I write like
Cory Doctorow

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Saturday, January 31, 2009

The decline of a church - read between the lines

The obnoxious, "rebellious teenager" in me is giggling fits over this story from MSNBC about the Crystal Cathedral in Orange CA.  Fortunately, the middle-aged adult took over and read some of the comments toward the bottom of the article made by some long-time supporters of the church.

In the article, one "supporter" cancelled her monthly gift to the church as she did not like that the church had so many guest pastors.  Another long time "supporter" did not like the fact that the father and son Schuler were not working together at the church.

Really? You were giving money and lending "support" to a church only because someone named Schuler was giving a sermon there every week?  I don't suppose I should be quick to judge a church's congregation by the posted comments of two of its "supporters".  That said, when I am in church on Sunday mornings, the first thing I look forward to is entering the building.  The "building" is a mashing of three smaller office spaces and is, technically, a "storefront" church.  But with the number of years the church has been there, the place truly has a spiritual feel to it and I feel so much more connected to God just by being inside and being connected to most of the congregation.

The pastor/preacher/spiritual leader is not the church.  The people inside the building are the church.  There is no practical way for one pastor to spread the message throughout the workday; the people who hear the message are charged to pass the message along to others, even if it is just by being a presence in someone else's life.

Honestly, I would not mind if the Crystal Cathedral was taken apart pane by pane and the "church" disbanded.  Better still, let the church disband and the Cathedral building be converted to a museum as a reminder to what placing one's faith in one human ultimately leads.

All around the blogosphere for 1/31/09

So much on-line drew my attention today -- lots of things going on in the world.  I just didn't feel there was anything happening that needed my own unique take.

I will admit to watching interviews of Ted Haggard and his wife with brief appearances by one (Larry King Live) or two (Oprah) of his children upon the premiere on HBO of the documentary "The Trials of Ted Haggard".  From my point of view as a Christian and a gay man, I started by feeling angry then just sad for the whole lot of them.  Every other LGBT person I know is on an ongoing journey with their sexuality and how that is expressed.  My prayer is that Ted continues his journey, continues to choose honesty over deceit with himself and his family and realize that Christianity and being gay are not mutually exclusive.  I have for years considered my sexuality as a gift from God, separating me from most so I can be most available to be of help.

Along those lines, here's what caught my eye today:

Embracing Two Spirit Traditions:  A point of view and a group that sheds light on the gift and responsibility of being different. 

Mt. Redoubt:  Some odd things are possible in Alaska any day now.  And, no, none of it has to do with its current governor

Weekly Presidential Address:  Video with Captions plus the text of speech are available.  A good recap of goings on between Congress and the White House with a hint as to what we might see in the coming week of Presidential politics.

"And that's the word":  When I watch the Colbert Report, I spend most of my time laughing hysterically and the rest of the time shaking my head at the silliness.  Once in a while, the humor comes with a sharp bite that turns fits of laughter into more head shaking.  The clip below, one of his "The Word" segments, is case in point:

Friday, January 30, 2009

Setting the tone for the weekend party

The movie "Twilight" looked a little too "geared toward teens" for my taste, so I have not seen it.  However, one of the songs from the soundtrack, "Full Moon" by The Black Ghosts, has started getting play on the radio.  Nice blend of the recent upswing in vocals with harmony and mellow techno-pop  (Click here for lyrics)

These women ROCK !

Just saw this article on Raw Story.  After a week full of politicians from Blagojevich to Boehner and all of their hi jinx, it was so uplifting to read and watch the stand which one Congresswoman and one homeowner are taking about the insanity of the flipping and chopping and repackaging of notes which lead to our country's economic mess.

Please play the video clip from CNN at the bottom of the Raw Story article to get the full flavor of the play that was made on the particular homeowner and how Congresswoman Kaptur is trying to address the issue which appears to be occurring more often to her constituents.

Here is the Congresswoman's web page with more information on what homeowners in her district can do to help themselves with mortgage/foreclosure issues.   Way to go !!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Sometimes, the inspiration to post here just falls into my lap.  This one came by e-mail and, as I have a laptop computer, it's almost the same thing . .

Kudos to the Courage Campaign who is elevating the snark to new levels by sending out today a mass e-mail to supporters (thanks to the protesting of the passing of Proposition 8, I am one of those supporters) with a goofy 67 second clip with a dude trying to pass off "Arnoldbucks" as real currency to a liquor store owner, a vending machine and others.

Doesn't matter to me if the clip was staged (that's my bet) or an actual submission, the point it makes is quite valid:  If California's Legislature and Governator cannot pass a budget to make up a 40 billion dollar shortfall, the state will eventually issue IOUs instead of money   California has done this once before and I received them in 1992 as I get slightly more than minimum wage as an IHSS worker .  The banks in California accepted those and treated them as if they were real checks.  I may luck out this time around, it seems, but many who rely on state funding may want to prepare.

So, you Californians who voted for Schwarzenegger, how's the California Recovery Plan from late 2003 working out for you?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Please Mr. Postman look and see . ."

It seems no industry is impervious to the effects of the soured economy.  Case in point:

An article I found at the MSNBC site talks about the Post Office requesting the requirement to make mail delivery six days a week be removed.  Specifically, the Post Office is considering decreasing delivery down to five days a week for those who now receive six-day-a-week delivery (the day dropped would be based on which day of the week has the lightest mail volume).

It got me to thinking about an cost-saving idea I heard when I was in college in the early '90's.

I found the idea, after a search, posted on meetingwave.com.  I then found a few more cost saving thoughts at forcechange.com

The MSNBC article references a study by George Mason University requested by the Postal Regulatory Commission (skip ahead in the report to page 46 to read the report's recommendation on delivery frequency).

The idea posited by my professor was changing six-day-a-week delivery to three-day-a-week delivery.  The idea would have one postal carrier take one route Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and a second route Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  The goal would be to reduce staffing and realize cost savings.

The only glitch is that to start something like this now and to avoid layoffs, routes would have to be reassigned as postal carriers either transfer out of carrier duty, get fired, decide to quit or retire.  If the idea was implemented when I first heard it in the early '90's, the Post Office would have easily transitioned all of their delivery routes to three-day-a-week service.

So, to make this work now and have immediate impact, layoffs would be likely.  With announcements of layoffs being made practically every business day, making this kind of move would only exacerbate what is happening now.

My bet is that the flexibility being requested by the Postmaster General will be granted by Congress in a swift manner.

By taking all of the suggestions on delivery frequency and route design and publicizing those changes, other large organizations facing layoffs may think of other cost-cutting methods before making the leap to layoffs.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Unsettling news in So Cal/where to find help

Local news has been reporting of what seems to me a senseless tragedy which occurred this morning in Wilmington, CA (about 25 miles southwest of where I am).

The most detailed reporting you'll get on this is coming, obviously, from the TV station to which the father/husband faxed and called with his intentions.

However, the most responsible reporting of something this disturbing is being done by one of our two AM all-news stations.  In addition to keeping things brief, they place a link near the top of the story to local emergency mental health agencies, a contact number for a "worksource center" and a toll-free number to a local group which can provide "referrals to counselling (sic), financial assistance, food and shelter".  

