Monthly Archive for April, 2002

hmmmm…let’s seee….who should i support in this middle east crisis? the ones that strap bombs to their bodies and kill innocent civilians in shops, restaurants, buses, etc? the ones that celebrated in the streets upon hearing of the murder of thousands in nyc? the ones who say in public that they could coexist with israel, but teach their children otherwise? the same ones who don’t display israel on any of their maps? the ones who translated mein kampf into arabic, where it reached #6 on the bestseller list? OR….the ones who hold a whopping 1% of middle east land and yet are challenged for even part of that? the ones who actually elect arabs to their parliament and give arab citizens more rights than their arab-nation brothers? the ones that offered 95% of the land demanded in 2000, but were rejected because of a ridiculous counter-demand? the ones that have built a democratic nation with a thriving economy or a culture that has yet to produce one prosperous, functional and democratic society? tough choice, but i think i gotta go with jamie g on this one. i’m not quite ready to shed all my personal dignity or integrity yet.

i’ve been looking for this diary of a terrorist on-line for a while, after having read it last october in the london times. finally found it. it’s chilling. it’s the writing of the terrorist now accused of the horrific, cold-blooded murder of the wall street journal’s daniel pearl. scary because the guy writes so matter-of-factly and, at times, seems like a normal person. scary because of the way he coldly lured unsuspecting tourist/backpackers. scary because i think a lot of us can place and picture ourselves in the abductees’ situation.

bad server pimp! this site has been down for most of the week because of bumbling idiots at my la-based server. media temple, which was highly recommended by the great k10k people, have been letting me down since i’ve been there in august 2000. this time takes the cake. i got an e-mail from them on wednesday telling me that my account was overdue for this month’s $19 hosting fee. i thought that isn’t possible since i’m having my amex card debited each month with the fee. but then i thought this may be because my amex was recently renewed and has a new expiry date. so i replied that same day with the new expiry date to update my account. at about this time, i started noticing that i couldn’t access my site, either thru the www or as an administrator, and wasn’t getting any e-mail. after writing out a trouble ticket and getting no reply (i waited 24 hours), i made the long-distance call and finally got thru to someone who told me that, yes, my account was now up to date, BUT that the site had been removed/deleted. i was pissed. he even implied that i would have to upload all my content from scratch. bastards! why should i have to go to all that trouble because of their mistake? i asked them if they kept backups and after holding awhile, they said they would try to restore the site. i went back and checked their account billing rules and it stated that they “will notify a customer using the email address on file 5 times (after each collection attempt) over a 20 day period in the event of a declined credit card”. what up with that? and all i had was a card that needed a small detail updated, which i did after 1 e-mail and within 24 hours. and yet my site was totally waxed. un-fucking-believable! now, after waiting another full day for them to restore my files, it isn’t actually fully restored….many images are missing and i lost a lot of recent user comments (which can never be restored by me since my last backup was over a month ago). kinda makes me wonder why i promote them by having their logo on my site. and the icing is that they gave me no apology. nothing. i guess since i don’t have a high traffic site, i’m not worthy. bastards! learn some customer service!

…the truth we dare not speak is that Sharon’s warmaking was necessary to save lives and establish peace… victor davis hanson with another insightful article on israel’s ajax. he also gets boo-koo bonus points for using sophocles and greek literature as an analogue.

the academy awards have come and gone, but i just came across this excellently titled ann coulter piece about them. she makes some good, yet funny, points. i must say that i wasn’t as taken in as some by the “spontaneous” show of emotion from halle berry. especially when she tritely opened by saying, “this moment is so much bigger than me”. and julia (did she really win best actress last year?) roberts’ exclamation before her announcement of the best actor winner made me roll my eyes and want to turn off the tv right then and there.

some funny, mother fucking, comic strip shit at get your war on. check it fucking out.

RIP :: layne staley, the great alice in chains lead singer. i saw them play twice in the early 90s, including one lollapalooza in the dc area (actually charlestown, west virginia). the band was great and his voice was dark, yet soulful. it’s so sad to see such talent and life squandered because of drugs. his statements in interviews do bring up the question though…of how much of his music was actually inspired and fueled by the drugs that ultimately destroyed him? it’s also so sad to read that none of his friends or family missed him as he lay dead for days in his apartment, but as he once said, “At the end of the day or at the end of the party, when everyone goes home, you’re stuck with yourself.”

one of the most popular attractions in edinburgh is a dead dog. jersey girl alluded to greyfriars bobby. greyfriars is a kirk (or church) in southern edinburgh dating back to 1620 and bobby is the name of the dog. the legend says that ever-loyal bobby lived by his late master’s grave in greyfriars kirkyard, where supposedly 80,000 corpses are squeezed in, for 14 years. he was fed by local people and never strayed far from his owner’s grave until he himself died in 1872. shortly after the little skye terrier passed, a monument was built in his honor just outside the kirkyard.

view from castle

got back from the great city of edinburgh last night and frankly, i can’t stop thinkin’ about the haggis. the great scottish poet, rabbie burns, felt the same way. he even wrote a poem about it. the scottish national dish reminds me a lot of the delicious greek Easter soup, magheritza, but in solid (well maybe semi-solid) form. i had the haggis with the tatties and neeps (that’s potatoes and turnips) at a pub called the last drop. the pub got its name not from liquid refreshments but from the fact that it’s a stone’s throw from the part of grassmarket square where they held the public hangings in the 17th and 18th centuries. the precise point on which the gallows stood is marked with a St. Andrew’s cross and the inscription, “for the Protestant faith, on this spot many martyrs and covenanters died.” getting back to the haggis…one thing i want explained: there’s a vegetarian version. how can it be haggis and vegetarian?

the above panoramic shot of the “athens of the north” is a view from its famous castle. this is looking north towards the firth of forth. the park you see below was at one time filled with water and served as a moat to protect the castle from attackers. princes is the main shopping street running east-west. this photo was spliced together from four separate digital photos. click on it for a larger version.

i’ll be in beautiful edinburgh, scotland this weekend, returning monday evening. i’m staying at this quaint, little b & b. lots to see in this grand, old city for such a short trip, but this will lay the groundwork for a longer visit with brother (“i want to be adrian paul, the highlander, when i grow up”) peter.