Words

Words are things.

Words get into you.

Words affect.

Words are powerful.

Be careful of the words you say. Be careful of the words you allow into you, your home and around those you love.

Write only good words, speak only good words, allow only good words and share only good words.

I am not perfect, may I strive toward good whenever I possibly can.

Good starts with me. Good starts right here, right where I am.

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MLK

“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”
We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jet-like speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, “Wait.” But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son who is asking: “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?”; when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading “white” and “colored”; when your first name becomes “nigger,” your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last name becomes “John,” and your wife and mother are never given the respected title “Mrs.”; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness” — then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.”

…Martin Luther King Jr  …April 1963

Hey Fearsome! Why you so quiet these days?

Flu

or something like it.

Damn this cold/flu thing. I started to feel something coming on right before the new year. Then I felt ok. Then I felt something coming on. Then I felt ok. Then I really felt something coming on. Then I thought I beat it because I again felt ok. Then last week it hit. Hit hard. Got a little better.

I had this trip to Florida and I felt as if I was on the mend so I made the trip. I had a good day flying and the next day I wasn’t feeling so good. Three days later and I’m just plain sick.

I don’t write when I don’t feel well. So hang in there and enjoy the daily beard postings.

I sit in a hotel room pretty much almost 24 hours a Day right now. I’m grateful the room and bed are comfortable. I head home Saturday. Hopefully I’ll be feeling better by then.

Angels

I know that this isn’t all there is. Even if Sandra Bernhard sings her rendition of Is That All There Is? so incredibly one could almost believe her…

Yes Dear Fearsome fans I have posted that one before, to good reviews I must add.

I believe that there is another dimension beyond that which I experience at this moment. I understand that I am limited to the five senses that to which my current body experiences this life that I am blessed to live. I know that there are other experiences that I am not able to comprehend while living within the confines of my earthy body.

There are many writings of those who have passed and returned to their bodies only to continue living the life that they were. A name for this phenomenon is near death experience.

I worked for many years in intensive care units and emergency rooms. I’ve witnessed death many times and I’ve witnessed near death as well. I’ve worked in delivery rooms and witnessed not only 100s of live vaginal births but c-sections, stillborn and multiple births. I’ve even resuscitated conjoined twins, or Siamese twins if you choose to call them that. I’ve watched the breath of life reach the depths of lungs for the first moment out of the womb, watched that life leave the infant and then resuscitate life back into that infant just as I’ve resuscitated life back into an adult heart attack victim under my earthly body’s hands.

I didn’t actually give that life back, or give that life in the first place. A power much greater than me did that. My hands were but tools present at the moment. Tools hired by the hospital to do what hospitals do which is aid people in their own journey into life, through life and out of life. My experience was but a blessing to sculpt me into the man I am today.

I don’t know what the other side is. I haven’t been there. I believe there is another side there. I know because I’ve had several experiences where the other side reached to this side to give me a message I needed at that moment. These experiences were both inside and outside my hospital environment. Maybe the energy that reached out to me did so because of my experience and my open mind from those experiences.

I will not write about those in detail at this moment in time. Maybe one day I will, and again maybe I never will. Those experiences were as real as I am and as real as the words in this post. They are burned into my memory. One even happened in the very room in which I sit writing this post.

I do choose to commit to calling the energies that contacted me and energies that brought life into and out of being in front of my eyes, angels. I believe that angels do exist. My definition of them is that thy are a positive energy from the other dimension that I cannot yet experience, but one day will. Unlike Sandra’s lyrics, I do not think that experience will be yet another disappointment.

In many of the writings I’ve read about out of body or near death experiences is that each and every one of them has noted that their pets were there to greet them. Not just special human loved ones, but the very pets they loved and cared for during their life. It’s a consistent story line. I believe them.

Earlier today when I looked in the corner only to find it empty I cried. Then I smiled. I know Nina was looking down on me. She is but one of many angels waiting for and watching over me. I know one day she will be there to greet me as well as Cephas, Nikky, Tess, Matty and Diva. God willing that I have many more years here there will be many more than the few names I just mentioned.

I believe that my previously lost human loved ones are also with me.

Angels.

I Believe.

What of life?

Nina is still with us and peaceful in her bed.

Nina sleeping 12/28/17

It is a quintessential winter Southern California day. Crystal clear blue skies, bright winter sun and 72 degrees F. Nina has spent some time on her patio today, eaten well and napped in her beloved corner bed. Our housekeeper, whom Nina adores, is here cleaning. The other dogs are napping and occasionally barking at the construction workers doing the remodel next door. All in all a nothing unusual beautiful day. It is peaceful with just a little stimulation.

