Written by Emily Freeman • Directed by J. Daniel Herring
The play tells the true story of Roy and Silo, two male penguins in New York’s Central Park Zoo. The couple is given a discarded egg, hatch it, and raise the baby chick, Tango, as their own.
• FRI FEB 27th: $100 per person, includes dinner
• SAT FEB 28th: $15 per person, menu available.
Limited seating. Free Parking.
The Painted Table • Tower District • Fresno.
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This is the month of love and that not only means we love that certain someone, but to many of us it's also love of our devices — computers, iPhones, pads and any number of other options. But if you love your device, that means it needs to return the love by working well and always. Sometimes, just like with a relationship, that entails some tough love. And, as I found out recently, that can include a bit of pain. How much and for how long is up to you, but it’s the end result which pays off.
What I’m talking about is a complete re-do of that phone, computer or pad. And by complete I mean a "set up as new” where you save what you need and then wipe the drive clean and reinstall the OS and the apps you need.
This gives you a chance, too, to not return apps to the device you were excited about, but never use at all anymore and which take up space on the phone, pad or computer. Why am I telling you all of the above? Because after 16 months of great service my iPhone was getting slower and failing to update item after item. My stock list showed items from six weeks earlier. Weather forecasts had predictions for dates long past. It was clear something just was not right.
First I took the easy way: It was gonna be an easy (I’d hoped) fix to do a back-up, wipe the phone and then restore from said back-up. Sadly, it failed to work and I ended up with a brand new copy of everything wrong! That means most of the errors and problems were somewhere in the back-up and, when I restored, were restored too. I put the problems and errors right back on the phone!
The only solution was to set up the phone as "new” so let me explain. But wait! Before you dash out and do that you need to do a few other things first.
—Most vital: save those contacts. You can do it to the cloud in the Apple case or to Google or one of the other address book / contact spots out there for iPhone, Droid or Microsoft OS. Please, please, please, no matter what else you take away from this column take the thought that you must save those contacts or re-enter each and every one. And I know a few folks with upwards of 500 contacts. That's a whole lotta typing.
—The same goes for photos. Do you synch and download them to your computer or laptop regularly? Maybe to the cloud? Whatever, make sure you have each and every photo you want saved off your iPhone or other device before you wipe it clean. There's no way to see Grandma Gertrude or Uncle Dave who have both died since you took their photos ever again if you erase without backing up or downloading the images. I repeat: NO Way.
It amazes me when I talk to techs at the computer firms how many folks forget this step and come in whining that this or that pic they lost was irreplaceable. Even the ones you downloaded to social media you should keep yourself because they won't be back on the phone after you are done.
—Last (and this is a must to me) open your device and take a screen shot of each "page” of apps. This guarantees you know what you have and it also lets you “weed out" ones you might not want to put back on the device. More of that in a few...
OK, got that all done? Good. Next plug the device into power, go into controls and when the options show up "restore as new erase all content & settings” should be the one you pick.
This is something you should not do the day before a major trip or big event or other special time. It also can take a while, especially as after the setup is complete, you will need to restore those contacts and go to the iTunes or Android store and download every' app you purchased and want back over again. Remember, you wiped that device clean for a fresh start and that means clean. Aside from the operating system and the pre-installed apps like weather and notes, there will be nothing there. The good news is the store should have the records of what you bought, so the cost to download those apps again will be a big, fat zero.
And before you download the replacement apps, think hard and long about what I said a few lines ago: get the ones you use all the time.
Get the ones you usually need. But do you REALLY want the London Tube status board you got before that trip or the Toronto subway map you thought was cute or the gimmicky battery use device that looks like an apple which slowly withers and turns brown as you consume your charge?
I know those (and at least a dozen others) were all amongst the ones I decided I could easily live without when I restored recently. I know you will have your own list, but regardless of what goes and what comes back, do not burden your device with extra "stuff” you never use.
No matter how fun or cute or useful something was when you grabbed it from the app store, just like the worn out Puma shoes in your closet or the moth-eaten ski coat from 1995, there are some things that you will never have a use for again. And just as you declutter the closet regularly (think Spring cleaning) this is a golden opportunity to declutter that device.
For guidance on what you have to have, want to have or do not need refer back to that set of screen shots I told you to take. That’ll let you see what was there and help you make the final "cut”.
Finally a 2nd caution about something we said at the outset: No matter how tempting it seems, do not restore the device from your back-up or you will simply re-install the same problems and gain nothing.
