March 2003 - Calm Before The Storm
RayzRealm (c) March, 2003

"Hold on it's coming, hold on it's very clear.
Hold On it's coming, hold on it's very near.
Hold on it's coming, hold on it's almost here."

Saturday March 8

I haven't felt like writing much, but mostly because nothing at all has been going on in my life except work, eat, sleep, surf Pre-emtive strike the net, read and watch TV. Hopefully when (if) the weather gets better, I have to get reconnected with people and attempt to make a few new friends. New England (Boston area in particular) is not an easy place to meet people (at least for me anyway).

I was thinking about a few things I'm happy came out of the good OLE US of A; blues, jazz, Black Gospel music, rock (the classic variety), apple pie, fried chicken, hot dogs and Levi's among other things. Blue jeans are my favorite article of clothing, and if you look around almost everyone wears them at some time; heads of state during leisure time, kids, men, women. No matter what corner of the world you visit, people are wearing blue jeans. Many of America's classic rockers are getting on in years but still make much better music than any of the new stuff that passes for pop. I've mentioned it before in the flight recorder, but whenever I get into conversations with the 20 something staff of record stores, they all admit that they think classic rock from the 60's through 80's is the best.

Life is like a box of chocolates, so here is this week's Whitman Sampler of articles. I was playing around with entering a number of phrases containing the word yuppie, "self serving yuppie", "self important yuppie", "snot nosed yuppie", "self centered yuppie", etc. A few thousand interesting web references popped up, a couple of which are in this week's articles. I was having lunch in Lexington and seated next to me was a nuclear yuppie family, Biff (on his cell phone) Buff (praising the kids for spitting food on the floor) and their 3 codlings. It was when she called them by name, "Montana, Dakota, Florida, mommy will fix you something you like better when we get home, ok?" (like she needed their approval). What ever happened to regular boy/girl names? If yuppies had large families would there be Nevada, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Vermont, Idaho, Oregon, Louisiana, Texas, New Jersey, Virginia, California and last but by no means least, the twins, North and South Dakota. Someone pass me the air sickness bag.

Tuesday March 11

Everyone I talk to is feeling like a cat that's been dropped into a kennel full of sleeping pit bulls, very apprehensive and nervous about the war that's going to be waged sooner or later, plus the economic and/or political and world opinion backlash. Not that the economy is any great shape to begin with, except for the filthy rich, who always seem to land on their feet (Bush will make sure of that).

Ralph Wiggum from the Simpsons had an imaginary Leprechaun who talks to him. Ralphy likes to start fires and his friend whispers, "Burn them Ralphy me boy, burn them all."

The latest deadline for Saddam is set for Saint Patrick's day, so maybe it's not God but a mischievous Leprechaun that whispers in Bush's ear, "Burn them Georgie me boy, burn them all! Glass the entire Mideast, but don't stop there. We never settled the score with Korea, so after you finish off Iraq, head to Korea, but don't stop there either. Vietnam was a huge embarrassment to the US, let's make short work of them too. If Japan or China makes waves, teach them a lesson. If Russia complains, burn them too, they'll be trouble sooner or later. You should have plenty of munitions left to bring France and Germany back into the fold.".....etc, etc, and so forth. Like a lot of other people I wonder if it will stop at Iraq, or does Washington have an entire laundry list on it's dance card.

Bush is still probably pissed at the last administration for removing the "W" keys from all the White House PC's as an exiting practical joke, so the joke will be on whoever inherits the Oval Office next, an economy and world in deep doo-doo; let's see the next "elected" president fix that!

Despite all the lunacy that's going on, I can still say I'm proud to be an American, and will never regret serving my country for 4 years in the US Navy. My military years were probably one of the best periods that catapulted yours truly into becoming a responsible mature adult, that skipping out would have never afforded me. I still pray for our current men and women who serve, also praying that America survives the current crisis.

On to a more pleasant subject, I look forward to seeing Stephen King's "Dream Catcher", if not at the theater, as soon as it's out on video. A lot of people don't like King, but I still do, and I'm sure he's laughing all the way to the bank. A lot of his stories may be getting old and predictable, but I still enjoy King's style of Yankee yarn spinning, the sort of story telling I remember from sitting around many a camp fire in my youth after dark.

