Archive for December, 2013

Cannabis in Colorado

Posted in News with tags , , on December 30, 2013 by geniusscribbleink


“Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction.”
― Bob Marley

Since the 3rd Millennium B.C. it has been documented that Cannabis (marijuana) has been utilized in some form of facet by individuals, whether for medicinal, recreational or spiritual usage. It is often considered, yet highly debated, to be the “gateway drug” towards the use of other hardcore recreational drugs. Since the 20th century, Cannabis has been under legal restrictions regarding its possession. It is not until recently in this country, that we are now on the cusp of a transcendent move that will legalize both the purchase and consumption of Cannabis without legal recourse. The state of Colorado is now ” in the green” come January 1st of 2014, as it will become legal for anyone 21 years of age and older, to purchase up to an ounce of Cannabis (approximately $200.00) from recreational “pot stores”. The Cannabis will have a state tax of 25%, plus Colorado’s standard state tax assessed to it. It is estimated that the sale of Cannabis will generate some 67 million dollars for the state, with approximately 27 million dollars of that sales revenue being reconstituted into the construction of public schools. It will become one of Colorado’s most highly taxed consumer products. Cannabis is the third most used recreational drug in the country behind alcohol and tobacco. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that alcohol in itself, causes 4 percent more deaths than AIDS, tuberculosis and violence, yet receives weaker control policies in its regulation in spite of the heavy toll it places on society as a whole (I.E.: road accidents, violence, disease, absentee parenting). The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that cigarettes are responsible for 1 out of 5 deaths in the United States annually. Such stunning statistics for recreational drugs that are legal to purchase when you reach a certain age requirement, yet the stigma associated with Cannabis still resonates as being taboo and the forbidden key to Pandora’s mystical box. Why is there an asterisk next to the word Cannabis? If it was about our health and public safety, than alcohol and tobacco should be banned as well. Could it be that the lobbyist from both alcohol and tobacco are pressuring the government to not legalize it, because they would suffer a great loss in profit if recreational stimulation could be found right next to the basil and tomato plants in your personal “Garden of Eden” and not at your local convenience store? You can purchase weapons of destruction at your local Walmart, yet a botanical life form is suddenly a pandemic disease? Our foods contain harmful drugs and our prescriptions have deadly side effects, yet they are all obtainable for consumption and purchase. It is naive to not speculate that regulation and taxation are the key reasons why Cannabis always receives such strong opposition. But such is the case with Colorado and the state of Washington in the latter part of 2014, we will start to see other states begin to become economically enlightened, as they will realize that being “in the green” will put their financial ledgers in the black. The old adage goes “legalize and I will advertise”. Well you can trust your bottom dollar, that our government will do just that. #your brain is no longer on drugs #it was only a test

The Life After Death

Posted in Trending with tags , , on December 23, 2013 by geniusscribbleink


Preparation is always thought to be the one controllable attribute that we as humans can execute. Even the cliché goes “failing to prepare is preparing to fail”, however, there are certain occurrences in life that we are never quite truly prepared for. I read countless Facebook postings regarding the loss of life recently and I harken back to my own trials and tribulations when my family had to face the Grimm Reaper and his cavalry of minions. We stare facets of death square in the eyes each and every day, yet we are never prepared for its eventual outcome. Now this is not a soliloquy on life insurance or will preparation (albeit they are important); nor is this a call for religious salvation for your soul. The purpose of this is for the survivor(s) who will have to endure and encounter the hardships associated with finding life after the death of a loved one(s).

