Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Top Ten Lists Begin

Don't you just love the end of the year when everyone comes up with a different Top Ten list about the year? Some of them are comical, others are spot on. Here are a sampling of those lists.

"I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don't have maps and I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and Iraq and everywhere like such as and I believe that they should our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for us."

Lauren Upton, the South Carolina contestant in the Miss Teen America contest, when asked why one-fifth of Americans cannot find the U.S on a map

Go here to read the entire Top Ten Quotes of the Year.

h/t to Towleroad

Want to know the Top Ten folks who fell from grace this past year? By grace, I don't mean God's grace but our national graces. Think Don Imus and them steroidal athletes. Go here to watch a Yahoo video on it.

Here are a scattering of more lists.
1. The Top Ten stories you missed this past year.
2. The Top Ten under-reported stories this past year.
3. The Top Ten list of ways the Federal Government enslaves you.
4. The Top Ten most dangerous college courses.
5. The Top Ten book recommendations for the year.
6. The Top Ten advances in Science over the past 50 years.
7. The Top Ten fastest cars in the world.
8. The Top Ten worst logos for the year. This one is hilarious.
9. The Top Ten stupid criminals of 2007.
10. The Top Ten most anticipated movie trailers for the next 12 months.

Morning Wrap Up

I have been reading several posts this morning and figured I'd share a few of what I've read.

Here are some "secrets" about men that is both an enjoyable read and so true. To me, this cuts across orientations. Go here to read about the Don't-Tell-the-Wife Secrets.

What is the most expensive drink you can order at Starbucks? One man found out when he received a coupon to get any drink he wanted. But to get the most expensive drink with the most 'add-on's, he had to be tricky. Go here to read that post. It is actually pretty funny.

Lifehacker has a collection of the most popular free webApps. I went through this list and downloaded a great .pdf reader that loads in like, one second. Funny thing though, I have most of what is on the list already. Check out the list and download what you want.

If you live in a place where you get a lot of freezing rain and ice, here is a homemade de-icer recipe you can use on your car windshields.

Here is a kick-butt video clip from a surveillance camera showing a woman defending herself from a purse-snatcher.

Archbishop Rowan Williams says the Nativity story is simply a 'legend'. Go here to read the post and most importantly, read the comments sections of this post.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Why Nice Guys Finish Last ...

... because they are creepy and insecure. Well, at least this is the rationale behind a particularly well-written post from a woman who thinks nice guys are losers.

I have always thought of myself as " a nice guy". It is for that reason I found this post interesting. While I didn't read much of myself in it, I did find some things worth contemplating and re-evaluating.

There are particular days when I want to recapture a sense of self-worth by opening up a can of redneck and yell nasty colloquialisms at those who really tick me off. What other ways are there to capture (or recapture) one's sense of self and well-being?

Seriously though, we all need to face the reality that when it comes to love and other relationships, we must love ourselves first before we can expect to love others in a way that honors them. Otherwise, we'll meet the wrong persons who'll abuse us and we'll never find the intimacy and respect we deserve.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Melting Pot of America

One of the reasons I enjoyed living in New York City for 10 years was the fact that it truly represents the idea of a melting pot, where different cultures, races, peoples live, work, and play together in some kind of harmony. Anyone who has friends usually has one of each nationality as well as from different nations. Being and living in such an environment truly makes one feel metropolitan and ultra cool.

So it is so unfortunate when you hear of the reality that not everyone thinks NYC's melting pot is such a good idea. I found this video about a couple of Jewish kids being attacked by Christians yelling, "You killed Jesus!" Fortunately a man from a different faith stepped in and may have prevented a disaster. Unfortunately for him, he got the beat up too.


Midweek Wanderings

If you have a few minutes to spare and enjoy reading other people's comments (calling all blogreaders) then here is a fun site where readers of Craigslist nominate their favorite posts on the site. It is called 'best-of-craigslist" and I find myself there often. Having the juvenile humor that I do, I usually laugh at the inappropriate stuff. But you can find a lot of surprisingly funny stuff.

A guy writes to Amazon's customer service about not winning a chance to purchase a $1000 laptop for $299. He writes a humorous email, not intending to be mean but instead playful. As a result, he gets a playful response.

Remember the playgrounds of your youth? Before the "safe" playgrounds of post-sued schools and parks, there were junglegyms, slides, and monkey bars. A poster writes about his favorite playgrounds and finds that nothing lasts forever.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Event

A new movie is coming out shortly about a gay man who dies of AIDS and the story about his life as it unfolds to the people who surrounded him. It stars Olympia Dukakis and from this preview, it looks like it'll be a tear-jerker.

Huckabee's Viewpoint

This past week, I've read where former Southern Baptist preacher and Governor of Arkansas and now a Presidential contender made the following statement about AIDS in 1992:

"It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents," he said then.

I've been reading the various posts around the Internet and am rather shocked that I have not read one post about what troubles me with his statement. I am most concerned with his belief that the AIDS virus, to him, is a "genuine plague". When one things of plagues, images from Israel's slavery by the Egyptians in the book of Exodus and Charleton Heston's performance in the Ten Commandments. Plagues. Locusts, water turning to blood, the firstborn child in a family dies. Plagues. That which God delivers upon humanity as either punishment or something that is meant to "wake them up" or simply to reveal who God is to those who do not know.

Sure, there are other plagues that have existed since the notorious ones in the Old Testament. We've had the Bubonic Plague. We've also had mass illness of the colds and flus that has wiped about hundreds of thousands of people. And, to get technical, the definition of a plague is a virus spread by rodents. But no one believes that AIDS is caused by wayward rats--no, the image of a plague is "God induced" and it's to this allusion that causes me concern.

In Huckabee's mind, AIDS is (and continues to be) a plague. That "continues to be" part is evident in his refusal to backdown from his 1992 confession. He still believes those who had AIDS should have been quarantined, isolated, moved from here and put over there (lest a person would actually have to look at someone dying). He believed and believes that instead of allowing those with AIDS to confront medical and religious establishments and demand action and accountability, that they should have been treated as a medical crisis and be damned with who those who actually contracted the disease.

Today he still isn't sorry for making that statement; instead he hides behind his historical revisionist memory that at that time, no one knew anything about the disease. When in fact, by 1992 the medical establishment knew quite well what it was and what it did and how it was spread. Instead of simply apologizing for making such a discriminatory statement masked in the guise of religion, he actually continues to believe he said nothing wrong. Does this mean he thinks AIDS patients should continue to be quarantined today? Does this mean AIDS continues to be God's plague upon gay men?

Without going into an argument that challenges the notions of who gets the disease and who doesn't, and without articulating a religious notion that God gives diseases to men and women as a sign of punishment and retribution, one has to wonder how a nation could elect a President who views diseases as God's punishment. But you know, he probably doesn't think that heart disease is God's punishment on those who have poor diatary practices. He probably doesn't think that certain cancers are God's punishment for smoking and sexual promiscuity (although he might!). His rhetoric may be popular among the fundamentalist Christians who think that the feminist movement is really about making young women into witches and lesbians (as the late Pat Robertson suggested). Is that the camp he wants to be in? Will the next storm in Florida or the ice storm in Oklahoma represent God's displeasure at the porn shops along I-35?

When a President is less concerned about the real issues that affect and cause harm and more about religious doomsayers, then he or she cannot offer a solution that actually addresses a workable solution. This is one danger of scapegoating someone whereas the problem is not addressed and solutions get presented that fail to confront the real problem. If you think AIDS is God's punishment on the homosexual, will you be less inclined to search for a cure? Will you create measures and policy that offers a way that other homosexuals from getting the disease? Or, will you preach on a stump that contracting AIDS is what sinners deserve?

One of President Reagan's biggest criticisms during the beginning of the AIDS crisis has been interpreted to say if he hadn't thought this was only a "gay disease" then more would have been done sooner to protect others from contracting it. When AIDS was first diagnosed, you can understand why the many AIDS activists challenged the original name for the disease: GRID: Gay-related Immunodeficiency Disease. When a person realizes this isn't just a gay disease, then you move outside of your stereotypes and into an arena of better solutions. It is believed that Reagan thought this was only a gay problem and he didn't need to get involved. As a result, the disease spread.

Huckabee and others might argue that the best solution to this problem should have been quarantine, but others know that the disease laid dormant for years and years before the first person died of it. Those who do know better appear to pander to those who scapegoat for their particular political issues and religious messages of God's condemnation--and as a result, don't do a damn thing while the disease spreads.

I believe Huckabee's continued position on AIDS and its care demonstrates that he cannot be trusted in the future to tackle and handle new crises and dangers to America without believing that the next catastrophe will be God's punishment upon a sinful America. We might have worried that Ted Haggard had George Bush's ear--how scarier would it be if the Rev. Fred Phelps has Huckabee's ear!?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

World AIDS Day, December 1, 2007

In 2007, you'd be surprised how much some people do not know about HIV/AIDS. If this is you, take time out of your day and read up on what it is, what it does, and how folks are trying to help those who have it and prevent others from getting it.

Go here to begin your journey.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

You have GOT to be Kidding?!

A post from Think Progress reveals the depths of depravity our government has stooped. The military is demanding from injured military veterans, that their signing bonuses be returned because they were injured in the war in Iraq!

Read the comments to this brief story for a better worded response to such a demand.

25 Skills Everyone Should Know

A couple of nights ago I was commenting to a childhood friend who now lives in Idaho that I would love to have someone I knew who was particularly handy at fixing things. Well, actually...I didn't say it exactly like that. I said, "I'd sure love to find me a rent-a-lesbian because I have so many things around the parsonage that I'd like to fix and look nice.

Honestly I didn't mean this to be an insult--truth be told, most of the lesbians I know are better-than-me fix-it persons. So you can imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this great post about the 25 Skills Everyone Should Know. Okay, so that isn't exactly the title of that post. The title is more sexist: 25 Skills Every Man Should Know. It could very well also read: 25 Skills Every Gay Man Should Know.

Truthfully, this is a good starting point for me. If I can master these tasks, then I'll better understand exactly what said-fix-it person will be telling me as I am directed to fix things, lay a patio, or take the stains out of my rug.

What, Me Greedy?!

Greed is so NOT the term for the new adsense advertising I have now installed on this blog. It is more like, if you'll give me free money for my posts, then "Heck yeah!!" I have been reading a few stories about folks making money by simply including Google's Adsense advertisements on one's blog. This morning, the Today Show featured stories of retirees making a decent subsidized income from Google. Google's ad rep even explained that in the last year, they gave away what sounded like $2 trillion dollars--but that can't be, right? My ears hear crazy things before my morning coffee washes away the last visages from my dreams.

Still, if they had said, $2 billion or $2 million, both would be fine with me.

So yeah, now I have Google ads on this site. One stream of ads runs at the top of the posts. Another ad box is at the bottom of my left pane that allows you to search Google. I'll let you know if I receive a whopping paycheck from Google.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Whole Lott of Loving Goin' On

Trent Lott's sudden resignation has everyone all in a fluster. Why is he leaving his office with so much time left? One report has him leaving early before Congress votes to rewrite lobbying laws that mandates how long a politician has to wait, upon leaving any political office, to become a lobbyist. Leaving now would allow him to become a high paid lobbyist as soon as he resigns. Otherwise, he'll need to wait several years.

Another report.. ahem.. has him leaving for another reason. A Washington DC magazine is about to release proof that Lott has been engaging in extra-curricular activities with a particular Washington DC gay rent boy. Rumor has it that this is the big secret Larry Flynt has been talking about for the last couple of months--a secret so big that it'll shake the Republican party to it's core.

If the second scenario is true, and I have no idea one way or the other, then Mr. Lott is in for a real hailstorm given his staunch stand against any lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender issue. Go here to read his horrendous voting record on such issues.

Go here to read one post about Lott's possible rent boy connection. Go here to read another one. This story is like a brush fire in the hills of California. Within a couple of hours, it'll consume the Internet I'm sure.

h/t to, towleroad, queerty, and big head dc.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Challenge of Original Content

You know, blogging is an interesting experience. As I think about what to post, I realize I have two choices: blog what others are blogging about or, writing something original (or as commentary to relevant news happenings).

For a time, I was posting cool things from other bloggers (with appropriate citations). But then, as I read my daily blogs (using Google's Blog Reader), I found that a lot of the posts I was reading were being told over and again by other bloggers. Sometimes its maddening to read the exact same story, or see the same photos, or reveal the same news (e.g., some GOP lawmaker was caught yet again doing something pervy).

Some of the best bloggers I've noticed are the ones who post original content and yet, so many other folks 'copy and paste' their stuff into their own blogs. A few of my favorite bloggers are Pam's House Blend, Joe.My.God, Lifehacker, Towleroad, and The Daily Dish. If you read these blogs, you'll find so many others in this particular blogging genre copying one another's blogs (yes, I know that Lifehacker isn't of the same genre, but they are just as copied as everyone else). And, yes, I've done my share of that too.

To be fair, these bloggers are different than the average blogger. They blog full-time, every day, every week. And, they profit from their blogging (some including Towleroad) do this full time and make full time pay. Go here for a great interview of Andy Towleroad. Some bloggers are even earning 6 and 7 figure incomes. Talk about a great home business, right?

