outdoors: November 2009 Archives

Rock Art 3Vacation: FAIL. Can we do the past week over again? I did manage to have a nice hike in the Valley of Fire (photos interspersed between rants and rambling paragraphs) with some teammates on Friday, and later that night a few of us enjoyed the LE RÊVE aquatic spectacular at the Wynn Las Vegas, but when I returned to my hotel after the show I got hit with a bad case of the chills, followed by alternating fever and cold sweats for the rest of the evening. Skip the Evil Veterinarian thinks it was food poisoning, but the congestion in my head and full-body soreness makes me think it was the flu that had me in bed all day Saturday. So I missed the match that we had all gone there to do, which they won without me.

Thankfully I was rested up enough to travel back in moderate health by Sunday, but managed to leave my wallet somewhere at the Denver Airport. It still hasn't turned up but at least nothing was charged on my cards. I'm now in the process of replacing everything that was in the wallet, including my work/government credit card, the lack of which has complicated planning for an upcoming work trip to Kansas City. So it's been a crappy week.
Valley of Fire 5
Having had the flu on vacation reminded me that the states I traveled through were both featured as the final battlegrounds in Stephen King's 'The Stand'. Anyway, we stayed in the craptastic (but affordable) Tropicana, which I don't recommend at least until they complete their renovations and temporal updates to pull their building out of the late '60s. The hotel currently hosts Wayne Newton and 'Let's Make a Deal' weekly filming.

My thoughts on Vegas are that it is an amazing place and the main strip is a marketing wonder of the world designed to suck every penny out of your pocket. That's not necessarily a bad thing, and if you like gambling it's a fun place. But I simply don't get gambling. I tried slots and Blackjack but I still don't get it. Why aren't these gambling people satisfied playing World of Warcraft? I'm just not designed for Vegas, but I did like the climate. The breeders on the team had a great time though, as I believe Vegas is the heterosexual capitol of the world. Here is a photo of several aforementioned heterosexuals, and one homosexual. Can you spot the homo?
Valley of Fire badasses
I must highlight my super-homotastic skills of observation at the LE RÊVE show, where I noticed the appearance of a character during the performance who just didn't seem to fit into the obtuse storyline. I said to my neighbors "OMG that's Kelly Ripa!" and they all nodded their heads to keep me quiet. "Calm yourself, excitable homo," they probably thought to themselves. But when I got home I did a little research and found out that she was in Vegas filming a few Regis and Kelly episodes that weekend, and Kelly had indeed made a cameo at the show. Do not doubt the ultra-keen combination of my laser-enhanced vision and entertainment knowledge ever again!

The trailer for Real World DC is out. I hate myself for wanting to watch some of it.

We had quite the gayla this week at the White House, and everyone is aware that David Geffen's 24 year-old boyfriend is kinda hot. But when can we stop calling Gayle King "Oprah's Best Friend"?

From BooBob: Austin based singer/songwriter Bob Schneider is this week's Hot Bearded Talented Guy of the Week:
Is there lust after Favre? Apparently so in Aaron Rodgers, who is much more of a facial hair chameleon than that other guy ever was.

Bear and nerd hygene: brush your teeth like a Spartan & get geeky-clean with some d20 designer soap.

Two excellent covers this week, a very sweet twist on Cece Peniston's 'Finally', and an incredible 'Muppet cover of Bohemian Rhapsody'. My favorite part is Janice's kick ass guitar solo.

Urban "foodies" are now making hunting hip. I think it's more of the gun being a hipster accessory than anything. But whatever it takes to get people to appreciate the outdoors and our connection with nature.

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Wednesday Woof Rerun: Washington Capitals' Brooks Laich and a buncha hot rugby players. Some of the above photos were taken by San Diego Dan, who has a new batch of nice photos to share, this time alternating photos of bodybuilders and zoo animals. Here's one of my favorites from San Diego Dan:
On Thursday I will travel to Las Vegas with the rugby team where we will play the Sin City Irish in a friendly rugby match to top off the season. It should be fun, and the day before the match I'll be hiking with some of my chill laid-back masc str8 buds in the nearby Valley of Fire. And to balance it all later that evening me and The Gays will go out to experience the aquatic spectacular LE RÊVE.

Friends in photos: Skwurl playin' Ultimate frisbee with his naturally masculine, chill laid-back buds, and Josh's 'stache progress.

You can donate to Josh at the link provided and try to bribe him to keep it in the name of prostate cancer research. I have been trying for years to get him to keep wearing his 'stache to no avail. Perhaps a donation will help.

To the left is a video about a 'stached Speedo and chain-wallet guy. Somewhat safe for work.

All of the above links should keep you busy while I'm gone, right?

"No. Not now. Not ever. Do you hear me? I will use every cannon, every bomb, every bullet, every weapon I have down to my own eye teeth to end you! I swear it! I'm coming for all of you!!!" - President Laura Roslin
laura-roslin-im-coming-for-all-of-you.jpgNo more Mr. Nice Gay in DC - activist Phil Attey channels Colonial President Laura Roslin with the new outing tool ChurchOuting.org. It's in response to another attack from the Catholic Church, this time they threaten to withdraw support for sheltering and the homeless in The District of Columbia. In other words, the Catholic Church in DC would rather hate on the gays than do Jesus-like activities such as feeding hungry people.

