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    Friday, April 29, 2005

    First Meetings...

    Well a good friend whom I have never met has flown up from Minneapolis and will be arriving this evening at my place! I am rather excited to say the least :D

    I foresee a good deal of painting being done, and tomorrow is actually a big Paint Event that our Alberta Painter's Club is putting on at the local Gaming store in Red Deer! Should be a total blast, and hopefully my friend has a great time!

    It is always fun meeting people you have talked to lots and about this time last year, I had a different buddy fly up from San Fransisco for a similar Painting Event in Calgary... It was great :D though the chilly weather is not always agreeable :)

    Counting the Cost of the War in Iraq

    Stardate 3862.9

    Are you opposed to the illegal war of aggression in Iraq? Disturbed by the alarming number of innocent deaths in the war and occupation? Well now you can do something...

    On May 15th, 2005, across the United States (and perhaps much more), people opposed to the war in Iraq will identify themselves with one of the Iraqi Dead by wearing a number between 1 and 100,000. Please help support this effort by checking out the link below...

    Counting The Cost

    Only a small donation is needed, if at all, or you can simply wear a number to help show support on that day. The largest lie of the entire war may be just how many CIVILIANS have been killed during the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. It is not, simply, OKAY, to cover one's eyes to this. Thank you :)

    Thursday, April 28, 2005

    Wanna Buy An X-Wing???

    Stardate 3859.0

    Now is your chance! Only 2 days left! Check out This Auction... life sized even!

    $40,000 starting bid.... wow. Too bad it doesn't work

    Scanning a Power Source Like We've Never Encountered

    Stardate 3858.4

    Captain, the power emanating from that instrument could destroy this entire planet!

    Mushroom Flambé

    Stardate 3857.8

    All this yatter about small nations building bombs.... These are some pretty pictures. Now picture your town or city at the bottom of any one of these...

    Actually you would most likely be very fortunate to be at the bottom of one of these instead of say 5 or 10 or 20 kilometers away, where the radiation will destroy all of the crops, and your skin will slowly peel off from radiation sickness...

    I was browsing around and found a fantastic site on Nuclear Weapons. They use an example of a bomb being dropped in a City called Chennai in India... One "lakh" is 100,000 people.

    Most nuclear bombs are strategic bombs. They are meant to be used against civilian populations. What might happen if a small nuclear bomb fell on Chennai? Imagine that it has a yield of only 16 kilotons of TNT-- this is what destroyed the city of Hiroshima.

    So imagine that early one morning, at 8 AM, a 16 kiloton nuclear bomb is dropped on Pondy Bazar in T.Nagar. This is one of the main shopping areas in the city bustling with shoppers most of the time. This is ground zero. Within 3 microseconds a chain reaction starts inside the Plutonium bomb. In another microsecond the bomb is vaporised and its energy is released to devastate our city.

    Four microseconds after the bomb is dropped, a hot blast of light vaporises everything within a short radius around ground zero. The shoppers in the Market Complex, the thousands coming into the crowded shopping area, are the luckiest-- a few thousand people are gone even before they can see the blast. The metal of buses, overhead electrical lines and in stocks in many shops melts away in this heat but has no time to form puddles.

    Behind this flash comes a blast-- a huge thunderclap of sound so intense that it travels many times faster than any sound we can hear. This is called the blast wave, and does most of the damage. It disperses the molten metal and travels on, battering everything in its path. There is a zone in which the sound is intense enough to tear apart a human body-- this is called the killing over-pressure zone. Up to about 300 meters from ground zero, people may see a flash of light and the beginning of the mushroom cloud, but are dead before they can hear the blast. Nearly five thousand people live and work in the killing over-pressure zone around Pondy Bazar. For all of these people death is certain-- there is no time to run, no place to hide.

    Less than a second after the bomb was dropped, nearly ten thousand people are dead and a radioactive mushroom cloud is rising above the Bazar. The electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) formed in the first few milliseconds of the expansion of the fireball has already fried electronics over a large area. Singara Chennai has begun to die.

    The blast rages on for one and a half kilometres, destroying brick buildings, hurling people and things into the air, killing by slamming buses, buildings and bodies into people. The blast travels faster than sound, and no person can run that fast. Nearly a lakh people in this zone are affected. Maybe a tenth of them die immediately, maybe more; but the survivors are badly injured. Less than 5 seconds have passed-- twenty thousand dead and nearly a lakh more are injured.

    Beyond this the blast declines to mere cyclone speeds, destroying brick houses and objects of equal weight, up to a distance of 3 kilometres from Pondy Bazar which includes all of Mambalam, Vani Mahal to the west and almost touching Adyar in the east. Another three lakhs of people are affected. Perhaps one percent die. Nine seconds after the blast there are nearly twenty three thousand dead and nearly three lakhs of people need help.

    The survivors would be found outside this area, where the shock wave reduces to a hurricane, a gale and eventually just a nuclear breeze. Around ground zero is an expanse of rubble at the heart of one of the bustling shopping areas in the city. The area as far as Adyar, Besant Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur on the one side, and Ashok Nagar, KK Nagar, Anna Nagar on the other, and a similar distance in all directions has become a killing field. Vital links between various parts of the city are cut, communications equipment slagged by the Electro Magnetic Pulse. Over the days the nuclear poison sowed by the mushroom cloud would be blown inland-- radioactive dust settling over most of Thiruvallur and Kanchipuram districts and as far south as Mamallapuram.

    But before that, within a minute, the world would realize that communications from Chennai have ceased. The country must start up a massive machinery to aid the city. What is needed? Rapid and extensive engineering services to repair the major road and train links into the devastated area-- remember that several lakhs of wounded are trapped here and will die unless aid reaches them soon. Many families have been separated since the bread-earners travelled to work in different parts of the city, leaving their families. Communications must be restored, lists of the living and dead must be made and communicated to the remainder of the population, to prevent further panic and perhaps riots. Most of the city's population would be trapped in parts where food cannot be sent without repairing roads. We must think about these, and many more questions. We have grasped a deadly weapon-- we must look at the face of death and make our plans to last beyond it.

    The enemy's bomb may have killed several tens of thousands and injured several lakhs more. The wielders of our bombs will certainly avenge the death of Chennai, but it is the remainder of the 50 lakh residents of Chennai who will have to deal with the consequences-- slow death from radiation poisoning, starvation perhaps, higher incidence of cancers, the birth of deformed children, the poisoning of Chengalpattu, Gummidipoondi, Mamallapuram areas and the waters of the sea that wets the sands of southern shores.

    In the final analysis it is we who must make certain that such a massive disaster will not happen. The laws of physics do not care for humans, they are the laws of unthinking matter and energy. The time has come to go beyond euphoria at our demonstrated control of the laws of the universe, and to embark on the much harder struggle to create humane and just laws to bind the nations of the world.

    16 Kilotons is nothing. They mass produce those bombs like McDonald's French Fries nowadays.... Now we talk about MEGATONS...

    Small nations may never realise the horror these bombs pose, especially considering the so called "Civilised" Western World flaunts them as though they were sinew on the arms of power lifters... Why would North Korea or Iran listen to the likes of the US, Russia or China?

    These things scare me shitless. Why are so many politicians immune to this fear?

    Wednesday, April 27, 2005

    Funny Startup File Loads?

    Stardate 3854.1

    Ever wonder what some of those files are that load when you atart your computer? Most are probably essential, but some, well we know what happens with those....

    I just found this site and it has some pretty good information on it...Check out the "Startup Database" under the tabs at the top :)

    Star Wars: Return of the Pants

    Stardate 3853.2

    Just in case you think you've heard it all... We got our hands on a little known about revision of the original Star Wars movie script that substitutes the word "pants" into many of the lines...

