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    Monday, October 31, 2005

    Of Costumes and Parties...

    Stardate 4789.1

    Well friday was the boy's Birthday / Halloween party. It went pretty good I think, and my wife spent tons of time decorating and preparing for it. There were easily over a dozen kids there, and they all looked great in their costumes. We had ghoulish folks laying about as well as crosses with the kid's names on... there were skeletons and ghouls hanging from the rafters, and many spiders, worms and other bugs here and there. The kids had fun with all sorts of activities, from eating licorice contests to sifting through a bucket of noodles to find prizes.

    We all dressed up of course, and it was a lot of fun. Bradley dressed up as a "hip" grandma, my wife as a bunny, and myself, well Garsh... kinda pirate-like. Really, it was a lot of fun, and now, it is Monday, and Halloween day, and I have donned the garb yet again.

    See my wife quietly trying to steal my swag...

    This is the tat I drew myself on friday before I got home... Kind of neat. I did a small one on my right arm, but since I am not left-handed, it was pretty shaky :D

    Happy Halloween!!!

    Stardate 4788.4

    Murkillor, the Wraithking

    This is a classic paintjob I did last year. He represents my first try at object source lighting, where the fire from the sword is shown on his clothing and other bits... Scary at any rate. I always pictured him emerging from an ancient burial tomb into a misty graveyard, flooded with moonlight...

    Sunday, October 30, 2005

    Softwood Lumber; Our Turn to "Stay the Course"

    Stardate 4785.2

    In Paul Martin's first weekly radio address, he vowed to stay tough with the Americans with regard to the Softwood Lumber dispute.
    "If we have to go to court to get what's rightfully ours, we will. If we have to keep pressuring the Americans, we will. It's just too important to do otherwise."
    As long as he stays tough I am happy. I mean, it is not just about softwood lumber. It is about what is fair and what is not. Perhaps we are being punished for not following the US down the road to hell in Iraq, but rightfully, the taxes that the US have imposed on our lumber sales are not fair. The NAFTA ruling was already in Canada's favor, and now the US is shirking it's responsibilities and yet another treaty...

    Go Mr. Martin. Hopefully, you are most sincere with your statements.

    Evil Death Pumpkin!

    Stardate 4785.0

    One of last year's pumpkins...

    We had a party for the boy on Friday night and we all dressed up for that. It was really fun and the turnout was amazing! Monday is Halloween however, so this year's pumpkins and some other pics coming tomorrow or tuesday!

    Saturday, October 29, 2005

    The Legacy of Man

    Stardate 4780.6

    This is a picture I took at the top of a hill leading up to a radio tower. I was quite taken by the almost surreal contrast between the beautiful sunset and the shotgun pitted dead-end sign.

    Habs Skidding...

    Stardate 4780.2

    It seems the Habs are having a tough go of late. Tonight was their second loss in a row, losing 5 to 2 to the New York Rangers. Theodore was pulled after the 1st period, in which he allowed 3 goals on 13 shots.

    Friday, October 28, 2005

    Priest - Live at Budokan

    Stardate 4774.0

    Judas Priest has announced that they will be releasing a live DVD of the Retribution tour filmed over two nights at the historic Budokan venue in Tokyo, Japan.

    The DVD will feature The Hellion/Electric Eye, Metal Gods, Riding on the Wind, The Ripper, A Touch of Evil, Judas Rising, Revolution, Hot Rockin', Breaking the Law, I'm a Rocker, Diamonds and Rust, Worth Fighting For, Deal With the Devil, Beyond the Realms of Death, Turbo Lover, Hellrider, Victim of Changes, Exciter, Painkiller, Hell Bent For Leather, Living After Midnight and You've Got Another Thing Comin'.

    The DVD is set for release on November 15th... I know what I want for Christmas :)

    CIA Leaks... Fixing the Plumbing

    Stardate 4773.4

    C&L - The CIA leak case is coming to a head. No, not the bathroom, where most plumbing leaks are looked after, but rather the White House.

    DICK Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been indicted on 2 counts of pergury, 2 counts of making false statements and 1 count of obstruction of justice. It would seem that Carl Rove has been left unscathed by the inquiry though he is still under investigation.

    Selling Secrets: Real Life Spies...

    Stardate 4772.9

    MSN - Engineer charged with selling secrets

    An engineer from Haiku who fashions himself as the "father" of the technology that protects the B2 Spirit from heat seeking missiles has been arrested and charged with selling secrets to a foreign country. Noshir S. Gowadia was arrested on wednesday after it was found that in 2002, he had faxed a document with classified info to foreign official. He also allegedly gave information to two other countries.

