Basic Civics

I’ve been avoiding FB for quite some time now. I’ve finally relented and slowly eased back into it. It was quite refreshing to avoid the doom and gloom news as well as the rampant nonsense. I’m seriously gonna try to limit my presence there from now on. It just isn’t healthy. 

Being away has certainly helped me avoid being baited into ridiculous arguments with folks who often have no idea what they are ranting about. Case and point,  my buddy Rick was having a bad day and ranted about being truly hurt by any of his’friends’ who voted for Trump. The thread didn’t devolve completely but one fellow felt the need to tell us all how duped we are for thinking our votes matter. When I offered that he was part of the problem, he really went off. He never realized his rant pretty much proved my point. 

Later, my sense of fairness got the better of me and I started thinking about it. I asked around in a few different forums and was disappointed. lol  It seems a lot of people don’t understand basic civics in relation to voting. So here it is a nut-shell. I’m not going into every detail but your vote does matter. It matters a great deal; however, you also need to understand how our constitution works. Our country was formed thru a collection of states joining together to create a cohesive republic.1

Our founding fathers came up with the electoral college to even out the power of individual states to sway an election. There is some argument about also being designed to avoid letting crazy people like Trump get elected but I can’t say for sure in that regard. But the point of the electoral college is simple. Thru local votes of individuals an electorate is expected to vote for said candidate. This is done state by state based on their allotment of electoral votes. Simply put, the closer to your local government you vote, the more power your individual vote carries. On a local or state level our votes are pretty much equal. There are some exceptions in a few states but overall this is true. 

As for the presidency, our votes were never designed to be equal across state lines. While you may feel your vote might count less than someone else’s, when you look at how states actually vote for the president thru the electoral college it makes perfect sense. And while there might be an argument on whether we need a constitution amendment to shift our focus away from states rights to the individual, that is a different conversation. Your vote was never designed to be equal to everyone else’s in the country. I know, I know, you’re shocked. hehehe  If it were the design, the most populous states would constantly decide elections. Smaller, less dense states would be left out in the cold. This is how our constitutional system was setup. 

The idea that your vote doesn’t count is part of why we are in the quandry we are in now. Population explosion, indifference, and a variety of social-economic influences are pushing people away from being involved with their government at any level. If we truly want to right our ship so to speak, we need to overcome this. We need to be involved. It may not seem like it’s that important but Turmp’s win is a shining example to the contrary. 




  1. Look a real footnote! Republic, noun: a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch []

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 []

Still Bulking

Well, I never switched to my cardio routine. hehehe  I’m still working on bulking. I just like the momentum I have right now and hate to waste it. I’m doing a routine of mixed regular and drop sets. It isn’t as intense as my last bulking routine but I’m liking it. I’m hititng the gym at least 5 days a week with a 3-4 rest period days every 2 weeks. The rest period lets my body recover. Without ‘assistance’, over-training can retard muscle growth. 

I have tendonitis in my left forearm right now. Which is odd because I used to always get it in my right forearm. Go figure?!  Being on this type of routine is definitely helping me recover. The forearm band helps alleviate stress. I ice/heat it as well.

I have been doing my legs too! I’m not neglecting them for once. hehehe  I’ve been so guilty of neglecting my legs for years. While they aren’t boney, I can still see the difference in my pics now. I baked my legs so hard the other day I could barely walk home afterwards. Lawd baby jeebus, it was rough. I’m kinda getting into my leg workouts though. Large muscle groups often ‘feel’ easier to workout. 

My schedule is still my damn enemy. Being on a 10-hour work schedule is a real pain. I have to be dedicated every day otherwise I miss my window of opportunity. The up-side is my schedule is such that I find it easier to stay on track. I get home with just enough time to get Cooper settled from his mid-day walk and then hit the gym right before the 5:00 rush. I’m usually 2/3s of the way thru my workout before the big crowd hits.

