Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Enjoy this very special edition of CYIW with the one you love, or at least in an elevator you like. It's right at 北京体彩网官方网站 in either place.
Question: Got any 80's Pop "Quiet Storm" favorites?
Saying otherwise would be akin to the fallacy of the professional athlete who claims he'd "play the game even if he didn't get paid, because it's all about the love". Riiight. And I assume these same athletes would also do two-a-days, subsist off little more than protein shakes and flaxseed, and wakeup to lift weights if they weren't getting paid $13M/year to do so.
I sure hope you get my point.
Just in case you didn't, most (yours truly included, but not all) bloggers are attention whores who spend our time doing what we do because we want the response of others. Whether or not folks agree is immaterial (although a co-sign certainly helps), what matters is that someone cares enough to say so.
My blog started out nearly 2 years ago with just two regular readers, me and AverageSisInLaw. Over time, the daily hits grew, and before you knew it, AverageNation™ was born. We have a stable of about 50-some readers who comment on a frequent basis, and most posts routinely reach the 25 comment mark, which I suppose is some bellweather for blog interest. Considering how slowing things started here, I consider myself blessed.
But this is merely a fraction of the daily visitors. A couple thousand people officially read this blog every day, or at least Google Analytics says so. There are about 300 more people who get the daily digest via Feedblitz. The number of Twitter followers (it's syndicated there) is steadily growing. Blogger.com followers (those folks in the tiny icons to the left) too. There are countless others who read via RSS feeds, which don't register in the daily hit count at all. So, when you look at the total number of eyes that hit AB.com daily, the number of comments is pretty paltry by comparison. Again, not that I'm complaining cause I love my regulars. Few blogs make any significant amount of money from ad revenue. Most of us blog for no financial gain, comments are the pay.
So, today, on this eve of the 2nd anniversary of AB.com, I'm saying a huge thank you to the AverageNation™ regulars, and extending a warm invitation to all the lurkers. Come on in, join the conversation. You don't need a Blogger ID, and I intentionally allow comments without registration or approval because I want to keep the door wide open (and because I really don't have the time to moderate comments) for any and all.
Stop lurking and join the fine folks of AverageNation™ today.
The doors of the chuuuch are now open!
Question (for AverageLurkers™ only): Why don't you regularly comment on AB.com?
 Hypocrisy/irony alert!
Tags Popped: Bloggy Style
Monday, March 30, 2009
Much like Vince Young, I feel like Jill Scott is a victim to the brilliance of her debut. Young set the NFL on fire his rookie season. He looked like "the next great thing". But expectations were raised so high, it was impossible for him to live up them. He could still pan out to be a perfectly good QB once healthy again, but folks will always look at his 1st year as a measuring stick. I think Jill Scott has a little Vince Young Syndrome going on.
I've got my flame retardant suit on, so feel free to blast me and remind me that "her subsequent albums were just as good", and that I'm "out of touch", and that I "don't even like R&B, so what would I know". Then kindly point me to a song as good as "The Way" on one of her subsequent albums, and shut me up. I double-dog-dare you. And yes, I'm intimately familiar with Jill's recent work. Perhaps too much so. AverageSis
Yeah, I know about the divorce, the marriage, the baby, the HBO show, et cetera. But reality is, somewhere along the way, Jilly From Philly simply stopped making good music like this.
I sure wish she'd come back.
Question: What the hell happened to Jill Scott?
Question: What's your favorite Duran Duran tune?
 You can learn so much from someone who's failed miserably at something and is transparent and honest enough to share what they did that contributed to that failure, rather than just blame the other person. Seriously.
 You'll notice how I didn't ask anyone who'd never been married for advice. Seriously, ladies, your single girlfriend whose longest standing relationship is with Häagen-Dazs® has no business offering you marital advice. Would you ask Bernie Madoff for stock tips? I think not.
 However, if you ask around at your family reunion, you might learn some things you don't really wanna know. The dirty little secret is that lots of men back in the days (I'm talkin' the 40's and 50's) had two families. One they lived with, and another on the other side of the tracks that they provided for, but only saw when they could. Let's not be deluded into revisionist history here. Staying married, yet having a "side family" isn't too far removed from just having 3 baby mamas? Am I right, or am I right?
As much as I dislike this guy on the court, it's impossible to not be impressed with his aspirations outside of basketball. Perhaps more amazing is how he's hired his own educated friends to run all of his business endeavors. That is what you call a power move.
