Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday night

Today was nice. Got cleaned up and was over at Starbucks at 3:30 or so, after finishing off the potato skins. It was busy over there. Finally got a good, shaded table. Took my time and had two cups of coffee and a turkey & Swiss sandwich. Not too windy, though I wore my leather jacket just in case.

Ended up at the gym before 6:00 (closes at 7:00). Picked up a few things at the store afterward and was home just as "60 Minutes" was starting. Fried up around 3 lbs. of nice ground sirloin that had been sitting in the meat drawer for a few days and made chili with half of it. (Didn't want it to go bad -- it was really good meat and only 10% fat.) I guess I'll also make chili with the other half, or maybe picadillo.

Haven't talked to my friend in Canada for a while. I'll wait for him to call me.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday night

Not a good day to sit out at Starbucks. I would have gone there earlier in the day when it was a bit warmer (70 F.), but I was waiting for the tsunami to hit Hawaii. I finally pried myself from the TV, got cleaned up and walked over there, in a light rain. That was probably after 5:00 and it was in the 50s F. by then. It got chillier and chillier as I sat there reading about Paul Krugman in The New Yorker. Got a coffee refill and ended up bringing it home. I was the last person sitting outside there.

Had an egg salad sandwich at Starbucks. Later went to dinner at Flanigan's -- steak house soup, dolphin fingers, and potato skins (brought some of those home).

I may be getting over my inertia on the kitchen. I just haven't felt like doing anything -- probably fatigue, and I'm the only one here who has to live with it being unfinished (and it doesn't bother me). But last night I stopped at the window at Decorama and peered inside. Saw some pretty travertine tile for the backsplash. I'd always planned on starting my tile search at Decorama, which is basically a store for wall treatments (paint, wallpaper, etc.), since it was just down the street.

Tonight I also talked again with my friend who repairs TVs, computers, etc. I told him that the charities won't pick up a broken TV (if they pick up anything at all -- Goodwill no longer does) and asked him if he might know of anyone who would want it for parts. He didn't. Repair people don't want them in their shops since they take up so much room. I'm just going to junk it. (Maybe put it on Craig's List first.)

[Later] Posted ad on Craig's List.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday night

Almost Friday, yea! No new "Project Runway" tonight. Not into Olympics. Not into pundits talking about Health Care Conference. Oy, what to watch? "Clean House" perhaps? That black hostess's voice grates on my nerves.

Gave Bootsy a "sitzbath" tonight. He needed it.

That eye of the round roast was excellent. I'll buy them again, since there's hardly any waste (usually so with bottom rounds). Tonight I sliced up the last of it and doused it with barbecue sauce. Will heat that up at work tomorrow for lunch, with mixed vegetables.

Spaghetti sauce was also excellent, maybe the best I ever made.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday night

Had a good day but had to leave work a little early for a teeth-cleaning. Took my Valium before I left. Was dozing off and dreaming in the dental chair.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday night

Co-worker whose father passed away on Valentine's Day was back today. Glad to see her. She brought a bunch of food left over from the post-funeral gathering at her house this past Saturday: barbecued chicken, rice and beans (two ways), yuca (cassava) (not a favorite regardless of how it's prepared), chicken wings, baked macaroni and cheese (just like my mother used to make), fried sweet plantains, and green plantains cooked with pork, which was delicious (tangy and garlicky). I'd never had that before. Then there were leftovers from a luncheon: breaded chicken cutlets, really cheesy scalloped potatoes, salad, pastries, etc. I had a huge lunch, then ate some of my spaghetti with meat sauce later as a snack (delicious).

I walked off some of that after work. Got off the bus at Home Depot, looking for a space heater. (Another cold snap is coming.) No heaters. Then walked up to Walgreens. No heaters. Walked home and took the truck up to Target. No heaters. Well, I tried. I could have driven down to K-Mart but I wanted to get home to watch TV.

I had a sliver of the New York cheesecake tonight and will take the rest of it to work tomorrow. Had cold roast eye of the round for a light dinner. Not terribly hungry.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday night

Walked my walk after work. Didn't even nap on bus. (Predictably, the black Hummer was parked in the handicapped spot outside Flanigan's.) Cleaned cat box. Making meat sauce for pasta. They had some really nice-looking ground sirloin on sale the other day. Forgot to get Italian sausage at the last minute, so added fennel and crushed red pepper to sauce. It also has sliced portobello mushrooms, chopped onion and green pepper, minced garlic, basil, oregano, marjoram, a bay leaf, and grated Locatelli Romano cheese. I start out with a large container of Ragu sauce "flavored with meat."

It came out good but will taste better once it has sat in the fridge for a day or two. It's cooling off on the stove now. Made angel hair to go with it. (I think Publix's angel hair is its old vermicelli.) The sauce started out a little thin but I simmered it down over the stove with the lid off, but with a wire-mesh spatter guard on top. It's thick and chunky now.

Watching "Hoarders" on A&E (not that I am one). I had a landlady in Tallahassee who lived like that. Once I went to her house to pay the rent, and I couldn't believe what I saw. (The front door was open but she didn't appear to be home.) Stuff everywhere, every surface covered with crap. I think I even remember seeing an old jar of mayonnaise left out in the living room, rotting, among other food items. Maybe roaches running around. This was a nice Victorian house down the street from FSU's Old Campus. I'd never seen anything like it, nor have I since. This was a wealthy woman (Mrs. McPeak) who owned a lot of "student" rental properties around Tallahassee.

Had a lousy lunch today. A Greek restaurant was making stuffed peppers as a special. One of my co-workers got me enthused. It turned out there was no meat in the pepper, just rice. $7.99 plus tax and tip for some vegetables and no protein. Fortunately I'd brought the roast beef to work. What a waste of money. Co-worker wasn't pleased either. If you like stuffed peppers, Stouffer's has some really good ones, though I always add Crystal hot sauce for more flavor.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday night

Got a lot done today. Did laundry, washed dishes, made a roast, went to gym and store. Yes, gym. Making frozen mixed vegetables now. Will take some of those and some roast to work tomorrow for lunch. The roast was an eye of the round, on sale for $3.99 (I believe). (Was below $4.00.) I don't usually buy these, but it turned out great. Will no longer buy the sirloin tip -- too much waste. The last one I bought was full of fat and gristle. But will buy this or the bottom round.

The roast wasn't done in time for me to have any for dinner (it had fallen over in the roasting pan and was way off center in the oven, as I discovered when I returned from the gym). But I was hungry, so I had some canned corned beef on rye melba toast, with a side of hot pickled okra and Italian giardiniera pickles.

"Desperate Housewives" is on again. Pretty good.

Wow, it got really good.

Late Saturday night

Slept well last night and enjoyed the warmer weather today. Place was open and A/C off. Lucky spent hours out on the terrace and would probably still be out there now if I hadn't called it a night for him. It's always in the back of my mind that he's fallen off the terrace three times already, and after a certain time of night I close the terrace door (after first making sure he's inside, of course) and put my worries to rest.

I was very thankful that the weather was returning to normal. It has been cold in here for days (and, worse, nights). As I've said repeatedly, the heat here doesn't work when it gets below a certain temperature outside. When it gets into the 40s, forget it. (Even if I have the heat at 80 F. all night.)

Today I was at Starbucks twice. Had two cups of coffee (along with a turkey & Swiss sandwich) in the late afternoon, and mint tea after dinner. Went shopping in between. Was at Walgreen's to get a sympathy card for my co-worker whose father passed away last Sunday, and a few other things, then to the grocery store. No time for cooking or cleaning or laundry. Will do some of that tomorrow. Today I just did what I felt like doing. It's been testy at work, a lot of pressure. Needed to chill (but I still got a lot done).

Had a pretty unhealthy dinner tonight: a Publix fried chicken breast, Michael Angelo's eggplant Parmesan, and 1/4 of a Publix New York cheesecake (on sale) (they're small but still highly caloric). (For lunch I had a Stouffer's breaded fish filet with a little macaroni and cheese on the side.) I rarely ever buy a cheesecake -- maybe once every few years. (That's not to say I don't eat a piece of cheesecake when the opportunity presents itself, which is also rarely.) Unfortunately, this cheesecake hadn't thawed out completely, which kind of spoiled the experience, but nonetheless it was good. I should throw the rest of it away, but I won't. At any rate, it's back to the gym tomorrow, and I should be able to do more walking now that the weather has warmed up.

Friday, February 19, 2010


No walking home tonight. Too tired. Again, didn't sleep well last night. Too cold in here. Didn't get a good nap on the bus. Too warm on bus. So got a cup of coffee at Starbucks when I got home. Hope it doesn't keep me up too late (but I don't have to get up in the morning). Fortunately the weather will be warming up -- albeit slowly. It won't be going down into the 40s tonight, just the lower 50s. I plan on getting a good night's sleep.

5-Day Forecast
High: N/A Low: 53
Mostly Cloudy

Wind: NNW at 4 mph
Precip.: 10%
Humidity: 58%

Considerable cloudiness. Low 53F. Winds light and variable.

Sat 20
High: 74 Low: 58
Partly Cloudy

Wind: NE at 4 mph
Precip.: 10%
Humidity: 48%

Some clouds in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies for the afternoon. High 74F. Winds light and variable.

Sun 21
High: 77 Low: 64
Mostly Sunny

Wind: E at 11 mph
Precip.: 10%
Humidity: 59%

More sun than clouds. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the mid 60s.

Mon 22
High: 76 Low: 62
Isolated T-Storms

Wind: S at 15 mph
Precip.: 30%
Humidity: 77%

Partly cloudy, chance of a thunderstorm. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the low 60s.

Tue 23
High: 78 Low: 60
Partly Cloudy

Wind: WNW at 10 mph
Precip.: 20%
Humidity: 75%

Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the low 60s.

So the White House and Harry Reid have come out in support of passing the public option for health insurance through reconciliation. If the voters want it, do it. That's what democracy is all about. All the other western democracies rule by majority vote, not super-majority vote, and they function perfectly well -- better than we do lately. The current filibuster has to go.

Since I haven't been getting my usual exercise lately, this morning I refrained from having a toasted bagel with cream cheese. I ate the four-egg cheese omelet instead, however, and then ordered something dietetic for lunch -- grilled chicken breast strips stir-fried with green and red pepper strips, onions and mushrooms. (Basically the same thing as Pepper Steak but with chicken.) Hadn't had that in a while, and it wasn't expensive ($7.50 + tip for delivery). Came with three sides: I had mashed potatoes, plantains and black beans.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday night

Again, a cold snap has put a damper on my exercise routine, but tonight I walked home from the farther bus stop (about a mile down the street), after first stopping off at Burger King for two bacon double cheeseburgers (they were on sale and I was hungry). It wasn't windy or so cold that my legs would freeze underneath my thin, Florida slacks. It was actually quite a pleasant walk. Then I ditched my wheelie bag when I got home and walked to the convenience store for some cigarettes. It's still getting down into the 40s at night and affecting my sleep -- it's cold in here, and the reverse-cycle A/C is practically useless. I'll get a space heater for next year.

Got this email from Chuck Schumer today:

Dear [MOI],

As you know, I've been committed to a strong public option throughout the entire health care reform process.

First it was in the Senate bill, then it was out. But now, thanks to the tenacity of a group of four Democratic Senators -- Michael Bennet (CO), Sherrod Brown (OH), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), and Jeff Merkley (OR) -- there is a renewed push to create a public option as part of health care reform.

I just added my name to their effort to pass a public option through the reconciliation process, and I wanted you to be the first to know.

This is far from a done deal, but it's an opportunity to break through the obstructionism Republicans have pushed for the past year.

Let's keep fighting,


Chuck Schumer

Last night I emailed Fla. Sen. Bill Nelson, urging him to add his name to the "Bennet letter." Chris Hayes of "The Nation" -- I think the sharpest commentator around -- just said on Countdown that this could get legs if Harry Reid or Max Baucus (or someone else, whose name I've forgotten) came out for it. (Reid's constituents back in Nevada are against the health care plan but for the public option.)

Solitary walks are great for thinking and also reminiscing. I'll never forget seeing a once close friend's Camaro convertible sitting in the parking lot where I exit the bus, apparently abandoned -- it sat there for the longest time. Meanwhile my friend was dying of AIDS. (This was back before the HIV cocktails.) I guess the car broke down and he couldn't afford to do anything with it. His name was Bob Martinez, a Puerto Rican from New York. I'd met him at the old Sugars. Before he got sick, I used to ride in that car all the time when we went bar-hopping between Sugars and Karl's place on West Dixie (name?). Bob had worked at an upscale linen store; I still have some sheets he got me for my birthday. We drifted apart when he got sick, and he ended up moving out of his nice apartment down the street and rooming with another Sugars regular, who also had AIDS (and who also died). I can't remember his name, but he was a pet groomer and I'd bought my Persian cat, Yasmin, from him (cheap). He raised Persian cats. (Bill?)

As I continue down the street, I walk past the place I used to get my hair cut, usually by Cliff, someone else I'd met at the old Sugars. I went to Cliff's salon for years. I'd make my appointments for Saturday afternoon and ride my bike over. Cliff and his business partner, Jenny, ended up selling the salon, and I haven't been back since. (I cut my own hair now, what's left of it.) Cliff meanwhile had got into a bad business deal and disappeared. (I heard this from Jenny the last time I got my hair cut. Cliff was no longer at the salon.) Maybe he's back in Hawaii, where he was originally from and still has family. Every once in a while I see Jenny on my bus, but I haven't had the occasion to talk to her. (She was originally from England. Very polished.)

Then I walk past the IHOP where Jim and Oz from Sugars used to go for steak dinners before heading up to the bar. They'd been an item for years. I haven't seen them since the new Sugars closed, in 2005. Jim was an architect and Oz a computer tech. Jim had a solo practice and was no longer able to get health insurance after he had a heart attack. Haven't seen them sitting in the restaurant as I've walked by, but I keep looking.

When I walk past Woody's, I'm almost home. I remember talking with Greg, a stand-in bartender at the new Sugars, on the topic of cheese steak sandwiches. Greg didn't like the ones at Woody's, for which the place is "famous." (I'm not crazy about them either.) Greg had tended bar in Key West at The Monster during its heyday. He passed away a couple of years ago, not from AIDS.

Lastly, Flanigan's. No black Hummer parked illegally in the handicapped space tonight.

Since I haven't heard anything back from a certain magazine about my proposal for a nonfiction piece about illegal prescription drug use, I've decided to rework it and submit it directly as a short story. (The magazine accepts nonfiction submissions without a proposal first.) I'm more comfortable anyway fictionalizing the story, and it still will be all true. I think it's a really engrossing story for our time. I've never read anything like it myself. It's about a tragic situation that many people probably live with nowadays.

Making a four-egg cheese omelet for lunch tomorrow, with garlic powder, basil and dried chives. Tasty. I just flipped it over and a little bit broke off.

See what a little exercise will do to get the writing juices flowing?

Wednesday night

It's been rough at work. A co-worker has been in the process of losing and now has lost a close family member.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday night

Was at work for six hours today. Drove down.

Not a big Olympics fan. No new "Desperate Housewives." No new Anthony Bourdain. I guess they figure everyone will be watching the Olympics and they couldn't draw the advertisers. They're probably right. Anthony Bourdain is re-airing a 2007 show from New Orleans I hadn't seen. The place was still in pretty bad shape at that time.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday night

Skipped gym and drove down to make a payment at Home Depot before 7:00, closing time on Sundays. (Bill was due tomorrow, but I'm going to work tomorrow.) Stopped off at the store on the way home. Roasted the sirloin tip roast and making rice now. Made a great gravy out of the drippings and the "fond" in the roasting pan.

Had a nice chat with an old friend.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday night

Had a great dinner at Flanigan's.

Saturday morning

Pest control people woke me up, banging on the door. I yelled I didn't have any pests, but I'm up, at least for now. I should have seen that coming and left a note on the door not to disturb. Very bad idea to have these people coming in on Saturday morning. (I'll put a note in the suggestion box.)

Watching "Sell this House." Haven't seen that in years. I used to love watching that show, then they changed the time slot.

While we have Monday off from work, I volunteered to work if needed and, alas, will be going in at 1:00 p.m. Will drive down and stop off at Checker's to get some chili dogs.

Everything's OK with the Firefox upgrade now. The "Speed Dial" add-on is perfect.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Was going to get off the bus at Home Depot after work, pay a bill, and then walk home -- but it's raining, violently in places. We have another cold front coming through.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thursday night

Had a good day, but I just discovered I lost the old leather passport holder that I now keep my checkbook and other stuff in. Luckily I was fresh out of checks, and there was nothing else important in it but my voter's registration card. Apparently I left it on the bus after I'd taken it out of my briefcase. (Was tired at that point.) I'll call lost and found tomorrow.

Got a real good deal on a new watch tonight at Sports Authority. It's a nice-looking black Casio with a conventional dial (which makes it easy for me to set) and a second hand (need for gym). $25. Who knew watches were so cheap nowadays? All this does is tell time (which is all I need). There's also a button to light the dial. My old watch served me well for years, but it was essentially one solid piece of rubber and broke in two. (I can replace the band on the new one.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday night

Not going to the gym tonight. Too cold outside for gym clothes. Instead, I'm making hot soup -- vegetable beef, out of the Bear Creek minestrone. Simmering (tenderizing) the stew beef now in V-8 juice and water, with some dill and salt. When that gets tender, I'll add the soup mix and some frozen mixed vegetables. Should be hearty. Used three pounds of meat.

Tonight I removed the "Fox Tab" add-on from Firefox and installed another one, "Speed Dial." The Fox Tab was a mess. It kept propagating unwanted tabs. I hope this add-on's better. (It was easier to activate this one than try to figure out how to fix the other one.) You store your sites like a speed dialer, in numbered slots. Seems fairly orderly and straightforward.

I have to say, the plumbing repairs went very well. That was a load off my mind. After all the hassles dealing with Home Depot in the kitchen.

[Later] Watching "Shear Genius", a hair-styling competition, similar to "Project Runway". Never seen it before. [Was worth watching.]

It's back in the 50s here tonight and will drop down into the upper 40s. When I got home from work and let Lucky out onto the terrace, he was soon back inside, complaining about the cold as if I had something to do with it. Then he hung out with Bootsy on my bed forever. Bootsy needs another bath, by the way.

I thought this was a good column by Frank Rich on Sunday. The title, "Smoke the Bigots Out of the Closet," gave me pause. I live by the Golden Rule and would never wish the way I've been treated as a gay person on anyone (like being "smoked out" as being gay and fired from a so-called reputable company). "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (or "Stay In The Closet Or Else") has been standard operating procedure all across America for years. And Miami, what with Anita Bryant spewing her vile anti-gay "theology" and all, was one of the worst places. I'm glad times are changing.

The occasional outliers notwithstanding, why did such a hush greet Mullen on Capitol Hill? The answer begins with the simple fact that a large majority of voters — between 61 percent and 75 percent depending on the poll — now share his point of view. Most Americans recognize that being gay is not a “lifestyle” but an immutable identity, and that outlawing discrimination against gay people who want to serve their country is, as the admiral said, “the right thing to do.”

No, I'm not happy with the new Firefox. I should never have updated. I might just switch to the Chrome.

I have to reiterate how interesting it was on Monday night to sit in Flanigan's and watch B. and his BF (I figured out who the BF was). It set my own mind at ease. I'm more convinced than ever that my instincts were correct, that this BF is some "shyster" (as my neighbor characterized him) that B. has fallen for. I know that the illegal use of prescription drugs was going on. B. lives back in a secret "netherworld" and I don't think any good will come of it in the long run, sad to say. This guy hooked B. with a combination of drugs and alienation of affection.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Tuesday night

The plumber came at around 9:30 and was finished at around 12:30. He had to go to Home Depot twice for parts. Everything's fixed: the leaking toilet tank was fitted with brand-new insides and outsides too. The valve at the wall was fixed (it wouldn't turn all the way off) and a new hose installed from the valve to the bottom of the tank. Water line in the building had to be shut down briefly. He also replaced the water valve in the tub. That had really been worrying me, since I'd been afraid something was wrong inside the wall and that the tub enclosure (an old fiberglass thing) might have to be breached and possibly destroyed. Whew. He had that working right away, then tackled the toilet. The total bill came to $220 ($40 of that for replacing the tub valve). Not as bad as I'd feared.

The building maintenance man came in to check out the leak in the bathroom ceiling. The leak had stopped by then and the wall and ceiling were drying up. I'm supposed to keep my eye on it. (I have been.) Not a lot of damage done so far. (The same thing had happened a few years ago and my upstairs neighbor replaced the shower pan or something. I had a hole in my wall and ceiling and had to get a handyman to re-drywall it.)

Went to work afterward and stayed later.

Made a load of chili and am watching paranormal stuff tonight. Never heard of the "Jersey Devil."

Had a tortured previous two nights. Hopefully tonight will be better, now that the repairs have been done and they didn't cost a fortune. Also, the computer is acting better and the camera works again (as of today -- got the email from the video chat tech people and followed instructions. Suddenly my specific camera appeared in the software and my image was being captured).

Seeing B. last night in his new setting was interesting. Since B. doesn't have a lot of education (he quit high school), he's getting an education through his constantly changing partners. More power to him (sad for some partners). Maybe someday he'll get his degree and stand on his own two feet and not need anybody (or hurt anybody).

Thank God the toilet and the bathtub valve are fixed, and it didn't cost a fortune.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Monday night

Sick today. Stayed home and slept. Then had dinner at Flanigan's. B. was there, sitting down the bar by the washrooms, facing the other way. (I always eat at the bar and took a seat by the door.) I guess he was with the BF, but I didn't really recognize him. Their car wasn't parked in the handicapped space -- unless they got a new car. (I often see it there on Monday nights, which is B.'s usual night off.)

I went to the restroom to wash my hands after dinner and smiled at B. and gave him the peace sign on my way back to my seat. It's now been two years since he left. I wonder how he looks back on our time together. Does he think about his cat (who's here)? It was strange to see him. I don't know whether I would have gone to eat there if I'd seen the "pimpmobile" parked outside in the handicapped space.

Went to the store afterwards to pick up an additional package of stew beef (on sale this week). Going to make a pot of vegetable beef soup but didn't think I'd bought enough beef.

I've had serious misgivings about updating my Firefox, but tonight I found an add-on to manage the tabs so it acts more like the previous version, even better maybe.

Tonight I discovered water accumulating in the bathroom ceiling above the tub. Apparently someone has a leak above me. Upstairs neighbor had a leak a couple of years ago and fixed it. I'll have to notify the management office tomorrow. The leak is in the exact same place it was before.

Anthony Bourdain was good tonight. He was up the Hudson River.

Not looking forward to tomorrow when the plumber comes. Gotta face the music.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Sunday night

Back from gym and store. Don't feel like making anything to eat. I'm a little nervous over the plumber coming on Tuesday (at 9:00 a.m.), but the leak in the toilet tank is getting faster and faster. I'm nervous about the cost, since I want the plumber to do a couple of other things around here that have to be done in addition to the toilet (which the maintenance people here tell me needs a new valve). Recently a battery went down one of the bathroom sinks as I was changing the batteries in my toothbrush. That needs to be removed from the trap. Also, the handle for regulating the water in the bathtub is broken. It's probably the original handle from the '70s.

Was over at Starbucks earlier and had a turkey & Swiss, then drank 8 oz. protein drink before gym.

Finally got hold of my friend in Canada today. He's been going out of town on the weekends to visit someone. (I knew that.)

Tried to get on a video chat today but it's not communicating with my QuickCam. Notified the chat's technical support. Should hear back from them within 48 hours.

[Later] Been watching a "What Not To Wear" marathon on TV. (Not a football fan.) Was glad New Orleans won, however, and they were the underdogs.

Getting used to the new version of Firefox. I liked the old one, where I had my row of favorite sites, which I could then open onto another row if I wanted. Now I have one row of open sites. No big deal, I guess. Last night I also downloaded Google Chrome (again). I want to try it out (again).

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Saturday night

With Super Bowl happening here, didn't venture out to dinner tonight. Had two lemon herb SeaSations frozen fish fillets and some Stouffer's spinach souffle. Had two cups of coffee at Starbucks earlier, as the temperature dropped into the 60s.

[Later] Tried calling my friend in Canada and left a message. He said he'd be around this weekend. Hmmm.

[Later still] Decided to go back to video chat. Will probably go with ICU2, which I used to like. Was on a whole odyssey tonight researching, downloading and removing video chat software. Which also entailed removing Firefox, since it became contaminated with a Yahoo toolbar after I installed the Yahoo Messenger, then re-installing Firefox, after checking out Google Chrome (again). I'm comfortable with Firefox. I've begun redoing my tabs.

Saturday afternoon

It's nice outside today, so I'll get cleaned up and walk over to Starbucks with a magazine. I'm going to discontinue the online "matchmaking" service that had the questionable questionnaire. They found this match for me: "I am a pre operative transgender gal looking for Mr right! Are you him!!!" I have nothing against transgender people, but I'm a gay man seeking a gay man, and stated as much during the questionnaire process. How this service could possibly match me up with a woman (in the making) only shows how terribly flawed it is.

I saw this on another site: " I had a penectomy by choice. What is a penectomy you ask? I had a man cut my cock off and no there is no visible stub . . . ." Yikes!

Friday, February 05, 2010


Rachel is in New Orleans tonight. As Keith Olbermann asked her at the top of the show, does she know the Super Bowl is in Miami?

I like Rachel's outfits when she's not broadcasting from New York. Check out this number. Very butch, but stylish.

Note in the top shot that they're using a French spelling for the English long O. Next I'll watch "20/20," where Barbara Walters will interview SC Gov. Sanders' estranged wife, Jenny.

A few days ago I bought a container of "no sugar added" orange sherbet at Publix. It turns out it contains sorbitol (and maltitol, also). On the label, there's an asterisk by sorbitol and the footnote reads: "SENSITIVE INDIVIDUALS MAY EXPERIENCE A LAXATIVE EFFECT FROM EXCESS CONSUMPTION OF THIS INGREDIENT." It turns out, I'm one of those individuals. (I only ate a cup of sherbet.) According to Wikipedia, maltitol can also have that effect. Maltitol and sorbitol are, respectively, the third and fourth most-prevalent ingredients.

Here, they're making (and drinking) a special New Orleans cocktail.

[Later] I knew nothing about Jenny Sanford. From Chicago originally, she was an investment banker on Wall St. before she married that jerk.

Next, "What Not To Wear." A 26-year-old Episcopal priest from St. Louis. Very pretty. (She'll still have to wear the collar at work.) Next, "The Haunted" on Animal Planet. Spooky. Then another "What Not To Wear" -- from 2008, not HDTV. What a difference. I'm spoiled.

Had a busy week. Did the long walk home. Tired. Next Tuesday I have a plumber coming. The maintenance crew here can't fix my toilet.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Thursday night II

Did my walk after work. Beautiful weather.

Fried up some lean, ground sirloin for lunch tomorrow. I'll have that with some collard greens (canned, but I'll butter them up).

Watching MSNBC. Next, chill with Project Runway.

[Later] I'm not a fashion maven, but I didn't find the losing garment all that objectionable -- and the client liked it. But somebody had to lose tonight. I did think the winning garment should have won. It flowed beautifully and flattered the client.

So the Republicans are bringing back privatizing Social Security and now Medicare? In the wake of the meltdown on Wall Street? Good luck with that. I'll bet some of the teabaggers like their Social Security and Medicare and don't want those going into the toilet. (I seriously doubt the Medicare people would trust the health insurance companies to look after them.) As Rachel Maddow said tonight, the Republicans have tossed a nice curve ball across the Democrats' plate, and we'd better take a good whack at it.

Thursday night

Was the poll skewed? If so, how badly? See here.

Here are the demographics used in the sample versus a more accurate picture of the composition of the GOP as compiled from various sources.

Sample Size Sample Pct. Actual
1125 56.16% 52%
878 43.83% 48%
1787 89.21% 89%
216 10.78% 11%
178 8.88% 15%
418 20.86% 26%
664 33.15% 37%
743 37.09% 22%
217 10.83% 18.60%
846 42.24% 36.32%
437 21.82% 25.45%
503 25.11% 19.63%
Source: Daily Kos/Research 2000,
Gallup, Pew Research Trust, CNN

In short, the Daily Kos poll has a bias that oversamples Southerners who are more extreme in their views (the poll also drastically undersamples the generally more moderate Republicans in the Northeast by over eight percentage points) and thus paints the GOP as more extreme than they really are. The Daily Kos poll is an inaccurate reflection of the national GOP but likely an accurate picture of the views of its Southern base which nonetheless does account for over one third of its electoral strength nationally. And that Southern base plagues the national GOP to a degree that cannot be overstated.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Wednesday night

Back at gym tonight. Hadn't been on a Wednesday in two weeks. Had some of my least favorite exercises to do (including leg curls), but did them and feel good about it. (Don't have to do them again for a while.) Stopped off briefly at the store afterward.

