Monday, August 2nd, 2004




If you've been a fan of my blog since its beginning, you might remember that some summers I've had tomato plants. This summer I didn't even think of doing tomatoes since I knew I was going to be in Germany for a month, but my mother, industrious woman that she is, surprised me before I left and planted some tomatos and flowers in the barrel on my back deck, promising to water them while I was gone. As you can see, the tomato plants have done quite well, to the detriment of the flowers, and there are some tomatoes that will be ready for picking soon. Yum!
Friday, August 6th, 2004

Bush tells the truth for once

I'm still not going to vote for him, but I have to give President Bush credit for finally telling the truth once. Before signing next year's defense appropriations law, he admitted that he and his cronies are always thinking about ways to damage this country and its citizens and are just as bad as the terrorists he claims to oppose. His exact words: "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

Of course the president probably didn't really mean what he said, but that's just as bad since it shows what an idiot he is. I first read about his latest poor choice of words in one of my favorite online features, Bushism of the Day, part of the web magazine Slate.com.
 

Fahrenheit 9/11 shows that
making faces is one skill
the president does have.

I wondered what Bush supporters might say about this column, and one thought that crossed my mind is that they'd say its author, Jacob Weisberg, was making things up. So I hopped over to another favorite site of mine, news.google.com, and typed in part of the quote. Sure enough, lots of papers verify that the president did in fact say he was as bad as the terrorists.

Is Kerry any better?


Now here's a man who does
choose his words carefully,
perhaps too carefully.
  Having picked on Bush, I also want to comment on the man who will get my vote this year, John Kerry. Of course I do know that Kerry is in fact better than Bush, but somehow I can't whip up the same enthusiasm for him that many people seem to have. If you're wondering why, it's his stand on gay rights.

I take some comfort in the fact that Kerry was one of only 14 senators who voted against the Defense of Marriage Act. Logically that makes Kerry better not only than Bush but also than Clinton, a "gay-supportive" president who signed the damned thing into law. However emotionally I can't help remembering that Clinton mentioned gay people a lot, including in his 92 and 96 convention speeches, and with Kerry we're back to being the love that dare not mention its name. Kerry did say we should "honor this nation's diversity" and that we should "never misuse for political purposes the most precious document in American history, the Constitution of the United States." Yet he seemed to have decided that saying the "g" word would be too big a risk. That doesn't leave me feeling all warm and fuzzy for him.

And when it comes right down to it, Kerry does not support equal rights for gay people. He's against amending the federal constitution, but only because he's a states righter, not because he supports gay marriage. He's completely fine with the proposed change to the Massachusetts state consitution, having said, "If the Massachusetts Legislature crafts an appropriate amendment that provides for partnership and civil unions, then I would support it, and it would advance the goal of equal protection." He obviously doesn't care that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that separate is not equal, or at least he thinks that concept doesn't apply to gay people. He also doesn't get that giving the citizens of his home state civil unions denies them the equal protection that married couples get from the federal government.

So there you have it. I do think we need to get rid of Bush, who is at best stupid and at worst evil, but my vote in November won't really be a vote for Kerry but rather a vote against Bush. (And no, I'm not going to vote for Nader, who does support gay marriage, since I think voting for Nader would really just help Bush win re-election.)
Sunday, August 8th, 2004


Kyle's B&B is one gay comic strip that I pointed out last year. Today I came across another fun gay comic strip, Adam & Andy. Definitely worth a visit.
Wednesday, August 11th, 2004
One of the benefits of running this site on a web host instead of just putting it on my ISP's server is that I have access to the web logs, giving me some information about my site's visitors and what pages they're looking at. (Earthlink, my ISP, offers Urchin, which reports basic info such as number of visitors and number of hits. Urchin also has lots of enticing links promising info such as referrals and browser types, but these links all lead to a page asking you to upgrade to Earthlink's web hosting package. While Earthlink is fine as an ISP, I wouldn't recommend them as a web host.)

At any rate, what I've found is that by far the most popular page on my web site is my blog from October 2003. I've also found that the reason for this is Google's image search. Last month I had 541 hits from it, mainly from images.google.com but also from images.google.ca, images.google.com.au, images.google.fr and from several other countries. Of those 541 hits, 386 of them were for the October 2003 blog page. August isn't even over, and I've had 389 hits from Google's image search, of which 243 were for the October 2003 page.

What were these people searching for, you may ask. Nudity! of course. There were some other search entries such as "brown," but most people want to see nude pictures, and Google Images directs them to my site, which really isn't the best place on the net to find nude pictures. There is a little bit of nudity on the October 2003 page, a butt shot of a drunken guy in a limo, but his hands cover most of his buttocks and I used PhotoShop to blur the bit between them. If I were using Google to find something to get myself excited and that was the best it could come up with, I'd be disappointed.

