Friday, August 3, 2007

Moving Sale

Almost sounds like a furniture store advertisement...

Moving Sale - Everything Must Go! - No Good Offer Refused!

Actually, I've picked everything up from here and shuffled it to a new location.

So, please update your bookmarks, we're now at:

Though Lovers Be Lost (WordPress)

Yes, the same old curmudgeon is inhabiting the space over there too and of course it's fabulously decorated as well!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Taking a break

Having a break from the on-line world for a bit.

If you have a moment today, make sure you read Denny Upkins latest column on Best Gay Blogs.

E-mail is down at our ISP - AGAIN!! (Maybe they have figured out that moving their mail servers to MSN was not such a good idea?) So, if I'm slow in getting back to you that's why. I'm hoping that after two days they may actually manage to get e-mail up and running again before the weekend gets here, or I'm really going to get behind.

So, for the next while (I'm not giving myself any fixed timeframe), I'm going to get caught up on reading, get caught up with friends, get caught up with my writing, putter around in the garden, and basically when I'm not doing that, going to put my feet up, have a drink, watch the boobtube and do sweet bugger all.

And when I have something of interest to say, I'll be back.

Be good to each other.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

#200 - Things I Love

My gratitude to Euphoric at Real Euphoria and Bostonpobble at Pobble Thoughts for inspiring this post. I may post a link to this in the sidebar, as I have the distinct impression that this will be added to frequently over the coming months.

So, as promised, here are some of the things that I love...

* Having a good laugh. It has often been said that laughter is the best medicine, and there must be some truth to that statement, because after having a rotten day, a good laugh always makes the world seem brighter, especially when you share it with someone you love.

* Unexpected notes. You walk through the door of your office, and it is sheer pandemonium. You are running from meeting to meeting, place to place, and putting out fires left, right, and centre. You go digging in your bag or briefcase looking for your glasses or a pen, and you find this small envelope. Written on the front is the following "In case of a pandemonium outbreak, open immediately", so you open the envelope, and inside is a card from your mate (you recognize the handwriting) that says, "I love you." Makes all the pandemonium seem insignificant, doesn't it. Your mate is rummaging through his dresser drawer looking for the perfect pair of socks to go with that day's outfit, and finds a note from you that says, "I love ya, ya nut!"

* Flowers for no reason. One day I had been in a staff meeting, and I had one nerve left, and everybody on staff was irritating it immensely. Walking back to my desk, I was met by our receptionist carrying a huge bouquet. "These are for you!" she said. Had to pick my jaw up off the floor. She placed them on my desk and handed me the envelope that came with them. The card read "Just because, All my love, X." Couldn't wait to get home that night :-)

* Getting caught in the rain. I know it sounds like a line from a song, but, one day while out shopping, we got soaked to the skin in a sudden downpour. We got home, and once through the door, dropped the groceries in the kitchen and were stripping off our clothes on the way to the shower. Get in the shower and start warming up, he said, I'll join you in a minute. We were both freezing cold and the water was hot, and we enjoyed that hot water so much. Upon exiting the shower, he said, wait here, be right back. He arrived with underwear just out of the dryer, warm and toasty and it felt so good.

* A night just for two. You arrive home from work, and discover music playing softly, candles on the table, dinner ready to be served, and your mate wearing nothing but a smile and an artfully placed bow and ribbon. It doesn't have to be a special occasion, just a night planned for the two of you.

* Pets. I remember them all... from Boots, the border collie who was jet black with white paws who thought he was human, to Dusty, who would get so excited to see you when you came home that he would wag his tail so hard he would start to sway and eventually tip over... to Snoopy, the cat who thought he was a dog, who loved car rides and would crawl under the covers during the night and sleep with me in bed, with his head on the other pillow, to the two cats now, for who I am their staff person, Thomas and Heidi. The one place you can always count on unconditional love is from your pets. Remember, dogs have owners, cats have staff :-)

* Letting someone in completely. We all have various barriers, walls, barbed wire fences that we have erected around our real selves to protect us from the world. It is that rare occasion when you have a mate that you can tear down those walls and lay your soul bare for each other and connect at a whole new, deeper level.

* Communication. Those times when you and your mate sit up and talk all night long until the sun rises and yet you are not tired, you are energized. No topic is taboo, you can openly share your feelings and emotions and thoughts with each other. It is not waiting until you hear "we need to talk," but being able to say what is on your mind the minute it occurs and knowing that you will be truly listened to without judgment... those times when the rest of the world ceases to exist and you are just being with each other.

