Category Archives: Arthur at AmeriNZ

The Award-Winning…

Jaquandor was kind enough to bestow upon me a “Kreative Blogger” award of some sort.

I feel a certain obligation to pass these kinds of things along, based on the theory that, back in the olden days when I started blogging, some 4.7 years ago, it made the blogisphere – dare I say it? – FUN. Blogging should be fun, even if one’s venting one’s spleen to do so.

You’re supposed to reveal seven things about yourself. Of course, the problem with that I’m almost out of stuff to “reveal” that 1) I didn’t reveal before, 2) require more than a line or two, or 3) I’m not planning to reveal at this point, or quite possibly, ever. No guarantees that the list below might not have bumped into the first category:

1. I receive an irrational amount of pleasure when I delete one piece of spam in Gmail and it says I’ll be deleting “the one conversation”, or “both conversations” when I delete two, as opposed to those programs that will delete “all 1 conversations”, or some such.

2. I once got a B in art in 7th grade. My parents were at a loss as to how I did so well. This explains almost everything you need to know about me and doing art.

3. I once almost flew with someone who was traveling on someone else’s ticket. He got detained by airport security and the police for about seven hours until he showed his security clearance. This, BTW, was before 9/11.

4. I have no tattoos. I’m not opposed at this point, but 1) it would keep me from donating blood for a while and 2) my wife would hate it. Then there’s the pain and permanence thing, but those are secondary.

5. At least twice, I took jobs because of affairs of the heart. Neither was worth it; the jobs weren’t, that is, but the affairs of the heart were.

6. I tape sporting events then watch them later, going through lots of machinations (no news watching/reading or e-mail/Facebook/Twitter). Sometimes it works (Jets/Bengals, Eagles/Cowboys Saturday games I watched on Sunday; Packers/Cardinals Sunday game I finished Tuesday morning); sometimes not (the Patriots loss on the front cover of Monday’s Wall Street Journal).

7. I’m allergic to penicillin and Naprocyn, have been for years, yet I’m too lazy to get one of those tags. But we have one for my daughter with her peanut allergy.

Then I’m supposed to pass the award along. That’s a bit tougher. I’d have considered Jaquandor’s Byzantium Shores. I’d also have picked SamuraiFrog’s Electronic Cerebrectomy, except he gave the award to Jaquandor and that’s a bit too circular for me. Then there are the bums gentlemen who stopped blogging in the last year, who I used to follow.

Still, there’s:

1. Arthur @AmeriNZ – your usual, everyday blog of a gay man from Illinois who moved to New Zealand for love. OK, there’s a LOT more to it: talk about politics, comparative US/NZ culture and whatever enters his fertile mind. He also has a couple podcasts, one on politics, the other, more general.

2. Coverville – the blog is primarily a support mechanism for Brian Ibbott’s great podcast “featuring unusual covers of pop, rock and country songs by new and established performers.” But in the last year or so, he’s added a song rating system to the site. Also, he and his listeners have found some nifty videos of covers that he’s posted.

3. Progressive Ruin: Unfortunately, I gotta give props to Mike Sterling, even though he’s a cheater pants, not just for his persistence – I think he posted 364 days last year – but for some of his regular features, such as his deconstruction of the absurd items Diamond comics catalog, and especially Sluggo Saturdays. Still his obsession with the comic creature Swamp Thing is…disturbing.

4. And speaking of Swamp Thing, its best renderer, IMHO, my buddy Steve Bissette posts his Myrant, a mix of digital comics, comics & film history, political tirades and more.

5. Scott’s Scooter Chronicles is about music, books, beer, and hockey. Truth is that I’m not a big fan of the latter two, but he even makes those interesting. It’s also about his two young sons and being unemployed in America. SOMEONE GIVE THIS MAN A JOB!

6. Anthony Velez’s The Dark Glass is a series of theological musings. Sometimes I don’t understand, but he always explains it, or tries to.

