March 31, 2002

Talk about the heebie jeebies ... I went online today and searched my own name. Turns out I died September 11. I was the head of fire safety or something for the World Trade Center. Not a comfortable feeling.

(Of course, it wasn't me but someone with the exact name.)

March 25, 2002

Allow me to be as superficial as all the hype around the Oscars ...

Best looking women at the big ta-doo - Cameron Diaz, Sissy Spacek, and Helen Hunt. Also, as a piggish aside, Helen Hunt must have the best ass in Hollywood. Maybe the best ass in America.

(I am such a shallow man ...)

March 22, 2002

I just checked my Web stats and discovered I've had over 3.5 million hits in the last two days. And unique visitors? 4.8 million over the same two day period. An extraordinary feat!

Extraordinary, of course, because it's hard to figure how anyone can accumulate more unique visitors than total hits. I'm told, however, it is possible assuming you've an innate psychic ability to bend time and spoons. In other words, you need to be a dimensional juxtaposer. Or DJ, as the kids say.

OK, some guy just passed by and twisted my arm up my back as he threatened to beat bees and Jesus out of me. So - I lied! I didn't get half as many hits as I said. In fact, I got no hits at all! Worse, a dimensional juxtaposer was used to warp the blousey fabric of space and time and hits were actually taken AWAY from me. Suddenly, people who had visited my pages only last week could no longer recall having been there - because they hadn't! Those visits had been stolen from them together with a little of the something that makes us human.

Makes you want to cry.

(What the hell did I start out writing about anyway?)
Everyone's got a bitch about the Oscars, it seems. But really, the only bitch I have is the need to thank large faceless corporations. "I'd like to thank XYZ Corporation for making it all possible. Oh yeah ... and I wanna thank my wife and mom."

Why is a corporate butt kiss the first thing these people say?
It appears a Quebec cable company has struck a blow against spammers. (I'm just trying to put a positive spin on a screw up.)

March 21, 2002

Does online advertising get more annoying than this? Colour blotches crawling all over the screen. Yes, that certainly persuades me to buy whatever the hell it is they're selling. Who thinks up this crap? Do any of these boneheads actually use the Internet? What marketing school teaches that the more you annoy and piss people off, the more likely you are to sell products them?

March 19, 2002

Ah geez ... Anyday now CEOs will be using computers too. I'm mean, just look!

March 18, 2002

Today the IMDB home page (Internet Movie Database) asked this question: "How could the Academy have voted the entertaining lark Shakespeare in Love as Best Picture of 1998 over Saving Private Ryan?"

I'm probably reading far too much into this, but it seems to me it suggests that love is less important than hate, life less important than death. It implies that the latter film, Saving Private Ryan, is a better movie. Well, sorry, but after the visual masterpiece of the first 30 minutes it is really just another war movie, neither rising above the usual nor sinking below it. In terms of writing, Shakespeare in Love is a much wittier script and the parts cohere far better than those of Saving Private Ryan.

It never occurred to me to compare the two movies - frankly, I think it's an idiot's exercise. But I do find the notion that love and comedy are less "serious" than war and other tragedies to be, from the artistic view, even stupider. And sadder.

Bollocks, I say!

March 14, 2002

Saw Nicole Kidman on Tuesday's Tonight Show. She and Buzz Lightyear or Boz Scaggs or whatever his name is (the director guy) were doing the Oscar hustle. Nicole looked lovely as ever. One thing though: someone please buy that woman a meal before she disappears entirely.

March 13, 2002

For those of you at your wit's end trying to figure out where to set up that food processing plant, worry no more! Your answer lies in the land of snow and black flies.

March 12, 2002

Great googley-moogley! Have I lost my mind? I now have 7 domains registered. Seven! Hell, I don't have the talent or gumption to do one properly (i.e., Piddleville) and I have 6 more to create? I must be out of my mind.

Anyway ... Watch for Goatboy and the Burble appearing one day. Whether we want them to or not.
There are few things as wonderful as snow falling at midnight. The glow of streetlights reflects off the snow, everything is ... yellow. Yes, yellow. This is an urban area. Streelights don't glow white but a pale yellow, maybe a biege. Whatever the colour, it's a breathtaking look.

Oh, and when snow falls like this, it is never too cold. It's only when it stops that the temperature goes in the crapper.

For now, it is a spectacular night. (How I wish there were better words than "spectacular" and "wonderful" for describing this. How I wish I had a more poetic mind.)

March 10, 2002

As we get older the urge to chastise youth for its foolishness increases. It’s partly from a real desire to help them avoid making the mistakes we’ve made, or been witness to, but it’s largely just envy. Bastards! They’re young; I’m not.

I don’t worry too much about these feelings. It goes with territory. Young people will one day be older and annoying the generations that follow them the same way.

I bring this up because of a young man I’ve seen on the bus the last few weeks. He’s into that body-piercing, tattoo thing. And this is fine; there are some people who look damn cool with what they’ve done. But like everything else, it requires some artistic flair to do it well. It requires a sense of proportion; an absence of excess.

