Monthly Archives: September 2014

Lies of the Devil Talkers

Pastor Manning is once again misquoting the Bible to bash gay people.
Pastor Manning is once again misquoting the Bible to bash gay people.
Let’s all heave a big sigh, because Pastor Manning and his church sign are at it again.

This week the sign says, “When the homos bullied the poor and needy in Sodom like they do in Harlem, Jesus fire and brim-stoned them,” and then cites three Biblical passages: Ezekial 16:48-50, Leviticus 20:13, and Genesis 19:24-? – the last one is cut off, as it doesn’t quite fit into the lit up part of the sign.

The first thing to note about these Bible verses is that all of them are in the Old Testament, where Jesus does not appear, as he hadn’t been born yet, and is not the person speaking. One could argue that it might not have been the intent of the Pastor to imply that Jesus is being quoted in those verses, but given the context of why this sign is saying this particular message now (which I will get to), that argument is wrong. So, the first lie in the sign is the notion that Jesus said anything about homosexuals at all. Jesus did not at any point at all in the Bible.

So, what do those verses actually say? Continue reading Lies of the Devil Talkers

…and a sonic screwdriver!

A whole bunch of people joined us for a birthday dinner.
A whole bunch of people joined us for a birthday dinner. I’m the weirdo in the stocking cap waving at the camera. (Click to embiggen)
So I had a good birthday.

On the day itself, Michael left two presents for me to find while I was getting ready to go to work: a polo shirt with the Tardis embroidered on it, and the War Doctor’s sonic screwdriver. There was also a very sweet card that made me a bit teary-eyeed. He knows me so well! When I got home from work there was a much sillier card, and two more presents: a string of Tardis lights (we might end up doing another science fiction themed Christmas tree, at this rate), and in a plot twist I didn’t see coming, a pair of Princess Bride pint beer glasses.

It's a sonic screwdriver? Need a lot of shelves put up?
It’s a sonic screwdriver! Need a lot of shelves put up?
Then we walked up to my favorite restaurant for dinner. As often happens there, they gave me extra full glasses of wine. Both of my favorite waitresses were there. I had learned last year when we had my birthday dinner there that one of the waitresses has her birthday the day before mine, so I got to wish her a happy birthday. Even though I didn’t have room for dessert, they insisted I take home a slice of chocolate cake.

I had invited a bunch of our friends to meet us at AFK Tavern (where so many of our group outings happen) on Saturday afternoon. Since I needed to make reservations before everyone had time to let me know whether they would be there, I had to guess. We wound up with three more people than my upper-end guesstimate, so you will notice in the first picture we’re a bit squeezed in.

IMG_3167I had a lot of fun. This was the first time at AFK for Julie, Julie’s Mike, Jon, Sheryl, Chuck, and Mark, I believe. I only had three Fluttershy Mai Tais, plus a pint of Swill (which is actually a really delicious ale).

We were there about four hours.

IMG_0825I got a bunch of presents. A cool plant (which is going into the office, I think; I’ve had a window for over a year and keep saying I need a plant or two, so here goes!), a set of Tardis & Dalek salt & pepper shakers, the Firefly edition of Clue (which I didn’t even know existed!), a Seahawks stocking cap, two pairs of dark maroon/purple fuzzy socks (in men’s size!), iTunes gift card, not to mention some really cool cards.

IMG_3165My big present from Michael is still on its way. After years of me being unsuccessful at finding a Smith-Corona Silent-Super model manual typewriter in pink with white keys (sometimes called the “Easter Edition”) that was in at a price I could afford or had not already sold to someone else, he found one. It’s not in pristine condition, but the place that sells it does a lot of manual typewriter restorations and has a good reputation, so when they say it is in working order, that they’ve cleaned and serviced it, et cetera, I believe them.

I had a great time. I was so glad that so many folks could join us.

It was a fantastic birthday!

Trying to maintain

Ray unpacking after we moved into our second apartment.
Ray unpacking after we moved into our second apartment.
If Ray had lived, today would be his fiftieth birthday. Unfortunately, Ray died when he was 33. I try to maintain a good perspective on it. A bit more than three years before, the doctors had said he had maybe 6 months to 2 years to live. He’d beaten their expectations. It hadn’t been pleasant for him. There had been surgery, chemotherapy, and various side effects of various drugs.

