Friday, June 30, 2006

That Song...

I must be the last person in the western world to discover the song "Hips Don't Lie" by Shakira. I know it has been all over the radio for a while now, but it somehow slipped by me. (Probably because I have not been out to clubs for a while and I never listen to pop radio.)

Anyway, the video came on the other day on Yahoo music, and now I can't stop playing it. It's some sort of hypnotic trance-inducing song, and I must have played it 50 times already. How I could have been so far behind the curve on this one is a mystery to me. I mean, most people are SICK of this song by now.


There have been other songs that hook me like this. Some songs always sound good to me, no matter when I hear them.
  • Believe, Cher
  • In The Deep, Bird York
  • Missing, Everything But The Girl
  • I'm The Only One, Melissa Etheridge

I know there are others, but it's hard to think of other music with Shakira singing and dancing around in the video in the upper right corner of my monitor.

Hypocrite Of The Week

Is it getting easier to spot the crazy coming from the Right Wing? Like this, nicely provided by the American Constitution Society, commenting on the recent Supreme Court decision regarding the military tribunals:
[In the Hamdan decision,] Justice Thomas refers to Justice Stevens' "unfamiliarity with the realities of warfare"; but Stevens served in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1945, during World War II. Thomas's official bio, by contrast, contains no experience of military service.
A guy who has never served in the military says that a World War II Navy Veteran is "unfamiliar with realities of warfare"? (I should mention that Stevens was also a code-breaker and awarded the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service.) It's one thing to disagree with someone else about military issues, whether you served or not. But to attack a Veteran like this? The absurdity here is off the charts.

Congratulations, Clarence Thomas. Even in such a crowded field of idiots, you are the "Right Wing Nut Job Hypocrite" of the week.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Politics & Perspective

I know, I know. This is a blog about moving towards my 40th birthday, and I keep posting all of this political stuff. I will throttle back a bit, but the truth is, I am so disheartened by so much these days that it is hard to focus on other things.

In moments of clarity, though, I remember that this country - with all its strengths and weaknesses - is far stronger than anyone trying to bring it down. That goes for those abroad who would wish us physical harm and those here in office who would dishonor our Constitution.

My America will weather these storms, too, and we will be better for it. I have faith.

They Were Wrong.

I know that many of you who read my blog don’t always read the progressive websites. So when I see something that connects with me, I try to post it here on my own blog. (Of course, I also make sure to give credit to the other writers, because not doing that would completely suck.)

Anyway, I read Battered American Syndrome, written by Vyan and posted on the Democratic Underground. I love it. It is an excellent collection of twenty examples of the Bush Administration and Republican Congress being completely and totally wrong.

  1. Wrong to not to intervene when Enron and other energy companies were gutting California
  2. Wrong to ignore Al Qaeda
  3. Wrong to blame Saddam Hussein for 9/11 by linking him to Bin Laden
  4. Wrong to claim he had Nuclear and Biological Weapons programs
  5. Wrong to invade a sovereign nation on false pretenses
  6. Wrong to ignore the insurgency
  7. Wrong to violate the Geneva Conventions
  8. Wrong to spy on Americans without a warrant or probable cause
  9. Wrong to fail to leave Iraq when everyone from the American people, the Iraqi people and Iraqi government clearly want them to
  10. Wrong to ignore the pre-Katrina warnings
  11. Wrong to claim that Intelligent Design is "science"
  12. Wrong to systematically lie to the American people
  13. Wrong on the environment
  14. Wrong on Global Warming
  15. Wrong on voting rights,
  16. Wrong about Terri Schiavo
  17. Wrong on Gay Marriage
  18. Wrong on Flag-Burning
  19. Wrong to try and prosecute journalists for speaking the truth
  20. Wrong to teach our children that sexual ignorance is preferable to sexual safety and responsibility

Of Flag Burning, Politicians, and Troops Dying

Yesterday, Senator Hatch (R-UT) said that there was nothing the Senate could be doing that was more important than banning flag burning. What planet does that guy live on? Personally, finding a solution to the Iraq War debacle or the Homeless Problem would seem a bit more pressing. In fact, it took me all of two minutes and Google search to find far more important things for the Senate to be discussing. Check this out from David Sirota:

The U.S. Congress and cynical pundits and political operatives in Washington are polluting our country's political discourse with a debate over flag burning at the very same time that:

We all know that the Republican Party in general and this administration in particular are struggling right now. The list of troubles is long – the war, gas prices, the economy, endless stories of corruption – and they are doing everything they can to divert attention. But please, give me a break. Flag burning and gay marriage are the most important issues of the day? Hardly.

I know why Senator Hatch and others want to talk about flags. It gives them a chance to sound patriotic. Fine. Let them have their moments of bluster. But that does not mean that our news media have to cover them.

And if your local channel cannot think of one thing going on yesterday more important than the charade on the Senate floor, I suggest they read this. Certainly the news of 4 US troops killed in Iraq should be more news-worthy. I would rather read more about these honorable and brave men who died in service to our country than to hear politicians who do little more than talk.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Symbols, Part II (Ric)

So after reading my post about the symbols that represent me, Ric decided to do the same. He sent me these symbols that describe him. After laughing out loud about them, I decided to post them here on the blog.



Ric, you crack me up.

Symbols

sym·bol ( P ) Pronunciation Key (smbl)n.

  • Something that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention, especially a material object used to represent something invisible. See Synonyms at sign.
  • A printed or written sign used to represent an operation, element, quantity, quality, or relation, as in mathematics or music.
  • Psychology. An object or image that an individual unconsciously uses to represent repressed thoughts, feelings, or impulses: a phallic symbol.

Just for grins, symbols that represent me...

Being Fit Has Its Rewards

Saturday night, we headed to the Eagle. Since it was Pride weekend in San Francisco, I expected the bar to be fairly quiet and low-key. Not so much.

And I must be feeling far more confident after losing so much weight, because I agreed to enter an underwear contest. Not so bad? Well, I wasn't wearing underwear. All I had on was my jockstrap.

And I won. $50 cash.

(I think I like this being fit and healthy thing.)

Friday, June 23, 2006

It's Time To Take Down The Flag

I rarely post full text that someone else wrote, but this really connected with me. I applaud this writer for saying so eloquently what I have been feeling for a long, long time.

NanceGreggs's Journal: Nance Rants
It's Time to Take Down The Flag

In view of what we have seen and heard for the past few years, and especially in the last few months, it is time for all of you who still support George W. Bush and this Administration to take down your American flags. Remove them from your front porch, from the flagpole on the lawn. Pack away your stars-and-stripes T-shirts, and remove the flag-pins from your lapels.

The proud display of the American flag is meant for the patriotic, for those who love their country.

This president has plunged our beloved nation into unconscionable debt, and compromised its security for the sake of corporations and their bottom line. He has steadfastly looked the other way while American jobs have been irretrievably lost, and while citizens go without affordable medical care. He has stolen from the poor and working class by promoting the under-funding of their schools, their hospitals, and the social programs that feed and shelter the most unfortunate among us, and has ensured that those monies find their way into the pockets of the wealthy.

Time and again, he has turned his back on the victims of disaster, and left them to fend for themselves. He has destroyed a way of life that rewarded hard work, and that offered opportunity for all. He has lessened our country’s once-proud standing in the world, and has made a mockery of our laws, our rights, and our Constitution.

A true patriot doesn’t ignore the needs of the nation, nor its citizenry, and does not systematically revoke the very freedoms our democracy was founded upon. If you support the Bush regime, what it stands for, and what it has done, you are no patriot.

If you support this president, remove the “Support the Troops” stickers from your cars, and the symbolic Yellow Ribbons from your front doors. Those symbols are meant to represent care and concern for our military, both in battle and upon their return to the homefront. This president, and his fellow Republican Party members who control our government, have placed our troops in harm’s way for a lie, and have ignored their safety and well-being at every turn. They have initiated policies that gut our veterans’ benefits and pensions. They have sent our troops into combat without the most basic of equipment to protect themselves, and have ignored the consequences of placing the battle-fatigued, the sick, the psychologically and emotionally damaged on the front lines. They have handed the tax dollars meant to feed, equip and house our forces over to Administration cronies, who slip those funds into their own pockets and devote mere pennies to the needs of our fighting men and women.