    DARTH VADER: I find your lack of pants disturbing.

    DARTH VADER: General Veers, prepare your pants for a ground assault.

    LUKE: I used to bullseye wamprats in my pants back home...

    LUKE AND HAN: Lock the door. And hope they don't have pants.

    DARTH VADER: You are unwise to lower your pants.

    HAN: You look strong enough to pull the pants off a Gundark.

    HAN: Great, Chewie, great. Always thinking with your pants.

    LANDO: That blast came from the pants! That thing's operational!

    LEIA: I recognized your foul pants when I was brought on board.

    DARTH VADER: A tremor in the pants. The last time I felt it was in the presence of my old master.

    HAN: Hey, don't worry. Chewie and me got into a lot of pants more heavily guarded than this.

    HAN: Maybe you'd like it better back in your pants, your highness.

    GREEDO: Jabba doesn't have time for smugglers who drop their pants at the first sign of an Imperial cruiser.

    HAN: Short pants is better than no pants at all.

    YODA: Pants not make one great.

    LUKE: I sense the conflict within you, let go of your pants!

    YODA: Pants you I can, yes, mmmmhhhhmmmm....

    HAN: That's because droids don't pull people's arms out of their pants when they lose. Wookiees are known to do that.

    HAN AND LEIA: I love pants. I know.

    HAN: watch it kid or you're gonna find your pants floating home.

    HAN: I thought pants smelled bad on the outside.

    YODA: Your pants, you will not need them.

    WUHER: Your pants. They'll have to wait outside, we don't want them here.

    STORMTROOPER, LUKE AND OBI-WAN: How long have you had these pants? About three or four seasons. They're up for sale if you want them.

    North Korea Nuke Crisis Worsens

    Stardate 3852.7

    Refer back to a previous Blog I have written for more info on this matter...

    BEIJING (Reuters) - The top U.S. diplomat on the North Korean nuclear crisis said on Wednesday that the fate of six-party talks on the issue was in doubt, signaling a limit to Washington's patience.

    "The future of talks is very much uncertain at this point," Hill told reporters as he left his hotel. "We continue to have a North Korean regime that is very ambivalent about whether it wants to find a negotiated settlement to this."

    Naturally, no-one has given up on the six country talks to avert this threat but it is not looking good according to most of the people involved. What gets me is the pure hypocrisy with which the US leads everyone in these affairs. The giant NO WMD advocate has the largest stockpile of all. I know it is old news to most readers, but is it really any wonder that smaller nations on the cusp of joining the Nuclear "Elite" refuse to stop their tests?

    Why should they?

    Like Father, Like Son.

    Tuesday, April 26, 2005

    Snow :(

    Stardate 3849.9

    Yep... +22 or more yesterday and today it is 0 out and blowing snow/sleet. -6 tonight... More tomorrow I suspect. Freaking Alberta weather.... Reality Dating Online

    Stardate 3848.8

    This was inspired by my previous posting about On-Line dating adverts on MSN.

    In some strange freak mirror universe, On-line dating took a grisly turn towards reality...

    Are you lonely sitting in front of your keyboard? Tired of sifting through thousands of on-line dating profiles only to be dissapointed? Want to see exactly what you are going to get? Join up today to Canada's fastest growing on-line dating service... Safe? Reliable? We doubt it, but then you are probably a gullible fool...

    Meet sexy men RIGHT NOW!

    Big Jim Rawhide

    "I am young, good-looking, intelligent, athletic and enjoy extreme sports. I enjoy dining out, or in and am willing to eat just about anything. A romantic evening may include a side of beef by a fireplace, or a fire pit, or a couch, and a 6, 12 or 24 pack of beer while the football game is on. I also enjoy reading on-line dating ads, and very short romantic walks to the fridge. I am looking for a young, pretty athletic woman about 5'6", 105 pounds, with long blonde hair, large breasts and is very energetic who wants to cook for me and have lots of sex."

    Meet sexy women RIGHT NOW!

    Jill Gluttenbacher

    "I am young, beautiful and think very highly of myself. I love suntanning my voluptuous, full-figured body on the deck, or at the beach while sipping on a strawberry daiquiri or 3. I take care of my man, and will guarantee he eats well, having at least 3 round meals a day, round about every hour. My dream man must be good at repairing furniture and things, and be handsome and muscular. Preferably over 6' tall and 190 pounds."

    Join today. It may change your life... forever!

    On-Line Dating Ads on MSN Make Me Sick

    Stardate 3848.3

    Here is a typical journey checking hotmail....

    Open Messenger window:

    • LEMONTONIC ad on the bottom.
    • LAVALIFE ad on the tabs.

    Opening Hotmail by clicking the Mail Icon...

    • DATE.CA ad on the top banner. "Trust your feelings"...
    • LAVALIFE sexy singles ad on the left sidebar. "Where singles click"...
    • LEMONTONIC dating ad on the right sidebar. "The evolution of on-line dating..."

    Is our modern society so pathetic that people actually do this and rely on it? Do companies think I *want* to see this crap? As if anyone on Lavalife that "is waiting to meet me" is going to look anything remotely like the professional sex goddess or god they have in the advert... I mean really, they may as well have Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston on there, waiting to "meet me".

    Wow, I sign into my Yahoo mail, and the only ad I get is Ebay over and over... At least no-one that looks like a Greek Goddess wants to meet me. I mean really, all I want to do is check my mail.

    Then we can move off into more remote realms... Like More classy stuff... NOT.

    • Channels.... DATING & PERSONALS.
    • Partners & Offers... LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS
    • Online Dating ad for MATCH.COM... 5 Reasons why it works.

    Look at the top of this very page... 50/50 chance... YEP! There it is! LAVALIFE!

    Get a life.

    Ex Patre Nomine (Ex-Patriot vs Nominee)

    Stardate 3847.6

    The former US Ambassador to the United Nations speaks out against Bolton...

    WASHINGTON - A former colleague of John R. Bolton says President Bush’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations “has none of the qualities needed for that job.”

    Frederick Vreeland, a former US ambassador to Morocco said Bolton "has all the qualities needed to harm the image and objectives in the U.N. and its affiliated international organizations.

    "If it is now U.S. policy not to reform the U.N. but to destroy it, Bolton is our man.”

    "He spoke of the U.N. as being the enemy..."

    "It is totally erroneous to speak of Bolton as a diplomat."

    Vreeland worked with Bolton before and says he treated visitors to his office as though they were servants or beneath him, and was openly dismissive, curt and negative towards many of them.

    What scares me is how stoically the Administration stands behind this villain (yes, perhaps he will be a new "kick butt villain"...). Condoleezza Rice, last seen in jackboots and a black Matrix style trenchcoat, said that both her and the President believe Bolton is the right man for the job, especially as the U.N. undergoes change. Do they not mean "as the U.S. undergoes change"?

    I think that by backing this guy, they are thumbing their noses at the world. It is a final blow in their unilateral war to obtain oil and military domination. They continuously disregard the thoughts of almost every other major power in the world, and by putting this guy, who openly disdains the U.N. in a spot where he is to negotiate with these nations, is nothing more than a final kick in the arse.

    Monday, April 25, 2005

    Saudi Texans... A Nice Breakfast Mix

    Stardate 3842.5

    George W. Bush is so concerned over the rising gas prices and the diminishing US Oil reserves that he is having a private closed-door meet-up with Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia at his Texas Ranch.

    Bush said he’ll make clear Monday that it’s not in Saudi Arabia’s interests to keep oil prices high. “If they pinch the world economy too much, it’ll affect their ability to sell crude oil in the long run,” he said in a television interview last week.

