Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Last of the Pridefest photos, Me and Mr. Dreamy

Yes, I had a great time!

Mr. Dreamy...my new bf in waiting! Yeah, right! Actually I couldn't resist taking his picture, and he was cool with it. I am going to email it to him. Yes, he gave me his business card too!

Thanks, Ron for cutting my legs out of the picture. I was all stretched out!

Another great photo(not) by Ron --who was supposed to get the entire sign in the picture! I'm either brave or crazy for publishing this one (or both)! Okay, the fun's over until next year!

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The Names Project Metro St. Louis

The NAMES Project Metro St. Louis is a local chapter of the NAMES Project Foundation in Atlanta. Here are just a few of the quilt panels that were on display Sunday at Tower Grove Park for Pridefest St. Louis. It is a very emotional experience to see all these panels. They were also carried in the parade.

The NAMES Project Metro St. Louis seeks to use the AIDS Memorial Quilt to bring and end to the AIDS pandemic by:
  • Assisting with HIV prevention and Awareness;
  • Providing a creative and artistic means for remembrance and healing;
  • Illustrating the enormity of the AIDS pandemic;
  • Increasing public awareness of AIDS;
  • Raising funds for local AIDS service organizations

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A Few More Pridefest St. Louis Photos in the Park

After the parade, the crowd flocked into the beautiful Tower Grove Park for live entertainment, food, beverages, displays, and vendors galore--such as Verizon, Walgreen's, State Farm Insurance, Macy's, and many others, plus lots of organizations.

The photo below is the lovely Victoria DePaula, the reigning Miss Gay America. She was gracious enough to pose for a photo as she entered the park.

The next photo is of the Queen of Pride 2009, who was also nice enough to stop for a photo. Sorry I don't know her name, but like all these queens, she was so sweet!

In the next photo is another Queen of Pride, probably for another city. I don't know her name either. She was very pretty and so nice too.

If anyone know these ladies Drag names, let me know and I will update this post.

Yes, I adore the drag queens!

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Pridefest St. Louis Parade 2009

For the first time in three years it did not rain on our parade! The weather was beautiful, sunny, and with a cool breeze blowing. It made the Pride Parade so much more enjoyable. And the crowd seemed larger than in past years. We watched the parade at the end of the parade route in front of Tower Grove Park. Most of the floats didn't turn in to the park, so it was difficult to photograph them. I have a photo album of last years parade at myspace, and a lot of the floats were the same ones anyway.

Of course I took several dozen pictures and will share a few here. Don't ask me what the colorful presentation is in the above photo, because I have no idea! It was very pretty though and this is only a few of them. You could see them from quite a distance.

I took about three dozen parade photos, but will only show a few here. I will try to get a flickr album up with the complete set of Pridefest photos. It was difficult to choose just a few, but I had to show PFLAG. It is such a great nationwide organization. As you can see, it's not just gay people that march in these parades.

A large rainbow flag was carried by a youth group. Sorry, I don't know the name of this organization.

This was a unique float sponsored by the Gateway Gay Rodeo Association.

This was a new float this year featuring quite a few local Queen title holders. I love how they included an arch, which is the famous landmark of St. Louis.

I'm so glad I got this photo of the current Miss Gay America in the parade.

Be sure and click on the title link for the St. Louis newspaper article about Pridefest St. Louis.

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Saturday Night with Disco Diva Thelma Houston

We spent the weekend in St. Louis for Pridefest and had a blast! The first thing we did was enjoy a free concert Saturday evening at Tower Grove Park by none other than Thelma Houston. It was so hot, with a heat index of over 100 degrees, but Miss Houston gave a exciting once in a lifetime performance. She sang some tribute songs in memory of Michael Jackson, and several oldies but goodies. I took several photos and here's a couple of my favorites.

Ron and I were right up by the stage, so close that we could make eye contact with her. I love being up close and personal and all the fans were singing along and dancing. I couldn't help but over hear a group of young people asking each other, "Who is that up there?" At least six people said, "I don't know." So, I got right up in the middle of them and say, "y'all don't know who she is?" And they all said, "uh uh, nope," and shook their heads in confusion. I told them, "that is Thelma Houston!" Then I was asked, "Thelma WHO?" "Thelma HOUSTON," I yelled! They shrugged their shoulders, still not knowing who she was!

Of course, she saved her 1978 grammy award winning song for last. Then the crowd erupted in cheering, dancing and we all sang along, and I noticed those younger people saying, "oh yeah, I know that song!" Miss Houston is 66 years old now and she can still put on a great show. And for all you young people that wonder what the hit song was, I am embedding a YouTube of it. You must hear it! Not many songs had such great base guitar in them. And this is a song that will make you want to dance. It is a classic. Everybody loves this song!

Hopefully I will get a flickr album set up and share the rest of the show pictures and other photos from the weekend. I couldn't remove the photo san disc fast enough to put in the video san disc in to the digital camera , but I tried to video that song with my cell phone. It didn't take long for all the memory to fill up! It is in such a strange format, I don't know if I will ever have it on YouTube. Plus, I was dancing and my video was all over the place, so it might not be pleasing to watch! It was a fun night and well worth attending!

