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March 2004
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May 2004

Hot Wheels

How's this for a nice backdrop for a cool car, or is that a hot prop for a great wall?


Photo by Casey of the Poor Boyz Car Club, at the Tech Wall in Ottawa last weekend. Nice to see graffiti appreciated as art.
My last "cool" car was my Corvair - a Corsa I think, maybe a '66. I do remember it had 4 carbs, and a manual shift.
I added some fat tires and Thrush mufflers - it was a lot of fun, but when I drove it up North to my home town I was stopped by the cops on the main street and asked when I was leaving again.

Sounds of Spring

I started the day with CBC's Vinyl Cafe, some wonderfully eclectic music and a beautiful story about Dave's neighbour Eugene. It's called The Fig Tree, a vignette about the re-birth of spring, and the simple pleasures of life. After it was over I hauled my ass downstairs for coffee, and some browsing - maybe I could start with a virtual coffee? I remembered one from years ago at Cambridge, alas, the pot had been sold. But now lives on in Germany. Empty when I looked so it was time for real coffee.
What's this to do with sounds of spring? Be patient, grasshopper. While brewing a cuppa and listening to the depressing radio news of Iraq being dragged biting and kicking into American democracy, I heard rumbles outside. No, not Harley's, but the rumble of distant thunder in a spring shower. So I turned off the news, and opened the door and enjoyed. A wonderfully grounding experience. The cat of course chose to listen from under the bed. I can also hear a robin out there now, singing his heart out like a flashy rappa - look at me, I'm so cool, would you like a fat worm? But my favorite spring bird is the red-winged blackbird, with it's 'oak-a-leee' and other calls, from a perch on a cat's tail. I used to drive home past a marsh, and in the spring, while stuck in traffic, roll the window down and listen to the sounds drifting in.
The rain has slowed to a few drips, I'm going to walk into the yard, coffee in hand, feel the wet grass squish between my bare toes, and listen. Try it.

Reality is ugly

Or maybe just the whole concept of reality TV is ugly, or demeaning, or insulting. Or maybe the greatest entertainment idea for the masses since the Roman gladiators. We like to see the underdog win, the cocky smart-ass lose, and think maybe that could be us. If only we could get out of our lounger.
The most worrisome one I've seen is something called The Swan, from Fox. The concept is to select two women who think they are not attractive, who have low self-esteem because of that, and believe if only they could be transformed they would have a second chance at life. They put them through extensive plastic surgery (face lifts, boobs, butt, liposuction) as well as a three month exercise and weight loss program and a series of counselling sessions with a therapist. Who will somehow built their self esteem in the midst of all this beauty emphasis. Every show they feature two women, and pick the one voted most improved. The winner gets a chance at future rejection and depression by going on to a beauty pageant to see if she really has changed her life for the better or is a loser after all. Don't even get me started on beauty pageants. The "loser" gets to keep all the work (obviously), gather up what dignity she has left, and get back to the other reality.
It's worth noting that the experts they have on the show to help these girls are all good looking and quite photogenic.
I watched the first show in amazement just to see what was involved and thought the winner actually looked a little skanky - but maybe skanky is good.
Perhaps all these poor ugly ducklings need are the therapy sessions, so that they can realize that beauty is relative. Are they ugly, or just plain, or just average. Yes, they don't meet the standards of the beauty queen ideal promoted by the entertainment and fashion industry but so what? What (or who) makes a swan?