I find myself less tolerant of folks that selfishly spend tons of time on a bench while not using it. I always start out polite to get their attention and alert them someone is waiting. If that doesn’t work, I have no problem calling you out for your selfish behavior. In no routine should it take you 20 mins to get thru a single bench set. NONE! Do us all a favor and be courteous to your fellow gym-goers. You aren’t there alone and it isn’t yours. Share like yo momma taught you. 

Funny tangent, people often act surprised when I offer to share or let them work in. Sure it might throw off my timer a little bit but that shouldn’t trump manners. There are some exceptions but you should be willing to share if you workout in a public gym. You might learn something or you might be able to impart knowledge to someone who needs it. 

Anyhoo, I’m sure I’ll get to my cardio routine eventually. heehee  I’m justliking the pump I’m getting these days!

Smart TV

​Now for something totally boring. 

We bought ourselves a new TV. Not necessarily for christmas but it worked out that way. Shawn had a 60″ tv when we met so we put my old 45″ in the spare room. Out of nowhere, the big one just up and died.1  I was happy with the 45″ back in the day but I’ll tell you downsizing to that 45″ again was painful after having the 60″ for several years. It was like going from the old 36″s to a 19″. Yeah, you know exactly what I mean!

I’ve always been a big fan of Panasonic, but we opted for a Samsung. We got the 60″ SUHD 8-series version. It’s super thin, light and pretty easy to setup. The only frustrating part was the remote wasn’t paired to the TV and I got frustrated for a few minutes thinking it was broken. Why do men hate reading directions? Once I figured it out, everything went smoothly.  There is almost no bevel on the edges, which is different from our old one. It’s also LED instead of plasma. I really liked plasma TV’s as they are much easier to setup and use. For the longest time, they provided a truer representation of images and motion without pixelation. However, LED (and soon OLED) won the format war with ever decreasing production costs. The upside is much lower power consumption. The power cord is practically the same type you’d find on a DVD player. I’m curious to see if I notice a difference in our electric bill since we watch TV a lot. Anyway, almost all the TVs we saw, regardless of brand, were super thin. The quality is similar but the devil is in the details. 

I knew I wanted the same size, or bigger, but I didn’t really care about all the fancy features. It’s a damn TV, it doens’t need all the fancy stuff. I’ve seen other smart TV’s at friend’s houses and they all felk gimmicky. Or at least that is what I used to think. hehehe  Our new one is pretty snazzy. To my surprise, I totally love the enhanced features. The menu is super quick so it doesn’t feel gimmicky at all. I wonder if that is why I thought previous tvs were so gimmicky? It also supports 4K even though I didn’t really care about that either. It supports wireless or ethernet to connect to the web. Another pleasant surprise, it supports Google+ Play, which I use a lot. Google+ Play and Amazon Video are my go-to sources for streaming media. It also supports Hulu, Nextflix, Vudu, etc. They actually came preinstalled on the TV. There is a list of other apps you can download for broader options. Pretty much every movie channel was availabe, ie HBO Now, Starz on Demand, etc. You can easily use the TV and still cut the cord from cable as long as you have internet. And while I have several of these available thru the Tivo, it’s actually easier to use and navigate them thru the TV. 

The frame rate is faster so it makes everything look live. In some examples it can ruin the effects for you. heehee  We eventually turned it off. It’s hard to explain until you see it in person. It gives everything a sharper more realistic view as if you’re watching it live. Shawn doesn’t care for it but I kinda like it. The TV is also very bright. We’ve had to lower the brightness pretty far to feel comfortable. Even now, anything with white space will light up the whole room. The only odd part is the TV only has one connection port. It connects to a small hub that supports 4 HDMI ports and few others including usb. I didn’t really like the idea but considering how thin the TV is it makes sense. If you’re into video games, like I am, it has a special ‘game mode’ setting for making games play smoother, and it really works. I noticed a difference right away. 

