Sunday, March 30, 2008

I have nothing ....

I thought had something to say tonight but ....Bleh ...
Maybe tomorrow
but at least I posted !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

We are all a little bit racist....

The title of this blog comes from a song in the broadway musical Avenue Q. Great music from what I am told is a great show ...

I think if we are being honest then we can all admit that we are all a little bit racist. It is not something we are comfortable with...

I have been thinking alot about race recently . Ever since Rev Wright was raked over the coals a few few weeks back for what he had to say about things in America.

While I was not really happy to hear some of the things he had to say , I do respect his opinion.

I was talking with a friend of mine who said how could I vote for a man (obama) after knowing he "listens and takes advice" from a man like Rev Wright. My friend went on to say that it was so wrong for Rev Wright to say what he did about AIDS being a government tactic to hurt black men. How crazy it was to even suppose that OUR government could do this to people.
My question is this ? Does he take advice on EVERYTHING ? I mean I have close personal friends who I take advice from on lots of subjects but then there are things that I would never take advice from them on. No offense to them ...its just what I do. Its what many people do ....
But he voted for Hillary in the primary so Obama would not have a chance....I have never crossed over to vote in a republican primary ...makes now sense to me ...I guess folks are scared of something ...

And Let me add this ....Our great government is very capable of doing bad things ..... I dont think they created AIDS but let me remind everyone of something called the TUSKEGEE SYPHILLIS STUDY. Hundreds of black men in Macon county were part of a goverment test to see the affects of syphillis on black men. These men were left untreated for years and years so that OUR government could see what would happen. Even after medication became avaliable for treatment the men were left to die.
Never think that YOUR government is not capable of doing things we only thought other governments did.

This brings me back to Race and the recent treatment of Rev Wright. This is a man who served his nation in the Marine Corps. Served a church in Illinois for more than 30 years. Started outreach programs to get young black men off the street and into jobs and stable lives. Started AIDS outreach programs to help battle this terrible disease. He is entitled to his opinion and yet major media outlets TORE him apart. His entire life was reduced to 30 seconds on YouTube.
That sucks . It sucks that major media outlets that are run by white men have this much power to have influence over a national election.
Pat Robertson goes on television and tells that white men have done more for blacks in the last 75 years. If it were not for whites then where would blacks be ??? They have SSI,Government housing,welfare checks,free cheese . He actually said free cheese !!
I bet they are loving all that free cheese ....

When are we going to become the nation that will make everyone proud? When we can stand up and say that we are doing the right things for people. Instead of hurting and tearing people down??
If what all I just said paints me into a corner as being a bed wetting liberal ....when then I am just gonna have to start wearing PullUps at night ....

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Bachelor Party.........

This post might get a rise out of some people might amuse some might PISS some off but here goes ....

On television there is a little show called The Bachelor. For those of you who have been living under a bridge with trolls scarying off billy goats here is the premise : A guy is picked from somewhere in the world(the show went international this year with the Bachlor being British),he is handsome,articulate,has pretty good teeth, is good at sailing and horseback riding,can handle his alcohol, comes from a good stable family and did i mention he is typically flush with cash ! A bevy of women are chosen from different backgrounds from around the USA. They are placed in a very nice house and given the task of making this guy fall in love with them in a matter of weeks. Usually the women determine,within minutes that this is the guy for them,they love him with all their hearts and all that is within their soul . How could they possibly go home to live a life without THEIR Bachelor on their arm.

Excuse me ....BLECH !!!!

I have never, until tonight , watched an entire episode of this show. It could possibly be my last episode .

The Bachelor wines and dines these ladies and then will take one off for a few minutes while the others watch through windows and wonder if he will kiss her. They get pissed when he does kiss one and not another. They sit and wonder what they are doing on the show .....why did they audition ....they say there were not prepared for what is happening!?!?!?!!? WHAT ? This is the 8th or 9th season of this show and you are telling me that they are not prepared for what is going to happen??

In the entire time that this show has been on television only one couple has gone all the way and gotten married,had children and made a family out of what happened on the show.

Last season ended with the guy not picking either of the final two girls......and he was CRUCIFIED for his decision. How could he not pick a girl and tell the world that he loves her on national television,give her a ring that costs that some people make in a year, ask her to get married and then a few months later let ABC release a statement saying that the latest Bachelor and the "love" of his life have parted ways.

