Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Marriage Encounter in VA/Explained in Simple Terms

This week, Tom and I (Rob) drove down to Lynchburg, VA to visit our friends Tom G, Robert and Ed. We also learned that Brian, a former fellow student of Tom's was now living in that town, too, so we met him for coffee. Brian's a nice guy and went to the same dysfunctional baptist high school that Tom attended. He's also a Christian who has gay friends. Tom and Brian addressed the topic of gay marriage and Brian said that as compassionate as he is with people, he does not agree that gay people can marry, even for legal protections, hospital visitations, tax purposes, etc. It was an interesting discussion. I feel SAD about it.
 - I know that some of our friends also may feel the same way because of their religion. But  marriage is NOT about a religion.
WHAT MARRIAGE MEANS: It's about a legal, binding promise between consenting adults to love someone for the rest of their lives. It's about how our local, state and federal governments, hospitals, employers and others view and treat us. People who have had NO religion have been getting married since the dawn of time.
RELIGIONS DO NOT HAVE TO BE A PART OF MARRIAGE: Yes, marriages CAN happen in churches,but they ALSO happen in City Halls. There's no mention of anyone's god in city hall. 
EXAMPLES OF STRAIGHT COUPLES WHO ABUSE MARRIAGE: - There are a lot of celebrities and politicians who marry and divorce and make a sham out of marriage. Gay couples who marry WANT to marry for life.  Here are some people to consider: 1) NEWT GINGRICH- Now on Wife#3. Divorced Wife #1 on her deathbed. 2) KIM KARDASHIAN - Married 72 Days. I SAID "DAYS." 3) KATIE PERRY - Married 14 Months, filed for divorce today.

-QUESTION FOR THE EVANGELICAL CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANS- So, if you want to toss your Bible around, are we supposed to Stone all of these people to death now?

**NOTE -WE been married 2 1/2 years (in CT, but still not legal here) surpassing these people!**

 
A SIMPLE EXPLANATION OF THE BASICS OF MARRIAGE: This was taken from a website that explains why denial of gay marriage is NOT legal.  The following may be helpful in shedding light on the LEGAL aspects of marriage equality.
PLEASE READ IT.





Source: http://www.reddit.com/r/Libertarian/comments/nbaq2/how_to_explain_gay_rights_to_an_idiot/



Friday, December 30, 2011

Classic fun video: She Got the Goldmine, I Got the Shaft!

Here's a FUN music video of Jerry Reed and Dolly Parton doing a duet on "She Got the Goldmine, I Got the Shaft."  It's from the 1987 Dolly show, and it's another of Rob's favorites. Enjoy! 





Thursday, December 29, 2011

Movie Trailer: Dark Knight Rises



Opening in theaters on July 20, 2012, the Nolan's highly-anticipated third Batman movie stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Juno Temple, Josh Pence, Daniel Sunjata, Nestor Carbonell, Matthew Modine, Tom Conti, Joey King, Brett Cullen, Chris Ellis, Josh Stewart, Christopher Judge, Adam Rodriguez and Rob Brown.Villains include Bane (the superpowered villain who once broke Batman's back) and the Catwoman.
- I can do without the football game thing throughout, though. Batman is my (Rob's) favorite, so I have high hopes.

 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Elf-ed!

Our friends Jeff and Jose "Elf-ed Tom and Rob in this funny and short video.  
http://elfyourself.jibjab.com/view/JhmpmxoV7liIcg0Z?cmpid=ey_url



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Busy day and Back to Normal!

Monday, Dec. 26th was a busy day- we took down all of the Christmas decorations, met Tom's folks for lunch at the mall, returned something we didn't need, ran errands, walked the dogs and cleaned the house. Now, we're all back to normal. Yay!  There's something great about the typical routine. By evening, we were able to have dinner at our regular time, enjoy Judge Judy and the network news. All the dogs are back in routine, too, which is always a good thing for them as well. Here's a picture of Tom and Dolly, taking a break during the take down of Christmas decorations. 
Sprite sleeping on Franklin,sleeping on Dolly - and Rob sitting on the floor.

