Saturday, June 27, 2009

Salmon - It's What's For Dinner

If everything goes well you should see, somewhere in this post, what my family will be eating for dinner tonight.

That's right, sitting there on that piece of foil is a salmon filet, seasoned with red onions and other herbs and spices, that's about to be placed on the grill. I know already it's going to be delicious because everything my wife cooks is excellent.

What we're having for dinner is not the point of that picture however. Instead its a part of my continuing evolution to mobile blogging via Blackberry from my tethered past of laptops and PC's.

I'm not sure how this post is going to look, not sure if the picture will be clear or fuzzy or above, next to, or below the text. This is all still in the experimental stage but so far so good. Later on I'll figure out how to insert hyperlinks, format text, place photos where I want them, etc. But for right now you get... salmon.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Musical Interlude: Old School Friday - Michael Jackson, 1958-2009

What a tremendously sad day. Michael Jackson has passed away. This is a devastating loss for the music world and the world in general. Many people my age grew up, came of age, and matured along with Michael Jackson and his music. We watched the Jackson 5 cartoons on Saturday mornings, sang along to "I Want You Back" and "Dancing Machine." We watched as he hit the superstar level with the "Off the Wall" album. Everone knows that happened after that - "Thriller" - only the best selling album of all time, followed by another mega seller in "Bad." Everything Michael Jackson touched turned to gold. Even some obscure dude named Rockwell was set up for life thanks to a hook sang by Michael Jackson in the song "Somebody's Watching Me" which you might know from the current Geico commercials.

Michael Jackson is a legend likely never to be surpassed in the field of entertainment. I'm just happy I had the opportunity to enjoy his music first hand, and to now watch my 11 year old discover his music a generation later. His music just had that affect on practically everyone, across the generations. I haven't even touched on his live performance ability, but having seen him and his brothers live on the Victory Tour, consider me a witness to his electrifying ability on stage.

I could go on and on, but there are only so many ways to describe the indescribable and the incomparable. Plus you're here for the music, so here is one of my favorite Michael Jackson songs, "Man In The Mirror." Here Michael sang about himself and his inner struggles in a personal way, and the song's message is still today one that we all should listen too.

Rest in Peace Michael. The world will not soon, if ever forget your name.

Don't forget the rest of the Old School Friday crew. I'm sure there are some great tributes up much more eloquent than mine.

Electronic Village - Chatting Over Cocktails - Ms Grapevine - Quick - Marcus LANGFORD - Cassandra - Danielle-Lisa C -Chocl8t - DP - Kreative Talk -MarvalusOne - Regina - LaShonda -AJ - Sharon - Invisible Woman - Believer 1964 -Dee - SJP - sHaE-sHaE - Songs In the Key of Life - Shawn - Hagar’s Daughter - freshandfab - Creole Pimp - Wonderland or Not - SoulAfrodisiac - Bria Bria - CCGroovy -

Thursday, June 25, 2009

English (and Football) Only

What do you call a person who speaks two languages?


So what if that person speaks three languages?

That's easy right, trilingual.

So what do you call someone who only speaks one language?

The answer: An American.

Sorry for the corny joke but that one has been going around in my bilingual circle of friends for years and there's more than a bit of truth to it. We Americans are notorious in our stubbornness to speak English and only English, which is a disservice to us all, but particularly our kids.

When it comes to opportunity these days, speaking additional languages is a major advantage. To illustrate that fact, all you need to do is visit practically any service related industry and look who's the people are who are front and center. In many cases it's a bilingual English/Spanish speaker because hey, companies aren't stupid and definitely understand who their customers are and which customers they would like to have. In a lot of cases, those new customers speak Spanish.

Not to say they don't speak or will never speak English, but you reach people where they are at. That's why I make it a point to practice my Spanish with whomever allows me to inflict it on them. In fact, if there's anyone out there with a similar mindset let me know in the comments and we'll figure out a way to practice together.