Planning it out couldn’t have turned it better. Our dog sitter who was with me as we rescued Nina together is out of town. Nina adores her as well and she will be back in San Diego tomorrow. She is coming over to be here with us when the veterinarian arrives about 5 pm. Tomorrow is forecast to be as beautiful as today. The Better Half already had scheduled the whole week off, so between the two of us someone will always be home tomorrow.

Earlier Abner and Patsy tried out the comfort of four beds piled together when or housekeeper was busy cleaning…

Patsy (with toy) and Abner reinact the Princess and the Pea. 

The joys of life are abundant around here. It’s not gloom and doom. It’s sweet, with the bitterness of reality. The big questions loom. Why? Why are we here? What? What is this about?

Should we loose ourselves in contemplation of the unknown? Or should we just enjoy the moment even though we know the inevitable?

My answer? Enjoy the moment.

I believe there is one sole purpose for life. The purpose I believe in is love.

I am here to love. I am here to share. I am here to give. I am here to serve.

What are giving, serving and sharing? Love.

I am here to love. Period.

Responsibilities of pet ownership

Last October marked the 3 year anniversary of our adoption of Nina. Nina’s owner had passed away and she had been left outside for a year behind an empty house. Her story starts HERE.

That was the day I discovered her. She was an older dog but full of energy, happy and playful. I wrote more about our decision to formally adopt her in this follow up POST.

We never really knew how old Nina was, but she has become a very old dog. In the past 6 months there has been a rapid deterioration. If you look back at her previous post there was a spark, a happiness and energy. Unfortunately due to age this is Nina today:

Nina on December 27, 2017. Official age unknown, estimated age 14-15 years.

Nina has a warm comfortable home that she has loved for the past three years. She has had regular medical care, dental care and grooming. She grew all her hair back after adoption and never had a flea again. She gained weight, ate well, played, walked and rarely ever barked. She had a short but happy life here.

I write because the time has come. We must make that decision that every loving pet owner never wishes to make.

She is confused. She’s not able to walk well. She can’t see nor hear. When she is able to walk, it is in circles as she has developed vestibular disease. She is often incontinent. She eats, but needs assistance. She appears uncomfortable.

We may not have to do it today, but we may. I just got the number for an in-home euthanisia Vet. I’m about to make the call to ask the questions and possibly schedule.

With tears I write. With written words I gain strength.

UPDATE: The in home appointment has been made for Friday 12/29 at 5 pm.

Pain

Short, sweet and to the point.

The trip back east last month when I met up with Anne Marie and Mistress Maddie before I met up with my family in Philly to train into NYC was fabulous!

What wasn’t fabulous is that during boarding for my flight home I didn’t think. I neglected to remember that being post operative (18 months ago) for a Left Rotator Cuff Repair/Bicep Tenodesis/Acromioplasty that I should never ever lift heavy weight above my head. Well that and having a history of Right shoulder impingement which also contraindicates lifting above the head.

I usually always check bags, this trip I used a roll aboard. The overhead was full and getting the rollaboard in wasn’t easy. Before I sat down I decided, not my best thinking, that I should make sure the full bin would close. I lifted it without success and it didn’t close. Rather than leaving it alone for a flight attendant to close I immediately tried again and harder.

It didn’t close. However both shoulders had a quick poppping sensation and I sat down with the immediate intense pain being in my post operative shoulder. I reached into my backpack under the seat in front of me and grabbed four ibuprofen (800 mg) and two extra strength Tylenol. I know my pain and what it was going to take to manage it.

During the first half hour of my 6 hour flight home, the pain in the left subsided as the pain in the right shoulder grew increasingly intense. My right shoulder had a history of impingement and had already had it’s limit of 3 cortisone injections. A previous MRI had confirmed that issue.

Right now I sit at my surgeon’s  office awaiting my pre-operative appointment. Surgery is scheduled for next Monday 12/18 to correct the Acromium impingement of my right shoulder. Topping it all off is the fact that during my Florida trip I pulled my back.

Bilateral shoulder pain, low back spasms and a topsy-turvy whackadoodle political environment of recent has made Shawn moody. Fearsome isn’t happy with my moodiness but I have to say that he’s a bit moody himself. The dry Southern California Santa-Ana weather conditions have made him a flyaway dry mess.

Pain. Yes we have it. Pain we are doing something about it. Pain sure doesn’t make life easier. Pain isn’t as bad as many others have it.

We are thankful for an incredibly good health plan, good doctors, a loving spouse, good friends, healthy finances, eight wonderful dogs and an amazing home.

Molested

Repeatedly

That’s me as a young boy. You can see me now with Fearsome adorning my face as a shadow in the reflection. The small photo in the corner is my mother and brother during a happy moment of my childhood.

Dont get me wrong, my childhood wasn’t horrible. In fact it was pretty good.

But a pretty good childhood doesn’t erase the scars of sexual molestation and abuse that were endured during that childhood.

What is your earliest memory? I hope yours is a good one.

Unfortunately mine isn’t. Stop reading now if you are offended by violence or descriptions of child abuse or sexualization of the underaged.

Still here? If you are just be prepared.

I was crying, naked and hiding. I was scared. I was between the bed and the wall trying to not be found. I was holding a stuffed toy or a blanket. I felt terror.

I screamed as the faceless male pulled me from my hiding place. No one heard my scream except my attacker. I remember blood and pain from my rear end. I remember tears and I remember fear. I don’t remember anything else. I don’t remember who it was.

That is my earliest memory. I know now I was being molested, most likely raped.

The only thing I know about my abuser is it was a male. The rest is blacked out. I’ve never been able to picture his face.

Was this the first time I was sexually abused? I haven’t a clue.

It’s just my first memory. Memory was still spotty for a while after that.

Was it the last time I was sexually abused? No it was not.

During my teen years, starting about 13, I was repeatedly molested by three different males. Two of them were my teachers, one was a trusted neighbor. One I continued having sex with until I was about 17.

…..oh and all three were “straight men”….and one even gave me a constant supply of drugs to keep me coming back.

Oh, and each of these three convinced me I wanted and needed them. Two of them worked their way from suggestive petting to full blow sex.

The other just heavily petted, described what he wanted, told me what he thought I wanted, fondled me through my clothes. He seemed to get off on his verbal graphics and heavy petting without fully completing the act. He actually made me feel the dirtiest and most violated. Yes he repeated this behavior multiple, multiple times. He taught a class I needed to pass.

Why?

Why did it happen? Why is it affecting me now?

Yesterday I lost it. I broke apart. In front of a sister-in-law and in front of my mother-in-law I lost it. I threw a ham across the room after I opened the refrigerator and found it leaking all over. I then threw left over spaghetti sauce and a thawing turkey both onto the counter and against a wall,  then I blacked out into a crying heap on the floor.

I remember The Better Half getting me up and walking to get me to the bedroom. I remember tears and hyperventilating. I remember being numb.

I’m still numb this morning. The pain in my two injured shoulders is more than I can bear. I’m eating Motrin & Tylenol. I hurt all over.

I have, however, had an epiphany. I just saw the news and I suddenly remembered the news was on when I had my breakdown. I remember seeing the report that the current resident of the White House had just endorsed the senate candidate from Alabama who is accused of molesting underaged girls.

Could it be? Did I fall victim to my own experience upon hearing the news that the current White House resident endorsed a child molester? Endorsed a child molester just because he is republican?

Can anger come to full rage causing a full breakdown after news such as this?  I think so.

Abusing children is wrong. A big part of my life struggle is to make sense of why others would hurt me, or any child, to accomplish their own pleasure.

Did the leader of our country just endorse an accused abuser of children? He endorsed abuser accused by more than one? He endorsed a person who stole the innocence of children for his own pleasure,  just for political gain and party loyalty?

Yes, the acting leader of our country endorsed an accused, by more than one, child molester for political party gain. Yes, and I went into full breakdown. Yes my life experience and PTSD got the best of me and overcame my serenity and almost my sanity.

How do I recover? How do I get better after a full blown breakdown?

I start by writing this post.

Child molestation is wrong. It is wrong period.

The scars I have hurt. May they, from this day forward, only make me stronger. I was a victim. Today I’ll be a survivor.

Today I will speak out. I will speak up.

Today I will take a step out of the darkness.

Living

However blissful the daydream we entertain, we must wake from it sometimes and struggle with the hard conditions of real living.”  …Dorothea Brande

Dreaming is good and daydreaming an escape. However reality is, that life is real. I need the dream to help me see outside of my reality. My dreams help me set goals. I can’t live nor make a life by sitting in a dreamland state. I must work, experience, grow, strive, move, produce, contact, connect, learn and if I fall I must get back up.

No one can live for me. I can only live my life.

Life is fun, but life is work.

Today I contemplate the joy of life that is known as work, struggle, reality and accomplishment.

A Little Hurricane Music

🎵They got hurricane parties every time it blows🎶

One of Fearsome’s favorite tunes.

We, The Better Half & I, own three investment properties down in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. ‘Tis why I make Fearsome go down there so much. All three are coastal and are now in the “Evacuation” zone.

Needless to say several hours have been spent the past couple days communicating and preparing. All properties are tenant occupied full time. As it turns it almost all of the tenants are actually evacuating. Thus this morning I have spent another four hours, all morning communicating, arranging and securing things from long distance.

The shutters are up. Arrangements have been made. Preparations done. Neighbors contacted. Emergency numbers exchanged. Back up plans made.

It’s crazy and we are in California. I couldn’t imagine being in the middle of it out there right now.

Now that I’ve done what I can to secure the buildings and help the tenants I’m going to sit back and tap my toes to our favorite Cajun beat. Hell I might even have a hurricane glass full of my favorite juice!

…oh …and we will be saying a little prayer as well.

Home

A young single parent trapped with no money and no job grabs their child and leaves their home for another place. A place where they know no one. A place where they don’t know the language, culture or customs. However it’s a place with hope. Hope that they may work and raise their child with a brighter future.

That child is raised lovingly with a parent who struggles and works hard contributing in this foreign land. This foreign land is only foreign to their parent for this land is all the child knows. For the child this land is home.

A home where the child knows the language, customs and culture. A home where this child has been educated, played sports, made friends and is part of the community fabric. Both the parent and the child have shared, worked and contributed toward betterment in the community in which they landed. The child knows nothing else.

Today that child is a college educated responsible young adult. They not only hold a good job with a bright future, they create other jobs through their contributions to the community which is their home. Today this child is often called a Dreamer.

Until yesterday their future was bright, secure and full of possibilities just as their parent had dreamed. Unfortunately today there is a cloud hanging over those who stepped forward, were honest and were within the law.

What can I do to help lift that cloud and bring the light of hope back to those who know  this as their only home?

I can speak up.

I can contact my SENATOR.

I can contact my CONGRESSPERSON.

I can contact The White HOUSE.

I can contact my GOVERNOR.

I can speak out, be visible, attend protests and support Candidates who represent good solid true American values of progress and equality.

I can donate to organizations that will stand up and legally challenge those politicians with tiny closed minds who represent greed and hate. Organizations like ACLU, SPLC and Lambda Legal.

I can support and subscribe to news organizations that have real reporters investigating and calling out not only unethical behaviors but possible criminal activity thus reporting real news. News organizations such as The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. 

Please feel free to use these short cuts as all of the highlighted words are links to the very webpages they state…or find your own. Please join Fearsome and I in standing up for righteousness, justice, equality, respect, hope, love and the American dream.

Love. Please don’t let love die.

On Death, Dying and Responsibility

I will die. Fearsome will die with me.

We do not know when but we will. It’s the cycle of life.

You know what? You will die too.

Morbid? No, not actually. Death is part of our life. Yes it’s as much part of yours as it is mine.

We cannot plan when we die or how we die. However we can plan for death.

We, the Better Half and I, wrote our original trust back in 2004. In 2004 gay men couldn’t get married in California, nor did the federal government recognize our relationship. We had an attorney draw up a trust mainly to protect us should one of us die. As it turns out a trust goes far beyond protecting two unmarried individuals that have built a life and many assets together.

We are way past due to update our trust and are in the middle of that update this week. Wow, have things changed in the past 13 years. Not only are we married in California but our marriage is recognized federally. In review it turns out our assets have more than doubled since creating the original trust. Not only has its value changed but our values and priorities have changed.

A trust gives direction to our survivors, maintains our assets, minimizes taxes, protects our pets, covers healthcare concerns, includes our charities, prevents post death disputes, contains our will and plans our funeral. Our trust will provide not only security but peace of mind.

With the updating of the trust comes contemplation of death. Contemplating death is movement toward acceptance. Planning for death helps bring peace of mind. Death is not something to fear, but something to embrace as part of life.

I am grateful for having the life I have. I choose to respect my life by planning for death.

Have you planned for yours?

“Let death be what takes us, not lack of imagination.” … BJ Miller

And what of my identity?

Am I fully who I am?

Or am I still hiding part of me?

