Sunday, July 30, 2006


I need my boys to step up big this week. Trade deadline is today and the Bankees have already basically purchased the pennant. We'll need a crafty trade to stay ahead. As of this morning, we lead them by a mere half-game. So, here's to Theo and the boys. Don't know what they have planned except because they've remained quite tight-lipped to this point. It's gonna take something. I'll be out from Wednesday on so there's a good chance you won't hear anything from me until Monday or so next week. The Root Down archives, however, will remain open for your browsing. Enjoy.


You thought I was done?! You thought I had run dry? Shame.

Just the other day, I was in a store and a educational DVD caught my eye. Upon inspection, I was led to an entire website of these DVDs. Hip hop heads with light stomachs and/or an easily triggered gag reflex beware because what you are about to see might leave you with quite a mess.

Today, I'd like to address a combination of two earlier installments: hip hop instructional dance videos. I'm not really sure what's worse to me: that there's instructional videos for hip hop dance (other that Alfonso's) or that they're targeted at kids who could not possibly have enough context to understand the cultural importance of hip hop. Either way, we see how quickly people are willing to modify or tweak a culture to get dat green.

First, there's this video. Wow, doesn't the cover just scream hip hop? At least they refrained from the ever-painful substitution of "z" for "s." Boy in the front is col' gettin down, man! Here's the product description from the website (which shall remain confidential because I don't want them to get the hits and be misled into believing there is importance in what they do).

Introduces kids to Hip Hop dance. Learn the latest Hip Hop steps from the Kid Hip Hoppers, Melissa, Adia, Shani, Antoine, and Chi-Chi. Includes a bonus dance music CD! 30 mins. (1996) DVD-Region 1.

Okay, so maybe not that bad. I really hate the term "hip hoppers," though. Vomitous. I wonder if Chi-Chi is Chi-Ali's son. I wonder if Chi-Ali's even out of jail yet. Then there's this video. Man, doesn't this look like the very reward of parenthood:

Get ready to dance! It's a toe-tapping, finger-snapping good time when Paula Abdul gives Zoe her very first dance lesson! Soon, Sesame Street's favorite ballerina is learning how to step with pep in a ballet warm-up, get the beat in her feet from an African drum, be grand with her hands in an Asian dance, and just have fun with Zoe's own Silly Willy Nilly dance. And, that's not all! When Zoe's best friend Elmo joins in, everyone moves and grooves to a hip-hop, feel-good finale that will get you up and dancing along! 40 mins. (2003) DVD-Region 1.

First off, my child will not learn anything from Paula Abdul. Nothing personal as much as it's just principle. She's a former Laker girl. We support the Larry Bird and the Celtics. Here, we see Zoe moving from ballet to getting the "beat in her feet from an African drum." I wonder if that's the same African drum that X-Clan spoke of. I'm not really sure if want to see the "Silly Willy Nilly" dance. In fact, I'm sure I don't, but my curiosity was heightened by the "hip-hop, feel-good finale." Judging by the cover, I'm sure it's really hip hop. Hmm. I'd never touch this product on a shelf unless it was with tongs to transport it to the nearest trash recepticle. Garbage.

Wanna go "off da hook," son?!

Well, lucky for us we have F-Troop to take us there. I think they girl kneeling in the front is about to just go off, perhaps off da hook or perhaps go off on someone in a dance battle. All I know is she's about to get straight crunk. Funny how she's the only one mean-muggin and everyone else is all smiles like a candy store. Guys with their hats tilted to the side, baggy drawers and pastels. Oh yeah. Here's the lowdown:

What’s F-Troop Style? It’s the hot new choreography by Fenton “F-Troop” Fulgham! And you can learn his 4 high energy hip hop dance routines and a bonus old school routine with this step by step instructional DVD. With dance there’s music, and we’ve got Demi Lovato’s new hip hop single “Moves Me” that is sure to be a hit. You’ll be able to perform like the star you are when you take the Bonus CD to parties, recitals and competitions. The fun doesn’t stop there - we have Demi’s new music video and special bonus footage included. When the instruction ends the party begins and it’s “Off Da HooK”! For ages 7-16. 54 mins. (2004) DVD-All-Region.

I'm gonna just bust in on a party, call someone to the middle of the living room and say, "You wanna battle, ese? How about F-Troop style?" You know, kinda like it's a martial arts discipline. If learning dance moves from a duke named Fenton Fulgham ain't enough for you, jam out to Demi Lovato's new hip hop single "Moves Me." I'm sure it's the stuff that windmills and headspins are made of. Oh and don't forget you can take the bonus CD to parties, competitions and, best of all, recitals. Man, I'm sure those recitals are a blast.

Perhaps, you're not the Fenton Fulgham type. Maybe your kids would feel safer with DJ Dizzy and the Groove Crew. Don't these kids look like they're having a slammin' time?

I spy a few Kangols in the house, what what!

Welcome to DJ Dizzy’s Dance Hizzy. This high energy instructional DVD teaches kids fun dance styles like hip-hop, break dancing, jazz, ballet, mambo, freestyle, and more! Dance along with world-class choreographers Evan Alekzander, Dan “The Man” Nier, and “The Groove Crew” as they show you how much fun exercising and learning can be! DJ Dizzy’s step-by-step instruction is easy to follow, totally fun, and can be learned at any pace by kids at every level! Learn to dance like N’Sync, Justin Timberlake, Usher, and other superstars! Loaded with special features!!! Including: The Exercise Room, The Ultimate Party Mix, Advanced Breakdancing, The Dance Battle, Select-A-Dance, Interactive Music Menus, Hidden Bonus Features, and much more! For ages 5 and up. 90 mins. (2005) DVD-Region 1.

Firstly, I too consider hip hop in the same category of mambo, jazz and ballet. Sometimes, on a wild Saturday night, I might listen to Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and then dive right into a little EPMD. You never know. Again, I don't mean to suggest anything anymore than the obvious, but what's with the names of these instructors: Evan Alekzander and Dan "The Man" Nier. Evan must be the ballet guy and Dan "The Man" the hip hop instructor. It also says it comes with some sort of instruction on the "dance battle." Word 'em up. Like to see one of this video's products go out to Scribble Jam and take those chops against a real b-boy/girl.

