Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Good News For a Tuesday Morning

This actually went down last week, but still...

Mia Zapata's Killer Convicted
Florida man guilty of Gits singer's murder

A forty-nine-year-old Cuban immigrant has been convicted of the murder of Gits frontwoman Mia Zapata more than a decade ago.

I must hot have been paying attention (what else is new?), since I completely missed the fact that they had actually made an arrest in the case a few months ago. Still, it's nice to see that things actually work out right. And speaking of murdered punk rockers in whose cases justice was eventually done, I was moved to trot over to some of the Brian Deneke pages this morning to see what's been going on there. For those of you who've forgotten, Deneke was the young punk from Texas who was run over during a parking-lot brawl by a guy from his high-school football team driving a cadillac. The murderer, one Dustin Camp, got off with probation, which sparked an enormous furor in the punk community. Anyway, Camp eventually violated his probation and got sent to prison, but may have been paroled by now. The official page of the Brian Deneke Memorial Committee is here.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

So, if you're American, youngish, male, under-employed and not particularly interested in highing thyself to university, you might want to circle June 15th, 2005 on the calendar. It may not turn out to be a very good day for you. Here's why...

The Coming Draft

By Connor Freff Cochran, AlterNet
March 25, 2004

In 1973, forced conscription ended in favor of an all-volunteer military. As the gap between the capacity of America's armed forces and the demands of current deployment widens, the likelihood of a reinstated draft grows.

Read it, it's a good article. Although it's not 100% certain that the draft will be reinstated, it could very easily happen, particularly as the summer of 2005 is a long way from the next election down there.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

When the going gets tough...

...the tough add links to their blogs. Step forward a whole bunch of people, all of them in the 'Blogs I Like' section.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

I signed this puppy up with Blogscanada this afternoon. They say that this blog will be added to their list as soon as it's approved by the moderators. That's not very exciting until you consider that that means somebody other than me and maybe three other people will have actually looked at this thing! Woo-Hoo!

I've been listening to The Distillers' Coral Fang a fair bit lately (got it playing at work right this very moment as a matter of fact), and I'm liking it more and more. The reader(s?) of my last blog will recall that occasionally it takes me awhile to get to really like Distillers albums, and it's been much the same with this one. However, I'm fast coming to the conclusion that it's one of those 'no weak tracks' albums.

Oh, as an aside, mine has a different cover than pictured above...

Anyway, it's struck me that the parallels between The Distillers and Hole are becoming far too many to ignore. Now, before anybody gets their knickers in a knot, I like Hole, so I consider this a good thing. Now, the angry-young-rocker-married-to-famous-musical-husband bit has been analyzed to death, so I'm going to leave it alone, and merely point out something that struck me the other day, and led me to do a bit of comparative listening. Listen to the opening verse of the opening track from Live Through This, and then listen to the same bit from "Drain the Blood", the opening song on Coral Fang, and then try to tell me that those women are not coming from exactly the same place musically. As noted above, I think this is a good thing.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

No more beavers or raccoons this week. Just... preparations for inventory!!!!! Yes, the joyful time they call 'Inventory' when auditors stalk the land, and people tremble in their boots. Speaking of auditors and trembling, I chucked a shadow dragon at my wee D&D group last week, and they finally finished it off last night. A good little fight it was, too!! Next up for them: drow!

Apart from that, we seem to have a new leader of the federal Conservative party. You know, the one that's the bastard offspring of the Canadian Alliance (nee Reform) and Progressive Conservatives, who are apparently to the left of the Liberal party. This is all probably good news for the NDP, who have been quietly making their own way along, taking up larger and larger chunks of the left wing of the Canadian spectrum. Of course, if the Conservatives win the next federal election, the Liberals will probably go back over there themselves... Anyway, Steven Harper was the obvious, runaway, choice to lead the new party, despite (or, with the ghost of Stockwell Day's political career looming over the delegates, perhaps because of) having the charisma of a clam and sharing the unfortunate Canadian Alliance trait of being psychotically obsessed with doing anything to beat the Liberals. He immediately appointed Peter MacKay, ex-capo of the Progressive Conservatives, as his sidekick, which made the entire script of Julius Caesar leap right into my head right away. Doubtless Belinda Stronach and Tony Clement, Harper's two opponents in the leadership race, will be rewarded for their relative grace in losing - Clement with a shadow cabinet position, and Stronach by being relentlessly patronized.

And that's all I have say on that score right at the moment. In the meantime, things are happening south of the border, as the Americans start to come to the realization (those, that is, outside the majority that knew it all along), that the Republicans severely fucked up both before and after 9/11. How much of an effect this be allowed to have on the upcoming election down there remains to be seen!

Friday, March 19, 2004

Sorry, the grand muse of blogging has not been with me this week, possibly because of the liver abuse inflicted on self over St. Patrick's Day. Anyway, in apology and atonement, here's a FREE BEAVER PICTURE!!!!!

