Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Still Married!

Nancy and I were disappointed at yesterday's ruling by California's Supreme Court upholding Proposition 8 and denying marriage to same-sex couples. We are grateful, however, that the 18,000 marriages--including ours--that took place last year before the proposition passed in November are valid. That means we're still legally married in the states that recognize gay & lesbian marriages.

The Huffington Post carried an interesting story regarding the decision (click here to see). It said that conservative lawyer Ted Olson (yes, he of Gore v. Bush) will represent a suit in the federal courts that asks that the ruling and Prop 8 be set aside under equal protection. He asks what would happen if a state passed a proposition outlawing inter-racial marriages.

We view yesterday's court decision as a temporary setback. When even ultra conservatives like Ted Olson are stepping up to the plate in support of marriage equality, the world really is changing.


Sunday, May 3, 2009


Nancy & I are having our best road trip ever. Why? Because of our new GPS, “Geepers.” We bought a refurbished 765 Garmin for under $200 through Best Buy’s on-line store. (Refurbished indicates an item returned to a store, tested, and put back on sale.)

The GPS takes 95% of the stress out of driving in new territory. It directed us 1200 miles from our Minneapolis home to the front door of our friends’ house in Silver Spring, Maryland. It allows the passenger to enjoy the scenery—and naps—without having a finger and eyeball glued to a map. It eliminates confusion over which road to take, whether to turn right or left when exiting a parking lot, and when we should arrive at our destination.

In addition to guiding us through spaghetti bowls of freeways, tricky exits, and obscure streets, the GPS has enabled us to:
  • Locate nearby hotels as we whiz down the freeway. It gives us their telephone number, and as we approach the town, we call them on our cell phone. In Champagne/Urbana, the first motel was full. The second motel only had smoking rooms available. The third motel was expensive. The fourth one had a non-smoking room within our budget. We bypassed the first three and drove directly to the fourth motel. Our GPS/cell phone combination eliminated 3 futile stops and frustrating delays when we were tired and hungry. It also listed nearby restaurants, so we didn’t have to drive around searching for a place to eat dinner.
  • Avoid traffic delays. In Virginia, a road sign warned of a major traffic delay. We punched in the detour option and Geepers determined a new route. Within a quarter mile we were off the road and sailing along the charming back roads of Virginia, bypassing a three-mile long back up
  • Find attractions from Antietam Battlefield to the Jamestown Settlement, the birthplace of America. One day, we were craving some Trader Joe’s treats. We typed in the name and up popped several locations, one within a mile of where we were parked. How would we ever have known?

In short order, we have become converts to this wonderful and miraculous technology. In upcoming blogs, we’ll share more of our explorations of the Mid-Atlantic states with you.