Ponderings and Musings


I’ve mentioned before that my favorite food is popcorn. I can’t get enough of the stuff and honestly, it’s probably my favorite element of the cinematic experience.

Earl and I went out to dinner the other night. I noticed they had a popcorn dish as an appetizer. Popped in bacon grease, the popped corn was topped with bacon, some other seasonings, and the sprig of green that I fail to identify at this time. I enjoyed the popcorn so much that at the end of the meal, when we decided to splurge for dessert, I stepped away from the traditional dessert menu and ordered another of the popcorn appetizer.

It was delicious.

Maintaining my popcorn mood, I popped myself a bowl of corn for supper last night. Every once in a while we have a “every man for himself” dinner experience and while the others made sandwiches and the like, I opted to eat a bowl of popcorn.

I didn’t include bacon this time around.


My husband and I went for a mini road-trip yesterday. As we were setting out from Tucson around 10:00 a.m., I commented, “it sure looks like it wants to thunderstorm, but it’s the wrong season for that”.

A few hours later, as we roamed around parts north of Phoenix, the sky turned very dark. And before we knew it, we were storm chasing in the Sonoran desert in March. Because when it comes to weather these days, anything goes.

There was some impressive lightning but I was unable to get any shots because I was not planning on chasing storms in the Sonoran Desert in March.


The U.S. Senate has passed the “Sunshine Protection Act”, or something close to that idiotic name, for the second year in a row. Last year the legislation failed to pass the House. I don’t know if that’s the plan this year or not.

The “Sunshine Protection Act” will put the parts of the United States that engage in the idiocy known as “Daylight Saving Time” into permanent status, just like they tried back in the mid 1970s during the Energy Crisis and discovered that kids going to school and adults going to work at 8:30 a.m. when it’s still dark outside is depressing. And dangerous. As I recall, a few kids were mowed over by school buses while waiting on darkened rural roads. But oh, the savings of daylight! It’s remarkable to me that it seems no one remembers that.

We live in Arizona where we don’t mess with the clocks. It’s one of the perks of living in Arizona. I’ve ranted on this blog for decades about how much I despise the practice of Daylight Saving Time, and now that the U.S. Government is going to do something about it (HA) just makes me despise it even more. The government is getting way too involved in way too many things. Clocks are built to indicate a man made construct. Your body is tuned to wake up when it wakes up and go to sleep when it goes to sleep. That’s it.

Stop making life so damn complicated.


This blog is a pretty accurate representation of who I am in real life. I don’t worry about the number of hits I get here (though WordPress really wants me to bump up my SEO!) and I write for myself just as much as I write for anyone that may stumble across this blog. I hope I make readers smile once in a while.

When I started my radio gig in the early 1990s I was told that I need to “look a little more modern” for my publicity shots. I grew out my flattop, wore clothes from places like Filene’s and Jordan Marsh, and wore a Swatch watch on my wrist. It wasn’t really me but I suppose you have to have a certain look when you’re on radio (he writes ironically). There’s a certain style one must have when you’re giving away the grand prize of a Mother’s Day Promotion – a vacuum cleaner at a local dealer’s shop. Draw the number and listen for the squeals of delight.

I didn’t maintain my “radio look” for very long and I went back to flattop and my own look after a year or so. It was much more comfortable. I didn’t really feel comfortable in my own skin until I was in my very early 50s. I’m more me than I’ve ever been and that’s good.

One of the things I like about Mastodon as a social media platform (versus Twitter, Facebook, and all the other corporately algorithmic doom scrolling machines) is it feels like more people are much more genuine. I feel comfortable engaging with the folks I meet in that space. It’s all nice to see so many familiar faces moving over from Twitter. There’s no algorithm to game so there’s not as many people engaging in tricks to game the stream. Many folks dependent on the monetary gain, dopamine hits, etc. dependent on these games are declaring Mastodon, and the Fediverse in general, a lost cause. Probably because they don’t know who they need to be to get the recognition they’re craving.

I’m fine with that. If this was that Black Mirror episode “Nose Dive”, I’d definitely be the Cherry Jones truck driver character.

And that’s awesome.


Hockey season seems very long to me. Tonight they announced there are 18 more games in the season for the Tucson Roadrunners. We won’t be going to every game, as every game is not at home and we don’t have a full season package.

Tonight’s game was fun but we lost 15 seconds into overtime. Sometimes that’s the way the puck goes.


Forecasters had predicted snow would generally stay about an elevation of 4000 feet, with maybe a dusting down to the desert floor. I guess we can say 3 1/2 inches of snow is a dusting.

Winds were gusting up to 50 MPH when we went to bed last night and it was raining. I guess Mother Nature had other plans. She’s not happy with what humans are doing to her planet.


It looks like WordPress is moving away from their WordPress app and wanting users to use their JetPack app instead. Of course, JetPack involves a yearly subscription, but it wouldn’t be 2023 if a software company wasn’t trying to coax a constant revenue stream out of users.

Eventually I will move to something open source and free (as in likenfree beer) software to power this anxious blog. In the meanwhile I shall play the game.


When I was back in my hometown a couple of weeks ago to address medical needs with Mom, we talked about many things. We talked about happy memories, wondered aloud as to the whereabouts of several people from our past, and discussed the weather. We always talk about the weather. It’s the Lake Ontario Snowbelt, after all.

My sister was also at the hospital and while visiting with Mom the subject of our high school days came up. It’s been decades since those turbulent times in my past but I can still vividly recall too many memories. Many of those memories are happy, too many of those memories make me sad.

