Jan 31

I’m the first to admit to liking reality shows. I like it more when they ARE “reality.” And then I remember.

This television medium we have going here was created as an advertising outlet. In the early days programming, entertainment, etc were there to support the advertising. We turn on mass advertising when we watch television. I have to remember that. So it shouldn’t be any surprise when watching a “reality” show, we aren’t watching reality. We are watching the producers’ version and vision of the best reality to keep the public engaged.

Did you ever see this?

“The judges considered both the scores and input from the producers and Bravo in reaching their elimination decisions.” 

Translation: “We’re going to choose the contestants who provide the most entertainment value whether they are really the best designers or not. This “competition” is about as genuine as your average professional wrestling match. But really, why should anyone care?” (taken from http://www.ethicsscoreboard.com/list/runway.html)

So I try to remember when I’m disappointed that the really talented designer doesn’t win. It’s because that designer (sometimes) didn’t entertain as well as the one who did.

I guess if we want reality, let’s go back to the original form…it’s called a Documentary.

I will, however, be watching the season premier of Kitchen Nightmares. They’re featuring that TRAIN WRECK, Amy’s Baking Company. If you’ve got some time, are awake with insomnia at some time…check them out on Youtube….it’s beyond terrific.

Jan 24

On line passwords are driving me batty…

It all started yesterday while I was starting up my computer at work. Unwittingly, I entered my Outlook email password into the Google search dialog box and hit enter. Naturally Google did a search for it AND FOUND IT…at the end of a comment I had left on someone’s blog…in 2007. Apparently, at some time in 2007 I also thought I was entering my password somewhere when in reality I was actually still typing the password at the end of the comment I must have just been writing.

Now it’s embarrassing enough to realize I have been using the same password or combination thereof since 2007! (What would my IT department think of me?) Really, what are are the chances that this would have caused a security breech and wouldn’t it have happened by now? I couldn’t ignore this coincidence/message-from-the-universe. I wasn’t taking any chances. So I started thinking up a new password. I know that it isn’t wise to use the same password in more than one place. I get it. But, I just wrote down how many sites that I use regularly which require a password…it’s over 15 and I’m sure I’m forgetting many of them. If I were to use randomly generated passwords like KebRu8ra for example (I got this from the Semantec site, by the way…how would I remember 15+ different ones? …especially now since some require; 1) at least one capital 2) at least one symbol and 3) be at least 7, 8, 9 digits long with no repeating digits. AND when you come up with that winner of a password, it ends up being too complex for some sites so you have to have a password “light” — similar enough to remember, but not as complex as the “main” password. It’s enough to drive a person crazy.

I am certain I haven’t changed them all and will bump into a site that I don’t go to often and struggle to remember which password I used on that one and probably get locked out. And then the WORST happens. You enter the wrong password too many times and have to change it to something new. So THEN you have that odd-ball password, that you never remember.

I KNOW I’m not supposed to write it down anywhere…but what if I forget it? I have used the app “OnePassword” in the past. But I saw “The Net” and am suspect of “gatekeeper”-type application that save my password. Can’t “they” then see my password? Or have I just been watching too many episodes of “Alias” and I’m getting paranoid?

What’s your password strategy?

 

Jan 22

During a toast at my wedding, I tried explaining the love and admiration I have for my parents. I broke up and just didn’t get it out. I tried telling people at their 50th wedding anniversary, and I broke up again. Maybe I can tell you all here.

I could not have been an easy child, or adolescent for that matter. My mother tells me that as an infant I didn’t like to be held. I wonder what I “knew” then. But because of a lot (or too much) self reflection I can tell you this. (I don’t assume to speak for all gay people, but I suspect there are common themes/feelings.)

As a child I knew something about me was different. I was overly sensitive, overly needy. I know now that I was terrified of my father. It may have been that he was male and may have “known.” I ran from him hoping he would never see the difference in me and reject me for it. And as I remember, all I see is him trying again and again to find some common ground between us. As much as I kept him at arms length I do recognize that I wanted nothing more than his love and approval. The remarkable thing to me isn’t that they always and without reservation loved, accepted, and supported me…they loved, accepted, and supported all of their children who could not have been more different that each other. Each of us took wildly different paths and our parents loved us all the same.

It is my belief that the fear of being “found out” and possibly rejected causes us, unconsciously, to push our loved ones to the periphery of our lives—close enough, but not too close. I fear that a little bit of this still lives within me today. Michael and I perhaps did not handle announcing our engagement and/or wedding plans to our families very well. We did it cautiously via Facebook…and in retrospect I think a little of that fear of rejection played a major part in how and why we did it that way. We talked about eloping, wondering if that would matter to our families. I think deep down this was so important to us both that we were not about to give our families the opportunity to disappoint us with a wrong reaction.

What we really did was not give them the opportunity or the credit to do what they’ve always done, love us.

Speaking for myself, Mom, Dad…you overwhelm me and make so many of my actions petty and small. I never did them consciously to hurt or exclude you. And the most important point…you never ever gave me a reason to believe that there wasn’t anything I could tell you or share with you that would make you feel any different toward me. This is not always the case for people. Not everyone is as lucky as I have been. Everyone who asks about the wedding has me babble on about how amazing you all were and are.

I have never met or heard of parents like you.

I love and am grateful to you and for you

Jan 20

So many have asked…here is a gallery of the photos from our wedding…thanks to all who participated in the photo taking. I loved this day…loved that it was just us and our closest friends and family. I loved that children were involved and could see that love takes many forms and all of them a valid and have worth.

Most of all, I loved how overwhelmed I was at this moment, this milestone, this public legitimization and declaration publicly to the world that this is my partner and husband.

Thank you all for all of your love and good wishes. Enjoy the photos from the day!

Ben, Michael

Ben, Michael

Pooped puppies

Pooped puppies

Making it Official

P1500778 2

Cutting the Cake

Cutting the Cake

So handsome

So handsome

Momma Riley

Momma Riley

Popup

Popup

Desi

Desi

Christopher

Christopher

The Riley 5

The Riley 5

P1500724

James, Michael, and Erin…probably checking out the app to upload photos

P1500684

prepping

prepping

Michael and Momom

Michael and Momom

P1500495

Bentley relaxing among the set up.

Bentley relaxing among the set up.

ahhhh THE cake

ahhhh THE cake

making the cake

making the cake

The Kiss

The Kiss

Husbands

Husbands

Cake cutting

Cake cutting

Extended Lombo/Pikul famly

Extended Lombo/Pikul famly

The guys, hanging out.

The guys, hanging out.

big hug from Momom

big hug from Momom

...yeah, another kiss

…yeah, another kiss

I do

I do

rings

rings

rings

rings

Momom and Alexa watching the ceremony

Momom and Alexa watching the ceremony

The Officiate, my dear friend, Joel.

The Officiate, my dear friend, Joel.

The ceremony

The ceremony

Of course the pups were part of it all

Of course the pups were part of it all

happy

happy

JJ and Christopher

JJ and Christopher

The Riley girls

The Riley girls

IMG_8550

James...

James…

'Lexa

‘Lexa

IMG_8538  IMG_8534

Buddy and Lisa

Buddy and Lisa

0123

Setting up

Setting up

Food Prep

Food Prep

JJ checking out the view

JJ checking out the view

Patrick and Christopher

Patrick and Christopher

Uncle and Niece

Uncle and Niece

The appetizer spread

The appetizer spread

4 generations

4 generations

yum yum

yum yum

Eileen and Kim

Eileen and Kim

0092 3 0092 2

Kim, Eileen and Momma Riley

Kim, Eileen and Momma Riley

Joel and Val with a Jen Photo bomb

Joel and Val with a Jen Photo bomb

everyone

everyone

The original 3

The original 3

goup

goup

Bentley the ring bearer

Bentley the ring bearer

0066

The Kids

The Kids

James Pikul

James Pikul

Jason and Alexa Pikul

Jason and Alexa Pikul

Michael and Erin

Michael and Erin

All the Lombo/Pikuls

All the Lombo/Pikuls

cake cutting

cake cutting

Besties

Besties

The Grooms with our Hosts, Eileen and Melissa

The Grooms with our Hosts, Eileen and Melissa

Sean, Micheal, and Melissa

Sean, Micheal, and Melissa

0039

The Lombo famly

The Lombo famly

The Grooms and the Lombos

The Grooms and the Lombos

Dasher taking a we rest

Dasher taking a we rest

The extended Riley family

The extended Riley family

Michael, Kim, Sean

Michael, Kim, Sean

0028

Jan 20

I don’t know what has taken me so long to realize this…but

So often I get really frustrated at things I see or hear and I feel a little impotent…no power to do anything about it. I thought about creating a web site where I can expose this craziness…and then I realized I HAVE a website…it’s called Sean’s Soapbox.

So this is a little announcement to take notice. I plan on posting more…plan on being perhaps a bit provocative…maybe pissing a few people off. But guess what? This is my Soapbox and if you don’t like what I have to say then don’t come to my page.

I will try to be fair and research the issues…but sometimes they’re just going to be my feelings and opinions.

So let’s start to have some fun.

