Friday, February 28, 2020

Pic of the Day



Shave



For those of you with beards, it’s time to shave them. The CDC has put out a warning that facial hair is dangerous and could lead to further spreading of the Coronavirus. A graphic released by the agency shows the fashionable facial-hair-wearer which styles will conflict with potentially life-saving respirators as the US braces for the quickly spreading coronavirus to emerge state-side. And while a clean-shaven face is OK, stubble could cause trouble, the CDC warned.

Men in Vermont love their beards. I hate them. A very trim well kept beard can be attractive on the right man, but it’s not for everyone. Big unkept beards are just ugly to me, and now the CDC says they need to go. If the epidemic comes to the Americas and becomes a pandemic, some men won’t give up their beards even if it will help save theirs and others lives. On the bright side, maybe we will finally be rid of those Duck Dynasty people forever.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Pic of the Day



Why Not Bernie



First of all, please forgive me for posting two political posts in a row, but politics has been on my mind lately.

I know a lot of people are major Bernie Sanders supporters. I am not one of them. Yes, he may be a senator from my adopted state of Vermont, but that doesn’t mean I have to like him. I was a bit more pro Bernie in the last election because quite honestly, I’ve never liked Hillary Clinton, and I believe that in 2016 Bernie could have beat Donald Trump. However, I don’t think Sanders can beaten Trump in 2020. Bernie will never get crossover votes this time around. He’s just too far left for most Americans.

That’s not the only reason I do not support Bernie. First, Bernie is an angry old man, and it just turns me off of him. Second, he’s done nothing for Vermont in the past six years or so because he’s done nothing but campaign for president. Third, the so-called “Bernie Bros” are no better than all those MAGA fools. Both groups will do anything for their candidate, including being disruptive and spreading lies about opponents. They are not nice people and are fanatics. Furthermore, like Trump, Bernie won’t compromise. It always has to only be his way.

As for Bernie being an LGBTQ ally, just look at the lengths one of his staffers (a gay man, I might add) went to slander Pete Buttigieg and his husband because of their homosexuality. He created a fake Twitter account to spread disgusting lies. Of course when he was caught, the Sanders campaign disassociated with him, but it’s apparent that the atmosphere for dirty and despicable politics is there and will be tolerated as long as it’s in secret. Bernie has turned a blind eye to his fanatical followers that act like thugs at opponent’s rallies. He does what will help him until it doesn’t anymore.

I may not like that Bernie is a Democratic Socialist, but that’s is because if he’s not a real Democrat, he should not be running as one. If he was a Democrat, he’d be listed as one in the Senate instead of as an Independent. Also, his socialist ideals will find it hard to be enacted in the United States. The word socialist is a misunderstood word in the US. Most Americans don’t know the difference among Democratic Socialists, socialists, or communists, and they aren’t going to learn between now and November.

I think support for Sanders is a major mistake. I don’t think those outside the USA can understand while we might like some of his policies, his politics and political strategies scare us. The US is becoming more egalitarian but it’s a slow process, and quite honestly, capitalism is a way of life in the United States and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon. We may get some income equality, but until poor and middle class Republicans figure out that their party is destroying them financially, it’s probably not going to be soon enough.

The United States has a lot of problems. It’s going to take a long time to undo Trump’s damage, but we can do it. However, we need a candidate who can not only unite the Democratic Party but can also appeal to a wide constituency.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Pic of the Day



Pete 2020



Of those running for president, I believe Pete Buttigieg is our best hope. I say “hope” because I don’t think he’ll get the nomination. I believe he is by far the most eloquent and intelligent person running for president. I like Pete a lot. It’s not just because he’s gay. I actually enjoy hearing him talk about issues. I don’t often say that about politicians. I find most of them hard to listen to, but not Pete. I think he’d make a great president. I think he has great ideas. He’s also a Christian, a veteran, highly educated, and an all around nice guy.

