Know What
I'm Sayin'??
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
A NEW Reason to Watch Spike TV
I don't know about you, but I watch Spike TV. Whenever I happen to have a day home from work (for some reason), I watch Star Trek reruns on Spike. It's something I do. Spike is also good for a 007 movie on a regular basis. It's consistent. I like that in a TV station.

Well, folkz, I'm happy to announce a NEW reason to watch Spike TV: Afro Samurai.

"Did he say 'Afro Samurai'??"

Yes I did. Never thought you'd hear(see) those two words together, huh? Believe it.

Let me break it down for you. Afro Samurai is an animated (yes, animated) show about...a Samurai with an afro. The premise is there are these two headbands: The #1, and the #2. The represent the #1 and #2 fighter/warrior/badasses in the whole world. The catch is, only the #2 can challenge the #1. Who can challenge the #2? Anybody who damn well pleases.

The current #2 is the Afro Samurai. His father was the previous #1. As a young boy, he was forced to stand by while his father was killed by some dude that fights with pistols. Ever since then, he has been on a mission to avenge his father's death. At the same time, he has to take on anyone who crosses his path that wants their shot at becoming #2. This dude Afro is cold-blooded. The whole series is very bloody, and graphic. Almost told in Japanese anime style, if you've had any experiences with that.

Here's the clincher, what makes the show worth watching, and what makes the show worth mentioned here at "Know What I'm Sayin'??": Guess who voices Afro. Guess. Just guess. You'll never guess. I'll just tell you.

Samuel L. Jackson.

No lie.

That alone makes the show like 10 zillion times better.

Want the double clincher? Not only does Sam voice the cool, calm, even stoic Afro. He also voices "Ninja Ninja". I have yet to figure out whether NN is an actual person, or just Afro's alter ego. He's always there, but he never does anything. It's like he says the things that Afro might be thinking if he had grown up in the hood. The dichotomy between the two is interesting. It's like Afro is a calmer, quieter, impassive version of Jules Winnfield from Pulp Fiction, while NN is like a less-high, but still excitable version of Gator from Jungle Fever. I'm pretty sure he's just an alter ego. Yeah. That's it.

I was just researching this on Wikipedia, and it turns out that Afro Samurai only currently is slated for 5 episodes.

The bad news: They're already through Episode 3.
The better news: As of today, you can catch Episode 3 at
The not so great news: They only host one episode at a time, so get it while it's hot.
The details: Airs on Spike TV at least the next couple of Thursdays at 11pm. This cartoon is not for your kids, people. This is DEEP into prime time TV.
By the way: The RZA produced the score, which should be released next Tuesday.

(Yes. I did say "dichotomy". Look it up if you need to.)
Know What I'm Sayin'??
Monday, January 22, 2007
My new Monday dilemma...
I have a television dilemma: What to watch at 9:00?

I guess it's fair to say it's not much of a dilemma at all, because I'm GOING to watch 24 on Fox.
In the back of my mind I'll be wondering what's going on on Heroes on NBC.

If Jack decides to take a nap or something, I may even chance a short peek to see what the Cheerleader's up to.


BUT...that's when 24 will get you! They lull you into a false sense of security, and then they kill Curtis! Just like they killed Edgar. Who's next? I tell you what, if (when) they bring Kim's dumb arse back, I'm definitely switching to 24.

For a little while. Maybe.

Know What I'm Sayin'?? No? It's okay. Watch 24.
From: Elevators
One of my favorites of all time:

...I replied that I had been going through the same things that he had.
True, I've got more friends than the average man,
but not enough loot to last me to the end of the week.
I live by the beat, like you live check to check.
If you don't move your feet, then I won't eat, so we like neck to neck...

Know What I'm Sayin'??
Saturday, January 20, 2007
This is why people in Atlanta stay home when it snows.
This is a video of recent happenings in Portland, OR.
(They get MUCH more icy stuff than we do, and they apparently can't handle it any better than us Southerners.)

Thursday, January 18, 2007
Look now!
My brother has been bitten by the blogging bug.

See his rantings at

My favorite post of his so far is when he talks about the greatest live recordings that he has ever heard (and why).