It would be like going out to buy new tires for your car but instead of the new ones you buy, putting the old fiats back on. Pay the tire shop to recycle the old ones. Pay yourself by throwing away the old back-up. Hang onto it long enough to be sure things are indeed back to where they should be then let go, put it in the trash and hit empty.
Like the old boyfriend’s photo, the old tires or that pair of shot shoes, there's no reason to burden yourself or your gear with things you will never have a use for again — ever. If you do the job right, once things are restored and complete, you should have the apps you want and need, the contacts you had before and most importantly a working device which is literally good as new — mostly because as far as the operating system and apps are concerned, it IS new.
Good luck with your work and if you need help, there is a lot out there — from the Apple Genius bar to the local phone store and electronics retailer.
Just remember that like love, sometimes you got to say this is not working the way we want it to and re-think. If we want to continue loving our devices, the very same is true. Happy Valentines Day.
Valentine's Day is upon us. And while it’s certainly fun to give and receive chocolates and roses, why not go a little deeper this year? Specifically, if you are married, consider using this commemoration of love as a starting point for taking care of your spouse in the future — even if you're not part of it.
Actually, both you and your spouse could designate Valentine's Day as the beginning of your joint efforts to provide financial security for the surviving spouse when one of you is gone.
Your strategy should involve at least these three key elements:
—Understanding your household's finances. In some marriages, one spouse handles all the household financial matters, including investments. If this person were to pass away first, it could leave the surviving spouse with the dual responsibility of managing day-to-day finances and tracking down all investment information. These tasks could be overwhelming to someone who is unprepared to deal with them, so you’ll want to take steps to ensure you and your spouse are aware of your joint financial picture.
For starters, keep good records of all your financial assets, including investment accounts, life insurance policies and legal documents — and make sure both of you know where these records are kept. Also, if you use the services of a financial professional, it’s a good idea for you and your spouse to meet regularly with this individual to ensure both of you know where your money is being invested and how close you are to achieving your financial goals.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas Sawicki and his shipmates returned to San Diego this week and Sawicki’s boyfriend was there to greet him. Sawicki smooched with Shawn Brier at Naval Base Point Loma marking the first time in US Naval history that a male same-sex couple had been chosen for the traditional coming home honor, which is decided by lottery.Add a comment Add a comment
(Authors note: This month's column is a personal experience rather than a question from a reader.)
My last column described my recent experiences learning that I had prostate cancer and having a prostatectomy. This month, I wanted to share some new developments which I hope will help readers become more informed about prostate (and other) cancer, as well as become a better friend and supporter to those dealing with it.
Last time I reported on a successful surgery, with few serious after-effects. My convalescence was so smooth that all my treatment providers told me they had never seen a patient recover so well, and I was inordinately pleased with myself. What's that old saying about "Pride going before a fall?"
In my latest follow-up appointment with my urologist, I learned that cancer was present in several biopsy samples taken during my surgery. Another high PSA score, when it should be zero after a prostatectomy, suggested that the cancer was still very aggressive and continuing to spread rapidly.
Yet there was also reason to be optimistic. Radiation therapy and hormone injections to suppress testosterone, which feeds cancer growth, promised to bring remission or at least slow the cancer down. Unfortunately, this treatment will probably need to be repeated for the rest of my life.
I saw my oncologist for the first time six weeks after my surgery and began hormone therapy then. It was still too early to begin radiation, so he encouraged me to go on and spend the month of October in Florida, as I always do, and start radiation treatment when I returned home.
Since then I've spent my days reading at the pool or beach, trying to keep my mind occupied in positive ways. However, I can't forget I have cancer, a bad one, and it’s not going away easily. I'm going to have to fight it and fight it hard, apparently for a very long time.
As a therapist, I've been teaching clients coping skills for over 40 years. I also know¬ how to practice those skills myself. I’m a survivor, with a strong faith life, and positive attitude, and I've been utilizing those pretty effectively since this journey began.
But there's still that drowsy moment every morning when I wake up and don’t remember I have cancer. . . then suddenly I do, and it’s like hearing the bad news for the first time all over again. Other friends with cancer have shared that they experience this same phenomenon.
In my last column I shared my thankfulness for loving friends and family, for recent treatment advances, and for early detection of my disease making remission more likely. I’m still thankful for all of those things, though a little less confident about the last one.
We Keep Electing Ignorant People. Fair-minded Americans have welcomed the recent wave of court decisions striking down bans on same-sex marriage. The lesbian, gay, bi & trans community and its allies have been positively euphoric.