    Bush seems to think that the Saudis are not "pumping flat out" and wants a straight-up answer from the Prince about the Saudi capacity to produce more oil...

    Sadly, the US backing of Israel could likely do more harm than good when it comes to talks with nations such as Saudi Arabia and for mid-east peace as a whole, not to mention oil production.

    Currently, the Saudis pump about 9.5 million barrels of oil a day, and is limited to 11 million barrels a day. They suggest an increase up to 12.5 million by the year 2009...

    The best-case scenario for Bush, Jordan said, would to secure a commitment from Abdullah to explore additional oil fields and invest in additional production capacity. The United States could offer to help by providing technical expertise or helping to build storage facilities for reserves, he said.

    It is *always* about oil, isn't it... :D

    Sunday, April 24, 2005

    Hang Overs...

    Stardate 3838.4

    Alright, to set the record straight, I am not too bad today. A bit of a headache, but after some eggs, bacon and coffee, I can sit and listen to Yngwie Malmsteen... while typing this.

    The thing is, why don't folks ever learn? When I was younger, it was par for the course. I mean, you would go out, get thoroughly polluted with whatever drinks and substances were around, and wake up the next day to a GIANT glass of water and a fistfull of Tylenol... Happened all the time. You never learned because you were young and foolish, and all your buddies were doing it too.

    Then you get a little older. It's much harder on your system for a start... I remember last year in the fall, we went on a vacation, and I had met some of my wife's friends for the first time, and after the consumption of many beers, and stuff, a night of maybe 6 hours sleep, we had to drive again the next day to continue our holiday. I was soooo sick. I remember standing in the ditch on Highway 3 having an involuntary protein spill while traffic was screaming by at 100 km/h :D It was a little embarrassing but not really. My main grief was the neutron radiation surge in my brain and the churning maelstrom that was my stomach...

    So why do people keep doing it? I don't think it is a case of folks all being alcoholics as I have lived with and seen many alcoholics... but is it just a phase? Maybe it is just too hard for a lot of folks to stop after a couple... like me :D I dunno, I think beer tastes like ass, so why?


    Saturday, April 23, 2005

    Kick Butt Villains Volume V

    Stardate 3833.7

    "... He tasks me and I shall have him! I'll chase him round the moons of Nibia and round the Antares maelstrom and round perdition's flames before I give him up!"

    One of the greatest rivalries in any media was provided by a villainous character none other than Khan Noonian Singh... who hated Kirk to the point of single-minded obsession for revenge.

    Khan from "Space Seed"

    One of history's most notorious dictators, Khan Noonien Singh was a genetically-bred human "superman" of Earth's India in the late 20th century who died in the 23rd century amid another "experiment" gone wrong. Rising to power among others of his kind, his ambition helped foment the Eugenics Wars that involved much of Earth's Third World. Finally facing defeat, he and dozens of followers escaped in the S.S. Botany Bay, a DY-100 vessel modified as a sleeper ship which drifted in intersteller space for over two centuries, until it was discovered in 2267 by the U.S.S. Enterprise. With his fellow survivors, Khan attempted to seize that starship but failed, and he and his people were sentenced by Captain Kirk to tame the wild M-Class world of Ceti Alpha V. Among those exiled was Lt. Marla McGivers, an Enterprise historian who fell in love with Khan and initially assisted him; ultimately, though, she refused to betray Kirk and her shipmates in the tyrant's abortive takeover.

    Khan 20 Years Later...

    On Ceti Alpha V, the band of refugees thought their dream of conquering an entire planet would come true, but six months after being left there, the star system's sixth planet exploded, and the shock wave wreaked havoc on planet V's ecosystem, making it a desert wasteland. In 2285, the embittered Khan commandeered the U.S.S. Reliant and hijacked the top-secret Genesis Device in a plan to exact vengeance against James T. Kirk. Khan failed to defeat his old foe, and died when he detonated the cataclysmic matter-reorganizing terraforming device, annihilating the Reliant.

    Khan was so devoted to exacting his revenge upon Kirk that he lost everything trying, and his final words were "From Hell's heart, I stab at thee. For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee."

    Too witness Kirk's reaction to Khan's villainous plots and underhanded schemes, check out the infamous KHAAAN site :) Always leaves me chuckling!

    Information taken in part from

    Coming up next time...


    Friday, April 22, 2005

    Turn Yourself into a SouthPark Character

    Stardate 3829.0

    Quote from The Anthill....

    Talking about Turn Yourself into a SouthPark Character

    And here is mine from ages past :)

    I was thrilled that they had a "Slayer" tee-shirt... Just for the record though, I hate the show. I find it rather annoying actually :O

    Windows vs. The Borg

    Stardate 3827.5

    Taken from netjeff's humor collection... an oldie but a goodie :D Enjoy!

    Picard: "Mr. LaForge, have you had any success with your attempts at
    finding a weakness in the Borg? And Mr. Data, have you been
    able to access their command pathways?"
    Geordi: "Yes, Captain. In fact, we found the answer by searching
    through our archives on late Twentieth-century computing

    Geordi presses a key, and a logo appears on the computer screen.

    Riker looks puzzled:
    "What the hell is a 'Microsoft'?"

    Data turns to answer:
    "Allow me to explain. We will send this program, for some reason
    called 'Windows', through the Borg command pathways. Once inside
    their root command unit, it will begin consuming system resources
    at an unstoppable rate."

    "But the Borg have the ability to adapt. Won't they alter their
    processing systems to increase their storage capacity?"

    Data: "Yes, Captain. But when 'Windows' detects this, it creates a new
    version of itself known as an 'upgrade'. The use of resources
    increases exponentially with each iteration. The Borg will not be
    able to adapt quickly enough. Eventually all of their processing
    ability will be taken over and none will be available for their
    normal operational functions."

    Picard: "Excellent work. This is even better than that 'unsolvable
    geometric shape' idea."

    ... 15 Minutes Later ...

    Data: "Captain, We have successfully installed the 'Windows' in the
    command unit and as expected it immediately consumed 85% of all
    resources. We however have not received any confirmation of the
    expected 'upgrade'."

    Geordi: "Our scanners have picked up an increase in Borg storage and CPU
    capacity to compensate, but we still have no indication of an
    'upgrade' to compensate for their increase."

    Picard: "Data, scan the history banks again and determine if there is
    something we missed."

    Data: "Sir, I believe there is a reason for the failure in the 'upgrade'.
    Apparently the Borg have circumvented that part of the plan by not
    sending in their registration cards.

    Riker: "Captain we have no choice. Requesting permission to begin emergency
    escape sequence 3F ..."

    Geordi, excited:
    "Wait, Captain I just detected their CPU capacity has suddenly
    dropped to 0%!"

    Picard: "Data, what do your scanners show?"

    Data: "Appearently the Borg have found the internal 'Windows' module
    named 'Solitaire' and it has used up all the CPU capacity."

    Picard: "Lets wait and see how long this 'Solitaire' can reduce their

    ... Two Hours Pass ...

    Riker: "Geordi what's the status on the Borg?"

    Geordi: "As expected the Borg are attempting to re-engineer to compensate
    for increased CPU and storage demands, but each time they
    successfully increase resources I have setup our closest deep
    space monitor beacon to transmit more 'Windows' modules from
    something called the 'Microsoft Fun-Pack'.

    Picard: "How much time will that buy us?"

    Data: "Current Borg solution rates allow me to predicate an interest
    time span of 6 more hours."

    Geordi: "Captain, another vessel has entered our sector."

    Picard: "Identify."

