Tag Archives: gay marriage

I’m late because Dallas Pride Day on Wreck-Free Sunday

Yeah, short post tonight. I worked a 2:15 shift in the HRC booth at Dallas Pride Day today, quietly letting people know about membership options and what we do at HRC. Yes, I said “we”, because I am a dues-paying member of the Human Rights Campaign (two years now, officially). Fortunately the day was cloudy and cool, but dry. I don’t know how we managed that, but I’m certainly not going to complain about it. After my shift I made a lap around the festival area picking up about 6 pounds of swag of varying degrees of usefulness (I now have enough SPF 15 chap stick to last for a couple of years, and I also have several dozen condoms of varying sizes with about a half-dozen lube samples). I also picked up 3 grocery totes including one that is insulated for frozen and refrigerated foods, and 3 more drawstring bags/backpacks. The grocery totes will always be useful (until they wear out), but I guess the drawstring bagpacks will just hang around gathering dust because I already have stacks of those from other places where they throw around a buncha free stuff. There are some of those that are falling apart because they were not made too well to begin with and they have seen at least one year of hard service totin’ stuff around, so those will get put in recycling and the new ones rotated into service as the old ones expire.

Anyway, after the festival I was supposed to get a quick D&D session in, but one of our players was in the Pride Parade with the Sisters of Indulgences and nobody could contact her to find out if she wanted to play. Turns out that after the parade the Sisters were granting indulgences in exchange for “adult” beverages for a couple of hours after the parade, because have you ever walked a mile and a half in stiletto heels? It hurts the feet and exhausts the calves and nobody wanted to move after the parade, and they had to leave their phones turned off so as to not interrupt the important business of Pride Day. So our healer was incommunicado most of the day, and as she and the DM are GGF there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth (not really, worried looks and frantic phone calls with no answers). With no healer and no tank because I didn’t know my character sheet was at home well there wasn’t much reason for playing a game that was almost guaranteed a TPK. So when our Wayward Sister finally returned we went to Taco Bell for dinner because we were all about to pass out from hunger.

Then I came home. The End (headdesk).

PSA, Opus

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I had a nice dream last night on Wreck-Free Sunday

The details are a little hazy, but the gist remains. I got hit (again) and died (again) but this time when I rebooted from being dead it was hours if not days after the wreck. And I came back invulnerable, shoot me and the bullets bounced off (but still hurt like a *)^&#$%*$(#$ ), hit with a truck and I would bounce down the street cursing like a sailor every time I hit the ground, but then get up and punch out the truck, with Terminator levels of self repair. So I decided to take over the country, marched into the White House and told Obama that I was taking over and the country would be a constitutional monarchy, with me as Emperor. I abolished separate laws between the Federal and local levels, no more states except for certain historical functions. I declared the TBTF banks and oil companies to be “Terrorist organizations” and nationalized their holdings, and abolished all political parties. The government was completely reorganized so that all judges and LEO were federal, with judges subject to appointment and approval by feds with limited 10-year terms, LEO subject to charges any time they discharged a weapon away from a training range.

What I did to the legislative branch was something I consider brilliant. Since the states no longer had separate governments and laws, the state houses were the new House of Representatives, where the full-time state reps would propose and debate laws that would be submitted to the Senate in DC, with States getting 2 Senators and territories, possessions, and commonwealths getting one each, who would then vote the laws submitted from the states up or down but without changing them, so if states tried to cram too much into a bill it would most likely get shot down, as it would take a 2/3 majority to pass a bill. But neither body would be allowed to pass a budget.

Budgeting would take place in the old House of Reps, with the new reps elected to a single 2 year term and not allowed to run again with half the states electing their reps on even years and half on odd years, also the Senate was limited to a single 10-year term and also not allowed to run again. Just remembered that bit. The big thing was not to allow a political class to take hold again like we have now.

Of course I, as monarch, had full veto over anything the legislators or budgeting assembly tried to pass. If I didn’t understand it, I would submit the proposed law to the Representatives of the 12s, a group of 50 12 YO kids, one from each state. If they couldn’t figure it out either, then the bill would get vetoed. You would get appointed by your state at 11, serve at 12, and be replaced when you turned 13.

Part of the new constitution was things making common things that currently get laws passed against them totally legal, like not having a fixed address. Cities would be required to set up campgrounds with public bath houses and toilets so that homeless people could have a place to stay without getting hassled, and since they would need to get fed I would require the people making MREs for the military to create 3-meal packs of balanced nutrition to issue to the homeless once a day. Anyone could request a day pack of food at the homeless camp, no questions asked. The only requirement would be to register when you enter the camp so that we could find you in an emergency and so that your relatives would know you were safe.

Marriage would no longer exist except as a religious ritual. When people decided to become “attached” they would form a corporation. Corporations would all be taxed on net take, like they are now, except that for “domestic corporations” things like food and shelter would be subject to a “Standard exemption” based on the numbers of partners in the corporation. Children could be counted as “partners” or “products” depending on how your particular corporation was set up. Also you could have as many members of your domestic corporation as you wanted in any distribution of genders you want, subject to the bylaws of the corporation. How you wanted to organize your “domestic corporation” would be completely up to you and your partners, not the government. All the government would have a say over was minimum care requirements for progeny, much the same as we have today. Vaccinations and education, etc. would be the business of the government but assigned to the “domestic corporation” that created or adopted the kid.

Another thing I changed was road laws. Bicycles ALWAYS had a right to a full lane, and hitting a cyclist from behind, or a pedestrian at any time, would be a felony punishable by loss of your vehicle and jail time. No more highways could be built until there was a network of segregated bike paths of equal utility to the existing road and highway network in place, but maintenance would be placed at a high priority right after building the bike network. This would be in the constitution, not the laws. Projects that were in progress when I took over would be allowed to be completed, but nothing that wasn’t already in the “tearing up the old street/road/highway/Interstate” stage or further would be allowed, except repair projects that neglect had made imperative. Even after that the budget for building new roads would only be considered after funding for building bike infrastructure and maintaining existing roads and bike infra was covered. Nothing new until all the old stuff had been taken care of except for the bike infrastructure, because we have basically zero bike infrastructure now. Even after the bike network was built out, bike network projects would always have priority over other roads, but only just one priority. If there were two projects that were equally needed, the bike project would get built first.

Another thing I changed was DUI laws. You get ONE DUI, with a maximum BAC% of 0.05. With your first DUI you would lose your license for one year, and your vehicle would get recycled. When you registered your replacement vehicle after completely taking driver’s ed all over again you would get a distinctive license plate that would allow LEO to pull you over and check your BAC% at any time. If you get a second DUI that would be it for driving a motor vehicle, one year of prison and never allowed to own or operate a motor vehicle for life. And since DL would be issued at the Federal level, no moving to another state to get a “clear” license. When you get that second DUI you are permanently barred from driving. Also driving after license suspension would be the same as illegal possession of a weapon, instant prison time…

I set up my palace at an old race track east of Nashville TN that you may have heard of. After all I’m not against motor vehicles, or even having fun with motor vehicles, just against irresponsible use of motor vehicles. Driving fast at a race track, with access strictly controlled to prevent wrecks with pedestrians and cyclists, is what I consider one of the ways to responsibly enjoy motor vehicles. In my dream I added a flat ¼ mile oval using the pit lane as one straight and adding the turns and back straight to the infield between the pit lane and the trioval, so that I could have races sanctioned by the ISMA once a month. The other 3 weeks would be split between NASCAR, SCCA/IMSA (notice the switch between the S and M with the other organization) and IndyCar/USAC so that the big oval and the road course would also get used regularly. About here it starts to get fuzzy and shortly after watching the first ISMA qualifying race on the ¼ oval I woke up.

I really did not want to wake up from that dream.

PSA, Opus the practical Poet

I feel like I got hit with a truck again, and the Feed

My son couldn’t get over here to do grocery day yesterday, so I had to grab the old ALICE ruck and walk up to the store myself. This is one reason why I need to recover as fast as I can and get back on Francis/es, so I can go back to doing the grocery shopping on my own without having to have someone drive me there and back. I only got the items I’m about out of, milk, yogurt, soda, and bread. Well, except for the bread all of those items were pretty massive, and I made the mistake of combining a trip to the hardware store two blocks up the road to pick up new door knobs and locks to replace the ones that just broke this morning. Anyone remember that song from “Hee Haw” about bad luck? Yeah, they could put a few verses in there for me. Anyway I had a gallon of milk, 2 2-liter bottles of generic soda, 4 pounds of yogurt, a bottle of beer, three doorknob sets, a front spindle to a 1937 Ford and 8 stainless steel bolts to fit the steering arm holes on the spindle (which I brought to the hardware because I needed to make sure the bolts fit), and two loaves of bread. And now I wanna lie down and have a nap. Or something. Yeah, something because as I was getting up from my desk to have that little lie-down my back decided “This would be the perfect time to seize up!” so it did. And that was about two hours ago and I haven’t even started to filter links, so here’s to working through pain. Except it doesn’t really “hurt” as much as “not work right”.

And before I forget THANK YOU SCOTUS!!!! for making marriage equality the law of the land. This isn’t like Roe v Wade where women got control over doing something that they would really rather not do if circumstances were different, this is people in love doing what people in love do, getting married. So get out there and get married to the person you love. I charge competitive rates and can do Wiccan and Klingon rituals (but I have to find a new priestess for the Klingon ritual, my last one has gone to Sto-Vo-Kor). Contact me if you are in the DFW area and need to get a religious service done. I guess this means I will have to take down the Gay Marriage Challenge page as not only was nobody able to convince me that same-sex marriage was bad, but neither were they able to convince the SCOTUS.

The big story as far as links are concerned is the UK driver getting arrested for murder in the death of a cyclist who was hit-and-run earlier in the week. Investigation into Harworth cyclist death becomes murder probe and Police name man charged with cyclist Richard Pencott’s murder as family pay tribute also UPDATE: Police arrest man on suspicion of murder after cyclist killed in Harworth not done yet Man arrested following death of cyclist Not a whole lot to say in this one because of UK media laws, but arrested for murder is really something. It has been frequently said in both the UK and this country that if you want to commit a random act of murder just get in a car and drive until you see a cyclist to run over, then claim momentary blindness after the fact. Until I saw this I would have said killing a cyclist was a “perfect crime” as it seldom gets prosecuted, and even when it is prosecuted convictions are few and far between, and when convicted the “sentences” are laughably lenient, mostly community service. But when you structure community service correctly it can be a great deterrence against the perpetrator ever doing it again, because they won’t have much free time to commit another vehicular assault. Not much of a deterrence to others, but that one will never hit another cyclist. Are you kidding me? Man charged with murder after cyclist dies in collision

Our Daily Ted, part one. Morning Links: Metro commits to DTLA bikeshare, US pros swear they’re clean, and $50K reward for fatal hit-and-run Even Ted has a link to the UK murder arrest.

And Daily Ted, part two. Update: Arrest made in horrifying high-speed Highland Park fatal hit-and-run If the road diet planned for the street where the cyclist was killed had been allowed to go through the driver would not have been able to reach anywhere near the speed he was going when he hit the cyclist. And now I see they caught the guy who was still drunk 4 hours after hitting the cyclist, which means he was super drunk at the time of the crime. They found pieces of the victim still on the car when they arrested the driver. More Man arrested after bicyclist is killed in hit-and-run in Highland Park Gil Cedillo is an accessory to this crime.

So, NYPD, how is that Vision Zero thing going for you? Issuing lots of tickets for people running down people in the crosswalk or bike lanes? NYPD: Drivers Killed 18 Pedestrians and Cyclists in May, and Injured 1,262 So, that would be a “no” on tickets for people hit crossing in the crosswalk or riding in the bike lanes.

What is wrong with drivers in AZ? Truck runs into four cyclists Seriously to hit 4 cyclists at once in front of witnesses (oncoming traffic) and scatter them “like popcorn”, is either attempted murder or someone that needs to never drive again.

More on Google trying to make Silicon Valley more like Amsterdam or Copenhagen. Google’s bike plan aims to turn Silicon Valley into the next Copenhagen $5 million seems like a lot of money, and it is, but for the number of communities they are talking about and the spread they have to cover because of sprawl, it’s a very large drop in a fairly large bucket. To extend the metaphor, they have covered the bottom of the bucket, but have a long way to go to fill it.

When you have a memorial ride for just the cyclists killed in the last two weeks, there is something terribly wrong with the infrastructure. Local Cyclists To Ride For Those Who Died In The Past Two Weeks

Oh the horror! Most area cyclists aren’t wearing helmets while riding, Statistics Canada says Windsor area cyclists are riding at about 21% helmets, while Victoria are riding with 83% helmets. So Victoria riders have how much lower head injury statistics than Windsor? Any? Buehler?

Road.cc looks at the KSI stats and comes to the same conclusion I did: UK drivers everywhere are prats. DfT admits “ever increasing problem with pedal cyclist casualties” as serious injuries rise 8 per cent Cycling increased 3.8% but serious injury went up 8%? Yep, your drivers are crap. Or maybe your roads are crap and having mediocre drivers isn’t helping any. But yeah something somewhere along the line is crap and people are getting permanently injured because of it.

Perhaps the problem is a lack of enforcement? Campaign for ‘properly enforced’ speed limits after cyclist killed in collision

Sisyphus has a stone, cyclists have politicians. Devon MPs spearhead cyclist safety campaign

And in the meantime we get things like this. Alan Cronin: Man in court charged with death by dangerous driving after cyclist killed

Last link tonight is from Oz again. Motorists, cyclists all need re-education Some cyclists don’t know the rules, but all cyclists are just doing their best to “not get hit”. So the education really needs to be on drivers so they can Know when cyclists are riding according to the laws and not hit them.

And I’m ready to go to bed, or at least lie down for a bit and try to relax.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the extremely happy about the SCOTUS marriage decision…

No RPG but some HRC, on Wreck-Free Sunday

Just got home and re-caloried from a day doing Good Things indirectly for my church. I went to a lesbian bar and handled the door for an HRC fund-raiser called HE said SHE said. I was familiar with the bar by reputation, because one of my tenants goes there when she’s had a bad week or two, but not having the required equipment to be a lesbian I didn’t go there (combined with the fact that I just don’t drink that often, I just finished my Christmas 6-pack of Shiner last week).

I can’t say too much about the event. That is not because of any NDA or privacy thing, but because I had a job to do at the door and doing that job pretty much prevented me from doing anything else. My job was to get people to sign up for the HRC as members. I’m a member, too, BTW. If you click on my home page link you will see a page called The Gay Marriage Challenge . If you check the posting date on that you can see it has been up there for a few years now, in response to a comment in the Virginia Pilot about how gay marriage was going to destroy “traditional” marriage. My response was “prove it, and give examples”. I expanded on that in The Gay Marriage Challenge to make it a contest that if anyone could prove two men or two women getting married would have any negative effect on any man-woman marriage I would personally speak against same-sex marriage and cite their arguments and sources as a reason. Since then several thousand people have read the post, and several hundred have posted comments. Most of those “comments” were links to gay porn, which got them deleted, and most of the non-porn “arguments” were variations on the “marriage is for children” fallacy (if marriage was strictly to produce children, then there would be an automatic annulment when the women entered menopause, or the youngest child reached 18 or 21).

Anyway, the people there seemed to have a good time that I could tell when I wasn’t actively working to get people signed up for the event. And there is a group of lesbians out there who “squee!” very loudly with harmonics that verge on the ultrasonic and that feel like icepicks in my ears. The date auction had one offering that came with a U-Haul gift certificate and I thought my ears never would stop ringing in addition to the permanent noise I got from trying to crush a truck roof with my skull and break a street with my face. The scores on that are truck roof zero, skull won, and street one, face zero. And I have a permanent noise in my head that varies between a high-pitched whistle and a wind in the pines, mostly the really annoying whistle. Anyway, all that noise just made the noise in my head all the worse…

PSA, Opus

How the Ride of Silence and this blog are part and parcel today on my 2000th blog post

Yeah, I know. Wow! I have as of this date sat down and sorta collected my thoughts mostly at this desk (there were some posts made from exotic locations like bus stations and small town libraries after I got the laptop with wi-fi capability) two thousand times. Actually a few more than that as there were some posts that never actually made it to the front page, and the separate pages (Gay Marriage, Gigi’s Story, etc.) don’t count towards the post count and some of them have been updated several times. So I posted a bit more than the official count, not that it really matters. Today is the 2000th “official” blog post since 11/23/2008, the date I started posting from this service provider. Prior to that I was posting from MySpace, but had to move because all the external links caused them to think I was a phishing site (and shortly after they shut down my blog MySpace quietly imploded, imagine that). I worked for Examiner.com for a while (and they still consider me an employee, they sent me a nice e-badge that would show on any articles I would write stating that I was a 5-year employee) based on the contents of this blog, but since I was more national and they wanted hyper local we drifted apart.

In the meantime I have been consulted by several lawyers concerning bicycle wrecks since I have been exposed to more wreck reports than just about any person on the planet. I’m still trying to decide if that part is a Good Thing or a Bad Thing. I know that combined with the brain damage it does not help me maintain my grasp of sanity, but I have learned a lot from reading those thousands of reports on what happened to people. I have developed an instinctual feel for approximate speed and direction of impact on a bike from looking at the end results since mostly the bike gets hit once and then bounces away from the wreck, and my bullshit detector gets a frequent workout when physical impossibilities are entered as fact. And there is the vanishingly rare case where the perp driver of the weapon vehicle is going so fast that the corpse of his (invariably the driver in these cases is male) victim comes through the windshield and kills or seriously injures the driver. I can recall about 3 of those world-wide since I started this blog on MySpace…

But getting back to the headline, how does this blog connect to the Ride of Silence? Well every year they remember those killed or injured while riding their bikes, and every day I remember those killed or injured while riding their bikes. Every year they say they hope this will be the last time they need to do the Ride, and every day I hope that this will be the last time I need to post about wrecks and bad infrastructure and I can just start posting cat videos, or links to bands I like, or pictures of the bikes I could build if I had the time and the money to buy materials. I mean seriously, I have been redesigning the same three bikes since 2010 for building into “show” bikes. But the RoS, and I are both devoted to the ideal of a world where regardless of your mode of transportation, you can get from A to B safely and calmly, with your life and all your limbs intact and attached. Until that day my work is unfinished and I fear I will go to my grave with work yet to do.

Up first today in this truncated list (I waited as late as I could yesterday so that I wouldn’t have many links today) is this from KY. Bicyclist Injured When Hit By Vehicle Weapon vehicle went off the road, left unstated was where the cyclist was riding. Hit-from-behind wreck but the weapon vehicle going off the road moots almost all of the protocols for avoiding or reducing damages. Unravelled routing or barrier protection would be the only way that infrastructure could prevent a similar wreck.

A low-information report from the Great White North. Cyclist dies after collision with pickup truck in Mirabel One witness dead and the only other witness is too traumatized to talk to LEO, I guess they’ll have to examine the evidence to determine what happened. Or they could just ignore it…

Moving halfway around the world to Enn Zed we get another seriously injured cyclist unable to talk to LEO. Cyclist injured at intersection Other than it was an intersection wreck LEO have not released any information about the mode of the wreck. Thus I have no information about avoiding the wreck or if changing the infrastructure could have prevented the wreck.

Our Daily Ted is pretty good today. Morning Links: New Santa Clarita bike safety campaign; Beverly Hills official calls you an organ donor wannabe Ted, if you live long enough you will have any number of conditions that merit their own bike ride, just be glad you have that kind of support.

This video from DC shows a driver trying to intimidate a cyclist on a marked bike route. TRIGGER WARNING! Motorist Road Rage on DC Bicycle Route

This is so rare that I thought it deserved setting it apart from the “normal” links we get from FL. Bicycle Safety: Care For Cyclists Egads, someone in the media in FL that actually cares if cyclists live or die and prefers we live! Be still my beating heart…

And at least one country is so serious about what cycling can do in a positive way for their country, they are willing to handhold new cyclists until they are confident in their journeys. Sweden Is So Serious About Reducing Pollution, It’s Giving People Bike Coaches

Standard smart e-bike not distinctive enough for you? Try one of these. SMART EBIKE – ORANGE EDITION, COMFORT EDITION AND BLACK EDITION

And a little Krautrock to lighten your day. Kraftwerk Autobahn full I use the term “little” ironically in this link, this is the full 22 minute version of the piece. Get comfy first because this is a trip of a piece of music.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Pride in Dallas, Wreck-Free Sunday

Yep, I had another massive run of things I had to be doing that kept me from the computer all day Saturday and most of Sunday.

Saturday I had to remove the non-functioning window unit that weighs over 100 pounds from the window while I had someone there to help move it. Then almost as soon as I got done with that I had to pack up my laptop and head out to my bi-weekly game of D&D. I did have time to shower and enjoy that new water heater before I left, but that was about it. When I finally got to the game we finished up the combat we had become engaged in during the last session, and almost immediately got tangled up in another mess because our drunken wizard decided to cast “invisibility” on himself and wander off from the party as we were placed in protective custody after the battle, because we had just been semi-ambushed by a group that was using poisoned teeth on their agents to prevent capture. Nobody has ever blamed that wizard for being excessively cautious… or terribly bright either because while the rest of the party was in jail waiting to get the story checked out and our innocence proven, he went from bar to bar asking questions and making himself a target and sure enough he got waylaid outside a bar in a bad part of town. We managed to find and rescue our wizard at about the same time as he managed to get away from his captors, because our rogue decided to burn down a city block. And I’m the one with the Chaotic alignment?

Then today I had volunteer service at the HRC booth at Dallas Pride Day over in Lee Park. I helped people sign petitions and handed out prizes as other people told me which prize had been won. Then I wandered around a bit, got hot and tired and called my ride and went home. I had just enough time to eat dinner before I had to turn around and attend evening services at church, where I assisted with the service. This isn’t like the old days when I had to put on the whole show myself, I’m just bit player now, no longer the star. But I still had to be there. Anyway as I was doing the wandering around thing at Pride I was offered a water bottle and a tote bag, which seemed a bit heavy for just a water bottle and tote bag. When I checked out the contents I found in addition to the water bottle I had also been given about half a case of condoms. This is about half a case more than I would have the opportunity to use productively for several years… The condoms would have expired long before I had the chance to use them. I thought it was amusing. I gave the condoms away at church (we do that kind of thing all the time).

I could write more but it is late and I need to read a lot of links tomorrow because of not doing the post yesterday. Also my feet hurt from having been on them so much today. So I’m no longer in the mood to write.

PSA, Opus