What Dreams May Come – breaker breaker

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I seldom remember my dreams.  They fade as I wake, if I recall them at all.  Today I awoke remembering the dream that just ended, and it starred my old CB radio.

Cobra CAM 88

I own a Cobra CAM 88 Citizen’s Band radio.  It’s a 23 channel, tube type AM transceiver, and I have a Silver Eagle D-104 power mic connected to it.  I bought the radio used in the mid-to-late 1970′s from my buddy Marc Cooper, who I believe got it from his uncle.  It’s probably a mid-60′s radio.

D104In my dream, I was showing the radio to a friend, and hooked it up to try it out. Now, I haven’t even turned on a CB radio in probably ten years or more, let alone keyed one up and talked.  But I did in this dream, and heard distant stations coming in by skip.  (skip is when a radio signal bounces off the ionosphere and travels much farther than normal.  When sunspot activity is high, you can hear stations from the east coast easier than you can hear locals.  High power amplifiers add to the noise factor!)

The odd thing about this dream is More

July 5, 1994 – Communications Operator I

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I walked into the building at 7am, July 5, 1994, for the first time as an employee.  Communications Operator I.  Three months of training lay ahead, and a year’s worth of probation.  The place was the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, the room was in the basement, in a space originally designed to be a gymnasium / weight lifting room.  As of today, I’ve put in 20 years in that cramped space.

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Even just standing around can get you in the newspaper!

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At Gay Porterville’s rally Tuesday, June 17, I got caught in the newspaper’s picture.  This image appeared in the Porterville Recorder’s print edition today.

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See my Alternating Currents blog for the story of the rally, here.

The entire photo after the jump.

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Flag Day 2014 – A More Perfect Union

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I see gay people

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Gay couple, circa 1875

Growing up, I had always viewed Visalia as hostile to gay life.  In the 70′s (the 1970′s mind you), I didn’t see any gay people.  There were some everybody suspected (everybody as in my classmates at Mt. Whitney High School. That’s a representative sample, right?), but none who I knew for certain.  That’s part of the reason it wasn’t until the 21st century, and my 40′s, that I even began my coming out process. No positive role models.

Today, I notice something completely different. The gays are everywhere!  No, really.  I see them all the time.

How do I know?  Easy.  Every time I go into a local supermarket, they’re there.  It’s clear to me they aren’t just “roommates” from the apartment complexes nearby, but are actual couples.  Watch them if you don’t believe me. (be discreet about it, though)

I suppose part of it is that I’m “in tune” to spotting them now.  My “gaydar” has been upgraded since my teens, thank goodness.  But at some point in the last thirty years Visalia has become home to a rather large, if publicly silent, group of gay and lesbian couples.  (The 2010 US Census listed Tulare County as the #1 County in California with gay couples raising children, per capita)

It’s an interesting mix of individuals, too.  Seen alone, you’d probably never spot them as gay or lesbian (I’ve noticed you gals, too…  it’s not just the men I’m noticing out there!). But in the store, engaged in one of those mundane chores of daily life, I see them.  Most of them tend to be younger couples, guys and gals in their 20′s.  (That may reflect the demographics of those apartment complexes I mentioned.)  I have noticed some older couples, too, although the higher in age they get, the more they tend to be a lesbian couple.

Now it’s almost a game for me when I go shopping.  I’ve got the gaydar on max, and I’m letting it sweep the store as I walk, seeing what I find.  (I’m easily entertained at times.) There goes a couple now.  Yep, gay.  There’s another pair, but it’s clear they’re NOT a couple, but probably are, honestly and truly, roommates.  No sharing of toothpaste or bedrooms there.  Once you start paying attention, it really is rather obvious.

Or maybe I just know what to look for these days.  Now all I have to do is figure out how to spot *single* gay men!

 

 

 

Intolerance of intolerance is intolerant. Huh??

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facepalm_statueThe newest right-wing meme is this:

If you don’t tolerate our intolerance, you’re being intolerant, and therefore a hypocrite!

Sorry, right wing.  It doesn’t work that way.  You may get your sheeple to go along with that, but the rest of us just wonder if you’re off your meds.

 

 

“It’s perfectly fine”

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Ever work for someone who just wouldn’t update or upgrade anything at the office?

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Some folks will squeeze every penny, even to the point of pressing so tightly it turns into a miniature black hole!

Well, that’s a pain. Shingles remind me that the term “young” no longer applies. With little itches and random jolts.

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Last weekend I noticed a patch of red bumps on my abdomen, running towards my right side.  I thought “that’s a bit odd”, but random bumps pop up and disappear from time to time, and I dismiss them as they come and go.  These didn’t go, and became more pronounced, crowded, and demanded attention by being itchy.  I also began experiencing random jabs of pain, usually in my side. It made for an interesting shift at work last Monday, it was like someone was poking me in the side, and it didn’t matter if I was speaking on the phone or on the radio at the time.  Later that night/morning at home, I thought “shingles?”, and did a Google search to see if it might be what I was experiencing.  Well, symptoms matched, so Tuesday I went into the doctor’s office, and sure enough, the physician’s assistant said I had them.  Gave me a prescription for an anti-viral, and a freebee box of Lyrica, a pain medication.

From the Mayo Clinic’s website:

Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Although shingles can occur anywhere on your body, it most often appears as a single stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or the right side of your torso.

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you’ve had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles.

While it isn’t a life-threatening condition, shingles can be very painful. Vaccines can help reduce the risk of shingles, while early treatment can help shorten a shingles infection and lessen the chance of complications.

Wonderful.

After the jump, I’ll continue the story, with a picture of my rash.  If you don’t wish to see such things, stop now.  Otherwise,

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The Internet as Time Capsule

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My family has roots in Woodlake, a small community 20 miles northeast of Visalia. A while back  I joined a Facebook page “You know you’re from Woodlake if…”  Today, while scanning a picture someone posted, I spotted my mother.  She’s in a 7th grade class picture, taken on November 10, 1953.  She’s 14 here.  You can spot her in the back row, 5th from the left.  I’m amazed at how many of my nieces I can see in her face, looking out from 61 years ago.  What’s more amazing to me, is that in 4 years, she’ll be married and a mother.

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I thought WordPress would allow the image to be clickable to a larger version, but apparently not.  Here’s an enlargement of the section my Mother is in:

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Wanda Faye Bergman (later, Reeves) Top row, middle.

Throwback Thursday: July, 1958

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It’s July, 1958. El Paso, Texas.  “Big Jimmie”, as he will come to be called by his family now that he has a “Little Jimmie”, turned 20 this month, and is an airman in the United States Air Force.  When I selected the picture for this week’s “Throwback Thursday”, I noticed something I hadn’t seen before.  I’ve always seen him in pictures of me, and that gets truer the older I get.  Until today, however, I had never noticed my Mother in me.  I see her in this one, however.  Something in my face reminds me of her, and I wonder why I never noticed it before.  I also see many of my other relatives.  Or rather I see the common familial features we all tend to have as infants.  We might all look very different as we grow up, but you can certainly tell we’re all related in our baby pictures.

Oddly, it reminds me of how I first became aware of Keanu Reeves.

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