This Page

has been moved to new address

Wide White

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Wide White: February 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

To support or not to support...

Susan G. Komen for the Cure...

There's plenty of controversy in pro-life circles around the fact that Susan G. Komen gives money to Planned Parenthood. I haven't researched it much until now. The only reason I decided to look into it is a charity event I have supported is now giving part of its proceeds to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. That piqued my interest.

Here's what I found:

1. Money is only given from SGK to PP at the local chapter level. From what I can tell, money is not given at the national level. The purpose of the money is to support breast exams, which PP does provide (though there's controversy surrounding whether or not the money given to PP by SGK is actually used for that purpose).
2. The Minnesota chapter of SGK does not give money to PP.

At this point, I don't see enough direct correlation between SGK's Minnesota chapter and PP for me to stop supporting the charity event I have been supporting.

And for what it's worth, here's a new list of companies who show up on one pro-life organization's boycott list for supporting Planned Parenthood:
Corporations appearing on The Boycott List for the first time include BBJ Linen (home products), Carlson Companies (travel agencies, hotels [Country Inns & Suites, Park Inn, Park Plaza, Radisson, and Regent], and restaurants [T.G.I. Friday's and Pick Up Stix]), FastSigns (graphics/printing), InterContinental Hotels (Candlewood, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Indigo, InterContinental, and Staybridge), Midas (motor vehicle care), and Paul Ecke Ranch (poinsettias), among others.

Corporations continuing as boycott targets from the previously released Boycott List include AlphaGraphics, Basics Office Products, Wachovia, Nike, Time Warner (Cinemax, HBO, AOL, etc.), Bank of America, the Dallas Cowboys, CIGNA, Walt Disney, Johnson & Johnson, Lost Arrow (Patagonia, etc.), Chevron, Wells Fargo, Whole Foods Market, and Nationwide (insurance), among others.
If you think it's important to try boycotting all of them, go for it. But I'm not walking through life with a checklist of who not to support.

Yes, it's relevant that the founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is on the advisory board of Planned Parenthood in Dallas.  There are numerous other facts that are relevant.

But in addition to the fact that SKG-MN doesn't contribute to PP, it's also relevant that many other corporations that we support each day contribute far more than the money that SKG chapters have given to the group.

There's nothing wrong with boycotts and they can be effective (think civil rights movement, boycotts of British goods during the American revolution, etc.).  But I get the feeling with this one that its bark is tougher than its bite.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Anniversary, Second Edition

Two years ago at this time I was barely an hour into what has been without question the best two years of my life. I don't remember being overly-excited or anxious on that day. I'm not a very excitable person to begin with. More than that, getting married was just the natural next step. It was the public declaration to all 30 people in attendance of what we already had.

We met April 9th. It wasn't exactly love at first sight for us. I wouldn't have had it that way, and somehow, I don't think she would either. Love at first sight isn't impossible, but it would have been met with too much suspicion. For us, it's more accurate to say that it was intrigue at second sight. It took another 3 months or so for love to really start to develop. It took 5 months for us to admit that face-to-face.

On November 12th I put a ring on her finger on the steps of the capitol building overlooking downtown St. Paul, MN. She had always commented on how pretty the capitol was. It was a quiet Sunday afternoon with no one else around. As we sat on the top step of the capitol, I pulled out her belated birthday present, a matryoshka doll I got from my Ukrainian great uncle just for this occasion. As she slowly opened it, each layer had an artifact, a piece of the 7-month progression of our relationship to that point. The first few layers contained rather trivial pieces: the first Facebook messages, blog comments, and any other written evidence I had of our earliest conversations with one another. It's easy to forget how formative those simple talks and notes are. The last few layers held more significant meaning: a text message expressing happiness with seeing each other that day, an email, a sweet note. The innermost layer contained a piece of paper on which I'd written that I loved her. Below that piece of paper lay a ring.

I'll never forget that moment. We both knew the answer. We both knew it was coming at some point. But it's still a monumental moment.

And that brings us to February 24th at Cove Point Lodge. To the casual observer - and possibly even the not-so-casual observers - it probably didn't make much sense. 10 1/2 months was too fast. Cove Point Lodge was 3-4 hours away from both families (and wasn't a church). We only invited our immediate family and bridal party. Digital cameras served as substitutes for the photographer we decided not to add to the credit card. Our reception was in Duluth, an hour from the lodge. We had another 2 hours to drive from there to Minneapolis to catch our flight to Hawaii the next day. And we had the worst blizzard of the year that night - something my mother-in-law prophesied would happen.

And we loved it.

It was simple, beautiful, and for all of its faults, we loved it.

Yes, I would probably splurge on a photographer if I were to do it again. It would likely be more organized.

But I wouldn't trade the intimacy of that day for anything. The evening spent at Black Woods in Duluth with our closest family and friends was one of the most memorable moments of my life.

The last 2 years have not been perfect. But they couldn't have been much closer to it.

Jamie Lynn, I love you. Thank you for loving me.

So, so wrong

I've kept my mouth shut on the stimulus package and various government bailouts because there's little I can do and like many other political subjects, I've largely stopped caring very much.

This made me care.
Patricia Valverde, a mortgage broker who had been laid off, thought she was about to lose her home to foreclosure. Valverde had an adjustable-rate mortgage on a house she paid $300,000 for.

She watched her monthly payment jump from $1,700 to $2,250, while her property value fell to about $80,000. She was so upside-down on the house that no one would refinance her, she said.

On the heels of the newly announced mortgage stimulus plan announced by President Obama, her bank temporarily halted all foreclosures. She now has time to try and work out a deal.

"I'm so happy with his ideas and everything. I think everything is going to change with him," she said of Obama.
Wow. Those statements are just remarkable.

First, we have a mortgage broker (of all people!) drowning herself in another ARM. Second, we have her thoughts on Obama, which given her predicament are both understandable and priceless.

Yes, everything will change with Obama. Irresponsible (and some plain unfortunate) people will lose their homes. Others will buy them. That is how it has always worked and fundamentally, it's how it should continue to work.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Two reasons not to care about the Oscars

Not that you needed more reasons. I watched (or more accurately, left on in the background) the Oscars last night for the first last time ever.

Here are two gushy acceptance speech quotes that are sure to keep me away in the future:
"All my life I've had a choice between hate and love, and I chose love, and now I'm here."
Yeah, because everyone else chose hate, which is why they didn't win an Oscar.
"I think [Harvey Milk] would want me to say to all the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight ... that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value, and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours."
Let me just say that if you ever call me a "beautiful, wonderful creature of value," it will take great restraint for me to not slap you. I'm pretty sure there are a few gay people I know who feel the same way.

It doesn't help that I hadn't seen a single movie that won (I don't think I saw any that were nominated either).

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Poorly abbreviated

There's a right way to abbreviate "Assembly of God."  AG comes to mind.

And then, there's a wrong way.
Who needs a kid for entertainment...I have a wife!

Friday, February 06, 2009

You're the accident

Sometimes people have babies they didn't intend to have and we've given them the somewhat insulting term "accidents."

I say it's insulting because I just overheard a coworker say:

"Erik was an accident; his twin was on purpose."

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Mad, mad, mad skills

These guys are freaks of nature.

There are some words you should never abbreviate

Such as any word beginning with A-S-S.

Although, there are times when a product like this could be necessary.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Brown with black?

I'm typically good about NOT making the mistake of mixing these two colors, which are apparently diametrically opposite of one another.

Well, today I made the mistake.

In my defense, it wasn't intentional. I was in a hurry and in hindsight, I think I'm out of clean black socks to begin with. I grabbed the first socks that looked black. They're identical in style to my black socks and are a dark brown, so the clash isn't overwhelming.

But when someone stopped by my desk at around 1:00 this afternoon and I sat back with one leg on the other knee, I realized the horrible mistake I'd made.

Oh well. I'm over it.

Monday, February 02, 2009


Last year we owed over $700 in taxes at the end of the year. I had forgotten to change my exemptions when we got married. I hated having to write those checks and resolved, "Never again!"

I immediately went to HR and had some tweaks made. We also bought a house a month later.

Apparently I made one tweak too many.

Total refund this time around: over $3,000.