A lot of people feel that English is the unofficial global language but I disagree. The true international language that most Americans also don't speak is soccer, or more accurately, football. I'm a big fan of the game, especially the internatinal tournaments pitting national teams, one of which is going on right now. It's the Confederations Cup being held in South Africa which will also host the World Cup next year. The American team is doing quite well in this tournament, so far advancing through group play and defeating the mighty Spanish team today to earn a spot in Sunday's championship game.

Quite an accomplishment though you wouldn't know that living here in the States. Anywhere else such an achievement would be cause for celebrating in the streets, but not here. Most of us just don't pay any attention to soccer, I mean football, at all. Just like our inability to carry on a conversation in anything other than English, we are pretty much incapable of conversing in this global language of sport as well, and I think that's a shame.

So in addition to pummeling anyone who'll engage me with my Spanish, I'm trying to do the same in regard to soccer. The question is whether anyone's listening.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

When PAC's Attack

I was watching one of the Die Hard movies the other night, the second one I think that was set in an airport. The head honcho at the airport was none other than Fred Thompson, he of the recent failed Presidential bid. I couldn't help but to think what an amazing leader we missed out on by not electing this man President.

Ok, not really. The Republicans didn't even see fit to elevate him to the top of the ticket, and they're never wrong about that sort of thing.

Anyway, imagine my surprise to receive an email this morning from the FredPAC, Thompson's political action committee, lambasting the Obama administrations handling of the current situation in Iran.

I won't bore you with details but suffice it to say it was the same old refrain of "weak" in the face of a challenge, etc. without laying out a more effective strategy of his own.

Opposing for the sake of opposing, in other words.

What was conveniently not mentioned is that the U.S. has a less than stellar track record as far as Iran is concerned and virtually no influence in their internal affairs whatsoever. Not that it would matter if they had remembered to include those facts.

In my opinion the Obama team is handling this thing just right, so that no matter what emerges on the other side of this situation, the U.S. is still positioned to take on the challenging negotiations ahead in regard to their nuclear program and other issues. We currently have no idea how this thing is going to play out but I have a hell of a lot more confidence in the current administrations ability to handle it than I did in the prior administration. Or would have in a Thompson administration.

So FredPAC, if you deem someone withthis line of thinking as not worthy of receiving further emails from your fine organization, I understand. I hope you keep me on though. As the old Reader's Digest magazine proclaimed, "Laughter is the best medicine" and your email was the best laugh I had all day.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Cure For The Lazy Blogger - Well, Maybe

Well it's a well established fact that I'm a lazy blogger but I've been racking my brain to figure out why.

I mean, I don't think I'm lazy in the true sense of the word. I work hard every day, I can write effectively when motivated to do so, and if the subject is something I'm truly interested in I'm capable of generating a ton of material in relation to it. So what gives? Why has it been so difficult lately to regularly post on my blog?

The answer? Well... I don't know, but I have a theory. I think it boils down to technology, time, and motivation.

First technology. Most of the blogging I've done over the years was on my laptop. Over the past few months however I've basically stopped using the thing, instead using my Blackberry for most of the same tasks that the laptop formerly was the instrument of choice. Not to mention the fact that I can take pictures and make phone calls with the same device. And it weighs a few pounds less. To make a long story short, my blogging has slowed because I don't tote the tool around nearly as much as I used to.

So what about time? I have as little free time as I've always had, yet blogging output has decreased tremendously. Work consumes, but that's nothing new. So it must have something to do with motivation.

The latest Presidential campaign and all of its twists and turns provided an endless source of inspiration, yet once it ended it was like the air leaving a balloon. There are still endless topics worthy of discussion that I have opinions on but the motivation to write about them in depth just hasn't been there lately. I'm sure it will resurface but in the meantime... nothing.

So I've decided what I'm going to do, and basically that is to start blogging using my ever present Blackberry, to create posts whenever time allows at work or at home, and to try, try to focus on a topic of real interest at least once a week.

This post is the first test of the new There... Already blogging protocol. Stay tuned, there's definitely more to come as long as my thumbs don't wear out first!