Archive for September, 2007

My weekend and welcome to it

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Recently I’ve been wasting time watching Mikiefresh on I stopped watching Justin himself because he’s no longer very interesting. So this weekend I’ve been watching Mikie, who is a young entrepreneur who spends a lot of time fending off his female following, which he has because he is cute as a button. You probably all think I’m crazy, but watching a cute guy sleeping occasionally thickens the blood.

So Saturday I had to finish the service leaflet for Back to Church Sunday at St. Anne’s, go to yoga class as I hadn’t been able to go last Wednesday, and get myself spiritually ready for the service. I shall have to buy a duplex printer; printing on double sided paper is a real pain if you don’t have one, believe me. But I coped. The yoga class was good; I seem to be doing better each time I do it, and it makes me feel pretty good. The other guys who take it are also treats for the eyes, so that helps. HWMBO cooked Singapore laksa for dinner, with chicken. However, the prawn paste was pretty strong, so I ate one helping and declined further helpings, which makes me feel sad. I so want to eat HWMBO’s lovely cooking, but the prawn taste was so strong that I just couldn’t bring myself to eat any more.

The service at St. Anne’s today was OK, nothing special. There were a few newcomers there, but only a few. My sermon will be in my next post–I read the reading set for today (Lazarus and the Rich Man) and just wondered what genius decided that having a Sunday where people who hadn’t been to church in a while or at all would be appropriate to hold on a Sunday where a very depressing and difficult Gospel reading is set. I therefore ignored the Gospel (which was the only reading St. Anne’s had) and preached on light, which I thought would be a bit more cheerful. I used the “who would light a lamp and put it under a bushel basket” reading as the beginning “Word from Scripture”, so in a way I did preach on a reading. However, as usual the microphone didn’t work right (they control it from the back and never switch it on in time to catch your first few words…) and the general feeling of incompetence they exude was there, in spades. The fellowship was good and I enjoyed that; at the very end, after the final hymn, I proclaimed the Peace (which was not in the service proper) and asked everyone to exchange peace with their neighbours. The highlight was ‘s rendition of a hymn “To Worship Rightly”, which was well-received and well-done. Thanks to him for a great performance.

Once I got home and decompressed HWMBO and I decided to go to the Jerwood Space to see a drawing competition show–I thought it was very good but I do wish that people who do video/animation pieces would put the timing on the information card so I can judge whether I should watch it all the way through or not. Then we walked to the National Film Theatre (now called the BFI) and got tickets to “Syndromes and a Century” for free, as I’m a member and get a card entitling me to two free tickets (once) and buy one get one free (once), so we used the first one. So we saw it for nothing.

While we were waiting for the cinema to open, we went to the Film Caf

Today’s Pop Cultchah Video

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

I know it’s a bit late for Talk like a Pirate Day, but this is laugh-out-loud funny. “Baby Got Back”, as interpreted by….who?

News from Bermondsey

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

As I have discussed before, one of the things I have undertaken for the Diocese is being a Companion in Mission. That is, as part of a team of five people (4 priests and me) I spend one Sunday a month (and some other time) at a parish in Bermondsey helping them to nurture and grow their parish family. Last week I held the first of three meetings with members of the parish talking about fear. We took as a framework the Serenity Prayer (God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change/The courage to change the things I can/and the wisdom to know the difference). There were 15 people there (including me) and we had an interesting discussion, I thought. We ended with pizza and fellowship, and those I spoke with gave me the impression that they enjoyed it.

Well, this evening we Companions had our regular monthly meeting, and it turns out that not everyone enjoyed themselves. One felt that I should not have used so many examples from my life in the US as I spoke, another didn’t understand what I was doing (for various reasons), one said that s/he wouldn’t come to the next one. This was all relayed through the leader of the team.

When I heard that, I was quite depressed. I now feel very upset about the following two meetings that we will be having in October, the service I’m taking on Sunday, and the project in general. I realise you can’t please everyone, but sometimes I feel like I can’t please anyone.

Those of you who are people who pray, could you think of me and the little flock I’m helping in Bermondsey. We both need your prayers.

And if you aren’t people who pray, a kind thought or a comforting word will be helpful right now.

