Wisdom of LMA

Pilgrim crawling into the fireplace. LMA says, "When he crawls into the
fireplace, we'll put a fire in there and he'll get all fired up."

Yes. Yes he will.


Texas going straight.

Yesterday's news and not terribly current, but just wanted to keep everyone up to date.

I need to figure out a way to make sure that more Dems can vote on this. I need to be able to help mobilize this crusade against those who would discriminate.

I tired of this debate, so much. I just don't understand how people can hate another group of people with such flip. Almost as if they don't think anything's wrong with it. Almost as if they think they are better, somehow, then those they seek to diminish. I think it's funny that on the same page, there is a poll asking if you think there is a quality of life disparity for African Americans in Austin.

Yes. I do. I think if you aren't white, you're seen as second class. I'd like to add to it white and straight and Christian. Now, you have to be all three, if you're white and Jewish and straight, you're out. If you're Latino and straight and Christian, you're out. If you're white and straight and Pagan, you're out. It's the Trifecta of Prejudice, the Holy Trinity of Intolerance, the Triumvirate of Bigotry.

The thing that really irks me about the whole debate is that there are so many other things wrong that aren't being fixed because of this. If people could just ignore things like religion and sexual preference and color and age and gender and maybe focus on things like homelessness and unemployment and child abuse and hunger, and I hate to sound like a 1970's soda commercial, but the world would be a better place, for you and me. Just wait and see.

Seriously. Imagine the political power we could put behind tax reform, law enforcement, emergency management, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, employment agencies, women's and children's shelters if we just stopped thinking of our fellow man as a statistic. Are you human? Yeah. That's all we should have to know. If you can do a job, if you have a hobby, if you like a music or a show, if you can lift a baby, if you can make Macaroni and Cheese, if you cry and sleep and like sunshine but also rain, there's no other point about you that would make a different to whether I like you or dislike you. I don't dislike people because they're black or female or Baptist or straight or Mexican or tall or fat or cross-eyed. I dislike people because they're mean, close-minded, aggrandizing, delusional, self-righteous assholes. There should be no other reason to hate people other than how they act.

I can tell you that the lesbians who are going to have their foster children taken away are not any of those things. They are people and shit like this just hurts people. So if you feel like hurting people rather than better spending your time being helpful, by all means, make sure the fags can't raise abused and neglected children.


New Faces

In case the ever growing masses are not yet aware, I've added a few links to the page in the hopes of getting readership to friends and family. However, in all honesty, the links go to places that get page hits ranging in the thousands to millions, so I doubt my minor fiefdom driven traffic will impact their counts by much.

I'm also testing something that just came about while browsing the list of Blogger options. I've always wanted to participate in whatever RSS or XML news feeds are, and I feel like a grandpa saying this (listen up dad) but I don't understand them. I downloaded Pluck to read feeds, but I couldn't tell you what I'd be reading. The most online time I have is at work, and I should be working, not reading blog updates and quirky news articles. But it doesn't seem to work here, and at home it might be kind of a waste of a download as the time I'm on the home machine is spent in the binary bossom of Mistress Photoshop.

However, I did find the email update option. Now I can write from any email client I want. It's funny, I think this is really cool. Writing from an email instead of the dashboard update page. I don't know why. It doesn't take any longer. For people who don't do this often, imagine having a microwave in your bedroom. Now, it might seem cool at first. You can bring your favorite frozen pizza to bed and watch some TV. But you haven't sped up the cooking time. You walk the same distance to get the pizza, then go back to the room. The pizza tastes the same. Ah, but you say, no one has a microwave in their bedroom.

And that's exactly why I'm writing this entry from my email. Because I can.


(Incidentally, what may not work and what I'm used to doing is hand typing all the htm codes, so if you see some odd symbols and no fun links I'll have to go back out to the kitchen and nuke my pizza in there.)

Mr. Pilgrim is THIS close to walking. I mean it. Friday he took what has quantitatively become his first steps. He's taken a few tottering wobbles in the past couple weeks, but this was the first time he had a desire to get somewhere and his chubby little legs propelled him. Both Mrs. A and I were on hand, as well as the babysitter and Lil Miss Austin. Mrs. A cried and was really glad she was here for it.

Mrs. A and I were going through baby clothes (because the little monster is already wearing 18 month old clothes) and bagging up anything marked 6-9 or even some 6-12. She held on to one piece and said, "This is my Pilgrim. This is how I remember him." The depression she had really blanked out the first half year or more of his life, a life spent almost entirely with his mom. Now, I don't remember much about LMA at that age and even memories of this guy are fading, but Mrs. A I don't think, and she has said as much, remembers much of anything. It was really hard to listen to her say that and it made me wish he'd stay this age just a little longer.

But no, he wants to talk now. He really hasn't got the conscious Mama or Dada just yet, but if you say, "Say Mama" his mouth will move. He can also understand, "Where's my nose." and he points to your nose. He also bonks and gives you kisses. Sounds cute until you get one. Baby kisses are like kisses from a 3 foot bass. There's more cleaning up afterwards than expected. We're hoping to get a recording of him babbling because there's a certain timber and phonetics in a one year old babble that is hard to reproduce. If I were to type it, it'd look like...

bwerta bwerta bwerta bwerta...

And so on. He just grabs an object and just starts reading it the riot act, man. Whatever this plastic Sesame Street character did before he got a hold of it, it will not do again in its lifetime. He's also not happy with the small broom and the diaper bag.


Go get Opera, the CEO will pull a stunt.

Seriously. This smacks of publicity, but what the hell. I've been using Opera for a few years now, I think more people should. Now with version 8 out, it's more secure, the mouse browsing is spectacular and the tabbed windows has me ruined. Not to mention the selective cookie administration, smart pop up blocking and password wizard.

Yes, only about 2% of people use Opera, compared to something like 20% Firefox and the rest to either IE or some smaller open sourced things, but my money's on this puppy.

Plus the guy will swim the channel.


Sometimes...ugh...no words, just read.

More bad news for sane people.

Rep Talton's email

Complete list of who voted for this bill, SB6.

The following are all the Dems who voted for this bill.

Allen, A
Cook, R
Gonzales Toureilles
Jones J
Moreno P

Here's a list of contact information.


I expect some results people. This is intolerable.


Ooooh, you got Mrs. A breathin' fire.

It's been a while since the (R)s have given me something to talk about. Well they bucked out of their slump with a whopper.

Apparently now, in Texas, if you're gay, you can't be a foster parent.


If you are gay and are already a foster parent, the state can come take your foster child away.

AND if you say you aren't gay the state can come to your home and investigate IF YOU'RE GAY!

I'm going to let you digest that for a bit.

Meanwhile, here's a picture to look at whilst you ponder.

Hey, glad your back. For those outside of the state of Texas, all I ask is that you shake your head sadly for those of us in Austin. We try, we really do. We try to remain groovy and liberal but morally sound. We work hard, we teach our kids right and we give them room to grow and learn and play. Some of us go to church. Some of us believe in God or gods or The Goddess. We have been shouting so loud from within this little oasis of sanity that our throats are starting to hurt, but dammit, this shit is now intolerable.

I can't imagine what something like this must look like from the steel towers of New York or the sand and fog of San Francisco or the chilly ponds of Canada or the rest of the freakin world. How are they looking at us in Texas now? I know that a good many people wouldn't mind if we just quietly slipped back under a Mexican flag and gave back all the BBQ. Now I just can't imagine what the other 49 are thinking.

Well, probably more like the other 3.

See, I keep thinking this is a Texas thing, and it's not. We're just big and loud and like staying over on the weekends, hope you don't mind. The problem is that most of the country is like this. "Have orphans raised by queers? Shit, man, why don't you just let Osama bin Laden piss on the First Lady's head?" I mean for real, what are you people thinking? This bill had to pass because people voted on it, so I ask you (and use the comment thingie and leave you name and emails, chumps) what the FUCK are you thinking?

Now, let me get this straight (and we read the bill, don't think that we didn't.) Texas does not want gays or lesbians to raise children as foster parents. They feel it is in the child's best interest to limit the number of potential families out there willing to give them a place to live that's not a shelter AND quite possibly move them out of a home into a shelter in favor of not being cared for by gay men and women.

Because why?

Am I missing something? Were all the gays I knew in college secretly hiding poison tipped fangs and an unnerving love of Ramstein? Do gay men smell really bad? Do lesbians use children as piñatas? Are they all using children to make a giant soup with that witch lady from Bugs Bunny?

I don't understand the reason.

And if all you can say involves the Bible, Christianity or that salt stain under that bridge in Chicago, I don't want to here it. That's not a reason to remove children from decent care that the state can't provide.

You want to know how I know they can't provide it? This is all an amendment to a bill revamping Child Protective Services. Hey, we need to fix our state child care system, it's broken. Well let's do all these things, hope it works, then make sure the gays aren't involved.



Lighter than airlines.

Now this is just ridiculous. I know I know. Safety in the air, 9/11, don't let the terrorists win. You know, I'm all for that crap.

Stopping people from being able to light up after a long flight is just retarded. You think potential terrorists are going to stop because they can't carry lighters? How many bombs have been exploded on airlines in the past 50 years? One? Almost 2? There have been fewer than 2500 fatalities each year for the billions of miles flown over the millions of departing flights since 1970. Does anyone think that it's going to go down even further now that lighters aren't allowed?

They aren't talking about banning lighters from just carry on, but checked lighters as well. That means you have to, if you're a smoker, hit a gas station after you leave the airport before you can light up. What a freakin' annoyance that is.

I've been trying to quit smoking, in fact it's been a few days since I've had one. I was down to just a couple a day, if that, so I don't know if it's so much quitting as it is taking a break every couple days. I don't smoke at work but maybe once a week, then if Mrs. A's brother and his wife come over (they wanted to be called something, but I forget, Uncle and Aunt Austin?) then we'll have a few beers and smokes.

But the point is, this isn't making airlines safer, it's just upsetting more people. I mean, lighters don't even really fall into the dangerous or "why would you take it anyway, dipshit?" category. We're lumping little disposable lighters in with ammunition, hand grenades and dynamite. Although the most interesting item I saw on there was Realistic Replicas of Incendiaries. What is that? Good looking knock off of a fire-bomb used to hold your change?

There's also Chlorine for Pools and Spas. Now, if I was going to be a jerk as say, "Well, this chlorine is for my bathtub," would they let it on?

Martial Arts Weapons. Hey folks, a trained martial artist could use a crouton as a weapon, this should be renamed "Fanboy Paraphernalia" because only super loser BiMonSciFiCon asshats would try to carry a Klingon batleth on a freakin plane. You think Sonny Chiba is every going to be caught carrying a Hanzo sword? Puh-lease, TSA.

Look, I don't mind this laundry list of stuff we can't take onboard. I never remember to pack my Kubatons anyway, and Mrs. A is ALWAYS leaving her Gas Torches in the car. However, now that you've attacked a section of the population that has an addiction, albeit a legal one, isn't there some sort of free rights thing involved here? Probably not, because you let in the lighters and suddenly the Bleach Fetish crowd is gonna cry Roe.

So what I propose is this. While the TSA says they've put the word out about this ban, there's bound to be a good 90-95% of the world population that doesn't get their internal memos or 15 second blurbs on MSNBC and will continue to bring lighters on planes. They will be in pockets, purses, backpacks, fanny-packs and gym bags. People won't even remember they have them.

So, at each airport, there needs to be a donor box at security that is then run over to baggage claim every time it gets full. You loose a light getting probed, you pick one up waiting for your misplaced bags. It's only fair, right?


Hug him and squeeze him.

Mrs. A would probably not want to bring this up, but it appears as though we've lost our cat.

How do you lose a cat, you might ask. Don't cats run away?

Well, yes. That is mostly correct. George was found by me and Mrs. Austin about 5 years ago, very shortly after we moved to Austin. He was a stray that would hang out by our house a lot, so we started feeding him. Of course feeding him kept him coming back, and eventually we pissed off the landlord by cutting a hole in the garage door to make a cat door. It was a homemade cat door, by the way. I thought it'd be easy to cut out a square, put some hinges on it and voila! But guess what, that only works in Archie comics.

Anyway, George moved with us 2 1/2 years ago to the house we now live in. He never strayed like you hear about when people move the pets go nuts looking for their home. We always left the garage door open a little ways so he could come in. He was a fat friendly cat. (Was, how dare I.) Mrs. A, however, is allergic to cats so he had to stay outside, but she would see him every day and give him a little love.

So last week we noticed that we hadn't seen him lately, in almost a week. Well, once you realize you're missing something it doesn't matter when it was last you saw it, steps have to be taken immediately. Mrs. A printed up fliers and we took turns canvasing the neighborhood. Now, most of our neighboors are latino, but I'm hoping even they could recognize an animal and a phone number.

So it's days later now and we haven't got any calls. George has tags, but we always get collars that break away, so he doesn't get caught on something, and they break away and get lost. I haven't quit grasped the logic behind that one yet, but I know it's circular.

George is apparently pretty old. The vet says he's about 15, but I don't think that's right. He wasn't much older than 2 or 3 when we found him. I don't think he's even 10 yet. However, he does have FIV, and I'm thinking that if anything, he finally succumbed to that. But I sure didn't see any signs of declining health. Animals, I hear, have a way of knowing when it's time and they tend to go off and find a quiet place. I sure hope I don't stumble on that place in a few weeks.

The other thing is, since he didn't have tags, someone may have found him and either kept him or turned him over to the animal shelter. We haven't called the shelters yet, I'm afraid to honestly.

I just hope he comes back. Mrs. A really misses him.


Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

New Comments.

The Comments tags at the bottom of each post should now just go right to a commenting popup rather than a new page with the same post and another link.

So, now it's easier to leave your feed back, all 4 of you.



Well, I was going to write about work, but after getting an update from the ever savvy Mrs. Austin about Dooce.com, I was convinced to do otherwise.

Another reader mentioned that writing about work is easy and fun because there is so much stuff that goes on there. I agree, it's a given to want to talk about work. The last 7-8 years have felt like one giant job with different names. I haven't had to apply anywhere, I haven't had to interview or do a resume or hit the pavement or log on to Monster.com or any of that. I get paid pretty well and have learned a lot.

So, the day-to-day stuff that happens, I won't talk about. Don't get me wrong, I still write about it, but it'll be in book or memoir or something that will come out after I'm retired or after I get laid off and am looking for some money.

Which leaves me to talk about the family this go 'round. I know some of you die hard readers would rather hear gossip about my job or dirt on other family members or cool places we've been, but you have to understand that I started this journal many moons ago to keep track of what our life with kids was like. Sometimes it's as boring to read as listening to people talk about stand up comedians they saw on TV, but I must write about it nevertheless.

Lil Miss Austin and I have been going through some trying times. I forget that she's only three. I treat her, no, I want to treat her like she's a teenager or at least an age that she can reason. But she can't. So what happens is I have unattainably high expectations and she has the focus and attention span of a three year old. What could go wrong?

The problem is, she has the intelligence of a 5 year old. She's very smart, very precocious, very manipulative and very charming. She's got me wrapped around her finger, but when I decide to push back, it's never in a constructive way, it's always with yelling.

So yesterday, after she'd not done what she was told, I scolded her. I scolded her all the way home. I scolded her loud and repetitively. There was so much yelling and talking that after a while she just kind went blank, like I'd talked too much and now she'd forgotten what it was that she did wrong. Because she's three. If left to sit long enough, a transgression against a parental rule becomes how many red cars she can see on the way home. Because she's three.

She later told Mrs. A all about it and described me as a big monster that stood over her yelling and she just wished I went away.

Tha-at's right.

Seeing it from that point of view makes me sick. It makes my gut bottom out thinking that she can relate these things and that I'm a monster to her. Of course later she said she loved me and I believe that day will eventually be forgotten to her, but only if I change the way I handle her. Mrs. A is so much better at it than I am. I'm no good at discipline, I'd rather play, but I can't always play. I have to pick her up from school, take her too school, be with her at home when Mrs. A has meetings in the evening. I can't just keep passing the buck to Mommy because it's not fair to Mrs. A, it's not fair to LMA, and it's lazy for me to be that way. It's not taking an active role; it's a passive role.

I get so frustrated when she gives me backtalk and ignores me when I'm trying to get her to do things. (Welcome to parenting, right?) But I always thought we were friends.

Later that night I upset Mrs. A and she snapped at me a little. She's sick and I was interrupting her show, but after the day I had, it was all I could do to keep from getting into the car and driving away. Sometimes it doesn't pay to be everyone's friend.

As I found out at work today as well, sometimes it doesn't pay to be friendly.

Don't worry, the humor will come back after a while. This had to be a boring post to read. Almost as bad as that comedian I saw last night...