And let's not forget that it's also John McCain's birthday. He's 72 today. Where was he during Hurricane Katrina? Blowing out candles on a cake presented to him by GWB, our failure of a President. Wouldn't want to let a little thing like a major hurricane mess with a celebration apparently. What a maverick. Oh, and let's not forget the opportunity to plug the Things younger than McCain website on this historic day.
From Andrew Sullivan:
I guess some of the McCain team believe that announcing his veep choice tonight as a way to step on Obama's acceptance speech is brilliant politics. I'm not sure that denying the first black candidate a clear shot at making his case on the anniversary of the March on Washington is such a great idea. It just looks cheap and a little desperate; and it robs the next morning of any real drama. But it wouldn't surprise me, given the immature mood-swings of the McCain camp so far. McCain is not acting like a statesman these days - more like a Yaffer of old.
Obama's speech will be the story tonight regardless. Smarter not to step on it. Unless McCain's polling is showing a bigger Obama bump than we are currently aware of.
Apparently, those Minnesotans are way more influential than I gave them credit for. No idea who these chicks are, but they look happy.
But apparently, now they know about this shocking trend in Minnesota. Yes, it's a trend in the middle of the country. What's next? Electing a black man President? Clearly, this is yet another sign of the moral decay that often starts right there in Minnesota, trend setters that they are.
According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Star Tribune website, teenage girls kiss other teenage girls to turn on teenage boys. And it's all cause of that dopey song "I Kissed a Girl" - no, not this one, which came first and is about liking kissing girls cause they're girls - not cause you're trying to turn on a guy. But I digress.
(A friend just stopped by my office and the above picture caught his eye. A lot. He said it's the best thing he's seen around here all day. I have to agree. It's a lovely picture, dontcha think?)
So, to the Minnesota article:
We baby boomers like to think we invented and defined the sexual revolution. But our offspring are tossing out the categories we took for granted, including the view that "gay or straight" is preprogrammed.
Young women whom Salon.com interviewed about the girl-on-girl trend said they had initially kissed other females to get a free beer at parties or on a dare from guys. But they soon saw it as a way to signal to males that they are "sexually open and adventurous."
Staged bisexuality is now the norm for what is being called the "post-gay generation."
(I'm guessing that "staged bisexuality" is only cool for chicks. Guys who "stage" their sexuality are big fags, especially in places like...I don't know...Minnesota? Sigh.)
Female bisexuality is "the erotic new trend (everyone's trying it)," announced Marie Claire magazine in 2006.
And Marie Claire knows their stuff.
By the way, if any of you pretty girls out there want to stage some bisexuality, I'm available to help. I'm that kinda gal.
Hey, I think Hillary knocked it out of the park last night. Rocking her orange pantsuit, referring to the "sisterhood of the traveling pantsuit", referencing Harriet Tubman, the whole shebang. She won me back over - in general. I think she's super smart but has the same (to me) failure as her husband - they're willing to say virtually anything to get/maintain political power. I think that they were way out of line in the way they attacked Barry during the primaries and that really turned me off. However, I think she's actually a real liberal (contrary to many of the things she says and does) and I'd love for Barry to nominate her for the Supreme Court, where should wouldn't have to worry about re-election and could just unleash that brain and left wing-ed-ness I know is hiding out in there.
Anyhoo, here's a great line from former Virginia Governor Mark Warner's speech last night:
"Just think about this: In four months, we will have an administration that actually believes in science!"
Please let it be true.
According to a new study published in today's LA Times (seriously - who funds these things?), cows like to point north. Or south.
German scientists using satellite images posted online by the Google Earth software program have observed something that has escaped the notice of farmers, herders and hunters for thousands of years: Cattle grazing or at rest tend to orient their bodies in a north-south direction just like a compass needle.
Researchers have long known that certain bacteria, birds, fish, whales and even rodents have minute organs in their brains containing particles of magnetite that can act like a compass.
But the new results are the first hint that larger land-based mammals may also have such organs, said biologist Kenneth J. Lohmann of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who was not involved in the research.
And the best part of the article is saved for last...
Experts acknowledged that the research almost certainly has no practical applications.
It's true. CNN has discovered that sometimes people have sex in order to get something in return. Clearly this is a new development, or we all would have known about it a long time ago, right?
A recent study of 475 University of Michigan undergraduates ages 17 to 26 found that 27 percent of the men and 14 percent of the women who weren't in a committed relationship had offered someone favors or gifts -- help prepping for a test, laundry washing, tickets to a college football game -- in exchange for sex. On the flip side, 5 percent of the men surveyed and 9 percent of the women said they'd attempted to trade sex for such freebies.
Let me just pause your reading for a moment and say...laundry washing? I'm guessing that it's men offering sex to women to do their laundry. I hope that said men are doing something special, cause laundry for sex? Really?
"Give it to me first thing in the morning, and I'll play [handyman] all day," says Fino, a 39-year-old father of two and part-time construction worker.
Huh. So much for my appliance insurance.
Hallmark has announced that they're going to start putting out wedding cards for gay folks. Of course, the religious right is all up in arms. And they set up a website where folks can go and write a letter to the CEO of Hallmark to express their displeasure. Now, the religious right is not a big group - but they are very vocal. And we need to make sure that companies hear from people who have an opposing voice.
So, it turns out that the religious folks set it up so that it's really easy for anyone (including us) to write to the Hallmark CEO. And tell him anything you want.
Their website allows you to customize the message that gets sent to the Hallmark CEO, so I just sent him a nice thank you and told him I'd go out of my way to buy Hallmark cards in the future.
Want to write him? Click here.
At least the government there does. Remember, one of the reasons they were given the Olympics was to encourage them to open up on human rights. Hmmmm....
They even have two big PR firms on retainer to help ensure that the image of China that is on display to the world is positive. They should ask for their money back. Or the PR firms should just quit because it's an impossible task.
A little background from earlier in the games:
They beat up journalists,
shut down the official olympic daily press briefings amidst harsh questioning on their broken promises to improve their human rights record,
and were exposed for their fakery at the opening ceremonies when they had a "pretty" girl lip sync to the voice of a different girl whose teeth aren't straight.
Two stories today continue the trend: First, they shut down access to iTunes shortly after it was announced that a CD named "Songs for Tibet" was available to Olympic athletes to download for free.
and now there's a story on the NY Times site that two elderly women who repeatedly asked for a permit to demonstrate in one of the official Olympic protest areas have been sentenced to a year of "re-education through labor". Remember, they were following the rules (asking for permit, official protest area...)! From the Times:
The women, Wu Dianyuan, 79, and Wang Xiuying, 77, had made five visits to the police this month in an effort to get permission to protest what they contended was inadequate compensation for the demolition of their homes in Beijing.
During their final visit on Monday, public security officials informed them that they had been given administrative sentences for “disturbing the public order,” according to Li Xuehui, Ms. Wu’s son.
At least a half dozen people have been detained by the authorities after they responded to a government announcement late last month designating venues in three city parks as “protest zones” during the Olympics. So far, no demonstrations have taken place.
For MSN (hotmail, msn, live.com), I'm amygeekATlive.com
For AOL (AIM), I'm amygeekATaol.com
(of course, replace the AT with @ in real life. I don't want to put it here because stoopid robots will suck it up and send me spam at those addresses). Someone else has amygeek at Yahoo and I can't remember the name I set up for Yahoo. I'm irritated that I don't own all the amygeeks everywhere. Bitch.
Anyhoo, if you see amygeek pinging you, it's probably me. Now you have to decide whether to avoid me or not.
According to Barack Obama, it's when you're in the top 3-4% of the population - you make more than $250,000 a year.
According to John McCain, it's when you make more than $5 million, which is the top .1% of the population.
Remember, the McCain camp keeps talking about Obama the elitist. Now, who's out of touch with real Americans? I'd be seriously happy if I was making $250,000 and someone wanted to classify me as rich. I think most people in the US would agree, and I make more than the vast majority of Americans as it is - many of them would probably be very happy with my income (and I am far from qualifying from either candidates' version of "rich"). Of course, it matters where you live - rich in NYC and San Francisco is very different from rich in other cities or urban areas because those cities are ridiculously expensive. However, most people don't live in NYC or San Francisco.
Here are their exact quotes from the Saddleback forum: http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/16584.html
I'm just thinking (rather than wading through the hundreds of emails in my inbox) that if you decide to make your claim as King of a chain of islands (let's say, Hawaii), that you should do a little research and planning first.