Standing at the foot of the Cross

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church has referred to “standing at the foot of the cross” after coming up with a weaselly statement on the place of lesbian and gay people in the church and especially in episcopal orders. This is, I suppose, meant to reflect the personal pain that each bishop feels at being “forced” to abandon our lesbian and gay brothers and sisters to the wolves of Lambeth Palace in exchange for an invitation to tea with the Queen and Bible Study with Peter Akinola.

My response, in another venue, was this:

This guff about “standing at the foot of the cross” needs to be countered forcefully. We are all crucified and raised with Christ; this I believe fervently. However, bishops suffering from cognitive dissonance are not “standing at the foot of the cross”. These bishops have themselves selected the tree, sawed it into planks, required lesbian and gay people and their friends to carry the cross to Calvary, personally hammered the nails in, and raised the cross on which they’ve crucified us on high. They should not be allowed the luxury of standing beneath that cross wringing their hands and saying how upset they are. The honourable exception, of course, is +Gene, who has himself suffered in this entire sorry situation perhaps more than we know. He’s up there with the rest of us.

Today’s Auction URL

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

If you buy an item at auction, it’s usually in “as is” condition. There was a bit more to this item than met the eye.

Strange dream this morning

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

I was dreaming that I was on a bus somewhere in Massachusetts, near where my grandparents lived. My mate Ethel was on the bus doing some knitting or sewing, and I was in shorts even though it was snowing outside. All of a sudden as I was standing to get off the bus, I got a leg cramp. I stamped on the floor (as I would when awake) to stretch my leg and make the cramp go away, but it didn’t go away. I stamped harder and harder, but it didn’t help.

So I awoke to find I was having a leg cramp in bed, and sat up and stamped my foot on the floor; the cramp then duly went away.

To all my Singaporean livejournal friends, a request

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

My Archdeacon is travelling to Singapore in December to attend a Muslim-Christian interfaith conference being held there. As he knows HWMBO is Singaporean, he’s asked us to give him some tips for good restaurants. We thought that perhaps our friends in Singapore might be able to give even better guidance. Non-Western restaurants, of course, with a preference for Singaporean or Asian delicacies that can’t be eaten or gotten in restaurants here in London.

If you could leave a comment with the name of the restaurant, the address, and what kind of cuisine it offers, along with your favourite dish(es) there, I would be most grateful.

I am also giving him the recent New Yorker “Singapore Journal” article on Singapore food, so he’ll have some guidance (The New Yorker, Sept. 3&10, 2007, pages 48-57, not yet available online).

He is also going to do the tourist thang and see Changi Prison Museum, as his father was a prisoner-of-war there.

Thanks so much in advance for your kind assistance.

Update: “Restaurants” includes hawker centres (especially hawker centres) and food courts (if there are any exceptional ones that you like). Thanks to for pointing this out.

Addendum to the Dilemma

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

A Brother forwarded me an email from the Grand Officer who was present at our meeting and Festive Board on Thursday. He congratulated us on the good meeting, but was distressed about the joke that was told. So I think that will be the end of that particular problem.

Today’s BBC Headline

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Church gives birth to baby girl

I thought at first that it was some bizarre ritual where a church building disgorged an infant. Instead, look here for the explanatin.

Williams, the voice of the ages

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

The Rev’d Paul Woodrum wrote, in another venue, of pronouncements made down the ages. He’s hit the nail on its ecclesiastical head.

1st Century:

“Certainly Gentiles have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place Gentiles may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far the traditional theology of the church lets us move in that direction.”

7th Century:

“Certainly followers of Augustine have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about not only the date of Easter, but the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place followers of Rome may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far the Celtic tradition of the church lets us move in that direction.”

12th Century:

“Certainly Anglo-Saxon people have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place Anglo-Saxon people may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far Norman church tradition lets us move in that direction.”

16th Century:

“Certainly recusants and dissenters have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place recusants and dissenters may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far the Established Church and Crown lets us move in that direction.”

18th Century:

“Certainly colonials have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place colonials may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far Parliament lets us move in that direction.”

19th Century;

“Certainly slaves throughout the Empire have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place slaves may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far slave owners let us move in that direction.”

1900 – 1960’s —

“Certainly African Americans have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place African Americans may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far white American tradition lets us move in that direction.”

1970’s —

“Certainly women have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place women may hold in offices of the church. The question is how far the traditional patriarchial theology of the church lets us move in that direction.”

21st Century

“Certainly gay and lesbian people have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place gay and lesbian people may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far the traditional theology of the church lets us move in that direction.”

A Republican even I could vote for

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Most Republicans are slimy snakes who have no ethics or morals, and who shed tears only over Republican cloth coats and small dogs for their children, all paid out of slush funds.

Well, this video of the Republican mayor of San Diego announcing that he would sign a pro-same-sex marriage resolution sent to him by the City Council, makes me wonder whether, perhaps, some Republicans are discovering the ethics and morals they abandoned in the wake of Reagan’s election in 1980.

If I were in San Diego, I’d consider voting for him, and I hope you would too.

Zhu ni cheng ri kuai le, <lj user=”wilsurn”>

Friday, September 21st, 2007

…and many happy returns of the day

Marquee mystery solved

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Earlier this week I wrote about a marquee being erected in Eaton Square. On Wednesday I discovered that one of the events for London Fashion Week was being held in that marquee. Coacher were everywhere with the “London Fashion Week” logo on the side. Presumably people are ferried from catwalk to catwalk.

Today there is no trace of the marquee at all. Sic transit gloria mundi…

Dilemma solved

Friday, September 21st, 2007

I just received a phone call from the brother involved, and he apologised for the joke he told. I wasn’t fishing for an apology when I emailed the senior brethren to mention it, but one of them took it upon himself to call the brother involved, give him my mobile number, and encourage him to apologise.

commented that he wasn’t as offended as I was at the joke. I think that the reason I was offended was indeed the fact that the stereotypical gay man was only important as the butt of the joke. Yes, many of us like to suck dick. However, reducing me and the likes of me to a mere fellatio-machine doesn’t make me feel very good. This is also true of misogynistic jokes.

After-dinner humour is enormously difficult to do without offense, but it can be done, and successful after-dinner speakers and toastmasters know how to make people laugh without offending them gratuitously.

So, we are on the square again, thank TGAOTU.


Friday, September 21st, 2007

As many of you know, I am a Freemason. Last night we had a meeting at which we passed a brother to the second degree (details not important to this journal entry).

After each meeting we have dinner, which is accompanied by toasts. There is traditionally a toast to guests (if any), and we had three guests last night. The brother who gave the toast ended with a joke that was homophobic.

I am out to most of the lodge, but not all–mainly because, like straight men, I don’t need to advertise my sexuality to all and sundry nor do I want people to assume one thing or another. I just don’t mention it unless it comes up in conversation.

At the last meeting, another brother made a homophobic remark in my presence, which made me quite annoyed. So there is an institutional problem.

My dilemma is: what to do?

I don’t want to make a public statement to everyone declaring my sexuality. For one thing, as additional brothers join, I’d have to do it all over again and I don’t want to have to come out every time someone is initiated: “Hi, Brother So-and-So, I’m Brother Chris, the gay Freemason.” And, of course, it’s not practical to come out to each guest every meeting: that would just be silly.

On the other hand, I’m tired of having to sit at a dinner and listen to someone tell homophobic jokes or make homophobic remarks.

Here’s the joke, by the way, just for your “delectation”:

A man came into a bar carrying a small alligator under his arm. He said to the bartender: “I’ll bet you a drink that I can put my manhood in this alligator’s mouth and he won’t harm it.” The bartender said, “Sure, go ahead.” The man took out his willy, put it in the alligator’s mouth, and its jaws closed very very gently onto it. The man took a beer bottle and hit the alligator on the head, at which it slowly opened its mouth and released the man’s willy. The bartender said, “Wow! That’s something! What’ll you drink?”

The man repeated this several times, putting his willy in the alligator’s mouth, then hitting the alligator’s head with a beer bottle to make him release it. He won some free liquor out of it. As the evening was drawing on, a gay man in the bar came over and said to the alligator’s proud owner: “Can I try that?” The man said, “Sure.” The gay man said, “Please, promise me you won’t hit me on the head with the beer bottle.”

My inclination is to email some of the past masters who are aware of my sexuality and ask their advice on how best to handle this. The man who told the joke is the Worshipful Master’s brother-in-law (on top of everything else). I do hope that I can come to some way to keep on the square and on the level, and ensure that humour at Lodge dinners is funny but not hurtful.

By the way, as most dinners are stag, the opportunity for misogynistic jokes always presents itself, and I’d be unhappy about those as well.

I’ll keep everyone posted on this one.

Update: See the following entry for the resolution to the dilemma, happily.

Today’s Graphic Design URL

Friday, September 21st, 2007

For the graphic designers, 1950’s enthusiasts, and fontheads amongst you, this website is for you. Beware, though; you may suddenly get a craving to grab a burger and shake at the local hangout and then catch a drive-in movie with your main squeeze in a dark corner of the lot.

Today’s quote, from <lj user=”mouseworks”>

Friday, September 21st, 2007

“…some people really love being able to be in a place that doesn’t snicker when they claim to be poets.”

I wish we were all in places where people didn’t snicker at us for any reason at all. Thanks for a bright start to my day.

Today’s Graphic Design URL

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

I can’t say I agree with all this person’s choices, but there are interesting before and after pictures of logos that were either improved or flushed down the loo. See them all here

Happy birthday to <lj user=”chrisloup”>

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

…it’s coming up in two days, so be forewarned.

Many happy returns of the day.

Today’s Housing URL

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

My mother, when asked whether she could cook something special for one or another of the family, would respond: “What do you think this is, a hotel?”

Well, this couple have decided that, indeed, their home is a hotel.

Today’s astronautical headline

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

On, I saw:

Leaky seals may delay shuttle launch

My first thought was “So they’re sending seals into space? Something to do with juggling beachballs in zero-G? And why are they leaking, and from where?”

A melancholy anniversary

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Yesterday (September 18) was the first anniversary of my job at the Indian outsourcing consultancy. Those who have been reading for a while will remember my joy at finally being employed again.

Well, my joy was relatively short-lived. Only now is there a great likelihood of my actually going on-site to do some work. I have spent 1/55th (that’s about 1.8%) of my life doing almost absolutely nothing.

I haven’t been successful in the three different efforts I’ve made to change jobs.

It’s depressing.

I shall comfort myself with thinking that something better is just around the corner.

Today’s Romantic URL

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

This article shows that when you’re in a chatroom, you should be careful to whom you talk and even more careful of whom you meet.

Today’s Faux-Nostalgia URL, 2011 edition

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Last year I printed a link to Beloit College’s Mindset List, 2010 edition. Here’s the 2011 edition, hot off the presses.

Miscellaneous observations from lunchtime

Monday, September 17th, 2007

I have now figured out why people don’t look me in the eye when we pass on the pavement. They’re looking at my bow tie. As a woman passed me this morning, she looked at my face, then her eyes dropped down to my neck and stayed there. I now know what buxom ladies complain about.

The pet suitcase season is in full swing. I had to dodge three or four this morning. Why can’t people gauge where they are when carrying or pulling large suitcases?

A huge marquee is being erected in the south portion of Eaton Square Gardens. There are even posh portable toilets at the west end of it.

Today’s stupid URL

Monday, September 17th, 2007

A while back a Christian lady who worked for BA was dismissed for refusing to remove a cross which hung from a chain around her neck. Now another religious lady, this time a Hindu, has been dismissed from a catering company based at Heathrow Airport for refusing to remove her nose stud. This is allegedly on health and safety grounds.

I wonder whether these geniuses in HR and management ever read the newspapers, listen to the radio news, or watch TV news.

I’m also wondering how this lady’s nose stud could possibly contaminate the food with which she works. Enquiring minds, in this case, definitely do not want to know.

Today’s Forensic Meme

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Minimal: You would most likely not get caught, but if you did, it would be due to technological developments arising after the case had gone cold.

Our weekend and welcome to it!

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Friday was uneventful. HWMBO had to go to a stag party for one of his co-workers, and he wasn’t due home until after 11 pm. No news of Friday then, except that he did return and hadn’t overindulged. His other co-workers stayed out until 5 am Saturday, in true British style.

Saturday was the first day of the Thames Festival weekend, and we decided to go to lunch at Southwark Bridge. The bridge itself was turned into a kind of funfair, with stalls selling various types of food, some entertainment on the upriver side, and tables to eat. Part of it was covered with sand and part was covered with artificial turf. HWMBO had a seafood noodle dish that he said was just average, and I had a beefburger with cheese (

Today’s Wonders of Modern Medicine URL

Monday, September 17th, 2007

I suppose that the squeamish might want to skip this one, as it’s a nightmare to think about, but this guy is lucky to be alive.

