Friday, August 20, 2010

Lake Chelan

Today we started our annual week at Lake Chelan. Kent and I have been coming to the lake every year since we met in 1997! We spend the entire week reading, swimming, and eating! The picture below is from our balcony at the condo.

It's the best vacation of the year since we've been so many times we can completly relax without feeling like we are missing something if we are not on the go the entire time.

I've got a stack of books and magazines to get through and our only other commitment is the completion of a jigsaw puzzle. Life is good!


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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Germany Trip 2010

I’m finally going to sit down and write a bit about our time in Germany. I love the fact that while we are on the road I can blog and share a few pictures but it’s limiting in that the application sometimes crashes and it’s difficult to do lengthy posts “on the road”.

I also finally organized all the pictures we took – you know this whole digital thing has created a huge dilemma in that I don’t even think a second about taking multiple pictures of the same thing, that is until I get home and have to edit them – took me several hours!

We had a great time overall during our visit. It started by getting upgraded to first class on the flight over – what a treat! I thought the ticket price for coach was expensive at $1500 per ticket so we used frequent flier miles for Kent’s ticket and purchased mine. It’s unheard of to upgrade a free ticket so I was especially surprised at how nice the airlines were in that once they found out I was not traveling alone they upgraded both Kent and I! I looked up the price and it’s over $9,000 for a last minute roundtrip, non-stop, first class ticket from Seattle to Amsterdam! Now since Kent travels for business overseas he is used to this type of service – I on the other hand have only experienced first class on domestic flights. International first class was something to experience! Warm nuts, champagne, wine, comforters, pillows, meals on fine china – and the service…..sometimes when in coach and you are waiting for your little bag of pretzels or peanuts and a diet coke it seems like there are three attendants for 250 people. Not so in first class – the crew was practically tripping over themselves as they attended to our every need! I really was born to fly first class……I need an inheritance!

We purchased a rail pass to use in Europe since we were flying into Amsterdam and planned to take the train to Cologne and onto Berlin and Luxemburg. It really turned out to be the right decision. It’s a little confusing at first but once you figure out their system it’s the way to go! We purchased 2nd class seats and could pretty much get on any train. Once we learned the difference between the high speed trains and the local (slow) trains and how to make seat reservations – we were set! Their train system is amazing, frequent and timely. We never had to wait more than a few minutes for a train and because we had a pass we could literally get off and on pretty much any train we wanted as long as we were in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany or Luxemburg. The train station in must of the cities are centrally located to downtown – between the trains and the local metro’s I never felt that we should have rented a car.

The first day is always the most difficult due to the 9 hour time change. You always want to make it through without going to sleep to become adjusted to the new time zone as quickly as possible. We actually stayed in Düsseldorf which is located about 20 miles or so from Cologne which turned out nice. We actually really liked Düsseldorf a lot and with the train pass travel was fast and frequent. We stayed out there because we found a Marriott for 60.00 Euro a night and we typically like to stay there and earn reward points. (They pay off later when we are upgraded to the penthouse on our final night in Amsterdam!)

Opening Ceremonies for the Gay Games was a lot of fun and an amazing cultural experience! It was so much fun to run into folks from Seattle – most of whom we had never met. We actually met a few people that we will connect with now that we are home. It was also fun meeting folks from all over the world and being in an environment celebrating our diversity. The Gay Games is the biggest gay and lesbian sports and cultural festival in the world. Some 10,000 participants from more than 70 countries converged for the Gay Games VIII Cologne 2010 and celebrated the principles of participation, inclusion and personal best. The motto was “Be part of it!” And the invitation was open to everyone – regardless whether you are heterosexual or homosexual, male, female, transgender or transsexual, and regardless of religion, nationality, ethnic heritage, political convictions, athletic skills, physical capabilities, age or physical condition. How cool is that – reminds me that Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common and it should be celebrated every single day!

After we had been in Cologne for a few days we headed off for three days in Berlin which turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip! The history alone between WWII and the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 made it feel like you were a part of world history especially since it’s so tied to the history of the United States. We visited all the major sites, took a Third Reich tour and visited the Berlin Wall. The City itself was amazing in that the majority of it was completely bombed in WWII and since the fall of the wall the city has done extensive building – it’s an amazing city that I would definitely revisit!

