When the election results were coming in way back in November, I tried to reassure my quailing, flailing and wailing Millennial roommate that we also felt this way when George W took office, and that it wasn’t that bad and that we survived.

However, after just one week with this orange creature in office it’s clear things are going to be much, much worse than Bush. In fact, Trump is making W and even Mitt Romney look like better options. Hell, I’ll take Megatron or Dr. Evil or Dr. Moreau at this point. Not only are we going to have to put up with his nasty face and attitude for 4 years, but also put up with the remnants of what is left with this experiment in democracy.

And throughout all this I’m wondering where the fuck are the Baby Boomers and “Greatest Generation” – you know, the ones who told me when I was 10 that the Russians were going to bomb us and take over our country? Now through old fashioned propaganda tactics done with new tools, the Soviets are achieving their goals. And where are the Boomers? Oh they’re quiet because they don’t want their investments upset. Leave it to my generation to clean up the mess. AGAIN.

If there’s one good thing about this shithole of an administration, it’s a hard dose of reality for the teens and 20-somethings who grew up in Obama’s “nice” administration. Now everyone is a bit more awake and aware of what happens when other types of people are in power. Trump and Pence are out there and they don’t have all your best interests in mind.

I’m wondering how I’m going to manage my anger and disgust for the next 4 years. Despite having gone to a shrink for anger management, I really have no idea how I’m going to manage it. Perhaps it’s time to go back to the shrink proactively and ask him.

In other news, I went to West Virginia during inaugural weekend and the Women’s March. It was a good get away although my house mates were not the outdoorsy types. They could not be extracted from the house even though it was 60 degrees out. So I hiked by myself and found an old abandoned bus and heard a raven in the valley. At night, I heard the unsure hoots of a great horned owl.

I found our Priscilla: Queen of the Valley vehicle for the weekend up on the ridge. #Priscilla

A photo posted by jimbo (@jimbo3dc) on

My job is going well. I’ve been at it for almost 3 months. I am back to tweeting and blogging for work, but also lots of writing too. It’s good to be back doing what I’ve wanted to do for 4 years.

Gríma Wormtongue - the original fake news blogger?We are approaching the 10th anniversary of WhiteCottonGate, where a handful of valiant bloggers battled the insidious machinations of a fake blogger. Nowadays, fake blogging or profile misrepresentation is commonly known as “cafishing.” At the time we were all aghast that a person could do such a thing. Today, we know it is all too common. Was this guy a vanguard of his time, a social media savant?

I’ve been thinking about it a lot since the Comet Ping-Pong conspiracy paranoia that’s been going around. Basically some stalwart internet trolls have gathered online to hyper-analyze emails leaked during the presidential campaign. Not being trained in legal or investigative sciences (science is wrong anyway), they have gone over convenient portions of the emails and have come to their own conclusions. These conclusions have led to a crazed fanatic gunman who actually entered the restaurant armed with a rifle, even firing it in the restaurant while families and staff were there. All because he was convinced there was a child pornography/slavery/torture ring there because all his conspiracy theory friends on the Internets said so.

Their belief system has something to do with Hillary and her sex slave ring. I don’t quite understand why they need to think she is a Madame Supreme and not just a lifetime political entity. I guess because she’s female? I mean, if she’s been in politics this long, she must be leading a sex slave ring, right?

Since then these trolls have been attacking nearby businesses, individuals who work there, and are now extrapolating their “investigations” to anyone remotely linked to Comet, and to other musical venues. I personally know some of these people and they are scared and exhausted. Basically anyone who seems “suspicious” to them is probably guilty of pedophilia. And increasingly it seems to be anyone or anything they don’t understand, like queer or punk culture in DC. These people can’t believe there are drag queens or music venues in the District of Columbia who _aren’t_ child molestation rings. Underneath it all I think it’s just a veiled witch hunt in the guise of righteousness. They think “these people are different, they must be guilty, and we should punish them.” Basically because they must be gay. It’s really frightening and dangerous. They reach these conclusions, make accusations, and armed gunmen appear to “investigate.” They are an independent collective of judgement, jury and executioner. It’s fucking insane. It’s a mob mentality that only snowballs and will one day do real harm to innocents. And it has happened before in history and can happen again.

