Saturday, September 30, 2006

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bigotry Isn't a Moral Virtue

Wayne Besen's article this week denounces those who want political correctness erased from speech and be allowed to say whatever they want about whoever they want. More specifically he's aiming his ire against religious leaders and few Republicans. Besen explains,

It seems that a decade of conservative rule has eroded basic rules of civility. What used to be called mutual respect is now derisively dismissed as “political correctness.” Social conservatives now feel unrestrained and increasingly believe they are entitled to say whatever they want, no matter how obnoxious, hurtful or offensive.

While many of us know outstandingly moral and kind Republicans, there are some who see their bigotry as a moral strength. Just read about the NARTH spokespersons who think we did the slaves a favor "rescuing them from Africa" or about a Georgia minister who sounds more like Fred Phelps.

To read Besen's article, go here.

Banned Books

Yahoo news has a report of the Top 25 most challenged books of the last decade. By challenged, these books contain themes, ideas, and words that result in either books being pulled from local library shelves or books that are forbidden to be read in the classrooms.

Banning books is a tricky thing. Sure, we want to protect folks from ideas that harm and yet, there is also a good justification for reading those ideas so that we can know what we're either for or against. And, it's also a great non-confrontational way to hear opinions that are different fromwhat we already hold. This way we can weight the necessary ideas and find ourselves grappling or rejecting beliefs that challenge us. And, we might just find ourselves learning in the process.

Here are the Top 25 challenged books:

  1. "Harry Potter" (Series) (J.K. Rowling)
  2. "To Kill a Mockingbird" (Harper Lee)
  3. "The Color Purple" (Alice Walker)
  4. "The Outsiders" (S.E. Hinton)
  5. "Lord of the Flies" (William Golding)
  6. "Of Mice and Men" (John Steinbeck)
  7. "Goosebumps" (Series) (R.L. Stine)
  8. "How to Eat Fried Worms" (Thomas Rockwell)
  9. "The Catcher in the Rye" (J.D. Salinger)
  10. "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (Mark Twain)
  11. "The Giver" (Lois Lowry)
  12. "Brave New World" (Aldous Huxley)
  13. "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (Mark Twain)
  14. "Captain Underpants" (Dav Pilkey)
  15. "The Anarchist Cookbook" (William Powell)
  16. "Carrie" (Stephen King)
  17. "Flowers for Algernon" (Daniel Keyes)
  18. "The Dead Zone" (Stephen King)
  19. "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" (Maya Angelou)
  20. "Go Ask Alice" (anonymous)
  21. "American Psycho" (Bret Easton Ellis)
  22. "The Chocolate War" (Robert Cormier)
  23. "James and the Giant Peach" (Roald Dahl)
  24. "The Pigman" (Paul Zindel)
  25. "A Wrinkle in Time" (Madeleine L'Engle)
You can read the Top 100 challenged books here.

Logo Online

Logo, the national LGBT television network is hosting another 'best of' series. The last one focused on the 100 best LGBT movies and it was wildly popular. This time, they are showing the best LGBT movie shorts. These shorts are movies that are approx 15-20 minutes in length and are being voted on by the viewers. Once the results are tallied, Logo will present the finalists on their station. You can watch these movie shorts at

While there are some great movies to watch, this one is my favorite so far. Go here to view Fairies. And then select Watch It!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Weird Al Song

Okay, sure, Weird Al is just that.. kinda weird, but does remind me of all those skits I did when I was in my church youth group as a kid; only his stuff is better and funnier.

He has a new song, "Don't Download this Song" that is funny while addressing the issue of downloading pirated music. It's good music too.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Friday, September 22, 2006

Bingo Night

I tell you, I had a great birthday. First, I woke up and I wasn't dead. Turning 41 can be a scary thing but alas, I was feeling as good as the night before I went to sleep.

On Tuesday, my birthday, I practically did what my mom always did on my birthday. Normally during my school days, mom let me stay home from school. When I was even younger, she and I would often go to the zoo or do something fun together. This past Tuesday, I relived my youth and stayed in bed until about 10:00am. And for the rest of the morning and early afternoon, I watched tv and basically did nothing until the guilt finally set in.

Once my guilt set in, I went and visited a church member undergoing physical therapy and stopped in at the office for a few hours. But checking my clock, I didn't stay long. I had to get to my bowling league. My teammates and I have named ourselves the 'Pin Flamingos'. We were going to call ourselves the Pink Flamingos but decided Pin Flamingos sounded more funny and tied in with our bowling.