We took a couple of day tours – one to Luxemburg (to get another Country in) and one along the Rheine River for a day of castle viewing! Both were incredible. I’d definitely recommend a visit to Luxemburg, the Mosel Valley and the Rheine River in Germany.

I had some great running experiences while in Germany. The Country is so oriented to walking and biking and there are running and biking trails all over the place. I loved the opportunity to explore and see the Country on foot. I’ve written about the marathon experience so I won’t go into it more however I have to say what a thrill to take 16 minutes off my best marathon time and to qualify for Boston - I’ll never forget it!

We spent our last night in Europe in Amsterdam. It also happened to be Gay Pride in Amsterdam so although the parade was over we were able to see a few of the floats and partake in the celebrations occurring in the streets. Definitely want to get back to Amsterdam for their Gay Pride Parade!

Special thanks to all who sent notes of encouragement by phone, text, email, etc. and to my parents who stayed at our place and took care of both the yard and Toby. We are very lucky guys!

Later –


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Project 365 Update

I keep toying with the way to display the project 365 pictures - today I'm posting them in locks of four - one of these days I'll figure it out!

August 7th - This is a picture of me following the completion of the Gay Games Marathon in Cologne, Germany in a Boston qualifying time of 3:26:39!

August 8th - On our last night in Europe we stayed at a Marriott near the airport in Amsterdam. We were upgraded to the penthouse which had a huge bathroom with a shower that had three shower heads! I want this bathroom at home!

August 9th - Our house was burglarized on June 9th and exactly two months to the day we finally got our back door replaced. It's so nice to have it back in operation and a security system in place!

August 10th - On the Tuesday that I returned to work my co-workers gave me an award with a copper medal for the completion of the marathon.  Why copper - I just missed out in the Gay games of winning a bronze medal in my age division by one individual!

August 11th - I know I post a lot of pictures of our boy Toby but he is a convenient picture when I'm needing a last minute shot!  Here he is resting on a chair in the office while I worked on the computer.

August 12th - This is a picture taken in our back yard.  The phlox is especially beautiful this year - I have it in several colors and I love the fact that it's in full bloom in August when many of the early blooming plants are all done.
August 13th - We took my parents out to dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant in Seattle  - Judy Foo's Snappy Dragon.  I tell you  - check it out if you are ever in town, you will not be disappointed!  We had a great visit with my parents who have since returned to California.

August 14th - This picture was taken down on Puget Sound near Des Moines.  We had gone to lunch at Red Robin and then took in the local Farmers Market.  While Mom got a free 10 minute massage Kent and I took a short walk down to the marina and took a few pictures.  The Des Moines Farmers Market is a nice small market with a nice selection - check it our sometime.

Have a good one -


Monday, August 16, 2010

The Wedding is off and I'm pissed!

Court Halts Calif. Gay Marriages Pending Appeal
by Lisa Leff
Associated Press
Monday Aug 16, 2010

A federal appeals court put same-sex weddings in California on hold indefinitely Monday while it considers the constitutionality of the state's gay marriage ban.

The decision, issued by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, trumps a lower court judge's order that would have allowed county clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Wednesday.

Lawyers for the two gay couples that challenged the ban said Monday they would not appeal the panel's decision on the stay to the Supreme Court.

In its two-page order granting the stay, the 9th Circuit agreed to expedite its consideration of the Proposition 8 case. The court plans to hear the case during the week of Dec. 6 after moving up deadlines for both sides to file their written arguments by Nov. 1.

"We are very gratified that the 9th Circuit has recognized the importance and the pressing nature of this case by issuing this extremely expedited briefing schedule," said Ted Boutrous, a member of the plaintiffs' legal team.

A different three-judge panel than the one that issued Monday's decision will be assigned to decide the constitutional question.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker decided last week to allow gay marriages to go forward after ruling the ban violated equal protection and due process rights of gays and lesbians guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

The Proposition 8 legal team quickly appealed Walker's ruling in the case many believe will end up before the Supreme Court.