Here's this week's early harvest of interesting and thought provoking opinion from around the web.

Sunday March 16

As whoever may still read these journals may have noticed, I have very little to say any more. I can count the times my phone rings now per month on one hand, give or take 3-4 calls from telemarketers or wrong numbers, which means it essentially never rings. My social life is 0 since Warren and Bob moved on, and I've almost reached a point where my hermitage doesn't bother me.

Whenever I try to meet new people, they seem interested, but never call or return calls after any initial meeting takes place. I know everyone today is way overbooked as it is, "Uhhh, let's see, I'll pencil you in for a drive through espresso 6 months from next Saturday. No wait a minute that's no good. How about we make a tentative lunch date for February 29th next year, since 2004 is a leap year and I haven't booked February 29th yet."

There was a time when I have a dozen or more very good friends, but that all ended after 1985, when I shared my medical condition (the grand prize winner in a 1982 blood transfusion lottery) with them shortly after getting the verdict. Most beat feet post haste, "I can't invest any quality time with someone who's going to die." (sobriety and life challenging medical conditions have A way of showing you who your true friends are). Of course they all warn others about what a bad investment getting close to me was. What's even more ironic, the closest friend (closer than a brother) I had, Paul, who swore through thick and thin, he'd be there, was the one who got sick and I wound up taking care of. Paul passed away a little over 3 years ago from metastatic kidney cancer. Paul's friendship was truly a gift I will always treasure.

The other deadly disease I suffer from that many Westerners dread is being over 40.....way over 40, actually way over 50. It is so much more difficult to make new friends, let alone fine romance when you're well into your 50's, which is one great price we pay for living in such a psychotically "youth centric" society. To quote Rod Stewart, "youth's a mask, and it won't last, live it long and live it fast."

The remainder of the friends I had have mostly passed away from cancer, aids, heart attacks. Those who are still alive were all driven to other parts of the country because of the current economy. Oh well, enough of that drivel.

Friday night I was in bed by 8PM (probably depression and/or boredom) and the same for last night. The neuropathy in my feet has become bothersome enough that doing a lot of walking (something I always loved) is becoming next to impossible.

I did take a brief trek into Boston yesterday for lunch, then returned home to watch some videos I borrowed from the cafe at work. I watched, "The Astronaut's Wife" and "Final Destination I", which were a bit strange, but better than what the rabbit ears on top of my TV are capable to pulling from the ether. Yeah, that's right I'm one of those 19th century geezers who doesn't have satellite or cable TV. Why I still have an old non HDTV, hand cranked 27" Sony Trinitron.

This morning I took a ride into Harvard Square despite the pain in my feet. It was too nice a day to sit around the apartment, so sat and had coffee and pastry at Au Bon Pain, then walked up to Central Square and back, stopping in book and record stores. I picked up "Pigs at the Trough", by Arianna Huffington and "Why Do People Hate America", by Ziauddin Sarder and Merryl Wyn Davies. Both of these books should be essential reading for Americans.

I listened to the summit meeting on the radio as I walked around, and it looks like tomorrow "Saint Patty's Day" is Saddam's day of reckoning, a fitting day to wave the checkered flag on bombing the bejezus out of Iraq, as half of America gets shit faced on green beer. Speaking of bombing the crap out of something, the article below "Da Bomb" is about the new and improved Bunker Buster. I'm surprised that America isn't including fuel air weapons in the arsenal shopping list. When I was in the Navy fuel air weapons (not napalm) were used in Nam, for clear cutting forests, hell you could clear cut an entire city. They used to refer to fuel air weapons as the poor man's nukes. If you've ever heard about a house being blown to toothpicks after a spark touched off an explosion from a gas leak, that's sorts like a fuel air explosion, but on a grand scale.

I hope we can resolve this conflict as quickly and cleanly as possible with a minimum of backlash. Another Monday is almost here already. Here's the weekend short list of articles.

Wednesday March 19

I watched the president's address to the nation on Monday night (aside from the shop at home channel there was nothing else on). After watching a solemn George Bush tell us the bell on the egg timer has rung and it's time to "lock and load", I watched an interesting Front Line on PBS about the history of Saddam's rise to power, now there's a really nasty piece of work if I ever saw one. Yeah the world will be a much better of place without Hussein running Iraq, puffing on his cigar and thumbing his nose at the world, at least for a while, until the next dime store despot becomes front page news.

