Blah good, blah bad. Blah blah blah.

1. Painted Black – After skimming through most of my recorded State of the Black Union 2008, I became convinced of two things: 1) Dick Gregory is my new Minister Farrakhan and 2) the presence of young black leaders such as Darren Boyce and Stephanie Woodard bodes well for the future of the civil rights movement which, sadly, still seems stuck in a trapped infancy.

2. Swooping In Again – During this past Sunday’s Meet the Press, Ralph Nader announced that he will once again run for the presidency of the United States of America as a third party candidate. I was a staunch supporter of his in the 2000 elections – yeah, yeah, go ahead, release the volleys of “spoiler! spoiler!” – and was not much of a supporter in 2004 mainly because his campaign seemed in much more disarray and his tactics much more akin to comedy. Here we are in ’08 and I still respect the man and honor his work deeply. In so many ways he is frighteningly correct about America’s state and in his running I think he does good things to bring issues to light. But, I don’t think he’ll make much, if any, impact this year. Things are so screwed up now (as Ralph reiterated would happen so many times before the Bush/Gore debacle) that the system has so little leeway in experimenting with new ideas that a complete implosion of the system is probably necessary for such a change. But then, isn’t that what’s happening?…..

3. Roger, RogerWhat? Why? Can I have my tax money back, please? I could really use it about now.

4. In A Pickle – Yesterday I pointed out that Costco has cucumbers right now that’d be perfect for pickling. Pickling is of interest to me because I’ve been reading a lot about food preservation lately. Anyway, my wife, Kim, shrugged off my comment and then kindly informed me that it was snobbish to make pickles when you can just buy them in a bottle. I got mad and the pickle argument somehow turned into an argument about moving to Detroit. This, my friends, is how divorces come about – cucumbers and pickling.

And, no, we’re not divorcing! Yeesh.

5. Earned Too Much Income Tax Credit – I did my taxes a few weeks ago. This year we ended up getting just over half of what we’d been receiving on average in returns over the last few years. Why? Because for the first time in four years, we didn’t qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. In other words, we weren’t poor enough. Yet, strangely, last year was effectively the poorest we’ve been in the last five. Ahhh, California.