When we’d met, he’d been this tall, thin (skinny, really) grinning goofball with a mop of curly hair usually dyed in multiple colors. As his illness had destroyed his lung tissue and caused painful lesions to erupt on his bones, making movement ever more difficult and painful, he’d gained weight and lost all that manic energy. The chemo didn’t make all of his hair fall out, but it got very, very thin, and he hated how it looked. The pain had slaved his sleep schedule to his pain pills. During that last year he would take his pain pills, wait for them to kick in enough to let him sleep for a couple of hours, then wake up and try to occupy himself for about four hours until he could take his next dose, sleep for two more hours, wake up and wait, et cetera.

Continue reading Trying to maintain

Friday Links (birthday bash edition)!

Surprised-Cat-Popped-BalloonIt’s Friday! The final Friday in September, in fact! Don’t forget, September birthdays are extra special, because September babies are superior. It’s a fact. No, really.

Okay, okay, it’s possible I’m not completely objective about this. It is true that this week I ceased to be prime. My age, which last week was a prime number of years, is now a number that is divisible by 2, and also by 3 several times. But enough about that!

Anyway, in honor of this final Friday in the glorious month of September, here is a collection of news and other things that I ran across over the course of the week which struck me as worthy of being shared:

Is it actually ironic? 3 TED-Ed Lessons on irony. Three great videos. I embed the first one below.

A Neo-Nazi Is Running For The Kentucky Senate On The Slogan ‘With Jews We Lose’.

46 Years Later, Owner to Get Stolen Jaguar Back.

Absurd Creature of the Week: The Parasitic Worm That Turns Snails Into Disco Zombies.

Do You Suspect That Right-Wing Trolls Are Psychopaths? You’re Correct (Video).

Hatred and Bigotry: It’s All They Have Left.

Banned Books Week: Why Gay Characters Matter.

New Horizons Spies Pluto’s Tiny Moon Hydra.

Neil Gaiman: ‘Terry Pratchett isn’t jolly. He’s angry’.

Denver Area Students Walk Out Of School In Protest.

Up to half of Earth’s water is older than the sun.

7 Gadgets Rosetta Is Sending To the Surface of the Comet.

The 12 Weirdest Reasons For Banning Science Fiction and Fantasy Books.

John Oliver’s takedown of Miss America boosts donations to women’s scholarships.


A Look Back At Bisexuality Studies And Their Weird, Troubling History.


Pat Robertson: Genocide Commanded By God Totally Different From Genocide Commanded By Allah.

‘The Roosevelts:’ Ken Burns Closets Eleanor, Disappears FDR’s Gay Sex-Entrapment Scandal in the Navy.

Limbaugh’s decision to publicize the personal information of volunteers who encourage his sponsors to drop his show highlights his fears over bleeding sponsors, stations dropping him.

Ignore the typos, also, NSFW: UPDATED: Fleshlight should sponsor the NFL since Proctor and Gamble won’t.

Ig Nobels: British researchers take coveted science humour prize.

New Study Favors Quantum Mind: Quantum coherence in brain protein resembles plant photosynthesis.

Somepony Else’s Friends.

Oh, bi the way….

Feeling lucky.

Situational irony: The opposite of what you think – Christopher Warner:

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Adrian Peterson, Child Abuse, and the NFL:

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The Physics of Space Battles:

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

iPhone 6 Plus vs 6 vs 5S vs 5C vs 5 vs 4S vs 4 vs 3Gs vs 3G vs 2G Speed Comparison Test (half the fun of the video is watching all those hands working the phones at once):

Feeling lucky

Some mornings I wake up, it’s dark, the clock radio may have started playing NPR’s Morning Edition, which means the alarm will be going off soon. Which does not fill me with joy, because I’m never quite ready to wake up and get out of bed.

But about then my husband comes back into the bedroom. He goes into work earlier than I do, needing to leave before my alarm even goes off. Anyway, he walks into the room, he may turn on the lights because he’s looking for something, or he may just need to grab one thing. The important thing is he walks into the room, and a fun thing happens.

