Thursday, June 23, 2011

VEX WAR - Mindstorm

This is a re-post of an older blog. Just thought I'd bring it back for a bit.

Well I love robots. I really do. When I found out that I'd get the chance to be part of this tournament, I was just a little excited. With a diverse team of mechanical engineers, a two hour time limit, and some common sense we designed a simple strategy. We build it small, powerful, with a low center of gravity, and a brush guard. We'd just ram everyone and hope for the best. We named it Johnny Reb, as it was inspired off the principle of a pickup truck (to honor the great south's suburban terrorist) armed with tank tracks and a grille that Little John would be afraid off.

Johnny Reb - VEX Mindstorm LEGO Robot

Front         Side


Here are the video's of my battles.













As you can see, MadCat went on to be the champ. The tourney was a double elimination, so they won out after their loss to Johnny Reb and beat the team that beat me... Stole It.. Congrats to all the teams involved! It was so much fun, and has re-ignited my love for robotics all over again. MMA meets nerdness.. A perfect place for me!

As Always... Knock Hard... Life is Deaf...

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rocket Boy

Early morning view on November 9, 1967 of Pad ...Image via Wikipedia


I'm just a man with big dreams of innovation. Dreams of doing more than just sliding by. Like most this journey was started with a rocket strapped to my back and no destination in sight. The world seemed so big before I took flight. As I gained altitude and momentum, I began to realize that the world wasn't so large. As things kept gaining speed I never noticed when is started to fall. Falling back into reality.

As I continued to go, I continued to grow from a wonderlust boy to an expericend man. I got to see the stars and perilous rock bottom. The struggle to maintain altitude is more than just one's struggle to control one's attitude. It takes more than determination, education, and a solid foundation.

It takes experience to gain foresight. A wisdom learned through observation. Observation of those around you, not just from your own experiences. Seeing all options and applying all viewpoints before taking action.
It takes self control. Knowing what to say, when to say it, and when to be mute for the better good. To know when your wrong, admitting to it, and not gloating when you happen to be right. To do what is truly the right thing to do, not right for the wrong reasons or a quick fix made in haste.

It takes people. Like a space flight, a crew is needed to maintain and navigate the unknown. You must lean on others from time to time, return the favor, inspire to be inspired, and challenged to be better.

This seems to be about one person. Yourself. It takes time to realize that your trajectory is influenced by others. A game we all hate to admit to playing. To make anything, to be anybody you must realize you're not alone.

The boy that took flight years ago, is still there. Time, that constant companion, isn't always fair to one's ambitions. With that being said, the hourglass never runs out. It just needs to be turned back over.
We may lose sight of where we thought we were heading, but the trip isn't over. It's never to late to correct the course. To regain the heading, and eventually you'll reach your destination.

As Always... Knock Hard... Life Is Deaf...
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Balance In This Mess



Think about balanceImage via Wikipedia

Sorry the long absence. That really is the best I can offer you guys at this particular moment. I've been working long hours, often 6 days a week for the past couple of months. The only break has come in the form of last minute trips to see the family. Alas, I'm back. I've had the type to type of some quick thoughts on the phone though. Nothing extremely elaborate, but thoughts were relevant then and even now. 

This world has a unique sense of balance. You can find it everywhere, and in everything. I'm not talking about an object's specific symmetry, but more toward the totality that it posses. Depending upon your vantage point this could be hard to see. This becomes more compounded when viewed not on a micro scale, but from a macro scale, of everything in this beautiful mess we call life. Our dance is contained within our own microcosms. We must remember that no matter how large one becomes, we are still a speck in the fabric of the macrocosms we find ourselves within.

Your life is an epitome in the cannon of exsistance. A short span that has and will see the insanely beautiful, and often infuriating , balance that everything posses. What your story will say is ultimately up to you. Your actions will dictate your outcome. The obstacles you face have been and will continue to be hard. The people are just as divided, as they are united. Where there is unconditional love, there is uncompromising hate. Where you see overzealous joy, there is looming despair. For every feast there a famine. When there is rain, there will be draught. The hardest part of all this is understanding that time is constant. We may try to bend it, we may hope to stop it, but rest assured we can't halt it, we won't influence its pace.

This balance may not be clear at first. It may not be present at the specific time in which you search for it. Remember that for every action, there is a SEPARATE BUT EQUAL REACTION. Some call it karma. I call it balance.
 
