Thursday, December 27, 2018

How Social Media Killed The Blog (But Not This One... Sorta Kinda)

When I started this blog in the dark ages (circa 2007!) the objective was simple: I wanted to share opinions with people far and wide, and most importantly, I wanted them to share their opinions on my opinions. Because a blog with no readers is just a diary.

While I definitely took some inspiration from other blogs that I frequented, once I found my voice he content began to pile up. I basically just wrote about what I liked, from sports, to music, to social commentary. While things started slowly (I mean "me and my sister-in-law were the only readers" slow) I caught some fortunate breaks along the way that fueled by an unexpectedly popular post called AverageBro Blogs Live! From Jena, LA. In it, I posted some very contrarian thoughts about the Jena 6 case in which I noticed some distubing behavior amongst those who descended upon the sleepy Louisiana town to protest the unfair jailing of six black men for the beating of a white classmate. The story was, in many ways, the embryonic stage of the Black Lives Matter Movement. The first social justice case of the social media age.

My critique was mostly about the performance art nature of all the protests and some of the high profile media members and civil rights icons to ran the protest. Much about that (not the undue treatment of the kids) irked me, and I said so. It was not a very popular opinion, but it's one that I stand by and which oddly made me a go-to voice for people who agreed and disagreed with me.

From there, the blog grew immensely. I got some special co-signs that really increased my exposure. The collection of regular commenters was well over one hundred, which made a community in and of itself. International media outlets started to quote me. Daily hits reached the 10,000 mark with regularity. I got opportunities to do national radio, guest podcasts, and perhaps most importantly, make good money writing pieces for other far more reputable sites thanks to an enterprising editor who saw the value in my "tell it like it is" style and brought me along with her as a freelancer as her career advanced. The whole thing culminated with a truly bewildering interview with ESPN because some nitwit at Reuters picked my story about Diddy's kid getting a football scholarship to UCLA on a slow news Friday.

I had officially arrived.

At this fork in the road, I could have really really dug in more and probably turned writing into a full time job. I have a great career as an engineer that I love (and which pays well) but who wouldn't wanna make money talkin' shit if it in theory paid somewhere in the same ballpark (and I'm not sayin' it would, but thinking out loud here)?

Among the many reasons why I didn't is because by this same time, social media (specifically Twitter) had become the go-to location for instantaneous sharing of thoughts. While I always prided myself on being someone who could take a story idea and turn it into a fully sourced, well written blog post in under 20 minutes (a quality my editors loved), nothing beat the interactive nature of a snarky tweet.

I continued blogging, although for many reasons unrelated to writing my frequency dipped (as did admittedly the quality of my posts) but found myself spending far more time on Twitter for very aforementioned reasons. It was like an Easy Button for sharing thoughts, and eventually I found myself spending so much time on it that I'd go weeks without updating the blog beyond putting an "open discussion" post for the regulars who hadn't left or followed me to Twitter themselves.

And then, an odd thing happened: I quit Twitter.

The reasons are many (and yes, unrelated to writing) but I realized I was spending far more time in a virtual world talking with people I didn't know that those in physically surrounding me everyday. While leaving Twitter cold turkey is easy, doing the same to a blog you'd spend over a decade regularly penning long form thoughts for wasn't. Plus, there was the small matter of me hosting plenty of ads here, which gave me a little pocket change on the side. It didn't make cents (see what I did there) to shut down, so I decided I'd keep it here and reap the periodic benefits of a new ad. Why not?

That said, I owed my (still visiting) readers an explanation. And just like that, the blog was comatose. With the exception of a few new posts when I really had to get something off my chest, the only new stuff here for the past couple of years has been ads. I've moved on to periodically sharing thoughts on Facebook, which I've found to be a far less engaged community than what once existed here, but otherwise I get my fix by talking to real people now. It's just better that way.

I'm not saying there's no value in social media, or that it's the sole purpose for me ending this blog. There were plenty of life related reasons (ie: a 3rd child, a day job that grew exponentially more complex and time consuming, etc.) for this. Likewise, many of my contemporaries who began blogging around the same time have since graduated on the real, full paying media gigs. While I'm happy for all of them, that for many economic reasons was never my end game.

Do I miss having a blog? Yes, I do. Sometimes I wish I'd simply chosen to use whatever energy I had maintaining this community instead of splitting it with Twitter (although that was certainly the case with most bloggers). We had something special here, and I in many ways regret just abandoning that. But life, as they say, doesn't have a rewind button. Most of the regulars have long since left, and the blog seldom gets more than a couple hundred hits a day.

But if there's one thing I don't regret, it's keeping the blog alive. Sometimes I'll wonder "what did I think about" whatever random event happened in 2011, or how I reviewed a movie when it came out. And lo and behold, since I wrote about basically everything for a full decade, there's a good chance I penned a post about it that I can just pull right up. It's like a time machine into your thoughts. It's sorta kinda cool, and the kinda thing you hope your kids might wanna read someday.

So while the blog is dead, the blog lives on.

- AB

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Relationship Between Dog and Man

The road to domestication is murky.

Dogs are arguably our best friends forever. But how did that happen? The timeline of when the first dog was domesticated is still vigorously contested. It is still unclear even when the dog first split from its wolf ancestors. Genetic DNA evidence puts the first dog at 14,200 years ago. However, it is possible the earliest dogs were with us between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago.
Maybe a better and just as mysterious question is why did it happen? A strong and compelling argument is that wolf individuals domesticated themselves. Wolves that were less aggressive, more social, more curious, and less fearful were more successful in their quest to obtain food amidst human activity. Studies have shown that domestication leads to an evolution in appearance. Originally dogs probably changed in an outward appearance on their own with longer ears, shorter muzzles, and smaller teeth.

Why do we love being with a dog?

Regardless of how or why it happened, dogs are here with us to stay and we love them. Why do we crave that our closest companions be furry, sometimes large predatory beasts? Originally, humans likely had a symbiotic relationship with their canine associates. The wolves evolving into dogs were getting easy meals and warmth and the hunter-gatherers were perhaps getting much-needed help to bring down prey larger than themselves. Hunters then weren't able to provide modern dog hunting supplies, but evidence exists that dogs and humans had a cooperative relationship on hunts. Today when there isn't such a need, the reasons are less obvious. There may be a genetic component to desiring the company of animals. Also present is the creation of a bond with a being that depends on us and which resembles the connection between a parent and a child. Finally, there appears to be interspecies oxytocin release when dogs and humans are together and looking at each other.
How did the bond between dog and humans evolve?

Dogs served humans in many ways over time. An ancient community in the Siberian region used dogs to pull sleds, at least 2000 years ago. In Mesopotamia, dogs were generally of two classes: greyhound-type dogs that hunted and large mastiff-type dogs that herded and protected sheep and goats from predators or guarded personal property. In other parts of history, dogs have served as companions, hunting dogs, or guard dogs. Their proficiency for guarding herds, flocks, and homes in ancient history is well-documented.

What type of dog makes a good family member?

Many dogs make good family pets. The largest considerations are your lifestyle, the dog's temperament, and degree of social development. By lifestyle, we mean the potential dog should suit your goals. For example, if you want to hunt with your dog, you need one with certain qualities, such as good tracking or good retrieving skills. Golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, and beagles make good pets that also hunt. They are social and friendly, energetic enough for children, and are able to transform easily into the home from an outdoor event. The Havanese and poodle make excellent family pets that are loving around children and will alert of intruders without acting overly aggressive. Boxers, Doberman Pinschers, and German Shepherds are loyal family dogs who also have guard-dog qualities.

What do dogs do today for humans?

Much of the requirements ancient people had for dogs still exist today. Many people still use dogs to assist with hunting. In fact, dogs have expanded into types of hunting that go beyond the sight hunting of older civilizations. Dogs continue to be indispensable in guarding homes and personal belongings, herding cattle, sheep, and other flocks. Their utilization has broadened to criminal investigations and rescue operations, as well as therapy. We truly take our dogs everywhere these days.

Ultimately, dogs were domesticated to serve humans, whether as companions or for hunting, herding, guarding, operating rescue efforts or tracking drugs. The traits desired in a good hunting or herding dog are also ideal in any of the other myriads of services dogs provide. Temperament, loyalty, a good nose, and trainability are qualities we have come to expect from our four-legged best friends after centuries of domestication and cohabitation.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Finding a Car That Fits Your Personality, Needs, and Budget

Shopping for a car is easier said than done. There are so many different options on the market, that picking the right ride can take a while. You may dream of riding around in a sports car, but if you have a family of four, you may need a minivan or SUV. Finding the right car for your personality, needs, and budget essentially boils down to being able to find a compromise between what you want and what you need. Below are some factors to help narrow down your options.

