Saturday, May 28, 2005

I can't believe I read what I just read, Section drei

This little gem comes from Canoe (

Vancouver entrepreneur Brad Abram is banking that people will pay to have sex — at least on their computer — with Jenna Jameson and other porn stars.
Virtually Jenna: The Official Video Game of Jenna Jameson is “an adult sex simulation,” says Abram, president of XStream3D Multimedia Inc.
“It’s fairly sophisticated under the hood,” Abram says enthusiastically. “It’s state of the art.”
Abram has essentially taken the same personalization software that allows sports video game developers to put star athletes in their games and used it to bring porn stars to life on your PC.
There have been other sex games, but Abram says they were more cartoon-like. Abram’s cybersex world is graphic, with almost nothing left to the imagination.
“It gets quite explicit,” Abram said with a chuckle in an interview during a visit to the E3 video game trade show in Los Angeles last week.
“The imagination is a powerful thing and we like to have enough content there that people buy into the fantasy.”
Virtually Jenna is a web browser plug-in which you download. Once you have paid, you can log in and play. The three-day trial costs $9.95 US, and after that it’s $29.95 a month, with additional “sex packs” with new content available as an extra.
The game offers a virtual environment with Windows-like tools that allow you to direct the action, be it heterosexual or homosexual.
Thanks to the wonders of technology, you can even put yourself into the game. A simple passport photo is all that’s needed. The game does the rest.
“It’s very realistic. Photo-realistic,” says Abram.
The game includes profiles for each virtual character.
“You have to use certain combinations,” Abram explains. “As you learn what she likes and dislikes, then her excitement meter rises.”
Abram’s road to cybersex started with 3-D personalization, which he sold to sports video games. The technology allows developers to make characters in the game look like their real-life counterparts.
“I realized that selling tools was not a long-term profitable business and touching the consumer would be a better business,” he said.
He plans to return to the non-adult world once this part of his business is off and running, with virtual makeovers a possibility.
A version of this game has been around for about 14 months, but the one with Jameson was launched a month ago. Having her name attached has kick-started the project, Abram said.
“North America is so brand-oriented that we had to have a major star to get the attention of the mainstream, and she’s got the potential to be one of the first cross-over artist adult entertainers. ...
“So when we come and talk at a show like that, everyone knows who Jenna Jameson is. We just tell them what the game is and their imagination takes over.”
Jameson is an empire unto herself. Apart from her adult films, there’s her book (How to Make Love Like a Porn Star) and her online store. She was recently named No. 24 — between Brooke Burke and Heidi Klum — on FHM magazine’s list of sexiest women in the world.
Jameson also has a flock of adult film performers under contract at her company Club Jenna, including Vancouver’s Jesse Capelli whose first big film title — Jesse Loves Jenna — is due out this year.
“People, once they see it, will understand how realistic it is,” Capelli said of the game, which also features digitized likenesses of her and other adult film stars.
As for her character?
“It looks exactly like me. It’s very interesting. I see myself in a whole new light,” she said with a laugh.
The response to Virtually Jenna has been “overwhelmingly great,” according to Abram, although a women’s gaming site was critical, saying Virtually Jenna was creating more stereotypes of female video game characters.
Abram rejects that, saying everyone is equal in his game.
While Abram declined to provide numbers on subscribers, he says that thanks to wireless technology Virtually Jenna will be more accessible.
“No console company would allow this kind of technology to be sold on their platforms, but with the new PSP (Sony’s handheld gaming system) and wireless they’ve opened the proverbial genie’s bottle. There’s a built-in web browser so we’ll be able to put content on that kind of system.”

No way is this system getting near my computer. Dog the young lad and Dolly the young lady are both at ages where this is NOT what I want 'em to see.
You see, I tend to think like Bev Snider -- the wife of baseball Hall of Famer -- as she told author Roger Kahn in "The Boys of Summer."
"Sex is very beautful," Mrs. Snider said.
"And very private."

