Friday, November 30, 2007


This has been one very long week. I even had Monday off while my mother was here and the remaining four days seemed like 10. Nothing at work went right. Every project I worked on that should have been a slam dunk and completed in an hour took two days. Someone here at work said it very well: everything lately has required a Plan B. So far today two server-based apps have completely blown up and required creative ideas to get them going again. I don’t know if it’s the phase of the moon or the alignment of the planets and stars, but something is out of whack. Maybe as the month changes tomorrow it will all fall back into place.
The week at home was also hellishly busy. My mother was here until Monday afternoon and then Jayson had chorus rehearsal on Monday night. And then again on Tuesday night. And then again on Thursday night. I had a violin lesson on Wednesday and about the time I got out of that he had an appointment. He also had an appointment Thursday before his chorus, and then I went home and got us ready for the trip this weekend. That always takes longer than I think it will, between getting the dog to the sitter and getting the cat set up with enough food and water to getting everything packed and ready to go.
After work today we’re headed to Long Beach, WA. We’ll have our favorite room in our favorite little inn on the beach there and I’m looking forward to it. We were there in May but it’s such a different atmosphere in the winter. It’s quieter and calmer, and in some ways prettier. There’s supposed to be a storm coming in tomorrow and with nothing between the beach and the inn it could be exciting. The living room has glass on three sides and a nice fireplace so it will make a great storm-watching spot, when we’re not in the hot tub that is. I’ve got a bottle of wine packed, along with some warm clothes if we’re outside much, and I’m hoping that we get to relax this weekend and decompress a little bit; we both need it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bush is very gracious

I should be writing a post about my holiday and last weekend but it’s way too busy at work today. Maybe later tonight…maybe not.

In any event, I saw this in the NY Times (requires logon) and could not let it pass without comment. The story is about Gore visiting Bush at the White House to be honored for his Nobel Prize win. That last two sentences of the story are what get me:

Mr. Bush’s press secretary, Dana Perino, told reporters the president is willing to let bygones be bygones.

“This president does not harbor any resentments,” she said. “He never has.”

What would Bush have to resent? That Gore won the popular vote but lost because Bush’s daddy’s friends were on the Supreme Court? That Gore tried to uphold the U.S. Constitution and make sure the laws were followed? That Gore tried to make sure that democracy is more than just a hollow word to be used to invade other countries by making sure that every vote was fairly counted? That Bush has run this country into the ground by getting us involved in an unnecessary and illegal war that will take decades to fix? That he’s ruined the economy and put us in so much debt it will take at least one generation to repair it?

Gore should be the one who’s resentful. But, Bush and his ilk always have to portray themselves as the victims and this is just another example. Our dear leader…what a moron.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

This week has flown by, but at the same time has seemed long. I went to the gym with C yesterday and had a blast. We got a good workout in but we also had a lot of fun being silly and teasing each other. I’m definitely enjoying these gym days and I hope they can become the three-day-a-week routine that we’ve talked about. I feel good that I’m giving my body some exercise and the company and social time is just as good, if not better.

For the rest of the weekend, I’m not sure what we’re doing. It’s the end of my work day today and I’m about to head down to the airport to pick up my sister. I’m absofuckinglutely dreading the drive and airport traffic, but it’s got to be done. I’m curious how this weekend will play out with our different dynamics at play. It should be fun and if anyone acts up I’ll send him/her to his/her room for the evening. Jayson and I didn’t schedule anything other dinner tomorrow so we’ll have to find ways to amuse ourselves. I’m sure we’ll take a trip to Pike Place Market for a couple of hours and maybe get out and about some other times. Maybe we’ll sit and play games. I know for certain that I’m not going kayaking.

I’ve been meaning to post this vid for a couple of days now. I probably won’t post much this weekend and since I mentioned this to C yesterday, I’ll stick it up today. It’s from ABC’s (Australian Broadcasting Company) The Chaser’s War On Everything and it’s pretty funny.

I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving and can easily name a few things to be thankful for.

