Monthly Archives: August 2016

It Couldn’t Be Done

It Couldn’t Be Done
Edgar Guest, 1881 – 1959

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games are taking place from August 5 to August 21 in Rio de Janeiro, with a long roster of events from archery, fencing, and sailing to basketball, boxing, soccer, and tennis. Get in the spirit by reading a poem on the triumph of the human spirit. We all know some of these athletes were told that they could never make it to the Olympics but they did. Take the 41 year old gymnast from Uzbekistan who was told she was too old, but is competing in her 7th Olympics. Don’t let anyone tell you that something cannot be done, because with perseverance, it can be done.

Are You?

Are you watching the Olympics? I stayed up and watched the Opening ceremony on Friday night. It was worth it just to see the Tonga flag bearer. My favorite events to watch are men’s diving and men’s gymnastics. What are your favorite events?

The Great Physician

Christ the Great Physician.

“They that are whole have no need of a physician; but they that are sick. I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Luke v.31, 32).
“For this people’s heart is waxed gross,
And their ears are dull of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed;
Lest haply they should perceive with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart,
And should turn again,
And I should heal them” (Matt. xiii.15).

“He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted” (Luke iv.18).

As you know, I went to the doctor on Friday. My appointment went well enough. I mostly like my new doctor and I think it will work out to be a good relationship. I wasn’t happy with everything he said, but that’s with all doctors. With the exception of one. Several times, either directly or indirectly, Christ alludes to Himself as a physician. In this character He is worthy of careful study.

The first thing in order to appreciate a physician, is to realize that one is sick. The Savior says the well need not a physician. It is equally true that the well care not for a physician. Sin is the disease of which Christ, as a physician, is the healer. The disease is deadly and can be fatal to our immortal souls. The Great Physician alone can heal it. There is no other remedy. When a man is once affected, however much he may keep it under control, and prevent its increase, there is never a reduction of the disease till the remedy of the Great Physician is applied.

In order that we appreciate a physician, and avail ourselves of the benefits of his skill, we must have faith in him. Without faith that his skill is superior to ours, and that he can help us, we will not call upon him. If we have faith in him we will do as he directs. The highest evidence of faith in a physician, and the surest way of being benefited by his skill, is in going precisely by his directions.

This devotional is partially adapted from a sermon by Frank G. Allen.


This morning’s post will be posted later. I woke in the middle of the night realizing that I’d gone to sleep without writing it, so stay tuned.

Moment of Zen: Tom Daley

Doctor’s Appointment 

After months of waiting, I finally get to see my new doctor today. There are a lot of things I want to talk to him about. I need to discuss my depression. While it has gotten better, I still have more depressed days than happy days. I also have some side effects of my antidepressants that I need to discuss with him. In addition to this, I need to fill him in on my headaches and how I have cluster headaches and migraines. Furthermore, I have been having a lot of back pain in the recent months, and I want to know his suggestions. Then there is always my hypertension and cholesterol.

I am excited about seeing my new doctor. His picture looks quite sexy (no that is not him above). Sexiness aside, I have questions though that I really want answered or at least discussed. This appointment is a “get to know me” appointment and not a physical. I expect to go back for a physical and to get some blood work done. It has been quite a while since I’ve been tested for STDs/STIs (whatever they call them these days). While I don’t believe I have anything, I do want to be tested and have a clean bill of health on that front. As a gay man, I believe it is important to be regularly tested and it is something I haven’t always done.

This will be the first doctor that is not connected to family. I did have one doctor in graduate school, but I rarely went to him. This will be the first time in my life that I am going to a doctor for regular health maintenance that either did not work with a family member or that my family did not go to also. It’s a new experience for me, and I hope it allows me to be freer and more open with this new doctor. I no longer have to worry that any private health issues would get back to my family. Not that healthcare laws allow that, but it’s always been a concern of mine.

Colby Melvin Talks About Depression 

I’ve always been a fan of Colby Melvin, both as a model and an activist. He has a lot of southern charm. Originally from Louisiana, Colby has a degree from Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL in Psychology and lived and went to school there for 4 years, then worked there for a year. Colby worked for the BP oil spill as a project manager in the command center. This position landed him a job for a maritime holding company that he lost when his boss found out he way gay. So he moved to Houston. It was in Houston that he began modeling.

I’ve written about Colby before, but it’s been a few years. You’ve probably seen Colby Melvin’s sexy photos, or sexy bathing suits, or sexy everything else he does. But you may not have seen his latest video where he talks about coping with depression. Many LGBT people deal with anxiety and depression. I do and Colby is no exception either.

“It’s taken me a lot of emotional strength to talk about some of these things,” he says, but adds that he’s gotten messages from other people going through hard times and wanted to be more honest. “I show you the fun parts of my life… I like to share the fun parts with you,” he said. But that’s not all of his life. “I have a platform to speak to over a million people and I sort of feel like it’s my responsibility to share this message. You might’ve noticed over the past couple months I’ve been kinda quiet. I’ve had a really rough summer.”

Apparently some scammer posed as a photographer and stole a ton of stuff from him, which is awful. But messages from fans got him through the tough time. But later in the video he got real: “Since as long as I can remember, I have personally struggled with mental health issues.” That’s why he participated in the Obamacare campaign a few years ago to get people enrolled with health care. “I’ve struggled with anxiety, ADHD and depression,” he said. “I know I’m not alone.”

From there, he explained that the fancy happy photos that he tends to post aren’t a true portrait of his life. “It’s very hard for me to say this but if I don’t then I might not be able to help someone else,” he said. “I have struggled with suicidal depression for a long time. It’s been really hard.”

Getting emotional, he moved into the familiar “It Gets Better” comforts, about how there’s help out there and you’re not alone and it’s not your fault. Hopefully he’s feeling better after his rough summer and has some nice folks around him who keep his spirits up. And hopefully you have that too.

A Single Paragraph 

From Mark Joseph Stern, a writer for Slate. He covers the law and LGBTQ issues.

Mississippi’s viciously anti-LGBTQ Christian supremacist “religious liberty” law—which would legalize discrimination against LGBTQ people in housing, employment, public accommodations, schooling, marriage licensing, and health care—is brazenly unconstitutional. That, at least, was U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves’ conclusion when he blocked the law from taking effect in June, holding that it violated both the Establishment and Equal Protection Clauses of the Constitution. But even after Reeves delivered his bench-slap to the state, Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant returned to court to ask the judge to let the law take effect while he appealed Reeves’ decision to a higher court.

On Monday, Reeves gave Bryant his answer. It wasn’t pretty. First, Reeves criticized Bryant and his attorneys for botching basic facts about the case, noting pointedly that the errors “may be because, even though the record has been prepared, the appellants did not attend the two-day evidentiary hearing, and are now represented by different counsel who also did not attend the hearing.” Then Reeves castigated Bryant for comparing the Mississippi law—and, in particular, a provision that allows clerks to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples—to statutes that “permit persons to opt-out of going to war or performing abortions.” Issuing a marriage license to a same-sex couple, Reeves wrote, “is not like being forced into armed combat or to assist with an abortion.”

Matters of life and death are sui generis. If movants truly believe that providing services to LGBT citizens forces them to “tinker with the machinery of death,” their animus exceeds anything seen in Romer, Windsor, or the marriage equality cases.

This reprimand is brutal but necessary, and it brilliantly cuts to the core of Mississippi’s wildly flawed arguments. The state insists that its citizens must have the religious freedom to discriminate against LGBTQ people, elevating bigoted acts to a form of legally protected liberty. Reeves concisely explains why this theory is so wrong: Under the Constitution, states are legally barred from passing laws motivated by animus toward gay people and cannot explicitly license individuals to inflict their personal prejudices on others. That’s doubly true for agents of the state, like clerks, who in fact have a duty to follow the Constitution’s commands—a duty that cannot be trumped by a claim of religious animosity. Bryant and Mississippi, Reeves essentially writes, have the very notion of liberty fundamentally backward.

Robert McDuff, who is litigating the case for the Mississippi Center for Justice, told me the ruling was “no surprise”: “Judge Reeves’ original opinion made it clear that this law should not be allowed to go into effect,” he said. “He was right then and he was right yesterday. Now, we await the Fifth Circuit. As Judge Reeves said in yesterday’s order, ‘the baton is now passed.’ ”

I also asked Roberta Kaplan, who is helping to litigate the case and argued against the Mississippi law in Reeves’ courtroom, what she thought of Reeves’ scalding rebuke.

“It’s poetry,” she told me.

He would not stay for me, and who can wonder

He would not stay for me, and who can wonder
A. E. Housman, 1859 – 1936

He would not stay for me, and who can wonder?
He would not stay for me to stand and gaze.
I shook his hand, and tore my heart in sunder,
And went with half my life about my ways.


My cold finally seems to be getting better. I went yesterday and got some Allegra D, and I can now breath easier. I was feeling well enough to go to the movies. I went to see Star Trek Beyond. I was very impressed with the movie. It was full of suspense and excitement. I knew some of the elements of the movie, but I really didn’t know how things would turn out. It was a really cool movie.

As for Sulu being gay, I thought it was handled subtlety and with a great amount of class.