Monthly Archive: January 2008

Letter from home

I sent a DVD copy of my one-hour interview for the Ellen B Show on URTV (local public access television, and the show with my interview ran at least twice) to my parents.  (Send me $5 and I’ll get you a copy.)  The interview was on the homeless situation in Asheville, and it included sections on the HomeYes Produce project we are working on with Marc Schechtman and CustomPak (which has as one of its goals the building and staffing of a large, local hydroponics greenhouse), and on the relationship between local police and the homeless.

I was rewarded by the following email.

Gerry,[My parents still refuse to call me Moss]

I wanted to tell you that your mother and I were very proud watching that interview.  You
stayed focused and ‘on track’. I’m sure that you will get more help
from that interview than you have gotten from anything else.

Job!   And I hope you do make yourself available for other interviews
on that subject as well as the other that you espoused. I hydroponics
is still a coming thing and it needs more exploration and also more
explanation to make people more aware of it.  Hope the grocery stores
fall in line for you.


Here’s the thing.  I do not believe my father has ever said “I’m proud of you,” until that email.  A couple of years ago, I actually got brave enough to ask my mother if they were proud of me, and she replied, “Of course we are,” in a tone of voice that made me feel stupid for asking but was not very convincing.  Well, now I know.  After 55 years of being the family “green sheep”, “scapegoat”, and any other weird-but-not-totally-reprehensible role in the family… I have made my family proud of me.  You have no idea how much that means to me.


Breast cancer study

I read about a study posted to a British medical journal.  It stated that women who perform fellatio and digest the resultant ejaculate had a 35% lower chance of getting breast cancer.

Yes, you read that right.  Suck and swallow at least twice per week and you won’t get breast cancer.  (Probably works for men too, but I bet they didn’t study that, LOL)

What the article did not say was, what was the size (and demographics) of the test population — not to mention the size (and demographics) of the male volunteers — and who in their bloody right mind THOUGHT THIS STUDY UP?  Sounds like a scam to me, but maybe I’m just jealous I didn’t think of it first.


Commercial Irony

I was just watching the tube (Monk, if you must know).  First Swiffer tried to convince me that their fiber duster wasn’t cloth (“Fiber is better!”)… immediately followed by “Not all fiber is fiber.”… a Citrucel commercial.


I was just given a gift by my webhost… a dedicated server.  So instead of typing, you can now just type  Doesn’t that make it so much easier?  LOL


The article is out, and it looked good although was quite fluffy.  Here’s a scan of it…

Feel free to download it — it expands quite nicely… the scan is 60% of actual size, so there’s plenty of res for zooming in.

I also got a DVD of my interview for The Ellen B Show on URTV… LOL no I’m not going to upload that.  I haven’t even watched it yet… but have sent a copy to my parents, along with the original newspaper article above.  Hey, any PR, ya know?

Thursday’s meeting of Asheville Homeless Network was pretty good, nice and short and simple.

Marc Schechtman should be back in town Monday, although he’s doing more of a tour of the East Coast to drum up support for our HomeYes Products program.

Always good to get something positive here.  Life ain’t bad.  Just scary sometimes with the debt problem.

UPDATE:  I just got bad news, which turned into good news.  My lease renewal came in, with my rent going up from $585 to $605.  I called my housing coordinator, and she told me they just got the new HUD guidelines.  Under the old lease, HUD would only cover $543, so I had to pay $42 above my subsidized rent to keep the apartment.  Under the new HUD guidelines, they pay up to $609… so in short, my rent just went up and down at the same time.


It was an exciting day.

I was just preparing to leave my apartment to meet a friend at the bus stop and direct him to my apartment, when a reporter from the Citizen-Times arrived to do an interview and take pictures (as arranged, but forgotten about).  While she was here, a county sheriff knocked on my door and served me with a summons on a civil action taken by one of my creditors.  Being thusly upset, my mind going in three directions, the reporter agreed to drive me to the bus stop and pick up my friend and return us to my apartment, getting what she needed for her interview in the offing.  I have just completed writing my response to the summons and preparing it for mailing (fortunately it did not call for a court appearance, merely a response).