7. Gordon at Blog This, Pal! is mostly a pop culture (comics/TV/movies) blog. He knows more about Doctor Who and Kids in the Hall than anyone has a right to. I happen to particularly enjoy those too-rare glimpses of his personal side (his mom, St. Louis vs. Chicago). He also has a podcast that he’s rethinking. He knows I’d always vote for keeping the music, but really, he should do what brings him joy.

ROG

November Ramblin'

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about a couple recent podcasts by Arthur at AmeriNZ dealing with the topic, broadly stated: “Are online relationships ‘real’?” I was talking over these podcasts with a couple guys I see on the bus each evening. One suggests that if the relationship generates an action from the other person, then it is a relationship.

Of course, it could be a one-sided relationship. Let’s say you were following Ashton Kutcher on on Twitter and retweeted all of his best lines; unless Ashton reciprocated, it would really be much of a story. But when you are motivated to take some action, and they respond in kind, then certainly, some real human interaction is taking place. I see an article that I believe – because I listen to his podcast, read his blog – that Arthur would interested in for its content. And as often as not, Arthur acknowledges that in some way.

Here’s the odd thing I experienced this fall. There’s a guy in my office. He’s a perfectly nice person. Someone sent out an e-mail asking if we wanted to contribute to a wedding gift. Oh, he’s been engaged? Really? I had no idea. Now this guy sits about 20 feet from my desk, lives (somewhere) in my neighborhood. I say hi to him but I don’t know anything about him, or he much about me, I suspect.

Whereas I know about Scott’s sons, Nigel and new baby Ian, and Greg’s daughters, Norah and Mia; they in turn know a bit about Lydia. I know more about Scott and Greg, and more importantly, interact with them more substantially, than I do the woman who I see on the bus every evening.
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Wednesday, the wife had a follow-up oral surgery. After the ordeal last year, it seems that six of her lower teeth didn’t have enough gum cover for six of her lower teeth. Without gums, the teeth could rot and fall out. So tissue was removed from one part of her mouth to create gum tissue. She’s recovering amazingly well. The in-laws came to our house this year to help Carol and to celebrate Thanksgiving, which was fine.
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I was doing research at work a couple months back, when I came across some New York State law:

EDN – Education
Article 17 – INSTRUCTION IN CERTAIN SUBJECTS
801 – Courses of instruction in patriotism and citizenship and in certain historic documents
§ 801. Courses of instruction in patriotism and citizenship and in certain historic documents. 1. In order to promote a spirit of patriotic and civic service and obligation and to foster in the children of the state moral and intellectual qualities which are essential in preparing to meet the obligations of citizenship in peace or in war, the regents of The University of the State of New York shall prescribe courses of instruction in patriotism, citizenship, and human rights issues, with particular attention to the study of the inhumanity of genocide, slavery (including the freedom trail and underground railroad), the Holocaust, and the mass starvation in Ireland from 1845 to 1850, to be maintained and followed in all the schools of the state. The boards of education and trustees of the several cities and school districts of the state shall require instruction to be given in such courses, by the teachers employed in the schools therein. All pupils attending such schools, over the age of eight years, shall attend upon such instruction.

I did not know that. Surely, this is law that must have been passed long after I attended school – though it seemed we did seem to spend a lot of time on the Irish potato famine. Just found it interesting and can only imagine certain people making political hay over it.
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The bitter tears of Johnny Cash. The untold story of Johnny Cash, protest singer and Native American activist, and his feud with the music industry
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Caring for Your Photographic Collections.
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Hen House Five Plus Two’s In the Mood actually Ray Stevens, the song that first informed me that all music can be done in chicken. The beginning of The Muppets’ Bohemian Rhapsody was a reminder of same.
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Wonderous invention.

ROG

Now greener ogre

I came across this software that takes phrases and makes several anagrams. One of the samples is the title of this piece. It also took the line “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” and changed it to “Neatly weighs up mawkish philosophy about unforseen reality”, which I thought was rather funny.

Saturday, we had plans to go to a museum a distance away, only to discover that it was unexpectedly (and illogically) closed. Plan B involved the usual housecleaning and shopping. But there came a point were my wife was going to take a nap and the daughter had fallen asleep on the sofa. Could I go to the grocery store to get some things?

I was surprised a bit by my disappointment. The idea of being in my own house, well not alone, but with it to myself was SO tantalizing. Going out to the store seemed counterintuitive, but go I did.

On the way back I run into five boys, maybe aged 14, on bicycles; no helmets, BTW. I too was on my bike. one asked me where Central Avenue was. Central Avenue is only THE main street in Albany. The answer wasn’t that simple; if they wanted a low number, it would have made sense to head east on Western Avenue, but the higher numbers would suggest going straight (north) on West Lawrence, ignoring the fact that the road seems to end, something you can do on a bike, though not a car.

I travel on, and see them AGAIN on North Allen, in front of the elementary school. The same kid said he couldn’t find Central. I said, “You have to keep going.” Another kid asked, “Is it beyond Washington Avenue?”

“Yes”.

Second boy: “See, I TOLD you so!”

Then boy #1 told me about some “furry” candy he wanted to buy, but his friends were going to go buy pot. Was this true, or an attempt to get a reaction from me? As it turns out the address they gave me was in Colonie, well past the Colonie Center mall, and I warned them it as a long ride.

I restated my directions: ride until you run into a funeral home. At which point, one of the other boys burst into a crying jag. I was told that his grandmother had just died. But this was “crying” that sounded mighty insincere, and I feel they’re trying to yank my chain, though I passingly apologize.

They went on their way, I mine, left wondering: who ARE these kids, where did they come from, what did they REALLY want in Colonie, and how the heck do they not know where Central Avenue is?
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I’ve been having a lot of vivid dreams recently. One involved a relative of mine on my father’s side who accused me of mocking her when she had a child out of wedlock. this is untrue, as far as i know, but the specificity of that and other dreams is fascinating to me. These are the dreams you wish you could film, or are really glad you cannot. Another dream was particularly grotesque, again with references to my father’s people. These things are supposedly manifestations of something, but I’m at a loss to ascertain what.
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Why has my mother’s phone number in North Carolina changed? New area code AND the seven digits. I’ve known the old number impressed in my mind for years. Arrgh.
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Arthur at AmeriNZ on bigotry, in this case, a homophobic columnist.
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Thom Wade links to the Jon Stewart/Daily Show assessment of an Al Franken amendment to a Congressional bill against rape by governmental contractors. 30 Republicans, who I thoughtfully listed in the comments to that post, opposed the bill.

ROG

Your Sew Vein QUESTION


I went with the child to another child’s fifth birthday party last weekend. This was at one of these combo bouncy/bounce arcade places in a mall in Clifton Park, northwest of Albany. On one of the bouncy things, there was a handwritten sign – neatly done, I must say – that read “This is ONlY for those three years and younger.” One of my great pet peeves is the use of the lower case L in the midst of otherwise all capital letters. I see it a lot, and except as a space saver, I don’t understand it at all.

In the space designated for our group to eat, there were three signs, all manufactured, on an inside door:
NO ADMITTANCE
FIRE PANNELS
ELECTRICAL PANNELS
First off, why they designed the space so that this door was in a patron area, I don’t know. Beyond that, though, were these very professional-looking signs with the word PANELS misspelled – twice. I wish I had my camera.

In fact, I think I’ve become motivated to carry a camera so I can do an occasional piece on bad signage. That’s part of the portfolio of the NYC-based blog Your Sew Vein, from which I purloined the picture above. If you don’t see the two errors, go to the May 2, 2008 post.

So what makes you buggy about signs YOU see? I’m bothered by excessive apostrophes where none are needed and no apostrophes where one is required. I’ve actually seen Jone’s as the possessive of Jones; this so hurts my head. Also, excessive quotes – You must be “18” is an example in the Your Sew Vein blog.

What signage errors bother you?

Amy favorite websites/blogs that track these trends? Any favorite sites that make these errors?
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Not quite the same thing, but Arthur at AmeriNZ has a screen shot of a map on a TV “news” program that’s a scream.

ROG

In Our "Post-Racial" America

ITEM: I got this e-mail from one of my sisters about an incident at a Philadelphia-area swimming pool. Narrative courtesy of ColorOfChange.org:

[Three] weeks ago outside Philadelphia, 65 children from a summer camp tried to go swimming at a club that their camp had a contract to use. Apparently, the people at the club didn’t know that the group of kids was predominantly Black.

When the campers entered the pool, White parents allegedly took their kids out of the water, and the swimming club’s staff asked the campers to leave. The next day, the club told the summer camp that their membership would be canceled and that their payment would be refunded. When asked why, the club’s manager said that a lot of kids “would change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club.”

A “Whites only” pool in 2009 should not be tolerated. The club’s actions appear to be a violation of section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act. Whether or not any laws were violated, a “Whites only” pool should be something every American condemns.

I get behind in my news reading, but I receive bulletins the local paper plus the New York Times. Yet I missed it. Was this merely a chain letter with the facts askew? Apparently not:
“60 Black Kids Booted from Philly Pool For Being Black — Speak Out,” Jill Tubman at Jack and Jill Politics, 07-08-09

VIDEO: “Please Don’t Change the Complexion of our Pool,” This Week in Blackness, 07-08-09

“Swim Club Accused of Discrimination,” FOX 29 Philadelphia, 07-08-09

“Valley Swim Club: Day Two,” Adam B at Daily Kos, 07-08-09

I did subsequently see a mention in SamauraiFrog’s blog, but I believe this story was underreported.

ITEM: A review of the new Michael Bay movie, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. From Clay Cane of BET.com

The hip-hop talking robots were borderline offensive. Is this the movie’s way of appealing to the African-American audience? I never knew that robots could shuck n’ jive.

This was not the only critic who made this point. The defense of the movie – and this box office hits has plenty of defenders despite critical panning (or perhaps because of critical panning: “Roger Ebert is a moron!”) – were 1) the robots weren’t specifically African-American and 2) it’s only a movie; lighten up.

Now, I didn’t see the movie. Heck, didn’t see its predecessor and wasn’t planning to. On point 1, a character can be offensive without being specifically black; some character named Jar Jar comes immediately to mind. As for point 2, that’s just rubbish. (I could expand about how movies reflect society and blah, blah, blah, but “rubbish” will do.)

ITEM: Sonia Sotomayor being grilled over, among other things, Ricci vs. DeStefano, the New Haven firefighters case, and her appellate court’s position holding in favor of the city. I believe her defense is in the Supreme Court dissent – uncharacteristically READ ALOUD from the bench – by Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Here’s just a section:

The Court’s recitation of the facts leaves out important parts of the story. Firefighting is a profession in which the legacy of racial discrimination casts an especially long shadow. In extending Title VII to state and local government employers in 1972, Congress took note of a U. S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) report finding racial discrimination in municipal employment even “more pervasive than in the private sector.”…According to the report, overt racism was partly to blame, but so too was a failure on the part of municipal employers to apply merit-based employment principles. In making hiring and promotion decisions, public employers often “rel[ied] on criteria unrelated to job performance,” including nepotism or political patronage…Such flawed selection methods served to entrench preexisting racial hierarchies. The USCCR report singled out police and fire departments for having “[b]arriers to equal employment . . . greater . . .than in any other area of State or local government,” with African-Americans “hold[ing] almost no positions in the officer ranks.” Ibid. See also National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control, America Burning 5 (1973) (“Racial minorities are under-represented in the fire departments in nearly every community in which they
live.”).
The city of New Haven (City) was no exception.

And in each of these disparate items, one thing is in common; Barack Obama is evoked in the commentary. “How could the swimming pool situation take place now that we have a black President?” “We should be past worrying about silly stereotypes anymore; Barack’s President.” “The Obama Presidency proves that issues of racial inequality are a thing of the past.” Meh.

Arthur and Jason noted an article by Eugene Robinson re: identity politics and Sotomayor. Arthur read this paragraph on their 2political podcast: Republicans’ outrage, both real and feigned, at Sotomayor’s musings about how her identity as a “wise Latina” might affect her judicial decisions is based on a flawed assumption: that whiteness and maleness are not themselves facets of a distinct identity. Being white and male is seen instead as a neutral condition, the natural order of things. Any “identity” — black, brown, female, gay, whatever — has to be judged against this supposedly “objective” standard. Well stated.

Keep the champagne on ice. The post-racial America celebration will just have to wait a little bit longer.

ROG

Hard To Argue When They Think God Said So

Those of us in what I guess one would call the “liberal theological tradition” are sometimes criticized because we don’t seem to speak out against the religious right.

Well, two points:
1. We do, but maybe we just don’t use a megaphone.
2. It’s just difficult to argue with some people.

The service at my church this past Sunday, on More Light Sunday, featured the Gay Men’s Choir and used Acts 10 as the backdrop. Acts 10 talks about the conversion of the Gentiles but it also gets into a large sheet and permission to eat food that was formerly thought as unclean. I think the pivotal verses are these: {34] Then Peter opened his mouth and said: In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. [35] But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. This is, to use the political vernacular, a “big tent” God.

Some not particularly religious friend sent me a link to Answers in Genesis for my “amusement and disabusement”. These are the folks who believe that people lived at the same time as the dinosaurs and have -um- created the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY.

I was interested in the answer to the question Cain’s Wife—Who Was She? Frankly, it was because of the snarky video Arthur at AmeriNZ linked to called Betty Bowers Explains Traditional Marriage. Well, lo and behold, AiG pretty much comes up with the same answer: incest. After chastising William Jennings Bryan, “the prosecutor who stood for the Christian faith”, for failing “to answer the question about Cain’s wife posed by the ACLU lawyer Clarence Darrow” in the 1925 Scopes trial (!), the writer cites “the Jewish historian Josephus” who wrote, ‘The number of Adam’s children, as says the old tradition, was thirty-three sons and twenty-three daughters.'” Non-Biblical information to make a Biblical “proof”.

Cain was in the first generation of children ever born. He, as well as his brothers and sisters, would have received virtually no imperfect genes from Adam or Eve, since the effects of sin and the Curse would have been minimal to start with. In that situation, brother and sister could have married…without any potential to produce deformed offspring.

Now I can argue with these folks until I’m purple and it’s HIGHLY unlikely to change anything.

In any case, I find them harmless compared to the New York Family Policy Council. One of their members wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper in Albany. A church friend went to the website and found:
And he called his ten servants, . . . Occupy* till I come. Luke 19:13 KJV
Welcome to the New York Family Policy Council web site. Remember, of His Kingdom there will be no end.
*oc cu py vt. [ME occupien; from OFr. ocuper; Lat. occupare, to seize : ob- (intensive) + capere, to take.] 1. To seize possession of and maintain control over by force.

In case you’ve missed the point, Ellen Kolb, Executive Director/President makes it clear:
Jesus’ command for us to occupy is mind boggling. We are commanded to take over the running of the government and subjugate it to the Laws of God’s Kingdom. We are to infuse the Kingdom into the culture. Our voice is the voice that is to supersede all others in the political arena. To accomplish this we must activate our voice – let it be heard on earth via phone calls, email, letters, letters to the editor, public meetings and in heaven via prayer and declarations. We must activate our prayer lives, spending time each day with the Lord. With prayer as our foundation, we can occupy. If it were not possible, Jesus would not have commanded us to do it. Therefore, let’s awake and become the Church Militant. Let’s put on the full armor of God. Let’s pray as never before. Let’s change the state and national laws so they line up with God’s Word. Let’s restore the Judeo-Christian foundation that our country was founded upon. Let’s not just take up space; let’s OCCUPY.

This is so antithetical to everything I believe, it’s maddening. And possibly treasonous. I suspect these folks are even less likely to accept the notion of an inclusive God, a God of love rather than a God of subjugation, than the AiG people.

And speaking of antithetical:
Valley station church to hold gun service

By Peter Smith
psmith@courier-journal.com (Louisville, KY)
A Valley Station Road church is sponsoring an “Open Carry Church Service” in late June, encouraging people to wear unloaded guns in their holsters, enter a raffle to win a free handgun, hear patriotic music and listen to talks by operators of gun stores and firing ranges.
Pastor Ken Pagano of New Bethel Church said the first-time event is “basically trying to think a little bit outside the box” to promote “responsible gun ownership and 2nd Amendment rights.”
The event, slated for late Saturday afternoon, June 27, is being promoted with online posters, including one using a red font resembling splattered blood with the words: “Open Carry Church Service.”
Full story here

But NOT, apparently, packing heat for the “occupation”. To be fair, one pastor, commenting on this story, said the event “would nauseate Jesus.” Indeed, the linkage of church and state I believe to be not only contrary to the Constitution but, more importantly, to Christianity. I don’t believe it’s the role of the church to promote Second Amendment rights or patriotism. I believe it’s the role of the church to treat people like brothers and sisters; you know, the feed the hungry stuff.

So consider this one Christian voice crying out in the wilderness, for all the good it will do.

ROG

April Ramblin'

I briefly attended that vigil for Binghamton yesterday. Would have stayed longer but for the fact that it was cold, occasionally rainy, and I had the child, who has been sick recently, in tow. She may not have understood the point of the gathering, attended by about 45, including Albany’s mayor (who, not incidentally is, running for re-election), but I still wanted her to be there. That event, along with the story in question, probably prompted this response from me.

THE best television newsperson to come out of the Capital District of New York State, Ed Dague, is in chronic pain. Touching story. I met him at least twice, which I should write about sometime, I reckon.

Greg finds legislation he just can’t get behind.

Gordon touts Robert Johnson, as well he should.

They are remastering the whole Beatles catalog. Given the fact that I’ve already bought it all about thrice (US LP, UK LP, CD), do I want to buy this AGAIN? No, yet the Past Masters package sounds annoyingly intriguing.

Ken Levine talks about Point of View, one of my favorite episodes of M*A*S*H. Did the TV show House steal it? Didn’t see the House ep, but I have my doubts.

15 free downloads to pep up your old PC, which I haven’t tried yet, but I figure if I post it, it’ll remind me.

I’m getting fairly obsessed with getting the Denver mint state quarters. All I need are Hawaii, Washington state, Missouri and, most problematic, Pennsylvania, the eldest. Oh, and the District of Columbia; just got the Philly mint version this week. Haven’t seen the Puerto Rico quarter yet.

My good buddy Steve Bissette discusses, in great deal, including 27 8 by 10 color glossies, Saga of the Swamp Thing #20, the transitional first issue by Alan Moore, John Totleman, and himself that starts off the neat book I just received.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Speaking of Swamp Thing, the co-creator of, and later Steve’s editor on, the title, coping as well as one can, given the circumstances, but there’s a movement afoot to replace the comics he wrote or edited and, to that end, for people to contribute to a Len Wein comics checklist. I always liked his work during my days of reading Marvel Comics.

So THAT’S what happened at the Albany Comic Show Sunday, before I got there.

ADD’s Eisner picks. I’ll take his word for it, since the only thing on the list I own is Mark Evanier’s Kirby book, though Coraline has been on back order for about a month.

Evanier tells A Story You Won’t Believe about Spike Jones.

I’m so pleased: Two weekends ago, we went to the in-laws for their 50th wedding anniversary. Last weekend was Lydia’s 5th birthday party at the State Museum. Next weekend is something else again. This coming weekend, Easter, the wife and her mother were trying to come up with a plan to get together. The final resolution – we’re all staying in our respective homes and resting; I mean we’ll go to church and all, but no travel. I for one am exhausted, and so is my wife, so this is a good thing.

