Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another Terrorist Attack on America

This is where the real threats will come from in the future.
WICHITA, Kansas - President Obama said this afternoon that he was "shocked and outraged" by the killing of abortion doctor George Tiller, who was shot while attending church in east Wichita.

Wichita Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz said at a news conference late this afternoon that a suspect in the shooting was in custody and on his way back to Wichita.

"However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence," the president said in a statement issued by the White House.

The suspect, a 51-year-old male, was arrested without incident on I-35 in Johnson County about three hours after the shooting, Stolz said.

Police did not release the suspect's name.

The investigation is in its "infancy stages," Stolz said. He said the shooting appeared to be an isolated act.
Yeah, right. This makes me sick. Hey, at least they caught the bastard!

Read the rest HERE.

And so it goes.


MITM4E: Lt. Dan Choi's Speech

Lt. Dan Choi's powerful and poignant speech at the Meet in the Middle 4 Equality rally held in Fresno, CA yesterday, May 30, 2009 - the first Saturday after the CA Supreme Court ruled on the court case to invalidate Prop 8 that passed in November 2008, eliminating the right of same-sex couples to legally marry. Lt. Dan Choi served in the armed forces for 10 years, specializing as an Arab linguist, and because he recently came out as an openly-gay man has been discharged due to the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".
Here is that speech:

OK, so I teared up and cried by the end. Shoot me!

Note to the haters: We. Are. Not. Going. Away.!!!

And so it goes.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

O' Happy Day

I slept in this morning. It was useless to attempt opening my eyes - they wanted to remain closed begging for more sleep - so when I finally awoke two hours later - I was rested and ready for the day.

Although I am working 6-day weeks I am blessed by enjoying both jobs. Job #1 may be in jeopardy because I haven't had a sale in two weeks. But, then again, not many sales are being made. In this economy the first off the lists of consumers are luxury items - which includes fine jewelry. The folks I work with continue to be supportive and helpful, but it's anyone's guess what is ahead unless things turn around in the near future.

Job #2 continues to be a learning experience and, for the most part, a joyful one. I can be annoying asking simple questions about the business, but the answers come with patience and reason. I must be doing something right because my bosses constantly tease and challenge me with new situations. I tease right back, but learn from the experiences.

Two other people from my previous life chose to dine with us this week and by their uncomfortable and troublesome glances my way, I was amazed they didn't decide to leave the premises. They stayed, but avoided any contact with me. The quality of the food proved more important than their discomfort about me. Well, to quote a famous Quean, "bite me, bitches!"

I am grateful I was brought onboard before the summer season began because if I was coming in this week I would be over my head with the craziness and onslaught of tourists. As it stands now, I have been able to handle most situations and when things get too rough, there is always someone there to help take up the slack. These people really know their business, customer service, and how to get things done. I am very impressed.

After getting the chores done today - web work, hair cut, shower, etc. - it was time to do some major league cooking, so I have a pork loin roast smothered with garlic, rosemary, olive oil, fresh tomatoes and green olives cooking in the Crock for dinners later this week.

Enjoyed a festive cocktail and watched a documentary about the life and works of Ub IWerks - the famous animator and inventor, and now I am about to have a bit of supper and decide what I want to do this evening. Since I work tomorrow, going out isn't in the cards, and that's fine with me. I don't feel like driving anywhere.

Just chillin' with another chilled cocktail on the agenda tonight.

And so it goes.

Pat Robertson: "Sex With Ducks"

Appropo of nothing...I got all the chores done, gave myself a buzz cut, showered, and began reading my fave blogs only to be greeted by this little wonder at Pam's House Blend.

Sex with Ducks is a smackdown of ol' Pat Robertson's comment on his TV show that any hate crimes legislation would lead to "some really weird (person) who likes to have sex with ducks"... Well, he did say it.

More later.

Caturday Fashion

More later.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Besen's Take on the Prop 8 Decision

Lots to think about here...
Having watched the court proceedings on television, I was pretty certain that the California Supreme Court was going to uphold Proposition 8, the ballot initiative to overturn an earlier court ruling allowing gay couples the freedom to marry.

Still, knowing that a punch to the gut is coming does not make it hurt any less. The 6-1 ruling was degrading, humiliating and a shameful day that will live in infamy. The decision upheld tyranny of the majority and promoted the idiotic idea of mob rule.

What next?

Can the voters of California now decide whether I can eat bacon and eggs for breakfast? Are they able to choose if I can own a cat or a dog? May they regulate my weight or pick what career I choose?

These are serious questions. The fact is, banning my potential marriage is more an imposition and hardship than if the voters had chosen to enact the above examples. Any non-biased person would agree that the idea of the public banning the possibility of their marriage would be both invasive and traumatizing. Yet, the voters of California, backed by the Supreme Court, upheld this Orwellian idea.

Really, what are the limits to such insanity? Are we unique individuals with inalienable rights or public property with provisional rights granted or eliminated by the whims of the fickle electorate?

It's really an eye opener and I suggest you read the whole thing, if you haven't already.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Speechless/Shocked Update: Send in The Clowns.

Regarding the possibly-romantic encounter of last week - nothing positive came of it. (Click the image to embiggen.)

When he took my call later that afternoon it was clear that he was in another bar and drunk to the gills. Insisting that he was leaving - paying his tab as we spoke, and making his way to yet another bar, where he expected to meet with me. As I tried to explain that this was impossible the phone went dead.

One more attempt the next day yielded the same scenario; drunk, incoherent, demanding - not to mention a little lewd. I turned off the phone as I headed to work, then on again that evening to find two messages from him. It was clear that he was still well lubricated but a little more aware that his behavior had been unacceptable, spending a good five to ten minutes apologizing repeatedly, parroting the same rehearsed sentences and phrases over and over in both messages. Not worth repeating the lame excuses. I did not call again. If you've ever had dealings with a drunk you know the phrases by heart. Been there, done that. Don't want another tee-shirt!

An interesting, complicated encounter. But...Life goes on.

And so it goes.


Note to the Dickster: Go Away!

More later.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Why won't he just go away?

With all the celebrating, cook outs, beach umbrellas, and partying, remember those who died for the celebration and those still in harm's way. Maybe say a special prayer tonight and tomorrow in their honour. I'm just sayin'.

Click image to embiggen.

More later.

Yodeling Caturday

More later.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Speechless and Shocked

I am not myself this evening. Well, actually I am beside myself - shaking hands with the self this evening. I've been called out in the most unexpected way, and I...

I'll attempt to explain: With a steadily busy lunch crowd at job #2 today and not wanting to be distracted, focused on business as usual. Suddenly I turn around to find a handsome man smiling at me and asking if he could just sit at the bar. I led him to the bar.
Thought no more of it and continued with the job at hand. With a break in the business I felt I was being observed and glanced over to the bar area and there he was, smiling at me. He beckoned me over.

He says, "The food smells delicious, but I came in because of what I saw from outside."

I am a real duffus!

I asked, "was it the bar, the decor, the openness of the place?"

Looking directly into my eyes he says, "No, it was your smile and outgoing manner and I just wanted to say that I find you very attractive and I'd like to spend some time with you." I was not expecting this, nor was I ready for it. Yes, I Am A Duffus!

Look, it's been years since anyone has shown an interest in, never mind attraction to me and I was speechless. Not to mention that I haven't been on a dinner and movie date, or in the sack with anyone other than my X for over 30 years. The head was spinning.

Well, I didn't make a total ass of myself and recovered as oxygen returned to the brain and lungs.

He was visiting his mother who lives in the area and will be here through Wednesday (his birthday) dividing his time between her and the beach. He offered his cell phone number and will follow up to see what this is all about. He's from North Carolina, and as we say down south, never trust a 'gentleman' who flatters and gushes upon first meeting.

Suddenly I feel older than I am - and shouldn't that be the other way round?

Befuddled? You bet!

Stay tuned.

And so it goes.

"Treme" - Allegorical Katrina TV Drama

While I am no fan of shows like 'The Wire' - on too late for this guy, anyway - I found this interesting and wonder how the Republicans will react. Foaming at the mouth? Exploding heads? Hissy fits? Who cares.

The Guardian:

He has taken on drugs, crime and corruption in Baltimore; and brutalised young soldiers in Iraq. Now David Simon, the creator of the hit TV series The Wire, is to create a drama that treats Hurricane Katrina as an allegory for the financial, social and cultural disasters that have shaken the US over the past year.