* Having a lazy weekend. Whoever is up first gathers the newspapers and puts the coffee on, and you and your mate spend the morning in bed reading the papers, having a coffee, and enjoying each other's company.

* Reading to someone or being read to. Some of my treasured memories are reading a favourite book, story, or poem to that special someone, or having them do the same. Laying on the chesterfield together, and listening to the sound of their voice and taking in the story.

* Being able to share and express your emotions. One of you has just received bad news, or had a horrendous day, and when you need a safe place, there are the open arms of your mate, and a shoulder to cry it all out on. It reminds me of something Dr. Leo Buscaglia said in one of his lectures, "you hold me while I cry, and I'll hold you while you cry, and together, we will make it through."

* Being affectionate. While some are so horrified by public displays of affection, for me, it is one of those "awww" moments. If you have been reading for a while, you will recall the time I was coming home from downtown and saw two young men holding hands and looking into each other's eyes, and just so totally into each other in that moment, the rest of the world ceased to exist... and nobody cared, other than a few of us who caught each other's eyes and smiled broadly.

* Tenderness. Those times when you least expect it, you are out for a night at the symphony, or the theatre, or a movie... you are both engrossed in the action in front of you, when suddenly a hand slips into yours and gives it a gentle squeeze. You couldn't sleep, and rather than disturb your mate, you cautiously slip out of bed so as not to disturb them, and you tiptoe into the other room and are looking out the window, when a hand suddenly rests on your shoulder, and a gentle kiss on the back of your neck, and two arms suddenly wrap around you, and the two of you look out the window at the world passing by.

* Togetherness. In the middle of winter, you are woken by the slightest kiss and there's your mate smiling broadly. Not going anywhere today he says, and points at the window, where you can hear the wind howling and see the snow blowing ... a good day to stay in bed. And you smell hot chocolate, and find a steaming mug of it on your bedside table, and the two of you snuggle together under the covers, drinking your hot chocolate and watching the snow blowing past your window.

* Being goofy. It's one of those moments when you inadvertently crack each other up. It could be that your glasses have slid down your nose, and your mate calls out to you and you look up and he starts to giggle and it turns into a full-blown laugh attack. Well, the two of you end up laughing yourselves silly for no apparent reason other than it was a good time to just be a bit goofy. Or you're out for a walk, and one of you stumbles on a crack in the sidewalk, and you end up skipping along instead. It's just one of those times when you get a case of silliness and you just go with the flow.

* Children's laughter. Is there any happier sound on the face of the planet than a youngster having a big giggle? You may remember that video called Quad Squad, with the quadruplets all having the giggles at the same time. Just try and keep a straight face when an infant or a young child gets a case of the giggles, it's impossible.

* The smell of baking. For years there was a little Scottish bakery in Weston who were famous for their meat pies. People would drive for an hour just to go there to buy a couple of boxes of them. They would get up in the middle of the night to start baking, as they were all made by hand, not some machined mass-produced product. Some days they would sell out before it got to mid-day, and they would be in the back working furiously to make more. I swear people were lured in by the smell that would waft out onto the street every time the door of the shop opened and closed. When the last of that family died, the shop closed, and what a shame. It is so rare these days to find things that are still made by hand that you can smell the minute you walk in. When it is a dark, dreary, damp day, I loved to get into the kitchen and bake something... a pie, cookies, bread... always seems to brighten up the day.

* Talking without speaking. One of those times when you and your mate are so in tune that you can communicate volumes with a look, a touch, a kiss, or just cuddling up together on the chesterfield and watching television, listening to music, or enjoying the silence, with the only sound being each other's slow and steady breathing.

* Contact. The times when you are together, sitting together, talking together, lying in bed together. But you are touching or in contact with more than one square inch of yourselves. When you crawl into a freshly made bed, and wrap yourselves up in each other, fresh from the shower, you bury your nose in your mate's hair and inhale, enjoying their freshly-washed smell.

* Spontaneity. Your favourite song comes on the radio, and you take your mate by the hand, and you dance around the room together. You're out walking around on your lunch break, and you see some little thing and think to yourself, oh, X would love one of those, and you pick it up and take it home just to see the look on their face. It doesn't have to be some huge thing, maybe they get cravings for some candy or some other little thing, and just for a surprise you pick up some on your break and take it home. It's not something that occurs regularly, it is one of those spur of the moment things and it's worth it just to see the look on their face when you hand it to them.

