Open Forum: What’s On Your Mind? My Experience With Hurricane Sandy

Survived Hurricane Sandy

And all I have to show for it is this blog post – no T-shirt yet.

That was one nasty trick without the treat. I guess the treat is still being here to write about it.

Was I scared? No, actually. Besides the difference in how it sounded, like a train rolling very close by the house, I’ve experienced more intense thunderstorms. Lots of wind, I could hear stuff flying about, but thankfully it didn’t shake the house or rattle the windows. It went by and over the properties – not directly at it.

And blissfully, I fell asleep because that constant droning noise sorta knocks you out.

This Jersey Thing and the Howling Outside Your Door

Let me tell you a bit about middle and southern NJ. I am located a couple of miles from Trenton and Princeton, that’s the neck / bend of this kidney-shaped state. I am 45 plus minutes west of the NJ shore. However, regardless of all these miles away from the shore, practically this entire area of the state is ZERO feet above sea level. We are right at the level of where the ocean meets the land. There’s barely a decent rise. And the soil out here IS sand.

So picture this on a dark night: a lull in the wind, a spittle of rain and you start to believe that the media has over-hyped another storm. Listening to the radio, waiting for the storm, reading the endless stories about this stuff online, you start to think: what was the hysteria all about?

She’s Coming For You

Then, Hurricane Sandy arrives. On the night of a FULL MOON. The tide is already high. From what I heard, 2 ft above normal. She comes. Her voice rising. Throwing things around. She’s getting stronger and stronger. Howling in a pitch so high it strains your nerves. Tides are rising in some places as high as 15 feet.

You remember that you live at sea level. No big swells. No massive hills. No mountains to break that rising tide.

You realize that 90 plus mile winds are bringing everything with the ocean (boats, pieces of boardwalk, cars, and other debris) up into and ripping off part of your home, or perhaps dragging it off its foundation onto a highway nearby.

Thinking About the Katrina Aftermath

A few years ago, I went down south to visit a friend who showed me the area after Hurricane Katrina hit Alabama, Louisiana and other states. She showed me a beach front, which was clean as a whistle. I started swearing involuntarily, after she told me it used to have amusement parks, hotels, food stands and everything you’d expect at the beach.

It was gone. All gone. Like looking at virgin territory. Like no one had build anything there before.

Hindsight

In the past, I wanted a house at the shore. I loved the beaches, the boardwalks, and driving aimlessly down the entire stretch. I probably could have gotten a cute little bungalow or maybe a multi-story property to rent during the Spring and Summer.

But I looked at the flatness of the area. I thought of stories my Mom told about what it’s like when the tide comes in to flood a small country and doesn’t stop. I chickened out. So, I picked an area that is NOT a flood zone. That’s information you see might when you sign the albatross (mortgage) papers (I think it depends on the state).

It’s hard to resist living near the water. I feel drawn to it. The sweet smell and salty taste of the ocean air. The soothing sound of the tide. The endless view, staring out at the entire world, and if you look hard enough to see the curve of the horizon.

The Governor and Interstate Assistance

Tuesday night, I listened to the car radio, ’cause I had no power. I heard my governor, big Chris Christie, mention the work being done to get the power back on. Almost right afterwards, the lights came on. Talk about a delightful and nice coincidence! Relief filled me: I wouldn’t be freezing my butt off that night. Although I had candles, flashlights and extra blankets ready.

Driving around today, I saw many out of state utility power trucks. So, thank you to the people from out of state who came to NJ to help.

I’m also thankful for coming out unscathed from the storm.

And my prayers are for those who were not as fortunate.

What’s On Your Mind?

 ***

Daily Mail Coverage of Sandy – Long Article – 1

Daily Mail Coverage of Sandy – Long Article – 2

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The Jeremy Lin Show

NBA: Same Ol’ Same Ol’

It has been years since I’ve followed sports, basketball in particular. I watched the Knicks when Ewing played for them, that’s how long ago it’s been. And if you want to know how out of it I was, I’ve never watched Michael Jordan play. I’ve never tuned into his games. Yup, I was numero uno of the non-fan didn’t-give-a-rip coalition. Not a hater. Just distinterested. I just thought that Dr Jay never got his props as the better player, but he pre-dated Nike ads, so that’s how it goes.

