24 December, 2008

Christmas 08 and James Brown

If all of our money is taken from us then the only thing we'll have left is each other. We will either side with desperation or with inspiration. I hope the latter prevails and many of us can find each other this holiday season and remember that we still have one other.

As a small gift to one and all I leave you with my all-time favorite song:

James Brown's Funky Christmas-Santa Claus is Definitely Here to Stay

For those of you who may have less money this year than you had last year this one is for you.
For those with small children, struggling to keep Christmas joyous for them, this one is for you.
For all the stresses we go through just to keep it all together for others, this one is for you.

Merry Christmas

11 December, 2008

Need anything from walnart?

Have you ever sent a text message about going to walnart?
-Need anything from walnart?
-Y dog food.

In my T9 function on my cellphone spells "walnart" when I mean Walmart.
Not only has it done this once but it refuses to learn my history of correcting it and typing walmart. Why does my phone refuse to type the word walmart?
I no longer question it. It is walnart to me now. Need anything form walnart? Yea, Pepto Bismol, socks and a tire iron. Got it.

Try it. Does your T9 function know "walmart" or walnart?

07 December, 2008

Baltimore Mayor's Christmas Parade and Pics

Here's some pics of some of my favorite parade folks of the Christmas parade. The Mayor, the Raven's bus, the Lone Ranger and other various visual You know there are tons if you just stand on a corner for a few minutes.

This is only my second year as a Baltimore resident with as many parade visits.
Since my parade perch is only 2 blocks from the house I've been able to score the same spot for the past two years. And I always snap shots of the same parade entries.

We were all the way at the end of the Ave. at Chestnut and we heard the pipe organ as soon as it turned onto the Avenue from Falls Rd. This seems to be the lead entry and rolls down the street to let the town know that the parade is about to start. Does this happen every year? I liked the idea of a parade cryer.

Creepy sounding circus music belched out of this pipe organ. If there were 5 or 6 clowns throwing out candy it would have been creeptastic.

Oh I loved this guy with the pretzels. They were larger than my head. We walked up to Squidfire before coming back to our spot and on our way back this guy was walking down the Avenue selling these huge hot pretzels. I took 7 photos of this guy because he was always around.
I have about as many photos of the Lone Ranger here. I don't know why but I always make sure I got shots of the masked one. His buddy didn't know that he had to provide his own horse. But he doesn't look like one to miss a parade. The show must go on.
Suzanne and Kingfish holding down the perch at the Flower Mart. Of course that's only coffee. Hey don't think about taking our spot next year. She's not above shooing you off the step. Scram.

See y'all next year.

05 December, 2008

Hampden's First Fridays Checklist

TGIF Mofos!

Hampden's usually a pretty cool place to be for First Fridays. This monthly event is a relatively new idea in my life and I'm not sure how long or how widespread the event is.

Basically on the first Friday of the month various local shops (in this case Hampden) have a sort of open house which is usually, but not always, catered with wines and cheeses and beers and wraps and coffee and other food and drink. Many shops and have sale specials and such to lure shoppers in while giving everyone a little thank you for supporting them throughout the year (basically guys can crack a beer while holding their lady's purse while she shops).

This month in Hampden I've been told that local artists have banded together to display their works throughout the Avenue. But you'll have to keep your head up to see them.

If you will be walking up the Ave tonight take a look at the street lamps. Every here and there a lamppost will have some sort of art displayed on top. I've also been told that the artist will be hanging around to talk about it. Kinda like a troubadour of the arts, if ya will.

Ooh Ooh! I also saw that the Wine Source will be having free tastings of Baily's Coffee cocktails. So head on in there and get your swill on too.

So here's my First Friday's Checklist for this month:
-Ma Petit Shoes
-Wine Source
-Red Tree
-Mud and Metal
-Double Dutch
-Atomic Books.

And then after my crew and I are finished plundering the Ave we're heading out to DC the the Gallery in Silver Spring to catch Kevin Saunderson at LODA. who is Kevin Saunderson? Only the greatest techno DJ in the land.
For those who can't make it out to DC here's a little teaser for ya.


Yep, I'm Getting Furloughed :(

The Gov's taking 2 days from us. It was leaked in the Sun yesterday and confirmed in the Examiner this morning.
Rumor has it that we will have the day after Christmas off and the day after New Years off without pay. More rumor has it that the 2 days pay will be stretched out over 6 mo so it will only be like losing $1.60/day. We'll see about that.

Anyone else getting fired for a few days?
I mean, "furloughed"?

04 December, 2008

Big 3 Bailout. Business as Usual?

I haven't been following the big 3 bailout news very intently but I don't really have to. I'm pretty sure that whoever lines up and asks for billions from the gov is going to get it. Sure there will be debates and scrutiny but everyone's getting paid.
As far as the Big 3 bailout goes (and every other bailout for that matter) it just seems like business as usual but more cash can be handed out now because the bank is being broke wide open.

I grew up in Flint, MI. When I was in high school Flint had 145,000 people and 7 GM plants in Genesee County. We could tell that Grand Blanc was the wealthy part of town because it had the Cadillac plant. Everyone worked for GM or an offshoot of the auto industry. My grandfather moved his family to MI during WWII to work in Flint for Fischer Body, my father worked there at night while going to college to be a GM engineer.

Everybody drove GM cars. Our idea of a foreign car was a Chrysler. It wasn't until I went away to college (MSU, not far away) that I saw many more foreign cars. College girls driving gold Lexus SUV's and many Hondas and Toyotas. many of these kids were from Detroit suburbs. Why weren't they driving GM? Ford? even Chrysler? Did they know something I didn't? Were their minds not owned by the Big 3? This really was confusing, even at 18 yrs old.

That got me to thinking about company towns and the grip they have on the people who live there. A combination of nationalism, pride and wanting to buy what we made kept us buying American cars. My family bought a new or like new car every 4 years. As soon as one was nearly paid off another one was bought.

But it's also these same people who are being put out of work. How are they going to buy GM cars now? Or any cars for that matter.

And now GM has a plan to make themselves better. One of the measures they will take if they get the billions of dollars is to lay off 20,000 workers. That's part of their solution? They've being consistently laying off workers for 25 years and still driving their company into the ground. If anyone looks deeper they will find that GM is not even worth $10 Billion.

But it doesn't matter really. business will continue as planned and there will be no money in the coffers for the people when the real depression hits. Oh it's coming. Why wouldn't it? People are just taking money and that's all that is happening. We are witnessing the largest movement of public money to Private hands that I've ever known. Isn't this what board members do right before their companies go under?