He's calling it like he sees it, and pulling no punches. Good reading.

Speak it, Brother!

Know What I'm Sayin'??
Don't look now...

I've been trying not to get too excited about, but I can't contain myself any longer. It's a good thing.

There. I've said it.

Return to your lives. Buy gas tonight. It's okay. I won't be mad.
Monday, January 15, 2007
Liveblogging 24, Part 2
9:20ish - Remember last night when I was talking about how hard Curtis is? Well, he just broke. Broke in grand fashion, too. Turned into a blathering wuss. Sigh.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Liveblogging 24, Part 1
Okay...we had a bunch of people over for dinner, and we started late. That didn't keep me from seeing all of the episode, but my liveblogging is a bit tardy.

So far:
  • We've found out that Jack didn't speak a single word for the 2 years the Chinese had him.
  • Jack was released as part of a deal between US and a terrorist. The terrorist's side of the deal is to give up the location of another terrorist that has been setting off bombs all around the country.
  • Curtis is maybe ALMOST as cold-blooded as Jack. When they left Jack for the terrorists to pick up, Curtis had nothing to say. Not "Your country will remember you, Jack." Not anything sappy like "You're my inspiration Jack." Not even a head nod, and a peace sign. Just gave him an extremely respectful look, and turned and walked away. Exactly as Jack would have done.
  • Chloe is up to her old tricks again, and almost jeopardized the whole operation.
  • The terrorists that got Jack reveal to him that the terrorist that he's giving up did not commit the bombings.
  • Jack went vampire on this guy and got his keys from him as soon as they turned their backs on him. YOU DON'T TURN YOUR BACK ON JACK BAUER.
9:01 - Jack Bauer is one of the few people in the world that gets a direct line to the President whenever he wants it.

9:12 - The last 10 minutes (15 minutes in 24 time) have been relatively predictable.

9:16 - Regina King is playing David and Wayne Palmer's sister.

9:30 - For the first time, we see the results captivity have had on Jack...he's gained a bit of perspective.

9:55 - Jack was right. The President was wrong. The President's people were wrong.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
24 is back.
Ok, peeps.

I don't know if YOU watch 24, but I watch 24. The new season starts tomorrow, and they are starting with 2-hour episodes on Sunday and Monday.

  • Sunday 1/14 between 8pm and 10pm
  • Monday 1/15 between 8pm and 10pm.
  • All Mondays until the season ends from 8pm - 10pm (I think Prison Break will lead into, or follow 24, so I'm taking the whole two hours.)
  • Don't even talk about me too intensely, unless it's in the context of "Damn, this is one crazy episode, I know Mau is loving this!" Don't want my ears to start burning during a key moment.
I'd like to give a belated award to Season 5 of 24, for the most cold-blooded season finale since J.R. was shot.

This is what happened: During Season 4, I don't remember why, but Jack led a raid on the Chinese Consulate. It was totally under-the-radar, so his squad did not use any real bullets, and they wore masks. That way it looks like a random raid, instead of a raid by US government employees. They either used rubber bullets, or none at all, because killing Chinese on US soil just wasn't an option.

In the commotion, the Chinese Consul is shot, but Chinese bullets. They know it was Chinese bullets, because the US folkz weren't shooting anybody.

The Chinese are going through camera footage, and get a split second of someone briefly pulling their mask off. They manage to identify that person, and capture him, and that's how they find out that Jack led the raid. They then hold Jack personally responsible for the death of the Consul, and they want him to face the consequences.

At the end of the season, in order to escape the Chinese, Jack disappears.

So, here comes Season 5. Jack is forced to come out of hiding, and save the good ole United States yet again. He does what he does, and tragedy averted (relatively).

Here comes the gutshot clincher: In the last episode, Jack is captured. If I remember correctly, a black van pulls alongside him on the street, and the next thing he knows, he is in a room, and a black bag is being pulled off of his head. Standing in front of him is the Chinese guy that was hounding him during Season 4. During Season 4, he threatened to take him to China, so that he could live out his days in a prison slave labor camp or something. After the Chinese guy gloats for a second, the camera shot zooms out. We see that he is on a Chinese cargo ship, which we can only assume is on its way to China.

