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It's been a long run, guys. May 2008 is when this all started, and I've been all over the place since then. This will always been my first home here on the Internet, but we must all move on to new things.

I appreciate every reader and subscriber that I've gained over the years and hope that you decide to follow me on my newest endeavor, Things My Grandfather Taught Me...

Hopefully I was able to make the male species just a little bit sharper...

Thank you, all!


Watch Yourself!

Nowadays, men around the country have become increasingly convinced that the more money you blow on a time piece, the better it will look, feel and operate. This may be true; then again, it may not.

There's one thing I do know: there a great deal of cheaper options that rival the sleek sexiness of some pricer models.

1. Analog Black Dial Watch, $115, Fossil. (www.fossil.com)

Based on the original design of a WWI timepiece, this watch is so sharp and lightweight you'll have no problem transitioning from a summer night to a winter day with this watch.

2. The "Easy Reader" Series, $35, Timex. (www.timex.com)

Practically a staple for the no-frills crowd of watch wearers, the 'Easy Reader' line of Timex watches are simple, understated pieces that allow you to do what the name implies: tell the time at a moment's notice

3. Men's Strap Model, $150, Citizen. (www.citizenwatch.com)

A little on the higher end of the spectrum, it's still a solid design with a little bit of attitude without being too in-your-face.



Five Favorite Beats from the Past Five Years, '05 to '09

I've seen a handful of these lists floating around the Internet and I feel like a many of them have been rather self-serving, only mentioning those who have received stellar reviews within the pages of their own publications.

It is my intent to tackle this subject with an unbiased ear and critical mind. Here we go:

DISCLAIMER: I did not include any mixtapes, compilations, remixes or anything that wasn't a full-fledged studio album. This possibilities would have been endless, plus I'm a busy man.

2005: "Sofa King" from the "The Mouse and the Mask" album by DangerDoom.

Aside from the fact that MF Doom decided to release this single solely on 12-inch vinyl, Dangermouse's sampling of Don Harper's "Chamber Pop" gives the track an old school Victrola feel that makes this beat the best of 2005.

2006: "Tell Me When to Go" from the "My Ghetto Report Card" by E-40.

This track brought the Hyphy movement of Oakland to the mainstream in 2006. Using samples from Run D.M.C's "Dumb Girl" ('Dumb! Dumb! Dumb! Dumb'), this beat caused a plethora of suburban white kids to post YouTube videos of them 'ghost riddin' the whip and introduced a whole new vocabulary to the hip-hop world.

2007: "The Art of Storytellin', pt. 4" from "Gangsta Grillz: The Album" by DJ Drama.

Produced by Don Cannon, the mastermind behind the ubiquitous "Cannon!" sound bite, "The Art..." was a strong contender against "Cannon (Remix)" featuring Lil Wayne, T.I., Willie the Kid and Freeway. What put it over the top was its simplicity. Oh, and it didn't hurt that Outkast and Marsha Ambrosius blessed the track with sheer greatness.

2008: "A Milli" from "The Carter III" album by Lil Wayne.

You had to have lived under a rock if you've never heard even a snippet from the beat of this song. Hailed as the 'most rapped-over beat in the last 10 years', "A Milli" skyrocketed Wayne's album to multi-platinum status in a matter of months. Produced by Bangladesh, this track sampled hip-hop classic, "I Left My Wallet in El Segundo", and even Gladys Knight and the Pips.

2009: "House of Flying Daggers" feat. Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah and Method Man from the "Only Built for Cuban Linx II" album by Raekwon.

The beat goes all the way! Samples from the Four Tops' version of "Eleanor Rigby" and produced by the legendary J. Dilla, this song solidified Raekwon's latest studio project. Excerpts from some classic martial arts films from the 60s rounds out this amazing song.



Pick Pockets

Many moons ago, when I worked for the college paper, I made it a point to come up with a great deal of ideas. Unfortunately, I never had the gumption to implement a lot of them.

There was one in particular that I still cling to in the hopes that, one day, it will take hold and skyrocket me to the pinnacle of journalistic creativity.

"Pick Pockets" was going to be a weekly column where a street correspondent with interview random people on the street about the contents of their pockets (a highly underrated method of storage), and have them muse about its contents.

For example, my pockets contain:

- an iPhone w/earbuds
- exactly $0.36 in change
- a monogrammed money clip with various cards and $18 in cash
- a half-used stick of lip balm

Right off the bat I can tell you that I'm relatively broke. This is one of the first times (in a very long time) that I've had a little bit of extra money in my pockets. Surprisingly enough, I am one of the few guys I know who doesn't keep his cell phone on some ridiculous belt clip. Other than that, I really like my money clip (had it for three years or so). It was a gift from my girlfriend.
You see the potential of a piece like this? The possibilities? From just a few contents in one's pockets you have the potential to create an entire profile story. I will try my hardest to incorporate this idea into future posts and see what I can come up with. I will keep you all posted.