It is getting far too easy to remain isolated, even in a part of the country with nearly 10 million people inside its county's borders.  

Click here for information on a nation-wide service to assist those who feel they are a danger to themselves (and, I presume, a danger to someone else, though this is not spelled out). Both a voice and a TTY toll-free number are listed.

If you just need a quick tension-release giggle (like I did), play this quickie song from the delightfully daffy God's Pottery (sorry -- can't find printed lyrics)

My first busy day in a while!

Hope you're digging the Stephanie Miller "bits".  As a gay man, it's a little peculiar to admit that I wake up to a woman five mornings a week -- still, it's true and it could only be Stephanie.

It's usually the start of a fart joke or her producer Chris Lavoie's "from the bottom of his toes" high-pitched giggle that jumps me out of bed.  It's rather disturbing to fall back to sleep after hearing that (I know because I've tried).


It didn't occur to me at 7:30 this morning that I would be away from home for nearly 7 hours today (not done since this day last month!).  The day started like any other, with a walk for the dogs and a small cup of coffee.  My partner told me he had barely slept overnight because of the usual aches and pains plus dealing with pulled teeth as he transitions to dentures.  He warned me that he would likely be asleep much of the day (which, was not true, but more on that later) and that he was fine with me skipping out to a movie if I wanted.

It's all the permission I needed.

I skipped out around 10 (with my partner fast asleep -- it lasted until 10 minutes after I left . . more later), took care of grocery shopping and went to see Slumdog Millionaire (it leaves me with Milk to see before 2/22/09 and that I'll have to do with my partner . . the consequences of not doing so are a little scary to ponder).

I'll spare you another review of the "feel-good movie of the year".  Suffice to say, if those that vote for the awards to be presented 2/22/09 are looking for something with an uplifting, romantic ending to match everyone renewed feelings of hope, then this movie's going to win a bunch more awards that night.

I checked messages as I left the theatre and got one from my partner at 10:15 am (so much for spending his day sleeping) saying I got a call regarding a job.  Once I slowed my heart rate down enough (that was exciting news!), I went to a store with Internet and Microsoft access to answer a seven-page form e-mailed from another potential employer.  It took me 90 minutes to complete it as it was filled with open ended questions -- the sort you might get in a face-to-face job interview

I called the woman back who woke my partner up hours earlier.  She explained the job was temporary (OK).  Then, she explained it would last for "a month, maybe more" (all right . . .).  Then she said I would be upselling cel service to existing customers (hmm . . .).  When she got to the part where I'd be a scab, I quickly told her "Thanks, but no thanks." and hung up.

So far, I have enough saved where I don't have to chew and swallow my principles or my pride.

After a second grocery stop to prepare dinner, I was home by 5:30 pm tonight.  Gratefully, the big stuff is finally done for the day.  I have a stack of receipts to compile and a questionnaire to complete before I visit my CPA on Thursday night and more job openings e-mails to review.

At least today was not dull.  Tomorrow, though, is another day.

The Stephanie Miller Show "the bits"

Monday, January 26, 2009


Still stunned that within his first week as President, Obama has managed to do so much more in building more positive relationships with the Middle East then our previous President ever did in all of his 8 years.

Was not thrilled to hear about how the U.S. will "hunt (terrorist organizations) down" - we really need a clean break from that "cowboy diplomacy" language.

Stii, overall, what a terrific first step! So nice to see the grown ups are now back in charge of the Executive Branch of our government.
About President Obama
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

New blog to follow

h/t to Randy's blog for this one:  The site politifact.com is tracking a list of 500 promises made during President Obama's campaign and whether each promise has been kept, is in process, was compromised, was not kept or has not yet been addressed.

As the actual URL is a little lengthy, you'll find it titled under "my blog list" as "Obama's promises 'at bat' avg".  I hope my comparing this to a baseball player's "at bat" statistic is apt and, if it is, I hope it is a kind tribute to the guy who passed this along to me.

I understand an at bat average of .400 (4 hits out of 10 times at bat) is the very best any player could hope for.  So, time will tell if Obama's performance is more in line with a baseball player or a typical pro basketball players free throw percentage (which, according to the NBA's website, should be between 70 and 80 percent).

More updates from post #100

On HR676:  I'll let Huffington Post explain.  Just one comment:  Yay !

On Alberto G:  Here is an interview done earlier today on NPR with the man himself.  I have multiple questions here: What the blazes is this guy thinking?  Is there a store where one purchases egos the size of Texas?  When one becomes this delusional, who is there to keep everyone safe?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Post #100

I have often noticed the "100th" of many things are celebrated.  Plenty of entities celebrate their "centennial year" and when someone reaches their 100th birthday, it is still a rarity, though less so these days.

Weekly episodic TV celebrates a 100th episode as the point at which the show is available for syndication and deals are made for large sums of money.

Lists of popular songs are often 100 songs long, no matter the genre.

I took the opportunity to mark my 100th post by looking back to my first post through the last post of 2008.  I wanted to do something I don't recall any other blog doing - offering follow up to stories / entries previously posted.

My "wtf was I thinking?" post: November 25, 2008.
I take comfort in knowing some of my favorite blogs, like Pharyngula and Jesus' General, have over 4,000 posts in the course of several years.  So, I've got lots of time to improve.

I think my first post did a good job of stating the purpose of this blog.  While I am still in job search mode, I don't have many answers to the questions I asked, so I have a ways to go.

Here are some updates:

December 7:  (I wrote two postings that day, so click on the "December 7" link then scroll about 3/4ths the way down the screen).   The "Kopbuster" site is up and running and offering its first episode as a download or stream.  Regarding HR676, here is an article from January 16, 2009 from a source I did not expect.

December 9.   The company was mentioned in another article written January 8, 2009. Hopefully the stimulus bill in the House of Representatives now will find a little money to help this company out.  On a personal note, I was able to find my story as one of the first 10 pages listed in a Google Search -- that was the first time that's happened to me. How exciting !

December 15.  There's an award ceremony which took place tonight which, when the cameras were off, may have likely been an ugly place to have been.

December 16.   I wish I had an update on this one, but I guess this type of court case takes a while to show its effects

December 19.   This should teach me never to make another "absolutely no" promise again.  I lasted only three days before I broke the promise

December 27.  What were we all so worried about? This guy's prayer at the Inauguration was the least remarkable.  Far better were the prayer offered by Bishop Robinson on the prior Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial and the benediction offered by Rev. Lowrey on Inauguration Day.

December 31 post.   On January 23, 2009, there is an interview between John Dean and Philippe Sands talking about the legal issues around "..American Torturers (in the U.S.) and Abroad"

January 15 post.   A snarky update on what I thought was a good idea.  It will still be the President's call as to what he can work on and what he needs to table, but I suppose these sorts of stories/comments would come eventually. 

It has taken me 63 days to get to this post and it has been an interesting journey overall.  For the most part, I seem to write much the way I speak - pretty even keeled most of the time, scattered every now and then and always wanting to know more.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

President Obama's first weekly address

Yeah, I still can't shake that goofy grin I've had since Tuesday. President Obama's first Saturday morning address outlines the new economic recovery plan.