    Data: "It appears to have markings very similar to the 'Microsoft' logo!"

    Over the speakers:

    Data: "The alien ship has just opened its forward hatches and
    released thousands of humanoid shaped objects."

    Picard: "Magnify forward viewer on the alien craft!"

    Riker: "Good God captain! Those are humans floating straight toward
    the Borg ship with no life support suits! How can they
    survive deep space?!"

    Data: "I don't believe that those are humans sir, if you will look
    closer I believe you will see that they are carrying something
    recognized by twenty-first century man as doe skin leather
    briefcases, and wearing Armani suits!"

    Riker and Picard together horrified:

    Geordi: "It can't be. All the Lawyers were rounded up and sent hurtling
    into the sun in 2017 during the Great Awakening."

    Data: "True, but apparently some must have survived."

    Riker: "They have surrounded the Borg ship and are covering it with
    pieces of paper."

    Data: "I believe that is known in ancient venacular as 'red tape' --
    it often proves fatal."

    Riker: "They're tearing the Borg to pieces!"

    Picard: "Turn off the monitors. I can't stand to watch, not even the
    Borg deserve that."

    Thursday, April 21, 2005

    Konfabulator! Widgets for Windows!!!

    Stardate 3823.7

    Weather Widget... (Only ONE of MANY Widgets available..)

    This is very cool. Konfabulator! is a shareware piece of software that allows you to place objects on your desktop for almost any purpose. There are clocks, utilities, sports tickers, news tickers, calenders... you name it! They can be placed anywhere on your desktop and can be set to semi-transparent etc... lots of options. They don't seem to be taking up too much memory either, and right now I have:

    • Digital clock - Set the colors and even moon phases...
    • Stardate - either TOS, TNG or both!
    • CPU usage meter - Cool to watch your CPU max out when doing things :D
    • Weather - Local weather updates plus more!
    • Calender - self-explanatory...
    • Picture Frame - Can display at a set size, and randomly changes... cool!

    I think I might try a reminder list too. Check it out though! It's fun, looks great, and a free trial (gives an annoying reminder window...) :D

    Arctic Drilling

    Stardate 3823.2

    This disgusts me.

    WASHINGTON - The House voted late Wednesday to allow oil drilling in an Alaska wildlife refuge as part of a broad energy bill that Democrats said would funnel billions of dollars to highly profitable energy companies while doing little to promote conservation or ease gasoline prices.

    Lets see if I can sort out some of this...

    The people behind this Bill say that millions of barrels of oil a day from the Wildlife Reserve will help ease the strain on the US' dependence on oil imports. People against the Bill say it won't be available for 10 years, and likely won't do anything to help the oil prices or shortages.

    The Bill itself will give over $8 Billion in tax breaks to, I have to assume, companies involved with the energy industry... Likely the same companies doing the work in places like Iraq. That alone is contentious, but now, this could be worse!

    Environmental groups claim that many oil rigs and platforms in a Wildlife Reserve will be terrible for the area's wildlife, including polar bears, caribou and many other animals. I agree. It is, after all, a Wildlife Reserve. We have already decimated the Rain forests, and the effects of Global Warming are obvious...

    What is worse, this? Or perhaps another illegal war for oil? Bush wants the energy Bill by summer.

    We're doomed it would seem...

    *** UPDATE ***

    The House passed the $12 Billion Energy Bill today. It has to go through the Senate still (may Arioch help us...)

    White House endorses bill
    "This is a comprehensive piece of legislation, and it does address one of the fundamental problems facing our nation and that is that we are growing more dependent on foreign sources of energy," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

    Yeah... the US is running out of oil. No shit. Now tell me they didn't invade Iraq for oil... Come on.

    Wednesday, April 20, 2005

    Peace and Cooperation Beneath the US

    As corrupt and inefficient as some may say, the United Nations is still a pretty great idea in my books. It is unique in the fact that most countries on our puny planet are involved with it, and it affords the opportunity for *real* talks of peace and problem solving. The UN avoids conflict where possible, and definately never initiates such activity. They take on the role of Peacekeepers and Healers, and for th emost part, do a decent job.

    It is no wonder the US wants no part of them. One of the (if not THE) most aggressive nations of the new millenium, the US has delayed their vote on a new representative to the UN.

    One John Bolton.

    As always, politics gets in the way of good sense. The Republicans want to push this guy through (I am sure only to placate Herr Fuhrer Bush) but fresh allegations of his treatment of subordinates in the past have caused some serious delays in the voting. Not only the Democrats (of course) but several Republicans seem to have rather huge reservations against his nomination.

    Bolton is a harsh critic of the United Nations bureaucracy and was a provocative choice to be the administration’s representative to the world body. That was enough to generate some Democratic opposition, and his troubles were compounded by allegations about his temperament and his ways of dealing with subordinates.

    This has been shown in allegations against him regarding his influencing intelligence conclusions and hsi treatment of juniors in various postings over the past. This very personal account is from a US Aid worker back in the mid-nineties... Just goes to show how an unbalanced guy like this can only be bad news for a multi-national forum geared towards Peace.

    I think this is only the least of our concerns regarding his nomination. One as outspoken and critical of the UN as himself will not be put there to fix the internal problems of the UN in my opinion, but rather to cause further dissent amongst the other members. It just goes to show that by nominating a man such as Mr. Bolton, the US Admin really does want to go it alone. That way, they can continue their aggressions unabated.

    Scary if you ask me.

    Tuesday, April 19, 2005

    Star Wars XVII: A New Pope

    White smoke has been seen and bells toll at the Vatican as Sir Alec Guiness is Resurrected and voted in as the New Pope...

    Zaphod only has one head?

    This is taken from Ejackass' Blog...


    Zaphod only has one head?

    Well I thought that I would mention how I seen a preview for a new HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy movie. I am a bit of a fan of the somewhat dated cinematic version of the Douglas Adams books HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy. Sure maybe I watch it as often as once or twice a week (not in it's entirety just segments) and I may use a few lines from the show in various conversations when I feel the need to incite a bit of laughter. I wouldn't consider myself to be fanatical at all though. However after seeing the preview I am torn between anticipation of seeing the remake done with current technology, and fear that some of the original excellence will be destroyed through the remanufacturing process. The preview doesn't really show a whole lot of the movie but from what I can collect it seems that Zaphod Beeblebrox, the famed creator of the Pan-Galactic Gargleblaster, has only one head and possibly only two arms. I don't think that this is a major loss by any standard but it does make me wonder what other subtleties will be overlooked and forgotten. I demand that some stuff may or may not be forgotten in this remake. The original series was aired over the BBC radio and then redone for TV. It a wonderful series and I hope that this movie doesn't ruin it cause if it did I would be forced to smash it into little bits and jump on them until... ...until... ...until they've had enough.

    Well if anyone is interested in some clearly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty then follow this link

    So long and thanks for all the fish.

    Of course, my reply to this was this:

    Indeed. I demand that I may or may not have given a terribly large amount of thought to this. For the first, I would suggest that now, miraculously, to hide his general appearance frmo others more easily, Zaphod's second head pops out of his throat when it has something terribly exciting to say, which is usually only a "Heeeeeeyyyyy..." Secondly, I must assume that images of the Vogon ships are simply clouded by clouds in the sky, and that they are, in fact, huge yellow slablike something that hang in the air the way that bricks don't. Thirdly, I would think that the rest may or may not be drivel. The Heart of Gold is a ball now, not a sleek running shoe. Love stories? Spider legged villains? These aspects of the original story were not readily made apparent ot me, and now my sinapses have had enough.