Your life is really left to chance. A person defines there own destiny, in essence their own fate. If you continually wrong others, it will catch up to you. If you're overly giving, you will be stepped upon. I'd generate a long list of if you are this, then that scenarios but I think you get the point.

We all have our motives, our ways, and our own headings. We will not always agree. We won't always see the same things, live the same life, share similar views or find solace in the same place.

We share the same senses, the same planet, and the same set of emotions. We will experience things the same way. Our eyes will see destruction. We will taste humble pie. We will hear our shortcomings, and feel defeat. This is certain in your lifetime. On the same note we will see birth, hear praise, taste success, and feel love. This is a universal balance that all of mankind holds.

I know we all know this.... 

With that being said... How do we take the reigns back? We can all name the flaws this life holds. We know the rules to this game we are caught up in. Everyone either jockeys for position or decides to never leave the stables... We're still tied to the same track... It still goes in circles... 

Complaining... the staple...  the action that shows unrest... friction... it generates heat... but rest assured no real fire will burn... Why is this?

What keeps people bound to the playing field? Why do we decide to let life runs its course by merely falling into line? Because it's hard? Yeah... 

I'm not big on mediation or all that jazz... I don't believe in Corporate Zen... Corporate citizenship as a life model.... I don't think a namesake means anything if you've done nothing... What have you done to be any different?

When people accept all that is wrong... it becomes the only way... Thoughts are just ideas... Ideals are often wishful thinking... Life balances itself... Like the economy (in theory)... 

So big business, small business, job or career... we all make choices.. and are forced to live with it... The impact of one person's choice can lead to a revolution (Facebook and even Hitler)... A little Tea Party in Boston set in motion a revolution... but violence won't solve the all apparent yet claimed hidden truth... That greed is still at the bottom of it... Worldwide... It's human nature... So how do we jockey into position? How do we balance everything that we effect? The solution is very simple... It's you... road maps to life aren't available... sorry... it's very true...

What does it take to lead a nation? Do you know of someone that could fit the bill? Is a namesake all that it takes? Is it money, power, and public service? Isn't it funny how those are grouped together? The real problem is special interest however.... every nation is touched by this... they all chose... It provides a band-aid of sorts.. 

Sorry... way off base there... it does show that we will all have different views... and still it will most likely still end up the same...

Balance.... Energy grid shrinking... Nuclear unrest... Demand grows...

Balance.... A buck loses power... Inflation soars... Credit means nothing... 

Balance.... Governments fold.... Fighting outbreaks... Crime soars....

Balance.... Specialist are required.... Aging workforce... Retirement age increases....

Balance.... Beliefs.... Duties.... Necessity...

So many things to balance... checkbook... diet... work and home... opinions...

Life isn't easy... It takes hard work to make it... to achieve anything that seems like acceptable hegemony. I just hope that other people start to realize that decisions must be made out of necessity... that doesn't necessarily serve a special interest... but people as a whole. And lastly, not to give up on what they want to do... dreams must be kept alive... innovation has become a corporate trend.. What a novel idea... 

Again, sorry for the rants... It's been awhile...

As Always... Knock Hard... Life is Deaf...

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Monday, April 18, 2011

On The Outside, Looking In

Flames 1Image via Wikipedia



I've been struggling lately. I’ve battled self-doubt, frustration, restlessness, conformity, the loss of ambition, and even pondered if I should just give in and give up. I’ve grown weary of trying to reason why. The fire still burns bright, but the flames have grown angry. They have grown restless and are tired of battling for new life. This journey has gone off course. The sky seems farther away now, more than ever before. Unlike the end of the sky, where the stars shine their light, this tunnel only grows darker the farther down it I go. I no longer pretend to light the way. I’ve started to go blind. I’ve let the self-doubt, this situation, creep in. It has set up shop, growing roots that seem to feed off of my once proud ambitions.

On this shelf of life you can find my book. The critics have used the word “potential” to describe the story in general. They often discard everything I’ve done so far. The foreword that once was considered intriguing is nothing more than an obituary of a former life. It appears that a once proud boy has become nothing more than an overlooked, faceless man. A man condemned to the turmoil of mediocrity and armed with enough potential to warrant more work with promises of nothing more than slipping farther into obscurity.

There are several pages still to be written. The ending is still unknown. The chapters are getting shorter, the storyline has gotten bland. This is unnerving as the conflict is dull and no change seems to be within sight. This will not be the way my book will be remembered. I will not, cannot allow “them” to win. Life, fate, dreams, and all other motivating factors shall collide in due time.

You can’t beat me. I can only beat myself.

Try as things must, they will still never win. It’s always been an uphill battle. The potential (I hate that word) is just a way of trying to bottle someone. It is a term that means you don’t fit their idea of who you should be. The context is usually meant as a compliment, I know, but that doesn’t change the fact that I use it as fuel. I see it differently.

The current state of things (hell it probably has always been this way) make advancing and doing the right thing two completely different ideas. There seems to be a mold you must fit. One must be willing to assimilate by accepting their demise. Ha, right.

Now what I’ve written above is so, so true. I am growing very weary of this current state of things. I have grown tired of walking in the dark. The senses have started to dull. The blindness would usually bring on a heightened sense of smell, but alas, this is not true. The sense of smell has started dilute from the stench of b/s that seems prevalent these days.

I hate the simple fact that intellectual, social, and economical caste still exist in the workplace and society. I cannot stand that those without passion in their fields of interest claim to be professionals! I find my disgusted by politics. They’re everywhere, in everything, and does nothing more than make people say what they “have” to and do what they would rather not do. I loathe that the sense of right and wrong comes with a disclaimer. Mankind’s self-centeredness will be our downfall. If it is inconvenient for someone, they will immediately oppose the notion rather than see it benefit the whole.  This me first, everyone else later mentality people hold these days has shown its face time and time again.

Look, life gives you lemons and then squeezes with all of its infinite might. It’s up to you to accept the peel or the juice. I’m grabbing a cup. I prefer lemonade of the hard type, but out of the two I’ll take the juice. You feel me?

Time and time again a person gets pushed to the brink. You get wore down, strained, stressed, and on the verge of breaking. But alas, dear friends, that will never happen. I’ll see the challenge and raise the bar. Does this make sense? Does it make senses to see the challenge and continue to slam your head into the wall? Isn’t that the most basic concept of insanity? Perhaps it is. Perhaps that is my end goal. I’ll see my dreams to the end. I’ll never stop seeking for whatever it is I’m looking for. We never truly know what it is, and we’ll know it when we find it. The methods may be different, but this still stands as a simple truth that we all stand on. I won’t give up, give in, or accept anything but success in my grand endeavor. I know I’m going to do something great. I hope you do too.

As Always… Knock Hard… Life is Deaf…
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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fence Sitting

A large farm in Westtown Township, July 2004Image via Wikipedia

Does it feel like you’re sitting on the fence waiting for something to happen? Something that will help steer you in the direction that you feel you should be heading. You end up placing yourself there under the guise of playing it safe. A smart decision to prevent a hasty decision and ensure you won’t regret taking rash action. Then as the days, weeks, months, and even years go by you discover a harsh reality. That playing it safe is exactly what you didn’t want to do. It becomes a crutch. A support, a reason to not follow the chance, to never follow the sign, that will anchor you from ever setting sail toward your true heading.

More now than ever it has become apparent that chances are limited. Making a smart decision can be the difference between truly living and just getting by. The end goal is still just a goal. It doesn’t define you. That’s the journey, it makes you, and it defines you. If you never leave the fence, what does that say about your journey?

There are few doors open these days, and you can’t afford to sit on the sidelines while others are out there trying. The television, while tempting and enjoyable, will hamper your quest. Excuses are rampant and the problems are never ending. There are a million reasons why you can’t do something. All you need is one reason TO DO something, to do anything. Cookie cutter homes, stereotypes, great talk, tons of hype, all the wants and needs, the continuous search for all the wrong things you think you want are nothing but staples of the fence sitter. Dreaming through books, television shows, or just mere ideas are great. They should serve as motivation, not the sole focus of one’s dreams.

This is nothing more than a random thought. In which whose weight is determined in time and reason.

As Always… Knock Hard… Life is Deaf…


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Friday, April 1, 2011

A Quick Look Around

Part of filament in light bulbImage via Wikipedia

I want to say thanks to all who stop by. I've been fortunate lately in the fact that several great bloggers have become followers! I'd like to recommend checking their works out as well. This post is going to be quick and informal. SO here it goes.

This site actually covers all of my varying interest. I LOVE engineering (electrical in particular). I'm also keen on business, software, writing, and music. My posts cover my views and I try to be as motivating in my own particular way.

In the left hand column (toward the bottom) you'll find a link list of useful links. That's right, useful. Coupons, law, real estate, business, free books, etc.

The Manic Search Tool will scour the earth looking for you entry.

Deliciously Manic Resources... well it's the MGS spin on social bookmarking.

HQ is my extremely limited attempt of playing with googlesites and setting up RSS radars.

Also feel free to follow me on twitter @ http://twitter.com/#!/ManicGenius

Okay so in short, browse the site and see how it can/could fit your needs. I'm wanting to build an actual resource of information for people. Useful information. Share ideas and create a place for ideas and growth. There are no ads, no income generated. I do this because I enjoy researching stuff, writing, and learning as much as I can.

Check out some of my top post to get a feel on what I'm about. So that's that. The quickest blog post of my life. WELCOME to MY WORLD! Feel free to share.

As Always... Knock Hard... Life is Deaf...

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

We often find ourselves when we are most lost.

This has happened and will happen again. The road we find ourselves on gets chaotic as we often find ourselves navigating without an accurate map. The GPS is busted and we find out that the atlas is outdated. We just navigate the best that we can.

People look to the stars, never willing stop their launch toward their goals. Others put their direction in the hands of another. The journey is never easy and the obstacles are never clear until it is too late. We learn from the wrong turns and dead ends we find ourselves at. At every intersection we learn more about where we are heading. Knowledge gained from all the intersections we’ve already crossed.

Dirt roads, dark alleys, crowded highways, narrow bridges, and the rapid fire autobahns are where we find ourselves. Always driving at our own pace just trying to get where we think we want to be. At times we either find ourselves jockeying for position in the corporate ladder, steadily cruising comfortably through your personal life, or even taking that casual Sunday drive into freedom. This life varies, it is unpredictable, never certain, and is most certainly a journey that can never be repeated.

So when life’s problems seem to rush at you with gale force speed, or creeps up like a flood of self-doubt, it is important to remember your still at the wheel. You’re at the helm of the ship. The challenges are never the same, and you may find yourself lost. The eye of a storm is generally calm. In the midst of chaos is peace. When you think we’re completely lost, you’re actually that much closer to being found.

It doesn’t always seem to be the case. Just be honest with yourself and you will find what your questioning is actually right there in front of you. Goals change. Don’t approach life completely goal oriented. A process approach is more valuable, as it takes into account the challenges and every changing landscape that your life is built upon.

This is nothing more than a random thought. In which whose weight is determined in time and reason.

As Always… Knock Hard… Life is Deaf…

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Resonate Article 2 - The Driving Force

What drives you to create what you do? It’s a simple question really. Still, it is a question that people have a hard time answering. A person’s art, be it writing, drawing, video or music, captures more than anyone can truly understand. Of course, it displays the obvious emotion of its creator, or the imposing of the creator’s will upon his or her audience. However, the interpretation of the creation by the audience is where the magic happens.

Everything speaks, even if you don’t care for it. There are underlying tones, social tie-ins, statement pieces, the dramatic rise and fall, tempo variations, visual stimulation - the list goes on and on. Each media type has its own limitations or advantages, and the medium chosen often lends a little insight into its creator’s persona.

Words on paper, text on screen and typography that embeds itself in the mind are simple examples of how an idea can imprint itself upon its audience. A temporary or lasting effect can be developed from one simple creation or masterful work of art. An idea can be transferred, either subconsciously or openly, allowing one work to inspire or provoke a chain reaction of more creation.

The lyrics of a song, the flow of a melody, subtle changes or harsh breakdowns all serve their own purpose in music. Of course, we already know that interpretation can convey much more than the lyrical content implies. The line from Sketch on Glass song “Breaking”—“Just because I’m found doesn’t mean I’m not lost as hell… But the show must go on… Even though I’m gone…” can mean so many things to different people. It all plays on where that person has been in his own life, and where he currently sees himself. I personally give props to Sketch on Glass, as I find this to be a great lyric to get the listener to reflect. The emotion is obviously there from the singer’s perception, but the listener’s takeaway can be astronomically more personal. Thus does the song become a staple; a connection is made almost instantly. It is nothing more than one segment of a song, but that segment is where a connection is forged and a fan is made.

In video, we have a great range to play with. The eyes are visually stimulated, allowing the mind to connect instantly with what is seen, not just mentally perceived. This allows for gripping images to take hold. Emotional scenes can bring tears in the viewer’s eyes. Tension can be sensed, seen and felt. Fear, love, hate, greed and every other human emotion can be brought to light from the contents held in each frame. It could be nothing more than words, music, pictures or a combination of these that allows the filmmaker to get his or her point across. Video is the ultimate playground for those who want to pass on an immediate message, story or point.