Michael Coren strikes again

The gift of Michael Coren's writing shines again in Saturday's Toronto Sun. He has brilliantly encapsulated the litany of reasons why the Libranos need to be turfed if Canada is going to return to its stature in the world.
Trying to say more than Michael did would be an exercise in redundancy.
Three cheers.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

It's Memorial Day weekend here in the US of A... the unofficial start of the summer season. I'll either be posting a lot or not at all, depending upon whether we can get a truckload of mulch in Saturday morning.
The Better Half, the Dog and Dolly (translation: my wife, son and daughter) are headed to the Jersey shore in the morning for the annual Memorial Day trek to the house a friend and her mom and aunt have. The mom and aunt are not as young as they used to be, so we help 'em get the house in order for the summer season. Since the Dog now basically can look me in the eye, I may not have to go down (it's about a 2 1/2 hour drive from the homestead) for the day on Sunday since he can do the reaching-up that putting the awnings up requires. If the mulch comes, that's how I'll be spending my Sunday.
So, I'll put off blasting that Commie wench in Ottawa for her anti-Catholic crap (see Steve at Angry in the Great White North - - for details) until after the weekend, to give myself a chance to reflect on it and find creative ways to use the drill on the wench.
Instead, I'll cop a theme from Canadian Dude ( and reveal some stuff you probably don't particularly care about knowing...

Three artists you're likely to find in my CD player or on my turntable at any given moment (yes, I still have a turntable): 1. The Band. 2. Poco. 3. The Dead.
Three artists you'll never find in either place: 1. Broccoli Spears. 2. O.Jessica Simpson. 3. The Archies.
Three songs that have been banned from the homestead: 1. Always and Forever. 2. Colour My World. 3. Anything by Barry Manil-yuk.
Three books you'll find lying around the den: 1. Elvis Is Dead and I Don't Feel Too Good Myself. 2. South Park Conservatives. 3. Lake Wobegon Days (yeah, I know Garrison Keillor has some serious moonbat tendencies, but the book is still a classic of gentle wit).
Three politicians who have my respect: 1. Barry Goldwater. 2. Bob Casey Sr. 3. Dwight Eisenhower. (Sadly, all three are dead.) In the live politician group, those who are close: 1. Monte Solberg. 2. Zell Miller. 3. xxxxxxxxx.
Three politicians who have my contempt: 1. Hillary Wrought Iron Clinton. 2. Paulie Librano. 3. Teddy Bear Kennedy. 4. John McCain. (whoops!)
Three TV shows you might find me watching: 1. Law and Order with Jerry Orbach and Sam Waterston. 2. Whose Line Is It Anyway with Clive Anderson as host. 3. Whose Line Is It Anyway with Drew Carey as host.
Three TV shows I would ban from the air if I could: 1. The Apprentice. 2. Oprah. 3. Survivor. 4. American Idol. (whoops again!)
Three people whose writings have influenced my philosophy: 1. William F. Buckley Jr. 2. Pope John Paul II. 3. David Lebedoff.
Three movies I'd like to see again, but probably won't: 1. Duck Soup. 2. A Night at the Opera. 3. And Now For Something Completely Different...
Three movies I wish I had never seen: 1. Sleepless in Seattle. 2. Napoleon Dynamite. 3. Love Story.
Three beverages you may see me consume on any given day: 1. Peach iced tea. 2. Mountain Dew. 3. Yuengling beer.
Three beverages you may see me consume twice a year, at most: 1. Coffee. 2. Wine. 3. any diet drink.
Three cars I have owned: 1. VW Beetle. 2. Jeep. 3. Scion.
Three cars I could care less about owning: 1. Mercedes-Benz. 2. BMW. 3. Lexus.
Three of my culinary specialties: 1. Cajun burgers. 2. Klydnie. 3. Citrus turkey.
Three foods I will never eat: 1. Broccoli. 2. Vegetarian burgers. 3. Cabbage.
Three things that I have done that might surprise people: 1. I designed the deck at the back of the house. 2. I have coached two sports that I never played. 3. I started a tradition at my alma mater of a 24-hour radiothon [the only thing is, nowadays they do it in shifts. I did it solo on a bet. That beer and pizza afterward tasted good!!!!!]

