BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

What a way to ring in the new year. I like to check the Alaska webcams each day and for the past week or so, Fairbanks has been in the deep freeze, failing to climb above zero for at least 20 days now. Digging around some, it seems that some of the outlying areas will hit minus 70 this week with Fairbanks only bottoming out around 50 below due to the heavy ice fog that has formed over the city. Of course, once it gets that cold, what's 20 degrees or so? It's 33 degrees here in Louisville and it feels pretty cold, alas that's 70 degrees warmer than the current temperature in Fairbanks. Perhaps I'll throw on some shorts and lay out in the sun.

Impressive

Going 16-0 in the NFL regular season is no big deal, the New England Patriots did it last year, but running the table in reverse, well, that's impressive. Teams have come close before only to win a game down the stretch but this year was different. The Detroit Lions were so woefully bad that anything less than 0-16 would have been seen as a failure. By losing every single game they played this year, the Lions will go down in history and forever be known as the team that finally did it. No one remembers a team that goes 1-15 or 2-14, but 0-16, well, that's something you just won't forget. Congrats guys, you did it and it's doubtful anyone else will match your excellence again.

Homesick

The older I get, the more of a homebody I become. I've had a nice visit with my Dad and the weather has been nice and warm, but it's clear that I'm ready to go back home. So, I'll spend one more day here and on Monday morning, I'll load up the car, throw Shadow in the back seat and head north towards home.

Jolly Old St. Nicholas

My favorite Christmas song from my favorite Christmas album:

The Hap Hap Happiest Christmas Ever

Jelly of the Month Club

"It's the gift that keeps on giving the year round..."

Fa Ra Ra Ra

Shitter Was Full

The first of several clips today...

Deep South

In Kentucky, especially Louisville, we like to argue about whether we live in the South or the Midwest. Of course that's something that can't be totally agreed upon but when I travel both north and south, it becomes pretty clear that Louisville is perfectly aligned with the rest of the Midwest. Yesterday, I spent 12 hours driving south to Louisiana, spending a great deal of time in both Alabama and Mississippi. I can say with authority that my hometown has absolutely nothing in common with what I say in those two states.

Now I certainly don't want to start bashing particular states, Kentucky gets made fun of enough, but dammit, if I had to live in either Alabama and Mississippi, I'd just do myself in and get it over with. For those who haven't been to the Deep South, well, it's just different. I define the Deep South as South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Now that's not to say that all are equal, they aren't, as a couple of those places have some major things going for them.

Georgia of course has Atlanta and if you've ever been there, you know how much fun it is. Louisiana has New Orleans and while it's not my favorite place in the world, it does have character and lets face it, Louisiana just takes debauchery to a whole new level. South Carolina has Hilton Head and the charm of Charleston. Mississippi and Alabama have, well, they just exist.

It's fascinating this drastic differences between one part of the country and others. I've long been intrigued by regional differences and the cultural implications of place. America is an interesting place and unearthing it's uniqueness is something all of us should do.

I'm Loving It

Yesterday was the last day of the fall semester and the completion of my first 5 months of teaching at an inner city school. For the first 6 years of my teaching career, I taught at a middle class suburban school that largely flew under the radar. Sure, there were a few problems, but for the most part, working out in the burbs was a pretty cushy job. The kids came to school fed, the clothes they wore were new and most came from families that were supportive and still together. Our PTA was awash in money, the teaching staff was top notch and our principal was as good as they come. I was actually very lucky to land my first teaching assignment at such a great school. In a large urban district like this one, new teachers tend to start out at some of the tougher schools. I got lucky and figured that I would never leave, spending all of my 30 or so years of teaching at that one school.

Alas, it didn't quite work out that way as my gender transition forced me to leave at the end of the 2006-2007 school year. I spent last year working as a resource teacher at Central Office before moving back into the classroom this year as a new person with a new gender. The plan was to find me a position that would allow me the best chance to succeed and I was hoping for a brand new unit at a brand new school. That too didn't happen and instead at found myself at a new special education unit at an old, inner city elementary school. When I found out which school I was headed to, I cried like you couldn't believe. It didn't seem fair that in return for giving up a job I loved at a school I adored I would be placed at this school that everyone told me I would hate.

Still, I gave it a chance and went in with the best attitude I could muster. I spent a great deal of time this past summer working in my new classroom, getting it ready for the new school year. When the first day arrived, I was so nervous that it was all I could do to just survive the day. As it turned out, my students were wonderful and my two assistants were amazing. I liked it instantly, at least when I was in my classroom. Leaving the safe confines of my room was a whole different story. I saw things that I had never seen before, heard stories that shocked me and was the butt of jokes, stares and comments from kids that I didn't know from a hole in the wall. After a month, I was already thinking about transfering at the end of the year and my attitude got worse and worse.

A few months later, I'm glad I didn't let it beat me down and get the best of me. The kids have now moved on to far more interesting things, most of the kids seem to like me and I've grown to love the place. You see, it's now occured to me that most anyone can be a successful teacher at the school I was out, but excelling at my new home, well, that was a whole new challenge and it's one that I not only have met, but have exceeded. It takes skill, talent, creativity, compassion and a lot of love to make it in a school like mine. The kids are screaming for attention, most only eat when they are at school and the stories they tell just make you break down and cry. But, despite all that is stacked up against them, they are still yearning to learn and make the most of their lives.

We are doing some amazing things and I'm very proud to be a part of something very exciting. I've found a new home and I can't imagine teachign any place else. I work for a wonderful principal, the teaching staff is tremendously dedicated and our whole staff is focused on one thing, making the lives of these children better. I love my kids, they touch my heart in ways that I didn't know could be touched, and I'm so looking forward to watching them grow up.

I'll enjoy these two weeks off, I need the rest and relaxation, but come January 5th, I'll be more than ready to go back to work. I'm a teacher and I teach at a school I love. It's what I do and I thank God for that every single day.

Radicals on the Right

I agree with Atrios, Pastor Rick Warren, despite his image as a moderate, is a horrible man. Calling for the assasination of a foreign leader is not just wrong, it's evil. It's time that all of us, especially those on the left, stopped trying to win these guys over. Being associated with these religous nutbags is wrong in every sense of the word. f

UPDATE: I somehow missed this but seems that Obama is a real wanker, big enough that he's the Wanker of the Day. Picking Warren to give the invocation at the inaguration is just stupid and wrong. If you're going to be at the inaguration, turn your back on Warren.

That's Heavy

Just saw a picture of myself and it became crystal clear that I need to lose some serious weight. My face looks like a big chipmunk.

The Intertubes Are Clogged Again

Either former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens is sending a lot of internets or John McCain is busy logging on to the Google, either way, the tubes are running very slow this evening.

C Cups

Well, I've made the plunge (no pun intended) and on Monday I'll be setting my appointment for breast augmentation with Dr. Z. I've gone back and forth on this for a couple of months, and though I've been pretty sure about filling myself out, I was still a bit hesitant about dropping 5 grand. Alas, I have the money and I really want to do this and so, next June, I'll once again head north to Chicago and voluntarily put myself back on the table. It's funny, compared to my facial feminization surgery, this one will be a piece of cake, but despite how that surgery changed the way I looked, having bigger breasts will seem to be a bigger change than anything else I've undergone. So, come June, it will be two down and one to go on the surgery front.


Not Exactly What I Have In Mind...

