Monthly Archives: January 2014

Arguing with numbers

freedomtomarry.org
Things change. (Click to embiggen)
Just a couple of weeks ago, a spokesperson for another one of the anti-gay hate groups out there (I don’t remember whether it was the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, or National Organization for Marriage, or American Family Association, or Coalition of Conscience, or Focus on the Family, or Public Advocate of the United States, or Abiding Truth Ministries… I just can’t keep up with them all!) was on someone’s program repeating the claim that the vast majority of Americans oppose Marriage Equality. Just as only a few months ago a different guy was on another program insisting that “every time this question has been put to the voters, they have rejected it!” Both of them are apparently in deep denial of the fact that polls in the middle of last year showed that now a clear majority of Americans support extended full legal marriage to same sex couples, and more than two-thirds approve of civil unions or marriage. And they seem to be in deep denial of the four states that did not reject marriage equality when put to a vote of the people in 2012.

Now, only three of those four states approved ballot measures enacting marriage equality, while the fourth state rejected a constitutional ban on such marriage by a good margin. But a healthy majority of votes refusing to ban same sex marriage certainly falls into the category of “not rejecting” marriage equality.

So why do they keep arguing…? Continue reading Arguing with numbers

Friday Links!

www.chuckleaduck.com
That would explain the aim… (Click to embiggen)
It’s Friday, already? Well, here’s a collection of news and other things that struck me as worthy of being shared:

Sherlock and the Adventure of the Overzealous Fanbase, or Whose wankfest is this anyway?.

“Saving Mr. Banks” Erases P.L. Travers’ Queer Identity, Misses Amazing Opportunity.

Man Poses as Woman on Online Dating Site; Barely Lasts Two Hours.

Op-ed: What Is Hollywood Still So Scared Of?.

Why Do Poor White Folks Vote Republican? Dog-Whistle Politics Explained.

Photo of gay black couple & their children causes twitter freakout.

Duck down! ‘Duck Dynasty’ returns to lower ratings after controversy. Maybe there is such a thing as bad press?

Animated map of what would happen to the Seattle area if all of the world’s ice sheets melted. Note that this worst-case scenario would take millenia to transpire, so we still have some time…

Robert Downey, Jr sings a duet with Sting… and it’s good!

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

King’s Road (a capella group) has a new music video out:

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And Chris Salvatore’s video made me reach for a tissue…

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Too close to home

SuperStock.com
Not all natural habitats are equal.
My current “pocket book” is a memoir by a gay man who, like me, was raised in a very evangelical fundamentalist family. I’d read reviews of the book when it first came out, and they all emphasized his humorous recollection of often painful situations. Then just before Christmas, the author was a guest on a podcast I listen to, and the host mentioned the book again, repeating the hilarity of his approach to the topic.

And I was just wrapping up another book and thinking I would need to download a new e-book to my phone to be the next “pocket” book. So guess what book I bought?

I didn’t start reading it right way. Once I finished my previous book, I started listening to audiobooks of various holiday favorites during my usual read on the bus time. So I just started reading it this week.

So far, it’s been too painful to be funny.

Continue reading Too close to home

Each canvas a world

culturecat.com
“Just let me finish this scene…”
My friend, Barb, who can write circles around me, more than occasionally writes about the process of writing. She’s doing a meme this month answering questions from her followers, and she recently posted a combined answer to a question from me and one from Lyrstzha. Her explanations are great, as always, but as I read her response to the question, “The difference in process between writing a stand-alone fic and writing a whole universe?” I realized that my answer would be a lot different.

For me, there is no difference between how I write a stand-alone story or a long series of stories set in a single universe. That’s because in one sense, I never see any story as a stand-alone, even if I never write any sequels, prequels, or stories otherwise set in the same universe…

Continue reading Each canvas a world

Bad at herding myself

Kitten falling asleep on an Apply keyboard.
I haven’t had a lot of energy lately.
Coming down with the bad cold that’s been going around a bit over a week ago really messed up my schedule. Besides having to cancel several planned events with friends, taking some sick time and working from home a few extra days, I haven’t had a lot of energy. Some nights I’ve had trouble sleeping. Even when I don’t, I just haven’t had much energy. On those nights that I don’t conk out shortly after dinner, I wind up staring at the computer attempting to write and not getting a lot done.

So, for instance, when I wrote and scheduled the post called, “I don’t mean to be a jerk, part 1,” I had the opening sentences of a related part 2 post sitting in the draft queue. Continue reading Bad at herding myself

Reverend Tutsia

"La, la, laaaaaaaaaaa!"
“La, la, laaaaaaaaaaa!”
I’ve always been a big fan of music, though throughout my teens and early twenties, I could seldom afford to buy all the music I wanted to own and listen to whenever I wanted. Streaming music didn’t exist back then, so if you didn’t own a particular record, you were dependent on the whims of local radio stations. So we came up with various ways to work around that. We might record a favorite track off the radio. Or we might borrow the album from a friend and “just until I can afford it,” make a tape of it (and we fully expected when a friend borrowed an album from us, they were doing the same thing).

