Oh boy do I admit it

Hate is a strong word, but I absolutely cannot freaking stand modern art. Most of it, it's worse than listening to GW Bush talk! And man, that is DAMNED bad. Even before he was elected I couldn't stand the man.

All right, it's not worse than listening to GW Bush talk, except maybe that modernist music. Occasionally there are modern pieces that don't have me wanting to tear my eyes out with forks. But frankly, I don't think I've ever enjoyed or appreciated anything modern. I just glide over this or that piece that doesn't make me shiver with disgust.


How Americans Drive in Iraq = How Americans Make Enemies in Iraq

There's a video at liveleak:

It's taken from the viewpoint of an american soldier (probably, might be an embedded videographer/reporter) sitting inside an american military vehicle as it drives in traffic.

Some posts in the forum at that site are critical, others point out that americans need to drive that way to avoid IEDs and ambushes. Both sides are right. From a purely U.S. military view, where force protection is the primary concern (no soldier on the ground cares very much about the overall mission, particularly since no one above his level knows what that is anyway). So mission #1 becomes survival in the current tour, so that he can work on surviving his future tours.

On the other hand, this is how americans make enemies. Possibly 1 of those cars that they bumped was in that 20% minority who think the americans shouldn't leave Iraq yet. But after a bump like that, and seeing the humvee speed forward to bump someone else, who would think positively of the americans? The arrogance of the American military (justified since, in fact, they can vaporize any nation that stands in their way) will stand as a monument of what America stands for, even if some large minority of Americans deplore it.

My point, I think, is that good intentions don't matter. Acts are what matter. And America (possibly due to George W Bush and his evil sidekick Cheney, but more likely because it overreacts because of fear of the inconsequential) is acting like it wants to demonstrate to the world just how much of a bastard it can be.

It's sad that filipinos are brainwashed into thinking that America acts for the good. This is true, as far as that goes literally. But filipinos don't understand that America acts only for its own good. No one else matters. Unfortunately, it'll be perhaps half a millenium before the majority of filipinos understand that. In the meantime, the U.S. government, the U.S. military, and the citizens of that nation will continue to descend into a hell of their own making. Unfortunately, they'll bury the rest of us helpless bastards before they pull the whole thing down on themselves.


kris aquino as spokesmodel

Sol and I were at the Gateway in Cubao today. We had spent the previous hour or so buying short sleeved button down shirts for work. This is something we do perhaps once a year. I wear clothes for convenience, and to protect the sanity of the public, so I don't much care if people notice that I wear the same 5 shirts every single week.

In any case, we were walking by the Bench store (or something, maybe it was some other store, fashion is a stupidity and I don't waste cycles on it) and I said that there were some nice clothes on display (maybe they were for men, perhaps they were for women, this was a detail too shallow to be worth remembering, so I forgot it instantly). I thought it might be nice to go in there and look at some shirts.

And then I noticed some posters with Kris Aquino in them (with, I think, her boyfriend of the moment). We walked on by. I can't stand that woman. She's written some things that indicate that there is something inside that head besides air. But when she opens her mouth she sounds like a filipina valley girl. That is, possibly smart, certainly privileged enough to speak english flawlessly, but with such an affected accent that, frankly, I can't stand to hear her say anything. smarts, and privilege don't preclude stupidity. Affectation, particularly affectation that works too hard to sound rich and valley girly (in a filipina way, in this case) is stupidity too profound for me to ignore.

Kris Aquino has a great deal of appeal to the poor and middle class, who ache to emulate her affectation and her white skin (the one a stupidity all of her own making, the other a feature she inherited from her parents, neither a virtue she earned). Nothing of her public persona appeals to me, however. If anything, I am repelled by everything she shows the world. I'm repelled enough that I will never buy anything she endorses (that I hear about, anyway, I may buy one or two items she endorses since I don't know she endorses them).


panoramic view of paris by night

There's a panoramic picture of paris at night. Very pretty, although one side is blocked by a cathedral (Notre Dame maybe?). It's too bad he couldn't get on top of that cathedral.


recent timmy photos

Some recent pictures of timmy are at timmy's new album

I thought I could link to those from blogger. The first attempt didn't work though. Possibly that's a timing thing (too soon after posting them). Or, more likely, they're blocking access when the referer is blogger or similar. It's not a big deal, and anyway, I might be mistaken about that and the links will work tomorrow.

Some of the pictures are from daytime playtime. He's just happy around then, so there's some smiling. He got a pooh bear from Brent's SO, Christine (brent has too many friends, can't find christine there :-). so that's where the Pooh bear photos are from.

The rest of the pics, well, timmy is a champion sleeper, as befits his ancestry, as a Quimpo of the Sleeping Quimpos of Cagayan de Oro.

When timmy isn't throwing pooh bear around, he's surrendering to the bear. It's complicated. Mickey does some guard duty too. I had a picture too there where Doraemon, a psychotic japanese cat character is standing guard. I've remove it though, since it's disturbing and might affect the sanity of the unstable.


more great pictures

Great images from the Amazon and Ecuador here

Once again, too lazy to link to the images directly. Although that would be uncool anyway, since then I'd be leaching on their bandwidth, using their images without allowing them to benefit from the bandwidth usage by posting ads, for instance.

That's my excuse today. Another one tomorrow.

fun facts about arabic (the language)

There's a great article on why learning arabic is so hard.

There are a lot of fun facts (well, they would be fun to trivia mavens and geeks).

numbers are marked for gender -- but most numbers take the opposite gender from the word they are modifying

a present tense verb has 13 forms

adjectives modifying nonhuman plurals always have a feminine singular form -- meaning that "the cars are new" comes out as "the cars, she are new"

I don't know how accurate that all is. Probably very. But it sounds cool. and yeah, really difficult to learn.


Images of the day

href="http://npocto-kpacota.livejournal.com/2006/05/16/" images from a russian site />

I would link to them directly here, but laziness wins the day.

One reason to visit Japan

href="http://knuttz.net/hosted_pages/Eejanaika-Roller-Coaster-20070104" 360s, maximum speed 126 km/h roller coaster. Fuji-Q Highland (Fujiyoshida, Shizuoka, Japan />

Next, I need to convince my wife to let me on the thing :-). Odds are better than 50% at that, I think.

Internet Improving

It looks like the internet speed problem is improving. I've only been online for an hour or two at home so maybe the time sample is too small, but the internet's performance is very good just now. Many times better than a week or two ago.

I can even blog now. Something that was very hard to do from home even 4 days ago (although I could post at work since at least one of the work bandwidth providers wasn't too badly affected by the Taiwan earthquake side effects.

I was downloading Ubuntu packages and updates a while ago and I was cruising along at the top speed of this home DSL connection (which isn't much, but it's many times better than dialup, so that's a big deal :-).

powered by performancing firefox


gotta love nuns for peace

I'm all for nuns, but I'm also usually for law and order (although freedom and good sense should trump the law, and where there is doubt, the government should shut up and stay hidden). So I'm a bit conflicted by the nuns for peace.

Throwing blood on a missile silo is so symbolic and impractical it's something only liberals could love.

So the original crime was pointless (IMO). On the other hand, the follow-up is priceless! They won't pay the fine (because money is fungible and would be used to further wars) but they're willing to collect food and other material assistance for military families. And they sent notification of their intention to leave their home state 3 days before departure knowing that the letter wouldn't arrive until after they'd left and

Their probation officers received the letters on Nov. 15, Phillips stated. When he asked the women why they didn’t follow proper procedures, he said they told him they did it on purpose because they knew their request would be denied.

No doubt there's a lot of liberal dain bramage rattling through those nun's heads, but they're certainly doing some good work subverting the stupidities of the military-industrial complex just now.


Links of the morning

There's a great, educational even, site that shows what 200 calories look like. Lots of different foods, in 200 calorie amounts. Man, peanut butter crackers, 39 grams make up 200 calories, compared to almost 1.5 kilograms of celery, half a kilogram of honeydew melon, 385 grams of apple!

And then, there's Why?

I would have more links here, but I'm at work :-). More later or tomorrow. Maybe.

In other news

Here is a good man.

FBI knew about the torture at Guantanamo

The FBI knew about the torture at Guantanamo. They didn't do anything about it though. Looks like they wouldn't even have told anyone about it except for a Freedom of Information action. And even then, they only provide information that is already available elsewhere (they say). So, there's more? Maybe videos of someone shivering due to hypothermia, except it's not covered by the FOIA suit?

One of the people I provide software development consulting services for told me that he'd like me to come over to the U.S. for a short while for marketing purposes. I told him I'd rather not go there. Certainly not while GW Bush is still president, and probably not for another 5 to 10 years after that. I don't know any Al Qaeda (or even any muslims at all, actually) but the human rights situation over there, for non-citizens is sufficiently scary that I have no intention of being beaten, frozen, thawed, drowned, drugged just because I've been posting (here and elsewhere) truths which contradict that zone of total unreality in the White House.

When the war crimes tribunals come for George Bush, and (in a parallel universe where justice actually prevails), he's hanged. Will he be able to die with the same dignity as Saddam? Hussein was vile and evil, no doubt about it. But he died well. I doubt George W can do so well. What a shame upon his father that man is (not that George Bush I was all that great shakes, the man who said "I love your adherence to democracy" to Ferdinand Marcos).