Monday, April 27, 2015

Connecticut Pride Hikers

I was waiting for the email with the group photo that was promised before posting this, but whoever was going to do that hasn't yet. 5/5/15 Here it is:

Joined a group hike on Saturday for a hike in Black Rock State Park which is only about 15 minutes from our house. I'd never hiked there before. It was a comfortable 2 hour hike, slightly strenuous on the way up, but nothing a 67 year old like me couldn't handle. (I have to use that number once in a while because I tend to live in denial most of the time.)

CT Pride Hikers have been around for years, but for some reason I only learned about the group last year. Their once-monthly event seems to fall on weekends when we have other things already planned. Glad I was available for Saturday's hike. Leon was working.

Nice group and the dog, Benni, enjoyed the hike as well. I don't believe I didn't get Benni in a photo! Yes, he is in the second one, standing next to me. But just barely the top of his head and back in the photo - he's wearing a nice bandana.



 So sad that people feel the need to "graffiti" the rocks.



Lunch at the Goose and Gander afterwards was very nice. Had worked up an appetite, for sure. (But when DON'T I have an appetite?)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Connecticut Gay Men's Chorus - "I Am Harvey Milk" a Plebeian Review

Went to New Haven last evening to see CT Gay Men's Chorus perform "I Am Harvey Milk"
I may know very little about "music appreciation" but I know what I like and what I don't like. Judging from comments overheard after the performance, I am not alone. So here is my personal "review" of last night's CGMC performance:
While the performers and musicians were very talented, they were unfortunately constrained by the pretentious musical score. I can't imagine why CGMC chose this work. From the start I was expecting, then hoping, then despairing while waiting for the fun part which never came (Friday night in the Castro was a tease that never materialized. Perhaps after intermission. What? the show is only one hour (thank god) and there is no part 2 for the fun stuff?)

The storyline/timeline was all over the place. It made no sense starting with the candlelight vigil, childhood, the bullet (horrible piece), city hall, disco, here and yonder. Beyond confusing.

The music was discordant, dissonant, harsh and often painful to listen to. All the performers were in boring, drab, formal, attire. The conductor's and musicians' piercingly bright score lamps were aimed directly into the audience which made looking at the performers extremely uncomfortable. I had to actually cover my eyes with my hand, it was so bad. That, coupled with the reflection of the spotlight off of Ms. Peitler-Lederman's gown made me wish I'd brought my sunglasses. 
The show was very disappointing as it was not CGMC's usual up-beat show with costumes and humor and familiar tunes. 
I wish I had read about the work which was commissioned by the SanFrancisco Gay Men's Chorus - basically a funeral dirge - I might have passed up the opportunity (and even poor Harvey would have probably turned in his grave at the sound of it. Come on, a commissioned work should have been one to CELEBRATE Harvey's life and work and not be such a somber and stuffy orchestrated cacophony.)
Let me repeat that the performers were talented and excellent but unfortunately had to deliver an inferior product.I would encourage CGMC to stick to their very successful formula of productions with a variety of entertainment, great music, colorful costumes, interesting and timely characters, humorous skits. That is what we go to see and expect.

ADDENDUM: Found this similar reaction in Dayton.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Logic anyone?

I posted this with a question mark in my title because something about it seemed off, if a bit cutesy. So Russ wrote a great commentary for me. See the comments, below. Thanks for your insights, Russ.

At the risk of being thoroughly discredited, I'll let my thoughts wander here:

I'm not entirely convinced it is "apples" and "oranges". Sure, selling a firearm legally to a customer is without intimate knowledge of what or how the gun will be used should not be against one's sincerely held religious beliefs. (If one has moral objections to guns, they probably wouldn't be selling them. Another question: a Buddhist works at WalMart and is asked to sell rifles in the hunting department; can he or she object to the assignment on moral grounds?)

Back to the other gun shop: What if the customer says, "I want to buy a gun to kill my wife." Now that would be an illegal act. Does the shop owner refuse to sell the gun? Call the authorities and notify them of a potential murder?

My feeling about public accommodations and public business is: If someone offers a service of any kind open to the public there should not be a moral litmus test for customers to pass; business owners should be able to refuse services if the customer is threatening, aggressive or using the business premises to conduct illegal activities, e.g. harassing other customers in a restaurant or selling drugs out of a motel room.

Otherwise, one's personal morals are none of the business owner's business. Leon and I bought the cake for our wedding at Costco. Did the Costco bakers or the Costco CEO "participate" in our wedding? (I wish they had, we might have gotten some expensive gifts!)

On the other hand, do any of us really want to spend our money or enter into a contractual agreement with a company or business that is openly and unabashedly anti-LGBT? Why would we put ourselves in such a position, unless to make a political statement?

Can atheists have "sincerely held (religious) beliefs" and if so would an atheist business refuse services to theists?

If it were not for the fact that LGBTs represent a minority, and most anti-LGBT business owners won't suffer significant financial losses by refusing services, this might not be an issue at all. Imagine if these business refused services to 90% of potential customers.

And, do these so-called christians with sincerely held religious beliefs serve customers who are divorced and celebrating a second, third or fourth marriage? Are there not biblical admonitions against such marriages?

Why are these controversies all surrounding the rights of LGBT folks to live our lives as we wish?

So much for rambling thoughts.

Perhaps John Corvino will weigh in on the topic. His logic is usually impeccable.

Friday, April 10, 2015

We Must Be Crazy

Having been through the Winter From Hell here in Connecticut where there are still some patches of unmelted snow here and there - snow that fell in January mind you, you would think we would go South for some relief. Instead we went to visit Bob and Diane in Vermont because Diane goes for surgery next week. Had a real nice visit and Bob made a great pasta and meat sauce.

Here is what it looked like at their long driveway and at their house in Whitingham. NOTE: Today IS APRIL 10th. There is NOT supposed to be this much snow on the ground EVEN IN VERMONT!





 This is from their back deck, overlooking a pond in the mist - I think this is a nice photo, despite the nasty snow.

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