Friday, December 29, 2006

eye for an eye - the hanging of saddam hussein

I am disgusted today. Today is tomorrow in Iraq, and even as I write this, they are either fitting a hempen cravat around Saddam Hussein's neck, or they have already hung him.

There is no debate that Hussein was a very bad man, like so many brutal dictators supported by countries like the US and Britain. There is little point in rehashing the history of Iraq either. It is a convoluted lie - like so many histories popular.

The point is (for me) that there were irregularities to his trial. The government of Iraq, and it's institutions, have been set in place by the American gov't - just as in Afghanistan. There are other crimes that Hussein was charged with, that he won't be tried for. The inconvenient truths will not be revealed.

The crime that he is being hung for at this moment occurred in the early 1980's after an assassination attempt. The French, and the Americans, carried on a relationship with him until he ruffled feathers by drilling at an angle into Kuwait's oil reserves - with technology, and tacit approval afforded by the Americans. Then came Gulf War I. Then came sanctions and no-fly zones. Then came 9.11, and the perfect smokescreen to invade Iraq on false pretexts. And now the little shrub from Texas is probably sitting with eyes glued to some satellite feed so that he can watch Saddam struggle and kick at the end of a rope. What a pair of pricks they both are.

The British, Americans, Russians, Israelis, etc., assassinate people all the time, and when people stand up against it, they unleash incredible military might - killing women, children, men young and old - by the tens and hundreds of thousands, but it's in the name of democracy, so it's ok.

Finally, I just do not agree with capital punishment. I can understand revenge killing in the heat of battle. I can understand killing to protect oneself, or someone innocent in danger, but capital punishment is done clinically, and in cold blood. To me, that is a crime.

I heard an Iraqi man on the radio today who told of his father being one of those killed by Hussein. He did not want Hussein to be executed. He did not believe that it was right, and further, believed that it will inflame the mayhem in Iraq ten-fold. There are crazy mulef*ckers running things that want Armageddon. They are going to get it - and so are we. Hussein is not afraid to die, but he asked to be executed by a firing squad, instead, they want to hang him like a rat - for the spectacle.

It's a terrible day today (tomorrow in Iraq). Nothing unusual about that.


For those of you fascinated with snuff films, who have been hunting for the video of Saddam being executed, here is a link. It does not show him kicking at the end of his rope, but shows him dropping from sight. I did not really care to see it, or not, but did want to provide the link.

I do have to say that he showed a lot of courage for someone moments away from his end, but did look a little like he was going to cry.

Interesting comment from - TV plans tasteful coverage of Saddam execution. How the hell does one have tasteful coverage of an execution?

I still maintain that it was wrong to kill him. It was not justice, but vengeance.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


I haven't been posting much as of late. Nothing exciting these days.

The snow is all gone now, and we had a sunny day today. It's been mostly raining and dreary for a while. I'm always glad of the Christmas lights. They make things more cheerful. I have them up in the house year-round. It's a good light source - not too bright - and I like the colours.

Here are a few more shots of the winter wonderland we had in November. It's long gone now, but I like the pic's.

Enjoy. (click on any image for a larger view)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

happy christmas (or kwanzaa, hanukka, solstice, whatever)

This is me in 20 years...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

oops! bah!

It seems that I have a lump of coal for a heart...

You're a Total Grinch

Ouch! You make the Grinch seem like Santa Claus. Holidays definitely aren't your thing.
Just relax, and create your own tradition. Even if it's drinking spiked hot chocolate and heckling carolers.

thank you Tara

Tara, over at eclectic spaghetti, is on my sweetness list for making me a virtual birthday cake - and that for a sour-puss who hates his own birthday...

Thanks so much for thinking of me. You are an angel.

Monday, December 18, 2006

happy flippin' birthday to me

Agh! Birthday again.

I'm not very big on my birthday - fact is, I don't like December at all.

Born 3 days before the longest night of the year. Darkness and brooding.

Born on a Monday afternoon - Monday's child is fair of face... Certainly I am better looking than my brother (huh?), but I ain't no Brad Pitt (it's his birthday today too...)

December just keeps on getting grimmer. When I was in university, my best friend was killed in a car wreck two days before my birthday. My Grandma, who I loved so dearly, died the day before my birthday in 2003. Then, last week, on the 14th, we had to euthanize one of the best friends I have ever known - our wonderful, beautiful dog Que. All I really look forward to is the days getting longer again after the solstice.

Don't call on the 'phone, don't e-mail me. Just look forward to spring.