"Yo, dawg, where did you learn those moves?!"

"Why DJ Dizzy and the Groove Crew, of course!"

Then there's this one:

Ooh! Urban camo! And check out that Baryshnikovian high kick! I would invite anyone to attempt one of those in a circle. You better come to the party armed to the teeth. Lots of attitude on the packaging here. Let's flip it over and get the product description.

Kids, get up and move to the hip hop beat! Learn how to dance like Britney & Justin! This video will break down the moves you love from the hottest music videos. Music video pros show you how in this fun, easy program. Featuring CrazyLegs, teacher to the stars! If you love music and dancing, get this video! Ages 5-12. 45 mins. (2001) DVD-All-Region.

They sold me on the Britney and Justin part. They're really the hip hop artists that I would most like to pattern my careers after. And I really hope that the Crazy Legs they speak of is not the legendary Crazy Legs from Rocksteady or we've truly reached a sad day for hip hop.

I particularly like this one beacuse of the title alone: Learn to Hip Hop. Without mentioning any of the specific elements of hip hop, it's like this is the end-all in hip hop posery. Like you can buy this and in two weeks you'll be hip hoppin' everywhere. You gonna be so emersed in the culture, you're gonna be crapping R&B hooks after three days.

Learn newer and hotter dance moves than you've seen in music videos, award shows, and concerts, with this step-by-step instructional program! Join this great mix of hip hoppers at all levels as the young Justin and Brittany teach energetic and innovative moves that they personally choreographed under the guidance and flavor of Shane Sparks', choreographer to the stars, unique signature S-Style. All three break down their own 8 counts into individual moves, then quickly put the moves together with over 30 other-up-and-coming hip-hoppers -- so you can learn complete routines quickly and comfortably at your own pace! You'll also get over 15 minutes of bonus individual freestyle dance footage from many of the young participants and take a lengthy behind the scenes tour of one of the most fun, unique and educational hip hop and freestyle dance experiences you've ever seen. Whether you're a seasoned professional, an aspiring dancer, or just want to freestyle at home on your own or with friends, this program will keep your kids dancing for hours. Produced by Joe Patane from MTV's 'The Real World' Miami series - a portion of the proceeds of this program is donated to Joe's World Foundation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on youth leadership initiatives. This DVD includes the digitally remastered Volume 1, which includes a warm-up and dance combination with instruction by kid hip-hoppers at all levels. Plus, additional bonus routines for more advanced levels with Janelle and Shane Sparks. Two volumes for the price of one and a half! 45 mins. (2003) DVD-All-Region.

I spotted the word "hip-hoppers" again. Please cease using this term. Wow, Joe Patane from Real World Miami?! In case you need a refresher, he was the kid who was dating the leggy blonde girl who was about three times as tall as Joe.

Good for him, though. He's gotta charity. He's giving back. Too bad he ain't gonna sell much of the "Learn to Hip Hop" videos. At least, so long as I can help it. Probably not making any money anyway because I lifted the image from

Saturday, July 29, 2006



Along with the many critical accolades one could attach to Amerikkka, the album also marks the union of landmark artists in creative transition--all of which makes this album a tyrannical, low-blowing audio assault. Ice Cube was rolling off the heels off a legendary performance on NWA's Straight Outta Compton and Amerikkka was a angrier, leaner and more focused outing than anything Compton. Amerikkka also finds the legendary Bomb Squad, with the production of three Public Enemy albums under their belt, bringing in their sonic sound treatment giving Cube the musical momentum, the foundation, that would take this album to legendary status.

Amerikkka finds Cube partially abandoning his NWA gangsterisms and turning up his more militant and political side. Every word is a stinging slug into the belly of White America and every Parliament sample, JB drum break and cut and scratche from the nimble fingers of the Shocklees is the soundtrack to a revolution.

And whether or not you choose to hold Cube's latest career mishaps against him, you must realize that before the cute movies and the network television appearances, Cube was the "n**ga ya love to hate" and he was a kid you didn't want to cross. Amerikkka will forever be his landmark record that he will never again make. Also notable, however are Lethal Injection and Death Certificate.

Oh, can't forget to credit Priority for reissuing the old Cube catalog. Amerikkka is now digitally remastered, louder and now comes with the Ill at Will EP bonus including "Jackin' For Beats" all on one disc.

"The N**ga Ya Love to Hate"
"Turn Off the Radio"
"Endangered Species"
"A Gangsta's Fairytale"
"Rollin' Wit The Lench Mob"
"The Bomb"


Last night, myself, my lovely wife, Angry Tim and Mick headed to the alleys for some beer and bowling--a classic American combination.

I'm not a bowler, really. I can't do this cool flip action that makes the ball curve. Hell, I can't even find a ball that I can fit my fat-ended fingers into except for those senior league balls that way 30 freaking pounds. So from the second I step in there, I'm convinced that by equipment availability alone, there's a cap on how high I can score in bowling--about 120, I figure. Certainly not bad (for a ninth grader), but if there's no improving from there, I'll suck this bad 20 years from now.

I started out as I normally do--with two gutter balls as my back, arm and legs adjust to the jarring pain that my delivery often envokes. My lovely wife pokes out of the gate as well. By the time we get to the eighth frame, Angry Tim's distant in first, I'm in second, my lovely wife third and Mick bringing up the rear. Girl goes up there and rolls a strike with her 7 mph fast ball. I was surprised there was enough momentum to tip one pin over backward much less ten.

Next time up, she rolls another strike.

Tenth frame, last chance for glory and girl rolls a turkey ball like a champ.

If you're counting at home, that's three straight strikes.

Now, the extra frames, where hearts are broken, dreams are realized and mere mortals become legends. She steps up, does her little wiggle up to the line, let's er fly and like a machine knocks every pin down for her fourth straight strike. A downright Wyrickian performance, if I may say so myself--vaulting her from second to last to first place ahead of Angry Tim (which certainly didn't help his anger issues).

She's a natural, what can I say? She loves the game. Good game, sweetheart. Yahtzee tonight.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Yeah, that's right. Because it delivers the truth. Uncut. Raw. All fastballs and no funny stuff. Straight no chaser.