Originally, I thought Biden was our best chance to win in November, but he hasn’t performed as I expected. Bloomberg, who I thought could beat Trump because he could outspend him, has been so beaten down in the debates that I no longer believe he is viable. As for Warren, I don’t believe she can be trusted, and she comes across as a not very nice person to me. Klobuchar seems nice, but she’s not standing out at all, and when she does, it’s usually not flattering. That leaves Sanders (I’m not even going to talk about Steyer). To be honest, Sanders scares me. First of all, he’s not a Democrat, he’s a Democratic Socialist or an Independent at best. I may live in Vermont, but I’m not a Bernie supporter. He’s just too radical for me, and I think he’d be too radical for most of the country, which means four more years of fascism. American can’t take more of what we’ve had since January 2017. We can’t take more of the stupidity; we can’t take more of the corruption; and we we can’t take being the laughingstock of other world leaders.

As for last night’s debate in South Carolina, it seemed to me that Biden and Buttigieg did the best. The crowd was obviously behind them. At the same time, the crowd seemed to turn on Sanders. The rest were just there. None of them changed my mind. I still think that if we can’t have Buttigieg, we need Biden. If Biden does poorly in South Carolina, then I think it’s the end for him. He will have lost too much steam. I would hope that would boost Buttigieg, and it would basically be a race between Buttigieg and Sanders. Can Buttigieg beat Trump? I hope so. Can Sanders beat Trump? I don’t think so.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Pic of the Day



On the Mississippi



On the Mississippi
by Hamlin Garland - 1860-1940

Through wild and tangled forests
   The broad, unhasting river flows—
   Spotted with rain-drops, gray with night;
     Upon its curving breast there goes
A lonely steamboat's larboard light,
       A blood-red star against the shadowy oaks;
Noiseless as a ghost, through greenish gleam
Of fire-flies, before the boat's wild scream—
          A heron flaps away
          Like silence taking flight.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Pic of the Day



Sunday Was Not a Funday



I’d had a good Saturday. I felt really good and had no major pains, but yesterday was a different story. I had a major migraine all day. None of my headache medications worked. I ended up just going to bed early.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Pic of the Day



What a Friend We Have in Jesus



What a Friend we have in Jesus

1
What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

2
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

3
Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.


"What a Friend We Have in Jesus" is a Christian hymn originally written by preacher Joseph M. Scriven as a poem in 1855 to comfort his mother, who was living in Ireland while he was in Canada. Scriven originally published the poem anonymously, and only received full credit for it in the 1880s. The tune to the hymn was composed by Charles Crozat Converse in 1868. William Bolcom composed a setting of the hymn.

The hymn also has many versions with different lyrics in multiple languages. The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal notes, "In spite of the fact that this hymn, with its tune, has been criticized as being too much on the order of the sentimental gospel type, its popularity remains strong, and the hymn retains a place in modern hymnals." In some settings, the lyrics have been matched to other tunes such as the Welsh "Calon Lân" (originally wedded to the Welsh poem translated as "A Pure Heart").


Friday, February 21, 2020

Pic of the Day



Better



I’m feeling better, somewhat. My back pain has eased considerably. Now there is just a twinge there. However, I’m pretty sure I damaged a nerve in my right shoulder during my fall last week. It is in constant pain, and while I can use it ok, when I’m not using it or I find myself laying on it at night, the arm and hand falls asleep and is hard to “wake up.” I’ve been trying to lay on my left side, (I’m a side sleeper) but I find I turn over on my right side in my sleep. That’s when I wake up with greater pain in my shoulder and numbness in my arm. I’m going to see what my doctor says on Monday about it. My friends say I need to see a chiropractor. I probably do, but I just have to find the right one.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Pic of the Day




Sick Day



I woke in pain yesterday. My back continued to hurt. So, I took a sick day. I needed to be able to take some medicine and go back to bed. I tried to get an appointment with my doctor, but he’s booked for weeks. The next appointment with someone else is Monday afternoon with my doctor’s father. If my back is still hurting on Monday, I’ll keep the appointment. I’m hoping though that I’m better by then.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Pic of the Day



A Bit of Pain



Yesterday, I left work around lunch. I was having issues with my back and a headache. I needed to go home, take some medicine, and lay on a heating pad. I felt better for a little while, long enough to make dinner, but soon the pain came back, so I just went to bed.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Pic of the Day



[To find a kiss of yours]



[To find a kiss of yours]
by Federico García Lorca - 1898-1936

translated by Sarah Arvio

To find a kiss of yours
what would I give
A kiss that strayed from your lips
dead to love

My lips taste
the dirt of shadows 

To gaze at your dark eyes
what would I give
Dawns of rainbow garnet
fanning open before God— 

The stars blinded them
one morning in May

And to kiss your pure thighs
what would I give
Raw rose crystal
sediment of the sun

*

[Por encontrar un beso tuyo]

Por encontrar un beso tuyo,
¿qué daría yo?
¡Un beso errante de tu boca
muerta para el amor!

(Tierra de sombra
come mi boca.)

Por contemplar tus ojos negros,
¿qué daría yo?
¡Auroras de carbunclos irisados
abiertas frente a Dios!

(Las estrellas los cegaron
una mañana de mayo.)

Y por besar tus muslos castos,
¿qué daría yo?

(Cristal de rosa primitiva,
sedimento de sol.)

About This Poem
“‘[To find a kiss of yours]’ is an untitled poem from an undated manuscript by Federico García Lorca. Though the style matches that of the young poet, what is unusual for that time is the erotic frankness—embedded in strange and striking imagery—that is a feature of Lorca’s late great work.”
—Sarah Arvio


Monday, February 17, 2020

Pic of the Day



Winter Is a Drag Ball XXV



There were so many hot guys at the Drag Ball Saturday night. It was amazing. Eye candy was everywhere. One in particular was the guy wearing only a jockstrap picking up the money on stage for the “Just the Tip” contest. While he had a pornstache, which usually would have been a turn-off, his perfect behind made up for any other flaws. He won “Best in Show” for the men’s costume contest. He deserved best in show for that butt alone.

Let’s back it up just a little. The evening started with an hour long show with Rev. Yolanda. She’s a Radical Faerie, who happens to have lived in a commune that was in the town I live in, though it has since moved elsewhere in Vermont. This group of Radical Faeries started the Drag Ball 25 years ago as a way to raise money for AIDS charities. With the help of the LeMay Sisters, who currently host the Drag Ball, they’ve raise nearly $250,000. Anyway, Rev. Yolanda’s show was very spiritual in a the counterculture way of the Radical Faeries. I have to say that the Rev. Yolanda’s outfit was a yellow and red dress that looked like something that would get you eliminated on Project Runway.

Then we moved to the smaller lounge where they began the Just the Tip contest. Whoever got the most tips that night would win, and all tips went to charity. The winner turned out to be a burlesque dancer named Dixieland Delight, who really was fabulous. Anyone who’ll dance to “Dixieland Delight” by Alabama in Vermont is a winner in my book. The Just the Tip contest was hosted by the drag king Mike Oxready. As drag kings go, he’s my favorite.

After the first act of the Just the Tip contest, we went back to the main ballroom to watch the performances over there. My favorite was Green Mountain Cabaret, of which my friend Emoji Nightmare was part of. While the rest were pretty good, I think last year’s performances were a bit better. Eventually, we headed back to the Showcase Lounge to see the end of the Just the Tip contest.

We people watched for a while after that and then decided to head home before the costume contest began. All in all, it was a fabulous evening, and we had a great time.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Pic of the Day



Those Who Argue



Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? (KJV) ( Isaiah 45:9 ) 

How do you treat God when things in your life don't go according to your plan? Do you argue with Him using logic, blame, or coercion? Maybe you thought you would have had kids at your age, or perhaps a loved one was supposed to be on the earth longer. Your Creator is all powerful and all knowing. Is your faith strong enough to trust in His power and His divinity? 

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Pic of the Day



Moment of Zen: Drag



I know with the title of this MOZ, this is not the picture you expected. However, this is my outfit for Winter is a Drag Ball, which is tonight. My outfit though will have a black shirt and a sequined jacket. The theme tonight is “Be Who You Be.” I wanted to share something from an article in The Bridge, a Montpelier, VT based newspaper:


“I think that in this day and age people need encouragement to express themselves,” reflected Bob Bolyard, who performs as drag queen Amber LeMay. “One thing people always say to me is, ‘I don’t want to dress up as an opposite gender. I don’t want to be in drag.’ And I say, ‘Everyone is in drag every day. Whatever you wear to work could be considered drag, because you’re representing something you aren’t. Everyone has that one piece of clothing in their closet that they want to wear but never get an opportunity to wear it. The Drag Ball is the opportunity to wear it.”
On February 15, the House of LeMay and the Vermont People with AIDS Coalition will host the “Winter is a Drag Ball Silver Jubilee.” The event, celebrating its 25th year, opens at 7:30 pm at Higher Ground in South Burlington. The seated show begins at 8 pm with a performance by Rev. Yolanda, one of the original organizers of the Drag Ball, which has raised more than a quarter-million dollars for the Vermont People with AIDS Coalition.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Pic of the Day



Happy Valentine’s Day



I hope all of you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day. If you have a significant other, I hope that today is very special for y’all. For those of us who are single, I hope you’ve learned to love yourself. Years ago, I read a book called Finding the Boyfriend Within. It was basically a book that said you had to learn to love yourself before you could love a partner. I don’t know if I’ll ever find the right man, but I have learned to accept who I am and to do my best to love myself. I hope you can love yourself too.

PS Thank you Susan for the beautiful card that is seen above.




Thursday, February 13, 2020

Pic of the Day



Opening



Tonight is the opening reception for our new exhibit about swords and guns. We have everything from pre-Islamic Arabian swords to a Star Trek Bat’leth (You know me, the Trekkie, it’s actually a replica of the Klingon Sword of Kahless). In the gun department, we have a Chinese wall gun which is over six feet long, and took two men, one in front and one at the trigger, to hold and fire it. We also have Persian rifles, a gun owned by Abraham Lincoln, and dozens of pistols. We have a massive arsenal in our gallery right now. The cadets will love this exhibit. Some of these weapons are really beautiful pieces of art.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Pic of the Day



Ugh!



While I was getting the rest of the stuff out of my old apartment, I slipped on a wet patch on the stairs and fell down. I hurt my back but not too severely. I’m ok. All of my stuff is now out of that apartment. Thank goodness, I’m rid of that place.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Pic of the Day



The Poet



The Poet
by Raymond Garfield Dandridge

The poet sits and dreams and dreams;
He scans his verse; he probes his themes.

Then turns to stretch or stir about,
Lest, like his thoughts, his strength give out.

Then off to bed, for he must rise
And cord some wood, or tamp some ties,

Or break a field of fertile soil,
Or do some other manual toil.

He dare not live by wage of pen,
Most poorly paid of poor paid men,

With shoes o’er-run, and threadbare clothes,—
And editors among the foes

Who mock his song, deny him bread,
Then sing his praise when he is dead.


Monday, February 10, 2020

Pic of the Day



Busy Week



There is so much to do this week. The opening of our new exhibit is Thursday, so we will be working extra hard to get everything in its place. I also have to finally finish getting everything out of my old apartment. The end of the week will culminate with Winter Is a Drag Ball Saturday night. If all gets done by Sunday, I can actually have a day of rest. I will need it. I am feeling more than overwhelmed.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Pic of the Day



Too Great for Words



So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great. (KJV) (Job 2;13) 

Is a loved one walking through a difficult time?  We try so hard to say the right thing to comfort.  We desperately want to say words that will take all of the pain away.  Sometimes, our words aren't enough and, perhaps, our words rub the wrong way.  Mostly, the greatest comfort you can give is like that of Job's three friends.  No one said a word but they sat with him.  Is there a friend in your life who could use your presence today? 

Friday, February 7, 2020

Pic of the Day



Some Good



There was some good that came out of the lecture we had that had such low attendance. I will be teaching a class on the role of the military in cultural heritage protection. The speaker we had has already promised to supply me with the necessary materials for such a class. It will start out as a two hour class this summer for the graduate school, and we are hoping to turn it into a certificate program for the continuing education department of the graduate school. The certificate program would consist of four four-week online courses. I also pitched to the Studies in War and Peace Department that we teach a semester long undergraduate course on the subject. I think these courses are important for our university. I’m looking forward to working on these projects.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Pic of the Day



Disappointed



My big lecture event did not go as planned. Most everything went without any problems; however, attendance was awful. Though we were promised that the cadets would be strongly encouraged to attend, not a single one did. No students at all showed up. I’m not only upset, I am angry. When the university has speakers, students are usually required to go, yet we did not get any support from the administration. This was an extremely important topic for our cadets, and the program was ignored. I was so embarrassed.