I'm here in my silent Scream...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

a deus sweet que

Que is gone.

Our wonderful vet - Sue Hughson - came this morning and gave Que a lethal injection, and she was gone in just a couple of minutes.

I'm too upset to write about it now. I will deal with it later.

Good bye Que. We love you.

Monday, December 11, 2006

stephane dion

A little over a week ago, Stephane Dion was elected as the new leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. I have not written about that yet because I do not know enough about him.

I have no affiliation to the Liberal Party, and have never voted Liberal. I never liked Chretien, and was ambivalent about Paul Martin. The whole sponsorship scandal was really quite boring to me, and I was never outraged by it. Cynically resigned would be a better measure of my feelings about that.

Although I never cared for the Liberals, I was hoping that they would beat the Conservatives because I detest Herr Harper, and most of his cabinet. I feel that they are divisive, and petulant, and I am quite a bit more progressive than they could ever be. I did take interest in the Libearal leadership race because I was hoping that they would elect someone that could beat the Conservatives, and get their own party back on track, and maybe even get Canada back on track.

I felt that Bob Rae might be a good choice because of his experience in the trenches. He was much vilified after his tenure as Premier of Ontario, but I felt that it was unfair. Rae took power just as recession set in, and he had not much to work with after the Liberal gov't of David Peterson. But Rae would have had a hard time sloughing off that baggage, and would have been hurt in the important jurisdictions of Ontario.

Gerard Kennedy caught my interest too - especially as the only one that spoke against the notion of Quebec as a nation. (that is a subject that deserves much more time than is afforded me at present) I did not think that he could beat Harper though, and I never had a good sense of what he was all about.

Ignatieff makes me physically ill (almost, anyhow) with his ego and insincerity. I prayed that he would not take the brass ring. I hope he runs back to his beloved Amurika, and leaves Canada to Canadians.

Dryden is smart and sincere, but lacks vision and experience - in my humble opinion.

Who else was there? Never mind, they probably left as little impression with you as they did with me.

Back to Dion. Largely unknown outside of Central Canada, and has some baggage in Quebec as a result of his activities as Minister of Inter-Governmental Affairs. Some pundits say that is a liability.

I saw a couple of interviews with Stephane Dion this past week, and have to say that I am impressed. Would I finally vote Liberal? I don't know about that, but I do think that Dion can clean the floor with Harper, and would feel a lot more comfortable with him as P.M. than I do with Harper.

He is smart, animated, and passionate. What I have heard from him so far makes me think that he can win the next election, and at least form a minority gov't. He could probably work well with the NDP (who will never form a gov't - in my view, and I wouldn't want to see that anyhow), and maybe even with the B.Q. I think that it would provide more stability in gov't than what we have had for a few years now.

So far, I like what I have seen. Dion needs to polish his English a bit, but because he seems so passionate, and erudite, I don't think that it will be a problem for him. He comes across as someone who doesn't listen well, but that is the hallmark of an intelligent mind. He seems to anticipate the crux of questions, and does not have the patience to bandy about platitudes and fluff.

I hope that the Liberals form a minority gov't, and maybe even form a loose coalition with the NDP. I hope that Layton stops trying to undermine others for a few extra votes, and is willing to work with the Dion Liberals for the good of Canada.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

euthanasia and the medal of bravery

Poor old Que. She has been such a trooper. A good and loyal dog. Even in her days of illness and weakness, all of the other dogs still respect and fear her - as do the cats.

I have been writing about her saga for a while now. It all started in the summer, when she was diagnosed with cancer. She was 14 in September, and so has lived a good, and a long life by dog standards. She has not seemed to be suffering any pain, only blows to her dignity, so we have avoided euthanasia. I have been changing her bandages and washing her daily for the last 6 months. We tried arsenicum to give her her own decision on whether to keep going, but it is time for us to make the hard decision.

We have a babby coming in 2 months, and the stench of her cancer is pervading the house. She has also taken to crapping in the kitchen lately. Last night and this morning, she had horrific smelling diarrhea, and it was all over the kitchen, and her. This has become untenable with the imminent arrival of the babby. I am just too worried about bringing a new-born into a house full of disease.

We have decided to end it this week. J called the veterinarian this morning to arrange to have her put down this week. It breaks my heart to do it, but I feel that we have little other choice. She can barely haul herself up the 4 front steps to get inside, and her world has shrunk to the kitchen, and the front yard and sidewalk in front of our house. She has absolutely no quality of life left.