Sprite, Franklin and Dolly all cozy

Monday, December 26, 2011

Holiday Pic with the Governor!

Every year our great governor, Martin O'Malley and his wife Katie open the Governor's mansion to the public for the holidays. They have live music, food, and the house is beautifully decorated. The big highlight for us is to get our picture with Governor and Mrs. O'Malley. Here's our photo from this year!

L to R: Katie O'Malley, Tom, Rob, Govn'r Martin O'Malley

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Pictures with Santa- and a Screamer!

Dolly screams with Santa?
Who says only human children can scream and cry when they're on Santa's lap?  Why not a canine child?  - When we brought our kids: Dolly the Weimaraner, and Franklin and Sprite the Dachshunds, to get their annual photos with Santa- Dolly appeared to be screaming in one of them!!
 - We also published the best one here, too. :) Merry Christmas!  
Santa with Sprite, Dolly and Franklin

Rob's Absolute Fav Christmas Song/Video

Merry Christmas everyone! Here's a musical video treat for you.
   In 1987, Dolly Parton had her own short-lived variety show. It was my (Rob) favorite show- I love Dolly Parton (which is why we named our Weimaraner after her). There was one Christmas show that featured Burl Ives (he passed away several years later) and Mac Davis as guests. The opening number was my all-time favorite Christmas song, written by Dolly, and sung by Dolly, Burl and MacDavis with lots of kids, dogs and puppets. I haven't seen this since videotapes went out of style (it was on videotape) and THIS is my all-time favorite. Hope you enjoy it, too.





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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Party Fun /A Canine-Christmas

Jill, Matt and Kelli (left to right)
My (Rob) nephew Kenny and partner Allen hosted a tremendous Christmas party this week. Allen was the chef and cooked and baked many things. The house was nicely decorated by Kenny, and everyone had a great time. Here are some pictures from the party.  **Further down are pics of a Canine Christmas. Tom's sister and boyfriend brought their 2 dogs, a sweet blue tick hound named Gypsy and a Yorkie named Joey.  We hosted Gypsy for the 5 day visit (and they kept Joey at Tom's folks' house, thankfully).  Gypsy got along great with our kids: Dolly, Franklin and Sprite.

LtoR: Sterling, Tom, Jill, and Chef Allen (standing)

Kelli upside down on the floor

Matt

Kenny and party-goers

More party-goers

Tom, Allen, Rob

Dolly

Back: Dolly and Gypsy/ Front: Sprite and Franklin

Dolly, Sprite, Gypsy, Franklin

Gypsy and Sprite

Gypsy and Sprite


NASA Satellites See Santa's North Pole


All was well at the North Pole this summer, when Santa and his elves were busily making toys and taking orders for this Christmas. NASA's Terra satellite was able to piece together a number of images it took to give us a complete look at the North Pole, which is usually very difficult to see by satellites, so Santa can keep his exact location secret.


On June 30, 2011 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite made multiple passes over the Arctic from its orbit in space, capturing a true-color image of the summer lands and sea-ice near the North Pole on each pass. Individual images were then pieced together to create a large mosaic of the area, which gives a broader view that would not be possible with individual images.
In this mosaic of the Arctic, the polar ice cap appears blue-white, while the ice covering land appears bright white. The ice of Greenland, in the lower left (southwest), is especially bright. Clouds also appear bright white, and can be difficult to separate from ice in true-color images. Most of the clouds in this image appear in billowing swirls, while ice tends to be smoother. This can only be confirmed in the false-color images that were also generated by MODIS that same day.
The North Pole is found northeast off the coast of Greenland, in the middle of the ice-covered Arctic Ocean and roughly near the center of this image. This is the northernmost point on Earth. From the North Pole, all directions are south. Santa will be leaving from here on the night of the 24th and circling the globe.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Today is Sprite's 15th Birthday