You may also want to visit http://www.whitehouse.gov for the text of the speech and a link to a more formal looking report, which again just outlines the proposal while providing not much more detail.

To be fair, as it is just a proposal and not yet passed by the legislator, I'm not sure posting all the fine print would be of any help to anyone.  So, once the package is passed, the site http://www.recovery.gov will permit all of us to see how the money in the package is being spent.

I would love it if it all works out well. Some at the White House have already been grumbling about the technology struggles and Republicans have already begun posturing about the plan.  It's still too early in the administration to know if Obama has earned the clout to back up his "I Won" comment and ultimately get what he and Democrats in the Legislature want.

Don't be shy about providing comments and suggestions at the White House's website I noted above.  I won't be.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Where's our money . . part 2

I was listening to Thom Hartmann on Wednesday.  He had a man named Jerry Lucas on his show who has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and the President regarding the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 and the lack of oversight on the money loaned to financial institutions.

I am not letting the fact the .pdf copy of the complaint is found from Mr. Lucas' main website, malenursemagazine.com, throw me off.  Save a couple of typos, it looks like the lawsuit is legitimate.

With any luck, the suit will lead somewhere and this will point out to the committee who is reporting on the results of this Act that there is at least one person in the U.S. who is seriously upset enough to write up and file a lawsuit about this.

Report to big-wigs in the U.S. Catholic Church

My thanks to The General for setting me on the path to this report.   The General's post on this, as is usually the case, is hilarious.

True to my promise somewhere in this blog, I am trying, as much as possible, to source actual publications and not a blog which references the publication.

So, I went from the General's site to Pam's House Blend to 365Gay to doing a Google Search for a report referenced in each of these three sites.  The report itself is dated 12/15/08 and, for much of this 19 pages, is full of observations from a team of officials and lay people within the Catholic Church regarding seminaries and the process of educating new priests.

Each of the websites focuses on just a paragraph or two within the report regarding ".. the area of morality, that some seminaries had suffered in past decades.", then uses "homosexual behavior" repeatedly in that paragraph to illustrate the paragraph's thesis. (just search for the phrase "homosexual behavior" within the document to see for yourself).

While I liked The General's approach to digesting this, I am not surprised by the way "homosexual behavior" is mentioned.  The attitude is still, unfortunately, that behavior is the issue.  No where is it mentioned that seminary students who identify as gay (the reports only mention men) are in trouble -- it's just about the behavior.

Nearly twenty pages of chatter which basically urges returns to the way new priests are trained.  Wasn't the old way of doing things what caused all the trouble in the first place?

I have returned

I was booted out of Facebook twice during Tuesday's Inauguration and, after the second boot at 8:45 am Pacific, decided to give up on the grand experiment.

Then, my DSL modem crapped out on me.  I got a new modem and had to call for support a second time when the installation software didn't work as planned.  So, I've been off the internet for a little more than two days.

I cried  three times Tuesday morning.  I cannot count the number of times I broke out in a goofy grin when I heard "President Obama" or "former President Bush" spoken.  It still has not gotten old.

I've taken a survey of my favorite blogs and have the advantage of two days off from the 'net.  So, I've noticed some things, I hope, others have not:

Why is the fact that Palin put the clothes she got from the RNC into garbage bags making news in the Huffington Post?  I went to The Mudflats and, surprise, this was not even noted.  Much more interesting stories about the fuel shortages to remote villages in Alaska and their new senior U.S Senator.

Two of my favorite sites have stories on a famous right wing talk show host and statements he's made about President Obama in recent days.  Check out Raw Story's version, which is really more about The Daily Show's take on what happened.  And here I was was actually worried that Jon Stewart would all of a sudden have to result to jugglers or something to keep the funny going after the Inauguration -- need not have worried !

I'm spending the rest of today going through more job postings and trying to catch up with friends on-line.  With any luck, I can hold off on watching more political goings-on until this evening.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Morning View

As I type this, the sun hasn't even risen over the left coast.  The coffee and donuts I got an hour ago have not quite lifted the fog yet.  With all of that, I have both the TV on and am bouncing between four different feeds at http://www.facebook.com then search for the link to CNN.  There's a facebook status scroll on the right of the screen and a choice of 4 feeds from CNN on the left.  Had I know watching this would be so filled with choices, I would've gone to bed earlier last night.

I've had "Nice to know you" by Incubus rolling around my head since I walked out the front door to get donuts.  Good song to ease anyone into the morning and a good song with which to start a party.

Enjoy the day, everyone!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bits and pieces and more party music !

I'll start with the cynical and build up from there.
  • With many thanks to the General (what, you're still not reading this freakin' hi-larious blog yet? Shame on you!  What're you waiting for??), here's yet another story of hypocrisy involving sex
  • Watched Oprah today and was not surprised in the slightest.  If you must check this pre-Inauguration show out, click here.  Otherwise, it was just too saccharine for my taste. 
  • Took my partner to the movies this afternoon where we saw Gran Torino.  Really good drama well acted and directed by Clint Eastwood.  I had to fight back the tears toward the end, so grab a couple of extra napkins at the snack bar.
  • It took the last 5 minutes of the drive home from the movies to pick tonight's party song.  I can't help from bang on the steering wheel and dashboard like a set of bongos to this song.  Here's "Renegades of Funk" by Rage Against the Machine.  Click here for lyrics.

Like a new car price sticker

Courtesy of CrooksandLiars.com, a column by Eric Boehlert has been posted at mediamatters.org about the estimated cost of tomorrow's Inauguration.  Check out the article -- I suggest careful reading of the last 25% of the article where the author illustrates the spin placed on the reporting of tomorrow's Inauguration versus the one we had four years ago, which was supposed to be a "scaled back version" of the one in 2001.

While both the sites above are best known for their liberal leanings, it is that last quarter of the article that cuts through all the hooey.

While I'm looking forward, as a political junkie, to all the events and decisions to be made this week, I am also looking forward to cutting through hooey as often as possible.  

I'll pledge to post something that stops the spin, the hype and whatever hooey gets shoveled out, no matter from what direction.

and, yeah, I'll have a couple more party tunes picked and posted.  Yeah-hoo !!! 

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Something inspiring

Was watching Fareed Zakaria this evening when his Question of the Week reminded me of something I have wanted to post for a while.

While I don't have anything that comes to mind said by kings, presidents or even heavy metal guitar heroes, I have a joke/parable that has stuck with me since I was a child and whose philosophy I endeavor to follow even to this day.

Sadly, this joke must be so old that I had no luck finding out who originally wrote it and I found it on multiple web sites, so I'll just write up my version of it:

Years ago, there was a major flood along the Mississippi River.  Water was everywhere in this town in Missouri and, with non-stop raining and water flowing in from the north, soon all the town's streets were covered in water.

A family had managed to climb onto the roof of their house even with the water rising past their front door. A neighbor had drifted up to the house in his rowboat and asked the family if they'd like to climb in to the boat and be taken to the shelter to which he was heading.  The husband told the neighbor "No thanks, friend.  We are a religious family and are praying that God will come and save us".  So, the neighbor continued on his way.

As the sun set that day, a police boat motored up to the house and, though the bullhorn, the boat's captain asked the family if they needed help getting from the roof down to the rescue boat.  As the husband was busy praying, the wife answered "We're fine, sir. We are praying to God to save us".  With that, the wife waived off the police boat, which motored on into the night.

Later that evening, the family saw a light suddenly appear from above, then heard the whoosing and chopping noise of a helicopter.  A voice boomed from the 'copter's loudspeaker "Hang on - we're sending a basket down to grab you and your family."  The husband cupped his hands and hollered to the helicopter "We're fine down here - God will save us."

The rains continued through the night, the water level rising higher and higher until, finally, just before dawn, the waters overtook the house and the family was lost to the flood.

The family, being of faith and basically good, was rewarded with Heaven.  They were soon walking toward the Gates of Heaven.  At the gate, they greeted St. Peter, their names were quickly found and the gates were promptly opened.

The family, however, did not advance through the gate.  The husband and wife got St. Peter's attention and, almost in synch, asked "We don't understand!  We prayed and prayed, asking God to help us through the storm, the flood and all that mess.  Were we not faithful enough?"

St. Peter answered, "Really? What were you expecting? God arranged for the rowboat, the police boat and the helicopter!"

So, as I await a boat, helicopter or something else to get me to the next part of my life, the party here continues.

Praise / letting go

By 10 am nearly every Sunday, I'm sitting in church, legs folded in the half lotus position, eyes closed and my mind as quiet and still as possible.  Fortunately, I've gone to the same church over 16 years so I only get the odd stare from visitors.  By the time the pastor greets the congregation, I've completed the meditation.

I read a lot of varying opinion on religion in general in the blogosphere.  I am blessed to be a member of a church who accepts me as I am and celebrates my being there as it celebrates all who are in the Sanctuary.  Many of the congregation (including me from time to time) bring their pain, hurt, confusion and anger in the door with them.

When I have the chance either to serve Communion and/or conduct the Family Prayer time, I always invite those in the congregation who hold on to this negative energy to let it go, drop it where they sit/stand and get loose of the chains that hold them back from a closer relationship to God.

Here is where I'll tie faith/spirituality (assuming "religion" to be a human construct) in to politics.

I'm about to relax with lunch and watch the Inaugural Celebration from the Lincoln Memorial. One of the performers is Mary J Blige.  While, apparently, she sings a cover of "Lean on Me", the song of hers that kept bouncing around my head the last few hours is "No More Drama".  Below is her performance of "No More Drama" at the Grammy Awards.  The song came about after her own trials and tribulations years earlier and, to me, is a "let it go" anthem. (Click here for lyrics)

The drama we stoke for our own entertainment needs to quickly die out.  There will be time once we all are through such a turbulent time in our country's history, to get out all the emotions.  We have work to be done.  But for now, enjoy the music!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Favorite bit of TV from today

Yeah, I'm kind of a train buff, but that was not what I'll remember from today.  Hearing the speeches was fine -- I didn't even get bothered with Obama giving the same speech (more or less) in Wilmington and Baltimore.  That said, the speeches were not my favorite part of today.

Watching the coverage in Baltimore today was terrific.  The favorite part of the day for me was a blessing given by Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley prior to Obama's introduction.  The blessing was actually a poem by John O'Donohue entitled "A Blessing for One Who Holds Power".  (The Governor skipped the first two lines, btw)

Best thing about the poem that is really could be dedicated to anyone, even me!  I'll meditate on that one a bit and post something after tomorrow's concert.

"Everybody all aboard"

Corny, I know.  I am watching the "Obama Express" on CNN in HD, taking my time to catch the speeches, the waiving and to see, hear and feel the joy coming from all of those braving the bitter cold for the chance to just be nearby a part of history.

I'm safely in the embrace of joy and, when that happens, I usually get songs rolling around my head, so it's time to post another fun party song.  This clip blends a little of the old school with a blast from cinema's past.  Because it's only a segment of the full song "Party Train" by the Gap Band (music/lyrics by Simmons/Wilson/Wils) , here are the lyrics sung in the clip:

"Be sure to get your ticket / Hurry, don't you miss it / Everybody's got to stand in line / So make sure that you too will be right on time / Everybody all aboard / Everybody all aboard / Mmm - Mmm / All aboard / Don't you miss it, baby / If you miss that train / Don't miss the party train / Oh . . don't you miss it, baby / If you miss that train / Don't miss the party train / Everybody all aboard / Oh . . baby / Everybody all aboard / Mmm / Don't you miss that train / If you miss that train / Oh . . ho . . ho . . ho / If you miss that train / Don't miss the party train / Your ticket, ooh / Mmm - mmm / Everybody all aboard / Ho . . ho / Everybody all aboard / Anybody wanna take this ride / Anybody wanna ride / All it takes is a nickel or a dime "

Friday, January 16, 2009

Na-na-na-naaa-naaa-hey-hey-hehhh . . .

Good-bye, Mr. President!

The party leading up to Tuesday's Inauguration of President-Elect Barack Obama has started here!

So you can follow along with my little celebration, here is a fun, breezy tune by openly gay singer/songwriter/musician Rufus Wainwright: "April Fools"  (click here for lyrics)

Just finished digesting this article about selections from a speech Pastor Rick made in 2005 in Anaheim Stadium.   Frankly, I'm a bit shaken up after reading this, but not for what is in the article itself.

Pastor Rick choosing the groups he did in his talk was not accidental.  My guess is he meant to inspire the type of fiery passion in the attendees as did leaders and text in government revolution in the past century.  I did agree with one point in the article about Pastor Rick's choices of role model -- I don't recall Jesus and the Apostles being quite as militant as Pastor Rick alludes.  Everything I have read points to Ghandi and MLK Jr. as being more similar in spirit to Jesus et. al. 

What shook me the most was the comments posted about the article.  It does remind me of the need for people who have philosophical differences to be able to cite past published works to substantiate their claims -- otherwise, such opinions are reduced to nothing but the ravings of a lunatic.

I am so looking forward to Tuesday's Inauguration; however, I will do my best to be mindful of who is speaking and what they are communicating.  Tuesday's events look to be one of the most viewed across the globe and there is such a strong need to be responsible in actions and words.

And that responsibility falls to those of us watching as well.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Change.Gov's First Big Failure

I was at the change.gov site and went to http://citizensbriefingbook.change.gov/ . Clicking on the Popular Idea sort feature, it looks like another "asked and answered" issue is currently the most popular question - decriminalizing marijuana.

Will the transition team have learned its lesson when it presents this information to Obama and give him the "briefing book" as is? If they do that, will someone within the new administration actually admit this issue was a top vote-getter? The cynic in me knows the answer already, but I'm not willing yet to throw away my rose-colored glasses.
About Barack Obama
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

One of my biggest fears

I freak out at some point anytime I travel by plane at some point during the flight.  When I hear the"ding" of a "Fasten Seat Belt" sign and see that phrase light up in the plane due to turbulence, it triggers the panic.  Once the turbulence subsides, I return to normal.

I was reasonably calm, however, watching the news earlier today about an emergency landing on the Hudson River near NYC.  That pilot - what a mensch!  The combination of an experienced crew, the heroics and common decency from the passengers and the rush to rescue everyone by boats already in the water makes the adjective "miraculous" seem insufficient to describe what happened.