So, if you’re in the market for a new TV, I recommend the Samsung 8-series line. It is well worth the money. It was on sale black Friday so we got a decent deal on it. If you do the Vizio line, which is cheaper, do the M-series, NOT the E-series. Vizio’s were about $300-$400 bucks cheaper but we really wanted the higher quality display for gaming. Vizio had a much lower rating for gaming and the refresh ration for motion were lower. Now, if you don’t watch a lot of TV or use it for more than the casual show, these differences really don’t matter. 

The TV also serves as a nice distraction to keep me off FB more. heehee




  1. It might be fixable but we both wanted a new one. I will try to get it fixed a little later. It’s getting burn in from the hours and hours I spend playing Destiny []

Fellow Traveler

As previously mentioned, I’m abandoning the one-word titles. They were fun for awhile but I’m over it. hehehe

I’m always tickled when I run into things that reinforce my thoughts or rants. After my post about my growth and life I ran into a buddy at the gym and we had a very interesting chat. It started as small talk and just a catch up. It turned into my buddy sharing with me how he recently attended a class that he felt was transformative and healing for him. I was hooked and shared a little about my struggles and how my blog helped me. I could have spent all night talking but he was still working out and I was on my way out. 

It was an affirmation for me though. It is rare for me to encounter someone who I feel is really working on personal growth. And that isn’t a jab at anyone, it’s just an observation. So many of us grow and struggle, but over time we develop coping-mechanisms to combat our failings and we just live with them. I’m always excited seeing that spark of excitement in someone’s eyes when they are discovering, or I should say rediscovering, themselves. I recommended one of my favorite books to him.1  I offered to grab lunch sometime and talk more. I hope he takes me up on it. 

It probably sounds silly but it revived a little of my own excitement. As mentioned, it was a simple yet very touching affirmation for me. It made me proud of my own work. I hope I get to share more with him. 




  1. How many of few long time readers remember? []

Cards

It’s that time again. I’m doing my annual christmas cards again soon. If you want a card, email me your address. Don’t leave your address in the comments. I’d hate for some random bot to snag it. 

I have so many different kinds of cards, I’m totally not buying new ones this year. I easily spend upwards of $50 to $100 bucks a year on cards. I’m not sure where I developed the hobby, especially since I’m don’t really celebrate christmas that much. I just enjoy doing it though. It’s almost therapeutic for me. I think I’ve mentioned it in previous years but I like to sit down and go thru my mailing list and compare it to my readers. I pull up all their emails for the last year and read thru them again. It makes me feel connected to my readers. I’m probably an odd ball but when has that ever stopped me? hehehe

So this year I’m gonna throw all the cards in a pile and just go thru them one by one until I’m done. Or at least until I run out of folks to send them to. I’m pretty sure I still have more than enough cards. I seem to remember I might have done some of this last year. (Yeah, I have that many cards heehee)  

Shawn and I are probably headed back down to LA for the holiday. The same two friends are tying the knot and have invited us to attend! 

Anyway, if you’d like a card drop me a line. I do not expect one in return just because I send you one btw. 

World AIDS Day

***Note – I actually wrote this post in 2015 but thru some sort of typo it got scheduled for 2016.***

World AIDS Day has a special meaning to many of us in the LGBT community. If you are over the age of 40, it is extremely unlikely you haven’t personally lost at least 1 friend or loved one to AIDS. While it is more of a chronic illness in western culture these days, it is still incurable and people are still dying. While I lost several friends over the years, two were very close to my heart and I use this day to fondly remember said individuals. Today I want to talk about Damien.

Damien was the manager of the Club Houston.1 I happened to meet him at a very rough time in my life. The first time meeting him left me a bit rattled actually. I was still young and very naive at the time. And while I’ve always been able to put on a good poker face, I was very intimidated by him. He was this rather imposing figure. He carried himself w/a bit of what I referred to then as arrogance. It helped his image that he was tall and lean. He had long curly hair, of which he he was very fond. He had a reputation for being very strict and frankly, being a bitch. As I would discover later, it was all a cover. He was actually quite kind and generous. He just had a really low tolerance for drama.

For myself, I was struggling to not be homeless at the time and ended up working at the Club for money on weekends. I’d come in and do the weekend bbq and they paid cash. Considering I was sleeping in my car at the time, I wasn’t in a position to refuse. Being funny and social, I quickly went from just weekend work to weekday work on a full-time schedule. Damien quickly fell in love with me (as a friend and mentor). One, I was a hard worker2 but that just served to get his attention. He loved me because, as he put it, “I was the nelliest funniest queen he’d ever met” For you long timer readers, you’ll remember I turned myself into a stereotype back then because I thought that’s what I had to be to gain acceptance. And truth be told, you would not have even recognize me then. But he loved me because I was so fiercely “out.” Anyway, back on topic.

After a little while, word filtered back to him regarding my situation and my routine unofficial overnight hangouts became a sanctioned activity. Employees were allowed to use the ‘gym’ for free. hehehe It was a huge burden lifted for me. A couple of the employees didn’t like me because they knew I’d rat their lazy asses out if they got high and slacked off while on duty. Said slacking meant more work for me. They would routinely kick me out after my time limit expired at night. This left me on the street anywhere from 4-6 hours in the late night/early mornings. The police were not friendly and the neighborhood wasn’t overly safe so I’d drive to a nicer area of town and park in well-lit areas. Anyway, what very few people knew at the time is he also helped me behind the scenes as well. I was the beneficiary of a monthly “employee of the month” program that seemed to only exist for my benefit. Said program paid extra cash to the winner. Damien grew to trust me a lot and was also a mentor to me. Having been thru some of life’s harsher roads before me, he would often share pearls of hard earned wisdom with me.

After a year or so, I moved on. While I had no shame in working there, I didn’t intend to stay that way. I’ve always been a quick study and any time life presents an opportunity I take it. I continued working and finding better jobs to better myself. Damien and I stayed in touch and I’d routinely lend a hand if he asked. An employee would get fired or just disappear and he’d call me for a quick shift. I was glad to help someone who helped me.

When Damien got sick, I was living in Boulder, CO. I caught a flight back as soon as I could and got back in time. It is a surreal experience to see the life and health leave someone you know. Gone was the vibrant man I knew. In his place was the decaying shell of a human being. In a word, it was ghastly. I loved this kindred soul and it broke me in so many little ways to see him reduced to this. When he passed away, I promised I’d never let myself die that way. I’d never let anything reduce me to such a state. (Kids say the craziest things when we think we are invincible)

[This part is new since I wrote this.] So today, I celebrate his life. He wouldn’t want me to be sad or down. He would want me to be fierce and alive. So in his honor, I celebrate the life of all of those we’ve lost due to AIDS. I celebrate the life of those who still live with AIDS. I celebrate their courage in the fight to live. I celebrate the new treatments and drugs available to everyone. Besides treatment drugs we also have PrEP now.3 PrEP is changing the landscape of treatment and transmission.

I celebrate the kindred soul that touched my mine and helped me on my own path.

Hope springs eternal…




  1. One of two large bathhouses in the city []
  2. yes, even in a bathhouse. []
  3. Pre-Exposure Prophylactics []

Recovery

I’ve been avoiding social media and most of the news these last few days. It’s all been so depressing and sad I just needed a chance to recover before I dove back into it all. And on queue, everyone is jockeying for the moral superiority. What a total turn off. Ugh.1

Believe it or not, some of my readers are/were Donald supporters.  I know, crazy right? I make no bones about supporting mostly democrats these days. It isn’t because I’m a hard core party line groupy, they just often make the most sense and/or are will do less damage based on the choices given. I was an ardent (and still am) Hillary supporter. She would have been good for this country, all the rhetoric notwithstanding. She had her issues that concerned me, but so does our current President. Anyway, I got a few snarky humble-brag emails from a couple of aforementioned readers. My response to them is my response to all, “careful what you wish for, because once you get it, you’re stuck with it.” In this case, we are stuck with Donald for at least 4 years. Watching the disaster that is his transition has been both hilarious and frightening. These clowns can’t even manage a transition and yet magically we expect them to manage a country, foreign affairs, the national budget. Really? 

