Stick Your Neck Out

March 29, 2008

funny.jpgThis is soooooo funny. If you need a good laugh, or want to watch something funny, watch this. The video touches on social issues in America from Dick Gregory’s eyes.

The Road to ’08

March 29, 2008

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Track Town USA, aka, Eugene, Oregon, will be hosting the 2008 Olympic Trials. The Trials are just around the corner and I’m anxious to see if my city can handle the event. It will be great to see people of color in my town, and I hope that all of them are welcomed and treated with respect.

All eyes will be on Eugene, so anything that goes wrong from traffic congestion, unbearable allergy symptoms, parking issues to bad communication, or whatever else the media picks up on will give the world an impression of what Eugene is like.

This is a great opportunity for the city and people of Eugene to come together and celebrate our history and future as being Track Town USA. Let’s welcome our guests accordingly and enjoy being in the spotlight.

If you attended the Trials in Sacramento, or anywhere else, let me know what you liked/disliked about the meet.

Peace.

Emotions Remembered

March 29, 2008

flame.jpgThis post is in response to a post on PRosintraining about Hillary’s campaign problems. The post originates from the CEO of MWW Group’s blog, Straight Talk.

Mr. Kempner your absolutely right when you say elections are about emotional connections. That’s how I have been making my decision all along.

In the beginning I favored Edwards, but I wasn’t surprised when he dropped out, he would have been brainless to waste more money on his campaign. No offense the other top two candidates had more money to reach more people. And, he had a hard time making emotional connections with people.

I was still unsure of who I was going to vote for when Hillary and Obama became the head runners for the Democratic Party. I began to pay attention to the media. I watched the news, watched ads, read newspapers, read online articles and most importantly talked to other people to see what they had to say about Barack, Hillary and John. I thought this was important because I would take what other people where saying and research it on my own.

Shockingly, I found that a lot of people don’t know what they’re talking about, or better yet media outlets are misinforming them and feeding them with crap. People were saying stuff like “Hillary is experienced.” Yeah, in conniving. Remember she has a “win-at-all-costs strategy” that flashes red flags for unethical tactics. An undecided republican said “Where is Barack going to get the money from to increase teacher salaries? He can’t end the war in time to shift what tax payers money will fund.” This is what I say, you’ll never know unless you try. I’d rather fail trying to succeed than to fail without trying at all. At least Obama has urgency in his plan.

When Mrs. Clinton entertained the media with the thought of Obama naming her as his Vice Prez, I thought I was the only one who knew this was bogus. If this is the case I bet McCain will take it all. I knew someone else agreed. Maureen Dowd is columnist for The New York Times and she expressed her thoughts here.

The conclusion from my research led me to support Barack Obama. In a perfect world Obama would be president and Edwards would be vice.

I was watching, I mean LISTENING to Obama’s concession speech after he won the Democratic caucus in Iowa, and I was moved emotionally. Watch it here. I knew that I was voting for Obama when I came across this YouTube video from Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am’s music video inspired by the speech.

Peace.

Hot Topic

March 28, 2008

chilepepper.jpgLeBron James is one of three men who have been featured on the cover of Vogue magazine. I thought it was cool that a professional athlete was going to be on the cover of a top fashion magazine and I was excited to see the cover when it came out.

I heard the controversy about the cover being racist by depicting that James is King Kong and Gisele is the distressed woman. Well… I kind of see what the upset folks are saying, but the overall context of the issue makes the picture not so bad. The photographer should have had them both making a face like LeBron’s it would have been cool, like they were bragging or something for having the best bodies, like the “my better is better than your better” Nike campaign.

If you think about it, they are both posing in their roles that society recognizes them in; the ferocious King of NBA ball and the enticing super model.

At least there’s a magazine that is stepping out on a limb and featuring a black man and a fare skinned woman together on a cover.

Eco Dolls Experience

March 27, 2008

anna.jpgtanya.jpgI did a class project and the product was Eco Dolls. I got to hold the dolls and examine them. I thought they were pretty cool. I especially like the soft bodies and the fact that the dolls and clothes are made almost completely from cotton. The environmental aspect that comes along with the dolls is a novel idea because it teaches kids when they’re young to take care of the earth.

I haven’t bought one for my daughter and I’m curious to know if anyone has one and if you’re satisfied with the doll(s)? Let me know.

Thanks.

Bless.

Eco Shopp’n

March 27, 2008

pink_here.jpgOkay, I love the fact that retailers across the country are carrying reusable shopping bags and becoming somewhat eco friendly. All I am asking is why in the world are the bags so small?

I tried one out at my local grocer and I couldn’t fit a box of cheerios in the bag. How does a mom, who wants to preserve mother earth, go grocery shopping with a dinky little bag? Answer: She doesn’t. She ends up getting “paper” if there’s no rain and “plastic” when all else fails.

Retailers please get a clue and invest in larger bags.

Take a look at IKEA’s Bug Blue Bag or Costco’s reusable bag. They’re huge. You can actually fit stuff in them, which makes them useful. This site even sells stylish eco bags that can have a design of your own. They look big, but we all know pictures can be deceiving. If you have a durable reusable bag let someone know and encourage others to invest in one.

Peace.

Grammer, Gramer, Gramar or Grammar? Which is it?

March 26, 2008

Duncan McDonald and Lauren Kessler (7th edition)This is in response to a post on PRosintraining about common grammar (this is correct) errors. I must admit I love grammar, and hate it at the same time. I took grammar 101 three years ago in college. I passed at the top of the class and passed the LSDT my first try, but I think I have forgotten everything I learned. Here’s a key if you take the practice test from The Tongue Untied.

I’m not confident in my writing and my class assignments are usually done in the middle of the night, so my proofreading skills are a bit hazy. I also hate posting without having my work proofread. It sounds silly, but for some reason I’ll be proofreading and because I know what the piece is supposed to say, I read right over mistakes.

My common mistakes are writing “fro” instead of “for” or “form” instead of “from” and I have learned to use the “find and replace” option in my word document. It helps a lot. This grammar blog has excellent tips and funny errors that others have made using grammar.

I believe the key to good writing is to practice writing. Reading is good to. (is it to or too?)

Please feel free to edit my work. I would appreciate the feedback. I’m not shy to criticism. Thanks.

Bless.

What Would You Do if U Had a $1 Million?

March 26, 2008

youthtrinidad.jpgWhat would you do if you had $1 million? Would you invest in the stock market? Would you invest in real estate? Would you buy a big house, a new car and a house for your mama? Did you think about helping someone other than yourself? I’ll tell you what I’d do if I had a million bucks…

I would build a huge recreational center that had basketball courts, tennis courts, in-door soccer fields, a track, a cafeteria, study rooms, computer rooms, a lounge area and childcare for any teen moms who may want to come and study or take a break from parenthood. The recreation center would be open until 2 a.m. to allow kids to do something positive at night instead of run the streets where they can get into trouble. There would be a shuttle to take the kids home too.

I would provide different activities for youth in order to reach a larger target audience. Some of the activities and programs that I would provide are: job skills to kids who have dropped out of school (but not limited to), parenting skills to young mothers AND fathers, tutoring for kids in school (but not limited to), artistic forms of expressing oneself, and assistance in the college application process.  I would have an in-door and out-door playground to. In short I would use $1 million to help “excluded” youth find hope and success in life when everyone else gave up on them.

If you think about it, “excluded” youth cost taxpayers more than a million dollars a year and it probably costs less than that to help steer them in the right direction.

An adolescent who begins to deal drugs because no one is there to care for him after school will likely end up in the criminal justice system, therefore, costing a crap-load of money for tax payers. Wouldn’t you rather pay taxes to fund youth programs, instead of paying for the effects of cutting them? Sorry that was a bit off topic.

Anyway, if I had $1 million or won the lottery that is what I’d do. I have interned for a non profit organization that helps youth for the past few years, and I have fell in love with the idea of empowering youth and providing an opportunity for them to achieve educational, emotional and physical success.

Let me know if you wanna get a million bucks off your hands. Just kidding.

Peace. Bless. Love.

Economic Spiral

March 26, 2008

spiral.jpgThe U.S. economy is not thriving like it used to. People are saying that we are headed into a recession. What most Americans don’t get is that we are already in a recession. Look at the housing market. Foreclosures are at record high and lending agencies are going bankrupt, or having to sell-out to larger ones to keep them from filing. For example, according to a CNN article dated March 5, 2008, Merrill Lynch & Co. said that they are going to stop funding loans at its troubled First Franklin home lending unit and explore selling the company that collects and processes mortgage payments because of the $11.5 billion in write-downs it has suffered.

Some say that the housing market is going to hit rock bottom before it begins to restore. Lenders like Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, JPMorgan and Freddie Mac (to name a few) are suffering billion dollar losses.

The ups and downs on Wall Street are affecting consumer confidence and Americans are now feeling the results of funding the Iraq war as the value of a family home drops and inventories overflow at retailers. The job market is poor and food, gas and everything else we buy are becoming more expensive.

I don’t think the stimulus checks are going to boost our economy, but instead taxpayers will be using them to pay overdue bills, stock the fridge and fill the gas tank for the month. However, I am hopeful for the future and I know that our economy is capable of being restored.

Increase in Gas Budget

March 26, 2008

empty2.jpgI don’t know about you, but for me gas is getting out of control. I remember when $20 bucks would get me at least half a tank, these days it takes twice that much. I now have to budget gas into my monthly expenses. I only drive about fifteen minutes to school, so I’m wondering wha people do who commute long distances to work? Doesn’t that break your wallet? I know it costs at least $100 to fill an SUV like a Navigator that’s about a $400 a month gas bill. Ouch! If you own an SUV I encourage you to take steps in lowering your gas expense.

If this is your situation, or you just want to save money and help the environment by reducing Carbon monoxide emissions into the atmosphere, here are some tips to help:

v Carpool to work or school-create a carpooling system at work that will network the employees who live near each other. If you’re a student you can do this at school.

v Take public transportation- I know this doesn’t sound appealing, but face it taking public transportation can save you money. Research park and rides and bus/subway routes on the Internet to see if taking a public transit route is a possibility.

v Prioritize errands to reduce driving; do you really need to go to the coffee shop and the bakery on your way to Yoga? It takes less time to make coffee or tea and an egg or toast at home andthis is much cheaper than making all of those stops. Find a closer bank or ATM location, or get cash when you’re at the grocery store. Basically think and plan ahead.

You won’t save money unless you take action and do something about it, so stop complaining and start making a change.

Gas prices are on the rise and if my tips don’t help maybe these 11 tips from MoneyNing, a personal finance blog, will.


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