Month: May 2008

Troppe informazioni martedì numero un centinaio di sei e trenta (TMI #136)

1. What lines have you used to let someone down gently.

Pretty much the “It’s me not you…” line which is actually true. It’s all based on my perceptions so in essence I’m being honest.

2. If I gave you $10K to waste, what would you buy.

A nice storage array for the house. I need someplace for all the music. But that’s only a few hundred dollars. I’d probably sink some into kicking my business plan to the next level.

3. If I gave you $10K, but you had to spend it all on someone else, what would you buy.

I’d get a car for Keyron so he can gallivant like I know he wants to do. My wander lust is gone but his is in prime mode right now.

4. If your partner brought a double dildo to bed, you’d be?

A bit shocked. I’m not generally known for my willingness to well, you know. I’m much more on the top side when I comes to anal.

5. What sounds to you make during sex.

Groans, moans, screams. Some vocal stuff, like “Yeah baby!”.

Bonus (as in optional): Tell your worst break up story.

My first breakup had to be in a public place. My then boyfriend had met another friend of mine and they took a shine to each other. I wasn’t too happy about that. So in the middle of a crowded bar I threw his keys at him and essentially told him to go fuck himself. Looking back it must have been comical.

What do you believe, or not believe as the case may be

Check this out, got it off Onanites blog.

The questions are rather simple and I knew what my result would be even before I started taking the test. I’ve been a long time atheist. I delight in opening peoples eyes to the reality that there isn’t any sky fairy, or devil, or any of the creations of the human mind.

I like that part about passive non-believer or a rabid atheist activist. I think you could call me a rabid atheist activist. I have no respect for the religious, I even say I’d like society to move from religious to spiritual, that religion had so much time to dominate that perhaps it’s better for something else to take its place. I also like pointing out that morality is not a function of religion. One can develop their own moral code based upon what they have learned. You don’t need a god creature to formulate a moral code that is beneficial to society.

You Are An Atheist

God? No thanks. You’re not buying into any religion.
They’re all bunk to you. You rather focus on what you know is true.
You may be a passive non-believer or a rabid atheist activist.
But one thing is for sure… no one’s going to make you go to church!

You may be blind but you shall still see

The letter in the block quote appeared in the Providence Journal today, Tuesday the 27th of May, 2008.

Mr. Dorian has written a very interesting letter in which he discovers his own latent racism. That’s the thing about we humans. For some reason we automatically fear those whom we don’t know, or at least some do.

I’ve re-edited this because I had such an incident today. I was carrying groceries home from the supermarket (It’s less than a mile away) but a young Latino guy asked if I needed any help. I thanked him and told him I only had a short way to go. He was very polite too. It restores my faith in humanity when things like this happen.

But the message that one should never judge a book simply by it’s cover sunk in fairly early with me. It honestly doesn’t phase me what color your skin is, what really matters to me is that you’re a decent person. Luckily Mr. Dorian has found this out. I really don’t have much else to say because Dorian has written an account that should re-affirm ones faith in humanity.

Edward Oscar Dorian: Losing my blindness

01:00 AM EDT on Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The other week I had an accident that caused me to discover something about “those people” in Kennedy Plaza and, more significantly, to learn a great deal about myself.

After many years away, I’ve recently returned to my native Rhode Island, where in the 1930s and ’40s, when I was a boy, the small, formal, park-like area then in front of City Hall in downtown Providence was seldom used.

Wow, what a change! I, now forced — because of diminished eyesight— to use bus transportation, found the crowded Kennedy Plaza area alien, bewildering and, to be honest, frightening. That is, until the other week when, while hurrying across the plaza, scrupulously avoiding contact with those “threatening” groups of fellows in weird clothes, loud language and of different skin color, I fell!

Instantly I was surrounded, and dark arms reached down offering help. I instinctively refused, but age and pain made rising difficult. Ignoring my repeated, rude refusals, the fellows gently lifted me, all the while expressing genuine concern. One fellow retrieved my glasses and, instead of handing them to me, carefully fitted them to my head. Another attentively recovered and returned my briefcase and its spilled contents. Expressing inadequate gratitude, I hobbled away; they called after me several times, “Are you sure you’re okay?”

Only later did I realize that I had not been okay for a long time. Based on little more than clothing and color, I had been stupidly judgmental. Obviously, more than my eyesight had been faulty. My ugly stereotypes had blinded me to the inherent caring, generosity and courtesy in others.

The fall I took in Kennedy Plaza the other week was a valuable learning experience I shall never forget, and for which I’m grateful.



The Phoenix has Landed

Good news for NASA, the Phoenix lander has successfully touched down on Mars.

This is quite an accomplishment for NASA since they haven’t been able to do a soft landing on Mars for 32 years. Last time they did it was the Viking landers in 1976.

