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Oh Happy Day
I'm a reasonably cool guy
Just got off the phone after a 40 minute call with an AT&T rep. They didn't budge one iota. Goddamn Apple won't let them, among other excused offered. I tell them that their 3g network is awful and I get calls dropped all over town and it feels like a 9600 baud modem when it does work. I tell them that I have been un-recommending AT&T service as much as I possibly can, warning friends, family and strangers to stay the hell away from the money trap of 3G. It's all marketing hype. I have an "unlimited" data plan, but I'm limited all the goddamn time by it being slow. I've been duped.

I explain to the AT&T rep that I am paying twice as much for a phone plan that is worse in quality than what I had before. I feel ripped off.

They don't budge. There are new towers going up near me, they say. That doesn't change the fact that I still have sub-par network coverage. The maps they look at tell them that I live in a neighborhood with great coverage. My experience -- and the experience of others in the neighborhood -- is not what the maps say. I feel like I should get a refund for the extra money I am paying for this shitty phone/network.

I hate Apple. I hate AT&T. I don't want anymore of their bullshit. I'm not fooled anymore. I'm paying more for lower quality. I don't give a shit about the bells and whistles anymore. I want a goddamn phone that works and works flawlessly. That's what I'm paying for, right?
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Ya know, the Daylight Saving Time switcharoo wouldn't be so difficult for me if I also didn't keep thinking it was April.

I still keep thinking that DST begins the first week of April, and since we're changing the clocks, therefore it is now April. Then it hits me that it's still early March.
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It seems that Dick Cheney will be in a wheelchair today. He hurt himself moving boxes. When I heard that, I thought to myself, "What in the hell is the Vice President doing moving his own boxes?" Why didn't the moving crew take those with them when they packed up the rest of Cheney's stuff? Probably because those boxes weren't going on the moving van. I bet they were headed to the shredder.
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Obama ought to invite the captain of Flight 1549 to the inauguration. As soon as he's sworn in, he should surprise the captain with the Presidential Medal of Honor or Freedom or whatever medal fits.
Right now, Obama is PEOTUS. On Tuesday, he will become POTUS. Neither abbreviation works well in spoken form. SCOTUS is worse, I reckon.
The PEOTUS will be sworn in by CJ SCOTUS and then he will become POTUS.
I think I will cheer loudest when Bush climbs aboard the Marine helicopter that will take his ass back to Texas or wherever he's going when his presidency is finished. I wonder what they will ferry Cheney away in. I hope it's like that scene from Silence of the Lambs where Hannibal Lecter is restrained and caged. I hope they have to drag his ass out of the West Wing kicking and screaming. There should be an angry mob waiting along the route his limo takes as he is driven away from his seat of power for the last time. There should be loud booing and lots of middle fingers and loogies on the windshield.
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Yesterday at a family Christmas gathering, my dad said, "Hey son, I signed up on the web for this thing called Facebook. Have you heard of it?"

I'm still processing the ramifications of this. It's like reality shifted, just a little bit.
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Happy Winter Solstice everybody. It's my favorite natural planetary event of the season because every day from here until June 2009 will be longer than the previous day.
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It recently hit me that Christmas is a week away and I've only managed to buy one single gift so far. Yikes!

The situation isn't too dire, however. Since I've decided to scale back to just giving presents for the kids on my list I don't have nearly as much to buy. Last year, I hit my last nerve with Christmas, so this year I thought I'd try something different. I'd rather have a low-stress holiday than one in which lots of presents have to be bought and wrapped and delivered. My gift to others is the freedom of not having to buy me anything.

For my immediate family, we're making donations to charity on behalf of each other. I still need to do some work to have that done and in place before Dec 25, but that should be relatively easy.

I'm rather enjoying the scaled back Christmas. I feel like I can focus on the aspects of the holiday season that are meaningful to me and not feel stressed out about having to do 20 things that I'd rather not do.
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Got back from the Join the Impact protest at the Georgia State Capitol a while ago. There are some pics on my camera, but you'll just have to imagine them because I haven't pulled them from the camera yet.

I went with dturing and we both held up handmade signs that we improvised at the event. Saw gskreet and his partner, Bob Skreet, at the rally.

I have a pretty good picture of the two that I will upload later. I also have a good picture of dturing. I met howie at the protest and shook his hand. He was as cute in person as he is in pictures. I think I am developing a secret crush on him.