These kids deserve a medal

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

…for being the most clued-in guys at their school. They’ll go far.

Today’s Wonders of Modern Medicine URL

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

I suppose that two might be better than one; however, when you go for the third perhaps it is best to stop.

Update: It does remind one of the limerick about Mr. Locke:

There was a young fellow named Locke
Who was blessed with a two-headed cock.
When he fondled the thing,
It would rise up and sing
An antiphonal chorus by Bach.

Attention, New York lj friends!

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

The assignment with the big investment bank has come through; the official word will be in on Monday, according to the client manager. The first move in this project will be a trip to New York for me. The tentative schedule is 24-28 September, Monday through Friday, with possible arrival on 23rd September and departure on 28th.

So, New York lj friends, you going to be around that week? Anyone want to suggest a restaurant for dinner (no fish, please, but vegetarian or carnivorous is OK for me)? I would love to meet y’all.

Comment on this entry and we can get cracking.

This top 40 professions meme

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

I stripped out all the HTML because it was ugly. Here’s the list that it gave me:

1. Communications Specialist
2. Professor
3. Public Policy Analyst
4. Database Developer
5. Video Game Developer
6. Personal Financial Planner
7. Business Systems Analyst
8. Computer Programmer
9. Lobbyist
10. Multimedia Developer
11. Political Aide
12. Librarian
13. ESL Teacher
14. Webmaster
15. Computer Trainer
16. Foreign Language Instructor
17. Computer Network Specialist
18. Desktop Publisher
19. Researcher
20. Web Developer
21. Office Manager
22. Technical Writer
23. Administrative Assistant
24. Market Research Analyst
25. Stenographer
26. Mediator
27. Economist
28. Historian
29. Criminologist
30. Website Designer
31. Health Records Professional
32. Editor
33. Human Resources Specialist
34. Archivist
35. GIS Specialist
36. Casting Director
37. Addictions Counselor
38. Research Analyst (Financial)
39. Corporate Trainer
40. Activist

I note with sadness that Software Tester isn’t there, and that “Lobbyist” is at number 9. Luckily, this is just a meme and not Real Life!

Today’s Vocabulary Meme

Thursday, September 13th, 2007
Your Vocabulary Score: A

Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.

Happy birthday, <lj user=”urban_bohemian”>

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

…and many happy returns of the day!

Yoga update

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

I went to my fifth class last night. The leader was a bit down, for personal reasons, but the class itself was perky and very lively, as usual. He gave me lots of praise, saying that I had improved markedly since I started.

Of course, this makes me feel good, but, more importantly, I think it has changed my health a bit for the better. My feet feel better, I think I’ve lost some weight, and I feel perkier. There are some pains involved (especially a few days after the class) but that’s to be expected in this quickly-elderly body of mine.

I will continue to go on Wednesdays, and try to get to the Saturday classes once or twice a month. Continuous updates as appropriate.

Today’s Lunchtime Meanderings

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

When I’m in the Victoria office, I usually walk to Victoria Place for lunch (jacket potato). Today’s walk was not without interest.

First, after getting some cash, I walked down Chester Street towards Victoria. A woman, about 35 years old, stick-thin, was locking her front door while her (driver/butler?) was loading a suitcase into her car. A woman of a certain age was walking by, and I heard this exchange:

Woman of a Certain Age (WCA): Good morning, dear. Are you going any place nice?
Stick-thin woman: St. Tropez.
WCA: Oh, that’s lovely.

I was out of earshot by this time, but this is the neighbourhood in which I work.

At Eaton Gardens, there was a drunk sitting on the ground leaning on the fence, bottle at the ready and a puddle of pee a few feet away. Again, this is my work neighbourhood.

At Chester Square, the police guard at Margaret Thatcher’s pad was pacing with his rifle. What a job, guarding Margaret Thatcher, Milk-Snatcher. This week’s If… comic in thegrauniad G2 resurrects the old battleaxe and it’s quite funny.

Yet again, I had to dodge multiple unfortunates with pet suitcases, none of whom had the foggiest idea of their location or destination.

Victoria Place has plasma screens all over. A few weeks ago, they had annoying little blurbs every 30 seconds or so extolling the virtues of eating there if you’re hungry, drinking there if you’re thirsty, and the like. All these have disappeared. In their place has appeared innumerable music videos. Blurgh. The jacket potato with cottage cheese and chives was exceptionally good this noon–why, I can’t tell you. The potato skin wasn’t dry and burnt, but moist and lovely.