On the flipside, his Mom has officially eclipsed Ann Iverson as the NBA's most ghetto mother.
Watch and enjoy Bron Bron's star turn on 60 Minutes.
But what did AverageNation™ think? Should Geithner stay or kick rocks?
While the final margin (62/37%) was solidly in Geithner's favor, I should note that earlier in the week, things were much closer, and at one point the "kick rock" contingent was ahead. I suspect that as the market upswing continued and the AIG story began to fade, folks were more forgiving. Whether this says less about us than it says more about Geithner is TBD.
But since we're talking about the economy, how funny is it listening to all those pundits who were calling Obama The Pariah of Capitalism just 2 weeks ago, eating their words as the Dow continues to rise, and as housing sales continue to go up? It's really interesting to me how the same folks who blamed him incessantly as things toppled, will likewise give him no credit now that things (albeit temporarily) are on the upswing.
Haters. Predictable, but still haters.
Question: Do you think Obama deserves any of the blame/credit for the market fluctuations thus far this year, or is it too soon to tell? Should Geithner stay, or go? Why?
 Man, feels like ancient history already, no?
Tags Popped: Poll Position
Sunday, March 29, 2009
. He's probably a better rebounder at this stage, but Martin had an incredible nasty streak. I don't see that from Griffin... yet.
Tyler Hansbrough continues to disappoint. I am glad he came back this year, but it's more evident than ever that Ty Lawson is the team's best player. His ability to get to the line and make shots will transfer to the NBA, but the way he's disappeared at times this season is going to hurt his stock bigtime. He's a late 1st rounder at best now. I still say he can be a productive pro. Think Craig Smith of the T-Wolves. That's probably his ceiling.
UNC is an offensive machine. They have too many weapons. Even with Hansbrough off his game, they still can blow out a team.
I think Lawson has a TJ Ford type of future in the NBA. That's not bad.
Danny Green = Francisco Garcia? Not bad.
The rest of the Oklahoma Sooners = Dishwashers at OKC Sizzler? Bad.
Jeff Capel is an excellent coach. It is not his fault his guards nutted up today. He is the one Duke guy who may actually pan out as a head coach. He can recruit, he's young, and just like his Dad, he is going to job hop. He will get a massive offer from UVa, and he should accept it. Don't forget, the guy is from Fayetteville, NC. NC State would be wise to dump Sidney Lowe and make a run at him too. This guy has a bright future. Yes, I just typed a whole paragraph of praise for a Dukie. See, I can be unbiased too.
Assuming Capel stays put, this bad memory could encourage Griffin to return to school next year. 30 NBA GM's just fainted. So did I.
UNC will have a challenge with Villanova, especially is Hansbrough doesn't show up. Their inside game will decide the outcome.Okay, I am quitting my amateur analyst gig. Provide your own NCAA commentary you-know-where.
Does he really think this sounds good?
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Would it hurt this sista to learn some reasonably good English? She is a freakin' Congresswoman, not a hairdresser. I shouldn't cringe listening to her talk. Sheesh!
Friday, March 27, 2009
When I arrive, there are 9 other dudes shooting around, clearly waiting for one more to join. I walk right in, and they immediately divide teams. Sorta. 5 Black dudes (who seem to know each other, but don't they all?) go to the other team, I am put on a team with 4 Asian guys (who also seem to know each other. Do they all, too?) and the pickup game starts.
The game ends just as quickly. We get rolled, 12-5. The brothas on the other squad were literally doing some Globetrotter Sh*t on us, bouncing the ball between legs, hitting 30 foot 3 pointers, and throwing down fast break alley-oops. I do my best, scoring 4 of our 5 points, mostly on putbacks and sneaky Antawn Jamison-style baskets in the paint. When they aren't busy getting their layup attempts pinned to the backboard Josh Smith-style, my "teammates" spend their time launching contested 18 footers. It isn't my finest hour, but I did my best anyway. Go hard or go 北京体彩网官方网站, right?
So, the game ends and I go grab water, waiting for the next run. When I turn around, the 4 Asian dudes on my team have already picked another player (another Asian dude) who has just arrived to join our team. I'm thinkin' "cool, maybe this guy can actually ball". But no, it turns out they want me to sit so their friend (I'm assuming they knew him) can replace me and play the next game, in their quest to redeem themselves against The Brothas.
