Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A bit o' this, and a bit o tha'...

On the "MySpace" debacle... I received an e-mail from a friend that has a teenage daughter. He wondered if I was around when issues with his daughter's MySpace site came up.

No. I actually wasn't.

However... The fact that my friend, and his teenage daughter have also run into the "MySpace" teen/parent issue shows just how prevalent the issue really is. He brought up the fact that he doesn't mind that teens have things that they want to hide... He just worries about predators on MySpace that are chasing young teens...

I believe that to be a valid worry... And I think that is why it's really important for parents to keep UP on their teens/tweens and make sure that the KIDS know the dangers out there... The true fact, that although MySpace says that they keep their security up and watch out for baddies, and that statistically very few children have had problems due to adults "preying" on them via MySpace... The site IS a new place for pedophiles to peruse... So... Watch out, kiddies.

On a 'nother topic...

I went to the Star Tribune Job Fair today.


Well... There were a LOT of companies there... But they were definitely on the look-out for specific types of jobs... And my experience didn't gel with any of them. Hell... I even stopped by the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) booth! I don't qualify to be an "agent" but... The guy was nice enough to give me a cool FBI keychain with a L.E.D. flash-light (torch) thinggy.

Nifty, huh?

Although the "job booth search" was a bust... They had a really interesting speaker on Résumés (C.V.s) and he gave me a few new website job searches to try... Most of the rest of his motivational talk was pretty depressing, as it proved to me that there's no one in the entire planet that would actually a. want me or b. even think of hiring me.

So... I'm thinking of...

Hell... I don't know. I was going to be flippant, and come up with some pithy comment that shows that I'm keeping my humour up, and still fighting for a good job.

I'm not sure I am, anymore. Despair... Here I come... For today.

I'll get my good-karmic mood thing up again tomorrow... But for NOW... I give up for the day.

Fucking job searching.


-- T

Monday, February 27, 2006

Hey, I forgot to mention...

Okay, so is anyone else in the "bloggosphere" laughing over the current furor about "My Space?" (Wired News Article Link) I mean... Seriously!

Okay, so... Parents are now discovering that their children talk about sex... Post suggestive pictures of themselves... Make up shite about their peers and their teachers... Threaten to kill people... Drink... Drugs... Sex... Blah, blah... man. Folks with children... Teens do LOTS of stuff. My Space doesn't MAKE them do it... Okay, they DO this stuff. Don't be so silly. The only thing that "My Space" is doing, is allowing YOU the parent to actually CATCH THEM AT IT! That's it. Nothing more. Man... I mean... I taught high school for three years, okay. And I was one of the "cool" teachers, meaning the kids actually would TALK to me. Not about everything, obviously... The kids knew that I was a teacher, and although I was "cool" that if I found out something REALLY problematic, I'd be the first one to talk to their parents. Kids aren't dumb. But they're also not as innocent as parents would like to believe. I had kids tell me about drug use, oh... NOT THEM, but some "nameless" teen that they'd then use as an example. I would like to think I threw the fear of God into them, but who knows... I had a student (young lady) make extremely suggestive photos of her friend, and then bring them to me to ask me to rate their "artistic merit." JAY-SUS! That one had me sweating... I was imagining parent's lawsuits, and my ass getting fired... man... I'd like to think I handled THAT one well too... By using the experience as a "teachable moment" to explain the difference between "sexy" photos and "artistic nude" photography. Who knows if that worked either... But I digress...

Kids DO shite like this... And instead of "shooting the messenger" that honestly has alerted the parents to this issue... The parents should get off their asses.... Pull their heads OUT of said asses... And talk with their children. Parents... Start to USE things like My Space... It's really easy, which is why more kids are using it, then Blogger or Livejournal, or the other blogging sites. Get your OWN profile... Put up your OWN thoughts, and then ask to be a "friend" of your child. Who knows... Perhaps it could become a new way to communicate to the youth of today in their OWN language.

Hey... We have a really gifted editorialist/cartoon guy in the Twin Cities... His name is Steve Sack! Check him out. He makes me laugh... Cry... And occasionally bite the furniture.

I love this... The author of the "Da Vinci Code" Dan Brown, is getting sued by two of the authors of "Holy Blood, Holy Grail." For copyright infringement. (BBC Article) Wow... I was wondering when they'd get along to doing that... I read the "Da Vinci Code" and was like... "Wow, that's right from 'Holy Blood'..." or... "They've proved that a fake idea back since 'Holy Blood'" or... You get the idea. Dan Brown seemed/allegedly to get MOST of his ideas from "Holy Blood, Holy Grail." The problem though... For those "authors" is that they marketed their book as "non-fiction" so... If you use things that are supposedly "historical fact" to write a book of fiction... I really don't get the problem. Okay... Dan... Write an apology, and admit that you "gleaned ideas" from their "history" and give 'em a few bucks... Man.

Final fun thing... When I learned to drive in Britain, the one thing that took me the longest to get to grips with, was the damn roundabouts. And what is happening? (StarTrib Article.) I'm just imagining the headaches that are going to be caused by this "foreign" idea trying to get it's start in the Midwest... Should be cute. I think, once these are built, I'm going to go up there with my camera, and just make about a thousand photos of confused motorists... Should be fun.

That's it for today, folks...

Smiles and puppies.

-- Tucker

Saturday, February 25, 2006

What a day yesterday...

Hi gentle readers... How are you all doing? I want to thank those that made comments on yesterday's blog... You all made me a bit emotional... It was really fun, this morning, to read the comments.

Well... This is from a few days ago... But it's a photo of Fi working on her computer in "A Fine Grind" coffee shop (our personal favourite place, in St. Paul).

I just sorta like that photo. It really shows our "current life" in it's entirety. We basically are stapled to our computers... Either working on our personal web-sites, or job-searching... Or communicating with all of you folks!

Anyhoo... Breaking with our normal boring "computerised" lives... We went out to the "club" last night. The "Turf Club." There was a CD-release party last night. Two really good bands... Two not so good bands, and a bit too much beer... Then I introduced My Lady to the wonders of a 24-hour diner... After the club closed down at 2:00am. We went to Mickey's diner, and had a marvellous breakfast at 3:30am. We finally hit the sack at 4:30 or so...

So, a great night. Now... It's Saturday... I'm a wee bit rough from the beer... And am going to go get some food.


Have a good one, folks.

-- T

Friday, February 24, 2006

Tuck's first Audioblog

this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, February 23, 2006

"Tilting at windmills...

...hurts the windmill more than the sheep, who are just viewing the event."


Or something like that.

I was just sitting here thinking about the quote from a Heinlein novel, "Time Enough for Love" and attributed to the character: Lazarus Long: "Tilting at windmills, hurts you more than the windmill."

This quote carries a message that I really am beginning to feel. To paraphrase it:

You can bang your head against the wall, rail at the world, etc... etc... And to be honest, you're hurting YOURSELF, not the wall, and not the world.

I think that's an important message that I really should take to heart. I tend to throw myself willy-nilly into situations, with an idealistic heart... And rarely come out the other side intact. It's a weakness... We all have them. The danger, of course, is trying to find the middle-ground. Okay, perhaps I'm idealistic, and lean toward the bleeding-heart Liberal philosophical bent... Perhaps I never, actually, win. Frankly... The thought of NOT being a bit of a "fighter" just scares me even more than the idea of hurting myself psychologically once again.

Vah... I do drone on, at times. Anyhoo... I have to stop "fighting" the world, and allow things to happen in their own time... (Such as job, place to live, etc) and not worry so much about it. We'll see if I can actually DO that. I don't think the odds are in my favour, I'm a bit of a nut-case. Och weel (as my Lady says) I'll get there.

Speaking of my Lady... She's finally uploaded her "Pilot Episode" of Motif Radio. It's a Podcast, and she's already getting good reviews, and artists' interest. So... That's awesome! You can check it out here: http://motifradio.libsyn.com/

Speaking AGAIN, of my Lady... Funny photo (taken with my mobile, so don't get too pissy about the quality:

Okay... Too much free time. I know. And I'm going to plug my "Photo Blog" once again, because I've had quite a few visitors to THIS blog... But not as many to my Serious effort to be a photographer. I say "serious" but the fact is... There's a bit of whimsy in today's offering. Och weel... Consistency has never been my strong-point. ;-)

I'm off, gentle readers... I'm off. Tah!

Okay... Here's a quick link to folks with "Quicktime Player" on their computers: Memnon the Puppy, plays fetch. If you don't have broadband... I wouldn't bother... It's a bit over 7 Meg... So... yeah. But it's cute, if you do.

-- T

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Crud, it's WEDNESDAY already?!?!?!?!

I have a "job interview" at 1:30pm today. (It's 11:30-ish am now).

Before people get really excited... I should explain why I put the words job interview in quotation-marks.


I have a friend, well... Actually the sister of a friend, (I'll call her "Mandy" and no... I'm not being disingenuous, that IS NOT her real name) who's found her way into something that reeks a bit of a pyramid scam, to me... It's a "mortgage-branch" thing... Where you attend all these "sessions" to learn about the job, and in order to actually GET to be a "manager" of a "branch" you have to find OTHER people to also join into this company.

I get a call on Sunday... A name I don't know... But, I've sent out over a hundred job-apps, so... I don't think anything of it... Anyhoo... I talk to this "guy" who asks me questions about how "well I know Mandy" "Mandy speaks highly of you" etc... etc...

Then he talks about how his "group" is looking for management... Blah... Blah... "Mandy says you're a great go-getter..." Blah... Blah... This goes on, and on... And he's "secretly hinting" at this scheme, and I start thinking... OH, it's the thing that Mandy is really getting deeply into... Okay...

I let him drone on and on for almost 15 minutes, asking me about my schedule for the week, blah... blah... And I finally say, "Um, I really want you to stop for a minute... I'm an artist. I don't have any banking or mortgage experience."

His answer (thus proving the dodgy nature of this scheme):

"Oh, don't worry... We train you."

Uh huh... Okay.

So... Anyhoo... I said I'd go.

WHOA, you say!

I'm not going to "join" the scheme.

However... It's been about four years since I had an interview, and I thought... Heck, it' practice.

I feel sorry for "Mandy" though... As part of this Scheme SHE can't actually work for them, till she's "corralled" a number of OTHER people into the business.

I'm not going to be one of them. Sorry...

Anyhooo... I had better get going. I have to do the Three-"S's" and get ready...

Now, where did I put my old suit?

- T

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Okay... It's now 1:10am

And I'm doing an "early" post for Tuesday.


Anyhoo... I'll probably update the blog later today too, but I wanted to throw out a special announcement today...

I have finally inaugurated the new site...

Tucker's Photo Blog

Da, da, da DAAAAAA...

So... Go check it out. 'Cause... It's actually "good" photography, rather than the stuff I post here, like this:

12:00 midnight in the living room.

Actually... The "new" Photo Blog is my attempt to be "artistic." That's right... The artist actually feels creative and needs to have an outlet.

We all deal with things differently. And frankly... We deal with things differently at different times as well. As I've been under a lot of stress... I have gone through several "stages of mood" and I'm now at the "be creative" stage... (The former were "absolute despair" characterised by staring into space; "absolute escapism" characterised by reading 400 pages of fantasy/thriller fiction a day; "railing at the world" characterised by long drawn out blog entries about politics and religion... And finally I'm at the "creative" stage that kicks in when it's at the darkest BEFORE THE DAWN!

That's right folks... I've now hit the phase that I normally experience just before things start to finally go RIGHT! So... I'm actually in a pretty good mood.

So... Please... Check out the NEW Photo Blog every day for an interesting photo, and occasionally words of "artistic" merit. Or something... ;-)


-- Tuckmac

Monday, February 20, 2006

You know... Sometimes you just want to get...


But you don't.

But man... I really could've used a good "session" last night. I had a few drinks, but just not enough to get completely arsed!


Och weel... Perhaps it's for the best.

Today My Lady and I left Memnon behind:

Memnon, bereft and lonely, in the back-garden

And went down to the park to do some skating... And in the interest of being silly... I'm including TWO photos, one of My Lady yelling something, and one of me almost falling over doing some weird "disco" thing:

Currently, my Lady and I are in our favourite coffee shop... I've been playing with the blog-layout thinggy again, and am about to go get to work on the website... Whilst Fiona applies for a job back in the UK.

Interesting, no?


But at least the coffee is hot, and strong... And the music that's being piped over the shop's sound-system is an interesting mix of neo-punk-emo stuff, and light Jazz.

Don't ask me.

I'm off... Wish Fi and I luck as we apply for more and more jobs that will undoubtedly ignore us. Oh... Before I go... Cheers and BIG Thanks to three people whom have been supportive in sending "job-ops" when they've been found... Thanks Dors and Joann and my friend in Italy, Brett.

Thanks to the REST of my readers for their happy thoughts, and supportive comments... And, in the case of Abi... Commiseration!

Smiles and Kittens.




So, someone in Nebraska won the Powerball.


We bought "four" tickets... I should admit... I bought four tickets... One for me... One for my Lady, one for my mother, and one for the "poopy" Agamemnon.

We didn't win.


Och weel...

You know... The funny thing about the lottery... Is that I really didn't want to win. I'm serious. There's all sorts of stuff that goes with winning a really huge amount of money. Lawyers... Yahts... Etc...

No thank you.

But... Money would really solve most of the issues that I'm having. Student loans coming due... Immigration... Lack of a "house" etc...

Money would be nice.

But... I have to admit... There's a deep-seated Minnesotan thing, in me.

I want to earn the money.

I really do.

I want to be a "bread-winner" for the fam. I would actually like a "career."

Gods, would that be great.

I have this thing... I keep "playing" the lottery, knowing that I won't win. Sound strange? Well... I admit that it is rather strange. But... I have this strange belief, that if I "buy lottery tickets" and such... That the "fates" won't actually give me the lottery... Rather, they'd give me the opportunity to "win" in life, instead. I'd get the "job" that I've always wanted... And although I wouldn't be making "millions," I'd suddenly have enough money to just "live."

Is that so wrong?

The idea of making enough money to "exist" in modern society?

I figured it out. I need to make around $45,000 USD to just have the "life" that is talked about.

I want simple things: A home (whether it be a flat, or a stand-alone house). A car (just one, and because of my mother being really great, I already have that) A way to pay the bills (a job) a way to save up money (a job) a way to pay off student loans... A job...

It's really pretty simple. A job. That's it. Not a "bartending" job... No... A "real" job. One with a pension, a health-plan... A job.

That's all.

I know that I'd contribute to society. I can. I'm intelligent.... A hard worker... An innovator... Etc....

It's there, IN me... And all I need is an employer, to give me a chance.

If you're an employer... I have a masters degree... I work my ASS off... I'll learn and subscribe to any work environment that you want...

Just give me a chance.

I want to just have a normal life. I want a home for my wife and family... I want to pay off my debt to the banks for my education... I want to be able to put away money for retirement... I want to just be NORMAL... Is that SO wrong?




... T

Friday, February 17, 2006

February is interesting...

It's meant to get down to -20°F (-29°C) tonight...

It was cold today... It's already down to -24°C right now, according to my weird "Weather Genie" on the right column.


But... I heard a Minnesotan complaining about the cold today, and kindly waited until she left... And then commented on the fact that she was being silly.

I mean... It's been so BLOODY WARM this winter in the Midwest in the US, that we really shouldn't complain... It's been GORGEOUS!

And now... That it's a "bit" cold... People start complaining! Typical.