After getting my blood pressure elevated more than it already was, I turned out the light and stared into the dark wondering if Bush will be able to pull this off quickly without massive losses of life and/or getting America even more hated than it already is. I wonder if Bush also laid in bed staring into the darkness, praying that we're doing the right thing and that everything goes to plan.

Unfortunately war is seldom cut and dry, 'we'll invade Iraq, get Saddam, and be home by dinner time, then everyone will thank us for the great job we did.' The opposing team often doesn't play by the same rules or hold to the same timetable. From all I have read and watched, Saddan is one slippery, nasty weasel. I pray this does not become another Vietnam, or worse!

Being a veteran, I also had to study war and battle strategy during my military years; we practiced and drilled, over and over, trying to prepare for any number of scenarios. Since human behavior is flaky to begin with, it's next to impossible to anticipate every single move that the enemy might have up it's sleeve. Since war, planning for war and reacting to war was not my idea of a swell time, I returned to civilian life after my 4 years was up.

War is also like computer programming. You got out gathering intelligence data on the user community (gang of ruthless thugs and terrorists that they are), plan your strategy, attend many meetings in corporate war rooms, write and debug code, try to make the application as bullet and Murphy proof as possible, then launch the application on the users. Since users tend to hate programmers (imperialist weirdo geek swine) they'll do all in their power to break the application, exploit bugs and undermine the developer's efforts.

A long time ago I developed a financial reporting application that had a very large user base in our company. I had one user that was the Saddam Hussein of application users. I think he spent every waking minute looking for ways to break the application, then call me on the phone, "nyea! nyea! I broke it, I found a bug!" On the other hand users view the developer as a dictators and despots, "the application you wrote is too constricting and limits my freedom, I protest!" User demand total anarchy, so long as it's user friendly.

So writing a computer application is a bit like planning for war, no matter how much intelligence gathering, how much testing and debugging you do, you'll never totally trap every possible user move, click or blunder. In war or application design, neither side can ever anticipate every single action that the other will take.

War is also like a game of chess, but I never could develop a taste for or master the game. Well enough of that drivel, as usual I've wandered off on a tangent.

I got an e-mail from Doug in Thailand. There was no message but an attachment, a view on the Iraq situation from Terry Jones of Monty Python fame. I've included it here; thanks Doug, I needed the laugh.

A Monty Python perspective on the War!

We, the ever vigilant, watch the horizons for signs of insightful understanding concerning the situation in Iraq. From the distant shores of Britain comes this well thought out perspective:

A letter to the London Observer from Terry Jones (yes, of Monty Python).

I'm really excited by George Bush's latest reason for bombing Iraq: he's running out of patience. And so am I!! For some time now I've been really pissed off with Mr. Johnson, who lives a couple of doors down the street.

Well, him and Mr. Patel, who run the health food shop. They both give me queer looks, and I'm sure Mr. Johnson is planning something nasty for me, but so far I haven't been able to discover what. I've been round to his place a few times to see what he's up to, but he's got everything well hidden. That's how devious he is. As for Mr. Patel, don't ask me how I know, I just know - from very good sources - that he is, in reality, a Mass Murderer. I have leafleted the street telling them that if we don't act first, he'll pick us off one by one.

Some of my neighbors say, if I've got proof, why don't I go to the police? But that's simply ridiculous. The police will say that they need evidence of a crime with which to charge my neighbors. They'll come up with endless red tape and quibbling about the rights and wrongs of a pre-emptive strike and all the while Mr. Johnson will be finalizing his plans to do terrible things to me, while Mr. Patel will be secretly murdering people. Since I'm the only one in the street with a decent range of automatic firearms, I reckon it's up to me to keep the peace. But until recently that's been a little difficult. Now, however, George W. Bush has made it clear that all I need to do is run out of patience, and then I can wade in and do whatever I want!

And let's face it; Mr. Bush's carefully thought-out policy towards Iraq is the only way to bring about international peace and security. The one certain way to stop Muslim fundamentalist suicide bombers US or the UK is to bomb a few Muslim countries that have never threatened us. That's why I want to blow up Mr. Johnson's garage and kill his wife and children. Strike first! That'll teach him a lesson. Then he'll leave us in peace and stop peering at me in that totally unacceptable way.