He was crushed in the media because he led these women along ....played with their emotions....

But was anything said about him being honest on the matter of asking a women to marry him... that he did not feel strongly enough about either women to commit the rest of life with them ....NO !!

And lets not forget how ABC was on the matter ...they said NOTHING!!
Ellen called him a jerk on her show .....then had him on to let him have his 7 minutes so he could explain himself. He did not need 7 minutes....HE DID NOT LOVE HER !!

This show is a ratings darling. Millions of people turn in each week to watch and see who is going home ...

I know true love can happen ....and it can happen in a very short period of time. My best friends found each other and were engaged within in weeks of meeting...They are happily married now ...I have see it happen with my own eyes....but they did it without the pressure of dozens of other women fighting for attention and sound crews running cables to the sound room down the hall.

Anyway ...

I would rather watch LOST and see what fictional characters get off a fictional island in a fictional world.
Hell ....I would rather watch Gilligan's Island for that matter !!

This ends my rant.

Good night

Sunday, March 23, 2008

All grown up....

Today after church my whole family went to my aunts house for lunch and then family downtime in the backyard. It was a beautiful day for being outside...a little cool and windy ...but nice .

I have two cousins...Charles and Ashley. I have other cousins but these are the ones that I grew up with...Charles was born first, then my brother, then me and then Ashley came 11 years later.

As we were sitting outside talking I had this revelation. We are adults.

That might sound like a weird revelation but we used to spend summers in the woods behind my grandparents house. In the creek. Riding three-wheelers. Going to Bama Park up at Lake Martin(if you remember Bama Park then you remember how great it was). We would help Grandaddy in the garden. We built hay forts in the hay loft of the barn. We would stay outside all day long during the summer. No shoes lots of times. Hot,messy sticky ... WOW what fun.

So here we are in 2008 aged 39,37,33 and 23. So far removed from those childhood days in rural Macon county.

I can close my eyes and remember the smell of the woods behind my grandparents house. I can see my grandaddy sitting in his rocking chair on the porch. See us racing to get done with lunch so we could get outside as quick as possible......

This brings me back to where I started.....We are adults now. Sitting around out back of my aunts house talking about things like...Income taxes and earned income tax credits,life insurance, the upcoming presidential election and who we liked or disliked and agreeing to disagree on things, who in the group was responsible for learning how to make Granny's chocolate cake,I can make her dressing and Charles is pretty damn good at Grandaddy's potato soup, but no one can come close to that cake. We discussed our jobs and where we were heading. We talked about rising gas prices and the long term effects of the War On Terror. We discussed new schools in Montgomery and the merits of magnet schools verses private schools and why all public school cant be like the schools in the magnet program. We laughed about stuff that happened 20 or 25 years ago but the reality is this ....we are no where near those people anymore.

We are adults.
Its seems so silly and stupid to say this but its so wonderful to look back on our lives but also realize that we are moving forward. We have all grown into pretty decent folks with good jobs and fantastic families.

It was a really good Easter. I hope yours was also....

Friday, March 21, 2008

At a Crossroads ...........

Forgive me now for what is going to be a VERY random mixture of thoughts and ideas..............

So here I am .....9 years into living in Montgomery Alabama and to borrow a line from The West Wing " Some things are different and some things are exactly the same ."

I have spent the better part of a the last week thinking about things ....Life, family,friends,love,jobs and my place in all that are mentioned.

I am ready for a new start.....something fresh. Outside of Montgomery perhaps or if not that then something new and fun here in Montgomery.

I have never really enjoyed video games ...even as a child. They bored me. I went through a period where I enjoyed Zelda back in the late 80s early 90s?? I guess is the time frame....

WWii is fun though ....
I have always done my own thing ....but more often than not I have always tended to go with the flow ...follow the crowd.

I do have strong opinions about politics and religion. Social issues such as gay rights,a womens right to choose and school vouchers are all things that get my attention.

Would Barack Obama be a better president than Hillary Clinton? John McCain? Who the hell knows ...I still have doubts about that issue.

I wonder if President Obama will fill his cabinet with people like him or with people more closely allied with his former minister.

I believe Sen Obama when he says that he could not cut off his friend and pastor of nearly 20 years.

