Monday, December 29, 2008

3D Movies

Going back and forth yesterday on what movie to watch. Really wanted to see Benjamin Buttons, but almost 3 hours of melancholy just didn't sound real appealing. Then I saw my local theater has 3D movies, so there ya' go!

Bolt in 3D was a fun movie. The story was good, simple and entertaining. The effects were good, not the over the top, cross-eyed type the first generation used.

Plus the shorts leading into the movie were also in 3D, so it was a regular cartoon fest for a good 20 minutes before the movie. There might have been a trailer in there.

If you haven't been to a 3D movie lately, you are missing a lot of fun.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Recipe: Caramel Coffee


Mix in the left cup, pour over ice. No sugar allowed.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Cards

Yes, I am really late this year in getting my Christmas cards into the mail. Hopefully they will arrive in time.

I suspect that many people did not get my new address. I posted it here, but didn't quite "spell it out" The street number is pictured here and its on Apache. I also find that my list of addresses is lacking somewhat, since I would have liked to send a card to Peter with an I, except the only thing known is that he lives in Florida. Or Michigan. Or someplace.


Here is this years card, and stamp. I think the stamp kinda fits my mood this year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Rally

The rally was much larger than I expected, though truth be told I had no idea how many people were expected to show. The estimates were around 1,400 people. This apparently was at least the same in all the other 49 state capitals on the same day. A site JoinTheImpact got things started and it took off from there in just 4 days!

I forgot my camera, but luckily A Captured Image's photos are available at Flickr, including this one with some of the many, many signs.



We gathered at the legislative building and had several speakers. The rain held out until the politician (who was it?) and then it opened up the skies. He stayed on with his speech, the rain let up and we marched around the capital and protested in front of the governors mansion.

This was the first real protest march I've been in. I did march on washington back in the 90's but that was more of a huge festival. This was local and did one thing, protest. The organizers were Wes Elliot and Tom Greene. I know of Wes through his monthly gay happy hours around town, but Tom is new to me. I suspect however that this isn't the last time we see him.

There was one identifiably feature about all of the people gathered. They were all people of pallor. When I first noticed that I took a good look around and found only one black man. I can't say that I was looking for latinos but I don't remember any. Mostly it was youth or middle class.

There were no counter protests, I guess they didn't have time to organize. Or, since all the ones we seem to get are from out of state, they had others capitals to pick from. As we rounded the capital building a white bus with darkened glass went past. How they got around with the snarled traffic I have no idea, but when we came to it again several black men were jeering out the back windows. Wes stood opposite and kept everybody moving along.

Afterwards I was supposed to meet with the ski group. But along with forgetting my camera I also forgot my wallet. So I popped home, picked them up and went back. They were meeting in the Flying Saucer, but when I spent 15 minutes at the bar trying to get his attention I finally gave up and went to the Burrough instead. This was at least an hour after the march had ended. Wes & Tom both were there along with a couple of friends / organizers getting a burger. No big party, no huge todo, they were decompressing before heading on...who knows maybe there was a party waiting for them elsewhere.

A week ago nobody was even talking about protests, and in just a few days all 50 capitals. Not too bad!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rally to Protest Prop 8

It looks like there are going to be a few protests across the country this weekend in protest to proposition 8 that passed in California. As a matter of fact, a few rally just in my neck of the woods itself.

There are two rallies, one at Duke University in Durham and another on the Capital Steps in Raleigh. I'm going to the political one in Raleigh. The dates for them are:

  • Captial Rally: Saturday 11/15, 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.
    NC Capital Building, One East Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC
  • Equality Conference on Saturday at Duke


The Equality Conference is something already planned with several speakers at symposiums I guess. It just seems that the Capital one will have a lot more energy. Plus I don't think the University folks are really me.

Have you ever watched Queer as Folk? In season two or three there was the lesbian and gay center that really did not like Brian. They were the folks that did good thing in the commmunity. Thats just it, all good. Thats what the conference feels like. I'll join Brian and his buddies in the state capital.

This looks like the real rally across the country. Winston-Salem is getting something started. Charlotte, well....they do their own thing, not part of the state really. Initial rally attempts to rise up against the Mormon Church fizzled, thank god. We're not at war with holy people even if they are with us sometimes. I'm a karma kind of guy, it just fits.

I'll try to take pictures.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hiking Hanging Rock Park

Sunday was a day trip out to Hanging Rock State Park, just outside of Danbury, NC. It was quite a day, and I was whooped at the end, but it felt good. We came away mostly uninjured, one person came close to knee problems, another just got beat down. But the rest of us, 15 total, came through fine.

Here are a few pictures from the hike (larger resolutions on clicks). We did around 10 miles with ascents of 650' to 750'. The weather was nice though, getting to around 60 and mostly sunny. But let me tell you that it got cold when we made it to the watch tower and a cloud wafted by along with a breeze!

This is the valley looking north westerly. Off in the distance is Pilot Mountain, which for you Griffith folks you may have heard of as Mount Pilot
One of the several rock cliffs we scaled
Lunch time
The lookout tower, our final destination and the stone steps leading up to the lookout tower. We ended up only going down the steps since we came around the back way. Walking down steps is harder than you think, especially these ones....
This is most of our group, and as you can see most of the leaves are off the trees. I was hoping to catch the fall foilage but it peaked last week, dangit!


It was a fun day, and quite tiring. I can promise that dinner last night tasted especially good!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Birthday Party

Went to a birthday party for Anthony last night. It was a fun evening, reminding me of what it's like to go out and enjoy myself.

Anthony has a beautiful apartment near Cameron Village. The rooms were all huge and his taste in decorating is interesting and delightful. It was almost a museum air in the decor, which made perfect for mingling.

The outdoor patio was 3 floors high, and the popping of the beer and the cap bouncing around on the pavement were perfect mood setters. There was plenty of drink and smoke going around out there. It was quite festive.

The mix was eclectic. There was the woman from downstairs who had the most wonderful idea, setting aside a day of the week for just reading. The guy who was making up some of the most ingenious crap and the ghoul who egged him on. Then there was the 20 year old who decided he wanted to explore being gay, with some of the funniest things coming out of his mouth as he flirted with the hostmaker guy.

Yep, it was a fun evening.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Other State of Mind

It's been an interesting several weeks since I last wrote something. And that was kinda bland and boring if I remember correctly.

It's not that I've not been doing stuff. I just haven't taken the time to write about it. For instance, we had our local gay pride parade end of last month. North Carolina (meaning the state, sans Charlotte) has the festival in late September. The first year they did it, something like 14 or 15 years ago in July, people passed out from the heat. So it's a nice end of summer festival. I was in the parade this year.

And last week was spent in Minneapolis. It was a week in training, but I've not been there since I was 21 years old. As a matter of fact, the diary entry took place on the eve of my leaving that fantastic city. Back then I was temp duty 6 months there, far from base. I explored Hennepin back then and all of it's dens of iniquity. I tried to do that this time, but everything moved 5 or 6 blocks east. The Eagle was fun, especially playing bingo on Thursday.

Then there is the study I volunteered for at UNC. It's an alcohol cessation study of a couple of drugs. It's double blind so I have no idea if I have the real drugs or a couple of placebos. Maybe the counseling is helping too, since it's been 3 weeks since I ventured into an adult beverage. Pretty good since it's probably never been more than 2 day ever since Minneapolis or a short bit afterward.

The old house is still out there. What are the chances it's going to sell quickly in this market? Winter is looking like a good time for some fix'it chores. That damn pool needs a new liner. The deck needs painting. But already got the roof and carpet replaced.

With my nights suddenly free, there's lots of time for activities in the evenings. I've joined a gym and manage to fit it in on 3-4 nights a week. Other nights I figure out something to do. Tonight it was a visit to the bookstore, and as soon as I find a nice coffee shop nearby I'll go there sometimes. I'm kinda setting up an alternating mind/body schedule. Tonight I enjoyed reading some of Hawkings theories on the universe. And now I'm blogging.

Did I mention that I've been nicotine free for over 2 years now? Minnesota state law doesn't allow smoking indoors, including in bars. I had been there four days and six bars or grills before discovering that. How awesome is that?!?!

I think I am making great progresss at putting myself into the other state of mind ... of health and happinesss.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

NC Parks Survey

The North Carolina Parks and Recreation department has a survey posted asking for input as they make plans for the coming years. It's a short survey and takes only 15 minutes or so to complete. I voted for more land acquisition plus improvements to existing parks.

The survey can be found here.....

Over the past couple of years I've become a big fan of the hiking and biking trails in the area. It started when I joined the Triangle Hiking and Outdoor Group (THOG) at Meetup.com.

I love to go hiking, and the rougher the better. Well, I say that knowing that I've not really done too many of the advanced hikes. And bike riding has also become a favorite pasttime. I've done several hundred miles of country road riding, plus the greenways here in town. A couple weeks ago I went to Crabtree trails for some mountain biking and that was fun (and I'll be going back soon!)

Next summer, I think it might be time to explore more rugged terrains, plus maybe some campovers. That will give me the opportunity to sleep under the stars.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Halloween Masks

This is a very strange political season this year. I really do not know what to make of it. I think both candidates need to make some hard selling for me, cuz neither is worth the trip to the ballot.

But today I was walking around the fabric store and came across a rack of masks for halloween. The choices were - Bush, - McCain, - Hillary and - Britanny.

But no Obama.

I can only imagine why. If I were a conspiracy theorist (or ideologist) I'm sure I could come up with at least one really good one.

