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May 18, 2009

NBA Playoffs: Will We See a Kobe/LeBron Final?

Kobe LeBron 2  There should be no political correctness during the playoffs and that’s the way it should remain.  Supporters should not hide their love for their favorite teams.  I understand players being diplomatic because they don’t want to provide fodder that will annoy, irritate or anger their opponents.  But I’m not a player so I don’t have to be genteel.  

I’m simply a fan who loves basketball and I want to see a Kobe/LeBron final.  I specifically didn’t say Kobe versus LeBron or LeBron versus Kobe. Simply a Kobe/LeBron final. I want to see a modern day gladiatorial style sports battle. 

No disrespect to the Magic or Nuggets but I hope Team Kobe and Team LeBron bounce you out of the way – quickly.

I am not completely delusional; I do know that both the LeBron Cavaliers and the Kobe Lakers face teams that could in fact maybe possibly beat them.

Kobe LeBron 1

Yes, the Denver Nuggets swept through their first two rounds and the Lakers had to go to a game 7 in their second round. But the Lakers are consummate warriors and I believe that they will come out to battle every night against the Nuggets.  I think their every-other-game lackadaisical play against Houston is a thing of the past and taught the Lakers a lesson about public perception and they now have something to prove so they will come out with crazed passion and fervor!

So, can the Nuggets get pass the Lakers who have home court advantage?

There is also the really, really far-flung possibility that Orlando might come out roaring and magically upset Cleveland’s chances of going to the finals buuut NOT so much.  I have heard from a not so reliable source that Team Magic is spending today in Church and lighting candles for St. Christopher, the patron saint of sports because in order to win this series Orlando will have to win at least two close games and win at least one game, maybe two, in Cleveland.  I don’t think that will happen.

Kobe LeBron 3 

A Kobe/LeBron showdown between these two friends is what most of us want to see but our gifted athletes have to defeat some great teams to get to the finals, so go ahead and freely and unapologetically root for the Lakers or Cavaliers.  But as always the human factor will come into play: 

Which team will remain healthy?

Which team has the mental strength to put the living fear in their opponent? 

Which team is faster, stronger and wiser?

Watch the hilarious Nike commericals below:  🙂

April 21, 2009

Road Safety: Aggressive Driving Serious Concern

driving-too-fast1  

When I lived in New York City because I didn’t have to drive much I didn’t really give a hoot about drivers’ aggressive behavior. Now that I have to drive amongst some of the youngest least experienced drivers and some of the oldest inept drivers I pay A LOT of attention to road safety.

According to a survey and analysis research released today by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, they interviewed of 2,509 adults and found that most motorists in the USA — 78% — call aggressive driving a serious concern yet nearly half admit speeding on major highways in the past 30 days.  Drivers also confessed to recently speeding on residential streetswhich is a HUGE pet peeve of mine — speeding up to beat yellow lights, honking at other drivers and tailgating. 

The automobile club says this reflects the “do as I say, not as I do” attitude of American drivers.

Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of the foundation said that vehicular crashes kill someone every 13 minutes and that aggressive driving is a factor in 56% of all fatal crashes. 

Aggressive driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says, occurs when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” These often include speeding, tailgating, improperly changing lanes, failing to yield the right of way, improper passing and running red lights.

Amanda Cooke, 21, a computer teacher in Running Springs, Calif., says she used to drive so aggressively that her boyfriend was afraid to ride with her. “I’d cut people off to get into the lane I wanted to get in,” she says. “I’d tailgate them if they were going too slow or blink my lights if it was night.” Cooke says she stopped driving that way after crashing into another driver. “I didn’t think it was as risky as it was,” she says.

avoid-texting-while-driving  Driving while speaking on cell phones and driving while texting is not mentioned in this report but I see folks swerving from lane to lane while talking or texting every minute I’m driving, which is very dangerous.

Folks, I bring this to your attention to remind you to be less aggressive and more focused on the road when driving.

texting-rip 

Drive safely!

March 30, 2009

Washington Bans Dishwashing Liquids

dishwashing-liquidIn an effort to improve water quality in Washington waters, the state is reducing one of the most common causes of pollution:  phosphorus in household products.

There are over 260 bodies of water polluted because of nutrients like phosphorus in Washington State.  Phosphorus is a common ingredient in household detergents and fertilizers, where it is often described as “phosphate.” It is used in many industrial processes. Phosphorus also occurs naturally in soil and human and animal wastes.

In water, phosphorus behaves as a fertilizer, accelerating plant and algae growth. When those plants and algae die in the water, bacteria consume oxygen that is dissolved in the water. When this happens, less oxygen is available for fish and aquatic life that need oxygen to survive. Excess phosphorus in drinking water is difficult to remove, and also can require an increase in treatment chemicals which adds cost.

Industry and wastewater treatment plants account for about fifty percent of the phosphorus contributed to Washington waters. The other half comes from a variety of “nonpoint” sources which are hard to trace such as such as storm-water runoff, septic tanks and agriculture.

When we reduce our use of phosphorus-based products we can considerably improve this pollution problem. The best way to protect our water sources is to avoid putting phosphorus into it to begin with.

There are alternatives to phosphorus-containing detergents that can be just as effective at food removal and spot reduction as phosphorus-containing soaps – Palmolive has a phosphorus free version.  Ask your supermarket(s) about phosphorus free products.

Even if your state isn’t regulating phosphorus in its water systems (as yet) we all need to start protecting our lakes and ground water. I believe that regulators should also ban phosphorus from our laundry detergents.

March 23, 2009

Basketball: Is LeBron James Leaving The Cavs?

