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Woohoo for Pennsylvania! Another day, another state ruling (this time by a judge appointed by Bush) in support of equal marriage rights. Or, as the judge said, “In the sixty years since Brown was decided, ‘separate’ has thankfully faded into history, and only ‘equal’ remains. Similarly, in future generations the label ‘same-sex marriage’ will be abandoned, to be replaced simply by ‘marriage.'”

The quote reminds me that this past weekend, we were hanging out with a neighbor, who was discussing an out-of-state wedding her husband was attending that night. She showed us pictures he’d sent of the centerpieces, and we talked about them. She said the person getting married was a long-time work friend of her husband’s, and how important it was for her husband to attend that wedding, despite the fact some family issues made it a difficult time for him to be away overnight. It wasn’t until well into the conversation, that she mentioned it was a wedding with two grooms – and I loved the fact that this was considered less remarkable than the elaborate centerpieces. Same-sex marriage is, indeed, simply marriage.

And now:

48.8% of people live in places where same-sex married couples have all the same state and federal rights as opposite-sex married couples.

4.3% of people live in places where civil unions or domestic partnerships offer state-level rights only.

46.9% of people live in places which do not offer any mechanism for gay and lesbian couples to obtain legal recognition of their relationships (hey, this category has finally dropped below 50%!)



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Photography fun

It was a beautiful day today and I’ve been in the mood to do something artistic. So I rounded up my camera, tripod, R72 infrared lens, and screw-on lens holder with homemade cardboard insert, and E dropped me off at the local scenic bridge while she went to run some errands. Here’s a nice little river photo — OK, maybe not much actual water is visible, but the stonework on the bridge and the plants are pretty enough:

Here’s the same photo, taken with an infrared lens and a 1-second exposure time. No, I don’t have a fancy camera, just a little digital point-and-shoot, but buried deep in the menu options is a “long time exposure” setting. Without it, the IR lens blocks out so much light that the pictures are nearly black. The long exposure time is why the tripod is so critical.

Here’s where the computer fun back at home comes in. I use Gimp software, open the first image, then open the second infrared image as a layer on top of it. Then I set the infrared layer from “normal” to “value” and play with the opacity setting. Basically, the software combines the color from the normal image with the lightness/darkness level from the infrared image, and the opacity setting controls how heavily the infrared image is weighted. Here, top to bottom, are the results with opacity at 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%.

At 25%, I think it nicely enhances the image. At 100%, it’s downright freaky. The in-between ones are probably my favorites.

Oh, and if you remember hearing about the flooding we had this past spring — pretty much all the land you see here was underwater, and despite the National Guard sandbagging both ends of the bridge, they still ended up under a couple feet of water. Amazing.

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This makes me feel old

E here and I don’t know about you but I loved this show and watched the original episodes.  Now Winnie Cooper is having a baby, wow, time really flies.

‘Wonder Year’s’ Danica McKellar Is Having A Baby.

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E here and my Mom mailed the article below to me. It took her some time to completely accept my sexuality but now she’s totally cool with it. In fact so cool that she’s mailing me funny gay stories and presents for M. Her latest package included chocolate chip cookies and a water bottle for him. Needless to say I’m very happy and sometimes surprised. It just goes to show people can change. Anyway here’s the article she sent, enjoy.

Shouts & Murmurs: True Story: newyorker.com

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E here, I’m at work and so many people have been watching the Michael Jackson funeral coverage that our network has experienced serious slowness and remote access issues. In my opinion, ridiculous. Watch it on TV tonight – you know it’s going to dominate the airwaves.

Anyway this posting on Pam’s House Blend had me laughing at my desk –

OMFG. MSNBC is running a report updating the status of Bubbles the Chimp, now living in Florida. The reporter actually asked the zookeeper if she thought Bubbles understood Jackson was dead. I missed her answer because I was laughing too loud.

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E here and the picture below was taken this morning by one of my closest friends who lives about an hour north of Montreal near St. Saveur.  She snapped this from her front door and it’s pretty but as she said, “It’s like someone flipped a switched and we went from fall to winter overnight.” 

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E here and as you can see from the pics I took this morning my cat is doing great.  He is loving all the extra attention, the larger windows, the daily hamster show, and that his toys slide so well on the bare floors. 


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