Friday, April 30, 2010

Port Aransas Texas

I forgot to mention that we made it to the Gulf Coast. I know - nice mini van!

-- Post From My iPhone

Whataburger Field

Well I made it to Houston and after spending the night and going for a very tough 18 mile run, hit the road and made our way to Corpus Christi. I'll fill you in on the run later - let's just say that I'm not used to running in such hot and humid conditions. I was scheduled to run 20 miles but after 18 I was done, done, done! Cindy if you see this - thanks for the suggestion to listen to the Rent Soundtrack - great suggestion and really helped get me to the 18 mile mark. I did find a great trail to run.

Thanks to my new blog friend Rena for the suggestion to get out of town. We decided after dinner to take in a minor league baseball game. Nice evening for a game at Whataburger Field!

I know this is bad but I sometimes can't help myself. I just had to share the picture I just took of one of the fans at the game. Worst comb over ever!

Please stop me if I go to that extreme! I see myself headed that way!

Later -


-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Update on Referendum 71 Supreme Court Case

Of course I've been watching this case closely as it has developed - for those not familiar with the issue the Washington State Legislature granted all the rights and responsibilities of marriage (except the name) to gay and lesbian couples.  The religious right attempted to block implementation by gathering enough signatures to force a vote of the people and while they gathered just enough signatures the great fair and equal minded citizens of the State of Washington rejected Referendum 71 and the law went into effect. 

The court case is whether or not the signatures of those who signed the initiative are public documents and should be shared.  I believe having an open process and sharing of the signatures is the only way we can truly determine the validity of the signatures gathered.

If you are in fact gong to oppose my rights then have the balls to let me know who you are - not so I can harass you but so I can educate you on the challenges that gay Americans face every day. 

Check out the following video - I love this!

WASHINGTON — In a hearing punctuated by sharp questions, U.S. Supreme Court justices Wednesday seemed skeptical that people who sign ballot petitions — including one that sought to overturn a gay-rights law in Washington state —should remain anonymous.

"Running a democracy takes a certain amount of civic courage," Justice Antonin Scalia said during oral arguments in a case brought by conservative groups trying to keep Referendum 71 petition signatures secret. "The First Amendment offers no protection against criticism or even nasty phone calls."

Scalia was one of several justices who appeared unpersuaded that signing a ballot petition is political speech deserving the highest degree of protection. Rather, they homed in on the broad implications of granting blanket exemption to all initiative or referendum petitions from public disclosure.

The case, Doe v. Reed, arose out of a 2009 Washington law granting gay and lesbian couples registered as domestic partners the same state rights as married people. Opponents sought to repeal the law through Ref. 71. The measure qualified for last November's ballot, but 53 percent of voters opted to uphold the expanded benefits.

Even before the Ref. 71 petition began circulating, a gay-rights advocate announced he planned to obtain the signers' names — as permitted under the state Public Records Act — and post them online.

Ref. 71 sponsors said such disclosure would scare supporters away from exercising their right to free speech. They filed suit to keep the names secret.

Ultimately, 138,000 people signed the measure in little more than two months, exceeding the 120,577 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot.

The high court is tackling an issue without direct precedent: whether signing a petition is protected speech or a public act, and where the balance lies between individual privacy and public information to foster democracy.

Wednesday's case was the final oral argument for the court's term, and the final one for retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

Several justices appeared skeptical of the case made by James Bopp Jr., the plaintiff's attorney, that disclosing the names on petitions on any topic significantly intrudes on the First Amendment.

Scalia pounced first, interrupting Bopp as he argued that the Constitution protects against forced disclosure of beliefs and identities.

"What about disclosure of campaign contributions?" Scalia asked.

"Do you think it's unconstitutional?" Scalia added, forcing Bopp to acknowledge dryly that "this court has upheld the disclosure in Buckley v. Valeo in 1976."

That was followed by rapid dissections by Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony Kennedy and Chief Justice John Roberts.

Sotomayor and Roberts questioned whether it would infringe on free speech if the public knew exactly who was supporting a new tax plan or a bond issue. If not, Roberts said, Bopp's central argument "fails as well."

Ginsburg elicited an acknowledgment from Bopp that Protect Marriage Washington, the group that put Ref. 71 on the ballot, sometimes uses or sells the list of petition signers' names for fundraising.

Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna argued in favor of releasing the names.

Justice Samuel Alito, who asked only a few questions of Bopp, pressed McKenna to demonstrate the state's interest in releasing the petitioners' names.

Unlike legislators, "somebody who signs a petition is not answerable to anybody," Alito said. "So what is your interest?"

McKenna responded that in addition to rooting out fraudulent signatures, public disclosure might, for instance, inform voters by disclosing that a particular company or organization is pushing for a tax break or other causes.

Eugene Volokh, a University of California, Los Angeles law professor who specializes in First Amendment law, said prognosticating a decision based on the justices' questions is tricky. But, Volokh said, the court seemed to be questioning whether there was any right to anonymity when people are not just giving their position on an issue, but making a legally binding demand for government action via a ballot petition.

Even for political speech, privacy is not absolute. Americans vote in secret, but the Supreme Court has never ruled it's a constitutional right. And the identities of people who attend Republican or Democratic caucuses in Washington and elsewhere are known to state party leaders.

Under Washington's Public Records Act, ballot petitions have been considered public records. But it wasn't until 2007, when the state switched from archiving on microfilm to digital imaging, that obtaining the records became practical and affordable.

Since 2006, the Secretary of State's Office has received requests for and released seven petitions, including Initiative 920 for estate taxes and Initiative 917 for motor-vehicle taxes.

A CD copy of Ref. 71 petitions was released to a gay-rights group, Washington Families Standing Together. But a lower court said the group couldn't post or distribute the names until the Supreme Court ruled on the case.

However, the group, which campaigned to keep the domestic-partnership law, said it has no intention of posting the names and just wanted to make sure the signatures were legitimate.

The Seattle Times is among 22 news organizations and media trade associations that filed a brief in the case supporting public disclosure of the petitions.

