Stop looking at my penis

Tuesday’s election brought about a lot of crazy stuff to a lot of people across the country.

Kentucky elected a real goober of a governor hell bent on repealing the ACA expansion in that state. No doubt thousands of people voted against their own self interest there.

And then there’s Houston, which voted to remove an already-passed measure to protect gay, lesbian, transgender, and other minority people. The overall consensus is that a bunch of old men were freaked out that someone is looking at their penis in the bathroom.

Dear men: no one cares about your tiny little penis.

Here’s the thing guys, and I say guys because I know it’s mostly scared white men who are complaining: there is no correlation to gender identity and sexual identity. They are two mutually exclusive things. Like “Democratic Socialism” and “Capitalist Dictatorships”. They can both be together, or not at all.

A man can be gay or straight (or both, or somewhere in between. We’ve known this since the 1920’s). A man can also not be comfortable as a man. That makes them transgender, and they can proceed on as a biological male with a penis, or they can have an operation to align their body with their mind, or they can just not have an operation but carry on looking like what their mind is telling them. Maybe they do something in-between, like hormone therapy (which is usually the case just from expenses alone).

But just because a man more closely aligns as being a woman doesn’t mean they automatically switch who they’re attracted to. Just like wearing a ridiculous hat doesn’t make you classy. It makes you a jerk.

I’ve long thought, “Gays and lesbians will come a long way long before transgender folks will” and so far that has largely held true. Because somehow a bunch of people think people are running around bathrooms and gawking at your genitals.

This does not happen. Like most things in life, there’s a lot of gray area, it’s complicated, and you wouldn’t understand. Because most people don’t understand most things.

But know this: it doesn’t harm you if a person who looks like a man and is, in their heart, a man, walks into a bathroom and shuts a door to pee.

I gather the real sticking point is that a woman who identifies like a man shouldn’t be using the men’s restroom. Frankly, I would think the bigger concern is gay men using the men’s restroom or locker room. Because I assure you, they are totes checking you out and you have really let yourself go.

But more alarming to me is the reaction people have toward people, teens in particular, that are horribly derided as being “ridiculous”, “part of the PC police”, “a liberal fantasy”, or “confused”. I assure you no person who is identifiably one gender or another is as confused about who they should be. You are the one who is confused.

And like most teens, experiencing this while undergoing puberty and all the other teenage crap we endure, is not easy. 

This is like encountering a bicyclist on your commute to work. They’re not hurting you (quite the opposite, actually). They just make you jiggle a wheel for a second. Transgender folks aren’t hurting anyone either. And they don’t care about your penis.

Just be nice.

Ironically, men get freaked out real quick when a gay man finds them attractive. But those same men usually can’t grasp that catcalling women is not okay.

The Future of Computing

I look at the iPad and I think, “This is obviously the future of computing. Why am I not getting on this faster?”

I’m the kind of person that likes to be ahead of the curve on technology and figuring out ways to do things simpler, cheaper, and with more purpose. The iPad fits that in a lot of ways.

When I look at my Dock on my Mac, there’s a lot of overlap between the two platforms:

  • Toggl (a work timer we use for client billing).
  • Reminders
  • Messages
  • Tweetbot
  • Mail
  • Slack
  • Calendar
  • Safari
  • ReadKit (an RSS reader)
  • Transmit
  • iA Writer
  • Soulver
  • Pages
  • Keynote
  • Numbers
  • Photos
  • Notes
  • Coda
  • iTunes

Every single one of those have really good, almost identical iOS counterparts. I also have Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, though I mostly use those for viewing and not editing.

There are a few others, though:

  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • InDesign

Unfortunately, those are also my bread-and-butter applications. I spend most of my time in Photoshop and Illustrator.

I don’t even mind that I can’t have multiple apps “running” at the same time on an iPad. In that, there’s not a bunch of windows displayed at a time. Maybe it’s better that only one or two can be seen at once. Do I really need to see my work timer? So long as it runs in the background and tracks accordingly, I’m okay with that.

Maybe it’s better that Tweetbot won’t be running in my face all the time.

Maybe it’s better that my email isn’t always in my face.

If only there were some way around this “Creative Apps” problem. Chrome and Firefox both have iOS versions, but the rendering engines are different so it makes for troublesome debugging of a website.

There’s Pixelmator and iDraw, among a few others, that are like Photoshop and Illustrator, but are they enough? And to my knowledge, there’s no replacement for InDesign. Which I do use from time to time. I have a request to design business cards today, for instance.

What makes me sad, however, is that Adobe seems to be on this kick of splitting up functions across a bunch of different apps. Want to adjust color, go here. Want to draw a rectangle, go here. The names are confusing and I don’t know the difference between what Mix can do vs. Create or whatever they’re calling it now. I think there’s a Fix app, too.

My hope is that Adobe’s pushing those out as beta tests for certain functions and that, internally, there’s a push to develop something more like a “full” Photoshop and Illustrator for iOS.

If this is the future of computing, and if Adobe is serious about creative apps and the platform, then this conversation has to be happening, right? The iPad Pro fixes all these resource constraint problems, right?


Maybe next week I’ll see how far I can get using iOS-only. As a graphics and web designer, I can’t be the only person that wants to at least try, but hasn’t bothered to adjust to the different workflow, apps, and learning curve.

The Halloween Spirit

Neighbors in my Nextdoor community are complaining that the Halloween spirit seems to be dead. They’re lamenting that not many kids came to their door, if any at all.

I can’t imagine why.

“Hey kids, lets all go to random people’s houses and put whatever they give us in our mouths. And maybe it’d be great if everyone wore a mask, like people do in gas station robberies. In the dark.”

Few kids ever wander our neighborhood. I can’t say I’m upset by that. I don’t trust anyone out around my house anyway.

Now if we could just do something about fireworks on the 4th of July.

What is bold leadership for Indiana?

I keep hearing and reading stories of people clamoring for “bold”, “new”, and “innovative” leadership for national and state leaders. When it comes to Indiana politics, I don’t think it’s so unwieldy or difficult to think about deeply and with purpose.

So when I hear “bold leadership is needed” by the likes of Governor Mike Pence and his upcoming Democratic challenger John Gregg, I don’t always hear much bold anything. It’s usually a twist on some existing policy or announcement. Like Tuesday’s announcement from Pence that we’d magically make $1B appear over the next three years to fix some state roads, but not all, and not with much gusto, and not with anything for local governments where people actually tend to, you know, live.

I had some ideas rattling around in my head on what I’d consider to be actually “bold” leadership ideas to fix what is arguably one of America’s worst states in a variety of areas that aren’t that hard to fix:

  • Double the cigarette tax over the next three years, pulling Indiana to about the 3rd place for highest cost per pack in the nation and reducing us from the dubious position of having one of the highest smoking rates in the nation.
  • Require all restaurants with more than 5 locations to display calorie counts on menus. Indiana’s obesity rate is 9th in the nation.
  • Tie the gas tax to the rate of inflation so we stop getting in this crunch of road funding before we get too far behind.
  • Pence says “if you’re going to call yourself the Crossroads of America, you’d better have the roads to back it up.” Well, if you’re going to call Indiana one of the best business climates in America, you’d better have the workforce to back that up. And ours sucks. Hoosiers are overweight, poorly educated, and in poor health. So declare no new roads (looking at you, Kentucky bridge to nowhere), and divert new roads’ funding to the construction of trails, parks, multi-use paths, and invest heavily in local governments. No one was asking for roads around small towns.
  • Finally eliminate township government. No one knows who those people are anyway and their work can just as well be done by Counties.
  • Guarantee access to library service for every Hoosier through a statewide rural library service system. We have one of the highest numbers of Carnegie libraries in the country, yet 41% lack coverage and some pay for it and don’t even get to use it.
  • Vision 0 for the whole state. We rank 23rd for pedestrian deaths. Mostly because we’re too cheap to build some tiny little sidewalks.
  • Get a handle on why there are too many cities, towns, and counties sharing police protection. In Indianapolis alone, who do you think is our “top cop”? The Sheriff, the Public Safety Director, or the Mayor? If you guessed the Mayor, you’re weirdly right. Yet the other two positions also exist. In rural counties where Sheriff’s deputies patrol rural areas, small towns end up picking up the slack outside their jurisdictions all the time, just because they were slightly closer to an emergency. It’s time to establish a mechanism to let cities, towns, and counties have merged police departments with a clear person in charge at the top.
  • Add statewide non-discrimination protection of gays, lesbians, and transgender Hoosiers (John Gregg has proposed this).
  • Recommend the establishment of 4 or 5 year term limits for a variety of offices, including Governor, mayors, sheriffs, representatives, and councilors. There’s decreasing value in having a lawmaker spend 30 years in an office.
  • Independent, non-partisan, districting commissions. To our credit, we have one of the least-gerrymandered maps in the country (2nd to Nevada) … for federal offices. State offices are a disaster.
  • Child welfare services, such as advocates, investigators, foster care, child advocacy centers, and protective services, should all be under the umbrella of the State’s funding.

