Saturday, April 30, 2011

Music, Music, Music!

The Sony box was waiting on the porch when I got in last evening, but I was bone-tired and thought I'd set it up today.  After a hot shower, however, I thought differently.

With fresh olives in hand, I followed directions for the very basic setup (without the remote, which is pretty useless, anyway) so as to have delicious music as I prepped supper. 

Will, a commenter, asked what CD I would play first.  Although I had a stack queued up I chose something completely different.  The image at left is the cover of the first disc to play and it's one of my faves.  I was surprised to find an entry on Wikipedia.  But there it is...Gershwin Plays Gershwin, The Piano Rolls.***  It's like having George in the living room playing live.  It contains the most kick-ass version of The Rhapsody in Blue ever recorded (and why not?  it's played by the composer!) and cheered me as I did the cooking thing.

I remembered the first time I heard the piece with only the 2 pianos (I was 9) and when I heard it with full Jazz orchestra (at age 14)  and how each thrilled me in different ways.  I remembered Bernstein's arrangement with the New York Philharmonic knocked my socks off, but that was a few years later.

It's a pleasure to have music around again.

This evening, as I finish the grandmother's pot roast recipe - with garlic roasted red potatoes and asparagus salad,  I'll be listening to Enya, keeping the mood light and, well, gay.  Always a good thing.

***If you love the music of Gershwin I heartily recommend this recording for your own library.

And so it goes.
*

Allergy Caturday



Yes, and the pollen count is extreme today, too.

More later.
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Friday, April 29, 2011

MadPriest: Thought For the Day

The Royal Wedding in London today will cost millions of pounds. Most of this will be paid for out of the taxes paid by the British public, including those who have no interest in the Royal Family.

Each year the cost of policing football matches in the UK so that spectators are safe costs millions of pounds Most of this is paid for out of the taxes paid by the British public, including those who have no interest in football.

Every year millions of pounds are given out as subsidies to the arts. All of this is paid for out of the taxes paid by the British public, including those who prefer to play darts in their local pub to visiting Tate Modern.

It is a marvellous thing to live in a country where people are prepared to give their money so that others may be happy even when the events paid for bring no happiness to themselves.
Visit MP HERE.

And so it goes.
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Salad and a Story

Work was mostly uneventful today, thunderstorms put a damper on most outdoor activities and forced folks to scurry on home to safety.

As I sipped my AS (after shift) cocktail a couple arrived, plopped onto the bar stools beside me, ordered a pitcher of margaritas and laughed hysterically.  The pitcher arrived and the woman chugged the first glass immediately and poured another, taking that one a bit slower.

"Well, that helped," she said.

I wasn't paying much attention after the initial shock of the chugging, so when the woman began a conversation I was surprised. 

The story unfolded this way:  today is her birthday and a few friends were having a luncheon for her hosted by another friend who was doing the cooking.

There were cheeses, oysters, crab cakes and other goodies.  Then came the salad course, which was a baby spinach leaf salad with mushrooms, shallots, and caramelized onions served with a warm dressing. 

It turns out that while shopping, the hostess mistakenly picked up a bag of fresh basil leaves instead of baby spinach and, well, you can imagine the shocked responses on the faces of a few tipsy women as they chomped down eagerly on what they assumed was baby spinach.

As guest of honor, this trooper did her best but finally had to question the taste.  The hostess was beside herself with embarrassment and immediately took to her room.  Attack of the vapors, you know. And while the other women dispersed in all directions, the birthday girl snagged her husband and came to us for relief. 

You just can't make this stuff up. (Who would want to, anyway?)

And so it goes.

Marlene Dietrich rides a bike.

In what appears to be a wardrobe malfunction.  Your argument is invalid.



From this whimsical, original site.

More later.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New LG Phone Works - Its Alive!

To be fair it has been working OK since Monday.  Incompatibility issues between the SIM cards of Motorola and LG are what I was told caused the daily glitches. 

Seriously, I was on the phone with Tracfone support daily from Wednesday til this past Sunday evening, when all the codes (most entered by me) fell into place. Activated the new phone Wednesday and the old number transferred without a hitch - but the remaining minutes didn't, which made the phone useless until that happened. The 3200+ minutes transferred on Thursday, but I could only receive messages, not send.  Attempts at outgoing calls left me with "Service Unavailable" messages every time.  Friday after another 2 hours with tech support we learned that the carrier side (AT&T or Verizon) was not picking up outgoing signals from the LG.  The additional codes were entered and 12 hours later, I had no service at all.

After work Sunday, without my AS cocktail, I raced home to call tech support before they shutdown at 5 pm. Now let me just say that all the technicians at Tracfone were attentive and patient, but Mauricio was the best and most professional of the lot.   Eventually, I made a call that went through, he called my number and the cell phone rang.  Miracle of miracles.  Mauricio sympathized with me about texting on a standard numerical keyboard and bemoaned the fact that Tracfone has yet to offer phones with QWERTY keyboards.  Texting is more popular than Tracfone knows.

Monday, I was receiving texts and calls from the restaurant, and all is back to what passes as normal.

That said, I am not pleased with the LG brand.  The menus are embedded and the texting isn't as intuitive as with the Motorola. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Being 4 years newer, this model has more bells and whistles, many redundant and never used by me. (I think of this as tempting the mindless with the useless, but what do I know?)  Still, I'll learn and eventually get used to its quirks and limitations.  It will be fine for my needs. 

I am sure you tech-savvy types will get a howl out of this post and I am happy to have entertained you this day.  Let me say that I barely tolerate cell phones and turn mine off every chance I get. The last thing I want is for everyone to know my whereabouts 24/7 and the idea of a GPS sends shivers up & down my spine. I am a child of Robert Heinlein who warned of such devices and how YOU could be found anywhere at any time for any reason. Any. Reason. The wisdom of Lazarus Long embedded that in my brain long ago.

It is what it is.