Mr. Bush makes it clear that all he needs to know before bombing Iraq is that Saddam is a really nasty man and that he has weapons of mass destruction - even if no one can find them. I'm certain I've just as much justification for killing Mr. Johnson's wife and children as Mr. Bush has for bombing Iraq. Mr. Bush's long-term aim is to make the world a safer place by eliminating 'rogue states' and 'terrorism'.

It's such a clever long-term aim because how can you ever know when you've achieved it? How will Mr. Bush know when he's wiped out all terrorists? When every single terrorist is dead? But then a terrorist is only a terrorist once he's committed an act of terror. What about would-be terrorists? These are the ones you really want to eliminate, since most of the known terrorists, being suicide bombers, have already eliminated themselves.

Perhaps Mr. Bush needs to wipe out everyone who could possibly be a future terrorist? Maybe he can't be sure he's achieved his objective until every Muslim fundamentalist is dead? But then some moderate Muslims might convert to fundamentalism. Maybe the only really safe thing to do would be for Mr. Bush to eliminate all Muslims?

It's the same in my street. Mr. Johnson and Mr. Patel are just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens of other people in the street who I don't like and who - quite frankly - look at me in odd ways. No one will be really safe until I've wiped them all out. My wife says I might be going too far but I tell her I'm simply using the same logic as the President of the United States. That shuts her up. Like Mr. Bush, I've run out of patience, and if that's a good enough reason for the President, it's good enough for me. I'm going to give the whole street two weeks - no, 10 days - to come out in the open and hand over all aliens and interplanetary hijackers, galactic outlaws and interstellar terrorist masterminds, and if they don't hand them over nicely and say 'Thank you', I'm going to bomb the entire street to kingdom come.

It's just as sane as what George W. Bush is proposing - and, in contrast to what he's intending, my policy will destroy only one street.

Terry Jones

I went to see my doctor yesterday after work for my long overdue (by 2 years) annual full physical exam. I see him every 3 to 4 months for regularly scheduled labs and follow-ups, but it had been a while since I was poked and prodded stem to stern.

The good news is that I'll live another 3 to 4 months or until Armageddon, whichever comes first. Most all of the lab work was normal. We talked about the current world situation, which my doctor said has everyone he's talked to stressed out, depressed and edgy.

On my way out, I booked a regular follow-up appointment for the end of June. The woman at the desk handed me an appointment card mumbling, "hopefully we'll all still be here in 3 months."

Thursday March 20

"Shock and Awe!"
"Duck and cover!"
"Run and hide!"
"Bend over and say, ahhhh!"
"Spit, sit and spin!"
"Gentlemen, start your engines,
and let the games begin!"

I was in bed by 8:30PM last night so missed the 10 o'clock news. I listened to the news on the way to work, and as everyone sort of suspected, war has begun. Also as expected there was a lot of buzz on all in the news web sites regarding the war.

So, did we kill Saddam? Was that him who addressed the Iraqi people, telling them he was alive and well and it would be beatings, torture, rape, boiling in oil and being immersed in vats of acid as usual, or was it one of his lookalikes!

It seems Saddam has more clones to stand in for him than America has Elvis lookalikes.

I also heard later in the day that the war has not really begun yet. This reminds me of the Monty Python, "Dead Parrot Sketch"

"War has begun, last night the allied forces hit Baghdad with bombs and missiles."

"No it hasn't quite begun yet, until Washington says it has, this is only a practice run."

"Yes it bloody well has, you bombed targets in Iraq"

"No we didn't, those were just practice shots."

"Yes war has started, troops have begun moving toward and across the Iraqi border."

"No they haven't, they're just out stretching their legs and getting in a bit of a walk before marching into battle."

"But the allied forces are in their second day of bomb and missile attacks."

"No they're not, they're still getting in a bit of target practice."

"Well if we're in an active bloody war, then what is it?"

"We're still testing the water. It won't be a bloody war until the president announces, Shock and awe time!"

