Old Man

In the last year I’ve had several interactions either in person or online with younger guys behaving poorly when I didn’t return their affections/advances. Many of their not so nice replies often revolved around my age or lack of hair when they didn’t get the answer they were hoping for. As it either of those things would injure me in any way. 

One particular guy online started adding  “old man” to the end of all his comments, as if I was somehow hurt or injured by it. Of course, the less I got upset the more intense he became. I finally took pity on him and asked if he thought he was accomplishing anything. He ignored my question and kept at it until I started sending him random old man shots from the web.1  Every time he said it, I sent him another picture. He got upset and told me to stop, yet he kept adding “old man” each time. And he continued to get another pic. Realizing he wasn’t going to bait me into an argument, he gave up.

Weeks go by and I get another reply from him. This time he is polite and asked, “what’s wrong with me?”  Since he appeared to be trying to make amends I took the time to reply:

Let me first say, there is nothing wrong with you. Nada, zero, zip. You are a nice looking young man. The fact I am not personally attracted to you for nookie doesn’t negate any of your positive qualities. We are just not a match. I am literally old enough to be your father. That doesn’t work for me. But honestly, the reason(s) shouldn’t matter. You should never assume something is ‘wrong with you” over a lack of interest. Not everyone can be your type and as such, you can’t be everyone’s type. Rejection is a part of life and learning how to handle it will make you stronger as a person. 

He went on to apologize more earnestly and thanked me for offering wisdom. Normally, I would have just blocked him but I get in a mood at times where I am not to be tested. Since I’m not actually angry at the other person, I routinely ‘win’ these little battles as I can have the patience of a saint when I don’t really mind no “winning.” 

I kinda figured fewer young guys would go thru it now that we have more visibility. I guess I was wrong. I must admit I don’t understand it. Ok, well maybe I do. I mean I understand it stems from insecurity over being rejected. I get that part, but when has lashing out at said interest every worked to lure them back?  I won’t say with 100% certainity I never did that, but I honestly don’t ever remember having behaved that way. And we all know what a f**ked up mess I was back then. I do remember getting my feelings hurt quite often for many of the same reasons. I internalized  it and made it about me self-worth vs just attraction. Over the years as learned to value my self-worth differently, the anger, hurt, and pain went away. 

As for guys my age I think a lot of them struggle at this point. They aren’t the youngest or prettiest anymore and it’s intimidating. Interactions they took for granted no longer present themselves so readily. It can sting for sure. I’ve seen it play out for years. I’m grateful I’ve come far enough to avoid such trappings. It only services to make you sad and/or bitter. I’m grateful my self-worth and confidence are no longer based on how much attention I get. And if you find yourself in that category, learn from your mistakes. If you value your self-worth based on attraction, you’re doing it all wrong. Or, as the saying goes, “that’s not how this works…that’s not how any of this works!.” 




  1. They were of the biblical sense. I figured I’d return his generosity. []

Clean Bill of Health

IMG_20170703_150802-1
Cooper da Rescue!

Someone mentioned I hadn’t talked about Cooper lately. Never fear, he is doing fine. Actually, he had his yearly checkup recently and is fit as a fiddle, according to the vet!

I’ve mentioned plenty of times he is prone to severe health issues. I honestly didn’t expect him to make it past age 5. After all these years together, I’m proud to say he is still strong and robust. Ironically, he was just getting over a summer cold prior to our vet visit.  I booked the appointment and by the time it rolled around, he was past it.

His allergies are still ever present. With all the warm weather lately he has a had a few flare ups. Otherwise, the sausage is doing quite well.

Luckily, when Shawn and I travel his Uncle Chuck (our neighbor) keeps an eye on him for us. He gets to stay home where he feels safe and Chuck is just across the hall. The cleaning lady tends to spoil him with extra treats as well. She adores him. No matter where we go, he always steals the show. He gets almost weekly walks around the ‘hood and every store we visit is fond of him. The Starbucks crews will ask where he is when I pop in without him. The Posh Bagel crew always smile and say hi to him.

His age is ever so slowly creeping up on him. His hyperactive fits have shrunk significantly. He also refuses to jump up on our bed most days now. He’ll whine and beg until one of us picks him up. He still hops on the couch and the guest bed (it’s lower) with no signs of discomfort. He is in my heart and I just adore him. I shudder to think what his life might have been had I never rescued him. I still to this day get angry telling the story of how he was abandoned.

Anyway, there you have it. The Pooper dooper is most excellent and sends you all slobber kisses and stinky farts.