The government has tried to shut me down for consecutive weeks now. They will not win. They've deemed the shakeface "brutally obscene" and the content as "unprecedently dangerous." They will not get me. I have a job to do. Sometimes I have to play the role as the Oprahatic watchdog reluctantly.

On July 10th, The Root Down delivered some rather striking comments about Yellow dog owners.

In it, I wrote of how dog owners in the Yellow, simply, are the most neglectful and irresponsible in the state of Texas. I've never witnessed such horrible and tragic dog ownership in my life. And it's on every block. It's like an epidemic.

Well, turns out a few weeks later, there's been a rash of maulings in the area lately with one involving two pits devouring a old schnauzer. Another incident involved a man who fended off two dogs with his running lawnmower. Well, thanks to the stupidity of Yellow's dog owners, the city has imposed new regulations requiring all dogs to be on leashes when not contained by a fence. Kinda like this:

A dog contained in his yard.

From the Yellow Globe News:

The recent incidents of pit bulls attacking and killing other animals has ignited a firestorm of controversy, pro and con, concerning the regulation of the breed in Amarillo. The city announced in a news release that there was another attack Friday in the Caprock High School area that resulted in the death of another animal, making it the third such attack this week. "We don't understand what's happening, but we've had far too many animal on animal attacks recently," said Shannon Barlow, assistant director of the Animal Control department for the city of Amarillo. "The incident today (Friday) involved three animals, all of which were unrestrained and running loose. The owners of the pit bulls were found and they were cited."

The latest incident Friday, in the 2900 block of South Fairfield Street, involved a schnauzer, Oscar, who belonged to Jo Quisenberry. "Oscar was 14 years old and just the sweetest, most gentle dog," Quisenberry said. "He belonged to my late husband, Gene, who died three years ago. My dog got out and was in the alley on Apache Street, one block over. It was my fault. I'm not bitter at the master of the pit bulls, but something needs to be done."

Animal Control has been inundated with calls calling for something to be done about the perceived pit bull problem in the city, Barlow said.

An attack on a woman's dog on Julian Boulevard Monday resulted in eight citations for the dogs' owner after the dogs escaped their backyard and allegedly attacked and killed the woman's dog.
All of the citations were Class C misdemeanors, punishable by a maximum fine of up to $500, Barlow said.

The city ordinance requires that an animal must be restrained and confined on the premises of the owner. An animal is deemed restrained if it is within a fenced enclosure capable of confining the animal; fastened or picketed by a lead, rope or chain; on a leash; within a vehicle being driven or parked; or at heel and obedient to oral command.

"If the citations aren't paid in the allotted 12 days, an arrest warrant will be issued," Barlow said. "We are trying to make the citizens of Amarillo aware of the safety issues. Owners need to be able to control animals at all times. The problem with a voice command is that when a dog attacks another dog a voice command doesn't always work."

Barlow also stated that city officials are looking into ways to strengthen existing dangerous animal laws.

Dangerous dogs fall under provisions of state law as well as city ordinance. The Texas Health and Safety Code defines a dangerous dog as one which, in a place other than a dog's enclosure, makes an unprovoked attack that causes bodily injury or causes a reasonable person to believe the dog will attack.

In addition to the normal requirements for dog ownership, the owner or harborer of a dangerous dog must register the dog as a dangerous dog, restrain the dog at all times on a leash or in a secure enclosure and obtain liability insurance of at least $100,000.

Animal Control is working to enforce existing laws and the Animal Control Board will look at strengthening the dangerous dog ordinance and other animal ordinances at its next meeting in September, Barlow said.

You read it here first, folks. They wanna hold us down, but they just can't. The truth has a particularly stubborn habit of finding its way out. Lock your dogs up or the lawman's gonna come for you. It's either that or they're gonna be crapping their teeth after I deal them a crippling roundhouse to the honker.

Speaking of the Roundhouse, in early exhibition action, the beloved Roundhouse Chuckheads got their tails whooped by California Auto Sales. New league, new teams, new result. Pretty much wiped the memory of our undefeated season away, but it's probably for the better. Now we just go out and do our thing. What's impressive is that the city went all the way to California to find a team to beat us.
Looks like Scott's Flowers made the leap up in leagues as well. I think we got the pansies first week of regular season action.
Alright, gotta get to work. Everyone have a great Friday and weekend.

Monday, July 24, 2006


You know, this world we live in is simply too obsessed with one's appearance. It's simply gone too far. I've never been concerned with how people saw me (obvious statement of the decade). I just really don't care. People say, at my age, I should start caring, but still don't care.

So, knowing that, you can imagine the shock when Brawny flipped the script and replaced the old, furry Brawny man with a new chisled, clean shaven Brawny.

I mean, it's not the end of the world, but I resent the suggestion that furry fellas can't get down. Especially this guy.

Yeah, he's not pulling all the ladies, but the dude changes his own oil, makes his own patio furniture out of his neighbor's trees and once killed a grizzly with an open hand to the chin. Maybe not date material for the ladies, but he cleans up a mess like no otha. Almost Chucklike.

But, I suppose Brawny thought it was time for an update which resulted in a nationwide search for the new Brawny man. Yours truly even auditioned because I wanted to keep it real. I knew they were going for the preppier, fratboy look and I made it my mission to keep it furry. Ultimately though, the new school would win and this jerk would occupy the coveted space on the Brawny packaging. I resent him with every puny muscle in my body.

This jerkoff swiped your prom date from right under your pimply nose, he enjoys listening to Nickelback b ecause they make him feel young again, has a six-bedroom house in the suburbs and, yes, I confirmed it, he's a Yankee fan. Figures. He's also that guy who can't find a towel at the gym so he walks around completely naked from one corner of the locker room to the other. He can change a lightbulb, but replacing the lighting fixture is something he calls his electrician friend for. Whatta sally. He's the office idiot who has made a few inappropriate comments to some of his female co-workers, but since he's in good with management, they keep him around. He's still good for a firm handshake and an occasional joke. His towel cleans up most of the coffee on the counter, but still leaves the residual stickiness. And you wouldn't dare trust this guy around your wife.

Well, unfortunately for the beer drinkers of the world, they did the same thing to one of the most beloved icons in the history of bottled beverages. They done gone and replaced the St. Pauli girl. It's tragic for some of you, I know. I love me some St. Pauli. For years, it's served as my skunky celebratory beer, but now I'm searching for other options. Here's the St. Pauli girl I fell in love with.

She's polite, yes. And you gotta love a girl that can grip six beers at once. She'll call you a cab, but if you cross her, she'll scrap and leave you in pieces. Say "please" and "thank you" because she's been around too long to take crap from patrons. Hair in a bun because when she's throwing punches, she can't have her goldilocks getting in the way. Few years back, though, we saw our sweet Pauli go through a slight modification.

Apparently, the Pauli folks felt it was unnecessary to show her entire body so they cut her in half to enlarge her image and put added emphasis on her bosom. I suppose, it was here you could see it coming. They were looking to replace her. Personality wasn't enough for St. Pauli. She went from icon to poster girl and she just wasn't cut out for it. The forced her into retirement and replaced her with this girl.

She's a freaking sorority sister. She's Maxim. She doesn't even drink beer because of the resulting weight gain. She's a contest winner. She might as well be holding a bottle of Castrol. She's got her hair down so not only is she not ready to fight, but you might find one of those long ass blonde hairs in your beer. Whatta disgrace.

Got back from Dallas last night. Had a wild time which included five-plus hours at Six Flags. My lovely wife tears it up. She can ride anything multiple times on a full belly. I can't make it two rides in without coming up naseous on an empty belly. I don't know how she does it. You know, as strange as it sounds, there's one thing I'll always remember about this Six Flags trip. When you combine 40% humidity with 100-degree heat and clingy clothing, you're gonna see alot of people picking their panties out of their butt. I know, it's strange, but everywhere I looked, it was people doing the wedgie waddle trying to discreetly give themselves a little attention out back. Freaking gross. I probably saw close to 150 people digging it out. I was not one. C'mon, I wear everything two sizes too big. Not for that reason, specifically, but it's one of the benefits.

I'll be out most of the week, but will post on Friday after the Roundhouse's first two games of sophomore campaign. That's right. It's on again.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Let me start by saying, by no means do I mean to undermine the Native American community by this post.

With that being said, there's always that guy. You know, the artist who believes the entire world revolves around him. The guy who expects everyone to roll out the red carpet for him because he might have made a few television appearances or appeared somewhere in the credits of a major studio motion picture. He takes his art and himself way too seriously. And, because of this, he tends to make life unbearable for those around him. If he doesn't get his way, it is his belief that his art is that important that he must steamroll over every line of decency. He rarely smiles because, well, that wouldn't be gangsta and the last thing he wants people to believe is you ain't got credibility.

He's like your friendly neighborhood rapper. The guy who swears because two people enjoyed a performance that, all of the sudden, he's God's gift to music and must devote his entire life to it. He doesn't hear the word "no" or "no thanks." It's all about him and his pursuit of fame and recognition. Because of this, he's not only fractured business relationships, but he's completely severed some personal relationships. He's known for taking serious glossy photos like this.

For all the aspiring anythings, don't be that guy.


That's weird. I wouldn't have thought that a dude with such a short fuse and volcanic temper would play the cello.

But, then again, my brother does too so I guess it's not so unusual.

Just kidding, Bro Bro. Happy Monday, everyone.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Man, I hate garage sales. I mean, I really really hate them. So the last thing I want to do on a weekend is endure 5 hours of it, but being a loving and supportive husband, I gave everything I could to make it happen. My lovely wife doesn't really love them either, but she recognizes the importance of them. You haul all the crap that you don't really need out into the yard, put a price on it that is agreeable, sell it for maybe a little less and it saves you the energy and time to haul it off, gives to people who might not have the financial means to afford it elsewhere and you make cheddah in the process. At least that's what you hope.

In preparation for the sale, we put up 15 signs around the neighborhood, took an ad out in the paper and website, sifted through about 8 years of absolute crap and not-so absolute crap, got up at 6am, set up our chairs and boombox and then just sit and let it happen. Pretty simple.

Before I go on, let me tell you when I was hanging signs I got a weird comment yelled at me from a passing car. Four guys packed in a pick up drive by and one yells out "Get a job!" and then speeds off. I thought, what a peculiar thing to scream out. What if my sign said, "LOST DOG. PLEASE HELP FIND."? Anyhow, I suppose I appeared in a state financial desperation. Oh well. Some might suggest I always look like I'm in a state of financial desperation. Nothing a good shave can't fix. I'm not one of four guys packed into a pickup meant for two. I should've yelled, "Get a bike!"

Anyhow, crack of dawn and we're up moving everything out front for the sale. Oh glorious day! Saw alot people like this in the early going:

I doesn't really matter so long as they have money for me to take. Some of the furniture we put out there went pretty quick. We bargained quickly thinking we don't want to be out here all day. In fact, my lovely wife's little quirky greeting to every customer was, "Name your price. We don't want a sunburn." It was cute at first, but it got lamer and lamer. I told her she needs to find something else to say. But at least it got old because that suggests that we were getting some customers. We were wheeling and dealing though and my lovely wife was stacking that cash and counting it like a rapper. I told her keep a low profile with it because either someone would think we were doing too good and didn't deserve full price for anything or, two, someone would col' take our money and shake. She said she could defend herself. I suppose I don't really doubt that.

An old man walked up and, kicked around for a few seconds, then looked at me and asked, "Do you have any guns or ammunition?" Then I remembered we're in the Yellow.

Records were 25 cents and, still, no one picked up Rick James Street Songs. What's wrong with these people.

My lovely wife sold her Nike Shox to some young girl for three bucks. I felt like we got robbed. But then she said, "She's going to have the coolest shoes at school and that's enough for me." Maybe my head was in the wrong place.

I started bargaining with her clothes offering a "buy three and get one free" offer. She didn't appreciate it at first, but then we started moving some clothes.

Two women almost fought over a smoothie maker. Then we were educated by the woman who jacked it off the table when the other woman was distracted by the jewelry. She said, "The rule is if you set it down on the table, it's free game." Guess I wasn't so well-versed in garage sale rules.

Sold my lovely wife's old computer for, I think, $70. Hope everything works. She assured me it did, but you never know with computers.

The heat took it out of us. Our plan was to stay up for seven hours but then sweated that idea out of our pores and decided to go 50% off at 11 and then quit at noon.