See, I told you the grand muse of blogging had not been showing her coffee-addled, square-eyed, overworked, underpaid self around here this week. I mean, that joke was old before there were beavers...

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Police nearing end of elevator death investigation

Edmonton - Detectives expect to wrap up their investigation into the death of a 16-year-old boy who fell down an elevator shaft by the end of the week.

Kyle Young had just finished a court appearance on Jan. 22 and was being escorted by guards when the incident happened. Shackled and handcuffed, he fell more than five stories, becoming suspended by his neck from the structural bracket of the elevator shaft.

'Bout time. They say (as they are legally obligated to) that they don't know whether charges will be pressed, but I really fail to see how they can avoid charging the guards with criminal negligence at the very least. Actually, I think there's probably a pretty good case for manslaughter. I doubt that the guards meant to kill the young lad, but elevator doors simply don't open for no reason at all. In any case, it was a monumental fuck-up, and heads had better roll for it.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Well, a couple of days ago, I promised funny stuff about raccoons. And here you go! To begin with, there is no possible way that anybody could ever improve upon the headline of this story:

Nazi raccoons conquer Europe

Raccoons released by Hermann Goering in Germany in 1934 to "enrich the Reich's fauna" are threatening to succeed where their Nazi benefactors failed by conquering Europe.

As you can plainly see, there's nothing about raccoons that isn't pure, unadulterated, evil. I love 'em...
Way to go, George

Bush praises man in Women's Week gaffe

George Bush has marked International Women's Week - by paying tribute to a man.

He told reporters at the White House: "Earlier today, the Libyan government released Fathi Jahmi.

"She's a local government official who was imprisoned in 2002 for advocating free speech and democracy."

Turns out Fathi Jahmi is male. Oh well, George had a 50% chance of being right...

Thursday, March 11, 2004

And, no sooner had I posted the bit below, came this...

MADRID - A London-based Arabic newspaper says it received an e-mail from an al-Qaeda-linked group Thursday claiming responsibility for the series of deadly bombs that ripped across a Madrid train line, killing at least 190 people.

The newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi said the Brigade of Abu Hafs al-Masri claimed its "death squad" had penetrated "one of the pillars of the crusade alliance, Spain."

Still not proof, but interesting nonetheless. The finger of grim accusation seems to be swinging away from the ETA, and towards Bin Laden and his fellow troglodytes.
Well, this would answer question #2 below...

Madrid blast investigators find detonators, Arabic tapes
Last Updated Thu, 11 Mar 2004 15:25:25

MADRID - Police investigating the series of deadly bombs that ripped across a Madrid train line say they have found a van with detonators and an Arabic-language tape with Qur'anic verses in a nearby town.

Well, this changes some things - and it seems I've been guilty of leaping to conclusions (No news there!). We await further developments with interest (keeping in mind that there is as yet not actual proof of who's responsible for the bombings, and that nobody has actually claimed responsibility).
Well, I was going to post some humourous stuff about racoons this morning, and I may later on, but it's not been too funny a morning...

Spanish train blasts kill at least 190
Last Updated Thu, 11 Mar 2004 12:58:48

MADRID - At least 190 people died when 10 bombs ripped through commuter trains arriving in central Madrid during the morning rush hour Thursday.

More than 1,200 people were injured at the Atocha station and two commuter stops leading up to Atocha.

Very sincere condolences to the victims, their families, and their friends. And, of course, a large "Fuck You!!" to the oxygen thieves who pulled this thing off.

First off, one of the worst things about this has been watching the casualty numbers rise throughout the morning. When I first saw the reports, they were at 162 dead and about 600 wounded; the wounded have nearly doubled in number since then. And keep in mind that the Spanish police actually prevented a number of other bombs from going off.

Secondly, you have to wonder what the hell the ETA were thinking. The impression (perhaps incorrect) that I've had is that the whole Basque situation has been settling down lately, and I really fail to see how killing a bunch of innocent civilians is going to help the cause. If any pro-ETA types are out there and want to enlighten me on this, I'm all ears.

Lastly, we've become too blase about terrorism, again. For a good chunk of this morning, this story was listed second on the CBC web page, behind, um, the ongoing trials and tribulations of one Mr. Todd Bertuzzi. Uh, people, can we get our fucking priorities straight here?

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

It was, he reflected, in many ways a metaphor for life

Stowaway cat attacks pilot

A BANGLADESHI pilot needed first aid after a stowaway cat got into the cockpit of his aircraft and attacked him, a report said today

Some things are just too perfect...
Excitement on Campus

U of A on alert after library stabbing

Edmonton - The University of Alberta has tightened security after a student was stabbed while studying at the library Tuesday.

Police are still looking for the three men who attacked the 19 year old.

Jerry Donahue, with campus security, says the teen was studying on the second floor of the Cameron library when he was attacked around noon.