And so it goes.
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Why Gay Rights Supporters in DE Should Oppose Senators Connor and Cloutier

Concise, comprehensive reporting from behind the scenes on the recent vote for the Civil Unions here, and who our friends really are.
From Delaware Liberal.  Posted 4/26/2011 by El Somnambulo: (format & highlights by the author)

Three years. In Cathy Cloutier ‘Have A Great Day’ time, we’re talking 1095 not-so-great days, give or take.
Senator Dori Connor and Senator Cathy Cloutier cost gays three years of equal rights, free of discrimination. How is it, you may ask, that two senators who have sought and received endorsements from gay rights groups ended up denying gays the basic rights that Connor and Cloutier claimed to support?
Here’s how. On March 24, 2005, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed HS1/HB 36 (Oberle), which would have “prohibit(ed) discrimination against persons on the basis of sexual orientation in housing, employment, public works contracting, public accommodations, and insurance and grants Superior Court exclusive criminal jurisdiction over violations of equal accommodations, fair housing and employment discrimination…”.
On April 13, 2005, President Pro-Tempore Thurman Adams placed the bill in his own Senate Executive Committee. By placing the bill there, Adams made clear his intent to make sure that this bill would never see the light of day. At least not while he was around. And there it languished until 2006. The bill had enough votes to pass, but it was going nowhere as long as it was in the Senate Executive Committee.
It was in this context that several senators got together to  form a coalition to petition the bill out of committee. A majority of all senators, 11 out of 21, was required to get the bill out of committee. The official format to do so was and is a petition with sufficient signatories. By spring of 2006, 11 senators had given their verbal pledge to petition the bill out of committee. Two of those senators were Dori Connor and Cathy Cloutier. All that remained was the seemingly pro-forma matter of signing the petition. The 11 senators had agreed to meet immediately after the Senate broke for party caucus on that fateful day so that all 11 could sign it in the presence of the others, neat and simple. With 11 signatures, it was possible that the bill would become law by the end of the day. It was right there.
Nine senators showed up. Two disappeared, Senator Dori Connor and  Senator Cathy Cloutier. Supporters of the bill desperately scoured Legislative Hall to find them. They were nowhere to be found. By breaking their word to their fellow senators and to the gay rights community, Dori Connor and Cathy Cloutier killed an end to discrimination based on sexual orientation for the remainder of Thurman Adams’ reign as President Pro-Tem. When the Senate reconvened that day, a ring of strange ( well, unfamiliar and strange) people circled Cathy Cloutier’s desk. They  prevented other senators from speaking to her. To this day, neither she nor Dori Connor have ever publicly explained their abandonment of the gay community.
There's more HERE.

More later.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What About Time? It's About NOW

I've been in conversations lately where inevitably the question "What do you want out of life?" is asked.  Most of these folks are in the 40s and 50s, seem professionally successful, most are coupled, and outwardly appear content.  I suppose not. Or, are they asking the question to draw me in to find out how I see my life today as opposed to 5 years ago.

They do not know my past (that I'm aware of) and I am careful when responding because they don't understand how I can survive without TV service, Glee, American Idol, and whatever new show happens to be on the gay-list-a-list. There's doubt they would understand the transmigration (forced and self-imposed) endured to get to this place. 

I want NOW!

None believe that I turn 65 this summer.  They say I look much younger (bless'em) when I think what they really mean is I don't "act" 65.  Their image of my age group is that of a person shutting down, out of circulation, or put out to pasture, as they say.  Someone who has lost their sensahumah, spends every morning scouring the newspaper obits in search of someone they know, and downing pills by the fist-full for whatever ailment du jour.

Um, NOW, please!

They are status-conscious, owning 'things' that everyone around them would envy, I lost all that 5 years ago and happy at the way it turned out.  Remember those huge, heavy coffee table books of photos of everything from the Aztecs to Zanuck?  (Apologies if you have any of these, this is about me.) That kind of living and hoarding never ends.  There's always something else, some must-have item required just to keep up with the pack.

Sure, we had invested in that lifestyle and the sudden vacuum created when it was gone left me off balance and breathless.  I survived. I've had lots of help along the way.

OK, cliche alert!  I never eat sour grapes and do my damnest not to spill milk, but if I do, I don't cry over it.

I don't require much to be happy and comfortable. Martinis, Margaritas and the occasional Sazerac are blessings accepted and savored. I laugh alot and others laugh with me. There is respect and love from those I work for, and with, that means so much to me. 

I'll stick with - NOW.

I didn't get a chance to go on holiday this year and the season is upon us, but that's OK.  I'm ready to enjoy myself as new people enter my life, while others depart.  That's fine too, and as it should be. 

Enjoying an evening out is on the horizon, as is the infrequent visit to Happy Hour at local restaurants, but patience, patience. 

Meanwhile, looking forward to the arrival of the Sony sound system to this place keeps the smile on my silly face a little bigger. Maybe tomorrow - my day off - and wouldn't that be great!!!

And so it goes.
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Sad News: Phoebe Snow R.I.P.

From SFGate:

Phoebe Snow, a bluesy singer, guitarist and songwriter who had a defining hit of the 1970s with "Poetry Man" but then largely dropped out of the spotlight to care for her disabled daughter, has died.
Snow, who was nominated for best new artist at the 1975 Grammys, died Tuesday morning in Edison, N.J., from complications of a brain hemorrhage she suffered in January 2010, said Rick Miramontez, her longtime friend and public relations representative. She was 60.
Snow's manager, Sue Cameron, said the singer endured bouts of blood clots, pneumonia and congestive heart failure since her stroke.
"The loss of this unique and untouchable voice is incalculable," Cameron said. "Phoebe was one of the brightest, funniest and most talented singer-songwriters of all time and, more importantly, a magnificent mother to her late brain-damaged daughter, Valerie, for 31 years. Phoebe felt that was her greatest accomplishment."
Known as a folk guitarist who made forays into jazz and blues, Snow put her stamp on soul classics such as "Shakey Ground,""Love Makes a Woman" and "Mercy, Mercy Mercy" on over a half dozen albums.
Not long after Snow's "Poetry Man" reached the Top 5 on the pop singles chart in 1975, her daughter, Valerie Rose, was born with severe brain damage, and Snow decided to care for her at home rather than place her in an institution.
The entire story is HERE.

And so it goes.
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Monday, April 25, 2011

The Spo Shirt Magical Mystery Tour

I've been keeping up with the travels of this fast-becoming infamous shirt touring the world for good causes and now Cubby over at Patently Queer (the dear) has posted a travel history for the shirt thus far, and it's absolutely astonishing the roads traveled and sights seen...oh if that shirt could talk!

I followed the link history and discovered that many recipients were able to get very, shall I say, creative (ahem!) use out of the material (maybe thanks to Cubby's magic powder) but when I saw my post I wanted to hide away.  Maybe the cold temperatures and snow hindered the power of the magic powder.  (Hey, I can make up stuff with the best!) Actually, I took a few other pictures, none clever, settled for one and posted it.  The shirt had been delayed and I wanted to get it off to the next volunteers as soon as possible.

Not an easy task, since I received it on 12/26/10 and we were hit by a snowstorm that very day.  It was not sent to the next address until 1/3/11.  You can read the posts for yourself. There's no way I could have shown the shirt around Rehoboth Beach. Fortunately others were able to show off their towns  and share some terrific photos. 

