Thursday, June 30, 2011

Where's The Blog?!?

I've been out of town for the day job, sans reliable after hours web access. I'm also too lazy (and busy) to figure out mobile publishing with Blogger. So sorry about all that.

The blog will be back after the holiday break. Till then, chime in on these fresh topics.

Obama Goes Off - That press conference was sorta pathetic and about two years too late.

Mark Halperin - MSNBC contributor suspended for saying the Prez acted like a d*ck.

NBA Lockout - It happened. Now what?!?

Three Day Weekend - What're you doin'?!?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Name That Sample - "Think About It"

Yep, it's back!!! Name That Sample is simple: I play the original song, you tell me who sampled it. Winner gets a day's supply of Cyber CapriSuns™. As always, no Googling! Google is for losers.

This classic song by Lynn Collins has been sampled numerous times. Heck, it might be one of the most sampled songs of all time. Literally every second of this song has been chopped by someone. But who can name the most songs that have used these delightful bars?

Difficulty Level: Easy as pie.

Question: How many songs can you name that used the "Think About It" sample? Don't be fooled into just listening to the opening bars, or you'll prolly miss half the possible answers. Feel free to cheat and use other commenters' work, but do NOT Google! Google is for losers.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Top 11 Most Ridiculous GOP Campaign Moments (So Far).

Go read my latest piece over at The Atlanta Post. It's pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

Note: Please do not comment on this story here!!! Leave comments over there.

The Top 11 Most Ridiculous GOP Campaign Moments (So Far) [Atlanta Post]

Friday, June 24, 2011

WorkPlace 101: Jim Riggleman Shows You The Gangsta Way To Quit Your Day Job.

In the 20-some years that I've drawn a paycheck for my labor, I've only held maybe 8-9 jobs total. I've always made a habit of leaving those jobs in good standing, because as my Mom always says "you never know when you might have to go back." It's better to not burn bridges on your way out. That said, I did royally stiff a couple of my former employers. I quit an ice cream shop in college while cursing out the manager and my fellow teenaged colleagues out on my way out the door. There was also the temp summer job I had in a sweltering factory. After 3 days of working in that oppressive environment, I clocked out for lunch one day and never came back. That's how you stick it to da' man.

Eff' yo' paycheck!

As a "young urban professional" with private schooling and iPhone monthly data plans to pay for, I obviously can't pull those sorts of jack moves anymore. I also happen to really, really, really love my day job, and I don't just say that because my boss occasionally reads this blog. Still, something in me admires when people with grownup responsibilities tell their bosses where to shove it. But I'm not so sure if I like Washington Nationals manager Jim Riggleman's startling gangsta move.
Joy swelled through every corner of Nationals Park late Thursday afternoon, following a landmark victory by the winningest Washington Nationals team in six years. But before the 21,161 ecstatic fans could reach the exits, and the players could change into their street clothes for their flight to Chicago, euphoria faded into shock, then shattered into a jumble of emotions.

Manager Jim Riggleman had chosen this heady moment — the day the Nationals moved over .500 in June for the first time since 2005 — to resign abruptly, taking a principled stand against what he saw as an unfair contract situation: the team’s refusal to pick up the option that would have kept him in place for the 2012 season.

The stunning news caught the Nationals completely by surprise. Riggleman had informed his boss, General Manager Mike Rizzo, only 45 minutes before first pitch of his intention to resign after the game if his contract situation were not addressed in a substantive way.

Riggleman’s unhappiness over his contract situation had been an open secret around the team almost since the day it was signed, Nov. 9, 2009. Although the Nationals called it a three-year deal at the time, it was more accurately a two-year guaranteed deal with a low buyout after the first season and a team option for 2012 — effectively keeping Riggleman on a year-to-year basis, and at a salary, $600,000, that ranked among the lowest in the game.

“I’m 58,” he said. “I’m too old to be disrespected.”
If you're baseball illiterate, here's a little context. The Washington Nationals have stunk to high heavens since moving here from Montreal a few years ago, and routinely play in front of audiences smaller than the line outside Georgetown Cupcakes. They were in the midst of another awful, forgettable season until a month ago when team suddenly caught fire and went on an amazing run that now has them with a winning record at the latest point in the season since they first arrived here. For even a casual (okay, disinterested) baseball fan like me, this is enough reason to pay attention to the team and maybe even consider going down there for a game. With the NFL and NBA locked out, this was finally the Nats' chance to win over DC fans.

And in the midst of all that, Riggleman decides to quit because he felt the team's ownership was jerking him around over a contract extension. Nobody knows how this will effect the team since they've yet to play a game since he abruptly quit, but if they suddenly go on another losing streak, it'll be fair to say him quitting was the cause. The team's one chance to reel in a fanbase will probably be out the window as well. So, honestly, the non-baseball fan in me looks at this and says Riggleman quit on his team. I don't think this was the right move. He should have dealt with his contract situation in the offseason. If the team kept winning, he'd have had more leverage. As is, he has probably turned off any other team that may wanna hire him since he's shown himself to be more about money than winning.

Since everyone's not a sports fan, I'll pose the questions to you in layman's work terms.

Question: Would you quit a job because you felt you weren't being appreciated in the midst of a big team project? Leaving abruptly would probably be a setback for both the company and yout fellow employees. Is there ever a right time or way to quit? Did Riggleman do the right thing, or did he put his personal agenda above the team's? Will he get hired elsewhere?

The Obama Approval Rating™ - July 2011.

Well, the bloom is officially off the rose.

In the 2+ years that I've been running my quarterly Obama Approval Rating™ poll, this is officially the lowest rating evar.

I can't say this wasn't expected. of course it was. Obama is, after all, a politician, not your best friend. He, like every President, was bound to disappoint eventually, and I think most of AverageNation™ has grown weary of his "typical politician" behavior. When the economy isn't humming along, and you're in 3 wars, and you're facing a debt crisis, there isn't much to cheer about, even for the most fervent ObamaBot.

Personally, I still think he's got a good chance at winning in 2012, just because the competition is so lackluster. But that doesn't make him a great President by any stretch, it just means he sucks less than the other guy (or gal). Sorta like Duke beating Butler last year. Or UConn beating Butler this year. Or whoever beats Butler next year.

Carry on.