I was into college basketball, the game was short, quick and the players were hungry. Something about the pros left me bored. I got the feeling that once they signed the multimillion dollar contracts, the hunger left them. They played soft. They played like satiated lions. Lazy and sleepy. Who wants to watch that?

Along with the stories of baby mamas, wife beatings, shoving a wife out the front door naked, sleeping with ugly white female reporters, gambling, bad attitudes, throwing people through plate glass windows, etc., etc. – I decided I wasn’t supporting those dysfunctional messes. Basketball and football held little appeal to me, especially with the recent spate of shoot-outs, fan beatings and gang symbols being displayed. Plus, I’m grossed out by all those ugly thugs covered head to toe in prison-style tattoos. I wasn’t interested in watching any major league basketball or football. Or any sport for that matter. Don’t get me started on those nasty spitting baseball players!

Change Comes LIN

So, here comes this young man who’s a bit different from the usual cynics in the basketball league. I’ve watched the YouTube clips of him playing. I understand why he suddenly has so many fans: he looks like he’s having fun. He plays with a passion for the game. It’s apparent that he loves to play basketball. He has no tattoos. I’m sure he’s not a saint, but I’m certain that people are tired of the bad boy, bad ass, tattooed big dummies. They are everywhere, in every entertainment field. And not only are they phony and talentless – they’re annoying. There’s nothing interesting in a rich angry irrational manchild.  You wish they would take up the offer from an older man to teach them a lesson in a wrestling ring. Oh, what a great treat that would be.

Making People Go LINsane

Now, I understand that the media overreaction to Jeremy Lin, JLin, a.k.a. “Linsanity” was 3/4ths about his “race”. I’m still shaking my head at the things that have been said over the last three weeks, which already seems like an eternity.

There have a been dozens of puns that include “Lin” in the word: Air Lin, Linsanity, Super Lintendo… you get the picture. It was cute. A couple of folks at ESPN jumped the shark, thus losing a job or two.

Then came the jealous folks. Floyd Mayweather Jr was mad at the attention JLin was receiving. He said (paraphrasing) that black men do the same thing everyday in the league, but no one is paying attention. Well, the problem  with that statement is that – if you don’t look like the average player in the league – people will notice. Sort of like when a heavyset white woman from the UK sings like a black woman blues singer. People notice those sorts of things. Hype may follow.

Jason “Witless” Whitlock (who has spewed racist / misogynist material about Serena Williams) decided to tweet something foul about JLin. But why did he focus on the sexuality of the young man? Why would an out-of-shape obese black man who is a sportswriter, not even a ballplayer, worry about the sex life of a young Asian man? Was he worried that an Asian male was encroaching on black male territory? Athleticism, masculinity, and sexual supremacy do go hand in hand. Did he picture a future where Asian men would be viewed as super-studs instead of black males?? Uh-oh.

Plus, “Witless” was so used to writing vulgar insults about black women, he didn’t realize other groups wouldn’t stand for the same behavior. He quickly apologized.

KilLINg Conventional Wisdom and Stereotypes

However, JLin did break all kinds of records with his initial “starter” games. He has played in the D Leagues, or maybe a few minutes in the NBA, but not as a starter. Once he was allowed, by the Knicks, to play point guard, he started knocking down some walls.

I’m surprised by the following, because I didn’t realize there were so many things achieved by Jeremy Lin. I always assumed they had already happened.

1) Harvard has sent very few (maybe a handful or half-dozen) players to the NBA. We’ve had more Presidents who went to Harvard.

2) He’s the first and only (so far) American, of Chinese / Taiwanese descent, to play in the NBA. Not the first Asian American, but the others were half-black or half-white, and the first was of Japanese descent before the various (American Basketball and National Basketball) leagues merged in 1976. He played for the Knicks too.