I held up a sign that said "No more Mr. Nice Gay". It was all I could think of. I stole the idea from somewhere online and I got some people taking pictures of it, so I count it as a success.

There were probably about 300-400 people at the protest, maybe more. It was a nice sized crowd and it was nice to see gay people actually engage in a political protest. I thought to myself, "This is what Pride should really be like."
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What's the best way to make an entire journal "friends only"? One of the things I am planning to do in the coming months is reduce my online public footprint. I've seen more than a couple of people have their online presence come back and bite them in the ass in some unexpected way or other, and it's time for me to start pulling my presence back a little more.
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Tomorrow is a national day of protest for GLBT people. There are protests in dozens of cities across America. The immediate purpose of the protest is to demonstrate against Proposition 8, the anti-marriage amendment that recently passed in California, and the other anti-gay ballot measures that passed in Florida, Arkansas and Arizona. The longer term purpose is to re-awaken the struggle for gay rights. This protest is being called the beginning of a new movement -- Stonewall 2.0. If we don't stand up and speak up and take control of the political debate, we're going to continue to get pushed around by the rightwing conservatives who want to shove us back in the closet and strip us of the rights we have fought hard to win.

Every GLBT person should make an effort to attend a protest near them. Even if you don't believe that marriage equality is the most important issue facing gay and lesbian people today, you should make an effort to join a protest. If we truly want to fight as a movement of people, we will sometimes be required to subjugate our priorities to the priorities of the larger movement -- and right now, that movement is about marriage equality.

We need to speak with one voice. We need to unite together. The time to do that is now. The movement, called Join the Impact, is a true grass-roots effort. It was started by an average person, a lesbian in Seattle who wanted to do something to speak out against the anti-gay election results across America in four different states representing more than 80 million Americans. She came up with the idea, shared it with a few friends and built a simple website for it. The rest of the movement took off on its own. If you've ever wanted to be part of a true grass-roots political movement, now is your opportunity.

I believe that the protest tomorrow is an important first step in translating beliefs into actions that will lead to civil rights gains for gay Americans. If we truly want to be treated as equals, with equal work rights, equal family rights, and so on, then we're going to have to take a lesson from the Civil Rights Movement and get out there are demonstrate and make our voices heard. I doubt that the Civil Rights Movement would have been as successful as it was if it wasn't as coordinated as it was, with people working in unison towards the larger goal. It's time for Gay America to join together and speak out and demand equality, much like Black America did beginning more than a half century ago.

Along with much of the rest of Gay America, I have spent a fair amount of time recently fuming against a couple of religious organizations that have been active in the fight to strip rights from gay people. While I am still angry, I no longer believe that it is fruitful to fight against these particular religious organizations themselves. Instead of focusing on inflicting revenge on the "bad guys", I am going to focus on making my voice heard. There is nothing to gain from trying to avenge our political loss on November 4.

What made me reconsider my desire to inflict pain on these religions was my recent reflection upon my upbringing as a member of another socially conservative religion. I knew I was gay before I even knew what that meant. If, as a kid, I had seen angry gay people protesting in front of my church as my family pulled into the parking lot for Sunday worship I think it would have made my journey of coming out even more difficult later on in my life. For the sake of the gay kids out there who are part of families that belong to those anti-gay religions, I believe we should focus more on getting our message across than on seeking revenge.

There is no point in flaming the fires of anger between gay people and the anti-gay religious leaders who seek to destroy us. We will never win those men and women to our side. Instead, we should focus on reaching out and getting our message out to whomever we can get to listen. We should focus on the conversations that we need to be having with our friends and neighbors about why marriage equality is the right approach and why it is important to us.

We lost badly in California among many minority populations. That indicates that we still have much work to do. Instead of fostering ill will with those people, we should be figuring out how to win them over. We still have many people to connect with and many conversations to hold. The effort should be on opening up a lines of dialogue, not on shouting the other side down. We won't be able to win over everyone, but I believe that there are many people that we can still win over by reaching out and talking to them and treating them with dignity and respect.

If we let ourselves become bitter, we will lose our opportunity to take our message to a larger population. Now is not the time to do that. Now is the time to join together, stand up, and refuse to accept the existing status quo.

Whoever you are, whatever you believe, if you support gay rights, please consider joining the grass-roots, people-powered protests on Saturday, November 15th. If this is really Stonewall 2.0, how can you not join in? You can find your local protest on the Join the Impact Wetpaint website.
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