Houston Strong


Houston is my home. I’ve grown up here, lived here, loved and lost here. The last couple of weeks have been tremendously hard for me, and for everyone in the Greater Houston area. I was fortunate to not have any damage to my home, my family is safe and sound. It’s my city, and my friends and neighbors, that are suffering. Local responses, by the community, and Fire, Police and Medical personnel were amazing. The community rolled up their sleeves, and jumped in, literally, to save each other.
The state, federal, and Red Cross responses have not been as amazing. There is a need, for the community, to hold our leaders accountable for the long term response. We need to rebuild the city, children need clothes, school supplies, books, and warm beds. The elderly, and the economically disenfranchised have gone from a poor situation, to a worse one. Now is the time, to come together, and to make sure that nobody is treated as a burden. We are one human race, we are all Texans, and we must rebuild. This will be a marathon process, and once the cameras and publicity shift to the poor victims of Hurricane Irma, Houston will still need an army of volunteers and citizens to make Houston stronger.

I’ve setup that page to help us coordinate. Please jump in, volunteer, and help me help this city. We all have our gifts, we all have our passions, and we all have each other.




Watching the Vice videos, I’m utterly disgusted at all the things that White Supremacists and Nazis say. The whole concept of racially superiority is such a joke. Racial purity is as well. Throughout the history of humanity, there has been once constant, humanity’s constant curiosity. We have explored, traveled, and spread throughout the Earth. The constant migration patterns of people have ensured there is no such thing as racial purity. Even the Germanic people of Western Europe can trace their lineage to migrations from Asia.

In regards to “savages” it’s ironic that those of European descent, to make such statements. The preservation of ancient Greek and Roman knowledge is due to the preservation by Arabic civilization. Knowledge was retained, and reintroduced from the middle east, through Russian and into Scandinavian societies. The renaissance was only successful because of the knowledge preserved from the east.

European dominance, thanks to rich trade with Asia, and sciences preserved and spread from the middle east, allowed the European powers to obtain not just knowledge, but also gunpowder, which they used to become more efficient conquerors. Tell me, who is more savage, those living in relative harmony with their environment, or those sailing to new lands, and forcing their will on native people and ecosystems?

Africa, America and Asia all suffered from the ill-conceived policies of colonialism, forcing traditional enemies to be part of the same “nation”, etc. There is no superiority in conquest and murder. Greed is no excuse to destroy native cultures, yet that is the history of the West. It’s a violent one, and though we have benefited from the technology developed to sustain this greed for expansion and conquest, we also immense ecological and cultural damage to deal with.

Humanity has a history full of violence, and barbarism, and the West is the pinnacle of those achievements. We are at the precipice of change. Either we give up old biases, and learn, and accept from our violent past, in order to make a more harmonious future, or we continue down the path of denial. We reject change, in the name of petty bigotry, and we prove to our progeny that the West’s legacy will truly be one of barbarism.

Fake Geeks

Let me say this to all the “geek” men that feel the need to belittle and harass women for the crime of having a cool job. Fuck off. Take your vile misogyny, and shove it up your ass and die. You’re not geeks, nor men. You are vile sacks of shit that need to go back under the rock you came from. All this woman is guilty off is enjoying some time with coworkers. She’s not a “fake geek” you are. I’ve lived my entire life being a nerd/geek whatever term you wish to use. I grew up being mocked, for the simple crime of liking things that weren’t mainstream. I’m sick of the bullshit “gamer” talk, the attacks I see on others for enjoying the same things. Comics, Sci-fi, science, etc, are not the exclusive domain of men. I sure as hell don’t see you douche canoes mocking women dressed in cosplay. Maybe that’s because you are a bunch of losers that enjoy creeping on women from a distance, because you subconsciously realize that your foul personalities are kryptonite to the other sex. Maybe it’s just because you have mommy issues, I Don’t give a fuck. You are assholes. You give geeks a bad name, and you deserve to get dragged through the mud, in public, for your vile statements. I promise you one thing, if I ever find out about one of you cretins trying to get a job where I work, I will shut that shit down. You’ll be stuck in your parent’s basement, with your hateful rhetoric, and your box of tissues.




When I talk about how frustrated I am, let me explain why. The US has never been perfect. It’s had many, deep flaws. The history of the US is fraught with favoritism and deep seeded bigotry. That said, it was a nation full of people who fought. We fought to make the nation better for all people. In my short life, I have seen women, LGBTQ, and other minority groups gain ground in their pursuit of equality and justice. Under Obama, we saw a shimmering light of progress, not full equality, but more progress than had ever been witnessed. Now this push for equality saw an equal, harder push towards stopping any further progress.

Hatred stewed, and a narrative formed, trying to explain how the work of progressives would “take away” from others. How does asking for equality take away from others? There was no pursuit to remove religious freedoms from Christians. They were free to worship in their churches and prayer houses in peace. We simply asked that the more radical adherents not be allowed to discriminate against others. Pushing for the end of a for-profit prison system, and equal treatment under the law, for minorities, wasn’t taking away the privileges of White America. We simply asked that others be able to enjoy the same freedoms. Legalizing same-sex marriage was not an assault on heterosexual, or religious people. We asked they be treated with the same protections that any couple that is in love be treated with.

People demonize “illegal immigrants” for the same crime that Columbus, and America’s very founding fathers participated in. The pursuit of something better. They mock environmental protections and deny science, in order for profit. We can’t drink money, breathe it, or eat it. This is foolishness at its height.

The pursuit of science and education is laughed at, as if it was something to be ashamed of. The pursuit of knowledge is tantamount for a healthy democracy. We should not speak of intellectualism as if it were something to be avoided. Our very nation depends on scientists and engineers, but also, musicians, and artists.

The radical right is so busy, finding fault in others pursuit of equality, that they have allowed treason to go unanswered. People scream of wars against Christianity, or against white america. No, there are no wars against these things, except the war being fought by those that would see others deported, mistreated, or ignored, simply so that a subsection of America can sleep at night with the belief that they are “better”, all while surrounded by poverty, disease, and pollution.
All of the good that the US stood for, and the good that could have been, are now threatened by the arrogant actions of a small minority of people. They fight to destroy anything that doesn’t fit into their narrow viewpoint. They would take away our freedoms, all while screaming patriotic epitaphs that no longer have any meaning.

If you are a patriot, you will fight for the rights of others. You will pledge your lives, your fortunes, your sacred honor, in order to defend the dream, so easily afforded to a few, and so hard-fought for so many others. Demonizing your friends, neighbors, fellow residents, because they seek to live a life as free as yours, in true equality, is not the mark of a patriot, or a “conservative”. It is the deepest form of treason.

This is why I’m frustrated. This is why I get angry, and fired up. There is nothing wrong with me, I just see what is so horribly wrong with so many others.

This is not a joke. This is not an over reaction. I wish to see America fully live up to its full potential. That will never happen until we fully embrace the words All People are Created Equal.


I’ve been contemplating this. Please read fully before attacking me.
I’ve noticed a lot of statements regarding people being to easily “offended” by things. That may be true, but that statement is being used to dismiss actual dialogue in many situations. It’s ok to be offended by certain things, and to bring it up in a rational way. That’s how conversations are started, and how people learn to understand. It’s also ok to say “that comes across as a bit racist” or “That can be mistakenly viewed as a racist statement.”
Those words are meant to bring light to a situation. It’s ok to ask “How so?” and it’s ok to discuss it. For my White friends, I know you are all good people. Most of you are not “racists” but some of you may be ignorant of certain things. You have some prejudices, so do I. It’s something I work to get over and to improve on constantly. Please don’t get “offended” by the statement, but seek dialogue.
Here are some situations, and my views on them. These views apply to some people, and not to others.

1. I have heard the statement “They are taking our jobs” from people in regards to immigrants. Let’s analyze that. Many of the people being accused of this are migrant workers, earning less than minimum wage. We currently have an unemployment rate of about 5.5 to 6%. If migrant workers are “taking” these jobs, it’s because those 19 million Americans are either A. unqualified,C. unwilling to do those jobs, or C. Being passed over because those hiring are trying to circumvent labor laws. The solutions would be to put more money to education and the enforcement of labor laws. Hold companies accountable for hiring undocumented people instead of demonizing those coming over and looking for an opportunity.

2. I’ve seen people offended that minorities bring up stories of injustices to them. Statements are made like “I would never do that” or “I’ve never seen that happen”. Congrats, we aren’t talking about you, and you live in a wonderful area where people aren’t outwardly racist. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen in other places, or when you aren’t around. Listen, think. How would you feel if you walked into a mall and were followed around all day by a Police officer? This happened to me, I was in slacks and a button up shirt, and I was shopping, and paying for stuff. He profiled me because I “don’t fit in”. That was wrong, on his part. I didn’t do anything stupid, I kept calm and I was annoyed and offended.

3. Asking for bad police officers to be held accountable for breaking the law, or abusing their power, doesn’t mean people don’t support law enforcement. Most police officers are hard working, good people. Just like most people of any ethnic, religious, or political group tend to be good people. Holding bad people accountable for their actions is part of making sure everyone has justice.

4. Being Pro-Choice doesn’t mean being pro-abortion. It means that I let women, and their doctors, make their own medical decisions. I have my personal views, I keep them to myself. There are medical reasons, and ethical reasons, for abortion. Every situation is different.

5. Don’t cheer the death of anyone. The loss of any life is tragic. It doesn’t matter what they looked like, or what they did, we should learn to treat each other with respect. The taking of any life is a serious thing, and something that shouldn’t be done callously.

6. Corporations aren’t people, but since they are being treated that way, they should pay their fair share of taxes. If they choose to offshore their headquarters, in an attempt to bypass tax laws, then they should have tariffs levied against them. If they want to contribute to the political process, then they need to pay up like the rest of us. Same for Churches.

Stop demonizing groups of people. Realize that assholes exist in all groups. Listen to each other. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

You are welcome to disagree with me. I encourage it. Keep it civil though, let’s have discussions. I will delete any post that attacks me, or someone else. We need to talk TO each other, not AT each other.


When I was in Elementary school, I went to a school that didn’t have many Asians in it. I remember being in 2nd grade and having some kid say something about his uncle fighting the Vietnamese in Vietnam. He made fun of me because I had to be one of them. I’m not Vietnamese, but to that kid, and his parents, all Asians had to be Vietnamese and were not “welcome”. As I grew older I learned about the Japanese internment camps, and how Japanese Americans were distrusted, just because of their heritage. I asked why German and Italian Americans weren’t placed in camps too. I learned that many were discriminated upon, but mostly they could blend in and assimilate.
I saw racism focus on anyone that looked “Arabic” during the first Gulf war, and then after 9-11. Even Indian friends faced racism because bigoted Americans couldn’t tell the difference. I know Koreans faced the same kinds of Racism during the Korean War, and the Chinese were mistreated during the 1800’s because of the influx of immigrants. I now see Latinos being targeted for the same reasons.
All these groups face racism for one reason. They don’t “look” American. I’ve been the victim of such racism. I often times talk about Americans as if I wasn’t one. I was born here, I’ve only ever lived in the U.S. I’ve been called out for talking about Americans because I am one so why don’t I always claim it? I now realize I meant “white” people when I talked about “Americans”. That’s wrong, I’m an American I’m proud to be one. I claim it proudly, and I hold no ill will. I love this country.
I grew up feeling like I didn’t belong because I didn’t “look” right. That feeling is something that evolved from the casual racism that young children are exposed to. It’s something we must all stop from happening.
Let’s all take a moment to realize that most of us are descended from immigrants. We all have ancestors that probably fought each other. We are all here for the same reasons. The promise of opportunity. Stop pointing out differences and start looking at each other’s humanity. No child should grow up feeling like an outcast in a nation of immigrants.

Full Friday

Joseph cautiously peeked over his cube wall. The SAP migration to Linux was well on its way. Terminal junkies were in their T-shirts and jeans, greedily consuming endless amounts of coffee. Random issues with ancillary systems kept Joseph from sneaking out at 1. His head pounded from the stress of having to work a full Friday. The needed SPN changes hung over his head, forcing him to commit to staying another half hour.
Bitterly he took a drink of his water, cursing the PMs involved.
“Next Friday I shall skip out early” he vowed.

Daily updates

Joseph slumped in his desk chair. The hard plastic headset was pinching his ears. The monotone voice of his coworker blasted through, lulling him to a state of drowsiness.
He was half-halfheartedly paying attention to the discussion. The daily updates were the same ever day, the project was on task to catastrophically fail. As his head nodded up and down he kept willing his eyes to stay open. Nobody was interested in listening to different ideas. His task was to sit on the line and explain how easy his part would be completed and to prevent himself from pointing out the other obvious flaws in the plan.