I Wish I Could Find Her Under My Christmas Tree

Lena Headey is just yummylicious in so many ways and I just can never get enough of her. If there is a more beautiful woman in the world, I sure hope I get to meet her but I can't imagine that there is. So, here she is as part of Sear's Wishtory:

Don't Lets Start

Stimulus

Details about the stimulus plan President-Elect Barack Obama plans to enact are beginning to trickle out and generally I'm pretty happy with all of it. One of the things that many people don't understand is that deficit spending/national debt, is not such a bad thing, especially during very difficult economic times, like the one we are currently undergoing (Thanks Shrub). Government spending, specifically on such things as infrastructure, are wonderful ways to stimulate the economy, create jobs and get money moving. The economic spin offs are often quite huge and if done correctly, it has the potential to possibly turn things around a lot quicker than they normally would.

That being said, time is of the essence and now is not the time to think small or look backwards. We are entering a whole new era, that promises to permanently change the way each of us lives. With the global production of oil peaking and the threat of catastrophic climate change, the era of cheap and plentiful energy is coming to an abrupt halt. We have but a decade or so to truly prepare, about 20 years less than most of us would like, to somehow avert economic, population and environmental disaster. Things can go one of two ways, we get this right and somehow salvage a chance at a decent life, albeit one that is less energy intensive and locally based, or we can watch the whole system fall apart and see billions of people die, the animal kingdom wiped from the face of the earth and a scorching of the planet.

I want to believe that we'll live to see the first but I'm afraid we'll more likely see the latter. So, I once again give you my proposals for a 21st century stimulus plan, one that works in tandem with Europe, Asia, South America and Asia:

1. Massive investment in alternative energy- This means an immediate build up of wind farms, solar arrays, tidal power generators and other green inititiatives that show promise.

2. Nuke It- Like it or not, nuclear power is our only real hope for keeping the lights on and somehow keeping order. Despite unfounded fears, nuclear power has been remarkable safe. Greenhouse emissions are much lower than coal or natural gas and I'd much rather worry about disposal of waste than cooking the atmospher with coal. France is the world's leader in generating electricity from Nuclear power plants and as a result, they need to take the lead on a global scale. It's non unrealistic to set a goal of 200 new nuclear power plants in this country over the next 20 years.

3. Energy Efficiency- Our homes and workplaces are woefully ineffecient and that needs to change. There are lots of cheap but effective ways to make our homes more efficient. Storm windows, better insulation, energy audits and low power appliances can make a big difference.

4. Rail- The future of domestic travel is not by air or road but by rail. The American rail system is the laughingstock of the world and with good reason. We've neglected our rail system in favor of airports and roads, all to the detriment of our lives. Rail and water travel are the most efficient ways to move people and goods. It's time that we invested a lot of money and work in creating a first class national rail system that is based on electricity and not diseasel. I propose a regiional hub system to connect the major cities, especially over short and medium distance travel. Make New York City, Washington, Atlanta, Chciago, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Denver and Seattle the hubs and allow them to serve as transit centers. We need high speed express routes connecting the east and west coasts and medium to high speed lines for smaller distances.

5. Massive global reforestation- Trees are the lungs of the earth and yet we keep cutting them down. Healthy forests make wonderful habitats for precious wildlife and serve as great destinations for camping, kayaking and skiing among other things. American city's should lead the way by doing everything they can to help grow our urban forests. We need to expand park lands, set up citywide programs to plant trees along roads and paths, offer tax breaks for planting trees in our yards and permanently preserve open greenspaces.

6. An end to sprawl- It's long past time for Americans to give up on the American dream of owning a home with a big yard in a neighborhood far from the urban core. Sprawl is the biggest misallocation of funds in the history of the world and we need to get serious about zoning that encourages urban in-fill, higher density, development around mass transit and mixed use neighborhoods.

7. End the car culture- I certainly don't want to tell everyone to get rid of their cars, I love mine, but we need to focus more on pulbic transit and less on personal vehicle use. We need to invest in heavy rail in large cities like Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Miami, streetcars and light rail in cities like Louisville, Nashville, Denver, Kansas City, Portland and Tampa and expanded bus routes everywhere.

8. Think Local- Once, people in America ate food that was grown close to home. Today, a lot of what we eat is grown far away in places like California, Mexico and South America. Most food travel over 1500 miles to reach your plate. Lets set up plans to bring back the family farm that feeds the locals. Most American cities are surrounded by prime farm land that is currently being turned into faceless suburban sprawl, lets stop that before it's too late.

9. Worldwide wildlife preservation- We often forget that we share this planet with billions and billions of animals. It's their home too but you wouldn't know it by looking around. A global initiative to preserve all life on earth needs to take place and soon. This means a serious commitment to poor countries in such places as Africa, Asia and South America. Organizations like the UN and NATO need to use military force to prevent the genocide of such animals as the mountain gorillas in Africa.

10. Smaller families- I know this isn't popular but there are too many of us. Serious discussion needs to begin about population overshoot on planet Earth. Currently, we have over 6 billion humans, way too many to live in harmony with nature. All of us alive today deserve to live long and productive lives but lets stop breeding like we are in danger of going extinct. I hate to say it, but an ideal human populatin would be around 200 or 300 million humans, give or take a hundred million. One way or the other, we will get back to that, hopefully we can do that in a managed and peaceful way.

Alas, I'm not optimistic about any of this, but we can dream, can't we?

It's Cold, But It Could Be Colder

Three weeks ago, I was wearing shorts and wondering when it would finally get cold. After a very warm autumn with temperatures often pushing into the 80's, it's suddenly gotten cold around here. Despite an average high of around 50 degrees, we can't seem to get out of the 30's and the nights are frequently dropping into the teens and 20's. These past few days have been particularly biting with a brisk wind, a damp feel to the air and cold temperatures. Still, it could be worse and after checking the Alaska webcams, something I like to do each day, I promise not to complain about any future temps.

The current temperature in Louisville...


And the current temperature and live webcam view of Fairbanks, Alaska (and yes, before winter is over, Fairbanks will see temps near 60 below zero)...


I used to live in Alaska, well sort of, I lived in Anchorage, but it's still really close to the real Alaska. The year we were there was one of the coldest and snowiest in history but we never saw temperatures like they get in the Interior. Dad likes to talk about the time his military unit was doing field operations north of Fairbanks and the temperature never climbed above 70 below zero. Needless to say, the equipment, including the helicopter he flew, kept freezing up and wouldn't run. Six months later, he took a picture of himself crossing the Arctic Circle at midnight under a bright sun, wearing shorts and nothing else. It's a strange place indeed and not just because they elected Sarah Palin Governor.

No Sane Person

As I slowly recover from my brief descent into Hell on Friday, I got to thinking about a couple of things. As I've said before, adjusting to the draastic mood swings that come about from estrogen has been an incredibly difficult thing to come to grips with. No man, despite how much they profess to understand women, can possibly understand what it's like to live under the evil spell of estrogen. This transition from male to female is a whole series of steps and realizations that makes one realize that no sane man would ever in a million years undertake what I and countless others have done. So, for any of you guys out there, here's a list of of sanity breaking steps and realizations from a girl in transition:

1. Estrogen- Good God, why in the hell was this stuff ever created? To make men crazy of course. Words cannot explain the way this stuff makes you feel. At times, this unreal sense of calm comes over you, erasing any past of sex induced testosterone. Other times it makes you cry for no reason whatsoever, snap at friends for minor little things and send you into dramatic mood swings that no man has ever experienced. Add in the fact that no one has ever done long term studies on the health effects of estrogen therapy in transsexuals and it's a real roll of the dice.

