Straight Pride Parade? Really? I get a visit.

Leave a comment

straightpride

Last month, if you’ll remember, I wrote about setting up a conference call with the gods, pleading for good weather at PrideVisalia 2019. Despite weather forecasts predicting rain, it was sunny and warm that day. The gods were disposed to grant my request, and held the downpour until the next day. Man, did it rain then! My eternal thanks to all of them for cooperating.

I had thought that would be the end of that, at least until next year, but this morning I learned an important lesson.

Once you become known as a contact point for a group, you’re stuck with it, for better or worse.

This morning, just before dawn, in that in-between time when stories have the spirits at their most active, I got dragged up from a pleasant dream to find I was not alone in my bedroom.

In fact, there was quite the crowd. They were standing around the bed, and they did not look pleased. Normally, this kind of thing would elicit a panicked response on my part, but for some reason I felt fairly calm. I must have been thinking “this is a new dream. Dang, that other one was more fun”, because I just kind of sat there, wondering why these folks were in my bedroom.

One of them, a woman, spoke up. “Jimmie, what in the hell is this thing about a straight pride parade in Boston?” I squinted at her in the dim morning light, trying to figure out who she was. “We were happy to hold the rain off for PrideVisalia, good job on that, by the way, I popped down and visited incognito, had a wonderful time, the Mom Hugs were a fantastic idea. Now we’re hearing that Boston is holding a straight pride? What the hell??” she said.

As the sleep was fading from my brain, I recognized the voice from the conference call.

“Tempestas, so nice to meet you in person,” I said. I thought I heard a thunderclap and rumble off in the distance. I remember thinking, “there’s no storms predicted for Visalia today…”

Another one of them spoke up, “Hey, answer the question! What’s up with this straight pride nonsense?!” I recognized that voice, too. “Ishkur, boy, that graphic artist got you spot on!”

The thunder got a bit louder, and I realized it was not coming from outside.

“uh, guys…  don’t sweat it,” I said. “A group of lonely straight guys, who apparently can’t get laid, have decided they need a pride parade to prove they’re just as cool as the gays. They’ll probably have a few dozen people show up, they’ll have some really lousy music, someone will give a speech that will be roundly ridiculed on social media, and it will be a lot of smoke and noise, and nothing else.”

Tempestas was still glaring at me, and said “I’m thinking of sending a hurricane to Boston that day. They haven’t had one since 1991, and I think they’re due for another, if they let this nonsense go on!”  The rest of the crowd murmured in agreement, and I knew I had to do something, quick. (that god time thing, again. For them, August 31, the planned day of the “parade” might as well be right now)

I asked them not to ruin Boston’s day just for a few nutcases, even if they are jerks.

“Is that Fryer back there?” I asked. “My thanks to you and Odin, and all the others, for granting my request for PrideVisalia. We really had a wonderful time.” The figure standing back in the growing light just nodded, and waved his hand at Tempestas and Ishkur, who had apparently been appointed to speak for the group. I turned my attention back to them.

“Really, please. It’s no big deal. They’ve been laughed at since the news broke that they were applying for a parade permit. Boston, as you all know, is about as progressive a place as there is in the United States, and they really can’t say no to this application, no matter how idiotic it may be. Let them have their straight pride parade, (there’s that rumble again, it’s getting louder… where is it coming from?) and we can forevermore hold it up to those who scream ‘why is there no straight pride!?!?’, and say there you go, you got one. After all, we’ve always told them if they felt they needed a parade, to organize one, and it looks like they finally took our advice.”

Tempestas was still glaring, and Ishkur had little lightning bolts flickering between his fingers as I spoke, and I remember a stray thought that I hoped those sparks wouldn’t damage my phone, sitting on the night stand next to where he was standing. Several others still grouped around the foot of my bed were looking a bit more calm, though, so I was hoping things were looking up. I really didn’t want to feel responsible if Boston got clobbered by a storm that day. Was that Indra standing next to my dresser?

Ishkur snapped his fingers, and the room was briefly brighter than I ever remember anything being, and he pointed at Tempestas. “Pay attention!” he thundered.

“Really,” I said, “don’t worry about it. This will be a one-time thing, and it won’t be all that much at that. Everyone will see this for what it is, another cheap slap at the LGBT community by incels that really feel powerless in their own lives. They’ll make a bit of noise, snarl traffic, and generate more hostility towards their ‘movement’. The difference between their little ‘parade’ and Boston’s Pride parade couldn’t be more stark, and they’ll do more damage to their cause than a hurricane would do to the region. Please, just let it go.”

By this time, the room had cleared out, it was just me, Tempestas and Ishkur remaining. From that I presumed that the other gods were willing to go along with ignoring straight pride, and all I had to do was seal the deal with those two.

“So, are we good?” I asked. “Boston is a really nice place, I hope to visit it one day, and these morons are just background noise. Let it pass, and let them fade into the obscurity they deserve.” I was crossing my fingers behind my back.

Ishkur looked at Tempestas, who appeared to be deep in thought.

“OK,” she said. “I can’t guarantee that there won’t be rain, or even a hurricane on that day, these things generally run on autopilot with very little input or notice by me. What I won’t do is deliberately “rain on their parade”, so to speak.” A small grin appeared, she clearly thought her pun was clever. I was not inclined to disagree, or give any sign of my internal groan.

“Thank you,” I said, as I bowed slightly, still sitting in bed. “You are a most gracious and kind goddess.” I was going to say more, but I got the distinct impression she wouldn’t have appreciated further groveling, and I thought I heard a rumble from Ishkur that implied I should stop while I was ahead. A wink from him as he faded from sight encouraged that idea.

Tempestas winked too, and was gone. I sat there for a bit, and thought to myself “that’s the last time I have chocolate chip mint ice cream right before bed.”  My next thought was as I was waking up several hours later, “what a wild dream. That’ll make a great blog post! What’s that rumbling noise?…”

 

 

 

 

The story can now be told – why it didn’t rain on PrideVisalia 2019

3 Comments

storm_god

Ishkur, Mesopotamian god of storms

Despite a week of weather forecasts predicting rain on Saturday, the day of PrideVisalia 2019 was sunny, clear, and warm. How did that happen? Well, now the story can be told.

The very first PrideVisalia hosted by The Source LGBT+ Center was in June 2017, and the summer gods were out in full force. 105 degrees in the shade (40 for those of you who are on the Celsius thermometer), with relentless solar radiation made for a sweaty and uncomfortable festival. The powers-that-be decided that it’s difficult to be gay (or lesbian, or bi, or trans, or pan, or anything else for that matter) under such conditions, so the festival for 2018 was moved to the end of May. Cooler weather usually prevails, and the festival can be truly festive. It did and it was.

As PrideVisalia 2019 approached, our weather apps began giving us ominous warnings. Thunderstorms, rain, and warm temperatures were threatening to make the festival a muggy, wet, sodden affair. Nerves were on edge, a brave face was put on by organizers, and extra awnings were put on standby.

Why didn’t it rain? I simply asked for a favor.

Yep, I set up a conference call, and got all the gods on one hookup. You wouldn’t believe how difficult that was to arrange! Some of these characters really don’t like each other. Some kept insisting none of the others even existed! I finally appealed to their better natures (for some their vanity, but that’s another story) and got them all on the line.

I managed to snare the major players: Zeus, Ishkur, Tlaloc, Indra, Fryer, Odin (who, like some of the other major players, insisted on being included even though he doesn’t usually handle weather himself), and Tempestas (who you would think from her name wouldn’t be a easy sell, but she was a joy to talk with). Some native American weather spirits joined in, especially those of the local tribes here in the valley, and of course Allah and Yahweh. (I tried to get Lucifer on the call, just to keep some balance, but he was unavailable. Apparently he’s on vacation. In Los Angeles. Odd.)

After some small talk that seemed to last an eternity (God time is very different from human time, it seems) we got down to the issue at hand.

I was prepared for a long, hard fought battle to convince them to hold the rain off for a day, but it was amazingly easy.

Seems the gods are really fond of their LGBTQ+ children, and were eager to grant such a request. They also love a party, and once I described what was going on, they were all on board with very little convincing required. I think the drag queens and the Ballet Folklorico dancers of Mexico Moderno really put it over the top.

I got a bit of flack from Yahweh about my being an atheist and all, but I’m pretty sure he was just ribbing me. (see what I did there?) He, of course, loves all the rainbow gear at Pride. Allah was silent for most of it all, but I’m pretty sure I heard a نعم فعلا from him.

So there you have it. One conference call, some friendly chatting, a bit of ego stroking for the more vain characters, and they all agreed to push the rain to the next day. Sunny and warm, with a slight breeze prevailed for PrideVisalia 2019.

I’m a little concerned what they might require of me as payment for granting my favor. A couple of them were putting on an ominous tone, but I’m pretty sure they were just teasing. Fairly sure. Oh boy… what have I done! Whatever the reality of that is, I’ll deal with it at some future date. A very far-off in the future date. Maybe they’ll forget. One can hope.

Oh, and you’re welcome!

P.S.

PrideVisalia2019_weather

The neighbors were not pleased

Leave a comment

houseI just woke up from a most entertaining dream. One in which I bought a rather large house somewhere. As I was looking through my new home, people kept showing up, and I didn’t have a clue as to who they were or why they were there. I had to run off a group of 20-something street kids who were apparently letting themselves in the side gate to use a bathroom that had a door to the side yard. There was a nice, sane guy who was doing something in the kitchen… I think he was preparing lunch, but I’m not sure, he was possibly washing vegetables in the sink. He was like a narrator, telling me things about the house, the neighbors, and the neighborhood in general. The kitchen had two of those island grills stations you see in Japanese restaurants, the kind where the chefs cook your food right in front of you. I thought it was a bit odd to have two of them, but there they were.

There were a nice couple of older ladies who I found in a parlor-type room who were apparently there to clean, or maybe get it ready for a cotillion-like affair (it’s a rather large, rambling, yet modern, house). The gentleman with them seemed non-plussed to see me, which was odd, since it was my house.

The house was laid out oddly, with rooms in strange arrangements. There was an upstairs bathroom that had a hole drilled in the counter that looked directly down into the master bedroom. When I saw that, I thought to myself, “well, that’s not good. I’ll have to fix that.”

Then, the door bell rang. What now??

A man and a woman were standing there, and while he seemed a bit sheepish, she was clearly upset about something.  She made it clear that she was not happy to see me owning this house in her neighborhood. How did she know I wouldn’t be a “good fit”? My car was a six cylinder (my Taurus was sitting in the driveway). The look on the man’s face was pretty much “I have to live with her”.

I smirked and told her, “well, wait until you see the antennas I’m going to put up… I’m a ham radio operator!” I grinned at her, as she was working up to what I’m sure would have been an apoplectic scene, but I closed the door and returned to my narrator at the kitchen sink. He apologized for them, and was saying something about the area as I wandered off into another part of the house.

I had the feeling that things were just about to get really weird/interesting as I walked out of the kitchen.

Then I woke up. I was mildly disappointed that it had been a dream. Clearly the guy in the kitchen warranted more investigation, and I wanted to get those antennas mounted on the roof quickly.

 

 

I’m not so sure

1 Comment

prediction03272019

Maybe I’m just on the ‘wrong’ weather channel. Ten minutes to go, we’ll see if something sneaks in on a zephyr.

The Future That Never Was

1 Comment

georgejetson I live in the future, and things are not as I was promised.

Back in the 1960’s, when I was Space Cadet Jimmie Joe, there were certain things that we simply knew would exist, off in the far distant future of the 21st Century. The big one, of course, was the flying car. The Jetsons‘ of 1962 got that wrong. Back To The Future of 1985 got it wrong, too. Space Cadet Jimmie Joe has never quite forgiven any of them for that.

