Friday, July 22, 2005


I forgot to say that this is the last day I'll be posting for a bit over a week. My fiancée and I are heading up to Scotland to arrange the final stuff we need to accomplish before the wedding!

I'm sorry that I'll be leaving you bereft and alone, but I'll be back strong on the 1st of August, and I'll probably be "raring to go" as I'm going to be repressed and quiet for WAY too long whilst staying with my future in-laws.

Have a great week, and wish this guy some luck!

-- Tuckmac

Friday, and not quite TGIF


As you all probably know, London was on alert yesterday (and continues to be so) due to the repeat of a July 7th sort of incident in London yesterday around 12:30 pm (BST), lunch time in London.

The BBC is following up with a few stories:

"London Attackers Meant to Kill" This article has the great words: (London Mayor) Ken Livingstone said he was not surprised London had been attacked again.
"Those people whose memories stretch back to the 70s, 80s and 90s will remember there were horrifying bombing campaigns in London," he said. "We got through that and we'll get through this."

However... In a society where the police normally do NOT actually carry guns, obvious signs of a strain have occurred:
Man Shot Dead by Police on Tube Is an interesting story that perhaps illustrates the tension that London and it's police force are under at the moment.

And finally the U.S. reacts to the news of the second London bombing scare in typical American Over-reacting form:
"NY Commuters face random searches" 'Cause, like... Random searches are REALLY going to stop a bomber from making it through the NY turnstiles and blowing up a subway carriage if they want to. Right.

Look... All of us are understandably upset. But, you know... I've gotten to the point of numbness now. Fiona and I are heading to London on Sunday to catch a train to Scotland. We're going to be going through one of the "first" bombing locations to London King's Cross station. Am I going to change my plans? No. Am I a bit nervous? No. NO YOU SAY??? No. I'm NOT nervous. Look... I've come up with a theory, and I'm going to throw it up here, and you know what? It might make some folks angry, or something, but you know what? This is MY blog, and I can say what I want. I WILL however, try to explain my reasoning, and hopefully people will understand that it's JUST a theory, and that I don't mean to be hateful, hurtful, or to deliberately bother anyone.

Okay... That being said:

These Islamic Fundamentalist Terrorists, do NOT have a chance. Not at all. They're just going to keep doing shit like this until they've finally killed off their entire organisation, and we "Westerners" don't really need to do much except "keep on keeping on."

Here's my reasoning, and I'm going to use the asshole PREVIOUS bombers of London to explain this.

First, the Blitz. The Germans unleashed a dreadful bombing campaign against Britain and London in particular took HUGE damages. The German army was a "normal" army... It's planners were FAR to the East of Britain, and only German soldiers and pilots, and English civilians died. These men were organised, had "war plans" and "goals" and you know what? Nothing.
Winston Churchill in his famous "Battle of Britain" speech said it very well:

"We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender...

Second, the IRA. Separatist Rebels from Ireland ran a bombing campaign upon England (London in particular) that went on and off for almost 30 years. The bombers would plant bombs in things like trash-bins and leave bags around crowded places. Many people were killed or injured by the IRA, and you know what? Britain is STILL in Northern Ireland. They don't really WANT to be there, but they are still there because the majority of No. Ireland is still Protestant and Royalist. Fine. But whatever, the Brits didn't give IN to the IRA bombings, and the only thing that changed, is that it's darn hard to throw away trash since the Londoner's have taken away most of the trash-bins from busy areas.

And now, we reach the fricking fundamentalist-Islamic terrorists.

They're even MORE of a mess than the previous two attackers... You know why? Because all their most fervent people tend to blow themselves UP with their bombs instead of planting them, and living to "bomb another day." Why? 'Cause they're stupid, basically. They hold on to the rather ridiculous belief that there's all Milk/Honey and Stacks of Virgins waiting for them in "paradise." (When we all know that Allah isn't going to give them anything except PAIN for the rest of existence.) The IRA folks? Planted a bomb, and went ON to attack again. The Germans... Well, heck, many more soldiers to go, and honestly, there WAS a reason they surrendered, it's 'cause they KNEW they lost the war. The reason the bombs DID NOT go off yesterday is 'cause the evil, though "smart" guys blew themselves up TWO WEEKS AGO, and only the truly MORONIC fuck-heads left, couldn't do the fucking job!