2. Electrolysis- I assure you that only the most gender screwed up men would ever undergo hundreds of hours of facial electrolysis to remove the dreaded facial hair. The joke is that electrolysis is where you find out if your man enough to be a woman. So far I am.

3. Makeup- Of all the things that I've had to start doing, wearing makeup is my least favorite thing.

4. Hair- I have to admit, since I went on estrogen and stopped producing measurable amounts of testosterone, my hair loss has not only stopped but started to fill back in. I now have a very healthy head of hair that is as full as any natal chica. That being said, I sometimes miss the ease of fixing guy hair (dry with towel, rub in gel and go).

5. Shoes- I love shoes, absolutely adore them, but a whole lot of womens shoes are damn uncomfortable. Don't even talk to me about heels.

6. Shaving- Shaving your legs everyday is a major pain in the ass and something that I only do in the summer. Now it's well known that I have a real body hair phobia, yuck, and so baby smooth skin is actually pretty cool. As for natal females, this whole going bare down there is just gross and makes me ill. I like some hair down there.

7. Surgeries- So far I've only had one but if all goes according to plan, I still have two more to go. I'm still up in the air about doing breast augmentation this coming summer, but it's going to happen sooner or later. As for the big one, well, that can't come soon enough but I'm short about $15,000. For those who don't know, these are very serious surgeries. My FFS was a 9 hour ordeal and it took me over a year to fully recover and regain my strength and energy. The BA won't be as bad but anytime you go under, you're taking a risk.

8. Increased chances of stroke, breast cancer and life threatening blood clots- Yep, you read that right. All those estrogen injections play havoc with your health. My odds of one of these happening went way up once I started the female juice.

9. The loss of family, friends and employment- It's a fact that being transsexual negatively impacts ones employment opportunities. Unemployment and under employment is rampant among the T community and if one is unfortunate enough to live somewhere that doesn't have civil rights laws protecting transsexuals, well, you can be fired at will. I'm lucky, I live in a city that has one of the most progressive and far reaching civil rights ordinances and the law is on my side. As for friends and families, log onto any T message board and the stories of mothers, fathers, siblings and children turning their back on T's is heartbreaking.

10. A lifetime alone- I have quite a few transsexual friends who are in wonderful long term relationships and quite a few who are married. I couldn't be happier for all of them but I also know quite a few who end up like me, single with zero prospect of ever finding someone. Dating is incredibly terryfiying for me and I don't know if that will ever change. Perhaps the hardest part is the reaction of men to the desires of a male to female transsexual. So insecure are most men in their sexuality that the "gay" panic sets in. In the rare cases where they are cool dating a transsexual, the same guys live in fear that their friends will find out. As for those who are attracted to women, well, the hardcore feminist that dominate the lesbian world often look down on those of us born with a penis.

I could go on and on but you get the point. Deciding to transiton is a life changing thing and I'm pretty sure that no man in his right mind would actually go through with this were they not totally desperate to become who they really are. You see, despite all of these obstacles and the ones I didn't mention, people like me make this decision everyday, not because we want to, but because we must.

I Shouldn't Write On Nights Like This...

But putting the proverbial pen to paper always makes me feel better. I really have no idea what it was, no one thing stands out in my mind, but today has not been one of my better days. From time to time, I'm just overcome with this incredible sense of sadness and grief, today is one of those times. Anyways, as day turned to night, my mood remained somber and thoughts of drifting off to sleep fill my head. Unfortunately, on days like today, I simply want that sleep to be it, to never wake again.

With God As My WItness, I Thought Turkeys Could Fly

Happy Thanksgiving...now watch out for flying turkeys...

Cause I Got Nothing Else To Say

From Kona, comes the Other Names Meme! Just what I needed after an 11 hour workday.

1. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names): Jean Williams
2. NASCAR NAME: (first name of your mother’s dad, father’s dad): Jim Fred
3. STAR WARS NAME: (the first 2 letters of your last name, first 4 letters of your first name): Arkell
4. DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal): Purple Dog
5. SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you live): Joann Louisville
6. SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd favorite color, favorite alcoholic drink, optionally add “THE” to the beginning): The Blue Jaegermeister
7. FLY NAME: (first 2 letters of 1st name, last 2 letters of your last name): Keam
8. GANGSTA NAME: (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite cookie): Rasberry Chip Oreo
9. ROCK STAR NAME: (current pet’s name, current street name): Sammy Wendell
10. PORN NAME: (1st pet, street you grew up on): Teddy Barclay

For Erin

I think I've done this one before, but what the hell, I'll do it again. This is from and for Erin.

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Depends on which name you are talking about. My boy name was Gregory William and the William was my Dad's middle name. The Greg was just a name they liked. My new name, well, Kelly was what they had picked out and Joann is named for my aunt, my Mom's sister.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? It happens so frequently that it's hard to keep track.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? God no!

4 WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Turkey

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Only if by kids you mean the four legged variety. Dogs rule the world!

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I would hope so.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Only around stupid people.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Not for a long time.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Hell yeah!

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Don't eat cereal as I don't drink milk. Hate mik, hate milk!

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Yes, except for my tennis shoes.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? No but I'm good in a real crisis.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Chocolate.

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Their eyes and shoes.

15. RED OR PINK? Pink but only because Red is the color of the University of Louisville Cardinals.

16. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? Should I start at the top or bottom?

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My Aunt Katie and all my previious dogs.

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? If they want.

19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Black boots.

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Steak and Shake steakburger and fries.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The television and furnace.

22. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Plum.

23. FAVORITE SMELLS? The way it smells after a spring thunderstorm and the wildflowers in my garden.

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My Mom.

25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I simply adore her but wish she lived closer to me as I think we would be the best of friends.

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? College football, Indy Car Racing and Formula One.

27. HAIR COLOR? Blonde

28. EYE COLOR? Green.

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Nope, perfect vision after all these years.

30. FAVORITE FOOD? Mom's fried chicken.

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings, see Imagine Me and You.

32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Aliens.

33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Purple.

34. SUMMER OR WINTER? I'm torn as I love both though I hate the humid weather we have here. I guess I would have to say winter, especially if it's a cold and snowy one.

35. HUGS OR KISSES? Why choose just one.

36. FAVORITE DESSERT? Chocolate sheet cake.

37. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Sadly, I've got three or four books going and can't get in to any of them.

38. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Border Collies of course.

39. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? I didn't watch TV last night, I had a fire in my outdoor fire pit.


40. FAVORITE SOUND? When my Aunt Maggie was still living, she had a tin roof and when we would go up to Ashland to visit her, we always hoped it would rain. I love that sound, no other sound is quite the same.

41. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? The Beatles though I've been listening to a lot of Stones lately.

42. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME??? Tough to say, either London or when I lived in Anchorage for a year.

43. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I'm a wonderful elementary school teacher. Being around kids makes me happy though I'm thankful that none of them are mine as I never wanted any.

44. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Savannah, Georgia. Little known fact, I was the first baby born in Savannah during the year 1970.

Tired

My FFS surgeon put me on a new medication and coupled with the Effexor XR I take for my depression, it's making me so sleepy. Both drugs are known to cause drowsiness and I guess I haven't had enough time to adjust to the new medication, thus it's all I can do to stay awake. I slept till noon today, got up for a couple of hours and went back to bed and slept two or three more hours. One would think that would have done the trick but one would be wrong. It's only 6:30 and I could go right to bed and sleep till morning. Add in the fact that it's getting dark now about 5:30 and it gets even worse. I need a nap.

Laugh On Again...

Are You Kidding Me?

