Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Debate Hangover...

Why do I put myself through this?  This should have been an easy one to let slip by.  It was on Bloomberg for God's sake!  That channel is nowhere near CNN, ESPN, HGTV, or the Food Network.  How did I even find it?  Wait - it get's worse.  I even had it playing on all three televisions in the house - just to make sure I wouldn't miss anything - plus it was being taped on two of those televisions.  (Your question as to why a household of three people needs three televisions will have to wait for another post.)

A table full of empty suits and one skirt (all with nice hair though - except for Gingrich) should be enough to not warrant my attention.  No such luck.  They could all teach a class on how to LIE and DISTORT.  Romney can criticize Obama's healthcare plan with a lie about it affecting all people - when in fact it only affects the uninsured.  Once again people - if you like your current insurance plan and physician, you can keep it!  Those who want to say that their healthcare premiums rose because of attention.  Your insurance company wants you to think that but your rates have been going up each year since way before Obama got involved.  They would have gone up again without this healthcare bill.  Ours went up at just about the same percentage as it did in the past 5 years.  But keep believing those letters you get in the mail if it makes you feel better.  Facts are never fun.  And the bit about "tax increases" since Obama took office.  Really?  Where and on whom?  Once again - Facts people.  Deal with them.

Did anyone else catch the line from Santorum about wanting a "war with China"?  Of course he was talking about a "trade" war - but come on Rick - do you really think that is a wise thing to say?  I'm sure Donald Trump liked it though.

I know I'm supposed to pile on to Rick Perry - but it's just too easy.  Not even going to go into specifics about his debate performance.  He looks like a Ken doll up there - and that's all he's got.  Oh - other than blaming Obama for everything that's ever happened in the history of the Universe.  One quick mention about the Christian/Mormon/Cult/Robert Jeffress flap.  Are we really surprised that a Baptist minister believes that Mormonism is a cult?  No.  Do we also believe that Rick Perry did not know that this man was going to bring this issue up?  Another No!  Of course he knew it - and loved it!  As for whether I believe it's a cult...I pretty much believe that they both are...but I won't digress.

Perhaps the favorite moment from last night to me didn't occur actually until today.  Herman Cain (worth his own future post) mentioned his great economics adviser.  Rich Lowrie.  Who?  Exactly what I was thinking.  He is a Wells Fargo branch employee with some volunteer advisor hours under his belt with some conservative groups.  I drove glass bottom boats one summer almost 35 years ago.  That doesn't make me a ship's captain.|+OTB%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

I was looking forward to Glee afterwards - but it wasn't on.  And I didn't think it could have gotten any worse.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

More scary people

Joel Osteen and his wife (Victoria/Vickie/whatever) were on Piers Morgan tonight.  This man somehow manages to draw thousands to his "church" on Sunday mornings.  Are people so desperate for some type of spiritual connection that they will resort to these caricatures?

I think their fake smiles have some type of telekinetic power that is transferred through the television screen and forces people to watch them.  It worked with me because I wasted almost an hour of my life watching and listening.
Surprisingly, they said they would attend a same-sex wedding if they were invited as a show of "respect".  Of course they also said it's a "sin".  So let me get this straight (no pun intended).  They think a same-sex relationship is a "sin" but they would go to a same-sex wedding as a show of "respect".

Do these people listen to what comes out of their mouths?  They are incoherent.  Come on people - believe in something - or don't.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Not a good look for a President

Chris Christie is playing with the media - and they love him for it.  He is giving them something to speculate about - and that is what mainstream media loves to do.  His name is mentioned daily as a potential GOP candidate for President.  Can you imagine what that must do to an ego when you hear your name mentioned as a possible Presidential candidate?  It's probably a little better than being the doctor accused of murdering Michael Jackson - but that's a different post.

Anyway - without going into the strengths and weaknesses of Christie's political positions, let's get straight to the point.  The man is huge.  I don't mean he's overweight for his body type.  I mean he's obese and we can't have that for a President of the United States of America.

Here's a little speculation for you - and it's not coming from the mainstream media.  He's just testing the waters now to get his name out there (and thus succeeding).  He will then embark on some serious medical weight reduction program and we get to listen to him all over again beginning in 2015.

You heard it here first - and I didn't even take a poll.

Monday, September 26, 2011

an even better blog...

Because you might actually learn something...Kevin's new blog

It's been too long...

I'm still here.  No need to continue the clamoring for this blog's return.  It's back!

I've been trying to formulate some profound rambling on the issue of the repeal of DADT.  ('bout time)  I find myself beginning to type and the blood pressure rising with each keystroke.  It's difficult to know where to even begin with this issue - but maybe it's just too simple and I'm only thinking it's difficult.

It really came to the forefront for me last week during the Republican debate (and I'm using the term "debate" very loosely here.).  You've all seen the video by now - or maybe you saw it in real time like I did.  The active duty soldier (who happened to by gay) raises the question about a "repeal" of the repeal.  Rick Santorum proceeds to go off on some tangent that wasn't even coherent.  A reasonable translation of his response was that he wants a completely "celibate" military.  At least that's what you have to figure he's saying when he states that the military is no place for sexual activity.  Huh?  Hey Rick - people aren't joining the military to have sex!  Gay or Straight!  It was typical Rick Santorum.  He's a walking cartoon character for leadership in the Republican party.

The booing of the soldier (is that how you spell it?) was further proof of what the Republican party is all about.  Not one of the candidates on the stage slammed their fists on the lecterns to state their disgust with that behavior from the audience.  And why should they?  They weren't disgusted with it.  They actually liked it.  Pitiful!

But speaking of sexual activity in the military...just a little anecdote from me.  I served 8 years.  (No - not kicked out for being gay.  Got out because I saw the writing on the wall...but I've digressed.)  I saw no evidence of gay sexual activity during that time period.  (since then I've learned it did go on.  I just wasn't very observant.)  I did however notice more than average amounts of adultery (which is also against military law.  or at least it was while I was in.)  It was almost expected activity for air crew members to have a "good time" while on TDY (temporary duty - normally far away from home/wives).  Where was Rick Santorum during all of this?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Post Labor Day - Pre First Day of Kindergarten

Not that they are related or anything...just thought it made for a title that was more than three words.

We spent the Labor Day weekend in Black Butte (the "ranch" I mentioned previously).  Great weather, setting, views, food, hiking, biking, swimming, and friends.  I think I would have to say it was the perfect long weekend - especially since our hosts did all of the cooking.  Thanks again hosts!

Do you think Rick Perry is still wanting Texas to secede from the U.S.?  I'm sure he'll be happy to accept any support he can get from that horrible federal government to assist with all of the problems created by the incredible wildfires in his state right now.  I guess he forgot to pray away any upcoming fires in his recent prayer rally.  (in fact one of the reasons for the rally was to pray for rain).  uh - Hello?  Shouldn't this tell him something?

Kindergarten starts on Thursday.  'bout time!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Only 13 more to go

I'm a sappy kind of guy - but I never know what is going to bring on the sappiness.  I can name at least one thing that I'm not sappy about.  Going from pre-school to kindergarten does nothing to me emotionally.

I've heard more than several comments the last few weeks from parents regarding their heart strings being tugged by little "insert kid's name here" leaving pre-school to move on to kindergarten.  Maybe I'm immune to it because Caden's kindergarten classrooms are in the same building as his pre-school rooms.  I'm sure that moving from one building to another - that might even be a distance away from each other is more noticeable.  But come on people - it's really not that big of a deal.

I can see the move from middle school to high school being much more traumatic for me.  Knowing that this transition represents the four remaining years of having to make sure he is up and out the door by a certain time will surely cause a little more angst.

Pre-school to Kindergarten? - let's get this movie started.  Please - Now!

On another note...we're off to Black Butte Ranch in central Oregon with friends for the weekend.   Just because I said it's a "ranch" doesn't mean we're going to be branding cattle.  It's more like a big housing development/vacation spot with lakes, swimming pools, bike paths, horseback riding, etc...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

and yet again...

O.K. New York Times.  We get it.  You have a thing for our town - or someone on your staff does.  I assume it's a former Portlander who has figured out that the big city doesn't necessarily have the brightest lights (or that bright lights aren't even necessary).

