Wednesday, April 30, 2003
      ( 1:01 PM )   by David Barker  

Going Out On A Limb Here. (I Used To Like Roseanne Barr, Too)

I really like Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon. Just do. I like their politics and their voices. Bull Durham was pretty good too. I like the photograph of them at the last Oscars, flashing the peace sign at the camera. Heartwarming. Optimizing.

Here's an Alternet article by Tim Robbins called 'Countering the Wave of Hate, from April 17.

Good stuff. Good hearts.


Tuesday, April 29, 2003
      ( 12:37 PM )   by David Barker  

The Matrix: Rejected - You Should Thank These People For Doing Your Thinking For You. And Praise God, Or Whatever.

Dr. Albert Oxford PhD explains it all to you.

(From David Wong's Pointless Waste of Time, but I didn't want to tell you that first.)

(And check out the posts in the forums, what a bunch of idiots. I mean boner-loners, humourless, stupid people. I don't call people stupid generally, but since they'll never read this, and they can't see me, or find me - or their own assholes with both hands and a mirror on the floor - I don't care. They're stupid. It's like Stupid Pride Day in those forums, St Stupid Day, the Day of All Stupids, Dance, Dance Disco Stupid, How Much Is That Stupid in the Microsoft Window, Life Is Like A Box Of Stupids, you are getting the brunt of my gist here, I'm sure.)

(And while I'm parenthesising, check out this site on INSULTINGLY STUPID MOVIE PHYSICS [his caps]. Ohmygod, what a kvetch! I don't really want to know the size of the alligator up this guy's ass or why he likes it up there so much. He doesn't appear to apply the same outrage to comics or Saturday morning cartoon physics, or anything. He's just a smart guy pissed off with no sense of proportion and not much of a sense of humour either. Except totally accidentally. The movies he's rating for bad physics are essentially fantasy, not scientifically accurate realism. It's not about the physics. It's the story, stupid.)


Tuesday, April 22, 2003
      ( 10:27 AM )   by David Barker  

It Ain't Blade Runner. But It Never Is, Goddamit!

Sunday morning, Easter Sunday, that is, here in Toronto, I was walking up Yonge Street north of Dundas. Yonge and Dundas is where the Eaton Centre shopping mall is, looks like if they had renovated GUM in Moscow...Anyway, there's a few video billboards on buildings in the area, kind of like as if the city fathers (and mothers, cool yer jets) wanted the intersection to look like Blade Runner. No gene-hacker stalls or animated geisha billboards, but it's our little Ginza. (You can't see me larfing as I re-read this...)

Well, damn if on Easter Sunday morning the City-TV (local station, duh) dominated video billboard on the roof of the Hard Rock Cafe is showing the Microsoft Windows NT Blue Screen of Death for all the world to see (if you were all looking south on Yonge Street from north of Dundas).

They've had hardware problems with the billboard itself, mostly the pixel modules (or whatever ever they're called, spare me the emails...) and it was even completely replaced last year at one point.

A billboard on the roof of the Gap just north of the Eaton Centre was showing an NT error message for a few hours one day last fall, but it still stayed in Windows NT...

Anyhoo, it was funny. Here it is, the actual third year of the future, and they still can't get this shit right. As to who 'they' are, well, you know who 'you' are...

As to our fate if the future continues like this; war, plagues, painfully public IT incompetence, well, I guess Armageddon is just around the corner.



Saturday, April 19, 2003
      ( 10:23 AM )   by David Barker  

Consequences of the American Victory in Iraq: The Mid-West in the Middle East. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa & Iraq.

I'm thinking transplant the American heartland to the Cradle of Civilization, you know, imam and pop shops...and that's about as far as I'm going to get with that joke, so <emily_litella>never mind</emily_litella>.

I am just as happy as a pig in shit about finishing my novel. Just so's ya know.

There's lots of editing work left, but the first official beta is finished and ready for testing. I have a few friends lined up for that, and one friend who absolutely refuses and has already rendered an opinion (negative), based, to be fair, on short stories of mine he's read before. And who cares. He's never finished a novel - writing, c'est-a-dire, not reading, I'm pretty sure he can read.

Salam Pax (q.v.), is still MIA. Maybe he's just given up. If I was the type to get my pray on, I'd pray for him. It would probably work, since his god and the one I was raised with are like cousins or something.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003
      ( 10:52 AM )   by David Barker  

Pie Boy! Sure, Dave...