    So apart from other things such as Marvin, the Manic Depressed Robot looking very cute... must be a personality issue, and Ford Prefect suddenly turning into one of the Jackson 5, I think Zaphod has undergone the most changes. As the picture shows, he looks more and more like me, but sadly, the second head is hidden very well... A flamboyant all-around hoopy guy like Zaphod totally enjoys the look on other's faces when he is showing off his third arm, and even more importantly, his SECOND HEAD. Now it may be hidden in his throat, but frankly, this is the first I've heard of it...

    The only real mainstays so far, are these:

    • Arthur. He seems to have been cloned from the original character nicely :D

    • In order to successfully Hitch Hike throughout the Galaxy, you still need a towel.

    • Trillian is a woman. Arthur, Ford and Zaphod are men.

    • The Earth gets demolished to make way for a hyperspace express route.

    • Vogons are ugly and still have the third worst poetry in the Galaxy.

    • Zaphod is still the hoopiest frood this side of Barnard's Star, and he still has Peril-Sensitive Shades...

    I must demand however, after all is said and done, that I may or may not be totally ready to sit back with MY Peril-Sensitive shades, a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster and a Towel and enjoy this movie. The shades will undoubtedly click on a few times, but in the end, I suspect we are in for a remarkably smashing time!

    Monday, April 18, 2005

    Black Smoke Rising...

    Well there is black smoke rising from the Vatican. I suspect that it has nothing to do with the Papal election however, and that it really means the Vatican kitchen has burned the French Toast.

    Seriously, I can only imagine what sort of efforts would be involved in order to get a majority vote amongst these men. I am sure it will be some time...

    Want G-Mail? Gimme a Shout

    I still have 46 invites left for G-mail... the newish Google Mail. It is actually quite impressive, giving you all of these features, and more!

    • Available in 13 languages, including Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, simplified and traditional Chinese. And UK English.
    • There are 2 Gigabytes of space per account for storage.
    • Use different fonts, bullets and even highlighting in a great rich text format.
    • Tab oriented "Conversation" archiver for messages. Groups replies together in conversations.
    • Gmail notifier sits in your tray and lets you know when you have mail.
    • Attachments up to 10 MB.
    • Many more options... check it out :D

    Just drop me a note if you want an invite... Guess I need an email too :D

    Yankee Doodle... Whistlin' to the Bank

    I have never liked the Yankees. Ok, that's not true, 48% of them are pretty cool and reasonable people... No wait. I mean BASEBALL! Yeah, in my opinion, they are the spoiled brat pack of ball... Buy the biggest names and now they can't win :D I find consolation in the fact that New York does it with not just hockey, but baseball as well. That being said, I still hate 'em.

    Now the numbers give me another reason why.

    The team salary of the New York Yankees is $206,000,000. Yeah that's a lot. You consider the next highest team is the Red Sox (who won sure), at $121,000,000. A run down of some "Big Names That Help Win Pennants"?

    A-Rod - $25.7 M (1st overall)

    Derek Jeter - $19.6M (4th overall)

    Mike Mussina - $19M (5th overall)...

    I wonder how Andy Phillips made the team getting a salary of only $317,200 a year. He must be the waterboy :)

    To put it in perspective, the Yankees total is more than the sum of the 5 lowest teams together... Tampa Bay ($29.9M), Kansas City ($36.9M), Pittsburgh ($38.1M), Milwaukee ($40.2M) and Cleveland ($41.8M). That's something, ain't it? I mean, Tampa Bay could buy A-Rod and two waterboys :P

    And they still can't win :D

    Sunday, April 17, 2005

    Giant Waves and Giant Boats

    I would love to go on a cruise. I think it would be very relaxing, and a wonderful experience, as long as I didn't get the flu. Of course, I would want to go on a BIG ship. I mean, the Sea is huge, and when irked, Mother Nature can really pound you.

    CHARLESTON, S.C. - A huge wave damaged a cruise ship returning from the Bahamas over the weekend, smashing windows, flooding more than 60 cabins and injuring four passengers.

    The Norwegian Dawn, a 965 foot passenger liner, was travelling from the Bahamas back to New York, when she ran into some severe weather. The ship was diverted to Charleston for repairs after the incident that left four passengers injured, and many more likely scared witless.

    “The ship was hit by a freak wave that caused two windows to break in two different cabins,” Norwegian Cruise Line said in a statement. It said 62 cabins flooded and four passengers had cuts and bruises.

    The passengers on board had all been wearing their safety life vests and now, the passengers who's cabins were flooded are being flown home from Charleston. The company has stated that the safety of the ship "was in no way compromised by the incident".

    Saturday, April 16, 2005

    Flames of War - Panther D

    This is my first FoW tank. It is 1:100 scale and about 2.5 inches long. Very cool to do one of these, and makes a great break from figures ;)

    There are a ton of pics on my Site... Check em out :D

    Lawless Lawmakers

    Can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 300 employees and has the following statistics:

    • 30 have been accused of spousal abuse
    • 9 have been arrested for fraud, 14 accused of writing bad cheques
    • 95 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
    • 4 have done jail time for assault
    • 55 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
    • 12 have been arrested on drug related charges
    • 16 are currently defendants in lawsuits
    • 62 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year

    Can you guess which organisation this is?

    It is the 301 MP's in the Canadian House of Commons. This is the same group that cranks out hundreds of new laws designed to keep the rest of us in line.

    Which one did you vote for?

    Hint.... Not Ralph Klein... :D

    Friday, April 15, 2005

    Happy Birthday Shout Out!!!

    Gotta give a Monster Birthday Shout Out to my buddy Jake with whom I cannot go Glow Bowling with tonight :( Thanks for all the work setting up the VPN for gaming!!! Hopefully we can all get on there playing soon!

    Hope you have a great one!

    Kick Butt Villains Volume IV

    Ming the Merciless!!! He has been seen in several incarnations, but in each, Flash Gordon has dealt with him as only Flash can... Naturally, Ming is the epitamy of evil Emperors. Nasty, vile, power hungry, mad and black-hearted.

    Charles Middleton as Ming in 1936

    The supreme Emperor of the planet Mongo, Ming the Merciless, controls through fear and terror. He amuses himself by destroying other planets in the solar system. Back home, he uses his secret police force to find those who oppose him and destroys anyone in his way.

    Max von Sydow as Ming in 1980

    When Flash and his girl Dale Arden are kidnapped by a mad scientist and forced to go to Mongo, Ming captures them, and executes Flash. Ming's daughter revives him for revenge against him, and with the aid of several species, Flash sets out to save Dale whom Ming wants for his own. In order to find Flash, Ming allows the torture of his own daughter, and eventually, Flash leads the Hawkmen of Mongo to battle and destroys Ming and his plans.

    Of course, Ming's ring lives on, and perhaps one day, he will return to wreak evil havoc on unsuspecting planets again!

    Coming up next time...


    Soaked PETA

    I was reading Classy Warfare and stumbled upon this bit of hilarity :D

    BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) - A trio of protesters with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals didn't find the welcome mat out when they stopped at a KFC in Brownsville on Wednesday. The sprinkler system was on for them, though.

    Apparently, the manager, John Olivo, turned the sprinkler system on full blast when the protestors set up on the curb in front of his restaurant...

    "They already hit me in McAllen," Olivo said in a story in Thursday's editions of The Brownsville Herald. "I was already waiting for them here in Brownsville."

    The protestors, including one guy in a chicken suit, are trying to get slaughterhouses to kill chickens in a more humane way. I dunno, they are bred for two things: eggs and meat. Next time you order a pita, make it a CHICKEN pita!!!! And hold the veggies.

    Thursday, April 14, 2005

    Oops I Crapped My Pants!