Lawyers for two same-sex couples had joined with California Attorney General Jerry Brown in urging the appeals court to allow the weddings, arguing that keeping the ban in place any longer would harm the civil rights of gays and lesbians.

Walker presided over a 13-day trial earlier this year that was the first in federal court to examine if states can prohibit gays from getting married without violating the constitutional guarantee of equality.

Supporters argued the ban was necessary to safeguard the traditional understanding of marriage and to encourage responsible childbearing.

Opponents said that tradition or fears of harm to heterosexual unions were legally insufficient grounds to discriminate against gay couples.

Currently, same-sex couples can legally wed only in Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Washington, D.C.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Mornings

Other than having to face the fact that the weekend is coming to an end Sunday mornings are one of my favorite times.  I love getting up early especially when the weather is going to be beautiful like today, make a cup of coffee and read the Sunday paper. 

This morning I got up and enjoyed the last of my parents - they headed home today after an especially nice visit.  I am grateful that they were able to take care of our place while we were on vacation and that they got to take a vacation themselves up to British Columbia for a few days.  I'm so lucky to have such supportive and loving parents!  Love you both!

I've got a final post sitting here ready to post about our trip to Germany as soon as I complete the editing on the pictures.  Today is the beginning of the Husky football season  - not with a game yet but with picture day at the stadium!  I'll post a few pictures of my favorite players!

Yesterday Kent and I went on our first social run with the Seattle chapter of Frontrunner's - it's a gay running group.  We went on a six mile run and met a few really nice guys.  Looking forward to doing it again.  I was surprised but there were over 100 guys who showed up for this run.

I wanted to share this video with you that my friend Jennifer sent me - I know it's a bit long but I guarantee it's worth your time - I think you will enjoy it!

Have a great Sunday everyone!  Friend, family or other I appreciate each and everyone of you and validate you every day!  You are awesome! (Watch the Video!)


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Project 365 Update

I decided that I'd post my Project 365 photos in nine day collages so here is the latest update since my last post of July 28, 2010.

July 29th - First Class Upgrade.  It's always a nice surprise to get an upgrade to first class but when you are going to be on a plane for over eight consecutive hours it's an especially nice surprise.  This is a picture of Kent and I with our champagne in hand taken by the flight attendant as we departed for Germany.  I really was born to fly first class!

July 30th - Made it to Cologne! This is a picture of the Cologne Cathedral that was started in the 1300 and completed in the 1800.  At one point this was the tallest building in the world!  We took a self guided tour - it's pretty amazing!

July 31st - Gay Games Opening Ceremony.  What an experience it was to be in an environment of inclusiveness!  We had a great time and met a lot of really nice people from all over the world!  One of my favorite groups was the lesbian soccer players who I am pictured with from Seattle - really nice and fun group of women!

August 1st - There were parties and gatherings all over the city in celebration of the gay games.  I never found out where these women were from but they were fantastic and really got the crowd worked up and dancing in the streets!

August 2nd - Finally made it to Berlin which turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip!  There was so much to see and do and that we had to pick and choose. This is a picture of Kent near one of a few sections still standing of the Berlin Wall.

August 3rd -  This is a picture of the Reichstag which is essentially there National Capital.  It has been completely remodeled inside while the exterior remains original.  We had to stand in line for just over an hour to get inside and tour the building and the glass dome.  Well worth it!

August 4th - This is a picture of Kent and I at the Brandenburger Gate in Berlin.  So much of Berlin was destroyed in WWII - it's nice that this was spared - so much history!

August 5th - We took a one day train trip to Luxenburg so we could get another Country in and visit a city that we have always wanted to see.  This is a picture of a bridge over a steep valley that cuts through the center of town.

August 6th - We took a train trip down the Rhine River Gorge for a day of castle viewing.  This picture is one of the many castles you see along the route.

More Project 365 photos in nine days!

Later -


I'm Getting Married!