 

One Year

Well, it’s been 1 whole year since I took my admin assignment at work. My how time flies. It doesn’t seem that long at all.

13584249_261926234180151_1642763403_n
One year ago

I’m still enjoying the assignment. And yes, I’m still struggling with the hours. I just can’t seem to develop a consistent rhythm. It’s the going to bed part I struggle with. I can’t seem to get sleepy around 2100 (09:00pm). If I hit the gym hard that day I usually start getting a wee bit sleepy by then; however, if it’s a cardio or off day I’m awake for at least another hour. This makes me sleepy the next damn day. Arrrrgh.

Beyond the hours, I’ve settled into it. It isn’t hard, I just crank thru documents and audio/video files on a daily basis. Work comes in, work goes out, work comes in, work goes out…and repeat the next day. Pretty simple. I’ve learned quite a bit about our local Sunshine ordinance as well as our version of the Freedom of Information Act.1  I still work overtime from time to time in operations. It keeps my skills up and I miss the camaraderie of being with my coworkers. I’m isolated in a tiny office with just one coworker. We get along just peachy (some might say too well. heehee) but it isn’t the same as being in a room with a group of your peers.

The assignment is up to 5 years so I’m barely a year in. I have the option of rotating out after 3 years. I’m not sure I’ll stay the full 5. On the upside, I’ve finally gotten used to having holidays off! It was a bit surreal after over a decade of working most holidays. One can actually plan to do things that aren’t just on my weekend. Who knew!? hehehe  Half the time, we just sit at home and enjoy the time off. I’ve become such a home body. I’m still struggling to shrug it off. I know we should be out doing ‘stuff’, but video games and the couch are always so alluring. Shawn is just as bad; however, he seems to shrug it off a little easier than I do. He helps motivate me to plan trips and get out of the city.

So here I sit ‘working’ up a storm. It’s my Friday on a holiday week and I’m looking forward to the weekend!




  1. FOIA applies to federal agencies. We have the California Public Records Act (CPRA) which almost mirrors the FOIA one. []

Pride & Prejudice

So as usual, there is in-fighting amongst all the letters in our glorious alphabet of communities. This year seems to have taken a new twist as people are losing their sh*t over changes to the rainbow flag in PA. Apparently, some folks have decided to add extra stripes to denote the inclusion of race.

For my part, I don’t really care either way. If you want to add some stripes to represent the inclusion of race on the flag be my guest. The rainbow flag is just a symbol. It doesn’t define me or my life so modifying it doesn’t really affect me one way or the other. Symbols are meant to represent us, not define us.

On the one side, racism is just as prevalent in the gay community as it is in the straight world. What harm is there in adding reflections of race to show inclusion? Even though the flag wasn’t meant to reflect race, so what if some people want to include a variation that includes it. I’ve seen so many personal variations of the rainbow flag for years. Where is the outrage on all those variations? No one owns a symbol anymore than they own an idea. Let us all stop acting like changing a recognized symbol will end all our hard earned rights.  

On the other side, I also don’t really think it helps anything. Many of our racial tensions are tied to various socioeconomic issues. Until we work thru these, changing a symbol does absolutely nothing IMO. Actions are stronger than words. How about we stop using disrespectful terms to refer to other races? How about we stop acting like every unflattering joke or mention of race/gender is an attack? Even better, how about we stop marginalizing everyone because of the actions of a few? Instead, let us accept that others suffer differently than you. Be willing to look outside your sphere of existence to see thru another’s eyes.These actions and attitudes are much more effective at stopping hate, mistrust, and fear.

This whole pissing match is a reflection of the deeper issues within our umbrella. These ever growing trends of attacking and/or shaming anyone who disagrees, even in the slightest, are doing the work of our enemies for them. We are destroying our communities from within. Our umbrella of people rarely agree on any given topic. Why must we make enemies of each other over different view points like this? The level of vitriol and disgusting behavior I’ve seen on both sides has been deeply disturbing. This is not how we should be treating each other.We can disagree with our allies w/o labeling them as enemies. We can be patient and show understanding as we try to educate those around us who thru privilege or ignorance don’t understand a given viewpoint. Shock value and strong-arm tactics might sometimes work against our enemies but when we use them on our allies we only further the divide between us.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have all the answers, but I still support equality and freedom for all. That makes me an ally even though I’m a person who won’t be shouted down just because I don’t always see eye to eye with everyone else. When we silence the voices of our allies over internal squabbles, what is their motivation to speak for us when we need them? And don’t even get me started on the growing tide of small groups who decide they can’t compromise even a little. They demand to have their way or else. If you refuse, they do everything possible to obstruct or shut down the process. How is that productive? You don’t win hearts and minds that way.