That’s bold.

Indy’s Mayoral candidates Brewer and Hogsett are as human as drywall

I fancy myself something of a political news junkie. So anyone who follows me on Twitter knows I’ve been trying to get Indianapolis’ two mayoral candidates, Republican Chuck Brewer and Democrat Joe Hogsett to at least acknowledge me. Or really anyone.

Their campaigns have bordered on Borg-like. Chuck Brewer appears to have the technical and photographic outreach capabilities of your grandmother.

Joe Hogsett has this bizarre Bob Dole-esque desire to refer to himself in the third person:

Both are behaving incredibly safe. Neither of them have proposed much of anything we haven’t already heard before.

Chuck Brewer

Chuck Brewer owns the Potbelly Sandwiches shop Downtown on the Circle. He’s a marine. Therein ends everything I’ve heard about him personally. I assume he’s married to a woman.

His campaign has announced a 7-point plan for economic viability by making use of Indy’s major thoroughfares.

…in other words, if someone wants to build something or do something he might suggest Washington Street as a fine place to do that in lieu of, I dunno, the alley behind 9th street.

One of his two campaign ads has a very Mitch Daniels feel to it. Too bad he wasn’t really around to make any of those things happen. I will, at least, give him credit for having a kind of fun and spunky ad.

But for someone who is so far behind Hogsett in polls and public recognition, you’d think he’d be proposing some crazy stuff. In a way, he needs to Trump it up. (I can’t even believe I just wrote that.)

Joe Hogsett

Joe Hogsett was the US District Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana (which is Indy south to the Ohio River, don’t let that term confuse you). He was also Indiana Secretary of State in the late 80’s and early 90’s and chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party.

Of course, you knew none of that except the DA bit because his campaign has been focused on ensuring we police the shit out of every dark corner in town.

Almost literally. One of his campaign ideas is to install more street lights. Which is totally needed. Indy hasn’t installed a single new light since the 80’s. We’ve just been shifting them around from crappy spot to slightly-more-crappy spot. He’s also proposed methods of ending food deserts and giving summer jobs to kids.

Thoughts on the campaigns

Maybe I’m just frustrated because I don’t feel like either campaign has said anything they can actually deliver on.

For years we’ve been told, “Every neighborhood deserves nice things”, “Every person and child of Indianapolis is worth investing in”. Frankly, that is just not true and it’s pandering. It sets all the wrong expectations.

The City has no money and has no means to raise more revenue by State law. We’re just shuffling things around. When Brewer says every cop gets a body camera at the price of $2M, we’re just shuffling $2M from someplace else. When Hogsett says we’re going to install more lights, we’re just losing money from someplace else.

I don’t believe either of those things to be actionable. I don’t really believe anything to be actionable, except just holding the place together. Because neither are going to magically make the general fund balloon.

And perhaps I’m further frustrated that neither candidate seems keen on the details of making more places in town a good place to live. They seem so 1-dimensional and safe they can’t seem to form any opinions about stuff like transportation, homelessness (which impacts anyone who even walks downtown or drives by a highway exit), or health. All things I care about.

Most voters are just gnashing their teeth yelling “POTHOLES!” and “CRIME!” without recognizing this is all inter-connected.

Perhaps we could lower crime by making it easier for people to get to a job further away. Perhaps potholes would be easier to tame if we didn’t have to invest in more lanes every year and instead scaled some roads back. Perhaps Indy would look better if more people wanted to move into town because of access to a fun waterpark or art installations, and that subsequent rise in property values would raise the city’s income.

But neither one of these guys seems to be thinking big. In that case, they’re perfect for Indy.