It is the ultimate WTF Moment. I scored nearly all the team's points in a drubbing, yet they want me to sit down? Awww hell nawl!!!
"F'real? That's what's up?" I ask the "captain" of my former squad?
"Uhhh, yeah. He plays with us all the time." he replies, nervously.
Unable to process the situation, I relent and go sit on the sideline as the rematch (sans me) starts. I am freakin' blown. How can these bamas dump me from the team when I was the freakin' team!!!! For one brief moment, I know how Terrell Owens feels.
Anyways, I decide to know ruin the momentum, and go hit the elliptical trainer (in another section of the center), then return a few minutes later to the gym to gather my stuff and bounce back to work. When I walk in (this is no more than 10 mins later), the game is already over. I don't need to tell you who won, and judging by the brevity, I can assume it was another a$$ whipping.
The "captain" sees me gathering my stuff and calls out to me.
"Say man... you wanna play again?"
"Nah, mane. I'm good", I say, walking out the gym even more puzzled than before.
Question: Did the Asian dudes discriminate against me by not picking me for the 2nd game, even though I scored nearly all our points? Is this racism or merely the unwritten rules of pickup ball? Were they just picking their buddy because they were familiar with him? How's your game these days?
Tags Popped: That Sh*t Is Racist
Tags Popped: NBA = Nuthin' But Africans
But when I finally do cave in, I completely lose all common sense. My BlackBerry might as well be another appendage. I don't watch any TV shows live, everything (except for sports of course) is DVR'd. I can't watch non-HD television without getting a fuzz-induced headache. Anything less than PS3 ain't worthy of being played. Terrestrial radio is a bitter pill to swallow once you're used to Sirius XM. Does anyone actually still use CD's, now that iPods are in vogue?
I don't say any of this to sound materialistic. Reality is, technological advances usually make life easier. I talk to friends on IM more than via phone. My mother has a Facebook page. Portable DVD players can make a miserable child perfectly content on a long road trip. This stuff generally improves your quality of life.
But sometimes I wonder if I'm too tethered to my electronic goods. I've had BlackBerry Withdrawal Syndrome when I've been forced to turn in my gadget at corporate retreats. Nothing is funnier than watching a bunch of grown folks go full-on "Pookie" when they are jonesing for their smartphones after an hour of having them forcibly confiscated in the name of undivided attention. It was sorta pathetic. I swear I heard our regional manager offer someone a bag of cheeseburgers at one point.
The flipside is that this technology makes us less impersonal and more scatterbrained. I have the attention span of a flea. I sometimes find myself on Twitter (like, literally right now as I type this) when I should be doing something more productive. And the cumulative effect of texting vs face to face human interaction is something many experts have attributed to the lack of social skills of many teens. It ain't all good.
I guess my question is, if you needed to, could you do away with all your modern accouterments, and for how long before you offered someone a bag of cheeseburgers? Could you go back to having to hit a pay phone to call someone? Writing actual letters instead of email? Reading the newspaper, instead of blogs and podcasts? Going to an actual store to buy a record rather than
Question: Could you give up all your gadgets? For how long? What's one thing you absolutely could not give up?
 Name that obscure hood' movie reference for 100 Cyber CapriSuns™!
Tags Popped: Observations
 Unlike, say, Gilbert Arenas, whose primadonna act is clearly a plea for attention.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
[Editor's Note: I could be wrong, but I think SeeqPod's "embeddable playlist" app should not auto-play these songs when the browser loads. If this post does result in auto-play, please let me know in the comments.]
Until this, cop the headphones and peep this lovely soundtrack of some of their greatest hits.
Question: What's your favorite Hall & Oates tune?
Anyways, I'm en route to work this morning, and running a bit late. About 2/3 of the way into my burb' to burb' commute, I hit a massive traffic backup. Since it's raining, I figure this means an accident is somewhere up the road, and as far ahead as I can see, cars are not moving. So, I'm faced with a very basic decision which I'll ask you guys.
A) Patiently sit tight, drive in the bumper to bumper traffic, and likely make it to work 20 minutes late.Again, this isn't a trick question, but I think your answer says a lot about how you think and process things. I'll share what I did later.
B) Impatiently take a 15 mile out of the way detour, and likely make it to work 20 minutes late.
Question: Assuming the net result was still getting to work 20 minutes late either way, would you sit tight, or take the detour? Most importantly, please explain why.
Tags Popped: What Would You Do?
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
song with Birdman, the song with Drake) is intriguing.
I know "I Feel Like Dying" isn't exactly new (it's 3 years old in fact), but it happened to come on the other day while I was listening to Shade45 and I finally listened to the lyrics. Does this young man have some serious psychological problems he's trying to avoid with all that syrup or is it just me? Cop the headphones and turn this up loud for maximum effect.
Yeah, it's pretty sad. Here's a guy practically begging for help with his drug problem, but that beat is so damn crispy his pleas just get drowned out by that Karma sample. Sad, but true.
Question: Is Lil' Wayne's drug problem part of his creative process or a sure sign that he's headed for an early grave?
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That said, I can only imagine that this is largely about attention. Some women need more of it than others. Thus the literally dozens (this was a busy day) of girls in my local Hooters with breast implants, which I really don't get. Why would you get breast implants to perform better at a $5.85/hour job which can't cover the cost of said implants? Isn't that sorta hustlin' backwards? Do you go buy a Lexus to deliver pizzas for Domino's? I think not.
Again, you're already being objectified and oggled. You're hardly making much more than a girl working at Chili's. At least the girl serving baby back ribs has her dignity intact. What's the freakin' point? Go work the pole already!
If I had any testicles, I would have asked her this question myself, of course. But thankfully my co-worker, the same one who got shot down, asked the very same girl a similar question a bit later.
She just handed us our tab and kept walking.
Question: Ladies, what exactly is the difference between working at Hooters, and working at a gentleman's establishment? Would you do either? Fellas, have you too been confounded with this very same puzzling question?
 Not by me of course, by the other guys.
 Admittedly not my thing.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
"Stab your brain with your nose bone."
Cotdang! That is some hardcore rhymin'. Never mind the fact that Prodigy has sickle cell anemia and that if you stacked him and Havoc on top of each other [||] they still couldn't change a light bulb. Nope, when this seminal hit dropped in 95', there was no harder duo in rap than these kids from QB.
This is a certified Negro Riot Anthem. Throw it, or Onyx's "Throw Your Gunz", or Brand Nubian's "Punks Jump Up" on, and I guarantee somebody will get knocked the eff' out before you get to the hook.
One thing I've never understood is why this song is called "Shook Ones Part II". Was there a "Shook Ones Part I"? I remember the cassingle (damn, the 90's) for this song having a different version on the B-side that was the same lyrics but with a far more boring beat, but I don't think even that was "Shook Ones Part I", was it? So, I'm wondering, where the heck is "Shook Ones Part I"?
I suppose I could Google this, but I'm too lazy and just don't trust anything I find on wikipedia anymore. If you know the answer to this probing question, please respond and end my misery.
Update: Here's the long-forgotten "Shook Ones Part I". Turns out it was that other song on the B-side of the cassingle. Hat tip to Thembi.
Question: Was there a "Shook Ones Part I"? Did Jay-Z more or less ether The Infamous Mobb's careers with that Summer Jam "ballerina" photo? Is you a crook sonn, or just a Shook One? Know any other rap songs that can guarantee a fight?
 It made for a nice line, but is that even medically possible?
 Funny story, I ran into this dude twice in the same week. Once off 7th Street around Howard 北京体彩网官方网站coming, then the next weekend in front of a shoe store near NYU. Driving the same rented neon green Chevy Blazer for a full week. Nice guy though, actually.
 Except for the fact that they're driving around an a freakin' Saab. Librarians drive Saabs, not killas and hunned holla billaz.
 Uhhh, can someone also explain the "Hennesy" shirts to me while we're at it?
Pour yourself a cup of Joe, and settle in. This is a good one.
I suppose we should give ABC News credit for showing a different angle on the stories of those effected by the economy. But c'mon, there's nothing even remotely newsworthy about this. Elizabeth Vargas, assuming she isn't laughing at these morons off-camera, should be ashamed. These folks lived waaaay beyond their means. They didn't invest properly. The husband took an unnecessary risk of leaving a $750k/yr gig to start a business, without the wherewithal to trim down household expenses just in case things didn't pan out. Isn't "preparing for the worst" like Entreprenerism Tip #6?
Now, these idiots haven't paid their mortgage in years, are collecting food stamps, and will likely be on the street by the Summer. The wife (who looks eerily like Jill Biden) has to be the most detestable character I've seen on TeeVee since that 2nd OJ trial. I know it's not nice to laugh at the misfortune of others, but c'mon.