Yesterday I finished my first novel. At 72,000 plus words, it is entitled "The Word in the Box." It was originally conceived as an entry in NaNoWriMo or the National Novel Writing Month, November of 2002. Now the "National" refers to the U.S., but they had entries from all over the world. The sole goal was to write 50,000 words in one month, no other requirements, restrictions (including 'must be in good taste') or limits. The writing was to start at 00:01 on November 1, 2002. Damn New Zealanders were gloating about being able to start soonest. By the last day of November I had 26,000 words officially posted on the website, although I was able to write 3,000 more that day.

Yesterday I finally finished.

It was a beautiful day in Toronto with a high of 27 Celsius. There was a new episode of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' featuring the return of Faith and the appearance of a new bad guy, a fallen priest named Caleb, and servant of the First, played by the same Canadian actor who played the captain of the Serenity, main character and main spaceship of Joss Whedon's latest and late series 'Firefly.' I was privileged to watch it at the home of my friends, Anneli, Tim and Alicia, who are mom, dad and daughter.

I had a good day.

Salam Pax (q.v.), however, still has not updated. I hope he's not dead. Or evil.


Saturday, April 12, 2003
      ( 11:24 AM )   by David Barker  

Lying To The BBC. After WWII, It Feels - I Don't Know - Like Lying To God...

Bear with now, and keep up.

Clicking on the link below gets you to a BBC page that asks you to indicate if you are in the UK or not.

This is where you lie. Click on "Yes". (Don't worry, they'll believe you. And if it's true, then you're okay anyway...)

Now scroll to the bottom of the new page.

Look for the '10' graphic and 'Ten things we didn't know this time last week'.

Click on it.

You are most welcome.


Go ahead. Hurt someone you claim to love.

And, since yer askin', no, Salam Pax (q.v.) still hasn't updated his blog since March 24. God help him. Or screw'im if he really is this war's Tokyo Rose.

We'll see.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003
      ( 3:16 PM )   by David Barker  

Same Day. Better Story.

I listen to various internet radio stations via Live365. Several stations play only movie soundtracks, which I like to use as background music when I'm writing. (Listening to Moviola right now...) I have accidentally become a fan of movie soundtracks separate from the movie, although there were several that I already owned, like 'Phantom Menace' and 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'.

I would like to recommend Soundtrack Collector. It functions in a way similar to IMDb, but for movie soundtracks, instead of movies. Specifically, it lets you catalogue the soundtracks you already have, wishlist the ones you don't, track the ones you really want, and comment/rate them all as well, among other things. One feature I especially like is you can keep a list of favourite soundtrack composers, like Clint Mansell or Rachel Portman. (I'd never heard of them either, - or more correctly, noticed them - but there you go.)

I reported a minor problem earlier this afternoon (and that's three hours earlier, PST!) and got a reply back - from the boss! - before 3:00, telling me it was corrected. And it was.

      ( 10:55 AM )   by David Barker  

Smart White Man vs Stupid White Men

This is a link to Michael Moore's website version of the newsletter I got this morning from him. (Not personally, of course not, I signed up for it a few weeks ago after reading 'Stupid White Men' and seeing 'Bowling for Columbine'; he doesn't know me from Johnny Canuck...). Check it out. He's a fun kind of social commentator/satirist and scrappy little bugger. I, although I am far from one myself, really like scrappy little buggers. With whom I agree politically and ideologically, of course. And you can too.

And further to CTV's little April Fool's Day stunt about remaking the terrible early '70s sitcom 'The Trouble with Tracy', it turns out it was all a publicity gimmick for Graham Crawford's Comedy Network TV series.

I've never seen his show, but it was still a good gag.

Salam Pax (q.v.) has not updated since March 24.


Monday, April 07, 2003
      ( 10:23 AM )   by David Barker  

And Now For Something Completely Different. Seriously.

I have recently, to my great surprise and general delight, developed an interest in manga and anime. The two art-forms were always there and I have friends who are fans. It just never grabbed me.

Then a few weeks ago, I was researching the intra-war tradition of the benshi (q.v.) in Japanese movie theatres. I came across a reference to a manga icon, Osamu Tezuka, having been at work in the very early 1950s. Say what, I said. I talked to Miguel Sternberg (q.v.) and he lent me a couple of interesting books including Frederick Schodt's 'Manga, Manga.' Well, I'm hooked.

So the point - and this is a blog so there doesn't actually have to be a point, I mean, Christ, have you seen what some people post for the world to see? - is this.

Today is Astro Boy's birthday, his actual birth day. Created by Osamu Tezuka in 1951, and known in Japan as "Tetsuwan Atomu" or "Mighty Atom", his date of creation was given as April 7, 2003.

Culturally I give it the same value as Hal 9000's coming online.