Apparently, some guy announced that he was the king of Hawaii and broke into Iolani Palace (in Honolulu) to chain himself to the throne there. But, he had never been to the palace (it's a tourist site - anyone can go) and couldn't find the darned throne, which apparently thwarted his plans.
Regardless of whether the US stole Hawaii (we sorta kinda tricked them, but not as much as we screwed the Indians - I mean Native Americans), if you feel that you can rule the islands, you should do a little preparation, right?
Here's the whole article from the AP.
I was hoping to shoot some more today, but it's a crappy day here in Halifax. You can find the pix I did shoot this vacation right about here.
Here's a pic I took of a seal (sea lion? don't see any ears...) last night on the whale watch (which was whale-less):
Well, never ended up going whale watching yesterday as the fog came rolling in and the rain began - and lasted well into the night. Hung out a bit with Jess & Michae, then curled up to finish reading a book and wrapped up with a nap.
This picture is my favorite shot from today. It's from an area called Blue Rocks. I kept driving around looking for the "town" of Blue Rooks, and apparently, this is it! Just so beautiful.
Today's my last day in Lunenburg. Tomorrow, I head into Halifax to hang out with Amita and check out their busker festival and Sunday I fly home (3 separate flights - seriously long day). I'm hoping to find some more good photo opportunities before I get on the plane. I feel like I've been able to apply some of the things I've been learning from the photo books on this trip. I've definitely become more discriminating - not publishing nearly as many pix for the public to peruse. I figure that if I put a lot of okay shots in there, then folks might get bored and not look at them all - and miss the occasional great shots, so I'm trying to just post the best of the pix I'm shooting. I am really enjoying playing with the camera and wandering.
Ahhhh....cleaning lady has finally (4:30pm?!?) decided to clean my room, so I'm going to grab my book and find a nice sunny spot to sit and read outside.
In case you were worried, the authors of the "Left Behind" book series says that Barack Obama is not the antichrist. From Christian NewsWire:
"I've gotten a lot of questions the last few weeks asking if Obama is the antichrist," says novelist Jenkins. "I tell everyone that I don't think the antichrist will come out of politics, especially American politics."
"I can see by the language he uses why people think he could be the antichrist," adds LaHaye, "but from my reading of scripture, he doesn't meet the criteria. There is no indication in the Bible that the antichrist will be an American."
Well, I'm relieved.
Oh and in case you're not familiar with the Left Behind books:
"Left Behind" is a series of 16 apocalyptic novels (1995-2007/Tyndale House Publishers) using end time prophecies in Revelation as a framework. All sixteen books reached the "New York Times" bestseller list with seven reaching the #1 spot. Overall more than 63 million copies have sold in the "Left Behind" product line.
Wrapped up another book yesterday, hung out with some new friends and took some more pictures. Going whale watching today, so keep your fingers crossed for plenty 'o whales and good luck in shooting them (photographly speaking, of course).
Here's a few more pix:
These question mark signs are all over. I heart them.
I'll let you know when all my Nova Scotia pix are up on Smugmug.
The Bush Administration is quietly trying to redefine "abortion" to include birth control. The Houston Chronicle says this could wipe out dozens of state laws that protect women's reproductive freedom and protect rape victims. Access to basic health care for millions of women would be jeopardized. And it's being pushed as a "rule change"—meaning, it doesn't need congressional approval.
Please sign an emergency message to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, whose department is considering this rule change right now. Tell him: "Contraception is NOT abortion. The Bush Administration's proposal to change the definition of abortion and reduce women's access to birth control must be stopped."
So, the primary reason I came to Nova Scotia is to attend the nuptuals of my friend Jessica to her beloved, Mike (aka "Jesus Mike", as I learned yesterday). This was way beyond a mere wedding - it was more than 24 hours of enthusiastic celebration.
Everything kicked off on Sunday night with a "rehearsal dinner", where Jessica relayed that during the actual rehearsal, the minister (priest? goddess? whatever) told them that they were the most disorganized group ever. Of course, I wholeheartedly approve of being the most anything ever, so cheers! I arrived right around the same time as 124 of Mike's closest relatives, so it was pretty hectic. Most impressive moment? That Jessica appears to know the names of all of Mike's hundreds of relatives. Met some of Mike's friends from RISD, where they all went to school and I really liked them a lot. They appear to live mostly in LA and Brooklyn and nobody threw anything at me, so the admiration appears to have been mutual.
