Thursday, April 21, 2005

Microsoft Gives In to a Bigot and Gives Up On Gays!

In response to this article (Microsoft Caves on Gay Rights, Pressured by Evangelical Minister, Microsoft Withdraws Support for Civil Rights Bill, by Sandeep Kaushik (04/21/05)) I wrote the following letter to Microsoft.

To Whom it may concern :

I am very disappointed and ashamed today.

I am disappointed in Microsoft for allowing a Bigoted Evangelical Minister (Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond) to successfully pressure Microsoft (The largest and most powerful software company in the World) in to reversing their stance on House bill 1515, the anti-gay-discrimination bill currently under consideration by the Washington State legislature.

I am equally ashamed to now tell people that my company is a Microsoft reseller.

We have been a loyal partner of Microsoft for many years serving GLBT and straight businesses in our service areas and recommending Microsoft products and services. Oh, and did I mention that we are a gay owned and operated company?

As a consequence of your actions today, we will begin more vigorously promoting your competitors products.

I hope that you reconsider this decision and allow us the opportunity to resume our prior business relationship.

Clint Thomson

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A Day in Colonia, Uruguay

A short ride by high-speed ferry sipping mimosas and peering out of a window onto the river, that is how our morning began yesterday. We were on our way to Colona, a small city located in Uruguay. Arriving after 58 minutes of smooth sailing, we disembarked to a quaint old village. We rented a couple of scooters and spent that day tooling around the village. A short drive up the coast, a small lunch in a side café, and a little "Zoom Zoom" all the way.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Sunday in the Park.

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<> ates to Cementario Ricoleta there is a park. On
Saturdays and Sundays the sidewalks of the park are lined with vendors,
one after the other after the other. On Sundays, in beautiful weather,
the park is packed with the citizens of BA, some checking out the booths
but most just sitting or even lying on the grass listening to the
numerous musicians or watching jugglers and performers. In BA, as with
all great cities, you see people. You cannot help it. And the people
you see, the people you literally rub shoulders with, are not only your
family or fellow church members or social club members. These are real,
everyday people from all walks of life, various backgrounds and even
nationalities. You do not get to choose who will see when make the next
corner. In big cities, you struggle with anonymity. But even though in
the crowds no one really knows you, you are seen--as one piece in a
mosaic of people, one point in a Serat painting. And it is the whole,
the final work that with prospective takes shape and meaning. I think
in our country, especially in cities where people do not walk and where
there are no large public parks, people do not see each other. It is
easier to care about a people when you've spent a lazy Sunday afternoon
with them in the park. And it's harder to wish them ill once you've
rubbed shoulders with them.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Forgery in Argentina

Well it has happened to me! Some how, somewhere I
managed to acquire a forged bank note. The note in question is in the
alleged amount of 10 Argentine pesos or about $2.90 by current exchange
rates. I was warned about this and even instructed by a merchant early
in our trip about which security markings to look for.

How often do you actually inspect the change you receive from a vendor?
I can not think of a single time in my life that I have ever inspected a
five, ten, twenty, fifty or even one-hundred dollar bill for
authenticity at the time of receipt. Yes I have taken currency and
marveled at the security features days, weeks or even months after I
received it, just to see how interesting those security features are.

The merchant I was attempting to buy trinkets from immediately
identified the forgery from a stack of notes I gave to her and returned
it to me. In her eyes I could imagine her thinking "what a shame, you
stupid American, duped into accepting a forged note without even

I must say that it is indeed a very good forgery, clearly a high quality
scan and very good inkjet printer with water-proof ink was used to
create this forgery. Even a simulated watermark help the elusion.

One critical missing element gave the note away instantly to a trained
eye. Argentine pesos have the denomination printed in one corner with a
iridescent raised ink that is hard to duplicate and instantly

The imbedded metallic strip, another missing feature in my forgery is a
common security measure included in most currency today.

Oh well, now what do I do with it? Is there a secret service here in
Argentina that wants to inspect this note and trace the forger? Should I
burn it? Suggestions please!

San Telmo Antique Market

On Sundays, a small square in a quaint neighborhood adjacent to downtown is transformed into an outdoor antique market overrun with tourist and
local buyers. You can find almost anything there from old locks to old
gaucho equipment to old hats and dolls. Wherever there is a crowd,
there are the trinket sellers and, in BA, the tango dancers. It is a
bright, calm, cool Sunday morning here. A nice day to visit San Telmo.

Friday, April 15, 2005

City of Death

... you can also tell a lot about a people by the way they treat their
dead. For instance, if there was ever any wonder whether Buenos Aires
is a wealthy city, the question is quickly answered the minute you set
foot inside the Cementerio de la Recoleta. The monuments are
spectacular and substantial and each had to cost a small fortune. I
told Clint that the density of art alone was staggering. Every tomb was
a work of art, most with statues or reliefs, some with stained glass,
almost all with crosses. That is the other fact confirmed by a walk
among the dead of BA. Argentines are a very religious people, not in
the let-me-hit-you-over-the-head-with-it way of some Americans, and not
by saturation as in parts of Mexico, but they believe deeply. And it
seems, as with most peoples, they believe even more deeply in, or near,
death. At lunch today, in the Recoleta, one of the poshest parts of
town, the restaurant had a picture of Pope John Paul II on their window.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Rainy Day in BA

Our first full day in BA has so far been filled with rain and shopping.
The apartment owner arranged a car to take us to the Leather Fabricator
where we spent the day trying on leather jackets and deciding the deign
we wanted. The sales people were very helpful and friendly and we spent
way too much money, even though the prices are relatively good here. Ed
took laundry to a small lavanderia where no one spoke a lick of English
and we think he arranged for the cleaning to be back tomorrow with the
pants ironed. Of course he could have told them to bleach everything
and throw them away. We never know for sure. Clint has spent much of
the day on the computer working, but if you have to work, working from
BA isn't bad.

We are off for massages, since the rain is keeping us from seeing the
sights. We'll touch base later.