3) He was never drafted a.k.a. undrafted. No one held a lottery to pick him up in the league. He came in through the backdoor basically.

4) He’s managed to score 229 points in his first 7 starter games. Even for his first 4 at 109 points he’s exceeded everyone else since 1976.

Always Be Ready for Prime Time

Will he stay a superstar? Perhaps. I don’t have a magic 8 ball. And considering the short attention span of the public, who knows who they’ll love / hate in the next few weeks?

I do have some takeaways from the media-storm surrounding this young man:

  • He’s proven that good luck really is 90% preparation and fortuitous timing.
  • He worked on his weaknesses during the NBA lockout, doing everything he could to get into superb physical condition (6’3″ and 200lbs).
  • He’s played against the number one draft and showed he could excel.
  • When his chance finally arrived – he literally came off the bench as the last guy picked – he played his heart out to win.

He is responsible for helping the Knicks become a better team over the last 11 games. He helped them win 9 of them. Not bad for a rookie. Not bad for a guy who has faith in God, but also understood he had to do the work to get where he wanted. Just laying around and praying wasn’t going to cut it, he had to move, get it done and show with all his heart what he wanted.

He admits that the media attention is draining. Blake Griffin (big red slam dunk king and 6’9″ – dang) told him he has to learn to say, “No.”

Asian Persuasion

I’ve been reading the Asian (blog / twitter) reaction to JLin. I’m (again) surprised at the angst revealed by the men.  All I can say is, “Wow,” I had no idea. I’m not a guy, so my interpretation may be off, but I get the sense that JLin helps them achieve a sort of American masculine sexual ideal that’s been missing in the media or the general culture. They see white, black and Latinos in the superstar sexy beasts stratosphere, but they’ve never felt a part of that club. Interesting.

American culture is so anti-intellectual and dedicated to dysfunctional drugged up dumb-ass losers, that the highest income, best in academic achievement and most entrepreneurial men in this country feel emasculated and less than for being studious, responsible, dependable and stable. That’s the world we live in folks. Where up is down, right is wrong and the insane run the asylum.

I would hope that the lesson the other men (black, white and Latino) can learn from Jeremy Lin is to play earnestly, humbly, and make the game fun again. I’m sure most of them do, but it’d be nice if they were the norm again, and not considered the exception(s). The degenerates receive too much attention for their bad behavior and appear to be financially, socially and emotionally rewarded for it.

Last Lesson: Play The Game

As for the lament of the Asian American male, I’d say the reason why they are invisible is because, this may not sound nice, but it’s my perception: you gotta be in the game to win it. No one notices Asian men, because they behave in a leave-me-alone, don’t-notice-me, and I’m-not-gonna-make-eye-contact fashion. Black, white and Latino men are assertive. They will look people in the eye and say something. They will do their Alpha male thing.

So, if the Asian men want to be like the other guys in this society, they’re gonna have to take note of something else about JLin. He plays fearlessly. He may have learned at an early age not to isolate himself by just hanging out with his Asian buddies. When he speaks, he sounds like any other guy in the league (black, white or whatever).

I wish him well, and hope he continues to excel at playing the game.

Hey, you know, I’d say the Jeremy Lin Show has a lot of things we can all learn from. 🙂

** Update **

Oh, and watch him get down and boogie. JLin can dance.

** Update Update **

I’m obsessed!! They should call him Maestro instead! Steals the ball and tosses to Shumpert. Beautiful. 🙂

Isn’t he cute? Love those eyes, cheekbones and mouth. 😀

 

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Independence Day

A short note here:

This is not only a day where the country is celebrating independence from its colonial ruler, remember that for you – it can be a day to celebrate your independence from toxic, negative, life-draining, selfish a**h*les!

God bless America.

Happy 4th of July everyone!

Stay in good health and peace of mind, ladies and gentlemen.

😀

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The Next Disaster: Will It Be Us?

Does tragedy come in threes? fours? a score or more? I am certainly not wishing for it. I’ve been briefly taking in the news on Japan, because I don’t want to take it up to “disaster porn” level. I’m hoping that the Nuke Reactors get under control, and nothing worse happens.

Are You Ready For a Disaster?

Stay Prepared*

It’s a question one must ask these days. As we can see, even the most organized and wealthiest government(s) wont bring the kind of immediate help we see in Hollywood disaster movies. The reality would be like Katrina, if not possibly worse. In times of chaos, whether fast or slow, you have to rely on yourself, family, friends, and honorable acquaintances.

I don’t think anyone could ever been too prepared.

Based on the dangers in your area: flood, tornado, hurricane, or earthquake. Ask yourself this: Are you properly insured? Do you have backup copies of your personal papers off site? Maybe you decide to keep important papers in a bank safety deposit box?

If you have to run out the door (with the devil at your back) – is there a bag with first aid kit, spare underwear (never underestimate the need for extra knickers), wipes, water, snack(s), a bit of cash, etc. within reach to help if you cannot get back home right away?

I keep this stuff in my car – traffic can be hell in New Jersey. 🙂

Preparation List from Volunteer Mid-South

The American Boiling Frog

I keep feeling like there is some low-level stuff going on, creeping along, that’s bad, bad, bad, but we all cannot see it. Like the entire nation is a frog sitting in slowly boiling water.

The economy is in a grind. The cost of food is rising. Rising oil price is going to choke off economic growth. There are millions of people out of work, and likely millions more who are homeless.

Yet, the media doesn’t see or talk about them. Curious.

Come On! Must We Be Involved In Another War?

Deja vu all over again. Does no one in Washington, DC ever pay attention? How many times have we been thanked, after America has invaded to “help”, with terrorist attacks or “man-made disasters” and deadly shoot-outs? Sometimes it is best to stand by and watch people who are typically ungrateful and violent.

When our government gets involved for some reason – they don’t know when to leave. Is that the goal? Another country to have troops to sit in?

Do these people not remember that we had a no-fly zone over Iraq for nearly a decade?

I suspect, if the UN Resolution was enforced (to institute a no-fly zone over Libya), the media would immediately report that portions of that country revolting against Qadhafi or number of deaths were exaggerated.

Get Outdoors and Have Fun

Spring is here. Time to get out and play.

Have a good one.

*From the Red Cross – I make no money if you decide to buy that bag. I linked because I thought it was good source of information. 🙂

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I Have to Support President Obama, Because He’s a Black Man

At least, according to Miss Jina:

@Blog author and Bellydancer

WOW..You are on here saying what has Obama done nothing for you? Wow..What the f*** did the other forty or so white presidents do for you? This is why black people can’t get ahead. Some people in the group always want to tear each other down.

What about these things: his work w/ the black farmers, his choice for attorney general, his choice for U.N Ambassador, health care reform and how he’s planning to address education among many other things. Instead of trying to project your issues w/ black men unto this man you should really reflect. Yes some black men or people aren’t worth defending, but this black man, our president, is. It is a shame that you don’t see why.

Some of you women are so happy that 2% of whites want you, but know that the other 98% won’t even look at you and that doesn’t just go for relationships, but that also affects you in your studies, jobs and overall life–racism is real and race does matter. Don’t think that HRC or Mccain would have hired a plethora of black women or men because I can tell you right now that they wouldn’t have. I know most of you want what Michelle has and can’t get it–that doesn’t mean that you have to break what she has.

Yes it is important that Obama do a good job because he carries with him an unreasonable weight as the first black president. But it is also important that we as a community support him, because honestly when things get tough if we don’t who will. This man has passed so many reforms in these past two years and what have people called him–“timid”, “calm, cool and collected but ineffective” or “a talker”.

I know you guys are into this white men movement right now, but don’t let it cloud your awareness of who you are and how America views you and people like you.

This is my response:

Project my issues? People like me? Really? {{blinking}}

Jina, kiss my rotund, sepia-toned ass. 😀 You “ride or die” for da “brothas” she-males get on my bloody nerves; none of you have a lick of common sense.

You are nobody to tell me how black I am, or how I need to be aware of this blackness. Take your “acting black” mentality back to the hood where it’s required.

A President is the leader of the country. He is a representative, a public servant, not an imperial diety I am required to support, because he’s half-African. This dude can barely speak up for his “cousins” in Egypt, or the rest of North Africa, furthermore, who are clamoring for all the FREEDOMS we take for granted here.

I can criticize him for as long as the day is long. That’s my right.

This President is great at giving speeches, and I’m hoping that the economy is recovering, but I don’t give him credit for it. He seems unable to figure out what he wants to do one day from the next, but it’s probably (quote from nymag.com) because ….

The president’s friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett sometimes pointed out that not only had he never managed an operation, he’d never really had a nine-to-five job in his life.

And it shows. His head is extremely big, and he’s not even aware of how clueless he is. That’s pathetic. And it’s extra, because he’s been complimented all of his life. Why? Because as a black man who speaks well – he’s been applauded and patted on the head for it. No need to prove competence. He’s just this wonderbar, because he’s an “articulate” black male. No earned props, because he just is.

That’s not good enough.

I respect his wife, because of what she representsthe first black lady, but I sure as heck don’t want her man. He’s not my type, ’cause we all worship white, and non-black, men around here, remember?

And this is MY blog, it’s one thing to disagree, but when you come at me with this insulting commentary, about how I’s gotta deify and support one black man, and if I don’t, I got issues with all black men, then I’m gonna tell you this: Go fuck yourself, Jina.

Have a good day. 😀

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Give U.S. More Stupid – Part 1

Corporatism Runs Amuck

According to some constitutional “scholars”, the US Congress can mandate (force, compel, threaten to jail) Americans to buy stuff, from any corporation, at any price. Why? Thanks to Supreme Court rulings via the commerce clause and their interesting re-interpretation of a plain English document (US Constitution).

I thought slavery was unconstitutional, but according to these “scholars” the US Congress can arbitrarily take our property, which is your cash, your assets, or your vital time be spent jail. They can make us permanently indebted, like indentured servants until death, to private corporations by calling this health insurance mandate a tax. Very creative. Very sinister. Very amoral.

Let’s give a rousing boo! and a middle finger to the mentally deficient corporatists who infect our government.

The Constitution says the only tax the US Congress can take is based on income. But hey, this is the US Congress. I’m sure they’ll find some other Supreme Court rulings, or re-interpret the plain English document (US Constitution) to mean whatever they want.

We’re All Cars Now

I thought a former constitutional law “professor” in the White House would have a problem with a health insurance mandate. Nope. Well, he did campaign against it, but that was then. As far as he is concerned, it is exactly like a mandate to buy car insurance.

Yup, we are all cars now. We are wards, if not property, of the state. Or to be precise, being a US Citizen will soon require us to register with the government and pay a fee on our existence. According to the US Congress, the President, and his supporters, all of whom know better than us plebs, will make us buy health insurance (and they wont stop there), because they know what’s best for us.  

Forget life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We must do, like good sheep, what the wise folks in Washington DC tell us to. The people who are fine with this believe that one more damn law telling us what to do from bed rise to bed rest, what you eat, to what you wear and when you wear it, etc. etc. is fine and dandy.

The law is an ass.

The US Constitution Does Not Exist

Regular, average people talk about it like it exists. Regular, average people may even like to quote it at times. In our modern, dysfunctional democratic republic, the folks we elect and their supporters, find the document to be an inconvenient, archaic, and useless relic. Hence, we get interesting re-interpretations from the Supreme Court and more re-interpretations from people who believe it should be contemporized and modernized.

How about going through the process of adding Constitutional amendments to fix it up, update it, make our freedoms permanent, instead of relying on nine fickle dictators judges? By the way, the Supreme Court is to thank for legitimizing Segregation / Jim Crow in the first place. They also had no problem having people sterilized.

Then I realized why the Constitutional amendment process doesn’t happen. The document is wholly ignored. It doesn’t exist to the three branches of government. It’s rather funny when they pretend they  will abide by it. Since when? They swear each time they are elected to uphold it. Really? Since when?

