Wednesday, June 13, 2007

How I’m Spending My Summer Break

As regulars around here will know, I’ve been absent much of the last couple weeks in the hopes of getting much done over the summer, at work and home. For graciously excusing my leave, I figure I best show some evidence of a vacation well spent (okay, sure, I’m also proud o’ my work and want to brag :-)). With that I give you an exciting post about the progress of our sand box.

I wish I’d thought to take an earlier “before” photo but here’s the first:

We only have the posts in for the first wall at this point. This though involved a deceptive amount of dirt movement, from the post holes to the leveling, not to mention the post mix. Thankfully I had my herniated husband and my senior citizen dad helping. Now, I'm only half kidding here and should say my "senior citizen" dad taught me all I know in doing such work and he could probably out work most men half his age. I'm lucky to be able to recruit him in his retirement. Rob, though, he was only able to keep the posts stable as I shoveled the cement; I hope he can get that fixed soon :-). And it was all done with the kids gladly “helping.” All the parents know what that means: cute and appreciated, but cute and appreciated negative work :-).

First wall done. Now one might think that’s me there, taking a break for my exhaustion. But no. That’s a, uh, ninja; you can tell by the black face mask concealing his identity. The guy had the misfortune of surprising me while I worked. Strange though, I don’t understand why our neighborhood has such a ninja problem. We do spray for them every year.

Oh wow, how’d that get in here? That’s our puppy, a couple pounds larger. He's been tasked with keeping the cats out of the sand.

Anyway, with the 1st wall done we got to building the second, see:

I then leveled the whole thing again and tried to keep the boys out of it until the sand arrived, see:

Once it did

I smartly decided I needed a break and some help from someone not as herniated as Rob. I thought about emailing Edgy--he did kindly offer--but decided I couldn’t be that cruel to anyone I hadn’t known for at least a decade or to whom I wasn’t paying good money. Add then a couple days to the above pile of sand and there you have it, one multilevel sand box:

Certainly any person enthralled with my sandbox project from the start--and I’m sure there are many--can see some design changes were made along the way and that it's not yet finished. For one, I decided to put the slide from the upper level of the yard down into the sandbox, instead of from the sandbox down to the lower level of the yard. It’ll be more fun for them I think as it will come from the area of their play fort (my next home project), and, besides, it’ll keep toys and sand from sliding into the grass. I’m still shopping for the right slide though; maybe next weekend I’ll get that in.

Also, I didn’t put in the gi joe/transformers tunnels yet. I’m still thinking on how to do it in a way that’s durable (or if I can do it through the retaining wall instead). I’m also still toying with putting in a third level, as I'd planned. After watching the kids play in the second I feared it would crowd them and decided to see how it went. Two just doesn’t feel like enough, does it?

Anyway, not the most ground breaking post, but it was an important and fun addition to our home. Last evening we just sat quietly on the back patio and watched the boys play with their toys in their new sandbox. There were castles built, dump trucks at work, dinosaur roaming, and so on and on. It was the definition of what makes a parent happy.

Now I can’t wait to get the slide in and the fort done :-).

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Block Over; Military Secrets Reveled

After many long hours of investigative journalism, which involved much running from a one-armed albino man in black (who smoked), I’ve come to discover the truth behind our military’s so called gay bomb. I've come to possess a super secret file, one that came directly from Rufus Wainwright's spy network by feeding his new album backwards into a 5th order cryptocognonial function. The file contained this exclusive photographic evidence of the prototype gay bomb, the “Q-33R Intercontinental Gayifier”:

My colleagues and I here at the Fraternal Association of Gay Scientists believe this missile is based loosely on the Trident II, though significant alterations are apparent. For instance, take a look at the midsection of the missile. Clearly, a disco ball has been attached, a cleaver choice to coax out the inner gay, to be sure; but what may not be so obvious is the Kevlar-reinforced feather boa securing the disco ball to the missile. That baby ain’t coming off, and it just screams “Fabulous!!”

Also, it is clear this missile is launched from water. One must assume the Navy has taken the lead role in this new gay weapon (From my friends who've been in the Marines and the Army, I'm told this was to be expected).

Not apparent by the evidence we have is whether or not the missile has been outfitted with a really kick’n sound system. But the use of a disco ball does suggest the missile may also be able to project bad techno beyond enemy lines.

In a blood stained copy of a US military internal memo that accompanied the liner notes of the Rufus CD, I’ve discovered a number of additional intriguing details. Regarding the main warhead, we have come to believe it is likely composed of a dangerous mixture of shredded Abercrombie and Finch catalogs, styling gel, and Barbara Streisand sweat, as a catalyst. This sweat, we believe, was collected during one of her many remarkable costume changes at a San Francisco show she put on just after watching Steel Magnolias for the very first time!