Speaking after the hearing, McKenna said he was heartened by the justices' focus on the broad implications of withholding names not just for Ref. 71, but for all citizen petitions all across the country.

"The majority of the justices were skeptical of the plaintiff's arguments," he said.

Bopp, an Indiana lawyer who has gained national prominence by taking on laws that limit campaign contributions, said he counted three justices in his corner. Bopp said he did not know if McKenna had swayed enough justices to win the case.

Bopp has said that if he loses, he'll ask a lower court to grant an exemption from public disclosure just for Ref. 71 based on the potential that such disclosure could lead to harassment.

The courts have generally allowed case-by-case exemptions for information that would otherwise be public. McKenna told the justices he would support withholding the names from disclosure while the other side pursued that option.

Kyung Song: 202-662-7455 or

Houston Bound

It's common that  Kent and I will hop a plane and get away for the weekend at the last minute.  It's a lot of fun but depending on the timing it can play havoc on my training schedule!  We decided to take a weekend trip to Houston since Kent is already there on business.  I'm leaving late on Thursday and will be in the Houston area for the weekend.  We spent time in Austin last year and had a great time - I think Austin is going to be hard to beat! 

Any Texans out there who have any ideas of must "do's" while there?  I've already mapped out a 20 mile run that I'll do on Friday - looks like a great trail.  Normally I'd have this 20 mile run on Sunday but I'll be flying home on Sunday and Kent will still be working on Friday morning so it works out well to move my Sunday long run to Friday.  It will make for a lot of miles this week however - close to 60!  May be a record for me.  I'll post a summary of week two training on Sunday.

We've got a fairly big territory so we may stay in Houston but have also talked about Corpus Christi or the Galveston area.  It's always fun heading out to a general area not knowing exactly where you will end up.  I'll keep you posted and post a few pictures now and then.

Thanks for all the comments - Cindy it's been fun hearing from you and following your blog.  I see I also picked up a couple of new followers.  Welcome - I could not tell from your profile if you have a blog so if you do let me know so I can check it out!  If your a regular visitor to my blog - why not become a follower too?

Have a good one -


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

One Day - I’ll thru hike the Appalachian Trail

There, I've said it – I’ve written it down and for me that’s where many of the greatest accomplishments of my life have all begun. I remember the same conversation with myself long before ever completing my first marathon - "if you write it down Jim you will eventually run a marathon".  I remember taking this management class when I was in my early 20's and the instructor had us develop a list of all the things we wanted to do in our life.  20 years later I ran across the list and was amazed at all the things I'd actually accomplished!  Write it down and it's more likely to happen!
So why suddenly the Appalachian Trail? Well as with many things – it’s been brewing for quite a long time and was recently rekindled on our recent trip to Syracuse when we crossed paths with the Appalachian Trail and took a short hike. I first became interested in the trail back in 1998 shortly after Kent and I met. I was working in Olympia at the time and commuting between our home in Kirkland which was about 70 miles each way – I had a lot of driving time on my hands and quickly discovered audio books. Bill Bryson’s - A Walk in the Woods - Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail was one of the first books I listened to.

Bryson details his attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail with an old friend who happens to be a recovering alcoholic and who is completely out of shape. The book is hilarious but it is also educational in that it is interspersed with more serious matters relating to the trial's history, and the surrounding sociology, ecology, trees, plants, animals etc. It’s a fun book – Kent and I are listening to it again for the umpteenth time!

I also just finished reading  - Awol on the Appalachian Trail.

It's about a guy (David Miller) who quits his job to hike the trail back in 2003.  His book really puts you in the shoes or boots as it may be of a long distance hiker.  I really enjoyed it.

  Since it will likely be retirement years before I am able to thru-hike the trail, I’m living vicariously through a group of young people currently hiking the trail that started in March of this year. I just recently discovered their blog Appalachian Trail Hike and find that I look forward to their updates. What an adventure!

Have a good one -


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Parade Queen

I bet that's not a term you've heard many times. I've confessed to many things before on my blog (some would say too much).....get ready - I'm a parade queen.  There I said it!  It feels great to just put it out there - not one to stay in the closet about anything!

As you might have guessed - a parade queen is simply one who likes to go to parades.

There are three parades that I rarely miss in Washington State each year.

The picture above is one I took several years ago at The Fremont Summer Solstice Parade.  It's one of the best in the Northwest.  This years parade is on June 19th - mark your calendar now.  Since my blog is PG for the most part, I'll let you check out the nude bicyclists yourself!

The Pride Parade is another one that is right there at the top of my list.  This years parade is on June 27th.  If you have never been to Pride in Seattle and want to go let me know and you can hang out with Kent and I!  We always go down early and place our chairs for a front row seat.

This is one of my favorite pictures from last years parade!  Got to love the Dyke's on Bikes!

But I've got one that you've probably not heard of unless you are from Olympia - The Procession of the Species Parade! It's always held on the weekend following Earth Day.  Kent and I went down last weekend and had a great time as usual.  I thought I'd share a few of my favorite pictures taken last week.  Definitely check out the Procession parade sometime. 

Below is the full album if your interested.  Have a good one and go to a parade!

Later -


Sunday, April 25, 2010

694.54 Miles to Go

End of week one - only 15 more weeks and one marathon to go before Cologne! During the course of the 16 week training plan, not including the Gay Games Marathon itself, I will have ran 742 miles in preparation for the run. Having run 47.46 miles during week one – 7 hours and 17 minutes at an average pace of 9:13, I only have 694.54 miles left to train between now and August 8th! It’s going to be a long 15 weeks between now and then with many miles to cover. My two shortest mileage weeks are the weeks leading up to the marathons themselves (the long awaited taper). In the week before the Capitol City Marathon in Olympia I’ll taper down to 25 miles and in the week leading up to Cologne I’ll be as low as 22 miles. My highest mile week will be week 11 when I will put in 65 miles in a 5 day period – I’ll average just over 46 miles per week over the 16 week period.

