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Showing posts from 2004

INS part 2

So we got the new passport photos, and went back to the INS. They took fingerprints and signatures, then took our employment authorisation cards and stamped our passports. We're in the clear. The passport stamp is good until the greencards actually arrive, which could be up to another year. But we're both authorised to work and travel freely in and out of the country now!

Cats 'n things.

Dory (our new cat) spent the whole night in last night, even with the cat flap available to her. She woke me up about 5:30 - not sure why, but I went to see what was up and she came and curled up on the bed with us.

This morning we went to do the final step of the greencard process only to be told when we got there that we had the wrong type of passport photos. The INS used to need three-quarter photos, showing nose profile and ears etc. Now they just need "regular" passport photos but we didn't know. We have another appointment this afternoon....

Living with a cat

The first couple of days with our new cat have been interesting. The first night we shut her in and gave her the run of the house. She ate and drank and used the litter box, and woke us up every hour - just like a newborn baby.
The second night, we closed off the kitchen and left her in there and in the morning I found her hiding behind the washing machine downstairs. Then I made the mistake of test-fitting a collar on her and she took off with it on, trying to get it off. I teased her out with some kitty treats and took it off, and I'm now persona non grata with the cat :-(
I went to World-O-Pets, or Pet-O-Rama, or Kingdom Of Pets or one of those pet superstores and bought a cat flap today. With a little creative thinking, we now have a cat flap in the back door. Creative thinking, in so far as we have a storm door too. The storm door is now minus its bottom panel so Dory can step through it and into the cat flap, or vice versa.
So far, we have to hold the inside door open, and s…

Australian tectonic plate is on the move!

Holy snot. We're just getting reports of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake in the sea off Java. 22,000 people dead from 15m-high tsunamis which swept ashore all around the region. This has happened just three days after the 8.1 deep-sea quake 420km west of Auckland. Both quakes are on the same plate.

Our first Christmas dinner.

I'm in a tryptophan-induced doze at the moment having successfully cooked our first Christmas dinner. Turkey was fine, roast potatoes, carrots in cream and some Paxo stuffing. Mmmmm.
Everything turned out just fine and now I've finished carving, we have about a kilo of turkey breast, sliced and on a plate in the fridge.

A Christmas Cat

We had a visit from next door today, and basically, they wanted to know if we wanted to take over ownership of one of their cats. Dory, the little black and white cat is really unhappy over there with the dog etc. So now she's ours. We've got the scratching post, and Russ has gone to get some eukanuba and some fancy feast so we know what to feed her. We'll be off to the pet store this afternoon for a collar and a bed for her.

Profound statement.

"This year's election campaign was marked with the oxymoronic "free speech zones" where people who disagreed with Bush were cordoned off into areas where they would never been seen by the president.

The symbol of free speech restricted to special areas surrounded by barbed wire should make everyone stand up and take notice."


From a thought-provoking look at the similarities between the neocons of today's America and the rising popularity of the Nazis, and ultimately between Hitler and Bush.
Unsettling reading for sure.

http://signs-of-the-times.org/signs/bush-hitler.htm

Christmas time, and an important lesson.

White Christmas! Yay!
It snowed all day yesterday and everything looks nice and Christmassy now. The temperature has plummetted to a -10°C too. Nice and chilly.

I learned an important lesson this morning too. Don't drink Sprite that has been in an open can on your desk for 3 weeks. It's not pleasant.

Blogging will be sporadic for the next couple of weeks because of vacation time :-)

And I thought I was a mild conspiracy theorist.

Thisblog is quite an amusing read. The guy predicts a mossad / CIA operation to remotelydetonate a nuke in Houston on December 27th and blame it on Iran. Apparently the device is already there and armed and it just waiting for a button-push.
If it were true, it would certainly be all over the news, not just on one conspiracy site.

Question is of course, that behind most of these things, there's a grain of truth somewhere which spawns the rumourmill. What is the grain of truth in this case? Are the powers-that-be planning some sort of operation to scare the public into supporting an invasion of Iran? We all know B*sh wants to......

B*sh not learning from his Dad's wisdom

So - 22 dead and 51+ injured in an attack of some kind on a US military mess tent near Mosul this morning.

Page 489 of Bush (Snr) and Scowcroft's book, A World Transformed (Alfred A. Knopf, 1998), talking about not taking down Saddam, nor going into Baghdad.

We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under those circumstances, furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-cold war world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the U.N.'s mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome.

It's a shame B*sh doesn't tal…

Cellphones on aircraft.

The FCC has relaxed its regulations regarding cellphones on aircraft. That means that tech companies and the airlines and airframe manufacturers are now free to see if they can accomodate cellphone-idiots onboard and in-flight.
The first person who uses a cellphone within earshot of me on a flight is going to get it rammed up his or her asshole. Cellphones are a technology blight as it is. Being forced into close company with hundreds of babbling morons on these things whilst in-flight is going to be absolute torture.
You know what the next step will be, of course. The airlines will offer more expensive tickets in exchange for "quiet" cabins.....

Suh-weet! Green cards!

Paula got a letter on saturday from the Dept. of Homeland Security. I got mine today. Our change of status has been approved. In short - we've got green cards. Next week we have appointments with the INS to give photos and thumbprints whereupon we get the Visas removed from our passports and replaced with "permanent resident" stamps. The cards arrive within 6 months or so.

Time Magazine loses all respect.

Verbatim from the Time magazine website:
For sticking to his guns (literally and figuratively), for reshaping the rules of politics to fit his ten-gallon-hat leadership style and for persuading a majority of voters that he deserved to be in the White House for another four years, George W. Bush is TIME's 2004 Person of the Year

Unbelievable. They've made him man of the year for going to war on a lie, bullying politicians into nonsensical decisions, and rigging the vote for another 4 years.
I thought Time magazine was objective but it seems they're red-state patsies.

Today's dumbass story

Today's dumbass story from Florida (obviously) : Man uses stove to light cigarette, but ignites oxygen tank.
A Pasco County man is in the hospital after getting burned in his own house. Police say Henry Laskin was trying to light a cigarette on his stove when the oxygen tank he was wearing exploded.

So this guy is in such bad health that he's already wearing an oxygen mask - probably for emphysema - yet he's still smoking? Why do we waste healthcare dollars on retards like this?

G4 can burn in hell.

ComCast, the owners of the dire G4 TV channel, have put into motion the final piece of their masterplan to get rid of the far superior TechTV. Following the buyout and "merger" to G4TechTV this year, then the removal of "The Screen Savers", then the mass firing of all prior TechTV staff, ComCast today announced that the channel was going to drop the "TechTV" portion of its name and all remaining TechTV content to once again become G4.
Apparently, they blame the TechTV content for their "miserable viewing figures".

Erm.