I'd like to say "thanks" to everyone has thus far, shared their humor, imagination, and selves with the world for this project. I am anxious to meet the remaining volunteers and read their blogs, as well.  And Special thanks to Spo for allowing my participation. It's been great fun reading the blogs of others involved and I know I will continue to follow many in the future. You're good and witty folks with a grand sensahumah and I am proud to have made your acquaintance.

And now, for a giggle (spew alert) here are other pics of me in the magical Spo shirt.  Oy!



On the left I look like Peter Pan about to fly off to Neverland (don't I wish) and on the right I seem to be a used car salesman saying, trust me, would I steer you wrong?

Where will it turn up next?

Lame!  Yes, I know.  It is what it is.



And so it goes.
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter


Yes, He's missing from the painting.

And so it goes.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

There Will be Music in the Air

As some of you may know, I am  a music lover with very eclectic tastes - aside from Rap - I appreciate many genres and artists. Being a gay man, I love musical theatre and had a 2,000+ vinyl collection dating back to the late 40s. In my previous life we had a top of the line multi-media center and a 50" television.  Bose surround sound and all the magic anyone could wish for to make the home music and viewing experience a real treat.

Well, all that disappeared after the breakup with the Ex getting everything except the CD collection, which he offhandedly told me, "oh, you can have those." No matter.  I was in no physical or emotional state to process what that would mean down the road. I learned later that my precious collection was sold at his "garage sale" and it tore my heart out. A few buyers offered to give them to me, but I have no turntable - yes - the Ex got those too.

Anyway, that's the past. For the past 4 years I have listened to music played on the player in the computer through rather old, but fairly good speakers.  Even so...

I received an email last week from American Express (a member since 1974) reminding me that I have accumulated many thousands of "points" by using my card.  I knew that Discover Card had a cash back rewards program and used it in the past to pay part of my balance, but this was a smack-in-the-face wake up call.

You see, I use those 2 credit cards to pay for all my monthly expenses.  All of them.  I use their money and keep what I have in the bank.  This is the best way I've learned to handle a budget.  At the end of each month I receive an itemized accounting of what I have spent and where the money has gone. Then, I always pay the amount due in full.  No interest is charged.

OK, so this Amex email suggests that I "treat" myself to a luxury item using the accrued points, and lists a few retailers from which to choose.   So I hunted down a Sony shelf-stereo system, keyed in the information about the points, discovered the unit was on sale (I love sales!) and then found out that I had enough points to cover the price and shipping with points left over.  O.M.G!

Sometime this coming week there will be a new addition to the household. Music!  From a real component system. It will even play iPods!  Not that I have, or want one.  I am thrilled beyond measure. The music I've waited so long to hear again is already stacked in a queue.

The ongoing cell phone saga will wait for another day.

And so it goes.
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Caturday Dreams


More later.
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Friday, April 22, 2011

Down in the Depths, & Easter Week*

It's been almost a week since I've come up for air to write a personal post.  So here goes.  Yes, the image is that of Divine.  Any questions? 

Yesterday, Maundy Thursday, I was going to get into that foot-washing thing, but then realized I have no hair.  (Sigh!) 

It's Easter week and that means spring break and families with kids are all over the area.  Many in the restaurant - and that's a good thing. We've been hopping (no pun intended) busy all week, and the weekend will be all that and more. The DosLocosGuys always offer a special Easter Menu (along with the regular one) and today I had to stop taking reservations for Saturday and Sunday.

In other news, the battery in my seldom used 4-year-old cell phone (used more in the past year due to the communication demands at work) decided that it could not hold a charge any longer so Tracfone sent me a new one. Upon activation the number was transferred, but not the remaining minutes (total of more than 3200 - it's a pay as you go plan.  It's been 48 hours and the phone remains useless.  Which, btw, is fine with me. Not so with the doslocosguys, but they will have to adjust, as I do. I've always had Motorola phones, but this time they sent an LG and maybe that's part of the problem.

Curiously this here blog thingy has been receiving a flood of visits over the last 48 hours, mostly from India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Java (!) all in search of an archived piece I wrote last year about the first Earth Day in 1970. Wonders never cease!

This here blog continues to get many visits from Arab countries whenever the post is GLBT related. Most are from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt with visitation times of up to 25 minutes.  Posts related to the BP oil spill (remember that?) and it's {{{crickets}}}.  So, what does this tell us, class?

Never mind, I don't want to know.

* Has nothing at all to do with this post, I just love Cole Porter's "Down in the Depths on the 90th Floor" which, I posted via YouTube featuring Lisa Stansfield from the Red Hot and Blue AIDS fundraiser and tribute to Cole Porter.  Have a look for yourself.  The orchestration alone is a work of art.

More later.
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Just a Thought: Last Supper

What if?

More later.
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Eurythmics vs. Bronski Beat

Just what was needed tonight.  Annie Lennox and Jimmy Somerville mash-up of Sweet Dreams and Smalltown Boy. An 80s Treasure.
I rest my case.

And so it goes.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Idina Menzel: I Stand.

Idina is legendary in RENT and WICKED.  I suppose I missed this because it was released during my healing/hermit days. Just stumbled upon a stash of her videos on YT.  This is the 'lyric video' and I hope you don't mind.



A great way to end an evening.

And so it goes.
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Intimacy: I Miss it.


And so it goes.
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BP Spill: The Truth 1 Year Later

Posted today by Jonathon Henderson at Gulf Restoration Network. An audio/visual expose of the big lies told by BP and our own elected officials.
Tomorrow marks 1-year since the tragedy of the BP drilling disaster manifested itself far out and deep under the Gulf of Mexico. Many would argue, and rightfully so, that the tragedy began to unfold years before due to lax federal oversight and BP putting corporate profits over safety, a policy that led to the tragic death of 11 men aboard the Horizon platform. Well, the tragedy in the Gulf continues today and GRN is working very hard to keep the public aware of the true, current situation in the Gulf. That is why over the last couple of weeks we have guided several media outlets to the Gulf so that they can see for themselves that BP has failed on its commitment, in their words, to “make it right”. Yesterday, we spent the morning with members of the Atakapa Tribe, a Native American tribe that lives in the tiny fishing community of Grand Bayou, Louisiana in Plaquemines Parish. We hopped on three of their boats with three different media outlets and headed out to find the truth.

