Because Everybody Is Entitled To My Opinion

"O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, . . . in wrath remember mercy" (Habakkuk 3:2).
"Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?" (Psalm 85:6)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

From '70s Weight Watchers...

Hmmmm, Fluffy!

Nothin' says lovin' like Fluffy Mackerel Puddin'!
Those '70s. They were wacky!

(Hat Tip: What the hell is wrong with you?)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Headlines for Tuesday 10-24-2006

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Janet Jackson Says New Album Is a Return
Singer's comment likely prophesy of fan reaction

Hemorrhoids: Surgery Beats Stapling
Swingline stock drops at announcement

Tourniquet: Bad advice for a snake bite
Particularly if applied to the neck

George Clooney named No. 1 man's man
"I wish he was this man's man" responded Elton John

Man apologizes for courtroom feces
Says lawyers are a necessary but smelly evil

Clinton Unfazed by Reported 'Ugly' Words
But few doubt why her re-election bid is called a horse race.

Climate change to hit Australian wine industry
Growers unprepared for what climatologists are calling "Summer"

Democrats fight historical labels
Claim it is easier than fighting terrorism

Milosevic, dead since March, gets vote call
It was from U.S. liberals urging him to vote Democrat

Swedish Authorities Question Bear Attack
Yogi and Boo-boo held without bail

That's it for Headlines today. Remember to visit the usual suspects for more "headliney goodness"!
basil at basil's blog

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #16

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Thursday Thirteen #16

13 things about Dane Bramage

The 13 Things I Hate About My Sleep Study

Tonight I go in to the hospital for an annual sleep study. I have sleep apnea and have been using a BiPAP (Bi-level Positive Air Pressure) machine for over 4 years. Every year they do a study to determine my new pressure settings. I hate it but if I don't get my settings adjusted I eventually feel all sluggish and sleepy during the day from lack of quality sleep at night. Anyway here are 13 things I hate about having the sleep study done.
  1. Time. I have to arrive at 8:00 pm and stay all night. I have a million things I could do instead of staying at the hospital.

  2. Packing. I have to pack three bags. One for my clothes, one for my BiPAP machine and one just to carry all my meds.

  3. Leaving the Kids. My nieces and nephews that live with me don't have a very stable situation. Any time there is any kind of interruption in the routine they have a hard time recovering. They like me being there for them as much as I like being there for them.

  4. The Hospital. Don't get me wrong, AGMC is a top notch medical facility and should ever I need one that is where I'm going. In fact I have gone there on several occasions when I needed emergency treatment. But I have never needed to stay overnight and I hate staying overnight.

  5. Parking. Always a hassle no matter when you go to the hospital. Why is it now hospitals have valet parking like it is some kind of service to visitors and patients?

  6. Admitting. Actually admitting is pretty much hassle free for these things but I'm in a mood to complain

  7. UPDATE: The rest of the list is below the fold. Go to the end of the post and click "We want to read more!"

  8. Lousy Staff. I have a complaint about only one person and it happened during the first or second study I had. The woman came into my room all sweetness and light and I was watching Diagnosis Murder. It had 20 minutes left to catch the killer. She asks me, "Are you ready to go to sleep or do need some more time?" I say "I'd like to see the end of this." She snaps at me "Well this is suppose to be a sleep study so you should go to sleep." Oh she is so lucky I left my titanium cluebat at home.

  9. Electrodes. Or whatever those wires are that they use. They scrub the skin with an abrasive. Then use what feels like fast drying cement to attach the leads to my scull, chest and legs. The process takes about half an hour to get me hooked up.

  10. Downtime. After they have hooked me up they tell you to relax until bed time which is usually 10:00. The thing is I really don't have enough time to do anything constructive in the 30 to 45 minute before I am forced to go to bed.

  11. Using the Bathroom at Night. I have to ring the tech and they have to unhook me so I can go to the bathroom. This can be several times if my diuretics act up. It is a major hassle but I guess I am lucky I don't have to use a bed pan.

  12. Bad Night's Sleep. I can normally fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. Of course that is not true at the hospital. I lay in that miserable bed wired trying to relax. But I know that they are watching me, listening to me snore, and monitoring my leg movements.

