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April 2007


You can win $300 per week at Helium.com!

This morning I wrote my first article for Helium. I’ve been a member  Helium.com Writing Contest - $15,000 in prizes!since March of this year but never submitted anything until today. There were several topics from which to choose but I settled on “Why do people think that African American men cheat more than white men?”. I wasn’t crazy about the topic but I thought I should go for it anyway.

Why that topic? Well, for a couple of reasons. First of all, there were only a few writers who’d submitted on the topic and second, I felt that I had something to say. Off I went, typing whatever came to my mind…no outline and no thought to opening or closing statement. I just go with the flow.

My high school English teacher, Mrs. Molitosky, would not be happy about that. As I write, I can picture Mrs. M shaking her head because I didn’t follow the rules. I tend to just write what I feel and edit later. Mrs. M was always pleased with the end product, just not my method.

Folks, I’d be the first to admit that I still feel a little weird when my work is published. I am even more weirded out when people write to me or personally compliment me on my writing. I’m not trying to creep anyone out but when I write, it’s like making love. I feel as though I’m sharing my inner most self and that’s not easy for me to do.

Click the graphic below to read my first article at Helium. Let me know what you think.



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NOTICE: No Blogging Tomorrow

Tomorrow is Monday, April 30. There will be no words posted on this blog only a repeat of the graphic you see here. April 30 has been declared a day of blog silence in tribute to the 32 victims of the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech University.

What began as a tribute to those victims has, expectedly, expanded to include all victims. There certainly have been enough tragic situations for us to absorb and process. Rather than wallow in the sadness, the resilience of survivors and stories of love and courage inspire me to do more to help others. There but for the grace of God go I.

So, tomorrow, during my blog silence, special prayers will go out to victims, survivors and loved ones.

Blog Silence Tribute to:
* The Virginia Tech Massacre;
* Hurricane Katrina;
* The Murder and Mayhem in Darfur;
* Haiti;
* Tsunami victims;
* The family of Martin Lee Anderson and other juveniles murdered and injured in Florida’s juvenile detention system;
* Rilya Wilson and other missing children;
* Everyone who ever fought for civil rights and the freedoms I enjoy today; and
* My ancestors.

This is my list; feel free to develop your own or just pray for everyone. Please join me and many others in the silence. Thank you.

For more information, go to http://www.onedayblogsilence.com/.

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Democratic Presidential Debate: Cure for insomnia

For as long as I could stand it, I’ve resisted the urge to blog about the Democratic presidential debate from last Thursday night so here goes. In a word, it was a snoozer. There were far too many candidates to allow any deep probing questions, rebuttal or to change anyone’s mind; it was more like Debate for folks with ADD.

If there are eight participants in a debate, expect at least a three hour event; anything less is a joke. Hello. How about just limiting he debate to the serious contenders in the first place? The old dude that provided the comic relief was really a waste of time. The love fest between the candidates was interesting to watch, an effective show of Democrat unity and boring.

Most of the pundits on MSNBC raved about Hillary Clinton’s performance. Frankly, I’ve seen better from her. This warm, fuzzy, borderline tough Hillary doesn’t appeal to me. Perhaps her handlers have advised her that it attracts more voters and maybe it will, just not me. Some declared Obama he winner. He was his usual charismatic self but the rushed debate format clearly was not good for him either. I won’t comment about the other candidates because I think it’s a Clinton-Obama race. Will Al Gore hop in the race at the last minute? I hope not, but inquiring minds want to know.

I do like the interest the race has generated. With no clear winner declared from the first debate on Thursday, I’d like to announce the clear winner - -- South Carolina State University. What great PR for that institution. The band, cheerleaders and other pep units looked great and showed tremendous spirit.

Hopefully, the Republican debate will be better although with nine candidates scheduled, I don’t expect it to be.


ALERT: Gratuitous photo below

Here’s a photo of Barack Obama with my university’s band at a function in Tampa, Florida. Yes, I’m a Barack Obama supporter but more important, I just wanted to show-off the Florida A&M University Marching 100.



www.barackobama.com

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Lunch @ Luna Cafe'

Today was the last day of Administrative Professionals Week. My boss made sure that we celebrated our assistants with a token of appreciation each day of the week. It’s her demonstration of appreciation that keeps me dedicated to always completing projects in professionalism and excellence.

Our assistants were so appreciative of their gifts that they gave each of us the most beautiful floral arrangement. The ladies put together themselves which made the flowers all the more special. We work extremely hard in that office and always manage to meet unbelievable deadlines under grueling circumstances. We are a wonderful team. I’d love for us to remain together forever but that’s not the way life works.

Part of today’s celebration was lunch away from the building. The location was a secret to the ladies until we actually arrived. Our reservations were at 11:30 but we didn’t get there until almost noon. Several last minute phone calls almost caused us to cancel.

As we arrived at Luna Café we were greeted by the valet. He was pleasant with an engaging personality. The exterior of the restaurant was beautifully appointed with elegant tables, chairs and complementary landscaping. The interior was just as lovely as the exterior.

Our server, Ernesto, was friendly and charming. The menu contained a wonderful array of Italian entrees but Ernesto’s delivery of the specials in his heavy Italian accent was adorable. I think we had him repeat the specials at least four times just to hear him speak.

It was difficult to select an entrée. I settled on fettuccine alfredo with grilled chicken; it was delicious. No, that’s not quite true. It was the best fettuccine I’ve ever had and I’ve eaten quite a bit of fettuccine in my lifetime. The chicken breast was grilled and sliced to perfection. About half way through the entrée, I was already stuffed. I forced a few more forkfuls down until I couldn’t take it anymore.

Our meals were quite reasonable also. The six of us had an entrée and beverage for a little more than ninety dollars including tax. I love the restaurant and plan to order a different entrée each time I return.

It was most important that the assistants enjoyed the restaurant and they did.



Luna Cafe
4770 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, Florida
305-573-5862

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Florida is drying up

A picture is worth a thousand words. I don’t know who said that first but truer words were never spoken.

As I watched the television news yesterday, the news anchor talked about the drought in Florida and that tighter water usage restrictions may be imposed soon. Since the lawn is not my responsibility at home I didn’t see the issue as a big deal. The grass at our home looks fine; I imagine living across the street from a lake helps.

Then pictures of Lake Okeechobee flashed across the screen. Talk about a reality check, we are in deep trouble in Florida. Lake Okeechobee is one of the main water conservation areas throughout the state.

At 9.85 feet, Lake Okeechobee is about foot higher than its lowest level recorded in May 2001. It’s very likely that we’ll move to Phase 3 restrictions in Miami. Phase 3 includes once a week watering of lawns; Palm Beach County has already imposed Phase 3 restrictions.

Fires in some parts of the state continue to destroy land on a daily basis. This is serious but I’m not feeling the sense of urgency I’d expect. I guess the powers that be don’t want to frighten the masses. I’m not frightened but I’m definitely aware.

As I saw the difference in the water level at Lake Okeechobee, I could only think of Mel Gibson in the movie Mad Max. Will that movie and others with similar themes prove prophetic? Will we destroy the land to the point that water is such a rare and valuable commodity? I didn’t think so until now.


If our dwindling water level is such an issue, why are humongous skyscraper condos being constructed in south Florida? I mean really, there are too many people for the resources as it is. Vegetation is already suffering. Next, evidence of sick and dying wildlife will be reported. When do we stop the madness?

I’m not a tree-hugging environmentalist but I get it. I finally really get it. If we don’t do something to alleviate this water problem, future generations are destined to suffer the consequences. As you can see from the map above, Florida is not the only state suffering from drought conditions.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

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My Men's Room Surprise

I worked late at the office last night. As the five pints of water I’d consumed throughout the day kicked in again, I had to “pay my water bill” again. Marie, the custodian, had just finished mopping the floor I needed to walk across to get to the ladies room.

There are a few things that bother me in life and one of them is someone walking on a floor that I’ve just mopped. I quickly assessed that I’d never make it if I walked around to the other hallway to get to the ladies room.

Marie said, “Just go in the men’s room. It’s right there.”

I said, “No way; the men’s room?”

“None of them are on the floor, just go in, I’ll watch the door,” Marie continued.

While we’re having this conversation --- I still need to go, right? --- then it hits me that I’ve never been in a men’s room. Yup….that’s right…not in all my years. I’ve been in a locker room but not a men’s room.

Then Marie said something that piqued my curiosity, “Their restroom is cleaner than yours anyway.” What? Now, I was no longer in a hurry, I was just plain nosy.

As I stuck my head in the door, I immediately noticed how clean it was. The ladies room, at the end of the day, is not exactly representative of ladies. The men’s room was tastefully decorated and well…clean.

The layout was much like the ladies room except for the urinal. I still don’t understand handling your business in the presence of others. I guess that’s truly a “man thing”.

I made my way to the last stall, did what I had to and got out of there quickly after washing my hands. Marie laughed at me as I ran out of the door and back to work. I was relieved but still felt odd having used the men’s facilities.

The men’s room is closer to my office than the ladies room. I have to pass the men’s room each time I leave my office. After last night, I will never feel the same having been in the most private men’s area on the floor.



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For Laughs

OK…OK…it’s been that kind of morning already! I need more coffee! Anyhoo, here are a few jokes forwarded to me by a friend. Enjoy.

CHUCKLES!!

My husband and I divorced over religious differences.
He thought he was God, and I didn't


Thought for the Day: 'Common ground'

Every person has a unique perspective. And yet, the things we all have in common are far more numerous than our differences.

Behind every difference of opinion, behind every disagreement, behind each conflict there is common ground. And that common ground can be the starting point for resolving the conflict.

Finding common ground does not mean giving in or forcing the other person to accept your point of view. Instead, it means discovering the areas in which you already share a similar perspective.

It is well worth the effort to find things upon which everyone can agree. For that sets the stage for true understanding.

Often, every person seeks the same ultimate outcome, and the disagreement is about the details of how to get there. Even when you are unable to agree, it is always possible to understand.

Seek to focus on that understanding, and work to find common ground. It is from that point that everyone involved can begin to create real value for all.

-- Ralph Marston

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Strange but True: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales

Am I in the Twilight Zone or what? U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales remains in his position as the nation’s top lawmaker. After last week’s performance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I fully expected Gonzales to resign.

What is even more remarkable is President Bush’s unshakable support for his friend, Gonzales. Why is the president supporting Gonzales when so many of his fellow Republicans are practically calling for his head?

Gonzales couldn’t remember incidents that occurred only months ago and President Bush compliments him? I don’t think so.

Whatever the reason, this Gonzales incident will become more and more damaging to the Republican Party. The longer Gonzales maintains his Attorney General position, the more incompetent and corrupt the Bush administration appears.

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