Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Sick Again

So I had this sore throat thingie a few days ago. It went away and then suddenly it came back with an assortment of other "flulike" symptoms. So I was pretty much out of commission yesterday. But I'm feeling much better now. I think it's simply the change in weather as well as the pollen in the air or something mysterious.

Now I have to figure out 20 things about myself since I skipped yesterday.

Monday, April 28, 2003

Yet another 10, almost a third of the way to 100

This is actually a lot easier than trying to think of 100 things all at once. I'll make a permanent link once I've reached 100. Meanwhile, if you are interested,check it out here.

And other than that, there's not much else to say.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Another 10

And I managed to eek out another 10 random tidbits about myself. Check it out right here.

Yesterday was the day that Ludwig Wittgenstein was born. My last year of college I took a seminar on Wittgenstein and it was my favorite class. The professor's name was Fred Hagen and he still is the most intelligent man I've ever met. He so intimidated me that every time I tried to talk to him after class, I could barely put together a coherent sentence. I suppose a fan upon finally meeting his/her favorite singer might have felt the same way I did. I was one of 2 people to get an 'A' in the class. I'm still proud of that accomplishment.
None dare oppose the US

Well this is one of the most depressing and frightening things I've read in recent days. It's enough to make you want your own planet.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

The first 10 of 100 things about me

For those who may be curious, I've started to write down 100 things about me. I've got ten listed so far. So I'll try to do ten more each day, depending on how much I can remember. Perhaps if I drink enough wine tonight, I might be able to crank 'em out real fast.

So who polices the police?

Yesterday, there was a story in the Seattle Post Intelligencer about the Tacoma police chief and allegations concerning his alleged abuse of his soon to be ex-wife. Today apparently, the chief decided to kill himself and his wife. Guess those allegations weren't just allegations. Unfortunately though, the chief won't be spending time in the Big House since he's dead now. Latest news reports have his wife in critical condition at present. I hope she lives.

In all seriousness though, it makes me wonder about the mental health of these folks who are the enforcers of the law.
That was just a test

I've never liked the sound of my voice. If it actually sounded the way I hear it myself when I speak, it wouldn't be so bad, if you know what I mean. I've been a bit under the weather that last couple days. Sore throat, cough, sniffles. And no, it's not SARS although it would be kind of funny if it was, considering my rant of a couple days ago. I'm probably in as good a position as any to actually come in contact with it considering my line of work. And my current bus route does take me close to the International District (aka China Town) of Seattle.

Sometimes, however, a cold is just a cold.
A new toy

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Wednesday, April 23, 2003

This cartoon says it all I think

Courtesy of the Seattle Times

Stop the insanity!

Ok this SARS thing is just getting out of hand. I mean we've got travel warnings, thousands fleeing Beijing and mass hysteria. It's ridiculous. All this for a disease that has only killed 225 people worldwide. And a disease that is afflicting only 4000 people on a planet with a population of 6 billion. I think things like Ebola are probably a bigger threat.

Meanwhile an estimated 5 million people contracted AIDS/HIV in 2002. And approximately 3 million people died of AIDS in 2002 according to the Centers for Disease Control. The power of the corporate media to manipulate people is astonishing at times. What people need is a healthy dose of perspective here. And most of all, people need to calm the hell down already!

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Ridiculous and Stupid

That's what I call it when they call out the fucking National Guard because someone found some 'white powder' at a Tacoma mail facility. This shit just keeps going on and no one is questioning it.

Then there's this article in the New York Times about how the Bush regime plans on exploiting fear and their grand "victory" in the '04 election. Nary a sound coming from the so-called "opposition." When oh when will someone find a pair of testicles and stand up to this madness and call it for the bullshit that it is? I mean doesn't ANYONE remember that the whole reason for the invasion of Iraq was the supposed "threat" that came from Saddam's "weapons of mass destruction?" So now the question remains, where are all these weapons? And why isn't anyone speaking out about this in the media or the "opposition" party? Thousands of innocent lives lost because of a lie. Where's the outrage?

Doesn't this make anyone else angry?

Good Morning

Happy Tuesday everyone. The good folks over at LMB have provided a link to googlism, an intriguing site that gives you the straight dope about what your name or identity actually means on the internet. Within the context of google of course. It's certainly interesting to put in the names of some of the more well known bloggers out there. The results are rather amusing.

