Record

I signed up for a new assignment at work and have been in training the last couple weeks. Basically, I’ll be reviewing, preparing, and sending out legal documents for my dept.1 The work itself is very tedious, and mostly administrative, but it keeps me very busy. Extracting and redacting the data is very time consuming. Big or high profile incidents have to be reviewed in every detail before it can be released. Different types of calls fall under different rules for what can and cannot be released. It also depends on who is requesting the data. You get the drift. I’m a third body in the office of two people. Even with my help there are days when the work can keep three of us busy all day.

My training is 30 days and then I go back to my regular job until a full slot opens up. Both of the current coworkers are on the supervisor list for promotion and one’s assignment ends in a few months anyway. I’m 2nd on the list so once the last person transitions out, it will be my turn.

The assignment lasts 5 years unless I just absolutely hate it. Most of our assignments only go 3 years; however, due to the degree of training and skill required this one is 5 years. Afterwards, I would rotate back to my normal duties.

Why am I doing this you ask? Well, I’ve always said,  ‘knowledge is power. The more you know, the better equipped you are to make good decisions.’ This assignment will make me better at my normal job as it will provide insights into how my work effects other departments. Knowing how the data get used later makes me better equipped to get information I might not otherwise worry about. It also gives me a break from the bombardment of negativity. Let’s face it, no one calls the police because they’re happy! Hehehe  I’m pretty good at shrugging it off but even the most resilient person succumbs eventually. This gives me a break from the madness of day to day critical calls.

It also gives me a little more flexibility with my schedule. It’s slightly easier to get last minute time off.  Said time doesn’t equate to overtime either. Obviously, I can’t stack all my time together as it would leave the other person overwhelmed.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to it. I have 2 weeks of training left.




  1. DA’s, public defenders, FOIA’s, etc []

Equal

EqualWell, we finally made it! On June 26 2015, the United States Supreme Court confirmed that any two people can marry, regardless of gender. We can officially stop referring to it as gay marriage and just call it what it is, marriage. This marks a pivotal moment in history folks. This is the domino that will tumble the rest of the archaic laws preventing us from being treated fairly in the eyes of the law. The excuses, the pretense, and the scare tactics won’t be enough anymore. This decision may only apply to marriage rights but it’s ripples will be felt everywhere.

Oh, I’m not so foolish to think everything will just be hunky-dory. No, there is still a lot of hate out there. And we are still being targeted by extremists and bigots. Our fight is not over but the tide as well as the right has shifted now. And as time goes by the bigots, haters, and fundies will be relegated to the history books to be scorned by future generations. Now we must turn our attentions to trans rights and making sure they obtain protections and equality under the law as well. No person should ever have to feel like an outcast simply because they were born different. The fight is not over for them and so it is not over for us.

*

For myself, I never thought I’d see this day. It was only in the last 5 or so years I dared to hope for it. Growing up in rural East Texas, I just assumed I’d always be an outcast. I’d never be part of ‘normal’ people. Back then you just learned to accept it and try and carve out a life for yourself. You did the best you could and hoped for the best. Well now, those days are over.

In many ways, I don’t feel much different. My life overall won’t change much after this ruling. It is almost anti-climatic in many ways as we were lucky enough to get equality in California already. But, I can move forward without fear of leaving California now. Shawn and I have yet to tie the knot, but knowing we can do so and be accepted in all 50 states is a huge deal. I won’t worry about hospital visits. I won’t worry about my or his legal rights in case of an emergency. I frankly won’t worry that much at all. I can make legal decisions and preparations w/o extra steps to protect him. I can make plans for our future and not “mine and his.”

This is indeed a wonderful day!

Bionic


I must say I was pretty excited when I read this. It is scifi come to life even if it does sound almost too good to be true. But seeing it move into human trials means it is past the theory phase and moving into implementation. The implications are staggering.1 It wouldn’t help every problem but it would cover a large percentage of people who experience declining vision or have certain genetic issues. Image you could get a surgical procedure on your eye and never worry about most vision problems ever again. Your eyes could focus w/almost perfect clarity. It raises a whole host of questions but I still love the idea. It could help a lot of people see better or even see again.

