Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wal-Mart? Ooh...fancy!

This little snippet below was e-mailed to everyone in the office where I work this morning. I just had to share this. And I thought this country couldn't possibly stoop any lower...

I guess K-Mart is completely out of my league then. And don't even get me started on Target.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Where were you yesterday?

Today is Barack Obama’s first official full day as the new president. All the celebration and partying is done and now he must get to work.

Still, yesterday’s inauguration was amazing in so many ways. A historical accomplishment as well as a political one. People were again mesmerized just as they were during his campaign. They were feeling that glimmer of hope that maybe we’re on the right track again to reach a better destination. One never knows. Time will tell. At least yesterday, the majority of people were celebrating. And were happy for our new President. Happy for our country. Happy to be Americans again.

The last time I saw and felt that kind of euphoria in the United States was when Bill Clinton became President. Even I felt proud to be in this country back then, even though I wasn’t a citizen. This must have been what it felt like when John F. Kennedy was President. People were proud then and weren’t ashamed of being an American. The world was looking up to a strong and inspiring America.

This is what I felt yesterday. The world is hopeful again. I certainly didn’t feel that way when George W. Bush was sworn in the first time. I already knew back then that the United States was on a very steep and bumpy road going downhill. Little did I know that it was going to get even worse. A whole lot worse.

But the nightmare of the last eight years is over. Finally! All the Republicans, these Christian fanatics and doomsayer can whine and moan all they want. They had their chance and they have lost. Their greedy, warmongering, fear-spreading and fascist way of governing has turned this once great and embracing country into a fortress of hatred, intolerance and inopportune self-aggrandizement. I call the last eight years America’s Dark Ages.

During this time the United States has suppressed progress, reasoned dialogue and any way of new and creative thinking which would have gone against their strategy to control the masses for their own purpose. The manipulation of the press, the rise of the fascist religious right, and the corporations and financial institutions running amok without any regulation all played well into their little scheme. All those gullible conservative knuckleheads who have voted Dubya and his minions into office, thought that in return they would bring back good, Christian family values to the people. Instead, they were taken for a ride. This very administration screwed these good conservatives folks. And all along, they still wouldn’t get it. Or didn’t want to.

This is America, goddamnit! America does whatever the hell it wants in the name of God, while patriotically waving the Made-in-China American flag, and therefore it must be alright.


Well, alrighty then. God bless all morons and America...blah, blah, blah. While most of the American populace had been turned into mindless drones, never questioning anything and believing only what the propaganda machine called Fox News would tell them, the Bush people were mocking their own constituency while filling up their own pockets with taxpayer’s money. With money that should have been invested to modernize a crumbling infrastructure, improve an inadequate education and health care system and support desperately needed social programs.

Yup, they were laughing all the way to the banks. Oh, wait...they screwed that up too.

Oh well, now they’re gone. And Barack Obama has to clean up that mess. I really hope he enjoyed the whole inauguration hoopla yesterday. Because the party is over, my friend. Today it’s time to find that big broom and clean house.

I’m hopeful though that he will succeed. He must. And all of us must do our own part to help him succeed. But that’s still a bit away. I’m still in an euphoric stasis of happiness and optimism. Even people here in Las Vegas were celebrating this historic moment. In their own typical Las Vegas fashion.

While the inauguration ceremony was happening in Washington D.C. yesterday, photographers of the Las Vegas Sun were taking the following photos on the Las Vegas “Strip,” which can be viewed below. These were one of those “Where were you on that day” moments.

Enjoy the moments.

By the way, I was working all day yesterday. But I had a small livestream video window open in the corner on the computer desktop, peeking at some of the inauguration ceremony every once in a while.
So...where were you yesterday?

The huge video screens along the facade of the Planet Hollywood Resort on the Las Vegas "Strip" were showing history in the making, live from the Capitol.
Even on the casino floors.
However, this is still Las Vegas. Why not promote the upcoming Miss America pageant while Obama is being sworn in as the President of the United States?
Instead of betting on horse racing, football or basketball games, the sports books inside the casinos were showing the live broadcasting of the inauguration on their gigantic video screens.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Obama

Happy O-Day, world. Barack Obama has just been sworn in as the 44th president of the United States of America.

All the best to him, his family and his team. He'll need all the luck and good fortune in the years ahead.

While I'm typing this I can hear people in the background already mocking him and making cynical comments. What bitter people they are. They won't even try to give Obama a chance to proof himself. It amazes me how many people are still very ignorant and one-sided.

This country still has a lot of obstacles to overcome. I hope for the best. Not only for America but for the whole world. Americans may not realize this, but they've not only voted for the President of the United States, but also for the most powerful leader in the world.

Let's celebrate today and let's be hopeful.

Tomorrow...let's go to work and finally make this a better America, a better world.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Jim Day - Las Vegas Review-Journal, January 19th, 2009

This is still too much of an accolade and honor for someone whom clearly doesn't deserve any. One more day...and this Dubya nightmare is finally over.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Reversed Condemnation

Honestly, I don’t know what to think of Al Sharpton. I just cannot relate to any of those so-called religious figures. Unlike most “Christians,” who don’t seem to have any of the Christ-like attributes like love and compassion for your fellow man who may or may not have a slightly different opinion, I still try my best to at least reach out to other people and have an open ear.

But I do like what he had to say about the Proposition 8 debacle. The text and photo was taken from today’s entry on Towleroad. Of course, don’t expect to hear something like this in the mainstream media.

