Monday, April 28, 2008


Scott and I finally spent the weekend in Seattle that we've discussed for months now. It was a great weekend! Here are Scott's pictures:

On Saturday, we started the day at Snoqualmie Falls. The falls was featured in one my favorite shows, Twin Peaks.

IMG_0271.jpg, originally uploaded by sweber4507.

We then went to Seattle's Pioneer Square area and Smith Tower. The tower boasts 42 stories and was tallest building on the west coast from 1914 to 1962. It is a beautiful building with the original manually-operated Otis elevators and Alaskan marble throughout the interior.

IMG_0458, originally uploaded by sweber4507.

IMG_0611.JPG, originally uploaded by sweber4507.

The view from Smith Tower is great -- it's much closer to Seattle's downtown than the Space Needle. We bought a Seattle architecture book which kept me preoccupied while Scott took photos throughout downtown.

IMG_0503.JPG, originally uploaded by sweber4507.

IMG_0460, originally uploaded by sweber4507.

On Sunday, we took the ferry to Vashon Island and then another ferry to Point Defiance. We visited the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. I always forget that zoos are usually filled with noisy, sticky kids running all over. It's a nice little zoo, but once is enough. The peacocks that were running lose were amazing though.

IMG_1462.jpg, originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Visitor: B

Scott and I had Sunday brunch yesterday with Heather and Isabelle. Portlanders are crazy about casual weekend brunch. We were 16th in line for a table at Genies. We even unnecessarily expanded our carbon footprint on Earth Day and drove across SE to the also yummy Screen Door, but the line was just as long. So, we returned to Genies. Brunch was great though I got a little tipsy on a berry lemonade drink.

After brunch, we decided to go to a movie. Scott and Heather wanted to see The Ruins, which Isabelle and I would have reluctantly tagged along. However, I rolled my eyes and threw a tantrum about not wanting to see a silly horror pic. However, there really are not very many movies out -- although I want to see the documentaries Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? and Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. We settled on The Visitor, but we all really want to see Baby Mama starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, but that doesn't come out until next week.


The Visitor caught my attention because it stars Richard Jenkins who has always seemed like an interesting actor since I saw him in Six Feet Under. The movie is about a Connecticut college professor and widower Walter Vale who has to deal with an Arab couple he finds living in his New York City apartment. Vale becomes friends with the charming boyfriend Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) and takes on his cause when he is arrested and threatened with deportation.

The movie contrasts Vale's comfortable, but personally empty life with the young couple's optimistic struggle to live the American dream. The movie was a little too slow and moody with a lot of quiet scenes watching Walter Vale go through his day as a aimless widower and uninterested professor. It did a great job though of putting a face on the immigration issue and the reality of deporting people for senseless, bureacratic reasons.

Friday, April 18, 2008

"An Engineer's Guide To Cats"

The Merc's blog posted this really cute guide to cats by apparently straight, single guys with way too much free time. It's about five minutes:

Margaret Cho's "Beautiful"

Tammam and I went to Margaret Cho's Beautiful stand-up show last night at The Schnitz. I know her last tour I saw in Portland during the 2004 election was a little too political to be funny, so I was a little apprehensive about her latest show. However, she returned her classic comedy routines last night about gays, lesbians, vaginas, and her own body functions while rallying to fight for gay rights, immigrant rights, self-worth, and other progressive and moral causes.

I couldn't find clip from her current show, but here is an earlier version of her comedy:

Her opening act Ian Harvie was also great. Initially, he appeared to be just an average, young gay man doing gay jokes. However, even the largely queer and queer-friendly audience was hushed when Harvie outed himself as a female-to-male transgendered person who dates women. For a moment, it was a little confusing, but he did a great job relating some his story.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

bring back Starbucks' boobies!!!

Anyone who has visited the original Starbucks store at Seattle's Pike Place Market knows the surprise of seeing Starbucks' original, topless, logo:

Bifurcated Starbucks Siren, originally uploaded by majorbonnet.

So it was exciting to see Starbucks launch their Pike Place Roast last week with the old logo -- but it's not the old logo!!! It has been censored:

What can brown do for you?, originally uploaded by chrisphoto.

Are 'merican consumers so supposedly puritan that they can't handle the sight of historical boobies? The seemingly soul-less corporate giant seems to think so. There's an interesting blog about the various incarnations of the logo change.

Ironically, a friend mentioned that Pike Place Market prohibits corporate chain stores, so the corporate giant's original store probably would not be able to lease space unless it had been grandfathered-in. It's also one of the market's top tourist attractions now.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm

One of Scott's photos:

IMG_9132.jpg, originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Scott taking photos of each yellow tulip in the field:

Ideal: Enjoy a nice, sunny spring day stolling through a tulip farm.
Reality: Sit in a two-mile bumper-to-bumper line of cars, wait in a nearly as long port-a-potty line, walk into a crowded farm's smelly tulip field, and try to ignore the TWO annoying helicopters lowly circling the small tulip field.