But really... It's a bit MORE normal now, and My Lady is getting a taste of what Minnesota is REALLY like... So... Muahahahaha.

No, seriously... It's been really warm, comparatively, and now it's a bit more normal. In defence of My Lady, she asked, "Is this really meant to be cold?"

Bless her.

We're okay...

And I hope you've noticed the "changes" on the blog... How does it look? Seriously? Any ideas?

-- Tuckmac

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Cleaning up, and goofing off.

Hi folks...

Just a short entry today. I've been spending time playing around with the "blog" and you'll notice (hopefully) that I've moved things about, removed some of the drek... Added some drek ('cause: why not) and generally goofed about.

I hope you like the "look" as it's a BIT different.

I have to admit, although I'm not really all that good at CSS and stuff like that... I'm finally starting to get the hang of it.

The life and times of an ex²-pat Yank. Will most probably keep "looking" different, as I mess about some more in the next few weeks.

I, as always, value your comments!

Cheers, and "Happy Thursday."

-- Tuckmac


I know this guy. He's really intelligent, and although we've been both friends and enemies BOTH, I know my life has been better because of him.

Currently, we're on one of those "enemy" times. I'm not saying we're "I hate him" and vice versa, it's just that occasionally, with adults, you have to admit that life changes, and sometimes people get left behind.

I like him. I'm missing him. But... Meh, shite happens.

Anyhoo... Even though we had a fight, and we're "not talking" or whatever that means... I admit that I still go and read his blog.

And he's been bringing up a few points in it that frankly anger me, but also... I have to admit... Have made me think.

He has problems with "opinions."

Not that he doesn't think that people should HAVE them... On the contrary, he's one of the most opinionated people I know. He loves a good argument, and has always been very fair in accepting that others might not agree with HIS opinions. However, his issue is with the sharing of opinions. He's decided that using a blog to share opinions is a bad thing. He feels that it incites disagreements more than it allows for a free-flowing of ideas.

Perhaps he's right. I don't know... I really don't. I've been taken to task a number of times by this person, due to my "opining" on a blog. I've been accused of not "self-editing" and being deliberately hurtful.

I've apologised to him for pissing him off... But he's not accepted the apology. And to certain respects, I understand his reluctance to forgive. You see... The guy KNOWS me... And he knows that although I'll apologise for a specific occurrence, or misunderstanding... I'm not actually going to change.

And perhaps that's what he's looking for. He's hoping that I'll come around and stop making broad generalisations, and ranting at the world.

And you know what? That's just not going to happen. The danger of a BLOG however, is something that I understand with him having a serious problem. You see... In the past... If we were sitting in a bar in St. Paul, and had an argument... And fought... Well... We'd be the only people HEARING my rant (or his) and we didn't sow discontent.

Because a blog is "world-wide" and is out there for every Tom-Dick and Harriet to see... Well... That opens it to a whole new realm. If I complain about "Americans" on this blog... Then I have the potential for angering a HUGE SWATH of the population. (I'm not saying that many people actually READ this space, I know that I only have about 30 readers a day so... It's not an ego trip, here.)

If I have the ability to anger THAT many people, due to a misplaced comment on this blog... Should I maybe STOP being an asshat, and temper my rants, my comments, and my opinions?

My answer is no.

Not because I''m an asshat (although, perhaps I am) but I can't see that fostering communication in ANY way is a bad thing.

It goes back to my beliefs about art in general. I believe that causing a response, whether it be a "happy" or a "pissed off" one is a wonderful thing.

Serrano created a piece titled "Piss Christ" and he was currently using a grant from the US government... He, and others, sparked a huge debate about the government paying for "horrific smut" masquerading as "fine art" and it's creation is still rippling through today's society.

His message was disturbing, and it created a dialogue that is still in existence.

Frankly... If I can find value in something like "Piss Christ" then I can easily find value in what I do in a few words on a blog. If I live up to my own belief system, that controversial art is as valid as "pretty" Impressionistic work... Then I feel I have an obligation to continue doing what I do... I write a "rant" type blog. I think I do it pretty well. And...

It's really quite simple. If I piss you off, comment. OR... Don't read this space again.

That's a choice that everyone has... In my "free country" or even in other "not so free" countries. You can CHOOSE not to read my blog.

You can CHOOSE not to view Serrano's work.

You can CHOOSE to participate in discussions, or to ignore them.

Trying to stifle my "creativity" in order to promote some sort of mythical "civility" is doomed to failure. Our society is no longer "civil." I refuse to allow myself to buckle to pressure from friends or enemies...

I write.

You can read, or not. That's your choice.

I hope you DO. I value my thoughts, and sincerely hope that even if you get cheesed off reading this space, you'll actually get something out of them. If I anger you, I am sorry that you feel that way... But it's not going to change who I am as a person.

Frankly... I have faith in my readers... If you've been following this space for a while, and you keep coming back... You obviously find some sort of "value" when you come here.

To those... I thank you.

To any NEW readers that have had to put up with a really long entry... I thank YOU. Please come back!

I enjoy comments... I enjoy communication... And I will continue to "communicate" into the ether that is the internet.

Thanks, everyone, for reading!



Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Just another Manic, TUESday... La, la la... Part DUEX


Just learned from the Welsh-speaking Guy, that there are 29 athletes from Minnesota competing in the Olympics, and only 40 from the entirety of "Great Britain." Man...