Checking out a couple of those gay sites. I think I'm going to discontinue one of them (the one with the questionable questionnaire--not really a gay site but advertises to gays). Gays have special issues, such as HIV status, for example. And in some states, including Florida, gays aren't allowed to adopt children, so questions about whether you want to have children become more complicated than the questionnaire allows for.

Bootsy is starting to get clingy with me again and attack Lucky in my presence. I'm putting a stop to that. Lucky's my baby. Took a nap after work, before going to the gym, and Lucky napped beside me with his tail draped across my shoulder the whole time. (Actually, that helps me fall asleep.)

Chris Hayes from The Nation on Rachel now. He's probably my favorite commentator. Highly articulate and insightful.

So Gen. Colin Powell is saying it's time to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Good for him. Now McCain is against it, even though he originally said he'd defer to Colin Powell on that issue. The Party of No.

You know canned corned beef has to be bad for you when the label says there are six servings in a 12-oz. can (at 150 calories each, with gobs of fat and cholesterol). But it's very high in protein. I don't eat a lot of it.

Once I was in a small town just north of Richmond, Virginia and ordered a corned beef sandwich from the menu at a drug store lunch counter, and they made it with canned corned beef (on white toast, if I recall correctly). (Actually, I lived in that town for about two years, attending college.) Truth be told, I liked the sandwich, but it certainly wasn't what I'd expected. I ended up transferring back to Miami, where the corned beef sandwiches were better. (But nowadays it seems the delis are pushing leaner corned beef - blah.)

Lucky seems happier tonight. I'm glad I picked up on the problem that apparently had been festering for a few days. I'd sensed something was wrong in the way Lucky as acting (depressed). Bootsy wants it to be only he and I together, against the interloper (Lucky). I won't put up with that. This morning I scolded Bootsy when he attacked Lucky at feeding time. Plus I've made sure Lucky can eat on his own, away from Bootsy.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Tuesday night

Home from work, after walk. Couldn't walk last night since it was rainy and muddy.

Did some more research on the gay "matchmaking" sites. Testing another one out that has more members than the one I signed up for last night. Don't know whether I like it, but we'll see. It had a long questionnaire that didn't seem to be tailored to gay people (and it's a gay site).

Got a kick out of this article ("Kos/R2K Poll: Republican Voters Are Extremists"). See details here.

Do you believe Sarah Palin is more qualified to be President than Barack Obama?

Yes 53
No 14
Not Sure 33


Do you believe Barack Obama is a racist who hates White people?

Yes 31
No 36
Not Sure 33

I bet more people think Obama is racist, but were too afraid to tell a live operator the truth.

Do you believe your state should secede from the United States?

Yes 23
No 58
Not Sure 19

42 percent of Republicans aren't really patriotic. They pretend to love America only when they approve of the president. These traitors don't believe in democracy, in our nation's founding ideals, or in our flag. . . .


Should openly gay men and women be allowed to serve in the military?

Yes 26
No 55
Not Sure 19

Should same sex couples be allowed to marry?

Yes 7
No 77
Not Sure 16

Should gay couples receive any state or federal benefits?

Yes 11
No 68
Not Sure 21

Should openly gay men and women be allowed to teach in public schools?

Yes 8
No 73
Not Sure 19

Oof. That's some serious neanderthal action going on. Gays can't serve their country, teach children, get married, or even have civil unions. That's the GOP agenda for gays, which makes the existence of the Log Cabin Republicans that much more of a mystery. . . .

Signed up for one more gay site and will check that one out, too. (Haven't made any financial commitments yet.) Cooked some turkey Italian sausage for lunch tomorrow. Will have that with canned 4-bean salad (really good).

I'm glad I've started exploring the gay sites. It's time. Need to exit the crazy straight world occasionally (for reasons, see above). Facebook can be horrible -- the hate/ignorance is out there and is offensive. I don't even want to deal with it when I'm sitting here at home, in my own space, my sanctuary, if you will. And the local gay bar closed down in 2005. Then B. returned to the druggie world exactly two years ago (with help from his clueless, self-absorbed family and druggie-friendly doctor), so I was alone again but for the cats.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Monday night

Signed up at a gay site promoting relationships. Time to move on.

Watching Anthony Bourdain. A new show, in Prague. Never been there.