Tuesday, September 25, 2007


If anything, this article proves that stupidity regarding no tolerance laws and immaturity in attitudes regarding sexuality isn't the exclusive provenance of the United States. No, Canada is also idiotic about these things, too. From the article:
A good example is a current case in northern Alberta where an 18-year-old
man is charged with possession of child pornography and distribution of child

The allegations are that a 17-year-old girl took a series of nude
photographs of herself and e-mailed them to the man’s cell phone and he later
showed them to other people.

Sources say the girl’s father got wind of what had happened and stormed
off to the local police detachment. The resulting investigation led to an arrest
and charges.

Legal experts say there is nothing criminal about two people in a
consensual relationship sharing X-rated photos, even if one of them is under 18,
as long as the older person is relatively close in age and not in a position of

But, as soon as you start sharing the pictures with others, you
have technically become a child porn distributor.

And, under the law, a person convicted of distributing or transmitting
child porn faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a minimum of one
year in jail.

Even a conviction of possession of child pornography carries a minimum
penalty of 45 days behind bars.

So, why are prosecutors pursuing this? Why is the father such an idiot that he reports this to the local police? Why did police charge the man? Why did the young man do something so foolish as share the pictures (and if he did it without her consent, then he is a cad)?

This is war?

From The Independent this morning:

US soldiers are luring Iraqis to their deaths by scattering military
equipment on the ground as "bait", and then shooting those who pick them up, it
has been alleged at a court martial. The highly controversial tactic, which has
hitherto been kept secret, is believed to have been responsible for the deaths
of a number of Iraqis who were subsequently classified as enemy combatants and
used in statistics to show the "success" of the "surge" in US forces.

The revelation came in court documents, obtained by The Washington Post
, related to murder charges against three US soldiers who are alleged to have
planted incriminating evidence on civilians they had killed. In a sworn
statement, Captain Matthew Didier, the officer in charge of a sniper platoon,
said: "Basically we would put an item out there and watch it. If someone found
the item, picked it up and attempted to leave with the item, we would engage the
individual as I saw this as a sign they would use the item against the US

This is infuriating. How do they know that the people picking up the weapons are insurgents? What if they were picking them up to turn in to the Americans? Is this a reasonable tactic? What if they left similar weapons in the U.S.? How many people would pick them up? How many would turn them in? Who are the idiots who think this is legit and how do those people think that this tactic is going to win over the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people?

Hobbled, but not gone

I was taking a small hiatus from blogging. My parents came out for a visit, so we needed some time to get the place in shape. The following weekend we ended up playing tour guides and chefs for the parents (it was a nice visit). The week after that I began a new position at work. Busy, busy, busy...

The desktop computer showed no respect for this hectic schedule. A week and a half ago it decided to die on us. The hard drive failed after I did a reboot. Kaput! I have a fairly recent back up of all of the drive, which is the good news. The bad news is that it's still 2 - 3 months old. I foolishly hoped that the S.M.A.R.T. system built into the hard drive would provide me with some notice that this was coming. After all, that system worked wonderfully well on my secondary HD that failed months before. Doh!

I've gotten a recovery utility and we'll see if I can't get some files off of the thing before I give up on it and turn it into....drum roll, please...a back-up server. The motherboard and other components are still useful, if old. I figure that I'll load XP on a new drive (if necessary - I haven't ruled out a bad cable yet) and use it as a back up source. In the meantime I'm on one of our notebook PCs, which discourages blogging by the sheer pain of typing on such a small unit (though I am getting used to it).

What else is happening? Not much. The parent's visit was nice, short. We went shopping on their first full day in town. They got us Xmas and birthday presents early. We took a ferry ride the next day and then went to The Oceanaire Room for dinner that night (by request, the parents ate there last visit and liked it so much that they wanted to go back). On their last day in town we kept it low key. It was a gorgeous, sunny day. We sat under the gazebo and chatted. The co-signer made Crab Louis salads while I improvised a fish dinner with red snapper and a sauce made with tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, basil, and a dash of cinnamon (actually went a little too heavy on the cinnamon). My father seemed to really enjoy it.

My new position at work? Assistant manager at a store in Bellevue. It's a little more money, some extra responsibilities, a step up, and a single location to work from. The store is going to have a Costco moving in next to it, so the board is expecting traffic to increase significantly. That's good news.

The co-signer has bought a new car: 2008 Honda CRV. She's in Snoregon picking it up, but will be back tonight to show it off. She's excited as it's the first new car she has ever owned. I'm happy and excited for her.

The new Devil Doll album is out. It's been getting heavy play in our home and on the road. It relies a little more heavily on the rockabilly sound which is just fine by me.

We went to Town Hall in Seattle on Saturday night and caught the Ambient Showcase of the Decibel Festival. I really wish we could have gotten to more of the festival this year, but it wasn't in the cards. Still, the ambient showcase was great. The opening act was Seattle artist Rafael Irisarri. His set was a little too busy for me and more than a tad cliched. He's a developing artist, but we'll have to see if he breaks into his own sound at some point. Biosphere was on next and he was a definite step up. His set was filled with layers of sound provoking many different thoughts. He relied on more noise and industrial elements in his music. Up last was Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins) and Harold Budd. Frankly, the old guys kicked ass when it came to music. Guthrie had some technical difficulties with his PC. While those were being ironed out he improvised some work on his guitar demonstrating the style that fans of the Cocteau Twins were so fond of (and bringing a new appreciation of the work to me). After the glitches were fixed (reboot!) he got on with his solo material which was quite beautiful. Harold Budd came out and did a solo set next beginning during a chord that Guthrie kept looped in. Budd's music was typical of his later work: leaning more on his classical training while still keeping a tight focus on tone. Then Guthrie and Budd played together for a while which really showed a close working relationship and a good friendship. Very nice indeed. As a fan of Budd's music for some 25 years, it was a great pleasure for me to see him perform. I was one of the first out of my seat for the 2 standing ovations. Peaceful, lyrical, gorgeous.

Next show that we've got tickets for is Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Old time soul sound. Completely different and a ways off yet (December).