So what is the average blogger to do? I am thinking the average blogger mixes things up: posts comments about news events, links to other blogs the interesting stories (and yet, does this infrequently as they can), posts things they like, and tries to have some fun with it.

I guess this post is more about 'dude, lighten up, it's just a blog,' sort of post. Rather than lamenting the lack of many original postings (like my own), blogging is supposed to be fun AND, its something everyone and anyone can do. It's that last part that I like so much: we don't need to plop down a lot of money to get into the blogging craze (as say you would if you wanted to get into say, yaughting or golf.)

And who knows, maybe you'll get fired from your job and have some extra time of your hands--and then whalahh! You have a blog, you post every day of every week, build a readership, and then advertisers advertise on your blog, and you become filthy rich. You'll become the new J.K. Rowling of the blog world.

To use a line in the New York Daily News' Gossip Column, "Only in America, kids. Only in America."

Monday Morning Game

Q. What do all these men have in common?

A. They are all Men who look like old lesbians!

You can see more pics and submit your own at the appropriately titled blog called Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians.*

* Disclaimer. If you're a queer activist or lesbian who can kick my butt, please don't do it. I really am a nice guy. Or, to help me not get into trouble, let me remind you that imitation is the highest compliment.

Friday, November 09, 2007

LOL! Video

This video is from a Chinese television show. What an incredibly funny practical joke!

Asperger's Syndrome

Autism and Asperger's Syndrome affects a lot more people than you think esp if you live anywhere East of the Mississippi, for some reason. To help us understand this psychological condition, there is a book written by John Elder Robison titled, Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's.

As an aside, Robison happens to be Augusten Burrough's brother. Mentioned briefly in Burrough's Running with Scissors, this book goes into greater detail about Asperger's as well as his insanely dysfunctional upbringing and those who completely misunderstood his condition for so long.

For an introduction to the book from Burrough's, check out this video. It's actually very funny, as you might expect.

Here are some written reviews of the book:

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Robison's thoughtful and thoroughly memorable account of living with Asperger's syndrome is assured of media attention (and sales) due in part to his brother Augusten Burroughs's brief but fascinating description of Robison in Running with Scissors. But Robison's story is much more fully detailed in this moving memoir, beginning with his painful childhood, his abusive alcoholic father and his mentally disturbed mother. Robison describes how from nursery school on he could not communicate effectively with others, something his brain is not wired to do, since kids with Asperger's don't recognize common social cues and body language or facial expressions. Failing in junior high, Robison was encouraged by some audiovisual teachers to fix their broken equipment, and he discovered a more comfortable world of machines and circuits, of muted colors, soft light, and mechanical perfection. This led to jobs (and many hilarious events) in worlds where strange behavior is seen as normal: developing intricate rocket-shooting guitars for the rock band Kiss and computerized toys for the Milton Bradley company. Finally, at age 40, while Robison was running a successful business repairing high-end cars, a therapist correctly diagnosed him as having Asperger's. In the end, Robison succeeds in his goal of helping those who are struggling to grow up or live with Asperger's to see how it is not a disease but a way of being that needs no cure except understanding and encouragement from others. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist
*Starred Review* If one looked at only Robison's impish sense of humor (he once ordered a blow-up sex doll to be delivered to his junior-high-school teacher—at school), or his success as a classic-car restorer, it might be impossible to believe he has the high-functioning form of autism spectrum disorder called Asperger's syndrome. Clues abound, however, in his account of a youth encompassing serious inability to make and keep friends; early genius at pyrotechnics, electronics, and math; and pet names such as Poodle for his dog and Snort and Varmint for his baby brother. Much later, he calls his wife Unit Two. It is easy to recognize these telltale traits today, but Robison went undiagnosed until he was 40. In the 1960s, he was variously labeled lazy, weird, and, worse, sociopathic. Consequently, his childhood memories too often read like a kid's worst nightmares. Not only did his parents fail to understand the root of his socialization problems but they were also virtually as dysfunctional as the pair Augusten Burroughs portrays in Running with Scissors (2002). 'Nough said? Not nearly. Robison's memoir is must reading for its unblinking (as only an Aspergian can) glimpse into the life of a person who had to wait decades for the medical community to catch up with him.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Word Gay is Just Too Narrow Sometimes

You've read of a few of my other postings about my discomfort with the way in which the general public tends to lump anyone who has sex with someone of the same sex as gay. We read of folks like Larry Craig that his toe-tapping in the men's room means that he's really gay and the love he has for his wife and adopted children have all been a sham.

But as most of us also know, sexuality is a spectrum and has always been so. It includes totally gay, totally straight, and a whole lot of 'in th middle'. When someone like George Michael explains, "Being gay isn't about who you can 'get it up for'", to Richard Curtis' declaration that, "I am not gay!", one can easily see that the conversation is much broader than 'this or that'.

Dan Savage wrote an interesting article (you can read it, but it's kinda 'earthy', if by earthy I mean he doesn't mince his words) about a new term to describe folks like Curtis, who might not actually be gay at all but according to sexologists, he may very well be "autogynephilia" (I had to copy and paste the word, I just couldn't spell the dang thing). If this is so, there may be a closer connection to being transgender than gay.

And so the conversation continues--what does it mean to be gay? I know several guys who "experimented as youths" but ended up realizing that they weren't really gay; they are married now, with kids, and living fulfilling lives. To be honest, I think many youths are not homosexual or heterosexual, they are 'try-sexual', they'll try anything. Wouldn't it be great if all our hormones ravaged us like they did when we were kids--then again, we'd prolly never get anything done. ;)

Here is another example of what I mean: The handsome fella I am dating now is from India. In his youth, "experimentation" was encouraged by adults as boys played with boys. As the boys turn to teenagers, and teenagers turn to adults, it is expected that the young adults will stop playing with each other and marry a woman (a pre-arranged woman, but a woman nonetheless). Many do and go on to live fulfilling lives never again "playing as they did as children". But a few do not. My fella is one of them. For his childhood friends, he has had to remove himself completely from them and his family--for even the sexually relaxed expectations of children give way to strict mores of sexuality that are often not as easily defined.

You see, the spectrum of sexuality isn't as clear cut as many would like to imagine. And for folks like Curtis and Craig, the disgust of their actions have more to do with their hypocrisy than their particular actions (although Craig really should find a better venue, in my opinion, than an airport toilet). Hypocrisy is when said politicians condemn gay, lesbian, and transgender folk in matters of law and proclamation while secretly engaging in that very same activity. You can't have it both ways--or rather, you shouldn't have it both ways. In reality, many folks do have it both ways and that isn't fair to those of us who don't have secret lives but choose instead to live openly (and courageously, depending upon where you live). We shouldn't be condemned by the very men and women who could be helping us--who instead become our biggest oppressors.

What we all need to realize is this: sexuality isn't a clear cut thing for some. For others, it is. And we shouldn't be condemned by the very people who are too busy hiding their own acts of sexuality at the expense of everyone else's. Instead, we should realize that the human condition is vast and broad and that society should be a big enough tent to welcome everyone, regardless of their differences or a threat to the existence of one over the other. As long as what we do respects and values the other, then I say, "Come on in, we've got plenty of room for you."

15 Days and Counting!!

I think I may be one of those few folks who just loves the Christmas holiday season. Mind you, when I lived in Manhattan, I quickly grew tired of the season, what with all the pre-Christmas shopping, ads, and commercialization. Now that I live in an actual house though, my opinions about Christmas have changed entirely.

I can't wait for Friday, November 23 for two reasons: 1. Black Friday sales. 2. I get to decorate the house for Christmas. I'll post my joys about Black Friday in another post. This post is about the No. 2--boy, do I love to decorate for Christmas.

Last year, I gathered myself for a trip to the dollar store (you'd be amazed at the deals you can find there that don't cost an arm and a leg). Actually practically everything I bought for the Christmas decorations came from the Dollar Store, the sales rack at K-mart, and a trip to Kirkland's (a discount home store).

If you are smart and careful, you can decorate your entire house for Christmas (assuming you already have a tree) for under $25. See, while I do remain against the commercialization of Christmas, I am in favor of decorating to the hilt!!

Last year, I did up the house and front porch. I had fake garland ($5.00) on my fireplace mantel surrounded by candles (given as gifts from various dinners I've thrown). I put up a fake Christmas tree in my living room (I am allergic to real/live Christmas trees). I put up red ribbons (3 at $1.00 ea) on my porch railing. I had individual artificial candles in my windows (3 at $1.00 ea). My place screamed Christmas every day and I listened to Christmas music on my stereo and piped through my computer on Pandora (free).

This year, I may do all the above again with a few changes. I want to repaint my fireplace a deep velvet red, (it's pink right now because of a mixed up understanding with the paint store and my originally intended salmon color). The pink actually accents my mahogany furniture nicely however, I am thinking it's time for a change and what better time to do that than during the Christmas season. I am also going to put red swaths of fabric on my curtain rods.

And, I want to put up more things on my mantle to include: a wooden Merry Christmas decoration, the old garland, a Christmasy picture, I'll try and have something nice and cheap from The Christmas Shoppe (right now I have a modern interpretation of the Lord's Supper, a gift from my last congregation), and two lanterns I saw at Target the other day.

Besides the Christmas tree indoors, I am going to put a fake silver tree that I purchased from UrbanOutfitters on the front porch decorated with small and cute ornaments. I'll put back up the red ribbons on the porch railing and might also string lights on the railing--I have found anything that I like just yet. Ideally I want these Christmas lights I saw somewhere (I can't remember where) that are solar-powered thus not having to run a power cord through my window on the porch.

I'll also put Chrismasy decorations throughout the house. And, to help make the Christmas spirit ring even truer, I'll have an open-house Christmas party for the church.

I just love this kind of decorating. My Thanksgiving decorations were fun too and the place looks and feels very fall-like. Although I think it's past time to discard the pumpkins. They are starting to turn. Yuck.

This is a Cool Video

Sure, I may look as if I have little to do today, but I am working smarter, not harder. Take this video for example, I am giving my mind a rest while looking at something stimulating. Have a look and see if you're not stimulated. (Wait--what?)

Don't you just love Sarcasm?

Here is a top-10 list of reasons that being gay is un-American.

(1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

(2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

(3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

(4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

(5) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.

(6) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

(7) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.

(8) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

(9) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

(10) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britney Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

Hat tip to QueerTwoCents.

New Poster

This poster is part of England's educational way to stop the bullying of gay kids in school. What a dramatically honest and simple message.

Hat tip to QueerTwoCents.

Cool Site

I found this great website today that saves, recommends, and posts various images found on the Internet. It allows you to download them and lets you also rate what others have found. The website URL is a bit weird- but it's still a great site.

Hat tip to Jockohomo Datapanik.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Shift Happens Updated

Several months ago I posted a video called Shift Happens. It has been updated slightly and I invite you to watch it. It is about 8 minutes long and worth watching. It's one of those videos that begins conversations.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Pat Boone?!

According to Towleroad, Pat Boone is involved in a political campaign in his native Kentucky. He recorded a message for a political friend against his rival that will be a part of a robotic telemarketing campaign. In the message, Boone tells the person who answers the phone, "His opponent is so ultra-liberal he’s just been enthusiastically endorsed by C-FAIR, a prominent gay rights advocacy group. They’re convinced Beshear is their guy. Now you have to ask, 'Do you really want Kentucky to become another San Francisco?' Please re-elect Ernie Fletcher."

He has another message too. You can follow the link to read or listen to it.

My question isn't the homophobia or fear based tactics being employed (although that does irk me). What catches my attention is the photo of Pat Boone clad in leather. First, I was shocked that he's that buff--secondly, I was curious to wonder, "Umm... he sure looks awfully gay." Given the recent track record of anti-gay Christians later being discovered in various men's rooms across America, could Boone be the next toe-tapper to make the nightly news?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Prof. Dumbledore

Okay, so yeah, this is something I should've posted about last week (or the week before that). I spoke with my mom last night about ol' Dumbledore being outed by J.K. Rowling and we had a difference of opinion. Mom thinks Rowling did it to keep "book sales alive", which probably may have been an interest. I think Rowling may have originally wanted to have gay characters in her book but her publishers realized that to have that in the books would have limited the appeal and range of her books. So she didn't include any in her books.

It wasn't until a book reading at Carnegie Hall in New York City that she outed the famous headmaster. And wowsers, what a firestorm erupted.

This week I watched a video from a news station that aired a report with a Christian fundamentalist organization led by Robert Knight, naming the "evil" of all Potter books based upon this new revelation. And if that weren't enough, he cannot help but add that sexual diseases are rampant within the gay community. What is up with that!? It isn't as if most Christian fundamentalists weren't already boycotting the book due to the 'witcraft and wizardry' that they felt opened the door for occultic experimentation. No, that may have been bad but having a gay headmaster is the final straw! To Knight, this is one more example of the "evil gay empire" taking over America.

