Where to begin? How about least personally relevant to most:
I know there is some kerfuffle about a computer game coming out soon called Left Behind: Eternal Forces, but frankly I don't get much of a rise out of it. Yes, it's being sponsored (or was, anyways) by the same fellow who mass-marketed "The Purpose Driven Life" through churches, and that it might indoctrinate young, impressionable minds that the correct response to the Rapture is to blow away the evil forces of the UN (the source of all evil), but hey, isn't that what they're going to learn in school anyways? The best part about the game is that the same young, impressionable can switch sides!
"Dude! I am totally the Anti-Christ!"
Can't really see much of a difference between it and any other video game. Sober up, folks: pixles ain't people, and running over one in your car has about the same effect as giving it a wubby. Okay?
Oh, and if you need a primer on various bits of the bible? May I suggest LEGO(tm) or some reasonably approximate equivalent?
And, the most important book - sorry - BOOK in the History of Mankind is finally here! Read it! Love it! Buy it if you can! Be touched by His noodly appendage!
Here we go: Human Papillomavirus is the most common sexually teansmitted disease around the world - it frequently causes cervical cancer, which is fatal in any country that doesn't have advanced screening. There are very few outward signs of the cancer, so the impetus to get tested doesn't happen, so the cancer is far more advanced than is treatable... It's the same reason why pancreatic cancer is so deadly. Anyhow, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a new vaccine for use in the United States. The "problem" is that is has to be administered before the person is sexually active, so it's already facing massive opposition from, well, the usual suspects:
"Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful, because they may see it as a licence to engage in premarital sex." - Bridget Maher, Family Research Council.
And seat belts should be banned because drivers may see it as a licence to drive at 220 km/h through school zones.
Hey, lady! This disease kills over 200,000 women a year! If you really fear your child may become promiscuous because of a shot, here's an idea: try talking to her about sex. If that fails, how about vaccinating men? They are, after all, carriers; and it's not like you've said a damned thing about your young sons having sex before marriage, right?
Lighter stuff up front: Down South, U.S. President George W. Bush has decided to create a huge oceanic reserve in Hawii as a National Monument (he's a president, he's allowed to do that). Now, why would it suddenly occur to him do do something right for a change? A couple of reasons, and they're both movies. Apparently the son of Jacques Cousteau screened a movie of the area for the president while visiting the White House, and Bush was so moved that he initiated the policy to preserve it. So that's what it takes, eh? Actually, I'm thinking it was another movie that got George suddenly interested in ecology... It all depends on what the act will be called to name this reserve. If he calls it something like "The Double-Plus Wonderful Happy Fish Place", we know it's screwed. (See also: No Child Left Behind, Clear Skies, Healthy Forests, ets.)
Closer to home, there is a reason why bad news is coming out of Afghanistan of late, and that's because the allies are going on the offensive. It makes for rougher stories, but it's a step in the right direction. My opinion, of course, but it's difficult to really find redeeming qualities of the Taliban once you get past "Well, they beat the Russians!" But there is good news in how a gentler approach is absolutely necessary in a foreign land.
Okay, I've wanted to mention this for a while now: the Pussycat Dolls are several reasonably attractive young women who have a song called "Don't Cha". Now, if you've seen any of their videos, or the videos of any of several other pop tart groups running around, you've probably discovered the same thing I have: the Burger King Fallacy, pointed out to me by a gentleman long unremembered at this point.
Here's how it goes: you see a commercial for a Burger King burger. All the ingredients are there for a burger exactly as you'd make it at home, they cook it on an opne flame just like you would, and you know that what you're looking at should, theoretically, be very appitising and attractive to you. And somehow it just ain't.
Point being they can move about quite nicely in a choreographed manner, but there just isn't that much that's very interesting about them, and (here's a warning for those aspiring musicians out there in the viewing audience) if you're going to have a song that includes the line:
"Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me
Don't cha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me"
in it's chorus, be ready for the question. A freak like you? Really? So, that means you'd be okay with being chained to my bed, partially wrapped in cellophane, havnig a woman fuck your ass with a strap-on while I'm pushing my cock through the o-ring gag in your mouth? Really?