The beer and pizza at the beach will be good if I go down there. If not, the beer and wings will be good on Sunday night once the mulch is spread.

Pax and be safe, y'all.

Oliver's gone

In a gruesome PR ploy, Eddie Albert, the actor who nearly stole "The Longest Yard" from star Burt Reynolds, died on the day the crappy remake of the movie opened at theatres across North America. He was 99.

Gone to the dogs

I always knew that the Liberal Party was going to the dogs.
Rob confirms it with his post of a report from the Toronto Red Star:

To join the Liberals and vote for the party leader, a prospective member must sign a form and pay $10. Under party rules, that fee is not supposed to be paid by someone else.It sounds simple. But in practice, as Liberals themselves admit, various factions end-run the rules by engaging in massive sign-ups in which organizers, rather than the prospective members, pay the $10 fees.That means that the faction with the most blank membership forms and the most money can win. Indeed, one of the keys to Martin's success over Chrétien was his ability to change the party rules in key provinces so that blank forms.All that was needed then was money for the $10 fees. In B.C., where Liberal membership skyrocketed from 3,000 to about 40,000, that meant about $370,000.Some of this undoubtedly came from the new members themselves. But clearly, some did not. In one riding where the Basi Boys had been active, the Vancouver Sun found some cases of duplicate memberships and others where new members denied paying their own fees.One member turned out to be a dog that had been dead for five years. But he, too, was welcomed to the Liberal party.He even received a Christmas card from the-then jolly but now very beleaguered Martin.

Our dogs, Jasper the wonder barker and Maguire the lovable lug, are extremely hissed off at this report. When they asked why they couldn't join the Liberal Party, I told them that they were banned by me. At which point, Maguire jumped up, knocked a box of treats out of my hand, and gave me a righteous face-wash. Jasper, who is older and smaller and not as spry, grabbed some treats that had spilled and split.
Memo to the Libranos: Jasper and Maguire can't be bought.

P.S.: Aren't the Basi boys under charges of drug dealing?

It's music trivia time!

Welcome, friends, to a new and irregular feature of either orr, Music Trivia Time!
It's a fun game. You're welcome to play.
Today's game:

Q. What Three Dog Night album describes the Republican senators who engineered the capitulation/compromise on judicial nominations?
A. Seven Separate Fools.

Q: What Uriah Heep song describes the Chretien-Martin government's best practices with the government's finances?
A. Stealin'.

Q: What hit for the J. Geils Band best described Peter McKay's mood after the Honorable B.S. bolted on him and the Conservative Party last week?
A. Love Stinks.

Tune in again for more from Music Trivia Time!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Why it matters