Little Sprite is a Dachshund (maybe Chihuahua mix) that became our foster dog in early December 2010. He came to us through Coast-to-Coast Dachshund rescue (one of the rescues we work with). He was a mess when he arrived. He was almost 14 years old when a rescue worker took him from a home where an elderly couple raised him. The husband had passed away and the wife went into a nursing home. When he was rescued, he had fleas, so the initial rescuer had to give him several flea baths and comb out the fleas.
   - Rob drove to Frederick, Md. and met the rescuer and brought Sprite home. Sprite was a calm little guy, but wasn't even housebroken at almost 14!  His breath was so bad that Rob had to drive home with the windows opened in the wintertime.
  - The Rescue paid for Sprite's vet visits: He needed 20 teeth removed (the rotted teeth caused the bad breath), it hurt him to eat, poor thing. We de-wormed him, had him on anti-biotics for about 6 months, and he had to be neutered, too. It took about 6 months for his teeth and operation to heal. Meanwhile, he learned from Dolly and Franklin how to be housebroken. He had accidents (and got over a urinary tract infection), but is now housebroken and happily wags his tail. He has a heart murmur and arrithymia, and his kidneys weakened this past summer.  Cranberry pills have helped with his kidneys!
   - He's very obedient and finally after 12 months comes to us for a head scratch and affection. We could tell that he never had any affection from his home of almost 14 years. He was also never picked up- and now he loves sitting in our laps while we're watching TV. He loves his soft treats, and grunts for dinner and breakfast. Even though 15, he still goes up and down stairs by himself. He also walks 2-3 times a day with Dolly and Franklin - about 1/2 to 1 mile each time.
  - We formally adopted Sprite this summer, knowing that with his health a change of households would be very bad on his little heart. We love our little senior boy so very much and are so happy he's celebrating his 15th year with us. Happy Birthday Sprite, our little "peehead," and "squeety-mouse." He "Squeets"  or grunts while waiting for dinner!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Travel Weather- Map and Satellite

National Weather Service Forecast map for today 12/22/11
If you're traveling today or tomorrow for the holidays, here's a look at today's National Weather Service forecast map and a satellite image from NOAA's GOES-13 satellite from early this afternoon. 
NOAA GOES-13 satellite visible image from this afternoon, 12/22/11
From Weather.com: Today's Travel Trouble spot #1: Rain spreads from the South early in the day to the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic States by evening.

Trouble spot #2: Snow spreads south from Colorado and Kansas to New Mexico, northwest Oklahoma and west Texas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kids Can Track Santa with NORAD!

Here's a story we just published from NASA- and your kids can track SANTA with NORAD and satellites:   
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce Census Bureau, the world's population is approximately 7 billion (6,979,978,073+) people. Santa Claus has had to adapt over the years to having less and less time to deliver gifts to more people. To better assure prompt deliveries and safe flights, higher technology systems are increasingly being used by the United States Northern Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., to support the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
   NORAD is a joint United States and Canadian organization which provides aerospace warning and control. The United States Air Force (USAF) uses ground based radars, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operational satellites provided by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, as well as Santa Cams, Google maps, and jet fighter aircraft.
   Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite information and carefully timed gravity assists from the sun, moon, and/or Earth are used to speed Santa's sleigh faster and more precisely than ever before.
   Multi-variable numerical modeling improvements in the solar wind, auroras, geomagnetic force fields, and space/Earth weather predictions are also being credited for important improved sleigh routing efficiencies. Rudolph (the red-nosed lead reindeer) provides a great infrared (warm) signature for the satellite instruments to focus on. The satellite data indicates where fog is and Rudolph can take over the reins from Santa as they use microwave data to know where the rain, snow, and ice are for those precise landing adjustments.
  From 22,300 miles in space, NORAD will use for the first time the GOES-15 (covers the U.S. west coast and Pacific Ocean areas) significantly improved Earth location accuracy and heat detection infrared equipment from various satellites. Rudolph's nose gives off an infrared signature similar to a small missile launch and satellites can detect Rudolph's bright red nose very precisely.
   NOAA, NASA, and the USAF have satellites expertly positioned and additional volunteers are supporting the improved Santa tracking beginning after sundown on Christmas Eve December 24. Near "real time" public updates of progress should be available from the web site www.noradsanta.org/ NORAD Santa and thanks to worldwide corporate and international support updates will be provided in eight languages.
   NASA is in the process of checking out the new NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) satellite, launched in October. NPP will provide even more precise and more timely updates of weather information in the years ahead so Santa and his reindeer team can safely deliver more and more presents in all weather conditions in one night!
   To track Santa using NORAD, visit: www.noradsanta.org/