The terrorists of today are too STUPID to know that they've LOST. They can NOT win this war. Their own people drink Coke, and go to McDonalds, and listen to Western-style music... They've lost.

There's no way a people can withstand progress of the sort that the West has been offering them. I'm sorry... I don't WANT people to "lose their culture" but there are ways to hold ON to the important parts of your culture, and STILL embrace the movement of globalism that is sweeping the earth at the moment.

We are still here. We will not change. Piss off! And let us go about our lives.


Thursday, July 21, 2005

Thursday and sleep is good.

Ahhh.... Sleep... Sleep, the friend of the human race. Sleep the gift of the gods, allowing us to travel the worlds and stars outside of our own limits... Sleep...

I slept last night. I mean, REALLY slept. It was wonderful. I feel asleep around 12:00 midnight, and didn't get out of bed till 8:30am this morning. It was GLORIOUS!

Anyhoo... Had a really nice time last evening. We had a MFA/MA BBQ-party thing last night... Grilled up some fish, some chicken, and the Brits had their "Beef Burgers" (yes, that's what they call them, not HAMburgers like the Yanks. Fricking weird Brits.) but it was great... Had a few cans of beer, got the maintenance guys and some vent/filter installers to come too. So... Very interesting mix of folk. One of the vent-guys is from Glasgow, with the traditional gobble-ti-gooock Glasweigian accent... I spent half the night translating for the rest of the group. Don't get me wrong... I have problems deciphering the Glasweigian accent too... But due to Fiona's influence, I've actually become rather adept at understanding the Scots, of all sorts.

Okay... A few articles, and again... BugMeNot will help you.

Although my friend Mick tends to try for being fair and balanced, (And I give him MANY kudos for doing so) I am not usually so nice in my blog. I'm a foaming at the mouth liberal, and I am NOT sorry to say so. However...

Yesterday I put in a link to a NY Times article about the new "candidate" put forward by President Idiot for the Supreme Court. And I said how it "depressed me."

I was depressed. But then, any person put forward by Pres. Dick-head is going to depress me... Today, however, I read this Opinon/Editorial in the NY Times that actually made me think a bit... Okay, we all know that President Moron is going to pick a conservative judge for the Supreme Court. That's a big reason that most of us were fighting so hard to make sure that President Crap-ass wasn't going to get re-elected. Well... He was, and... True to form, he picked a conservative.

This is where I get "balanced," well, at least a little.

If President Asshat is going to pick a conservative, at least it would be nice if the candidate wasn't a raving conservative-fundamentalist Christian, nut-job.

Maybe he isn't. He probably IS, but just maybe... Just maybe... The guy isn't too bad.

Anyhoo... Here's another story from the NY Times about the idea that American Cities and the Muslim immigrants living IN those cities are not quite as bad as places like Leeds in England (the home of three of the four 7/7 London bombers).

I hate to say that I agree with this story. Unfortunately for my current "adopted" home... They're just not that good at assimilation here... A "Brit" isn't going to mix with a Muslim immigrant on a normal basis. Don't get me wrong, their not racist at all, and there's thousands of immigrants WELCOMED into Britain every year... It's just that there's a fundamental difference in the backgrounds of our two countries. America was founded and formed and created to BE a melting-pot of different peoples, and beliefs. Britain was an Empire, who's main raison d'erte was to "Make the world Britain."


Good Bye Scotty.

-- T

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Wednesday Doldrums

I only got three hours of sleep last night.

Fiona and I had a bit of a pre-wedding "discussion" and we ended up spending most of the night talking (as we both have the rule, "don't go to bed angry")

We didn't.

