Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Street progress

No doubt you're grateful that I've kept my whining and complaining about the street reconstruction to a minimum here on my blog. We are now in week #4 and progress continues. The pipe laying crew is almost finished burying the concrete drainage cylinders under where the street will once again be. They should complete that this week. Then will come the regrading, followed by the paving.

I spoke to one of the engineers last week regarding the large crack in our driveway. In addition, we now have several cracks in our sidewalk, too, thanks to the operators of those huge construction vehicles who accidentally drove on the driveway and sidewalk. The engineer gave me his business card and promised to 'make it right'.

Since I've tried not to let this ongoing construction dominate my blog, I've neglected to mention the hottie foreman I've been watching. He looks to be around 30 and always wears a fleece cap in that sexy kind of way, sorta like the guy in this photo:
I know, hot - right? I've been watching him from my office window for weeks. I've even tried to get a photo of him several times, but have been unsuccessful. He never stays in one place long enough, and the zoom on my camera isn't strong enough to capture his looks. The one photo I got just looked like a man on the street.

Yesterday morning as I had Jordan out in the yard, the hottie foreman emerged from his car, parked in our neighbor's driveway directly across the street. We made eye contact and then he walked toward me. For the first time I was close enough to see his pretty hazel eyes and the small gold hoop earring that peeked out from under that sexy fleece cap.

"Good morning" he said cheerfully.

"Morning" I replied, trying to sound even 1/2 as butch as he looked.

"We should be finished layin' the pipe this week" he offered.

"Why don't you step inside and lay some pipe with me" I wanted to suggest, but decided against it. Instead I said "Oh, really? What about the paving?"

"I don't know about the paving; I'm just the pipe guy" he replied.

"You certainly are..." I wanted to agree, but again, decided against it.

"I'm gonna see the lead engineer later this week so I'll ask him about the paving" he promised. "Hey, I'm sorry about those pipes in your yard over the weekend" he apologized, referring to this:

"No sweat" I replied, again trying to notch up my butch factor. "Its not like we have a pristine yard. I knew from the public works meeting that the grass would be affected by the construction and regrading."

"Well, we usually don't leave stuff in people's yard over the weekend, but we just didn't have any other place to put them. You probably saw how many pipes we had over there" he said, pointing across the street.

"I've got a place for your pipe" I wanted to assure him. But again, I decided against it. "Yeah, hard to believe it would take that many for such a short street" I said.

"We have to pay those people for using their land" he informed me.

"No kidding" I said, genuinely surprised. "What would you have done if that land weren't vacant?" I asked.

"We would have had to stage somewhere else and bring the equipment here each time we needed a piece. It would have made this take a lot longer, so its worth it to pay the owners to use the land, but we try to get in, get it done, and get out as fast as we can."

I was practically salivating by this time, with all that "get in, get it done, and get out" talk! I almost forgot he was talking about the street construction. But Jordan was tugging at her leash, letting me know she was ready to walk, so I thanked the hottie foreman for the info and wished him a good day.

A very good day.

Crush du Jour: David Williams

Monday, March 30, 2009


In anticipation of picking up Big Ella on Sat morning, I dreamt about it Fri night. I dreamt we went to pick her up and found she'd been repainted, but very badly. There were areas where the old primer was showing through, and we were very disappointed. Fortunately it was only a bad dream!

It was raining when I woke up Sat morning, but it stopped as we drove on toward the shop, almost an hour away. Once there, we paid the balance owed and then did a 'walk-thru'. We were quite impressed with the work done and the price from Maaco. Big Ella is stunning!

Sun morning it was raining lightly when we got up, but began to clear as the day went on. In the afternoon we decided to take Big Ella to the beach for a photoshoot in her 'new dress'. (All photos may be clicked to enlarge.)
DE only gives one license plate, which must be on the rear. But Big Ella was obviously designed for a front plate too, so I am going to have to find one that is as elegant as she is.
The 'money shot'!
Look at those graceful lines.
Big Ella was named after my favorite Ella: Ella Fitzgerald.
Can you see why I'm in love with this car?
Yours truly.

After the photoshoot, Spouse & I just drove around for a while, letting everyone enjoy Big Ella's splendor. As usual, she commanded horn toots and arm waves of appreciation, and compliments galore. It is really fun to see how happy she makes people. Everyone has a positive reaction to her.

When we'd run out of places to drive, we decided to come home. One of our neighbors on the next street over graciously offered us their driveway for parking Big Ella while our street is torn up. They are only here on weekends. So Big Ella is safely snoozing under her car cover in our neighbor's driveway.

And in case you're thinking the color looks like the old color, you're right! Maaco used paint made from the exact same recipe used when Big Ella and other 1959 Cadillacs were born. Its color number 29: Vegas Turquoise. Not that I plan to sell her anytime soon, but it is important when repainting vintage cars to repaint them the same color to preserve their value.

Crush du Jour: Matt Dallas

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth hour

World Wildlife Fund is asking individuals, businesses, governments and organizations around the world to turn off their lights for one hour – Earth Hour – to make a global statement of concern about climate change and to demonstrate commitment to finding solutions.

Today, Saturday, March 28th at 8:30 pm local time, please turn off your lights (except while driving!) for one hour to demonstrate your support for the need for sustainable climate change efforts. Visit the Earth Hour website for celebrity PSAs, climate change details, Earth Hour t-shirts, and all kinds of other cool stuff.

We've only got one planet. Let's work together to save it.
Crush du Jour: Tom Hislop

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday fragments

I could swear that on last night's American Idol results show, the contestants were lip-syncing during the Motown medley. Did anyone else notice this? Then I saw this.

For the last few weeks I have been having extremely vivid and vibrant dreams. One had me & Spouse experiencing the detonation of a nuclear bomb in the US. Another had me (without Spouse) in a 3-way with a beefy, hairy-chested porn star with body image issues. (I know-WTF, right?) See how fun it is to be me? I seem to wake up after each dream, just long enough to tell myself I need to remember it for later, then fall back asleep. Not sure if there's any connection, but these vivid and vibrant dreams seem to have begun around the time Spouse & I began working out at the gym.

As I've posted before, I'm trying to live up to the motto "Reuse, Reduce, Recycle".
We recycle a lot, but I've been looking for ways to 'reduce'. Recently I've tried not automatically turning on a light when I walk into a room. For me its been more about habit than need. As I'd walk into a room I'd flip on the switch whether I needed to or not. But with my new awareness of this, I've found I can easily stop turning on the light switch unnecessarily. For instance, all of our bathrooms have windows in them, so during the day there is no 'need' to turn on the light. There is sufficient light from the window to take care of business. So I challenge you to look for ways to reduce your energy usage, too. Try NOT turning on the light.

A while back I went to a free 'introduction to yoga' class. It was nice, but included a whole lot more talking (history, different theories, etc.) about yoga and not enough doing. Then Spouse & I joined the local gym and I discovered the gym offered 2 different yoga classes. On Tues evening I tried 'Yoga Fit', the one better suited for beginners, and really enjoyed it! There were only about 6 others in the class and several were new to it like me. I had no advance knowledge of any of the poses, but it didn't take too long to pick them up by watching and listening to the instructor. I plan to do it every week. Anybody else besides Lewis doing yoga?

This week NH voted for marriage equality, as did VT. However, the Governor can nullify the legislation by vetoing the bill. The Governor of VT has already stated he will veto the bill in his state because it is his 'belief that marriage is and should remain between a man and a woman'. Apparently his personal beliefs are more important than the beliefs of the majority of the VT Senate. Hmmm, so much for "government of the people, for the people". More details can be found on Bob's blog.

A few weeks back Spouse & I discussed the purchase of a new rug for our foyer. The one that is currently there was purchased 2 houses (approximately 10 years) ago for under $200. and is looking a bit 'long in the tooth'. We've cleaned it several times but it just looks dingy. We agreed that we'd gotten our money's worth out of it. Well, my husband loves him some home shopping channels, so last Sat he told me that one of them was going to have an area rug clearance on Sun evening. So we watched it together and decided to order a very nice looking 100% wool area rug, clearance priced at $150. with free shipping. We were told it should arrive by April 5th. It arrived on Wed!
I couldn't believe how quickly it got here. We unrolled it last night and are very happy with it. Spouse really enjoyed the fact that we watched the presentation together, selected something, and that we are quite happy with the product. He feels this is a validation of his love for home shopping channels.

Earlier this week I got a call from the body shop, letting me know that Big Ella's paint job was complete! Naturally I was eager to see my big girl in her new dress right away, but since the body shop is an hour away and only open until 5pm M-F, we weren't able to pick up Big Ella without both of us taking off work. So, tomorrow (Sat) morning we are headed to the body shop! Photos to follow.

Again this week I showed no weight loss for all my efforts. Steven offered an interesting reason for this. He suggested that I am converting fat to muscle due to all the extra gym visits, and since muscle weighs more than fat, it appears I'm not loosing weight even though I'm loosing fat. Well, that was good enough for me! Seriously though, it makes sense, and it keeps me from loosing hope.

Have a fab weekend, everyone!
Crush du Jour: Javier Beltran

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Chevy Volt update

There is some exciting news regarding the Chevy Volt:

Currently GM has about 30 prototypes running around the proving grounds and in various test facilities. These cars have been performing flawlessly. The next critical stage in Volt development process will be the building of true to form and function Chevrolet Volt prototypes.

Andrew Farah, the Volt’s lead engineer actually has a countdown clock in his office revealing that 63 days from today, assembly of the first true Volt will start. All the parts will be lined up at the low volume assembly facility and will begin to come together that day. Andrew notes the first one will take longer to produce, but for all intents and purposes will come to life on June 1st. They will then be built at a rate of roughly 10 per week until a total fleet of over 80 is completed.

Those cars “will look, taste, smell, and feel like the Volt. They are the Volt,” said Farah “my goal is by Forth of July to be out driving several of them.”

According to Greg Ceisel, GM’s Voltec manager, 2010 will bring several more build stages. “We’ve got several phases leading up to the production launch where we build larger and larger batches,” says Ciesel “in each phase as we perfect the production process, make sure we’ve got all the fit finish and other details exactly correct and that the quality of the vehicle meets our standards before we go into the first vehicles that will ultimately be saleable vehicles that will be shipped to the dealerships.”

He said there will be “a hundred or so” of these final pre-production Volts that will also act as a test fleet for mostly GM employees.

By November of 2010 the first saleable Volts will begin being built and shipped to dealerships.
Why all this fuss is about the Chevy Volt? Because the Volt is an extended-range electric car being developed by General Motors. The Volt is a plug-in electric vehicle with an on-board gasoline generator. It will have a large battery that stores power from your home electric outlet and which is connected to an electric motor. The electric motor directly propels the car.

How is the Volt different than today’s hybrids? Today’s hybrids are called parallel hybrids. They use a small electric motor for low speed driving, but switch to a regular gas engine for acceleration and faster speed driving, hence both engines work side by side or in parallel. There is no way to drive parallel hybrids without using some gasoline. The Volt is a series vehicle meaning only the electric motor powers the car at all times; the gas engine is just a generator, making electricity to keep the batteries in a steady state of charge.

The Volt will be able to drive at least 40 miles on pure electricity stored in the battery from overnight home charging. Many people whose daily commute is less than 40 miles will be able to drive to and from work and never use any gasoline! Think about running your errands (drycleaner, grocery store, Target) on a Saturday, picking up kids from school and sports practice, or going out to dinner and a movie without using an ounce of gasoline!

What happens if you need to drive more than 40 miles? The gas engine will kick in and allow the car to be driven up to 400 miles on a full tank (6-7 gallons) of gas. For the first 40 miles it will get infinite mpg, because no gas will be used. When the generator starts, the car will get an equivalent of 50 mpg thereafter.

To me, this is very exciting! We're that much closer to having a fully electric car as an option (not to replace all gasoline powered cars). Electric cars produce virtually no pollution and reduce our dependence on oil. I will be in line to buy one in November 2010.

Crush du Jour: Matt Aymar

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Progress in VT

I tell ya, if it weren't for those cold, cold winters, I'd be really tempted to move to VT. They are becoming a model of diversity, equality, and fairness for all their residents.

Vermont Senate passes same-sex marriage bill
By 365gay Newscenter Staff

(Montpelier, Vermont) The Vermont Senate passed legislation Monday that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state. The bill passed 26-4.

It now moves to the House where supporters believe it is likely to be approved. But whether Vermont Gov. James Douglas (R) will sign it is unknown.

The measure would replace Vermont’s first-in-the-nation civil unions law with one that allows marriage of same-sex partners beginning Sept. 1. Civil unions, which confer some rights similar to marriage, would still be recognized but no longer granted after Sept. 1.

Did you notice that? VT is replacing their existing civil union law with a marriage equality law!!! Read the entire article here.

A highlight of the the hearing is shown in this video of 17 year old James Neiley who testified.

Crush du Jour: Chuck Wicks

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

No point

I'm not going to recount our weekend activities because, for the most part, they weren't worthy of repeating. Our friend Tim did not stay in town long enough for us to get together. We just did a little shopping, cleaned the house, went for a walk, and I did some cardio at the gym.

There's practically no point to this post, as I have nothing of note to say, other than thank god for my blogger buddies and TV. Regardless of how boring or UN-noteworthy your day is, Monday's mean Undie Monday, White Meat Monday, Big Bang Theory, Dear Genevieve (why is this show in repeats already???), and RuPaul's Drag Race. Tonight is the season finale where we'll find out which queen wins!