It takes a lot of time to cover this many miles. My current plan has me running 5 days per week. That’s a lot of hours on your feet pounding the pavement. I’ve tried various plans over the years – 3 day a week running (not enough for me) 4 day a week plans and for New York, I was running 6 days per week. This time I thought I see if 5 is the perfect number!

So far so good – am I sore? Yes, I’ve constantly got one ache, pain or little nagging issue but in the end my legs feel strong. The last 6 weeks of low intensity but consistent running has really paid off. The schedule for week was as follows:

Sunday – 19 mile long run
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 7.04 mile negative split
Wednesday – 7.13 mile recovery/easy run
Thursday – 6.07 mile speed work
Friday – 8.0 mile hills
Saturday – Rest

I think the biggest two challenges this week have been adjusting to a new schedule and tracking my food intake. I prefer to run in the morning before work - once the day is over I’ve little energy to run. In order to do this I have to get up at 4:50 each morning to catch the earliest bus to town, get my run in and be ready to work between 7-8 am. The other challenge is (believe it or not) eating enough food in the correct combination.  I burn about 100 calories per mile running. This means that on a 20 mile run I’ve burned 2000 calories! Between these and my base calories I’ve got to consume 4000 or so calories that day to maintain my weight. Needless to say I always loose a few pounds during heavy training. Like I mentioned I use a program called Edibles to track my food intake (basically an electronic food journal) and track my activities.  You enter in your food eaten and amount of exercise and it calculates your caloric needs. It’s pretty handy.

Week two – here I come!  Off for a simple 16 mile run!

Later -


Friday, April 23, 2010

Pruning Tomatoes?

Yes - pruning tomatoes. My Mom sent me this interesting article on pruning tomato plants and since all my tomato seedlings are growing like little weeds I read it with interest and thought I’d share it. Often I start out doing a bit of pruning only to get lazy and then the plants get out of control later in the season! This season I vow to stick with it!

This year I bought all my tomato seeds from Territorial Seed Company. I’ve purchased seeds from them before but never tomato seeds. I’ve always bought established plants – I have to say it’s been great watching them grow.  I just might need to get a greenhouse!

The great thing about growing my own is the incredible variety that I will be planting. Heirloom, yellow, cherry and best of all - they are all tested for compatibility with NW weather conditions!

This is the latest picture of them – I planted them three weeks ago! Let me know if you want a tomato plant (or Pumpkin for that matter) I’ve got plenty!

Enjoy - and thanks Mom for sending the article!


The Benefits of Pruning Tomatoes

By Michelle Smith

Pruning tomato plants is an experienced gardener’s joy and an inexperienced gardener’s wonder. The act of pruning is a divine decision-making process that allows a master to get the best yield from each plant, and everyone knows homegrown tomatoes have an incomparably better taste than store-bought tomatoes.

That’s probably the primary reason you are interested in growing them. Pruning tomato plants not only helps you to maximize that taste, but it also keeps your plants healthy. If you have been tomato gardening without pruning your tomato plants, it’s time to make a change.

Type Matters

Before you pull out your gardening gloves and pruning shears, know whether your tomato plant is determinate or indeterminate. Determinate tomato plants are compact or somewhat bushy. They have short branches with a cluster of flowers at the end. This type of tomato plant is full grown before bearing tomatoes.

“Determinate plants have a predetermined number of stems, leaves and flowers hardwired into their genetic structure,” wrote Frank Ferrandino in Kitchen Gardener. “The development of these plants follows a well-defined pattern.”

If you have determinate tomato plants you can put your gloves and pruning shears away and brainstorm a new pastime. There will be no pruning of tomato plants for you; not unless you want to waste time on your knees destroying them. Pruning this tomato plant merely wastes time and robs you of otherwise delicious tomatoes.

If your plants are more upright, then you have indeterminate tomato plants. The future is in your hands instead of in the genetic code of the plants. So now what?

Why Prune Tomato Plants?

The best way to manipulate the future of your tomato garden is by pruning, which serves two purposes. First, it maximizes photosynthesis, the natural process whereby plants use the sun as an energy source to produce carbohydrates.

On a perfect tomato plant, every leaf basks in the sun. When the leaves fill with sugar, leaf stems begin to branch off from the main stem. Still, all parts of the plant bask in the sun. Eventually the leaf stems fill with sugar and begin to flower. Tomatoes begin to grow, enjoying a healthy flow of sugar. But when tomatoes begin to form on the leaf stems, the plant produces side-shoots, which appear between the main stem and the tomato-bearing leaf stem. This creates two problems.

The first problem is that every new growth diverts sugar. So now the growing tomatoes are only enjoying a portion of the healthy sugar available. The results of limiting the growing tomato’s resources are they will be smaller and less tasty. The second problem is that side-shoots suck up sugar to produce a mass of unworthy leaves that block leaves that would otherwise produce gorgeous, plump tomatoes. Left alone, the side-shoots will become leaf stems, which will bear more side-shoots. This process continues until your tomato plants are dense, unruly and unsightly underachievers.

Think of a side-shoot like a parasite. It happily shares your nutrients, gets stronger and grows, but it also causes you to be less productive while it feeds on your goods. Eventually it will produce another parasite that will also help itself to your goods and eventually invite another.

Pruning presents the choice between better and more. Would you prefer 30 prize-winning tomatoes or 60 honorable mentions? A good gardener need not answer that. It is obvious that parasites (aka side-shoots) need to be removed.

The second purpose for pruning is to minimize the risk of being an overseer of diseased tomato plants. In fact, pruning actually helps improve your tomato plant’s health.

“The leaves of a pruned and supported plant dry off faster, so bacterial and fungal pathogens have less opportunity to spread,” wrote Ferradino. “Soil is less liable to splash up onto staked plants.”

Though they are separate gardening tasks, pruning and staking truly go together. If you prune your plants and wonderful tomatoes appear, but the plants are not staked, you have wasted your time. The plants will tumble to the ground and end up with the same problem as unpruned plants. All of the leaves will not receive the needed sunlight and the plants will run a high risk of disease.

