Monday, April 30, 2007

NFL Draft Scoop - Michael Matthews - Georgia Tech

After toiling in the trenches for 3 years as the starting tight end for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Michael Matthews is ready for the NFL.

He's NOT Calvin Johnson... the wunderkind who could leap tall buildings, catch just about everything Reggie Ball didn't throw to him, and go to the dreadful Detroit Lions who have squandered 4 of 5 number one picks on highly touted wide receivers in the last 5 years! Calvin Johnson is destined to do great things in the NFL, but I just think his opportunities for greatness will be limited by the ineptitude of the Detroit Lions' front office and personnel on the field; he'll have to wait until they get new management or he gets a new team!

Mike Matthews is cut from a different cloth. He originally came to Georgia Tech to play defense, thus the 48 on his chest! He quickly converted to tight end and occasional special teams play. As a tight end, he didn't get the traditional tight end role of blocking on some plays, and then releasing the block and looking for a pass on other plays. At Georgia Tech, he was relegated to being a blocking tight end 95% of the time. The handful of times that the play called for a pass to the tight end, the ball was either thrown way over his head, way behind him, or at his feet (I guess that goes with the territory of playing with a QB who only had eyes for Calvin Johnson)!

Well, Mike is an articulate, clean cut, family man (father of two) who knows the value of hard work and perseverance. He had been fielding calls all week from teams like the Cincinnati Bengals (his hometown team), the Atlanta Falcons, the New York Jets, and the New York Giants. Steeling himself for a late round draft pick, Mike hunkered down for a long weekend. The call finally came on Sunday evening: although not a draft pick due to his limited role as a blocking tight end, the New York Football Giants have tendered a free agent contract for the recent Georgia Tech graduate. He's pumped up and ready to challenge Jeremy Shockey for the tight end position in New York!

plez sez: You heard it hear FIRST, because I heard it first from the man himself: Big Mike! I received a call shortly after he got his contract from the Giants and I am really happy for Mike. He is a solid citizen, a real smart guy, my frat brother, and he'll be ready to play when the ball is snapped. He is a little let down at not being drafted, but I gave him a small piece of advice: "it's not how you get to the NFL, it's what you do when you get there, that matters." I'm sure he'll take that to heart and I look forward to seeing Mike Matthews playing on Sunday!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Cute Kids Videos

Here are three of the cutest videos you'll ever see in your life! I could only embed one video, but click the links to see the other two.

First up, a brother/sister team (a la Donny and Marie) do their rendition of "Itzy Bitzy Spider:

For all of the ladies of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority!

And for all the men of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity!

I found this to be extra special, because my wife is a Delta and I'm a Kappa ... I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

plez sez (circa 1982): "i'm so pretty on left, i'm so pretty on my right, i'm soooo pretty, i can hardly sleep at night!"

Friday, April 27, 2007

In Rotation - Friday's Frivolity (Part VII)

It's Friday afternoon, the week is almost over and I will let my iPod get me in the mood for the weekend. I've decided to let my "100 Least Played" Playlist do the trick. These are songs from lesser played playlists, but favorites of mine nevertheless... enjoy!
  1. "It's Your Thing" from the Isley Brothers Live LP by The Isley Brothers

    This is a live version of the oldie standard by the Isleys.

  2. "I Belong To You" from the I'm Your Baby Tonight LP by Whitney Houston

    Back when Whitney was Whitney... please come back to me, baby!

  3. "Sweet Sticky Thing" from the Gold LP by Ohio Players

    Takes me back to the days when bands used real instruments like trumpets, saxophones, pianos, and real drum sets... almost want to pull out that old Afro wig for old time sake.

  4. "Jungle Love" from the Ice Cream Castles LP by The Time

    This LP was basically The Time's part of the "Purple Rain" soundtrack... these boyz were tight and are right up there with The Revolution in my book!

    "Junge Love. Oo-ee-o-e-o! Think, I wanna know ya!"

  5. "The Rooster" from the Speakerboxxx LP by Big Boi (Outkast)

    I'm not quite sure what was going on with this 2 album set... were they feuding when each member of Outkast did his own LP or was this by design? I'd love to get the lowdown. But in the meantime, I'll just bop my head to the beat of "The Rooster." Cock-a-doodle-doo!

  6. "Da Da Da" from the Emancipation (Disc 3) LP by The Artist Formerly Known as Prince

    This is what rap should sound like.

  7. "The Makings of You" from the A Tribute to Curtis Mayfield LP by Aretha Franklin

    A cover of the Curtis Mayfield song... I love these treatment by Aretha Franklin.

  8. "Eric B. Is President" from the Paid in Full LP by Eric B. & Rakim

    Old Skool Rap: no b*tches, no hoes, no gun play, no n-word... none could do it better. "Nominated my DJ the President."

  9. "'Round and 'Round (Merry Go 'Round of Love)" from the Guy LP by Guy

    Teddy Riley getting his chops with that New Jack Swing back in the early 90's.

  10. "Dance (Disco Heat)" from the The Original Hits LP by Sylvester

    Damn, I love this song ... that unadulterated, pulsating beat and the need to work up a sweat in the Disco Heat.

  11. "Who'd She Coo?" from the Gold LP by Ohio Players

    Who did she coo?!? What does it mean? I have no idea. But that opening fanfare by the horns is worth the price of admission.

  12. "The Show (Live)" from the The Art of Story Telling LP by Slick Rick & Doug E Fresh

    More Old Skool Rap from the masters of the genre... I remember steppin' to this with my frat brothers when I was in college!

  13. "Our Love" from the On The Radio - Greatest Hits LP by Donna Summer

    More disco-era music from the Queen of Disco... those tight-ass polyester pants, stacks, silk shirt, and a gold chain... HOLLA! NOTE: audio from "I Feel Love"

  14. "Clouds" from the Life is a Dance: The Remix Project LP by Chaka Khan

    All of the remixes on this LP are the jam... you can throw on this CD and have an instant party.

  15. "Shout" from the Fanmail LP by TLC

    TLC at their best... one of the last efforts by the group before they were broken up by the death of Left Eye Lopez. How soon we forget what an impact these three young ladies had on the music industry before Destiny's Child.

  16. "Yeah!" from the Confessions LP by Usher f/t Lil' John & Ludacris

    Usher gettin' in the hip hop game with a lot of help from some of Atlanta's finest.

  17. "777-9311" from the What Time Is It? LP by The Time

    An all-time personal favorite of mine... I'll take this over just about anything written or sung by anyone! And at just 8 minutes, there's plenty of time to get your groove on.

    "baby, what's your phone number. i know i'm kinda fast, but i can't waste time!"

  18. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" from the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band LP by Beatles

    In elementary school, our music class actually "studied" the Beatles and their music until they broke up in the late 60's. This album features a number of musical styles and is a personal favorite of mine... I love "Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds" and its not so veiled reference to hard core drug use.

  19. "New Position" from the Parade LP by Prince

    "Gotta find a new position... something that will make it alright!"

  20. "Standing On The Top" from the Bustin' Out: The Best of Rick James LP by The Temptations & Rick James

    An oft-neglected collaboration between Motown stablemates, The Temptations and Rick James. Obviously, it was a Rick James vehicle that employed the tight harmonies of the fading Temps.

  21. "Sensuous Whisper" from the Conversation Peace LP by Stevie Wonder

    When I think of pure musical genius, only two names come to mind: Prince... and Stevie Wonder!

  22. "Cause I Love You" from the Spark of Love LP by Lenny Williams

    This has got to be SADDEST love song in the history of R&B... seriously!

  23. "Jumpin' Jack Flash" from the Hot Rocks: 1964-1971 (Disc 2) LP by The Rolling Stones

    Their longevity doesn't rival that of The Isley Brothers, but in the annals of Rock, they have to be up there at the top. Rockin' with the Stones!

  24. "Step by Step" from the The Preacher's Wife LP by Whitney Houston

    From the soundtrack for the movie that starred Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington... only fitting to start and end my list with Whitney Houston.

Well, now it's off to an end-of-year conference with my daughter's teacher... I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

BLOG UPDATE (04-28-2007): plezWorld added embedded audio for select songs, courtesy of

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

AFROSPHERE NEWSFLASH: Shaquanda Cotton Interview

April 23, 2007
By Eddie Griffin

I had to see Shaquanda Cotton in person, the Paris teenager locked up in a Texas Youth Commission (TYC) detention facility for shoving a school hall monitor. I had to see for myself if the child was okay after the trauma of being incarcerated for a year. I had to be there on Sunday, April 22 at the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church where a rally was held in her honor.

When I started out for the small northeastern Texas town, I had absolutely no idea where I was going, as I crept around winding back roads, through rural wooded farmland and sparsely populated communities, and no map for guidance. But I was driven more by faith than common sense to see the young lady that I had written so many stories about and who become a folk legend as the youngest civil rights hero. I felt that this was my child, who had been set free by public protests, radio talk show publicity, and a massive online campaign through the Afrosphere blog world.

To read more about Eddie Griffin’s meeting with Shaquanda Cotton, visit the Eddie G. Griffin (BASG) blog.

plez sez: Eddie Griffin should be commended for going to Paris, Texas to lend his support for this young lady who was a victim of a justice system that considers race when it metes out punishment. I believe that Shaquanda Cotton should have been punished (i.e. school suspension) for her actions that day, but i also believe that she did nothing to warrant being incarcerated for a year in the TYC Detention Facility. i am pleased that she has been released, but i also hope that there is some benefit to her incarceration and plans for a correction to "lady justice"!

AFROSPHERE NEWSFLASH: Hundreds in Pettaway March

The Ron Pettaway website reports, on April 21st, hundreds gathered at Atlanta's Frozen Palace Bar, where an unarmed Black man, Ron Pettaway, was shot in the back of the head by police on April 15. The march began at the location of Pettaway's murder and concluded at the church where his funeral was held. His brother Roy was also shot in the back in the same police attack. Ron Pettaway was among 14 people killed by Atlanta area police in the past 15 months, including 92 year-old Kathryn Johnston, who was shot to death in a botched drug raid in November 2006.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution, reports that the organizer of the march, Rev. Markel Hutchins, said,
"The family of Ron Pettaway has made a determination that they are the last family to go through this. We are going to call for a major march in the city of Atlanta. We are going to shut this city down to make them stop killing our young men."

A number of Afrosphere blogs Black Accused Support Groups (BASG), Ron Pettaway Justice March Blog, and Francis L. Holland Blog - are diligently working to raise awareness of these constant miscarriages of justice in the Black communities in around the United States.

plezWorld joins these blogs in crying out for a change to the policy of laying death, destruction, and misery at the doorstep of our Black communities. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," and these words echo no louder than in this case of the senseless murder of Ron Pettaway.

We must continue to bring these issues to the forefront, demand equal treatment from the police, and demand accountability for those officers who believe that they can continue to kill our people with impunity. I implore you to contact the Fulton County District Attorney and demand justice in the senseless murder of Ron Pettaway.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Alexyss Tylor Speaks Sexual Power

These two videos (Vagina Power and Penis Power) are making the rounds on the Internet... and plezWorld found them quite "interesting." Alexyss Tylor is an Atlanta native who had a brief cable-access show in Atlanta. She has a very frank, graphic, and (at times) hilarious take on the power of sex.