But then, when my alarm went off at 8:00am this morning, I wanted to cry. To add insult to injury... Fiona doesn't have to get up till 12:00 NOON today! Gah! Och weel. The talk was an important step in our further existence as a couple, so... In most ways it was worth it... But to come into college today, well... It was a BIG sacrifice. Fricking KIAD.

Anyhoo... Get ready to use BugMeNot as the next links are to the NY Times:

Because THIS depressed me...

I thought I'd add a happier link to THIS ARTICLE as I simply can not wait for this new collaboration to get up and going! Yay Photography!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Wow... Tuesday already? Geez.

Hello friends and readers... I'm back after the weekend, and in a very great mood.

I've moved into my Fiancée's house, and it's been marvellous to sleep on a proper bed, rather than on a mattress on the floor! The move was a bit tiring, as we had to move my furniture very quickly, but I want to thank my friend Norman for supplying his company-lorry, and his driving skills.

Fiona and myself are still coping with the move... You see, it's the normal thing (at least, that's what I hear, as it's the first time I've moved IN with a significant-other) that when one partner moves into the home of another partner, there's a bit of "re-adjustment" necessary on the part of BOTH people, but especially for the person who was already LIVING there. I've turned over Fiona's world... Together we're trying to come to an accommodation of each other's life-styles, and turning a rather busy "girl's room" into a "bedroom for two" is an interesting process.

We're not FIGHTING, so don't worry... It's more of a "god dammit, well, okay, I guess that makes sense" sort of thing.

Interesting though.

Okay... To follow true to form I have a little rant to bring up.

I'm coming on to this story late (as I've discovered from reading this article) but I have a couple of things to say about it.

New York Times article Use the first "Site of Interest" link on the left (BugMeNot) for the password to avoid NYT's little annoying "membership" thing.

Anyhoo... It's telling of a young teenager Zach, who has "Come Out" to his parents, who seem to be of a fundamentalist branch of Christianity. Although he's been "Out" on his Blog, and to his friends for over a year, Zach made the decision to come out to his parents, and has since been sent to "revulsion therapy" through a "Christian" organisation to "heal his gay-ness."

Oh, for FUCK'S SAKE!

I'll say it again, folks...

God/Allah/Yahweh/Shiva/Grishna/Artemis/or the Stone Idol, what-have-you...


Do you think that with ALL the crap that goes on in this world, that the gods/God CARE about something as silly as that? Do you REALLY?

I mean, I guess what really yanks my chain, is that so many of these so-called "religious" people tend to break EVERY little law in the book (Bible/Torah/Koran/etc.) by killing their next-door neighbours over religious dispute, but... Oh, no...

Look out... That guy likes MEN, KILL HIM, Torture him till he says he's wrong... Geld him, so he can't breed his sin!


I've never understood, nor will I why some religious people, who may USUALLY be sane, get SO up in arms about homosexuality. Again, folks... It's found in nature. link So the whole "unnatural" argument is just shit, okay? It's just a load of bollocks.

If you are gay, and a Christian, then GOD MADE YOU GAY. God is perfect right? God made you, right? God loves you, right?

So you are gay.

God hates you.


This just doesn't make logical sense. Of course, it's probably MY fault here by confusing religion and logic.

-- T

Friday, July 15, 2005


Seriously... Thank the GODS it's Friday. Gah... What a week. But then, it's a week closer to finishing this bloody degree, so I'm happy about that.

Okay. A few little things, and some thoughts and a few links:

I bought the International Herald Tribune, which is basically a partner paper to the New York Times and several well respected papers in Europe. I've always LOVED the IHT. It's a brilliant newspaper, it's short, it's concise, and it actually covers WORLD news! How much more can you ask? The Internet link for this wonderful paper is:

The headlines, and most of the editorials covered the recent events of London, and the main thrust of the front page seemed to be the journalists attempting to deal with the fact that the suicide bombers were actually British Citizens. Key Facts: BBC.

One article discusses the rather frightening fact that although the U.S. is probably the main Great Satan to the Islamic fundamentalists, Europe is facing a different sort of threat than the U.S.