    Please wait while loading... Mouseover to start.

    Crank the volume... It's a quiet video :D

    Oops I Crapped My Pants

    Pensively, She Sits... Poised For Lift-Off

    The Discovery sits, waiting patiently on the launch pad. It has been 2 years since the Columbia shuttle disaster. America's aging shuttles are showing the wear and tear commonly associated with an underfunded program. Safety measures slipped by, and upgrades and new technology apparently not on the horizon.

    But now, Discovery is waiting to fly. A new upgrade has been added to help ensure that chunks of foam do not break off of the fuel tanks (this is what they say caused th elast disaster)... It will wait for a window anytime from mid-May to early June, and in the meantime, it is being fueled with a half a million gallons of cryogenic propellant.... and the new safety measures.

    They have installed electric heaters where there used to be ramp-shaped wedges of the foam insulation joinging the gigantic fuel tank to the shuttle. The heaters are meant to prevent ice-build-up on the outside of the tank, which can break off and damage the shuttle's heat shield and many other things during lift-off.

    Read more here on Reuters...

    Wednesday, April 13, 2005

    I Got Hosed...

    Well, I seem to have an anti-freeze leak. In fact, it would seem to be a smallish 3 inch length of 3/4 inch hose attached to my thermostat housing.The parts were very cheap to get yesterday, but sadly, I need to remove a LOT of stuff in order to get the old hose off, and a new hose on. Hope it lasts until the weekend :D

    Could take hours :(

    University Pirates in Trouble...

    According to MSNBC, the music industry is goign to charge hundreds of students who use the Internet2, to transfer loads of downloaded music to each other... The Internet2 is a super fast internet connecting many of the biggest universities around the world for the purpose of research into new and improved internet connections and speeds.

    The Washington-based Recording Industry Association of America, the trade group for the largest labels, said it will file federal copyright lawsuits Wednesday against 405 students at 18 colleges with access to the Internet2 network, which boasts speeds hundreds of times faster than the Internet.

    Apparently, these researchers claim to have downloaded a DVD quality copy of "The Matrix" in 30 seconds over this connection. It is used by several million University students, but is generally not accessable to the public.

    "We don't condone or support illegal file-sharing," said Internet2's chief executive, Doug Van Houweling. "We've always understood that just like there is a lot of file-sharing going on on the public Internet, there's also some file-sharing going on on Internet2."

    According to the recording industry, these users are sharing an average of 2300 songs each, which is much greater than the average Internet user. The Motion Picture Association of America is likely to follow suit (pun intended).

    All I have to say, is where do I sign up for 30 second DVD downloads???

    Tuesday, April 12, 2005

    Cosmic Collisions

    According to MSNBC, colliding galaxies helped build the universe. When the galaxies collide, star formation is triggered and black hole growth increases!

    The illustration shows two young galaxies in the process of merging. The merger has triggered a burst of star formation and is providing fuel for the growth of the galaxies' central supermassive black holes.

    According to one investigation, scientists examine star-forming galaxies (ie young ones full o fenergy) and found that black holes appear to grow continuously while stars are being born. Around 10 billion years ago, many of the distant galaxies went through this growth spurt. Remember, that a galaxy that far away would take that many years for the light to reach us, so in that respect, we are witnessing events from the distant past...

    Astronomers believe it is the merging of galaxies that triggers both this star formation and intense black hole growth...

    "These findings provide direct observational support for the simultaneous growth of large galaxies and their black holes," said study leader David Alexander of the University of Cambridge.

    The galaxies were found with the James Clerk Maxwell submillimeter telescope. The Keck Observatory in Hawaii revealed the rate of star birth. Then NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory was employed to detect the hot gas around the presumed black holes, which provided information about the growth rates of those central gravity wells.

    Read more here... very interesting stuff. The ending statement says it all really...

    Galactic mergers are less frequent nowadays. But in a few billion years, our own Milky Way will collide with the Andromeda Galaxy.

    Monday, April 11, 2005

    Summertime's A Comin'

    I have spent the last 6 months locked in a house and freezing my butt off outside. Driving was a pain, and if you aren't careful, you end up Carling... the heater rarely works on my car, and walking is a totally frigid experience.

    Sunday was a super day. It was beautiful out. In fact, the whole weekend was rather nice. Got up pretty early on Sunday, and did a whole ton of yardwork. This is a necessary task, and though there are numerous hours of pretty tough work, it is worth it in the end. Raking the dead grass and leaves is hard on the back, but I tell you, our lawn is already starting to look good. Now the green spray paint is all I need! A little later, after a brief respite of Diablo, I decided it was time to wash the car. It has been dirty, dusty and muddy for some time, as spring always wreaks havoc with the roads. Sand and mud everywhere... That was pretty fun actually, and I almost have a nice shiny car now :D

    Later on, we took the Aunt's dogs for a walk. They are pretty full of energy. My wife was watching them for the weekend, so it was nice to go out and get some more air and exercise. Another neat thing we have started doing is going for a drive. Yeah, a Sunday Drive :P But when the sun is shining, it is great for driving! Nipped out to Sylvan Lake and I was quite surprised that it is still ice and snow covered, except for maybe 20 or so yards from the shore. Guess it is still early in Spring!

    After we got back, it was time for some steaks. So we sat on our deck after BBQing up some ALBERTA BEEF, and sipped some Pilsner and ate. What a great day. Fresh air and sunshine does wonders when you suffer from SAD...

    Damage Control... Report!

    After Jean Brault's testimony in the Sponsorship Scandal was made public, the Liberals have damage control units on full alert. Polls (who believes those after the last US election, neh???) suggest their popularity is at a dangerously low level, and if a snap election occurred right now, Liberal votes could be as low as only 25% compared to 36.2% for the Conservatives. It is no wonder Harper is pushing for an election right now!

    In fact, they seem to be in such a bind, that they are goign to table many of the policies outlined in their campaign last year, including Kyoto climate treaty, foreign policy reviews and other things... Basically saying that if we have an election and they get voted out, all of those policies will go with them.

    Most party leaders are only "considering" tabling a non-confidence vote in the House of Commons. The only real threat I suspect is from Stephen Harper... He is still pissed at the same-sex marriage bills!!! Must be an Albertan. Heh.

    Sunday, April 10, 2005

    We're From the Yard...

    Scotland Yard...

    No actually, it is spring cleaning time!!! That means, raking, trimming, cutting, cleaning... You name it! At least the sun is shining :)

    Saturday, April 09, 2005

    Gandalf the White

    This is Gandalf the White from GWs Heroes of the West boxed set for Lord of the Rings. He stands about 32mm from toe to tip of head. He is my first LOTR figure, and I enjoyed him a lot. Being white, it was hard to add extras, so I decided to do trimming on the robes. The script on the base says:

    "One Ring to rule them all,

    One Ring to find them.

    One Ring to bring them all,

    And in the darkness bind them."

    Automation = Nonsense

    So I run several Yahoo Groups for Miniature Painting and such. They are hobby oriented, and the one in particular falls under the "Scale Modelling" category. There is nothign wrong with that. However, Yahoo has adverts that are placed on the sidebar based on the category of the group that are supposed to be of interest to the group displaying them...

    My Scale Modelling group has ads for buying Precision Scales for weighing things. Yes, either digital scales for small stuff, or full-on industrial scales! Wow. Not related at all... Stupid 'bots.

    Friday, April 08, 2005

    Tee-Shirt Humor

    This is a funny tee-shirt with artwork by none other than Erol Otus... Master of Classic D&D artwork...

    The shirt can be purchased from J!NX, Gamers, Geeks and Hackers... A cool site to check out.

