Conservative Party - now absorbed into the Conservative Party - left the PC's to join the Bloc. It's worth noting that if many in the Bloc were still in the Conservative party, they'd have a majority. But the Bloc and the Conservative party are somewhat diametrically opposed on many issues. It will be interesting to see how they work together.

I'll be interested to see if anyone - outside of Canadians - still has this level of interest after six months.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Gibson never tires of being wrong

I still think it's a gay agenda movie and as such it might sweep the Oscars. I just have my doubts about whether America will make it an actual box office hit.
- John Gibson

As of Jan 13, in the US, it's made 32 million. More notably, it's made $10,309 per screen, which is more than any of the other movies in the top 10, including all the more recent releases. And on a personal note, the 4 PM show today was absolutely packed.

Roger Ebert had this movie down pat in his review:
Strange but true: The more specific a film is, the more universal, because the more it understands individual characters, the more it applies to everyone. I can imagine someone weeping at this film, identifying with it, because he always wanted to stay in the Marines, or be an artist or a cabinetmaker.
I don't think I've seen such a sorrowful film since Remains of the Day, with people so trapped they tha happiness they want is as distant as the sky. Thinking of how long these two men hid so much of what they cared about forces the audience to consider their own lives as well.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Canadian Election

This pretty much sums it up:
Tonight in Thunder Bay the prime minister will stand next to three Martians and a bowl of clam chowder while he accuses Harper and Layton of dancing the tarantella by the pale moonlight.
Paul Wells from Inkless Wells.

Manual of style for bloggers?

Anyone have a manual of style for blogging? One thing that doesn't translate from the CMS is the treatment of links. It's more or less "bad manners" to open a window on someone in web design. But often readers of blogs are trying to read many windows all at the same time. Since Blogger doesn't have an option to allow people to choose "display links in new windows" or not, I wonder if there are any home-brew versions of this functionality out there.

update: Scott Kovatch said...

This site has a script that will do it. You should be able to put it in your per-post template.

Israel on the map

Why was Israel not on a map at the UN?
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been calling for Israel to be wiped off the map, and the UN had literally-speaking already done so
The whole story is pretty appaling. Maps ground us in reality, and in some ways shape how we think of the world. The significance of leaving a democracy under threat of genocide by Iran is is not small. Link via Israpundit.

Government wants to search Google

The Government wants to flip through random Google records, trolling for gold. I'm sure they're just thinking of the children. If this became a precendent, I don't see why they shouldn't be allowed to enter houses at random and browse through drawers.

One interesting graf:
The government indicated that other, unspecified search engines have agreed to release the information, but not Google.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Brokeback Mountain marketing

I think Chili's has a potential goldmine in a marketing tie-in with Brokeback Mountain, which I'll be seeing Saturday.

"Brokeback Baby-back ribs".

You heard it here first, folks

Squatters evict sis

My younger sister S_ used to own www.13thtigerpress.com for her Chapbook publishing. But when her domain lapsed briefly, her site name was snapped by some web hosting company. As usual, they placed a meaningless web "portal" that has nothing whatever to do with 13, or tigers, or press, or any combination thereof.

So those who are interested, please update your bookmarks to ThirteenthTigerPress.com. Were each of us still in elementary school, I'd been handing out some ass-beatings to the twerps giving my sister grief, but instead must take condolences in that they have created a web site that will be seldom visited and forgotten by all generations of the human race till the very last flicker of our sun.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Weirdest MLK Day sign I've ever seen



So this pub was open, but in honour of MLK they ban coupons?

Friday, January 13, 2006

Most Pointless Jeer of the week

The Cleveland Plain Dealer made sure the critique the real trouble makers, those darned lousy teenagers.
JEERS . . .
to the poorly behaved children who have made it necessary for the Wickliffe Library to ban children under 14 on weekday afternoons. If kids want to use the library, they have to bring a parent along to watch them. It's a shame that ill-trained kids have inconvenienced everyone, but it's not a shame that the library is trying to re-establish order.
I can think of no better use of a newspaper writer's time than to write jeers to a group of people - under 14 children who like wreaking havoc at the library - who are most likely to be reading the PeeDee Ed pages with great interest.

