Tuesday, February 19, 2008
This company is quite sneaky. Here's the outside of the box:
And when you open it:
You can't tell what figures are in the box. There's 4 hiding in the bottom. No one knows, the packagers don't know, I got 2 doubles in the same set. Sheesh!
Then there's the micro Tardis. Here's the picture from the manufacturer:
Notice how the figure is not in proportion to the Tardis. Problem #1. But also notice how the Tardis is sitting on the street. Here's the instructions:
And my final product:
Notice how it sits 2 inches above the ground and hovers at a dangerous angle, like the Doctor has been smoking crack for 3 days? Yes, that's what I was looking for. Is this supposed to be like this? Do I need a degree in engineering to put together a toy for 5 year olds? (I did have help)
Here's all the figures I got:
Adrian Ulm, after he was beaten up in November. His collar bone was also broken.
Rehearsing for "High School Musical" with classmates.
Brandon McInerney, a 14-year-old eighth-grader, has been charged with attempted murder as a hate crime in the shooting death of Lawrence 'Larry' King. The charges are expected to be upgraded to murder once King is taking off his ventilator, which is keeping his body alive so that he may donate his organs. McInerney is to be tried as an adult. McInerney reportedly turned 14, which is the cutoff age to be tried as an adult, on January 24th.
King was shot in the head in front of a full classroom of students. It still has not been disclosed where McInerney got the gun that he snuck into the classroom.
According to King's father, when King arrived at the hospital he was making some unintelligible sounds but doctors quickly induced a coma as part of his treatment. He survived for six hours but then suffered a massive stroke, which caused his brain to swell, and ultimately, his death.Via the AP: "[Ventura County prosecutor Maeve] Fox said she could not discuss the facts behind the allegation of a hate crime because those details of the case have not been publicly disclosed. Oxnard police have not specified a motive but said there appeared to be a personal dispute between the two. King sometimes came to school wearing makeup and high heels, eighth-grader Nicholas Cortez, 14, told The Associated Press. Another eighth-grader, Michael Sweeney, said King's appearance was 'freaking the guys out,' the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday. 'He would come to school in high-heeled boots, makeup, jewelry and painted nails — the whole thing,' Sweeney told the Times."The L.A. Times reports that "classmates of the slain boy, Lawrence King, said he recently had started to wear makeup and jewelry and had proclaimed himself gay. Several students said King and a group of boys, including the defendant, had a verbal confrontation concerning King's sexual orientation a day before the killing."
The paper adds, "Because he is a minor, McInerney will remain in Juvenile Hall and be taken to the Ventura courtroom for court appearances, Fox said. He is being held in lieu of $770,000 bail. If convicted, McInerney could face 50 years to life. The hate crime enhancement would add another one to three years to his sentence."
The Ventura County Star reports: "He said his son was headstrong, confident, artistic and sweet. Larry King loved to sing songs by folk rock trio Crosby, Stills and Nash, and was studying 'The Star-Spangled Banner' in hopes of singing it at his younger brother's baseball games, his father said. 'He had a very gifted singing voice.'
The Great Pumpkin Halloween 1996
Yikes! This video was part of a special by Jamie Oliver exposing the practices of the chicken industry and has put me off chicken. I will never buy eggs that aren't free range again. Before watching this show I didn't even know what free-range meant or why it was beneficial. Consumers have an option:
#1- To get the cheapest possible eggs, "farmers" put chickens four to a pen, these chickens do not have the ability to stand and frequently have the bone on their leg exposed by rubbing against the cage. They lay there for a year, then are decapitated, plucked and put in a vice, where everything that comes out (bone, skin, meat, everything) is turned into chicken fingers and chicken wieners. Disgusting.
#2- Free range chickens are kept in a pen and free to lay eggs whenever they want. For a few cents more an egg, they get exercise, interaction with other chickens and to play (they like brightly coloured objects, like a red soccer ball).
