July 18, 2012

New blog location!

My new blog location is here. Please have patience while I get it together again and write!

Posted by Bastique at 2:59 PM

November 20, 2008

Government by dictionary

Written on this Facebook chat page

The job of the state is not to uphold the dictionary of the English language. Any argument about "changing the definition of marriage" doesn't take into account the fact that sociologically speaking, marriage has been defined as a union between two people for some fifty years now, or that marriage rites have been performed for same-sex couples, whether blessed by the state or not, by a increasing amount of churches each and every year. The fact is the language is reflective of society's definitions, not the other way around. Marriage already includes, legally, same-sex unions in two English speaking countries (Canada and South Africa) where the effective definition has already changed. I'm certain that debates about changing the dictionary in the great halls of Oxford and Cambridge and Webster are already well under way. What argument will these people have when the definition in the dictionary is reflective of society as a whole and the legal system?

Posted by Bastique at 12:16 PM | (0) cared to comment

November 5, 2008

Hope and disappointment

I voted for the Green Party candidate, Cynthia McKinney, out of principal. I am, however grateful that Barack Obama won the presidency. It means that Americans are starting to change.

However, the Proposition 8, a measure that writes discrimination into the California State constitution, also passed, ending the rights of same-sex couples to marry. The surge of black voters who came to the polls and voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama also has a great deal to do with the bigotry that is setting our country back. It seems it's perfectly acceptable to most black voters to deny rights to other minorities, in California, in Florida, and everywhere. God bless the 30% or so of black voters who voted against Proposition 8. For the others, and every voter who was duped by lying messages from preachers, may you immediately learn what you have done and feel your guilt.

To the church organizations who forwarded this measure, the Knights of Columbus, the Mormon Church, and the rest who spent well over $30 million on pushing this discriminatory measure, may you be bankrupt. If there are temples led by serpents and demons, you are it. This is how you spend your money, on deception and lies that lead people to vote against their own conscience? Shame on you.

You think you deserve a tax exempt status in your bid to limit religious freedom?

Posted by Bastique at 6:33 AM | (0) cared to comment

October 26, 2008

The truth in the lies of California's Proposition 8

I get increasingly horrified by the frighteningly bizarre beliefs of some of the conservative Christian proponents of Proposition 8. This goes beyond anger, when I realize that there is a deep-seated belief in some people that what should be considered the advancement of humanity in the realization that all of God's children are equal is being considered a sign of the apocalypse.

Franciscans for Same-sex Marriage,
by Alex Handy from Oakland California,
available under the CC-by-sa 2.0license
I was reading an article where one couple (the wife identified as Sara Havranek), who has to watch every penny because the wife isn't working and has to raise their five children, has donated $1,100 to support Proposition 8. Any Christian who has studied His teachings knows that Jesus Christ would tell Sara to feed their children or give it to feed the poor or help illness, and not use it to put forward such a vile, evil amendment.

But what really gets me is that there are people like Lou Engle who is holding prayer rallies and instructing his followers to pray and fast for up to 40 days before the election for the proposition to pass. I quote:

"We believe there is a spiritual battle in an unseen realm, and that's why I've called for united prayer for divine intervention," Mr. Engle said. "It's a defining moment for the definition of marriage in American history."

So what about the masses of people who spend time praying for the proposition to fail? Do these people think He will shine His divine light and cause the undecided among us to vote one way or another because more people pray for it? Do they really think that God doesn't see what's going on; or do they really think he doesn't care unless they make it a point to suffer for Him?

I'm going to take a few minutes to debunking the great untruths that have come up in the pro-Proposition 8 side. Maybe you've already heard some of these, so bear with me.

  1. Children will or won't be be taught about same-sex marriage whether or not Proposition 8 passes. Strangely enough, there's nothing in Proposition 8 about education. And there's nothing in California's educational curricula about marriage at all. If a school program is going to teach children about same-sex marriage, it's going to happen whether same-sex marriage is legal in California or not.
  2. Churches will not lose their tax exempt status if they don't provide same-sex ceremonies Churches and ministers are entitled to bless or reject any service they damn well want. I cannot take communion in a Catholic Church because I wasn't baptized Catholic. A Christian minister can refuse to marry a Christian to a Jewish person or an Athiest, if he so chooses, and nobody can file against him. Furthermore, there are ample Christian ministers who will perform the rites that there is no reason why anyone would even want to be married in a church that would willingly refuse them.
  3. The Church does not have a vested interest in legal definition of marriage. This seems to be the hardest one to get through people's heads, but it is a simple fact. People have confused tradition to be religious scripture. There's nothing in the Revelations of John about same-sex marriage; and there's very little in the new testament discussion it. What is at issue is that people fear that their long-held views about the so-called sin of homosexuality in general are being thwarted left and right. But the person who bases his/her entire faith on declaring what God hates based on some flimsy, at best, passages from the bible without even consulting what Jesus Christ spoke about, has no credible faith to begin with. There's far more in the Good Book about the sin of divorce than about "a man who lyeth with a man", but you don't see people going out and passing resolutions declaring divorce (which is inherently the greatest enemy of marriage) against the Constitution.

I read articles about people who spend their life savings donating to this hateful campaign, and people who demand periods of prayer and fasting and it motivates me to write, but whether the Proposition passes or fails won't have anything to do with God's will; but the campaign continues to demonstrate that evil can be done in the name of God, even by people who think they're doing good.

Posted by Bastique at 8:13 PM | (1) cared to comment

October 21, 2008


While I've never been overly certain of who exactly this man was who was occupying my body; I have often thought of myself as earthy, unsentimental, practical, a man who is far more interested in terrestrial matters than living life in waking dreams. I do my best to be in the moment! Not in yesterday or tomorrow or what will never come. I like to keep my mind about me as I walk, enjoying a full array of sensation whether I be in the city or in the woods or on the beach, not floating seven feet in the air lost in some worry or fear or wonderland which I have very little chance of encountering.

I'm a fellow who has developed a desire for realistic expectations, so when people fail to be anything but perfect, and events fail to come out exactly as I plan, I'm not traumatized by disappointment.

This is not to say that I've become disillusioned. I do manage to be quite pleased when things turn out better than I would have expected if I had allowed myself to have had expectations. I am quite very often delighted with my relationship, my job, my friends; even the evening news sometimes makes me smile. I just try to make every attempt to accept people for who they are--it's hard to complain when humans are guilty of the mundane sin of simply being human.

I am also someone who encounters a very great deal of difficulty writing about me. I find myself boring to the point of somnolence--I live with me all the time, I have a never ending stream of me. Me, day in and day out, constantly and ongoing, my thoughts, my habits, my defects of character--so what interest, having already lived in them, would I have writing about my life and times. And if I'm not interested in my life, why would anyone else be?

So, now I have engaged in an enigma: A lengthy monologue expounding and enlightening on the least interesting subject that comes to my mind, me. And as painful as I imagine these words to the eye of an ordinary reader, imagine the pain and agony they've been to the author to compose. And to what end?

Ring of love from Wikimedia Commons
Ring of love, by Roger McLassus from Wikimedia Commons, available under the GNU Free documentation license
Things change. Some flitter of a folly has enlisted the synapses of my subconscious; starting out as a minor ripples in my ever-presentness, and growing to be maddening, consuming my mind, as if some wayward god of love's fat hairy hand was deep inside of met, controlling my every action and behavior. Where there was once stability, now becomes erratic behavior. Where there was once solid earth now becomes quicksand keeping me off my feet.

The man who I have come to love, the man who I've decided to spend the last few years with, who I dragged from the Atlantic Coast to the Gulf Coast and from the Gulf to the Pacific, proposed to me last February and I have not been quite the same fellow since.

So now I'm thinking about a wedding.

I'm not interested in little simple City Hall ditty either and I need lots of time to plan. I have been to the weddings of all three of my siblings as well as a step-brother, countless cousins, and even each of my parents' second, individual unsuccessful attempts at the right one. I want a big wedding, in a nice Lutheran chapel, where I will expect to see my family, and his--and friends of the groom on one side and friends of the groom on the other.