There are many versions of this song on YouTube, including some live ones. I chose this one for its excellent sound quality. It is a neat slide show of disco images. Enjoy! You better play it! Don't you just love this song?

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Pridefest St. Louis 2009

It was the Pridefest St. Louis 2009 event this past weekend and Ron and I were more than ready to get away for the weekend! Yes, this is what some people just call "Gay Pride Weekend." Pridefest St. Louis is the official name of the event though. Here's a billboard featuring Sandra Bernhard, who was scheduled to be the parade marshall on Saturday. I don't believe she arrived in time for the parade. She hadn't arrive on time for her Sunday afternoon show either. It would have been great to see her!

MokaBe's Coffee House, 3606 Arsenal in St. Louis was one of many places welcoming Pridefest. They even had rainbow patio style umbrellas over all the outdoor tables. Rainbow flags could be seen all over the place.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

John abuzz, now more user friendly

Check it out! To show my appreciation to all of you that come to my blog and leave comments, I have updated my comment format. I think you'll like the new user friendly features, such as no word verification and no comment moderation.

I also wanted to make you feel more welcome, and I have linked many of my social networking sites through MyBlogLog. Activities such as my tweets will show up in one of the new widgets, but they do seem to be on somewhat of a delay.

You might want to also check out the new widget on the sidebar that will shows the most popular outgoing links. Your blog or latest blog post might show up there. It too may have a slight delay at first.

If you have a moment, I hope you will rate my blog at the little "rate my blog" widget. This is a feature of blogcatalog. After my rating comes up, I will post that badge as well. I haven't been a member of blogcatalog for very long, so my rating is lower than I would like. Thanks in advance!

If you have any questions about any of the new features on my blog, don't hesitate to ask. You may use the comment area or get my email address from my blogger profile page. Thanks again, everyone. I hope you enjoy these new features as much as me.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Farrah Fawcett: Jaclyn Smith Remembers Charlie's Angel co-star, Barbara Walters EXCLUSIVE - ABC News

Farrah Fawcett: Jaclyn Smith Remembers Charlie's Angel co-star, Barbara Walters EXCLUSIVE - ABC News

"Now she rests with the real angels." --Jaclyn Smith 6/25/09

It goes without saying that I am sad to hear that Farrah has passed away. She'll never be forgotten in my lifetime. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

I have previously made two blog posts about Farrah.
~ John

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Michael Jackson 1958-2009 R.I.P. and thanks for the memories

I am deeply saddened by the news of Michael Jackson's death. This is one of my favorite songs and I hope you will listen to the lyrics as you watch this video that shows Michael Jackson from his early years to his most recent years. I don't know him, but want to thank titemanson29 at YouTube for making and posting the video. Thank you for taking the time to make and post this video.

It seems like so many of my posts lately have been a reflection of my earlier years in life. Here we go again. I am not even going to try and compose a sentence now, but instead just list a bunch of my rambling thoughts.

Earliest Memories:

  • "A, B, C, easy as 1, 2, 3" What a great song that was!
  • Begging My Mom to buy certain kinds of cereal, because it had a paper Jackson Five record embedded on the box.
  • Hearing "Rockin' Robin" blast through the elementary gymnasium as my sister was part of a pompom routine. She was in 8th grade, I was in 2nd grade. That was the first time I ever heard that song. I still can't sing the "diddlydeetdeet" or whatever it was! I sure remember that "Tweet, Tweet" part! That song should be the official song for Twitter.
  • In high school skating to "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough."
  • Wearing a "Michael Jackson" jacket and parachute pants.
  • Winning two tickets to The Jacksons Victory Tour in 1984, when i lived near Chicago. I took my 7 year old step daughter H. to the concert at Soldier Field. H. was a big fan then and remains one still today. I'm sure that when she hears about Michael's death, she will be reminiscing about that concert. We had such a good time that night! It was absolutely thrilling. The concert included the entire Jackson family, but Michael did the most songs.
  • "Ben" was another one of my favorite songs. No, I did not realize that it was about a rat, until many months later.
  • "Thriller" was the first video I ever saw on MTV. I remember exactly where I was at and why and what I was doing at that time! I think "Thriller" was the biggest launch that MTV could've ever got. I always think of my little two year old step daughter T. singing that song--she would sing "Thwill-uh., Twill-uh..." She was so cute. Our whole family loved Michael Jackson.
  • Being mesmerized as I watch Michael do the moon walk on tv. I tried and tried for years to do that, and never could. He was such a talented dancer, not just a talented singer.
  • I have lots and lots more fond memories of Michael Jackson. These are just a few that instantly popped into my head.
  • I have every cd except his last one or two. I will probably buy them now.
  • I'm glad I bought a box of Kleenex the other night at CVS!

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Jackson family.

I look forward to all the tributes that are on television starting tonight. ABC has announced that it will be showing one for sure tonight. I hope people will just "Remember The Time" (another great song), I mean I hope people will just focus on the extremely talented singer and entertainer Michael Jackson and not any of the weird things that went on in the last few years. Now is not the time for that.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vintage Photos from Kodak's "The Handle" Instant Camera

If you read my last post, then you know my first experience with amateur photography was with a Kodak 110 Instamatic camera around the age of ten. About six years later, Kodak came out with a new instant camera that worked like a Polaroid. It was called "The Handle," and I just had to have one! I asked my Dad and step Mom to please buy me one! They said that they would buy the big clunky camera, if I got to attend the band trip to Canada.

