Had I known about it, I would have protested 20 years ago...

by Mark Zaugg 10. April 2008 20:36

Some things surprise me still, cynical as I have become lately. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not some long haired hippie running around in my beaded underpants screaming, "Free Tibet!"  Although I would, in fact, consider it much more graceful if China did decide it would probably be okay to let Tibet fall under self-rule.  I'm just not involved or aware enough to make an enlightened decision on what is right, although what I do know leans towards a desire for the Tibetans to be self-deterministic.  I reserve the right to be proven wrong if someone comes up with a strongly compelling argument, but I haven't been hearing one.  I'm favourable to Taiwan's independance, Kosovo's independance, and even Quebec's independance if they truly decide they want independance and not some wishy-washy "Sovereignty Association" half step. 

It's a really touchy subject in Canada because the threat of Quebec separation has been wielded here too frequently, often for dubious-sounding means, at least to a Westerner.  Personally, I'd much rather see a country-wide revolution of showing how much stronger all of us are when we mix and participate and share our culture with each other, but that's my opinion and I claim no righteous indignation above anyone else's. 

I distrust nationalism for the sake of itself.  I'm not saying I'm better than you because I'm Canadian.  I'm not saying I'm better than other Canadians because I'm Albertan.  I'm saying that my life has been strongly enriched by people from all areas of the country and the globe. 

Not that I have to trumpet it in anyone's face.  I don't need to parade through your town holding a banner or a sign or an Olympic Torch or anything. 

Ah, yes.  The Olympic Torch Relay.  That's what set this whole rant off in the first place.  First started at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, it was one of those masterful propaganda pieces.  I had no idea it was a creation for the Berlin Games until I read this column by Gwynn Dyer.

"There had never been a torch connected with the original Olympic games in ancient Greece, and the revived Games got along without an international relay race just fine for 40 years before the Berlin Olympics of 1936 -- but if there was one thing the Nazi's did well, it was propaganda."

Does that taint the memory of others of the torch relay during Calgary's 1988 Winter Olympics?  Not such a nice thing when coloured with Nazi Propaganda, eh?  Or is it different when the torch winds solely within the host country as opposed to the six continent, multi-national, behemoth globe-trotting event that's going on right now?

Well, having read that article I've had one of those rare moments that pretty much reversed and hardened my stance on an issue.  The torch relay (particularly one themed the "Journey of Harmony") now seems to be a silly, pointless moment of national self-importance that has absolutely no business being rubbed in my face.  Shut it down.  I suspect I'd tolerate it if the torch was lit at Olympia and then skittered prancily throughout the host country, but to hell with this country to country propaganda move.

In fact, to hell with the whole Olympic movement and what it's become.  To quote Mr. Dyer once more:

"Never mind the silly torch, and the equally bizarre three-layer cake that is the actual Olympics Games of today. (An international athletics competition on the bottom, an orgy of nationalist self-congratulation in the middle, and a sickly-sweet pantomime of international love and brotherhood on the top.)"

I don't care anymore.  I'll probably give an "attaboy / attagirl" to our athletes, but don't count on me watching any of it.  I probably won't change my mind much in two years when it's in Vancouver or Whistler or whereeve the hell it's going to be.  Strip off the top two crappy layers of the cake and maybe I'll get interested again.  Until then, just go away.

It's okay... I'm alive.

by Mark Zaugg 30. March 2008 21:21

Mostly alive.  Not feeling great, but I'm still kicking. 

Pneumonia really takes a kick at the ol' body.  I've been struggling off and on with a cold since January.  The pneumonia kicked in a little over a month ago and pretty much levelled me. 

The worst of it all was sleeping upright in a chair for three weeks.  A recliner, sure, but I couldn't recline at all lest the pressure in my chest send me into a wheezing fit.  I had the concentration span of Ooooh! Shiny!  At least I got a bit of time in re-reading Jack White's books. 

Now, three weeks after some heavy duty anti-biotics, I feel merely that I've got bronchitis again.  My respiratory specialist (who has been wonderful) informs me that I'll be back to normal in no more than three or four months.  *coff*  Thanks Doc.  How are we coming along on that cyanide flavoured cough syrup?

Well, no fear.  I'm recovering and having a tub of probiotic yoghurt (yogourt, yogurt, yoghourt) each and every day.  Mmmm....  yoghurt.  But I have to ask myself, why are we going half steps with all this probiotic yoghurt stuff?  Why not go whole hog and just eat some raw hamburger for some E. coli?

Clearly I must be getting better.

Okay, I'm a little behind...

by Mark Zaugg 28. November 2007 21:27

I'm getting around to the classics eventually.  We got The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester last week and I'm just past half-way through. 

One of the themes the main character Reich uses (to avoid telepaths) is a catchy song. 