The series, called Treme, after a New Orleans neighbourhood, was commissioned by HBO earlier this month after a successful pilot, and will air in the US in 2010. Filming will start later this year – after the hurricane season abates. The 10- or 12-part drama will be, Simon told the Guardian, "an allegory for the trauma that the country as a whole went through two years later".

"The fact is that the levees on the canals were substandard, and done on the cheap at an immense profit. Ultimately that becomes a metaphor," he said. "New Orleans was relying on things that were believed to be genuine bulwarks against tragedy and disaster. People felt that there were similar bulwarks protecting our financial institutions and foreign policy. Now, two years on, we are all essentially in the same boat as New Orleans. Katrina was an outlyer of where we are today."

Simon, whose The Wire has been hailed as a masterpiece of novelistic, sophisticated television was speaking to the Guardian ahead of his appearance at the Guardian Hay festival, which opens tomorrow. Simon will be speaking at the festival on 30 May about his book The Corner, an account by him and his collaborator, Ed Burns, of a year spent observing life on the street in West Baltimore. The book, published in the US in 1997, became the basis of The Wire, along with Homicide, Simon's earlier book about the year he spent shadowing officers in the Baltimore Police Department.

Read the rest here.

More later.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lost Verizon

When I got up for a drink of water during the night I noticed that there was a blinking red LED (instead of the usual green one) next to the Internet label on the high speed modem; while curious, I was sleepy and returned to bed.

By the time this is posted we will have been without Internet access for over 18 hours, or more.

When I got up to welcome the day I noticed the red light was still blinking and when I attempted to log on, discovered that I had no Internet access. Since the modem was still in working order I figured it had to be something to do with Verizon. So, I went to work thinking that all would be better when I got back. Not so.

A quicker than usual call to Verizon informed me of an outage in my area which was to be corrected by 6 pm this evening. It wasn't and isn't. The recording said that if all was not well by the 6 o'clock deadline to call again and leave a message. Having tried this 3 times, it is clear that Verizon has routed all complaints to a dead line. It never gets through to the recording device - the call is dropped.

I'm back, but for how long is anyone's guess.

Tomorrow is the beginning of the Memorial Day holiday weekend and the first day I take advantage of the park and ride into town. We'll see how that goes. Stay tuned.

Have a great and safe holiday weekend.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

UK: Union Jack Lowered - Rainbow Flag Raised

The Police in the UK did this to mark the day against homophobia. Will this ever happen here?
From the Daily Mail:
Dozens of police stations lowered the Union Flag and replaced it with a gay rights banner to mark a day of action against homophobia.

One police chief said the rainbow flag demonstrated his force's support for homosexuals who felt they were victims of prejudice.

But critics warned that it was dangerous for forces to show support for particular campaigns.

Earlier this year, Britain's most senior policeman ordered his force not to fly any flags in support of individual groups.

Sir Paul Stephenson, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, instructed officers to remove a rainbow flag which had replaced a Union Flag at Limehouse police station, in East London, to mark Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender history month.

But elsewhere, four forces flew the gay rights flag at the weekend to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia - the prejudice against transsexuals.
Read the whole story HERE.

More later...maybe.

Ellen Does Tulane, Again!

This is just the best. Funny and from the heart. It's uncut and made me laugh and cry. Last Saturday in New Orleans:

Off to work now.

More later.

Rehoboth Beach - The Season Begins...

Well, it is for all beach resorts, anyway.

All the signs are visible:
Parking meters are being uncovered and programmed for the gluttonous intake of coins.

Parking permit hawkers are in place at their usual locations situated under large beach umbrellas like money changers in the temple. These are a necessity for all parking on non-metered streets in town.

Businesses are hurriedly making transportation arrangements for employees into and out of town for the season. I am one of these. (The cost of feeding parking meters could cancel out the day's pay.) Hey, it's a resort town.

Off-season discounts are being eliminated from menus of many restaurants.

While I look forward to the summer and hope for a successful season for all resort retailers, I will be experiencing this season from a whole new perspective. I will be a part of the seasonal atmosphere; part of the tourist experience; part of making memories for unknown numbers of visitors - and hoping that I can help make those experiences positive and happy memories of their time in Rehoboth Beach.