The crazy thing is that there had been NO allusions to the Chinese during the whole season. They just just held on to it, and hit us with it in the last minutes.

Like I said - cold-blooded.

That being said, I think I am going to try something new: Liveblogging 24. Never heard of liveblogging? Basically, as the show progresses, I post on what I see, and my thoughts on it.

Should be fun. Stay tuned TOMORROW and MONDAY.

If I enjoy it, I may even liveblog EVERY EPISODE (probably not though). Let me know what you think, and we'll see how it goes.

Know What I'm Sayin'??

By the way...let me reiterate:

  • Sunday 1/14 between 8pm and 10pm
  • Monday 1/15 between 8pm and 10pm.
  • All Mondays until the season ends from 8pm - 10pm (I think Prison Break will lead into, or follow 24, so I'm taking the whole two hours.)
Friday, January 12, 2007
The Morning Papers - 1/12/07
Lots of weird stuff on this morning, peeps. I'm including a screenshot just to prove I'm not making this stuff up.

  • A body was found in the wheel well of a flight that arrived in Atlanta from Senegal.
  • A Kennesaw woman left her son at home for 2 days after he had just had surgery for a brain tumor.
  • A 280 lb man died in Montana while trying to break into a craft and hobby store by crawling through the a cooling duct.
  • Defense attorneys for Brian Nichols plan to use a mental health defense, and they're asking for MORE money. He "allegedly" killed 4 people during his escape and the pursuant pursuit. I'm pretty pissy about this one. This is costing a helluva lot of money.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Say it with me...
I will NOT watch "I love New York".
I will NOT watch "I love New York".
I will NOT watch "I love New York".
I will NOT watch "I love New York".
I will NOT watch "I love New York".
I will NOT watch "I love New York".
I will NOT watch "I love New York".

Here's a snippet of a conversation I had last night with my wife at about 10:30, just after we finished dinner. (We often eat late.):
M: Hmph...I just got a text message from W.
F: Cool. What's she talking about?
M: "Are U guys going to watch new york's new show? It comes on at 9:00, on VH1."
F: Aww...we missed it, but they'll probably show it again, knowing VH1.
M: (On the internet.) Yup. It comes on again at 11:30.

If the timing sounds weird, that's because I somehow missed the text message when it came, and I didn't get it until 10:30.

So, fast forward an hour, and F makes a beeline for the TV, and I go to bed, because even though I watched Flavor of Love both 1 AND 2, this is where I draw the line. Hell naw.

This morning, I ask her - "How was New York's show?"
She shakes her head.
"It makes the world look bad. Like it's a bad place."

'Nuf said.

Know What I'm Sayin'??
Monday, January 08, 2007
Straight up pimp, if you want me you can find me...

That's right, folkz. I went ahead and procured myself a domain name for my rantings. You can still find me at, but my new official home is

Hell yeah. That's hot, right? I know.

Know What I'm Sayin'??
Saturday, January 06, 2007
The way carbuying SHOULD be.
Well, sports fans, this is the deal:

Between my wife wrecking her car back in August, and the guy who rearended F and I in the Cadillac because he...I don't know...was picking lint off his headliner or something...we have to buy at least one car, and as many as two. (We have options because I still have the Karmann Ghia, but it's more of a warm spring/summer/early-fall, as weather permits type car, you know?)

Today we went car shopping. We started at the Jeep dealership to look at the Jeep Compass. It seems to be a pretty solid car/truck. My biggest gripe is that AC is not standard on the thing. Jeep is probably the only car company that lists AC as "optional".

After we left the Jeep behind, we visited CarMax to do a little one-stop shopping. We figured we would be able to look at and maybe drive lots of different cars, rather that hop around from dealership to dealership. The prices of the cars there were really not important. We can track down the car we want at the price we want it through other sources.

I was 100% impressed by the experience at CarMax. Before you go out onto the parking lot, you and a salesman are able to click through the inventory on a computer terminal. You get good search capabilities, and it let's you pick out exactly which cars you want to look at. It's a very clear, and easy process.

On the lot, the simplicity continues. All of the keys are hanging off the windows in locking boxes, and all of the salespeople have keys to the boxes. Simple as pie. If you want to look at a car, he opens the box, and pulls out the key. No-muss, no fuss. No "Okay. Let me note down the inventory number, and go get the key. Be right back." Rather, it's "This one? Okay." The salesman was at least marginally trained. Each time he pulled a key from a lockbox, he made sure to unlock all the doors, pop the trunk, and then give us the key to start it up.

See a car you like? Want to drive it? Done deal. Assuming your salesperson had the presence of mind to grab a dealers' tag before you left the building, you get in the car, and drive out. The salesperson drives through the gate. The gate has a system similar to what you might have going into your parking deck at your complex, or at work, only it has two steps: Each salesperson has his own "scan card", that gets scanned, and each car also has a tag. The system logs which salesperson took out which car. The process reverses upon return. Easy-peasy.

Between the process, and the no-haggle policy, I support CarMax. Did we buy a car today? Will we buy our car from CarMax? Probably not. I think you can still get a better deal from a dealership, and one thing a dealership can offer that CarMax can't is used-car certification. CarMax does offer a 3-year warranty, though.

All-in-all, CarMax gets passing grades from me.
Okay...I was going to make this a second post, or even leave it out entirely, but while I'm on the car thing, I'll include it.

I'm looking for a slightly newer Cadillac STS to replace my beloved "Bruce", and we drove one today. My question is...what's up with the gated shifter? What's up with gated shifters in general? You know what I'm talking about:

Yeah. Those. The things that make it take just that split-second longer to put the car in gear. What's wrong with the straight-line shifter? It's simple. It works. This gated mess doesn't add ANYTHING. Not safety. Not imagined sportiness. Nothing. It adds frustration, and it makes it take longer to feel at home in a car. You can't just jump in and drive it. You have to look at how the stupid thing is configured. It'd be one thing if these had standard layouts, but NO. This ugly thing is ALMOST a deal-breaker for the 1998-2004 Cadillac STS. There. I said it. Almost. Don't hold me to it though. As a matter of fact, nevermind. Forget I mentioned it.

Know What I'm Sayin'??
Thursday, January 04, 2007
The Ants go Marching One by One...
I work in Corporate America.

This morning, I parked on the 5th level of the parking deck, and elected
to take the stairs down to the bottom level, rather than the elevator.

People, let me tell you. You cannot begin to imagine the sound that we
were making trooping down the stairs in that concrete stairwell. Our
steps reverberated up and down that relatively small space.

It was akin to what I envision an army would sound like marching in
lockstep towards it's next conquest.

As I added my own size 13 steps to the din, I wondered what we would like
from the sky to someone looking down on us. Like ants. A platoon of ants
coming out of every crack and crevice in the parking deck, and then
marching down the stairwells, and pouring out of the elevators. Then
converging on the front doors of the building.

Like ants.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007
A trio of reviews: A car, a book, and a van.
I've got a trio of reviews here, folkz. Bear with me.

So, more about my holidays.

I spend XMas in Augusta, GA, and then came back to Atlanta for a couple of days. Then my wife and I drove to Hilton Head Island, in South Carolina for a day or two. I haven't shared with you that the Cadillac was rear ended the day after Thanksgiving, because I'm too traumatized, but suffice it to say that I no longer have access to my trunk, so we decided to rent a car. Hence, the first review:

The Saturn Ion

Excuse my language, family, but this P.O.S. is truly a shitty car.

First of all, the gauge cluster is located in the center of the dashboard, and angled towards the driver. In the space usually occupied by the gauges is...let me think...oh, I remember...NOT A DAMN THING.

The result is that when you first start driving the car, the car painfully beats it into your head (every time you try to check your speed), that the speedo is not where it should be. It's really annoying. The second result of this is that in front of the driver there's just this vast expanse of empty space. It makes for a more open feeling I suppose, but it feels like you're just operating a steering wheel that's not attached to anything. When the speedometer is right in front you, you get some sort of immediate feedback when you do something as the driver. That's not the case with this car. It just sucks.