More Facebook BS

I really don’t have anything against Facebook; in fact, I’ve never used the site. But, I ran across this item today that made an interesting follow-up from this post of mine from earlier in the month. I thought it was just kind of creepy.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ken Hutcherson strikes again

Or at least he tries to strike. This item from Dan Savage’s Slog went by me last week but then I came across a follow-up that got my attention. Ken Hutcherson is the anti-gay fundie preacher from a mega-church in Redmond who is most famous for getting Microsoft to derail the anti-discrimination law in the state legislature a couple of years ago. That backfired on Microsoft in a big way and the next year they backed the bill, which passed.

Anyway, after a couple of years of obscurity Hutcherson’s back, this time trying to get Microsoft to do his bidding again. Watching the video of his question at the shareholder’s meeting, he does sound like nothing but a big blow-hard. The question following his, which you can see on the official Microsoft video at about 51:40, obviously reflects more closely the feelings of the majority at the meeting and received much more applause:

QUESTION: I own over 1,000 shares, and I also represent an investment club with many more shares. My question is for any particular person, it doesn’t matter. What can shareholders do to support the corporation in opposition against hurtful, and hateful constituent actions, particularly and specifically Reverend Hutcherson? (Applause.)

BRAD SMITH: As a company we’ve had a clear policy with respect to the way we treat our people. And we believe in that policy. It’s a policy that’s founded on non-discrimination. It’s a policy that we believe has served our employees well, it’s served our shareholders well, and I think that reflected last year when all of our shareholders were asked to vote on that policy, and over 97 percent of you, and all of our other shareholders, stood up and agreed with us. I think that it is precisely in that form that shareholders had the opportunity to continue to make their views known, and we very much appreciate that support.

The follow-up that I mentioned earlier...? Since the groundswell of support at the meeting that Hutcherson was apparently hoping for didn’t pan out, he’s trying a different tack; he’s going to take over Microsoft. I’m not sure how he intends to come up with the more than $300 billion it would take to purchase all the outstanding stock, but he thinks he can do it. I’m not going to hold my breath for a new version called Windows Revelations, or something like that.

It’s really amazing what lengths people like him will go to in order to draw attention to themselves. Just live your lives, let others live theirs, and mind your own damn business. Don’t expect everyone to conform to your ideas of what’s right just because it’s more comfortable for you. Just as you don’t want to be something you’re not, the rest of us don’t want to be you.

In a world of bad ideas...

...this one ranks near the top op the list. My first thought about this op-ed piece by Thomas Friedman: "He can't be serious." My second thought: "Wow, he's actually serious." This is a just a truly bad idea...

I have no idea who is going to win the Democratic presidential nomination, but lately I’ve been wondering whether, if it is Barack Obama, he might want to consider keeping Dick Cheney on as his vice president.

...When it comes to how best to deal with Iran, each has half a policy — but if you actually put them together, they’d add up to an ideal U.S. strategy for Iran. Dare I say, they complete each other.

What is Friedman smoking?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Add a name

I guess I should consider myself lucky that I have only three names to add to the list.

Weekend wrap-up

It turned out to be a typical weekend with some quiet and some busy. It was definitely nice to sleep in Saturday; I was more than ready for some extra rest. After breakfast Saturday I putzed around the house until I met C at the gym. It was a nice workout, and nice to be working my muscles a little bit. I missed going to the gym in the months that I didn’t go, and I’ve been very much enjoying the few times I’ve been back in the last couple of weeks. I’m hoping it becomes more of a regular habit. Scheduling seems to be the only issue, but that can be worked around. I’m walking rather funny today since I really worked out my legs…it’s a nice soreness, but still sore.

Saturday evening we met B and C for dinner at a Mexican restaurant in West Seattle and it was a nice evening. We needed to discuss some things about our upcoming NYC trip and this was almost our last chance before we leave. It’s going to be very busy between now and then with Thanksgiving, family, Jayson’s chorus rehearsals, and then his first concerts. Oh yeah, we’re also going out to the coast the weekend after Thanksgiving. Sheesh, busy time lately. I’m really, REALLY looking forward to the NYC trip partly because I always have fun there, partly because there are some things Jayson and I will get to see that I’ve been wanting to show him, and partly to spend time with our friends.

