The Tempest Online™

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Archive for June, 2006

He Looks Like Someone Moved His Food Dish

Posted by Daniel on June 30, 2006

Strike One…

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court strongly limited the power of Bush and his administration to conduct military tribunal for the detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay.

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote: Congress has not issued the executive a ‘blank check'”.

The 5-3 ruling means officials will have to come up with a new policy to prosecute at least 10 so-called “enemy combatants” awaiting trial — it does not address the government’s ability to detain suspects.

The case was the first major test of Bush’s authority as commander-in-chief during war.

Something tells me this will not be the last.

Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

Less Is More

Posted by Daniel on June 29, 2006

It’s sometimes hard letting go of something you’ve created. Take blogs, for instance.

I worked very hard to create my very first blog. It was the first incarnation of The Tempest. Up to that time, my experience with HTML and CSS and RSS was limited to “Huh?” and “Do what?” and “I don’t get it.”

As time passed, though, I managed to learn very quickly the inner workings of writing and editing code. It wasn’t long before I was able to tweak this and adjust that, all the while adding more ‘bells and whistles’ and making it very interactive.

Then Blogger – the provider of that free site, began having one technical issue after another, causing the blog to be either down or less ‘tweakable’, sometimes for days at a time.

For the record, I’m not a patient person when it comes to learning something technical, and I especially hate it when something that should work, doesn’t.  Just ask Steve.

While this was all happening, I was in the process of setting up another blog – Terrene-But Not By Choice. I really liked the 3-column appearance and the other added features it provided. This site, too, was hosted by Blogger, but it was, apparently on another of it’s servers. One that wasn’t experiencing all the shut-downs.

When the glitches on the original Tempest did finally become more than I could stand, I branched out and founf WordPress.

Note: I am in no way advocating or advertising any blog host site or provider. They each have their pro’s and con’s.

The upside of WordPress is that you don’t have to spend all day working with the HTML. You can, but it’s pretty much user-friendly and without all of the down-time Blogger was having. The downside, however, is that in an effort to avoid the same shut-downs as Blogger and other sitres, WordPress does not support Java script. I find this to be very inconvenient. They say they are working on a safe way of supporting JAVA in the future.

I wait patiently…but I have my limits. (grrr)

Once I got the new and improved “The Tempest” up and going on WordPress (and let me tell you, it was a bitch getting all previous posts switched over to the new site with dates and comments intact!), I decided it was time to abandon the Blogger Tempest. As of today, it no longer exists.

I wept openly. Not!

I did decide to keep the other Blogger site “Terrene…..”, because I had a lot of JAVA script crap on it. Not the least of which is my Neoworx counter, which is a JAVA script.

Okay, I admit it. I’m a statistics whore. So sue me!!

Lately, I started to notice how rare my postings to Terrene had become. Everything I think, report, share and rant about wind up here. Terrene was becoming tedious. Then I was finally able to post audio and video files here, and it made my decision to end posting to Terrene altogether that much easier.

Another blog bites the dust.

Let me tell you, I have received numerous emails asking where I’d gone. Was I alright? Was I sick? Was I dead?

Was I that popular? I highly doubt it. Even my vanity knows it’s limits.

What, didn’t I plaster enough links and buttons directing folks to this site?

I’ll let you in on a little secret…I do have another blog out there that I do maintain daily. No, it’s not Terrene or (yet another) Tempest.

That one, I’ll never let go of.

Just like this one.

Posted in Technical Issues | Leave a Comment »

Another Tree Falls For Politics

Posted by Daniel on June 28, 2006

The 2006 mid-term elections. Time to start thinking about candidates and what they stand for…or ‘say’ they stand for.

Years ago, I just used to be excited at a time like this because I would get to vote. The candidates didn’t matter to me, as long as they were Democrats.

While I would have a vague knowledge of some of the issues, by the time I steped up to the voting booth, I’d just punch the name of whatever candidate had a “D” next to their names.

Such was my utter disdain for anything or anyone Republican. I figured I was going to oppose any candidate (Republican) who even hinted an anti-gay thought. I respect people’s beliefs, as long as they don’t use politics or religion to bash me.

I’ve never considered myself to be a ‘militant’ gay. I’m just a guy who loves the person he’s with and wants to live a normal life with that person. Of course, that person also happens to be a guy, and this is what always seems to put us in the political/religious cross hairs.

Let me go back to my previous statement…”I’ve never considered myself to be a ‘militant’ gay.” That statement was true, until the current occupant of the White House and his administration began to use gays as a means to ignite the religious fires. Since this so-called President made it clear that God speaks to him, he has garnered the mantle of God’s President…at least in the eyes of those religious folks who drink that Kool Aid.

It never fails that in every election cycle within the past 5 years, when Republicans need a boost from religious voters, that’s when it’s time to scare them with the myth about gays trying to take the sanctity of marriage and ‘drag’ it throught the mud. Even when a majority of gays have made it abundantly clear that we don’t want ‘marriage’, as such. We simply want, for now, civil unions so that we may obtain the same federal rights as everyone else. That, of course, leads to Republicans shouting to the moral winds, “Gays want to take your marriage and have special rights.”

It never ceases to amaze me how, after using this ploy over and over again, the people continue rallying behind it and voting in people who, for whatever reason, never follow up on their promise to – for all intents and purposes – put the gays in their place and an ammendment on the Constitution.

The amazing this is that also within the past 5 years, the Democrats seem all to eager to jump on the gay-bashing bandwagon. Oh, they love to cloak their opposition to civil unions in a way they think won’t upset the liberals too much. They tend to wrap their religious pandering in either muted silence, or blatant ‘in-your-face’ moral decency. The spine of the Democratic party was forcibly removed the day they lost the congressional majority. Now they’ll stop at nothing to get it back, even at the expense of alienating one of their major supporting groups. And they’re using religion to do it.
To me it seems people who should have common sense and practice “Love thy neighbor” would rather practice hate and resentment. Even if there is no tangible reason. All for a vote.

My apologies. I’ve completely strayed from my original rant point.

Since it is an election year, I can’t help but notice how many flyers, ‘newsletters’, and other mail from candidates make it into my mailbox or onto my front porch. Four exact copies of the very same ‘newsletter’ from the very same candidate (a Republican) so far this week. And that’s just what’s coming from him!

I’ve tried sending them back ‘Return To Sender – Remove us from your mailing list’, but the post office says it’s 3rd class mail and can only be thrown away. I’ve tried going to their websites and also emailing them directly to request being removed from any future mailing or porch delivery. Their wesites, however, only allow you to post a comment IF you contribute to their campaign. Then they send you even more shit! You never get a response to the email.

This goes for both Republican and Democrat candidates –

STOP SENDING ME SOLICITATIONS!!

Exactly how many trees have to die before these assholes get the message?!

I’ve grown up. I’ve learned more about the political process. I’m fully aware that people like me are perfect targets for both religious hate and political pandering. I have a computer and use it diligently to reasearch both the issues and where you are and have been on them in the past. I know when you’re bullshitting me. I no longer fall for it.

When you send me your pamphlets pointing out your past accomplishments, I know when you’re taking credit for nothing tangible. I know in my heart that you don’t look at me as a ‘normal’ person. You simply look at me as yet another stupid person who might vote for you…especially if you say all those catchy phrases that might scare me into punching your name on that ballot.

I miss those days when I could just punch “Democrat” all the way down the ballot, however, those days are long gone. I now have to keep an eye on the lies and pandering Democrats commit, as well as those of the opposing party. It’s like a kid learning there is no Santa Clause.

For you kids reading this – I was just trying to make a point.

There really IS a Santa Clause.

Posted in Our Writings, Politics | Leave a Comment »

THE YEAR 1906 – Republican Nirvana

Posted by Daniel on June 26, 2006

The year is 1906.

One hundred years ago.
What a difference a century makes!


Here are some of the
US statistics for the Year 1906:

The average life expectancy in the
US was 47 years.

Only
14 percent of the homes in the US had a bathtub.

Only
8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

A three-minute call from
Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.

There were only
8,000 cars in the US, and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was
10 mph.

Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California.

With a mere 1.4 million people,
California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.

The tallest structure in the world was the
Eiffel Tower!

The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents per hour.

The average
US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

A competent accountant could expect to earn
$2,000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95% of all births births in the U.S. took place at home.

Ninety percent of all US doctors had no college education.

Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as "substandard."


Sugar cost
four cents a pound.

Eggs were
fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was
fifteen cents a pound.

Most women washed their hair only once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.

Five leading causes of death in the
US were:

1. Pneumonia and influenza


2. Tuberculosis?

3. Diarrhea

4. Heart disease


5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars.

Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30 !

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn't been invented yet.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

Two out of every 10 US adults couldn't read or write.

Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores.
Back then pharmacist said, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health."

Eighteen percent of households in the US had at least one full-time servant or domestic help. !

 

Ther were about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.

 

Posted in Just For Fun | Leave a Comment »

Ass-Tastic Videos

Posted by Daniel on June 25, 2006

Well, now I've seen it all. Fred Phelps is now producing music videos and documentaries. Let's examine them…shall we…? Don't forget to see the last one…it's what gives me hope in mankind.

I think this one should be sent to all those mentioned in this video.

 

What I want to know is how he justifies using gay porn music in this video!

 

This one sounds like an acid trip.

 

Check out the end of this little slice of heaven. She seems insanely perky.

 

Guess what? We're "Elegant & Appropriate"!!

 

Lewis Black to the rescue!!

Now, you're probably wondering why I even bother to give this asshole 'airtime'. Well, I guess the answer is that I'll "bend over backwards" to expose the ongoing hate this prick is teaching.

Besides, it is never a bad idea to continue monitoring the words and works of an adversary.

Posted in Religion | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Revel – Living Out Loud on the Blogs

Posted by Daniel on June 23, 2006

Living Out Loud on the Blogs
(Cross posted at Booman Tribune)

At least once a month it seems I have a “Judith Moore day”, Judith being Holly Hunter’s character in Living Out Loud:

“Awful, awful, what do they expect us to do with all this information? What am I supposed to do about crack babies? Terrorism? I can’t stand those terrorists, they’re so mad at everybody. I wish they’d just get over it! Maybe I should adopt a crack baby, sent it to a good school, get a chance of….Oh shut up! I’m gonna raise an inner city child in this building? I can’t stand the people in this building, with their jeeps and their loafers. Their mean, stuck-up private school kids will make fun of my crack baby, my crack baby will have no play dates, poor kid. Awful, what do they expect us to do with all this information? What am I supposed to do with all this information?”

As Duran Duran would sing, “It’s too much information for me…..”

We are living in a golden age of information. With all these ” internets”, which in turn have produced all these blogs, for every color on the political spectrum, I read as much as my brain can take in. This is why I am eternally grateful for a life partner, known in Blogland as The Tempest, who can write the political as well as the humorous (where as my political writing always comes out satirical, I can’t help myself). I am also grateful for the multitalented blog posters and their research that has made my political awareness explode in a “Flowers for Algernon” way since circa 2004. There is so much to be said, so many topics, so many viewpoints.

Even though I feel on “information overload” many days (like most of us, my job can take up almost all the available space in my brain…then I have the nerve to add my new found penchant for politics) I feel this has to be said: We should never EVER stifle discussion. It’s been proven time and again, in field after field, what one day is considered wildly improbable becomes tomorrow’s forgone conclusion.

My request to you who continue to educate me is this: let me hear your viewpoint. Don’t allow yourself to be stifled. I may or may not agree with you, that’s why we’re not part of the right fringe—we don’t have to toe the talking points line. But I want to hear your views. I want my education to continue.

Do agree with RFK Jr that (link here) Ohio was stolen in 2004? Lay it on me. (I personally agree). Do you think BushCo have created a cavernously deep 9-11 conspiracy? Tell me what you think. (That one, my personal jury is still out). You believe Dick Cheney, if he is not the Anti-Christ himself, is likely his personal manager? Please discuss! (O.K., that’s a no brainer.)

There will always be a place for all viewpoints, this is my core belief. Writers of the political realm, I would ask you to remember the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: “In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”

Posted in Our Writings | Leave a Comment »

Pride Month – Pass It On

Posted by Daniel on June 21, 2006

The following is a post from Kelly Stern. It deserves an honorable mention.

____________________________________________________

Here's a challange…come on, you know you want to…

I was thinking tonight as I was going through some old posts and file pictures…There are a lot of things going on in the world (I mean, NO Katie tomorrow morning???)…So I took a break and went outside to water the plants and while watering the plants outside my house tonight I was reminded of a picture and the something else…here in the Capital of the South, Richmond, Virginia…Virginia..the home of the likes of Senator John Warner, Reverends Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell…Virginia will be voting on an Amendment on Marriage in November…I mean, I am in the Bible Belt…so I came up with a challenge, or at least a hope…

