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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Network Administrator Fantasy / Fantasme d'un Administrateur de Réseau


"Votre Administrateur de Réseau a déterminé que le projet sur lequel vous travaillez en ce moment vous procure beaucoup trop de satisfaction qu'il n'est permis pendant les heures ouvrables. Votre satisfaction devra donc être supprimée. Vous pouvez continuer votre projet mais sans aucune satisfaction. Veuillez vous addresser à votre Administrateur de Réseau pour plus d'information."

Casier No. 1 : OK
Casier No. 2: Désolé(e)
Casier No. 3: Deduisez de ma feuille de paie

(Ha! If only! Si seulement!)

* * *

Reality Check: Retour realité:



Traduction: T'es baisé

Ah, what the heck, one more for the road...
Allez, une autre pour la route ...



Traduction: Tu n'es pas supposé comprendre ceci.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Heart of Gold / Coeur d'Or



Earlier today, somebody called me on the phone and said "Hey, I just went to your blog, and you don't give any news anymore." You mean personal news? You're right, I don't do that anymore. I don't think this blog is the right place for it. Sure, it started out that way in the beginning, but I thought about it a lot and decided that a website accessible to the entire world is probably not the best place to park things like "My company isn't doing so well lately, lay offs are in the air..." or "Jeez, I think I might have gained a couple more pounds, if you can believe that. And besides, you know me, I can go for weeks or months without saying a word to anybody about myself (anything substantial, that is), anyway...

Aujourd'hui, quelqu'un m'a téléphoné et m'a dit "Eh, j'étais sur ton blog tout à l'heure, et tu ne donnes plus de tes nouvelles!" Tu veux dire des nouvelles personnelles? C'est vrai, je ne le fais plus. J'y ai bien réfléchi et je pense qu'un site accessible au monde entier n'est sans doute pas vraiment l'endroit pour parler de trucs comme ma boite qui bat de l'aile ou des derniers kilos que j'ai pris. En plus, tu me connais, je peux rester des semaines ou des mois sans rien dire dire a personne de ce qui se passe dans ma vie (enfin pas des choses importantes, en tout cas).

So, what am I to talk about? Well, you know, I may live in the great San Francisco Bay Area, but my life is still pretty boring. Most of it is filled with too many hours of work, commute, chores, and not much more else. I try to find interesting pictures and/or local events to give you something different to dream or think about, but my life is not really like that.

Donc de quoi faut-il parler? Eh bien, vous savez, c'est pas parce que j'habite dans la belle Baie de San Francisco que ma vie est intéressante pour autant! La presque totalité du temps est remplie de trop d'heures de boulot, de trajet, les trucs à faire le week-end, comme tout le monde. Les photos et les trucs que je vous mets sur le blog pour vous faire rêver un peu ne représentent pas forcément ma vie de tous les jours.

Take today, for instance. What could I possibly say about today... it was a beautiful day outside, quite warm, actually, a real beautiful Indian Summer day, but I didn't really feel like going anywhere. And so, the camera stayed in the backpack along with the maps and guides of San Francisco I recently obtained to go find some new places to explore (read: blog food).

Prenez aujourd'hui, par exemple. Que dire sur aujourd'hui... c'était un très belle journée, classique exemple d'été indien, super-beau temps, et pourtant j'avais envie d'aller nulle part. Alors, l'appareil est resté sagement dans le sac à dos avec les cartes et les guides que j'ai obtenus il n'y a pas très longtemps dans le but d'aller explorer des coins de la ville inconnus (de quoi nourrir le blog).

Instead, I borrowed a few movies at the local library, holed up at home, and proceeded to seek refuge in the virtual world of the movies I brought back. As the tension of the week began to unravel, buckets of tears started pouring out of me ... The movies weren't particularly sad or anything (OK, maybe just a little), it's just the general mood I've been in lately. No particular reason. I just couldn't stop...

Plutôt, j'ai été me chercher des films à la bibliothèque du coin, me suis enfermée a la maison, et réfugiée dans le monde virtuel des films que j'avais rapportés. Au fur et à mesure que la tension de la semaine dispraraissait, un torrent de larmes sortait ... C'est pas que les films étaient tristes ou quoi que ce soit (peut-être juste un peu), mais c'est juste l'humeur générale dans laquelle je me trouve dernièrement je suppose. Ça sortait et ça ne voulait plus s'arrêter...


One of the movies I saw was really pretty good. It's called Heart of Gold, features Neil Young with the beautiful Emmylou Harris singing and playing guitar in the background, among others musicians. It's more of a concert/musical/documentary than a movie. There are tons of reviews about it online, already, both in French and in English, if you are interested.

Un des films, Heart of Gold, avec Neil Young et la belle Emmylou Harris qui fait du vocal et de la guitare dans le fond avec d'autres musiciens, était pas mal du tout. C'est plutot un concert/film musical/documentaire qu'un film tout court. Il y a une tonne de critiques sur Internet déjà, en Français et en Anglais, si ça vous interesse.

I let the movie loop a couple of times. During the first hour, Neil Young performs mostly songs from his recent album, Prairie Wind. And then, comes Harvest Moon, Old Man, Four Strong Winds, and a couple of other songs that took me way back. I don't remember how far back, to tell you the truth, but it's pretty safe to say that I must have been really, really young the very first time I heard these songs... After all, Harvest was released in '72... The movie ends with Neil Young performing with an acoustic guitar, alone in an empty room, the best rendition of "The Old Laughing Lady" I've ever heard.

J'ai laissé le film tourner en boucle au moins deux fois de suite. Pendant la première heure, Neil Young nous montre des chansons qui viennent de son récent album, Prairie Wind. Ensuite, il y a Harvest Moon, Old Man, Four Strong Winds et d'autres chansons qui m'ont vraiment ramenée en arrière... En arrière jusqu'à quand, ça je m'en rappelle plus, pour dire la vérité, mais étant donné qu'Harvest est sorti en 72, ça doit faire un sacré bout de temps. Le film se termine avec Neil Young performant avec une guitare seche, tout seul dans une salle vide, la meilleure version de "La Vielle Femme Qui Riait" que j'aie jamais entendue auparavant.

Hearing some of these songs again gave me the same feeling you get when you drive past the house you grew up in... it's familiar, there is something reassuring about it, but it's a fleeting sensation and soon it's gone... eventually you have to come back down to reality. That's why I looped the movie, I think. I wanted to stay there, "safe," with the stuff I grew up with for a while.

Écouter ces vieilles chansons a quelque chose de réassurant. Ça fait un peu comme quand vous conduisez devant la maison ou vous avez grandi... c'est familier, ça fait du bien, mais ... la sensation ne dure pas, car on est bien obligé de retomber dans la réalité. Ca doit être pour ça que j'ai laissé tourner le DVD en boucle. Je voulais rester dans cette sensation de sécurité, avec les sons que j'ai connus très jeune.

By the way, did you know that Neil Young lives in the Bay Area, too? Follow the links below for more information about Neil Young, Emmylou Harris or to see the trailer of Heart of Gold. If you like that kind of music, you should really check it out. Personally, I liked the sound of that concert a lot better than the Greendale concert I saw in person a few years back. Check it out, really.

Au fait, saviez vous que Neil Young vit dans la baie? Suivez les liens ci dessous pour plus d'information sur Neil Young, Emmylou Harris ou pour voir des extraits du film Heart of Gold (connu en France sous le nom " A coeur ouvert"). si vous aimez ce genre de musique, allez voir. Personnellement, j'ai beaucoup mieux aimé que le concert Greendale que j'avais vu en personne il y a quelques années. Allez-voir, vraiment.



LINKS:

Heart of Gold trailer here, songs, photographs to download / extraits du film, morceaux de chansons, photos à telecharger.

Neil Young an interesting biography/article from a Canadian website (in English). This link is Wikipedia's English version of Neil Young's accomplishments (very comprehensive).

Un article sur Neil Young d'une encyclopedie Canadienne (en Français); L'article de Wikipedia en Français sur Neil Young est beaucoup plus court que la version US mais vous y trouverez les informations generales sur le chanteur/compositeur. Ici, il y a un article en Français intéréssant avec des belles photos sur Heart of Gold.

The official Emmylou Harris site.

The official Neil Young site. Lots of informations, video clips, and political statements.

Monday, October 09, 2006

San Francisco Fleet Week 2006 - Blue Angels (En/Fr)



Saturday, I decided that I wanted a day off from it all, and since it was Fleet Week in San Francisco, I decided to walk up to Marina Green and try to catch the air show.