One thing that jumped out at me is this contraption that BP contractors are continuing to use to literally rake the marsh. They have several large cranes on barges with huge rake-like attachments which they are dragging along the marsh and pulling out huge chunks of oiled marsh grass. Okay, maybe this would be okay in some places, but Louisiana’s marshes are extremely fragile and this kind of tearing into the grass, soil, and root systems could be causing much more harm than good. We are watching this issue closely and will follow up with any new details that we are able to attain.

In the meantime, you can help the Gulf by sending a letter to Congress urging them to implement the Oil Spill Commission's recommendations. It has been just about a year since BP's Macondo well blew out and still, Congress has yet to act--part of this ongoing tragedy. Congress must act in order for BP's fines and penalties under the Clean Water Act to go toward coastal recovery for the Gulf region. Congress must also act for the creation of a Regional Citizens' Advisory Council (RCAC) that will act as an independent watchdog over the Oil industry in the Gulf. Please take a moment now to send your message to Congress and please be sure to ask as many people as possible to do the same via word of mouth and/or social networking.

Jonathan Henderson is the Coastal Resiliency Organizer for the GRN.

Article, ABC News video, and slide show are HERE.

More later.
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Monday, April 18, 2011

Sam Waterston for Marriage Equality

I have always loved Sam's work on Broadway and Off.  Most of you will probably know him from the TV commercials about stock trading.  I never knew there was this political side to him as well, but I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.



Standouts for me was "A Walk in the Woods" on Broadway, and his Oscar nominated performance in " The Killing Fields - a film that I could never watch again. I also find Mr. Waterston a very sexy man.

A bit of Waterston's history is HERE.

And so it goes.
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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pebbles, Rocks, and Boulders.

Palm Sunday! 
You'd Think, wouldn't you?  Um, no!
You know, we sometimes become complacent, spoiled even, because most of our guests are so wonderful.  Today was one of those days when we appreciated them all the more.  We were cursed with the table-of-four-from-Hell. 

Pebbles:
It all began with the request for our gluten-free menu.  That wasn't enough.  They had to see the label information of each product on the menu (which we keep in a binder for our own use as well), then wanted to see the packaging of said products to be sure we actually used that product.  I said no to that.

Rocks:
Next up, the menu choices weren't convenient to their tastes, so they wanted substitutions - which we do not allow for many reasons. The children's menu didn't offer enough choices for their darling little one. No substitutions was the answer.  By this time I was ready to ask them to leave, but they finally gave in and placed an order.

Next thing we know, two of them had gone to the bar and purchased drinks at Happy Hour prices, which are only available at the bar and lounge, (a tacky and calculated move since little ones aren't allowed in either area) and brought them back to the dining room.  They saved a whole $2.00 in the process, btw. I told the staff to feed them and get them out of the restaurant as soon as possible.  And they did.

As the group headed for the door I voiced my 'thank you'  no one said a word in response.  One woman simply reached into the huge urn of mints and came up with a fist full which she jammed into her jacket pocket while glaring at me.  So I smiled and repeated 'thank you and come again' then under my breath 'after we're all dead, please.'

Well, their server (a candidate for sainthood) went into a loud fit of hysterics as 2 of the party glanced back suspiciously, eyes squinting, then turned and walked away. It took a few minutes for the server to regain composure, but when he did, he gave me a big bear hug.  Yessir, those follks were Class!  Yessir, all the way.

As my shift ended 3 regulars arrived and I enjoyed my AS cocktail, a Tropical Long Island Iced Tea - suggested by the GM - with them before the walk home.  It was just what any doctor would have ordered.

Boulders:
Anyway, it's Palm Sunday - the US is the pack mule for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya - Jesus is entering Jerusalem on an ass, and not one of these is going to end well.  Perspective, yeah, that's it.

And so it goes.
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Three-Year-Old Conducts Beethoven

5th symphony, 4th movement, and this kid knows the music.  It is clear that he loves the music, and what he's doing. Jonathan also loves just being a 3-year-old, and the attention.



I love this video.  Hope you enjoyed it, too.

YouTube Video Description: This piece was conducted by Herbert von Karajan and the Berliner Philharmoniker, one of Jonathan's favorite conductors and orchestras. Jonathan's passion for classical music became apparent when he was only eight months old. Shortly after that he began conducting on his own.

And so it goes.
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Stormy Weather, and Then Some

Believe it or not, this area has been under a severe weather watch since early this morning.  Possibility of tornadoes, strong gusty winds, heavy rain and possibly hail are on the table.  So far, just rain and high winds. (notice little Delaware just above the word "some" in the image above.)

Now this just appeared on my screen:

...SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS DEVELOPING...
SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS WERE DEVELOPING OVER THE DELMARVA PENINSULA AND SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA THIS AFTERNOON. THESE THUNDERSTORMS WILL MOVE NORTHEAST QUICKLY, AND SOME SHOULD MAINTAIN THEMSELVES AS THEY MOVE INTO SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY. THEY WERE GENERATING DANGEROUS CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING AND HEAVY DOWNPOURS THAT MAY RESULT IN PONDING OF WATER. A FEW MAY GENERATE SMALL HAIL.
PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO DRIVE ACROSS ANY FLOODED ROADS. IF YOU ARE OUTDOORS AND HEAR THUNDER, PLEASE MOVE INDOORS. 
The sky is dark and the winds are increasing.  The stands of bamboo nearby are again bent over and almost horizontal with the ground. The pines and others are whipping in the gale-force wind gusts and while scary, it's amazing to watch nature do its thing.

I hope I don't lose power tonight, but if I do it's far better than dealing with a tornado - which seems to be out of the picture now.  Friends down south aren't being so lucky. Things are pretty bad there.

More later...maybe.
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Caturday: What If?



More later.
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Friday, April 15, 2011

Cat and Dolphins Play Together: Redux

For some reason, the owner of the original video chose to take it offline calling it a "private video" - well, ok, why post it on YouTube in the first place, then?

Never mind, it's back.  So here it is again in all its amazingness.
Let's see how long this one lasts.  There are already duplicates and fan vids with music tracks on YT, so what was the point?

And so it goes.
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Just a Thought: Weekend Getaway

I could use one of these.

And so it goes.
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Spring, Fog, and Being Alive

A thick fog hung over the town as I made my walk to work yesterday.  Everything was quiet. One could hear the drops of water fall to the pavement from the drooping leaves and blossoms on the trees. The ocean was hidden from view. A light breeze caused the fog to swirl in slow dancing patterns and it felt grand to feel at one with nature.

Very little human activity around and even the bakery, usually buzzing with people getting their morning fix of sugar and caffeine, was empty.  The owners waved as I walked by. I waved back.

