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    Tuesday, October 31, 2006

    My Top Horror Movies...

    Stardate Terror

    Since it is that spookiest of times again, I have decided to list my al time favorite ten horror movies. It was difficult leaving a few off of the list, but in the end, I think it pretty much covers it.

    10 - "Dagon" - A tongue-in-cheek remake of H.P. Lovecraft's classic "Shadow over Innsmouth" story. This was tied with "Scanners" on my list, but I really enjoy the background and mythos of Lovecraft's works. The movie is based in Spain but the story is much the same. The main character nails Lovecraft's image of the normal guy turned insane character, and will make you laugh as well as scare you.

    9 - "In the Mouth of Madness" - John Carpenter is one of my favorite movie makers. This story features an interesting twist on horror writing and some brief appearances of yet more Lovecraftian mythos. Jurgen Prochnow is in this, along with Sam Neil. What is reality and what is fantasy? It depends on your point of view I suppose.

    8 - "Event Horizon" - Sci-Fi Horror featuring Sam Neil and Lawrence Fishburne. Good suspense and some real scares, this show is a good one to see. Outstanding effects, and an interesting look at FTL space travel. The problem with "folding space" is that one cannot be totally sure where they are going, or where they have been...

    7 - "Aliens" - 'I say we take off, and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure...' Classic space bug hunt movie with a slew of good scares and effects. Amazing that any of the characters made it out alive in this one. Naturally, the best performance is by Michael Biehn. Who would have colonized that planet anyhow...

    6 - "Phantasm" - 'Boooooooyyy!' The tall man and his collection of deadly ball devices made for a good old fashioned horror flick. I cringe every time the Hemicuda gets blown up. There were several follow-up films to this, but none as good as the first.

    5 - "Hellraiser II: Hellbound" - Nothing against the first Hellraiser, but this one had better effects, and a little more time with your favorite Cenobytes. After the 3rd movie, this franchise turned into utter trash. It's amazing how people wish for something, but when they are finally presented with their desires, everything changes...

    4 - "Evil Dead" - This movie was a project with nearly no budget (only about $350,000). It really showcases Bruce Campbell and led to the classic "Army of Darkness" much later. If this show was done with modern special effects, I have no doubt it would scare the crap out of anyone. Everything about this movie screams terror...

    3 - "The Serpent and the Rainbow" - Bill Pullman craps his shorts countless times in this Wes Craven thriller delving into the heart of Voodoo. Loosely based on facts, this show is not only terrifying in parts, but very interesting historically as well. Haitian zombie powder is the key to everything...

    2 - "The Exorcist" - The classic. This story still scares me. The progression of the possession is truly terrifying, and the implications are definately disturbing. The second movie ended up being pretty bad, but the third returned with a vengeance that nearly rivalled the first. Linda Blair became famous for her role in the movie.

    1 - "The Thing" - John Carpenter's classic remake featuring Kurt Russell. Undoubtedly my favorite movie of all time, this show has it all, except screaming women (since there are none in the movie)... the men do a good enough job. Stunning special effects and an eerie and moody soundtrack by Ennio Morricone make this movie worth watching for sure.

    Friday, October 27, 2006

    Dick Endorses Torture

    Stardate 6593.00

    The controversial (shouldn't any form of torture be controversial???) use of "Waterboarding" as a means of torture to garner information from would-be bad guys has been endorsed wholeheartedly by Dick Cheney. What is very confusing is how Dick goe son abotu how useful this form of torture is, yet he then states that the US does not use torture.
    "For a while there, I was criticized as being the 'vice-president for torture'," Cheney added. "We don't torture ... We live up to our obligations in international treaties that we're party to and so forth.
    "But the fact is, you can have a fairly robust interrogation program without torture and we need to be able to do that."
    But if waterboarding can save American lives, then it is a "no-brainer" for Dick. Remember, the US charged a Japanese officer with war crimes in 1947 after he used this torture technique on prisoners...
    On the issue of waterboarding, the United States charged Yukio Asano, a Japanese officer on May 1 to 28, 1947, with war crimes. The offenses were recounted by John Henry Burton, a civilian victim: After taking me down into the hallway they laid me out on a stretcher and strapped me on. The stretcher was then stood on end with my head almost touching the floor and my feet in the air. They then began pouring water over my face and at times it was impossible for me to breathe without sucking in water. The torture continued and continued. Yukio Asano was sentenced to fifteen years of hard labor.
    So they don't torture but they do. Waterboarding is a war crime, yet it's a no brainer. We all know who the real "Axis of Evil" is after all... and Dick tops the list. Who else shoots their buddy in the face on a drunken hunting trip and gets an apology from the victim for all of the hassle he went through...

