Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

I am completely shocked that Moore did not win in Alabama! I fully expected he would win. The bias we see in news and social media these days is sadly getting worse and worse.

While Moore’s loss renewed my hope in the decency of people, when you delve into the numbers, we clearly have a lot of work to do. People of color turned out in much higher numbers and they saved us all from this incredibly hypocritical religious nut. A profound thank you to all who exercised their right to vote. Voting matters and it matters more and more every day now. Moore lost by the tiniest margin.

Reports came in that Alabama saw much larger than usual voter turn out. Historically, this is always of benefit to the Democrats. However, I don’t care what part you vote, just perform your civil duty and vote. It was good to see many “republicans” calling out the party line approach and either not voting or voting against Moore. If more of them had spoken up I think the party in general would not have embraced Moore as they did. Party should never come before what is right or moral.

The increase of “you agree with me or else” approach is increasing the divide between us IMO. I’m a little guilty of this myself. So many things in the public eye right now affect our very way of life. Of course, we take it personal! However, when you delve past the crazies, you find that most people often vote their conscience not out of malice but out of self-preservation. We all need to be better at recognizing that and be more willing to extend an olive branch to others.

Tangent/ Some of you know our mayor here in SF passed away yesterday. Mr. Lee wasn’t a friend to me or my department. He recently back-tracked on his statements to help us. I personally felt very let down by his actions. However, even in my frustration with the man, I am saddened by his death. People who knew him well all agree he wasn’t malicious and tried to be ‘real.’  It doesn’t matter whether I agree with him politically or not. I can give my personal bias and issues a rest for a few days out of respect to allow his friends and family to mourn his death. And yet, immediately online you see people trashing him or using his death to trash SF politics in general. Even the Chronicle posted a piece on the day of his death discussing how it “complicated” politics in SF!  The day of his death!  /tangent

The fallout got me to thinking about how the divide between us is growing. Even within our own umbrella there is so much more in-fighting and vitriol toward each other. This is not how we solve problems. This is not how we overcome our mutual enemies either. Isolating ourselves in our individual groups or identities will not allow us to overcome the inequalities we all face.

So for myself, I plan to work on how I view those I disagree with. I will continue to avoid those who rely solely on deceit and lies. For the rest, I hope I can offer, thru example, the type of respect we all deserve.

Crash

A reader asked if I’d be willing to blog about the recent plane crash at SFO since I work in a field related to the incident. Unfortunately, there isn’t much I can add. I was off that day so I had no direct involvement. Being a critical incident, I did check in with work, as required, to make sure I wasn’t being called in. Beyond that, I was not much involved. SFO has it’s own police/fire support systems. SF, as a city, does/will send resources as needed/requested but we would not be the lead in this scenario. The incident itself falls to the Feds so we wouldn’t even do primary investigations.

*

An emergency worker can go a lifetime w/o something of this magnitude happening. Even those of us trained to deal with day to day emergencies take pause for things like this. Thankfully, it was not a catastrophic event. The fact it turned out to be minor (in loss of life) was a huge stroke of luck and relief. Not to belittle the lives that were lost, but it could have been so much worse.

There are a variety of things that kick into action when events like this happen. Mass casualty Incidents (MCI’s) can quickly overwhelm local resources. Cali along with most states now work within the IC (Incident Command) system, which is meant to unify and standardize logistics, resource allocation, patient care, after incident care, etc. It and systems like it create a framework of response and resources to quickly be coordinated in a very meaningful and useful way.

Consequence

When is the truth no longer the truth? When does manipulation of truth to fit an agenda become deceit? That’s where we seem to be today, here in SF at least. Watching the fallout over many of the recent scandals has been painful at best for me. I’ll admit the resulting vitriol being leveled at each other has really hurt my faith in the community. The fallout has shaken my normally optimistic view of us in general.

From a purely personal POV, it’s been very painful to witness disingenuous tactics and behavior from peers I look up to. It’s a hard pill to swallow. Having never lost a hero or role model, I am still struggling with it. I am saddened to see us so divided and treating each other so horribly. Be it adult actor suicides, the nudity ban, the march to equality, or the Bradley Manning caper, the hate, vitriol, anger, and condescension have all shown a fundamental shift in our ability to express ourselves as well as a renewed since of victimization. We are turning to rule based consequentialism as a moral code; the idea that ethics of the moral right/wrong are based solely on the consequences. (I know, my big word of the day. See, I really do educate myself!)  Said code is often contradictory and ultimately confusing and leads to cognitive dissonance. (I think my little brain has seen this coming because many of my previous posts have delved into different pieces of the overall issue.)