The Cornell University Vegetable Growing Guide says that tomatoes were originally desert plants. This is the reason they are so susceptible to diseases in humid conditions. On the other hand, the guide also confirms that pruned plants produce fruit earlier than unpruned plants. Isn’t indulging in your love of homegrown tomatoes the ultimate perk of pruning?

So how do you prune them properly?

First, decide how many fruit-bearing leaf stems you want your plants to have. (Pruning is much about having a vision.) Each of your main leaf stems will bear flowers and fruit, but make sure they are all at least one foot from the ground. Any lower and the fruit or leaves will touch the dirt, attract bugs and slugs, and you will be left with rotten tomatoes. Throughout your tomato plant’s life you should remove any side-shoots that are below your lowest flowering-leaf stem.

The best time to remove side-shoots is when they are about 3 to 4 inches long. Plants can be pruned with your fingers. Simply peel the side-shoots back and snap them off. If you have allowed them to grow to the point of needing pruning shears, or if you just prefer using tools, make sure they are clean and sterile.

You want to remove enough leaves so that the area around the base of the plant does not look crowded. However, you must also leave enough leaves to cover your growing fruit. Don’t fall for the myth that tomatoes need direct sunlight. If you do not have some foliage covering them, your tomatoes will suffer sun scald.

About a month before the first frost for your area, prepare for your final harvest. Remove the side-shoots as usual. But this time remove any flowers as well. They will not have time to bloom and ripen and you don’t need useless matter stealing precious energy from your last harvest.

Pruning tomato plants sounds relatively easy, but it is actually labor intensive. It is also a matter of trial and error, so don’t expect to master it immediately. Some people urge tomato gardeners not to worry about it at all. Pruning is not necessary they say. It’s completely optional, they declare. And these things are true—pruning tomato plants is not necessary and it is optional—unless you want the best tomatoes.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Random Picture of the Day

I'm on the bus headed to work and decided to post a random picture - something I may begin doing a bit more frequently. This is a picture of our back patio area that I love so much!

I took this picture from our bedroom window upstairs which is why there is a bit of a glare. When Kent and I bought our house just over 10 years ago this area was nothing but dirt and a weeds. I really like the moss and NW feel to it. Come on over and join me for a cup of coffee!

Kent got home from Japan yesterday - although I love having total control of the remote control for a few days, it's always nice when he gets home. Training is going well - I have a six mile tempo run this morning. Sunday will be the end of the first week of training - then only 15 more! For my Olympia friends come on out and cheer me on in a few weeks when I run the Olympia Marathon - I'd love to see you.

Happy Earth Day!

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Idol Confession

This is the first season I've watched and I confess - tonight I voted for the first time ever.

Lee Dewyze sings - The Boxer. This was an amazing performance on American Idol by Lee Dewyze - check it out!

Crystal Bowersox also did an amazing performance of - Get Ready. She's the one to beat.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Today - Everything Changes....

Well perhaps that's a bit dramatic but today is the first day of "serious" training - well at least as serious as a 46 year old non competitive athletic guy can get! Yesterday's run was tough - seemed like mile 19 would never come! I've got a few aches and pains that I am "watching" - mostly my feet and ankles. Not sure what that is all about. I've gone through many pairs of shoes and have never been completely satisfied. If I only find the perfect pair of shoes.....

I didn't end up running anyplace interesting I just followed the same old path near the house. The routes around our house are not all that interesting but they are certainly convenient. Although I have been known to drive to a running trail it seems pointless since the whole idea of running is to run after all. When I run from the office the runs are much more interesting. One of these days soon, I am going to take my camera with me on one of my morning runs and blog about it.

I think one of the reasons that I am so sore today is because after my run I worked in the yard all day - it was a beautiful day in Seattle! It's the time of year that I love to be in the yard and of course I'm planning my vegetable garden - I'm also nursing my seedlings along in the kitchen window.  Here are a few random pictures in and around the garden.  Notice the growth in the seedlings one week apart!

So back to the title of the posting - Everything Changes. Like I said I approach serious training differently than maintenance running. Any time I've completed a marathon in the 3:45ish time frame - it's as a result of "serious" training. So as of today every run will have purpose, I'll do more cross training, no fried foods, no alcohol, and although I'm not going vegetarian - I cut my intake of meat products. I also track/log my food. I found a great iPhone application for that - Edibles.

Great tool for tracking your weight and creating the electronic version of a food journal. Check it out sometime.

Lastly - I am going to work on my core strength. I've never had upper body strength and every time I begin "serious" training I like to add something new - I suppose I'm still looking for just the thing that's going to propel me to Boston! Speaking of - today was the Boston Marathon - I feel terrible for the thousands of runners from Europe that could not make it due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland.

I bought a book called - 7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups. I am going to give it a try and I'll let you know who I progress! Tonight I do the initial test to find out my base - Hopefully I can do 10! It amazes me that I can run 26.2 miles and have such poor upper body strength! I've read a lot about the benefits of developing your core and think it will yield great results.

 I'll keep you posted! "Serious" training - commence!

Later -


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Good Lord - Approprite for a Sunday Morning!

Is it me or does Rush Limbaugh get fatter every day? I found various pictures of him - can you pick out the most recent?! What a despicable excuse for a human being.


Limbaugh: Volcano is God's Response to Health Care Reform

Rush Limbaugh said "God may have replied" to the passage of health care reform with the eruption of the Iceland volcano.

Said Limbaugh on his radio show yesterday:

"You know, a couple of days after the health care bill had been signed into law Obama ran around all over the country saying, 'Hey, you know, I’m looking around. The earth hadn’t opened up. There’s no Armageddon out there. The birds are still chirping.' I think the earth has opened up. God may have replied. This volcano in Iceland has grounded more airplanes — airspace has more affected — than even after 9/11 because of this plume, because of this ash cloud over Northern and Western Europe. At the Paris airport they’re telling people to head to the train station to catch trains out of France, and when people get to the train station they’re telling people, “There aren’t any seats until at least April 22nd,” basically a week from now. It’s got everybody in a shutdown. Earth has opened up. I don’t know whether it’s a rebirth or Armageddon. Hopefully it’s a rebirth, God speaking."