No. The reason for the miserable viewing figures is because the station is shite, the shows are shite, the presenters are shite, and you got rid of all the good TechTV shows and presenters when you "merged".

The good news is that this leaves the door open for someone to re-finance a phoenix-like reappearance of TechTV now - ComCast are losing the rights to the moniker.

Still - having suffered at the hands of ComCast when…

Today's retarded Microsoft story...

Yesterday Microsoft bought Giant Company - the manufacturers of the only working spam-scanning software that works in Outlook. Giant Company also manufacture one of the best spyware scanning programs too. Today Microsoft announce that both products will now become cost-option extras in Windows.
So MS are selling buggy, corrupted code, and then they want to charge for more software that will help patch the holes in their own OS. That wouldn't be quite so bad if they were just going to use Spywareblocker and Spam Assassin "as is", but the fact that their programmers are going to dick with the code to make it more "microsoft-friendly" means that those programs will suffer the same fate - they'll become slow, buggy bloatware.

San Francisco sees the light.

San Francisco politicians have proposed banning all handguns in the city, except those carried by police, military or security guards. It goes to the vote in 2005. Whilst they've obviously seen the light, being an educated blue state (as oppose to a dumb B*sh state), I wonder if the public would dare to vote it in?

Anger raging.

Must. Not. Kill.

The Gecko sues Google.

Geico are suing Google for $8.35m in lost revenue. Geico claims that Google's AdWords program, which displays the rival ads under a "Sponsored Links" heading next to a user's search results, causes confusion for consumers and illegally exploits Geico's investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in its brand. Their lawyor Charles Ossala claims that "When a consumers enters 'Geico' ... and goes to the sponsored link believing there's a connection, that is where the confusion arises."
Well first off, Charles, "a consumers" ?
Secondly, you'd have to be pretty slow on the uptake to think that a website that didn't link to "geico.com" was anything to do with them.
Sadly, I expect the lawyors will win though.

A Lazy weekend.

The weekend flew past, obviously. We went to see Ocean's 12 on saturday night. The cinema was packed - standing room only. Film was good. The weather has been giving us a brief respite before the onslaught of the impending no-power, wastelands-of-siberia Christmas storm. It was 17°C on saturday! We finally managed to get the roses trimmed and mulched - the previous snowfall had stopped that activity in its tracks.

I read last night that B*sh has started recalling retired army personnel to active duty. Over 100 60-plussers, and one guy who's 70 have all been recalled to active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's a nice pre-christmas present for some families I'm sure.

Miserable bastard

Some joyless fucktard just kicked our Santa over in the front garden and ripped out the support lines that hold him upright. I've just spent 20 minutes sewing new hooks and eyes on to him so we could re-anchor him to the ground.

Well what IS it supposed to do then?

The US military are planning to test B*sh's national missile defense system this week. The $85 million test comes as the military is in final preparations to activate missile defenses designed to protect against an intercontinental ballistic missile attack from North Korea or elsewhere in eastern Asia. During the test, a target missile will be launched from Kodiak Island, Alaska, and an interceptor missile will fire from Kwajalein Island in the central Pacific Ocean. According to the stuffed shirts, "Because the launches will test several new aspects of the missile defense system, the interceptor actually shooting down the target is not a primary goal of the mission."

?

An interceptor missile who's primary goal is NOT to intercept an incoming missle.

Rii-iiight.

While we were away.

I'm a little late on the bandwagon, but apparently the government back in England are frantically putting in toll roads left right and centre because they've discovered how much quicker they can rape the motorist by using them. The propaganda on the M6 Toll Road site is quite blinding in it's simplistic, blinkered view. See for yourself.
I particularly like the bit about toll roads reducing traffic and journey times and thus reducing congestion in surrounding towns and villages. Clearly an idea penned by a non-driver. What do they think happens to the traffic that used to use the road? It hasn't evaporated, it's moved off into the local towns and villages, thus causing more congestion, more dangerous conditions and higher accident and fatality rates. Obviously nobody in their right mind is going to pay road tax AND road tolls, so the miracle reduction in traffic that they've experienced is because everyone's buggered off into the local streets instead.
This…

Chilly weekend, chilly financial outlook. Unless you're in Texas.

We went to see "National Treasure" this weekend. Top film - number 1 for the third week running. That's a good omen and could spell at least one sequel.
The weather is still mighty chilly - it still hasn't gone above zero yet. The snow is melting slowly though. Did some sale shopping this weekend. $6 for winter gloves, $4 each for T-shirts, $20 for winter boots. I love the sales :-)

Meanwhile, and I know I said I wouldn't blog about him again, but this is priceless.
El Busho is laying the groundwork for scrapping the federal deduction for state local taxes. "Coincidentally" this will affect the blue states more than the red states. And "coincidentally" the two states predicted to see virtually no effect from this? Texas and Florida. What a surprise. According to the BBC, when asked why this was happening, one congressional staffer said "This is very real. They need the money desperately. It's one of the only things they can attempt t…

Still in the freezer.

The temperature this morning was down to -10°C. Mmm. Chilly.

Contender for most retardedly obvious headline ever.

From CNN (where else?) today :
Did Botox injections lead to Botulism poisoning?

Mmm. I wonder.

In other news, it turns out that getting the flu virus leads to flu, and that cutting your leg off results in having one less leg.

Who knew?

Miscellaneous oddments

Great headline from Fark today : "Britain's five most-watched movies of all time. Frankly, my dear, the hills are alive with the sound of midgets using the force at Park Lake."

I got the house lights up this weekend for Christmas. We chose LED lights this year from ForeverBright. They're more expensive to buy, but cost 1/10th as much to run as bulbs, are virtually indestructible and a lot brighter too. We've got an inflatable santa in the front yard and five illuminated snowflakes. Looks quite festive.

Actually, on friday. One of the neighbours sneered at me as I was putting them up, but our friend next door said he was trying to get his yardwork out of the way so he could do the same. On saturday it drizzled all day and on sunday morning there were 4 inches of snow on the ground. The sneering neighbour wasn't sneering any more, and the chap next door was wishing he really had got his lights up on friday.

I shovelled some snow but then thought "bugger it…

Murdoch on the war path again.

Twice in one week! ComCast (owned by Rupert Murdoch) are putting their cable rates up for the second time in a year. 14% this time, apparently.
Let's see. RM takes over Sky Television, prices soar in England. RM takes over ComCast cable, prices soar in the US.

Nope. I can't see the correlation.

MS using Firefox

This is pretty funny. Microsoft have released a screenshot of some of the features of their MSN search engine (the one they're filling using Google results). The funny thing is that the screenshot shows them using Firefox. I guess Microsoft finally came to the same conclusion as the rest of us - IE is a festering turd. A copy of the picture is linked here.

All quiet on the western front.