    Thursday, October 26, 2006

    Habs Watch - 1.2 seconds

    Stardate Unknown

    Andrei Markov's first goal of the season couldn't have come at a better time. He won the game against the Bruins with only 1.2 seconds left on the clock. Higgins figured in all three of Montreal's goals. Huet seems to have found a groove as well, stopping 34 of 36 shots.

    It would be really nice to actually see a few more Montreal games with only cable channels. Seems Toronto still gets priority on saturdays...

    The shaved pussy

    Stardate 6587.75

    Our cat is one of those cats that has really long thin hair. She is very soft, but after neglecting to brush her for a while, pretty big matts developed, especially on her sides and belly. She obviously doesn't like people touching them, and I bet it became difficult for her to even jump or walk sometimes. We began cutting them off a bit at a time while watching movies, but after a close accident with the scissors, I decided not to do that anymore.

    We finally broke down and took her in for the most expensive haircut I have ever paid for. $300 worth of shaving and general anasthetic (I pity the fool who would try this with her NOT fully sedated) and we have a new and much lighter cat. I think she is even more agile now :D

    For some reason, I was expecting to see her fully shaved, but I suppose they don't actually do that! There are no matts or knots any longer however, and we just have to keep on top of brushing her. She likes it anyhow :D

    Tuesday, October 24, 2006

    Been busy darn it...

    Stardate Unknown

    I must apologize for the lack of interesting posts of late, and the frequency with which I post. I have taken on some new things at work, anmely being the guy who knows all about retrieving traffic count data from our traffic counting units, as well as helping folks troubleshoot the software etc involved in these studies.

    It is interesting and seems pretty cool, but I would never want to be a full-time IT guy, that's for sure.

    Here's a pretty picture to contemplate...

    Monday, October 23, 2006

    I shot the Sheriff

    Stardate 6574.18

    For a long time now, I have complained about how speed on Alberta (and other places) highways is killing us, and creating a brutally dangerous environment for commuters. I am not one to cruise at 2 km/h under the limit mind you, but I tend to use a little judgement and would never consider excessive speeding to the extent I have seen around here. On Highway 2A, which both me and my wife commute each day to and from work, the posted limit is 80 km/h. A few months ago, I would place the average speed at around 95 or 100km/h. In fact, sometimes, travelling that fast OVER the limit wasn't good enough for some people, who would stick to your ass like a huge piece of cat hair, or go blowing by you at the first stretch of clear road. Highway 2 (Queen Elizabeth II Highway) was worse. It is posted at 110km/h (I think it shoul dbe raised to 120) and I would guess the average speed is OVER 130km/h on it. Again, even travelling at a speed that is at least 15 km/h over the limit, people blow by you as if you aren't even moving.

    Now many people have no problems with speed like this, and will rant on about maintaining the flow, and new safety features in cars, and this and that. The fact is, none of this makes your reflexes as a driver any better, and only a few km/h difference in speed can make the difference between a fatal collision and an injury collision.

    A few months ago, the Alberta government hired and trained 21 Sheriffs, responsible for maintaining the razor thin control the police have over some of these secondary highways. With the primary 21 working, and an additional 21 now joining them, I have noticed several things. First, there is an actual enforcement presence on the roads, and secondly, people are actually slowing down somewhat! For example, the 95km/h drive home on the highway posted at 80km/h is now more like an 85km/h drive home, with little to no pressure from people riding your ass, or passing like fools. I imagine there will always be those few who insist that they are in more of a hurry and far more important than you and simply must speed, but I think it is actually working.

    The best part besides the fact that I feel safer, is that I am really takign no longer to get to work, or home in the evening. Makes sense to me. Keep hiring these guys. They are doing great!

    Sunday, October 22, 2006

    Habs Watch - Welcome back Jose!

    Stardate Unknown

    Jose Theodore's return to Montreal wasn't all roses and glory! Colorado blew a 3 to 1 first period lead, and with the Habs nailing the powerplay so often, it was soon a reversal of fortunes on the scoreboard. 2 PP goals from Souray, one from Ryder and one from Higgins all helped to lead the Habs to a 8-5 victory. Heh, the score kind of reminded me of Patrick Roy's last game against the Red Wings, except this time, Theodore was on the other team!

    The win puts Montreal in 5th in the conference, with a 27% (2nd overall) PP and 91.3% (3rd overall) PK.