Do those masks even exist? But I'm too lazy to google that...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Hanna

Hurricane Hanna was pretty much a non-event for Raleigh. She didn't do any real damage, though a bunch of folks in New Hanover had power outages. I did not catch the injury counts directly from the storm.

It was in nearing full swing when I got up on Saturday morning. Just before noon it passed over and we were on the wayward side of the storm. About that time crabtree creek was peaking, so I decided to go take a couple pictures.

This is the greenway next to the creek. The inset shows what it looked like once the creek was back in it's shores (as always, hi-res pictures on a photo click). And yes, that is a Biscuitville restraurant in the background. Not a bad breakfast place for less than 5 bucks.

One thing I wished I had photo'd were the bare new car lots. The lots are on either side of the creek along Wake Forest. If the creek had come up another 3 feet after it's already rising 13 feet, it would have breached it's outer banks and flooded the lot. If that had happened, we'd have a bunch of New Orleans Specials next week.

After seeing that water level, I can easily see why the greenway has so much right-of-way through the city. It runs alongside a major rainwater drainage channel.

I took the post-storm picture while taking the pup on an adventure this morning. We stopped at the bear rock cafe for the first time, I got a coffee and newspaper and we sat in the shade and watched sunday morning get started. Such a huge contrast to yesterday morning. I think we'll repeat this morning in the future.

On the final stretch of our adventure, we scaled the big new embankment from the widening project and walked along the ridge at the top. It's actually pretty far up from the road, and steep. There is a private gravel driveway going into those trees up that hill ... tiz strange. But note to me, hiking boots next hurricane.

And for those Durham ladies, wazzup? under the bridge and go left.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sweetened Cherry Iced Tea

This is an iced tea I fixed up today for while I worked on the gardening. This recipe is also featured in the Carnival of the Recipes at the Busy Family Meals web site.

It's simple, just a bit of improvising for the sweetener. I had some berry flavored tea, and I wanted to use sweet besides sugar. Cherry butter fit the bill and I even had a jar of it. You can find cherry butter earlier in the year (and canned, now) at farmers markets. It's a lot like apple butter only with, you know, cherries.

I used the coffee maker to brew the tea, when the maker is at it's hottest, right after recharge from morning coffee (it's a diner coffee maker thingy). But the filter drip needs to have been cleaned daily to keep out coffee taste.

Sweetened Cherry Iced Tea
  • Celestial Seasoning Black Cherry Berry tea (or any berry infused tea)
  • Cherry Butter, maybe 2-4 Tbsp
Brew tea, mix in enough cherry butter to the preferred sweetness. If you like really sweet tea, such as southern tea, you may want to add some sugar to keep the cherry from becoming overpowering.

Pour into your favorite tea pitcher, fill with ice and enjoy.

-------------

Bonus Recipe!!!

Tangerine Float

Try this for desert, easy as any root beer float. Take the ice cream out of the freezer just as you take your first forkful of dinner, it'll be the perfect consistency for this delight.
Put the ice cream into the glass, preferrably a coke glass shape with the narrow bottom. Add the cream soda, slurping the foam to keep it from overflowing. Take a spoonful, close eyes and just taste it cross the tongue.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Resting Day

The festival always takes a lot out of me, and I just need a day of rest and relaxation. I always take one extra day off whenever I travel or go to big events like this, so to veg. Call it a mental vacation.

So today I will post pictures from this mornings walk with the pup. Much larger versions of the pictures are just a click away.


Just starting the walk and passing car dealerships. They must be really hurting if they are offering 0% financing and 42% off the price.


There is a bunch of construction going on to widen Wake Forest. This is just inside the 440 loop, up on the hill the exposed building is the Courtyard Marriot. The shopping strip center behind me is getting a major face lift.


The greenway parralels one of the creeks and or drain systems. The babbling brook is where I enter the greenway off of Wake Forest.


Today we walked to the Kiwanis park. There is a big soccer field there, and shrooms were growing quite well on it after Saturday nights rain.


And while gardening in the back woods, I came across this slug. The thing is huge.



Yes, it was a very relaxing day today.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

13th NC Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

It has been a very busy weekend, starting last Thursday with the opening of the 13th NC Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Local TV station NBC 17 did a feature, here.

I've been volunteering at the festival for several years now, starting as a ticket taker and manning the information booth. That is actually a lot of fun, because I got to look each in the eye and smile and basically get my face out there and become familiar. This year I was on the men's programming committee. I actually feel quite honored to have been asked to join.

Pictured here is the Carolina Theatre from Saturday night. This is between shows and the main features will be starting soon.

We started reviewing films in March, and had over 350 films submitted. Half of those were womens films, so they didn't need viewing by us. Well over half were shorts, but that is still some serious film watching. And trust me when I say that there is a fair share of them that just are not that good.

That explains why my Netflix activity is down to nothing lately. (If you aren't my Netflix friend, go here).

I had an absolute blast the entire 4 days. One of my responsibilities was to go onstage and introduce the film and welcome everyone to the festival. So here I get a chance to go in front of lots of gay men and talk to them. Talk about getting myself out there to be recognized! Another responsibility was to host filmmakers and others for the films. That meant getting them from/to the airport, and to the theater for their showings.

What made this a great weekend for me was how I was enjoying myself every minute. I was walking around saying hi to tons of people I knew, or even just sorta knew, or wanted to know. I also attended the reception this yea, my first time. I had no idea what to expect, and figure I'll be more prepared next year.

Meeting the various filmmakers and actors was also fun. The big name that we had was Randy Jones, the cowboy from Village People. When we were at the bar later and we talked, I think I was a giddy little school girl, which you know is not me. I think I was just enjoying the brownies and beer. There was the faintest of possibilities that Michael Emerson would be at the festival, because of his great part in Ready? Ok! Everybody quizes him about his role as Ben on Lost, but I didn't want to do that, so I tried to bone up on some of his other films. I had caught Straight Jacket where he is wonderful as a butler. I had 29th & Gay queued up, but that's when Netflix broke down last week.

The film selection this year was just awesome. We had a ton of films that covered a wide spectrum. From a silly teen sex farce to the artistic. Subtitled foreign films to spritual to wholesome to funny, we covered a lot.

Okay, I think Ive gone on enough. It really was a fun time, and initial figures show this festival to be the 2nd most successful season. And that's because it was fun!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Whatever Happened To....

So, whatever happened to ??? How about Danny?

I don't remember how much of this is before or after starting the diary. Danny's last name was Groves, and he hailed from out northwest U.S. Washington or Oregon. He had mentioned one time that his dad worked in computers and that is why he was assembling a computer from blueprints. To this day I keep thinking that I will find out that his dad really is Andy Grove of Intel fame.

He knew his computers and how they worked. Or I think it would be more accurate to say he knew rules and how they applied, and computers are all about a bunch of rules tied together. When we would get together for our almost weekly D&D game, he would start quoting the rules in the dm manual. But we know now that D&D doesn't have any rules. (or maybe it was a flaw in version 1 of the rules?).

Danny knew I was gay. Thom told him, just before I got back from Eagan, MN. When he told me that, I was flattened. Here I was, afraid to let anyone know becuase I could get kicked out? And Thom goes and outs me. And outs himself too, of course! And not just to Danny, but to Bill too!

According to my diary, Danny and I didn't mix too well. Oil and vinegar. And thats what I remember. But... in one entry I tell how he and I just talked one night when I needed it about me being gay. It went pretty well apparently because I failed to note any of the details. I don't remember the talk, but I feel that it's important that I had that talk with someone.

Over time, Danny became more of a recluse. He spent all of his time in his dorm room, initially studying the D&D manuals, all of them. Who know what after those were memorized. He owned only one pair of jeans by that time. They were too long but he had walked on the heel for so long all that remained was the seam. And I'm not sure when they had last visited a washing machine.

My final thoughts about him were near the time where he should be planning on what to do next, re-up or go into private sector. And he just disappeared. Poof!

And that was Danny. One day I will discover his dad really was Andy Groves, or he himself will burst onto the world scene in the computer arena. One day.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Jon Stewart on DADT

In light of what I wrote yesterday about keeping secret about being gay when I was in USAF comes this clip from the Daily Show. Jon Stewart take on the congressional hearings in his inimical style.



That is pure comedy gold!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

June 7, 1983


I really dont know how to really start this off. Just an impulse to start a diary set it off. I do hope that I'll keep this going for several years, and that it'll help me through some of the hard times.

Maybe I should describe myself. I'm 21 right now, and at times I feel a lot younger and a lot older, but neither really seem just right. Its probably from the way I get treated at work alot of times. Since I'm in Minnesota, working with this team, I just Happen to be the youngest. There's nothing wrong with that except that I catch a lot of flack, being “the baby” or “junior”. I'm not really all that upset, in fact, its kind of nice. Being with people that are 10 to 25 yrs. older than I am has helped me to mature a little. That seems to be what I think about the most, growing up and being a little more mature. I do hold my own, though.

Well, enough of that. Let me finish describing myself. As I said I'm 21, about 6 ft. 1, weigh about 160 pounds. I'm hoping to change that weight as soon as I get back to Montgomery though. I have a membership at a health club, and plan to make full use of it when I get back.

I'm in the Air Force, with a rank of E-2 (airman 1st class), and have been here since Feb 10, 1982, totaling 1 year and 4 month. I'll recap what happened in that year, or at least what I can remember of it.

Starting with Basic Training, I was on a plane on feb 10, and Basic started on Feb 11. It only lasted 6 weeks, or 30 actual working days, but it seemed the first 2 or 3 weeks were a long time, or so it seemed. But once I got into the groove of it, it just seemed to pass quick. I never did get lonely or homesick, though I did call home quite a bit. And then there was the time I called Jenny Toth and tried to talk her into joining the service. She didn't seem too excited about it, and now that I look back on it I feel like a fool, ah but what the hell. And then there's the day that the T.I. Told us not to do any “unauthorized” smoking breaks and then I get caught! I had to clean bird shit all morning long. And then getting arrested for deserting Dorm Guard duty! Ha – ha, it seems so funny now. But the best of all was when I found out that I was to be made into a computer programmer. I about jumped through the ceiling with joy.

And then after basic came tech-school. In Biloxi, Ms. Or all places. But then, thats where I wanted to go, just because of the beach. Oh well! But tech-school was fun. I took a detail that released me of almost all other duties. Road Guard! The only duty I had was to go to a meeting of the other Road Guards once a week, and it wasn't nothing great. And don't forget A.F.I. Painting trees, roads, basketball courts, and what-not. But there was school. I thought it was awful tough. But the day that I passed was great. Again I felt like jumping for joy. I was now a Computer Programmer!! Ah, but it's not all that its cracked up to be. It isn't bad, as a matter-of-fact, its been pretty good.

Off to Gunter I went. Down in the south. Montgomery, Al. A sleep little capital, but not too bad. I arrived after a little leave between school and there. I was moved in with John Howard. Not a bad guy, all-in-all, but strange in his own way. Falls in love with a girl that barely knows he's alive and then tries to move in. I have as yet to see anything happen with one, but I wish him all the luck in the world.

And then there Danny Groves. Danny is a good guy, but at times, he and I don't mix too well. It's rare, but when it hita, it hits hard. All the rest of the time, we get along just great. I wouldn't say that we're the best of friends, but we do get along.

And then Bill. Cant think of his ^last (later:smullen) name right off. Bills very odd. He showers daily, but for some reason, he always has B.O. I don't know what it is, but he is almost always like that. I dont like to talk about it, but its a fact. But other than that, Bill is just great. Whenever we play D and D he's the Game-Master. He has a wild imagination, and that works out great. But as far as the game goes, I don't think I'll get into it right now.

And last, but most definitely not least, is Tom Blackmon. Tom is about as tall as I am, has red hair, and I would call him my best friend. I don't know what his opinionis of me, but I imagine I'll probably find out when I get back to Gunter. As for other things about him, I'll get to that later today.

Now, as to what I'm doing here in Minnesota. After being at Gunter for about six months, Danny Nieman (my boss) asked me if I wanted to go to Minneapolis to work on the system they are buying. Of course I said ”Sure” So here I am. I feel that Ive learned quite a lot here, but not quite enough. But I keep on trying. I've been here since January 9, 1983, and will be going home to Gunter on June 19. I tell everyone here that I really don't want to go back just yet, but I guess that I've been here a little too long, and I would like to go.

Now comes the thing that find hard to say. I'm Gay. At least I think that I am. I always find myself looking at a guy I find good-looking, and just can't help myself. Its a thing I always keep secret, for fear of what would happen. I don't really know what would happen if it were known all over, but I know that not all of it would be good. First, I would be kicked out of the service, no matter how much I enjoy being there. I haven't had this good a time in my life, making friends, meeting new people, and different sorts of things. But behind it all, there is the fact that the very next day, I might be out on my own, just because I'm gay.

It really bothers me at times. I don't know if it's something that I think I am, or if I really am. I dont act like the stero-type, but then, most people that are gay, dont act like the typical image that most people think a homosexual should behave. Peer-pressure is part of it, along with “society” shunning it, but it really does bother me.

It's caused me a lot of heart-ache, making me think and do some things that I really didn't think was right or sensible. For instance, while here in Minnesota, I tried to cover my tracks, make people think that I was straight. There was this girl up here, her name's Leslie. To the best of my ability, I made it appear to everyone that her and I were a little serious. I even had her fooled. But after a couple of weeks it all went sour. You see, she had been dating another Air Force guy, but he ended up going home. So thats when I thought that I might start all of it. She had asked me if I wanted to go to a party (function) that some of the people at Sperry were throwing. I accepted. [ed: see photos at end of entry] From there, I went on with this charade, using Leslie to help me cover up what I was. Well it went sour when Don came back up here. He thought I had designs on Leslie, and I imagine his friend, Dave, told him what I'd been doing.

Well, the two broke up, and I felt that I was responsible for it. I couldn't stand to see them breaking up, not if it were my fault. Well, during this time, I had been working at night, and about the time that things were getting to a good boil, I went back to days.

All of a sudden, I was thrown into it. For some reason (I still haven't figured it out), I went into a truly super-black mood. Anything and everything made me mad. This lasted for 3 or 4 days, and I just couldn't get out of it.