So I got this camera as a reward for raising the $2,000.00 required for me to attend an International high school band competition in Vancouver. Each band student had to raise that amount mostly by selling raffle tickets for a new car. All the other band students got to start their fundraising as soon as school started, but I didn't transfer to that particular school until January of my sophomore year. So, I got a later start. But I was determined to earn that week long trip to Canada Not only did I achieve the goal of $2,000.00, but I also raised an additional $400.00 to help out another student. And so my parents kept their word and bought me the "The Handle" camera!

Here's a short television commercial that came out the year "The Handle" went on sale.

I was disappointed in the camera after receiving it and should've just stuck to my 110. Even in sunny Phoenix, my photos never had bright brilliant color as Kodak claimed in their ads. In the bright sun, the photos would be washed out and too bright. Here's some sample of my favorite photos that I took in May of 1978 with "The Handle."

I chose to share some photos that had fairly good color quality for that time. To save space here, I have cropped out the border around the photos, except for the last one. It was nice to able to write underneath the pictures, but you had to have a special marker to do that!

I took this photo of the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver right before I got up the nerve to walk across it. I had to think about it for a long time, because I was afraid of heights and also you could see the bridge swaying. I realized it was a rare opportunity to see such natural beauty, so I cast aside my fears and walked across the bridge. I'm glad I did, because it was a truly magnificent experience.

This photo has a lot of color, but I was still disappointed in how dark it came out. It was taken on a sunny day at The Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia on Vancouver Island. These are three of my close friends back then doing a quick pose at a spot where they weren't supposed to be at. They were careful not to trample any tulips!

This is a harbour view of the Empress Hotel at Victoria. See what I mean about how "The Handle" couldn't handle the bright sun and would wash out the photo. Maybe that's how Kodak came up with the name! Imagine what the pictures taken in sunny Phoenix looked like. Let's just say, I wasted a lot of money on film for "The Handle."

Obviously from my writing on the above photo, this is one of many pictures that I took at the Parliament Buildings. This picture shows how "The Handle's" photographs look with their border.

Does it look familiar; like a Polaroid, perhaps? Yes? That's what Polaroid thought too and they
brought a patent-infringement lawsuit against Kodak, and eventually Kodak was forced to stop the manufacture of both the camera and film. My "The Handle" became worthless and was soon sold very cheap at a garage sale! I went back to using my 110 Instamatic camera for many years after that.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Momma don't take my Kodachrome away!

In 1973, Paul Simon sang: "I love to take a photograph/So mama don't take my Kodachrome away." His mother may have listened, but Kodachrome's maker will not: after 73 years, Eastman Kodak has announced it is withdrawing the film... (Click the title link for the full interesting article).

Kodachrome 1935-2009 R.I.P.

This is one of my all-time favorite songs of the '70s, because it reminds me of my youth. At the time, I was eleven years old and the song was a big hit. It was always playing it at the skating rink. That was about the same time, I had my first camera.

It was a 110 Kodak Pocket Instamatic camera. Flash cubes were necessary for low light or night pictures. Since it was an added expense and I had little money, many of my old photos are dark. I never really knew what Kodachrome meant, and now that it's gone I have just learned about it through this news article.

Despite the fact that I've always enjoyed photography, for me, Kodachrome was just a great song about photography that got a lot of air play as I was growing up...on AM radio though!

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Perfect Father's Day

Since I'm a Dad, I like Father's Day! I don't need gifts to have a happy Father's Day. To me, a perfect Father's Day is a day spent with my daughter watching a good baseball game--preferably a St. Louis Cardinals game at Busch Stadium. The next best thing is day at the ball park in Springfield watching the Springfield Sliders defeat the Danville Dans.

Here we are waiting for the game to start. It was a happy Father's Day! I'm not proud of this picture, as I realize it's not very flattering of either of us. At least she was smart enough to wear sunglasses! As you can see, I (in my official Sliders cap) am squinting and probably getting sun burned. It was much better once the sun went down. I can't believe she wore that shirt! Unfortunately this photo is from last year!

On this Father's Day my daughter had to work--one of those shifts that cuts into your afternoon and takes up your evening. She felt guilty, but I am proud of her for not asking for time off or calling in sick at a time when jobs are hard to find. Since she lives in another city, I got a phone call, text message and email all wishing me a Happy Father's Day. Just knowing that she was thinking of me was good enough for me.

And since I showed you the latest photo of us together (we don't like to have our picture taken), I thought I would also show you the first one of us together on the day she was born. I was barely twenty one years old. Yes, we have both changed a lot since that day!

My Aunt Pat emailed today to wish me a happy Father's Day and this photo was a nice surprise attached. She said it was her most recent picture of us together! My daughter was eight years old in this one and I was 29. Thanks, Aunt Pat! I'm only posting it to show some age progression...plus the other two aren't very flattering photos of us! I like this one!

