Thursday, March 30, 2017

Restaurante Cantina Review - A Piece of Havana

Located in the Steele Creek area of Charlotte, NC A Piece of Havana advertised as being authentic Cuban cuisine, so I joined a friend and visited them for dinner. Their very informative website, describes their cuisine as Cuban, Spanish and Latin, which swings a pretty wide lasso, so I wanted to sample the fair and soak up the ambiance.
The first thing that I was impressed by is the daily specials. In my opinion, that is never a bad idea, especially on drinks. They had a decent bar selection and their mojito came highly recommended. I love Cuban sandwiches, so I couldn’t wait to try the “Milanese”, a breaded beef steak or chicken breast, with lettuce, tomatoes, ham and cheese in Cuban bread. They use American cheese in the sandwich and when I tried to order it with Swiss (my twist) the server looked confused and slightly hesitated, so I just let it ride with the American cheese as-is. My friend ordered the homemade chips and guacamole and it was really good. My sandwich was good, it came with a side and they featured a good bottled beer special that night. We also got a mojito and it was as good as word of mouth suggested.

A Piece of Havana Restaurant was created by a Cuban Family in Charlotte to celebrate their cultural heritage and their family Cooking tradition. One of the owners of the restaurant, Juan Plasencia has a love of cooking from his mother, who is a graduated Chef in Havana, Cuba. His dream of bringing those authentic Cuban dishes to Charlotte has now been realized.

The Menu appetizers include Papa Rellena (Stuffed Potato with ground beef), Empanadas and Tostones Rellenos de Camarones. Entrees include such specialties as Arroz con Pollo, Bistec de Palomilla, the very popular Paella from Spain (a seafood mix with Saffron yellow seasoned rice cooked with beer) and ropa vieja (Shredded Beef) a traditional Cuban dish. They have a decent selection of wines, Latin-American cocktails, domestic and imported beers as well as their famous Mojitos. They also have Cuban style sangrias by the glass and by the pitcher.
Bakalao Live at A Piece of Havana.
The design of the dining room is a recreation of the early 1900’s in Havana, Cuba. It does create a warm and cozy feel. The chandeliers make it sort of dimly lit and romantic. There is a lot of Cuban art on the walls and they play Cuban music for background ambiance through the week, with live music and DJ’s on the weekends. This seems like the type of place my man Ernie Hemingway would have visited in La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana to get loaded on Mojitos and Daiquiris, then fall into a hammock and scrimshaw a few classics. Ah yes, Big “Ern” was a wild boy. No doubt.
A Piece of Havana
11126 South Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28273
Phone: 704.588.7883

A Piece of Havana features live music every Friday and Saturday from 7PM to 10PM.
Fridays are “Havana Nights” with a DJ spinning International music. 

Skip Pulley
Editor in Chief 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Sushi Review - The Basil Leaf

The Basil Leaf: Thai and Sushi Restaurant
690 St. George Square Court
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27103
(336) 283-9133

I heard about this place from a friend and I felt that either Thai or Sushi would hit the spot. When I arrived with my friends at lunchtime on a Friday, the first thing I noticed was a sign on the door stating that there was “No Sushi on Mondays”. I wasn’t sure if the sushi chef took Mondays off or it was just some type of Monday protest in general. But it was the weekend, so we were good to go either way. The layout and d├ęcor was modern contemporary and very clean and inviting. We ordered soups and salads as appetizers then a full range of sushi in the form of maki rolls and sashimi. The spicy salmon and tuna rolls were pretty good and everything else was a knockout. They did a good job on the Soundboy Roll (Philly salmon tempura) and the Boston Roll and Spider Roll were both great. My number one suggestion there is the “T” Roll; Spicy tuna, crab stick and avocado tempura topped with seaweed salad with spicy and sweet sauce. I will definitely order that on a return visit.

The Basil Leaf opened in June 2011 with the goal of serving fresh and healthy food. Their aim is to bring the balance of four fundamental tastes together in each dish (sweet, sour, salty and spicy). They are family owned and opening the restaurant has brought the family closer together. It is a welcome and creative addition to the community and a new experience in Thai cuisine and Sushi for Winston Salem. My only critique is that the lunch menu is a little overpriced, but they do provide a really enjoyable dining atmosphere and the service is great. In the evening, expect a crowd and wear something nice. 
The beverage menu is fair and the atmosphere is cool. 
Overall I recommend the Basil Leaf for both Thai Cuisine and Sushi.

Skip Pulley - Editor

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Brief Focus on North Carolina Writers and Poets

North Carolina claims some of the greatest authors of the 20th century and enjoys a reputation as an inspiring and nurturing home for writers both young and old. The late Poet Carl Sandburg spent the last 22 years of his life in North Carolina and those years were among his most productive. His home in Flat Rock, NC is now a national historic site. As a condition of the designation, Sandburg’s widow made a stipulation that the rooms and furnishings be kept exactly as they were at the time of his death, so that visitors to the home will feel as if the family “just stepped out for a while”. For more information, visit