Last Friday, Jo-Ann (our secretary) decided that we should all go out and get to tie-one-on. So most of us went, and after I started to buzzing pretty good, Jo-Ann asked me if there were something wrong with Don and Leslie. Thats when my black mood hit its climax.

I just started telling here everything that had been going on (except that I'm gay. must keep it a secret, now you see what I mean). I just plain unloaded on her. Told her about everything that was bothering me. It helped a lot.

The next day, I was still not in such a good mood, so I went for a walk. I ended up walking about 3 or 4 miles to the theatre, watched “Return of the Jedi” and walked back. From then on, I felt the blackness lifting. I felt awfully good, and even better when I went to Grand Old Days Sunday. Parades, parties, and bands all up and down the street.

Since then, I've been in a lot better mood. And tonight I go back on midnights. So you can see what being gay can be like, but I'm still not sure just what my feeling are. Its like some great conflict is always taking place within me. I can't help it if I find other men attractive. I've been fighting it since I was 16, but its always there. No matter what, I still turn my head when I see a good looking man.

Of course, I've been writing about the bad points. With everything people around me keep saying against gays, its a wonder I'm still sane. There are time when I feel good about it. I just hit a natural high on it, and I'm in a fantastic mood.

And good things have come from it. I met one guy that I thought I was in love with. I thought about him quite a bit. His name was Mark Love. He helped me come to grips with what I am, or at least what I think I am.

For a long time in High School, and afterwards, he and I were best of friends. We did everything together. While I was fighting against being gay, I told him that I thought I was. But his reaction was a lot different than what I expected. I thought that we would probably break away as friends, and go our own way.

But it wasn't that way at all. He just said “So am I'. I was amazed, to say the least! We went to bed several times after that, but he was just as new to all this as I was. I eventually became too possesive of him, and that was our downfall. I still think of him a lot. But from that “So am I”, I came to accept myself for what I am. I told 2 more people after that, my sister and Linda Toth. I told Linda because at that particular time, I became a little depressed (not the 1st nor the last). She ended-up telling the entire Toth family, which I didn't find out until a few trips to their house later. I love that family because they never did treat me any different after that than they did before-hand.

Kaye, my sister, just said “I kind-of thought so”, and that was that. She doesn't bring it up very often, and she doesn't disaprove or dislike it, so there isn't any worry there. But I haven't told my parents yet. I'm going to have to do it eventually, but I just don't know when or how. I think that my Dad already suspects it, but, I don 't really know.

My second lover is Tom. I said that I would tell more of him later. He's at the same point that I'm at right now. He's not too sure if he's gay and being in the service forces him to keep it secret also. He and I have gone to bed a few times, and we're learning off of each other. We're also trying to help each other come to terms with what we are.

Well, I don't know what is the real problem with me, but I working on it, which is why this diary is being written. I just hope for the best. Its time to get ready for work, so bye for now. Mike, I wish you the best of luck!!

(16 hand written pages)









Leslie and I at the function in Minneapolis


Talking


Something serious?


Tuckered out


Dave. Yes ... Dave!

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Diaries

On Sunday afternoon, in an attempt to escape the heat of summer, I decided it was finally time to start work on the office / library / data / information room. This is the room that will house the computer servers, plus information such as policies, bills, documents. It is also the room where the photo albums will be found.

While working through the various boxes and piles of folders and shoe boxes, I came across 3 spiral ring binders. These are my diaries. All three binders open with the year 1983, however the 3rd one later on has dates past 1987. I was quite prolific in the early days but apparently slowed down in that last diary.

I was 21. I was in the Air Force. I was returning to my permanent station from an extended tdy. And I was excited about being near Thom again. And of course, there is youthful angst.

I've decided to post those entries on this blog. It's not going to be particularly easy, since some of the entries are dark, embarasing or both. The entries will be as they were written, grammar, spelling and punctuation unchanged.

I am toying with the idea of putting into the comments area to the post my personal thoughts, because some things don't mesh with how I now remember things. Please let me know what you think of that idea. But the actual entries will be verbatim of what I wrote 25 years ago.

So starting tomorrow I will put up the first entry. It is long, but, to my point of view, very illuminating. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it back in the day.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday

It's been a particularly busy and fun Sunday this week. It started with a bikeride on the greenways. I made straight for the path where it crosses North Hills. After checking out the new breakfast menu at Wendys. The menu? Eh, nothing to be proud of, but okay. They should go bold and serve up a heaty breakfast menu, lotsa peppers, salsa and spice.

was headed towards crabtree, I'd heard there was a triathlon this weekend. Never did make it there, but got fairly close and I know the way now. Did a loop around Lake Shelley, a little rought railing, and back. During the ride I found I was missing my water bottle. Not cool, man! On the return ride I rode through the Wendys drive through and asked if I had dropped it there. Nope. Turns out it was in the parking lot of the first curb I jumped this morning. When I put it back (after several gulps) I saw the bracket was loose. Must have gotten loose during it's tune-up.

