Monthly Archives: January 2003

January 13th

It was totally dark when I got up this morning; the snow had made sort of a layer of fog and it was hard to judge the real time… But by now it's pretty much cleared up again… But it's quite pretty, and my picture doesn't really do it justice. There's also a lot of wind, so giant gusts of snow are all over the place.

It was hard to do the BME news feed update this morning — the news is totally swamped with tattoo stories (well, one story repeated over and over) about the Anna Kournikova non-tattoo. But I think I found a few interesting ones at least, even just the anecdotal ones like this one about a casino robber on the run who got tattoos and piercings as a disguise, or this one about a vegetarian artist who wants to tattoo piglets.

Something scary that I realized; the anti-war movement is very strong right now; perhaps stronger than it ever has been historically. Even smalltown America is on the whole opposed. Given that even though the American public and the international community is opposed to war, one has to wonder why America can't stop warmongering

…and one has to really wonder what scam the government will cook up to rally the people behind the flag — the war flag that is — again (whether they DID IT or not, everyone has to admit that Bush et al has used 9/11 in absolutely disgusting ways to guarantee that far more corpses litter this planet). But here's the kicker: do you know when President Bush decided to invade Iraq? On paper, the decision was Sept 17 2001. It's totally loony and absolutely contrary to any notion of international law…

Party time

So Saira's engagement party was totally fun. The main ritual was hilarious because it was in sanscrit, and even Saira who of course speaks Urdu and Hindi looked totally confused (Saira's mother seemed relatively with-it). Michael and his family I think just tried to go along with it — but they appeared to totally enjoy it.

Then there was some dancing; cousins of Saira's that had just gotten jobs as dancers in an Indian movie and put on a show, followed by Saira's brother hamming it up. Then there was a feast!

PS. That middle/bottom picture of me is really weird… It doesn't look like me at all…

I'm full of bad ideas

We spent some time trying to get Rachel's car on the road (surprise major snow came before we put it in storage for the winter), but since the ground is 100% ice, no luck at all. I'm pretty sure I've shortened the life of those tires, but, like most of my ill-conceived notions, at least it was fun.

A few years ago I got The Thomas Crown Affair on DVD, purely for one reason: the gorgeous catamaran that he capsizes just for the fun of it — not only do I love sailing (although I've only sailed little 16' Lazers and things like that) and big cats, I really like people having fun at the expense of high end toys… I think one of the real shames is that when people get rich they forget that they are buying toys and treat them as some sort of messed up status symbol.

Either way, thanks to Rob's generosity I will still be making it to the engagement party.

PS. And yes, I know that old Ferdinand is rolling over like mad in his German grave right now.

Getting cleaned up

In a few hours I'll be off to Toronto to Saira and Michael's engagement party. It's a traditional Indian ceremony, so I'm quite looking forward both to that and to the food. I even did my best to “clean up” for the event. (Well, I shaved anyway.)


Of course, I'm still pretty sure that Rachel, Ryan, Danielle, and I are going to feel kind of silly since we'll be some of the few underdressed folks there… I'm told (warned?) that at an Indian wedding the dichotomy between whitey and the host families is rather funny.

PS. Adding a better scaling routine for thumbnail images is on my list… Should have done it some time ago.

In the morning…

I'm off to process experiences in a few minutes (probably for Sunday's update), but before that I thought I'd mention a few news stories. On the BME feed, check out the one from Japan (funny street commentary about tattoos), and the one from Lebanon (a longer article about the tattoo “fad”).

BME News Feed
Jan 11: PA: Teacher may be fired for te…
Jan 11: TX: (Austin) Tattoo convention p…
Jan 11: Japan: What do you think of tatt…
Jan 11: NM: If the inky deities have som…
Jan 11: USA: The sex-change charade (…
Jan 10: NY: Catholics recommend castra…
Jan 10: Lebanon: Art with a difference -…
Jan 9: CA: Bumfights tattoo artist says th…
Jan 9: UK: Shaun's game of two calves
Jan 9: TX: Ft.Worth tattoo shop acts as C…

Let's take a quick look at Bush finances. When King Bush I left power, he'd smashed the economy into having a $290 billion deficit — the worst on record. Then Clinton managed to rebuild things, and in 2000 had a $236 billion surplus, the best ever. Then King Bush II seized power, and is now expected to push the deficit to a record setting $350 billion — many analysts are predicting that annual defense spending could soon reach a half TRILLION dollars a year.

Yes, America is very rich by global standards, but it's not that rich. There is no way America can spend this much money and maintain a first world standard of living for its citizens.

Something else that Bush has cut — condoms. When Bush came into power, the US donated about 800 million condoms to the third word anually. But now, since this is a “Christian” government, those donations are down to 300 million. I'll let you decide whether they're doing that do destabilize Africa, or whether they're doing it for some misguided holy war reason.

In further bad news, Canada may join the “axe of evil”.

So, the US says it “knows for a fact” that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, and that it shouldn't have to provide evidence to invade, even though the UN flatly denies US claims. America can't seriously expect the international community to believe it. The fact is, if you have a history of being a deceitful and warmongering nation, people just assume you're lying. So you have to provide evidence… and saying “we have lots of evidence that we can't show you” just doesn't cut it.

PS. Remember North Korea? Recent quotes from the government include “Korean war will finally lead to the Third World War” and “let's see who will win and who will be defeated in this standoff” and the news recently warned North Koreans about “reckless military moves of the US warmongers”. In addition, it's planning on restarting firing missiles, and has said it will “mercilessly wipe out” any nation that confronts it.