Friday, November 30, 2007

Post-NaBloPoMo Blog Addiction Update

68%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

SFO Dating

plez sez: on November 1st, i kicked off National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) with a meter showing my Blog Addiction. at the time, i came in at 64%.

well, today marks the last day of NaBloPoMo and i thought that i would re-assess my standing... and you can see how much more fervent i am in my need to blog (a mere 4% increase)! *smile*

i hope you enjoyed it at much as i did.

NOTE: now let's see if i can win one of those kitschy prizes they've been offering up on the NaBloPoMo site!

The Clinton-Obama Dilemma

Hillary Clinton gathered about 60 Black ministers together for a rally in Spartanburg, SC a few days ago. She has garnered big support and a double digit lead in the polls over Barack Obama in a state where over half of the Democratic voters are Black. It appears that she is running on Bill Clinton's strength in the Black community and gaining strength in the South where the Black vote can make a difference in the primaries and most certainly in the general election next November.

Excerpts from the CBS News story follow:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton picked up endorsements from dozens of black ministers Tuesday in South Carolina, an early voting state where she and rival Barack Obama have been courting the critical black vote.

The clergy were drawn to the New York senator for her views on health care, jobs and other issues, said a state representative who helped organize the endorsements. "They felt this was the best candidate addressing their concerns," said state Rep. Harold Mitchell, a Democrat from this northern part of the state.

Nearly half of South Carolina's Democratic primary voters are black, and ministers can play a huge role in shaping the political direction of their congregations. More than 60 ministers gathered with Clinton on a stage at a hotel and her campaign said 88 were in the room where the endorsements were announced.

Clinton, in a wide-ranging speech to a crowd of more than 450, touched on her plans to expand health care, better public education and improve the image of the U.S. She said she would send emissaries around the globe - and mentioned former Secretary of State Colin Powell as "someone I know very well" - to send a message the era of "cowboy diplomacy is over."

Read the entire CBS News story here.

View the CBS News video here.

Read an update how Obama is closing the gap with Clinton in SC here.

plez sez: are we finally realizing the onset of a colorblind society, where a white woman candidate can be more popular than her Black male counterpart in the Black community? does hillary's eight years of being the first lady provide her with the experience and cache in foreign affairs that Barack Obama lacks? does her flubbing the health care issue during the first Clinton Administration now make clinton an expert on domestic affairs?

or are we going to watch the slow motion unraveling of another in a long string of incidents where Black people get bamboozled out of their vote by a wily (and slick) Democrat?

this is truly a dilemma.

i am part of a listserve that is composed of almost all Black participants. in addition to my discomfort over this issue, plezWorld has found other Black voters who have expressed similar concerns about this Clinton-Obama Dilemma that we face in the Black community:
Voter 1
Those who see the success of the African-American's based on their own achievements and skills and see themselves as intimate cogs in the society on a whole lean toward Obama .... while those who see black success based on impediments government needs to destroy and see themselves isolated from the greater society because of those impediments lean toward Hillary. Is there a disconnect in the black community as to who is supporting which candidate?

Voter 2
I must admit my first instinct is not so much to endorse Hillary but to question why should I vote for a guy that so many white people call a "rock star?" Do they think I am stupid enough just to vote for him because we are both Black? As I write this stream of consciousness, I recall being in a nearly all White School for High School. There were two Black girls in my class. One was "dark and the other was a duck", I was not too enlightened back then... Rather than even entertain that I would have something in common with the sisters I went with a White girl, Mexican, and Asian girl before I had my first Black girlfriend in high school. My unconscious fear was that I would be pigeonholed by those White folk.

Voter 3
The "pulpit pimps" have once again shown how pathetic they are. True, endorsements mean nothing, but the fact that blacks continue to support this lady boggles my mind. I am not saying that we have to support Senator Obama, but damn, what has she truly done to deserve so much support from black people? There is a reason why she is losing ground as of late in the polls and the sooner that black people come to grips that Bill is not a part of some package deal, the better we'll all be at finding the right candidate to support. Being an independent voter, this is one election where I won't have any problem at all supporting a Republican if she is the alternate choice.

Voter 4
Barak is an African American elitist period. Unfortunately the African American community has had a disdain for African American elitists. This is especially true amongst older blacks (thus the pulpit pimps)?who lived or heard the stories of their parents when Elitist Blacks of the late 1800's and early 1900's turned their backs on the "darker skinned" fellows and blatantly accepted Euro Centric ways of living.

Voter 5
I think some African-Americans like her because they see her as having the same values as her husband who black people adored. A vote for her is like a vote for Bill.

Voter 6
Would she be better than Bush? Sure, but so would Terry Schiavo (and she's dead)! But would she steer the country in a new direction? Would she heal the growing rift between left and right? I don't think so. She [was] a tremendously polarizing candidate BEFORE she even became a candidate. She's the ULTIMATE triangulating, poll-watching, word-parsing politician with NONE of Bill's charm. Not for nothing, there's something to be said for having someone in office who is neither a Bush nor a Clinton. Political dynasties haven't been so good for our country.

Voter 7
We tend to feel more comfortable with leaders who claim to be grassroots, Like Jesse Jackson for example, [who] hide their highbrow status... something that Barack Obama does not do.

Voter 8
The fact that we romanticize about the Clinton years and the progress of the middle-class in this country seems to be what attaches many to Hillary -- it is my opinion that if she was Senator Hillary Rodham, two term senator from NY you would not see this broad support of her -- it is merely because she brings Bill along for the ride that she is not, Diane Finestein or Elizabeth Dole.

note: the views of the previous eight Black voters do not necessarily reflect the views of plezWorld

i've slept in the bed with an IRS tax specialist for the past 17 years, but i can't claim to be able to do much more than a 1040-EZ! to paraphrase malcolm x, "just because a cat has kittens in the oven doesn't make them biscuits."

it seems (at least in south carolina) that Black voters are putting their hopes on getting 8 more years of bill clinton, rather than casting their lot with an "upstart elitist prettyboy" who wasn't even raised in the Black community... the contention being that bill clinton (and by extension, hillary) is "blacker" (whatever in the HELL that means) than Barack Obama, thereby making hillary clinton more deserving of their votes. to my way of thinking, those Black ministers' (or pulpit pimps') assessment and analysis of hillary's qualifications and abilities to make change are sadly mistaken!

i've said it before and i'll say it again: i don't trust hillary clinton. she will say ANYTHING to get elected. despite her smooth and practiced delivery, she comes off as shrill and calculating, a poll watching charlatan without scruple nor conviction... but not nearly as slick as bill! she's been taking notes, but she hasn't mastered his delivery and his ability to weasel out of a tight fix (i.e. never quite explaining her flip-flop on the war in iraq to my satisfaction). i sense that another clinton in the white house will be more of the same and business as usual (something that those jock-sniffin' preachers never stopped to realize in their zeal to share the stage with some bill clinton coochie).

i feel that this country is due a shot in the arm, some fresh blood, and a new direction that hillary will not provide. and from what i've heard, the only candidate who offers HOPE for a better tomorrow and CHANGE from business as usual in Washington, DC is barack obama.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Come On People - Cosby & Poussaint - Review 2

I have taken on the task of writing a review for the book. In this and subsequent posts, I will review one chapter in the book. The second chapter is titled: It Takes a Community

The second chapter should've been the first chapter, because the breakdown in the Black community preceded the lost generations of our Black men. If we could implement some of the solutions presented in the book (finally break the mental shackles of slavery; learn and acknowledge the triumphs of those who came before us - like Washington, Tubman, DuBois, Parks, Marshall, and King; reject victimhood because we are no longer victims; and defend our villages (neighborhoods) against those who work to destroy them).

I would like to repeat a short excerpt about defining your village:
"I went to Koreatown today and I met with the Korean merchants. I love them. You know why? They got a place called what? Koreatown. [And] when I left them I went to Chinatown. They got a place called what? Chinatown.
"Where is your town?"

And here is another excerpt about defending your village:
"If the Ku Klux Klan were coming again, what would we do? We'd grab our children, throw them under the table, put them under the bed, put bodies on them, get the guns, and be ready.
"But how do we respond to a crack cocaine dealer? How do we respond to a dysfunctional school system? How do we respond to the criminals in our midst? How do we respond to those people who are unraveling the moral fiber of our village?"

We need to define and defend our neighborhoods, and make them in the image of what we want them to be. When we stop believing that we deserve to be treated as second class citizens, then we will take that long leap to respectability of ourselves and gaining the respect of others.
~ End of Review ~

plezWorld encourages you to visit where you can purchase copies of the book and you will find a forum called "The Cos," that is designed for community members to discuss issues beyond those addressed in the book, as well as a place for people to come together and offer solutions.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Quote of the Day - November 28, 2007

“Forty-five million of [America's] young have been destroyed in the womb since Roe v. Wade, as Asian, African, and Latin American children come to inherit the estate the lost generation of American children never got to see."
- MSNBC political analyst and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan speaking to Sean Hannity on the November 26 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes while discussing his new book.

Media Matters reports that Pat Buchanan was in rare form while he hawked his new book, Day of Reckoning: How Hubris, Ideology, And Greed Are Tearing America Apart (Thomas Dunne Books, November 2007), in which he writes that America is "on a path to national suicide."

Buchanan also predicts the days when rioting and looting returns to America's streets as the numbers of minorities (mainly Hispanics and poor Blacks) swell, a la the unrest of thousands of Blacks in the late 1960's:
"According to the U.S. Census Bureau, from 2005 to 2006, our minority population rose 2.4 million to exceed 100 million. Hispanics, 1 percent of the U.S. population in 1950, are now 14.4 percent. Since 2000, their numbers have soured 25 percent to 45 million. The U.S. Asian population grew by 24 percent since 2000, as the number of white kids of school age fell 4 percent. Half the children five and younger today are minority children."

Buchanan also writes that "the greatest cohort of immigrants here today, legal and illegal, is from Mexico" and states that, "[b]y 2050, more than 100 million Hispanics will be in the United States, concentrated in a Southwest that borders on Mexico."

"Almost as many African-American males are in jail or prison as are in colleges or universities. Half of all African-American and Hispanic students drop out of high school. The other half graduates with the math and reading skills of seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders. Yet by 2050 the number of African-Americans and Hispanics will have almost doubled from today's 85 million, to 160 million. The future seems more ominous than it did in the hopeful days of civil rights. For these burgeoning scores of millions will not long accept second-class accommodations in the affluent society, where they are the emerging majority. The long hot summers of yesterday may be returning."
Read the entire Media Matters article here.

plez sez: i've never liked pat buchanan; his rhetoric drips of xenophobia and racism. waxing poetic for that kinder, gentler time in the 50's and 60's when "those darkies" knew their place. he speaks lovingly of the old melting pot (of europeans), yet decries the new melting pot which threatens to tear us apart and send the country into ruin.
"But take a look at the unity we had, say, in the 1950s and early 1960s. What have we gone through? You had a culture war that's divided us completely on matters of morality. You've got a wholesale invasion, the greatest invasion in human history, coming across your southern border, changing the composition and character of your country. You've got the melting pot that once welded us all together, which has broken down. All of these things are happening, Sean, and, frankly, I don't think we got the kind of solid, firm, strong national leadership you need to deal with this crisis."

he continues to throw around future stats as if they are fact. of course, he can't resist the urge to throw some abortion and "right to life" foolishness to cater to his right-wingers while mixing the overreaction to what's happening in Jena, Louisiana and the use of the n-word by Imus to prove his point.
"'re going to have 100 million Hispanics in the country, most of them new immigrants from Mexico, which believes that belongs to them. What's going to happen to us, Sean, in my judgment, is what is happening right now: We are Balkanizing. We are dividing and separating from one another politically, morally -- on issues like abortion or Terri Schiavo -- racially and ethnically, when you get Jena and then you get Don Imus, and all of these things ripping us apart. All the things that used to pull us together and hold us together no longer do."

what pat buchanan doesn't understand is that his brand of politics, his demonization of minorities and those who don't think like him are what is tearing this country apart. his lips snarled to spit this hate-filled invectives has roots in the jim crow south from which he obviously draws his inspiration.

how can a country of immigrants complain about immigrants?!? i've never ever understand this argument of exclusion, when everyone (except Native Americans) was an immigrant (even the ones who were brought here involuntarily as slaves) at some point in this country's history. everytime pat buchanan speaks, it scares me... because i know that there are millions more like him in this country. and a good portion of those millions have the power to adversely affect the lives and livelihood of people like me. SCARY!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Milestone in plezWorld

My trusty sitemeter tells me that at 9:26 PM EST on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 (earlier tonight), a visitor from Kingston, Jamaica (which is 1,216 miles away) caused plezWorld to pass a significant milestone: the 1,205th visitor during the month of November.

This is the most visitors this site has ever had in one month!

plez sez: i know there are sites out there that have 1,200 visitors per day, but the thought that more than 1,200 sets of eyeballs have read, at least in part, something that was written by my fingernail-bitten fingers is a bit of amazement to me.

it gives one a reason to pause and think about what i am actually writing. i'm not a great philosopher, my analytical skills are average, my prognostications are frequently off-base, i'm not much of a wordsmith, and i am nowhere near a revolutionary scribe in the blogosphere, but i do realize that i have an obligation to those 1,200 sets of eyeballs... and the 1,200 minds attached to those eyeballs! i have an obligation to keep it REAL and an obligation to tell the TRUTH... even when the truth hurts.

i have learned that more often than not, the truth hurts!

to those 1,200 eyeballs and the next 100 or so who'll zoom through the Internet into plezWorld over the next couple of days, i thank you for spending a small portion of your day in my world. i hope that you will enjoy, laugh, think, or maybe even shed a tear to something that i've written... as this is truly a small, yet significant, thread in the vast colorful and luxurious tapestry that is plez's world!

Come On People - Cosby & Poussaint - Review 1

I have taken on the task of writing a review for this book over the next couple of weeks. In this and subsequent posts, I will review one chapter in the book. The first chapter is titled: What's Going On with Black Men?
A good read, but after 29 pages, not one new thought or new idea or new solution. Maybe I've heard it all before, maybe I've heard it all before from Dr. Cosby, but the state of Black men in this country is in atrocious shape: highest rate of death due to homicide, highest rate of murder, lowest life expectancy, high suicide rate, highest high school drop-out rate, highest unemployment rate, highest rate of incarceration, and the highest rate of homelessness. As the authors note in the book, "This is madness!"

Even though, I have heard them all before, Cosby & Poussaint do present some cogent solutions to the plight of the Black man in America: tone down the bravado and machismo that pervades our community because it breeds the self-destructive activities that get so many of our men and boys in trouble, stop defining your manhood on getting a woman pregnant, define your manhood by being a father to your children, stop leaving the child rearing of our sons to their mothers, the only person who can raise a boy into manhood is a man, and take advantage of second chances to make something of your life.

Unfortunately, the solutions present a difficult quandary because they suggest a paradigm shift to the prevailing culture of the Black community. What event or person is going to be the catalyst for this change? What is going to be the wakeup call that shakes our community from its 40-year malaise to make our Black men more accountable to their community? I'm afraid the answers to these questions are not presented in the first chapter.
~ End of Review ~

plezWorld encourages you to visit where you can purchase copies of the book and you will find a forum called "The Cos," that is designed for community members to discuss issues beyond those addressed in the book, as well as a place for people to come together and offer solutions.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Georgia Tech Fires Head Coach

Go Jackets. Sting 'em.The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Georgia Tech fired coach Chan Gailey earlier today. The talent is there, but it is obvious that coaching has been an issue... we have lost 6 straight to UGA and the team sputtered to another mediocre 7-5 season and another invitation to the Boise Bowl (and that damn blue field)! So much of college football is emotion and motivation, so Gailey's downfall has been his low key approach and inability to motivate a bunch of college students on a weekly basis.

Read the entire AJC article here.

The ACC has fallen to a second tier conference (after the SEC, the Big 10, and the PAC 10) with the descent of Florida State and Miami. But the ACC does have ties into the BCS (Orange Bowl). Georgia Tech is located in downtown Atlanta (the capital of the south) and is an easy draw for recruits. Tech has a smallish fan base (compared to UGA), but there is room for growth and it shouldn't be a problem to find head coach who could sellout 52,000 seat Bobby Dodd Stadium 6 times per season.

plezWorld would welcome a head coach with some SEC experience... some fire in the belly and knows how to play that brand of football.

So Who's Next?!?
  • Jimbo Fisher - Served as LSU’s (SEC) offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for seven years (2001-06) before taking the same position at Florida State University this season... and the current AD at Georgia Tech came from LSU a few years ago.

  • Patrick Nix - GT offensive coordinator for Tech for a couple of years before fleeing to The U (ACC) for this season.

  • George O'Leary - Former Tech Coach who left 7 years ago to coach Notre Dame (quickly let go when some resume irregularities surfaced)... he is currently the head coach at University of Central Florida (???).

  • Joker Phillips - Current offensive coordinator for the University of Kentucky (SEC).

  • Charlie Strong - Current co-defensive coordinator for the University of Florida (SEC).

  • Jon Tenuta - Current defensive coordinator for Georgia Tech (ACC). Built a nationally renowned defensive scheme, but his guys did underperform at some crucial points of this season.

  • ____ ? ____

  • Sunday, November 25, 2007

    plezWorld is Suitable for Most Audiences

    Maybe I'm wilting under the pressure of NaBloPoMo (I haven't missed a day, yet) or it could be that I'm just a glutton for punishment, but I have relented and submitted plezWorld to another one of these ranking engines (I found this at Whatever Lola Wants).

    This time, the blog gets a movie rating: G, PG, PG-13, R, NA-17, etc. (Lola's blog is rated R)

    So plezWorld is suitable for just about any reader who stumbles upon it!

    First, it's the Junior High School ranking and now I'm rated PG. I could've sworn that I had more piss and vinegar in me than that! I guess I need to start straight up cussin'...

    If you rate your blog, please post a comment here with its movie rating.

    Saturday, November 24, 2007

    Soul Food - College Football Nears End

    "I can't believe I ate the WHOLE thing."
    a 1970's Alka-Seltzer commercial

    And eat I did... for the past 12 weeks, I have feasted on every tender morsel of the college football season.

    Today, my family and I will stroll over to Bobby Dodd Stadium to watch my beloved Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech take on those dreaded & evil Bulldogs of the University of Georgia. It is sure to be one more installment of our annual Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate that invades the State of Georgia (and my household). My wife is a UGA graduate and this is the one game of the year when she will out-and-out root against the Yellow Jackets.

    This evening (or tomorrow morning), plezWorld returns with an update of our annual household rivalry.

    Other Edible Delights of Note:
  • Mississippi State securing a bowl bid while beating Ole Miss in the final seconds with a field goal (this is their first winning season since 2000 and their first for Head Coach Sylvester Crooms... congrats!).

  • LSU mucking up the National Championship Game by LOSING to unranked Arkansas at home in triple overtime (50-48)... I witnessed a Heisman Trophy winning performance by Darrin McFadden on yesterday afternoon (he ran, he passed, he blocked... he won the damn game!)

  • Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr deciding to resign before the end of the season, thus mucking up the concentration of the LSU football program (Les Miles will probably bolt from LSU at the end of the season to return to his alma mater).

    ...after today, all that remains is the dessert of a bowl season!

  • BLOG UPDATE (11/25/2007):
    As expected, the final course was destined to satisfy...

  • Mizzou controls their destiny as they downed #2 and previously unbeaten Kansas... thus crushing the Jayhawks hope of a National Championship.

  • West Virginia made a serious bid to play for the BCS Championship by rolling over UConn by the score of 66-21... I'm still wondering why WV QB Pat White doesn't get any noise for the Heisman?

  • Auburn whipped up on Alabama for the sixth straight year in the Iron Bowl.

  • Tennessee dashed UGA's chances of playing for the SEC Championship by squeaking by Kentucky for their 23rd straight win over the Wildcats. UT will meet LSU next week in Atlanta for the SEC Championship and a trip to the Sugar Bowl, unfortunately, the SEC beat each other out of contention for a national championship, again!

  • Florida behind a Heisman Trophy-securing performance (3 TD passes & 2 TD runs) by media darling Tim Tebow gashed a fading Florida State. Tebow finishes the regular season with 22 rushing TDs and 29 passing TDs (the first 20/20 QB in college football history).

  • And Georgia Tech wilted under their own mental mistakes and the running barrage of UGA. We lost 31-17 and we never really threatened to win the game, since we scored 3 second half points (a fourth quarter field goal)! We waved the white flag early and often: the first THREE SERIES of the second half featured the second and third string QBs... go figure! It was so pitiful, my wife stopped raggin' on me and actually shook a Tech shaker at times during the second half... now that's pitiful.

  • I suspect that Tech Coach Chan Gailey's name will be removed from the Head Coach office by Monday morning (he should be cleaning out his desk as I type)... check out this AJC sports column for all of the reasons why.

    Friday, November 23, 2007

    Black Friday 2007

    It looms before us with a toothy grin... eagerly waiting for your holiday shopping dollars. Some of you will be heading out into its hungry clutches in a few hours.

    This year, Black Friday falls on November 23 and it promises no less than a vast array of opportunities to kick off the holiday season.

    Two days ago, plezWorld was in a cold sweat, with fingernails bitten to the quick because a Nintendo Wii was no where to be found in a Metro Atlanta store. Thankfully, offered up an opportunity to get a bundled Wii for less than $350... the SugarPlum will get her Christmas Wish!

    My wife will head out at the break of dawn to find us a bargain on some winter coats, but a majority of our shopping will not be accompanied with the frenzy of Black Friday. I don't like crowds and the thought of fighting with a suburban housewife over the 20 to 30 Wii's that have been promised to our local Best Buy and Toys R Us does not appeal to me in the slightest.

    But for those of you who subscribe to such manufactured madness, I will leave you with a link to Black Friday Specials for every major retailer in the US.

    Thursday, November 22, 2007

    Happy Thanksgiving in plezWorld

    in plezWorld, this is such a special holiday as it gives me a chance to STOP...

    ...and give thanks for all of the blessing in my life!

    my mother always told me, while growing up, that i should not count my blessings, so i will not list them here.. but know that i carry them all in my heart.

    ...and i thank all of you who have blessed plezWorld for the past year and a half.


    Wednesday, November 21, 2007

    Come On People - Cosby & Poussaint - Overview

    A few weeks ago, plezWorld was contacted by the promoters of the new book by Dr. Bill Cosby and Dr. Alvin Poussaint, "Come On People," which combines messages of personal responsibility with practical solutions, and retells the stories that have been included at community call-outs in cities across the country for the past three years. In exchange for a review copy of the book, plezWorld has agreed to write an honest review of the book.

    I am not a professional book reviewer and my command of the English language is up for debate in some quarters, but I agree with the tag line for the book: "No matter your economic status, no matter your age, no matter your race, no matter your gender, and no matter your religion, we are all allies in changing our future for the better." I have taken on the task of writing a review for the book. My wife has also read the book, so there is an opportunity for a Guest Blog with her perspective on the book. In posts over the next two weeks, plezWorld will review a different chapter in the book:
    1. What's Going On with Black Men?
    2. It Takes a Community
    3. We All Start Out as Children
    4. Teach Your Children Well
    5. The Media You Deserve
    6. Healthy Hears and Minds
    7. The High Price of Violence
    8. From Poverty to Prosperity
    Overview: This appears to be a self-help book on how America (specifically, Black America) must take a long hard look on what we've learned from our past and how to translate that legacy into solutions of success for our collective futures. These solutions translate well for ALL of America, but the book concentrates its focus on the Black community which needs this help the most.

    If you'd like a preview, here are links to three downloadable PDF's of excerpts from "Come On People":
    We All Start Out As Children (pages 77 - 88)
    Teach Your Children Well (pages 124 - 132)
    Healthy Hearts and Minds (page 168 - 174)

    At you can purchase copies of the book and you will find a forum called "The Cos," that is designed for community members to discuss issues beyond those addressed in the book, as well as a place for people to come together and offer solutions.

    Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    Whitney Houston on "Silver Spoons" (1985)

    in 1985, i was a fresh-faced college student who kept hearing reference to a young, new singing sensation by the name of Whitney Houston. radio airplay of her hit, "Saving All My Love," had me liking what i heard: i can recognize TALENT. she had IT!

    i stayed in my chapter's bustling frat house, so we had little occasion to watch much television, but i heard that Ms. Houston was going to be a guest on the sitcom, "Silver Spoons." i had never watched the show because the basic sitcom formula at the time involved some pre-pubescent smartass kid in some contrived situation: Diff'rent Strokes, Punky Brewster, Webster, Silver Spoons, The Cosby Show, Gimme a Break, Who's the Boss, Growing Pains, ad nauseum...

    the following video is Whitney Houston blowing up with "Saving All My Love" (notice how she changed some of the words - "making love the whole night through" was changed to "holding each other the whole night through" - for the censors). dexter, the business manager (played by the late Franklyn Seales), falls "head over heels" with the gorgeous and sumptous young Houston and follows her to LA.

    like dexter, i was smitten by her beauty and that soulful voice after this episode. i have been a big fan ever since, including her latest incantation on "Being Bobby Brown."

    Whitney Houston on "Silver Spoons" (1985)

    Monday, November 19, 2007

    plezWorld on Michael Vick - Another Word

    Michael Vick reports to jail, early. ESPN reports that Michael Vick has surrendered to authorities prior to his sentencing date in order to begin his sentence and get the sordid details of his federal dogfighting conspiracy charges behind him. Vick pleaded guilty in August to a federal dogfighting conspiracy charge after his three co-defendants pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with authorities. He's scheduled to be sentenced December 10, 2007 on a federal dogfighting conspiracy charge but worked out a deal "to voluntarily enter custody prior to his sentencing hearing," according to a court document.

    plez sez: after vick pleaded guilty to the charges, i excoriated vick in this forum. i hate what he did to the falcons, his fans, and to himself. what a waste of talent.

    at the time, the Dirty Birds were at 0-3 with zero wins in sight. since that time, the Falcons have eeked out 3 slim wins against an equal number of dismal losses. and yesterday, they turned in their worst performance of the season, barely escaping a shutout at home against Tampa Bay. it goes no easier as the Super Bowl Champs (yeah, peyton manning and the colts) roll into town on thursday night to cause indigestion for any Falcons fans with the stomach to watch the debacle!

    i said that i wouldn't waste any more pixels on michael vick on plezWorld, but i gotta backslide on that promise, if to do nothing more than to issue an appeal to the owners of the woeful Falcons... you saw yesterday's game, out of three quarterbacks, we have none! with a bunch of overpaid coaches, they have provided no motivation to win! with a roster of crybaby, overpaid athletes, we have no winners!

    the ONLY winner that this franchise has even smelled in the last SIX YEARS has just checked himself into the federal pen!

    our draft day decisions have been abysmal, our free agent acquisitions have all been a bust.

    the ONLY person who has made this pig's ear of a football franchise even smell like a rose has just checked himself into the federal pen!

    as a resident of atlanta and witness to the falcon's ineptitude for the past 25 seasons, i implore you... no, i beg you: let's wait vick out! give him a year in the pen, give him another year's suspension, restructure his contract to the league minimum... but keep michael vick on the falcons roster! this has to be a business decision... don't worry about empty seats, they'll fill up for a winner (hell, they're empty NOW, so much for taking the moral high ground)! there's no draft day solution to the falcon's doldrums. there's no magic pill for a head coach to turn this shit into Shinola.

    the ONLY HOPE for this franchise just checked himself into the Big House... when he get's out, let's get him back on the field in a falcons uniform... and let #7 win one for the ATL!

    Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans

    Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present was broadcast on Democracy Now!. If you have not had the opportunity to listen/view this program, choose one of the links below.

    Program Description:
    Medical scholar Harriet Washington talks about her new book, “Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present.” The book reveals the hidden underbelly of scientific research and the roots of the African American health deficit. It also examines less well-known abuses and looks at unethical practices and mistreatment of blacks that are still taking place in the medical establishment today.

    A report by the American Cancer society shows that African Americans are still more likely than any other group to develop and die of cancer. The study states that socio-economic factors play the largest role in this disparity - African Americans have less access to health care and information, and are less likely to get screening and medical treatment. Well, a new book offers one answer into why black Americans deeply mistrust American medicine.

    Harriet Washington. Medical writer and editor. She is a visiting Scholar at DePaul University School of Law. Previously she was a Fellow in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School and at Stanford University. She is the author of the new book, “Medical Apartheid.” -- January 19th, 2007.

    Watch 256k RealPlayer Video of the "Medical Apartheid" Interview

    Listen to "Medical Apartheid" on Democracy Now!:

    Interview begins at 17:00 on the divShare Audio Player

    plez sez: this interview about medical apartheid in america ran chills up my spine!

    i was aware of the Tuskegee Experiment, but was not aware of the amount of medical experimentation that had been wrought on Black people since we landed in this country as slaves. and the chilling experimentation that continues to this day in Africa and Brazil on behalf of large pharmaceutical companies.

    after listening to this, one can see why illness and disease (cancer, hypertension, diabetes, hiv/aids, mental illness, etc.) always seems to be worse in the Black community. and i have no doubt that this long history (over 300 years) of being used as guinea pigs by the medical establishment is one reason why Black people are so leery of preventive medicine.

    [Hat Tip: That Black Lesbian Jew]

    Sunday, November 18, 2007

    Tech Wins 27-25 Over UNC

    In a ACC game that turned out to be much more exciting than it should have been... Georgia Tech pulled out a win against North Carolina on a sparkling afternoon in Atlanta. Tech QB fumbled at 5:05 left in the fourth quarter and UNC took advantage to score a late TD. This left Tech behind by one point and needing a late fourth quarter drive to line up a Travis Bell field goal.

    Read the entire game wrapup here.

    My family went to the game on Saturday afternoon, but it took until Sunday afternoon for me (the high tech wiz) to figure out how to transfer the video from the SD card in my Treo 680 into plezWorld.

    The Georgia Tech Gold Rush Dance Team is situated in front of my family's seats at the Georgia Tech games. So, the final score gave me the opportunity to capture them high kicking the final score of the game.

    My wife grew up wanting to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader because of their long white boots... so she gets to see some long white boots every Saturday at The Flats!

    A Mohito Moment

    It's late on Saturday night, I'm feeling a little saucy...

    and I think I need a drink:

    I couldn't pass up a recipe with a slammin' soundtrack!

    The perfect Mohito is not too tart and not too sweet... a toxic blend of citrus, mint, sugar, and rum. Simple, yet complex.

    [Hat tip: Cocktails Zone]

    Saturday, November 17, 2007

    Clinton & Romney Top Early Iowa Polls

    The Des Moines Register reports that an American Research Group poll of likely caucus-goers (+/- 4%) conducted this week give Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney the lead in early polls for their respective party presidential nominations. The Iowa Caucuses will be held on Thursday, January 3rd, 2008, the earliest date ever for such an event.
    27% - Hillary Clinton
    21% - Barack Obama
    20% - John Edwards
    12% - Bill Richardson

    26% - Mitt Romney
    24% - Mike Huckabee
    11% - Rudy Giuliani
    11% - Fred Thompson
    10% - John McCain
    Two other Iowa polls show similar results. With just under 2 months before the first primary votes of the 2008 presidential election year cycle, Clinton and Romney are nursing slim leads in each of their respective races. The importance of the Iowa Caucus is mainly because the "straw poll" is the first votes of the election cycle, but the winner of the caucus is not necessarily the eventual party nominee.

    For Democrats: George McGovern lost to Edmund Muskie in 1972, Jimmy Carter lost to "Uncommitted" in 1976, Michael Dukakis came in third place in 1988, Bill Clinton came in third place in 1992. For Republicans: Ronald Reagan lost to George H. W. Bush, and Vice President George H. W. Bush came in third behind Bob Dole & Pat Robertson in 1988! So the Iowa Caucus is more symbolic of the beginning of the election year rather than a prognosticator of the eventual party nominee.

    For more Iowa Caucus information.

    plez sez: all of the polls (democrats & republicans) show tight races and it doesn't appear that losing the Iowa Caucus will do much damage to a candidate's ability to win the party nomination. the new hampshire primary is a better indicator of the eventual nominee. jimmy carter and michael dukakis won the new hampshire primary, and bill clinton moved into second place in new hampshire (an ascent that ended with him being elected president). on the republican side, after 1972, the eventual nominee won in new hampshire except for bob dole in 1996 and george w. bush in 2000.

    i'm still a strong supporter of barack obama because of his opposition to the war in iraq, and his message of change and hope for this country. i will vote for barack obama in the georgia democratic primary. i feel that hillary clinton lacks conviction and will tend to be a populist who governs via poll results... i'm not that crazy about populists (she did vote to go to war with iraq)! john edwards is hanging around and he has a chance to surprise the field with an early win in iowa or new hampshire.

    i'm a bit perplexed that john mccain is still hanging in there with his low numbers and lack of money. he'll probably drop out after finishing no higher than fourth place in iowa or new hampshire. and fred thompson is probably kicking himself for waiting so late to get into the republican race, he brought nothing new to the table with his late entry.

    it will be interesting to see what rudy guiliani does in the first 2 or 3 primaries, since other than mitt romney, he's probably the only other republican who will be able to beat clinton.

    plez predicts: mitt romney will win the 2008 presidential election over hillary clinton in a very close electoral vote; her negatives and bill's baggage will energize the GOP voters enough to go out to vote against her. it appears that this will be the third straight presidential election that will come down to the winner of one or two swing states (like ohio, tennessee, or florida).

    Friday, November 16, 2007

    Half a NaBloPoMo

    National Blog Posting Month

    half halfback halfhearted
    half life halfness halfpence
    halfpenny halftime halftone
    halfway half man half way between
    latter half half marathon half way through
    half ass half as good half the fun
    half hour half of them half of these
    more than half half of those nearly half
    half of what roughly half half as much
    half the battle half bake half the length
    second half split in half half the size
    upper half lower half half cocked

    Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November...

    With today being the 16th of November, means that plezWorld is halfway through NaBloPoMo... hurray!

    Visit plezWorld at NaBloPoMo

    Thursday, November 15, 2007

    Barry Bonds Indicted


    Barry Bonds going yard, again!

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Barry Bonds, seven-time National League MVP and baseball's home run king with 762 homers, was indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice Thursday and could go to prison for telling a federal grand jury he did not knowingly use performance-enhancing drugs. The indictment, culminating a four-year investigation into steroid use by elite athletes, charged Bonds with four counts of perjury and one of obstruction of justice. If convicted, he could be sentenced to a maximum of 30 years in prison.

    Read the entire article here.

    plez sez: the feds have obviously been sitting on this for at least a year or two... so why an indictment? why now? and what the heck have these federal investigators been doing for the past 4 years? is ruining Barry Bonds that high on the federal prosecutor's list?

    i understand that Barry Bonds is probably the least liked athlete of our generation (OJ Simpson is from an earlier generation), but to come out with a federal indictment against just him when ALL of baseball was tainted by steroids is ridiculous. how was this ONE GUY pulled from the pack and held up to prosecutorial scrutiny after a 4 year investigation? is it because he is surly? is it because he is uppity? well, nobody likes an uppity negro! is it because he's not afraid to tell a sports writer to "f*ck off"?

    raphael palmero flunked a drug test mere months after LYING before congress... where's his federal indictment? mark maguire wouldn't answer any questions about his steroid use before congress... where's his indictment? there were at least two baseball players who were caught purchasing a years worth of HGH this season (one was a pitcher in the American League playoffs)... where are their indictments?

    and you know where i'm going with this... Barry Bonds in Black. everyone else i've named is white. i'll be honest, this is scary, because it is becoming more and more detrimental to your freedom and livelihood to be a Black man in this country. the disparity in news coverage, the heavy handed sentences, the lack of plea agreements, the blatant and obscene racial overtones that pervades every conversation on the topic... gives plezWorld a reason to pause!

    i'd like to think that Bonds didn't take steroids, but he would've had to have been an idiot to turn down the opportunity to take something that would improve his game, yet was NOT BANNED by MLB! and does anyone reading this blog think that if Barry Bonds had admitted to steroid use, like jason giambi, that he would've gotten a pat on the back and no suspension?!? his ass would be rotting in jail RIGHT NOW (if you recall, jason giambi was given a pat on the back and continued to play the rest of the season)!

    at this point, i can only wish the best for Bonds and his family. federal indictments aren't anything to play with and after 4 years, i'm sure they've scraped up enough evidence to prove perjury. i just hope he doesn't get too much time in prison, because this whole fiasco stinks to high heavens... and the need to go after one person for so long for something so benign just escapes me.

    Solution: Legs in the Bus?

    There are a lot of legs on this bus!
    Last week, I posted the Legs in the Bus brainteaser. It's a pretty challenging math problem; it is not a trick question. Some people got it right (David after a couple of attempts, Anali, and Karen ) and others - who will remain nameless - didn't even come close.

    There are a lot of cats in this backpack!
  • There are 7 girls on a bus

  • Each girl has 7 backpacks

  • In each backpack, there are 7 big cats

  • For every big cat there are 7 little cats

  • So how many legs are there in the bus?

    Scroll down past the NaBloPoMo badge to see the solution.

    Visit plezWorld at NaBloPoMo

    plezWorld Solution

  • There are 7 girls on a bus

  • Each girl has 7 backpacks

  • In each backpack, there are 7 big cats: 7 girls x 7 backpacks/girl x 7 big cats/backpack = 343 big cats

  • For every big cat there are 7 little cats: 7 girls x 7 backpacks/girl x 7 big cats/backpack x 7 little cats/big cat = 2401 little cats


  • 7 girls x 2 legs/girl = 14 girl legs

  • 343 big cats x 4 legs/cat = 1372 big cat legs

  • 2401 little cats x 4 legs/cat = 9604 little cat legs


  • 14 girl legs + 1372 big cat legs + 9604 little cat legs = 10,990 legs

  • There are 10,990 legs in the bus

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    Georgia Governor Prays for Rain

    This is not a joke.

    On Tuesday, November 13, 2007, Governor Sonny Perdue (R) joined more than 250 Georgians on the steps of the state capitol for a prayer vigil to ask God to rain on Georgia. Perdue told the audience, "We come here very reverently and respectfully to pray up a storm."

    Georgia is coping with the worst drought in over 100 years and the few reservoirs in the state are quickly drying up. It is estimated that without rain, the state has little more than 100 days of water left. There are mandatory bans on outdoor watering and several landscaping businesses have already gone under with this drought.

    There were a few stories about this prayer vigil in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (here and here), and CNN also covered the prayer vigil. Read more about the drought and its devastating effects on Georgia here.

    plez sez: hmmmmmmm (wrinkling my brow while rubbing the stubble on my chin)...

    the Guv'na of the Great State of Georgia is spending his lunch hour on the capitol steps praying for rain...

    hmmmmm... not quite sure what to make of this. we haven't had any appreciable rainfall in the state since the middle of the summer. lake lanier, lake alatoona, and lake hartwell (i was up there 2 weeks ago) are drying up. but then again, the Army Corps of Engineers releases 3.2 billion gallons of water every day to Florida because there are some endangered mussels and sturgeon in those states that are protected by the federal government.

    hmmmmmm... shouldn't we be saving every last drop of water in Georgia's lakes and reservoirs, rather than trying to hydrate some inedible snails and fish in Florida? maybe the Guv'na should have been praying that the Army Corps of Engineers would stop releasing so much of what little water we have left to basically flow out into the Gulf of Mexico? maybe the Guv'na should just send the Georgia Guard to stop the release of the water? whose gonna stop us, the National Guard is in Iraq keeping the oil flowing there!

    maybe he should be doing something other than begging for a friggin' miracle on Peachtree Street?!?

    hmmmmmm... isn't Georgia like DEAD LAST in SAT scores, nationally? lower than Alabama! lower than South Carolina! lower than Mississippi! lower than Louisiana! lower than Arkansas! maybe the Guv'na should have a prayer vigil for smarter kids? or pray for better teachers? or pray for better parents who send their kids to school ready to learn? or just pray for SAT scores that ain't at the bottom of the barrel!

    hmmmmmm... hasn't this mess with predatory lending habits by mortgage companies plunged a substantial portion of Georgians into financial ruin and foreclosure? maybe Sonny Purdue should start praying that these people get big raises at work so they can pay their mortgage? or pray that the interest rates on their mortgages miraculously get lowered by the bankers who swindled the homeowners into signing for those mortgages in the first place? or pray that every person who is about to default on their mortgage wins the Lotto?

    hmmmmmm... my daughter gave me a list of Christmas presents that is about as long as my arm, maybe the Guv'na can pray for Santa Claus to bring us all the gifts she wants? and while he's at it, he can pray for a white Christmas (i ain't seen one of those since i've been living in the South)?

    sonny, the joke's on us... meaning all Georgians. i'm sure you meant well, but praying for something to happen isn't what i would expect the chief executive of one of our 50 states to use as his fall back plan. i doubt many people outside of your close family, friends, and those 250 wacko's who showed up at the capitol on yesterday are relying on your faith to end this drought... actually, i'd really prefer it if you'd keep your faith to yourself. there still ain't a cloud in the sky, i haven't watered my lawn in over a month, and another billion gallons of water are making its way down The Hooch to Florida!

    next week: sonny purdue in a feather headdress joined by authentically clothed native americans doing traditional rain dance on the capitol steps!

    BLOG UPDATE (11/15/2007):
    guess what?!? it rained last night in georgia... and not only around PacMan Jones! a small cold front passed through the atlanta area and we got between a quarter and a half of inch of rain. that's not much rain, it won't raise the lake level any, but i guess it's a start. since the lakes are over 10 feet below normal, if it rains like this for the next 500 days we'll be in good shape!

    so what do you know? prayer does work!

    ...and with this small miracle, maybe now the Guv'na can start working on the state's low SAT scores?

    Drumroll: SWD - Reality TV

    SWD Drumline in the movie 'Drumline'
    The local periodical, CrossRoads News ("East Metro Atlanta's Community Newspaper") recently ran an article on an upcoming show on the new Peachtree TV station (WPCH-TV in Atlanta has broken away from the national TBS Superstation to air more local programming. It appears that you'll have to check with your cable or satellite provider to find the station: on DISH Network, it is Channel 17). The show will follow the very popular Southwest DeKalb High School Marching Band (in South DeKalb County, Georgia) as they prepare for the upcoming football season.

    Excerpts from the article:
    For the past month, members of the Marching Panthers of Southwest DeKalb High School have been under a microscope -- well, sort of. To be more accurate, the 265 band members have been under the cameras - literally.

    A team of camera operators and sound engineers has been all over them, whether it was in the band room, at rehearsals, at football games, as they prepare for the debut of "Drumline: SWD," an eight-episode reality television show chronicling the fall season of the marching band on Peachtree TV. The show, which will air in one-hour segments, premieres at 8 p.m. on November 20, 2007.

    And the cameras are catching everything - great moments and, well, some not so great ones too.

    The show will be the first original series on Peachtree TV, which launched on October 1, 2007 as an Atlanta-only station when Turner Broadcasting decided that WTBS-TV would no longer simulcast the national TBS feed.

    Music mogul Dallas Austin, creator of "Drumline: SWD," originally wanted to create a sequel to his 2002 blockbuster movie "Drumline," which also featured the Marching Panthers. Austin said 20th Century Fox refused to do a full-budget sequel, so it never materialized. Austin said he then thought about doing a marching band competition show, but when he saw MTV's "Two a Day," a documentary-style program about high school football players, he decided reality television would be a better route.

    Two weeks into taping, Superintendent Crawford Lewis stepped in to ensure the same thing and some people thought the show would not go on. Seda said that at that point the school system was still in negotiations with the studio and the production company. The parties agreed that the School System gets to sign off on anything that is aired about the band. Seda said it's a completely different dynamic when you're dealing with under-aged kids. "Our protection of them is paramount," he said. "Once they [the studio] understood that, there was no problem."

    After four weeks of taping, Derrick Barnes, the story producer, said he has met some interesting students with stories he wants to tell. "We try to connect with the students so the viewers can get to know and love them personally," Barnes said.

    But in the midst of telling those stories, Seda, who has been band director for seven years, also wanted to make sure their practice regimen was not compromised. "The film crew pretty much managed to learn our routine and know when to step in and when to step back," Seda said. "And they did it in a way that was not distracting. The T.V. show is great but we still have work to do."
    Read the full Atlanta Journal=Constitution article here.

    SWD at Bands of America Grand National Championship

    This was the first time a high school band was invited to perform in the exhibition, it had always been college or university bands.

    Pay close attention as the SWD Marching Panthers show who runs the show!

    plez sez: i am looking forward to watching the debut of this show. i live in South DeKalb County and live only a few miles away from the school. everytime i've seen this marching band live, i am always amazed at the skill and musicianship of its young members. alums of the band performed at the Opening Ceremonies of the 1996 Olympics here in Atlanta, the Rose Bowl, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and have traveled internationally to perform. my old house was less than a mile from southwest dekalb high school, and i can still hear the drummers practicing their cadences as the sun set on a hot summer's eve.

    considering the treatment that the movie "Drumline" received from Dallas Austin (it's still one of my favorite coming of age movies and the SWD Marching Panthers were one of the college bands in the movie), i am looking forward to an entertaining, yet in depth view behind the curtain as a superstar high school marching band prepares for the football season. and it's also cool to be able to watch some of the local talent get some exposure on a national stage.

    BLOG UPDATE (11/15/2007):
    Peach Buzz reports that Peachtree TV and hip-hop impresario Dallas Austin have changed the name of the new network’s first series from “Drumline: SWD” to “Drumroll: SWD.” The new network did not want to cause confusion between the film ("Drumline") and the reality series about the Southwest DeKalb High School marching band.

    They also pushed back the launch date from Nov. 20 to Nov. 27 at 8 p.m. And instead of eight half-hour episodes, they are opting for four one-hour episodes.

    i have now re-programmed my DVR to record WPCH-TV on November 27th at 8:00 p.m.

    Tuesday, November 13, 2007

    Quote of the Day - November 13, 2007

    “The child that you send over is nothing like the child that comes back to you."
    - The mother of a soldier who was wounded in Iraq.

    One day removed from Veterans Day, the New York Times runs a piece on the devastation that the War in Iraq lays on a family in Staten Island, NY. This mother speaks of mental and emotional damage that this war has brought to her family. Her son was badly injured (and received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart) when a roadside explosion ripped his Humvee apart and rattled his brain, damaged nerves and hurled shrapnel into his spine, thigh and abdominal wall. Some of the shrapnel still remains embedded in his body.

    Her son doesn't allow her to attend his Veterans Affairs doctor visits with him, but when he gets home, he cannot remember what the doctors told him. And they will not give her any information about his condition. Her son decided to join the Army soon after the 9/11 attacks that killed a firefighter neighbor of his.

    Read the entire New York Times article here.

    plez sez: i want to say "Thank you" to all of the men and women who are giving their lives for the War in Iraq. 'tis such a noble deed to give one's life for his country.

    i do not agree with the war; i have never been a supporter of our country (or any country for that matter) that will attack a sovereign nation without provocation or cause. the evidence is in and the justification for this war was manufactured to ensure a Declaration of War from Congress. 60 Minutes ran a story on "Curve Ball" no less than 3 weeks ago, which detailed how the story of weapons of mass destruction (wmd) was created on a pack of lies by an Iraqi informant who had no such knowledge. after US officials visited the so-called manufacturing plant, nothing was found and there was no evidence that any weapons (big or small) had ever been manufactured in the plant.

    then there's the tall tale about al-Qaeda in Iraq... if they were there before the blew the place up, they sure were pretty quiet with Hussein in power. and NO ONE ever wants to talk about why we haven't bombed Afghanistan into the rubble that we did in Iraq, since that's where Al-Qaeda has been holed up since before 9/11!

    how the current Congress does not find one impeachable offense by the current Bush Administration is beyond me. the current administration orchestrated a WAR - yeah, the thing that kills and maims thousands of people - without any evidence to support the war. this war was a personal vendetta by bush against Saddam hussein... nothing more... nothing less! thousands have lost their lives and thousands more are being "maintained" due to their massive injuries. i am not voting for any candidate who does not support an end to the War in Iraq.

    my heart goes out to all of the families who have been adversely impacted by this illegal war. yesterday, i was sick: so, happy belated veterans day!

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    Sick Day in plezWorld

    Well, I have the sniffles, a few chills, and I generally feel like *ish* ... I guess that qualifies for being sick, huh?

    I did work today and have a couple of conference calls in the morning, so I'll just take another double shot of Nyquil, a glass of OJ, blow my nose with these Puffs Plus tissues, and call it a night.

    Ah-CHOOO! See you tomorrow.

    Sunday, November 11, 2007

    plezWorld on The AfroSpear

    The AfroSpear

    plezWorld joined this little group about 6 months ago with about two dozen other erstwhile Black bloggers from around the world. since that time, the membership has swelled to close to 100 member blogs.

    i've virtually met some very interesting folk (and i ain't gonna name 'em here because i know i'll leave someone off) and have had a great time honing my writing skills, debate chops, and reasoning skills as a result of communicating with some of the brightest minds of the blogosphere.

    a few things i've learned as a result of my affiliation with the AfroSpear:
  • i am a damn good husband and father - i love my family and they love me... and i'm so fortunate because there a lot of people out there who would love to be in my shoes.
  • i am not a Liberal - if anything, i have a growing disdain for those who spout a Liberal dogma... it does nothing for me... i'm a straight up Moderate - as shown here and here.
  • i am not very Religious - kinda spiritual, maybe even agnostic... all those chilly mornings that my older brothers dragged me out of my warm bed to attend Sunday School and sing in the church choir are all for naught at this point. but i better stop there before i offend one of my readers.
  • i am not a very good writer - i started and sputtered to a stop with my Great American Novel so many times in my youth, i think i'll stick to short 5 or 6 line blurbs so that i don't get in trouble (i have an over-reliance on the ellipsis...)
  • i am an attention whore - i won't be satisfied until i have 1,000 people stopping by plezWorld on a daily basis... and i happen to know it ain't gonna happen, because i don't write half as good as Field Negro or Dave J.
  • i am growing increasingly tired of the Race Card - something tells me that white folk start to think we're "crying wolf" because that damn thing gets played just about every other day... note to the AfroSpear, use it sparingly!

  • i still find that that KFC commercial to be offensive!

  • the AfroSpear ain't nothing like i thought it would be, but it has been fun watching it grow and evolve in the short time that i have been a member... and i feel privileged to be a part of it.

    in April 2007, plezWorld wrote: "...the AfroSpear is the realization of a think tank of 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."

    BLOG ON!

    The AfroSpear BlogRoll

    Saturday, November 10, 2007

    An Easy Read

    So just about everyone who stumbles upon plezWorld should be able to read it!

    At first, I was a bit dismayed at the pedestrian level that my blog is ranked, but then I rationalized it this way: people covering a wide intellectual range can read and understand my blog.

    I was also pleasantly surprised at the high level of the blogs that I have decided to include on my BlogRoll. Please take a few minutes to check out the College level and Genius level blogs that I read on a regular basis that are linked to plezWorld site (in no particular order): Booker Rising, Eddie Griffin, Francis Holland, Wandering Caravan, Field Negro, Skeptical Brother, sullsblog, Exodus Mentality, Liberal War Journal, Wandering the Ether, Ross Knight Photography, Nat Turner's Revenge, Electronic Village, Craig Bardo, and Jack & Jill Politics.

    If you evaluate your blog, please post a comment here with its reading level.

    Friday, November 09, 2007

    Merck Agrees to $4.85 Billion to Settle Vioxx Claims

    The NY Times reports that Pharmaceutical giant Merck has agreed to pay $4.85 billion to settle 27,000 lawsuits by people who claim they or their family members suffered injury or died after taking the drug, according to two lawyers with direct knowledge of the matter. Based on the fact that the 27,000 suits cover about 47,000 sets of plaintiffs, the average plaintiff will receive just over $100,000 before legal fees and expenses, which usually swallow between 30 and 50 percent of payments to plaintiffs.

    Merck withdrew Vioxx from the market in September 2004, after a clinical trial proved that it increased the risks of heart attacks and strokes. But internal company documents showed that Merck’s scientists were concerned about the risks of Vioxx several years earlier. And a large clinical trial that ended in 2000 also showed that Vioxx was much riskier than naproxen, an older painkiller sold under the name Aleve.

    Read the entire story here.

    plez sez: do the math people... if a plaintiff settles, all they can expect to get is between $50,000 and $70,000 after legal fees. this appears to be a no-win situation for the poor people who were adversely affected by this drug.

    More Good News For Genarlow Wilson

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Genarlow Wilson, freed on October 26 by Georgia's Supreme Court after nearly three years in prison for oral sex with a 15-year old girl during a hotel party in 2003, has received an offer of financial aid from the Tom Joyner Foundation so that he can go to college.

    Joyner announced during a show this week that he will provide Wilson with financial aid, and Wilson's lawyer, B.J. Bernstein, confirmed the offer Wednesday. The help will come through the Tom Joyner Foundation and will cover what's needed after Wilson seeks aid from other sources, Bernstein said. Wilson, 21, said when he was released that he hopes to pursue a degree in business or sociology.

    Read the entire story here.

    plez sez: this is good news... no, this is really GREAT NEWS!

    i've seen Genarlow Wilson interviewed after his release; he is obviously a very bright young man and he has definitely learned a very hard lesson after having to spend 3 years in jail for his indiscretion.

    i really wish him the best and i have no doubt that he will succeed with the love and support of his family and generous benefactors like Tom Joyner (click here to hear the Tom Joyner Morning Show).

    Thursday, November 08, 2007

    Brainteaser: Legs in the Bus?

    I was sent the following brainteaser a few weeks ago. It's a pretty challenging math problem; it is not a trick question.

  • There are 7 girls on a bus

  • Each girl has 7 backpacks

  • In each backpack, there are 7 big cats

  • For every big cat there are 7 little cats

  • So how many legs are there in the bus?

    Leave a comment with your name and your answer. The correct answer will be posted HERE next week.

    Visit plezWorld at NaBloPoMo

    Wednesday, November 07, 2007

    plezWorld - Squeaky Wheels

    in my days as a wiry, quick, and athletic youngster, plezWorld spent countless (and when i say countless, i mean thousands of) hours honing my skills on the basketball court and abusing any unsuspecting chap in a grueling two set beatdown on the tennis court. growing up in New York, one was expected to play 'ball and emulate basketball gods like Walt (Clyde) Frazier, Earl (The Pearl) Monroe, Nate (Tiny) Archibald, Wilt (The Stilt) Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and my personal favorite, Julius (Dr. J) Erving. tattered sneakers (with the requisite hole in the toe), white tube socks (with the requisite hole in the toe), sprained thumbs, and scabbed knees from numerous scrapes with the blacktop court were as much a part of the game as the chain-link nets, crooked rims, and metal backboards of the neighborhood park where i played until lack of sunlight sent me home (clinton street, sleepy hollow, ny).

    the Georgia Tech SAC (student athletic center) was where i spent my college days... often forsaking my studies for 3 or 4 hour marathon runs on Court #1 (where all the ballers played)! i twisted my spindly ankles and twisted my right knee more times than i'd like to recall. OUCH! a quick ride to the student infirmary, a hasty x-ray, an ice pack, crutches, and a bottle of those 500 mg Tylenol pills with Codeine for the pain. a few weeks later, as soon as i could bend and put some pressure on my knee, i'd be back in SAC with my high-flying, reckless abandon game of ball... until my poor knees buckled under the pressure of my game. this went on until well after graduation... when i graduated to church league basketball. neither the jersey colors nor the numbers mattered... as long as i had a trusty knee brace, some new high top leather Nikes, and a jock strap, i was good to go.

    while this was going on, plezWorld also played team tennis (ALTA Tennis) for over 10 years on various teams in the Atlanta area. joy for me was waiting for the summer sun to set around 8:30 PM and then spending the next 2 to 3 hours running baseline to net playing 4 or 5 sets against one or two other players under the lights. i have a couple of frat brothers who were so traumatized by the abusive nature of my game that they have developed amnesia concerning having ever played against me. when i was in college, i used to hit with one of the Georgia Tech Assistant Tennis coaches on days that the team didn't practice.

    then about 5 or 6 years ago, i noticed that i had lost more than a step (in the first game of the season, i committed 4 fouls in the first 3 minutes of the game)! i finally hung it up when this wily high-flying cat leapt over me for a dunk... and all i remember seeing was the Air Jordan logo on the bottom of his shoes! my days as a thin hipped, wiry church league terror were over... and the pain had only just begun. my knees began to squeak and scream like those on Joe Namath. i can even hear them when i'm going up a flight of stairs.

    a few months ago, i spoke to a frat brother of mine who referees high school and church league basketball games about the pain in my knees. he swears by GLUCOSAMINE & CHONDROITIN dietary supplements... they reported repair and rejuvenate the cartilage around your joints. a two month supply runs about $25.

    so, plezWorld has been popping 3 of these big ass horse pills daily in hopes that they'll restore my aching knees to their pre-injury state (more than likely, i probably need one of those operations to "clean out" the debris in my knees... but i got queasy just typing that!). i'll report back on how my knees are doing in a few months... wish 'em luck!

    About Glucosamine & Chondroitin:
    Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are substances found naturally in the body. Glucosamine is a form of amino sugar that is believed to play a role in cartilage formation and repair. Chondroitin sulfate is part of a large protein molecule (proteoglycan) that gives cartilage elasticity.

    Both glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are sold as dietary or nutritional supplements. They are extracted from animal tissue: glucosamine from crab, lobster or shrimp shells; and chondroitin sulfate from animal cartilage, such as tracheas or shark cartilage.

    Past studies show that some people with mild to moderate osteoarthritis (OA) taking either glucosamine or chondroitin sulfate reported pain relief at a level similar to that of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Some research indicates that the supplements might also slow cartilage damage in people with OA.