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Healthy Marriages and Strong Families

The Family Research Council is a dangerous organization - but one that I agree with on one simple matter. They say they believe in "Healthy Marriages and Strong Families".  Duh!  Can you find anyone who doesn't believe that a healthy marriage and family are not good things.
The problem is that they want to define what a healthy marriage and strong family is.!

Notice the scene with the flooded house?  What the hell...?

Why are people still supporting organizations like this?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Just stuff

I've been hesitating to blog about the fiasco represented by the GOP Presidential candidates.  Just way to much stuff to play with there.  I might refer to it as a fiasco - but in reality it's frightening.  The majority of the contenders - and most definitely the poll leaders of the group think that my family should not exist.  That's a deal breaker for me.  I can agree or disagree with you on how we think tax dollars should be spent or the level of our involvement in Libya/Afghanistan/Iraq/Syria...etc.  We can disagree on subsidies to farmers, oil companies, etc...  We can have rational discussions on the future of Social Security and Medicare.

All of that is pointless when you think my son should not be my son - or my partner should not be my partner.  At that point all I see is an Asshole - and nothing else matters.  I will work constantly to let others know what a horrible person Bachmann/Perry/Romney/Gingrich/Cain/Santorum are.  Am I missing anyone?  These people aren't interested in helping run the federal government.  They only care about making statements - and hurting families.

on a completely unrelated note...

Just thought you should know that this town has added another great Brewpub (type place) to the mix.  They don't actually make beer - but it has a little bit of that feel to it.  Very kid friendly - and the food is just as good - if not better - than our other favorite spot (Bridgeport).

Check out Brix Tavern if you get a chance.

and finally...Reason #78 why we live in Portland.
Last night at Kruger's Farm was perfect.  Great seeing old and new friends - with perfect music and weather thrown in the mix.  Tell me again what we were complaining about in April?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My own little Hodge-Podge

Just gonna throw out some random things here.  Do with them what you want...

We went to Texas in July.  Actually - South Texas - during one of their worst heat waves and droughts - EVER!  Going back to the place you grew up in always brings out emotions that provide mixed feelings.  I'm glad that Caden got to spend time with that side of his family.  He is loved and cherished - and that helps take a lot of the stickiness out of the air.  We saw my nephew in the local community theater production of "High School Musical".  Damn - I'm proud of that kid.  He actually called us to make sure we could get some one on one time with him while we were there.  Kinda put a lump in my throat.  Hey Tad - "Get your head in the game"!

Did you see the GOP Presidential candidates debate on Thursday night?  Each one of them said they would not accept a deal that would state - for every $10 in spending cuts - there would be $1 in revenue (in other words - some type of tax increase).  So let me get this straight - they would not be willing to come up with $1 for every $10 in budget cuts?  These people aren't interested in helping to run a government.  It's all about making statements to them.  Disgraceful!

Here's all you really need to know about Rick Perry - as he prepares to announce that he is joining the list of disgraceful candidates for President.

Here's another one - just in case you need it.

just sayin'...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rollin' on the river...

The Columbia River to be exact.  Perfect night in Portland.  I know I haven't given an update on the Texas trip - don't give will happen eventually.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Boehner Math

Hey John...before telling the entire country that you have a plan to solve the debt ceiling crisis - make sure you use a calculator.  Most cell phones have them these days.

Congressional scorekeepers (the ones who actually use calculators) have now told the tan man that his numbers don't add up - thus not even allowing the U.S. House of Reps to vote on his plan.  Could he look any more pathetic?  Are any adults present on his side of the aisle?

They are so obsessed with the "no higher taxes on American families" mantra that they have forgotten that someone in D.C. is actually employed to review their numbers.  I won't rehash their long standing efforts to convince half of the American public that raising taxes minimally on those people making $250,000 and up means that all of Americans will see their taxes raised - because they have already been incredibly successful doing that on their own.  Jeez - people - pay attention!  Oops - went off on that tangent again.

On a non Boehner related note, we returned from a quick trip to Texas this weekend.  More on that later this week.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Headin' to Texas

It's a long way to go for a quick three night visit - but my nephew has the lead role (Troy) in a community theater production of High School Musical.

Caden is excited about the fact that "Troy" wears a basketball uniform for part of the performance.  I think the heat will get his attention first.

Good luck Tad - and "Keep your head in the game"!

DOMA Hearings

I would love to be able to watch this morning on C-Span - but Caden has decided this is the morning we need to be blaring Holiday music throughout the house.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Oh how we forget...

That damn Obama, keeping tax rates so high.  It's just unheard of.

Technical Look at Tax Rates (1913-Present)
click for larger chart

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


The constant mantra (that's one of my favorite words) by Republicans about "taxes" being "job killing" is driving me batty.  You'll notice that they never actually give you a demonstration where they bring out a calculator and use actual numbers to show how the supposed higher taxes will affect the ones being taxed.

I won't get into the weeds about how the tax rates are the lowest they have been in many years - or how the taxes being discussed will only affect the wealthy.  Yes - they will pay a minimal higher percentage than what they are currently paying - but only above a specific amount of income or profits.  Trust me - they won't have to cut down on Starbucks latte's on a weekly basis - nor will they have to reduce their standard of living.  I doubt that many of the three people who read this blog will be affected by any means with Obama's proposals.

CNN has a simple article that addresses what Obama is trying to accomplish.  Sounds reasonable to me.  None of the affected will need to sell their third home in order to keep their kids in boarding school.  If they choose to layoff their landscaping crew - it should be because they want to get some exercise and not for the false premise of not being able to afford it.

I know that the word "tax" carries the burden of fear along with it - but if someone is going to be scared, be scared of something like Boehner/Cantor/Bachmann/Palin/Santorum...etc...  Letting politicians prey on people's unfounded fears is what's frightening.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Another Year

It must be July 11th.  That's the day when people throw out the obligatory birthday wishes to me.  This 52nd one was different for some unknown reason.  The 50th birthday was a non-event mentally and emotionally.  I think we are told by society that the big 50 is so traumatic that anything other than an earthquake on that day makes the reality of it quite subdued.

I've been doing too much thinking lately - about stupid stuff.  My latest thought obsession is thinking about being 98 years old and Caden being 52.  I do expect to live to 98 - since at this time nothing is telling me I shouldn't.  Caden will be the only child of parents who are 98 and 96.  Will he finally be saying, "Damn...why didn't they have more kids so I don't have to take this responsibility on alone"?  Yes - it's absurd for me to be thinking about this now - but it's my blog - as I've mentioned in the past.

You'll notice that I'm not worried about growing old myself - but how it will affect Caden's view of me.  Will he resent us or will he look at it as an honor.  Ha!  I'm hoping for something in between.

In fact I don't even know why I'm concerned about this since he has made clear to us that he is never going to leave home.  Potential problem solved!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Reason #78

It's just another Portland experience that we love and continues to confirm why we live here.  Thursday nights at Kruger's Farm with great friends, food, and music (in that order).

Maybe the 65 degree temperature kept a huge crowd away - but that's what made it so great.  Sun and a cool breeze make for the perfect setting.

Even Farmer Bob wasn't even that annoying.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Casey Anthony

I just don't care - but since I'm a news junkie, I'm forced to observe the Anthony family train wreck.  If you ever think your family is dysfunctional - it isn't.  The Casey family is!

Here's my take.  White toddler girl goes missing and is eventually found dead.  White single mom of more than questionable character doesn't react the way society expects.  Mom becomes prime suspect.  Three years pass before mom goes on trial.  That's enough time to turn her into whatever we want her to represent.

Jury of 12 citizens (not attorneys/not media) listens to months of testimony and evidence from both sides and are told to determine whether mom is guilty of murder (beyond a reasonable doubt).  Twelve strangers picked off the street (sort of) say they cannot make that specific statement.  They heard more than they could possibly digest - and certainly more than I heard.  I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and agree that they made the best decision they could - with the information they had in front of them.

Not guilty is not the same as innocent.  They weren't asked to determine innocence.

Now can someone in the media force us to observe all of the  non-white children that are missing?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Book of Mormon

We saw the musical in NYC today.  Our expectations were high when we went in based on the reviews and awards it had been getting.  I'm always cynical about reviews because I think my review is the only one that counts.

Is "Brilliant" too strong of a word?