Morning Shock

As Joseph sat at his desk typing diligently on his keyboard, the building shook. The sudden sound of thunder washed over him like a freight train. He peered over his shoulder at the window behind him. The heavens opened up and rain pelted the windows like a thousand arrows being unleashed.


Time to get up, time to get ready.

No time to think, go, go, go!

Don’t slow down, keep on going.

Life won’t slow down.

The feeling of despair lingers,

Like the last bit of morning fog.

Every moment tainted by haze.

Overwhelming burden, waiting to crash down.

The yearning to be complete always pushed back.

No time to wonder, or regret.

No time to focus on dreams or desires.

Guilt and responsibility fill the void.



Heritage and Pride

This has been a remarkable week.  We’ve seen a coordinated push to see the Confederate Battle flag, actually the battle flag for the Army of Northern Virginia, removed from state capital grounds in the south.

This has, of course, stirred controversy among people who see this as an attack on southern heritage.  Nothing could be further from the truth, and for many reasons.  Let’s get into the History of the Battle Flag first.

The flag was flown by all commanders of the Army of Northern Virginia.  Robert E. Lee being the most recognized of these commanders.  It was the flag used, because it was easily distinguishable from the Union Flag, unlike the actual confederate flag.  This was the flag that the confederate troops flew over the bloodiest of battles in the Civil War.

After his defeat, Robert E. Lee wished to have nothing to do with symbols of division.  He ordered his troops to honorably surrender, and to forego any attempts at guerrilla warfare. Lee refused to participate in ceremonies commemorating the war, and never few the Battle Flag again.  He wished to repair the wounds that the nation had incurred, and though he was no saint, he understood that holding on to bitterness served no good.  The south did not fight a just war, against a tyrannical power, they had attempted to preserve their ability to keep slaves.  Even at his funeral, no confederate flags, battle flag or otherwise, flew.

After the death of Robert E. Lee, many bitter confederate officers pushed the concept of a “lost cause” explanation for confederate defeat.  They pushed to keep wounds open, and founded the basis of years of bitterness.  These were not the actions supported by Robert E. Lee, though they used his standard and his name often.

The Battle Flag, during the period of Reconstruction until the Civil Rights era, was not flown on State Capital grounds, it was popularly used, being a symbol of rebellion.  It was used by the KKK in recruitment attempts.  It wasn’t until the push for desegregation that the flag was adopted by bitter southern states. It was done purposely, to keep wounds open, and arrogantly, but this was not a symbol of long-standing southern pride.

Now for my opinion:

The south has much to be proud for, each state has given heavily of its people for the maintenance of the Union.  Our founding fathers hailed heavily from the south.  George Washington, Jefferson, etc.  Southern heritage, except period in the 1860’s, is that of dedication, pride, and honor in service of the United States.  States such as Texas find further pride in their actual flags.

Nobody is saying that you can’t fly the Battle Flag on your own personal property, however if you do, remember that this is not a symbol of southern heritage, but of Southern Arrogance, gone out of control.  The true heritage of the south is of rich, diverse culture, a blemished past, and an insanely promising future.  The south is home to Nasa, The Texas Medical Center, and scores of industry.  This is our heritage, found under the US flag.

There has been some argument about the flying of the gay pride flag being ok, but flying the Confederate Battle flag not being ok.  All I can say is that the Gay Pride flag is not being flown on state capital grounds.  The Gay Pride flag has only ever been used as symbol of the struggle a group of people have faced, in the face of unfair persecution and violence.  To be threatened, lynched, and even killed because you choose to love someone differently from the majority is a far cry from a flag that was flown over the bloodiest of wars.

The fact is, one flag was used to divide,  the other is used a symbol of love.  To compare the two is a disservice to all.


Davis, George W, Leslie J Perry and Joseph W Kirkley, The War of the Rebellion A compilation of the Official Records. Google Books Edition. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1897.


Dowdey, Clifford and Louis H Manarin, The Wartime Papers of Robert E. Lee. New York: DaCapo Press, Inc, 1987.