    Friday, October 20, 2006

    Paul Gilbert - Get Out of My Yard!

    Stardate Holy crap!

    And here I figured I could learn this LOL...

    Peter you old dog...

    Stardate 6558.26

    Well you would think that our "honorable" Foreign Affairs Minister would be man enough to apologize for his ridiculous and demeaning statement about Belinda Stronach. I mean really, is he 8 years old? And now he denies it was ever said, which is pretty much what I would expect from him...

    Wednesday, October 18, 2006

    See you in Gitmo

    Stardate 6549.25

    With the signing of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, the US Senate and Congress has granted Bush the power he has been striving for ever since 9-11.

    The Act has given the President and Donald Rumsfeld the ability to deem anyone (US citizen or not) an "enemy combatant", and thereby removes any rights they may have to take their detention up in court. This Act also gives the President the ability to decide just how far to take the torture interrogations, including the acceptance of "Waterboarding", something which the US stood by as a WAR CRIME after World War II. If someone so much as blinks wrong, they can be linked to those ever elusive "terrorists" and subject to indefinate detention and torture, if the President says it's necessary for National Security. Bush, in yet another of his lie filled speeches, said that the US does not practice torture, yet they have been proven to torture detainees, and in fact have now given the big green light to torture up to and including organ failure and death of anyone deemed an "enemy combatant" in the War on Terror.

    So how long before Cindy Sheehan is an "enemy combatant"? How long before anybody who disagrees with the administration or their repressive, fascist policies is an "enemy combatant"? How long before people like you and me, who ponder these things daily, and discuss in open and free forums the goings on around us, become "enemy combatants"? Freedom? If this is what they are fighting for, they can shove it up their asses.

    Check out the bit on Crooks and Liars, especially Keith Olbermann's video clip. As he says at the end of the interview...

    "See you in Gitmo."

    Dumb movie moments: The Omen 666

    Stardate Armageddon

    Katherine Thorn - "There's something about Damien. He's far away. Something's not right. I must be a terrible person for even thinking such things. I need to talk to someone."

    Zaphod - "Maybe because he never talks or answers you? Is he a mute? Perhaps a speech therapist could help."

    Okay remake of an old classic. I give it 5.5 out of 10.

    Tuesday, October 17, 2006

    Bush is a vital tool

    Stardate 6543.45

    WASHINGTON - U.S. President George Bush signed legislation Tuesday authorizing tough interrogation of terror suspects and smoothing the way for trials before military commissions, calling it a "vital tool" in the war against terrorism.
    So now, more of the freedoms and rights that America has so proudly stood up for are dashed to ribbons with the single stroke of a monogramed pen. This Bill will remove the rights of detainees in the increasingly ridiculous "War on Terror" (or in fact any detainees for that matter) from filing habeas corpus petitions to challenge their detentions in federal courts. Also, military tribunal courts could actually use hearsay evidence if the judge deems the source credible. Hearsay evidence!!! This is obviously barred from *real* courts...

    The American Civil Liberties Union said the new law is "one of the worst civil liberties measures ever enacted in American history."

    "The president can now, with the approval of Congress, indefinitely hold people without charge, take away protections against horrific abuse, put people on trial based on hearsay evidence, authorize trials that can sentence people to death based on testimony literally beaten out of witnesses, and slam shut the courthouse door for habeas petitions," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero.

    "Nothing could be further from the American values we all hold in our hearts than the Military Commissions Act," he said.

    This law is supposed to protect detainees from inhumane treatment and abuse, but what is really scary about the Bill is that it has been left wide open to Presidential judgement as far as what is and isn't acceptable means of interrogations. In other words, if he says that torture and inhumane abuse is okay to get the results they desire, even if it defies International law, then it is just fine to do it.

    As usual with McChimpy and his band of idiots, they fail to realise that torture rarely retrieves reliable information and it opens up a world of hurt to US servicemen that may be captured by enemies themselves.

    Monday, October 16, 2006

    Wet and white overnight

    Stardate Unknown

    Snow flake as seen under an electron microscopeIt began around 10:30 last night. The temperature dipped low enough that the rain that had been falling for over 24 hours turned into snow. This morning revealed cars and grass covered with an inch of wet snow, meaning I had to find my brush that was soemwhere in the garage. It is still warm enough that the snow may turn back to rain today, but tonight is supposed to dip to -7 and that means ice by tomorrow morning regardless...

    Nearly time to repost the classic "Carling" game.