Sunday we were supposed to go to a Thanksgiving “thing” that the chorus does every year. Instead of having one large gathering they get people who are willing to host small groups in their homes and then assign those who want to attend to the different hosts. It’s a nice thing and was originally designed so that chorus members without family or close friends in town still get to enjoy the holiday. Our hosts decided to throw something of a hissy fit and cancel it on Sunday since they decided that people hadn’t responded quickly enough to their original e-mail. In the end I didn’t mind since it was nice to have an afternoon to just do nothing.

I’m glad that this week is a short work week. Mom and sis arrive at separate times on Wednesday. We’ve got nothing planned for the weekend other than dinner on Thursday so it might be a lot of sitting around and staring at each other. I know my sister will want to be active as much as possible (she talked about kayaking while she’s here…yeah, right) so it should be an interesting dynamic to combine her energy with three very mellow people. Regardless, I’m looking forward to the time together.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The way to a man's heart...

I don’t know if this picture is a hack job or legit. If it’s real, it’s pathetic that Bush doesn’t even know where to put his hand during the pledge of allegiance, or apparently his heart from his stomach. Then again, that could explain an awful lot.

Are we scared yet?

I heard about this Tom Tancredo ad on the radio yesterday and it’s actually worse than the commentator made it out to be. He could have just shortened the message to say “Vote for me or you’re all gonna die.” I can’t believe that people still fall for these types of scare tactics. The concept of taking steps to protect against attacks of any type is good, but talking about aliens who have come to take our jobs and other alarmist rhetoric doesn't accomplish anything positive. However, the constant sound of a clock ticking the background is a nice touch to tell us that it's only a matter of time before the boogie man comes to get us. What the ad doesn't say is what Tancredo would do, other than closing down the US borders. Whatever his plan is, something tells me it includes us losing more of our civil liberties. Terrorism is the best thing that could have happened for the Republicans… what other political platform would they have to run on?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"Just when you thought it couldn't get any weirder"

Here’s yet another frightened heterosexual, scared of the gay community. Actually, it’s the same frightened heterosexual as I mentioned in this post, Peter LaBarbera. This time he’s up in arms about the Mr. International Rubber contest (which he incorrectly identifies as International Mr. Rubber)in Chicago. This guy is so clueless that he actually asks “Is ‘rubber’ just another ‘sexual orientation’…?” There’s an easy answer to that: of course it’s not. This man needs to look up the definition of “sexual orientation” in his dictionary. Like many other things, rubber is a fetish, regardless of a person’s sexual orientation. I’m curious: if being gay and having a rubber fetish is a sexual orientation, what about being straight and having a rubber fetish, like this Baptist minister who was a friend of Jerry Falwell’s? Do we have a name for that sexual orientation, or do we ignore it because he was a “good christian”?

Anyway, back to this “story”. It’s not much more than a rant about many things gay. LaBarbera is all over the place, but eventually ends by saying that even we heathens can be accepted by his god. At one point he manages to sneak in a comment about Paganism after referring to “once-reviled lifestyles”. Isn’t it funny how everyone other than straight christians are always presented by these people as having made lifestyle choices to be non-straight or non-christian? Apparently, according to them, we’re all born christian and straight and we choose at some point to not be one or both, thereby making those lifestyle choices. The problem I have with that point-of-view is that it sets them up to be “right” and the rest of us are portrayed as flawed in some way.

LaBarbera links to an article by Dinesh D’Souza about Paganism that so badly misses the point it’s not even funny. The main point he should have made is that, like homosexuality, Paganism is portrayed by christians as an evil “lifestyle choice” in order to marginalize members of that group. The author referenced in the article, Richard Dawkins, was merely equating the struggle for atheists to live open and honest lives with the similar struggle of the gay community. One person who commented on that article really nailed it: “By definition an atheist is someone who does not believe in God, not someone who is ‘opposed’ to God…”

Okay, so I’m now guilty of what LaBarbera did: I’m all over the place in this post. I’ll bring it all back together by saying that I just want to walk up to these types of people and say “I’m gay and non-christian…BOO!”

