Dave's blog

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A sad day ...

When a Justice like Sam Alito is confirmed and Corretta Scott King passes.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Coincidence?

Is it just me or does it seem strangely coincidental that during today's news cycle that reports that Karl Rove will be testifying in the Valerie Plume case, there is a terror alert for the New York Subway system?

Isn't this somewhat reminisent of the 2004 Presidential Campaign? Kerry's numbers would go up or he'd get some positive coverage and the Dir. of Homeland Security would trot out with a new terror warning.

When Howard Dean, publically commented on the pattern, we magically stopped having terror alerts. My what a coincidence!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Meeting Brian

Of all of the boyfriends, tricks, and lovers that I've had over the past 20+ years, Brian caused me the most grief. If ever there were a case against "love at first sight", he was it. Of course, everything about the relationship was a bit strange, including how we first met.

Christmas day, 1993, I was driving home after having spent Christmas Eve with a guy I'd been dating in Nashville and whom I'd just broken up with over his hateful comments directed at a guy with AIDS. I was a bit upset over the fight that we'd just had, and was looking forward to getting home.

At the time, I was living in Mongomery, AL, which is six hours drive directly south of Nashville on I-65. I didn't mind driving, in fact the drive is quite beautiful and enjoyable with the CD changer loaded with my favorite CDs. My car was a sporty little black Pontiac Fiero GT with an HRC sticker in one corner of the rear window and a gay flag in the other.

About 100 miles north of Birmingham, the traffic slowed to a crawl. After a few miles, I noticed a guy in a BRIGHT reddish orange Ford stepside pick(em)up truck. From what I could make out, without being too obvious, he seemed to be quite handsome, somewhat a Tom Cruise look-a-like. I wasn't sure, but I thought he seemed to be cruising me. He was at times next to me or behind me, but in any case always fairly close by for the 15 - 20 miles that we were crawling along.

We finally came to the cause of the slowdown - one half of a bridge was out and the traffic was being channeled to a single lane. After getting across the bridge, I decided that I needed to find out if this guy was cruising me or not. An exit with a gas station / convience store was coming up and I decided to take it and see if Mr. Cruise would follow me.

Now, two thoughts were going through my head at this point:

1) He was a hot gay boy who wanted to have sex.
2) He was a hot straight boy who wanted to bash my skull in.

In Alabama, the second option seemed the most likely scenerio and I was a bit scared. As I took the exit, he followed me off the highway, up the ramp, then across the overpass, and finally to the store parking lot. Mindful of scenerio #2, I went into the store. When I came out, he was leaning against his truck, which was parked next to the Fiero, with both his arms & legs crossed looking straight at me --- and grinning from ear to ear.

As I walked to my car, my heart was racing. This guy was REALLY, REALLY HOT. Damn, 6'1, nice build, dark hair, green eyes, and a smile to knock your socks (and about anything else) off with. Tom Cruise would be lucky to look so good.

"Heeey", he said in his southern drawl streching the word out. "Hey", I shot back. "Uh, so how are you?" I nerviously asked. "I didn't think you were ever going to pull over! I've been trying to get your attention for 30 miles!". Coyishly, I responded "So why were you trying to get my attention?". I had an idea or at least was hoping, but my cautious side was still in play now. He pointed at my rear window and said he'd wanted to meet the guy who was THAT out in Alabama!

He was right of course, earlier that year Bill Clinton had taken office and the Gays in the Military controvery had consumed the first six months of his presidency. In Alabama, "Don't ask, Don't tell" was considered a cave in to the "Gay Agenda" and widely denounced. You should have seen his face when I told him that I was working at Gunter Air Force base. He told me that he'd never seen a gay flag sticker on a car in Alabama with Alabama plates.

We exchanged some more small talk, names, and phone numbers. It turned out that he lived in Birmingham and was a Traveling Nurse. We decided to drive on into Birmingham and have dinner together. Our dinner together lasted several hours, until the resturant was about to close and was very enjoyable. Our conversation was all over the map. He seemed like an incrediblely nice guy. I brought up the possibility of going to his place and fooling around and he said that he wasn't looking for a trick, that he wanted to date. I was smitten. He seemed to good to be true.

to be continued ....

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Passing ...

In March 2003, I waw awakened by a woodpecker which arrives with spring to rap the metal vents protruding from my home to call his mate. The high speed beating echoes throughout the house and for a few months becomes my alarm.

