In The Parade - Surveying the Merchandise at Hand: What's This 'Other'?

Having slept on the flight from New York City to Atlanta, I was wide-awake after a four-hour layover at the Atlanta airport. I boarded my connecting flight to Orlando. Three iced espresso drinks on an empty stomach may have helped me stare absent-mindedly at the pages of the Sky Mall magazine.

The Canine Genealogy Kit looked interesting, even though I was sure my dog Simon didn’t care where his great-grandfather was born or whether he belonged to a household of Civil War buffs. The Moisturizing Glove and Booties looked interesting, too, and the magazine said they are recommended by dermatologists. I also discovered the fake palm leaf ceiling fan blade covers, made of ABS resin, which are supposed to create a more uniform air flow.

Behind me I heard a female passenger tell her seatmate that she had spent a week in New York and stayed at the same hotel where the “West Miniature” Dog Show was held. Yes, she did say this. Really. I imagined the seatmate nodding her head in agreement.

Back in the Sky Mall, the “potty train your cat faster than most people can potty train their kids” kit looked promising, and I considered adding this to my Christmas shopping list for those friends who have cats. The implication of no more kitty litterboxes was enticing, and the three-step “Litter Kwitter” with the four plastic toilet rings AND the video was too much.

Simon wouldn’t need the rings. He has perfected the parallel-bar-gymnast-inspired poop posture and can even poop uphill, back legs raised with his weight on his front legs. Who needs plastic rings? Who needs cats?

My focus turned to my recently purchased Old Navy Wool Pea Coat (large, made in China), which was lying on my lap. Drawing my attention was a strange thread that I had not noticed before. I picked at it, and it wouldn’t budge. I pulled at it, and it pulled through the fabric. It was kind of shiny, so I looked closer. The coat is black and the thread is shiny, and the coat is supposed to be wool. I looked at the tag, and it said the shell is made up of 42 percent polyester, 40 percent recycled wool, 11 percent rayon and 7 percent other fibers.

I’m familiar with both polyester and rayon so I know that they are byproducts of mixing chemicals. I Googled recycled wool (also called Shoddy) and found that it’s made by cutting or tearing apart existing wool fabric and re-spinning the resulting fibers. Because this process makes the wool fibers shorter, the remanufactured fabric is inferior to the original. Really.

The label doesn’t say where the wool came from, but in effect, it says that the wool had been spun once before, spun again, mixed with materials made with chemicals and sold at Old Navy. That line about 7 percent “other” fibers has me concerned.

I say I’m concerned because in years past, the “other” turned out to be melamine in products made with tainted Chinese milk, such as baby formula and snack food. Major brands of dog and cat food were found tainted by “other” — melamine again — and sold at major retailers such as Wal-Mart. Even our beloved Ronnie McDonald had “other” — cadmium this time — found on his Shrek glasses. So why should I not be worried that my coat contains “other” fibers?

If anyone out there knows someone who knows someone who can run tests on my pea coat to see what the “other” content might be, I will gladly cut my coat into strips and ship the strips via UPS or FedEx to be tested. It means that much to me.

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

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by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

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Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

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