She keeps it REAL! Class is now in session.

WARNING: These videos contain language that is sexually explicit... they are not suitable for children or your work environment!

Vagina Power

Penis Power

plez sez: i think this is what they call viral video... something that spreads unfettered throughout the Internet. when i finally stopped laughing, i knew that i had to share these videos with plezWorld! what the HELL is a Jackrabbit? ROTFLMAO!

she killed me with the reference to the $2.99 special at Long John Silver, she is obviously speaking from experience! HA HA HA!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

plezWorld's Global Village

I spent this week in an Executive Leadership Training Class for my job. The company that I work for has a global presence, but to be honest, I thought that most of the class participants would be from the United States. I guess I should've known something was up when my riding companion from the airport was from Madrid, Spain.

Imagine my astonishment when a poll during the opening session revealed that less than 40% of my fellow managers were American. The assemblage of over 150 managers and facilitators were from literally every corner of the globe! The lead facilitator was from Singapore and the two instructors for my breakout session were from Paris, France and London, England.

As the week went along, it felt as if the whole world was shrinking before my eyes. I was talking with, laughing with, and relating to people who were from places that I'd only read about in books or were from places that I'd never heard of. I was an occupant of a true global village.

My 4-person team consisted of a delightful lady from London, England, an analytical guy from Singapore, and a fun chap from Buenos Aires, Argentina. And of course, I'm a driven soul from Atlanta, Georgia.

Did you know that Singapore is the name of the country and the name of the city? It is a small island in the South Pacific near Malaysia. Most people there speak Mandarin Chinese, but in our offices everyone speaks English. Did you know that in Argentina, everyone speaks Spanish at home and at work?

I met an interesting fellow from Lagos, Nigeria, he travels frequently to London, England and Houston, Texas to visit friends and family. He came to the United States for college (undergraduate and graduate school) and stayed here for close to 15 years before returning to Nigeria to live and raise his family.

I ate lunch one afternoon with a young lady from Khartoum, Sudan, she said that she grew up in Ethiopia. I also met a guy in another breakout session who was from Johannesburg, South Africa.

North America:
Less than a third of my breakout class was from US and Canada. I did some role play exercises with people from Montreal, Quebec and Phoenix, Arizona. Compared management styles with a older lady from Houston, Texas. And tripped out at lunch with a crew that included folk from Boston, Massachusetts, Los Angeles, California, Chicago, Illinois, and Charlotte, North Carolina. Others who were not in my breakout included two Black guys from New York City and I was on the same flight home with a colleague from our Atlanta, Georgia office.

South America:
In addition to two Argentinians, there was also a young lady in our breakout who was from Sao Paulo, Brazil. She was very quiet and I didn't get an opportunity to speak with her.

There were more Europeans in the class than from any other continent, and I was surprised by the number of managers from the Nordic region: Copenhagen, Denmark, Stockholm, Sweden, Amsterdam, (North Holland) Netherlands, Oslo, Norway, and Helsinki, Finland.

Another role play partner was from Brussels, Belgium, which he referred to as the Capital of Europe! There was a guy (with the coolest accent) from Rome, Italy, a guy with that smooth French accent from Paris, France and two guys from Germany: Munich, and Frankfurt.

The other two guys from Asia (Tokyo, Japan and Shanghai, China) were very quiet and didn't speak much during the class. There was also one Black guy who kept contributing stories about how he does things in Japan, but he was obviously not Japanese... his country of origin was (and is) still up for debate!

As you can see, the learning environment of the past week was as interesting as the learning material. I learned a lot about people (in general) and as barriers fell throughout the week, I began to see everyone as just people. To varying degrees, we all spoke the same language and encountered the same issues in managing and developing people in our jobs. This week was an education within an education, and I feel that I am all the better for it. Thanks for joining plezWorld's Global Village.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Ramblin' Wreck Roundtable II

plezWorld participates in the Ramblin' Wreck Roundtable, which features a series of questions that are answered simultaneously on the different Georgia Tech blogs during the offseason.

  1. A group of playoff proponents have a questionable theory on how to break out of the bowl system and get a D-1A playoff: Boycott the Rose Bowl. What's your take on the never-ending playoff vs. bowls debate?

    It's just that, a never-ending debate which will continue until NCAA takes control of the Bowl System and forces the hands of those conferences that continue to profit off of the setup of these antiquated bowls. The bowls were set up when there were only 3 or 4 major conferences, now there are probably closer to 6 or 7 conferences that could realistically place a contender in a championship playoff series. I would love to see how a Boise State or even a Georgia Tech would fare when given a chance in a 2 or 3 game playoff series that selected the TRUE National Champion in Div 1-A football.

  2. What change to our football personnel makes you happier this year: Taylor Bennett at quarterback, or John Bond as offensive coordinator?

    I am cautiously optimistic about the emergence of Taylor Bennett at quarterback; from his debut in the Gator Bowl, I could see that he has good talent and can really lead the team. I'm a bit worried, though, about the change in offensive coordinator/quarterback coach with the departure of Patrick Nix. I'm not familiar with John Bond.

  3. Last weekend, Steve Spurrier spoke out against South Carolina's practice of flying the Confederate flag over the state capitol. Should football coaches get political like that, or just stick to coaching?

    College football is a business and I have no doubt that certain political issues will have an effect on the success of certain football programs. In the South, the Confederate Flag carries unsavory and unwanted political baggage that more than likely affects the decisions of some student-athletes who would otherwise come to college in that state. Steve Spurrier is a great recruiter who knows that the Confederate Flag Issue is just one more thing that diminishes his competitive advantage when it comes to a visiting recruit who may be offended by the imagery evoked by the waving of that flag. In all honesty, I wouldn't want my son to play sports or even attend college in South Carolina or Mississippi, in part because of the Confederate Flag's prominence in those places.

  4. There are always rumors at Georgia Tech of expanding our varsity athletics programs. What programs would you like to see added next? One for men, one for women.

    I'm not interested in seeing any additional varsity sports at Georgia Tech, but if I had to pick some, it would be soccer for men and field hockey for women. Or do we already have these teams?

  5. The matchups were just announced for the 9th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge in basketball, and GT plays at Indiana (the teams' first meeting since 1969). In the history of the challenge, the ACC has won 48 out of 75 games, and has "won" the challenge every year. Is this a tradition you care about, or would you rather see something started with another conference (e.g. an ACC/SEC Challenge or ACC/Big East Challenge)?

    I'm kind of torn on this one, since the Big Ten teams would rarely get to play an ACC team unless they met in the NCAA Tournament. But allure of a regional rivalry with the SEC or Big East may be just as appealing. And the way things have played out of late (with Florida, Georgetown, Kentucky, Connecticut, etc.), winning the challenge would no longer be a "slam dunk" for the ACC.

  6. Lightning Round!! Other Conferences Edition!! (Cue "The Matrix" fight music)
    Name the first thing that comes to mind:

    Big East: The ACC should've taken West Virginia (football) instead of Boston College.

    SEC: Leading football conference and almost tied with the ACC for basketball!

    Big Ten: Why not change the name, since they have 11 teams?

    Pac-10: Those USC National Championships were a fluke... the SEC was locked out each year that they won.

    Big XII: An SEC wanna-be.

    Sun Belt: You're kidding, right?!? I had to look this one up on the Internet... can you say: Mid-Major!

Check out the rest of the Ramblin' Wreck Roundtable:
  • Ramblin' Racket
  • GT Sports Blog
  • What's the Good Word?
  • YellowBlazer's World

    moderated by Jeff at
  • Thursday, April 19, 2007

    plezWorld on the Virginia Tech Massacre

    First and foremost, my heart goes out to the family and friends of those students who were so brutally murdered on Monday morning at Virginia Tech.

    I almost went to Virginia Tech to study engineering (I chose Georgia Tech instead) and I had a number of good friends who received their degrees from there. I cannot imagine the agony and sheer disbelief that must be running through the minds of the students who survived the ordeal nor the parents who will never see their children again. I can only imagine the heartache associated with losing a loved one through such a senseless and unprovoked attack.

    The gun man (I will not give his name any space on my blog) was a distraught and deranged individual who was intent on creating his own immortality. The media, bloggers, newspapers, and the like do an injustice to the 32 people who died at this monster's hand by showing his face, displaying his name, and playing his sick video. He didn't earn any infamy and most certainly doesn't deserve any. He took innocent lives in a calculated yet cavalier manner, so I will dishonor him by leaving his name blank: "____________".

    The Media
    On the morning news, it was reported on ABC's "Good Morning America" that ________ sent a videotape of himself to NBC during a break in the killings (how morbid was that). It is a rambling and incoherent diatribe (some had the audacity to call it a manifesto) about what drove him to kill. It was a sick attempt at immortality. Robin Roberts interviewed a psychologist after viewing the homemade video made by the shooter. The psychologist was incredulous that ABC, NBC, CNN, or anyone would be showing this video (especially, only a few days after the murders). He said that it was a gross injustice to the families of the victims, made thousands of Virginia Tech students re-live the events of Monday in graphic detail, and gave immortality to the gunman. He said that they were irresponsible and no good would come out of the viewing.

    plez sez: I agree wholeheartedly with the psychologist. In this age of instant news coverage and sensationalism, the media is constantly falling over itself to "report" newsworthy information. Well, some information is not newsworthy and some information is downright damning! Imagine the horror of a parent having to watch that "monster" basically boast about murdering their child in cold blood, imagine the students who heard the gunfire having to re-live those moments while watching imagines of that vile excuse for a human being, imagine the unstable minds around the country who now have a blueprint for misery and despair as a way out of their pitiful and pathetic lives by destroying the lives of others. How many more sociopathic souls are currently plotting their own "Virginia Tech Massacre" or "Columbine" because of seeing this video?

    I have no doubt that by the time you read this, the scenes of school and campus evacuations as a direct result of some sick person trying to emulate this event will have already started. School officials will be dealing with this issue through the end of the school year.

    That tape should've been repackaged by NBC and sent to the FBI as evidence for their investigation. Period. We did not need to know that it even existed. It is not fit for human consumption.

    The Constitution
    The Second Amendment, as passed by the House and Senate and later ratified by the States in 1789, reads:
    "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was written and debated over the summer after the inauguration of George Washington. The populous, especially those Antifederalists, was a wary group: the country had gained independence from Great Britain a few years earlier and the French were fomenting rebellion, as well. The Antifederalists were especially wary of transferring the strong central government of Great Britain to the newly formed United States of America. James Madison proposed a Bill of Rights that would protect these "new Americans" from the government abridging their rights and taking their property (which they had taken from the Indians, but that's for another topic!). This was a time when there were few police powers being exercised by the states, one could hunt and shoot anywhere (remember, there weren't that many people in the New World), and one needed "arms" to protect his family and property and slaves (oops! that's for another post, too.) from bandits and pirates.

    plez sez: Fast forward about 230 years. In 230 years, there has never been a need to thwart the advances of the US Military by a "well armed militia" in any state; the militia argument didn't even come up during the Civil War in 1861 because the Confederate States were the aggressors! So I ask you, whose rights are being protected by the Second Amendment? The rights of people who use guns to hurt and kill other people. Personally, I don't like guns. I see no need for guns, because they can only carry out the will of someone who is too unstable to use their mind to do something else.

