Friday, December 31, 2010

Weekend Humor (2 short ones)


A man meets a gorgeous woman in a bar. They talk, they connect, and they end up leaving together. They get back to her place, and as she shows him around, he notices that her bedroom is completely packed with teddy bears.


Hundreds of small bears are on a shelf all the way along the floor, medium sized ones are on a shelf a little higher, and huge bears are on the top shelf along the wall. The man is kind of surprised by the collection, especially because it’s so extensive, but he decides not to mention this to her.


She turns to him…they kiss…then they rip each other’s clothes off and romp around the room all night. After an intense night of passion, as they are lying there together in the afterglow, the man rolls over and asks, smiling, “Well baby, how’d I do?” The woman says, “You can have any prize from the bottom shelf.”


II-

Did you hear about the guy that was talking to his buddy, when he said, "I don't know what to get my wifey for her birthday. She has everything, and besides, she can afford to buy anything she wants. So, I'm stumped."

His buddy said, "I have an idea. Why don't you make up a certificate that says she can have two hours of great sex, any way she wants it. She'll probably be thrilled!" So the first guy went home and did just that.

The next day his friend asked him, "So, did you take my suggestion? How did it turn out?"He looked rather perplexed and said "She loved it. She jumped up, thanked me, kissed me on the mouth, and ran out the door yelling, ''I'll see you in two hours'."


Happy New Years!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'll Be Doggone


You know...I don't watch Fox News.....And because Fox News and it's owner, Rupert "Adolph" Murdock are so decidedly right wing...I don't watch anything on the Network except the occasional broadcast of the Philadelphia Eagles Football game. I love "Family Guy", American Dad and The Simpsons...but I catch em on TBS...I just refuse to spend too much time on Fox.
Yesterday I heard that Right Wing commentator and self professed Christian, Tucker Carlson said that current Eagles quarterback, Michael Vick, should be executed "for what he did to those poor dogs."

You know....I'm about sick and tired of people bringing that up everytime they mention Mike Vick. What about Pittsburg Steelers Quarterback Ben Rothlisberger (who I like) and his questionable activities(sexual assault) with not one ,but two young ladies. Do you mean to tell me that these people are more upset over dogs than the mistreatment of two women??? Where are the feminists? They should be yelling their heads off!

Of course, Tucker Carlson said this because...Well, you can't be on Fox and favor anything President Obama favors....You just can't. This all has to do with Tucker Carlson's supposed disdain for President Barack Obama's support of the embattled quarterback, who will clearly never live down "the crimes that he committed against those poor animals", despite serving time and pretty much losing everything he had before because of it.


While Mike Vick's career and personal life are on the mend, organizations like PETA and pundits like Tucker Carlson continue to ensure that the world does not forget Michael Vick's cruelty toward animals. As animal lovers, we get it,we get it, okay??? but being against executing an animal, yet in favor of executing humans, doesn't cut it.No...I don't get THAT! You can be mad at Michael Vick for what he did -- in perpetuity if you want -- but wishing death on someone? Not to mention, Carlson says he's "a Christian and has made mistakes before. Really Tuck, Really?


It's not very Christ-like to want to kill anything or anybody for any reason. He may be one of those people who have selective morality: against abortion but for the death penalty. Tucker Carlson's antics and hateful words need no interpretation: Skewer Michael Vick, skewer Barack Obama and somehow he'll become relevant again and possibly get a national show out of it.

Maybe even on Fox! Score Rush Limbaugh -Sean Hannity Dollars!! After all...It certainly has worked for Glenn Beck!! The shame of all of this is ....It just might work.....In the words of the late Marvin Gaye..."I'll be doggone!"

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What The Hell?


I suppose this is the last one of these for the year (I hope it is anyway) One from the truly, I can't make this up file..Remember how Flip Wilson used to say -'The Devil made me do it?" Well ,I guess in this case...The Holy Ghost made her do it...or at least...that's what she's saying... Dallas pastor ,Sandy McGriff burglarized a church member's house stealing $10,000 worth of furs, purses and electronics.

Pastor McGriff claims that she didn't break into her friend's home. Instead, she says she felt the holy ghost tell her to stop by Agnew's house on the way to pick up a peach cobbler from a friend. I kid you not, this is what she told the police.The pastor said that upon her arrival, she saw two men leaving the property and spotted a window that was broken. Instead of calling 911, she climbed through the window and "protected her friend's belongings" in the event that the burglars came back.

"I thought I was helping," said Pastor McGriff. Uh huh. Try helping herself to her friend's belongings ,knowing that she wouldn't be home on Christmas eve. The "good reverend" is blaming the Holy Ghost to boot on Christmas Eve? (Can you say, "No shame in her game?," )
followed closely by "sheer and utter foolishness." If blasphemy was a crime, Pastor McGriff, who spent most of Christmas day in jail, should be sentenced to life imprisonment.

Unbelievable!!!! I hope this true story has you laughing as hard as I'm laughing....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

R.I.P. Teena Marie

March 5, 1956- December 26, 2010

I certainly don't like writing these posts but unfortunately they have to be written.... It started as just a blurb on Facebook last night...I saw someone write a status update -"R.I.P. Teena Marie" I glazed right by it. Then I did a double take...Huh? What? I asked my friend for details but she didn't have any. Then I went on Twitter and more people were talking about it...When I returned to Facebook...It was spreading like wildfire. I checked all of my" sources" for confirmation, MSN, CNN and TMZ....Nothing! I was cautious...Maybe this was another internet sparked rumor. I hoped it wasn't true....

Then, I turned on my local r& b radio station. (WDAS-FM for those of you who don't live in Philadelphia) and they had the sad news....that it was true....The Ivory Queen of Motown, Teena Marie , had indeed passed away.

"The enduring influence of Teena's inspirational, trailblazing career, could only have been made possible through her brilliant song-writing, showmanship and high energy passion which laid the ground work for the future generations of R&B, hip-hop, and soul," said Concord Music Group chief label officer, Gene Rumsey. Concord's Stax Records released her last album.

"We feel extremely fortunate to have worked with a visionary who changed music in indelible ways. Our deepest sympathies go out to her family, friends and of course, millions of fans around the world."

Teena Marie certainly wasn't the first white person to sing soul music, but she was arguably among the most gifted and respected, and was thoroughly embraced by black audiences, and beyond.

Even before she started her musical career, she had a strong bond with the black community, which she credited to her godmother. She gravitated to soul music and in her youth decided to make it her career.

Teena Marie made her debut on Motown Records back in 1976, becoming one of the very few white acts to break the race barrier( Rock band, Rare Earth, being the other) of the groundbreaking black-owned record label founded in 1959 by Berry Gordy Jr. that had been a haven for black artists like Stevie Wonder, the Jackson 5, the Supremes, Temptations, Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and Marvin Gaye.

The cover of her debut album, "Wild and Peaceful," did not feature her image, with Motown apparently fearing black audiences might not buy it if they found out the songstress with the dynamic, gospel-inflected voice was white.

"(Motown founder Berry) Gordy said that is was so soulful that he wanted to give the music an opportunity to stand on its own merit. Instead of my face, they put a seascape, so by the time my second album came out people were like, Lady T is white?" she told Essence.com.

Teena Marie was the protege of the masterful funk wizard Rick James,(Even though she was signed to the label three years before he was) with whom she would have long, turbulent but musically magical relationship.

Teena Marie notched her first hit, "I'm A Sucker for Your Love," with the help of Rick James on that album. But the time her second album was released, her face was known — and on the cover of the record. But there was not a backlash — she would only get more popular on her way to becoming one of R&B's most revered queens. During her tenure with Motown, the singer-songwriter and musician produced passionate love songs and funk jam songs like "Need Your Lovin'," "Behind the Groove."

Teena Marie's voice was the main draw of her music: Pitch-perfect, piercing in its clarity and wrought with emotion, whether it was drawing from the highs of romance or the mournful moments of a love lost. But her songs, most of which she had a hand in writing, were the other major component of her success.

