Sunday, February 28, 2010


I love this message.

One Liberal's View of Guns

I'm a liberal. I support liberal candidates and ideals. I think this nation (and this world) are far better off because of the influence of liberals.

That does not mean, however, that I blindly support all liberal causes. Because I don't. Specifically, I do not support the excessive restrictions on private gun ownership. Yes, I agree that there is a need for appropriate checks and balances. For example, I don't think a felon convicted of weapons-related charges should ever be able to own a gun again. And I believe that people considered mentally unstable should not be able to own firearms, either.

But those people are exceptions. When it comes to Mister and Missus America, I believe that we all have the right to own weapons. And we should have the right to carry those weapons on our persons in a safe manner.

The big arguments right now are about people bringing weapons into national parks and onto college campuses. Arguments are being made that allowing these weapons will put everyone present in danger. Respectfully, I say bullshit. The only people who obey these gun bans are law-abiding citizens, the very people who should be allowed to carry a weapon. The people that disregard the laws banning weapons are the same criminals already carrying illegal weapons.

If I'm camping in a remote area of Yosemite, and someone who means to do me harm approaches my campsite with a gun, it isn't going to be enough for me to say "stop, you aren't allowed to have that gun in here." And there isn't going to be a ranger or other law enforcement agent close enough to help me. It's going to be me against the bad guy. And quite candidly, I would prefer to be armed in that situation. Likewise for a campus scenario. A crazy person determined to kill fellow students will not care one bit about the law that forbids concealed carry on campus. They will bring their gun, anyway, and they will use it to murder as many people as they can. Personally, if I am on campus and a bad guy begins shooting, I would rather have my own handgun to take him out.

Look, it's not some street vigilante scenario run amok. It's just that no matter what the law says about weapons, the bad guys are going to continue to buy, sell and trade them. They are also going to continue to use them in the commission of crimes against the rest of us. As a law-abiding citizen, I feel I should be able to have a chance to defend myself against such attacks. And, let us not forget, the Second Amendment specifically gives me that right.

Yes, I'm a liberal. But I'm also a gun owner. And I should not have my right to own and carry a weapon infringed upon because others cannot distinguish between criminal and legal weapon related activity.

Cruisin' with Eric and The Adams

I've long been a fan of Eric Himan, both as a solo artist and now as a member of the trio, Eric and The Adams. And next January, I'll be sailing along the Mexican Riviera on a cruise with the band and a hundred or more of my closest friends. Check out the event page on Facebook for more information.

And if you need a little encouragement, I give you a few clips to enjoy.

Eric Himan - Little Boy Blue

Eric Himan - There's Gotta Be Something

Eric and The Adams - Every Move

Eric and The Adams - Have Me (live)

and finally, a crazy mash-up of Use Somebody and Poker Face. What's not to love?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

How Cool Is This?

I know it's a bit graphic, and seeing it in person might temporarily shock someone, but really, how cool is this?

[caption id="attachment_1333" width="500" caption="Have a serious scar that you can\'t hide? Get the right tattoo and make the best of it."][/caption]

(Borrowed from Ugliest Tattoos, an entire website devoted to permanent mistakes.)

PostSecret and Me

My Sunday mornings always start with a visit to the PostSecret site. And from time to time, I read a submission that could have come from me. This is one of those times.

[caption id="attachment_1327" width="531" caption="The one thing that saved my life is keeping me from the one thing I want to do with it."][/caption]

I honestly believe that the Marine Corps saved my life. Before I joined, I was just going through the motions, checking days off of a mental calendar. A part of me knew that I was not long for this world and that, inevitably, I would take myself out of it. Then along came SSgt Rick Blevins and a chance to join the Corps. And finally, I found an opportunity to shine. And I did. But it was also the Marine Corps that prevented me from doing the one thing that I really wanted to do with my life, which was to find the man that I was meant to be with. I desperately wanted to find a partner and live my life as it was meant to be lived, with love and passion. But the Marine Corps was not the place for a gay man to love another man openly and honestly.

As we all know, ultimately, I did find what I was looking for. But it came nearly a decade after leaving the Corps. I wouldn't change my past, because I love who I am and the life I have. But my buttons are still pushed when I see a Post Secret like this one.

The "Happy" File

A discussion on Facebook today has inspired this blog post. (And in true circle-of-life fashion, when it posts, a copy will be automatically sent back to Facebook and further discussion will likely take place.)

