Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year !!!

What the Memorial Day Weekend Indy 500/NASCAR double is to some in the South -
The New Years Eve/Day Las Vegas/Pasadena double is to many on the West Coast.
But the West Coast double comes with a catch.
If one enjoys himself too much on New Years Eve in Vegas,
the Pasadena New Years Day leg becomes impossible.
Only once in my lifetime was I able to complete such a double.
I had to leave Vegas a bit early,
and the Rose Parade was viewed through blurry eyes.

But I love the Rose Parade in Pasadena.
It's much better than a tacky balloon filled parade through dirty streets (Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade).
How ever you celebrate it - Have a Happy New Year !!!

Happy New Year !!!

Meal which is considered to be good luck here in Southeast Texas;
Pork (Pig Tails, Pig Feet, or Chitterlings)
Cabbage or Greens
Black Eyed Peas.

(I guess I'm in for a bad year.)

Happy NEW Year !!!

Have a Happy 2010 - Good Riddance 'o9 !!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Have A Safe Flight

Members of the NTSB and FAA testing out the new safety seats now required on all international flights.
(Now this ish has gone too far.)

Is Grey Matter Dark Matter?

Most people accept that the majority of light is non-visible.
Still more accept the idea that we only use about 5% of our brain's potential.

And with the Universe consisting of 70% Dark Energy and 26% Dark Matter - it would seem that we are only able to identify about 5% of it's contents.
Is our understanding of Dark Energy and Dark Matter related to the development of our Grey Matter?
When primitive man only understood his local surroundings - was his brain operating at even less than our current 5%?

Monday, December 28, 2009

If We're Keeping Score

After inheriting a failed banking system and a failed auto industry - some would say that Obama is ruining the country.
But a quick look reveals something different.
Dow Jones Average;
January 2009 - Markets trade at a low of 8000.86
December 2009 - Markets up to 10547.08

After Bush promises an end to our 'long national nightmare of peace and prosperity' (The Clinton Years) - at least the man seemed to deliver on his promises.
Dow Jones Average;
January 2001 10646.15
December 2001 10021.57
And some on the Right claim that Obama is ruining our country?

If We're Keeping Score

Barack Obama - Sworn into office January, 2001.

December 25 - "Briefs Bomber" Farouk Abdul Mutallab attempts to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253.

George Bush - Sworn into office January, 2001.

September - October, 2001 - Anthrax mailings panic much of the nation.

September 11, 2001 - Terrorists commandeer three planes crashing two into American landmarks.

December 22, 2001 - "Shoe Bomber" Richard Reid attempts to blow up American Airlines Flight 63.

By a score of 3-1, Bush leads Obama in acts of terrorism allowed during his first year of tenure.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

"Taste Is A Highly Subjective Thing..."

A sagacious blogger stated.

I understand that.
But visual tastes are more complex than what the eye can see.
Ones tastes in preferences for potential partners are similar to that of ones tastes in foods - which go beyond the usually simple tastes of sweet, hot, sour or bitter that are generally associated with foods.
Our preferences in tastes in foods/women can also be determined by what one craves, what the body tells the brain it needs.
Tastes in foods/women can also be influenced by that to which one has been exposed.
Some people love Chitterlings - some, not so much.
Some people love ethnic foods - others don't.
Some people like cooking that tastes like their mother's - some don't like their mothers cooking.
One man's cuisine can be another man's slop.

But a quick sampling of my current list of newscaster hotties includes many types of women who seem to be a variation of the same model.
Since I moved to this undereducated and over-fat market - an attractive, well spoken and fit woman seems to be all that I can focus on while watching television.

So here's a quick run-down of the hottest Black newscasters on television.
(Yes, there are a lot of beautiful non-Black newscasters too. But for the sake of space, I'll limit this list to Hot Black Newscasters.)

Bloomberg - Zahra Buton (pictured above) makes the list.
Monica Bertran fails to make the cut.