Monday, April 21, 2003

Monday Madness

Passengers often ask me a lot of questions. Usually they are quite routine like "Does this bus go to _____?" Sometimes, the questions are a bit repetitive such as being asked 100 straight times, "Do you go down 3rd Ave?" (Yes and so does every other bus as well). Then there are those questions that just make me scratch my head in amazement. In the afternoons I drive a bus from downtown to a neighborhood called Wedgwood which is plainly spelled out on the front and side of the bus. So it made me wonder why no less than 3 people today asked me, "Do you go to Wedgwood?" So maybe people can no longer read or maybe they are so skeptical that they just can't believe what they see. I wonder if this happens in other countries? Are mass transit passengers the same in other parts of the world? Do people just naturally in the course of giving up driving their own vehicle also surrender their critical thinking skills as well? I mean I expect people not to think. This is Amerika after all. But I'm curious if this phenomena exists in other places like Europe, for example.

Sunday, April 20, 2003

The band played on

It was after midnight on Saturday night as I stumbled out of the bar in a martini trance into the damp night air. The faint sounds of gypsy music filled the air as I looked down and out over Elliott Bay. A large American flag fluttered in the breeze over the Ferry terminal while out on the sound, the lights of a cargo ship flickered in the night. I sat down on the bench and was pondering the state of the world that I was in when some guy lit a cigarette and staggered towards me as if he recognized me from somewhere.

"I have this feeling about you," he said and smiled. "You're going to end up ruling the world."

With those words he stumbled down the street and I never saw him again. The band played on so I went back into the bar and ordered another drink.

Friday, April 18, 2003

Must be a Full Moon

Which accounts for the bizarre traffic this afternoon. People's driving amazes me sometimes. Pedestrians amaze me more. What kind of people will suddenly ride a bike right in front of a 20,000 lb bus? I guess people have no idea what a huge massive vehicle would do to them or their bicycle. Or any other small car for that matter. But I counted no less than 6 different accidents on my bus route today and no less than 4 scenes of ambulances tending to some 'occurrence' whether it be a shooting or whatever. Ah well.

Things can always get weirder. And they probably will before long.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

April Showers

Weather here in Seattle can be somewhat strange. Today started out as one of those rainy, steel grey type days thick with gloom. Later the clouds dissipated into glorious spring sunshine and brilliant blue skies. Then as the day ended, the clouds rolled in again and the rain returned. And tonight there's a bit of a chill in the air but the smell is lovely. I love the smell of evergreens after a rainfall and the sound of cars swishing by on the wet roads.

Driving in the afternoon has its benefits. Now I can stay up later and enjoy the solitude of evening, instead of passing out at 9 pm back when I was waking up at the ungodly hour of 4:30 am. It's also nice to be able to enjoy a spot of cognac or glass of port before retiring.

And I'm sure this info is just positively exciting for you, dear reader. Perhaps you were expecting some deep insight into politics or something. Well I'm a bit tired of ranting for the moment. It's a tough thing being a solitary voice in the wilderness that is Amerika. There are others who seem to have boundless energy in discussing politics.

I need a break though. Indeed, finding solace is vital on nights like these when the weasels start gathering 'round. The only thing one can do is turn on some music, drink a bit of wine and read some stories about Roy Orbison wrapped up in clingfilm. Thanks to bluejoh for that link. I haven't had a chuckle like that for quite some time. Absurdities like that could only come from the other side of the Atlantic.

And here's some music for you by Luna. It's what I'm currently listening to. Maybe you'll like it too.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003


That's pretty much how I feel today. Lots of stuff to get done but just can't seem to get motivated to do it. Ever had that problem?

So I found the perfect song to describe this condition. And I invite you to download it right here. The song is called 'Procrastination' by Australian singer Kim Salmon of which I am a big fan.

Fans of Aussie music can go either to Whammo or Red Eye Records and order online. Those are two sites I use for ordering music.

And to all those other lazy folks out there like me, remember this bit of wisdom. Never put off until tomorrow that which you can avoid doing altogether.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

I'm here

But I just don't have anything to say. I'm open to suggestions from the Teeming Masses for topics on which to opine. Oh I could tell ya'll about the lovely spring afternoon here in the great Pacific Northwest and the slow chug through heavy traffic on Montlake Blvd. while deadheading over to First Hill to pick up my last group of afternoon commuters. Can't really say there were any interesting people to write about either. Most people simply sat in silence for the whole ride. Perhaps they needed to get their taxes done before midnight.

And that's all there is to say about that.

Tax Day

Yep, today is the day in America when taxes are due. I'm sure there are others besides me who feel like vomiting at the thought of handing taxes over to a government engaged in immoral and illegal activities. But I feel no such guilt when I get a nice cheque from Uncle Sam in the form of a refund. :-)

For those not so lucky, may I recommend this book?