Damit Kona, when I said I was good at these things, I didn't mean this kind. Picking my 7 favorite albums of all time is about like picking my 7 favorite movies of all time, damn near impossible.

THE RULES:

1. Post your list of the seven best albums, the seven booogers bloggers you will tag, a copy of these rules, and a link back to this page.
2. Each person tagged will put a URL to their Blogger Album Project post along with a list of the seven best albums in the comment section HERE at Hill's Country. Rules, rules, fucking rules!! Enough already!
3. Feel free to post the “I Contributed to the Blogger Album Project” Award Graphic on your sidebar (even though I couldn't find it), along with a link back to this page.
4. Post a link back to the blogger who tagged you.


I won't do it I tell you, I won't.

Well, I guess I will, but just this one time...In no particular order...

1. R.E.M- Murmur

2. R.E.M.- Fables of the Reconstruction

3. The Beatles- The White Album

4. Nirvana- Nevermind

5. Public Enemy- It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

6. Iris DeMent- Infamous Angel

7. Dave Brubeck- Time Out (Has the honor of having my all time favorite song, Take Five)

I tag:

Kara, Donna, Erin, Amy, NexyJo, Missi and Ray Ray

Wish I Was There

It's been over 9 years since I lived in Snowshoe, West Virginia but not a day goes by that I don't think about it. Without a doubt, it was the best place I've ever lived and if there is such thing as Heaven on Earth, well, it's located on Cheat Mountain in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. Anyways, ski season got an early season gift this week when the Great Lakes opened up and sent 29" of white fluffy powder. I used to love those lake enhanced storms that would last for days on end. Whenever a cold front would come storming across the Great Lakes, moisture would get carried southeast where it would collide with Cheat Mountain, one of the highest peaks in the east. The moisture would undergo serious lift resulting in epic dumps. We would often end up with 2 or 3 feet of snow while Charleston, a few hours west would get nothing but sunshine. Just 20 miles east of us and downslope from the mountain, they'd be lucky to get an inch or two. So, here's a pic or two to help you appreciate what happened yesterday.



Laugh On

Tim Wilson is brilliant and this is by far his best...

Who Will Be The First To Go?

Will it be General Motors or Citigroup?

My guess is that neither will be allowed to fail, though the reality of the situation is that any bailout by the Feds will do only one thing, prevent the inevitable collapse of both. Sure, it's going to be painful, but both companies deserve to fail and no amount of taxpayer money is going to suddenly change things. I have little sympathy for Detroit, they made their bed, and even less sympathy for banks, but I'm also mindful that there are real men and women working at those places and so maybe we should start figuring out how to help them once GM and Citi, among many others, go belly up.


Detroit, A City Of Ruins

Here's a great site that documents a once proud city and it's descent into ruin.

Things I Just Read

What did the digital clock say to it's Mother?

Look Ma, no hands!

Written on the popsickle stick of the popscickle I just ate.

Five Things (Possibly Interesting, Possibly Not) About Me

Though I didn't get tagged on this one, thanks a lot Kona, I thought I would contribute my two cents worth:

1. I hate telephones. Actually, hate isn't a strong enough word for me, so much do I loathe the machines. People find it strange, but if it isn't my Mom or Dad calling, I very seldom answer the phone. If the person calling really has a reason for calling me, they'll leave a message and eventually I'll get around to listening to it. If I"m motivated enough, I might even call them back. Now don't take this as a sign that I don't want to talk to you or even that I don't like you, it's just that I've never enjoyed talking on a telephone, not now and not ever.

2. I like my bed pushed up against a wall and when I'm in it, I like to be on the inside, as close to said wall as possible. It's perhaps the one thing in the world that I dislike about hotels. If I could move my hotel bed to a wall, I'd live there forever. I'm not sure when this happened, but a bed without boundaries just freaks me out. It's not that I'm scared of falling out, I can't remember ever doing that, it's just that being closed in like that, a wall on one side and dogs on the other, is very comforting to me.

3. I'm 38 years old, about to hit 39 in less than two months, and I still suck my thumb from time to time. Go ahead, make fun of me all you want, but if it's lasted this long I'll probably do it till the day I die. It's weird, I can go weeks without doing it, right now I can't remember the last time I did it, but then one day the urge will hit and not even knowing what is happening, I'll find myself sitting on the sofa, thumb in mouth. It also has to be the thumb on my right hand.

Growing up, I had a blanket that we called "Cootie" and I couldn't go anywhere without it. I would hold it in my hand and bring it up to my face as I sucked my thumb. When I started school, Mom had to cut off a piece and pin it to my shirt, otherwise I wouldn't go. By the time I was 7 or so, "Cootie" was a sad image of it's former self. Too many trips to the washing machine had taken it's toll but it didn't matter to me, my "Cootie" could not be taken away. So attatched to "Cootie" was I, that Mom said I used to sit in front of the washer and dryer and wait for it to get cleaned. Alas, one year when visiting my Grandma in Dayton, "Cootie" got stuck in a escalator and was never seen nor heard from again. I cried for days on end but eventually got over it. No so with the thumb sucking.

4. I have no fear of dying. There was a time in my life when the mere thought of dying would send me into such a panic, that I became convinced that I would never be able to simply enjoy life and not worry about what happens next. As I've gotten older, I worry less and less about it, and it's all kind of reassuring. I guess a lot of it has to do with the fact that as we get older, we tend to get a bit more tired and personally, if I'm this tired and worn down at 38, what's it going to be like at 78? Nope, the only way to live is by the following motto: The past has already happened, the future isn't written yet and so why not enjoy the precious present. Afterall, this second in time is the only one you'll ever have, so make the most of it.

5. I refuse to use a PC. All teachers in Jefferson County were given brand new HP tablet laptops for use in the classroom. Mine sits unused in a computer bag, looking sad as my 4 year old Apple iBook laptop goes in and out of said bag. At the start of this school year, I was able to scrounge up five Apple eMacs for use in my classroom, so much better are they than the brand new HP desktops they want us to use. Yes, I'm a computer snob, I admit it. But the thing is, I never have any kind of problems with my Macs, and to this day, I have no idea what people are talking about when they mention a "virus" or "frozen computer" or "reboot" or any other arcane words that must mean something to some people.

Strep

Very sick, very sick indeed. The doctor said it was the nastiest throat she had seen all season. Always nice to know.

Things I Love

Time for another edition of Things I Love...

1. Dogs- If there aren't dogs in Heaven, I don't want to go. I honestly cannot imagine a world without our four legged friends. They bring such joy to life and make the world a much better place. I love them all, especially the ones I've had and the ones I currently have.

2. Animals of all kinds- I've been long on record of saying that we humans have had our chance and that it's time for us to go away for good. The animals of this world didn't ask to share this world with us and it's time to let some other creature have a go at things. We've screwed up enough, lets go before it's too late for the rest of life.

3. Mom- My Mom is the rock I need and if she should go before me, I honestly don't know how I'll survive.

4. Dad- Though he's far away and I don't get to see him nearly enough, I think about him everyday and keep him in my prayers.

5. Warm beds on cold nights- One of the great joys of winter is snuggling up in a warm bed with 2 or 3 dogs.

6. Rainy nights- I've always loved the rain and everything that it symbolizes. When I was younger, we used to go up to Ashland, Kentucky to visit my Aunt Maggie. She lived way back in a holler and one of the charms of her house was the tin roof she had. I always hoped that it would rain when we were up there so I could hear it patter on the roof.