I took a picture a week or so ago and I think it could stand for many things across the country, but with tomorrow being June 1st (the start of Pride Month), to me it means a little more…I am a person…a person who happens to live in a wonderful neighborhood in one of the true Southern Cities in the US…and I proudly hang the two flags you see in the picture below in hopes people driving by will understand, we as Americans and Richmonders should all be equal…so here is the actual challenge…I want to see how many blogs and websites I can see this picture on…I think it represents Gay America, no matter where you are…it looks like an All-American neighborhood-with a little color…(The All-American Gayborhood)…soooo…copy and paste the picture to your blog and send me a link…when you do, I will include the link in my daily roll call…I may be a bit ambitous, but would be surprised if I even get 20 or so (gay, straight or otherwise) bloggers to post this in honor of Pride month…I would be very happy if just one did, but more would be better…forward to your friends on MySpace or Friendster or whatever…but pass it along during the month…at the end…put it to rest…but keep it in your heart and mind (and in your files)…it may not be an award winning photo, but I think it stands for something…at least in my mind…(send email to sternkelly@yahoo.com or just post link in comment section here, just make sure I get a little credit somewhere for the picture please)_____________________________________________________________________________________

Show Kelly some love…and also some PRIDE. Pass this post along, or go to his site and post a comment.

Posted in GLBT | 1 Comment »

Go Fish

Posted by Daniel on June 20, 2006

B-DoingPiss.gif

Okay, today I had a doctors appointment, and no Knotty, it wasn't due to my previous post.

Silly dude.

All who know me know how much I loathe driving into town. I hate the traffic, the idiots driving while on the phone, the construction, the smell.

Big surprise, I got cut off on I-70 when I was about to take my exit by some multi-tasking soccer mom in a Caravan. Lo and behold, on the rear of this fat-assed vehicle, there is one of those Jesus Fish.

I have this 'thing' about Caravans and the idiots who drive them. [Sorry Gina] They never seem to know where they're going. They pull out right in front of you. They tend to go at least 15 miles under the posted speed limit. Walmart seems to be where they are all headed to. And so on…

It only seems to add insult to injury when there is some 'fish' affixed to the ass-end. As if to say, "The Lord is my co-pilot…so bite me!"

So, with that in mind, I've decided to fight fire with fire. I have ordered the following 'fish' to affix to the back of my truck:

E-Evolve.gif

E-Darwin.gif

E-JeebusEmblem.gif

E-Science.gif

E-Sushi.gif

E-BlowMe.gif

E-DeadFish.gif

E-HappyGefilteSilv.gif

These and other designs are available at this link: Evolve Fish.

Posted in Our Writings | 1 Comment »

It’s A Gas – Gas – Gas…

Posted by Daniel on June 19, 2006

Every now and then, I'll open the Pandora's Box that is my blog email. I am fortunate in that it is quite able to filter out the SPAM, leaving the legitimate mail for me to paruse through.

It's usually the typical letter either praising or panning the blog, all of which I take with a grain of salt. I must say, to those who have only good things to say…thank you and you certainly do know a good thing when you see it. It is for you, the intelligent and interesting folks who understand the meaning of such things as 'common sense' and 'humor', that I write these entries.

As for you poo-poo artists who offer nothing but hateful critique – both of you – just keep reading. Rest assured it can't possibly get any more disappointing for you…but I'll give it a hell of a try!

On occasion, as I'm flipping through the email, there will be one of those fun ones that ask a lot of questions. Sometimes, the questions are of too peraonal a nature for me to answer, so I try to placate them with some witty banter. The artful dodger I'm not, but it generally works.

Once in a while, though, the questions tend to fall into what I refer to as the "Huh? Why would they want to know that??" category.

To wit:

"Dear Tempest, thanks for all the laughs so far. I love reading your page. You must be a very smart person. Glad to know you're out there saying the things a lotta people are too chicken to say. Do you fart? Stay cool."

Kade – Phoenix, AZ

E-X-C-U-S-E ME???

I am thinking several things at this point:

A) Kade is a "Dude"

B) Kade is much younger than I

C) Kade is very smart and able to gauge intelligence from other people's writings

D) Kade is into farts

Now, it's common for us, when thinking of someone we admire, not to imagine whether or not Einstein, Angelina Jolie, Gay Tom Cruise or I…um…fart or go # one-sies or two-sies. I know, Kade, it's hard when an idol falls. Alas, it is true. Like you and everyone else on the planet, I and my contemporaries, fart.

