Sunday, October 30, 2016

Characters That Have Nearly Ruined Sitcoms Near The End

Many sitcoms that are nearing the end of their shelf life pull out the stops to stay relevant and keep their ratings steady. The latest travesty I have witnessed Greer Grammer (April) on my fave sitcom The Middle. She is playing Axl's new girlfriend. Fans of this show would agree she falls in that line. Here are some others you may have known and/or forgotten.

1. Howard Sprague and Ken Berry on The Andy Griffith Show

Ken Berry of course went on to have an outstanding career as Vint on Mama's Family. Before that, he was a lackluster replacement for Andy and Barney. And Howard was just plain lackluster.

2. Cousin Pam

Many fans of The Cosby Show remember Cousin Pam (Erika Alexander) and even her annoying friend (Karen Malina White). Thank God people don't judge Alexander's career based on Cousin Pam.

3. 3J

Family Matters ran through characters, networks and Harriets. The show stayed focused around Steve Urkel but bringing on 3J full time did nothing to make the show sizzle and pop. It simply fizzed.

4. Youngest siblings

This was tried quite a few times. Andrew in Family Times, Seven on Married With Children, and Nicky on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. These kids aren't as cute when people have basically stopped tuning in.

5. Danny

Giving Mr.Drummond a red headed stepchild and someone smaller than the now smaller Arnold was also pointless and forgettable.

6. Oliver from The Brady Bunch

7. Randy from That 70s Show

8. D-Money (Ray J ) on Moesha

9. Keith on Good Times

10. Jefferson on Happy Days

Please if you're producing a sitcom, go peacefully into the night. Stop adding these characters out of desperation. It rarely works.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Can't Hardly Wait, For Much Anymore

We're in a society of instant gratification. Many wait all year for Christmas and shop and decorate as soon as possible. We will say we don't have spare time but will spend an entire day binge watching Luke Cage. Also, we will vote as early as possible to ensure Trump or Hillary won't win.

We also have DVRs and advanced technology so how did we get here?

I believe many folks are in competition with each other and want to be the first to do or see something. They hate getting left behind.

This mentality has effected both Apple and Samsung folks. The iPhone 7 appears to be the phone of the year in sales, but many are adjusting to having to buy cordless earphones and speakers. Meanwhile, the Note 7 has had more problems, the latest being explosive batteries. I tell folks often to wait when it comes to technology but they won't.

Patience is still a virtue but many won't embrace it. They prefer short term gratification over long term happiness. Also, they need to realize what they want, not others.

Use wisdom and patience in your life and be your own person. The Joneses will be fine, trust me!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Black Or White: Caught In The Middle!

OK it seems racial tensions are at an all time high as we enter yet another presidential election. It seems overall, neither blacks nor whites as a whole understand each other. Some, however, would like to. You can tell by remarks on either end that many actually wanna get along and not return this country to the 60s, which is where it's headed.

Here are some basics to understand about both races. Being half black, half white, I had to learn more. But I will help both sides where I can.

Black people , especially black women, are targets everyday and not just by the police and media. They feel hurt and betrayed just as their ancestors did when they feel slighted or profiled based on their skin color. They don't agree with everything the Democratic party says and does, but feels like they look out for minorities more than the GOP does. Being black is a blessing and a curse but not many ethnicities would swap places. They will do "black" things and have black friends but aren't about living the life 24/7.

White people are blind to many obvious truths out there. This is called white privilege. I don't blame them fully for this, they simply haven't been in a position where they had to learn or understand other races. Whites are killed in higher numbers than blacks and get persecuted as well. However, history and privilege restrain them from being as aggressive about it as black people. They see the #blacklivesmatter movement as racist and offensive because they don't fully understand the overall significance. It's ok to like and believe what you do. However lack of understanding and communication can be dangerous for both races. Again you have to feel this pain, and not assume that everyone is a racist. Whites have to show others they want to understand and help and that wrong is wrong.

We are all humans at day's end with lots of cultural differences. Again speak your mind all day but do so with understanding and reason.

Until next time, ...

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Saving Paid and Unpaid Time At Your Job

Many of you know I have worked for 21 years of  my adult life, around 17 of those with paid and unpaid time available.  I have become adept at managing both , especially in emergencies and such. The basic available types of time are vacation time, personal time, (or PTO), and unpaid time (also known as chargeable time or comp time).

Proper management of this time can lead to greater peace of mind.  For example, many doctors recommend at least one week/year off from working. If you accumulate this time (40 hours for many folks), you have your week easily. 

Here are some tips to maximize your time as we end one year and begin the next.

1. Always know your available balance of time

Check your time at least twice/week.  Failure to do so could result in you using time you thought you had, and having to fight to keep your job.

2. Plan out the year the best you can.

At the beginning of the year, plan which dates you will need off , and the necessary time. Many companies go by first come, first come, then tenure.

3. Save extra for the unforseen.

Time from work is like money in the bank. Regardless of how it's spent, it shouldn't be in one place. Use your time that doesn't roll over but spread it out.

4. Know which time rolls over and what time you can take with you.

Save more of the time that expires, and especially what you have in larger balances. This can be a game changer, and then you can also plan more efficiently.

5 . Go home, if you can afford it. 

Many companies allow unpaid days and furloughs where your regular time isn't affected at all. Use these wisely also and remember you still must eat and pay bills.

Saving time really isn't advanced physics, just takes simple budgeting and planning. Also, communicate with management and HR regularly about when you want to take off and your available balance. Trust me, you don't want the clock running out

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Why I'm Not Currently Married Or Even Dating

I'm sitting back, fresh off of my 20 year class reunion. It was a very good time but given where you come from (and for me, these choice questions tend to arise at times).

Why aren't you married?
Why don't you have any kids?
You're too good of a guy to not have someone?
Where's your woman?

Sometimes I can tolerate this, except when folks become relentless. Then I have to check them and inform them of my quick reasoning. After that, I believe their curiosity turns into disrespect for what I want and my core values.

I read my friend and relationship/life coach's Troy Spry's book earlier this year "Teach Me How To Love 2". One of the biggest takeaways I got was that people aren't in touch with their core values and thus will settle quickly. I don't want that to be me, even I'm still single at my 30th high school reunion.

OK for all those that like to pry into my personal life (which is personal for a reason) at gatherings, seeing me out, social media, etc, here's something for you to read: some reasons why I am not married nor attached right now.

1. I simply haven't found the woman I can see spending the rest of my life with. I do hang out and go on dates and such, but at my age, I know what I want and will not settle. It's not being picky, it's knowing what I want and will tolerate.

2. Relationships nor marriages, especially marriages, are NOT to be rushed into. The divorce rate is high for good reason. Regardless of your age, one should take their time and chill when it comes to romantic affairs. It will happen if and when it's supposed to.

3. I would like for my own mother to see me married and have children. However, since I am a male, I am afforded the luxury of not having a biological clock. This means I can reproduce well on into my elderly years if I choose.  Look at Abraham from the Bible, Jerry Seinfeld, David Letterman, the list goes on. I'm a late bloomer at a lot of traditional things. It's not when but how well you do something.

4. I say this often, everyone is not meant to be married or even attached. I do respect the sanctity of marriages, love and relationships. However you must remember, everything is not for everyone and this includes love. Let us not forget Paul in the Bible.

5. I really, truly enjoy being single. I wrote a piece on it last year, and even participated in a non marital challenge on Facebook last month. One must love, enjoy and value themselves before they can give their heart to another person. Relationships are great with the right person, but single life has a lot of upsides as well. Therefore to those that wish they were single, please stop trying to drag me down.

6. Marriage and children are way more expensive than years ago. The wedding, home, taxes, cost of just one child from six weeks old to 18 years old (that's not including post secondary education.).  Even with a nice two income couple, all of this does cost. People can say you shouldn't worry about all of that and in a way I do agree. However, it's all about timing and I don't need too many bills rushing on me like an avalanche.

7. Lastly, why is it because I am a certain race, look a certain way, have a certain education, etc, etc mean I have to be with someone? Did someone rewrite the rules of society without telling me? Ok how about allowing me to be happy and great, okay? We are in a society where we are too judgmental and are trying to force feed beliefs on this culture and that culture. Let's think for ourselves and live the best lives we can live.

Ok here it is. Now are there any further questions? I really want to put this subject to bed or I will become even more selective about which folks I entertain.