Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Weekend getaway

Saturday the three of us drove up to Leavenworth for an overnight getaway. For those not familiar with Leavenworth it's a lumber town in the Cascades that's about 100 years old. In the 1960's the town begah dying because the railroad pulled out of town. So, the people in the towny agreed to re-invent the place as a Bavarian mountain village and make their primary industry tourism. It was a pretty successful idea. The town itself is cute and quaint, but in a Disney sort of way. You know it's fake and didn't always look like that, but the setting is nice and it's a fun place to go. In the summer it's swarmed with tourists and gets old really fast. However, in the winter and specifically at christmas-time it's very different. The real charm of the place comes out with the christmas lights, which were everywhere, and all the snow covering the town.

We left Saturday morning and headed across Stevens Pass, which turned out to not be the best idea. The faster route across I-90, Snoqualmie Pass, was closed that morning so we went the only way we thought we could get there. Stevens Pass is notoriously bad since it's almost all 2-lane road. We did fine crossing the pass and the conditions weren't bad at all. It was snowing but the road was mostly clear. However, as soon as we headed down the pass we came to a complete stop, and sat in place for almost 90 minutes. In the end, it took us about 6 hours to make a 3 hour trip. But no matter, it was at least pretty scenery along the way, and when we got there.

We had booked at a small hotel a block from the center of town. It was basic, but comfortable and the location couldn't be beat. We were able to wander into town any time we chose and didn't have to deal with parking. There's not a lot to do in Leavenworth other than eat, shop, and wander around and look at things. We did all of those, except we didn't buy anything in the stores. The town has such a nicer feel this time of year than the rest of the year. It was busy but no one seemed to be in too much of a hurry and it didn't seem overly crowded. Plus, it really is beautiful with the snow and the lights. For the first time after many visits to the place it made sense so to speak.

Saturday night we just wandered around, looked at lights and such, had dinner at Bären Haus, and then went back to the hotel and sat in the outdoor hot tub at the hotel. That night it snowed close to 6" overnight so we woke up to a refreshed winter wonderland. After breakfast in town we spent the rest of the morning wandering around taking pictures. We slid around most of the main street and then wandered some of the trails down by the river in the city park. Every view seemed prettier than the last.

On our way home we stopped in Roslyn, another little old town in the Cascades, this one where the TV show Northern Exposure was filmed. We had lunch at The Brick, which has apparently been there forever. After that we drove through our final snow of the weekend going across the pass. Of course it was snowing as we crossed but the roads were remarkably clear.

As always, here are pictures from the weekend.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas and a movie review

As usual, I'm not very timely with this, but I figured I'd put together a quick update of my christmas weekend. I was lucky enough to have Wednesday through Sunday off, so it made for a nice break from work. The holiday itself was low-key, and that was fine. Anthony, Jayson, and I opened our gifts to each other that morning, then fixed a nice dinner. We had set spending limits this year for gift buying, and it didn't seem to diminish the gifting experience (at least from my perspective). I don't need or want that much stuff so whatever I get is usually a nice thing to me, and I don't see the holiday as an excuse to get free stuff. Jayson's friend Madhu(sp), whom I call Mondo, came over for dinner and they went to the cafe that Jayson volunteers for to serve food for the evening. Like I said, a very low-key day, but nice.

Before they left for the cafe we all watched Mama Mia! on DVD. I actually enjoy a lot of ABBA's music; it's a requirement in the contract I signed when I chose the gay lifestyle after I was converted. But, I'm going to say something that will threaten my standing in the gay community: I didn't like the movie. I know, part of being gay is liking Barbra Streisand, Cher, Project Runway, and this movie. But, I thought it was just not very good. It wasn't that half the cast couldn't sing any better than I can yet were still cast in a musical. It wasn't that I have a problem with the format of a musical where the cast breaks into spontaneous song and highly choreographed dance with an unseen band/orchestra hidden somewhere on the beach (I'm used to that from the classic, good, musicals like My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music). And it's not that I can't enjoy a lighthearted movie that is merely meant to be fun for a couple of hours. Meryl Streep did her usual excellent job - I would be hard pressed to find a role I didn't like her in - and the rest of the cast was quite likable as well as long as they weren't singing. In the end, I just didn't think it was a very good movie. It was nothing more than a vehicle with which to get ABBA songs out to a new generation of listeners. When there's one hour and 40 minutes of movie, I expect more than 12 minutes of story. The songs seemed gratuitously placed into the script, chosen not because they fit well but because it was a song that was popular and it needed to be in the movie. I found myself annoyed through much of the movie because the songs just seemed to be dropped into the film. The story actually seemed to get in the way of the songs at times. As for it being a happy movie, it was almost sickeningly deliriously upbeat. I half expected Hannah Montana to make a cameo and start bouncing around the scenes. I would have been happier putting on ABBA's Greatest Hits, which I do have on CD, and looking at some still pictures I took of Greece when I was there. I guess I'll just turn in my gay card now before the gay mafia knocks on my door and demands it back.

I hope everyone had a good holiday and enjoyed whatever they did!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Back to the grindstone

I finally made it to work today, and with no problem. I'm surprised the side streets in town are still as messed up as they are, but the main roads seem to be clearing out nicely. Yes they are still a slushy mess but easily passable. It took me longer to get the snow and ice off the truck than it did to drive to work. I kind of enjoyed getting out farther from home and seeing the landscape. There is still a lot of snow around the area. Looking out my window at work I can see the south side of Queen Anne hill and every roof is still covered. Usually the roofs clear right away, but not this time. We ended up with a foot on the ground and drifts higher in some places. It seems as if it might stay around for a few more days, which means we'll have that ever-elusive white christmas.

And as it turns out, today is not only my first day in the office this week but my last. It's nice to work a 2 day week with one of those days being at home!

Monday, December 22, 2008

How to heat a high house

This will most likely be boring to anyone but me, but oh well! The layout of our house is somewhat unique and creates its own challenges. Our house is four levels and three stories high. All the "public" rooms are on the ground floor. One full flight up is a bedroom and bathroom. 1/4 of a flight up and across the hall is another room we use as an office (read: full of heat generating computers). 3/4 of a flight up from that is another larger bedroom and bathroom. One end of that room is a closet that is open to the room and at the back of that is a finished attic space that is open to the closet. Each room has electric wall heaters on individual thermostats. Yhere is a gas-fired "wood stove" in the living room on an electronic thermostat that stays at 68 when we're home and 63 overnight and during the day when we're gone.

The problem has not been generating heat. The problem has been how to distribute the heat evenly throughout the house. The gas stove in the living room is more than capable of heating the entire house. The problem is that the stairwell acts like a chimney and most of the heat goes right up to the top of the house, as it would be expected to do. So, we close the door to the top-floor bedroom to keep the heat out. The problem with that is with it being in the 20's outside, that room then quickly cools down into the 50's, which is way too cold. And, all that heat just pours into the office. If we leave all the doors open, the office gets even hotter than the bedroom. The heat seems to congregate at the top of that level and then add to the heat in the office from the computers. If we turn down the heat from the "wood" stove, the ground floor gets too cold to use and it seems silly to send heat upstairs to rooms we don't use that often.

So, how to keep from freezing in some parts of the house and burning up in others? We could use the electric heaters in rooms that are closed off but those are expensive to run. Going to bed in a 50 degree room is not a fun thing, believe me! The solution that seems to work the best is, believe it or not, a curtain. We used a tension rod to hang a set of curtains (simple attractive ones) across the hallway at the bottom of the flight that leads to the office. We have the option of keeping the curtains fully closed, opened in the middle slightly to allow some heat up, or opened all the way to all lots of heat upstairs. So far it's worked pretty well. When we have the curtains closed all the way the heat seems to be pushed back to the living room ceiling (which is open to the stairwell, and it heads back down the living room.

So that's our high-tech solution to keep the house temperature regulated without spending lots of money heating individual rooms we're not using. I'm surprised that a simple curtain could be so effective at keeping the temperature regulated within our tall narrow house, but as long as it works I'm happy!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More snow pics

After breakfast today I took a little walk with the dog to enjoy the snow some more. It was hard going since there's a layer of ice on top of the snow that is itself several inches deep. The dog was having a difficult time, and so was I, so we headed back to get warm. On top of that it's snowing again.

Happy Solstice

So, after today the days begin to get longer. Having all this snow on the ground is a great way to officially welcome certainly feels like it right now! When I first moved here over 10 years ago the short winter days seemed interminable. The short days seemed to go on and on and I thought we'd never have more light. Now winter seems to come and go very quickly. Just when I get used to it getting light late and dark early, it begins to change. Either I've simply adjusted or I'm getting older and time is just moving more quickly (or both).

I hope everyone enjoys the shortest day of the year and is happy to welcome winter!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

More snow!

It's highly unusual, at least since I've lived here, to have it snow in Seattle while snow from the last storm is still on the ground. The flakes started very lightly this afternoon around 3:30 and it's been snowing ever since. Luckily Anthony and I were just walking back to the truck to finish our errands when we noticed it starting. We were home 5 minutes later, and the roads were already starting to get a new layer on them. I took the dog out later after dark and we romped in the empty field that's just around the corner from home. Supposedly we'll get 1 to 3 inches tonight, but as of now there's already 2 inches (or more) here at home, and it's supposed to snow all night.

I have to say, I'm really loving this weather! It definitely feels like winter, as opposed to just the greys skies and rain we usually have. I took a quick walk around the block to try to get pics but they didn't turn out so I'm not showing them anyone. But, it's really beautiful outside. The city is almost always loud, but right now there are no cars on any of the roads and it's just silent outside. It's also so bright I could read a book from the light reflected from the snow. I'm anxious to see what's on the ground tomorrow morning. I intend to be out playing in it!

I guess I sound like I'm gushing, but this type of weather (which is common in many other parts) is a rare treat here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Scenes from a snowy south Seattle

Forgive the alliteration in the title, but it's after 8:00 PM and my brain shuts down around 7:30. It snowed all day here, and it was great. Usually the snow turns to rain part way through the day here, but today it stayed snow all day long. I worked at home and enjoyed watching the snow out the window throughout the day, and each time a new round would start it was really exciting. The weather forecast called for 1 to 3 inches, and by 4:00 this afternoon there was easily 6 to 8 inches in our neighborhood. I got out a couple of times with the dog and he loved romping in the snow. I have to say that I enjoyed it too and took several pictures on both outings.

It's odd snow...odd in that the temperature isn't really that cold (around 30). Water in our pots our front isn't even frozen; it's all just slushy. But, the snow is very dry and powdery, which would seem like it was colder outside. Underneath the snow is a layer of slush that's easily compacted into ice. Anthony and I made a run to the grocery store in my truck and even in 4x4 "low" there wasn't great traction. The 4x4 did help get moving but I used the engine to slow down about 95% of the time. It was OK to drive, except trying to put into the alley behind our house. I lost traction on the turn and almost got stuck halfway in the street. Due to my deft maneuvering and superior vehicular control abilities, I got the truck out and went around the block to get into the alley. I won't be taking either vehicle out of its parking space until the roads are melted.

All the slush under the snow will become solid ice overnight, and that's not going to pretty tomorrow. I'm already planning to work from home again since I'm not about to get out and play bumper cars just to get to work. I am hoping the snow hangs around for at least a couple of days. It's nice to look at, nice to be out in, and also a nice change of scenery around here.

One other interesting thing today was the hummingbird that came to visit. We have a plant called a Mahonia planted in front of our stairwell window. It blooms in the winter with a spray of tiny bright yellow flowers. We were told by the nursery that the flowers attract a species of hummingbirds native to Washington. As I was walking down the stairs mid-morning I looked out and there was a hummingbird having a feast on the flowers. He was much more rotund than other species I've seen but was still bright green with a vivid red spot on his chest. He was dining for several minutes and even took a break and sat down on the leaves a couple of times. Sadly he was gone before I could get the camera but it was a real treat to see something like that in the middle of winter.

And for your viewing pleasure, pictures from the day.

Walkin' in a winter...thunderland?

I woke up to almost 2" of snow on the ground this morning, which is really beautiful. It's even nicer since it means a work at home day for me. What woke me up was the LOUD clap of thunder that rattled the entire house. About 5 minutes later there was another bright flash and half a second later another clap almost as loud as the first. I've never seen it snow with thunder/lightning before. It's definitely interesting. It's still coming down right now but I'm guessing it will taper off and stop soon.

Jayson braved the roads and drove to work. Anthony went out to wait for the bus only to find out that it wasn't running today due to snow, so he turned around and came back home. I'm assuming that since I didn't hear anything from Jayson that he made it to work OK. I probably could have driven in but I have the option of working from home, and I really didn't feel like getting out the scrape all the snow off the truck. There's a lot of windshield and window area to clean off. I'm much happier sitting at home looking at the snow, plus I think I'll get out into with the dog in a little while.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jinger awr the way

I had the pleasure of having lunch today with a good friend at a local ph restaurant. Ph makes for a nice warm cheap lunch on a cold winter day. However, the restaurant made the unfortunate decision to play an all-Asian selection of christmas carols. They were recorded by, apparently, the same Asian singers who re-do the latest pop hits which are then sold in street markets all over Asia. I heard music very much like this in markets throughout Hong Kong and Bangkok. It sounds like four or five Asian women all singing together, no harmony, over a monotonous continuous beat that sounds as if it's being played on a Windows 3.1 MIDI keyboard. Who needs Madonna singing Madonna when we can have Asian singers pretending it's karaoke night singing Madonna?

In any event, we were first treated to a 25 minute-long medley of every single christmas carol ever written, including some that I didn't know were christmas carols (who knew that Happy Days Are Here Again had anything to do with christmas?). Several song later - although who could tell where one song ended and the next began - the highlight of our lunch: Jingle Bells. Sadly it came out sounding like "Jinger bewrs, jinger bewrs, jinger awr the way". And all this to the same monotonous beat. If nothing else it made for entertaining background noise, but I wish it had been slightly further in the background.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Because smelling like ground meat just screams sexuality

There are so many things wrong with this, and so many jokes about "whoppers" and "where's the beef" that just don't even need to be said, but WTF? Who wants to walk around smelling like a piece of ground up meat-like food product?

This is a serious marketing fail if you ask me. What kind of person would buy this? I guess it's not enough these days to smell freshly showered and clean. Apparently one is only really truly seductive when he smells as if he's been standing near the dumpsters of the nearest BK, downwind of the flame broiler exhaust pipe. Just watch out for stray dogs.

Who knew the term "gag gift" was meant to be taken literally!?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christianists love McCain to death

From Pam's site, there's this disturbing story. Be sure to check out the source story here. What kind of real christian prays for the death of another person? I'm sure the justification is that praying for McCain's death would allow Palin to lead the country into new and prosperous directions. Asking their god for the death of one person would , in their minds, improve the lives of millions of people. But in the end, it's really just using religion for selfish political gain. Truly sick. And very frightening that these people have any power at all in our country.

I desperately hope that Palin is the Republican presidential nominee in 2012. Think of how easy it would be for Obama to get re-elected against that mess.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Snowy morning coffee

Yes, I said coffee, not tea. With Anthony working at Starbucks and bringing home free coffee, I'm not only having a little tea in the morning but also a little coffee. So, I've joined the ranks of the coffee-swilling masses in Seattle. It feels good to belong to a group.

And yes I said snowy. It snowed about 2" here at home overnight. It started around 20:00 and probably snowed off and on all night. It's really pretty, especially since we don't see snow on the ground that often in Seattle. The problem is that for the first couple of hours of snow, the ground was too warm so it melted when it hit. As the temp dropped it of course turned to ice so there's 2" of pretty snow with about 1/4" of ice underneath.

I'm kind of hoping the snow and ice hangs around for a couple of days so I have an excuse to work at home. The sun is breaking through the clouds and I see some melt happening on some of the roofs but not much. It's supposed to not get out of the 20's tomorrow so we'll definitely have more ice. I would really enjoy a work at home day!

Luckily I don't have to go anywhere in the truck today. I think our plans today are all home-based: we still need to finish decorating the x-mas tree; we're trying to organize a load of items to give away before the end of the year; we've got to fix breakfast still; and we need to straighten up the house. Sounds like a busy day, but it should be OK. If we have to go anywhere out of the house, we'll walk.

My big project lately is that I have spent the last several weeks, off and on, ripping all of my CDs to MP3. I figure I've done about 475 discs and a total of about 7167 songs. I know that's not a lot compared to some peoples' collections, but it took a lot of time to go through every CD. It's actually nice to finally have everything digital. Now I'm thinking of ideas to be able to get rid of the CD player in the living room and use a laptop connected wirelessly to my server in order to play the music on the stereo. I think it would be pretty easy, and pretty user friendly. Sadly the sub-woofer on the stereo decided to die the other day, so there's no point in doing anything until I get that replaced. It's always something...

My other big project has been organizing the files on my PC at home. Jayson and I used to share the PC so there was stuff scattered everywhere. I've been organizing it all between the five hard drives I've got and trying to make the folder structure make sense. One of the biggest reasons is that I've got a backup job that copies everything to the large external drive and I want to make sure that it's grabbing everything I want. But, I also got tired of multiple copies of things in three different locations, all with different names. Folders named "New Folder 5" don't do any good when trying to find something! I've gained back at least 40 gigs of space across all the drives, which is pretty good! Now I just need to add more RAM to my PC to help it run better. Like I said, it's always something...

I pretty much have my x-mas shopping done this year. We all three agreed to a strict spending limit this year. None of us really NEEDS anything and money is tight all around. So, we'll each have a nice selection of things to open x-mas day without having gone into debt to do it. We always do fun things in stockings so I've got to pick up a few things for that. We're going to be spending the day at home that day which will be nice.

Well, time to get working here. Plus we still need breakfast and it's almost 10:00. And maybe we'll even go see if we can scrape together a snowball!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Just plain funny

This doesn't require much of an explanation. At least the guy was honest.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The things people throw away

Walking back to my building after lunch today I happened to casually throw a piece of paper into the garbage, only to look down and see this:

Talk about doing a double-take. I remember when Seattle used to be such a nice city. You could walk past trash cans in almost any area and not be accosted by hardcore porn. What is this city coming to...? I was so offended that I had to stop and take a couple of pictures with my mobile phone.

I did like the dichotomy of the Whole Foods container (not recycled I might add!) next to the "Beautiful Slut Mothers" DVD cover.

I no longer recognize marriage

I ran across this piece a couple of weeks ago and am just now getting around to posting it. It's a very interesting idea and it's not so far out there. The only reason same-sex marriage is being debated is because "some people" don't believe in it and don't recognize it and feel that they should deprive others of it. The issue over whether or not it's a right is really just a cover for their desire to force their beliefs on others. Most polls show that "some people" isn't even a majority of the country anymore. What if we all decided that anything that doesn't fit our idea of "right" just doesn't exist? And even further, what if we all decided to outlaw what we didn't believe in?

Our situation in Washington state is different than that in CA with Prop 8; it wasn't voters here who struck down marriage equality. But, our Supreme Court did rule against marriage equality saying that the purpose of marriage is procreation and same-sex couples can't naturally procreate. No reason the same logic that Tom Ackerman uses couldn't be applied to marriages here: "I don't recognize your marriage because you haven't created children. Your marriage is invalid." Would be interesting to see what reactions that got.

This post from Kos nicely sums up what I would like to see put before voters to see if they really would vote like they claim they believe. It's convenient to use the christian bible to keep others from having rights, but would they use the same bible to keep from giving themselves rights? I seriously doubt it. More often than not their faith only goes so far.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Evolution of Beards (well, sort of)

Via BoingBoing, the "hierarchy of beards". Sadly, it's a rather inaccurate hierarchy since many of the styles are not called in reality what the poster calls them. It's obvious that the poster is only designed to look like it's from the Victorian times as many of the names are made up and many popular styles are missing completely. Still, it's interesting to compare some of the styles and see different iterations of them.

I wear the "Hyneman", apparently named after Jamie Hyneman (popular 19th century TV star), although my moustache isn't as long as in the drawing.

Speaking of beards, the best beard site on the internets is still All About Beards. There's lots of good information, and eye candy, for beard aficionados.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hello again

I've been actively avoiding posting anything here recently. I just didn't feel like I had anything I wanted to say, or that what I had to say wasn't worth passing along. Life the past month or so has been the status quo, which I suppose isn't a bad thing. Since I returned from my trip to Oregon (late September) it's been pretty much just home and work and back home again. My big excitement at work is that I moved to a new disk with a very large window. I gave up some privacy (okay, really just a semblance of privacy) for light and a view. It's been a good trade-off so far.

There hasn't been any real excitement since my trip to OR. That was just a plain old good trip. I love spending time with my mother; we always have a good time, we think very much alike, and we enjoy the same things. The trip was a great break for me. We would sit at home and talk, go visit small towns, wander through old cemeteries, shop some, and were always on the lookout for food. I miss having her closer so that we can do those things on a regular basis. I know it's kind of late to be saying so, but I'm very grateful for her letting me go down there and for all the nice things she did while I was there.

Back at home, Thanksgiving kicked off the holidays. We were invited to our friends Jim and Doug's...actually it's Doug's house but they shared the hosting chores. There were about 10 people total and it was a nice way to spend the afternoon/evening. Plus, they cooked everything. Well, everything except for the vegetarian alternatives I ended up cooking for Jayson. And now that Thanksgiving is done we're putting up all the Christmas, I mean decorations. I'm not big on Christmas decorations, and as a whole the holiday has lost most of its meaning for me since I was a kid. The holiday was a big deal for my family when I was growing up. It was always secular in nature, but my parents made sure it was a special time for my sisters and me, and it was a very special time. After growing up and the death of the grandparents it wasn't as special. As I've gotten older, it's become even less so, especially with the fact that the holiday seems to start in August, at least if you go by the displays in the stores. So, I guess I have Christmas burnout. I do enjoy the time spent with friends and family, but I guess I'm not sure why that can't happen any other day of the year. I'm also not sure why we're supposed to buy gifts for people just because it's December 25th. If I see something I think someone will like, I prefer to give them that gift any other day of the year. Oh well...end of rant!

Just in time to bring out the Christmas clutter we had started getting the closets and spaces here at home organized. We're got a lot of clutter to get rid of and the closets have become messy. It's surprisingly rewarding to get rid of things and get spaces cleaned out. We're talking about getting rid of the larger dining chairs that seem to be taking up too much space and putting our antique chairs back in place. And, I want to change the red we have on the walls to a brighter red. So, more projects...

So, you can probably see why I haven't posted much here recently. I don't have much to say!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Yeah, what he said

This article pretty nicely sums up how I felt/feel about the election this week. I'm still pissed off about Prop 8 in California, but I also am really happy about how things went on the national level. I really didn't think this country had it in it to say No to being manipulated by fear, but I'm glad to see that I was wrong.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The U.S. actually woke up

My faith in the intelligence of this country has been slightly restored tonight. Maybe there is an end to this 8-year long national nightmare after all. While Obama isn't perfect, I'm happy right now. This is a big deal.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Back from the cone of silence

I've been incommunicado by choice lately but decided that my self-imposed silence was due to end. I'll start again by posting pictures of my trip to my mother's at the end of September. Yeah, they're a month overdue, but better late than never!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Big night out in Grants Pass

*This was supposed to post last night, but it something happened when I sent the e-mail from my phone.

Forgive the crappy cell phone picture, but it's all I had at the moment. I decided to snap a picture of where we had dinner tonight to prove that there are smewhat sophisticated places in rather humble Grants Pass. We were at Miranda Mae's tonight, a nice restaurant and jazz club. We had a great meal and got to listen to a jazz trio while enjoying our beer. It's nice to know that the whole town isn't all rednecks and old people.

I've been ejoying myself down here so far. We still almost 3 more days...sadly we have 4 days worth of things to do. Tomorrow we're headng down to Ashland to wander the town, have lunch, maybe see a movie. We're debating over going to some festival in Medford tomorrow or Sunday, and there's an Oktoberfest in a tiny little town called Wolf Creek about 20 minutes north. The Oktoberfest is, we're told, small but usually nice. The festival in Medford has local foods and beers but also things like a grape stomping competition and a "heffer futurity" (we're not what that is) that don't sound too interesting. I think we've decidedon the Oktoberfest at this point.

In any event, it's been really good to hang out with mom and just be on vacation for a while. We've not run out things to talk about, and we probably never would in 100 years.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On my way, sorta

So, here I am sitting at SeaTac airport waiting for my flight. I ended up getting here pretty early but that's OK. It gives me a little time to unwind after the work day.

I'm looking forward to the weekend with my mother, but I also have mixed feelings about the trip. Believe it not, I've not traveled anywhere on my own since Jayson and I met 11.5 years ago. It's a different experience but it's OK. I definitely need the trip to help myslef relax and unwind even for just a few days, and I think it will accomplish that. I'm looking forward to the time with Mom and she is also looking forward to it.

I just wish Jayson were more comfortable with the idea. He sees it asme running away from him, when in reality it's me just doing something nice for myself. I don't tend to do lots of things for myself so I cherish the things I do deem Todd-worthy (wow, that sounds arrogant!). I'm usually the one who gives up things for others so to have my mother give up a weekend and get me dow is a really nice gift. I'm hoping that Jayson will see that he can be OK wth time apart and that something for me isn't anything against him.

Now, what to do with the other hour and a quarter to kill before I can get n the plane...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Plank Castle Palin

That would be my name were I Sarah Palin's child, at least according to this web site. Someone has come up with a converter that takes your name and converts it to an all-American name such as Sarah has chosen for her existing children. Sadly, it's probably pretty accurate.

Sunday morning tea

Time does fly when it comes to blogging and I just realized it's been a while since I dropped any words of wisdom on this page. As usual, there has been a lot and not very much going on here. Work has been enjoyably busy; enough to keep me occupied and interested but not enough to make me run screaming from the building at 4:00 when the whistle blows. There are some big projects coming up and those should be interesting. I'm still trying to hire at least one other person for my group but can't get any candidates. You'd think people would go out of their way to work there since it's a good place.

Anthony has been looking for work lately, speaking of which. His contract at his company ended with no notice (that sucked) so he's in the job market again. He's put out a lot of resumes and had some good responses, including at least one job offer so far. So, it seems like he'll be back at work soon.

Jayson's depression has remained part of life as well. After he got back from his sabbatical in Texas he got better, then worse, then better then MUCH worse, then better...well, I think the pattern is clear. It's obvious that the issue is still out there and the illness isn't completely under control. I'm seeing it improve, which is good, but it pops up without a lot of provocation at times, and unexpectedly. I try to do the best I can to help him get better and not add to the problems, but I'm not always successful. At times it feels like my presence adds to the depression, mostly because the ways he and I interact are bad habits from the recent past. We've both been conditioned to respond certain ways - all of it during his depression - and those ways of responding don't work anymore. It can be extremely stressful wondering if what I might say or do next will cause him to go back into a depressed state.

That said, I'm taking my own sabbatical. I'm heading down to my mother's in Grants Pass, OR for about 5 days. Grants Pass is no big deal...driving past on the freeway the only things you can see are the Sprawl-Mart and some grocery stores. But, the downtown section is kinda nice and the setting is pretty. Best of all I'll get to spend some time alone with my mother, something I've not had to opportunity to do at any length in years. We always have a good time together and we never run out of things to talk about. We'll do some stuff outside the house I'm sure, but I'm guessing mostly we will stay at home, drink tea, eat, and chat. Five days should be a decent length for a visit. It should give me some time to unwind and de-stress somewhat and also just have time for me for a change, which is something that's usually sorely lacking.

Well, I think it's time to fix breakfast, or rather go to the market to get food with which to fix breakfast. Happy Sunday y'all.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Google images meme

Via Romach... I didn't feel like being overly productive at work today so I took advantage of him tagging all his readers to do this. You're supposed to:

A) Answer the question below then do a Google Image search with your answer. Choose a picture from the 1st page of results and display it with little explanation.
B) Tag 5 people to do the same once you’ve finished answering every question. I don't normally tag people online so anyone who feels compelled (and hasn't done it yet based on Romach's tagging) should do it.

1. The age you will be on your next birthday : 41

2. A place you want to travel to : Myanmar (Burma)

3. Your favourite place : Venice, Italy

4. Your favourite food : Mashed potatoes

5. Your favourite pet : Basenji

6. Favourite colour combination : Hunter green

7. Favourite piece of clothing : Jock strap

8. Your all time favourite music : Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Seans

9. Favourite TV show : The Simpsons. It's become very common, but I still like it.

10. First name of your significant other : Jayson

and Anthony

11. Which town do you live in : Seattle

12. Your screenname / Nickname : Grrrowler

13. Your fist job : Bus boy

14. Your dream Job : Naval architect

15. One bad habit that you have : I crack my neck

16. Worst fear : Drowning

17. Things I would like to do before I die! : Go skydiving

18. The first thing you would do if you get £1,000,000 : Buy a bigger boat

19. My husband(s): Jayson and Anthony

20. What present would you like for your next birthday? A hairy cowboy would be nice...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Are they trying to tell us something?

It's no surprise that there were plenty of derogatory URLs registered as soon as Palin was chosen by McCain to be his eye candy running mate. What is a surprise is where a URL like leads to. Maybe the MacCain campaign is simply making an admission about what we already knew.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dear Russians: Lighten up already

There surely must be bigger problems in Russia than the undermining of the culture by a cartoon. What is it with these nationalists and religious groups that take themselves SO seriously? Even a cartoon making fun of how serious they take themselves is taken too seriously and they get up in arms over it. In this case the TV station that shows South Park in Russia is being taken to court. What a great use of the court's time and resources. Just lighten the hell up...

Did the Puyallup

It's become something of a tradition that we go the Puyallup Fair (whose slogan is "Do the Puyallup"). Yeah, the name is funny but that's the name of the town it's in. Generally we spend more time looking at the exhibits and the crappy stuff for sale in the various buildings, but this year seemed to be all about the rides. Oh, it was also about crappy deep fried food, but that's the same every year. It's always exciting to see what they will decide to deep-fry next, although this year I didn't notice anything new. In years past we had deep-fried pickles, deep-fried Snickers bars, and deep-fried Twinkies. I was hoping to find deep-fried butter but was sorely disappointed.

Anyway, the rides. Usually we'll do only one or two, but this year we hit pretty much everything we wanted to ride. Jayson likes to go in circles and I like to go up and down and upside down. Anthony doesn't seem too picky. So, he and Anthony got to go in circles while Anthony and I went up and down. OK, that sounds funny, but you get the point. Oddly, Anthony and I were a little light-headed after we rode our final ride, which went both around in circles, then up and down, then around in circles again. Of course, who wouldn't be light-headed after that?

Surprisingly we spent about 6 hours at the fair, thinking we'd only be there about for a couple or three. Was a fun day, but we were beat by the time we got home. Here's a few pics from the day:

Forgive the crappy quality from my cell phone

Friday, September 5, 2008

Meet the newest member of the family

No, not Anthony.

Jayson decided that we needed another cat, and lo and behold we have another cat! He's an 8 month old solid black cat that he saw at the shelter yesterday when he stopped by to see about volunteering. He's a cute little black number and after only an hour he's already acclimating very well. I wasn't sure about having another pet of any type, but if he fits in well it will be nice to have him. He's not too wild for being so young which means he's already somewhat in sync with the existing dog and cat. It will be interesting having a new pet, and he is very sweet. So, our household now has six in it!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I wish I had bought my car from this place

No further comment necessary.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Lifestyles of rich and clueless

She didn't realize how big the house was getting based on the blueprints? Maybe the architect should have done a mock-up for her after saying "Hey, you've already got a living room you can land a small plane in. I think it's big enough."

But then again, everyone needs a gift wrapping room.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Gym dandy

Where did these chest muscles come from? They weren't there last year. And these biceps. And is that a butt I see appearing when I look in the mirror? How did this happen? Oh yeah, I've been hitting the gym very regularly and sticking to a good routine with Anthony there to help and to encourage. I can't believe that finally, at age 40, I'm starting to develop the body of an adult male. I'm amazed at how quickly the results are showing, but when there's no body fat to hide the results they can appear quickly. I'm liking this.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Scenes from the weekend

With Jayson out of town, Anthony and I spent part of both Saturday and Sunday at the boat in Edmonds. It was nice spending the night there since it was about 15 degrees cooler on the water.

The Edmonds-Kingston ferry on its way out.

The view off the back of the boat in the marina.

The view off the bow of the boat in the marina.

Anthony on our short hike Sunday morning.

OK, so some parts were less hiking and more climbing.

Heading back towards the marina.

A sandbar in the dog park at low tide.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Proof that the rich keep getting richer

A house in the south of France has sold for €500 million (just under US$735 million) to an unnamed Russian tycoon. That figure is slightly more than the 2007 GDP for the country of Djibouti. Does this seem a little ridiculous to anyone but me? If someone can spend that type of money on a house (probably not even his primary residence, like that matters), there's too much money in too few hands. The money, obviously, has to come from somewhere, and it comes from the poor and middle-class, who just get more poor. It really is obscene for someone to pay so much for a house, but what's more obscene is the fact that someone could pay so much for a house. It's amazing to think what else could have been done with that kind of money that would help a large number of people, but the money doesn't ever seem to trickle back down once it flows up.

I've noticed a lot of Russians lately spending money in an almost obscene ostentatious manner. In addition to houses like the one in the south of France, they have a particular passion for extremely large yachts, such as this, this, and this. Each of those is worth at least US$100 million the third one being worth probably three times that. While it's not just the Russians who have the money, they seem to be the ones showing it off lately. Their not-so-subtle displays of wealth only point out how much the upper .o1% of the population has compared the lower 75%. It just seems like a really bad idea to me to have so much wealth concentrated into such a small percentage of the world's population.

50 is the new 36?

While I respect the woman for what she's accomplished, I'm not a huge Madonna fan. I don't dislike her music, but I don't love it either. That fact notwithstanding, tomorrow is her 50th birthday (talk about it is all over the internets), but Kabbalah priests have somehow determined that her spiritual age is actually only 36. I'm not sure if that's good news or bad for her. Her body is still 50 years old, no matter what the priests say. I've always thought that having an "old soul" was a good thing. So does the fact that Madonna's spiritual age is less than her body's age mean that she's really just immature?

Maybe I've underestimated the value of religion all these years. If it can make Madonna 36, maybe it could make me 26 again. Then again, I'm guessing that my spiritual age would come out to be something like 82 so maybe I don't want to know. I wonder if Oil of Olay clears up spiritual crows-feet...?

On a slightly related note, why would anyone with such control over her image like Madonna allow a picture this bad to be published?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Warning: It is NOT going to rain

Until today I had never heard of a "non-precipitation advisory". I can't believe the National Weather Service has nothing better to do than to issue a warning that it's not going to rain and then make it an alert. I'm just not sure how we're supposed to prepare for a weather phenomenon that's not going to happen.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Too funny

This needs no explanation.

The Western Star, and other fun

Back from San Francisco, and been at work almost two days now. It was a really good weekend. The first surprise was the hotel. Jayson had booked us at the Mandarin Oriental, one of the 5-star hotels in the city. The hotel is billed as the highest rooms in the city and that's not joke. We were on the 45th floor with only three floors above us. Plus the place was just downright nice. For some reason our room was upgraded two levels from what we booked, so we ended up with a 180 degree view from the Presidio to the Embarcadero, including the Golden Gate, Alcatraz, and the waterfront. Jayson had arranged a nice room service table to be in the room when we arrived so we entered the room to find shrimp cocktail, cheese and fruit, and margaritas. Not a bad way to start a trip.

Saturday morning we were headed off to breakfast and I knew there was something up, but wasn't sure what. Sure enough, when we get to the restaurant there is my wonderful friend Rick from San Diego waiting inside the place, along with my friend Wes who lives in San Francisco. Rick was the rest of the surprise for the birthday and it was really nice to have him there! After breakfast we all (minus Wes) rented a car and drove to San Jose to see the Winchester House. All of us except for Anthony had been there before but it's a fun trip and an interesting thing to do. We had a terrible tour guide who recited some memorized script from rote and had no enthusiasm about his job. The four us just tuned him out and made our own fun, plus the tour guide gave us something to make fun of later on. Back in the city Jayson and Rick decided to rest in the room while Anthony and I wandered around Chinatown. Upon entering the room and seeing the view Rick's first comment was "Oh. My. God." Saturday night consisted of going to dinner in North Beach and then going to see Beach Blanket Babylon. The show was fun as always, even though I've seen it at least 4 times. It changes so regularly that while some of the bones of the show are the same, it's never the same show twice.

Sunday the only thing we had planned was breakfast with Wes in the Castro, which of course went until after noon. Rick was again able to join us and the rest of the day consisted of wandering around the Castro and then spending a little more time in Chinatown before we had to head for the airport. Anthony bought himself a new harness (in the Castro, not Chinatown) so in effect we all have a new toy to play with. In the end we didn't see/do a whole lot in the city, but that's OK. It was more about just being there and spending time with friends, which we definitely did. I had a great time on the trip, and it was even nice having Rick there for the weekend.

So for the title of this post… On the trip down on Friday night after the sun went down I started telling Anthony (who was sitting in the aisle seat) that you could see this really bright star out the window. Jayson commented that it was the Western Star which is especially bright from the air since there's less pollution and we're above the clouds. The one thing Anthony didn't notice was that even as the plane turned, the star stayed in the exact same position outside the window. He was surprised how bright it was but thought it was pretty cool. It was only after the plane landed and was taxiing to the gate that I pointed out what the Western Star really was. You can see it very clearly in this pic at the immediate tip of the wing by clicking the pic to zoom in.
Yes, he was looking at the light at the tip of the wing. It never occurred to him that the star was still visible when the sky was hidden behind clouds, but we'll just say he was excited about the trip. Anthony was not necessarily pleased at the joke and every time we brought it up over the weekend it was met with a very curt "shut up". I think he really liked the attention though. Gullibility can actually be really cute.

Here's an album with the rest of the pics from the weekend. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

SFO, day 2

As requested, here is the view from our room in San Francsico. The view would truly qualify as a million dollar view. The hotel isn't bad either...OK, actually it's spectacular. So far it's been a great trip. More details when we're back home.

Friday, August 8, 2008

SFO bound

In just one short hour we're off for the weekend to San Francisco. It should prove to be a good weekend. We've got a few things scheduled such as driving to San Jose to see the Winchester House, going to see Beach Blanket Babylon on Saturday night, and having brunch with my online friend Wes (link NSFW) on Sunday morning. The rest of the time we're going to play tourists and just relax. Jayson has booked us into a 5-star hotel so that in itself should be really nice. I'm sure I'll have tons of pictures to share once we're back and I'll do my best to upload those as soon as I can.

To recap the birthday on Wednesday, it was a good day. Jayson had indeed arranged a surprise dinner (with help from Anthony) for me with several friends, even though he wasn't good at keeping it a secret! He was determined to give the surprise away, but he kept most of it to himself. I was glad that everyone showed up and it looked like everyone enjoyed themselves. There was a running gag gift theme of the evening that obviously Jayson started. Three different people brought bags of old people gifts (Depends, prune-based Ex Lax, Geritol, etc). Luckily I don't embarrass easily and even less so as I get older. I just liked being the center of attention.

Holy homosexuals

Another good video from CNNN (sadly defunct). Why aren't American shows (even comedy shows like The Daily Show) asking the right-wingers questions like this?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I hate when this happens

In Shelby County, TX in early July, the driver was apparently circling the bank with his new truck and camper to park on the other side and clipped the corner of the roof. Somehow he and his 10 year old son got out unharmed, which is pretty amazing when you watch the thing. All I can think of is "Thank the gods it didn't happen to us when we went camping!"

Paris for Pres.

Okay, I've pretty much despised Paris Hilton as one of the celebrities who doesn't deserve any of the attention she gets from the public. She's simply famous for being famous. But, after watching this vid I had to say that I like her a whole lot more. I generally don't pay attention to what she has to say but McCain did drag her into the campaign and I like how she responded.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Well, as of today I have reached the 40 year mark. I don't have a lot planned for the day, but I am taking the day off work. I think the three of us are going to just hang around home, or maybe go to a movie. I'm thinking that Jayson has something planned for the evening but I don't know what yet. He and Anthony have alluded to something happening, even though they weren't trying to. So, it should be interesting. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we're going to San Francisco this weekend. I'm looking forward to it and it should be a fun weekend. We've got a few things planned for Saturday, and then we're meeting an online friend of mine for brunch on Sunday. I can already tell that the weekend will be short, but that's OK.

I've been thinking about 40 for a couple of days now, and I really don't feel 40. I suppose no one does and I guess that's a good thing. I keep thinking of a comment a friend of mine made a few years ago. To paraphrase: when she was in her 20's she was living for the moment and didn't have time to think about who she was, when she was in her 30's she realized who she wanted to be, and in 40's she became that person. I'm hoping that in my 40's I become the person I know I want to be, and have already started becoming. That sounds really esoteric huh? Well, it's my birthday so I can be esoteric.

I really never thought I'd be 40. I also know a lot of people say that, but for me it was really true. I received my HIV diagnosis when I was 25, 15 years ago now. Back then no one knew what the future would hold for treatment. Because of that I thought that reaching 30 would be a real milestone, and it was. After that, I stopped counting time and 10 years suddenly went by. When I stopped counting, I let the the worry over it fade into the background, while still taking care of myself. I've not been sick a day in my life from the infection, and am confident that the same trend will continue. After I turned 30 I used to tell myself that I was living on borrowed time. Somewhere in the last 10 years that thought has completely vanished. I realized at some point that I'm not living on borrowed time, I'm simply living...this is my life, infection and all. I'm incredibly fortunate in many ways: I've been blessed with very good health, I have good friends, I have two wonderful partners, I have a loving and caring family that I'm close to, and I have everything material in life that I need and then some. I really have enough good stuff to last me two lifetimes, and I don't take a single bit of it for granted. Maybe that's one thing that living with HIV has taught me.

So, enough schmaltzy stuff. I'm going to enjoy my birthday, and our weekend away, and I'm looking forward to my 40's. Getting older, at least at this stage, is highly underrated.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Is Kevin Bacon in your MSN contact list?*

I thought this story was interesting in some ways, although I'm not sure I end up believing the results of the study. I use Live Messenger but I only talk to a total of three people on it. I use other chat programs and web-based chat/messaging features more than MSN, so I'm not sure I would factor into the 6.6 degrees using only that program. Using other sources, maybe I would. Granted, out of the three people on Live Messenger who I talk to, one knows both of the other two, so maybe there is something to it. I do keep running into people online who know other people with whom I chat, but I think that's probably just the nature of the sites I'm on and not necessarily the nature of the internets. If I had to use Live Messenger to get a message to someone in another country I doubt the message would make it very far. I'm also not sure of the premise that sending a person a single instant message constitutes "knowing" that person. If that's the case, I "know" all kinds of people who send me single messages asking me to look at their web site to see hot chicks in action, etc.

*Reference to the movie Six Degrees of Separation with Kevin Bacon

Effing creepy hotel ad

Via Joe.My.God this ad for Extended Stay America is just plain creepy, and obviously not-too-subtly sexual. I would definitely put the effectiveness of this ad in the "FAIL" category. It's sort of "Two girls, one cup" for hotel ads.

And maybe I'm too gay or something, but all I can think about while watching this somewhat attractive young woman makes love to a hotel room with her tongue is that she licked the spoon and put it back in the drawer. Ew...

An open note to Seattle drivers

When entering a freeway you must be at or near freeway speed by the bottom of the ramp if you wish to merge with traffic already on the freeway. Remember it's called a "merge", which means to combine (this being the key) with the existing traffic. The entrance lanes are provided in order to allow you get up to a reasonable speed in order to merge onto the freeway. They are not in place in order for you to send a text message, change the CD in the player, sight-see, or contemplate the meaning of life. Please utilize these lanes for their intended purpose.

Attempting to merge when moving significantly slower than the existing traffic will result in A) a large backup on the freeway or B) you becoming the hood ornament on a Kenworth. Going 30MPH until the entrance lane ends and then hitting your brakes when you realize that traffic is moving more than twice as fast as you will not help the situation. Additionally, when your speed is so ridiculously slow, it creates similar problems for everyone behind you on the entrance ramp.

This applies generally to all Seattle drivers but specifically to drivers of Hondas and Volkswagons.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Christian gene

Funny... Maybe there can be a treatment developed for this so that it can cured, or possibly even prevented before birth.

Scenes from Sunday afternoon

Summer has returned to Seattle so it made a good excuse to get the boat out again. Here are a few pics from the day.

Note the lack of wind...

Anthony helping put everything away. He's still figuring it all out.

A gratuitous shot of me.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

What's in a trillion...?

