Monday, July 24, 2006

Same Sex Marriage Ban LTTE

In case this is news to you, there’s a “same sex marriage ban” state referendum that will be voted on in Wisconsin in November. Even though that is months off, the debate has been in full swing in the newspapers for weeks now. There was a LTTE on the Oshkosh Northwestern website today that just pissed me off, especially the bolded part:

Pro-gay advocates lying about normal lifestyle

The pro-homosexual campaign to portray an utterly (their) lifestyle as "normal" with the approaching November vote on a one-man/one-woman marriage amendment has a familiar ring. The old saying of "Tell a lie, tell it often enough and people will believe it" is a favorite tactic of the anti-decency side.

Rather than relying on logic, common sense and facts, homosexual advocates constantly repeat the same slogans and react emotionally to opponents of their agenda. Here are a few points to consider about this narcissic (sic) subculture.

Anyone with even the most rudimentary knowledge of anatomy can see that the human body wasn't designed for same-sex intercourse. If homosexuality is as "natural" as its supporters claim, then why is the average lifespan of homosexual men in the low 40s? Could engaging in disgusting acts with hundreds of ever-changing and often-diseased partners be a cause?

Pastor Henry Vanderbush described the situation precisely when he said, "There's nothing gay about perversion."

Al Doyle Oshkosh

Now, if you have a problem with gay people, that’s your right. But to make sweeping statements like that completely nullifies any reasonable argument you may have had.

On his first point: Rudimentary knowledge of anatomy combined with perhaps more than rudimentary knowledge of sex tells me that there is more than one way to get things done. Even straight men do what gay men do. They just do it with a woman. Really, is there that much of a different whose ass (or mouth, I suppose) you’re using? Perhaps Mr. Doyle needs to get out more. Or maybe Mrs. Doyle isn’t very adventurous.

On his second point: I don’t know where he gets his information, but I highly doubt that there’s any proof that gay men have a shorter lifespan than straight men. Perhaps the doctors among us can weigh in on that subject.

But the part that disturbed me the most was that last sentence. How can he make such a ridiculous statement? There are many deeply committed and monogamous same-sex couples out there (in fact, I know a few.) They sleep with only that one person and are disease free. There are also many promiscuous heterosexual people who sleep with someone new each day (I know a few of those too.) Every incidence of sexually transmitted disease does not involve a homosexual. There are plenty of nasty straight people around. If he’s talking about AIDS, which has typically been seen as the gay man’s disease, a lot of the new AIDS cases these days, especially in places like Africa, are women who acquire it from their husbands. Disgusting act indeed, Mr. Doyle.

Oh, and speaking of telling lies over and over until people believe them, how about what the Bushies are preaching about how teaching nothing but abstinence in the sex ed classes is the answer. Yeah, the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the civilized world is proof that’s working… In a “perfect” world, everyone would wait to have sex until they’re married. In a “perfect” world no one would cheat, exposing their partners to disease. Unfortunately, the world is not perfect. These hard-core traditionalists need to realize that what might have worked 100 years ago (and it didn’t even work then, it was just such a taboo that no one talked about it) won’t work now. Teens will have sex whether you tell them how to protect themselves or not. Making sex seem like a horrible, dirty thing that you can’t talk about will just create more confused and uninformed parents. Education is the key and the lawmakers (and educators) seem to have forgotten that.

Our culture has become like a crotchety old man sitting on his porch in a rocking chair glaring at all the young whippersnappers prancing by. We’re so far behind in the times that it’s pathetic. Denying the reality of life today won’t make it go away. The reality is people have sex without being married. People have children out of wedlock. People have sex with others of the same gender. Get over it. While I fully intend to go the more traditional route (that is marriage and then kids) many people find it makes more sense (for them) to forego the ceremony and just cohabitate. In fact it’s rather popular in Europe, France especially.

I’ve gone on something of a rampage here and I apologize for that. I just got so mad when I read that letter. Perhaps that is the reaction people like Mr. Doyle are going for. But it is this kind of ignorance that keeps this country from being all it could be. Sometimes I’m ashamed to live here.

I think there’s no doubt which way I’ll be voting in November. :)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Who Knew?

My dad and Cheryl came up for lunch and some wedding discussion this afternoon. We also played a couple rounds of Clue - both of which I won, by the way. :) Somehow in the midst of our discussion it was revealed that my cousin Joanie was the runner-up on the latest cycle of America's Next Top Model. Here's her page on the UPN website. Ya learn interesting things everyday...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Meet Gus

Adam named this one all by himself. :)

Look Ma, I'm a doctor now!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Brat Days

This past weekend the subject of the Brat Days brat-eating contest being televised on ESPN came up while we were at Adam’s grandmother’s house up in GB. His cousin, Dave, asked if he planned to watch it. I asked why they would watch it when we could just drive down and see it live. I mean it’s Sheboygan. Barely more than an hour away.

I took a look at the website this afternoon and we’re definitely going to head down. Why? Firehouse plays on the main stage on Friday night. Yes, Firehouse. They were quite popular in the late 80’s/early 90’s and then they kind of faded out in the US after the big-hair, power-ballad rocker days were over. They have enjoyed the success of a band that’s famous in Japan I suppose. I plan to go and find their last 3 albums (all released post 1998) on iTunes tonight. In any case, they are awesome and one of their songs is currently the front-runner on our “first dance song” list for our wedding. So we’re going. End of discussion.

Adam originally wanted to enter the brat-eating contest but when he called for information he was informed that they’re all full (no pun intended) so there’s no spot for him unless someone else cancels. Oh well. We’ll still enjoy watching other people make themselves sick. Should be a good time.

Camping Trip #2

Camping trip #2 is now behind us. There’s at least one more, and possibly two more to go. We have reservations down at Rocky Arbor State Park the end of August. It’s pretty much right next door to Mirror Lake so it will be similar to our first camping trip except that we’ve reserved a 24’ pontoon boat for all day Saturday. Hope for decent boating weather!

Anyway, back to this weekend’s trip. We left home around 11:30 and ran into quite a bit of construction on Hwy 21. Adam was continually frustrated by trucks and slow drivers since it’s a dinky two-land highway. Jill, our friendly GPS voice, guided us through to the campground. We ended up going into Minnesota and then coming back around to the campground from the north. The campsite itself was nice enough. Not really as private as most of the others we’ve been to. There were very few trees and we could see everyone else who was camping around us. Luckily our site was right on a corner so we did have a big tree that provided shade for most of the evening. We were also right next to the shed where they sold wood.

We set up the tent and then headed up to Alba to investigate boats and bait. The boat thing didn’t work out so Adam decided to do some fishing off the shore at the campground. After he drowned a few worms we went back to camp and fired up the grill. My chicken was still frozen solid so it made for some interesting cooking. We spent the rest of the evening vegging out in the camp chairs. Adam got a fire going but it died relatively quickly. He revamped his log piling methods and got another one roaring in no time. We made a few s’mores while waiting for Justin to give a call after he was done at work. He arrived at the site around 10 and we hung out and talked and had more s’mores for about an hour. He had to leave around 11 when the park officially closed. The visit was short, but it was still a good time. After he left we called it a night and headed to the tent. Seems that I forgot to mention that we were also next to a very busy set of railroad tracks. Every five minutes or so a train would go roaring past just beyond the trees with its horn blaring. All night long. We were also about a mile from a racetrack where they were having races all evening. Until 11:30. Followed by fireworks. It was a noisy night, but I think I slept decently.

We awoke (officially) around 6 on Saturday and proceeded to the showers. There are only 3 showers for each gender in the entire park. This is why I was slightly amazed that I was the only one in there for the entire length of my showering and dressing. This is the first park where the showers were divided by gender so Adam and I had to shower separately, not at the same time. After we hung the towels to dry we hopped in the car and headed up to Bloomington. We figured since the day was going to be so oppressingly hot it made sense to try and spend the majority of it inside an air-conditioned building. So, Mall of America it was.

The drive up wasn’t too bad. We actually got there about a half-hour before the mall opened. The building itself was open for mall walkers so we could go inside. Starbucks and Cinnabon were also open so we got some breakfast while we waited for the rest of the mall to open up. We decided to kind of start at the top and work our way down the mall. We got distracted by Marshall’s and spent the majority of the money we spent at that store. Adam loved the fact that he could find lots of good quality, good name clothing in his size for a fraction of the retail price. The way he figured, he got almost $300 worth of clothes for less than $100. And there is no tax on clothing in Minnesota, so it’s an even better deal. Unfortunately the closest Marshall’s for us is down in Milwaukee. We’re already planning a day trip down to visit the art museum, the zoo, and now Marshall’s. We hit a few more stores (cheese, Lindt, Godiva, a toy store) and really didn’t end up spending too much money. I was impressed at my restraint. We ate lunch at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. We totally nailed the Forrest Gump trivia the server did with us. I think we only missed one question. Adam had a plate full of all kinds of shrimp and I had the southern fried chicken with mashed potatoes and a cob of corn. After purchasing a “stupid is as stupid does” t-shirt and investigated a few more stores, we called it a day and headed back to the car. We stopped at a Sam’s club we spied off the highway and bought some more water and ice. We also filled up the gas tank while we were there. It was $2.92 at Sam’s compared to the $2.99 at other local stations. (Yeah, and it’s $3.07 here in the Fox Valley…)

We then headed back to the campsite. When we got back Adam decided to try his hand at the fishing again. This time, while he didn’t catch any fish, he did catch a tree. After he had to cut the hook loose he packed things up for good. It was then he informed me that he had a headache of gargantuan proportions and he wanted to pack things up and go home. While we went back and forth on this subject for about half an hour I ultimately left it up to him. He opted to drive back home. So we packed up camp and headed back to the highway for the drive across the state.

We decided to ignore Jill and take Hwy 54 rather than 21. Never ignore the GPS. She knows what she’s talking about. 54 was one tight curve after another. There was one particular curve that came right at the top of the hill and you literally couldn’t see where the road went from the top. It was kind of scary. After stopping for food in Black River Falls, we hopped back on the interstate and then went the rest of the way back home on the safe, relatively straight 21. We got home around 10:30, unloaded the food, and went to bed.

Adam was feeling better on Sunday morning. We finished unpacking the car in the morning and spent most of the afternoon up in Green Bay. His uncle and aunt (Craig and Marge) were up visiting from Florida so I got to meet a couple more family members before the big influx of them in October. Then we came home and finished cleaning up from camping.

To re-cap – first camping trip was freezing cold and rainy. We packed up the campsite early and spent the second night at the Ramada. Second camping trip was hot (I’m talking 95+ and humid). We packed up early and drove home, spending the second night at home.

Not a good track record. We figure perhaps the third time will be the charm… perfect weather etc. We’re playing the odds here…

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A New Furry Friend

The new critter. He's a panda bear hamster (for obvious reasons.) No name as of yet.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The two stooges

On a more positive note, Mo and Larry seem to get along well. We suspect they might have some gay tendencies, but that's ok. :)

RIP Dewey

We're not having the greatest furry critter luck lately. This was much more of a shock than Pigster was. He seemed fine until last night when he was breathing heavily and really not responding to us at all. We figured he was doomed and this morning he had crawled out from inside his house and was laying, belly-up. It was so sad.

We haven't replaced him yet. We probably will though. An empty cage is such a depressing sight.

Photographer... check!

We met with our photographer of choice this past Thursday and made the payment to hold the date. I had asked Adam previously if he thought it was a bad thing that we kept going with the first person we meet for each element. He pointed out that we do our research before meeting in person so it was an informed decision. I suppose he's right. I don't have doubts about any of our choices, so it seems like things should work out.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Mo and the Orange

Aww, he's so cute! (Although he does look kind of possessed

Saturday, July 01, 2006

A Post of out Boredom

Wow, July already. Time flies when you're having fun.

I don't really have much to say. Most of my thoughts these days revolve around wedding stuff and I'm sure you're all tired of that already.

This nice, long, four-day weekend will be pretty uneventful. Adam works tonight, most of tomorrow, Monday, and then Tuesday evening. Today we hit the strawberry stand and managed to get there right after the owner dropped off some berries fresh from the fields. They are so delicious. I could eat an entire pint in one sitting. I didn't, but I could. We're lucky to leave pretty much down the street from a local farmer stand. We can't wait to see what other items they have later in the season. We also went to Adam's parents' house and set the tent up and cleaned it out in preparation for the camping trip in a couple weeks. It started raining about halfway through the process but luckily it was just a sprinkling. Tomorrow we'll head to church in the morning and then I'll be on my own for most of the day. I'm not sure what I'll do on Monday while Adam's at work. It kind of sucks that my company considers Monday a holiday and his doesn't. On the 4th we've really got nothing planned. We were originally hoping to head to Sheboygan to catch the Cardboard Boat Regatta, but those plans were dashed when he was scheduled to work at 5. Oh well. I'm sure we'll find something to entertain ourselves. Then it's back to work on Wednesday where I'll be thrown into unfamiliar Banner territory. Fun, fun.