Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Tale Of Three Brothas (Male Bonding)








When I was in my early 30's, my wife, daughter, and I moved into our house. We were the new family on the block and we didn't know anyone. About a year after we moved on that block, another couple about our age moved into the house directly across the street. I'll call him E. and I'll call her J. Me, being the social animal that I am, quickly went over and introduced myself to the new neighbors. I told them that my wife, daughter, and I had only moved on the block ourselves about a year earlier so, we had our "newness" in common.

E. was maybe two or three years younger than me, had a wicked sense of humor, and seemed to know everybody and everything about the area, even though I had been there a little longer than him. We became fast friends and would often talk about "guy" things... sports, cars, women, etc.

Within a few more months, I made another friend and I will call him S. We were the same age and S. had his own business (I believe it was a towing business and a garage). He had "inherited" his house from his recently deceased mother. S. is the type of black man rarely (if ever) portrayed in a Terry McMillan novel, a Tyler Perry play or movie, and never on any television show. He was a hard working man who took care of his kids BY HIMSELF. S. never told me all of the details but, he had been in a bad relationship with a troubled woman who had been committed to a mental institution. He fought for and won custody of his four young daughters. This man worked all day, came home, cooked for his daughters, and went to the school (as I did) for parent-teacher meetings. He took his daughters to the park and enrolled them in "Math Camp", which they were very excited about... E. and I used to laugh at how excited his little girls were about going to "Math Camp!"

Soon, the three of us became good buddies. When I was home on the weekends, we would sit on S.'s steps... We would talk and laugh for a long time until my wife or E.'s "wife" would call and tell us dinner was ready.

S. soon moved his new girlfriend in with him and she had two little girls of her own from a previous relationship. Now, he lived in a house full of women. Nobody envied him. As a result, he had less and less time to hang with us but, he found the time when he could. I lived in a house full of women too but, unlike him, one wife and one daughter was my limit.

E. on the other hand, had no children and as I was to find out later, no wife either. He and J. were not actually married as I had thought... just living together. Because they weren't married, (I guess) E. felt no reason to be a "one woman" man. It seemed that everybody but J. knew that he was seeing a hairdresser on the sly... she lived about two blocks from all of us. There was also a "girl" about 20 or 21, who lived right across the street and had recently lost her virginity (she was so relieved that she told everybody). Well, guess who lovingly brought her into "womanhood"? The E. man!

Well, S. and I were "thrilled" by the stories of his two major conquests and we laughed it up with him but, we both warned him... If we knew what he was doing, it wouldn't be long before J. found out. He sighed and admitted that he had a good woman and that he planned to marry her soon but, that he had to get all of the play out of him first. Ladies, I'll let you in on a secret... If you're with a guy and he keeps saying that, RUN LIKE HELL! He's never going to get all of the play out of him.

Well, one day I came home from work and what did I see? Suitcases and boxes on the front porch of E. and J.'s house. A cab drove up and started packing all of E's belonging's in the trunk and backseat. E. looked like he was trying to explain something but, J. wasn't hearing it! He walked down the steps, managed a weak goodbye to me and S., and got in the cab and pulled off. It also turned out that the fly car he was always driving wasn't his... it was J.'s, just like the house. Needless to say, I never saw E. again.

As for S., he married his girlfriend and moved her and his now family of six little girls into a bigger house out in the suburbs last year. I've seen him maybe twice since he left the block. I miss E. and his funny stories and I also miss S. and his heroic life and easy-going mannerisms.

I am now waiting for my 2 year old grandson's budding maturity... Only then will I have another male to talk to, kick it with, and bond.

Note: This post was for my new blog friends, Zack and Mizrepresent.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Why DID The Chicken Cross the Road?

It's almost the beginning of summer and I have been rather light hearted this week considering how on edge I was last week. I've got to share this joke with you that a friend emailed me. I hope you get a chuckle out of this... I certainly did!



Several prominent people were asked the age-old question, "Why did the chicken cross the road?" Here are their responses...

BARACK OBAMA:
"The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a CHANGE! The chicken wanted CHANGE!"

JOHN MCCAIN:
"My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road."

HILLARY CLINTON:
"When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure--right from Day One-- that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me..."

DR. PHIL:
"The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on 'THIS' side of the road before it goes after the problem on the 'OTHER SIDE' of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his 'CURRENT' problems before adding 'NEW' problems."

OPRAH WINFREY:
"Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So, instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens."

GEORGE W. BUSH:
"We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here. "

COLIN POWELL:
"Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road..."

ANDERSON COOPER - CNN:
"We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road."

JOHN KERRY:
"Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it."

NANCY GRACE:
"That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks!"

PAT BUCHANAN:
"To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American."

MARTHA STEWART:
"No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information."