After years of being recipient of the town's hospitality, I now have the privilege of offering it, instead. This is where you'll find me about three days a week. Sounds great to me.

More later.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Crappy Days and Blue Birds Always Get Me Down

Just another fine day here in Happy Valley, and like that...

For the past few days something has been getting into the large trash can (complete with a snap lock lid) to rummage through and find anything edible. I've come back to find foil, bread wrappers, bones, and veggie waste strewn about the area, but couldn't figure out how, or what, was getting into the thing. The lid stands about 50 inches from the ground and there was no sign of damage to the flower beds or anything else for that matter. There is nothing nearby that could be used in this sort of caper.

I was awakened this morning at 4:40 by a thumping sound coming from outside the kitchen window. Something was certainly in the can as I walked out to the porch to check out the scene it was bouncing all about. And then when it heard my voice everything went suddenly still - not a sound - then up pops a head looking straight at me with a look of sheer terror on its face and shot right out of the can barely touching the ground as it practically flew into the marshes.

The culprit? A very fat raccoon.

But how did it get into the can with the snap lock? A mystery for the ages, I suppose. I know how bright and creative coons can be, but can't help wondering how it gets any leverage to pop the lid. A trip to the hardware store to fetch a large paving stone is in my future.

A few errands were on my gay agenda this morning before work, so I left the apartment about an hour beforehand, just to make sure there was enough time. I hardly get 2 miles down the road when a state trooper turned on an otherwise flashing amber light to full red traffic mode so parisheners of an RC church could get out of the parking area without having to deal with folks going to work on a Sunday morning. To my amazement, he kept the light red (on the major roadway, no less) while the entire parking lot emptied onto the highway...20 minutes later the lot was empty, but traffic on roadway was backed up for miles in both directions. There has got to be a better way. With only enough time to get 2 errands out of the way before work, well I believe "pissed" just about covers my mood and I suspect the same was true of other drivers stuck behind me.

As I arrived at work the sky opened and the winds kicked up, too. I tried to make a run for it, but my umbrella turned inside out on the way and by the time I got the door open I was soaked to the skin. It took almost two hours for my clothes to dry. Well, at least I felt cool and refreshed. Damned umbrellas!!!

Getting back to the apartment a while ago I find the place has been invaded by tiny ants which are crawling all over the countertops, stove, sink, and the kitchen garbage can, which has only waste from last evenings meal - mostly veggie scraps. Never having such an invasion before I am puzzled as to the reason for the sudden appearance. No foods are ever left out, counters cleaned after every use, and the sink scrubbed just this morning due to the fact that I was awakened an hour earlier than usual (damned raccoon!) and had extra time on my hands. Perhaps the rain and wind forced them into the dry space of the apartment.

I got rid of the garbage bag straight away, (there ain't nuthin' in there for the coon) then set about killing the remaining buggers as I washed down the appliances etc, with soap and water followed by a mixture of peroxide and water. I hate to use chemical bug killers so there is none around; never needed it before.

Still, I am grateful to be indoors out of the weather and about to treat myself to a festive evening cocktail. Clearly, this was not my day. Somewhere G*d is having a good laugh.

Well, Cheers!

And so it goes.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Star Wars Caturday

More later...turns out this is going to be a 'working' day off.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Never Honk at an Elderly Person

They can get pretty pissy. Initially, the video was supposed to be of some skateboarders, but then the noise begins...

Did you see the airbag inflate and the look on the driver's face? Priceless!

With the season about to begin here in a week, traffic is already becoming nightmarish and dangerous. There were two accidents within a mile of each other yesterday morning as I drove to work. One was beer truck a rear-ended by a Hummer. The second happened at a very busy intersection on the main Coastal Highway involving three cars and a van. It occurred just minutes before because the state troopers were just beginning to take control of traffic in the northbound lanes and a chopper was getting ready to land. Not a good sign, that. Means someone needs immediate medical care.

And this all happened on a Thursday morning before 7 am. I can't wait to get myself off the road next weekend as the season arrives and the tourists make driving a contact sport.

More later.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Progress and Surprise

Holding up and actually making progress under the pressure of working 6 or 7 days weekly surprises me. That the hours vary between job #1 and job #2 is a real help. With #1 errands can be run after work, and with #2 they can be run before work; this means that my day off can be one of rest and relaxation rather than facing the faceless hordes attempting to get the same errands done. The logistics are still being worked out, but I am certain this is the best way to go.

Meanwhile, the stoopid that is the ER Assoc. is in limbo at present, possibly due to their receiving copies of the letters sent to me over the past SIX months, which will undoubtedly be followed by the inevitable circular firing squad of blame. After which I will get another round of calls from yet another gerbil-brained pencil pusher in their employ. (My apologies to all real gerbils.) If this ever comes to an end, it will not be in my lifetime.

Work at the job #2 is going well and I am having a great time meeting new people and old acquaintances from my previous life. The new additions to the staff and those returning for the season are pretty easygoing and friendly. I learn something new and different every day I work there; more hospitality trivia to fill my tiny brain. As I mentioned before there are a few drama queans, but I give them a wide berth and keep moving on.

A few months ago I wrote about applying for the temporary position of Census Taker in whatever form (they have cutsie, silly little formal-sounding job titles) and that after taking the test I didn't hear another word from them. Well, my friend over at Retired in Delaware did, subjected himself to the week of training and promptly quit a few days later for various reasons, not the least of which was the lack of guidance or support.

So you can imagine my surprise when I returned to the apartment yesterday evening to find THREE voice mail messages. That in itself was a very strange occurance, I can go for days without a single phone call - except for cold calls and telemarketers - so I sat down to listen to whoever called and got a real surprise.

I listened to the first posted at 10:20 am, by Charlene from.... The Census Bureau.

The second arrived at 12:25 pm, by Linda from.... The Census Bureau.

The third clocked in at 3:30 pm, by Ellen from.... oh, go ahead and guess.

All request that I return their call ASAP, at the same number. I wonder why I am suddenly so popular and in such demand? Sorry, ladies...three months have passed and I have already taken another job, but thanks anyway for thinking of me. The Gubament at its best!

Another good day at job #2 with great customers, wait staff working well together, and a clear blue sky that allowed the sliding glass doors to be removed so folks could do some people watching as they dined - and now it's time for a cocktail as I prepare supper, which will consist of TTS Peter's Salmon Fillet with a Balsamic Glaze, asparagus, and a salad.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Update: Levees and the Army Corps of Engineers

Found this over at Humid City (a fave NOLA site), here's a snip.

Whore of Engineers has uncovered an interesting item in the Army Corps of Engineers ledger: $1,000,000 for public relations.

It seems that instead of fixing the levees in New Orleans, the ACE thinks it’s easier to fix their image. And apparently it is. The PR firm hired by the Corps, Outreach Process Partners, touted their fantastic work on their website with a nifty graphic taking credit for reducing negative articles about the Corps. The graphic showed that between Oct ‘06 and Jun ‘07 the Corps racked up over 13,000 negative articles in the media. That same stretch from ‘07 to ‘08 lists only 305 negative articles with OPP’s help.

Really? From 13,000 to just 300 in one year? Those guys are good. Or they’re lying. Clearly they do not count the blogosphere as media.

Less than 24 hours after the released this news, OPP pulled the page from their website, but cached it and it can be viewed here. You can view the “edited” page here for a comparison.

Now ask yourself, how much flood protection would one million dollars buy? How many homes could be raised? How much higher could the levees be raised with a million dollars of dirt? How much more of Plaquemines Parish could be brought into the flood protection area? How much drainage work or infrastructure repair could be done? Congress has repeatedly refused to allocate funding for an independent investigation into the levee failures, relying on in-house investigations which have been tame at best, but they clearly have no problem rubber-stamping an assload of cash to hide bad press.

Commentary by M. Styborski, you'll find the rest HERE.

More later.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


NYT: Secret Lives in the Age of Gay Rights
by A. O. Scott.
With horror-movie music and stark white-on-gray titles, “Outrage” promises to illuminate a “brilliant conspiracy” that protects the secret lives of some powerful politicians while ensuring that the rights and interests of ordinary gay and lesbian Americans remain marginal. The choice of the word conspiracy may be deliberately provocative, but this indignant and methodical new documentary, directed by Kirby Dick, offers a lot of insight into the ideology and psychology of present-day political homophobia.

