Archive for April, 2004

bitter

Friday, April 30th, 2004

This is quite a harsh list of questions, but being as it’s from SFGate you might guess that it wouldn’t be pretty. Kind of smart too, in a biting sort of way.

scary, scary

Friday, April 30th, 2004

Unfortunately I missed a documentary last night on Public TV about the president’s religious beliefs (click here for a summary from Slate, including the man’s terrifying line “God wants me to be president”) but I think it would have riled me so much that it’s a good thing for my health that I didn’t watch it. But it did get me to thinking about how America works compared with how it’s supposed to work, for example the Constitution, which elected officials swear to uphold and go on and on about how it’s such an example for the rest of the world but then go out of their way to re-interpret and avoid. In this specific case there is of course the whole thing about separation of church and state. Specifically for Bush and his beliefs you could be worried that his faith would overly influence his policy – just imagine, he could actually start following the Ten Commandments, like “thou shalt not kill”, or looking out for the poor! But fortunately those things don’t seem to be particularly on his radar, so that’s OK then.

at last

Tuesday, April 27th, 2004

At last we have some new photos of our boy! We finished a film at the weekend and I got around to scanning a couple in tonight, and there are the first pics from the digital camera too. You probably can’t tell just from thumbnails but the quality from the Canon is quite excellent. Anyway, the point is that we continue to believe that he’s unbearably cute and handsome, but you be the judge of that (as long as you agree with us). Enjoy!

secret dealings

Tuesday, April 27th, 2004

The US Supreme Court is going to hear a case today on whether the minutes of Vice President Cheney’s energy “task force” (read: cosy secret industry insider access to government insiders) meetings of a couple of years ago. I heard someone point out a few days ago that it doesn’t seem much has happened from these meetings because no actual energy legislation has gone through Congress since then. But wait, gas prices are up so it costs us more to drive our cars, natural gas prices are up so it costs us more to heat our homes, and, oh yeah, we “liberated” a country with the second-biggest oil reserves in the world. Surely coincidences though, I’m sure.

For more left-wing rhetoric, Paul alerted me to The O’Franken Factor for various things from the new liberal talk radio station. Interesting stuff, and instead of “liberal” I’m seeing “reasonable and educated”. But that’s maybe because it’s on my wavelength, pardon the pun.

nifty

Friday, April 23rd, 2004

Huge thanks to Paul and his forwarding of an incredible deal from Nifty News which alerted me to the fact that Office Depot were doing a quite remarkable offer on the very nice Canon Powershot A80 – already discounted to $379 with a whopping $200 instant discount coupon – no pesky rebates or anything. I’ve been thinking about getting a digital camera for a long time, but wasn’t able to find quite the right camera for the right deal, but this certainly fits the bill.

I wasn’t sure if the whole thing would work though – when I went to the OD website it said that they were backordered, but I placed my order anyway just to see what would happen. And Em just called me from home to say that it’s arrived, and looks very nice. So hopefully this means more pictures for us, and more photos on this site.

Now, just need to find a good deal on a decent photo printer…

pioneer

Thursday, April 22nd, 2004

There’s been a fair bit of press around Google launching a web mail service. It started when they announced on April 1 and everyone thought it was a hoax. Then they started paying attention to the benefits: 1 Gb(!) of storage, for free, and great filtering and searching of your messages, which with 1 Gb of storage you never have to delete. There has also been negative press about the fact that they show small unobtrusive text ads to the right of your message based on what’s in the message text, all automated (because they’re Google and they’re good at that kind of thing). This latter feature has had some negative press from people who think that it’s an intrusion on your privacy, but it’s a machine which is scanning your messages, and besides, spam filters do this all the time. Plus nobody is forcing you to use the service.

I’d heard that sign-up was limited to a very small number of people so far, for beta testing purposes, but Paul told me that you can get with the program if you’re a current Blogger. So that’s exactly what I’ve done and it looks nice so far.

bushel

Wednesday, April 14th, 2004

Last night El Presidente gave a press conference, the third formal press conference of his presidency (or “presidentiary” as Modern Humorist used to call it). Of course there was lots of waffle and evading of questions and blurring of facts. Here is an amusing and horrifying summary.

blind

Tuesday, April 13th, 2004

I don’t have much to say about this article except that it speaks a number of pointed and uncomfortable truths.

happy toby

Thursday, April 1st, 2004

We have some new pictures I haven’t gotten around to posting, but here’s a nice one of a happy little guy: