Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Rugby photos (continued)

I like this next series...

I guess that's enough for this post. Actually, I think I'll close this post with a non-rugby photo. I had the camera with me today, and I took a handful of photos. Here's one outside Penn Station this evening...

Okay, now I'm done for tonight! :)

Thursday, November 23, 2006


We had a small gathering here today, just us and two friends. Marc will do a better job reviewing our Thanksgiving, so I'll leave that to him.

Instead, here are a few random photos.

Here, we see Marc holding one lamp and reaching for its twin, as we were taking them to a lighting place to have them rewired and cleaned up. They were my grandmother's. They're solid brass (and weigh a ton!) and the piece near the top is crystal. They're really lovely.

Here's a tip, in case you visit this area. I've never eaten here, but I'd bet the food is good. If you're looking for good Italian food, look for little old places like this. Local places, probably run by the same family for ages. That's where you usually find the best stuff.

I recently mentioned eating at the Village Den. This is a photo of it.

Random NYC shot, taken while leaving a meeting at our uptown offices.

Another random NYC shot, taken at the same time as the last one.

My train pulling out after dropping me at my station, leaving me to drive home.

I hoped you like this random little bit of sharing.

More rugby photos are on their way, if that does anything for you.

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Gay marriage

My brother sent me this article, entitled When religion loses its credibility. Written by a Baptist minister, it gives me some hope for this country. Every day, it seems like sensible people are coming around, and the gay rights movement is picking up steam.

In response to my brother's e-mail, I thanked him (it's nice to be reminded that your family is in your corner) and found myself writing a sort of column of my own. In re-reading it, I decided that I liked what I had written, so I might as well share it here:

I find columns like this especially comforting when the author's personal background would make you think he wouldn't take such a point of view. I don't doubt the inevitable outcome of the gay rights struggle. People are waking up to the fact that gay men and women are people, just like anyone else. I do believe that the average American is decent at heart and will do the right thing if given the opportunity. The problem is that those same average Americans are relatively gullible and lazy in their thinking.

As a result of their gullibility and intellectual laziness, they're easily swayed by political hard-liners with their own agendas and a willingness to say anything to get their way. The result is a majority of the states with laws and/or constitutional amendments prohibiting what should be basic civil rights for gay couples. Many go so far as banning recognition of civil unions and any rights incident to such arrangements, rather than stopping at the supposed point of concern for the proponents--the protection of the "sacred" institution of marriage. Aside from the clear hatred and discrimination behind such laws, the whole issue begs the question of how a "sacred" religious institution has anything to do with secular government. Many of the same "conservative" political elements like to paint this nation as one founded on Christian or Judeo-Christian principles, but they do so in willful ignorance of our history. The Founding Fathers of these United States were strongly and clearly in favor of the separation of church and state. Reading the primary materials of the era make that abundantly clear, but the aforementioned intellectual laziness has allowed millions of Americans to be convinced otherwise.

One clear example of the questioning, open nature in which religion was seen comes from Thomas Jefferson, a Christian. He wrote, "I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition [Christianity] one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded upon fables and mythologies." He was a Christian, but he was vehemently against blind faith.

Another example can be found in the writings of James Madison, a key drafter of the Constitution (recently the victim of an attempt to feed it through the White House shredder). In response to an effort in Congress to enact support for churches, he wrote to James Monroe, "How a regulation so unjust in itself, so foreign to the authority of Congress, and so hurtful to the sale of public land, and smelling so strongly of an antiquated bigotry, could have received the countenance of a committee is truly a matter of astonishment."

Clearly, the mixing of religion with the affairs of state is a very old problem and one that will be around long after we're gone. So the fight must go on.

The hope lies in winning the smaller battles. Everything in the anti-gay marriage movement has at its heart religious beliefs. No one is trying to force any religion to recognize an arrangement that is anathema to its core values. Neither do I wish to debate the wisdom of those values. Religions aren't founded upon logical conclusions but rather on faith. So a logical debate would be pointless.

Rather, as a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen, I, and many like me, want the freedom to avail ourselves of the same rights granted even to drunken revelers in Las Vegas who decide to get married on a whim, only to separate hours later. To the point, how dare anyone suggest that, after more than 11 years together, anyone has the right to question my partner's rights to property should I die? Or stop me from visiting him in the hospital if he falls ill? With all I've paid in taxes, how is there any justice in his not receiving survivor's benefits if I die? The list could go on for some time, as married couples have been granted many additional rights and privileges that are denied to others.

So yes, it was a very good column, and it's even better when one considers the source. With that said, the sad part is that there aren't more people making exactly the same point. We will win the war. The problem is that, like all wars, a lot of people will get hurt before the final battle is won.

If you made it through that but haven't read the column I linked at the start of this post, go read it. It's very good.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Okay, that one's my fault

I thought I was hearing more of the early Christmas music today. I had a meeting at our uptown offices. I took the 8th Avenue subway to get back to my office. As I was heading for the subway exit, I thought I heard a Christmas song being barked. Yes, barked.

You've probably heard something like this--where they train dogs to bark out a song? Well, that's what it sounded like, but I couldn't quite make out the tune. Perhaps the "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's 9th Symphony, but I wasn't sure.

As I headed up the stairs to the turnstiles, I still wasn't sure of the tune, but I could see a crowd gathered at the gates/turnstiles, watching through them. I guessed that they had already swiped their Metrocards and gone through before the dog started performing, but they wanted to watch.

As I exited through a turnstile, I saw what they were watching. Performing dog? Um, well... It was a dog. It was a large German Shepherd with a much higher voice than one would expect for so large a dog.

So I got the dog part right. The reason I couldn't quite make out the tune is because he was a police dog, and he was barking at a suspect the cops had face-down on the ground. Apparently, the song was, "move and I'll bite you."

Others, in my place, might feel stupid. I, on the other hand, will fall back on blaming the overplaying of Christmas songs! Obviously, I've been traumatized, so everything's sounding like Christmas songs!

Okay, okay. So I thought dog barks were singing. At least I didn't think the dog was telling me to do things (an old New York tradition--just ask Son of Sam)! ;)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

It has begun

Today, I heard two Christmas (or "Xmas," as Andy likes to call it) songs in a row on the radio. Someone make it stop!

Really, do we need six weeks of the same overplayed songs over and over and over?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Continuing the rugby photos

And, not to say there's a lot of sex associated with these rugby matches, but sometimes things happen right there on the pitch...

If you've been reading this blog, you know that ours is a gay rugby team. And these dogs? Well, the dogs' owner pointed something out as this was going on. In the photo are two male dogs and one female. The female is the one watching the two boys go at it. With this team, even the dogs are gay! :)

The full set of 149 photos from the November 4th match is here.