We are living in a time in which death is a ricocheting bullet with an unpredictable pathway when seeking its next unexpected target. There was a time when the youth could envision a long life filled with promise, however, incidents like the shooting at Sandy Hook, all but solidified that no future is ever promised. Although death is a luminous cloud that hovers over our existence, the vicissitudes of life often move with such transitional swiftness, that we often lose track of the seemingly evasive entity commonly known to us as “quality time”. My reiteration to most is that you get one set of parents or parental figures in your lifetime, so one should never take that for granted no matter what the governing circumstances are surrounding your personal relationship with them. Learn to replace hatred with love, as it is the most prolific combatant to a broken heart or a lost soul. Hug your loved ones, as we know not the hour nor the day in which they may no longer be available to us. Embrace the family structure, although it is admittedly a daunting task due to the ever-present elements of jealousy, envy, arrogance, materialism, hatred, animosity and greed. Those are agents of destruction and chaos, that require a great wisdom when facing their adversarial barrage of bullets when pointed in your direction. These philosophical ideas are not derived from a sociological study, but from my personal life experiences. I share these drops of wisdom with you as a prelude to the eventual death that will occur in all our lives at one point in time. Nothing erases the pain, however, having no regrets will allow for closure when knowing that you were forever present in their lives. After a death has occurred in your life is when you will need more than ever the support of your family and your friends. You will also need some sort of spiritual advisor or counseling, because “self-healing” turns into “self-destruction” and the adoption of detrimental vices that will prohibit the healing process. Join a support group if you have to as this is not the time to face this challenge alone. These are just some of the tools I’m offering from an advisory perspective that can help you in your life after the death of a loved one. I pray that my advise can be of good use to someone in the future. #healing

In Review: Movie: Elysium

Posted in Movies & Television with tags , , on December 18, 2013 by geniusscribbleink


I find myself often confused about why brilliant actors/actresses take on certain scripts when evaluating a role for a movie. Take Will Smith for instance. He passed up the feature role in the movie series The Matrix (made Keanu Reeves ecstatic) in order to sign on to star in arguably one of the most horrendous movies to date; Wild Wild West. Yes some movies fall into that “Battlefield Earth” category which constitutes the burning of all merchandise, action figures and any and all film guild licensed memberships awarded to the director and script writers respectively. To this ode of “Burning All Pollutions Tonight” I might as well add another log to the fire and add Elysium to that list as well. Matt Damon is by far one of my favorite actors. From Goodwill Hunting to The Talented Mr. Ripley, it is hard to deny his proverbial acting chops. But even in all of his brilliance, there was no way that even he could carry this film to the finish line of success. I would start with the script and point out its many flaws, however I don’t even know when the script actually began. You are seemingly dropped into a desolate storyline that mirrored the apocalyptic back drop of a fallen world. There is a strange dialect being spoken, which could have been Spanish perhaps, yet the ethnicity of the extras seemed to be of Middle Eastern descent. This movie was Mad Max meets a low-budget Terminator with a vacuum cleaner hose exoskeleton suit (trust this is no exaggeration). And to believe that Jodie Foster was in this movie and looked like an extra for Revenge of The Nerds, all but sums up the wasted hour plus of my life that I spent watching this dreadful film. Don’t rent it and definitely do not buy it unless it is being utilized as a replacement for a lump of coal in a Christmas stocking. #epic fail