The Jetsons‘ had big screen televisions and video phones, which we’ve pretty well matched. We get our dinners from a magic box we call a microwave oven, which is a pretty good substitute for dinner sliding out of the wall on a conveyor belt. And, of course, the Internet. Of all the future tech people wrote about in my childhood, nobody really thought of that one. So much for prognostication.

The future I live in has interesting quirks, some rather depressing. We have 400 channels of television, and nothing much worth watching. We have satellite radio, also with hundreds of channels.  The FM and AM radio bands are filled with screaming DJs, or drivel-filled talk shows that cater to conspiracy theories and “fake news”.

While the future is not quite Blade Runner, neither is it Star Trek.

I ran into one quirk this morning. It turns out that in the 21st century, if the computer goes down the fast food joint can’t serve anything. Nobody knows how to do anything without the computer adjudicating it first.

The grill was still hot. The french fryer still bubbling. The soda machine could still dispense a Coke. But without the computer, nothing happens.

Nobody knows how to take an order, write it down, add up the price, figure out the sales tax, and make a sale. Business comes to a screeching halt, all because the computer crashed.

I suppose that’s all so very futuristic of them, but it sure seems like we missed the boat (flying car) somewhere.

Oh. And my Congressman is suing a cow. A fake cow. For being mean to him.

Welcome to the 21st Century, Space Cadet Jimmie Joe.

 

Devin Nunes is suing a cow.

Leave a comment

devincow  So a fake cow said mean things about Congressman Devin Nunes (R-Tulare), and he’s suing.

Twitter parody account @DevinCow had about 1,000 followers Saturday night. Monday morning the news hit that Nunes, former head of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and now ranking member, was suing Twitter, the person behind an account called “DevinsMom” (since removed because Nunes’ real mother complained to Twitter), and the cow*.

Twitter users immediately dumped a skip-loader’s worth of cow-pie scorn on him. Parody accounts flourished, all taking him to task for attacking an account that had only about a thousand followers before Monday. Twitter users flocked to follow the herd, and cow jokes have been thicker than flies around a sump pond. Steven Colbert even set up a one-Tweet parody page, Devin’s Skin. It’s message? “Still Thin”.

By Wednesday, @DevinCow had surpassed the 398,000 followers on Nunes‘ personal account, and as of this writing has 608,000. Nunes’ official Congressional Twitter account has only 32,000 followers, and is rarely used by the California Republican.

You’d think a dairyman would know how NOT to step in a pile of cow shit, but since it’s been a long time since Devin has actually worked on, or owned any interest in, a dairy, perhaps he’s forgotten. Maybe he became used to the muck in Washington, D.C., and this all just seems very normal to him.

So… he’s suing Twitter. Devin says he’s due $250,000,000 for all the pain, suffering, mental anguish, and damage to his reputation (because, see, he *almost* lost the last election. Too many of his constituents must be too easily swayed by that low-down, no-good, scurrilous cow and her mean Tweets!).

This is the same Devin Nunes that told C-SPAN in 2010 that he had no problem with people saying demeaning, rude, or hostile things to government officials.

This is the same Devin Nunes that is a co-sponsor on a bill to prevent frivolous lawsuits.

My, how times have changed!

*ok, he’s not suing a real cow. He’s going after whoever runs that account. Legal observers say it’s udder-ly crazy for him to expect to win. 1st Amendment, you know.

Oh, and I’m still blocked from his personal account. I’m assuming it’s something I said.

When is a zero not a zero?

Leave a comment

no-zeroWhen is a zero not a zero? Turns out, when it’s an ‘o’.

For almost 25 years, I’ve been a 9-1-1/law enforcement dispatcher. One task of many in dispatching is to check DMV, DOJ, and national databases for registration and stolen status on vehicles. These checks are usually done by the license plate number, but sometime we have to use the Vehicle Identification Number, also known as the VIN.

From day one of my training, way back in 1994, I was told there are two characters never used in VINs. The letter ‘o’, and the letter ‘i’. This is because they are generally indistinguishable from zeros and ones, especially on VIN plates located on vehicle dashboards or engines. Simple. Every time you see 0 or 1 in a VIN, they are numbers, not letters.

Until yesterday.

More

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: