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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 32,424

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The pool could use a bit more air

Apocryphal Blackbird story

BB: BBL requesting flight level 62000
Tower: If you think you can get that dinky little thing to 62000 you go right ahead
BB: BBL requesting to descend to 62000
Tower: oh, errr, BBL you are cleared to flight level 62000

Cue Pink Floyd/Roger Waters

Keep an eye on Scalia. He's been doing some interesting stuff

I think he's going to strike down DOMA, ignore Prop 8 and write both rulings

It's getting pretty bad when the US media starts paying attention (Rob Ford)


I've rather laid back a bit on the saga of Rob Ford, the one-man crime wave currently serving as mayor of Toronto because, frankly, I started two or three posts only to have them rendered completely obsolete because Bob was discovered snorting crack off a hooker's ass while sticking up a fruit stand. Or something. I mean, seriously, wow.


I live in Toronto. Usually this is a matter of the least possible interest. But last week our mayor, Rob Ford, who has allegedly been caught smoking crack, topped Obama on Google's narrative analytic charts. Think about that: A scandal-plagued president of the United States mattered less to the world than a mayor from Canada. That's insanity right there. But as New York magazine puts it, "in Toronto, shit is getting crazier by the day." The story is starting to resemble Elmore Leonard: Kickstarter campaigns leading to murder investigations, and childhood drug rings leading to the mayor's office. In Canada, stories like this don't happen. Literally this morning there was a scandal in Winnipeg about the mayor of that city spitting gum on the street. (He claimed it was lint but a dogged citizen found out the truth. And no I am not making that up.) Then there was the guy who fended off a cougar with his skateboard and felt bad about it. Those are your typical Canadian stories. Not mayors huffing rock.

News crews, disasters and rescues - Old lady reunited with lost dog

Here's the video.

It's been on innumerable websites, usually without comment. This thread (http://gawker.com/oklahoma-tornado-survivor-finds-missing-dog-during-live-509025167) is typical of one where the trolls get out of hand. Specifically, the news people are criticized for "not helping the lady".

If you actually watch the video and actually listen and look, here's what happens. For the first half of the video the old lady stands there being interviewed. The interviewer asks a lot of stupid questions. There's loose debris everywhere and a lot of wind. I was involved in cleanup for the Edmonton 1987 F4 tornado so I'm familiar with the situation.

About 1/2 way through, the interviewer interrupts herself and says "there's a dog". The cameraman loses the shot and focus and tries to find the dog, eventually succeeding. The old lady calls to the dog and the dog starts trying to work its way out of the wreckage. The old lady calls for help and starts moving crap out of the way. The interviewer comes over to help and they get the dog loose. It took moments.

I'm not seeing a problem here.

With that much crap around, I'm not sure I'd want a whole lot of people rushing up and dislodging stuff which could get caught by the wind or shift towards the dog.

The cameraman has a $30,000, heavy camera to deal with. There's no place to set it down. If he's using wireless back to the truck, it may be wired to a belt pack and it's going to take him awhile to get untangled from it all. If he did set it down, it might cause something to shift or somebody might trip over it. He's probably a heavy guy so I'm not sure if he's the best choice to go into the wreckage.

If there are other people behind the cameraman, then they have to go past him to get to it, dislodging wreckage or jostling him and adding to the weight in the surrounding area if they're not on stable ground. The old lady and the little news lady have matters in hand.

What's with all the griefing?

The Last Messiah

The Last Messiah

The following is a 1933 essay written by Peter Wessel Zapffe. It was originally written in Norwegian, though it was translated into English by Gisle R. Tangenes for the March/April 2004 issue (Issue 45) of Philosophy Now magazine


Cultural history, as well as observation of ourselves and others, allow the following answer: Most people learn to save themselves by artificially limiting the content of consciousness.


The human being saves itself and carries on. It performs, to extend a settled phrase, a more or less self-conscious repression of its damaging surplus of consciousness. This process is virtually constant during our waking and active hours, and is a requirement of social adaptability and of everything commonly referred to as healthy and normal living.

I propose that this, taken to extreme, is the core of the authoritarian mindset. They cannot deal with reality per se, so they scale it back to a pale imitation, then present this as "reality". While the black and white thinking (and other logical fallacies) work in their repressed world, they fail in the harsh reality of daylight. Lacking the tools to see this, authoritarians react to this dichotomy by lashing out, denial and increased insularity.

(On edit, adding a little more)

Anchoring might be characterised as a fixation of points within, or construction of walls around, the liquid fray of consciousness

Authoritarians anchor themselves to their little mantras, their urban myths, their simplistic take on religion - a theology not much more advanced than children's Bible stories.

The closer to main firmaments a certain carrying element is, the more perilous it is to touch. Here a direct protection is normally established by means of penal codes and threats of prosecution (inquisition, censorship, the Conservative approach to life).

Molly has been wimpering all night.

We're a dachshund household, one purepred black-and-tan, one foxy-doxy (fox terrier cross) and Molly who we rescued right out of a puppy mill so we're not 100% sure what she is, possibly doxy-Scotch/Yorkshire terrier. She was a breeder, had had a number of litters and the mill operator said take her or or she's toast tomorrow. She was one of four or five dogs we got out on that occasion and more earlier. We're trying to get the place shut down. The dogs are outdoors all the time, and stored in pens most of the time.

I was actually surprised when we got her home to introduce her to the pack that she fit right in. First thing she did was run into the kitchen and squat on a pee pad so she knew her house training. Pretty soon she was romping with the foxy-doxy (the other is too old and fragile). We did notice, however, that she does a lot of crying to the point where the hair around her eyes is constantly matted with crud. We had her checked and there's no infections.

She hates the night and cuddles up on the bed, but always at our feet. She lays there and occasionally shivers and barks at the slightest noise.

On Saturday, we took her for a grooming because it had reached the point she couldn't see. The other two had their nails clipped but she stayed on for the full treatment and we were told to come back at four. When I got there, she was just finishing up and seemed to be fine. She could see me through the window and just watched me quietly. The groomer said she was one of his better dogs for grooming, with no problems. That night, however, she started whimpering to the point where neither of us got any sleep. I noticed that she was shivering, so I took her with me and we camped out on the couch, with her under the blanket to keep her warm, even though she wasn't hot to the touch. She eventually settled down. Last night was even worse and even I couldn't calm her down although she eventually did by sleeping at my feet snuggled up next to the black-and-tan.

The vet recommended giving her children's Gravol hidden in a pill pocket and that seemed to help a bit on other occasions when we've had problems with her.

I'm wondering if she triggered on being in the crate at the dog groomers, which is strange because she likes being in the crate at home. She goes in there to get away from the other dogs if she wants some quiet time.

Any ideas?

"I'm Batman"

Yes. I got to say it. For real.

Bear with me, this is kind of complicated.

I have a common first name. At the office this gets confusing so often we get labelled with nicknames. At one office there was a homophobic manager who insisted upon calling me "Brucie". I raised objections, others intervened and it was decided that I would be dubbed "Batman". The name stuck. The same occurred with my poker buddies - too many people with the same first name, they knew I was into the Batman meme so I got the nickname. It carried over into my current place of employment for the same reasons. I've even got a Batman figurine on my desk.

It became apparent to management that I had knowledge in a certain area of expertise, so I was empowered to shop around for some equipment we had been renting with questionable results. One of the vendors I approached was one where I do business for myself, so I opened a second account in the company name. We settled upon some equipment for myself, which had to be ordered in from Montreal and another batch for the office which was in stock, but we needed a P.O. so they put it on layaway. The following day, in discussion with management, it was decided to order even more equipment. It was my regular sales guy's say off so I was dealing with somebody different, who seemed to be having a few problems understanding the situation. I eventually got a quote from him on the additional equipment in the name "BATMAN", which puzzled me but I ignored it. I asked him to add it to the stuff already on layaway.

Last night the paperwork got sorted out so I went over to pick up the equipment. When the cart came from the back all that was on it was my original order, not the additional equipment. They checked the system but were unable to find the order. Finally the salesman had an inspiration and checked another account. He explained that they had an internal account called "BATMAN" that they're not supposed to use for customer orders, then stared as I fell down laughing. I finally gathered myself together, put on the sternest face I could manage under the circumstances and announced....

...wait for it...

...you ready?...

"I'm Batman".


Then we both fell down laughing as I explained the situation.

Turns out the 2nd salesman hadn't pulled the order, but fortunately they had everything in stock.

I'm just betting next time I walk in the store some clown is going to start in.

Dog's dream come true

(or how to confuse a dog)

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