United We Stand

So I’ve gotten more than a few questions about my opinion on the whole United debacle. I relented and commented on a few FB friend’s posts regarding it. I say relented because I pretty much avoid FB for anything other than fun chat and dog videos. It has become too toxic and successful discourse is rarely possible anymore. 

Anyway, how do you think I feel? I’m appalled. The idea that a passenger who paid full fare for a ticket can be physically yanked off a plane for overbooking is reprehensible. I don’t care if it was United Express (contracted by United). I don’t care that it was a security official not an actual United employee who did the beating/dragging. I don’t care that it’s in the fine print a paying customer can be booted off a flight for virtually any reason. Greed should not be more important that humans.1  I don’t care about all the reasons why he could have complied. This person paid full-fare to board a plane and fly home. It is not his fault the flight was overbooked out of the misplaced idea that profit is more important than good service. None of that matters. We should all be appalled at the very idea this can be allowed.  And lastly, I don’t care another flight might have been delayed or *gasp* other people might have been inconvenienced. You know what?  Sometimes we get inconvenienced. The world does not revolved around our personal bubble of existence. There were plenty of better ways to handle this. 

Don’t get it bent, I’m not dragging out the lynch mob torch for United just yet. Frankly, I think people are missing the forest for the trees here. This could just as easily have happened on any airline. United just ended up being the unlucky beneficiary. I know many United employees (from the both the old Continental and United) who are very dedicated to their jobs and I’m sure many of them are struggling to fend off drama from both sides right now. And being a long time Southwest customer, I can tell you first hand they routinely kick people off flights. All major airlines have the same or similar policy. The big picture here is how many people feel it was perfectly justified. It was NOT ok. And the fallout witch hunt to demean and degrade the victim aftewards was just as disgusting. When your moral code justifies physically dragging a paying customer of a plane to avoid inconveniencing someone else, perhaps you should re-examine your sense of morality. That is the real tragedy IMO. 

Our society is crumbling around us bit by bit. Greed, anti-intellectualism, and personal indifference are destroying our sense of right and wrong. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it as long as I have breath to say it. The one good thing out of this debacle is the outrage was so bad I’m pretty sure no airline will ever try this again. Maybe we’ll see some good reforms put in place to ensure something we used to take for granted would never happen will actually never happen again. Either way, I’m sure everyone will have forgotten all about it next week when the next faux scandal comes along.  




  1. Notice I said ‘should not be’ vs ‘isn’t. This clearly demonstrates it’s past tense now. []

IG: Removed

So I had 2 pictures posted to IG1 removed a couple weeks ago. For the life of me, I’m not sure why. First, they were reported, it wasn’t just some random bot. Second, while they were of me in my underwear, nothing untoward was going on. You could have called them R-rated only because you could see my crotch but even that wasn’t ‘flashy’, nothing see thru, no vpl2, and no arousal. I guess the simple bulge was just too much for the moderator, who removed them. Lol

I had originally posted them to show off my leg growth. I see way more skimpy pics on IG everyday. Hell, half the dudes I follow are because they post revealing stuff!  Anyway, I wasn’t upset. I mean I was a little, but I didn’t go on some long tirade about the unfairness of it all. It isn’t my site so I don’t get to make the rules; however arbitrarily they are enforced. That said, everything I post to IG gets posted to my photoblog as well. If you follow me on both, it’s always there. I might have relented on having total control of my ramblings, but I doubt I’ll ever give it up completely. 

If you read with regularity, you know I’m not a fan of censorship. You’re contrived offense is just another way of saying you don’t like it. Here’s a clue, don’t effin’ follow me then.  As for me, I’ll keep posting whatever I feel like. I gave up worring about other people’s delicate sensibilities years ago. I don’t even worry about my coworkers anymore. They know me well enough to know I’m TMI sometimes. That doesn’t change when I’m NOT at work!  If they follow, they do so because they are adults. I never post nudity or porn so they have little to fear in that regard. And, if you can’t handle a crotch shot, you lead a very sheltered life IMO. 

I guess I’m legit now though. Lol  I mean if people aren’t hatin’ on you you aren’t doing it right, right?3  It’s part of why I’m withdrawing from social media sites more and more. It’s been a blessing for my moods and peace of mind these last few weeks. 




