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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
I crossed many states just to stand here now, my face all hot with tears / I crossed city, and valley, desert, and stream, to bring my body here
— Woody Guthrie, Remember the Mountain Bed
March 29, 2006

Mr. Harper and the Media

As much as I had grown to detest the hubris and arrogance with which the Chretien/Martin Liberals were governing, I was always uncomfortable with the Conservative Party of Canada. I saw one decent hope in the city of Vancouver, and when it failed I could see the future.

Mr. Chretien may have been a thief, and a liar — playing fast and loose with Canadian taxpayers dollars — but at least he communicated with Canadian tax payers.

Mr. Martin’s brief (but too long) stint in the PMO set the stage for what Mr. Harper has now created — a PMO based on vagueness and a lack of communication.

Continue reading "Mr. Harper and the Media"

Posted by skooter at 9:13 PM This entry is filed under Politics.

So What’s the Volume Control For, Then?

The level of inanity with which people treat their right to complain never fails to amaze me.

Turn it down, people, turn it down.

Apple Releases Software to Set IPod Volume
CUPERTINO, Calif. Mar 29, 2006 (AP) — Owners of recent iPods will now be able to set how loud their digital music players can go. Apple Computer Inc., facing complaints and a lawsuit claiming the popular player can cause hearing loss, made the setting available as part of a new software update Wednesday. The free download applies to the iPod Nano and the iPod models with video-playback capabilities.

Incidentally, every iPod since day one has shipped with Soundcheck which essentially does this by leveling all the sound.

It never fails to amaze me how a headline can spin out of control, even though I’ve been part of making it happen in the past.

Posted by skooter at 10:14 AM This entry is filed under Technology.

Spotlight Works, Windows Desktop Search Doesn’t

I spend a great deal of time these days flipping back and forth between my PowerBook at home and my Windows desktop at work. One of the many things I missed about the Mac was Spotlight — Apple’s much hyped search technology for desktops.

Spotlight works, and once you’ve gotten used to being able to search for anything with a single click it’s addictive. Smart folders and smart mailboxes are amazingly useful.

This got me to thinking, at work, that I would download Google Desktop. After spending the weekend with a friend who works for Microsoft, I snagged Microsoft Desktop Search — she insisted it was better — and installed it too.

Both fall short, for a really simple reason.

Continue reading "Spotlight Works, Windows Desktop Search Doesn’t"

Posted by skooter at 8:26 AM This entry is filed under Technology.

March 28, 2006

Seattle Shootings

An interesting take on the recent shootings in Seattle

The price a culture pays for its love of the gun
By ROBERT L. JAMIESON Jr.

Don’t blame the rave scene for the Seattle’s worst mass murder in more than two decades.

Blame the guns — and a culture that celebrates firepower.
Blame the murdering madness on a country that has seen Columbine, Kip Kinkel and bullets at the Tacoma Mall, but lacks the common sense to clamp down on weapons of mass carnage.

Blame the gun lobby on the other Capitol Hill — not the rave crowd on Seattle’s Capitol Hill.

Gun advocates like to say guns don’t literally kill, and they’re right.

People do.

Problem is, people keep killing people with guns, just as Kyle Huff did over the weekend.

The emphasis on the last paragraph is mine. It’s an extremely valuable point.

Continue reading "Seattle Shootings"

Posted by skooter at 7:24 PM This entry is filed under Friends.
Tags: Guns, Terrorism

March 24, 2006

Richard Cheney

So Dick Cheney is being mocked for his slavish devotion to Fox News.

Of course, the vast majority of Americans get their political news from comedians, such as Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, daily commuter newspapers or organizations such as CNN that produce news only in a heavily abbreviated format.

Is one better than the other?

Posted by skooter at 12:50 PM This entry is filed under America, Politics.
Tags: Articles, CNN, Television

March 23, 2006

Korean Postal Envelope

Korean Postal Envelope

Posted by skooter at 7:33 PM This entry is filed under Travel.
Tags: Asia

‘It felt like Gilligan’s hell’

This story gets my vote for the best headline of the day in and amongst recent triumphs and tragedies.

The meaningful synopsis of the story:

“…as Higginbotham recounts her story of being stranded for more than two weeks in a motor home stuck in heavy snow.”

People live in these things, I can’t see how getting trapped in one would be hell.

Posted by skooter at 3:48 PM This entry is filed under .
Tags: Articles, RV

March 16, 2006

Ultima Canadian

Google this: zamboni driving school

I smell a business opportunity — my motorcycle lessons, after all, cost me $500 and are a lot less practical for most Canadians.

Posted by skooter at 2:39 PM This entry is filed under Inanities.
Tags: Hockey

85 For A Moment

Grandma at the Door Today, my Grandmother turns 85 for a moment.

Grandma Lobb lives in Ontario still, and I last saw her at Thanksgiving when I was there for a whirlwind 5 day tour. Prior to that, because of various personal circumstances, it had been almost 3 years since I’d seen her. 3 years seems like such a short time relative to 85, but it’s practically a lifetime.

When we’re young, moments of time seem short — a minute is an interminable wait, an hour…forever; a trip in a car is always too long, even if it’s only to the local hockey rink. As we become adults time seems to slow down and move at a more natural pace. As we age, these moments become short again. People change quickly, and in three years my Grandmother changed quite a bit.