Tunes like "Cassanova Brown" "Portuguese Love" and "Deja Vu (I've Been Here Before)" featured more than typical platitudes on love and life, but complex thoughts with rich lyricism. "Deja vu" was a song about reincarnation.

And "Fire and Desire," a duet withRick James about a former couple musing about their past love, was considered a musical masterpiece and a staple of the romance block on radio stations across the country.

Teena Marie left Motown in 1982 and her split became historic: She sued the label and the legal battle led to a law preventing record labels from holding an artist without releasing any of their music.

She went to Epic in the 1980s and had hits like "Lovergirl" and "Ooo La La La," but her lasting musical legacy would be her Motown years.

Still, she continued to record music and perform. In 2004 and 2006 she put out two well-received albums on the traditional rap label Cash Money Records, "La Dona" and "Sapphire."

Rick James, who had a romantic relationship withTeena Marie and also a long lasting friendship, died in 2004. His death shook her so she said she became addicted to Vicodin, which she had been taking for pain, for about a year.

But Teena Marie said she successfully battled that addiction. In 2008, she talked about her excitement of being honored by the R&B Foundation.

Teena Marie was the mother of a teenage daughter who was also a budding singer; she would sometimes bring her daughter onstage to sing during her shows. In 2009, she celebrated 30 years in the recording industry, and planned for many more.

"All in all, it's been a wonderful, wonderful ride," she told The Associated Press in 2008. "I don't plan on stopping anytime soon."

I wished that she hadn't....She was unique....One like her will never come this way again.

Monday, December 27, 2010

What I've Learned (The Year's Best)


1. Is there a difference between sex and love? Well, you aren't always sure as to whether or not you're in love but when you're having sex, you're pretty sure of it!

2. My mother instilled in me that an honest days work, regardless of what it is, is always better than feeling sorry for yourself and doing nothing. This is probably why I've seldom been without money in my pockets since I was about 23 years old.

3. My life has taught me never invest short and borrow long!

4. If you don't try, you can't fail. But if you don't try, you certainly won't win!

5. I heard a B.B. King song which said, "Nobody loves me but my mother and she could be jiving too!" which caused me to have one of my biggest and hardiest laughs. Talk about insecurity!

6. My grandmother used to say that "a man can wallow in dirt all night long, get up in the morning, put on a clean shirt, and still be called "Mister"... but a woman can 't do the same. Unfair? Yes, but true!

7. When I die, I hope I can feel the way I did the day I graduated from high school... "This was great, but now it's time to move on to the next thing."

8.The older you get, you find there are fewer people's advice that is actually relevant.

9. I'd prefer if people had no impression of me, because nine times out of ten, they've got me all wrong.

10. Adversity gives you two options... rollover and die or get up, brush yourself off, and keep it moving. I choose the latter.

11. Grandchildren teach you lessons you missed when you were raising their mother or father.

12. Don't worry about people laughing at you because you're a little different. Pity them, because they are all the same.

13. There is something you can learn from everybody... even an adversary!

14. Most people live as if they're never going to die and die as if they never lived.

15. You are basically born alone and you die just as alone too. People may be in the room for both events but in the end, just as the beginning, it's something that only you and you alone are experiencing at the moment!

16. I worked in a shoe store once selling shoes to women and one thing I learned... practically all women lie about their shoe size!

17. You can't be happy without ever being unhappy. How would you know the difference?

18. People who have money always say that it's not important. I've never heard a poor person say that money wasn't important!

19. I never learned anything when I was talking, only when I was listening!

20. A good marriage is loving someone in a lot of different circumstances.

21. If you're going to worry, then don't bother to pray. If you're going to pray, then don't worry!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

HAPPY 3RD BLOGOVERSARY!


At 3:15pm on the day after Christmas in 2007, I wrote my first post on a blog I decided to name "Keith's Space". And today, some three years later, I have concluded my third year of blogging.
I seriously don't know how much longer I'm going to do this... probably until I get bored with it or find something else to take up my time. The good news for those who may care is that I don't see either thing happening anytime soon. So hopefully, I'll be here on this day a year from now celebrating yet another year of writing this blog.

I have to thank my wife. She was the first blogger in my house. She created a blog for my grandson in 2006 and she told me countless times that I should start a blog of my own and put all of my political ideas that I talked to her ad nauseum about in writing and incorporate my fiction and poetry too. She envisioned all of this and finally, after much prodding by her, I approached her the day after Christmas in 2007 with a title and she helped me to personalize the template that you see now.

Seven months later, I created a second blog called Escapades that features my original poetry, long-form fiction, short stories, art, and erotica. This year, I even went a step further... I created a third blog with food recipes and reviews called Good Foodie. Am I out of my mind or what? Three blogs that I write consistantly. I'm mad, I know... I must really love blogging. Ya think? My wife also helped me to personalize the templates for these blogs as well.

Then, I pulled off another fete. No, I didn't create another blog... but I convinced my wife to create a blog of her own that featured her writing. She is a fantastic writer and she now has a blog called The Lady (Bug) of the Household. You should check it out when you get a chance. I'm proud to say that from this little blog sprang these three great blogs... blogs which are coming along quite successfully and in their own ways and I think of them as my children.

A toast is in order... Here's to "Keith's Space", the little blog that started it all, and the three great blogs that came in it's wake, as well as my wife who had the vision! This one's for you!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Joy To The World


Don't Forget The Reason for the season.....Merry Christmas Everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Catching Up With The Rest Of The Civilized World


I served 22 years in the United States Air Force. I am more than certain, no, I know for a fact that some of the people I served with were homosexuals. They were in the closet of course and if it their sexual orientation were ever made known, regardless of how valiant and efficiently they had served, this was reason for them to be expelled immediately from the military with no further explanation needed.

While most guys (and women) I served with probably didn't care or maybe felt that this was proper...even then I felt as though somehow this was unfair. If someone is doing a good job and risking their life, same as I...then they ought not have to be thrown out ,just because of who they preferred sleeping with.

That to me was as silly as throwing me out if say ,I preffered women that wore red shoes and had a tooth missing...You see where I'm going with this? Apples and Oranges..One thing has nothing to do with another.


Today the U.S. is one step closer to joining the rest of the civilized world..Declaring that members of the military will no longer be asked to lie, President Barack Obama fulfilled a campaign promise Wednesday and signed a landmark law repealing the ban on gay men and women serving openly in the armed services.
"This is a good day," a beaming President Obama said. "This is a very good day."

The new law ends the 17-year-old "don't ask, don't tell" policy that forced gays to hide their sexual orientation or face dismissal. Its repeal comes as the American public has become more tolerant on such issues as gay marriage and gay rights in general.

"I say to all Americans, gay or straight, who want nothing more than to defend this country in uniform, your country needs you, your country wants you, and we will be honored to welcome you into the ranks of the finest military the world has ever known," President Obama said.

Pentagon officials must first complete implementation plans before lifting the old policy — and the president, defense secretary and chairman of the joint chiefs must certify to lawmakers that it won't damage combat readiness, as critics charge. But President Obama said: "We are not going to be dragging our feet to get this done."

And we shouldn't. We've allowed Blacks and Women to serve in the Military and now we have finally stopped this foolishness about not allowing gay men and women the right to serve and risk their lives for our country. Oh I know a lot of old timers (if there are any left) are gnashing their teeth and are pissed off about this. Change effects people like that....They are longing for the old days.
I'm reminded of what Slim Charles told Bodie on the Wire..."That's the thing about the old days...they the old days."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Night Catches Us


I'm not getting soft or backing down from the continuing political debate, but it is close to Christmas and I don't necessarily feel like bashing republicans and right wing politicians right up to the end of the year...So as you may have noticed..my past few posts have been on well softer things like family , music ,people and what have you.