Of course, the homophobes and those who pander to them have had a somewhat different reaction.
Here's the thing: people who don't approve of gay people, or whose religious beliefs somehow require them to see gays as sinners and same-sex marriage as an abomination, are entitled to those beliefs. It's a free country. And elected officials are entitled to disapprove of judicial decisions, although they are not free to disregard them. All of these debates over what is best for the country, what constitutes fair play, what discrimination looks like...all of the cacophony that surrounds social change is both predictable and within the bounds of democratic deliberation.
Abject ignorance is not. Which brings me to Jan Brewer, Governor of Arizona, and her rant in the wake of court rulings that invalidated her state's ban on same-sex marriage.
"It is not only disappointing, but also deeply troubling, that unelected federal judges can dictate the laws of individual states, create rights based on their personal policy preferences and supplant the will of the people in an area traditionally left to the states for more than two hundred years.
"Simply put, courts should not be in the business of making and changing laws based on their personal agendas. It is not the role of the judiciary to determine that same-sex marriages should be allowed. "
Sorry, Governor Brewer, but your civic illiteracy is showing. Courts are absolutely "in the business" of "supplanting the will of the people" when that will violates the Constitution. The Founders of this country created an independent federal judiciary (one that was not elected) and provided those judges with lifetime tenure, because judges were supposed to be responsive to the Constitution and the rule of law — not to the electorate.
Congress and the Executive branch were supposed to respond to majority preferences; the judiciary, however, was supposed to safeguard individual and minority rights and to ensure that the other branches did not violate the Constitution in their eagerness to pander to popular passions.
I have repeated this basic premise of American constitutional law over and over — in my columns, my blogs and my classrooms. Let me do so one more time.
The Bill of Rights answers an important procedural question: who decides? Who decides what prayer you say, what book you read, how many children you have? In our system, government doesn't get to decide these and other very personal matters — we individuals decide these things for ourselves.
The Bill of Rights doesn't tell us what we should value or how we should live our lives; it protects our right to make those decisions for ourselves, free of the interference of government scolds.
The Bill of Rights also limits what popular majorities can vote to have government do. In fact, the Bill of Rights is sometimes called a "libertarian brake" on the power of the majority. A majority of your countrymen cannot vote to make you a Baptist or an Episcopalian; they don't get to vote on your reading materials or your political opinions or your choice of a life partner.
People who don't understand the most basic operation of our system — like Arizona's Governor Brewer, or Indiana's Mike Pence — misunderstand and misrepresent court decisions that uphold the right of individuals to live their lives as they see fit without sacrificing their right to equal treatment under the law.
Same-sex marriage doesn't threaten the republic. What threatens the republic is the election of people who are totally ignorant of the Constitution they are sworn to uphold.
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You likely never thought you’d ever read this in a tech-savvy column but here it is for all to see: The internet is one of the worst things we have ever invented.
Now that the shock is abating, let me explain, because I do not really believe that in total, but it does have some disadvantages. And along with the net I refer to smart phones, tablets and all the rest of what are today called ‘‘devices’'.
The reason I am so frustrated is that the internet has made everybody walking the streets an "expert" on any topic...and sadly, about 75% of what they have in their net-gained knowledge base is either over-stated or outright wrong.
I have one close friend who, on ANY topic considers himself an expert because he can use Google and Yahoo. While so-doing is fine and information gained can be useful, anyone can post anything to most any website and when folks read it they become even more convinced that folk tales (urban legends as they are better known today) bear a lot of truth.
Within the gay community, there's no “holiday" which receives more recognition — deserved or not — than Halloween. This may be February and the holiday might be past, with its plethora of skeletons and ghosts put away for yet another year so you might feel that with it come and gone, you probably don't have much to fear (except, possibly, running out of leftover candy). But in real life, some things genuinely are frightening — such as “scary" investment moves.
Of course, investing, by its very nature, is not a risk-free endeavor. Ideally, though, these risks are also accompanied by the possibility of reward.
Nonetheless, some investment moves carry very little in the way of “upside" potential and should be avoided. Here are a few to consider:
Not investing — The scariest investment move you can make is to not invest at all — because if you don't invest, you are highly unlikely to achieve a comfortable retirement or meet any other important financial goals. In a recent survey conducted by the National Council on Aging and other groups,
Dear Mz. Pink,
Now that gay marriage is becoming legal in most states, my girlfriend has been bugging me to get married. The problem is I don't want to get married. I don’t feel like we are at that place in our relationship to get married.
