2009 Pub Crawl

We attended the eastside pub crawl again this year, which our buddy George organizes to benefit NESCO. We scrambled again at the last minute to create costumes, but David is a bit more last minute than I am!

(Last year’s pub crawl)

More pics from this year at Flickr

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No DUI when you take the bus!

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David as Dr. Horrible (watch it here), with Phil playing Max

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Here we are in the showcase showdown

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Mac Daddy (Stephen), Andrea as police woman, Phil again, and organizer George as Little Edie Beale

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Ziggy Stardust (Don) wants to bid on the showcase

I would like to point out that my outfit was fun farts & craps time and only cost $10 in materials. The fonts used in my bid and prize are the actual fonts used on the show! Amazing what the internet holds.

David had to repaint his rubber boots ten minutes before we left because the previous coat flaked off in our kitchen.

Vacation days to enjoy fall colors

Some good things: apparently a check to replace my bike is on the way from the insurance company. Let’s hope it’s for the full amount.

Tink the little bun was adopted! It’s strange to be down to one foster and my two bunnies.

Bunny binkies in honor of the House Rabbit Society’s 20th anniversary!

David and I drove 200 miles on Monday to hike about six. The Hoosier National Forest in October is beautiful, and no one shot us! We wore bright colors and decided not to bring the pup for his safety. We did see a couple antlered bucks crossing the road.
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You may be able to see a little orange-jacketed David leaning out just below the top. I didn’t have any problems climbing the tower, though I’ve been on more rickety ones in the past that triggered a temporary fear of heights. (I also recycled the beer cans I found at the bottom.)

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We found the sticker funny (and ewww… you know what’s been going on in that tower)

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Sycamore Trail at Charles C. Deam Wilderness

National Coming Out Day

Last night the President addressed the Human Rights Campaign’s dinner. From the director of HRC:

“Tonight, President Obama told LGBT Americans that his commitment to ending discrimination in the military, in the workplace and for loving couples and their families is ‘unwavering.’ He made it crystal clear that he is our strongest ally in this fight, that he understands and, in fact, encourages our activism and our voice even when we’re impatient with the pace of change. But these remarks weren’t just for us, they were directed to all Americans who share his dream and ours of a country where “no one is denied their basic rights, in which all of us are free to live and love as we see fit.”

“And we heard unequivocally about the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: ‘I am working with the Pentagon, its leadership and members of the House and Senate to end this policy. I will end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. That is my commitment to you.’

“Finally, we heard something quite remarkable from the President: ‘You will see a time in which we as a nation finally recognize relationships between two men or two women as just as real and admirable as relationships between a man and a woman.’

“This was a historic night when we felt the full embrace and commitment of the President of the United States. It’s simply unprecedented.”

Today is National Coming Out Day. Tomorrow I’m even attending a speech at my workplace in honor of this day about bringing your whole self to work. Indeed, my employer has received national recognition for its commitment to equality, including supporting ENDA and opposing state initiatives to constitutionally define marriage as a heterosexual arrangement. It’s not just that they won’t fire you for being gay, something which is legal in much of this country, but that they don’t want you to have to censor yourself. Someone who doesn’t feel free to post pictures of his significant other in his cubicle or talk about his home life with coworkers just isn’t going to be as comfortable at work and therefore won’t be as productive.

That’s not to say everyone is ‘out’ at work. It’s not like my college experience, where students felt they really could be themselves. But at least it’s not Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell!

A few shots from the college era.
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What if you couldn’t be yourself?

Let’s not be progressive or anything

Ah, Indianapolis. Stuck in the Midwest, happy with its mediocrity. I was SHOCKED when the response to longstanding problems at the city pound last year not only ousted the politicians running the place, but HIRED A COMPETETENT, and – get this – PROGRESSIVE person with actual shelter experience! You mean we finally get to take the 64% kill rate in this city seriously? Yes, that was over 12,000 animals last year in Indianapolis. (And this number is actually down from previous years thanks to progressive ideas like FACE, while the shelters don’t seem to improve their come-in-but-never-leave rates.)

So Indy hired Doug Rae, a guy who turned around bigger shelters with higher kill rates: places like Philadelphia and Phoenix. Yes, he was a big change from what our city pound had been for many years. But that was the point.

Doug started in January. And then they fired him this week. Nuvo did a pretty good writeup of all that’s happened in these short months.

The upshot is that Indianapolis wanted everything fixed while still letting everything slide: some of the employees of the shelter and members of other animal welfare groups in the city liked the power/freedom/laziness of the status quo. The evidence of secret meetings about IACC but without their participation, canceling board meetings at the last minute, and firing board members who sided with Rae prove to me that politics won.

I have been to the pound several times recently. I went through volunteer orientation and had emails every week for all the events the shelter was doing in the community, and volunteer participation hours skyrocketed in the kennels. I went to fostering orientation. I met with the woman running that program a few times, the latest in a new bimonthly meeting with Rae himself inviting local animal rescue groups to come share their concerns. It was an open meeting to discuss whatever we wanted (I was there on behalf of IHRS). Radical changes were made: they actually wanted copies of the rescues’ nonprofit paperwork! You know why? Because no one had bothered to collect this information before. How does the shelter know who is a ‘real’ rescue? And this was good news to us, because I know of at least one active rescue in our community who takes an awful lot of animals and they never seem to get adopted anywhere. They do end up in veterinary clinics badly injured from poor sheltering at the rescue though. Are they hoarded? Are they sold to laboratories, fed to wildlife? Not as farfetched as you might think–that’s the path many free to good home pets take, as well as those in less-than-upfront rescues. There has to be some accountability if you are going to work with the city pound. Hell, even having some paperwork about who took what animal and when would be an improvement.

So I’m disappointed but not surprised that Indy put politics first. Not surprised at all. Here’s the thing: if you want change (and it surprised me they got that far), you have to be willing to change.

I’m sure the new politician in charge of the pound will be great. She has no shelter experience either, just like every other person who has ever been in charge of IACC before.

Some pro-animal blogs in Indy: Move To Act, Indy No-Kill Initiative. Note I’m not self-identifying as a member of the no kill movement, but what’s coming out of their mouths seems to be in the animals’ best interests compared to the political crap coming out of everyone else’s.