Get Foxfire

While Pr0n may have created the internet as we know it, there is no way I am going to let someone’s errant .jpeg on a non-flagged “not safe for work” blog posting eat my hard drive. I just removed the IE explorer icon from the desk top and created the Foxfire one.

Update: then I realize – is this a browser issue at all?   Do I have to get the Windows out of my computer entirely?   Who knows about this?

Gurkhas

Seeing as I have right of UK abode and can get citizenship based on where the folks were born, you can file this under “it’s about time”:

Gurkhas who have served in the British Army are to be allowed to apply to settle in the UK and gain British citizenship. The announcement made by Tony Blair follows a government review and a campaign by the Nepalese soldiers. The prime minister said the Gurkhas had made an “enormous contribution” and it was important that their commitment and sacrifice were recognised. Gurkhas have fought as part of the British Army for almost 200 years.

The Gurkhas are still part of the British army and, though they come from a small country have done more than the share of many larger nations:

During World War I some 100,000 Gurkhas enlisted in regiments of the Gurkha Brigade. They fought (and died) in France, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, Gallipoli, Palestine and Salonika. They won two Victoria Crosses. In World War II there were no fewer than forty Gurkha battalions some 112,000 men. Gurkhas fought side-by-side with British and Commonwealth troops in Syria, the Western Desert, Italy and Greece from North Malaya to Singapore and from the Siamese border back through Burma to Imphal then forward again to Rangoon. A total of ten Victoria Crosses were awarded to Gurkhas during World War II.

My father has a number of childhood stories shared from family members who fought in WWII and describe the skill with the knife of the Gurkhas and their way of dealing with Nazis. Recently they have publicly been in East Timor and Bosnia and when I hear of goings on on the Afghan-Pakistan border, I can’t imagine they are not there, too. Once at the CNE when I was a kid, we saw the tatoo and the Gurkhas marched – double time for the entire drill. Bagpipers, too.

The National Six-Pack

As I walk through this troubled world hunched over starting at my feet I sometimes wonder things. Things like why do the Red Ensign bloggers let me hang out when we don’t believe in too much in common. Things like why golf is. Things like why can’t Canada make good beer like the British and Americans do. Then I stand up straight and say out loud – “did I really think that?!?”

Through this summer’s examinations of all things aley, I have realized that I am not being much of a homer. Now, to be fair, no one is as attractive as the foreign girl at the party and when you travel it is nice to try different things so it is some what natural that you might pass the familiar confines of the Beer Store and trip down to the LCBO for a daring fling now and then…and who can blame you if you drag some friends news home after shopping. No one can – but now I’m coming home because for the next while, every couple of weeks or so, I am going to buy a six-pack and test it out. And I am going to try them pale (not necessarily my first pick on a trip to the power house) and see if there are any good Canadian ales that I can call my own again. Requests for test drives will be entertained.

The first guinea pig is McAuslan’s St. Ambrose Pale Ale from Quebec available at the LCBO and I think the Beer Store as well. This beer advocatonian hit the nail on the head:

Taste: Biscuity malt goodness with a nice smack of peppery/grassy hops on the finish.

When I think Canadian pale ale, I think pepper and grass thing that a certain type of our barley must add. This has it big time. Tastes like the beer your Dad drank in the 70s…no better as I think that is what I am going to say about Brick Red Cap. No big floral hoop-la over hops either, just a jaggedy bitter edge. The kind of beer that goes with a shot of rye. Grain as much as malt flavoured. Not sweet either. Both English and American pales are sweeter generally. The brewer says:

St-Ambroise Pale Ale is the brewery’s flagship beer. Introduced in February 1989, it is a hoppy, amber, full-flavoured ale. In The Simon and Schuster Pocket Guide To Beer , beer critic Michael Jackson gave it three stars and described it as: “An outstanding ale… amber-red, clean and appetizing, with a very good hop character, from its bouquet to its long finish. Hoppy, fruity, and tasty all the way through.”

Only available in half the Canadian provinces and apparently in Switzerland, too.

Dryden Explained

I like to read Living in Dryden but had thought it was the work of a crazy old guy sitting on a sofa screaming at the authorities alone in the room dressed in what he is comfortable calling his pajamas. I have found I was wrong as I have come across this explanation of its focus on a small community east of Ithaca, New York:

A blog about Dryden has a naturally limited audience, but at the same time, the people who are in that audience likely have a thorough knowledge of the place. They drive its roads, pay its taxes, and hear its stories. Because of Cornell, there’s a large population just passing through, but even some of those people are likely interested in figuring out where they are at the moment.

The blog I started has a definite political angle (“One Democrat’s perspective”), and I started it after an election that didn’t go the way I’d hoped, but I don’t think there’s any reason that focusing a blog locally should condemn it to being less opinionated than blogs which look out on a larger world. Local politics is tricky, though – simple platitudes about “those who deserve work will find it” or “everyone deserves to get a good start in life” are hard to sustain when you’re writing at this level. People don’t necessarily know everyone, but alliances shift, ideology is frequently less important than communications, and the flow of news is irregular at best, making it hard to pick and choose stories.

It’s been difficult staying inside the town borders, and I’ve occasionally strayed elsewhere in the county when it seemed relevant, though I’ve tried hard not to discuss issues outside of Dryden unless they had a direct impact here. “Think global, but stick to local” might well be the motto for this kind of blogging.

This is good. Too much activity in Pajamastan is about what you do not know, blabbosity about someone else’s belief systems of politics and corporate consumerism abstracted from the author by many degrees. In my current hunt for good Upstate New York bloggers, having exhausted my eastern Ontario searching perhaps too quickly, Living in Dryden joins NYCO, Brian (who is away in Iraq) and Linda as do-ers, observers and reporters. For me that is the best sort of writing. For all the hype, they are few. Any recommendations for other first person writers of quality would be gratefully received.

This Universe

I am sure what this means yet but it is cool. If you load your URL into the TouchGraph widget, it creates a graphical representation of your links universe. It is also dynamic so if you click on your link, more pings go out, adding to the complexity of information represented. If you click on the link for another blog, the whole graph moves to rearrange the universe to that blog’s perspective.

Large neato factor.