    He was an engineer with the company, Northrop Grumman Corp. from 1968 to 1986 and helped design part of the B-2's propulsion system that helps hide it from enemy missiles...

    It's kind of funny. When I think of selling military secrets, I think of spy cameras, and secret codes, and dudes in black with shades on. I don't expect an engineer to simply fax off documents... Wow. Spying has come a long way since Bond. I guess it's no wonder this guy got busted...

    Thursday, October 27, 2005

    Canned Hunting in South Africa Condemned...

    Stardate 4769.3

    I had a farm in Africa...

    Well actually it wasn't a farm at all, but it was Africa. Swaziland to be precise. When I was growing up, I lived there for 4 years. One of my fondest memories was our trips to Kruger National Park, in the Republic of South Africa. We ould go for 3 day trips, staying in the "Camps" overnight, and if we were very lucky, we would see a kill, where lions or cheetahs basked after killing a springbok. There were always water holes, and you could see hippos or giraffe refreshing themselves with a cornicopia of other creatures, ranging from birds and crocs to elephants and hyenas.

    That is what hunting in South Africa meant to me, when I was barely a teenager, and knew little of poaching and other practices that are common place today.

    Recently, a panel of experts in South Africa has condemned the "canned hunting" of animals, where tourists can come and hunt animals bred in captivity for sport or sale. Many of these animals realistically have no chance of escaping these hunters, and some, such as zebra, are bred with donkeys to ensure a slower product for easier hunting. Many of these hunters use bows as well, killing everything from birds to rhinos. Imagine the pain and suffering a rhino would endure after being shot several times with a bow before it would finally expire...

    Some statistics show just how widespread and popular this disgusting form of tourism is. 190 lions were slain last year by tourists, 5,500 kudus, 45 leopards.... These hunters killed baboons, giraffes, elephants, hippos, mongooses, porcupines, warthogs and zebras...

    The breeders use cross-breeding methods to give hunters a better chance. Either producing more albino lions for bigger prize money, or the "zonkey" as mentioned above... By doing this, they risk altering the natural biodiversity and ecosystem of the Parks.

    The panel maintains, and I agree, that legitimate hunting of wildlife is integral to the South African economy, but they simply must place controls on the sport. The inhumane treatment and manipulation of these animals should not be acceptable in any nation.

    The industry is important to the country's economy, but is mainly white-dominated.

    Miers Makes Sound Judgment

    Stardate 4767.7

    CTV - Miers withdraws U.S. Supreme Court nomination

    Seems Harriet Miers can make sound judgment calls after all. She withdrew her nomination after apparently realising she had no qualifications for the position...

    Bush, who nominated her almost purely on religious grounds and the fact, as John Stewart from the Daily Show would say, that he has known her for a decade, has accepted her withdrawl.

    Wednesday, October 26, 2005

    If Dead Men Is What They Wanted...

    Stardate 4764.4

    Yesterday, the US death toll in the Iraq conflict reached 2000. That number seems to pale compared to the 100,000 plus estimated civilian deaths in the same time span. Still, we must sympathise with the families of these men and women who have sacrificed their lives for a cause that has been a lie from the start. The premise for the invasion is a joke of course, and the continued occupation (and continued sacrifice of life) is in such a state as to have no solution for a very long time.

    This is an interesting site where a photographer discusses some of the pictures he has taken covering the soldier's funerals... PLEASE take the time to watch it.

    Remember who sent these men and women there.

    The Cenobaby

    Stardate 4762.7

    I wanted to do a project for Halloween involving a doll, as I mentioned in an earlier post, and here are the results...

    There is a brief step-by step write-up on MY SITE about The Cenobaby, and one picture in particular is quite disturbing... Just check out the latest updates for the page!

    Tuesday, October 25, 2005

    Habs win in OT

    Stardate 4760.9

    At 9:19 of the third period, Mike Ribiero tied the game against Philadelphia at 2. Several powerplays didn't help Montreal win, so at 2:28 of overtime, Mike Ribiero scored his second of the game, and fourth of the season giving Montreal their seventh win and 1st place in the conference!

    Rice Needs Some Wood...

    Stardate 4758.8

    CTV - Keep softwood in "perspective" urges Rice

    U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Canada should not let the softwood lumber dispute overwhelm the important trading relationship that exists between Canada and the United States.

