Ranting and raving and carrying on

Just a few random thoughts about random stuff. Warning - may contain profanity

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Location: Toronto-ish, Ontario, Canada

Just a guy... Bit of a geek, but who isn't these days?

Monday, August 15, 2005

More from me...

Ok, I just went back and looked through all my old postings (okay, there aren't that many of them - maybe 20 or 30), some pretty interesting stuff there. Overall, I still agree with pretty much everything I said a year ago.

I've had this blog almost a year, but it's been inactive for half that time. I really should get off my butt and post more.

So far this year, I've been to Switzerland, and to England twice. Next month I'm off to Germany. Most of the rest of the time I've spent in various US cities, including Boulder, Phoenix, St. Louis, Fairfax, and Miami. And here's the thing - people look and act and feel exactly the same, no matter where you are in the world. Everybody has their own hopes and fears. We might not all agree on the details, but I think you'd probably find you have more in common with somebody on the other side of the planet than you realize, no matter what colour or sex or religion they are. I've decided I hate the word "tolerance". To tolerate something, to me, means to put up with it because I have to. And that's completely the wrong message. I don't want to tolerate other people - I want to understand them, and have them understand me. Maybe I won't agree with everything they say, but there'll be enough in common to make it interesting.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, there are certain universal truths. There are also situations which have no parallel - somebody who has to watch out for lions while they go to the village water hole really won't understand the concept of "rush hour", for example. But we all have certain beliefs and needs - let's start with the basics. We all need oxygen, water, and food, in roughly that order. Our brains all work the same - we respond well to praise, for example. So just because someone else is a different colour, or loves the "wrong" sex, or happens to hold a disparate political view, is no reason for me to hurt them (or vice versa).

Most hate crimes are, I believe, actually "fear" crimes - those perpetuating the crime are somehow afraid of the people they are attacking. If we can understand each other, there'll be no reason to fear, and then maybe we all can just "get along".

I'm still here (mostly)

Yep, I'm still here. Had a few adventures in the last four months, somehow never seem to remember to come here and yap. Lots to yap about, though.

I was in London, England, last month. I missed the first set of bombings by two days, but I was in town for the second set. The Londoners really handled themselves well in that one - I know others have said it before, and better than I, but it's true. My hotel was right across from Edgware Road station (one of the stations closed by the first set of bombings), and I had a pretty good view of the memorial that sprang up as passers-by left flowers, etc. If you ask me, I feel sorry for the terrorists - there's nothing quite like a riled Briton. The Americans may think they know vengeance, but they could take notes from these people.

Before that, I was in CFG Gagetown, attending the first part of the next step in my military training - modules one and two of the "Common Army Phase" officer training course. It's a pretty tough course (and I left before it got really tough, from all accounts), but it also helped me remember why the heck I signed up for that stuff. I arrived there all ready to resign my commission and quit, and left there with a renewed sense of purpose. I just hope I can nurse that sense until next summer when I go back for the rest of the course.

Ok, more later - technically I'm doing work right now.