At the Grand Canyon

The squeeky wheel gets the cheese (or something like that).

A bit over a week ago I wrote about the failure of our Roomba vacuum. While I thought the tale would end there it did not. Shortly after posting the entry about my customer support experience I found a follow-up email from customer support. It indicated that it appeared that the connection had been lost during our call. Being in an annoyed mood I fired back an e-mail indicating that the call hadn't dropped, I hung up after expressing my dissatisfaction. I mentioned that I felt the request to call customer support was purely so they could try to sell me a replacement. I sent it off and was prepared to let it go.

I apparently wrote the right key words to trigger a response. The next day there was a message on our home answering machine waiting for me indicating that iRobot wanted to replace my Roomba, free of charge, as a courtesy. It wouldn't come with a battery however it's easy enough to swap them.

The replacement Roomba arrived yesterday and it works like a champ. Our floors will once again be cleaned by electronic means. Hurray for a bit of whining.
At the Grand Canyon

Home improvement

I posted these on Facebook but I thought I'd share them here as well. I replace the front lights this weekend.

Here is the before shot. As far as I know the brass & glass fixtures are original to the house when it was built in 1987.

Here are the new fixtures.

I'm quite happy with the way they look.
At the Grand Canyon

On the diary lock and modern worries

I still checking LJ on a fairly regular basis. I enjoy the longer format which allows for more verbiage than what folks ate for lunch or their current video crush. I just don't seem to have much to say myself of late.

For a day or two recently there has been an Internet upheaval over some employers asking for Facebook passwords during the hiring process. While my gut reaction is that I would want to say no to such a request there could be a situation where it made sense. So allow me to digress and provide a reason why I wouldn't care if I had to fork over the password for my Facebook, or any other electronic account.

It is my considered opinion that one shouldn't share something, in any format, that you wouldn't want to come back and bite you in the tookus. Nothing is private if someone cares enough about gaining access.

Long ago, well before my introduction the Internet, I learned to keep my personal info close to me. Maybe it was because I became adept at the pronoun game when I was a teenager. Perhaps it was a fascination with cloak-and-dagger fantasy novels. For whatever reason I came up with a basic premise that if there was something I wasn't comfortable with the world knowing I probably shouldn't speak it out loud. As technology advanced that mindset followed.

I've worked in IT for my entire adult life and was lucky to have Internet access back in 1987 when the Internet didn't have the world wide web as an interface. Even back then there were stories about people who were fired for posting something inappropriate on a mailing list or just being caught in the wrong e-place at the wrong e-time.

Today there are so many more outlets to express ourselves. Some people are comfortable putting it all out there. Others seem to think that a clever enough privacy setting will keep someone from looking at their dirty laundry. That didn't work with the flimsy locks on diaries and it doesn't work today. If you don't want your deepest thoughts and dirtiest secrets (not to mention your late night debauchery, with pictures) running on the hottest blog and in old school newsprint then maybe, just maybe, you shouldn't write it down in the first place.
At the Grand Canyon

Live music - something old and something new

ted_badger and I went to Somerville last night to hear Aimee Mann perform. Ted is a big fan and I came to know her solo work from him. badgary and Ted's former roommate Joe joined us. Aimee covered a lot of her old work, dipped back to Til Tuesday with Voices Carry and shared a few new pieces from an album that should come out this summer. We all seemed to have a good time.

The opening act was Ivan & Alyosha. They played a mix of folk-pop-rock that I enjoyed quite a bit. There's something about the harmonies that the 4 members of the group achieve that I found really attractive. In particular the song Glorify has stuck with me and I've found myself humming snippets of the melody to myself today at work. As luck would have it that song is one of five that are available to listen to on their website. Check it out if you have a chance.

We'll not talk about the drive home from Somerville last night.
Winter trees

A Song for Today

When I sang with the church choir there was a song we sang during Advent that I liked a lot. I still think of it this time of year, especially on the Solstice.

God of day and God of darkness, now we stand before the night.
As the shadows stretch and deepen, come and make our darkness bright.
All creation still is groaning for the dawning of your might.
When the Sun of peace and justice fills the earth with radiant light.

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Part of what I like about the song is the limited reference to a specific deity. Other than the Christ in the third stanza it is a fairly generic song of praise to a higher power. I also am partial to the acknowledgment that light and darkness are part of the whole of creation.

Peace to all on this day (and night).

If this post looks familiar then you've been on LiveJournal a long time. It was originally posted on December 21, 2005. The sentiment still holds true for me.
World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day 2011

Today, December 1st, is World AIDS Day. Since 1988, World AIDS Day has served to increase awareness and commemorate the fight against HIV/AIDS.

AIDS was just starting to make the news when I was a junior in high school. HIV and AIDS was always part of my thought process as I took the baby steps of figuring out what being a gay man meant for me. The lack of information, and the huge amount of misinformation, that existed at that time caused a lot of fear. Fear that certainly kept me safe (since there are few things safer than celibacy when it comes to HIV/AIDS) but which also delayed my becoming a whole person, someone who could embrace who they were.

HIV and AIDS don't make the news a lot any more except when someone "famous" reveals their status. That doesn't mean it has gone away.

National Coming Out Day

A little story in honor of National Coming Out Day...

I have a new co-worker and I've been tasked with getting him up to speed on the environment we support. In the course of this we've had a lot of interaction. I mentioned I had to leave early last Friday for a appointment with a sleep specialist. We ended up have quite a discussion about sleep apnea, CPAP and such things.

What does this have to do with coming out? He asked if I had someone who "kept an eye on me". So I told him my husband lets me know if there are problems. There was a brief confusion on his part. Maybe he had never met a married gay man before. Maybe he wanted to make sure he heard me correctly. In the end there was understanding. We talked a bit more. We went back to work.

Coming out isn't a one time event. It isn't a check box on the being a self-aware homosexual to-do list. It is an ongoing journey. Each coming out interaction has a moment of hesitation, a wondering moment where I'm unsure how the other person will react. Most turn out to be non-events and for that I am grateful. I did not know 25+ years ago, when I meekly admitted a truth about myself to someone I had only recently gotten to know, that it would have a huge impact on the rest of my life. Embracing my own truth was life changing.

A bit of light reading for those on their own coming out journey.

Human Rights Campaign - Resources page
Safe Schools Coalition
GLSEN - a guide for youth and allies
At the Grand Canyon


The advantage of having a husband who bakes bread on Saturday is that I very often get to enjoy the homemade bread toasted on Sunday morning. It is so good.