After this is all over, there will be war crimes trials. We have to be fair in judging both sides, to see who has committed atrocities. Potential defendants will be members of the Bush empire, Tony Blair, Osama bin Hiding, Saddam, all his lookalikes, his sons, top brass, France and Germany for wussing out, plus a supporting cast of thousands. The judges serving on the bench will be Simon from American Idol, Jay Leno, Oprah, Judge Judy, Bill Maher and Jerry Springer. This would make for an interesting trial.

Sigh! I'm still praying (for what it's worth) for our men and women in uniform, and the rest of the world. Here's a rather long list of new news items I scooped up during the past couple of days.

Sunday March 23

The practice runs are over. I watched the bombing on TV last night, which gave me a sick feeling. All I could think of was who was being killed by the barrage of rockets and bombs. The news coverage of rage within the Arab countries as well as the rest of the world also bothered me a lot. I wonder how long, if ever, it will take for America to regain respect from foreign countries after this is over (if it ever is). A horrible thought also crossed my mind, what if what is happening to Iraq were to happen her in the USA, bombs from an aggressor raining down on American cities. I grew up throughout the "Duck and Cover" era at the height of the Cold War and those old uncomfortable feelings are coming back.

Speaking of the Cold War, if you have never seen Stanley Kubrick's, "Dr. Strangelove" check it out. It is a classic piece of dark Cold War humor. One of my favorite lines among many takes place in the war room.

A struggle and fight break out between General Turgidson and the Russian ambassador, when the General accuses the Soviet premier of being "a degenerate atheistic Commie." The President intervenes with an ironic punch line, scolding both of them for their outrageous behavior:

"Gentlemen. You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!"

The weather has finally begun to warm up. I've been able to open a few windows in my apartment over the past few days to air the place out and "finally" retire my heavy Winter clothing to the hall closet.

Yesterday I made a brief top into Boston, returning home to clean up links on my site and watch a few episodes of "Dark Skies" and "The X-Files" I have on tape, deciding not to not watch any network TV or news. My mind is pretty much bombed out from all the footage of the war.

This morning I headed into Harvard Square early for coffee and pastry. It was cold and brisk day, but the sun was shining. I was walking along Mass Ave as a huge number of homeless people thrust hands out, "change! spare change" I stopped and put some money in one guy's cup and we talked for almost an hour. He had a placard in front of him that read:

"Sober Homeless Vietnam Vet with HIV"

I don't know why, but I knew this guy wasn't a bullshit artist and he had a very interesting story to tell. We had a lot in common, and I found out his homelessness was not to drinking as he'd been sober for quite along time, his SSDI no longer covered his living expenses, plus with all the Republikkkan cuts of social services, he lost what little other assistance he was getting.He had gotten his Bachelor's degree through the GI bill and was an independent commercial fisherman. He told me although he was college educated fishing was in his blood and he came from along line of Cape Cod fishermen. He also said his business fell on hard times from big corporate vessels fishing out the water and/or driving the little guy our of business.

He and I also discussed the current American war, and like many others, he was a vet who is opposed to Bush's folly, "he's gonna get us into WWIII I tell ya." The guy may very well have a valid point here.

As I made my way toward Central Square, I stopped in a few small shops I usually pass by. One was a tiny storefront radical bookstore. I got engaged in another hour long conversation with the shop keeper (also a veteran), discussing books, the internet, Indy media vs the big globalist media machine and the war with Iraq. I picked up a copy of "Storm Warning" a paper put out by Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Imperialism. I will add a link to their site on the Area51 Library Annex page on my next update.

My feet were beginning to burn out from my neuropathy, so I doubled back when I reached Central Square. When I left the house this morning I was under a full head of stream and planned to walk into Boston across the Mass. Ave bridge, but the pain and tingling in my feet and legs kicked in, so aborted my mission a bit early. Oh well, I got a few miles of good brisk walking in anyway.

I used to write about dining at the Temple bar and it's sister eateries, but "only in my own opinion" to me the food has dropped in quality and the prices risen, plus the places are havens for yuppie sleeper cells all on their cell phones and PDA's.