"A baby is God's opinion that life should go on" - Carl Sandburg

Two publications, Literary Trails of the North Carolina Mountains and Literary Trails of the North Carolina Piedmont, both written by Georgann Eubanks and published by the N.C. Arts Council in conjunction with UNC Press, describe 18 tours of sites that various North Carolina authors have explored in their fiction, poetry, plays and creative nonfiction. The two books contain works from nearly 400 writers and include excerpts that illustrate the authors’ connections to specific places and local culture. North Carolina honored the literary arts with the creation of the office of State Poet Laureate in 1935. Former NC poet laureate, Tryon NC resident Cathy Smith Bowers, (2010-2012) in conjunction with the North Carolina Center for the Book, the Greensboro Public Library and the N.C. Arts Council has created an online poetry toolkit featuring poetry program success stories from librarians, poetry lesson plans for teachers, writing tips and poems. The goal is to provide inspiration and instruction to teachers as well as to writers and readers of poetry. 
Click here to view the NC Poetry Toolkit

Author Hinton Rowan Helper, born December 27, 1829, near Mocksville, North Carolina. In 1857 he published The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet It Which was was credited with helping to elect Abraham Lincoln. The book was banned in North Carolina and across the South because of its inflammatory nature.  Helper referred to slaveholders as “more criminal than common murderers,” who “deserve to be at once reduced to a parallel with the basest criminals that lie fettered within the cells of our public prisons.”   At another point, Helper said he hoped to see reason prevail to end slavery, but if not then slaves “would, in nine cases out of ten, be delighted with an opportunity to cut their masters’ throats.”
Hinton Rowan Helper wrote a book in 1857
that challenged the practice of slavery
and predicted slaves uprising against their masters.
The book was so controversial that he was forced
to leave the state of North Carolina.

 I have lived in North Carolina over half my life and it has been a huge influence – both positively and negatively - on my literary career. My first Documentary, Freedom vs. Liberty, Life in the Old North State was filmed here in 2005. My first spoken word album, Infusion was recorded here in NC back in 2004. It was based on my book of poetry called The Glint of Bayonets Which drew heavily on NC novelists as well as existential philosophy. This philosophic influence culminated in the publishing of my semi-autobiographical narrative monologues entitled Always Never Forever. To read more about the ANF project please visit To listen to tracks from my spoken word album, visit my profile

Inside photo from the glint of bayonets by Skip Pulley

To learn more about our state’s literary heritage and for countless opportunities to experience the work of writers and poets in person or online at the literary resources of the North Carolina Humanities Council at

Skip Pulley
Editor in Chief 
Catharsis Magazine 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ask Me! - Background checks, Relationships, Dream Interpretation

a Skip Pulley Answers and Advice Column

Accessing a background check
From: Audrey, California US
How do I access a link in my email that says undefined? I paid $1.00 to get a background check done. When I received the email with the link to access my report, it sends me to an expired page. How do I read the report?
Hi Audrey. It's part of a subscription service (scam). They offer a "free" background check for a dollar, then to actually read the details they get you to sign up for a $19.95 monthly subscription. It's very similar to the current "free" credit report internet hustle/scam. You can actually get a real background report from the FBI straight up for about $18, and it will probably be more accurate without all the spam and adware.

From: True Goddess, Clifton NJ
When a guy is highly interested in you what traits will he show?
This is a good question with a slightly complex answer. First, it depends on the age of the man. Younger men tend not to show obvious signs of interest. He may do something subtle or send signals, but more than likely he will just do something really stupid to impress you, or say something really dumb because he is insecure about his feelings. However, as men age, we tend to make our intentions more well known, and generally go after exactly what we want. Secondly, it may depend on how your personalities match. A man might be more romantic toward a woman whom he thinks will respond better to that approach. Finally, it depends on the man and how he was brought up. Unfortunately some men live their whole life without ever showing their true feelings because some fool told them it was not masculine to do so. On the other hand, if he was raised to be overly sensitive, he may show too much emotion, which is definitely a turn-off. The bottom line is, if he keeps calling, he's interested. If he doesn't, he's probably not.

Dream Interpretation
From Anonymous, Southern US
I had a nightmare that I was bit and attacked by a black lab with yellow eyes.
"We were getting ready to go somewhere ...and the dog was on its hind legs and behind it was a large park, the park across the street from my house. It was at night.... and winter. The dog was rabid and looked at me with glaring yellow eyes. It leaped on me and bit my thigh... after that I woke up......." 
Dream interpretation is one of my interests. I have practiced Shamanism for many years and I share my understanding with those who seek knowledge and truth.
If you dream that a dog bites your leg, it actually symbolizes a fear of losing your sense of balance; and/or keeping particular elements of your life in balance. A vicious dog symbolizes an inner conflict. All of these things together may suggest that there is an urge or feeling you are having that is being ignored, creating an imbalance in your life.

If you would like to ask me a question or get my advice, please message me.
You are welcome to keep yourself and your location anonymous if you like. Thank you! 

Skip Pulley
Editor in Chief

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Origins of Slang - Ango/Nordic/Saxon/European, i.e. "white folk"

Don't be sore. It is what it is.

Technically, race is just a human construct. The sooner you understand that, the better. The following slang terms refer to "american" white folks. (This article is for education and information purposes.)
The slang term honky was derived from “hunky” which is short for “Bo-Hunk”; someone who was of Bohemian/Hungarian descent. As in most places in the world, a subtle difference in pronunciation was misheard and therefore caused the term itself to evolve. (I.e. just as someone from South Carolina may pronounce Barry Bonds as “Barry Bunds”) Bo-Hunks or Hunky’s were primarily migratory unskilled or semi-skilled laborers. Their general isolation allowed them to preserve some aspects of their native European Culture. In the years following the civil war they lead the westward expansion in search of more stable and permanent work opportunities and a homestead. The term “honky-tonk” was another name for “juke-joint”, an adult saloon or speakeasy in which a crude type of piano called a “tonk” was played in a rhythmic percussive style.