* Massages. Find me a man who is skilled at giving a foot rub or neck rub, and I'll melt in his hands :-) And yes, returning the favour is half the fun.

* Watching your mate sleep. Not that creepy stalker kind of thing, but you wake up first, and without moving you lay there watching your mate, noticing how peaceful he looks, how contented, and you remember why you fell in love with him all over again.

* Heroes. Not the over-used, over-rated type of media hype over athletes or some such thing. Those ordinary folks who saw a need and stepped in to fulfill that need or satisfy that desire. Like Terry Fox, who launched the Marathon of Hope to find a cure for cancer. He was taken way too soon, but look at the legacy that he left in his wake, a global effort, the annual Terry Fox run, that has raised millions of dollars for cancer research. Rick Hansen and his Man In Motion tour for spinal cord research. June Callwood who founded one of the first AIDS hospices in North America, Casey House, named for her son who was killed by a car on his way back to university. Bluma Appel, who founded CANFAR, the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research. Judy Shepard, whose son was horribly taken from her, and has worked tirelessly ever since to make the world a safer place for all young people. Those are the true heroes of our generation.

* Random acts of kindness. Everything from holding a door for someone, giving up your seat on the train or bus for someone who needs to sit down, having a few extra pennies and paying for the coffee for the person behind you in line, saying thank you to a harried store clerk and giving them a broad smile and meaning it sincerely. Those little things that can make the day of someone else. Those communities who rally around someone when there has been a tragedy that has occurred, like a fire has destroyed someone's home, and the community rallies around them and provides them with clothing and food and a roof over their heads. Those businesses that step up to the plate when a need has been identified and simply fulfill it without any fanfare.

* Hugs and kisses. Not that a-frame style hug where you barely touch, but the kind where every inch of you that can come into contact with your mate does. Not that quick brush on the cheek or that really dippy air kiss... but the kind where you just about swoon from the passion behind that kiss. Some seem to think that being gay means you have sex on the brain, or you are in the mood 24 hours a day. No, nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, you can be passionate, intimate, and so forth, but there are days when you just long for a touch, a hug, a kiss, to remind you that you do exist, that someone knows you are here on the planet, and that you do make a difference in someone else's life.

* Sleeping with your mate. No matter your preference, whether you are in your pyjamas, or naked as the day you were born, there's nothing better than waking up and realizing that someone is snuggled up next to you.

* People who inspire me. This includes all of you who are reading this list. I love the conversations I have had with you. For example, I will send a quick note to Cooper about something he has written, and I get a reply which inspires me to write something here about what thoughts he has inspired in me. Or Euphoric, who will inspire me to send him a line or two about something and we end up bouncing things back and forth between our two blogs about topics we have inspired each other with. Or Bostonpobble, who when I next visit Boston, she and I are definitely going to see the Boston Pops together. And if I wrote something about each and every one of you, this could run for a hundred pages. There is a part of each of you that I take with me on my daily journeys, something you have written or said, or inspired me to think about. And to each and every one of you I thank you for the inspiration.

* Sharing a sunrise or sunset. Is there not anything better than sitting with your mate, holding hands, and watching the colours of the sky shifting slowly as the sun sets in the west? Or being up early in the morning, and sharing the time, silently, together, and watching the sun rise.

This list will continue to grow as time passes, as I am sure that other things will occur to me after this post is published. And if I've missed anything on this list, send me a reminder, or your suggestions.

Shhh! Be vewwy vewwy quiet

I've noticed all day yesterday and today there's a kind of hush that has fallen over the city, the only sound being that of pages being turned.

I had to laugh to myself tonight, when almost every news broadcast was covering some angle on the story about what will the children do now that the series has come to an end. I have a suggestion... buy them more books to read! Hells bells, there are millions of books out there, now that they have worked their way through all seven of this series, buy them something else!

Listen folks, get your kids hooked on reading, and they will continue to be in search of more information and knowledge to expand their minds with throughout their entire lives. They'll also learn that there is more to life than the next video game or social networking site on the computer.

Technology is grand, but nothing beats getting lost in a good book.

And would you believe that some reports said that grief counselors and assistance hotlines are standing by to assist them in dealing with the end of the series of books. They have to be kidding, right? Nope, they were deadly serious. Are we raising a generation that is that desperate to be mollycoddled?

Even now, I have a list of books I want to read, and every time I knock 5 or 10 off the list, there are always another 10 or 20 waiting to be added. (And before you ask, there are currently just shy of 300 books on that list.)

