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    Monday, July 31, 2006

    No Stop to Aerial Death

    Stardate 6153.66

    I wonder how H-Dawg feels about even more "measured response" in Israel's bid to defend itself against civilian children. On sunday, an attack on the village of Qana in southern Lebanon left 54 civilians dead, including 37 children. Anyone who defends the aerial bombardment of civilian children for ANY reason has some issues they seriously have to work out.

    There was a glimmer of hope as Israel stated they would stop bombing civilians for 48 hours so that aid and relief workers could get into the country, and they could investigate why they keep killing innocent civilians with their laser guided, bunker busting, precision children killing missiles that were made in the US of A. Of course, that has since fallen through now, as Israel says it will continue to fight, and continue air strikes against Hezbollah and other civilian targets.

    Of course, after the brutal murder of said 54 civilians, Hezbollah responded by launching even more rockets than ever before into Israel wounding 11 people.

    I can't wait for the crazy people to come out with images of rockets being launched from the middle of town where undoubtedly, innocent children help load the rockets for the terrorists.

    I can't wait for the crazy people to tell me that it is A-OK for Israel to keep on killing civilians and razing Lebanon to the ground.

    I am still waiting for any form of response to my letter to Prime Minister Steve "measured response" Harper and my own MP, Blaine Calkins from Wetaskiwin Alberta. Of course every time I write to Calkins, I never get a response anyhow.

    Iraq War: $300 Billion and counting

    Stardate 6153.12

    I just noticed my ticker has surpassed the $300 billion mark for the cost of the war in Iraq. Of course, this doesn't even come close to the HUMAN toll.

    Into the Storm

    Stardate 6152.92

    "We are following the Will of the One
    Through the Dark Age and Into the Storm"

    -Blind Guardian

    Sunday afternoon was dark and foreboding. The sky hinted at impending doom, but bravely, we set out upon our quest to cross leagues of countryside. The heavens were rent asunder, and rain fell at a torrid pace. Almost halfway into the journey we had made, hail the size of marbles fell from the sky, threatening to smash all in it's path. Other brave travellers pulled to the side of the trail, hoping for a brief respite in the brutal wrath of nature. When she had finished her tirade, the trail and countryside looked as if it was buried in a sea of white. A storm of such anger had not been seen for some time now, and I wonder if indeed, our fragile environs are forever changing...

    Friday, July 28, 2006

    Blog of the Week - Full Metal Photographer

    Stardate 6138.92

    As part of the BlogExplosion community, we can share a space of our blog to advertise other members' sites. This week, I have featured a photo blog with some really cool work.


    This is a photoblog by a University of Nebraska law student, including both digital and film photography. Some stunning work so stop by and check it out by clicking the above link, or the Featured blog image in the sidebar! It is the second time he has been my Blog of the Week so be sure to see what is new!

    Thunder and Lightning

    Stardate 6137.75

    What a deluge last night! I don't know the amount, but after watching a lightning show and listening to the low murmuring of distant thunder for over a half hour, I fell asleep only to be awoken by the sound of the heavens being split asunder. We had to get up and close windows as the downpour came. It was rather violent and hopefully, nobody was caught out at that late hour in the storm.

    The storm was good however, as the heat and dry has been terrible for lawns, gardens and crops. Still overcast today, so hopefully we get a bit more rain before the weekend.

    Thursday, July 27, 2006

    Dear Mr. Harper

    Stardate 6133.99

    I wrote a mail to the PMO this morning. I haven't done something like this since I joined the group opposing Alberto (I love torture) Gonzales for Attorney General in the US. At any rate, here it is, and in hindsight, I should have probably spell and grammar checked it before hitting send, but I was a little angry and frustrated at the time.

    Stand up for Canadians

    Mister Prime Minister… in light of the recent “measured” attack on the UN observation outpost in Lebanon resulting in the death of one of our brave soldiers, namely Major Paeta “Wolf” Hess-von Kruedener, do you think it is time to STAND UP FOR CANADA and be outraged with the brutal and calculated aggression from Israel instead of supporting them? Obviously, the death of civilians in Lebanon (including the 7 killed earlier by Israeli bombardment) isn’t enough to make you oppose them, and somehow, I doubt you have the tenacity to do it now. Instead, you besmirch this brave soldier by saying that the UN observers should have quit doing what they are supposed to do and fled from the onslaught of Israeli bombs.

    I am disgusted.

    I think even though certain bits are not well edited (like the reference to 7 civilians) he should understanf the general idea. Somehow though, I doubt he will ever read it, and I will only get some form of auto-response back, if anything at all.

