Monday, April 27, 2015

Bruce Jenner Needs Help, For Other Reasons

Former Olympian and ex-husband of the Kardashian's mom Kris, Bruce Jenner has been all over the news thus far in 2015.  He announced he was having a sex change and even scored an exclusive 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer.

Jenner, married three times to women, and in his golden years, has literally had a mid-life crisis and a second act all in one by deciding to be a woman. Many are calling him crazy (nevermind the fact he says he's a Republican) , the gay community is calling him brave, the Christian community believes he's devilish.

Myself, I have my own views as always.

Jenner rose to Olympic fame in the 70s and the 80s, appearing on Sports Illustrated and Wheaties boxes. He was on top of the world. Then he was irrelevant. His fame and much of his money ran out. He then married the former Kris Kardashian, whose late husband was part of OJ Simpson's legal dream team. Kim's sex tape leaked, and the Kardashians get their own reality show. All of a sudden, Bruce is back in the spotlight.

Well back is more appropriate. He was hugely ignored and cast aside by his new family. It seemed the only one to take him seriously was his biological daughter, and arguably the one with the most sense in the household. Kris and Bruce then split. Suddenly, Bruce was back at square one, again.

Basically, he loves the attention and spotlight. Many people can't get enough of it. Now he's drowning in it, especially from the gay and transgender communities. There are approximately 700,000 transgender ("trannies") in the U.S. currently. It has been said that Bruce has wanted this for decades and what perfect timing.

People thought the Kardashians were attention whores (or simply whores). To me, it appears Bruce is the one that wants all of the spotlight. He definitely is confused and has internal issues and needs help for more than his sexuality.

So as we pray for many things (peace in Baltimore, less rain, and for Mayweather to win), we need to pray for Jenner. He clearly needs help, not to be made a media spectacle. He is asking for it, but it doesn't mean he should receive it. Something is definitely wrong here, and it's not just Bruce Jenner.

Do you agree with Bruce Jenner's decision? Either way, do you think it's a cry for help or attention?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Main Event Returns!

Finally the moment is here! The fight we have long awaited for as boxing and sports fans is five days out: Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.

This fight has been floated for far too long as the sport of boxing continues to slide and UFC rises in popularity.

I have mentioned how I prefer UFC to boxing currently.  But I already have my fight party plans for Saturday night at 10pm, when Floyd and Manny are expected to finally touch gloves.

Mayweather is not a heavy favorite, but he is unbeaten, with many of his fights going to decision. He lands many shots well but doesn't pummel opponents. Pacman has five losses, including one embarrassing KO about three years ago. Still he is scrappy and will not back down in this epic battle. Plus he's a southpaw and that's always a challenge.

I have Mayweather taking the decision due to the style of both fighters. Floyd simply knows how to win, and has also been wanting this fight. He has beaten everyone else in welterweight and would have nothing else to prove. Plus, it would set up a good rematch should Mayweather continue boxing.

I haven't been this excited about a boxing match since the Tyson days so I'm ready. It's a good way to kick off the summer and mid-spring.

Who do you have winning this fight? Do you think Mayweather will retire should he win?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Running: A Completely Different Type Of High

Many of you know how much I love fitness and staying fit. You also know how I like natural highs.

On this day, April 20th (4/20) , it is a celebration of a common way of getting high: through smoking marijuana. I don't drink , smoke or use any recreational drugs or herbs so this day isn't that significant to me there.

Now if you mention the high I get from working out, especially running, well that's a horse of a different color.

I started running as a teenager when I played high school football. My adulthood found me rediscovering running in my early 30s.  I even ran my first race five years ago, the 10K at the South Carolina Peach Festival in Gaffney, SC. I have registered for several other races since, including the infamous Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, SC.

However, when my fitness level declined and I couldn't find anyone to run with or any good routes, I gave it up for a while. Until last year that is.

Thanks to the new fitness scene I was introduced to in Spartanburg and Rock Hill, specifically my running club, Run The Rock, I got back into running. It has been quite a rush. Last year, I began running long distances again and decided I wanted to go beyond a 10K. I wanted to train for and run a half marathon (13.1 miles). I knew it would take time, discipline, support, and training but I was up for the challenge. I trained for over six months and kept improving my hydration, quickness and endurance.

This past weekend at The Come See Me Festival in Rock Hill, SC, I ran my first half. Despite wet conditions, I ran a personal best, 2 hours and 14 minutes. Not too shabby for my first go round. My runner high is way up there currently. I wasn't concerned about time, but I wanted to be prepared and have a good pace. Everything lined up together and went well for my first half marathon. Now I plan to run another one in a few months, and hopefully a marathon (26.2 miles) by next year.

When I run, my mind feels at ease. I may ache later in my arms and legs but during my runs, I feel a sense of peace and a rush. I love tracking my times and pace and setting personal bests and taking on challenging trails and routes. It is such an addiction. I once heard that if I run one race, I will want to run regularly. This is true in my case, although I intend to continue a balance exercise regimen where I will not abandon strength and resistance training.

