Archive for July, 2015

PostHeaderIcon Traffic Stops: Do’s, Don’ts, Musts!

By Vernalee
From the videotaping of Rodney King’s beating by LA policemen on March 3, 1991 to the recent and questionable death of Sandra Bland on July 13, 2015 (after being stopped by police officers three days prior), traffic stops have produced considerable debates and controversies. Unquestionably and statistically Blacks, particularly Black males are pulled over at alarming rates for traffic stops. Therefore, it is imperative that we know our rights and what to do. So if you are stopped by police officers while driving, these steps may be helpful.
1. Pull over as soon as the police car lights come on.
2. Provide your registration, license, and proof of insurance.
3. Keep your hands visible.
4. Exit the car only if asked.
5. Be polite and respectful.
6. Don’t argue with the police officers; argue in court.
7. If you are registered to carry a gun, tell the officer.
8. Your car can be searched for reasonable cause. You do not have to
9. Don’t lie to the police officers.
10. Passengers should remain quiet.
11. Put out cigarettes if smoking.
12. Turn off the radio.
Police Officers are guided by codes of conduct, even if they don’t follow them. Their job is to protect the public. We need their services. Officers have a lot of discretion. Knowing your rights is critical. It may save your life.
Source: www.
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PostHeaderIcon Only you can make the impossible – possible!

By Vernalee
Last year, I had the opportunity to see Motown, the hit musical. The show was fantastic! The musical opened with the Tempting Temptations and the cast included performances by the Four Tops, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, The Jackson Five, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Mary Wells, The Commodores, Teena Marie, Rick James, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and so many legendary artists and groups. With Berry Gordy at the forefront, the story was told as you mentally walked back in history because many of the lyrics reflected the times. In reality, many songs are words about life put to music! There are love songs; songs that tell of joy, abuse and misuse; happiness and sadness. The words run the gamut of life experiences. Although I danced and sung to the top of my vocal chords, the Motowm musical is more than a play about songs, artists, choreography, and Motown. It’s about life! It is a demonstration of a man fulfilling and living his dream; a man who wouldn’t take “NO” for an answer; a man who defied the odds! It is a testimony … as Diana Ross’ famous words to Berry, “If you can think it, I can do it!” All dreams start with an idea! It is left up to us to make them come true. Berry Gordy did! We can too!
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PostHeaderIcon Workplace Arrogance

By Vernalee
The air in some offices is so thick that it would take a sharp butcher’s knife to slice through it. Some conceited employees carry themselves as if they are God’s gifts to the world. Their heads are so high in the sky that they cannot see the ground. Without further ado, I need not introduce them because I know that you have seen and worked in the same complex with this populous too. They are so lofty that they dare not speak or talk to the so called underlings. If they open their mighty mouths, their words would be condescending because they are so much smarter than you regardless of your educational attainment. Lines of demarcation are drawn by job titles, position hierarchy, and let me not forget race and other unlawful discriminatory factions. The invisible lines become clearly ostensible as they evidently reflect the persona of the many sons and daughters who occupy the throne of workplace arrogance. Old folks would say, “It doesn’t cost you anything to speak!” So for those “think that they are better than other” folks who walk pass “Go” and not dignify others with a greeting, a response, or a turn of the head, do know that you are not better! Your self-imposed superiority will eventually place you in the same environment with the everyday folks. Arrogance always come before a fall! If you do stumble, remember that those people that you looked down upon and placed beneath you – will be higher!
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PostHeaderIcon Text messaging: How good R U?

