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Monday, December 23rd, 2013
Winter 2013
I had a neighbor recently check out and comment on my neglected website, so I am reminded that I ought to update.

The big news is that after much work, money, vacation and frustration, I was able to get the conservatory legal and satisfy the city Notice of Violation. I've considered creating a separate page to describe the ordeal in detail, but just don't care to dwell on it.

I've been enjoying home grown greens and have learned that there is a thing as too much kale. My favorite has been Bordeaux Spinach, but I also liked the tatsoi mustard I grew from seeds. Insect pests continue to be a problem in my garden and I don't feel like I get enough out of the garden to constantly battle them. I will continue to grow some greens, but think I will give up on beets, broccoli, cauliflower and the likes that I can buy better/cheaper/easier at Berkeley Bowl.

The bees did well this year. I split all three hives and gave away three starter hives. Even so, I ended up harvesting about 11 gallons of honey. I played around a bit with bee wax for the first time, but have some work to do before I have a useable material. I bought invested in an extractor which made Fall extraction day go so much more smoothly. I'm hoping I can include more folks for Spring extraction to maximize the usefulness for the amount of mess.

The over abundant front yard plum trees bore more fruit than I could gather/preserve. I have six quarts of mediocre plum/honey preserves, six gallons of plum honey wine and a few quarts of prunes.

Saturday December 21, I hosted an open house pancake breakfast to celebrate my second anniversary in West Oakland. Many neighbors and friends stopped by-likely 80-90 people all together. I also hosted a chili dinner and a pretzel night in the Fall. I think I'll reign it in a bit and wait a couple months before hosting anything else.

Tasks in que: ventilation hood for the kitchen, mailbox that sticks through the front fence and free hottub installation.
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013
Spring
Many of the plants I put in the ground over the Winter are doing well. Many of the seeds sown have come up and I've got a nice crop of California poppies blooming now and some pea blossoms on the way.

I've got beets, brussle sprouts and purple tomatillo in containers on the deck, and seedling chard, kale, basil and mustard greens in the conservatory. I built a few raised beds in the South/side yard over the weekend where I hope to locate the greens.

The bare root mixed graft prunus tree I planted last Spring had so many proto-fruits on it that I thinned them out. Some of the fruit is already more than 1" diameter. I'm looking forward to being able to eat off the tree, especially after getting my first harvest off the owari satsuma mandarin trees this Winter. The Eureka lemon tree I put in the ground last Spring continues to struggle.

The bees overWintered well. Too well. I didn't react quickly enough this Spring to their rapid growth and two of the three colonies, Ульяна and Lotta, swarmed this week before I had sense enough to split them. Both have occupied queen cells and I'm trusting that the successors will be in place soon. No idea when the Queens took off or where they went.

My big headache lately has been a Notice of Violation from the City of Oakland stating that my 20 year old conservatory was built without a permit. Apparently the Notice was sparked from an "anonymous" complaint, which I am confident was placed by the real estate developer that flipped the house to the South of me. In any case, it has cost me more than $4000 and four days of vacation so far, and I haven't even started the real work of earthquake retrofits. I applied for the retroactive construction permit about a month ago and am still waiting to hear back re:approval. The cost has pretty much absorbed my resources for the Summer, so I'm not planning on any travel.

I've got a staycation planned in July where I hope to finish up some painting, repair the back fence, move the mailbox to the front fence and paint the front fence. If all goes well, I also hope to build a doghouse and possibly adopt a dog during another September staycation.
Wednesday, December 26th, 2012
Winter
I just had my one year anniversary at the new house. I celebrated by hosting a pancake breakfast and had seventy or so folks stop by, including my new next door neighbors and some newly arrived neighbors living down the block.

Continuing work on the house, and because it is the season for such things in California, doing much planting and yardwork as the weather allows. Plant criteria are 1) Stuff that bees like, 2) California native or at least drought tolerant so I don't have to water them once established, and 3) are a blue, orange or red color that flatter the house OR trees with fruit I like to eat. My favorites are Woolly Blue Curls, aka Trichostema lanatum. They smell like strangely bubble gum and make good tea.

I've just got the porch ceiling and the corner gingerbread left to paint on the house exterior. On the inside, I'm still working on getting ventilation for the cooktop before painting the kitchen and can't decide on a color for the great room ceiling. Pretty much everything else is painted.

The "shop" area remains neglected. I finally got an exhaust fan, but haven't installed it. The 4" duct is damned expensive at Home Depot, and I hope I can find it elsewhere cheaper.

I got the first of two rain barrels installed and should have gotten bigger than 130 gallon barrels. It filled up within a day. I've rethought my plans for the back downspot to include two barrels. One on a platform that overflows into the other.

The 130 gallon pond is in the ground and has a Water Hawthorne that seems to be doing well and a growing colony of aquatic snails that came with it. Still no interest from the pacific chorus frogs I hope to lure with the pond.

The bees are doing well. I got maybe four gallons of honey from the three hives, and if they Winter well, I expect to get more next year since they'll get an earlier start and have already build their comb. They are out and foraging on warm days and I wonder if they are gathering enough that they're not dipping into their stores. I'm looking forward to Spring so I can crack open the hives and see what they've been up to.
Sunday, May 20th, 2012
Settling
I'm settling into the new house. While there seems to be so much more work than I can ever get done, I've at least stopped the hemorrhaging. While I still feel overwhelmed by it all, now I can pick and choose the projects in my own time. I'm trying to complete projects that don't cost me much until I re-build three months of emergency reserves. For now that means much yardwork, pruning, gardening and the likes.

The outside of the house is maybe 65% painted. Three sides are all but done. I plan to use vacation time to paint the forth side July 13-22.

The inside is maybe 40% painted. I need to get ventilation fans in the kitchen and bathroom to take care of moisture/greasy air issues before I will tackle the kitchen. I want to do something special for the bedroom, but it will take time I'm not willing to invest right now.

After many years of wanting them, Bill Sanderson talked me into getting bees this spring. I got all the hive parts and made a custom steel hive stand before going to Vacaville on Saturday April 21 to pick up the starter colony. Wednesday April 29 I saw that my buddy Bender had a swarm settle in his nearby back yard. I begged off work for the afternoon, scrambled together a makeshift hive and caught them. On Sunday May 5 I got a heads up from John in Berkeley that he had a swam in his front yard. More scrambling and catching and now I find myself with three honey bee colonies.

I planted a mixed graft bare root fruit tree to complement the existing mystery fruit trees. I learned the hard way why seedlings are strapped between to supports rather then one when a windstorm smacked the tree against the support and broke off the smallest graft. One less variety of peaches. I also put the containered Eureka Lemon tree in the ground and it seems to be loving it's new place. I still haven't decided where to put my two Owari Satsuma Mandarin trees. I like the idea of getting a mixed graft apple tree and a mulberry tree, but will wait `til next Spring before I make the call on if/where I have room for them. The property has at least two varieties of blackberries that are well entrenched. I've also got two more raspberry and four blueberry bushes in containers that will hopefully be enough to make a pie or two.

I'm hoping between the honey, fruit and insane number of rosehips in the yard, I'll be able to make preserves that are 95% from my yard.

A real estate investor is overdeveloping the property to the South of me. Tripling the side of the existing structure with a two story addition. Unfortunately his design was approved well before I bought my place, so there is nothing I can do to stop him. I'm waiting to see what the new houses shadow will do to the sunlight on my lot before I do any serious planting on the side of the house.

I've been posting photos of the house and bees on flickr. Always more to come.
Wednesday, January 25th, 2012
Winter moving.
I bought a house. A fix-er-upper in West Oakland. The process of buying, getting it livable, moving and trying to keep everything from hemorrhaging has kept me very busy.

Most of the basics with the notable exception of the oven are now working. I've got a few plumbing leaks, most notably the shower pan drain and control knob. I've also inherited an oddly broken and badly repaired gutter that gushes rainwater all over and down one of the few places in the house that stick out beyond the gutter. Through a complicated series of runoff, the water ends up seeping through the upper side of the ground level "basement" wall.

I feel very fortunate to have gotten the grape vine roots scraped off the south side of the house and gotten two layers of primer on that side of the house before the Winter rains. The primer is an odd kewpie doll color, but should seal the wall well enough until I can get better paint on.