Oct 04

Designs from my new Booklet available on Ravelry

 

Christmas Stockings cover

 





Cowls cover





Orenburg Cowl cover



 

Challah Cover cover




Solstice Mitten cover


Oct 04

Hello my friends. I have been waiting to write this post for many weeks…working hard to complete this collection of Holiday Gift patterns. And after a few false starts, I can say it! I just uploaded the patterns to Ravelry!!!

There are 6 designs; 2 simple cowls, an Orenburg-Style Lace Infinity Scarf, a set of lovely Christmas Stockings and simple Challah cover and some clever mittens.

Sold as an e-book

a collection of holiday gifts designs

a collection of holiday gift designs



eBook with all 6 designs – $15.00

The booklet contains the designs also sold separately that I’m going to post over the next few days. First, enjoy Cowls:

Cowls — based on a seamless, garter stitch fabric with a built-in i-cord border. Knit them bigger or smaller…give them as gifts or keep them for yourself. Knit using every day yarn to the most luxurious. You are only limited by your own imagination.


DSC_6883

DSC_7046

DSC_7071

DSC_7098

DSC_7100

DSC_7259


Individual Patters $5.00

Sep 22

Wow…I’m so excited. Tweet is featured on Quince and Company’s Blog.

There are some new pictures! Such great photography, really showing off the hat

Tweetmdet  TweetR1 Tweetrcrown

Thanks so much Pam!

Patterns are available on Ravelry

And on Sellfy.com
buy

Sep 18

Hello, all. After a little bit of a drought in posting patterns, I’ve got a few coming up, including a new Holiday Gifts booklet. Let me tease you with that for now and show you a new hat I designed.

While playing with a swatch pattern a while ago, I came up with an interesting combination of cables and lace but didn’t like how it was coming out using any of the yarns I was swatching in. That was until I was working with Quince & Co’s Sparrow. I suspected it would be a good fit for the pattern and before I knew it I was knitting a hat. The pattern seems self directed as if something was being born from my unconscious.

I present to you, Tweet.

DSC_6632.hflip DSC_7089 DSC_6637 tweet.detail



Tweet is available as a PDF for purchase through Ravelry (no, you don’t have to be a Ravelry member to purchase the pattern.)

The yarn is available from Quince & Co’s web site

If you download and knit this, I hope you enjoy it. And as always if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

Jul 31

I am (was) a self-confessed Johnny Weir fan. I enjoyed him. I appreciated how “out” he was. And I am now so shocked and upset that he would encourage the world to go to Sochi, Russia and attend the 2014 Winter Olympics. While I understand and sympathize with the athletes who work so hard and have a program focused on peaking for this very event, for me the lives and safety of the LGBT community (or any minority group who are persecuted by a countries laws, not unlike the 1936 Olympics – and YES I am going there) are more important.

Mr. Weir’s main argument is that the athlete suffers from not being able to “display their sporting expertise and themselves as personalities (the emphasis is mine)” Mr. Weir’s complaint is that the athlete (supported by a sob story about how much his family struggled to support him while training) doesn’t get the fame and resulting sponsorships resulting in being on an Olympic podium. Do you seriously think, Mr. Weir, that anyone who has seen your reality programs thinks that you’re suffering financially? I don’t have the furs, wardrobe, apartment, cars, watches, jewelry, luggage that you have. Poor, poor you.

I am more than a little disappointed that, you as someone with a large fan base and ability to reach so many people are failing to use that position to try to make a difference here. While I agree that Olympic Boycotts have done little in the past to make any real impact on the cause people are opposed to. The Russian government isn’t going to listen to a Facebook group. The only real leverage we have is as consumers. We need to contact the sponsors of the olympics and let them know that we will not support a company that is sponsoring this event. The amount of advertising dollars being spent is the most ever. It is my strong opinion that if the sponsors of the televised portion of the event thought for a minute that their bottom line would suffer…only then would changes be made.

Below is a list of the sponsors and how to contact them.

GE
No FB page apparently.
@GEpublicaffairs

McDonald’s

http://www.facebook.com/mcdonaldscorp

@McDonalds

Volkswagen

http://www.facebook.com/volkswagen

@volkswagen

Omega

http://www.facebook.com/omega

@omegawatches

Samsung

http://www.facebook.com/SamsungCanada

@samsungtweets

P&G (Proctor and Gamble)

http://www.facebook.com/PGEveryday

@proctorgamble

Visa

http://www.facebook.com/VisaCanada

@Visa

Coca-Cola

http://www.facebook.com/cocacola

@CocaCola

Dow
No Facebook page apparently
@DowChemical

Also here are a few petitions aimed at pressuring the sponsors into action and Facebook organizers that could use our support

Facebook – Boycott 2014 Winter Olympic Games In Russia

Change.org

allout.org

Please, if you agree, do what you can to spread the word however you can.

Stepping down off of my soapbox for now….

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