Well at least this time it was not the gays who caused the eruption!

Now that Rush has pissed me off again and delayed the start of my long run - I'm off for a 19 mile run!  Nice way to start my Sundau morning - a lot to think about this morning!

Later -


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Prop 8 Update

No Prop 8 repeal in 2010
by Seth Hemmelgarn
Bay Area Reporter
Saturday Apr 17, 2010

California voters will not be deciding whether to repeal Proposition 8 this year.

In an announcement that was widely expected, groups that had been working to repeal Prop 8 this November said this week that they failed to gather the necessary signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot.

In separate statements issued Monday, April 12, both Love Honor Cherish and Restore Equality 2010 said they had not gathered the 694,354 signatures required to put the measure on the ballot. Monday was the deadline for turning in signatures.

"This is a heartbreaking moment," John Henning, executive director of the Los Angeles-based Love Honor Cherish, said in the statement. "Despite the dogged efforts of hundreds of volunteers across California, we did not get the signatures we needed within the 150-day window set by the state."

Sean Bohac, the state advisory panel chair for Restore Equality 2010, said in his statement, "Our campaigners carried the torch of Harvey Milk, who showed that change only happens when we get out of the bars and into the streets."

Restore Equality officials did not say how many signatures they had managed to gather.

Asked in an e-mail about the number, Ian Hart, a regional representative for Restore Equality, responded, "Not enough. ... When we got out on the street, there was terrific support - particularly in left-leaning straight communities. We just needed more volunteers in more communities, which is why if California wants to get this on the ballot in 2012, we will need the organizations and individuals who pledged to support a 2012 effort to come out and fight for marriage equality."

Henning did not respond to requests for comment by deadline. Love Honor Cherish was part of the Restore Equality 2010 coalition.

Several statewide organizations, including Equality California and the progressive Courage Campaign, had previously announced they would move forward with a repeal effort in 2012 and had not signed on to the 2010 effort.

Prop 8, which California voters passed in November 2008, amended the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

In a phone interview Thursday, April 8, Bohac had said he was "cautiously optimistic" that his group would succeed in gathering enough signatures.

"We've been inspired by the people who have come out of the woodwork to help us work on the campaign," Bohac said, adding, "I know that we've collected signatures from every county in the state. We've run a statewide campaign that we're pretty proud of."

Added Jane Wishon, Restore Equality's treasurer, "We were almost entirely a volunteer effort, and we will continue to be as we move forward." She expressed, as others did, an intent to help push for repeal in 2012.

"The cause doesn't stop now," Wishon said. "Clearly, we still have this blemish on our state constitution."

She wasn't sure what Restore Equality 2010 would be called now.

"We're still dedicated to marriage equality, so we want to reflect that in the name. I don't know that we have a final decision yet," Wishon said.

Love Honor Cherish also said it would work to support repeal in 2012.

"We had hundreds of thousands of conversations with California voters about the right to marry and we know that we have moved hearts and minds," Love Honor Cherish board member Lester Aponte said in the group's statement. "In the process, we have set the foundation for a future repeal effort and brought hope to thousands whose hearts were broken by the passage of Prop 8."


The 2010 repeal effort was hampered by a lack of funds, as the groups appeared to have not raised much money.

Wishon said that Restore Equality had raised approximately $20,000, plus donations of goods and services.

Wishon said they "used every dollar."

According to data filed with the secretary of state's office in February, Love Honor Cherish raised $19,518 in 2009, including about $3,800 in loans. The group's ending cash on hand was $889.

In contrast, the Yes on 8 and No on 8 campaigns raised a combined $80 million two years ago.

In a February phone interview, Henning said his group's figures didn't represent the whole year, but only the time in which Love Honor Cherish was obligated to report data. He said they didn't have to start reporting contributions until about September, which was when they submitted their ballot language to the attorney general's office. A state campaign finance official did not verify that timeline by press time.

Henning had previously said that Love Honor Cherish wasn't meeting its daily signature targets and there was a "definite possibility that we're going to need paid signature gatherers."

However, the money it had reported raising by that time was well under what a signature-gathering firm would charge.

Polling data

Both groups that had pushed for repeal in 2010 pointed to recent polling data indicating support for legalizing same-sex marriage in California.

In a Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California poll, registered voters said by a 52 percent to 40 percent margin that same-sex couples should be allowed to legally marry in the state.

The survey included 1,515 registered voters, and questioning took place March 23-30. The margin of error for the survey was plus or minus 2.6 percentage points for the overall sample and slightly larger for smaller breakdowns.

A Public Policy Institute of California statewide poll released in late March found that 50 percent of the state's residents supported marriage equality, with 45 percent against it.

The results marked the first time a PPIC poll has found more than 45 percent support for same-sex marriage since it began asking about marriage equality in 2000.

The PPIC survey of 2,002 Californians was conducted between March 9-16, two months after the start of the federal Prop 8 trial in San Francisco, aimed at overturning the measure, and just days after the United States Supreme Court refused to stop same-sex marriage from becoming legal in Washington, D.C. It had a sampling error of plus or minus 2 percent.

-- Post From My iPhone

Do you Listen to Music While Running?

As you can see by the new playlist I've added, I do listen to music while running - sometimes. Most often it's during long runs on trails and/or when I am running in areas that I am very familiar with. I also am more inclined to listen to music when I am doing easy miles or hills. When I am doing serious training or running in an area that I am not familiar with or if it's dark, I want to know beforehand if someone is going to jump out and kill me or that a dog is about the take a chunk out of my leg! I've ran one marathon listening to music and I've never done it since. I found it isolating and since I'm not there to win the race half the fun of running is the feeling of community and the encouragement you get from fellow runners and the crowd. I'm not one to judge my fellow runner either about who listens or not - to each their own. Just be aware if you are wearing a headset in a race of others around you.

