The importance of being still



“Say, Pooh, why aren’t you busy?” I said.
“Because it’s a nice day,” said Pooh.
“Yes, but —”
“Why ruin it?” he said.
“But you could be doing something Important,” I said.
“I am, ” said Pooh.
“Oh? Doing what?”
“Listening,” he said.
“Listening to what?”
“To the birds. And that squirrel over there.”
“What are they saying?” I asked.
“That it’s a nice day,” said Pooh.
“But you know that already,” I said.
“Yes, but it’s always good to hear that somebody else thinks so, too,” he replied.

… and they had a spaceship!

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If you’re a regular reader, you know of SpaceCadet Jimmiejoe.  He’s the twelve year old who hides behind these 58 year old eyes, demanding to be let out from time to time.  Last Wednesday, he’d had enough.  We WERE, by GAWD, going to Los Angeles, and we WERE, by GAWD, going to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour.  He was accepting no more excuses, no more delays, and no more procrastination.  There’s a space ship sitting less than 200 miles away, and we needed to go.  How can you argue with logic like that?  So, we went.  The SpaceCadet surprised me.  He didn’t tear up when he saw the Endeavour. I was kind of expecting that, after his reaction to seeing a Saturn V rocket in person.


LGBT center to serve Tulare & Kings Counties

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Did you see the article in Saturday’s edition of the Visalia Times Delta? If not, go here and check it out. We’ll wait.

Isn’t that just the greatest news? Here’s their webpage, and here’s their Facebook page. Here’s their fundraising page. Go toss them a few bucks. Or more. We’ll wait again.

Back?  Thanks!  The response to this endeavor from the LGBT and allied community has been astounding. From nearly meeting the initial fundraising goal in just a few weeks, to the outpouring of “likes” on Facebook and the buzz on social media, theSOURCE promises to be a resounding success.

Visalia has long had LGBT groups holding activities.  From an over 20 year ongoing monthly potluck dinner group, gay bowling leagues, softball teams (go Skittles!), the Lavender Ball,  Pride in the Park, Family Fest, the second LGBT Pride Lions group in the USA, the Tuesday Evening Dining Group, gay-straight alliances at local high schools, and COS Pride just to mention a few, Visalia has bucked the trend of most other places in the Central Valley.

There have also been dark times.  Suicides of LGBT youth and adults has been an un- or under-reported fact of life here.  Many young gay people leave the area as soon as they can, some never to return.  In 2001 a gay student at Golden West High School sued the Visalia Unified School District over anti-gay harassment he suffered there.  George Loomis won his case, resulting in new policies and training for Visalia Unified.

The times, as they say, are a’ changin’.

theSOURCE will provide a clearinghouse for resources, information, counseling, medical and mental health services, social activities, and more, all geared to supporting the LGBT and allied community.  Access to medically accurate information for the treatment of STDs, as well as HIV/AIDs, and referrals to practitioners familiar and friendly towards the gay community will be provided.  Information on welcoming and affirming religious organizations will be available.

A new page in Visalia’s LGBT history is about to be turned.  From the heart of Visalia’s downtown (208 W. Main, Suite B in the Montgomery Plaza), theSOURCE will serve the entire community, regardless of sexual orientation, gender expression, race, religion, physical or mental handicap, age, income level, or any other classification you care to come up with.

At theSOURCE, you don’t have to be out to come in.  You don’t have to be gay, either.

At theSOURCE, you’re welcome.

History is about to be made in Visalia

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We’ve never had this before. It’s coming in May, and it promises to be a vital new addition to Visalia and Tulare/Kings Counties. Keep an eye out for this weekend’s Visalia Times Delta, and their coverage of something many of us thought would never happen here.

It is happening, it’s long overdue, and it’s going to be the source for a lot of change!

Stay tuned.

My first senior haircut

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I was sitting in the barber shop a few minutes ago, and I noticed a sign on the wall.  It has a listing of prices, including the “senior” rate.  The price indicated was the same as the old “regular” price (at some point in the recent past prices went up a buck), but there was no indication as to what constituted “senior”.  I found out that, at least to the 20-something kid cutting my hair, I qualified.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.

This is the second time I’ve been given the “senior” discount without asking.  Several years ago, a teenage girl at the theater gave me the lower price without my saying anything about it beforehand.  I suppose I had better get used to such things.

I wonder if I should start practicing having ‘senior moments’? I can start by forgetting names, since I’m terrible at remembering them anyway, and always have been.  That way I can write it off to a pre-existing condition.  That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.


This new guy really is a Bad Robot

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Space. The Final Frontier.

First it was Star Trek. Now it’s Star Wars. I don’t like where this is going.

You know who I’m talking about, right?  J.J. Abrams?  The wunderkind of movies these days?  In my little world, he’s trashed the Enterprise, and now he’s killed Han Solo.  Is nothing sacred?

OK, I suppose *he* didn’t kill Han.  The story is Harrison Ford wanted the character to die back in the carbonite block, but was talked out of it (read $$$).   But still.  Bad Robot.

First, the Enterprise.  I really like the bridge of the new version starship.  Especially the ’embedded-in-the-window’ viewscreen.  That was a cool idea.  The engine room, and whatever those huge tank things were, is just… not.  Unless the Enterprise is really a TARDIS, there’s just no way all that inside fits the outside.  Huge gaping spaces for our heros to dangle from is just nuts.  That thing-a-ma-jig that Kirk kicks back into alignment? Bad scripting there, plain and simple.  Really poor starship design.  The same engineers that came up with the viewscreen-window couldn’t come up with a better doo-dad for Kirk to fix at the last second? Really?  And those lens flares. Really annoying. Bad Robot.

I just saw Star Wars – The Force Awakens.  Not much force awakening going on there.  A lot of spaceship-blowing-up and what-not, but the force is not strong in this one.  More vast spaces to dangle the hero from, but mostly a re-hash.  We’ve pretty much seen this movie, before we’ve even seen it.  Bad Robot.

Nit-picking.  Did nobody do an after-action assessment when they lost the Death Star?  Nobody noticed the glaring design flaw in the super-weapon?  They basically built the same thing again, only bigger?  And using a star as a power source?  In such a way that you suck up the star itself to power the weapon?  Seems like a lot of money and resources to put into a weapon with a limited shelf-life! The Dark Side seems to have a rather large blind spot. Probably as big as the ego of the latest evil leader.  Bad Empire/First Order.

And haven’t we already seen this plot device?  The weapon is charging/coming into range!  We have only minutes before the rebel base is zapped!  Everyone’s about to die!  But wait! Our heroes blow up the Death Star/Star Killer in the nick of time, saving everyone!  I suppose if he’s going to re-hash old Star Trek movies, J.J. doesn’t worry about doing it in Star Wars, too.  Bad Robot.

I wonder if Mark Hamill is going to be able to pull off his own Obi-Wan in the next movie? Can we believe Luke going full-Yoda on us?  Time will tell.  JJ Abrams won’t be directing it, so maybe we’ll get something more George Lucas-like.  But it’s Disney, now, so maybe not. Especially after George’s crack about them.

This movie didn’t seem to really advance the story much.  I suppose it’s more a hat-tip to the previous films, and to set up the two to follow.  Seems a bit weak to be a top-grossing movie, but it does show the desire of the public to revisit this galaxy.  Disney and company seem determined to give them what they want.  The merchandising for this episode has just been insane.  Even a YouTube light saber gizmo on the control thingy?  Really?  Bad Robot.

The 3D version was pretty neat.  I enjoyed it, and most of the time didn’t realize I was watching a 3D movie.  When you don’t notice the effect, they’re doing it right.  Good Robot.

I went to the last showing on a Sunday night, and had the auditorium to myself.  Just me and the movie.  That’s both cool, and a little creepy at the same time.  Watching the opening crawl and then the closing credits in 3D was strangely mesmerizing.

Overall, I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars.  Excellent effects, especially in 3D, likable new characters, and the possibility of decent follow-on stories.  Dinged for re-hashed story and plot, no clear emotional buildup on Ben’s part to Han’s death (Ben did not seem conflicted, nor did the murder seem like his climax to completing his journey to the Dark Side), and it’s poor use of R2-D2 and C3PO.

The old man in the iPhone



There’s something wrong with my iPhone.  I try to take ‘selfies’, but this old man keeps showing up.  I wonder if there’s an app for that?  Or maybe I should call 9-1-1.  Whatever the case, I think it’s just rude.  Come to think of it, my bathroom mirror has the same problem.  I wonder if it’s an iMirror?


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