Sent Him Off to School

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Bitter-sweet morning here at my house. My eldest son, with whom I am proud of beyond words, loaded his things into his rig and headed off to college this morning. This makes me feel at once a little older and perhaps happier. So much potential wrapped into such a smart package.

I say this to all parents, but especially to those parents that are new to this game: Cherish all the moments you get with your kids because they will leave home well before you’re ready to see them go. Justin, you are a thoughtful and considerate young man and we all love you for your wry laugh and energy. Bon voyage my little bug.

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Strange Light on the Sound

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We’ve had one thunderhead move over our little bit of paradise today. It sprinkled some rain, sent a few bolts into trees, then dumped a whole lot more rain, and then it really made up its mind to pressure wash the house. But all day long this smoke has been hanging around casting the sunshine that’s making it through in this red-ish-blue-brown ennui. It’s like living under a perpetual eclipse.

Hugo Voting

“Insect Rider” – Rogier van der Beek (from DivArt cause I’m a junky)

Just in case you weren’t aware and haven’t already played your cards, this Friday is the last day to vote for this year’s Hugo. Add to this that it’s also Wes Chu‘s last chance to win a Campbell (which is NOT a Hugo) and the flames of motivation should be turned up to high under your collective bums. Time to get ‘er done.

If you’re like me and couldn’t make it through the entire reading list before the deadline there are plenty of good reviews online. Don’t feel too bad. With work stacking up on my desk, I had to choose to shelve a number of the contributions. It helped that I am adamantly opposed to slate voting of any kind. Maybe that’s not fair of me — that’s a matter of opinion I’m certain — but it’s equally “not fair” that quite a few of these works made it on the ballot in the first place. Needless to say, I feel little remorse having skipped over a few. If that makes you mad you’re welcome to call me a “bad sci-fi fan” or your choice of fun yet derogatory names. I have rhinoceros thick skin.

Thanks to Jim C. Hines for posting this excellent collection of links. Some very powerful tools available to the new and uninitiated Hugo voter.

Nichole’s Awesome Summer Kimchee (김치)

Now I shall never lose this tasty concoction of summer.

1 head Napa cabbage, cored and shredded
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup carrots, grated
1/2 cup daikon radish, grated (optional)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (dah bomb)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 tablespoon dried chile flakes
1 tablespoon sea salt
4 tablespoons whey (if not available use an additional 1 tablespoon salt)

Place vegtables, ginger, garlic, red chile flakes, sea salt and whey in a bowl and pound with a wooden pounder or meat hammer to release juices. Place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason far and press down firmly with a pounder or meat hammer until juices come to the cop of the cabbage. The top of the vegetables should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to cold storage.

Spin

State-by-state breakdown of crazy

This morning I cranked up the radio and was surprised to learn that Americans moved a smidgen closer toward full equality. Yeah, that’s right SCOTUS has ruled that marriage has nothing to do with gender. It’s all about the commitment baby. Cheering could be heard from my Prius as we bounced along Dockton road on our way to breakfast out.

Then, out of no where, NPR started airing dissenting opinions. This parade of somber, bigoted asshats reminded me of why I prefer to not tune in. One President of a “Christian university” spoke about how LGBT marriage equality was not in the public’s interest because of some made up CDC statistics indicated that alternative lifestyles are magically dirtier than heterosexual commitments. This was followed by a Bishop telling listeners that the court wasn’t taking a populist tack, claiming (I kid you not) that his particular fringe fundamentalist Christian claptrap was statistically significant.

Tootling along, I couldn’t help but note all the different angles these guys wanted to put on the same issue. It’s as if they can’t think beyond those “Jesus is ______” signs they like to hang over highways and paste to the back of SUVs. “Your progressive ______ wont work,” they’re saying.

By the time we arrived at Snapdragon for some tasty treats and caffeinated beverages I was really needing a silver lining. The cloud that had formed on this sunniest of sunny days was really getting me down. I think my allergy to spin, even when delivered in the context of complete news coverage, is just too sensitive. And this had started to feel like an interview of NAMBLA members when a human trafficking story is uncovered.

My nose positioned above an aromatic cup-o-joe a couple of things occurred to me. First, these guys just lost a very significant meeting battle. The courts have ruled on the side of, if not progress than, at least liberality. People getting together — consensually sharing and loving — should never be interrupted. That’s my opinion, but I can’t see a downside and I’m certainly not going to start manufacturing them. So chock one up for the protagonists and spread some love around.

Second, all that spin, man it tends to water down any meaningful argument. It’s the grasping of straws and the pounding of nails in pine boxes. It’s a eulogy. And that in and of itself is an amazingly welcome thing. It means that any substantive resistance has already taken care of itself.

Finally, it means we can focus on bigger problems. Paying attention to “marriage traditionalists” is a lot like paying attention to “climate change deniers,” a complete waste of precious time. The idea that Congress could pass a Defense of Marriage amendment to the constitution has now become laughable and all attempts to try will be summarily laughed at. So go ahead, make this a plank in your next election because self identification is crazy helps everyone.

Now, before I close, I want to offer up my support of equality. In the big vin diagram of life there are a lot of sub-bubbles where we could see some improvement. The marriage one, man, that’s been taken care of, so go love the one you love and find satisfaction in that relationship.