It does not make sense.  Yes, I incurred the debt.  Yes, I had been making payments on all my debts for over 9 years without missing a payment.  I wrote each of the creditors that I could no longer continue payments on that I would be suspending their payments until I got the other debts under control — and they were each informed that I am on SSDI Disability.  Unless they have changed the laws recently, they cannot touch my SSDI check, and I certainly don’t have enough property to make good on the (~$4,500) debt.  I have been updating them each about every other month.  This may be actionable, but there is no remedy allowed by law.

I can’t file bankruptcy.  One of the debts I am getting paid off (final payment in September) is a Credit Union loan co-signed by my mother.  That would not be covered in a bankruptcy, and would distress my mother, which I certainly don’t need.  After that gets paid off, I would be very happy to discuss terms on getting the four creditors on hold taken care of.

Ah well.  You probably didn’t need to know this.  But it definitely has impacted my centeredness, although I’m fine now that I’ve taken care of everything.


Who Do We Vote For This Time Around? A Letter from Michael Moore

[Posting this because some of my friends have been asking me what I think.  Michael Moore and I see many things similar, and he talks better than I do.  My own feeling about John Edwards is that he just wants to be the NATION’s ambulance chaser instead of just North Carolina…  but would he do the things he says?]

January 2, 2008


A new year has begun. And before we’ve had a chance to break our New
Year’s resolutions, we find ourselves with a little more than 24 hours
before the good people of Iowa tell us whom they would like to replace
the man who now occupies three countries and a white house.

Twice before, we have begun the process to stop this man, and twice
we have failed. Eight years of our lives as Americans will have been
lost, the world left in upheaval against us… and yet now, today, we
hope against hope that our moment has finally arrived, that the
amazingly powerful force of the Republican Party will somehow be
halted. But we know that the Democrats are experts at snatching defeat
from the jaws of victory, and if there’s a way to blow this election,
they will find it and do it with gusto.

Do you feel the same as me? That the Democratic front-runners are a
less-than-stellar group of candidates, and that none of them are the
“slam dunk” we wish they were? Of course, there are wonderful things
about each of them. Any one of them would be infinitely better than
what we have now. Personally, Congressman Kucinich, more than any other
candidate, shares the same positions that I have on the issues
(although the UFO that picked ME up would only take me as far as
Kalamazoo). But let’s not waste time talking about Dennis. Even he is
resigned to losing, with statements like the one he made yesterday to
his supporters in Iowa to throw their support to Senator Obama as their
“second choice.”

So, it’s Hillary, Obama, Edwards — now what do we do?

Two months ago, Rolling Stone magazine asked me to do a cover story
where I would ask the hard questions that no one was asking in
one-on-one interviews with Senators Clinton, Obama and Edwards. “The
Top Democrats Face Off with Michael Moore.” The deal was that all three
candidates had to agree to let me interview them or there was no story.
Obama and Edwards agreed. Mrs. Clinton said no, and the cover story was
thus killed.

Why would the love of my life, Hillary Clinton, not sit down to talk with me? What was she afraid of?

Those of you who are longtime readers of mine may remember that 11
years ago I wrote a chapter (in my first book) entitled, “My Forbidden
Love for Hillary.” I was fed up with the treatment she was getting,
most of it boringly sexist, and I thought somebody should stand up for
her. I later met her and she thanked me for referring to her as “one
hot s***kicking feminist babe.” I supported and contributed to her run
for the U.S. Senate. I think she is a decent and smart person who loves
this country, cares deeply about kids, and has put up with more crap
than anyone I know of (other than me) from the Crazy Right. Her
inauguration would be a thrilling sight, ending 218 years of white male
rule in a country where 51% of its citizens are female and 64% are
either female or people of color.

