Friday, June 29, 2007

Chalk another one up...

...for the good guys.

Homeowner, 71, shot intruder in NE Portland Oregon home.

A 71-year-old man in the residence, Leroy Hudson, reportedly fired one shot at the suspected intruder. The injured suspect, a 26-year-old male, was transported to a local hospital with injuries described as "life threatening." Police said he was shot in the head.
All's well that ends well.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Comments anyone?

This article on Iraq is worth reading. I'd be interested in comments.

From the Prometheus Institute:

It is the Institute's opinion that although the war was once justified on the presumed existence of dangerous weapons of mass destruction, these noble goals have been abandoned in an improvident current prosecution of "The War on Terror."

In our opinion, the War on Terrorism should not be about rebuilding countries. The inability of America to offensively colonize other countries has always been painfully clear even since our failed invasion(s) of Canada in the Revolutionary War. The leaders of our country have failed to learn from the lessons of the past. As supported by our roles in the Spanish-American War, World Wars I & II and Desert Storm, our rate of success is far better when we are serving a protective role rather than an aggressive one.

Since we already captured Saddam, murdered his sons, and have no hope to find the WMDs, we have ended any possible national threat and thus have no more legitimate governmental interest in Iraq. We must immediately find the quickest way to leave Iraq without precipitating a civil war - not continue to seek an imposition of democracy that is neither desired, efficient, or beneficial for either country.

Nanny State Knows Best...

The details.

...just another Bureaucrat WHorror story. And no, it's not a spelling mistake.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I love shoes...

No, not like that.

Like these, and these, and these, and especially these: drool.

Anyways, so I bump into this story about how Tony Blair has worn the same pair of shoes for 18 years.
The shoes in question, an 18-year-old pair of hand-made leather brogues that have only been re-soled once, were made by Church's in Northampton, central England.

"I know it's ridiculous, but I've worn them for every PMQs (Prime Minister's Questions), I've actually had them for 18 years," Blair told The Times in an interview, adding that "cheap shoes are a false economy."

According to a spokeswoman for Church's, a 134-year-old company, the shoes Blair bought would have cost 150 pounds ($353) when he bought them, and cost about 290 pounds ($682) now.

If y'look enough, you can find some common ground with most folks, and Mr Blair is right that cheap shoes are a false economy. My favorite shoe store in Vancouver, for years, was Sheppard's Shoes, but I gather they've closed their Granville Street location and now deal direct, online. S'okay, the shoes are still killer.

But I remember when most shoes found in shoe stores were well-built and solid leather. Bata Shoes, for example, used to carry very well made classic leather men's shoes at prices ranging from very normal to...okay, well y'could get a pair of very high end water-buffalo brogues with double-welt soles (I did)...but over the years Bata has seemingly devolved to selling moulded sole trendy running shoes; at least that's all there is in my town...

(Disclaimer: I do have a soft spot for Converse Chuck Taylor high-tops.)

These days what y'get is plastic or faux leather (read: ersatz, placebo, spurious, as in: not even genuine Naugahyde) or, if you're lucky, leather and cloth stitched and glued together in a George Jetson/Dennis Rodman mash-up with a sole that's guaranteed to wear out, making your uppers useless, in about two years. Or you can head over to Wal-Mart and pick up some "man-made material" they call 'em dress shoes (as if...) with cleverly molded plastic soles that mimic everything about a real dress shoe except the comfort and quality. Why, they even fake the stitching so you can pretend the shoes ain't crap.

But damn straight, those Church's can last 18 years with a resole or two. Easy if you're even a bit careful.

And y'know something: Canada used to have a good few companies that made premium quality, fine leather shoes, too. I have a pair of John McHale shoes (thick leather soled, burnished medium reddish-brown blucher cap-toes) that equal the best I've seen from today's British shoemaking elite. I cherish them like diamonds, and I treat 'em like gold. I bet they're twenty years old or more. They look pretty much new, and they fit like the day they were made: perfectly. Really though, the rest of my good shoes are British.

Ah, but dontcha know: some of the world's best riding, western and police boots (some say the best boots) are still made in Alberta...

(Edit: I found an ad for the exact model McHales that I own...they're from the 1950s...), that's more than 50 years of wear.

Gays, polygamists and kissin' cousins...


As it happens, I support gay marriage, which is to say I think gay folks ought to be able to get married just like straight folks. I've had a few runs around the blogosphere on that issue, like here at LFR with Pete in Midland (who I like even when I disagree with him).

Anyways, the linked article goes to a story about how some folks are realizing that consistent application of the principles supporting the right of gays to marry could well open the door to marriage among polygamists or "closer-than-recommended" relatives, or [fit the kink of your choice]...

From the article:
There are disturbing signs all over the country that conservatives were right to predict that proponents of odd and radical sexual practices would try to slip through the political and legal doors opened by the gay rights movement.
because, for example:
In Lawrence [Texas], the high court ruled in 2003 that state laws banning gay sex in private were unconstitutional, citing "an emerging awareness that liberty gives substantial protection to adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters pertaining to sex." Emphasis mine.
Liberty had better bloody well give substantial protection to adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters to pertaining to sex. Otherwise, it ain't's just the usual set of permissions or prohibitions from the busybodies.

Short version: the government has no place in these sorts of choices and ought to plain get out of the marriage/social engineering business.

There is so much about this story...

... that makes me smile.
a federal district court [struck] down a state law that allowed only those public employees who belonged to certain denominations the right to claim a religious objection to paying union dues.
Now, why can't atheists make similar moral/financial decisions with equal effect? Surely religious freedom includes freedom from religion.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

So... thought the meddling fuckheads would stop at cigarettes and maybe a bit of kerfuffle about fast foods, didja?


Friday, June 15, 2007

Hey, theocrats--read this!!

Over at Rational Reasons, Mike has posted a note to those who envision Canada as a Christian theocracy.

He won't be alone.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

So I see this headline...

Polygamy fueling Ariz.’s rate of genetic disorder ...

...and as I read the article, I realized that, really, no such thing is happening at all. It ain't polygamy that's causing the problem; it's just inbreeding.

They aren't the same thing.

But "Inbreeding Fuels [Anywhere's] Rate of Genetic Disorder" wouldn't be a headline anywhere; it'd just be a "yeah...and, your point???"

Much ado about not very much.

I'm only saying this once (here)...

At my job, my secondary function is as a computer repair tech. And it'd be fair to say I've been on a computer every day since 1984, and some before that. I started with an Adam and went to PC Jr...and so on. I'm a rank newbie compared to my brother who runs where I work. OK, that's the preamble.

We have this joke we tell when folks come in with crashed hard drives, asking us if we can save the files on the drive.

We say "oh, relax--it's no problem; just restore the files from your backup".

Then we smile (inwardly), say nothing in the very, very awkward silence that follows, and watch the various emotions (like panic, shock,...) play across the faces of the people across the counter from us.

Factually, sometimes we can rescue the data; and if we can't sometimes very high-tech (read: expensive) labs that specialize in that sort of thing can retrieve the data. But there is no guarantee the data can be retrieved, period, if the drive crashes. Lotsa times, the data is more gone than a dropped diamond in a desert sandstorm.

So, this, only once: if you can't live without it, Back It Up. Twice. With one backup somewhere else than your home. (Think, if you have a backup on CD at your place, and your place burns, your CD backup data is...crispy...and not suitable for consumption). Backup data is two copies.

You'd think folks woulda got that message by now, but every week I am reminded just how many folks haven't absorbed it yet.


My good deed for the day.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

For any number of reasons...

...Due South's RCMP constable Benton Fraser is one of my favorite TV characters. I have a favorite Benton Fraser quote:

"I'm not interested in the money, Ray. I'm after the thief."

Straight up.

Cowichan issues...

As a past resident of the Duncan/Cowichan area, I'm always interested in the goings on in that corner of the world.

Meagan Champion is running a very intriguing series of posts over at her blog (Somena Media) regarding Cowichan Band financial activities, and though I'm nowhere near close enough to the action to have any personal knowledge, I do know that Meaghan does her homework...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

FUCK Mugabe...

Here for details...

Africa has Mugabe, and South America has Chavez.

And, of course, there was Che; more here.

Ah, but they all meant well.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

NASA Chief Questions Urgency of Global Warming

I love it when people talk straight.

From the interview:
Interviewer: Do you have any doubt that this is a problem that mankind has to wrestle with?

Michael Griffin: I have no doubt that … a trend of global warming exists. I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with. To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of Earth's climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn't change. First of all, I don't think it's within the power of human beings to assure that the climate does not change, as millions of years of history have shown. And second of all, I guess I would ask which human beings — where and when — are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that's a rather arrogant position for people to take. (emphasis mine)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

M-M-M-M-My (dad's) Generation

The Zimmers!

Rock on!

Heads Up (I didn't know this...)

Urban Legend Status: True at Snopes.Com

Thanks to my friend, guitarist David Spragge, for the heads up.

Short version: don't use cruise control when the road is wet, icy or slushy.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Among classy musicians...'s not about style or genre--it's about quality and respect.

Linkin Park and Jay-Z. Word up: McCartney.

A really smart musician...

This clip...

illustates McCartney as a master tunesmith. Damn--and the man can whistle!!!

See, y'take a really simple idea...