Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Holy crap, double reed! Double reed!

I'm talking about Rahsaan Roland Kirk, a jazz musician who not only plays saxophone, but multiple saxophones at once. Not only that, he sometimes plays with multiple saxes and an oboe too. Not only that, he's also blind.



Seriously check this guy out. The quality is pretty terrible, but the point is he actually pulls it off while sounding good. Plus, that alto he's got is way cool.

edit: As I was was telling someone about Kirk, it was mentioned sarcastically in disbelief that I'll claim he played with one arm after losing it in a war. As it turns out, he actually did lose the use of his arm after a stroke and continued playing afterwards.

Yes, I put double reed in the title just for that one sentence involving an oboe.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

How do they afford these things?

Did you know that we actually spend more on our armed forces than Isreal? Personally, I'd say we're getting a bit gypped here. What, with buying flaming submarines from the Britons and last generation tanks from Germany.

Actually, we're down to our last submarine (HMCS Windsor) and it can't fire torpedoes because the ones in stockpile don't fit British torpedo tubes. It's kind of like the time Diefenbaker bought a bunch of missiles but refused to equip them with nuclear warheads and we ended up with a bunch of expensive fireworks. It's rather impressive how much money we manage to squander (not to say that America doesn't, but at least they manage to look intimidating while doing so).

Increasing the budget probably isn't going to fix things. Besides, what are going to use it all on? It's not like we're doing much peacekeeping nowadays (way to go Harper) so much as cleaning up the quagmire that Afghanistan has become.

There used to be a point here, but my train of thought fizzled out. So now you have some anecdotes instead.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Matt Kaiser!

Leave it to me to post about politics one day, then plagiarize viola jokes the next.

How is lightning like a violist's fingers?
Neither one strikes in the same place twice.
How was the canon invented?
Two violists were trying to play the same passage together.
Was sind die drei Lagen auf der Bratsche?
Erste Lage, Notlage, und Niederlage.

What's the difference between a viola and an onion?
No one cries when you cut up a viola.

What's the definition of a minor second?
Two violists playing in unison.

How do you get the viola section to sound like the horn section?
Have them miss every other note. Ohhhhh, double burn!

Also, here's a painting of a double bass I did a while ago (just so there's something original in this post):

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Reductio Ad Absurdum

It seems that our Southern neighbors have gone rather mad at this point. I am of course talking about the beloved United States of America. What may have provoked such accusatory words from yours truly? Well, there are two things:

1) Habeas corpus is totally optional.

2) Great wall of America.

Of course, what I mean is that those are the most recent two events that have captured my disdain. I'm sure that they've committed many other absurdities but the pain tends to dull over time.

For those who don't know, a recent bill has taken away habeas corpus for "enemy combatants". Habeas corpus is the right to be free from wrongful imprisonment--the right to a fair trial for the accused. It has existed since the Magna Carta and has become the most fundamental basis of all common-law systems...well, all except for the States because they're so wacky! I imagine the reasoning behind it would've been something like this: If a person is innocent, they wouldn't need to worry because they wouldn't be sent to jail in the first place and then all the terrorists will be delivered justice without those pesky laws getting in the way.

It's like something that came out of the Colbert Report. It's so ridiculously terrible I don't even have to make fun of it. Nevermind that an innocent person would be unable to prove their innocence without a trial, nevermind that almost anyone can be classified as an enemy combatant and nevermind that this totally undermines the concept of equality under the law. Just nevermind, after all, it's fighting the terrorists that's important isn't it?

Onto the second topic, a wall to be built on the border to Mexico has been authorized. Actually, this isn't so bad. I was only going to rant about the first item originally but the idea is so crazy I thought it deserved a mention. Apparently having a bunch of rednecks sit in lawnchairs waiting for illegal immigrants with shotguns isn't good enough. Funding hasn't actually been granted (so it's probably just some political jostling) but the notion amused me enough to give it a holler here.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Phirst Poast

Well, after avoiding the fad for so long, I've decided to finally start up a blog. Just as a place to collect my thoughts on whatever issues cross my mind.

Unfortunately, customizing a template isn't as easy as I'd hoped for. Scripting is not my forte, so it will be a while before I get it to be the way I like it.

Also, what I post is obviously my opinion (unless cited or such) even if I don't explicitly declare it. Just so that's out of the way and nobody will harp about how something is 'only an opinion' later on.