I say present-day, but “Outrage,” a battlefield report from the culture wars clearly intended to rally the morale of one side while attacking the exposed flanks of the other, is also a snapshot of a rapidly changing landscape. Its accusations of hypocrisy and betrayal are pointed and in many cases persuasive, but they would have sounded different — more urgent, and perhaps more incendiary — a few years or even six months ago. With each passing day that brilliant conspiracy looks increasingly tattered and beleaguered, and the men at the center of it seem less fearsome than pathetic.

Mr. Dick, whose previous documentaries have examined sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, the inner workings of the movie ratings system and the life and work of the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, is a cerebral muckraker.

While his techniques are not as nakedly tendentious as Michael Moore’s (and his movies, as a consequence, are not as much fun), he hardly pretends to be a detached or unbiased observer. “Outrage” is less an analysis of the practice of outing closeted public officials than a defense of it, an argument that the dignity and full citizenship of gay men and lesbians are undermined by an unspoken pact of secrecy.

This idea has been a foundation of gay politics for a long time: a clip at the end of “Outrage” shows Harvey Milk, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors more than 30 years ago, insisting that coming out was central to the project of gay civil rights. And Mr. Dick’s film often works less as an exposé of current injustice than as a historical essay, looking back in particular on the 1980s, when AIDS made candor and visibility matters of survival for many gay men and when resistance to gay rights began to emerge as an organizing principle for conservatives in the Republican Party.
More HERE.

And in case you missed the trailer in my earlier post go here.

The film will probably never play here, but there is always the DVD. I wonder what the news will make of this tomorrow - if they will cover it at all, or just choose to ignore it at all cost.

More later.

For Spring Planting...

Just add a republican to the shirt, plant, water, and wait...

More later.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

How Much Longer, Mr. President?

From the May 08, 2009 NYT:
WASHINGTON — President Obama was noticeably silent last month when the Iowa Supreme Court overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

But now Mr. Obama — who has said he opposes same-sex marriage as a Christian but describes himself as a “fierce advocate of equality” for gay men and lesbians — is under pressure to engage on a variety of gay issues that are coming to the fore amid a dizzying pace of social, political, legal and legislative change.

Two of Mr. Obama’s potential Supreme Court nominees are openly gay; some advocates, irked that there are no gay men or lesbians in his cabinet, are mounting a campaign to influence his choice to replace Justice David H. Souter, who is retiring. Same-sex marriage is advancing in states — the latest to allow it is Maine — and a new flare-up in the District of Columbia could ultimately put the controversy in the lap of the president.

Mr. Obama’s new global health initiative has infuriated activists who say he is not financing AIDS programs generously enough. And while the president has urged Congress to pass a hate crimes bill, a high priority for gay groups, he has delayed action on one of his key campaign promises, repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule.

Social issues like same-sex marriage bring together deeply held principles and flashpoint politics, and many gay activists, aware that Mr. Obama is also dealing with enormous challenges at home and overseas, have counseled patience.

But some are unsettled by what they see as the president’s cautious approach. Many are still seething over his choice of the Rev. Rick Warren, the evangelical pastor who opposes same-sex marriage, to deliver the invocation at his inaugural, and remain suspicious of Mr. Obama’s commitment to their cause.

In the words of David Mixner, a writer, gay activists are beginning to wonder, “How much longer do we give him the benefit of the doubt?”
The rest is HERE.

Being a fan of Eugene Robinson I was pleased he wrote the following in WaPo:
"On some issues, though, I really don’t see anything but black and white. Among them is the “question” of granting full equal rights to gay and lesbian Americans, which really isn’t a question at all. It’s a long-overdue imperative, one that the nation is finally beginning to acknowledge. It’s time for Obama to put some of his political capital where his rhetoric is." – Eugene Robinson, Washington Post columnist
Where do we go from here? I dunno. How many states will have to legalize same sex marriage before the President takes a stand? Dunno that either, but it has to come soon. He's playing all the other cards he was dealt and this one is potentially a whole lot less damaging to the country.

More later.