Of course we are wearing tuxes--not identical, no, that would be unconscionable, but something suitable, perfectly coordinated, tasteful, something to be remembered forever. My ex has already consented to be my best man (he's already given me away), and next to my soon-to-be-husband (I expect) is his oldest, dearest friend Jan. We'll say our vows, and exchange some masterfully crafted rings and some wonderful songbird will sing something lovely and a cappelo. The church organist will play, we'll run out of the church, attacked by popcorn and paper, and in to the back of a limousine.

And I fully expect my mother and father to fork it out, too, to help pay for this. Now is the time to demonstrate that I'm just as perfect in their eyes as my sister and my two brothers. It's been a decade since the last one, I have no doubt that by now they've paid off those second mortgages or home equity loans it took to get the others hitched! No amount of money is too much because this is going to be our...perfect...day.

The only thing that could ruin the happy mood I've been given because of this beautiful-in-the-eyes-of-God union would be the indignant self-satisfaction of the Catholics and Church of Latter Day Saints, the former who've had their little boys taken away and the latter who aren't allowed have their spare wives, who, after spewing some appalling twenty million donations into round-the-clock thirty-second brainwashing pieces crafted to arouse the deepest darkest fears of some gay bogeyman, succeed in duping enough unwitting sheep that my wedding day, which should have nothing to do with them, is canceled.

You know what happens to a young bride who has had her perfect wedding day dashed? She becomes a monster, a demoness, a bridezilla. That little young thing has nothing on me. The reckoning will come if this groom doesn't get his day.

Posted by Bastique at 10:40 PM | (1) cared to comment

October 18, 2007

Hi! Just a request from my boss... :)

The Wikimedia Foundation (the non-profit organization behind Wikipedia
and many other collaboratively-edited reference projects) is about to
embark on a wave of hiring.

Over the next month or so, Wikimedia will be recruiting for the
following positions: developers, chief financial and operating officer,
head of public outreach, head of partnerships development, accountant,
personal assistant to the executive director, office manager, head of
development, head of communications and head of business development.
For the full job postings and application instructions, please go to

These jobs are intended to be based in our new San Francisco
headquarters, but as an international organization we're open to the
possibility of locating a few positions elsewhere. For the SF office
itself, we will only be able to hire people who already have the legal
ability to work in the United States.

These are fabulous opportunities for creative, motivated people who want
to work in a successful, growing and highly-collaborative mission-driven
environment :-) Please tell your friends & colleagues.

Company: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
Job Title: Multiple openings
Description: Please see http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Job_openings

Posted by Bastique at 2:11 PM | (0) cared to comment

September 24, 2007

Distributed Time Zones

Possibly the major advantage of our relocating to San Francisco is the fact that our time zones become distributed. Take a look at Distributed Time Zones by Brion Vibber). While Brion touches on the round-the-clock access of developers and the wiki servers, it also bears that this will provide greater access, as Volunteer Coordinator to a wider range of users.

It may be that I'll have to stagger my own workweek somewhat, come in excrutiatingly early some days, while staying late others, in order that I may have access to the European as well as Asian communities. However, this also allows us the opportunity to expand our contacts and allow me to better relegation functions to community members across the globe.

I regret that this will put me at somewhat of a distance from our Europeans, although, the good news will be that my morning will be their evening; and most volunteer activity takes place during the evenings.

Anyway, I'm delighted to be moving to San Francisco, otherwise. 18 years in Florida is enough.

Posted by Bastique at 8:57 AM | (0) cared to comment

September 23, 2007

Moving to San Francisco

If you're familiar with the goings ons at the Wikimedia Foundation, you already know. The office is moving to San Francisco. If not... well, let me be the first to break the news to you. I'm going to San Francisco and taking Michel with me.

While we love Saint Petersburg, it has never completely felt like home. Too backward in many aspects, too many uneducated people with conservative leanings. While I'm not knocking them, I can't understand people who like to vote against their own best interests.

San Francisco is the opposite. Affluent people with liberal leanings. Plus the weather can't be beat. No more ridiculously hot and long summers.

Posted by Bastique at 10:20 AM | (0) cared to comment

September 18, 2007

Big news coming

I'm ready to announce a major change. Stay tuned for details.