I spent a lazy couple of days blowing stuff up and murdering people in GTA:San Andreas again this weekend. I have to say the game is quite educational. I'm learning all sorts of new profanities and swear words I didn't even know existed. The difference, of course, is that being a sensible regular person, I can tell the difference between a videogame and real life. If you were to believe the hairy-legged no-bra-wearing unwashed anti video-game activists, then this weekend I'll be going out to knock over a couple of convenience stores, run over children and grandparents with my car and indulge in an orgy of hot lead destined to go down as one of the worst killing sprees in history.
Yeah right.
Au contraire, it's the activists who are the real danger. Some of them believe so unwaiveringly in their crusade against games like GTA that they know no limits when it comes to spreading their message. They also clearly don't understand one simple fact : no videogame has ever …

Senate dumbass calls for censorship.

The videotaped shooting of a Fallujah combatant by a U-S Marine has evoked strong emotions in the Arab world and on Capitol Hill. Texas Democrat Sylvestre Reyes says it's time to rethink the presence of embedded reporters in combat zones. During a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee, Reyes compared it to a football game, saying "we don't want to know everything that's going on on the field." Reyes says this is not censorship. In his words, "We should not be providing the Al-Jazeera the kind of propaganda they've had the last couple of three days."

First things first. Obviously this story had to be about a Texan. The illiteracy of this goon is staggering. "The Al Jazeera" ? It's not "The", it's "Al Jazeera" - that is a TV network you idiot. Then "couple of three days" ? So that's six days is it? Or do you mean "two OR three days" ?

This guy clearly favours censorship and would pre…

Rupert Murdoch begins the demise of TiVO

And so the predicted wholesale looting and raping of the American TV viewing public begins. Rupert Murdoch, owner of DirectTV and biggest contributor to the pockets of TiVO has forced them to remove their commercial-skip facility and replace it with popup-advertising during fast-forward. So rather than being able to skip 30 seconds, TiVO owners will now be limited to an 8x fast forward, during which time they'll be pumped with popup adverts.
Jebus I'm glad our DVR isn't a TiVO. After all - commercial-skip is the number one reason to own a DVR. In the Yahoo article, they mention that 92% of DVR owners have their boxes exactly because of commercial-skip. That should tell the TV broadcasters and advertisers something : we don't like shows chopped into 8 minute segments and we don't want to sit through irritating adverts for stuff we never buy.
Apparently that message isn't getting through though.
So long TiVO - we knew you well.

The FCC are loons

This political correctness and hypersensitivity to nakedness on TV is going too far. Today, ABC Sports apologized for an "inappropriate" opening of the Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys Monday Night Football, involving a sexually suggestive locker room meeting between Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens and ABC's Desperate Housewives' star Nicollette Sheridan. In the taped segment, Sheridan drops a towel and is shown from a rear angle unclothed down to the lower part of her back. After Owens says, "Aw, hell, the team's going to have to win without me," Sheridan jumps into his arms.

So now it's not even acceptable to see a naked woman's back? Oh come on you people! Don't be so freakin sensitive! It was a woman's back. Not her bum, not her tits, not her genitalia. Her freakin back! ABC - don't apologise - in fact, re-run the segment every opportunity you get. And FCC - go screw yourselves. You're turning into the gestapo fining peo…

Hiding an asinine law in the lame-duck senate sessions.

During the senate's "lame-duck" session that begins this week, they might be about to vote on HR2391, the Intellectual Property Protection Act, a comprehensive bill that will make many users of peer-to-peer networks, digital-music players and other products criminally liable for copyright infringement. The bill also plans to undo centuries of "fair use" - the principle that gives people the right to use small samples of the works of others without having to ask permission or pay.
The bill lumps together several pending copyright bills including HR4077, the Piracy Deterrence and Education Act, which would criminally punish a person who "infringes a copyright by ... offering for distribution to the public by electronic means, with reckless disregard of the risk of further infringement." That vague language basically makes it illegal, for example, to use Apple iTunes or to even own an iPod.

But the best part is this : using technology to skip any commerc…

"Convenience" fees and debt.

Whilst I was wandering the aisles of my local Hollywood Video store this weekend, it struck me why their "MVP" subscription service is such a hit. Bascially, you pay $14.99 a month and certain DVDs are free if you're in the MVP club. "Certain" DVDs. Never the new ones, and almost never the popular ones. It's a clever trick because people will be gullible enough to think they're getting stuff for free after paying their membership. And once that membership is automatically going out once a month from their bank accounts, it will get forgotten about. In the consumer's eyes, "FREE" reigns supreme. So I did a little calculation. Over the last couple of weeks, I've rented a few movies - more than normal - and only one of them was in the MVP free movie category. Had I been in the MVP club, I'd have effectively paid $14.99 for one rental, and $2.99 for the rest. Clever. "FREE" is the lure, and then the bait-and-switch is that no…

God forbid you should think for yourself.

The last vestiges of personal responsibility are being swept neatly away back in England, with the introduction of a ban on fast food advertising before 21:00 on TV. This is a pilot scheme. What will follow is "traffic light" colour-coding on all foods, followed by a ban on selling fast food after 21:00. This is all, apparently, in a bid to cut down on obesity.
It's obvious right from the start that it's a scheme thought up by politicians. The first, and most obvious question is : how are they going to police a ban on fast food after 21:00? Are they going to appoint a Cholesterol Tsar? Is he going to hire hundreds of thousands of people to travel around every night making sure those evil kebab vans are not operating? Of course not - don't be ridiculous. This scheme can never work, ergo there must be a financial benefit in it somewhere.
Digging through the fine print, there it is : fines. Ah yes, the light dawns. They'll introduce a ban, knowing full well ther…

R.I.P TechTV.

ComCast have finally pulled the plug on "Unscrewed" and most of the other old TechTV shows, so G4TechTV is basically now G4 again. Pre-pubescent wankers with no sense of humour, delivering programmes with no content.
Apparently ComCast are concerned about why their viewer figures were so low, and decided it was because of the remnants of TechTV. Hence the decision.

??

Tilt.

Must be run by a Texan to have those sort of blinkers on.

Doubletalking.

ABC showed Saving Private Ryan tonight, and the run-up and pre-show warnings were classic litigation-prevention doublespeak.
"Saving Private Ryan, uncut, with limited commercial interruptions" was the first spiel.

Then came the black screens with big print white text and the voice of doom.
"Due to graphic depictions of violence, and language, this film is not suitable for younger viewers. Parental discretion is advised."

Then came the next screen.
"The content of this movie has not been editted for television. Due to language and graphic depictions of war and violence, viewer discretion is advised."

Then to the next screen.
"This movie has been editted for television. It has been modified to fit this screen and editted to run in the time alotted."

Well wait a moment. Did you just tell me on the previous screen that this move had not been editted?