And the point of this story, other than gawking, is...?
I smell a rat here. My Negro BS Radar was going off the entire time I watched this. Why is the guy delivering pizzas, a job which essentially pays nothing after taxes? Are you telling me that he was resourceful enough to have a gig that paid almost $1M/yr at some point, but doesn't have a Rolodex with a single contact that can get him a decent job? And how the hell do kids get their $30k/yr private school tuition paid by "an anonymous donor" in this economy? I'm tellin' ya'll, somethin' ain't right. If this ends up turning into a book deal/documentary at some point in the future, remember where you read it first.
Since I'm all about stimulating conversation, and this story has none, I figure I'd flip the script on you guys for The Question. Pay close attention and answer honestly.
Question: What's the most demeaning job you'd do if your family needed to be fed and sheltered? Could the family have done something to avoid their current fate? Does that wife look like Jill Biden or is it just me?
 In all fairness, another segment of the show featured minority families in an LA 北京体彩网官方网站less shelter. It was responsible journalism, not this sorta sensational nonsense.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed
I'm not a good sport when it comes to magicians. The engineer in me always needs to know how something works. I remember ruining my neighborhood Children's Day a few years ago by standing to the off side of the magician hired to entertain the kids and mumbling "oooh, it's a fix, I see the rabbit right there under the table!" under my breath the whole time. My wife didn't speak to me for days afterward. Yeah, I can be a jerk sometimes.
Anyways, MyNetworkTV's Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed is just what it sounds like. Each week, dozens of tricks are outed, which admittedly isn't as exciting as it sounds. What's unintentionally funny is how the stalkerish host who does the voiceovers turns the whole show into really weird softcore pRon by making unnecessary comments about the magician's comely assistants. Either way, I could think of far worse abuses of your precious time. Like watching a Washington NBA Franchise game.
Hannity's Great American Panel
Like most Great Americans, I dislike Sean Hannity with a religious fervor. But now that he's freed from his liberal sidekick Alan Colmes, Hannity's eponymous solo show on Fox News is oddly entertaining in a trainwreck sorta way. The show is typical Conservative blather, but it's Great American Panel segment, which comes on about midway through the 1 hour program, is about as close to "must see TV" as you'll see on The Station Everyone Hates. They take 3 random folks, usually a liberal, a Conservative, and a clueless entertainer, and the whole thing usually dissolves into a pointless shouting match.
If you watch that clip closely, you'll see Rebb'n Al's pimp hand shaking furiously as Michelle Bachmann talks her usual batsh*t crazy nonsense.
ABC's Wife Swap isn't a new show by any means, but I just discovered it recently and that ish' is hilarious. If you were unaware, Wife Swap takes two wives of dramatically different families (one usually strict, the other excessively laid back) and has them trade places and families for two weeks.
I know it sounds sh*tty on paper, and it's about 90% scripted, but I just cannot turn away from white folks actin' a damn fool on TV. Note to ABC: make more "white folks actin' a damn fool" shows, please.
I am addicted to 北京体彩网官方网站 improvement shows, but most of them get old after awhile because they're so obviously scripted for maximum dramatic effect. DIY's newest offering, Renovation Realities is as basic and "real" as they come. No manufactured drama. No Weekend Warriors who actually do renovations for a living. No production assistants secretly doing all the work off camera. No flipping. No Ty Pennington (thank you Jesus!).
Just real, honest to goodness 北京体彩网官方网站 renovations by pure amateurs. The folks do all the work themselves, they show the actual amount of money spent, and most of the time, they actually end up unable to finish the renovation. Granted, this show is an acquired taste, but if it's your sorta thing, you'll like it.
Question: Have you seen any of the aforementioned shows? Other than scripted dramas and bullsh*t reality trash (ie: VH1), is there any other show you'd recommend I add to Season Pass?
 And before some smart alek types it, yes damnit, I do read books! Lots of em'. You can indeed both watch TeeVee and read books. They're not mutually exclusive. It's possible to be reasonably well-rounded. Save the pithy comments.
 Nope, I still won't refer to them by their nickname on this blog until they win the NBA lottery and draft Blake Griffin. If that doesn't happen, they may be banished from AB.com for good.
Tags Popped: TeeVee Sux