I hope we recover from this. I’m a pretty optimistic person but I see this as sign of bad things to come. I truly hope I’m wrong. And unlike everyone trying to point fingers, I don’t blame the people who voted. I don’t blame the people who voted for Donald, Jill, or Gary. At least they got off their asses and voted. They exercised their right to help determine their future. And while it certainly played a role, I don’t blame the voter id laws or the clowns trying to intimidate voters at polling places. It is arguable that without these influences Hillary might have won. Now imagine if half of the non-voting voters had actually gone to the polls. A mere 25% of the absent voting publc would have changed everything. It would have offset all the attempts above and then some. How do I know this? Statistics don’t lie. Statistics repeatedly show lower voter turnouts benefit the republicans. Even with all the shenanigans above, Hillary still won the popular vote by over a million votes (and still counting). That means the crazy, insane voting block, which represents only 1/25 of the total, consistently swings elections because other voters stay home. Over and over again we see it play out. And we saw it again this year. Not voting for your interests is a vote against them. 

I don’t buy the bullshit argument we need to coddle straight white men. We don’t need to coddle them. We need to get more women, minorities, and LGBTI foks to the ballot box and kick their selfish asses to the curb. As a collective we outnumber the selfish white men. And here is the crux of the problem IMO. White society is slowly realizing the system no longer predominantly represents them anymore. It scares the shit out of them. Deep down they are afraid of becoming the minority and discovering what it feels like to be discriminated against. This is what drives the cognitive dissonance that allows people to look past Donald’s racist, sexist, xenophobic, etc, etc, etc behaviors. They can’t reconcile the contradiction so they block it out. This is what won the election for Donald IMO. 

I’ve said it before,2  indifference is going to destroy us. The more we abandon our cherished rights and freedoms, the faster they will be taken from us. We run to social media to whine or we run into the streets demanding “something be done“. Meanwhile, the people in power keep on doing what their doing. They know there is very little consequence so what’s to fear? 

The republicans do get credit for reading the writing on the wall. They took full advantage of the openness3 of the internet and social media. They never let up with their false attacks on opponents. Social media has become the perfect dissemination tool for “story” after story of half truths and flat out lies to confuse an increasingly poorly educated populace. Even our normal media outlets have shifted away from truth and facts to trying to garner ad-clicks. The flashier or more outrageous the headline the better. Doesn’t matter anymore if the headline matches the story. People then see these shitty stories, shared and reshared over time and develop a completely contrary view of reality based on lies and half truths. It’s only now, after it might be too late, suddenly social media is taking notice. No mention yet from traditional media. Maybe they just need to die out and be replaced. 

We’ve built the perfect democracy busting engine using a trifecta of parts; indifference, ignorance, and a media platform devoid of integrity. 




  1. I know this article is probably too long to hold the attention of most folks so I won’t bother with the ‘long rant ahead’ admonishment. I mean even the headline is devoid of anything flashy. hehehe []
  2. And again, I hate being right here []
  3. Read no regulation on what’s called news []

Worlds End

I’ve written and rewritten this post several times now, which tells me my thoughts and emotions on the subject haven’t settled yet. 

Where do we go from here? A man no one took serious in the beginning with his crazy talk and racist banter has vaulted to the highest office in our land. And he didn’t steal it.1  He won it because he secured the necessary electoral votes. And even though he lost the popular vote, he will be our next president. To say I’m sad, heartbroken, distraught, and even fearful of the coming future would be an understatement. The world is still turning but our society in America is about to undergo a radical shift and not for the better I’m afraid. 

This is not an ordinary election. This is not just sour-grapes over my candidate not winning. There is a real palpable fear for not only our very democracy but our families and loved ones. So I guess the real question is how much can one man (and his party) damage our country in a single 4-year cycle? We could hope he ends up being a lame-duck due to in-fighting with his own party. I certainly don’t think he will tow the line for them. But what about the issues he does agree with? What about his own crazy notions? 

The Republicans are already lining up to repeal the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Millions of people in the double-digits will lose access to even basic health-care. Granted, insurance exchanges and the companies in them don’t have to stop. They could continue to offer acces. However, the rules that stop them from rejecting folks with pre-existing conditions will be gone. Many other rules that made the program so successful will also be gone. And states would also be free to forcibly abolish them by creating new laws. 

Then the LGBT marriage issue comes up. I personally think this will be a hard one as the SCOCTUS was fully constituted when the case was originally heard and rehearing a decided case so soon is unprecidented, not impossible but unprecidented. It is easy to argue we are in unprecidented territory and relying on precident isn’t a real comfort. And that doesn’t mean the legislature can’t find other ways to interfere just like they’ve done with abortion. He already gets to pick the next justice for the court. You can guarantee it will be a hyper-conservative anti-gay one. The cronies behind him are already laying the groundwork and building their lists of hopefuls. Racism and homophobia are out of the closest again. And any case decided while the SCOTUS was not fully constituted can be brought back up the chain and reheard. You think the new court will favor Union rights? And what if something happens and he gets to appoint more justices? He will sway the court for decades. 

I read announcements today regarding many of Trumps’s previous choices for his cabinet and was mortified. Palin, Christie (if he doens’t end up in prison first), Guiliani, Carson, etc. His list is full of anti-LGBT, anti-science, anti-climate change, and anti-women choices. And let us not forget the no longer subtle racist individuals in his campaign. These folks, thru his appointment, pose as much if not greater threat to us than he does. 

No, the world didn’t end yesterday. And it won’t end tomorrow. But once Trump takes office and starts changing out the heads of government, what will become of our society? I wonder how many of the people pretending this isn’t a national tragedy will still be nay-saying it 4 years from now. For everyone’s sake, I hope they’re right. For myself, I’m fortunate to live where I do. California is a stronghold of democratic values and San Francisco is at the head of the pack. But we’ve already seen incidents of hate and homophobia here, yes even here we aren’t completely immune. 

I’ve reached a point of stability in my life where I’m not overly worried for myself. And I’m saying that because I dragged myself from nothing to where I am today. But I worry for those like me still struggling to reach where I am. I imagine so many LGBT folks out there struggling the way I did just to get ahead and to make something of themselves. They get to face newer and higher hurdles because of our politics. I worry for the rest of my community. Trump isn’t even in office yet and attacks against LGBTI and minority communities are on the rise. I’ve read some of my friends trying to down play it like it isn’t a big deal. Mind you, many of those friends are white and aflluent so of course they don’t feel threatened. But, if trump crashes our economy or removes many of the restrictions that keep companies in check, they might be singing a different tune when they find their 401k’s have become worthless. Or they wake up to find their food/water has been poisoned. The EPA will most certainly be neutered. What about the FCC? What about education? I worry for my younger brother. He won’t have access to medical care if his wife loses her job. He is suffereing from digenerative bone disease in his back and still has a couple years of medical needs ahead of him. And whatever the final outcome, he may need access beyond that? 

And that is just the tip of the iceberg. I don’t think the American people realized how dangerous Trump and his sycophant cronies really are. They got caught up in the hype and the sensationalism that is our media now. But they will find out all too soon. Or, we’ll keep ignoring climate change and the environment will kill us off 

by the millions. Either way, as a life long optimist, I’m strugging to find hope right now. 

As my maw-maw always said, “careful what you wish for because when you get it, you’re stuck with it.” I just hope we can survive being stuck with Trump. 




  1. That point being arguable based on the never ending propoganda against Hillary but the reference is more to the Bush/Gore debacle. []