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Movies are a Good Thing

It was raining this morning and I needed a break from the world so I dragged myself downtown and sought refuge in a multiplex. I decided to catch a showing of Hayao Miyazaki's brilliant film, Spirited Away. I'm not a big fan of anime but I do like what I've seen and since this film had just won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, it sounded like just the cure for what ailed me.
What a brilliant, wonderful movie. Such incredibly rich storytelling! The DVD comes out Tuesday and I'm adding it to my collection for sure. I hope more people get a chance to see this as it did not enjoy one of those huge releases in American theatres. Knowing that there are creative people like Mr Miyazaki out there gives me some hope in a world that's desperately in need of it.

Saturday, April 12, 2003


Here's another story about what 'liberation' looks like.

It's enough to make any student of history cry. Of course, expecting Americans to give a rat's ass about priceless artifacts from the dawn of civilization is asking a bit much, I think. Americans have a tough enough time remembering what happened a year ago. So no protection for the Iraqi National Museum, however there are plenty of guards up around the Iraqi Ministry of Oil.

Of course, it goes without saying you aren't reading about any of this in the US media. But hey you can read all you want about Pfc. Jessica Lynch for those who just can't get enough.
Hitting the nail on the head

This columnist really says it all.

Here's a portion of that column which speaks volumes. To wit:

"There’s almost nothing you can’t get away with doing to an American. Take away his health insurance and he’s likely to fall to his knees in gratitude. You can tell him to his face that you’re pulling funding for his kids’ schools in order to bail out some millionaire stockbroker in Connecticut who overbet the peso–and he not only won’t get mad, he’ll swell up with pride and burst out singing the "Star-Spangled Banner." You can even steal his pension and gamble it away in Vegas, and the most he’ll do is sulk a little.

In those rare cases when an American gets mad, what he usually does is wait four years to vote for an identical candidate. Push him a little farther over the edge, and he may flirt with a hopeless third-party politician or write a sarcastic letter to the New York Times. And when he becomes disconsolate, when he finally decides to take to the streets, look out–because now he’s a real threat–standing in some park or other publicly sanctioned place, and chanting goofy slogans while carrying a poster of George Bush with a crayon-drawn forked tail.

The White House expected the Iraqis to line up like redcoats with their muskets drawn in single-rank formation because that’s what we do. Whatever they tell us the permissible means of protest is, that’s what we do. If the permit for the demonstration is at an abandoned drive-in fifty miles from the nearest town, we show up there, brows furrowed and banners waving, in huge numbers. While the generals point at high-tech maps on all the major networks, we sit there babbling into the crackly dissenter line on C-SPAN at two in the morning. There would probably still be kings playing croquet on the grounds of Versailles today if the tactics of the French revolution had been like this–better heed us peasants, messieurs, or we’ll send twice the usual amount of mail to our congressmen."

This is why things are pretty much hopeless in this country. Without any opposition and with the Brownshirts controlling all 3 branches of government AND the press, there is no way they can be defeated without some serious popular uprising. Cartoonist Ted Rall made the same observation a few years ago in this column.

This is the main reason why I haven't been a part of the anti-war protests that have been occurring. I participated in the WTO protests 4 years ago but they didn't do anything except persuade the WTO to hold their meetings in places like Qatar instead. They certainly didn't prevent Bush from coming to power. And none of the protests which were taking place months before this war started did anything to stop it from happening. Nor did the recent protests do anything to stop innocent children from being killed.

Bottom line is that while the hippies are conducting their peaceful protests, people are still dying.

Friday, April 11, 2003

Does this sound familiar?

Fascism (fash'iz'em) n. A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism. (source: American Heritage Dictionary)

Maybe this is why all those flags make me nervous.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Seeing is not always believing

I along with everyone else in this country saw the images being fed to us by CNN et al. of the statue of Saddam being toppled and Iraqis dancing in the street. They gave the impression of huge throngs of Iraqis celebrating their "liberation." These days, though, when I see corporate media broadcasts,I'm always wondering what I'm NOT being shown. Turns out, there's another view of this 'liberation.'

Consider these images. (note. Original photo courtesy of NYC IndyMedia)

Here is what most people saw. A crowd of Iraqis gathered 'round the statue. But here's what happens when you expand that view:

Hmm...seems like there's less people than originally though, doesn't it? Now let's look at the Big Picture shall we?

Not exactly what you'd expect at a "historic moment" comparable to the fall of the Berlin Wall, is it? I don't know about you, but I see US tanks stationed at each entrace to this square and a small crowd of US troops, press and Iraqis. Could this possibly have been a..*gasp*...staged media event? No! The USA would NEVER do something like that, would it?

Right. And the US military does not target Journalists.