I'm less than a month out from the Capitol City Marathon in Olympia and just a few days away from starting the "serious" training. Tomorrow I have a 19 mile long run - I plan on running nice and slow! Kent is leaving today for a business trip to Japan so I will have extra time on my hands and may venture out on a new trail.

I've never ran one marathon while training for another and I know some would say not to do it but I'm going to give it a try. The challenging part is to blend the training plans for the two marathons over the next several weeks. I've got two more long runs before Olympia as I start the training for Cologne when traditionally I'd start off slow. I think the key is to run the long runs and the Olympia marathon at a very slow pace so not to injure myself but in the mean time begin to incorporate in speed work, hills and increase both my weekly mileage and the number of days per week I run. I've been running four days per week and will increase it to five next week.

Off to enjoy the rest of my day - have a great weekend!  Let me know if you ahve any current suggestions! BTW - if you have never checked out  - Check it out if you are a music lover.  Great service! 

Later -


Friday, April 16, 2010

Progress - Thanks Obama!

I am thankful that I live in a state where as a gay couple Kent and I have legal protection to assure we are not faced with not being allowed to visit while hospitalized. I’ve always been concerned what would happen if while traveling we experienced an emergency and had to be hospitalized. One less thing to worry about – thank you Obama!

President Obama issued a memorandum Thursday to the Department of Health and Human Services, ordering hospitals to give same-sex couples the right to be with a partner who is sick or dying. The memorandum applies to every hospital that receives Medicare or Medicaid funding -- nearly every hospital in the country.

The Memorandum

"Respecting the Rights of Hospital Patients to Receive Visitors and to Designate Surrogate Decision Makers for Medical Emergencies"

The language in the memo is not boilerplate government bureaucrat-speak. It says gay and lesbian Americans "are often barred from the bedsides of the partners with whom they may have spent decades of their lives -- unable to be there for the person they love."
James Esseks of the ACLU's LGBT Project called the memo a huge deal that harms no one and helps many people.

"What we face is a whole series of problems in our daily lives, and certainly in times of crisis, when the relationships that are an integral part of our lives are just not protected," Esseks said. "It shows up in lots of different places, but hospital visitation is a prime example."

Some states already have policies like this one, but the country is a patchwork of different rules. J.P. Duffy, vice president for communications at the Family Research Council, said Obama is pandering to a radical special interest group. "There are many other ways to deal with this issue, whether through a health care proxy or power of attorney, through private contractual arrangements. We have no problem with those situations," Duffy said, "but the fact here is that this is undermining the definition of marriage."

Most hospitals, he said, have no restrictions on same-sex visitation.
But Dr. Jason Schneider, former president of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, said that unless a hospital has a formal policy allowing same-sex visitations, gay couples can run into trouble. "One person in a hospital can make a huge difference -- a security guard, a front desk clerk looking at a same-sex partner and saying, 'You don't have any right to go back there,' " Schneider said. "So I think this directive gives weight to the importance of recognizing the variety and the breadth of how people define families."
The memo also applies beyond same-sex couples.

It says a patient can name anyone to be a surrogate decision-maker, including a friend or a distant relative. It also says hospitals must follow patients' advance directives, no matter who the patient designates as a surrogate in a medical emergency.

In the past year, gay and lesbian groups have criticized the Obama administration, saying the White House has not moved quickly enough on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and other issues that are important to the community. Esseks of the ACLU says he thinks this might change their view of the president.
"He put his name on this memorandum," Esseks said. "This change could have simply come through [the Department of] Health and Human Services. And the fact that he did it over his name, I think, speaks to an understanding of the real problem that people are facing."

Some prominent gay and lesbian advocates said they had never thought of using Medicare and Medicaid funding as a tool to force hospitals to expand LGBT access. It's a move that Duffy of the Family Research Council calls "a big-government federal takeover of even the smallest details of the nation's health care system."
But this isn't the first time a president has used Medicare funding to expand access to hospitals.

When President Johnson signed Medicare into law in 1965, many hospitals were racially segregated. That new law said hospitals that received federal Medicare dollars would have to integrate. Initially there was strong resistance, but within a year of Medicare's beginning, the desegregation of the nation's hospitals was essentially complete.

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Love Glee - Love Seattle

If you are not a Glee fan you are missing out!  Season two just started and season one is already available for purchase!  Check it out!  The following was done in Seattle in Westlake Center in downtown Seattle - I wish I had been there!

Check out this version of Vogue from this seasons premiere - loved it!

Later -


Tuesday, April 13, 2010


One of the great things about working in downtown Seattle is that periodically I stop at Uwajimaya and pick up sushi for dinner. I took this picture tonight in our kitchen after I "plated" everything. It was delish!

Dinner included:
Shrimp Nigiri
Gomoku Inari Sushi
Soy Bean Sprouts salad
White Rice

Check out Uwajimaya next time you are in Seattle!

-- Post From My iPhone

Why the Hell Run.....

After running 20 miles on Sunday and taking Monday off,  my measly 6 mile run today was supposed to be simple!  It was much tougher than I thought it should be!  Slow and steady progress....

As I get closer to the beginning of my 16 week training plan for the Gay Games Marathon I’ve been thinking a lot about running - how I got into it, why I run and what keeps me motivated.

I run for one primary reason – to keep my weight down! I love to eat and have struggled with weight all my life. After years of gaining weight, loosing weight, gaining weight, loosing weight I finally figured out in my early 30’s that the secret to maintenance of my weight was incorporating regular exercise into my life. It’s kind of embarrassing to show the “before” picture below but – what the hell, I’m proud that I’ve kept the weight under better control.

What do you think of the cheesy mustache? Well it was the early 90’s! This has to be the worst driver’s license picture! My weight topped out in 1993 at 194 lbs!  I’m not a tall guy so I was pretty heavy. I eventually successfully lost all the weight by the late 90’s by joining Weight Watchers and reaching goal. The “after” picture is my current license – so as you can see running has really helped be keep the weight under control at about 150 pounds for a number of years!

By the late 90’s I’d taken off the weight but had still not yet started running – and to top it off I was smoking!  Like weight, I’d struggled with smoking for years! I was a bit of a rebel and started smoking somewhere between age 13 and 14.  I know - my poor Mom, she had to have a lot of patience raising me! One of these days I’ll tell you about hitchhiking to Montana - and eventually making it to Florida – but that’s definitely a separate blog post!

For the first few years I was able to keep the weight off within several pounds but I was also smoking off and on – I’d quit smoking, gain a few pounds, start smoking, quit, gain, quit, gain……..

This was all going on about the time Kent and I met and horror of all horrors – I began closet smoking! Kent was a non-smoker and of course I wanted to make a good impression – long story short, one can be a closet smoker for only so long – Kent busted me and I have not smoked in well over 12 years! Without the crutch of smoking I had to find another solution. Running was the answer!

In some ways I think I was destined to turn to running eventually. As a kid in grade school I was always the fastest one in my class, in junior high I was on the track team (until I started smoking), I had toyed with running periodically and ran my first 10K when I was 18 or so – but what really inspired me was my younger brother David. He had ran a marathon and convinced me I could do the same.

I started out slow and ran my first half marathon in 2002.  My brother David ran it with me and although he was much faster than I he ran along with me and even let me cross the finish line before him!  I continued to run and found like smoking I could maintain my weight within a few pounds as long as I was running. It would be a few years but I ran my first Marathon in 2006 – San Diego in 3:42:56. I’ve ran at least one each year since.

So May 16th I’ll return to Olympia where I did my first half Marathon and compete in the Capitol City Marathon. I will have already started my training for Cologne so I will run slow so not to have to spend time recovering and keep up with the “serious” schedule.

I still struggle with my weight and between marathons I have been known to pack on a few pounds – but running keeps me within the range of weight that I can feel comfortable with – and best of all I don’t have to smoke!

Have a good one-


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Marathon Training - Capitol City to Gay Games!

I'm just in from a 20 mile training run and since I'm just in and have been wanting to post on running/training for awhile I thought I would do it while it's fresh on my mind. I've been training for the past 6 weeks for the Capitol City Marathon which is the next marathon I'll run on May 16, 2010.

I'm currently running between 45-50 miles per week. I've got kind of a split personality when it comes to training - sometimes I'm really focused and follow a strict training plan and other times I'm just putting in the miles so that I know I can finish the marathon without injuring myself. Up to this point training for Olympia has been pretty relaxed - that will all change a week from Monday when I get serious about training for the Gay Games Marathon this summer in Cologne.

 Like many runners I've got a lifetime goal to quality for the Boston Marathon. At 46 I've got to complete a marathon in 3:30 to make it. The closet I've come is 3:42:53 in the San Diego Rock n' Roll Marathon followed by the New York Marathon at 3:46:23. Both of these were marathons that I put in some strenuous training, made adjustments to my diet and crossed trained. So now that I've got a good base of miles built up, starting on 4/19/10 I'll begin the serious plan for the 16 weeks leading up to the Gay Games. What's the difference between just putting in the miles and serious training you ask - well like I said up to this point I'm just putting in miles - not the greatest way to improve my speed but it gives me a good base of miles to start the serious training, keeps my weight down, keeps me from getting running related injuries and gives me the confidence I need to complete the marathon.

Serious training on the other hand means I track what I eat, give up certain foods, no alcohol, cross train and follow a running plan where each and every run has a specific purpose - not just putting in the miles. What does it mean to run with purpose? Depending on the day of the week, I'll do tempo runs (slow, fast, slow), speed work, hills and hill repeats, track workouts and long runs. I enjoy the regimen and structure that come with serious training but it is tiring and I've injured myself pushing too hard and increasing my speed to quickly.

My plan is to blog at least weekly about the training that I am doing and to log my progress in the blog and to discuss the various aspects of doing like I've done and basically move from couch potato to running marathons. I hope to inspire you to get out and go for a little run yourself!
Thanks for the comments on the new look to the blog - I have to say that I'm not totally satisfied and will probably keep making changes at least until I get bored with it.

I thought I would leave you with this video on the gay games - enjoy!

Have a great week - more running posts than you can count will be occurring over the next several months!

Later -


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Messing Around

As you can tell for the last couple weeks I've been playing around with the style of my blog. The challenge I have is that the idea behind my blog is more of a journal than a topic specific site. It's called Ground Cover because I have varied interests and cover various topics - makes it a challenge to find an audience beyond family and friends. One time you visit and I'm writing about Husky sports (more than one of my gay friends have said - "I stopped looking because every time I visited it was about sports"). Next time you check in I'm talking about gardening, then cooking, running, gay rights, travel - you get the point.

It makes it hard to come up with a design that covers all so I went with this one. I'll keep playing with it. Let me know what you think! Have a great Saturday!

I've got a post in progess to update you on my progress in training for the marathon next month in Olympia and running in general - stay tuned!

Later -


Monday, April 5, 2010

Who cares?

Well I guess I do – and I’m not sure why. I’m not sure it it’s just plain ol’ curiosity or what, but I’ll admit it – I want to know….. Just who are the closeted gay celebrities? The reality is that coming out of the closet is a life long process which we all do it in our own time. Some celebrities we may never know and others will do it in their own time. In the mean time I’ll just have to speculate and do the old I told you so later! I’m an activist for gay rights in many ways – I’ve been known to protest, write letters, blog, sign petitions, march in parades etc. However I have to say that the most powerful activism that I participate in is just being a plain ol’ out gay guy.