DR SEUSS:
"Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road but, why it crossed I've not been told."

ERNEST HEMINGWAY:
"To die in the rain. Alone."

JERRY FALWELL:
"Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth? That's why they call it the 'other side.' Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And, if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media white washes with seemingly harmless phrases like 'the other side'. That chicken should not
be crossing the road. It's as plain and as simple as that."

GRANDPA:
"In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough."

BARBARA WALTERS:
"Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road."

ARISTOTLE:
"It is the nature of chickens to cross the road."

JOHN LENNON:
"Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace."

BILL GATES:
"I have just released eChicken2007, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book." Internet Explorer is an integral part of the chicken. This new platform is much more stable and will never cra...#@&&^(C% ... reboot."

ALBERT EINSTEIN:
"Did the chicken really cross the road or, did the road move beneath the chicken?"

BILL CLINTON:
"I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken?"

AL GORE:
"I invented the chicken!"

COLONEL SANDERS:
"Did I miss one?"

DICK CHENEY:
"Where's my gun?"

AL SHARPTON:
"Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens!"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Am I Becoming A Metrosexual?


Metrosexual is a neologism generally applied to heterosexual men with a strong concern for their appearance or whose lifestyles display attributes stereotypically seen among gay men. The "metro" (city) prefix indicates this man's purely urban lifestyle, while the "sexual" suffix comes from heterosexual, meaning that this man, although he is usually straight, embodies the heightened aesthetic sense often associated with certain types of gay men.

My wife could argue that I use more grooming products to get ready in the morning than any woman. A typical "Keith" morning begins as such... I run a basin of hot, steamy water to shock the senses and wake me up. Then, I use Neutrogena facial scrub to exfoliate the whiskers and cleanse all the dirt from my skin, as well as rid me of dead skin. After another wash, I apply Gillette lime shaving cream to my face and I use a Gillette Mach 5 Razor to shave. After that I use Neutrogena facial wash. It's a light soap that stings just a little but, washes off the shaving cream and moistens the skin. Then, I use Nivea facial balm. It stings but, it soothes too.

After shaving comes the most important part of my regimen... oral care. (Bad breath is one of my pet peeves and anyone who has been on a crowded elevator or an inner city Philly bus in the hot summer knows what I mean... phewwww!) After vigorously brushing my teeth with Colgate toothpaste, I rinse with what else... Scope! Then, I rinse my mouth out with warm water… don't want too much of the Scope smell in my mouth.

After that, I take a shower. I'm really into different smelling shower gels and I run the gamut with these products (AXE, Izzy Miyake, Black Walnut, Dove). The shower gel I use depends on my mood at the time. I towel off and lotion my arms and legs with Nivea moisturizing lotion. And then, of course, I use Arrid extra dry deodorant and splash on a little cologne... Izzy Miyake, Polo (went old school on ya), Black Walnut, or an assortment of others. Like the shower gel, the cologne depends on my mood at the time.

Total bathroom time: 45 minutes... which is why I get up before everyone else does.

It didn't occur to me how much I did until I went shopping one day and realized that I was buying more grooming essentials than my wife and daughter combined. I took stock and I was indeed surprised. Then, I was reading an article in GQ about "Metrosexuals" and I became aware that I just might be becoming this new modern man. It was indeed an eye opener.

All this makes me wonder... when I was "in the game", out there chasing girls, a bar of Irish Spring soap and some of my dad's Old Spice cologne was about as much preparation as I could be counted on to give to myself. Oh yeah, I did brush my teeth and use Scope mouthwash... but, that was it. So, how did I evolve into using all of this other stuff? Well, I'm better read and my wallet has gotten a little fatter now. And, I suppose my mind is a little more open to these kinds of things. What can I say?

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Day At The Zoo

Happy Memorial Day!

Today, my grandson went to the zoo for the first time.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Cookout & Volleyball

Memorial Day Weekend

Today, some of the crew from O'Hara's gathered at Tonya's house for an annual day of food, drinks, music, and another installment of "The Girls vs. The Boys" volleyball game. The Girls won this year with a score of 21-16. As always, a good time was had by all and many "thanks" to Tonya for hosting again. Some of the "faces at the place" this year were:

Chris and Shawn





Candy, Tonya (our host), and Laura



Jon (who also celebrated his birthday),
Larry and his wife, Michelle





Me and my wife, Rosalyn



Tonya's dog, Gizmo



Tonya's other dog, Stripe



Here are some highlights from this year's volleyball game
(click on grid block to enlarge)



Winning Team Photo..."The Girls"



And, my ride for the weekend...
I decided to give "Lumina" a few days off for the holiday!


Happy Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Unfair & Definitely Unbalanced


Fox News says in it's slogan that they are "fair and balanced." Yeah? Fair and balanced to who? This is the home of that pugnacious bully of the airwaves, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity, the poster boy for the Fourth Reich.

If they are so "fair and balanced", where is Bill Mahr? Where is Al Franken? Where is Tavis Smiley, for that matter? My point exactly. So, I say to Fox News and it's talking heads... either practice what you preach or stop preaching something you really don't practice!

Another Dog & Pony Show


Yesterday, BP's Robert Malone, Shell's John Hofmeister, Chevron's Pete Robertson, Conoco Phillips's John Lowe, and Exxon-Mobil's J. Stephen Simon appeared before Congress. These five billionaires are part of the only real growth industry in the United States right now... the oil industry. They collectively clocked 36 billion dollars in profits last year. Gas has now spiked up to the once unthinkable price of $ 4.00 a gallon in some places and Congress called them on the carpet to do some explaining.

They basically shrugged their fat little shoulders and placed themselves in the role of victim by essentially saying, "Don't blame us... it's the law of supply and demand." In other words, they would have you and I believe that they are just hapless victims of the system too, just like everybody else. They aren't just like "everybody else." They have way more money than anybody I know could or will ever spend in a lifetime!

The truth of the matter is, these five "fat cats" don't give a merry damn about the American consumer, the farmers, the truck drivers, or anybody else for that matter. Although, being grilled by Congress put a face on just who is responsible for our collective pain, it doesn't mean a thing. Not one of them is going to tell their companies to drop prices or do anything more tomorrow than they did yesterday, which is nothing. Absolutely nothing. What's more, Congress can't make them... they know it and Congress knows it.

The American people don't know it. This was a dog and pony show set up to make people think that their government cares about them and was attempting to do something about their problems. I took one look at those guys and I knew that nothing was going to happen. Those guys probably left those hearings, went out, ordered a couple of steaks, a couple of bottles of Scotch, a couple of call girls, and laughed their fat, rich little butts off.

I would like to be wrong. I'm going to get some gas for my car tonight and for the car I'm renting Saturday. I don't expect to be surprised at the pump. A surprise of course would be finding gas for $3.35 a gallon or lower.

"Make me wanna holler, the way they do my life."
Marvin Gaye, 1971

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My Choice For President?

Former Senator, Mike Gravel
(Just Kidding!)

Reruns

Did you ever watch a rerun of your favorite show? If it's a sitcom, you know when the punch line is coming and you still laugh, even after seeing the episode a few times. I can still watch an episode of "Good Times" and fall on the floor in convulsions when J.J. says, "Kid DY-NO-MMIITTEE!", or Florida would say, "DAMN... DAMN... DAMN!". And I can't tell you how many times I have laughed at Redd Foxx portraying Fred Sanford, having one of his many heart attacks and saying, "This is the big one Elizabeth... I'm coming to join ya honey." Or Martin Lawrence telling Cole, "Tommy ain't got no job!" See, I can watch that over and over and know when the punch line is coming and still laugh.

It's kinda like this election... "Clinton wins Kentucky", "Obama wins Oregon", "Obama leading in delegates", and "Clinton vowing to continue her campaign." I could rewrite my post, "Won't Stop...Can't Stop." I could rewrite my post, "Untitled (I'm Not Going To...)". And I could rewrite my post, "OK, So I Lied :)". I could do that and bring up the same points over and over again but, not as funny.

It's a rerun... but, in a sitcom, you know when the commercial break is coming and you know when the episode is over. This thing between Obama and Clinton has no ending. It has the same plotline. It has the same sub-plot (Clinton needs people to loan her money to wipe out her debt). It even has an imagined conclusion that we are waiting to see.

I'm exhausted, aren't you? It's time for a new show. One can only watch reruns for so long. Somebody please tell Hillary that it's over... that her husband was "The Comeback Kid" but, she's not. Please end this so a strategy can be planned for the fall election.

Hey, does anybody know if Mike Gravel dropped out of the race yet?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Tale Of 4 Cops


Four policemen have been fired in relationship to a televised beating of three black suspects a few weeks ago. I was certainly surprised! Usually, nothing happens when this type of thing occurs. The judge or D.A. always rules that the police acted properly and that's that. So, I had to sit up and take notice when I saw today's newspaper.

If anyone read yesterday's post, "Death Takes A Holiday", I mentioned that two Saturday's ago, a policeman was murdered in the line of duty by three Black men who were fleeing from a bank robbery they had just committed. The cop never had a chance to get out of his patrol car. One of the robbers mowed him down with a military assault weapon. The shooter was shot to death later that day by another cop. The other two culprits were captured and are in custody.

In order to comprehend what happened next, you have to understand how cops feel when one of their own is killed. I am not making light of the situation... it is a tragedy when any human life is senselessly taken. I feel bad for this policeman and his family. He was just doing his job and he wanted to come home at the end of the day the same way I do and anyone else who has a job. Emotions were running high. Then, there was a triple shooting a few days later and a high speed chase... 18 officers converged on one car and pulled three black male suspects out and, in their words, "attempted an arrest." They beat the cowboy crap out of all three men who had ceased resisting arrest by this time.

I understand that a lot of cops were upset about the then day old murder of one of their own but, my mother taught me years ago that two wrongs never equal one right. The media falsely reported that these guys were linked to the bank robbery and killing of the police officer and they weren't. The police said that you had to "look past the video, that the film didn't show everything that was happening." Well, if it didn't, these guys were doing a pretty good job of doing something that wasn't being seen because all I (and the entire nation) could see was an ass kicking.

I stopped reading about it because, except for one of the three men, these guys had extensive police records which could be used to justify the beat down. So, I didn't expect anything to happen. Well, they have fired the four officers who I suppose did the most ass kicking and they intend to investigate every officer that was on the scene. This will go a long way to restoring some faith to some of the citizens in this city that Mayor Michael Nutter is serious about it being a new day in Philly.

Some folks will say that this is not enough but, both Michael Nutter (who is a year older than myself) and I grew up in a city where the police commissioner wore a night stick in the cumberbund of his tuxedo and it was unheard of to question the police or bring charges against them for anything they did to an African-American male. This goes a long way.

By the way, Philadelphia is a great city and it actually is the city that loves you back. We have our crime like any large metropolitan area but, we have great historical sites, a booming music scene, lots of great places to eat, (Hey Zack, I gotta take you to Dellasandros... they have one of the best cheese steaks you'll ever taste.) and some nice clubs, if that's your thing.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Death Takes A Holiday


An amazing thing happened or, lets say didn't happen, in the city of Philadelphia this weekend. Not one citizen was murdered from 12:00am Thursday morning until Monday morning. Homicide detectives are stumped and so am I. However, it wasn't a bloodless weekend... two people were shot on Friday night and another person was hit with a stray bullet yesterday in a corner bar in South Philly. All are in the hospital and still among the living, as of this writing.

So, what happened? Did all of the hoodlums go to the shore this weekend? I doubt it. Was the weather so crappy (it rained off and on most of the weekend) that most of them stayed in the house? Well, believe it or not, that might have a little something to do with it. A study showed that more mayhem occurs when the weather is warm and nice than when it's cold and rainy. Does that mean that the NRA is right when they say that people kill people... not guns? "Hell to the nah!" (Sorry Whitney, I know how much you hate that now.)

Let's just say this weekend was a fluke... a freak of nature that just occurred and that a lot of people's numbers just wasn't up yet. Two weekends ago, a cop was killed by three bank robbers toting a military assault weapon. Our current mayor, the mayor before him, and our Governor have tried to get these guns banned and have tried to give Philadelphia law makers some say in the gun laws that affect our city. But, as I said in a previous post, most of the state of Pennsylvania views Philly as a foreign country... every time you mention gun control or banning certain weapons, the NRA and the "hunters" from upstate Pennsylvania come out and try to say we are attacking the second amendment (the right to bear arms).

I'm not attacking the second amendment but, I do believe that M-16's , AK-47's, and the SKS weapon that killed the cop should be banned. These are military weapons and their only use is for killing human beings. Nobody hunts with them and you certainly don't need one to defend your home from an intruder (barring those Al Queda operatives who might be lurking around the corner). Actually, hand guns kill more people than these weapons and that's a whole 'nother blog post for another day.

Truth be told, I don't know how to begin to regulate guns but, I am open to any comments or suggestions from anyone out there reading this post. But, for the moment, I'm very proud of the hoodlums in my city... for one weekend... one whole weekend... nobody killed anybody. I still can't believe it! You guys just bring a tear to my eyes. If you are at the shore, could you bring a brotha some cotton candy?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Nu Blogger 'N Da House


My daughter started a photo blog called Heaven On Earth. You can use the text link, screenshot, or her widget on my sidebar to stop by for a visit and check it out!

A Milestone

Blog posts completed...
stay tuned for the next hundred!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Political Joke

Okay, let me just say that Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, and Dave Chapelle have nothing to worry about... but, here is a joke a good friend sent me that I just couldn't resist sharing with you all. Enjoy...

A driver is stuck in a traffic jam on US I-95, just outside of Washington DC. Nothing is moving North or South. Suddenly, a man knocks on his window. The driver rolls down his window and asks, "What happened? What's the hold-up?" The man said, "Terrorists have kidnapped President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, Bill O'Reilly, Bill Kristol, Rush Limbaugh, and Anne Coulter. They are demanding a $100 million ransom; otherwise, they're going to douse them with gasoline and set them on fire. We are going from car to car, taking up a collection." The driver asks, "Well, on average, how much is everyone giving?" The man said, "About a gallon!"

Some of my "favorite" people were skewered in that joke.

Running Mates?

One of the reasons I wish this never-ending battle between Hillary Clinton & Barack Obama would cease is because I would like to see who the eventual nominee picks for a running mate. Right now, I am assuming that the eventual nominee is going to be Obama. Although I believe that any combination of Obama-Clinton (or be that as it may, Clinton-Obama) will be an unbeatable ticket, I really don't see that happening.

Yesterday, the man who I originally thought was going to be the frontrunner at the start of the democratic race, John Edwards, came out and endorsed Barack Obama. I instantly thought of an Obama-Edwards ticket... here is a guy, a southern white man, who could get those "white working class folk who didn't go to college" to swing Obama's way. (The pundits are saying that this dynamic is what has led to Clinton victories in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and most recently, West Virginia.) I don't see that happening either... Edwards has an ailing spouse to take care of and I think he should be more concerned with that than criss-crossing the country in the fall. After all, family comes first.

John McCain hasn't picked a running mate either and I'm curious about who his choice is going to be. It probably isn't a urgent need for him to do so right now... he's just biding his time like the
rest of us and waiting to see who the last man (or woman) standing will be.

Where The Postwalk Ends
Scroll down and use the polls to choose a running mate for Barack Obama and/or Hillary Clinton. Polls will close on June 1st, 12:00AM!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Clean Joke

Every once in a while, we need a break from our hectic lives and we need a break from ourselves. Just as I was about to give myself a pity party today, I came across this joke that I would like to share with you...

Forrest Gump Goes To Heaven


The day finally arrived. Forrest Gump dies and goes to Heaven. He is at the Pearly Gates, met by St. Peter himself. However, the gates are closed, and Forrest approaches the gatekeeper.

St. Peter said, "Well, Forrest, it is certainly good to see you. We have heard a lot about you. I must tell you, though, that the place is filling up fast so, we have been administering an entrance examination for everyone. The test is short, but you have to pass it before you can get into Heaven." Forrest responds, "It sure is good to be here, St. Peter, sir... but, nobody ever told me about any entrance exam. I sure hope that the test ain't too hard. Life was a big enough test as it was." St. Peter continued, "Yes, I know, Forrest, but the test is only three questions:

First, what two days of the week begin with the letter T?

Second, how many seconds are there in a year?

Third, what is God's first name?"

Forrest leaves to think the questions over. He returns the next day and sees St. Peter, who waves him up, and says, "Now that you have had a chance to think the questions over, tell me your answers." Forrest replied... "Well, the first one -- which two days in the week begins with the letter T? Shucks, that one is easy... that would be Today and Tomorrow." The Saint's eyes opened wide and he exclaimed, "Forrest, that is not what I was thinking but, you do have a point and I guess I did not specify so, I will give you credit for that answer."

"How about the second one... How many seconds are there in a year? ", asked St. Peter. “Now, that one is harder", replied Forrest but, I thunk and thunk about that and I guess the only answer can be twelve." Astounded, St. Peter said, "Twelve? Forrest, how in heaven's name could you come up with twelve seconds in a year?" Forrest replied, "Shucks, there's got to be twelve... January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd..." St. Peter interrupts, "Hold it. I see where you are going with this and I see your point. That was not quite what I had in mind but, I will have to give you credit for that one, too."

"Let us go on with the third and final question. Can you tell me God's first name?", asked St. Peter. "Sure, it's Andy", Forrest replied. "Andy?", exclaimed an exasperated and frustrated St. Peter. "Okay, I can understand how you came up with your answers to my first two questions, but, just how in the world did you come up with the name Andy as the first name of God?" "Shucks, that was the easiest one of all", Forrest replied. "I learnt it from the song... ANDY WALKS WIT ME, ANDY TALKS WIT ME, ANDY TELLS ME I AM HIS OWN." St. Peter opened the Pearly Gates, and said, "Run Forrest, run!"

Give me a sense of humor, Lord. Give me the ability to understand clean jokes, to get some humor out of life, and to pass it on to other folks. Amen.

Have a great day!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Won't Stop...Can't Stop

I have to give it to Hillary Clinton. She is a fighter if nothing else. From the reports I've gotten today, she is $20 million in debt for this campaign, she no longer leads in Super Delagates, and she can't possibly be leading in anything else at this point. Still, she soldiers
on.

Party officials have stopped short of asking her to end her campaign (What good would it do at this point?) but, they look at her the way you look at a dying relative in the hospital. You know that the end is near, you've pretty much accepted that, and yet, you still put on the cheery face when you see them... even though you know that each visit may be the final one. They are looking at her with sympathy. They know that her campaign is all but dead and yet, no one will say anything.

Senator Clinton has vowed to fight to the end, despite the fact that everyday she loses a little bit of ground. It reminds me of P-Diddy's chant back in the 90's when he started Bad Boy Records... "I thought I told you that we won't stop... can't stop. I thought I told you that we won't stop... can't stop. I thought I told you that we won't stop..."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

All About Mother's Day


Did Mother's Day begin in the United States?

No. Long, long, ago, in ancient Greece, the people paid tribute to Rhea, the Mother of the Gods, each spring. A little later in history it is noted that England paid homage to mothers on "Mothering Sunday," the fourth Sunday of Lent.

In 1872, Julia Ward Howe (who wrote the words to the Battle hymn of the Republic) suggested the idea of Mother's Day, but it was Miss Anna M. Jarvis (1864-1948), of Philadelphia, who began a letter-writing campaign to a variety of influential people that made Mother's Day a national holiday.

Why did Miss Jarvis think it was so important to have Mother's Day?

Miss Jarvis was very close to her mother Mrs. Anna Reese Jarvis. Anna's mother died in May of 1905, when Anna was 41 years of age. Anna was not married and from the time of her mother's death cared for her blind sister, Ellsinore. Anna missed her mother very much and felt that children should appreciate their mother's more while they're still alive. Anna hoped Mother's Day would increase respect and love and strengthen family bonds.

So when was the first Mother's Day?

In 1907 Anna persuaded her mother's church in Grafton, West Virginia to celebrate Mother's Day on the second anniversary of her mother's death, the 2nd Sunday of May. By the next year, 1908, Mother's Day was also celebrated in Philadelphia. In 1910 the first Mother's Day proclamation was issued by the governor of West Virginia. Oklahoma celebrated Mother's Day that year also. By 1911 every state observed Mother's Day. The Mother's Day International Association was incorporated on December 12, 1912, with the purpose of furthering meaningful observations of Mother's Day.

When did Mother's Day become official?

In May, 1913, The House of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution requesting the President, his Cabinet, members of Congress, and all officials of the federal government to wear a white carnation on Mother's Day. Congress passed another Joint Resolution May 8, 1914, designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day. On Mother's Day the U.S. flag is to be displayed on government buildings and at people's homes "as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country." President Woodrow Wilson issued the first proclamation making Mother's Day an official national holiday.

Many people give roses on Valentines Day, is there a particular flower I should give my mom on Mother's Day?

Miss Anna Jarvis's mother's favorite flower was the white carnation. This flower was chosen to represent the sweetness, purity and endurance of mother love. However, the red carnation has since become the symbol of a living mother while white signifies that one's mother has died.

Do other countries celebrate Mother's Day?

You bet they do! Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia and Belgium celebrate Mother's Day on the same day as the United States. Other countries celebrate Mother's Day as well, though not on the same day.

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

OK, So I Lied :)

"I'm just a political animal!"

There were two primaries last night. One in Indiana which Hillary Clinton won but, just barely; the other primary was in North Carolina which Barack Obama won. Hillary Clinton has vowed to fight on, even though it looks as though she has only a few options left. Nothing has changed.

There is no further news on Rev. Jeremiah Wright and no more sniper fire reported (I meant to call Sinbad to see if he'd heard anything or if he could sell me a vest). There is no news of any flag pins being sold out in area stores either. It's been rather calm lately.

I know that I said I wasn't going to write about this stuff until there was a major breakthrough but, I couldn't resist. What can I say? I'm just a political animal!

Check this out...

Options Dwindling for Clinton
Even a split of Indiana and North Carolina primaries was not a draw

News Analysis by Adam Nagourney
updated 4:01am ET, Wednesday, May 7, 2008

In this case, a split was not a draw. Despite narrowly winning Indiana, while losing North Carolina, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton did not fundamentally improve her chances of securing the Democratic presidential nomination. If anything, Mrs. Clinton’s hopes for overtaking Senator Barack Obama dwindled further on Tuesday night.

For Mr. Obama, the outcome came after a brutal period in which he was on the defensive over the inflammatory comments of his former pastor. That he was able to hold his own under those circumstances should allow him to make a case that he has proved his resilience in the face of questions about race, patriotism and political mettle — the very kinds of issues that the Clinton campaign has suggested would leave him vulnerable in the general election.

Beating Mr. Obama in Indiana, a state he had once been confident of winning, was an achievement for Mrs. Clinton. But it was hardly the kind of strong victory she posted in Pennsylvania and Ohio. And when paired with his comfortable victory in North Carolina — which Mr. Obama pointedly described in his victory speech as “a big state, a swing state” — it hardly seemed enough for Mrs. Clinton to convince so-called uncommitted super delegates to rally around her candidacy.

