Friday, June 26, 2015

Fifty States of Gay

In 2008, Proposition 8 was put on the California ballot to outlaw gay marriage.

I voted against Prop 8.  I wasn't really active on the topic before the election...until I drove up my street one evening and found that, during the day, many neighbors had placed signs in their yards..."Family First - YES on Prop 8".

That did it.  I decided to add my viewpoint to the rear window of my pickup and park it in front of my house every day.  The photo shows how my truck looked in October and November 2008.  On the weekend before the election, I stood on the corner of a major intersection here in town for two days, holding a "No on Prop 8" sign with several other people.  The day before the election, I bought an extra tank of gas and drove San Diego freeways with my truck for a few hours.  I heard many horn honks and saw many thumbs-up - it was fun!  But we lost the election.  Christians had gone door to door and filled their sheep with fear.  Prop 8 passed.

When I woke up the morning after the election, I noticed someone had slipped something under my front door.  I picked it up - it was a Christian bible pamphlet.  One of my neighbors took it upon themselves, in the middle of the night and under the cover of darkness (truly a chicken-shit mode of operation, but the way), to walk over to my house and leave that "we succeeded in making non-Christians live by Christian rules - you will assimilate" reminder for me.  What wonderful people!

It was at that point I knew I could no longer be silent.  Being a life-long atheist/agnostic/non-believer - whatever label needs to be put on it - I had kept my mouth shut in what was at the time an overwhelmingly Christian population.  But no longer.  If the Christians feel the need to force their discriminatory beliefs on everyone through law, then I will take the opportunity to point out the lunacy that is Christianity (and religion in general) at every turn going forward.  I've now stayed that course and plan on continuing to do so until my last breath.  At which point I will expire and go to neither the mythical heaven nor hell.

But seven years have now passed and the US has truly shown what a great country it is.  Perceptions change, unethical laws eventually get nullified, and the world gets a little better with each passing day.  The youth of today are truly awesome people and I bow to their ability to see things as they really are.  Today, the world has become just a little bit better once again.  Thank you, SCOTUS!

My only regret: Ireland, Mexico, and a few other countries beat us to the punch of granting the right to marry to gays and lesbians.  America, you're losing your edge.

And one more thing - those that insist on posting their religious viewpoint on Facebook will find that I'll meet them post-for-post with my religious viewpoint.  Hey, you started it!  Thank you.

Do I have strong opinions on the topics of religion and gay marriage?  You betcha.  Now you know why.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Del Mar Fair 2015

 We went to the Del Mar Fair on Father's Day this year - it worked out great!  Perfect temperature and it wasn't very crowded.  We'll have to remember that for next year.  Here is Teo and Troy watching the goats enjoy lunch.
 Safety in numbers.
 Time for a convoy!  Close that door!
 All clear!

 Troy and Teo, all smiles.


 Teo loved the horn button!

 Standing guard.  A few lessons learned for next year:  ignore the early exit signs and just get off at Via de la Valle.  Stay in left lane up to the fair grounds, it turns into the parking lot quicker.  And pay the higher parking fee ($20 instead of $10) to have paved, close-in parking.  Saves a lot of time and walking.  Well worth ten bucks.
 We spent about two hours at the kiddie rides, then it was time for lunch.
 Teo was very interested in my camera when we sat down for lunch, so I let him take this...his first photo with my camera!  He did pretty darn good!  The boys played the dart-vs-balloon arcade and won these.  Troy picked the blue bear - Teo picked the green frog.
After several hours of kiddie rides, farm animals, booths, hot tubs, paintings, woodworking and just general walking around it was time to go.  Mateo went limp before we made it to the car, so David carried him back.  What a father...

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Shout House

 We went with friends to the Shout House last night - our first trip - and had a great time!  Shout House is a great place to go for dinner, drinks, and live music...piano mostly.
 Being the summer, there were several bachelorette parties going on, and during this song the pianist called them all on stage.
 They take song requests - just wrap your request in some money and set it on the piano - there's a fair chance they'll end up playing the song.  Below, the last song is one I requested - "Kate" by Ben Folds Five.
Here are the bartenders doing a dance during the song Greased Lightning.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Cruisin Grand in Escondido

 We made our first trip of the season to the Friday night Cruisin Grand event in Escondido.  Here is my wife just before dinner.
 My grandson Troy.
 My grandson Teo.
 My son David.
 We arrived in my truck.
 Here is David and the boys arriving.
 1955 Chevrolet.
 1966 Chevrolet.



 1950 Mercury.


1970 Mercury Cougar.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Sleepover

We had the grandkids overnight this weekend.  They are old enough now to enjoy it - they were a little frightened of being away from home in the past, but there was no fear at all this time around.

We took them to Killer Pizza from Mars for dinner at their request, then back home to read a few of the books that Troy had ordered from school.  It was a very pleasant evening.  I peeked in on them the next morning, and this is how I found them sleeping in the guest bedroom.

Solar Panels Are In!

 After months of research and signing a contract on April 15th, the solar panels we purchased are now installed!  It took two days but will pay off well in the long run.
 We bought a 10.4 kw system which consists of 40 REC 260 kw panels - 15 on the front and 25 on the back.   Our calculations show this should be enough to cover our entire electric bill.
It is harder to see the panels on the back side of the house.  We placed as many as we could on the back side because the sun angle is better.  We should get 92% efficiency out of the back panels and about 72% efficient from the front panels.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ron's Graduation Weekend

 A barbeque the night before graduation, and Mary's parent's house.  That's Ron at the near end of the table.
 Bright and early the morning of graduation, Ron and his wife Mary preparing to walk into the stadium for graduation.
 Mary, Laura, Ron, David.
 Laura, Ron, me, David.
 David about to watch his brother graduate.
 Ron looking for us in the bleachers.
 Chico State divides the ceremonies across three days.  This day is just for Business and Arts/Humanities graduates.
 Ron is 6 over from the "No Photos" sign, with the purple lei.
 Mary and Martha.
 Dave, Tyler, Malcolm, Mary, Ron, Kathy.
 Malcolm, Tyler, Kathy, Mary, Ron.
 Ron's self'designed hat art.
 Mary and Ron.
 My wife.
 Back at Ron's house, relaxing a bit.
 We had a drink at B Street to celebrate.
Flying home...