7. Darkness- I love the night, always have. One of the things I miss most about living in West Virginia is the dark nighttime sky. I lived an hour away from the closest town of any size and on a clear, moon free night, you could see millions of stars dancing across the black sky. On those kind of nights, I would turn off every light in the house, go sit out on the deck take in a sight that most people never get to see. I've seen the Milky Way in all it's glory and it is a sight to behold.

8. Camping- When I lived in West Virginia, I made a point of doing lots of camping. There were so many great places to go that it was often times hard to choose. I lived right on the doorsteps of a one million acre national forest. I've climbed mountains that I didn't know the names of, crossed streams that probably didn't have a name and heard the howl of coyotes, the rustling of deer and the snorts of black bears. Curling up in a sleeping bag in the cool mountain air is one of my favorite things.

9. West Virginia- I know it's often the butt of jokes and in some cases it deserves to be, but of all the places I've been and lived, it's by far my favorite. Get away from the ugliness of Charleston and the stark moonscape of the coalfields and West Virginia is one of the most beautiful places. I love the mountains that seem to go on forever. I love the winding roads, the quaint small towns, the fun filled resorts and the warmth of the people. I love charming little mountain towns that places like Breckinridge and Telluride wish they could be like. I love the snow that piles up deep in the winter and the warm days and cool nights of summer.

10. Legendary snowstorms- We don't get many big snowstorms in this part of the country, though we did have a nice 15 inch dump last winter. But when I lived up in the mountains of West Virginia, anything less than a foot was considered nothing more than a a little snow. My first winter at Snowshoe, we only ended up with about 120 inches of snow for the winter, not much to talk about. My third winter however more than made up for it. It started snowing that year around Halloween and it wasn't till Memorial Day that the last of the snow began to melt. To say that it snowed a lot would be an understatement of epic proportions. Like clockwork, each week brought at least one major snowstorm, often dumping up to 2 feet or more. By February of that season, we had probably received somewhere around 200 inches of snow, but when it was all said and done, it was really just starting.

The forecast called for a storm that would be measured in feet, not inches. With over 3 feet of snow already on the ground, the snow began falling late in the afternoon and would continue for the next 20 hours or so. By the time I got off work that night, a foot had already fallen and much more was on the way. We were able to dig my car out but Valarie's was another story. Before going home that night, I set about digging her car out as much as I could and felt confident that by morning I would be able to get it out. We made it home okay that night and as we laid in bed, we could hear the wind roaring and felt the chill of winter. When we awoke the next morning, what I saw simply stunned me. Dumbfounded is really the only way to describe, so surreal was what I was seeing.

In about 18 hours, we had received 58 inches of snow, with what would end up being another 12 to go. It took me hours to shovel a path down the driveway and another to dig my car out. When I finally finished our path down the driveway, the snow was above my head. I had never seen before and have never seen since, so much snow. By the time March rolled around, I swore that if I never saw snow again it would be too soon. I remember that it was still possible to ski in May that year, so deep was the snow on Cheat Mountain.

Too Hard On Myself, But...

I'm way too hard on myself in so many respects, always doubting myself in nearly everything I do. These past few years, as I've tried hard to successfully transition, I've beaten myself up at every step of the way. That continues today as I am constantly berating myself for everything from the clothes I wear to the way my hair looks. In my eyes, everything looks horrible and I am a horrible person. There are many days that I find myself having hating everything about me, wishing that I had never been born or contemplating suicide. If truth be told, I do have a lot of self-shame and more than enough anger over how things have turned out. There was a time in my life where I really did think that I had a lot of potential, that my life would turn out better than deserved and really make a mark on this world. I don't feel that way anymore.

Right now, I'm just hoping to somehow salvage things and make the most of it.

But when I really stop and look at things, it becomes clear that I shouldn't feel that way at all. I have a family that really loves me, friends who would do anything for me, a home that I am proud of, an education that is pretty amazing, a job that I simply love, a school that has been better to me than I ever deserve and three dogs that love me no matter what. I'm making more money than I ever have in my life, I have a nice and reliable car, I have a lot of free time, I've been all over this country and done some incredible things. I really have nothing to complain about, but still I do.

And that's what irritates me beyond belief. I want to love life, look in the mirror and see a happy person that is living life to the fullest. I want to be happy with who I am and go forward confident in the person I've become. This life, being trapped in a body that doesn't match my mind, is an incredibly tough way to live. I've done the best I can and the truth is, I don't look that bad and I've been pretty damn successful making a go as Kelly. So, I'm going to do the very best I can as I move forward from this day on. In the scheme of things, none of us have a very long time on this Earth, and as a result, we kind of need to make the most of us. There is no second chance, though I kind of believe in re-incarnation, so it's up to all of us to make this brief moment in time, the best it possibly can be.

Just Asking

Why do women shave their legs? I could care less as I have a real phobia of body hair.

Why do women's pants have such pathetic pockets? I do miss the pockets that mens pants have.

Why do some women go bare down there? I was once with a girl who was totally bare. It freaked me out in so many ways. I need a bit of hair down there.

Why do women paint their nails and men don't? As a guy, I used to paint my toenails quite a bit.

Why do women wear makeup? I'm a firm believer in the less is more approach and always prefered girls who didn't wear any.

Why do women find men so attractive? Having been one, I pretty much don't see what the fuss is all about.

Why do women like to give other women small gifts in fancy gift bags, usually over a lunch of soup and salad? Having once been a waiter, I can tell you that servers hate waiting on women more than you could ever imagine.

Why is being a girl so much more high maintanence than being a guy? Ugh!

Why couldn't I make it as a guy? Because I never really was one.

Urban is Blue, Rural is Red

Were it not for the fact that the electoral college determines the winner of the Presidential race, we wouldn't be talking about Red States and Blue States. On it's face, it makes sense, but dig a little deeper and it becomes clear that Blue States aren't always so blue and Red States aren't always so red. No, what really stands out is that America is clearly divided along party lines based on where they live, specifically an urban area or a rural area. Pouring over the interactive maps that the New York Times has posted on it's website, it becomes very clear that urban areas in America are predominately blue and rural areas equally as red. Here in Kentucky, one look at the map and it's clear that it's a conservative state with one very liberal county, one mildly blue county and and 118 very conservative counties.



The above picture shows all 120 Kentucky counties. Of those, Obama carried 8 of them. Two of those counties, making up a very large part of the electorate, are home to the two largest cities in Kentucky, Louisville (1.2 million) and Lexington (500,000). The other 6 are traditional Democratic strongholds.



The above photo shows the impact that areas around the state had in the election. Only one county stands out and that's Jefferson (Louisville).



The final photo above shows the change in how people voted from 2004. Most of the counties that voted more Democratic are located near the major metropolitan areas of the state.


The same thing plays out all across the county though there are a couple of exceptions. Every county in Oklahoma voted for McCain and Utah, with it's heavy Mormon population, also went overwhelmingly for McCain. In the heavily urbanized northeast, most counties went for Obama.

Some examples of urban is blue and rural is red....

McCain won Tennessee but Memphis and Nashville voted strong for Obama.
McCain won Georgia but Atlanta voted heavily for Obama while it's suburbs went for McCain.
McCain won Texas but Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin all went for Obama.
McCain won Louisiana easily but New Orleans went for Obama.
McCain won Arkansas but Little Rock went for McCain.
McCain won Montana but Great Falls went for Obama.
McCain won Idaho but Boise went for Obama.

Conversely, a lot of blue states aren't really all that blue when you look at them.