What Kind of Car Can You Afford?

You may have race car dreams and luxury car hopes, but what does your budget look like? When deciding on the type of car you’re going to buy, affordability should be the first factor. If you can’t afford it, owning a car then becomes a financial burden. As you calculate the costs, go beyond the down payment and monthly car note. There’s also car insurance, gas, maintenance, repairs, and annual motor vehicle fees.

Where you purchase your car from has a lot to do with the initial costs. Every dealership varies and has different offers for their customers to take advantage of. Browse car dealerships in Gainesville GA and other cities you’d be interested in buying from to see who has better offers you can capitalize on.

What’s the Purpose of the Car?

The vehicle’s purpose can help you narrow down your options. Why are you getting a new car and what will it be used for? Are you expecting a little one and run out of room in your compact car? Do you need a car to commute to and from work? Will you need to use your car for work such as a rideshare driver or car parts delivery driver? If you need more room, you’d want to look at trucks, vans, and SUVs. If your work commute is far, you’d need to focus on gas mileage and durability. If you’re going to be using the car for work, again you’d want to focus on gas mileage and durability, however, you may also need to get a more attractive vehicle to impress your passengers or clients.

What Features Do You Want/Need?

Some features are a given like a radio, heating and cooling system, and comfortable seating. In order to get the car you want, however, you need to think about other features. What features are a priority for you? Which can you live without? Do you want a vehicle that has safety features like reverse cameras, automatic braking, and OnStar service? Are you more interested in speed and endurance? Do you like high tech features like Bluetooth capabilities and wifi connections? Write down the features you must have, the ones you want, and the ones you could go without.

Where Do You Live?

Here’s a factor that not every car buyer considers when looking for a vehicle, where they live. The type of climate and roads you drive in on a regular basis can have an impact on the type of car you choose. If you live in the city, for instance, going with a compact, an eco-friendly vehicle might suffice. However, if you live in the mountains where the weather is known to be harsher and roads are rugged, an SUV or truck may be a better option.

What Do You Like?

You’ve gotten all the important factors out of the way, now it’s time to decide what kind of cars you like. As cars are an extension of your personality, it’s only right to choose something that compliments you. What colors do you prefer? Which makes and models have always caught your eye? Which car screams your name and gives the world the type of person you are without you having to utter a word?

Armed with a list of things you want and need in a car and things you can live without, you’re ready to go shopping for the car that’s best for you. Remember to keep your budget first as you visit various dealerships to view and test drive vehicles that interest you most. Once you’ve found one that you love, use negotiation tactics to try and get the best deal on the ride.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Hired as a Security Guard: What Gear Will You Need to Buy?

If you’re starting a job as a security guard or police officer, you may wonder, “What kind of equipment will I be issued, and what will I need to buy?”

There’s no simple answer to this question, as no two precincts or security companies are alike. When choosing your gear, try to determine if there are any special circumstances that will arise at your job. Will you be working at night? Is the location dangerous? Will you be outside in the cold? Does it rain frequently? Answering these kinds of questions will help you create a list of gear that will help you do a better job.

This list of important gear that will help you get started with your new career in law enforcement or security:

Tactical Pants - You’ll need a durable pair of pants with a lot of pockets for carrying weapons, equipment, and a multitude of accessories. A stylish pair of 5.11 tactical pants is just what you need to be ready for any active situation while maintaining a professional appearance.

Boots - You’ll need high-quality boots for the many hours you’ll be standing and walking. Your feet will certainly thank you. A sturdy pair of boots will also protect your feet from glass, rusty nails, needles, and during physical altercations.

Poncho - If your job requires you to spend time outside, an emergency poncho will be a lifesaver on rainy days. They roll up small and are easy to tuck away when not in use.

Coat, Hat & Gloves - It’s important to dress appropriately in cold weather. If your climate is particularly cold, you might consider a heated vest which runs on a rechargeable battery pack. Make sure your gloves allow for finger mobility and dexterity. Choose a hat that doesn’t block your line of sight or hinder your vision.

Handgun - Depending on your job, carrying a handgun may be allowed or even necessary. Always verify compliance with local laws and complete all training and certification requirements.

Baton - A baton is a popular self-defense tool often issued by law enforcement and security organizations. Be sure to purchase this item if you are not issued one by your employer.

Stun Gun - A taser is an effective non-lethal weapon perfect for self-defense and conflict de-escalation.

Pepper Spray - This spray will incapacitate any assailant, even if they are under the influence of drugs. Pepper spray causes pain, nausea, and excessive coughing for about an hour, sometimes longer.

Flashlight - Everyone in security or law enforcement needs a powerful flashlight, and this item is commonly issued to new employees. Even if you aren’t working at night, there will be plenty of dark rooms and corners where having a strong light will come in handy. You’ll have a better chance of identifying a lurking threat. If necessary, a large flashlight can be used as a self-defense weapon as well.

Cellphone - Having a cell phone will prove invaluable. Though you will likely be issued a two-way radio, carrying a phone will assist you in many ways. Depending on the available reception, a phone may be your primary method for communicating with your coworkers. It will also provide a quick way to reach emergency services such as the police, medical responders, and the fire department. The camera in a smartphone allows you to take photos and record video, which is an added security bonus.

Body Camera - A great way to protect yourself from lawsuits and complaints is to wear a body camera. By recording events as they happen, you can back up your claims with proof and provide evidence when a crime occurs.

When we go to work, it’s important that we have the tools needed to do our jobs well. Security and law enforcement professions are no exception, and having the right equipment is essential. However, not all of your gear will be issued by your employer, even if you work for a large organization. Certain items will need to be purchased separately.

The best thing you can do is research your job duties and working conditions, then create a list of the gear you will need. Try to find out ahead of time what gear will be issued, and then plan your purchases accordingly.

How to Keep from Bring Work Stress Home with You

Home is where the heart is. And if you have a stressful job, it is also where the stress is vented. There is a certain amount of stress associated with a day at the office, whatever your office happens to be. Your job is to do a particular task that solves a problem for the company. In that sense, you are drowning in problems for 8 hours a day.

The stress is not just the problems that have to be solved, but the responsibility you take on. If you don’t get your job done, some critical thing is left undone. If that spill isn’t mopped up in a timely manner, someone might slip and fall. That will cause injury to an innocent person, and cost the company compensation for that broken arm and leg.

Every job is important enough for a number of higher ups to have approved paying someone to do it. The fact that they chose you as opposed to someone else means that you have a personal responsibility to get the job done well. That is a lot of pressure put on you by the job, and by yourself. Here are a few ways to keep from bringing that pressure home:

Wash it Off at the Office

One of the consequences of pressure is sweat, sometimes, excessive sweat. That sticky, grimy, wetness in your shirt and socks is a physical manifestation of all the stress you have accumulated throughout the day.

If your company has a shower, use it before you leave the office. Change into a fresh shirt and clean socks so that you don’t take that stress with you on the subway and into your home to overwhelm your family.

You can also deal with sweaty pits and sweaty feet at the source. You can use antiperspirant towelette or sprays to cut down on the sweat. You can also use moisture wicking undershirts and socks to keep sweat from absorbing into your clothes.

If there is no shower, you can still stop by the restroom and wash off before you leave the office. It is not only about removing offensive odors. It is about freeing yourself from a rather annoying physical reminder of just how stressful your day was. You have the option to go home without that physical reminder.

Fall in Love with Your Job All over Again

There must have been a time when you were in love with your job. It is easy to forget that time when every day is a grind. It is also a chore when others around you seem to be disgruntled. The job becomes something you endure and survive. Consider the following:

You do not have the worst job in the world.
• Billions of people on the planet would happily take your place.
• Your job is important enough for someone to pay you to do it.
• Your family is proud of you for doing that job every day and making a life for them.

You can’t change the job. But you can change yourself and your orientation toward that job. When you do, you will come home with less frustration from the job, and more pride from doing the job.

Commit to Family Time

The tempting thing to do is come home and crash for a few hours after work, or lock yourself away from everyone while trying to mentally recover on your own. But all that does is create a feedback loop with you reliving all the worst moments of your workday.

One way to deal with that feedback loop is to never let it start in the first place. Instead of walling yourself off from the people who love you, spend time with the kids. Devote an hour before bed watching TV with the family. It doesn’t matter if you like the show. Your strength and renewal comes from family, not self-absorption.

Not everyone has the luxury of turning their beloved hobbies into a sustainable income. Sometimes work is just a grind for a paycheck. But you can keep that stress at the office by washing away the physical manifestations of stress, falling in love with your job all over again, and committing to family time after work instead of locking yourself away.


Monday, July 16, 2018

A Few Tips to Date after Joining an Interracial Dating Site

Interracial dating has gained popularity throughout the country and people are getting more open towards it, some find it a great way to find the love of their life and some find it exciting to date someone outside their race and acast. Most of the common dating website has a database of millions of active users but most of the people available there are not open to interracial relationships that’s the reason we suggest you specialty dating websites that can help you find the best dating partner as per your needs.

We appreciate that you have joined an interracial dating site to find your partner and if you haven’t joined yet then try the best interracial dating site – AfroRomance to find the most suitable partner for self, they have got the best database of singles looking for a relationship outside the religion and cast.

Studies suggest that around 83% of the women fantasize about being in the interracial relationship and more than 60% of the women have erotic fantasies about having a physical relationship with a person belonging to the different race. So guys, take it as a positive sign and make your interracial dating profile stronger to attract more women to date, here are some of our tips to strengthen your online dating game.

Be the true you on interracial dating site
Your profile is going to be your first impression, before having a conversation with you the person is going to accept you on the basis on your profile, here are some of the tips to create a compelling profile.

Honesty: interracial dating is quite different from the general dating game; people at interracial dating sites are more cautious and curious about your true behavior. Being honest with your expectation and your true nature is the best way to find love on interracial dating sites.

Purpose: people at interracial dating sites are looking for bit extra; they will be expecting to know the purpose of your life and purpose behind what brought you to try interracial dating.

The sense of humor: a good sense of humor is a guarantee that you are going to keep him/her happy and you are not a kind of person who stresses over every small thing.

Exchange your phone number if possible
If you like the behavior of the person you are talking to and if you are truly impressed with the things he do then don’t wait for the right moment to ask for contact. You can ask for the number just after 2-3 conversations, no one like to drag the communication over chat.

Do not set very high standards

Staying patient is the key to acquire success in an interracial relationship; you won't be getting an eligible partner on the very first day of enrolling yourself on the online dating platform. Instead of setting the high standard and discarding every profile on the basis on the first impression is a wrong idea, if you are serious about finding a suitable partner then get into the conversation with as many people as you can. Getting in a conversation will make you understand the general behavioral pattern or people from the different community and it will also make you understand their expectations.

Stay patient and open minded

Tighten-up your seat belts guys you are going to experience all new phase your life. You need to prepare yourself to stay patient and open-minded towards their culture and behavior, most of the time people don’t know how to talk and behave to someone unfamiliar to their community.

For the first few conversations; it is advised to stay away from indulging into a serious conversation about politics, stereotypes, culture, etc. instead of getting involved in serious communication you can talk about some interesting stuff like favorite movie, favorite marvel character, favorite music, last place you visited, hobbies, etc. In my case I prefer to have a rapid fire round, this gives me the idea about the general behavior patterns and preferences of a person.

Do not hesitate to ask your dating partner to meet you

If you had a healthy conversation with the person then there is nothing you should be waiting for, you can move ahead with asking him/her for a first casual date. There are some of the precautions that you should be taking before meeting someone for the first time:

• Always have your first date in public places, like meeting up for a casual coffee or lunch date.
• Its best advised to pre-plan everything and follow every precautionary measure.
• Let your closed one know about your first date and let them know about the place you are going to and the personal details of the person with whom you have planned a date.
• Leave if you feel uncomfortable. Period. At any point of date if you get the feeling like the person you are having a date is not right person then feel free to leave at any point.
• Keep some self-defense equipment like pepper spray or stun gun.