The actual wedding was yesterday (Monday) and I picked up a couple of Jess' LA friends and took them the long route (aka "Amy's polite way of saying that she got lost - with witnesses) to the church. Luckily, I added in extra time for getting lost (it's Nova Scotia for goodness' sake) and we arrived in time.
Tiny little church by the sea, tiny little flower girl placing one petal at a time on the ground as she walked, bouquets arriving shortly after the service began, Jessica singing "I'll Never Marry" from the balcony, then being joined (in beautiful harmony, of course), by her sisters as they walked down the aisle, and the whole song wrapped up with Jess being walked down the aisle with her dad and her mom walking parallel down the opposite aisle.
Much solemnity and levity (seriously - it was both, which was very interesting), including a few tears of the wedding dress, some mumbling, music, a few readings and much happiness (seriously, these two were beaming) and they were officially married.
Then it was off to two (that's right two) different parties. First was at a barn, (cocktails, sun, beach) and then to a community center that had been decorated for the occasion.
And since there were many many many Chapins there, there was a lot of music, which wrapped up with most people square dancing in the hall, which was about 120% humidity and 95 degrees. Your intrepid blogger hid behind said camera and stayed outside to make sure that the mosquito population of Nova Scotia was adequately fed.
Suffice it to say that the wedding started at 2pm and I got back to my hotel at 1am. It was definitely the longest and most joyous wedding I have attended. More pix are on my Smugmug site .
Went to the rehearsal dinner (although, it was quite an adventure getting there, partially cause I got lost and partially cause I went to the wrong place) and after feeling a bit awkward cause I didn't know anyone, Jessica introduced me to a table of fun and interesting people. I ended up meeting several folks who I liked, a couple of which didn't know anyone else either. I do like being around movie people and artists. It's a whole level of conversation I haven't really had in a while. Fun.
So, I had a nice time and I'm looking forward to the wedding except Jess indicated that there will be square dancing. That's right - they've got a square dancing caller dude who's going to be calling out the dances (I think that's what they call it - they made us square dance when I was 8, so my memory is a little rusty about the whole thing). Hmmmm...square dancing. Ooooh - I can bring my camera and hide behind that! Heh. Although some of my new "friends" are already giving me a hard time that I will be square dancing after I mentioned that I had experience from when I was 8. Me & my big mouth.
The most important thing is that I'm not feeling like a huge loser and I think I'll have some folks to hang out with if I want for the rest of the week. As much as I'm generally okay with spending time with myself, sometimes, I am just the worst company for me.
Oh, and I'm reading David Sedaris' new book and it's hugely entertaining. I can just hear his voice when I'm reading it. It's a great vacation or relaxation read. I highly recommend it.
So, last night I did the "I'm lonely and no one's ever going to love me" dance for a while. Quite a while actually. I figure, if you're going to really doing something, you should give it your all. So I did. And I was miserable. Finally read my book and went to sleep, which tends to be the best thing when I'm in that place as it distracts me from thinking about what a loser I am.
Woke up this morning/early afternoon (it's a four hour time difference here), feeling better, (although not quite right yet), downloaded the NY Times, ate my oatmeal and did my Sunday morning thing - electronically. It turned out to be a beautiful day, so I grabbed my camera and tried to practice some of the new photo skills I learned on the flight here.
Lunenburg is an old fishing town and there is a folk festival going on right now, with folks (heh) performing on one of the ships right outside my window. This is the view from my hotel room, which is quite lovely. -->
So, I walked around, checked out some galleries, wandered through an old graveyard, listened to live folk music, had some lunch and generally just chilled out. A friend called me back (I had left a message last night) and talked me down. Mostly, I just lose my perspective when I get down and I need someone to point out the obvious to me because I seem to lose that ability when I'm in that state. I am feeling much better in general. I also purchased a nice stinky soy candle that I'm burning, which makes my room smell nice + iTunes is rocking Elvis Costello (the only Elvis that matters as far as I'm concerned) right now .
Gonna go get myself together to go to Jessica & Michael's rehearsal dinner, which is supposed to be a casual affair. The wedding is tomorrow and I'll be taking pictures and I'll post some up here.
I'll be posting all of my pix when I'm all done. I'll just give you some tidbits when I'm blogging in the meantime. Oh, and look! There's a Star of David on the mermaid sculpture in the picture above. Probably not a Jewish mermaid though. Figures.
It's all about the water here. Arrived last night around 10pm local time (6pm Seattle time), got my rental car (I let the rental lady pick which car I would get cause I know nothing about American cars - I'm driving a black Dodge Caliber, which is one of those small SUVs/big station wagon type things) and checked into the Airport Hilton. Of course, since there was a 4 hour time difference, I was not tired at all, so I ate some oatmeal (great thing to bring along on a trip) and watched a little of the Olympics.
Slept in until after 11am local time, pfutzed around my room for a bit and then got on the road. After a totally unnecessary period of driving, turning around and driving the same way I did in the first place, I found myself on the right track. Ended up in a little town called Mahone Bay, which was very sweet and where these pictures came from. I'm trying to apply some of the new photo knowledge I gained by reading a book on the way here. I ended up deleting a lot more pictures than I normally do, so it certainly made me more picky! I think that I got a few good pix. It was nice to walk around the town after sitting on planes all day yesterday.
Made my way to Lunenburg, where I'm staying and realized I did not have any directions to the hotel, but remembered it seemed to be downtown. Stumbled upon the right road and found my way here. My room is very spacious - room for a king sized bed (one of my favorite things about sleeping in hotels), two chairs and a couch. It overlooks the harbor and some big old sailing ships, of which I'll try to get some nice photos.
I've now unpacked, looked at and cleaned up some pix from today, found a wireless network I can jump onto and I think I'm going to chill out and read for a bit. Ahhhhh....paid vacation rocks.
This website says they'll evaluate your blog and determine its reading level. According to them, this blog is College Undergrad level, which makes me fairly happy as that's as far as I got in "formal" education (but I can spin a frisbee. For a long time). Also, I amused cause Wonkette, BookSlut and the NY Times are all written at a High School level according to this site. Although I remember reading once that the Times is written on a 6th grade reading level - but that was a while ago, so maybe now that's high school level these days. Shall we ask our well read President?
That's my personal IM - I use it when I don't want to be hooked into the large corporate infrastructure where they can find me. They being the people who pay me, of course.
NSFW = not safe for work.
As you know, I do not imbibe in any illegal (or legal) mind altering substances, but I don't see why they shouldn't be legal and taxed. Especially pot. Apparently, the folks that made this video feel that pot should be legal and their message is that alcohol is more harmful than pot and that if you're in the alcohol business (and making gazillions of dollars), then you are a drug dealer. (in the olden days, they called people like this (you know, like Joe Kennedy), bootleggers. Now they're Republicans.
It's an interesting angle.
And an amusing video.
Not sure if you've seen/heard about the ad that John McCain's campaign put out where they claim that Barack's the same kind of celebrity as Paris Hilton & Britney Spears.
Well, the guys from Funny or Die apparently got together with Ms. Hilton and put together a response. And I have to say...Paris made me smile. With her. Not at her. Never thought I'd say that.
And since Paris' parents donated the max ($4,600) to McCain's campaign, they've been getting a lot of questions about how they felt about the campaign using their daughter's likeness in the ad. Paris' mom (Kathy Hilton - really) wrote about it on the Huffington Post. Okay, she wrote a paragraph, but still. Here it is:
I've been asked again and again for my response to the now infamous McCain celebrity ad. I actually have three responses. It is a complete waste of the money John McCain's contributors have donated to his campaign. It is a complete waste of the country's time and attention at the very moment when millions of people are losing their homes and their jobs. And it is a completely frivolous way to choose the next President of the United States.
What's going on with the Hiltons? They seem intelligent and thoughtful. Clearly they're being coached, right?
This guy is asking people to pray for rain during the Democratic National Convention - unexpected, unanticipated rain that will flood intersections. "If God decides that rain of Biblical proportions would be appropriate, that would be good...
If these folks can control things like the weather via praying, why wouldn't they use this power for somewhat more "important" issues. Not saying that a wet Obama isn't important, but...actually, I am saying that a wet Obama isn't important.