I will also admit, I used to have a h-u-g-e complex about having that particular ability. Even going so far as to sequester myself in a private place so that I could cover my ears whilst commiting the foul act and reciting my favorite cover song…"LA-LA-LA-LA-LA…".

Yes, Kade, I was that fucked up.

Then I met Steve. This man has opened my eyes, my mind and yes, my "wind pipe" to the noxious joy that is, to my surprise, a funny little part of marriage. According to Steve (who made me do it for him for his birthday, of all things).(Sorry Honey…I had to mention that. It is integral to the plot!)

Sidebar: I think I finally answered that age-old question, "What do you give to someone who has everything?"

But I must also add, young Kade, and I'll try to "break" it to you gently, this is not a gift one uses for dark purposes. I try only to use my powers for the benefit of mankind. It is neither fitting – nor ladylike – to simply let 'er rip all willy-nillie. There is, as I've learned through Sensi Steve, an art to the fart. As those poor unfortunates who shop behind us at Walmart know all too well.

Walmart, it seems, is the perfect place for such training. There is little to no air flow through these stores. One has only to find an empty isle, mentally pull the poop grenade pin…viola. It's going to sit there intact until the fist unwary shopper happens to walk through it. Imagine walking through a large spider web. Yeah, just like that. Only worse. Or so I've been told. And woe to the mouth-breather!

So, Dear Kade, I hope that I not only answered your question to your satisfaction, but that I was able to, in some small way, teach you some of my vast knowledge.

You know…because I'm so smart.

And because you were such a good student, I wanted to be sure to include some study-related films for you as a visual aid.

Also, some recommended reading for you:  The Gas We Pass, by Shinto Cho. 

 

Posted in Just For Fun, Our Writings | Leave a Comment »

Sunday Funnies – Where To Live After Retirement

Posted by Daniel on June 18, 2006

As we all know, sometimes we come face to face with the fact that it may be time to relocate.
The big question is:  Where to?    Here are some tips:

 

You can live in Phoenix, Arizona where…
1. You are willing to park 3 blocks away because you found shade.
2. You've experienced condensation on your butt from the hot water in the toilet bowl.
3. You can drive for 4 hours in one direction and never leave town.
4. You have over 100 recipes for Mexican food.
5. You know that "dry heat" is comparable to what hits you in the face when you open your oven door.
6. The 4 seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!

You can Live in California where…
1. You make over $250,000 and you still can't afford to buy a house.
2. The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway.
3. You know how to eat an artichoke.
4. You drive your rented Mercedes to your neighborhood block party.
5. When someone asks you how far something is, you tell them how long it will take to get there rather than how many miles away it is.

You can Live in New York City where…
1. You say "the city" and expect everyone to know you mean Manhattan.
2. You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Columbus Circle to Battery Park, but can't find Wisconsin on a map.
3.You think Central Park is "nature,"
4. You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multi-lingual.
5. You've worn out a car horn.
6. You think eye contact is an act of aggression.

You can Live in Maine where…
1. You only have four spices: salt, pepper, ketchup, and Tabasco.
2. Halloween costumes fit over parkas.
3. You have more than one recipe for moose.
4. Sexy lingerie is anything flannel with less than eight buttons.
5. The four seasons are: winter, still winter, almost winter, and construction.

You can Live in the Deep South where…
1. You can rent a movie and buy bait in the same store.
2. "y'all" is singular and "all y'all" is plural.
3. "He needed killin' " is a valid defense.?
5. Everyone has 2 first names: Billy Bob, Jimmy Bob, Mary Sue, Betty Jean, MARY BETH, etc.

You can live in Colorado where…
1. You carry your $3,000 mountain bike atop your $500 car.
2. You tell your husband to pick up Granola on his way home and he stops at the day care center.
3. A pass does not involve a football or dating.
4. The top of your head is bald, but you still have a ponytail.

You can live in the Midwest where…
1. You've never met any celebrities, but the mayor knows your name.
2. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor.
3. You have had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" on the sameday.
4. You end sentences with a preposition: "Where's my coat at?"
5. When asked how your trip was to any exotic place, you say,"It was different!"

AND You can live in Florida where…
1. You eat dinner at 3:15 in the afternoon.
2. All purchases include a coupon of some kind — even houses and cars.
3. Everyone can recommend an excellent dermatologist.
4. Road construction never ends anywhere in the state.
5. Cars in front of you are often driven by headless people.
6. The 4 seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and snowbirds.

Posted in Just For Fun | Leave a Comment »