As a gay man born of the 1960s, reaching puberty in the 1970s and coming out in the 1980s I faced my share of mis-understanding, repression and discrimination. Have I fully stepped out of that self preserving shadow? Could I be more? Am I gay enough?

Something to contemplate in this age of assimilation. This video has stirred me to take a deeper look.

Mindset

Mindset is defined as the established set of attitudes held by someone. Mindset can also be defined as an attitude, disposition, mood, intention or inclination.

Mindset is a choice. I choose to choose a good one. It often takes work to not only make that good choice, but to stick to it. Often the choice of a better mindset runs counter to our culture thus the challenge. However the challenge of a good mindset is worth the effort and I believe with practice gets easier.

Somewhere in the southern Caribbean

Many a moon ago aboard Dolphin Cruise Line’s SS Sea Breeze we found ourselves anchored just off the coast of Aruba. Fearsome was in remission at the time as I had developed a bad habit called shaving, but he was there in spirit as he always is. It was an early morning under the searing southern Caribbean sun and not a good morning for the hangover from last evenings heavy drinking dance floor adventures.

We found ourselves amongst  many other bleary eyed hungover gay men searching for that perfect spot on deck of this RSVP cruise from which to observe that days total solar eclipse. We were anchored just off the coast of Aruba for a reason, we were in the path of totality in a spot calculated to have the longest time in actual totality, about 3 minutes 40 seconds to my recollection. That sun was hot and all I wanted was a place to sit down, drink my coffee and nurse this hangover. A friend handed me a Bloody Mary. Life was suddenly better.

A passenger affectionately known as The Chicken Lady passed by pouring creme in anyone’s coffee who needed it. She was carrying her trademark chicken purse and the creme flowed on demand into awaiting coffee cups out of an artificial breast that she wore under her bikini top. The Chicken Lady wasn’t known to be reserved nor inhibited in any way imaginable.

The ship’s crew worked feverishly to make sure all 800 passengers were well taken care of and comfortable. They made sure we all had our beverages of choice as well as our solar eclipse viewers. Morning cocktial music played, we laughed, the scent of sunscreen permeated the air and we waited.

The searing heat of the tropical sun started to diminish. A quick check with the solar eclipse glasses confirms that the moon has begun it’s journey between us and our sun. It seemed as if someone had found both the dimmer and the thermostat as not only was the light becoming more appropriate for a party, but the heat had been turned down a notch. We continued our wait laughing with our friends, checking the moon’s progress through the viewers and ordering more cocktails.

Suddenly it all changed.

I had experienced partial eclipses before. No. Big. Deal.

This was different.

In the distance it appears as if a very dark storm had formed. It was black out there. It was moving. It was moving fast and it was headed toward us. However there were no clouds but just darkness. Not just darker but black. This shadow was moving and there was no escaping it. That shadow of black was coming for us and fast. We adorned the viewers and looked up to find just a tiny pierce of the sun left and then it was gone. Nothing left but a faint corona and then a voice from the crowd, all on their feet at this moment, screamed “It’s safe now, take off your glasses!”

Our photos from Aruba’s total eclipse

Nighttime. Nighttime with all the stars out yet a faint light of dawn 360 degrees around us just at the lip of horizon. The birds, the songs of the birds as if it were daybreak. The lights, all the streetlights and lighted signs on the tiny island of Aruba had lit up. It was nighttime but it wasn’t. The horizon was beautiful. The colors of sunrise 360 degrees around us with all the stars out and this black circle above us. Tiny black, very black circle with a moving light shimmering around it.

Surreal.

Ouch! The light! Someone screams”Glasses on!”

The moon had moved on and the first pierce of intense light had broken through. The sun was back, although just a tiny corner. We looked down to realize that we were no longer in the dark shadow as a faint light of sun had encompassed us. The shadow was moving again. The darkness had left us and it was moving again, moving away from us. Moving away fast. We could see it’s circular edge moving across the sea as the light replaced the darkness in the water. The great storm of darkness moved on and so fast that we couldn’t follow it.

We watched as the wonderment of that total eclipse moved on for others to experience that day.

Then we danced.

Today I sit in awe and gratitude for all the gifts I have been blessed with thus far in my wonderful life. Thus far!

Happy Eclipse!

I love

In order to live as a human among humans I must learn to accept.

I must learn to accept that we are different. I must learn that we are the same. I must learn we share. I must learn I will not like everything. I must learn that not everyone will like me. I must learn that many times it’s better to focus on similarities rather than differences. I must learn that not all human aspects are good. I must learn to forgive.

