August 26, 2007
Takin' A Break
But I'll be back ASAP.
Miss Teen South Carolina
Answers a question, some question, sort of, for the future of our children.
The Sunday Theology Corner
Live From Burning Man
Here's a website that says it will "Live From The Playa." Currently, it's got only two photos, so you'll have to monitor it to see how it grows.
August 25, 2007
Boston's Mayor Menino has become a convert to bicycling. There's hope for everyone.
"'When I get more experienced at this, I'll be able to ride the whole city,' he said, visibly excited during an interview in the kitchen of his Chesterfield Street home."
Let him ride through Dudley Square on a weekend night at about midnight. That's some biking! You only slow down a little for the red lights.
While I thought it was pretty damning to list 3 or 4 Republicans charged with sex crimes, Christopher at Exit Stage-Left has produced this breathtaking list of 75 Republicans charged, convicted or reliably reported to have committed sex offenses. He doesn't define what time frame he's using, but in reply to a question about whether you could put together a similar list of Democrats he does say this:
Sadly, anonymous, no. You can expand this list all you want and you will not come up with a similar list of Democrats. If it had been graft or bribery or the basic shenigans of our politician/lobbyist culture, then it may be closer with Republicans barely edging out Democrats, but when it comes to this kind of stuff, Republicans are in a league of their own. Possibly because Democrats are more open and honest about their sexual lives and don't try to hide it by becoming so fanatical on the other end of the spectrum. Who knows. This is not to say Dems don't have their fair share of kink. Just not on this scale.
There must be another word than "fog" for a hot cloud settling to the ground in the desert. Outside I see more than a few blocks in any direction. The San Jacintos are totally gone, of course, but even the Little San Bernardinos which are a short walk away have lost their tops in the humid haze. It's 91° with 50% humidity. Never saw this kind of thing here before.
Greyhound: "Not our fault"
Greyhound is claiming that their recent flubs in relocating their bus stop, finally resulting in NO bus stop in the western Coachella Valley is not their fault, because they handed "drivers, buses, schedules, locations and selling tickets over to Crucero in July." So it's Crucero bus lines? Is Greyhound nothing more than a name?
August 24, 2007
Seen in Dover, Massachusetts
Yes, it's a popular sentiment, but what's surprising is that it showed up in very conservative Dover, Massachusetts, whose claim to fame (as a bicyclist) is that it's the only municipality in Massachusetts that has NO state roads passing through it.
Here's the story on WBZ-TV where they naively pretend to protect the family's privacy by not specifying the city or address! Guys, it's on a MAP! Right there at Centre and Cross. Go say hi for me.
I have just seen Breakdown staring Kurt Russell. Now generally I don't like Kurt Russell, so you should take that into account when I tell you how much I really, really liked this film. It's from 1997, and I don't know how I got it onto my list of films to see, but it may have been the line "If you liked Duel, you'll love Breakdown."
Basically, it's that genre of action, thrillers with paranoid conspiracies, lots of car chases and gun shots, a kidnapped wife, and rednecks versus Massachusetts emigrants. The thing that sets it apart is that the characters (the good guys, anyway) stay mostly believable. The wife is not an idiot, the husband does not become some sort of gymnastic super-hero in his quest to save his wife. Well, maybe a bit more gymnastic than most, but not groaningly so.
I recommend it.
I thought I recognized some of the locations as Lucerne Valley, but the info I could locate on-line named Victorville and Barstow (along with more distant locations). Both Victorville and Barstow are on the edges of Lucerne Valley, so maybe...
August 23, 2007
The Cabazon Dinosaurs
I have gone too long without photographing what is probably THE most over-photographed tourist attraction in the area: the Cabazon dinosaurs [you'll want to turn off your sound before following this link]. Wikipedia article here. The only other time I have been there was when Michael and I bicycled from San Bernardino to Palm Springs after doing California AIDS Ride 4. I must have film photos from then, but haven't run across them.
The photo set is here and below.
New York City vs. Rhode Island
In reference to the Zaca fire, which has been burning since July 4, someone has introduced a new standard of measurement: "By late Tuesday, the Zaca Fire had scorched 222,557 acres - an area larger than New York's five boroughs." Everybody knows that something on this scale is to be compared to the size of Rhode Island, not just some random east coast municipality. The land area of Rhode Island is 1,045 square miles (668,800 acres) or 1,202 square miles (775,680 acres) depending on which source you want to refer to.
The State of Rhode Island itself says its area is 1,214 square miles, of which 165 are water, giving a net of 1,049 square miles. The Zaca fire, then, is one-third as big as Rhode Island.
The Difference Between Gay Men & Lesbians
According to the Bay Area Reporter Rivendell Media did an extensive survey of 12,000 gay men and 10,000 lesbians who had been solicited "through 75 LGBT magazines, newspapers, Web sites, and event organizers across the country." So not a neutral cross section of ALL gay men and lesbians, but of those who are likely to be spending money like middle class people. The aim of the survey was to find ways to market to gay men and lesbians. Lots of differences were found, but here's the significant one:
Some results are not so surprising, such as the finding that 61 percent of gay men and 83 percent of lesbians have a pet. But the survey did debunk one stereotype of lesbians – they are more likely to be cat owners than dog owners. Among lesbians 59 percent reported having a dog while 51 percent said they owned cats. (Among gay men 38 percent were dog owners and 28 percent were cat owners.)
Now you know!
This is news to me, that the Attorney General of California (you may know him as Jerry Brown) is arguing that "marriage is a 'constitutionally insignificant label' and therefore same-sex couples suffer no 'constitutional injury' from being denied marriage licenses." Wow, they're working both ends of this. Either marriage is a sacred institution, or it's constitutionally insignificant.
If it's constitutionally insignificant, I think that puts it somewhere considerably lower than, for example, being a notary public (no offense to notaries public is intended). And I know gay notaries, so why not gay spouses? Other constitutionally insignificant labels are honorary college degrees, emcees of celebrity roasts, and the title "Substitute Teacher Of The Year."
How much is California spending to defend this insignificant label?
August 22, 2007
One-third Of Eight
Desert Hot Springs city council has formed an ad hoc executive search committee to help find a new city manager. Members of the committee are Councilmembers Stephens and Matas, County Supervisor Marion Ashley, County Executive Officer Larry Parrish, Coachella Mayor Garcia, Indio City Manager Southard, and DHS residents Dale Evenson, John Gerardi and Tom Gustafson. My question is whether the city is paying all these people mileage, or do they just do teleconferences and virtual meetings?
"As of Saturday, [City Councilmember Mary] Stephens said she has seen eight resumes, with a third of the applicants from the valley." It's your guess whether that means one of the candidates lives around here on weekdays and somewhere else on weekends, or that Mary Stephens can't do math in her head.
Former Assistant City Manager Steve Mendoza is the current acting city manager.
On a related point, mayoral candidate Adam Sanchez is having a fund-raising birthday party (he's turning 49 - chicken!) Thursday (August 23) from 6 PM to 8 PM at La Palapa "that yellow restaurant" at 5th and Palm Drive.
Brattleboro Votes For Freedom
On Ukraine.Peninsula Crimea
Oh those Crimeans! Photo by langer_adams.
Those DHS Integrity Petitions
Someone else, not me, seems to have gotten to the DHS Integrity people and straightened 'em out with a smart stick. They remailed all of their documents in Word format today. I never thought I'd say I was glad to see something in Word format, but today is that day.
If you've gotten some signatures on a petition, here's where you can send them:
65861 Pierson Suite D
or you may fax them to