Looking at it from a purely analytical point of view, the behaviors represent a breakdown in our reasoning thru logical consequence.1 Without reason thru logic, there can be no truth. Like religious fundies, we cannot survive a moral code that is dependent on the outcome vs the cause. And to abandon truth and integrity in favor of bias and personal agendas is a recipe for disaster. That is not to say it was unexpected. After being excluded from society, many of us developed our own system of moral codes. It was simply out of a need to cope with being labeled degenerates and abominations and often being outcasts. The problem with moral codes in general is they are often conflictive between individual communities and society as a whole. It’s even more confusing because we’ve developed moral conflicts even when our own community. As previously alluded to in assimilation, there is a part of our community that has embraced their freedoms from the trappings of the mainstream way of life. They’ve adopted a moral code that is much less restrictive than society at large. And there is nothing inherently wrong with that. But now that the LGBTI community as a whole is being slowly accepted into society, those moral conflicts are creating dissention and fear.

Sadly, many on both sides are abandoning truth in favor of rigidly conservative and intolerant thinking. They bristle at the very idea of compromising. Anyone who disagrees is immediately labeled the enemy, and ironically conservative, as well as having only one goal, the sanitization of gay culture. It is dangerous ground though. To continually conflate every varied issue into one overarching idea of oppression only serves to keep us locked in a pattern of self-inflicted victimization.2  I am somewhat ashamed to see many of said folks have begun to manipulate facts and ‘truth’ based on bias and personal agendas, again much like those who hate us. And the most insidious behavior recently is selling an agenda based on lies laced with a kernel of truth or half truths. A fallacies with enough truth to not only convince you but also invoke an emotional reaction to overwhelm reason thru logical consequence. To me it represents a truly dangerous path that leads to only misery, isolation, and eventually despair for those who take it.

It is my hope that those who fight against the inevitable change, can see that we can coexist. We can move into an era of acceptance and still maintain many of the freedoms we’ve come to love. As previously mentioned, we might lose some of it for a generation, but it will spring back. And lastly, I beg of you, please your case, cause, agenda, desire, etc w/integrity of purpose thru reason of logic and truth. Do not succumb to irrational fears based on selfishness.

As always, hope springs eternal. . .




  1. One of the basic tenants of logic []
  2. I say our because differences aside, we are still a community IMO []

Dirty

And it’s nothing like what you’re thinking. Get out of my gutter already! hehehe

No, I’m referring to my dust-bowl of an apartment. It is no secret I hate doing household chores. Don’t get me wrong, the day to day stuff is no problem. Between the roomie and I, the bulk gets done. It’s the dusting, wiping, and randomly needed cleaning that I fail at so miserably. Some of the less-used surfaces routinely develop a nice coat of dust. Ugh!

I’m caught up enough financially I can start looking for maid service again. For some reason, I can’t reach my old crew and I sure wish I could find them. They were perfect.

Cleaning services aren’t that pricey compared to previous years. And while it will be a slight drain on my wallet, the well-being I get from knowing the apt is getting cleaned and dusted regularly will off-set that in a major way! Any locals reading this, if you know a good crew, I’m taking recommendations. Preferably a mom/pop style vs big company.

Cognitive

My big word of the day, Cognitive Dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is basically when a person(s) hold simultaneous beliefs or ideas that conflict thereby creating dissonance. Our id will not tolerate too much of said dissonance and often times something has to give to resolve the conflict. A good example is the whole fight over nudity here in SF.1  The issue has really been good blog fodder. Not only the issue itself but also some of the observations surrounding it.

It is my opinion that many involved could not resolve the idea that someone could be both against public nudity and be progressive or liberal. Others couldn’t resolve the idea that gay men who love Folsom, Dore, and all that comes with that could also support the ban. I would call that a pretty clear case of CD. Being unable to resolve the conflict resulted in lots of name-calling, outlandish statements, and overall disgust at how SF has become fascist, Republican, and/or conservative. This created an enemy that didn’t cause conflict, could be blamed, and thereby restoring balance in the id. Oh, and any gays who were vocal about supporting the ban were also labeled as uppity, prudes, outsiders, greedy, and/or selfish. Same result different variant.2  The very idea that you could be both gay and for the nudity ban was simply inconceivable to many. Some expressed their outrage just over that very fact.

