Tommyjournal   archive    June 2003

Friday  06.27.03

Summer :
  warm nights,
    the Milky Way,

Thursday  06.26.03

Although sodomy laws are seldom enforced, they send a message that gay people are second-class. Those who support these laws understand that message quite well; while campaigning for Governor of Texas in 1994, Bush promised to veto any attempt to repeal Texas' gay-only sodomy law, calling it "a symbolic gesture of traditional values".

Decisions like today's Lawrence v. Texas can have far-reaching effects. The Supreme Court's 1986 decision to uphold sodomy laws (Bowers v. Hardwick) had been cited in a wide variety of cases regarding the regulation of morality.

Today's decision is interesting reading. A PDF version is available from the Court's web site.

In a dissent to today's opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas called the law "uncommonly silly" and said "If I were a member of the Texas Legislature, I would vote to repeal it." (Contrast that with Bush's 1994 statement.) But Thomas found it outside the Court's scope to strike the law down.

I wrote to my Senators today encouraging them to oppose the President's more extreme judicial nominations.

Monday  06.23.03

I slipped, fell and cut my thumb while hiking with a friend today: good sized cut, bled for a while. My friend had first aid stuff in his car. I poured peroxide on the cut, that stang like nobody's business, I screamed real good (satisfying). My friend said one cleansing should be enough, I got a devilish grin and said no, I wanna do it again, poured it on, it hurt less, I stamped my feet rather than scream, turned to my friend and said it wasn't as good as the first time.

I bring this up as an example of what I'd said on May 20:
being contrary is one of the simple pleasures in life.

Sunday  06.22.03

I listed this little page on QueerFilter today, and the form asked me whether it was a blog or a journal.  <grin>

What better moment than now to put on the web a true story I wrote for inclusion in an anthology of gay men's diaries. What would I do without experiences to write about (I'm no good at writing fiction).

Friday  06.20.03

I keep a hummingbird feeder outside my kitchen window, except for the winter when the hummingbirds aren't here. Birds fight over it, they chase each other away. Birds look for it when I've got it inside for refilling, with body language that has a characteristic I-coulda-sworn-there-was-one-here look to it. They chase each other away even when it isn't there.

I found a bird looking for the feeder before I put it back out for this season, giving the distinct impression that s/he remembered where it had been from last year. Obviously this isn't proof, but it looks like the same bird came back to my neighborhood after going wherever it is that it went for the winter, and remembered the location of a feeder after 6+ months. Not bad.

Solstice tomorrow, Saturday, at ten minutes past noon Pacific Daylight Time.

Thursday  06.19.03

A few days ago, a buddy suggested to me that I might want to give rap music more of a chance, in the spirit of being flexible and open to new things. Several thoughts come to mind:
  • part of aging gracefully is accepting that it takes more effort to change and adapt as one gets older
  • of all the things it might behoove me to change, my opinion of rap music is way way down on my list
  • it's okay to use your intuition about what you choose not to put effort into
  • I wish I had a dollar for every time someone told me that if I learned emacs I'd like it much better than vi.
Anent rap--Ed Macan said it quite well:
I don't know how long a musical form like rap, with no harmonic content, virtually no melodic content, and ultra-repetitive rhythms can hold people's attention, but I guess we're going to find out.    [...]    From my perspective, the culture-at-large has entered a musical dark age.

Happy nineteeth.

Wednesday  06.18.03

Déjà vu: as on May 27, I had some wheels balanced today, and again a mechanic (the owner of the shop this time) told me that static balancing was adequate in the old days, and I again resisted the urge to say that static balancing doesn't ensure that an eigenvector of the wheel's moment of inertia tensor is parallel to the wheel's axis.

A little later (now unlike the May 27 conversation) the gentleman told me he wasn't keen on Japanese cars (pointing at mine), that he had been reading about how Japanese cut the heads off some American POWs in WWII, and that as far as he was concerned Japan could sink into the ocean. At that point I didn't keep quiet, I said that America's record is not clean, mentioning as an example a bit of local history: white men forcing Paiutes into Owens Lake to drown.

In my experience, the garage in question has been honest and fair and does good work (even on Japanese cars). The owner has time to chat and likes getting to know his customers. He also sees to it that his customers get to know him, and for some reason seems to relish baring his redneck side.

If you don't like the tradeoffs of small town life, there's always city life. A repair shop I used (once) in San Francisco lied to me, tried to cheat me, and did shoddy work--but as far as I know, held no grudges against Japan. You can get away with cheating people in a city; there's a supply of customers who don't know about you. You'll go out of business doing that in a town of 2200 people.

Tuesday  06.17.03

From an article in today's NY Times:
Scientists suspect that jaguars also keep their courtships brief as a form of safe sex: no hiss, no scratch, now get out of here.
Sounds like a plan.

Sunday  06.15.03

Most memorable line from conversation while rock climbing yesterday:
Are you a man or a mollusc?
(spoken with a feigned Scottish accent by M.S.).

As evidenced by the categories on my main page), I'm partial to an alliterative M: a taste triggered by the NY Times crossword puzzle 26 years ago today (i.e. June 15, 1977), nearly every clue of which started with the letter M. Aren't you glad you know that now.

But back to yesterday. I was having trouble with climbing the route, and told Mike
I think today I'm a mollusc.

Tuesday  06.10.03

I've had mixed feelings about having this journal cataloged in search engines. I settled on the 'what the fuck' choice, i.e. let it happen.

I don't check every hit that is logged, but so far I have noticed two (2) hits to this page referred from search engines. (Most hits are referred from other people's blogs.) Both search engine referrals were due to my
March 6 entry about having accidentally horrified a cleaning lady in a men's room. The first hit came from someone in the UK typing "lady piss in men's room" to Google; the second hit (last night, from New Jersey) came from a search for "cleaning lady men's room stories". I'm not ashamed of that journal entry--but jeez, I wouldn't mind getting referrals from a wider range of searches.

An experiment:
aquifer apothecary amanuensis aneroid arcuate,
callipygian cantankerous coniferous,
eleemosynary exculpatory ensign,
introception interstices insignia,
marimba mathematics malleolus,
obsidian oblong obviate.
Let's see if any of those words scares up a search engine referral. (I'm easily amused.)

And finally--apropos of nothing--a sentence that ends with five prepositions:
Mommy, what did you bring that book that I didn't want to be read to out of up for?

Monday  06.09.03

A dream I had shortly before getting up yesterday morning: I arranged to rent a truck to move out of my house. The truck was brought to my house, was huge, couldn't turn around in the area in front of my garage, and was damaged (the back of the truck had been hit and was falling apart). I had friends around to help me load the truck but I realized I hadn't boxed up any of my stuff yet.

Sometimes I miss things that aren't available where I live, in balance not enough to want to move though. There's nowhere else calling my name.

I moved here 5+ years ago, at the same time a couple moved into a house down the street. A friend (and neighbor) of mine told me early on that the couple wouldn't last here, and indeed they were gone within two years. I was impressed with my friend's perceptiveness, and asked her whether she thought I would move or stay. She declined to say.

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