Crush du Jour: Fernando Mesquita

Saturday, March 21, 2009


...well, sorta.

US endorses UN gay rights text
By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration on Wednesday formally endorsed a U.N. statement calling for the worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality, a measure that former President George W. Bush had refused to sign.

The move was the administration's latest in reversing Bush-era decisions that have been heavily criticized by human rights and other groups. The United States was the only western nation not to sign onto the declaration when it came up at the U.N. General Assembly in December.

"The United States supports the U.N.'s statement on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity and is pleased to join the other 66 U.N. member states who have declared their support of the statement," said State Department spokesman Robert Wood.

"The United States is an outspoken defender of human rights and critic of human rights abuses around the world," Wood told reporters. "As such, we join with other supporters of this statement, and we will continue to remind countries of the importance of respecting the human rights of all people in all appropriate international fora."

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that the administration would endorse the statement.

Gay rights groups hailed the move.

"The administration's leadership on this issue will be a powerful rebuke of an earlier Bush administration position that sought to deny the universal application of human rights protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals," said Mark Bromley of the Council for Global Equality, which promotes equal rights for homosexuals.

"This is long past overdue and we are encouraged by the signal it sends that the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people will now be considered human rights," said Rea Carey, the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Human rights groups had criticized the Bush administration when it refused to sign the statement when it was presented at the United Nations on Dec. 19. U.S. officials said then that the U.S. opposed discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation but that parts of the declaration raised legal questions that needed further review.

According to negotiators, the Bush team had concerns that those sections could commit the federal government on matters that fall under state jurisdiction. In some states, landlords and private employers are allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation; on the federal level, gays are not allowed to serve openly in the military.

But Wood said a "careful interagency review" by the Obama administration had concluded that "supporting this statement commits us to no legal obligations."

When it was voted on in December, 66 of the U.N.'s 192 member countries signed the nonbinding declaration, which backers called an historic step to push the General Assembly to deal more forthrightly with anti-gay discrimination. It was endorsed by all 27 European Union members as well as Japan, Australia and Mexico.

But 70 U.N. members outlaw homosexuality — and in several, homosexual acts can be punished by execution. More than 50 nations, including members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, opposed the declaration.

Some Islamic countries said at the time that protecting sexual orientation could lead to "the social normalization and possibly the legalization of deplorable acts" such as pedophilia and incest. The declaration was also opposed by the Vatican.

Crush du Jour: Matt Woods

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Friday fragments

Well, its Friday: the 'appetizer' to the coming weekend.

This weekend we don't have any social plans, other than meeting up at some point with our friend Tim who will be in town for the weekend. We do have one priority for the weekend though: clean this disgustingly filthy house!
Now, I'm no Mommie Dearest by any stretch of the imagination. But we haven't done a good, thorough housecleaning in several weeks, and it shows! I can't stand it any longer.

Street reconstruction continued Mon-Wed of this week, from 7:30 am - 7:30 pm. For some reason, there has been no street work done yesterday or today, but I don't mind, as it is nice to have some quiet again. Here is the 'view' from our porch:
This is our yard, looking from the driveway:
You can't see it in the photo above, but one of the heavy pieces of construction equipment cracked our driveway. I spoke to one of the engineers yesterday who gave me his business card and promised they would 'make it right'. Here's what we see across the street:

Thanks to Smallville gay activist Bob over at I Should be Laughing for posting this fantastic video of SF Mayor Gavin Newsom speaking out on how separate is not equal. This ties in nicely with this post. Any idea how we can encourage more straight politicians to become our advocates?

I have been having terrible luck with electronics lately. I booted up an old laptop and was prompted to perform a windows update, which I did. Now the laptop won't boot up anymore. I bought an inexpensive mp3 player and loaded some fast-tempo music that will be good when I'm on the treadmill. I know the music loaded, but for some reason I couldn't get it to play. Somehow Spouse (the only person less tech savvy than me) got it to play. Our new camera keeps giving me a "battery exhausted" message, despite putting fresh batteries in it several times. My friend Nick explained that the camera's battery setting was set for a higher voltage battery, so all the lower voltage batteries tricked the camera into thinking they were dead. I bought the higher voltage batteries, but still get the message intermittently.

My friend Kevin sent me this funny website called F my life that has provided me with countless chuckles so far today. Check it out! I dare you to not find something funny.

Wishing everyone a fabulous weekend!

Crush du Jour: Alex Loynaz