Samedi, j'avais décidé de prendre une journée loin de tout, et comme c'était Semaine de la Flotte à San Francisco, je décidais de marcher jusqu'à Marina Green pour aller voir les avions faire leurs acrobaties dans le ciel.

C'est plus sympa sur le toit


The weather was beautiful and some people were already partying on the rooftops of the Marina when I got there. Unfortunately, I was too late to see the parade of the ships but I saw part of the Red Bull air race (small planes).

Il faisait très beau et il y avait déjà des gens qui s'amusaient en groupes sur les toits du Marina quand je suis arrivée. Malheureusement, il était déjà trop tard pour la Parade des Bateaux mais j'ai vu une partie de la compétition Red Bull (petits avions).



They had erected a stage on which a couple of announcers were seated surrounded by high-tech gear and computer monitors. They had also put up a giant screen right next to the stage so those of us who did not have premium seating on the roofs could still see what the planes were doing. Don't worry, you can see it, too, along with the beautiful San Francisco skyline as seen from these small planes, on these videos-clips :

Ils avaient installés une estrade sur laquelle étaient installés des présentateurs entourés d'instrument électroniques qui avaient l'air bien compliqués, et d'écrans d'ordinateurs. Ils avaient aussi mis un écran géant pour ceux d'entre nous qui n'avaient pas eu la chance d'avoir les sièges de première classe sur les toits et qui voulaient quand même voir le spectacle. Ne vous inquietez pas, vous allez voir ça vous aussi, avec vue sur San Francisco prise depuis ces petits avions, en cliquant sur ces liens-videos :

Click here to see the videos of the Red Bull Air Race Videos of San Francisco 2006 or choose your video from the picture on the frames below (It may take a while to load, so be very patient with that Red Bull site! Click just once, and let the computer do its thing... patience!)

Cliquez ici pour voir les videos du concours de Red Bull 2006 pour petits avions, et vues d'avion de San Francisco ou choisissez la video que vous voulez en cliquant sur les images ci-dessous(Attention, cependant, il faut être TRES patient avec ce site, ça prend un bon moment à télécharger! Cliquez une seule fois et laissez l'ordi faire son boulot tranquillement. Patience!)



Eventually, I made my way through the crowd and I found a spot right at the edge of the water and I sat there with everybody, to wait for the big event, the Blue Angels demonstration.

Finalement, j'ai réussi à me faufiler à travers les gens jusqu'à un petit trou tout au bord de l'eau, et je me suis assise là pour attendre tranquillement avec tout le monde la venue des Anges Bleus, une équipe spéciale d'aviateurs de l'armée Americaine, très connue et très populaire.

A bouquet of jets coming straight down from the sky
Un bouquet d'avions qui descendent du ciel en flèche


I tried to shoot a few pictures for you guys, but keep in mind that you really need professional equipment and a telescope as long as your arm to get decent pictures of these jets. Hopefully, you can still get the general idea (double-click to enlarge):

Voilà, je vous ai pris quelques photos, mais souvenez-vous que pour arriver à les faire correctement, il faudrait vraiment un equipement de professionnel avec un téléobjectif long comme le bras, mais bon j'espère que ça vous donnera quand même une idée générale (cliquez deux fois dessus pour les agrandir):


A Blue Angel Classic: the Six-Jet Delta Formation

Blue Angels over San Francisco 2006
Video sent by TomateFarcie
Blue Angels in classic delta formation flying over San Francisco Bay Area during Fleet Week 2006.

The Blue Angels demonstrated their skill at the sound of Danger Zone, America The Beautiful interpreted by Ray Charles, and a couple of other similar songs.

Les Anges Bleus ont montré leur savoir-faire aux sons de Danger Zone, America The Beautiful interprêtée par Ray Charles, et d'autres chansons du même genre.

Traversant la baie au "ralenti" et à 45%
Crossing the Bay at Slow Speed and at 45% angle


The message to the public during the demonstration was very direct. Although the Blue Angels' planes are very elegantly painted blue and yellow (see high resolution pictures below) and the pilots can make them dance in the sky for the pleasure of audiences of all ages, these aircrafts are still incredibly powerful and sophisticated pieces of military equipment, and the air show is specifically designed to inspire young men and women to follow in their footstep and enroll. In fact, if you check out the Blue Angels's Official Website it explains very clearly what that their mission is.