By Vernalee
If you are a little rusty and need to get up to speed, these acronyms are for you! Even I have graduated from the common abbreviated texts such as: R u going 2 or C U. So GWTP. For the old timers, that means Get With The Program!
There are too many to list, but the below are some common text acronyms.
Acronyms A to L
2F4U – Too Fast For You
4YEO – FYEO – For Your Eyes Only
AAMOF – As a Matter of Fact
AKA – Also known as
BTT – Back to Topic
BTW – By the Way
B/C – Because
CU – See you
CYS – Check your Settings
DIY- Do it Yourself
EOBD – End of Business Day; End of Discussion
EOM End of Message
FWIW- For what it’s Worth
HF – Have fun
HTH – Hope this Helps
IDK – I don’t know
IOW – In other Words
Acronyms M to Z
MMW – Mark my Words
NNTR – No need to Reply
NOYB – None of your Business
NRN – No Reply Necessary
OT – Off Topic
OTOH – On the other Hand
POV – Point of View
ROTFL- Rolling on the Floor Laughing
SCNR – Sorry, could not Resist
THX – Thanks
TYVM – Thank You Very Much
TYT – Take your Time
TTYL- Talk to you Later
WFM – Works for Me
YMMD – You made my Day
YAM – Yet Another Meeting.
Now let me stomp you, text a set of words to a designated number. Don’t ask me! I don’t know how to do it! I have to be retrained every time. I stick to the simple “stuff.”
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PostHeaderIcon “Good to the last drop”

By Vernalee
No, I am not talking about Maxwell House Coffee. Since 1917, Maxwell House has branded it’s coffee using, “Good to the last drop” advertisement slogan. We all know it! This time, I am speaking of another product and my fetish. It started over 40 years ago when I was in college. Funds were tight, so I made use of every dollar that I spent. In order to get all of the toothpaste out of the tube, I would cut the tube in half when the toothpaste would not freely come out of the seemingly empty tube. In fact, I could get an extra 2-3 more brushes afterwards. Conclusively, the toothpaste tube wasn’t really empty. Old habits die hard! Perhaps, I am a toothpaste penny pincher because I still cut the tube in half! I use every drop of my Colgate! Every little bit helps! Those pennies add up!
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PostHeaderIcon Give me that old time religion!

By Vernalee
mourners bench Mourner’s Bench

The baptismal tradition in the South was a serious undertaking. The first step was to pray before the church as you kneeled on the mourner’s bench. It was a “coming together” because the church prayed with you and for you. After successful prayers of forgiveness and repentance, you became a candidate for water baptism. On a designated Sunday morning, dressed in pure white, baptismal candidates prepared for their immersions.
800px-River_baptism_in_New_Bern Water’s Baptism

In my home town of Glen Allan, Mississippi, the baptismal candidates, their families, the pastor and congregation marched to the bank of Lake Washington. It was a major celebration as most of the town looked on to witness those being “born again” as they came to Christ. The traditional old Negro spirituals that were sung included “Take me to the Water to be baptized,” “Wade in the Water,” “Precious Lord” … among others. After coming out of the water as a new baptized saint, it was your duty to serve the Lord! Your conduct was to be reflective of a new you with a renewed Christian spirit and heart! The Mothers of the church would invariably sing “Something got a hold on me” and the pastor would say, “Let the church say Amen!” Reminiscing, I say Happy Sunday and Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Oh yes, the traditional words, “Give me that old time religion. It was good enough for my Mother and it’s good enough for me” … have never been truer. God bless!
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PostHeaderIcon Just chilling!

By Vernalee
Saturday is usually my “runaround” day, but today I am “staying put.” My plan is to do absolutely nothing and I mean nothing! I plan to rest and relax! I owe it to myself! This has been a mentally exhausting week. By the way, I am not on the beach today as the photo projects. However, I have such a vivid imagination that I will visually transport my mind to the white sandy beaches of Biloxi, Mississippi! Shazam! Oh my! The water in the Gulf is amazingly warm and relaxing as the scorching sun glares on my face. I am reclining in my chair with a wide rim straw hat. Join me imaginatively in this relaxation process, but please stay at your house! Let’s not defeat the purpose of my tranquility today! I am not on my phone; my iPad is in the hotel. I have removed the nuances of disturbances because I am just chilling!
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PostHeaderIcon Watch it! Don’t dig a ditch for someone else to fall in; you may land there yourself!

By Vernalee
digging-225x300 lipstick makes everything
Years ago, My Mother said, I want to pass on the same advice to you that my Mother gave to me when I was your age. “If you dig a ditch for someone to fall in, dig two coz you might fall in one of them.” To this day, I don’t plan other people’s demise. They seem to be capable of doing that for themselves. My time and energies are spent on keeping my head above water. That is an all inclusive job in and of itself. Whew! Besides, why should I lift a heavy shovel, get all dirty and sweaty by exerting my valuable time, strength, and energies on someone else? It’s too exhausting! Looking out for me and mine is a much better choice!
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PostHeaderIcon I’ll drink to that!