She has actually been pushing me into things since we started dating. First it was moving in together, then it turned into “loving' each other, then it was no friends or only friends together, now she is talking kids and a wedding. I am not ready for this type of commitment. I actually don’t want to be at this spot in our relationship. I would love to just date her and not have to worry what she has planned for us next. How can I have her slow down, without making her think I don’t want to be with her at all?
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daily existence. Personally, I’m still waiting for the Jetson's-style car that I can fold up into a briefcase, but maybe that's next on Team Apple's agenda. Oh, and I wish we had some sort of cloning service. Yes, I would benefit greatly from having my own clone. Then again, if I had a clone I would probably never leave the house. If that sounds narcissistic, then you are correct in your assumption.
Speaking of narcissism and clones, I was recently inducted into the world of the dating app. Or hook-up app, if you prefer. It took me almost as long to get involved with this world as it did when Facebook was in its infancy, but I’m finding that there are fascinating things you can learn about people through their brief profiles, strange photographs and messages full of touch screen courage.
With all the varied choices out there, I chose Scruff and avoided its resting-bitch-face little brother Grindr. Not only are the boys on Grindr much douchier and homophobic than Scruff, but something about that skull mask logo gives me the creeps. Not to mention that Grindr has already racked up numerous murders connected to men who hooked up with their killers using the app. Yeah, that's three strikes, Grindr. You're out.
The first thing you notice when you join up is, of course, the photos. Let me just start by saying I honestly don’t see the point of posting a picture of your nipple or your navel or your feet. How does that help anyone?
Not to sound too shallow, but when I show up to meet you and you look like Sloth from The Goonies it’s not gonna matter what your abs look like. Your face is where everything starts. The way you smile, the look in your eyes, the lips that are asking to be kissed — that's what should be first and foremost. Maybe that’s just my humble opinion, but even if I’m just hooking up with someone, the face is the spark that lights the fire.
I look at it this way: if you post a photo of your bicep are you going to show up to a date completely wrapped in bandages like a mummy with just that bicep showing? No. Or at least I hope not. When you show up at a coffee shop or a bar or someone’s door, the first thing they see is your face. So why not just put that on the profile in the first place?
And when I say that I mean a shot of your face from within the last year so you at least look somewhat similar to your photo. I saw a profile picture recently that had been taken outside a movie theatre. The poster on the marquee was Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets. That came out in 2002. Which was 12 years ago, kids. At least have a picture in front of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows for fuck's sake. That was only three years ago.
The second thing I find inherently amusing are the names on these profiles. I understand if you're hesitant about using your real name, and I know many people use either the first letter of their name or their initials or some variation on that theme, which is fine. But when you're using a name like FeetAndFisting, NeedHeadNow or BreedMe35, I feel like you're kinda pigeonholing yourself right from the get-go. I received a message from the eloquently named NeedHeadNow and I asked him if he always needed head when he was online, since you know, it's now. He told me: “No, I don't always need head.”
After that, I decided to not delve further into the reasoning behind his screen name. Look, I understand that people want to make their desires known up front, but you can also do that once you talk to someone. You know, like we do in the real world.
That, in itself, is another point. Using a dating app should be like real life. You don’t walk up to someone in the real world with your face covered and say “Hi, my name’s Dick Chugger42” do you? I understand that the concept of doing things online whether it’s Scruff or Tinder or Facebook or Instagram is the alternative to going out into the world and meeting someone to date or to fuck or to be friends with, but sooner or later, face-to-face human experience will be taking place in our lives.
The transition from whom you are online and who you really are shouldn’t be such a leap. The image crafting that we all engage in only puts up roadblocks for the real time interaction that comes with the one thing we all need: personal connection. Truth, above all else, will lead the way to what you truly need. The lies you spin through binary code are just like the lies you tell in real life. They will turn and bite you with sharp teeth.
You say you’re six feet tall and 190 pounds but you’re really five feet seven and 220 pounds? You say you’re into heavy bondage but you're really only curious about it?
You say that the photo of you online is definitely you and not Nick Youngquest? All of these things will be painfully revealed when you're standing in front of whomever you’re connecting with. And that won't be pretty. Honesty, the greatest quality that anyone can possess, is still paramount, even behind the anonymity of a touch screen.
That brings me to the one thing about these apps that I find the most infuriating. The fact that people are online looking for dick or dates when their profile says they are partnered, married or — a term that has absolutely no merit in my world — in an open relationship. Okay, so let me see if I understand this: you have someone to come home to every night, someone to wake up to every morning, someone who takes care of you and supports you, makes you breakfast, kisses you goodnight, laughs with you, argues with you, holds your hand, reminds you to bring an umbrella, tells you you're beautiful, tells you they love you and that's not enough for you? Are you kidding me?
I guess I sound like I'm old fashioned or I belong in a Nicholas Sparks movie, but that sounds like it would be enough for me. And if you're one of these people who are in a relationship that say you’re merely online looking for friendship, why are you putting your stats and desires in your profile? When I meet a new person who I know I’m going be friends with, I try to steer clear of telling them how big my dick is or if I want to be tied up. Unless they ask, of course.
So, tell me: am I missing something? Is there some reason people cannot be satisfied with what they have and need to venture into the global grid of the hook-up apps?
It seems greedy and selfish to me. When I'm with someone I'm with someone. Does temptation rear its muscled head? Of course. Do I struggle with the attentions of a 23-year-old MMA fighter in the gym when things are tough with my boyfriend? Sure, and it's not easy. But the point remains — love should trump the siren song of a stranger's touch. I came across a profile recently that said if I was interested in what this user's ideal guv was, I should check out his partner's profile. Because “he's more than I could've hoped for.'' Really? I mean, come on. If you have everything you could ever hope for, there’s no need to search for more, right?
I know I sound like I’m not a fan of Scruff and the like, but that's actually not the case. People meet online every day and get what they need, whether it's a date or a fuck or a future husband. People meet online and discover that the people they meet may not light them up in person but they become friends and take that path instead. It can be an amazing tool for connecting on many different levels. I think that if you truly want the most out of any kind of digital coupling, honesty is the way to go. Honesty will filter out what you don’t want so you can find what you do want — whether it's for an hour or forever.
Like I said before, treat these apps like you would treat a real life encounter with your face, your name, your wants and needs, your desires — no matter how twisted — your real age, and your real thoughts.
Trust me, these are the tools to pleasing your heart and both your heads. But if you're one of these guys who supposedly has everything they could ever want in a partner waiting at home for you, stop grazing where you think the grass is greener, because it isn't. And if you're a single guy with confidence and sexiness and a smile that melts my heart and drops my pants, I’ll see you online. Woof.Add a comment Add a comment
The Bulldog Pride Fund at Fresno State Presents
AND THEN CAME TANGO
Feb. 27 and 28, 2015
The Painted Table • Tower District • Fresno
The play tells the true story of Roy and Silo, two male chinstrap penguins at New York’s Central Park Zoo. The couple is given a discarded egg, hatch it, and raise the baby chick, Tango, as their own. Suitable for 1st graders and up. Two performance only. Limited seating. Free parking.
Proceeds benefit the BULLDOG PRIDE CLUB + BULLDOG PRIDE FUND at Fresno State.
ADVANCE RESERVATIONS REQUIRED: 559.278.2586 • www.bulldogpride.org
A teenager charged with shooting a classmate in the chest at his central California high school two years ago accepted a plea agreement with prosecutors Friday for a 27-year sentence in state prison.
Bryan Oliver, 18, pleaded no contest to two counts of attempted murder in wounding the student, the Bakersfield Californian reported.
Under the agreement, Oliver will be eligible for release on parole after 13 years.
In January 2013, Oliver, then 16, entered Taft Union High School in Kern County armed with a shotgun, shot a classmate and fired at a second before dropping the weapon, authorities said.Add a comment Add a comment
Cancer . . . just hearing the word makes us squirm—especially when we hear this: "You have a very fast-growing prostate cancer."
Six weeks ago, I was sitting in my doctor’s office with my partner Ernie, hearing those exact words. Beginning that day, my world became a whirlwind of various tests, then surgery, followed bv weeks of being trapped in a bed or chair with drain tubes and bags needing to be changed every few hours.
The good news is that the surgery to remove my prostate was successful, and follow-up radiation and hormone therapy promise to ensure no traces of cancer remain. I'm at home now recovering well, lavished with love and concern (and more food than I know what to do with), thanks to a wonderful network of family and friends.
When I shared what I was going through with editor and life-long friend Ted Fleischaker, he suggested I skip last month's column then make my next feature a memoir recounting my experiences. So, here goes . . .
Lots of us may wonder at times what we would do if we were ever confronted with a diagnosis of cancer. As for me, I've imagined myself bravely doing "whatever it took" to vanquish the disease, even trying experimental drugs that hadn’t been approved yet for use on humans. I've fantasized melodramatic scenarios where I refused debilitating treatments in favor of cherishing what little quality time I had left with loved ones.