When all was said and done, we netted about $300--a 100% increase upon our last garage sale. My lovely wife always comes through. The remaining articles we dropped off at the thrift store. The garage is alot emptier. We're alot lighter. And our back pocket's full of cash money.

I still hate them, but my lovely wife makes them bearable. If I had to sit out there by myself, I would've put up a sign that says, "TAKE WHAT YOU WANT AND TELL YOUR FRIENDS."

Oh, speaking of, instead of hauling a couple of coffee tables to the thrift store in a vehicle that was already topped out, I put them on the corner of the property by the street and bet my lovely wife that they'd be gone by the time we arrived back from the thrift store.

When we're pulling it up, I see a car with its trunk open and, wouldn't you know it, someone was taking both of them. I tell my wife to just drive by, round the block and come back so we didn't startle them and make awkward of the situation. Then, as we drive by, I see another car backed up in our driveway. I say, "Wait! Go back! What the hell are they doing?!" I thought they were looting the whole house. Right when we swing back around they were on their way. I was about to throw down.

Anyhow, here's to garage sales and go-get-'em lovely wives. They rule. Mission accomplished. Hot and tired. Angry Tim suggested Red Robin, swearing it's the best restaurant in the world. We'll see. Oh, and he got a new car. Congratulate him. He deserves it. Trust me.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


I'll say it's been long overdue. Many of you say it's the only real reason you visit THE ROOT DOWN. That sucks, but whaddya gon' do? I know my market and unfortunately the shakeface stuck and people want more.

The following photos were taken at a small get-together of Chuckheads just before July 4th. The battle of Shakeface against Chuckhead was the stuff that births legends. In fact, some might have been born that night. The heroic clutch performances of a few Chuckheads (and supporters) made what was just another summer night one of historic proportions.

Here's the lowdown.

First inning we threw everyone's favorite residential hothead: Angry Tim. A little shaky out of the gate, Angry came through in the end with the following contribution.

Lucky for us, he's still unable to stick the landing and his shakeface came up short of greatness and the Chuckheads take an early lead. Chuckheads 1, Shakefaces 0.

Inning number two went quite the same way. It was a brutal fight that saw Joel looking down the barrel of a mighty shakeface. Joel was a rookie until this night when he became a veteran. The shakeface almost won, but Joel's tenacity pulled through in the end.

Shakefaces almost got the better of Joel. In fact, if he was about two beers left of good judgement, we might not have secured this inning. Chuckheads extend lead to 2-0.

Here's where it got tricky. The always-clutch Steve came in for the third inning and completely blew his opportunity to put another notch against the Shakefaces. I mean, he didn't even stand a chance. The exposed his every weakness and defeated Chuckhead Steve easily. Not sure where we went wrong this inning, but Steve took it pretty hard. But the Shakeface win in the third inning gave us this wonderful moment in photographic history.

I've seen this dude bounce back though. You can't keep him down. If you down him, you better kill him because he'll keep coming and coming and coming. But now our lead is narrowed to 2-1. This inning sure was a heartbreaker.

They threw me in for the fourth inning. Now, people know my history with Shakefaces. They always beat me. I mean, I succomb to the sheer power and velocity of the Shakeface on a regular basis. But tonight, I came correct.

This is the kinda play you expect out of your veterans. Right when you think they lost it, they come bustin through with a collosal performance. I nailed it and the Shakefaces didn't get the better of me. Chuckheads lead 3-1.

Fifth inning was to be a very pivotal inning in the game. It always is. Because of this, we took a chance and threw in a couple of Chuckhead Supporters. It was chancy, yes, given they weren't in the lineup or even on the roster, but being short a few key players, we decided to give it a shot. First was Billy. Like a col' pimp, he stepped up and gave us an incredible shake, but no Shakeface. Chuckheads, for a moment, would take a quiet 4-1 lead. Here's an account of Billy's performance.

The other half of this not-quite-legit tandem was Mark. The Shakefaces gave him such a rattlin' his upper teeth fell out. Now, I've seen some beatings dealt out by the Shakefaces, but none this severe and, utterly decency-defying. It was hard to watch as a Mark, who volunteered in this exhibition game, would fall to the mighty might of the Shakefaces.

Because of the attention that Mark attracted from this beating, some onlookers began to question his membership of the Chuckheads squad. Then Billy came into question. We knew we had been exposed. The Shakefaces were awarded three points: one for the easy defeat of a now toothless Mark and two for both of the non-roster participants. We'll never pull that crap again. I knew it was a dumb idea. Shakefaces take the lead on no more than character: 3-4.

Sixth inning. We had to throw a veteran in there, but we decided against it. We had reliable rookies. I mean, we're undefeated for crying out loud. I called for Matt to jump into action. What can I say, the kid loves the game and he came through hardcore.

He loves the game. Give the man props. Tied ballgame, 4-4. Because of a the strong urging of the onlookers (and Chuckheads are sportsmen firstly and showmen second), we threw in another guy in hopes to lock down the lead and send it to the bullpen for the seventh.

It backfired horribly. David, in a rare moment of weakness, folded in his first matchup against the mighty Shakefaces. Completely embarassed of my horrible coaching move, I had to come back in the seventh for an encore in hopes of redeeming myself. Chuckheads once again trail, 4-5.

I opted to go with trusty Chuckhead in his freshman year, Trey. Dude didn't hesitate at all. He jumped in there and went right to work. No shake here. We're back to tied at 5-5.

I had to dig deep for my next performance. It's bottom of the seventh inning and my teammates needed me. I called this freaking exhibition so now I had to end it. No excuses. We were NOT to be defeated in the pre-season. That's weak. I pulled out my best stuff. That's what veterans do. When the dust cleared, there was much debate. Some said that it was definitely a Shakeface. I felt there was little debate and cooler heads would prevail.

It was close. The Shakefaces were weighing in heavily on the amount of neck fat I had working and I explained to the officials that I had just underwent some rather drastic weight loss and the neck fat/double chins was something I was working through in the gym. Well, it was ruled a draw. We knew Chuck would never settle for a draw so I volunteered one more performance. Bad idea. With the score still tied at 5-5. What happened next I was not expecting. I got the meanest Shakeface dealt upon me. Granted, I've been beaten much worse, but given the circumstances, this one really stung.