    Blind Faith

    Stardate 6132.67

    Stephen Harper's lack of ability to maintain any sort of classical diplomatic stance when it comes to foreign affairs like the current Middle East crisis is almost embarassing. He is ready to blame everyone for everything, except Israel. In fact, he goes so far as to actually blame the UN for leaving the Observation post manned while the crisis is going on! Well gee whiz, I think *that* is exactly why they are there!
    "We want to find out why this United Nations post was attacked and also why it remained manned during what is now, more or less, a war during obvious danger to these individuals," said Harper.
    He also did not condemn Israel's show of force.
    "I think this event is obviously a terrible tragedy," he said. "But that doesn't change the right of a country to defend itself against terrorists and violent attacks."
    The unwarranted attacks on the UN outpost came after at least 10 calls were made to Israeli troops, pleading for them to stop bombing the well-marked Observation compound. One Canadian is feared dead and 3 others are confirmed. The Canadian, Major Paeta "Wolf" Hess-von Kruedener loved his work according to friends and family, and Harper blaming the UN for not pulling their men out is a slap in the face of Wolf's family and peers.

    In other statements, harper says he doubts they attacked the base on purpose since they are cooperating with Canada in our evacuation efforts. Wow. Like the Israelis knew we had a guy at the Observation post. This just stinks. Excessive force, civilian targets, UN bases. This has got to stop, and our leadership has to see this for what it really is, and it sure as hell isn't defense.

    Next time one of our soldiers dies in Afghanistan, remind me to ask H-Dawg why our troops haven't been pulled out, since the region is obviously in a state of "pretty much war".

    As an aside, a poll on CTV suggests that 59% of voters believe the attack was intentional.

    Wednesday, July 26, 2006

    Soldiers captured in Israel or Lebanon?

    Stardate 6129.12

    As we are all aware, they say this entire war was started when Hezbollah led a raid into Israel, and after a firefight, captured two Israeli soldiers and retreated back into Lebanon. However, there may be more to this story than first meets the eye. Joshua Frank from has a different take on things... Please read the article before commenting.

    Kidnapped in Israel or Captured in Lebanon?
    Official justification for Israel's invasion on thin ice

    The original story, as most media tell it, goes something like this: Hezbollah attacked an Israeli border patrol station, killing six and taking two soldiers hostage. The incident happened on the Lebanese/Israel border in Israeli territory. The alternate version, as explained by several news outlets, tells a bit of a different tale: These sources contend that Israel sent a commando force into southern Lebanon and was subsequently attacked by Hezbollah near the village of Aitaa al-Chaab, well inside Lebanon's southern territory. It was at this point that an Israel tank was struck by Hezbollah fighters, which resulted in the capture of two Israeli soldiers and the death of six.
    There are several news stories that point along these lines, including this one from the Associated Press on July 12th:

    The militant group Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes Wednesday across the border in southern Lebanon, prompting a swift reaction from
    Israel, which sent ground forces into its neighbor to look for them.

    The forces were trying to keep the soldiers' captors from moving them deeper into Lebanon, Israeli government officials said on condition of anonymity.

    The Israeli military would not confirm the report.

    There are more sources in the article as well. This is a very interesting development, and if proven to be true, it could sway public opinion away from any belief in the validity of the Israeli response that many people including myself is way out of line.

    h/t to Matthew Good for this and his ongoing concern for the innocent civilians caught in the fighting.

    Ceasefire? Why bother....

    Stardate 6127.72

    Even after Israel targeted and bombed the UN post killing 4 UN observers including a Canadian, the US still maintains that a ceasefire is useless, since they are always broken. Shit, I get that kind of logic from children all the time. "Why make my bed, I'm goign to sleep in it tonight anyhow?" The image is from Beezer's blog...

    Tuesday, July 25, 2006

    Israel Strikes UN base

    Stardate 6124.29

    Here's some more "measured response" for you H-Dawg...

    Casualties reported in Israeli strike at U.N. base

    BEIRUT, Lebanon - A U.N. observer post was hit by an Israeli airstrike in south Lebanon on Tuesday, causing casualties, a U.N. spokesman said. He could not specify how many or their condition.
    A bomb directly hit the building and shelter of an Indian patrol base from the observer force in the town of Khiyam near the eastern end of the border with Israel, said Milos Struger, spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon known as UNIFIL.
    Apparently, the attacks continued, even while they were mounting the rescue operation at the base.

    And they keep telling me that an immediate ceasefire would not solve anything.

    Standard orbit Mr Scott

    Stardate 6122.70

    On October 21st, the ashes of Canadian born actor James Doohan will be launched into orbit, along with the remains of the former astronaut Gordo Cooper by a company called Space Services Inc. In 1997, the company began it's unique business by launching the remains of Gene Roddenberry and Timothy Leary into space.

    Jimmy Doohan passed away on July 20th last year.

    Monday, July 24, 2006

    Tubing away your cares

    Stardate 6118.63

    What an awesome weekend. I was home alone all day on saturday and apart from blowing several hours trying to clean some malicious software from my computer, I had some good quiet time. Played some games, watched the Jays lose to the Yanks, played some music, and had a fire.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    The highlight of the weekend was sunday however, when we went tubing down the Red Deer river with some friends. There were three of us, and three others, so we had about 5 various floatation devices strung together in a rag-tag chain as we set off. I think we left 3 Mile Bend in Red Deer around 11am and we finished the day at Burbank just east of Blackfalds at about 7pm. It was very relaxing, and almost surreal when you consider the normal daily grind, and events in the world... All of that was forgotten. Sadly, we ran out of beer very early on, butthen this was probably good, as a thunderstorm moved in later in the afternoon. The rain was so bad that we had to pull over to a gravel bar and shield ourselves for about 10 minutes. It was a pretty chilly few hours left before we finished the trip.

    Really fun though, and the various stages of the trip were really nice. Some long smooth areas, and some fun little rapids too. We saw a lot of birds, especially hawks and pelicans. All in all, we spent over 8 hours floating along, enjoying the quiet and the sunshine (except the storm).

    Friday, July 21, 2006

    Rice opposes cease fire

    Stardate 6103.85

    "Outrageous provocation" is what Condoleeza Rice accuses Hezbollah of. Sure, the capture of the two soldiers was a dumb move, though likely it was to exchange for other prisoners in Israel... How about the "Outrageous response" from Israel? How many civilians more will have to die in Stephen Harper's "measured response"? Maybe he and Rice will be happier when Lebanon is a glass sheet?

    Rice goes on to say that an immediate ceasefire is not a good thing, as it will be a "false promise" of mideast peace. WHAT? So let's let Israel keep bombing civilians and destroying everything. Let's let Hezbollah keep firing rockets into Israel. Great plan there... The important thing is to get both sides to stop shooting each other up, and to stop levelling Lebanon and killing civilians. Soon, Israel will invade, then the Lebanese army will have to defend their country...

    So an immediate end to hostilities is bad news. REAL FRIGGIN GOOD FOREIGN POLICY THERE. I am sure the half million Lebanese people who have fled the smoking remains of their homes agree.

    Who's fault is it anyways?

    Stardate 6102.72

    We can all speculate who is mainly responsible, and what sparked off the latest hostilities and conflict in the Middle East. Many people maintain that it is Syrian and Iranian influence against Israel, while others say that the Israelis are pawns of the United Stated. Maybe a few actually believe the Lebanese people themselves are responsible. At any rate, one thing is certain. Both sides at present are not willing to back down, and in fact, the Lebanese government has stated that they will defend their border against invasion. Perhaps Israel and Hezbollah are simply pawns in the continuing game played between the US and Iran. At present, I believe the Lebanese people are innocent and victims of a relentless and inhumane attack by Israel, though a solution to rid the country of Hezbollah and stop this ridiculous assault on Lebanese civilians is elusive at best. So far, 312 Lebanese, mostly civilians have died and 32 Israelis, mainly military have perished in the conflict. Over half a million Lebanese havebeen forced to flee their homes due to the assault.

    What do you think? Who is the MAIN party responsible for the escalation of the conflict in the Middle East? Vote here or on the poll in the sidebar on the main page.

    Who is the main cause of the current Middle East Crisis?
    Iran and Syria
    United States
    All of them
    None of them

    Thursday, July 20, 2006


    Stardate 6099.30

    I think that most people can agree that Hezbollah is bad news. Where we tend to disagree isn't even who to blame here, but perhaps the method Israel is using in their attempt to eliminate Hezbollah. The aerial bombing campaign in all outward appearances, seems more like it is punishing (and killing) the Lebanese people, most of whom hate Hezbollah as much as Israel. Civilians are dying all over, and any remnants of infrastructure are all but levelled.

    In my opinion, this is a brutal aggressive move by Israel, and it should be condemned by our government as well as the international community. When I read about a possible full-scale invasion, it seemed almost like good news in a bizarre way. Good news in the sense that the bombardment of the country will likely cease. Sadly, I wonder if eliminating Hezbollah with ground forces is really what the IDF has in mind... after all, the finishing move to any invasion tends to be occupation.

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006

    From Israel, and Daniele

    Stardate 6093.71

    It has been difficult finding pictures in the media of the destruction in Israel that comes close to what is happening on the other side. There are many pics of destroyed buildings and homes in Gaza, and Lebanon of course. This is a picture of a building after a Hezbollah rocket hit. It is obviously hard to compare this sort of damage and cost in life when you see what Israel has done to Lebanon so far. 300 dead, thousands injured and a half million people forced to flee their homes. There are other human stakes involved of course...

    These pictures are all over now, and they make me sick. No more sick than any other children in any other country doing similar things... however, this is the side that many people are so quick to jump on board with.

    This may seem innocent at first glance, but really, I cannot believe that children in other places are brought up with so much hatred. Whether they are Israeli, Lebanese, Palestinian... it doesn't matter. It simply is not right.

    UPDATE: There seems to be a lot of ideas coming out about who is responsible for these images of the children. Many say it was the photographers but others say it was their parents that encouraged the kids to doodle and write on these shells. Apparently, many of the parents themselves wrote the messages seen. Either way, these kids are being exploited by the media and exposed to things they simply should not be exposed to.

    Blog of the Week - The Heathlander

    Stardate 6092.69

    As a member of the BlogExplosion community, I can feature a blog each week to help generate traffic and readers, especially for like-minded blogs.

    The Heathlander

    This week, I have a new political blog featured called The Heathlander. A left-leaning British writer, Jamie has some very interesting points on the current crisis in the Middle East and much much more. He is a member of the Anti-Torture Blog group and is participating in the Bloggers against Torture "Blogathon 2006" campaign.

    "Honest, intelligent look at current affairs, foreign policy, politics and religion, with media analyses, debates and much other yummy stuff chucked in for good measure."

    Stop by and check out his stuff. Very good :D

    Tuesday, July 18, 2006

    Beirut this morning

    Stardate 6088.83

    This must have been a major Hezbollah stronghold... actually, it is a civilian populated suberb in Beirut, or what's left of it.

    This is actually where the stronghold is... oh wait. More suburbs...

    For a glimpse into what living here right now is like, check out Beezer's blog, Lebanonlive. Frankly, I could not image being woken by blasts and aftershocks... or not being able to even go outside for fear of getting killed. I pray that this will end soon, so that civilians on both sides will no longer be afraid to look outdoors.

    So far, at least 227 Lebanese civilians have been killed, including 8 Canadians from the Israeli air strikes, and 25 Israeli civilians have died from Hezbollah rockets.

    This is what Harper calls a "measured response" for Israeli self-defence.

    The War on Strays

    Stardate 6088.10

    There has been an escalation in the War on strays. No longer am I content with my latest plan to capture the feline rascals and mail them off to Steve Harper and his Foster family for cats... Simply put, their latest attack has put me over the edge, and military intervention is the ultimate and final solution.

    Saturday was my wife's birthday BBQ which was a smashing success. I know it was because she had fun, and I had a radiation surge goign on inside my head all day sunday. She was awoken at some time after 3 am (I don't know because I was out cold by then) to the sound of wild animals scrapping. We actually have several chipmunks that run around our back yard and the neighbourhood, and they are both fun and pleasant to have around, but this sounded bad.

    Sunday morning, I woke with a pounding headache and listened to her talking on the phone about the chipmunk dying on our back pad. Eventually, with a maximum effort, I got out of bed, made a coffee and decided something had to be done about this. The chipmunk was lying in the sun, to all outward appearances, he seemed dead as a doorknob. The eery thing was his lack of hair except around his head and feet. He had a badly mauled leg and puncture wounds all over his hairless body. However, he was not dead yet...

    I didn't relish the thought of having to put Ralf (his name) out of his misery, but I couldn't handle watching him try to raise his head and squeak. I got a spade from the shed and after a quick prayer, I whacked him on the head. Of course, he didn't die, but began writhing around a little. it took about 6 whacks before he finally stopped moving, and I felt like crap. After all, we have spent countless nights around our new fire and in the yard, with the chipmunks running along the fence and trees... chirping at us and squeaking away.

    I dug a hole in the back and buried Ralf. I vowed to deal with the cats, one way, or another. I now have a pellet gun.

    Monday, July 17, 2006

    Mideast Peace? I doubt it's that easy...

    Stardate 6083.60

    Israel has suggested a ceasefire if Hezbollah removes it's soldiers from the Lebanese border, and the two kidnapped Israelis are returned. Sounds good really, but then that's only if you believe that the continued intensive bombing of civilians is really about those men. In my opinion, they are deperately trying to convince everyone that Iran is behind it all (and likely, they are) in order to strike Iranian nuclear sites. Israel is giving up nothing in the deal, except that they will stop bombing. Hezbollah will not accept this.

    Considering how H-Dawg says that Israel is using a measured response to the kidnappings (again the elusive reason for the bombardment and violence), and Bush maintains Israel has the right to defend itself against terrorists as well as sellign Israel $210 million worth of Aviation fuel, it is hard to see Israel stopping short of whatever their actual long-term goal is. The jet fuel deal is really interesting, as the Pentagon has stated that "The jet fuel will be consumed while the aircraft is in use to keep peace and security in the region"...

    Peace and security? Measured responses? Civilians are getting killed at an alarming rate now. Even a Canadian family has been left in tatters after some of the latest Israeli bombardments. The family in montreal is pleading with Harper to do something, but we already know his stance...

    I can only hope that all sides involved will come to terms and declare a ceasefire, but then I do not believe this is about a couple of kidnapped soldiers either...

    Saturday, July 15, 2006

    From Space...

    Stardate Unknown

    The shuttle has undocked from the Space Station. I wonder what it feels like for them, up there, all alone, watching the shit hit the fan on Earth. What does it really look like? Scary I bet... this has escalated 100 fold since they left our beloved rock, and now they have to come home to it.

    I wonder what it looks like to hyper-advanced, pan-dimensional, inter-galactic beings that happen to be spying on us? Childish I bet. The ridiculous and petty squabbles of the insects inhabiting this insiginificant planet are really nothing more than childish fights. There are countless opinions on everything, reasons and rebuttals... but they all amount to a pile of crap when you really think about it. There is absolutely NO reason for any of the conflicts going on right now, apart from the fact that mankind isn't mature enough yet to put an end to it.

    When will mankind grow up and stop acting like greedy, spoiled idiots? I wish I was up there...

    Friday, July 14, 2006

    Steve "the Catman" Harper

    Stardate 6068.50

    Some time ago now, I reported some serious problems with stray cats in our neighborhood. There are, of course, many solutions, ranging from simply protecting your garden from cats with various well-known methods, to much more violent means, like shooting them with a pellet gun, or the nasty and evil anti-freeze method (which was later proven to me to NOT be the way to go). However, do to the silly cost that is incurred upon us for pretty much any method, we have done nothing as of yet. After all, they are not my cats, and I really do not see why I should fork out any cash to rid ourselves of the problem.

    However, after some very careful research, I have discovered that our glorious leader and saviour, one Steve "H-Dawg" Harper and his loving family, hold the key to my problem. As it turns out, Steve loves cats. He loves cats so much that he and his family often act as "foster parents" for the poor little critters that need special care and attention. I know this because it is brazenly plastered all over our government's new-style web page.

    If you have stray cat problems, or a family pet that needs special attention, I urge you to mail your cat(s) to Steve and his family, ensuring that they receive the love and care they so much need.

    Office of the Prime Minister
    80 Wellington Street
    K1A 0A2

    Be sure to leave small air holes in the packaging, so that your pet or strays can survive the average 10 week trip that Canada Post would send them on to get from anywhere in Canada to anywhere else in Canada. After all, we all want Steve to enjoy your pet or strays as much as possible. You may also wish to soak the inside packaging in chloroform to ensure there are no hassles with Postal workers and your package.

    So now, we know that Steve has a soft spot for pussy...

    Thursday, July 13, 2006

    Stop bombing civilians please

    Stardate 6063.26

    How many kids must a country bomb...
    Before they kill them all?

    The answer my friend... is blowin' in the wind.
    The answer is blowin' in the wind.

    I hate bringing up anything to do with Israel. There is one reason and one reason only, and that is that people begin calling you things for even mentioning that anything Israel does could actually in fact, be wrong. I am in no way racist, but it is a difficult subject to discuss without certain parties gettign their gander up. I have watched the news every morning now for a while, and the new spotlight is on Israel and their push into Gaza and now what seems to be a full blown invasion of Lebanon. All for a few kidnapped soldiers. Don't get me wrong, it sucks that these guys have been taken by various militant groups, but it seems that Israel is waging a bloody campaign of retribution that is leaving more than just a few dead soldiers lying around.