You know, I have mixed feelings about the Dumbledore revelation. I would have enjoyed it if Rowling had alluded to it better in her books or just flat out said it. I understand why she didn't but a few better placed allusions would certainly have made for a more fun reread. So, she waits until after she's made millions to announce that even though you'd never know, Dumbledore is gay. I wonder if there are other characters in the book that are?

And, I wonder how everyone would respond if it was another character--good or bad--that was outed instead of Dumbledore? What if Voldemort were gay? Wouldn't it have been an interesting storyline if... no wait, I'll stop there. But how would everyone respond if one of the fictional character's sexual orientation had been someone else? How would that conversation change?

On some level you have to admit the brilliance that from now on, everyone will know about Dumbledore. And having that kind of role model for young kids is inspiring for sure--even if that inspiration comes secondhand.

As for the Christian fundies, now they simply have another reason to hate the Potter books. Although their voices may seem to matter less to some, there are still many people, regardless of their intelligence, who listen to and agree with them. As a result, it becomes important to hear them and discover what really makes them angry. There are a lot of issues and problems in American culture, to single out Dumbledore and Harry Potter up and against our challenging economy, lack of health insurance (and therefore the ability to pay healthcare costs), and the war in Iraq and its bloody requirement is ludicrous. And it's telling. Popular culture seems to challenge the sensibilities of religious fundamentalists in a way that real-life issues of poverty, war, and crime seem to escape. What kind of faith do we have when Dumbledore's sexuality is more important than poverty? Why aren't the fundies boycotting something in the government, or protesting healthcare facilities, or rallying against mortgage brokers and schools who don't educate nearly as often as they police?

An outsider needs only to examine popular culture to see the real issues that concern Americans. Is it any wonder that our priorities are so f*cked up and that the mess we're in is only getting worse?

Royal Navy Singer

I am thinking of adding a new category to my blogposts called LipSyncs, or something like that. Here is a great example of a handsome young man lip-syncing (am I spelling that right?). Anyways, I think its funny how he rolls his eyes when he sings. And, it sure pings the ol' gaydar. ;) Thanks to Average Gay Joe for the post.

Funny Post

Mmmmm.. cake. What's that say on it? Click here and see it for yourself.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Write a Novel in a Month

The month of November is a time when writing enthusiasts stop what they're doing--or continue what their doing but also write a book at the same time. The contest is to Write a Novel in a Month and you have 30 days to write, you are supposed to begin writing on November 1 and write until November 30. You must write 175 pages. Go here to the official website to learn more.

From what I've read, it really doesn't matter how good what you write is. It is supposed to be fun and the awards are based on a host of factors (that probably have a good deal to do with form and function). Still, it looks incredibly fun.

While I won't do it this year, I am thinking next year I definitely will.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A New Stereotype

Given the new buzz by yet another conservative politician who is against supporting anything gay-related, and yet engages in 'play on the sly' comes an appropriately new gay stereotype that seems to be challenging the notions of the effeminate, lisping, and wonderfully dressed gay stereotype of the past. (Click on the pic for a larger and easier to read image.)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bi-Curious and other Labels has an interesting article about the different categories of sexual attraction. The author, a clinical psychologist, argues that a man who has sex with a man isn't always "gay", and the justification is "that sexual behavior and sexual identity can be two different things."

In a politically charged world that we live in, some lesbian and gay folks feel that you're either one or the other, gay or straight. And if you're gay, you need to embrace it entirely. But if you're straight, you can always experiment with us. At one level, this is an argument of the need to be validated. And yet, in spite of our political need for acceptance, we forget that life is much more complicated than that. Larry Craig, the toilet bandit, must be gay, some reason, because he taps his feet in public restrooms; he couldn't possibly enjoy a heterosexual marriage completely, or else why would he be in the restroom looking for a different encounter: ergo, he must be gay and delusional about his sexual tastes.

Life as well as sex is more complicated than that. The psychologist in this story recognizes a significant point that behavior and identity can be different for some. And more so, enjoying one aspect of sexual play doesn't guarantee that the same person is willing to accept or enjoy all other areas. As a whole, we (the gay community) ought to recognize and accept that there are those who don't always "fit" into our niches and categories of entirely gay. There are gray areas and areas where, as various circles fit onto one another but in different ways, a person may be emotionally attracted to members of the same sex but that doesn't mean they want to get down and sweaty. Likewise, a person who enjoys getting sweaty with another man may not enjoy the emotional attachments in the same way he enjoys those attachments with women.

Unfortunately such an acceptance is challenging to gay rights laws and perception. Being a supporter of gay marriage myself, admitting that there are men who enjoy sex with men but don't enjoy the same identity identification might cause an unintended backfire politically as we seek an opportunity for those who want to identify as gay politically for the sake of making a family, creating their own opportunities of their betterment. That backfiring would not make the issue as clear-cut as needed to pass the laws for marriage. That backfiring could validate what many men who have sex with men would think that sex and identity are very different and to push for gay marriage would somehow threaten their situation.

Personally I think gay marriage wouldn't threatened by such an understanding but I also realize that for those gay and lesbians who are learning to live their identities, the validation they need to find their own place is a bit threatening by allowing other men and women to dabble in sexuality while enjoying the benefits of a culture that condones and supports a heterosexual identity.

Wouldn't it be cool to experience a culture that validated AND supported all sexual identities? Such sexual confusion would be far less traumatizing for all who are learning to navigate their behaviors and identities.

Monday, October 15, 2007


As part of my revamping of this blog, I have created a bunch of new categories. When I am going to post these new categories on a regular basis hasn't been determined but, I thought I'd share one of them with you now. FunTube is a post of fun videos I have discovered.

This one could take place at any church bazaar or talent night after supper in any church in any town in America. And, it's a riot too. Hat tip to Daily Purge.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Inspiring Videos

The Human Rights Campaign has put together a collection of Coming Out videos in recognition of National Coming Out Day last week. Many of the videos were sent in from individuals, others were groups of folks who participated in the national event.

The videos are inspiring. YouTube is hosting the page, go there to see the list of videos.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Changing the Look & Feel

This weekend begins my changing the look and feel of my blog. I feel its time to update things and put new things in new places. So over the course of the week, please be patient as the blog goes through its new metamorphosis.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Today is Friday, October 12. I wanted to post something yesterday celebrating National Coming Out Day. The more I thought about the post, the more I found myself reflecting on what it meant for me to come out of the closet and self-identify as a gay man some fifteen years ago. The more I thought about it, the more I began to reflect on the person that I am now. And the one thing about me that kept surfacing as I thought about it was the word 'authenticity'.