No offence, but Britain... YOU SUCK. No... Not really... But FORTY? We're a little state in the U.S. and we only have 11 less athletes than YOU competing in the Olympics?


Poor Brits.

Okay... Thailand is weird.

For the two links below, feel free to use "Bug Me Not" to avoid signing up for the site:

Now we're going to try to oust a democratically elected body from a foreign country, and that's not a BAD THING? Man... The Yanks will do absolutely anything now a days. Geez. I want to state for the record, as an American, that I do NOT agree with this strategy. Okay? NOT ME! Do not come over here and do something awful to the tall-thin Yank living in Minnesota. Thanks.

I think it's absolutely hilarious that Cheney shot a buddy. I mean... Torture? Okay... Sending innocents to the mid-East to BE tortured? Okay... Secret prisons in Europe? Okay. Secret wire-tapping on Americans? Okay.

Shooting one of your best friends? Okay.

Why are people shocked?

I mean... For crying out-loud the Deputy Prime Minister of Britain, John Prescott punches people... Everyone knows that in Britain, they don't use guns, and that in America, we do... So... The similarities are THERE, if you look for them.

Tee hee.

Personal news... More job searches and yet another job-application have been sent out today.

No, I still haven't heard anything back from ANYONE.

Yes, I'm starting to get really tired of this.

No, I'm not going to give up.

Yes, I'm playing the $300 Million Powerball Minnesota Lottery, wouldn't you?


Monday, February 13, 2006

Okay... A bit of a mish-mash of stuff today.

So, I've seen all this stuff, lately... And thought it was time to get rid of all of it at once.

The first thing, is a rather scary "exam" for an artist. It's a "Could you pass 8th grade math" test.

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 9/10 correct!

Wow. I guess I'm not as silly as I thought! YAY!

Second of all... It's easier to just give you the link... But I checked out my friend Janice's Blog, and she has a list of what she'd do if she won the $300 Million Lotto, so... I put up a list there: Little Sis' Blog

Third... My friend Librarianna posted a "tag" Meme at me, so... I thought I'd answer it today... Although... I'm not "tagging" anyone. No offence meant, but I don't know who else to send this to! I don't know that many people with a blog. However... If any of my READERS want to respond to this Meme... Just put YOURS up on the comments for this entry!

Okay... Here goes:

Four jobs I've had:

  • High School Art Teacher

  • Bartender (three different places)

  • Barrista

  • Arby's Sandwich Maker

Four movies I can watch over and over:

  • Princess Bride

  • Star Wars IV (Or the first one, whatever)

  • Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain

  • The Professional (Léon)

Four books I could read over and over:
(First, I read EVERY book over and over, so I thought I'd do author's instead)

  • C.S. Lewis (agree with Librarianna here)

  • David Eddings

  • J.R.R. Tolken

  • John Sanford

Four TV shows I love:
(Okay, so I don't really LIKE T.V., so "love" is a strong word)

  • BBC Breakfast (Gods, do I miss it.)

  • CSI (the original "Las Vegas" one, and yes... I know it's all fake, Kelly!)

  • Law and Order: Criminal Intent

  • ANY Star Trek

Four places I've lived:

  • Bloomington, MN USA

  • Albuquerque, NM USA

  • Bozeman, MT USA

  • Canterbury, Kent UK

Four places I've vacationed:

  • Scotland

  • Paris, France

  • Yosemite, California

  • Grand Canyon, Arizona

Four of my favorite dishes:

  • Enchiladas

  • Fettucini Alfredo

  • Turkey Burgers and Chips

  • Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy with a bit of veg.

Four sites I visit daily:

Four places I would rather be right now:

  • Canterbury, England

  • Edinburgh, Scotland

  • Nice, France

  • Portland, Oregon (gotta visit some particular friends.)

Okay... That was actually a bitch.

Gah. But still... Thanks Librarianna you're a doll.

Okay folks... Think that's enough messing about for one day. See ya later!

-- Tuckmac

Saturday, February 11, 2006

A facsinating conundrum:

Okay... More about this "Muslim Outrage against the Danish Cartoons."

If you're a bit more bored than I am about this topic, feel free to skip today's blog entry. I hope you won't. 'Cause I found an interesting conflict found in the past two day's news.

• David Brooks of the New York Times wrote a "commentary" piece about the current state of affairs in the Muslim protests. Now... Usually, since he's the "conservative" guy on the NY Times columnists' office... I don't agree with him AT all. I just hate the fact that the guy tends to ignore Bush's complete incompetence and play's the "cheerleader" to the current despotic administration ruling America. However... He really did hit on a topic that I found TRUE, and I'm not sure if I feel very comfortable about that... However:

"We (the West) believe in progress and in personal growth. By swimming in this flurry of perspectives, by facing unpleasant facts, we try to come closer and closer to understanding.

But you have a different way. When I say you, I don't mean you Muslims. I don't mean you genuine Islamic scholars and learners. I mean you Islamists. I mean you young men who were well educated in the West, but who have retreated in disgust from the inconclusiveness and chaos of our conversation. You've retreated from the agora into an exaggerated version of Muslim purity."

Read the entire column here: David Brooks New York Times: How vast is the chasm between West, Islamists. And seriously... Read the whole thing. It's actually well written, balanced, and fair. It points the finger NOT at the Muslims and true believers of Islam, but at the hate-mongering fundamentalists that seem to have a vast control over their more main-stream voices of Islam.

• Here's an example of why I'm getting more and more CHEESED OFF about the protests: Islam-West divide 'grows deeper'. A quote from the article is this:

"Long live Islam. Destroy Denmark. Destroy Israel. Destroy George Bush. Destroy America," protesters shouted as they marched to the Danish embassy in the rain from a nearby mosque.

Let's break this protest down, shall we?

"Long Live Islam!" Okay... Good. I like that. You're proud of your faith, and you want it to continue. I get that. Good for you.

"... Denmark" Hmm... This one's a bit fuzzy. So... A newspaper prints some cartoons, and you want to destroy the ENTIRE NATION because of that? Seems a bit strong, to me.

"... Israel" Um... Now... What does THAT have to do with the cartoons? Hmm? I mean, really... This seems to be a whole DIFFERENT kettle of fish that you're dragging into your protest. What did Israel have to do with the cartoons exactly?

... George Bush Ah... Again. How did MY president piss you off? I mean... Okay... Iraq, I get it. I'm not too happy with him for bringing my country to Iraq either. However... As a believer in Democracy, as opposed to DESTROYING someone... I'm just waiting till the next elections, when hopefully we replace his administration. You know... Using LAW. That weird tricky little thing that every society exists upon? Even your OWN... Law. Due process? Heard of that? And again... My president had NOTHING to do with your cartoon problem. So piss off. "W" is a bit of a twit... And I'm not fond of his administration, but you saying crap like that? Well... Even this liberal-tree-hugger takes a bit of offence. 'K?

... America Now just HOLD ON A FRICKING MINUTE! America has nothing to do with your current protest either. Nothing. Our newspapers were not silly enough to reprint these awful cartoons! Okay? We didn't print them. Our Muslim citizens are not treated like the Muslims in Europe. We actually ARE a melting pot, and our citizens all seem to get along fine... So you just FUCK RIGHT OFF there. Man.

Jeez... These "protests" are pure examples of fundamentalists getting control of crowds, and using them as a platform for more of their hate speech. Mohammed (peace be upon him) forgive your people, for they know not what they do.

• Finally... The coup de grace. (Feel free to use "Bug Me Not" for this one)In Small Town, 'Grease' Ignites a Culture War. So... We of the West are touting our "free-speech" and all of that... And yet... In "small town" America... We have people banning plays like "Grease" because it violates our "Christianity" in some way?

So what's the "fascinating conundrum" of which I titled this blog entry?

Fundamentalism. On BOTH sides of the cultural divide exist. And as main-stream citizens... It's time we started standing UP to the fundamentalists, both Christian and Muslim, and tell them to shut the hell up, and STOP speaking for ME.

Alright... Thanks for actually finishing reading. I LOVE your comments!


Friday, February 10, 2006

Okay, it's been a week.

Greetings readers.

I want to make a public apology to my American friends. Several people reacted badly to my "American Socialising" blog entry. They took it extremely personally. And they were not meant to do so.

The blog entry was not specific in it's rant about American socialising, because it was not MEANT to be specific. I was speaking of the fact that Americans tend to NOT socialise. AMERICANS! Not my best friends. I see my friends. Perhaps, not as often as I would like... But I see them.

The rant STANDS as a rant against a cultural lack of socialising in America. I wrote the entry because Fiona and I went out, and saw no one in a pub except a few (six) 20-somethings.

So, one final time. I am sorry that I angered my personal AMERICAN friends.

Now... That that is said. I want to say that I still think Americans IN GENERAL, with a broad stereotyping brush do not like to go out. Americans, once past their 20's seem to enjoy staying at home, and being APART from people.

I find that weird. ME. I do. This is my blog. I can say things that are my opinion here. And it is just my opinion.

I have always had this opinion. When I was in university at River Falls, I had a talk with a fellow 20-something. He was saying that his ideal "calm down" and "place" is to be away from people. His idyllic dream was (and probably still IS) to go to a quiet bubbling brook, in a far off forest with no people around, to think.

Since people don't live in forests or BY them, I'm assuming that the "home" is the replacement for this. I was perhaps a bit cruel in talking about Americans and their tellies... I do know some Americans who do not turn ON a T.V. to relax. They read, they ponder, they troll the internet. Whatever.


However... I still find that strange. I always have. When my friend from uni, spoke of HIS idea of "calm downs"... I told him mine: "To sit in the skyway (over-head walkways in Minneapolis filled with people travelling indoors instead of out) and watch humanity bustle around me."

Weird, huh?

But seriously... If I want to calm down, I need to be OUT somewhere with tonnes of people moving about, and living their own busy lives. There's something about the frenetic pace of humanity that allows me to "step outside" if you will, of my own body and busy mind, and "see, feel, know" that I'm NOT alone in my crazy life.

If I'm alone, my brain goes into some sort of 'over-load' where I can't seem to think, or relax, or feel good. I can't. The longer I'm alone, the more stressed I get.