I dont believe him when he said he knew little or nothing about what his pastor believed in ..I mean come on......I have worked with/for my pastor for over two years now and I have a pretty decent idea as to what he believes in ....

Race is the issue that has divided us more than anything in this nation .....We have managed to survive other big issues but we always seem to return to race.

As Lord John Marbury said on WW" It is our original sin" It all goes back to slavery. Shame that it does but here we are in the year 2008 talking about something that could literally derail Sen Obamas chances of being president.

I am a jerk at times towards other people. I make fun of others too easily and I am ashamed to say that I do that....

I have not smoked a cigarette since December 30,2007. I could sit here right now and smoke a whole friggin pack though....

I have missed Bham these past two going Tuesday though.....seeing my british friends.

Do I have the nuts to step out and make a big change ? Move forward with what I think is right with my life?

I have some health issues that have been going on for the past year or so and they are not yet resolved. I see my doctor soon for another checkup after that my next step is to find a doctor in Birmingham at UAB and see what they say .....

I dont sleep late in the morning ..... 8am is about it for me .....I have friends that can sleep all morning and thats great for them but its just not my thing. If I wake up then I am up ....bathroom,coffee,paper.

I like reading a newspaper.....something I can hold in my hand ....turn the pages and get the ink on my fingers. I will from time to time check out something online at a newpapers website but something is missing for me ....

Did I mention that I need a change .....something drastic !!

I find each day that I become more and more my dad.....I am impractical with money sometimes,can drive pretty bad at times,tend to react to quick to things.

I can very moody at times....

Jack Daniels at the Peabody lobby Bar in Memphis tastes better for some reason ...

Anyway ....time for bed I guess .

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Love and Understanding

The following article is written by a pretty good reporter from the USA Today and I think its a nice counterpoint to Rep. Kerns position in Oklahoma ....Mr Wilson writes every week for the paper and I have been a fan of his for years ....He wrote this article and it appeared in the Tuesday March 11,2008 edition of the USATODAY

Mission of Matthew Shepard's mother: Stop hate crime
By Craig Wilson, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Judy Shepard is having her photo taken in Lafayette Park across from the White House.
A winter wind is blowing down Pennsylvania Avenue, but she does what the photographer asks. She takes off her down vest and sits on a bench, smiling the best she can under the circumstances.
Shepard has been doing the best she can under the circumstances for almost a decade now.
It was in 1998 that Matthew, her 21-year-old son, who was gay, was beaten, tied to a fence and left to die, which he did three days later. It was a hate crime that made headlines around the world.