From IHT Article by Richard Bernstein:
...But so far, at least, the United States has only been targeted by outsiders - like the Al Qaeda-trained group that carried out the Sept. 11 operation, or the suicide bombers that are hitting American troops, and many others, in Iraq. Despite the presence of many millions of Muslims in the United States, there is no sign of any threat coming from within.
Europe is different; it is ever more clear that Europe is what terrorist experts like to call both a terror base and a terror target. The leaders of the 9/11 commando team were long-term residents of Hamburg before they set off on their mission in the United States. The two so-called shoe-bombers caught plotting to blow up planes in midair are British citizens. The man in the Netherlands who confessed to the assassination of the filmmaker Theo van Gogh is a Dutch national of Moroccan origin.
"There is strong evidence that Al Qaeda operatives in Europe are, increasingly, local citizens, rather than non-EU nationals," Daniel Keohane, a terrorism expert at the Centre for European Reform, observed in an article published two months before the London bombings...

What this article says, and the issues that it raises is something for Europeans to really think about. What is it about Europe's society that seems to foster the fundamentalism that is becoming rampant in the West. What is different about the American Society, in that America does not SEEM to have the home-grown extremism in it's society? I capitalise "seem" as we really don't know for certain whether or not there are home-grown terrorists in the States, we just rather hope not.

If the U.S. is at "war" and Europe continues to treat this as a "political intrigue" then I fear for Europe. Perhaps "war" is not really the term for what's happening in the world, but thinking of the issues between the West and the Islamic fundamentalists as being simply "political" then I believe Europe will suffer the consequences.

I'm not happy about my president's actions in the past few years since 9/11. However... Burying our heads in the sand, and hoping that the problems will go away is stupid, short-sighted, and frankly... Frightening.

Finally... To prove to my European friends JUST how insane America is (and my home state of Minnesota INCLUDED) I give this final link. I may speak about Islamic Fundamentalism as being a scourge to society... But the fact of the matter is... There is also a bit of Christian Fundamentalism that I think poses AS big a threat in the long-run for world peace, as any other form of extremism. City Pages, Jim Walsh - Onward Christian Soldiers

On that depressing note... I'm off for the weekend. Slànte - and PEACE to you all!

-- Tucker

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I couldn't help it.

Sinister Ducks Flash-movie.


Wait... Wait... Before any of my Yank friends get excited... I'm of course talking about the move to my Fiancée's house. I spent all day yesterday packing up the remaining crap I own, and cleaning the room... (And disassembling my bed and desk for the Monday 18th move of the BIG SHIT FURNITURE ETC...) My friend Emily came with her Nissan Micra, and we made two trips across town with her car. Fiona and Emily BOTH helped me, and thanks so MUCH to them both!

It was truly amazing to "Go home" last night to be with FIONA, instead of "going home" to the shit-hole I've been living in for the past year and a bit. So...

Yay for TUCKER!

On to more sombre stuff... If you're reading this in the next 15 mins or so... There's an observance of silence for the victims of the London Bombing from 7/7. It's at 12:00 noon BST (British Summer Time) which to my Minnesotan friends would mean you'd have to read this at 5:50 in the morning today, and "observe" at 6:00am YOUR time.... But whatever... I'm just about to go get some coffee, and then stand outside with the rest of the school and the staff here.

C'est la guerre

And I'm tired of the war... I really am.

-- T

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Tuesday - Moving issues, etc...

Well... I started packing for my move to my fiancée's house, and Jesus-Cluny-Frog... What a pain in the bum! I mean, seriously... I didn't even BEGIN to start packing clothes or equipment. Oh no... Just went through my three desk drawers and the bottom of the wardrobe, and MAN did I have a lot of paper-work and shite to try to get through. But the good news is that I WAS able to get through it all, and strangely the what was before 2 cubic-metres of shite is now completely contained within one small box. The bin-liner full of crap is full, though. Gah.

