Picking Up New Car Sort Of

Driving my beloved 1992 Nissan Sentra for 9 years I have come to the conclusion that it is time to get another car. With all the calling around and finding parts for my Sentra the cost was getting to hi. The car still ran. I called JGY Customs in Virginia and the owner Jason and Andrew emailed me back and suggested that I buy one of their cars. It turns out that it was the car I wanted to buy 9 years ago, and instead I ended up buying a 1992 Sentra XE. It was a 1991 Sentra SR20DE, but this car had some extra goodies added. I said to my wife that I was getting worried about the state the car I was deriving was in. With it needing new tires and some crazy sound coming from under the car that I could not find. She felt that if I am concerned then we should go ahead and get the car that JGY offered. I really wanted the car but was reluctant on a big purchase with the holidays coming and redecorating of our living room. The wife was more concerned with me having a reliable car to get to and from work. So the decision was made to get the car. It is my favorite color red and a 5 speed with headers, exhaust and bucket seats. By the way it’s fairly quick. I called JGY as soon as she said okay of course. They had it up on the web site as sold but Andrew who is the actual owner of the car said it wasn’t. I sent a down payment at the end of the week. The car was for sell at $3500.

The entire month I was stressed out with buying this car because how broke I would be after every paycheck, but my wife keep me calm by reminding me that this was a good choice. The owner Jason and his employees are a strange bunch over the phone with the constant jokes every time I call them, but they do know what they are talking about when it comes to Nissans.

The day I sent my first payment I had the worst experience with WellsFargo. I went inside of local bank to get a cashiers check and it turned out to be a huge ordeal. The payment did not take to my account right away as it should and the teller told me not to worry about it. So; I walked out with a thousand dollar check to send to JGY. I was worried the next day because the check had Nicole’s name on it. Strange because this is my personal account not hers. So I checked my account the next morning and it showed that the money is still there. I called and they couldn’t explain to me why hasn’t the money been deducted from my account the minute I purchased the check from the bank, because that is what is supposed to happen. I went back into the same bank that morning and waited an hour for them to figure out why this has happened. Turns out that Nicole’s name is primary on the mailing list and not mines. I started this account and added Nicole to it after we were married. By the time they figured this out the amount for the check just cleared putting me in the negative. This would have been avoided if they let me re-posted the check when I suggested. The teller was very polite and nice by dropping the cost of the check for me which was $10. Finally I sent the check out to JGY. I called them on the day they received the check, and with there jokes they said that they didn’t receive the check. I was furious. Jason later said that he was joking, but I was not a happy man. I literal slammed him on the phone cursing and stuff. It was unlike me, but the stress with getting the check was too much for me to laugh at. Later Jason emailed me with an apology. I would have preferred a call instead but I was okay with the email. I told him over the phone that I would love to business with him in the future but that was uncalled for. He understood and we both were on the right path again for the purchase of this car.

Me, Ram and my friend Kevin drove to pick up the car on a Friday, and the ride was nice. Beautiful landscapes of farms and houses on top of mountains. You know the elevation change when your driving up the mountain and your ears pop.

Driving to Atkins was peaceful and a straight drive on 77 north to 51. The shop was right off the exit. The shop looks small on the outside, but big on the inside for building cars. Man we saw some of our favorites. Like the Skyline and of course our very own Sentras parked ready to get that sweet turbo upgrade. Inside the shop was well put together. With 2 lifts in one part of the shop and a dyno in another part of the shop. The room to work is apparent. They also have a machine shop for some real custom work.

Jason is the owner of JGY Customs and founder. If you read his back ground you can see he is a self-starter and passionate about what he does and the product he provides. When meeting him for the first time which was short because he had to go and check on a few tons of concrete he did not match his voice which was a little funny to me. I’m thinking he felt the same way when seeing me for the first time. A tall black man with Locks and a name like mines he probably thought I was spanish lol because that ‘s what I would think not saying this is what I thought, but just my opinion. I handed him a SPEED banner for cursing him out over the phone and for having a car I’ve been wanting for along time. I hope he puts it up in the dyno room and sends me a picture soon.

Here is the My New Old Nissian Sentra Se-R.

 

 

Here is a link to his story  http://www.jgy.cc/JGY,%20the%20beginning.pdf and th
e shops web site http://www.jgy.cc/index.html .

 

 

My Wife Is Pregnant

The greatest thing to accomplish with my wife is bringing a child into this world. She found out that she was pregnant when her best friend came to town. She surprised me with the news when I came home from work that she was pregnant.

I was very excited for us and mainly for her. She really wanted to make our marriage more with the joining of the both of us by bringing a child into this world. When we first started dating she asked me if I wanted another child. I have a son from another relationship and she has two boys from a previous relationship. I said to her yes I would like but it’s not priority. She was up in the air about the same question when I asked her. She felt that in her previous relationship that she was not interested in having another child. It wasn’t to long into our relationship that our love grew and her thoughts changed. Her believing that this relation is actually the real deal and then the thoughts of maybe I could be the one. She told me one day that she decided that she has changed her mind and that she is considering the possibility of having another child with me. Obviously we were in love with one another. So I said to her we should let GOD handle the idea of bringing another child into this world, so we moved forward with the coming together of two families when we married April 16, 2011.  Maybe just maybe one day he’ll grant us the gift of life, and GOD did. Nicole is now pregnant.

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What I have witnessed for the second time is that as a man you have to give in and take even more responsibility when your significant other is pregnant. Meaning the responsibilities that the two of you shared are now all yours. She will forget, she will be tired, she be will irritated,  she will be in pain, she will be emotional, she will be excited, she will be helpless and most of all she will be loving. Things to remember.

The beginning is always great. She’s excited your excited and everyone that loves you is excited. Then the baby begins to develop and her body will start to change. Meaning that she will become tired from the child developing and taking all the energy she has stored. So; making sure she has the correct pill that helps her and the child develop is very important. It helps if she already knows what she wants to take that is healthy as she does. I just have to make sure that she doesn’t forget to take them in the beginning. Since she is a vegetarian she will take more vitamins that concentrate on specific things for her and the baby. Only problem is that she is pregnant and she will need more food than she normally does. That is a hard thing to swallow for a vegetarian lol. She did take her first bite of meat in a very long time which was very funny to watch. I did feel bad when she ate that piece of chicken. I told her that I don’t really want to see her do that again. It just felt weird. She did say that it taste good though.

The summer came and the heat was here. We found out that it was a baby girl. YES! She was so excited once the news came of the child being a girl.

 

First thing we were ORDERED to do was paint the room PINK. Boy is it PINK! She order the crib and the stroller with car seat. At the same time we are trying to redo the living room. WHAT MONEY? Painting the room was fun. I also had to put together the crib which is white to make the PINK stand out even more. Place the chair with ottoman in the room and put up new blinds and curtains. We got it done though and it came out really nice. She even added a little something around the top corners of the room to make even more girly lol which was cute.

 

Next was the baby shower. She reserved a spot at the McDowell Nature Preserve by the water. It was a good spot because the heat can be a problem and with the spot near the water and with large trees it was good. The temperature outside the park was completely different from in the park. The shower was called a Baby-Q. Her cousin was nice enough to handle all things Baby-Q. She was the one that gave all of us except my wife responsibilities  Thank you to her. I already knew that I was going to be in charge of all the meat. My wife went into her crafty mode. She was creating center pieces and other decoration for the Baby-Q and even for the baby’s room for a whole month. This is called nesting, and boy was she cute when she was in this mode. She was very creative and never stop coming up with ideas. I had to tell her to take it easy that she can’t go driving around all over the place when I can’t take her.

As time went by she was growing belly wise. She was getting in the mood of “I’m getting fat, look at me” talk but; she is still BEAUTIFUL. Time to take her shopping. Yes take her shopping to get new clothing that she will only wear for the pregnancy. Shirts, dress and pants that’s what she got. To top it off I bought her  some Pandora. A nice charm that is the shape of a heart that is split in half were one side said Daughter and the Mother. She can actually share this with  her when she gets older and starts her very expensive Pandora collection too.

The next ORDER was that I was to make a hot sauce to pass out to guest when they leave. This was a process. Having to make your own hot sauce from scratch was very scientific  Adding very little at a time to make sure you don’t over do it, and bottling all that sauce too. She came up with a drawing and sent off to a company that handles putting designs on labels. They sent the labels with her design and we put them on all the bottles that she also order online. The sauce came out pretty good. Not as hot as I would like it to be but I don’t want to give some one a heart attack.

Summer is going by quickly and the baby is growing. I try to make it to every appointment she has. I missed two maybe. Every-time I go I capture a picture of her waiting for the Doc. She never knew that I was doing that until I showed her one day. She is all about taking pictures to capture these months and more to come. She told me that she never had the chance to do that with her boys while she was pregnant with them. I’m not one to get in front of the camera; so guys if you’re not, do it anyways. Why? because this brings on another emotional trigger and that is never good for you and especially her. JUST DO IT.

Time flies by quickly and faster than you know it. She is getting close the nerves have kicked in. She starts to get all of the issues that plagued her before the summer. Pain while sleeping happens the most. Luckily she started to take Tylenol PM so she can sleep a LITTLE more comfortably. I have little space in bed for the baby has grown. She is a feisty child in her belly. The baby moves so much it was entertaining to a point were the wife had to ask the Doc if it’s normal. It is!

The need for attention for the wife is always important to give even before the pregnancy, but now it’s doubled. Making sure she gets what ever she needs like food. She wants tacos get tacos. She wants a milk shake get it. I have never felt over burdened by her request. I actually enjoyed or anticipated the next one ready to go get. What will she want to eat next? At the same time reminder her that she is not FAT but that she is PREGNANT there is a difference. Telling her that she is sexy and BEAUTIFUL more often than I did helps out a lot (I hope.).

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Next ORDER she gave is installing the car seat. We had a Elantra, but with the car seat, I and her we did not have the room in the driver seat. So, we upgraded from the Elantra to the Sonata. The car seat was a breeze to put in once I figured out that the car came with two welled in hooks in the seats that you  can’t see. The car seat clips right in and then you tighten it as tight as you can and your good to go. Upgrading to a new car wasn’t on the most important list. We just went up to the dealer ship and asked what can you do without adding $200 more dollars to the already crazy payments that we were making on the Elantra. They gave us a good deal and we drove away with a nice Sonata. Thank you GOD. I’m still keeping my 1991 Sentra SR20DE yes. My own personal import hot-rod lol.

Her worries come and go. She can worry about things that have nothing to do with the development of our lives. I have to just remind her that the pregnancy is the most important thing and that everyone and everything else has to take a back seat for a while until the baby comes. Stress is the most important thing you can help relieve a pregnant woman from if you can in any way possible do. I try, but she will stress about something  All I can do is counter act it with something that she maybe interested in or want to do. Basically I improvised alot lol.

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I did have a strange experience at the hospital. It came about with her waking up and finding that she was bleeding when she was on her way to the bathroom. We immediately went to the emergency room where she will be giving birth. We sat for hours waiting. The crazy thing that happened was while waiting the nurse passed a paper to my wife. Later I asked her what was that? She said ” Funny that you said that” it was a form that asks her if she is scared of her husband, children and if she were being beaten. I was embarrassed  To think that I look like I beat my wife. The nurse had a lot of nerve to give this form to her in front of me. Something like that should have been done in private without me present, so I won’t instill fear in my wife since they believe I might by giving the form to her. I actually have a white friend that is giving birth around the same time we are. He told me that he was just at the hospital a week before we went in. He asked his wife and she said no she never filled out any paper like that. He also said that they had their first baby at this same hospital a year and half ago and they never filled one out then too. Now I feel like I just been racially profiled or maybe I just look like a wife beater. The things I face being the husband to a pregnant wife lol. Just thought I’d share that.

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School is starting up and she is a teacher. That means children with all types of nastiness. Good thing is that she has not caught anything. She has gone to the Doc and received all the necessary shots. She will not get maternity leave. In South Carolina they do not get that option. She has to work up until the baby is ready to come. This is very difficult because I want her to get as much rest as possible but it’s not going to happen. She will get it on the weekends mostly. With her wanting to do all her great ideas with the students before she has the baby and is out for a while is not going to happen but she tries anyways. My worry is that she is not on her feet all day. I’m pretty sure that she has some co-workers who are very concerned with her trying to walk around all day doing things for the children in and outside of the classroom. Making sure she eats regularly. It has come to a point that she is no longer allowed to drive herself to school anymore. Now that we only have two weeks left. My concern for her has raised to levels that will have me pacing myself at work. So I have appointed her father and son to take her to work when I’m not able to. When I have my two days off during the week I will take her and my son to school and pick them up. She did not like that idea but she has to deal with it. I can’t see her driving herself to work now that her belly is bigger, getting close to the steering wheel and she has slow time getting in and out of the car lol.  Time is near and life is about to get very interesting.


Do You Treat Your Marriage Like a Job?

I found this interesting article on http://blackandmarriedwithkids.com/2011/11/14/do-you-treat-your-marriage-like-a-real-job

It really makes you stop and think about yourself and how you REALLY act with the one we love!

I hope to DO and BE better with my hubby!

Art Night Out with artist Carlleena Person

Manny and I ventured out for our artsy date night and to our surprise not only was the art fantastic the artist was a sistah’

Bold, graphic, energetic and vivid with an urban twist is how I would describe Carlleena’s artwork. At first glance her work could be written off as simplistic but take a closer look and you can see the creative expression that creates interest in her work. You can see elements of the bold graffiti style lines that define her shapes and  her color palette of bright bold colors gives that childlike “whimsical” feeling she equates to her art.

Her exhibit was hosted at Escape hair and skin studio on 1440 South Tryon St. in uptown Charlotte. We were greeted at the door by a djembe drummer and a bass player who could be heard blocks away. The salon was not your typical salon. It was reminiscent of a gallery space which lent itself well to Carlleena’s art. There was also an assortment of refreshments (better than most offered at these sort’s of functions) and a cash bar. NICE!

The highlight of the event was her live art demo where she enlisted the help of  the exhibit goer’s to help paint one of her pieces. I got to paint the lips :-D COOL!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After checking out Carlleena’s show we headed across the street to another exhibit hosted by the Charlotte Art League Gallery on 1517 Camden Rd.

The show was called “Primary Colors” works accentuating the use of red, yellow and blue the building blocks of color. This show was not as impressive as the previous in that the artwork although tied together by the use of primary colors I found there was no other unity. There were a few stand out pieces such as the portraits of Arthur Ashe and Angela Davis and my favorite being an abstract painting by artist Adrian Barrionuevo called “Sun and Shade”. We also met another creative artist named Wan Marsh who was a self-described wacky artist, that utilized a mostly green artistic approach. Her mixed media work incorporated salvaged frames, old books and papers, vintage wall paper and found objects. She was my kind of artist!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After our gallery crawl Manny and I decided to make a pit stop over to The Common Market this is a really cool spot to just chill, grab a drink or a deli sandwich and sit back and enjoy the artsy vibe. Thursday thru Sunday they have a DJ mixing it up on his iPod. Hopefully the next time we decide to hang there it will be just as cool! It really bought me back to my art school days at SCAD.

Had a blast with hubby. He is really a cool cat to hang with, look at some art and just chill. Hopefully in the near future we can  be able to support some of the artists by purchasing their work. Who knows we may end up owning a piece from the next great artist!

Computers With Brain Processing Speed

An article on pcworld.com talks about how IBM is working on a computer chip or chips that will process imformation like the human brain.

Look I don’t know much about that tech, but I do appriciate the hard work and knowledge they are putting into this. The human brain is still one of those fully undiscovered areas like our oceans, but IBM has come across something that can bring about change in the way of computer processing abilities. It’s wierd to think how every human beings mind thinks differently. A computer with this processing ability and low power consumption as humans, but faster would come up with. Think about it. Computers already multitask, play chess, play Jeopardy clean floors etc. Futher into the future they will decide the outcome of our way of life.

nao humanoid robot brain

NAO Humanoid Robot By Aldebaran Robotics

 

This is not a movie it is real. The NAO a Humanoid Robotic. Imagine this robot with this processing power from IBM (click on picture to take you to there web-site for more imformationon NAO). It will be the start of a new era. Shall I say I-Robot lol.Think about it! I have no problem with it. I just hope that they make positive choices on what these computers are to do before they become artificially intelligent.  Example; improving the medical field, more efficiant ways of power consumption, agriculture and many more things that prolong the life of this planet and inhabitants. Who knows what will happen when this technology will be availuable, and how it will be used. File:Hl-kid.jpg

Check out the link below on the story

IBM Brings Brain Power to Experimental Chips

By Agam Shah, IDG News

  http://www.pcworld.com/article/238365/ibm_brings_brain_power_to_experimental_chips.html

Say “Yes” to Saffron

Dinner and a movie turned out to be quite delicious when Manny and I dined at Saffron Indian Cuisine Restaurant.

The restaurant is located at 2135-B Arsley Town Blvd in Charlotte. The restaurant features exotic Indian cooking, home of traditional North Indian food.

While waiting for a movie showtime,we had our first taste of Indian food here together and I’m so glad that we did.  The interior of the restaurant was very cute and cozy decorated with tea lights, floating roses and other Indian inspired art decor. There was even a swing bench hanging from the rafters.

The wait staff was very helpful. They explained what all the dishes were, made recommendations and answered questions we had. With so many choices it was hard to decide what to order but finally we decided for starters to get the assorted appetizers for two so we could try a variety of things. I especially liked the Vegetable Pakorah with the cauliflower which was delicious and now one of my favorite Indian foods! While waiting for our entrees Manny sampled the Indian beer and I being less adventurous had ginger ale. For our entrees, Manny had the Rogan Josh (tender lamb cubes cooked in an exotic marinade of herbs and spices) and I had Shrimp Masala (shrimp tossed in a delicious tomato and butter sauce) and on the side we had the oh so yummy Tandoori Roti bread drizzled with butter and garlic. Mmm Mmm good!

For our first venture into Indian cuisine together I must say Saffron delivered a flavorful taste! I already know what I want to order the next time we go.

A Day at the Museums

Manny and I had a free day to hang out uptown Charlotte recently and we ended up visiting two museums that I had been wanting to explore.

Museum Exhibit: Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers

Our first stop was the Levine Museum of the New South on  the corner of College and 7th street. The museum had two main exhibits. Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers was the more interactive and interesting of the two. It features examples  the south’s evolution from slave states focused on the production of cotton by using slave labor to its rebirth into a leader in finance. We got to see a tenant farmers house , stroll down 1920’s main street, sit at a lunch counter and hear personal stories from african americans who participated in sit in’s, sit at a lunch counter, shop at an early Belk store…..It is always interesting  for me to imagine what life would have been like during those times.It definatly makes me appreciate the struggles my ancestors went through so that I could enjoy the privileges I have today.

Museum Exhibit: Courage

The Courage exhibit focused on the citizens of a small rural South Carolina community who decided to fight to end school segregation, all which led to the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision of Brown vs Board of Education. The exhibit was less interesting as a viewer because it was very stark  and basically consisted of large posters with a lot of text. There wasn’t very much to do besides read. As an educator I don’t think children would enjoy this gallery experience as much as the other.

Our next stop was the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture located on 551 S. Tryon Street. The day was beautiful so we decided to walk across town to get there.

We viewed two exhibits here as well. The first was the John & Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art.  The Gantt Center is the permanent home for the Hewitt Collection and features artworks by Charlotte-born Romare Bearden and other master artists such as Margaret Burroughs, Jonathan Green, Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, Ann Tanksley and Henry Ossawa Tanner. I personally love collage and mixed media art work so Romare is one of my favorites! It’s always amazing to see art that I’ve only seen in books or posters. To be up close and see the brush strokes, pencil marks and texture of the art is inspirational. It makes me want to get back to creating my own work.

Art work by: Jacob Lawrence

Artwork by Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons

The second exhibit features The Art of Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons titled What My Mother Told Me… As the brochure states, “With a distinguished 20-year career, Campos-Pons has created works that examine personal and national identity, cultural complexities and socioeconomic politics. Campos-Pons has explored her self-imposed exile from Cuba and her experiences as an Afro-Cuban woman living in America. Incorporating mixed-media installations, video and large-format Polaroid photographs.”Looking at her work made me think and wonder what she was trying to communicate to me the viewer? Although I didn’t quite understand what she was trying to say, I did appreciate her style and technique. Her large format was attention grabbing and let me know she had something BIG she wanted to express. I also like the use of photography to capture the realism of her subject matter. Art is truly personal and subjective which makes it unique to everyone. There is no Right or Wrong in art and that I can appreciate!

After a day spent at the museums we decided to dine al fresco at Fuel Pizza and split a veggie lovers pie. I couldn’t have asked for a better day spent with two things I love, my Hubby and Art!

de las dos aguas

Compos Pon

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