Archive for the 'movie' Category


The ipod mini that got run over by a car

One day last winter, I watched in horror as my beloved and ever-so-faithful iPod mini got run over by a car.

It happened as I was leaving the Hamburg’s Abaton cinema after wife K and I were through watching Untouchable, one of the best films we’d seen in ages.

It was dark and rainy, and I’d been fiddling with various zippers and clasps getting everything just right before mounting the bike and heading home.

But just as I was heading out onto the street, I hit a bump.  Pothole maybe, perhaps it was just the fall from the curb.  But then I heard a clacking sound as another cyclist who was coming in the opposite direction shouted that something had fallen out of my bag.

I turned around in time for the light to catch the silver outline of the iPod just as the left front tire of a passing car ran right over it.  I saw it bounce up and clack back down again on the wet pavement.   By the time I realised what was happening, the back tire caught it as well.

I swore, propped my bike up against a lamp-post, ran out into the street, scooped up the iPod, swore some more, thrust the iPod into the jacket pocket I should have stashed it into in the first place, and headed home, all the while contemplating what kind of iPod I should start looking for on eBay. Perhaps a used iPod touch?  Or maybe one of the new nanos?  Because the way that thing bounced off the road, there was no way it was going to be good for anything more than a paperweight.

But after I got home and told my tale, I took it out of my pocket, touched the click wheel, and I couldn’t believe it.  It still worked perfectly.  OK, it’s a little scratched up now.  The metal casing’s got a nick or two it didn’t have before, and in places it looks like someone hacked away at it with an ice pick, but by some miracle the screen stayed clear and the click wheel – the Mini’s most sensitive part and one most prone to breakage – is still intact.

It’s a good thing it wasn’t an iPhone or iPod Touch.  Those things are all screen on one side, and I’m sure they’d never have survived such abuse.

It’s also a good thing it was only a car, and not a cement truck passing by.


Hooray hooray, the First of May, smashing capitalism starts today!

Dear all,

I don’t know, I’ve only been living here for 10 years, but will someone please explain to me this German fascination with fighting the last war? No no, not That War. That’s the one we’re not supposed to mention. I mean the Cold War. East vs West. Communism vs Capitalism. Trabant vs Triumph.

I ask this because the first of May is coming up again. As a Canadian, this date usually passed me by with no special meaning, because we along with the Americans have our Labour Day the first Monday in September. But in many countries of Europa it is a national holiday set aside for advancing the cause of workers’ rights, a worthy goal which as a voluntary dues-paying union member I do support.

blogsmash.jpg But there are parts of it I just don’t get. Take this poster. A quickie Babelfish will tell you that under the slogan of “Destroy what’s destroying you,” they want everybody to rally against Wages, the State and Capital.


Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t we try that already? The State pretended to pay everyone by handing them near-worthless money, so the workers turned around and pretended to be at work. Result: the Trabant, delivery in 11 years, give or take. Hundreds killed trying to escape the country’s borders. And enough material for a few good films illustrating just how bleak a life it must have been.

The far left is not alone in this endless display of long-spent political capital. The extreme right demonstrates whenever and wherever it can get a permit, usually a handful of peeled eggs in leather boots facing a much larger contingent of left-wing counter-demonstrators, with 10 times their number decked out in full police riot gear just to keep the two sides from tearing each other apart.

I’m not advocating people abandon their beliefs, or that they have no right to demonstrate for them, nor even set a tire or two on fire if that’s how they get their kicks, but please, get a grip people. If mental illness can also be defined as doing the same thing over and over, year in and year out, expecting results to be different every time, especially if history shows that what you’re screaming about has been tried and failed, time to face reality.

All for now,


PS: I can’t believe that in the States they gave that film a Restricted rating. No wait – I can believe it.

The banner photograph shows the town of Britannia Beach, BC, Canada, where I grew up. It's home. But I don't live there anymore.

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