CBS News - Michelle Miller and Debbye Turner make the cut.
While Rene Syler, Chagnion Antoine, Stacey Tisdale, Aleen Sirgany, Gwen Beltran, Thalia Assuras and Priya David miss being listed among the elites.

ABC News - Robin Roberts and Linsey Davis make my short list.
While Maya Kulycky and Deborah Roberts fall short.

CNN has a strong showing with Fredericka Whitfield, Richelle Carey and Soledad O'Brien.
While the likes of Stephanie Elam, Femi Oke, Brenda Berard, Kareen Wynter, Valerie Morris, Monica McNeal, Lola Ogunnaike, Natisha Lance add a strong back-up group.

NBC currently leads all takers with my girl Jenna Wolfe, Tamron Hall, Christina Brown and Hoda Kotb.
But Rehema Ellis, Tracie Potts, Rosiland Jordan, Allison Stewart and Sharon Epperson come up short.

The odd this is - I had assumed that ESPN's Sage Steele, Lisa Salters, Rescheal Canidate, Jemele Hill,
or The Weather Channel's Betty Davis, Vivian Brown or Tetiana Anderson would have made my cut.
MY list includes women with fake tiddies (which I hate), small tiddies and no tiddies.
MY list includes some who would be thought too old and some who would be thought too young.
MY list includes some who could be thought too short and some too tall.
My list is just that - "MY list".
But yes... I think these women are my current ideal of beauty.

Mormons > Pac 10 > Catholics

If I were to write the Pac Ten's results in bowl games in the form of an equation - it would appear that the the Mormons would come out on top.

Las Vegas Bowl - BYU 44 - Oregon St. 20 - What a shame, it seems the Mormons decided to take back their old trail from the land in which it terminates.
Poinsettia Bowl - Whotah? 37 - Cal 27 - Okay brohammas... the Utes got lucky.
Emerald Bowl - USC 24 - Boston College 13 - The Trojans sweep the Catholics this year and ex Trojan's quarterback Mark Sanchez dashes Peyton Manning's dream of an undefeated season in the same week?
Okay, I'm back on the Trojan's bandwagon.

Now lets see how the rest of the Pac Ten does in it's upcoming bowl games against the heathens.

Creole Christmas

Much like a Hispanic celebration of Christmas on Christmas Eve filled with friends, family, tamales, and cerveza - many Creoles celebrate Christmas Eve with friends, family, a big pot of gumbo and a lot of liquor.
Instead of listening to oldies - many from southern Louisiana dance to Zydeco in a dance that seems like a more lively two-step.
Not to be confused with the Second Line genre popularized in New Orleans, Zydeco is a bit more country.
A bit more raw.
A lot more fun.

The next time you find yourself down on the bayou during Christmas - skip the traditional Christmas day celebrations.
Instead, try to find a lively Creole Christmas Eve party.
C'est Le Bon Temps Roulez!

Best Modern Family Invention

I gotta' give it to Nintendo and it's Wii - this gadget went against the grain and decided to offer family friendly games instead of high-tech games geared towards men.
(Although I do prefer the PS3 Blu-Ray player.)

This past Christmas, instead of giving gifts to each child in the dysfunctional families I help out, I gave the head of household a Wii gaming system and an extra controller setup ($80 bucks for a primary controller, Nunchuck controller, and a gel motion cover? WTF?).

These single mothers seemed confused by this choice of gifts.
What were they going to do with a kid's gaming system?
But as their son's were able to teach them something while creating their avatars, these mothers began to engage their sons in a way that many haven't been able to since many were young boys.

Instead of each family member being in their own rooms doing their own things - these families began to once again communicate.
These mothers seemed to enjoy their new found ability to knock their sons to the ground in the systems boxing game.
These mothers seemed to enjoy teaching their sons how to plan their way around a golf course.
These boys seemed to enjoy having an attentive mother.

But something odd happened.
Most of the families ended up going outside to play real tennis at the local park (I'd given the kids tennis rackets on prior Christmases), or going to the local park to shoot baskets, or going to the bowling alley for a few games.
Most of these families had forgotten how to have fun with each other.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

All I Want For Christmas

Is NBC Today Show weekend correspondent Jenna Wolfe.
The Jamaican born Haitian raised cutie is my current ideal of a desirable woman.
Pleasant, educated, speaks in SAE, has her own job, not fat, and cute.

Bah, Humbug...

"No that's too strong, after all it's my favorite Holiday..."
So states the opening line of The Waitresses single Christmas Wrapping.

Sure, we grew up listening to all of the soulful songs of Black artists - but none resonated with me in the same way as did a few New Wave classics from the '80's.
Even when we moved from the hood to the hills - Christmas (for me, being the oldest boy to a mean as hell stepfather) usually sucked.
I remember one Christmas in the hills in which my step father was on strike.
My sister and brothers received presents - all I got was a new Afro Pick and five lottery tickets.
For me, Christmas often sucked.
So "Bah, Humbug..." expressed my true feeling of the season.
(But the song had a happy ending.)

Another song heard at malls and gallerias across the country is The Kinks Father Christmas.
"Father Christmas, give us some money, don't mess around with your silly toys, beat you up if you don't hand it over... save all your toys, for the little rich boys"
During my years in the hood, I could relate to this sentiment.
But the song has a happy ending,
as did even my most terrible Christmases.

" Yada, yada, yada...."
It seems that some people are upset with the whole Band Aid effort and their release of their single Do They Know It's Christmas?.
With only about half of the country being Christian - I doubt that many would have even known what Christmas was.
But at least these guys in the group made an effort to make things better for others.

But this song continues my theme - Sometimes Christmas Sucks.
As I'm typing this - I just found out that one of my younger brothers has contracted HIV while the other is back in the system.
But in their recent collect calls - these "terrible" Christmases were cited as some of the best times in our lives together.

Sometimes Christmas sucks.
Sometimes we/I like songs that don't fit our/my supposed demographic.
But even when something may suck for ourselves, maybe were are making things better for someone else.
Maybe these people will remember these times as some of their best ever.
Maybe Christmas does have a happy ending.

(BTW - I even prefer Whistle's Santa Clause Is A B-Boy to Run DMC's Christmas In Hollis.
And I prefer Prince's 4 The Tears of Their Eyes to the whole of the We Are The World project.)

Black Madonnas

I'll date a single mother - but I'd never date a bad one.
Why would I take any woman seriously who puts me ahead of her own children.
If I died, wouldn't she do the same with my future progeny?
My father died when I was one.
My mother was insecure and unstable.
My mother always had a need for the approval of others.
These flaws caused her to put us children in bad situations and hostile environments.
I know, firsthand, of the consequences of bad single mothers.

I know, I know... this is supposed to be the Holiday Season and we should be filled with joy and cheer - but most of the people with which I interact on a daily basis are more concerned with survival than they are with doing any better for themselves.
I wonder, Is morality a luxury reserved for the rich?
What about Hope?
Is Charity also reserved for those with the means to share their excess goods without any sacrifice of their own?
And without such traits - how can anyone expect things to get any better?

A lot of Black men are pretty effed up.
Why else would they just leave their children to be raised by anyone other than themselves?
Why else would they assume that an under-prepared, dependent, and immature woman is their best option in a potential partner?
We men must think beyond the immediate satisfaction of a brief sexual encounter and begin to focus on the future consequences of our actions.
What man in their right mind would leave their progeny in the hands of a woman for witch they have no affinity?
Or worse, in the hands of government agencies?

But back to the Black Madonnas... .
Since Black women are some of the most churched people in America - are these women following their model of The Virgin Mary as that of a passive single mother?
Do these women just assume that God will raise these children,
or that these children will raise themselves through trial and error?
Why are so many single mothers failing to pick up the slack left by absentee fathers?
Or is this really a problem of flawed future fathers mating with flawed future mothers and creating an environment for flawed future children?

Okay, I finally saw Precious.
I hated the movie, but damn it was good.
Paula Patton is pretty, Mariah looked kind of tired but I still would fall in love with her voice.
I hate Sherry Sheppard, and Mo'Nique even more.
But in this movie, both women appeared as I view them when they assume that they are at their best.

I hated the character portrayed by Mo'Nique because I see this archetype almost everyday in my day-to-day life.
I hate these primary parents who assume that they are more important than their children.
I hate these primary parents who assume that their happiness is their ultimate goal and not that of their children.
I hate these primary parents who assume that their failings or inadequacies will be passed on to their children.
(And who seem to constantly remind their children of such.)
I hate these primary parents who seem jealous of their own children's successes.
I hate these primary parents who later try to make amends but who often come up a day late and a dollar short.
I hate everything Mo'Nique's character represents.

But why wouldn't such women exist?
What woman, brought up in the popular Mega-Church, would have the gumption to choose an alternate model?
Are these churches teaching and enabling these women in their continuation of the ultimate single mother model?
Maybe we should focus on the influences of these women.
Maybe we should place the blame on the Black men who are supposed to be leaders within each community (Usually Black ministers.).
Maybe the problem returns again to the Black man.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tacky Christmas

Today, Christmas is overly designed.
Everyone has matching lights, wreaths, trees and presents.
But in creating such perfect images, are we missing the point?

While looking at neighborhood lights, the tacky decorations seemed to be the ones on which the children were most fixated.
Not the homes with the endless nets on the shrubs, not the homes with yards of icicles, not the traditional homes with color coordinated decorations - but the homes with the most gaudy displays of Holiday Cheer.
Even the wanna'-be-gangsta' boys found comfort and ease in the ugliest displays imaginable.
Maybe we've become so successful and urbane that we've ruined Christmas for those to whom it is most important.
Maybe Christmas belongs to the kids.

Yes Sierra, There Is A Santa Claus (And He's Black)

Upon seeing the Black Santa figure on the hearth of my fireplace, "Santa isn't Black", a little cousin said.
"He was always Black at my house." I replied.
At which time her older male cousins pointed out that there was no Santa Claus.

But he was incorrect.
When I pointed out that Santa lived with the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and the lesser appreciated but more important; Bill Fairy, Food Fairy, Clothes Fairy, Ride Fairy, Clean Your Room Fairy, Do Laundry Fairy and Anything You All Need Fairy - he got the point.
Then I explained that the fewer fairies in which one believes - the fewer exist for that person.
"Oh... that's why old people have to buy presents..." she said.
"And pay bills and buy stuff.." she continued.
"And that's why (fill in smart ass older cousin's name here) and (fill in other smart ass cousin's name here) always have to do work.

As we were about to leave to look at Christmas lights in the neighborhood,
"Yes Sierra, there is a Santa Claus"
The oldest smart ass cousin conceded.
"And he's Black at my house.", I said.
"Yeah... he is.", he said.
(But he still had to do his chores when we got home.)

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Worst Form Of Parenting

As I listen to parents lamenting the awful behavior of their children - often followed by their reasoning of, "But I buy them everything they want." - I often wonder, Is this good parenting?

Think about it.
The Federal Government provides; food, shelter, clothing, schooling, medical care and a host of other services for those in need. (And for many who are just lazy.)
But how many of these people feel any form of love for the government?
How many of these people actually have any sort of relationship with the government?
Most of these people resent that on which they are dependent.

Can the same be said of children whose parents equate good gifts with good parenting?
Can the same be said of parents who spend more time at work (to be able to afford these good gifts) while leaving their children home alone to learn the social norms from television, friends and music which used to be learned from ones attendant parents?
Do these children suffer from having anything but a dependent/provider relationship with those who are they which these children are supposed to form personal relationships?
Do these children and parents actually "Know" their friends and coworkers better than those within their own families?
Why are these parents surprised when an outsider has more influence over their children than do they?

I like nice gifts.
Children like nice gifts.
But these nice gifts should never take the place of building nice relationships with ones children - otherwise - you're just the provider while your child will remain dependent.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Is It Realy This Complex?

The Bill of Rights can be typed on one page.
The Declaration of Independence can be typed on one bigger page.
The Holy Bible can be simplified to a few verses (Matthew 22 37-40).
But today, we are a much smarter people.
The Patriot Act is 342 pages.
The US Tax Code is 6000 pages.
And the plan for Universal Health Care runs at more than 1500 pages.
Can anything this complex really be correct?

Why Worry ?

If H1N1 (Or Avian Flu, or Anthrax, or West Nile Virus) is a Nuclear Warhead
Poor Lifestyle Choices are Small Arms -
which of the two should worry us more?
(Small Arms kill more people more often than do Nuclear Bombs.)

With Congress fighting over the technicalities of a seemingly simple concept (Universal Heath Care) - how has the problem become so complex?
Wouldn't it just be cheaper and easier to start a health care company from scratch?

The US already has several (under performing) forms of national heath services.
Why not convert all of VA facilities (About 1580 nation wide) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs' facilities (on about 564 recognized reservations) and the entire Medicare system into a single
fully functional entity?
With the elimination of the government's redundancies, a larger pool of covered individuals, and the merging of facilities - wouldn't we already have the infrastructure needed to develop a profitable chain of health care facilities?
Couldn't the estimated trillions of dollars to be spent have a more direct effect on the lives of those in need?
Is congress over thinking a simple problem?
IMOHO - Obama's concept of health care will not work.
Congress seems more concerned with it's own ability to capitalize on the billions which are expected to be spent by making back door deals of their own.
Big Pharma and Big Insurance in collusion with Big Government is always a lose/lose for us all.

Happy States

America's Happiest States;
1 Louisiana
2 Hawaii
3 Florida
4 Tennessee
5 Arizona
6 Mississippi
7 Montana
8 South Carolina
9 Alabama
10 Maine

What's odd about this list is the number of "Poor" states included.
Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Hawaii also score fairly low in most literacy ratings.
But how can this be so?
How can poor and under-educated people be so happy?
Don't these people watch MTV Cribs, My Super Sweet Sixteen, or any of the Real Housewives shows?
Are these people too dumb to know that they are dumb and poor?

Or maybe they have a different measure of what it is to be "Poor".
Residents of Hawaii have an identity. These residents know that they are Hawaiian.
The same could be said of the Cajun and Creole cultures of Louisiana.
While differing from most popular American ideas of "Rich" - these people seem to recognize what Popeye the Sailor Man had realized a half century earlier ("I y'am what I y'am.").

The list stuck me as interesting because the Top Ten does not include;
Texas - Maybe suffering from a Jan Brady (second place) complex?
California - Has it become too big and successful and focused on itself for it's own good?
New York - Was wealth not all that it was cracked up to be?
Utah - Does piety have it's limits?

Were the Native Americans more or less happy before the Europeans arrived?
Did Africa have more or less turmoil before the Europeans arrived?
Was Australia better off before England dropped off all it's prisoners?
What I'm asking is; Is it really better to have everyone thinking and acting the same way, or are we better off just being ourselves?

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I'm easily embarrassed.
No, not for things like tripping on a crack in the sidewalk, or cutting a fart in public, or ripping the seat of my pants, or even for being wrong in my opinions.
I can always just get up and keep walking.
Farts happen ("Sharts" are another story).
Pants can be replaced or sewn.
And my opinions are usually not fully formed.

But I'm easily embarrassed by adulation - I know that I'm not all that.
But awards and honors make me uncomfortable.
Why should I receive an award for doing my best?
Isn't that what we are all supposed to do?
Why should I receive an award because my easy effort is viewed as more valuable than someone else's hard fought effort?
Is my taking it easy better than someone else's growth?
Awards tend to remind me that I'm not perfect and I view any such award as my buying into a lie.
And for me, telling a lie is embarrassing.

But different people tend to have different values.
For some, an unearned award (or reward) is seen as a validation of their thinking or actions.
For some, something as simple as, their hair not being freshly cut is a reason for them to miss school.
For some, not knowing is viewed as being dumb.
For some, what others may think is their very reason for being.

Some people value character while others value appearance.
Q; Can we judge a person's character by that which they are embarrassed?

Friday, December 18, 2009

How Embarrassing

Imagine walking in on a few thuggish gangsta' cousins and their friends and catching them singing along with The Gap's Talk To The Moose ad.
There is only one thing one can be caught doing by an adult more embarrassing than this - but that's another post.

One kid tried to justify their like of the ad by explaining that the song contained "Black beats".
Well, he may have been correct - but the commercial featured a beat known to anyone who's attended a high school football game.
"How funky is your chicken...?
(How funky is your chicken?)
How loose is your goose...?
(How loose is your goose?)
So c'mon all you (insert school mascot here)...
(So c'mon all you (insert school mascot here))...
and shake your caboose!
(and shake your caboose)"
Sound familiar?

Even Gwen Stefani used a similar beat in her Pharrell produced track Hollaback Girl.

As did Nelly Furtado in her Timberland produced track Promiscuous.

But the oldest of these cheerleader inspired songs has got to be that of Toni Basil's Mickey.
Back in the day, one of my friends tried to say that the song "sounded Black" as his excuse for liking the song too.
But another friend pointed out that the words would have been changed from;
"Oh Mickey you're so fine..."
"Oh Mickey you be fine..."
We settled on it just being a catchy tune.

Why were these boys embarrassed?
I have no idea.
It is a catchy tune.
("How cute are these boots...?" - I'll probably be picking up some outfits from The Gap for my nieces tomorrow because of this ad.)

Sound Waves

As I walked in on two young cousins fighting each other, and their aunt swinging wildly, and their grandmother knocked to the floor - a calm and quiet "Come here.", directed at one of the boys, was all that was required to end the confusion.

Why was this the case?
Do children hear things differently than adults?
Do children hear screaming and shouting in the same way as we hear the teachers on Charlie Brown speaking?
Is screaming and shouting perceived by children as just a bunch of "Wah, wah, wah-wah"?

The most obvious example of the way people seem to interpret language (sound) is one's choice in music.
How many children and young adults enjoy listening to music at the highest tolerable decibels?
How many parents have told their children to "Turn that ish down!"?
How many adults find comfort in the soothing sounds of Sade - while their children only find a reason to nap?
Maybe our tastes (or perceptions) in music change as we age in the same way as do our taste buds in our preferences for food.
"You talk to me differently.", a very young and precocious niece once stated to me.
When I asked her how this was so, she explained that I spoke to her great-grandmother in a low calm voice - and that it was the same voice I used when I spoke to her older male cousins.
Usually, a low voice spoken to an elderly woman meant that I was calm,
but the same voice used towards young boys meant that I was angry.
But in speaking to this niece, my voice would almost be singing in it's sweetness.
I never thought about it, but maybe she was correct.
The low calm voice used to speak to her great-grandmother served as a calming influence.
(The calm voice soothed her - almost as a reminder that everything was going to be alright, and that someone else was in control.)
The same voice spoken to rough and rowdy boys also served as a calming influence.
(The calm voice reminded them that they weren't running anything and that I was in control.)
I don't know... .
Maybe these boys hear people yelling so much that they learn to block it all out.
Maybe these boys hear "loud" as a time to play, fight or just to be excited.
Maybe a calm and controlled approach is perceived as the ultimate authority.