Obama won California but outside of the coastal big cities, the rest of the state went for McCain.
Obama won Oregon but leave Portland and it's clearly McCain country.
Obama won Washington but outside of Seattle, it's pretty damn red.
Obama won New York but outside of the Big Apple, well, it's also pretty red.
Obama won Ohio but leave Cleavland and Columbus and it's a red state.
Obama won Indiana but outside of Indy, Gary and Bloomington, it's still red.
Obama won Pennsylvania but leave Philly and Pittsburgh and it's red as can be.
Illinois would normally be a good example but with Obama being the local kid, it doesn't show up as much this year. Still, without Chicago and greater Cook County, Illinois is red.

OBAMA BITCHES!


WE WIN, WE WIN!

Liveblogging the Results-Cause I Got Nothing Else To Do

9:24 PM- Ohio to Obama, it's now over, pop open the bubbly my friends.

Kentucky Senate- Looks like Mitch is going to sneak one out. Bastard.

8:05 PM- The route is on. The networks have already called Pennsylvania and New Hampshire for Obama. Still watching Indiana as it's way too close. The thing to watch are results from Monroe County (Bloomington and home of Indiana University), Lake County (Gary and Hammond) and Marion (Indianapolis). Those areas should propel him to victory.

In local news, Anne Northup has given her concession speech- now go away bitch!

7:20 PM- Yarmuth is putting an ass whipping on Anne. I hope she gets this message this time. This seat will now be Yarmuth's for as long as he wants it. It's a Democratic city and he has broad support.

Indiana is still too close to call. Vermont to Obama. Virginia and South Carolina too close too call as well. That's not a good sign for McCain.

Looking at the local election results, it appears that the senate race might be the only one in which my candidate doesn't win.

7:00 PM- Sadly, the networks have called Kentucky for McCain though the vote right now is close. Lunsford and Mitch are close, too early too call. In the 3rd district, John Yarmuth is cruising to victory and that's an awesome thing, totally awesome.

6:30 PM- I got nothing. No results yet from any precints in Jefferson County. I did see that if Lunsford is to win, he will need to win Jefferson (Louisville) and Fayette (Lexington) counties by a net of 120,000 votes. That's going to be tough to do since both McConnell and Lunsford live here in Louisville.

The polls here in the Eastern Time Zone of Kentucky are getting ready to close in about 15 minutes. There's no big suspense in the Presidential race, the networks will call Kentucky for McCain as soon as the polls close, but the local races are pretty big news. The big race around here, in fact it's probably the second most watched race in the country, is the Senate race between the scumbag Mitch McConnell, primed to become the most powerful Republican around, and Louisville businessman and multi-millionaire Bruce Lunsford. I'm also anxious to see the results of the local school board race. My board member, Steve Imhoff, is up for re-election and I'm hoping he wins big. More to come soon...

Vote Early and Often

UPDATE: I voted at a little past noon today. In my precinct, I was voter number 289. On a typical election, I'm usually around voter 80 or so. I live in a heavily Democratic area so I would assume this is good news.

As they say in Chicago, be sure to vote early and often. My choices for today's big races...

President of The United States of America....Democrat Barrack Obama



United States Senator from Kentucky....Democrat Bruce Lunsford



United States House of Representatives, Kentucky 3rd District....Democrat John Yarmuth



Kentucky General Assembly, State Senator....Democrat Tim Shaugnessey



Kentucky General Asembly, State Representative....Democrat Mary Lou Marzian

Let's Do This

In 7 and a half hours, the polls will open here in Kentucky. Barrack Obama isn't going to win this state, it won't even be close, but he will carry my hometown Louisville. Kentucky has 120 counties and I'll go out on a limb and say that Obama will only win two of them, Fayette (Lexington) and Jefferson (Louisville). Jefferson County has a bit over 700,000 people while Fayette is around 250,000 , so both will deliver some substantial votes to Obama but alas, it just won't be enough. He'll do well here and the large African-American turnout will help Senate candidate Bruce Lunsford in his quest to unseat the horrible Mitch McConnell. It will also send my local representative, John Yarmuth, to a comfortable win over Anne Northup.

Anyways, most people have made up their minds, if they haven't, they have no right to vote. Never in my lifetime have we had two candidates so polar opposite of the other. If you can't make up your mind about this race, well, you are an idiot and I hereby revoke your right to vote. With that being said, here are my final predictions for the election:

President

Obama wins the national vote: 53%-47%

Obama wins the electoral college: 356-182

Obama wins the following states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Mass., Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Delaware, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii.

McCain wins the rest.

Senate: Democrats will have 57 seats, Republicans will have 40 seats, 2 Independents and the 1 runoff.

The following races are in play: Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon and Virginia.

Democrats win the following: Alaska (Begich), Colorado (Udall), Minnesota (Franken), New Hampshire (Shaheen), New Mexico (Udall) North Carolina (Hagan), Oregon (Merkley) and Virginia (Warner). We'll lose Georgia but it will be close and as a result, we'll have a runoff.

House

Democrats 269, Republicans 166

Kentucky 03- Democrat John Yarmuth 57%- Republican Anne Northup 43%.

Goodnight Opus

One of my most beloved friends in the world said goodbye today. I'll miss him dearly, oh so dearly. Thank you to Berkeley Breathed for sharing him with all of us. Opus will live on in my imagination for all my years to come.


This and That

1. With just two days to go, I feel very optimistic about things. I still think that the national vote will be closer than the polls but that Obama will win the electoral college by a landslide. The electoral college of course is what matters, though I would love to get rid of it. Living in a blue city in a red state, my vote and the votes of most of Jefferson County (Louisville) won't really matter. Kentucky is going to go for McCain and no matter how high the turnout is in Jefferson County, it won't be enough to flip this to Obama. That being said, the large African-American population in Louisville will turn out in droves to vote for Obama, as will most of the white population in the urban service boundry, and that will give our incumbent representative, Democrat John Yarmuth, more than enough votes to cruise to re-election. Yarmuth is one of the good guys, a real liberal, and has been a wonderful congressman. He should win by aroudn 15% in this district which only includes Jefferson County.

2. I'll have my final election predictions tomorrow night.

3. The time change really bites ass. While I love the weather in fall and winter, I hate the fact that the fall back in clocks makes it get dark so early. The sun set shortly after 6 today, a good 4 hours later than it did in June. As much as I hate the summer weather around here, hot and humid, I do love that it doesn't get dark till 10 or so. We'll continue to lose daylight till the winter solstice and then slowly recover as winter turns to spring.

4. Speaking of winter, I really hope we get a lot of snow this year. We had two big storms last winter, one 10 inches and the other 15, and I'd love to see a repeat. Things just look so much prettier with snow on the ground.

5. It looks like I'll be heading up to Chicago next weekend. Dr. Z, after learning about how pissed off I am, wants to see me face to face. I really didn't want to go but he's paying my way so it's the least I can do. At this point, nearly a year and a half post-op, I really could care less about the astethetics. The fact that I am still experiencing pain this far out just pisses me off and I want it fixed. No one that I have talked to experienced anything like this, which doesn't surprise me one bit. I've had nothing but bad luck and I'd give anything in the world to go back in time and undo things.

6. Speaking of undoing things, I've been hesitant to talk about the whole Christine Daniels saga. For those who don't know, Christine was the Los Angeles Times sportswriter who transitioned last year. Well, without explanation, Christine is now back to being Mike Penner, her old self. Despite being very public about her transition from Mike to Christine, the Times and Mike have been very quiet about the reasons for de-transitioning. I really could care less as to why he did what he did, it's his business and I support him 100%, but it did get me thinking about my own transition and the always there possibility of going back to Greg.