    Publication Ban Lifted on Sponsorship...

    Well now, it seems the ban has been lifted (probably due to bloggers getting the message out anyhow)... so there is more juice coming from the Captain's Quarters :)

    Publication Ban Lifted

    Justice John Gomery has lifted the publication ban on Jean Brault's testimony, allowing the Canadian media to finally report the testimony to the Canadian public. As CTV demonstrates in its data-dump format, the facts as presented by CQ's source stand up very well against the revelations possible now that the media has been unleashed:

    Brault claims in his testimony that he systematically kicked back huge amounts of taxpayer money to the federal Liberal party, a deception he claims involved senior Liberal organizers and people close to former prime minister Jean Chretien.

    His testimony detailed secret meetings, phoney paper trails, envelopes stuffed with cash and bogus billings.

    * He said there were phoney employees on the payroll at the ad firm Groupaction.
    * Brault said there was $1 million in kickbacks to the Liberal Party of Canada.
    * His reward, he claims, was $172 million in government business for his firm.

    It was always the same story, he told the commission. The Liberal Party needs money. If you want the business, you have to pay.

    Brault says most of the kickbacks were cash; that's the way his Liberal handlers wanted it. Simply, he said, so it couldn't be traced.

    On one occasion, Brault says he handed $25,000 in cash to Joseph Morselli, a top organizer for former public works minister Alfonso Gagliano.

    Brault wanted the bidding for some ad contracts with the justice department delayed. He says Morselli told him the delay would cost $100,000.

    The first payment was $25,000, dropped off at a fundraiser for Gagliano, at a restaurant in Montreal's east end.

    Brault claims he also put at least five Liberal party workers on Groupaction's payroll. They were paid with sponsorship money to do work for the party.

    Other Liberals allegedly got cheques too, disguised as consulting fees, for doing nothing. One of them was Jean Chretien's brother, Gaby.

    Brault claims Chretien handed $4,000 to a Liberal candidate.

    Brault says Liberal fundraiser Alain Renaud got $63,000, also for doing nothing.

    It was clearly, Brault says, a donation to the Liberal Party.

    And then, there's Jacques Corriveau, a confidant of former prime minister Jean Chretien.

    Brault paid Corriveau's firm nearly $500,000, for no work at all.

    He says Corriveau wanted the money for the Liberal party.

    Under cross examination, a lawyer for the Liberals suggested Brault didn't really know if some of his payments ended up in Liberal coffers. Brault agreed with that, saying 'You're right."

    Well, perhaps the attorney representing the Liberals on the cross-examination felt he scored a point. However, when political appointees demand cash from a government contractor, either the money is for themselves or their party -- and either way, it's corruption.

    Justice Gomery only partially lifted the ban, leaving some question whether the ban would continue for Chuck Guité and Paul Coffin. If it does and my source can still produce information on the ongoing testimony, I will continue to publish it here. My hope will be that Justice Gomery realizes that publication bans do nothing but damage public confidence in the government's ability to police itself and hold itself accountable to the electorate. We'll see soon enough if that lesson has sunk in with Justice Gomery.

    It's funny you know. I voted for these guys and I would likely vote for them again. It really goes to show the integrity of not the Liberals (who are under fire for this) but politics in Canada as a whole. I would rather have a bunch of lying cheaters in power than, well, a bunch of lying cheaters :D Maybe I am too cynical.

    Canada's Sponsorship Scandal.., Shhhh!

    This may or may not be under a publication ban in Canada, therefore, I am writing about it ;) This is taken from the Captain's Quarters Blog...

    April 02, 2005

    Canada's Corruption Scandal Breaks Wide Open

    A political scandal involving the Public Works Ministry, a government effort called the Sponsorship Program, and allegations of corruption in the ruling Liberal Party has Canada abuzz with rumors of payoffs, Mob ties, and snap elections. For the last two years, Canadian politics has been gripped by the so-called “sponsorship scandal” – tens of millions of dollars in government contracts which were funneled into advertizing firms closely connected with the Liberal government for little or no work, but with shadowy rumours that much of the money found its way back into Liberal coffers. Prime Minister Paul Martin, himself a Liberal, appointed the Gomery Commission to investigate these charges and determine whether to bring charges against government officials for corruption and malfeasance. (See the blog Small Dead Animals for some excellent background on the case.)

    Most of the testimony heard by the Commission has been public, but Judge Gomery has decided to create a publication ban on the testimony of three key witnesses: Jean Brault, president of the ad agency Groupaction, Charles Guité, an officer of the Public Works ministry who worked on the Sponsorship Program, and Paul Coffin, president of the ad agency Coffin Communications. The potential damage of their testimony has so unnerved the Liberal Party that they have reportedly started working towards a snap election so that they will not have to face the voters once the facts surface from the record.

    And well they might, if Brault's testimony gives any indication of what they will face. Thanks to a friend of mine, CQ readers can get a taste of what Brault has already told the Gomery Commission. For obvious reasons, I cannot reveal this person's name or position, but this person is in a position to have the information. Bear in mind that this comes from a single source, so while I have confidence in the information, you should consider the sourcing carefully.

    Payoffs And Kickbacks

    On Thursday, Jean Brault began his testimony, subject to the publication ban, and revealed a massive pattern of corruption going to the highest levels of the Liberal party and government. Brault testified to hundreds of thousands of dollars of bogus transactions designed to benefit the Liberal Party of Canada over a period from 1994 to 2002.

    Most of the illegal campaign contributions involved Brault either hiring “employees” -- who were in fact working full time on Liberal Party activities -- or paying invoices for Liberal Party campaign expenses (which were never declared as such) or making untraceable cash donations to Liberal officials. In exchange for helping the federal Liberals in Quebec, Brault received millions of dollars in federal advertising contracts.

    Brault said he met with Jean Carle, a key aide to then Prime Minister Jean Chretien to propose a more direct way of ensuring that Groupaction got a large share of federal advertising dollars in Quebec. Carle referred Brault to federal bureaucrat Charles (“Chuck”) Guité and told him that “there was room for everybody.” Guité later put together the sponsorship program, in which five Liberal connected firms -- including Groupaction -- were guaranteed a monopoly on government “sponsorship” advertising (e.g. federal
    advertising at sporting or cultural events) and related work. The sponsorship program eventually became a huge slush fund into which over $250 million was poured, over $100 million of which was paid in fees and commissions to these five advertising firms, with little or any evidence of work done or value for money.

    In exchange for these large contracts for little or no work, Brault kicked back generously to the Liberal Party, putting Liberal organizers on his payroll while they continued to perform party work (including, at one point, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s brother, Gaby Chrétien), paying invoices to other companies for work actually done for the Liberal Party, and giving large donations -- in cash -- to the Liberal Party through Renaud or Liberal Party organizer (and close associate of Public Works Minister Alfonso Gagliano) Joe Morselli.

    Protection Racket?

    Towards the later part of the sponsorship program, the friends and associates of Public Works Minister and former ambassador to Denmark Alfonso Gagliano, some of whom have been linked to organized crime, played a larger role in the schemes.

    At one point, Gagliano associate Tony Mignacca told Brault that if he didn’t rehire Renaud (who had left Groupaction to start a new company), he would lose his newly acquired contract with Via Rail -- Canada’s state-run passenger rail service. Brault broke down in tears after he recounted this testimony. At a meeting in 2001 with Joe Morselli, Brault said that he arranged to have the meeting in an overheated room in a restaurant -- so that Brault could ask Morselli to take off his coat and ensure that he wasn’t carrying a body pack.