Furthermore, as the so-called gay bomb flies towards its target, it continually drops handwritten letters, ostensible from a soldier’s father, explaining why the soldier has been a complete disappointment as a man and expressing a desire to become emotionally unavailable, while at the same time suggesting the soldier go shopping with his mother. Lastly, it appears, as a next iteration in the design, a sort of cluster bomb technology will be employed. Once above the target the warhead will produce hundreds of guided projectiles. Much of the report I’m reading from is heavily redacted, but it seems these projectiles seek out and destroy any and all basket balls, footballs, and hockey pucks within a 3.4 mile radius. Oddly enough though, they specifically avoid all wrestling and men’s gymnastics equipment.

Yes, devious, and yet so very obvious! I fear we have to conclude NARTH is working in conjunction with the Defense Department on this one. (Why can’t I get such grants?!)

Anyway, God save us all if one of these goes off in the heartland of America. I just hope I’ve done my part to shed light on this ingenious scheme. I also hope we can bring such offensive and inhumane weaponry it to a stop and start blowing people up again. I mean, not even I, a gay man, would want to be the soldier who tries to take a bunch of horney men captive after one of these goes off in the sweaty, filthy, enemy trench across the battlefield. I hate being hit on and to even see the results of a gay bomb could possibly violate the Geneva Conventions for many of our own fine soldiers.

(okay, sure, I’m on blog-break and there were better things I should’ve been doing with my time, but some things are so important they can’t be left unexpressed :-))

Saturday, June 09, 2007

I Could Think of Worse Bombs

Story Here.

Pentagon Confirms It Sought To Build A 'Gay Bomb'
As part of a military effort to develop non-lethal weapons, the proposal suggested, "One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior."The documents show the Air Force lab asked for $7.5 million to develop such a chemical weapon."

The Ohio Air Force lab proposed that a bomb be developed that contained a chemical that would cause enemy soliders to become gay, and to have their units break down because all their soldiers became irresistably attractive to one another," Hammond said after reviwing the documents.

Just come up with your own joke. I’m experiencing some sort block involving the presence of too many options.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

SLC Pride 2007

I’ve enough time to just post some pictures from pride, right? I deserve a break, right? :-)

I sure do.

SLC’s pride festival was the largest I’ve ever seen (eh, “pride,” if only I was powerful enough in the gay cabal, I’d task a queer committee to come up with a better name. Alas, my gay powers are too weak.). It’s really become a fun event and I can see why they’ve grown from 1 to 3 days. I must say I also very much appreciate how they’ve made it much more inclusive of families; we got a whole big kid's section this time and our boys loved the magic show and face painting.

Here we are:

Damnable seagulls! They covered up Rob and the boy’s faces, not to mention my parents. They missed my aunt there though :-).

Anyway, in the parade we had many churches:

Many politicians:

Many advocacy groups:

The people were from all walks of life, cheering them on:

But what’s get’s the most attention?

That’s right:
Oh well. It’s certainly their day too :-).

Lastly, of course, there’s the part I worry I’ve gotten too numb to:

You can’t see it in this resolution but “Mormons” are on that man'snaughty list too (the guy with the middle sign). Or is it “Sex Addicts Mormons”? Here, I’ll blow it up; it’s kind of funny in a gallows humor sort of way.

No matter, they’re an expected part of the event, and they almost make the loving and jubilant feeling of the crowd even larger by the contrast. People just march right on.

I want to give one anecdote that really got to me, though (I’ve already spent more time here than I should have :-)).

We weren’t going to walk in the parade, but Alan insisted on it once he saw some people he knew (He likes the waving and cheers of others I guess :-)). So Alan and I walked on with a bunch of other families and Brian, more shy, stayed back with Rob and the rest of our family.

As I was walking a kid came up behind me yelling Brian’s name. At first I thought that my blog had found me ;-), but it was Brian’s real name. I turned and didn’t recognize the kid but he kept on and finally it was clear he was trying to get my attention, though he’d mixed my kids up. I felt bad I didn’t recognize him and was a bit leery (Being away from Rob I didn’t want to be seen talking to a handsome young man I didn’t know :-)). He quickly reminded me that we met over a year ago. He was a cousin of a niece (outside my direct family), and, at that point in his life, was having a very hard time with his parents, his faith, and his view of his future. When my niece told me his story, we offered to help and he and his partner had dinner at our home. I had forgotten it; it had been so long ago (or maybe it's my memory? :-)).

I’ll not go into the whole of what he told me there, walking in the parade route, but he basically made me feel like I’d made a positive and lasting difference. It’s funny that I didn't even know it, and that such a forgotten gesture of a dinner could come back to you like that. Walking in any parade is just fun for the community and people-watching aspects of it alone, but that made it feel a bit important too. I walked the remaining blocks with much more purpose.

Anyway, I'm still officially on blog "break". Now back to non-blog work :-).