So when I went to Comet Pizza last week to support their business in light of these online mob attacks, I posted a picture to Instagram from the location, deliberately adding hashtags that might draw the trolls’ attention. In computing it’s called setting a “honey pot.” Predictably within minutes they began commenting with their righteous condemnations of me and the location for crimes they have communally agreed upon. Saying the restaurant harbors tortured children in the basement and such (this place has no basement). I began to try to reasonably interact with them, assuring these people who have never set foot in the restaurant or DC that this was just a neighborhood restaurant and entertainment venue, but the probing questions continued. It quickly became clear to me they had a belief and they were sticking to it, and when I did not answer their questions the way they needed for me to justify their beliefs, they became even more suspicious. They use the same language as cultists, holding on tightly to a belief of something that isn’t there, working themselves up into a deeper frenzy.

And there are hundreds of them. It makes me feel kind of hopeless knowing there are that many people are out there with a fake belief system, from fake news, from fake sources. But that explains the anti-vaccination movement too (which also bothers me).

10 years ago it took 4 of us with coding, archival and investigative skills to unearth the truth on one single fake blogger. How do we combat an army of Marc Whitecottons who seek to undermine an entire nation, and attack anything different from themselves? I really don’t know where to start here, aside from being aware of the problem, spreading the word about these people and the accusations they are spreading, and to stand strong against lies and paranoia. They are attacking culture and queer things in DC, and it could become serious some day soon. I’m genuinely worried. But you start coming at my city and the people I know, it is on. I will not let this happen. Especially from faceless trolls typing away from their mom’s basement.

Or are they really just trolls?

In light of the news about Russian cyber-influence that may have turned the tide of the November elections, it’s also entirely possible that there are Russian elements behind these online witch hunters. They seek to undermine this countries’ stability either from within the government or outside through our cultural institutions. Most of them could indeed be paranoid American troll citizens, but whipped up into a frenzy by Russian online troll infiltrators. It’s some really frightening Cold War tactics. Frightening, but tried and true. In the olden days it was called “propaganda.”

Of course, that could mean I am a secret Russian propagandist too! How much to you really know about me? Haven’t you always thought there was something odd about me?

Well that was a surprise, wasn’t it? I’m still reeling. We’re going to have an Orange Cheeto Jeesus CombOverlord for president. We shall overcomb.

My gay friends are reeling, and worried, as are like all my other friends who aren’t white and straight. What the fuck, U.S.? I think my biggest disappointment is that all those people voted for him, more than I’m disappointed that he’s actually going to be the president. You voted for him, then you deserve what’s coming. As in more of the usual.

I think it hurt a lot because we were also so hopeful for our first female president. I was perfectly fine with her politics and was sure Hillary would have done a great job. And the gays had gotten used to feeling secure for 8 years. It is good to know when someone has your back, and a very shitty feeling when you are suddenly aware some rights you gained may be taken away.
Obama doesn’t get a 100% on his report card from me, but he exceeded my expectations in some areas. I never imagined it would be legal for gays to marry across the nation by the time I was 40. I did not think Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would be repealed.

And once you get those privileges that straight white people take for granted, it’s real hard to take them back. But let them try.

It’s the first week in and we seem to be experiencing an uptick in violence and vandalism targeted at minorities. The supremacists Trump emboldened during his campaign are out of the closet and ready to share their thoughts with anyone now. We’ll see how that goes over when they bring their supremacy with them to DC in January.

In 2001 when George W. Bush’s administration took office things seemed pretty bleak in DC. But there is a limit to what a president can accomplish. Checks and balances and all that. Not all campaign rhetoric survives the journey to policy. We may never know the extent of damage done by Dick Cheney behind the scenes, and there certainly was a lot of mess to clean up after W’s term. But we survived and did a lot better later.

I can tell you Trump’s best appointees will not be prepared to contend with the behemoth bureaucracies of some of the larger government agencies. Their ability to affect change will be limited, as it was for Obama’s appointees. And even if the Republicans control the House and Senate, there are deep internal differences within their party that will slow the lawmaking process as well. Are you a Tea Party Republican or a Lincolnian Republican? They are as different as Republicans and Democrats. Hopefully.