I am not sure of the date yet but Kent and I are definitly going to married in California! See Prop. 8 update below.

Judge lifts stay on Calif. gay marriages
by Roger Brigham
EDGE San Francisco Editor
Thursday Aug 12, 2010

A federal judge on Thursday, Aug. 12, ruled same-sex couples can resume getting married in California after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 18, giving marriage opponents time to appeal his ruling.

Chief Judge Vaughn Walker had said he would announce his decision by noon local time on whether his ruling that struck down Proposition 8 would immediately go into effect or whether the marriage ban would remain in effect while the appeal process progressed.

"Today's ruling means that in less than one week, equality under the law will be restored for millions of loving families across California," said Courage Campaign founder Rick Jacobs. "Lifting the stay is ultimately consistent with both legal precedent and the findings in this case. Judge Walker's ruling affirms that the purpose of our judicial system is to protect our constitutional rights, not to take away those rights."

The decision not to lift the stay for another week came as a disappointment to hundreds of same-sex couples who, hours before Walker's announcement, lined up at county offices across the state in the hopes of getting married at the earliest opportunity. Prop 8 protesters greeted them in In San Francisco

But as the noon hour broke, word had not yet been received on the decision.

Word of Walker's decision to lift his ban did not come until 12:40 p.m. local time. The judge said his decision would go into the books at the end of the day on Wednesday, Aug. 18, but this delay enables Prop 8 supporters to appeal Walker's decision and seek yet another stay.

"I am pleased with today's decision that once again allows all loving same-sex couples to make lifelong commitments to one another through marriage," said state Sen. Mark Leno. "Many couples and their families have long been denied the respect and validation that comes with marriage, despite any logical reason to treat same-sex couples differently than opposite-sex couples. I am elated that I will again have the opportunity to perform ceremonies for caring and devoted couples who want nothing more than to honor their love in a universally understood way than through marriage."

Voters approved Prop 8 in Nov. 2008, but two same-sex couples and the city of San Francisco challenged it in federal court.

David Boies and Ted Olson argued against Prop 8 earlier this year. And closing arguments took place in June.

Walker struck down Prop 8 last Wednesday, Aug. 5. And Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown, both nominal defendants in the case who refused to defend the voter-approved amendment, had urged Walker to lift his stay on the ban as it makes its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Government officials can resume issuing such licenses without administrative delay or difficulty," Schwarzenegger wrote the court, noting some 18,000 same-sex couples tied the knot in the state in 2008.

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Update on Referendum 71

Despite Ruling, Judge Won't Allow Petition Signers' Names to Be Made Public
by Steve Weinstein
EDGE Editor-In-Chief
Thursday Aug 12, 2010

One of the most contentious issues of the day -- whether or not people who sign petitions to bring controversial measures to the ballot box should have their identities shielded from public view -- is continuing. A federal judge in Tacoma, Wash., ruled Aug. 12 that those who signed a state petition to bring to a vote the expansion of domestic partnerships would still not be made known to the public, despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the matter.

The Seattle Times reported that U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle extended a restraining order from those opposed to the Supreme Court's ruling. "The release of the names and addresses could not be undone," he said.

Washington State argued for the release of the names. Deputy Solicitor General Anne Egeler argued that there was no "likelihood of irreparable harm now that the election is over and there is no evidence presented that anything has happened in the intervening time. We've been to the Supreme Court and back, and we still have citizens of the state who want those documents and have a right under state law to receive them."

The ongoing controversy has its roots in the efforts of a group called Marriage Washington, which put forward Referendum 71, a ballot initiative that would have rolled back extending legal protections to same-sex couples.

Gay activists wanted the names of those who signed petitions to put the measure on the ballot to be made public. Protect Marriage pointed to alleged harassment and boycotts in California of those who had defended or supported Proposition 8.

The U.S. Supreme Court finally decided on July 24 in an 8-1 decision that when people sign petitions to put ballot initiatives before voters, the First Amendment does not shield them from public disclosure. The case was widely considered one of the most important that the court had handed down this term.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Marathon Update

We made it back to Seattle on Sunday just before noon - no such luck as a first class upgrade although we did get put up in the penthouse at the Marriott we stayed in on our last night! Glad to be back at home and heading back to work today.

