Saturday, December 27, 2008

Yuki napping

Yuki napping
Originally uploaded by B.D.'s world
She decided to cuddle up on one of my presents right before I was planning on snuggling under it to watch a movie.


Originally uploaded by B.D.'s world
This year's tree is a noble fir. We ended up decorating it mostly with star figures.


Originally uploaded by B.D.'s world
Baraka getting kitty noogies...his favorite.


Originally uploaded by B.D.'s world
Rare Chaiyo sighting...munching down on a treat.

Rosemary in ice

Rosemary in ice
Originally uploaded by B.D.'s world
Along with tin mantis in background.

Christmas Cactus in bloom

Just in time for the holly daze!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Democrats and teh gays

On my birthday in November of 1992, President-elect Bill Clinton reaffirmed his stance that homosexual folks should be allowed to serve openly in the U.S. military. A political storm ensued and by January, after only 2 weeks in office, Clinton was backpedaling. By the fall of 2003 we had in place the deplorable "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" bigotry policy.

Since leaving office Clinton has said he regrets that decision. Indeed, when his wife was running for president, they both denounced the policy. Hillary Clinton pledged to change the policy if elected to the presidency. Barack Obama also pledged to repeal the rule, but has since said that such a repeal might be delayed until 2010, after consulting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Obama might want to rush that policy a little after this week. As with his Democratic predecessor Obama campaigned heavily with the gay community. He sought their votes and more importantly he sought their donations. He promised during the campaign to be supportive of their rights and to be inclusive in policy determinations. And, just like his Democratic predecessor, once the campaign was over, Obama delivered the political equivalent to a kick in the crotch of this community by proposing not only a delay in dealing with DADT, but also by inviting Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inaugeral ceremony.

By now you've probably read some of the statements that Warren and/or his church have made regarding homosexuals. The statements are ignorant and openly support bigotry. In addition, Warren supported Proposition 8 which repealed marriage rights for homosexuals in California (this in spite of the fact that Warren claims that one of his problems with homosexuals is their lack of commitment to one mate). In other words, Obama could hardly have made a worse choice.

What is it with Democrats and teh gays? Are gay folks only good enough to deliver money and votes for office, but not good enough to take a moral stance for their rights once in office? Is it moral for the Democrats to take that money and not deliver a legal expansion of rights that, just like everyone, homosexuals deserve? Why is it that Democrats are so willing to throw gays under the bus? How long are gay folks expected to put up with this crap? How long are teh gays expected to open their wallets only to be slapped in the face with astounding alacrity and hypocrisy?

I was mightily pissed at Bill Clinton's decision. It was the end of my love affair with his presidency. His spineless actions were explained as necessary for greater battles. What did he deliver? Health care? Nope. Instead we got "Welfare reform" and a Republican Congress. Gee, thanks for that. So, what's in Obama's future and what will his excuse be? We may never know as Rachael Maddow noted, the mainstream media isn't following up:

Frankly, I'm not optimistic about this. Next election, gays should keep their wallets closed and screw the Democratic party. Queers should be tired of being fucked over by the Democrats.


Across the parking lot from my store sits a large empty building. It used to house a Big Kmart. When that company went bankrupt in 2002, the Bellevue store was one of the ones that they shuttered. It's a very large building and it's been empty for so long that people, including myself, seem to remember it being closed for longer than it has. It's an eyesore that has served no purpose other than as a parking lot for a local car dealership and an icon for directions. "We're in the shopping center where the old Kmart used to be."

Costco has flirted with that location. In 2003 they announced plans to put a gourmet food shop there. It was supposed to be a trial store where they'd give food items a go as a tester for the regular stores. Plans for that fell through the same year as a local neighborhood association disapproved of the traffic and noise that the store might generate. A great deal of consternation followed as many people in that area could use the jobs and many others were happy with the idea of a Costco food shop in their back yard. The neighborhood association is chaired by some powerful residents, however, who are generally opposed to change.

Costco again flirted with the idea of a store there in 2007. They contacted Bellevue city officials. There was a new sticking point - there's a creek the runs under the parking lot that the city said needed to be restored. Costco balked at paying for the restoration and did it's own study. The Costco study found that the creek did badly need some restoration and, after several months of negotiation they announced that they had come to an agreement with the city. In November 2007 a news release stated that Costco planned on beginning a new building the following year and that they would pay for the restoration. City officials were delighted.

In September 2008 the whole deal fell through. Officially, it was the economy that did it in and there's some truth to that. Other rumors fly, though. I've heard from people associated with Costco that the city of Bellevue wasn't forthcoming with permits. Then there was word from city workers that Costco balked at the city's plan for restoration and parking. Finally came the rumor from several who said that they were "in the know" that the neighborhood association was behind the city's stalling and that they were pulling the strings. I've met one of those folks from the neighborhood association and he was gleeful that the deal was sunk.

Whatever the reason, the building sits empty. It's still an icon and a 120,000 square foot eyesore. It's also the cause of much speculation and conversation such as the one I had this week with a gentleman who shopped my store. He was an older fellow in his early 70s. He wasn't a regular customer of mine. In fact, he normally shopped the Kirkland store, but he found himself in my neighborhood and decided to stop by and get his holiday shopping done early. He was a pleasant man, unpretentious, but with the casual air of wealth. We exchanged good conversation before he asked the inevitable question:

"What are they ever going to do with that old Kmart building over there? Heard anything about it?"

"Well, there was some discussion of putting a brothel in there." I was, of course, teasing him. I was in a good mood and having a good time and decided to try some mischief.

Much to my surprise, he didn't bat an eye at my comment. In fact, he looked like he was seriously considering my words when he replied, "It's too big for that."

Further amused, I quickly followed up with "The Olympics are coming in 2010."

Not to be outdone, he said, "The state could use the revenue these days."

And I ended it with, "That's just one of the many ways to fill that $5 billion hole."

By this point my assistant manager who had been listening to the exchange was laughing very hard. The customer and I stared at each other with smirks on our faces and twinkles in our eyes. "Good talking with you, Richard. I'll be back" he said and he patted me on the shoulder on his way out.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Yet more snow storm pix

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More snow storm pics

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Winter snow storm

Pictures from the snow storm. It began to snow on the afternoon of December 17, 2008. It snowed all night and the next day. I made it to and from work. By the time I got home on the 18th, we had over a foot of snow in the driveway.

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Monday, December 08, 2008


Sorry for the lack of posts. It's the busy season at work and I've been attempting to stay away from the computer while off. For instance, yesterday I had breakfast, went grocery shopping, and then came home and made a crab souffle using the fresh crab that I bought and cleaned. Oh, and we listened to Xmas music while the co-signer made Xmas cookies for work.

A couple of things, however, sent nasty outrage shivers up my spine this morning. First, the RIAA is suing an ill, disabled girl. Secondly, a 10 year old with mental disabilities has been labeled a sex offender.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Really odd transition

I've mentioned this to a couple of friends, but I found myself just amazed at it again this morning. I was watching the Obama press conference on the television. Once again he gave a nod to the current administration for their cooperation during the transfer of office. I rarely applaud the Bush administration, but give credit where it's due and thusfar it appears to be due.

However, I am struck by how quickly this transition is taking place. Bush is hardly mentioned anywhere. Sure, he gets his coverage when he goes on a trip or has a few words to say about Mumbai (another absolutely amazing thing - the press is calling it "Mumbai" instead of "Bombay"...something they've refused to do for years), but it's so obvious that when it comes to anything substantial, the press has moved on.

Clearly, this just isn't because he's an unliked president. I recall when Carter left office. He wasn't well liked at the time and yet he wasn't completely ignored in the way Bush has been. Reagan was not a very well liked person either, contrary to what some would have you believe. Not as bad off as Carter by a long shot, but Reagan wasn't particularly popular and the country was ready to move on and yet, he wasn't ignored. Al Gore ran away from the support of Bill Clinton. Clinton was loved in his own party, but the country was tired of the controversies he caused. Still, he wasn't ignored as a lame duck president.

Never in my observations have I seen a president so quickly reduced to a footnote on the day's news. Going back to Mumbai, Bush said a few words and sent Kindasleazy Rice over to diffuse any problems with Pakistan. Still, who got the main coverage? Obama and his words did. Of course, it didn't hurt that he was announcing his national security staff nominations. Even so, the press went to him for leadership and he's not in office yet. A lot could go wrong between now and Inauguration Day, but the press looked to him.

The week prior, Wall Street looked to Obama for financial leadership. Indeed, they gave the thumb's up initially for the appointments. I'm not certain, but I think what we're seeing is unprecedented.

Even people that I speak with daily talk about Obama and his thoughts. Some die hard conservatives that I know are talking about him and not the president. The media, it seems to me, is reflecting the mood of the country. We're ready to move on. We've been ready. Even the conservatives have dumped Bush, though they don't particularly care for Obama. No one is stepping forward in the Republican Party as it's voice and it's leader. McCain has been relugated to the sidelines. Palin is a joke amongst serious conservatives. Romney is seen with suspicion.

Into this void comes a person with an intellectual nature and a calm presentation. He's speaking and we're listening. We're tired of the idiot who we can share that beer with during the college bull session and we're ready to be presented with seriousness and vision. It gives me a shade of hope.

We'll see. As time goes on I expect to find much to disagree with the incoming administration about. But for now I seem to be like the rest of the country - just grateful for the moment.