Question: What does President Obama need to do to win your vote (again) in 2012?!? Which GOP candidate poses the biggest threat?

Thursday, June 23, 2011 Hot Topics - 6.23.11

Anyways, here's the daily rundown.

Troop Drawdowns - Obama gave a speech. I didn't watch it. Did you? What happened?

NBA Draft Is Tonight - I gotta be honest, I'm an NBA junkie and I don't know 90% of the guys in tonight's annual Black Thanksgiving Day. I hope my Wizards can somehow swing a deal to get Derrick Williams, but something tells me 5 years from now, this will be considered one of the worst drafts of all time.

Iced Out Newt Gingrich - This dude should really just quit while he still has some dignity left. Not only have his two biggest campaign fundraisers quit, but Gingrich is now dogged by a report that says he and his wife had a one million dollar (!) line of credit at Tiffany's. How dude can pretend to be a layman when he's busy spending that sorta cake on jewelry is beyond me. Actually, the fact that he still hasn't just abandoned his campaign is more befuddling.

Newt's $500K Tiffany Bill! - Lemme say, in the pantheon of petty political stories, this one is right up there with Obama wearing those American flag lapel pins. Newt is rich. Rich men have wives who like nice stuff. Wives love credit cards. This isn't exactly rocket science. What I do find funny is how Newt's being systematically ethered by the Conservative media (not the left) and has no real recourse for fighting back. Stick at fork in this guy, but let's not make such a big deal over something so trivial as jewelry.

Tracy Morgan's Apology Tour - I think Morgan's comments about killing his son if he turned out to be gay were pretty tasteless, but come on, it's freakin' Tracy Morgan. When you pay to see him do standup, what do you expect, Seinfeldian observations on life as a Dad and husband? No, you expect a real like Tracy Jordan to show up and say some ignorant sh*t, which he did. Watching the man make the rounds and apologize for a joke just seems our of bounds, and even a little sad. On the bright side, I'm sure the writers of 30 Rock will find a say to weave this real life drama into a funny storyline next Fall.

Jon Huntsman - Does this guy have a chance? I'm not so sure.

Casey Anthony - Could someone please explain why this case is drawing so much interest by the national media? I don't get it. It's obviously tragic that a child died, but what's so notable about Anthony? She wasn't missing. She isn't blond. She isn't even good looking. Why so much attention and time on one random chick who allegedly killed her own child?

Cars 2 Hits Theaters Tomorrow - Who's going? Better yet, who's got a decent bootleg?!?

Question: What do you think about these issues?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dude, Where's My Blog?!?

I'm still in post-vacation catch-up mode. Ya'll might be on your own for a sec. Not that that's ever a problem. In the meantime, follow me on Twitter, which is unofficially my other blog. I went off on a couple of rants about Lupe Fiasco's comical performance on the O'Reilly Factor last night, as well as Jon Huntsman's Presidential bid, and the reluctance of Real Americans to vote for a Mormon.

Go over there and check me out. In the interim, here's some of what's in rotation on my iPod right now. Before you criticize my musical choices, try listening to these songs while you run (assuming you run). Nuff' said.

Pac Div - "We The Champs"

Killa Kyleon - "25 Lighters 2011"

Lil' Boosie - "You Better Believe It"

Monday, June 20, 2011 Open Mic - 6.20.11

I was on vacation most of last week (you didn't even notice, did you?) so I'm digging myself out of the usual hole today at work. Here's the rundown.
GOP's Racist Obama Impersonator - I've got a story about this one that'll be over at the Atlanta Post soon, but chew on it if you're not yet familiar.

US Open - Nope, me neither.

Jon Stewart On Fox News Sunday - Mega buildup. Mega dud.
Question: What's on your mind today?

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Most Racist Campaign Ad, Evar?!?

Uhhhhmmm, yeah. This one's right up there with Willie Horton and "The Hands". And in case you're wondering, yes, this isn't an old MadTV skit, it is indeed a real ad.

Jesus, is there anything shiftless shameless Negroes won't do for a dollar? I don't blame the gutless GOP political action committee that recruited these ingrates, I blame the ingrates themselves.

The saddest part of this whole equation is that in cities nationwide, using reformed ex-gang members to be "gang intervention specialists" has been proven to be one of the most effective ways of squelching gang violence. That the GOP sought to take something very positive and use to to scare suburbanites is probably just as disgusting and rife with racial undertones as anything Leroy and Skillet do in this video.

Awww, who am I kidding?!? Errybody in this equation needs to be Drop Squad-ed.

Question: Is this GOP up to its old racial politricks or does the blame for his monstrosity rest solely with Sleep -n- Eat?!?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Eddie Long's Staged Offering, And The Problem With Black Church Enablers.

By now you're probably seen the video of a recent service at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, in which a congregant walks up to the pulpit and hands Bishop Eddie Long an outrageous stack of cash. If not, here it is.[1]

In street parlance, we'd refer to this pile of cash as "racks on racks on racks". In church parlance, I can only look at this and think "what in the Hades are folks at New Birth thinking?" Who justsohappens to bring a dope boy-sized stack of money (secured with a rubber band, of course) to Sunday service? Wouldn't someone bumrushing the pulpit like this typically be tackled by church security? This is such a transparent money grab, I halfway expected to see a getaway car pull up. If Long and Co. are stooping to using performance art to convince congregants to give, what's next?

Personally, I really, really, really dislike it when people paint all pastors with the same stereotypically "shady" brush. An overwhelming majority of those who head black churches are ethical, Christ-driven, and trustworthy. It's knuckleheads like Long who give preachers a bad name. And it's congregations like New Birth who clap like otters when such a spectacle occurs instead of getting up and walking out, that give church folks an even worse name.

In the wake of Long's (alleged) $25 million dollar settlement with four young men in a civil lawsuit for sexual misconduct, it's only natural to wonder if this sort of act is aimed at raising money to cover his indiscretions. How else are Long and New Birth supposed to be paying that massive tab? Various reports seem to indicate that the settlement might have been far less had Long simple issued a public apolofy, which he reportedly refused to. If I'm still a member of New Birth, I might need Long to thoroughly reassure me that my tithes aren't paying to protect what remains of his reputation. Better yet, if I'm still a member of New Birth, I might wanna look for a new church.

