I’m a TERRIBLE rebel

I made that rebellious Facebook post last week about the Scout Stores being closed on Memorial Day, thinking, “If that’s really a fireable offense instead of writing me up or something, that’s just sad.” Then I looked at the email more carefully.

cease all activity on your social media channels immediately and for the next 24 hours

What didn’t occur to me until after I came back from Memorial Day weekend is that the email was sent on Wednesday morning at about 10:30. I saw it when I got to work at 2:00 on Thursday afternoon, meaning the window for being a rebel had already closed a couple hours ago. (If it’s any consolation to myself, I’m pretty sure trying and failing to be a rebel isn’t a fireable offense, so my employment status should be safe.)

Anti-gay policy is “unsustainable”

Robert M. Gates, the President of the Boy Scouts of America said it at the National Annual Meeting on Thursday: the ban on gay adult Scout leaders is “unsustainable”. (If you want to watch the membership policy part of his speech, skip ahead to 8:41.)

In the last post on here, I explained that I’ve been managing the Facebook page for Twin Cities Scout Shops. I’ve been responsible for almost all of the content there, so after reading about this yesterday, I was planning to go in to work and ask Sally, the store manager, if I should post a link to a website on the page. Make it objective and informative, don’t try to put any spin on it, just “Here’s what happened.” Then I checked my email.

One of the first messages had the subject heading, Note to cease social media activities immediately. “Hmmm, this might be relevant to what I was going to ask Sally…”

BSA social media channel managers,

As a result of today’s announcement from Dr. Gates, please cease all activity on your social media channels immediately and for the next 24 hours (instruct any of your other page admins to cease activity, as well). Do not post additional content during this time. Please reschedule or delete any content that you have pre-scheduled for delivery over your channels during this time.

Given my rebellious nature, I posted something on Facebook anyway. Sure, it may have just been “We’re closed on Monday because of Memorial Day, have a great weekend”, but it was still rebellious, dammit!

But the fact that I wasn’t allowed to write about it at all on my work Facebook page means I feel free to address it as much as I’d like on my blog. I don’t plan on being overly abusive or stomping on anyone’s toes too hard, so please don’t fire me, Boy Scouts! I still love you!

And that’s been part of my issue the last few years. I was happy when the BSA decided to lift their ban on gay Scouts. I think it’s a good organization that can have a strong, positive impact on kids for their entire lives. It was disappointing that they didn’t include gay leaders in their decision, but I was happy with any kind of progress.

Meanwhile, some people were returning their Eagle certificates, swearing they’d never wear their Scout shirts again, decrying the organization for making such a poor decision. No one ever said anything to my face, but I still felt it personally. I’ve been a part of Scouting for most of my life: I started as a Wolf Scout when I was 8, went all the way through Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, then became an Assistant Scoutmaster when I turned 18. I’ve maintained that position for the last twenty years, so it’s been an important part of my life for decades now.

No, I wasn’t happy about the ban against gay leaders—I know plenty of gay men and women who would be good leaders and excellent role models for kids—but that didn’t mean I was going to cast all those years of Scouting off to the side.

Suppose someone is a staunch Republican, holds that title with pride, votes a straight-party ticket every election, etc. But that person’s beliefs might not align completely with the party’s. Maybe he thinks that there should be limits to gun rights or women should have more rights over their bodies or whatever. Does that single issue make the person not a Republican? No. Similarly, I don’t agree with the ban against gay leaders, but that doesn’t change the fact that I think the BSA is a positive organization that does a lot of good and I’m not going to abandon it. Now there’s a possibility that it might not be an issue for very long.

The biggest concern right now might not be the members; it might be religious institutions. Scout troops and Cub packs have chartering partners, many of which are churches in various areas. Those churches may object to gay leaders. If they decide to decry the Boy Scouts, those troops and packs could fold. To them, I would ask to apply the same analogy as above. You may not like a policy change, but liking it and accepting it can be two different things. Ban gay leaders in your own troops? Fair enough, but that doesn’t mean it should be an organizational standard.

So I’ll be following this issue carefully. I’m hoping for the best, preparing for the worst, which is… who knows? I’m hoping that the Boy Scouts will step up, choose their own fate and make it a good choice. Make it the right choice. If they don’t… I still love you, don’t fire me!