I've walked by this place on Dunster Street a million times but have never ventured inside. Today I felt like trying out a new eatery so had an early dinner a "John Harvard's Brew House" on Dunster. I remember the address well from the 70's when it was "33 Dunster" a funky eclectic Harvard Square nosh pit, that had church stained glass windows with faces such as Richard Nixon on the saints. I enjoyed John Harvard's a lot, good atmosphere, friendly service (the waitress chatted with me for about 15 minutes, I think she found me an entertaining source of useless Cambridge history) and reasonable prices.

I tried the meatloaf (which was moist and yummy) mashed potatoes and a mix of fresh broccoli and carrots for $9.95. When she returned asking if I'd like coffee or dessert, I told her, "God, I could not eat another bite, but that baked apple crisp with ice cream looks too tempting for words"(and the dessert was big enough for two). She also asked if I worked in the entertainment or media field. I told her, "nope, just a lowly computer geek in the high tech food chain." More retail and restaurant people ask me if I work in TV or radio, it still amazes me to this day.

I prefer eating in truck stops, ale houses and pubs as opposed to the large chain restaurants or "foofy" snotty, overpriced yuppie nosh pits whose names sport umlauts or "Bistro" in their names any day. The road houses and pubs serve well prepared comfort foods at good prices; burgers and sandwiches, shepherd pie, American chop suey, ribs, pork chops, pot roast, chicken, pot pies, etc that don't empty my wallet.

After rolling away from the table, I browsed in Newbury Comics, Tower and HMV, but left empty handed. I hardly ever listen to all the CD's I have, many of which I'm planning on getting rid of soon.

All the big stores, no matter who, have periodic "Blowout or Management's Fave Pics" sales. I interpret "blowout" sale as the selections that didn't sell nearly as well as expected, so they need to dump all the excess stock. The manager pick sales, well I assume those are the titles that some promoter or company are pushing in turn for perks to the retail outlets.

I had parked my car in front of the corner grocery store I mentioned in an earlier entry to pick up another loaf of their delicious crusty French bread. Yes! Oh shame on me! I still refer to is as French bread, along with French fries, French Vanilla, French onion soup, French pastry and French kissing, As one of my tee shirts reads I'm "Politically Incorrect."

If I were politically correct in the current Republikan tradition and had a date (pigs will learn to fly before this happens), I'd take her to a swanky "Liberation" restaurant where we'd start with some "bunker buster" bread and "freedom" onion soup. I'd let her pick anything from the selection of "coalition forces" pastries then we'd return to my place for an evening of "shock and awe" kissing.

This petty childish politically correct boycotting crap reminds me of childish school yard behavior, "hey everybody, Johnny doesn't play baseball, he can't even hit or catch a ball and he picks his nose. Hey everybody nobody talk to or play with Johnny and from now on call him Booger instead of Johnny." Every one of us has in inner child inside, some just never grow up and become mature adults; ahhh the games people play!

I replied to a welcome e-mail from Doug, who's currently visiting Nepal. I also replied to an e-mail penpal in San Francisco and an old friend (Bubba Dave) who moved his family out to where the buffalo roam in the Plains states. I also dropped Jon Rappoport a brief mail to thank him for his web site. I carry links to Jon Rappoport on the Area51 Library Annex page. I find him a great hard hitting, no nonsense reporter.

I'll end today with a short list of articles, bon appetit!

Saturday March 29

The Muse, she comes and she goes. She visits me whenever I'm out and about and leaves when I return home, just as I'm sitting down to type. I should buy a laptop and carry it wherever I go.

My mind is full of bomb craters from all the war footage shown on TV. I borrowed a couple of movies from the cafe at work as a diversion. "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" is well worth renting if you have not seen it already. No matter if you're Greek, Italian, Jewish, Arabic, French, Asian or whatever, you'll probably be able to identify with some of the family stuff in the movie.

I also watched "The Ring", which didn't get much hype in the media, but I found it a captivating movie with a creep factor of 8 out of 10. The basic story is about a legend surrounding a mysterious videotape. Anyone that watches it dies in 7 days. It vaguely reminded me of "Candyman". That's all I'll say so as not to spoil it.

I visited my 87 year old Mom last week. When I got to her apartment she was watching TV, President Smirk was making some statement or other, "beware evil doers everywhere".

Mom muted the TV and asked, "what the hell is THIS war all about? Oil and money, right? God I hate Bush, look at that stupid smirk on his face. I don't trust him, he's going to get us into WWIII I tell you. I'm glad I'm an old woman who doesn't have long to live. I feel so bad for the young today."