Then to the final screen:
"And now, uncut, uncensored and uneditted, ABC presents Saving Privat…

Here boy! There's a good dog. Roll over.

Tony Blah is hopping on a plane to become the first foreign dignitary to come visit "President" B*** since his re-appointment.

Wait.

Hang on - I'm working up to it.

Nearly there.....

Here it comes - I've mustered shock and awe...

Wow!

That was a shocker. Nobody expected Tony "The Lap Dog" Blair to heel at B***'s beck and call did they? No. Not at all.

Goodbye Yasser

Arafat -- who was deathly ill, not deathly ill, in a coma, not in a coma, dead, not dead, brain dead, not brain dead, awake and communicating, dead again, then alive and well, then in a coma is now actually dead.


No, really he is.

Power vacuum to maximum, middle east go boom. Big 'splosions. End of world.

WingNuts

Just watched a new show on Discovery called "WingNuts" about a company who take old aircraft parts and make them into art and furniture. Typical confrontational style - two of the guys don't get on etc.etc., but if you look past that to what they're actually doing, it's a fascinating show. Well - for me anyway. Their website is at www.motoart.com.

Rebel Billionaire

Wow. Just watched the first episode of Rebel Billionaire on Fox. For once they have come up with a killer show. It's brutally honest and one of the contestants is a local guy who runs LoveSac here in Salt Lake City. I guess he doesn't win because he's here live on TV right now and if he was the winner - that wouldn't be so.
Branson is using the might of all of Virgin to play the game, and he's doing all the same stunts and challenges as the contestants. "I wouldn't expect the contestants to do anything I wouldn't do" is his philosophy.
Not sure about the prize being to run the Virgin Companies - I suspect that's a bit of an exaggeration, but who cares? The show is awesome. Who thought you'd ever say that about a Fox show (apart from the Simpsons) ?

Hello Yasser...

Arafat -- who was deathly ill, not deathly ill, in a coma, not in a coma, dead, not dead, brain dead, not brain dead, awake and communicating, dead again, now reportedly alive and well insist French doctors.

I think that means he's dead. That huge sucking sound you can hear from the middle east is the sound of the power vacuum.

Another "roll your eyes" moment...

In the continuing theme of "we're America so we'll do what we damn well like", the US is now ready to put weapons in space, ignoring the treaty banning precisely this development. Now that couldn't be anything to do with the incumbant "president" could it?

Meanwhile, the train crash in Berkshire was obviously pretty big - it made it on to the local news here in SLC last night! Even though Hope Woodside pronounced Ufton Nervet as "Unford Nervay".

A little light relief.

After last night's disastrous video rental, tonight I rented Eurotrip and Unbreakable.
Eurotrip made me laugh like I've not laughed in a long time - Vinnie Jones was priceless. Unbreakable...? Unfathomable, basically. Another turd floating in the soup that is cinema.
Ho hum.

Subway - eat fat.

Paula knows my intense dislike for "Jared" - the gay fool who wants us to believe he lost 800 pounds by eating nothing but Subway sandwiches. And it seems my gut feeling was right.
In the TV spots Jared claims that three footlong Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki subs have less fat than one Big Mac. Good claim, but probably a little wide of the mark given the lawsuit that was just launched. Why? Those three footlong sandwiches actually contain more than three and a half times as many calories as one Big Mac, nearly four times the amount of cholestorol, six times the sodium, seven times the carbohydrates and fourteen times as much sugar.
So in fact, the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki that "Jared" is so fond of, should be called the super saturated big fat fucker artery-clogging heart-stopper.
This on the heels of Subway's dig at McDonalds earlier this year with the fat Statue of Liberty holding a Big Mac.
Mmm.
Pot.
Kettle.
Black.
Oh and "Jared" - nobody belie…

Scooby Dooby Don't

Just got through with watching Garfield and Scooby Doo 2. Not even Jennifer Love Hewitt could save Garfield, and as for Scooby Doo 2..... well.... the first film was light entertainment. This one is raw sewage.

Utah Power

My favourite company : Utah Power. Seems there's a flurry of activity around our area at the moment. I wonder if its coincidence, or because I started camping on the phone to them a couple of weeks ago because I'd not seen any changes that they promised to make after last winter's big outages.
Either way, it's pleasing to see the trucks out in the street, coned off, with people up in the cherry pickers doing "something".

Arafat.

Arafat who's health was declining, then he was okay, then in a coma, then not in a coma, then dead, is now not dead.

Fast moving news.

Reports are circulating that Yasser Arafat has died, rather than fallen into a coma, and the Drudge report is indicating that one of the four horsemen is about to resign. Apparently Attorney General John Ashcroft 'plans to submit his resignation to Bush in the next several days'. Does that and Colin Powells motions about leaving (following the Republican's adamant denial on that) point to dissent in the ranks ?

From an article in G2

From an article in the Guardian's G2 section today:

Despondency was instant and lethal. On the way to work, the faces of people on the tube looked like chalk pavement pictures after a downpour. As people got to their desks, a day began of low productivity and high personal email exchange. Dismally, people asked each other how long they had stayed up the night before. "Until 4.30am," said my friend Jim. "Long enough to start crying like a girl."
The first email I received the following morning read: "Fucked off, dejected, our hopes have been blown to shit." The next one read: "As REM once sang: 'It's the end of the world as we know it.' Only unlike REM, I don't feel fine."

There's going to be a brain drain from this country which will leave the Red-State [Republican] morons to fend for themselves," wrote an American on the Guardian talk-boards. "I wonder what the immigration requirements are like in the UK?"…

Opinion in England

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I just watched CNN's roundup of today's front pages back in England, and it seems I'm not alone in my despair. The Guardian simply had a completely black page with "Oh, God!" printed in the middle in small letters. The Mirror in typical Mirror style had "How can 59,054,087 people be so dumb? U.S. Election Disaster" and the Independant had a black page with "4 more years" interlaced with pictures of Abu Ghraib, Enron, oil companies, Halliburton etc.



Leaves.

When I got home tonight, one of our neighbours with a huge tree outside their house was busy bagging all the leaves. She doesn't have a vacuum / blower so there's now 30 bags outside her house awaiting collection. Our Black & Decker blower/mulcher did a great job on our tree - I sucked up all the leaves last night and they fitted in a single sack when mulched. 'Course our tree is a lot smaller, but I reckon Christie would have been able to get everything in 10 sacks if she'd had a mulcher. Great investment, even though it only gets used for a couple of weeks in a year.

Reconciliation

President Bush declared victory in the 2004 presidential, telling supporters: "I'm humbled by the trust and the confidence of my fellow citizens. With that trust comes a duty to serve all Americans. And I will do my best to fulfill that duty every day as your president."

Well - I suppose if that's true, it's better 4 years late than never.