Her showing in the two states did not permit Mrs. Clinton to cut into Mr. Obama’s lead in pledged delegates or his overall lead in the popular vote. Indeed, Mr. Obama may have widened his delegate lead over Mrs. Clinton, an outcome with mathematic and political resonance.

The result was so tight as to deprive her of the kind of clear-cut victory that would make it easy for her to fend off calls for her to drop out, raise money and campaign on into West Virginia in advance of a primary there next Tuesday where her campaign is confident of doing well.

A more populist voice in the last several weeks, Mrs. Clinton, seizing on the campaign’s new focus on the weakening economy, seemed to find new energy and a more populist voice. She ran hard on a proposal to suspend the federal gasoline tax, an idea that Mr. Obama scorned. As she battled away, Mr. Obama struggled to explain his relationship with his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., and his apparent inability to appeal to blue-collar voters. Polls suggested that Democrats were starting to develop doubts about the strength of his candidacy. In short, Mrs. Clinton could not have asked for a better second chance to turn this campaign around and to make her central case to super delegates: that Mr. Obama was a damaged general election candidate who would get swallowed up by the Republican Party.

Yet she was unable on Tuesday to build her base of support substantially beyond the white, working-class voters who had sustained her for the last month. That will not be lost on the super delegates, the elected Democrats and party leaders who will ultimately decide this fight. And the super delegates are where the fight is moving: after 50 nominating contests, there are only 6 left, with just 217 pledged delegates left to be elected, not enough to get either of them over the 2,025 threshold necessary to win the nomination.

Mr. Obama’s aides said Mrs. Clinton would have to win close to 70 percent of the remaining pledged delegates and super delegates to win the nomination, a shift in the campaign’s trajectory that would seem possible only if some big development came along to hurt Mr. Obama.

What's changed? “Unfortunately for her, the math reasserts itself,” said Carter Eskew, a Democratic consultant not affiliated with either candidate. “I don’t think this changes very much of anything”

Mrs. Clinton made clear in her speech that she would “go forward in this campaign,” noting that she had won a state where Mr. Obama had once expected victory and asserting that she remained close to Mr. Obama in the popular vote and delegates.

With few states left, she and her aides said they would step up their efforts to count the disputed results in Florida and Michigan, where the states held contests in defiance of Democratic Party rules. If Mrs. Clinton can win the battle to have the delegations from those two states seated at the conventions on the basis of the vote there, she could greatly reduce Mr. Obama’s lead in pledged delegates.

But neither candidate actively campaigned in Florida or Michigan, and Mr. Obama did not appear on the Michigan ballot. Still, in a sign of where the Clinton campaign is going, her aides are asserting that the winner will need 2,209 delegates, not 2,025. That higher number reflects the full inclusion of Florida and Michigan, which held their primaries before the date permitted by the Democratic Party.

The goal of the Clinton campaign here is not just to get the delegate votes counted but also to get super delegates to consider the popular vote Mrs. Clinton won in those two states; in some calculations that would put her over the top. The party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee is meeting in Washington at the end of the month to vote on an effort by the Clinton campaign to permit the seating of the delegations.

“We’re going to argue that it’s going to take 2,209 to get to the magic number,” said Howard Wolfson, one of Mrs. Clinton’s chief strategists. “We’re going to argue that Florida and Michigan need to be seated full-strength.”

The other big hope for the Clinton campaign is making the argument that Mr. Obama would suffer against Senator John McCain, the likely Republican presidential nominee. The exit polls gave Mrs. Clinton ammunition in that regard: half the Democrats who voted in Indiana and North Carolina said Mr. Obama’s association with Mr. Wright was very or somewhat important.

And in Indiana, for example, less than half of Mrs. Clinton’s supporters said they would support Mr. Obama in a general election, while one-third said they would vote for Mr. McCain. About one-fifth of Mr. Obama’s supporters in Indiana said they would vote for Mr. McCain in a general election should Mrs. Clinton get the nomination. Many of those Democrats can probably be expected to stay with their party in the end, but the figures suggest the intensity of the passion dividing Clinton and Obama supporters at the moment and the challenge facing the eventual nominee in uniting the party.

John M. Broder contributed reporting from Indianapolis and Marjorie Connelly from New York. This article, Options Dwindling for Clinton, first appeared in the Wednesday editions of The New York Times.

Prodigal Son


I thought for a minute that it might be on the front page of the newspaper but, it wasn't. I thought that it might be on the back page (which is actually the "front page" for the sports section) but, it wasn't. I thumbed through the paper and finally found it on page 68..."Kobe Bryant wins NBA's MVP award for 2008."

