Just some thoughts and ideas going around in my head while trying to figure out where I am and where everyone else is going.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Return of And the award goes to...

Okay, Part 2.

If you haven’t read the first part, don’t worry about it. It’s really not that relevant to what I have to say here. All I will say is that you’ve missed what will amount to be one of the great masterpieces of the 21st century, a virtual tour-de-force in literature. In fact I’ve heard it rumored that there may be a nomination for a Pulitzer Prize. For those who have read it, well who doesn’t pad their resume a little?

A few weeks ago I was nominated or maybe acknowledged would be a better word, for being an inspiration to the blogger RunningMom who stated that and I quote, ”The best picture-blogger I know. If his blogs don't speak to you the pictures will…” on her blog Blackshoes Whitesocks.

At first I was surprised to be mentioned at all. I had seen many blogs with many awards and accolades stating that they were the best this or the most that and I was sort of envious. I was just sort of envious because in actuality, I really had no interest in looking for that kind of recognition for myself. I have nothing against anyone else receiving awards, but that kind of dick stroking, and please don’t think I’m saying it was done here, but it does very little for me.

The reason I had started blogging was because I thought that I might have something to say and it would be a cool way to improve my written communication skills as well as say a few things that I would find difficult to say in front of certain people. If someone read what I wrote, then that would be reward enough. Although, I can tell that very few people do read what I write from the stats they keep on Feedburner.

Nowadays I get about 2000 hits or more a week. 50 of them are probably mine and about 90% of the rest are from people who have found me through Google images and are just interested in looking at the pictures. Look up “nude nigger” or something else as obnoxious and you’ll find a photo from my blog. But I like the numbers, hence I won’t complain or object when the subject of pictures is brought up. Why do you think there is a picture up here now?

So, without meaning to sound insincere or irreverent, I would like to thank RunningMom for her recommendation for the award and I hope that I can live up to her expectations. It is truly an honor to spoken of so highly by someone who’s work I consider not just refreshing and entertaining, but so real, honest and sincere.

I have to take care of some housekeeping by listing the rules of this award and list 5 bloggers who gave me a hand in helping me either directly or indirectly in developing the blog that I have now and 5 blogs or bloggers that I would like to pass on my appreciation in order to help encourage them in their pursuits. I need to "pay it forward."

I shall try not to bring up anyone that I already know has received this award before but first the rules:

1. Select 10 bloggers: 5 you consider your blogging Helping Hand then "Pay it Forward" by extending your "Helping Hand" to 5 additional bloggers in support and encouragement for their efforts.

2, In passing on the Emblem, each recipient must provide the name of blog or blog author with a link for others to visit.Each recipient must show the Emblem and put the name and link to the blog that has given it to her or him.

3. Link the Emblem to this post: Helping Hand: Much Obliged and Paying it Forward so that others will know it origin and impetus.

4. If you have not already done so, show your recipients some love by adding them to your blog roll, Technorati Favorite list, or in any other way to further let them know that their blog voice is important to you and being heard.

5. Add your name to The Helping Hand meme and don't forget to leave a comment as a permanent record of all Helping Hand recipients.

6. Display the rules.

This looks like it’s going to be long and I should edit it, but times are hard and ideas sparse. So lets make a trilogy of the thing, end it here and just say I will list the 10 in the final chapter of this thing …to be continued...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Still Waiting

Sometimes life's a bitch and you're stuck in the pits looking for that which will turn it around. It's not a good place to be in. If you have any sense, you'll just move on and find what you need. But me, I'm too spoiled. I'm still waiting.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake

Generally I try to stay away from other peoples ideas for the posts that I do. It's kind of a professional courtesy. I believe that bloggers should be allowed to write and develop their stories or work without having to worry about someone else trying to beat them to the punch, ride their coattails or steal their thunder. But this time I'm saying "Hell with that." I can be just as gossipy as the next person and when it comes to food and silly stuff, I'm there; especially if it's bakery goods. Even more than the cigarettes and the drinking, cookies and cakes are my by biggest addictions, so I'm there.

I read a post called White Folks Who Still Don't Get It Chronicles by Professor Tracey at Aunt Jemima's Revenge. In it professor Tracy says there is a bakery, Lafayette French Pastry Bakery near St. Vincents in the Village that is selling cookies called Drunken Negro Face Cookies. Apparently the bakery was so proud of its product, it even went out of its way to dedicate and rename the cookies as Obama Heads on the day of the Inauguration.