Oh what the heck, here's another couple of pictures of my daughter in the last couple of years. These are among my favorites. The first one was a spur of the moment at work with my cell phone camera. The other is a close up to show off her spike in her chin. She doesn't wear that anymore...YAY!

Here's a great memory of me with my Dad. I was fifteen years old. It was 1978, when we lived in Phoenix. I have been thinking of Dad today. He passed away a few years ago. In February I wrote "Remembering Dad," if you want to read it.

And to all the Dads, step-Dads, and other guys that are like a Dad, I hope you all had a Happy Father's Day!

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

If I were Sheldon (on The Big Bang Theory)

It was just a few weeks ago, I wrote about somebody saying that I looked like Dave Matthews.

Well, now it seems like I have yet another look-a-like.

Last Wenesday I had to go to the DMV to renew my driver's license.

I had already been in there the previous Friday and was too late to take the written test, but I was allowed to go ahead and do the vision screening. Sandy--the nice lady working, said it would save me time for when I came back to take the written test. She hand wrote the vision screening results on my renewal letter.

So I went back last Wednesday and presented the letter and explained all of that . I did offer to take the vision screening again though, if there were any problem. Then I informed this different clerk that I arrived too late last Friday to take the written test. But that was okay, because I would rather study for it. I went on to explain that I couldn't return on Saturday, because I had to work and the DMV closed at noon.

I rambled on some more to let her know that I hated not having a valid drivers license, and that I had always had a valid license since I was sixteen years old. I also explained that because the DMV is closed Mondays, my license had expired and this was as soon as I could get here!" I had to find a ride to the DMV, and then I had walked quite a ways," I said. Then I told her I hoped I wouldn't be all sweaty and greasy faced in my picture! And finally I finished talking and told her I was just so glad to finally get this over with!

Well let me tell you...she started giggling so hard and bent over and was holding her stomach, as if she were in pain from laughing so much. Then she told me that I reminded her of Sheldon on "The Big Bang Theory." While trying to keep a straight face, she asked me if I ever watched it and I replied that I had not. She then said, "well he's the older one that is always trying to be perfect!"

My eyes must've bugged out of my head when she said that, because she said "not that you act like him, you just look like him. You remind me of him, and I love that show!" We chatted a little more and she just kept repeating herself, as if to correct something she felt bad about saying! By then, I knew I must have sounded like such a dork!

When I got home I was curious about the show and found that it came on Monday nights on CBS. I taped the show and Ron and I watched it for the first time the other night. Oh my God, it was hilarious! Sheldon talked so fast and in language only a scientist could understand. He never once smiled either, and I am always smiling! So I didn't see any resemblance, except for our hair. I sure didn't dress like this guy either. I still took it as a compliment though, because this guy is half my age! In case you've never watched this show, let me tell you about Sheldon.

Sheldon is a bonafide geek, and then some. Like his flatmate and fellow physicist Leonard, Sheldon possesses scientific intelligence in abundance, but when it comes to common sense, he certainly drew the short straw. As a rule, he doesn't really get sarcasm. In fact, quite often Leonard has to help him out with it.

Sheldon attended boarding school as a result of his work with lasers, and not, as Leonard incorrectly assumes, following a series of experiments that set out to prove that, "If the height of a single step is off by as much as two millimetres most people will trip". Yes, Sheldon really does know how to party.

If you thought Sheldon was all about the physics though you'd be wrong. He's an avid fan of Battlestar Gallactica and a MySpace devotee (he's got 212 friends and everything). What's more, Sheldon loves to play a bit of Klingon Boggle with his friends, but hey, who doesn't? (source) By the way, you can watch clips of this comedy on cbs.com and download full episodes from itunes.

You cubicle dwellers will love this! I am no Sheldon, but if I were him, I would make the following announcement:

A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. This new element has been tentatively named "Administratium." Administratium has 1 neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 111 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 199. These 199 particles are held together by a force called morons that are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Administratium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every contact. A minute amount of Administratium causes one reaction to take over 4 days to complete, when it would normally take less then a second.

Administratium has a normal half-life of 3 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization, in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and assistant deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Administratium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization causes some morons to become neutrons forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to speculate that Administratium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as "Critical Morass." Scientists paid little attention to Administratium for many years. They were well aware of its existence, but were surprised to find it to be the heaviest element yet discovered. How does one recognize Administratium? You will know it when you see it.

I once did some temp work for Norwest Mortgage and over a thousand people worked there. That place had it's share of these elements! I'm sure Sheldon would agree.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

I've learned...

I don't know who wrote these, but they were forwarded in email a few years ago and fit me to a Tee. Until I read it, I hadn't realized just how much I have learned!

I don't remember why I wrote them down. Maybe my inkjet printer was out of ink. Maybe I wrote them down so I wouldn't forget them as easily. I'm not sure. I do know this was something I wanted to keep and read again in the future.

Even if you've already read them before, maybe you'll agree that they are worth reading again. I shouldn't be so presumptuous, maybe you'll think it's the corniest thing you ever read. And if you have never read them, I hope something here will be meaningful to you.