When the time actually came, of course, none of these things happened. Instead I found myself taking a deep breath, reaching for Ernie’s hand, then calmly exploring treatment options with my physician. Admittedly my cool exterior disguised the fact that my heart was pounding wildly. However I managed to keep my act together until the consultation was over and we had a clear treatment plan — an immediate prostatectomy.
There were some tears on the ride home as Ernie and I discussed how to tell the kids, and more tears when I actually did talk to them later that day. However both my kids are strong, optimistic people, so we were able to comfort each other with reminders that we had caught the cancer early and the prognosis was good. Add a comment Add a comment
The Religion News Service has reported the formation of a new organization called — And I am not making this up — Evangelicals for Marriage Equality. It was launched on Tuesday and immediately began collecting signatures from evangelicals who support same-sex marriage. Its advisory board includes several evangelical luminaries: author and speaker Brian McLaren, former National Association of Evangelicals vice president Richard Cizik and former USAID faith adviser Chris LaTondresse.
Some of you may recall news articles awhile back, when Cizik resigned from his position with the National Association of Evangelicals, citing his support for same-sex civil unions.
It is immensely heartening to see significant evangelicals come to a realization that if the institution of marriage is good for society, and good for opposite-sex couples, it should be equally good for same-sex couples. This new organization is yet another expression of the growing recognition that fidelity and stability require social acceptance — that when you demonize people, when you deny them respect and equal civil rights, you are encouraging destructive behaviors.
So — you may be late to the party, Evangelicals for Marriage Equality, but we certainly welcome you.
That said, there may also be an element of self-preservation in this sudden turnaround. Over the past few years, membership in these conservative churches has been declining. Young Christians, especially, have rejected a theology that seemed to place homophobia at the very center of its belief structure.
Polling has confirmed that the demographic split that characterizes the broader American society is equally pronounced among adherents of conservative and evangelical Christianity. Not that young evangelicals are leading the charge to embrace equal rights for their lesbian, gay, bi & trans peel's, but they are demonstrably less homophobic than their elders and changing (for the better) with dizzying rapidity.Add a comment Add a comment
Will that be wheat or white? Sweet tea or unsweetened? Cash or charge? Debit or credit? Whole milk or 2%?
Every day in life we are faced with choices and often subconsciously make them, but few are going to be as long-lasting or as costly (or money-saving) as all the ones which seem to be bombarding us now with the advent of the new iPhone 6 and the Droids which are on the market. What I refer to is not only the choice of changing phones and upgrading (now or later) but the wide and ever-widening choice of calling plans and packages which almost all of the major providers are just going nuts to sell us.
Do you want to just wait for the two-year “old standard” time frame and then upgrade? There's a plan for that.
Rather have that iPhone 6 now, but have months left on the “old" 5C or Droid you bought last year? Plans for that.
Wanna pay nothing now, but willing to get a few extra bucks a month added to the cell bill in trade for upgrading to the latest, greatest now? They got that.
And what about upgrading now to an iPhone 6, then getting to upgrade again next year or anytime something new arrives? Yep, there’s a plan for that out there, too.
But as Don Pardo used to say on The Price Is Right: “That's not all, Bill!"
There are now a myriad of plans based around not what most folks think of a cell phone for at all — calling — but based on data (browsing, texts, etc.) as the major firms have started a data price war. While there are no bullets flying, there are offers in every newspaper, mailbox and on every TV and radio station promising everything from free calls from Europe and Canada to unlimited data and even cash being dangled to buy you out of that old plan you might have elsewhere.
So what to do? What option to take?Add a comment Add a comment
Prop 8 attorney David Boies sat down with Bloomberg's John Heilemann yesterday to go over the Supreme Court's decision to review the four gay marriage cases from the Sixth Circuit.
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As an investor, you may find that the elements of your portfolio that seem to draw most of your attention are stocks and bonds. After all, these investment vehicles, and others derived from them, provide you with potential growth and income opportunities — which is why you invest in the first place. Yet, you also may find significant value in a more humble financial asset: cash. In fact, you might be surprised at the various ways in which the cash, and cash equivalents, in your portfolio can help you complete your financial picture.
One way to understand the uses of cash is to look at the “USES" of cash. In other words, consider the acronym USES:
— U for Unexpected expenses and emergencies — You’ll need sufficient cash for situations such as a job loss, a home repair or an unplanned medical expense. During your working years, you should keep three to six months' worth of living expenses in a cash account specifically designed to meet unexpected expenses. Once you're retired, you may be able to get by on a smaller emergency fund — up to three months' worth of living expenses, although you will need more for everyday spending.
