Thursday, July 28, 2011

You Don't Get a Letter

This post may be a little politically incorrect, but I’m gonna “go there”.

Someone needs to put a stop to all the letters being glommed on to the LGBT moniker (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender). I recently came across an event that was for LGBTQA. - - - 
- - -Whaaat?

Here’s the explanation. The “Q” stood for “questioning” or rather, those who are unsure about their sexual orientation or identity. The “A” stood for “allies” – those who support the LGBT’s and, I guess, the Q’s as well. 

“Now, wait a minute," I thought.  "This is getting out of hand."

So, let’s do some trimming here, folks. 

First of all, the “B”. I’m like Carrie Bradshaw; “bisexual” is just a train ticket on the way to “gay.” Out with it. (literally).  Until you make up your mind and quit teasing everyone, you don't get a letter.

The “T”: A transgendered person is not the same animal as a homosexual. Gender identity and sexual orientation are two completely different things. Many transgendered people are homosexual, but many are not. Being homosexual in no way implies that one has gender identity issues. Automatically putting LG’s together with the T’s implies similarity, especially to those who are ignorant of both. We love you, but you don't get a letter.

To the Q’s, sure, you may be “questioning”, but I say, until you’ve rented a U-Haul way too soon after dating someone of the same sex, you’re just not one of us. Until you make your way over to the “B” and then solidly implant yourself to the “L” or the “G”, you don’t get a letter.

To the “allies”, sure, it’s great that you give your love and support. But to give you a letter seems like we’re too needy for acceptance. Yes, Fag Hags are a big part of our culture and we don’t know what we’d do without them. It’s great that you’re an ally, but you still fall in love with people who have different naughty bits than yours. You don’t get a letter. 

So, what would be a good name? I have a simple solution.

It’s “Mo” – as is hoMOsexuals. No more of this lesbian or gay stuff. Just “Mo”. 

Same-sex marriage? Nope. It’s now Mo marriage.

Gay rights? You got it. It’s now Mo rights.

Gay and lesbian scooter club; a Mo scooter club.

A gay prostitute: A Mo ho. 

(See? I told you I was gonna “go there”.)

Someone who pretends to be gay but isn't: A faux Mo.

(Okay, I'll stop.)

So, let’s do some trimming of the PC stuff and keep things simple like they ought  to be.  

I have to admit. I’m sounding like a Mo Andy Rooney . . .

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Want A Scooter

A couple of weeks ago, I saw the Tom Hanks film, “Larry Crowne” in which he played a middle aged man who decided to attend college for the first time. In order to save on commuting costs, he bought a scooter and ended up joining a scooter club comprised of young college students.

Somehow, that resonated with me. I wanted a scooter. Then, I began noticing scooters. At my workplace, there’s a covered parking space just for scoots. Some days, there might be a dozen of the cute little boogers out there.

Aren’t they adorkable?

So, yes, I want a scooter. I really do. But I’m running into all sorts of roadblocks, over and over.

First, I thought I’d rent a scooter to see how I’d like it. However, it turns out that one must have a motorcycle license in order to rent one. I told the scooter-rental lady that I’d have absolutely no idea how to ride a motorcycle in order to pass the test. She said I could take the test on a scooter and that they’d rent one to me.

Well, first, you have to take a 20-hour course in order to take the test to get your motorcycle license. The nearest place one can take the course is at the University of Illinois in Champaign which is a hundred miles from here. Ugh! (That can’t be right.)

Then, I got to thinking, “Where would I even ride a scooter if I had one?” I live within ten blocks of everywhere I go. Work is six blocks away. Church is ten blocks. Grocery store is four blocks. Miss Healthypants is just a block away.

All those are places that I should be walking to; not with my butt sitting on a cushy motorized vehicle.

I looked for scooter clubs. Surely, I could do the Tom Hanks thing and buzz around the city with cool, fun scooter people.