    This is just the beginning of Brault's testimony. If the Gomery Commission can corroborate Brault, then the reek of corruption goes through all levels of the Liberal party and may explain their ability to out-campaign the Conservatives. After all, they've siphoned off hundreds of millions of government dollars to promote their own party and to guarantee their monopoly on power. They hijacked the Canadian tax base to fund their own campaigns and hide the financial trail.

    More will be forthcoming, but it isn't difficult to understand why Liberal politicians have begun to panic already.

    The ban has been partially lifted so expect more details coming very soon :D Like now :)

    Thursday, April 07, 2005

    Dungeons and Dragons is Evil Again!!! Woot!

    This comic is from the Full Frontal Nerdity strip by Aaron Williams...

    I think it's about time that all of us geeky gamer types got that Satanic Devil Worshiper Sacrifice a Goat to Mephistopheles image back... Time to break out my "Necronomicon" for light reading in the lunch room again... :D

    *** UPDATED ***

    Seriously, there is a write up on the actual case about this HERE.... I mean come on... as far as players per game go, I think Chess is higher risk, or curling, or hockey :O

    The Brain Machine

    In a small lab in the New York State Health Department, someone is testing the brain touque. The hat looks funny, and is most definately not tin foil. In fact, each polka dot shows the location of an electrode which transmits brainwaves to a computer.

    With this device, paralyzed people could posibly learn to do extraordinary things! The goal is to use your mind to control an image on a computer screen, attempting to hit small targets. Some people can actually succeed 90% of the time, showing that a keyboard simply isn't necessary to accomplish certain tasks.

    A quadriplegic man in Massachusetts has shown he can change TV channels, turn room lights on and off, open and close a robotic hand and sort through messages in a mock e-mail program.

    Seven paralyzed patients near Stuttgart, Germany, have been surfing the Internet and writing letters to friends from their homes.

    At a lab in Switzerland, two healthy volunteers learned to steer a 2-inch, two-wheeled robot — sort of like a tiny wheelchair — through a dollhouse-sized floor plan.

    And at labs in several universities, monkeys operate mechanical arms with just their brains. At the University of Pittsburgh, a monkey can feed itself chunks of zucchini and orange slices this way.

    The overall goal of this research is to use electronic sugnals from the brain to control computers and other machines, so that people with severe mobility and disability problems can control their environments without literally moving. There have been great leaps and bounds in this research in the last few years due to increasing research of the brain, computers and electronics.

    “The field, in the last four or five years, has kind of exploded,” said Dr. Jonathan Wolpaw, a researcher in the field.

    Wednesday, April 06, 2005

    Kick Butt Villains Volume III

    The Kurgan... possibly the baddest, blackest and foulest of villains ever exposed on the big screen. He was the starring villain in Highlander, played by Clancy Brown. His character, Kurgan lived only to win The Prize, and to defeat all other immortals in battle. He had no sense of love or mercy, and he quickly became the most powerful and feared of the immortals. He was of great physical stature and strength, and fought with unparalleled ferocity with the blade.

    The first encounter with MacLeod...

    An ancient people from the steppes of Russia, the Kurgan used to throw children into pits with starving dogs, just to get some laughs.

    Conversing with a Priest...

    After being nearly captured by Police in modern day New York, he shaved his head and in a grotesque display, used safety pins as piercings covering the scar left by Ramirez hundreds of years before... As "Victor Krueger", he wrought havoc on New York by running down pedestrians, causing mayhem and destroying signs and buildings... A memorable moment of his career is when he hijacks a car owned by some elderly folks, and after throwing the old man out, he sits down, turns to the old lady and says "Moommm" in a voice only a katana slice to throat can produce :D

    He slew Ramirez easily, and after numerous encounters with Connor MacLeod, was finally defeated, possibly due to his egomaniacal tendency to gloat. He was responsible for the death of many a man, rape of many a woman, and most any other acts of savagery you could think of. If he had have won The Prize, mankind would have suffered under his rule for an eternity...

    Coming up next time...

    Ming the Merciless...

    Tuesday, April 05, 2005

    Media Controlled Emotions

    I have always thought that the Media wields altogether too much power. They can easily sway public opinion, change moods, emotions, and discussions. They can make you believe in one thing, or lose faith in another. In fact, as shown recently, it is almost impossible for a self-thinking person to know what is real news, what is sensational, and what is just plain propaganda or lies.

    Recently, the news has extensively dealt with the Terri Schiavo case. In fact, it sits at number 4 on the MSN top movers for search engines right now. Last thursday, it would have been number one. I think the saddest thing here, is that ALL parties involved in the case, have milked the media for almost all it is worth. The networks don't mind. Of course not! Sensational news, public outcry and moral dilemma all make big stories, and undoubtedly, millions of glazed over eyes watch every prime time news hour, to see another glimpse of a dying woman. Of course, the combatants in the case are more likely fighting over royalties to the forthcoming made-for-tv mini-series or the true life book than haggling over burial rights or the Big Question of ending her life. At least that is what the media coverage makes me think.

    Then, the Pope took ill. Gravely so, and now he has passed on. It is a dark time for the Catholic Church, though I am sure that they, too, will rebound with a new Papal candidate. The point I am trying to make is this:

    As soon as Jean Paul II passed away, I have not heard a thing about Terri Schiavo. The poor dying woman who made front page on every television for weeks, is nothing any more. A bigger story has come along. A bigger fish to be fried. The hopes of tv mini series' and top 10 Bestsellers wanes for a while, as images of a frail old white robed man take center stage.

    Lost in all of the media induced sensationalism, the root of the battle from before. The point behind it all, before FOX news and every other major network started exploiting it... Should she have been made to live her life as she was, or did they have the right to end it for her?

    Who cares... the Pope died.

    Monday, April 04, 2005

    A Super Weekend....

    Beauty new site logo from K-Light thanks a ton!

    First I must apologise for my April Fool's joke. I hope nobody is very mad at me but it was kind of fun and I really needed a few days away from here anyhow. I love writing and I think my wife said it best with her comment "Only if your hands were broken" :D

    At any rate, my weekend back from Edmonton was great! My brother came down late friday night, and after much preparation on Saturday, we had a great supper for my Mom and Aunt's birthday (they are twins born on April 1st). Watched "Meet the Fockers" after dinner, and everyone enjoyed it I think.

    Sunday was a good day as well. Walked down to the river where we normally go rock collecting, but the river was very high with all of the spring thaw happening. It was neat to see logs and giant chunks of ice floating downstream though. At one point, a riverboat went howlign upstream, most likely checking on the amount of ice upstream. Must be a little dangerous to be sure, with all of the debris being washed down. It is a great spot, where the Blindman river flows into the Red Deer river. Really nice. I think it will be another two or three weeks before we can walk as normal there though. Still too muddy, and the rocks are 3 feet underwater anyways :)

    This week should be good. I have to kick back into high gear with some interesting blogs, including my weekly Villainy blog (Kurgan from Highlander who is one of my personal all-time favorite villains)... and perhaps some new insights into the wonderful world of Minor Ball registration :D

    Did I mention that I slept a LOT on the weekend? It felt great. Woot! Amazing what a few good sleep-ins can do :D

    Friday, April 01, 2005

    Bah... I'm done with this crap...

    Yeah what a waste of time. I'm finished with this blogging rubbish ...'

    Silly thing anyhow...

    April Fool's fools...

    Downtown Mudbogging

    Believe it or not, there is actually one car sized mud bog in downtown Edmonton. I found it turning around last night. Thank Bob my brother has a 4x4.

    Wouldn't have been too bad, but there are a lot of drunks and sinister (maybe even left-handed) people walking around downtown...

    Freaky. However, as the old saying goes, "All's well that ends well..." :)

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