And yet, I am sad to say, nothing has disappointed me more than the
disastrous, premeditated vote by Senator Hillary Clinton to send us to
war in Iraq. I’m not only talking about her first vote that gave Mr.
Bush his “authorization” to invade — I’m talking about every single
OTHER vote she then cast for the next four years, backing and funding
Bush’s illegal war, and doing so with verve. She never met a request
from the White House for war authorization that she didn’t like. Unlike
the Kerrys and the Bidens who initially voted for authorization but
later came to realize the folly of their decision, Mrs. Clinton
continued to cast numerous votes for the war until last March — four
long years of pro-war votes, even after 70% of the American public had
turned against the war. She has steadfastly refused to say that she was
wrong about any of this, and she will not apologize for her culpability
in America’s worst-ever foreign policy disaster. All she can bring
herself to say is that she was “misled” by “faulty intelligence.”

Let’s assume that’s true. Do you want a President who is so easily
misled? I wasn’t “misled,” and millions of others who took to the
streets in February of 2003 weren’t “misled” either. It was simply
amazing that we knew the war was wrong when none of us had been briefed
by the CIA, none of us were national security experts, and none of us
had gone on a weapons inspection tour of Iraq. And yet… we knew we
were being lied to! Let me ask those of you reading this letter: Were
YOU “misled” — or did you figure it out sometime between October of
2002 and March of 2007 that George W. Bush was up to something rotten?
Twenty-three other senators were smart enough to figure it out and vote
against the war from the get-go. Why wasn’t Senator Clinton?

I have a theory: Hillary knows the sexist country we still live in and
that one of the reasons the public, in the past, would never consider a
woman as president is because she would also be commander in chief. The
majority of Americans were concerned that a woman would not be as
likely to go to war as a man (horror of horrors!). So, in order to
placate that mindset, perhaps she believed she had to be as “tough” as
a man, she had to be willing to push The Button if necessary, and give
the generals whatever they wanted. If this is, in fact, what has
motivated her pro-war votes, then this would truly make her a scary
first-term president. If the U.S. is faced with some unforeseen threat
in her first years, she knows that in order to get re-elected she’d
better be ready to go all Maggie Thatcher on whoever sneezes in our
direction. Do we want to risk this, hoping the world makes it in one
piece to her second term?

I have not even touched on her other numerous — and horrendous —
votes in the Senate, especially those that have made the middle class
suffer even more (she voted for Bush’s first bankruptcy bill, and she
is now the leading recipient of payoff money — I mean campaign
contributions — from the health care industry). I know a lot of you
want to see her elected, and there is a very good chance that will
happen. There will be plenty of time to vote for her in the general
election if all the pollsters are correct. But in the primaries and
caucuses, isn’t this the time to vote for the person who most reflects
the values and politics you hold dear? Can you, in good conscience,
vote for someone who so energetically voted over and over and over
again for the war in Iraq? Please give this serious consideration.

Now, on to the two candidates who did agree to do the interview with me…

Barack Obama is a good and inspiring man. What a breath of fresh
air! There’s no doubting his sincerity or his commitment to trying to
straighten things out in this country. But who is he? I mean, other
than a guy who gives a great speech? How much do any of us really know
about him? I know he was against the war. How do I know that? He gave a
speech before the war started. But since he joined the senate, he has
voted for the funds for the war, while at the same time saying we
should get out. He says he’s for the little guy, but then he votes for
a corporate-backed bill to make it harder for the little guy to file a
class action suit when his kid swallows lead paint from a Chinese-made
toy. In fact, Obama doesn’t think Wall Street is a bad place. He wants
the insurance companies to help us develop a new health care plan —
the same companies who have created the mess in the first place. He’s
such a feel-good kinda guy, I get the sense that, if elected, the
Republicans will eat him for breakfast. He won’t even have time to make
a good speech about it.

But this may be a bit harsh. Senator Obama has a big heart, and that
heart is in the right place. Is he electable? Will more than 50% of
America vote for him? We’d like to believe they would. We’d like to
believe America has changed, wouldn’t we? Obama lets us feel better
about ourselves — and as we look out the window at the guy snowplowing
his driveway across the street, we want to believe he’s changed, too.
But are we dreaming?

