Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Well another Christmas is almost over and Thomas and I had a great holiday. Last night we spent the evening with our friend Bruce at his parent's home with his brothers and their families. It was a really great and relaxing time. And there was some good food. We brought some crawfish etouffee and they had homemade tamales and pork with red chile. Today we relaxed at home by ourselves and did some reading and watched the Disney Christmas parade. This evening we had dinner with Thomas' aunt and one of his cousins. Again it was a very relaxing time. So there was no wild partying but we still had a great holiday. We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday as well.

Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Pardon Finally comes

Back on June 23 of this year I posted a birthday note for Alan Turing. Alan was convicted of homosexuality in 1952 and in order to avoid prison he was chemically castrated. On June 7, 1954 Alan committed suicide by eating a cyanide laced apple (although this theory has been questioned) - he was only 41. Finally Queen Elizabeth II has pardoned Alan of this conviction. It is good to see things changing and the acceptance of a group of people who have no control over their sexuality. I am happy for Alan and I hope he is now truly at peace. Thank you England for showing humanity.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Today New Mexico became the 17th state to legalize same sex marriage.

For years now things have been changing slowly - some states chose hatred and approved constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage while other states chose to value human rights and allow gay marriage. New Mexico was pretty much in limbo. We didn't have the legal right to marry but a good thing was that we didn't have any bans on it either. But every year we tried to get gay marriage legalized in the legislature but it was either tabled or defeated. Now the New Mexico Supreme Court has finally done the right thing - they made a unanimous decision and declared that New Mexico is constitutionally required to allow same sex marriage. Here are a few links about this historic announcement.

Griego v. Oliver New Mexico Supreme Court Decision
Griego v. Oliver ACLU Announcement
New Mexico Supreme Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage Legal
New Mexico Supreme Court: Same-Sex Marriage Legal
New Mexico Supreme Court Rules Same-Sex Couples Can Marry in New Mexico

New Mexico now joins the following states in recognizing gay marriage . . .
New Hampshire
New York
Rhode Island
New Jersey
Washington, D.C.

Since Thomas and I were legally married in Massachusetts back in 2004 we now are considered legally married in New Mexico and for all federal rights afforded opposite sex couples. But I think we will go ahead and get married in New Mexico so we have a marriage license in our home state. I am really happy that things are changing and we now need to get marriage equality in all 50 states if this is truly the UNITED States of America.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Dinner and a Walk in Madrid

Every year at Christmas time Thomas and I usually take an evening and go down to Madrid to see the Christmas lights and do some shopping and try to have dinner. So we made plans and did that tonight. We left home around 4:30pm and made our way to Madrid. We decided to have dinner first and then do our walking and shopping. I did a little internet search before leaving the house to see where we might get some dinner. I found a place called The Hollar Restaurant. Here is a description from their website . . .
"the hollar specializes in the fusing of southern cuisine with only the freshest local ingredients. the result is comfort food done right!"
We had a great meal and a nice relaxing time, the place is wonderful and I hope to make it there again soon. After eating and visiting Thomas and I headed out to walk around town and do a little shopping. I took a few pictures and we went into about nine shops. I bought a couple of things and really enjoyed the relaxing meal and stroll around the town. It was a really nice time and a great way to spend a cold winter evening.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

This morning I woke up and looked at my list of things to do and decided I really didn't feel like doing anything on the list. I decided I wanted to take a drive up the mountain to the ski basin and take a walk. So I got dressed (with long johns) and took off on my drive. Once I was parked I took off walking around the area and enjoyed the beautiful snow and the peacefulness of the area. I took lots of pictures and just thought about how wonderful it was up here away from all the hustle and bustle of the holidays. One of the things I loved about walking around out here was the pureness of the snow. It was clean, white and void of any marks - so beautiful. I stayed as long as I could tolerate the cold - about an hour and a half. It was just what I needed to get rejuvenated to get back to reality.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

An Icon for Freedom is Gone

Nelson Mandela
July 18, 1918 - December 5, 2013

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”  
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Driving US 54 . . .