    I was speaking with a colleague of mine from Norway earlier this week; they don't have many guns in Norway. The police don't even carry guns in Norway. They have only one or two murders per year in Norway. As of April 15, Philadelphia, PA (nickname: Killadelphia) has already had 114 murders! On April 16, Virginia Tech had 31 murders! If you do the math, it just doesn't add up. I have not heard a good reason for anyone to have/possess a gun in this day and age... I welcome it!

    I know that it is not politically expedient for someone in Congress to even have someone think that they are thinking of tampering with the Bill of Rights, but I think the 32 lives that were lost on Monday morning in one selfish act of revenge is more than enough ammunition to change that stance.

    Repeal the Second Amendment!

    Tuesday, April 17, 2007

    plezWorld on the AfroSpear

    What is the AfroSpear?

    I've seen the term "AfroSpear," "AfroSphere," and "Blackosphere." I guess I'm partial to the title and associated logo! To my way of thinking, the AfroSpear is the realization of a think tank (and forum) for Black (African-American) progressives to discuss, muse, and ruminate issues that affect our communities. Inasmuch, we are not a monolithic entity, the AfroSpear will encourage lively debate, discourse, and an occasional disagreement as we hone a thought or platform on a particular issue. With the power of the current bloggers on the AfroSpear list, I'm encouraged that positive and actionable results will become self-evident.

    plezWorld is anxious to participate in the given topics that will foster some genuine conversation. But the real power and effectiveness of such an AfroSpear will be borne out of its ability to affect change in our way of life and in a broader sense, that of America. Let's see if our collective foray into the great abyss of the blogosphere will be a call to those who need our votes or to those who seek our approval.

    As thefreeslave wrote in his blog on this subject: "The ‘AfroSphere’ (Asabagna’s invention) must become an Afro-Spear, carving a path for our people into this 21st Century."

    Who is the AfroSpear?

    How to AfroSpear?
    • Create an AfroSpear List for your blog
    • Visit and contribute to blogs in the AfroSpear on a regular basis
    • Join the AfroSpear Forum
    • Occasionally develop posts and invite (tag) the AfroSpear to participate

    Saturday, April 14, 2007

    Barack Obama in Atlanta

    Turn the Page to a New America - Barack Obama for President

    Barack Obama came to Atlanta today and delivered his stump speech on the campus of Georgia Tech. Under cloudy skies and with an audience of thousands, my daughter and I watched in awe as Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) enthralled the crowd with his message of change.

    This guy is the real deal, he has the credentials (professor of Constitutional Law at University of Chicago Law School, US Senator), he has the education (Columbia, Harvard Law School), he has the drive, and the vision for an America AFTER the Bush Administration. He spoke eloquently of an inclusive America and a government that governs by right and not political expediency. He is against the War in Iraq, yet sees the need for a measured withdrawal that will not leave the Iraqi people with an unstable country. He spoke of supporting our troops in Iraq AND when they return home. He spoke of Universal Health Care for all Americans and exploring the means of adequately funding the "No Child Left Behind" policy of George Bush. He spoke of providing incentives for car makers and oil companies to create energy efficient transportation, he spoke of creating an industry that will profit from making our environment safer and cleaner.

    My eyes welled up with tears at times during his speech as I held my daughter close and listened to his powerful message for change. He is the kind of man that I want to lead this country for my daughter and my daughter's children. He spoke to my mind, my heart, and my soul when he spoke of an America that threw off the shackles of slavery, empowered women, enacted fair labor laws and a minimum wage, created a middle class, and championed civil rights for all Americans. Barack Obama has so much optimism and spirit, I cannot imagine anyone but him occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on January 20, 2009.

    These are some pictures that I captured on the camera on my Treo 680:

    Barack Obama working through the throngs of supporters

    My daughter experiencing her first political speech

    A ticket and Barack Obama for President buttons

    Sign up for change in America at

    Friday, April 13, 2007

    Your Ideal Presidential Candidate

    Check out the 2008 Presidential Candidate Selector. The site asks voters a series of questions and then determines which candidate most reflects the voter's viewpoints. Below are my results:

    1. Theoretical Ideal Candidate (100%)
    2. Barack Obama (73%)
    3. Al Gore (65%)
    4. Ron Paul (63%)
    5. Bill Richardson (60%)
    6. John Edwards (59%)
    7. Dennis Kucinich (58%)
    8. Wesley Clark (58%)
    9. Hillary Clinton (56%)
    10. Joseph Biden (52%)
    11. Christopher Dodd (51%)
    12. Kent McManigal (50%)
    13. Elaine Brown (42%)
    14. John McCain (32%)
    15. Rudolph Giuliani (32%)
    16. Mike Huckabee (31%)
    17. Mitt Romney (30%)
    18. Mike Gravel (29%)
    19. Tom Tancredo (29%)
    20. Chuck Hagel (29%)
    21. Sam Brownback (28%)
    22. Tommy Thompson (27%)
    23. Newt Gingrich (25%)
    24. Jim Gilmore (23%)
    25. Fred Thompson (23%)

    plez sez: i was just minding my own business when i stumbled across this list of presidential candidates on another blog (hat tip: Booker Rising). i consider myself to be just slightly left of center politically, so i was anxious to see the results of my survey.

    it just so happens that i RSVP'd for the Barack Obama Rally that will be held tomorrow morning on the campus of Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia. even though i haven't sent his campaign a donation yet, i'm pleased that i'm supporting him and this survey goes quite a ways to validating my selection of Senator Obama as my guy for 2008!