By Vernalee
Admittedly, I don’t drink alcoholic beverages. My choice! So when I purchased a bottle of wine for a friend last week, being the novice wine purchaser that I am, it reminded me of last year’s “wine” intrigue! You see I was driving home and minding my own business when I first heard this fascinating story on the D.L. Hughley radio show. At first, I thought that D.L. was being his normal comedic self, so I researched it for myself; an inquisitive mind I have! Here’s the scoop: A man in an Atlantic City restaurant, who was not familiar with wine (like me) asked the waitress to recommend a good wine. Not wearing his glasses (like me, too), she suggested a wine from their exquisite wine list. Anyway, the waitress suggested a bottle of Screaming Eagle Oakville 2011 to the customer. “How much does it cost?” he asked. “Thirty seven fifty,” was the waitress’ response. Clearly heard by all of the table guest, the wine was ordered. All evenings come to an end! This night was no different, but the intrigue rested with the check. That “Screaming Eagle” bottle of wine was $3,750.00 and not $37.50. Ouch! I bet it left all ten of the guest screaming! Was the waitress, duplicitous or was the consumer not inquisitive? I could ask my attorney friend for a legal opinion as to who (the waitress or the consumer) was at fault. I do believe that her legal clarification would cost more than the bottle of wine in question! Sorry, counselor! You know that I love you and respect your Law degree from the prestigious Columbia University! You are truly a scholar! Anyway, “I rest my story!” I ask you, my reading audience, “What’s your verdict?” Before you render, weigh the facts, and have a glass of Screaming Eagle Oakville 2011 wine, but not on me!
Read all about it!$3,750-for-wine-2014-11
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PostHeaderIcon Emails – Think before you click SEND!

By Vernalee
How’s your Email etiquette? Are your words accurately and respectfully written? Since Emails are a dominant form of communication in our personal and professional lives, making them effective is the key. Many of us prefer to or have chosen to email folks rather than verbally communicate with them. Besides, emailing is handy. You don’t have to worry about catching folks or them returning your calls. You don’t have to leave home or get dressed to communicate. Plus, you can send them anytime, anywhere, and from your phone which is always with you. Because of the conveniences and simplicities, why bother with the physical interaction? You may not be in an office when you send an email, but if it’s for business, it should reflect a professional tone. It is for these reasons and more, that we should make sure that our emails convey the appropriate message. Read below.
1. Subject Lines – Make them succinct and to the point. If the subject should change in your email thread, change the subject line to reflect same.
2. Professional Email Address – If it is not a corporate email, does it contain your name / your company’s name or a reference whereby the reader will know that it’s you?
3. Reply All – Think before you press that button. Do you want everyone to read your message or just the sender? Are you sending the email to the right person? Double check your stored recipient’s name to assure your accuracy before you send. Slippery fingers can present a slippery mess!
4. Salutations – Be professional and please use a greeting of some sort.
5. Exclamation Points – Multiple exclamation points can be offensive. Some authorities equate multiple exclamation points to shouting.
6. Blind copy / Forward – Wisely use as appropriate.
7. Replies – Try to reasonably respond to emails even if it is a brief answer. ( i.e received, thank you). Don’t leave the sender wondering if you received / read their message.
8. Proofread – Read it before you push the send button.
9. Can you really hide behind the words? – This is a double edged sword. You can say in writing what you do not have the courage to say to a person’s face. However, words don’t lie whether they are oral or written. Unlike verbal communication, we have little or no wiggle room for interpretation when it is in print. Emails can hold a liar’s feet to the fire because the sender can’t say that it wasn’t him / her who sent the message when the email came directly from their email address. The black and white letters become permanent etches.
Emails are here to stay. They are permanent records that are undeniably evidentiary. Your emails can be funny or serious. They can be light or academic. They convey a consortium of messages. Regardless, be careful, discreet, accurate; be a person whose emails you can defend! Be wise with your choice of words!
By the way, the conveniences of emails can add hours to your workday because many of us transmit emails from home that we didn’t have time to send during work hours.
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