Thursday, April 26, 2007
If you are reading my blog (yeah, I'm talking to both of you), please have patience.
In the meantime, here's a clip about the Chicken Peacekeeping Corps
Meanwhile, the duck is feeding the koi fish.
That lazy ass farmer has it made, by training his poultry to do all the work for him.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Boy! I've had the weirdest evening!
B-Boy and I decided to walk to a medical centre on Ste Catherine St to get a hepatitis A injection in preparation for our trip to Vietnam, but it turns out that we needed to see a doctor first, and B-Boy didn't have his Medicare card, but the injection has to be given by a nurse who wasn't there cause she only works until 3pm, so we could see the doctor now and come back tomorrow for the shots or we could wait till tomorrow and see the doctor and get the shots at the same time, blablabla, yadah yadah... So we left.
On the way back, we found this newly opened Chinese restaurant called daMao or something. As we were looking at the menu posted on the window, a smiling man rushed out and invited us in. He was so warm and inviting, chattering up a storm, but in a very friendly way. B-Boy and I immediately fell under his charm and went in. Whatever we ordered, he smiled and nodded and said: Very good choice, it's delicious! or Oh yes, good choice, it's very fresh! And he was right, it was very good. I had Pad Thai and B-Boy had some sushi (yes, at a Chinese restaurant -- I love Montreal!). After I paid and left a generous tip, B-Boy added some more coins cause the guy was so nice. As we were leaving the restaurant, we saw him on the sidewalk, talking to a woman, trying to convince her to go inside his restaurant.
B-Boy wanted to go train at his school so we separated and I walked home by myself. On the way back, I passed by a Multimag store and decided to go in. The cashier was talking to a man and I was just browsing, looking at the magazines, when suddenly I heard the man yelling at the cashier: Hurry up! Hurry up! I turned around to look at the cashier, but he seemed relaxed, so I continued reading the magazines. From the corner of my eyes, I saw the cashier go in the back of the store and the man following him. Then a few minutes later, the man left the store and the cashier came out yelling at me: M'am, we've just been fucking robbed!!
The poor guy was all pale and shaky. He called the police then asked me if I wanted to stay and wait for the police or leave. He looked so distraught, I could not leave him. So I stayed and tried to calm him down. He was muttering: I should'nt have gone in the back, I should have..I should have... I told him: You did the right thing, just give them the money, don't risk your life.
Very quickly, the cops arrived, a man and a woman. The male cop asked me to write a statement, describing the guy and the events, and as I was writing, he said to me: "You have two sons". I looked up: "Huh? I'm sorry, do I know you?" He smiled and nodded: "I'm your sons' sifu!"
And he was!! OMG! It was Sifu François, the master who taught kungfu mantis style to my two sons!! And he's also the cop who was taking my statement at a crime scene. What are the odds!!?
I was so shaken by the whole thing that I had to stop at Calories and take home 4 thick slices of chocolate cream cheese cakes!!! If I gain weight, it'll be the fault of that frigging robber! And I forgot to tell you that he was such a cliché, wearing a pantyhose on his head, but I didn't even notice, thinking that he was bald, until the cashier told me.
Top-selling Bild newspaper said the zoo had received a hand-written fax from a suspected animal hater with the words: "Knut is dead! Thursday midday." But that deadline came and went safely for media star Knut, who has been on newspaper front pages around Germany and the world for weeks. "He is safe and in good spirits," said zoo official Ragnar Kuehne after the time had passed.
Berlin police said they had investigated a letter containing a threat but did not believe it was serious. Nonetheless, Bild said the zoo had trebled the number of minders responsible for Knut's safety to 15.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
|You Are Agnostic|
God? Religion? Maybe... you're just not sure.
You're still figuring out your spiritual path... or figuring out you really don't care.
You believe that no one really can know the true story about religion or God.
So you might as well relax a little. You'll go crazy trying make sense of it all.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
VietNamNet Bridge – Besides serving exchange purposes, many personal blogs are becoming places to disseminate sexual images, stories and even personal photos. These blogs don’t have very elaborate looks. The content, however, is open sex sales.
For instance, blogger L.A. advertises in her blog, “L.A., 18 years old, just been 2 months in the profession. Tall, white-skinned, having all that is necessary, very enthusiastic. Money back if not satisfied. Contact 091855xxxx.” Accompanying these words are sexually stimulating photos.
Another ad on N.H’s blog runs as follows, “Specialised in providing all kinds of ‘flowers’, from high-class to economy. ‘Flowers’ can be transported as far away as Phan Thiet and Nha Trang. Beauty, enthusiasm, and reasonable prices all guaranteed. Contact 090924xxxx for home delivery.”
There are also blogs that sell sex toys for both heterosexuals and homosexuals. And blog M. is where sex CDs and videos are sold and delivered by mail; payments are made through account transferring. H., the owner of another sex blog, advertised, “I have all sorts of CDs to ‘warm up’, as well as toys for both males and females. I have products from Japan, China, and the US. What do you like? We deliver to your door.”
In other words, Vietnam has finally joined the 21st century.