I make jokes about "camping" and how my idea of roughing it, is a hotel WITHOUT room service. Or that I hate bugs (which I really do) But the truth is... I just HATE being out in the middle of nowhere with nothing and no one in sight except the occasional ground-squirrel. GAH! The fucking HORROR! If I were allowed to pitch my tent in Times Square in New York, or Piccadilly Circus in London, and still have a campfire and cooler filled with beer... I'd GO for it. Wow... That would be great, grilling vegan weenies over and open-fire and a can of Guinness whilst watching most of America or England streaming past me! THAT would be relaxing!

I like Britain, not because of the heavy drinking... But the fact that it's ASSUMED you're going to go out occasionally to the pub (which is JUST a meeting place) and talk with people, interact with bar-staff and friends and perfect strangers... As a matter of COURSE. I miss that.

I really do.

-- Tuckmac (an obviously "Brit-like" American stuck in a boring place.)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Just another Manic, TUESday... La, la la...

Yeah, well.

Okay, so after being a shut in all weekend, due to some strange "stomach bug" that seemed to linger from Friday through Monday morning... My Lady and myself took a journey down to Kieran's Irish Pub last night.

What was on?


What event was occurring?


That's right... It was an "old fashioned pub trip" in America. We didn't go to the pub to see music. We didn't go to see friends (although, we're friendly with the staff) we didn't "expect" anything. We just went down to the pub.

We had a nice meal. Drank a few pints. And had a generally fun evening.

Fiona at Kieran's doing her "Aimele Look"

Me looking decidedly UN-amused. Although, actually I was. Strange, no?

Now... Why do I bring up this "Pub for pub's sake" thing?

'Cause it's something that My Lady (being of a different culture) has been noticing... And frankly, since I'd been LIVING in Britain for two years... I've been noticing it too.

It's the decided LACK of socialising that the American's tend to have.

It's a serious lack. I kid you not. Both Fiona and myself have been feeling the pain of it, since returning to the U.S.

Look... Americans, I don't want to bitch, but seriously...

You lot are fucking BORING! Seriously. Really... Really... BORING!

Fiona and I were discussing it, and brought my Mother into the conversation as well, to defend the Yanks... But there's NO defence. It's a down-right strange cultural phenomenon. But Americans seem to hate socialising. Oh... Not when they're in their early 20's and going out on the piss. (Brit for going out to get drunk) But after that brief moment in the life-span of an average American... It just goes away. My mother brought up several reasons, that are okay ones, but...

Reasons American's don't go out to the pub three or more times a week:
(or even ONCE a week, for that bloody matter)

1. Drinking is too expensive to do often.
2. It's too dangerous to drive, and there's no close pubs to homes
3. After a long day at work, you're too tired to go out.
4. People drinking aren't any fun... They're loud and obnoxious
5. American's have better things to do than go out to the pub.

Tucker and Fi's questions that Americans should think about:

1. Somehow going home and watching the cable television that you get for sometimes $100.00 per month PLUS is cheaper than two pints out at a pub three times a week? Don't have cable. T.V. is shite. Go be social.

2. Okay... It's bad to drink and drive. You've never heard of a sober cab? But Brits have figured out the having a "sober driver" is still being social. There's many a time that either myself, or Fiona will stay sober to drive, whilst allowing the other to have a "good time" and strangely enough... One does not actually have to drink an alcoholic beverage to have a good time at a pub.

3. Don't you realise that after a drink at a pub, you relax and stop thinking about a tough day? Having an "after work drink" is the best way to "turn off" and let the day go away. How many Americans sit around their homes and ruminate of the failures of the day, and kvetch and moan, and bitch about how bad work was? Quite a bloody few! That's how many.

4. The only truly obnoxious people I've run across in pubs and bars are people who are not USED to drinking, and therefore get ripped and annoying. A tolerance and safe amount of drinking keeps one from being an ass.

5. What? Go home and watch the television? Seriously? I've mentioned this one, in "Number 1" as a bad idea already.

So... Yeah. There.

Sorry... But the socialising thing is really getting to me and to My Lady. It's not like we're lushes... But the idea of ALWAYS being at home is really depressing to us. And it really should be for YOU lot too... Weird Yankie bastids!

Och weel... Britain is looking better and better.

That's it for today, folks... Pardon the rant. Love ya!

-- Tuckmac

Monday, February 06, 2006


Where are all the BLOODY JOBS in this "BOUNTIFUL ECONOMY?"


I ask you?



Other note... I KNEW the Steelers would win. I just KNEW it. And no... I didn't watch the frigging game. Who cares about American Football?

Not me. Sorry... But just don't give a rats-arse.

Smiles though.

[Edit: 4:55pm CST - Feb, 6, 2006]

Two photos... I had to make a head-shot of My Lady for a job application. (Don't ask me... They only hire "pretty" people?) Anyhoo... Since she had to do one, and we had the studio set up for it... She made one of me too... Thought we'd be cute and put them up here.

Ain't she cute!

Aren't I NOT so?


Sunday, February 05, 2006

A quiet Sunday.

You know... The problem with trolling the internet for news all week, is that, come Sunday... You're already immune to outrage.

I mean, seriously... Today, in the Star and Sickle, there was nothing to really get my dander up. No offence meant, against the print-media, but... They're slow. Half of the stuff I read today is something that either myself or others had already blogged about, or something that's already been on the BBC or Google News.

