inbhirnis: (Exterminate)
Do I really need to tell you that when I return home for a visit (maybe August rather than the usual December trip) that that this will be on the itinerary?
inbhirnis: (Cal Flag)
Any significant spending plans on the horizon? If so, you might want to consider making that major purchase this weekend, as the state sales tax rate is going up on April 1.
inbhirnis: (Default)
Well, [livejournal.com profile] bear_left has already made a pretty decent summary of the beginning of the weekend's events, but I'll just add a few thoughts:

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. [livejournal.com profile] bear_left and [livejournal.com profile] 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. [livejournal.com profile] shirtlifterbear had managed to find a friend of his, the utterly adorable and charming [livejournal.com profile] altf4ljdrama, who was kind enough to open his apartment to a bunch of strange men he'd never met before. Also there was [livejournal.com profile] 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 [livejournal.com profile] badfaggot's birthday. [livejournal.com profile] 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 [livejournal.com profile] 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 [livejournal.com profile] 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. [livejournal.com profile] 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 [livejournal.com profile] quirkstreet and [livejournal.com profile] 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 [livejournal.com profile] 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.)

SAN - SEA

Mar. 20th, 2009 11:09 am
inbhirnis: (Default)

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.... :-)

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

inbhirnis: (Default)
I'm SO ready for a little break from the rat race tomorrow, when I'll be flying up to Seattle, the "Emerald City" for a long weekend. It will be fun to see a bunch of LJ friends, such as [livejournal.com profile] bear_left, [livejournal.com profile] shirtlifterbear, [livejournal.com profile] wrascalbc, and [livejournal.com profile] quirkstreet, to name a few. First up will be a BSG-athon on Friday night at a friend of [livejournal.com profile] shirtlifterbear's place (sadly, my hotel doesn't have SciFi), then, I imagine there will some toursity things to be done in downtown Seattle, and a trip out to Snoqualmie Falls. No doubt there will be other things on the agenda

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:

Here -


There -


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...

inbhirnis: (Default)
The big buzz on the telly here has been Jon Stewart (a comedian) doing what our journalists seem incapable of doing, taking to task the utter craven-ness of financial 'reporting' in the run-up to our great crash of 2008, where financial channels such as CNBC aired fawning interviews with CEOs and told everyone to buy, buy, BUY even when the whole house of cards was about to fall down.

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.
inbhirnis: (Default)
..just heard this on NPR this morning: is this how Bernie Madoff started his scheme?!

You can listen to the report at the link, which is more amusing than reading it.
inbhirnis: (Default)
(via slate.com)

...reflecting our modes and mores, natch:



2007 Barbie with her faux credit card and 'spend, spend, SPEND!' ad is particularly telling.

What will 2009 Barbie be like?
inbhirnis: (Default)
The BBC is just going out of its way to make me feel like an old fart... Interesting that they picked all black and white pics, making it look as if this all happened a VERY long time ago.

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.
inbhirnis: (Default)
If you enjoy the show, (starts off by playing a video clip) he's now running a campaign to overwhelm NASA's competition to name a module that's going to be launched and become part of the International Space Station. He reported that as of yesterday, the frontrunner was XENU...so if that's not enough of an incentive to win one for the Colbert Nation and knock the Scientologists off, I don't know what to say...

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.
inbhirnis: (Fred62 2006)
Over the years, I've enjoyed watching re-runs of 'Law and Order:Sports Utility Vehicle' (Chris Meloni...drool...) and 'Law and Order: Crazy Inspector' (Vincent D'Onofrio - not bad, in a crazy bear kinda way) - and now a new child has been spawned: 'Law and Order' set in London on British TV.

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'..
inbhirnis: (Default)
I confess I've kind of tuned out of "Top Chef" this season - not sure why. I think part of it is that I've always been a bit ambivalent about this reality show as compared to, for example, "Project Runway". I don't think I'm saying anything particularly earth-shattering in pointing out that we can't really judge the chefs all that well because we can't truly evaluate their work - that is, by tasting it, whereas even if we don't know a hell of a lot about fashion, we can still appreciate the construction and can judge it because all we need to do is see the final result.

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.
inbhirnis: (Borg)
This might be a good time: if you're a member of Best Buy's 'Reward Zone' (which I think you can join online, and it costs nothing), you can get an iPhone for $149, as opposed to $199.

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.
inbhirnis: (Default)
--A quite breathtaking video from the loony Glenn Beck of FOX 'News' where he and his invited asylum-mates predict a Mad Max style future for the US in 2014 thanks to Obama's recent stimulus plan (well, they don't state it quite that bluntly, but that's clearly what they're getting at). How dare our government honestly account for the bills of the previous administration and decide that we need to, er, PAY them through spending cuts and tax increases. They wank along to anti-government, anti-tax, militia-loving memes of the right - amazing stuff.

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...

(via talkingpointsmemo)

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...
inbhirnis: (Default)
Nice little article from the BBC, highlighting the stylistic points of a series I got turned on to over Xmas. There is a kernel of truth in the piece that there are times in the show when it does seem that style trumps substance, but I do enjoy it. Maybe it's because, like a few others here, I do enjoy the mid century modern look, and am impressed with how that look, along with the mores of that era, have been impressively recreated.

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 [livejournal.com profile] paterson_si has had to do the Slovenian translation yet?
inbhirnis: (Default)
...Bush officials are having a really hard time finding jobs - much more so than previous administrations.

There's one group of unemployed I will shed no tears for.
inbhirnis: (Default)
(at a rate of 365.2425 days a year, that is).

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!
inbhirnis: (Default)
It's your birthday!

Many happy returns!
inbhirnis: (Default)
No-nonsense, slightly scary and fierce financial guru Suze talks about the non-sentimental reasons why marriage should be for all of us:


inbhirnis: (Scottish Flag)
I just saw the strangest ad on TV:



I have no idea why Castrol decided that a crazed Scotsman whipping people with a dipstick was the way to increase sales. It's kinda amusing for about 10 seconds, and the guy is either really Scottish, or does a pretty good accent.
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