My long-time friend, in response to an ongoing thread, posted this:
I concur about John--I've always thought he was much more thoughtful than almost anyone our age--even when we were all way younger. Not afraid to stand for himself and others when most other people would not have done so. Not afraid to care about others. Way more caring than most people our age. John is a person people remember no matter how much time has passed. He will definitely leave this world a better place than he found it. And we're all better for having known him.

What an amazing thing to read about myself. It isn't often that we get such direct and heartfelt praise from others. And even when we do, we either dismiss it or (too quickly) forget all about it. I suppose it is our nature to hang on to insults and criticism, their caustic words clinging to us like barnacles on a ship. But the good stuff? It's too soon gone. But it doesn't have to be that way. Because of that thread, I posted this:
John Hulsey is inspired by my friends Cj McKercher Fillmore and Jeremy Ward, so I'm passing this idea along. Whatever the format, create a "when I feel down" file and fill it with the compliments and kind words of others. In dark moments, it will remind you of your own worth and value.

Obviously, CJ's words are going in my file. And there are many others, like this message sent to me last month by another friend.
Today I am thankful for you. I think you are wonderful. And I am lucky to have you as a friend. Not just in the FB world or even just online. I really value you, John, and I hope we will have the chance to actually meet - and hug like crazy - in real life one day. I know this is a random message, but it is from the heart. Just saw you online tonight and wanted to send you some love. You deserve it!

I've edited out only the identifying information, since it was a message sent privately. But it was such an unexpected kindness that it made me feel good for days. And yet, a month later, I had almost forgotten about it. Now, as a second entry in my "When I'm Down" file, I won't ever forget it again. And when I'm feeling like the world is kicking me in the teeth, and my all-too-human nature is seeing only the bad, I'll have my ready-made mood enhancer set to go.

And one last thing. As I'm writing this, I wonder if it will come across as boastful or even arrogant. I mean, I am posting the words of two people praising me. But then I realize, so what if it sounds like I'm bragging? I am. And I have every reason to. Two friends believe that I am worthy of their compliments and kind words, and who am I to disagree with them?

It is no coincidence that good people are surrounded by good people. It's how we all survive a world that is, too often, not good at all.

(Edited to add: And thanks to a bit of feedback from my friend Charish, I'm amending the name of this entry and the file. Instead of a "when I'm down" file, it will be my "happy" file. A slight change, perhaps, but words have meaning and power. So why start by presuming a negative?)

My Saturday Afternoon

Wind and rain outside, Ric and Bioshock 2, and Ruth and Idgie napping close by.


Newflash, Speaker Pelosi: Responsibility Matters

Interesting reading...
Speaker Nancy Pelosi – Rep. Charlie Rangel’s most prominent defender – backed the troubled Democrat again on Friday morning, the day after news broke that the House ethics committee was planning to admonish Rangel.

“I think that every member is entitled to have his day before the ethics committee," she said. "They have said he did not knowingly violate the rules. And, again, if this were the end of it, that would be one thing. But there’s obviously more to come and we’ll see what happens with that. But every member has that right.”

Pelosi said, "All I saw was the press release where it said he didn't violate the rules of the House." She noted that the report said Rangel didn't know he was violating rules that applied to a lobbyist-funded trip to the Caribbean.

Pelosi also pointed out that the ethics committee found that Rangel's staffers knew corporate money was paying for trips — even though Rangel didn't.

I think it’s quite a statement to hold members accountable for what their staffs knew,” she said. “I’ll be interested to see how that reverberates.”

Pelosi didn't say one way or another whether Rangel should stay on as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

"Obviously they have other issues to deal with," she said. "We'll just see what happens next and what comes out of the ethics committee."

There are details on the Rangel story here at Politifact, and none of it looks good. And if Rangel had an ounce of shame or decency, he would resign and slither away. But my focus here is on Pelosi's stupidity. She sounds incredulous that a member of Congress can be held accountable for something that his staff members know. She acts as if Rangel has no responsibility here at all.

Bullshit. Rangel took vacations and now pretends he didn't know that corporations paid for them. First, his staff members sent him two emails and one letter telling him that taking the vacations would be a violation of House ethics. So they did what they needed to do and he failed to respond. Second, even if they didn't advise him of such, Rangel had a responsibility of his own to learn where the money was coming from. Did he do anything at all to identify the source of the funding? No, he didn't. So it's his own fault that his actions violated House rules.