Contrary to popular belief and opinion, this origin is actually quite simple. Cracker is short for “Corn-Cracker” or Cornhusker. (i.e. Jimmy Crack Corn, Crackin’ Good Winn Dixie brand, etc.) It was a term given to day laborers by the more aristocratic Anglo-Caucasian gentry in the 19th century.  It was not used in a pejorative sense until large cities began to emerge west of the Rockies in which working class Caucasians had to compete with other ethnicities to get work. In addition, the term was most utilized by Negroes in the Northern Midwest who emigrated there after WWI in large numbers to escape the Jim Crow laws of the south.

This one is very interesting. For some reason, all the dictionaries list it as a derogatory term for a white person, but no one seems to know why. I agree with some scholars that the word has African origin, but I don’t think it means simply “white” (even if it did, that in itself is not derogatory at all. It’s a literal description.)
It could have evolved from the African word “Afia” which means light colored, but I think it’s deeper than that. At the turn of the century the word was being used as the flip-side of minstrel blackface – in other words some black minstrels would generally put on white makeup to perform. In that sense I think the word would not only allude to Caucasians, but also a sort of parody of them as well.

This term was conceived entirely by wealthy and upper middle class Caucasians, especially those who considered themselves “the new gentry” to describe low-income working class whites. Ironically it was most commonly used toward former neighbors or distant relatives, as they were often seen as a negative reflection on middle class whites, just as the term “white trash” is used today. The term is a play on words derived from the woodpecker bird, which was seen as unnecessarily annoying. The word is also sometimes shortened to “wood” when used in reference to a gang members or in the prison system.

This one is something I like to call a “linguistic anomaly”. I disagree with most historians’ acceptance of the 20th century disambiguation that it was simply another term for poor whites, generally farmers. In my opinion, when the original definition of a term no longer meets the criteria according to the majority, the majority simply changes the definition to something else entirely. Originally in Scotland the “Covenanters” wore red scarves and neckerchiefs in defiance of the rule by the bishops. They were called “rednecks” by the Scottish aristocracy. Many covenanters settled in the Southern US and were eventually called Presbyterians. The areas they settled were predominantly agricultural. This was the basis for the redneck/farmer correlation.

This one is fairly simple yet very interesting. Lowland Scots, known as Ulster Scots were Protestants who later became known as Scotch-Irish. Two old Scottish phrases were combined in “hill-folk or hill-fellow” and “billie” another word for fellow or “bloke”. In fact, the original spelling was “hill-billie” sometimes used without the hyphen. Even today, it is not always used derogatorily. Many local festivals and awards are given in association with the word Hillbilly.

This is the name given by White (and sometimes Jewish) Californian industrialists to the pre-WWII west-coast emigrants to from Oklahoma and Arkansas, who were mostly poor white farmers. The largest emigration took place during the great depression and the "dust bowl". However, between 1907 and 1917 many “okies” of Scotch-Irish descent came west to organize in labor unions and eventually in the 1930’s they were instrumental in creating socialist political parties. This reason more than any other drew a high level of contempt from wealthy Californian whites.

There are other slang terms I left out of this article, such as hick, hayseed, bumpkin and yokel; which all generally refer to rural folk, usually farmers and generally poor, but not to one ethnicity in particular. In addition, all of the above terms are from post-colonial north america. Prior to that, all indigenous equatorial people of color simply referred to Europeans as "white" descriptively; "nyeupe" or "kook" short for "miguk" etc.
I also left out the definition for tin-weasel, because most people don't even know what that is.
Goodnight everybody. Drive home in reverse.

Skip Pulley
Editor in Chief

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Origins of Slang - Ethnic Groups and People of Color

Most of these words are considered derogatory. This article is for educational purposes only. I do not endorse the use of these or similar words. I only know these words because I am a comedy writer and it would be highly unusual if I didn’t know them. For the record, I am an unapologetic man of color, which means I don't make excuses, rationalize or entertain apologist theory for any of the people and circumstances that have lead to the oppression of indigenous and equatorial people. My research involves fact, logic and reason, rather than emotion.  
Make no mistake, systemic racism is real. White privilege and systematic teaching of white supremacy are real. You simply have to decide whether you are part of the problem or part of the solution. SP

This is actually one of my favorite words to explain, because it’s much deeper than most people realize. This is not only a linguistic anomaly, but also a contextual metaphor. Centuries prior to any connection to the Latin word “Negro”, the root word “Nig” spawned a host of words and phrases with no racist connotation at all. In the early American wilderness of the 18th century “Niggur” was interchangeable with Bloke, Billie, Fellow or Dude and referred to any ethnicity. Billy Shakespeare wrote in the play Macbeth; “be not a niggard of thy speech”, which is now translated as “stingy” but more accurately it means arrested or constrained. It was not until the 19th century that Anglos mistakenly wrote and pronounced Negro as “Nigro” thereby using “Nigra” or “nigger” for short. In colloquial use however, the original meaning still applies. “My Nigga” (with or without the hard “R”) is a term of affection and fraternity. Who more would you trust than someone who constrains their actions or speech on your behalf? For the record, I don’t believe in exclusive colloquial terms. You can’t acknowledge words which some people can use and some people can’t. That’s now how linguistics works. As far as I’m concerned, if we say nigga or nigger, then anyone can say it. Otherwise there’s no point. So if you don’t want to ever hear me say Guinea, Wop, Goombah, Spic, Mick, Kraut, Slant, Slope, Charlie, Dink, Gook, Limey, Kike, Dago, Punjab, Pikey, Cracker, Pecker-wood, Tin-Weasel, Bo-Hunk, Coolie, Chink, Blockhead, Coon-ass, Hymie, Sheeney, Dot-head or Schmatta – then don’t ever let me hear you saying it.
(PS, don’t ever let someones words offend you. If you do, then you’re only empowering some idiot who cannot articulate themselves.)

Spic is an ethnic slur for someone of Hispanic descent. It apparently originated in Panama as either being short for “speak” as in “no-speak”, meaning someone who did not understand English; or the even more jacked up - but still kind of funny phrase known as “spiggoty”, as in “no spiggoty English”. More recently this origin has been downplayed in the US and UK and some “historians” attest that it was merely an abbreviation of the word Hispanic, but no one with common sense really believes that.

This is an interesting linguistic anomaly. There are equally viable sources for its origin. Kike has become a derogatory slang term for Jews which was first recorded by German Jews or “Ashkenazim” in reference to Russian Jews, many of whom having names which ended in the suffix “Ki” or “Ky”, with “Kike” becoming a euphemistic nickname. The more popular origin is from US immigration referring to Jews arriving at Ellis Island many of whom were refugees and illiterate in English. As most immigrants who could not read or write signed their name with an “X”, the emigrating Jews supposedly would not sign in this way as they equated an X with the cross of Christianity, so they signed with a circle instead. A circle in the Yiddish language is called a “Kikel” so anyone who signed with it was thereafter referred to as a “kike”.

The word Wop comes from “WP or WOP” which is actually an acronym created by the United States Immigration Department which stands for “with-out papers” in reference to the Italian immigrants – many of whom had been deported from Italy; who were arriving in New York without passports or documentation at the turn of the 20th century. Although it was a common practice to deport so-called criminals without documentation, many law-abiding Italian citizens (mostly from the southern portion of Italy) were also deported as “ethnically undesirable” by the rest of Italian society.

This word (pronounced day-go) is derived from the Spanish “Diego” in reference to Mediterranean traders from Spain and Portugal as the English equivalent Jim or James; typically used to refer to the generic male ethnic whose name was unknown and seen as unimportant (i.e. “Nigger-Jim”, “Jim-boy” etc.) The phrase was spread by British sailors and was eventually used most commonly to refer to Southern Italians, North Africans and Mediterranean people.

Primarily used to describe Southeast Asians, this word has a few semi related origins and interestingly enough it was used in reference to several different ethnic groups all over the world. It was ironically based on some Pacific Islanders use of the word “kook” which means “Nation or Country” in reference to Americans. The First widespread usage was by US marines in the late 19th century during the invasion of the Philippines. The Filipinos and later the Koreans called the Americans “Miguk”, which the marines misinterpreted as “Me Gook”. Throughout the early 20th century US armed forces used the word to refer to Nicaraguans, Haitians, Africans, Indians and finally the Vietnamese.

Used similarly to the term “Wop”, guinea was basically short for “Guinea Negro” and referred to Southern Italians and other indigenous Mediterranean people such as Sicilians, Sardinians, and Corsicans. Most Northern Italians who saw themselves as more closely related to European aristocracy basically classified southern Italians as North Africans. Guinea is a country in West Africa and it was also the name which some traders occasionally used to describe the entire region.

This is one I’m actually not too sure about. It refers to people of Cajun descent in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. Similarly to the term “HillBilly”, in relation to mountain-dwelling Anglos, some Cajuns view the word as derogatory while others see it as a symbol of pride. It supposedly originated with French Soldiers in WWII who referred to Cajun soldiers as “connasse” which essentially means “whore” for their use of broken French language and negative expressions of French culture, but that’s probably a myth. More than likely it originated with Creole Aristocrats and French Canadians for those very same reasons, as they were seen as a negative reflection on them when viewed by Anglo Europeans. Besides, it is very doubtful that French soldiers during WWII would actually degrade anybody who was willing to fight alongside them.

When I was a kid I thought a Canuck was a swarthy, surly, stump-jumping lumberjack like “Blaack Jacques Shalaack” from the Bugs Bunny cartoons. As it turns out, it’s not even really that derogatory. It has possible origins in the French word “Canule” or the Cree Indians Algonquin word for a wolf spirit “Kannuk”. It basically referred to French Canadians originally, and then later on it referred to all Canadians. Eventually, “Johnny Canuck” became a fictional Canadian symbol similar to the US “Uncle Sam”.

I didn’t include any derogatory slang for Native Americans because I couldn’t find any that were interesting, although I admit I was very ashamed of myself for thinking a few of them were pretty funny, such as “wahoo”, “prairie-nigger” and “chug” (I guess because we drink a lot). It just goes to show you that stereotypes are partially based on fact. For example, I almost never get lost and I drink all the time.

By the way, the name “Skip” is actually UK slang for an Australian Hillbilly. I had no idea.

Goodnight everyone. Now beat it before I sick my dog on you.

Skip Pulley
Editor in Chief

Monday, March 6, 2017

Insignificant pro-Trump “rallies” met with Ethical opposition from Anarchists

Drumpf supporters get their wigs split, echoing the petulance of a crumbling system

Hardly anyone showed up in most major cities for the nationwide alt-Klan rallies planned for Saturday March 4th (the average was about 20 people per "rally") other than in the modern day neo-nazi capitol of St. Paul and the ironically not ironic Washington DC trump rally, primarily organized by a group called “Gays for Trump”; a group which, again I must reiterate, research shows that trump most likely identifies with personally, as male homosexuals are the only group he neglected to slander or offend during and since his campaign run. But I digress.

In the few cities in which a crowd larger than the average group of buffet patrons gathered in favor of Donny tiny-hands, the Trumpeters were met with counter-protests and anti-trump demonstrators whose chants drowned out the pro-slavery rhetoric of privileged white conservatives, confused and angry white working classmates and self-loathing trump supporters of color. Although some conservative-controlled media groups claimed “several hundred” trump supports showed up in a handful of cities, this number could not be confirmed and is more likely an attempt to save face by neo-nationalist supported propaganda outlets.

In Berkley, CA a group of "trumplets" who numbered a whopping 70 strong were served complimentary teeth sandwiches and black eyes by a well disciplined, motivated group of principled anarchists; a phrase which of course is redundant, as all true anarchists are principled by definition; in open rebellion against both the totalitarian alt-right and the neo-liberal status-quo.

By 3 p.m., the self-proclaimed anarchists were dominating the crowd. Dressed all in black and wearing cloth bandannas over their faces, they stopped traffic as they marched from the park through downtown with the smaller mix of Trump supporters and counter-protesters. In the park, people opposed to Trump threw eggs and burned the red “Make America Great Again” Trump campaign hats.” - SFGate

Police “Officers” claimed to have confiscated a dagger, metal pipes, bats, pieces of lumber and bricks, yet there is no photographic evidence of this 1970's gang rumble-inspired pirates booty treasure trove of home-made weapons and contraband. The Berkeley PD proved multiple theories about modern police acting as neo-fascist storm-troopers rather than protectors and servants of citizens, as their main purpose at the march was to identify and arrest anti-trump demonstrators on sight, prior to breaking any so-called laws.

Berkeley Police officers in riot gear first stood by the rally that attracted hundreds at a park less than a mile from the University of California, Berkeley campus. The department said officers worked to identify suspects and arrest them at the first available opportunity.” - AP
By most eyewitness accounts, the majority of the 70 Trump supporters ran away when the scuffles began. Some even employed the fiendishly clever strategy of covering their retreat with pepper spray, as if inanimate projectiles were somehow affected by an airborne respiratory irritant. Which also ironically blew back in their own faces, causing them to choke and gag of their own device. In hindsight, a trashcan lid may have been their most effective defense employment.

A handful of arrests were made, all of whom were anti-trump demonstrators, which comes as no surprise. Police are far more reluctant to detain and harass someone whose racist, fascist austerity goals align with their own vision of subservient socialists and people of color.

Skip Pulley
Editor in Chief 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

How to Coordinate Men's Evening and Business Attire

 Hit the Town with Style and Confidence

You have to "coordinate"! 

An overwhelming majority of women love well-dressed men. Fortunately, being a “gentleman” is no longer a prerequisite for making the scene in a high-octane outfit. It takes practice and patience but it's generally worth it. There is some trial and error involved, but mostly it's learning through observation. If you see someone wearing something pleasing to your eye, it's more likely that you will wear it with confidence. I know some cats can easily put colors together, some cats cannot – but that's okay, just get a second opinion when in doubt. Here are a few of the rules or general guidelines to keep in mind when coordinating a dress-shirt, tie & sport coat/blazer or suit/slacks with a belt and shoes.

Shirt, Tie, Jacket & Slacks
1. Avoid patterns that are too similar.
I love wearing vertical stripes or pinstripes because they give you that long sculpted look. But this look is easy to overdo when you throw on a jacket and/or tie. Stick with the basics. You can't miss with a classic pinstripe black or navy suit with a white open-collared shirt. Wear narrow tip shoes if you plan to wear a tie, otherwise kick some square-toed shoes when sporting the open collar.

2. Select complimentary colors and patterns.
Plaid patterns, in most color combinations can be very contemporary, but you have to know what you are doing. There are many subtle differences in the types of plaid; gingham, tartan, hounds-tooth and Welsh to name a few. Select the darkest strand in a gingham coat and wear pants that match. A hounds-tooth blazer and gray slacks are usually pretty sharp. I also love colored pastel shirts with a white collar; just be careful if you add a tie.

3. Don't wear combinations that are drastically different.
The patterns and colors you wear should never compete with one another. Also keep in mind that some colors and patterns compliment your skin tone while others clash. In this regard, black and white are generally neutral. When in doubt, wear a solid neutral colored shirt and black slacks. Never combine pastels with earth-tones or plaid with stripes.

4. Match large patterns with small patterns or vice versa.
If you absolutely must wear a pattern, limit the pattern to 2 items; A coat and necktie, for instance. A good example would be a tartan coat and pinstripe tie or possibly a pinstripe suit with a small plaid tie. In this scenario, stick with black, white and grey as the colors. If you wear a striped shirt with a striped tie, make sure one of them has a wider stripe pattern.

5. Don't overdo one pattern or color.
If your goal is to wear one color or a slight variation thereof, let your accessories make the biggest difference. Subtle differences in cloth dying already make mono-chromatics somewhat impractical in some cases. For example, an azure blue shirt with royal blue slacks and a navy blue blazer all mesh well without trying too hard to blend. You can also match particular elements of your outfit such as shirt with socks or tie with belt.

Belt & Shoes
I know a lot of cats who don't sweat their belt color because it's rarely seen. But the way I look at it, why take a chance? You don't need an exact match for either leather or fabric, so it's not that difficult to get close. Just stay in the same color family. Don't clash. If you can't get close with the colors, just stay “dark” as it were; blacks and dark-browns, deep navy and black, etc. If in doubt about socks, just go without. Be very careful of white or white-pattern shoes and belt with any color suit. There is a high probability that you will look like a featured tap-dance performer, minstrel show comedian or 99 from get smart. Some square root cubes will tell you "black goes with anything", but that's not necessarily so. Keep a pair of burgundy or oxblood shoes in case you ever find a nice brown or tan suit.

A suit is actually the easiest combo to match up. Just make sure it fits you well. People will notice the fit before the color and style. If you are big around the middle, your options will be somewhat limited as to style, but I have more respect for a sharp, (though be it square) department store suit off the rack than a clownish Steve Harvey boxed buffoon set. If you are not in your ideal shape, then some degree of apparel conservatism is recommended in any case. Go with a solid-colored shirt that doesn't clash with your shoes and belt. Only wear a pastel colored suit if you're skinny and hip-looking. Otherwise everyone will think you just came from a halfway house, church clothing drive or 1970's sex offender convention.

The rules listed above are just a few you should just keep in mind when making your selections. The key is feeling comfortable in your clothes. On some occasions, there will be combinations that seem to fit the guidelines but just don't look right when all put together. Always use your better judgment to determine what works for you - or ask someone you respect and admire what they think about coordination before you hook everything up.

Never be afraid to fall into some threads and hang in the cool room. It's a right of passage that is being more and more marginalized. You're doing this for you, of course, but also for those times when lil' big mama rolls her grapes over you and flips. 

Skip Pulley
Editor in Chief

Thursday, March 2, 2017

There's No Money in the Cure - Why Natural Cancer Cures are Suppressed

Insight on the multi-billion dollar Cancer industry

20,000 people die of cancer every day. That's 8,000,000 deaths every year including 500,000 Americans. At the turn of the 20th century, 1 person out of 20 got cancer. In the 1940's, it was 1 out of 16. In the 1970's it was 1 out of every 10. Today, 1 out of every 3 people gets cancer. 1 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer every year. Each patent then feeds into a "system" which employs hundreds of thousands of people and generates billions of dollars for the medical and pharmaceutical industries. The so-called cancer "treatment" apparatus is so large and expensive that it requires new patients on a continual basis so that it won't collapse. Simply put, Cancer is big business. Cancer is one of the biggest businesses on earth.

The average cancer patent spends at least 50,000 dollars on "treatment". With a million new cancer patients every year, that equals 50 BILLION dollars annually spent on cancer treatment. Yet, somehow to modern physicians, cancer still remains somewhat a mystery. Do you really believe that? Modern medicine is telling you that they are no closer to a cure now than they were a hundred years ago. Do you believe that as well? Think of all the other technological advances in the last century; the airplane, the telephone, the radio, the automobile, telephones, TV, microchips, etc. - in other words, think about life in 1917 compared to today. Despite all the campaigns, races, walks, concerts, rallies, fundraisers, benefits, awareness campaigns, philanthropy and all other supposed resources people throw money into, modern medicine is telling you that your only treatment options besides surgery are radiation and chemicals, both of which are more deadly and cause more damage than the cancer. (They are also carcinogenic in and of themselves). 

Why does that sound reasonable to you? Do you believe it because you want to believe it? They claim that the so-called "cause" of cancer is the molecular theory, but that has never even been proven scientifically. That's why it's still a theory - not a law. They claim to have made major advances in cancer research, yet of their own admission, they still do not even fully understand the mechanisms that trigger malignant cell growth. How can that sound right to anyone? So let's get this straight, in 1900 with primitive medicine your odds were 1 in 20 of getting cancer but now with fantastic modern medicine your odds are only 1 in 3. So not only are they no closer to a cure - our natural preventative mechanism has almost completely disappeared. The average survival rate after diagnosis has dropped as well, which means that more people are dying from treatment as much as the actual disease. The reality is, all the money you donate goes directly to the corporations who control the medical and pharmaceutical industry. They have no interest in curing anything that feeds the machine.

This machine is strikingly similar to the monetary system. Our economic system is built on debt and interest - not currency. If everyone paid off all their debt, the system would collapse. Our "healthcare" system is built on treatment and synthetic drugs - not cures. If everyone was cured, or had access to a cure, the medical establishment would also collapse. It's that simple. Almost all major scientific studies has shown that chemotherapy drugs help - at best - 5% of all cancer patients, yet the healthcare industry is unwilling to explore any alternatives. It's because they can't, even if they wanted to. (But of course they don't want to. That's the point.) At the turn of the century when the corporate banking and industrial tycoon cartel (Morgan, Warburg, Rockefeller, Rothschild, Brown, Harriman, etc.) overthrew the empirical or homeopathic medical establishment in favor of the highly profitable and more deadly allopathic medical system and formed the AMA, everyone should have known this situation would eventually develop. It was only a matter of time. 

We have reached the point of no return. Humans have turned their backs on Natural law. They have turned their backs to safe, effective natural remedies in favor of deadly, unproven, ineffective and unnecessary treatment because they are afraid not to. I number among about 5 people whom I know personally who are not on some type of prescription medication - and I know a lot of people. That is important because like everything else in the universe, our personal condition is completely relative to our environment and our description of it is completely contextual. You either have symbiosis with your environment or you don't. You're either going with the universe or against it. Either way, you are where the universe wants you to be, and the universe always gets what it wants. However, it's up to you to decide how to deal with it. You control the way you exist on this plane of being; in sickness or health, life or death, freedom or slavery.

Do your own research. Create your own mindset. Use your common sense. For additional information view the following video
Wars are not meant to be won, they're meant to be continual. Wars are essentially a lie.
The societal systems of control need otherwise curable diseases to be a static, continuous part of the human condition in order to maintain that control. It's up to you to break free.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Ask Me! - Credit Checks, Earth Science, Dream Interpretation

a Skip Pulley Answers and Advice Column  

Credit Checks  
From: M, Ottowa, Ontario
 Can someone do a credit check on me even though I never had a credit card?
"I'm trying to move but every potential landlord I've met so far wanted to do a credit check on me. I told them I have never had a credit card and they told me that doesn't matter. They never call me back, so I don't know what's going on. I'm 19 years old and I don't owe any money. All my bills are under my name and I always pay on time."

M, your official credit record begins from the time you open your first account of any kind; bank account, insurance, leasing agreement, etc. Credit scores are based on the number of accounts you have open, your balances and your payment history. The irony is, our economic system is so jacked up that bad credit is actually better than no credit because at least with bad credit you have created a record of debt, which is actually how wealth is measured in a market system economy. Basically, debt equals money. New money cannot be generated without generating new debt. As a result, if everyone paid off all their debt at once, the system would collapse. In other words, the "purpose" of our system is debt. My advice is to open a store credit account, only use it for certain necessities and pay off the balance every month. That should boost your rating up to the standard for the average inquiry.

Earth Sciences and Geology  

From: Jessie, Continental US
When was convection discovered?
Hi Jessie. Convection is basically the transfer of thermal energy from one place to another by the movement of fluids or gases and can refer to heat or cooling. Sir Isaac Newton was the first to document it (in a formula) in "Newton's Law" of cooling which states that the rate of heat loss of a body is proportional to the difference in temperatures between the body and its surroundings. However, ancient civilizations discovered that convection occurred on a large scale caused by the sun and stars; and it affects our atmosphere, ocean currents and the earth's crust.

Dream Interpretation  
From Anonymous, Southern US
I am having a recurring nightmare involving a tsunami or a tornado. What does that mean?
A recurring nightmare about a storm or natural disaster is a reflection of how you feel about your current situation or day-to-day life. Nature is something that humans cannot control. The theme of being washed away or swept up by a storm is an unconscious metaphor for being caught or trapped in a situation or set of circumstances you feel is beyond your control. You may not think it is upsetting you, but it is obviously being internalized and is manifesting itself as a recurring dream. Take charge of your daily life and put yourself back in the driver's seat. This may not be easy to do, but create a plan of action and stick to it. You will be glad you did. If you are inside the dream, and you are able to realize it, step into the tidal wave or funnel cloud in order to stop the recurrence. Remember, if you realize that it is just a dream, you can manipulate the course of the dream as well as the outcome.

If you would like to ask me a question or get my advice, please message me. 

You are welcome to keep yourself and your location anonymous if you like. Thank you!

Skip Pulley
Editor in Chief

The Origins of Slang - Idioms & Figures of Speech


The Origins of Slang - Idioms & Figures of Speech

Caught with your pants down
This is literally what it sounds like. Being caught with your britches down originated during the Seven Year’s War (or the French and Indian war in the US). British soldiers of that era (and their colonial counterparts) fought in the old European style of traditional gentleman. They basically lined up and marched into live fire; whereas the French who were fighting alongside the Native Americans adopted their methods of using obstacles as barricades, hiding behind trees and rocks, firing while lying flat, etc. Columns of British soldiers who were on a march rarely had time to make camp, which included digging latrines. When they came to a halt and had to relieve themselves, they just went in the woods and left a dump wherever they squatted. The problem was, many of them would need to go simultaneously and they would spread themselves out. From an enemy’s point of view, this is the perfect time to attack.
Hence the term, caught with your pants down. 
Rule of thumb
Like many popular phrases, this phrase has dual origins; or at least a very old origin that evolved into a more garish use. In most of ancient Europe the phrase rule of thumb as applied to architects, artists, scientists and inventors was in reference to using the width of their thumb (approximately 1 inch, at the knuckle) as a rough guideline for sketching and/or measurement. Later, in the pre-revolutionary North American colonies it represented a legal statute which stated that it was acceptable to beat your wife, children and salves (if any) provided that the stick was no wider that your thumb. (After independence from Britain, however, American slave-owners could legally beat slaves with anything to any degree - even to death, with no repercussions whatsoever, as they were considered property instead of persons)

When in Rome
This phrase is also literal. St. Augustine upon arrival in Milan consulted St. Ambrose for advice on how to respond to the regional Church customs. St. Ambrose replied "When I am at Rome, I fast on a Saturday; when I am at Milan, I do not. Follow the custom of the Church where you are." Januarius, who was Bishop of Naples around 390AD and later canonized as a martyr saint, received what was known as the St. Augustine Letters. Volume I, Letter 54 contains the original text, translated as: “When I go to Rome, I fast on Saturday, but here (in Milan) I do not. Do also follow the custom of whatever church you attend, if you do not want to give or receive scandal.” Eventually this advice became "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."

Sold down the river
This expression is also literal and comes from the 19th century US slave trade. Basically it means “to jack somebody up” as an act of betrayal, especially if that person is seen as a troublemaker. Although slavery was a harsh and inhuman condition in every state, the southern delta states such as Mississippi saw the majority of cruelty and inhumanity. Some slaves in that region were routinely whipped and tortured as a daily or weekly regimen, sometimes even for sport or spectacle. In the mid-south and the Border States slaves who were rebellious or caused trouble for their owners were “sold down the river”, typically for little or no profit, as punishment and mostly as an example for the slaves who remained to obey and submit unquestionably.

Kick the bucket
This phrase also has dual origins, but mostly because the accepted western origin is considered taboo. This is an accepted colloquialism for death. The old European origin is that of a truss or beam called a “bucket” which pigs would be hung on upside down for slaughter, there by kicking the bucket was the pig flailing around in its death throes. The more plausible origin in my opinion is when hanging someone, or themselves, a person would stand on a bucket with their head in a noose and they – or someone else would literally “kick the bucket” from underneath leaving them to hang. Keep in mind, buckets used to be much larger than most of the pails we use today. Even so, it was probably a ghastly demise. The object of ceremonial hanging is to break the neck, not to strangulate, unless part of your object is to also torture.
Pushing the envelope/Beyond the Pale
This phrase originated in a technical engineering context but it was popularized by test pilots following WWII. First used by mathematicians, it referred to a set of points whose location is determined by one or more specified conditions and the ultimate intersection of consecutive curves. In relation, the “flight envelope” covers all probable conditions of symmetrical maneuvering flight. Pushing the envelope was basically pushing the known limits. As in mathematics, staying inside the envelope was relatively safe.
Very similarly, the “pale” is a steak of wood driven (or impaled) into the ground on connected to railings called a “paling” fence, also known as “the pale”. Staying inside the pale was safe while venturing beyond it was considered dangerous.

Balls to the wall/Balls out
This phrase was first used by fighter pilots. When accelerating quickly, the throttle is pushed all the way to the panel and the throttle lever (the ball) actually touches the panel (the wall). Hence, "balls to the wall".
"Balls out" refers to the governor on a steam engine. Two heavy balls are attached to the engine. As engine speed increases, the centrifugal force of the flywheel causes the balls to rise. As the balls top out, they govern (or limit) the engine, thereby controlling maximum engine speed. Balls out refers to running the engine at maximum speed.

The writings’ on the wall
This phrase comes from the bible. It refers to Daniel Chapter 5 in which King Belshazzar and his “droogs” threw a party and drank from sacred vessels (or cups) which his predecessor Nebuchadnezzar had stolen from the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. During the party a disembodied hand magically appeared and began writing an inscription on the wall of the palace. No one at the party could decipher it. Daniel, an exiled Israelite was summoned to translate. The inscriptions were Aramaic terms for weight, measurement and currency; “To count, to weigh and to divide.” Daniel basically said to him, “God says your days are numbered, you can’t pull your weight and he’s going to divide your kingdom up and give it away.” That night, Belshazzar was killed and his kingdom was eventually divided between the Medes and Persians.
Screwed the pooch
The phrase screw the pooch means to “F something up” or commit an error of some kind. It’s originally a euphemism for tedium from US military slang during WWI. The original expression was “F the dog” and it meant to waste time or loaf on the job. That really doesn’t make sense to me, because “F-ing” a dog does not seem synonymous with boredom at all. It seems like something someone would put a lot of effort and energy into. Not to mention convincing a dog to go for it. I suppose peanut butter would be involved in some way. In any case, over the decades, the phrase was modified to the more cordial “screwing the pooch” which still conveys the original idea.

Eat your heart out
Ancient civilizations believed that envy and excessive regret or pining were bad for the heart. They believed that these feelings literally drained blood from that organ and would “eat away” at it. That’s why we refer to the grief-stricken as broken-hearted.  Eating your heart out used to mean that you were generally feeling sorrow. Modern society has popularized this phrase as something one says to others to intentionally make them jealous of their achievement, status or accomplishments.

Put the Kibosh on you
The word "kibosh" comes from the Gaelic phrase "cie bais," pronounced "kie-bosh," which translates as “cap of death”. This is in reference to both the black skullcap worn by a judge sentencing someone to be executed and the black hood draped over the condemned person’s head before hanging or worn as a mask by the executioner.  The Kibosh represents something being stopped or coming to an end. So as a result, I’m putting the kibosh on this blog post.

Goodnight everybody! Now get off my property before I mess around and call the law.