While going around the lake, I came across this man. walking on these stilt like things. These were really cool. He told me that it took him 3 months to get to where he could walk easily in them. They can't be bought in the U.S., but the can be found at XtremeSportz.com (I musta rememered wrong...but they can be seen here) Click the pic to see it larger)

The rest of the day was working in the yard at my new home. I brought several hosta from the other home and planted them. And painting the front door. It was a dreadful black, so I'm getting it to a white base so that I can choose any color I want for it.

It's been a fun weekend for me. How was yours?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dreams

I think I am going to start a new category of postings. Dreams. Yes, those weird little personal movies that are all yours. I love dreaming, they are so fantastic.

My dreams are usually from my point of view, usually from what I would see through my eyes. Occasionally in the dream I will view the scene from a 3rd view because that way makes it easiest to watch and integrate it into the whole.

About 2 years ago come August, Chantix came online to help people stop smoking. I took it, and come this August I will be smoke free (tobacco) for 2 years. Woo Hoo! Anyway, one of the side effects was an increase in dreaming. And did I ever groove into that side effect. I absolutely loved it!

Eventually I decided to keep a book on the dresser so that when I woke remembering the dream, I could write it down. I've gotten quite a few. Regrettably not all made it into the diary, as in at least one I was too embarrased or ashamed to want to record it. Man, that was a stupid thing to think. They are forever gone.

I wrote down last nights dream, as usual even before making coffee. Even before anything becuase I want to get it down before it fades. It was something about road trips, amusement parks, and bears being carried through a grand entrance and ending up in a mud puddle. And not caring.

Trust me, you had to be there!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

But I Own a Weedeater

Two good ol' boys from Arkansas, Jimbo and Bubba, are sitting at their favorite bar, drinking beer. Jimbo turns to Bubba and says, 'You know, I'm tired of going through life without an education. Tomorrow I think I'll go to the Community College and sign up for some classes.' Bubba thinks it's a good idea, and the two leave.

The next day, Jimbo goes down to the college and meets Dean of Admissions, who signs him up for the four basic classes: Math, English, History, and Logic.

'Logic?' Jimbo says. 'What's that?'

The dean says, 'I'll give you an example. Do you own a weed eater?'

'Yeah.'

'Then logically speaking, because you own a weed eater, I think that you would have a yard.'

'That's true, I do have a yard.'

'I'm not done,' the dean says. 'Because you have a yard, I think logically that you would have a house.'

'Yes, I do have a house.'

'And because you have a house, I think that you might logically have a family.'

'Yes, I have a family.'

'I'm not done yet. Because you have a family, then logically you must have a wife. And because you have a wife, then logic tells me you must be a heterosexual.'

'I am a heterosexual. That's amazing, you were able to find out all of that because I have a weed eater.'

Excited to take the class now, Jimbo shakes the Dean's hand and leaves to go meet Bubba at the bar. He tells Bubba about his classes, how he is signed up for Math, English, History, and Logic.

'Logic?' Bubba says, 'What's that?'

Jimbo says, 'I'll give you an example. Do you have a weed eater?'

'No.'

'Then you're a queer.'

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Raleigh Dating Scene

Okay, this personal ad starts on the positive:
you are the fairly hot, 30-ish married dude who cruised me at a certain raleigh gay club last night.
and goes downhill from there...

Monday, June 09, 2008

SirGayALot.com is Due To Expire

Yes, I did register that domain. And yes, I did pay for 2 years of it. And then I did nothing with it.

It expires on July 21 if anyone wants it. (Did I mention that I'm unloading lots of old stuff?)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

No More Big Screen

Oh, it is a sad day today. I sold my big projector screen. MD once told me that you can't call them big screens until it can show a lifesized manly as big as a thigh. At 118" mine qualified. Here was the Craiglist ad.

I did keep the projector, it is only 6 months old. A Panasonic PT-AX200, a very bright projector. I will mount a retractable screen at the brick end of the living room, with a tube telly at the other end with all of the equipment. That way face one way for big screen movies, the other for regular watching. Life is good.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Dante's Cove @ Netflix

Okay, so I am being accused of only updating this blog every 2+ months or so. Hmmph!

So how about something fun to hold you over until I find time to do some real blogging? I see that Dante's Cove, Season 3 is out on DVD now. There is a rumor that there is a plot this season. I've watched every episode very, very, very closely and almost spotted one last year!

So of course, I bring it up in Netflix. Here is the Netflix page:



Look closely at the "Enjoyed by Members Who Enjoyed" section. The list is:

Dante's Cove: Season 1 (2-Disc Series)
3.0 Stars
Babylon 5: The River of Souls
3.0 Stars
Children of Dune (2-Disc Series)
3.8 Stars
Tom and Jerry Tales: Vol. 2
3.7 Stars
Jeopardy: An Inside Look at America's Favorite Quiz Show!
2.6 Stars

Huh? I guess the people that like the show are sci-fi kids who are into quiz shows and barely concealed flesh. Or something like that.