That night, Chuckheads suffered their first loss of the season. An unlikely loss too. I spent the next half hour apologizing to my squad for my lackluster performance and lazy, rule-bending coaching moves.

Lucky for us, we had photos to account for the battle. Chuckheads' sophomore season begins in late July. It's on.

Oh, and the name has officially been changed to The Roundhouse. "Chuckheads" will act as our nickname. Kinda like my name's j3, but my friends call me "good-fer-nuttin' nincompoop."

Tomorrow's Friday, in case you needed a reminder. Saturday is the official j3/my lovely wife Garage Sale. If you know where we live, we'll be open from 7am-2pm (that end time I know I will live to regret once that 95-degree heat begins to cook my brain like a pot roast). Come spend your money. Plenty of j3 personal effects for sale. No undergarmets though, ladies. Sorry. I had to draw the line there. This is a family-safe environment.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Yeah, apparently the KKK is planning a rally in the Yellow. I suppose it doesn't really surprise me since the concentration of race-hating radicals in this town is rather suffocating. Sure, they don't always walk down Main Street, but they're out there. Remember, where's there meth and moonshine, never fails, there's toothless white trash plotting against the world.

People will ask me sometimes, "How come you stay in the Yellow?"

I don't know, really. I've always been gravitated to this area--Lubbock or north of it. It's home for one thing. Secondly, it's a pretty simple place to live. Almost minimalist. As a community, it consists of the very basics. The radical believe-anything liberalists and the short-minded, tough-nosed conservatives. There's the old oil money and the newly impoverished. They like fast cars, salty steaks, the rodeo and football. Not always my gig, but I think it's because of such that I thrive here. When I'm surrounded by people like me, I grow bored. When I'm surrounded by people who are nothing like me, I find myself inspired. So, for better or worse, the Panhandle is where it's at.

Of course, I only speak in generalizations for the purpose of making a point. Not all people here are ignorant fools. In fact, my dear Grandma calls the Yellow home. So have many family members through the years. And I've made quite a few friends from this area since I've been here. So, please, look only on the surface of my comments.

So, anyway, the KKK are going to come to town and tell their lies. I found out about it through the Yellow's Globe News website. I like to think that most communities would not publicize a KKK rally, but not the Yellow. The newspaper's website has a headline reading: "Ku Klux Klan plans Amarillo rally." It almost sounds like Barnum & Bailey are pulling through. I just figure such things are not really worth a mention on the newspaper's site. Only publish it afterwards and only if someone's injured--preferably someone in a hood.

Anyhow, I got some IPoddin' to do. Just a note for J5 fans (not my second born, but the group from LA), the new Cut Chemist record is hot to death.


Reclusive madman and musical genius Syd Barrett passed away late last week at the age of 60. Though his music might not be so well known since he departed from the limelight before his talents were fully recognized, he gave birth to Pink Floyd a.k.a. one of the greatest bands in the history of modern music.

Now without getting into an overly sentimental and soppy Floydian tearfest, I'll just let you know that I've got a bike and you can ride it if you like.

R.I.P. you crazy diamond.



While some might suggest Da Shinin' as the best album to come from Boot Camp, I've always been a Black Moon head and Enta Da Stage, to me, stands head and shoulders above any of the spinoffs. In fact (now you're just talking crazy), Enta Da Stage also outshines other quinessential 1993-1996 NYC records. That's right, that includes Illmatic and The Infamous. There's one from this era it doesn't top, but that's later. Please leave your pro-Nas sentiments in the comments section below.

Under the lead of raucous and rambunctious emcees Buckshot and Excellerator, Enta is a beautiful yet grimy, flashy yet gritty depiction of the NYC that would later become the backdrop for the Hova, Fiddy and Biggie. It would also essentially serve as a vital bridge between NYC's early years of EPMD, Kane, LL, Brand Nubian and others and the elitist Jansport uprising of the late 1990s.

Whatever it represents, it's a monster. And it marks the pinnacle of Evil Dee's career displaying his exact and never-faulty ear for the perfect level, pitch and tempo. And that bass! One thing I'm sure of, if nothing else, is this: Enta Da Stage is solely responsible for the total destruction of my Buick Century's factory sound system.

I will make this claim before departing for the evening: Enta Da Stage is better than more than three quarters of the albums you own. There is no disputing this. Just accept it and go buy this record and stop frontin.

"Powaful Impak!"
"Who Got Da Props?"
"Buck 'Em Down"
"How Many MC's..."
"U Da Man"

Monday, July 10, 2006


That's right. The Yellow has few claims to fame. The Cadillac Ranch. Palo Duro Canyon. We're a hot target for domestic and international terrorism (according to my grandfather). We have a 72 oz steak if consumed in an hour. And we clearly have the worst dog owners in the state of Texas.

Remember Ghost Dog? The huge black dog that would go for evening strolls around the neighborhood without an owner? Well, I haven't seen him in a while which means either his spirit finally passed or he was no ghost at all and he was killed somewhere.

Angry Tim informed me that he saw a dog that looked quite similiar to Boscoe the Bassett laying lifeless in the middle of a nearby street. Those losers let him get out one too many times. Another good dog dead because of neglectful owners.

Remember when I was attacked on my walk to work by a dog who snapped at my ankle and broke skin? Yeah, he's still there. Luckily he's behind a fence now, but if I was a four-year old that dog would've been dead on account of an angry father with a Louisville Slugger. Doubt the owners would really care.

Two doors down, two dogs (one a mother and the other the son) are always about. Every morning, I see them wandering, darting back and forth across the race track that is the street in front of my house and going through people's trash. They're actually out as I write this. Not even 6 am in the morning. Where are the owners? Sleeping as usual. I even saw with my own four eyes yesterday the escape. They wiggle through a gigantic hole under the chainlink fence. Certainly the owners know how they're getting out, but refuse to do anything about it. These are the same owners that when the mother had her puppies, those poor puppies were given a box in the front yard and endured bone-chilling temperatures (luckily no participation) during the early stages of their development.

A common practice here in the Yellow is to tie up dogs to trees or some sort of fixed, rooted, cemented fixture. That's probably what happened to Jackson and that's why he's so deathly afraid fo leashes. And it's a no-brainer that this sort of treatment leads to kennel aggression. These are the dogs that go off and bite some kid's nose off. Then they're killed by the city because their owners can't care for them.