I remember that I’m married to that man.

It’s not like I have amnesia or something, but there’s a part of me that is always pleasantly surprised to remember that I’m not alone. Not only am I not alone, but I have the best husband in the world. He’s smart. He’s funny. He’s sweet. He’s cute. He’s sexy. He’s very practical. One of my friends once described Michael as the most capable person he’s ever known. He can fix things—all kinds of things!—and he likes doing it. He can take a pile of fresh vegetables and turn it into several very neat piles of very nicely sliced vegetables in the amount of time a normal person would spend deciding which knife to use. He cooks. He cleans. He puts up with me (not exactly the easiest person to get along with). He puts up with all my weird hobbies and projects. He’s cheerful, even after living with me for over 16 years. His response to any disaster is not, “how can I fix this,” but rather, “I have a plan to deal with this.”

And did I mention that he’s sexy?

As if having this wonderful man in my life wasn’t already more good fortune than I deserve, my life has also been graced with a large assortment of wonderful friends. It’s hard to know where to begin, but here goes: Continue reading Feeling lucky

Oh, bi the way…

BiWeek Featured ImageI often quote the study completed by the Centers for Disease control in the early 90s whose conclusions included the line, “Americans would rather admit to being heroin addicts than being bisexual.” So I am hardly the first person to notice that bisexual visibility is fraught. As one friend said, “My orientation is bisexual, but my temperament is monogamous, then I fell in love with a man, and there’s just no natural moment to mention to your future in-laws, ‘oh, by the way, I’m bisexual.'” Later, when we were both members of the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Chorus, she said the chorus finally gave her a way bring it up with many people as she would try to sell tickets to the concerts. “No, you don’t have to be gay or lesbian to sing in the group, we’ve had a few straight members. But I’m not one of them.”

Most of the bi people I know (or I should say, most of the people I happen to know are bisexual) have wound up in long-term opposite-sex relationships. Just as a matter of statistics, there are more straight people, so the number of potential partners who happen to be opposite sex is much larger than the number who are same-sex. Some bi people, like my husband, end up in long-term relationships with same-sex partners. That same CDC study I mentioned earlier found that about one-third of people who self-identify as gay are actually bisexual, but keep quiet about it.

Because society—even folks who think of themselves as enlightened—assumes that people will settle down as part of a couple, when you do get into a long term relationship, colleagues and acquaintances assume they can infer your orientation. If you wind up with an opposite-sex partner and they are aware of any of your previous same-sex relationships, they assume it was an experimental phase. If you wind up with a same-sex partner and they are aware of any of your opposite-sex relationships, they assume you were in denial.

And gay people like me who actually did try to convince ourselves that maybe we weren’t really gay but actually bi don’t help your cause. Because there was a time when I described myself as bi, and because many gay people do that as part of their own coming out process, a lot of people assume that’s what everyone who describes themselves as bi is doing. For which I apologize.

I do know that the only way to decrease the stigma of being bisexual is to be out. Just as the only thing that has made people warm to the notion of gay and lesbian rights was for more and more of us to be out to our families, friends, neighbors, and colleagues, that’s what it’s going to take for bisexuals. Yes, it’s scary. But being open and honest is very liberating.

So, come out, come out, wherever you are!

Somepony Else’s Friends

I wore this t-shirt, featuring camping unicorns (Campy-corns!) to this year's Pride Parade and Festival.
I love this t-shirt, featuring camping unicorns (Campy-corns!)!
As the song says, sometimes you just want to go where everyone knows your name. Sometimes, you just want to hang out with friends in an environment where you can kick back, be yourself, and not worry that people are judging what you say and do. That’s one of the reasons that those of us who are really into things such as Doctor Who or Stargate SG-1, or My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, or Magic User’s Club attend conferences dedicated to our favorite movie/book/series and hang out with other fans.

It’s a lot of fun.