I'm having trouble reconciling my feelings today. Whilst living here is clearly better than the anus of Europe that is England, and whilst I love the job, the state, the surroundings, the American people, our house and our friends, I guess I'm going to just have to live with another 4 years of Bush at the top.

As creepy as it sounds, it's better than that spineless fool Blair. Whilst I disagree 100% with almost everything Bush does, at least he has conviction. He believes in what he says, no matter what anyone else thinks. Blair just says "George - what do I think?"

Crap.

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The situation this morning:
CNN claim Bush 254, Kerry 252.
BBC claim Bush 254, Kerry 252.
CBC Canada claim Bush 254, Kerry 252.

ABC News claim Bush 254, Kerry 242.
CBS News claim Bush 254, Kerry 242.
FauxNews claim Bush 269, Kerry 242.
MSNBC claim Bush 269, Kerry 238.

FauxNews and MSNBC have the weirdest figures because they claim Ohio has gone to Bush, when in fact Ohio hasn't been counted yet. But then FauxNews are the ones who bollocksed it all up for everyone last time.

Bush's chief of staff Andrew Card has claimed victory this morning. After all, there's no point in waiting for actual votes to be counted. That would be a democracy.

Essentially it's come down to Ohio who now have 11 days to count their provisional ballots. Until that's done, the race is still wide open. Because if Kerry gets Ohio, he's won.

Meanwhile, the nation has proven itself to be a nation of homophobes with all 11 states with same-sex marriage bans on the cards having those amendments…

Ohio is being rigged

249 to 195. Ohio which has been projected as Kerry all evening is suddenly looking like it's going to Bush. That will put Bush at 269 - 1 vote short. Kerry needs to win every other state! Please let this be a mistake!

No. Please no. It can't be true...

Bush has 246 electoral votes to Kerry's 195. It's 270 to win. Oh dear God no. We've had it. Bush is going to win..........the world is going to get a hell of a lot more dangerous :(

The most interesting result so far? New York - scene of 9/11 and excuse for Bush's rampage into the middle east, voted for Kerry. That's a big middle finger to Bush, but sadly not enough.

I can't believe it. 4 more years of lies, high taxes, failing economy, invasions and fearmongering.

I can't believe it. You might as well tell me Tony Blair just got re-elected too.

I can't believe it.

Here we go.....

Deep breath people. We're going in....
First up, Florida, obviously, are bent on fucking it up again. An unknown number of voters in Brevard County, Fla., may have voted twice after complaining to a precinct supervisor that their first ballot was missing an annexation issue. Voters in Cape Canaveral were supposed to be given special ballots that included the proposed annexation of Avon by-the-Sea in Brevard. However, many voters at the Cape Canaveral library realized that the annexation issue was missing from their ballots.
Second up - Philly - where Diebold machines already had 2000 votes on them when they were turned on.

And now the most current exit polls - which don't mean a lot - put Kerry ahead in Florida and tied in Ohio.

Political correctness gone mad.

In England they're voting today on whether to make it a punishable offense for a parent to smack their child.

Wha....?

And how, exactly, would they police this Orwellian measure? And how do they suggest children be disciplined? Harsh language??

Jebus. There are certain things the government should have no say over, and this is definitely one of them. F@ck the civil liberties people - some kids need smacking. I know I did - didn't do me any harm other than teaching me right from wrong. If you make parents toothless to discipline their children, then the country is staring into a dark, violent, crime-laden future.

Exciting and nerve wracking.

So election day is here. I'm not even a citizen and I'm excited. Well, excited and nervous at the same time. Of course there's going to be recounts, lawsuits and counter lawsuits. But today's the day we might be rid of Bush. You can feel the tension in the air. Kerry is ahead in all the polls, and the superstitious markers all point his way (the historical outcome of sporting events and such). The question is, when the inevitable recount comes, what's going to happen with all those votes cast on Diebold machines?

Different.

Ok that's different. Got home, and the tree outside the front of the house was totally bare. Every single last leaf all came off in one day. Dayam!

In the freezer.

So the snow has settled, and the temperature has plummeted. It was a chilly -3°C when I got up this morning. Nature has flicked the "leaf" switch and every tree still with leaves is shedding frantically today. Driving down our street, I was literally being rained on by leaves. Not just one or two - hundreds.
It made the morning drive interesting, because the roads are a nice mix of black ice and wet leaves :-)

Let it snow.....in the valley.

The first proper storm of the season has arrived, dumping about 2 inches of snow in the valley. It's not even the end of Autumn yet - the trees are most confused.

Boo!

Had an excellent trick-or-treat night. I decided to play "scare the kids" so I hooked up my smoke machine and used an extra piece of the pipe I had left over. I cut a hole in an orange bucket we've got and filled it with ice, connected the pipe to the hole and the other end to my smoke chiller. All the ice meant that the smoke got super-chilled and was cold to the touch and it swirled along the ground. I put a blacklight bulb in the porch light, then ran the smoke machine remote lead under the doormat. Finally I dressed up in all my biker gear complete with mirrored glasses and sat slumped in the corner of the porch with the candy bowl between my feet and the remote in my right hand. I'd flick the smoke machine on and off to generate a nice mist and then the kids and parents would come up really cautiously, trying to decide if I was real or a dummy. I stayed perfectly still and let some of the kids grab some candy, and with others, I lurched at them. I got tons of pe…

SAW

I just got back from watching SAW at the cinema. Hollywood : give up. Indie film makers are wiping the floor with you. SAW is without a doubt one of the most creative, unnerving films out there this year. I discovered it was filmed in 18 days for just under $10M, and the lead actor is the writer, and his best mate was the director.
SAW makes Seven look tame, and unlike The Sixth Sense, where everyone guessed the "twist" about 20 minutes into the movie, the ending to SAW really makes the skin crawl up the back of your neck.

Day of reckoning

Wow - talk about bad planet alignment. With increasing hostility and suspicion surrounding the US elections and Yasser Arafat being in hospital about to die with some mystery ailment, Bin Laden has appeared on video for the first time today passing new threats to America. "Your security does not depend on Kerry, or Bush, or Al Qaeda, but on your policies. There reasons to attack you are still there."

Was that the seventh seal I just heard being ripped open?

Missing explosives not missing.

According to Fox News, and we know he much they tell the trush, a U.S. Army officer came forward today to say a team from his 3rd Infantry Division took about 250 tons of munitions and other material from the Al-Qaqaa arms-storage facility soon after Saddam Hussein's regime fell in April 2003. Explosives were part of the load taken by the team, but Major Austin Pearson was unable to say what percentage they accounted for. The material was then destroyed, he said.
In other news, Fox News publishes an obviously blatant attempt to cover up another US military blunder, just days before the election.

The secret service are reading blogs?