A couple of weeks ago ,I was enjoying one of my favorite past times other than reading or writing and that is, cinema. I love movies. I love independent movies the best and here in Philadelphia, we have three movie houses called the Ritz that shows independent movies from around the world and from American film-makers also. Since I won't be going to the Sundance film festival anytime soon,I go to the Ritz and enjoy my own private Sundance festival here.

I was actually there to see Clint Eastwood's film "Hereafter" with Matt Damon . While I was waiting to see that film , the best part of the movie experience caught my attention. You know what that is.. The coming attractions! During the previews, a little movie caught my attention. A movie called " Night Catches Us" by an unknown Black female director named Tanya Hamilton.
(I discovered a then unknown Black director named Spike Lee in the same way many years before.)

You know of course that being a Philadelphian...I like all things Philly. The movie was filmed here
and it starred two actors from my favorite television show of all time,' The Wire' Wendell Peirce ( Detective"Bunk " Moreland) and Jamie Hector -(Drug Kingpin, "Marlo Stansfield) Those two , a Philadelphia back drop and a banging score by Philly's own premiere hip-hop /funk band the Roots was certainly enough to tweak my interest and make me say-"I'm gonna see that when it comes out."

Film director Tanya Hamilton isn't a household name yet, but the craftsmanship of her new film, "Night Catches Us", should certainly make her one. The film takes a complicated look at the Black Panther Party in 1976 and examines how the political organization and the black power movement affected the intimate relationships of the people involved in it. The relationship central to the narrative is between Marcus and Patricia, played brilliantly by critically acclaimed actors Anthony Mackie( "Million Dollar Baby" , "The Hurt Locker") and Kerry Washington. (Who played Ray Charles wife in "Ray")

Tanya Hamilton's film is based on the true story of a family friend, Carol Lawson-Green, who helped raise her. Lawson-Green went to prison for a year after she organized a protest at the White House following the Selma march and "Bloody Sunday." Hamilton was always interested in how these events shaped Lawson-Green's life, for better or worse.

To me , this film loosely seems based on the 1969 murder (In Chicago) of Black Panther, Fred Hampton, but you have to see it and judge that for yourself. As is the problem with a lot of independent Black films, they are released with very little fanfare and in few venues....My wife and I drove around the day this film was released and could not find the theatre it was supposed to be released in. As luck would have it....It was being shown on Cable -(ON DEMAND)....the same day it was released in the movies.(I've never heard of that happening before.)

We went home and for an additional $4.99 to my cable bill, I was able to see a great movie and hear an incredible soulful soundtrack. If you get a chance....whether you live in Philadelphia or not...Go see this film...It is well worth your while.

Monday, December 20, 2010

MIKE VICK MVP!



After yesterday's come from 21 points behind victory over the New York Giants....Need I say anything more?

Weekend Update

(click on collages for a larger view)















This past weekend...We had our annual Family Reunion/Christmas Dinner. This is an annual event in my family in which our entire clan meets and eats together either right after or right before Christmas. This year, my brother and I were the hosts. We had an Italian theme.
Lasagna, Spaghetti, Tortellini and a host of other mouth watering dishes were served. There was plenty of food and wine served. Lots of catching up, laughter and mirth. Good times!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Weekend Humor


Celibacy.......

What is Celibacy?

Celibacy can be a choice in life, or a condition imposed by circumstances.

While attending a Marriage Enrichment Weekend, Tyriq and is wife, Justine, listened to the instructor declare, “It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other.”

He then addressed the men. “Can you name and describe your wife's favorite flower?”

Tyriq leaned over, touched Justine's arm gently, and whispered, “Gold Medal-All-Purpose, aint it?”

And thus began Tyriq's life of celibacy...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Racism Left & Right


You know...I have screamed and hollered that Republican and Tea Party (I'm not sure if there is too much of a difference on any given day) opposition to President Obama is basically racist. A lot of why they disagree with practically everything the man says or proposes is because they dispise the fact that a Black man sits in the big seat. They brilliantly used fear , code words and phrases like "We want OUR country back" to stir racist fear , still deeply intrenched in a lot of American whites (Not ALL)and get them to vote against the President and his policies.

Yeah..I've said that...and now I'm wondering if his fellow Democrats are equally as guilty of the same thing. It is understandable that Democrats and progressives are upset with the President's compromise last week...but for one , as yet unnamed Democrat to say "F___ the President" last week was uncalled for. For another Democrat to publicly say "This President is spineless" is also pretty foul. I can't imagine any Republican ever uttering anything so publicly negative about President Bush, regardless of how much his popularity took a dip in early 2008.

Considering that noted Democrats such as Nevada's Sen. Harry Reid (famed for his "Negro dialect" comment, remember that?) and former President Bill Clinton (you'll recall his comment to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy about Barack Obama serving coffee) have made rather disrespectful comments about the president in recent times, we should not wonder much about why the level of angst and condescending tone is now rising after key Democrat losses in November and the president's much-needed compromise, particularly since Democrats do not have the votes to pass any kind of legislation without Republican cooperation.

And although the 2008 presidential primary is a distant memory, it was not that long ago that key Democratic partisans were unpleasantly surprised by a young, educated black newcomer who came onto the scene seemingly out of nowhere to steal a nomination from consensus choice Hillary Clinton and then went on to win the White House. Is it then, that much of a stretch to suggest that those lingering feelings from 2008 -- some racial, some not -- are playing a part in the disrespectful comments and rhetoric we are hearing from some Democrats today?

And why are we so willing to chalk up Democratic frustration to mere differences of opinion, even when we have evidence that suggests other factors? If Democrats are capable of having philosophical differences with President Obama, then why is it so hard to believe that Republicans can do the same without race being a factor? Why? Because I have seen them all have disagreements with former President Clinton, that didn't seem to take on such a personal tone...

This is this question that every Black person has asked themselves at sometime in their lifetime when in a conflict with a person who happens to be white...Is this about what we are talking about ?? or is this because I'm Black?? A lot of whites feel that Blacks are over sensitive about race and are too quick to pull that pesky race card....And I'll admit... a lot of Blacks are hyper sensitive about race...but on the other hand....too much black blood has run like a river in the streets and valleys of America...I can understand the average brother and sister being a little suspicious of certain situations.

If this is about ideology, then fine...but as the insults and disrespect for this man and his office grows more personal, day by day from both parties...I can't help but think that this is something else, something more..something deeper.

There has never been a black U.S. president before, and since racism knows no boundaries, maybe the underlying frustrations permeate -- and eventually rear their ugly heads on -- both sides of the aisle, even if others are unwilling to admit it out of pure indifference or plain ignorance.

If this is true, then the subtle racism or what I like to call"the New Jim Crow" is stronger than some would like to believe it could be in the 21st century, and furthermore, it can supersede even partisan politics. If this is true, it is a lesson that President Obama is going to learn the hard way in Washington.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Get Well Aretha


Like most of you by now, the sad news has broken that the Queen of Soul ,Aretha Franklin is very sick. I'm not ready to lose another soul giant. I mean, we've lost Michael, Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross,James Brown, James Moody, Soloman Burke, Gerald Levert, Rick James ,Barry White,Levi Stubbs and Issac Hayes just to name a few. I know ,that's very selfish of me....but this is the way I feel. If she never sings another note..I'd still feel better just knowing that the Queen of soul was still in the world.

I first got wind that something was afoot with Aretha when A few months back, Aretha Franklin cancelled all of her concerts through May 2011 and was said to be recovering from a mystery illness.Whenever I hear the term "mystery" anything I start thinking about either Aids or demon cancer...Neither one a welcome sight to anybody.

Meanwhile, an unnamed family member(it's always an unnamed family member or a source close to an unnamed family member that releases this kind of information.) told a local television news outlet that Aretha has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Another relative said the family is "very concerned." but would not confirm the pancreatic cancer report.

Just last week (Dec.2), The Queen of Soul underwent an undisclosed medical procedure in her hometown of Detroit and sent out an update on her condition to fans through her current media representative, Tracy Jordan.