Finally, and my big issue, is that Pelosi seems shocked that Rangel can be held accountable. Well, no kidding. Welcome to the real world, where CEO's and company officers are held directly responsible for the actions of their staff members. If my bookkeeper knows that we have not made a required tax payment but fails to share that information with me as the Corporate Controller, our company is still liable for fees and penalties for non-payment. And if my salesman misrepresents our services, my company can be held liable for damages.

Yes, Madame Speaker, it's called accountability and responsibility. If you are in charge of a team, you are the one called on the carpet when any team member fails to perform as required. It's what being a leader means. And Pelosi's inability to understand that explains much about her own failures.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gifts from Mom

Thanks, Mom, for the cool rock pieces. Mine will be on my office desk tomorrow, and Ric's is already on the mantle. We love 'em.

Mine reads, "Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life."

Ric's reads, "Happy people don't necessarily have everything. They just make the most of everything they have."


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Greatest Photos That Never Were

I stumbled across an artist named Alison Jackson. She is a photographer that creates iconic images that may or may not have been. Sounds odd, right? Check out the photos for yourself. Very inspired and creative.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="266" caption="William tries on crown"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="328" caption="Halle Berry paints her Oscar black"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="264" caption="Bill Gates with his iPod"][/caption]

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Oh, Tom. Why?

I realize that times are tough. And I understand that even celebrities fall on tough times. But how desperate has Tom Selleck become that he would agree to take part in an Anthony Robbins' infomercial? I was at the bank today (shout-out to Torrey Pines!) and they were airing some awful extended commercial for The Ultimate Edge. And there on screen, looking handsome as ever, was Tom Selleck. Granted, he also looked a bit stoic, as if he didn't trust himself to show a single true emotion lest he break down in shame right there in front of Robbins.

Here is a better (bitter?) review from
Probably no personality dominated TV infomercials in the 1990’s more than Anthony Robbins. But his once-ubiquitous infomercials abruptly disappeared from the air, probably because of market saturation.

Now Tony Robbins has returned to the airwaves with an infomercial for his Ultimate Edge program. This latest Tony Robbins infomercial sells a “coaching” package of his usual rah-rah motivational bullcrap. And as in his infomercials of olde, lots of Hollywood celebrities and sports stars appear to declare that Anthony Robbins caused all their success and their own talent and hard work had nothing to do with it.

Tom Selleck of Magnum P.I. fame interviews Tony Robbins here—yet another former mega-star reduced to hosting an infomercial. Selleck appears so sedate that one wonders whether Tony Robbins’ hypnotic spell has turned him catatonic

This infomercial declares that Robbins “has become famous for his big smile and larger than life energy”—which is a nice way of saying he has the physique of Lurch and the hyperactivity of Matthew Lesko.

With his Ceaser haircut and wispy goatee, Robbins looks like a haggard middle-aged man desperately trying to appear hip and youthful.

Oh, Tom. Why would you do this? What's next, the Tom Selleck Make Your Own Aloha Shirt Machine? The Magnum PI Mustache Manager? This just makes my 80's heart hurt.

Dream Casting - Mark Valley and Thomas Jane

Mark Valley and Thomas Jane.

Yep. Mark Valley.

And Thomas Jane.

Mark Valley.

Thomas Jane.

Mark Valley.

Thomas Jane.


HBO’s show HUNG has now made its New Zealand debut on TVNZ’s Channel One.

Auckland-based ad agency Colenso BBDO was retained to promote the show and to generate some buzz. They have definitely created a buzz with their risqu̩ billboard, recently erected on Victoria Street in central Auckland. Whether you like the billboard or not, and whether it draws you to watch the show or not, you must admit that the old, tried-and-true subjects Рwell-endowed female and male bodies Рnever seem to fail to draw attention.

Established in 1969, Colenso BBDO is consistently one of New Zealand’s highest-ranked ad agencies. Campaign Brief has also named Colenso BBDO Agency of the Decade. - Bill Tikos

Admit it. It's clever.

Disabled Children Are God's Punishment?

(Courtesy of Think Progress.)

On Thursday, Virginia State Delegate Bob Marshall (R) spoke at a press conference against state funding for Planned Parenthood. He blasted the organization for supporting a women’s right to choose, saying that God punishes women who have had abortions by giving them disabled children:
The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically.Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” said Marshall, a Republican.

“In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.

I'm curious, Mr. Marshall. Were you born an asshole or have you worked hard at it all your life?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hello, News. I've Missed You.

Eight uninterrupted minutes of news reporting on the Marines in Marjah. That's what I heard this morning on the way to the office. Obviously, I wasn't listening to any of the local news shows. And I wasn't listening to CNN or Fox. I was listening to National Public Radio's Morning Edition. And I heard detailed reporting about the situation faced by our Marines. I learned that they are extremely concerned about their impact on the civilians in the town, to the point of allowing Taliban fighters to flee to the surrounding hills rather than risk killing civilians. I learned that they are struggling with extremely restrictive fire orders. I heard that our Marines from India Company discovered more than twenty IEDs in the first moments of the battle, some hidden just on the other side of a wall next to where our Marines had bunked down for the night.

I learned all of this and more, because NPR still produces news. Real news. And they give it to me in large enough segments that I can understand not only the top stories but also the smaller, less reported information that provides the context.

Thank you, NPR, for reminding me what news can be.

Bourne. Jason Bourne.

I just caught up on all three of these movies on Blu-Ray, and I'm still impressed. The action is non-stop, the chase scenes are breathtaking, and the storyline holds together through all three films. If you haven't seen them, you should. If you have, you should see them again. The trilogy is worth a second (or third) look.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Reign of Fire

Reign of Fire? Reign of Hotties is more like it. What's not to love about a movie with Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey, and Gerard Butler? It's all action, all testosterone, and all shirt-torn-fighting-sweating-rolling-about goodness. Yeah, it's the perfect combination of guy movie (all action, no one dies of natural causes) and gay movie (hot, sweaty beefcake). And yes, it looks even better in Blu-Ray.

Oh, yeah. There's also something about dragons and fighting and end-of-mankind stuff. But really, does the plot matter?

Olympics = Guy Candy

Yes, sure, I realize that the Olympics are the last pure sporting event on the planet. I respect that these sports stars train all their lives for their moment on the world stage. And I agree that the competition is amazing to watch.

But honestly, how can I watch the Olympics and not think "Guy Candy"? Come on, these athletes are unbelievably sexy. So, here's a shout-out to the hotties of the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. Bonne chance, gentilshommes.

First up, super cutie Vaughn Chipeur.

Adam Pengilly is a cutie, too.

Aksel Lund Svindal

And of course, our drunken mess turned Olympic hero, Bode Miller.

And yes, there are so many more. I may just have to post multiple versions of this entry. Right after I stop staring at the TV and the  non-stop Olympic action, of course.

Sanctified Slide, or How I Learned the Lord is Da Bomb

"Are you ready crew?"

Oh. my. gosh. It's like a trainwreck. I can't stop watching it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Shut Up. Just Shut Your Fucking Mouth.

Clearly, there are things that piss me off. One, stupidity. Two, security breaches. Three, anonymous sources. Combine all three and I'm absolutely livid. Case in point:

US Marines airdropped into Taliban-held territory

MARJAH, Afghanistan – Elite Marine recon teams were dropped behind Taliban lines by helicopter Friday as the U.S.-led force escalated operations to break resistance in the besieged insurgent stronghold of Marjah.

As the major NATO offensive entered its seventh day, about two dozen Marines were inserted before dawn into an area where skilled Taliban marksmen are known to operate, an officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.

Other squads of Marines and Afghans, marching south in a bid to link up with Marine outposts there and expand their territory, came under sniper fire and rocket attacks by midday. The rattle of machine-gun fire and the thud of mortars echoed nearby.

The Marjah offensive is the biggest since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan and a test of President Barack Obama's strategy for reversing the rise of the Taliban while protecting civilians.

A NATO statement said troops were still meeting "some resistance" from insurgents who engage them in firefights, but homemade bombs remain the key threat to allied and Afghan forces.

At a London briefing, Maj. Gen. Gordon Messenger said the militant holdouts don't threaten the overall offensive but will take time to clear out.
"The levels of resistance in these areas has increased but not beyond expectation. We expected after the enemy had time to catch its breath, they would up the level of resistance, and that's happened," he said.

Marine spokesman Lt. Josh Diddams reported that overall resistance was lighter Friday, but a few companies still engaged in firefights that lasted a few hours.