The only reason I bring this up is because like Indianapolis Colts wide receiver, Marvin Harrison; former NBA star, Alvin Williams; and current Detroit Piston, Rasheed Wallace... Kobe Bryant is a Philadelphia native. Kobe Bryant is the only one of those named who has been booed by Philadelphians. It seems that this city has never forgiven him for his remarks against the Philadelphia 76ers, who his Los Angeles Lakers defeated in 2001 for the NBA championship. He came here for the NBA All Star game in 2003 and was booed every time he touched the ball. Ironically enough, he won the All Star game's MVP that year.

Kobe had hard times after that... he was accused and later cleared of rape charges... he had to buy a big diamond ring to placate his wife... he was believed by many to be responsible for both Shaquille O'Neal and coach Phil Jackson leaving the Lakers and the once feared Lakers becoming an also ran team. To make matters worse, there was this business of him demanding to be traded at the beginning of the season unless the Lakers got him some help.

Look at what a difference a few months can make... Kobe wasn't traded... the Lakers got superstar-in-the-waiting center, Paul Gasol, from the Memphis Grizzlies... Derek Fisher, a one time Laker guard, came back (acquired from the Utah Jazz)... and the emergence of Lamar Odom, Luke Walton, and a few others turned the Lakers into the conference leaders once again.

Kobe changed too... he stopped being aloof and stand offish, he learned to pass the ball, he learned to trust his team mates, and he actually became a person. His personal stats have dropped but, the team has been winning.

I love stories of personal redemption and I'm writing this in the hope that Philadelphia, the city of Kobe's birth, will one day forgive him and welcome its prodigal son back home.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bait & Switch

PhillyGasPrices.com

Last week, I filled my car up at the gas station. I paid $ 3.54 a gallon. I put ten gallons in the tank and paid a total of $ 35.40. That's the most I've spent since I got the car in 2004. Back then, it cost me about $ 20.00 for the same amount of gas. Now, I hear that our wise leaders are considering giving us an 18 cent break at the pump. The possible suspension of the gas tax until after Labor Day. This means I'll pay $3.36 a gallon, which is what it was about two weeks ago.

This sounds like the old con-game of bait and switch... a ploy to help get somebody elected. I heard one presidential candidate say that "this was a way of giving the American people a break." Really? You have big oil companies making billions every quarter (probably the only real growth industry in America) and they think that a measly eighteen cents is giving the people a "break"?

This is my problem with these people (the greedy oil companies)... they are beyond arrogant. They are patronizing, they think the common man is stupid, and even if the common man is smart enough to know what they are doing, they really don't care because they feel they are beyond being touched at this point.

I don't know if any of the three candidates can fix this... it took a long time for the oil barons to get to this point of unbelievable profits and it will take just as long to cut them down to size. I don't even know if that's in anybody's game plan.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Taking Care of Business


This week, the Boston Celtics and the Detroit Pistons did what really good teams are supposed to do... win when they need to win. After getting a scare from the upstart Philadelphia 76ers, the more experienced Detroit Pistons stopped goofing around, got serious, and won the series 4-2. I'm not surprised. Even though I'm from Philadelphia and a die hard Sixers fan, let's be for real... the 76ers were an under 500 team that only got to the playoffs because the rest of the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference in general was so weak.

The Atlanta Hawks managed to hang around and take Boston to a seventh game, not wanting to do a repeat of the Dallas Maverick's stunning collapse last year after having the NBA's best record and losing to a Golden State team that just squeaked into the playoffs. The Boston Celtics convincingly beat the Hawks and made it known that they are the true "Beasts of the East." Sorry, Dallas... that embarrassing collapse is yours and yours alone for now.

The young Philadelphia 76ers and the young Atlanta Hawks as well as the New Orleans Hornets and the Orlando Magic are serving notice to the NBA... that the balance of power is about to change and the old guard is going to have to give way to the new kids on the block... as is the normal progression and evolution of life. For now, the old guys with their "experience" prevailed.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Untitled (I'm Not Going To...)


I am not going to write another post about Rev. Jeremiah Wright. I don't care what he says... he's had his 15 minutes of fame. Actually, he's had way more than 15 minutes. I've also decided that I'm not going to write about this campaign anymore until there is a major breakthrough... like a nominee is chosen by the Democrats. Instead, I'll be writing about the recent marriages of Jay Z & Beyonce and Nick Cannon & Mariah Carey. (Say what?) At least, those things are more entertaining than "Campaign 08" has turned out to be.

I'm very disapointed. The campaign started out different... for once, it was about issues and real life problems with the possibility of problem solving. But now, it has turned into just another campaign with mud slinging and personal attacks. It's the same old song.

So, I'm not going to write another post about Obama, Clinton, Reverend Wright, or Sinbad. OK, maybe Sinbad, since he was one of the survivors of that Bosnian sniper fire.




KEEPING THE FAITH: RANDOM PRAYERS "ON THE DOWNLOAD"
























































"Mommy, can I go to Timmy's blog and play?"



































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