There are a plethora of questions that come up, of course. What is projected life span of the insert(s)? What happens if one fails? Can it be replaced? Cost? Insurance? The list goes on and on. But a bigger question might be, would said person now be considered bionic? This would certainly fit the bill of artificial enhancement.

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For myself, I doubt I’d qualify any time soon as my actual vision has only deterriated every so slightly as I age. I don’t even qualify for Lasik right now. And the diplopia issue, being muslcle related, would not be repaired by said replacement either. So clearly it wouldn’t fix every problem. But this last year has taught me how fragile our vision can be. Reading up on advancements like this are amazing.




  1. It helps if you go read the not-very-long article first. []

Walk

The city has been doing a big ‘wellness’ kick this years and as part of that, my dept was able to secure a treadmill that fits at a workstation.

At first thought, it sound a bit gimmicky but after seeing (and using) it in action, I’m sold on it. It is basically the tread part w/o the top. The control panel is attached by a wire which makes it incredibly mobile. It only goes up to 2mph for safety reasons.1 It sticks out far enough to be seen but not too far so that people are tripping over it.

I scoffed at the idea at first. I am happy to be wrong. Not only does it appear to be a success so far, but I even find myself using it. On a 10-hour shift, I tend not to get a lot of walking in. I will sometimes walk for lunch but I don’t always feel like shlepping all over the area. Having an option to walk and work is definitely nice.




  1. It doesn’t sound like much but walking at that speed and typing does take a little adjustment. lol []

Free

Are you sitting down? Are you sure?!

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For the first time in over 15 years, yours truly is 100% debt free! Yes, you read it right, debt free!

I can’t even tell you have good it feels to be out from under my debt load. I came close once about 10 years ago but this time I made it all the way. I had to sell the land my dad left me to do it,1 but I finally did it. Back when I got close last time, I said I wouldn’t get into debt again. Well, easier said than done. I got way behind for a variety of very valid reasons. I say valid to clarify I wasn’t going on shopping sprees.

I mentioned a while back I got a consolidation loan from my credit union. That helped on the interest a lot, but I still wanted out of it. My brother reached out to me at just the right time to inquire if I’d be willing to sell my share of the land to his son. Fast forward, a few months and the paperwork is complete, money transferred, and my bills are all paid off.

But wait! There’s more! I also recently caught up on 6 years of back income taxes. And, I’m getting money back! I know, I know, your saying "Moby, how the hell did you get behind 6 years of IRS taxes?" Well, it is a long story and we can save that nut and crack it open on a rainy day. I also procrastinated the last couple years more than anything. I was afraid I’d get hammered and so kept putting it off. I didn’t want Shawn to be tied to anything like that in the future so I finally bit the bullet and booked an appointment to get the bad news. I went to a local H&R Block office prepared for the worst. I just knew I was gonna walk out owing thousands of dollars. It didn’t help that a series of errors had already delayed the appointment several times.2 I was beginning to worry even more as if the universe was sending me a signal.

Let me just tell you Jim from H&R Block really saved my bacon! He wasn’t judgy or rude. He was actually an absolute dream to deal with and put me at ease almost immediately. He said it happens a lot and I shouldn’t beat myself up over it. He then spent the next 3 1/2 hours helping me find deductions I didn’t realize I could deduct. They really do try to get you a refund. lol We had a lot of time to chit chat and I discovered he’d been doing taxes for H&R Block for just over 30 years. (Actually, all 3 of the tax preparers were all easily in their 60’s). He went thru each return methodically and never once made me feel like I was wasting his time.

Even after forking over a hefty payment, I’m getting a nice fat check back! (Six years, state and federal, 12 returns) I walked out emotionally exhausted. lol Needless to say, I’ll be booking with Jim for my 2015 taxes. The down side is I’ll get hit hard for cash I got from the land sale. Luckily, I work in a job where I can just crank out some overtime practically whenever I want. (We are always short staffed)

Annyyyyyway, I can’t express the absolute joy in being debt free. Now maybe I cant start putting money toward my future. (And hopefully a home)




  1. I sold it to my nephew []
  2. Including the original guy I booked with died! []

Defend

And speaking of Instagram, I had a very odd (in a good way) interaction on there recently.