There were many other issues at play here but this was something that struck me in a profound way. It was also very divisive. I had friends on both sides that were very passionate over it. Once I realized what I was seeing, I actually pulled back a bit to watch things unfold. It was like a weird science project. I swear I should have been a psychologist because I totally dig it. Lol Then you have the problem of filtering out the conspiracy nuts, the ignorant, and all of the personal bias. The latter being a mountain unto itself. So many were just randomly spewing nonsense. The mob mentality online is bound to be a thesis for someone somewhere.

Back on point, I don’t have a clue how we can work to better this. Belief is a powerful thing, as evidenced by the grip that organized religion has had over society for centuries. The problem I see these days is that belief seems to no longer be reliant on facts. For myself, without knowing the facts or details, I try not to go all holier-than-thou. That in itself would solve a lot of problems. I also try to be honest with myself if I have a personal bias over an issue. For example, on the nudity thing, some people that know me were very surprised at my reaction. They assumed I’d be all up in arms over it. And I’ll admit it did give me pause. I see no harm in nudity, or sex for that matter. I think our puritanical culture here in the US is extremely biased against sex in general. But as mentioned, it was more about a lack of respect IMO than the actual nudity. I also recognize a need for boundaries and respect for others.

The idea that a father of a slain child could be heckled by gun fanatic is another very striking and shameful version of cognitive dissonance. It was also a lot of other very shameful things but I was very sad to have read it. Anyway, the point of my little ramble today is it helps if we try to look outside the box from time to time. Instead of ignoring facts, we should embrace them. We should also realize that labels do not define us as individuals.




  1. The gun issue going on right now is another glaring example []
  2. And I am not saying there weren’t some valid arguments. There were. The problem is said arguments were never going to be strong enough to gain public support. []

Ban v.20

So looks like the nudity ban held up in court. I would have been surprised if it hadn’t. It was carefully worded. It is a shame we ended up with this law on the books but now maybe we can all move past it.1  I never supported the ban on it’s surface but I also never supported the so called nudists. Legislating personal behavior is a tricky and dangerous slope. However, I can tolerate it because it strives to strike what I believe to be a fair balance. 

It is truly unfortunate a selfish few had to ruin it for all. And yes, I say selfish because that is exactly what it was. Regardless of my theories on nudity, it is selfish anytime you decide your wants are more important than everyone else’s. The cognitive dissonance regarding the whole ordeal has sparked a post of it’s very own. (forthcoming)  But I do truly hope we can all move past it now. For something so silly, it sparked a lot of debate within the community. I wish we put half the energies invested in all this towards dealing with the homeless, skyrocketing rents, MUNI, etc. The Castro, as a gay neighborhood, is dying a slow death. It’s being strangled by greed, selfishness, and gentrification. The latter being totally unavoidable but as a whole I think the “Castro” as a gay hood will be gone in 10 years. Local businesses cannot afford rents and the neighborhood seems dead set on preventing anyone who might be a chain from opening. So spaces sit empty collecting yet more homeless encampments.

Anyway, if you really think about it, the ban pretty much maintains the status quo before all this started. You can still expose your buttocks pretty much anywhere. You can still go nude at beaches, fairs, events, parks (to a degree), etc. You just can’t park your butt in the hub of the neighborhood naked anymore. This is where we were before these guys decided to push the boundaries. I do not believe, as some have stated, that SF is becoming conservative or fascist. That is all lip service for “I didn’t get my way so I’m gonna call you names.”  SF is still a wonderfully progressive city in so many ways.

On a side rant, unfortunately, SF is facing an identity crisis. It has moved beyond a “small town” to a thriving city and the attitudes and approach to managing it are still stuck in the days of old. If SF is going to truly thrive and remain diverse, it needs to move away from viewing itself a small city and start managing itself as the city that it is.




  1. I’m sure some won’t and will lament even louder about how fascist SF has become. Seriously, just think about that for a moment. []

Cents

Sometimes my beloved SF can be a bit over the top with ordinances and other times they can be front-runners on really good ideas.

One particularly new good idea was an ordinance that passed recently that requries all businesses to charge a .10 cent fee for every bag given out. The idea obviously was to encourage people to bring their own bag(s) and cut down on landfill/waste. And so far it has worked pretty well. Pretty much every store I shop at regularly has reported a massive drop in the number of bags given out.