The NOT-Air Force One Pictures

And the Director resigns, thankfully, after scaring the crap out of New Yorkers. (Click image to embiggen.) From the NYT:

The director of the White House Military Office submitted his resignation on Friday, less than two weeks after he authorized a flyover by an Air Force One backup of the Statue of Liberty that terrified thousands of people in New York City.

Louis Caldera, who served as the secretary of the Army in the Clinton administration, apologized for the “distraction” that approving the flyover caused. He said in a brief letter to President Obama on Friday that it “has made it impossible for me to effectively lead the White House Military Office.”

On April 27, a plane that usually serves as the president’s plane was flying low over the New York City skyline, trailed closely by two fighter jets.

This incident not only cost the guy his job, but also reportedly cost us, the taxpayers, over 350 thousand dollars.

Now taking a good look at the picture you may want your money back. Notice the background is not New York City, but the flat lands of New Jersey. Not a very flattering view of Miss Leberty, either. Hell, Ellis Island isn't even visible. Why didn't they just use Photoshop and a stock image of Manhattan? That would have been a whole lot cheaper, IMHO.

The rest of the story is HERE.

UPDATE: As if in answer to my suggestion to use Photoshop, here is what I found over at JMG.

More later.


This is not a reflection of my mood today, I just thought it was funny. I have the day off and the clouds are back, so the plan is to relax, relax, and relax.

More later.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Still Here and a Little Frazzled

Lots of insanity-making stuff has been happening in my life and not all of it good or even worth mentioning. I've been working six days a week for the past 3 and between the two jobs and the increasing stoopid coming at me from the medical establishment I hardly have the time to breathe and sleep.

I am working at incorporating errands into my daily schedule rather than putting them aside for my one day off. I think it will work out OK, at least for the summer.

Since the robbery at Job 1 two weeks ago things have been chaotic dealing with the police, insurance reps., detectives, and the press. 12-hour days have been the norm lately and we're all feeling the anxiety that follows such traumatic events. The owners have been around helping with the clean up and offering support. Yesterday we all had a good cry together - as was bound to happen due to stress - and felt much better for it.

Job 2 is going along OK, though I still have plenty to learn. Cinco de Mayo was a very festive day and a good time was had by all. I'm getting the hang of the rhythm of the place and the personalities of those with whom I share the shift. There is some drama, but I try to stay out of it for the most part. I have enough on my plate with enough drama in the last 3 years to last the rest of my life.

The sun has finally made an appearance this morning, a very good sign. There was a full moon last night, so today - and the weekend - ought to be very interesting.

More later.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Stand By Me - Playing for Change

This makes the rain and mist more bearable. From YouTube: From the award-winning documentary, "Playing For Change: Peace Through Music", comes the first of many "songs around the world" being released independently. Featured is a cover of the Ben E. King classic by musicians around the world adding their part to the song as it traveled the globe.

I would love to see the documentary sometime. Here's the website for Playing for Change.

Back is not too bad today, but not up to sitting too long. Will write more later. I found the painkillers (tanks be to Gott!) and will take one just before work today and one more - if needed - before bed.

More later

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Will He Ever Learn?

Clearly, no.

The back is quite inflamed after all the cleaning chores yesterday. It didn't feel like I was over-doing it at the time, but last evening as I prepared for sleep the pain in the lower back became intense. I tried to find a muscle relaxant, but had to settle for a high dose of Ibuprofen to help sleep take me away.

No good deed goes unpunished.

I got through work today by knocking back more IB, and continued to search for painkillers or muscle relaxants to ease the pain when I got back to the apartment. I am sure there are some left from last November. It's just a matter of putting my hands on them.

Now, if I were such a pill, where would I be at this moment? Hm. I just don't seem to get an answer or an insight as to where I would have put them other than the refrigerator or cabinet. But, they're not in either place. Bother.

I hope it's better tomorrow because if not, and if I cannot find some relief, Tuesday at the second job will be difficult. Having fractured 3 vertebrae in my spine in November, I cannot even think of visiting a chiropractor. Rock, say hello to a hard place.

Prayers are requested, if you are so inclined.

And so it goes.

Jesus Welcomes You to Florida

Words Fail.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Traditional Values Coalition...

...Dishonest, Dumb, or Both?

No need for comment.

And so it goes.

