Marriage and related topics

Cheryl Morgan has written some wise words in her blog about polygamy and other things related to marriage and the government. Her post was triggered by some comments published in the Guardian. The comments deal with more that simple UK issues.

As Cheryl points out these are big and important issues about how people organize theirs lives and we have the frightful actions of various religious factions trying to use the government to enforce their views on morality and social institutions on everyone else. I highly recommend reading what Cheryl has written. A few months ago I wrote a short piece covering similar issues.



As anyone following the news knows the economic situation is less than optimal. As I was thinking about this I was reminded of something that happened a few years ago. I was sitting around with some friends. The topic of conversation was economics and one person mentioned micro-finance and how well some of the micro-finance projects were doing in helping the poor particularly poor women. This lead to a general discussion of various charities and several individuals in the group mentioned charities; some of which the others had never heard of. These charities were not "ideological" that is they were not associated with a religion or political movement; they were just charities to help others.

What was interesting to me is the everyone in the group had known everyone else for at least two years and in some cases over 15 years but the idea of mentioning charitable donations had not come up before. We just had never thought about each other donating to a charity. So remembering that conversation lead me to think that making a post about charities might be a good idea since charities tend to have declining revenues during economic downturns.

There are many charities and there are also rating agencies which rate how much of the donations go to the intended cause. So you can find plenty of worthy non-ideological groups who are not pushing religion or politics but who are helping people. I like to think both locally and globally so I will mention ones that I support and I think do a good job. Local to me is Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Globally there is Smile Train which provides surgery to fix cleft lip and palate defects in poor children.

So if you can afford to make a donation now would be a good time to find a charity that you can help support. Thanks.


Holiday Weekend

This past weekend was the extended Valentine's Day and President's Day weekend. I had dinner with my dear lady friend Nancy although we got a bit damp. It rained a lot but it was needed to help fill up our reservoirs.

Also on Sunday a friend was in town on business from Texas so he, I and a mutual friend got together for dinner. We ate at Xahn in Mountain View. I have eaten there several times and always enjoyed it; the sea bass cooked in banana leafs was very tasty.

A lot of people were off work on Monday but I worked. I had things to do and since I am on contract I get no paid days off; so if I do not work I do not get paid. That is a real incentive.


Went to a Birthday Party

I went to a Birthday party today in San Francisco; had some cake and sang "Happy Birthday" The party was actually a few days early. The party was for Charles Darwin. There was someone taking the role of Darwin who spoke for a while. Eugenie Scott, Executive Director of NCSE National Center Science Education gave a great talk about Darwin, his life, his accomplishments and importance of Darwin.

Saw the movie Coraline 3D

Saturday I saw the movie Coraline in 3D. The movie is the first ever stop-motion animated film to be shot in 3D. There are some theaters showing a 2D version; I went to a theater showing the 3D version. The story line and visuals work well together. It is definitely worth seeing if you at all enjoy fantasy.


Commercial Party

I had a wonder time at my friend Brad's Super Bowl Commercial Party. The key to the party is that he records the Super Bowl on his MythTV setup and while it is recording those that want can go out for a hike. We hiked at the Rancho San Antonio County Park in Los Altos. Our group got separated but we eventually all made it back. Brad and Kathryn had set up a wonder spread of snacks. And before we left some of us had picked lemons from their tree for lemonade. So when we all got back Brad started the game and would fast forward until there was either a scoring play or a commercial. About half way through our viewing the pizza delivery arrived and we ate well. Then back to the commercials. When done seeing the game, the cake was brought out. On the cake was written "Go Products Go" in honour of the commercials.

Lots of good people, good food, good commercials and a generally good time.


Another Second Life Party and a Visit to the Cartoon Museum

Yesterday (Saturday) morning I participated in a surprise Birthday party for my friend Max held in Second Life. There were over 50 well wishers from around the world at the event. It was a great event and a fun time was had by all.

Then in the afternoon I headed up to San Francisco to do a few things; primarily to visit the Cartoon Museum which has a special exhibit of items related to CORALINE; first ever stop-motion animated film to be shot in 3D. The exhibit contains puppets, sets, costumes, drawings and storyboards. There is also a short video about the making of the movie and the work that went into it. I am generally not overly interested in puppets however I found this exhibit well worth the trip and the admission fee. It runs for a couple of more weeks and I highly recommend it.