    I wonder where the international outrage is when it comes to the amount of civilians being killed by the intensive bombing campaign that has been ongoing for days now?

    Violent day leaves 24 Palestinians dead in Gaza
    In a major attack that marked a bloody day of conflict in the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces obliterated a home in a crowded Gaza City neighborhood. The air strike killed nine family members and injured a Hamas militant leader. And in four other incidents, including a gunfight in central Gaza Strip, 14 more Palestinians died.
    Israel bombs Palestinian Foreign Ministry
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- An Israeli warplane bombed the Palestinian Foreign Ministry early Thursday, collapsing part of the structure and causing widespread damage in the area.

    The third and fourth floors of the Foreign Ministry were destroyed in the blast that shook the city and damaged houses and vehicles in the area. At least 13 people were injured, all in nearby houses.

    Dozens killed as Israel bombs Beirut airport
    Israel intensified its attacks against Lebanon on Thursday, bombing Beirut International Airport and the southern part of the country in retaliation for the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah guerrillas.

    The strikes on Beirut airport, which killed almost three dozen civilians and pounded three runways, came as Israel began air and naval blockades on Lebanon.

    Of course there are rocket attacks into Israel from Gaza and there are always Israeli casualties as well, but last I checked, when countries begin bombing and invading other countries like the current advance in Labanon, there should be some form of reaction from the rest of the world. Especially when the civilian casualties far outweigh any strategic or military targets. This is simply cold-blooded revenge as far as I can see. And here I thought that a mere few months ago, Peace talks were in the works.

    Maybe Israel (and other Western countries) should suck it up, and actually learn to deal with the democratically elected Palestinian government.

    In my opinion, both sides are wrong in this, and neither side is right.


    EU blasts Israel for disproportionate use of force

    It seems part of the world has reacted to this. Naturally, Chimpy McFlightsuit has laid the blame square on the shoulders of Hezbollah, calling them a "group of terrorists who want to stop the advance of peace". I still say that bombing civilian areas and killing children is an act of terrorism...

    Here is some little-reported background news thanks to Sean in Saskatchewan of events leading up to the original kidnapping of the first Israeli soldier...

    - June 24th - Israeli commandos entered Gaza and kidnapped captured two palestinians suspected of being members of Hamas.
    - June 8th - Israeli army assassinated the recently appointed Palestinian head of Security Forces and three others.
    - June 9th - Israeli shells killed 7 family members picnicking on a beach and 32 others were injured, including 13 children.
    -etc. etc.

    Follow the link for more.

    Matthew Good is far more eloquent than myself, and has grave concerns for the civilian population on all sides of the erupting conflict...

    Wednesday, July 12, 2006

    'Shrooms open gateway to God

    Stardate 6057.75

    Many scientists and experts are suggesting that Magic Mushrooms may indeed open a pathway to the divine. Shrooms were a staple of the '60s hippy culture but native Americans used them long before in religious rituals. In a recent study, 24 of 36 test people said that they had a "religious" experience while stoned. Naturally, being a hallucinogenic drug, it is difficult to decide whether or not these experiences are anything more than a simple "trip". However, Doctor Roland Griffiths of John hopkins University said they do nothing to prove the existence or non-existence of God, and in fact, many test people had "bad trips".

    Maybe they should eat more mushrooms, and see what happens. On the more mundane side, some doctors believe they could be used by addiction patients to help.

    Griffiths also strongly warned people not to try the drug at home.
    That's right, try them in public... at the bar, in your car...

    Tuesday, July 11, 2006

    The Madcap Laughs

    Stardate 6053.33

    Syd Barrett, one of the founders of Pink Floyd, has died at the age of 60. He was the a major part of the creative genius behind the band's debut album, "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" and has writing credits on some songs from "A Saucerful of Secrets". However, he split from Pink Floyd after his performances and lifestyle began to suffer from heavy LSD use. He recorded several solo albums and then disappeared from the music scene altogether.

    Gitmo rules revisited

    Stardate 6052.75

    It would seem that the Pentagon has revisited it's detainee policy after the latest Supreme Court ruling. The Geneva Conventions *do* apply to detainees... I wonder if this is an attempt to cover their asses after the latest video on the internet showing the two US soldiers being killed.