NATO said one service member died Friday in a small-arms fire attack. Six coalition troops were killed Thursday, NATO said, making it the deadliest day since the offensive began. The death toll so far is 12 NATO troops and one Afghan soldier. Britain's Defense Ministry said two British soldiers were among those killed Thursday.

No precise figures on Taliban deaths have been released, but senior Marine officers say intelligence reports suggest more than 120 have died. The officers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

So let's take a closer look. First, this piece:
As the major NATO offensive entered its seventh day, about two dozen Marines were inserted before dawn into an area where skilled Taliban marksmen are known to operate, an officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.

Security concerns? Bullshit. It doesn't matter at all if this officer is Joe Smith or Jack Brown. Revealing his identity does not jeopardize security. What jeopardizes security is releasing this information at all. So if this officer was truly concerned with security, he would shut his mouth and not release information unless specifically authorized and instructed to do so.
No precise figures on Taliban deaths have been released, but senior Marine officers say intelligence reports suggest more than 120 have died. The officers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

Not authorized to release the information? Then shut up. I expect senior Marine officers to know better than to discuss intelligence reports with the media just because they feel like it. They acknowledge they are not authorized to release that information, yet do it anyway. What the hell is their problem?

So again, I share my opinion that these folks need to shut their fucking mouths and stop chattering like magpies. Is it too much to ask that those entrusted with national security demonstrate a simple respect for it?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Oh, Jasmine...

The jasmine is blooming in front of our house. It's beautiful and smells so good. It's like an early Spring.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day Brunch

Seventy degrees, sunshine and good friends. I love this town.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Me, this morning.


I woke up on time, and my gym bag was packed and ready to go. But I weighed my need for a morning workout against my desire to stay in bed just a bit longer. It's Saturday, I told myself, and another bit of sleep is my reward for another great week. 

So I slept in. Not too long, as I had to be here at the office by 7am. But it still felt good to lounge and relax. 

Now, though, I'm done at the office and heading home... after my stop at the gym. I can't use sleeping in as an excuse all day, right? 

Friday, February 12, 2010

Why am I doing this?

Because I do not want to spend the rest of my life looking like this. 


Me, Christmas 2009. Sitting there, weighing as much as I ever have in my life, I felt completely uncomfortable. I didn't want to take pictures, I didn't want to dress up and go out, I didn't want to do anything but hide out. And that is no way to live. 

So, here I am almost two months later, feeling like a whole new person. And this? Oh, yes. THIS is a way to live. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"No One Is Coming To Save You."

My friend posted this recently as his Facebook status, and it really resonated with me. I think many of us wander through life with this ridiculous notion that someone, or some thing, is going to save us. We play the "if only" game until it paralyzes us. 
  • If only I was 50 pounds lighter, I would like my body. 
  • If only I didn't have a mortgage, I could afford what I wanted. 
  • If only I had a better job, I'd enjoy working. 
  • If only I could meet the right person, I'd be happy. 

And on and on it goes. But the truth is, I could work harder to lose that 50 pounds. I could pay more towards my mortgage. I could learn new skills and fight for a better job. And years ago, I could have worked more on making myself a better person instead of wishing for someone to come along and make me happy. But it's easier to wait for someone or something else to make it happen for me. 

Ultimately, there is no one else coming to save me. If I am to enjoy this life, to truly live and love and accomplish and create and every other wonderful thing I hope to do, I need to hold myself responsible for making it happen. Sure, I'll likely find others along the way that will help me, but I cannot hold them accountable for what happens to me. My life is about my choices and my actions, and the sooner I accept and embrace that, the sooner I can truly get to living. 

No one is coming to save you.

My friend, Jeremy, posted this recently as his Facebook status, and it really resonated with me. I think many of us wander through life with this ridiculous notion that someone, or some thing, is going to save us. We play the "if only" game until it paralyzes us. 

* If only I was 50 pounds lighter, I would like my body. 
* If only I didn't have a mortgage, I could afford what I wanted. 
* If only I had a better job, I'd enjoy working. 
* If only I could meet the right person, I'd be happy. 

And on and on it goes. But the truth is, I could work harder to lose that 50 pounds. I could pay more towards my mortgage. I could learn new skills and fight for a better job. And years ago, I could have worked more on making myself a better person instead of wishing for someone to come along and make me happy. But it's easier to wait for someone or something else to make it happen for me. 

Ultimately, there is no one else coming to save me. If I am to enjoy this life, to truly live and love and accomplish and create and every other wonderful thing I hope to do, I need to hold myself responsible for making it happen. Sure, I'll likely find others along the way that will help me, but I cannot hold them accountable for what happens to me. My life is about my choices and my actions, and the sooner I accept and embrace that, the sooner I can truly get to living. 


"Your Best Body At 40+"

Just a little interesting reading for me this morning...
The decade of your 40s is the most crucial opportunity to reinvent yourself and make your body leaner, stronger, and fitter for life.

via Excerpt From The Book Your Best Body At 40+ : Men's Health.

Monday, February 8, 2010


That's me today. I went to bed at 10pm and was still wide awake at 4am. By 5am, I was at the gym and all business. I did 2 minute intervals on the treadmill, alternating between 3.6 mph walking and 6.0 mph jogging. I managed to do that for a full hour, logging 4.65 miles. 

After that and since I was already at the gym and feeling great, I hopped on the recumbent bike. I rode for another hour, logging 21.65 miles. 

I'm feeling all kinds of fabulous today. 


Okay, maybe not quite THAT fabulous, but I'm still feeling pretty darn good. So, how is everyone else today? 

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Patience. Rewarded.

I just wrote on Thursday that I was happy with my progress, despite the fact that I had not lost a single pound over the entire last week. I told myself to have faith that making better eating choices, sticking with my workouts, and getting and giving support here at Spark People would work. Turns out, I was right. 

Yes, I know I said I was only going to weigh myself once a week, but I woke up this morning and decided to take a quick peek. Hello, success. I weighed in at 209.5 pounds this morning, which means I dropped 3.5 pounds since Thursday. 

What does that tell me? It tells me that the numbers on the scale are going to do tricky things. They are going to sit stubbornly for days, even weeks at a time, despite all my best efforts. And then, almost inexplicably, they are going to drop in dramatic fashion. 

So, today I'll celebrate the big drop. I'm doing the work and I deserve to enjoy the rewards. But I will do so with the knowledge that every weigh-in will not be like this, and even when the numbers flatline, I'm still confident I am doing the right things for longterm health and fitness. 

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thought for the Day

Form the habit of making decisions when your spirit is fresh ... to let dark moods lead is like choosing cowards to command armies.

- Charles Horton Cooley

This is truly phenomenal to me.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I lost zero pounds last week. So why am I happy?

I weigh in every Thursday morning. This week, like last week, I weighed 213 pounds. And that should bother me, right? Wrong. 

I'm not unhappy right now. In fact, I'm feeling pretty good. And I'll tell you why. 

One, I know that my eating habits last week were not that great. Sure, I ate relatively healthy breakfasts and lunches. But my dinners included quite a few indulgence items. And those calories add up. And portion control? Forget it. I wasn't all that concerned with that. So, I made unhealthy eating decisions and ate too much. Both of those things are fully within my power to change in this upcoming week. So I'm happy. 

Two, my overall goal is to lose (in a healthy and sensible manner) one pound per week. I have already lost seven in three weeks, so I am double my plan. And if my body slows down a bit for a week or two, no problem. I'm still moving in the right direction. So I'm happy. 

Three, scale be damned, I feel better. I have worn my polo shirts tucked in each day this week, and I haven't done that in quite a while. My jeans fit a bit looser, my belt has to be pulled a bit tighter, and people tell me I look like I am losing weight. So I'm happy. 

And four, I made a conscious decision to not let the weigh-in bother me. Instead, I chose to seek out message threads on the "Panic! Button for Immediate Help" forum. I decided to focus my energy today on cheering people up and encouraging others rather than wallow in some faux-problem of my own. And as it turns out, writing messages of support to other people can't help but impact my own mood. So I'm happy. 

I don't know who all might read this blog entry. And I don't know where any of you may be on your own journeys. But I can tell you that just being here is enough to motivate and inspire me to do more, to be more. I read our stories and connect with different pieces of each of them. I am glad to be a part of this group and proud to be on this path with so many of you. 

So I'm happy. 

(Originally posted on

Facebook? Ugh.

For some reason, I can't log into my Facebook account through my mobile phone. Goofy, right? I key in my email and password and it drops me right back to my logon screen.

Stupid Facebook.

Gays in the Military?

I'm copying this from a political website. It was my response to a question about gays being allowed to serve in the military.
I've wasted the last bit of energy I intend to discussing this issue with those who oppose it. It's always the same circular reasoning (it's different because it isn't the same!), the same prejudices (I don't want to be with those people!), and the same denial and ignorance (gays flaunt it, but straight people don't).