Now the professor and many others have found the whole idea of these cookies as offensive and racist and there is even talk of boycotting the bakery and possible protests to show how upset they are. Since I go to the bakery on Bleeker St. whenever I'm in New York, I know this really would not affect me, but I have to think that even if I did go there I still wouldn't protest the bakery. I just wouldn't go there any more.

I think people can be too thin skinned about certain things. I would much rather have someone call me nigger or faggot and host of other things to my face than smile, take my money and wait until I had walked out of the door before they showed how they really feel about me. The baker may not like me or my kind but I have to respect the fact that he's telling me what he feels up front. Besides he'll get his.

After all I think it was during the French Revolution when both the baker and his wife lost their heads when she told her subjects to eat cake when they were starving. The same thing will happen to this baker when his business has been closed down by spring and he's looking for work serving at Denny's.

Aunt Jemima's Revenge: White Folks Who Still Don't Get It Chronicles - Upscale NY Bakery Sells "Drunken Negro Face" Obama Cookies

The original source for the above post.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mine and Christina's World

Since I don't believe in deleting stuff that I put up, I need to do more than the two line entry of my last post. And so to cover it...Andrew Wyeth died last week.

I had heard the name before and had assumed that Andrew Wyeth was an artist, although I had no idea what he done and thought,"wasn’t he dead already?” Apparently he wasn't, not until last week when he passed away at 91.

He was a painter who lived in Chadds Ford just outside of Philadelphia and he was known for painting scenes in Pennsylvania and Maine and just using two or three models over and over again in his portraits. I saw on the news that one of these models was Christina Olson. And then they showed the painting Christina’s World and I was transported back.

I remember when I was 12 or 13, we were shown this picture in class, English or Art or something else I don’t really remember which, but we had to write about what we thought was going on in the picture and what had happened before. I don’t know what I wrote, probably nothing because it looked like nothing was happening. But I do remember at the end of the class when the teacher discussed what the some of us had written and what he thought.

He brought up the theory that maybe the woman in the painting had just woken up in the field and was now staring at an empty house from which a sudden and mysterious noise had come from. Or maybe she was crippled, to you young PC folks that would be physically challenged, and that she was calling out for help from someone. These were the two theories that I remember, but more importantly, that was when I started to wonder why I could think of stuff like that, especially since there didn’t seem to be a right or even a wrong answer.

Of course many years later I found out that Christina was real and was in fact an invalid and that the teacher probably wasn’t the Sherlock Holmes of secondary education as I thought he was. But more than that, maybe because of that, I had learned to ask questions of myself and others. Sometimes they won’t be the right questions or even the questions that will give me that answer that I looking for. But they will be the ones that I can use to explore and discover new areas of thought and ideas that are foreign to me or the ones that will question my own beliefs.

Thus if you have ever thought that I asked too many damn questions, which some of the nearest and dearest have accused me of and have actually turned their backs on me while I ask them, then you have only Andrew Wyeth to blame for that.

An iPod Test Post

Am I the only who was not upset by Aretha's hat yesterday? Actually it
looked kind of warm and comfortable to me.

Sent from my iPod

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I am a free man!

Alright just to please RunningMom. Apparently the the previous video of the Boy Wonder was offensive to some, so I have decided to move on and add more posts so that it will eventually disappear.

I had intended to write something about Ricardo Montalban and Patrick McGoohan, both of which passed away this week, or this weekend when we celebrate the birth of Martin Luther King Jr. with a day of service and welcome the the first African American President as he takes office on Tuesday. I would something like a week in review. But there isn't much more that I could say that you haven't thought of or couldn't find out and read for yourselves. So just a note.

Most people will remember Mr. Montalban as Mr. Roarke, the nattily dressed host and may I say Architect of Hidden Dreams on the show Fantasy Island, or as one of the old MGM actors they called in when they needed a latin type and Cesar Romero wasn't available. But I have and always will remember him as one of the best science fiction villains that has ever graced the silver screen and the man who is probably responsible for the success of the most successful science fiction franchises ever, Khan. Without him there would never have been a 3rd or 4th or 9th Star Trek movie.

