Spread

Unless you live under a rock in the LGBTI community, you know that STI’s are often of concern, especially for gay men. Health departments track these little buggers every year.1 Every so often there is a bigger outbreak than usual. When this happens it almost always seems to start in the two coastal regions, especially in the denser or larger cities. As it spreads, it tends to move inward hitting bigger cities first, and then filtering down to rural areas. There are always statistically larger and persistent spikes in poorer and/or overly religious states as it filters inward. It continues to filter inwards until a loosely coast to coast coverage exists.

This is a general reference and not at statistical analysis. I’ve always paid attention to these sort of “trends”, as I think it gives critical insight into developing tools to combat disease transmission. I mention it today because I feel like the COVID-19 pandemic is following an eerily similar pattern, especially in the afore mentioned poor and/or overly religious states. One can see a real correlation between the spread and those who, thru bias and/or willful ignorance, downplay the dangers of the virus.

I’ve been wondering if health departments have been using the same models to predict the spread of COVID-19. It would certainly make sense if they did. I haven’t seen any specific mentions in media or print, but that could easily be because of the distasteful association people often make with STI’s.2 There are important distinctions between STI’s and COVID-19, but the transmission vectors are very similar just on a much larger scale.

I guess I don’t really have a point to my ramble today. I am just pondering random ideas relating to the pandemic. I’ve been trying to focus more on the science side to avoid being continually furious at ‘the stupid’. I won’t even go into the “re-openings” happening in states with ever increasing numbers of new cases. I’ve realized it is pointless and just leaves me depressed. What I will see say on the subject is we are already seeing spikes in many of the states that relaxed the rules too early or didn’t really restrict public exposure.

California is moving into phase 2 of the 4 phase plan originally outlined by the Governor. The numbers have jumped in SF in the last week, but that has more to do with broader testing and specific groups within the community. We were fortunate to go just under 4 days with no new reported deaths in San Francisco. Testing is now readily available to all citizens in SF as well. I personally feel it should be forced onto people returning to the work-force vs voluntary.

That is it I guess for the moment. I’m sort of rambling here, just airing out some thoughts.

  1. Ironically, health departments in larger cities have improved their modeling tools to specifically track and combat the spread of STI’s. []
  2. It is because of this association that many areas of the country sometimes see continually higher than average numbers of STI cases. []

Back At It?

I mentioned it before but after Cooper passed away the desire to blog just sort of left me. I mean I’d been drifting away for awhile before that but Cooper’s death just hit me so hard and I didn’t really feel it anymore.

But, I find myself really missing it. I miss rambling on here. And a shocker for any of long time readers left, a few of my old demons have surfaced lately and I’m trying my best to deal with them constructively. Rambling away here has always helped me do that.

I looked at my site stats the other day and was a bit surprised how many of my old posts still get non-bot views. Who da thunk it? My google rank has plummeted but that is to be expected.

In new news, I’ve been grappling with my age lately. Not in a bad way just noticing things, specifically on how I’m viewed/treated by others. I have plenty of thoughts to share on it. So hopefully, I’m back at it here. Time will tell I guess.

Hope springs eternal…

Snap

There are days where I see what humans are doing to this planet and I think to myself, “ya know, maybe Thanos had the right idea?” Then I realize we’d still be stuck with half the stupid people and I just shake my head.

If you told me 20 years ago we’d still be disparaging people over the color of their skin or calling vaccines sorcery I wouldn’t have believed you. Sadly, that is where we are today in 2019.

Our selfishness will be our undoing.

Ghosts of the Past

I haven’t talked about my “issues” here in a long time. Truth is, I haven’t felt bothered by them so there wasn’t a need.

Today, I’ve been overwhelmed with memories of my past. I can’t say anything triggered it. Maybe it’s just ‘my time of the month.’ I’m not depressed by the memories, even though most of them aren’t great. I just can’t seem to shake the progression. One memory will trigger another and down a rabbit hole of deep thought I go…

Anyhoo, it’s been mostly about my step-mother, her family, and my angst at them for never intervening when they saw my step-mother abuse me. I know they recognized it because I would sometimes overhear the adults (her siblings) asking my step-mother, “why are so mean to that boy?” My cousins would just ask me directly. Or they would discuss it amongst themselves in front of me. For many years growing up I worshipped and hated them at the same time. When my family from her side visited, I got a reprieve from the mental torment. It meant things would be more bearable, even if it was just a long weekend. Of course, when they left, I suffered even more for my apparent ‘slights’ while they had been visiting. It was in those moments I hated them most.