You get the impression that dishonesty in government isn't a big deal to a lot of people. So they misappropriated a few (hundred) million. So what?
That's bunk.
Honesty is the first -- the first -- thing that any government owes the people it is supposed to serve. (That's right, government serves the people, not the other way around.)
Now, on matters of national security (not security of the ruling political party), I would not expect that government to divulge its secrets. I would not expect it to flat-out lie to me and would be highly ticked off if it did.
But on all other matters, I expect honesty from government. And when honesty is not forthcoming, when thievery is the rule, I don't give a hoot about any other matter. That government has got to get the boot.
Small-c conservatives tend to think and act that way. It was the small-c conservatives who finally convinced Nixon that he had to resign (Barry Goldwater, one of the great 20th century political figures, was in the party that told Tricky Dick that he had no chance.) It was the small-c and capital-C conservatives that gave Mulroney the heave-ho.
If you don't have honesty, you don't have trust. When you don't have trust, you have nothing else going, no matter what your policy stances may be. How can we believe you on these things when you lie and steal?
My personal animus against corruption goes back to something that happened almost 50 years ago, when I was a wee lad.
My grandfather -- my mom's father -- was a coal hauler in the anthracite fields of northeastern Pennsylvania (the only anthracite coal in the world, I might add). He delivered coal from the breakers to homes and businesses, since anthracite coal was the primary heating fuel there at the time.
(Aside: Anthracite coal is very clean-burning as opposed to bituminous coal, which was a primary source of air pollution. Anthracite is a lot harder and burns a lot cleaner. Nowadays, though, it's tough to get. Most of the easy pickin's have been picked and deep-mining is becoming cost-prohibitive.)
Anyway, my grandfather had the contract to supply our little town's school with coal... until the year that the school board president asked him to dump a couple of tons of coal in his bin and put it on the school's tab.
My grandfather refused.
The next year, he didn't have the contract... even though, by that time, he was the only hauler who actually lived in our little town and it had been the school board's policy for years and years to spend what it could in our town. It wasn't any kind of multi-million dollar deal; probably didn't even reach the $10,000 mark. Still, the school was his single biggest customer.
He never got the contract again.
A few years later, the state ordered all the small-town school districts to merge into larger regional districts. So our school district went into the history books. As a single-truck operation (himself), he had no chance of competing for the regional district's contract. There's no way he could have handled supplying the 18 buildings that now comprised the district. He had to hustle his butt off to make up for the loss he took.
I learned about the story when I was in high school. That's when I dropped my first WTF in front of my mother and got a royal lecture about it (though my dad later said my reaction was a correct one).
Fast forward to the mid-1970s. The same thief who had tried to get my grandfather to give him coal on the school district's dime (translation: the taxpayers' money) and some of his fellow board members were charged with extortion and bribery for pulling the same kind of stuff that the one "gentleman" had tried to pull on my grandfather.
At the time, I was a radio disc jockey at a small station about an hour from home. Now, at a small radio station you do it all -- you run your own control board, you cut commercials, you read the news and sports... etc. etc. etc. I was on the air when a bulletin came over the wire about the "gentleman" and his friends. I let out such a whoop that my boss came downstairs to see what was going on.
"You all right?" he asked.
"Wonderful," I replied as I showed him the story.
"Good. You can read that one in the 5:00 news (I co-anchored that extended report with my boss.)"
What pleasure it was!
I called home.
"Hello." It was my dad.
"They got the bastards, eh?"
"Yeah." He laughed. Long and hard.
Later, my mom told me that my grandfather, who wasn't much for any kind of outbursts in his later years, immediately looked skyward and said "Thank you" when he heard the news.
So when you talk about tolerating corruption with me, don't be surprised if I go off on you. I've seen first-hand what corruption is like.
And I don't like it one little bit.

I don't get it

Over the past few months, I've been wondering about one thing.
How did Paul Martin ever get to be Prime Minister of Canada?
I don't get it.
There are two things that, if he were a prospective candidate in the U.S. of A., would torch his candidacy before it began.
* Martin's flagship company, CSL, is chartered in Barbados, not Canada. Therefore, his company avoids paying Canada's significantly higher tax rates. On that piece of turf alone, he would be grounded.
* That same company doesn't use Canada's shipbuilding industry. CSL uses Chinese labor -- yes, mainland China, the Communists -- for building its ships. It can't even use Canadian labor. Again, such a candidate would be hooted off the trail faster than you could say "CSL."
He's apparently doing all he can to avoid helping Canada, with his tax dollars and his employment practices. How the Sam Hill can he lead that country?
I'd love for someone of the Librano persuasion to explain that to me. Hey, I'd love for anyone to explain it to me.
I just don't get it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Belinda's English-French dictionary

