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Monday, November 30, 2009

Music Video Monday

Over 20 years ago, I danced to this music for the first time in a gay dance club in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. My Canadian companion, David, and I signed the word "no" whenever the lyrics "it's a sin" were sung. Music has always been important in my life. I am often drawn into songs for their words more often than for the music itself. All those many years ago I was rebelling against the mainstream definition of what it means to be a gay man. I will never again believe that living and being as God created me to be --- is a sin. I am not ashamed to be a loving caring and sensitive man that is also gay.


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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!



Finally.  We made last minute reservations for Thanksgiving dinner at Salvador's.  Tomorrow, we will enjoy a great buffet with all the traditional hot and cold dishes.  I am looking forward to having some of my favorite gringo foods -- turkey gravy, stuffing, and pumpkin pie.  We have much to be thankful for this year and we will indulge in the old old All-American custom of  stuffing ourselves, taking a nap, and snacking on left-overs.  Yes, Thanksgiving 2009 will be complete as Salvador's will no doubt offer Thanksgiving left-overs on Friday.

Be safe and happy.


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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Do You Have a Price for Truth?

"My God is love. My God is peace. My God is You. My God is Me. --- Melissa Eheridge, The Kingdom of Heaven
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A Force for Good

I am not anti-Catholic. This 9min25sec video has something important to say.........



Am I a force for good? Are you?

(H/T to Pam's House Blend)
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San Andrés

The patron of our little village is San Andrés. Saint Andrew's feast day is celebrated on the 30th of November and for the last 9 days of this month we have daily celebrations. This may just be one of the best times to visit Ajijic. Imagine visiting Mexico during the American Thanksgiving Week and living the joy of a small village's annual fiesta dedicated to it's patron saint.

The sounds of church bells, exploding rockets, and the voices of worshipers fill the air during various processionals at different times of the day. At night, the central plaza is filled with folks walking around the perimeter of the square chatting with friends and family and enjoying the many booths with food, fun, and booze. The sights, sounds, and smells are exotic and intoxicating. This is Mexico. This is life in Paradise.
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Happy Thanksgiving!

LMFAO ----- PASS THE TURKEY!!!



Oh, yes, thank you for rainbows.
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Monday, November 23, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Just for Giggles

H/T to AMERICAblog




BEST OF ELEVATOR (REMI GAILLARD)

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Checking In

Sometimes I really feel detached from life. The lack of a certain reliable routine can be disconcerting for someone that tends to be a homebody and is, believe it or not, not too keen about change. Yes, in my teaching career I had little choice when I was bounced from one assignment to another due to low seniority and the frequent financial crises in the State of Michigan and the Port Huron Area School District (PHASD). In those first years, I taught where they sent me and taught the grade levels and subjects I was certified or licensed to teach. Nothing seems to change for Michigan and the PHASD. Right now, the obstructionist Republicans in Michigan have managed to disastrously delay adopting an appropriate State Budget and provide the revenues to pay for it. Every school district in Michigan is being held hostage by grandstanding politicians that just want Governor Granholm (D-MI) and the Democratic Party to fail. Public schools in Michigan may see horrendous cuts in State Funding if nothing changes for the better. It seems the GOP doesn't care about good government or providing services to the people. The Republicans only want power. I am so grateful that I am here in Ajijic, Mexico and away from the Depression that is Michigan..........

I may have finally settled in to using Memo's computer. I have my Firefox browser tweaked and am catching up with the various websites and blogs that I follow. And, I must admit that I really did not suffer any irreparable harm while not reading the Port Huron Times Herald and other news sites.

We both are spending more time with the computer since we have not yet replaced our TV service. I continue to be content with watching my favorite muckrakers on podcasts through the iTunes program. Its like having Tivo, but not as timely. Our dear friend in Guadalajara introduced us to a website based in Spain that provides us access to several television programs that we like to watch. We have even discovered some new ones and we are able to watch them commercial free usually within a few days of their having been broadcast in the United States. The sister site to Series Yonkis also shares movies. Most older programs are strictly in Spanish, however the newer movies and TV series may be viewed in English with Spanish subtitles.

So, as for a routine, its not presently in the cards, as they say. Currently, all is well on my bipolar coaster ride. The lows are not too low and the highs...... well, I don't mind them. Today's activities attest to the uncertainty of where I'll be on any given day. Right now, I'm riding out a little hypomania. And, as always, I thank the god of roller coasters that My Ride doesn't go all the way to the top.




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May I Have Another?

I remember when tea parties were fun.  No, I didn't have a tea set and play pretend with empty cups and dessert plates.  Grandma Rich was the hostess and the parties were set around her kitchen table.  I couldn't tell one brand of tea from another or what flavor of tea she favored, but I can tell you that Grandma's molasses cookies were absolutely delicious.  No one dressed up for these parties like in a Norman Rockwell painting.  It was "come as you are", as the parties were spontaneous.

We often played cards.  "Kings in the Corner" and two-person Solitary were the favorite games we played.  No one cared who won any of the games.  We enjoyed the moments talking and laughing together.  We enjoyed the freshly brewed tea.  We enjoyed the freshly baked cookies.