"What's the most persistent tune you ever wrote?"
"you know what I mean.  Like those advertising jingles you can't get out of your head."
"Oh.  Pepsis, we call 'em."
"Dunno.  They say because the first one was written centuries ago by a character named Pepsi.  I don't buy that.  I wrote one once..."  Duffy winced in recollection.  "Hate to think of it even now.  Guaranteed to obsess you for a month.  It haunted me for a year."
It was the quintessence of every melodic cliche Reich has ever heard.  No matter what melody you tried to remember, it invariably led down the path of familiarity to "Tenser, Said the Tensor."

Oooookay, that resonates with me.  And what are the lyrics to the song?

Tenser, said the Tensor.
They're the modern stone age family.
Tension, apprehension
And dissension have begun.

Help me.  Get it out of my head.  Help meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Normal People

by Mark Zaugg 24. November 2007 08:52

Normal people have dreams. 

I have dreams about SPAM counts.

Colossus loses code-cracking race!

by Mark Zaugg 18. November 2007 00:14

Oh my ghod!  This is horrible! 

Run for the hills, we're all in grave danger. 

The newfangled machine called Colossus - surely to rise up and be master of us all before our deaths at it's iron grip - has turned out to be less than the saviour we expected it to become.  Indeed, it's 2000 and more valves once heralded as humanity's best hope for peace has resulted in actually being dim-witted and slow. 

It turns out that we may now be ruled over by faster, stronger overloads which contain tubes, transistors, or perhaps even printed circuit boards. 

Be terribly afraid for your souls, and abide the tidings from the BBC.

Actually, take a moment to think that a programmable machine from 1944 was even in the running in a competition to break code against modern computers.  Honey, can I build a recreation of my own and keep it in the basement?


My Lady-love is so sweet...

by Mark Zaugg 21. October 2007 02:40

How wonderful is my Lady-love? 

She makes me smile, even when she's sick.
She's smart when I'm wrong.  She's cheery when I'm grumpy.  She's charming when I'm snotty.  She's well-versed in the finest of books, films and music where I'm a mere babe in comparison.

I'm so very, very happy whilst I'm with her, and I miss her when I'm away.

And I would never, EVER consider dissing her in my blog.  I would rather be walk through the day with doggie-doo stuck to the bottom of my shoes than speak of her in a derogative manner.

I love her that much.

There will be tea and pound cake served at the conclusion of my funeral.

Happy Turkey Day!

by Mark Zaugg 8. October 2007 23:14

Many years ago, that adorable little fuzz monkey changed my life.  He sent me a batch of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 tapes hosted by Adam West in a Turkey Day Triumvera.

To celebrate Thanksgiving, I force my Lady-Love to watch an episode of MST3k with me.  This year, the feature d'jour was Space Mutiny, a South African flick of space an action and mutiny, I guess.  Enjoy the writeup of Mike and the bots, or better yet, enjoy the real thing.

And don't worry, Honey.  Thanksgiving only comes twice a year...

Is that rhetorical?

by Mark Zaugg 6. October 2007 21:54

Yogi tea puts short phrases on their bags.  I made myself a cup of Triple-Ec tonight and read it out loud.

"Where there is love, there is no question."

"What?" says my Lady-love.

"This is *so* going up on my blog."

I know I'm taking flack for this...

by Mark Zaugg 28. September 2007 01:36

But I thought it was quizical.

Do you think those phychiatric conditions are related to the relative instances of marriages?

I'd like to see some historical counters...

Conversations I almost had had - the Tim Horton's version

by Mark Zaugg 19. September 2007 00:19

So last Sunday the kids and I end up at Tim Hortons so I can get coffee for me and my Lady-love.  Not particularly newsworthy, I know, but there's a fellow there who has brought two German tourists out for breakfast.  He's trying to explain all the wonderous joys that are constitued by Tim Horton's in the morning.  Like a double-double. 

"What's that?" asks Herr Guest. 

"Two sugars and two cream." 

"Ooh, I don't want the sugar." 

"Well, you can get it with just the cream.  Now, you better look at the doughnuts and decide what you want now.  Would you like a muffin or a Boston Creme?" 


Okay, my feeble mind phased out along the way, probably helped by two children anxious for me to goon them up on baked goods, I'm sure.  The next part of the conversation I heard was Herr Guest asking, "Can you go to McDonald's for breakfast here?"

"Well, I guess, but I don't really know why.  It's not really healthy for you."

Not that I necessarily disagree or anything, but I have a really hard time listening to someone giving out free health advice while lining up for a double-double and a doughnut-doughnut.  Ease up a bit, mac.  How about we let other people form their own opinions, mmkay?

I mean, if it's alright for me to think that..


Change is the only constant.

Welcome to the semi-exciting new look, same crappy blogger.

All comments are still moderated, I'll approve everything that isn't spam or offensive.  Agreement with His Dorkasaurus is not necessary.

What has changed is that I don't have 1000 junk accounts clogging up the system that I have to go through one by one.  Yes, you too can set up an account and no longer need to wait for me to notice you posted.  Completely optional.

As always:  Have fun, be respectful.


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