. . . from Tucumcari, New Mexico to Wichita, Kansas.

US 54 runs northeast-southwest for 1,197 miles from El Paso, Texas to Griggsville, Illinois. The highway is mostly two lane but has areas with passing lanes and some areas with four lanes. It runs through lots of small towns that have interesting things to see and do. Now don't get me wrong it probably isn't the best or fastest way to travel across the Southwest and Central United States but it is a good way to see some out of the way places.

Thomas and I have traveled US 54 in New Mexico from Tucumcari down to Alamogordo quite a few times but that was the only part we knew. When Thomas was invited to attend the S.P.I.R.I.T. conference in Pratt, Kansas we decided to drive US 54 from Tucumcari to Pratt to see what the highway was like and what there was to see and do along the way.

In New Mexico the road from Tucumcari to Nara Visa and to the Texas border is actually pretty good. The speed limit is around 65mph except through the towns where it can go as low as 35mph. We really didn't encounter much traffic and what we did was going the speed limit or it was easy to pass them. There really isn't much along the way except for Ute Lake State Park and the town of Logan.

We crossed into Texas and noticed very little change in the road. It was still two lanes with some passing lanes and very little traffic. There really wasn't much to see or do from the NM/TX border until we got into Dalhart. In Dalhart, I loved the brick streets in the downtown area and I was looking forward to seeing the Mission Twin Theater until we got there and found it to be some sort of evangelical center. Other things to do in Dalhart are The XIT Museum, The Empty Saddle Monument, the James R. Fox, Jr. Memorial and the Veterans Memorial. Other things in the area are Lake Rita Blanca Park and Rita Blanca National Grasslands. We continued from Dalhart and made our way to Stratford. Along the way we encountered the Scary Giant Cowboy Statue (aka Big Tex) in Conlen. In Stratford there is an old Phillips Gas Station and the Sherman County Museum which is housed in the old train depot. From Stratford we continued northeast to Texhoma and the Oklahoma border. US 54 in Texas wasn't bad and we didn't encounter any traffic. It was a pleasant drive through the panhandle of Texas.

Now we were in Oklahoma and we realized we were in the area of the Dust Bowl. The Dust Bowl covered the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma and also adjacent areas of Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico. From Texhoma which is a divided city with sections being in Texas and Oklahoma we continued our drive along US 54. The road was still good and the traffic was minimal. In a short while we arrived in Goodwell. Here we made a stop at the No Man's Land Museum. We were hoping to get a little information and see some pictures related to the Dust Bowl. We parked in the front of the museum and at the door we were greeted with a sign that the entrance was now on the side. So we walked around the building and entered. We met the nicest woman as we walked in and she explained that they had just added on a large addition and the place was in disarray. But she kindly showed us around and we got to see a lot ot the exhibits (just not set up) and she found a stack of Dust Bowl photos and took the time to go through them with us and even answer a lot of questions we had. We spent about 30 minutes here and then we were on our way again. I think when they have everything up again the place will be really nice. Goodwell is also home to Oklahoma Panhandle State University. Not far up the road we arrived in Guymon. There are a few nice parks in town and a drive-in theater but the highlight of the area seems to be the Playa Lakes Loop. We didn't have time to do the drive but it seems worthwhile - maybe on another trip. So we continued on and drove through the small town of Optima and then shortly after arrived in Hooker. I had read somethings about Hooker at Roadside America and thought it would be fun to stop and look around. Roadside America stated there were signs when you entered town with pictures of 19th century prostitutes but we didn't see any. Apparently you can find t-shirts with different sayings such as "Why don't you come back and see us sometime?" and "Not your typical hooker.". From hooker we drove throught Tyrone and in no time we crossed over into Kansas.

Not far into Kansas we arrived in Liberal. Liberal is home to Dorothy's House and the Land of Oz. We made a stop here just for the fun of it. There is a bronze statue of Dorothy and a big statue of the Tinman and a yellow brick road. They also have a farmhouse as a replica of Dorothy's house and a walk through exhibit of the "Land of Oz". The exhibit was closed so we didn't see that but we walked around the outside area and took pictures. It was fun! Liberal is also home to the International Pancake Day of Liberal and the Mid-America Air Museum. Continuing on US 54 we drove through Kismet, Plains, Meade, Minneola, Bloom, Kingsdown, Bucklin and Greensburg. Greensburg suffered a massive tornado strike back in 2007 which devasted the community. They are now rebuilding and the town looks great. They have the Big Well Museum, Greensburg GreenTown and the Kiowa County Historical Museum and Soda Fountain. Here are a few links about the tornado that hit Greensburg.

Facts about the May 4, 2007 Greensburg Tornado
Greensburg, Kansas: Rebuilding after the May 4, 2007 Tornado
After Devastating Tornado, Town is Reborn 'Green'

From Greensburg we drove through Haviland and Cullison before arriving in Pratt. Pratt is home to the Hot and Cold Water Towers, Lemon Park Nature Trail and the Pratt County Historical Museum. The highway in Kansas was very good. Smooth, wide with enough shoulder room to pull off if necessary and again there wasn't much traffic. We really enjoyed the drive and had no problems with finding gas for the car or food for us.

The drive to Wichita was a little different as they are working on four laning the road between Pratt and Wichita and there was some construction. This is the only time we encountered construction on US 54. Driving from Pratt to Wichita we skirted Cunningham, and drove through Kingman, Garden Plain and Goddard. In Wichita there is a lot to see and do. You can find information at Roadside America, Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau and at Wichita Attractions. Driving this section of US 54 was really nice, even with the construction.

Overall we really enjoyed our drive on US 54 - the road is in pretty good condition for most of the drive and the speed limit is 65mph except in small towns. Usually you can pass a car if they are going too slow or there are passing lanes at different intervals along the way. But to be honest there wasn't much traffic. Now maybe at different times of the year it would be worse but during our drive we really thought it was very low traffic. I really enjoyed our time on US 54 - it gave us a different view of part of our country.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

An Afternoon Visitor

Our three dogs are constantly chasing and playing with the coyotes that live in the arroyo in back of our house. This afternoon the dogs were in the house just lounging around and I looked out the living room window to find a lone coyote hanging around the back behind our house. He or she is beautiful and looks very healthy. I sat and watched and took pictures for about 15 minutes. Here are a few of them.

Up, Up and Away

Last night Thomas and I went to bed early so that we could get up this morning to attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. We were up early and we arrived at the park about 6:15am and there were already tons of people there. I was a little skeptical about whether there would be a mass ascension since the winds in Santa Fe were pretty strong. But we headed to Albuquerque anyway hoping that the winds there would not be as bad. Today was the last day of the Fiesta and when we got to the park it was an absolutely beautiful morning. We walked down the main walkway and stopped into a few shops before venturing onto the field. We wandered around and waited for the balloons to inflate and take off. The Dawn Patrol lifted off clearing the way for all the other balloons. Today was the last day of the Fiesta and there were about 500 balloons that eventually filled the skies. I took about two hundred pictures and my neck is a little sore from looking up all morning. The last three times we went to the Fiesta the winds or weather didn't cooperate and there was no mass ascension so I was extremely grateful for the great weather and the sky filled with hundreds of colorful balloons. It was a great way to start a Sunday morning. Here are a few pictures from the event.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Nine Years Ago Today . . .