When I say that coming out is a life long process - I’m not kidding. People make assumptions all the time. Let me give you a couple of very recent examples – Kent and I are season tickets holders to both Husky basketball and football. I know, I know, it does not fit the stereo type but what can I say we are so butch! (stop laughing!) Anyway – recently we decided to meet with the athletic department at the University of Washington and upgrade our seats. Now we’ve been a couple for 13 years so in some ways you kind of forget about it and assume everyone knows but during the course of the conversation with guy from UW it was clear that he assumed we were to “buds” (oh we’re “buds” all right Ed) that liked football and had tickets together. He makes the comment, something to the effect “the wives must do their thing while you guys go to football”. So you can handle this is several ways – but we ALWAYS correct this king of stuff. I think Kent said something like - “we don’t have to worry about the wives since we are a gay couple” - very matter fact but friendly and move right along in the conversation. It’s not so much a confrontation as it is, educating. 99.9% of the time people are great about it. But you see what I mean about it being a life long process? Another recent example – my parents were in town and my Mom and I are sitting there and a couple of young Mormon missionaries come to the door. I answered the door and before they could get very far I said something like “I want you to know this is a gay household and I’m not sure the Mormon Church wants much to do with us”. Again – not aggressive but matter fact. One of the guys looked pissed but the one that took the lead handled it really well and asked if there was anything they could do for me and that was the end of that. Happens all the time in work setting not with my immediate co-workers but with business acquaintances when you first meet them – they see the ring and there goes the assumption and I here I go again – got to come out again.

This turned out to be a much longer post than I had intended but the Ricky Martin thing got me to thinking – What if everyone who was gay and in the closet just came out? The whole gay rights thing would become a non issue. Everyone has to do it in their own time but I’m here to say it’s the most politically powerful thing you can do!

I’ve got a new item on the sidebar of my blog. Celebrates who have come out of the closet and those that I suspect are gay. I’ll cross them off as they come out! Let me know if there are others I should add.

Out and Proud –

Saturday, April 3, 2010

“You're a single lady”… it's okay!

This is the funniest and sweetest video – you have to check this out. I’m not sure what I find more touching the parent’s reaction - which is priceless, or the Dad’s comment to his son when he realizes he’s hurt his feelings – “you're a single lady – it’s ok”. Hilarious and touching at the same time!

Growing up in a family of seven children including four older sisters you can only imagine how many things were said that hurt my feelings or embarrassed me – I’m sure it was completely innocent as in the video but it sure took me back!

Wouldn’t it be great if the reactions we had as kids followed us into adulthood. Imagine if it were perfectly normal as an adult to just have a great big cry when someone hurt your feelings or embarrassed you – I bet we would all be more careful about what we said. I think I’ll try it sometime. Better watch out!

I'm not a single lady but if I were not so happy with my husband - I cold be! Great song and video by the way! Check it out.


Do you - Give a Damn! Pay attention and Join NOW

This is one of the reasons I blog - to spread the word and to get people involved. Check out this new campaign that launched on Thursday that was started by Cyndi Lauper's True Color Fund. It's fantastic! you will be hearing a lot more from me and others about this site!

Give a Damn Campaign Launches!
Apr 01st, 2010 07:36 PM

By Admin

Cyndi Lauper, Elton John, Whoopi Goldberg, Jason Mraz, Cynthia Nixon, Anna Paquin, Sharon & Kelly Osbourne, Judith Light, Kim Kardashian, Clay Aiken, Wanda Sykes, and others join forces in Give a Damn Campaign Video Series

April 1, 2010 [NEW YORK] – Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund today launched the Give a Damn Campaign (, a bold, web-based initiative with the goal of educating and engaging the straight community in the advancement of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. The call-to-action campaign kicks off with the release of its first series of videos which feature Cyndi Lauper, Elton John, Whoopi Goldberg, Jason Mraz, Cynthia Nixon, Anna Paquin, Sharon & Kelly Osbourne, Judith Light, Kim Kardashian, Clay Aiken, Wanda Sykes, Eric Roberts, and Kevin Alejandro expressing why they Give a Damn about equality.

“In my life I’ve crossed paths with many different people and I’ve seen firsthand what it means to be discriminated against,” said Cyndi Lauper, True Colors Fund co-founder. “I’ve come to realize equality means a lot to people who don’t have it and that, as a straight person, I have a responsibility to stand up for gay and transgender people each and every day. We all have to get involved; we all have to give a damn.”

The Give a Damn Campaign’s debut video series, produced by Red Thread Productions, directs viewers to, an innovative and interactive website designed by Purple Crayons, where they are presented with ways they can get informed and get involved.

The site is designed as an easy to understand introduction to the issues affecting the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. In addition to the video component, features three important sections: the Damn Blog, which is updated daily to keep readers informed on breaking news and ways to get involved, Personal Stories, where visitors can read about why other people support equality and how inequalities have affected their lives and Damn Issues, where visitors can learn about the issues that matter most to them. also functions as a helpful tool for people to get involved in advancing equality. In particular, visitors are urged to reach out to the straight people in their lives to encourage them to show their support. Through the use of the site’s “Tell a Friend” feature and social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, users are able to easily share any of the videos, personal stories or other content that will best assist them in opening a dialogue about equality with the people in their lives. Additional opportunities to get involved are available through partnerships with an array of non-profit organizations. One of the easiest things visitors can do to support equality is join the Give a Damn Campaign. By providing their email address visitors can stay informed and stay involved, as well as enjoy a personalized and customized version of

“Our focus is to open a dialogue with everyone, especially the straight community, who may not be fully aware of the inequality facing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans. The Give a Damn Campaign will help bridge that gap,” said True Colors Fund Executive Director Gregory Lewis. “’Equality for all is the basis upon which this country was built and it can only be achieved if we all get informed and get involved.”


True Colors Fund, the non-profit organization co-founded by music icon and longtime activist Cyndi Lauper, seeks to inspire and engage everyone, particularly the straight community, to become active participants in the advancement of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality and ensure a strong and vibrant LGBT community.

For more information please visit


The Give a Damn Campaign has been made possible with the very generous support of lead sponsors Purple Crayons, designers of and the Give a Damn logo, and Red Thread Productions, producers of the Give a Damn video series. Additional support has been provided by Eccentricity Design, Dietrich Nelson & Associates, Inc., Jeff Ertz, Keaton Simons, MAC Cosmetics, and Mayu Mishina.


The True Colors Fund’s non-profit partners are: CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers, Freedom to Marry, Gay & Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA), Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Immigration Equality, Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders (SAGE), Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), The Trevor Project.