Le message était bien clair, pas de sous-entendu. Bien que les avions soient peints de façon très élégante en bleu et jaune (voyez les photos haute définition ci-dessous) et que les pilotes sachent les faire dancer dans le ciel pour le plaisir des petits et grands, ils sont toutefois aussi des outils militaires très puissants et sophistiqués, et le spectacle est justement fait pour donner envie et inspirer les jeunes gens à s'engager, eux aussi. D'ailleurs, si vous allez voir le site officiel des Anges Bleus tout y est très bien expliqué.

And throughout the show, the announcer was casually commenting on the jets' ability to do such and such maneuver, or take out such and such enemy target, with the same tone of voice one might have used while demonstrating the qualities of any household appliance ...

Et pendant toute la durée du spectacle, le presentateur faisait des commentaires sur la capacité de l'avion à faire telle ou telle manoeuvre en territoire ennemi, avec le même ton de voix que s'il avait presenté une machine à laver ou un réfrigerateur ...



The planes, at one point, flew 18" apart from each other (!), according to the same announcer. Another time, one of the jets flew so low to the ground and so close over our heads (it felt like they were only 25 feet away!) that I nearly dropped my camera in the water when I ducked... The noise became so incredibly loud that I couldn't even hear myself screaming at the top of my lungs, and believe me, when I saw that thing practically dive upon us, I sure did scream!

A un moment donné, les avions volaient à une distance de 18 pouces (30 cm?) les uns des autres (!), d'après le meme présentateur. Un autre moment, un des avions s'est mis à voler tellement au ras du sol juste au dessus de nos têtes (on aurait dit qu'il n'était à 15 ou 20 mètres!) que j'ai pratiquement fait tomber l'appareil photo dans l'eau quand je me suis baissée instinctivement... Le bruit qu'il a fait était tellement fort que je n'ai même pas entendu le son de ma propre voix quand je me suis mise à hurler de toutes mes force, car croyez-moi quand j'ai cru voir cet engin plonger sur nous, je ne m'en suis pas privée!


Blue Angels over San Francisco 2006
Uploaded by TomateFarcie


Blue Angels Over San Francisco Bay
Uploaded by TomateFarcie

After the Blue Angels' demonstration was over, the winners of the Red Bull air race were awarded their trophees and champagne on a podium, in the presence of 3 pin-up girls and Gavin Newsom, the young San Francisco Mayor (see the guy in a dark jacket in the middle, near the girls, who's holding the kid? That's him.).

Quand les Anges Bleus eurent fini, les gagnants du concours de Red Bull se firent remettre leurs trophées et leur champagne sur un podium, comme il se doit. Ils eurent aussi droit à la présence de 3 jolies filles et de Gavin Newsom, le jeune maire de San Francisco (voyez le monsieur avec une veste foncee, avec les filles, qui tient le gosse? C'est lui.).



Whatever radio or TV station had sponsored the event also distributed little flags of England, France, Spain, United States, among others, to the audience because members of each of these countries had entered into the competition. By some kind of irony, I showed up right when they were distributing French flags.

La station de radio ou de TV qui semblait être en charge de tout ça se mit à distribuer au public des petits drapeaux d'Angleterre, France, Espagne, et Etats-Unis, entre autres, car des gens de tous ces pays avaient participé à la compétition Red Bull. C'est marrant mais juste quand j'ai tendu la main, on distribuait justement des drapeaux français!



The ambiance was friendly and people were in a good mood, even if it did feel a little bit like I had walked into a giant life-size television set and woken up in the middle of some live broadcast on ESPN, or was it just the set of the movie Top Gun... All of it was just a tiny little bit too macho/4th-of-July-ish for my taste but I would be lying through my teeth if I didn't also say how sooooo incredibly fun and uplifting it was to be there and watch these guys perform!!!

Il avait une bonne ambiance dans l'ensemble et les gens étaient de bonne humeur, même si j'avais un peu l'impression d'avoir pénètré à l'intérieur d'un écran géant de ESPN, ou peut-être même du plateau de tournage du film Top Gun... Le tout était peut-être un petit peu trop macho/ambiance de 14 Juillet pour mon goût, mais ne pas dire à quel point c'était chouette et combien ça nous a fait à tous fait plaisir de les voir faire serait mentir énormément.

