June 2008

Keep Up.

It’s been a little more than 24 hours since we arrived home from our trip to Toronto and I have to admit that I’m still feeling a little wiped out. There’s a certain challenge in making your body go from “weekend mode” to “workday mode” in one night’s sleep and I guess I’m not up to that challenge because I feel like I’m still in weekend mode. To keep things interesting I’m working the early shift for the next two days. If you can’t remember my initials you can always just call me “Zombie”.

Saturday night Earl and I went to the Beef Ball at The Opera House. The atmosphere was festive in an intriguing sort of way. The energy was intense. The music was incredibly loud (and very good). I can’t believe I managed to snap a photo with my iPhone but I think you get the idea from this photo.

Flickr Link.

Naturally Earl and I dressed appropriately for the evening.

Flickr Link.

After we had enough of the Beef Ball we headed back to Church Street where we met up with our long lost friend Mark. We haven’t seen him in a number of years and there he was, as bubbly and huggy as ever. It was good to see him. After watching the boys for a bit, Earl and I hit the hotel room around 3:30. Surprisingly we were both sober.

The Beef Ball inspired me to take my DJ gigs into more of a tribal/trance direction. I enthusiastically watched the DJs do their stuff and while I play pretty much the same songs as they do, their remixes are more intense sounding. I really enjoyed the thump of their mixes and hope to do my own version of it.

Sunday morning we decided to head out before the parade, which I know is very un-gay like but we had a long drive home and we had to be checked out of the hotel by noon. It was a good thing that we did head out, because the drive from Toronto to Buffalo (normally 1 1/2 hours at the most) clocked in at nearly three hours due to endless construction and strong thunderstorms on the QEW. At least our wait at the Peace Bridge was less than five minutes. By the way, for the first time we were asked our relationship to one another by a customs official and I replied, “We are lovers!” I almost said “w00t!” after that but I didn’t feel that piece of punctuation was necessary, plus it would be hard to manage without the obligatory hand flail. The border is a serious place. You’re suppose to be very afraid to come into the United States, not flailing your hand and saying “w00t”. I believe he typed the information into his computer so now it’s documented though still not legal in the Federal Government’s eyes. Bastards.

We finally got home a little after 5 p.m. and started the every joyful task of doing laundry and figuring out what to cook for supper.

All in all it was an eclectic, enjoyable weekend. I think I’m ready to move to a big city.

Sears Pride.

Sears Pride., originally uploaded by iMachias.

This is why I will shop at Sears and K-mart. Walking into the north end of the Eaton Centre, home of Sears, shoppers are greeted with this gay pride display. It is not the only gay pride display in Sears and one of many gay pride displays throughout the Eaton Centre.

Earl and I purchased gay pride bracelets from the Eaton Centre Info Desk. They were $5 a piece and 100% of the proceeds went to a local HIV/AIDS charity.

Eaton Centre, and Sears, rocks.

Toronto Pride Continues.

Earl and I have spent much of the day on Church Street today visiting the various vendors and hanging out with our friends: Dan from Buffalo, Sean and Jeffrey from Albany and new found friends from Toronto. The day is flying by, we are having a great time and there are a LOT of people here.

The beer gardens have REALLY loud music pumped up of various genres, most of it is familiar. Earl has said frequently, “Hey, you play that!” My ego is still in check. I’m so arrogant.

The streets are really crowded with people from all walks of life. I’m loving the energy. I’m loving the vibe.

Tonight it’s the Beef Ball. I’m looking forward to it, I’ll have to share pictures.

Random Thoughts.

A few random thoughts from our first night of Pride weekend here in Toronto:

1. Walking hand in hand with Earl up and down Church Street puts my head in the clouds
2. Drag queens riding bicycles in full regalia is kind of cool
3. People being themselves without inhibition is wicked cool
4. I really hope that the roaming charges for text messages is not outrageous as I have been going crazy with messaging various boys
5. Standing in line to get into a bar and then standing in line once inside the bar to get to the second floor doesn’t really do a lot for me. I did both but once I was in line for an hour to get to the second floor of the Eagle I felt like I was missing too much. Mingling amongst the crowds on the street is just as enjoyable
6. The number of businesses flying rainbow colours here in Toronto is astounding
7. “Well I certainly can’t find that at K-mart”
8. I love Canada and her people
9. I live in the wrong city to be an effective club DJ as I have seen literally thousands of people dancing to the exact same tracks that makes the bunnies at home go “WTF is this?”
10. I’m ready for another day of the festivities

Big City. Lots of Pride.

Earl and I are officially installed in Toronto for the weekend. We’ve already met up with dave and a few of his friends whilst we were milling about on Church Street after lunching at O’Grady’s. There is a certain amount of freedom attached with not having to drive tonight.

Toronto is one of my favorite North American cities.


Earl and I are poised to head into Toronto. My sister and my new brother-in-law are off to meet with high paid people about the new house they’re purchasing on the 30th so we are in their house alone right now. We haven’t run through the halls naked or anything. Well, maybe we did.

Last night after dinner we did some shopping at Zeller’s. It’s much like K-mart and feels wicked comfortable to me. I found some good deals on camo shorts. I love camo shorts. We then came back to the house, wear I went into the bedroom to change into comfortable clothes and promptly fell asleep. I woke up a little after 8 this morning. Earl apparently tried to wake me several times but I wasn’t having any. My body probably figured that I was going to put it through it’s paces this weekend so I should fill up the sleep deficit ahead of time.

Now we are getting ready to head into Toronto. We assumedly can’t get into the hotel until 3, so we are just going to window shop and such beforehand.

Jennifer and David’s Wedding.

Jennifer and David’s Wedding., originally uploaded by iMachias.

Earl and I are safe and sound in the greater Toronto area for the weekend. This afternoon we witnessed a wedding: my sister Jennifer married her fianceé David in a small civil ceremony. We were joined by David’s son Bates, and their friend Gary and his son Albert.

There’s a bunch of photos on my iMac page.


A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I thought the U.S. was headed down a “slippery slope” in a number of ways, one of them being that I felt the Federal Government was becoming too involved in the personal lives of Americans. I have noticed that this trend is continuing at an alarm pace as I pay closer attention to what is going around me.

One of the earliest technologies of the Internet was Usenet, a collection of “newsgroups” that anyone could read and contribute to. Usenet has been around for a really long time (in technology years). Newsgroups pre-date web-based message boards, AOL communities and all of the graphical (point-and-click) technology. Participation in the group can be fairly anonymous. I have been an active Usenet user since 1988 or so; a proper search in Google will turn up posts I wrote in 1989.

Over the past several years, spammers and the like have discovered Usenet and have used the technology to further their dubious causes. There are over 100,000 newsgroups which cover a wide selection of topics; I could usually be found on the roadgeek group: misc.transport.road. As Usenet technology evolved through the 90s, some newsgroups devoted themselves to exchanging binary files: illegal copies of software, porn, font files and the like. Unfortunately, a very small number of groups started trading child pornography. We are talking less than 80 groups out of more than 100,000.

I am a broad minded individual (to say the least). I have met folks with wildly varied sexual tastes. Some I get, some I don’t, but I never judge. Hey, if it turns your crank and doesn’t harm another person then do what you need to do to find your nirvana. If everyone was the same the world would be wicked boring. HOWEVER, child pornography is a whole different story. That’s one subject that will evoke the same response from me every time: “That’s just sick.” And while I find anything related to child pornography to be intolerable, I do NOT believe in the government shutting down technology that may (or may not!) have been used for that purpose. It’s too close to censorship. And that’s exactly what has happened: The NYS Attorney General is leaning on Internet Service Providers to ban the Usenet newsgroups used to traffic child pornography. ISPs are opting to take the easier route: they’re just shutting down Usenet access for their users all together.

This is unacceptable. ISPs are shutting down open communication between American citizens. We are talking about 80 newsgroups out of over 100,000. That’s like throwing the entire population of Cambridge, Massachusetts in jail because there are 80 criminals on the street.

Does that make sense?

Another disturbing turn of events is that the Department of Justice is going to be involved with the development of Microsoft’s latest version of Windows, Windows 7. It’s slated to come out in 2010. Let’s think about this. I am no Microsoft fan by any stretch (they’re stuff works but it doesn’t blow my skirt up or anything), however, why should the Federal Government be involved with the development of their product? That’s like asking Uncle Sam to stir the recipe with Ben and Jerry! Do we trust the DoJ to not put a “backdoor” into Windows 7 so that they can spy on the American public in the name of “Homeland Security”? I certainly don’t.

I think I need to add a layer of tin foil to my hat.


One of my favorite aspects of my job is to occasionally do work in one of our central offices. There are a lot of wires and electrical connections and fun pieces of equipment. It’s a network geek playground.

Flickr Link.