And then there’s John Edwards.

It’s hard to get past the hair, isn’t it? But once you do — and
recently I have chosen to try — you find a man who is out to take on
the wealthy and powerful who have made life so miserable for so many. A
candidate who says things like this: “I absolutely believe to my soul
that this corporate greed and corporate power has an ironclad hold on
our democracy.” Whoa. We haven’t heard anyone talk like that in a
while, at least not anyone who is near the top of the polls. I suspect
this is why Edwards is doing so well in Iowa, even though he has
nowhere near the stash of cash the other two have. He won’t take the
big checks from the corporate PACs, and he is alone among the top three
candidates in agreeing to limit his spending and be publicly funded. He
has said, point-blank, that he’s going after the drug companies and the
oil companies and anyone else who is messing with the American worker.
The media clearly find him to be a threat, probably because he will go
after their monopolistic power, too. This is Roosevelt/Truman kind of
talk. That’s why it’s resonating with people in Iowa, even though he
doesn’t get the attention Obama and Hillary get — and that lack of
coverage may cost him the first place spot tomorrow night. After all,
he is one of those white guys who’s been running things for far too

And he voted for the war. But unlike Senator Clinton, he has stated
quite forcefully that he was wrong. And he has remorse. Should he be
forgiven? Did he learn his lesson? Like Hillary and Obama, he refused
to promise in a September debate that there will be no U.S. troops in
Iraq by the end of his first term in 2013. But this week in Iowa, he
changed his mind. He went further than Clinton and Obama and said he’d
have all the troops home in less than a year.

Edwards is the only one of the three front-runners who has a universal
health care plan that will lead to the single-payer kind all other
civilized countries have. His plan doesn’t go as fast as I would like,
but he is the only one who has correctly pointed out that the health
insurance companies are the enemy and should not have a seat at the

I am not endorsing anyone at this point. This is simply how I feel
in the first week of the process to replace George W. Bush. For months
I’ve been wanting to ask the question, “Where are you, Al Gore?” You
can only polish that Oscar for so long. And the Nobel was decided by
Scandinavians! I don’t blame you for not wanting to enter the viper pit
again after you already won. But getting us to change out our
incandescent light bulbs for some irritating fluorescent ones isn’t
going to save the world. All it’s going to do is make us more agitated
and jumpy and feeling like once we get home we haven’t really left the

On second thought, would you even be willing to utter the words, “I
absolutely believe to my soul that this corporate greed and corporate
power has an ironclad hold on our democracy?” ‘Cause the candidate who
understands that, and who sees it as the root of all evil — including
the root of global warming — is the President who may lead us to a
place of sanity, justice and peace.


Michael Moore (not an Iowa voter, but appreciative of any state that has a town named after a sofa)

Pink Sky

I couldn’t sleep tonight.  I was plenty tired, and lay down for hours. 
Got up and took a shower followed by a bubble bath (lavender and
chamomile).  Went back to bed, read 4 more chapters of whatever I’m
reading (Kinky Friedman’s Armadillos and Old Lace).  Still no sleep.

I got up and futzed around a bit.  Then I asked the important question,
“WHY am I not sleeping?” followed by “What happens when I just can’t
sleep?”  Simple answer – it’s snowing.  I don’t know why, but I just
can’t sleep during an active snowfall event.  I had to look out the
window to check, but indeed we had about 2″ outside.

I remembered back to when I would complain to Beth (now my #3 ex) about
not being able to sleep.  Snowfall in Colorado Springs, combined with
the street lighting, made the air/snow look pink.  I started referring
to not being able to sleep due to “pink sky conditions”.  Don’t know
why I forgot that for so long and remembered it when I needed to

We don’t get many snowfalls here in Asheville.  The ones we get are
rarely worth mentioning, maybe 5-6 events per year, no more than 1″
each.  Today they started out predicting 3-6″ (to which I snorted,
“yeah, sure”) and revised it downward to 2-4″.  Well, we definitely
have 2″ or more… and I definitely can’t sleep.