The Case of Brown Versus Bryant

Posted in News with tags , on December 14, 2013 by geniusscribbleink

imageI broach the topic of black on black adversity from time to time because I like to revisit the dynamic struggles of my culture and it’s regression versus it’s progression. Often times our dirty laundry spills over into the mainstream media and creates a platform for dialogue such as this. I for one never adhere to the who is “more black” versus “less black” mantra, as I have concluded that we as a black culture are not in an empowered position to dictate the etiquette by which this criteria is judged. It is in fact external racism from other cultural groups that conclude us to be one in the same regardless of the hue variances in our pigmentation. Yes, black is black; the problem that arises is that most blacks do not realize this. Perhaps it’s the years of forgotten heritage or the absence of images that reflect who we are historically and presently. I often speak on the concept that we as a culture, have done a porous job in the preservation of our history. We tend to subscribe to material wealth instead of traceable legacy and throughout this systematic breakdown, we have lost our identity. My theory is that we had a generation that dropped the baton, thus the transference of their “leg of the race” became mere dust in the wind. The great Satchel Paige ask that we “Don’t look back” because “Something might be gaining on you”. Such an interesting note of wisdom, however one has to sometimes look back in order to know where you come from and where you are heading. Knowledge is the perseverance of thought through wisdom that is fueled by a form of education. Some education comes in the realms of formal education where as others come by way of carnal knowledge. The point is, when you feel that you may have information that could be vital to growth, you have to be cognizant of the recipient and the tone of the message that is being delivered. Such was the case with Jim Brown’s public emasculation of Kobe Bryant, regarding whether he was black enough to understand the plight of the supposed “Americanized” African-American’s racial struggle, because he grew up abroad before coming to live in America. Kobe went on to defend himself via Twitter and pointed out that the global African-American perspective is no different then that of the domestic African-American, because worldwide we are all still one in the same. I must say that Kobe’s reflective insight spoke of a man who is brilliantly educated due to his worldly view having lived abroad. As much as the American African-American has it bad, there are countless spots on the globe where Africans or people of color, live in destitute and impoverished conditions that far exceed the tribulations once suffered and currently endured within the borders of this country. This is not to make light of our disenfranchised ancestral family tree, but to bring awareness to the universal fight that has always been coveted in poverty, enslavement, murderous plotting and the erasing of historical contributions that has always existed. Brown’s “speaking on behalf” of the said black was irresponsibly done, as it showed divisiveness, bitterness and unfortunately ignorance. If Bryant was a person Jim Brown felt was not aware of the black histrionics of this country, he should have reached out and extended an olive branch. Communication can become a pipeline of nourishment when filtered properly and routed towards the malnourished. The last thing that the black culture needs to see is another black man denigrate another one of its sons. Each one should teach one, as it is through the eyes of the youth that ingenuity is sometimes brought to life. No one besides Crayola owns certain copyrights to the color black. Strangely enough, I would think Jim was more educated to know, that we are much more of an anomaly than we are a tone of color.

Hoosiers 2: The Crispus Attucks Flying Tigers

Posted in Sports with tags , , on December 9, 2013 by geniusscribbleink


Coach Norman Dale in the movie Hoosiers, stated: “You know, most people would kill to be treated like a god, just for a few moments”. This reflective sentiment would be shared by some of the members of the 1955 Indiana High School Basketball State Championship team, the Crispus Attucks Flying Tigers, as they would become the first state basketball championship team to hail from the city of Indianapolis. Crispus Attucks High School was a school forged out of the doldrums of segregation, as the entire city’s African-American student population would be bussed to attend school there. Black consciousness and societal integration were at the forefront of the school’s identity and would be the driving force behind their basketball teams path to greatness, that would ultimately lead them to a state title. This monumental achievement, being that Indiana is a basketball crazed state, is the type of accomplishment that many liken to royalty, as the boys who obtain this crowning achievement were usually treated like princes when they returned home for their celebratory moment in the spotlight. However, this team’s moment in the sun, would be rerouted towards a slightly different stage. The normal championship parade route that would result in a communal gathering at the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument, would ultimately be cancelled for the honoring of the Crispus Attucks Flying Tigers. Their celebration would be held in a park not from their beloved school. The underlying belief was that African-Americans would riot during the victory parade, therefore, an alternate plan of celebration was devised. NBA legend and Hall of Fame player Oscar Robertson was a member of that historic Crispus Attucks team, and he boldly declared that the city didn’t want them and would acknowledge this said belief in his memoirs by stating how saddened and dejected he was about the unproven theory that African-Americans could not celebrate in a civilized decorum. He was quoted as saying “We weren’t savages. We were a group of civilized, intelligent young people who through the grace of God had happened to get together and win some basketball games. We’d just won the biggest game in the history of Indianapolis basketball. They took our innocence away from us.” In spite of this asterisk aligned celebration, the perseverance of the Crispus Attucks basketball team would not be thwarted, as they would go on to win their second straight state championship in 1956. Their celebration would mimic the same parade route, with a slight alteration that would allow the motorcade to circle around the famed monument, only to conclude at the same park as the prior year. A minor victory in the war on racism was this lap around the monument, but it also signified just how much work was still needed to achieve equality. Basketball often loses its historical referendum with regards to the modern athlete versus its predecessors enduring struggles. The same Oscar Robertson who played through adversity while seeking equality, would go on to fight for equal rights for players in the NBA as well. Some of those rights are the basic premises at the foundations modern player’s ability to become a free agent. Coach Norman Dale’s quote about Godly treatment rings soundly in the Lebron James’ and the Kobe Bryant’s of today, as they are treated like kings with the ransoms to prove it. I guess that one lap around that famed Indianapolis monument, turned into a global trip for many African-American basketball players who are now worldwide icons. It’s time to give the Big O, as well as, some recognition for those who have paved the way for today’s opportunities. They could start by playing with honor, pride and dignity instead of playing just for a paycheck. #remember the tigers