And for the adults who got hooked on the series of 7 books... look for books by Guy Gavriel Kay and Mercedes Lackey. Trust me, you'll be hooked from the first page onward.

Remember the old commercials for RIF, Reading Is Fundamental? Raise a reader, they'll love you for it! And isn't it fun when you and your kids are interested in the same books?

Doctors and penmanship

Here is the link to a recent article in The Globe and Mail regarding a campaign to erase bad handwriting amongst doctors by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

It has been the longstanding joke that nobody writes worse than a medical doctor. The problem that keeps cropping up is regarding errors in medication orders and prescriptions due to horrendous penmanship.

If you check The Fountain Pen Network, you will find a section of that forum dedicated to penmanship. One of the many authors in that section is Kate Gladstone who has her own website for her business Kate Gladstone's Handwriting Repair. Many of Ms. Gladstone's clients are doctors who have been sent for improvements to be made in their penmanship. There are many links and resources on her site, such as Barbara Getty and Inga Dubay's series called Write Now (you can find them on Amazon).

One of my favourite books is F. W. Tamblyn's Home Instructor in Penmanship. I have been re-reading it, and working with some of the exercises to improve some bad habits I have developed over the years. (and yes, I know I promised to post a scan of a page of my cursive notes for a post.)

It it sad that penmanship is no longer taught in public schools these days, preferring to focus more on keyboarding skills. I wonder, what will these students do when they are confronted with having to sign a contract, write out or endorse a cheque, etc. A recent survey done by a few Toronto media outlets found that many university and college students were unable to write their name in cursive (also known as italic script), and could not perform the task of writing out the following sentence:

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
(those of you who are my age or older will remember that as a touch-typing drill with old manual Olivetti typewriters in typing class in high school.)

The students could manage a block caps scrawl, but could not actually "write" anything.

No wonder some university professors tear out their hair trying to decipher some of their student's handwriting on tests or exams. In some schools, computers are the norm, otherwise teachers would be unable to read submitted assignments, and students complain it takes too long to write something out in longhand. Huh?

If we allow this skill to die off, it will be one more place where European students will be eating the lunch of North American students. In Europe, students are taught penmanship in school, and in many countries, students still use fountain pens, either dip pens or cartridge fill, much as we used to do here.

If the schools are no longer going to teach handwriting or penmanship skills, it will be left up to the parents, or, outside tutoring services to handle this. There are plenty of books out there to use as reference materials to teach your children (or refresh your own skills).

And I would highly recommend the Lamy Safari series of writing instruments. They are extremely reasonably priced, are made from plastic, and have a molded grip that makes it very easy to teach yourself the proper grip for holding your pen. (remember, if you fingers have gone white, you have a death grip on the pen, and it does not make it easy for good penmanship.) The Lamy Safari series has a mechanical pencil, ballpoint pen, rollerball, and fountain pen. I have given them as gifts to friends who are rekindling their interest in penmanship (or cursive handwriting), or are teaching their children penmanship at home.

And if we lose this skill, who will be left to learn the art of calligraphy?

Electronic isn't always the solution.

And besides, is there anything that is more of a thrill than receiving a beautifully crafted, handwritten letter in the mail from a friend, that you can take and read while enjoying a cup of coffee. Yes, e-mail is faster, but you can't store it in a box, and go back and read it years later to recall the time of your life when you received that note or card or letter.

Fountain pens and fine writing instruments seem to be making a huge comeback judging from the number of manufacturers and the turnout at pen shows in various cities throughout North America during the year.

Add to that many fine stationers who offer many selections of notebooks, journals, calendars, and personalized stationery (by the way, my all-time favourite stationer in Toronto is Laywine's and I love shopping at the Montblanc Boutique on Bloor Street in Toronto... they both know how to deliver the highest possible levels of customer service and delight). Check them out... there is everything from my favourite Moleskine notebooks and journals to Rhodia pads. And check out blogs that discuss these products, moleskinerie (one of my daily reads) and Rhodia Drive.

It's always nice to find some quiet time to sit down and write your thoughts, write a letter, send a card, or write a love note to that special someone. Oh, and those love notes will last a lifetime :-)


I can be a real creature of habit or routine some days.

Saturday morning, I look forward to putting the coffee on, gathering the Saturday newspapers from outside the door, and settling in for a read until, like today, it's time to go frolicking about in the sunshine and doing some shopping.