Worryingly, it looks like Bush's goons are scouring the blogs for anti-Bush sentiment. Well there must be a load of it, but sending the SS out to someone's house to interrogate them is going too far. I know about the politics of fear and keeping the public opressed and scared, but this is outrageous : See this livejournal entry for details.
Well it's obvious that I'm anti-Bush, so in case the CIA, FBI or SS are reading this : I don't want him dead. I'd just like to see him in a position where he has no power. Heck I can't even vote - I'm a resident alien, here legally by the way - I didn't come across the border in a lettuce truck, and I do pay taxes. I also believe very highly in freedom of speech, and being brought up in the Netherlands, I was brought up to speak my mind.
I suspect Tuesday will not be the end of the election, rather the start of the post-election fiasco. I just hope at the end of it that Bush is out and Kerry is in. 50% of the popu…

Actually, Bush, you ARE responsible.

Remember the 350 tonnes of explosive that went missing on Bush's watch, that the Pentagon claim wasn't there when they got there?
Well the barrels inside the Al-Qaqaa facility appear on videotape shot by ABC television affiliate KSTP of St. Paul, Minn., which had a crew embedded with the 101st Airborne Division when it passed through Al-Qaqaa on April 18, 2003 — nine days after Baghdad fell.
Better yet, those barrels of HMX were found inside sealed bunkers. The US soldiers are seen on the videotape cutting through the seals!
Albright : "The seal's critical. The fact that there's a photo of an IAEA seal means that what's behind those doors is HMX. They only sealed bunkers that had HMX in them."
The final "I can't believe it!" moment is that after the bunkers were opened, the 101st was not ordered to secure the facility.

More Bush lies.

It's not bad enough that El Busho lies to the nation every time he opens his mouth, now he's got his wife at it too. Laura Bush at New Hampshire Rally "My Husband Said He'd Reduce Taxes, and He Did".

Lie.

I'm married - my taxes went up. Twice. I saw no tax cut, no cheque from the government and no increase in my tax refund. Why could that possibly be, Mr Bush? Could it be because I don't earn over $200,000 a year and they're the only people you care about?
Goddamn hyppocrite.

Let the voting lunacy begin.

Round 1, obviously, goes to Florida, who have already lost thousands of absentee ballots. Round 2 goes to Boone County, Indiana, where 43,000 residents have managed to cast 140,000 votes thanks to Diebold.
Yes, this is obviously going to be a nice, messy election, and Bush might become famous for being the only person in history to twice be assigned president rather than voted.

According to my inbox...

If I examine the spam I've received in recent months, I now own 232 Rolex replicas, 29 Luis Vuitton handbags, $45.6bn in Nigerian cash and have a 2.4mile long penis. I also have 339 mortgages totalling some $90,513,000, 17,600 years supply of Viagra, a stash of porn tall enough to reach the moon, and 39 hours of video of "Busty young amateurs". On top of that I'm lucky enough to own part of 122 timeshares, have been on a staggering 37,008 blind dates, and have a humidor stuffed to the rafters with over 45,000 Cuban cigars.
My I'm a lucky man.

How to mismanage your money.

I found a story online today about a couple in England who are about to lose their house for the sake of a £6,000 loan.
How?
Well they took out a loan for £5,750, at an APR of 34.9% over 15 years. Ok, a lot of people might do that, but not when they're already £2500 in arrears on their mortgage.
Tony and Michelle Meadows took out the loan in 1989 to make improvements to their semi-detached house. They started having trouble paying the load almost immediately, and eventually missed a year in payments. With legal charges, interest, penalties and late payment fees, that loan is now at £384,000. They've already paid £25,000 over 15 years...
Let's analyse this a little. First off - 34.9% ??? The loan company saw them coming. And then over 15 years ? A little calculation shows the monthly payment would have been £168.19, which means that in the best case scenario, they would have paid £30,275 for their £5750 loan - ie. the loan cost £24,525. Thats bonkers! Who would sign up for …

Things that happen on Dubya's "watch".

Under the category of "things that have happened under Bush's watch" or "another gross failure of the commander-in-chief", we can now add the following:
The International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed a report that 350 metric tons of explosives are missing from a key former military installation in Iraq. The Al Qaqaa military storage facility was supposed to be under U.S. military control, but it has been extensively looted.
But the world is a safer place.

Let it snow...early.

I guess we beat last year's "early snow" date by a few days. Last year, we had snow on the ground October 28th. This year it's today - October 25th. I'm amazed that it's come down into the valleys this early. The big problem is going to be trees - a lot of trees haven't shed their leaves yet so if this sticks, there'll be branches down all over the place and blocked drains. And snowy trees can only mean one thing in Utah - power cuts!

Bin Laden conveniently located.

The Pentagon knows exactly where Osama bin Laden is hiding in Pakistan, it just can't get to him, John Lehman, a member of the 9/11 Commission, said Thursday. That's convenient. So close to the elections too - nobody could have possibly forecast this.
Apparently though, "There is an American presence in the area, but we can't just send in troops. If we did, we could have another Vietnam, and the United States cannot afford that right now."
Funny.
That didn't stop El Busho in Iraq.

Joan Collins and her own little weird world.

Joan Collins spoke last night of her “humiliation” after Heathrow airport security staff ordered her to strip off items of clothing in front of other passengers. Apparently she flew into a rage and got all pissy with the security staff, asking them "Don't you know who I am" and complaining that she'd been singled out because of her celebrity.
So what clothing did she have to remove that caused this embarassment? Her hat, sunglasses, jacket and shoes. clearly the woman missed some of her pills that morning - Joan darling, we ALL have to take off hats, coats, shoes and sunglasses. You're not a celebrity, you're a has-been. You weren't singled out - everyone in your line had to do it. Daft cow.

"We don't need your assistance!"

El Busho has pleaded for help - too many US soliders getting nailed in central Iraq, so spineless Tony Blah has agreed to put the UK troops in harms way instead, so El Busho can try to make up some popularity points before the election by moving the US troops out to places where they won't be dying on a daily basis. Nice.

Kmart CEO rapes company for $94m

From the "Bush likes the rich" file, the government are doing nothing to stop outgoing Kmart chief executive Julian Day from stepping down. Nothing wrong in that, you might think. Well think again. He's only been in the job for 9 months. For that, as he steps down, he gets:
- to stay on the board of directors
- to retain 778,882 stock options worth about $60 million
- to retain fully vested options worth about $30 million
- $2 million by signing a release agreement with Kmart
- most of his $1 million annual bonus for this year
- a bonus of $978,000 in 2007 (2 years after leaving)
- a bonus of $479,000 in 2008 (3 years after leaving)

Oh it must be a hard life, lounging around on CEO salary, doing nothing (because that's what CEO's do - nothing) for 9 months, and then stepping down to a tidy little $94 million over the next 4 years. Yes, it must be hard.

Bush and the draft - again.

The Daily show just showed a classic presidential slip. Or did it?
Speaking at a convention in Florida today, and I quote, Bush said "We will not have an all-volunteer army."