Webster defines authentic as being “true to one's own personality, spirit, or character.” Coming out for me meant that, for the first time, I would reveal the one thing about me that few others knew. And, revealing this would ultimately change how others perceived me. And, it would forever change how I perceive myself. As a closeted gay man, I lived and expressed myself in a way that met the expectations of others. I laughed a gay jokes, talked about a girlfriend, and promised my mother that I would would day get married. All the while however, I didn't want a girlfriend and wondered what growing old would look like being forever single. I promised myself that even though I knew I was gay, I would never tell my family and childhood friends...ever.

And then one day I met a man named Tim who forever changed my perspective on what it meant to be gay and of the importance to sharing one's life with their families and families of choice. He explained how the secrecy of being gay can cut oneself off from their families and friends—forcing a person to live their lives in more solitude. He also impressed upon me the value of true honesty—even when some honesties can rupture expectations from those we love and who love us.

After much thought and prayer, I visited my family one weekend and told them that I was gay. It was a very difficult thing to do. And, being in seminary, at the time, provoked some very difficult to answer questions. And, the emotional reactions were intense. I did it though. I finally told them.

Over the next few months and in one case, after a year, I began to tell my dearest friends. Most responded as well as could be expected. One said, “Of course, now everything makes perfect sense!” Others “harumfd” (is this a word, I don't know) and a few were shocked but generally supportive. With each person I told, they wanted to know why I had been so deceptive for so long. My defense to this particular question led me to explain my fear of loss of being discovered. I also told them how so many people had so many expectations of me, I just couldn't possibly let them down. In a very real way, I had lied to my friends and done so for a long time.

Today, fifteen years later, I can say that coming out made me more authentic. I am now who people know me to be. Being authentic today means that I can pursue my goals surrounded by supportive people who encourage me. Having such support makes realizing one's dreams easier. Being authentic today means that I don't live with the lies I've created—and forcing myself to tell more lies to cover my old ones. Being authentic today means less stress and more energy for creative pursuits. It means that I can delve myself into new endeavors and find the joy in their realizations. Being authentic today means that I can love someone who I want to love—and find encouragement and support from those who love me in return.

If you have been wrestling with the decision to 'come out', let me say that doing so will be tough at times—but ultimately, the reward you'll gain will be reflected in your authenticity. This will provide you with more strength, more hope, and a peaceful spirit that will truly transform your life.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It Wasn't Supposed to be Four

Okay, so I have had a string of bad luck over the past month. I won't bore you with the details but something bad happened on Sunday: my trusty old HP all-in-one printer died. I had it for almost 6 years and boy did it ever serve me well.

Just as I had printed my sermon for Sunday morning, I had meant to print one more minor thing. I hit my print button and it was then that my ol' HP began eschewing her death gargle and ultimately 'gave up the ghost'. Lights blinked, sounds were made, and messages flashed across my print screen. I tried everything I could to resuscitate her but it was to no avail. CPR be damned. It died.

Saddened by such a loss I began scouring the Internet for a new printer. I simply must have one at home and since I am not preaching this Sunday, I knew I had some time to find and make a clear decision. This afternoon, I made that decision: I purchased a Brother HL 2040 Laser Printer from Staples. What made this deal so sweet was that I only paid $69 and after I receive my $20 easy rebate, it'll only have cost me $49!!

I read the reviews of this cheaper laser printer and from everything I read, it averaged 4 - 4.5 stars, depending on what site you went to and how much of a moron that one person was who gave it a 1-star rating and lowered the average significantly.

I hooked up the printer today and let me tell you, it was so easy to install. And, it prints wonderfully. The paper tends to curl in a way that isn't really curling but more like light wrinkles. I guess the heat of the printer causes that. Still, its fast and promises to save me a ton of money on ink prices. Get this: a black and white ink cartridge for an inkjet printer costs between $35-40 a piece for approx 150 - 200 copies. The toner cartridge for a laser printer runs $69 for 2,500 copies. The price difference is completely astounding to me. And the printer only costs, after rebate, $49! Gads.

I bought it at Staples. If you're looking for a new printer, an extra printer, or just want to save some money, go here to get over there before this deal is over.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Wonderful Image of Christ

I found this image today and was moved by what I believe is Jesus' call embracing all of God's children.

Go here to read the brief story of it.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I have been fiddling with my desktop on my computer here of late. I found this great new free software that organizes things very different from the tradition Windows XP format. The software is available from and it allows you to place a widget-like menu on your screen that can disappear when you don't need it. And, you can customize the icons in the menu. Go here to see how others have customized their desktops.

Here is an image of my clear desktop. Click on it for a larger version.

Here is an image of my desktop with the Rocketdock visible. Click on it for a larger version.

By the way, those post-it notes you see is a freeware program called ATnotes that lets you, well, post notes on your desktop. It's come in mighty handy when I have to remember particular tasks.

The clock and the weather icons are Yahoo! Widgets.

I keep my taskbar hidden when not in use.

Crass Joke of the Day

A female CNN journalist heard about a very old Jewish man who had been going to the Western Wall to pray, twice a day, every day, for a long, long time. So she went to check it out. She went to the Western Wall and there he was walking slowly up to the holy site. She watched him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turned to leave, using a cane in a very slow fashion , she approached him for an interview.

"Pardon me Sir, I'm Rebecca Smith from CNN, What's your name?"

"Maury Fishbein" he replied.

"Sir, how long have you been coming to the Western Wall and praying?"

"For about 60 years."

"60 years! That's amazing! What do you pray for?"

"I pray for peace between the Christians, Jews and the Muslims. I pray for all the Wars and hatred to stop, I pray for all our children to grow up safely as responsible adults, and to love their fellow man."

"How do you feel after doing this for 60 years?"

"Like I'm talking to a fucking wall."

Note: I blame my friend Doug for passing this along to me and, upon reading, realizing that I simply must post it here.

Monday, October 01, 2007

You'd Better Learn Math or Else

Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

When our Democracy Runs Amuck

If Texas does this, is it any wonder many states do it too? The amount of dishonesty here is so painful to watch. Is one way, it is as if everyone is doing it, so why bother saying anything.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ex-Gay Report

There has been the release of an official sounding 'ex-gay report' meant to tout the success of particular ex-gay therapies. The report that was paid for and issued by the ex-gay folks is problematic on so many levels. Go here to read a story about the report. Go here to reserve your copy of the study at your local bookstore. Go here to read yet another example of an ex-gay leader arrested for seducing his students. Go here for one person's commentaries against ex-gay therapies.

Even though the report looks kind of pathetic given the low 'success rate', many who are citing the report are gleeful because if only one person can change, then they surmise anyone can. What they are NOT touting is that the only hope for many who go through the program have is a life of celibacy coupled with continued same-sex desire or unique definitions of heterosex AND homosex desire within any one person that boggles the mind. This is a far cry from a complete change from homosex to heterosex desire that many who seek the services are desiring in the first place. And, according to this study, some folks even had an increased desire for homosex AFTER completing the course. What is up with that?! (Say, how's that for an additional category for this blog?)

adding cool categories

As some of you know, I now run two blogs: this one and the one at church. The church one consists of religious, spiritual, and church happening posts. There you'll find my devotional thoughts and what not and those thoughts are directed to the church, church visitors, and others involved in religious dialog. This blog is reserved for my political and religious rants as well as trivial posts about new programs, ideas, or fun stuff I find on the web. Unfortunately, because I have separated the religious devotional element from this blog, I am finding it's not as structured or organized as I would like.

So, I have decided to create some categories (as I have seen on other blogs) to give this blog some more shape. I also want to make it more organized so that it has a specific purpose rather than just a hodgepodge of sometimes interesting and sometimes not interesting posts. And, when I throw a personal post in (like I did last night), it can seem so out of place that the blog appears 'uncomfortable' and perhaps a bit creepy.

Okay, so I am on a personal mission to 'de-creep' and organize this blog so that I can still post personal posts as well as informative ones. When I have more of a structure determined, I'll post more about it.

Do you have a recommendation for particular categories? Here are some I've been thinking of:
Who Knew?!
Tech and Gadgets
Boring but Important
Watch Out!
Political B.S.
What Is Up With That?!* (Added after a recent post)

I will also prolly be redesigning the blog itself. I'll see what Blogspot has to offer or I may find a template from another source to put here.

Change is good, right?
And, it'll get a lot easier beginning next week when I'll have my desktop computer back from the shop. It's actually ready now but I'll need to reinstall all of my fun and productive software. In truth, typing on my laptop is more of a pain when it comes to writing sermons or posts for blogs.

The Next Day

I am feeling much better today, thank you. My nerves are fine and I just had my morning 'treatment'. I am going to the doctor later today for my first blood test to determine how much the Coumadin pills and Lovenox injections are working and how their dosage may need to change. I also have a lot of questions for the blood workers and for my doctor.

A lot has happened in these few days- and I am more level-headed and prepared to ask the right questions.

You know, asking the 'right questions' is what being sick and getting well is all about. The temptation is to just trust the doctors and go with the flow. Unfortunately, that isn't how it's supposed to work, when being treated. A doctor's prescription is based partly on how we answer their questions--but it's also about us asking the doctor's our questions too.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Journaling. First Entry.

Fear. Today is day number 4 of knowing that I have a blood clot in my leg. The clot is located in my calf and is causing me a world of hurt. It is affecting my right foot and ankle too. All around it is swollen and tender. It hurts to walk, sit, or just stand still. It even hurts if I am sitting down with my leg propped up. The only time it doesn't hurt is when my leg is resting on a pillow and I am completely lying down.

So I have been still a whole lot these past four days. I have walked outside only to walk the dog—but mostly, she's been going to 'do her doo' in the backyard. Tonight, however, I took her on our regular long walk for her to get some exercise and for me to walk on my foot for awhile. I noticed that when I was walking for a short while and even when I returned, if only briefly, my foot and calf stopped hurting. Unfortunately that was only for about 10 minutes. The sharp pains returned.

And something else happened too. I got scared. I think I started to get scared at the exact moment the pains returned. My heart started beating faster than usual, my breathing got a bit shallow, and I started to perspire. My face felt flush. And then, I got suddenly very afraid. So afraid in fact that I began packing a sack for the emergency room. I threw in a pair of pajama bottoms, my medications, a couple of books and my cell phone charger. Heading for the door the phone rang. It was my mom. I told her what was happening and she told me to stop, sit down, and start breathing deeply. I breathed in for a count of four, held it, and blew out for a count of four. I did this for about 2 minutes and I found myself calming down significantly. Over the next couple of hours, I debated going to the emergency room and finally decided, that since the panic (is that what it was?) had abated, I would stay home.

At 10:00 PM, I injected the new medicine into my stomach, as instructed by my doctors. And then I took two tablets of Coumadin with water. And I sat down. Just then, the phone rang. It was a couple of friends calling to check on me to see if I was okay. After I hung up, another friend called. And then, another and another.

The kind of fear I am feeling is a new feeling. It is one of mortality. It is the thought that a piece of the blood clot in my leg might break off and go directly to my lungs or heart and cause me great harm. The doctors have told me its a 1% chance that this'll happen and for me not to worry. And yet, I do worry. It scares me that I'll pass out and living alone, who'll find me? And the more I think about it, the more my heart beats and the hotter I get. I tell myself not to worry, to not psyche myself up—to just relax. And when I purposely do it...I relax. And then, in the quiet moments—when it's just me and my thoughts, the fear returns.

I am a man of faith. I pastor a congregation of progressive Christians 10 minutes west of New York City. I used to serve a parish in the heart of New York City. There, I have stood in the cold blistery winter snow and sleet feeding sandwiches to the crack-addicted and alcoholic homeless men and women of the city. I have watched their bodies, skin taut against their faces clutch a sandwich as if it were their last meal. And yet they survive. They come back the next day. They are hungry again, and again they are fed. Meal to meal, day to day—old, young, thin, wasting. Today I serve a suburban congregation of young and old. Men and women. Families. Widows and the widowed. Diabetes. Cancer. Heart attacks. Stroke. Different diseases, the same fate. We all die. The same fear.

They come to me looking for faith. I tell them about God. I read to them the Scriptures. I share with them my testimony. I am not afraid. I hold their hand in the hospital rooms. I pray with them. I am not too confident—I don't tell them everything will be okay.

Today they came to me. They called me. They told me that they were thinking and praying for me. I was not alone. I was afraid. I was not alone. I am afraid. I am not alone. I am scared—but not the heart-racing scared of a few hours ago. It is a calm fear.

Faith and fear. I prayed to God to help me. I asked God to help me. I named and claimed my illness away. I ran my hands over my legs and asked God to heal me. I claimed myself as a child of God. My leg stopped hurting. My calf stopped hurting. My fear abated. For ten minutes. My leg throbs again and my foot hurts. But I am not as afraid as I was. I am cautious. So I called a friend.

James. He is coming over to stay up with me. He'll sleep in my guest bed if he stays over. He wants to stay over. He is worried about me.

Maggie. My faithful canine companion. She hasn't left my side all night. She saw my fear. She sat quietly staring at me. She looked afraid too. She isn't afraid now but she isn't leaving my side either.