Some have grumbled a bit and others have just gone off the deep end complaining that SF is passing too many nanny laws. Forgetting for a moment, these are the same folks who spend $4 – $6 a day on coffee drinks, it’s 10 cents! lol Even if you walked away with 10 bags full of groceries it’s a whole dollar extra. Then you have people complaining it’s incovenient when you forget to bring a bag. Well silly, that is the point!

My favorite complaint was that stores should be required to eat the cost. Why exactly is that? They already have to pay for bags so why should they pay again for you? I’m all for corporate responsibility but this isn’t about the stores, it’s about us (as consumers) and needless waste. The law was meant to curtail waste.

I’m a huge supporter of the new ordinance and glady fork over the .10 anytime I forget to bring a bag. I’m glad SF is working to reduce the amount of waste produced by the city. It’s better for the city and better for the environment.

Banned

I’m slipping this rant into the scheduled posts. Only because it was time-relevant. lol

I didn’t sleep well last night at all. I have no idea why but I kept waking  up like every hour on the hour. I must have worn Cooper out as well because he slept right up till I crawled out of bed at 10:30 today. Usually, he is up and fidgeting and moving around the bedroom out of boredom. lol I called off to work today. I’m a bit cranky and feeling tired. After I’ve had some food in me, I’m gonna try to take a nice nap.

In other news, the proposed ban on public nudity here is scheduled to be voted on today. I’m at Cove cafe right now and several tables are discussing it. Every table had pretty much the same theme, “why do they have to force it on everyone?” Ironic, considering it was mostly locals doing the complaining. As mentioned, the issue really isn’t about nudity anymore IMO. Instead, it’s about people being forced to endure behavior they don’t like. That is the real crutch of the issue. SF has coexisted peacefully with the real nudists here for decades. Oh they get a few random complaints but nothing major. It’s known and even expected at some of the parks, beaches, bars, and various events here. It is tolerated well for the simple reason people who didn’t want to see it could avoid it. It wasn’t forced on you. With the exhibitionists setting up shop in the plaza smack dab in the middle of the neighborhood, people no longer felt it could be avoided. And that is when the complaints started rolling in, in earnest.

The issue has been conflated and twisted so much by both sides it borders on the ridiculous. Not to mention, something so silly  & foolish has divided the community in many aspects. Not that I’m surprised, good or bad, SF always tends to be controversial. And it won’t be over today unfortunately. I read the ban is being challenged in court as a violation of freedom of speech. I say good luck with that. You’d have to prove some sort of harm for it to pass muster. And considering it only covers public spaces, I find it a stretch to claim it somehow restricts people but whatev. I’ll be glad when it’s over so we can all move on to bigger more important issues.

Come & Go

In my last post, I mentioned the new Sliderbar restaurant that opened. It’s basically a twist on slider burgers. When Nikitas and I sat down, two of our friends were finishing up and gave it a scathing review. Being brand new hiccups are bound to happen so we decided to stick it out, granted our expectations were low.

The food turned out to be pretty decent. They had a diverse menu of sliders and we tried a couple different ones. Other than a snafu with our order getting entered timely, the overall experience (prior to me leaving my wallet like a dumb ass) was pleasant. The food was fresh and tasty.

Of course, like many places that seem to pop up these days, I doubt it will survive the long haul. They’ve taken something that is traditionally a comfort or fast food and tried to put a fancy spin on it. It is hard to sustain a business based on overcharging for fancy mini-burgers. I liked the remodel but I honestly doubt it will survive. They are trying to live on a niche market that is just not built on being pricey. Criolla Kitchen that was there prior was pretty much the same problem. After an owner revolt, the remaining owner ditched the all Cajun menu1 for a more general Southern style comfort food menu with a hefty price tag. Sorry but comfort food by it’s very nature is not price. And trying to charge upscale prices for food you can get elsewhere for a fraction of the cost is just not good business IMO. I will give Criolla credit, their food was very good. But they failed to truly understand their customer base and went under because of it. I fear Sliderbar is headed down the same path. While my first experience was pleasant, it didn’t wow me and I’d be hard-pressed to find myself eating there a lot.

I don’t wish them any ill-will and certainly like having a variety of restaurants in my neighborhood. Sadly, there are 4 burger joints within a few blocks of each other and frankly I don’t see the demand as being that high, even with a high tourist ratio. I could be wrong and I certainly wish them luck though.




  1. Which was what they claimed to be []

Nude

The latest drama to roll SF is an upcoming proposal by one of the Board of Sups, Scott Weiner,1 to ban nudity in public places. While he did include a caveat that excludes fairs and events, it still would ban all forms of nudity in public. Not even your buttocks could be exposed under the new proposal. This is a tad more extreme than even some conservative cities. I’m sure some reading this would be very surprised that nudity, in any form, is allowed in public. While there are several ordinances on the books about lewd behavior, SF currently has no specific ordinance against nudity in general. And many of us here realize nudity is not something to be ashamed of…within reason. And therein lies my rant today.  

Anyone that knows me knows I am no stranger to nudity, sex, or even a little voyeurism.2 But from my perspective, it’s not so much about the nudity but respect. It is plain disrespectful and rude to parade around in a busy residential & business district butt-naked. And your desire to be naked does not trump everyone else’s desire not to see it. It is not shameful to want to avoid it while you are going about your daily routine and/or business. And we aren’t talking about the beaches or even the parks. We are talking right out in the public plazas. I don’t find it disgusting or offensive but I do find it rude and disrespectful. I am rarely a fan of legislating behavior,  but what’s left to do? They have pushed the envelope to the point where no one wants it anymore.  

In my opinion, no one seems to understand what balance means anymore. It’s “my way or the highway.” We have plenty of spaces, places, and events here that allow, condone, and even support nudity. We clearly have room and place to express ourselves. We do not have to grind it into everyone’s face to get our jollies. Even worse, the so-called nudists have taken to wearing cockrings now and trying to claim it’s ‘jewelry.’  Bullshit. 

Of course, you should hear some of the hang-wringing and stuff being said on both sides of the argument. Everything from the completely logical to the utterly made-up and insane. Some of the comments were so ludicrous as to be hilarious. And I’m sure there are many who do argue against it out of a misguided sense of shame, religion, or not being comfortable with their own bodies. Even in SF, you have the fundies but that isn’t the point.

Then there was the  ‘the republicans are taking over’ and of course, ‘what about the children’ argument. Whatever that means. Children have no idea anything is wrong until you act like it so spare me on that front. If we are going to argue against it rationally, then the reasons should be based on reason, not stupid shams used over and over again. Then on the other side you have ludicrous statements claiming it’s a hate crime or discrimination. This is where they lost my support completely. It is not hate, shame, or discrimination to expect a minimum level of decency in busy public spaces. Asking you to cover your bare genitals is not a hate crime and to claim it is demeans and marginalizes the victims of such very real crimes.

Anyway, I hate to say it but it’s their own fault. Most of the so-called nudists are the same ones you see at the fairs beating their meat for a thrill. Sadly, they have probably given the few traditional nudists involved a bad name now. Having the privilege to be naked wasn’t enough they had to keep pushing it as far as they could. Well guess what? A lot of the locals have had enough and have started complaining in record numbers. And of course, the board of sups, tired of having their inboxes and voicemail blown up over it, has proposed new legislation to ban nudity.

I personally hope that the ordinance gets watered down a bit. I love SF and the freedoms that come with living in such a progressive city. But, being cited for walking from bar to bar in ass-less chaps is probably a bit overkill. And while the police have better things to do,3 if someone called and insisted on signing a complaint, they would be bound to enforce the law. Either way, it is a sad state of affairs when we are fighting over something so stupid and childish when we have so many bigger issues at hand.

Even as gregarious and open about things as I am, I still don’t want to see it when I’m going about my day. As I said, from my point of view it is about respect for others in public spaces and balance. There is a time and place for everything and there has to be a defining line somewhere. Unfortunately, now because of abuse, that line might end up being further to the right than we would have wanted.

On a slight tangent, many have argued for the old days and lamented the loss of the “freedoms” we had in the past. I’m sorry but we can’t have it both ways. We can’t argue for equality under the law and then get mad when we are held to the standards of society at large. We have emerged into the mainstream and can’t turn around. And given the choice, I’d go for equality. Being treated equal under the law and all that comes with that is far far better to me than the loss of a few freedoms. Freedoms ironically developed as a coping mechanism to a society that shunned and hated us.  




  1. Yes, his real name and yes I know. []
  2. Some of you reading can probably speak first-hand. *ahem* anyway… []
  3. and they do! []