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Several thousand people, some dressed as animal characters, were evacuated from a Hyatt hotel in suburban Rosemont when an “intentional” chlorine gas incident at the Midwest FurFest convention led to 19 people being hospitalized early Sunday morning.More insideCollapse )
Source article.

Please keep the injured in your thoughts and prayers.
02 December 2014 @ 12:23 pm
I was just listening to this CD among a couple others on the way to work this morning. It's one that is definitely among my top 5 favorite Christmas albums, John Denver & the Muppets, A Christmas Together. Among some traditional favorites, it features several original songs by John with some of the most beautiful and thoughtful lyrics I've ever heard. Here is one of those.


26 November 2014 @ 03:16 pm
I'm still at work. I believe the snow has ended for today, currently figuring out the best time to leave to avoid the most traffic, but before the slush freezes.

Tomorrow morning Renee and I travel down to Stuarts Draft to see my Mom for the first time since her stroke. She's had a miraculous recovery, with only some lingering weakness in her right leg, but improving every day. That's something to be thankful for.

Renee and I was able to sign all the papers with the paralegal and lawyer for our Chapter 7 B'ruptcy filing yesterday. It was our last opportunity or else we wouldn't have qualified and would have needed to do a much more ugly Chapter 13, and with a different lawyer. Looks like something is finally working for us after so much has not worked in our favor for, gosh, a long time. So that's something to be thankful for.

We're both in good health as far as we know. My last operation was months ago. I've been feeling fine. We both still have our jobs. Ol' Blue (my Subie) is still running, at 362k miles. Those are all things to be thankful for.

I've been coming to work early, filling in for the other production operator who is using up vacation days, so anything over 40 hours is time and a half, though the light workload wouldn't normally justify any overtime. So that's something to be thankful for too.

What are some of the things in life you're thankful for?
23 November 2014 @ 01:07 pm
...To my brother-in-law and his partner who were the very first couple in Nelson County Virginia to receive a same-sex marriage license, Friday, November 21st.

They will be married on 12-13-14 :)
22 November 2014 @ 07:47 am
I found this thanks to a mutual follow with Animal Planet on Twitter just a few minutes ago.

Matteo and the Marmots

Stop what you're doing right now. Click on the link to view the pics and read the short descriptions. It will absolutely melt your heart. ^.^;
13 November 2014 @ 12:06 pm
What are y'all doing for Thanksgiving?

I'll be working 11-hour days Monday through Wednesday that week, but will get paid time off for Thanksgiving and Friday. Renee got word from her employer a few weeks back that she has it off too, so we'll likely head down to Stuarts Draft either late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning to spend it mostly with my parents.

Right now I have enough wood split for about 9 nights of fires, Renee is starting one today since the cold hits in earnest tonight. I have two more smallish long-dead trees pulled up under the deck that are ready to buzz into links this weekend, most of which won't need splitting. So while we're not set for the winter, we have a start. There's not much winterizing to do otherwise.

How about others of you?

Edit :: There was a particularly annoying spam comment I deleted this evening to this post, so from now on only members can comment. Membership is still open for the near future.
05 November 2014 @ 04:04 pm
...and I'd like to do just one more Username Tree like this one, for 2014, but we're still a few active users short.

In 2011 our tree was constructed with 53 users - a respectable tree, no argument there.
In 2012, it was down to 45 users - not too bad.
Last year is the one linked above and was at 40 users.
There needs to be a minimum of 35 usernames for it to look somewhat tree-ish.
We currently have only 31 active users.

The reason why we like to have active users and not abandoned journals is when we have our drawing, there's a person who is readily available to give me their mailing address where I can send their gift.

Are there just 4 or 5 others here who haven't posted since Christmas last year, to help make our Username Tree for 2014 a reality? Post a new entry, comment to another's current entry, or retweet something from @rainbow_ark on Twitter.

No actual trees will be cut down, and no squirrels will lose their home. We're all very green-oriented here. Warning: there will be pixels. There might even be gif blinkies.

Do we have just one more tree in us?
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
Aamir Khan discusses sexuality on Satyamev Jayate (YouTube)

A subtitled, hour-ish long discussion where Indian talk show host Aamir Khan discusses sexuality with members of the LGBT community. As with most talk shows, there are a variety of viewpoints and opinions, but I appreciate that he's trying to open a dialogue.

02 November 2014 @ 05:39 pm
All Saints' Day

But we're also in the midst of Dia de los Muertos...

More than 500 years ago, when the Spanish Conquistadors landed in what is now central Mexico, they encountered natives practicing a ritual that seemed to mock death.

It was a ritual the indigenous people had been practicing at least 3,000 years. A ritual the Spaniards would try unsuccessfully to eradicate.