The Honorable B.S. has a small problem in that she doesn't parlez-vous Francais. (I don't either, but I'm not the Minister for Silly Dances Atop Bar Speakers.)
But what if... what if... someone gave her an English-to-French dictionary of the sort made infamous in a Monty Python sketch? The kind where innocent questions are translated into salacious requests?
Let's see...
PHRASE: I am pleased to serve the wonderful people of Quebec.
MP TRANSLATION: Your mothers service the winners of the Kentucky Derby.
PHRASE: The steel of your resolve is to be commended.
MP TRANSLATION: We will steal everything you don't have nailed down.
PHRASE: Your government will do all that it can to fix whatever problems there have been.
MP TRANSLATION: Forget about it, the fix is in, and you can all go suck eggs.
PHRASE: Our dogged determination will ensure a brighter future.
MP TRANSLATION: Triumph the Comic Insult Dog was right about you hosers.
PHRASE: It is because of our love for our land that we want to serve.
MP TRANSLATION: You now may go and make love to farm animals, because God knows you shouldn't be allowed to reproduce.
Wouldn't that be fun?

Check this out

Sherry at Bittersweet Me takes a hilarious swipe at the delusional folks who think we are headed into a theocracy. Pay her a visit and see what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I am a wingnut

One of the favorite put-downs from the Librano sympathizers is "wingnut."
It is clearly intended to be an epithet, indicating that the person so tagged has about as much intelligence as a lump of manure.
Looking at some of the characteristic beliefs of those labeled "wingnuts", I figured I had better take a closer look to see if I, in fact, would be a "wingnut."
* If believing that rights are imbued in us by our creator, not parceled out by a government which has the power to revoke those rights at will, makes one a wingnut, then I am a wingnut.
* If believing that government owes its citizens honest performance, not theft, fraud, and deception; and believing that a government forfeits its mandate when it breaks the bonds of trust with its people makes one a wingnut, then I am a wingnut.
* If believing that the only real marriages can be between men and women makes one a wingnut, then I am a wingnut.
* If believing that wisdom is not limited to the halls of government and academia, but also exists in corner taprooms and at kitchen tables, makes one a wingnut, then I am a wingnut.
* If believing that principles are something to be held dear, not auctioned off to the highest bidder, makes one a wingnut, then I am a wingnut.
* If believing that the past has lessons that we should learn, processes that we should follow, and wisdom that should be heeded makes one a wingnut, then I am a wingnut.
* If believing that government should create an atmosphere where a culture of life, rather than a culture of death, can flourish makes one a wingnut, then I am a wingnut.
* If believing that those who choose to serve and protect us, be it in the military or police, are worthy of respect unless they - by their actions - individually demonstrate otherwise makes one a wingnut, then I am a wingnut.
* If believing that having standards, not relativism, is fundamental to a free society that respects all makes one a wingnut, then I am a wingnut.
* If believing that tolerance is not acceptable when confronted by something that completely contradicts one's principles makes one a wingnut, then I am a wingnut.
* If believing that the moral order takes priority over the political order in one's life makes one a wingnut, then I am a wingnut.
Well, I guess I am a wingnut, then.
But... you know something? I'm proud of it.

Non-corporate blogger

Aaron has turned me on to a declaration which is more than worthwhile. Read The Non-Corporate Blogger Manifesto. If you agree (and I basically do), I urge you to link to it.
The only dissent -- and it is relatively minor -- is that a situation like Andrew Coyne's is understandable and appreciated. Some of that stuff got totally out of hand and we as bloggers do have the responsibility to monitor what goes on in our corners of the blogosphere. I hope Andrew will return his comments section soon; when the discussions are rational over there, they are a terrific read.

Odds and sods

Hits and misses, or a lot of debris to clear out of the mental dustbin...

* The US Senate has chickened out of the nuclear option. I don't get it. The Democrats have about as much respect for democracy as the Libranos do. That's one bunch of devils you DON'T make a deal with.
(Subpoint - the Dems and Libranos have a lot more in common. Neither has had a new idea in 30 years; neither respects the collected wisdom of the entire country; both think they have the God-given right to rule. The divine right of kings, transformed to the 21st century.)