Continue reading "85 For A Moment"

Posted by skooter at 7:49 AM This entry is filed under Family.
Tags: Grandma, Grandpa Lobb, Moments

March 15, 2006

E. Annie Proulx - Gifted Wordsmith

Remember what I said about that Crash backlash? I didn’t expect it to come from this source, but here it is:

Proulx pens tirade over ‘Crash’ Oscar
From a Times staff writer
March, 14 2006

Annie Proulx, who wrote the story that spawned the film “Brokeback Mountain,” has lashed out at members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for passing over that movie in favor of “Crash” for the best picture Oscar.

Continue reading "E. Annie Proulx - Gifted Wordsmith"

Posted by skooter at 10:58 AM This entry is filed under Entertainment.
Tags: Movies

March 13, 2006

What a Wonderful Repository of Human Knowledge

The internet is such a wonderful repository of human knowledge — tonight I learned this:

If your eyeballs fall out of their sockets repeatedly, you might be a candidate for a lateral tarsorrhaphy

Gotta love this thing. Slate Magazine is still one of the best places to visit without paying for a subscription.

Posted by skooter at 10:02 PM This entry is filed under Technology.
Tags: Articles

Miles Davis - Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Really, the words about damn time don’t even begin to describe this.

Continue reading "Miles Davis - Rock & Roll Hall of Fame"

Posted by skooter at 3:57 PM This entry is filed under Music, Politics.
Tags: Jazz, Miles Davis

March 11, 2006

America the Inward Looking

Even accepting that Americans are amongst the most inward looking people in the world (outdone, with certainty, by the French and perhaps the Chinese, although the latter’s rising place on the world stage suggests otherwise) I remain astonished at the sheer ignorance with which many Americans view headlines like this one in the New York Times:

Dubai Deal’s Collapse Prompts Fears Abroad on Trade With U.S.
By EDUARDO PORTER
Published: March 10, 2006

DP World’s decision yesterday to transfer a handful of American port terminals, rather than chilling interest in investing in the United States, may actually have made it safer for foreigners by relieving some of the political pressure that was building up against them.

But as part of a pattern of other antiforeign actions in Washington, fears remain that the United States is becoming a less welcoming place for investment from overseas.

Continue reading "America the Inward Looking"

Posted by skooter at 6:00 PM This entry is filed under America, Politics.

Battlestar Galactica

I’ve only recently been watching the new Battlestar Galactica on Space, and have caught it intermittently (it’s on a weird times because of the three hour P.S.T. shift.)

I am begining to come to the conclusion that it is, in fact, very very good.

Filmed in Vancouver, too.

Posted by skooter at 5:41 PM This entry is filed under Entertainment.
Tags: Battlestar Galactica, Vancouver

March 8, 2006

California’s Been Good to Me

With a new job making Santiago less realistic (I really need to go for more than a week or two) plans for the end of summer have changed.

I’m officially announcing plans to head to California at the end of the summer, by motorcycle. Yosemite will be the ultimate destimation, with the California coast thrown in for good measure.

Look for pictures. It’ll be worth it.

Posted by skooter at 8:44 PM This entry is filed under Travel.

This is Wonderland

Although I caught it only intermittently, I will miss This is Wonderland which airs its last episode next week. It was a great show.

What I’m noticing most about this — its second-to-last episode — is the amount of profanity that is being spewed. It is, of course, all being censored by the CBC which makes it highly amusing.

While this show will be missed, I’m quite happy to see Davinci’s City Hall off the air. There’s never been a more biased presentation of a political viewpoint, and the show paints Vancouver in the worst possible light.

Posted by skooter at 8:20 PM This entry is filed under Entertainment.

March 5, 2006

Crash bang!

So Jon Stewart stayed quite a bit funnier throughout than I suspected. No self destruction there.

And yay for Crash! Boo for the Academy for ushering these people off stage prematurely. This is the big award — give’em a couple of minutes.

I only paid attention to the whole thing because I was working online. Really. New site launch soon to prove it.

Posted by skooter at 8:25 PM This entry is filed under Entertainment.
Tags: Movies

Go Penguins!

Out of a sense of morbid curiousity for the future of Jon Stewart’s career I’m watching the 2005 Academy Awards something I have never really done before.

Lo and behold I tune in just in time to see the award for Best Documentary and it turns out to be March of the Penguins bringing a joyous smile to my amply penguin-ed household. Yay penguins!

My vote for Best Picture, incidentally, is Crash, not just because I’ve seen it but because I saw it twice and both times found something new in it to admire, learn from and think about. It’s a very well made, and well written movie. This is where my fetish for film lies.

It’s my suspicion that Brokeback Mountain will win, but it’s also my suspicion that the movie is an overly sappy romantic picture in which the two lead characters just happen to be gay. While I loved The Shipping News everything else I’ve read by E. Annie Proulx has been this way, and the movie is massively overhyped.

Just remember: a vote for Crash does not make the Academy (or anybody else) homophobic. I’m sure there’ll be a hue and cry if Brokeback Mountain doesn’t win though.

Posted by skooter at 6:24 PM This entry is filed under Entertainment.
Tags: Movies, Penguins

March 4, 2006

Artists as Stormtroopers

An interesting argument in the New York Times today talks about New York’s Bushwick neighbourhood and reminds me of an old saying: Artists are the storm troopers of gentrification.

The problem with Vancouver is, artists can’t afford anything here anymore.

Posted by skooter at 8:03 PM This entry is filed under Vancouver.