A ritual known today as Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.

Dia de los Muertos is celebrated in Mexico and certain parts of the United States, including metro Phoenix.

Although the ritual has since been merged with Catholic theology, it still maintains the basic principles of the Aztec ritual, such as the use of skulls.

Today, people don wooden skull masks called calacas and dance in honor of their deceased relatives. The wooden skulls also are placed on altars that are dedicated to the dead. Sugar skulls, made with the names of the dead person on the forehead, are eaten by a relative or friend.

Assured that the dead would be insulted by mourning or sadness, Dia de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, parties, and activities the dead enjoyed in life. Dia de los Muertos recognizes death as a natural part of the human experience, a continuum with birth, childhood, and growing up to become a contributing member of the community. On Dia de los Muertos, the dead are also a part of the community, awakened from their eternal sleep to share celebrations with their loved ones.

And now I'd like to share with you a beautiful post by nexrad who is one of the mods on FurAffinity Rainbow Ark...
31 October 2014 @ 02:10 pm
Share your pics here with us.

I'm just a Hawaiian guy today with shirt, lei, ukulele, hat ringed with another lei. We all pitched in and ordered some Chinese food, and lined up everything in buffet style. I have Hawaiian music playing right now. Currently: IZ In Concert.
30 October 2014 @ 02:32 am
July 13, Me an my partner went to Arlington Furmeet, my partner wanted to leave so I agree, someone said as I recall, Why you leaving so I told them We needed to get the apartment cleaned for them so we left. So when we was going thru the second light going west bound We heard a noise and we looked to the right and saw a 2007 BMW-I going over 50 mph's into the passenger side door. My partner put his up on the roof and I shut my eyes as this occurred hit us as we started going sideways and then my trucks back driver side wheel hit the median curb in the intersection caused the truck the go into a barrel role, as my eyes shut I felt a full spin than a sudden difference where I felt my door hitting the ground first than roll a little hit my partners side pop back up into another barrel roll until it hit his side roll a little until it landed on all three wheels. I called my sister, than my dad which later he picked us up. After that my partner called his mom which she told him she had some kind of deal where she was praying in tongues since the morning until we called her. I learned the lord been in my life since my early existences and didn't know it until I did Spice, yes I said Spice, a combination between weed and saliva mixed chemicals. Pretty sad I went this way to understand how the lord been in my life because looking back, I know I done some stupid stuff. But now, I don't know where my life leading until it happens. So, I hope y'all have a good time during this time. When I figured out how the lord been in my life, if I was in a second story building apartment, I probably jumped out of the window. Just saying. Love Scar Vern
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29 October 2014 @ 06:36 am
Just saw this and thought that y'all would like it!

I do not know who wrote this


(I’m a manager at a technology store and a lesbian. There are two men holding hands and giving each other little kisses every now and then, a woman who is trying her hardest not to look at them, and a mother and her five- or six-year-old daughter, all waiting in line. The two men get to the register.)

Man #1: “Hi, we were wondering if you do wedding registry here?”

Me: “No, sorry, we don’t. But my wife and I found when we were doing our wedding registry stuff that if you find a shop that doesn’t do a registry, just write down the SKU numbers so people can come in and—”

Woman: “Come on, none of us have time to be dealing with your little gay pride bulls***! None of you should be getting married anyway. It’s a sin!”

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24 October 2014 @ 02:05 pm
...I just learned this, and went to read the article, and now I share it with you all here...

Leading evangelical ethicist David Gushee is now pro-LGBT. Here’s why it matters.

two excerpts...

... A former student wrote Gushee that his teachings had contributed to the painful struggle of understanding sexual identity, and scientific data suggesting that same-sex attraction is a naturally occuring form of human diversity sent him back to the Bible. Years later, he concluded that the Bible doesn’t actually teach what he previously assumed.

"It took me two decades of service as a married, straight evangelical Christian minister and ethicist to finally get here,” his speech says. “I am truly sorry that it took me so long to come into full solidarity with the Church’s own most oppressed group.” ...

... His Christian ethics textbook, “Kingdom Ethics,” co-authored with the late Glen Stassen, is widely respected and was named a 2004 Christianity Today book of the year. He serves as theologian-in-residence for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a coalition of 15 theological schools, 150 ministries, and 1,800 Baptist churches nationwide.

While other pro-LGBT Christian activists — including Justin Lee of the Gay Christian Network and Matthew Vines, author of “God and the Gay Christian” — have been dismissed in some circles as wet-behind-the-ears youngsters without formal theological training, Gushee, 52, is a scholar with impeccable credentials. He can add intellectual heft to what has largely been a youth-led movement, and is not someone who can be easily dismissed. ...