While the LGBTI movement has taken some significant large steps recently, it took decades to get this far. We gained many of our rights slowly one at time. We still have more to accomplish. Many of these new found rights are under renewed attack. We need to be unified now more than ever.

Kindness 

I had to stop and share this. 

I’m checking in today at SFO on my way to Austin. I’m flying Virgin America and after a rather long security screening I arrive at the flight gate desk to see a very irate man practically yelling at the lady working the desk. He is basically blaming her for his delays in security and demanding all kinds of comps. 
He is just livid and the lady is on the edge of calling security. You can see the moment in her eyes when she goes from trying to console him to being fed up with his nonsense. The guy suddenly turns to me and trys to loop me into his drama-fest as I guess he saw me in the TSA line earlier. Now keep in mind, the flight is on time and we still have another 40 minutes before boarding starts. 

Being already fed up with his BS, I shake my head and in my best southern manners reply, “oh naw, don’t drag me into this, you’re doing a good job of making an ass of yourself without my help.” I then proceed to walk away until his fit is over or he gets hauled away. The latter I was prepared to film. The guy realizes he isn’t getting anywhere and walks away in a huff. 

The very frazzled lady motions me over with a huge smile and twinkle in her eye. She thanks me profusely for being so “patient.”1 She the asks if I needed anything since I had been standing in line. I inquired if there were any aisle seats. It was a full flight but she worked her magic and I was given a much appreciated aisle seat. She again thanked me profusely and I walked away to get food. 

Oh, the story isn’t over. 

I go scarf down some food and am headed back to the gate area when I see the same fellow storming away screaming into his cell phone. He has now been kicked off the flight for his behavior. Oh and he was furious that they had the nerve to put him in a middle seat! 

Now I do not know if my new seat assignment had anything to do with his predicament. There was no indication I was given his seat. It could have been, and most likely was, a random synchronous occurrence. However, I did notice a still present twinkle in the gate agent’s eye as I presented my brand new shiny aisle seat boarding pass for boarding. 




  1. You can read between the lines here, she was gleeful seeing him get served some shade of his own making. []

Gonna Live

I forgot to come back and update everyone. Sorry to disappoint but the doc says I’m going to live. heehee

Turns out it was mostly what I thought but with one twist. Courtesy of being testosterone dependent since my teen years, I’ve developed relative polycythemia, a fancy way of saying I have too much red blood running thru my veins.

My BP and heart rate were actually lower than they had been in weeks the day I visited the doc, but they were both still elevated. Besides recommending I shed a few fat lbs, he also put me on some very low dose BP meds. I’m basically taking a pediatric dose right now. My bad cholesterol  was also really high so I’m also on a low dose Lipitor (generic) regimen. Worse case scenario, I have to go in at some point to see a Phlebotomist to have excess blood removed.1  I’m not at that level yet.

The meds made an immediate impact. My heart rate is much lower. I wouldn’t say it’s normal for me, but well within a range I’m willing to tolerate while I work on the diet2 and some weight loss. Clearly, I’m not that heavy but loosing the weight helps rule it out if the problem continues. Plus, I don’t like being on meds more than necessary so the goal is to get to a point where I do not need them.

The irony is he thinks the time I spent away from the gym due to my surgeries and shoulder injury may have pushed it to a point where my body wasn’t coping. I also didn’t think to reduce my T dose while I was not working out. These together probably pushed up the thickness of my blood. He strongly encouraged me to keep hitting the gym regularly to keep things in check.  And you have to obey your doc, right?!




  1. I was doing some research and it’s surprisingly more common than I thought. []
  2. Goodbye to all the bacon in my diet. le sigh []

Cardiac Issues

Lately, I’ve been having an increased heart rate and higher than normal blood pressure. Nothing life threatening but odd for me. My heart rate has hovered in the 90’s for the last few weeks. It goes over 100 sometimes and back down in the 80’s other times. My normal region is the low 70’s. I’ve always had a bit of high heart rate, but except for the bips over 100, it’s all in the ‘normal’ range.  The blood pressure has been all over the place. A couple tims close to 200. This being a bigger concern. I guess I’ve finally reached the age where I have to pay attention to such things. hehehe

It started a few weeks back. I didn’t think much of it at first but then after a few nights of feeling my blood pressure pulsing thru my brain (you know how sometimes you feel flushed or sit in just the right position and you can feel your blood pressure pulsing with your heart beat without trying to take it? Yeah, that), I figured it was time to act. I see my regular doc this week and a cardiologist next week.

I had a Paramedic captain at work hook me up to a 3-lead machine a few weeks back when I first noticed and I had some odd P-waves (The bottom of the heartbeat wave). There was some odd double bouncing before it went back up. From my limited knowledge this could be caused by a variety of issues. In my case it is most likely just age and diet. I’m not a bad eater but I found out I am predisposed to diabetes Type II. And while I don’t eat a lot of fast food or drink sugary sodas, I do eat a lot of rich food. My diet is also high in carbs.1  I am assuming this is the cause anyway. We’ll see. I don’t drink much or do any recreational drugs (I know, rare), but even healthy people can develop cardiac problems.

It’s ruined my gym schedule for the last couple weeks. I also cut out caffeine and all my pre-workout supplements for about 2-weeks. Oddly, when I take vaso-dilating supplements like pre-workout mix, I notice my BP actually goes down a little. This is indicative of a clog or poor blood flow. You don’t even want to know how hard it was to go 2-weeks with no caffeine. I did it though. And I saw virtually no change. This again leads me to believe it could be a clog or related flow issue.

I’m not in a danger zone yet. No d-fib or weird T-waves. I am hoping it is something I can work on with meds to get my BP down until the better diet takes over. I hate eating salads so I’m already focusing on reducing carbs. I don’t crave carbs so much as I just enjoy a lot of carb style foods. I also added fiber pills to my small supplement regimen. I probably don’t get enough fiber in my diet.

Of course, I’m just guessing at this point. Being adopted, I have no family history to refer to so it’s always new territory. My triglycerides have been slowly creeping up over the last decade. My doc even mentioned last year, I might need a med or two to know it down.

I’ll know more in a week so wish me luck!




  1. Lawd do I love pasta! []

Stupefy

Today is brought to you by the letter S.

stu·pe·fy

ˈst(y)o͞opəˌfī/

verb

verb: stupefy; 3rd person present: stupefies; past tense: stupefied; past participle: stupefied; gerund or present participle: stupefying

  1. make (someone) unable to think or feel properly.

And how do we avoid stupefying those around us on social media when presented with a story or “news” item we want to believe but aren’t really sure is true? Let me offer you these short rules. 

  • Read the article. Does it match the title? If not, ignore it. Otherwise,  move on to the next step. 
  • Do you trust the source? Is the source well known or legitimate?1 If not, don’t share. Otherwise, move on to the next step. 
  • Has the source been caught fabricating stories or publishing false and/or misleading edits of stories? If so, don’t share. If not, move on to the next step. 
  • Seriously, go read the article. We all know you didn’t read it. If it really passed the previous steps move on to the next step. 
  • Does the action / event / article cite sources or provide proof to back up claims, accusations, and/or accomplishments? Sourcing yet another article with no proof is not a valid source. If not, don’t share. Otherwise, move on to the next step. 
  • If you’re too busy to read it, can’t go thru all the steps, or you feel the article is too long, don’t share it. Otherwise, move on to the next step. 
  • Does the article attempt to guilt or scare you into sharing it? If so, don’t share. No, you arent helping others “just in case“. Otherwise, move to the next step.
  • Does the article attempt to incite hatred or violence against others based on bias? If so, don’t share it.

If it passes all these steps then and ONLY then should you consider sharing it. Even then, you should still ask yourself if sharing will contribute in any way to the discussion? 

Now you know. Next time you are about to share a news story on social media you know what to ask yourself to avoid stupefying others. 

😜




  1. stating how many people removed from you can contest to its authenticity is not trustworthy ie “my coworker’s cousin’s wife can attest to this and she is  [insert contrived position of authority here]” []

TBT – Throw Back Thursday

I have a rare contribution to TBT. This pic is from the early 90’s. I don’t remember the exact date. I found it in the oddest place looking for a blank CD-rom. I have no idea how this pic got in the cabinet, but there it was.1

People never believe me when I tell them how skinny I used to be. Here is a prime pic of how truly scrawny I was. hehehe  I no longer know the 2 guys in the pic so I didn’t think it fair to share their faces w/o permission. I barely recognized myself when I stumbled over this pic. But look at how damn skinny I was!

My body isn’t the only thing that has changed since then but I’ll get to that in a second. You can see the genuine smile on my face. The one thing I always had, even then, was my optimism. For a frame of reference for you long time readers, this was a few years after my near suicide but before my stint at being homeless. I didn’t have a pot to piss in and yet I greeted every day with excitement. Life was carefree and simple.

tubs baby

But to know me then was to know a contradiction. Maybe not the best term but it’s the best I can think of at the moment. I was so damaged and yet so happy to be alive. I woke up every day and eagerly ran out into the world. There was no fear of what might happen, just my determination to keep going. So few ever knew how truly conflicted I was inside. I think in part because I didn’t consciously realize it myself then.

Tangent/  If you look closely, you can see a black bracelet on one wrist and a watch on the other. The bracelet was a cheap piece of rubber but had so much sentimental value to me. It was the last thing M, my first love, ever gave me before he was killed and I wore it for almost 2 decades of my life. I’d also developed a knack for collecting cheap but unusual watches and probably had about 30 of them at this point. I wore a different one every week. This was all still pre-internet. /tangent

It should come as no surprise I moved around a lot. I was searching for a place to ‘fit’, a place to belong. I wanted it, but more importantly I needed it. I also tended to move-in with any guy who showed more than a passing interest in me. I was living in Galveston at the time but was preparing to move to Houston. I needed a place to put down roots so I could move past just surviving. Years later, when I got a chance to move to SF, I jumped at it. I almost fled I left so fast. SF gave me a chance to start over yet again but this time for myself. I didn’t move for a guy or anyone else. I moved for me. Without knowing it, it gave me a chance to stop and assess my life. Having a new place far away from everyone and everything I knew gave me a chance to dismantle the shell I’d built for myself. It gave me a chance to shed my coping mechanisms. I left behind not only a weak body but also a weak mind. I worked hard to get ahead in every way possible. And I’ve come so very far. I’d never have thought it even remotely possible back then.

Today, looking back on it feels as if I’m looking at someone else’s life thru my own eyes. I remember how damaged he was and how hard he struggled to survive. I remember how hard he worked to make sure no one ever knew how horribly inadequate he felt 24/7. I remember how he chronicled and buried his pain in journals. I remember how he hung onto any ounce of praise or attention sent his way. I also remember the few souls who truly befriended him, some who are still in his life today, some not. He was like a tumbleweed just blowing in the winds of life. And yet, all of that aside he was happy. (Ok, no more third party references to myself)  A total contradiction. But, I had survived so much by then why wouldn’t I have been happy? Actually, I was obnoxiously gay and happy at the same time. *giggle*

In this silly picture I am reminded my past gives me strength to face my future. My past failings do not define who I am today. So while I remember that broken shell of a young man, he is not me today. I honor his struggle to move forward the best way he knew how. I rejoice at his silliness, his indomitable spirit, and his unwavering desire to survive. All of which is still with me today.

 




  1. I converted it courtesy of the Google+ Photoscan app, which works surprisingly good. []

Absent Minded

So the last picture post here was supposed to go to my photo blog. Apparently, my dumb-ass forgot I changed some passwords a while back so it stopped updating. To make matters worse, when I updated it, I forgot how I had setup the transfer and ended up creating a new IFTTT1 applet.

When I originally setup the photo blog there wasn’t a direct way to import my photos from IG to WordPress. I had to create a work-around that sent the pic from IG to Tumblr then to WordPress. It was a bit messy but it worked pretty well. Best of all, it was automated. Well, all of the API’s have been updated since then apparently. There are multiple applets in IFTTT that allow you to import directly. My IFTTT account has my blog settings not my photo blog so when I “reconnected”, I connected it to the wrong site. hehehe Not the end of the world mind you. I just thought it was funny.

It’s all fixed now. I still need to go back and manually import all the pics that got skipped but it’s all automated again. Yay!

In other tech fails, I installed Chromium on an old laptop and for some reason, the CD drive will not re-install windows. Granted it’s an old copy but it should work. The BIOS settings are all good and the drive is functioning so I’m leaning toward blaming the install disc.  It crashes after loading the software and drivers to install and I get the blue screen of death.  I’m not too upset as I hate Windows 10. It’s clunky, ugly, and just not user friendly. It tries and fails to be a universal OS between desktop and mobile. I’m thinking of just installing Linux. I don’t use the laptop that often, but Chromium is still just a wee bit too simple for my needs. If I could just port Android it would be fine.2  Since it wasn’t ‘designed’ to run Android or Chromium both versions are modified ports, courtesy of 3rd-party vendors. Said vendors aren’t really in a position to provide support. Anyway, first world problems.

 




  1. If This Then That []
  2. I used to run Android thru Bluestacks when I had windows installed and I loved it. []