First, I was very impressed with my inaugural flight with JetBlue from SAN - SEA. At both ends, it was an easy check-in and smooth departure. I got in about 30 mins earlier than expected on Friday, and - IT WASN'T RAINING! The only iffy thing during the entire trip was when I went to get my Thrifty 'intermediate' rental car, all they offered me in the category was a PT Cruiser. I said I didn't want to drive around in a van, and asked for a sedan. They put me in....a Chrysler 300. Ugh - it was a mafia hearse. It drove like it weighed as much as the latest bullet-proof Presidential limo, and the interior was incredibly cheap. Oh, well - it got me and my cast of characters for the weekend around the place.
I had a completely smooth trip north to my hotel, which was nicely located on the waterfront. bear_left and shirtlifterbear had already checked in - great to see Mr. Left again, and to meet Mr. Lifter for the first time - he's a bit of a force of nature.... ;-)
THE event of the evening was, of course, to watch the BSG finale. shirtlifterbear had managed to find a friend of his, the utterly adorable and charming altf4ljdrama, who was kind enough to open his apartment to a bunch of strange men he'd never met before. Also there was wrascalbc and a friend of his from the area - it was great to finally meet my BC friend. We got some freshly made, bake-in-the-oven pizza, Canadian choccies, and thoroughly enjoyed the season finale. Very well done, indeed.
(Couple of quick asides - now that the show is over, I can no longer pretend I'm the 5th Cylon, hence the name and icon change... ;-) I'll try it out for a little while. Also - dear LJ Collective - anyone know where on the intertubes you can get some of the BSG music? It doesn't seem to be on iTunes, except for the main theme.)
Saturday saw us wandering around Pike Place Market while Prof. Left worked on a paper. Lots of interesting little shops and fresh food. Again, no rain! In the afternoon, we went to the Space Needle to take in the view, and in the late afternoon/early evening, we went to a beach bonfire to celebrate badfaggot's birthday. quirkstreet was in town, too, and it was lovely to see him again at the bonfire bash. Later that evening, we all went to 'Bearracuda', a fun dance thingy, where arthole was one of the DJs. They actually played things I recognized, rather than 20 minutes of drum beats and grunts. I briefly met the statuesque and impressive bukephalus, among many others. Good night - I'm not really much of a party-goer/bar/disco kind of guy, but this was very enjoyable, and very scenic.
On Sunday...there was LIGHT DRIZZLE! So, I was largely spared Seattle's wet reputation during my visit. The major event of the day was a trip to Snoqualmie Falls, to the east of the city. It was nice to get out of town for a little while. shirtlifterbear got on his ferry back to Port Townsend, and we soaked in the hotel's hot tub for a while. Later, we met up with quirkstreet and badfaggot for a tasty meal on the waterfront, and dessert and coffee at a very nice cafe - I wouldn't have minded trying one of their choccie truffle martinis, but it was late, and I was driving.
I had an early start this morning. Left the hotel at about 5:45am for my 8am departure. Back home by 11am. Unfortunately, I left my reading specs in the rental car, but they're going to mail them to me. I took a 3 hour nap this afternoon - late nights and a strange bed made for a bit of a sleep deficit. Now, off to forage for something to eat.
There were many new LJ folks I met, and I've only mentioned some of them in this rather lengthy post. Thanks to you all, mentioned, and unmentioned, for a fabulous weekend - I really needed the break.
(oh - here are a few piccies. I know bear_left took many more, and better ones, so I'm sure you'll eventually be able to see them. I've got to crack open my manual and find out how to turn off that damn date stamp - I've no idea how I even activated it in the first place.)
My first time on JetBlue. Check-in very quick and smooth. I've got about 1.5 hours to hang around until boarding, which is fine- I prefer that to a mad dash any day. I've bought the latest edition of The Economist to keep me company.... :-)
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But - it looks like Seattle will live up to its reputation of being, shall we say, a little 'moist' - oh, well. But, it's going to be hard to leave our lovely San Diego weather:
In other news, yesterday I took my staff to lunch at the lovely Bertrand at Mr. A's, which has beautiful views of downtown San Diego as well as terrific food and service. One of my staff is about a week away from giving birth, so this was a great way to celebrate.
Here's my dessert - I was a bad boy...
It was perhaps CNBC 'journalist' Rick Santelli, who first attracted The Daily Show's attention when he ranted on the floor of the stock market about bailing out 'loser' mortgage holders (while delivering no such rant against the gazillions being poured in to keep the banks that provided the shaky mortgages in the first place - this is a terrific video clip - watch it all). From there, Stewart has been mauling one Jim Cramer of CNBC's "Mad Money" show (title really tells you all you need to know about the show), and this week, there's been something of a tit for tat over the airwaves between the two, culminating in Cramer's utter humiliation in the video above.