Second, the door locks. I can accept that the car locks the doors when I shift into drive. It's for my safety. I just don't understand why the doors are not unlocked when I put it back in Park. So every time you get ready to get out of the car you have to hit that ill-placed button.

Third, the handling. The handling sucks. Every time I adjusted the wheel a little bit, the car swerved like I was trying to avoid the largest, widest, deepest pothole in history.

Fourth, the doors - they just don't close surely and securely. I'd slam the door, and then see and hear it shift back. You know how it still sticks out a bit when you don't close it securely enough, and it just barely latches? Just like that. I just had to conclude that it was cosed and locked, and that nobody in drive away with the thing while we were away. (You know how rampant crime is in Hilton Head.)

Just a really shitty car.

Book Review: Ghosts of St. Michel by Jake Lamar

While in HHI, I finished this book that I picked up during my recent rip to LA.

I really wanted to like this book, because I've read a few of this author's other works, but I just didn't.

This is the impression I got about this mystery: I imagine that a good author always keeps a notebook handy, to write down ideas when they come. It felt like the author had a lot of little stuff in his journal that he wanted to use. Plot points, prose snippets, and just random ideas.

The book at it's core is about a bi-racial family living in Paris, France. The mother, Marva, is Black, and from NYC. The father, Loic, is French. They have a relatively grown daughter, Naima. 21-ish. She has moved back to the States and is embracing the US, much to the chagrin of her parents. Short version of the plot is: Marva has an affair with one of her employees, and when Loic finds out, he kinda slaps and gets sui/homicidal.

So, back to my Journal theory: There are good facets to the book, and some good snippets, but the spine of the book, the plot, plods along in a futile search for suspense. Take Marva. She opened an extremely successful soul food restaurant in Paris. Naima: She was named after a John Coltrane song, and he has this great passage describing the walk and facial expression she adopts as she walks down the street in NYC. Like I said. Good supporting ideas in need of a good plot to support.

He gives a couple of subplots to make the book more interesting, but he wraps them with too-little explanation, or he just abandons them altogether.

I give this book a solid C.

The Chevrolet Uplander

I was pleasantly surprised by this minivan's competence on the road. It had sufficient power to merge and pass, and I found it decently comfortable.

My issues are with usability. First of all, the cigarette adapter outlet was at the bottom of the center stack. In a minivan, this ends up being on the floor, and pretty far from the driver. Second, maybe since this was a rental, the center console for the rear seats was missing, so there were no cupholders. I thought a measured metric for minivans was the cupholder count, but this thing just had 2! How useful is that?

I think that's about it for now. I'm gonna try to sleep.

Know what I'm Sayin'??
It's a new year, y'all. Act like it.
Wow, folkz, so much to say; and since it's 5:something in the morning, and I haven't slept a wink, here I am.

First, let me say Happy New Year.

Those of you who know me well know that I'm not very big on holidays. My immediate family doesn't get hyped up on Thanksgiving or Christmas, and the best thing about Memorial Day, Labor Day, and the 4th of July is that I (usually) don't have to work, but still get paid.

That being said, there is a special place in my heart for New Year's. I am excited by the potential and promise of a New Year. I see it as a chance to start with a clean slate, and enjoy filling that slate up over the course of the next 12 months.

Over the past few years, I've vacillated between two extremes when it comes to living life. There's the "Seen it all before" perspective, and then there's the "Grab the bull by it's horns" option. I recently abandoned the first. I've decided that I most definitely have NOT seen it all before. Folkz, we are living in exciting times, and change is not only inevitable, but pressing. On top of that, even if you've seen something similar before, if you wait around long enough you'll see someone put a brand new spin on it. People die all the time, but James Brown was buried in a 24 karat gold casket, people! Give. Credit. Where. It. Is. Due.

Second, I don't remember if y'all remember my Book Review on The Coyote Kings of the Space Age Bachelor Pad, but the author somehow found my missive, and left me a nice comment. (Googling himself, maybe? I do it on a regular basis.)
Third, I hope everybody got some real value from the holidays. I hope you considered "the reason for the season." I hope you were able to spend time with the people you truly care about the most. I hope you wiped your slate clean with a clean conscience.
It's a new year, y'all. Act like it.
Know What I'm Sayin'??