Ye gods. Apparently the young victim walked across quad to Health Services, bleeding copiously, and yet nobody saw him and called 911. That's just wrong, in my humble opinion. Anyway, it all adds up to an upsetting day for the library staff (which, at that particular library, includes on of my soccer players). It also adds up to a bit more excitement than Campus Security probably needs, particularly as they're now going to have to catch the little bastards responsible. Since it doesn't sound like the attack was random, this probably shouldn't be too hard. It will all, hopefully, lead to a permanent increase in security at the library, where theft and, now apparently, attempted murder have become serious problems.

In other on-campus crime notes, there was a note in The Gateway's "Campus Crime Beat" this week that a young man had called Campus Security to protest that he had been spied upon in the Phys Ed locker room showers by an old man who had been vigourously 'pleasuring himself.' The note described the young man's state as "distraught." Now, I'm thinking that if the most upsetting thing that happens to you in a day is being wanked at by an old man, you're probably not having too bad a time. You could, for example, be being stabbed in Cameron Library!!

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

This here is a cut above most of the on-line quizzes you see these days. I came up "Liberal Quaker," which suits me fine. Nothing much more to report today, except that I got the formal offer of an assistantship from the department. Hooray!

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Native hip hop poised for breakthrough
Last Updated Fri, 05 Mar 2004
CBC News Online with files from Barbara Brunzell, CBC Winnipeg

WINNIPEG - Hip hop, the urban-music genre originated by young blacks in the United States and adopted by whites everywhere, has a new face in this country: a native Canadian one.

That's because hip hop has spread past the urban ghettos and on to Canada's reserves, thanks to groups like Alberta's War Party, Winnipeg's Slangblossom and Ontario's Tru Rez Crue.

Since I'm not a huge hip-hop fan, I mention this only because I actually saw War Party one night in a pub, and they did a really good job. They're actually beginning to get some recognition outside of Alberta, which is nice too. However, I've always kind of wondered why there wasn't a bigger native presence in punk rock than there is. I've known a couple of aboriginal punkers, but I'd be hard-pressed to name even one native punk band (actually, I know of one, but I can't remember their name off the top of my head, which is bugging me). Anyhoo...

Friday, March 05, 2004

This made me sadder than I would have expected...

Activist Tooker Gomberg missing, presumed dead

HALIFAX — Tooker Gomberg — an environmental activist, failed Toronto mayoral candidate and high-profile thorn in the side of Alberta Premier Ralph Klein — was missing and presumed dead today.

Police said it appears Gomberg jumped off the middle of the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge just after midnight in the early hours Thursday morning.

I miss having Tooker Gomberg on Edmonton City Council. While he could say the odd ridiculous thing, and often seemed to take himself a tad too seriously, there was never any doubt that his heart was in the right place. Furthermore, he had the courage to actually be ridiculous, and wasn't afraid to wield the weapon of civil disobedience. He was a colourful presence on council, which has been, with some exceptions, a fairly bland lot since he left.

I'll be looking for (and, probably, commenting upon) the obituaries in the Canadian media. I think the temptation to be snide and gloating about this tragedy is going to be too hard for some of our fine conservative commentators to pass up.
I am so great, I am so great, Everybody loves me 'cause I am so great...

It's been a crazy week here, but the craziest bit was receiving, on Wednesday afternoon, confirmation that I have been recommended to start a PhD program in Roman archaeology. Since being Dr. Bazz, Roman Archaeologist, has been sort of a dream of mine, I am, as they say, over the moon right now. And, to celebrated, here's a picture of a coin of Magnia Urbica, one of the late 3rd century Roman emperors:

Why her, you ask? Well, one of my most exciting finds as an archaeologist was a coin of hers, so I thought it would be appropriate to feature her here.

Coming later on today: "How to Inform Work That You're Leaving to Become a Roman Archaeologist." Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004


WWE Hall of Fame calls on Rose
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - Pete Rose will be inducted into World Wrestling Entertainment's hall of fame later this month.

This story made me run around the room banging my hands together like a trained seal. How perfect is this? Pete Rose, supposedly attempting to convince folks that he's a wonderful, honest, hard-working, stand-up guy who oh-so-deserves reinstatement to Major League Baseball, is now going to accept money to be inducted into the Hall of Fame of a sport wherein the results are pretermined. Yeah, this is going to go over real well...

Monday, March 01, 2004

Ok, well, update time. I am now fully over my flu-bug, hooray. Our wee soccer team has continued to win, hooray. And I actually got through two (count 'em) soccer practices on Saturday, coming out of it with nothing worse than a severely sprained ankle (I mean, I could barely walk on Sunday). Some movie won some Oscars (seriously, congrats to everyone associated with LOTR - they did an excellent job with it). And... a bunch of other things happened. I couldn't really be sussed to find out what.

I saw a little bit of a Captain Tractor show on Saturday night, while medicating my ankle. Sounded good, and it's nice that they're still around. My interest in them has waned ever-so-slightly, but they still put on a good show.

And lastly, and I really don't want to jinx this, but it appears I may be heading overseas in a few weeks. Archaeology beckons, but we'll wait and see if it all comes off... I'll keep you posted.