I know, I know. What about the twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity which at current reckoning are still going even though they were only supposed to last for 90 days. They used a cushioned balloon system to get the landers on the ground whereas Phoenix used rocket packs to slow the descent to a comfy 5MPH at landing.

One other little fact emerged. The Phoenix program cost $420 Million to design, build and launch. The Mars Rovers cost $820 Million, which is $410 Million per rover. I’d say we got our $820 Million out of the rovers, and I think we’ll get the same out of the Phoenix. In essence, the rovers have proven that there was once free flowing water at or near the surface of Mars. Now Phoenix gets to look for the precursors to life as we know it.

The article was keen to point out that the instruments on Phoenix wouldn’t find alien life. But then who knows what alien life really looks like.

Yes I know that the total cost for just those two programs is $1.23 Billion, but it’s money well spent. Because if there was life on Mars there’s a good possibility that it may have spread from there to here. Mars was once a vibrant planet. What happened to it?

For all we know, we might really be Martians.

Take the Bus

I came across this on Yahoo’s news titled “High gas prices? Take the bus instead”.

RIPTA is the dominant carrier her in Rhode Island. But one thing they’re getting killed by is fuel costs. So much so that a monthly pass is going to $55 from $45, regular one way fare is going to $1.75 from $1.50 as well as increases on most fare products.

One of the primary problems that RIPTA has is that the fare paying public is only 10% of their riders. The other 90% get subsidies, freebies, etc. For example, college students at universities enrolled in the uPass program can present their student ID and not have to pay a fare. The schools chip in for this but you can be sure it’s not full fare.

RIPTA walks a fine line with fare structure. They know that if they increase too much people will simply walk or bike or drop out of the transportation game all together. But they’ve seen enormous gains in number of riders over the past few years, mostly the years of [dripping sarcasm mode on]President Bush’s great economy[dripping sarcasm mode off]

Another big part of RIPTA’s budget is provided by a few cents of the state take of the gasoline taxes. But as consumption of gasoline goes down, so too do RIPTA’s revenues. There is talk of eliminating the fixed tax on gasoline and going to a percentage basis.

That way as the cost of gas rises so to does the tax collected. As it stands now Rhode Island takes 32 cents of that per gallon cost. Actually if they did a percentage basis and used the 7% state sales tax they’d remove the 32 cents in tax so that gallon becomes $3.68 and then apply the tax to that which would bring the per gallon tax to 28 cents. Let’s say gas is $4.50 a gallon before tax, that’d net the state about 32 cents.

In reality a percentage tax is a losing proposition for the state and would have to be much higher than the state sales tax rate.

Let’s try the same experiment at 12%. The $3.68 gallon would net the state 44 cents in tax, and if gas rose to $4.50 it’d be 54 cents.

So if we do change the funding scheme for RIPTA expect to pay a lot more for gasoline. That’ll further depress gasoline usage. It’s a vicious circle.

McSame/McBush on Ellen

So I wonder, is McCain trying to court the gay vote? I only say this because he appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

The article and clip of the show can be found here.

If you wish to see just the video, watch below:

Legal agreements huh? Explain that to the gentleman here in RI who when his partner of many years died in their home, the gentleman in question was handcuffed, not allowed to plan the funeral, etc. Even the estate went to the deceased partners family, not his partner. Legal agreements didn’t protect them.

Or the hoops we have to jump through for health care coverage. Walk into most places with a ring on your finger and it’s automatically assumed that you’re married, but it isn’t so if you’re gay.

Ellen makes the point rather well at the end of the video.

Funny new Australian Program

It’s called “The Librarians” and is produced by the Australian Broadcasting Company.

The show features a cast of characters that would fit into any of the libraries I frequent. You’ve got your OGT character, your budding poet whose work is a little sex obsessed, the second in command is disabled and I’ll let you figure out WHY she’s disabled.

But the prime character is the head librarian whom they’ve given the name of Frances O’Brien, and let me just say she’s a very tightly wrapped character. I think that’s part of the charm of the show, she’s completely manic. Too funny.

Even the intro is interesting, by the time she gets to her desk she’s hyperventilating and does the old paper bag trick.

Not to mention that the jazz tune used for the intro music is very nice.

The main reason I love this show is that I’ve always loved libraries and archives. One of the things I love is the vast collection of well organized information and knowledge. And increasingly, data is becoming a large part of libraries which dovetails nicely with my I.S. background. Matter of fact I’m considering enrolling in San Jose State Universities online Masters in Archives and Records Administration.

I’ve looked at the course listing and almost every single one of them touches on information science in one form or another. The nice thing is it’s a 3 year program and only $18,000. I had been looking at a Masters in Library Science at Drexel but that was $40,000!

But check out the show, it has its funny moments. I’m still trying to figure out if the character of Ky Lee is gay, I think he is. That’s the other thing I’ve noted about library and archive staff, there are a LOT of gay people in the field.