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  Ohh! How yez all doin’?

Brooklyn Tony again, on the case, gettin’ yez all straightened out about these here Olympics.

I don’t know about you, but in my house, we got a little TV confusion since the Games began.

My father, who if he didn’t have the TV to watch every freakin’ wakin’ moment would probably walk into traffic, went a little bats the other night.

He goes out of the room for a little bit to visit the bathroom and turn it into a hazardous zone, and then touches base in the kitchen, where he goes deep with the mortadella and the provolone, and when he comes back, weaving under the weight of three plates, he gets a little surprise.

“Ohh!!”, he yells out in a voice they had no trouble hearing three blocks away.

When I come running into the room, he’s staring at the screen, which is supposed to be showing a nice little bloody unlimited fighting cage match, which usually involves two guys who look a whole lot like most of the males in the room at the last family reunion, and instead there’s a Chinese girl about 32 pounds playin’ johnny-on-the-pony wit’ a sawhorse.

  • “You change the channel, numb nuts?”, he says to me.
  • “Me? No.,” I says. “That’s the Olympics. They ain’t showing the fight.”
  • Pop didn’t take this in his stride. Tell you the truth, I don’t think he’s got one.
  • “Nah, nah, nah. I stopped watchin’ Wide World of Sports in 1975.”
  • But bein’ that the Olympics is on, like, nine channels simulterrainally, you can’t get away.

So Pop is stuck lookin’ at stuff he don’t understand, and it occurred to me that I could help him and everybody else out by explainin’ what the hell is goin’ on. So here goes:

Brooklyn Tony’s Handy Guide to Olympic Sports

Let’s get a couple of things out of the way right now. If you don’t know what basketball, baseball, swimming, bicycle riding, soccer and boxing are, forget about the Olympics and report to the nearest precinct because you’re a freakin’ alien. This leaves us with your lesser known sports, which I will now explain.

Badminton: This is like tennis, except the two guys are whackin’ around this thing that looks like a flower with a rubber ball on the bottom. 21 wins, and it’s usually two Asian guys goin’ at it because they practice this stuff all the time. You gotta be kiddin’ me.

Rowing: This ain’t bad. Four mooks in a canoe rowing backward until they practically croak. They all gotta do the same thing at the same time, and the only thing that looks different is how they breathe, which there’s usually one mope in the boat who’s got plans for the emergency room when the thing is over.

Taekwondo: OK. Here the boys mix it up, usin’ the feet, and basically tryin’ to beat the crap outta each other. But they got a lotta penalties, too. For instance, If you deck the other guy, you can’t stand over him and say things about his girlfriend and his grandmother, like you do in the street. No good. They take points away, and you could wind up puttin’ a guy on the Sleepy Express and still lose the match because you also smacked him in the face a little bit. Gimme a break.

Shooting: If there was an Olympics in my neighborhood, this would be the only event. We got gold medal guys on every stoop. Take Johnny Mal Olio. This degenerate practices shooting so much, about the only time he ain’t holdin’ a gun is when he’s eatin’. Problem is, in the Olympics, they ask you to shoot at circular targets that are far away, and clay things they throw up in the air. This could cause a problem for Johnny, bein’ that his marksmanship to this point has involved human bodies at pretty close range, a process he refers to as “closin’ the book,” during which event judges have so far been somewhat unnecessary.

Water Polo: Another Olympic sport wiseguys would be good at. The basic idea is two teams playin’ soccer in the water and usin’ their hands instead of their feet. From what I could tell, if the other guy got the ball, you could pretty much throw him a beatin’ and take it away, and if he gets drowned, hey, he’s supposed to know how to swim before he gets in the freakin’ pool, no? Beautiful.

Fencing: This is a sport where you get dressed up like a cross between a beekeeper and an astronaut, and go at it with swords. Which was news to my friend Rocco the Degenerate Worm, who happened to get wind of the fencing competition during the Olympics held in Los Angeles some years back.

Screaming “that’s for me!,” after reading about it in the newspaper, he quickly made his way to the site of the competition. At the front gate of the venue, Rocco was met by a security guard who was very interested in seeing some official Olympic credentials with Rocco’s name correctly spelled on them.

“Yeah, yeah,” said Rocco. “Don’t worry, I’m a fencer.” The guard was unmoved in the extreme.

“Alright, pal,” Rocco crowed, “wrap your regulations around this,” and grandly opening the full-length raincoat he was wearing on the 85-degree day, displayed a very well-chosen set of silverware, and a selection of choice Rolex timepieces.

“Ain’t no Bulgarian takin’ a medal from me,” said Rocco proudly. “This is fencing .”

Kundalini yogis believe that energy exists, like a coiled snake, at the base of the spine. Through Kundalini yoga, this energy can be released to travel upward along the spine, causing spiritual awakening. Kundalini energy is carried through three nadis, or channels. The shushumna is parallel to the spine, and the ida and pingala, which spiral around the spine. The intersection of the channels forms the chakras, or energy centers of the body. 

Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa

Yoga Journal has featured a number of Kundalini yoga teachers over the years. One of the most popular is Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa. Born Mary May Gibson in rural Illinois, Kaur Khalsa has had a lot of unusual experiences. She attended San Francisco State in the 1960s. After that, she lived in a tent with a friend, doing without money or a car and scrounging for food. She moved to Maui, where she lived for three years before moving back to California. She became a Sikh after a friend introduced her to Kundalini yoga at an ashram in Tucson, Arizona in 1970, where she met Yogi Bhajan.

Today, Kaur Khalsa has her own yoga studio, Golden Bridge Yoga, which has locations in Los Angeles, California, and in New York City. Kaur Khalsa also teaches meditation and pre- and post-natal care. She has several books and DVDs out on the market.

The Three Gurus

The following three gurus have been friends since the 1970s, and all took their vows from the late Swami Muktananda.

Swami Shankarananda was born in New York and migrated to Melbourne, Australia. He is the spiritual director of the Shiva School of Meditation and Yoga. He is also a meditation master in the tradition of Kashmir Shaivism. He has been a member of the Columbia University national chess championship team and a United States chess master. He has also taught Renaissance poetry and English literature at Indiana University. He met American guru Ram Dass in 1970. He then traveled to India and studied with several important masters of meditation and yoga.

Shankarananda uses a classical practice, which involves bringing attention to the primary chakras, and asking oneself a series of questions. He also uses deep breathing and mantra chanting in his meditations.

Swami Chetananda, the abbot of the Nityananda Institute in Portland, Oregon comes from a different tradition. His spiritual lineage is descended from Ghagawan Nityananda, a renowned Indian sage. Chetananda was ordained in 1978, and has traveled extensively. He studied Kashmir Shaivism in Srinigar from 1980 to 1986. He adopted the practice of Triki Yoga, which regards every ethnic group and lifestyle as equal.

Chetananda understands the difficulty in silencing the mind. He believes that by focusing on the breath and the flow of energy through the body, the mind’s thoughts will become like background static.

Master Charles Cannon is the founder of the Synchronicity Foundation in Faber, Virginia. He uses technology-enhanced music to assist students with their meditative efforts. He has an educational background in the arts and philosophy. He spent many years in India studying with Paramahamsa Muktananda. He has been ordained as a monk in the Vedic/Tantric tradition. His CDs use Holodynamic Vibrational Entrainment Technology (HVET) in specific frequency ranges. The Synchronicity Alpha series, for example, are in the Alpha range of 8 – 14 Hz. Synchronicity Theta soundtracks feature a lower vibration of around 3.5 – 7 Hz, for a deeper meditative experience. Synchronicity Delta soundtracks are recorded in the Delta range of 0 – 3.5 Hz for the deepest form of meditation.

Being from a different kind of generation, I’ve often wondered if there was an art to finding a job. Many, many older, “wiser” people have always told me I should work out a resume; I should dress super nice, and be super friendly. I’ve been told since high school “don’t wear your tongue ring to the interview!” or “put on a skirt!”, but ultimately, are those the steps that got me hired?

As a former “recruiter” or part of the “hiring personnel”, I know that the company looks for candidates that will closest match the company image. They want someone they know will look the way the company does and can represent themselves as the company’s image, so taking out my lip ring and nose ring are an almost necessity, to most every potential employer. (I still strongly disagree with this strategy, and policy, believing it to be a type of discrimination, but unfortunately, “it’s a wicked world that we live in.”1)

I also understand that, while a skirt may not get me a job, looking like a bum won’t either. Now, that normally means no t-shirts and jeans, however, if you’re/I’m applying for a clothing store and that’s their style, I would probably not go there dressed in a business suit! That’s not how they want customers to see their company. Image, to a recruiter, is huge.

Personality; this is where I always get messed up. I’m outgoing, helpful, respectful, and polite. However, if I talk too much, I can appear “chatty”, which is bad, because time is money, as the old adage says. If I’m too polite, I can come across nervous or shy. By trying to help an interviewer pick the right word or phrase, I can appear too eager or disrespectful, even though I’m just trying to be nice. All of this, of course, depends on the interviewer, and is hard to adjust or predict. The thing I have found that works best is to be honest. As a recruiter, I understood people got nervous. Nerves make us forgetful, shaky, awkward, and even rude, in same cases. The interview is where you are giving the recruiter a first (and sometimes last) impression of who you are, but it never hurts to be honest and simply say “I’m sorry. I’m nervous.” I can’t say this excuses the mistake or behavior for the recruiter, but in some cases, as the interviewer, I could see if the nerves really were the problem, or if it was something else, and the apology either helped, or had no affect, but it never hurt.

As to resumes, I have always been told to bring a couple resumes to an interview, “just in case”, however, I’ve never been asked for a resume in an interview or later. I, personally, never requested a resume from a candidate I interviewed. Most of the information we needed came from the application, which asks for recent or relevant work history. It asks how long you worked for a particular employer and under what circumstances you left or were asked to leave. It asks if you have been convicted of anything and what or why. All of these pieces of information are important to a recruiter because it gives an impression of work ethic, and morals. If you are applying for a bank teller position, but you’ve been fired under suspicion of stealing from a previous job, you are most likely not going to be hired by a bank, where you are directly responsible for working with money everyday! However, if you are applying for a business position, something like human resources, or pay roll, you might want to bring a resume with you, which can include references, education, and other accomplishments. In those cases, your potential employer make ask for your resume, and you may look unprepared if you do not have one with you.

Overall, when applying and interviewing for jobs, use your common sense. If you are looking for work as a business professional, you are going to need to look better, act better, and be better prepared than if you are applying for a fast food job. Think things through, and be prepared for what you think the job may be like and act accordingly.

If you are interested in maintaining your CD’s in working condition, you must pay some attention to the procedures for proper maintenance which will make them last an increased length of time and play better. You may be building up a personal collection of CD’s or you may be making copies to use, but it is advisable that you learn you should care for your discs.

It is essential that you should not forget the specific components and materials that have gone into the production of the CD. There are inner layers made of metals which are compatible with optical options and laser reading, as well as outer layers including adhesives which protect the disc. The designers of CD have built them with specific insulation against cold and heat, and with a life span of up to hundred years. However if proper care is not given the discs could be spoilt.

The primary precaution to protect your CD’s is to put them away in a place of safety. The protective layers of the CD are where the tracks are recorded and therefore should not be removed by scratching. Scratching not only damages and removes the protective layer itself but also the metal that is under. With such a scratch, the data recorded in the tracks is lost.

At the same time keeping your CD’s clean is a priority. Various materials are to be found that will enable you to clean your CD’s without damaging or scratching them. If your CD seems to have been giving some trouble and it has not been kept in safe storage, you should rectify the matter as quickly as possible by cleaning it and preventing the loss of data.

In addition to damage being caused to the CD by it being out of its case, touching can also cause harm. The recommendation is to hold your CD’s from their outside edge or at the holes in the middle. These empty spaces contain no information and so there will not be adverse effects caused by grease, dirt or any other substance getting lodged in the area for data. If by any chance you happen to touch the inside section of the CD, you should not neglect to clean it thoroughly to keep grease away.

If you have built a collection of CD’s for yourself, you will have to be careful about what goes onto and inside your CD’s. For instance a permanent marker should never be used to write on CD’s. For labelling purposes this might seem an easy option, or you may even use a cheap design to label the CD. However the chemical in the marker ink absorbs oxygen which in time causes damage to the protective layers, allowing the deposit of dirt and other injurious substances, and eventually causing loss of data.

For the optimum maintenance of your CD’s whether they are part of your personal collection or part of your stock for duplicate sales, the simple care of the discs should always be foremost in your mind. This will ensure your discs are dirt free and longer lasting providing you with access to enjoy all your music etc.

Having poker parties is one of the countries favorite pastimes. It’s a time when friendships are formed and good times are had. One of the most important ingredients in a good poker party is the food. There are numerous choices when it comes to the type and style of poker party foods that a host can serve the guests.

One type of food that is a favorite at the poker table is sandwiches with chips and dips. There are a lot of things one can do with bread, some condiments, and some meat and cheese. A popular option is to let quest prepare their own sandwich the way they want it. Just have everything out and offer different types of meats and breads and cheeses, have some lettuce, pickles, and tomatoes already sliced and ready.

With the chips just get several types maybe some bbq flavored or sour cream and onion as well as regular flavored chip and maybe some corn chips. Supply pre made dips or make your own its up to you but one of my favorite dip recipes is this:

  • Cindy’s cheese dip
  • 1 block velveta cheese
  • 1 can of rotel (if you want spice get the hot rotel)

Melt cheese over low heat then add rotel once cheese is melted. If it’s to thick add a quarter cup of milk and stir in keep adding until you get the right consistency that suits you. You can also cook this in a crock pot. Just add all ingredients turn on low and let melt and be sure to stir it every so often. This makes a lot so it’s great to refrigerate and use on nachos another day.

The drinks served are just as important as the poker party foods. Everything from alcohol to soda pops can be served. Alcohol tends to be a favorite beverage at a large number of poker parties. Iced tea is another good choice because it can be served sweet or unsweetened with lemon or without. If you do decide have alcohol just drink responsibly. One of my favorite drinks is simple to make and a tart tangy treat.

  • 3 ounces vodka
  • 7 ounces orange juice (I prefer the natural orange)
  • 2 ounce cranberry juice
  • Put ice in glass and add all ingredients and stir.
  • If you don’t like a strong drink you can cut down on the vodka and substitute with the orange juice.

A great poker party idea for decorations is poker themed plates to serve your party poker food on. There are several places online to order from. One example is a website called They offer a large selection of poker party supplies at good prices too. Just have fun and be creative with your poker party ideas and be sure to serve great tasting poker party foods and drinks and your poker party will be a success.