My Alaskan Malamutes, Chisos & Skidi sleep on either side of my bed on their own beds. At that time Chisos (male) was 10 and Skidi (female) was 9 years old. They would arise whenever I stirred, since they'd know that a trip outside and treats were the first order of the day.

The night before, we'd been out playing with a circle of 30 or more dogs (and their gay & lesbian owners) at Cheesman Park. Both were chasing the other dogs and having a blast.

It was esp. great watching Chisos as a year before he'd been 50 lbs heavier and lethargic. He had a thyroid problem and as soon as it was diagnosed and he started taking medicine, he dropped the weight and regained his energy.

Chisos was an amazingly loyal, friendly, and beautiful animal. He had a jet black and snow white mask, grey haunches, white belly, and black back / tail. He'd been my constant companion on many hikes and mountain bike rides (he could keep up with me even when I was screaming downhill).

On this morning, as I started to get up. Chisos let out what can only be described as a doggie "scream". In the 10 years that we'd been together, I'd never heard or thought such a sound could come from him.

I leapt off the bed to find Chisos had slid off his bed, laying on his back, with his legs jutting out, and a pained experission on his face. Not knowing what could be wrong, I started petting his side trying to comfort him and then he let out a long, mournful, errie howl and was gone. Maybe 40 seconds had passed since the scream.

It happened so fast, I could not believe it. I was left in a state of shock and utter grief. A friend came over and helped me get Chisos to the vet. When we arrived, one of the doctors who had known Chisos since he was a puppy came running out and escorted me into the clinic and a waiting room. After a non invasive examination, she guessed that he'd had a heart attack or aneurism.

I had Chisos cremated and his ashes sit on top of my piano in a beautiful walnut box. For many months I could hardly walk by without thinking of him and feeling the grief. I believe Skidi still mourns for him. I've lost my mother, grandmother, and several friends, but nothing affected me more.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Career, home, and friends

Yesterday I started the process of looking for work outside of my beloved Denver. For the past two years, I've been living in career hell. I've not been able to get back into the kinds of positions that I love. In fact this summer, I've been mostly out of work. I've enough savings to get me through a couple of more months, then I'm in real trouble. I guess that Denver has lost so many corporate headquarters that there just isn't a place for me here any longer.

I sent my resume to companies in Austin, Atlanta, Boston, New York, San Diego, and San Francisco. It will be painful to leave my home and my friends, but I've done it before. In 1986, I moved to Philadelphia to escape the Houston market where many of my friends were being laid off daily. In 1993, I transfered from Denver to Mongomery, AL in order to keep employed. However this time, I'm 47 and it feels very late in life to be uprooted again.

The hardest part of this will be leaving my friends. Dan I've known for 26 years, Rick for 20, and John for 15 or so. We see each other on a multi week basis. I'll miss our last minute dinners, BBQs, movies, and nights out.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

9/11 fast forward to Katrina II

"Everybody's trying to look at it like the City of New Orleans messed up," Mr. Thomas said in an interview. "But you mean to tell me that in the richest nation in the world, people really expected a little town with less than 500,000 people to handle a disaster like this? That's ludicrous to even think that." - Oliver Thomas, the New Orleans City Council president

I'm even more disgusted with the idiots in Washington than anytime in the last 5 years. They fly overhead, hold press conferences, and blame everyone but their own incompetence. The Katrina diaster was cut from the same cloth as 9/11 and the intelligence and planning failures, that put us into yet another Vietnam. Every branch of government has been infiltrated by people whose only qualifications are connections to Bush & Cheney.

As you probably know by now, Michael Brown the Director of FEMA had a falsified resume that left out his most recent position, a nine year stint at the Arabian Horse Association from which he was asked to resign. Note: in a funny turn of events, I will be doing a 3 day consulting gig at AHA starting tomorrow. What many people don't know is that the next two people in line behind Mr. Brown have simular "qualifications".

When important national organizations are gutted of talented individuals and filled with political appointees can we really expect anything but diaster? The people on the right who voted for Bush / Cheney should give up their homes to Katrina evacuees. When you vote for patiotic slogans, patronizing religious retoric, and short-term feel good promises because its easier than actually examining the difficult issues that face us today, you set the stage for these kinds of absolute failures. FEMA staffers have been complaining to (the Republican controlled) Congress that the political appointees were hampering its ability to react, just as the CIA staffers had been doing in Bush's first year.

Here we are four years after 9/11 and still our military, the police, fire, and rescue personnel can't communicate with each other. This was one of the supposed major lessons learned that came out of 9/11. What has Bush done in the past four years (besides saying "Its hard work" everytime something happens)?


Isn't it "funny" that Haliburton / KBR has yet another no-bid contract for the clean up? In fact, all of the companies tapped for the cleanup seem to have a connection to the administration. What a coincidence! Haliburton has already raked in over $9 Billion from its Iraq war no-bid contract. How many other American companies could do these jobs, likely cheaper and better? Of course, letting other companies do the work wouldn't pad Bush & Cheney's wallets.

I wish we could impeach the SOBs for gross incompetance and fraud.

Breakdowns Marked Path From Hurricane to Anarchy
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/11/national/nationalspecial/11response.html?th&emc=th

Hurricane Katrina Response Timeline
http://www.thinkprogress.org/katrina-timeline

Firms with White House ties get Katrina contracts
http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/09/10/katrina.contracts.reut/index.html

Revising 9/11
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/11/opinion/11sun1.html?th&emc=th

The Storm Next Time
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/11/opinion/11kristof.html?th&emc=th

9/11 fast forward to Katrina

I worked in NYC (lived in Philadelphia) in '86 - '88. Daily, I'd arrive via the Path train in the Trade Center and hustled my way over to Waters St. As a kid who grew up in west Texas, I was in awe everytime I walked out on the plaza and looked up at the towers. As many others, I felt a small part of me die when the towers collapsed.

I can only attempt to imagine the pain of those in NY who lost friends and loved ones. Two coworkers died, one in Tower 1 and the other in the plane that crashed in PA.

Last night, my dinner companions and I were discussing 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina and reflecting that for whatever the reason very little is being made of the anniversery (here in Denver anyway). I guess that it is in part due to the ongoing coverage of the Katrina fallout, but I wonder if it is not purposeful to reduce the comparisons between the two events.

Our country responded well to 9/11. I can't remember any stories of anything but immediate action, compassion, and heroism. How could we have reacted better to a surprise attack than one that was expected for days?

Don't you know that without 9/11, Bush would have been a one term prez? With every additional report of the incompetence exhibited by FEMA and the administration, I become more embarrassed to be an American and enraged at the administration.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Been a while ...

Damn, its been a while since I last posted. Things have been pretty tough at work. I am doing a consulting stint at a network "bandwidth" provider. I don't know if its just me, but I don't remember ever being anywhere where the chaos was as great as it is there. I'm working with a group that has developed a portal for the company's partners to use to help sell the network company's products. I joined the group the week before we went live and have been responsible since for configuring the test and production environments and many times doing the deployments. The team that is responsible for the environments, is way over-extended.

I susspect that I should be doing something else. I just don't know what. I'm 46 now and don't have a lot of time to learn something completely new. Of course, I don't want to be doing software consulting in my 50's either. What the F**k have I done with this life?

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Sunday in the park

What a fun and unusual Sunday in the park. Skot is heading off to Atlanta for a new professional life. Wils threw him a fabulous party this afternoon at Cheesman park. The party was a hoot! There were about 30 or so guys and the hosts had provided a variety of womens' clothing and a kick ball and bases. Anyway, about 8 - 9 of us put on the provided dresses, gowns, and skirts and then proceded to play a game of kick ball. OMG it was funny. One guy (Bryan) had a 60's go go dress on and had these great legs sticking out from under the mini-skirt. Another was wearing a tutu over a beautiful bod (DJ). I was wearing this long skirt that was about the only thing that would fit my new larger sized body (eeeeek). What a great time!


Saturday, August 07, 2004

What a day!

Just got home from swim practice with SQUIDs, a team council meeting, and hanging out with a new member "S" and I'm a bit smitten. "S" is quite artistic. Cool little carfty things adonn his place. He's been through the same ringer that many of us have gone threw and seems to have come out pretty well. I respect that. He was quite upfront about it, I respect that too.

Hearing his experiences makes me feel very lucky to have had a bad experience with his particular "demon". Too many friends have lost so much to that very same "demon". It makes me sad thinking about it.

Tonight "S" & I are going to a party together. It will be interesting to see how it goes. I'm not sure what this party is going to be like. I hope its chill with fun people and not sexual with a bunch of tweakers. We'll see.