Mom brought up the “11th grade Ethics class incident” (recanted in a cut and paste from a post from 2021 below) and how she felt when the Vice-Principal mentioned she should perhaps take me home for the day. My sister had never heard any of this and was surprised it wasn’t ever discussed at home. In the mid 1980s a gay teenager didn’t heartily discuss the abuse from other classmates (and some teachers) with his family. My how times have changed over the decades. I mentioned to mom and sister, “Karen O’Brien probably saved my life that day”. My sister let out an audible gasp.

I have been blessed(?) with a crazy, full sensory memory that is a blessing but is also sometimes a curse. Words have impact. I sometimes feel a bit crazy around the way words are so carelessly tossed around on the Internet, as if the anonymization of the author reduces impact. For some it does not.

I’m not suggesting, endorsing, and asking for censorship. That’s not the way. I ask that people speak the truth and perhaps maintain a bit of respect.

Now, the original blog entry from 2021.

“Mr. Wing, do you know what a homosexual is”?

The 10th grade biology teacher’s voice boomed through the room with this question posed to me; it was his way of gathering control of the class for the next 41 minutes of 6th period and since we were apparently to talk about the importance of the prefix “homo” in the scientific world, the disheveled man apparently thought it humorous to fixate on me and ask this question that carefully treaded a line. The girl to my right, we’ll call her Jeannine, laughed at me. I’m not surprised. She wasn’t known for being an exceptionally nice person. To be fair, it was a nice change of pace to hear her laugh because usually she was crying about something or barking out with a special amount of bitchiness one can find amongst high school sophomores in the 1980s. To my left, my table mate, we’ll call her Lori, whispered “asshole” under her breath, just loud enough for me to hear her word of support. I turned beet red, stammered more than usual trying to formulate something, anything to come out of my mouth, and feverishly wished for the kid at the table in front of me to have a seizure or something. The rest of the class laughed, the word faggot was shared once or twice and I was asked that very same question by various members of that class for the rest of the week. This is the stuff sophomores live for. The teacher had control of the class, I did not, and I was humiliated.

I do not forget these things. It rings as loud in my head in 2021 as it did in late 1983. I imagine most gay men, especially those of us of a certain age, have not forgotten instances like these. This is what we grew up with. Welcome to growing up gay in the Gen X set.

“Well let’s face it, John will have a hard time being gainfully employed”.

Another nugget of wisdom, this time from a fellow classmates in Ethics class, which was in the latter half of my junior year of high school. This time it was 4th period and I really just wanted to go to lunch at 11:04.

“Why not?”, queried the teacher, who, at the beginning of class, had instructed us to arrange our desks in a circle so we could debate things like whether or not a functional homosexual like I apparently was destined to be (calm down Mom, I wasn’t a ‘functional’ homosexual at the time) was a good or bad thing for society. Would our gayness cause the fall of the United States. (Spoiler alert, it did not).

“His mannerisms and way of speaking are going to prevent serious employers from hiring him”, was the response.

I don’t know what happened to that classmate after high school and I don’t really care to Google him to find out. Why waste the bits? Who knows and who cares. In the moment I looked for support from another classmate, we’ll call him Mike, that I really knew “to be on the team” (he is and we actually shared a kiss a couple of years later) but he turned on me with the rest of them, laughed, and made detrimental comments. That was probably the first time in my life that I wondered if I was going to be anything at all and if I wasn’t going to be anything, why continue the charade? Was my life worth anything?

The teacher of that class had to dash off at 11:04 to do some Vice Principal duties, but he checked in with me at the end of class and asked if I was OK. When he saw tears building in my eyes, after the longest 41 minutes I’ve probably endured in my life, he told me I was a good guy and asked another teacher to have a chat with me in his office to get me grounded again. He knew I was mentally not well. I can safely say I probably owe my life to that other teacher. Her name is Karen O’Brien. She taught Special Ed, but through talking with her she helped me find my worth again that day and honestly probably doesn’t even know the depth of the impact she had on me that day. She talked me off a psychological ledge. Years prior to this she had put as her caption under her photo in the yearbook, “People – they fascinate me. I haven’t met one yet that didn’t impress me”. Words to live by. I think of her often. I should probably send her a thank you note someday.

Why do I share this? There’s a number of reasons. First of all, what we say matters. Whether we say it out loud, in print, or anywhere on the Internet, our words are making an impact, whether positive or negative. We might not know it. We don’t know the state of mind of every person that is going to read what we type or listen to what we say. We should never lose sight of this. The two incidents I talk about are from decades ago, yet I remember all of these things as if it took place yesterday. My frame of mind is better about all of this, but I still feel the sting. These things, and countless others during my school years, have made a permanent impact on my life experience. Am I better for it? Over 35 years, I can probably say yes, but it took a lot of soul searching, and that very important talk with teacher Karen O’Brien, to keep me going.

When I hear members of Congress calling one another “Communists” or spouting out provable falsehoods just to rile up a crowd I can’t help but think how much negative impact those words are having on the country. When I see people touting things like “Straight Pride” or all the bad things that will allegedly happen to gay people because of who they are, I worry about those that don’t have a Karen O’Brien talking them off a psychological ledge.

I share these things because the distance of time and the subsequent experience of life has safely moved me beyond these negative events in my life. Weirdly, I’m probably a better and stronger person because of them.

Let’s use the right words. Let’s send positive energy into the world. Let’s not use negativity to command a room. Let’s be one of those people that impress others.

Impress each other in a good way.