    Why is that? Because the U.S. is much larger and tougher than us? The U.S. will ultimately get what it wants or nothing I figure. After all, a NAFTA ruling in favor of the Canadian side of the disagreement has already been ignored by our magnanimous neighbours to the South. I mean come off it. Already, our borders are "weak" because the U.S. is so paranoid of attackers infiltrating the frontier... the "War on Drugs" is a huge deal since half of Canada wants to legalise pot... It would be if it wasn't for the DEA making busts in our country. So now, after a NAFTA ruling in our favor, we are supposed to keep it in "perspective"?

    "We have mechanisms to do that (resolve trade disputes)", she said. Yes, we do, like the NAFTA ruling.

    Blog worth? Heh...

    Stardate 4758.3

    I have seen this around a bit, so I decided to do mine as well...

    My blog is worth $45,727.74.
    How much is your blog worth?

    Not too shabby :D

    What Now For Iraq?

    Stardate 4757.8

    CTV - Iraqi voters adopt new constitution

    It would seem as though 78% of 9.8 million voters approve of the new constitution and 21% oppose it, according to Independent Electoral Commission officials. To pass, the charter needed a majority win, except if any three provinces had a 2/3 "no" vote. Most opposition came from the Sunni arabs, but many of them failed to vote it would seem. One Sunni province had a 55% "no" vote and two others had over 2/3 saying "no", but the rest were not so high.

    Some numbers were questionable, such as a 99% "yes" vote in one Kurdish province, but experts have verified the results.

    So what happens now I wonder? Personally, I think the constitution will do nothing to settle the tensions there, especially considering how high the opposition is, even if they couldn't be bothered to vote. It will still take the removal of the occupying forces as well as a lot of time to settle the factions down on their own.

    With the constitution endorsed, a new Iraqi parliament can be elected as scheduled on Dec. 15.

    Sunday, October 23, 2005


    Stardate 4750.8

    Plays a short 2:30 minute collage of bad video and sound :D Two words: Freaking Awesome! For instant action, click the Priest Logo for a short 2:30 minute collage of little video clips. Low quality, and the sound is brutal, but you can see a bit of what went on, even the Harley coming out! It is about 10MB so be patient :) Remember, nothign fancy either...

    The concert as a whole was outstanding. I would guess at about 6500 in the 'Dome but they were loud and roudy as hell. I took 125 pictures and short vids (approx 10 to 15 seconds only) but of course, most pictures were blurry and the videos weren't great. The show was simply too loud for the puny little microphone on my digital camera. However, you can get an approximation of what it was like perhaps :D

    The concert began on time and Anthrax was out first. They played for an hour and their set was awesome. Scott Ian must have a very thick neck. He stomped around headbanging for almost the entire show. Sounded great though. I really like "Medusa" and "I am the Law". Their stage was a lot smaller than when Priest came out. Their set list is as follows:

    • Among the Living
    • Got the Time
    • Caught in a Mosh
    • Madhouse
    • Antisocial
    • NFL
    • Indians
    • Medusa
    • I am the Law

    I know, I know... CALL FOR THE PRIEST!

    The lights went down, and a huge eye slowly lit up behind the stage. A red beam shot out, dancing wildly about the crowd. The opening riff of "The Hellion" blared out of the banks of speakers, and KK, Glenn and Ian came onstage. They jumped right into "Electric Eye" and right on cue, out of the center of the eye came Rob. It was really cool!

    They went right into "Metal Gods" and "Riding on the Wind" before hitting on "A Touch of Evil" from the Painkiller album. Rob nailed the high end in that song especially, and though he wasn't as animated as before, he could still belt out some screams like you wouldn't believe!

    Then the backdrop switched to the Angel of Retribution, and with Rob up behind the drums, flames licking the darkness before him, the band played "Judas Rising" off the new album. Scott Travis was amazing. I spent a lot of time watching him, and he NEVER missed a beat. The double bass lines were blistering and I would love to see him play with his other band, Racer X. The next song was "Revolution", also from the new album, and Rob walked both gangways, waving the "Revolution" flags and placing them at each end. It was kind of neat but that is really the only song on the new album I am not super fond of.

    They played "I'm a Rocker" from the Ram It Down album and then the classic "Breaking the Law". After that though, the acoustic guitars came out, and I was expecting "Angel" but it was an amazing rendition of "Diamonds and Rust". This was one of the highlights for me I think. Super cool job there, and the "performance" from Scott Travis was great!