. . . Thomas and I were legally wed in Massachusetts. That makes nine years of marriage (only in Massachusetts), although I think with the recent Supreme Court decisions we are considered legally married in the United States but not in New Mexico. I think we are getting closer to being married in New Mexico since some county clerks have been issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. I think either the Legislature or the New Mexico Supreme Court will make a decision for marriage equality within the next year. So we have been married for nine years but we have been together almost 24 years. That number amazes me - with the divorce rate among heterosexuals hovering around 50% it is a triumph that a homosexual couple can make a relationship last that long with all the negative societal pressures we have to endure. Someone at work once said I was lucky to have found the right person. I both agree and disagree. I don't think that making a relationship work is all about finding the right person. That is part of it, but I feel that it takes some work as well. There is compromise in different situations, acceptance of each others quirks and faults, talking through problems and figuring out solutions and most of all finding the best in each other and supporting that. Don't get me wrong, I do consider my self lucky to have Thomas in my life and I know that we have an incredible and very special relationship. I also know that both of us have worked hard to keep it going. On December 30, 2014 Thomas and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary. We have already begun talking about what we want to do to celebrate that auspicious occasion. It will probably be a trip to somewhere we have never been - places mentioned are Costa Rica, Hawaii or South America (Peru and the Galapagos Islands). Even though this isn't the anniversary we used to celebrate our relationship we still think it is special and we do acknowledge it. It is also special since October 11th is National Coming Out Day. I feel that by living our lives openly and freely it will make things easier for young gays to come out and believe in themselves and know they are not alone. Hopefully this country will eventually remove all discrimination and religious beliefs from the law when considering the rights of individuals. So anyway - Happy Anniversary to Thomas and I and Happy Coming Out Day to all the brave and wonderful gays that have accepted themselves and have talked to family and friends about who they really are.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My Favorite Time of the Year

Fall in New Mexico is my absolute favorite time of the year. This morning when I was sitting on the porch drinking coffee and reading the news I was loving the crisp coolness in the air. There are so many things I love about this season . . .

Zozobra and Santa Fe Fiesta
New Mexico State Fair
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
the smell of green chile roasting
the smell of pinon wood burning in fireplaces
the chill in the air
the changing colors of the aspen
anything pumpkin
hot soups and stews
all the autumnal colors
wrapped in a blanket reading a book

“Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile.” ― William Cullen Bryant

Monday, July 8, 2013

Which Superhero Are You?

This is what Superhero I am!
I am Superman
Green Lantern
The Flash
Wonder Woman
Iron Man

You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.
Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz
I found this quiz on the following blogs . . .
Idle Eyes and a Dormy
Rambling Along in Life . . .

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gay Pride Month Links

Gay Pride Month 2013 is over and I successfully wrote a post every day related to gay pride or gay rights. Below is a list of links I perused to put my posts together. I hope you take the time to explore these and learn more about our history. I am proud to be a gay man and I thank everyone that came before me that fought so hard to make this possible.

Gay Pride

About LGBT Pride Month


LGBT History Timeline

Timeline of LGBT History‬ Wikipedia

Timeline of LGBT History

A Timeline of Events in Gay & Lesbian History

Minnesota Aids Project

History of the Gay Pride / Rainbow Flag

Harvey Milk. Biography.

Harvey Milk > Quotes

Harvey Milk Speech - Hope

Harvey Milk Biography

Milk, Harvey (1930-1978)

The Life and Times of Harvey Milk

Stonewall Riots: The Beginning of the LGBT Movement

The Stonewall Riots - 1969 — A Turning Point in the Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Liberation

An Amazing 1969 Account of the Stonewall Uprising

Stonewall Riots

Stonewall Democrats - Stonewall Riots

The Stonewall Riots - The Comic Book

The Historic Stonewall Inn

The Stonewall Riots, 43 Years Later: Reflections of One of the Oldest Surviving Veterans of the Seminal Uprising

Homo Nest Raided, Queen Bees Are Stinging Mad

Stonewall Riots

Stonewall Riot Police Reports, June 28, 1969

Anita Bryant

Anita Bryant and the Save Our Children Campaign

Chimp to Man to History Books: The Path of AIDS


A Timeline of AIDS

Making AIDS History




The AIDS Memorial Quilt / The NAMES Project Foundation

National Coming Out Day

National Coming Out Day: 41 Celebrities Who Busted Out Of The Closet

1979 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights Recording

1979 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights Souvenir Program

Tucson Gay Museum 1979 March on Washington

Uncle Donald's Castro Street 1979 March on Washington

Soul Force 1979 March on Washington Photos

The Trevor Project

Give a Damn Campaign

It Gets Better Project

Stand Up Foundation

Faces for Change

NOH8 Campaign

Bible Verses About the Sanctity of Marriage

Position Paper on the Sanctity of Marriage

10 Really Bad Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage

The Sanctity of Marriage Myth

Arguments Against Gay Marriage - DEBUNKED

What's Wrong With Being Gay?