Okay... On to some important stuff. I received an e-mail yesterday from my friend in Oz, talking about this new movement called "Mobile ICE" or In Case of Emergency. It's the brain-child of a paramedic named Bob Brotchie and he started the idea in May. Obviously since the London bombing on 7/7, it's taken on a new importance. BBC Article. The basic idea is that paramedics and other service personnel, try to get a hold of family/friends/next of kin, if a person is wounded and unable to assist them. Since SO MANY people always have their mobile-phones on or about their person, if there's an entry in the phone's phonebook "ICE" then the service personnel would be able to call someone immediately, without having to start at the beginning of the phonebook.

So... Everyone that has a mobile (or cell phone for my fellow Yanks) please put an "ICE" entry in your phonebook. (Mine's to my Mother). It's a sad and frightening thing that we NEED to do this, but it could save your life.

Back to happier things... I am moving most of my gear tomorrow, my friend Emily is helping me, and the BIG stuff, bed, desk etc... Will be moved on Monday the 18th by my friend Norman. Thanks to BOTH of you folks! You're saving my life, and getting me out of the shit-hole in which I currently live.

Wish me luck!

-- T

Monday, July 11, 2005

Life continues to "move on"


After last week, with the bombing in London, and all sorts of crap going on... Life in Canterbury has mainly returned to normalcy. Well... As normal as Canterbury every truly is.

On Saturday, KIAD held it's 2005 graduation ceremony at King's School, and a "Tea" at KIAD after the ceremony.

Fiona (obviously) graduated, and at the "Celebration Tea" she received an award for "Best Dissertation."

She's a star.

Here's a few photos:

Me and Fiona at the Bell and Crown before the ceremony (thanks for making the photo Dorsey!)

Fiona and her mother Sarah on their way to the ceremony.

Professor Vaughan Grylls reading the "welcome" to the graduates and their families.

Us waiting outside the King's School Gate before attending the ceremony. Thanks to Rob for the photo from his window!

Fiona and I had a nice time with her mother being in town. Had a quiet Sunday... And here I am back at KIAD working in my studio. Gah.

I'm moving into Fi's on Wednesday, and I can't stinking wait!

See you all tomorrow!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Prayers to Londoners and to all of us.

Yesterday during the rush-hour in central London, terrorists attacked the transportation system and the commuters who ride upon it.

Many of my fellow residents of Britain reacted with understandable shock, anger, fear and, to be honest, RAGE at the news. My fiancée and I spent quite a bit of the day trying to reach friends and relatives that live and work in London, and thank the gods, all of our friends and relations seem to have escaped from this outrage in peace.

I remember where I was during the American 9/11. I was working in the high school darkroom with several of my students when I heard a student from the classroom yell, "Mr. Mac... Mr. Mac... They're attacking us!"

I admit I didn't believe the kid at first... I mean, WHO in their right OR wrong minds would "attack" us? We're the US of A, home of Mom's apple pie, and baseball, and hotdogs, Fourth of July weekends, and good times? What the? Who in the world is "They?" " They're attacking us..."

It turns out it was Al Qaeda, a blanket organisation started by Osama bin Laden built to attack the West, and capitalism... Created to attack Mom's Apple Pie, and Baseball, and hotdogs... Created because these extremists are afraid... They're afraid of losing their culture, of it being surpassed and supplanted by Mom's Apple Pie. What they fear, they attack. What they don't understand, they attack. What they hate, they attack.

To these people... The West is still here. You can bomb us, you can blow up our buildings, crash our transportation systems, try your damnedist, but we will still BE here.

We will still have our Mom's Apple Pie. And not only that... We're going to fucking SHIP Mom's Apple Pie to your country till you FUCKING choke on it.


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Sorry about the miss yesterday

.... But yesterday was the "Invitation Nightmare" day. BUT.... They've all been sent out. There's a few folks in the States that I still have to get addresses from... So... It's not COMPLETELY done, but the making and folding, and stuffiing, and addressing has been completed for 98% of the damn things.

Okay... Now to the fun bits.

To continue my interest in the G8 summit happening in Scotland... I show you this:

G8 Protest decision reversed (BBC)
This is a quick - "This is current news" and also a bit of "background for the silly people who don't have a clue"

This NEXT link is my marvellous president being a twat.
Bush says no to Kyoto-style deal.