Hopefully we'll see them again next year in May for opening day. If they ever come to your town, be sure to check them out close up and personal... it's a great experience, and you won't regret it.

On espère les voir de retour l'année prochaine en Mai, pour Opening Day. S'ils passent par chez vous, n'hésitez pas une minute et allez les voir de près, vous ne le regretterez pas!

* * * *
Resources:

Blue Angels High Def. Pix from the Navy site


Download Blue Angels High resolution pictures here or directly from the Blue Angels Official Website (click on the Multimedia tab to the right).

Pour télécharger des photos haute résolution des Blue Angels cliquez ici ou directement sur le site officiel des Blue Angels (cliquez sur à droite sur "Multimedia").

Also check out Christophe's post on San Francisco Fleetweek 2005. The article is in French, but he has a number of interesting pictures and links.

Allez voir Christophe qui nous avait fait un super reportage l'an dernier sur la Semaine de la Flotte. L'article est en Français, et il a mis plein de photos et de liens interessants.

San Francisco Fleet Week gives out all kinds of information about the ships in the parade. Click on the thumbnail photographs to enlarge and access further information

San Francisco Fleet Week donne tout plein d'infos sur les bateaux de la parade. Cliquez sur les petites photos pour les elargir d'une part, et acceder a d'avantage d'information sur chacun des bateaux

Blue Angels Official Website : Have fun checking out all kinds of information on the Blue Angels, the jets, and even download some multimedia goodies for the computer.

Site Officiel des Anges Bleus : Amusez-vous bien avec ce site. Il y a plein d'info sur les Anges, leurs avions, et vous pourrez meme telecharger des trucs sympas pour l'ordinateur.

Ray Charles, America This link will play the song America The Beautiful, interpreted by Ray Charles, while displaying a slide-show of images of September 11.

Ray Charles, America Ce lien vous permettra d'entendre America The Beautiful, interpretee par Ray Charles, en regardant un defile de diapos d'images sur le 11 Septembre.

The Red Bull Website has all the videos of the San Francisco 2006 race and past races. It takes a little while to load the site, so be patient.

Le site de Red Bull a tout plein de videos de San Francisco 2006 et d'autres shows. Ca peut prendre un bon moment pour télécharger leur site, alors soyez patient.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Full Moon Over the Bay (Area) / Pleine Lune sur la Baie

A little housecleaning was in order ... so I thought I'd suspend regular programming here and dedicate this post instead to all the self-righteous idiots around the world who think they have all the answers (or maybe just one or two in particular).
(Translation will follow later.)

This is a full moon


From time to time, all blogs have to go through it. You write something that somebody doesn't care for and people let you know how they feel, more or less diplomatically.

Usually, the less diplomatic the answer, the more anonymous it is, because it's easy enough to point the finger at someone, but quite another thing to grow a fucking spine and stand somewhat accountable for what you have to say, even under an assumed internet name.

Once in a while expat blogs will get comments from some jealous little twerps, not so much because of anything they wrote - or photographed - but simply because they managed to make a life for themselves some place else and the twerps didn't. (I've seen it on US blogs abroad, too.)

Also, there are people who react mostly based on what they believe a blog should or shouldn't be. For instance, I've seen people complain that Eric in Paris should write in French rather than in English, that Jerome should no longer write about the USA because he no longer lives here ... There were other examples but I forget what they were now.

I get these too, now and then. Everybody is entitled to their opinion, of course, but these people tend to forget that the BLOGGER is the one in control over what he/she decides to write, not the READERS.


Depending who you ask, this, too is a full moon


Some of us take suggestions about what the readers want to see on the blog; others don't. Again, the blogger makes that choice. (I do take suggestions, by the way, so if you want to see photographs of a certain neighborhood or if you need information about something that can only be looked into locally, ask away; if I have time to go take the pictures or do the local research, I'm happy to do it.)

However, if I write something you don't agree with, don't bother e-mailing me personally to try to bully me into changing my story because you happen to think you're right and I'm wrong. Not only I won't do it, but if you keep writing, I might end up telling you where to stick it (the more you insist and the more graphic the answer may be), especially if you start your e-mail with "You should be ashamed..."