    No matter, it is good news for the detainees, many of whom have been held for years without charge or trial, and some of which have been subjected to inhumane measures and torture. Guess if you want your own soldiers protected under the Geneva Conventions, you better suck it up and apply the rules to both sides...

    Monday, July 10, 2006

    Blog of the Week - Open Your Mind's Eye

    Stardate 6047.70

    As a member of the BlogExplosion community, I can feature a blog for a week to help generate readership for them. It is a fun and easy way to make friends as well.

    Open Your Mind's Eye

    This week's blog is a very interesting one, written by Casey Lee Cobb. If you are an activist who demands truth and would like to see certain people pay for the lies that have been fed to all of us about everything from Iraq to 9-11, then stop by and have a read. Lots of video clips, and some great stuff.

    Stop by and open YOUR mind's eye to the truth and more!!!

    Friday, July 07, 2006

    Superman Returns

    Stardate 6033.34

    I demand that this review may or may not contain spoilers...

    It has been many years since the old Superman movies were in the theatres. I remember watching them when I was younger and really enjoying them, both for the level of heroism portrayed and the (back then) great special effects. Christopher Reeve was good, though I really enjoyed him as Clark Kent much more than his portrayal of the Man of Steel. Gene Hackman was brilliant as Lex Luthor, and the rest of the cast was just fine.

    Superman Returns left me with something that many of the latest super hero movies failed to do. That sense of true heroism. From the opening credits and music, right through to the end shots, this movie took the greatest super hero ever, and put him on the pedestal he should be on. No dark and dreary Gotham, or poorly acted X-men. This show was about the Hero, and it presented him heroically.

    The special effects were obviously stunning in this movie, and the action scenes were both exciting as well as heroic. I don't think there were any scenes in fact, that I shook my head and said "whatever" like so often occurs in modern movies... Apart from the fact that you have to believe in Superman and his capabilities of course.

    There were many tie-ins to the old shows, and some things made me smile. When he first returns to the farm, he throws a baseball for the dog, which rapidly disappears into the horizon, so much like the football a younger Clark Kent threw in frustration in the first movie. other scenes held homage to many comics though I won't get into too much detail there. The old flame between Lois Lane and Superman was still obvious, though Lois poorly tried to convince herself otherwise in my opinion. The twists and turns with her personal life seemed a bit confusing to me at times, as after a while, you knew she still loved Superman, and likely held far less feelings for her boyfriend (since they never married). The child was interesting but I am not sure exactly how I feel about that. It means to me that in a sequel, Lois' boyfriend is all but expendable. I think when he realised Lois still loved Superman, he tried to compete if you will, and his actions and attempts to save Lois and the child were as heroic as Supes' own.

    The acting was decent to excellent. Kate Bosworth was likely my least favorite performance as Lois Lane, but Brandon Routh pulled off a Reeve-esque performance extremely well. He shone as Clark Kent, and at times, I found his quirky smile almost exactly the same as Reeve's. As Superman, he was somewhat tougher looking, but he was also very pre-occupied with his love for Lois. Kevin Spacey was brilliant. Easily my favorite character in the movie, he took Hackman's Lex Luthor and carried on right where Hackman left off. The oft-times comical nature of his character and schemes was only outshone by the pure evil and hatred shown when he finally had the Man of Steel on his knees.

    Overall, the plot was good. Supes left Earth for 5 years after scientists discovered the broken remains of Krypton, and he had to check it out for himself. Upon his return, he found Luthor had conned his way out of prison and into a ton of money. Luthor's plot was similar to the original movie, involving real-estate and a burning hatred for Superman. The ending was hilarious, with Luthor and Kitty stranded on their very own island...

    There wasn't too much I didn't like. Superman's final feat to save everything was amazing, though I wondered at the level of his power considering the massive lump of rock and crystal he was moving was laced with kryptonite. Albeit very weak kryptonite. In fact, he still had a shard inside him from when Luthor stabbed him. One would think that this would be enough to crumble his power. After all, he collapsed on the very ground he was lifting when he first confronted Luthor. In the end however, the effort all but killed him. It was really his love for Lois and her child (and vice versa) that saved him. I kind of wish the reds on his costume were not so subdued. They seemed very muddy looking, and definately less heroic than a more classical version of the suit.

    The child was an interesting twist. The fact that he is indeed Superman's child made Lois' boyfriend seem redundant by the end of the movie (as far as their relationship and future appearances perhaps). Of course Lois didn't know this, but by the end she did. I believe that it was when Lex put the Kryptonite in front of him, that his powers became manifest, as soon after, he killed the one goon with the piano and tossed away his asthma puffer. How this will play out in a future movie (there pretty much has to be a sequel as far as I am concerned) is up in the air.