I've read somewhere that the sensei's style is called Bullshit-do. Bada Boum!
Monday, April 16, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
I have found my old copy of Vonnegut's "Breakfast of Champions" and leafing throught it, I found the part that I used to read to my son Asparagus, and we laughed until we cried. I'm reproducing it hereafter, in dedication to Kurt and to Asparagus, my two favourite people on Earth at this point in time.
"As for the story itself, it was entitled "The Dancing Fool". Like so many Trout tories, it was about a tragic failure to communicate.
Here was the plot: A flying saucer creature named Zog arrived on Earth to explain how wars could be prevented and how cancer could be cured. He brought the information from Margo, a planet where the natives conversed by means of farts and tap dancing.
Zog landed at night in Connecticut. He had no sooner touched down than he saw a house on fire. He rushed into the house, farting and tap dancing, warning the people about the terrible danger they were in. The head of the house brained Zog with a golfclub."
One of my favourite authors has passed away, at the age of 84. The life and death of Kurt Vonnegut will be told on many newspapers and blogs, so I will only give you the link to his official web site: http://www.vonnegut.com/
What I wanted to talk about is the famous hoax bearing his name: his so-called Commencement Speech at MIT. You know, the one about sunscreen.
"Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97:
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.
Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.
Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen."
Andrea Wesselenyi explains the hoax on his website: http://www.wesselenyi.com/Vonnegutstory.htm
Let me tell you the story in short. An American journalist named Mary Schmich wrote a clever and funny article, in which she fantasized about giving a commencement address to graduating students. The article originally appeared in her regular column in the Chicago Tribune. Mary received favorable reaction, including congratulations from friends and some nice phone calls, but that was all. The story would have ended here if someone had not invented the hoax of the year.
What the unknown prankster did was he took Mary’s column a month after it was published in the Chicago Tribune and forwarded it on the net under the label "Kurt Vonnegut’s Commencement Address at MIT".
This email message began to make rounds all over the net and arrived in millions of mailboxes within a few hours. The message was forwarded from friends to friends, stamped with such comments as "worth a read," and "check this out - it’s great".
The message was even submitted to several newsgroups and mail forums, giving the "speech" enormous notoriety. The article quickly came to be reviewed by literary critics, archived by collectors and praised by Vonnegut fans who were enthusiastic to read the recent immortal words of their favourite writer. Recipients of the message thought they’d recognized Vonnegut’s unique wit, the kind of cynical humor for which he is famous. Even Vonnegut’s wife fell victim to the hoax and forwarded the message to family and friends.
There was only one skeptic, a leading Vonnegut cyber-fanatic, who got suspicious and posted a reply to the alt.books.kurt-vonnegut newsgroup saying: "This voice is not quite his." The majority of people, however, did not have any doubt whether the message was true - they believed it without question.
It wasn’t long before both the real and the alleged writer learned what was going on in cyberspace. Mary was desperately trying to get in touch with Vonnegut until finally, she managed to track him down by phone. By then, Vonnegut had heard of the incident from friends, his lawyer, even from a women’s magazine that wanted to reprint the speech, until he denied he was the author.
"It was quite witty, but not my wittiness," he generously said to Mary.
As the incident became widely known Mary received more and more angry emails from people who accused her of plagiarism. And, so, pen in hand, she wrote the true story of the commencement speech.
In this thoughtful article she clears herself and analyzes the deeper content of the events in an interesting way. Her response was published in her column and was put on several web pages on the Internet . The illuminating article begins with the following words:
"Oh, Kurt Vonnegut may appear to be a brilliant, revered male novelist. I may appear to be a mediocre and virtually unknown female newspaper columnist. We may appear to have nothing in common but unruly hair. But out in the lawless wamp of cyberspace, Mr. Kurt Vonnegut and I are one. Out there, where any snake can masquerade as king, both of us are the author of a graduation speech that began with the immortal words: "Wear sunscreen".
My advice? Before you spam your friends with petitions for Muslim women's right to drive in Saudi Arabia or for cancerous but spunky kids who want to receive a postcard from all over the world, please check with the various sites that are specialized in debunking the bullshit and the hoaxes, such as http://www.snopes.com/ . And next time I'll tell you about the email with the Dalai Lama's Instructions for life.
But do wear sunscreen.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Monday, April 02, 2007
The Ganglia of Four
Bush, Cheney, Rice, and Gates: How We Are Ruled
March 26, 2007
Methinks we don’t—think, I mean, about anything outside our immediate visual horizon. Thinking is a poor way of understanding the world, which is too complex to be thought about effectively. That leaves hormones and unfortunate limbic wiring.
Consider the presidential wars. I get combative email informing me that Moslems are savage, barbaric, crafty, and patient, biding their time through the centuries to spit in apple pie, put Mom in a seraglio, and sodomize Boy Scouts—that they have spread by the sword, live by the sword, and lust to convert us all to Islam and sell us prayer rugs. The Gates of Vienna, 1453, all that.