This morning only half the papers arrived. Geeze! It means calling the newspaper to report no delivery, and where you used to get a real person, you now get an interactive voice response unit with voice recognition programming. One problem, none of them understand ENGLISH. Geeze! I don't wanna machine, I wanna carbon-based life form to speak to! (should I hold my breath and stamp my feet?)

So, the machine says another paper will be delivered in 90 minutes. Two hours later, no paper has arrived, and we cannot wait any longer, there is some serious errand running to do, plus a bit of skipping and frolicking :-)

And, the problem is, it's my favourite paper, The Globe and Mail, that went missing. You can always tell when our regular carrier is on vacation, as you're lucky if it gets delivered two days in a row. And, if you don't get to the stores in this end of the city before 11:00 a.m. they are all sold out.

So, I'll sit with my computer and try to get caught up, but it just isn't the same as having my Globe and Mail in my hands to enjoy. By the time I've finished reading it from front to back, you will find little post-it flags for articles I want to do more research on, or things to cut out and save, or items I want to post about online here with you.

Oh, and on another note in the same vein... how is it that the Sunday New York Times that is sold here in Toronto, is only about one-quarter the size of what you get when you buy it in New York? Whenever I have been in Manhattan over a weekend, I loved to get the Sunday New York Times, as it was a whole day adventure to get through it from cover to cover. That anemic anorexic thing that they peddle up here in Toronto looks pretty sad in comparison. If I'm going to pay $8 for the paper, I want that same one that you need two people to carry!

Oh well, at least all the errands are done :-)

Time flies

While busily sorting through various and sundry piles of paper on my desk, I found a reminder to post something I have been working on today. So, later today, I will post something special, its beginning inspired by others (bostonpobble, Euphoric), and it will just happen to be the 200th post here (don't get excited this is only #197).

And this blog is three months old today. Hmm... what have we discovered in three months?

Well, we know that there is only one politician on the face of the planet who I absolutely adore, and that is Mayor Hazel McCallion of the city of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Who else do you know that can run a city with a balanced budget since the day of incorporation, can keep savings in reserves for those rainy day issues, and is regularly re-elected with at least 95% of the vote. Why do the residents of the city love her so? Because she's just one of the folks, who knows how to run the place well.

What else have we discovered...hmm... well, if I can pump out 200 posts in three months, I must either be really opinionated or really gabby!

Oh yes, some days I can be a fount of useless information.

My cats are the only grandchildren Mom is going to get :-)

Yes, along with a filthy laugh I do have a filthy mind :-) (right Christopher, Jules, D-man?)

I have met some truly fabulous people through this blog... I even have my vacation planned for next year, off to visit a fabulous couple for two weeks (just don't forget the maid outfit...giggle)

If I had my way and the resources to do it, I'd take two months off and do nothing but travel and have a visit with fellow bloggers, share a few laughs, have a coffee, shoot the breeze...

And sometimes as much as I loudly proclaim no, there's always that part that is disappointed to wake up solo in the morning.

I can be long-winded (who knew?)

I am opinionated (that's a surprise?)

I have no use for hypocrites, hypotwits, and other associated self-important, overblown, red-faced, yahoos who should just be sent somewhere where they can do the least harm.

I am a comment whore, I love it when posts get lots of comments (on topic of course)

Okay, this is going to be short, but sweet today... have a lot of errands to run, and I just want to polish up post 200 a bit more before it gets published.

I'm off to frolic and shop in the sunshine (after three days of rain that we really needed).

Friday, July 20, 2007

On the same wavelength

It seems to me that all of my favourite daily blog reads have all been humming along on the same wavelength this week.

Just in case you missed it in your RSS reader today (because you all keep track of your favourite gay bloggers, right?), have a look at the new post at Spirit of Saint Lewis, "Do You Ever Get Tired?"

Definitely worth the read!

And adding to the list is Euphoric at Real Euphoria with a post on "Manners"... another worthwhile read.

Interesting that I have seen, at last count, 30 blogs who have touched on this topic recently. Just maybe this is becoming enough of a problem that we're all starting to discuss it?


And remember, next time you are about to bark at somebody, try SMILING instead!

A few notes from me

A few notes this evening...