The fog hung around until mid-afternoon, but the peace and quiet remained all day.  Everyone was subdued in voice and actions.  Almost to the point of being spooky. On the walk home I noticed the results of lots of work in front yard gardens and more green than the day before.  Apparently nature loves a good, heavy fog. The hyacinths leaning heavy with dew in the morning, were standing straight up and smelling heavenly as I walked through them. The tulips everywhere are about to bloom, including those in the planters in front of the restaurant.

For some unknown reason I skipped the A/S drink. I guess I just wanted to be outdoors again. Made a martini at home and sat on the porch steps listening to the sounds of the birds around me and in the bamboo stand next door.

No noise, no screaming, no ill-tempered humans, no annoying phone calls. A very peace-filled day and one that made me feel happy to be alive. Days like this are rare anymore. 

Today is another day.  The weekend is upon us and it's Palm Sunday weekend.  Many folks will be in town getting their places ready for summer...I suppose yesterday was the quiet before the storm. I am grateful to have had the chance to indulge and enjoy it.  I am sure I will enjoy today, as well.

More later.
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Headline of the Day

From MadPriest:

"Oh, that's good news and I'm sure the police will find the information very useful." - MP

Made my day.
More later.
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Judgment Day - Return of Christ. Save The Date

The Bible Guarantees it.
 Judgment Day? Holy S**t! Well, I won't have to worry about going to work, paying bills, rent, or auto insurance.  I will miss the blog, however.  I will have to worry about the proper attire for a rapture, never having the experience before, you know, it's not something one does more than once. Something tasteful and simple, but stylish and catchy. I'll think of something festive, to be sure.

No jewelry, it won't be necessary on the other side.  You know, gold paving, and all that...
 Say, I wonder if Phelps and his Westboro clan received this memo. You know, as selfish as Christianists are, it wouldn't surprise me if they didn't share information with other groups. I dunno, it's just a hunch. Maybe the Westboro crazies will beat Christ to death with their hateful signs.  God damn hippie!

And so it goes.
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BP and the Gulf: More Cries for Help

This video was shot last weekend.  Yes, it's 6 minutes long, but please, I beg you, watch it and learn what has, and in many cases, is still happening to the people of the Gulf from Louisiana to Florida. Don't believe what you hear from BP or our so-called mainstream media.  This is what's real.

Capt. Louis Bayhi - Charter boat captain and BP clean up worker experiencing severe health problems from Blackbird Media on Vimeo.
 H/T: Visit American Zombie to read the post and backstory of this video.

In case you missed the tag end of the video, to learn more go to LEAN.


More later.
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I Just Wanna F*****g Dance!

A perfect description of how I feel tonight.  After such a productive day it would be therapeutic to bust out and let go.  Something I miss all too often. There is no place to dance here.



And don't bother telling me I'm going to hell - been there and back.

And so it goes - for now.
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A Wonderful Day Like Today

While the sun may not have been 'as big as a yellow balloon'*  today, the rain held off for the most part and with the mild temperatures running errands was painless and productive.

Hanging folders for the locking file cabinet. (Time to organize. The confusion begins.)

New BASS 'Cushion Comfort' shoes for work.
(I have 3 pair of these comfortable shoes.  BASS is discontinuing them this year.  Of course, discontinue producing a best-seller?  Makes perfect sense to me, Not!)

Drill Bits for the new drill.  (Located in the 'Butch' department at Home Depot.)

A 3-piece bamboo room divider.  (Thrift store diversion on the way home. Exactly what I've been looking for and an asset to the living space.)

The IKEA EXPEDIT bookcase has been delivered (bless her huge Irish heart) and will be assembled on a date to be determined.  Unless I attempt it myself.  Maybe not a good idea.  If I screw up it will piss her off no end.

With this new bookcase in place the room should be set. The CD cabinet (moved 3 times to various spots in the room - almost breaking my back, again) can now be filled and the empty boxes recycled.

I would like to find a high table for use as a buffet or bar and there is still a spot for it.  All things must perform multiple functions here. The room is shaping up, is colorful, and will be comfortable for myself and guests (should there be any) in the weeks ahead.

Found an old recipe for smothered pork chops with white wine, sliced onions, cumin seeds, tumeric, and garlic. No effort on my part, and just what's needed after a busy day out and about. Oh, I forgot about the fresh peaches...there are wedges of peaches involved, too.


Tomorrow is a free day.  May the sun shine, may the winds be calm, may the temperature be mild, and may I wake up to enjoy it all.

*The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd

And so it goes.
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Fall of Roman Empire was My Fault.

I am the all powerful gay man who can take down the entire Roman Empire (or which ever one I choose) and no one can stop  me...including the Almightly?

Whoa!  Wait...Run this past me again, please.
From The Scotsman:

A LEADING Italian academic is facing growing calls to resign after he blamed the collapse of the Roman Empire on homosexuality.
Professor Roberto De Mattei, vice-president of Italy's Centre for National Research and who is also a devout Catholic, has already faced criticism after claiming that the Japanese tsunami and earthquake disaster was "divine punishment".

In an interview with Radio Maria, a religious news network, Prof De Mattei, 63, said: "The collapse of the Roman Empire and the arrival of the Barbarians was due to the spread of homosexuality.
"The Roman colony of Carthage was a paradise for homosexuals … the abnormal presence of a few deviants infected many others."

Prof De Mattei based his comments on the writings of fifth-century Christian author Salviano di Marsiglia. He added: "The invasion of the Barbarians (of Rome] was seen as punishment for this moral transgression. It is well known that effeminate men and homosexuals have no place in the Kingdom of God. Homosexuality was not rife among the Barbarians, and this shows that God's justice comes throughout history, not at the end of time.''
I know, I know...You know you can't make this stuff up, right? Right???

The rest is HERE.

And so it goes.
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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hero of the Month: Dame Elizabeth Taylor

From AMERICAblog Gay and posted by Liz Newcomb. Here's a snippet that appears about half-way through the piece:
I’ve always associated Taylor with AIDS activism. However, I did not realize the magnitude of her impact until I began to research this piece. Taylor made AIDS her life’s cause. At a time when the disease was called "the gay plague" and others were afraid to even touch people with HIV, Taylor employed her star power to help humanize those living with the disease. She made headlines throughout the world when she was photographed shaking hands with HIV/AIDS patients in a Thai hospital. She helped found the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amFAR) in 1985, and later, in 1991, the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF).
The rest is a must-read for anyone who lived through the beginnings of the epidemic witnessing the horrible, tragic, and sometimes brutal treatment of people with AIDS.

This deserves attention, believe me.