Perhaps. There follows a list of Christian countries I can think of that have been conquered by Moslems since the Industrial Revolution:
On the other hand, to the best of my admittedly weak historical understanding, the following Islamic countries have been conquered by Christians: Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Chad, Pakistan, Bangla Desh, Libya, Indonesia, Yemen, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Kyrgyz, Kazakhstan, Somalia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan, to name a few. On various occasions Christians have tried to conquer Afghanistan, but with no better luck than they deserved.
Since 1500, Christians also conquered all of North, South, and Central America, most of Southeast Asia, India, Australia, Nepal, Africa, China for practical purposes, and so on. I am not sure the record is altogether on the side of Christians in terms of inherent pacifism.
My correspondents further inform me that Moslems hate America because of its advanced society, or because they hate freedom (which is silly even by the dilute standards of our sorry journals). I suspect that the reasons are otherwise.
Now, I am inexpert in Islam and may be wrong here. Correct me. (That is, if you are Moslem and know something about it, correct me.) They seem to have a cast of mind more primitive than ours, or more advanced than ours (depending on your attitude), but at least different from ours. They take their religion seriously. We do not. Yes, I know, polls show that some impressive proportion of Americans say they think God is more influential than Katie Couric (who I believe to be a bubblehead I saw once on a television network). In fact, though, religion plays little part in the national life, or lives, of what was once called Christendom. The word has died for want of a referent. We pride ourselves on eliminating religion from public life, and regard those who still practice it as snake-handlers.
Thus if Rastafarians took over Lithuania, Americans would not be greatly exercised. Perhaps one in fifty could find it on the map. That Lithuania is Christian would mean nothing. By contrast, Moslems seem to regard themselves as part of a family, despite rigorous and unpleasant disputes among themselves. They see Israel as just another example of colonization by armed force (see paragraph four above). And they know that every bomb destroying an apartment building in Beirut was given to Israel by America, along with the plane dropping it, for the express purpose of blowing up Moslems.
Further, the United States looks and talks as if it were making war on Islam. At the moment, Americans or Jewish allies are brutalizing Palestine and Lebanon, using Pakistan as a puppet, wrecking Iraq and Afghanistan, bombing Somalia, hunting Moslems in the Philippines, and threatening Syria and Iran. Maybe that’s why Moslems don’t like us.
I just offer it as a thought.
The truculent among my correspondents often express contempt for the Iraqi and Afghan insurgents, calling them dirtballs and rag heads and such. Perhaps, but they are not helpless rag heads. (If I hear another stupid joke about the seventy-two virgins, I’m going to kill something.)
If I may lapse into the vernacular, underestimating the enemy is a serviceable approach to getting your ass kicked. It’s working. The US “coalition” has something like 150,000 troops in Iraq, equipped with artillery, tanks, fighter-bombers, armored personnel carriers, helicopters, gun ships to include AC-130s, night-vision gear, and excellent medical care. The Pentagon seems to know little of the insurgents, but I’ve seen guesses that they might number from 12,000 to 30,000. Outnumbered five to one, and having only rifles, RPGs, and explosives, the insurgents have so far fought the US to a standstill, and have good prospects of handing it a defeat. That’s contemptible?
Further, US losses have been light. The US military has claimed to be killing 3,000 insurgents a month (and lots of other numbers too). Do the arithmetic. Even allowing for lying, guessing, and honest ignorance, the insurgents, and their families, are taking heavy casualties. They haven’t quit. If the US had suffered proportionately—say a couple of hundred thousand dead—the war would have been over years ago. Why did no one in power think of this beforehand?
A drawback of getting older is that one has a sense of seeing the same bad movie over and over. We always fight demons. Like the Moslems, the Russians also were patient and barbaric, as were, and will be again, the Chinese when they come online as the next enemy. The Japanese too were primordially evil, committing such atrocities as the Rape of Nanking until nuclear terror bombing returned them to civilization’s fold. The only good Indian was a dead Indian. Et cetera.
After a few decades of rapid evolution and, apparently, braces
Still, if I were churlish, I would ask my correspondents how much they, we, actually know about the Islamic world. I might say to them:
Do you speak Arabic? Read it? How about Farsi? Do you have close Moslem friends? Do you know any Moslems at all? Have you lived for any appreciable time in a Moslem country, outside of a Western corporate enclave? Have you lived in a Moslem country? Have you visited a Moslem country? How many books on Islamic affairs, written by Moslems, have you read? Written by anybody? Can you name six Moslems other than Osama bin Laden and Mohammed? How much of the Koran have you read?
The US is fighting a war crucially dependant on religion, politics, and culture without knowing anything about the religion, politics, or culture.
Think about it. The GIs are late adolescents who have only the vaguest notion of where they are. The State Department has bright people who do know a lot about Islamic lands but, aside from being ignored, I doubt they much get out of the Green Zone. The upper ranks of American government? How much time have Congress, the Senate, Bush, Cheney, or Rice spent in Moslem countries?
Foreign policy—just about everybody’s—springs from spinal reflexes, I tell you. The human race has no business being in charge of its affairs. I’m trying to think of a better idea.