I really, really don't get it. Can't they see it makes them look really un-Christian? Anyway, there are bound to be closeted self-loathing homos in any Catholic heirarchy, otherwise they wouldn't be attacking the gays so vehemently. In general, emotionally secure straight people have other things to do than to go after homos. So Phil is taking a wise step and going after these fucktards. There may be somewhat open gays embedded in there too, but they have been far too quiet. It's time to strike back at this institution and tear down the hypocrites who have nothing better to do than to hate on that which they secretly admire, but openly loathe.

I have committed to going to Provincetown for a week in August with Dreamy Ron again. It should be a fun time. The last time I went there I met lots of nice people, as it seems easier to meet people when I'm on vacation - even if they're from the same city. In one instance there was a gay couple who lived on my block who couldn't even give me a simple nod as they walked their dogs by me, but when I met them in Provincetown I couldn't get them to stop talking. I don't get it...why do you need to be less social in your home environment, but then act in such a friendly way only while on vacation? My problem is that I assume the latter should be the norm, and it isn't in DC which drives me nuts. I'm naturally friendly but my outgoing nature isn't often met with warmth in this city.

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Scott raised a good question in the comments section of my last frank post:

"Do you ever worry that your employer or future employer will see posts like this? I'm asking because I do, which causes more self-censorship than I care to admit on my own blog."

Perhaps our employers are different, and it depends on the workplace environment. Or our assumptions about what they think about what you wrote. I know a few of my coworkers might check in on the blog here or there, or perhaps none of them care at all. Granted, a blogger should ALWAYS assume a coworker, teammate, friend or family member will read it. I guess it just depends on how you think coworkers will take it. It's always a gamble.

I think the question is if I am worried I'm going to be Dooced or not. I have learned a few lessons during my time blogging for many years, and here are a few suggestions and rules of thumb for those of you who still blog and worry about what would happen if the others found out:

  1. Don't blog from work, during work hours.
  2. Don't ever mention what you do for work or where you work.
  3. Don't speak ill of your friends, family, teammates or coworkers.
  4. Unless you blog anonymously, don't recount dating horror stories (or successes for that matter).
  5. Avoid blogging after you've had too much coffee.
  6. Assume they will find your blog no matter what.
Of course I don't always follow the above rules, and the rules can be flexible if you blog anonymously. And these days there are different kinds of blogs...if you're just posting or re-organizing Tweets, news or topic links, who cares what people read? It's the opinion or journal-type blogs that run the risk of being offensive or incriminating. This blog is sort of a journal with facial hair news sprinkled in here and there, and I've learned through experience what you can and shouldn't do.

There are a lot of things I blog about, but there are also many subjects I am careful to not write about. Despite these limitations there is still a lot I can write about, and that is the challenge that can make a blogger a better writer. Everyone has limits on what they can write about, and increased limitations will actually help you write better. I see these topic limitations as challenges where I can show a different angle on an issue I thought was originally uninteresting.

So in the spirit of not speaking ill of my friends or teammates, I had a nice rugby-filled weekend. All the rain last week made for a very muddy Saturday match that we won, which we topped it off with a friendly b-side match. On Sunday I picked up my high school buddy Tina from the airport and took her out to the New Zealand Ambassador's Shield matches, which we both enjoyed. In the photo below, the ones in white are our local MARFU all-stars, and the ones in dark jerseys are from New Zealand:
New Zealand vs. MARFU
Seated in the foreground is Skip the Evil Veterinarian. He knows he's evil so I'm not speaking ill of him. Anyway, with the sun finally out after such a long absence it made for a great day outside.

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Obi-Wan KenobiHalloween weekend was fun, but the ever-present rain kept a lot of activities indoors. It's been raining every weekend for the past three weekends, I've had it! Anyway, the Miss Adams Morgan pageant didn't disappoint, but I didn't put my costume on because it was frikkin' hot in there. Have you ever noticed Halloween costumes are usually warm and don't breathe well? I guess they'd be our normal outfits if they were comfortable...

To balance all that drag, I went over to the rugby team's Halloween party and eventually got into costume. Obi-Wan Kenobi was a hit, although many had opted to go as part of Tolkien's Fellowship. Damn, wrong genre, maybe I'll get it right next time.

cypress and manateeAgain, rumors of the death of gay culture are overstated. Magazines are dying and being reborn every day, and the loss of The Advocate doesn't mean we won't see a spewing of more journalistic garbage in the future. I can't begin to run off all the titles, but bad writing can't even kill the magazine industry. As long as somebody needs something to read on the ferry to The Pines, there will always be gay rags. While we are integrating somewhat, we will still always need to occasionally gather and identify.

About a year ago this week I was in the panhandle of Florida, role-playing animal disease outbreaks and exploring swamps, sinks, rises and runs. I had some good times at Wakulla with the manatees too. This year work is sending me to Kansas City in December. My supervisor who is from there will kill me if I do not go to certain barbecue joints, but that's about all I'm adding to the work schedule. I know from experience the Midwest is far from wondrous that time of year.

But as I discovered last year on my November trip to Dublin, a late fall or early winter trip really eases the winter blahs, and seems to make the gloomy days in DC go by faster. This year I'll be going to Las Vegas with the rugby team for our final match of the year. I'm not much of a gambler but I'll make the best of it I'm sure.

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