And to all of those folks criticizing it because it's "offensive" - without actually having seen it.. Zip It.  Yes - it's adult humor - but not pornographic.  Yes - it uses some dialogue (in song) that consists of four letter words directed towards "God" - and it's frickin' hilarious!

By the end I had tears in my eyes.  (another advantage of being a Gay man...I can put in print that I had tears in my eyes at a Broadway musical).  I think I actually called the ending "Beautiful"...(another word a Gay man can get away with after seeing a Broadway musical).

Did I mention that it's "Brilliant"?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Our doomed society

New York's Catholic Archbishop, Timothy M. Dolan did not have one of his happier Sunday's today.  He says he is "weary".  Oh - the poor man.  All that prayer - and he still came out on the losing end in the same-sex marriage battle.

He also said "I think society and culture is at it's peril".  Really Tim?  Society and Culture is at it's peril?  That's pretty harsh.  Why didn't he just say "the locusts are on their way"?  This is a man who goes to work in a robe and thinks a healthy "society" is one in which women aren't considered equals - so of course he can't allow equality for us gay folk.

Of course he says things like this and not one person that follows him stands up to his face and says, "Shut the Fuck Up - you are embarrassing us and we don't agree with you".

Maybe his God did answer his prayers - just with an answer he wasn't expecting.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Start spreading the news...

Thank you New York.  You couldn't have made it happen any closer to the deadline - but you came through.  Now let's start spreading this movement further west.

Perfect night

We had a great time last night  at Kruger's Farm.  It's been a favorite of ours for the past few years and each time we go it reaffirms our love for this part of the country.  You can actually spend a late June evening outside with a perfect temperature and listen to great music while your kid runs around in the middle of a farm with good friends.  No heat - no humidity - no mosquitos!

I'm always surprised that more people don't show up.  Maybe I should stop advertising it.

On another note...I haven't posted on what's happening in New York regarding same-sex marriage because I'm still waiting to see what happens and it's very frustrating to watch and wait.  We had a similar thing happen a few years ago regarding civil unions here in Oregon.  One individual in the Oregon House of Rep's held up the vote.  We had the overall votes - but she wouldn't let it come to a vote.  Pathetic.  Thank goodness she eventually left.  Yes - Oregon now has civil unions - which don't really amount to much when you get right down to it.  New York is in the same situation.  One committee chairman gets to determine if the vote can even take place in the Senate.  Of course this person won't be affected by same-sex marriage at all - but he sure likes the power he has over other people's lives now.  Maybe by the end of the day - he'll come around.  I'll be back to comment if he does.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

An early breakout

I didn't think we would have this issue for another 8 years or so - but Caden found a way to be an overachiever.

When we were putting in new windows in our basement last year, I remember commenting that they will be perfect for a 13 year old boy to sneak out of at night.  I specifically said "13" and not "5".  I even made sure that he wasn't around when I said it so I wouldn't be giving him ideas.  He obviously came up with the idea on his own.

To be fair - it wasn't even dark outside and he told us that he only did it as a shortcut to the backyard.  The screen in the window is difficult for me to remove.  He obviously didn't need any help getting it out.

I know that even without our lecture that immediately ensued, a pilot light has been ignited in his brain that will be fully flaming as the years move on and he feels the need to make a stealth exit.

His "shortcut to the backyard" excuse won't be as effective in the future.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weekend moments

So I wrote a long tear filled blog post tonight about having an "emotional moment" while dancing with Caden on Saturday afternoon in our living room.  It was so frickin' sappy.  I re-read it and then couldn't delete it fast enough.  I'll try it again - without trying to sound like some wannabe novelist.

Caden and I danced in the living room to the soundtrack of "High School Musical" on Saturday.  It was fun.  Loved it !

There - much better.

I didn't write another sappy one about dinner out that night with great friends - but trust me - it was fun also.

Did I mention that we have tickets to "The Book of Mormon" in NYC next week?  If I didn't - now I have.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Anthony Weiner is seeking treatment.  For what?  He's an Asshole.   We now have "treatment" programs for that affliction?  Shouldn't there be one on every corner?

I missed the GOP debate tonight.  We were out eating mediocre Mexican food instead (which means we could have been at any of the local Mexican restaurants).  I did catch a glimpse of the panel of candidates - or it could have been a Saturday Night Live sketch.  I couldn't tell the difference.

Caden had his last day of pre-school last week.  They didn't have  pre-school graduation ceremony - thank goodness.  They did have a great pot-luck for the kids and parents.  Why aren't all graduations like that?

Caden and I are heading to the beach tomorrow.  Hope we get some sun.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It's just a shirt

I'm sorry Caden.  Oh - you'll get an in person apology when I pick you up from school but thought I might as well say it here first - to make me feel a little better.

This morning you wanted to wear a football jersey to school.  I said "No" because you wore the same shirt two days ago.  The morning didn't go as planned after that.  Tears and yelling ensued - from both of us.  It was pathetic and all my fault.

We could go deep into therapy to get to the bottom of this but suffice it to was my issue...not yours. My lord - I didn't want you wearing a shirt because you had worn it two days prior - and it was clean!  What was that all about?  I don't know - although I think I dug my heels in once I said the initial "No" and was just determined that you weren't going to "win".  That's maturity at it's finest.

Your school doesn't even have a dress code (Thank Goodness).  They only ask that your clothes be clean and not ripped to shreds.  We have that covered.

I normally let you pick out your clothes and you do a fine job.  I'll keep reminding myself of that.

Again - I'm sorry for being an ass about what shirt you wanted to wear today.  I'll make sure you wear it tomorrow - but only if you want to.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

Not a Mormon Slam

The Stepford candidate Mitt Romney has officially entered the 2012 presidential race.  I make no secret about the fact that he makes my skin crawl - and it has nothing to do with his "Mormon" religious belief.  I won't go through my long list of reasons why he makes my skin crawl - you can probably figure them out on your own.

My gripe is with the people who use their "Christian" belief as the reason why they think I shouldn't be allowed to marry the person of my choice - but yet will have no problem casting a vote for Mitt Romney.  Uh - do they even know what Mormon's believe?  The answer is probably no.  I don't have a problem with  Mormon's believing that "Jesus" landed somehow in the good old U S of A - and wandered this great land from sea to shining sea.   After all - I'm all for people believing any myth that suits their interest - as long as they don't want that belief to have some type of hold over my personal life.

I was raised Southern Baptist and the premise of anything like that happening was just not part of the curriculum.  It wasn't in the  King James version of the Bible - so it couldn't have happened - since we were told repeatedly that we had the answer and everything else didn't.

Sorry for digressing...back to the point...

If someone thinks that I shouldn't be allowed to marry the person of my choice because of their "Christian" belief - then that person has to be consistent and say they can't vote for Mitt Romney because he believes and promotes something that they consider to be not "Christian".  You can't have it both ways.  You either believe what you believe - or you don't.

and to my Mormon friends out there - keep believing - just stay out of my personal business.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

ER Visit

Not for Caden though.  Kona had her first emergency room visit tonight.  Oh what the "Google" can make us do.  A small box of raisins left on Caden's floor was discovered by the dog.  She didn't look at them and say "I don't like raisins".  No - she thought they went down fairly well.  The problem can occur after dogs eat said raisins.  Suffice it to say - she has now experienced forced vomiting.  $150 later she arrived home safe and sound.

Trying to calm Caden's concern as to why Daddy had to rush his dog to the vet at 8 PM, his immediate response was a little colder than I expected.
"If she dies, can we get another dog?"

Glad all has turned out well since I wasn't interested in getting another dog.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Best Intentions

Really - they were.  I had it all planned out.  I was going to write each night while in bed.  That was the point of the super light-weight computer.  It's like air sitting on my lap.  Typing out drivel each evening would be easy.  Ha!

As Caden reads these posts years from now, I hope he figures out that just because I wasn't writing every day, I still had interesting thoughts in my head.

The weekend here was busy.   Friday was a no-school day and I took Caden and a friend to see Kung Fu Panda 2.  It might be hard to believe - but you don't have to have seen Kung Fu Panda 1 to get the gist of the storyline in the sequel.   A birthday party for a 3 year old was on Saturday.  The highlight of the party for Caden were 5 baby chicks that the parents of the birthday girl now have.   Sunday morning was spent at a rock climbing gym with Caden and another of his friends.  Yes - they have a rock climbing gym that 5 year olds can have a blast in.  I didn't know that rock climbing existed when I was 5 years old - and now my 5 year old considers it a normal play date.