That’s one reason I spent a rather large part of my late 30s buying CDs of old albums from previous decades. I really did want to own a legitimate copy, send a few royalties toward the musicians whose work I had loved so much. That’s also one reason, since going digital, that I regularly scroll through online music stores looking for re-releases of albums recorded 30 or more years ago.

One consequence of those can’t-afford-music years is that I often didn’t know or remember the titles of a lot of songs I listened to. I had a bad habit of not writing down the track names when I made a copy of a tape. My favorite tracks on a particular album I would know the titles, but several of the other songs I would wind up thinking of as “that song right after X” or I might pick a phrase that was repeated that might sound like a title.

And then, of course, there are the misheard lyrics… Continue reading Reverend Tutsia

Friday Links!

It’s Friday, here’s a collection of news and other things that struck me as worthy of being shared:

Senate candidate has been ‘jailed repeatedly’.

An Honorable Last Wish For A Dying Marine. 58 years after being kicked out for being gay, dying Marine receives his honorable discharge.

NOM’s Slide Into Oblivion And Other Political Predictions For 2014.

Time-like loops and indeterminate particles: Cloning quantum information from the past.

And if that wasn’t enough physics for you: Life is a Braid in Spacetime: How to see yourself in a world where only math is real.

What I Learned From the Liberal Arts. I must say, I and one of my English professors at SPU had even less kind things to say about literary criticism.

The iPad Is A Solved Design Problem. Yep!

Marco Rubio Accidentally Made A Good Argument For Gay Marriage. I was going to make a broken-clock reference, but he isn’t even aware of what he said, so…

Why are we talking about a Traffic Jam from September:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

The Simpson have some anime whimsey:

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The ASAPScience guys answer the question, “Can being cold make you sick?”

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This is a cool (and a bit scary) optical illusion:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

The jerk in the closet

A lynx in the snowy woods, barely visible.
Can you spot the lynx?
I spent a huge amount of time in elementary school, middle school, and high school trying to blend in. Sometimes I just wished I could be invisible, and that no one would notice me at all. Other times I tried to act like the people that the other kids seemed to like.

It was always worst right after we moved. My father’s job in the oil fields resulted in me attending ten different elementary schools in four different states. And at each new school it was never long before some of the kids (and occasionally some of the teachers) were teasing, harassing, or outright bullying me for being a sissy, pussy, or fag. Most of the times those words were hurled around in the lower grades, no one was literally accusing me of homosexuality. All they meant was I didn’t act like a “normal” boy.

In middle school it was a bit different. For one thing, everyone’s hormones were going crazy. In elementary school most of the normal boys had thought girls were icky (and one of the ways I kept being abnormal was I always got along better with the girls than most of the boys), but suddenly those same boys were trying to find a girlfriend. And the insults changed. Now “pussy” was the nicest thing any of the other boys or male teachers called me.

It’s not that they ever caught me in flagrante delicto. Well, except one bully. Though “caught” isn’t the right word. But I’ll get back to him…

Continue reading The jerk in the closet

I don’t mean to be a jerk, part 1

Dinosaurs roaring at each other.
What big teeth I have.
Several weeks before Christmas, my aunt sent me an oddly worded text message, “Hi. I need your email so I can send you and mike somewhat of an informative form to fill out and send back please.” It had that stilted construction that makes you think of someone who is not a native english speaker using something like google translate to compose a message, almost, right? Like from a phishing attack.

So for a second I wondered if my aunt had gotten malware on her phone or something. I sent back a message asking if she needed both our email addresses or just mine, along with a comment about our weather and asking how hers was. My intent was to make sure that she had meant to send me that message before I did anything else. When she answered she said never mind, she had found the information.
Continue reading I don’t mean to be a jerk, part 1

I hate head colds

Kitten in a blanket.
I just want to stay under the covers.
For years I tended to only catch a couple colds each winter, but the last several years I’ve been coming down with more.

I know when my husband’s job changed to combine both running around in a cold warehouse and interacting with random members of the public a lot that the number of colds he started catching went way up. But I think the workplace I moved to in 2008 contributes, as well. At my previous employer, most of us had our own offices. My current employer has a more typical arrangement of a small number of employees with offices, and the rest of us in a sea of cubicles. Even though most cold viruses are passed by hand-to-hand contact (and indirect hand-to-hand contact), some increased exposure happens with people more densely packed in.

Based on some anecdotal evidence of how what seems to be the same cold passed through their family, this one’s incubation time would make my most likely point of catching it at the Seahawks game I attended last weekend.

Regardless… Continue reading I hate head colds