Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Fidget Spinners and it's explotation (yep that's what it is, can't argue)

The latest trend and fad out now are fidget spinners. They're everywhere and are selling like hotcakes. I'm surprised they haven't been bootlegged yet or didn't drop around Christmas.

That said, when I did my research and found out what their purpose is, I was irate as a dragon trying to blow out birthday candles! It's targeted for people, especially children, with autism, ADHD and anxiety.

Now that doesn't mean other people can't buy it, and the inventors and marketers can't get rich from the profits. I'm all for entrepreneurship and business, creating a job and an empire. My problem is it's a low-key method of exploiting the mentally ill and getting rich that way. That's a touch subject for me, especially since myself and others have been affected by mental illness. My mother suffers from anxiety and has panic attacks that bring her down for days. So yeah I'm heated.

I'm more heated that the information is out and the creators and business people behind it aren't giving any proceeds back to mental health foundations. They need help and financial backing, that's the least they could do.

Many have defended them (the same number that obviously do not deal with the same or similar issues) with circular apples/oranges rebuttals. Let me put it for you like this. Suppose you're deaf, and suddenly a once in a lifetime idea comes out that enhances sound everywhere and is like an advanced hearing aid/cure. Folks everywhere, including Apple folks, love it, but the deaf and hard of hearing aren't getting a dime from it. And that's the target audience. Now there's another issue folks.

This isn't the first time in history this has happened and sadly it won't be the last. However, we will continue to have sheep and other followers that bounce at the latest cool thing, even if it is exploiting a condition or a shortcoming. Educate yourself my people.

Or how about those that still aren't getting this: take my mom for a week and make her wait for hours at a place and tell her she can't smoke during that time. Your views may change then..

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

TABLES: Lots of Estrogen

It's been a while since we checked in on Eli. Here's a summary of what's been going on with this young coworker.

He decided to branch out and sit at a table near the rear of the break room near a bunch of ladies, some from the same department they work in, some from another one. He still keeps in touch with the old guys, but he tired of their repetitive whining and negative attitudes.

Eli gets a different vibe at his new table. He has really bonded with another older man, Mr. Moe, a department mate Patricia (who is real and as crazy as they come), and with some other randoms. These various folks realize that it's only a job and they actually talk about other stuff. Imagine that?

Here are some of the things Eli has experienced:

The loud, rude millennial Lala always having her laptop on loudly to Netflix or music, or FaceTiming her daughter. Nice young lady but her cornbread isn't quite done in the middle.

Old cougar Rose Catrina (RC) casually flirting, and even fussing/teasing Eli because one day his butt crack was inadvertently revealing

Being left out of a delicious cake one of the leaders brought by and apparent it was only for a few folks. That was borderline inconsiderate.

The daily attendance or "where is that person" report by Rolanda. It's like why do you care why this or that person is out?

Patricia and Rolanda low key hating on Heather since she's in school to be a paramedic and she's rarely at work due to study and accommodations.

It's definitely a different world for Eli. He even has his eye on a certain gal, and may even try the popular table on a slow day. Time will tell,...

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

When Did The Friend Zone Become Offensive

It was during the 90s that Chris Rock helped coin the phrase "the friend zone." This is basically where a guy tries to holla at a woman, get down and dirty, but she sees him as no more than a good friend. Said guy is then placed in the friend zone, where everything is strictly platonic and he has no perceivable chance of smashing the lady. Cue "Never Gonna Get It" by En Vogue.

This phrase has become big in popular culture and social media. Numerous memes have been created around the friend zone. Yet men and women alike continue to friend zone each other, and then often end up with a mate that treats them like crap, cheats and beats them, etc. You always got the friend though, right?

I was posting about the friend zone on social media recently and man the discussion it brought on, which spawned another discussion. It appears, according to this post in Nerve, that "the friend zone" has become offensive to women, misonynic, and probably should be retired. Here's the link http://www.nerve.com/love-sex/why-everyone-should-be-insulted-by-the-term-friend-zone

I read it and here are my thoughts. First, how can a word or phrase be offensive when it refers to both sexes? Second, this was created out of jest by Chris Rock, a comedian. It's not like a psychologist did the study, although there is a lot of truth behind this phrase. And, third, the friend zone actually does have a lot of benefits, making it more myth than phrase. Men and women do grow up and change, and so do their tastes and preferences. Both like to keep certain people in their lives because they are cool to be around. Romantic sparks can and do happen. Now the friend zone is very real, but two grown consenting people can still get together if they so desire.

Basically, there are too many words and phrases that have become offensive and taboo. Let's not allow the friend zone to be one of those. How about we act better towards each other and treat people like human beings and realize that things could always change? I've been to three high school reunions and go to my college Homecoming every year. There are so many people happily together now that nobody would have expected. Let's not allow pop culture to dictate our lives. Social media already does a good enough job of that.

Are you offended by "the friend zone". Do you think only sad and lonely men feed into it?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

13 Reasons, Too Many People Ending Their Own Lives

I have written on suicide before. Now it has become tragically so common and even popular that the news is breaking their unwritten rule and reporting on it more. Also the current #1 series on Netflix is the novel adapted "13 Reasons Why".

All of this also ties into bullying, torment, and of course mental illness. In "13 Reasons", the young lady, Hannah Baker, recorded 13 audio cassettes as to why she had no choice but to end her life. Many of these stories and people mentioned included those from her high school that tormented and harassed her. This obviously isn't a new topic but instead one that needs continued addressing.

Steve Stephens was the Cleveland, OH killer that murdered at least one person while on FB Live, then eventually took his own life after stopping at a McDonald's. It has been implied that mental illness was obviously involved in this whole ordeal. His own mother then succumbed to a heart attack days later.

The day after Stephens took his own life, convicted NFL player Aaron Hernandez hung himself in his prison cell after being acquitted of one of the charges he was already in for, including killing folks execution style. It has since came out that Hernandez had a same sex lover, and murder Greg Odin because he knew about it. Aaron apparently didn't wanna deal with any criticism or ridicule inside bars so he decided to end it.

The reasons are important in each instance, but the big thing is suicide has become too common when things become dire. Someone needs to be more aware of suicidal people and do everything to prevent this. It is up to the person, but often you have to take responsibility when they can't. That is a common theme in these and other suicides, these folks felt as if they were completely out of options.

Now if you or anyone you know feels this way, please call the Suicide Awareness Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Also, use your own support circle. We have to end this madness!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Knicks are Happy, For Now

The 2016-2017 NBA Season wraps up for now. You can argue that no one is happier than the New York Knicks.

They are definitely not playoff bound, are in the upper portion of the draft lottery. They have had more drama than The Young and The Restless and Scandal combined this season.

It started with Phil Jackson calling LeBron James and his teammates "a posse." Derrick Rose is always a big storyline with his nagging injuries, but then he suddenly goes missing and none of the coaches know.  Then Phil has had a season long saga with Carmelo Anthony. Many thought he was be traded but never was. Of course you had the Madison Square Garden scuffle between former player Charles Oakley and the Knicks owner that drew even more media attention than the Knicks already receive. Last but not least Joakim Noah  (who knew where Rose was when he went AWOL) gets suspended for taking banned substances.

The Knicks are a far cry from their 90s Patrick Ewing teams and their two time champion teams of the early 70s. They are an embarrassment on and off the court. You have to be as true of a fan as Spike Lee to still be rolling with them.

The owner and the possible lame duck Phil Jackson have some serious reevaluating to do during the off-season. Bringing in better players and All-Stars is a start. Having players that will play together and fit the offensive and defensive schemes is way better.