The final results from the marathon are in - I completed with an official time of 3:26:39!  That's over 16 minutes faster than my best marathon time and qualifies me to run in Boston in 2011!  The heavy duty miles that I accumulated over the past 4 months really paid off.  Including the marathon the final miles logged between April 18th and August 7th was 816.98.

Kent also had a great run with a personal best.  He completed the half marathon with a time of 2:10:10!  What a great time!  This picture was taken at the finish of the race after we had showered and changed and were ready to head home.

I ran on Saturday, took Sunday off, ran five miles on Monday and now plan to run every other day for the next week before resuming training. Other than Boston in 2011, I'm not sure where my next marathon will be - any suggestions!


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Boston 2011!

Well it took me eight marathons to do it but I finally completed a marathon in the time it takes for a 46 year old guy to qualify for the Boston Marathon! To qualify I needed to complete in 3:30 which is an 8:00 per mile pace. I don't have my official time yet but by my Garmin watch my unofficial time is 3:26:56 which is a 7:56 per mile pace! I am so excited that all my extra training really paid off! I knocked 12 + min. off my best marathon time!

Kent also did a personal best in his half marathon - it was a great day for both of us! I'll post more on the marathon later. It was also a lot of fun to participate in a run with well over 1200 gays and lesbians and other who support equality for all!

We are at the Cologne train station headed to Amsterdam tonight where we will have dinner and spend the night before heading home tomorrow! It's gay pride weekend in Amsterdam so their should be a lot of festivities! It's been a great trip but we are both looking forward to getting home and seeing our boy Toby!

Thanks for all the well wishes! We really appreciate it! Anyone want to join us in Boston next year?

Later -


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Friday, August 6, 2010


On our trip back from Luxembourg we took a several hour detour in the town of Trier. Trier is Germany's oldest city and lies at the head of the scenic Mosel Valley. Founded by Augustus in 16 B.C., Trier was a Roman town called Augusta Treverorum for 400 years.

We picked up picnic supplies in Trier so we could enjoy a meal on the train back to Dusseldrof.

Friday is our last day to tour around before Saturday's run. We are headed out to Bonn and a train ride along the Rhein River.

Pictures later - marathon less than 24 hous away!


More Pictures from Luxembourg

For some reason I can only post three to four pictures per post before the application crashes so here are a few more pictures from Luxembourgh.


Today we took in a new Country for both Kent and I today as we traveled to Luxembourg. We traveled by train and although we had to change trains twice, it was very easy and took us through the Mosel Valley which was very beautiful. There were grape vineyards on steep hills and castle ruins along the valley and Mosel river.

Luxembourg was amazing - it has it's origins back to 963 when Count Sigefroi built a stronghold on the rocky outcrop known as the "Bock". The city was captured by the Duke of Burgundy in 1443. During the World Wars the fortifications served as a shelter for 35,000 people during the air raids.

More pictures from Luxembourg to follow in another post.


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Final Training Run!

Yesterday I got up extra early and ran my final training run of 4 miles following 4 months of training! I've offically logged 790.78 miles since I started training on April 18, 2010. I've ran in Washington, Georgia, Texas, California, Washington DC and now Germany during the course of training - I even completed a marathon back in May as a part of my training. As is typical - I feel like I peaked in my training a few weeks ago. Regardless I know I've trained well and that I will finish - I 'd love to break 3:40!

The marathon start time is 8:45 am Saturday morning which will be 11:45 pm Friday night PST.

Wish me luck!


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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Best of Berlin

I'm writing this from the ICE train between Berlin and Duesseldrof after spending an exciting three days in an amazing city full of both anchient and recent world history - we were on the go the entire time.

As it turns out our hotel was located in a great location for seeing many of the sites we were most intrested in visiting. The hotel was fairly new and built in the former East Berlin just inside the wall. The Berlin Wall is mostly gone but the route is marked by stone in the ground tracing it's former location.