I follow several fellas because they work out and post progress selfies. Being back on my gym-kick, I like the inspiration. Besides the selfies, they’ll often post tips, suggestions, diet routines, etc, all of which I find beneficial. In the process of ‘liking’, I don’t often check to see if they are gay or straight.

It should come as no surprise I also follow others for a different type of inspiration. Most of the guys in the latter group are most definitely gay. lol Nothing x-rated mind you, but still gay.1

The problem arises when I forget to check which group said person is in before commenting. This has led to a few awkward conversations from time to time. In the most recent situation, I made a comment on a straight guys feed. He was hot and I said as much. Several folks after me started leaving comments trying to dog him because "gay guys were checking him out." For my part, I usually don’t engage as it is a futile endeavor. To my utter surprise, the guy himself came to my defense. He posted several comments chastising commenters for being so shallow and homophobic.

I was really impressed by his replied. He could have deleted my comments, blocked me, or just ignored it completely but he took the time to call it out. I decided to write about it here only because it left me with such a good feeling. We, as LGBT folks, still have a ways to go to overcome the discrimination we face on a daily basis. But interactions like this give me real hope that we are winning. We are changing hearts/minds of everyday.




  1. I actually don’t follow x-rated accounts on Instagram at all. Different purpose, different medium as it were []

Back

The desire to get my butt into the gym regularly seems to finally be overcoming my desire to sit on my ass and be lazy. I’ve been slowly getting back into the gym on a more consistent basis.

OY, my muscles ache! Even doing super light weights, I almost couldn’t walk the next day after my chest workout.1 I’ve even been getting up in the mornings to go before work! If that doesn’t signal how my motivation is returning, nothing will. haha Joking aside, I really have missed it. I walk into the gym and I instantly feel better. I look around and see others working out and I’m inspired. Plus, I miss the tightness my muscles used to have. Nothing is sagging or dragging but everything has clearly ‘settled’ and I hate it.

I wouldn’t say I’m back on a completely consistent schedule yet, but I’m on my way. Speaking of, I knew I’d be weak but boy was I ever. Doing a full 3 sets of a measly 135 lbs left me weak. (That is one 45 on each side of a 45 lb bar.)

You should expect more posts about my progress, and a few pics too. I tend to post quick pics to Instagram these days. So if you follow me there, you’ll see more pics.

Wish me fat-ass luck!




  1. If you wan’t to maximize the release of growth hormones for that lovely buff chest, you better be doing at least 1 squat exercise on chest day. The posterior chain is the largest muscle group on the body. []

Crave

Ever get in one of those moods where you just crave a certain food for days?PotPie

Last week I had a craving for a potpie. It hounded me to the point where I finally gave in. I grew up with the little Swanson ones that used to come in the metal tins. They were crust meat, veggies, and sauce. You threw’em in the oven for about 30-40 mins and presto! Delicious gooey and never good for you. haha  Fast forward to today and potpies are disgusting globs of over overly processed dough, very little filler, and a tiny bit of veggies and meat in an effort to accommodate the microwave. You can get larger ones that taste better, but those are so high in sodium and fat you’re doomed either way.

To offset my desire for such heart-killing food, I threw in fresh cut tomatoes, roasted chicken, extra mixed veggies, and spinach. The new unholy concoction was so tasty and no where near as bad for me. hehe  You can’t even really see the potpie at all. Well, if you look close, you can see some crust mixed in there. I had said feast three days straight until I sated the beast!