I mean really... Bush is SO against anything having to do with Climate Change that it's almost becoming funny. It IS NOT funny... But the way that guy talks.... Well he did actually say this (from the BBC article):
But he conceded that the issue was one "we've got to deal with" and said human activity was "to some extent" to blame.

"To some extent?" Dick.

Anyhoo... Finally a happy thing to see.... His Holiness the Dalai Lama turns 70 years old. Well... In THIS incarnation, anyway. ;-)

I love him... I'm actually being serious... The guy's office is much like that of the Pope... A Spiritual and Political figure for Tibet and Buddhism in general. He says amazing things... Reaches out to others with the message of peace... And is just an all around great religious figure. If only the current Catholic POPE was like that. Oh no... Ex-Hitler Youth and former head of the "Inquisition" of today's world... No... Not very "Reach out-able" our new Pope. Gah.

Other than all of that... One last link to my favourite "City Pages" Article:
Brit Robinson writes a good little article that actually gives me hope. I realise that I'm not currently living in Minnesota, but watching the shit-strewn political battles from "across the pond" I've been getting more and more depressed.

Look... I know that Governmental shut-down is a pain in the ass... But the facts that the Dems are FINALLY fighting instead of always capitulating... Well... I am actually getting a "warm fuzzy."

I'm off... Have a great one!
-- T

Monday, July 04, 2005

Wow, busy weeekend.

First, 'cause you all asked... Pictures from the Graduation Masquerade ball... After that, well... I get political again.

Fiona in her dress outside of KIAD waiting for the coach (bus to us Yanks).

Myself and Fiona waiting for the coach.

Me in my get-up, and the mask that Fiona made for me. Good job, huh?

Fiona looking saucy... Hot, no?

Okay... So... That being done. The ball was really fun... Great night... Good music (well for the first half, with the live band... The DJ playing the Brit idea of "top 40" was pretty dismal) and the dinner wasn't half bad!

All right... Political.

I don't know how much coverage this got over in the States... But there was a big concert this weekend held in different venues all over the world, called "Live 8". I hope you know what it's about. If not... Well, under the umbrella charity called "Make Poverty History" there's a movement to end poverty in Africa... Forgive third-World debt... And generally call for peace.

The G8 meeting is happening in Edinburgh this week, and LIVE 8 Was set up to show the politicians just what the WORLD wanted them to do about the Third-World. Here's the New York Times (use for the password) article describing the hopes and dreams as well as the reality of the affair.

Now... In Britain there are a lot of jokes about Sir Bob Geldoff and his hopes to change the world through music. Most of the jokes are vaguely mean, but he can be a snotty bastard. But... That being said... He pulled off Live 8 with only about a month of planning, and he's very passionate about the cause.

Please... On the American Day of Independence... When your patriotic side is strongest... Help our leaders make the right decisions! Sign the on-line petition for Live 8... Tell the eight World Leaders just what is RIGHT and help them make the correct decisions regarding the poor and destitute of the world.

Slànte - T

Friday, July 01, 2005

Whoo Boy

Well folks,

Unfortunately, I don't have a tonne of time. However, to prove I'm not ALWAYS political and rant-y... I thought I'd throw THIS article up.

Da Vinci Painting

I think it's really an interesting story about art, and how the Master's used to do many dodgy things to avoid spending money. We always think of the "Grand-Masters of Art" being these rich old men that had assistants to do everything for them, and yet... They'd do stuff like re-use a canvas to save money. Funny that.

The reason I find this story a BIT funny, is that they've been checking out this painting a bit, and I wonder if it's for real academic reasons, or if it's because the paintings figured prominently in "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown.

I'll leave that up to you.

I'm on my way to get ready for my Fiancée's Graduation Ball... Fiona will of COURSE bury me when it comes to looking spiffy, but I'm going to look DAMN good in my kilt.

Slànte, and have a good weekend... See you all on Monday.

-- T