The Gunther Concept

Random thoughts and observations on politics, art, music and the weather.


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Saturday, March 29, 2003

Duck and cover Here is a true story about the war on terror, paranoia and ducks. Our story takes place in Houston, and involves a friend of ours who is studying at a local university. They’re taking some sort of advanced multimedia/art/computer graphics program that lasts two years. Recently she was given an assignment to videotape an outdoor scene or event and do some fancy things with it (the “fancy things” part is irrelevant to the story, but I assume it involves adding visual effects of some sort). Our friend decided that she would go to a local park in the city and do some shooting there. The park she went to is Herrman Park in Houston, which has a large pond for paddle boats, and which also is the home of a great many ducks. Our friend, who will remain anonymous for reasons which will soon become clear, thought it would be cool to make a video of the ducks doing, well, whatever ducks do. Food was brought along to entice the ducks to approach, perhaps in the hope that they’d be trained enough to line up and perform a dance, I don’t know. Anyway, the ducks acted as expected. Which is to say that as soon as they found out that free food was available they congregated around; much video was shot. Which brings me at last to the critical event in the story. In an attempt to add some glitz to the whole event, our friend brought along something she refers to as a gazing globe. This is a silvery, mirror-like glass ball about a foot in diameter that she keeps as an ornament on her porch. I think she picked it up in a yard sale or resale shop many years ago. As she later explained it, she that thought the ducks would do something with it. And that would make an interesting scene to tape. I mean, I guess the ball is big and shiny and is sort of a mirror. MAYBE it’s something that the average waterfowl would find interesting, at least for long enough to get 5 minutes of video out of it. Sadly, the ducks showed no interest whatsoever. They ate the food scattered around and even on the ball, but showed absolutely no interest in the thing. At some point in the whole affair, our friend lost interest in the ball as well, and followed the ducks around the pond as she did more taping. Eventually, she returned to her car and went home, having completely forgotten about the large, silvery globe she had left sitting out in the park. It was only days later that she remembered that she had forgotten to bring the ball home with her. In somewhat of a panic, she called the Herrman Park administrative offices to see if someone had found it and turned it in. What she found out was that this ball had caused a major furor. It seems someone had spotted it and decided it was of a suspicious nature. The police bomb squad was called and the park, or at least a large portion of it, was closed off. It took over half an hour before authorities determined that it was not a bomb, not a container of biohazardous materials left by some terrorist, but just a stupid glass ball. Our friend was of course mortified, but was smart enough not to provide her name to the person she spoke to. The gazing-globe now sits in the evidence room of the Houston PD, where I think it will remain for a long, long time.

posted by gunther at 9:46 PM Link

Friday, March 28, 2003

Testing again, again. And again.

posted by gunther at 6:39 PM Link

Thursday, March 27, 2003

This is an internal test of software modifications.

posted by gunther at 11:27 PM Link

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Not that this matters anymore, but here is a factoid for your consideration. Back at the end of the 2000 election, it was about a week before the Supreme Court handed down their decision giving the election to Bush. Supposedly no one knew how they were going to decide. But I heard from reliable sources that Haliburton hosted a big going away party for Cheney, many days before the decision was known publicly. [point of info: I live in Houston where Haliburton's head office is] I've often wondered whether they were just holding an event they had scheduled long-beforehand (i.e., assuming that he and Bush were going to win), or whether someone somewhere had inside information. I've been unable to find out.

posted by gunther at 7:26 PM Link

New posts will be coming shortly once I get some of the bugs worked out, the critical ones being the lack of a site meter or a comments option. For now just observing the news as everyone else is and hoping this is over quickly. Daily Kos is one of many today questioning the assumptions about Iraqis greeting U.S. troops as liberators, given the rather "tepid" response they've received so far. None of this should really be surprising but apparently it is to some people. I personally don't think Cheny and company will be too put out about the lack of rose petals being tossed on the troops, because I don't think they really believed it any way. This would only make sense if you take the claim at face value that this whole thing is about liberating the Iraqi people. Given the many other excuses that had been raised for this adventure, and then dropped when no one bought into them, it' s long been clear that this was a pretext to cover what the real reason or reasons are. Unless the folks in the administration are incredibly naive, which I find hard to believe.

posted by gunther at 4:36 PM Link

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Okay, I think I have the hang of this for at least rudimentary communication. Although for the forseeable future it will probably be the blogging equivalent of Helen Keller speaking her first words. For quite a while now I've been lurking around the blogosphere alternatively sucking up or ignoring any information as I saw fit. The time has finally come when I am ready to speak to the world and add to the bounty of useless information and opinions out there. In the immortal words of my sister, "The world has a right to my opinion". As far as topics are concerned, expect a fair amount of politics, discussion of music and art, and possibly hockey, depending on the mood, interests and energy level of the members of our collective. The Gunther Concept has arrived!

posted by gunther at 8:59 PM Link

This is another test.

posted by gunther at 4:25 PM Link

This is a test of the blog. If this had been a real posting you would be reading something interesting now.

posted by gunther at 4:21 PM Link