Now I remember why I don't watch the Today Show

Monday, November 12, 2007

Weekend update

It's been a while since I've written much about what I'm up to so I thought I'd throw some out there. I guess there hasn't been much to write about in reality. Mostly life has been work and home and then back to work (I swear I wrote that same thing in an earlier post). Work has been busy but not too crazy lately, which is fine by me. To give ourselves a mini get-away we spent Saturday night on the boat. We don't do much over there, and that's exactly the point. We watched some DVDs and were pretty much couch potatoes while we were there. Around 2:30 in the morning a storm came in with some amazing winds. I actually enjoyed lying in the boat in the dark listening to the storm outside. Sunday we took a day trip to La Conner, a small town about 70 miles north of Seattle. The weather was still bad that day but we had a nice time. It was good getting out of Seattle and getting a different view for a little while. I uploaded the pics I took while we were there.

We're going to have a pretty busy time until the end of the year. We've got family in town for Thanksgiving (which means time to get ready for the visit), we're going to New York the middle of December, we've got a friend in town for Christmas, and in between all of that Jayson will have concerts with the chorus. Ugh

I've started going to the gym again. Well, I've been twice but that was within a week. I'm excited to be going again and I am enjoying it. I've still got to get with the trainer which should also help me along. It's definitely a good way to work out frustrations, and feel good about myself in the process.

I'm thinking that's all I have at the moment. Seems like there should be more but that's life right now.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Social networking or forced marketing?

I’ve never used Facebook, and I’ve only looked at MySpace with a passing glance, but I’ve never cared for either of them. If someone gives me a link to their page on MySpace I’m not very anxious to visit since I know it will be cluttered, probably have a music file that loads automatically, and not let me see much without registering. As if I needed any other reason to not like these “social networking” sites, this story gives me another one. Facebook is going to another level and “monetizing” the connections between friends on its site. On one level this is nothing more than targeted advertising, but on another level it’s much more. If I buy something online I don’t necessarily want to be used to endorse that product or service to my friends. It’s amazing how much we are bombarded in this country with marketing. We see it and live it so many hours a day. We can’t leave our houses without being exposed to some type of add, be it a billboard, an ad on the side of a bus, and ad on a bus, flatbed trucks driving down streets with ads on them, signs on buildings, radio, TV, airplanes with banners. With the internet those ads came inside. We get popups in our web browsers, e-mail ads (no I don’t want to increase the size of my breasts, thank you), and ads on so many web pages. For the marketing firms this is the next logical step, but I don’t like the idea. Sometimes socializing with friends should be nothing more than that. Not everything in our lives should be an opportunity for some company to push their products on us.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Left brain or right brain?

I thought this was interesting. The very short verbiage in The Guardian that accompanied this picture said:
The Right Brain vs Left Brain test ... do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise?
If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.
Most of us would see the dancer turning anti-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.

I almost always see the figure spinning clockwise when I first look but I can make her change direction at will. I also noticed if I’m concentrating on something work related that she’ll start off going counter-clockwise.

**Update: I already had one person ask about left vs. right so here are what the differences are supposed to be:


uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies

uses feeling
“big picture” oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can get it (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking

Friday, November 2, 2007

Okay, this is F'ed up

This just proves once again that healthcare in this country is not about keeping people healthy. It's a commodity to be traded on the open market with a hefty profit skimmed off the top by everyone except for the consumers. The concept of giving the gift of health to a loved one shouldn't even need to be considered. As a so-called "advanced society", a healthy population should be a given, not a luxury. Sadly, as long as companies can keep making millions, and billions in some cases, of dollars off a population struggling to maintain its health, things will not change.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

How to witness to someone who's gay

The short blurb that accompanies this video on the web page says " witness to homosexuals, showing how to share the way of salvation without causing undue offense." By it's very existence this video causes offense. Is there anyone out there who can explain to me why, with all the huge issues in the world today that need to be addressed, these folks are hung up on the fact that people are gay? Where is the outrage at mass deaths through war, starvation, genocide...people living in deplorable unsanitary conditions without enough food? I really think they should devote their time and energy to something that is truly important in the world.

This video is kind of long, but if you watch it in small pieces you might be able to stomach it.

It's always about them

Why can't fundies ever do something nice without trying to further their own causes? Instead of just giving away shoes to people who might need them, this company sees it as a way to "spread the word" at the same time. What is wrong with doing something nice simply for the sake of helping others? Someone needs to point them to the places in their bible where it talks about giving being a selfless act, not one that is designed to benefit the giver in some way.