Yesterday, ma, Scott and I decided to enjoy one of the first, bright, sunny spring Saturdays by going to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm. Scott and I visited this farm last year, but we were too early. This year, we came on the first Saturday the fields were in full bloom.

We actually had a nice time, but it was just a little too crowded and sunny.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Does God Love Michael's Two Daddies?"



From the Tennessee author's website:

. . . In a world that is constantly changing, God’s Word remains the standard by which we must judge all human actions. In this book, Seth and Sara (twins who are in the first grade) learn that God loves all people, even those who are disobeying Him. But they also learn that the only way to have a relationship with God is to stop sinning and turn to Jesus.

This books needs to be in every Christian home because of the attempt by our society to normalize homosexuality. . . .

Apparently giving a child anti-gay, Christianist propaganda is normal.

(Hat Tip: The Merc's Blogtown, PDX)

Lord, Save Me From Your Followers

This morning, The Today Show featured an interview with Dan Merchant of the book and documentary Lord, Save Us From Your Followers which appears to be about the conservative/liberal religious cultural divide in America. Apparently, Merchant wears a bumpersticker outfit and interviews people on the street about their religious views. The documentary also featured a culture war game show pitting liberals versus conservatives, in which the liberal team "stomped" the conservative team in their knowledge.

It sounds like an interesting and entertaining documentary. My only apprehension is that Dan Merchant and the Oregon production company seem to come from the conservative Christian perspective. Of course, my apprehension seem to confirm the documentary's premise of the American religious divide.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

sad but true

Iraq War Memorial Planners Forced To Revise Length Again

The Onion

Iraq War Memorial Planners Forced To Revise Length Again

WASHINGTON—With so many more patriots to honor, the memorial has been extended past the Washington Monument and into the southbound lane of 14th Street.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Run Fatboy Run: C

Scott and I saw Run Fatboy Run starring the always likeable Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and the new "Scotty" in Star Trek (2009)). It was a cute movie, but completely unoriginal and predictable. Even for a lighthearted comedy, one would expect a few new ideas or unexpected twists just to keep the movie interesting. Instead, it seemed like a long sitcom. I still enjoyed the movie though.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Galactica Final Season Premiere

It's been over a year since the third season finale and last night we finally saw the much anticipated season four premiere of Battlestar Gallackticka. Over all, the episode didn't reveal much new and pretty confirmed all of our speculations. The most interesting new item was the new preamble: (spoiler)

Scott and I re-watched Season 3 last week. I didn't realize the first three episodes of last season were relatively slow-moving before the big developments. So, I'm sure last night's episode is merely the first act of the final season.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Bush Jr's Dept. of Justice: Lesbian "worse than being a Democrat"


As pointed out in this week's This American Life, the Bush Jr. Administration's auducity is unbelievable. On Wednesday, NPR broke the story that a highly respected Department of Justice lawyer and loyal Republican may have fired for being a suspected lesbian.

. . . 'Even Worse Than Being a Democrat'

[Infamous Monica] Goodling's conversation with [Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA)] focused on whether Republican Party loyalty factored into her hiring decisions. But by all accounts, Hagen was a GOP loyalist.

So, what was Goodling's problem with Hagen?

The Justice Department's inspector general is looking into whether Hagen was dismissed after a rumor reached Goodling that Hagen is a lesbian.

As one Republican source put it, "To some people, that's even worse than being a Democrat."

Also, This American Life spotlighted a relatively obscure international dispute involving the DOJ attempting to fire another loyal Bush supporter for observing a US treaty (

Sometimes, I really do want to give conservative Republicans the benefit of doubt and believe these really are fair-minded people who happen to have a different perspective. However, it's amazing that so few Republicans are willing to speak out and save their party of the corruption and disaster of the Bush Jr. Administration.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

'ex-gay' group using Starbucks to promote message


I noticed yesterday that our local 'ex-gay' ministry, The Portland Fellowship, launched a new website to recruit churches. Prominently display on their website is their $5.00 Starbucks gift card offer which they are using to entice churches. It's odd and confusing to me that an ex-gay/anti-gay ministry would use the products and services of a gay-inclusive company (HRC: 100).

I may be making a big deal out of nothing, but I somehow doubt an image-conscious company like Starbucks would appreciate their brand being used to promote a controversial political/religious message. It seems to me that PF is using Starbucks' prestige to make its fringe, harmful ministry seem sane, reasonable, and mainstream -- like a grande, vanilla, soy latte.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

gay supermarket vows from's ad campaign previously took on eHarmony's gay exclusion policy. They are running more ads including one featuring a gay couple exchanging vows at a supermarket:

(See, Scott? It's totally romantic for gays to propose at a supermarket.)

(Hat Tip:,