Written by Emily Freeman • Directed by J. Daniel Herring
The play tells the true story of Roy and Silo, two male penguins in New York’s Central Park Zoo. The couple is given a discarded egg, hatch it, and raise the baby chick, Tango, as their own.
Two performances only:
FRI FEB 27th: $100 per person, includes dinner
SAT FEB 28th: $15 per person, menu available.
Limited seating. Free Parking.
The Painted Table • Tower District • Fresno.
A Benefit for the Bulldog Pride Club + Bulldog Pride Scholarship Fund at Fresno State.
Reservations: or 559/278-4669.



This is the month of love and that not only means we love that certain someone, but to many of us it's also love of our devices — computers, iPhones, pads and any number of other options. But if you love your device, that means it needs to return the love by working well and always. Sometimes, just like with a relationship, that entails some tough love. And, as I found out recently, that can include a bit of pain. How much and for how long is up to you, but it’s the end result which pays off.


What I’m talking about is a complete re-do of that phone, computer or pad. And by complete I mean a "set up as new” where you save what you need and then wipe the drive clean and reinstall the OS and the apps you need.


This gives you a chance, too, to not return apps to the device you were excited about, but never use at all anymore and which take up space on the phone, pad or computer. Why am I telling you all of the above? Because after 16 months of great service my iPhone was getting slower and failing to update item after item. My stock list showed items from six weeks earlier. Weather forecasts had predictions for dates long past. It was clear something just was not right.


First I took the easy way: It was gonna be an easy (I’d hoped) fix to do a back-up, wipe the phone and then restore from said back-up. Sadly, it failed to work and I ended up with a brand new copy of everything wrong! That means most of the errors and problems were somewhere in the back-up and, when I restored, were restored too. I put the problems and errors right back on the phone!


The only solution was to set up the phone as "new” so let me explain. But wait! Before you dash out and do that you need to do a few other things first.



—Most vital: save those contacts. You can do it to the cloud in the Apple case or to Google or one of the other address book / contact spots out there for iPhone, Droid or Microsoft OS. Please, please, please, no matter what else you take away from this column take the thought that you must save those contacts or re-enter each and every one. And I know a few folks with upwards of 500 contacts. That's a whole lotta typing.


—The same goes for photos. Do you synch and download them to your computer or laptop regularly? Maybe to the cloud? Whatever, make sure you have each and every photo you want saved off your iPhone or other device before you wipe it clean. There's no way to see Grandma Gertrude or Uncle Dave who have both died since you took their photos ever again if you erase without backing up or downloading the images. I repeat: NO Way.


It amazes me when I talk to techs at the computer firms how many folks forget this step and come in whining that this or that pic they lost was irreplaceable. Even the ones you downloaded to social media you should keep yourself because they won't be back on the phone after you are done.


—Last (and this is a must to me) open your device and take a screen shot of each "page” of apps. This guarantees you know what you have and it also lets you “weed out" ones you might not want to put back on the device. More of that in a few...

OK, got that all done? Good. Next plug the device into power, go into controls and when the options show up "restore as new erase all content & settings” should be the one you pick.


This is something you should not do the day before a major trip or big event or other special time. It also can take a while, especially as after the setup is complete, you will need to restore those contacts and go to the iTunes or Android store and download every' app you purchased and want back over again. Remember, you wiped that device clean for a fresh start and that means clean. Aside from the operating system and the pre-installed apps like weather and notes, there will be nothing there. The good news is the store should have the records of what you bought, so the cost to download those apps again will be a big, fat zero.


And before you download the replacement apps, think hard and long about what I said a few lines ago: get the ones you use all the time.


Get the ones you usually need. But do you REALLY want the London Tube status board you got before that trip or the Toronto subway map you thought was cute or the gimmicky battery use device that looks like an apple which slowly withers and turns brown as you consume your charge?


I know those (and at least a dozen others) were all amongst the ones I decided I could easily live without when I restored recently. I know you will have your own list, but regardless of what goes and what comes back, do not burden your device with extra "stuff” you never use.