This is the city that has features on the nightly news that remind viewers about fireworks scaring animals. Dog owners should know this kind of crap.

This is the city that has daily lay-ins on the news where a woman holds up puppies and exclaims, "This guy's time is up. He will be euthanized at the end of the day if someone does not come claim him or adopt him."

So, congrats Yellow. You treat your dogs like crap. You don't have to treat them like humans, but you do have to feed them, contain them, vaccinate them, collar them, walk them and shelter them. If you can't do those basic things, give them to someone who can and get a house plant. That way, you'll do much less damage to the canine population and the community as a whole.


Sunday, July 09, 2006


It's top of the 19th inning between (needless to say) an epic clash between my beloved Sawx and, well, the other side. Bro Bro just hooked me up with his Gameday Audio password so I got audio on the game. Better than nothing since, well, my local Fox affiliate doesn't think this game is worth broadcast on Saturday and WGN apparently has better things going today.

Trot strikes out. 0-9 on the day. Incredible. This day is certain to kill my fantasy batting average. Here's Varitek who is my sole Sox player on my fantasy team. He's 0-fer today as well.

C'mon, Tek. Crap! Fly out.

Went to see The Omen yesterday. Horrible (going to the bottom of the 19th). Firstly, Julia Stiles still is not an actress. And ol' boy from, uh, what's he from? Who cares. He's not an actor. And, guess what--big surprise--this ain't a horror movie. It's sometimes laughable. Of course, the key scenes are done well. That doesn't mean much, though. The only scene that creeped me out from the first Omen was when the nanny hangs herself. That made it worth about .25 of my $1.50 admission.

I just don't understand why people keep making crap horror movies. I mean, if you're gonna go through the trouble to actually remake a supposed "classic" (which I hardly think the original Omen is), you gotta do it up big time. But this remake was just lame. Makes me wonder if they even bothered putting it in front of a test audience or did they just watch it in the cutting room and said, "Yeah, that'll do."

Crap, the Other Sox have two on with one out. This might be the end of it for my boys.

Oh boy, bases loaded with one out. Iguchi up to bat. This can't be good.

(moments later)

It's over. The Other Sox won. Oh well. Something had to give. Yanks lost today as well so we maintain a three-game lead in the division.

If Chuck is a Sawx fan, then Van Damme is a White Sox fan. Here he dances for joy as they escape a sweep at home going into the All-Star Break. I do think that's an MLB-licensed White Sox leotard.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Yeah, yeah. Chores in the morning, Sox vs. Sawx on Fox at noon and The Omen this evening. Now, get hyphy and dance your tail off.


Many have wondered at the origin of the shakeface. It's a highly disputed subject that has led to much violence and civil unrest in parts of the world. I do not profess to know everything regarding the early beginnings of the shakeface, however, I will do my best to explain it's Panhandle roots. The earliest roots of the shakeface can be tied to canine behavior. You've seen dogs do it many times before, in fact, every animal with a coat of fur do it on occassion. The correlation between this movement and the shakeface as it's known in modern times is uncanny.

Notice that this dog, along with many, have one of the key components of an properly executed shakeface and that is excessive skin near the front of the face. Without that, getting a propa shakeface is like trying to make Kool Aid without the suga (which I wouldn't advise).

Through the years, the shakeface has found a few manifestations through the hip hop community. Firstly, we have the great Biz Markie who is never far away from dropping a shakeface on you. Like this one which was used for the cover of his Friends EP.

I mean, c'mon, the dude's doll is even doing a shakeface. Not only is he a hip hop legend (pick up Biz Never Sleeps record for proof), but he's a shakeface madman.

Just a few years after Biz broke, Prime Minister Pete Nice, MC Serch and Daddy Rich formed 3rd Bass. While they were more remembered for the lead single from their second record, it was "Gas Face" that first put them on the map. Check out the label below where the 3rd Bass is actually misspelled right under the Def Jam logo and PolyGram stamp. Geez, no respect. Unfortunately, this is indicative of how 3rd Bass would be under-appreciated for much of their career. Still to this day, it's a small circle who recognize their impact.

Ladies and gentlemen, MC Serch who, along with his 3rd Bass brethren and KMD's Zev Luv X (MF Doom) introduced the world to the "Gas Face." As Pete Nice's first verse alludes, it was Zev who first did the gas face when he says, "Zev Lover gave it the first light."

Essentially, it was an action given to those who you look upon or whose actions are looked upon with disdain. Peep the video. Some serious cameos: Russell Simmons, Flavor Flav, SubRoc, Bobbito, Gilbert Gottfreid, Don Newkirk, Prince Paul, Erick Sermon, Parrish, Play and so on. And, more importantly, see the shakeface in an earlier more primitive form. We didn't invent it. We improved upon it. But give 3rd Bass their props and check this out:

And, if you can stand watching even 45 seconds of the following clip, you'll see, again, how the gas face is close brother to the shakeface. It's at the 30-second mark. Incredible material here.

Fast forward to about 4 years ago. Good things always happen with the j3 and Bro Bro come together. It was a family get-together. A digital camera was making it's way around the room. As I've done a million times, I decided to leave my beautiful mug on the camera. I turn it on myself, fire off a shot and send it on it's way. Well, it's bound to happen, I got carried away. Figuring that on digital cameras one could take pictures and delete them without any consequence, what harm would it do. So with my brother's help, I just began shaking my head violently to see what it would look like when my face was frozen in time by the camera. As I convulsed, I saw the flash go off. I stopped and immediately my brother breaks out in laughter. I then turned the camera on Bro Bro, then back on me, then back on him, then back on me...the epidemic had begun.

With the uber-information age in full swing, the evolution of the shakeface has accelerated forward. So much, a site has been dedicated to chronicling shakefaces from the seven continents. Someone beat me to it. In fact, they even got their own tee-shirts. But it's worth the view.

Let me tell you, some of these are downright disturbing on this site. Nothing offensive, just disturbing. Buy a shirt while your there to support the cause. It goes by many names. The local vernacular refers to it as "shakeface" however, after some research, I found many variations, including: shakeskin, feel-good shake, shake your face, face shake and the shakeolution. But one thing remains true, it's the same in every country no matter what it's called.