It's no secret that things haven't exactly turned out that great and going back to being Greg is never far from my mind. I've spent all weekend doing just that and it's been pretty cool. I actually kind of dread having to go back to girl this week but it's something I have to do. Truth is, I miss a lot about being Greg. I miss hanging out with the guys, talking sports, the weather and just doing guy things. I miss the camping trips we used to take, the poker games I'm never invited to and the ease in which I'm able to walk through the world. I miss little things like not having to shave my legs, peeing standing up and not worrying about what I'm going to wear. I miss being in the dating scene and I'd just love to have a girlfriend again.

When I transitioned, I knew that things would never be the same and that once I announced my intentions to the world, there was no really going back. Sure, I could go back to Greg but it wouldn't be the same. It would always be in the back of peoples minds and they would always wonder if I would change my mind again. If I were to actually go through with it, I suppose I would have to move and start fresh someplace else. It's tempting, very tempting, but right now, I'm just not sure if going back is quite the right thing to do. So, I keep bouncing back and forth, doing Kelly during the week and Greg on the weekend. I've though about getting off the hormones but so far I've stuck with them. We'll see what happens.

7. I've found a new television show that I just love. Thursday nights have become my favorite night of TV. At 8 we have Ugly Betty and 9 brings me Dr. McDreamy. Following the goings on at Seattle Grace Hospital, I now get to watch Life on Mars, a delightful new show about a NYC police detective who gets hit by a car and wakes up in 1973. I know it's far fetched, but so is Lost and I love that. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out on Thursday nights at 10 on ABC.

8. Speaking of TV, I thought I would share the shows I watch:
Sunday: Sunday night football, The Dirty Housewives.
Monday: Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles (Just love my Lena), CSI Miami and I DVR Boston Legal.
Tuesday: Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
Wednesday: Pushing Daisies, Private Practice and Dirty Sexy Money (Just love it)
Thursday: Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy, Life on Mars
Friday: College Football and Numbers
Saturday: College Football and SNL

Once Lost comes back, well, that will be my favorite. Can't wait for the new season to start.

Happy Halloween

Which Reminds Me Of This...

Rock On

Things have been very busy in my life of late and I promise to get back to some serious blogging this weekend, but for now, here's another one of my faves...

Predictions Six Days Out

In politics, six days is a lifetime, but I'm going to go ahead and make some predictions for next week.

President: Obama will win by a smaller than expected margin (actual votes) but score a landslide victory in the electoral college.

Obama Wins: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachuesets, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii. He'll narrowly miss out on Indiana and Arizona.

McCain Wins: The rest.

US Senate: Democrats will hold 59 seats plus Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), giving them a fillibuster proof majority. Let's hope that Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, the biggest ass in the world, goes down to defeat.

US House of Representatives: Democrats will gain 31 seats, giving them a majority that will last decades.

I'll have a more percise prediction the night before the election.

Caught in the Crossfire

The ongoing civil war in the Congo is about to claim more victims. Rebel's battling government troops have captured Virugna Park, home to 200 of the world's remaing Mountain Gorillas. This is just the latest example of what poor stewards of the land we humans are. It's long past time for the international community to act. UN forces need to be sent in immediately to save these precious creatures. I can think of few things more worthy of saving than these magnificent animals. I'm not calling for UN forces to get in the middle of the civil war but guarding the park and keeping the gorillas safe should be a top priority. I've said it many times and I'll say it again, we've had our run, it's time for the human race to go away and let something else give it a shot. We've fucked things up for not only ourselves but for the rest of the world. We are a despicable being that needs to vanish and vanish quickly. STOP HAVING BABIES PEOPLE, JUST STOP.


FROM CNN

Wassup

1999, a time of hope...




2008, a time for change...

Idiot America

Sarah Palin As President

Love this site: Sarah Palin As President. Click on the link and just run your mouse around the screen. Click on the image when the icon turns to a hand. Be sure to open up the Oval Office door several times as the scene behind it changes.

Also, be sure to check out the Sarah Palin Name Generator to find out what awesome name Sarah would have given you. It seems she would have named me Cue Manhunt Palin.

I'm a Total Geek

It keeps getting pushed back, opening date is now scheduled for May 8, 2009, but regardless, I'll be there for opening night. Here's the trailer...



And here's the official site: Star Trek Be sure to check out the photo gallery.

Girl As Guy

I woke up pretty early yesterday, if 10:30 can be called early, trying to get to the post office before they closed. Alas, they stayed open till 1 so I could have slept in had I known, but I didn't, and so when I awoke, I simply threw on some shorts, a sweatshirt and a hat. After mailing my package, I went over to Mom's and got there just in time. Turns out, she needed to run to the farmers market and then to Oxmoor, one of the upscale malls on the east side. I went of course, always fun to go shopping, but it was all a bit weird, being in guy mode. I have very few of my old clothes left, just a few tee shirts and a sweatshirt or two and I save them for days like yesterday, days when I oversleep, have a few stray facial hairs and don't have time to fix my hair.

We hit Von Maur, Macy's, Fossil, Eddie Bauer, the Apple Store and a few other places but not once did I look at the mens clothes. I felt totally out of place browsing through the women's department, always assuming that people thought I was looking for someone else. After shopping for a bit, Mom and I went to grab some lunch and that's where it got really weird, though I guess it's still pretty good. After being seated, the waiter came over and the first words out of her mouth were "hi ladies, what I can I get you to drink?" Here I was, totally in guy mode, and this guy kept calling me by feminine pronouns.

There are a lot of times when solely in girl mode, I get the "sir" and "mister", but yesterday, totally out as Greg, I get the "ladies" and such. Of course, an hour or so later, the cashier at Lowe's had no doubt about who or what I was. All of which got me to thinking, how is it possible that two people, just minutes apart, saw me as two totally different people? Perhaps it had to do with the setting, I don't know, but when I got home, I took a long look in the mirror and what I saw was Greg, certainly not Kelly.

UPDATE Monday Evening: To add insult to injury, I just went through a local drive thru to grab some dinner. When I placed my order, the guy said "is there anything else I can get you ma'am." Now despite weating makeup, earrings and having my hair actually look pretty damn good, he said to me "Have a good night sir." Ugh!

It'd Be A Lot Cooler If You Did

He's Going To Blow


If McCain can make it through the next hour without his head exploding, I'll be totally surprised. The man is incredibly unhinged and his temper is legendary. It's only a matter of time till McCain reaches across the table and slaps Obama across the face.

Slow

The intertubes are clogged tonight.

The Video Jukebox is Open

Rock On!

These People Are Deranged Idiots

Check out this video from a McCain rally on Thursday. These people are beyond delusional and are simply idiots. It makes my Bush Hatred look tame in comparison.

ITEOTWAWKIAIFF


Each day, you sort of think that it can't get any worse and then it does. Today brings more evidence that the global economy hasn't reached bottom. If there was any doubt that the party was over, it's gone now.

DOW TANKS- Wall Stree takes a beating as the Dow falls nearly 700 points and the Standards and Poor 500 is off 40% from it's peak last year.

US TREASURY WARNS OF MORE BANK FAILURES- And this surprises who?

ICELAND COLLAPSES- Iceland seized control of the last bank and stopped trading in a last ditch effort to keep the country from ceasing to exist. To give you an idea of how bad it is there, the banking system has $61 billion in liabilities or $200,000 per resident. Sounds nice, doesn't it?

JAPAN AND HONG KONG TANK- Asian stocks are opening to huge, huge losses.

PAKISTAN FACES BANKRUPTCY- If only they didn't have a rather large arsenal of nuclear bombs.