  13. Interruptions. There are times that things will come loose while I sleep and I wake up staring at some stranger (shift changes while I sleep) who is trying to stick a wire somewhere. I have been startled to the point of almost jumping out of bed. Makes for interesting heart readings I guess.

  14. Clean Up. In the morning They give you a wash cloth and expect you to clean all the cement out of your hair and off your body while standing at a sink. Fortunately they use that wonderful Provon Medical Soap from the makers of Purell. (Buy it, I want to stay employed.)

My sleep study is a necessary evil or I would have nothing to do with it. I usually get up at 5:30 and have the free (yeah like my insurance isn't being overcharged for that tiny box of Cheerios and a couple of bananas) breakfast. And I am home by 6:15. Then I promptly climb into my own bed and sleep soundly until my alarm goes off at 8:30.

1. amy
2. Jon Tillman
3. Chelle Y.
4. Bubba
5. Caylynn
6. JAM
7. Threads Of

8. Jane
9. ribbiticus
10. my 2

11. Gabrielle
12. Amy the

13. Cece
14. mominprogress
15. Heather's
Funny Thoughts

16. Heather's Roller Coaster Life
17. Shoshana
18. Andrea
19. Faerylandmom
20. N. Mallory
21. Irish
Church Lady

22. Dani

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Myth of the Ineligible Black Man or What Am I? Chopped Liver? Notes on The Myth of the Ineligible Black Man, re: The Washington Post joint "Singled Out"

I was surfing and wound up at The eponymous jimi had this review on a series of articles by WaPo on the myth of the ineligible Black man. He has some very interesting things to say about the series and the most recent post in particular which just happened to have been written by a woman. She laments the lack of quality black men in bars.

Like most of the women in these kinds of pieces, Robyn's not REALLY looking for a husband. Not in a nightclub, because that would be ridiculous. Nobody smart looks for a life-mate in a nightclub. If the chances of you finding a suitable husband just out in the street are low, how much lower are they in a situation where the main objective is to meet someone to take home for the night? The same place you go looking for a husband is the same place pimps go to turn-out housewives and strip-bar managers recruit. Square biz. It's true, people find their life-partners in nightclubs. People hit the lottery too. But the odds are not in your favor.

I agree 200%. I think women, especially working women decide to unwind and go clubbing. When they get there they start sizing up the men as potential life mates, prizes that become more desirable and accessible the more they drink. And then they wonder why their great catch turns out to be a womanizing drunken bum. Well I got news for you. He was always a womanizing drunken bum. That's the kind of guy that hangs out in bars waiting for women. Hard working men are home sleep.
But there are other issues too.

The rest of the post is below the fold. Go to the end of the post and click "We want to read more!"

Jimi continues
Reading the Post joint, next thing you know, Robyn meets a nice cat, really digs him and ends up breaking things off because of their class differences, he's "too ghetto" you see. Class, like race, is a social construct. People come to you with prejudices about your background that they will dispose of, overcome or embrace. Class is mostly in your imagination anyways. Class is about the ability to get down with people from all walks of life. Turns out that some of Robyn's friends didn't dig her ex-boyfriend.

Nothing sinks the "Love Boat" faster than extra weight provided by well meaning friends and relatives. Momma may not like his background and girlfriend is sure he is a playa still but momma and girlfriend aren't the ones needing to makcommitmentttment and they won't be reaping the benefits of your long-term relationship. So what is their stake in this? Nil.

And jimi doesn't let the women off easy with their complaints about the quality, of black men. He lists some qualities that just might identify women as the problem and make them ineligible:
  • If you have a law degree and can't cook or clean without whining about it, you are not an eligible woman.

  • If you are looking for someone to take care of you, I am not your Daddy. If you see him stop him cause he owes me money. But I am not that nigga and you are not an eligible woman.

  • If you are a gossip, you are not an eligible woman.

  • If your dad is a punk, women want men like their dads, and you are not an eligible woman.

  • If you moms is in our business, kick mud you are not an eligible woman.

  • If you have no ambition beyond the acquisition and stockpiling of material things, you are not an eligible woman.

  • If you play mind games, you are not an eligible woman.

  • If you are on some "Slavery's legacy is still keeping the black man and woman apart" bullsh*t, you and Toby-he, who says that "Da White Man is keepin' me down" can put that sh*t on a t-shirt, Kizzy. You are not an eligible woman.

  • If you have a tattoo on your breast, arm or *ss-crack, you are soliciting too much of the wrong kind of attention and you are not an eligible woman.

  • If you can't hit the gym because it will mess up your hair, you are not an eligible woman.

There are a lot of flawed people out there. Some good and some not. Bemoaning the lack of eligible black men and blaming society or "the man" only contributes to the problem. Black men have an excuse now not to be more than the stereotypes. Black women have an excuse not to try as hard as they should since the eleigble black man is a myth. Speaking as an eligible black man I can tell you that you won't find me at a bar, or a club. Ever. You can find me at church, every Wednesday and twice on Sunday. And while I am not perfect, who knows, I just may be perfect for you.

(Hat Tip: Negro Please)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #15

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Thursday Thirteen #15

13 things about Dane Bramage

The Repeat Real Me Edition

In honor of being too busy to blog, I am reposting my first Thursday Thirteen. Here are 13 things about me that may or may not be true. Can you guess which ones are true?
  1. My middle name is Dane

  2. As a high school freshman I was voted Best Guy In Class and never knew I was nominated until I won

  3. There are six cats and a dog living in my basement

  4. I attended Carnegie Mellon University (but never finished)

  5. I have a cousin who won two grammy awards

  6. Ed Asner and Maureen Stapleton filmed a movie at my high school

  7. I met Jesse Owens at the first Revco Cleveland Marathon

  8. I have been to all four coasts of this great country

  9. At one time I really wanted to visit the Planet of Bouncy Mary-Lou Retton Clones

  10. I have never been arrested

  11. The musical performers I have seen live the most are The Manhatten Transfer and Gladys Knight and the Pips

  12. I was a jock in high school and league champion in discus

  13. While out witnessing for Christ, a man answered the door pointing an assault rifle (I still invited him to church)

UPDATE: The answers are below the fold. Go to the end of the post and click "We want to read more!"

  • 13. TRUE. It happened so fast. My soulwinning partner and I stood in front of the door and I knocked. A young man dressed in fatigues and a white tee shirt answered the door with a huge assault rifle pointing it at us! I had a tract in my hand and I slowly held it out and told him who we were. He never said a word, just shook his head and closed the door. Stranger than that was the fact that after we told the folks at church about it, one of the deacons insisted I take him back there so he could talk to the young man. He wasn't home the second time.

  • 12. TRUE. I played football, basketball and track in high school. I lettered in football and track and in my senior year I was the Interstate Prepatory League Champion in discus.

  • 11. TRUE. I have seen The Manhattan Transfer in concert 5 times and Gladys Knight 3 times. Followed by Earth Wind and Fire twice and Ray Charles twice.

  • 10. TRUE. Not even once

  • 9. TRUE. As I posted in the comments,"Ah, Mary-Lou Retton. I had such a crush on her. She's just so wholesome! So when I learned that there was a planet of Bouncy Mary-Lou Retton Clones (from Bloom County if you didn't get the reference) I wanted to sign on with Cutter John and the crew of the "Enterpoop" and set a course there. Figuratively speaking of course."

  • 8. TRUE. I've been to New York, Louisiana, California, and of course I live on the North Coast in Ohio.

  • 7. TRUE. The starting point for the first ever Cleveland Marathon was in Hudson Ohio at my Alma Mater. Jesse Owens was there as a guest of honor and I got to talk to him (one trackman to another, how cool was that!) and I got his autograph.

  • 6. TRUE. Ed Asner and Maurine Stapelton filmed "The Gathering" at my high school. They displaced the Headmaster from his residence and filmed in the house. They used neighboring areas like Chagrin Falls for scenes and had our glee club as carolers. (Rumor has it that the glee club voices had to be dubbed because they were far to polished to pass off as regular carolers). They also shared the dinning hall although their food was catered and we still had to eat mystery meat. On of the perks was during one chapel service the actors held a Q & A session.

  • 5. TRUE. I am cousin to James Ingram who grew up here. I went to school with his younger brother Philip (who became a member of the band Switch) and sister Janice.

  • 4. TRUE. I went for a year and a half trying to get a degree in Mechanical Engineering but I lacked the discipline for that discipline. It was fun living literally in Mr. Rogers neighborhood (the TV station was a couple blocks from campus) and joining a fraternity.

  • 3. TRUE. Along with their owners, my friend Dave and his wife.

  • 2. TRUE. There were two "couples" nominated even though none of us were an actual couple and they were supposed to be individual awards. Beth and Brad were white, I and Tama were black. I think voting was along racial lines and since there were more blacks at Goodyear Junior High, we won. I wasn't even aware of the "competition" until I saw it in the layout of the school paper. I don't even remember when they voted on it. It is something I think about with great amusement today.

  • 1. FALSE. When I was a kid I thought my middle name was Jessille. Then when I got a copy of my birth certificate I saw that it was Jessio. Well my late father told me it is actually Jessenio after some friend or relative. So honestly I don't know what my middle name is except that it is NOT Dane.

1. Melissa
2. JAM
3. Diane
4. The Random Yak
5. SMD
6. Dani
7. Tracie
8. KarenW
9. my 2 cents
10. Kukka-Maria
11. Shaylondon
12. JO
13. Cheysuli
14. Andrea
15. Patchwork Anahata
16. Brony
17. celfyddydau

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Life Intrudes

I apologize for the light blogging of late. It seems the real world has designs on more of my time lately. It doesn't seem like it will let up soon either. So there will be light blogging until I get settled into a new routine.

Meanwhile you can read the comics at the bottom of the page daily and please visit the great blogs on my blogroll.

Thanks for your support.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #14

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Thursday Thirteen #14

13 things about Dane Bramage

The If I Had an iPod Edition
Disco Special

If I had an iPod I am sure I would have well organized theme based playlists for the hundreds of songs I would buy. No really!. Okay maybe not. But I got to thinking, "What theme based playlist would I start with?" I would probably close my eyes and allow myself to get whisked away to the days of my youth, way back in the twentieth century, back when Disco was King. So here are 13 disco songs I would have on my iPod if I had one.

  1. Disco Inferno The Trammps
    Sort of a Disco anthem don't you think? I used to like screaming "Burn baby burn"! Must have been the rebellious youth in me.

  2. To Be Real Cheryl Lynn
    You can't have a disco playlist without this ditty.

  3. Partyland The Blackbyrds
    One of my favorite jazzy R&B groups had a disco smash with this song.

  4. I'm Ready Kano
    The italo disco Kano band had this hit. It is catchy and bridges to techno a bit. It was sampled to death by lot of Hip hop and rap songs.

  5. Don't Leave Me This Way Thelma Houston
    A ubiquitous hit, I heard it at anything remotely dealing with Disco. For good reason. It is a disco classic.

  6. There But For The Grace of God Machine
    An interesting song to say the least. In my youth I would sympathize with the poor child whose folks wanted to raise in a place with "no blacks, no Jews and no gays". Now I wonder why they lumped those particular three groups together, something I didn't think about when I was shaking my groove thing.

  7. I Feel Love Donna Summer
    The undisputed Queen of Disco could fill an iPod with her hits alone. This is one of my favorites.

  8. The rest of the list is below the fold. Go to the end of the post and click "We want to read more!"

  9. Groove Line Heatwave
    Another tune I remember at all the mixers and dances I went to. Bigger still was their hit "Always and Forever" which was a killer "slow jam".

  10. Shame Evelyn "Champagne" King
    A favorite of mine to this day. She also had a killer slow jam with "Kisses Don't Lie"

  11. Sour and Sweet (Lemon in the Honey) Dr. Buzzards Original Savannah Band
    This band had 1 album and their gimmick was a zoot-suited Big Band sound. They had 2 or 3 songs that got onto the Disco charts. This is my favorite although I remember loving the entire album.

  12. Love Machine The Miracles
    A huge hit for the Miracles in their post Smokey Robinson days. It created it's own little Disco Inferno on the Disco Charts

  13. Lovin' is Really My Game Brainstorm
    Great dance tune but I swear this song was about an hour long (in keeping with the tradition of Disco songs). Never heard anything else by the group though.

  14. More Than A Woman Tavares
    Yes I said Tavares and not The Bee Gees. Not to take anything away from the brothers Gibb, I just liked this version better.

Conspicuous for her absence is Gloria "I will Survive" Gaynor. Well it seemed to be an anthem for every fruit-headed drag queen I saw on TV. So forgive me if the appeal is gone. Also I didn't have any Bee Gees Saturday Night Fever hits. Some of those were great tunes but I really didn't listen to them that much when I was younger. Anyway maybe it is a good thing I don't have an iPod. What was your favorite disco hit?

1. Melissa 2. JAM 3. carmen
4. my 2 cents 5. KarenW 6. Chaotic Mom
7. Dani 8. Frances 9. Random Yak
10. Kukka-Maria 11. Lingerie Lady K 12. Amy
13. JO 14. Andrea 15. Brony 16. TC
17. Patchwork Anahata 18. Mary 19. SMD
20. Ginger

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Death: Guest Post

A couple of weeks ago I was feeling down. Things were a bit overwhelming and I was concerned about my friend Dave who was in the hospital. I wondered if I never got to talk to him again would he had known what his friendship meant to me. Well another friend, Scott, called and he was a great comfort to me. He reminded me that he wrote an article on that very subject and he emailed it to me. So here it is in it's entirety.

Death. The first time I encountered the phenomenon was with my Father. We were living in Northglenn at the time, and I was only 14 years old. He had come home the day before from a sales trip, and had taken on repainting the trim around the house.

I was "helping" him when the weather turned nasty, and I started taking stuff back into the house. It couldn't have been more than a couple of minutes when my sister screamed. I ran outside to find my Father on the ground, collapsed next to his car. He was gone, the victim of a heart attack.

Death became personal in 1982, when my world was turned upside-down with the diagnosis of a broken neck and consequent surgery. Wearing a halo brace, I was feeling really low one day, and I sat myself down at the dining room table with a loaded pistol and a note pad in front of me. I wanted to write down how I felt, about not being able to get around like I used to, not being able to work, my wife being pregnant with our first child, etc. Because of everything, I felt like less of a man. I started writing, and soon found myself writing a poem about Death. Incidentally, it took me 20 years to realize, as of last November, that The Lord was with me that day, but that's another story, if not a book.

I have talked to many people who have considered suicide. One common denominator amongst them is they regularly think about it. Why? Because ‘It is the only constant in their lives. Look around your life and see the way things change, every day, even by the minute. It can be overwhelming.

From my perspective, a person who contemplates suicide has done so over a period of time, so there are indications of the impending event. It's not like a person wakes up one morning with the Klingon philosophy on their mind: “Today is a good day to die”. 20/20 hindsight is Man's greatest attribute, and those that are left in the wake of a suicide say things like “I didn't think he'd do it”, or “I should have seen it coming”.

But people die every day from occurrences that are not of their doing. Because of the unexpected suddenness, people should be prepared. Sounds rather contradictory, but it makes sense.

First, and I'm sure you've all heard it before, you should have a will and life insurance. I want to take this a step further. If you can afford it, have a small life insurance policy entrusted to a friend, or somebody who can front the monies. That way, in the event of your death, people who cannot otherwise afford to travel to your funeral can do so with the proceeds from the policy. Disclaimer: Always check with your financial and legal consultants before doing anything.

In a letter to Dear Abby the writer was bemoaning the fact that an old friend had died. Because she hadn't heard from her friend in a while, she set out to find out if there was a problem, and consequently was informed by the family about the death. Similarly, I had a Great Aunt that had died, and one day when I inquired about her health, was told she had died six months before! Obviously non-notification is a common problem.

So, make a list of the people you want informed upon your demise. This can be incorporated into the will, left with a friend or the executor of the estate. See disclaimer.

Finally, have the last word. Literally. Make up tapes or CD's for the people you LOVE, telling them about the way you feel towards them. Tell your kids how proud you are, your spouse about the wonderful life you had, etc. Use your imagination and be nice; This may be your lasting legacy.

And remember, someday it may be too late to tell them you LOVE them, so do it today.

Scott Murray is a professional driver who lives in Carr with his wife and two sons, whom he LOVES.

(Originally published in the Greely Tribune 9-07-2001. Scott will soon have a book published about his exploits and insights while driving coast to coast)