    When that was over, they played "Worth Fighting For" from the new album which was also really good. The biggest highlight came after that though, when a gigantic disco ball lit up above the stage, and KK started the first chords of "Beyond the Realms of Death". They nailed the song, and Glenn's solo in the middle was freaking awesome live. This was my absolute favorite part of the show.

    "Turbo Lover" was next, followed by the new "Hellrider". This was also a highlight for me, and features some pretty damn fast bass drumming from Scott Travis. "Hellrider" is probably my favorite song on the new album, so it was awesome to see and hear it live. After this, they did the classic "Victim of Changes" from the Sad Wings of Destiny album. Another great moment in the concert as well. More brilliant drumming from Scott Travis, and in the middle of this one, Glenn did a long bit with the crowd before finishing the song off. After that, one of my favorite songs began with more killer drumming, "Painkiller". Definately another highlight of the show.

    After "Painkiller", the band left but within minutes, the snarl of the Harley could be heard, and out rode Rob before the first chords of "Hell Bent for Leather" hit us. Make sure to watch the video clips I have to see the Harley come out. Rob looked like a metal Angel in all his glitter, and they continued on with "Living After Midnight" and finally "You've Got Another Thing Comin". The whole set was probably 2 hours long, and made a hell of a show.

    The only thing I missed that they didn't play was "Exciter" and something from Defenders of the Faith. I thought it was a bit odd that they didn't play "The Sentinal" or "Freewheel Burning".

    Scott Travis had some cool strobe lights on his drums, that would set off when he played certain things. It was really mesmerising from where we were sitting. He is easily my favorite drummer.

    The crowd was really good too. Very loud, and apart from the drunk guy just down from us that screams in half of my video clips, it was great! It felt strange seeing so many young folks there as well as the expected rockers from old. I was impressed to see such enthusiasm at any rate.

    I was amazed by the power and stagemanship considering how old these guys really are. They truly are the "METAL GODS"

    Be sure to check out Darcey's pics over at Dust My Broom...

    The band also has soem great pics up from the Edmonton concert in their Tour Board topic...

    Friday, October 21, 2005

    Heading Out to the Highway

    Stardate 4739.0

    Cu tomorrow!!!

    When the Night Comes Down

    Stardate 4737.8

    Tonight is the Priest show. I am stoked. Can't wait. I am currently anticipating the opening of the Saddledome in Calgary, so I can call about cameras. Geez, it has been 13 years since I saw Priest on their last tour... Anthrax is gonna be awesome as an opening act, but the volume will really come on when The Hellion kicks in...

    *** UPDATED ***

    Non-Professional grade cameras are ok so expect LOADS of pics over the weekend :)

    Speaking of seeing concerts, check out the new poll (ignore formatting sillyness)...

    Have you ever seen Judas Priest Live?
    More than once
    Other Metal acts but not Priest
    Not a Metalhead

    Movie Trivia Help...

    Stardate 4738.1

    A friend of mine has been diligently working on a contest where you have to name the movie based on a picture with the faces and arms etc. all removed. The last picture is a real stumper though.
    If you know what movie this is, please comment away!!!

    Thursday, October 20, 2005

    Yoda Is the Greatest Jedi Ever

    Stardate 4735.6

    The results of the poll about the Greatest Jedi are in. Yoda took the easy lead with 34% of the votes. A big sensation seemed to be his skill with the lightsaber and his forgettable duel with Count Dooku. Of course, he was very wise, and his grasp of the force for manipulating objects was great.

    I was a little surprised that Luke beat out Obi-Wan who was teature to both generations of Skywalkers... Though I picked Anakin, I think in hindsight, Obi-Wan was the most experienced and trusted, and was the epitamy of the Jedi.

    Religious Desecration of Bodies Latest US Tactic?

    Stardate 4733.2

    CTV - US troops "burned" Taliban bodies: report

    A freelance journalist embedded with the 173rd Airborne Brigade of the US Army, Stephen Dupont, has taken video footage reportedly showing US soldiers burning the bodies of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

    The Afghan government fears an increase in anti-American sentiment and demanded that those responsible be punished. The US military found the claim "repugnant" and vowed to investigate the the report as it was broadcast on Australian television.

    According to Dupont, the soldiers burned the bodies for health reasons, though everyone knew that the act would be perceived as desecration. Islamic tradition dictates that the bodies of the dead must be washed, wrapped in white cloth, prayed over and buried within 24 hours of death. Cremation is not an option.