  1. Instagram []
  2. visible penis line []
  3. see what I did there lol []

Kaepernick

I’ve gotten a few requests for my thoughts on this whole faux scandal. I say faux because I love how people go out of their way to “out American” others. It is just another in a series of sad stories showing our growing ignorance as a nation. Anyway, since I work for a law-enforcement related agency, people often assume I’m always gonna side with the police. Wrong. While I certainly have insights that others might not have at times, I always strive to be on the side of fairness and truth. 
First, Kapernick has the right to not stand. He has that right because of the men/women who have fought for it. Being a free American means you can criticize your country’s failings, perceived or otherwise. Actually calling out your leader’s failings is as American as one can get if you read our constitution. As to Kaepernick, he certainly isn’t immune to fallout from said behavior, but stop trying to shame him for it.

As to the man himself, I find his behavior a bit hypocritical. For someone who often uses racial slurs,1 it seems a bit disingenuous to suddenly find a moral compass now. And considering his influence and place in society as a famous football playing millionaire, I’m struggling to find the sincerity in his actions. Rumor has it his new girlfriend is big in the BLM movement and I can’t help but wonder if that has influenced his ideas, not that her influence is necessarily a bad thing. Being enlightened by others is perfectly fine; however, what else is he doing? Is he meeting w/local police agencies? Is he donating money to community groups? Is he doing anything besides his now infamous ‘sitting’ exercise? I don’t need to disparage the man to show the contrast of his actions. 

At the end of the day, there is a very real problem between minority communities and police agencies. But it isn’t always about racism. There are many social, cultural, & economic variables affecting the divide. Trying to conflate it all into one giant polarizing idea of black & white2 is simplistic and often the tool of the biased. As I’ve said before, acknowledging failures by law enforcement doesn’t make me support law enforcement any less. Nor does calling out the bad players within the BLM movement make me any less supportive of fair and equal treatment for minorities.  And  speaking of the bad players, am I only the only seeing the irony here? We proclaim loudly that BLM and others can protest peacefully w/o resorting to violence and the moment someone does, we attack him as anti-American. So what we really want is to completely avoid the inherent problems still festering in our society. 

The sensationalized style of our media and news consumption only lends itself to dividing all sides even further apart. The focus isn’t on truth or even honest reporting. It’s solely on generating outrage which turns into ad-clicks. 

So I accept his right to sit and protest. Just as I accept he probably isn’t doing it for the right reasons. Either way, those are my feelings on the subject. 




  1. He has been fined for them before []
  2. see what I did there? Hehehe []

Wait 

What is it with guys who try to squeeze into the locker right next to you? Is it just my gym where they do that? I’ll be getting dressed or undressed and have someone try to either cram his way into the locker below me w/o so much as an excuse me or act all exasperated at having to wait. Where the hell are said folks going in such a hurry? Is there a fire somewhere and you just can’t wait a few seconds?

If you’re gonna be rude, I’m gonna clown you for it. Last week, I’m all but dressed and sitting on the row bench putting my shoes on. A guy comes along and w/o a word tried to get into the locker directly behind my back. Our conversation goes something like this: 

Me:  *loud* If you wait just 2 damn more seconds I’ll be out of your way.

Him: I just need to get into my locker. 

Me: Ok, say “excuse me” like a normal person or just wait a few seconds. You can clearly see I’m all packed up and figuratively out the door in a moment. 

Him: *indignantly* Well, why can’t you just move? 

Me: Because you were too busy trying to shove me out of the way. Had you stopped and actually said excuse me, I would have moved. Now you can wait your turn. 

Him: *glaring look* 

Me: *glaring look back* as I finish tying me shoe very slowly

And after he storms away in a huff, the guy next to me very loudly says, “He is always a dick like that. He is so rude to everyone anytime he is here.” I’m quite sure the guy storming off could still hear him. *giggle*

I get that manners are all but dead, but damn slow down for two seconds. I know you might *gasp* have to actually interact with someone in a social environment. I’m polite and do my best to share common spaces. My mamma taught me to share and I’ll happy move over.  I’ll even ask if I see someone standing close by to make sure I’m not holding them up while I lolly-gag around. But no, I won’t let you barge thru me or try to “shove” me over by opening your locker door into my back. And frankly, such childish antics will only end up causing you to be delayed longer. 

