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Sun, Aug. 5th, 2007, 10:08 am

Just got back from Newfoundland (I can't say it enough, what a great bunch of people). What a drive from hell though. And what's with all the toll roads from Ohio to Minnesota?

Went to my first squid jiggin fest (or as Jaime first read the sign 'first squid jiggling fest'). I also ate my first moose, even though I still haven't seen one yet. Apparently Jaime saw his first moose (or the silhouette of it's ass moving through the dense under growth).

I got slightly inebriated the night before my first jump (beer pressure). Shane triple dog dared me to paint my jump car pink so lo and behold pink it became; complete with ducks, bunnies and hearts (courtesy of April).

I accidentally left my e-mail program, on my home computer, open before I left Calgary. It was automatically downloading all my e-mail off the Shaw server so I couldn't check me mail since it now all resided on my home computer. Me not do that again.

I rushed back here because I had a five day crash and roll course in L.A. and had to book my flight for August 5th, only to find out when I got back that it was postponed till October or September. Oh well I wasn't looking forward to getting on a flight after four straight days of driving anyway. Lots to do before I head out to Vancouver Island.

Performed my first bus jump. Went well, we packed the stands for Sunday's show. We did it Dukes of Hazard style. The propane cannon didn't go off because the igniter blew out, but oh well, shit happens (I will add some wind guards on Monday). We made the front page of the Sports section for the Telegram though. All in all great trip.

Fri, Jun. 8th, 2007, 03:09 pm

Wow. You guys changed my mind on a million things. I still like the relationships I see between caring owners and their pets then I do between human couples, but certainly not in the same way I initially expressed.

Poodlepants --> A lot of what you said was good food for thought, but I think I have to disagree on your opinion regarding mentally disturbed dogs. I still believe what Cesar Milan says regarding people is correct, 98% of owners are the cause. I mean why is the dog mentally disturbed in the first place? It obviously wasn't born that way, and if it was that has to be rare. If left to it's own devices I am sure that dog would have been fine, after all a dog will be a dog, but at some point people got involved in the equation. I have no doubt there are rare exceptions to this, but I would see it exactly as that, rare.

I also find some of the critics of Cesar Milan questionable. One specialist criticized him because he didn't have a behavioral science degree (and it seemed suggestive that others were doing so for the same reasons). So freakin' what?! It is obvious the guy has a rapport with dogs, and yes I realize this doesn't necessarily mean he can train them, but I am going to take the guy who is showing me his skills more seriously then the guy that simply says I have a freakin' degree. I also know you don't need a university degree to train dogs. After that I couldn't take anything he (and some of the others) said about Milan seriously. I can't stand these people that come out of university and think their four year university degree makes them more valued then someone who doesn't have one. I don't grade people on their degree, I grade them on their performance.

On the other hand I am not trying to place Milan's methods in a favorable light, as I have no idea what they would be off camera. I did look up that law suit someone filed against him and it was because one of his trainers put their dog on a tread mill and it got hurt. Definitely don't see how a tread mill is a good training method. Scary thought for sure.

Wed, Jun. 6th, 2007, 01:51 pm

Reading this book also made another thought occur to me regarding animals. To me it seems the nature of the human couple is inferior to the love that ties us humans to our 'pets'. Isn't the love for our pet a better love? Human couples try to measure, test and probe the extend of their feelings for each other, we yearn to be loved and make demands of our partner instead of asking for nothing but their company.

But the love between a man and his dog (cat, etc.) is different. We do not ask anything of our pets but their company. We accept them for what they are. We do not try and make them over in our image. We do not train our pets to transform them, but to provide them with the elementary language to communicate and live together (to quote Milan Kundera). The relationship with the animal knows no conflicts, no hair-raising scenes (pretty much anyway). This perception of course is based on the relationship between a caring owner and their animal, and reminded me of Jaime and Posse. Here is to the memory of that great cat.

Wed, Jun. 6th, 2007, 12:40 pm

I am reading this great book called the Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. It is referred to as a novel, but it is more like a fictional philosophical biography (it's hard to put into words). I found it doesn't really have a plot or pattern per say. It is like the author is following the life of the characters and the philosophical observations they make through their experiences. Of course the account is fictional so we are actually listening to the intelligent musings of the author not the characters, but it is told in a very unique way. Milan doesn't leave a trail of assessments, judgments or evaluations, he leaves a trail of questions and let's the reader decide how they should be answered. I haven't finished a book in a single sitting in a long time. This book definitely leaves an imprint on the reader.

To give you an example of what I mean here is a 'question' posed near the end of the book. "At the very beginning of Genesis it tells us God created man in order to give him dominion over fish and fowl and all creatures. Of course, Genesis was written by a man, not a horse." Now you would say this isn't a question it is a statement. Technically that would be true, but the author isn't trying to make a point. In fact he doesn't made a decision either way regarding what the statement might mean to him. He is musing. He is making a comment about an observation the character made and letting the reader reflect on what it might mean. This is what makes it so fascinating a read.

To me this one 'statement' causes a wealth of thought. IMO it isn't so much a poke at religion as it is a poke at the human condition. IMO humans are the most messed up species on the planet. We strut about like everything else is inferior to us. Our intelligence becomes a basis for our value as a life form. It is ridiculous, and we would never accept being held to that same standard. Imagine you are an alien life form looking down on Earth. Now imagine that this alien views life the same way humans do. Would we see life the same way if a Martian hitched us up to his cart or roasted us on a spit? I think we might suddenly recall the veal cutlet we sliced up on our dinner plate the other day and want to apologize to the cow. Of course I'm not suggesting people should not eat meat or not kill animals, but I think we should show greater understanding and respect for the animals we live with and beside.

All that derived from one observation the author made. It makes you look in the mirror, something I believe every human being needs to do to better himself. Oh well enough said. It's a great book, read it.

Sun, May. 20th, 2007, 05:29 pm

Back from Europe. The gardens of Versailles were beautiful. The Louvre museum was amazing. I still don't give a shit about the Mona Lisa as much as other people. It is a fine painting, but certainly not Da Vinci's magnum opus IMO. I find the Last Supper a lot more intriguing then the Mona Lisa. What I was hoping to see was the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City and the legendary ceiling. Oh well, time hasn't run out yet.

It was also neat to see the Virgin of the Rocks in the National Gallery in London and then to see the Virgin of the Rocks in the Louvre museum in Paris (and no I don't buy into the Da Vinci Code crap).

I also saw Les Miserables (the musical) again. In London this time. It was absolutely worth it. I found it very different then the version me and Jaime saw in New York, but I found it just as wonderful in it's execution. I also appreciated it more in the sense that I had a greater understanding of the skill and talent required by the actors to pull off such a production than I did the first time I saw it.

Also in Oslo, Norway I visited an old friend from grade eight. He became a professional and very talented sculptor. He gave us a personal tour of his studio. He was just recently commissioned to do his first outdoor piece. It has taken him almost ten years to build up a reputation. His ups and downs are very similar to Henrik's experiences as a painter. He has done very well for himself. Actually saw Vigeland Sculpture Park for the first time despite having lived in Oslo for two years; I never appreciated these things when I was a kid. Very beautiful. (hmm... strange my dad just told me that we used to walk through that park all the time, yet I don't remember any of it. I guess as a kid I was saying, 'yeah, so what their a bunch of fucking statues').

Tue, Apr. 3rd, 2007, 01:17 am

No figure! The easier it is the worse I do, the more complicated it is the better I do.

English Genius
You scored 78% Beginner, 92% Intermediate, 93% Advanced, and 80% Expert!
You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!

Test your English

Mon, Mar. 19th, 2007, 11:48 pm

I had the cat read my fortune again, but I figure this is pretty much a one shot deal.

You have a natural
charisma that draws
many to you.
or could it be
your fine rack?

Billy's Weird...cat...thing tells your fortune!

Mon, Mar. 19th, 2007, 11:45 pm

Soon you will be sitting
on top of the world.
...When we launch you
into the sun

Billy's Weird...cat...thing tells your fortune!