These animals are not machines and we can't continue treating them like this. Let the chickens stand up! Whenever I do have the ability to eat chicken again, free-range is it. No Swiss Chalet, no KFC, demand change!
So I've been eating a lot of beef and tuna, a video surfaced the other day causing officials to recall 143 million pounds of beef. I don't plan on posting the video as it's too much to watch but you can click it if you want. It appears cattle can't be killed for food unless they can stand so the video shows workers torturing the cows into standing and running over their legs and face with a forklift.
I can understand the mentality, when discussing the chicken problem today no one was really interested, and I can understand the thinking "We're going to eat it anyway" but really how can we condone this to save a few cents?
I've had a couple experiences lately with my own prejudice I wanted to share. I was at the archives sitting around talking with a few gay men and one of them, a guy about 50, said he picked up a young guy at the gym. Others started probing "What did he look like?" and I was kind of curious. This guy isn't bad looking but he's not Zac Efron, so what did the younger guy have wrong with him? So the fellow says "He was Guinease...." and I was like "Oh, that's why." In my mind that was what was wrong with him, he wasn't white, and therefore the mystery had been solved. This thought process disturbed me and has stuck with me.
I was talking to a coworker today, telling her this story, and she suggested maybe it was because of my personal preference, that I wasn't attracted to non-whites. But is this ok? On a dating profile, could I put "white only" and not risk sounding like Hitler? Or could I expand it, to include whites and acceptable races like Black and Spanish? The whole idea makes my head explode. She asked if I would date an Asian raised in Canada, and I thought of one I know and said no, we could date but it wouldn't go anywhere. The differences would be too great. What happens when he takes me home to meet his parents and they're all sitting on the floor eating rice with chopsticks and his mom has chopsticks in her hair and they bow to greet me. Won't I feel different?
What is the answer? I was going to do a blog on homophobia, but perhaps the discrimination begins with me. Now what?
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I'm not supposed to be spending as I'm saving for my trip, so I bought a $60 book today, New York Sex 1979-85 by Gary Lee Boas.
It's a collection of stories and pictures from this guy who hung out in sex clubs in NYC in the early 80's. Now he's a big time photographer and published a book.
I'm tired and my internet is slow as dial up for some reason Primus can't explain, so today a poem, from 1967, from the book "The Short Happy Sex Life of Stud Sorell and 69 Other Flights of Fancy" by Orlando Paris.
Tricks of Fate
Why is it
That when I'm
The streets are bare,
The bars empty?
Everyone seems to be
Some place else.
But just let me
Be late to work or
Have an appointment,
That must be done,
And all the beautiful boys
In the entire world
Materialize before me,
Showing your magnificent baskets,
Young, eager, practically
To make love.
Something must be done
Monday, February 11, 2008
The government of Canada publishes a quarterly list of prohibited titles. These are titles that have been seized by customs agents and referred to a board to see if the materials meet Canadian standards. Who is on the board? How do you appeal? Why do they not provide a complete list of rejected titles? These people have no accountability. For example, why was an item deemed "Prohibited" from entry into Canada? No one knows and no one is able to ask.
I think we Canadians should be concerned about this censorship and in an effort to enlighten, I wanted to examine what exactly was being banned. If you want to sign up for the list email email@example.com
Banned title #1- Knights of the Cross Produced by Tightrope Records.
You can read this whole comic here. It doesn't seem that bad to me. Here's a panel:
Now what's funny is this comic was banned but "Racist Jokes", incorrectly labeled "Nigger Jokes" by the government of Canada was fine. Sample jokes:
What's the difference between a jew and a pizza?
A pizza doesn't scream in the oven.
What did the Alabama sherriff call the nigger who had been shot 15 times?
Worst case of suicide he had ever seen.
What do nigger kids get for Christmas?
You hear about the new car made in Israel?
Not only can it stop on a dime, it will go back and pick it up.
What's the most confusing day in Harlem?
What is the difference between Batman and a black man?
Batman can go out at night without Robin.
Why did the Jews wander in the desert for 40 years?
Because one of them lost a quarter.
Both are available for 20 cents each here. I'm going to get this blog banned yet!
Banned Title #2 - Flashbang! by Yoshitatsu Kiichigono
I thought this comic was pretty cool. You can read the first chapter here. I suggest you check it out, it's hot! You can buy it off amazon.com here. No idea why it was banned.
A bunch of incest and bondage anime.... still looking for something good...
A great film I found, not sure if it was banned previously, Hitler Sucks in which "lots and lots of kinky sex is peppered with dialogue, swastika's and black and white footage pertaining to Hitler. But this film doesn't discriminate like he did. Everyone can have sex with everyone else. Anglo Saxon or not these sexpots want to be fucked and Hitler is trying to continue the human race!"
Yep. Next up we have Banned Title #3 - Jesus Christ, Serial Rapist.
"A schizophrenic believing himself to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ seeks vengeance against those who he believes are the reincarnations of the people who wronged him in the past in this surreal exploitation sentry from Bad Acid director Bill Zebub. As he sets out on a path of destruction and murder that would put Lucifer to shame, the appearance of one of his victim's girlfriends during a moment of murderous rage prompts the vengeful would-be savior to begin targeting the women of his enemies as well." You can buy it in Canada from amazon.ca here. So much for blocking entry into the country. Why bother?
What's funny is how the straight porn industry still is as racist as can be and no one seems to care. Take for example "Oh no! There's a NEGRO in my mom!"
God this list is long. Is anyone else spending 4 hours of their Sunday afternoon doing this?
That's enough for now.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Robert based his submission on Dave Kopay, a football player who came out in 1975 and wrote his life story. Mr. Kopay also recently donated $1 million to the University of Washington's Q Center, whose mission is to create an inclusive and celebratory environment for people of all sexual orientations.
I wracked my brain for a book. I think in 20 years teens will be able to say they read a life changing gay story they identified with, but the fact is I did not. The first gay book I read that changed my life was Against the Law by Peter Wildeblood.
This book details a British man who was arrested and jailed for 18 months for being gay in England in 1954. It moved me because it was so recent, I could picture this happening to me. It gave me a sense of community and of the struggle gays have gone though, I read each page in rapture. But, I read this only last year.
I didn't grow up with the internet. In the small town of 500 people I grew up in the only gay books I ever read were books like "Growing up gay", given to me by counselors who had driven over an hour to come help me come to terms with my sexuality. These books seemed so clinical, I don't think I ever read any of them. I was born gay, I was okay with that, I just needed help finding my place.
Even when I turned 17 and moved to Toronto, I did go to Glad Day Bookshop but I think I only bought pornography. There was no sense of community in my mind and I think for the first time, no public struggles for gay rights. There was nothing to rebel against.
So I chose the TV movie Doing Time on Maple Drive.
This movie was broadcast March 16, 1992, when I had just turned 13 and been inadvertently thrown out of the closet. My mother had found a journal I was writing about a boy in my class, Jeff Wahler, and had not handled the situation well.
I knew this movie was coming on and I needed to watch it. It was the first time I had heard of a movie with a gay theme and on that night I was sitting, glued to the tv. I remember watching it in awe, as the story played out, here was the first time I saw positive images of gay men. These guys were masculine and well-spoken and it was a whole new concept of gay for me. Before this I never really thought I was gay. I was attracted to one person my whole life thus far and he was a man. I thought I was single sexual.
My mom spoke with my father, who called me 15 minutes before the movie was over. We had just received our first VCR the week before so I taped the last 15 minutes and took the call. It was what could be expected of the time, what was wrong with me, I was a disgrace, a piece of shit and he was going to get me counseling. But when I came back to that movie I had a sense again that things might be ok.
We had no cable so the signal wasn't very good but I must have watched the grainy footage from the last 15 minutes of the film about 50 times. I remember the father in the story saying to the gay son "Whatever you are, we love you."