I do not know if watching all of this has stopped the in-flight feelings of fear I get.  If nothing else, I've got the website I referenced here for future review and will figure out someway, sometime to overcome the worst of my fears.

Reaching out to pull the neighbor's finger?

Again, HUGE astronomy / solar system / exo-planet geek here!

Just saw a segment on BBC News America about methane gas being "belched" out from under the surface of Mars which may mean, according to a senior planetary scientist at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center, ". . . there could be biology that's going on either very near the surface or deep below the permafrost layer (of Mars)"

Life, if it does now exist on Mars, may be microbial.  So, I would not expect blasts of flatulence from little green men.  However, if there is something now living on Mars, it lends more credence to the possibility of life in another solar system and/or life existing in environments which do not match any environment on Earth.

Here we go again in the U.S.A

I list The Mudflats as a blog to check out not only because whomever writes this blog is quite talented, but also because what is happening in Alaska, traditionally a "red state", gives me a good idea how other "red states" in the union are handling the "you are on your own" attitude of their state's government.

Please check out a statement released by Bob Pope, who announced last week his intention to see the Democratic nomination for Governor in 2010 regarding what is happening in a remote village in Alaska

A quick glance at the blogs and media groups who have reported on this story shows me just how much the Republicans in this state genuinely care about their state's citizens, no matter where they are.  My hope is that Alaskans remember who responded to their requests for help and who turned their back on them come Election Day in November 2010.

Meanwhile, please click here -- this blogger lists some groups to whom you can reach out if you can spare something to help out.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Just a spoonful of sugar . . . "

I could have sworn steam was coming out of my ears while I watched Olbermann and Rachel tonight as they talked about a front-page story in today's Washington Post entitled "Detainee Tortured, Says U.S. Official".  I will leave it to you to take in this article and process as you see fit.  I recommend removing all heavy, hard, sharp and otherwise dangerous materials from the room and find extra padding that you feel all right with throwing, tearing, etc.

I took our dogs for a walk to process and had this hard 'n' heavy ditty on the iPod and just lost myself in the sonic fury.  Feel free to treat yourself to "Take It Off" by The Donnas --- rock out, bang yer head, take whatever you like off (safety first, please!).   Click here for lyrics

I'll let this roll around a bit, see where things land and perhaps comment a bit further

Reaching out to the neighbors

In my time in between gown commentary, interior design critique, financial bailout investigations and job hunting, I consider myself a VERY amateur astronomer.

That's why this news is more exciting that I could express (but I'll try)! While it will be amazing to discover an Earth-like world somewhere in our galaxy, my guess is that the next step will be trying to figure out if life exists in this Earth-like world.  

As it is, the potential for life exists in our own solar system, and not just under the surface of Mars.  I caught the tail end of an episode of "The Universe" on the History Channel (yeah, I know -- whatever is planet hunting doing on a History Channel . . oh, well) last night which illustrated this new orbiting telescope and outlined how the search for Earth-like planets outside of our solar system has gone so far.

Would be nice to get more folks interested in this.  I'll definitely be watching March 5!

The real news in the white house

As we have a lot of other folks documenting all the mass insanity being reported today (not referencing any of it here on purpose - it's a world wide web and we all know how to find out what else is happening), I'm going to focus on the "frivolous"

Word is the Obamas have picked interior designer Michael S Smith to re-do the living quarters in the White House.  I checked Mr. Smith's site for photos of past decorating jobs and absolutely LOVED what I saw!  The man's got a crazy talent for using antique/antique-styled furniture to create a good looking space in which a family can live.

Once again, Slate (who is a good source for more hard-hitting stories, too) provides the details on past decorating projects and their funding.  Given that it's been some time since two grade-school aged children have lived in the White House and there's a noticeable difference in style between Laura Bush and Michelle Obama, it's nice to read that at least the living quarters are getting a redesign.

Can't wait to see what other redesign for the better is coming up.  Less than 6 days to go !

Take a coffee break and . .

. . enjoy a couple of giggles reviewing this list, courtesy of Slate.com.  The list is in no particular order, though my favorite was #4.  #25 on the list may be less funny than true, though.

And, a big "yay!" to the Huffington Post for posting back my reply to one of their postings and giving me a cool picture of Obama framed with media types in the background (see below).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Obama And Conservatives Break Bread At George Will's House

OK. Take a long, slow, deep breath.

We all knew Obama was very likely to do exactly what he is doing now with Republican legislators, pundits, etc. It's in his history when he was in the Illinois State Senate and in the U.S. Senate.

Yeah, I know I'm using a blog for source -- I'm sure a longer search would turn up other sources as well. Please feel free to list other sources to back me up. Meantime, read here:

About President Obama
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Rainbows: good news is out there!

A personal update first:  The flood of job postings I was expecting a week ago Monday really has not happened as I expected.  I have submitted less than 10 applications/resume since January 5, 2009 -- it would have been more except I am avoiding jobs for now that pay less than collecting Unemployment and those which require some type of certificate or license, neither of which I have save a driver's license.

I wished things looked more positive on the job search.  However, if I had that 40 hour-a-week job, I wouldn't have as much time to research, surf the 'net and writer.

Here are some recent stories that are chipping away at the walls built to insulate me from all the insanity of the current administration:

Gov Palin is less than thrilled at bloggers like me.  Ouch.  She still insists one can see Russia from Alaska -- and apparently she is technically correct if she stands on the top of the western-most, permanent resident-free parts of Alaska.  I'll resist the urge to be snarky.

Office of Personnel Management is likely to have its first openly gay director.  Very cool! Now, if we could just get this openly gay blogger (Me!) a new job, I'll be euphoric!

Senator Feingold is proposing "legislation to make public some opinions from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, which issued some of the Bush Administration's most sweeping claims of executive power" and, per Feingold, President-Elect seems likely to support this legislation in addition to "reverse executive orders regarding torture of terror suspects, the military prison at Guantanamo Bay and other controversial security policies".  The full celebration, of course, will happen here once it is actually done. However, it is worth mentioning that these things were said and it is now in writing, waiting to be used to confront the new administration if they stray from these goals.

With all of this, it feels like sunlight cracking through the rain clouds with more sunshine to come. For now, I'm just going to enjoy the rainbow.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Where's our money update

I don't have all the answers, but I was able to trip into a couple of interesting pieces.

I am in the midst of reading the First Report of the Congressional Oversight Panel for Economic Stabilization from December 10, 2008.  Click here for a .pdf version.  For a report of this type, it's quite easy to read and asks all of the right questions, though not a lot of answers are forthcoming yet.

I also stumbled on a chart produced by the Wall Street Journal which includes the names of over 200 financial institutions who have received some of the TARP funding.  The total disbursed through the end of the year is nearly $250 billion dollars.  I have not figured out what the remaining $100 billion of the total $350 billion supposedly disbursed by the government, but I'm going to keep rooting around for it.

A second oversight panel was published a few days ago.  Once I finish the first report, I'll go through the second report.  I haven't heard anything from cable news outlets or any of the other blogs on whether or not they were able to figure out what the 200+ companies are doing with their quarter of a trillion dollars.  But it looks like Senator Dodd is trying to demand more accountability for the remaining $350 billion.  