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Remembering Ed G. Today

Ed G.



TOM SAID: Remembering Ed who passed away 15 years ago today. Gone but in no way forgotten. Thanks to Robert L. for finding this great picture. One of the best that I've ever seen.
ROB SAID:
  In memory of Ed G. - Tom's late partner who passed 15 years ago today.  Although I didn't know Ed when he was alive- he's talked to me so much and given me a LOT of messages that I've proven, that I know he's still here. Having the ability to communicate with those who passed has allowed me to get to know him and his fun sense of humor. Tom has asked me "where did that come from?" and I would tell him "Ed told me to say that." - it would be something Ed used to say to him. Really! So, Ed, we remember you today, but you are certainly very much around. 
 

FCC: Loud TV commercials to End!!

Mikey and LIFE cereal won't be so loud anymore!
Here's a long-overdue thing, finally happening!! 
USA TODAY:   Those ultra-loud TV commercials will soon be a thing of the past.
The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday passed regulations requiring broadcasters and cable and satellite TV systems to maintain constant volume levels. The order, which goes into effect one year from now, "says commercials must have the same average volume as the programs they accompany," says FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.
Last year, President Obama signed into law a measure that Congress passed giving the FCC authority to address the problem. A Harris poll taken around that time found that 86% of people surveyed said TV commercials were louder than the shows themselves — and, in many cases, much louder. "It is a problem that thousands of viewers have complained about, and we are doing something about it," Genachowski says.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Who Votes for Them?

I would really like to know why anyone would vote for a "conservative" or tea-party Republican candidate in this upcoming election. I WILL say that I admire Jon Huntsman -he's a more moderate Republican, well-educated, well-versed in how the country runs. Why he's not leading in polls seems to be because he's not playing the religious card, and I respect him more for that. Religion and politics should remain separate as our forefathers wanted.
- Granted Obama hasn't followed through with a number of things, but he's done some good. Why the GOP Congress continually brings the gov't to the brink of shutdown over and over this year just makes them look bad.
-  For our friends that are typically Republican voters, I want you to think about these simple points. I'm not saying that Democrats are much better, but they certainly vote for things to take care of the majority of Americans.
I've come to learn that the GOP stands for:
1) Catering and Protecting people who make over  1 million dollars annually
2) Believes 1 religion should run a country containing many or no religions
3) Wants to deny civil rights for all and approves persecuting gay people to fire up a base of uneducated.
(Bachmann, Perry and others even want to "Outlaw" state gay marriage- they can't; and repeal the removal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell". Why?)
4) Wipe out medicare and give elderly people "vouchers" to find themselves health care, when they're in their most helpless stage in life. (My elderly mother wouldn't have a CLUE how to deal with that. Would yours?)
5) Reducing number of police, firemen and teachers
6) Continuing to let people making over $250K to pay less of a percentage in taxes than those making less.
7) Manipulating the uneducated with religion to get their own agenda into political power.
8) For those  who think they're fiscally conservative- think again. Our country blew a surplus from democratic President Clinton and took it to a record deficit under a republican administration. GOP is NOT fiscally responsible.
*** That's pretty much what the GOP is all about.  Want to vote for them now?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pictures from December! - Stories, fun, and Santa

Franklin and Dolly enjoying the couch
This month we've taken a variety of pictures from playing outside, to walking the dogs to taking our canine kids to see Santa.
  GREAT GIFT-  During the week of Dec. 11th, we got a box addressed to Rob from Dunkin' Donuts. Rob opened it and it was a 5 pound bag of Dunkin' Donuts coffee- ROB'S FAVORITE! - However, it was ordered and should've been delivered to a store in Pennsylvania. That's what the invoice inside said. When Rob called Dunkin' customer service they said "don't worry about returning it- it was our mistake. Just keep it and enjoy it." - WOW- What a perfect Christmas present. Rob must be doing something right (although Tom sometimes questions that!)
  CONCERT -   On Sunday, Dec. 11, Tom's folks sang in a Christmas concert in their neighborhood chorus. It was an elaborate show and they looked great. It was a good way to get in the Christmas mood.
   SANTA PICTURES WITH OUR DOGS - Our friends Susan and Cary met us on 12/17/11 at Crunchies pet store when we took Dolly, Franklin and Sprite to see Santa. They had already brought 2 of their 3 beautiful Shelties and waited for us. Their other Sheltie, Murphy isn't ready to be around a lot of people, so he stayed home.Susan and Cary also helped corral our kids to go to Santa.
Sprite and Susan!



Dolly gives Cary a kiss!

Cary and Tom trying to get the dogs to look at the camera

Dolly in her Christmas outfit and Franklin in his red tee shirt

Dolly, Sprite and Franklin ready to walk!

Tom's parents' Christmas Concert

Bob and Mom- Famous Christmas Choir Singers

Saturday, December 17, 2011

In Memory of Cooper

Cooper
COOPER was a long-haired dachshund adopted by our friends Bob and Arlene Brown in Md. We learned today from his adopted parents that his health had deteriorated to the breaking point. Cooper was put to sleep today and gave his parents a little wag of the tail at the end as a way to thank them for the loving home they gave Cooper.
   Cooper came to us as a senior foster dog through Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue. Cooper was found 2 years ago wandering the streets of northern New Jersey during a snowstorm, and saved by the rescue.
   Bob and Arlene took him in with the heart condition he had. They gave him a loving home for the last 2 years of his life and he was such a great boy. Bob and Arlene so lovingly adopted Cooper because their other long-haired Dachshund at the time, Lucy, also had the same heart condition. Lucy was also blind, and Bob and Arlene told us how Cooper would lead Lucy around and watch over her. Lucy passed last year and today was Cooper's time to go. 
  We are deeply saddened by his passing as Cooper became part of our family, too. We know that Cooper is back together with Lucy and they're walking side by side again.
  

Photo of the day: 2 Rushed Shoppers?

Tom gets photos of "Unsafe Acts of the Week" at work, and this is one that shows 2 aggressive drivers who didn't want to give the other an inch while driving. Maybe it was 2 rushed shoppers. We think it was just to stubborn morons!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Seeing the Governor for Christmas

Our favorite, handsome governor Martin O'Malley and his beautiful wife Katie (an accomplished lawyer and more in her own right) open their home for Christmas every year and provide live music, cookies and hot apple cider, free Maryland ornaments and best of all, photos with them!  We went to the mansion on Dec. 10th and took these great photos. We're waiting for the pics with the governor and his wife to come on-line.
Governor's mansion nicely decorated

beautifully decorated mantle in the mansion

Gorgeous fireplace!

Tom and Rob

Tom and Rob at the Governor's tree

Tom and Rob at the Governor's Christmas Tree

Beautiful sunroom in the mansion





Thursday, December 15, 2011

Parody on Stupid Rick Perry Ad

Rick Perry did a stupid ad this month talking about a "war on Christmas" and how he wants to get gay people out of the military. It was SO stupid that comics had a field day with it, especially  because he wore the same jacket that Heath Ledger wore as the gay character in the film "Brokeback Mountain." Enjoy the parody:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

William Wegman's Weimaraner 12 day Christmas Video Countdown: Day 4

Famous photographer William Wegman takes photos of his Weimaraners (like our dog Dolly) and has museum exhibits, books, etc. For Christmas, he's doing short videos for the 12 days of Christmas- and issuing a 2 minute video daily. Here's day 4: 

Macy's Fights Discrimination/Hate Group Uses a False Relgious Front

 I was so glad to read the article below. An employee of Macy's didn't follow store rules and discriminated against a transgender person. Now, I'll be the first to tell you that I don't know a transgender person, but some men I've met SHOULD have been born a woman, and some woman I've met should've been born a man. It happens. I don't understand how it happens, but it must be a pretty horrible struggle for them. Regardless, they're ALL people and should all be treated in a civil manner. 
 - If you're a Christian, or any other religion, and you don't agree, too bad. Plain and simple. People are all God's children- treat them all with respect.  Conservative Christian Hate groups (YES, a HATE group and there are many that call themselves "Christian" much to the disgust of other Christians who don't behave like these Barbarians) exist. One hate group called "American Family Association" tried to sue Macy's and make them adhere to their warped, hateful views when the Macy's policy CLEARLY states acceptance and tolerance. The hate group lost. Good!  
- For any Christian that supports the American Family Association, YOU are supporting a Hate Group.


Conservative Christian Hate Group Gets Mad At Macy’s LGBT Policy

Since 2007, Macy’s has received a top rating of 100 percent in the Human Rights Campaign’s evaluation of the treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people by corporations. The department store chain recently stood by its policy when the River Center Macy’s in San Antonio fired an employee, Natalie Johnson, after she told a transgender customer that she could not change in the women’s dressing room. Johnson says that her Christian religious beliefs prevent her from recognizing transgender people.
The American Family Association’s One Million Moms has stepped in to champion Johnson and sought to turn the case into a matter of religious freedom — and expressed its disdain towards transgender people — by saying that “Macy’s has fired a Christian woman for refusing to violate her beliefs” and that “the LGBT agenda has become the theater of the absurd.”
However, Macy’s policy about transgender people using changing rooms is straightforward. Macy’s senior vice president of corporate communications and external affairs Jim Sluzewski issued this statement:
“Macy’s is very proud of our philosophy of diversity and inclusion, and we welcome all customers into our stores. This includes customers of all races, ethnicities, ages, genders, faith traditions, countries of origins and lifestyle preferences. We strive to ensure that each customer is able to shop in a discrimination-free environment.”
Johnson says that, on November 30, she saw a teenager shopping:
“I made sure to keep an eye on him because he was shopping for women’s clothing,” remembered Johnson.
She said she was convinced the shopper was a man. So when she saw him in the women’s dressing room, she told him he couldn’t change there.
“I had to just straight forward tell him, ‘You’re a man,’ and of course that made him really got him steamed,” said Johnson.
The teenager was with a group of five others who reportedly reminded Johnson of Macy’s policy allowing transgender people to change in the dressing room of the gender that they identify with. But Johnson said that she “refused[d] to comply with this policy.” The next day, her manager spoke to her and reminded her of Macy’s policy, whereupon Johnson said that her religious convictions were against the policy. Johnson was fired.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Finally: A major US foreign aid initiative could tip the scales further toward equality.

Hilary Clinton gave an amazing speech this week, and the U.S. took an amazing stand for Civil Rights and Human Rights this week. Secretary of State Clinton was amazing (she should've been President). She said that the U.S. would not be giving a lot of aid to countries that didn't recognize gay rights as human rights- and will potentially steer billions of dollars in US aid toward countries and programs that protect rights while expanding efforts to protect gay and lesbian refugees. 