In Review: Movie: Out Of The Furnace

Posted in Movies & Television with tags , , , , on December 7, 2013 by geniusscribbleink


We have all had our times when the ominous signs of a day/night sort of forewarns us as to what we could be in-store for in the waning of its remaining hour(s). My sign(s) came when I started the car and proceeded to enter the highway to hell (ode to AC/DC) and venture out on an extremely rainy night trying to avoid every “Cornholio” who obtained their license from a stale box of Fruit Loops, just to ensure a safe arrival for dinner on our weekly date night. The plan was to see a movie and go to dinner, in that order, except time restriction reared its ugly head in the form of relentless phone calls that set us back from leaving the house as expected (first ominous sign). Of course, “date night” will not be thwarted by anything other than blizzard conditions, so we ended up eating first then going to the movie second. We figured dinner would absorb some of down time in between the next start time for the movie, so we decided to head to the classic time killing machine better known as Red Lobster. Rarely have we ever just walked in and been immediately led to our table in under forty minutes. So as we enter, expecting a long line from here to Alaska, there was no line. We were seated immediately (second ominous sign). So after eating slower than a country mile in order to kill time, we paid our bill and decided to re-enter the “highway to hell” and head to the movie theatre with approximately an hour still left to absorb. A slow drive on a wet asphalt is an apropos title for this night, as we finally arrived at the theatre. We waited in the car until it was minutes before the movie started and proceeded to go purchase our tickets. Be mindful that we go to this particular theatre all the time because we are cost conscious and this theatre is usually $8.00 per ticket. I go to purchase the tickets and realize that they have increased their ticket prices to $9.50 (third ominous sign) with no signs of cosmetic changes to their dilapidated interior/exterior appearance. But of course we paid, because the trailer to the movie “Out Of The Furnace” impressed me enough to endure the hardships of travel just to see its debut opening. Come on, Christian Bale is a brilliant actor, Woody Harrelson’s character seemed menacing, Forrest Whitaker is never not brilliant and Zoe Saldana did Colombiana (kick asteroid movie), so of course I want to see this movie. Then as the movie begins, I realize that Willem Defoe also has a featured role. What could possibly go wrong? The answer to that question? Everything! In fact I’m willing to bet that my writing of this “slow drive on a wet asphalt” diatribe is more Cannes Film Festival worthy, then this horrendously bad film. I won’t bother to tell you about the plot because there wasn’t one. I won’t bother to tell you about the climax, because there wasn’t one. This movie was Eyes Wide Shut meets U Turn bad, as its mindless storyline leads you on a tail chase that never seems to leave the dreary backdrop of the small town factory setting. The trailer is very misleading, as it suggests that there could be an actual story, but trust me, this a waste of both skin and energy that one should not go see based on their fandom for Bale, Whitaker or Harrelson. This is not even Redbox rental worthy and should come with an EP rating for extremely pathetic. Save your money and preserve your priceless time watching your eyelids close. I am more than sure that act alone would be more exciting than watching Out Of The Furnace.