When I left home none of them made much effort to stay in touch. To be fair, neither did I. They represented a connection to “her” that was to be avoided. It wasn’t like I was overly stable anyway and there was no cell phones, texting, or even internet. But I didn’t understand that then. It’s only been in the last few years I’ve slowly opened a window to them on Facebook. Being an adult now, my view of them has been complicated. At first, I was resentful more of them didn’t reach out to me. But, I realized that wasn’t fair either. Their lives diverged from mine and I was a distant memory. They had as much reason to reach out to me as I did to them. And it wasn’t like I made a lot of effort either. I kept them at arms length. A small handful made an effort to at least reconnect and “know” me a bit. I’m grateful for that. Our lives are so distant and different so that is pretty much where it ends. We keep a cursory connection at best.

And as expected, many of them tend to be Trump supporters. This isn’t much of a surprise. I only mention it because I routinely chime in when I see them sharing absolute made up stories that reinforce their biases. Reconciling my childhood view of them with my adult exposure has been easier than expected. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not. lol

Anyway, I don’t have any wisdom to share. I’m just putting thoughts to pad to help me drag the triggers and emotions out into my conscience id so I can examine them properly. I’ll post more if I figure anything of value out.

What Do You Say?

I was having a discussion with a coworker the other day and we got to talking politics. We were specifically discussing some of the underlying dynamics that often lead people to believe into crazy conspiracy theories. Mostly, we talked about how people often reason based on emotion not logic.

I used an example of my little brother. Not because my brother is a crazy extremist, just the opposite. The story perfectly illustrates how even well-meaning people end up on the wrong side of things at times. So the real question is how, in an age of sensationalized media, truly fake news, and bias, do we encourage every day folks to move beyond their base feelings and examine a solution with logic? How do we get people to realize what they “know” is often based on very limited exposure to the world at large?1

Let me get to my example. My little brother grew up not really “seeing” racism. To him, it is something he knows exists but in more pronounced examples. For lack of a better description, he sees it as a very black and white issue. I tried to explain white privilege to him and found it a frustrating struggle. As a white man he has never had to experience the frustrations a person of color endures daily. Because he grew up poor and busted his tail working hard to get to a point where he feels stable, he doesn’t understand how a black person doing the same thing faces many more obstacles. I explained many of the very real world examples to him and while he sort of ‘got it’, because he lives in a rural environment where these ideas are usually avoided, it doesn’t become ‘truth’ to him.

It is hard for people who spend everyday just worried about trying to put food on their table to rise above the squabble and focus on bigger issues like politics. And when they live in an environment where biases are constantly reinforced, it’s easy to see why so many fall prey to the machinations of political hacks who want them to stay poor and ignorant. People who are poorly educated as a whole are easily manipulated by their emotions. Quite simply, their emotions are used against them.

And this is one variable of many leading society towards a calamity. So how do we overcome that? What do you say to someone to get them to truly open their mind and listen? If we could figure that out I think the world would be a better place.

  1. How many “experts” do you encounter on Facebook or Twitter these days  LOL []

GHHD #1 2018

Well, GHHD #11 is upon us once again. It is Pride weekend.  The gym has begun filling up daily with out-of-town’rs. *giggle*  I’m sure by Friday it will be overflowing. (pun intended)

However, you celebrate it, I hope you have a fun and safe one. For myself, I volunteered to work overtime again this year onsite at the event. I’ll be working with AMR ambulance services who are the medical component for the Pride permit.2  I’ve worked with them for many years at different events and they are always a pleasure to work with. Ironically, after the Pulse shootings, the Pride committee put in metal detectors and this has cut way down on all the illegal booze being brought in by kids.

As always, there are those among us who complain about all that is wrong with Pride. We know gurl, you hate it. Next! This year, it’s over the idea of adding a few extra colors to the rainbow flag. For a community that is supposed to be all about accepting others, we sure do have some rigid ideas when it comes to symbolism. If you don’t like it, use the one you like. Stop bemoaning attempts to make other marginalized communities feel included under our umbrella. I personally am not defined by the rainbow flag or any other symbol. I enjoy the symbols and support them but there isn’t any reason a symbol can’t change or evolve over time to better represent it’s purpose.

I still support Pride as an event. While we have gained a measure of equality since the legalization of gay-marriage, anti-LGBT crimes have sky-rocketed since the current POTUS took office. There is clearly still a need to show our solidarity, especially for our Trans brethren. Frankly, I feel we have an obligation to help pull those behind us still facing daily discrimination in their lives to the front of the line.