According to Tracy Jordan ,"The surgery was highly successful. God is still in control. I had superb doctors and nurses whom were blessed by all the prayers of the city and the country. God bless you all for your prayers," Aretha said. A prayer vigil was also held for the 68 year-old ''Respect'' singer headed by city councilwoman JoAnn Watson.

The National Enquirer,( that paragon of truth) reported that it was indeed pancreatic cancer,an incurable cancer with a rate of survival is a low 5-10%.Depending on who you listen to , this has either been confirmed or unconfirmed.I hope it's not true. Tracy Jordan was unable to offer comment regarding the National Enquirer report.

Aretha's longtime friend, Rev. Jesse Jackson, spoke to the Associated Press today and said he's visited with her four or five times recently and said the multiple Grammy Award winner is "recovering very well" from surgery.

Several famous people have died of pancreatic cancer over the years, including Patrick Swayze, Joan Crawford, Michael Landon, as well as her friend and famed tenor Luciano Pavarotti, whom she paid tribute to at a 1998 Grammy MusiCares benefit.

Shortly thereafter at the 1998 Grammy Awards, the 'Chain of Fools' singer also stepped in and performed his signature "Nessun Dorma" in Pavarotti's place and at his request, when the opera star became too ill to perform.

How tragic and ironic that now she is rumored to be suffering from the same ailment.
I sincerely hope that this is not the case and that God heals our Queen of Soul and returns her to us. As I said before..If she never sings another note..I would still feel good just knowing she is amongst the living. Get Well Aretha.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Streak Ends


As I write this...It's a Monday night....By the time you see this..It'll be Tuesday....and Bret Farve's streak of consecutive starts will have ended at 297. The Cal Ripken Jr. of Pro Football has nothing to be ashamed of...297 consecutive starts is a record that won't be touched for awhile....In any sport.

Maybe, just maybe...with a "fresh" quarterback, The Vikings might even have a chance of beating the visiting New York Giants on this cold winter night.Even with an extra day to heal, Favre was unable to play because of a shoulder injury he suffered in a Dec. 5 win over Buffalo.As you all probably know by now...This past Sunday...17 inches of snow ripped holes into the Metrodome in Minneapolis where the Vikings play and the game had to be postponed until tonight. They will play the game in Detroit.

Tarvaris Jackson will get the nod for the 5-7 Vikings, which are trying to keep their faint playoff hopes alive. The 41-year-old Favre had started every game since being promoted to Green Bay’s first-string offense on September 27, 1992. Favre’s starting streak was in jeopardy once in October when he suffered a foot and ankle injury in a loss to Green Bay. Favre, though, did start the following week in New England. What a soldier! I know I've clowned him in past posts because of his penchant for serial retiremant, but I have to go on the record and say that I respect the man and his acheivemant and endurance.

The snapping of this streak is yet another rough patch in Bret Favre’s 20th NFL season.Bret Favre has thrown 10 touchdowns and 18 interceptions for a Vikings team expected to contend for a Super Bowl berth.(Is this the same team that went 12-4 last year?)Bret Favre also is under NFL investigation for an alleged sexual harassment incident involving a former New York Jets media personality.

As Football seasons go..individual records and "streaks" aren't that important in the larger scheme of things. I'm sure Bret Farve would agree.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Life To Waste


I was at the drug store recently and I ran into a girl I knew. You might say that we grew up together on the same block. It's funny what people carry around with them....She showed me a photo (I wish I could have kept it and scanned it.) of eight of us kids , taken when I was about 5.
She's two years older than me and I think one of her older brothers or her mother actually snapped the photo... About seven of us were all sitting on someone's steps...Me, looking all innocent...a harbringer to the hell raiser I was going to grow up to be...

Of course I asked about the whereabouts of this one and that one....Of the girls, this one was married , had a couple of kids, this one was married and living in Atlanta...This one was divorced, had a couple of kids and living not too far from the old neighborhood, etc, etc. The guys unfortunately took a different path...One guy was dead, massive heart attack! , Another one was in and out of prison and last known to be in a rehab center.... there was me and then there was the guy sitting next to me...She shook her head when she got to him.

"He's not dead is he?" I asked.

"No, but he might as well be." she said.

It seems as if he was working for the phone company, right out of high school and on the fast track to being very successful when he was injured in a car accident. He went through rehab, but he needed a hip replacement. He refused to get the hip replacement and has lived on disability and workman's comp ever since with his mother. (He had been injured while driving one of the phone company's vehicles.)

"He won't get a hip replacement or even one of those motorized wheel chairs" she said -"And you know why??? because then he might have to go and get a job...and be forced to have a life." she said.

Apparently he had never married , had never had any children and had never ventured past the
local grocery store near his home since about 1992 she said. Then she said something that made me freeze-

"You know, as far as I know you only get one life.....A life is a terrible thing to waste...He has no woman, few friends...and he's sapping the life of his poor mother who shouldn't have to take care of a 50 year old man." she said. I agreed, I hung my head. This guy had been "going somewhere" when we were growing up...He was somewhat of a ladies man, had made good grades in school and should have gone to college. He got a great job after high school and had a little car and was doing good, back when I was kind of lean in the 80's. Why people take a detour and just shut down their lives is just beyond me. As I walked to my car I thought about what she said..."You only get one life , a life is a terrible thing to waste."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

R.I.P. James Moody

JAMES MOODY- 1926-2010



The world of music has lost another giant. I have just learned that Jazz great ,James Moody has passed away. He died of pancreatic cancer on Thursday night. He was 85.

James Moody was born in Savannah, Ga., in 1926, James Moody was raised in Newark, New Jersey. He was born partially deaf, which caused him to lisp, yet this obstacle never diminished his musical skills. He served in a segregated Air Force unit during World War II. After his discharge in 1946, he joined Dizzy Gillespie's big band. Diz was a profound mentor for Moody both in music and in temperament.

James Moody navigated the tricky harmonics of bebop with ease, but with his ebullient stage presence, he wasn't afraid to move the crowd. He took the standard "I'm in the Mood for Love" and changed it into a completely different tune that became known as "Moody's Mood for Love." A Jazz club classic!

When jazz singer Eddie Jefferson added lyrics to it, including the memorable "There I go, there I go, there I go, there I go ... ," it became a standard. It has been covered by everyone from Aretha Franklin to George Benson to Amy Winehouse and Take 6. James Moody and Nancy Wilson sang it as a duet on an episode of The Cosby Show. Bill Cosby called the tune "a national anthem."

James Moody often played with Dizzy Gillespie as well as leading his own bands. For several years he played in the pit band at a hotel in Las Vegas so that he could raise a family without being on the road all the time.

He will be greatly missed!

Saturday Seven (7 Things On My Playlist)


1.Quincy Jones-Soul Bossa Nostra- Q's first "new" music in 15 years finds him looking back and re-doing some of the classic tracks he did for other artists...stand out performances here from Akon,Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend,Mary J. Blige,Bebe Winans,Robin Thicke and Amy Winehouse.

2.Eric Benet-Lost in Time - An excellent outing from Eric Benet...The title is correct, this gem is lost in time...a time when people used to actually write a song, not sample somebody elses and throw a new lyric on it...Play real instruments and actually sing.....This is R&B at it's finest.

3.Ronald Isley- Mr. I - What can I say about a music career that is longer than I've been alive?? Like his song says..They don't make em like you no more!

4.Jazmine Sullivan - Love Me Back - What can I say about "Newwwww Jazmine...."? Nice sophmore effort...The girl got pipes...but there is no one song like "Bust your windows" that jumps out at you...Still Worth a Listen!

5. Chrisette Michelle -Let Freedom Ring!! _ This gal can sangggg, you hear me? She can sing the pages of the telephone book to me...Please buy this! There is a great song called "I don't know why but I do" that features Jazmine Sullivan and John Legend on it. That's worth the entire CD.

6. John Legend and The Roots- Wake Up - What a collaboration!!! Just classic music here redone for a new generation and done well!

7.Kanye West-My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy... I know, I knock Kanye's annoying habit of being annoying in the public...but I can't knock his talent...This is the best hip hop cd of the year in my opinion....

Friday, December 10, 2010

Weekend Humor


A group of psychiatrists were attending a convention. Four of them decided to leave, and walked out together. One said to the other three, "People are always coming to us with their guilt and fears, but we have no one that we can go to when we have problems." The others agreed.

Then one psychiatrist said, "Since we are all professionals here, why don't we take some time right now to hear each other out?"

"Yeah..that's a good idea.." , Yeah...damn right" "Yes" They all agreed.

The first then confessed, "I have an uncontrollable desire to kill my patients."

The second psychiatrist said, "I love expensive things and so I find ways to cheat my patients out of all of their damn money whenever I can so I can buy the things I want."

The third followed with, "I'm involved with selling drugs and often get my patients to sell them for me. Vicodin, Viagra, Cialis, allergy medicine...even morphine and ecstacy."

The fourth psychiatrist then confessed, " Oh myyyy, I know I'm not supposed to, but no matter how hard I try, I can't keep a secret..."

Left Turn


I left my job's holiday party last night and was driving home...I had had only one alcoholic drink and had ate as many of the little finger food items I could possibly eat...I decided to take another route home...Not that there are that many...but enough to make my 15 minute drive from my job to my home interesting some time.

Upon turning down this street , I came across a horrific accident! Actually, the accident had already occurred...There were of course several bystanders and two police cars with their lights shining the pretty red and blue colors... I thought that I had heard that the police were no longer required to show up at car accidents?


You know what they say about not wanting to look at a car wreck, but not being able to turn your head either? Yesterday, that was me...One car, was so badly damaged that there was no point in taking it anywhere but the scrap heap...There was no way this car was ever taking anybody anywhere....The other vehicle..a Pathfinder...had been hit so hard...it was up on the pavement...the entire wheel on the passenger side was gone...as was the windsheild and the driver's side rear view mirror..the front headlights were broken and the hood was bent....I don't think this vehicle was ever going to run again either..

Miraculously, both drivers appeared to be unscathed.....I don't know how they survived this crash...but they both were being seperated by two poor policeman who looked like they were fresh out of the academy and what's worse that this was the most time they'd ever spent with African -Americans in their lives. I actually felt sorry for them!


Both drivers were screaming at the top of their lungs about who's fault it was...and what was worse...the proper driving etiquette when making a left turn....Their argument focused on who had the right of way...One said it was the person who got to the corner first...the other said that it didn't matter..it was the person coming from his direction...I sure wish one of my driving instructors from AAA had of been around to settle the dispute. If we had more traffic lights with turning signals on them in the city limits there would be no need for dispute...I'm amazed that there aren't more accidents of this kind..

I didn't stand out there too long....For one thing...It was cold....very cold and another...That one drink I'd had at that party could reasonably be determined to be over the legal limit of alcohol consumption allowed by a driver....No need in me being hemmed up too....I got out of there and did my best to obey all of the traffic laws until I got home.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Random Thoughts


1. Most people live their alter egos through Twitter and Facebook.

2. It could be argued that Twitter and Facebook killed the Blogger.

3.We Bloggers used to have a community, what happened?

4. I do both , Blog and Social Network....

5.I've just started making a few social changes in my life , changes I said I was going to make two years ago.

6. Sometimes Change is Hard!

7.The people you help won't remember it and the people you hurt won't forget it!

8. You can plan for happiness all you want, but it only happens when it's time for it to happen.

9.'The Days of Our Lives, For all of us are numbered."-Elizabeth Edwards , 1949-2010,RIP

10.If You Laugh More, You cry less

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Collateral Damage


Not all of my readers are fans....There is at least one person, who never uses his or her real name..They hide behind "anonymous" who says that my blog should be called ''Obama's Space" and that I am the mouthpeice of the present administration. I don't think I am...but..I'll consider the source. Yes , this is my second peice about the President in two days...but this issue is , well,kind of important. I pay taxes..you pay taxes....It is important.

As I stated yesterday...I suspected that Democrats would not be pleased with the President's compromise and I was right , they aren't.. In fact Democrats are hopping mad with President Obama over the temporary extension of these Bush-era tax credits to the wealthy. President Obama defended the deal with the devil his administration has struck with Republicans, including extending tax cuts for all income levels, saying the concessions are necessary to avoid a tax increase for nearly all Americans at year's end.

President Obama said he would have preferred to have let the tax cuts for high income (ie- rich people) expire, and he pledged to continue to argue that Republicans are wrong in insisting that all the cuts be extended. So , you could argue why sign on to something that you know is wrong? The president has said that by allowing the Senate stalemate to continue and the tax cuts to lapse -- as some Democrats have urged -- would have resulted in a long political fight that might have helped his party but "would be a bad deal for the economy and a bad deal for the American people." In other words...a prolonged fight would have left some people without their unemployment benefits...right doing the holiday season and like it or not, your taxes would have gone up in January...The American people would have been collateral damage....President Obama wanted to avoid that.

Think about it..Seven hundred billion dollars added to an already bloated deficit is a bad deal all the way around for the American people. Extending these tax cuts from which the wealthiest portion of the country has benefited for almost a decade is bad for the American people also.

I understand why the President did what he did, but I don't like it....I don't like that he had to do it...I don't like to think that he may find himself in more situations in which he may have to compromise to keep the American people from becoming collaeral damage. Why don't you people wake up? You people who keep voting for republican candidates , you people who keep buying into all that crap about the government is involved too much in every facet of our lives!
It's smoke and mirrors...Let's just call it what it is...It's BULLSHIT!!! It's the same crap they've been saying since Ronald Reagon's so called revolution.

The Republicans are working for the wealthy....It's the wealthy who have funnelled so much cash into all of their campaigns this past fall...It's the wealthy insurance companies that are fighting health care the most...It's the wealthy that have benefited from tax cuts for nearly a decade...How do you , a poor factory worker justify voting for a party that's not representing your interests? Is it because you're really voting against the black face that sits in the White house??? Is that why you believe any old non-sense that is written about the man?? Is that why you'll vote for people that don't give a damn about you??? Smarten up!

These men will use religion, lies, racism...anything...to protect their right to hoard everything and the majority of the american people, white, black, hispanic, asian , native american, recent immigrant...man , woman will continue to suffer collateral damage....For all you people who didn't bother to vote..This is what you got....Great job guys!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

R.I. P. Elizabeth Edwards

1949- 2010

The Great Compromise of 2010


President Obama was forced to compromise today....and in doing so, he broke one of his main campaign promises...I'm talking about extending tax cuts to the wealthy.The tentative deal he made would extend for at least two years all of the tax breaks set to expire on December 31 st of this year, continue unemployment benefits for an additional 13 months and cut payroll taxes for workers in a bid to get employers to start hiring again. (I hope this works.) Those of us, like extreme leftist me, who feared the president might abandon the needs of his progressive base can at least point to the 2 million unemployed people who won't run out of benefits next year if the deal goes through. I suppose that's a good thing.

His compromise with the Republicans includes some goodies for the wealthy, like extending the Bush tax cuts for them -- something which President Obama had previously said he opposed and wasn't going to do -- as well as setting the estate tax at 35 percent for two years on inheritances worth more than $5 million. Both provisions are expected to face stiff opposition by congressional Democrats. Damned if you don't, damned if you do...

When asked to comment on the latest developments President Obama had this to say-

"What is abundantly clear to everyone in this town is that Republicans will block a permanent tax cut for the middle class unless they also get a permanent tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, regardless of the cost or impact on the deficit."

"We saw that in two different votes in the Senate that were taken this weekend. And without a willingness to give on both sides, there’s no reason to believe that this stalemate won't continue well into next year. This would be a chilling prospect for the American people whose taxes are currently scheduled to go up on January 1st because of arrangements that were made back in 2001 and 2003 under the Bush tax cuts.

"I am not willing to let that happen. I know there’s some people in my own party and in the other party who would rather prolong this battle, even if we can't reach a compromise. But I'm not willing to let working families across this country become collateral damage for political warfare here in Washington. And I'm not willing to let our economy slip backwards just as we're pulling ourselves out of this devastating recession."

What I can't understand is why people , common people, Black ,white, brown, what have you, can't see that these Republicans are clearly working for and looking out for the interests of the wealthy...not common everyday working people..They aren't hiding it...it's right there...Those Bush tax cuts are for whom? Not me..Not any of my readers...okay, not any of my known readers. Yet , so many people in the same economic class as I , voted against their class interests...Why? Another topic for another blog post I suppose.

Some senior Obama Administration officials said they are banking on these upper-income tax cuts, which they estimate will cost about $700 billion, to be a thorn in the GOP's side during the 2012 presidential campaign. The tax cuts are set to expire at the end of that year.

Maybe, just maybe by then most Americans will realize that despite their dreams of joining the ranks of the wealthy,(which all of us secretly want to do, right?) they would be better off voting for their actual wallets the next time around.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Kinda Mood


I got up Saturday morning, showered and dressed and yeah, immediately went to Facebook and Twitter. Nothing going on there...so my wife and I went out, got some breakfast and then hit the mall for some Christmas shopping. This time of year is always both exhausting and exasperating to
me. I don't like standing in long lines, impatient guy that I am. I don't like going in stores and wanting something and finding the item picked over or worse...all gone. I don't like shopping in crowded malls period...People are rude, inconsiderate and totally oblivious to their fellow man. All that stuff about giving and cheer and good will to all men (and women) is lost on the average mall shopper.

Today though, I was as calm and cool as a cucumber. (Don't quite remember when cucumbers became cool, but I'll go with it for now.) The reason being was because I didn't shop. Didn't buy a thing, didn't stand in a line, didn't get pushed by a rude ,inconsiderate customer....nothing! My wife did all of the shopping. She was shopping for our grandchildren... I'll no doubt purchase a few things at a later date...but it will more than likely be on a weekday that I have taken off from work.

I noticed that something in me has changed too! I don't really want anything. That's why I was so at peace in that mall. I walked past all the stores with their beautiful displays and their announcements of this sale and that sale and I just shrugged...I wasn't interested in anything being sold. I don't need any clothing right now...Not interested in any music purchases...No novels out that I don't already have and I don't buy or rent dvds much...I order them on cable or I actually go to the movies to see what I want. (Sometimes my barber has a first run movie around the same time it's out in the theatre and for the cost of a really good haircut,I get to see it on his "50 inch HDTV flat screen with surround sound.heh ,heh, heh...)

When I was a young man and hungry (and broke) I wanted everything in the mall......My nose was pressed against the window pane of many a store and my imagination would always take me to a time when I could have the things I wanted. Not that I'm rich now....Far from it..but I have most of what I want and best of all, all of what I need...So ,I walked through the malls today (We went to more than one) and I wanted to want something being sold...The displays were so beautiful and inviting....but....I just didn't want anything...Really..it surprised me too...I didn't want anything....I don't know how to feel about that..but that's the way it was with me today.

The only thing I paid for today was our meals and the movie we saw.. I'm not Scrooge...I'm enjoying seeing the ornaments and the designs and the displays...I'm really getting into the so called spirit of the holiday and planning my Christmas playlist...but again the urge to spend any money on things has just not hit me yet.....For the sake of the economy...I sure hope everybody doesn't start feeling like me right now.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Weekend Humor


A boy was watching his father shave in the bathroom one morning and he asked his father a question that had been perplexing him for a while.

"Dad, what is the difference between confident and confidential?" he asked.

His Father continued to shave and replied...

"Well, Tyrone... you are my son and of that fact, I am confident. Your friend, Raphael down the street is also my son and that girl in your class named Brenda is my daughter... and that is confidential!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What The Hell?


You know, I will write about something and somebody will from time to time ask me if I made it up. I'm telling you... real life is more bizzare than anything I can dream up! I wrote a week ago about the TSA pat down, how people shouldn't be complaining about it, and how I didn't care if I was patted down as long as the plane was safe and my flight was smooth. Well, I didn't expect this story and a friend of mine passed this on to me from a news service. Naturally, this happened in San Francisco...
A 47 year old gay man was arrested at San Francisco International Airport Monday after ejaculating while being patted down by a male TSA agent. Percy Cummings, an interior designer from San Francisco, is being held without bail after the alleged incident, charged with sexually assaulting a Federal agent.

According to Cummings’ life partner, Sergio Armani (no, really, that's his name), Percy Cummings has "multiple piercings on his manhood" which were detected during a full body scan. As a result, Cummings was pulled aside for a pat-down. Armani stated that the unidentified TSA agent spent "an inordinate amount of time groping" Cummings, who had apparently become sexually aroused. Cummings, who has a history of sexual dysfunction, ejaculated while the TSA agent’s hand was feeling the piercings. The TSA agent, according to several witnesses, promptly called for back up. Cummings was thrown to the ground and handcuffed. Is this some Saturday Night Live stuff or what?

A TSA spokesperson declined to comment on this specifc case, but said that "anyone ejaculating during a pat-down would be subject to arrest. "Okay, you can stop laughing now. Oh what the hell, I'm still laughing as I write this... I can't go on any further because this is too ridiculous! Only in America!

12/02/10 Disclaimer: I have since found out that this incident did not happen. My friend got this story from a site called "Dead Serious News". I wrote this post before I found out about this bogus news site that has several erroneous stories on it. Still, this was too funny not to print and publish. It just goes to show you can't always trust what you get off of Facebook and Twitter!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What I've Learned


1. Man longs for freedom, but everywhere he is in chains.

2. People always say that they believe in free speech and freedom of expression, yet they always try to censor or squelch someone else's.

3. Every man (or woman, for that matter) will act to protect their own self interest, yet why are so many of our interests outside of the status quo? What's wrong with this picture?

4. I'm an acquired taste!

5. One moment you're the flavor of the month, the next you're "who"? I've learned to take it all in stride!

6. My father taught me that the best gift is a simple gift that you'll use. A good lesson indeed!

7. You really can't do anything about something you can't do anything about.

8. My mother was an artist. She painted beautiful murals in a couple of houses when I was young. Me, I couldn't draw or paint worth a damn a I guess my gift is in writing. Which just goes to show, you never know just what gift you'll get and it's not necessarily the same gift your parents had.

9. I probably should have gotten a few more spankings than I actually got when I was growing up. If so, I would probably be more conservative today and I'd be a Republican for sure!

10. If you want to be healthy, you should probably drink 4.5 liters of water a day. It shouldn't be cold, just room temperature, and it should have a lemon in it. I don't know if this is really true, but I was watching that magician, David Blaine, on television and he said it. Go figure!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Reset Button


According to a recent poll, almost 7 in 10 registered voters say they voted in the mid-term elections with the hope of seeing change. By a 2 to 1 margin, they say the election results (and the resulting divided government) are good for the country. But, they are doubtful of just how much change will actually take place. Huh? Sometimes, I really wonder how much critical and logical thinking is going on amongst American voters.

Almost 3/4 (73%) say there either will not be much change or just some change. And, 76% believe the country is headed for a period of division with the parties showing little willingness to work together or compromise. So, how could these same people expect anything to change in an atmosphere like this? We were having a problem getting any real change when one party ruled both the house and the senate... does anyone think now that they are evenly divided, there will be any cooperation? If anything there will be more rancor and division.

A kindergarten child could figure this out, but so many Americans and so-called adults couldn't. This is why a good many of them either didn't vote or they voted Republican during the last election. They voted for candidates who failed to tell them just how they planned to change anything. They voted for candidates from the party they tossed out for the stellar job they did in wrecking the economy just two years before! Astonishing!

"The message emerging from this survey is, Americans want to hit the Washington "reset button," said Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted the poll with Republican pollster Bill McInturff, "but they’re skeptical cooperation can replace combat and that progress can supplant gridlock." So again, I ask... What do they (the American public) want? More importantly, what did they expect?

Newsflash! There is no reset button and business goes on as usual. The party in power flexes and the party that was vanquished plays spoiler and says "NO!" to everything... just because a kindergartener can explain the whole process to you. It's that simple. People don't really want change. Oh, I know they say they do... but when it comes, they aren't ready to pay the price that change costs and they're scared of actually getting what they asked for. It's a paradox. Oh, of course it is... but it is the way we, the American voters, have always been.

When this next congress is seated in January, you're going to have the neophytes, the Tea Party crowd, who think they're going to rewrite the Bible and who, more than likely, are going to be informed by those with seniority in their own party of just what they can and will not be doing, and you'll have what is left of the Democrats, playing spoiler. It will be their turn to filibuster and say "No!" to everything and you'll have a President who won't be able to get a bill passed. That doesn't sound like change to me... that sounds like business as usual.

This is what those of you who didn't vote and those of you who voted Republican voted for. There is no reset button. It's a very bleak outlook I know, but a very likely and realistic one. I hope I'm wrong!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday Seven (7 Things I Won't Do After Thanksgiving)


1. Have a turkey sandwich.

2. Make turkey soup .

3. Camp outside of any store on Thanksgiving night at midnight until 4:00am waiting for it to open because of some sale.

4. Go to the mall on Black Friday. (Okay, I did go... but I didn't buy not one thing and I was out in one hour!)

5. Watch the Law & Order marathon on TNT. I've been there, done that, and I'm not doing it this year!

6. Make turkey pasta or any other turkey dish for that matter. (Although, I did post a recipe for that on my other blog! LOL!)

7. Discuss what I ate or did not eat on Thanksgiving!

That's just me. Hope your holiday was a happy one! LOL!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Just A Parting Thought Before Thanksgiving


As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, it occurred to me that I could complain about a lot. If you read this blog, you know that I constantly do complain about the injustices and unjust people in life, amongst other things. And, while I could complain about a lot more, it is also true that there are a lot of good things in my life that I don't have to complain about... things that I am thankful for now.

I'm not homeless, not jobless, and not without an automobile. I've been without at least two of these things a couple of Thanksgivings that come to mind. I have a beautiful and loving wife, a daughter, son-in-law, and two wonderful grandchildren. I have a refrigerator full of food, a couple of dollars in my pockets, and a warm bed to lay my head every night. There are some people somewhere who have none of these things. And, I can say that there was a time not too long ago when I didn't have them either, so I count my blessings.

No matter what else is going wrong in the universe, there is a lot going right in it somewhere... and for those things, those seemingly little things that we all sometimes take for granted, I am thankful!

Have a happy and joyous holiday everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Random Thoughts


1. Nobody likes liars, but everybody couldn't possibly be telling the truth.

2. Who stole the soul from music?

3. People shouldn't hold on to something or someone who has already let go of them!

4. Letting go of an old grudge or old hurt can be quite liberating.

5. It really is a thin line between love and hate!

6. Everybody is not going to understand your dreams, but that doesn't mean that they aren't worthwhile.

7. Fortunate is the man who is the first love of a woman, but fortunate still is the woman who is the last love of a man.

8. Find me a pathway with no obstacles and I'll show you a pathway that probably isn't leading you anywhere.

9. The truth only steps on your toes when you're walking out of line.

10. You can't climb the ladder of success if your hands are in your pockets... (think on that!)

Monday, November 22, 2010

TSA and T&A


In 2004, I was on my way to Spain. In Madrid, their subway had just been bombed and Al Queda had taken responsibility for it. In Philadelphia, I just put all of my belongings from my pockets into a plastic tray and they went through the x-ray machine and the scanner. I got on the plane... no fuss, no muss. But in Madrid, I had to take my belt and shoes off. I was patted down and I had to empty my pockets. I was not pleased to say the least... I guess that was the spoiled and entitled American in me.

When I got to Southern Spain, my destination, I had to go through all of this again. I reasoned... I was getting off the plane and leaving the airport! I complained to one of my friends about this and he said, "Look... as long as I don't blow-up way up in the sky and nobody trys to hijack this plane and fly it into a building, they can look as much as they want and where they want." So, that put everything into perspective and my friend was right. They were doing this to make sure I and everybody else was safe from these Al Queda lunatics... and not just them, but anybody who decides to get crazy on the plane.

This is why I don't understand all this whining now about the Transportation Security Administration deciding to pat down people in airports and do body scans. You've got people carrying bombs in their shoes and in their underwear. Some folks just sent several bombs over here that mercifully didn't detonate in small breif cases. By all means, search whereever you see fit!

Travelers and airports are preparing for one of the biggest travel days of the year, while the TSA comes under scrutiny. The controversy over body scanners and personal pat downs is only the prelude. Some argue that private security would be better than TSA and Jerry Orr, Aviation Director at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, doesn't disagree. Florida Congressman John Mica is leading the push. He sent letters to different aviation directors across the country, asking them to reconsider using TSA.

"We can do better," said Mica. "The private screeners under Federal supervision performed statistically, significantly better." Airports can opt out of using TSA for private security. The Administration would still regulate the security, making sure all standards are met and maintained. Jerry Orr supports the idea but said it came down to cost. "We could certainly do that, but we would then be paying for it with our money instead of TSA paying for it with everybody's money," said Orr. TSA said nine airports across the country currently opt out for private security.

This is all fine, well, and good... but a life is a very valuable commodity and taking the cheap road when it comes to protecting not just one life, but many many lives, is just not going to cut it. For those who are too timid to have the body scans and are so offended by the pat downs, I have this to say... grow up and stop whining and don't fly. Drive!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday Seven (7 Movies I Can Watch Over & Over)


1. High Noon: This is one of my favorite westerns. I so identify with poor Gary Cooper as the sherif, who has to defend the town against the bad guys alone. Everyone else had left and I've felt like him so many times in my life.

2. Chinatown: You don't really know Jack until you've seen Jack Nicholson in this modern film noir classic.

3. North By Northwest: I always fancied myself as the black Cary Grant. Cary was great in this great action and suspense flick, which featured one of the first great chase scenes.



4. The Omen: The original, released in 1976, still scares the crap out of me whenever I watch it. All of that crazy singing... that nasty little boy... the animals at the zoo freaking out (they knew the devil was there, even if the stupid humans didn't). It's still one of the scariest films I ever saw.

5. Shaft: "Who's the black private dick who's a sex machine to all the chicks? Shaft! Ya damn right! Can you dig it?" When it was released in 1971, I was still a little too young to see it. I finally saw it for the first time when I was about 27 years old. I rented it and it's become one of my favorite films.

6. The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: This was my introduction to Clint Eastwood and I've been a fan ever since. This movie is another one of my favorite westerns.

7. There's Something About Mary: This has gotta be one of the funniest movies I've ever seen! I've only seen this movie once, believe it or not... but I can't remember laughing ever so hard during an entire movie.

There are many more movies than this that I can watch over and over, but these are the seven that come to mind off of the top of my head.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Weekend Humor (2 Short Ones)


I

A young girl named Chante came home from a date looking sad. She told her mother, "Sadiq proposed to me a few minutes ago."

"Oh really? That's great news! Why are you so sad?" her mother asked.

"Because Sadiq also mentioned that he is an atheist. Mom, that goes against my Baptist upbringing. He doesn’t believe there’s hell!"

Her mother replied, "Marry him anyway, Chante. Between the two of us, we’ll show him how wrong he is."

II

A young man named Lamont was looking to get married and said to his friend, Otis... "Yo, O. Every woman I bring home to meet my parents, my mom doesn't like."

"Oh, that's easy," replied Otis. "All you have to do is find someone who's just like your moms." "Aww, man... I did that already," he said, "and that one my father didn't like!"

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The "Election" That Really Counts


This was my Facebook status yesterday...

"People are upset!!! People Are outraged!!! They got hoodwinked!!! They got bamboozled!!!Brandy has been kicked off of Dancing With the Stars!!! Bristol Palin is still on the show. I hope all of these people bothered to vote in the election that really counted, which was about two weeks ago. I'm betting that half of these people didn't."

I wrote in another status...

"Half of these people can't tell you the name of our new (Republican) Governor-elect (in Pennsylvania, it's Tom Corbett, just in case you thought that I didn't know), but they know that Brandy was the better dancer on DWTS. But hell, even I know that and I don't watch the show!"

You know me... I've been hollering and screaming about our priorities where this type of thing is concerned ad nauseum as long as this blog has been in existence. Yeah, I know that Brandy got kicked off of Dancing With The Stars two nights ago... that's all everybody on Facebook and Twitter have been talking about. I'm amazed at the passion and the pure outrage over the events of a silly "reality" television show. Yet, the great majority of these people are clueless about what's about to happen to them in January when this Republican congress takes over. See, that's exactly why this type of thing happens... people get distracted by nonsense while the world collapses around them.

Oh well, maybe it's just as well. You know what they say... "Ignorance is bliss!" I'm sure Brandy will be just fine...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Good Brother


I first met the brother I'll call BKL when I was in college, pledging Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. So, that would be early 1980 and I was 21 years old. He wasn't a student at my college, Shippensburg... he was from a neighboring state college, Millersville. He was one of several "visiting brothers" who flowed into our college that spring. There was 11 of us pledging together at that time and there were no brothers on our campus. We would be the first. Officially, we were pledging at nearby Penn State. When word got out that we were on a campus with no "supervision", guys flowed in on a regular basis to make sure that we were getting (I'll say) the " proper acclimation" and leave it at that.

I believe the brothers from Millersville were the most constant visitors, next to Cheyney State. Anyway, This is really not about my pledge period... it's about a friendship that has lasted over thirty-some years. When I first saw this brother, I was ready to just drop off the line and say forget it. He was huge... even his muscles had muscles and he wore his hair in a process (kinda like David Rufffin of the Tempts). He had a goatee and those big dark shades... a very imposing figure. When he took his shirt off, he had a Kappa brand on both arms and one on his chest. Years later, I would ask him why so many brands and he would jokingly laugh, "I wanted to make sure."

As fearsome as this guy looked, he was one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet. Just a gentle soul that barely raised his voice above a whisper. He didn't have to... you weren't going to disobey him or get on his wrong side. He didn't make it to my initiation, which was a few days after my 22nd birthday, but he did see me a little while after. And, as is tradition, he gave me some paraphenailia that had been his... a cane, which I in turn gave to one of my former pledges some years later, and a Kappa insignia pin, which I still own to this day.

When his school had pledges the very next year, I came down with my guys and BKL treated us like royalty. He got all of us a room to sleep in and made sure we were fed and entertained. He was just a good guy all around. It gave me great pride to see his son, who I'll call ML, come along and pledge the same fraternity that his father and I had pledged... on the same campus and the same chapter. I didn't see his son when he was going through the motions, but I became acquainted with him in Philadelphia shortly after he became a brother at one of my last Greek picnic appearences.

Sadly, he told me that his father was battling cancer... that demon cancer, that had taken, my mother, an aunt, a couple of uncles, and recently, another good friend of mine. I told him that I'd keep his father in prayer.

Yesterday, his son contacted me (via Facebook) and informed me that his father, one of the best guys I know, had won his battle with cancer. He had survived an operation and it appeared his cancer would be in remission. If that's not a miracle, a prayer answered, I don't know what is. It's nice to have some good news in a world where there is so much bad news on a constant basis. I'm still praying and hoping for his father's complete recovery!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Kanye Situation


If it's Monday and I'm talking about Rapper Kanye West, then it must mean that I've finally grown tired of writing about the disasterous mid-term elections and the fallout from it. Anyway, I was watching Kanye West on television most of last week. Before I continue, Let me say that I love Kanye West's music and I'm a big fan of his music. I think I have all but one of his CDs and I'm planning to buy his next release too, when it's released. With that said, what I'm going to say next may or may not make me sound like a hypocrite.

Kanye, the person, annoys the hell out of me. He didn't always... but from the time he interrupted Taylor Swift last year at some awards ceremony, to his often controversial for the sake of being controversial behavior and statements, to his daily Twitter outbursts... I just find myself saying, enough already! Will you knock it off and get back to doing what you do best... creating some of the most innovative hip-hop music of his generation.

Most recently, Kanye West had a Twitter meltdown a few days ago surrounding a taped appearance on the "Today Show" sometime last week. In a fairly standard interview, Matt Lauer asked Kanye about his infamous "George Bush doesn't care about black people" statement from 2005 and the Taylor Swift-VMA incident that got cries of racism flipped on Kanye himself.

While producers ran a clip of Kanye's microphone-grabbing stunt at the 2009 VMAs, the rapper stopped talking mid-sentence and said... "Yo! How am I supposed to talk if you gonna run this thing in the middle, while I'm talking?" an affronted Kanye asks. "Please don't let that happen again. It's like, ridiculous," he said, acting like a petulant spoiled brat. They do this to everybody they interview about something controversial. Was this his guilt finally spewing over after seeing how ridiculous and callous he can actually come off at times?

Matt Lauer stood by the interview in a closing segment saying, "It's something we do every day. When a guest is talking about an incident or a location, we run video of that," Lauer says. "There was nothing improper about it, nothing unusual about it whatsoever."

Now, about the George Bush thing... It's hard for me to believe that in a presidency that saw our nation attacked by 911 terrorists, two costly wars, an American city nearly lost to a flood, and a near economic meltdown, the former president says that one of the worst moments of his presidency was the statement that Kanye West made about him not caring about black people. Really, Mr. President? Really?

Earlier in the interview, Matt Lauer asked Kanye to look at George Bush's face in a clip before responding. I didn't need you guys to show me the tape in order to like prompt my emotion to what I'm going to say," a visibly flustered Kanye says. He also asked some people off-camera to "be quiet for a second."

"I came here to say that I made mistakes, that I've grown as a person," Kanye said. "It's not as easy as boxing someone into a villain role or a race role. I didn't have enough information in that situation to call Bush a racist." But yet, he did... and I will admit, at the time, I was so frustrated about the governments lack of action during Katrina, that I actually agreed with what Kanye said about President Bush. But here's the thing about being a celebrity. You cannot say the first thing that comes to mind all the time. When that camera is on and the tape is rolling, it's good to measure your speech. Once they've got you on tape, whatever you said can come back to haunt you. And, it will... please, believe me, it will!

"It sounds to me, not to oversimplify, what you're saying is, 'We're human, we make mistakes, but we have to learn from our mistakes,'' Lauer says. Kanye agreed, but he still continues to make these kinds of mistakes. The media knows he 's good for a controversial quote and here of lately, he's been saying anything just to get in the paper. The other thing about being a celebrity is nine out of ten things you tell a reporter is going to get misconstrued and taken out of context anyway. Kanye has been around long enough to know this. He could learn something from Prince, who was so frustrated with the press in the late 1980s that he just stopped talking period. Prince just started giving interviews again in the last two or three years.

Matt Lauer closed on a conciliatory note: "We look forward to Kanye's return for a special live concert on the plaza on Friday, November 26th." According to Kanye's latest 'Twitter meltdown, he says that he felt used by Matt Lauer. So, it's very likely that he may not show up at the Plaza on November 26th. We'll see...

I'm looking forward to Kanye's new CD, but I'm not looking forward to anymore quasi-controversial statements, spoiled-child behavior, and Twitter meltdowns. Come on, man... I think we all could do without that. But, hey, that's just me!




KEEPING THE FAITH: RANDOM PRAYERS "ON THE DOWNLOAD"
























































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



































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