My bandwidth usage was also markedly higher for these two months, although, luckily, not so high as to cost me any extra money. Nevertheless I did what I should have done when I first set up my site, which was to set up hotlink protection. Of course I don't mind people looking at my pictures, but I'd rather they see them in context. However, Google's image search still shows the whole page if someone clicks on one of the thumbnails returned by Google. I decided to hone my PHP skills a bit and came up with a way to redirect visitors from images.google.* landing on my October 2003 page to a special message.

You might also ask why I've posted links in this entry to Earthlink, AffordableHost and Google but not to the October 2003 page that all this is about. Well I figured that page gets enough hits already. If you really want to see Todd's butt and read about why he showed it, use the month navigation links on this page.
Thursday, August 12th, 2004
As you know from yesterday, I've been looking some at my web server logs and discovered (or really just confirmed) that people like to search for nudity on the Internet. Today I saw that someone got to my site by doing a Google search for "shirtless," and I couldn't keep myself from then going off and doing the same search, finding this wonderful blog whose owner posts tons of links to beautiful boys and men, often shirtless.
Friday, August 13th, 2004
Marty and Linda are moving to Kenne-bunkport, Maine, and so Mark and Patty and Judy and Roselin hosted a going away party for them.

To help Marty and Linda fit in, they got them pearls like Barbara Bush's. Roselin wore a pig snout to warn them not to cast their new pearls before swine. I taught them how to do the drag queen wave -- wrist, wrist, elbow, elbow, clutch the pearls (sorry, no pic).

By the way, if you run into Linda and Marty, of course you've heard of the tradition that going away honorees must feed each other goodbye cake.


By the way...
any complaining
I did



about German summers
applies also to
Dayton weather
this summer.
(Happy fall,
anyone?)


The cute German is Linda's friend Friedeman, who will be studying law at Vanderbilt this year.
Sunday, August 15th, 2004
It may or may not surprise you to learn that I went to a river baptism today.
Monday, August 16th, 2004
Today was college bureaucracy day, although it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

It actually started in June when I met with my German advisor before leaving for Germany to make sure the classes I was going to take in L?neburg would be applicable towards my German degree and to outline what I should take over the next year. Because Wright State's German program is small, only a handful of German classes are offered each quarter, not enough for me to graduate in June 2005. Dr. Hye suggested that this fall I take another German lit class at another college, explaining that I could pay Wright State tuition for it, through what he called "the consortium," which is actually, I learned today, the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education.

Since I met with him just a couple days before I was to leave for L?neburg I didn't try to take care of things then but instead put it off until today. It's just as well that I hadn't tried to get it done beforehand because I actually wouldn't have had time.

First, I had to jump through hoops at Wright State. To register for a course at another college, one must, of course, complete a special form, and to get the form I was sent to the registrar's office (although while writing this entry I discovered that the stupid form is available online). This form must be signed by one's advisor. Dr. Hye had told me that if he weren't in his office, the Modern Languages department secretary could sign it, but today when I trekked back to Millett Hall I found a student worker covering for her. Luckily the department chair, Dr. Garrison, was there, and I was able to corner him briefly in transit to get his signature.

Back at the registrar's office (in the Student Union on the other side of campus from Millett), I realized that taking a 3.0-semester hour class at UD when added to my 16 quarter hours would put me over the 20 hour limit (3 semester hours = 4.5 quarter hours), requiring me to take a different form back to Millett to get permission from the College of Liberal Arts for the extra .5 quarter hour. UD's semester starts 2 weeks before WSU's quarter and ends 4 weeks after so the way I figure it, 1.75 of those 4.5 hours for the UD class are outside of my WSU class load anyway, but that doesn't matter. I trekked back to Millett, only to be told by the COLA secretary to leave my form so one of their advisors can look up my academic record and determine if I can handle the extra load; I can pick up the form tomorrow. After I explained that I'm not on campus every day (imagine that!), she said the advisors were both busy, but I could wait if I liked, which I did. However I lucked out again, catching one of them on her way to lunch but convincing her to sign the form without the background check.

Back to the registrar's office, and finally after almost 2 hours, I was done with Wright State paperwork. But can Wright State's registrar communicate with UD's registrar to register me for the class I want to take? No. I have to take a copy of my signed form to UD's registrar's office to register. I decided to go home to eat lunch to get some more strength to handle the next round of bureaucracy.

Refreshed, I drove to UD where, probably for the last time, parking is a breeze as I'm a visitor and thus entitled to park in a visitor space. The registrar's office is even close, in Albert Emmanuel Hall, and there's not even a line in the office. The friendly woman there explains that since I'm not in her system, I have to go to another office to get entered, but that office is just one door over. The woman there says I am in the system after all, amazingly since I last took a class at UD in 1985, and she toggles whatever flag is required to make me eligible for registration. Back next door, and I'm registered. Easy enough.

