Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I'm going to apologize up front. After neglecting this blog for over a week, the next week will likely be very political. I generally keep the politics and religion on my other blog and this post will involve both, but I believe that it is important enough to bring up here.

This is about Proposition 8, a ballot initiative to amend the Constitution for California which Californians will be voting on next week.

Proposition 8 is a response to a court ruling allowing same sex marriage, and seeks to make a Constitutional amendment prohibiting such unions.

I am pro gay marriage and hence opposed to proposition 8. That said, I don't vote in California, but since the dominant church in Utah saw fit to support this initiative financially, as well as 'call' its members to oppose it, I think I am well within my rights, and probably obligated to share my opinion.

The thing is that the argument is not being presented honestly by the proponents of it.

I believe the equation is:

Gay Marriage = Equals rights for all who enter into committed relationships

By equal rights I mean tax breaks, hospital visitation, heath care confidentiality, death benefits and all of that.

It is however being presented as:

Gay Marriage = Public homosexual orgies
Gay Marriage = Your children will be forced to enter into Same Sex Marriages
Gay Marriage = Your Church will be forced to accept Gay Marriage.

On the last thing, if you rent out your Church or building for marriage and are profiting from it, haven't you cheapened the marriage institution any way?

LDS Churches are able to be used free for weddings, but honestly, what gay couple would want to make their marriage official in the building of a Church which opening campaigned and supported against them doing it, and even it a Church were to be used for a Same Sex marriage, how would that in anyway desecrate the building. It's not like the ceremony will consist of anything other than two people committing themselves to each other. If they have a problem with this, then they can make a good start by removing the "All Welcome" phrase off their buildings, or qualify it with something like "who accept our view of how things should be."

LDS Temples require special approval to enter, and this is currently outside the reach of all but the most devoted members. If non-members can't get married inside, then why would a court force them to allow same sex marriage - it just makes no sense. In foreign countries where LDS Temple marriages are not recognized as legally binding, couple perform a civil ceremony first to satify the law, and then have a spiritual ceremony performed inside the temple. It doesn't demean the value of the marriage, and what young lady wouldn't enjoy getting married twice?!

In summary, the entire argument for Prop 8, is based purely on irrational fear and intolerance. That's my opinion and you are free to disagree - just try and make sense when you do so! I had a somewhat ignorant and pious individual tell me on another blog, that if it came down to a religious argument he would crush me in seconds. It was his only response for me to ask him to justify his position on Gay Marriage without bringing religion into it. The problem is that I guarantee you, he and I worship very different Gods, therefore he has no foundation on which to base any argument he might raise in that arena. So don't try the "My God says homosexuality is evil" approach with me, unless you can demonstrate without any doubt that there is a God, and that you and I worship the same one.

Monday, October 20, 2008

What I did over the weekend...

When we moved into our new home a year or so back, one of the things we really liked was a good size willow tree in the back yard. It was big enough to provide some shade, and block the sun from the windows in the late afternoon, and still had many years of good solid growth ahead of it.

About 6 months ago, we had a wind storm come through that broke a major branch off. Well, not so much broke, and ripped. It was still attached, so with some heaving and tugging, rope and duct tape, we were able to get it back together and all seemed fine.

That was when I started noticing the smell. Mostly when it got hot, but towards the end it was all the time. It smelled like rotting vegetables, and on closer inspection of the tree, I could see a couple of spots which didn't appear to be doing so well.

Last Sunday we had a snow storm. It didn't stick around long, due to the higher temperatures, but due the the temperatures, the snow was very wet and heavy. We looked out late Sunday Morning to discover that the tree had split 3 ways and had completely come down.

On Saturday I borrowed a chain saw, and got to play lumberjack for the day. I'm pleased to report that the tree is gone, we have enough firewood for 2 or 3 and the back yard is looking much larger than before. On the negative side of things, I am in serious pain. My hamstrings are tight, my forearms hurt and my back aches.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Two for Twenty Two

I realize that this will mean absolutely nothing to my American blogging buddies, but a couple of my readers from 'down under' might get a kick out of this.

Last Saturday was the IronMan World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. Unfortunately it wasn't televised in the US, so I had to watch it on the computer all day... Fortunately the big screen in the bedroom is hooked up to a computer, so aside from a low quality picture and occasional internet blips, it turned out OK.

The race ended up being won by Craig Alexander, an Aussie, and the ladies race was won by Chrissie Wellington from the UK, who absolutely killed the remainder of the field despite getting a flat on the bike section.

Commentary was provided by a team of past winners and professional triathletes, and while the were all good, the great standout was Greg Welch, and Australian with a tremendous sense of humor. While his commentary (Like the video below) was no doubt wasted on most Americans, it reminded me how much I miss that type of humor.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm whole again!

I had my stitches removed from my head yesterday - at least those that I hadn't already managed to remove by picking at them.

As the nurse was cutting them out, another nurse came in and made a comment about how long the cut was. "You should have seen what came out of that!" the other nurse said. Apparently my lump has attained celebrity status as the doctors office. I guess it earned it, by my not doing anything about it for the past 8 or so years.

The good news is that it was only a cerbacious cyst - an oil gland that got plugged up, and kept producing oil, even though it had no where to get rid of it. That also means there is not cancer or anything associated with it.

So for the first time in almost a decade I have a smooth (smoothish) scalp! Woohoo!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ten years of Tolerance...

Ten years ago today, my beautiful wife and I were married. Since then we have welcomed 5 rugrats into our family, moved a number of times, and changed careers a couple of times too. I've gained 50 pounds, lost 30 and turned into an over achieving, exercise obsessed triathlete with aspirations on becoming an IronMan and accomplishing other crazy feats of endurance.

Through out all of that, my dear Ann has supported me and stayed by my side.

I have to be the luckiest guy in the world!

Thanks Babe! I love ya!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Lump sat alone in a boggy marsh...

Alright folks I know I promised this yesterday, but the problem with vacations is that you need one after you catch up from the time your took for vacation...

I did put together my race report for the marathon, over on my fitness blog. That posting is here, you should know that there are references to bowel movements, and public urination, but as I have come to find out, that is all part of living an active lifestyle!

So yesterday I went to the facial surgeon to see about getting a lump removed from my head. If you're curious, here is my head . About half way up on the side is a small scar. I got knocked over when I was 12 and ended up hitting a rock (It explains a lot). The wound got all infected, and I initially thought that perhaps a small stone had somehow been left inside. The lump itself is closer to the top of my head. I first found it about 8 years ago. It took me 5 or 6 years to ask my doctor about it, and then another 2 or 3 to actually get around to having it removed.

I was given the option of being put out entirely for the procedure, along with that option also came a charge of $380, instead of $25 for a local anesthetic. How bad could it be?

The wait was long, but I finally got called back and given a seat. Then the doc came in to shoot up my head. I'd be lying if I said it didn't hurt. It felt like the guy pierced my skin, and then stuck the thing in another 2 or 3 inches. The nurse remarked that she had never seen anyone smile while getting a shot in the head. By #2 I wasn't smiling, and by #3 and #4, I was pretty close to wanting to cry. Still it was only 10 sec's of discomfort, and it's not like being put out is totally without discomfort either.

15 minutes later I was pretty numbed up and they started 'the procedure'. It's called a subcutaneous cyst. Basically the oil gland to one of my hairs got blocked way back when and so it could secrete any oil, of course being a dumb oil gland it doesn't realize this and just keeps producing more. I think it reached a point a while back where it just couldn't secrete any more, so it just sat there being annoying.

I think the surgeon just made an incision and then fished around a little to get it out. At one point I looked up and saw it and was a little surprised at it's size. Then he cleaned the whole out and sutured it up.

Once all was said and done, I got some prescriptions, a dab of Neosporon on it, and off I went, but not before taking a picture of my lump - prior to it being sent to the lab. For the squeamish reader, I apologize.

It looks a little bigger that it was just because of the angle it's being held at, but it's a about the size, shape and color of a really big butter bean - I can't vouch for it's taste however.

I was offered a prescription for Lortab, but I declined. I'm not a fan of how it makes me feel, and I can just as easily take a couple of ibuprofen. Perhaps that is why I'm not so stiff from my little running adventure this weekend.

So now my head looks like this . The gooey stuff is the neosporon. It doesn't hurt much, and if you feel around, there is a slight dent in the skin. It's going to look good once I get the sutures out.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

In case you were concerned...

I am still alive, although the fact was debatable yesterday and Sunday...

On Saturday I ran my first marathon in Saint George, Utah - about 2 hours north of Las Vegas. It was wet, windy and generally pretty damn cold. I finished up in 4 hours, 13 minutes and some second in change. Overall I averaged 9:40 per mile or 6:00 per kilometer.

Having just arrived home from the trip I have much to do, although I think you can reasonably expect a decent blog post from me tomorrow - either before or after I get a lump removed from my head!!