Catching up is an exercise in futility!
I’m stealing a moment from my crushing schedule to squeeze in a post. I’ve fallen so behind in personal correspondence — I’ve got a mountain of emails to respond to, and they just keep piling up. I apologize if I have left you hanging. Crickey, I was reading my brother’s blog this morning over breakfast and realized I forgot all about my father’s birthday, which was four days ago. D’oh! The problem is that I leave for work at 8:30am, and get there around 9:15. I typically work until 6 or 7pm, then it’s a 45 minute commute back home, a light dinner with Christine, and it’s already close to 9pm. Christine & I get to spend a little quality time together, and we might watch a show or go for a walk, and then it’s pretty much time for bed. On the weekends, we’ve been out exploring Dublin and socializing quite heavily, leaving me approximately zero time to write emails and post blog entries. When I’ve had a little spare down-time, I’ve been too mentally exhausted to tackle writing, so I’ve just wasted that time mindlessly playing Oblivion….
The BIG news of late is that the corrupt and overbearing US federal government, upset it cannot easily tax online gambling, and pandering to the fundies, attached a prohibition of online gambling bill to a must-pass port security bill that they knew would fly through congress without issue. When this bill is signed into law within the next week or two, it will become illegal for a financial institution to transfer money from a US account to online gambling services, effectively locking all Americans out of the ability to spend their money freely on fully legal and licensed operations. This bombshell got dropped on us Friday evening. Monday, the gaming companies floating on the London stock exchange plummeted, most losing more than half their value. Most of the online poker sites have roughly three quarters of their business from US customers. Full Tilt Poker plans to carry on business as usual and fight the government on it. Poker is not a pure game of chance, since there is a great deal of skill involved, it should be handled differently than pure gambling games like slots and roulette. Prohibition didn’t work for alcohol, and it’s not going to work for gambling when 75% of Americans want online gambling to be legal. And here we thought the USA was a democracy. Governments ought not to dictate one’s right to gamble or not anyhow.
Christine & I have been watching a few of the posted TED Talks each night. They are GREAT. I strongly recommend y’all to watch them. We’re about halfway through them. While watching last night on the laptop, snuggling on the couch together, I started thinking about how rarely the actual television is on in this apartment — almost never. We just watch downloaded content almost exclusively now — a few high-quality shows like Deadwood and Battlestar Galactica, and then more high-brow intellectual material from the internet, such as the TED Talks, and other academic lectures and such. It’s such a superior experience in almost every way. No commercials. No time constraints — watch when you want, and pause/rewind, and so forth. But above all it’s the content. Television is such utter trash 99% of the time. It caters to the lowest common denominator, and hyper-engaging content is almost non-existent.
On Saturday we wandered through the drizzle to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It’s only a 15 minute walk from our apartment. It wasn’t quite as grand as some of the Cathedrals I saw in England but still quite unlike anything you’d find near Edmonton. So that was fun. Sunday we took the LUAS rail to Dundrum Mall and did some clothes shopping. I bought cozy wool sweater and a pair of pre-wornout jeans. Oh the Irony. There are whole clothing stores there selling things like it’s derelict from Zoolander..
Weird Al Yankovic has a new album out. His Canadian Idiot parody of Green Day’s American Idiot cured a light case of homesickness. I also love the White & Nerdy track — that one hit close to home.