Shortly after the four your men filed the initial lawsuit last Fall, Long addressed his congregation, telling them the charges were bogus and he'd fight them "in the court of justice" just like David fought Goliath.

"I've got 5 rocks, and I haven’t thrown one yet,” Long boasted at the time.

I guess those rocks were worth $5 million apiece.

Question: What do you think about this?

[1] This post was originally intended to run elsewhere. Before you gripe about two straight days of Bishop Long, cut me a break.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Probably Not The Best Way To Put A Hit Out On Your Baby's Father.

This story is all kinds of wrong. Just $1,000 to kill someone? Posting hit jobs on Facebook? Dude's lame a$$ profile pic of him comically brandishing a pistol? Nope, that ain't the worst part of this.

The worst part is the reporters reading the FB status updates.

"What he look like? Where he be at?"

Unintentional comedy at its best.

Don't drop the soap, Miss Eley.

Racks On Racks On Racks For Bishop Eddie Long.

I can't understand a single word in this entire song, but I like it. And I have a sudden urge to make it my ringtone. And to go get some "racks" of my own, as soon as I figure out what "racks" are.[1]

Of course, I'm kidding. I already know what "racks" are. And so does Bishop Eddie LongStroke.[2] Witness this Negro Nonsense Instant Classic™ from last Sunday.

Personally, I'm more embarassed by the second video. But you already knew that.

Question: What The Hell Are These Negroes Talkin' About?!? Best translation wins a week's supply of Cyber CapriSuns™ and "Racks". How fake was that Eddie Long donation?

[1] I do, however, know what a "painted on beard" is. Come on', Shawty Lo, kill that bama sh*t already.

[2] Looks like Eddie Long's lacefront allowance got docked as part of that settlement. Jesus, bruh, what is that, velvet?!? Guest Post: So NBA Fans, Where Do We Go From Here?

[Editor's Note: No need to lie, with a lockout looming and no Summer League or international competition, it's gonna be a looong summer for NBA fans. Thankfully, I planned ahead for this very occasion and recorded a boatload of regular season games on my DVR, so I'm good. My main man, Ed The Sportsfan... not so much. Show our guest some love you-know-where.]

I need you all to help me on this. Please.

We just witnessed one of the strangest and craziest NBA seasons I've ever seen. We had our first true villain person and team that I can vividly remember since the Bad Boy Pistons in '89. We had a 7-foot German wear the white hat and unite America like Rocky Balboa did the Russians versus Ivan Drago in Rocky 4. Whether you had a dog in the fight, or you were simply pulling for a team to win or lose for whatever reason you decided, there was never a dull moment in these playoffs. Awesome job by David Stern and the goons who run The Association.

However, after Mark Cuban brings his Mavericks caravan from Dallas City Hall, down Young Street, onto Houston Street and end at the American Airlines Center...the NBA season is officially over. What in the hell do we have to look forward to?

Unless you hate LeBron Raymone James that much that you can hate the man for the next 4-6 months so that it can sustain your happiness (and there are many of you that will) then this particular NBA off-season is about to suck. We're already dealing with the NFL and their lockout issues and the NBA is about to share a similar fate, and to be truthful the reading I've done would suggest that the NBA owners and players are further apart than their football counterparts. To be clear though, I don't believe the NBA will lockout. Simply because unlike the NFL owners, the NBA owners LITERALLY can't afford to go without games. However, a delay in the start of the season? I wouldn't be surprised one bit.

"But Ed, what about the NBA draft?"

What about the NBA Draft...have you actually seen the players coming through in the 2011 NBA Draft class? After the 4th pick in the draft, Kemba, and The Jimmer, I don't think the majority of you people can name anyone else in the draft. I'm going to watch the first 30 minutes of the draft, see the first four picks, then I'm going to LA Fitness, going to the bar, or hoping on the PlayStation Network to play Call of Duty Modern Warfare with the homies Elgie and Reggie.

Oh, so you're into free agency? Players moving and shaking across the league? Yeah, okay. Even if the NBA owners have the money to acquire talent (Hint: The owners always complain they don't have any money, then they sign free agents to egregious contracts so...yeah, signing will happen) have you actually SEEN the free agent list? Snoozefest.

Tim Duncan (not going anywhere)
Ray Allen (not going anywhere)
Marc Gasol
David West (not going anywhere)
Wilson Chandler
Tyson Chandler
Jeff Green
Rodney Stuckey
Tayshaun Prince

Like I said, snoozefest.

[Editor's Note: Stop sleepin' on Wilson Chandler. Totally underrated.]

Plus, there's no NBA Summer League going on in Las Vegas and Orlando this year (very underrated vacation getaway, cheap places to stay and cheap entry to watch future NBA stars) and there's no international competitions going on in 2011. Maybe I'm spoiled, but man I'm going to have to start watching 3-on-3 hoop tournaments here in Cincinnati. The Hoopla tournament, or the they still run those?

Anyway, I'm going to try and push this into a positive...I will be the livest Call of Duty player of all-time. Maybe save some money and be a productive citizen. Mentor some kids or something...I dunno. I need help.

Question: How will you cope with the looming lockout in the NBA, and the NFL's ongoing labor strike? Got any suggestions for desperate fans like us?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'm Taking My Talents To Bankhead.

As many of you know, I haven't been freelancing since the merger of the Huffington Post and AOL resulted in my fine editor Alexis Garrett Stodghill being let go. Thanks a lot, Arianna.

Anyways, you'll be happy to know that great editors always land on their feet, and Alexis is now at The Atlanta Post. You'll be happier to know that she decided to bring me along for the ride, so I'll be contributing pieces here and there on my usual topics of politics and sports. Since the Post has slightly higher (okay, much higher) journalistic standards than, you'll probably notice my writing voice is a lot less jokey jokey and a bit more serious in tone.

Anyways, my first story, a recap of last night's dreadfully boring CNN GOP Debate is up right now. You can follow my stories via that cool ATL Post icon on the left sidebar.

- Jay Open Mic - 6.14.11

Here's the rundown.
GOP Debate - Who won?

Fake Racist McDonalds' Sign Controversy - Seriously, who's dumb enough to believe this was real?

Facebook IPO - Get your sofa change ready. It's time to get pizzaid.