Someone in the crowd corrected him and he looked even more confused. "We will have an all volunteer army?", he said, quizzically.

Freedom Censorshop of speech.

In the El Busho and Sideshow Dick extravaganza, they're continuing to trample all over the constitution. I swear he won't be happy until he's had free speech removed from it. On thursday, two women wearing t-shirts proclaiming "Protect Our Civil Liberties" were threatened with arrest, then removed from an event in Oregon. These actions set a new standard low even for El Busho. Apparently they were wearing "disruptive clothing." I don't know about you, but "Protect Our Civil Liberties" is about as non-disruptive and party-neutral viewpoint as you can have.
However, this follows hot on the heels of Sideshow Dick's visit to Eugene, Oregon on Sept. 17, where he had a 54-Year old woman named Perry Patterson charged with criminal trespass for blurting the word "No" when Cheney said that George W. Bush has made the world safer.
The day before that, Sue Niederer, 55, the mother of a slain American soldier in Iraq was cuffed and arres…

No I don't want to buy a frickin Rolex!

The latest spam to appear seems to be fake Rolex watches, and swiss watches. I noticed 3 or 4 emails on friday, and when I got in this morning, over 100 of my spam emails this weekend were offers on watches.
These morons just won't give up. Clearly the fact that nobody ever buys anything from junkmail doesn't deter them :(

Bush and the draft.

Increasing denial of mandatory military draft is only serving to spread the rumour further. www.bushandthedraft.com are trying to bring this further into the spotlight. Meanwhile, Bush has fallen below a 50% approval rating - something considered an unrecoverable position especially 17 days before the election. Let's only hope this nightmare ends in 17 days time.

Shock, horror.

In a "shock" report out today, it turns out that nearly 1 in 4 businesses uses and/or relies on pirated software. There's a huge scientific analysis on the subject but they've missed the simple explanation : if it wasn't so freakin' expensive, then perhaps more people would buy it. Or perhaps buying Photoshop would entitle you to two upgrades, rather than the current system of "buy one for $400, then buy the next one in 8 months time for another $400". 3DS Max is a prime culprit of this methodology. I bought 3DSMax4 and it cost me something like $4000. 6 months later, Max5 came out and I wasn't entitled to an upgrade. Then Max6, and now Max7. Each one costing more than the last, none of them free to existing customers. Way to run a business guys. The irony would be if people like Adobe and 3DS were using pirated software to make their software :-)

Kerry and Bush both traitors?

I have a feeling that the Bush campaign are preparing to wheel out the Winter Soldier report about Kerry in 1971 and his questionable dealings with the VietCong. I'm sure Bush's camp will hark on about how treasonous some of his actions were, and how some of claims of American conduct in Vietnam are outright lies. But given the recent actions of US soldiers in Iraq, under Bush's command, and given the Bush families ties to the Nazis and the Trading With The Enemy debacle, let me be the first to say : Pot? Kettle? Black?
Ok so they're both as bad as each other, at least we're on a level playing field again.

Classic quotes to the press, and the USGS is backing up.

Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said "we escaped a major, major catastrophe here. It's amazing there were no serious death or injuries."

It's nice of him to acknowledge that death is pretty serious :-)

Meanwhile, the USGS is gently reversing it's position on Mount St. Helens. They've gone from:
"an explosion like that which happened 1980 is impossible due to changes in the structure of the mountain"
to
"an explosion like that which happened in 1980 isn't very likely"
which today became
"there's not much chance of an explosion like that which happened in 1980".

I like the progression of words from impossible, to unlikely, to chance.

The French get it right.

Cinemas in France are now allowed to block mobile phone signals! Full story here.

"Obvious"

Further proof that all things Bush and Florida are corrupt or just plain wrong. Miami-Dade County was missed by all four hurricanes this year, yet 19,500 Miami-Dade residents applied for FEMA financial aid. FEMA approves $21.5 million -- $1 million more than Indian River County, where 49,000 homes were destroyed. Guess where Jeb Bush lives.......
The full story is on the AP wire here.

Possibly the finest headline this week:

Balloon Pilot Blames Wind For Radio Tower Crash
I don't know why, but it just struck me as funny, given that hot air balloons travel by wind...
It was from a report on the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta which ended with a bang as the "Smokey the Bear" balloon got wrapped around the top of a 670ft AM radio tower. The 4 passengers in the gondola were safely retrieved but they had to climb about 500ft down to meet the rescue crew coming up the other way.

The world is safer.

Iraqi militants launched two RPG attacks on hotels housing foreign journalists today including the Baghdad Sheraton. But don't forget; according to El Busho, the world, and Iraq, is a safer place now.

CIA tells us what we knew all along.

The CIA report into Iraq came out today, and concluded that Saddam Hussein did not possess stockpiles of illicit weapons at the time of the U.S. invasion in March 2003 and had not begun any program to produce them. The report is authored by Charles Duelfer, who advises the director of central intelligence on Iraqi weapons. It makes clear that Iraq's WMD program was essentially destroyed in 1991 and Saddam ended Iraq's nuclear program after the 1991 Gulf War.
That's what the military told El Busho before the invasion. That's what Powell told us before the invasion, and that's what we all knew already.
I'm still waiting for Bush's impeachment, but given there's only 4 weeks to the election, there's still a chance he won't rig it and will be removed by vote.

Republicans 0 Democrats 2

It seems to be generally accepted that Kerry "won" the debate last thursday between him and El Busho. Last night was a chance for a reprieve from the republican camp. And what happened? Edwards trounces Sideshow Dick, and in a classic blunder, Cheney recommended that if people wanted the truth, they should go to www.factcheck.com. That site, is in fact, one of the biggest anti-Bush sites on the net, run by George Soros. Cheney meant to say .org but he gave the wrong domain name.
A slip of the tongue sent republicans scurrying to a site which gives many strong, proven arguments why the Bush camp is wrong on all fronts and why El Busho needs to be removed.
Nicely done.
Still, what do you expect from the Bush & Dick camp ?

Mount St. Helens is erupting again.

They've evacuated the observatory and closed all airspace around Mount St. Helens. A huge plume of smoke and ash is rising out of the crater right now.

And the world is a different place.

Mark the history books. October 4th 2004, Brian Binnie ascends to 368,000ft to grab the Ansari X-Prize on the second flight into space in 4 days. This is the dawn of commercial spaceflight. SpaceShipOne : GovernmentZero.
I saw it live - well - live on TV at least. It was amazing.
Apparently Binnie shut off the engine manually. They reckon he could have gone a lot higher. As it was he was already 40,000ft above the target altitude.

Mount St Helens evacuated

After yesterday's steam and ash show, MSH generated a 3.0 earthquake today along with another steam and ash eruption. The USGS have issued a mandatory evacuation order because of the "increased liklihood" of a magma / lava explosion.