Posted by Bastique at 6:53 PM | (0) cared to comment

August 19, 2007


Taipei 101I managed to get my passport after a Friday morning drive to Miami, four-hour wait at the United States Passport Office, and a drive home during evening Miami commute. The plane out from Tampa to Los Angeles was 6:40 am Saturday morning, July 29. I stayed up and tried to sleep on the plane.

We had a 7 hour layover at LAX before we boarded China Airlines Flight no. 5 to Taipei, which itself was delayed for two hours because of a PA system failure.

Taiwan was hot, muggy, and beautiful and breathtaking. I experienced a cornucopia of sights and sounds, and made some remarkable acquaintances during Wikimania 2007. Much of my Wikimania related photographs can be found in my Commons Gallery, here: Wikimedia Commons Wikimania 2007 gallery.

The city was filled with many other amazing sights. I especially enjoyed the Buddhist Temples. The notable one was Foyou Temple in Danshui, probably because we were the only foreign tourists at the time to be visiting. My sightseeing pictures are mostly located here: Bastique's photos on Flickr.

The flight back was just as tedius. I got home Tuesday morning, August 7, and slept much of that day. It took me several days to finally get caught up in my sleep.

Posted by Bastique at 9:58 AM | (0) cared to comment

July 26, 2007

Leaving the country? No passport

I'm travelling to Taiwan for work on Saturday morning at 6:00 am, and right now, Thursday night, at 17:18pm, I'm becoming very anxious.

The United States Passport agency has still not notified me when I am going to receive my passport. I filled out my application and turned it in on April 30. Last time I called, they were in the process of working on it. Hopefully it will be overnighted to me at some point tonight (or maybe it already has been, one can cross one's fingers). If not, I'm going to have to drive all the way to Miami, pick it up (if it's ready) and then drive all the way back.

Why didn't someone plan this?

Posted by Bastique at 7:16 PM | (3) cared to comment

July 23, 2007

Good night sweet prince

Me and my ex had one "baby" left between us. And my little prince has passed on. Michael had him put to sleep this Saturday morning, July 21, 2007.
Dog Cat Love
We brought Coco home from a Kitty farm in Davie in June of 1996; he was a spry little kitten with personality. Before long we realized just how special Coco was.

Throw a paper ball on the floor and he would play with it--and then he would bring it back to you to throw again. Coco fetched like a dog!

He was also peaceful around dogs. Rare was the dog that would make him run and hide...usually he'd simply find a place high enough to get out of the dog's way and remain there until the dog lost interest. It was his house, and the whatever dog it was, was just a guest there.

This passing one breaks my heart more than any that have passed before. I will dearly miss my little Coco.

Posted by Bastique at 2:53 PM | (0) cared to comment

July 5, 2007


I'm listing this in category ADHD because it's a good reason for why I can't seem to keep up with posting. As per the last comment on this thread here, it would seem that my blog readers are a bit upset with me for ignoring my little website.

I am sorry. Work has been hectic, but not too unwieldy to ignore the blogosphere. Therefore, expect some updates in the coming weeks as to my life, the world, and everything.


Posted by Bastique at 1:47 PM | (0) cared to comment

October 8, 2006

I'm alive

Note to Tammi: I'm alive. I'm overly preoocupied with Wikipedia. ( See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Bastique ) Probably need to be rescued. Don't send anyone yet, but if you don't hear from me in one week, send out a search party.


Posted by Bastique at 2:58 PM | (12) cared to comment

July 25, 2006

Rainbow flag in Meade, Kansas gives residents the jeebies

Found on Margaret's Blog, and brought to you for your viewing pleasure. I intend to send these Bed & Breakfast owners some love mail.

Read the article and see the video here: Rainbow flag creates controversy.

Here's an extract:

Local resident, Keith Klassen says the flag is a slap in the face to the conservative community of Meade. “To me it's just like running up a Nazi flag in a Jewish neighborhood. I can't walk into that establishment with that flag flying because to me that's saying that I support what the flag stands for and I don't," says Klassen.

Spread the word.

Posted by Bastique at 7:57 PM | (6) cared to comment