I'll try to keep this a little more current in the coming weeks and months.  Political campaign season is nearing.  I'm sure I'll have plenty to write about.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Weekend Update

or maybe I should say "End of the Weekend" update...

Fun time was had with great new friends at a party that shall remain confidential.  Let's just say, what happens at "Beelicious", stays at "Beelicious".

We had an overnight at a downtown hotel without Caden.  Thanks Erin and David!  I still woke at 6:30 but didn't have to walk a dog or manage a 5 year old.  Breakfast in bed came at 8:30.  I could do that more often.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Follow The Leader

No lie!  The Vatican actually sent out a letter telling their bishops that sexual abuse is not a good thing.  Who knew?  I love the part where they tell them that "sexual abuse of minors is not just a canonical delict but also a crime prosecuted by civil law".  I swear it actually says that.  "Canonical delict"?  Oh no - not the dreaded Canonical delict.  Anyway -  I've read numerous reports in an attempt to find something about this letter that actually makes sense.  No such luck

It is 2011 and the big wigs of the Catholic Church feels it is necessary to tell its' employees that sexual abuse of minors is against the law and they should tell someone besides themselves about the abuse, like the police.  Is it just me or does this seem like something you would read as a spoof in The Onion?  I mean seriously, it makes the bishops seem like dunces that need to be told something that everyone already knows is the no brainer thing to do. The bishops that are being treated like ignorant children are the same ones that are revered as the wise leaders of the Catholic church.   I just hope that the Bishops (and Catholics in general) are embarrassed and insulted upon reading this remedial letter from the Vatican.

To me this is indicative of the overall problem of most organized religions -  the leaders feel the need to tell followers what is right and wrong, even on something as basic as this -Can you say "Cultish"?  

Monday, May 9, 2011

Even more randomness...

She won't let us take her picture while wearing the cone.  She is the dog - Kona.  The cone is the one all dogs get to wear after having the "procedure".  You know about the "procedure".  It's the one we make her have to guarantee that this house stays "mom-free".  Besides the indignity of ridding her of the necessary reproductive parts, she now gets to wobble around in that time-honored laugh inducing plastic shield.  Has there ever been a simpler way of getting your kicks than watching a poor dog who is still in a half-stupor try to make her way throughout the house?  I haven't found one.

I am the class representative to the Parent Faculty Association for Caden's upcoming kindergarten class.  Actually, I'm one of two.  We get to organize parent and class activities throughout the year.  It's just like Student Council - but for adults.  I was very active in Student Council in high school - when it meant kids were led to believe they had power to do something, but in the end, nothing ever really got accomplished.  Not this time!  Now I feel like I'm that former high school athlete who always wanted to go back in time and replay that championship game - but this time come out on the victorious team because he catches the game-winning touchdown pass.  Maybe this time someone will actually agree with my theme for the prom.  Oh - you think kindergarteners can't have a Prom?  Like I said before - things will be different this time.

Monday, May 2, 2011

President McCain?

In July 2008, Larry King interviewed then-presidential candidate John McCain and asked him if he were president and knew that Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan and specifically where, would he go after him.

"Larry, I'm not going to go there and here's why:  because Pakistan is a sovereign nation."

Hmmm...guess I voted for the right guy.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wedding commentary

This will be my only comment on the big shindig.

I noticed that Queen Elizabeth wasn't singing the words to "God Save The Queen" - as everyone else was belting them out.

Don't you think she should be the one singing the loudest?

Who knows - maybe she's agnostic!

Monday, April 25, 2011


Because that's what I do best.  I would like to think one day I could be a "pontificator" - but for now I'll have to settle for rambling.

The Donald...give it up Don.  Yes - it's gotten you tons of publicity and any publicity is good for someone with your ego - but can you find another way to get it besides this "birther" issue?  The few other things I've heard you comment on are at least entertaining.  For instance, when you said you would call up OPEC and tell them "it's over " regarding the price of oil.  Expand on that one please.  Who knew it would only take a phone call from you?

DOMA defense...just today the law firm that was going to handle the case for the U.S. Congress backed out of the case.  This was the firm picked by John Boehner with a nifty $500,000 retainer paid for by us.  I could get technical about this news item but instead I'm going to ask this simple question.  How would you have liked to go through school as a kid with the last name "Boehner"?  You know people didn't pronounce it "Bayner".  Get my drift?

William and of the century?  You know what I love about being gay?  Tonight I kept switching between the Trailblazers game and a pre-wedding special about the two of them.  Only a gay man can get away with admitting that.  I will pass on watching the "Wild about Prince Harry" special coming on later tonight.  I still have my pride.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011


You thought I had given up on this blogging thing - didn't you?  I'm back and will even switch topics from the realm of Caden's sporting life.

A mailing came recently that seemed tame at first glance - but it's always those second glances that get me to thinking.  It's from Basic Rights Oregon (BRO) which is a statewide organization that works toward advancing equal rights for us gay folk here in our fine state.  I think they actually use the term "Gay Rights" but I've never been comfortable with that term myself because I want "Equal" rights to the hetero population and using the other term just makes it sound like we want something special - which we don't.  No big whoop though - just a little quirk that I have.

Anyway...kind of went off on a tangent there and although this post involves a tangent - that's not the one I want to harp on.  This particular mailing is for their new campaign to make same-sex marriage legal in Oregon.  Not Domestic Partnerships and not Civil Unions - but truly equal "Marriage".  All well and good and I am totally on board with working towards that goal.  My problem with their campaign literature is the manner in which they are wording it.  One simple sentence states this about marriage, " does give couples who want to make a lifetime commitment to each other and be a family the ability to do so."  Whoa!  Read that again please.

Have you caught on to my gripe?  State licensed marriages do not hold the key to lifetime commitment and family.  (Reference my Newt Gingrich posts,)  My little household has formed a family that is committed to each other even without marriage.  We want to have the equal marriage for many reasons - but it is not a precursor for confirming our commitment to each other or our ability to be a family.

Come on BRO - stop muddying the waters.  People make their own families and commitments - without the state's help.  Marriage gives those families rights and responsibilities.  Let's not confuse the issue.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Woodshop 101

Yes it's a real saw.  Yes he set it up all by himself.  He has now handled a saw more in his first year of Preschool than I have all my life.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Disneyland pics and T-ball

Remember those Disneyland pics I said would be coming when I got around to posting them?  You thought I would have them up by now - didn't you?  I wish I could - but that would mean we had found the camera that we took them with.  Yes - the camera that has the pictures from our first family trip to Disneyland.  That one - the one we can't find.  Maybe it's a good thing.  Our imaginations can always make the trip much more colorful than it actually was - although it was pretty darn colorful.

I do have the results from Caden's first T-ball game.  Let's just say it was a draw.  As mentioned before, we didn't have T-ball when I was 5 years old, so I wasn't that familiar with how the actual games work - other than the kid hits the ball as it sits on a stick type contraption.  It's PC sport at it's finest.  Each kid gets to bat each of the three innings.  Do the math - three at bats per kid and no strike-outs.  5 year olds are scattered throughout the field randomly.  The runners can only advance one base at a time - until the final batter per inning gets to hit a "Grand Slam" and all runners head home.  The highlights come when batters don't know what to do after hitting the ball and fielders don't know they can move their feet to catch the ball.   Three innings of this is plenty - and between you and me - two innings would be plenty.  Did I mention that we have an 18 game season?  Yes - 18.  I think 10 would have been fine.

By the way - Caden loved it and caught the final ball of the game.  

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Opening Day

You've read my post about my attitude towards the game of baseball.  I won't repeat it.  Instead, I'll really confuse my few readers by telling you that I love Little League opening day - and all the pomp and circumstance around it.

Yesterday was Caden's first opening day ceremony.  Watching him take it all in from the eyes (and eye level) of a 5 year old can only put a smile on the face of someone as cynical towards baseball as me.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's On!

Does it get any better than hearing the coach say to the other kids at T-ball practice, "Watch how Caden does it"?