“Yo quiero Taco—” SQUISH!

I spent most of the weekend in a small town called Sartell, MN, which has some decent restaurants. One is a Mexican place called Añejos Restaurant where I had dinner with a couple other people. Tasty food and it has a big wide-screen TV by the front window that plays a slideshow with factoids about Mexico and tequila, pictures and descriptions of some menu options, etc. I could see the TV from where I was sitting and one of those slides caught my eye, mostly because of the final ingredient listed: Chihuahua cheese.

First thought: “Do they smoosh a tiny dog to make the cheese?”
Second thought: “Who milks the dog?”

I was too curious to wait for the server to tell me, so I did a search for “Chihuahua cheese” on Google and found a website that explains it got its name because the cheese (made from cow’s milk) originated in the Chihuahua region of northern Mexico. The description also included a sentence that didn’t use the word “cheese” and is awesome when taken out of context.

“Chihuahua can be used for fondues, breaded fried cheese dishes (queso frito), egg dishes, enchiladas, or simply for snacking.”

Vaccines vs. “chicken pox parties”

I found a page on Imgur that’s “An Open Letter to Non-Vaxxers”. The short version is that the author has a son with cancer. Chemotherapy damages the immune system, so even though the son had been vaccinated, he still had to rely on herd immunity to prevent those diseases. Thus, parents who think it’s a good idea not to vaccinate their children make Dad pretty upset. They’re not just putting their own kids in harm’s way; they’re putting his kid in harm’s way, too.

I should know better than to read the comments sections on the Internet (aside the ones on here, given that they’re usually spam that I have to delete), but I went scrolling down and found that the responses were almost universal: anti-vaxxers are stupid and selfish.

However, one comment intrigued me: “She I was young my mom took me to a chicken pox party that way I wouldn’t need the vaccine, cause once you’ve had it you won’t get it again”

Strange, but it kinda makes sense. It might keep half the kids in your class out of school for a week while they all have chicken pox at the same time, but now they only have to worry about shingles as they get older.

But that’s not the first thought that popped into my head. The first thought was “If this is meant to justify not getting vaccinated, try throwing a polio party and tell me how that turns out.”

I’ll write a new blog entry… eventually.

Procrastination has been a problem of mine for years. Eons. Since forever. I was born on time, but everything has been downhill since then.

It’s affected a lot of things of my life over time, but the most noticeable (at least for those of you who know me primarily through my blog) has been writing new blog entries. Sometimes I’m really good about writing them consistently. Sometimes I’ll sit back and think about what to write and plan and edit and everything looks great in my head, but nothing ever gets typed. Totally lame, I know.

Just recently, someone pointed out an article on Facebook called “Why Procrastinators Procrastinate”. Yep, that was me in a nutshell. Even the pictures the author drew made sense. (Yay for pictures!) That article in turn had a link—a Part 2—to “How to Beat Procrastination”. I’m not sure how effectively I’ll be able to apply that to my life, but at least it got me to this point: I planned to write something this afternoon about those two articles and here it is. (If you’ve got some time to spare, click on the links below. You might find them insightful. Plus you might like the pictures of the Instant Gratification Monkey, too.)

Why Procrastinators Procrastinate

How to Beat Procrastination

Does Dr. Reddy wear a lab coat?

Last week, the Rainbow Foods located two miles away from home became a Cub Foods, which means the Rainbow Pharmacy became the Cub Pharmacy. That in itself isn’t a big deal: the pharmacists are the same, the phone number is the same and the medications they give me are the same. The biggest change I noticed were the new prescription labels on the bottles.

They’re larger, they have a few extra warnings and they also include a little more information on them. For example, the old bottles didn’t show the name of the company that makes divalproex (the generic version of depakote, one of my medications for epilepsy). The name of that company? Dr. Reddy’s Lab.

I’m told it’s a fairly mainstream producer of prescription drugs, but when I read “Dr. Reddy’s Lab”, I think of some guy in his basement mixing ingredients together to make a variety of medications while sitting next to a bathtub filled with chemicals he uses for making meth.