Well, this guy has none of this. His head looks like a prison yard bordered in chain link. His face looks like he could be a goalie for the Edmonton Oilers or New York Rangers. Or he could be a catcher in the majors, his mask welded to his face.

What was he thinking?

He’s not alone, though. There are many people like this. I recall last summer when I saw a young woman who appeared to have had an unfortunate but intimate encounter with a nail gun. Her skin might have been upholstery someone had fiercely tacked in place.

What was she thinking?

The guy I see on the bus has also splattered himself with tattoos. Bradbury’s “Illustrated Man.” His artwork included pricing code on the back of his neck (facilitating scanning procedures at the Safeway, I suppose.)

Here’s the thing: Young people have a difficult time looking ahead. This is natural. Why should they? Everything is now. I didn’t look ahead. Had I, I wouldn’t be experiencing the financial woes I now face. Nor would I have experienced the consequences of poor relationship decisions. (I mean, what was I thinking dating a female wrestler? And without sufficient health coverage?)

Older, I see ahead. I make an effort to peer into the future. I’m not always right, but I think I manage to side step the occasional fiasco.

So what is the future for the young man on the bus? Image being 70 or so with a face encased in chain-link. Imagine being 70, skin wrinkled and desiccating and covered in the verigris of aged tattoos – everywhere.

He’s a freak show.

Think of the grandkids.

“Daddy, did the Frankenstein monster look like Grandpa?”

“Well, yes. Pretty much.”

“We don’t want to visit Grandpa anymore. He scares us.”

“Grandpa scares everyone, kids. Everyone.”

I can’t think of too many things more unsightly, or frightening, than an old guy covered in tattoos and buggered up my chains and nails.

The other thing, of course, is our frivolous and changing tastes. While cool today, tomorrow tattoos and chains will be so 90’s. In fact, as you can tell by looking at a calendar, it’s already passé. I mean, think of it: the look came out of the punk surge of the late 70’s. In 2001, is this the look you want? It’s not like you can call it retro. We haven’t arrived at that point yet.

It just looks dumb.

March 8, 2002

On those rare occasions when I listen to the radio, I generally listen to a “lite rock” station out of Spokane. Yes, it’s pansy music but when I want background filler it’s the least offensive of the myriad wastes-of-time available.

Anyway … I keep hearing this public service announcement about “Intimate Partner Violence.” When was this term coined? How long has this one been in use? Like “ethnic cleansing” (used as an alternative to genocide or murder), it’s a comfortable term that makes no one uncomfortable. Unfortunately, like all such terms, it fails to communicate what it should be communicating. (It is like technical bafflegab except it is employed in the field of social issues.)

Mind you, it probably is more accurate technically than words and phrases like wife-beating, assault or rape. And it certainly avoids the gender issue. But really, what is the use of a phrase like this, for crimes like these, if it doesn’t communicate the essence of the problem?

“Did your husband kick the crap out of you for no good reason?”

“Well, I prefer to say my partner was intimately violent with me. That would be more correct since we’re not actually married.”

Of course, being a term no person would actually use outside a courtroom or medical facility, Intimate Partner Violence will be quickly shortened to IPV. In fact, I’d be very surprised if people aren’t already using this acronym already.

“Geez John, that new girlfriend of yours sure has the temper on her. You look like you’ve been the victim of a sound IPV-ing.”

You know, I don’t object to new words and phrases but I do have a problem with this moronic terminology that always gets turned into acronyms (since no one would ever actually use these two or three word, sense-diffused terms). There is more to words than their technical accuracy. As Twain said, the difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.

March 4, 2002

Following a weekend of excellent weather that included much melting and suggestions of spring, the weather here (Alberta, Canada) is going in the tank! It's going to be shit mother cold tonight and I don't care for it. Must speak to the management.

March 1, 2002

Great Burblations!

It is Friday, and I am free. I feel the need to burble.

Today, I rage rage rage against the machine! Well, actually all the code and crap I don't understand and can't be bothered to learn so I can make this site look like something more than some moron's ineffectual diddling.

So I rage ... "Curse you, Red Heron! You have shat me in the eye! Bungo, bungo! May you fall and cry!"

Cool. There was some rhyme and almost a bit of rhythm in that. Geez, when you're on you're on.

And if THAT's not a pointless, rambling burble then ...hell! I don't know what is!

Have a pleasant weekend. (By the way, Agent Vulga made me laugh.)
Thanks to Rob's Amazing Poetry Generator, which we came across thanks to Luminescent, we have this brief, effusive homage to Piddleville. In fact, I think it's called ...

Homage to Piddleville

Piddleville The entire Piddleville businessman Dick Whizzy a few
more. Mr. Whizzy
a peach of
the usual fiasco of International Skating Union ISU
judging. Unexpectedly, however,
strapped the bastard! were heard as
had been
anticipated, the usual
fiasco of a
more. Mr.