My parents have parked their RV in my driveway and will stay for a month or so. They've been helping me slowly pull the place together.

The two page to do list doesn't seem to be getting any smaller, but my completed list is getting satisfyingly long.

It occurs to me that I should post pictures and stuff.
Friday, June 24th, 2011
The Other Solstice.
I've got plenty growing in the garden this year. Nothing that is producing much, but at least the plants continue to grow. Tomatoes are doing much better this year than last. There is a possibility I might get some fruit this year. Rhubarb was attacked early on by snails who ate so much of the new growth so aggressively I suspect the plants won't recover. Time will tell. A handful of blueberries are slowly ripening, and the raspberries look not far behind. All three citrus trees bloomed, but I think they are still to young to produce fruit.

The cold stratifying three varieties of mulberries failed. I might try buying a plant outright.

Battles with the raccoons/possums continue. I've got the pond to the pond where they can't/don't tear apart/knock over the fountain. Unfortunately, I still can't keep any plants but duckweed in the pond because they uproot/shred anything else presumably looking for snails.

I enjoyed three dimensional metal smithing and chasing/repousse classes over the Winter, and am putting the skills to work on Five Ton Crane's Summer project.

The motorcycle continues to do well aside from the kickstand breaking apart. That took a couple days of tool collection to be able to remove the base, weld and reassemble.

I've got roadtrips planned to Oregon in August for a Portland visit then Border Riders camping trip, and then Palm Springs in November just to break up the Winter.
Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
Solstice
Tomato plants + LED grow light didn't go so well. Maybe because I didn't get them under the light quickly enough--or maybe water or lack of wind or some other factor. They seemed to dig the light for the first few weeks, then died spectacularly. It was an expensive fail.

I've been moving my ornamental plants into the ground and refilling planters with food plants and herbs. Long term I'd like ornamental plants that fend for themselves so I only need to fuss over the food plants.

I've also been cold stratifying three varieties of mulberries (red/white/black) since mid-November with some hopes that I'll have seedlings in the Spring. I read that the plants need to mature ten years before bearing fruit, so I'll have a long wait even if I do manage to get some to grow. Still, I like the idea of reliving my childhood pleasures of eating the berries right off the tree. ...and maybe lay the groundwork so some other kids can spend a lazy Summer Solstice sitting in a mulberry tree eating berries like Ian, Joe and I did when we were five? six? in Maxwell, Iowa.

The raccoons that I suspected were tearing up my pond were more likely `possums. I was surprised to learn that a least two baby `possums had shacked up in the basement. The first clue was when the mice traps stopped catching mice. Then they were dragged ten feet around the corner and completely emptied of peanut butter. I figured giant rats. I was close. I was working in the shop one night and saw a cute little whiskered nose sniffing at me around a corner. It was followed by more `possum cuteness. The stray cat that frequents my yard just sat and watched the baby `possum walk out the garage door. His sibling also made and appearance that night. I haven't seen either of them in the basement for more than a month now, though I've spotted them outdoors. I suspect they grew too big to comfortably squeeze into the hole at the base of the garage door.

The pond continues to do very well despite the `possum raids. The bigger plants get torn apart, but the smaller plants and sea weed thrive. It has clean clear water, aquatic algae eating snails, fish that seem more interested in the plants than food flakes and a dense layer of healthy floating plants. I put some comet goldfish in the pond as easy food for the `possums. An unexpected side effect is the existing mosquito fish came out of hiding and got social. I figure they feel safer being exposed with brighter, slower, less clever fish in the pond to make for easy target food.

I had thought about getting an apiary and bees this Spring, but since I couldn't seem to find the time last Summer to make many visits to friends' apiaries to watch them tend their bees, I figure maybe I shouldn't commit to the time this year unless I'm sure. I'm not that sure. Maybe next Spring.

After being away from Crucible classes for a year, I've signed up for a Winter semester Three-Dimensional Metalsmithing class in the jewelry department. I hope to learn how to make decent wee-hinges and homemade dies. I'm also hoping it will reinvigorate my desires to do more creative metalwork at home.

