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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Sunset is an angel weeping / Holding out a bloody sword
— Bruce Cockburn, Pacing the Cage
December 29, 2008

Eartha Kitt, original Catwoman

Eartha Kitt passed away on Christmas Day, a fact that managed to escape my notice until today. It was also on Christmas Day two years ago today that James Brown died. So much for holiday cheer.

Michelle Pfeiffer did a decent job of trying, but didn’t manage to outdo Earth’s role at Catwoman in the 1960s Batman TV show. She did leave a long tale, as the modern language of business would describe it.

Eartha’s just the latest in series of 60s era Motown stars to pass away, and she won’t be the last. Isaac Hayes died earlier this year, Smokey Robinson is 68, and others are aging right along with him. Whatever happens, the music will live on.

Posted by skooter at 1:00 AM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: Music, Soul

December 23, 2008

A Modest Proposal (for Cycling)

It’s unfortunate, I think, that this article is not written in the sarcastic spirit of Jonathan Swift. A pitch for a $25 per year cycling registration fee in Seattle seems just ridiculous.

For starters, there’s not a jurisdiction in North America that funds road infrastructure purely from taxes paid by cars. Virtually every jurisdiction uses a portion of their general revenue to pay for automotive infrastructure, and in many cases various property taxes are applied as well. By extenstion cyclists—even those that don’t own cars—are paying for a road infrastructure that they’re not using as frequently as others.

Velonews’ Bob Mionske looks at other reasons in some depth.

I hope this is just a newspaper columnist trying to stir up some noise, because if it’s a serious proposal opposition needs to be built now.

Impose license fee on King County cyclists
By James F. Vesely
Times editorial page editor

Local government finances are so dire, it is time to consider — and enact — an annual fee on bicyclists.

A $25 annual fee for owning a bike is a natural outgrowth of the enormous amounts of trails, lanes and accommodations the region has made to cyclists. Those funds would be useful for local cities and King County. It would also make cyclists true members of the world of transportation, rather than free riders on the tax rolls.

Special licenses are not new. We license dogs, our cars, our boats, our motorcycles, our pleasures in hunting and fishing, as well as many other outdoor activities. Cyclists, known for their community spirit and exalted senses of self, should welcome this opportunity to help government support their activities.

Posted by skooter at 2:20 AM This entry is filed under America, Cycling, Politics.
Tags: Cycling, Seattle, Taxes, Transportation

December 22, 2008

Where Not To Invest

Recession or not (or, as George W. Bush would say technical recession or note) companies that lay off percentages and not people are not where you want to be.

EA to shut Vancouver’s Black Box studio
…EA also announced Friday that it was upping the number of layoffs it expected to complete by the end of March from six per cent of the total workforce to 10 per cent, or about 1,000 employees.

Things may be bad, but these are people not just bodies. Regardless of how bad things are, when companies start talking in percentages its not a good thing.

Posted by skooter at 1:01 PM This entry is filed under Entertainment, Technology.
Tags: Games, Technology, Vancouver

Oh, the Indignity of the Sports Star

I’m not sure that $20 Million is enough to make up for the indignity of a front page headline discussing your groin, but to each his own I suppose.

Sundin says groin is fully healed
Newest Vancouver Canuck credits time off with injury recovery
Last Updated: Saturday, December 20, 2008
CBC Sports

Mats Sundin says the groin problems he suffered last March will not be a factor as he prepares for his debut with the Vancouver Canucks.

I’m also not sure that one player makes an offence, and this team needs one badly. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.

Posted by skooter at 12:56 PM This entry is filed under Sports, Vancouver.
Tags: Hockey, Vancouver Canucks

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

Vancouver Weather, according to Apple's Dashboard Widget, December 21, 2008 Today is shortest of days, in a city with a winter of short (and often gloomy) days. To add to the challenge, the city got several centimetres of snow for the third day in a row, in a city where a single day of a couple of centimetres is considered a log.

Blurg.

I spent a good chunk of the day driving, which was kind of A Very Bad Idea™. Our reasons were noble, however, with an Aunt from Osoyoos in the hospital unexpectedly, we visited and took Uncle Brian for lunch (though he paid, so technically I suppose he took us.) The streets were bad, and we decided not to park along the side of Broadway, for fear of not getting back out. I had already got stuck, albeit benignly, earlier in the day near Vancouver General Hospital.

With daily high temperatures forecast to slowly rise above 0 over the next four days, this city is likely to become a sloppy, slushy mess until Christmas day. The sun might help melt it, but it remains to be seen. I usually like this city in the snow, and head to one of our better outdoor locations to visit but todays’ weather was bad enough that I wouldn’t have dared the hills and valleys of North Vancouver without snow tires (which might have to be purchased next year as it turns out…

Posted by skooter at 2:33 AM This entry is filed under Vancouver.
Tags: Family, Snow, Vancouver, Weather

December 20, 2008

Less Than a Month to Inauguration

It’s less than a month now before Barak Obama’s inauguration, and the pieces are beginning to fall into place. The New York Times offers up some thoughts today in an article titled Obama Reshapes White House for Domestic Focus

For years U.S. politics has been dominated by foreign policy not domestic. Americans voted for Republican presidents bent on securing “America’s place in the world” all the while ignoring the needs of Americans living in America.

Typically a Democratic vote reflects a local vote: a concern for home, rather than afar. The Clinton presidency was more focused on domestic policy than either of the Bush presidency’s that preceded or followed it (though many conveniently forget that under Clinton the U.S. bombed Iraq pretty much every day.)

An Obama presidency focusing on domestic policy should be a good thin for the world at large, and Canada specifically. A stronger U.S. economy is a goal the entire world should share, provided a protectionist instinct doesn’t take over.

With much of the world in an official recession, it I’m hopeful that doesn’t happen, but only time will tell I suppose.

Posted by skooter at 2:41 PM This entry is filed under America.
Tags: Barak Obama, Economics, Politics, Seattle

Royal Canadian Air Force Museum, CFB Trenton, Ontario

Continue reading "Royal Canadian Air Force Museum, CFB Trenton, Ontario"

Posted by skooter at 2:38 PM This entry is filed under Family, Travel.
Tags: Air Force, Grandpa Lobb, Military

December 15, 2008

Herman Miller’s Thoughtpoint

This is quite lovely, both in implementation and purpose.

Posted by skooter at 5:44 AM This entry is filed under Technology.
Tags: Links, Technology

December 3, 2008

What Tina Wants

Today’s Vanity Fair cover article is essential reading, and I’m taking a copy on the plane. Interestingly, Tina talks about the scar on her left cheek, which she never has before.

Barbara Walters has put Tina Fey on her most fascinating persons list, which is depressing only because anybody cares what Barbara Walters thinks even when she’s so out of touch that it took her this long.

I’m just glad the rest of the world is finally on my bandwagon. About time you all got here.

Posted by skooter at 5:50 PM This entry is filed under Entertainment.
Tags: Articles, Tina Fey