No matter how fun or cute or useful something was when you grabbed it from the app store, just like the worn out Puma shoes in your closet or the moth-eaten ski coat from 1995, there are some things that you will never have a use for again. And just as you declutter the closet regularly (think Spring cleaning) this is a golden opportunity to declutter that device.

For guidance on what you have to have, want to have or do not need refer back to that set of screen shots I told you to take. That’ll let you see what was there and help you make the final "cut”.


Finally a 2nd caution about something we said at the outset: No matter how tempting it seems, do not restore the device from your back-up or you will simply re-install the same problems and gain nothing.


It would be like going out to buy new tires for your car but instead of the new ones you buy, putting the old fiats back on. Pay the tire shop to recycle the old ones. Pay yourself by throwing away the old back-up. Hang onto it long enough to be sure things are indeed back to where they should be then let go, put it in the trash and hit empty.


Like the old boyfriend’s photo, the old tires or that pair of shot shoes, there's no reason to burden yourself or your gear with things you will never have a use for again — ever. If you do the job right, once things are restored and complete, you should have the apps you want and need, the contacts you had before and most importantly a working device which is literally good as new — mostly because as far as the operating system and apps are concerned, it IS new.


Good luck with your work and if you need help, there is a lot out there — from the Apple Genius bar to the local phone store and electronics retailer.


Just remember that like love, sometimes you got to say this is not working the way we want it to and re-think. If we want to continue loving our devices, the very same is true. Happy Valentines Day.


Valentine's Day is upon us. And while it’s certainly fun to give and receive chocolates and roses, why not go a little deeper this year? Specifically, if you are married, consider using this commemoration of love as a starting point for taking care of your spouse in the future — even if you're not part of it.

Actually, both you and your spouse could designate Valentine's Day as the beginning of your joint efforts to provide financial security for the surviving spouse when one of you is gone.

Your strategy should involve at least these three key elements:

—Understanding your household's finances. In some marriages, one spouse handles all the household financial matters, including investments. If this person were to pass away first, it could leave the surviving spouse with the dual responsibility of managing day-to-day finances and tracking down all investment information. These tasks could be overwhelming to someone who is unprepared to deal with them, so you’ll want to take steps to ensure you and your spouse are aware of your joint financial picture.

For starters, keep good records of all your financial assets, including investment accounts, life insurance policies and legal documents — and make sure both of you know where these records are kept. Also, if you use the services of a financial professional, it’s a good idea for you and your spouse to meet regularly with this individual to ensure both of you know where your money is being invested and how close you are to achieving your financial goals.

smoochPetty Officer 2nd Class Thomas Sawicki and his shipmates returned to San Diego this week and Sawicki’s boyfriend was there to greet him. Sawicki smooched with Shawn Brier at Naval Base Point Loma marking the first time in US Naval history that a male same-sex couple had been chosen for the traditional coming home honor, which is decided by lottery. 

outside-the-box(Authors note: This month's column is a personal experience rather than a question from a reader.)

My last column described my recent experiences learning that I had prostate cancer and having a prostatectomy. This month, I wanted to share some new developments which I hope will help readers become more informed about prostate (and other) cancer, as well as become a better friend and supporter to those dealing with it.

Last time I reported on a successful surgery, with few serious after-effects. My convalescence was so smooth that all my treatment providers told me they had never seen a patient recover so well, and I was inordinately pleased with myself. What's that old saying about "Pride going before a fall?"

In my latest follow-up appointment with my urologist, I learned that cancer was present in several biopsy samples taken during my surgery. Another high PSA score, when it should be zero after a prostatectomy, suggested that the cancer was still very aggressive and continuing to spread rapidly.

Yet there was also reason to be optimistic. Radiation therapy and hormone injections to suppress testosterone, which feeds cancer growth, promised to bring remission or at least slow the cancer down. Unfortunately, this treatment will probably need to be repeated for the rest of my life.

I saw my oncologist for the first time six weeks after my surgery and began hormone therapy then. It was still too early to begin radiation, so he encouraged me to go on and spend the month of October in Florida, as I always do, and start radiation treatment when I returned home.