I ran across this post where the author was discussing how to comprehend one trillion of anything. I found it somewhat interesting and decided to ruminate on it a bit. The number of a trillion is so large that it's almost incomprehensible. In the post he writes:

One trillion seconds ago anatomically modern humans were successfuly competing with the last bands of neandertals in ice age Europe; One-trillion minutes ago there were no modern humans at all and fire was still a million years in our hominid ancestors' future; One-trillion hours ago our direct ancestors were rat-like nocturnal insectivores hiding in cozy daytime burrows from allosaurs and raptors; One-trillion days ago there were no animals at all, but bacterial collectives had begun working together in communities that that would one day be called protozoa. And one-trillion years ago ... well there was no one trillion years ago as that would predate the observed beginning of time and space many times over.
So, I started doing a little math (yeah, I had time on my hands this morning) and 1 trillion seconds equals 31,546 years. One trillion hours is 277,777,778 years. That's a huge amount of time coming out of what seems to be a very commonly used number these days. Our government is tossing out budget and expenditure numbers in the trillions and we're just supposed to shrug it off like it's a typical ATM withdrawal. The politicians seem to think that we should easily be able to comprehend that kind of number but there's nothing to compare such a number to other than interstellar travel and that's not always comprehensible either. The current US national debt is $9.58 trillion dollars. So, if everyone in the US right now gave $1 a day to towards the deficit, and both the deficit and population remained at their current levels, it would take 86 years to pay it off. The problem is that the deficit is growing at a rate of $1.88 billion dollars a day so we'd have to put forth a lot more than $1 a day.

I suppose I need a point here, and that point is that we're in such a deep hole now I can't see how we could ever get out of it. Certainly not in my lifetime. Maybe the government needs to put these trillion dollar numbers into terms that are more human-scaled, but I also can't see that happening in my lifetime.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I am...

I was tagged for this (along with everyone else on his blog roll!) by Romach.

I am: an eternal optimist.
I think: way too much for own good sometimes.
I know: that change will come soon, and it will be a good change.
I have: everything I need in life, and then some.
I wish: that people would learn to get along and stop hurting each other.
I hate: beets, rude people, and snakes.
I miss: the life I had when I was 17.
I fear: being alone my entire life, or drowning (pick one).
I hear: train whistles at home when the wind is just right.
I smell: like me.
I crave: eggs and ham right now.
I search: for knowledge anywhere I can find it.
I wonder: what's next after this existence.
I regret: not helping the blind woman on campus years ago who needed help with directions.
I love: my husbands.
I ache: when my partner cries because his depression makes him so unhappy.
I am not: one to run away from a challenge.
I dance: like a straight white boy.
I sing: only when no one else is around.
I cry: when someone I care about disregards my feelings.
I fight: whenever someone I care about is being threatened or hurt.
I win: not very often. I'm not competitive.
I lose: my mind about every 4 days.
I never: lose control of my temper even when I'm really furious.
I always: never say always.
I confuse: when someone withholds facts that are required to complete a story.
I listen: to a fault. I'm often overly critical of the way things are said.
I can usually be found: sitting in front of my computer during the day.
I am scared: that the Republicans will again steal the 2008 US presidential election.
I need: very little really. But, someone who wants to protect me instead of me protecting him would be nice.
I am happy about: having two husbands whom I love very much.
I imagine: that life won't always have so many challenges.
I tag: anyone who wants to do this. I won't assign it to anyone!

Lazy Saturday morning, pointless blog post

I should be more fully awake by now (it's almost 9:00) but I'm not even close. I'm on my second large mug of tea and the caffeine hasn't even kicked in yet. You'd think I was out partying last night or something, but in reality it was just four of us at dinner. Anthony wanted to take his good friend out for her birthday and we had Italian food. We were home and I was in bed by 11:00, so why do I feel like I need 4 more hours of sleep. Oh, I'll bet it's the old creeping up on me...that has to be it.

I love and hate lazy days like this. I love them in that it's nice to not have anything to do, but I hate them in that I feel like I should be doing something. I look around and see all sorts of chores that could/should be done but I don't want to do any of them. I'm anxious to take the boat out sailing but today is supposed to be not as warm as tomorrow and cloudy, so I think we'll wait until then.

So there's been some movement with treating Jayson's depression. We've been working on finding a temple (Hindu) where he could have a "retreat" to help with his depression. The idea is that he can reconnect to his spirituality, break out of the cycle of stress and depression at home by removing the stressors, and have some structure in his day, all while being surrounded by caring and compassionate people. He's found a temple in Houston that has a place for him to stay and he seems to feel a connection to the guru who runs it. So, I think that's what is going to happen. I really believe it can help him, and it will provide a nice break for me. I will miss him while he's gone, but it will also be nice not worrying about what's happening at home when I'm not here. I can use my own stress reduction and hopefully this will help us all. Now, to figure out when he's going. I'm sure Jayson will write more about this in greater detail on his blog.

I think that's all I've got right now. I feel like I should have some sort of fascinating content or amusing Youtube video, but this is all I got!

Friday, August 1, 2008

A little of this, a little of that

Despite my best intentions I still can't seem to post here more than once a week. I guess I should stop complaining about it and just accept it as fact. I'm afraid that a big part of the reason is that I feel like I keep repeating the same complaints about life ad nauseum. But it's up to you all to decide if you want to keep reading or not!

So what's been happening lately...? Like I said, more of the same. Jayson's depression continues to dominate things at home. It's an interesting roller coaster ride, although I wish there were more ups than downs. We went away for Jayson's birthday to a place in Long Beach, WA that we enjoy. It's an inn we've been to so many times that it feels more like visiting relatives than going to a hotel or B&B. Unfortunately Jayson was on a downhill spin that weekend so he wasn't able to enjoy it as much as I had hoped. There's always next birthday I figure.

Speaking of birthdays, mine is happening next week and I'll hit 40. I certainly don't feel it, and I'm not sure if that's good or bad. I've certainly matured the last year or so, and maybe it was about time. I still don't feel 40, although the grey hair certainly indicates my age. I don't mind since the grey seems to work for me. I'm actually not minding getting older; I feel like I'm finally becoming the person I've been meant to be but couldn't be due to lack of age/wisdom. I know 40 isn't exactly old, but getting older, at least to this point, is highly underrated. Of course I realize that on all the gay sites in the world I'll suddenly become anathema when my age shows up. To be honest, I'm not too worried and won't feel like I'm missing anything!

I've been informed that we're going to San Francisco the weekend after my birthday, which should be a lot of fun. It's been a few years since I've been there, and Anthony hasn't really explored the city much at all. We have nothing planned yet specifically but I'm really looking forward the trip.

I've been working on the diesel engine on the boat: at anything approaching cruising speed the engine overheat alarm goes off, even though it's not hot. So, I've been playing diesel mechanic to figure that out and it's been kind of fun. I've replaced anything on there that can be easily replaced dealing with the cooling system and I hope to get it out for a test run this weekend. I'd also like to do some sailing...the weather is forecast to be great so it would be nice to get out and enjoy it a bit.

I think that's all I've got right now. I believe that I'm stuck in a rut, but what to do to get out of it?