Recovered Treasure

Time for a rest. The check list of chores is dwindling but the back and hands need a break. An interesting item found while cleaning and sorting things brought happy thoughts.

Many years ago, before my previous life, a childhood friend went into the navy and for some reason unknown to me at the time, I was the only friend who wrote regularly about anything and everything happening with me and around our hometown.

Most of his time onboard ship, he wrote, was boring and he expressed a desire for escapist reading material. It wasn't difficult to mail items to sailors back then, so I sent a book a week and a letter usually twice a week when there was enough interesting to report. I turned him on to sci-fi books by Robert Heinlein, including the Lazarus Long series (written many years before), Podkayne of Mars, Farnham's Freehold, and of course, Stranger in a Strange Land which became his favourite. Another strengthening of our bond because it was also my fave, as well.

Anyway, since childhood he had a fascination with gem stones and in his travels throughout South America and the far east, he found many beauties. By the time he returned to NOLA, I was already living in NYC. I made sure I visited the family that year at Christmas, and planned to spend some quality time with him, too.

We met at a fave bar in the Quarter and it was a stunning evening for me. Not only did he come out as gay after the Navy, he told me that I was the only friend to keep in touch all the time he was a sea. Before leaving for another venue he shoved two small envelopes (about the size of coin envelopes today) into my hands as he gave me a big hug. We both cried a little, but bar hopping was on the agenda, so we saved the tears for after we got pleasantly drunk.

He had given me two special stones - beautifully cut and polished - an emerald cut Sapphire, and an oval sort of cushion cut Imperial Topaz. He never talked about the gifts, but I am sure they were favourites and wanted me to have them. These stones remained in the envelopes for years, past my previous life during which time they were all but forgotten. Then three years ago while going through the upheavel and pain of the break up, I found the Sapphire and on a lark took it to work and showed it to the boss. I thought the eyes would pop out of his head. He checked the gem info book for colour and carat weight and told me it was worth a lot of money. He promptly decided that I must have a ring made. So I did.

Now today, two years on, I find the Topaz in its little envelope and the memories came flooding back to me. While I cannot afford the luxury of setting the stone right now, I promise I will do so when things improve.

You see, we stayed in touch over the years whenever I visited NOLA he and his partner, mine and I would get together for a few jolly evenings. Unfortunately I have not heard from him since Katrina. I found out that his home was destroyed by the flood and there was no sign of either of them since the storm. I've tried all kinds of searches from the Red Cross after the storm, to the death rolls compiled over the years, but with no more information. Periodically, I will run a search on his name for a phone number anywhere in LA. I am sure he'd never leave NOLA, let alone Louisiana. He wouldn't be able to find me since the break up and sale of the house

I am a happy camper having found the other stone and telling the story again. Nice memories for a gloomy day. Now it's back to the clearing and cleaning up before cooking and having a quiet dinner. I think I'll have a Sazerac (pictured above) in his honour.

More later.

Concentration Caturday

One day off and must concentrate on getting all chores done - errands will have to wait for another day.

More later.


Friday, May 1, 2009

1773 Sere Street - A NOLA Victory After Katrina

This is the guy who spoke out on teabag day asking how many protesters made less than 250K and then proceeded to inform the wingers that their taxes were being reduced. They didn't want to hear it. That video is here. But this story warmed my soul today.

The last time I was here was April Fool's Day weekend in 2007, just over two years ago, when I joined up with Athenae (and Mr. A.), Racy Mind, Spork Incident, dear Grandmére Mimi, scout prime, and others, all of whom I was meeting for the first time, to assist in some small way with the massive rebuilding process New Orleans then was (and still is) undergoing following Hurricane Katrina and the ensuing malfeasance of the Bush crime syndicate. So upon arriving in town today, I headed directly for 1773 Sere Street.

The last time I saw it, I was helping to gut it from the inside out (as part of a group organized by those horrible Communists, ACORN). Situated immediately beside the London Avenue Canal, the house was completely submerged when the canal overtopped the levee wall during the storm. I was profoundly moved by the experience, as I shared here, but I never knew the Rest of the Story. Until today.

Read the whole feel-good story from someone who was there and enjoy the pictures of the rebuilding and landscaping of the property. HERE.

This is what we do as neighbors, communities, Americans.

More later.
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