They Make Stuff Up

The Supreme Court creates new “amendments” from a blank page. This makes them free to change their minds. All I ask is: what stops them from making up new “amendments” changing it again?

I know we have no rights as spelled out in the US Constitution. Thanks to our creative writing class legislators and judges, either the Supreme Court has a ruling voiding every single amendment, or Congress has a law obliterating them. And check out this link, the President ignores the Constitution at will. What a lawless government we have.

My Favs List

I have a dream list of Constitutional amendments or federal laws. It’s a dream, because it will never happen.

– Senators serve 2 terms. Senators can be recalled in elections. If not, go back to having governors appoint them so that, in some measure, they actually represent their states and not themselves.

– Representatives serve 6 terms.

– Federal judges serve 12 years.

– Federal spending must be limited. There must be a balanced budget with no crazy astronomical debt levels, and certainly no tricky accounting to get around it.

– Senators and Representatives cannot pass legislation and make themselves exempt from it.

– Senators and Representatives do not receive benefits that exceed their time in office.

– The Supreme Court cannot make up new amendments. They cannot re-interpret the Constitution and make stuff up. How about saying, “It’s not in the document, pass a law, or add an amendment”? Oh, that’s right. These people love power too much to be modest.

– National referendums to put additional amendments up for consideration for states legislators to vote on. Although I’m starting to think perhaps they need to be bypassed, and let the referendums stand as amendments. I’m not worried about mob rule, it’s a red herring.

– Corporations are not “persons.” They are not entitled to protection from the Constitution.

– Lobbying the government should mean one US Citizen. It should not mean a representative for a corporation, school, non-profits, foreign entities, or what-have-you. It’s bribery. For politicians who collude with lobbyists, both belong in jail.

– Campaigns are publicly funded and limited in spending. No additional funds can be used. No more rich people buying an election.

– These two parties can no longer monopolize the political system. I don’t care how it’s done, there needs to be legal remedy to get other political parties to grow and compete fairly.

– A tax of 10% (poor), 15% (middle class) and maximum of 20% (wealthy) only on income, including corporations. Eliminate deductions. There will be none, not for individuals, charities, non-profits or corporations. All gone. No more subsidies. Sink or swim without aid. Filing taxes becomes a post card size process.

Two Quirky Additions

* Athletic departments of colleges / universities should incorporate as for-profit organizations, and pay the colleges for the naming rights. The athletes will be in the employ of the athletic corporation. They will be “student-athletes” and compensated for their time.

* And to be spiteful: colleges and universities that get federal funding, have to end tenure for their professors.

Why do I add that? I read the viewpoints of some of them. If they had to hustle for a “real” job, like the rest of us, they wouldn’t be writing so many stupid articles and books that have no basis in reality. Also, as cheerleaders of outsourcing, let the rest of the world compete for their jobs. Let them get a taste of true globalism.

Books or articles they write need to be filed under the category of: Give U.S. More Stupid.

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Hair: travel style, observations, and conditioner concoction

Returning to Normalcy (Yawn) and Travel Observations

In September, I was away for nearly three (3) weeks, and honestly, it was a downer to return. I never used to feel that way. I used to be so happy to be back in America it wasn’t funny. This was the first time I realized I could have stayed away indefinitely.

I could leave tomorrow, and not look back.

These feelings are not helped by how spoiled I was by my German friend. Talk about a man looking after you! I was truly taken care of. He’s so wonderful, my sweetheart is. And look-out! German men got some incredible legs on them!

What a delight that trip was; I’m truly sorry it had to end!

Listen up! It is not like the grass was greener in the places I went. I simply liked the way people around me behaved. Black women who travel overseas might know what I mean. I would never assume everywhere would be as satisfying as where I went.

The thought that occurred to me on my travels was: why didn’t I come here sooner?

Travel Hair Style

My bed time hair style. I often switch-up.
Ponytails give me a headache.
Looks like yarn, but it’s all mine.