She rambled on for a while, as I nodded agreement with most of her rants.Then she asked, "and what's all this talk about smart bombs? If the bombs are so smart, why do we have to send all these soldiers to fight and die in Iraq? And I suppose we'll be attacking Iran next and then Korea and Russia. Why can't we stay out of other people's business. No wonder so many people hate us. It's all about power, domination and money, isn't it?"

Hmmm, for an elderly woman she still has most of her wits about her. She asked again about what makes bombs smart. I tried explaining to her in as simple terms I could about computers, satellite and GPS guidance, lasers and left as the weapons were like high tech bloodhounds tracking a scent. Mom still thinks The Clapper is amazing, "Clap on! Clap off!", let alone computers, global positioning and lasers.

It's strange, to my face she's disappointed in me, ashamed that I didn't give her oodles of grand children, but to her friends she usually brags about her son the "computer whizz who even has his own web site." She has no clue what a web site is.

I was playing with the idea of starting a separate journals page called "The War Room", which would contain a running commentary on my own military experiences and the current theater of war. This still may happen if I can find the motivation to capture the head full of ideas I have to disk.

When I was a a lad a lot of the popular American lexicon contained references to war and aggression. We had just closed the book on WWII (The Big one), were entering the Cold War, were fighting the Koreans, then on to Vietnam; it seems we're always fighting with someone. A theater of war; is that like a cineplex?

Now held over in it's second smash week on screen 1, "Desert Storm, the Sequel". Held over on screen 2, "Desert Storm, the Preqal", and back by popular demand, on screen 3, "Vietnam". Due to the length of Vietnam, there will be 12 intermissions. One screen 4 the featurettes, "Bosnia and Kosivo" are still being shown as well as the short films about various other conflicts. Screen 5 will be showing a behind the scenes secrets, lies and government bloopers reel.

During the matinee the management will stage a surprise gas attack. The first 100 patrons to self administer atropine and put on their gas masks in the shortest time will receive a gift certificate, dinner for 2 at the Purgatory Bar and Grille, across the mall from this theater and 2 free theater passes.

And remember when the lights go down and the show's about to begin, a cease fire will be called in this auditorium. Also turn off all cell phones. From all of us at the Perpetual War Cineplex, we hope you enjoy the show...

I drove into Boston early this morning, had the usual coffee and headed over to Barnes and Noble to browse, then to Virgin Megastore.

I stopped at Newbury Comics and saw that they had the first season of "Futurama" on DVD at the front of the store for cheap! Yahoo! I was wondering when or if Futurama would come out on video, so I grabbed a copy. I also picked up (also for cheap) a nice 2 CD set of B.B. King's greatest hits (I Love the Blues), plus an Eric Clapton and Judy Collins hits anthologies. The first two seasons of Family Guy are due out on DVD in April, another Yahoo!

I stopped at the Living Center for lunch and had chili cheese dogs, buffalo wings, salad, a nice fruit salad and chocolate raspberry cheesecake (what a pig) and was browsing a gay community news paper (they're everywhere in the South End). One article on the front page caught my eye.

"Canada's Big FatGay Military Wedding"

Since Canada decided not to come play in President Smirk's Iraqi sandbox, they're staying out of the war.

The begining lines from InNewsWeekly follow...

OTTAWA - Notwithstanding Canada's decision not to join the U.S. in it's invasion of Iraq, the country's soldiers - regardless of their sexual orientation - are being encouraged to make love not war in a way that will likely shock and awe their American counterparts.

Some military chaplains in the Canadian Armed Forces are pondering the idea of offering "blessings" at the same-sex marriage of members of the military.

In our current regime...uhhh I mean adminstration I would not bank on seeing the following occuring soon.

"Corporal Timothy O'Malley, do you take Staff Sergeant Frank Smith to be your lawfully wedded fox hole buddy and husband so long as this war shall last and even unto the completion of your military career?"

"I now pronounce you, "Brothers in Arms. You may nowsalute and kiss your mate."

Sorry, just couldn't resist that one. This ends the long winded March 2003 Flight Recorder log with a rather long epilog of articles captureed from around the web.

Shalom, Ray