Since then I've spent my days reading at the pool or beach, trying to keep my mind occupied in positive ways. However, I can't forget I have cancer, a bad one, and it’s not going away easily. I'm going to have to fight it and fight it hard, apparently for a very long time.

As a therapist, I've been teaching clients coping skills for over 40 years. I also know¬ how to practice those skills myself. I’m a survivor, with a strong faith life, and positive attitude, and I've been utilizing those pretty effectively since this journey began.

But there's still that drowsy moment every morning when I wake up and don’t remember I have cancer. . . then suddenly I do, and it’s like hearing the bad news for the first time all over again. Other friends with cancer have shared that they experience this same phenomenon.

In my last column I shared my thankfulness for loving friends and family, for recent treatment advances, and for early detection of my disease making remission more likely. I’m still thankful for all of those things, though a little less confident about the last one.

We Keep Electing Ignorant People. Fair-minded Americans have welcomed the recent wave of court decisions striking down bans on same-sex marriage. The lesbian, gay, bi & trans community and its allies have been positively euphoric.

Of course, the homophobes and those who pander to them have had a somewhat different reaction.

Here's the thing: people who don't approve of gay people, or whose religious beliefs somehow require them to see gays as sinners and same-sex marriage as an abomination, are entitled to those beliefs. It's a free country. And elected officials are entitled to disapprove of judicial decisions, although they are not free to disregard them. All of these debates over what is best for the country, what constitutes fair play, what discrimination looks like...all of the cacophony that surrounds social change is both predictable and within the bounds of democratic deliberation.
Abject ignorance is not. Which brings me to Jan Brewer, Governor of Arizona, and her rant in the wake of court rulings that invalidated her state's ban on same-sex marriage.

"It is not only disappointing, but also deeply troubling, that unelected federal judges can dictate the laws of individual states, create rights based on their personal policy preferences and supplant the will of the people in an area traditionally left to the states for more than two hundred years.

"Simply put, courts should not be in the business of making and changing laws based on their personal agendas. It is not the role of the judiciary to determine that same-sex marriages should be allowed. "

Sorry, Governor Brewer, but your civic illiteracy is showing. Courts are absolutely "in the business" of "supplanting the will of the people" when that will violates the Constitution. The Founders of this country created an independent federal judiciary (one that was not elected) and provided those judges with lifetime tenure, because judges were supposed to be responsive to the Constitution and the rule of law — not to the electorate.
Congress and the Executive branch were supposed to respond to majority preferences; the judiciary, however, was supposed to safeguard individual and minority rights and to ensure that the other branches did not violate the Constitution in their eagerness to pander to popular passions.

I have repeated this basic premise of American constitutional law over and over — in my columns, my blogs and my classrooms. Let me do so one more time.
The Bill of Rights answers an important procedural question: who decides? Who decides what prayer you say, what book you read, how many children you have? In our system, government doesn't get to decide these and other very personal matters — we individuals decide these things for ourselves.

The Bill of Rights doesn't tell us what we should value or how we should live our lives; it protects our right to make those decisions for ourselves, free of the interference of government scolds.

The Bill of Rights also limits what popular majorities can vote to have government do. In fact, the Bill of Rights is sometimes called a "libertarian brake" on the power of the majority. A majority of your countrymen cannot vote to make you a Baptist or an Episcopalian; they don't get to vote on your reading materials or your political opinions or your choice of a life partner.

People who don't understand the most basic operation of our system — like Arizona's Governor Brewer, or Indiana's Mike Pence — misunderstand and misrepresent court decisions that uphold the right of individuals to live their lives as they see fit without sacrificing their right to equal treatment under the law.

Same-sex marriage doesn't threaten the republic. What threatens the republic is the election of people who are totally ignorant of the Constitution they are sworn to uphold.



You likely never thought you’d ever read this in a tech-savvy column but here it is for all to see: The internet is one of the worst things we have ever invented.

Now that the shock is abating, let me explain, because I do not really believe that in total, but it does have some disadvantages. And along with the net I refer to smart phones, tablets and all the rest of what are today called ‘‘devices’'.


The reason I am so frustrated is that the internet has made everybody walking the streets an "expert" on any topic...and sadly, about 75% of what they have in their net-gained knowledge base is either over-stated or outright wrong.

I have one close friend who, on ANY topic considers himself an expert because he can use Google and Yahoo. While so-doing is fine and information gained can be useful, anyone can post anything to most any website and when folks read it they become even more convinced that folk tales (urban legends as they are better known today) bear a lot of truth.

finances-in-focusWithin the gay community, there's no “holiday" which receives more recognition — deserved or not — than Halloween. This may be February and the holiday might be past, with its plethora of skeletons and ghosts put away for yet another year so you might feel that with it come and gone, you probably don't have much to fear (except, possibly, running out of leftover candy). But in real life, some things genuinely are frightening — such as “scary" investment moves.

Of course, investing, by its very nature, is not a risk-free endeavor. Ideally, though, these risks are also accompanied by the possibility of reward.

Nonetheless, some investment moves carry very little in the way of “upside" potential and should be avoided. Here are a few to consider:

Not investing — The scariest investment move you can make is to not invest at all — because if you don't invest, you are highly unlikely to achieve a comfortable retirement or meet any other important financial goals. In a recent survey conducted by the National Council on Aging and other groups,

pink in the sheetsDear Mz. Pink,

Now that gay marriage is becoming legal in most states, my girlfriend has been bugging me to get married. The problem is I don't want to get married. I don’t feel like we are at that place in our relationship to get married.

She has actually been pushing me into things since we started dating. First it was moving in together, then it turned into “loving' each other, then it was no friends or only friends together, now she is talking kids and a wedding. I am not ready for this type of commitment. I actually don’t want to be at this spot in our relationship. I would love to just date her and not have to worry what she has planned for us next. How can I have her slow down, without making her think I don’t want to be with her at all?

Runaway Bride


daily existence. Personally, I’m still waiting for the Jetson's-style car that I can fold up into a briefcase, but maybe that's next on Team Apple's agenda. Oh, and I wish we had some sort of cloning service. Yes, I would benefit greatly from having my own clone. Then again, if I had a clone I would probably never leave the house. If that sounds narcissistic, then you are correct in your assumption.

Speaking of narcissism and clones, I was recently inducted into the world of the dating app. Or hook-up app, if you prefer. It took me almost as long to get involved with this world as it did when Facebook was in its infancy, but I’m finding that there are fascinating things you can learn about people through their brief profiles, strange photographs and messages full of touch screen courage.

With all the varied choices out there, I chose Scruff and avoided its resting-bitch-face little brother Grindr. Not only are the boys on Grindr much douchier and homophobic than Scruff, but something about that skull mask logo gives me the creeps. Not to mention that Grindr has already racked up numerous murders connected to men who hooked up with their killers using the app. Yeah, that's three strikes, Grindr. You're out.

The first thing you notice when you join up is, of course, the photos. Let me just start by saying I honestly don’t see the point of posting a picture of your nipple or your navel or your feet. How does that help anyone?

Not to sound too shallow, but when I show up to meet you and you look like Sloth from The Goonies it’s not gonna matter what your abs look like. Your face is where everything starts. The way you smile, the look in your eyes, the lips that are asking to be kissed — that's what should be first and foremost. Maybe that’s just my humble opinion, but even if I’m just hooking up with someone, the face is the spark that lights the fire.

I look at it this way: if you post a photo of your bicep are you going to show up to a date completely wrapped in bandages like a mummy with just that bicep showing? No. Or at least I hope not. When you show up at a coffee shop or a bar or someone’s door, the first thing they see is your face. So why not just put that on the profile in the first place?

And when I say that I mean a shot of your face from within the last year so you at least look somewhat similar to your photo. I saw a profile picture recently that had been taken outside a movie theatre. The poster on the marquee was Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets. That came out in 2002. Which was 12 years ago, kids. At least have a picture in front of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows for fuck's sake. That was only three years ago.

The second thing I find inherently amusing are the names on these profiles. I understand if you're hesitant about using your real name, and I know many people use either the first letter of their name or their initials or some variation on that theme, which is fine. But when you're using a name like FeetAndFisting, NeedHeadNow or BreedMe35, I feel like you're kinda pigeonholing yourself right from the get-go. I received a message from the eloquently named NeedHeadNow and I asked him if he always needed head when he was online, since you know, it's now. He told me: “No, I don't always need head.”

After that, I decided to not delve further into the reasoning behind his screen name. Look, I understand that people want to make their desires known up front, but you can also do that once you talk to someone. You know, like we do in the real world.

That, in itself, is another point. Using a dating app should be like real life. You don’t walk up to someone in the real world with your face covered and say “Hi, my name’s Dick Chugger42” do you? I understand that the concept of doing things online whether it’s Scruff or Tinder or Facebook or Instagram is the alternative to going out into the world and meeting someone to date or to fuck or to be friends with, but sooner or later, face-to-face human experience will be taking place in our lives.

The transition from whom you are online and who you really are shouldn’t be such a leap. The image crafting that we all engage in only puts up roadblocks for the real time interaction that comes with the one thing we all need: personal connection. Truth, above all else, will lead the way to what you truly need. The lies you spin through binary code are just like the lies you tell in real life. They will turn and bite you with sharp teeth.

You say you’re six feet tall and 190 pounds but you’re really five feet seven and 220 pounds? You say you’re into heavy bondage but you're really only curious about it?

You say that the photo of you online is definitely you and not Nick Youngquest? All of these things will be painfully revealed when you're standing in front of whomever you’re connecting with. And that won't be pretty. Honesty, the greatest quality that anyone can possess, is still paramount, even behind the anonymity of a touch screen.

That brings me to the one thing about these apps that I find the most infuriating. The fact that people are online looking for dick or dates when their profile says they are partnered, married or — a term that has absolutely no merit in my world — in an open relationship. Okay, so let me see if I understand this: you have someone to come home to every night, someone to wake up to every morning, someone who takes care of you and supports you, makes you breakfast, kisses you goodnight, laughs with you, argues with you, holds your hand, reminds you to bring an umbrella, tells you you're beautiful, tells you they love you and that's not enough for you? Are you kidding me?

I guess I sound like I'm old fashioned or I belong in a Nicholas Sparks movie, but that sounds like it would be enough for me. And if you're one of these people who are in a relationship that say you’re merely online looking for friendship, why are you putting your stats and desires in your profile? When I meet a new person who I know I’m going be friends with, I try to steer clear of telling them how big my dick is or if I want to be tied up. Unless they ask, of course.

So, tell me: am I missing something? Is there some reason people cannot be satisfied with what they have and need to venture into the global grid of the hook-up apps?

It seems greedy and selfish to me. When I'm with someone I'm with someone. Does temptation rear its muscled head? Of course. Do I struggle with the attentions of a 23-year-old MMA fighter in the gym when things are tough with my boyfriend? Sure, and it's not easy. But the point remains — love should trump the siren song of a stranger's touch. I came across a profile recently that said if I was interested in what this user's ideal guv was, I should check out his partner's profile. Because “he's more than I could've hoped for.'' Really? I mean, come on. If you have everything you could ever hope for, there’s no need to search for more, right?

I know I sound like I’m not a fan of Scruff and the like, but that's actually not the case. People meet online every day and get what they need, whether it's a date or a fuck or a future husband. People meet online and discover that the people they meet may not light them up in person but they become friends and take that path instead. It can be an amazing tool for connecting on many different levels. I think that if you truly want the most out of any kind of digital coupling, honesty is the way to go. Honesty will filter out what you don’t want so you can find what you do want — whether it's for an hour or forever.

Like I said before, treat these apps like you would treat a real life encounter with your face, your name, your wants and needs, your desires — no matter how twisted — your real age, and your real thoughts.

Trust me, these are the tools to pleasing your heart and both your heads. But if you're one of these guys who supposedly has everything they could ever want in a partner waiting at home for you, stop grazing where you think the grass is greener, because it isn't. And if you're a single guy with confidence and sexiness and a smile that melts my heart and drops my pants, I’ll see you online. Woof.