Why is LeBron teasing us?!

james-wade-3 Sunday night in a pregame interview at the Nets’ Izod Center (Cavs 96/Nets 88) the subject of the rivalry between LeBron James and Dwyane Wade came up.  It was mentioned that they’ll never match up in an NBA Finals if one of them doesn’t switch conferences after the 2010 free agent market period.

james-wade-1  “It doesn’t matter — whatever happens, we’ll go against each other,” James replied. “Maybe we’ll go against each other in practice. That would be fine.”  What the heck does that mean??? Is LeBron saying that he and Dwyane will be in the same conference soon enough? 

Will Dwyane Wade go to Cleveland?

Will Wade and James both go to the Knicks?

james-wade This is the kind of cavalier chatter that will cause Cleveland fans to freak and Knicks fans to wish upon a star.  But in reality, why would LeBron leave the Cavs?  Everything in Cleveland is created with him in mind – in reality he IS King James of Cleveland.  If King James won’t go to the mountain, maybe the mountain will go to Cleveland.

January 29, 2009

President Obama Loves ‘Single Ladies’

President Barack Obama has admitted to being a “Single Ladies” fan.

In a behind-the-scenes video from the presidential inauguration festivities, posted on singer John Legend’s Web site, the President was captured telling Beyonce that he’d done her dance routine from the “Single Ladies” video for the First Family.

“Mr. President, you didn’t tell Beyonce about ‘Single Ladies?’ Your rendition?” wife Michelle asked as they greeted the singer and stars including Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige.

“I’m not like Justin [Timberlake], I didn’t put on the outfit,” President Obama answered, referring to a recent “Saturday Night Live” clip, which saw Justin dancing in a leotard and tights to “Single Ladies.” “I didn’t want my girls thinking that I couldn’t, dance y’know – I got a little something.”

In the clip, First Lady Michelle, Vice President Joe Biden and his family joined the President in thanking the stars for their efforts during the campaign.

“You have been so great throughout the race, I am very grateful,” the President told John, and Michelle had kind words for the singer as well.

“You worked hard for this,” she said.

“You worked harder,” John responded.

President Obama is no stranger to showing off his dance moves. He previously tested them out on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” during his campaign.

Watch Obama dance to Snoop Dogg’s ‘Drop it like it’s hot’:

 

January 3, 2009

In Debt? It’s Time To Negotiate With Your Credit Card Company, Bank or Lender

It’s a new year.  It’s a new day.  There are some new rules.

Financially, times are about to become hard for many of us but we the consumer still have some negotiating leverage. 

Folks just don’t have the cash flow they had 6, 8 or 12 months ago.  Not too long ago distressed borrowers might have avoided disaster by taking out an equity loan on their home, borrowed from 401ks or may even have borrowed from relatives or friends but in these dire times these are no longer options for many.

Lenders are realizing that many Americans will not be able to pay their bills as the economy gets worse and worst.

Some lenders have given the collection agencies that work for them the authority to get whatever cash money they can – even if it’s a fraction of the total debt – while they can.  

Don’t get it twisted, creditors aren’t being nice – they are simply trying to get cash since cash is golden right now.   In the months to come some people won’t have any extra cash to pay old debts so lenders are willing to negotiate today. As they say, ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’. To paraphrase, it is better for creditors to accept what they can get today than to wait and risk getting nothing.

Some banks like Bank of America, Chase and even American Express are currently waiving late fees, lowering interest rates and are even reducing balances for nearly a million borrowers.  Some lenders are offering to forgive their debtors between 20 and 70 percent of their debt.

As bad debts sky-rocket lenders are caught between a rock and a hard place so they will offer loan adjustments to people who meet certain criteria such as being delinquent for 90 days or longer, the borrower’s income, existing bank relationships and a credit record that suggests that missing a payment is an exception rather than the rule.

So, if you owe some money, now is the time to contact your bank, lender or collection agency and negotiate, negotiate, negotiate some sort of settlement.

Wishing you and yours a healthy, happy,

peace filled and prosperous New Year!

December 21, 2008

2008 – An Unforgettable Year!

michael-phelps-8-medals Recently our 2008 eight-medal winning Olympic swimming champion smoked pot for the first time at a Michigan hotel.  His reaction was a bit boisterous – the stoned Phelps broke all the televisions in his room, but later bought exact replicas so he could replace them before anybody at the hotel was the wiser.  But we have to forgive Mr. Phelps since he’s been in training for most of his 23 years and this is the first time he has let loose.

Not too long ago we learned that Martha Stewart used a hand model for close-up shots in her latest book since she deemed her own hands too wrinkled. 

susan-sarandon-and-daughter Last week the still very, very sexy Susan Sarandon had her first face-lift. Susan is the mother of the statuesque and stunning 23 year old Eva Amurri.

We can’t speak of 2008 without talking politics, politics and more politics.  This year was filled with characters, clichés and catchphrases!

governor-eliot-spitzer-and-prostitute-kristen It started early when Governor Spitzer of New York was identified as ‘Client # 9’ and ended in November when Jesse Jackson Jr. was identified as ‘Candidate # 5’ in the Governor Blagojevich investigation – you can’t make this stuff up!

rahm-emanuel-fist The year also started with a no drama Obama campaign and came full circle with an all drama Rahm Emanuel for Obama’s White House Chief-of-Staff.  Rahm gets the job done and that’s huge. It will be good to have a little ‘safe’ drama in the White House.  It’s only fair since Obama doesn’t give the late shows and comedians food for fodder – Rahm will.

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