Al Sharpton Condemns Churches That Supported Proposition 8

The Rev. Al Sharpton spoke at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Atlanta on Sunday and spoke out against the Mormon Church and evangelicals who fought to pass Proposition 8: “It amazes me when I looked at California and saw churches that had nothing to say about police brutality, nothing to say when a young black boy was shot while he was wearing police handcuffs, nothing to say when the they overturned affirmative action, nothing to say when people were being delegated into poverty, yet they were organizing and mobilizing to stop consenting adults from choosing their life partners. There is something immoral and sick about using all of that power to not end brutality and poverty, but to break into people’s bedrooms and claim that God sent you.”

According to the Southern Voice, “Sharpton came to Atlanta to celebrate the launch of the Alliance of Affirming Faith-Based Organizations.”

He added: “I am tired of seeing ministers who will preach homophobia by day, and then after they’re preaching, when the lights are off they go cruising for trade…We know you’re not preaching the Bible, because if you were preaching the Bible we would have heard from you. We would have heard from you when people were starving in California, when they deregulated the economy and crashed Wall Street you had nothing to say. When [alleged Ponzi schemer Bernie] Madoff made off with the money, you had nothing to say. When Bush took us to war chasing weapons of mass destruction that weren’t there you had nothing to say. … But all of a sudden when Proposition 8 came out you had so much to say, but since you stepped in the rain, we gonna step in the rain with you.”

Monday, January 12, 2009

Seeing the Light

AFAN, a local organization which provides support for adults and children living with and affected by HIV or AIDS, has sent out a reminder to participate in its annual AIDS Walk this coming April. George and I have been part of this event for a few years now. It’s for a good cause and it’s usually lots of fun. And with the economy as bad as it is, I’m sure this organization can use every single penny it can get.

So, if you happen to be visiting Las Vegas on Sunday, April 19th, why not helping out people who work for a good cause to be the big winners for a change. Besides, you’ll meet new people and get some exercise out in the fresh air. Doesn’t that sound like more fun than sitting in front of a dumb lifeless slot machine inside a smoke-filled casino?

I was playing around a bit with our camera over the weekend. My good friend Sabine sent us a nice set of three glass tealight holders for Christmas. I took some detail shots of the colored glass holders, trying to have some fun with lighting and reflections. The last photo is a close-up of water droplets on our newly installed kitchen faucet. I just love stuff like that.

It doesn’t matter how often we try to clean and wipe down the faucet to keep it all neat and dry, there will always be tons of water spots all over that darn thing.

Hmm...now if that isn’t a big case of “Duh!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Because it was filmed in Munich

Link: 'Jason

This is a behind-the-scenes video of the making of Jason Mraz' "Make it Mine" music video. I posted this not so much for the song but rather because it was filmed in Munich, Germany. And most of it in my old neighborhood, the old part of the city where I grew up.

The sequences which shows Jason Mraz surfing was filmed at the Eisbach in the Englischer Garten, Munich's largest and oldest park. I've basically spent every single day, whether it was summer or winter, in that park when I was still living nearby. One of the few things I truly miss about Munich.

The actual music video can be viewed here.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Anno Domini 2 0 0 9

Well, here we are again.

Already a few days into a new year and the human race is back into the same old shenanigans. More escalation in the Middle East, the continuing denial of global warming, the never-ending political corruptions, the quiet uprising of Neo-Nazis all over Europe, that gays and lesbians in the United States are still considered third class citizens...and here’s a shocker...Britney Spears said something irrelevant.

Is the human race ever going to learn?

Apparently not. So let’s move on to more subtle intricacies of life’s pleasures before the human race completely blows this planet to smithereens.

Little pleasures such as vacation breaks over the holidays. We sure hope everyone out there enjoyed their holidays. Whether it was Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the winter solstice, another limited release of a Disney flick on Blu-ray, the celebration of little green men from Mars or simply nothing at all.

George and I decided to stay home and enjoy the peace and quiet. In between we fixed the leaky kitchen faucet; installed two new beautiful ceiling lambs; trimmed, pruned, weeded and cleaned our front and back yard; and made a new friend.

George enjoying the first morning of the new year.

Additionally, we also cooked and baked tons of food like there was no tomorrow. And may I say that our food can easily hold up against any of those so-called fancy-schmanzy top restaurants on the Las Vegas “Strip.” We made exquisite meat dishes, scrumptious casseroles, hearty soups and a delectable cake. There are so many leftovers in the freezer that will last us for months to come. Our holiday feast continues well into the new year.

Marmorkuchen - German-style marble cake.
The best one I made yet.

Not bad. At least we won’t starve during this recession.

Well, depending how long this economic downturn will last of course.

But we don’t care about that right now. This is about happy thoughts. Maybe some of you had a few days or even two weeks off like we did. Hopefully you were able to just enjoy the simple things in life, the companionship of a loved one and reflect on what’s really important. Like we did.

And you know what? Despite all the crap that’s happening in this country and around the world, we are doing pretty darn good. George and I may not be wealthy and own a bunch of useless things, but we still got it made. We have a comfy home, we both got jobs, we can put food on the table and we have each other. What more could one ask for?

I can’t help it. I’m ever the optimist.

So, this new year 2009 will be a good one. There, I said it! Damn the news and their gloom and doom reports. Even if everything around us does indeed fall apart and the human race is on a suicidal mission. I will always be there for George. We will still do our part to help the environment and reduce global warming. We will keep up our efforts to help achieve equal rights for everyone. We will be citizens of the world.

Yes, it all sounds way too corny. Cue in the violins, please.

But we actually believe that we all still can do good things for each other. Besides, negativity alone sure as heck is not going to accomplish anything. There’s already more than enough of that around the way it is.

We can make this a great year. It’s really all up to each and everyone of us. Whatever floats your boat to make it happen, whether it may be praying, baking a cake, having wild sex or simply showing some humanity. Let’s all pitch in and make this a great one.

Let’s extend these holidays.