However, when one of the quotes mentioned in the CBS article I linked above mentions needing "..to put a tourniquet on the 9,000 foreclosures that are occurring every day..", seems to me is that all it will take is some kind of metaphoric sneeze for all involved to assume the economy is in the midst of some kind of bout of pneumonia and the money all goes out the door gift wrapped.

Quick Takes

Lots of political news out there and good writing to peruse.  Here's a sample of the writing and my "quick takes" on each

Gene Robinson tapped to say a prayer at the Inauguration.  This should satisfy most in the LGBT community who are still sore over Rick Warren being tapped to give the Invocation.  I'm perfectly fine and pleased that whomever sees Robinson deliver the prayer will see not a gay man saying this prayer; they'll see a messenger of God delivering a blessing.

President GW Bush's press conference from this morning.   Eight days left in his administration and the President decides to defend his administration's most controversial decisions and continued to try reframing the results so it appears he did his best every time.  This is no surprise to me.  The emotion in his voice was more visible than ever.  I had guessed that GW Bush would, one day, consent to an interview with someone perceived as a "softball interviewer" but would do the work needed to ask difficult questions that would illicit the closest thing to a confession we would ever get (think: David Frost interviewing Nixon years after Nixon's resignation).

While the semi-confession came from Nixon over three years after the end of his presidency - I am willing to bet it will take far less than three years before we are given the satisfaction we need over getting GW Bush to convey genuine remorse and/or regret, permitting the forgiveness we'll need to give him one day in order for our country to move forward.

Hubble found something new.  Fascinating article and I love that we'll continue to find things we cannot explain and will explain things we keep finding AND we'll soon have a President who will be far more likely to let the truth of so many more scientific discoveries see the light of day, unfiltered through politics

www.pjtv.com.  Registration to view the video clips is free (no sacrificing a calf or a first born, unlike what you might think) and watching that infamous unlicensed plumber grumble out his opinions to his boss is just chock full of funny and head-shaking moments.


The View becomes . . well . . like cats in a burlap sack.  No transcription yet and I pity the person who has to sort out all of the cross-talk to figure out who said what. I watched the show's conservative co-host, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, to see if she stays silent, supports Coulters account of the facts used in her book or does the peculiar thing of confronting Coulter on Coulter's assertions.   That is truly the most interesting part of this melee.

I'm off to a nap to battle off a three-day off and on headache and a sour stomach.  Oddly, none of the above caused my physical distress.  Once I reset, I cannot wait to see if I get lucky and find out who got what amounts of money in the $290-$350 billion government "loan" to financial institutions.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Gowns, etc. Part 1

We're in one of my favorite times of the year: Awards Season !

I treat tonight's award show (I'll let you look up which one that is - trying to avoid a slap down) like a practice game -- I work to do my best but don't sweat it if I miss on every swing.  I have learned years ago not to bet against my partner on picking winners in the categories, so I do my best to rate the shows on looks.  It's entertainment, not rocket science.

That said, here are my picks in each of the following categories:

Best gowns: Laura Linney (never cared for pastel yellow until tonight), Kate Beckinsale (, Anne Hathaway (lovely in dark blue) Tina Fey (when does she ever look bad at an award show?) & Jane Krakowski (classic look)

Shiniest gown: Jennifer Lopez.  It's been so long since I've noticed her in any gown - time was she made heads turn everytime she showed up at an award show in whatever she wore.

Best necklace: Beyonce (wow) and Elizabeth Banks (best looking necklace/gown combo)

and, sadly:

Worst gowns: Eva Mendez (she is so incredibly beautiful and sexy in The Spirit - the gown tonight was very unflattering) and Maggie Gyllenhall (it looks as if a rare blue leopard was skinned for this gown and, sadly, there is no such thing as a blue leopard) 

I have two weeks until the next big award show and another month or so to prepare for the granddaddy of all award shows.  So I can count on around six hours of pure entertainment distraction in the coming months.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pictures, video or both

Easy on the words today - pictures and video are what grabbed me.  Choose one, the other or both - they both got a strong reaction out of me:

Friday, January 9, 2009

Project $350 billion update

Someone I was chatting with earlier today had told me a Harvard professor was looking into this issue as well.  I was a little flippant with him over that and felt comforted to know that someone easily a good deal brighter than I was looking into what has happened to this money.

(As an aside, $350 billion dollars is enough money to give every man, woman and child living in the U.S today around $1,150.00.  If you think $1,150.00 is a tiny sum, post a comment and I'll give you the address to which you may mail the $1,150.00 money order you write to me)

I'm still going to continue with the research.  If nothing else, I can opine about to whom the money went and where it was spent, if it was spent at all.  I'm sure statements from the institutions who received part of this $350 billion will also help make the picture appear a little clearer.

I welcome any suggestions / assistance, as always.

Pastor Rick reaches out

Maybe this is just about offering a fellow Christian group a place to congregate as they do not currently have access to their church building.

In light of this group of worshipers breaking off of the St. James Episcopal Church due to the church's leader in the U.S., Gene Robinson, being an out gay man, I hope in light of Pastor Rick's recent issue between the GLBT community and his church, that perhaps he is hoping to share his newfound insight with this group of Christians who are, no doubt, hurting.

I'll say a prayer for myself and leave the rest to God.

Big research projects

I issued myself a challenge to find the most "honest" members of Congress.  While I am not thoroughly done with my research, I wanted to share what I found, how I found it and let you know where my wandering mind is headed.

I have a document in which I have listed the members of the 110th Congress, the state they represent, their political affiliation, then scorecard ratings from six different organizations and notes from research done at two independent (I hope) websites: opensecrets.org (for money information) and sourcewatch.org (for background and biography).

The Congress members listed received a score of 60 out of 100 or better with the Human Rights Campaign and/or a score of 70 out of 100 or better in any/all of the other five scorecards.  Why 60 or better from HRC?  They only listed 5 bills voted in the last Congress which they consider GLBT related where the other score cards listed at least 10 bills.

From the Senate:

Blanche Lincoln.  No 100 scores from any of the six organizations, but high marks from both the conservative and liberal organizations.  I also liked that she is a "primary advocate" for the DRA which has quite the altruistic goal yet receives very little, if any, press about itself.

Daniel Akaka.  He got a 100 score from the League of Conservation Voters and his top contributors seem to be from opposite sides of the political spectrum.  Most remarkable is that in over 32 years in Congress, he does not have any connection to any scandal and received no travel, gifts or honoraria per the 2007 financial information I reviewed.

Evan Bayh.  Even though his father was also a three-term Senator, he seems to have done quite well for his home state of Indiana.  While Governor, he avoided raising taxes, managed a tax cut AND had a big budget surplus while creating 350,000 jobs.  Check out the 21st Century Scholars Act - this was quite a progressive and affirming idea! He also voted to not confirm Condeleeza Rice, Alberto Gonzalez, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito.  Finally, the proceeds of his autobiography all went to charity. 