I found a scooter club. Turns out, it’s a gay scooter club (naturally.) Remember the motorcycle club called the Hell’s Angel’s? Well, this one is called the “Hell’s Fairies.” I’m not joking.  That is just too cute for words.

So, why would I buy a scooter?

My friend, Miss Healthypants has called me “Dooder” for the past ten years. I’m still a little unsure of how that got started. I call her “Poodle.” We’re Poodle-n-Dooder.

So, if I got a scooter, I would be . . .

Are you ready for this?

. . . “Scooter Dooder.”

And THAT, my friends, is why I should get a scooter.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Afternoon Scene - The Dog Pot

Next to the church I attend is a "Dog Pot" -- a plastic bag dispenser for dog owners. You know -- so they'll have a plastic bag with which to tidy up after their dog leaves a huge, steaming pile next the church.

It's a handy idea. After all, who wants to step in a colossal mound of poo as you're hurrying in to church in your Manolo Blahniks?
The thing is, today was the first time I've ever actually seen plastic bags in the thing.

And look at this. There are detailed instructions how to use the plastic bag once you have it:

One would hope that any downtown dog owner would already have the plastic-bag-thing down pat.

Friday, July 22, 2011


It's been hot here in the Windy City. I mean, really hot.

For the past two days, we've hit 100 degrees. 
And it's not a "dry hot" either. No siree. 

It's humid and oppressive. It's hard to breathe. Stepping outside at 5 pm feels like walking into a rice cooker.
Honestly, I don't ever remember feeling heat like this even in Texas.

The strange thing is, less than two months ago, we were experiencing wind chills of 32 degrees in late May. Here is a run-down of the typical "five seasons" here in Chicago:

October, November, December, January February, March: Winter
April, May, June: "Almost Spring"
July 1: Spring
July - August: Summer
September: Autumn

I'm looking forward to October when our Winter season arrives.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Morning Scene - Making Movies

Three 18-wheelers are lined up along a small side-street in downtown Chicago. Someone's making another movie. (Last year, it was "Transformers".)

But it's supposed to be 99 degrees today and very humid.

I SO wouldn't want to be outside, hauling movie-making equipment in and out of these trucks.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Solving the National Deficit

Texting still baffles me.

Used to be, I found that I'd never text anyone. No way, no how.
If someone texted me with the inane message, "Wat u up to"
I would simply call the sender with an actual phone call from my cell phone.

You know -- like God intended.
They would never answer.


You just sent a digital message to me that required you to poke at least eleven keystrokes onto your device, you dolt, and now you haven't the ability to hit one button that enables us to speak at 250 wpm?

So, yes, there have been moments when I did text someone;  tiny blurbs of info that I think someone should receive in digital form.

With one friend of mine, I'll  text her with one word here and there to remind myself what we should remember to talk about when we DO talk.

She'll say, "Okay, you've got
'Amish' and 'beagle' and 'Sea-bean' and 'dog poo'. .
. . Go!"

And, we're off! . . it works.

That's one instance when texting has been beneficial.

But I walk down the street and, just about everyone I pass, I think, "They send text messages. What are they sending that they don't want to talk about?"

That's what texting seems to be all about; that young people are essentially reluctant to verbalize their thoughts to one another; just a huge, vacuous, digital vent.

Here are two proposals to solve the nation's deficit:

1)  A ten-cent charge-per-keystroke to every text.
All revenue would go to the Social Security and Medicare treasury.

Spoiled children without an ability to control yourselves?  
You've just caused our national revenue to skyrocket, you little darlings.

Make all cell phone calls free. (and voice mails -- and translate all voice mails into emails)
Let's actually speak to each other like human beings. 

What an idea!

2) A Discourse Article Fee

Every time that anyone under the age of 30 uses the word, "like" as a useless discourse article, their cell phone charges them five dollars and adds it to the National Treasury.

"I just, like, asked him if he'd, like, take me to, like, the Justin Bieber concert and he was, like, 'Why should I, like, take you' and I was, like, 'cause you should, and then I was, like, . . ."
Thirty-five dollars every fifteen seconds times forty-thousand.

