The Snoopy License Plate

November 25th, 2014

     California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) sells special interest license plates for the benefit of various public benefit organizations. For many years my automobiles have been identified by license plates that promote Yosemite National Park. A portion of the increased annual vehicle registration fee that I pay goes to one of the public foundations supporting the park.

     The California Association of Museums and the California Cultural and Historical Endowment, a state entity, are sponsoring a Snoopy License Plate Program that is soliciting advance orders in order to meet the 7,500 plate minimum required for production. Jean Schulz, the widow of Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz, recognized the need for additional funding of California museums. She and Peanuts Worldwide, as copyright holders, are generously giving royalty-free Snoopy license plate image rights to benefit museums through a self-sufficient grant program. Each plate features a reproduction of an original Snoopy drawing and the phrase “museums are for everyone”. The vast popularity of Snoopy and PEANUTS will help sell this plate to California residents and send the message that museums are for everyone.

     Charles Schulz’s PEANUTS cartoons featuring Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy and other characters, has long topped my list of favorites. In addition to the words of wisdom so often expressed by the various PEANUTS characters, I fell in love with Snoopy and his success as one of the major stars in the series. A fond memory is having once met Charles Schulz in his Santa Rosa, California hometown where I’ve also visited the museum, the ice skating rink he built and, of course, the Charles M. Schulz Snoopy Gallery & Gift Shop. Snoopy and gang ornaments decorate my Christmas tree each year and every room in my home includes a reproduction of one or more characters from the PEANUTS cartoon series. Yes, it’s true, I’m a genuine Snoopy Nut!

     I’ve joined the Snoopy License Plate roll of supporters and have made my advance payment to help this effort succeed. When the new plates are issued mine will replace the ones now supporting Yosemite National Park, for I will then become a supporter of California’s museums. It’s a really fun way of continually showing support for my favorite cartoon character and our California museums.

Snoopy License PlateThe depiction above is of the proposed license plate design.
Instead of 123ABC, my own plates will say “BOND 2” – my current license plate identification.

        Visit The Snoopy Plate to place an order for one of the plates. Additional information about the program is in the Press Release kit. And click here to view/download the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) listing.

Bond Shands
November 24, 2014


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Bette Midler on Gay Culture

November 20th, 2014

“It used to be the love that dare not speak its name and now it’s the love that won’t shut the f__k up,” – Bette Midler.

The Divine Miss M’s love quote and more are in a new Bette Midler interview posted on The Advocate website. Other comments on Gay Culture include the following.

“Now the [gay community] has kind of gone mainstream. It’s sort of ordinary now, and a little bit of the specialness has rubbed away.”

“It used to be the love that dare not speak its name and now it’s the love that won’t shut the fuck up,” she jokes, stopping to let out a long laugh before adding, “but seriously, the great thing about the gay revolution is that it has become ordinary and I’m happy to see how far it’s come and to see the community be more at peace with itself and, I want to say, more homogenized. Even being considered a gay icon — which was something that used to be whispered and bandied about — has become sort of mainstream, and that’s a good thing.”

Click here to view/download a print copy of The Advocate interview.


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Bikes vs. Cars Debate

November 15th, 2014

     Wired magazine has an excellent report titled “9 Things Drivers Need to Stop Saying in the Bikes vs. Cars Debate” on their website. The author provides detail and factual information keyed to the following topics.

1. Cycle always break the law
2. Roads are designed for cars
3. Cyclists are dangerous
4. There’s not enough room for bike lanes without causing gridlock
5. Cyclists just want everyone to stop driving
6. Drivers pay for roads so they should get priority
7. Cycling is a fad
8. There’s a war on cars
9. People absolutely need cars to get around

     The report is definitely recommended reading for all who are concerned, interested or outraged when it comes to bicyclists and motorists sharing roadways.

     Use the following link to access the online version of the magazine article.


Palm Springs 2014 PRIDE Celebration

November 9th, 2014

          Today was a big day for the LGBT community here in Coachella Valley and its nine individual cities. The annual PRIDE celebration weekend started on Friday with today its biggest starting with the annual PRIDE parade in Palm Springs. In years past the after parade celebration would take place several miles away in the local ballpark stadium. An entry fee was required in order to attend. This year the business district portion of Palm Canyon Drive (our main street) was closed to vehicle traffic all weekend. The street space was filled with vendors along with information and food booths. Travel services, government agencies (police, fire, city and county offices, etc.), food and drink (including a special street area set aside for consuming alcoholic beverages), and all manner of retail clothing, trinkets and other merchandise occupied a half-dozen blocks of booths.  As for money, donations were solicited but no entry fee was required.

           I arrived early and found a good spot along the parade route for viewing. Parked myself at the curb where I watched the passing spectacle of people on the sidewalk and those marching in the parade. Lots of colorful attire along with a few really imaginative costumes, vehicle and float designs. Two bands, the Desert Winds Freedom Band and the Palm Springs High School Band performed as they marched the route. A number of out-of-area groups marched in the parade along with area police, fire, paramedics, health services, entertainment venues, clubs, LGBT youth groups, old cars, more parade grand marshals than be counted on both hands, a few politicians, and various retail business establishments all passed by on the route. The parade started promptly at 10 am and ended shortly before noon. The route was less than a mile long and covered a portion of Palm Canyon Drive not set aside for the vendor booths. Afterwards I toured the booth area which also included two blocks of the Arenas cross street.

           Many parade participants worked the curbs by handing out paper leis, beaded necklaces, trinkets, candy, coupons and other merchandise. So many hung leis and beads around my neck that I began to feel like a necklace rack. Red, white, green, purple and blue colored necklaces became part of my attire by parade’s end. In addition to the necklaces I ended up with enough merchandise to fill a goodie bag. Two pair of sunglasses, three packages of  Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap, packages of moisturizing shampoo, an assortment of key chains, three plastic Rainbow theme wrist bands, a US Bank Band-Aid kit, a couple of paper Riverside County Deputy Sheriff badges, a paper fan from the LGBT Center, packages of condoms, a pink coaster, a whistle, a Lambda Legal button, a 2015 magnetic back calendar, a small Rainbow colored flag, a small Equality “=” flag, a ball point pen, candy (which I quickly gave away) and lots of card and paper products advertising businesses or services.

           In years past I’ve usually marched with one of the groups with which I’m affiliated. This year I almost did so again. At the last minute decided to watch the parade instead. Glad that I did for it was more fun than standing at the parade’s beginning waiting our turn to start the route. The weather was perfect and the crowd about as friendly and peaceful as possible. Would be surprised if the anticipated 20,000 attendees were present, but my crowd “gestimation” skills rank slightly below zero. Still, the parade route was filled with viewers and the same true of the vendor booth area I passed through following parade’s end.

           I assume next year’s parade and booth area will be even better. This year was the first for the new parade route and the downtown booths and I noticed a few startup pains. Organizers will have the benefit of this year’s experience when they plan 2015 and I’m confident the few hiccups I noticed will be gone next year.

           Looking forward to Greater Palm Springs Pride organization’s 2015 PRIDE celebration and parade.

Bond Shands
Sunday, November 9, 2014

LGBT Couples[TNR12] 

Another Duplicate Bridge Season

November 1st, 2014

My “Desert High Season” bridge partner Fred, a Canadian, has returned to Palm Springs. Yesterday we resumed the first of our twice-weekly Duplicate Bridge games held in the large meeting room at Mizell Senior Center. There were eleven tables of four players. We played 27 hands between 1:00 pm and 4:30 pm. The game fee to play is usually $7.00 which includes coffee and a buffet table of not particularly nutritious snack food offerings (which I try and avoid!).

Duplicate Bridge requires lots of concentration on my part and I always tire near day’s end. That proved my undoing yesterday for I made a dumb playing error that prevented us from scoring a hand (the last one of the day). Despite my error we scored 3rd place in Group B and 2nd place in Group C – which gave us 0.28 Master Points.

Bridge 3

ACBL (American Contract Bridge League) is the sponsoring organization for Contract Bridge here and in most areas. ACBL keeps track of points earned by members and awards titles based on totals. The run the gamut from Rookie (less than 5 points), through Junior Master (20+ points), Club Master (20+, including special points), Sectional Master (50+ points), Regional Master (100+ points), and NABC Master (200+ points), to the highest honor ACBL awards, the title and rank of Life Master. There are several levels of 10,000+ point Life Master: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond, Emerald, Platinum, and Grand. The higher level titleholders have accumulated thousands of Master Points.

Fred’s not an ACBL member and has no recorded Master Points. I’ve been a member for a couple of years and have less than 50 points. My point count allows us to compete in all three Groups for I’m rated as a Group C competitor. However, my interest is in the game and don’t consider myself among those who are really into Master Points and ACBL titles.

Next week, if I can remain alert, we may do better.