The history of the Wall is very intresting. Before 1961 nothing hindered movement between the eastern (Soviet sector) and western parts of the city (French, British and American sector). On the night of August 13th all movement between the east and west was halted - a temporary wall was thrown up, consisting of barbed wire and and building blocks. The hastily laid initial barrier was eventually replaced with the wall that stood for 28 years and was made of concrete, 13 feet high with a carved top. There's a great museum at Checkpoint Charlie that was well worth the visit. It's the first place we headed to once we checked into our hotel.

From Checkpoint Charlie we headed to Brandenburg Gate. Completed in 1791, it marks the boundry between the historic core of the city to the east and the royal hunting preserve of the Tiegarten to the west. Tiegarten is now a beautiful urban park with miles of trails that I was lucky enough to take in a 6 mile run.

Next we visited the Reichstag which reopened in 1999 to regain it's role as the seat of Bundestag, Germany's parliament. The building was completed in 1894 and was burned in 1933. Hitler used this burning as an excuse to terrorize and imprison his opponents.

As the Red Army fought its way into Berlin in 1945 the Reichstag became a fortress and although the walls stood, it was stormed on April 30th. The building has been gutted and has become one of the top attractions in Berlin due to the glittering steel and glass cupola. We stood in line one evening for an hour and a half to get a tour - well worth it!

By this time we were pretty tired and took a two hour bus tour of the city to get oriented and decide what to do the following day.

Day two started with each of us taking in different parts of the city on foot as we completed our training runs for the day followed by a 4 hour walking tour of the history of the Third Reich. The walking tour turned out to be one of the highlights of our time in Berlin and a somber reminder of a dark time in world history. It was nice to meet a few fellow Americans along the way. Our tour guide was a guy named David who is from Ireland by way of Britin, in Germany completing his Ph. D on Juvenile Delinquency during Hitler's regime. The tour was excellent and David was cute - double bonus!

Ended day two taking in the German History Museum and the Museums located near by.

Final day we had to catch our train around two so we both took in a morning run, got in a few more pictures, bought a few souveniers and lunched at the Berlin Hardrock.

I'd have to say, Berlin is right up there with Athens, London, Hong Kong, Paris, New York, San Fran., and Rome. I know I've had a great time when I find myself dreaming of the day I return and Berlin is definitly one of the places I'll return - if nothing else to see how much more progress was been made at rebuilding this beautiful city.

Later -


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Federal judge declares Prop. 8 unconstitutional!


Federal judge declares Prop. 8 unconstitutional!

The two loving couples who were plaintiffs in this case deserve our gratitude.

Let's thank them.

Today we moved a step closer to full equality.

After the first-ever federal trial on whether it's legal to ban same-sex couples from marrying, the district court ruled that Proposition 8 violated the U.S. Constitution.

This court's ruling will undoubtedly be appealed, so our struggle is far from over. But it was a tremendous step forward for equality and a critical win.

The two courageous couples who acted as plaintiffs in this suit opened up their lives to months of public scrutiny and helped bring about this victory, fighting alongside the legal team of Ted Olson, David Boies and the American Foundation for Equal Rights. They deserve our gratitude. Will you take a moment to thank them?

Send a quick note of thanks and support – and tell your friends to do the same.

Here is another way to get involved. Today, people in cities across the country will be gathering for peaceful "Day of Decision" rallies to take advantage of this moment and show the broad support for marriage equality among both LGBT and straight Americans. Find out if there's a rally near you.

This case was a landmark. Over the course of the months-long trial, the plaintiffs introduced substantial testimony and evidence to finally show that Prop. 8 had discriminatory motivations – and that same-sex couples are entitled to equal rights. Because this is a district court decision and will most likely be appealed, it may not have an immediate effect on marriage bans in California or any other states. Nonetheless, it's a significant moment. It's a vindication of the grassroots work we've done across the country to give every loving couple the same rights – and a shot of momentum to continue that work.

The trial also showed that the other side remains as ferocious as ever. Not content with simply defending Prop. 8, they tried to persuade the judge to stop California state agencies from recognizing the marriages of the 18,000 same-sex couples who tied the knot in the months before Prop. 8 passed.

