An open letter to Donald Trump from the father of a transgender soldier

Dear President Trump:

I heard, with great dismay and shock, your decision to bar transgender men and women from serving in our military forces.  In a series of Twitter posts yesterday, you stated that transgender soldiers were a “distraction” to the military.

These were your words, as posted yesterday on your official Twitter account.

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Bottle Service – the forgotten project

Once upon a time, I was asked by a friend of mine to appear as an extra in an upcoming web series.  The series, a drama called Bottle Service, was filmed over the span of a week or two in Saratoga Springs, and promised to be a high-energy, dynamic Internet-broadcast drama.

I participated in the event, appearing in a couple of parts – one as a paparazzo photographer (yeah, method acting works wonders), and one as a hired thug.  I had a great time, and even made a crateload of Facebook friends out of my association with the film.

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An insurance revelation

Last Saturday, the Savoy Taproom in downtown Albany held an amazing charity fundraiser to help the victims of the four Madison Avenue homes that were destroyed in a Monday night / Tuesday morning fire.  Everything that night – from the cost of meals and drinks, to the entrance fees, to the silent auctions and raffles – all helped to bring some relief to those who lost everything in the tragedy.

On a personal note, I donated two artworks for the fundraiser – a giclee print of The Railsplitter, and Dream Window 17: An Adirondack Reflection – and both pieces sold for good prices.  Heck, even Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan placed a bid on the Dream Window.  That’s awesome in and of itself.

But within all those fantastic moments and amazing efforts by a community and neighborhood to help out its own …

I had a personal thought.  And it’s been something I’ve avoided doing for way too long.

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A table for a Dr. Pepper enthusiast

When I began my latest construction and crate art projects, I purchased various wooden soda carrier crates on sites like eBay and Etsy.  Many of the crates that arrived were of decent quality, and I almost hated to tear them apart.

Then came the Dr. Pepper crate.  The seller didn’t measure the unit properly, it was actually about an inch shorter and narrower than the other crates, making it impossible for me to use it in a hope chest construction.  It was in sorry shape, barely above an end use for kindling.

So I couldn’t include it in a hope chest construction …

Instead, I crafted an endtable out of it.  A salvage project to turn trash into a table.

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The results of Summer Bowl VIII

Yesterday, over two dozen of the Capital District’s smartest trivia squads gathered at Pearl Street Pub in downtown Albany for one of the area’s major trivia championships, the Summer Bowl.  These teams vied for trivia supremacy, as well as the $500 prize and their names engraved upon the Silver Shaker trophy.

Over the previous seven Summer Bowls, my Street Academy trivia team claimed the championship three times, and tied for the championship once.  For this new iteration of the tournament, I recruited Sim and El, two players from the Trivia Bowl championship winning Stern Fans squad, as well as my buddy Roger Green (he of the “Ramblin’ with Roger” blog).

Do you want to play along?  Here’s how we do it.  You get points for correct answers, you lose points for incorrect answers, and you can skip twice – there is also a “double chance” option, where you can submit two answers for a question, but if you’re wrong, you lose twice the points.

Here’s the first round.  Good luck.

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7 and 7 on Saturday: July 22, 2017

I have to make an executive decision regarding this blog recap.  And in this case, I’m making a very delineated exception for inclusion.

I’ve known Amy Biancolli for years.  We were students together at Hamilton College, and our paths crossed off and on ever since.  She’s an accomplished writer with several exceptional books to her credit.  She also has a personal blog, “Figuring Shit Out,” about her life and how life has affected her.

So I’ve added Amy to my blogroll of “Friends of Mine Whose Blogs I Thing You Should Read.”  And from time to time, I’ll recap her best posts in the “7 from the blogroll” section of the “7 and 7” blog recap.

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Kim Clijsters gives a heckling tennis fan a hilarious lesson

Last week, during the Wimbledon tennis tournament, something happened in the middle of a women’s doubles match.

And a week later, it’s still the talk of tennis.

First off, the match featured Kim Clijsters and Rennae Stubbs, facing off against Andrea Jaeger and Conchita Martinez.  I’m sure you’ve heard of some of those tennis players at some point in time, right?  I mean, Clijsters has four Grand Slam championships and was once ranked #1 in the world …

Anyway, the doubles match is progressing well, and eventually the ladies start having fun with the game.  Clijsters hits an ace, then goes over and high-fives the fans – and even signs an autograph mid-match.  Andrea Jaeger hits a winner, then goes over to the fans and swigs a bottle of water.

Then came the moment.

Continue reading “Kim Clijsters gives a heckling tennis fan a hilarious lesson”