George Harrison

George Harrison passed away yesterday, succumbing to cancer.

The report reads that he died at a friend’s home in Los Angeles with his wife and child at his side. It doesn’t say so, but read into it that this was assisted, and if so, I’m glad. The news over the past year were not so Good, with repeated stories of his demise, stints in hospital. A man who search so hard for meaning in his life, I like to think that he was calm and collected and wanted to end his pain on his own terms.


Starhawk, sometime protestor and actism leader, was detained trying to enter Canada.

We spent nearly five hours waiting, being questioned, photographed, fingerprinted, and searched. We were told that I was picked out because I had been arrested in Seattle at the WTO protests in November of í99, although I was never convicted of any crime there and my charges were, in fact, dropped. At one point, the Immigration Officer said he knew I had been in Seattle, and asked if I were “a member of the WTO.” We were treated courteously by the officers and we remained calm and co-operative throughout. Eventually, I was admitted to Canada but my computer was held to be examined by Canadian Intelligence. Lisa was allowed to sleep overnight in Canada, but was required to return this morning, Tuesday, November 13 at 11:00 AM for a further interview to determine if she could remain.

Gleaned from The Soapbox


I’d like to send a special shout out to my friend Gord, and ask that anyone who reads this do so also.

Gord is schizophrenic, but manages so well that it’s amazing. I have the utmost repect for his ability to deal with this, and remain social, active and fairly positive. This week, however, Gord wasn’t doing so well. But being pretty self-aware, he checked himself into the hospital to make sure he wouldn’t do anything stupid, as well as to be watched over for a little while. Which takes just amazing courage, I think.

So Gord, get better soon, and come back and join us all. In the interim, I’ll be sending good vibes your way.

goodbye Tuvalu

This is too fucked up: Tuvalu is disapearing under the sea. They are evacuating the ENTIRE COUNtrY, some 11 000 people, to New Zealand, after being rebuffed by Australia. This is because the seas are rising, a result of global warming and other factors. This news snippet scares me beyond words. Sure, it’s ‘just Tuvalu’, but this must be seen as a portent of things to come.

The Tuvalese becomes the first complete nation in exile, who cannot return to their homeland even if they want to.

On a lighter note, how does this affect the fate of the .tv domain? If there’s no more Tuvalu, island or country, they’re probably not deserving of a top-level country domain, are they. And how many .tv domains have been sold in the last few years? Millions, I would expect. I wonder if the owners will have to return them…

Frozen mouth

So I’m just back from the periodontist, where I have just had my upper jawbone cracked, and elarged by 3.5 millimetres. And why? Because in 10 weeks, I’m going to have a titanium screw inserted in there, which in another few months after that, will anchor a permanent fake tooth to replace the one I’m missing. (top, a facing me, the one immediately to the left of my front teeth). So the whole right side of my mouth is still mostly frozen, although I’m now feeling a dull ache. I had a headache during the procedure, and it has gotten worse since then. I have this gel pack to apply to the area for 10 minutes every 1/2 hour, and I could take a couple of tylenol I suppose, but otherwise, I’m on my own. I’m expecting to feel like hell soonish, but so far so good.

I’m getting hungry, so I guess I’ll eat some soft food soonish for dinner…maybe mashed potatoes! Yumm!

Anyhoo, Dr. Munns, my periodontist, took some pictures during the procedure. When the entire ordeal is done, a few months from now, I’ll get a copy of them all on CD. Then, just to gross the world out, I’ll post them up on this site (with warnings, of course).

MS Settlement.

Microsoft and the US Government have settled.

The settlement is itself, nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Significantly, Microsoft can no longer force computer manufacturers to include MS products on their systems. Of course, there’s lots of ways of insinuating the same, without ‘forcing’ anyone to do so.

There are some comments around this settlement that are quite funny. The oddest is that this settlement has become ‘patriotic’ in that they (Microsoft and the Government) must put the country ahead of their differences.

“This settlement will help strengthen our economy during a difficult time, and ensure that our industry can continue delivering innovation.”

Of course, while I don’t like how little Microsoft has been reprimanded (not even opening up APIs), I do like that this government has avoided the hypocrisy of of forcing draconian measures down Microsoft’s throat. What Microsoft, and indeed, and corporate/capitalist company should be doing, is getting as market share, as much control and as much influence as possible. This should be accomplished by virtually any means necessary. If you’re strong enough, you can even start bending, breaking and ignoring rules in place to protect the smaller companies. (you all see where I’m going with this, right?) The US Government sees itself in Microsoft’s actions. The US, on an political-economic scale, is a monopoly. It engages in all sorts of trade practices that no one else is allowed to engage in. It regularly ignores international agreements because no one can stop them from doing so. Could you image any major trading country enacting a trade embargo against the US? No, I didn’t think so. Capitalism is all about getting as much as you can for yourself/company/country. Setting internal limits on what people can do, while on a global scale you do the exact same thing seems totally hypocritical.

Anyway. I’m glad there’s a settlement. I’m saddened that it doesn’t do more. I’m amused by the political rhetoric that surrounds it. And I long for someone to censure the US like the US has censured Microsoft.

Squirrels with guns.

So today, on my way to the YWCA for my swim, I passed by a billboard at Granvill and Drake that was really, really disturbing. I tried taking a picture tonight, but with the crappy digital camera that I have, along with a glaring spotlight on the billboard meant that it didn’t come out. If I remember to take a picture tomorrow I’ll pop it up here.

However! I can describe this, and you just get the idea. The picture was of a mangy-looking squirrel, holding some sort of handgun. This of course, was a 6-foot tall squirrel, with large pointy-looking claws, holding a gun (were it normal size, the claws wouldn’t look nearly so scary). The caption read ‘If they could protect themselves, we wouldn’t need to’. It was posted by the ‘Friends of Fur-Bearers’. There was no contact information anywhere on the poster, and a cursory web-search for the group turned up no-results (Ironically, that search turned up a number of pro-fur trade sites).

This sign is disturbing in several ways – first – it’s perhaps the worst protest billboard I’ve seen in a while. There’s no call to action, there’s nothing for the viewer to engage with. In fact, the message tells us that this group is looking after these animals, so we don’t reall have to (semantics, but still). Then, the squirrel is holding a handgun. This contributes to the idea that the only way to protect oneself is with a handgun. It promotes the idea that handguns are a good form of self-protection. It seems incredibly American in this falsehood, which doesn’t garner any points in my books. Perhaps most significantly, it promotes violence. Certainly, I don’t agree with the fur trade. I don’t know (And somewhat doubt) if generic city-squirrels make up a large portion of the fur used in the fur industry. But this is just a bad, bad poster. And if it’s a case of culture-jamming, it’s a piss-poor one.

%d bloggers like this: