Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Two...Make That Three...Eggs, Over Easy

In downtown Winnipeg, a hotel has set up a live webcam to show a peregrine nest, complete with any-day-now hatchlings.

I saw two (three when she got completely off the nest for a few seconds) eggs when the falcon turned them. Presumably, the tercel is taking his scheduled break at the time of this posting.

Hatch watch blog here.

Thanks, Boris!

UPDATE: Winnipeg falcon chicks die, despite rescue attempt

Kudos to the firemen and everyone who cared enough to try and rescue the chicks from the unseasonal heavy rains. Very likely, the nesting pair will try to re-nest this season. There's still time.

We humans (especially those of us with a fondness for our fellow non-human creatures) tend to anthropomorphize everything, attributing our own emotions to animals who would have no idea what we're talking about if we tried to explain it to them.

The fact is, shit happens. Only two animals have (so far) proven the capacity to mourn -- humans and elephants. That's not an indictment...it just is.

The peregrines will simply get busy and try again.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pickup Meme: Create-A-Slur

There's a lot of copycatting and not much originality in the insults and "threats" of today's speech.

Somebody pisses you off? Call him a left/right wing/brained fascist/liberal something and you've done your bit for blogging your opinion.

C'mon, folks, how about a little creativity?

After reading about one Opus Dei wannabee that thinks women should be happy to have their bodies invaded by feti any time somebody else wants it to happen, I left a couple of angry-but-lazy coments over at JJ's place. What I should have said was something along the lines of:

"I'd like to punch his teeth so far down his throat, he'll be able to bite the toe of the boot that's about to kick his ass into next week."

That creates a really neat visual image, don't it?

It's easy to get angry, especially when there are so many assholes vying for attention these days. But keeping one's arsenal of slurs and epithets up-to-date and complete is getting to be awfully dull work. We need to come up with a few new ones. So here's the challenge:

Create your own insult/"threat" (virtual threats only, please -- if it can be construed as a real threat, you know ferdamsure that someone is gonna take it that way on purpose and try to put you in jail over it!)) and post it on your blog. Invite others to do the same. Mix, match, and trade. Then we all get to play with new verbal weapons for awhile.

A few weeks ago, Canadian Cynic invited us all to get polite for a day. Time to dance in another direction, ain't it?

Friday, May 16, 2008

PRoss: I *poots* In UR Genrul Direkshun

Seems that some people feel okay about restricting the speech of others, then screaming censorship when it's done to them. Bloggers who moderate their blog comments and refuse to allow comments to go through really should not complain when other bloggers get tired of their shenanigans and refuse to allow them to play their little games.

PRoss (who moderates his comments and then complains when his own comments are disallowed or deleted on the blogs of others) has a particular bent on the case of Ed Snell vs Nathan Richardson -- in which Snell climbed up on top of his car and hurled epithets over an 8-foot-high privacy fence. One of the people he was reviling in his hearty way got all out of patience with this aging asshole, and toppled him off his roof and onto his noggin.

I thought Snell deserved what he got. PRoss thinks otherwise. Fair enough, so far.

But PRoss can't just disagree and engage in a discussion on merits alone. He has to take everything on a personal level, getting insulted on behalf of someone else, and then passing out his own insults like candy at Hallowe'en.

I know. I tried to engage him on logic. He kept flinging back verbal fertilizer. I put up with the lies, the deliberate twists, the name-calling, the insults, and the OT non-sequiturs. I ignored all that, thinking that maybe, somewhere, there was a brain behind the virtual spittle. Apparently not.
Then he decided that his lies were truths, and that I ought to be ashamed of myself. Doesn't know me well enough to know how fat that chance is, does he? For all his claims to know me intimately, especially (we've never met...never even previously engaged).
He refused to allow my final comment. I've waited now for a week, and he won't allow it to publish.
So, I publish it here for your entertainment:
"Chimera said:

"Sooooo, Patrick...who are you,

"And how did you manage to evolve opposable thumbs?
Good trick, that. Bravo!

Oh...yeah...one more thing... It seems that he has a rather unfortunate name. Which could explain a lot.
That's what the last word looks like.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Pumping Iron Man

Over the weekend, I did my bit to contribute to making Iron Man a financial, as well as a critical, success.

I'm not a huge Marvel comics fan. And I was never a reader of Iron Man comics -- I much prefered the "girl with the hammer" (that would be Thor) and X-Men, when I had time for comics at all.

I've always been a fan of Robert Downey, Jr., though. Through all his personal problems, he has exhibited an amazing acting talent that always grabs me and holds me in my seat, making me watch, unable to look away. From his portrayal of the abused, drug-shattered and doomed Julian in Less Than Zero to the reluctant-hero-to-the-rescue, Jimmy, in Tuff Turf, to the confused, confounded, and crowded-with-personality Thomas in Heart And Souls, Downey always brings it home.

And then there was Chaplin. He shoulda got the Oscar.

So...Iron Man shows up on my preview screen, and it didn't take much to go from, "Gee, I'd like to see that," to, "Hey, it's playing just across the street," to, "I can catch the show that starts in two hours," to -- four hours later -- AWSUM!

It's not only a see-it-again movie. It's a buy-the-DVD-as-soon-as-it-comes-out-and-don't-wait-for-it-to-land-in-the-bargain-bin movie.

Nobody, but nobody coulda pulled off the role of Tony Stark better than Robert Downey. Apparently, he thought so, too. He (along with director Jon Favreau) not only lobbied for the part, but he submitted to a screen test. And once he had the part, he read every single Iron Man comic book in existence. Then, after reading the script, he tore it up and rewrote a lot of it himself, putting his own take on Stark into the role, and remaining faithful to the wisecracking, arrogant-but-magnetic(!) personality of the original character.

The action begins immediately and continues unabated for two hours. The dialogue is pure Marvel sass. Stan Lee has a cameo (watch for him -- Tony calls him "Hef" in a walk-past). The tech is geek (I want one o' them hologram computers!). The CGI is invisible. And the characters are purely in line with both the comic and the genius. All the characters. Including the machines (the fire-extinguisher hangs its head when scolded for being too enthusiastic in its job).

No plot spoilers here. Go see it for yourself. And...stay through the credits for a "bonus."

Saturday, May 03, 2008

On My Wish List

WANT! Oh, yes, indeedy do... I've actually been wanting one of these for years. From where I live, to get to one of my frequent haunts takes 2-1/2 hours by transit.

As the crow flies, it's five minutes away. It could be five minutes for me, too, if I had one of these strap-on helothingies.

And then there's the electric Uno -- a ride'm version of Segway (which I've actually had a chance to test-walk, and they're pretty neat). Being both essentially lazy and in possession of a scoliotic spine, I'd much rather sit than stand, though.

So...if Santa's out there making a list, I'm getting my priorities known early this year...