So while I am working my booty off to help keep everyone same, I am with you in mind and spirit. Let your freak (or not) flag fly! Whether you wanna look like a Warner-bros cartoon character or an average Joe, get out and celebrate. Maybe you can volunteer at a shelter, food back, or AIDS org as a way of celebrating. It doesn’t have to be prancing down the street or standing on the sidelines. Do you and support those doing them.

 

  1. Gay High Holy Day []
  2. Large permitted events require a medical plan to help off-set the need for emergency services. This assures a modicum of care and prevents overwhelming the normal emergency system. []

Daddy Issues

I know, I haven’t posted in forever. I’ve gotten several strongly worded emails reminding me of this fact. Never fear, I is here.

So, I discussed my age and aging in general a while back. (It’s been like forever, I know)  I thought I’d share a different perspective since a few folks thought I was getting all negative comments about my age.  That wasn’t my intent at all. It is just the opposite actually. I’ve apparently reached full daddy status. Or at least, a lot of the comments I get online indicate as much. hehehe  I don’t live for labels, but I don’t mind it at all.

The downside, unfortunately, is I’m not really into younger guys. And by ‘younger, I’m referring to being old enough to be your actual father. If you’re under 30 I usually feel like a dirty old man trying to paw at you. The irony in that is I used to live for guys in their 40’s when I was barely out of my teens. I’d get the vapors just thinking about it.1  I had zero hangups about the age difference when I was in my early 20’s. And I don’t really have any hangups about it now, I just don’t find myself attracted to guys with overly boyish looks.

Of course, now that “I’m” the older guy, I almost feel obligated to return the favor. lol  I’m sure plenty of guys would kill for the attention but it doesn’t really do much for me. I do keep a positive perspective on it as someday there won’t be much attention at all. We hate to admit it, but age (specifically how we look) does matter to our attractions. So I take it in stride and am appreciative.

From my own perspective, I don’t mind the label, even though we often put way too much emphasis on labels in our community. Ask 10 guys what the term “daddy” means and you’ll get 10 different answers. As for my own attractions, my range hasn’t changed much. Shawn is 10 years my junior, but being in his late 30’s, he is clearly well within my range. And to be fair, there are the random exceptions. Overall, I still find myself into guys in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s.

One thing I am noticing is there are fewer guys my age that work-out. I definitely notice the age difference in the gym, even here in SF where the median gay age is in the late 30’s. They aren’t non-existent, just a smaller part of the crowd now. And as I approach my 50’s, I still don’t mind my age. I like the wisdom that has come with my life experience. My only worry for the future is my libido. I’m 47 and I still have the same libido I did when I was 27. I don’t wanna be one of those old dudes leering at guys in the showers (or where ever). lolol  But hey, for someone who never thought he’d see 50, that is not a bad worry to have.

Hope springs eternal. . .

  1. I think in hindsight it had a lot more to do with a lacking father figure in my life and a burgeoning sexuality….I know, someone call Dr Phil! []

Swamped

I know, I know…It’s been like forever since I updated. I am a very busy person.1  Lawd baby jeebus, the last few weeks have been hella busy. Work was off the charts for a couple weeks there. Then I was out for a few days as well.

I came into work today, polished off the mornings workload and then sat around a bit gobsmacked that I wasn’t behind. The next batch promptly showed up and erased all that but still… Yes, I’m still fighting my morning schedule. Ugh!

Who's your Daddy?
Werk, bitch!

In other news, I’ve been hitting the gym pretty hard lately. I’m a whopping 218! With the exception of a chunky phase a few years back, this is the heaviest I’ve ever been. Most of it is the good kind of weight, albeit muscle! Yay! lolol  I was determined not to break my motivation streak so even when work was just messy I still made it a priority to keep to my gym schedule. I’m happy to say my arms and chest are looking ‘tight’! heehee  My poor legs are still looking boney as hell though. I’ve neglected them for so long and talked about working them out for so long as well. I’ve finally been putting my money where my mouth is but they are still behind the rest of me. I actually see it now so I’ m all about bringing them back into balance.

I’m finishing up this week on a bulking routine. I switch over to trying to lean up a bit next week. This means I have to actually start eating better. I don’t eat a lot of fast food but I tend to eat a lot of rich foods. This isn’t helping my waist line. heehee  I’ve already been weening myself off the rich foods. I don’t honestly think I will struggle too much. My biggest challenge is keeping the food I need to be eating in the apt. Between Amazon Fresh and Instacart, hopefully I will maintain. Wish me luck!

Cooper & Shawn
My two favorite fellas!