Fear ... nervous ... anticipation ... the blood clot in my leg, a piece breaking off and making it's way to my lungs or my heart. I think about it but it doesn't paralyze me. It doesn't worry me. I am not afraid right now.

Tomorrow is my first blood test. I will tell them about tonight and call my doctor and get his insight. I won't tell him about the fear—well, I'll allude to it. He doesn't read my blog. Tomorrow will be another day with more Coumadin and two more shots in my stomach. And the clot will be there. And my fear will be there too.

Who Knew?!

Did you know that a 6-volt lantern battery has 32 AA batteries inside it's casing? 32!! And with these lantern batteries costing just $5, that's a lot of savings for the 4 AA batteries that generally cost $5 for a package of 4.

Just pry off the top and you'll find the jackpot inside. Go here to watch the video and see how it's done.

You can also find 8 watch batteries from one 12-volt battery and 6 AAA batteries from one 9-volt battery.

Crazy, if you ask me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Three Things

There is the Trinity, of course: Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit. Then there were the three wise men and the Three Amigos. Oh and speaking of which, there were the Three Stooges and Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady. In the last month, my car got sick, then my computer got sick, and now I have gotten sick.

Actually it's more than just sick. I went to the emergency room Sunday after church because my ankle was hurting me so-- and the new pain the shot up my calf. The nurses were concerned about that particular pain in my calf and took some blood tests and a sonar thingy and found that I have a blood clot in my leg. Yuck. They immediately admitted me to the hospital where I had a plethora of tests to conclude the seriousness of the situation.

They released me today and for the next 6 months, I will be on Coumadin, an anti-coagulant. And, this is the really icky part.. until my blood gets thin enough, I have to give myself Coumadin-like shots in my stomach twice a day for about 2 weeks. Ouch! If I thought I was a wuss before, that doesn't even compare to me sticking myself with these dang needles.

I still can't get over the 'needles in the stomach' part.

You know, I was thinking a couple of days ago: First was my truck, and then my computer. What is going to be the THIRD thing that disrupts my life? Now, I am not really superstitious but those first two things were bad enough. It had me thinking both, 'What on earth could possible happen that'd be any worse?' and 'Don't horrible things like these run in threes?'

Well, now I have my answer. And, it happened just days before my 42nd birthday.

Now I have something to think about: my mortality.

But here is the good news, in spite of it all. My truck is fixed, thanks to the generosity of my family. My computer is fixed, thanks to the wisdom of the computer tech who saved it for far less than a new computer would be (far, far less). And my doctors have assured me that blood clots in legs (caused by flying for those who easily get cramped up in those dang seats) is fairly common and is nothing to worry about. So I have nothing to worry about except for some minor life-modifications: no alcohol for 6 months (I don't drink much so this isn't a big deal), no more veggies in my diet (who likes them anyway), and no longer shaving with a razor (I had to buy an electric one). That last one is to prevent unnecessary bleeding in the event I cut myself shaving and causing my blood to leak everywhere since I am thinning out my blood with the Coumadin.

And, I get to relate better to the elderly members of my congregation who are practically all on the stuff or have been on it at one time or another. I'd've picked an easier way to relate to them--but hey, what can I do.

So there you have it: The Trinity and the Three Wise Men. Except for the Three Stooges (and perhaps the Three Amigos), I guess I am in pretty good company, right?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Honestly, I Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself

Seriously, go read it here. It is a piece about homophobia, sissies, and our problem (not theirs) with guys who we think act too girl-ly.

Thanks for QueerSighted for this post.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Bible Tells Me So

Here is a new movie trailer for a documentary scheduled to open at the first of October in New York City. It's getting plenty of awards and should be a flick- hopefully it'll offer us viable solutions as well as explaining the situation.

Hat-tip to Towleroad

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Two Nifty Tips

If you're running Firefox and have noticed that it's running a bit slow, you might be surprised to learn that your extensions may be causing the problems. Go here to find the extensions that are causing your system the most trouble and remove them.

If you're used to using OpenOffice (like me) and hate the long wait in loading any of its fine programs, go here to tweak the Options under Tools tab in the Writer program. The instructions are for Ubuntu but are easily tweaked for any OS you're operating.

Hat tip to Lifehacker for these recommendations.

Cool Computer Programs for Students

With school starting up again, we are reminded again how wonderful it must be for students who are living in the computer age as it exists today. There is a great post over at Lifehacker, which I should point out is a wonderful blog about innovative programs, internet sites, and office productivity, about certain and essential computer programs for your kids as they enter school.

I am particularly impressed with the online Cliff Notes and bibliography makers. There is also this cool program that makes pages for your notebook via a .pdf creator form that you customize and then make copies of. Have a look and see if you're not too old to download the free open source software for your computer.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Back to NJ

Well, I am finally back in New Jersey. I arrived late Thursday night and have been puttering around the house getting it in order, tending to a present crisis, and am presently working on my sermon for in the morning. So much to do -- and yet, as the ol' lament goes, "If it weren't for the last minute, I'd never get anything done."

My vacation to Oklahoma was amazingly restful. I didn't do much of anything except spend time with family, sleep, eat abundantly, and visit with friends. From time to time, I managed to go dancing and enjoyed some fine cuisine with my eldest brother.

One great thing about my vacation was getting caught up with an old friend: Tim and his wife Lori. Tim and I along with another friend Russel, attended a megachurch in Oklahoma City called LifeChurch. Afterwards, I visited Tim at his church where we were joined by his wife Lori and their 8 kids at Heritage Presbyterian while Russel went to his home church. I had the opportunity to get extreme examples of evangelicalism and conservative theology on my Sunday church services. I will write more about that later--the contrast was noticeable to me and I want to hammer it out on here.

Besides church, Tim and Lori invited me home with them for Sunday dinner where we ate until we were full. That Lori has always been an outstanding cook and she proved yet again that the cook only gets better as she gets older.

Upon returning to NJ, I took the train to the town near my mechanic where I picked up my truck (I had to replace to engine in it) and drove home. I arrived to find Maggie all excited to see me and we got reacquainted nicely.

Upon getting home and unpacking, I discovered that my home computer has died. I replaced the power supply, thinking that was it, only to find that it may have been it but it's also something else. I am thinking it must've been a power surge of some kind and my surge protector wasn't doing it's job. I am presently typing on my laptop (proving yet again that I am soooooooooooooo glad I have it) as I will also be needing it tonight as I prepare my morning sermon.

All in all, I've had a good time away. I am a bit stressed about the computer thing but alas, I'll find a remedy to fix it.

So that's it. I'll type more later as well as getting to the church blog to update it. Now that I am home, I need to hit the ground running. September is almost here and I have so much to get ready for. Woo-hoo!