Dick Lugar.  My only concern was the travel and honoraria he received in 2007.  It included four trips overseas with hotel, flight and meals courtesy of the Aspen Institute , a two night hotel travel for a Beta Theta Pi conference and a $2000.00 honoraria from Youth Federation for World Peace International for a speech given.  I include him on this list for his split in June 2007 with Bush 43 on continuing the Iraq War. He also is involved in treaty ratification to reduce nuclear, chemical and biological weapon stockpiles, supported biofuels and worked to preserve federal school lunch programs.  If nothing else, my research helped me better understand why Obama at one time considered Senator Lugar for a cabinet post.

Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe.  These are the Republican Senators from Maine and I imagine the Obama Administration and the Democrats in Congress has already done their homework on these two Senators to see what would be needed to garner their support of legislation.  Both Senators scored well with groups from both sides of politics.  Both split from Bush 43 in 2007 on the Iraq war and are reasonably well supportive of legislation helping the GLBT community. Senator Collins received no travel, gifts or honoraria in 2007 while Senator Snowe gifts received in 2007 were related to awards she received from groups like the University of Southern Maine, Healthcare Information & Management Systems and a refugee alliance.

Carl Levin.  He was one of the few Senators to vote against the 2002 use of force in Iraq resolution and tried proposing a timetable for troop withdrawal from Iraq as well as amending the resolution to prevent Bush 43 from using force unless the U.N granted authority to do so.  He was involved in a taxpayer's bill of rights to protect them from IRS harassment and in 1995 won passage of strict disclosure requirements for lobbyists.  His brother Sandy is in the House of Representatives and he has other relatives who either ran for Congress or were federal judges or state supreme court judges. No gifts, travel or honoraria accepted in 2007.

Chuck Hagel. In August 2005, he was the first Republican Senator to publicly criticize the Iraq War.  Regarding the war, he is quoted as saying in November 2005 "to question your government is not unpatriotic - to NOT question your government IS unpatriotic" and the next month regarding the Patriot Act, "I took an oath of office to the Constituation, (not to) my party or my President".   While in early 1996 there was an issue with voting machines made by the company he founded, AIS, it was the only issue my research turned up that questioned his overall "honesty"

Jeff Bingaman. Supported the Clean Energy Act of 2007 and has been strongly anti-tobacco over twenty years, supporting smoking cessation coverage for military and government personnel and providing coverage for this under Medi-Care.  Voted not to confirm Michael Mukasey. 

I would also add Senators Arlen Specter, Tim Johnson, Jim Webb and John Barrasso to my list just based on the scores I saw.  As time permits, I'll keep researching and post what I find.

I found anywhere from 9 - 13 Senators from the last Congress and also have a lot of Representatives to research

And Now, for a second research project (which I'm hoping is a little more successful):   On the post below, which is a reply to a comment on a posting Ms. Huffington made earlier today, I am going to try to find out just where the first $350 billion of the $700 billion went.

I might be staring head on at a twenty-foot tsunami wave by doing this.   That said, the Internet is pretty vast and I just might find something if I look long and hard enough.

I would appreciate any hints, suggestions and/or bread crumbs or neon signs to point the way!

Why Are the Media More Interested in Blago Than in Unraveling the Bailout Mystery?

Since becoming unemployed October 29, 2008, I have been searching for another job in my field, Customer Service. I took the plunge just after the Elections and started by own blog, commenting on various things as they piqued my interest. I am even trying to sort through voting backgrounds, scandals, reported financial transactions, etc., to determine who in Congress could be considered "honest". Not surprisingly, the research is going slow and is quite mind-numbing.

If I've got one relatively easy-to-find research project going in between e-mailing my resume here and there, I'm sure I can start a second one to find out where the bailout money has gone to date.

Everyone posting here, I assume, regularly surfs the Internet. I'll have some faith that the answer to the big question "Where'd the money go?" is out there somewhere, and start hunting.

Who's with me? I know at least 70% of everyone here is much sharper at rooting through the tangle of words to find nuggets of truth and data. Leaving it up to an amateur like me is quite a risky bet
About Regulation
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Because it just has to be read to be believed

. . and, I saw just enough on MSNBC just now to convince me that reading the transcript of Blagojevich's speech made earlier today after the Illinois overwhelmingly voted to impeach him is a far kinder thing to do for yourself than watching it.  

God Bless Lynn Sweet at the Chicago Sun-Times for preparing this -- preparing a transcription may involve multiple viewings/listenings to make sure the transcription is done accurately.  I could only stomach a 20 second clip one time of this speech. 

I hope there's some kind of great big bonus coming her way.

"What Makes a family?"

My pastor and friend, Gina Chapman, had an article published in the Whittier Daily News yesterday (on-line) and today in print.  The article was originally written to be published in December 2008; however, the message is still very relevant to day.

My church's website is woefully out of date; however, there is a link to the MCC "mother church" off to the left on this blog if you want more information on the history of the church and its current outreach.

If you want more information from me, just post a comment. 

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Second trip around and some follow up

First, the follow up:

I went to the GLBT help site I wrote about earlier today.  This may be a good resource; however, I didn't see anything saying any mental health professional was available to callers or e-mailers (peer counseling was all I found).  Phone volunteers are only available afternoons and evenings during the business week and for a few hours on Saturdays.  I hope the ad in The Advocate helps expand those hours.

Also, they have two physical locations - San Francisco and NYC.  Not really an issue as there are toll-free phone numbers and e-mail.  I hope with the increased use of the service that perhaps the phone system can be expanded to permit others to volunteer by phone or on-line from anywhere in the U.S.

OK - it just sounds like something I'd enjoy doing for a few hours a month and I'm quite a ways away from either locale.

Trip 'round the blogosphere AGAIN ?!?:  OK, aside from Randy's Blog, for which I can't be very objective as he's a good friend of mine and he is always challenging my thought process, there are two "must read" blogs these days:  The Mudflats and Jesus' General (I'll make sure both are listed to the left).  

Mudflats, as always, is a very insightful and well written look at politics in the "small yet large" state of Alaska and with a recent VP candidate from Alaska chatting for over 9 minutes on web video, there is so much to write about.  

Jesus' General has devoted the last few posts to a unique outpost of organized religion here in the U.S.  I cannot stop laughing and I have never visited, via the postings, an ultra-conservative church's website and its connected blogs so often in all my time on the 'net.

Enjoy !

Helping out

Rather than post a rant, complaint, a piece of snark or a diva-licious melt-down over Macy's closing 11 of its stores (first Mervyn's, now Macys? . . oh, yeah, I promised myself I wouldn't do this . .), I want to give you a link to a blog post that serves as a challenge and a website that may be of help to someone.

I read Obama's speech from earlier today to my partner, then went to Huffington Post to see what range of opinion had been posted.  Instead, my eye was drawn to a post by Ms. Huffington with a video-creation competition.

Having not had my post published on her site, I think a 90 second video of myself will most certainly be included in the montage.  OK, maybe I need to meditate on that a bit longer.  This does not mean that you don't have a winning idea for a video, so I say go for it !


I opened the latest print issue of the Advocate (which is now a monthly mag, but we'll still get the same number of issues in the subscription we have remaining).  I found an advertisement for a group I did not know existed for everyone: www.GLBTNationalHelpCenter.org.  It's not just for teens or for those who are asking questions about their sexuality -- it promises to provide "supportive peer-counseling and information to tens of thousands of people struggling with coming-out issues, relationship concerns,and safer-sex questions".  

