Sunday, December 16, 2007

Amazon's Kindle is Sold Out!

The winds of change are rolling again and the tried but true book, darling of the Industrial Revolution, may be going the way of a piece of coal and a cave wall. 22nd Century Press publishers (22nd Century Press: Amazon's Kindle is Sold Out! Is it the iPod of Reading? ) blogged on the sold out state of Amazon's new Kindle book reader. Granted it's not the first or only ebook reader out there, but the buzz on this seems to be a bit different from when Sony announced their reader earlier this year.

Comparisons to the noble iPod abound. However, this is not what excites me. As a boomer, I'm looking at some of the first real change in human reading and communication habits. The speed of technology during my half century of life easily surpasses that of any 19th century industrialist. This is an exciting time to live in . . . just think, before I kick it for the last time I might get to see those books from a hologram that originates from my watch (so old school, but so Dick Tracy-like).

Back to the present, I'm still sticking to books. At least for a little while. Check out the review here: 22nd Century Press: Amazon's Kindle is Sold Out! Is it the iPod of Reading?

Toni Morrison weighs in:

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Not feeling the love for your slightly older, just a little creeky body? Well you'd better not let Sheritha Bowman know about it. She's a Washington, D.C. author and playwright that is laying it down for anybody not quite in the mood to feel fabulous. Oh yeah, she is kickin' some butt and not bothering with taking names.

Okay. You scared me. I'm leaving this blog RIGHT NOW to walk the dog.
Sometimes we just need a kick in the pants.
Thanks Sheritha.


Monday, October 01, 2007

The Black Baby Boomers American Dream - Do We Even Have One?

Boomers have a very interesting take on the American Dream notion. For some Black Boomers it means more than a white picket fence with a mom dressed in pearls. It has come to mean mini-mansions, kids with cars, shoes that cost more than a week of meals and enough electronic play devices to run a small country. It means succumbing to being the ultimate in consumers, but also not able to pass this fleeting 'wealth' on to their heirs.

What this will mean is yet more generations starting from scratch. Is this a good thing that breeds integrity and ambition or does it increase the circle of poverty? Beverly Mahone runs the stats on this phenom in her blog entry Black Baby Boomers and the American Dream and places the blame on institutional racism.

Perhaps its time for us to 'pull up' and take a good look at our lives and the alleged legacy we intend to leave (if that is the intention at all). Will the fact that we can afford a blinged out SUV or the largest HDTV available really matter if our grandchildren still endure the indignities of the Jena 6 or the brevity of life of the Newark/Delaware State victims?

It's time to re-tool the dream.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Color and Money - It's another green day

So you think you've overcome? Check out Color and Money: How Rich White Kids Are Winning the War Over College Affirmative Action for a wake-up call you may have chosen to ignore. Peter Schmidt's got the study's and he's not afraid to use them in this informative book.

Don't debate affirmative action without it.

Color and Money

African-German educator speaks out on AfroEurepean History

Here in the U.S. of A. we complain about the lack of history inclusion and education in our country. Obviously this is not just a problem here. Ever since biological racism was formulated in the 17th and 18th centuries, the real history of peoples of color has been mashed, rehashed, mis-told, and purposely forgotten.

As many of us have found, if we don't write it - it won't come. Bill over at Jewels in the Jungle has written a good introductory treatise on AfroGermanic history. I found it inspiring and it sparked my imagination, giving me several ideas for Afro-historical fiction.

My spouse Levon, is always saying that "history is created and remembered by the works that are written about it." How many times have we seen a Cleopatra movie? Or books about Alexander the Great? A perfect example was last season's HBO hit Rome. It used historical fact to underlie a good story about two Roman soldiers.

In my life, those soldiers could have easily been two Nubian warriors . . . and it should have been. And if I have anything to say about it, it will be.

Jewels in the Jungle: Black History in Germany & Europe (English version): An African-German educator speaks out

"Read A Book" - Bomani

Sunday, September 02, 2007

You Never Know Who's Behind the Mouse - Floyd Norman to be named a Disney Legend

According to the official site, the Disney Legends award program was established in 1987 to " ... acknowledge and honor the many individuals whose imagination, talents and dreams have created the Disney magic ... Since its inception, (this) program has honored many gifted animators, Imagineers, songwriters, actors and business leaders as having made a significant impact on the Disney legacy."

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

An animation industry legend, Floyd Norman worked on the Walt Disney animated features Sleeping Beauty, The Sword in the Stone and The Jungle Book along with various animated short projects at Disney in the late 50's and early 60's. He and business partner animator/director Leo Sullivan co-founded the AfroKids animation studio in 1966.

In recent years he has contributed creatively as a story artist on films such as Toy Story 2 and Monsters,Inc. for Pixar and Mulan and The Hunchback of Notre Dame for Walt Disney Animation.

In one of his columns on the Jim Hill Media site, He laughs at how he was described as as "The lone Negro" by former screenwriter Charles Shows in his memoir of his time at Disney entitled "Walt."

You can find his books 'Faster! Cheaper!' , 'Son of Faster, Cheaper!' , and 'How The Grinch Stole Disney' - collections o cartoons inspired by his lifetime of experiences in the animation industry on the AfroKids web site. He is also a regular columnist on the Jim Hill Media website.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Journey to Health with Annette Larkins

Now don't even tell me you don't care if you age and look like a dying wilderbeest. We all care, otherwise Clairol would not be making so much money off of covering the gray! Author Annette Larkins says she has the solution . . . and it's in your cupboard and refrigerator!

She's written to booklets title "Journey to Health" and "Journey to Health2". She's a raw foods proponent and I'm not mad at a sister! We should all look so good at 60. She's among a growing list of people who have switched to raw foods and have avoided diabetes, wrinkles, obesity and more.
She claims an 18 inch waist and was 59 years old when this photo was taken in 2001.

Check out her website at:
Journey to Health with Annette Larkins

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Travel Travails for Boomers & Others

If you've ever lost knitting needles, pocket sewing kits, corkscrews or all-in-one tools to the airport security checkpoint, here's a way to get it back. Well maybe.

Despite 9/11, more and more boomers are traveling and losing a grip on their goods. The TSA has devised a way to profit from your loss, however small. The confiscated items are sent to various state warehouses to be either reclaimed or sold. However, this isn't exactly news. The Unclaimed Baggage Center has been selling lost luggage in Alabama for years. It was even featured on Oprah.

It's not clear if they are also selling your gels, lotions or other liquids that are over 3 ounces. Many people report seeing them thrown into the garbage. But one man's garbage bag may be another's TSA shipping container on the way to Tucker, Ga or some other state destination. Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania are saving items with some states even collecting for other states and raising money for their own coffers.

According to the Wall Street Journal article, they are now seeking to reunite passengers with their items before selling them. This may come as some relief to those that have lost a precious gift or heirloom. But don't hold your breath - there are thousands of items retrieved each month.

There's Also Help Preventing Baggage Loss

There's a new service that will assist you and the airport in locating your luggage. It's called Bags ReUnited. According to the website it is a free 24 hour Global Recovery system that " . . . has been created to provide an effective way of ensuring that a lost bag or item can be returned to you."

The online service provides luggage tags (that can be printed from the web) and when your baggage is found, it sends an SMS (text)/email alert message to you. The instructions on the uniquely coded tags can even be printed in various languages depending on your destination. There are a few other features like maintaining your address book and itineraries online, but there are lots of other sites that do that. You can report your loss anywhere you can access the internet (smart idea to add the url to your smart phone with data access).

It also touts free lifetime registration and protection of items other than luggage. While registration, tag printing and notification are free, Instant Alert (SMS text message to your mobile phone) carries a $4.99 yearly surcharge payable by credit card or PayPal.

So - maybe you haven't lost that slamming bathing suit (although you had to buy another at your destination) or the custom engraved chopsticks forever. Focus on enjoying your travels and if the luggage security troll eats your stuff, check out these options before you give up hope.

Carry-On Items Taken at Airports Find Happy Homes -

Unclaimed Baggage Center

Bags ReUnited

Monday, July 09, 2007 | the black review online

QBR HOSTS 9th HARLEM BOOK FAIR JULY 20 - 22, 2007 | the black review online

Friday, July 06, 2007


Want some new music that's not filled with "b*&%$ and H@$"? You've got to check this young man out! Ryan Shaw is a 26 year old from Decatur, GA that will take you back to the days of sweet soul music with Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and Sam Cooke. Great voice and slammin' retro tunes. I'm hoping he gets the air play he deserves on the so-called 'urban' stations.

Right now I'm listening to Nobody, It's Over, and We Got Love. Sweet. Check him out, he's touring this summer with Joss Stone.

Catch him 'live' in this video from a radio appearance in Baltimore on WTMD.

Oh, Yeah! I'm an overaged groupie!
Check out Ryan Shaw's new cd here.

A Singer's Hardy Old Soul -
Recent article with this young blood wearing a hat like my daddy! Too cool. Now when you've finished checking out this blog, go tell yo' momma AND your daughter!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Kenneth Winfrey on Being Oprah's Cousin

I've never once thought of this, but I wonder if Joanne Winfrey is related? Naw, but here's a thoughtful treatment on being a celebrity relative.

Being Oprah's Cousin

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Yolanda King Dead at 51

This has hit me sideways. As a boomer, it's difficult to wrap my "never gonna age or die" head around it. Notables or celebrities passing away just don't effect me much. After all, they are not Harry, Connie, Robin, Vanessa, or Keith. However, this one strikes me close.

Growing up, I briefly identified with Yolanda King. Our fathers died in 1968 and we were the same age. While mine wasn't famous, almost a month later when her dad died I wondered if she cried every night too. What ever the answer, I made my comparisons, locked up the subject and moved on.

Today I'm lost in comparisonville again. Fifty-one seems as young as twelve today. I'm happy and living my best life and I imagine she was too. Heart disease seems a million miles away. For me at least . . . in my head.

I lost my mom to congestive heart failure in 2004 and Yolanda lost her mom in 2006. Both in their seventies and still it feels way too young. It's way too soon for Yolanda.

Here's to you, my sister - for finding your unique voice and sharing it with the rest of us. We will honor you by spreading the word - reminding others to Go Red for Women.

Check out her website and a sample of her speaking engagements: Higher Ground Productions

How Martin Luther King’s Eldest Daughter Blazed Her Own Spiritual Path

A Dream of Her Own: article by Mitch Horowitz that appeared in the April 2005 issue of Science of Mind magazine (

Video from this year's King birthday observance.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

So Much for Overcoming

Sometimes you just have to bring up the same stuff over and over again - when will this sort of thing end? Probably never. Humans will always find a way to ridicule each other.

Now I also have to listen to Don Imus all day apologizing for calling the Rutgers Women’s Basketball team “Nappy Headed Ho’s” and his assistant calling the game “the jigaboos vs. the wannabes”. Where is the FCC on this? What’s more important, Janet’s nipple or insulting a hard working group of young black women? This is not about political correctness, it’s about what’s right.

I actually used to listen to Imus on NBC radio back in NYC. I stopped about 12 years ago when once again, he went to far with his insults and racial/sexist digs. I thought this guy had calmed down now that he was solidly in "Geezerdom". Nope. Nada.
There are still loads of noodleheads that really believe and agree with his insults. The kinds of things said in private but never in front of those oh so overly sensitive black folk at work.

This is not Imus' first time. Michael Wilbon brings that home in this article:

Michael Wilbon - Out of Imus's Bigotry, a Zero Tolerance for Hate -

That said . . . to my home state lady Scarlett Knights - next year you're are going to own those hoops! Great season girlies.

What’s really scaring me is that I’m beginning to agree with Al Sharpton.

Damn. Must be menopause.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Motivational Morsels by Rey Harris

“Motivational Morsels” contains hundreds of quips, quotes and anecdotes to inspire, entertain and uplift. This is a personal collection from over 15 years on the Internet and close to 60 years of being on the planet. Here are a few examples: “Walk by faith, but run when you get a chance.” James A. Carter

Motivational Morsels by Rey Harris (Book) in Self-Improvement