Shepard's life changed forever. She went from Wyoming housewife and mother to international activist who, with her husband, Dennis, established the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Its mission: to combat hate and bigotry through funding diversity and youth programs.
In the past decade she has traveled tens of thousands of miles, slept in more hotel beds than she cares to remember and has given thousands of speeches to more than a million people. Along the way she has met the rich and famous, as diverse as Hillary Clinton and Elton John.
"Elton has become a friend," Shepard says. "I lost my son, and now I have these other friends. It seems wrong on some level. It's very disconcerting."
Quiet devotion
Shy, retiring, quiet, Judy Shepard is a reluctant crusader. It has become her trademark in a way.
"This sweet, gentle, quiet woman who never wanted anything but anonymity suddenly became the public personification of the desperate desire we all have to end hatred and violence," says Judith Light, the activist and actress who sits on the board of the Matthew Shepard Foundation ( "She doesn't pay attention to what she wants to do; she simply devotes herself to doing what needs to be done."
At times, Shepard says she doesn't quite believe what happened and what her life has become. Matt would be "confounded" by her life and what she has done this past decade. "But he'd be satisfied that the movement is going forward," she says. "He'd be happy that things are progressing."
Not as quickly as Shepard would like, however. Her biggest disappointment is that the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which includes crimes based on sexual orientation, has yet to be enacted into federal law. It would give federal authorities greater leeway to participate in hate-crime investigations and step in if local authorities don't act.
Although passed by the Senate and attached to a defense spending bill, the act was removed because it didn't have enough votes to pass in the House.
Opponents of the hate-crimes proposal says it's not needed because state and federal laws already outlaw violence against individuals.
Joe Glover of the Family Policy Network, a conservative lobbying group, told The New York Times it was "a shameless attempt to push the homosexual agenda on the American people by exploiting American soldiers who are currently in harm's way around the world."
Shepard has heard such talk before and isn't giving up, hoping her voice might still make a difference.
"I thought that if people could see I was doing OK, they'd be OK," Shepard says. "What I used to see in peoples' faces was fear. They were sad for me. Afraid. But now I see determination. I see anger."
She says no two of her speeches are alike. "I never work from notes. I want to talk to the people."
She tells them how her son and other young men and women who are gay face violence just for being who they are.
Shepard also points out what has and what hasn't changed in the 10 years since her son was murdered.
What hasn't is that hate crimes continue. She mentions the recent murder of Lawrence King, a gay 15-year-old junior high student in Oxnard, Calif., who was shot to death by a fellow student.
"This terrible incident underscores the fact that we cannot let hate go unchecked in our schools and communities," Shepard says. "Our young people need our direction and guidance to prevent this type of crime from happening."
What has changed, she says, is that when she was growing up in Wyoming, "no one talked about it" — "it" being homosexuality.
A place she won't go
At 55, Shepard says the past 10 years have been exhausting. Only recently has she begun to dream about Matt, which she looks upon as a good sign.
But she has never gone to the site where he was tied to the fence and left to die.
"That site has nothing to do with Matt," she says. "Matt's not there. And I didn't want that vision in my memory."
She escapes to the family home in Wyoming every summer to rest. (Husband Dennis works in the oil business in the Middle East.)
Shepard says she is the "cash cow" for the foundation, but she hasn't been making enough money of late to cover the foundation's expanding role.
The foundation, whose annual fundraiser is March 29 in Denver, where it is based, has an annual budget of $750,000. It employs five, who Shepard calls "family." Her remaining son, Logan, recently joined the staff.
"We try to educate everyone about everyone," she says. "But hate is still out there."
The foundation has educational, outreach and advocacy programs "to replace hate … with acceptance," Shepard says.
(GLAAD, the gay anti-defamation group, will honor Shepard with its Excellence in Media award Monday in New York. Past recipients include Billy Crystal, Diane Sawyer, Glenn Close, Patti LaBelle and Phil Donahue.)
Shepherd is encouraged by The Laramie Project, the play about Matt's murder that has seen 5,000 productions around the world.
"Ten years ago, can you imagine a high school putting that on?" she asks. "But it's been everywhere."
Keep speaking out
As for the 10th anniversary of her son's death on Oct. 12, Shepard isn't sure what will happen. Elton John has said he wants to give a concert, but no details have been finalized.
Meanwhile, singer Cyndi Lauper, who sits on the foundation board, has been giving out its elastic Erase Hate wristbands at her concerts.
Erase Hate pendants have been designed by jewelry artist Udi Behr; the foundation is marketing and selling the necklace for $60.
For her part, Shepard plans to keep speaking out in Matt's name.
"This all seems such a no-brainer to me. It's a civil rights issue. It has nothing to do with anything else."

Monday, March 10, 2008

OHhhhhhhhhhhhKLAHOMA .............

Where the hate come rushing down the plains ......!!
So many, if not all of you have maybe heard about the comments made by Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern.
Her comments were recorded at a Repulican Party fundraiser and quite frankly they make me sick to my stomach.
She clearly is upset with the "homosexual agenda" in America.....and what it is doing to the nation. She criticized gay people for indoctrinating children and plotting to take over school boards and city councils. She went on to say that gay people pose a "bigger threat, even more so than terrorists or Islam," to the United States.
"As a matter of fact, studies show that no society that has embraced homosexuality has lasted more than a few decades ,It's the death knell of this country."
How can we as citizens elect people that spew such incredible hate?!?!? I am not a tax paying citizen of the Great State of Oklahoma .....but WOW!!
She said that she was just representing her district and thats they way they feel also.....Are there no gays in her district? Perhaps not ....maybe they were all herded onto trains and sent to "work camps " out near Ft. Sills.....
We have seen this type talk before in Nazi Germany in the mid 1930s leading up to the end of WWII
Hitlers henchemen talked about the "morality " question.
In 1936, Himmler created the Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion . The results of these administrative changes is very clear.
...While in 1934 766 males were convicted and imprisoned, in 1936 the figure exceeded 4,000, and in 1938 8,000. Moreover, from 1937 onwards many of those involved were sent to concentration camps after they had served their "regular" prison sentence...
BAD things have happended before and can happen again ....
Its easy to knock the "gay lifestyle" its the poular thing to do today .....because folks get away with it ! It makes me SICK

