April 18, 2011


On the drive in this morning I took the opportunity to listen to the news. I don’t do this very often because hearing about the stupidity that is rampant in our country has a tendency to raise my blood pressure and sure enough, this little nugget of news did the trick.

The Town of Clifton Park (outside of Albany) is defining what constitutes a family in an effort to control the number of people living in a residential home. They’re trying to avoid the problem of single-family homes becoming boarding houses. They’re apparently worried about the wrong kind of urban sprawl (in their eyes). I see a veil of masked white supremacy, but then again, I can be cynical at times.

Quite frankly I hate this kind of shit.

Here’s the thing. First of all, I have the best biological family and in-laws in the world. I would not change one branch of my biological and related family tree. I love them and they love us and I am always quite grateful for that. But in addition to that which we were born and or married into, Earl and I have our own family. It might not be the traditional family unit that could be found next door to The Cleavers back in 1961 but it’s our family nonetheless and as a family unit, we are quite happy. There’s common ideals, there’s common hope and most importantly, there’s love. So if we lived in the Town of Clifton Park, we wouldn’t be able to have our family living under the same roof. Our home, which contains Earl and me, Jamie, Scott and the regular visits from Dave wouldn’t be possible, because we’re not blood related, Earl and I haven’t adopted anyone and the state of New York isn’t letting anyone of our ilk get married anytime soon. So basically, if we lived in the cranky town of Clifton Park, “do-gooders” (as my grandfather was fond of calling them) would be serving us papers, people would be picketing, Girls Scouts wouldn’t be allowed to sell us girl scout cookies (not even a box of Samoas) and then there would be lawsuits, a lack of a finely manicured landscaping around a beautiful house in ways only the gay can do and then I’d have to end the whole ordeal by firing a shotgun in the air like Ma Ingalls did when they were fighting over who was going to own Walnut Grove.

Why can’t the Town of Clifton Park just let people live and let live and not worry about defining the “family unit”. What makes a family? I’ve seen blood relations damn near kill each other. Would you want your neighbors to be the group that lives with one another in harmony, even though they’re not blood related or married, or a bunch of biologically related people who hate each other, throw knives, blow up cars and let their dogs poop in the lawn, but by god they’re blood related and/or got married in Vegas at a place where the Minister yells the vows back through the clown’s mouth at the drive thru stand?

Thought so.

Just another reason to add to my famous quote of: “Albany blows”. (I know, it’s Clifton Park, but it’s still in the general area, and if they’re going to be general, I’m going to be general).


As we entered the office a week ago last Friday, we found one of our third shift co-workers holding the door open and watching for an ambulance. One of the technicians on the floor was experiencing chest pains, numbness and shortness of breath. The ambulance arrived just after we did, in the meantime I went int my stash of aspirin and offered the technician two of them, because I heard that’s what you should do when you’re having those kinds of symptoms. The ambulance came and the technicians did their thing before taking him away on a stretcher. They took him to a hospital in Albany.

I had spoken with this person only a couple of times since our shifts didn’t really allow us to cross paths, but he seemed nice enough and appeared to have a pleasant disposition. He probably would have been considered a ‘straight bear’. He had thanked me for the aspirin.

He passed on this past Friday evening. He had been in the ICU since arriving at the hospital. We had taken a collection for his family to help with the cost of staying in a hotel near the hospital. This morning one of his sons was given the money to help with the cost of the funeral arrangements. Services will be out of state near Chicago.

The cycle of life.