I'm looking forward to a motorcycle road trip to Las Vegas in March-April. Luft started leaking oil out of his fill hole on the Palm Springs trip, but a new cap and O-ring seems to have fixed that. I need to take him out and get him really hot to make me comfortable that the leak is repaired, but I have big hopes. I also need to get a new rear tire. I did my last trip with one plug, and have managed to pick up a nail since then. I think touring on two plugs is asking for trouble a bit too loudly.

I'm also hoping to hook up with the Border Riders for at least one run during the coming year, but haven't decided which one yet.
Tuesday, November 16th, 2010
Follow the Sun
Just home from a roadtrip to Palm Springs. I had Thursday off for Veterans Day, then took Friday and Monday off to make for a long weekend. I needed some sun. Not soak up the sun and get tan and/or cancer, but some wow I can be outdoors and actually see blue sky sun. Seems I only need two days of that before my ginger skin starts screaming shenanigans. Even with SPF80 and keeping in the shade. Now I'm back to the land of sun goes down before work ends and I should probably rake up the leaves and pine needles in the back yard with a flashlight strapped to my head but probably won't.

kevin_v5 was kind enough to sit at my house all day Saturday waiting to sign for a mail order LED grow light. I shall use it in an attempt to keep my poor sun starved tomato plants alive over the Winter with hopes that they'll actually produce tomatoes. Sometime. Ever. Maybe I'll sit in the basement with my under the grow light tomato plants and pretend we're at our Summer home in New Zealand.
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010
Equinox
A whole 'nother season gone by.

More plants in the yard. Rhubard plants from Cloverdale that initially seemed to be taking off, but now seem to be going dormant, raspberries that also seem mostly dormant and another owari satsuma mandarin tree. I also grew some borage/starflower/borago officinalis and some bugloss/tower of jewels/echium wildpretti from seeds after seeing how well honey bees visiting Camp and Sons in Willits liked both plants. Several of the borage plants are already blooming, and the bugloss is growing, but not as quickly. I have high hopes for plenty of flowers from both come Spring.

All the herbs that seemed to be doing so well have now petered out. Likely from either lack of space or lack of nutrients. I'll have to rethink them and try a different strategy in the spring. Tomato seedlings have done next to nothing. I'm considering moving them inside with LED grow lights for the Winter, but remain undecided.

The pond was doing exceptionally well until raccoons decided to tear it up. It is still clear watered and seemingly well balanced, but the once perfectly formed flourishing plants are now torn up and sad looking. Hopefully they'll get back on track with time. It seems a small mouse has also taken residence in the brickwork surrounding the pond. I have set up traps and poison in the basement to make sure mouse and kin are discouraged from becoming housemates.

Things are slow in the shop. I acquired a portable LP forge and fabricated a custom cart for it. I actually wheeled it out into the open this weekend and tried it out. It consumes too much propane too quickly and freezes up the 20# tank. I'm thinking of creating a manifold with two tanks, and re-making the cart from scratch to hold two 30# LP tanks and have some outriggers near the forge doors to support pieces I don't want to put all the way into the forge. I've also got a long want list of power tools that gets added to every time I make something and would like to do it more quickly/accurately. Horizontal band saw and drill press currently top the list.

Cape Argos was a great trip. I got some good quality time with Andy Hahn and was reminded how much I like the Pacific North West Rain Forest. I think the shady ferns, misty air and smell of damp dirt is in my bones.

The DC/Pennsylvania trip was a nice way to remember my years on the East Coast. I remember enough to have relevant conversations with locals, but was still very much new meat. It is a different world over there.

I also made an unexpected trip to Salt Lake City. The mid September weather was beautiful. The city is an off combination of still born and living dead. All the façade of Los Angeles, but with none of the fun. I'd hate to have to Winter there.

No big travel plans for the coming quarter, but I think a trip to Palm Springs will be in order. I'm already noticing the shorter days and think some time in the sun will do me good.

I currently have Luft at WerkStatt for his 48,000 mile service. In addition to the long laundry list of the usual service, Jennifer also replaced the ignition coils and a few other bits that need love. With any luck I'll have him back after work tonight so I can start working toward the next service. It occurs to me that I've got around 80,000 motorcycle miles all together under my belt. I should have that worked out so I can celebrate when I get to 100,000 miles.