So without question, the forces of bigotry will appeal this ruling. After the Court of Appeals, this case could very well end up before the highest court in the land – just another reason we must fight to get fair-minded judges like Elena Kagan on the Supreme Court.

We know we will prevail in the end. Because we are on the right side of history and the law. Because public opinion is increasingly in our favor. Because even conservatives like Ted Olson – who argued for the George W. Bush side in Bush v. Gore – share a passion for this cause.

But it will take more sacrifice and more grueling hard work. It will take more people like you standing up for what you believe – and more heroes like the plaintiffs in this case refusing to accept second-class status.

Please send a quick note thanking these couples. Then spread the word.

Thanks for your continued support on this defining issue.


Joe Solmonese

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Brandenburger Gate

Having a great time in Berlin - Kent and I at Brandenburger Gate.

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Pictures from Berlin

What an amazing city! So much recent history. Here are a few pictures from earlier today.

Much of the Berlin Wall has been removed but their are a few sections still standing and several museums that bring to life the history of Berlin.

Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe.

Brandenburg Gate

Kent at the Reichstag.

More to follow....


ICE to Berlin

I've been to Germany on a couple of different occasions before but I've never made it as far northeast as Berlin. This morning we are headed by ICE train to Berlin for the next three days.

It's just over 360 miles between Cologne and Berlin - about a 4 hour journey by train. We are loving having a rail pass. We have used it a lot and will definitly get our monies worth out of it. We quickly learned which trains are the fastest, how and when we needed to reserve a seat and how to read the schedule. I am amazed at how efficient the rail system is and the volume of people it moves from point A to point B daily.

There is much to see and do in and around Berlin - I'm glad we made the decision to carve out the time to check it out. There is a walking tour through red Berlin that highlights some of the key sites of Cold War history and an open air bus tour we definity will take in.

As you can see from the picture above we arrived in Berlin. It's amazing! The train station is the largest in Europe.

Photos to follow!


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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Week Fifteen Training Updatep

This is my next to the last training update and I am writing it from an outdoor cafe in Cologne while having dinner before going to see I Love You Phillip Morris.

I have no idea how well I'll do in the marathon although I feel like I've trained well. This morning I completed my final long run before the marathon which will take place this coming Saturday.

The city is full of celebrations and music - we have seen some wonderful preformances.

We have ran into some great people from all over the world.

Summary of miles for week 15 -

Sunday - 12.09 long run
Monday - rest
Tuesday - 6.12 easy
Wednesday - 7.0 speed
Thursday - 6.13 easy
Friday - rest
Saturday - 7.0 easy

One more week of easy running and then I'm done!

Later -


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I Love You Phillip Morris

Last night we went to see the movie - I Love You Phillip Morris. I've blogged about it before and I've been waiting for it to be released in the States but it's been hung up in limbo legal land so we were lucky enough to see it while in Cologne!

Standing room only since all us Americans have been waiting for the release of the film. Hard to believe it's based on a true storey but it makes it an even better movie. Check it out if it ever gets released in the US. Still loving Ewan McGregor!

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More photos....

These are all photos taken from my run this morning.

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More Pictures from Dusseldorf

I had wanted to post a few more pictures in my earlier post but the application kept crashing.

The picture below is the Seattle men's soccer team - nice eye candy on the team night have to start going to some of their games!

Here Kent is pictured with some of the members of Team Seattle.

I went for my final long run of eight miles this morning in and around Dusseldorf. What a great place to run and take pictures! I almost wish I has longer runs left to do just to explore more territory!

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Gay Games Opening Ceremonies

We had a blast at the opening ceremonies of the Gay Games. There were gays from all over the world which gave the event great international eye candy flavor! The Loved the boys from South America!

There were several hundred people from Seattle which was a lot of fun hanging out with in a city so far away from home. My favorites were the lesbian soccer players!

Went for my final long run this morning of eight miles. I ran all through the town of Duessfuldorf. It's a great city for running with so much to explore and great running paths.

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