Grandma would be amazed and amused about the current concept of a tea party.  I'm certain that she would say something both witty and dismissive of today's crowd and their boorish antics, even if she agreed with them.  And, I am fairly certain that no one serves homemade molasses cookies with the same amount of loving concern and kindness as Grandma at these so-called grassroots spontaneous events.......



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More Studies Are Needed

As a student, I would often have a research project which ultimately required me to comment in the conclusion of the assembled paper that "more studies are needed" to prove or disprove any number of facets of the subject matter researched. It is sort of a obligatory statement for students and precisely what any actual scientist, social or medical, should make when presenting new information gathered from human studies. After all, science has to be careful when making absolute pronouncements about anything that hasn't been proven or observed over time. Now, as for the matter of testing a theory, the scientific process must be adhered to religiously.

More studies are needed to confirm the findings of Dr. Ramon Estruch of the University of Barcelona that chocolate milk may reduce inflammation, as reported on by the New York Times. I'll be happy to confirm the scientific findings myself. Hmmm, low-fat milk and cocoa twice a day..........and it might raise my good HDL cholesterol, too!

Money quote:

Scientists in Barcelona, Spain, recruited 47 volunteers ages 55 and
older who were at risk for heart disease. Half were given 20-gram
sachets of soluble cocoa powder to drink with skim milk twice a day,
while the rest drank plain skim milk. After one month, the groups were
switched.

Blood tests found that after participants drank chocolate milk twice a day for four weeks, they had significantly lower levels of several inflammatory biomarkers, though some markers of cellular inflammation remained unchanged.

Participants also had significantly higher levels of good HDL cholesterol after completing the chocolate milk regimen, according to the study, which appears in the November issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and is already online.

“Since atherosclerosis is a low-grade inflammatory disease of the arteries,
regular cocoa intake seems to prevent or reduce” it, said Dr. Ramón
Estruch of the University of Barcelona, the paper’s senior author,
adding that more studies were needed.




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WTF?

"Young women should resist the pressures of popular culture and of sex.
Our bodies are temples of the Lord. We should earn respect and
admiration for our hearts, not for showing skin to look sexy." - Carrie
Prejean, from her memoir Still Standing.




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Marriage

The concept of marriage as we now know it has not been with us all that long.  The issue of interracial marriage is still giving some Christianists unholy fits.  Marriage was once a contract between one man and the man that owned the female.  Remember?  All the bull about the "sanctity" of marriage is truly suspect when you actually look at what the Bible says about marriage and its historical context.

Watch and learn.



Dan Savage on What the Institution of Marriage Means
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Miller Called Out for Hate Rally Participation

It is about time!!

The Times Herald in Port Huron, Michigan has finally taken notice of the antics of Michigan 10th Congressional District's Representative Candice Miller (R-MI). I have been doing a slow burn since seeing Representative Miller in the crazed crowd of Republican politicians attending the hate-filled "whites of their eyes" protest rally organized by Michelle Bachmann (R-MN). Candy Miller's attendance at that rally says reams about her values and her lack of concern for the under-insured, uninsured, and the poor in my hometown and the rest of the 10th Congressional District.

From the Editors of the Times Herald today:

In our new information age, we have ever-growing access to what our
politicians are doing in Washington. Indeed, a week's worth of cable
news -- supplemented by a dose of YouTube clips -- can be enough to
make your eyes glaze over.

Nevertheless, Nov. 5's offering included a clip of U.S. Rep. Candice
Miller that gives us pause. What was she doing, we wonder, in the front
row of a hate rally -- smiling, nodding, clapping and dancing to the
beat of hostility and divisiveness?

We wonder what prompted Miller to move front-and-center at a Capitol rally arranged by Rep. Michele Bachmann, a hate-spewing, right-wing
legislator from Minnesota.

The rally appeared to underscore the present position of the national
Republican Party. Bachmann urged the crowd to "scare Congress" into
voting down health reform, suggesting a "revolution" might be in order.

Rally participants carried a variety of disturbing signs. One placard had a health care message superimposed over dead bodies from Holocaust concentration camps. One referred to President Barack Obama as "Sambo." One depicted the president as the evil "Joker" from Batman movies. One referred to "Obama and his Marxist buddies."

At one point, the crowd chanted "Nazi, Nazi."

Apparently, our congresswoman is OK with all of this.

We wouldn't accuse everyone at the rally of being racist, anti-Semitic
hate-mongers. But top GOP types, including House Leader John Boehner, joined in. Boehner called the health care bill the greatest threat to freedom he has ever seen. Really?

We recognize health care reform is an emotional issue. We support the
Republicans' right to oppose the Democrats' bill, although we wish they
could offer some suggestions of their own rather than just tearing down
the Democrats' proposal.

Oh, well, that's politics.

We're sure pieces of the bill will have to be refined. We agree the trillion-dollar price tag is scary.

We also believe, however, the woes of the national economy are inexorably tied to health care. We can't fix one without fixing the other.

It's been almost a decade since Michigan's 10th Congressional District was gerrymandered to give Miller her legislator-for-life status. For the most part, that's been OK.

At least, we've known what we'll get. Miller will toe the GOP line and
she'll bring home federal dollars to the district. Quite frankly,
Democrats haven't put up much in the way of opposition.

If Miller truly has signed up with the right-wing fringe -- the bigots,
the hate-mongers and the Nazi-chanters -- all of us in the Blue Water
Area might well need to take another look.

Perhaps Miller could start with an apology for her performance at last Thursday's GOP festival of hate.


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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pete Hoekstra: Grandstanding Political Opportunist or Traitor?



Representative Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) would like to be the next governor of Michigan. He is known affectionately, and correctly, as Crazy Pete by many progressive bloggers across the nation. In Michigan, he is not that well known outside of his conservative corner of the State. He has been trying to get his name in the news more and more. Even if the shit is not true or, perhaps, a violation of some national security rule, Pete Hoekstra has his yap flapping.

Watch. As the Republicans in Michigan start to narrow down the list of potential Republican Candidates for Governor of Michigan, Crazy Pete will be in the news more and more.

Good. The rest of Michigan will soon know all about this politician.
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Rate


I just had to steal this photograph from our friends at Towleroad. It is one of two photographs in an article about the Fort Worth, Texas LGBT rally.

Quick Hit -- The Christianist lady with the sign is absolutely correct. "Christ can set you free." Christ can free us from meddling monastic morons that pretend to know the will of God and practice a form of Christianity that even Jesus Christ would not recognize.

Please Please Please STOP trying to impose your vision and your version of A religion upon a free citizen of the United States of America. I am guaranteed freedom FROM your religion.
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Monday, November 9, 2009

Saturday, November 7, 2009

This Video Needs to Go Viral

This is a taste of the undemocratic actions of some Republican men to delay and shout down a procedural motion being made in a democratic meeting of the United States House of Representatives.  According to Hoyle, or more accurately Robert's Rules of Order, it is a violation of decorum to continue to bleat out your objections while the motion is being stated.  Sit down, shut up, and wait your turn.

But, no.  These sanctimonious Holier-Than-Thou drama queens must shill for their Christianist campaign fund contributers.  Tell me, would Jesus, the people's representative, use disorderly conduct as a means to protest the democratic process allowing a group of women to make a motion within the Chamber of the House of Representatives?  These guys are not Jesus and they were not confronting money lenders and other vendors in the Temple.  Really.  Do the folks back in their congressional districts know how badly they behave?





Unruly Republicans Disrupt Health Care Debate
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Friday, November 6, 2009

Your Moment of Zen

Autopilot

Blogger has an interesting feature that allows you to prepare posts in advance of the time and date that you wish to publish. I rarely used the post scheduling tool as I prefer to write and publish immediately. It may be a bipolar coaster hypomania thing. Or not. Nevertheless, I have not been writing much. This blog has been on autopilot.

It seems that since I told the SKY satellite service folks to come get their equipment our lives have not had a regular and reliable routine. I have to admit that I am a bit out of sorts. The folks at SKY have not been 100% truthful with us and were even careless enough to leave our service active one more month after the date the service should have ended. The SKY service representative has demanded an outrageous service termination fee. I freaking hate confrontation. This crap will have to be settled by my lawyer.

In the meantime, we are enjoying a broadcast, cable, and satellite free life. For now.

Last week, my 1 3/4 year old Toshiba laptop died. Not the whole thing, just the video card..... It may be months before we can afford to have it fixed. Meanwhile, I am back using Memo's desktop computer and the old old old Dell laptop that the State of Michigan bought for me several years ago before I retired. I am using my Saitek keyboard with its back-lighted keys because of the convenience and because the Dell has 5 missing keys. Arrrggghhh!

I've also been hesitant to comment on current events. I am so frustrated with the slow and grueling pace that the health care reform legislation has taken. I just cannot watch much more of it on TV or through the podcasts of Countdown and the Rachel Maddow Show that the Apple iStore offers free. And, as enjoyable as it is to see the disintegration of the Republican Party, it is equally sickening to observe the classless lunacy of the Tea Baggers as they push moderate folks out of the Party of Lincoln. The Republican Party's so-called "big tent" has become a pup-tent, at best, or a bed sheet strung over a kitchen chair...........at worst. Don't get me started about the Balloon Boy or the former Miss California.

For now, I make no promises about a robust return to writing. I am enjoying the non-routine life of an eccentric expat living in central Mexico. I have no idea what I'm doing next or next week. This month's bills are paid, my Permanent Residency (FM-3) renewal application is in-process, and my blood pressure was good when Dr. Polo checked it today. It's all good.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Oh Give Me A Break!

Okay.  I'm not particularly grumpy today, but reading this BBC news story sparked a bit of disgust.  10,000 Christian Bibles are being held by the Malaysian Government and may never be released just because the Arabic word for "God" was used.  These "Allah" Bibles seem to have offended some Muslim Malays.

Really.  What are they afraid of?  So much for the so-called religious freedoms in Malaysia....