I'm starting to feel the old man creeping into me. Dead people are not so removed now that I can remember them being alive. Many for a long time. I'm starting to see people as the kid they used to be and can also see them collapsing into old men and women. I take a deep breath and I stand up a straight as I can--as if I can stave off my own old age by keeping my shoulders back, heart open and head held high.

Places have changed--and changed again. I look at a place and remember what is was before and then again before that. I wonder how long it will last before it changes again. I know nothing is forever. While the water in the river keeps changing, it is still water, and all water is pretty much the same. I'm in the river same as everyone else--never like I was before and never like I will be. Flowing along. I know not to hold on so tightly anymore.

I'm perfectly happy to putz in the yard all day or maybe fiddle with something busted. Sometimes by back hurts for no good reason. Sometimes it hurts for a damn good reason. I no longer hold to a future that I'll be with someone. I know that I can do well on my own, and I'm OK with that. Sometimes it strikes me how much I isolate myself and I think I should do something about that. Relationships take plenty of effort to build and not much neglect to wither. Then I hardly ever notice that I'm mostly alone and another season has flown by.

See you when the Winter comes.
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
Daylight Max
I've been doing plenty of gardening lately. Some landscaping to make the yard a happy place for bees and hummingbirds, and also some container gardening for tomatoes, strawberries, and plenty of herbs. I recently got some bigger containers and a Eureka Lemon tree, a Mandarin Satsuma tree and a couple blueberry bushes. I hope to find another Satsuma for cross pollinating.

I've installed a small (50 gallon) pond in the back yard. In addition to being a perk for bees and hummingbirds, I'm hoping it will attract Pacific Chorus Frogs. If not, I'll likely "borrow" some tadpoles once I'm comfortable that the pond is ready.

Jeff & James have were kind enough to let me participate in their beekeeping last Sunday afternoon. I'm looking forward to doing it again. I find the practice very interesting, and like the idea of doing it myself. I also attended the last San Francisco Beekeeper Association meeting, and hope to go back for more.

The Maker Faire this year had a big food section. I wasn't expecting it and really enjoyed it. Because of demonstrations at the faire, I'm well on my way to mastering homemade yogurt, and I've learned to butcher chickens. I'm still hoping to improve my pasta making skills and maybe try to cure some bacon.

I did poorly at Guerrilla Wrestling this Sunday. It seems that falling off the yoga and cardio wagon had taken its toll. I need to re-earn my yoga lungs.

I recently went camping up near Willits for four friends' double wedding. It was an incredible experience. Many friendly people in beautiful well kept grounds. I'm not used to being around that many open minds and hearts. I'd like to be more like that all the time. Oddly enough, since the event I've been in an introvert phase and mostly kept to myself puttering around at home.

I'm looking forward to riding up to Coos Bay, Oregon next month to go camping with the Border Riders. I'm also looking forward to flying to DC for a week including Labor Day weekend.

It seems that the year is buzzing right by--already Summer Solstice. I'm loving the longer days and already grieving for their waning.
Wednesday, February 17th, 2010
Return of the Daylight.
I love this time of year. I am so glad to feel the days getting longer every day. The first glimmer of possibility after a fresh start. Everything has so much potential.

I'm still liking the not-so-new-anymore place. It feels like home. I'm out in the yard and alley every weekend raking, pruning and weeding. I'm surprised by how much I enjoy it. I'm very close to catching up on what seems like years worth of overdue work, and I'm looking forward to going into maintenance mode. The inside of the house is still in a back-burner painting project. I'm really looking forward to the painting being done so the paint supply pile in the back room will go away and Chris can move into his office. I just have to be patient and wait.

I've been reading DIY books and talking with local bee keepers about keeping honey bees. It is a surprisingly small financial investment to get started. I'd like to work with a couple keepers over the Spring/Summer to see if I'd be interested in keeping my own hive. I've met with a keeper already, and have leads for three others. I like to think I have a good temperament for the work, and would like to see if bees think the same. They idea of it puts me in a very serene headspace.

I spend plenty of time doing chores around the house every week, but I still haven't dug into any of the project work I thought I was lusting to do. I have the materials and tools, but haven't made the materials rack, bed frame, out door fire place or trellis. `course it would be so easy and likely cheaper to buy a premade bed/fire place/trellis, but then I'd loose the opportunity to make it myself. So I do without, and keep telling myself I'll get to it.

I still don't have any travel/vacation planned for this year. No travel sounds exciting to me, and I would rather save my money and vacation up for a trip that I'm excited about going on rather than use it just because I have it.

I'm taking an Intermediate/Advanced Poi class this semester. I enjoy it while I'm there, but can't say that I'm doing well or overly excited about it. I think once that class is done, I'll clean out my locker and take some time off classes.
Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
Fall
I've been plenty busy lately. I just finished up the Fall Semester at The Crucible with my final Reproduction in Plastics class. I made some nifty silicon molds and was happy to discover I don't need any fancy equipment I can't improvise at home. I enjoyed my fire breathing class (even though I had to shave off my beard for it) and have practiced at home a few time since. I like the idea of getting good enough at it that I can put it out of my sleeve sometime for a crowd pleaser.

I still haven't signed up for any Winter classes. The only class I was sure I wanted filled up before I thought to register. Maybe I'll take some time off and focus on things at home. ...or maybe I'll try classes elsewhere. I've been looking at accredited welding classes at city college and design classes at Academy of Art University. I event went so far as to get a copy of my transcript from Embry Riddle. It is late in the game to register anywhere for Winter classes, but it won't hurt to start the process now for another semester.

I'm liking the new place. I'm slowing carving out a section of basement to use as a workshop. I invested in a welder and some other must have tools for simple metal fabrication. I have plenty of projects in mind, and am looking forward to learning the hard way how to complete them. I need to build a materials rack and find some kind soul with a big truck to take me to the steel yard so I can get everything on my materials list. I miss having a truck. It would have certainly been handy the last few months to haul stuff around.

Same old at work, and I haven't made any of the usual travel plans for the coming year. I can't say that I'm excited about going anywhere. I'll certainly be sticking close to home until after the holidays.
Wednesday, September 30th, 2009
Better Burnt
I kept thinking I would get some down time once I got home from my first trip to Burning Man, but it seems I haven't stopped yet. I've been unpacking/washing, helping friends move, hosting Stephen for a weekend, getting the place ready for an open house/BBQ, and having the BBQ. I'm starting the Fall semester tomorrow night and already the coming weekend is filled with to-do lists, chores and folks I want to visit.

I still don't know what to make of Burning Man. It is an incredible event/experience/inspiration. It also takes an incredible amount of work and profuse amounts of resources. I'm not sure the experience is worth the labor and resources that could have been used to build or improve houses, waterways, parks, trails, etc. I get the mandala like concept of building and destroying, but mandala are made of cheap renewable resources like sand, petals and seeds while burning man is made of lumber and fossil fuel. I'm not sure I'll go back.

I'm not feeling settled in the new place yet. Still so much to do. I'd like to think not feeling settled is a good thing. That things I can do will be practice for owning a home. That things I have no control over will be exercise in patience. Or maybe understanding and communication. Or some other touchy-feeling thing I could use plenty more of.

I'm excited about Fall classes. My mind has been spinning up with ideas, skills to earn and projects to make. I would like to make a bed frame for the new place and might use the bed frame as the basis for a class project for Metal Fabrication Tools:Square. Depending on how the class goes, I may focus on earning particular skills then build the frame at home.

No travels planned for the Autumn/Winter yet. I'm feeling busy enough as is without lookin' for new experiences elsewhere. I'm still not decided about travel next Spring/Summer. As much as I love to see Tom, Mark, Bubba and the Dawgs crew, I would like to work on local relationships I can enjoy all the time and don't have to make a trip to visit.
Monday, August 10th, 2009
Moved
I'm all moved into my new neighborhood. Many boxes unpacked and still many left. I also need to rethink my desk/workbench, get or make a new bedframe/headboard and have plenty of other post move chores to do. I'm still hoping to get the landlord to run 220 to the basement workbench so I can get a beefy little inverter TIG/stick welder.

Really no time to worry about any big projects at the new place now. I've got so much to do for my first trip to burning man and I leave in 12 days. I don't even begin to know what I'm doing, let alone know how I'm going to pull it off. I feel so unprepared. Ouch.

Damn, I'm lookin' forward to not having all these big deadlines looming in my near future.
Friday, July 31st, 2009
Clarification
My Dad is a good man and he has always done his level best to do what he thinks is right.

He has never intentionally said/done anything to hurt me or be hateful. He also wrote what he did to disagree with anti-gay marriage propaganda.

My last post was about my frustration that folks like my Dad believe I am inherently sinning/wrong/broken because of what I am. That they *choose* to practice a religion that demonizes something I am, but have no choice about. I didn't choose to be homosexual any more than I choose to have green eyes or ginger whiskers.

Homosexuality is not a disease to be treated like depression, addiction or alcoholism. It is not an act like over eating, assault or telling lies. It simply is the way I am.

You can love an alcoholic, but demand that they don't drink in your home.
You can love a junkie, and insist on no drugs in your home.
I can't leave my homosexuality at the doorstep, and pretending to in order to make someone feel more comfortable is a lie.

When there is no choice in the matter, there is no separating the sin from the sinner. There is no distinction between "homosexual" and "homosexual lifestyle." That is the kernel of the "getting it."
Thursday, July 30th, 2009
Conditional
I just went ego surfing and ran across a news group where last month my father wrote "Living a homosexual lifestyle is living in sin." My parents feel this way, yet they don't get why I don't call more often and rarely visit.

There is a difference between tolerating/playing nice and genuine acceptance. I don't want to be someplace where I'm conditionally accepted and tolerated. You'd think after 20 years of having two gay sons they'd get that.

I thought about writing my Dad and calling him on his statement, but really don't see much point in it. If my parents don't "get it" by now, they likely never will. I think it is just time to give up on them and focus my time/energy/attention elsewhere.

Thank for feeding me and putting a roof over my head for 18 years. I genuinely appreciate that and acknowledge that you did the best for me that you knew how. Please don't tell me you love me or that I'm welcome in your home until you're ready to whole heartedly love and welcome everything I am, and not just the parts you find acceptable or the me you'd like me to be.
Tuesday, March 24th, 2009
Has Angle, Will Grind
I got myself a Milwaukee 4½" Super Magnum® angle grinder for my birthday.

When your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
When you've got an angle grinder, you've also got an axe to grind.


I got a corded version so I won't be tempted to cut through deadbolts or denver boots.
Monday, March 16th, 2009
Rain
Rain Rain. I love rain.
Drips through my hat and into my brain.

Rolls off my back, just like a duck.
Gushes down the gutters to wash away the muck.

Heres to the rain that passes overhead
and up to the foothills to fill the watershed.

Heres to the rain that falls in the pass
that turns the big windmills and greens up the grass.

Heres to the rain that falls in here in town
that picks up all the crap and washes it Down...

Down Down to the bay.
Have a cigarette butt with your fish fillet.

News paper. Candy Wrapper. Big Pile of Crap.
Gonna make some fine marine habitat.

Sad you dropped your ice cream then think again
Rain takes it down the pipes to the dead China men.

Rain. Rain. I love rain.
Swirls all my thoughts down into the drain.
Wednesday, March 4th, 2009
Spring Classes
I just signed up for Spring classes:
June 4 - July 2, Thursdays, 7-10pm, Metal Fabrication Tools: Round at The Crucible
June 8 - July 6, Mondays, 7-10pm, Design for the 3rd Dimension at The Crucible

Full schedule here.
Wednesday, January 7th, 2009
Dracul
Tonight is the premier of The Crucible's 10th Anniversary fire ballet Dracul: Prince of Fire. I saw the dress rehearsal Monday night. While there are some spectacular scenes, there is also an icky pointless ballet scene that seems to drag on forever while doing nothing to advance the plot. I may feel differently after seeing a polished up version, but I think not. I loved The Crucible's production of Firebird from the first time, and every time, I saw it.

I'll be volunteering as a fire safety tonight, Friday Jan 10 and Wednesday Jan 14. Bill and I are going as regular audience folk tomorrow night.
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