WeinerGate - After that last batch of photos, dude... just quit. He's obviously holding onto his job for dear life because as a career politician, he has nothing to "fall back on". Still, have some dignity and just disappear. For good.
Question: What's on your mind today?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Stuff I Like That You Should Also Like: The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.

I can't quite describe why I'm so diggin' this web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, but I am. You prolly will too, cause it's hilarious.

Peep more episodes here.

We Mobile. Finally.

At long last, is finally available in proper format for your mobile device.

I'm kinda ashamed to admit this as a techie, but I didn't pursue putting up a mobile-friendly site sooner because it seemed like too much work. Thankfully, the folks at are finally stepping up their game and offering this service for free. After that service outage last month, they owe us one.

Just direct your smartphone browser to the site and you'll see the newly optimized site. You can always toggle between this view and the standard web version.

Random Thoughts On The Dallas Mavericks Beating The Miami Heat For The NBA Title.

I watched the game. Here's some random thoughts.

Four ex-Wizards woke up NBA champions today. Butler, Haywood, and Stevenson gave me some enjoyable experiences as an NBA fan, so naturally I'm happy those guys won, even if it wasn't here in DC. I still don't remember The Brian Cardinal Era in DC, but hey, he allegedly played here, so I'm happy for him too.

Not only can you not buy a champion, but you also cannot win it all without having gone through something together as a team. Dirk and JT learned from that loss in the Finals years ago. Kidd's been there and lost also. Guys like Chandler and Marion have enough playoff experience together. These guys were the better team because they were more familiar with each other. Simple as that. In a 7 game series, cohesion is going to beat talent.

The way Lebron handled himself in his postgame interview was completely lacking in class. And I suspect this soundbyte might haunt him much more than that "taking my talents to South Beach" line ever will.

He basically told everyone who criticizes him that he's rich (beeyotch!) and they still have to get up in the morning and go to jobs they hate. That might be true, but "haters" weren't stopping Lebron from getting in the paint, or forcing him to shoot contested 25 footers. This guy really needs to grow up, and it's no shock that he's likely cemented himself as the most hated player in all sports.

Miami isn't done. They have too much talent to not have a chance at winning it as long as that core of 3 players is kept together. The problem, of course, is that the NBA's new CBA might introduce a hard cap, making it impossible to keep them together. So, glass half empty, glass half full.

Interesting factoid: Miami only drafted two of their rotation players (Wade and Chalmers). Dallas only drafted one (Dirk). All the other guys were either trades (Terry), free agents (Marion), or undrafted guys (Barea, Haslem) who made the team. What does this tell you about the importance of the NBA Draft?

Does Dirk now enter the discussion of Top 50 players of all time? I think so.

DeShawn Stevenson will be at the White House in a few months. He will not have broken into it to gain entrance. He will take a photo with the President. Surely, someone is going to use this photo against him come election season.

As a casual "fan" of the Mavs, I'm happy to see this collection of classy vets win it all. But their window is going to close quickly. Too many of their key players are past their primes and the NBA's proposed hard cap will hurt them even more than Miami since they have the league's 2nd highest payroll (the Heat were only #17). So, savor the moment, Dallas. It might be a minute.

Lebron is not Jordan. He is not Kobe. Let's kill that noise, please.

Jason Terry, you won it all. That tattoo was a ballsy statement, but you backed it up.

Mark Cuban, you're gonna get fined for this...

But hell, who cares? You're a winner.

Question: What are your post-playoffs observations?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Where. Is. Lebron. James?!?

For reasons too numerous to list here, I'm no huge fan of one Lebron James. Still, I'm a fan of good basketball, and the man knows good basketball. That's why his massive choke-job in this year's NBA Finals has been so difficult to watch, even though I obviously am rooting for the Mavs.

As an NBA fan, it's best for the league when it's premier players show off on the sport's biggest stage. Dirk is showing up. D-Wade is showing up. Jason Terry is showing up. Even Chris Bosh has had more impact on the end result (he did hit the game winner in Game #3) than Bron. This obviously makes no sense.

Well, actually it does.

With the exception of that Game 7 against Detroit a few years back, James hasn't exactly established himself as a Legend Of Crunch Time. Sure, he dunks a lot, and puts up some amazing numbers, but it's becoming clearer by the day that the man is not the lead dog. Hell, he can't even do a postgame press conference by himself, so in retrospect, it's no real shock that he went to Miami to ride D-Wade's coat tails. Being the 2nd best player on the team takes a lot of pressure off you.

I'm sure MJ woulda done the exact same thing.

Scottie Pippen, perhaps in the midst of finishing off a doobie, recently suggested that Lebron James might be the best player of all time. Of all time. That comment was delusional then. It seems almost sacrilegious now, given James' perpetual crunch time disappearing act. Through 5 Finals games, King James now has a grand total of 11 total 4th quarter points. I might be wrong, but I think even Joel Anthony has as many points. That's not clutch.

For the love of the game, if nothing else, here's to hoping Lebron shows up Sunday night, as the Heat face elimination.

Bring your talents to South Beach, Bron Bron.

Question: What's up with Lebron?!?

The Epic Proposal. The Epic-er Rejection.

Yeah, I know how ratchet it is to post stuff I found on MediaTakeOut. So what? It's a Friday.

Man, this video is sad. Just sad. Sad. Sad.

As a man who proposed to a woman once, long ago, the anxiety involved is incredible. Even if you're pretty certain the woman's gonna say "yes", you still have to pull off the optics and make it a memorable occasion, the story of which will be passed down to future generations. It's probably one of the most difficult things a man has to plan for and execute in his entire life. To go through all of the logistics of setting up a great proposal, only to be told "Hell to the naw, Dontay!" in front of all you friends, family, and random congregants inside a sweaty, hoodrat-infested nightclub must be demoralizing. This fella's gonna need some counseling, pronto.

Clearly this guy messed up bigtime at some point, but it's clear he really loves the girl and wants to save her from a lifetime of spending weekends inside of sweaty, hoodrat-infested nightclubs. He wanted to turn her into an honest woman[1], and himself into an honest man.

But of course, life is not a fairy tale. I suppose this is what happens when you try to propose to a woman in a sweaty, hoodrat-infested nightclub.

Question: Fellas, how did you propose? Ladies, how were you proposed to? Does it really matter one way or another? Is this video sad or what?