After bowling some decent scores, I left and made it to my usual Bingo game hosted by the Fabulous Big Blanche. Bingo is only every other week, so I have to wait two weeks in between games. The last time I played I won a DVD player (I think I blogged about that already). On Tuesday, I won this ice cooler! Is that hilarious or what? Everyone just groaned when I hollered out the loudest Bingo! you've ever heard. I tell you, sometimes I can be such a dork. A good natured dork, but a dork nonetheless.

Here is my new bowling ball

Tuesday night I bowled with my new bowling ball. I am now an official New Joisey redneck on a bowling league. Sure, it's a gay bowling league; however, much as we might look redneck, we are all truly fabulous at heart.

Fancy Smancy Birthday Present

My eldest brother bought and sent to me this incredible new 19" LCD monitor for my birthday. The specs are: Acer AL1906AB / 19" / 8ms / 500:1 / SXGA 1280 x 1024 / Black / LCD Monitor. It only cost $159 after rebate and let me tell you, it is soooooooooooooo nice! And big! You just gotta love, right? Go here for the monitor if you're interested in it.


Blogger's been down for ages! And, I haven't been able to upload any pics or videos since their last update. It is for this reason, that I a) put that funny but tasteless joke up (or so says mom) and b) that I haven't posted anything of significance of late. That'll all change now that everything on blogspot is up and running.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Tree Hugger

While walking through the Boulder Colorado woods a man came upon another man hugging a tree with his ear firmly against the tree.

Seeing this he inquired, "Just out of curiosity, what the heck are you doing?"

"I'm listening to the music of the tree," the other man replied.

"You gotta be kiddin' me."

"No, would you like to give it a try?"

Understandably curious, the man says, "Well, OK..." So he wrapped his arms around the tree and pressed his ear up against it.

With this the other guy, slapped a pair of handcuffs on him, took his wallet, jewelry, car keys, then stripped him naked and left.

Two hours later another nature lover strolled by, saw this guy handcuffed to the tree stark naked, and asked, "What the hell happened to you?"

He told the guy the whole terrible story about how he got there.

When he finished telling his story, the other guy shook his head in sympathy, walked around behind him, kissed him gently behind the ear and said, "Man, this just ain't gonna be your day, cupcake..."

Happy Birthday to Me

Okay, sure, it's a bit self-congratulatory, but hey, I am 41 years old. After 40, I figure I now have an excuse to do so.

Monday, September 18, 2006

An Interesting Study in NYC

An article appeared in the journal of The Annals of Internal Medicine (no jokes please) that relayed an interesting finding. The article said,

A study published in the [The Annals of Internal Medicine] found that a survey of 4,193 men conducted by the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found that 10% of the men who identified themselves as heterosexual, 69 percent of them who reported having had sex with other men were married. (You'll need to scroll down toward the middle of the report under the heading, Results, Male Survery Participants. Or, you can go here to read Yahoo's news summary of the article.)

Many admitted they had not used a condom and had not been tested for HIV.

"Doctors need to ask patients about specific sexual practices instead of relying on self-reported sexual orientation to assess risk for unsafe sexual practices and risk for sexually transmitted diseases," said Preeti Pathela, who led the study.

"Public health prevention messages should target risky sexual activities, such as unprotected receptive anal sex, and should not be framed to appeal solely to gay-identified men."

(The bolding and italics are mine, which I added for emphasis.)

Now, I don't know why these particular men were interviewed by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in the first place or the particular sampling method used, but the findings are more than interesting.

To suggest that such a high number of married men (10%) have had gay sex within the past year with at least one partner is rather shocking, right? I mean, had the number been closer to 2% we could strug our heads and say, "Eh, people do as people do, you can't expect anyone to figure in that small percentage into the equation of HIV transmission, education, or public service announcements." But when the figure is almost 10%, is says, "Heyyy!!! Is anyone paying attention here?! This is important!"

Sure, those living in New York City are living in a city with perhaps the most lax sexual mores and those living in NYC are not like the typical American city- but it makes me wonder how men in other towns, smaller cities, or in the country would report. I remember a friend of mine who lived in Oklahoma. I asked him how many men in his small town (of Davis, OK) did he think were gay. He said I was asking the wrong question. He said, "Are you asking how many men have sex with men, regardless of whether they are married or not?" I said, "Eh, sure." He said at least 50% of the guys he knew, whether married or not, have had sex with other men.

We need to get past the mindset that says, 'If we don't talk about it, people aren't doing it." Or, to realize the addage that if we DO talk about it, more people will do it. Heck, more people already ARE doing it and we need to keep this little tidbit in mind when we think of public policy, AIDS awareness, and societal expectations.

Woo-hoo! The Painters Are Done!

Finally! The painting inside and outside of the parsonage is complete. The painters came today and finished the bathrooms, painting the window sills on the back porch and the front pillars on my front porch. While it only took them two days to paint, the time from when they first began to the time when they came back to finish the job was excruciatingly long. But now, it's all done!

Now, there are only two things left to be done for the update to the parsonage to be complete:
1. A shower door for my downstairs bathroom
2. New wall-to-wall carpeting. The carpeting is at least 25 years old (from what I am told) and upstairs there is actually shag carpeting that must be a whole heck of a lot older than 25 years.

Anyways, my place is looking so nice. I am so thrilled at the generosity of the church to help make the parsonage look so nice.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Very Funny Ads

Last night while watching TBS's presentation of Kill Bill, Vol. 1, there was an advertisement for a website called, This site hosts the worlds funniest commercial ads. And, without any tired commentary (like in shows such as America's Funny Home Videos), it has a lot of commericials as they are, including this one.

The Dutch are the World's Tallest People

According to a news report, the Dutch are the tallest people in the world. And as it is, I happen to be Dutch too, so that explains a whole heck of a lot. I have been meaning to go to Amsterdam and just walked around among giants. I have a couple of friends from there and they all say that not only would I love it there, I'd be among fellow tall people.

While I do enjoy my height, it has some disadvantages. Since I am not extremely outgoing, I tend to enjoy just 'blending in the crowd,' which is something I can't do unless I am sitting down. So, when I go out, I tend to sit down a lot. But if I were to go to Amsterdam, I could stand up all the time. (smile) Yeah, my next overseas travel expedition will be to Amsterdam.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Political or Religious Post?

Okay, so my first venture into writing a blog post of some measure of rant, contains something to do with Bush and something to do with religion and a lot of how we interpret religion in light of politics. Was that a post for this blog or the church blog? I am having my doubts already. Hmm...

Coffee Maker Extraordinare

Just when you thought you didn't have enough gadgets and needs one thing more, along comes a coffee maker that gives you the weather report as your pouring either your first cup of coffee for the day. And, it'll grind your beans before you brew them. That's a nice feature too. You can read more about the coffee maker here and here.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wouldn't THIS be cool?!

It is a treehouse called the Scallywag Sloop Treehouse and it can be yours (or your kid's) for only $20,000. You can read the story here and it'll provide links to the company that makes this treehouse as well as others (most of them start around $8000).

Man I tell you, this would be fantastic if it were bigger and made for a guy 6ft 9in tall. I'd totally move out there.

another blog..

As it happens, the church where I serve has agreed to allow me to put up a blog on the church's website hosted by blogspot (nothing says "Let's do it!" like something that also says 'free!'

So I will be experimenting with what it'll be like, what I'll say, and throw a rant or two in there for good measure. As for this blog, I'll keep it and continue to post my thoughts and opinions- there will only be less specifically religious or spiritual things here. I'll save my political rants for here.

If you'd like to check out my new church blog, go here:

Hard Drive Turns 50

Here is an amazing history of the computer hard drive. I was not only amazed how fast technology has developed in such a short time, when compared to other inventions, but also how small our technology has become. When the hard drive was first introduced it was the size of two refrigerators with the storage capacity of only 5 megabytes, roughly equivelant to one or two mp3 songs.

Go here to read the story.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Life Expectancy Linked to Where You Live

Here is an interesting article about life expectancy based on U.S. geography, race, gender, and other factors. It is very interesting, esp when in the article, the statistics show each state's average life expectancy.

Go here to read the article.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Bleu for You

The Bethesda Fountain

This is one of my favorite places in New York City, the Bethesda Fountain. Surrounding the fountain is an arched walkway; behind it a small stream where row boats drift lazily by. I found this particular picture a couple of days ago and have since made it my desktop wallpaper on my laptop and my computer at work.

The fountain itself was dedicated in the mid 1800's as NYC's new aquaduct brought clean drinking water down from upstate New York into a city that so needed it. The sculptor was the sister of one of the park designers and over a hundred and fifty years later, this is said to be one of the world's most famous fountains.

You can click the picture for a larger version.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Heartburn like No Other

Daaaaang, you eat too many of these things and you'll really have to fight off that heartburn. I found a package of these in the church icebox after a meeting tonight. Once I started eating them, I couldn't stop- or rather, I couldn't stop until the heartburn started.

Keebler must put a secret addictive-like ingrediant in these things. I'll be it's opium. That would definately explain the good nature of those little elves.

Speaks for Itself

Spend, spend, buy, buy, buy

I think one of the reasons I buy so much 'stuff' is that I am exposed to all the stuff 'out there' via the internet. Take this printer for example, it is a monochrome laser printer for under $64. That has got to be the cheapest laser printer I've ever heard of! And, it's a Brother printer, one of the finest printer makers out there.

I checked the toner capacity, it'll print 2,500 pages per cartridge. Cartridges are $42 a piece which is cheaper than inkjet cartridges which generally run about $25 for 600 pages per cartridge. You can immediately see the reason why folks would go with a laser printer from the cost of cartridges alone. I mean, you'll need to purchase 4 inkjet cartridges to equal one cartride of this laser printer. Or, in 'Grandma speak' (she's the one in the family that saves money like no one else), that equals $100 in inkjet ink as compared to $42 for a laser cartridge.

For my printer at home, it would simply make sense in the long run; heck after I bought the printer and one additional ink cartridge, I could pay for the machine with what I'd spend in toner cartridges alone with my regular system.

You see, it is examples like this that make me want to 'spend, spend' and 'buy, buy, buy.'

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

3-D Sidewalk Chalk Drawings

I found a link to a site of 3-D sidewalk chalk drawings. They are amazing pictures that trick the eye in ways I've never seen before.

Keep in mind though, that these drawings are only meant to be seen from one viewpoint only; at any other angle, and you completely miss the picture.

Click on any picture to see a large version of it.

Amazing Things to Do on a Treadmill

I found this post over on Andrew Sullivan's blog and it is a YouTube video. And it's a riot!

Bowling Update

Oh my goodness, what a wonderful time I had last night (Tuesday) bowling. I met some great men and womyn (the blowling guidelines actually has women spelled that way, which is fine and cool and I totally honor and accept it).

I didn't play particularly well but I did get better as the evening progressed. Since it's been 30 years since I was on a bowling league (yup, that'd make me 10 years old), I had to remember what those dots are for at the beginning of the lane and find a decent weighted ball to throw. Once I found and had the courage to throw the pink ball, I found my accuracy. And, bowling in a gay league, the other bowlers were actually jealous that I found a pink ball to play with. I am telling you, I love the men and womyn already.

Okay, just so you know, by enrolling on a Tuesday night bowling league, I am exchanging one Tuesday night activity for another. Normally I go play Bingo or participate in karoke on Tuesday nights. They alternate each week. One week, Big Blanche calls the balls in Bingo and another week, Jeff and Kimberly lead in the karoke. Blanche is the drag queen that hosts the bingo game at Feathers, the local gay bar and dance club near me. However, seeing how it was 11:30pm after I got out of bowling, I decided to drop by and see Blanche and join in a few last minute Bingo games.

I did and guess what?! I won a DVD player. The last game of the night is the one with the bigger prizes (than just t-shirts, ball caps, and free drinks). The last game of bingo entails filling up the entire board. Whoever shouts Bingo! first, is the winner (assuming all the numbers were ticked off).

So my Tuesday night was pretty cool.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Tonight is my first league game of bowling. I joined a bowling league last week and am poised to become New Jersey's new bowling sensation. [end of wittiness] Actually, I did join the bowling league and beginning tonight at 9:00pm, I will gather with countless other amateur and not-so amateur bowlers for an evening of fabulous revelry. Oh.. did I mention I joined a gay and lesbian bowling league?

It seems the bowling alley I will be playing at hosts New Jersey's Gay and Lesbian Bowling League, where men and women and myn and womyn (or other such unidentifiable gender expressions) meet each week from September through May. The entire bowling alley, all 50 lanes, is for the NJGLB Association. I am pretty excited about it.

Actually I am hoping to meet more lesbians. I was pondering the other day that while I know several lesbians, I am not as close to many of them as I would like. I mean, I think every man needs to know someone who knows how to operate power tools safely, can stand up for you if situations appear scary, or someone who can rightfully put you in your place when you get to big for your britches.

And, I think that since Rosie is now on The View, today should be an annual event for everyone to Find Their Own Lesbian. I'd take dibs on Rosie, but I am sure she's already called for by half of the Chelsea boys in New York.

[Author's Note: It was not my intention to defame or insult any or all lesbians with the writing of this post. Actually I hold them (or you) in the highest regard and think it's dang well time that men everywhere (gay and straight alike) affirm and thank you for your valuable contribution to any and all things. So please don't read this post and decide to go and kick my butt. Thank you.]