Friday, October 21, 2011

What you see is not always what you get...

What is this? Are you sure?

Openly Gay and Hot Straight Ally

We love Ben Cohen so much. Brit Rugby star Cohen (below right) has become a the straight jock voice for LGBT inclusion, especially in sports. On the left is Billy Bean, pro baseball player who came out after he retired. That the usual sequence that Cohen is working to undo.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Obama Can Do No Right

Qadaffi is dead. Republican response: Great, but if we had only acted more boldly and quickly fewer lives would have been lost.

So we should have handled this more like Iraq? Gone in with guns blazing?

We all know that Obama can do no right.

One reaction, I think from Marco Rubio, was that we should have acted more quickly and with bipartisan consent of congress. Seriously? Does anyone else see that as an oxymoron with the current congress?

What about, "We managed achieve our objective by supporting local forces without any troops on the ground. Congratulations, President Obama, Commander in Chief."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mac Support for Disabled Users

I was searching for a cheat sheet of commands that Apple's iPhone recognizes. (I can't afford the 4s with Siri). I found my answers on ATMac, a site for disabled Mac Users. I was very impressed and enlightened. One article specifically highlights games that are not time dependent. They do not depend on the users speed or coordination. I am not disabled, nor am I tremendously coordinated, but I found this site very cool.

Apple has been ahead of the curve on building accessibility into their devices.

On thing that happened when the 4s released that is disturbing. A app which did what Siri does was removed and disabled. I hope that Apple at least makes this available to the disabled community without having to buy a new 4s.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Today's Unknown Iris 10/11/11

I have quite a few irises in my garden that are an unidentified cultivar. Some came from sources that named them as something they clearly are not. Others just got lost in the days before I was careful about labeling. Some were just beautiful bloomers from Dana Borglum that might well be random seedling that are the work of happy bees.

I'd like to put them out there for my readers (both of them) to help me to ID. They are probably nothing brand new, and probably fairly common.

Here's the first to bloom in my garden. It is clearly a standard dwarf bearded (SDB) iris.

Comment below or send me email at


Monday, October 10, 2011

Mormons and Cults and the Constitution

I am not a big fan of the LDS Church. This is because they spent big bucks to support Prop 8 in California and in less than honest ways to boot. Much of the money was funneled through the Roman Catholic Church because it would be more acceptable. These two faiths have one thing in common. They both claim to be the "one true faith." There has been little love between them because of this mutually exclusive tenet, but decided that the oppression of the homosexual menace was more important. My enemy's enemy is my friend.

Yesterday a Baptist pastor, Robert Jeffress, referred to Mormonism as a cult. He was a guest on Chris Matthews today, and all in all, I was impressed by him. I agree with him on little but he really seems to be a straight shooter. He stuck with his characterization of LDSers as cultist, but stood some unfair attacks by Mr. Matthews fairly well. He handled Chris's clarification that he did not mean a Jim Jones, or Charles Manson type of cult by saying "no, that's not the type of cult I mean..." Really isn't a cult any group of people with a particular set of beliefs that aren't yours? Isn't religion and cult interchangable, especially if your are an atheist? OK, hold on ... I am on the internet! I'll be right back.
10 seconds later...

Good old Wikipedia:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article gives a general cultural account of "cult". For its usage in the original sense of "veneration" or "religious practice", see Cult (religious practice). For its use in a scientific, sociological context see New Religious Movement. For other uses, see Cult (disambiguation).
The word cult in current popular usage usually refers to a group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre.[1] The word originally denoted a system of ritual practices.

So I hold on... let's check out the second part since pastor Jeffress seems to have indicated he did not mean the current cultural reference.
10 more seconds...

Cult (religious practice)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article discusses cult in the original and
typically ancient sense of "religious practice" (from the Latin cultus
In traditional usage, the cult of a religion, quite apart from its sacred writings ("scriptures"), its theology or myths, or the personal faith of its believers, is the totality of external religious practice and observance, the neglect of which is the definition of impiety. Cult in this primary sense is literally the "care" (Latin cultus) owed to the god and the shrine. In the specific context of Greek hero cult, Carla Antonaccio has written, "The term cult identifies a pattern of ritual behavior in connection with specific objects, within a framework of spatial and temporal coordinates. Ritual behavior would include (but not necessarily be limited to) prayer, sacrifice, votive offerings, competitions, processions and construction of monuments. Some degree of recurrence in place and repetition over time of ritual action is necessary for cult to be enacted, to be practiced"[1]

Cult is embodied in ritual and ceremony. Its present or former presence is made concrete in temples, shrines and churches, and cult images (denigrated by Christians as "idols") and votive deposits at votive sites.

By extension, "cult" has come to connote the total cultural aspects of a religion, as they are distinguished from others through change and individualization.

The comparative study of cult practice is part of the disciplines of the anthropology of religion and the sociology of religion, two aspects of comparative religion. In the context of many religious organisations themselves, the study of cultic or liturgical practises is called liturgiology.

Oops, looks like I am part of a cult too. Truth to be told Mormons are less "culty" than the Episcopal Church. But the CJCLDS is a cult by the traditional definition. However, to be fair, Pastor Jeffress should point out that they are less "culty" than many mainstream churches and way less that the RCs. Baptists, as I understand them are really low on the cultiness, but there must be a little. I suspect he knows that.

Where I think Chris Matthews missed the mark and Pastor Jeffress scored big was on the Constitution. In discussion of how religious beliefs might be used as a litmus test for voter, Matthews quoted Article 6, paragraph 3 which concludes:

... no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

Mathews was clearly implying that this would make it wrong for Jeffress to consider the beliefs of a candidate when we enter the voting booth. Jeffress called him on that, and Matthews would have been well advised to concede.

It is logically incorrect for anyone to vote for or against anyone based on their religion. It is especially incorrect for someone to vote for someone who professes their Christianity, as many do, and then lives out a life and hold beliefs that would most like give Jesus the shivers. But the Constitution does not dictate for whom anyone can vote. The Electoral College was originally intended to insulate the election of a President from an ill informed electorate. That however is no longer its raison d'ĂȘtre. Now it just keeps politicos in business and confuses many.

Bottom line. Cult members can run for President. If you're an American you can vote for anyone for whatever reason you like and be as ill informed as you like. Makes me proud.

Watch Matthews and Jeffress on Huffington Post

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

It seems so personal. Apple has been such an important part of my life since my first Apple II+ with 48K of memory. That's right. Not 48GB. Not 48MB. 48K. The word processor displayed everything in uppercase letters. Caps were displayed in inverse and printed in upper and lower case on the dot matrix printer. The hard-copy printed at rates of minutes per page, not the othe way around.

And then there was the IIe, the IIgs, the first portable and the Newton (those last two belonged to the school district). I never had the monochrome box, but I did own a "Bondi Blue" iMac. Now I am on my third laptop. And of course the string of iPods is impressive. It wasn't until iPhone 4 was released that I finally lined up at AT&T.

Now, as Steve Jobs is remembered I watch and remember as the designs unfold.

Steve Job's vision of design being a functional extension of the human mind was elegant genius.

Certainly Jobs will join the likes of Edison and Ford in the history of the United States.

Thank you, Mr. Jobs.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Married! So?

I know we have been legally married in Canada for 3.7 years and in New York since the summer. All that has been pretty abstract.

Last week we went to the DMV to get enhanced licenses. NY issues these for travel to Canada. They contain an ID chip which makes them acceptable for travel to Canada and Mexico, cost less and arrive faster than a Passport.

When we arrived the first time the DMV was not happy with Kyle's birth certificate because it was falling apart. This time we both arrived with rand spanking new birth certificates, but no proof of current residency. That means a current bill or pay stub. We thought we were doomed.

One of the employees suggest that we could swear residency for each other.

Here is the first legal document that used our new new status...

It was nice to legally use the word "husband."

It's a little thing, but maybe others of you think it's important to introduce the person you love as the person you legally share your life with.

If you do, and you haven't told someone else that you think it's important that all Americans deserve that right, maybe you should. It's the way we change others. One person at a time.