Top

This is a bit of gay adult themed rant today. You’ve been warned.

I’ve noticed a particularly annoying trend lately in various social media outlets. Basically, someone will show a compliment to a hot or attractive picture by commenting "top" as a one word comment. I must admit, I’m SMDH1 over this one. When I see this I’m immediately hit with a sense of sadness at the failed progression of our community. It is a self-reinforcing stereotype. And lest you think I’m overreacting to a simple comment, I’m not. I’m pointing out one part of a large pattern of self-destructive behaviors. Pick any medium for gay men to connect and you will find 1) people pretending to be something they aren’t or used to be, and 2) people afraid to admit their true desires out of fear of being marginalized as inferior or effeminate.

While the fight for equality is moving right along, we are moving backwards in our attempts to destroy old stereotypes. We seem intent on creating new even more restrictive ones instead I find it incredibly sad and pathetic we are still doing this to each other. The idea that to be considered attractive, muscular, successful, etc one must be a top reeks of insecurity and low self-esteem. How you look, dress, act, or behave has zero determination on your sexual role in bed. The fake bravado and never-ending attempts to appear masculine are just tired. For myself, I’ve just started assuming most of the loudest blowhards online are bottoms afraid to admit it. And I say that as a declarative statement, not a slight. The beard craze has sadly started taking on this role now as well.

We will never overcome the idea that being a bottom or the receptive partner during sex is somehow inferior unless we stop marginalizing each other. My first thought is to block the person because, as the saying goes, "I just can’t…" but that seems counter productive. Of course trying to mention it online just leads to flame wars and who has the time or energy for that? I’m definitely tarting to see why many older gay men withdraw from the community over time. They finally reach a point where they overcome the trauma and fallout from a lifetime of discrimination and they are left with a community at war with itself. I refuse to be like that but I admit I’m at a loss for solutions.

It is no easy task facing our own insecurities, but I’m living proof it can happen. Oh, I still have them but they do not drive my behavior anymore. I got where I am now because I spent over a decade of my life focused on healing myself and growing past my fears. I consider myself very lucky to have accomplished it with so little outside help. I now find myself struggling to find a way to help others and those around me. Don’t fall for the idea that being [insert stereotype of choice here] somehow makes you better or worse. It doesn’t. And you only end up hurting or alienating yourself in the long run. Be true to yourself. Be authentic in all that you do.

For many years, I listed axioms on my About page I try to live by. I took them down as they are such a part of me now I no longer need reminders. I think I will bring them back. One of them, and the most difficult for me to learn, I kept posted on my mirror ever day for over a year. It reads, "no one can make you feel inferior without your permission." I’m not sure who originally made the quote but it’s been used and reused quite often. As I struggled to identify and overcome individual insecurities, this axiom became more and more clear and a part of my daily thinking. It is the foundation for overcoming a need to meet or be a stereotype or unrealistic expectations.

I hope that if you are reading this and struggle with how you feel perceived by the "community", you can benefit from it. And if you’ve been fortunate to overcome it, please share your struggles and success with others when given the chance.

Hope springs eternal…




  1. Shaking my damn head []

View

It is amazing the difference one small act of kindness can make in your day. A point of view of a particular supervisor really made my day today.

I took off the early hours of work for a chiro appt. I found out this morning I wasn’t gonna make it because I got word the doc was out of the office unexpectedly. Change in plans, now I’m gearing up to head in to work for one of the 2 hours I had scheduled to miss. Then I get a call from the doc’s office, he came back earlier than planned and if I arrive soon, he can seem me. Great, but now I’m behind schedule. Said schedule which I allotted 2 hours away from work to avoid getting behind on.

I skip heading back home and straight to work. I arrive to work with a few minutes to spare; however, I’ve not had food or drink yet. Forgetting what a lack of caffeine will do to me, I woof down one of my prepped meals and I’m 2 minutes late to my station. One supervisor walking by commented rather snidely about me missing line-up.1 No concern for my well-being or how I’m feeling, just the snide comment. I brushed it off w/o saying anything as I was late after all.

