Sunday, December 31, 2006

Saddam executed

So Saddam is dead.

I think these quotes epitomize exactly how complicated the situation is.

Quote 1:
Another witness, national security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie, told the New York Times newspaper one of the guards shouted at Saddam: "You have destroyed us. You have killed us."

"You have made us live in destitution."
Quote 2:
Um Abdullah, a Sunni and teacher in Tikrit, said she would wear black to mourn the city's favourite son.

"Saddam will be a hero in our eyes," she said.

"I have five kids and I will teach them to take revenge on Americans."
This is the end of one of history's chapters, though the specific book volume has yet to be concluded. I don't know what to make of it all. Look at how different the two quotes are, and I think we will begin to appreciate the complexity of Iraq, and why the war continues today. It was a severe miscalculation on the part of the US to not predict potential civil war after Saddam's deposition. But even if they had been able to predict it, I have no idea what the proper course of action could have been. It's just too complicated, too big for my small mind.

A good summary of the man's life.

Monday, December 18, 2006

I couldn't have said it better

The man understands.

Dear Blog

How have you been? It's been a while.

Over here, it's been very strange. We had this crazy storm where windspeed peaked at about 100 km/h. When I woke up in the morning, all the electricity was out, so I had to try to brush my teeth in the dark. It was really awkward. My toothpaste kept missing my toothbrush.

On the way to work, all these branches were all over the streets, all the street lights were out, and the stop lights were all bent out of shape. It was pretty crazy.

When I got to work, I was very thankful for being a guy. A co-worker told me about her horrors of trying to get ready for the day without any light. Apparently, it's hard to do the normal day preparations when you're a girl and it's dark.

Anyway, that was a few days ago. But I was speaking with a friend today, and his place just got electricity back today. Wow.

I was thinking, dear blog, wouldn't it be great if we communicated more often? Perhaps I could set up a voice mailbox for you. Then whenever I needed to tell you something, I could just call your number and leave you a voice mail. If you wanted, you could transcribe everything through your fancy voice recognition algorithms, and you could put everything up as a series of podcasts. I googled it, and apparently there are a few services out there already that can do this type of mobile ad hoc podcasting....

But that would be horrible then, wouldn't it, dear blog? Because then I wouldn't have any need for you anymore. Let's face it, it'd be much more convenient for me to just leave voice mails and have them uploaded into podcasts, rather than typing up reams and reams of virtual text. But you're lucky, dear blog, for I'm awfully attached to you. I know that our relationship has been on-off over the past couple of years, but really, you were my first, and you're my only.

OK, fine, you weren't my first. It was that open source software by Movable Type that first caught my heart. I hosted it off of my personal webspace provided by SFU. But I knew that couldn't last forever, so I moved to you. Movable Type wasn't really anything in the first place, you know that. The upkeep was horrendous, trying to keep up with new versions, backing up the folders, etc. I really much would rather you take care of all that. I really found out about you first anyway, way before I knew about Movable Type. Jamie Cheng introduced me to you when I was in grade 11, do you remember that? So I had to come to you.

It was a tough choice, you know, dear blog. So many out there use Xanga instead. And everytime I wanted to leave a comment on somebody's Xanga, I had to be anonymous because I didn't have a Xanga account. It was really annoying. So I got a Xanga account to leave comments, and only to leave comments. You understand, don't you? Besides, you do the exact same thing, forcing people to leave anonymous comments if they don't have a Blogger account. You shouldn't be the pot calling the kettle black. Or was it the kettle calling the pot black? I could never remember.

Now, dear blog, I know that we do have a difficult time getting our message across to each other. In fact, I feel it's been an awfully one-way street. I don't know how much more I can give without you giving back to me, and I need you to know that I feel this way. This isn't a good relationship, dear blog. It's not healthy. It's one-sided, and relationships aren't supposed to be one-sided. Why do you not speak with me ever? It makes me quite sad.

I am going to leave this all in your hands, dear blog. Because you see, I don't know if I can do this anymore. It will be up to you, dear blog, as to whether or not the relationship will continue. Please respect me enough to give me an answer. Think of all the time I spent with you, all of the energy I poured into you, all of the loyalty I've given you. It was all for you, dear blog. And I still care for you deeply, but there are times when care needs to be reciprocal. That's all.

I bid thee adieu, dear blog. Until we meet again. This dandelion is for you.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

If you have something unique, you have skills

Check it out.

The guy's got like a monopoly on manual dolphin stomach-pumping when no fancy equipment is available.

Wouldn't it be great to have some crazy unique thing about you that would be in demand in only rare specific scenarios? Like the ability to speak Klingon, and then all of a sudden real Klingons attack the planet earth! You (and a bunch of other trekkies around the world) would be instantly in demand as our main diplomats and spies!

I wish I had a talent. And not just any talent. But a unique one. Don't you hate it when people say that you have a unique talent, but you know that it's actually not that unique? Spouting interesting conversation on demand would be nice too. I admire people who can do that. I can only do it in specific scenarios, and can be quite good if I can get going. But I can't do it on demand. It sucks sometimes, huh? You know it does, you've experienced it too. :p

When Vienna Teng came by Vancouver for her concert, she closed off with this song, saying she wanted to end the night on a happy note. I like listening to it. :)

By Vienna Teng

We're here where the daylight begins
The fog on the streetlight slowly thins
Water on water's the way
The safety of shoreline fading away

Sail your sea
Meet your storm
All I want is to be your harbor
The light in me
Will guide you home
All I want is to be your harbor

Fear is the brightest of signs
The shape of the boundary you leave behind
So sing all your questions to sleep
The answers are out there in the drowning deep

You've got a journey to make
There's your horizon to chase
So go far beyond where we stand
No matter the distance
I'm holding your hand