[1] BTW, am I the only one who noticed that she didn't say "no" until after dude showed her to ring? Hmmmphhhfff.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Someone Please Explain The Allure Of First Person Shooter Games.

Since we're riffing on video games today, how about we start a new thread?

Personally I don't get the allure of "first person shooters". I've tried to play Call Of Duty a few times with my nephew (in the same room, not over the internet, which I suspect is the real allure of shooters). I really didn't understand how to use the controller and got bored with the repetitiveness (and getting killed) pretty quickly. Since shooters are all the rage, I don't really get why so many people like them. What am I missing?

Maybe I don't like them because I can't suspend reality enough. I like sports, thus I like sports games, and spend probably 95% of my gaming time (which is, admittedly limited) on NBA 2K. It's a game that's always a challenge. I could literally play it for an entire calendar game if I ever got that sorta free time (which I never will).

Shooters though... sorry, I just don't get it. Someone explain the point.

Question: What am I missing? Open Mic

I addition to being very busy, I'm also reaching the point of boredom with talking politics here. With all the bad news surrounding the economy, the 2012 GOP contenders barking at each other, and Weiner-Gate, I think we're all due for a change of tone around here. I'm not announcing a full blown political fast, but I am asking that those of you still commenting on posts from last week/early this week just let it ride for now. Here's some other, non-political stuff to chew on in the meantime.
Lebron - What was up with that disappearing act the other night? I think he'll be back with a vengeance tonight in Game 5, but I still see the Mavs heading back to South Beach with a 3-2 lead. As for the series, who knows who'll win? But one thing's for certain, this has been the best NBA playoffs from round 1 to the Finals ever. The next time you hear someone say they "don't watch the NBA anymore because they don't play as hard since Magic, Bird, and Jordan...", kindly interrupt them with an open-handed slap to the jaw. The NBA been back.

HeatWave! - I was at the Baltimore Zoo with my 2-yr old's class for a field trip yesterday. Between the heat, humidity, and the fonky assed animals, I felt like I was back in the motherland.

NFL Lockout - Ray Lewis got in some trouble last week for suggesting that if the NFL is on strike this Fall, crime might go up. Ignorant as this might have sounded, I kinda agree. If both the NFL and NBA are still not playing games come December, someone is gonna get hurt.

Kardashian Pre-nup - Okay, so I'm clearly reaching for stories now, but I ran across this tidbit on Yahoo. Apparently Kim Kardashian is forcing her NBA journeyman fiancee to sign a prenup. Is this merely a sign of the times, or is this guy just as much of a herb as he looks?

Terrelle Pryor - I love it how all the folks who thought he was so brilliant just a few months ago are now calling this guy a selfish, narcissistic ingrate for deciding to leave OSU early. As if these same folks would give a sh*t if he'd blown out his knee as a freshman. Pay these damn kids, now!

Question: What non-political things are on your mind today?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

With IOS 5, Apple Officially Out-Does Itself. Again.

[Editor's Note: WeinerFest got old quick. Lets end that thread. Now. Please.]

Feast your eyes and fantasize, nerds. IOS 5 is on the way.

This update shows everything that's great, and awful, about Apple.

The Good: Sheeeeeiiiit, all of it's good! Who are we kidding? This is freakin' amazing and I can't wait to do my wireless upgrade when this is released in the fall. These upgrades are waaay past due, but they're strangely right on time. This should definitively widen the gap between Apple and that other operating system that shall not be named here.

The Bad: Why does it seem like it takes Apple sooooo long to finally bake in such features as lock screen notifications, concurrency, tabbed browsing, and photo correction? Other mobile O/S have had these features for years now. And anyone who knows how to spell "Jailbreak" knows that Apple just bites half of these concepts from the underground developers and fully bakes them into the O/S. Is that really innovation? How much of these features does Apple actually invent on its own? To me, it looks like they just take other people's ideas and make them better.

Question: If you're a hardcore Apple user, does this excite you or are you merely like "it's about freakin' time"? If you own another smartphone/tablet, does this make you suddenly question your decision? Does Apple officially have the game on lock now? Is Apple really an innovator or merely a perfecter of others' ideas?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Uhhh, Yeah, Weiner Prolly Did It.

[Update: He admits he did it and says he ain't quittin'.]

Man, is Anthony Weiner having the Worst June Evar, or what?!?
Internet provocateur Andrew Breitbart has just published what can best be described as an iconic image of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY). The image depicts a shirtless, hairless and notably toned individual that bears a striking resemblance to the individual that has been at the center of the Weinergate controversy for the past 10 days or so.

Breitbart has alleged that these images undermine the notion that Weiner was hacked or a victim of a prank last Friday when a image of what appears to be an excited member of congress in his underwear emerged from his Twitter account. It is still not clear that these images reveal anything substantial about that particular incident, nor do they necessarily implicate Weiner in anything worse than poor judgment in online behavior. The question that remains to be answered is how the recipient of these images feels about them, and if they were sent under something other than a broadly and mutually accepted understanding of their relationship.

What these images do reveal is that Weiner takes particularly good care of himself, appears to be an avid manscaper, and appears to be unafraid to share suggestive pictures of himself to individual (or individuals?) that he most likely has come to regret ever having trusted.
I'd be the last person to defend Weiner if this story proves to be true. Sexting While Married (unless, of course, you're sexting your spouse) is tacky, lazy, and all kinds of ratchet. There's no reason to defend this schmendrick if this is true.

That said, come on, it's Andrew Freakin' Breitbart!!! The same guy who doctored the Shirley Sherrod tapes, and sponsored misguiding hit jobs on NPR and ACORN. The guy clearly has very little credibility, and you certainly can't put it past him to present these photos without proper context. He's made a career out of the Grand Hu$tle, so I don't believe him at all.

It's entirely possible that Weiner took these photos and sent him to a paramour[1] waaay before he even met his wife. Until Breitbart and Co. provide some definitive proof of when they were taken and to whom they were sent, I'm gonna reserve judgement. As is, Weiner just looks really sleazy (and gameless), but that doesn't make him an adulterer. Just a herb.

Stay tuned.

Question: Should Weiner be forced to abandon his Congressional seat like fellow NY Rep Chris Lee did earlier this year?!? If you were a constituent, would you vote for him again?