Of course, I'm going to need a parking pass, and the friendly woman in registration tells me where Parking Services is (on the other side of campus, but UD's got a smaller campus than WSU). Do I need a UD ID? No, not unless I want to use UD's library. I took a walk through the pretty campus enjoying the unseasonably cool weather and see the sign along the side of the Parking Services building stating, "Absolutely everyone must apply online for parking permits." I went in anyway and said that I saw their sign but need to know how to apply online. The friendly woman there explained that to apply online I would need to know my LDAP/Novell username and password and directed me to the help desk in Miriam Hall where I could get a sheet explaining how to set that up.

Luckily I was clever enough to realize that to deal with a help desk I'd need a student ID, and so I was able to stop at the Power Building on the way to Miriam Hall to get one. I got lost in the bowels of Miriam Hall but finally found room 53, and there the student worker at first thought I wanted a sheet explaining how to set up Novell (as in a Novell network, which, in my prior life, I've actually done). Once he realized I just wanted to set up my Novell account, he tried to look me up in the system, but my information hadn't migrated yet there from the registrar. I would have to come back in a few days.

Defeated in my quest for a parking pass, I went to the bookstore to get my books, and I was defeated there too. Tons of books for the other German classes but none for GER361. I guess that leaves some bureaucratic fun for later.
Wednesday, August 18th
Okay, I know I'm behind in getting all my pictures from Germany up, but among all those pictures is one that goes along perfectly with the topic of a Telegraph article I just came across. (Although I do like to read the Electronic Telegraph, I came across the article via Towleroad via Kinja's gay blog guide.)

At any rate the article is about a new device that German women are attaching to their toilets to scold their husbands, boyfriends and sons into peeing sitting down, something that is apparently a big obsession among German women. In the WG in which I lived this summer, there were signs in both bathrooms admonishing male users to sit down to pee. I even saw a similar sign in the restroom of one of the restaurants in L?neburg. I can say this freely now since I'm not close enough for Wiebke et. al. to hit me, but when I had to pee, I did so standing up, confident in the fact that I was behind a closed and locked door. Hearing some electronic voice would have made me even more adamant about peeing standing up, not because I'm worried about being thought a wimp (the German for which, as the article points out, is "Sitzpinkler" or someone who sits to pee), but because it's my body, damn it. I agree with women's right to choose, so they'd better agree with my right to choose also.
Saturday, August 21st, 2004

My first event today was a family luncheon at Applebee's. My uncle Will's birthday was the 16th and my uncle Bill's is the 26th, so today was a celebration of both. My sister's in-laws came too, so the event was in part a celebration of Jackie's retirement. (Yes, Larry is wearing a Bush pin. No further comment.)

My second event was Saturday evening worship at Cross Creek. I usually go on Sunday mornings, but since I was going to visit my friend Keith's church on Sunday I decided to go to Cross Creek tonight. The Saturday service, at 5:30pm, had fewer people (at least this weekend), but was a fun opportunity to talk to people I hadn't seen in a while.



My third event was the Dayton Gay Men's Chorus performance as the opening act for the Rubi Girls at Celebrity. Our sound check was at 8pm, but we didn't go on until 10:30, which left lots of time for getting loosened up. As often happens when there is alcohol there was some nudity, which I probably shouldn't mention lest it attract more Google Image searchers. Despite some troubles during practice with the piano, our performance went pretty well, and, as always, the Rubi Girls were fabulous!

Thursday, August 26th, 2004

Chris Harbinson is not gay

but apparently he thinks that being gay is bad. He's filed a lawsuit against outsports.com, which ran an untitled, uncaptioned photo of him on their site. Apparently someone saw it and called Chris a fag, and he's not man enough to just shrug it off. You know straight guys -- they're so sensitive. Of course some people say that the guys who are the most sensitive about homosexuality are closeted homosexuals themselves. I'm sure that's not the case with Chris, though, as he's made it quite clear that he is not gay.
Friday, August 27th, 2004
Okay, maybe I watch too much TV (in my defense I was working on my computer too), but while I was channel hopping today I learned the secret to prosperity, which is a gift of $79 to Benny Hinn Ministries. Steve Munsey, a guest on This is Your Day, explained that because some priests over 2,000 years ago made 9 sacrifices and sprinkled blood on an altar 7 times we today are called by God to send in $79 to his friend Benny Hill Hinn. If we do so, we will receive in return a double portion (of what?). Why $79 and not 79 shekels? Do 79 Canadian dollars count?

Following Pastor Steve's wise words, Pastor Benny explained, "This election coming in November is spiritual. You need to pray and seek God. Look at what God's plan is for America." Maybe that's what the double portion is. $79 gets you not only eternal life but also a chance to support Bush's campaign.
 
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