I don’t want to see our country go through damaging populist phases other countries like Germany, Turkey and Venezuela have gone through. But we are a young country, and that possibility will rise again if it doesn’t in the next four years. But I don’t think it will. “The Government” is a massive, bloated beast that is not easily beaten into submission, even by noisy orange monsters.

This isn’t my best piece of writing but I think it was more important that I wrote it to feel better. I remain somewhat optimistic sometimes, but more often filled with dread about the next four years. I am afraid America made a terribly bad choice.

So apparently the background check has cleared, and I start my new job tomorrow! It’ll be good to get back to work. But getting up at an hour most of you other people will be a challenge. Two sets of alarms are set, and I woke up early today and yesterday to start to get in the habit again.

I didn’t watch the first Clinton/Trump debate last night, but I did scan the articles, reviews and snarky posts the next day. I still can’t believe this is happening. But then again, the RNC chose Sarah Palin as their VP in 2008. And they are aghast that the Democrats keep winning the Presidential races. I sense a severe lack of leadership in the party due to their inability to offer challenging candidates. And 13 people running for the Republican choice starting off didn’t help either. I’m very unlikely to vote for a Republican president, but I would at least prefer a viable choice. I think it’s good for our democracy to have a realistic Republican candidate too. I will be voting for the competent, experienced one for the record.

I am waiting for my background check to start for a security clearance for a government job. I don’t think any of my contacts listed have been called yet. It’s quite a frustrating wait. But it’s back at my former pay grade in an agency I’ve wanted to work for doing what I’ve wanted to get back to for some time. I’ve applied to hundreds of government jobs since I moved out to Portland and back with only about 4 interview calls. I finally got this one and they’re eager for me to start too. But we must all wait for this security theater to go through. It will be nice to get back to work and I’m ready now.

In the mean time I’m going to Provincetown this weekend. The weather won’t be great. In fact the ferry service messaged me to tell me we’ll be taking a bus up the cape due to foul seas. But it will be a great getaway, and a cheap one too. My flight back from my last trip was a mess due to the global Delta breakdown so I got a nice fat voucher for future travels.

GoatsbeardI headed out west for business and pleasure at the end of July. It was both my high school and family reunions. And I also wanted to help out with mom’s house.

My middle brother is the executor and lives next door. I discovered not much had been done since January, including the food in the cupboards, which I cleaned out first. There were bugs in it, and a stick of butter was still on the counter. Then I worked on getting rid of old books, salvaging what I could. Most of them were paperbacks from the 70s which not even the used book store wanted. Going through mom’s stuff was an exercise in learning what is suddenly useless when you pass away. Stuff is just stuff that someone else has to move when you’re gone.

I think my brother and his wife are not quite processed yet, nor ready to sell the house. I made a dent in clearing some stuff out, but there is still a lot to do. I think the only thing I can do is be patient.

I went on a bike ride on a former railbed now turned into a bike path going along the Mississippi River bottomlands. Due to state budget cutbacks from Wisconsin’s wonderful Republican governor, the trail is woefully in disrepair. Along the way I stopped at an old train depot, where there has always been a honeybee colony:
Bees at the depot
There have been bees in this building since I was a kid when there wasn’t even a bike trail. I hope they stay there for a while.

On the way to meet a high school friend, I discovered the high school track where I ran the 400m, mile relay, 1600m and pole vault events was being torn up. Admittedly it was old and crumbling, but I remember being in these lanes:
high school track
The class reunion was fun, but only about 8 people showed up. It was for our 27th, which they decided to hold due to the success of the 25th. But I think we will stick to one every 5 years from now on.

On the way back home from the reunion at the Legion Hall, I stopped by the public library to try to take the Pokémon gym there. While I was preparing for battle, this hot guy in riding leathers pulls up. Turns out he was on my same Pokémon team (Mystic) and we took control of the gym together. Like many people in Western Wisconsin, he looked like Alexander Skarsgård, but in black riding leathers. He was so hot it was unsettling, even hotter because he was a Pokémon nerd too:
I walk to the park in nearby LaCrosse revealed a lot more Pokémon players getting their exercise. Hate it or not, it is getting people outside who would otherwise be indoors with their computer or game consoles.

Then I went to Minneapolis to hang out with Woolgatherer, and also go to Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota. People are still leaving tributes along the fence, some of them from as far away as New Zealand. It was quite touching:
In the tunnel that approaches the studios, someone made a Prince petroglyph amid the graffiti:
Prince Petroglyph
I think they will eventually turn it into a Prince museum.

Then I went to L.A. to hang out with Dingo. The smog wasn’t so bad this time, and I went to the La Brea Tar Pits again, and also to the The Los Angeles County Museum of Art Guillermo del Toro exhibit “At Home With Monsters.” It featured the directors influences, themes, and models from his movies:
Pan’s Labyrinth
BrettCajun joined me but we had to leave when he kept asking me to take his picture:
Kaiju Parasite
We then went to Ginger (Will) Rogers Beach in Santa Monica. I had picked out a Speedo before the trip and it recieved wide acclaim. I thought it fit nicely on a 45 year-old man:
summer speedo
I barely escaped LA because on the day of my departure, Delta’s flight computers blacked out all over the world. I was fortunate to make it as far as Raleigh, where I rented a car to drive back to DC (4 hours). But I got tired by Richmond, so I stayed in the 2nd grossest motel I’ve ever stayed in. Didn’t get much sleep, but made it back to DC in time for a phone interview, which resulted in an in-person interview next week. I also have another one for a different job as well. I have a new suit and my hair is done, so I’m ready for either interview.

Pidgey & Chris

Remember Chris from the Boys Briefs blog? Here he is trying to attract a Pidgey Pokémon with a cocktail. Nothing has changed.

Back in 1998 I was playing Pokémon Red/BlueYellow on the Gameboy. In the game you could travel to different places and catch critters, which would evolve into more powerful forms. Sort of like Dungeons & Dragons but with critters instead of swords & sorcery. You could trade your critters with other friends who had the same game. It was fun and a little addicting.

Later on Pokémon Stadium came out and you could bring your critters that you found on the Gameboy and export them to the Nintendo 64 game console, then fight them against your friends and in-game opponents. It made all your collecting efforts even more fun. Then Pokémon Snap came out on the N64, where you would travel on a golf cart safari-style and take pictures of the things you saw. Better pictures with more Pokémon in your frame got you more points. Being a birdwatcher, I loved that one too. In fact the whole Pokémon concept is merely a virtual version of birdwatching as far as I’m concerned. If you haven’t seen “The Big Year” yet, it’s a fun movie about birdwatching that will also help you understand all this Pokémon business.

When I heard a location-based app version of this game franchise was coming out for play on your handheld device I knew it was going to be big. The company producing the game had enjoyed success with the similar Ingress app. I never played Ingress but had a few friends who did. It encourages real travel to locations to check-in and compete against other factions. It’s clear Pokémon GO borrows a lot of concepts from Ingress. But this time you not only check-in but you collect critters along the way, just like in Pokémon Red/Blue back in the day.

Busy locations have been drawing a lot of app users since the game came out. You can even plant lures that attract Pokémon to your location for easy catching. While I was fishing for Pokémon at a lure hotspot at DuPont Circle today there was a dude there cruising like it was 1998. Back in the 80s and 90s that area was a popular cruising spot where you’d also try to find your own critter to take home. But with the advent of cruising apps like Grindr and Scruff, and the shift of the gay ghettoes in the city, few find much success at DuPont Circle anymore. But just like in the 90s, this guy didn’t have a handheld device, but he also didn’t seem to know what was going on with all the people looking into their phones trying to catch Pokémon.

He was trying to look for men to hit on who weren’t there, without the aid of a handheld device. Instead there were people there trying to catch imaginary creatures that weren’t there, using a handheld device. The contrast was fascinating and sad for everyone.

Shiner1It took a couple days to unpack and launder all my sweaty clothes after the Bingham Cup in Nashville. It was a good trip and our teams did well, one of them bringing home some hardware. My side (old people and new players) almost won our bracket but for a loss at the last game. It was quite warm there. I didn’t have much time to see Nashville but I managed to get some local barbecue. However I still favor Kansas City barbecue over Texas and Tennessee.

As you can see in the photo, I got a shiner that even looks prettier today. There’s a big bruise on my arm too, and I don’t know how I got either of them. Somebody probably stepped on me, but during the heat of battle you don’t feel much.

Back to serious job searching now. Only upcoming trips are back to Wisconsin for my 30th class reunion and also a family reunion in late July. May try to help out with mom’s house, which we need to prepare for sale.

I met a new friend near Benson. I named him snuggles.

I met a new friend near Benson. I named him snuggles.

It had been raining most of May, and thankfully I had scheduled a trip to Arizona to visit Homer just in time. More pictures of my trip by Homer on the link.

In fact it’s still raining, my garden is a withered, rotten mess and even the toilet paper inside the house is turning to mush. If this keeps up I may have to buy a dehumidifier. Basements are damp on a good day.

Anyhow, pure sunshine was just what the doctor ordered, and I got a lot of birding done and caught up with many friends down there, and made a few new ones too. This time I stayed at the lovely Adobe Guest House which was lovely and I highly recommend it.

Homer had mentioned going to see the bats under the bridge on previous visits, but those visits were in spring and the bats weren’t there yet. But on a May visit they were out in force and really cool to watch – fyi it’s my first video posted on this here blog! You can see them in the summer in Tucson at the Rillito River Bridge at Campbell Avenue.
Bridge Bats
I had also visited previously during spring bird migration, where you could see certain birds that were flying through Arizona but many of the summer residents had not arrived yet. So this time I was able to see a rare elegant trogon, and several other new species:
Elegant Trogon
Other new species included rock wrens, painted redstarts, yellow-eyed juncos, gray-breasted jays, and black-headed grosbeaks. Most of them are more commonly seen in Mexico. I saw them at Madera Canyon in the Coronado National Forest, almost to Mexico. Thankfully a wall won’t keep the birds from visiting the US. I only covered a single trail since I was so focused on seeing new birds, but I hope to get there again to do the other trails. The non-bird views were amazing:
Elephant Head
Next weekend I’m going to the Bingham Cup in Nashville. I think it’ll be my last big gay rugby tournament. I’ve been to all of them except for the ones in London and Sydney, and they’ve all been a blast. But rugby takes a lot of time during the season, and my beaten body just doesn’t heal as fast as it used to. At 45, rugby is hard on the body, but I really like the fitness it gives me. Bowling or darts just aren’t the same. Still thinking about what to do next that’s both social and active, but easier on the body.


In 2012 I did a photoshoot with photographer Paul Specht. I happened to have a 12″ single of Prince’s “Partyman” from the Batman soundtrack handy and used it as a prop.

2016 you already suck quite a lot. Last night’s news about Prince’s demise was pretty bad. The 1999 double lp was the 2nd record I ever got. I couldn’t quite get into all the tracks but they grew on me, and I ended up buying all the albums before and most of them after. To be honest his recent work wasn’t my favorite, but I’ve always been a fan.

I grew up about two hours south of Minneapolis, where he lived until the end. You couldn’t ignore his regional influence – he was the local who made it big and never left (aside from a short stint in Los Angeles for a while). But he stuck it through the winters and stayed despite his fame.

I’ve tried to put together all the times I’ve seen Prince or his affiliates live, I think it started with the Lovesexy tour in 1988 in Minneapolis, then me and a high school friend went to the world premiere of the sequel to Purple Rain (Grafitti Bridge) in Minneapolis. We tried to sneak into his club Glam Slam but it was closed (and we were underage). Long break as I was poor, in college or in Peace Corps. Then when I moved to DC I saw him at the Capitol Ballroom with George Clinton and Larry Graham – Shaka Kahn was supposed to be there too but she was held up at the airport. That show was followed by a late-night after-party show at the 930 Club. Then I think I saw a show at an arena in Virginia somewhere and the acoustics were bad. One live show in Portland with his band 3rdEyeGirl. Meshell Ndegeocello’s stunning covers of his B-sides and wierdo tracks. I flew to Minneapolis to see the reunion of the Revolution at First Avenue with Sean, and then its follow up show a year later featuring Princess, Questlove and Andre Cymone. And also Sheila E, The Time, and The Family (fDeluxe) at several shows at the Howard Theatre a few blocks from my house.

Yesterday I counted at least 40 Prince tracks on my iPod, and I listen to at least one of them once a day. I still pop in the cassettes that are still viable into my boombox.