Saturday, October 31, 2009

—— FUTURE BANS HUGGING —— (Parte Secunda)

This is catching, as this kind of shit seems to do, especially in the so-called 'education sector'.

Hugging banned at high school

STUDENTS at a north Queensland state high school have been given detention after being caught hugging.

Two Year 9 girls have been given detention after being caught embracing friends, inclusing one who said she was comforting a friend wwas distressed. [SPELLING AND INCOHERENT GRAMMAR COPIED AS IS! †]

One sits in stunned silence, not least at the article's 'English', for which the writer should be shot immediately, or at the very least have his hand cut off, so he or she can never repeat the offense. [BTW, I use US spelling; just FYI and in case someone's wondering.]

Oh, and by the way, here's another bit of 'news' that might or might not shock you, depending on your inclination:

Obama 'sent from God' says Sting

NEW YORK - Sting isn't a religious man, but he says President Barack Obama might be a divine answer to the world's problems.

"In many ways, he's sent from God," he said in an interview, "because the world's a mess."

Sting believes that Obama is the best leader to navigate the world's problems. In an interview, the former Police frontman said that he spent some time with Obama and "found him to be very genuine, very present, clearly super-smart, and exactly what we need in the world."



Well, here's a gentle reminder...



† It is possible that by the time you actually look at the article, someone might have corrected it. But at the time, I did a straight copy-and-paste. I also saved the article, just so that nobody can accuse me of having made this 'English' up; because it looks like the kind of thing one could have made up...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Demspey and Makepeace—80s TV-series Goodness

Thanks to my daughter in the UK—soon to be back in Australia, about which we're all very happy—and her thoughtful response to my Christmas wish, which ended up as a Father's Day gift, my wife and I have had the good fortune to pig out on that piece of 80s TV-series goodness, Dempsey and Makepeace.

...with Michael Brandon and Glynis Barber, who hooked up in real life after the series was done; which kind of confirmed something that was pretty obvious on-screen, namely the existence of that elusive quality known as 'chemistry'—a term often used and abused, in the context of a 'lack' of it even more than in a more positive meaning.

Now, I'm not really a fan of' 'old stuff'; and 'vintage' stuff, at least to me, isn't only no better than what we produce today, but it's also dated, and I for one find much of it hard to relate to. Casablanca leaves me cold, though from a purely clinical level I can appreciate its narrative virtues. Old Star Trek has curiosity value, certainly, but I wouldn't "oohh" and "aahh" over it. The attribute 'classic' means little to me. One day much of what he produce now will be 'classic', and so what?

There are exceptions. For example, I love Once Upon a Time in the West; Charade; many, though not all, old Clint Eastwood flicks; a few choice episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, a selection of Avengers episodes, though I can take or leave most of them, and they don't really grab me anymore either; plus other stuff—but there isn't that much, really. And, yes, I know this is almost heresy, what I'm saying here. So bite me.

But I always liked Dempsey and Makepeace. Watching it again took a few episodes to get over the 80s style and rituals, shots, camera angles and music that was in vogue in the mid-80s; but then I became habituated to it and that aspect of the show became background noise, which the brain blanked out while it focused on the stories themselves.

Not that the stories were all that hot-shit either. There was very little deep-and-meaningful, at least not for the first season. Much of it was clearly laid out, with everything pretty unambiguous and almost qualifying as stereotype—which might have been annoying in a different setting and with different people; but it wasn't here. In the following seasons, and especially in the third and last, the characters were 'tested' significantly more, to reveal quite a few raw spots. This went together with a change of hairstyles—as the world's fashions changed, I suppose—but I shall assume that that was incidental.


So, what made it so successful with audiences?—while the retard LWT network execs didn't renew the show after S3; were they asleep at the wheel or what? Well, you work it out. Rocket science it ain't.

And there's a definite flip-side to the non-renewal, of course. The show went out on a total 'high', with viewer numbers in S3 going through the roof. And nobody can ever know—one of those parallel universe things—what would have happened to Glynis Barber and Michael Brandon, if the show had gone on. Would they still be together today? Would they ever have gotten together, and would it have worked out, given the stresses associated with the schiozoid circumstances implied in acting on a TV series together and also having a real-life relationship? The record on those kinds of things working out is spotty at best. As it is, they still are, 20+ years later; with Brandon in his mid 60s and Barber her mid-50s.

So, maybe there's a Big Picture thing here, in which the TV series was just a part in the stories of two people and their lives together. Maybe Brandon and Barber are actually secretly grateful for the way it ended: the public part, that is.

So, when people ask, "I wonder why they never made it big?" or "Haven't seen him/her in anything recently, have we?", maybe that question has as its answer something like "Because these people actually have lives; and the bits that we see were just the tip of the iceberg." Actually, you'd hope that this is so. But we're so used to 'celebrity' and 'star' dimwits living it out there on the world stage for all to see and letting it all hang out—not being sure what of what's seen is actually in any way 'real!—that maybe we don't understand the concept of 'private lives' anymore.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ernie and Bertha—and Fred, and the Babies

Continuing the Magpie saga...

Ernie, you may be interested to hear is out of the picture. A somewhat larger, bolder, probably older and otherwise more alpha-ish bird named 'Fred' has replaced him. One morning, no Ernie, but Fred. Bertha, what a flighty lady you are.

Also, yesterday morning—finally!—on the tree outside our kitchen window, two small Magpies; still somewhat wobbly on their feet and definitely uncertain on their wings. My wife and I felt like they were our babies as much as Bertha's. After all, they had consumed, during the last 2-3 weeks, several pounds of cheap beef mince!

The whole issue of what Fred thought he'd get out of biffing Ernie out of the picture—especially since the kids Fred did help, a little, to feed, were not his!—is beyond me. Magpies appear to have an interesting love life. Fred, by the way, is the Magpie that's been hanging around for months in the field next door. No mate, I guess, but the guy had his beady, brown, predatorial eyes on Bertha all the time.

Fred is also far more forward than Ernie, who was a wooz and a pansy, except at those moments when he needed to rise to the occasion and defend the nest and the mate. Little good it did him in the end, when Fred came along. Fred, after a mere few days—though not quite with the familiarity displayed by Bertha—started taking the nibbles out of my hand.

These birds, by and large, have more character and are more interesting from a 'personality' point of view that the politicians running this country—which currently are headed by a Prime Minister, who is a control freak who likes to use big words and spends enough money traveling around the world to build two much-needed extra hospitals, but who allowed himself to be spooked into some really, really stupid actions—regarding how to handle the current influx of boat-refugees—by an opposition leader who couldn't tell his ass from his face.

What a pathetic circus...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

—— FUTURE BANS HUGGING ——

So reads the headline from...when?

Just putting two completely different things together, as I'm occasionally wont to do; not least because the first item is so outlandish that it is difficult not to put it together with the second. So, here we go:

South Australian primary school bans hugging

YEAR six and seven students have been banned from mixed-sex consensual hugging at a primary school in South Australia for fear it would set a "bad example" to younger students...

Large Hadron Collider is 'being sabotaged from the future'

SCIENTISTS claim the giant atom-smashing Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is being jinxed from the future to save the world.

In a bizarre sci-fi theory, Danish physicist Dr Holger Bech Nielsen and Dr Masao Ninomiya from Japan claim the LHC startup has been delayed due to nature trying to prevent it from finding the elusive Higgs boson, or "God particle".

They say their maths proves that nature will "ripple backward through time" to stop the LHC before it can create the God particle, like a time traveller who goes back in time to kill his grandfather...

...and, in a supplement to this one, and definitely much less bizarre...

Stephen Hawking bets Large Hadron Collider won't work

RENOWNED British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has bet £50 ($110) that a mega-experiment this week will not find an elusive particle seen as a holy grail of cosmic science.... "I think it will be much more exciting if we don't find the Higgs. That will show something is wrong, and we need to think again. I have a bet of 100 dollars that we won't find the Higgs," said Prof Hawking...

Well, it's not like he bet his life's saving, but...

My readers may know how I feel about the LHC, which I consider a very dangerous waste of money that would be better spent on medical research. But hey, people spend a lot of money of stuff that's 'waste' and possibly deserves a much worse label.

Anyway, back to putting apparently unconnected things together; as I did—allow me to inject a bit of shameless self-promotion here—in my novel Continuity Slip, which, for those requiring economy, is available not only as a print volume, but also a fairly cheap download from here.

Now you've got to admit that the hugging ban may be even more bizarre than the LHC thing; if for no other reason but that it is irrational at too many levels to discuss here. To get you started, think of the ramifications and implicit absurdities. Like, what about same-sex hugging? What if it's boyfriend-boyfriend or girlfriend-girlfriend hugging? Is that one OK? And how could you tell? And then there's the question of what about maybe-soon-girl/boyfriends? You know, what you might call 'developing relationships'. And what's a 'hug' anyway? Like is this a hug?

Or is this this an arm-over-shoulder? Are we talking about full-body stuff?

And if this absurdity is really being followed through, just exactly how far does this extend—like 'geographically', I mean, like...

Here's the scenario. Suppose it's defined as 'no hugging (whatever that's supposed to mean) on school grounds. So what happens the moment girl-boy, girl-girl or boy-boy—ahh, no, those last two pairing are OK, I think—set a foot outside the fence? I can see a hug-fest, full body and all, plus maybe some more demonstrative displays, like that school's 'administrators' have never seen before. Just to spite them.

Which reminds me, the reasons—if using that word isn't an implicit insult to anybody who ever used 'reason' in their lives— for the ban apparently included...

...an outbreak of hugging when friends were reunited following the recent school holidays...

The only explanation for this circus, next to simple human stupidity—will someone please fire the dumbwit principal and the rest of the morons responsible for this!?—has got to be that something , something!, is reaching out back in time from a maybe-not-distant future, where all physical human interactions are either strictly monitored or banned, or both; except in legally carefully defined exceptions. It's not like this isn't the way 'western' societies are moving, sometimes with blinding speed.

Hey, why not? If the future is nuking the proper functioning of the LHC—something I'd be grateful for, and maybe we all should be—then why not hugging, eh?

Monday, October 19, 2009

NeoNecrosis: The Dangers of Spell Checking

There are neophiliacs and necrophiliacs.

neophilia
(redirected from Neophiliac)



neophilia - /nee"oh-fil"-ee-*/ The trait of being excited and pleased by novelty. Common among most hackers, SF fans, and members of several other connected leading-edge subcultures, including the pro-technology "Whole Earth" wing of the ecology movement, space activists, many members of Mensa, and the Discordian/neo-pagan underground. All these groups overlap heavily and (where evidence is available) seem to share characteristic hacker tropisms for science fiction, music, and oriental food. The opposite tendency is "neophobia".

necrophilia
(redirected from necrophiliac)



Sexual attraction for or sexual intercourse with dead bodies

How does a neophiliac become a necrophiliac? Good question! It so happens that I have an answer:

When someone uses spell OED-oriented spell checkers, set to 'correct all' (or something along those lines) to read documents. One of these days I'm going to compose a document that has sufficient non-OED contents that will be translated by some retarded spell-checker into something either completely unintelligible or at the very least incomprehensible. When I have the time, that is.

It happened, believe it or not. Of course, there's nothing wrong per se with using the OED as a spell-check reference. It is a fairly conservative publication and will ensure that neologisms, even those that have been in use for years—like, 'neophiliac' was actually used in a movie: Someone Like You, years back—aren't accidentally inserted into texts intended to be stolid. Of course, that makes language rather boring—as also happens when using dumb-ass software like the Microsoft® WORD® grammar-checker—but in some instances language is meant to be boring, I suppose.

But when it gets to a stage that one believes the processed result of a run-rampant spell-checker more than one's own common sense and contextual understanding...well, things are going just a tad off-the-rails. When the correspondence in question is, furthermore, of at least partially an 'official' and serious nature, one would think that said common sense would act as a serious reality-checker on the spell-checker.

Yes, or so one would think...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

CCTV and GOD

Yesterday, driving into town, I caught a bit of Brisbane ABC radio talkback, where one 'Madonna King' asked viewers to phone in regarding their opinions on a 'dilemma' of an ethical nature. If this thing is a 'dilemma', then we are indeed in deep shit, and if the radio people expected anybody to admit publicly that they'd do anything but what is expected, the radio station really is in dire need of a decent presenter and even more so of some producers with a modicum of brains.

The dilemma: You're at the airport, waiting for a plane. You go into a book/stationery store there and browse around, then accidentally walk out with a book without paying. You're now at the gate and realize what you've done. What do you do now? Make sure the book is returned, either by yourself or maybe a friendly airline person; or take it with you on the plane and never mind payment and stuff like that?

Yeah, I know, it's a killer, that one. A Gordian Knot of moral dilemma-ness.

Anyway, despite my 'DUH!' reaction, which expected not a single person to admit that they'd take the book, there was a surprise. Well, not a real surprise, but I didn't expect the guy who came out with it to be so stupid as to admit it. He may have been flippant, of course. Yeah, right. I think of it as a version of Freudian Slip.

On the same show, at the time of the question being asked, were two 'regulars', politicians from opposing sides of politics. One of them, after paying due lip service to doing the right thing, he also said something like "Well, a guy in my position can hardly afford to be caught on CCTV taking a book without paying for it."

This was a real gem, mainly because of the guy's loose tongue. And these are the people we elect to parliament? Please, if there is A Deity—which I very much doubt—help us. Please, please, please! Apart from this fellow's stupid, self-revealing comment, the whole segment made me think about a number of other issues tough...

One thing I really dislike about Australia—and one excellent reason to spend as much as possible of one's life outside cities—is not just the ubiquity of these damn CCTV cams, but also their spread. Damn things breed like rabbits. Nothing—as yet!—compared to the per capita CCTV numbers in the UK, but I can see it getting there; and the element of larrikinism in Australia is definitely complemented by an officiousness and desire-to-control that is truly disturbing. But that's life in the modern world for you. I understand the rationale for it—both versions, the official and the real one—but that doesn't have to mean I like it. It's just the old rule: give the bastards a useful instrument with any capability for abuse, and they will abuse it.

In many ways, CCTV have replaced God in the minds of many, whether they know it or not. Well, not just 'in the minds' either. And maybe CCTV isn't God per se, but the perverts watching it certainly must feel like they are. CCTV is really the 'eyes of God', and as was clear from the unguarded remark of the politician, it's assuming the same function in regulating public life as simple superstition once was—you know, when people actually believed that 'God' or Santa Claus or the f...ing Easter bunny, actually 'knew' what you were doing all the time, and whether you were naughty or nice, and so better be good for goodness' sake.

Ahh, oops. There are actually people who still believe it. Well, you people, you now have a good reason and solid technology to back up some of that, except that it isn't God, but some 'security' or 'authority' person, who has even less right to poke his or her oversized nose into your damn business than God ever had in the Dark Ages. And those who never believed this God-thing—well, sorry, but no, there may not be a God, but now there's CCTV; and the watchers behind it are even less likeable and more obnoxious than any deity the human mind ever dreamt up. Give me Santa any day.

As I said, I know the rationale behind all this. And, yes, it may be true that, for example, without CCTV it might not have been possible to catch those lunatics that wanted to blow up those planes some time ago—before they got around to doing it. But I didn't say that the dilemma we're in is resolvable. The only thing we can control is its use and abuse. We can control the circumstances under which it may be used.

But there is no doubt that we are paying dearly for the 'security' that the eyes of 'authority' provide us with. And for most people, let's face it, they don't do diddly squat. Because their effect almost invariably is post-facto, with the delays involved equally invariably being far too great to help anybody. It doesn't help an assault victim one iota that the event was recorded by CCTV an that the police in due course catch the offender—and if lucky, the courts will actually follow the process through to a sentence that fits whatever crime was committed. Society's desire for 'justice' may have been satisfied—or not, as is almost as likely—but the victim of some crime is still a victim, and the presence of CCTV will not make a shred of difference.

But won't it act as a deterrent? Not likely! Because either the perp is prepared for the presence of the EOA (Eyes Of Authority), in which casse he or she will probably make sure that visual ID is pretty well impossible, or else he's suffiently stupid, or motivated by whatever prompt that drives him, not to give a toss about who watches and why.

So, no, CCTV is extremely unlikely in helping any potential victim from being victimized at the time the victimization takes place. Their proliferation in 'public places'—which eventually basically means everywhere the 'authorities' damn well want to put them, with the lethargic and easy-to-con public letting them—is therefore unnecessary, and actually only helps the huge industry profiting from their installation, maintenance and updating.

Still, here it is, as are lots of other surveillance techniques that I'm ignoring right now. And so, just remember the Isaac Asimov's tiny tale...

If only the minds of today's Gods weren't so infinitesimally small, in terms of their capacity as well as their capabilities for ethical judgment.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Attack of the Butcher(bird)s


You see, there's this pensioner couple, who live in some Brisbane suburb, and nearby their house, in the branches of a gum tree on public land, a pair of Butcherbirds (of the variety shown above) have made a nest. Butcherbirds and Australian Magpies are closely related. They are highly intelligent and will befriend people if they don't seem them as a threat—meaning if they don't get chased by them, their nests or young are not attacked and, most importantly, if they can get some food of humans. Because love does go through the stomach.

The notion that, if you feed Magpies and Butcherbirds, they not only do not attack you during breeding season, but actually make pleasant drop-in-for-a-feed wild buddies, isn't just an urban myth. I've seen it happen without fail in several places now, and our own pair of Maggies, Ernie and Bertha, are also a case in point. Not only do they not attack my wife and I, but they also leave others coming to our place alone. Indeed, they treat them with almost the same casual ease—after some brief inspection and a bit of sizing up and down. But they don't need much persuasion. About an ounce of raw meat, offered on a hand from a person crouching down or being generally non-threatening, will do the job without fail and in minimum time.

I've observed similar behavior, including in Kookaburras, at the place of some people we know just down the road. In fact, it's too easy in many ways, and you really want to restrict this kind of thing to birds like the ones mentioned. Don't do it to parrots, especially not the socially gregarious ones. You may live to regret it, because they qualify as 'invasive'. But Butchies, Maggies and Kookies are just fine. You got to make sure they know their limits, but if you do, they'll be your best buddies. And they figure out pretty quickly when you're not in a disposition to feed them. So they skulk around for an extra minute or two, and then go off to forage in their natural food sources.

Back to the pensioner couple, harassed by dive-bombing Butchies. If you remove them or destroy their nests, you're up for a hefty fine, since they are a protected species. We're talking $AU20k here, so that's not something to consider lightly. If you hire a licensed professional for the purpose, it'll cost you at least $AU 300, and a pensioner couple doesn't really have that kind of cash lurking around; not often anyway. The daughter of the couple in question also expressed her 'fear' at being attacked when she came close to the house.

Irresponsible municipality that doesn't seem to care. And the cops were no help either. What can these poor, bird-harrassed people possibly do? Are birds really more important than people? Oh my! Stuff like that. You get the drift, I'm sure.

Well, people, here's the solution, and it won't cast a lot.
  • Go to the supermarket.
  • Buy some dog-food of the dry-soft kind, or else get some real cheap mince.
  • Feed the little blighters.
There is an issue with doing it this late in the game, of course. As so often, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Make friends with them before—that's before! B-E-F-O-R-E—they start building their nests.

I don't know about people, I really don't. You'd think that those living in Brisbane—with Maggies and Butchies and all that doing the same thing every damn year without fail—would have figured this kind of stuff out years ago! Right? Right??

I know that if these birds were people, theyt would have figured it out a long time ago.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Only in NORWAY! (silly me...): Obama, Gore, Carter, Arafat

Continuing the "Only In" series...

Can there be any doubt that the once-revered, prestigious Nobel Peace Prize has become a silly little dog-and-pony side-show? It's like something The Onion could have cooked up.

So, we now live in a world in which satire is actually real, and where reality is really satire?

Sounds about right.

And speaking of The Onion, here's some news for zoologists:

God Introduces New Bird

...In keeping with tradition, the bird has not been given a name by God, who has left it to mankind to name all the animals.

"This came out at the perfect time," said Chet Clem, Chair of Biblical Science at Oral Roberts University. "God hadn't come out with anything in a long while, and people, quite frankly, were beginning to lose faith in Him. But this bird is totally worth the wait."

Added Clem, "It's classic God."

So, you see, you wicked unbelievers, not only can he create creatures (hmmm...'create creatures'??...my English is taking a dive here!) and used to do it on a regular basis—with what you might call a maniacal creation drive at one stage—but he's still at it. That's tellin' ya.

Good on you, God. For your services to Earth ecology, maybe the Nobel Committee might consider you, too, for a Nobel Peace Prize, to join the illustrious lineup of...ahh, never mind.

Actually, they probably will. Next time. Certainly, they must—after all, a whole new bird!... though it isn't maybe quite as imaginative as one might have expected from you. Running out of ideas? †

Quoting from the News:

Not all, however, are impressed.

"The wingspan is not really doing it for me," said well-known creation critic Jean Krewson. "And does it always squawk like that? After six millennia, couldn't God have come up with something a little edgier to breathe life into? I hate to say it, but maybe the One Who Made Man Flesh is losing His touch."

"It's no bald eagle, that's for sure," he added.

Despite such criticisms, most humans remained united in praise of the new species, which is already surpassing previous records for bird popularity in all major wildlife sectors.

"Get 'em while supplies last," God said. "Or before they're hunted to total extinction."

Don't worry, mate. They'll give you the prize anyway. I mean, look at the illustrious lineup of...ahh, whatever.

Does God have a creative use-by date, now long-expired? If so, we may speculate on when that date was—approximately, of course. Suggestions are solicited.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Owls and Cats


My daughter, Aynia, pointed this one out. And, yes, I can see how owls and cats have at least one thing in common, namely the Evil Eye if they're thus disposed.

Go to the blog with the rest of the pics. They're precious. And, as a biological aside, note the different pupil sizes in the next image.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Stealing Memory

Olin Levi Warner, Memory (1896). Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C.

I finally managed to see X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and it is probably my favorite in the whole X-Men series so far. For those who haven't seen it yet, please don't read on, because major SPOILER is coming up. You have been warned.

For those still with me...

At the end of the film, 'Wolverine', formerly 'Logan', is robbed of his memory by the evil guy of the movie, Colonel Stryker. A big chunk of it anyway. He doesn't even know his original name anymore; but the dog tags around his neck say 'Wolverine', which he had chosen at some earlier point as an alias, and which has now become his 'real' name.

Among the things he doesn't remember is the dead woman lying nearby, who had once been his lover, then turned out to have been just a 'plant' to watch over him while he had been out there in the world, doing his own stuff. In the end, it's revealed that she had been blackmailed into doing this by the Evil Guy, but that didn't stop her from falling in love with Logan—and in the end she dies, not quite in his arms, but he knows the truth anyway. Then his memory of her is taken—all of it, the good and the bad, the joy and the pain—and all he can do is close her dead eyes; and maybe deep down there's a sense that...

Maybe.

The ending triggered a lot of stuff, not least of which was the whole issue of 'memory', which was also dealt with in movies like Dark City, Bladerunner and The 13th Floor. It occurred to me, and this was a visceral reaction that surprised me, that stealing someone's memory—in the sense of either taking it away from them directly, or altering it in such a way that it bears no truth-correlation to what was there before the taking'—should be a crime punishable at least as severely as killing someone. Because, good or bad, accurate or distorted through life and time, it is all we have that is ours—because our memories are our stories, which weave into the whole, constantly changing single story that we understand as our 'being'.

Think about that. And think about the things that are being done to us on a daily basis by those who take away and replace, if not all of our memory, then at least large portions of it. Of course, one could argue, that there's little difference how memories get changed: by ourselves or others, and where's the boundary anyway? But that's not the point. If we change them, then it's our doing, at least partially, and we should make this 'partially' account for as much as possible. That's the whole thing about being responsible to the greatest degree possible for our actions and for what we are. But to allow others to take over that job is unacceptable—at least I think so.

And yet we let them do it, day by day and in so many subtle and overt ways...and be it only simply by believing their bullshit about what was, is and will be.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Birthday Presents

Yes, it was my birthday on Oct 2, and my 'ladies'—meaning two daughters and spouse—gave me the best present ever! Apparently they've been scheming about it for months, the minxes; but who am I to complain? Not I! No, sir!

So what they gave me was a voucher.

No, not one for books, CDs, fancy electronics, haircuts, car accessories or anything else you might come up with. Instead it was was for an introductory lesson in helicopter flying in a Robinson R22, at a flying school down the Gold Coast. For someone whose list of to-dos includes learning how to fly helicopters at a very high level of priority, this is just about as cool as it can get.

Don't know when I'm going to go to cash this in, but it's valid for 6 months, and so I have until the end of March 2010. Something to look forward to, and I intend to enjoy the looking-forward just as much as the doing it. I fully intend to brush up on my helo theory—something I've spent some time on a couple of years back—so I get the best possible value out of this.

So, to my ladies: a very public THANK YOU!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Roman Polanski: Predator


If anyone is in any doubt whatsoever that this man qualifies as a 'predator' and someone who should be locked away for the rest of his natural life, look through the transcript of the testimony of his victim. The calculated, devious way he went about this is chilling.

Nothing more needs to be added, except that those who find excuses for why he should be shown mercy or why what he did wasn't really all that horrific—like a female Hollywood 'star' said: "It wasn't rape-rape."—make me want to puke.