Monthly Archives: February 2003

A weird conversation

I went out with Rob and Rachel to Montana's, a TGIF sort of place… We were in town anyway picking up some glasses for me to finally replace my cracked ones. Anyway, as we were leaving I had this odd conversation with the manager:

Manager: Thanks for coming! Hey — you've been here a lot lately.

Shannon: Yeah, well, there aren't many choices in Belleville, and you're one of the better ones. I don't eat meat or dairy, and our waitress was really good about helping me tune my meal for my needs.

M: You don't eat meat? You should try our stir-fry! We make a stir-fry even better than a Chinaman can!

(awkward silence as I try and figure out if he really just said that)

M: (hands me a card) This will get you a free appetizer next time you're here. I think you'd really like our cheese tortillas! We take a flour tortilla and smother it in cream cheese, and then we..

S: I'm pretty sure cheese is a dairy product.

M: Oh….

At that point it became pretty clear he had no idea what item he could recommend and he just kind of wandered off. I don't really think much of the guy; he's got a really sleazy “used car salesman” vibe about him in the worst possible way. The staff on the whole is friendly, but in that “kill me now” too-much-flair kind of way…

Fortune cookies

Got this a few days ago at Ryan and Corrie's.
I believe the expression is “no shit, Sherlock!”

The plane takes off in about 26 hours from now.

February 10th

Today I guess I make sure everything's ready for the trip. The to-do list is pretty short at this point; I just have to send model releases to Patrick, print out all needed info (phone numbers, contact info, etc.), make sure all my video batteries are charged, finish packing, and get my glasses fixed.

Yesterday I wrote the manual for IAM maintenance and BME contingency handling, and the updating software is complete… So in theory war can break out and if I'm stranded in the UK for a month, updates could still occur without major difficulty!


So even though North Korea continues to threaten to nuke just about everybody if the US attacks it, the US is now threatening it with a naval blockade. Again, contrary to what most people believe, North Korea is not a tropical paradise — it's damn cold, and people are freezing and starving. A naval blockade serves one primary purpose: it means those people can't get the supplies they need to survive. This is the US in effect threatening to kill the civilians of that nation because they don't like the government's actions — making them no better than petty terrorists.

Even though Blix says the inspections in Iraq are going well and the situation is improving, after Powell's ridiculous smoke and mirrors evidence (“smoking gun” gun you say?), Bush says he's lost patience with the process and that it's time to git bombing! So, the poorer countries in the UN are getting bribes in exchange for their “support”, and Rumsfield blames France and Germany for the war because they want to increase the size (and effectiveness) of the inspections teams.

Someone please explain this logic:

USA: We're sick of inspections. War begins now!
France/Germany: The inspections are going well, let's do more.
USA: Good going, now the war is YOUR fault!

That's got to be one of the more impressive pieces of doublethink I've seen in a while. By being part of the anti-war movement, you are the cause of war. I wonder — with so many Christian religious leaders vehemently opposed to this war, including the Pope, what do avowed Christians like Ashcroft think? No secret there — Ashcroft's main concern is more domestic spying and less judicial review!

And how can Ashcroft achieve what he wants? After all, the American people won't just bend over for these laws, will they? They need to be scared into it, and maybe that's where his support for the war comes from — after all, a war on Iraq may well bring a second front of terrorism onto the American people, giving Ashcroft all the ammunition he needs to eliminate civil rights and freedoms altogether.

The fact is that the US government desires not only war, but terrorism.

Their actions over the past fifteen years absolutely prove that.

Well, not the whole government of course — just the shadow government of the corporate nation that's already seized control of the US. There are three bills in Congress intending to repeal this war (not that you'd know it) put forward by presumably decent people who also happen to be politicians.

On a slightly unrelated government note, a week ago I mentioned the Republican involvement in tainted voting machines, now check out their latest scam: hiring telemarketing companies to block the phone lines of Democratic offices that did things like give people rides to polling stations on voting day… Does that mean that the Republican party does not support democracy? (Not that I think it means anything other than “they got the idea first”).

Well, the US economy continues to crash, and the Iraqi economy actually shows signs of improvement… What a strange and horrible world this can be…!

Franko's back

Yes, I know I'm probably going to hell for this, but when people try and screw me over by sending in some tired old picture that's been floating around the net for seven years (the first time it was posted to BME), it wastes my time. And I reserve the right to waste their time in return. Some recent “accepted submissions” that were processed by Franko:

1.

Thank you so much for sending in your picture. It has been processed, and will be added to the site shortly. In order for you to retrieve your password, you will need to yell "BME" at both the rising and setting sun for seven days. On the seventh night, which must coincide with the full moon, you must perform another piercing (and photograph it) at exactly the stroke of midnight.

At that point, Lord Murugan will appear to you and bestow the password unto you.

I'm sorry if this seems strange, but it is the only way we can be sure that God wants you to see the site.

Franko
Ministry of Truth

2.

Thank you for sending in your pictures. The site could not continue to grow without people such as yourself submitting pictures of themselves.

Your account has been processed and your password is ready to be mailed to you (email is not secure). You should expect to receive it in two to four weeks*. Thank you for your support,

Franko
Customer Service

* Note: if you did not include your mailing address, no password will be sent. Please contact me if you forgot to include your mailing address.

3.

Thank you so much for sending in a picture of yourself and your friend. I have emailed your account details to bmetest@hotmail.com

For legal reasons, we can only offer passwords to those who are "True American Patriots". Details on retrieving your password may be found at http://www.whitehouse.org/

Franko
Customer Relations

4.

Esyay, eway owknay -- ankthay ouyay! Ouyay ouldshay avehay eceivedray ourway instructionsway onway etrievingray ouryay asswordpay inway away eviouspray emailway. Ifway ouyay avehay ifficultyday iguringfay itway outway, aymay eway umblyhay uggestsay atthay ouyay areway arfay otay upidstay otay useway ethay itesay.

Ithoutway ethay elphay ofway inefay olksfay uchsay asway ourselfyay endingsay inway eirthay icturespay, ethay itesay ouldcay otnay owgray. Ankthay ouyay againway.

Franko Derb
Customer Service

The last two were to folks who sent in pics of CT and goddam, and the first two were well-known female genital pictures — and they'd even gone to the effort to write a short fake experience to go with them! …Which actually makes them easier to catch, because they usually screw up the details and misname the anatomy. Seriously, it's kind of pathetic to not even know the names of the anatomy you're trying to jerk off over!

On eating…

I've seen a couple people mention not having enough money to eat, eating every-other-day, and so on, in relation to the IAM-pay issue. I eat for about $3 CDN a day most of the time (about $2 US). One of the many ways that “the poor” get screwed over is by getting nickel-and-dimed to death.

For example, some people have said “I can't afford to pay $10 all at once; can I just pay a dollar a week or something?” — to institute such a policy would turn me, in effect, into a loan shark, charging people more when they have less. The furniture and appliance leasing companies pull the same scam. Buy the piece of furniture for $1000 and own it for 20 years ($50 a year), or pay $1 a day to rent it ($365 a year).

Anyway, one of the scams that the food industry pulls on the impoverished is not placing decent grocery stores in their neighborhoods, but instead placing convenience stores and fast-food stores. At first glance it might seem cheaper to eat a burger every two days, or eat a bag of chips when you've saved up a dollar, but when you do that you are actually getting very little value for your investment.

The meal below cost me about a dollar to a dollar-fifty to make, and it was giant — totally filling, and totally yummy (clearly not everyone will agree, but it's easy to shift the ingredients to something you like): a can of mixed beans, a bunch of houmous (easy to make for very little), some lime juice, some oil, vinegar, spices (wasabi, cayenne, pepper, salt), and a couple tortillas. Add some fresh veggies if you want. It's really easy.

Soups are easy to do as well, for basically no money. Want a nice leek soup? Chop up and cook some leek, toss in a couple potatoes and some water, and about an hour later when it's ready, put in a little parsley and a touch of soy sauce. Easy, cheap, and tasty. Want a nice flatbread for the bean concoction you made? Flour and water. Make a ball. Flatten it. Fry it. It's really that easy.

I'm not a chef. I'm not even a particularly good cook… But the fact is, it's cheap to eat well, and almost all of the basic staples you need can be produced at home with minimal time investment for a fraction of what you'd pay in a store. Not only that, but cooking for yourself is dramatically more healthy, so don't be surprised when you find yourself slimmer and fitter as well as richer.