Attempting any more dialog is a futile endeavor, and ultimately, a pointless one. Laws and policies that deny equal treatment to all Americans will one day be tossed into the rubbish bins of history, and those who support such discrimination will scratch their heads and wonder what on earth happened. Meanwhile, the rest of us will go on with our lives and never look back.

SDJ: a gay, married, tax paying, home owning, hard working, voting, proud Marine Corps veteran.

I'm posting it here because it really is my last argument on the subject. If you agree with me, good. If you don't, that's okay, too. But understand that I don't care to hear any more discussion about it. More specifically, I will not be engaging in any further discussions about it. There is nothing new to be said, no just-discovered truth that will somehow sway opinions. The arguments are what they are, and people either support it, oppose it, or don't care about it. No matter which of those you feel, there is no point in me challenging your views.

For me, the time for talking is over.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

No one cares.

I go to the gym each morning. I get on the treadmill, or the bike, or the elliptical, and I exercise for an hour. I can't help but see myself in the mirror, and I see a fat guy that is breathing heavy and sweating like crazy. I see a man in terrible shape, short and chubby and a big blob. And I think, "what on earth are these other people thinking when they see me?"

Here's the answer. They don't see me. Oh, sure, they see that I am a guy on a treadmill. Beyond that, though, I'm invisible. I could be anyone and it wouldn't matter. Why? Because they don't care about me. They are too busy thinking about their own bodies, their own routines, their own struggles and successes and to-do lists, etc, to spend any time bothering with me. They are not worrying about me or thinking that my legs are short or my belly is big or whatever crazy self-criticism I have at the moment.

So no one is criticizing me. No one is judging me. No one is expending energy to attack me. In fact, no one cares. And that's a good thing.

Fighting from Inside a Closet

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sixty Pounds

My long-term goal is to lose 60 pounds. And that sounds like a lot. How can I possibly manage 60 pounds?

And then I realized something. I am already managing 60 pounds. Each day, when I walk up the steps to the office, I am managing to carry an extra 60 pounds. When I mow the lawn, or walk the aisles of the grocery store, or stand in line at the theater, I am managing to carry an extra 60 pounds. Every moment of every day, every place I go and everything I do, I'm weighed down with this extra 60 pounds.

And what I am taking away from this newfound realization? If I can manage to carry 60 pounds for so many years, I can surely manage to carry it to the gym and on to the bike and for long walks and jogs and runs. I can carry it through my workouts until, pound by pound, it goes away.

60 pounds, indeed. Pfft.

Making the Time

I know that working out makes me feel better. So I make the time. I get up early and work out before I head into the office. That way, nothing distracts me and I can enjoy the day with that "post-workout smugness."

But there are other ways that I need to take care of myself, and they are just as important. I need to make the time to be alone, to relax and unwind, to transition from busy, busy, busy workday to calm, comfortable at-home time.

I need to make the time. There will always be things that need to get done, and work that can't wait, and a million other demands. But ultimately, the only way I can be the person I need to be for everyone else is to make sure that I am doing what I need to do for myself.

I'm making the time. I'm worth it.

Struggling With The Blues?

So you're in a bad mood. You know, the sort of mood where everything makes you mad. When it seems as if everyone in the world is going out of their way to make sure your day is as bad as it can possibly be. And yes, you are in such a funk that you feel as if a dark cloud is following you and the sun may never shine again.

When I hit that sort of funk, there is one thing I can always do to snap me right out of it. I take a few minutes to sit down and write something positive and encouraging to someone in my life that I know is struggling. Maybe it's something serious, like an illness, or maybe it's something minor, like a quarrel with another friend or a bad day at work. Whatever they are going through, I find that my writing a note to help lift them up helps me put my own problems into perspective.

There is no shortage of sorrow and struggle out there. So many people I know are going through a rough time of one kind or another. And if my little note is a bright spot in their day, and writing it helps me adjust my own attitude, then we both come out winners.

So go ahead, let that bad mood find you. And you can even wallow in it for a bit if you think that's what you need to do. But before you let it swallow you up, take a look around you. Odds are, you have friends or family that are struggling just as much, if not more. And it's completely within your power to give them a bright spot in their otherwise painful day.

So, what's going to be? Burn another hour of your day with a pity party or make a difference for someone else? It's your decision.