"He tasks me. He tasks me. I will chase him 'round de mooons of the Antares Nebula..." Which really isn't a direct or even correct quote from Khan on Star Trek II - The Wrath Of Khan, but it's what I remember and it's what I think of and sometimes spit out when I get into that trekkie kind of mood and I'm surrounded by the right people, trek people. With all the sex and danger that he exhibited at age 61 when he did the movie, he has kept me going if only in the hope that maybe one day, some day I could be as smooth real life as he was on screen.

I think I was under 10 when I first saw The Prisoner and I didn't understand it then. Truth be told, when I saw the series being repeated on PBS about 10 years ago, I still didn't understand it. But at the show's opening, which is posted below, Patrick McGoohan runs around trying not to give up information about something and not willing to accept himself as just a number but instead claimed that he was a "free man." This also is something that I strive for, although it's kind of hard to try to do as in a few weeks from now I will be sending in my personal information on tax forms about how I live and what I do and get to be able to live that way and all with a big fat social security number on top.

Speaking of a free man or freedom itself, MLK, 'nuff said.

It can also be said that an Obama in the White House will be will be a direct result of the efforts for freedom that the good reverend Dr. King gave his life for, as did so many others from the march from slavery to the March on Washington DC and beyond. And this is the part where you come in. This is the part where I realize that there is nothing I can say or do that will lift this moment any higher or greater than it already is. This is the part that I will leave to the poets and the historians and to you to record and honor, this moment and this time.

On the way to DC

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Video Quickie

Did you ever wonder why health insurance rates are so high?

Alright so I'm a facist, but he has no shame. Who among us is perfect?

Monday, January 12, 2009

And the award goes to...

“What this country needs is a good 5¢ cigar,” somebody’s vice-president said at the beginning of the last century.

That is a quote that you can look up on Google to find who said it, but I think you would be hard pressed to find who it was who may have said or decided that what the entertainment industry needed was one more award show. Yes it’s that time of year again.

From the People’s Award to the Oscars, from the Grammys to the World Music Awards, from Essence Magazine Awards to I don’t know, People Magazine’s sexiest man alive award, this nation is rife with award giving shows where everyone pats themselves on the back and congratulates one another for having survived the previous year with work or some other attribute being recognized for being above and beyond that of others.

The only award show that I ever really watch has been the Oscars and that is only because I grew up watching movies, the classics on TV so there is some sort of affinity there that I can’t really explain. Although the last Oscar show, I should call it the Academy Award Show, that I actually appreciated was when John Wayne left his sick bed to present the Best Picture award wearing a tuxedo and hairpiece that were both much too big for him and kept slipping; he had lost a lot of weight at the time. Then he died like two weeks later. But that’s show business and I loved him for it.

I think the best appreciation for an award was done by George C. Scott for his award winning performance in Patton. He not only did not show up for his award but he told them what they could do with it. He was only interested in his work and not the petty politics that go with movie industry that he thought had burned him, as I'm sure petty politics burn other people in other industries or companies. As far as I know that Oscar is still sitting on a shelf in the back of a warehouse somewhere waiting for someone to claim it.

I guess what I’m really trying to say is that awards are fine and everything, but it is the work that is really what it’s about and trying to do the work even more so. The fact that one piece may seem to be better than other pieces to certain people at a certain time is really arbitrary and unimportant in the long run. It’s the work that counts and so I would like to thank the…

Actually I was working up to what this piece was going to be about, but this has already gone on much too long as is that there will have to be a Part II to this, or a So & So Returns to finish up the arc.

By the way, am I only the only person in the world who thinks that Viola Davis who was on screen all of 5 minutes in the movie “Doubt” should get more than just a paycheck for her performance? For a black woman to come up and knock Meryl Streep on her ass when they were together and send her back to acting school, and you know I love me some Meryl, is an achievement worth seeing and experiencing.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Winter Lights on Broad St.

This isn’t a piece on marketing but if I can remember correctly, there are four or five types of people who are responsible for new technology or the diffusion of a new product into the market place.

There are the Innovators who will go out and buy the latest gadget at no matter what the cost because they need to be the first on the block to have it. They are daring and will be the ones who will buy a flat screen TV for $12,000 and think of it as money well spent, mainly because they have it like that or are at least willing to make others think they have it like that.

Then there are the Early Adopters who are eager to explore new options and embrace new technology but will wait a little for the price to drop and for others to experience whatever problems there are with the product. Then only after the manufacturer has ironed out most of the kinks, an Early Adopter will make his or her purchase.

After that there is the Early Majority who will obtain items when they believe everyone else is buying them and the Late Majority who will buy it once it’s reached the clearance shelf because a newer and better model has come out. There are of course the Laggards who really have no interest in new technology for one reason or another and only make a purchase only because they have to.

I fall on the border between Early Adopter and Early Majority. I like to have the newest little electronic gadget with as many bells and whistles on it as possible but I don’t want to put up the first born for adoption in order to pay for it; that is if I had a first born. So if, like Bob Barker used to say, the price is right I’ll be there with money in hand and a childish glee in my eye. If not, I will wait until the regular price has dropped to as low as possible and get it or add $50 and get the newer and improved version. This is what I did to get my new pocket high definition camcorder.

I had lost my regular digital point and shoot camera that I shot short videos with the day after Labor Day and I replaced it with an SLR (single lens reflex) camera that only shot stills. Thus I needed to get a camcorder but a good one would cost over $800 and even more for the even better ones, although they’ve dropped to $600 now. But Cecil B. DeMille is not my middle name; there would be no grand sweeping epics on screen done by me. I couldn’t justify spending that much money for something that I would hardly use and when I did it would be for, let’s face it, shit shots.

So I found the Vado HD that fellow Blogger Alfii purchased last month and after he posted a video that he had shot. I thought well that’s not bad a looking video for under $200, and in fact it really isn’t. It’s not true HD, the pixels are too low, and there is no image stabilizer so you will never see anything you shoot on Public TV getting some sort of prize or award. But it’s good enough for YouTube and other video online sites where you want to show what happend at aunt Berth's last barbeque.

Here is my first test video that I shot last night. True I copied the theme from someone else, but like I said, I’m not Cecil B. DeMille and this ain’t The Ten Commandments. Come to think of it even the title is a misnomer, because these lights have been up since the middle of summer. Oh well, like I said it's just a test, it is only a test.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Feeling Kind of Blue

It was either yesterday or the day before that I first read one or two blogs about Larry Flynt and the guy that does Girls Gone Wild, the one that was in for tax evasion I believe, decided that they were going to approach the Government and ask for some of that Troubles Assets Relief Program (TARP) money, or what used to be known as the "bailout."

I didn’t believe it of course until I saw the same story was being reported by CNN and MSNBC and I thought what kind of nonsense are they playing at now? Apparently because of the economy, sales of porn DVDs and other forms of blue entertainment have fallen 22% and they will be asking Congress for $5 billion to tide them over and help them through the dark days of this recession.

I wasn’t going to comment on this because I take care of my porn needs over the net with a few free sites especially on those nights when I can’t fall asleep easily and I need a little…incentive shall we say. Also I know, and I hazard a guess that you know too, that they don’t have a snowball’s chance of seeing anyone on the Hill about it and that the story would be over by the end of the week. But then I thought, supposing Larry’s not really looking at getting money from Congress, but what if he is instead looking to be turned down so that he could sue them in the courts for, I don’t know discrimination against a legal industry, the adult entertainment industry. After all if banks can get money for being careless with their loans and investments, and the auto industry can get money to build cars that no one is buying, then why can’t the porn industry get money to keep the nation happy?

If you’ve seen the movie The People vs. Larry Flynt, then you know there is nothing that would please my boy more than to be able to get up in court and state that the right for easily affordable, cheap and sleazy sex is being taken away by the government and that he wouldn’t mind being the one to put that right.

…And justice for all? If not, then I can't wait for the show that's going to come.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Remember M*A*S*H?

I mean to respond to something mentioned that was brought to my attention by RunningMom, but later on this week.

West Philly is not really my hang out. It’s just some place I used to work in and then live in when I was involved with someone. I still get my haircut there even though it’s now completely out of my way and occasionally I will catch a movie outside of the University of Pennsylvania. They have a terrific theatre, but it’s become popular with the locals and so depending on the film, you will see many of the wrong sorts of people; don’t pretend to be shocked, you know I’m a snob when it comes to film and if you’re reading this you probably are one too.

