Thursday, December 2nd, 2004

It was about this time last year that my friend Derek and I visited St. Croix. When we got back I posted pictures and an account of our trip in my gallery. That page is one of the most popular on my site, averaging around 70 hits a month, mostly by people who have searched on Google for information about or pictures of St. Croix.

In the year since our trip I've gotten only two e-mails about my St. Croix page, both from people rather disappointed in the tone of my account, feeling that I was too negative. My first correspondent was another gay guy, someone who goes to St. Croix often and actually bought property there this year. He was very pleasant, just wanting to note that crime happens everywhere (though he too experienced crime on St. Croix) and to point out aspects of St. Croix that he particularly liked. My second correspondent, whose e-mail I received today, was an anonymous woman who rather sarcastically said that she was "so sorry that [my] trip to St. Croix was sooo bad" and that St. Croix was "not perfect like everywhere else."

Perhaps my account of the trip was too whiny, but as another of Derek's friends who blogs points out, personal blogs tend to be a place where people can vent and thus can be perceived as overly negative. And what I said about St. Croix was truthful, even if it didn't include a disclaimer that bad things can happen anywhere and that St. Croix is the best place on earth and I didn't mean to offend anyone who absolutely loves it and can't take any criticism of it.

I did close my account by saying that it was "a good trip" and as you can see from some of my photos, St. Croix can be especially beautiful, as it was on our last day there. If you haven't been there, don't rule it out as a place to go. However, do consider that there are other equally beautiful places, including Key West, whose Fleur de Key guesthouse has much nicer rooms and and showers than the Cormorant.

Friday, December 3rd, 2004

DMGC logoUpcoming Dayton Gay Men's Chorus events

I probably should have posted this sooner, considering that the first of these events is tomorrow, but if you live in the Dayton area you have several opportunities to see DGMC, of which I am a part, perform. All the events are free, although donations will be accepted.

Saturday, December 4th, 7:30pm, St. John's UCC, 515 East Third Street, Dayton
This is actually a performance of the Cincinnati Men's Chorus in Dayton, but DGMC will be doing a preview of some of our songs. This event is always very popular, so arrive at least by 7pm to be sure of getting a seat.

Tuesday, December 14th, 7:30pm, Cross Creek Community Church, UCC, 667 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Centerville
DGMC will be performing as part of Dayton PFLAG's holiday program (following their annual meeting). Bring a dessert to share.

Sunday, December 19th, 3pm, St. John's UCC, 515 East Third Street, Dayton
Starting a new tradition, this will be DGMC's first annual Christmas concert.

Sunday, December 5th, 2004
Pictures of last night's Cincinnati Men's Chorus concert in Dayton, at which the Dayton Gay Men's Chorus sang a few songs, are now online in the gallery.
Tuesday, December 7th, 2004

I got an interesting letter in the mail today, from the Rev. Wayne Delatte of the Interfaith Foundation of Mason, Ohio. He wanted to tell me about God's message, but the message wasn't what you might expect from a Christian minister. He didn't mention gaining eternal life by being born again and accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior. He didn't mention Jesus's urging us to love our neighbors and to care for strangers, the sick and the poor. So what did he mention?

Money. Money and bizarre instructions. Rev. Wayne wants me to think about how much money I need. He wants me to set a glass of water on a piece of paper on which I've written that amount of money, after I've taken three sips from the water. He wants me to press his letter to my heart and to my forehead. And most importantly he wants me to "release my seed [...] to God" and to "expect an unusual miracle release." (If you're thinking that that language is rather onanistic, shame on you!)

Sorry, Rev. Wayne, but you're not getting my seed or my money. I don't "feel led" "on authority of God's eternal word" to send you "$14 or $17" or "another amount." I have to give you credit, though, for keeping costs down and profits up by sticking to a simple black and white bulk mailing. Sure, Steve Munsey prophesied that we each should be giving God Benny Hinn $79, but they've got television production costs to cover.

Saturday, December 11th, 2004
I had another Christmas party yesterday. Pictures are in the galleries.
Sunday, December 12th, 2004

When I'm surfing the web I hate it when a link opens a new window. Some people probably think this is nitpicking but many people agree that trying to force users to open links in new windows is wrong. There are several reasons why people think this practice is bad, but a key one is that it should be the user's decision, not some site's author's decision, whether to open a new window on the user's computer. One person who insists on trying to force links to open new windows is Andrew Sullivan. I sent him an e-mail telling him he should reconsider this practice, but he never responded and didn't change his evil ways.

I say try to force because Andrew Sullivan and others of his ilk can't make me open links in new windows if I don't want to. I right click on his links, choose copy link, hit F6, paste the link in my address bar, and boom, the new page opens in the same window, whether Andrew Sullivan approves or not. He makes me work a little, but I retain the right to choose, just as you can choose to open my links in a new window (or a new tab if you're using a modern browser) by right-clicking on them and choosing that option. Of course, sometimes I forget and get a link in a new window, but usually I quickly F6, copy the link, ctrl-W to close the damned new window, F6 and paste the link and am back where I wanted to be (*).

If you're as anal about this as I am, you probably have also already switched to Firefox. If so, you might appreciate TargetAlert, an extension for Firefox that adds a little new window icon behind links that automatically open new windows. It also will do icons for mail-to links and links to various non-HTML files such as PDFs, but I turned most of those other options off. Take that, Andrew Sullivan!

Update 01-04-05: I discovered a Firefox extension called This Window which adds a context menu option to force a link to open in the current window. Just right-click and choose this window!

Tuesday, December 14th, 2004

I had a busy day today. First I went with my mother, her friend Nancy and my uncle Bill down to Cincinnati to see the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. We lunched afterwards at Montgomery Inn at the Boathouse. More pictures are in the galleries.

We saw something scary on the way home, namely this gigantic statue of Jesus rising out of the earth in front of Solid Rock Church in Mason along I-75. Talk about retribution theology and putting the fear of God into you! (Update: Solid Rock Church spent $250,000 on this statue!!)


Then this evening was a performance by the Dayton Gay Men's Chorus for PFLAG Dayton (which meets at my church). Pictures are in the galleries. You have one more chance to see us this month.


This is supposed to make you
feel good about Jesus?
Sunday, December 19th, 2004
Today was the final Dayton Gay Men's Chorus concert of the season. Pictures are online in the galleries.
Monday, December 20th, 2004
With our most demanding performance season since June over, the Dayton Gay Men's Chorus had a holiday party tonight at our host bar, Collector's, where one of our accompanists, Ms. Raymonde Rougier, plays and where our president, WYSO host Jerry Kenney tends bar. This was one event to which I didn't bring my camera, but John, one of Collector's owners, covered that and even arranged for Santa to come. We each got to sit on Santa's lap, and John e-mailed us our pics afterwards.
Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004
We're having a pre-Christmas blizzard! I went out in it and took some pictures.
 
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