For those needing further clarification, I'm including a few video shorts for you courtesy of YOUTUBE. Perhaps these will help you properly envision the modern shakeface.

Short, but dude's got the idea. A little practice and he's got it nailed:

This dude's gotta lot of work ahead of him. Face is too skinny. Not enough skin:

A whole room of potential here. Leonard's whole body goes crazy and I think he laced the nearby girl with globs of spit in the process.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Let's get some shakefaces in here. Still waiting on a huge dumping of shakes from recent get-togethers. But these will have to tide you over. It's the real reason anyone visits here anymore anyway. Know your niche.

These come to us courtesy of Bro Bro. You're going to have to help me out with the names again. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe I notice the signature awning in the Chavez Ravine outfield so I assume these were captured at a Dodgers game. Anyhow, thank you to these participants and Bro Bro for providing them. Few updates coming shortly for those of you who actually enjoy reading. And some for those who just enjoy looking at the pictures (me).

You know, I just always love looking in the background for the people who are simply oblivious to the hilarity that's going down just mere feet from them. Like the guy to the left on the below picture. In fact, that might be Juicin' Giambi, himself.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


And it was awesome. So awesome that I formed TEAM TODD to see him to victory in only the way that those who share our last name can. Well, he didn't get first, but let me tell you, the dude ran all 26 miles like a BEAST, I tell ya. And he did it non-stop. Pretty good for a guy who had never done it before. He started training by running a couple miles at a time. Then it became seven miles at a time, then ten, then fifteen and then the 26-mile trek around OKC. Remarkable. As a testiment to his accomplishments now, some four years later, I post these two pictures that were sent from my mother. Thanks, mom.

Here's me at the sixth mile or so. On the back of my shirt reads "RUN TODD RUN!" as you can see the runners glaring at me like, "What the...?" Yeah, I'm an idiot.

Here I am with the champ himself somewhere around the 18th mile if I recall correctly. Now, it looks like I've been running the entire time, but I haven't. I think I had run about 40 feet or so when this photo was taken. Since I didn't put Vaseline in the hot spots, I began to blister at about the 35th foot so I saw Todd on his way with some Gatorade and a banana. Man, my lovely wife always tells me my form is horrible when I run. Now I see it. Of course, now I'm about 20 pounds lighter and don't have my Billy Gibbons so I can break wind with the best of them. Figuratively and flatulantly.

I'm not sure if it's the Vaseline, the bananas or those ugly dust rags you call shorts, but Bro Bro, marathons just ain't my steez. But I have a new respect for runners. Specifically Todd and that guy that runs past my house about four times a day.


Yep, that's right. The Yellow's very own Channel 8 wished Wu-Tang's RZA a very happy 37th birthday today. Kinda.

I was at home watching the noon o'clock news on Channel 8. They do the "View" setup where they all sit around and "act" like they're just conversing and such on topical items. They sit on big couches and have their coffee mugs in front of them and just casually move from war to catastrophe to gas prices to the weather. Seamlessly. And they do it over and over about three times throughout the show.

Well, because there's not really much news in the Yellow, they have to fill some of that time with other things and a common filler is celebrity birthdays. Today happens to be RZA's birthday and, much to my surprise, his name popped up on the television screen right below Huey Lewis (who I think they said just topped 80). They read off the first three names and then they arrive at RZA and the weather guy says, "And rapper R-Z-A is celebrating his 37th birthday so we'd like to wish him a happy birthday, as well."

Okay, it's pronounced /riz'-uh/ not spelled out "R-Z-A." And then the blonde newsreader says, "There's always someone I've never heard of on those birthday lists."

Yeah, it'd probably help if you said his name right, fella. What kinda birthday wish is that?! "Happy birthday, R-Z-A. Man, that's a stupid name for a rapper. Well, happy birthday anyway. I've never heard of him. Must not be anything too spectacular. Probably us mentioning his birthday is the biggest recognition he's received in his entire career. Keep rappin', R-Z-A."

Here, I'll do it properly. RZA, happy birthday. Now get to work on your new record because the world's waiting.

And, sometimes the news is just too punctual. Today, there was a report on how every July 4th, there are so many instances where dogs get startled or frightened by the explosions of fireworks that they escape from their yard and become panicked. Sometimes even running out into traffic and tragically dying from a collision with an automobile. Those that are lucky to escape death on their frenzied blitz around the neighborhood end up at the city pound where either they end up getting adopted or euthanized.

Yeah, great idea for a story on the fifth of July. If my Jackson escaped and got hit by a truck on a nearby road last night, I would've been pissed. But, then again, Jackson doesn't run anymore because he has too many perks here at the household. That and I like to think that my lovely wife and I are smart enough to realize the risk of that happening.

Speaking of the holiday that now was, it still is with the white trash in our neighborhood. I still hear firecrackers going off. It never gets old to a select percentage of the population. No coincidence it's the same select percentage that park their cars in their lawns. I'm not suggesting anything, I'm just, well, yeah I am.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Celebrate rock and roll.
Celebrate baseball.
Celebrate hot dogs.
Celebrate pyrotechnics.
Celebrate America.
Celebrate freedom.
But by all means, respect your local firework regulations.

Had a bash for the Chuckheads last night at the Riesenberg estate. Got some amazing shakefaces to be posted later--one (gasp) that was executed with a set of fake teeth loose in the mouth. Taking it to a new level. Madre's coming up today to visit. Will be a good time, indeed.

Everyone be safe and have a blast.

Monday, July 03, 2006


I suppose that when you're the freakin awesomest band in the entire world, sooner or later, someone's gonna come calling. That someone, apparently, was for some NASCAR event. Hmm. I'm not hatin, but what do three Aussie boys who write songs about unicorns and gnomes know about NASCAR? I believe it was some sort of woman's NASCAR event or woman's NASCAR apparel and they went with the very literal "Woman" as the track for the commercial. Eh, they got paid. Good for them.

The label needs to be a little more tactful with who they sell off their rights to. I know they've done iPod, but there's an entire universe of differences between an iPod and NASCAR.

140,000+ units sold so far. Keep on rockin', fellas.