Dang it.
I think I've just about solved the national financial crisis.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Garanimals for Men

Recently, I was describing to my dear friend, Speck, what I wear to work, namely, that I only wear light blue shirts. I have a number of the same exact light blue, button-down shirts. Some guys only wear white shirts; I only wear light blue ones.

I went on to explain that I mix-and-match these with either black, gray, or navy slacks and a selection of ties.  (Navy Dockers come out for Casual Fridays.)

“So, basically, you wear Garanimals,” she said.

Well, yes, I guess I do; the adult version. It keeps things simple. I’d be happy if we had uniforms to wear.

That got me to thinking. . .

I’m sure there are lots of other guys like me who don’t like to put a lot of thought into their work clothing. I should start a whole line of Garanimal-type business attire for men. It would be high quality, durable, long-lasting clothing that one can mix-and-match without a care in the world.

After all, why should little kids get all the breaks?


Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Here’s the scenario: You're at a conference and discussing, say, the thrilling topic of workforce development. Every time one attendee speaks, she always begins by saying, “I’d like to piggy-back onto what he said,”
“just to dove-tail onto what she said. . . .”

I’m thinking, “Why do you have to begin every statement with an announcement that you’re going to say something relevant to the topic at hand?”

Remember, we’re discussing budgets. It’s not like someone is going to dramatically segue into the topic of castrating weasels or something. “Okay, does anyone know of how many ways there are to castrate a weasel?”

Maybe I should just start blurting out, "Kangaroo! Kangaroo!" during a staff meeting. That sure wouldn't be 'dove-tailing' onto what the previous speaker said. 

I thought of doing that  that during a recent meeting and then I got the giggles

Why do people have to call attention to their input with all this ‘piggy-backing’ and ‘dove-tailing’ crap?

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Little Bitty Home Town

While in Texas, I took a drive to visit my Little Bitty Home Town, pop. 1,900. It sure brought back some fond memories.

My grandparents owned the local dry-cleaning store and I worked there beginning at age 11. It was un-air conditioned. Seeing that the front doors were open, it looks like it still is:

During high school, I worked at the local bank part time. My little un-air conditioned office was up on the second floor in the corner.

I spent many an hour up there, posting checks to people's accounts. Nary a computer in sight. It was all done manually.

Here's the house where we lived:

Now for a really fun memory. . . When I was really little, my grandmother used to take my brother and me down to the edge of the San Antonio River. It was a place where a bridge used to be and had long been washed away. However, by the time I was about eight or nine years old, the little road that went down to the river had become grown over with trees and brush and was no longer accessible.

But now, it's been cleared away and there's a sidewalk down to the same spot on the river we used to go to. (The sidewalk is to let canoe travelers access the river)

I scurried down there - - and there it was! The same exact spot my grandmother used to take me as a child. The stumps from the old bridge were still there.

The thing was, I used to think that this river was SO deep and swift and frightening. My goodness, one can easily wade across it.

But here it is. You can almost hear the laughter of my grandmother and two little boys:

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Sunday, July 03, 2011

Then and Now

Have you seen those photos of people who take photos of themselves in the same poses, say, thirty years later? Well, I got some dandy ones for you!

We had a large family gathering on the family ranch today and we decided to try our hand at it. I think we did remarkably well at it.

Here we are in 1963, just wee little tots. My cousin, Janna, is on the left, then me, my brother Brad, and my cousin, Than. That's our grandfather with us.

And, here we are 48 years later, lined up along a nearby water trough again and striking similar poses:

A few years later, my cousin, Jaci, was added to the brood. Here we are in 1967:

And again, I think we did a pretty good job of re-creating it.

I know we had a wonderful time doing this.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Morning Scene - Storms Over Gary

This is the view from my boss's window, looking out across Lake Michigan. Normally, one can see the imposing skyline of Gary, Indiana, but storm clouds shroud our view of Michael Jackson's birthplace today.