[1] $10 word!

ArmChair Obama™: We Need Some D*mn Jobs, Barry!!!

Conventional wisdom says that given the lackluster roster of GOP contenders, the only way Obama loses his re-election bid is if the economy hits the skids again. Obama's passed healthcare legislation, killed Osama, and generally rescued the economy from the brink of economic disaster. Need I remind folks that we were losing 700k jobs a month, unemployment was already around 8%, and the Dow was in the 7,000s when he took office.

After months of solid private sector growth, the numbers for May dropped Friday, and they weren't pretty.
The nation's job market took a turn for the worse last month as employers abruptly curbed their hiring and the unemployment rate edged up to 9.1%, the Labor Department said Friday.

The disappointing report provided the latest and strongest evidence of a sputtering economic recovery. In recent days, various data have pointed to a slowdown in manufacturing and consumer spending, as well as persistent weakness in the depressed housing market.

Employers in May added just 54,000 to their payrolls, less than half of what's needed just to keep pace with the expanding working-age population. The puny job growth came after three straight months of solid payroll increases that averaged 220,000 a month.

And the jobless rate, after steadily declining during the winter, rose for the second month in a row. Unemployment was 9% in April and 9.6% in May of last year.
There's no need to spin this to make it sound better. These numbers are awful for America. Eff' Obama and his re-election campaign. These numbers are bad for all of us.

That said, since there is no President Herman Cain yet, it's on Obama to fix this. The question is how.

Play Armchair Obama™ and tell me what you'd do.

Question: What did you think the President can do to spur more job growth?!? Is this merely a one month aberration or a sign of things to come? What would you do to remedy the situation?

Friday, June 3, 2011

What Does Your Car Say About You?!?

[Editor's Note: This is a simple social experiment. Nothing more, nothing less. If you're squeamish about giving up personal info or think talking about personal belongings smacks of excessive materialism, then you might wanna sit this one out.]

It will probably trip my wife out to read this admission, but I can go ahead and put it out there: I'm "miserly" when it comes to money. This doesn't mean "cheap". Emphatically not. It just means that I put a bit too much security into hoarding money and spending it wisely. Since my wife has a Masters Degree In Internet Shopping, this inevitably leads to some "issues" if you will.

Case in point is (was) my choice of car. For years I was the consummate "I just need to get from Point A to Point B" guy when it came to choosing automobiles. I'm pushin' the Big 4-0. Until a few months ago, I'd only owned 3 cars in my entire life, beginning at age 16. You can do the math on your own, but it goes without saying that I value(d) reliability above all else. I'd much rather stash the $400 or so a month I'd be putting in a car into a mutual fund. This form of fiscal savvy worked well for me. While my friends were busy dropping half a paycheck on an Acura, I was stackin' enough chips to by my first home by the time I turned 24. I'm just sayin', AB knows savin' and investin'.

And then I got married.

Anyways, my most recent car (a mid 90's Honda Civic) was pushing 200,000 miles (yes, really) and when I got rear-ended by an illegal alien a couple of months ago (yes, I live-tweeted the whole ordeal), I knew it was time to stop being so effin' cheap break down and buy a newer car to get around in. The Civic had given me a decade-plus of reliable service, but with two young kids, it just didn't make sense anymore. Or so my wife said.

Again, need I remind you, I'm married.

After some heated discussions, I finally decided to "live a bit" (her words, not mine) and buy a nice car for a change. I did all my due diligence and decided on a Volkswagen CC[1], a lovely car that's fast as hell and loaded with goodies. I guess after all these years my wife finally talked some sense into me, because I love that car like I love a good cheese sammich on a Sunday morning. I don't regret the decision to not buy something less flashy (ie: another boring Honda), nor do I look back in retrospect at all the years I drove around in a bucket as a colossal waste. It is what it is.

I still don't necessarily agree with the adage that "you are what you drive". But some people do, as a pretty cool survey/article I recently read concludes.

Anyways, I guess I'll finish off this pointless Friday post by asking an equally pointless question.

Question: What kind of car do you drive? Do you think what you drive says something about who you are/your personality, or is a car simply a way to go from one place to another?

[1] Yes, that's it pictured above. Mine is black too. And yeah, it looks even more badass in person.

When Spambots Attack!!!

If you're a longtime reader subscribed to some of our older comment threads, you're probably getting bombarded with emails this morning. I'm not sure who "reena" is, but I wish a pox upon him/her house for Spamming the heck out of my pre-Disqus posts overnight. If you are getting there emails, just deleted them. And whatever you do, don't click on any of the links in them, no matter how much you might want a "Milan Hotel".

I don't know how to fix this, let's just all send up a quick prayer to the CyberGods to infect "reena"'s desktop with the most vicious of viruses.

I apologize for this, and I've reported it to Blogger, but there's really nothing I can do to stop it. Again, just press Delete and be on your way.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Caption This Photo.

Are Whites Discriminated Against More Than Blacks?!? Maybe So.

Sometimes I come across story ideas so full of angles that I can't even form a bloggable opinion. Nope, sometimes it's best to just roll the ball out there and have you guys play. Or however that cliche goes.

This would be such a story. Read and discuss amongst yourselves.
Both white Americans and black Americans perceive significant progress in the fight against anti-black bias, but white Americans believe the progress has come at their expense, a new survey finds.

The researchers contacted a random national sample of 209 whites and 208 blacks, and asked them how much discrimination each group faced, on a scale of one to ten, for each decade since the 1950s.

Black Americans saw anti-black bias as declining steadily, from 9.7 in the ’50s to 6.1 in the ’00s. Over the same period, they perceived a small increase in anti-white bias, from 1.4 to 1.8.

White Americans saw an even steeper decline in anti-black bias: from 9.1, in the ’50s, to 3.6, in the ’00s. But more striking, according to the researchers, was the sharp increase in perceived anti-white bias: Among whites, it shot up from 1.8 to 4.7.

White Americans, in short, thought that anti-white bias was a greater societal problem by the ’00s than anti-black bias.

The researchers described the pattern—which did not vary markedly with regard to age or education levels—as evidence that white Americans see race relations as a zero-sum game, in which one group’s gains must be offset by another’s loss.
Your thoughts?

Question: What do you think about the results of this "study"?!?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Okay, Weiner (Prolly) Did It...

