* I went to hospital last night with chest pains. The ECG, x-ray and blood tests showed no problems with the heart. These chest pains have been with me on and off for 3 weeks. Anna thinks it's because I've returned to family life and looking after kids again, causing stress. Could be right.
* One of the best decisions I made was to bring my mp3 player to the hospital with me. It helped me while away the hours while I waited for a doctor to see me.
* Just bough Widows by English band Sennen. As some of you know, my favourite band is Ride, an English "Shoegazing" band from the early-mid 1990s. Sennen is the name of a Ride song and obviously the band decided to name themselves after this song by Ride. Sennen is "Nu-gazing", a revival of Shoegazing but with added twists. Sennen's music is darker, more moody and more progressive than Ride, but still features the feedback and distortion that I love from the wall of sound grunge which typifies shoegazing. If I continue to fall in love with them I'll post a link to them.
* I bought a number of other CDs. Disraeli Gears by Cream, The Queen is Dead by The Smiths, Swordfishtrombones by Tom Waits and Between 10th and 11th by The Charlatans.
* The widely reported footage of Saddam's execution was obviously problematic for a number of reasons. What strikes me as disturbing is that Saddam remained defiant to the end, refusing to wear a blindfold and flinging verbal barbs back at those who were taunting him. He was executed in the way that heroes are, not petty tyrants. Saddam was certainly not the most evil man in the world, but his influence will be felt for at least another 2 generations because of the botched execution.
* The Democrats have taken over congress. Despite being someone who has railed against the Republican party and George Bush in recent years I am certainly not in any triumphalist mood. I fully expect that the trappings and prestige of office will corrupt many of these new politicians, and that the mechanisms of government will stifle any reforms that some want to make.
* Attempted to watch Syriana yesterday but pulled the plug after one hour. Hyperlink cinema may be the next big thing but it isn't affecting me just yet. Maybe if Terry Gilliam would do it?
* Lefties in America are salivating about the upcoming increase in the minimum wage and are obviously pooh-poohing anyone who starts saying things like "Let the market decide a person's wage". As a lefty myself I nevertheless concur with the right-wing that raising the minimum wage will have a negative impact of employment levels. My solution, however, is not to have a $0 minimum wage, it's something slightly more creative.
* The murder of a 17 year old in Griffith is tragic, especially since I spent 5 months there. I didn't know the victim but my sources in Griffith tell me that I may know the perpetrators and may have even taught them. What is really nice is hearing all the good vibes coming out of the town - both the victim's parents and ethnic leaders have called for calm. No one wants racial tension in Griffith.
* Peak Oil is affecting the car and bicycle market in Australia.