Nik from Spatula Forum celebrates five years of blogging by talking about…

Arthur from AmeriNZ celebrates both his 100th blogpost and two years of podcasting.

ROG

Inauguration Day


I seriously considered taking off today to stay home and just take in the moment. But I had already used one vacation day and two sick days last week.

So I am recording the seven hours of coverage on ABC (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) today Don’t know how much I’ll actually watch, besides the speech, of course, though I am really looking forward the prayer. No, not from that guy. From THIS guy.

I suspect the word inaugural and its variants are often misspelled; two u’s! Reminds me of the word millennium, which was spelled quite often with only one n in 1999 and 2000.

Inauguration Day 2009: Where to Watch on TV, Radio, and Online.

More of Where to Watch Obama’s Inauguration Online.
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Since Obama’s a comic book fan (Spidey and Batman), it seemed appropriate to Obamatize this picture of the Batmobile.

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Quincy Jones has started a petition to ask President-Elect Obama to appoint a Secretary of the Arts. While many other countries have had Ministers of Art or Culture for centuries, this country has never created such a position. The country needs the arts–now more than ever. Please take a moment to sign this important petition and then pass it on to your friends and colleagues.

www.petitiononline.com/esnyc/petition.html

Now here’s something that can make a positive difference in the lives of all Americans! MORE ART, LESS WAR!
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Happy 50th birthday, Arthur at AmeriNZ, a US expat. (His birthday’s on the 21st, but he’s in New Zealand and it’s a time zone thing…)

ROG

Roger Answers Your Question, Arthur

Arthur @ AmeriNZ, that blogger and podcaster from New Zealand via Illinois asked:

Oddly enough, recently I bought “This is the Moody Blues” on iTunes (to replace the vinyl copy I had), and this was one of the songs. I still love it.

A question? Well, by way of preface, there’s an Australian talk show host called Rove McManus (the show is called “Rove Live”) who ends every celebrity interview with the same question: “Who would you turn gay for?” The current Prime Minster of New Zealand answered Brad Pitt, though he as asked by some one not quite the stature of Rove.

So, in my best imitation Australian accent, I ask, who would Roger turn gay for?

When I was in high school, I had this conversation among some of my male friends. I suggested one of the guys from our high school swim team. Interestingly, at least three of that group of friends turned out to be gay, though they were in the closet at the time, at least to me.

I suppose if you had asked me 25 years ago, I might have said Tom Selleck. This in spite of the fact that I almost never actually watched Magnum, P.I. In fact, the only time I specifically remember watching the show is when it had a crossover with Murder, She Wrote, a show I’ll admit to watching fairly religiously. Cabot Cove, Maine: highest per capita murder rate in the WORLD. But Selleck’s politics, I’ve discovered are rather right-wing, so not him.

I suppose George Clooney. He’s rich, handsome, talented, and his politics don’t suck. Incidentally, it was never Brad Pitt for me, even in his Thelma and Louise days.
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No one asked me, but I do have rooting interests on this last weekend of the regular season of the NFL:

The New York (New Jersey) Jets: I’d like them to beat Miami, which COULD go from being the #3 seed to out of the playoffs. So, I’m also rooting for Buffalo to get to 8-8 and beat New England. For good measure I think I want Jacksonville to beat Baltimore, but it ain’t gonna happen.

The Philadelphia Eagles: this for Greg. Not only must the Eagles beat the Cowboys (I ALWAYS root against the Cowboys), but Oakland should beat Tampa Bay AND Houston must beat Chicago. Yeesh.

The Carolina Panthers: my mom, one sister, one niece live in Charlotte. They’ll probably still be in the playoffs, but it’d do them well to beat the Saints.

The San Diego Chargers: the other sister and one niece live in the San Diego area. So if the Chargers beat the Broncos, they’ll be in the playoffs! At 8-8. Yuck.

ROG