Granted, we don't all have to agree on everything, and I have no problem with that. So go ahead, state your opinion on the blog, nobody here minds, I assure you. But remember, there is a fine line between arguing a difference of opinion and being a total jerk. So, if you could argue without resorting to personal attacks and name-calling, that'd be great, thanks. (Yes, I know it's hard, sometimes, believe me.)

I will continue to leave the commenting section on this blog open and unmoderated because 1) I might be away from the blog for days and I believe it's more fun for people to interact with each other in real-time if they want to, 2) I don't want to systematically have to make a decision about who gets to say what, and 3) I believe that people have as much right to say "black" as I do to say "white." (By the way, if you're now going to e-mail me about my use of the words "black" and "white," don't bother. I mean it, really.)

According to Wikipedia, this is a mass-mooning protest. Or, you might be looking at a full solar system, depending on what you think a full moon is.


One of the e-mails I got recently was from someone who reacted very strongly to my suggesting that an individual could have the reputation locally of being a good guy, even though he's a known Republican - and let me remind you, this is not a Republican-friendly area. (By the way, if you are wondering where I stand, I think the number of times I posted "Fuck Bush" on this blog, and/or the choice of links featured on the right side of this blog, speak for itself.)

Anyway, the writer of the e-mail also reminded me that I have an obligation to "reports the 'facts' accurately." Rather than continue to exchange words on that specific issue with that particular writer, let me just address it generally and therefore respond to everybody at once.

I certainly don't have all the answers and I do make mistakes. Quite possibly, I could stand to spend a little more time checking all the facts on the posts I publish. My translations are not always 100% accurate. I don't spell check my posts (even if I did have a spell-checker on this thing, by the time the blog post is written in both languages and filled with HTML code and pictures, it becomes practically impossible to run any kind of spell-check on it, anyway). Yet, I still publish the posts the way they are and hope for the best. You wanna know why?

Because nothing I say here is that important anyway. Think about it, people, anybody calling themselves "Tomate Farcie" (Stuffed Tomato) couldn't possibly take themselves that that seriously... People's lives certainly do not depend on what I write (which is a good thing, too, because I do this with very limited time and resources).

Remember, I am NOT a journalist, a French teacher (or an English teacher), a professional translator, a historian, or an authority on anything at all. And although I might bring you some local news on occasion, keep in mind that I am NOT the news either.

What I am is just a little guy trying to show the world around me for the sole purpose of brightening someone's day on the other side of the country or the planet. I also want to try to provide some kind of virtual presence to little brothers and sisters bloggers everywhere, mostly expats but not always, because I can see how isolated some of them feel ...

From time to time, I'll rave about a good CD or a good movie, only because it gave me so much pleasure, I just gotta tell the whole damn world! Or, I'll rant about my computer, my iPod, or the cable company ... Big fucking deal!

While I certainly try to exercise reasonable care before publishing anything, and it is certainly not my intention to offend anybody on purpose, I really can't control it if you are offended.

Remember, too, that I do this strictly for fun and, believe it or not, in a spirit of camaraderie towards others. Well, there you have it, that's really the whole purpose of the blog right there.

So, all of you with superior attitudes (you know who you are!) can just get off your high horses right now and realize one thing: because this is a personal blog, when I write about the world around me, I get to call it as I see it.

I'll say it again, just in case you missed it the first time: this is not a documentary or a journalistic essay; rather, it reflects my outlook on things, and that means that I have no obligation whatsoever to give "both sides" of the story, just mine.

So, anyway, guys, please don't waste anymore of your time e-mailing me in private to give me attitude about what you think is wrong with my blog, or what you find offensive. If you think this blog is offensive, honestly, I don't mean to be rude or anything, but you might need stop whining to me and get some therapy instead. Really.

Remember, the fact that I broadcast this blog gives you ACCESS to it, not CONTROL over it. So if I feel like taking a picture of my ass, sticking it on the blog and calling it "Full Moon Over the Bay Area," then that's what I'll do. Is that a problem for you?

Just about now, somebody should be getting the message


Right. Any questions, concerns, comments or requests? Wanna post a picture of your ass, too? Wanna talk about the time some moron gave you a hard time on your blog? Wanna suggest some anger management clinics? Go ahead... it's all yours. Remember what I said about name-calling, though.