And so it goes.
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A Year After BP Disaster, Congress Sits on Hands

Remember the BP Oil Disaster?  From Boycott BP via NOLA.com:
WASHINGTON -- A year after the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Congress has done virtually nothing to address the issues raised by the oil spill -- from industry liability limits, to regulatory reform, to coastal restoration, to broader issues of energy policy.
The reasons are legion.
There are the usual suspects of partisan gridlock and political gamesmanship in what was, in 2010, a congressional election year, culminating in a Republican takeover of the House, which completely flipped the script on the lessons of the Macondo blowout.
Hearings that in the previous Congress were stacked --as many as five-a-day deep -- against the oil industry, are now, in the new Congress, as surely stacked in its favor.
Alarm about an oil spill that spewed day after day, month after month, in an emotionally draining public drama, has given way to the more mundane but politically potent public panic about rising gas prices that once again puts a premium on boosting domestic production.
Indeed, a sudden nuclear disaster in Japan, scarier in its way than an oil spill, placed the human and environmental cost of energy in frightening perspective.
And an Obama administration that had, against fierce opposition from the industry and its Gulf state advocates in Congress, stopped deepwater drilling for nearly a year after the spill as it implemented a new regulatory regime, has now slowly, methodically -- and under enormous pressure -- returned to permitting, satisfied that it has done what needed to be done to make deepwater drilling fall within the acceptable boundaries of risk.
"Within the acceptable boundaries of risk."  Really?

If anyone cares anymore, read the rest HERE.

More later.
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Do I Really Want TV?

As regular readers of this here thingy may remember, I have no access to TV programming.  No cable, satellite, antenna. I get news and information from various news organizations, news blogs online, and state & local news via print media.

Everyone I work with is addicted to TV.  By that I mean those so-called reality shows and celebrity "news" programs. Of course, some of the queans are equally addicted to their 'Soaps' - something that I have never been able to grasp or understand.  Real life contains enough drama and I get no comfort from that, so these fictional drama shows bore me to tears.

I am not interested in gossip - never have been. That puts me at odds with almost everyone around;  those who lap it up and those who just like to spread juicy bits of trash around for attention.

Sometimes I am grateful not to have TV programs in my life.  I can do without following the lives of Lohan, Spears, the Kardasians (sp?) whoever the Hell they are, Sheen, Snooky (sp?), Hilton, and the like. At work one of the bartenders puts on the afternoon news out of Philadelphia.  It infuriates me to see stories about these people sandwiched between news from Japan, or the wars. (You can forget about the Gulf, that's old news now.) If there is good TV around I haven't heard about it.  Sports?  Fuggetaboutit!

Dancing with wannabees or has-beens? Trump-a-thon? I don't think so. Who wants to watch train wrecks? Not my taste. At. All.

That said, I would enjoy PBS and BBC science, nature, and history programs but it's a non-starter for now. Not in the budget and even if I could cough up the payments for the most basic of basic services, I would receive only network, local, and one PBS channel, so there's that.

Local news programming has one good side:  it is so bad, it's actually funny to sit, sip a martini, and watch (and listen) to their continuing flow of blunders, stupid remarks, and inability to pronounce names of local towns.  Still that's too high a price to pay for occasional entertainment.

So, I remain unplugged (no wisecracks, please) for now.

And so it goes.
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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sidney Lumet: R.I.P.

One of the best, and he died at 86. Good for him!  His films were required viewing when I was in film school and I am so glad they were. The NYT has the full story:

 Sidney Lumet, a director who preferred the streets of New York to the back lots of Hollywood and whose stories of conscience — “12 Angry Men,” “Serpico,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “The Verdict,” “Network” — became modern American film classics, died Saturday morning at his home in Manhattan. He was 86.
 His stepdaughter, Leslie Gimbel, said the cause was lymphoma.
 “While the goal of all movies is to entertain,” Mr. Lumet once wrote, “the kind of film in which I believe goes one step further. It compels the spectator to examine one facet or another of his own conscience. It stimulates thought and sets the mental juices flowing.”
Social issues set his own mental juices flowing, and his best films not only probed the consequences of prejudice, corruption and betrayal, but also celebrated individual acts of courage.
 In his first film, “12 Angry Men” (1957), he took his cameras into a jury room where the pressure mounted as one tenacious and courageous juror, played by Henry Fonda, slowly convinced the others that the defendant on trial for murder was, in fact, innocent. (Justice Sonia M. Sotomayor of the United States Supreme Court said the film had an important influence on her law career.)
Almost two decades later, Mr. Lumet’s moral sense remained acute when he ventured into satire with “Network” (1976), perhaps his most acclaimed film. Based on Paddy Chayefsky’s biting script, the film portrays a television anchorman who briefly resuscitates his fading career by launching on-air tirades against what he perceives as the hypocrisies of American society.
 The film starred William Holden, Faye Dunaway and Peter Finch as the commentator turned attack dog whose proclamation to the world at large — “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” — became part of the American vernacular.
 “Network” was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including best film and best director, and won four: best actor (Mr. Finch), best actress (Ms. Dunaway), best original screenplay (Mr. Chayefsky) and best supporting actress (Beatrice Straight). 
Read the whole tribute at the link above.
And so it goes.
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Python Caturday


More later.
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Friday, April 8, 2011

IKEA Finale & Women's Fest Weekend

The wee Irish lass general manager informed me last week that she would be making one last trip to IKEA to finish up her kitchen renovations, and if I wanted anything else for the apartment she would be happy to pick it up, deliver and assemble for me. I knew what she was getting at - another bookcase to balance the room with the other purchased last year. In a small apartment one needs all the storage options available.

She knew I needed one (not 2 - the room is too small) more EXPEDIT bookcase and a few more storage cubes to put inside it.  I used the money set aside for a friend's Birthday dinner, which I am sure can be made up as my work schedule increases to 6 days weekly until Labor Day.

Got a call from the GM as I walked home telling me that her trip was successful and a date and time will be set up for delivery and assembly of the bookcase, which she has down to a science and can get done in about 10 minutes.  I envy people with working thumbs. Sigh!

Of course, there will be wine (there must be wine!) just as in October following my trip with her to IKEA. Though this time will not be as stressful for either of us. Details of that trip are HERE, and followed up in part 2 HERE.

Moving on, this is "Women's Fest Weekend" and the town was filling rapidly with women from all over the mid-Atlantic states ready to enjoy workshops, entertainment, and good food at our best restaurants, including Dos Locos.  From this afternoon's Happy Hour I know it's going to be a busy and exciting time here in town.

And so it goes.
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5,000 Year Old "Gay" Caveman Discovered.