But - that's not what I wanted to memorialize in this post. Stewart rightly was praised for asking hard questions about these financial shows being basically stenographers for the industry, rather than starting from an investigative/skeptical point of view. They uncritically aired everything these captains of industry told them, and didn't research the rosy profit reports.
Now - the same media that is praising Stewart needs to turn the mirror on themselves and examine their stenography during the Bush years. Glenn Greenwald of Slate has an article that articulates it better than I can - he focuses in on the infamous Niger yellowcake incident and shows how our big name political journalists were/are just as uncritical as the financial twits at CNBC, allowing themselves to be used so obviously by the administration in the dissemination of the story. And, quite shockingly, there's a quote at the end of the piece where someone in the Washington Post says in so many words that their role is simply to regurgitate what they're told, and not to investigate since that might spark a debate - oh, the horror!
Dear media - your job is to investigate what the powerful are saying and doing, not simply to reprint it. I can get a press release for that. Your starting point should be skepticism and verification. Somewhere, Murrow is spinning in his grave.
Here's a fascinating montage of images and music of a very tense time in the UK. Time for a trip to iTunes to get some of those songs, I think..
Plans by Mrs. Thatcher's Conservative government to close large numbers of pits resulted in clashes between miners' unions, those who were recruited to cross picket lines, and the police, which lasted for a year.
It was a brutal clash. With the benefit of 25 years of hindsight, it's easy to see that with coal reserves declining, the industry in Britain needed drastic reorganization, but as usual, Thatcher used a mallet when a scalpel and some empathy would have been better. A decent plan for retraining and promotion of new industries for these areas that were utterly dependent on coal would at least have shown the government was not ignoring their plight. But, trimming union power was also part of the agenda, so the mood for compromise was slight. And, Arthur Scargill, leader of the miners' union, was no angel - he used this as a way to gain national prominence and an attempt to push the Labour Party further into the control of labour unions.
The losers, of course, were the workers and those communities that depended on the industry. Well-paying jobs gone, unemployment through the roof - it would be good if the Beeb followed this up with a trip to some of the villages and towns to show what has happened in the last 25 years.
You can clicky here to take part in the poll.
EDIT: Looks like Colbert has already overtaken Xenu... :-) Clearly, the "Firefly" fans are out in force, since 'Serenity' leads handsomely among the names NASA put up in the contest.
I hope it makes its way out here - it will be interesting to see how UK cops and prosecutors work differently from the US ones. The sharp-eyed geeks amongst you will notice that Freema Agyeman (Doctor Who's assistant Martha in Season 3) and Jamie Bamber (finishing up in Battlestar Galactica) both have roles. This would seem to suggest that Freema won't be moving over to Torchwood when it returns, since I imagine it's pretty difficult (if not contractually forbidden) to be appearing in two shows at the same time on different networks.
Unfortunately, it looks like we can't view the video clips on the page here, even after installing that 'silverlight' thingie they demand you use. I just noticed that the guy who plays 'James Steel' is the same actor who played the stoner boyfriend in 'Beautiful Thing'..
Anyway - all that is pointless preamble to my main point for posting. I just tuned in to see who wins the Top Chef title, and noticed that one of the people sampling the finalists' food was quite a nice looking chap. Then his name flashed up - Tory McPhail! Works in a restaurant in New Orleans. I spell my name a little differently, and am certainly not a Tory, but it was nice to see my not-too-common name up there.
You could check online or at the store to see if you join their Reward Zone today whether you'd be eligible for the discount.
It's hard to believe that a legitimate news organization can broadcast crap like this.
Oh, wait - we're talking FOX News - never mind the 'legitimate' bit...
EDIT: If you can't take more than a couple of minutes of the video, you can read Glenn Greenwald's analysis of this wacky phenomenon instead...
Give the show a look - it's out there on iTunes, so you can download an episode for $1.99 and get a taste of it. It'll be back for a third season in the summer/fall, I think.
I wonder if paterson_si has had to do the Slovenian translation yet?
Thanks to all for your birthday wishes! Unfortunately, it's not much of a day for me - since Sunday, I've been fighting a scratchy throat, which yesterday graduated to shivery flu-y ickiness. So, I took today off work, and I'm sitting at home with a nice warm cocoa. Woohoo! I'm really living it up!