I don't know... "Muslim Outrage" or "Democracy is bad if they don't agree with Bush."

Gah. (Just 'cause I can't resist: First editorial... Piss off... Free speech is Free speech. I'll concede that the European papers in question probably over-stepped their bounds, okay... I concede that. But now the response from the other side, is to BURN EMBASSIES! Come ON. I'd say the response to some ink, is a bit more over the top than running a few cartoons. And in response to the second editorial: Life's a bitch, when people vote. If the people are diametrically opposed to your idea of freedom and government... And then they get to choose who LEADS them... Chances are, you're not going to like the regime. Duh. I'm sure it's my own strange sense of humour, here... But the fact that Bush has been pushing for free and open elections in the Middle East... And when they have them, and the "terrorists' win" you have to have a small chuckle. Tee hee.)

Okay... Anyhoo...

My tummy was acting up last night, so My Lady and I did NOT attend the Opening at the MCP. I'm rather upset. Damn it. Why does my stomach control me? Why, gods... Why?

Had a wonderful time in River Falls with Dave and Judy on Friday. They've been through a lot of crap in their lives with visas (for Switzerland, not the U.S.) and a Master's Degree and NO WORK... And you know what? They've come through smelling of roses. So... It's nice. It's nice to know that there's a possibility for happiness at the end of this long-hard-slog.

Personal news? Our (I-130) form is "received" and is in "Process" with the U.S. Government. What does that mean? Um... Not much... But the Gov. KNOWS that Fiona's my wife, and we're trying to get a visa, now. So... In a YEAR, I'll let you know the outcome.


That's about it for today.

Have a "good un."

-- T

Friday, February 03, 2006

Nifty... I'm on the Simpsons.

Found a link on Corey Anderson's American Idle Blog. It's hilarious!

Make your own Simpson's Character. Here's MY attempt:

You TOO can "be a Simpson" by clicking HERE:
Devil Ducky, The Simpsonmaker

Tee hee.

-- T

Had a nice one yesterday

Well... Actually, it's still today, but... You're all going to "read" this on Friday, and it's 12:16 am, as I write this... So.

Today, It's a "picture blog" day.

First: A real "Tucker Being an Artist Pic" on the Minnesota River:

Old Cedar Bridge, Bloomington, MN - 2006

Next, a photo of My Lady in St. Paul, during our "Tuesday Art Field Trip."

Fiona, across from Fort Snelling, St. Paul, MN - 2006

Next... Actual PROOF of Global-fucking-warming in 2006!

Green-shit growing in a stream, feeding into the Minnesota River in Bloody FEBRUARY IN MINNESOTA!

The above really freaked me out! I'm serious. Look, I've just returned from England, and I know for folks on the "Other side of the pond" seeing green-stuff is NOT that strange for you, in February. For a Minnesotan? In my HOME STATE? It's fucking unbelievable! I kid you not. Ask another Mid-westerner from the States. This is NOT a good thing!

Anyhoo... A final photo of My Lady and Agamemnon walking in the woods by the Minnesota River:

Hope you all enjoy it. Tonight, we're going to be in River Falls, visiting friends. And tomorrow, there's a great opening at the MCP, and I'm dragging My Lady to it. Look... She can haul my ass to the Walker all she wants, as long as I get to go look at photography every once and a while.

Smiles Folks!

-- Tuckmac

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I admit... Yesterday, I took a day off.

Man, was I a MESS yesterday.

Grandfather of all hangovers. Gah. Man.

I'm okay today, though... Thank all the gods.

Anyhoo... It's been a "news-trolling" day today, and I just can't resist.

• I've been reading about the Muslim protests' of Euro-papers and products from Denmark, and you all have to check this out: "More European papers defy Muslim Protests." I made a comment on the BBC "Talking Points" about this, but was limited to 500 characters. Look... Free-speech is a democratic right. Removing "free-speech" 'cause it damages your sensibilities is not something that we should allow to happen. Islam and democracy do not seem to go hand in hand. Either you're a free-government or not. Muslims... You get to choose. That's what freedom is all about. Boycott if you wish, that's your right. But do not think for a fucking SECOND that I agree with your 3000 year-old Sharia bull shit. I find it fascinating that the people who seem to have the biggest problem with a paper printing a few cartoons of Muhammad are the same people who seem to find stoning a woman for adultery to be an appropriate response.

In search of a clear view of Bush. An interesting viewpoint... I guess. Weird fucker.

• I read This analysis of "Google" and really couldn't figure out where the guy was going. Seriously... It's the most VAGUE "analysis" I've read in a long, bloody, time.

REALLY????? Shee-it.

• Yet another "litigious society" example from TechDirt. I mean... Jaysus Christ-ay. Turn down the bloody volume!

• Has our marvellous president been giving away neato ideas to Greece? Hmm...

Okay... That's about it.

By the way... By looking at my Stats... I see that there's a LOT o' people that read my blog daily. Here's a BIG thank you for your "reading support" of my meanderings. However... Commenting on my blog makes me REALLY happy... So if you're visiting from various and sundry places all over the globe (according to my little "Cluster-map" thinggy on lower right column of this blog) I'd love to hear from you! I mean... I got a person from some strange country next to Australia. What the ? That's just cool! Please feel free to comment... Or even just say "Hi" or something.