Another one of those stories I like so much, but with a twist.  Oh and the UK's Daily Mail gets a bit snarky in their title* and photo caption (original below):
Y-M-C-Cave: The skeleton was found in a Prague suburb with its head pointing eastwards and surrounded by domestic jugs - rituals only previously seen in female graves. Men would normally be buried with weapons, hammers and flint knives

The oldest gay in the village: 5,000-year-old is 'outed' by the way he was buried

Five thousand years after he died, the first known gay caveman has emerged into the daylight. According to archaeologists, the way he was buried suggests that he was of a different sexual persuasion. The skeleton of the late Stone Age man, unearthed during excavations in the Czech Republic, is said to date back to between 2900 and 2500 BC.

During that period, men were traditionally buried lying on their right side with the head pointing towards the west; women on their left side with the head facing east.
In this case, the man was on his left side with his head facing west. Another clue is that men tended to be interred with weapons, hammers and flint knives as well as several portions of food and drink to accompany them to the other side.
Women would be buried with necklaces made from teeth, pets, and copper earrings, as well as domestic jugs and an egg-shaped pot placed near the feet.

The ‘gay caveman’ was buried with household jugs, and no weapons.
Archaeologists do not think it was a mistake or coincidence given the importance attached to funerals during the period, known as the Corded Ware era because of the pottery it produced.

From history and ethnology, we know that people from this period took funeral rites very seriously so it is highly unlikely that this positioning was a mistake,’ said lead researcher Kamila Remisova Vesinova.

‘Far more likely is that he was a man with a different sexual orientation, homosexual or transvestite. What we see here does not add up to traditional Corded Ware cultural norms.’

An oval, egg-shaped container usually associated with female burials was also found at the feet of the skeleton.
*Refers to the BBC comedy show Little Britain's ongoing sketches.

Read the rest HERE.

More later.
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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Just a Thought: Shutdown Government ?



Shutdown the wars, as well.

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Ah, Wednesday!

Tuesday: Interesting and unusual day...for me.

I slept in.  Didn't get out of bed until almost 6:30. I really needed the rest and got it. I was refreshed and ready for the day of errands and chores.  I had a list.

Pharmacy for allergy meds was first. Warm weather and growing things take their toll on me.

Next stop - hardware store to buy a small package of drywall screws (to use with the new drill!) since the mega-stores only have them by the thousand. Found a package of 50.  Sweet.

Spent a productive 2 hrs. at the Social Security office learning that I should hold off applying until next year, or it will cost me in benefits and penalties.  If I don't croak before 7/2012 I will receive $200.00 more monthly than if I apply this year, and no penalty for income under 30K.  If I apply 7/2011, I will owe SS  money because the maximum I could make without doing so would be only 14K, which  as we all know, there is no way in God's green earth one could survive on without living in your car, or on the street.  It's very hard to explain, and that's the way they want it.  I'll wait.

A stop at the Cheer (senior) Center followed for more info on Medicare and supplemental insurance options. Got a few tips and one lead to follow up on.

I picked up the cordless drill (G*d help us all!) ordered online the night before.  It was paid for, packed up, in a locked enclosure waiting for me.. I'll have to remember this when I find sale items online that are not on sale  in the store.

Then decided on a treat and stopped by a gay-owned sorta-kinda gourmet shop to buy a small wedge of Brie. I asked for a 1/4 lb; the owner ("friend" from my previous life) asked if I had no friends to share a larger wedge. I left without comment or the cheese. They won't be in business long.

Had to shop for a few things and the cheese section of my supermarket had just the size I wanted. Double cream, of course.

Enjoyed my treat as I read the instructions for the new power tool of death. (Now isn't that the portrait of a gay man? A power tool in one hand, a crispbread loaded with Brie in the other, perusing the how-to owner's manual.  The wine was on the table. Only have two hands, after all.) I will add this little adventure to my LIT kit (Lesbian in Training) and pray I don't cause any sort of disaster.  All I want is to hang a few paintings, photos, and one large mirror...yes, I know.  Be afraid, be very afraid.  I'll get that Lesbian Tool Belt award yet.

That was Tuesday. I'm tired just having written about it.  Still, it was productive and instructional in many ways.

Wednesday: ***crickets***  Nice.

And so it goes.
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

5 on the Fifth: BLUR

Take five photographs and post them on your blog on the 5th of the month for all to see. Each month has a theme, or if you don't feel inspired by the monthly theme, you can simply take five random photos. Five On The Fifth was started and is directed by at The State of the U.K. Nation. My first go at this was last month and Stephen kindly invited me to participate again.


While I didn't think last months entries were really a part of the "theme" LINES, turns out others thought otherwise pointing out to me that while the subject may have been otherwise, lines are a prominent feature in 4 of the five, so I guess I did OK by default. Who knew?

BLUR is this month's theme and I took one shot each day from April 1 to today.  Shot at work, home, or around town.   Some have been cropped for effect.  Here they are in no particular order:
Animated, singing dog.  Moving & Singing.
Samuel Adams: Sloshed Brewer and Patriot.
Quick pass of the beer taps at work. Yes, Sam Adams is on tap.








Huge Blackbird glaring through my skylight in a rainstorm. Paging Tippi Hedren!

Napping in truck window. Must have been a busy day.

 Well, that's it for me. I had a great time with this one.  Any and all comments (and suggestions) are welcome.

Thanks Stephen, for inviting me to take part again.  I hope I did a better job this time round.

More later.
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Monday, April 4, 2011

Survive Blue Lagoons - Channel Priscilla

Dragged my butt all morning, trying to kick start my boogie didn't have the desired effect. The already struggling tempo dropped significantly when  I learned that one of our best servers was in crisis. There are no details, at least none that I am willing to share at present.

Doors opened on time and thanks to the weather (glorious beyond belief!) the town was again filled with  smiling faces behind dark sunglasses making a continuous stream through the doors.  That always gives me a boost.

The day went without any problems and when I felt I was headed in a downward spiral by the end of my shift, I held on, not willing to crash and burn from exhaustion. And I didn't.

I did however, have one of the above. It's a Margarita with blue curacao (I call it my blue lagoon) and enjoyed it with two regulars who happened to bounce in, as if on cue.  Not kidding here. They are always fun to be around.  And they bought me another one of these monsters...Oh, my!

One thing led to another and when "I will survive" played on the XM there was nothing to do but, well, do.
It takes a real man to wear a boa like this!
Wow!  Another boost and not pretty as you can see.  Hey! It is what it is and it's been fun. The chin fuzz comes off this week, until next fall or whenever I get the urge.