On the way back I passed a nursery school on Eccleston Street. The teachers/minders/keepers/guards were herding the little dears into the school before turning the darlings over to their childminders for the afternoon. Each child had an electric blue uniform with a white straw boater hat on top. It looked like some surreal midget Swiss Guard troop were going into the school.

London adventures.

Today’s Romantic URL

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

…Marriage is a Biblical institution, according to this website. Be sure to click on “Home” to see the list of brides. I do hope this is a spoof…

Today’s joke, from <lj user=”bonehound”>

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Matt calls his buddy Marty the horse rancher, and says he’s sending a friend over to look at a horse.

Marty asks “How will I recognize him?”

That’s easy, he’s a midget with a speech impediment.”

So, the midget shows up, and Marty asks him if he’s looking for a male or female horse. “A female horth.”

So he shows him a prized filly. “Nith lookin horth. Can I thee her eyeth?”

Marty picks up the midget and he gives the horse’s eyes the once over. “Nith eyeth, can I thee her earzth”?

So he pick s the little fella up again, and shows him the horse’s ears. “Nith earzth, can I see her mouf?”

The rancher is gettin’ pretty ticked off by now, but he picks him up again and shows him the horse’s mouth. “Nice mouf, can I see her twat?”

Furious at this point, the rancher grabs him under his arms and rams the midget’s head as far as he can up the horse’s twat, pulls him out and slams him on the ground.

The midget gets up, sputtering and coughing. “Perhapth I should rephwase that; Can I thee her wun awound a widdle bit?”

Today’s limerick, from two lines in <lj user=”cjsmith”>’s journal

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

A wonderful bird is the Yex!
It’s got one big head on two necks.
It sees all around it–
Many things that astound it–
And numerous things that perplex.

First two lines from here, last three lines from my Red Brain.

Today’s Fiction URL

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

…this T-shirt is called “Spoilt”, for good reason.

The colour of my brain is red; I always thought it was grey

Thursday, September 13th, 2007
Your Brain is Red

Of all the brain types, yours is the most impulsive.
If you think it, you do it. And you can get the bug to pursue almost any passion.
Your thoughts are big and bold. Your mind has no inhibitions.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about love, your dreams, and distant places.

I always thought they were grey…

Today’s Pyromania URL

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

St. Paul said that it is better to marry than to burn with desire. Would that this couple had paid him heed.

Chris Crocker’s cure for depression

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

…is here. Watch with caution: don’t be drinking any coffee while watching.

Response to a post in a forum in which I participate

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

I am a member in an email forum of Singapore lesbian and gay people and their friends. Recently there was a question posed there: are companies pro-gay or anti-gay. Rather than post a very lengthy reply there, I thought I’d post it in my blog and refer people there if they were interested.

I think that corporations are probably neither anti-gay or pro-gay. They are pro-profit. What this means in practice is that corporations will take positions on a range of issues that best advance their profits.

Reasons for being pro-gay are:

— Creative staff members who are gay feel supported and continue to work for the company;
— Customers who are gay feel that the company is in tune with their own feelings and aspirations and support the company with their custom.

The corollary to this is that companies who wish to hire and retain people want to exist in environments where the greatest range of people feel supported and empowered. A place where a whole wodge of people (often very creative) do not feel supported and empowered is not a place where such companies wish to do business.

Now, translating that to companies actively lobbying for changes in places where they do business is difficult. In my time here in the United Kingdom, the age of consent has been lowered; the laws around public and private sexual activity have been regularised, made consistent, and applied fairly; discrimination in provision of services has been made illegal; and civil partnerships for same-sex partners have been made legal. I have not seen any public lobbying by corporations on any of these issues except for the provision of services, and that was mostly by religious and religiously-oriented small businesses that wanted to continue to discriminate, along with religious denominations who felt it was discriminatory to force them to provide services such as adoption to same-sex couples.

Large organisations crave a consistent and predictable legal and political climate in which to do business. As far as sexual conduct or orientation is concerned, as long as it is legal and does not intrude into the workplace, corporations are normally neutral toward it. More upset in the workplace has come from male executives bonking their way through the typing pool, rather than from gay relationships or sexual activity–this is natural, seeing as most people are straight. There is more publicity from the gay relationship in the work environment situation (viz Lord Browne, former Chairman of BP, having to resign because he lied about his relationship with his male lover who had been a rentboy–but most of this was about his fibbing on the subject, rather than his liking men) mostly because of its "shock value" to many straight people and thus the media wanting to sell newspapers talk it up.