* Spent some time praying that the folks in Labrador have more sense than the GOP sellout senators do. I'm not real optimistic there, though. Sometimes, I think Mick Jagger had it right - "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find that you get what you need." Pop Philosophy 102.

* I hate the fact that I'm not watching Stanley Cup playoff action right how. (At least I have the Calder Cup, the American Hockey League, to follow. Philadelphia, sparked by a couple of kids who just left juniors for the playoffs, is on fire. Jeff Carter, from Soo, and Mike Richards, from Kitchener, are the real deal. From what I've seen, both could have been in the NHL this year with my beloved Flyers, had there been an NHL.) Hopefully the idiots in charge will put together a deal so I can have my fix on ice come fall.

* Rough day Sunday for the offspring. My daughter's knee finally wouldn't let her do what she wanted and she missed qualifying for the archdiocesan track championships. The young lady has more fortitude than any 25 Libranos and any of those GOP deal-making senators. Still, she had a terrific year. The young lad's debut for his school club's inline (roller) hockey team wasn't especially auspicious. He didn't play badly for his first time out, but the team took a spanking. Still, cause for optimism there, too. What we're proudest of, for both of them, is that they're very good students, too. [They had better be, in a sense, for what we are and will be paying to send them to our area's Catholic high school. That's where my friends in a few Canadian provinces have the advantage over us, as I understand it. We cannot direct our school tax money to a Catholic school system, so we have to shell out school taxes to a public school system that we don't use, PLUS pay tuition to the Catholic school. Let's put it this way - I went to a private university in the late '60s and early '70s. The cost of those four years was less than what we're looking at for each of them for four years of Catholic high school.]

* I've been reading at various blogs that the Conservative Party isn't pushing its policy issues too hard right now for fear that the Libranos will steal them. Friends, have the courage of your convictions and push 'em.
(Subpoint: The Libranos, someday, may have to have the courage to face their convictions.)

Well, the debris is cleared and it's time to paint the bathroom. Later.

Monday, May 23, 2005

I can't believe I read what I just read, part deux

A member of the Libranos confesses -- ethics are absent from the current government. And civility from it is a long way away.
The Hon. B. Stronach: "Only when the people of Canada have renewed confidence and faith in the systems of government can we return to ethics and civility."
(Shoutout to Shaken, Occasionally Stirred. For link, go to the sidebar for now. IE for Macintosh isn't always kind to this stuff.)

You have to stand for something

The weekend post citing Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" drew this comment from a gentleman whose political leanings don't coincide with mine:
"... an anthem about futile, recalcitrant obstinacy. Whoo-hoo!"
Damn right it is. And it's time to not back down.
Sometimes you have to draw a line. I don't care who you are, what your political leanings are, what your philosophical beliefs are. Sometimes you have to draw a line beyond which there can be no compromise.
You can nibble at the peripherals, but when you start dealing off your core beliefs, then someone inevitably will inquire, "Just what do you believe anyway?"
And you'll be hard-pressed to answer without drawing skeptical glances. Just ask the Hon. B. Stronach.
This is not to say that views do not change with time. In fact, it would be surprising if one's perspectives didn't change with the increase of knowledge that (generally) accompanies more time spent on this hungry planet.
But there are some things that haven't changed and won't change.
One of the fundamental presumptions of democratic governance is that any government has a responsibility to be honest with the people it is supposed to serve. Any government that fails the fundamental test of honesty governs without the moral authority to govern. Using government as a means of fattening the wallets of associates (and your own self) is unconscionable. In Canada, the Gomery testimony -- not allegations, folks; this is sworn testimony -- exposes a pattern of systematic dishonesty within the government. Those who want that government out for this reason have no reason to compromise this principle, nor should they.
I won't back down on this stand. If there is one thing that government owes us, it's honesty.
Systematic dishonesty brought down the Nixon White House. Only time will tell if a similar fate awaits the Martin government.
If it escapes, then one of the most fundamental compacts between a nation and its government will remain broken.