Made it home under my own steam and just finished supper.  Good thing, too.  Hadn't eaten since around noon. Now it's time to shower and hit the sheets.  I need a good, long rest tonight, and hope I get it.

Oh, and here's the scene that inspired the photo above.

As I said, it is what it is, and it was damned good fun.

And so it goes.
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Just a Thought: Monday

This is how I feel this morning.  No energy.

Well, at least this is MY Friday and I have the next 2 days to revive and rejuvenate body and soul.


Ordered a power tool from Lowe's last evening.  More on that brave (or stoopid) deed later.

Of course, it's due to rain both days with high winds expected, so I better pick up that tool to have something to do around here for the otherwise useless  time on hand.

More later, maybe.
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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Stand Up! - Don't Stand for Homophobic Bullying

The YouTube description: 
Irish anti homophobic bullying advertisement, created as part of BeLonG To Youth Services annual Stand Up! LGBT Awareness Weeks. The campaign promotes friendship amongst young people as a way to combat homophobic bullying.
For more information on the campaign please see: http://www.belongto.org/campaign.aspx
Written & Directed by Anna Rodgers & Aoife Kelleher
Produced by Zlata Filipovic
Crossing the Line Films for BeLonG To Youth Services


Did my heart a world of good this evening. Made me think what would become of all the closeted bullies (and their self-hatred) if more of this happened to all of us.

And so it goes.
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Finally...Caturday

Thought it would never get here.


More later.
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Friday, April 1, 2011

Flowers, Flirting, and Late Frost

These last two days have been quite a ride. This is an edited version of events.

It's been raining since Wednesday evening.  So rainy and cold in fact, I took the car to work rather than walk, so as to ward off any potential illness lurking about. Of course, due to the high humidity the back and thumbs are giving me fits.  I sometimes wonder if life is worth this level of pain but then, never mind.

Week day lunch visitors are on the upswing and that means people are coming to the beach more often working to open their summer homes a bit early. That's great news.  I'm happy to see their faces again after so  many cold months - they make me think of spring and the summer season ahead.

Unfortunately, thanks to global warming, the forsythia has already bloomed and faded, the hyacinths are on their way to their end, too.  The lilies are almost ready to open and it's only April 1st.! Even though the temperatures hover in the upper 30s to low 40s, nothing seems to stop the green anywhere.

One late frost could destroy everything, but let's not focus on that possibility, OK?

Waiting in the mailbox tonight were (among other trash) 3 more offers from insurance companies trying to sell me on Medicare Part B coverage. I am afraid that I cannot afford ANY of the policies (all around the same rates, BTW) with my present salary and the other monthly expenses that leave me with less than nothing at the end of any given month.

Good news was waiting in my in-box however, the new glasses were shipped today and should be delivered in 2 or 3 days.  I'm guessing Tuesday, which also happens to be my really-and-for-true day off next week. I can't wait.

Then there was an encounter with a very handsome man at work today.  Seemed he was flirting at times, but I wasn't quite sure. Overly friendly and his beautiful deep brown eyes always locked onto mine whenever we talked. (I love when someone talks to me while looking directly into my eyes.) Mostly small talk, but there was an edge to the chatter that made my gaydar go off more than a few times.  Each time I passed his table he would attempt conversation just to get my attention, which I must say, was very easy to do.  Ahem!

After about an hour he left, got into his car (with Ohio tags!) and waved through the glass doors as he drove away.  It was your classic 'close encounter of the third kind' we made contact, of some sort. What?  I dunno. No music of the spheres. Maybe next time...if there is a next time.

Look, I was never good at this sort of cat & mouse activity and at my age after being with one man for 30 years, I am sure I'm even worse. So, there is that reality.

And so it goes.
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What does Wisconsin have to do with the Gulf Coast?

In a word?  Climate.
I’m not talking about environmental climate change, I’m talking about the political climate, the deregulation climate, the climate that continues to sweep through this country and threatens you, the American citizen at your door with not a polite knock, it’s more akin to home invasion, battering rams that splinter the wood with its force until the whole thing smashes in and stares greedily at your family.
But first, the back-story:
When the financial system broke down in 2008 as a result of companies like AIG, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers playing fast and loose for ten years with their newly deregulated financial systems, allowing them to leverage their own companies to the point of collapse in pursuit of short-term profits, they knew they had an ace in the hole. Deregulation had allowed them to grow to sizes unseen since the Great Depression so if they were to fail, they would take the interconnected global economies with them. They knew this and when the house of cards came down, they received the TARP bailouts from GW Bush so essentially, while making billions in profit at the expense of pension funds and house mortgage owners, they then received billions more in rescue money from the government to keep themselves solvent, and that money from the government? That was your money, and the money to the executives that created this mess so quickly gained in those several years of exorbitant short-term profit? They kept it, and nobody went to jail for the fraud they played on our country because their co-workers filled the President’s cabinet, the New York Reserve, the treasury and the SEC.
Large business everywhere watched this charade play out. They bore witness to what these companies got away with and realized yet again that any fines levied for the companies’ inappropriate behavior amounted to little more than a parking ticket for you or me.
Corporate responsibility was at little to none.
At the same time the financial mess was being created, the Mineral and Management Service, the regulatory agency responsible for overseeing oil companies was rubber stamping deep-sea oil well permits and doing blow with corporate heads while ignoring the fact that neither the states, the MMS or the companies themselves had a plan in case something should go wrong on one of the oil rigs. Nobody had a plan to seal the well or clean up the mess.
And few, if any said a word about this.
And then April 20th happened.
The Oil Spill…the great catatsraphuk that is British Petroleum’s Gulf Coast Disaster played and plays out across four states. Millions of barrels of oil, methane and chemical dispersants were dumped into the Gulf of Mexico, leading to dead people, dead dolphins, wasted fisheries, destroyed oyster beds, destroyed cultures, businesses and families and ten months later we have increasing illness, we have tar balls left on beaches while BP closes shop on its cleanup. British Petroleum claims the GCCF and Feinberg’s payments are too high, too much when everyone in the region knows they aren’t enough, not nearly enough. Mental health issues continue their escalation on those both direct and indirectly impacted, court cases are filed, reporters write, British Petroleum reneges on its commitments to Louisiana and the rehabilitation of their oyster beds. Politicians in Florida, Mississippi and Alabama are seething, screaming at Obama to do something about the businesses and people who are being abandoned, essentially asking Obama to be a President.
And in his State of the Union address, the President doesn’t even mention the Gulf Coast.
And in the state of the Gulf Coast – Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida are being forgotten.
Read it all at Disenfranchised Citizen.  You won't be disappointed.
h/t Editilla

More later.
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