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?