A while ago I bought a copy of Kinsey's Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, the best book ever printed on sexual behaviour, and I still have done nothing with it. I have a list of blog posts to be that stretches for miles.
I mentioned before that any page of this book is as good a place to start as any other, so in what will be the first of a series (didn't I try to do a series before?), I highlight two passages.
The first section is on sources of first ejaculation, specifically spontaneous ejaculation. The book does say this is the first source of ejaculation for only .81% of boys, less than one in a hundred, but seems to take glee in listing these sources, and calls the list "interesting".
- sitting at desk
- lying still on floor
- at toilet
- moving water in bath
- general stimulation with towel
- vibration of a boat
- tension in gymnastics
- climbing tree, pole or rope (a rather common source)
- wrestling with female
- wrestling with male
- riding an automobile
- tight clothing
- day dreaming
- walking down the street
- in vaudeville
- watching petting
- peeping at nude female
- sex discussion at YMCA
- milking a cow
- when scared at night
- when bicycle was stolen
- an exciting basketball game
- reciting in front of class
- injury in a car wreck
The second area is of course homosexuality. I don't expect this to compare with the thrill of milking a cow.
Although this book is great as a scientific study, it does take liberties when presenting the information and highlights all aspects of scandal. It talks about how there is less homosexual activity in rural areas than in cities and towns, but says that rural men have less sex in general. But in "the most remote rural areas there is considerable homosexual activity among lumbermen, cattlemen, prospectors, miners, hunters and other engaged in out-of-door occupations. The homosexual activity rarely conflicts with their heterosexual relations, and... is the type of homosexual experience which the explorer and pioneer may have had in their histories."
How exactly are we surmising the exploits of pioneers? And what is a prospector, what is vaudeville, and why am I not at the YMCA?
Let's leave with Kinsey's famous rating scale and where I fall on it. I wish I had a scanner, maybe I should check out prices.
0. - Exclusively heterosexual with no homosexual
1. - Predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual
2. - Predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual
3. - Equally heterosexual and homosexual
4. - Predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual
5. - Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual
6. - Exclusively homosexual
So before looking at the specifics I'm thinking I'm a 6. Let's see. Really in order to read this you have to look at the heterosexual viewpoint and reverse it. the explanation for a 2 is 16 lines. The explanation for a 4 or 5 is 3 lines.
The whole scale is loaded and does not translate. You're a 1 if you are predominately heterosexual but have had homosexual contacts once or twice when you are asleep or drunk. And all of this applies to life after adolescence, where over 50% of males have homosexual contact.
I have never had sex with a woman. I have had sexual contact with a female during adolescence but I don't think it led to orgasm. I don't remember being naked for any of it but I may have been, if I was it wasn't something I allowed myself to remember. I have never had a dream of sleeping with a woman. But I may still one day do a married couple, so perhaps I am a 5. This scale seems ridiculous.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Wow, I must say I was surprised, do a google image search for this book and you see my picture, check it out here. I'm on the bottom row.
Anyway, I wanted to spotlight 2 or 3 of their upcoming works.
Taschen is reprinting Men's Adventure Magazines, I think the pictures speak for themselves.
How awesome is this company, producing something really cool and saving these documents for future generations, all for $12.40!
Next up we have a book entitled simply Elvis Presley. Again full of awesome shots showing the King at his sexy masculine best.
And finally, The Big Penis Book, not yet listed on their site.
This book promises "This hefty volume is profusely illustrated with more than 400 historic photos of spectacular male endowments, including rare photos of the legendary John Holmes. The majority of the photographs are from the 1970s when the sexual revolution first freed photographers to depict nude men." AWESOME!
Cazwell is hot, I love how he's becoming the gay Eminem. I just wish I knew where to buy this version of this song, I would.
In other news, working with the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives has paid off again, on Wednesday I received another amazing piece of gay history, "Discrimination and the Gay Minority", a brief to members of the Ontario Legislature from 1977. In typical me fashion, it was in excellent condition when I received it so I accidentally removed the staples and spilled coffee on it. Yet another reason why I don't run the archives.
This was a report to the government showing how gays were discriminated against and why the law should be changed. There are amazing documents in there, about how people were fired for being gay and a bunch of other things, but instead of an account of the incident, this is all real documents from the time. I've copied the best 2.
This is a disciplinary letter to a lifeguard working for the Toronto District School Board (click to enlarge). On November 9, 1977, John Argue was given this letter for being gay and made to agree he would not eat, swim or talk to the students he was lifeguarding.
Another excellent article is this one on a film not being shown at the library.
Of note in this is the stupidity presented by the talking heads representing the library, most notably Hazel McCallion, who has been mayor of Mississauga since I've been alive.
"I'm not sure a public body should promote a topic not generally accepted by the public," McCallion said, adding that the library should stay away from controversial issues and promote positive things such as anti-vandalism and the perils of drugs.
WHAT? Number 1, what group of adults is going to show up at 7:30 on a Friday night to see an anti-vandalism film? Number 2, what exactly is positive about the perils of drug addiction?
She also mentions the film is dangerous as there would not be a heterosexual present to give another point of view and the leader of the event could be promoting homosexuality. This is how we recruit you know, free films at the library. She goes on to ask if we should promote communism or prostitution at the library. I believe this is the first time in my life I've heard communism and prostitution in the same sentence.
Finally it is inappropriate to show this kind of film when 40% of the libraries users are minors. At 7:30 on a Friday night for a gay film in 1977? Or in general 40% of the people who walk in the door?
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Also, probably the biggest change, I've got a new blog. One thing I really love doing on here is my research posts, like the Evolution of Sex, even though they take 4 or 5 hours. I do the same thing with gay sites and was uncomfortable putting too many penises up here. My mom and dad both read this, aunts and uncles. They can read they new one too if they want but I don't want to know about it.
I come from an era before gay, when your friends used to call because Ricki Lake had gay people on, it was the only time you ever saw homosexuals on tv. During the 80's and early 90's, the videocassette revolution, gay porn stars were the only gay people you knew. This was before Ellen, it was even before K.D. Lang. As such I believe gay people have a closer connection to porn stars than straight people. I remember once going to rent porn with my straight roommate and he'd pick a random title, I would always pick one star and try to get everything they'd ever done. I fall in love with these boys. They're like baseball cards, and I have to collect them all.
So this new blog will be related to specific men, some I've mentioned on here like Brent Corrigan or Barrett Long. Let's see if I have any clothed pics of them:
Here they are together! Barrett on the left:
You get the idea. Now if only they'd make a movie together.
Anyway, life is sucking lately. I get to go to the Archives tomorrow which I now consider my salvation, then Friday off.
My cat is over-licking one spot on her arm for some reason. I'm having a massive fight with a cleaning woman at work and for once it's not my fault. I was still made to apologize today, for which she spat in my face, so that's going well. I need to change my sheets and do laundry and dishes and I'm tired all the time. In fact I'm going for a nap.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
This video was pretty good. It's a documentary about Credit Card debt and the dangers it brings to society and the economy. I think I've embedded the entire movie here, if any watches it all let me know.
I pretty much only watch documentary and reality shows now, I just can't seem to find time to watch shows with plots.
This movie was especially close to my heart as I once had a massive credit card debt and still do to some extent. When I was about 21 or 22 I had 7 or 8 credit cards and about $17k worth of debt. The movie talks about how ridiculous it is to give someone who makes $35k a year $17k worth of debt at 29% interest. It highlights people losing their home and committing suicide to get out of the loop. I can understand, it can become overwhelming. I am lucky I never got to this point. Let's say I lost my job at that time, now I have no income and 8 collections agencies calling me 2 or 3 times a day for money, each. I'm stressed because I can't pay the rent, I can't get work and I can't escape the calls and the letters and the threats from the collectors. It all adds up so quickly.
The movie mentions how the United States now pays more for interest on their debt than they do for education. There needs to be an exit strategy.
Here's how I got out of it:
My life at about 23 was all about paying the bills. As I mentioned I had 7 or 8 cards, all maxed. I remember buying a gift certificate at the Bay with my Bay Card and using it to buy something cheap so I could get the rest as cash. It was impossible to get out from the cycle. I was making about $1000 a month after rent and I'd pay $80 to each of my 8 cards each month. I never missed a payment but I was paying about $450 in interest alone every month.
About 3 years ago, so at 26, I made a decision. I had an excellent credit rating because I had never missed a payment but I had never been anywhere and I had absolutely nothing to show for all the money I had spent. So I decided to go on vacation. I had always wanted to go to Atlanta so I booked the ticket. I financed it by not paying my credit cards. I was kind of juggling them, I knew that you had to be 3 months late before your card went to collections so I would go and pay the debt (minimum payment) when I got back.
When I returned I did make the payment but one of them was 2 days late, the account had already gone to collections. This was with Amex and when my one card went to collections, they automatically sent the other. Suddenly I owed $8000 to collection agencies and they wanted payment immediately.
These agencies are ruthless, they would call me twice a day each and tell me to borrow money from friends or family, they recommended I get credit from a lender they knew of with a 40% interest rate. They would call and call and harass and threaten. It wasn't an easy time.
I made an arrangement with one of the companies to pay them $400 a month. I had to really insist, they wouldn't take it at first and promised to still call daily for the balance even as they cashed my $400 checks.
I feel lucky to have never lost my wits during this period. I spoke to the other company and told them about my payment arrangement. This made them agree to one to, I told them I could either do a similar arrangement or they could get nothing, their choice. This lasted about 4 months until my cat died and I had to use their payments to cover the vet bills. Their checks bounced, my cat died, and the calls started again.
I worked out a deal with the one I owed the least to for a one time payment of $1,200. After I made the payment they said I sent it one day late, this voided the deal and now I owed the entire amount, plus interest. Back to the calls every day, and the other agency I still had done nothing with.
This is basically where I still am today, 3 years later. I haven't paid a cent to any of the three cards I still have outstanding and I've gone on 4 vacations. I have one credit card with a $3000 limit that I pay off so I can take another vacation, but is usually maxed out. So going forward my plan is:
- the first card, the one I made the big payment on, they wrote off the debt. I had many conversations with them and I never backed down. I told them I had already fulfilled my end of the agreement and they changed the terms. After 2 years they gave up. My credit report says the debt has been settled
- the second card for Amex I now owe $2800. They passed me to yet another collection agency a couple weeks ago and the calls and letters have started again. I will never deal with these people on the phone again, I find this is a great way to get the calls to stop. Get call display and never pick up the phone. It works. Monday I'm sending them a letter offering 7 equal months payments of $200 if they settle. We'll see what happens. I honestly thought they would have given up by now.
- the third card is a Visa, and I owe about $2500. They don't have my current address and I have no current plans for them, they can't bug me too much as they don't know where I live.
- the last card is my Mastercard which is the only card I still use, I will NEVER get another one. Unfortunately a year ago they doubled my limit from $1500 to $3000 but with all my accounts in collections they shouldn't raise the limit again. I hope when they finally do I have the will power to say no. I have my 2 big vacations planned this year and after that I will pay this off as part of my plan to buy a condo. I need to have a condo paid off by the time I'm 57. I was recently made permanent with my job and if I stay for 30 years, until I'm 57, I can retire with 80% of my salary and no deductions, more than I'm making now. With a condo in Toronto paid off I can use my salary to pay for a place in Florida during the winter.
So this is the sad story of my finances and how I decided to change my life and my future exit strategy, I hope it all works out.
Finally, here's some pictures of my friends and I on Gay Monopoly night.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
That's the heavy did a blog on our Winterlicious dinner out at flow, you can check it out here. For some reason I can't link to his individual posts anymore.....
Here's some pictures from a quite snowy day yesterday.