If any of you are interested - I can probably get extra tickets for the first game on April 7th.

Yes - the infield is as bad as it looks in this picture.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Run Rick Run

Rick Santorum says  the Social Security system problem in our country could be solved if people started having more children and abortions weren't happening.  Thank you Rick for that  brilliant insight.  (I don't even think he really knows anything about the solvency of Social Security at this time - but he got to relate abortions to Social Security so that's all that matters.)

I promise that every future post won't be about politics - but the fodder I'm getting from some of these folks is too good to pass up.


Now you can probably see why I hope he runs for President.  We could get a year of priceless gems like this.

Where do I even start?

"Atheist country...dominated by radical Islamists"???  Newt - do you even read your own speeches?  Can anyone else spot the ignorance demonstrated in that statement?

His Catholicism = his Patriotism.  Huh?  I'm not even going to go further into that one.  You can come up with your own caption.

As I've said before...

Run Newt Run!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

All good things must end

Last night at Disney.  Caden is raring to go for more - but his two Dad's are ready to leave while we still have good memories of the entire adventure.

Say what you will about the massive commercialization and over stimulation of Disney - but these three guys had a great time.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


How do we explain what is going on in Japan to a 5 year old - or even to our own selves?  Pictures and videos make us think we can imagine the horror but somehow I suspect it is much worse.

Caden now knows about earthquakes - but seems more interested in how the earth moves during the process than the destruction created from that process.  It's too soon to go into gory detail about what that destruction means.

He was excited to remind me that he has Japanese blood in him (which is true).  I want him to know that you don't have to have Japanese blood to care about what is happening in that country.

No more silly ramblings from me this week.

Our hearts and thoughts are with the people of Japan as they endure this tragedy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

False alarm

He wasn't sick.  At least nothing that would qualify as a real illness.  The afternoon nap seemed to do the trick.

We now have on our hands a 5 year old who knows he is within a week of going to Disneyland.  He is telling everyone who will listen.  He is also making sure we haven't forgotten.  Have you tried getting a 5 year old to bed the week before going to Disneyland?  Try it sometime - everyone should experience the thrill.  (Not Disneyland - just the trying to get to bed part.)

Doesn't he know Glee is on?

Friday, March 11, 2011


It happened.  I think we have our first case of fever for Caden.  I should have never posted about him never being sick.  Can you say "jinx"?

I'm not even completely sure that his current state will qualify as illness.  I mentioned to his teacher this morning that he seems to be lethargic and a little warmer than usual.  She said she would call me if he didn't feel well later on.  Can you guess what happened?  Yes - I got the call a few hours later.  He continues to be lethargic and warm - but that's it.  Is it bad of me to say that I'm loving it.  I feel as if my baby has come back to visit for a while.  He took a nap for the first time in almost three years.  He wanted to lie in bed next to me with his head touching mine.  As much as I felt bad for him, I was also cherishing this brief visit back in time.  It's true what they say about time passing quickly.  He's no longer our baby and has somehow become our little boy.

Even if it's not real sickness - I'm going to hang on to it anyway.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A couple of rants...

Run Newt Run!
Please do everything you can to encourage Newt Gingrich to run for President.  I want him to be asked this question every day of his campaign.
"Since you fooled around on your first two wives and are now on your third marriage, do you think you should be legally allowed to get married a fourth time?"  (since marriage is so sacred and all)

I'm sure you've read the story today about the NPR executive commenting on Tea Partiers being racist, etc...  Stupid thing for her to say.  I'm not saying what she said was incorrect - but come on lady - you have to know you can't get away with saying it in your position.  She resigns and the calls for NPR Federal funding to be stopped grow louder.  I love my NPR but what very few of the gripes are addressing is that NPR's Federal dollars account for only 2% of their operating budget.  Yes - 2% - not even 20%.  I just wish that people complaining about this would use actual facts when discussing it.

The federal dollars they receive are generally in the form of grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting - which received $420,000,000 from the federal government in FY 2010.   That's a big chunk of money and is a legitimate budget expenditure that should at least be allowed to be discussed when talking where to cut money in the Federal budget.  I'm sure they do great work - but come on - $420 million dollars?  They could take a cut of some sort.  How about starting with the grants to NPR?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011

Huckabee - part deux

Really Mike?  You think mentioning that Hollywood is glamorizing single mothers when Natalie Portman shows her pregnant self in public is something a potential Presidential candidate (or anyone for that matter) should be commenting on?.  What do you want her to do - stay in the closet?  Oh - I forgot - your base will eat this stuff up.

I'm sure he will be responding to my questions any minute now.

on another note...The other two guys in this house went skiing today.  Caden went down his first black diamond run - by mistake - and with Kevin of course.  Kevin said it took a while but Caden made it down all by himself and with no tears.  If I would have been there - the tears and cussing would have been coming from me.  It's probably a good thing I didn't go.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Free Speech Reigns

Thank goodness.

Today's Supreme Court ruling in favor of free speech for Westboro Baptist Church was a victory for free speech in general.  Deplorable speech by an individual or group can be disgusting - and trust me - their's is.  This group does not engage in physical violence - nor do they try to incite violence.  They simply stand around singing vile songs and holding even viler signs.  In this particular case, they were able to show that they had stayed within the physical constraints imposed upon them by local law enforcement and did not violate any other local laws.  They neither threatened or caused physical harm to anyone.  Free Speech that doesn't encourage or incite violence must be allowed - no matter how revolting.

The members of this family that won today's ruling wish I would die.  How touching - and to think they don't even know me.  (I seem to get a lot of people who don't even know me wanting to have some control over my personal life.)  (reference the post about Mike Huckabee from yesterday).

This is a perfect example of the Supreme Court telling the government to stay out of people's lives - when they aren't breaking the law.  Where is the praise from the Republicans and Tea Partiers?  Isn't this what they are all about?  Less government intrusion and more adherence to the U.S. Constitution?

You can't have it both ways.  You are either for Free Speech - or you aren't.

I am.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Let the pandering begin...

Mike Huckabee is a liar (hiding behind his title as Southern Baptist minister).  He knew exactly what he was doing today when he made the false statement about President Obama growing up in Kenya.

"One thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, very different than the average American ... his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British are a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather."

Please Mike - at least be honest and admit that you are pandering to the legions of people who are so mad that a black man is President that they will believe anything.  You call yourself a "Man of God".  Please - if God exists - he/she is ashamed of you today.  I realize that you said later that you 'misspoke' and really meant Indonesia - but how do you bring the "view of the Mau Mau Revolution" to Indonesia? You are a liar and are depending on the fact that the people you are trying to reach will only hear the part about Kenya and turn that into a negative for Obama.  The truth is never important to you.

Huckabee is the same man who thinks my son is part of a "social experiment".  Of course he has never met me or my son but feels he is qualified to speak about my family.  At least I have his own statements to form an opinion about him.  He knows nothing about me.  On some level I hope he runs for President because I want the country to fully understand what this man represents.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised at his statements since he is a Baptist minister.

Should I repeat the reasons why I no longer call myself Baptist?  I'll just let the words "Mike Huckabee" sum it up.

and just in case anyone is still wondering...Obama never grew up in Kenya.

School auction

No - we're not auctioning off a school.  It's that time of the year when schools in our area (Private and Public) are gearing up for their annual big fundraising event.

This is something new to my family.  I don't think my local public school had large fundraising programs in place that got the parents involved.  Of course this would have been quite a while ago in small town South Texas and it might have actually happened - but I don't remember it.  (I do remember selling magazine subscriptions for the band to help buy new uniforms.) Yes - I was in the band (back when it was cool to be in the band).  Yes - there was a time when it was cool to be in the band. days, elementary schools have year round campaigns to augment all types of programs and teacher salaries.  Caden's school has their annual campaign geared primarily towards scholarships and teacher development.  Someone actually said to me, "why do you have to raise more money when your tuition is so high?"  It's been a lesson for me also.  Having a student teacher ratio of 7:1 costs money - and even more than the annual tuition covers.  I can see why these fundraising programs are so important to the local public schools since their government funds are constantly being cut (and they aren't even expecting such a low student/teacher ratio).

I've somehow gotten very involved in Caden's school's big event.  I think I mentioned one time before that I'm trying to act all eager and involved this first year - so I won't feel obligated as much in later years.  Do the math - he's just in Preschool and this school goes through High School.  That means the potential of 13 more years of volunteering.   (oops - I began a sentence with "that" blog - my grammar.)

Just my two cents...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My personal E-Trade Preschooler

Pics say it all

I think I'll just let pics tell the story of the last week - although I'm leaving out pics of the portion from when I was sick.  You can thank me now for that.  It was a week of lots of snow in Jackson Hole and a little bit of snow in Portland.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I'm back...

 Yes - the ski trip was great...but I also brought back a bug of some kind that has thrown me for a loop.
No clever posts until whatever this ailment is passes.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tea Party Loon and Breasts

One more post before I take a break...

Hey Tea Party folks - if you want to be considered credible - call out one of your standard bearers when she acts like - well - I think the word idiot would be too generous.

I swear I'm not making this stuff up.  Michele Bachman (U.S. Congresswoman from Minnesota) is either suffering from an inability to make coherent statements or she is just mad that a black man is President - or maybe she's a total loon.

To make a long story short...Michelle Obama is promoting healthy lifestyles for kids.  (How dare she!)  She made a simple comment encouraging "breast feeding" and also mentioned the new IRS rule that allows breast pumps to be deducted as medical expenses.  (How dare she!)  Congresswoman Bachman (yes - people really voted for her) has taken these simple (and not really newsworthy) statements and turned them into another example of the government taking control of your life.  (It's that same government that is forcing you to choose your own doctor.)  She actually refers to it as a "Nanny State".

According to Bachman's logic - a tax deduction opportunity for those who choose to buy a breast pump - is the government exerting too much influence over it's citizens.  Tea Party folks love this woman.  (and so do I - because she led me to this post tonight - and the follow up below.)  It's like she lives in opposite land.

Speaking of breast feeding...Really...This needs to be encouraged?  Have you ever heard a woman say, "Breast feeding is so comfortable and fun?"  I know I'm a male and obviously can't relate - but maybe I actually can.  My 5 year old son has NEVER been breast fed.  I mean NEVER - and he is the healthiest kid that I have ever seen (so far).  He has NEVER been sick.  NEVER spit up or thrown up.  NEVER had a fever.  A couple of weeks ago I thought he did - but I was wrong.  Do you want me to go on?  I've heard a few sniffles hear and there - but that's it.  Sorry - teething doesn't count as illness.  Yes - we had that.

I'm sure that breast feeding is not a bad thing and can't harm - but if it hurts so much and causes such stress - and a woman has access to formula - use the formula.

Getting back to my original point...once again, I should be the one mad at the government for giving a tax deduction to some parents and not to me - just because I can't breast feed.  Maybe we all live in opposite land.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I went into this venture thinking I would be able to produce interesting and witty musings at the drop of a hat.  My cleverness obviously does not appear every day.  That's probably a good thing because as Caden reads this in future years,  I don't want him thinking he has to compete with my prose.  (If that even makes sense.)

The point is that some days I'm just not that interesting.  I was going to write a great piece on the uprising and Mubarek's fall in Egypt - but I didn't know where to begin.  I'm still trying to figure out who's in charge.  Supposedly the military is and the entire government has been disbanded.  Just how does that work?  I will be following the events and will let you know.

I was also going to write about my apathy towards Valentines Day - but thought it would be too grinch like.  But really - people celebrate a day to tell others that they love them?  Shouldn't that be Sunday through Saturday of EVERY WEEK?  If you want to buy your loved one flowers and candy on August 15th - you should do it and not be a lemming and fall in line with all of the other pedestrians.  Oh - I guess I did just write about my apathy (or questioning the purpose) for Valentines Day.  If you make a big deal out of it - you are a lemming.  Celebrate the day you met your loved one.  That's the day that probably set into motion the events that changed your life.
ONE EXCEPTION - get your kid a Valentines card and cards for their classmates.  If you don't - they will be heartbroken at school and my apathy for the celebration should not be held over kids.

All of this being said - I spent yesterday morning at Caden's classroom making "Friendship French Toast" in honor of Valentines Day - and loved every minute of it.

I'm taking a break for a week to go skiing - or as is the case - to watch Caden ski past me.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

T-ball time

It was another "sign-up" day.  One of the tasks of a stay-at-home parent that I've discovered involves the  never ending "sign-up" duties.  It's Thursday - that must mean it's T-ball sign up time.  As a note of reference for anyone reading this who might not have kids.  What "sign-up" really means is - have your credit card ready.

Have I told you how much I hate baseball - and always have?  Of course I played Little League as a kid - as every kid of my era in South Texas did.  We didn't have T-ball - and we didn't have soccer.  Caden started in a soccer program when he was 2 - yes 2.   We believe in introducing Caden to all sorts of activities - and letting him decide which ones are of interest.

Anyway - back to that point of me hating baseball.  My dad was a very active coach in our Little League program.  That made it even harder for me to say I didn't want to do it.  Everyone did it.  I wonder now how many of the other 9 year old boys just didn't want to play baseball but were also afraid to dare say the words.  It was easy to say I didn't want to play football.  I was scrawny.  No - that's being generous.  I'm surprised the State of Texas didn't intervene and ask my parents to prove that they fed me.  Funny thing - I really liked football - and still do.  Baseball is too slow and painful to watch.  I'm talking real slow.  I have a friend who is a very successful high school baseball coach in Texas.  Sorry - Don.  It's my blog - thus my opinions.

Kids today have so many choices.  I think that same town I grew up in has soccer now.  Lucky kids - not much wasted time in soccer.  It's probably so easy now for a kid to say- "I'm not going to play baseball this year - I'm doing soccer instead. ".  No hesitation in their voice - no shame at what the peers might think.  I remember being a sophomore in high school and an older football player in my school decided he didn't want to play football the following year.  It was all kids talked about at school for weeks.  Why would he quit.  I heard that coaches called him and tried to get him back.  I had assumed that he had some type of injury that wasn't being discussed and decided since he was in my Health class that I could ask him about his condition.  (It was a Health class after all.)  I took my scrawny self up to him and simply asked why he wasn't going to play football.  He very calmly stated - "I just don't care for it".  Wow!  I had never heard such honesty from a high schooler.  Remember - this was in Texas.  My high school ruled Texas football.  We had been state champs the two previous years and would eventually end up in the state final the following year.  Now I knew why other football players were shunning him.  He was telling his truth - and it didn't coincide with what they wanted the truth to be.  High school kids and many adults don't always want to hear the truth.

So Caden- if you start playing T-ball and honestly don't like it...please tell me.  I won't shun you.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Disneyland leverage

I just booked a trip to Disneyland in March.  How many times will the following sentence come out of my mouth before getting on the airplane.?

"If you don't do (whatever it is I'm wanting a 5 year old to do), I'm calling Disneyland and cancelling the trip.'

I've got about 6 weeks to use it.  I'm sure it will even be used while on the airplane.

Maybe I should wear a button that says it and just point to it each time.

Chains in football! Really? Still?

Taken from Andrew Sullivan's blog - who took it from Joe Posnanski.  I would like to think of this as my writing style.  I can wish.
Twenty-two people crash into each other, an official kind of guesses where he should spot the ball, it's about as imprecise as it can possibly be... and then they measure the thing to a hundredth of an inch. I mean, it's ludicrous. And as I have pointed out before, what often happens then is that they throw the football across the field and re-spot it... I say bring the chains back out. Sometimes you will see a center move the ball up a couple of inches before he snaps it... I say bring the chains out yet again.
Chains? Really? That's the measuring device we are using?
When was the last time anything was measured by chains? What was that, about 160 BC? "Spartacus, he's about 20 links tall now." Chains. You have to be kidding me. It's so much a part of football we NEVER think about it, but it's absolute ludicrous. This is the most successful sports league in America, and they're measuring with perhaps the least precise measuring tool available. It's like the Flintstones. Seriously: How do they keep the chains in a perfect straight line? If they're not in a straight line, then you might be measuring less than 10 yards. How hard do you pull the chain to make it exactly 10 yards? They couldn't use a tape measure or a laser or something?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Military life

Did I mention that I was in the U.S. Air Force?  Don't be alarmed - we weren't at war.  I hardly ever mention it to someone who served in Vietnam or even in either of the Gulf wars.  My military experience consisted of having a great job (that didn't really translate into civilian life), seeing the world, and only really being annoyed at about three things.