AMAZING: This would NOT HAPPEN UNDER A GOP ADMINISTRATION!!! -rob
The US took a groundbreaking step on global LGBT rights Tuesday, joining the UK in tying foreign aid to governments’ protection of sexual minorities, raising the stakes in the increasingly globalized battle over gay rights.

The Obama Administration’s sweeping initiative —which will potentially steer billions of dollars in US aid toward countries and programs that protect rights while expanding efforts to protect LGBT refugees — was announced ahead of Human Rights Day. The timing reinforced a now-common refrain that has been spoken, chanted and shouted by rights activists around the world for decades: Gay rights equal human rights.

President Obama issued an official memorandum “directing all agencies engaged abroad to ensure that US diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons,” while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the American position clear to diplomats from around the world gathered at the United Nations in Geneva: "Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights."

America overwhelmingly remains the world’s largest provider of official development assistance, and the UK is the fourth-largest. Although the US State Department has worked diligently behind the scenes to promote LGBT rights and cultural awareness via its embassies around the world, the agency has never before made such an overt move. Together the two powers have created a united front in a battle that has rapidly escalated in the past 10 years.

ENCOURAGING: From the Netherlands’ legalization of same-sex marriage in 2001 to India’s decriminalization of homosexuality in 2009, many of the world’s laws have changed even if longstanding cultural practices and religious beliefs have not.

For some LGBT rights supporters, the irony of Obama and Clinton’s message is that the US is not typically considered one of the most progressive countries for legal protections of LGBT rights. Since 1996, the federal Defense of Marriage Act has defined marriage as a heterosexual union, and just six states grant same-sex marriage licenses.

And of course, anti-gay bullying remains a corrosive and sometimes fatal cancer on society, while many communities have saved no place at the table for the gay, the trangendered or the intersex. Political leaders like Rick Santorum have continued to frame gay relationships as threatening to American society.

At the same time, public support for gay rights is on the rise and polls at over 50 percent. The US military ended its Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in September, and even anti-gay activists have conceded that America is moving toward a society that protects its LGBT population.

In October, UK Prime Minister David Cameron told a meeting of Commonwealth leaders that future British aid would be contingent on gay rights protections, drawing livid responses from several African leaders seen as targets of Cameron’s remarks. 

"This is an issue where we are pushing for movement,” Cameron said, just weeks after throwing his support behind a new LGBT equality group called The Kaleidoscope Trust. “We are prepared to put some money behind what we believe.”

TOO BAD FOR THESE IGNORANT, BACKWARDS COUNTRIES: 
Leaders of countries including Uganda, Nigeria and Zimbabwe — where homosexuality is widely considered “un-African” and remains illegal — called Cameron out on his proclamation.
Ugandan presidential adviser John Nagenda said that Ugandans, who have gained a global reputation for creating an anti-gay climate since 2009, were “tired of these lectures” and were not to be treated like “children.”

Monday, December 12, 2011

Baltimore's Famous 34th Street- Lit up

Wide shot of 34th Street
Inspired by the Movie "Miracle on 34th Street" residents living in a block of Baltimore's 34th street put on the most incredible light show every year that draws crowds from all over the state. People also open up their homes and let strangers come in and see their inside decorations, like toy train displays, christmas trees, etc.  After taking Fort McHenry's tour on Dec. 3, Tom and I (Rob), Jeff, Jose, Yolie and Shelly drove to this neighborhood and walked around marveling at the number of lights. Yes, it was gaudy, but fun!
IF YOU GO- Traffic is tough. Parking is limited, and trying to drive through 34th street will be a long wait- so pack your patience.But, it is worthwhiile!


Chistmas Tree of hubcabs

Jeff and Jose enjoying the lights

Tom and Rob enjoying the lights



Tom, Rob, Jeff, Jose

Yolie and Shelly


Jeff Astounded by the light display, and Tom looks on

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

Great Books by our friends

Great Books by our friends
Check out these great books (yeah, Rob's are in there, too)

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next

Podcast of Rob's 50 min. interview on Paranormal Filler Radio 7/13/14