    Dupont seems to think the burning of the Taliban soldiers facing west was a psychological attempt to incite attacks from the Taliban. "That's the only way they can find them."

    You can watch the video here...

    As sickening as suicide bombings are, and attacks on innocent civilians, these tactics are no better. The US is using psychological terrorism to combat physical terrorism. I suppose they are all one in the same really, but this sort of thing rates up there with the acceptance of torture as a means of extracting information. We must be careful as to not become the enemy with our tactics, though perhaps it is far too late for that already...

    Birthday Shout - Out

    Stardate 4732.8

    I am pleased to announce that today is the birthday of one of my most prolific and esteemed commenters.

    Stokedsurfer celebrates his birthday today!

    He has been very busy of late and hopefully he will return to his regular posting of well thought out, interesting and informative dialogue! Indeed, the day I found out his true identity was something else. For the longest time I hadn't a clue but to my honest surprise, it was someone I deal with on a daily basis! He's a super guy so give him a good Birthday wish :D

    Wednesday, October 19, 2005

    Saddam Pleads Not Guilty...

    Stardate 4728.9

    So he has pleaded not guilty to murder, torture, forced expulsion, and illegal imprisonment and now his case has been adjourned until November 28th.

    Since we are on the topic, why isn't Bush being charged with murder, torture and illegal imprisonment? If Hussein is responsible for what happened under his leadership, why not Bush?

    Tuck Tail and Run Cowards...

    Stardate 4728.7

    It's funny how some anonymous commenters think. They pop in, leave some stupid and baseless comment and are too chicken shit to leave their own e-mail or site. I imagine this happens to everyone at some point or other. It doesn't bother me in the slightest, either. I think my maturity level is obviously much higher...

    Just to set the record straight, I never edit comments unless they are too vulgar, and I only delete comments if they are rude and from anonymous posters.

    I just deleted this one today:
    You are an idiot. You give Canadians a bad name.

    Posted by an anonymous chicken shit who only left their IP address for me. I do think it is quite funny though. I mean there is no basis for the comments just pure abuse. Why am I an idiot? Because I want to mutilate a stupid doll as a Halloween prop? Because I like Montreal? Because I hate George Bush? Who knows. Why am I giving Canadians a bad name? Because I want to mutilate a stupid doll as a Halloween prop? Because I like Montreal? Because I hate George Bush? Again, no clue. This guy's IP shows he lives in Wisconsin I believe.

    Everyone is allowed an opinion, and that is fine. If you want it taken seriously, better put some facts on the table and perhaps leave your name you spineless jellyfish.

    The Evil Doll from Hell

    Stardate 4727.9

    Okay, it's not Chucky. But it could be :) and it isn't my doll yet...

    At any rate, we are hosting a small but fun Halloween bash in just over a week that is really sort of our son's birthday party. Now he and all his friends are in the 12 to 14 age group, so it isn't like they are little kids anymore. My wife is planning almost everything, but I wanted her to get a doll for me so that I could, erm, you know, do some nasty things to it for display purposes... perhaps some pins, gore, a lost eye... I was always partial to having the mouth sown shut.

    So she didn't want to even buy a dol from the second hand store for me, because she kept thinking about what I wanted to do to it. Now it is all for fun of course, so in the end she bought me a doll for something like $1. It is quite a nice doll, with lovely blue eyes and all that. So now, she doesn't want me to do anything to it, because it is so cute. Of course, I will anyways.

    It began with the idea of having a knife in it's forehead, but maybe that is too cliche. Perhaps sowing the lips shut, losing an eye, and then applying lots of gore woul dbe a way to go. Not sure yet. The head is really tough plastic, so it will be hard going no matter what...

    Damn, I'm feeling dark today :) Must be those evil heavy metal guys I'm seeing in two days influencing me with their backwards satanic lyrics...

    Tuesday, October 18, 2005

    Habs Win First Home Game

    Stardate 4725.4

    The Habs finally win at home, after two prior losses. In a hard fought come-from-behind victory, Montreal beat Boston 4-3 tonight. Brian Leetch became only the 7th defenceman to reach the 1000 point milestone tonight in Boston's losing effort.
    Montreal's record is now 5 and 2.

    FEMA in Chaos After Katrina

    Stardate 4724.0

    CTV - Leaked FEMA memos expose chaos after Katrina

    Several e-mails obtained by Associated Press reveal infighting and bureaucratic chaos at the heart of FEMA. Apparently, they were struggling to find food, water, ice and even body bags in the days following the disaster. They even seemed more worried about the media and blaming local officials than doing their job.

    Some memos show that Michael (heck of a job Brownie) Brown was even unaware that the agency was evacuating hurricane victims. The guy was an incompetent oaf appointed by Bush and it goes to show what will happen with the rest of Bush's awesome nominees. Check out some of the excerpts from e-mails...

    Five days after the storm, Brown wrote an e-mail asking why there had been "no action" from FEMA to evacuate storm victims using planes provided by airlines.

    FEMA deputy operations director Michael Lowder replied less than 30 minutes later to say that that was "flat wrong."

    "We have been flying planes all afternoon and evening," he wrote.

    Geez. Heck of a friggin job Brownie. Perhaps Lowder should have been the Chief.

    Carve This... Virtual Pumpkins

    Stardate 4723.1

    I was browsing through some sites I like, and came across this post on DetroitWonk.

    It leads to the Virtual Pumpkin Carving Simulator :) My first go came up with a simple demonic pumpkin...

    Mine doesn't flicker like the animation when you are finished, but hey :D

    Clinton on Fair Trade

    Stardate 4722.7

    CTV - Clinton is sympathetic with Canadians on trade...

    Every day, the US seems to redefine what "Free Trade" is all about. They take signed treaties like NAFTA and simply toss them out the window when the ruling goes against them. Well this is nothing new. The UN says one thing, and the US does another. It's typical.

    However, we have a new ally it would seem, in former US President, Bill Clinton. He seems to think that the softwood lumber dispute is only the start of what could be a continuing trade battle between our two nations.
    "In view of the American position, I don't see how your Prime Minister can be anything but really publicly very tough on this. I don't think he's got an option..."

    Yes, no doubt. The economic giant to the south of our great unprotected frontier will undoubtedly bully us into whatever agreement they see fit. Well maybe not. There are obviously other markets to open up, like China say. Now that would probably put a little spark under the US' Free Trade position... China.

    Martin has been doing his job though. Last week, he told George Bush on the phone that he would continue the battle in courts, and in a recent speech in New York, he attacked the US position on the trade feud.

    In the softwood dispute alone, thousands of jobs have vanished as a result, and billions of dollars in revenue. However, will it end there?

    Stay tuned for some interesting ideas on how "futures speculation" is driving the price of oil through the roof, and how Mister Bush won't do anything to stop it...

    Monday, October 17, 2005

    Rambo vs. Rocky: The Sly Comeback

    Stardate 4719.3

    It's official. Sylvestor Stallone, who happens to be 59 now, is in the pre-production stages of both Rocky 6 and Rambo 4. Now don't get me wrong... the first few Rocky movies weren't too bad, and I really enjoyed Rambo 1 and 2. That being said, is there room for a 59 year old actor to play the lead in such movies? I mean Rocky could be a believable story, what withthe retired boxer taking on a few low-profile bouts for whatever reason, but as the article goes on, it would appear that he wins, and keeps winning, and the media craze takes it from there. So by the end, he will undoubtedly be fighting Vin Diesel for the World Uber Heavyweight Belt... Come on. Then there is Rambo 4. Fighting terrorists in Afghanistan? Right. Why would they send such a grizzled veteran in on another one-man mission? They couldn't find someone younger? and taller?

    I guess only time will tell. Sly doesn't look to be in too bad a shape for a guy pushing 60. And it is infinately better than him taking on say, politics :D

    The Sneeze of Doom


    Why is it that everything was fine all weekend and all morning and I have felt pretty darned good, physically at least, for some time. Then halfway through the morning, I was overcome with a fit of sneezing and suddenly I have a runny nose, sore throat, watery eyes and by lunch, I am sure it will be much worse...

    Of course, it is only 4 days until the concert.

    Slaughterhouse Strikers Going Too Far

    Stardate 4718.0

    CBC - Pickets vow to keep workers from Alberta slaughterhouse

    Unions had their purposes way back when. Nowadays however, I feel more and more that Unions are far worse than good. Every year, the Canadian Auto Workers "randomly" pick which big producer they will take on. There is a strike... then next thing, costs go up again. Costs for everyone, not just the consumer.

    I worked in a production plant that was non-union, and our production was just as high as a union-plant or even higher. But we got paid a hell of a lot less. Now, workers at the Lakeside Packers plant in Brooks are striking. But it isn't just a peaceful picket line. Some of the strikers are risking jail time because they will not limit their picket activities as ordered by the courts.

    In fact, two plant managers were charged on the weekend following an incident where a union leader wsa injured. There are other reports of violence as well. The US based company that owns the plant is going to send in 1000 workers who are willing to cross the picket line, according to reports... and that should spark even more violence.

    My thoughts are that unions are inefficient. If I owned a company, there would be no unions. These people should be replaced with people that want jobs and are willing to work. I can understand the logic behind having a system where there is a lookout for the mistreatment of employees, but Unions are no longer the answer. There are plenty of modern day checks already in place, including provincial and federal regulations so Unions quickly become redundant. Where I work now, there is no Union. If we walked out, we would be fired and there would be a TON of people sparring for our positions.

    Strikers get no sympathy from me. NHL players, car makers or meat packers... go do your damned job. If it is that bad, work somewhere else.

    *** UPDATED ***

    To further this we can see how the Unions are getting out of control. Teachers in BC are on strike, and now the transit union in Victoria, which is totally unrelated to the Teacher's union, is walking off the job to support the teachers. It is bullshit and has to end. Nobody will ever walk off the job to support normal people out of work for legit reasons.

    Friday, October 14, 2005

    Judas Rising

    Stardate 4703.2

    The 2005 Tour

    Angel of Retribution Tour 2005

    It is but one week until the Priest concert in Calgary. For me, the buildup for this show has been much more than the month or so since tickets went on sale. I last saw the Priest in 1992 on the Painkiller tour, and I was easily blown away by the power, stage show and overall performance of the band. When Halford split, I was really torn on what to think, and I did enjoy the Ripper albums but they just weren't the same. The saving grace of course, is Scott Travis' drumming. He is technically a perfect drummer, and his live playing is so keyed-in I am sure this show will be even better.

    Rob Halford on the Classic HarleyHaving Halford back is key though. The guy can sing with range and power like no other in the genre, and even now, as the years get on, his vocals are as strong as ever. On the Painkiller tour, the show began with lights, smoke and Scott Travis. Then the twin guitar assault of KK Downing and Glenn Tipton, followed by the front of the stage opening up to reveal a leather-clad Halford on his Harley. The first song was, of course, "Hell Bent For Leather", and the rest was history. I am prepared for a good 2 hour show full of many classics as well as new material from the Angel of Retribution album.

    Glenn TiptonThe guitar duo of KK and Glenn has been the driving force influencing many bands like Slayer. The effortless playing of both guys is amazing to hear and see, and some high points in their music are shown in songs like "The Sentinal" where they trade off lead breaks and play so well on each other. Older material really showcases the styles of the two players, especially on such classic songs as "Diamonds and Rust" and "Exciter"... At any rate, the tower of sound created by these two is perfect in synchronicity and will likely be as stunning as Travis' drumming.

    At last word, the playlist is quite long and includes many songs from their 30 year career. I am not sure if it is the same for the whole tour, but it looks somethign like this:

    • K.K. DowningHellion/Electric Eye
    • Metal Gods
    • Riding on the Wind
    • A Touch of Evil
    • Judas Rising
    • Revolution
    • Breaking the Law
    • I'm a Rocker
    • Diamonds and Rust
    • Deal With the Devil
    • Beyond the Realms of Death
    • Turbo Lover
    • Hellrider
    • Victim of Changes
    • Exciter
    • Painkiller
    • Hell Bent for Leather
    • Living After Midnight
    • You've Got Another Thing Comin'

    I am specifically looking forward to the faster stuff, like "Painkiller", "Hellrider" and "Exciter", but most of all, I am waiting for "Beyond the Realms of Death".

    For any info on tour dates, albums or just fun band stuff, be sure to check out the Official Judas Priest site.

    Thursday, October 13, 2005

    Ruling With the Iron Fist of Hypocrisy

    Stardate 4697.8

    Bush picked Miers for two astonishingly impressive reasons. You may ask, perhaps it is her vast knowledge and experience with the posting she has been nominated for? Nope. Not it at all. Perhaps it is because she is the biggest Texas Rangers fan out there? Nope, as silly as that sounds however, it is much closer to the truth than the former statement. In fact, she has been nominated because of her close family bond with Georgie and her "religion is such a big part of her life". It seems to me that many of the people Georgie has been running around picking are not qualified for their positions at all. But they have some very common ideolgy that frankly should be kept out of ruling the most powerful western nation on the planet.

    How can a group of people as devout religiously as half of the Bush administration and their cronies, be so dead set against abortion and yet they will not stand up to the mistreatment of prisoners? The destruction of an undeveloped foetus is obviously much more wrong than the inhumane treatment and TORTURE of living human beings. The Bush administration has recently said they are opposed to the Bill that outlines the stop of inhumane treatment of detainees... go figure.

    Shouldn't the courts and laws of a land be based upon Social issues? As it stands now, what with the way the Supreme Court is being stacked now, that the laws will soon be based upon religious conviction. Don't get me wrong (as so many do when they read part of my post and do not understand my own beliefs), I have no problems with people being religious or having strong convictions about what they believe in. However, religion is a personal experience above all else. By placing people in positions to decide the Land's laws based upon their RELIGIOUS RESUME instead of their experience is preposterous.

    Of course, God probably told George to nominate Mrs. Miers and who can argue with God?

    Wednesday, October 12, 2005

    Danis Shuts Out Thrashers...

    Stardate 4695.7

    In his NHL debut, the Montreal netminder Yann Danis shut down the mighty Atlanta scoring machine, stopping 32 shots in a 2-0 victory. Atlanta had scored 15 goals in 3 games prior to tonight's game without the aid of Ilya Kovalchuk, who was stopped on all 5 shots tonight. Apparently, the salary madness never ends. Kovalchuk just finished signing a 5 year, $32 million deal last weekend.

    The win tonight gives Montreal a 4 and 1 record, with all 4 wins coming on the road. They lost their season home opener last night to the Sens.

    The Greatest Jedi of Them All

    Stardate 4692.9

    The story of the Jedi order has been going on since the early days. It was in 1977 that I first heard "he was a Jedi, like your father...". The Jedi were pure, selfless, honest and the best warriors in the galaxy. The shape and image of Jedi throughout the various movies has changed and we have seen more and more characters develop who follow this path in the shows. But who was the best out of the most popular ones?

    Anakin Skywalker

    In the beginning, Anakin was very young when Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan found him. He was already a formidable pilot and mechanic, and through the close training of Obi-Wan, he became arguably, the most powerful of the Jedi. However, the Council did not trust him and never granted him Jedi Master status. Partly because of this, and his yearning for personal glory and perfection, he was turned to the dark side of the force by Palpatine and became Darth Vader....

    Obi-Wan Kenobi

    Obi-Wan was taught by Qui-Gon and went on to teach both Anakin and Luke Skywalker the ways of the Force. His skill in combat and with the Force was only equaled by his thinking and common sense. He battled against many Sith Lords, including Darth Maul, Count Dooku and General Grievous. He eventually gave himself up to Darth Vader, his old pupil, in order to convince Luke to continue his training...


    Yoda made up for his small stature with immense control over the Force. He was an excellent swordsman, but his mastery of levitation and the control of inanimate objects was legendary. He was the wisest of the Jedi, and battled long against the evil Emperor Palpatine before going into hiding on Dagobah after the Jedi council was destroyed by Vader. He completed Luke's training on Dagobah, where he died peacefully at a very old age.

    Luke Skywalker

    An impetuous farm boy, Luke was taken in by Obi-Wan after his Aunt and Uncle were killed by Imperial Forces. Only Obi-Wan knew that Vader was Luke's father. Luke was responsible for the destruction of the original Death Star. He began his training with Obi-Wan, and after getting instruction from Yoda, was almost killed by Darth Vader after confronting him too soon in his training. He later finished his mastery of the Force and went on to face Vader again, this time helping defeat the evil Emperor and turning Vader back to the good side of the Force.

    Qui-Gon Jinn

    Qui-Gon was Obi-Wan's master, and another of the most powerful Jedi. Qui-Gon was different from most Jedi Masters in that he relied heavily on his instincts as opposed to thinking things out. He and Obi-Wan battled long against Darth Maul, and eventually, the Sith Lord overcame him and slew him. Qui-Gon was formidable but never gained elevation to the Jedi Council.

    Mace Windu

    Mace Windu was one of the senior members of the esteemed Jedi Council. He had immense Wisdom, and was the mastermind behind many of the Jedi's missions. He was a great diplomat, and would rather negotiate than use force in almost every situation. When he found out that Palpatine was the evil Sith Lord Darth Sidious, he went to arrest him, and would have defeated him if Anakin had not betrayed him. He was slain by the Emperor after Anakin disarmed him...

    Obviously, there are many other Jedi out there, but I feel these are the main characters from the movie.

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