I remember I would sometimes go to a speakeasy in West Philly after the regular bars would close. It was on Sansom St and in someone’s basement. You would have to line up outside and they would let you in small group by small group as they figured out how much room they had left inside. The place was always packed with people, well actually men trying to get their "last chance" groove on for the night one way or the other. Some nights it was so crowded and filled with smoke, I would start to cry because my eyes burned so badly, and I smoke. How I miss those days.

I had an Ex who would criticize me for sometimes slipping into a West Philly accent or speech pattern and he may or may not have been right, I don’t know. But what I do know is that sometimes I will subconsciously mimic the way people speak in order for to fit in wherever I am. In other words there is a little piece of Philadelphia in me and I am sure then, that there was a little piece of Philadelphia in John Pryor.

A few months ago I wrote something about the piece ABC News had done on Killadelphia. That was the term they had used to explain how doctors were using techniques that they were learning in Philadelphia to save lives from gunshot wounds and other traumas and taking those skills to the Middle East to do the same there. Dr. John Pryor was one of those physicians from (HUP) the Hospital University of Pennsylvania who saved lives in West Philly and then saved them in Iraq. Dr. Pryor lost his life on Christmas Day 2008 in Mosul during a mortar attack in a safe zone.

The year before, Pryor had written something for the Washington Post:

“In Iraq, ironically, I found myself drawing on my experience as a civilian trauma surgeon each time ‘mascals,’ or ‘mass casualty situations,’ would overrun the combat hospital…As nine or 10 patients from a firefight rolled in, I sometimes caught myself saying, ‘Just like another Friday night in West Philadelphia,'...”

I am sure that Philadelphia will miss John Pryor in many more ways than one. But I also wonder, how many more people will die in Iraq and how many more will die in West Philly because he is no longer there to save them.

This monstrosity of a war must stop.

Friday, January 2, 2009

And Now A Resolution

I don’t actually believe in New Year Resolutions. I think they are just something that you set up for yourself so that later on in the year or the week, you can look back on yourself as a failure or as someone without determination or will power.

When I was quitting smoking I would feel that way. I would stub out my last cigarette on New Year’s Eve, walk about free and clear on New Year’s Day and then go into a store on the 2nd and without even thinking, buy a pack and light up as soon as I walked out of the door. Can you say loser?


I believe that if there is something that you really want to do then you wouldn’t have to set a certain date in the year for it to start happening, you’d just do it. However, this year I may have found something that I might be able to get my teeth into.

A few years ago, I bought a book by Ernest Hemingway called Garden of Eden. If I can remember correctly, it was about an author, his wife and a girlfriend that Hemingway started writing in the 40’s. Then Hemingway put the book down and picked it up again 10 or 20 years later to finish it. I guess he must have filled his time with big-game hunting, bar hopping or electro shock treatments. Anyway, so I get to about a third to halfway through the book and it changes suddenly. I don’t mean it evolved into a wonderfully new and welcomed direction. I mean that the entire flow and style of his prose had just for no reason changed. It was the same story and I didn’t like it.

I figured that this must have been the point that Hemingway picked up his story again. And recently I thought, that’s how I write but without the excuse of a 20 year vacation. You see, I have never really been proud of anything that I’ve written. I’ve been pleased with one or two pieces, but I will always go back and think there may have been a better way to have approached something, to have made it even better.

Also, I don’t often edit my stuff once I’ve written it, and to tell you the truth there isn’t much of a proofread either. I may change a word here or there once it’s published because I’ve noticed I’ve either missed something or misspelled something else. Nevertheless I’m usually just so glad to be done with it; I will just throw it out there as is. It’s like sex for me, it may not come out to be the best that I’ve ever had but the sheer joy of ejaculation will more than override the fact that I didn’t suck on this titty here or grab a hold of that butt cheek there. But like Hemingway’s novel, I'll drop ideas midstream and not head anywhere, and that probably isn’t good enough.

So this is it. This will be my resolution for the year. Even though I know that writing for the computer is different from writing for print, I will start to edit my pieces more. I will try not to bring up ideas that are dropped halfway through a paragraph or sentence. I will try to develop a steady flow through my work that will go from beginning to end. The spelling thing, I’m going to let go, if Word can’t fix it before it’s published then you’ll have no chance of me catching it.

So there it is, my first and only resolution for 2009: To try to write gooder.


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