The first thing involved having to make a bed perfectly in basic training.  Basic Training itself was comical. After the second day, you realize that they aren't going to hit or even touch you - so you get accustomed to the yelling and realize it's just loudness.  Supposedly they are trying to instill discipline.  One way they think they are attempting that is to have us make our beds perfectly every day for about 6 weeks.  I'm sorry - but that has nothing to do with instilling discipline.  Punishment and positive reinforcement will create discipline.  Besides the obvious - what made it truly annoying you ask?  I was never asked or expected to do it again after Basic Training.  We spent all that time getting those hospital corners to perfection and once we left Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas - it was over!  Seriously - do they really think that made me more disciplined?

The second thing involved the Star Spangled Banner at the movie theater.  It's a tradition at any U.S. military installation throughout the world- that has a movie theater - which most do.  It's a standard theater with popcorn and previews.  You get in your seat with the popcorn and get fully comfortable while watching the previews.  Right before the main attraction - you have to stand up for a recording of the Star Spangled Banner.  No lie - everytime I would forget and then get annoyed that I had to get up.  Was the purpose to remind us that we were Americans serving in the military?  Uh - we were sitting on a U.S. military installation with military ID's in our wallets.  I think we all had that figured out.

Shouldn't it be obvious that the third thing was the "no gays allowed" line?  This didn't bother me until about my last two years when I finally figured out that I was gay.  (I was always a slow learner.)  and NO - I did not get asked to leave because of that reason.  I left because I didn't want that to happen.

I figure that three annoying things during 8 years must mean that I had a pretty good time.  I did.

No School Day

No - not due to weather.  New student interviews.

Remember when "no school" days meant you could sleep until 10?  Caden hasn't caught on to that concept - and neither has the dog.

Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm just sayin'

Do you think there is any correlation to the Governor of the State of Illinois signing Civil Unions into law today and the fact that Chicago is expecting one of their worst snow storms - EVER?

Can we go ahead and get the news story out of the way that this is God's way of punishing Illinois?

All kidding aside - we do appreciate the gesture Illinois, but it's not exactly what we were hoping for.  I'm sure many people in Illinois (but not as many as you think) will take advantage of this new law and will get some specific legal rights and responsibilities that they want and deserve.  Citizens of Illinois who are in same-sex relationships and want to obtain those same Illinois rights and responsibilities as their heterosexual neighbors will be able to do so.  Or so they think.  The one right that isn't allowed is using the word 'marriage".  So when people say - "but it's the same thing" - they are wrong.   (and of course the Federal rights/responsibilities are not applicable)

It's just silly - and I don't mean to be disrespectful to the religious institutions that fought against using the word 'Marriage" - but it is.  (Well maybe I do mean to be disrespectful - since they have no problem being disrespectful to me.)

Remember the post on same-sex parenting that I said you knew was coming?  Same thing here.  You're probably wondering why it took me so long.  If you really take a minute to think about the government getting involved in anyone's "marriage" - it seems to be a direct violation of the right to privacy.  Governments should refer to it as a "contract". That's what it is.  Take the term "marriage license" out of it.  I won't repeat the standard lines about all the people who are currently able to get married - and probably shouldn't.  (Britney Spears, Newt Gingrich - for the third time,  etc...)  You get my drift.

Let religious institutions do what they want and determine who they will let partake in a "marriage" - but it's time to take the business of legal contracts out of their domain.

On a somewhat related note, don't get me started on the whole subject of weddings in general.  (This part will probably ruin Caden's chances of ever being a ring bearer again.)  Where do I start?  Engagement Rings?  Huh?  The male is expected to give a ring to the female to show that he wants to marry her.  Huh?  People really do this?  The whole ceremony thing?  The males generally stand at the front and wait for the females to come to them.  Huh?  Females - did you read what I just typed?  The females Dad "gives her away"?  Huh?  Females - did you read what I just typed?  I could go on - but once again - I think you get my drift.  How about after you sign the legal contract - take the money that would have gone to the ring and throw a big party - and of course invite your Dad (but don't let him give you away).  I told you to not let me get started.

I promise this is not my Ted Kaczynski manifesto - but like I said at the beginning...I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Dog Won

This pretty much sums up the weekend at our house.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

That's Rude

Actually, the entire phrase these days is "Papa, that's rude!".  It's the new mantra in our house.  This time next week I might need to change the name of this blog to "Papa, that's rude" instead of it's current name.

Of course he never says, "Daddy, that's rude".  It seems I'm the only one who is inflicting the rudeness towards him.  My 'rudeness' appears anytime I'm asking him to do something he would prefer not to do.  Example, "Caden, it's time to get out of the bathtub"...'Papa, that's rude'.  You get the drift.

I can't recall us using the word frequently at home and suspect that it's been explained at school.  He's latched on to it and is happy to use it even when it doesn't exactly apply.  I don't mind him using it inappropriately as long as both adults in this house are considered equally rude.

on another note...the other adult in this house informed me that last night's post was "boring".  Sorry - I can't be Shakespeare every night.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mac N Cheese

Dinner for Caden was kind of pathetic tonight.  I could have done better.  I have done better.  It won't win any awards from the nutrition department and my credentials as a full time stay at home parent really took a hit - but darn it - sometimes Trader Joe's Mac N Cheese is like manna from heaven (if you believe in heaven).

Not wanting to turn this blog into a commercial enterprise (unless someone is willing to make it a commercial enterprise for me) - but I can highly recommend their store brand frozen Mac n Cheese (microwavable) for a 5 year old.

After that ringing endorsement you would think they could send a case of the stuff my way.  They probably want to wait until I have more than three readers.  They might be waiting a long time.

and for those of you who don't have a Trader Joe's're missing out!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dig Boy Dig

Give a boy (or girl) a shovel and put him (or her) in your backyard (unattended) and don't act surprised when you have a 3 foot hole in a place where you really didn't need a 3 foot hole.

He's such an Oregon kid.  He informed us that it will be used for compost.  Yes - compost.  That's a word that had not entered my vocabulary until setting up home in Portland.  Yes - I knew the word - just never had reason to use it.  It was something that "hippies" had in their vocabulary.  I've mastered the use of the word "recycle" - but "compost" is a different level.

I tried explaining that I would prefer that the compost be in some type of container instead of just sitting in a big hole in the ground.  Our neighborhood coyotes (yes - we have coyotes) are probably voting with him.  He informed me that all of the leftover food would be good for the dirt and worms and we would just be wasting something else if we used a container.

I told you he was an Oregon kid - and I couldn't be prouder!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Same-Sex Parenting - (from the expert)

You knew it was coming.  That obligatory blog post on why same-sex parents are better than any other brand of parent.  It was going to be good - but then I started writing it.

Typing the words 'same-sex parent' even seems odd to me.  Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that we fit into that category.  We live in Portland.  It's not unusual- even though we are the only same-sex parents in Caden's current classroom.   Did you see the 'Modern Family' episode where Cam and Mitchell were applying to a preschool for their daughter and thought they were shoo-ins because the school would definitely want their 'diversity'?  That could have been us.  We are same-sex parents of a multi-racial child.  We thought we would play that card while we have it.  (we did - but don't think the school cared - as they shouldn't have.)

As far as I can tell, parenting is parenting.  Caden has only known his parents as two men.  When I've heard other kids ask him where his 'mom' is - he responds simply, 'I have two dads'.  No hesitation for him - it's just what it is.  The other kids seem to accept his response also with the same lack of expression.  I find that the people making the biggest fuss over same-sex parenting are not exposed on a regular basis to same-sex parent families.  I can give you all the cliche' answers about how we have the same joys, heartache, trials and tribulations as all other families - but you probably know that.  In case you don't - read the above sentence again.

Right now Caden seems to be a healthy and happy 5 year old who loves skiing and soccer and loves to say that his new puppy is his little sister.  His future will definitely be affected to a large degree by a combination of our strengths and weaknesses as parents. (we hope we will have a majority of strengths.)  We'll have to ask him in later years if he thought it was a pro or con to be raised by two dads.  I can only assume that he will look at us and say, 'that's a stupid question'.  Asking myself if I thought being raised by a father and mother was a pro or con brings the same response.  It's all I knew.  How could I have known anything else?

The fact is I don't know if we are better or worse parents because of our sexuality.  I do know that we are better parents than those people who made their son hide in the house while they made the country think he was in that balloon in the sky (or whatever it was) last year.  Thank goodness they weren't gay.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A day late...

Old news by now - but still on my mind.  The U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday to "repeal" the recently passed health care law.  Yes - they voted to repeal the entire thing.  No - they didn't provide their own solution to a problem.  Why would we expect that?  Wouldn't it at least been understandable if they looked at specific provisions in the bill and addressed those?  Give specifics (based on facts) and open the floor up for discussion.

It's comical - but serious at the same time.  I'm willing to guess that 93% of the people who are against the "Affordable Care Act" don't understand what is in it and the other 7% are mad that a black man became president.  (It's my blog - I get to come up with the percentages!)

They now say they will create committees to come up with a better plan.  Huh?  Didn't these guys have control of the White House and Congress for 6 years - and yet still provided nothing in the way of a credible solution to our growing health care problems?

If anyone should be mad - it should be those of us who wanted a single payer system.  We were the ones who lost this battle.  Opponents of the current plan love to call it 'government run health care'.  Ha!  I wish!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Clarification needed...

It's hard for me to accept that another person might want to read my ramblings - and even harder to believe that they would want to comment on them.  But let's be real...I've put this in a public place and I must have some underlying desire to be read.

Saying all old friend (she's not old - it's the friendship that goes way way back),  wrote an e-mail to me directly to comment on my recent post about my agnosticism.  She brought up a very good point that she gleemed from the post that centered on my comment about wanting religious institutions (corporations) to stay out of the lives of others.  I'll share a portion of her comment here...(in bold)
Especially your statement that religious institutions ("corporations") should keep to themselves and "not affect others who want no part in their faith." What a sad world that would be if the churches of the world just did business for their own parishioners and didn't decide to feed the hungry, clothe the poor and shelter the homeless, visit the prisoner, and address injustices in the world. We may not agree with EVERYTHING our Church (or other churches) teach, but I feel sorry for the person who has decided it's better to believe in nothing at all than in a merciful God.

Point taken.  I could have written it a bit better.  Here's part of my response to her.  Hope it helps explain my point  more coherently.

I probably confused the few readers I have.  It seems you weren't able to get beyond that statement about staying out of others lives, etc...- which I can now understand.  I should have made it clearer by talking about religious organizations staying out of MY life.  Of course the good works that many religious and non-religious organizations do on a daily basis help ease pain and suffering throughout the world.  The people who are recipients of those good deeds would be the first to say that they want them to continue - and so do I.
The problem again lies when those same institutions speak out loudly and forcefully against my family (Kevin, Caden, and myself).  Both the Southern Baptist and Catholic church hierarchy have made it very clear that they want voters and politicians to take political stands against the rights of my family.  I could give you a list of public comments and statements made by leaders of both  that show this - but I'm sure you have heard them.  What I never hear is a local pastor or priest stand in front of a congregation and say, "I am embarrassed and ashamed that our church leaders have said these things".  They fear being fired and thus stay silent.  Don't misunderstand me though...I know you don't feel the same way and I am sure your local church has many members  who feel the same as you do in their hearts.  However it's the leaders and the many followers they hold sway over who are harming my family.
Stand in my shoes.  The most important thing in my life is my immediate family.  Imagine an organization that you belong to telling your kids that you and your husband's love for each other is wrong.  Imagine your Church that is a vital part of your life telling you that you shouldn't have children.  This is what the Southern Baptist and Catholic church hierarchy tell people.
That's a long preamble for the basic premise I am trying to get across.
I want people who have a strong faith in their God - to continue to have that and find comfort in it in whatever way they can.  I would never say to you or anyone that I wish they would stop believing what they believe and start considering themselves agnostic.  I simply ask the same of others and expect them to show respect for my belief also.    I fully understand the difference between the church as an institution and an individual's personal faith.  I wish that more of the "institutions" could also.  I know that Christians want others to experience what they experience and think that something is "missing" in the lives of people who aren't Christian.  That's presumptuous.
My agnostic belief is very freeing to me.  I find comfort in the fact that I'm not trying to follow something that I know I'm not capable of comprehending.  Even if I did not have the animosity towards these religious institutions, I would still consider myself agnostic.  If there is a God (in the manner in which you believe), I would hope that he/she looks at us in the same way.  The fact that you say he/she exists and I say I don't know if he/she exists just doesn't seem that important to me.  What's important to me is not what faith you do or do not profess -  but how we live our lives.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Kings Speech

I saw it tonight.  You should see it tomorrow night.  Two incredible acting performances - and a little history mixed in.

Actually more than two incredible acting performances - but the main two really stood out.

Geoffrey Rush and Collin Firth - Thanks for providing my entertainment tonight.

Friday, January 14, 2011

"Papa - tell me about Jesus",,,

he said from the back seat.  At least it's different from "what did you say?".  I didn't panic.  I knew this question would come one day - and I was prepared for it.  It was the week before Christmas and a fellow parent from his school had presented how their family celebrates Christmas by talking about the birth of Jesus.  Fair enough - I just didn't know she would take it all the way to the part about the King wanting to kill him.  That's the part that Caden remembered most vividly.

Upon starting this blog I made it clear to myself that I wanted this 'online journal' to be a gift to Caden at some point in the future.  So without further adieu, I will explain to Caden why  I consider myself agnostic.  The word is fairly new to my own vocabulary.  Agnosticism sounds almost mystical - but I think it also scares some people.  We are a society that likes to know things (or maybe that's just me).  I like to say that people can handle bad news or good news - but 'uncertainty' can be troublesome.  I take exception to that in this case.  My 'not knowing' about how we got here, why we got here, what happens to us after we leave here, etc... is actually very reassuring to me.  I don't try to figure it out or search for answers.  I don't use the term atheist because I am open to the idea that their could be this higher power in the form of a God.  (I'm just not spending any time trying to please him/her.)

I was raised Southern Baptist.  (I'm sure there is another blog post somewhere in the future in that alone.)  Southern Baptists love to tell you that they have the "Truth" (as do most organized religions).  Young kids can be influenced very easily - and it just wasn't that hard to convince me that there were certain things I had to do - and not do in order to obtain an afterlife where everything would be perfect.  (for instance - going to high school dances was not good because it would lead to premarital sex and that definitely would not get you into the more pleasant area of the afterlife.  The less pleasant area consisted of swimming in fire for eternity - seriously that's what we were told.)  but I've digressed..

It was a long time coming but I finally decided that I don't automatically believe the things I was told and taught for so many years as actual truth.  Thus I don't worry about correct biblical interpretation or that dreaded word "sin".   (So when anyone says to me in a discussion about religion, "but the Bible says...", my eyes glaze over- or the classic and overused "we're all sinners" comment will really get my eyes rolling.)  There might be a "God" up high who looks down on us and controls everything (while giving us free choice) - and their might not be either.  A key revelation for me was when I accepted my own self as a gay man and realized that the teachings of most of Christianity regarding homosexuality (based on so called biblical interpretation) were wrong.  If I knew they were wrong about that - what else could they have gotten wrong?   This has been my journey.  I want people to believe what they want (that's really the whole point).  I want Caden to grow up knowing about all the different faith practices that are in the world.  This year he learned about Hanukkah and at Christmas, his Grandmother  took him to see a nativity scene.  The stories surrounding both of these examples are part of tradition and are to be respected.

Here comes the part I have a problem with.  Most Christian faiths want their teachings and beliefs to affect my personal life.  I want them to be able to practice their spiritual beliefs for themselves in any manner that doesn't affect others who want no part of their faith.  These institutions (or should I say Corporations) teach that Caden's parents love for each other is wrong.  That's a tough one to overlook.  This is a non-negotiable item to me.

So Caden - learn the history and tradition of all of them (including non-believers).  Decide for yourself if you think any of them have the truth.  Above all, be good to others (especially those less fortunate than you) and try and make this world a better place.  But do it because it's the right thing to do - not because you are concerned with an unknown afterlife.