I have given her this medal (from the Bataan Death March) for her heroism in defying death. We will not receive any such commendation, as we have succumbed to the inevitability of it for her.

I'm very sad today, and humbled.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Blotus was my friend. He lived in my kitchen window for about 8 months through most of last winter. He came in the summer, and we would catch bugs for him and feed him. He got very big and fat - hence the name "Blotus"

The winter before that we had Brutus, and the winter before that, Boris the Spider.

We fed them all, and they caught their own too. The weird thing is that they got used to us feeding them, and would get all in a dance when we went near. So yes, one can even train spiders.

We don't have a spider this year, and we think that Moses the cat caught and ate Blotus (cats love to eat bugs...).

one of those days

Yesterday was one of those days.

I was going to help J, and we would have been done quite early, but...

First, we were going around and doing our pick-ups, and I shut off the motor to save gas, and so that J wouldn't have to breathe in exhaust fumes. When I tried to re-start the van, all I got was some clicking sounds. The battery had decided that it's useful life was finished. We called BCAA to come and give us a boost, and we were told that they were very busy, and that it would be about an hour.

Judy called a friend, who came and got her, and took her home to get my van so that she could continue to do pick-ups while I waited for BCAA. BCAA finally came over two hours later (they have been swamped all of this month). I got a boost, and went home to wait for BCAA's mobile battery service. That came about another hour and a half later, and I had a new battery installed for 150 bucks. Cost of doing business.

Shortly thereafter, J called me and said that my van wouldn't start. I was pretty sure that it wasn't the battery, because I had a new one just a couple of years ago. J called BCAA again, and they arrived about an hour and a half later, and determined that the starter was shot. They did get her going, and she continued on to drop off all the dogs. She had to leave the van running for every drop-off, as she wouldn't be able to get it going again.

She got my van to the mechanic, and it will cost about $250 for a new starter, plus another couple of hundred for labour. Meanwhile, my master brake cylinder has been failing for the last six months or so, so I asked the mechanic to replace that while the van was there. He looked at me and asked if we had won the lottery. The master cylinder will be another $300 or so - plus labour. By the time the day was over, we had incurred well over $1000 in vehicle repairs.

One step forward, and four giant leaps backwards...

I'm awfully glad that we don't do Christ! mas, though I'm sure that we just made the mechanic's Christ! mas a lot rosier.

My head hurts.

Monday, December 04, 2006

hector rendhindi and me

Hector with William S. Burroughs

me with a reefer

This is an e-mail exchange that went back and forth over two days between me and my friend "Hector Rendhindi".

"Hector" is a whacky artist/poet/musician whom I have been friends with ever since I came to Vancouver. He moved away to Ontario last year, and I miss his whacky ways.

There are a few of these exchanges that I will post as time goes by. There is a certain weird poeticism in our streams of conciousness.

From: "dreamroom"
To: "Hector"
Subject: I decided not to German
Date: Sat, 21 May 2005 23:45:54 -0700

in the same way that a crack in a mirror reveals the illusory nature of a reflected image. I decided not to German, and instead, walked to the nearest smoke shop. The proprietor was not in (he never was in those afternoon days of sunken sunlight that I remembered so well before they ever transpired to pass.), so I stood in the summerbreeze rain and gaped at the raw reflection that I saw. It was then that I realized that this wasn't The Edward Hopper painting - not really anyhow - this was real life! But it wasn't my own. Oh no. Not by a longshot as a rivulet of Alizarin Crimson caromed past. "On it's way to somewhere, I guess". At least that's what I thought, but, I suddenly realized that I was floating. But I was not the only one on that cool midnight blue Saturday before dawn, Uh-Uh - not by a long shot....

>-----Original Message-----
From: hector
Sent: May 22, 2005 3:15 PM
To: dreamroom
Subject: RE: I decided not to German

unlike a brick wall reminds you of another brick wall. I couldn't make up
my mind to Inuit, and instead, ran to the nearest monestary. The bumfu*ker was
there ( he always was in those late nights of rising stars that I forget so often as they keep on coming, so I layed down in the winter snow and closed my eyes so I wouldn't have to deal with anything. It was then that I had no idea that this was a Bateman sketch, really, this was phoney, and I owned it. Period!, as a chunk of dried Hookers Green remained permanent on the palette. Going nowhere fast. I wasn't thinking. I was sinking. And I was the only one that hot burnt sienna day just after dusk, oh yes it was happening........

>From: "dreamroom"
To: hector
Subject: RE: I decided not to German
Date: Sun, 22 May 2005 17:39:34 -0700

I had counted seven - I say, seven - giraffes by the time we had
arrived back from South-east Gillander. M. de Rivar was still with us, and
he spoke of a time when he was still indebted to James. As I think you must
know, James had an older sister named Frieda. She was a sordid type, and her
cohort referred to her as Frank. It was sometime after the "Little War", and
she had been more-or-less absolved of her mis-deeds, and of her infamous
gluttony (she still refused to admit to inspiring Munch's "Scream"). She had
taken to leashing herself, and parading herself around like some demented
poodle. I guess the positive thing was - James had still not returned from
his sojourn to the tropics. Anyhow, we had all been at the cathedral, and
found it to be quite fascinating. We had seen several nuns (they didn't seem to be lesbians) tending to what we had thought might be sheep, though on closer examination they turned out to be drunken Ethiopians without their parasols. Oh, but they were the envy of the Crumdites! They had glistening teeth and voices like gypsy-hog banjos. When they walked, they had a certain je ne sais qua - a swagger I suspected... But we were having none of that! Goodness no! There was much stained-glass strewn about, but it also turned out to be quite different than what we had expected. In fact, it wasn't stained-glass at all, but a strip-mall in Kentucky! Oh my, but how I laughed at their gullibility! Last Friday I had another letter from my Aunt's brother's cousin, ( you might remember her from our school days - it was her
Grandfather's son who invented the laser trousers that we wore with such glee when we arrived in Athens that day). She said to say "hello" - should I be talking to you. I think she has had a thing for you since that time in Penetanguishine. Ha! You must remember that escapade all too well? None-the-less, I should remember to send her some of the marmalade that we made from those tangerine berries. What a joke!

----- Original Message -----
From: hector
To: dreamroom
Sent: Sunday, May 22, 2005 7:11 PM
Subject: RE: I decided not to German

there was only two ducks-you said,two by the time we had returned to Northwest Squamish. Rivar was never there at all. He was James lover, as was his younger brother Fredrick. Just before the big bang he had inspired Monets unknown painting titled "Corn Hole Over Them Fu*kin' Lilies",lashing themselves and galavanting ariund like some bitch freak on a hot pride day.The only negative thing was is that James returned that day from Ohio.
We hated the cathedral and passed on going there. Earlier we had seen some
nuns rug munchin each other out back so we avoided it. Heres where you passed out from your pills and we had to cancel our appointment with monsieur.You woke up screaming " I wanna lollypop" so the male nurse hauled you into the other room where he said he gave you an oral sedated.

> >
> ><<>>

6 weird things about me

I have been "tagged" by Tara and babybull
to claim 6 weird things about myself. I guess tagged is like playing tag, but electronically, and now I'm it.

Here goes -

1) I don't like sweets, and never have. I don't like ice cream, soda pop, candies, cake, lolly pops, chips (not sweet, but still junk food...), pie, cookies, whatever. I never have, and when I was a kid, never even ate my birthday cake. I used to put it in the freezer, and save it for years.

2) I count my steps. Stairs, how many steps to the corner store, etc. Every step is counted.

3) I don't really get any older. People consistently think I'm ten years younger than I am.

4) I have a weird effect on clocks and watches - I slow them down. For this reason, I cannot wear a watch. When I used to visit my Grandma, her clocks would be about an hour slow after me staying there for 10 days or so.

5) I can tell you what time it is within three minutes - even if I have not seen a clock all day.

6) This is the weirdest thing. I asked J last night what was weird about me, and she said nothing. When pressed, she said I was not like other people, but that I am not weird, they are. Huh?

There are hundreds of things that I could tell you that could be construed as weird, but I don't want to freak anyone out.

Why do people run from solipsist?

You wear clothes from the sixteenth century and yell All the World is a Stage over and over

'Why do people run from you?' at

Sunday, December 03, 2006

the belly, the babby

Here are a few shots of the-belly-with-the-babby-in-it. We're at 7 1/2 months now. I wonder at how big that belly will get. J is small, and I am big, so I trust that her body knows how big to grow that babby. I was over 10 lbs when born. Hoping for no more than an 8 pounder here.

I have seen the babby pushing out for the first time. What a strange sight. The little gaffer was stretching or something, and it was weird to see. Reminiscent of an alien or such.

A couple of J's friends threw a baby shower for J yesterday, and she received some nice gifts. Babby clothes, books, etc. I read a Dr. Seuss book to the baby this AM. It is a book that Dr. Seuss wrote before he died, and is meant to be read to the babby in utero. It tells of all the Dr. Seuss stories that will be read when the babby is in this world. It was kind of fun. I liked the Hop on Pop story, as I'm sure that I will be a Pop that's a good spot to hop upon.

We chose not to know the sex of the babby before it was born (I admit that I pushed that), because we wanted the surprise. I'm so old-fashioned in some ways. J would like to know now, but she is cool with waiting. We just don't know what colour of clothes to get. We both really want a girl, but the divining done yesterday indicates a boy. No matter, I told J. If it's a boy, we'll just raise it as a girl. I'm kidding! Just so long as we don't get any Oedipus thing going.

We have no firm ideas for names because we both think it's silly to name someone that we do not yet know. The babby will reveal it's character, and we will name it then. The only sure thing is that we will honour my grandparents. McConkey for a middle name if a boy (my Grampa's middle name), Pearl for a middle name if a girl (Grandma's middle name). Names are very important, so we want to do it right.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

snow bound


Snowy week. Crazy city. The weather is warmer, but the snow is hanging on. This was the wisteria on my back deck on Wednesday. Things still look much the same, but the snow is slowly melting.

The problem in this city is that no one knows how to drive in snow (well no one knows how to drive period), so it's a flippin' nightmare trying to get anywhere. I had to drive all week, and trips that should have taken 10 minutes took a half hour. At least no one smashed into me. A lot of people did smash into each other though. I saw a lot of dented and bruised cars around.

The bright spot is that it is only 19 days to the solstice, and the days will start to get longer again after that. The spring will come, and we will have a new baby to usher it in. Yikes!

Monday, November 27, 2006

brrr! snow...

This was the scene on my street this morning. Very unusual for November. We usually get a couple of days or so of snow around Christmas, but had about a foot of it over the week-end.

It's supposed to be -11 degrees Celsius tonight - also very unusual. I think that is the coldest in all the time I've lived in Vancouver. Brrr!

The boil water advisory was lifted today - after 12 days. That is also a first (the boil water thing) since I've lived here.

Here's another shot that I took in the forest today while out with the dogs.

For some reason, blogspot is squishing this pic', and I'm too brain-dead to figure it out. Click on it if you want to see it full size.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

after the rains

I took this shot on Friday while driving around. It had been raining, and yucky all day, until a break in the weather opened up this vista. It is always a bit of pleasure to see the mountains covered in snow after a week or so of grey skies and rain.

There is still a boil water advisory 11 days on. Maybe the snow will turn the water white, instead of it's yellow tinge that it has had.

The skiers and snowboarders will be happy about this.

Friday, November 24, 2006

bean and the crow

This is a cool shot taken the same day. Bean was not chasing the crow, it was just brave (the crow).

I like this shot because it is quite dynamic.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

flying bean-dog

This is one of my favourite photo's of our Ridgeback - N'kosa Zulu Blu - aka Bean, Bean-dog, The Bean, Red Dog, Red Dog One (I'm Red Dog Leader), QUIET!, GO LAY DOWN!, ON YOUR BED!, Baby Girl, Crazy Girl, etc.

She is a character, full of beans, and full of life.

Monday, November 20, 2006

time to build an ark?

The rains continue, and still, 1 million people in the Lower Mainland are under a boil water advisory.

Things are better, but there are still thousands without power after 5 days. There were reports of fist fights over bottles of eater. Restaurants and cafes were advised today that it is "safe" to serve hot drinks, etc. as long as the water reaches 74 degrees Celsius.

The fact is that the media makes it sound much worse than it really is - as if we are a city under seige, or something. I have lived here for 20 years, and have seen this water after big rains before. No one got sick, and no one died. This is the first-ever water advisory, and I have seen worse.

Perhaps I just feel unaffected because we have been drinking spring water from 18 litre bottles for many years. I have absolutely no concerns about washing my dishes, or brushing my teeth with the pee-coloured water from the tap.

Hype. It's all hype.

The silver lining may be that people decide that Vancouver is not the best city in the world and stay away. Then, we may see some saner prices in our real estate.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

standing strong

I wrote about the final chapter for Que a bit ago, but I have under-estimated her yet again. The deterioration reported then was due (we think) to her swallowing a large chunk of bone (her teeth aren't so good anymore), resulting in an intestinal back-up. She cleared that, and has been pretty good since.

She started seeping profusely again a couple of days ago, and yesterday I went and picked up another dose of Arsenicum Album (50M), and started dosing her every half hour last night. I don't expect the arsenicum to push her into her good night, but it does almost stop the seeping, and makes the old girl a lot more stable.

Watching and waiting.

Friday, November 17, 2006

third world class

This was originally published at my other blog, but I thought that I'd post it here for those of you who don't make it over there. That, and the thing about me liking to post every day, and I haven't been doing so. I'm busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest...

Welcome to Vancouver! Home of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games (well, unless the snow doesn't show up in sufficient quantities).

Vancouver is a world class city! It fits in comfortably with Mexico City (though we don't have the weather that they have, and they had the Olympics 38 long years ago), Tegucigalpa (though their water is more potable), and Addis Abbaba (though their mountains are not as spectacularly snow-peaked), and Los Angeles (though they only had the piddlin' Summer Olympics, and their cops are tougher).

Yesterday there were 2 million people in the Lower Mainland who were warned to boil their water. Today, that number was halved to merely 1 million people. One million pregnant women, children, elderly, and the heavily mortgaged. The news spread far and wide very quickly. Last night I had three calls from other parts of Canada - concerned for our well-being. I also had an e-mail from the US with the same concerns. I didn't even know of the advisory before receiving these calls.

Hotels in Vancouver were quick to spread the advisory to all hotel rooms, and offered bottled water to their guests. Coffee shops and restaurants were hit where it hurts as they had to refuse their clients anything involving tap water. There were a lot of cranky, caffeine-deficient people in Vancouver the last couple of days.

I can just imagine visitors filling up their bathtubs with the murk that is on tap, and thinking that they might be better off to smell bad for their flights out of town. And what if any of them become sick with Giardia (classically known as Beaver Fever. How very Canadian...), Cryptosporidium, or such. And what if they sent their nice white shirts to the hotel laundry, and they came back looking as if someone had pissed all over them?

I was not personally affected - we have been drinking spring water for years, and have a good supply of 18 litre bottles stocked (because of the chlorine, we avoid tap water for drinking. At least there is no fluoride added.). I have also had amoebic dysentery, and Giardia, and have a pretty tough intestinal tract, but I had those infections in the Third World - where it can be expected. But Vancouver? That's some bad press man.

Third World Class. The city where people live on the streets. Where you can't even brush your flipping teeth unless you use bottled water (good luck finding any). The city where the middle class can't afford to buy the crappiest house.

Are we over ourselves yet?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

la pluie

This was the view in Vancouver today. It does not show the downed trees and hydro wires, nor does it show the collapsed buildings.

It was an horrendous day. Not fit for man nor beast, yet J braved it this morning with six dogs, and I braved it this afternoon with 7 dogs. J got the worst of it, as it was pouring swimming pools of water, and the winds were very high. I had it better with intermittent downpours and lashing winds to 90km/h.

Was glad to get home after all that. It's nice to have a roof over one's head on a day like today.

Monday, November 13, 2006



Another example of improbable possibility.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

expensive post

This is just an illustration of what I was babbling about in the previous post.

Expensive because this painting lists at $1,000.

cheap post

This is a photoshop image that I made from a photograph I took at Trout Lake. I intend to paint it (someday) because I like it's Impressionistic mood.

I have done quite a few "walking on water", and walking in mid-air photoshops and paintings. It's a fascination that I have for making the surreal appear to be perfectly normal, and even likely.

Are there any psychologists out there that can make sense of this?

Never mind, just enjoy.

Cheap post - because so little thought went into it, and it means nothing.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


This is George Muggleton who fought in WWI.
He was a family friend of my Grandma, and it was he who wrote a letter to her from the trenches.

lest we forget

I'm a bit late on this post - I don't seem to find the time until the afternoon, or until much later at night.

Today is Remembrance Day. Let us remember all of the young men and women that died fighting for something they believed in. And let us remember all of the innocents that died too.

Canada has not had to protect itself since the War of 1812, but Canadians have always gone to war in support of the British Empire. In WWI it is said that we defined ourselves as a country by stepping up to help to defeat aggression in Europe. We did it again in WWII, Korea, Bosnia, Rwanda, etc. Now we have soldiers in Afghanistan.

I think a lot about this at this time of year, but I never wear a poppy until November 11th, and wear it only on that day. It seems that Remembrance Day has become Remembrance Month, which is not neccessarily a bad thing, but to me, diminishes the meaning of the day.

I learned the depth of that meaning from my Grandma, who lived through WWI, WWII, etc. She lost schoolmates and friends in WWI, and one of her most prized possessions was a letter from a family friend who wrote to her from the trenches in WWI. I have that letter here, and intend to give it to the grandson of the author. Grandma was a teacher, and lost a number of her former students in WWII. She took this day very seriously, and I learned from that. I remember all of that horror by proxy. As our Quebecois cousins say Je me souviens, although what they remember is not the same as what I am writing about.

What makes me very sad about this day is that we have not learned, and although we remember those who died fighting for their beliefs in freedom, we never listened to what those brave men and women tried to teach us - Never again!.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tra-la Rummy

Glummy image lifted from somewhere and scaled

Well that mid-term election to the south was a relief. The people have spoken, and they are saying that they don't like what is going on at all. The Democrats have re-taken the Senate and Congress, and will be able to exert a lot of influence. I am heartened greatly. But it still has a long way to go. I don't think it so much matters which party has the Presidency so much as who the leader of that party is. Rumsfeld - one of the most detestable people I have ever had the misfortune to lay eyes on - is gone. Good riddance.

But who will replace him? Another of Daddy's boys of course. Sounds like a few of Daddy's boys will be stepping in to clean up Junior's broken toy. Are they less odious? Not as I know of them. Looks like Cheney might be resigning too. Hey, how about an impeachment? And a trial for crimes against all of humanity, and specifically against the united States of America*.
*This is the original as spelled on the Declaration Of Independance

Good news in Canada too. The people do not like the neo-con, evangelist bullshit of the Conservatives either. They have barely a point on the Liberals, and those dufus' don't even have a flipping leader. And whatever leader they do come up with will not be much more than uninspiring in my view. Stephane Dion would probably be the best bet, but in these times of image being more important than substance, Dion does not have the presence needed to engage the voters. He's kind of like Preston Manning in that way - somebody that can be trusted, but it's a liability exacerbated by sincerity. Oh well.

We could use a few personalities like Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chavez, Fidel, tempered by a few Joe Clarks, Diefenbakers, and Elizabeth Mays, with a dash of Jackie O. We need some fun.


This is one of the most poignant images I have seen from the Iraq invasion and occupation. There are 100,000's of images of maimed babies, men, women, children, soldiers, of prisoners being abused, and on 'til we become inured to the suffering of the innocent. I do not mean to diminish all of that, but this poor horse, with a leg blown almost off, really got me.

How much more innocent can you get than that? No one to comfort it in it's suffering, no one to heal it. And no one to put it out of it's misery.

When I hear people trying to justify this kind of ...I just want to...

Nice work Rummy.
photo from iraqi horse (click on image or link for larger)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

the hangman

image montage by author

I have been trying to get to this post, but have been very busy... Further, this story is so huge and convoluted that it will be hard to do it justice here. There is so much background and history to be studied to truly understand this.

So, an Iraqi court has found Saddam Hussein guilty of crimes against humanity in the 1982 killings of 148 people in the town of Halabja. There was an uprising there that needed to be quashed. Hussein didn't actually kill them, but as the leader of the country, he is responsible. Ironically, this incident is part of what the US administration cited as justification for the 2003 invasion of Iraq (along with Hussein being responsible for 9.11, possessing non-existent weapons of mass destruction, having missiles that "could reach London" in 40 minutes, and whole lot more bullshit.), meanwhile, G W Bush signed the death warrants of 150 people in Texas while governor - including juveniles, and mentally handicapped citizens. And who can forget his brutal sneering at, and mocking of, Karla Fay Tucker? Saddam Hussein is an under-achiever in comparison.

Now what is this picture about? Rumsfeld congratulating Hussein on following the directions provided by the US on how to effectively kill Kurds with nerve gas? This photo was taken in December 1983 - not too long after the 1982 atrocity. No condemnation there.. Oh, and the elements that were used to make the gas, and the helicopters used to deliver them, and billions of dollars in loan guarantees, and other assorted military equipment, were supplied by the US.
image from tinyrevolution

They also intend to try him for genocide for the gassing of Iraqi Kurds in 1988. There is a bit of a problem with this though, because Hussein's conviction goes to automatic appeal, and once that appeal is ruled on, and the death sentence upheld, they have 30 days to kill him, which could well preclude the genocide trial.

There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein is an evil man, but he has been backed by a coterie of evil (American) men since 1979. He was/is an asset of the CIA (along with bin Laden). Everything was fine until Hussein announced that Iraqi oil would cease to be sold in American dollars, and henceforth would be sold in Euros. We know what has happened since then.