Lee, Robert E. The Recollections and letters of Robert E. Lee. Ed. Captain Robert E. Lee. Old Saybrook: Konecky & Konecky, 1909.


Daily grind, always going.
Fleeting moments of freedom,
Vanishing into a haze of duty.
Day in, day out, is there more?
Deadlines, meetings, classes,
Don’t forget to eat, or breath.
No, don’t think, keep going.
Soul and heart keep screaming,
There has to be more.
For the sound of laughter,
And the beauty of a smile,
There has to be more.

Flying high

I love travel, but I find the airline experience to be about as intuitive, and enjoyable, as performing my own lobotomy.

The need to be rustled by cattle through endless lines, being crammed into seats that would make a smurf cringe, and the ever-present “interesting characters” just seem to suck the joy out of travel.  Paying top price for the experience makes me yearn for high-speed rail, or the possibility of being launched from a cannon instead.

My trip home, yesterday, highlights the joys of air travel. As a responsible flyer I picked my window seat, so I could avoid a bout of air sickness, and checked in ahead of time. I gleefully downloaded a book to read, and patiently waited for the announcement to use mobile devices. To my joy, the captain informed us that mobile devices were free to use as long as they were in airplane mode.

After reviewing the ever important safety instructions, where we are told where life vests and flotation devices are (infinitely useful during my overland flight). I proceeded to ignore the large man next to me so I could read. My ability to ignore my neighbors constant shuffling and push onto my seat was awe-inspiring, then he started “tsking” at me for reading.

The flight attendant, on a few occasions, tried to explain to my neighbor that my reading was allowed, but he would have none of it. I reluctantly put away my phone, so that there would be no escalation, and the need for us to land early, because of some dimwits fear that my phone would hurtle us into the nearest body of water.

Ahhh, the joys of travel.


Bright, warm, piercing,   

The light brings life.

Without darkness it is unappreciated,

Without the cold, it’s warmth is unknown.

The light, however, always holds hope.



Looking deep into the well,
Down into the depth of time.
Layers and layers repeating,
History full of turmoil and despair.
Will we ever clear the waters?
Can the cycle ever end?
Deep drinks of oppression,
Can only be washed away,
With deep draughts of knowledge.

How many more?

What is it going to take? 74 school shootings since Newtown, and we have had 0 action on anything that makes sense. Our politicians, ON BOTH SIDES, are busy courting favor with gun manufacturers and ignoring the pleas of reasonable people all across the country.
We hear extremist right wing puppets talk about “good guys with guns” but we sit helpless as even our POLICE are being killed by extremists with guns. Morons now show up to stores, armed for battle with their imaginary foes, with no more training, or common sense than the average half wit can get in a 4 hour course.
We sit by as the “liberals” in our government ignore, and hide from controversy because “it’s an election year”. WE NEED LEADERSHIP, we need STATESMEN and STATESWOMEN that will do what is right, “not because it is easy, but because it is hard!”
Our leaders have failed us, and we are busy arguing about petty topics. GET IT TOGETHER, call, scream, yell, MARCH, do anything to make them hear us!



All you need is…

I often find myself wondering why there is so much suffering in a world full of people with such a capacity for love.  Even in the most violent, desperate environments you’ll find small acts of kindness.

We often find ourselves being told to “hate” another person or group for their differences in beliefs, but how different are we all really?  We all need food, shelter, and love to survive.  If only we could learn to love the differences in others, the world would be a much happier, positive place.  Why can’t we all just learn to let go of the past and look forward to a future where we all live, and work, for each other?  We are one family, one large, complex, family.  When we can all realize that, the world will be the place we deserve it to be.

No, I’m not innocent in acting out in anger, or being upset at groups of people for one reason or another.  I do realize that my reactions are misguided, and I refuse to let a small subset of people tear my birthright away.  I deserve to appreciate and love everyone as much as possible.  I just need to keep reminding myself that everyone has potential, everyone needs a good example, and I need to start living my life as a positive example for others.  I may stumble, and that’s ok.  That’s part of being human too, and I have to learn to forgive myself for my inadequacies as I learn to forgive others.


The storm slowly pushes in,
Thunder of despair, lightning of sorrow,
Rain of sadness, and wind of fear.
I sit, huddled in my shelter of hope,
as the storm grows in strength, I hope.
As the rain pushes is way into the cracks, I hope.
The thunder frightens me, and I hope.
I hope for sunny days, gentle breezes,
and beams of sunlight, I hope.
With each crackle of lighting my hope grows,
and with the growing hope, my shelter strengthens.
Hope is small, weak, almost invisible at first,
As despair creeps though, hope explodes,
A beacon in the storm.


Over the crashing waves you stand,
Solid, determined, confident.
The path to safety lies behind you,
Each side leads to danger, and risk.
Do you go backwards, avoiding danger?
You yearn to climb the slippery, jagged sides,
Exploring the new-found cliff with passion and joy.


Selfless, caring, kind, honorable,
A hero walks with purpose.
Striving to empower and protect,
And caring for those who can’t.
When a hero’s duty is done,
And the weak are strong,
Then the job is done.
Slowly, fading, leaving,
A hero must not remain,
once others can stand.


With changing perception you dominate,
The tenderest moments pass as swiftly as a Hawk’s dive.
Painful longing, passes as slow as the creeping glaciers.
Excitement, happiness, and joy, vanish in an instant,
While pain, longing and suffering last a lifetime.
Concentration and reflection may resist your fickleness,
But onward you must flow, forever pulling us along.


Like a star, shining in the darkness.
Nothing can escape your pull.
Full of hot matter,
Your light nurtures and provides life.
The heat of your soul warms life completely,
or destroys everything utterly.



The need for closeness overwhelms,
My soul is split in two.
I fight to find what I have lost,
To reunite what has been torn.
Pain is all that exists,
Deep, dark, and overwhelming.
My heart has given up on itself,
exiled to its own prison.
Someday I will heal,
Today there is only pain.


It was a warm day in the heavily wooded forest.  The light of the sun came across with a greenish tint, as it pushed its way through the leaves of the majestic evergreens populating the woods.  The sound of far off waterfalls could be heard through the orchestra of birds and animals going about their business.  The gentle hillsides were inundated with life, in all varieties.  Elk, deer, bears, birds, this was their realm.  Still unspoiled by the encroachment of humanity, this was nature at its finest.  Lush, green, and powerful, you could feel the life coursing through the air.
In a clearing, open to the sunlight and adjacent to a flowing stream sat a woman.  This was her sanctuary, her place of peace and joy.  Her long flowing blonde hair seemed like one with the stream.  Today was no day for joy, however.  She was suffering through immense pain at the loss of her unborn child.  Her tears fed the stream with her grief, a grief that no person should ever have to confront.   How could she hope to overcome this pain?  This was no ordinary grief, the challenge of carrying on was a heavier burden that Atlas could even bear to carry.
April asked for a sign, a reason to carry on and confront her grief.  “Why me, why again” cried April. The sound of a family of ducks filled her ears.  She looked toward the stream, and saw six ducklings floating behind their mother, diving now and then for food.  It was a simple site, to see a small family of ducks floating down the lazy stream.  Careless and oblivious to the dangers around them.  April’s heart was touched by the warmth of the interaction.  Her grief was as heavy as ever, but this one small scene warmed her, if just for a split second.
Life was hard, her grief was maddening.  It would be easy for April to just give up on it all, and end it.  She realized that was the problem, it would be too easy for her to give up.  April knew then, that while it felt impossible to carry on, she would.  She had gone through this before, faced her worse fears, and realized that she could do so again.  Life was precious, and she would prove that she had the strength to live it, even in her darkest moment.



Day by day, we all waste our life away.
How easy would it be to ignore that empty feeling,
To be caught up in the redundant, the mundane, the fruitless.
My heart was empty, but I had all I should,
Friends, family, and career.
Ever nagging was that hole, ever in my heart.
Oh a whim, I followed my heart to the forest,
I, instead, had found my soul.



I stand at the edge of a forest, large, wide, and beautiful.
I feel the longing, to journey through this wild, untamed wilderness.
Many have been entranced at the beauty of the wild expanse,
But none have truly appreciated it for all of its true beauty and danger.
I will make the trek, regardless of the danger.
The journey itself will be worth the risk,
The reward will be the knowledge that I had the courage to continue,
The hope that I have helped heal any damage others have caused,
And the joy of seeing the full expanse.