In order to live a life that I myself can feel good about, I must, and will, stand up for righteousness.

I will lead by example. I will do good. I will be kind. I will speak justly. I will convey honesty. I will practice equality. I will appreciate diversity. I will look for commonality. I will share. I will understand. I will give. I will grow. I will listen. I will strive for betterment. I will serve. I will teach. I will encourage. I will compliment. I will support. I will practice. I will be vulnerable. I will gain courage. I will laugh. I will cry. I will accept. I will stand. I will love.

Dreamers

America is a place born of dreamers.

The United States of America is greater when it is open and accepting of new dreamers dreaming their own dream of a better life and a better world.

When we close our minds we cease to grow and we begin to live in fear. It is then when we begin to die and we become irrelevant.

The man in the photo above is a friend who is an immigrant, or as he prefers it emigrant. That photo is of him the day he was sworn in as a citizen in 2002. He came here with $92 in his pocket and before he could get permanent employment he was involved in a motor cycle accident and wound up in the county hospital on the state’s dime. He was told he would probably never walk again.

Today he is a multi millionaire many times over and owns the leading coaching company in the world. He lives here in San Diego and I regularly attend his seminars. Hit play on that video and don’t tell me you didn’t tear up at least once. It’s set to Neil Diamond’s Coming to America.

The point is he had a dream. He came here. He got off to a bad start, but like most first generation immigrants he succeeded. Also, like most of them, he succeeeded very well. He didn’t take an American born citizens job, he hires hundreds of them to run his company. His name is Brian Buffini.

Immigrants made the USA what it is.

Don’t let a small minded fearful bully stop immigrants from making us who we are.

Friendship

Best friends for twenty years.

Clayton and I met one July night twenty years ago in 1997. I had stopped into Hamburger Mary’s for a cocktail (more like six or seven…probably more) and he was barbacking for Matt. A cute (hot) little  bear cub he was. We hit it off right away. We hit it off so well that when I woke up the in his bed the next morning I immediately asked “Where’s your phone” to which he replied “Why?”, “I need to call my husband” I replied, “Husband? You have a husband?” he said.

That was one hell of a hangover and I had more than some ‘splainin’ to do when I got home. Fidelity wasn’t my strong point and definitely wasn’t when I was gettin’ my drink on back in those wild younger days. The Better Half and I made it through, and so did Clayton and I.

Somehow, even though we were both quite young, Clayton and I were able to channel that sexual attraction, shit who am I fooling?… full on infatuation, into a friendship. Not only a friendship, but a best friend friendship. He and The Better Half became close friends as well.

I’ve stuck by him through his relationships, boyfriends, loss of his dad, bad roommates, good roommates, home-buying, work issues, personal issues, laughter, tears, moving, travel, car accidents, baseball games, many cocktails and many achievements. He’s stuck by me through depression, drunkenness, getting sober, death of friends, pets and family, laughter, tears, job changes, travels, bad behavior, good behavior, other marital infidelities, shopping, bar hopping, and he even rescued me from a possible DUI arrest.

Twenty years. Damn. I love him and I know he loves me.

Today’s Beard of the Day photo was taken in Puerto Vallarta some 16 or 17 maybe even 18 years ago. We need to take a photo in that position again to mark our enduring friendship, this time maybe with shirts on…then again maybe not.

What happens when we turn a blind eye to injustice

First of all Fearsome asks that you please notice the change in the wording of our header above.

Fearsome will continue his quest of inner growth, increased knowledge and expansion of his understanding and empathy as before, however he must take a stand. When the rights of any one innocent person is tread upon by the injustice of unwarranted discrimination, our society is assaulted. When we stand by tacit as others are treated unfairly we will become just as guilty as the bullies themselves.

Let us review just what happens when a society allows injustice, keep in mind history can repeat itself.

Slavery

The Holocaust

Segregation

Japanese Camps

The genocides of Armenia, Rwanda, Cambodia, Bosnia, Darfur just to name a few recent ones.

Colonial genocide against native Americans

And let us not forget a few of the current injust societies amoung us today such as North Korea, Venezuela and Syria.

Inequality is injustice. Ignorance and fear breed such nonsense.

Will all earthly societies ever become perfect and just? Most likely not.

Can all earthly societies try to move towards perfection and justice? Yes, yes we can always improve, learn, grow, respect, understand, encourage, support and care.

Take a stand. Spread knowledge. Teach understanding. Lead by example. Grow yourself. Show you care. Help others. Speak kindly. Give freely.