Is Homosexuality a Sin?

Jonah Mowry: 'What's Goin' On . . ."

The Best Gay Movies for Men

50 Best Gay Movies

Top 25 Gay Films

Pride Symbols
 - Common Pride Symbols and Their Meanings

Queer Pride Symbols

LGBT symbols‬

Symbols of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Movements

Tracing the Roots of the Symbols of our Pride

Could Scientists Have Found A Gay Switch?

There’s No Gay Gene, Says Scientists

Did Scientists Just Find The Gay Gene? Or An LGBT On-Off Switch?

Exodus International

'Gay Cure' Ministry Exodus International to Close

Call to Pardon Alan Turing

Why Should Britian Pardon Alan Turing?

Alan Turing Biography: Computer Pioneer, Gay Icon

2012 The Alan Turing Year

Alan Turing's 100th Birthday

The Tragedy of the Upstairs Lounge

Upstairs Lounge Arson Attack


Upstairs Musical

New Orleans Inferno: The Upstairs Lounge Fire

UpStairs Lounge Fire Provokes Powerful Memories 40 Years Later

Stonewall Riots Police Reports, June 28, 1969

Stonewall: Freedom Overdue

Standing Up For Gay Rights

On the Morning of June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn New York City

Edith Windsor And Thea Spyer’s Great American Love Story

5 Things To Know About Edith “Edie” Windsor, The 83-Year-Old Lesbian Challenging The Defense Of Marriage Act

When a Woman Loves a Woman

Meet The Hero Of The Marriage Equality Movement

Thea Spyer and Edith Windsor

United States v. Windsor

Hollingsworth v. Perry

Supreme Court of the United States


Friday, June 28, 2013

My Thanks to the Men and Women of the Stonewall Riots

Forty-four years ago today a brave group of gay men and women stood up for their rights and fought back. What they didn't know at the time was what an impact their actions would make on millions of other gay people for years to come.
The Stonewall Inn - New York
As I am reading and writing about the events of the night of June 27 through the morning of June 28, 1969 my emotions are out of control. I cry for the hurt and abuse these people endured, I am overcome with pride that they put their lives on the line so that I could have a better life, I laugh at the ridiculousness of the raid that the police performed just to harass people minding their own business and I am sorry that I haven't done enough to further their cause. The reality of the freedoms I have as a gay man came on the backs of the heroes of 1969. On that fateful day I was only a month past the age of 8 years old.
Very Proud Indeed
I still had not realized that I was gay and I have no recollection of the events that took place. My family probably never even talked about it and if they did it was probably in French (Cajun French) so that we had no idea what they were discussing. It boggles my mind how these people faced the police and the risk of public harassment for their right to be who they were. Finding words to thank these people is hard for me - their actions have allowed me to be open about who I am and to be able to love a man that has been my partner and best friend for 23 years. Even though I am thankful for everything we have as a gay community I know we have a long way to go. That is why I live openly and I don't try to hide my homosexuality. It is also why I choose to make a gay related post throughout this month. These are small gestures but I hope they help and I hope I am honoring these people by not hiding in the closet. The most I can hope for is that these people would be proud that I am not hiding and I also hope that my small actions are making a difference. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you did so that I could have a better life.

Here are a few links relating to the Stonewall Riots . . .

The Stonewall Riots - 1969 — A Turning Point in the Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Liberation
Stonewall Riots of 1969
Stonewall Riots