By the way, I was inspired to post this after reading "What I Learned in School Today" at A Majority of Two (one of my favorite blogs). Thanks, Jo!

And what a coincidence that another one of my favorite bloggers, Monkey Muck used the theme "Things I Learned..." in his recent post! Be sure and check out these other bloggers and their writings.

I've learned
that you can do something in an instant
that will give you heartache for life.

I've learned
that it's taking me a long time
to become the person I want to be.

I've learned
that it's a lot easier
to react than to think.

I've learned
that you should always leave
loved ones with loving words.
It may be the last time you see them.

I've learned
that you can keep going
long after you think you can't.

I've learned
that we are responsible for what we do,
no matter how we feel.

I've learned
that either you control your attitude
or it controls you.

I've learned
that regardless of how hot and steamy
a relationship is at first,
the passion fades and there had better be
something else to takes its place.

I've learned
that you cannot make someone love you.
All you can do is
be someone who can be loved.
The rest is up to them.

I've learned
that no matter how much I care,
some people just don't care back.

I've learned
that it takes years to build up trust
and only seconds to destroy it.

I've learned
that it's not what you have in your life,
but who you have in your life that counts.

I've learned
that you can get by on charm
for about fifteen minutes.
After that, you better know something.

I've learned
that you shouldn't compare
yourself to the best others can do,
but to the best you can do.

I've learned
that it's not what happens to people
that's important.
It's what they do about it.

I've learned
that no matter how thin you slice it,
there are always two sides.

I've learned
that heroes are the people,
who do what has to be done
regardless of the consequences.

I've learned
that learning to forgive takes practice.

I've learned
that there are people who love you dearly,
but just don't know how to show it.

I've learned
that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I've learned
that my best friend and I can do anything
or nothing and have the best time.

I've learned
that sometimes the people you expect
to kick you when you're down
will be the ones to help you get back up.

I've learned
that sometimes, when I'm angry
I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I've learned
that true friendship continues to grow
even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I've learned
that just because someone
doesn't love you the way you want
them to doesn't mean they don't love you
with all they have.

I've learned that maturity has more to do with
what types of experiences you've had
and what you've learned from them,
and less to do with how many
birthdays you've celebrated.

What would you add to this list of things learned?

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Blowing In The Wind

Late this afternoon it kept getting darker and darker and then all hell broke loose with high winds and vertical rain. I just opened my back door and zoomed in on my bed of Hollyhocks as the wind blew them at times almost to the ground. There's a few Sunflowers in the lower left right that were bending down pretty far too. Click the photo for a larger view.

In town our Wendy's sign blew over, as did a bunch of trees and utility poles. No injuries to report. We survived another storm. It seems like we have a lot of stormy days this time of year. That's central Illinois for 'ya!

That empty trellis is the home of my Passion Flower Vines, which are only about six inches tall right now.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Modern Day Psycho Impersonates Mother

NY man charged with impersonating dead mother

By TOM HAYS – NEW YORK (AP) — Irene Prusik has been dead for six years. But in April, someone showed up at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Brooklyn to renew her driver's license.

The explanation given by prosecutors rivals the Hitchcock classic "Psycho": It was her son, in drag.

Thomas Parkin, 49, was charged Wednesday in the bizarre plot to impersonate his deceased mother so he could collect $117,000 in government benefits. He and the man accused of being his accomplice, Mhilton Rimolo, pleaded not guilty to grand larceny, criminal impersonation and other charges.
Looks like this Psycho will be spending a long time behind bars!

Click the title link to read the rest of the story.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Obama and the fly

Nobody is making you watch this video! Gross! At least he didn't eat it! I think he imagined that the fly was Rush Limbaugh. That's why he slapped the hell out of it! Or who do you think the fly represented?

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Food, Inc.* Will it play in Peoria?

Apparently not!

"Food, Inc." opened Friday in a handful of theaters, but is not showing in Peoria, or Springfield, or Jacksonville, and probably nowhere else in the heartland of America. For now, all we get to watch is the trailer. This trailer is one of several on YouTube.

The New York Times did a great review of the movie. Here is an excerpt:

Forget buckets of blood. Nothing says horror like one of those tubs of artificially buttered, non organic popcorn at the concession stand. That, at least, is one of the unappetizing lessons to draw from one of the scariest movies of the year, “Food, Inc.,” an informative, often infuriating activist documentary about the big business of feeding or, more to the political point, force-feeding, Americans all the junk that multinational corporate money can buy. You’ll shudder, shake and just possibly lose your genetically modified lunch...

I always love to read the comments at the end of online newspaper articles and found this one to be especially interesting:

Will this movie make it to Middle America?
My concern is that this documentary is not going to be shown outside the major coastal metropolitan areas like so many independent thought-provoking films. Is it even showing anywhere yet outside NYC? It is a subject, and a crisis, that the American public needs to be aware of but showing it in only a handful of theatres, to an affluent or university audience, is only preaching to the choir (and yes I put my zip in the location search and nothing popped up in my area). Finally, attacking those like "Jake" from Nebraska for defending their livelihood is in itself elitist and immature. This debate needs to include everyone that either consumes or produces food (i.e. all Americans), not just the affluent urbanites who can afford to exclusively buy organic and local (I buy it as much as my income allows). — Jim, Missouri

Is "Food, Inc." showing at a theater near you?

UPDATE: Aug. 14, 2009, according to a couple of the commenters, this movie is showing now unti September 10 in Peoria. See comments for details.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Traveling Obama head vandalized overnight - Springfield, IL - The State Journal-Register

Traveling Obama head vandalized overnight - Springfield, IL - The State Journal-Register

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A vandal spray-painted the number “420” on the cheek of a giant traveling head of President Barack Obama while it was parked in downtown Springfield...

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

How well do you handle stress?

According to an email I received, the pictures below are used to test the level of stress a person can handle.

The slower the pictures move, the better your ability of handling stress.

Allegedly, criminals that were tested see them spinning around madly; however, senior citizens and kids see them standing still.

None of these images are animated - they are perfectly still.

NOTE: This works better if you click each picture for a larger view.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

What big gay organizations said to Obama

In a group statement signed today by the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, and other big national organizations—organizations that are typically cautious and concerned about preserving their access—they come as close to "F**K YOU" as they're ever going to get.

Read the full LGBT Legal And Advocacy Groups Decry of the Obama Administration's Defense of DOMA here on SLOG as reported by Dan Savage.

And Dan finishes his article with the sentiments shared by many:

Barack Obama's record on gay rights so far: disturbing, unsound, false, discriminatory, damaging, nonsensical. Before today you could argue that the Obama administration was too busy with the economy and the war and health care to focus on making good on his campaign promises to gays and lesbians, that Obama simply didn't have the time to take up our issues. But you can't make that argument anymore. The Obama administration has the time to take up gay rights issues—but only, it seems, to do harm.

I can't take my vote back. And I'm not sure I would if I could. But I sure as hell would like to have my money back.

* COMMENTS PLEASE! * And please view the short video in the previous post! Was it all just a bunch of lies to get elected?

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That Was Then

FLASHBACK: Obama campaigned on pro-equality agenda, elected after supporting civil rights for GLBT Americans.

This a repost by Dan Savage over at SLOG.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My friends on cover of local magazine

Congratulations to my neighbors and friends Scott & Joel for making the cover and feature story in the June issue of Out & About Illinois. They are my neighbors at work, since our shop is located in a mostly residential area. Scott and Joel are two of the nicest guys you will ever meet. Like so many others, I am very proud of them for all of their accomplishments.

In April Scott become the first openly gay elected offical in Jacksonville. He now serves as Ward 1 Alderman. Scott was the only political candidate in Illinois to receive a national endorsement from the Victory Fund, a national political action committee dedicated to electing openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) people to public office. Congratulations, Scott!

Both Scott and Joel are well respected in Jacksonville, and each has an abundance of accomplishments and contributions to the area. All of that and more are mentioned in Dave Barker's feature article.

Scott and Joel will celebrate four years together on July 1, 2009. I was happy to receive a wedding announcement yesterday; they are heading to Iowa to be officially married on their anniversary. A wedding celebration will later be held at Congregational Church of Christ in Jacksonville, where they are both members and Joel is the Director of Music and a musician.

The free magazine is now available all over central Illinois. At this link you will find a list of pick up locations, including four places in Jacksonville. Be sure and explore the entire page. It is full of links, including a free PDF version of this issue and previous issues.

A special thanks goes out to Dave Barker, editor and publisher of Out & About Illinois for putting Jacksonville on the map cover! Thank you, Dave! I know that I speak for many, when I say we appreciate all you do for the LGBT community.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My Look-a-Like

Part of my weekend birthday celebration included an outing at Harrah's Casino in St. Louis. And I came out money ahead!

Anyway, I was waiting in a line to cash in some chips after doubling my money playing Three Card Poker.

People in line to cash in chips are always friendly. This one guy kept talking to me a lot and I was starting to feel a little uncomfortable. I knew he was leading up to something, then he finally said it. He told me I looked just like Dave Matthews!

I searched for some pics of Dave and he is like a chameleon--he looks different in all his photos. I did find this photo and I do see a resemblance. Sorry I don't have one of me to place beside Dave's for comparison.

It's hard to believe I would look so much like anyone, since I have the high forehead! I couldn't impersonate or tell people that I am Dave Matthews though, because he is much taller than me!

I took it as a compliment. It's better than the last time someone told me something like that. It was once when I needed a haircut and I had my hair parted on the side and a lady told me I looked like Pee Wee Herman! Needless to say, I won't part my hair anymore.

Those incidents made me think of a website I noticed late one night. At this My Heritage page you can upload a photo, and it will use face recognition technology to match you up with a celebrity! It's not perfect, but is something fun to do on a rainy day.

I haven't tried it yet with my own photos, but I did play around with photos of other people. My daughter was surprised to see it match a photo of her to one of Britney Spears. My friend Brad didn't mind being matched up to Ricky Martin either! A photo of my grandson at age 5, matched up with a photo of Josh Hartnett. That one was like age projection, which was neat to see. Try it out sometime. It's free!

They say everyone has a look-a-like, so who is yours?

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Monday, June 8, 2009

You're Invited to my Birthday Party...click on over here!

The party will keep going on, so it doesn't matter, if you're late. Please, no gifts! Your presence is the only presents that I want! Actually, that is not true. I wanted abs (almost got them) for my birthday, or rather by my birthday. I guess the only six pack I will have is a six pack of Bud Light!

Ok, I'will take a comment, and if you're not a follower yet, I would love to have you as a follower. But nothing is required. For now just have a good time and celebrate my 47th birthday with me!

Glad you could make it! The pool is open and the drinks are flowing! The band is playing, and in between we're listening to some weird music chosen by yours truly. It's open bar too, so what's your pleasure?

This Beatles birthday song is the second 45 that I ever bought, probably around the age of ten! I hope you enjoy it. The video is cute too.

It's not just my birthday. It's also my blogger buddy Kenneth in the (212)'s birthday. If you get a chance, go over and tell him Happy Birthday and that John Abuzz sent you!

I'm also more than happy to share my birthday with the one and only Joan Rivers! Happy Birthday, Kenneth, Joan, and everyone else born on this day. The Beatles song is for you all.

This last video is playing the #1 song from the Spring of 1962; the year I was born. That thing in the video is called a record player. I'm so old; I used to own one!

In case you haven't guessed it by now, my birth name is Johnny. This song had something to do with it.

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Stop the Torture!

It's not just waterboarding that has been used to torture prisoners. Question: What do the tunes of Eminem, Aerosmith, Tupac Shakur and Meat Loaf have in common? Answer: they have all been used to torture people.

This is just another "enhanced interrogation technique" that the former Cheney in Charge found useful. "Torture by music" has also been used before (remember Waco). Many people detained in the war on terror describe having music blasted at them 24 hours a day at great volume. They have even identified the songs. If you ask what the tunes of Aerosmith, Eminem, Don McLean, Bruce Springsteen, Tupac Shakur and Meat Loaf have in common with the theme tunes of the American children's television show Barney, there is only one answer: all have been used to torture people. (source)

I have a suggestion to update the torture music playlist. If you're lucky, you have not been tortured yourself by the commercial for "the cookie diet." First of all, the name of the diet does not even make sense. The commercial goes something like this: "Smart For Life - Eat Cookies. Lose Weight. It's That Simple™. Start the Smart for Life program when you order our ...blah blah blah."

Then the real torture begins. A bunch of bad actors start singing a little jingle that goes something like this, "Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar, I stole the cookie from the cookie jar!" Then more commercial, then the jingle gets repeated, and this goes on for what seems like eternity. I guess the purpose of a jingle is to make you remember it and it gets stuck in your head. It is one of the most annoying things ever on television!

If you have a spouse that feels the need to sing this little jingle every time they eat a cookie, do what I did. Tell him or her to stop it! The torture must end! It's bad enough hearing that all the time on tv! And plus, an Oreo doesn't count as part of the cookie diet!

Sine I realize that most of you probably don't watch as much tv as me, I did a quick google search for a version of the commercial. Not wanting to spend a lot of time at it, I settled on the YouTube video about "Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar" that is actually fun to watch! The kids are adorable and better actors than the ones in the commercial.

This video is worth watching! They do not sing. It is a little skit!

Here is some information about this video as written by the kindergarten teacher (Elbadasso on YouTube) that made it.

First things first: if you know anyone in Korea could you forward the link to them? I'd love if it ended up in the inboxes of the kids from the video.

As for the kids, when I was in Korea, I taught kindergarten. These are the kids I taught in the peter rabbit class. Oh, and before any one asks, Sherry (the queen) is saying "kiss my hand" not "kiss my ass." Her pronunciation is just a little strained. Also, the guy eating the cookie, in case you haven't guessed, is me (El badasso on YouTube). Though I'm a lot less blond now. The kids liked that. Blond hair in korea is like being a movie star or something.

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MC Hammer Pants "Can't Touch This" Style Comeback

No, no, no! Just because something is seen on runways does not mean that it is the next big fashion trend (thank God). It doesn't matter that Fergie was photographed wearing the Harem pants. Ladies, please!

And Hammer pants for men? I hope not. As Valerie Cherish would say, "I don't need to see that!"

Ok, I will admit that I used to own a pair of these black Hammer pants back in the day. I was young and dumb. But I wouldn't dare leave the house in them! It was in the early eighties and lots of my friends had them. I thought I might wear mine out to a club some time, but I never did.

They were very comfortable lounge wear, and that is all! Hmmm, I wonder if I still have my vintage pair of Hammer pants. My daughter probably found them a few years later and burned them to save herself from possible embarrassment. Can you imagine being seen with your Dad wearing a pair of those?

Click the title link for the ABC news story and runway show video.

What do you think? Hammer pants, hot or not?

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Studying for a Test

There's not much blogging activity going on for me as I study for my driver's exam.

I didn't read all the fine print on the letter that I received. I thought that I would just be getting a vision screening, and I was already worried about my eyesight.
I passed the vision test, but I didn't want to take a chance on the written exam without studying first. Plus they told me I arrived too close to closing time to take the written test, even if I wanted. Fine with me! I'd rather study for it before taking the exam.

I know it's mostly all common sense questions, but I didn't want to take a chance! A friend of mine once did that and she flunked the test. She was mortified! I would be too.

My local DMV is only open from 8:00 a.m to noon today and is closed on Monday. My license expires Monday. I'm obviously not worried about it at this point. If nothing else, I can drive over to Springfield on Monday and take the test there.
Hopefully I will study over coffee and get this over with today. It has stressed me out enough already!

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy Pride Month!

The first part of this Post is not my original content, and is being reposted from Kelly's blog.

We have come along way,
but still have a long way to go.
Thanks to all those who have paved the way,
Some even gave their lives...
Keep their fight alive...
We won't forget!!

It's June and that means it is PRIDE MONTH and it's Kelly's annual Pride Challenge. This year is a very important year as it is the 40th anniversary of the The Stonewall Riots and what is considered the beginning of the Gay Rights Movement in the US.

Over the last several years, the most posts of the Pride Challenge picture in a month were 107... and that was with the "All American Gayborhood" picture above... so I am making it my challenge photo again this year, as I think it is more important this year than ever (and I want to break a record if not double it this year).

With more states recognizing gay marriage and more on the way, I think this picture (and idea) is important to show that WE are Americans and WE need to be treated equal. WE need to show middle America that WE have already blended in with them and that WE are everywhere.

WE are people who love. WE are people who care. WE are people who pay taxes. WE are people who believe in God (or a Deity or not). WE fight for our country. WE die for our country. WE are white. We are black. We are Latino. We are all different. The main thing is, WE all love someone (or want to). WE want to share a life with someone special. Does it really matter if it is someone of the same sex, race or religion? It shouldn't.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE...pass this around with the idea that we all need to love each other. Who cares what sex you are. Love is a great thing. We should all have the opportunity and good fortune to find someone who we care for as much as they care for us.


Kelly is going to keep this post at the top of his blog all month long. He wants as many people around the world to post the picture above and let him know about it.

If you post it, he will link that post here on his blog, no matter if it is a Facebook, MySpace or any other kind of post, let him know. If there is a link, he will update it on his blog, ramblingalong.com

(Note: Before exploring Kelly's blog, please be aware of possible adult content- NSFW. ~John)

Click the following link for the official proclamation.

And now a word from our President!


Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release June 1, 2009


- - - - - - -



Forty years ago, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police harassment that had become all too common for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Out of this resistance, the LGBT rights movement in America was born. During LGBT Pride Month, we commemorate the events of June 1969 and commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBT Americans.

LGBT Americans have made, and continue to make, great and lasting contributions that continue to strengthen the fabric of American society. There are many well-respected LGBT leaders in all professional fields, including the arts and business communities. LGBT Americans also mobilized the Nation to respond to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic and have played a vital role in broadening this country's response to the HIV pandemic.

Due in no small part to the determination and dedication of the LGBT rights movement, more LGBT Americans are living their lives openly today than ever before. I am proud to be the first President to appoint openly LGBT candidates to Senate-confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration. These individuals embody the best qualities we seek in public servants, and across my Administration -- in both the White House and the Federal agencies -- openly LGBT employees are doing their jobs with distinction and professionalism.

The LGBT rights movement has achieved great progress, but there is more work to be done. LGBT youth should feel safe to learn without the fear of harassment, and LGBT families and seniors should be allowed to live their lives with dignity and respect.

My Administration has partnered with the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives. At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security. We must also commit ourselves to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both reducing the number of HIV infections and providing care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States.

These issues affect not only the LGBT community, but also our entire Nation. As long as the promise of equality for all remains unfulfilled, all Americans are affected. If we can work together to advance the principles upon which our Nation was founded, every American will benefit. During LGBT Pride Month, I call upon the LGBT community, the Congress, and the American people to work together to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.
And on another note! The comments in this color are by me on June 3, 2009. ~John
June 2, 2009
The Baptist Press has issued it's hateful statement: "Evangelicals frustrated by Obama's 'Gay Pride' decree." I say get over it! ~John
President Clinton was the last president to issue such a proclamation, first doing so in 1999 and then in 2000 before he left office. President Obama's 572-word proclamation calls for ending the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy -- which was put in place under Clinton -- and also includes the phrase "transgender" for a first time. And your point is? ~John
President George W. Bush never issued a proclamation commemorating Gay Pride Month. Clinton's proclamations differed from Obama's in calling June "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month," leaving out "bisexual" and "transgender." That's because President Bush was a homophobic bigot, and your point is? ~John
I'm not going to waste any more of my time picking apart the entire Baptist Press article. It is worth checking out, just to know what we're up against and read their poor little "frustration." --John
One last thing! Personally, I do agree with The Windy City Times, who give a gay thumbs down on the Presidential Proclamation. I hope you have a chance to read their article and see what I mean. In a nutshell, the President has not done enough.
President Obama has disappointed the LGBT community. He could--if he wanted to, use his bully pulpit to get things done! Now is the time for President Obama to help make some changes at the federal level and give us all equal rights and protection under the law. ~John
What do you think? Do you even care?

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