Call it my Negro Spidey Sense™, but if you don't categorically deny it's you in that photo, chances are it prolly is.
Rep. Anthony Weiner said Wednesday that he “can’t say with certitude” whether a lewd picture posted on Twitter over the weekend was not him, a comment likely to add fuel to the controversy surrounding the New York Democrat.

“My system was hacked,” said Weiner in an interview with NBC’s Luke Russert. “Pictures can be manipulated. Pictures can be dropped in and inserted.”

In a separate conversation with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Weiner again refused to say that the image wasn’t him but added: “It certainly doesn’t look familiar to me.”

Weiner said he had asked a firm to do a “forensic examination of what happened” but did not specify the name of the company he had hired. His office said Monday that the congressman had retained an attorney following the incident.

Weiner is regarded as a leading contender for the 2013 NYC mayoral race.
Sorry, buddy. You just might have some explaining to do.

I don't know how it's possible to not identify a photo of your own junk. Trust me, I know my junk quite well. I could easily pick it out of a police lineup if the situation arose.

No pun intended.

I'm still not saying he sent the photo to that girl. But I think there's a good chance this guy's covering up something.

Question: What's really happening here?!?

Today In Conservative Hypocrisy...

I can't wait to hear the Fox News spin on this one.
Gov. Chris Christie touched down in Montvale Tuesday afternoon in a State Police helicopter to attend his son’s baseball game.

Christie had no public schedule or events on Tuesday, though he was privately scheduled to meet at the governor’s mansion in Princeton with a group of Iowa donors who had flown in to urge him to run for president. Christie has become a hero in the eyes of Republicans across the country for cutting spending and vetoing a tax increase on the rich. Christie has used his veto pen more than 20 times to target wasteful spending at New Jersey government agencies.

Photos on a local affiliate of, a local neighborhood news blog, showed Christie arriving in a blue, white and yellow State Police helicopter for his son’s high-school baseball game.

The governor’s spokesman, Michael Drewniak, would not answer questions Tuesday night about where Christie was coming from or headed to, or whether the governor had previously used the state helicopter for family events. Drewniak said the helicopter is used “occasionally” and “as the schedule demands.”
I'm sure someone's gonna talk about how the chopper is used everyday anyhow, and Big Chris' flight doesn't cost the taxpayers any additional money. Or that politicians are people too, and the guy was just trying to make his kid's game. Or that "Obama does this all the time". All of those things are correct.

But seriously, shouldn't "selective outrage" be a two-way street? The Obamas go two blocks from the White House to have a burger and all hell breaks loose. The optics of Christie choppering into a little league game, then riding a state owned limo 100 yards (yes, really) to get to his seat just seem a bit out of touch with "Real Americans" in these times of economic hardship. Would it have really killed the guy to end his prior appointment a bit early and fight through traffic like the rest of us? Really?

Too bad all those teachers he's fired don't have a helicopter. Or a limo. Or money to register their kids for little league.

Why don't we just all agree that every politician has access to stuff and places that the rest of us don't. Planes, choppers, security, free food, and police escorts are all part of the gig. I wouldn't wanna see Big Chris taking the bus to his kid's game and neither should you.

Question: Is this a bad look for Big Chris, or are liberals just being petty as usual?

The Diesel Runs Out Of Gas.

So, apparently Shaquille O'Neal's thrown in the towel on an illustrious career.
Shaquille O'Neal, the man with four rings, 28,596 career points and scores of nicknames, has finally decided to call it quits, ending one of the most colorful careers in NBA history that will surely culminate with a Hall of Fame induction.

O'Neal, 39, officially announced his retirement Wednesday using the new social media tool Tout, a real-time video messaging service to announce to fans: "We did it. Nineteen years baby. I want to thank you very much, that's why I'm telling you first, I'm about to retire. Love you, talk to you soon."

Had he been healthy enough to play regularly this season, Shaquille O'Neal said he believes the Celtics would have won another NBA championship.

"Once a businessman, always a businessman," O'Neal said with a smile later on Wednesday. "I am the emperor of the social media network. Why text when you can Tout?"

O'Neal said he wasn't prepared yet to reminisce about his long and prolific career, which produced three championships with the Lakers and one with the Heat. "Let's save that for the press conference on Friday," said O'Neal, who will hold that media event at his Isleworth home.

Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss says that O'Neal has not notified the team of his plans.
Mark my words, on this date, June 1st 2011: Shaquille will be on some team's roster at some point next season.

Assuming this is the swan song for Shaq, I wish the guy the best in retirement. I hope that retirement doesn't include nuptials to Hoopz (simp move!), more cheesy reality shows, or a stint as SlamBall coach. For the love of all things financial, I do hope it includes a trip to his attorney's office to get all of his child and spousal support obligations re-adjusted. Few things are sadder than watching a man still play a sport because he has to.

No Evander Holyfield.

No need to lie, as a one-time Charlotte Hornets fan, I used to hate Shaq with a passion. The way he'd destroy Alonzo Mourning as if he had a personal vendetta against the man's mother was heart wrenching. Over time, I started to appreciate the big guy's humor, lightheartedness, and allergy to taking himself to seriously. The world of sports hasn't ever seen a showman this entertaining and self-deprecating, and likely never will again.

Happy trails, Shaq Diesel.

Question: How long will Shaq stay retired? What's his next move? What's your favorite Shaq moment? Guest Post - Sizing Up The GOP 2012 Candidates.

[Editor's Note: After months of hand-wringing, GOP candidates are finally declaring for the party's 2012 nomination. The Storyteller from one of my favorite sites, The Urban Politico, sizes up the field in today's Guest Post. Show our guest some love you-know-where. And with all due respect to Lupe, these folks aren't Lasers. They're Losers.]

It's Tuesday, for most people it's just another day closer to Friday. For those a little more politically minded Tuesday may most often be associated with "election day." Recently we've seen the election of a Democrat to New York's conservative 26th district; no doubt a referendum on the Ryan budget. In my neck of the woods, in Jacksonville, Florida, a Tuesday election a few weeks ago made history as the city elected it's first Black mayor ever in Alvin Brown. But this Tuesday it's not about a special or historic election. It's about speculating on what could become a historic election and possibly why making history in 2012 could be really bad for the country.

Allow me to explain.

As early as tomorrow former Democratic golden child John Edwards could be indicted on Federal charges on accusations of misusing campaign money to cover up his love child with Rielle Hunter during his 2008 bid for Presidency. Edwards' fall from grace in the matter of three short years shows just how vicious and volatile the political arena is -- especially when you're doing wrong -- and further underscores how reputation and not issues matter more in the early days of stumping.

GOP Hopeful 1: Newt Gingrich. The former Speaker of the House announced his candidacy on twitter, youtube, and later FOX. When he announced he was framed as the savior of the GOP, sure to win the Presidential nomination on name alone. I mean the man did serve as House Speaker during one of the most progressive times in our Nation's economic history; 1995-199. But as I said it is reputation that matters more than issues right now, and Mr. Gingrich has quite the reputation.

Immediately after Gingrich announced his candidacy for President there were numerous articles about how he would have to overcome his past womanizing ways which include several marriages and adultery. Then there was that whole unpaid Tiffany's bill and lest not forget his calling Obama "the most successful food stamp President in modern American history."

Gingrich may have good ideas to move the country forward but his past haunts him in ways that overshadows any progressive possibilities he may posit for the country. It's kind of like all the rump shaker videos Uncle Luke made in the heyday of rump shaking that live forever on video, forever hanging over his head, quickly killing any and all aspirations of becoming Mayor of Miami despite his well crafted platform and quick study of local policy.

But Gingrich isn't the only candidate for 2012 with a troubling reputation. There are also the warrior women, er ugh... Momma Grizzlies, as well as my main man Mitt, three times a charmer Ron Paul, the nobody's heard of me or what I've done Tim Pawlenty, and Rick Santorum, and "The Herminator."

GOP Hopeful 2: Sarah Palin. The former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential Candidate launched an ambiguous bus tour over the weekend. She showed up in Washington D.C. Sunday for the Rolling Thunder rally but then she didn't talk to press. She unveiled a feature length film about herself, her lifestyle, and her beliefs for America, plans to speak in New Hampshire, but remains mum about whether or not she'll run. Known as the pretty lady who knocked the popularity from Barack's black man running for President schtick, Palin as of late has been more of a rabble rouser; a Flavor Flav of politics if you will, than a potential Presidential candidate. She gets the crowd hype until the real contenders come out and rock the mic.

There's no doubting Palin's popularity or influence. One tweet, one status update, one snarky remark caught on camera and she's viral all over again. But that's just it. Palin's popularity works both for and against her. It helps justify her stepping down as Governor of Alaska to make more money as a reality TV star, political pundit, and all out political celebrity. However, it doesn't help her in the fight to become President of the United States. As we all know popularity and populism does not a President make. She must also be well read, understand that the conflicts in the Middle East are not the same, and that just by making an appearance in Jerusalem does not mean you are equipped to take on the endless task of coercing Israel to talk to the Palestinians about being peaceful one week at a time.

GOP Hopeful 3: The same goes for Michele Bachmann. She may be serving in Congress as a Representative of the smartest people in the country but as many of the last policy fights have shown becoming a member of Congress is not about being smart. Becoming a member of Congress has nothing to do with intelligence but everything to do with timing, money, and backing.

At this time Bachmann is another Flavor Flav for conservatives. She gets the crowd hype, but even when she is the main attraction she loses credibility quickly when inaccurately quoting history. That leaves me (and hopefully you too) to wonder "How accurate will she be if elected Commander in Chief in coordinating the future?" If you can't get right what's already happened how will you ever have the foresight to get right what remains unknown? Say what you want about me for holding the past against her but it's her job to know the history of the country, to know the constitution, so the mistakes of our past do not become the mistakes of our future. Unfortunately it's frighteningly obvious that she does not know her history and therefore should not be trusted with crafting the future.

GOP Hopeful 4: Mitt Romney. He's run before and lost. Now he's polling ahead of all the others in another campaign to lead the country; but there's just one small problem. He passed Obamacare before Obama and therefore can't be trusted among conservatives to remain conservative because he may do something socially progressive, he may do something to benefit the underserved and oft forgotten people of this country which is wholly unconservative. Talk about a past reputation coming back to bite you in the butt when you're trying hard to land at the head of the pack instead of dusted in the back on your bum.

GOP Hopeful 5: Ron Paul suffers from what I like to call RPS or Ross Perot Syndrome. Good Intentions. Bad Judgement. Someday soon he and his son Rand will know that their libertarian, sometimes racist positions on issues may be good enough to win them seats in Congress and launch political careers but remain too polarizing to ever be taken seriously by mainstream America. Then again, I could be wrong as I received four emails at work over the weekend for not covering Ron Paul in a story about GOP 2012 candidates.

GOP Hopeful 6 & 7: The reputations of Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum are that they are the former Governors of Minnesota and Pennsylvania respectively. While they have executive experience there is nothing about them that screams controversy, or groundbreaking policy. They are at best forgettable candidates in a field of prospective nominees more colorful than they could ever imagine to be.

GOP Hopeful 8: That leaves us with Herman Cain. That black man running for President on the Republican side with a strong Tea Party backing. Reading his background he immediately reminds me of Joe the Plumber. An entrepreneur, albeit a much more successful one, whose gripe about universal healthcare in '90's was that he could not afford to provide it for his employees. (The gripe of all entrepreneurs) This gripe he publicly made known to then President Bill Clinton and now thanks himself for singlehandedly helping to kill "Hillary Care" which catapulted him onto national political stages.

Herman Cain did well at the Republican debate nobody watched but does that mean he can argue politics against the man who turned the phrase "Yes We Can" into an iTunes chart topper (with a little help from Will.I.Am) for the iPod generation to listen to while they wait for the bus?

Right now the GOP 2012 field is filled with candidates who all undoubtedly believe they can and will unequivocally defeat President Obama, Obamacare, his job killing agenda, and his indecisive foreign policy. It is great for them to hold on to these beliefs as one day, some day, they may turn into reality, however in my eyes GOP 2012 looks like a field filled with dreamers who have yet to learn that everything old is new again and in terms of their past behavior, and reputations, that does not bode well for their future aspirations of leading the free world.

Question: Of the Candidates listed do you think any of them should run for office? Who would you like to see run for office?