I had blow dried my hair, my Mom parted it for me, before I put it into two-strand twists. I wore this style for three weeks without washing my hair. Eww, I know. I couldn’t risk a head cold, not on an airplane ride back! I’ve had that experience before, and never wanted to repeat it. I thought it was going to be difficult to deal with, but I’d simply wet ‘n wipe, and re-twist my hair after saturating it with my conditioner concoction (see below).

My Mom continues to ask me how people reacted to my hair. (Picture me with my eyebrows raised.) She knows how I am. If I loved Afros on me, and I don’t because of hair knotting, I would have rocked that style daily. My reaction is usually: I could give a rat’s behind what anyone thought. I don’t care what anyone thinks in America; I certainly did not in Europe. I could not care less, and apparently no one else did either.

She thought it looked good. I guess she wondered if anyone was going to compliment me. I was thankful that they liked to mind their own business. I could eat in any restaurant, and not get the stink-eye. The staff was almost always courteous, polite, and nice. I know I do get that here in the USA. Yet, if folks there are watching you eat, they certainly aren’t as obvious as the morons here.

My Mom once said, “Why are they in my mouth watching me take every bite?” Sigh. We’re not even talking high-end: this is in places like Chili’s.

My Hair Concoctions

I love mixing stuff together now. I still can’t wear straight conditioner in my hair, and why would I want to? But the options I gain from mixing is nice. I feel I get an extra ump out of doing this.

I mix Africa’s Best Herbal Oil (with lots of good stuff) with White Rain Conditioner (Coconut). It not only smells good, but leaves my hair feeling really nice. I also used my pure / raw Shea Butter + Aloe Vera + Vitamin E + Castor Oil + Lavender + Ylang Ylang mixture. Both concoctions put moisture into my hair and doesn’t shrink it significantly.

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The Election Is Finally Over!

I feel like a bear coming out of hibernation. I wont joke. I spent a lot of time following the election, even as I said I wouldn’t. I did not, however, stay up to watch the election results. I didn’t expect any untoward surprises. I was a fivethirtyeight.com junkie, so I felt pretty comfortable.

We have a new President: Barack Obama. Thank goodness, it all went smoothly. That’s the beauty of America. Obviously, it was history in the making. I’m pleased he’s a sign of change in so many ways.

Overall, I’m content to some degree: the election is over, and the possible new direction of the country. Now, we have someone who is intelligent, well spoken, and thoughtful with a good temperament. Hey, I could do with those qualities in a husband!

I can be very pessimistic and cynical, but I’d love (and hope) for the federal government to run again with some degree of competence. Even if the new President can steer the ship of America in a different direction by 5 degrees, I think it would truly bring a great deal of positive change.

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Random Thoughts on Father’s Day


My father introduced me to politics.

He even wanted me to become a lawyer, but alas that was not to be. He’s still around, and lives with my mother of course.

My folks are immigrants, two times. They left their island home for the United Kingdom. My mother foresaw that opportunities in Great Britain might be limited. She decided that America would be the better choice for us. She was right.

This country has always fascinated me – the good and the bad.

Many many years ago my Dad came to the USA, before he married my mother. He was in the deep south having to contend with segregation and the color line. I don’t know if he knew about it before he arrived. He did speak about what a tough adjustment it was. The work alone was rough and very very hard.

Now, my two brothers live in the deep south. To say that their lives today are a world apart from what my father went through would be an understatement. Along with visiting my older brother, I go visit an old friend of mine in the deep south.

The only way things can change in America is based on the people, not the government.

The first time I voted was when my Dad took me to the polls. I was quite proud. I vote because so many others died so that I have this right. It is my voice in this representational democracy. I don’t take it for granted.

I don’t believe that the government can re-create a majority of stable two-parent Afro-American families. I do believe it did a lot of damage to it, resulting in the small number of these families today.

I don’t believe the government is capable of efficient, capable, and positive social policy for its citizens. It is too late for that. The only thing it can do is poorly manage money and wage wars.

I sometimes fear that with its profligate spending and wasting of resources this government will collapse under its own weight. I hope it doesn’t happen.

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