And Now For Something Completely Different. Seriously.


War is hilarious. Peace is dull. Q.E.D.

Salam Pax has still not updated.


Sunday, April 06, 2003
      ( 1:53 PM )   by David Barker  

Not So Big A Deal As Salam Pax But...

Wil Wheaton (q.v) hasn't updated since March 30.

He maintains a smart, funny website - with good original content and lots of interesting links - that I started checking out because a web-idol of mine, Debbie Ohi, has a link on her web-page - see column to the right.

For somebody who used to set my teeth on edge, I sure have changed my opinion about him.

It happened about when I realized that I didn't like Wesley Crusher, not Wil Wheaton. Kind of like how in the '80s, I realized it wasn't Rhea Perlman I disliked so much, it was Carla Tortelli. Carla and Wesley should get married. They deserve each other. But Wil seems to be happy and Rhea's got Danny Devito - and that is very cool - and life goes on.

And, FYI, Salam Pax is still offline.



Saturday, April 05, 2003
      ( 12:41 PM )   by David Barker  

Ann Coulter Is An A$$hole! And What An A$$hole!

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution website, dated January 14, 2002: "We need to execute people like John Walker [presumably the Yankee Taliban, dwb] in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too," pundit Ann Coulter told this month's meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference. "Otherwise they will turn out to be outright traitors."

Here's the google search string, on her name and "outright traitors", to see what people were saying about it. And her. Click yourself senseless. Except you, Ann Coulter. You go jump in a lake.

She's actually a hero to some people! It makes me sad for me, humans, and Americans, in that order.

Salam Pax has still not updated.


D'ya hear me, Ann Coulter, ya dumbass palaeo-con, PEACE!

No, really. Peace.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003
      ( 3:33 PM )   by David Barker  

Hey, Wil Wheaton! I Owe You One! Hell, I Owe You A Few!

This is's Fun With Homeland Security.

As a Canadian, I almost feel like it's wrong to laugh at something like this during some other country's wartime. But not quite.

I laughed myself normal this morning, I swear. In yesterday's Toronto Star, CTV announced that they were going to remake an absolutely abominable TV series from the early '70s called 'The Trouble With Tracy'. As 'Plan 9 From Outer Space' ranks as one of the worst movies made, so does TTwT rank as one of the worst sitcoms ever made, even including what the Americans churn out. And cancel. TTwT was not cancelled for far too long. I remember watching and thinking 'why am I sitting here watching this and wondering why I'm watching it?'

Today it was announced that the press release was an April Fool's joke. And I fell for it. The original scam, not today's announcement. Which I did fall for. Because it's true. This time. I mean I fell for yesterday's story. And you wanna know what I have to say about it? Verisimilitude! That's what. Verisimilitude made me suspend my disbelief without any coercion or even conscious effort on my part.

And they wonder why people believe in alien spaceships, ghosts, Atlantis and loss-leader specials.


And charlatanism. But that's another entry.

And Michael Jeter has died. He was a gifted character actor whom I remember best from the early '90s sitcom 'Evening Shade' and the movies 'The Fisher King' and - ahem - 'Waterworld'. But he will always be Mr. Noodle's Brother, the Other Mr. Noodle from Sesame Street.

Salam Pax has still not updated.



Tuesday, April 01, 2003
      ( 10:19 AM )   by David Barker  

So This Is What April Fool's Day During Wartime Feels Like. Huh.

It snowed in Toronto today. (Is there another vernal equinox coming that I just don't know about?) And the war is still on.

Check out The Museum of Hoaxes April Fool's Day Gallery from

And this from APoD is kinda cute.

And thank you, Neil Gaiman.

Oh! For this link!

It's been over a week since Salam Pax updated.



Not pessimized for Netscape 4.7 (it's personal)

(move your mouse pointer over this text)

(all links open in a new window)

     post rating:

      - 'i haven't felt so alive in years '
           - 23 out of 10
           - I really do have to get the damn book!
my future blog :
          - the barker kid

my resume :
          - CV

my friends :
          - reid and luisa
          - martin
             100% personal
                  website free

          - tim, anneli & alicia
             100% personal
                  website free

                  google them
          - debbie ohi
              electric penguin
          - miguel sternberg

places i visit:
          - wil wheaton dot net
          - the onion
          - this is cnn
          - the toronto star
          - w3 schools
              web learning; xml,
              html4, xhtml
          - APoD
          - IMDb
          - SoundtrackCollector
          - No Es News, Es Fark
          - Blackmask!
        - kenner's girder and panel building set!


just sayin' it don't make it so...

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