I feel blessed to be able to run long distances without stopping. I started on country roads as a teen, put in work on treadmills, and have built my way up. I still remember the days where I couldn't even run one mile. Obviously I feel extremely humbled and I look for continued progress.

Thanks to all of my friends, family, workout partners, trainers and coaches for the support. There would be no me without all of you.

To my fellow runners, do you feel running is like a vice or an addiction? Do you also experience runner's high?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Five Years Of Writing: Where Has The Time Went

It's extremely hard to believe I decide to start blogging five years ago on April 18, 2010.  I feel grateful for my loyal readers and all of the support I have received along the way. It has definitely been quite a ride.

It seemed it took forever for me to start blogging and to stay focused with it. Now it's like second nature and I strive to have good topics of discussion weekly. This is why I named it "random intelligence and such". I may have started out with reviewing sweet teas, but I have covered many topics, people, places and areas. Sports, love, music, entertainment, food, other writers, and most anything popular. I even have my bi-annual awards pieces, highlighting the stupidity and injustices throughout the year.

I have researched, studied and worked to improve as a writer, and grow my avenues beyond writing. Some things to expect are a couple of e-books, more online publications, some public speaking engagements and many more. I simply love reading and writing, and I want to do it as much as I can. 

This is also a thank you to Blogger for allowing me to keep my posts going for this long. Patience is a virtue and it has carried me through my writings.

Continue to support me as I push forward. Happy 5th Birthday Drew's World Of Random Intelligence and Such!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Shopping For Useful Stuff At The Drug Store

There are many of us that will resort to the drugstore as a last minute resort for a gift or simply a snack.  Heck you can usually get in and out quickly, many are open late, and they are simply convenient.

I'm not referring to Walmart, Target or a supermarket. I'm referring to actual pharmacies such as Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, and your local mom and pop drug store.

Hey don't turn your nose up just yet. There are actually good, useful gifts available at the drug store. You just have to know what you want, and simply pick and choose.

1. Electronics

Pharmacies have lots of these, especially phone chargers and nice headphones, and other cell phone accessories. Some even have cell phones, where you purchase the minutes.

2. Houseware stuff

Coffee makers, blenders, microwaves, chairs and even toasters can all be found at many pharmacies.

3. Cosmetics.

There are many high end fragrances and makeup accessories at the cosmetics counters. Belks and other retailers have them of course. But at the drugstore, they may be on sale and still be the exact same product.

4. Toys and games

There are lots of cool things for children if you need to get something for a kid's birthday, a toy drive, or for your own child. The selection is surprising.

5. Groceries

Oftentimes items such as cereal, milk, eggs and drinks are even marked considerably low. You even have your grocery list covered for a few days.

True story:  I have did all of my holiday shopping more than once from a pharmacy. They are no longer the haven for cheap, useless stuff. Pharmacies are now in the category with the major retailers, and more of the chains are opening everywhere.

What have you gotten out of the drugstore that was surprising and impressive? Do you go to the pharmacy for items that are non-medicinial?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Some Of Our More Eccentric TV characters

Television has brought us many memorable, larger than life characters. Some of them are the cool, suave or attractive ones. Many, however, are dubbed the weird, different or left field characters. You haven't seen a person like them before or after the show ends.

I've been doing some research and have conjured some such characters that changed TV and our culture forever.

1. The Fonz

He was your typical cool motorcycle riding, 50s greaser guy. He never combed his hair (it was already perfect) and didn't need many words. He was a man of image and action. It appeared when Fonzie snapped his fingers or beat on something, it was always something special. Heeey!!!

2. JJ Evans

Dy-no-mite! On a show where it was about hard times in the South side of Chicago ghetto, JJ kept things loose. His antics, style, catchphrases and rhymes captured an audience and a generation.

3. Arnold Jackson

What you talking about Willis? Gary Coleman's iconic character was comedic gold and even made you think seriously during some of the series's special episodes. His diminitive size rarely deterred him and he was always determined and focused.

4. Steve Urkel

Let's all be honest, Family Matters may have not lasted two seasons without these cheese eating, snorting, Laura-loving, super intelligent geek. Urkel had the bifocal glasses, high rise jeans, and was simply comfortable in his own skin. It was cool to be nerdy and weird because Urkel was. Did I do that?

5. Cosmo Kramer

Co-starring on arguably the best sitcom in television history (Seinfeld), Kramer stood out. He never knocked on a door,/always sliding into a scene, and kept various schemes and plots going on, with no visible means of income (similar to Tommy from Martin). The entire cast was powerful, but Kramer was undoubtedly the MVP. There is supposedly a real Kramer in New York City that does bus tours but I'm unsure if he is as funny as the TV Kramer.

6. Sheldon Cooper.

No one knew who Jim Parsons was before The Big Bang Theory premiered. But the extremely intelligent and strange physicist is a huge reason this comedy is still #1 for the past few seasons and has reruns all the time. I have elaborated before about Sheldon. Just make sure you don't sit in his spot or interrupt him on laundry night (Saturdays).

7. Omar

Michael K. Williams was a bad dude on a very awesome TV drama (The Wire). He was the wildcard. He wasn't a crook nor a cop. He simply took care of business and was simply hard. You didn't mess with Omar!

8. Uncle Si Robertson

Yeah I realize Si is an over the top reality show star. But hey (in Si voice), we all know and love his antics. His obsession with sweet tea, bells, Air Bud, and his endless stories about Vietnam are priceless. He is definitely the crazy relative that every family has. That's a fact Jack!

9. Brick Heck

I have recently gotten into The Middle and had I realized how awesome the show and/or Brick is, I would have tuned in long ago. Brick is the oddball youngest sibling in the Heck family. He has little to no friends, reads ALL the time, loves fonts and three syllable words. Don't forget about his various quirks, especially his whispering and whooping. Brick may be an outcast on the show, but would undoubtedly be the life of any real life party.

10. Huck

Scandal may have many dynamic characters and personalities. None are like that of gladiator Huck. He literally rides or dies for those he loves. It is effortless for him to kill for who and what he adored. Plus his super intelligence from the military, CIA and other secret government agencies has equipped him with many tools to hack into and learn about people's lives.

Imagine having all ten of these folks at a dinner party.

Which character do you like the best? Are there any others that should be added?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Basic Lawncare Tips Part One: Pushmower Maintenance

Now that Spring has sprung, it is lawnmowing season once again. This will go on until early Fall. I am set to learn from my past mistakes and even pass on lessons I have learned along the way.

I will be focusing on caring for your push mower, if you utilize one. My hope is I can help those that don't already know, and refresh those that haven't performed this in a while.

1. Make a basic checklist on what to have handy.

This includes fresh gasoline, 30W oil, a funnel, a gas container, two hand towels (one for sweat and one for wiping excess fluids), drain pans,and adequate storage space to protect your mower from rain. One should already have most or all of these items. However, folks will surprise you.

2. Change your oil and gasoline at the beginning of the season, and regularly.

Gasoline isn't usually good after 30 days so only buy what you will use in this timeframe. Also, change your oil and filter (if applicable) about every couple of months. Finally, use your drain pans for flammable liquids such as gas and oil. It is best not to just pour these into the ground, even if you are burning leaves or other waste.

3. Have a couple of repair folks handy.

Keep at least three people on standby who will be reasonably priced and keep your mower functional. I was blessed last season with my primary repairman. He kept my mower mowing, worked with me on expenses, and gave me wonderful tips, many of which I am sharing.

4. Do not overfill the gas or the oil tank.

This especially applies with the oil tank. You can flood the carburetor. Use a funnel and safely pour the proper amount into the tank, after you safely drain it all.

5. Ensure you have the proper mower.

You can go cheap, but remember all mowers are not make equal. Some are best for being glorified weed eaters, while others are better for bigger yards and longer grass.  Do your research and don't buy a mower just because it's the cheapest. Know the type that best suits your cutting needs.

6. Mow regularly, and have someone to assist you.

You don't wanna go more than two weeks, preferably a week, without cutting your grass. Between weather and a busy schedule, this can be a challenge. Therefore, in a pinch, have a good neighbor or a young person wanting to make a few extra bucks waiting in the wings for these tight times.

7. Keep all receipts and warranty records.
Most stores give you an automatic two year warranty. Anything can happen so store all important paperwork safely so you can get to it hassle free.

8. Clean your mower at least once/month

This includes even the tanks, and underneath. That dead grass can build up and a clean motor typically works better. You can set aside one day per month for all of your lawn maintenance.

9. Be proactive regarding any issue.

Grass doesn't stop growing for months, so time is of the essence. Stay on top of your maintenance, cutting and any problems that may arise.

10. Get to cutting!

By now you should have at least one cutting under your belt, depending upon your mower and climate. The grass really starts getting thicker as May approaches so don't waste time.

I hope I have at least helped refresh someone on basic lawncare. Look for more posts of this nature as I continue to learn and grow myself.

How is your push mower acting? Are there any other tips that aren't so obvious that you would add?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

How Long Should Someone Pay And Suffer

Today of course was Easter Sunday, the day where Jesus Christ rose from the dead after sacrificing His live for our sins three days earlier.

There are many people we live, die and would kill for. However, why do we continue to let certain folks suffer over things that are not that important in the grand scheme of life?

We allow this to happen even when we have been betrayed, lied to, hurt and all of the above and more. Jesus forgave others so why shouldn't we?

Now by forgive, I don't mean forget, and some people do not need to be in your life. You can love and forgive from a distance. However, no one should have to suffer forever.

You may be in this situation yourself now. You messed up big time with a person or even an organization. Now you are on the blacklist. How does this make you feel?

Unfortunately this is a case by case, individual situation. It is similar to our ever flawed justice system. There are people in locked up who may not deserve to die, but have no place in society. Charles Manson is one that fits this bill.

Let's all strive to love and forgive others, as Jesus did thousands of years ago, and daily present time. Some people may not deserve your time, but I'm willing to bet they don't deserve a lifetime punishment. Free yourself and them from this captivity.

What are one of the main reasons you would never want to see nor talk to anyone again? Do you think Christ's crucifixion is relevant to daily life now?