Hussein has been attributed with causing the deaths of over a million people, but what is never mentioned is that those deaths were around the 8 year long Iran/Iraq war - that was sponsored by the US after their man the Shah was overthrown. There are all kinds of numbers thrown around - most of them specious, or convenient. I have heard about 5,000 Kurds, 100,000 - 300,000, a million, blah, blah. Over 500,000 Iraqi children died as a result of UN sanctions against Iraq after the first Gulf adventure in 1991 (Bush Sr., did not invade Iraq then because it was illegal to do so - just as it was in 2003.) The British medical journal The Lancet, Amnesty International, the Red Cross, Johns Hopkins, and many other reputable sources, have put Iraqi deaths at 655,000 since 2003. These deaths are all attributed to the mayhem that prevails now. It does not count the future casualties from radiation poisoning caused by the thousands of tons of depleted uranium munitions used by coalition forces. More American soldiers are dead than civilians died in 9.11. Mercenaries, private contractors, and journalists are not counted. And those are just battle field deaths. Deaths of wounded in transport, in hospital, suicides, etc. are not counted. Many more thousands are maimed forever.

The Iraqi constitution and courts were imposed by the US (just as in Japan after WWII), which is in contravention of the Geneva Convention -

The Geneva Convention, Article 54 reads: "The Occupying Power may not alter the status of public officials or judges in the occupied territories, or in any way apply sanctions to or take any measures of coercion or discrimination against them, should they abstain from fulfilling their functions for reasons of conscience." This is confirmed in the The Hague War Convention, also signed by the earlier existing US, before it became a totally lawless dictatorship.source

Amnesty International, and others - including American judicial experts, have stated that there is more than a little doubt as to the fairness of Hussein's trial. Defence lawyers, body guards and witnesses have been intimidated and/or murdered. There is also doubt as to whether the man in the prisoner's dock is Hussein. He is known to have had many Dopplegangers, and this guy may be one of them. Hussein's wife says that it is not her husband.

It's a frickin dog and pony show put on to eliminate - er, that's a Freudian typo. I mean - manipulate the minds of America - especially at this important election time. Wag-the-Dog.

On top of all of that, I am firmly opposed to capital punishment. I used to be all for it, but now I would rather see evil people imprisoned in a very small cell, with no view to the outside, and the most meagre of rations, for the rest of their lives. That's punishment. It blew me away that 76% of Canadian respondents to a survey on the net were for Hussein's execution.

What are we coming to?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Euthanasia - the final chapter

I have written (here and here) about our old dog Que, and about her cancer, and our dilemna about euthanising her.

We did not choose to euthanise, and after the last round of high-dose (50M) arsenicum, she was almost like her old self again. The weeping of the serum dwindled to almost nothing, she went out with the pack a few times, the tumour(s) shrank, and we thought that she might hang on until the babby comes.

Today that all seems to have changed. She went out to relieve herself this morning and collapsed on the lawn. She just laid there for a while until J coaxed her to come back into the house. She wouldn't eat today, no wagging tail, no interest in anything. We feel that she may have finally decided that enough is enough. Her breathing seems a bit laboured, and she is just laying in her spot in the kitchen. She won't even loft her head to look at us. She is either very pissed off at us for some reason, or she has given up. Right now, I wonder if she will make it through the night.

We have taken the bucket/lampshade/whatever that she has been wearing to keep her from ripping off the bandages (and eating them), so that she can die in peace and with dignity. She is a very proud and dignified old lady, and she hates that bucket.

We are on a death watch now, and I will keep you up to date.

(The photo above is from about 4 years ago)

Friday, November 03, 2006

fall detritus


Grandma's geranium after a frost.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


bird of paradise Madeira, Portugal


lisbon train station 89

You may notice the rain in this picture.


rain gif "gifted" by Telus

Oh, brrr! Yuk!

Out and about with the hounds again today. Usually, this is an idyllic interlude from being rooted in front of this infernal machine, but today it was detestable. Cold and rainy it was.

The Ridgebacks (also known as Sun Dogs, or Lion Dogs) hate the cold and the rain just as much as I do. They are warm weather dogs who love to lay around in the sun and the shade alternately. I am a warm weather dog too. It's interesting, because they have the identical colour of hair as I, and are easy going and languorous in demeanour. Hey, they are really good-lookin' too!

J got soaked (as usual), but she likes to walk in the rain because there are less people around to take exception to a group of 6 or 7 dogs. I don't care about the people - I need warmth!

At least it is well above freezing. There is snow and very cold temperatures elsewhere. I still long for Mexico when this time of year comes though.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

autumn's last gasps

Just a couple of shots that I grabbed today.