Not to belabor the point but isn't this:
It's a shame that ill-trained kids have inconvenienced everyone, but it's not a shame that the library is trying to re-establish order.
one of the most painfully awkward sentences you've read in a while?

Tag?

Working With Words posited that I
1. go to your blog's archive
2. find the 23rd post
3. find the 5th sentence
4. post the text of the sentence in a blog entry along with these instructions
5. tag 5 other people

Although being as my posting has so infrequent as of late I don't know about the 5th step, as I'm not sure who's reading...but nonetheless, the 5th sentence:

I told her jokes, implied the audience were all musical neophytes and not worthy of being feared.

Amusing

I'm not jokey, but this is truly the World's Best Blonde joke via Shelly of Burningbird.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Ohio residents - evolve with care

Via Jill at Writes Like She Talks, comes the news that by a nine to eight vote of a group I would estimate to be 53% morons, Ohio will retain language singling out evolution for criticism in the state science standards for education.

Let's put aside "science" and the abandonment of the same by the panel and look at the great lessons they are teaching the kids by example.
Martha W. Wise, a board member from Avon, sought the resolution, arguing that Ohio’s 10 th-grade science standards are flawed and could subject the state to costly litigation. She said it had been the intent of at least two board members to get intelligent design into Ohio’s standards.

"You’re obviously calling me a liar," Michael Cochran, of Blacklick, told Wise, denying he ever pushed intelligent design.

Deborah Owens Fink, a board member from Richfield, said she was livid that Wise would question her intent in such "unprofessional attacks."

"You don’t want to go there," Fink said.

The exchange prompted Robin C. Hovis, of Millersburg, to remind members that Fink several years ago had introduced a proposal calling for students to be taught both intelligent design and evolution in science class.

Lesson #1It's ok to accuse people of calling you a liar when you are lying, and yet maintain a righteous indignation. That's it ok to lie is implicit, perhaps it's part of someone's grand design, so to speak.

New Words

Perpety (pronounced: per-pet-chi). Noun. Usage: " I don't see why they can't invent a perpety motion machine. Why doesn't a water mill count as perpty motion?"
Origin, 20th century Alabama, citation: K_'s grandpap.

Hink (pronounced: same as think, minus the T). Use in place of think. Usage: " I hink you ought to to buy a gas powered mower". Do not use in place of hinky, an unrelated word. For social reasons, 80% of the usage should be followed in a sentence by the phrase "you ought to" or, informally, "you outghtta".
Origin, 20th century Nova Scotia, citation: J_'s dad.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Random grammar annoyance

Completely random grammar annoyance of the day

Do not get out of the vehicle and comply with all instructions.

Ohio Attorney General's Concealed Carry FAQ (PDF).

Or, "do not comply with all instructions and get out of the vehicle".

Monday, January 09, 2006

In defense of little old ladies

John Dvorak rips a rant against those who would have PC's dumbed down to the point they become appliances. Fair enough. But in disparaging one group, he takes an unnecessary potshot at another
Most of the computer-as-appliance nonsense comes from wishful thinking done mostly by late-middle-aged men who completely missed the computer boat. They can't type, they are afraid of computers, and they hope that promoting this appliance idea might make it happen. They are old ladies.
If the dumb thinking is coming from middle aged men, why single out little old ladies? M_'s grandmother , some 93 right now, is on the Internet every day with no problems, would probably smack Dvorak if he dropped by her place in Michigan. The proper way to insult the aforementioned men fearing computers would be to apply the term stupid, which is sadly neglected in these days of nuance.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Closeted thoughts

Back in Canada, they're having an election and the Tories don't seem to want to talk about pandering to those who don't like the gay marriage situation up there
The Conservative party has told two Halifax-area candidates not to talk to reporters about a meeting of clergy opposed to same-sex marriage that they attended Wednesday.

'We’ve been told by Ottawa that we don’t talk about that,' Paula Henderson told The Chronicle Herald on Thursday. 'That’s a dropped subject.'
They should really come out of the closet about it, so to speak.