I see Singapore’s government as wanting to attract business to the Southeast Asian area in general and Singapore in particular. Their attitude of keeping laws (377a) in force, but not actively enforcing them, is consistent with that. Their position is that as long as everyone stays in the closet, Singapore is a good place for everyone, including gays, to do business.

Businesses who are tempted to locate in Singapore and which have policies that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation may have some difficulties there. Those which give benefits to same-sex partners may find that they cannot do that in Singapore. Companies that pay for relocation of spouses when an employee is transferred will find that more difficult in the case of same-sex spouses, as there is no provision in Singapore law for a same-sex partner to come in and live there as a spouse of someone with a work permit. Other countries in the area may find that they can exploit this by making it easier for such spouses to accompany transferred employees (I would think Thailand is the most likely to do this in the area) and thus siphon some businesses away from Singapore.

The flurry of worldwide publicity around IndigNation will probably have given them some pause. The publicity has exposed the soft underbelly of the government’s position in that, while they prohibited various events, these events went on anyway. So the government gathered publicity that was, at the very least, embarrassing and at worst unfavourable, and yet did not succeed in effectively stopping any of the events. Companies that wish to set up or continue operations in Singapore may wonder whether they can transfer their current lesbian and gay employees there and retain them.

The current publicity around the RI teacher’s coming out is somewhat confined to Singapore and those of us who follow Singapore news from afar. However, if he is forced to resign or is sacked, (God forbid this!) then it will be likely to engender some unease in the worldwide academic community. The recent actions of the University of NSW and Warwick University in withdrawing from operations in Singapore will be reinforced and confirmed.

I suppose "Watch this space!" is a good motto to go on with. Alex, miak, and many other brave souls are slowly but surely changing Singapore from within.

Today’s Thought for the Day

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

I assumed that +Tom Butler, my bishop, would be talking about 9/11. However, he talked about the Madeleine McCann case. I was a bit stumped.

So tonight, at the end of the Business Committee meeting, I asked him why Madeleine and not 9/11. He said, “Well, I wrote one on 9/11, but at 5 to midnight yesterday I got a call from the producer saying that they hadn’t done a Thought on Madeleine and, as it’s hot news at the moment, I had to talk about that.” You can read it here, and I was very touched by it. But I think the producer made a bad call.

+Tom offered to send me the original 9/11 Thought, and I think I’ll take him up on that.

Well, I didn’t get the job…

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Got a call from the recruiter today. She said that technically my skills were right, and the first three people who interviewed me liked me, but they didn’t think that the team personality and my personality were compatible.


I got along well with the Production Manager, the HR Manager, and the COO. After two hours of second interview, they brought on a guy named Francisco who was a bit out of sorts (perhaps he’d gotten out of the wrong side of the bed that day) and I suspect that he (he’s their webmaster, ferfuxake! Not even in my line of work!) somehow influenced their decision.

The recruiter didn’t help by then telling me what a difficult place that is for them to get anyone into…they had one guy who was interviewed by 8 people, then was offered a job and turned it down. The company (she said) was a bit immature, trying to become a big company but using small-company methods and not succeeding. It’s not a good idea to run down the company that you sent me to twice to interview.

Anyway, have gotten to the second recruiter and he has sent my CV along to a law firm who is looking for a QA manager. Oh, well, back to square one.

Those of you who are of the praying persuasion, please spare me one. Thanks!

Senator Tapper McWidestance meets Avenue Q

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

…it’s surreal! Watch it while you can.

Follow-up to a Profile in Courage

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

You may remember this link, which led to a blog telling of a courageous Singapore teacher’s coming out to his students and colleagues. The Singapore Ministry of Education and the school have forced Mr. Fong to take down his blog. You can read about it here (and the blog entry is on page 2 of the link).

I have discovered that I am only two degress of separation from Mr. Fong, as he was the first boyfriend of an acquaintance of mine in Singapore.

I walked to school every day, uphill both ways…

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

…but the children in this video are lucky: they just ride to school. Thanks to for the heads-up.