East coast victories for LGBT candidates

While we’re waiting here in Houston for the results of today’s municipal elections the Victory Fund reports of victories for LGBT candidates on the East coast where polls closed an hour earlier than Texas.

State Del. Adam Ebbin (D-District 30) was elected to Virginia’s state Senate today, making him the Commonwealth’s first openly gay senator.

“I am honored by the trust the voters have showed in me,”  Ebbin said in a statement. “During the campaign, I listened to the voters’ concerns and will work on behalf of the values we all share: improving our public schools, expanding our transit system and cleaning up Virginia’s environment. I will make sure their voices are heard…”

“Alex Morse, a 22-year-old graduate of Brown University, has just been elected mayor of Holyoke, Mass., a city of nearly 40,000 residents near Springfield…”

“Zach Adamson has won his race for city council in Indianapolis, giving the city its first openly LGBT city council member.”

“An incumbent on the Largo, Fla., City Commission who attacked her openly gay opponent over his sexual orientation has lost her reelection bid to him tonight. Michael Smith defeated Mary Gray Black, who has a history of anti-gay and anti-trans activism on the commission.”

—  admin

Great Spaces: Conditioner love

Yes, you can have a cold house without the big bills — and that’s not hot air

By David Taffet

Perhaps the one thing we loathe the most besides triple digit temps in summer is that dreaded electric bill. The air conditioner is a must for summer in Texas, but the wallet sure takes a beating. One local expert recommends these simple tips to help you keep your cool and some green.

Todd Ylen of TNS Mechanical in Arlington said that only half the air conditioning complaints his company receives could be traced to the main unit. The first thing he checks is the overall cleanliness of what he calls “the guts.” He recommends a professional cleaning with caustic chemicals.

“It should be done professionally,” he says, “The chemicals won’t hurt the plants but it can melt the rubber off your sneakers.”

During the season, he said, don’t be afraid to wash the unit with a hose, but not a pressure washer. A garden hose will not damage an outdoor air conditioning system. They’re made to withstand gale-force winds.

Keep grass and weeds off outdoor condensers. They clog the system and decrease efficiency.

Next, Ylen said he checks the house.

“How efficient is the ductwork?” he says. “How efficient is your house?”

The outer lining of much of the ductwork installed in the 1980s has deteriorated. Squirrels, raccoons and other animals that get into the attic can cause a tremendous amount of damage to the ducts as well.

Cold air will blow in the attic but never reach the living areas of the house if the ducts are torn or worn. He recommends modern, high-insulated ductwork.

Next, he suggests an energy audit company to check for leaks around doors and windows.

“Seal the house,” he says. It pays off in lower energy bills quickly.

And ventilate, he said. Ylen called the old whirlybirds on most roofs worthless.

He recommends solar-powered, fan-driven ventilators. A year ago, he said, they were $1,800. Today they sell for $400, an amount that will pay for itself in one season. He calls it an upfront investment that continues to pay off by lowering electric bills on air conditioning and never costing a cent to operate.

Filters should be changed monthly. Dirty filters prevent the system from drawing air easily, making it work harder and use more energy.
Programmable thermostats are also useful in keeping the system from cooling the house when not needed.

Ylen calls radiant barriers ineffective with a 50-year payback, but insulation very useful.

“A preventive maintenance program is crucial,” he says. He sums up his energy-saving tips to all homeowners — insulate, ventilate and stop air leaks.

TNS Mechanical services homes throughout Texas and has other tips at AirConditioningRepairArlington.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 15, 2011.

—  John Wright

The deviance of ‘gay marriage’ to the max: cleaning out the pantry and fridge on a Friday night

For the homobigots out there who are worried about the downfall of marriage if gays and lesbians are allowed to partake in it, let this be an example of how mundane and committed married life can be for some of us working hard on The Homosexual Agenda.

My lovely wife Kate and I decided, instead of eating babies and participating in an orgy, to spend Friday night cleaning out the pantry and fridge of outdated and spoiled food.

It was a revelation of sorts, with various “science projects” in the fridge, and long-outdated canned goods in the pantry. And some of the dates were frightening.

Some of the fun discoveries in the fridge:

  • Moldy green Sargento swiss cheese
  • Ziploc bag containing two boxes of leftover Chinese food, one had leaked through and discolored the box
  • Rubbermaid plastic container with what looked like was a half of an onion at some point.
  • Jar way in the back with one dill pickle floating in its water
  • Deli drawer with various opened packages of deli meats at least a month old.
  • Apples that have been in there at least 2 months at least and do not look spoiled (that seems unnatural, no?)
  • Applesauce that was ancient and still didn’t look spoiled (scary)
  • Various discolored, freezer-burned meats that we didn’t Foodsaver

Some treasures in the pantry:

  • Three cans of Healthy Choice soups with expiration dates of 9/2009 and 7/2008(!).
  • Can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup (that one I’m blaming on Kate), date: 7/2006(!)
  • Cans of corn dated 8/2009
  • Open boxes of pasta and rice, who knows how old.
  • Open box of Lorna Doones
  • Open bag of Original Goldfish crackers from June

And that was our deviant Friday night of marital bliss, Maggie, Brian, and the rest of you homo-haters out there.

Feel free to share your pantry and fridge purge nightmares in the comments, or tell us about your Friday perversions that should scare the fundies.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright