Wednesday, November 26, 2008

These are the days...

What a whirlwind the past ten days have been. My sister’s wedding was an ENORMOUS success. Like most family weddings (our family at least), they are simply too short. I always feel like I never get to spend nearly as much time with all our friends and family as I ‘d like to. I vote we resurrect the three day wedding tradition. That ought to be ample duration to work a room. Other than seeing my sister come down the isle, the highlights for me were my fathers toast to the institution of marriage and my newly minted Brother-In-Law’s toast to both his fathers, new and old. Merv’s words only anchored more deeply in our collective minds the fact that he’s an EXCEPTIONAL man and my sister is lucky to have found him. Lisa looked radiant. I have never known her to be as happy as she is now. It’s been a tough year for her and providence has finally smiled on her and allowed her to smile back. In times like these it’s easy to lose sight of what is most important. The wedding was a perfect state of mind “correction”. It would be impossible for me to go on without mentioning how gorgeous my two girls looked. Katie was a flower girl along with Merv’s niece Maya and both did their duties without flaw. Mrs. Alva looked her typical hubba hubba and seeing her work the room was icing on the cake.

Was able to get in a round of cousin/brother-in-law golf Sunday and there can be no doubt there is no better way to spend a day than losing golf balls, drinking beer, and smoking cigars with this esteemed group of gents. Let’s do it again very soon.

The party has only begun. My mother in law arrives for Thanksgiving tomorrow and we’ll head over to my folks house to over eat/drink and play dominos late into the evening. We’ve got Georgia Tech vs. UGA on Saturday (WHAT’S THE GOOD WORD?!!*) and it’s looking like I just might get to see Doctors Huck Tater and his brother Mini Mozart too. I’m also going to attempt to knock out a few chapters of this Misanthrope recommendation. Finishing this could take a while for sure.

It’s a good day to give thanks. Even though things could be better, I am better off than most. As sit here waiting to sneak out early to go home, there are employees who are walking around shaking hands with and saying good bye to fellow colleagues for the last time as a result of last months staff reductions. My sister has beaten cancer and has married the love of her life. I have a home, an amazing wife and child, family, and more friends than anybody of my ill repute deserves to have. Everybody have a great Thanksgiving and we’ll see you Monday!

*Proper response: “TO HELL WITH GEORGIA!!!”

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's only a matter of time now...

Michael Jackson is as broke as General Motors. The difference between GM and MJ is that he's convinced nothing is the matter and his records are still flying off shelves. I predict either three things will happen: Rick Rubin will attempt to produce his next record, but give up once he realizes how far gone the dude is, he'll get offed by one of the many shady characters he's borrowed money from, or he'll appear before Congress demanding $300 billion in bailout money.

Making a couple of great records doesn't give you amuninty from being a complete dick.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Death of a great sideman...

In case you missed the news, Mitch Mitchell, drummer and last surviving member of the Jimi Hendrix Experience died Wednesday night in his hotel room in Oregon, he was 61. No OD, or other self inflicted lifestyle cause, his heart just gave out.

I always thought Mitch overplayed a lot on those first three Hendrix releases getting in the way of all that guitar mastery, but as I got older I was able to listen beyond Jimi's enormous presence, I discovered the awesomeness of this power trio. 12 bar blues isn't a drummer featured style of music, but it was The Experience's 'Red House' performance that proved how wrong I was about Mitch's playing more so than say, "Fire'.

Sadly, it wasn't just the Hendrix family that got screwed after Jimi died back in 1970, both Mitch and Noel Redding were left with nothing and both had to work hard to keep their head above water.

RIP Mitch Mitchell.

I think I'll go home tonight, grab a glass of wine. and spin my vinyl copy of Axis: Bold as Love.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's been a rough week...

Mine and my wife's small retirement savings has vanished into thin air, the economy continues to tank, there is talk of bailing out companies that make shitty products nobody wants (U.S. auto makers), and I'm now feeling the effects of the latest staff cuts here at work. It's so bad that my Google reader has more than 20 unread blog posts, and I'm on the verge of declaring e-mail bankruptcy (marking everything as 'Read' and starting over). I've got to get back to even in order to prepare for my first work at home day Monday, but I may just have to come in.

When did work become so much work? I hope the new administration steps in and immediately mandates a reduction of workload to all procurement and supply chain professionals.

Oh, BTW, RE: the auto industry bailout, this is the best idea I've heard yet...

UPDATE: Oops, the above link is now fixed.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My President Barack Obama

Congratulations to Barack Obama on a well deserved victory!

As you’ve heard me comment before, I believe Barack Obama to be a smart man and there is much that I admire about him beyond my policy differences with him. I didn’t watch the election coverage last night for two reasons: I knew Barack was going to win, and I’m completely worn out on it all by now, but as I woke up this morning and turned on the television, I was surprised at what my first thoughts were upon receiving the anticipated news. The first emotive thought that fired through my synapse was pride for my country. I share wholly in the historical significance of this event. It is a time that is long overdue, and all Americans should now stand proud that the fundamental charter of our constitution is more than just words a bunch of old guys jotted down, but words that actually mean what they say. Proud that only forty years ago, during MY life time, black citizens were being treated so horribly and many of those who suffered through the civil rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s and points before are now seeing the fruits of their perseverance. It must assuredly be an even more glorious day for these aged soldiers. We too often forget while celebrating and thanking America’s past warriors that we owe an equal debt to those who fought, suffered, and died in the struggle for racial equality. It is a proud moment for America indeed.

The next forward thinking thought I had beyond recognition and acknowledgement of the event was; what will it mean? What I hope it means is that the black community can now honestly address the issues that plague it as a group. I’ve talked to friends about what TRUE equality would mean in reality and the philosophical sense. TRUE equality means that NOBODY is more special than the other in the eyes of god, courts, government, etc. IMHO, this is the most challenging idea that black community must come to terms with and this election is an opportunity to embrace the concept. The problems are broad and systemic. Continued help from the government will of course be needed to solve them, but with a black man now holding the position of President of the United States, it’s time take a look inward. Single motherhood, dropout rates, black on black violent crime. I am convinced that the real solutions for these problems will not come from government programs and financial assistance, but with REAL cultural paradigm shifts and change in thought within the black community itself.

During my college days while studying the civil rights struggle, I’d lay awake at night and think about how different my feelings were on racial equality and justice in comparison to those segragationist, not just what I thought in the academic sense, but in my heart. After all, legislation no matter how well written and just does not change people’s hearts. The answer, the only answer, was that it was due 100% to my parents and the moral guidance that they provided me. They broke the chain and the results are sustained and indelible. I firmly believe that this is at the core to any solution to the problems mentioned above. It will require parents in the black community to do what my parents did for me: TEACH the idea of real equality to their children and responsibility to oneself.

While Barack Obama’s election victory is of itself a great story, how he got here is an even better one. He was blessed to have, against what some would say were insurmountable circumstances , a family member who instilled the values of equality, who refused to allow history to provide an excuse for him to fail. It’s now time to recognize what Barack Obama’s grandmother did for him is the ONLY path to solving the problems that plague the black community. I hope that is what folks will be thinking tomorrow as the streets are swept of confetti and life moves forward.

I did not vote for Barack Obama because I didn’t agree with many of his policy positions not on account of the color of his skin. There were many who did vote for him for this reason. I recognize this motive as a legitimate one for many reasons such as what I’ve written above. This moment had to happen and whether it was now or at some other time in the future, it is worthy of celebration.

Finally, to those liberals friends that I have listened to countless times run down the list of historical transgressions and blather on endlessly about how horrible our country is as I attempted in vain to counter with examples of how great we are, please take stock in this day. There were MANY more of these moments before, and there are many more to come.

There will be much to argue about in the coming days, but for now all I can say is good luck and God speed President Elect Barack Obama.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Gin & tonics + helmet on football = stunning upset and creepy old guys storming the field...

What a football weekend! GT beat the Florida State Seminoles for the first time since 1975. Tech’s defense held their own against an over size opponent, half of which have never step foot in an FSU academic building, the other half made up of former, current, and future felons. Paul Johnson ran his triple option with determination, losing starting QB Josh Nesbitt in the first half. Freshman Jaybo Shaw, took over and experienced his gang like initiation into big time Div1A college football. He struggled a bit, but held onto the 10 point lead GT had amassed and took advantage of the few opportunities he was given to eat the clock up and ensure Tech punted FSU back into their own territory.

After FSU narrowed the lead to three late in the fourth quarter they marched down to GT's 3 yard line and with 45 seconds remaining, gold helmet met ball and GT recovered an FSU fumble in their own end zone securing victory. It was easily the best game I've ever seen at Bobby Dodd Stadium and after successfully smuggling in and consuming ALL the fresh lime laced gin and tonics, there was only one thing left to do,


Army did their best against Air Force in front of a rare sell out crowd at West Point, and their defense actually looked pretty solid throughout most of the game. They continue to struggle on third down and gave up scoring opportunities time after time. It wasn’t a total loss though, as they continue to show improvement and for Army that’s almost as good as a win.

Jets beat the Bills, The Falcons beat my sorrier than sorry Raiders, the Cowboys and Pat’s lost again. That’s a DAMN good football weekend I’d say…