It’s especially fun when our involvement in a particular enthusiasm is new. One of the reasons why is that when we first discover a new book or series or band that we really like, often most of our existing friends have never heard of it. And we may try to get them interested, and it doesn’t grab them quite the way it does us. And we may think that maybe this new thing isn’t as cool as we think it is, or maybe worry that we’re boring our friends. So if we then find some people who are as enthusiastic as we are about the new thing, we suddenly feel validated. “Yes! I’m not alone!”

But the sweet spot is where we have found a new thing, found new people who seem nice and like this new thing as much as we do, and where at least some of our closest friends also like this new thing as much as us. That’s a win-win-win!

Sometimes that triple-win can be misleading. Let me explain… Continue reading Somepony Else’s Friends

Grotesque can be elegant

Font names can be very misleading. Say the word ‘gothic’ to most people, and they think of large, imposing old houses with lots of gables, or people dressed all in black with lots of skulls and other symbols of death and horror on their jewelry. And if you search on Gothic Fonts you will be pointed to a lot of fonts that look like this:

What most people think a gothic font looks like.
What most people think a gothic font looks like.
But a typographer or design person will look at that font and say, “That isn’t gothic at all! That’a a blackletter font!” To be fair, Blackletter fonts were originally designed to match the handwritten script of medieval scribes, and that style of handwriting was called “gothic script” to distinguish it from other medieval writing styles, such as Carolingian miniscule, but that style of font is known as blackletter. If you are going to call those sorts of letters gothic, you should say “gothic script.”

Continue reading Grotesque can be elegant

Sunday Funnies, part 7

Another in my series of posts recommending web comics that I think more people should read:

dm100x80I’m a big fan of “Deer Me,” by Sheryl Schopfer. This artist is also a friend. I have previously described this strip as: “Three roommates who couldn’t be more dissimilar while being surprisingly compatible.” Except in a recent story line Thomas has moved out! Eeek! Currently, the strip has traveled back in time to the high school days of one of the aforementioned roommates. This week’s strip is strangely reminiscent of my desktop wallpaper… oh, wait, that might be because it’s by the same artist and has a similar theme.

In any case, if you enjoy Deer Me, you can support the artist by going to her Patreon Page!

I’ve long been a fan of: “Mr. Cow,” by Chuck Melville… and not just because the artist is a friend! A clueless cow with Walter Cronkite dreams presides over a barnyard of a newsroom. Or just showing him reading ridiculous news that is funny because the real news isn’t any more logical.

And if you like Mr. Cow, you can support the artist by going to his Patreon Page. Also, can I interest you in a Mr. Cow Mug?

5980668This weeks’ “Girls With Slingshots” by Danielle Corsetto speaks especially to me. “Girls with Slingshots” features a large cast of characters facing the trials and tribulations of every day life. The story arcs are well written, without being outlandish or melodramatic, and tend to focus on a small numbers of characters in each. It’s a great, funny series.

And I love this impish girl thief with a tail and her reluctant undead sorcerer/bodyguard: “Unsounded,” by Ashley Cope.

The_Young_Protectors_HALF_BANNER_OUTSIDE_234x601The Young Protectors begins when a young, closeted teen-age superhero who has just snuck into a gay bar for the first time is seen exiting said bar by a not-so-young, very experienced, very powerful, super-villain. Trouble, of course, ensues.

12191040If you want to read a nice, long graphic-novel style story which recently published its conclusion, check-out the not quite accurately named, The Less Than Epic Adventures of T.J. and Amal by E.K. Weaver. I say inaccurate because I found their story quite epic (not to mention engaging, moving, surprising, fulfilling… I could go on). Some sections of the tale are Not Safe For Work, as they say, though she marks them clearly. The complete graphic novels are available for sale in both ebook and paper versions, by the way.

Good news, and good news

So often what I wind up putting in Friday Links is bad news, outraging news, and so forth. The Tonight Show rounds up real news anchors to read things we’d all like to hear about on the news for a change. I’ve Got Good News and Good News:

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Meanwhile, the ASAPScience guys finally settle the question, which is better for health reasons, drying your hands with paper towels or an air blower. Paper Towel vs Hand Dryers:

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And those scientists who built the small underwater robot that mimics swimming motions to maneuver and not scare off sea life have made some improvements: Octobot uses webbed arms to swim faster. There’s a short video in the story!