    Run Obama Run!

    Gotta Get Goals

    One Alex Shalman gets the credit for creating this "Gotta Get Goals" meme along with its associated rules. I was tagged by my buddy, Dave, over at Wandering the Ether to enter a set of my goals. This is a tricky proposal because I'm not an open book about my personal matters and by posting my goals, I actually may have to achieve them! *smile*

    I feel that goals should be achievable, measurable, and be bound by a specific time period - which makes this task even more daunting.

    Another part of the meme process is tagging other blogs in your sphere of influence and invite them to participate. My blogosphere of influence is kind of small, so if I've tagged you in an earlier post (like this one), then consider yourself tagged. And if you are a new visitor to plezWorld, then consider yourself tagged, as well! How's that?!?

    Gotta Get Goals for plezWorld

      Goal #1: Financial - Save 5 Percent

      My wife and I make a decent living; we live in a quaint house in a nice suburban Atlanta subdivision with a lush green lawn that contains no trace of the snow-like cherry blossoms that fell a few weeks ago. We spent my daughter's spring break from her private school at a beachfront resort in south Florida last week. I don't brag because I know others are doing much better than me, but I'd like to put my current financial situation in context. We are in debt and we walk a very taut financial tightrope on a monthly basis with very little savings in the bank. A few years ago, I was unemployed for close to 2 years while still paying a pretty hefty mortgage on this house, and as a result we pretty much exhausted all of our savings and have yet to replenish them.

      My first goal is to save at least 5% of my annual salary in the bank by the end of this year. That would be a sufficient amount to "save" us in the unlikely event of a large debt or emergency. This financial goal cannot be attained until I reduce our credit card debt, so that will be a nice by-product of attaining this goal. Plus, I'll be staring at my 20th wedding anniversary in a few years and I need to have a nice sized knot (i.e. money) saved up to purchase that bigassrock that I intend to buy for my wife! *smile*

      Goal #2: Lifestyle - Lose 20 Pounds

      I used to be very active playing on adult basketball leagues, coaching church league basketball for 8-10 year old kids, playing lots of team tennis (ALTA), golfing, and going to the YMCA 2 or 3 times a week for aerobics classes. For the past 10 years, I have not been very good to my body: I've slowly and methodically dropped those more active endeavors (mainly due to my bad knees) to a more sedentary lifestyle (mainly watching TV and typing at a computer screen, like this one!). The arrival of our little bundle of joy 5 years ago sort of put the final nail in my active lifestyle coffin, I even cancelled my membership at the YMCA. Well, this more "settled" lifestyle has gone straight to my midsection... and it is quite evident when I step on that damn scale in my bathroom - my friends and I joke that I am no longer pimpsize! *smile*

      My second goal is to lose the 20 lbs. that I have gained over the past 10 years. I will have to return to eating more healthy meals, and endeavor to hit that dreaded treadmill in my workout room (yeah, I have a complete gym here in the house) or in the hotel when I'm on the road at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes. By the end of this year (2007), I should be back to my "playing" weight and able to comfortably fit in all those clothes that I can no longer zip up.

      Goal #3: Professional - Hire Somebody

      "To whom much is given, much is required."

      This quote means a lot to me because I have lived a blessed life: raised in a God-fearing, yet loving family by my father and mother, provided with a world-class education from nursery school through my college degree in electrical engineering, compensated by a company that values my contributions to delivering our services, loved by my wife and daughter, and emboldened by my continued youth and vigor well into middle age. With that said, I feel that I haven't done enough in return for the blessings that I have received until I can share my blessings with someone other than my immediate family members. Which leads me to Goal #3: I want to be directly responsible for the recruitment, hiring, and mentoring of a professional in my area of expertise.

      I would consider it an honor to reach back and see someone from being latent potential to being a high performing professional. As a college fraternity chapter advisor, I am responsible for mentoring a large number of young men to prepare them for life after college. As a recruiter for my company, I was responsible for visiting college campuses around the country to find those students who would add value to my company. And as a manager/supervisor, I have been responsible for hiring, nurturing, and even firing personnel who report to me. But in the whole of my professional career, I've never had the opportunity to do all three with one person. Since this goal will require a measure of luck in finding the ideal candidate(s), I seek to fulfill this goal at some point within the next 2 to 5 years.

      Goal #4: Communications - Blog Alot

      I stumbled upon the blogosphere quite by accident, I went to a friend's blog and I had to register on to leave a comment. That was February 14, 2006 and I've been hooked ever since. Unfortunately, plezWorld has no more direction than it did when I first started, but I think I've at least honed my message and hopefully, I'm able to communicate more effectively because of it.

      I use to keep track of the numbers of visitors I receive on a daily basis. Right now, I'm averaging around 15 visitors per day, but I notice that the number increases with the frequency that I post new blog entries. So Goal #4 is to increase the rate that I post entries to my blog to 3 times a week in hopes of raising my visitor average to 50 per day by the end of 2007.

      Goal #5: Toyz - A New Car

      That new car smell is something that you can only get in a new car! My car has not had that particular odor in over 10 years - I currently drive a 2007 Desert Plum Eddie Bauer Edition Ford Explorer. It is time for a new car in plezWorld!