The list could go on and on forever but I think you get the picture. If there is any kind of silver lining, it's that the price of a barrel of oil continues to fall. As the global economy continues to contract, demand for oil will collapse and prices will continue to fall, thus delaying, ever so slightly, the real impacts of peak oil.

Undecided Voters?

As I sit here on my sofa watching the latest Presidential debate, I got to wondering about the undecided voters assembled there tonight. I guess the thing I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that some voters still don't know who they are voting for. If at this late point in the campaign, you can't make up your mind, well, you don't have any business voting. We could not have two more different candidates, each offering a very distinct platform for the next four years, and somehow it's still not enough to go on? I just don't get it and it pisses me off.

Losing My Religion

For most of my life, I avoided church like the plague. Very few things about religion ever made sense to me and throughout life, I've always questioned the existence of a Supreme Being. So much of what is wrong with the world is the result of religion, or more specifically, relgious nuts. Violence against women, wars, slavery and bigotry have all been justified by a Bible, Koran or other religious text. So imagine my surprise when I began attending church four or five years ago. I'm not sure what it was that brought me to those doors but for a long time, I really did enjoy it. The church I found was a lovely place that welcomed all and preached not about hate and hurt and bigotry but about love and peace and acceptance.

During those years, I officially got baptized, became a Deacon and for all intents and purposes was an integral part of the church. I enjoyed going, the people were and are wonderful and it just seemed very comfortable. But this year, something happened and as suddenly as I started going to church, I stopped. The last time I walked through those doors was early May and though I've thought about going back from time to time, the truth is, I just don't want to. I suppose part of it has to do with the fact that I was becoming increasingly bored with services. Each Sunday seemed to be the same and it got to the point where I just dreaded going the next. At the same time, I began to critically think about religion again and what I found troubled me. In short, I sort of quit believing.

Last night, I told myself that I was going to go back and see if maybe things had changed. I did set my alarm, laid out some clothes and felt convinced that this would be the Sunday that I returned. Alas, it didn''t happen. I did get up. I did think about it. In the end, I felt like a better use of my time would be to go back to bed and that is what I did. Oddly, I don't feel bad about that. I'm beginning to think that church and me just don't go together, sort of like oil and water. I do miss the people there, I really do, but so far, there just hasn't been anything to make me go back. Strange.

UPDATE: I guess I should have mentioned that a big part of my never going to church has to do with a lot of lingering anger over the gender I was born. As a small kid, I used to pray every night that I would wake up a girl and when that never happened, I found myself feeling nothing but anger. Of course that's not a logical thing to do but being a kid, things aren't always so logical.

Congratulations, You Now Own Big Shitpile

Congrats to everyone as we all now own a piece of Big Shitpile. In predictable fashion, the Dems caved to Mr. 27% and gave him everything that he wanted. $800 billion disappeared today, all for no reason at all. Of course it's all most likely nothing but fake money, the government being broke and all. The truth is, this bailout plan will be about as successful as the Iraq war has gone. A week from now, the markets will still be in the toilet, the credit market will still be frozen, the same banks will be on the verge of going under, more people will have lost their jobs and America will have sunk lower and lower. Of course, we won't be alone. Europe is on the verge of going under as well, Ireland, Iceland, Greece and Portugal being the first to go with Italy and Spain not far behind. The Brits are panicked, Germany now appears to have bought into Big Shitpile and eventually the Chinese are going to want to be paid back.

As bad as things are, they will probably get much worse. The dow at 10,000 is just arond the corner and we should drop below that in the next week or two. The Christmas shopping season is sure to be horrendous as most Americans struggle to just pay the bills they have now. Home prices will continue to free fall and more and more Americans will find themselves owing more than their homes are worth. Any homes on the market will just sit there as banks refuse to make loans. The same goes for Detroit as banks aren't about to lend money (i.e. car loans for buyers) to anyone but the most credit worthy. I still stand by my prediction that next year will see either General Motors or Ford fail and be bought out by Honda, Nissan or Toyota. The airlines continue to flirt with insolvency as high oil prices make profitablity impossible. The days of air travel are almost over.



Lest you think it's all bad news, well, it is. With Peak Oil upon us, we simply will not have enough energy to ever repay all of this debt. Our economy will continue to falter, falling more and more each year as the world comes to grips with a low energy world where growth is no longer possible. The governments of the world will do whatever it takes to some how prop up business as usual but much like this current crisis, they will fail. Oh, all the stops will be pulled out, the powers that be will try everything to keep things going but the truth is, it just won't happen. Hell, we'll be lucky to keep the lights on, much less make an economic recovery. As always, will the last person left turn out the lights, it's been one hell of a party.

First Taste of Fall

For the first time since April, I was able to turn my air conditioner off (save for the five days without power). A pretty strong cold front brought high temperatures in the low 60's with mid 40's forecast for tonight. Fall always seems to have a hard time taking hold around here and this year has been no different. After a couple of cool days, temps are expected back in the 80's this weekend with lows in the 60's. We've still got a month or so of warm weather, especially during the day and no doubt the air conditioner will be back on in a few days. Yes, summer isn't quite over yet but for a day or two, it feels a bit like fall around here.

Today Was A Good Day

I've long been on the record that things are going to hell in a handbasket. I've also been screaming that the proposed bailout plan, the one that went down to defeat today, for Wall Street was a complete croc. What i haven't been able to do is express the right way, why this bailout of Big Shitpile, was a bad idea. So, I'm going to let Kos tell you as he does it much better than I ever could:

1. I'm glad this thing failed. The right and left may have had different reasons for voting this bill down, but fact is, the "consensus center" rushed into this bill with little transparency or public input deserved to die. Was this the right bill? Maybe, maybe not. but we certainly didn't have a fair debate on it. Some of you may be quick to trust your representatives in DC. I'm not willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

2. On the merits, the bill fell short. The CEO compensation provision was a joke, the oversight provisions were a joke, Congress had no ability to block additional disbursement of the money without an affirmative vote (subject to filibusters), and not a dime was directed at average Americans. It was a reverse Robin Hood -- the largest transfer of wealth in our nation's history from the working class to the upper class. And transferring that wealth to healthy financial institutions and foreign ones was morally repugnant.

3. But there is a finance problem. Just because this solution sucked, doesn't mean that nothing should be done.
So now, with a little more time, perhaps we can have an honest appraisal of the alternatives. I've seen several options floated. I can't find and link to them since I have to soon rush back into the jury pool waiting room, and they don't have wi-fi in there (though they will soon! they promise unhelpfully), but I've linked to some in the past, and others have as well. Now we'll hopefully get a chance to look more closely at those alternatives.

4. And with those alternatives, hopefully we have options that offer solutions to the problem, but don't destroy an Obama's administration to invest in progressive priorities like health care, education, and alternate fuels. Hopefully we have a solution that places the burden of the bailout on those who most benefited from it. Hopefully we have a solution that provides tangible benefits to those most harmed by this crisis, not those who have benefited. And sure, the wingers may not like it (since what they seem to want is more regulation, which is what got us here in the first place!), but we have the majorities. And if the crisis is as bad as Bush claims, let him try to veto a more equitable solution to the crisis.

5. The polling is clear -- the American people, me included, aren't pretending there isn't a finance crisis. But they want a solution that doesn't reward the "evildoers". This one did. Next time, let's put the burden of the bailout on those who deserve to bear it, not on those of us who were never invited to that party to begin with.

Time reports that calls to Congressional offices were 100 to 1 against the bailout deal.