I am a christian ....have been for a long time and I love the fact that Jesus Christ who died for MY SINS also died for the sins of gays, blacks , hispanics , murderers and yes terrrorists. EVERYONE ....
Jesus loved all .....ALL ...and said that we were to love each other "This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you." John 15:12
I dont understand how we can say such terrible things about each other ....I dont get it

I think it was Dr King who said " We must learn to live as brothers or we will surely perish as fools"
Food for thought !!
I am pissed

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Its another SUPER TUESDAY .....

.......For a great haircut !!!

Lets take a brief walk through my day ......First of all, I took off from work today . That in itself was HUGE for me ...Last weekend was what can only be described by some as youth director hell. You see on Friday we had a Lock In at the church. This was a small thank you to the kids for them raising money for famine relief. They raised almost $600.00 dollars and for that I was very proud of them. We stayed up all night ....and by that I mean ALL NIGHT LONG. I slept for 35 minutes total and the next morning at 6am we got up and had our youth yard sale. BLECH it was a long weekend.

I went to a funeral on Monday and then back to work on Monday afternoon....

You are now sitting there wondering ..."What the hell is he talking about"

Anyway.....this afternoon I got a haircut. A good relaxing haircut and I really enjoyed the experience! Not just any haircut but a mountain top haircut experience.
Anyone familier with Montgomery might know about the Eastbook shopping center over in the Dalraida community. Across the street from the shopping center is a small "annex" center and situated there is The Eastbrook Barber Shop.

Walking into this shop is like taking a drastic step back in time ....everything screams the 1950's. It smells like Brylcream....what ever that smells like but I do know that "a little dab will do ya "

I sat down with two other men and waited for my time ....I later found out that the two brothers, The Nobles, have been cutting hair since 1952. In the same area !!

I was finally called back by a loud **NEXT**!! I sat in a chair that strongly resembled Captain Kirk's chair from STAR TREK....

He then cut my hair ...nothing big just a good decent haircut but then he shaved my neck and around my ears .....WOW..He used hot lather from a machine and then sharpend a straight razor and proceded to place the hot foam on my neck ....MY LORD I thought I was going to slide out of the chair , it felt SOOOO good.

He then shaved my neck ....all of this going on while big band sounds were playing on a radio up on a shelf.

I am a geek and love anything old and classic ....Getting a haircut at a laid back place such as this was a treat. I did not have to go to the mall, and that was a blessing. I did not have to sit in a small uncomfortable chair , and that was a blessing. I got to listen to guys talk about sports and politics. Not people in a chain haircutting place complain about their shift or that she only gets an hour for lunch.!!!!

I have found my new barbershop.....and I am happy!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

March Madness .......

March is a difficult month for me .....
You see my Grandad died on March 30,1984. My other grandfather died on March 4,1995.
My Dad died on March 21,2006.
Having both grandads and my father die in the same month has been a big deal for me for a long time.....and to make matters worse my Dad died on the first day of spring.
Many folks came to me and said how wonderful was it that at least Daddy died on the first day of March. It was a fitting time for a rebirth. As good as that all sounds I still am not a fan of March and it sucks that they all died in the same month. I am a human being and I still search for the answers ....
Then we get a call early Saturday morning that one of my dads closest friends died early Saturday morning after a brief illness.
We had just been told one week ago that he was sick and I am sorry to say I did not have a chance this past week to go see him.....Never thought it would happen so sudden. I should have known better
This was a guy who went to school with my parents, lived within a few miles of us in Macon county, was a drinking buddy with my Dad before Daddy got sober and was one of the first to call the night Daddy died.
And now Mr. Bob is dead also.....In March .
Thinking about all the times Mr. Bob was in our family business ...sitting at my Dads desk reading the paper.
He was one of my Dads closest friends ......I am sitting here mourning the loss of a dear friend.
Tomorrow I go home to Tuskegee for his funeral .....
For me March stinks ....
Tonight ...I am sad.