We appreciate your choice of choosing the online dating platform to find your dream date but your personal security is in your own hand and we advise every user to take some precautionary measures until you feel comfortable with the person.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

How Blogging Changed Wall Street: A Look

Wall Street is one area in America that is known to everybody. Whether it be in history or the current financial scenario, it makes its mark everywhere. It houses almost all major financial headquarters in the United States of America. Professionals all over the world look to them for zeal, motivation and dedication.

There is no doubt that the financial world has undergone some radical changes with development in technology. Previously, bankers and brokers depended on their firm's brand value to impress clients without revealing a lot of information about themselves. Now, with the boom of social media and blogging, banks are trying to be super transparent online in order to attract more clients. It isn’t just the blogging work that is changing though – the whole online world is witnessing a change. For instance, there are more people who are trying out Rivers casino bonus code today more than ever. The trend is only going to grow further, as internet connectivity and speeds improve the world over. Along with all these, comes the need for a good and secure banking system that can protect user money easily.

The old-school banking system and the digital age banking method provide completely different client experience. Reading blogs and staying aware of social media helps people become aware of a bank's strengths and weaknesses before they even become a member.

The rise of blogs and social media:

Even a few years ago, there were not a large number of financial blogs making the circles and being certified by financial professionals. However, the number has risen radically in the last few years.

The difference between new-age blogs and other mainstream outlets which are run by major magazines or journalists lies in the objective. While the former does not depend on profit, the other is mainly motivated by financial gain.

Blogs are run by real experts who have left or are continuing to leave a mark in the financial world. These people have gathered enough experience to feel confident about advising other customers. They believe that their honest and transparent opinion and views might be useful to someone out there, which is why they go public with their content without hoping for a profit.

While big names in the world of finance do have a lot of value, the times are certainly changing. As people are becoming more aware of finance as a subject, they are beginning to look for more trustworthy and credible sources. The names of industry giants are not enough to assure them about a bank's performance in relation to its customers.

In their search for sources to place their faith in, people are stumbling upon such blogs. After vetting the creators and their penchant for research, customers are becoming regular followers of these blogs and their associated social media. The transparent work of financial experts can be identified easily.

Once upon a time, blogging and social media qualified as hobbies. Today, they are two of the best tools in the hands of a financial professional.

Monday, April 23, 2018

3 Incredible tricks you can use to teach a dog how to potty

Puppy potty training is one of the most important and hardest trainings you need to perform with your dog. While there are numerous tricks you can teach a dog, only a handful of them have any purpose. Some people like to train their dog to do practically everything; in most cases this is unnecessary and can even be considered a waste of time. However, it is completely different when it comes to pottying.

As the basic hygienic training, this is something that needs to be prioritized over everything else. In the end, you cannot allow a dog to potty on your carpet. Because of this fact this will probably be the first thing you teach your puppy. It is something that is crucial and will stay with it forever.

Loving touch

Like with any other training, you have to be patient. Proper pottying isn’t something that occurs over night; it is a process of trials and errors and it will take a while until dog understands it is not acceptable to potty at home.

The first and most important thing to have in mind is that every training needs to be done with lots of love. This situation is no different. Dog shouldn’t be forced to do anything. Instead, you need to persuade it with love and treats. If you use violence or god forbid physical violence, dog will become scared of you, it will not understand the point of the training and ultimately, it may even jeopardize your relationship.

Instead of scolding a puppy it is much better if you do things with love. Try communicating and take your time.

Creating a proper situation

Lots of times, training can be performed by putting a dog in a proper situation.

What do I mean by this? Well, if a dog needs to potty and you’re already outside, you’ve done half of the work required. In a way you are the one that needs to set up the tone and lead a dog, not the other way around.

Make sure to predict dog’s needs and act according to them. It’s much more natural for a dog to relive itself outside than inside so make sure to put it in a right position so it can follow its natural instinct. Have in mind that small puppies have small bladders and act according to their instincts. They won’t have the discipline to hold it in. That being said, make sure that you don’t excite the dog as this is a recipe for disaster.

If you wish to build discipline within your pet, you can put it in its box prior to pottying. As dogs will try not to soil their bed, they will hold it in for as long as possible. However, this strategy has a time limit.

Creating habits

Initially, it is crucial to create a situation. Later on, you need to create habits and build up discipline. You need to go out each day at the same time. This will ensure that dog’s metabolism gets accustomed to pottying at the same time.

The same thing goes with meals. Make sure they are exactly the same in size and given during the same time of the day. By doing this it will be much easier to predict dog’s bowel movements and “program” its metabolism. Eventually, dog will start waking you up and coming to you when it needs to potty instead of other way around.


Even though potty training can get a bit messy, it is one of numerous things that you will do with your puppy. It might not be an ideal situation but it is a part of growing up together. It also sets up the field for all other trainings, it builds up your relationships and in a way, it will be an important part of dog’s life.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

So, About That H&M Monkey Ad...

So, while this blog was on an 18 month-ish hiatus, a lotta shit's happened. We have a new President. Rappers now are judged solely by how many bright colors they have in their hairstyle. 7 footers in the NBA routinely pull and pop 3 pointers. It snowed in Charleston, SC. For Christmas.[1]

One thing that hasn't changed is racism. America's Original Sin[2] still persists, and it shows up in some of the most unlikely places. Plenty of people were rightfully enraged earlier this week when an a photo on the H&M website went viral, showing a little black boy wearing a hoodie with the words "The Coolest Monkey In The Jungle". People questioned why a multinational apparel company would do something so utterly dumb in 2018. Where the black folks in the room were, assuming there were any when this decision made, and why they didn't say anything. But one question was most pervasive... "Where in the hell were this boy's parents?"

Turns out, the boy's mom doesn't have any issue with the image, and thinks everyone outraged is "crying wolf".
The mother of a black child featured in a photo shoot slammed as racist has said that those outraged by the image of her son are “crying wolf,” according to reports.

Swedish clothing giant H&M was forced to issue repeated apologies after the page for a hoodie available in Europe featured an image of the boy with the words “coolest monkey in the jungle” on his chest. Social media users took note that a white child in a similar hoodie was a “survival expert” and decried the company as insensitive to the history of “monkey” being used as a slur against black people.

“Stop crying wolf all the time, unnecessary issue here ......... get over it,” a woman who said she was the mother of the boy claimed in Facebook messages published on social media.

She said that she was at the shoot and that everyone is entitled to have an opinion about it, but that outrage was “not my way of thinking.”

The comments were reported by multiple news outlets, though the woman connected to the account, who lives in Sweden, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily News.

After originally sending the News a terse apology saying that they were sorry if people took offense to the image, H&M has stopped selling the hoodie and said it will do “everything we possibly can to prevent this from happening again in the future.”
This entire story has me conflicted in a million different ways.

First and foremost, I love H&M. It's trendy, good quality clothing at great prices. A solid percentage of my wardrobe is from there. I'm wearing a damn H&M hoodie right now as I type this. So when black folks were calling for widespread boycotts of a clothing store most have never even visited, I was like "nah breh, I'm good."

On the flipside, there's no doubt that the imagery was bad, especially given the long history of the use of the word "monkey" in derogatory manner here in the US. I wouldn't put my kids in that hoodie, regardless of how awesome a sale price it would be offered at.

That said, this mother doesn't live in the US. She's Swedish (yes, for those who don't know, there ARE black people in Sweden. I've been there, I've seen them firsthand. They aren't in large numbers, but they exist). Perhaps the phrase "monkey" doesn't carry the same connotation there, or maybe it does and this mom doesn't feel offended by it. The way that people jumped on this story and talked about the child model in paternalistic phrases like "Young King" as if this child was somehow an orphan who stumbled into a photo shoot and was exploited by Evil Yakubians rubbed me the wrong way. As a parent with kids who have done such work, I know that's seldom the case. There's always a parent or guardian present, and those parents do have a say so in how their children's images are being used. This mom had to issue, and in the grand scheme of things, her opinion should matter more than anyone else's.

Should H&M have been a bit smarter? Sure. Would black people in the room (or God forbid a focus group) have maybe given them some valuable insight? Probably. But ultimately, there's one person (two if his Dad, who wasn't mentioned, is around) who's responsible here.

Question: Was this mother wrong? Do you get her rationale? Are you happy the blog is back?

[1] Maybe it was slightly before/after, but still, IT SNOWED ON THE BATTERY!

[2] Is the Original Sin slavery, or racism? I forget. It's been a minute.