Monday, January 27, 2014

About 28 million people watched the live telecast of the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards last night on CBS. If you missed the show--or you want to hear your favorite blogger opine--please enjoy my four-minute recap of the highlights. I had the pleasure of appearing on WCCB News Rising this morning to discuss the GRAMMYs with WCCB's Jacinda Garabito and Derek James.

Watch the video below (or click here to see it).

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Around these parts, there's practically a church on every other street, a parkway named after the Rev. Billy Graham, and if you go to a major event in Uptown, such as a Bobcats or Panthers game or music concert, you're likely to encounter some guy on the sidewalk with a bullhorn shouting why you're all going to hell. So it comes as no surprise that Charlotte is ranked sixth on the list of "America's Most Bible-Minded Cities," according to a study released today by American Bible Society and Barna Group.

The Queen City's sixth-place ranking is one spot higher than last year, which was the first year ABS and Barna came together to do this study. So Charlotte, being the can-do-city that we are, must strive to make it into the top-five of America's Most Bible-Minded Cities. The top-five for 2014 are: Chattanooga, Tennessee at No. 1; Birmingham/Anniston/Tuscaloosa, Alabama No. 2; Roanoke/Lynchburg, Virginia No. 3; Springfield, Missouri No. 4; and Shreveport, Louisiana No. 5.

The least Bible-minded city is Providence, Rhode Island/New Bedford, Massachusetts, coming in at No. 100 on the list. Just ahead of it is Albany, New York (99) and Boston (98)--more Northeastern populations that are going to hell (I kid, I kid; Jesus saves).

The study examined "a combination of regular Bible reading with belief in the Bible’s accuracy across the top 100 metropolitan areas in the United States." It also points out that of the top 25 Bible-minded cities, only three have a population of greater than 1 million: Charlotte, Nashville, and Dallas. I guess the bigger the city you live in, the more you lack Jesus. And all but one of the top 25 cities are in the South or Midwest, the lone exception being 21st-ranked Bakersfield, California. Click here to read the complete study.

Monday, January 20, 2014

It's estimated that Americans spent about $18 billion dollars on Valentine's Day-related gifts last year. I blame the increase in spending on social media! For decades, ladies, even without ever mentioning it to their men, desired that their fellas send flowers and gifts to their jobs on Feb. 14, to the envy of their female co-workers. But now, the gifts they receive are elevated in notoriety through photos posted on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. So that $15 box of candy and $10 bear from CVS is no longer going to cut it, buddy. Better start stacking your dough now in anticipation of what you'll be spending in about three-and-a-half weeks. Need some financial assistance?

Provide Commerce is holding a job fair this Tuesday, January 21, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for seasonal employees to work in its ProFlowers and Shari's Berries Manufacturing and Distribution Center here in Charlotte (11922 General Drive, 858-677-7460). The temporary positions will be largely to keep up with Valentine's Day gift-purchasing demand. And according to the Fort Mill Times, the company is seeking to fill 1,200 local jobs. Provide Commerce is a San Diego-based company that operates popular consumer brands that include Shari's Berries, ProFlowers, RedEnvelope, and Personal Creations. The positions offer flexible schedules because the Charlotte distribution center is open 24 hours a day.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

As the nation honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., here are a couple of annual Charlotte cultural events that celebrate African-American achievement.

11th Annual Legacy of Black Women Short Film Showcase
Friday, January 17, 6:30 p.m. | McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square, 345 N. College St.
The Deltas of Charlotte Foundation, the nonprofit fundraising partner of the Charlotte Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., presents this annual showcase of films written, directed, and featuring African-Americans. This year's event is themed "As the QC Turns" and will begin with a light reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by the films starting at 7:30 p.m. Proceeds will benefit DST's scholarships. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at the door or online at

2014 Lowe's Pride Awards
Saturday, January 18, 6 p.m. | The Westin Charlotte, 601 S. College St.
Pride Magazine presents its 21st annual awards gala. This year's black-tie event, themed "Changing the Game with Business Diversity," will honor an outstanding minority-owned business, a youth entrepreneur, and an organization for its business diversity best practices. Pride has collaborated with the Charlotte Knights for the event--hence the baseball theme. And Queen City Forward, an innovative hub for social entrepreneurs, is the nonprofit beneficiary of the evening. The event will begin with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner and awards beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $212.50, and can be purchased by calling 704-375-955. Visit for more details.


And on MLK Day itself, two of Uptown Charlotte's leading museums are holding special events in honor of Dr. King.

MLK Day 2014 - The Legacy is the Blueprint
Monday, January 20, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. | The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, 551 S. Tryon St.,
Activities include: the museum's galleries, an interactive exchange with The Possibility Project, mentoring fair, Buttons & Protest Signs: A Drop-In Crafts Workshop, a film screening of The Fade & Discussion, panel discussions, performances, and more. Free and open to the public with suggested $5 donation. Click here for the complete schedule.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration 2014
Monday, January 20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. | Levine Museum of the New South, 200 E. Seventh St.,
Activities include: the museum's galleries, film screenings of The Children's March, Viva La Causa, and Freedom Riders; Sunprint workshops, story time sessions; drumming, dance, and musical performances, and more. Free admission. Click here for the complete schedule, and Levine Museum will also hold MLK activities on Sunday afternoon.

By the way, if you're looking for parties and social events during this holiday weekend, just check my Dusk Till Dawn blog.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Attention sneaker heads--and this time, also Bobcats fans--the Air Jordan 10 Retro sneakers are being released nationwide this Saturday, January 11. The kicks have been nicknamed "Bobcats" because of the Charlotte Bobcats-inspired colorway: wolf grey/dark powder blue-new slate-atomic orange. The shoes will retail for $170.

As many of the sneaker blogs (Sneaker News) point out, this is the first pair of retro J's to pay homage to the team Michael Jordan owns. Jordan Brand rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars a year by introducing new colors of vintage sneakers from MJ's legendary NBA career. Actually, the 10s were originally released in several colors throughout 1994 and '95, during Jordan's first retirement from basketball, when he was trying his hand at minor league baseball. A photo of the Jordan 10 Retro Bobcats is drawing plenty of comments on the Jordan Facebook page.

Credit: Nike

As usual, these retros are being sold in limited quantity and will likely sell out on Saturday (only to be resold at a much higher markup later on sites like eBay). Or will the Bobcats' lack of popularity as an NBA team hinder sales of this edition of J's? Regardless, the sneakers should at least go over well in the Carolinas.

If you're looking for them in the Charlotte area, the Foot Locker stores at SouthPark Mall and Carolina Place Mall are selling them (click here for the launch locator). And as has become protocol, a "sweepstakes" is being held just for the opportunity for you to buy the sneakers at Foot Locker. Tickets are being issued this Wednesday and Thursday, January 8 and 9, to people who come by the store. You'll need to designate the exact size you want, and on Friday the "winners" will be notified by phone, which will then allow them to come purchase the sneakers on Saturday. This prevents unruly crowds and chaos from forming at the stores on release day.

I guess you could say these sneakers are a going away present of sorts, since there are only a few more months until the Bobcats switch to the Charlotte Hornets. By the way, the new Hornets merchandise, including this basketball below, goes on sale January 18.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Great Clips is holding a contest offering a chance to experience what the world's largest hair salon chain has dubbed the Greatest Weekend Ever. It's a weekend for four in the Charlotte area with NASCAR star drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne, centered on Dale Jr.'s house on Lake Norman (both guys have homes--mansions, really--in Mooresville).

Credit: Great Clips

Here's the contest in a nutshell:

The winner and three friends will "fly to Charlotte with your buddies and stay at Dale Jr.’s lake house. Swim, relax and chow down. We’re going to throw a finger-lickin’ BBQ party in your honor with Dale Jr., Kasey Kahne and more of the Great Clips racing crew. You and your friends will [also] get VIP passes to two Darlington races so you can see each race from the best seats possible." And to top it off, the winner will also receive a 2014 Chevy Silverado.

The coolest thing, as I've said previously, is the thought that Dale Jr. lives like this all the time. I would even venture to say that he really does have mermaids in his swimming pool. He's a rock star who doesn't play music (at least not professionally, though there is a band named after him) but drives fast cars for a living (a major living). He recently won the Most Popular Driver Award for the 11th consecutive year, presented by the National Motorsports Press Association.

Visit for complete Greatest Weekend Ever contest details and to enter.

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