So, not THAT freaky, then. Sorry.
Good days and bad. Clover's back on the road, meaning I am too. Damn, it's nice to be back on the proper number of wheels again! Hopefully soon, I'll be trying it three-wheeled, once the sidecar is hooked up to my Honda. Found rust in it's brake lines, though (the seal on the fluid reservoirwas ruptured) , so I'm getting in a new front brake set before that happens.
On the down side, there was an accident down at the sand drags and a long time photographer Gerald MacNutt (from my old home town) was, to put it bluntly, torn in half when a nitro-powered bike went out of control and hit him. He had been the unofficial photographer of the sand drags for years, and had a habit of getting shots from on the track, believing he could "jump out of the way" if anyone was headed for him. The bike ran a track-record time of 3.46 seconds - it takes a second to even see what direction the bike's going in, another (if you're practiced) to recognise that it's possibly out of control, and then... what? The tires of a drag bike are built for traction, and they tear up the ground passing beneath.
RIP to my dad's old friend, Gerald MacNutt.
What can I say? A couple of brilliant games in the final (games 1 and 5), a couple of good ones (3,4 and 7) and a couple of, well, weaker ones made for a good series over all. Congratulations to the Hurricanes and let's do it all again next year! Let's hand out some other hardware:
Calder trophy: Ovechkin (107 points, more than his next two team mates combined), though Crosby made a huge run late in the season (37 points in the last 23 games) to challenge. He may be better three years than now, but this year it's Ovechkin. Shame there's only one rookie award to hand out, because Phaneuf was well worth noticing (third highest goals by a rookie D ever) as was Lundquist (30 wins and .922 save percentage on a team not noted for it's defence).
Hart: Always the toughest to pick, this time it goes to Thornton for the huge, huge boost he gave San Jose when he arrived in town. More assists (96) than all but eight players had points, the Sharks went from eight points out of the playoffs before he arrived to finish with fifth seed. I expected Cheechoo to be better, but I did NOT expect a doubling of his goals! And Marleau finally got the room he needed to be as dangerous as we always knew he should have been (playing the point on the power play helped, too).
Vezina: While Vokun was a big reason for Nashville's (and the Czech Republic's) success last year, without Kiprusoff, the Flames were dead on the ice. With 72 starts, it was the first time he's been relied on as a starter in the NHL and he came through beautifully with a .923 save percentage and 10 shutouts. What is it with Finnish goaltending lately? Another one is going to be drafted in the first round this season (Riku Helenius).
Norris: This is, for now, the Niklas Lidstrom Award. He averaged over 28 minutes per game, led all denfenceman in points and had a +21 average. As big a fan of Niedermeyer as I am, his numbers just don't measure up. Call up Brad Park if you want condolences: he played the same years Bobby Orr did...
Selke: An award that might come back into fashion, now that there is more pressure on teams to play an up-tempo style. Brind'Amour is one of the best face-off men in the league, plus he got 31 goals playing a second line, plus I'm still pissed about his not being on Team Canada in the Olympics this year.
Kiss of Death Award (AKA the Adams): Ruff is a perpetual nominee with the Sabres, Renny could get Jagr to play as if he were interested again, and Laviolette took the tools given him all the way to the Stanley Cup. Even if the playoffs are excluded (as they are supposed to be), the Hurricanes finished the season one point back of the powerhouse Senators, and I don't recall anyone predicting that! Still, I like Ruff's Sabres for the style they play and results they get. Give the trophy to Lindy.
The BC Ministry of Education has finally figured out what to do regarding sex education in schools and how to acknowledge that gays and lesbians are actually part of society: ask them. They now have a married gay couple that serve as unpaid advisors to the provincial curriculum. How obvious was that? This can be filed away under "S" for "Smack to Forhead".
Now I'm going to go learn how to roller blade. I've got to start my mid-life crisis SOME time...