Technology Review: XBox One

Posted in Technology, Gaming, Etc. with tags , , , , on December 4, 2013 by geniusscribbleink


I’m an avid gamer to say the least, albeit I’m not one of those classic geeks that marinate for hours on end in front of a television to the point where the ottoman becomes jealous. No I am the casual gamer, who is probably living out my deprived childhood when home gaming consoles were the equivalence to asking your parents for a Mercedes Benz is nowadays. Yes I was part of the “coin-op” generation that wasted countless quarters in the hopes of getting Frogger across the street before getting splattered on the road or trying to rescue Mario’s often kidnapped girlfriend Pauline from the evil clutches of an ape gone wild in the classic game Donkey Kong. Yes, I grew up with the Atari and recalled thinking that when the Nintendo NES came out, that nothing could get much better then Super Mario Brothers. Well of course as I play Uncharted 2 (extraordinary game by the way) I realize just how far the home gaming consoles have come. I am fortunate enough to own both a Playstation 3 and an Xbox 360 (told you I was a deprived child) and I have a pretty extensive list of games for them both. I will admit that I utilize my PS3 more, as I find that the graphics are better for the most part and of course there is no additional fee for online play. So when hearing about the new release of the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One, I was more interested in seeing what the Xbox One had to offer more so then the Playstation 4, because I’m pretty satisfied and content with the PS3 for the most part. I had an opportunity to get some insight from an XBox representative over the weekend at the XBox One display at Best Buy. I had a chance to play the racing game Forza, which is a game tailor made for the Xbox One console. Now let me explain what I mean by tailor made for a moment. The Xbox representative informed me that certain games were tailored to fit the Xbox One by the utilization of special technology that adheres to the nuances of the new system. This is what creates the outstanding graphics and processing engine that makes the game come alive, however, not all games for the console are made using this special technology. Some of the available games were basically sewn together to become compatible with the console based on old technology that has been merged to become applicable on the new system (same applies to PS4 by the way) for play. This is where you will find that certain games appear less vibrant and look less appealing then others. The XBox One is not a grandfathered system that will allow you to play Xbox 360 games, so you will have to start up a new library of game titles as well. The system cost is $499.00, which is a pretty lofty price to say the least. I don’t see a significant amount of difference that would warrant my pursuit of this, unless this was my first ever gaming system purchase. Even then I would pause on the purchase, because the PS3 is extremely affordable now on Amazon used, with bundle packages that include four games at a cost of $200.00 plus. Same applies to those seeking PS4s. If Xbox One is a must have and you can justify the purchase price, then please proceed, but for the cautious consumer, be $200.00 wise instead of $500.00 foolish and get the PS3. And remember “Dont hate the player just beat the game”.

Restaurant Review: Mexican Grill 2000 (Patchogue)

Posted in Dining with tags , on December 2, 2013 by geniusscribbleink


The old adage states that “wherever I lay my hat is my home”, well I will reboot that phrase by saying “wherever my appetite finds a fork, I will eat there”. I embrace the culinary adventure no matter if it’s the quintessential high-end restaurant or the perpetual hole-in-the-wall establishment. To me, great food transcends the elements of elegance, as the true measure of a great recipe is simplistically summarized in the answering of two questions: 1) Were you satisfied? and 2) Would you eat there again? If the answer to both inquiries is yes, then decor should never be a deterrent. It is this food philosophy that has led me to some of the best Mexican food reasonable money can buy. The place: Mexican Grill 2000 located at 703 Route 112, Patchogue NY.

If you visit this place during the nighttime hours, you may have a hard time visually finding it, as it is nestled inside of a strip mall, wedged between a Chinese Take-Out joint and a Bagel place. A simple stencil on the front glass (Mexican) is a clear indicator of the type of cuisine they offer. As you enter the establishment it screams “take-out” as it has limited seating and a less than perfect sign that lists all the food they offer. The staff is quiet, yet friendly, as they patiently await your decision. We ordered a spicy chicken burrito and a taco assortment of chicken, beef and fish. We grabbed a seat and the guy who took our order met us at the table with fresh tortilla chips and homemade salsa. Both were extremely delectable and restaurant quality, it just so happened to be in disposable paper-ware. Soon after, our main entree arrived (also in disposable paper-ware) and we immediately decided to dig in with anticipation. The end result? This was some of the most amazing Mexican food that I have eaten to date and at an extremely affordable price. The place is continuously busy, which is a great indicator that the food must be good. So if you are like me and care more about your appetite than your ambiance, head over to Mexican Grill 2000. They don’t serve disappointment on their menu. #bon appetit