The Knicks, like the Lakers and other major market teams, will always have the microscope on them. Despite the saying, not all publicity is good publicity. The Knickerbockers have quite an image to rebuild. They need more of an identity other than losers, troublemakers or drama queens.

They are definitely relieved, for now. However, fans, coaches, players and of course the city of New York.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Take Me To The Well

This was another exciting, suspenseful March Madness, even moreso for the Carolinas. The quaint, upstate city of Greenville, SC finally got to host first and second round games once again at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in downtown. This was the first time in 15 years the Palmetto State was able to do this. The removal of the controversial Confederate Flag from the state capital grounds, coupled with the HB2 bathroom bill from North Carolina, made this all possible.

Duke, North and South Carolina played there and tickets sold out for that Friday and Sunday faster than in any other city. Greenville and "The Well" put on a very first class venue, admist a Confederate Flag supporter from across the way.

"The Well" has grown in popularity over the years. Formerly called the BiLo center, events and concerts are regularly held there. The Harlem Globetrotters, several country music stars such as Luke Bryan and Brad Paisley, and even the late Prince. It's a great venue and an awesome uptown to have these caliber of events.

This didn't matter to the NCAA while the Confederate Flag was flying 100 miles south in Columbia. In 2015, Governor Nikki Haley decided it be removed in the wake of the Charleston 9 mass shooting.

Then last year, HB2 was passed by North Carolina, ruining NCAA events for their entire state as well. The flag was down and HB2 was still in effect so the league decided to give Greenville and The Well another chance.

Hopefully more games will come to Greenville in the future, potentially a preseason NIT.  Yes now HB2 has been repealed in NC. SC should still get more opportunities as well. The Well is an awesome venue but Columbia and Charleston are also good host cities and fine for tourists and fans.

Greenville still has work to do regarding their roads, especially at the 85/385 intersections. They currently have crews working around the clock to improve traffic flow. It's obvious they want more money into their city and a more positive image for the state.

Therefore, take me to "The Well" for any sporting event. I feel confident the NCAA echoes my sediments.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Darius Rucker may be the most notable Gamecock supporter, except for?

The South Carolina Gamecocks men's basketball team have made quite a run in this year's NCAAs, appearing in their first ever Final Four. Not to be discounted, the women's basketball team is making their second appearance in the Final Four. It's definitely a great time to be a Gamecock.

South Carolina has several notable alums and boosters, including George Rogers, Sidney Rice, and Alex English. The one that's in the spotlight the most is Darius Rucker.

This country music star and former lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish has supported the University of South Carolina as well as anyone. He attends nearly every sporting event, especially football, basketball and baseball. He has been with them through the highs and the many lows.  The camera was definitely on him Sunday afternoon as the Gamecocks won in dramatic fashion over SEC rival the University of Florida. He was in dramatic, Crying Jordan meme tears. He is extremely emotional regarding his Gamecocks.

The Gamecocks' success has brought former Gamecock and NBA Hall of Famer Alex English out in the spotlight more. Rucker is used to it, but English has been more low-key. English has been seen in Greenville, SC and New York City, texting all of his friends and other Gamecock alums. He is arguably the best and most notable Gamecock men's basketball player and this success has made him so happy, seeing how he or former coach Frank McGuire never saw the program reach these heights.

The Gamecocks face 1 loss Gonzaga in the Final Four Saturday in Phoenix, AZ. Both English and Rucker are expected to be in attendance at Saturday's game, and possibly Monday's game should the Gamecocks win.

Fans are fans in good and bad times. There has been no bandwagoning with Rucker or English. It would be great to see either, or both basketball programs take it all. Rucker may not have enough tissue or handkerchiefs for all of the tears he will shed.

Both have been equally passionate in their professional careers. Now if more of us could be that passionate about, well, anything. Imagine what you could accomplish.

Maybe this all could spawn a Grammy winning album for Rucker, who is more than an accomplished musician. He, along with English, are definitely  true to their school.