    Kennedy stays cool

    Stardate Unknown

    Wow, watching the clips of the Liberal leaders bashing each other was painful. I know it's a race but the mud-slinging over foreign policy is akin to what H-Dawg blabbed last week.

    I'm glad that Kennedy steered clear for what I saw. He said something that again, I liked.
    "I'm in this race because I believe we need someone new to bring this party together." - Gerard Kennedy (emphasis mine).

    Exactly. And slinging mud in your opponent's face will only bring glee to the Tories watching. Some of this race reminds me of the last election. Instead of promoting policy and vision, candidates would rather point fingers, accuse and fling mud. What happened to electing leaders on their actual vision and abilities?

    Friday, October 13, 2006

    Woke up this mornin'

    Stardate 6523.35

    Nazareth Greatest Hits
    I think nearly everyone recognizes this album cover...

    Last night we had free tickets to see Nazareth and the Headpins. Both bands were really good, though I think they turned up Nazareth too much at the end of the show for good sound quality. Gotta say, for old guys, they rock pretty good.

    I think the Headpins sounded better overall, but it was a great show to see, and we had excellent seats!

    Thursday, October 12, 2006

    Anti-Israeli Grits? Someone stuff a sock in H-Dawg's gaping mouth

    Stardate Unknown

    I wish H-Dawg would shut the hell up. Israel is just as guilty of war crimes for bombing civilians as Hezbollah is for launching rockets at civilians. It isn't anti-Israeli or anti-semetic to suggest this. So Iggy, and the other Liberal leadership candidates disagree with Harper's assessment of Israel's "measured response"... so be it.
    "This is consistent with the anti-Israeli position that has been taken with virtually all of the candidates of the Liberal leadership, and I don't think it's helpful or useful."
    Whatever buddy. Sauce for the goose as they say. As usual, politics and posturing and being "politically correct" get in the way of the true matters at hand. That is that well over a thousand Lebanese and Israeli civilians, many of which are children are dead. A quarter of a million Lebanese are still displaced from their homes. Not only that, but there are a schwack of unexploded cluster bombs still littered about southern Lebanon (these weapons have been condemned by Human Rights Watch as inaccurate and should not be used so near to civilians as Israel used them).

    Habs Watch - Off to a good start

    Stardate 6517.87

    As you can see, I have begun to track the progress of the Mighty Habs once again on my sidebar. I did this last year, more for my own gratification than anythign else, and to make the season more interesting.

    Well it seems as though the Habs have started off the 2006/2007 season with a bang, going 2-0-1 on their 3 game road trip before heading home. So far, David Aebischer has been solid in net, and undoubtedly, Huet will pick it up and carry on from where he left off last year. Koivu and Higgins have really been lighting it up, and it won't take long for the rest of the boys to follow suit.

    Some new faces that are interesting include Sergei Samsonov (15 LW), Mike Johnson (20 RW) and Janne Niinimaa (6 D). Hopefully they bring some speed and offence to the club. I was never a big fan of Niinimaa, so we'll see how he works out.

    Montreal's home opener is saturday against the Ottawa Senators.

    Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    655,000 Dead Iraqis

    Stardate 6513.33

    A new report (undoubtedly labelled as a political manouvre by the Right with elections looming) suggests that over 655,000 Iraqis have been killed since march, 2003.

    So the US occupation has done nothing good for the Iraqis or the Middle East. A better life for the people? Sure doesn't sound like it to me. Stability in the region? That one is almost laughable.

    Yer doin' a heck of a job McChimpy.

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    Back to the Grindstone

    Stardate 6507.85

    Well we got back from our holiday late on saturday and after a few days of resting, it is back to work and the world.

    The trip was great. We saw a lot and did many things. Pictures are coming of course (when I have time to sort them and pick some). I really enjoyed finding the natural sulphur springs at Lussier though they had a fairly strong odor. The natural waterfall and pools at Fairmont were especially nice, and we frolicked (for lack of any better word) for well over an hour with no-one else around. The waterfall drops right into the middle of the pool and is like having a warm shower though with a high pressure flow. Pretty cool stuff.

    Now I need to figure out the washing machine leak, get the new car in for a tune up (it drove exceptionally well on the trip) and sort out some of the monumentous events that have occured around the world over the last while.

    All opinions shared on this site are strictly my own. Some people may disagree and that is fine, but rude comments or overzealous debate will be curtailed. I enjoy civil discourse, and encourage independent thought. I oppose George W. Bush and his Wars based on lies.

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