Thankfully, the craving was calmed and I moved on. It was odd though because it reminded me of growing up and making them. There were a few years between when my foster mom passed away and my dad remarried. Being a bachelor with kids, he tended to focus on food that was easy to make. Potpies fit that bill nicely. There were plenty of nights where I would beg him to have potpies and he was all too ready to agree as it meant no cooking for him. I’d start the oven, grab the pies and shove’em in the oven as soon as it dinged.  I never once failed to not burn my fingers. lol

It sort of hit me that it been a comfort food for me. So while I won’t be bringing back as a staple in my diet, it was a nice walk down memory lane.

Helpless

My little brother had a medical scare recently and I watched as his FB profile filled up with ‘prayers​.’ My first thought was to be angry. The I remembered most people grow up being conditioned to accept their religion as-is. It is just part of the "known" to be filed away and referenced when needed.1

Afterwards, I began to ponder why people always want to pray for everything. And I don’t mean people who are devoutly religious. I’m talking about every-day folks who offer to "pray for you" anytime life isn’t going your way. The obvious answer is they feel helpless to do anything. Therefore it is to be turned over to the [insert made up deity of choice here] to handle and take responsibility. The act allows said person to feel like they’ve done something, no matter how meaningless the act may be. It also means they don’t have to feel guilty over the outcome.

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Religion spans back to the earliest days of human existence. It spawned from our inability to explain the unknown forces around us. If you’ve looked at the origins of religion of any culture you see similar history trails. It is perfectly understandable in human nature even today; in the absence of knowledge, many will fill in the details with an explanation. And having no concrete denial or refutal, that theory becomes truth. Is it really that hard of a stretch to realize we simply turned our gods (the moon, sun, and stars) into beings, then into a being.

But why did religion persist? Why do we continue to cling to it in abject fear of having it taken away? IMO, at our core, we cannot reconcile the idea of mortality with our own awareness. To do that would mean admitting in the grand scheme of creation we mean very little. If humanity disappeared today, the universe would not even notice. And instead of realizing how precious that makes us, we fear and resent it. And instead of valuing life that much more, we turn to making up fables to inflate our importance.

On a different tact, I also think for many it is a cop-out. They really don’t want to help or be involved. Your drama is yours and they want no part of it. So the easiest answer is, ‘I’ll pray for you.‘ How convenient? I’ll just mumble some words into the ether and a magical being will hear me and fix whatever is wrong with you. Totes logical, right?

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In my eyes, religion is no longer a benefit to humanity. It routinely does more harm than good and continues to do so in an exponential manner. It is time for us to shed our fears and grow up as a society. I realize it won’t happen anytime soon. However, the more we talk, learn, and grow, the more the idea will catch on. We can no longer hide our own failings behind misguided (and often blatant bias) religion. We cannot cloak our hatred and fear of others in belief. We cannot continue on this path if we hope to survive.




  1. The brother is doing fine. He is getting treatment for a blockage []

Moved

You didn’t even notice it but I switched my domain manager and web host recently. Actually, I switched last month. After my rant about my old host, I got several emails asking why I was still with them. I started asking myself the same question. They weren’t bad, we just weren’t a good fit. 

I guess after my 1 and 1 disaster, I had extremely low expectations. hehehe  After some searching, I settled on InMotion. I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am with the switch. As happy as I was to be away from 1 and 1, I’m that much happier to have a host I feel is a really good fit. First, they deal a lot with WordPress, so can answer many related questions w/o delay. They also offered a discount on my first year of service so ended up cheaper than my previous host. After the first year, they’ll be pretty much the same price. They also offer 24/7 tech support by phone, web chat, an email. They transferred all my existing data, blog included, for free. I was a bit shocked when I read that part. They even transferred existing emails.1  I’ve never had a host do that! I had a tiny snafu with an internal domain configuration and they fixed it on the spot when I called.

Speaking of domains, I decided to have Google+ manage my actual domains. I transferred all but one from Tucows and the process was pretty easy. The Google+ domain management tool is pretty easy. They even offer email forwarding for domain only accounts. Email for a domain usually requires a host to physically store it. Google+ apparently allows you to create forwarders for no extra charge.

So, I’m all settled with the new host and so far extremely happy. 




  1. I always use IMAP instead of POP3 so had plenty of emails on the server. []