Cooper was feeling good this past weekend so we got out for a lovely walk. Just around the hood but still. He’ll be 8 this next month and while he is still energetic, he just doesn’t endure the walks like he used to. I remember Spike at this point would barely walk 2 blocks to the park and back. hehehe He was such a rascal. Cooper is much more energetic than that so I’m still liking where he is health wise.

My sister from another Mister is coming to visit in late May. I miss that old heifer so it will be great to catch up. The only thing I truly miss from back home are my two besties dirty snatches. I need to contrive a way to get them both up to Cali.

Right after that, we are off to Disney World. We are treating ourselves to flying first class. Trust me when I tell ya we can’t afford first class all the time. This is a rare treat and I’m actually looking forward to it. The few times I’ve flown first class were free upgrades from friends in the business. Of course, we are going for Gay Day’s. I’m saving up my liver for the round-the-world drinking binge at Epcot on Sunday. hehehe

Ugh, duty calls. A new batch of work just arrived to keep me busy for the rest of the day.

 

  1. Said in a very affected nasally voice. lol []

Boring

I wish I could say my life has been extremely busy lately, which would account for my lack of blogging. Nope. Just the usual boring stuff. Daily life revolves around work, dog, gym, video games, sleep, and repeat.  Exciting huh?

Let me delve into the excitement further since you are just dying to know more, right? lol1 Work is work. I STILL struggle with my schedule. I have just resigned myself to it though, even though I hate it. I hate working 10 hour days. I usually waste the 3rd day off as Shawn works. I often nap and video game the day away. Beyond that, I stay pretty busy at work so there is often no dead spots to blog. We are still incredibly short staffed. Our director has been hiring out the wazoo, but it’s only staved off attrition so far. I am confident the new staffing will make a dent eventually. Beyond that, same sh#t, different day. I joined a 2nd committee with the Union I belong to. Lawd, what was I thinking? Drama to the max.

Dog. Cooper is fine for the most part. He is getting older now. He’ll be 8 in May which is old age for bullies. He had some scares this past year but has been fine since then. I’ve had him on a diet and he is down to a slim 57 lbs. heehee  The goal is to hit 55. He hasn’t had any limps or unusual flare ups with discomfort so hopefully, the drop in weight is helping. He has developed this lovely groaning noise out of the blue. When he stretches, hops up quickly, or rolls around too much he’ll let out a sort of audible groan. It isn’t something he consciously does. It’s kinda cute. If I hadn’t just had him tested for cancer a few months ago I’d be freaked out. I just chalk it up to his ever lovely personality. He doesn’t like to do walks as much as he used to. I make up for by taking him for a ride in a zipcar anytime I have to run errands. He loves it.

Gym. Gym is progressing nicely. I’m back in the swing of things and have been for a while now. I’m liking the new routine I designed for myself. It works with my longer work schedule, even though I still end up rebelling when it comes to bedtime some nights.  I’ve put on a few lbs of muscle2 and lost a few lbs of fat. I’m almost to the peak range I like to be in. I don’t kill myself dieting, which is why the fat loss is going slow. I happy overall with where I am so I don’t feel compelled to put myself on a super strict regimen. I am trying to cut back on eating out as much. Some weeks I succeed, others I fail miserably. I’m still a bit heavier than I want to be so I continue to trim away at it. My belly is the biggest area needing work. I miss the days when my ass got fat. It all goes to my belly now.

Video Games. I’ve almost completely lost interest in Destiny 2. It has been a let-down of sorts. It doesn’t hold my attention like disc 1 did. It’s hard to explain. It isn’t one big thing but many smaller things that just make it less fun. I picked up Metal Gear Solid: Phantom Pain. I played the short version they originally released it it was ok. This one is a solid game, albeit an oddly chaotic and confusing story line. Since the game has bounce around on Nintendo, Sony, and now Xbox, you would probably be in the minority if you knew the entire story-line. I finished the campaign and have been going back thru leveling up thru side missions and extra hard main missions. I’ve been at it for months now so I’m slowly wearing out on it. I discovered last month they finally ported one of my all time favorite games to the XOne, The Darkness II.  Sadly, no port of game one. However, even with the old cheesy graphics its been fun playing again. The story is simplistic enough but it manages to pull you in and you get hooked. I still enjoy playing it. I have a few new game sin the queue that need some attention. I expect to get to them shortly.

Shawn is still loving his new job. He is settling into a routine and has yet to come home upset over anything. It’s been nice. hehehe

So you see, I’ve been very busy not being busy.

  1. I have several readers who live afar who yell at me when I go too long without blogging. []
  2. sadly, it’s just gaining back what I lost before but I’ll take it []