I am going to make an unreasonable request of my readers... when posting a comment, I would really appreciate it if you were topical, taking into consideration the tone of the essay published that you are adding your commentary to. You know, as I have said previously, I admit it freely, I love nothing more than getting a big batch of comments on an essay I have posted. Listen folks, I can be surprisingly blue (I could make a biker blush some days), but when writing a rant or opinion essay, if I have not written it out in longhand previously, I will store the draft for a few hours before coming back and re-reading it and editing out the more brisk language. The English language contains hundreds of thousands of words (after all, there are 22 volumes in the complete Oxford English Dictionary), so there are always many alternate ways to express my opinions and thoughts without resorting to using four-letter expletives ten times in a sentence, unless I deem it necessary to really drive home the point I am making. I am far from prudish folks, and while that blog-rating tool that has been making the rounds amongst many of my daily blog reads rated this blog as NC-17, let's not take it to an X rating, eh?

Some things are written in jest, and there is some good-natured teasing amongst fellow bloggers in some of our light-hearted humourous posts. But, my request is to please consider the global audience that blogs have these days, and let's do our best to reserve commentary on our prowess or those of other people in our lives, and I'll be sure to double-check my essays as well. If the comment does not fit well with the essay, reconsider it. While I write from my own gay perspective, many topics are universal in nature, and if people want to read items on the topic of gay sex, there are many and varied sites out there that discuss it exclusively. It is not my intent to be one of those blogs. There are bound to be times that I will venture into that area in an essay, but I will warn you up front that the post is not suitable for work environments.

My e-mail is on my profile page, you are always welcome to say anything in discussion with me in private, but please remember that your comments are public, so if you would not say it on the front page of The Globe and Mail (or your local daily newspaper), then it's best not to say it in the comments section of a post. I have noticed that CBC News has had technorati links to this blog numerous times over the past three months, so some things are getting attention judging from the media links showing up in sitemeter (Yes, I was really surprised to find that the media have been reading my blog). The only comment I have deleted so far was one advertising a porn site, and I have deleted a comment or two of mine when I rethought how they occurred. I must tell you that I have seriously considered turning on comment moderation, as there have been a few comments that I have questioned in my own mind after receiving personal notes from my readers expressing a concern or a complaint about them.

I encourage you to be fully self-expressed, but please, stay on topic when commenting on a post. If the essay I have published has discussed items of an intimate nature in the course of the discussion, then comments along the same line would be expected, otherwise, I would greatly appreciate it if you would reserve some comments for a private discussion between us. If, when you read your comment before clicking on the Publish Your Comment button, and something occurs as lewd or uncomfortable in a public conversation, please give it another think first as some things are best left out of public consideration.

Second note, my thanks to Denny at The Chronicle, and Billy at Living My Life in NY for their assistance with some blog technical issues. Finally I managed to figure out some HTML stuff to get some banners in the sidebar to actually take you to the site they originate from! I got my first lesson in writing HTML :-) And also for the assistance with some other blogging stuff too! And Denny, don't forget I'm waiting for your application to be my executive assistant ;-) (yes, I am a cheeky monkey)

Third note... I'm working on a research project, to give someone some ideas on relocating out of the deep south to a place that is safer and more accepting. If you have some outstanding websites or links to share, please drop me a line or post them here, and I'll be sure to forward your items to them... local community websites, anything on virtual working, teleworking, telecommuting, career websites, etc. I have quite a few, but unfortunately most are based here in the frozen north. I have some ideas and some links from my research so far, but there's always room for more ideas and information... and I know that you all will have heard of things that I have no chance of discovering on my own.

Fourth note... Now that I finally have the link to the Matthew Shepard Foundation working properly, I encourage you to visit that site, and take part, and do what you can to ensure that the Matthew Shepard bill is finally passed. And if dubya does veto it as he has threatened to do, then it will just prove all the more clearly to the rest of the world what is running the government down there these days. Liberty and justice for all, as long as you're a white anglo-saxon protestant republican. (one of my extremely rare forays into politics outside of the frozen north and the bunch of babbling baboons that we seem to regularly elect up here.) And Mrs. Shepard is one of my personal heroes, and I will post on that at great length in the coming days.

To steal a line from Boston Pobble, those are my thoughts, that and 4 bucks will get you a coffee (prices are higher north of the border even if the canuckbuck is almost at parity) :-)

This week's excellent reads

Here is the link to this week's column (Defying Convention) by my favourite columnist (Denny Upkins) at Best Gay Blogs.

And if you have not read this post (Still Life) yet, have a look at Cooper's Corridor. Trust me, he will touch your heart in ways you have long forgotten.

Just some of the many folks I read regularly (of the now 90 blogs in my bookmarks folder and on my RSS reader feeds) every day... but these two really stood out for me this week.