— S for Specific short-term savings goal — Are you anticipating a big expense —a wedding (once they become legal), a week in Palm Springs, a down payment on a new home, etc. — sometime within the next few years? If so, you'll want to set aside sufficient cash, with the exact amount depending on your specific short-term goal.
— E is for Everyday spending — It goes without saying that you'll need adequate cash for your everyday spending needs — groceries, utilities, entertainment, mortgage/ debt payments, and so on. Of course, while you're working, you will probably handle most of these costs with your pay checks, but you may still need to set aside one or two months' worth of living expenses.
Once you're retired, though, it's a somewhat different story. While your expenses may go down in some areas (such as costs associated with employment such as uniforms, dress clothes or commuting to and from the job), they are likely to go up in others (such as health care). So your overall cost of living may not drop much, if at all. Consequently, it may be a good idea to set aside 12 months' worth of living expenses, after incorporating other sources of income, such as Social Security and outside employment. Add a comment Add a comment
The Supreme Court has agreed to resolve the national debate over same-sex marriage once and for all.
The justices will consider four cases from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, consolidated and heard together. They will hear 2 1/2 hours of oral arguments in April and issue a ruling before the current term ends in late June.
The new challenges to gay marriage bans are destined to become even more of a landmark than those decided by the court in 2013 — United States v. Windsor, which forced the federal government to recognize gay marriages, and Hollingsworth v. Perry, which made California the 13th state to allow them. Join the Marriage Equality USA Community Call tonight to hear more:Add a comment Add a comment
When you step into a boxing ring, you know what’s coming. Trust me. The wet slap of a glove in your eye socket, the jaw-rattling right cross that shakes your teeth inside your mouth guard, the blows that rain across your ribs and abs and the bum of the ropes on your back when you are corralled by your opponent. The pain is real and bright and you knew it was waiting for you. It's kind of like the feeling right before you get a shot or have a cavity filled. You know what’s coming, you see the needle and the pain follows, just like it is supposed to.
No one wants to see pain coming, and as you live your life day-to-day, you spend most of it avoiding any unnecessary discomfort. When the time comes that you meet someone who ignites your heart, you automatically follow suit and do what you have to do to avoid any pain.
Everyone has something to hide. Whether it's a secret crush or a hidden rage or a crippling emotional problem, it can lay buried beneath layers of money and designer clothes, well-honed muscle and sexual prowess or a frozen smile that masks the real feeling inside.
Sometimes our true nature bubbles to the surface — usually when we least expect it. The crush is revealed after a couple of drinks, the rage is ignited over a tiny slight or the emotional barrier stays steadfast even though you are in the warm, safe confines of a relationship.
So why do we hide the things that make us human? Why do we hide the beat of our heart and the truth in our soul? Because we are all afraid of getting hurt.
So how do we avoid the pain? Some people become someone else, leaving their true nature behind to make someone happy. They deny who they really are to become someone else; someone they believe is the one their partner wants. That's not to say that some people can't keep an open mind and try new things with a new partner, but some people completely transform themselves into a false representation of who they are and what they want in order to keep the relationship alive.
Some people say things they don't mean because they believe it's what the other person wants to hear.
They say: “I love you” when they are not sure if that’s what they are feeling.
They say: “That sounds fun", even though it's something they hate.
They say: “Everything's fine” even though it isn't.
Saying everything is fine is something we do every day. People say: “How are you?" and we say: “Fine, thanks”, even when we are the furthest thing from it. Can you imagine if everyone answered honestly when they were asked how they were doing? No one would get anything done, and we would end up sharing our personal lives with complete strangers. Maybe that is why we do it.
When someone you don't know asks you how you are doing, what do you think they would say if you said: “My dog just died” or "My boyfriend just broke up with me” or even if you went the other direction and said: “I'm awesome — I just got a blowjob in the parking lot of the gym”. The reason is that “fine" is what people want to hear. So that’s our programmed response. To hide how we truly feel.
We hide things in other ways, too. A crush on someone you see every day in the gym or behind the counter at a bookstore or a coffee shop or even walking past your window. Do we say anything? Not likely. And why is that? To avoid the pain of being rejected or finding out they are already connected or even the fact that they don’t share your sexuality. So we say nothing and daydream of what it would be like to talk to them, to hold their hand or to kiss them as rain pours down around you.
The problem with this situation is simple: what if none of that is true? What if they are just like you, timing their workouts to coincide with yours, drinking coffee they don't even want just to see you or taking the route past your window in hopes that one day you will say something? Hiding from pain means losing the opportunity to find something spectacular in another human being.Add a comment Add a comment
There are several great summaries out there about what happened at the Fifth Circuit, which heard marriage equality appeals from Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Among others, I recommend the summaries from Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade and Chris Geidner at Buzzfeed. I would like to go one step deeper. I have listened to the audio from the oral argument (as you can too, here). As with other oral arguments, I find the most insightful indication of how a judge is leaning is not the number of questions asked or to which lawyer he asks more, but the language and tone of those questions. I found that especially true with Judge Higginbotham (pictured, right) on Friday.
When analyzing oral arguments, I always caution that any connection between a judge’s questions and his or her ultimate decision is purely speculative. There are court-watchers who do studies about these things. But my reports on marriage equality hearings at the Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits, not to mention at the Supreme Court, suggest that we can draw conclusions. On all the metrics, it looks like marriage equality will win the day at the Fifth Circuit.
First, I will discuss those metrics. Then I will discuss where we go from here.
Questions Asked To Lawyers. This metric is based on the notion that appellate court judges tend to ask more questions to the side of the argument they are inclined to oppose. That makes some sense: you ask questions because you are skeptical. As a related point, the side peppered with more questions presumably has the tougher case to make, which makes it more likely to lose. Sometimes, a judge will lob a helping hand at a beleaguered attorney, but you can bracket those and come up with a simple analysis.Add a comment Add a comment
The road to gay rights at the U.S. Supreme Court began not in San Francisco or New York, but in a small downtown Los Angeles office, where volunteer writers and editors in 1953 launched a new “magazine for homosexuals.”
ONE, as it was called, offered thoughtful articles, defiant editorials and none of the racy photos or sex ads often found in the gay press. “The first issue was sold in bars in the Los Angeles area for 25 cents, about the price of a draft beer,” said Michael C. Oliveira, an archivist at the magazine’s archives housed at the USC Library.
Yet in an era when FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was routing out “sex deviates” from the government and homosexuality was a crime in every state, the journal quickly drew negative attention, culminating with a U.S. Post Office ban of the magazine as “obscene.” The cover story of the first issue censored by the postmaster proved decades ahead of its time, asking “Homosexual Marriage?”
To the rescue came a young, straight California attorney fresh out of law school.Add a comment Add a comment
I feel compelled to write this. I'm tired of seeing the oil lobby's propaganda (and influence over economy) spill onto people's timelines via shoddy reporting by journalists after sensationalist stories. Yes, prices for gas in California have recently gone up. However, slamming the state's climate change law (2004's AB 32 - which was also upheld by California voters in 2010) is not only ignorant and wrong - it's narrow-minded. For one, oil companies making a stir can cause prices to rise...which is exactly what they want to happen so there will be widespread public backlash. But not so fast.
A couple of years ago, Media Matters posted a brilliant smack-down of misinformation from the right-leaning Orange County Register. The paper's claim was common among the American right: Tackling climate change will kill the economy so we shouldn't do anything. Except that's not correct. At all.
In fact, as the post pointed out, climate change policies not only save consumers money, they boost the economies where they are implemented. I highly recommend a read-through of the post - it's informative and relevant now more than ever. Read it here.
If you aren't able to at this time, here's a quick overview some of the facts:
- Cap-and-Trade policies are the best market-centered ways to decrease pollution and greenhouse gasses (via California Legislative Analyst's Office, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, International Emissions Trading Association, and the EPA)
- Consumers will end up saving money (via the California Air Resources Board, a UCLA study, and a Stanford University study)
- Existing Cap-and-Trade laws have resulted in economic booms (via the EPA, the California Air Resources Board, and economic consulting firm Analysis Group)
- Cap-and-Trade (prior to the recent Frankenstein-esque rise of the Tea Party) has had bipartisan support across the country
Don't be swayed by Big Energy's misinformation. Cap-and-Trade is the most market-friendly, cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The planet is warming, feedback loops are being tripped and time is quickly running out to avoid the worst of climate change. Renewable energy is in the midst of a revolution, but this is still the time to rise above partisanship and pseudoscience - the planet depends on us to do so.Add a comment Add a comment
AFER’s Matt Baume reports on Florida’s marriage status, the Supreme Court’s upcoming meeting to decide whether or not to consider gay marriage cases, Arkansas officials continuing to drag their feet, new poll numbers in Pennsylvania and more.Add a comment Add a comment