Monthly Archives: April 2012

“War on Christmas” gets an early start this year

Back in 2005, the School Board’s Legislative and Policy Committee was meeting regularly to discuss how they could rewrite freedom of expression policy, at the behest of Dick Black, without violating federal law. After one memorable meeting during which some inadvisable confessions were made, I titled my report “It was late and they were tired.

Alas, last week’s discussion of holiday displays by the new Courthouse Grounds and Facilities Committee (CGFC) took place at only 6:00 pm.

To briefly recap, the new board has abandoned the idea of a limited public forum. This is because – as I predicted – those like Eugene Delgaudio, who claimed to support freedom of expression for all, in reality did not like anyone’s expression but their own and demanded that the displays end. The board is now pursuing the idea of a county-sponsored holiday display on the courthouse lawn, and the CGFC has been tasked with designing it. Further, the CGFC has been reconstituted and is now stacked with individuals who were active in writing letters and speaking to the last board in favor of allowing the display of religious symbols and messages, but prohibiting the display of other symbols and messages.

One of those individuals is John Mileo, who had a design proposal for the rest of the committee. But first, he had to explain his reasoning. Continue reading

Links for Monday, April 30 (what I’ve read since my last links post)

These come from my twitter, face book, and blog roll feeds.

Reproductive rights (and War on Women generally):

Agriculture (and food generally):

Politics and Elections:

Parenting and School:

Media (and books, but only slightly):






And Locally:

And last but not least, I’m going to give a reverse shout out to Their new website is atrocious. One would think clicking on Community Services on the menu would take one to the Loudoun Community Services Board page, but it doesn’t. And there is no link that specifically says “Developmental Services”. The CSB page header says, “Mental Health, Substance Abuse & Dev. Services”. How is that helpful for people looking for services for their mentally challenged family members? Somebody in the Loudoun government, please fix that mess.


Virginia defies its reputation, embraces reality

Crossposted at Equality Loudoun

This is nothing short of a stunning accomplishment. We owe our thanks to the community members who did the hard, unglamorous, patient work of education. They are heroes. Education is really the only thing that can bring about a significant change in policy like this.

Virginia has adopted a simple, straightforward mechanism for correcting one’s gender marker on a driver’s license, one that comports with the reality of legal gender transition:

As of April 25, 2012, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) implemented a new, and much simpler, policy for changing one’s gender marker on a VA driver’s license. Individuals can now use the Gender Change Request form, known as DL-17, which requires only a signature from a licensed provider, including a doctor, psychiatrist, nurse practitioner, social worker, or counselor attesting to the fact that the applicant is a patient of the provider and that the applicant’s “gender identity” is either female or male and “can reasonably be expected to continue as such for the foreseeable future.”

Continue reading

Links for Tuesday, April 24 (aka what I’ve read since the last links).

Links from Twitter, Facebook, and my blogroll.

What I’ve been reading since my last post about what I’ve been reading

These are from my Twitter and Facebook feeds and from folks on my blogroll at my blog.

Speaking of being a woman geek, I can’t get enough of OK Go. It helps that I think that one of the members of the band bears an uncanny resemblance to The World’s Best Campaign Manager, Bar None.

What I’ve been reading since yesterday’s post

From my Twitter feed*:
First up, my very favorite link of the day. From Jim Rigby (who, I am assured by a friend who knows him, is the smartest person you will ever meet and who is a minister in Texas): Ten Things I wish the Church Knew About Homosexuality

And now, in no particular order:

*I may spend too much time on Twitter.

What I’ve been reading, links worth following

These are links from my Twitter Feed from today*.

*I may spend a smidge too much time on Twitter.

Gratitude, Community, and Eating Fresh/Eating Local

Two of the contributors to this site, Epluribusunum and Pariahdog, came over to our house for dinner Friday. And they brought with them a dozen eggs that had been laid by their very own chickens that very day. The eggs were things of beauty, all different colors and sizes. Most of them were a pastel blue. And Stevens and I and our son ate our way greedily through most of them over the weekend (as I write this there are 5 left).

Really fresh eggs

Honest-to-goodness fresh eggs from real chickens.


This is what I did with three of the eggs.

I mixed them with flour, yeast, salt, honey, and milk into a dough. Then I set the dough into a greased bowl to rise.


Dough in a bowl

Letting the dough rise


When it had risen for two hours, and was doubled in size, I punched it down, divided it in three equal portions (yes, I weighed it, I’m a geek), made them into balls and let them rest for 15 minutes.

Then I made each ball into a long rope and braided them together.


Dough Braid

Dough braided together.


Then I let it rest for another thirty minutes while the oven preheated to 375.

I brushed it with a mixture of egg yolk and water, and put it in the oven for 40 minutes.

When it came out of the oven, it looked like this:



Beautiful Challah Bread


Looks delicious, doesn’t it? And the picture doesn’t do the flavor justice. YUM.


Better than the bread, better even than the eggs, was the intense, fun, and unfailingly interesting conversation that we shared Friday night over dinner, and late into the night.

My dear friends, I am so grateful for the eggs, but way more than that, I am grateful for your friendship.

Not an IT glitch

[promoted by Liz]

I work in IT and deal with all manner of glitches; network glitches, server glitches, database glitches, application glitches and human glitches. IT professionals fix glitches, and I can say with 99.995% certainty that this wss not an an IT glitch.

The first image is the original letter to the editor of the Loudoun Times Mirror from John Mileo, a conservative who now serves on the Courthouse grounds committee.


John Mileo LTE, original link destination

The second is the the content after the Loudoun Times Mirror site was “fixed”.


Link destination after alteration

The link was apparently altered in response to the comment exchange below. My browser contained the content before and after the alteration in two different tabs. You can see the URL fragments and the timestamp in the images. If you thought that you could trust the press to preserve history, you may want to rethink. Who asked for the alteration and who approved it? More will follow.

Fri, Apr 06 at 11:49 AM by Jonathan WeintraubReport this comment


The SPLC and the journalists have done a very careful job. Remember that the LTM endorsed Supervisor Delgaudio and MC Dean is a large donor. Even conservative citizens see the fraud. For example, see John Mileo’s letter below.…a_case_study_in_hypocrisy12/

The Supervisor’s words speak for themselves. The journalists reported his own words. Although the honorable Eugene Delgaudio claims that his day and supervisor jobs are separate, the last two times this paper reported on his political gaffs; blood door, and calling people ‘it’, he was representing the Supervisor/candidate, not the hate group.

Fri, Apr 06 at 09:36 AM by jplegendReport this comment

ok, got it…Loudouners aren’t necessarily bigots and homophobes, just “the thick and the dim”. It must be difficult living among a vast majority of Neanderthals who cling to such outdated values. They hate gays. They hate women. They hate atheists. They hate minorities. They hate the elderly. They hate puppies. Thank God we have the SPLC to keep it all straight for us.