      I bought my wife a Lexus SUV a few years ago when her car turned 10 years old. I don't think our garage will be complete until I have a newer car to join my wife's Lexus. I'm thinking along the lines of the following: either a 2006 Claret Red Cadillac Escalade or a 2006 Black Lexus GX SUV (I don't like buying new cars, I like to get them after they've depreciated for a few years)! Goal #5 is to have one of those new SUVs sitting in my garage by the Summer of 2008.

      WARNING: I'm not the most environmentally correct guy out there, so if it doesn't have a V8 and some serious "get up and go", you probably won't see it on my side of the garage!

    plez sez: It may not seem like it, but this was a very difficult charge which took me a few days to complete. I have included some short term (1 year) and longer term (>2 years) goals on my list.

    Now comes the hard part, finding a way to accomplish these goals. I understand that in order for me to attain any of these goals will require some changes on my part. But if any of my blogosphere buddies have any good ideas to give me a jumpstart (especially, with losing weight and saving money), I will gladly take your ideas under advisement!

    Wednesday, April 11, 2007

    In Rotation - It's Humpday, Ya'll (Part VI)

    For the past 3 months, I've had a team working on a project for one of my key clients. Today's challenge was a 3 hour presentation to the executive steering committee on our results. And now it's time to unwind! I'll let my iPod hype me up with my PurpleDance playlist, featuring Prince's more upbeat and danceable tunes... if you want to dance, you can:

    1. "Pop Life" from Around the World In A Day LP (3:42)
      it's pretty nasty in the way Prince has the delayed lyrics in the left speakers, huh? oh, you never noticed that, did ya?

    2. "Irresistible Bitch" from The Hits/B-Sides LP (4:12)
      i love the chimes in the background, almost sounds like the song was recorded in a church... bitchin'!

    3. "Batdance" from Batman LP (6:14)
      "go... go... go with a smile!"

    4. "Partyup" from Dirty Mind LP (4:24)
      the boy started out bad with a war protest song that you can actually dance to... check out those rough riffs on the guitar and MF bass line...

      "how ya gonna make me kill someone i don't even know?"

    5. "200 Balloons" from The Hits/B-Sides LP (5:05)
      "fly with me, 200 balloons!"

    6. "Controversy" from Controversy LP (7:15)
      driving bass, ticklin' those strings on his guitar... this is the album that i wasn't supposed to buy, because i gave my little sister the albums poster of a half-naked Prince in the shower! OOOPS! and to add insult to injury, he had the NERVE to recite the Lord's Prayer (a la Jimi Hendrix) to the beat! BLASPHEMY!

      "people call me rude, i wish we all were nude,
      i wish there was no black & white, i wish there was no rules."

    7. "Little Red Corvette" from 1999 LP (5:03)
      "i guess i should've known by the way you parked your car sideways that it wouldn't last..."

    8. "Sexy Dancer" from Prince LP (4:18)
      i drove through a snow storm from New York City to Hampton, Virginia to see Prince as the opening act for Rick James in 1979.

    9. "Erotic City (Dance Mix)" from Erotic City (Single) EP (7:26)
      when i was in college, this was MY FAVORITE dance song... erotic city come alive!

    10. "Damned If I Do" from Emancipation (Disc 1) LP (5:21)
      under the moniker "the artist formerly known as prince", he did an independent release of some of his best STUFF in 1996 in a 3 disc boxed set.

    11. "Anotherloverholenyohead" from Parade LP (4:00)
      i'd rather dance to this cut from the "Parade" LP than the much more POPular "Kiss".

    12. "Uptown" from Dirty Mind LP (5:32)
      oh shit, now i'm gonna be humming this song all night: "i don't usually talk to strangers, but she's so pretty... gotta go Uptown!"

    13. "We Gets Up" from Emancipation (Disc 1) LP (4:18)
      yeah, Prince was droppin' it on disc one of this collection... he's got the bass kickin' ass and those funky horns bringing up the rear... and you gotta stay around to the end of the song to hear Prince to tear it up on that guitar. "We gets up!"

    14. "Sexy M.F. (12" Remix)" from My Name is Prince [Remixes] LP (7:34)
      i love a good remix that's true to the original, but adds just enough edge to make you wanna get up outta yo' seat... this is IT!

    15. "I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man" from Sign O' The Times (Disc ?) LP (6:29)
      "i may be qualified for a one night stand, but i could never take the place... of yo' man."

    16. "Live 4 Love" from Diamonds and Pearls LP (7:00)
      i love the countdown and the awesome drum solo and bass line that kicks off this joint... damn, i think i'm working up a sweat.

    17. "I Wanna Be Your Lover" from Prince LP (3:42)
      i guess i'll shut this jam session down with one of Prince's first hits... genius endures.

    Monday, April 09, 2007

    Don Imus to Visit With Al Sharpton

    The Associated Press reports that Don Imus will appear on Al Sharpton's radio show today to discuss the racially insensitive "thing" that he uttered last week on his show after the Rutgers-Tennessee Women's National Championship Game. To those who haven't heard, Don Imus referred to the basketball team players as some "rough girls with tattoos" and then referred to them as "some nappy-headed ho's!"

    Excerpts from the AP article follows:
    Calling himself a good person who said a bad thing, radio host Don Imus said Monday he would check his acid tongue after being lambasted for making racially charged comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team.

    "Here's what I've learned: that you can't make fun of everybody, because some people don't deserve it," he said on his nationally syndicated radio show Monday morning. "And because the climate on this program has been what it's been for 30 years doesn't mean it's going to be what it's been for the next five years or whatever."

    Imus said he was "embarrassed" by the remarks, in which he referred to the mostly black team as "nappy-headed hos." He said he had made the comments in the course of "trying to be funny," but he was not trying to excuse them.

