Monday, February 19, 2007

Who, me?

Ruling Planet: Mercury
Quality: Mutable
Element: Earth

Short Summary

Virgo's are one of the most misunderstood signs of the zodiac. People think they're fussy, critical bad tempered and picky but that's only because they want everything to be perfect. This is the sign of cleanliness, although lots of Virgo's have the grottiest bedrooms and hang their clothes on the floor. They're extremely inquisitive and have a dreadful time trying to relax. Virgo's make fantastic friends. If a minor crises pops up you can be sure the Virgo will have everything under control in 30 seconds. They are always on the move because they like to learn as much as they can before they take off again. They excel at work so they probably get all the boring jobs (the ones Leo wouldn't be seen dead doing)

Long Summary

Virgo's are highly intelligent, interested in everything and everyone and happy to be busy with many jobs and hobbies. Many have some kind of specialized knowledge and most are good with their hands. Their nit-picking ways can infuriate their colleagues. They find it hard to discuss their innermost feelings and this can make them hard to understand. In many ways, they are happier doing something practical than dealing with relationships. These people can overdo the self-sacrificial bit and make themselves martyrs to other people's impractical lifestyles. They are willing to fit in with whatever is going on and they can adjust to most things, but they mustn't neglect their own needs. Although excellent communicators and wonderfully witty conversationalists, Virgo's prefer to express their deepest feelings by actions rather than words. Most avoid touching all but very close friends and family members and they find lovey-dovey behavior embarrassing. These people can be very highly sexed and they may use this as a way of expressing love. Virgo's are criticized a good deal as children and are often made to feel unwelcome in their childhood homes. They in turn become very critical of others and they can use this in order to wound.

Many Virgo's overcome inhibitions by taking up acting, music, cookery or sports. Acting is particularly common to this sign because it allows them to put aside their fears and take on the mantle of someone quite different. They are shy and slow to make friends but when they do accept someone, they are the loyalist, gentlest and kindest of companions. They are great company and have a wonderful sense of humor.

Perfect Partners: Taurus, Capricorn
Nearly Perfect Partners: Cancer, Scorpio
Like Minded Souls: Virgo
Opposites You're Attracted To: Aries, Aquarius
Learn From Your Differences: Leo, Libra
Not Your Destiny: Gemini, Sagittarius
Astrological Hell: Pisces

And you are?

Check it out at:

Kelly’s Star Signs

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Hello, Hal.

Novels and movies such as A Space Odyssey and I, Robot have made cynicism of robotics second nature, the water-cooler thought that robots will attack humans and take over the world a collectively held view with nary a shrug.

And speaking of sci-fi and cutting edge technology (weren‘t we?), here’s something I saw on the news today that has the potential to change lives, not to mention likely has the bazillion-dollar wheelchair and scooter industry quaking on their rims. The potential here is staggering. I can only imagine what it could mean for the bed bound, the paraplegic, and the disabled. And this is only the beginning. Surely future prototypes will be smaller and so easily hidden beneath clothes. And at $20,000 a pop? I don’t think it’s an unreasonable amount when compared to scooters and hydraulic van lifts and retrofitting homes and businesses to be wheelchair or scooter accessible, etc, etc. It could even, perhaps, be subsidized (or even partially subsidized) by the government. I mean, really, think of the workforce it could regenerate. Think of the possibilities. Think of the human aspect. Please.

Now compare that to the UC Berkeley Exoskeleton video below. Note the huge differences in bulk, size, weight, obvious strain on the wearer, and aesthetics.

Amazing. Simply amazing.

When I was a teen I had a friend in a boy whose name I’ll leave out for privacy sake. He was a sweet, wonderful person from a loving family who had everything going for him.

Life doesn’t blindside you when you seem to be standing still. No, life blindsides you when you’re heady and you’re happy and you let your guard down, just once.

This proves something. That maybe there’s a plan, though it’s hard to see or understand, if ever. That maybe we need to go down certain roads, forced down them if needs be, to see what we’re made of. That maybe when you let your guard down, you leave yourself open for some crazy-ass football player to blindside you. That was more or less what happened to a friend of mine as he crossed the train tracks beside the overpass on graduation night. It came in the form of a right front tire that drifted off the pavement and struck the full rail, his car coming to a stop on its roof. As you can imagine, it was a long and slow road to recovery—one full of unfathomable pain and depression.

Now years later, and he has overcome so much. He’s married (though he bet good money that would never happen) and a family man (though the doctors said it was impossible). Best of all, he’s again that sweet, wonderful person from a loving family who has everything going for him... but one. He’d like to someday walk with his children. It’s for him, and people like him, that I hope this suit succeeds.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Why Canadians Are So Tired

(Thanks for sending this, Val.)

No wonder we're so tired!

The population of Canadais 30 million.
11 million are retired, that leaves 19 million to do the work.
There are 5.5 million in school, which leaves 13.5 million to do
the work.

Of this there are 3 million employed by the federal government,
leaving 10.5 million to do the work.

1 million are in the armed forces, preoccupied with killing
Terrorists, which leaves 9.5 million to do the work.

Take from that total the 7 million people who work for Provincial
and city Governments, and that leaves 2.5 million to do the work.

At any given time, there are 476,000 people in hospitals, leaving
2,024,000 to do the work.

Now, there are 1,211,998 people in prisons and 812,000 on Employment
Insurance and Welfare.

That leaves just two people to do the work.

You and me.

And there you are sitting on your ass, at your computer, reading


Real nice.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Change Will Do You Good

First, my apologies for neglecting to post for the last little while. I promise to do better in the future. In fact, I’m currently at work on the next installment of To Write and will post it Monday (hopefully). Second, no doubt you’ve noticed the header change at the top. Like the song by the same name says: a change will do you good. And it did. Hope you like.

Speaking of changes, I’ve changed my style, my mind, my opinion, my stand, my hairstyle, my pen name, my clothes and just about everything else over the years, including my car.

The first car I ever owned was a Plymouth Satellite Sebring Plus V8. She was metallic black with white pin striping and white leather interior (oh baby!) and was used—sure—but so little she was mint. I loved that car. Babied that car. Washed it and waxed it and vacuumed it and was one of those annoying drivers who parked sideways to avoid dings… and when my mom wanted a New Yorker, I reluctantly traded it. So what happened to her? The guy that bought her jacked up the back, slapped on some mags, and ended up rolling and totaling her within a month. Damn shame, that.

Then there was my dad, who use to practically live by the old saying: “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” To understand how this ties into the change theme here, this was a man who installed mom’s brand new dishwasher before dishwashers were installable. I remember standing in the basement holding this and that water pipe while he soldered them together, proud as all-get-out that he’d asked me to help him do something professional plumbers swore up and down could not be done. Of course after it was, they came to the house in droves, looked it all over, and then went about making a fortune while he received none of the credit. Kind of the same way he blueprinted the first snowplow to fit train engines in the yards because he was tired of taking men away from their tasks to shovel the tracks by hand (he was a car inspector with the railway back then, checking cars for hot wheels, etc., and ordering them off the track when they weren’t A-1). It didn’t matter to dad that he wasn’t recognized for it, only that having it made everyone’s job that much easier. (I don't come from stupid people, just modest ones. *grin*)

Not that a new header is on the same par with my dad’s achievements, nor will it make my job easier. I just like it. And who knows? It could be the start of something better.

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