Lori Hacking found?

Big news day apparently. Police just confirmed that they've found the remains of Lori Hacking in the SL County landfill. Guess that means the death sentence for old Mark then....

BBbboooooommmmm

Mount St. Helens is going. A huge steam eruption just happened. It's got our attention - we're watching.....

Mount St Helens Advisory up to level 3

The USGS just increased the threat advisory from level 2 to 3 out of 4 for St Helens. The lava dome has moved nearly 7cm to the north since monday. Doesn't sound a lot but you try moving 10,000 tonnes of rock 7cm......

Vioxx cures.

The drug Vioxx has now been found to cure arthritis, permanently.
Slight side affects include sudden desire to buy farms, kick buckets, shuffle off this mortal coil. Merck had a bad day - stocks plummetted 15% as they pulled Vioxx off the market. Still. Now they only have to worry about the 91 million prescriptions written for this bringer of death.

Mount St Helens rockin' and a rollin'

USGS closed Mount St Helens park last night and restricted all airspace access above 4800ft. She's gonna blow....
I wonder if we'll hear it from here. Hell - all our weather comes from the Cascades and we have beautiful sunsets already. Billions of tons of dust in the atmosphere will be "interesting".....

5.8 quake in California

Seems that a major geological event is going on. The earthquake swarms around Mount St Helens have increased, and this morning a 5.9 quake struck southern california.

Rollercoaster Tycoon 3

I've just spent some time fiddling with the just-released demo of RCT3 and it looks awesome. I was skeptical that they'd be able to take it and put it in a 3D world but the programmers seem to have done a pretty competent job. It looks like they've managed to retain all the stuff in the original games. The interface is a little clumsy but it's passable.
Can't wait to see the full version.

Mt. St. Helens about to go again?

The USGS today issued a "Notice of Volcanic Unrest" about Mount St. Helens after three days of magnitude 2 earthquake swarms around the area. They've indicated a blast zone which could be affected by ejecta from the lava dome and surrounding crater wall if it goes off. Watch this space.

I'm back, and so are the hurricanes.

Viral bronchitis - not a fun disease. First day back on the PC for nearly a week.
Meanwhile, God continues to punish Florida for f*cking up the 2000 election. As a warning not to do it again, on the heels of hurricanes Charley, Frances and Ivan, hurricane Jeanne made landfall about an hour ago and is lashing Florida with 120mph winds.
Hurricane Lisa is parked out at sea gathering strength.

De Mudder of all cowds.

Yes. Dats right. I'b god a cowd. Add a nasty one too. Id came on yedterday morning add god worse through de day. God hardly any sleep ladt night :-(

AAaaaaaaaaaggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh

*pop*

Why p2p sharing is A Good Thing

I found a great argument for P2P file sharing last night, as if we didn't already have hundreds of good arguments.
Paula's PC was on its last legs - well the hard drive was. It wouldn't boot. Took it out and popped it on its side and it booted. A reprive. So I decided to clone the drive and there were two options. Norton Ghost, and Powerquest Driveimage. A guy at work gave me his copy of Driveimage and I p2p'd a copy of Ghost.
Connected up a second drive and Ghost'd it - no joy. It copied inside windows (how can it do the protected files then?) and the new drive did a sort of half-boot. Norton claim that Ghost can replicate system drives for if you want to upgrade to a larger drive.
Hmm.
So I tried it again. No joy. So I tried Driveimage - took three times as long and did it all outside Windows, and it worked perfectly first time.
So why is this a good argument for p2p file sharing ? Well if I'd bought Norton, I'd be $39 out of pocket with no chance of a …

Unsavoury footage

Michael Moore is coming to speak at the UWVC in October and it's already causing a stink. The slap-your-forehead moment tonight was when they were interviewing a student there:
"Academically I can learn nothing from Michael Moore. Do you know in that film (F9/11) he shows footage of American servicemen being killed - blown up. That's not what we want to see here in America."

Er.

Um.

Well. Okay - we can not show it to you if you don't want to see it, but that doesn't escape the fact that they are actually being shot at, blown up and killed. Put your blinkers back on mate - the light is obviously blinding you.

US destroys N.Korea nuke facility?

Satellites recorded a 2-mile wide mushroom cloud over North Korea on thursday sparking fears of an above-ground nuclear test.
Kin Jong Il has admitted it was such a test, but the Americans claim it wasn't. Officials with KCNA, the North's official news agency, said that Powell was "misinformed" and that they "possess evidence that positively identifies the explosion as having resulted from a nuclear weapon test." The evidence is considered to be conclusive, but, said one official, "Release of the materials at this time would constitute a national security breach."

Seismograph stations surrounding North Korea report detecting the blast, but that the signature is not consistent with a nuclear test. "It registered more like an above-ground chemical explosives blast," reported one such station, "In fact, the signature suggests it was a timed series of twenty-five blasts, approximately one-half second apart." This lends credence to …

Oops.

Mississippi DOT tried this morning to bring down one section of an old bridge. Unfortunately, when the span collapsed, the span next to it got knocked off the concrete pier, and it also collapsed. That in turn took out the next span over, and so on and so forth and now the whole bridge has come down. The Mississippi River is now closed to traffic because it's totally blocked.

Should have hired Controlled Demolition Inc.

Dick Cheney threatening terrorism?

Quote from Dick Cheney : "It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States."

Is that a thinly-veiled threat from Cheney? Is he admitting guilt by association? You'd think the vice president would think twice before making that sort of comment. He's using scare tactics now, showing once again that he and El Busho will do anything and say anything to save their jobs.

Dearly beloved....

We are gathered here today to get through this thing called life......

And so started last night's Prince concert at the open-air Usana Amphitheater. And lo, for it was totally awesome.

I didn't care much for the warm-up act, but when she'd finished they started prepping the stage for Prince. A huge projection TV screen above the stage showed some adverts for the NPGmusic website - Prince and the New Power Generation. Then the stage went dark and they started by projecting on to the big screen Alicia Key's speech at the inauguration of Prince to the rock and roll Hall of Fame. Everyone was on their feet by now and when she said "let me introduce........Prince!" The stage lights came on purple and yellow and there he was, standing front and center. Guitar riff....."Dearly beloved....." and the crowd went bonkers.
From that point on it just got better and better. High speed lighting effects, classic 80's and 90's Prince. A bitchin' medley o…

Waterproofing wood

We finally got done with the last step in completing the deck on sunday. We waterproofed the wood. The stuff we used claimed to soak in and provide a mildew-resistant, UV-protecting waterproof seal. I don't know if all that's true but what it did do was bring out the colour in the wood and when we did a splash test on monday, the water all beaded nicely and ran off, so I guess it works.
So the deck is finally done.
Just in time for the cold weather :-?