    Imus said he hoped to meet the Rutgers players and their parents and coaches, and he said he was grateful that he was scheduled to appear later Monday on a radio show hosted by the Rev. Al Sharpton, who has called for Imus to be fired over the remarks.

    "Somewhere we must draw the line in what is tolerable in mainstream media," Sharpton said Sunday. "We cannot keep going through offending us and then apologizing and then acting like it never happened. Somewhere we've got to stop this."

    Meanwhile, the Rev. Jesse Jackson planned a protest in Chicago. James E. Harris, president of the New Jersey chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, demanded Sunday that Imus "resign or be terminated immediately."

    plez sez: here we go again... can you say, "Michael Richards"? i thought you could!

    my sister is a graduate of Rutgers and played basketball in high school. i take offense for all of those hard working and beautiful Black young women who grace the Rutgers Scarlet Knights basketball team. they are student athletes who were playing for a national championship (for Christ's sake), i am offended that a blubbering idiot like Don Imus would take advantage of his position to disgrace their integrity and their heritage with impunity!

    first, i deplore what Don Imus said because it was aimed at college students and not professionals, and the fact that he had to stoop so damn low to try to grab a laugh in what i would consider a fading career in broadcasting. he's not funny, he's not relevant, and he's not going to have much of a television show after this week.

    second, what the HELL is going on with Rev. Sharpton and Rev. Jackson?!? looks like they are falling over each other trying to "interview" every clown who makes a racist/insensitive remark. i didn't know either of them had a radio show and now it begs the question, what the HELL do they talk about when there's no Don Imus or Richard Michaels to skewer? like Imus, these "Black leaders" are left with a questionable careers, lack of relevance, and certainly very little of a radio show after this week! i guess it's not enough for an irrelevant NAACP chapter in NJ to demand that Imus be fired, these two preachers have to try to elbow each other out of the way to garner some ratings for their non-existent shows.

    Don Imus (and his producer Bernard McGuirk) needs to go to Rutgers University, sit down with the team and their parents, and issue his apology to them, face-to-face. he doesn't need blowhard povertypimp pastors to get it for them.

    if you are so inclined, you can check out the Don Imus Apology here ... look at that dried up carcass, not only is his career fading, so is he!

    and for truly bold, you can listen to Rev. Al Sharpton on the radio here ... and i'm still trying to figure out what the HELL he's going to talk about tomorrow?

    lastly, although, i'm still pissed with Don Imus, we have to realize that this ain't going to be the last insensitive comment that we'll hear... it's time to grow up! everyone doesn't like you, everyone doesn't respect you, you'll have to get over it.

    Friday, April 06, 2007

    Ramblin' Wreck Roundtable - I

    Ramblin' Racket is hosting a roundtable of Georgia Tech Sports Blogs. Being a loyal Yellow Jacket, Tech alum, and 10+ year GT Football Season Ticket Holder, I've decided to join in on the fun.

    The Ramblin' Wreck Roundtable features a series of questions that are answered simultaneously on different Tech blogs during the offseason. plezWorld is not a Tech sports blog, but I welcome the GT Sports Fix to get me through the next 5 months until I can get back to Bobby Dodd Stadium.

    Please take some time to check out the answers from the rest of the Roundtable:
    Ramblin' Racket
    GT Sports Blog
    What's the Good Word?
    YellowBlazer's World

      Ramblin' Wreck Roundtable
    1. (Single obligatory basketball question) What do you make of the ACC's postseason in basketball? Was the conference overrated, or did the teams just get unlucky draws in the tourney?

      It appears that the SEC has pulled close, some would say that it is almost even with the ACC. And I would contend that the ACC may be slightly overrated. Tech was a marginal selection to the NCAA Tournament and UNC was only slightly better than Tech. The proof is in the pudding, no ACC teams in the Final Four: welcome to parity in college basketball!

    2. On to football! Where will Georgia Tech be ranked in the preseason polls, and where do you think the Jackets should be ranked?

      Despite our wins and close games against top opponents (Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Miami, etc.), GT Football doesn't seem to get much respect from the pollsters. I see us falling between 25 and 30 in the preseason. After an early win against a top opponent (again), we should fall into the top 20, but we'll have to be undefeated to even smell the top 10 next season!

    3. All due credit to Tech's 2006 squad, but we benefited from Miami and other teams' lackluster seasons. Will the big-reputation programs like FSU and Miami be back in 2007?

      Miami will have a new coach and a new attitude, but I expect them to be only marginally better than last season. Florida State may be "down" until Bobby Bowden decides to call it quits.

    4. Our out-of-conference schedule is exciting, with Notre Dame and Georgia bookending the season, and while Army is a cupcake, playing a military academy is kinda cool in my book. Which game are you more stoked about between ND and UGA? Also, what ACC games are you most excited about?

      I like the history of playing a storied team like Notre Dame, but NOTHING gets me worked up like getting ready for the Georgia Bulldawgs (my wife is an alum of UGA)! I'm love it when we play Clemson, always a good game. And I'm sure Virginia Tech will come to Atlanta looking for revenge for last year's near blowout!

    5. Lighting Round! (Cue "Eye of the Tiger") Name the first thing that comes to mind, as fast as you can:
      * Calvin Johnson: The Best... ever!
      * Tailgate Food: Jim Beam marinated steaks, grilled chicken wings, potato salad, and a Corona (hold the lime).
      * Beesball: B-o-r-i-n-g! I played Little League for 6 years and never understood the allure of baseball.
      * Taylor Bennett: Hope springs eternal... Godsey-in-waiting!

    6. How do you deal with the football offseason? Prayer? Hibernation? Blogging?
      Hibernation. I will come out of hiding at the Notre Dame Kickoff on September 1st.