Another supervisor who witnessed this comes over and immediately asks not only how am I feeling but is there anything she can do to make my morning a little easier. I was so touched by her point of view and approach that my frustration and anger evaporated. There wasn’t a whole lot she could do but the compassion was an act in itself, and in an instant I was back to normal again. I thanked her profusely and let her know how much such small kind words meant to me.

It’s the little things we do that have a big impact on those around us. I normally consider myself immune to such things as I am pretty self-contained. I rarely need justification or validation for my good/bad behaviors. But while I accepted that I was late thru my own fault, it did not help my mood to have someone comment on it rather snidely. The act of kindness made me forget my woes and put me back in a proper frame of reference.

There is no real point other than the obvious one. I just felt like sharing.




  1. If I called in the first 2 hours, yes I’m aware I missed it. []

Spasms

The down side to my recent vacation was a major back spasm midway through it. The day before NYE to be exact. I’m not sure what caused it but boy was it a doozy. We were right in the middle of a nice lunch with Shawn’s sister and her new bf. I started to bend over to untangle Cooper and before I got even halfway it hit me. I stood back up hoping it was just quick and gone but no. The muscles were completely fucked and painful. We had to cut it short and I could barely get in the damn car, much less drive. I spent the rest of the day laying on an air mattress back at the condo avoiding movement. I hoped and prayed with rest, ice, and staying off of it would make it go away quickly. In a word, no.

So yours truly spent NYE laying on a mattress watching The Last Holiday on my tablet. Glorious huh? haha Honestly, I wasn’t upset about missing the holiday. I’m usually stuck at work and being anywhere but at work during that nightmare is a blessing. Seriously, even the spasm was better than working NYE.

Thankfully, one of Shawn’s friends kindly gave us a few vicodin to help with the pain. While not the best choice, muscle relaxers would have been better, it helped take the bite out of the worst pain. It wasn’t the best choice but sure as hell helped and I was grateful to his friend.  I managed to get to a local Chiro doc the next day for an adjustment. It helped but the muscles were inflamed and I just had to wait it out and stay off my feet as much as possible. By the time we drove back to LA, I was able to get up and move around. I let Shawn drive and honestly, it was nice to be a passenger for a change. hehehe

By day three, I could move better but was still in pain. I could drive at a least. I made it home in one piece. I was so angry at myself. Granted, I couldn’t really have done anything to prevent it but logic didn’t really matter. I hate not being able to function. It just aggregated the hell out of me. By the time vacation was over, I was able to get up and down w/o much pain.

Sleeping at night was a mess as I don’t sleep on my back and that was the best position to avoid more pain. Luckily, I had a few vicodin left. And cold meds work great too! Unfortunately for poor Shawn I snore when I sleep on my back. He had to put up with me snoring for about a week. He’d randomly wake me up sometimes when it got back. Poor thing.

It was an additional week before I felt almost normal again. I kept babying it to avoid a relapse. The last time I went thru this a few years ago I had a 2nd spasm right when I was starting to get better. I definitely didn’t want that again. This one seemed to take longer than last time though. Not sure if it was just worse or I’m just getting older. hehehe Either way, not fun.

Work

There has been some major drama at work lately. While I was gone on the PHX trip, 3 of our union chapter officers resigned. There are only 5 positions. (I leave for a week and all hell breaks loose apparently. Oy!)

Frankly, the whole mess was completely counter-productive to our goals. It has already set us back on several ongoing critical negotiations w/management. While I won’t be fleshing out the details, the point is I got drafted to be the acting chief steward again. If you read with any frequency, you’ll remember I chose not to run in the last election. After 12 years, I needed a break. And the break has been nice. I show up to work with no cares.1 I only have to be responsible for myself and I’ve loved it. But, we have to have a functioning chapter. If we don’t, we give up a lot. It is my hope that more folks will step up for the interim elections for the 3 positions vacated.

One of my continuing frustrations from within is the lack of support. Many employees think because they pay dues that absolves them from any involvement. WRONG! A union is only as strong as it’s members. Members that work together toward common goals are capable of changing just about anything. Sadly, it just isn’t that case in my department. There is a lot of infighting and conspiracies. It borders on high-school to be honest.

I think part of the problem is the chapter doesn’t communicate well to its members. We put out meeting notes from one of our monthly meetings from management but that is just a snapshot. There is so much more going on behind the scenes. The antics aside, it is human nature to fill in details with guesswork when we don’t understand. I get it. People need to know what is going on.

I’m left with the choice of stepping down again after the interim election in a couple months or stepping up for a bigger position. I have time to think it over. Part of me wants to go back to being just a member. No worries, no cares, just work and go home. I did my time and then some. It is somebody else’s turn. Then the other part of me sees the big picture and really wants to step up to see if I can really make a difference. I have no idea what I’m going to do. Maybe someone else strong will run and I won’t have to. Yeah yeah, that’s it. I’m totally sure that will happen.




  1. I realize the irony in thinking just handling life/death calls is less stressful than my Union duties. []

Contempt

Poor Kim, she is being played for the victim and being left out to dry. Once the crazies are done fund-raising off of her, they will leave her high and dry to pick up the pieces of her broken life. She will scuttle back into obscurity to be randomly evoked as a bad joke.

Of course, a simple civics lesson might have helped educate her on how her job role and the government actually works. She then might have avoided be played for the fool. Sadly, that isn’t the case. And her willful ignorance is not going to save her, no matter how the crazies spin it. They want her to lose so they can hold her up as their new martyr.

As an elected clerk, she took an oath to uphold the law. You have the right as a citizen to have a religious belief. You have the right not to be persecuted by the government (and your employer when different) for that belief. You can even request a reasonable accommodation for said belief. However, you do not have the right to refuse to do your job based on belief. An important distinction the people taking advantage of her are deliberately obfuscating. The moment the SCOTUS ruled on the Obergefell vs Hodges case, it became defacto law. If she now feels she can no longer follow her duty/oath of office because it violates her "god’s law," then she should resign. You are not guaranteed employment if you feel your personal religious belief conflicts with your employment requirements.

Not only did she refuse to do her job, she also refused to allow any of the deputy clerks to do their job. The judge gave her a way to save face and not be in contempt and she still refused.1 This negates any possible resolution through accommodating her belief. She has repeatedly and steadfastly projected her bigotry onto her subordinates. In the best possible twist of ironies, her employees could now sue her for religious discrimination. Wouldn’t that be lovely!? hehehe

Of course, the fundies might take her on as a spokesperson after she loses. Like previous made up martyrs, they’ll trot her around until the money-making dries up and then she’ll be abandoned. She’ll be the punchline of memes and jokes for awhile and after that forgotten completely. The annals of history will not remember her. And their failed (and marginalizing) attempts to align her with such great civil-rights activists such as MLK and Rosa Parks are frankly insulting.




  1. again, it appears based on advice from her representation with an agenda []

Admire

I’ve mentioned a few times I’ve become addicted to Instagram, partly for the narcissism and party for inspiration. It can be very uplifting one minute and a total shit-show the next.

I opened a can of worms a few weeks ago. This body builder guy was posting pics on his public profile of his legs, torso, and buttocks. To clarify, he was clearly a legit bodybuilder and his pics focused on showing off his hard work. The pics were also often very revealing and left little to the imagination regarding his generous package. Said pics routinely got lots of hearts and comments. One day, I guess he’d had enough with what he felt were insulting comments on his sexiness (and his generous anatomy) and goes off on a rant. Basically, he didn’t like when people left comments about how nice his groin/butt is, how sexy he is, etc when he is just trying to track his progress.

I couldn’t help myself and left this comment:

While I can understand your frustration, it is unrealistic and somewhat hypocritical to post the types of pics you do in a public forum and then act upset when people see you in a sexual way. Yes, it may not be your purpose but your implying that every random person who finds your profile should just know that your pics are meant to be solely about your progress, not your manhood or overall good looks. Of course, this set off a firestorm of comments on both sides. The comments ranged from polite banter to the extreme of being compared to rape. I think he has since made his profile private. (smart man)

I have no idea if the guy was gay or straight, it wasn’t really relevant. I just found his faux outrage humorous. If you don’t want people gawking at your naughty bits, don’t put them out there.