Thursday, February 20, 2014

No Shirt, No Shoes, Homosexual, No Service.

Yesterday the Arizona Senate passed a bill that will allow businesses to blatantly discriminate against homosexual and transgender individuals.  The Republican House is expected to pass this bill today and have it on Governor Jan Brewer's desk by the end of the day.  

It's like a flashback to the 1960's, only instead of the signs saying "White" & "Colored" they will say "Straight" & "Queer".  

According to the Center for Arizona Policy this law is needed due to the "growing hostility toward religion".  Gee, I can't imagine why considering conservative religions are supporting anti-abortion laws, fighting same gender marriage and a host of other policies that infringe upon the rights of Americans.  According to Republican Senator Steve Yarborough this measure is "about preventing discrimination against people who are clearly living out their faith".  Really?

Call me crazy, because I don't see anyone beating down the doors of religious institutions forcing people to let homosexual and transgender individuals into their places of worship. Nor do I see anyone persecuting Christians, more often it is the Christians who are doing the persecuting.  Most religions encourage their congregants to love thy neighbor, not drive them away.  I don't see organizations that support the homosexual & transgender communities refusing service to conservative religious members.  Could it be because those organizations, religious or not, are actually doing a better job of living the word of God than those who profess to be his messengers?

Please explain to me how it is ok for you to infringe on my rights?  No, on second thought, don't tell me because it will not make any sense.  However, if you are the owner of a business, or know of a business that supports this invitation to discrimination, please, please, please let me know.  I want to make sure you don't get any of my money and I'll be happy to share your company's name with everyone I know so you don't get their money either.  

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Different Kind of Church Dinner

In downtown Phoenix there is a church with a long history.  In 1893 the Smith Chapel was built at what is now 546 East Osborne Road.  As the congregation and church buildings grew, it was renamed Bethel Methodist Church.  The Bethel Methodist Church building is a traditional mission style building with several very large stained glass windows, a cathedral ceiling with open beams and many other beautiful features.  Adjacent to church building were school and fellowship buildings.

In 2012 the Methodists made the decision to close the church and deconsecrate the building. The property was purchased by a local development company seeking to revitalize the area.  While keeping the historic atmosphere of the church, the main building was modernized and converted to a restaurant named Taco Guild.

Recently I had the pleasure of dining at the Taco Guild, with, appropriately enough, my church's supper club.  When looking at the web site, I was impressed with the unconventionality of turning an old church into a restaurant and looked forward to our dinner there.  The interior of the building looks much as I imagine the Methodist left it, including the beautiful stained glass windows & the framed church bulletin board which now houses an electronic jukebox.

The vestibule is now a cozy dining area, perfect for larger groups. The main dining room was spacious and tastefully done.  Where once there stood an alter, there is now a bar.  Other furnishings included padded pews, candelabras, wrought iron chandeliers and old photographs which may or may not have been original but certainly could have been.    I can't remember the last time I was so enamoured by a restaurant's building and atmosphere, that alone makes Taco Guild worth visiting.

Of course the main reason people go to a restaurant is to eat, right?  So, let's talk about the food.  The menu is rather limited, consisting mostly of, guess what, TACOS!  But these are not your ordinary everyday tacos, a couple of examples  are the AL PASTOR PORK grilled pineapple, jalapeƱo bacon, pickled red onion and THAI SNAPPER coconut green curry, sweet Thai slaw.  Each taco is available on a corn or flour tortilla about 4 inches in diameter.

Being a bit of a traditionalist, I was a bit hesitant about the menu.  So I went the safe route and ordered the braised beef and chipotle cherry steak.  Both were scrumptious, as was the grilled corn off the cob.  The entire meal exceeded my expectations and days later I am still thinking "damn those were good tacos".  I also want to add that the service was excellent, our glasses were kept filled along with our bowls of chips and salsa.

If you are a Phoenix local, this is definitely a place to visit.  So, go have a church dinner.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

You have to start somewhere

So today I start here.

This year I will seriously try to update my blog more often.  Not because I think anyone else is dying to hear what I have to say but because, well, isn't that the whole point of having a blog?

A lot of stuff has been happening in the last few months, some good, some not so good.  Christmas, especially, resulted in some difficult experiences and confrontations.  There have been wounds inflicted that I'm not sure will ever heal.  There is a place in my heart that will forever remain empty except for the sadness there. I know that as a result relationships will never be the same. My heart hurts for those involved directly and those who have been in the fallout zone.

My grandsons, Ian and Lucas have been and continue to be a joy in my life. They are a true blessing.  I am even more grateful they are no longer 8 hours away. Over the last year it has been wonderful to see them grow and change, enjoy their hugs and kisses.  I will make more time to spend with them doing fun things.

I want to give a huge shout out to my Motor Maid sisters and their families for all the great times we have had, on an off the bikes.  Bend, Tucson, Phoenix, Vegas.....everywhere we've been has been an adventure as well as lots of laughs.  I have said this before, I'll say it again, joining Motor Maids has been one of the best motorcycling decisions I have ever made.  The years to come will be filled with many more miles.

Finally, I wish to thank my wonderful partner, Debbie, who stands beside me day in, day out, supports my efforts, celebrates my successes and commiserates on my failures.  She has been, and continues to be the rock in my life, sharing in my joys and supporting me in my sorrows.  I love you, honey.

My ramblings have come to an end now.  To those who have seen it through, I thank you.