If you support those kinds of policies and the people who promote them for their own political and/or financial gain, you do not support the troops. On the contrary, you speed their demise. Pretending to support the very troops you are dishonoring is not only hypocritical, it is an insult to their sacrifice.

If you support this president, remove the crosses you wear around your neck, the rosary beads strung over your rearview mirror, the crucifixes and prayer cards you display in your homes. Those revered signs of faith are reserved for Christians who honor the principles set forth by a man who taught love, tolerance and understanding. The present Administration and those who blindly follow it have not only condoned but embraced torture, unlawful imprisonment without hope of a fair hearing, secret prisons that exist only for the purpose of inflicting pain and suffering. In addition, they have engaged in the rendition of human beings to other countries where the most heinous conduct can be indulged in – apparently too cowardly themselves to the “dirty work” they claim to be necessary to make us all secure.

This president and his minions have made a mockery of the true Christian faith, and have spit in the face of those who adhere to its tenets. George Bush’s illegal and immoral war has caused thousands upon thousands of deaths of innocent men, women and children, and has turned such laudable principles as feeding the hungry and caring for the sick into trivialities unworthy of his attention. He has preyed upon the unsuspecting sheep by offering money and influence to their corrupt, money-grubbing pastors in exchange for leading their flocks to the altar of the polling stations, enticed by the Judas Goat of policies based on hatred, bigotry and intolerance.

If you have transferred your religious faith away from the teachings of a forgiving and merciful God, and placed it instead in a president who promotes violence and torture, you are not a Christian.

Once you have dispensed with displaying the symbols of true patriotism, troop support and Christianity, you are free to flaunt your “W” stickers, and all of the other pro-Bush, pro-Administration paraphernalia you are so fond of.

In fact, I would encourage you to do so. It’s always helpful to know who your real enemies are.

This Week at LandAmerica

I got to work this morning, logged on, checked my email, and found that I am spotlighted in the newest edition of our company e-newsletter. Hooray for me!

FEELING BETTER MAKES YOU BETTER

John Hulsey, Escrow Officer and Special Projects Manager in San Diego, wrote in with a great idea. He writes that several people in his office have made physical fitness a goal for this year, and they are doing great (congratulations, everyone!). John, who has already lost 20 pounds in the last two months, suggests a "feeling better makes you better" campaign. We couldn't agree more. Here are just a few of the benefits of regular exercise:
  • lower heart rate
  • lower blood pressure
  • decreased oxygen consumption
  • decreased pain sensitivity
  • lower levels of lactic acid
  • lower cholesterol
  • decreased muscle tension
  • increased serotonin levels

Research indicates that low levels of serotonin can cause depression. Exercise has been shown to significantly increase serotonin levels in the brain resulting in an increased sense of well-being.

P.S. John is also the first person to write to ThisWeek@LandAmerica when we print urban myths and try to pass them off as the truth. So, please don't send in any ideas for the Krispy Kreme diet. He won't bite.

GET FIT

Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.
John F. Kennedy

The secret to a long life is to stay busy, get plenty of exercise and don't drink too much. Then again, don't drink too little.
Hermann Smith-Johannsen

Regular exercise, such as walking or hiking, aids in prevention and control of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Frank Murkowski

Exercise is really for the brain, not the body. It affects mood, vitality, alertness, and feelings of well-being.
John J. Ratey, MD

I'm more creative, because I have mental energy. When I finish running several miles, it's like my mind is running on overdrive.
Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee

Have fun this weekend. Run the blues off!

Mud Run - Race Photos

Here are the better quality versions of some photos taken at the event by BrightRoom. version.)


Geez, this was so much fun. I cannot wait until October to do it all again!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Better To Be Kind...

Ever hear a lyric to song, then find that you can't get it out of your head? And not in a horrid, annoying "Macarena" way. No, I am talking about hearing a line in a song and having it connect with you on such a personal, intimate level that you can't stop thinking about it. Ever have that kind of moment?

Well, I just did. I am listening to my Pandora radio stations, and an Amy Grant song came on called "Happy." It's a good song, simple, in which she talks about how happy she is in her relationship. But this chorus caught my attention, specifically the last line.

“I want to look behind your eyes
And gently brush the hair back from your face
Cos baby I just realized
That seeing you there in that light
It’s better to be kind than right.”

It's better to be kind than right. Hmmm. Those are big words for a guy like me, someone who has felt many times that being right is the only thing I have going for me. Maybe I didn't feel cool enough, or strong enough, or rich enough, or whatever. I could usually rely on my intellect and reason to provide me a way out.

But I'm not an insecure child, anymore. I am an adult, with a husband and family and friends who all care for me very much. So why do I have to be right all the time? (Or even think I am?) Maybe... sometimes... it's better to be kind than right.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Pandora? Definitely.

My friend, Timmy, turned me on to www.pandora.com, and I am hooked. You can select a song or an artist, and the website will build a radio station just for you. As new songs play, you can keep or discard them. Ultimately, you make a playlist of the exact sort of music you want to listen to. Dance, chill, 80's, rock... whatever you are in the mood for, you can have it at your fingertips.

And, I can add my list of radio stations to my blog. Check the link out in the sidebar. This rocks.

Right now, I am...

  • Listening to 4300+ songs shuffling randomly on WinAmp
  • Thinking about my friends in Iraq
  • Glad I worked out this morning
  • Struggling to focus on work
  • Convinced that the Religious Right is neither
  • Ready to be on vacation
  • Watching the cloud cover slowly burn away
  • Drinking a Double Gulp of Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper
  • Happy today is the first day of Summer
  • Looking forward to Date Night tonight with Ric

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Ignore This Post

Okay, so you just had to read this post, didn't you? Well, you can ignore it. I am reposting a picture of me, so I can then snag the URL and upload the photo to my profile.



So, move along, move along... nothing to see here.

What Liberal Media?

Time and time again, we all keep hearing about the Liberal Media. You know, the one that hates the President and Republicans and anything Conservative. Conventional Wisdom says that the media are part of the problem, refusing to report on the good news out of Iraq and solely focusing on the bad.

Funny thing about that conventional wisdom, though. It is wrong. Completely and totally wrong. And we have yet another perfect example.

Last week, the press nearly fell over itself praising the President for going to Iraq and parroting his optimism about the conditions there. They devoted news segments to his “bounce in the polls,” but the fact is he is still below 38% approval rating. One or two points at that level can hardly be considered a “bounce.”

More than that, the pro-Bush, pro-Republican media has been noticeably silent about the Embassy Memo. Sent just days before the President’s “cheerleader” visit to Baghdad, the memo described a remarkably different situation on the ground. Our American Ambassador wrote to the Secretary of State of “increasing danger and hardship.” In fact, the title of the memo is “Snapshots from the Office –Public Affairs Staff Show Strains of Social Discord.”

The details of the memo are bad enough – references to abductions, threats to women’s rights, and charges of ethnic cleansing – but I am more disturbed by the silence of the media’s reaction. This memo was written in Iraq by the President’s own people, not Democrats or other Liberals with their own agenda. And if the President’s own people think the situation is bad and getting worse, I think that is important enough to report to the American people.

Liberal Media? Yeah, right.

Curious George Goes To The Middle East

Commenting on the President's recent dash in/dash out trip to Iraq, Jon Stewart had this to say on the Daily Show:

President Bush, you were in Baghdad for six hours. You weren't even in the real Baghdad. You were in the Green Zone. That's like going to the Olive Garden and saying you've been to Italy.

Pick one:
It's funny because it's true.
It's sad because it's true.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Coronado Low Tide Ride & Stride

This morning, I was up early and off to the beach. Instead of lounging around on a towel or reading a book, though, I was walking 8.2 miles for the Coronado Low Tide Ride and Stride. It is a shared fundraiser for the Rotary Club, which works to fight polio, and a limb replacement clinic down in Mexico.

The day was overcast, the temperature cool and comfortable, and the company was great. Thanks to Paula, Suzie, Dave & Mark for walking with me. (And yes, we walked the whole thing. After a long week of working out and running at the gym, I decided that it was better for me to walk than to run the 8.2 miles.)

Here we are along the walk:


And here we are at the finish line:


And to answer the obvious question, no, we did not lose someone on the walk. One of our group was a bit slower getting to the finish line, mostly because he kept stopping along the way to chat with the Navy Seal Sentries posted along the base perimeter.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Mud Run - Brenda's Turn

So today I was back at Camp Pendleton, this time to see the Mud Run as a spectator. My friend Brenda was competing, and she did great! In fact, she finished as the 8th woman overall and 2nd in her age division. Congratulations, Bren! I can't wait to be out there with you and Lee next June!

Here is the course map, showing the obstacles and challenges:


And here is Brenda, posing after the race with her Dad. (Hard to believe I have know them both for more than 26 years. Wow!)


And a special thank you to Renee - here in the background - for getting Brenda registered at the last minute.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Yet Another Hyprocrite

This from TruthDig... yet another Right Wing Republican makes a fool of himself.

Background: Republican Congressman Lynn Westmoreland co-sponsored a bill reguiring the 10 Commandments be prominently displayed in the Hall of Representatives and the Chamber of the Senate.

Last night on the Colbert Report, the congressman was asked why he felt the bill was important. He said it was because without the 10 Commandments, we can "lose our direction and our way."

And the best part:

Colbert: What are the Ten Commandments?

Westmoreland: You mean all of them?--Um… Don’t murder. Don’t lie. Don’t steal. Um… I can’t name them all.


Dumbass. Maybe he should spend more time practicing his religion and less time preaching it.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Mud Run Photos

The photo service that took pictures at the Mud Run posted them to the web this evening, and I am so excited. They got some really great pictures. I am going to order the larger, better resolution versions, but for now I wanted to at least get these up on the blog. For more pictures, you can check out http://www.woofsd.com/index2.html.

Crossing the river...


Slogging through the Mud Pit:


Crossing the finish line:


And striking a pose or two afterwards:

A Picture Worth A Thousand Words

Yes, yes, yes... this is another post about me feeling and looking better. I know I sound like I am obsessed, but that's not it. The truth is, I have been overweight (obese, actually) for so many years that I stopped noticing how bad it was. I look back at old pictures and I think "damn, how did I let myself get that out of shape?"

Now, though, everyday is a chance to look and feel better, to treat myself better by eating right and being physically active. And since this blog - Falling Into Forty - is all about me, I think it's just fine to focus on my physical journey, too.

So, here is a picture Ric took of me this morning. I look at this and think two things. One, I feel good about how I look these days. Two, I know that things will keep getting better as long as I stay with the basics - eating healthier and remaining active.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

AIDS/LifeCycle - San Francisco to Los Angeles

I did it. I have committed myself to the biggest physical challenge of my life, with the exception of Marine Corps Boot Camp.

I signed up for the AIDS/LifeCycle Ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. It is 585 miles over seven days, June 3rd to June 9th, 2007. Ric is planning on being there, too, except he will be on a motorcycle and working as part of the Road Safety Crew.

More details later, and everyone can expect to get hit up for money. I have to raise $2,500, and I plan on talking to each and every one of you to help!


This is the route from this past year's ride. Not sure if it will be the exact same, but it will at least be similar.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Chickenhawks

First, the definition:

Chickenhawk n. A person enthusiastic about war, provided someone else fights it; particularly when that enthusiasm is undimmed by personal experience with war; most emphatically when that lack of experience came in spite of ample opportunity in that person’s youth.


And now, for today's news:

Karl Rove, one of Washington's most powerful and polarizing figures who has been (is?) under investigation in the leak of a CIA covert operative's name, chided Democrats for floating the idea of troop reductions in Iraq. He specifically targeted Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha.

"Like too many Democrats it strikes me they are ready to give the green light to go to war, but when it gets tough, they fall back on that party's old platform of cutting and running. They may be with you for the first few bullets but they won't be there for the last tough battles," he said.

Of course, what Rove doesn't mention is that, personally, he has never been anywhere near a battle. He managed to avoid the draft, working as a Republican campaign worker instead of serving in Vietnam.

It is loud-mouth, opinionated, self-righteous chickenhawks like Rove that really piss me off. If the safety and freedom of this country depended on people like him, we would all be speaking German or Russian by now.

And since I am on the subject, let’s take a look at who did and did not serve in the Armed Forces.

Birthdays - Comments Requested

One of the things to do on my Forty at 40 list is making a birthday calendar. Each year I try to keep up with the birthdays of my friends and family, and each year I end up missing people. So, I am going to start my list now of birthdays, and hopefully I will have everyone on it by January. Then, I can quickly make my birthday calendar, and I will not miss a single person in 2007!

If you are reading this, please click on the comments and add your name and birthdate. You can add other comments if you want to, like what your wish is for your next birthday or what you expect your friends to do to celebrate, but please at least add the name and date.

Thanks!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Mud Run

What an incredible adventure today. The Mud Run is a 10k (6.2 mile) trek through the hills and obstacles at Camp Pendleton's Lake O'Neill area. Six of us ran today as a team - Me, Sonya, JW, Mike, Verna and Nate - and we had a great time. For the record, we came in at 1:45:47, which was nearly 15 minutes faster than my forecast. We beat 19 other teams, and that's pretty great considering the competition. Go Team Woofy!

These are the photos we took, and there will be more in the next week or so from the event photographers.

Here we are at the start... nice and clean and ready to run!



Another pre-race photo, with our support crew Ric and Bridgette.



And here we are after the run, not so clean but still having fun!

Friday, June 9, 2006

Yard Update

It has been almost a year since Ric and I began much needed work on our backyard, and I can't believe how everything is growing in. Ric will have lots of pictures on his website (Front Yard, Backyard), but here are a few photos now.

This is the backyard, before and after:





And this is the front yard, before and after:






And this is Steve, our Gargoyle, who keeps watch on the backyard:

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Oohrah to A.J.

Ric and I have several friends currently serving in the Marine Corps in Iraq, and we worry about them everyday. So it is always a thrill to hear from them and know that they are still safe and doing okay.

This morning, I got an email full of photos of AJ, one of our buddies. His Mom forwarded the pictures on, and I am posting one of them here.


We are proud of you, AJ, and we cannot wait for you to get home!

Go Red Go!

This morning brought me a happy moment - a better experience on the scale.
  • January 2005 - 218 pounds
  • March 2006 - 209 pounds
  • June 2006 - 191 pounds

And the other great moment? Last night at Sports Chalet, where I was buying new running shorts and shirts. I fit comfortably into the Medium shorts and shirts, instead of the tent-sized Large clothes. Now THAT is a milestone!

Go Red Go!

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Random Thoughts On A Wednesday Evening

  • XM Radio now has two channels I cannot live without - Chill (electronica lounge music) and Flight 26 (modern rock).
  • My friend Andrea may be moving to Hong Kong. I'm happy for her, but that is so far from me. Sheesh.
  • I am the Evite King. I know that. Still, it would be nice to be invited somewhere by someone else, for a change.
  • Diet Mountain Dew. Yum.
  • The Mud Run is Sunday, and I am excited to see just what kind of shape I am in. This will definitely be a tough challenge.
  • My weight continues to drop, but the big changes are done. From here on out, it will be slow and steady progress, I think.
  • It's easier to see crazy in others.

And finally...

  • Ann Coulter is one f*cked up bitch. Talking about the 9/11 widows, she writes in her book that "these broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by griefparrazies. I have never seen people enjoying their husband’s death so much."

Gay Marriage Amendment

Just when you think politics and debate can’t get any more pathetic, I present to you our Senators from Oklahoma and Louisiana.

Yesterday afternoon on the Senate floor, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) stood before a large photograph of his family and shared this important fact:
“I’m really proud to say that in the recorded history of our family, we’ve never had a divorce or any kind of homosexual relationship.”

And today, David Vitter (R-LA) made this comment:
“I don’t believe there’s any issue that’s more important than this one,” referring to the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

The first comment is just scary. Can you imagine the skeletons in the Inhofe family closets? And if you were the kid in their family that was in the closet, can you imagine having to come out? No way. And since Inhofe mentioned divorce as something as evil homosexuality, why doesn’t he include a Divorce Ban in the amendment that seeks to protect marriage?

The second comment is just stupid. I am quite sure that the residents of New Orleans would much prefer their Senators work on issues like housing, health care, schools, and continual Katrina and Rita recovery than waste time yammering on about gays and marriage.

These people make me sick. Small wonder the country is falling apart at the seams, with idiots like this in office. What is it going to take before the majority of Americans realize that non-issues like gay marriage, flag-burning, and English Only Requirements will do nothing to help put food on their tables, money in their wallets, and provide housing and care for their families? Until that fact sinks into the heads of Americans from coast to coast, we will continue our downward spiral towards becoming a Third World Country.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Coronado Bay Bridge Run (Photo)

Finally, the long ago promised photo of Sonya and I on the bridge arrived in my email. As you may recall, my camera was stolen the day before the bridge run, so we were unable to take a good picture of ourselves. I asked one of the other runners to take our picture, and she just emailed it to me this morning.

So, here it is. And man, we look fabulous!

Monday, June 5, 2006

Thoughts On Gay Marriage

I ran across this on the web, and I think it is worth sharing. It is a rational, intelligent, line-by-line explanation of the arguments against gay marriage and what really drives them. Thanks to Scott Bidstrup for the excellent writing.

http://www.bidstrup.com/marriage.htm

And from the Gator Gay/Straight Alliance, I am including the "12 Reasons Same Sex Marriage Will Ruin America."
  1. Homosexuality is not natural, much like eyeglasses, polyester, and birth control are not natural.
  2. Heterosexual marriages are valid because they produce children. Infertile couples and old people cannot get legally married because the world needs more children.
  3. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children because straight parents only raise straight children.
  4. Straight marriage will be less meaningful, since Britney Spears's 55-hour just-for-fun marriage was meaningful.
  5. Heterosexual marriage has been around for a long time, and it hasn't changed at all: women are property, Blacks can't marry Whites, and divorce is illegal.
  6. Gay marriage should be decided by the people, not the courts, because the majority-elected legislatures, not courts, have historically protected the rights of minorities.
  7. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are always imposed on the entire country. That's why we only have one religion in America.
  8. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people makes you tall.
  9. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage license.
  10. Children can never succeed without both male and female role models at home. That's why single parents are forbidden to raise children.
  11. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society. Heterosexual marriage has been around for a long time, and we could never adapt to new social norms because we haven't adapted to cars or longer lifespans.
  12. Civil unions, providing most of the same benefits as marriage with a different name are better, because a "separate but equal" institution is always constitutional. Separate schools for African-Americans worked just as well as separate marriages will for gays & lesbians.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Coronado Bay Bike Ride

After the diving, I had to quickly change over and get downtown for my bike ride. It was a little chaotic, I was running late, and logistics proved a bit tricky. But finally, we were ready to ride. We met in front of the Convention Center, and headed out for our 30 mile ride. It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm with a slight breeze. We had lunch in Imperial Beach at the IB Forum, then finished up the afternoon with a ferry ride across the bay.

It was a fantastic afternoon, and I was definitely pleased to find that this ride was no problem at all for me. After working out consistently for the last two months, I can feel the difference in my stamina and conditioning. Getting into shape definitely has its benefits!

We did stop on the Strand and take pictures. Here is JW, me, and our new friend, Stefan.

And here are my friends from Arizona - Devon, Sue and Tim.

Diving at La Jolla Shores

Saturday morning we were all up early and out at La Jolla Shores. Ric and Grant had to finish their last two dives for the Advanced Diver Certification, and Greg and I were there to help. The first dive was the Navigation Dive, and my job was to hold on to one end of the 100' tape. Not real exciting, but necessary so the students have reference points during their class.

The dive was uneventful for me, but I am still excited enough about SCUBA that I will take any chance to get into the water. And with my friends watching from the beach, we were able to (finally!) get photos of all four of us as we headed out.

Here we are, suited up and ready to get into the water.
And here we go, heading out.
And the fun part about beach diving, struggling through the surf. It wasn't too bad Saturday morning, but you are almost guaranteed a few good crashing waves.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Off and Running

Wow. How different things are for me now? Before, say back before October, I was barely physically active. Now, every weekend is filling up with running, biking or diving events. Not only that, but I am determined to drag my friends along for the fun.

So, what's on the schedule?
  • Today, diving at the Shores, then biking around Coronado Bay
  • June 11th, Camp Pendleton Mud Run (outdoor 10k)
  • June 17th, bicyling with Brenda in Riverside
  • June 18th, Coronado Beach Run (8.2 miles)
  • July 29th, San Diego Pride Run (5k)
  • Aug 6th, Muddy Buddy in Austin (outdoor 10k)
  • Aug 22nd, Imperial Beach Duathlon (bike/run)

And of course, I keep adding things, so it looks like a busy summer, indeed!

Friday, June 2, 2006

And Finally, Friday...

This week has been extremely frustrating. I have been yelling at my computer screen every day, sometimes from reading the news and other times just from my job. But, today is Friday, and I can now look forward to a great weekend.

My friends Tim and Sue are visiting from Phoenix, and they brought their son, Devon. They are only here through Sunday, so we will have a pretty busy couple of days. Tomorrow morning I am diving with Ric and Grant, and then I am joining Tim and Sue and other friends for a 30 mile bike ride around Coronado Bay. Later, we will all meet back up at Cocina D. Sanchez, a delicious restaurant just up the street from our house.

We have no definite plans for Sunday, yet, but I imagine there will be some sightseeing and a trip to the beach. No matter what we do, it will be nice to hang out with friends and wind down from the week.

This Is Leadership? (Part II)

What is on my mind today?

  • Murder charges against Marines for their actions in Haditha
  • Additional massacre allegations from Iraq
  • Iran's defiant nuclear stance
  • Hurricane season starting (and no one is ready)
  • National Guard troops deploying to the California border
And what is the most pressing issue, according to President Bush?
"Forget the rest of the world. We have to make sure those evil homosexuals don't ruin our institution of marriage."

He will promote a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on Monday, the eve of a scheduled Senate vote on the cause that is dear to his conservative backers.

Yep, despite the general concensus that this bill has ZERO chance of getting the 67 votes it needs in the Senate, let alone ratification by 2/3 of the states, the President thinks that it is important enough to merit his attention.

Idiot.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Bush - Callous and Out of Touch

Just when I thought I had seen, heard, and read everything shocking about President Dubya Bush, along comes another story that makes me want to scream.

Some background first, to set the tone. In March 2004, the President attended the White House Correspondents Dinner. There, they showed a “humorous” video of Bush in the Oval Office, searching high and low for Weapons of Mass Destruction. “Maybe they are here,” said the President, as he looked under furniture and behind doors.” I am sure the search for missing WMDs is far less amusing to the families of the Soldiers and Marines killed looking for them.

And recently, when asked by a German newspaper reporter what his most memorable moment was since becoming President, Bush responded with “catching a large fish.” Yes, a fish. Forget all of the moments of history – the 9/11 Memorial Services, “Mission Accomplished,” the images from Hurricane Katrina that we can never forget. Nope, catching a fish on his lake in Crawford is his most memorable moment.

With that in mind, I should not be surprised by the news of his actions on the evening of 9/11. And I am not surprised, really. Disgusted is a better word. In an interview given to Ladies Home Journal in 2003, the Bush family described what happened to them on 9/11. In their own words, they described the day as ending “on a humorous note.”

Reading the details of this story make me sick. I know that I was glued to the television all day and night, watching in horror and with disbelief as the death toll was projected to be 10,000 or higher. I was awake long into the morning hours, unable to look away from what was happening in New York and at the Pentagon.

And what was the President thinking? Well, at 10:00pm he was ready for bed, but concerned about not being able to sleep in his own room. His exact words, according to the interview?

And I said no, I can't sleep down there, the bed didn't look comfortable. I was really tired, Laura was tired, we like our own bed. We like our own routine.

Well, why let something like a devastating terrorist attack on American soil affect your routine? And read on through the article, where he describes the day as ending on a laugh. I don’t know about you, but laughing was the last thing I could imagine doing after watching the events of 9/11 unfold.

I could write forever about how truly disconnected and out of touch this President is, but why? His actions and comments say more about him than I ever could.