I don't know anyone who could not benefit from a visit to that site.  Note to self:  visit the site later on.  

Another note to self: keep an eye out for someone who could not benefit from a visit to that site

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Official Inauguration Poster Released By Obama Team: Exclusive

As someone out of a job the last 2 1/2 months, I look for anything, ANYTHING, that gives me something for which to look forward. The poster knocked the wind out of me. If I can find some loose change in between the sofa cushions, I might order one. Hey, where in this Mac do ya put in the change I find between the cushions so I can get me one of those posters?

Maybe I'll just host a potluck at the ol' apartment complex. All the tuna casserole and generic soda pop I can serve up? Yum ?

Maybe a giveaway of some of these posters as consolation prizes for those who didn't get inauguration tix in that contest?
About Obama's Inauguration
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Metalhead the Journalist?

I've been unemployed since October 29, 2008, so stories about someone getting a new job are affecting me a little differently than they would had I not been laid off.  I would have attempted a snarky pun or joke about Joe the Plumber getting a new job with pjtv.com; however, I am delighted that Mr. Wurzelbacher has new employment and will have a ten day, who-knows-what expenses paid trip to the Gaza/Israel border so he can start on his new vocation.

As I am not a plumber who is not licensed as a plumber, have never been on John McCain's Straight Talk Express (and that bus never would've kept its name had I stepped foot on it) and have never gone on camera regarding anything political, it looks like my resume would not be a good fit at pjtv.com.  Plus, I would've nit-picked during the employment interview that one of the site's pages had misspelled its most famous conservative pundit's first name --- and I'm sure that would not have won over any of the staff.

So, like the kind people at Crooksandliars.com, I too will be "bookmarking his site" and can't wait to take in what Joe has to offer.  Perhaps I'll pick up a couple of tips on how I could get started on a fantastic journey of my own !

On the other hand, I think I've had my fill of first-hand witness to conflict.  Maybe I'll find someplace that's taking guesses on how long the trip will actually last, if this deal goes through at all.

What I've been reminded of so far today

Above all, in the blogosphere, top of the list of "things one needs to know" is to have a HUGE list of blogs listed on your own blog.

As you might have noticed, my own list is, well, paltry in comparison.

I have, though, added a blog to my list today.  I like to read a few posts to see if I feel the same as I did when I first viewed it.  With Jesus' General, I'm now a big fan with this post from today.  I could not stop giggling first in humor then in horror.

I know I'm not as funny as the General, so I'm not going to try.  God bless the General for lifting up the rock and pointing to the scurrying things found under that rock!

Speaking of the spiritual, Deepak Chopra was on yesterday's Ellen.  I'm not the biggest Deepak fan, but I can definitely get behind the website and the vow which was mentioned indirectly during the interview.  I signed on to this pledge a while back and have likely broken the vow way too many times to count (in thought . . did you think I was supplementing my unemployment checks with street fighting?); however, the exercise of reaffirming the vow regularly is better than continuing to think and act as I've done before.

I'm sure the whole "peace & love" thing will pay off more in the long run . . either that or I'll have to get pissed off at someone.   Oh, crap . . back I go. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Here's the prayer I've been looking for!  With thanks to the Anglican Church. (btw, "made redundant" means "laid off" in American English)

All around the blogosphere for 1/6/09

The biggest challenge I have when posting a blog entry is to write about something that hasn't been written about yet or to provide a fresh perspective on a topic that's been blogged into pumpkin butter.

So, I skipped around the 'net and checked in on a few of my favorite blogs and even took a base-jump into the Fox News website.

Fox News: I was so curious to see if, as I have seen noted tongue-in-cheek in many a blog lately, Bill O'Reilly's head had already "exploded" at the news of Al Franken's certification as winner of Minnesota's U.S. Senate campaign.  A visit to O'Reilly's Fox News page shows a link to a Wall Street Journal Opinion piece on Franken's election.  The column does not list who wrote it, unfortunately.  The writer's opinion, written about twelve hours before the Minnesota Canvassing Board certified Franken as the election's winner, noted that most of the rulings issued during the two month vote count were in favor of Franken and it is no surprise that Franken won because of this.  

Though I was not able to find any summary on-line of judgments and how each ruling favored and to what extent each candidate was favored, the Minnesota Star Tribute has a nifty "do it yourself" center with some scanned-in contested votes and some basic data on challenged ballots and vote count totals.  Coleman is well within his right to challenge the Canvassing Board's results, but I cannot figure out at this point how he hopes to change the vote total to favor himself.

One of my favorite blogs from last year had an adorable post earlier today about new Senator Mark Begich, President-Elect Obama and a sweet, feel-good photo.  The blogger, in true blogger tradition remaining unnamed, really has a talent for getting involved in the postings and effortlessly blending personal observation and compelling writing.  Check the other postings itself for a first-hand look at one of the most fascinating states in the Union for politics.

No news posted yet on the L.A County Sherrif's site on what was happening around the corner yesterday.  Whatever happened to cause six patrol cars, a motorcycle and a helicopter to circle around 24 hours ago has not yet been reported in any of the local news sites or anywhere.  It may be a few days before anything is posted, if at all.  I'll write something up once I find it.

Monday, January 5, 2009

. . and a much better afternoon!

Got out of the house this afternoon and cleared my head a bit. Getting the unemployment check didn't hurt my outlook any, either.  On my way back home, however, there was a swarm of LA County Sherrif's Deputy patrol cars at the corner nearby the apartment complex, plus another couple of cars at the next block, preventing me from parking in the complex AND a circling helicopter.  Even for our neighborhood, this was excessive!

I'll try keeping an eye on the 'net to see if this event warranted any coverage.

Also was enjoying watching a new Olbermann tonight.  Very cool quick story he did on this fellow in New Zealand and on some outrageously pricey upgrading to the Secretary of the Interior's office.  So nice to see the world is spinning around as always ?

The slowest get back to work day EVER

OK, maybe not EVER.  But, for the first Monday of the New Year, when most M-F 9-5ers are back to work, my upstairs neighbors have been oddly silent so far today (it is quite normal to hear lots of bumps, bangs, clangs and thumps from above throughout the day).  

TV today has been entirely uninteresting:  Perez Hilton on the View was surprisingly safe and dull - he even stopped dyeing his hair unnatural colors.  News today has been mostly about following Barack Obama around Washington D.C., including still photos of his daughters' first day at school (I just don't care at all and sincerely hope today was the last time I see/hear/read anything about his daughters.  I went to a few new schools as a child and that in itself is stressful enough.)

Employers are just starting to list all of the jobs they want to fill.  The last two weeks of job hunting has been like deer traipsing through the woods looking for leaves to eat in the dead of winter.  Like I do every day I check the job postings, I did submit applications at several employers.  This process was so monotonous I have no recollection of where my applications went and cannot recall the new job posting site at which I posted my resume (though I will see e-mails from them daily).

The "honesty" research will continue later today.  I've gone through the Senators from A to Maine and I'm still not sure what I'll conclude when I'm done.

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