    What happened to the shard of Kryptonite removed in the hospital??? Hmmm....

    All in all, it was a very fun and entertaining movie, and at 2 and a half hours, it is well worth your entertainment dollar in my opinion.

    I rate Superman Returns a solid 4 out of 5.

    Thursday, July 06, 2006

    Superman never made any money...

    Stardate 6029.05

    Seeing this tonight. Review tomorrow... Beats the heck out of all those bad Batman and Marvel superhero movies... Just need a Flash or Green Lantern flic and I'll be thrilled to the max :)

    Wednesday, July 05, 2006

    The McChimpy and H-Dawg show

    Stardate 6022.69

    PM Stephen Harper is en-route to Washington today, to talk about many things... How the Jays beat the Rangers last night, the shaftwood lumber deal, border issues, and in light of the North Korean Missile tests, Ballistic Missile Defense to be sure. Perhaps they are merely going to update the software in H-Dawg's Cylon implants...

    Tuesday, July 04, 2006

    Oh crap... here we go

    Stardate 6019.45

    North Korea has launched 3 missiles of an unconfirmed type, all of which failed and landed in the Sea of Japan. They are going against the mandate of the international community, and surely, the US will respond... The missiles seem to be a short range SCUD, a mid range Rodong and a long range Taepodong-2.

    So what now?

    UPDATE: They have fired 7 missiles now, all shorter range except the single Taepodong-2, which blew up shortly after launch. Everyone seems to be condemning these tests, except China, who is telling the international community to not be rash.

    Some people think it is a purely symbolic test, stealing the limelight away from the July 4th celebrations, and NASA's shuttle launch.

    Torture Test - 30 degree ball tourneys

    Stardate 6017.80

    Well that was one hot and tiring long weekend. I had mentioned earlier about the ball tournament. Well when we showed up friday night, we were expecting to see a few local teams. However, it was actually a Nationals qualifying tournament, complete with ham-fisted players each with their own personal bat bags and all that drivel.

    We lost the first game handily on friday night, and I ended up spending the rest of the night drinking around our camp fire with friends and family until 4:30 am. this was fun, but I had to get up and be ready for a game at 9:30 am. I think I woke up around 7:00. We lost that game handily as well, and already, the heat was up around 26 or so. We played again at 12:30 and won, which was really nice but by now, the heat was even higher out. We had a third game at 6:30 and at this point, the night before was really kicking my butt. We lost the last game of the day (and round robin) ensuring a spot in the "C" group for the next day's knockout phase.

    Sunday was just as hot, and after a much quieter saturday night, we played and won at 9:00 am. This was cool, moving us a step closer to the "C" championship. The funniest thing, in that game, I was backing up in center field as a guy was coming up to bat, and I stepped on something that squeaked and felt like a dog's chew toy. It scared the crap out of me, and it turns out it was a gopher. Yeah, a real live gopher. Must have thought he could sneak by, but he failed to anticipate my agility it would seem. He lay there, ont he ground, squeaking at me, with his two-inch fangs, and I thought I was done for. After a few tense moments, he flipped over and scurried down a hole. It was the darndest thing I have seen in a ball game. Only a couple more wins and we could win the side. However, tragedy struck at 12:00 when a team barely beat us to knock us out in the semis...

    It was sure a lot of fun however, and though my legs and elbow are in rough shape, I would do it again. I believe our team drank about 600 liters of water each, so some bottled water companies should be visiting with endorsement offers soon enough. We ended up playing 6 games in around 42 hours.

    The ball wasn't over for the weekend though. After a rest, I had to return to normal league play last night. A strange twist of fate had us playing against a team that was half of the team that knocked us out, so we had to get some revenge. By the bottom of the 6th inning (we play 7), we were down 14-7 so we had to really get cranking to stand a chance. We scored the maximum 7 runs in that inning, shut them down completely in the top of the 7th and drove in the winning run in the bottom. 15-14. Sweet come-from-behind victory!

    Rigorous weekend, but there was lots of ball, fun, sun and beer!

    Saturday, July 01, 2006

    Happy Canada Day!

    Stardate Unknown

    I am Canadian!
    Happy Birthday Canada, from me, my family, and Bill :D


    To all I wish a safe and happy Canada Day! I would do more, but I am playing in a National Qualifier Slo Pitch tournament all weekend... and getting our butts kicked HAHA!

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