And this just in: apparently there's been a suicide bombing in downtown Baghdad. Guess not everyone is thrilled with being "liberated" after all.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Hail the conquering heroes

To the victor go the spoils.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

When there's nothing to say, say nothing

I suppose I should be saying something, but I just don't have anything to say at the moment. Oh I suppose I could ramble on about the boring details of my life. I could talk about my day in court today and vainly fighting a traffic ticket but who really cares about things like that? I took a walk down at the Edmonds Waterfront this afternoon, saw some sea lions watched the ferries crossing the sound. But is anyone really interested in hearing that? I suppose I could do what others do and take some online quizzes so people can see what special color I am or what $special_fave_tv_show_character I am. I could do one of those series of daily 5 questions like the Monday Mission or the Friday Five or any number of things just to put something in the blog.

But I just can't do that shit anymore.

Not after seeing pictures like this. Don't click on that link unless you're prepared to see the horror that is isn't being shown on CNN or Fox News or any other corporate media outlet. It's hard for me to talk about anything when I hear about people like 12 year old Ali Ismaeel Abbas. I feel sick. My head hurts.

Down in Edmonds, American flags fluttered in the breeze every 15 feet or so and I felt severe nausea. Down at the ferry docks, there used to be a dedicated group of protesters. They're gone now. A few diehards I've heard still hang out in downtown Seattle but most dissent has dissipated and that is sad. Does anyone mourn for Ali's family? Did anyone shed a tear for the women and children killed in Baghdad's Mansour district where "our troops" dropped 4 2000 lb bombs in a desperate attempt to "get saddam." Am I alone in feeling disgust when I heard the pilot of the B1 bomber say it was his "proudest moment in the Air Force?"

And yet, my trivial life will continue. I'll drive my route tomorrow morning carrying the usual assortment of people to work. I'll half listen to the chatter of folks talking about the bitchy boss or the scheming coworkers they deal with.

And halfway around the world in a country few Americans can find on a map, the killing will continue.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Daylight Saving Time

So does anyone know or understand the reasons for Daylight Saving Time where we "lose" an hour of time for 6 months or so before magically getting it back again? Some places in this country are sensible and just dispense with the sillyness altogether, like Arizona, Indiana and Hawaii. Sure this link I provided goes into great depths about the history and surface rationale behind it but what does it matter really? Does moving an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening affect anyone's life significantly? Seems to me that a change in time of this sort causes more headaches than it cures.

What do you think?

Friday, April 04, 2003

On a lighter note

is a
Bone-Eating Love Monkey

...with a Battle Rating of 7.2

To see if your Food-Eating Battle Monkey can
defeat Mongo, enter your name:

Some folks can't handle the truth

The good folks over at Think Halal have provided this link where folks can go to find all the real news that's disappeared. I highly advise folks to check it out as it contains a mirror of the English language Al Jazeera website before brownshirts from Utah knocked it offline. You'll see a lot of stories that have simply been ignored by the Amerikan press. As a former member of the Society of Professional Journalists, I can't begin to articulate my sadness at seeing the appaling state of journalism today, in a country that invented the idea of Freedom of the Press. And to see that citizens of this so-called free country attacking an outlet of news because they're offended by what they see is just horrible. How did things get this way?

Thursday, April 03, 2003


What does one blog about when one doesn't really have anything to say? I hate using a blog to whine and moan about my own personal life which would just bore the hell out of my one or two readers out there. And other than the usual assortment of eccentrics that I pick up at Northgate Mall every morning to haul to downtown, the day is usually devoid of any other interesting encounters.

As for my daily anti-war rant, well I'll let Ralph Nader do the talking today.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Ok, calm down folks

I was actually joking. when I first commented on this new disease they are now calling SARS. I dont' really believe it's the end of mankind. But you can sense The Fear rising up in people worldwide. They're panicking. The World Health Organization is advising against travel to Hong Kong.

People need to chill out though. This disease has a relatively low mortality rate and out of worldwide population of over 6 billion, 1800 people have contracted this disease. In the United States, 49 people out of 250 million have got it. Not very high compared to other epidemics the world has seen.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003


Someone told me today I've been rather harsh in my criticism of "our" troops. I disagree and that's ok. But then we started discussing the reasons for Amerika's invasion of Iraq and I was reminded of this conversation which I saw originally on Wil Wheaton's blog and has since showed up on numerous others. It speaks for itself really.

So much for standing by your reporters

MSNBC has fired Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, Peter Arnett, for giving an interview with Iraqi state TV after initially issuing a statement supporting him. Guess the pressure from corporate advertisers was just too much,eh? This isn't exactly surprising after MSNBC cancelled Phil Donahue, despite his having that networks highest rated program. Arnett's unemployment didn't last as the British press were quick to scoop him up. Now he's reporting for the Daily Mirror and you can read his first report right here. I'm looking forward to reading his uncensored reports to come.

And those folks who are as sick of the endless parade of current and retired military folks in the Amerikan news I offer the following as alternate sources of information:

Information Clearing House



The Independent

Guardian Unlimited