And in case you were wondering, yes I did add it to my queue and pushed it to the top.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Liveblog Sais de Mayo

7:30 - Today is the first main day for moving. I've cleared all the clothes out of the dresser, some into a box, some into my childhood dresser (pictured, I like the t-shirt). Later JD will help me move the fridge and stuff. Right now I'm starved, so going to Mc'Ds for a sausage, egg & cheese biscuit. I love those things!


8:02 - I see now that I got back from the store that the gas guy called to say he was on his way. I told him I was about 30 minutes out. Gotta get moving to meet him!

10:00 - I had to go back to Zebulon. There was no power, so the gas man would not turn it on. (He even put a lock shield onto the valve!) I've called the power company, and he said they had turned it on about 10 minutes earlier. Voted on the democratic ticket in the primaries.

10:40 - Back in Raleigh. Sent the following email:
-------- Original Message --------
From: Michael
To: jd
Subject: This Afternoon After Work
Date: Tue, 06 May 2008 10:57:44 -0400

Hey - I'm at the house waiting for the water guy and maybe the gas guy. There is power, the internet is up, and so is the phone (). I'm ready to go.

How about replying back to this, to confirm that your number is 5022.

Michael
11:30 - Just got back from Lowes to pick up a boring drill bit to make the passage for installing the water line for the ice maker.

12:30 - Gas guy came back and turned on the pilot lights for the furnace, plus confirmed the gas stove is working ( We're cooking with gas now!) The water guy also showed up, but since the valve is unscrewed he couldn't turn on the water. He called it in as an emergency to the mechanics folks.

2:30 - After 2 more trips to Lowes (any project will be 3 today) but the icemaker line is installed. It attaches at the sink, goes through the crawl (literally) space and up in the alcove. It now just needs water and a freezer to make some ice. Let me tell you something about crawl spaces...you don't want to be wearing shorts! I tied diesh towels to my knees and put on jogging pants for the crawl ... and it worked.

And theres the waterworks guy pulling up just now!

4:00 - The water is back on, so I'm back in Zebulon, throwing almost everything in the fridge into a trash bag (there is no using any of it!)


9:00 - Finished moving the few items that needed 2 people, so I am back in Zebulon again for the night. We used what I heard called the 4-armed dolly, straps that you put on your forearms and carry the fridge. Makes it much easier than a hand truck to manuever steps and turns. Pictured is JD sitting in the recliner, having a smoke.


10:30 - Showered and just finished dinner, pictured. It's smoked sausage browned in the skillet, and some potatoes tossed with some butter and tarragon and dill weed. That hit the spot tonight! Now to sit back and catch an episode of Lost.

11:59 - Good night!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

RoboCalls

Not too much to report on Apache this weekend. I moved the outdoor furniture this weekend, and on Tuesday Jay will be coming by to help me move the fridge, plus a couple of other large items that needs 2 people to move.

For the first time in forever, North Carolina is important in the national election. And our primary is on this coming Tuesday. So of course I am getting the RoboCalls for the candidates. Funny, the politicians made it illegal for telemarketers to call you if you tell them not to, but there is nothing to stop politicians from calling you 20 times a day!

Pictured is the caller-id for a robocall for "North Carolina For Hillary". Notice that it is coming from South Carolina? You would almost want to be insulted that she wouldn't use an office in NC if those are the votes she wants. (Actually, it is probably becuase inter-state calls are less expensive than intra-state.)

Now, who do I want to vote for?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Second Day

Spent the second day at my new home. This time wasn't nearly so hectic.

I took a bunch of boxes over this time, mostly the stuff that I had already packed up, meaning not too much that would be useful. Most of it went into the spare bedroom.

Did some cooking, this time better than the absolutely awful hamburger helper. I broiled up some chicken thighs and mexicorn. A few more dishes were dirtied up this time. In the picture below, there is also the can containing the leftover grease. Earlier this year, Raleigh banned garbage disposals, saying it encouraged people to pour grease down the drain. At the time I thought it was b.s. but since it did go through my mind fleetingly, I can see their point.



Last night I lit up the living room after it had gotten dark, and I liked what I saw. Now I need to figure out what I want to do with the room. I am still at a loss, but at least I know the focal point is going to be the brick wall.



The bar is getting itself fixed up, with space for cooking books, adult beverages, and the work area. I really like that piece of furniture!



I have come to the realization that Guinan does not like to be alone in the house. I left for about an hour this morning and she had tore through a pair of blinds trying to get out the window. I think part of it is because the first time I left her there, the carpenter made a loud racket with the sawz-all. To her it was a strange place without me and loud noises.

After the second weekend I know what furniture I want to sgtart moving. Plus I measured again and my king bedroom suite will fit just fine!