Simple to complex, all art media have their ways of communicating with people. That point has been driven home thoroughly by now. As the creators, we express ourselves and, as an added bonus, influence others by our works as well. Therefore, creation inspires creation.

As Always... Knock Hard... Life is Deaf...

Monday, February 28, 2011

One Thing Is Certain

Austrian information sign 8a - motorwayImage via Wikipedia


One thing is certain. You can never be certain about your certainty. We act. One can ponder all day or make an impulsive decision, either way one must act. For action is all that we have. Even if you chose not to act, you have made an action. Nobody is truly certain that their choice is the correct one. You will undoubtedly doubt yourself. Thus is the paradox of life.

Life is chaotic. Life is simple. Life is sweet. Life is a fickle mistress. It can be coddled, cosseted, and protected only to miss the point. Life is to be lived. The roads are never easy. Life is dark. Life is scary. Life is uncertain. The paths we find ourselves on are never set stone. The choices and our actions are truly our own. Your life is yours. You navigate the way you see fit.

Everyone has to walk this road on their own. We amass a following, love of another, we bond relationships with people along the way. This is what weaves such an intricate story into each of our lives. For they are all unique, rich of information many never get to know. The ideas, thoughts, experiences, and emotions that forge the fiber of our being are the things that propel us down this path.

Where we end up is unknown. The effect we have is unknown. Don’t lose sight of what really matters. As we go racing toward our goals we inevitably miss portions of what we can never have again. Time.
Just a caution as I find myself all too often caught up in the frantic pace of my own mind. Never taking the time to enjoy the moment, always contemplating what I have no real control over at that particular moment, missing out on time that I can never recreate or regain.

Still… keep focused, just be more aware. I really need to heed some of my own ranting inspired advice. Self-realization is a fleeting thing though. A brief moment of clarity, then it’s make to the all to consuming madness of it all. Ha!      

As Always… Knock Hard… Life is Deaf…
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What is your vision of the future?

Photo of Unimate, the first production robot, ...Image via Wikipedia

My vision is probably a bit different than most. I suffer from a unique character flaw, one that I’m happy to possess; that I believe nothing is impossible. It is no secret that automation is my one true engineering love. While people fear that robots are going to take their jobs from them, I see a possibility to do tasking with a robot that the replaced user could control to carry out intricate tasking with a human operator who is assisted with the electro-mechanical assistance of a robot where they would have once stood all the while from the comfort of their home office.  Huge sentence put the point is made. Robot = bad and then oh wait… not so bad…

I believe that automation holds a unique key for us, the key to do more than we can naturally do, while still using the mental capacity of its human operator. This way we can make changes on the fly, do visual inspections, reduce work time injury, and the list goes on and on. The human error factor tends to hurt quality in repetitive operations, but without it more obstacles are usually encountered. Process flaws, rapid change implementation, creativity for process improvement, and overall versatility to name a few. Industrial robotics has been around for a while and robotic assistance is provided in many environments already. The improvement part is always up for grabs however.

User controls stations that can carry out multiple tasks from the operators control is a nice thought. One that could be stationary (or moveable with docking capabilities) would be great for many tasks that operate on lines. This would be more a machine with the employee onboard, or robotic with the pilot in the office or at home. It replaces some jobs, this is true, but allows for everything a company would need. Think about 24/7/365 availability with operators running shifts or even preprogrammed controls to operate menial tasks on its own.

Exoskeletons are another interesting take. Military applications, industrial applications, and general civilian applications present themselves with the versatility an exoskeleton could provide. From heavy equipment, heavy armament, to large capacity capabilities exoskeletons could provide massive support to operations in need. Imagine a firefighter exoskeleton that can navigate burning buildings with multiple options for firefighting and rescue operations. Tactical uses are apparently obvious, and other hazardous environment operations could be assisted with the strength and capabilities of an exoskeleton could provide.

Just random thoughts here that I hope one day I can tackle. The technology is already here, the price tags always seem too high, the need is apparent, and I hate having to wait for my chance to partake in something so awesome. Before you go screaming SKYNET just remember that A.I. is programmed by people. Until the machine is allowed, mean the creator gives it the ability to do so; it won’t be able to overthrow us. That’s the great thing about machines; we control them not the other way around. This is just my two cents.

Either way technology is rapidly advancing. Technology literally seems to travel at the speed of light. We can try to resist it, but the temptation of an easier way is a hard one to resist. We have real problems in store for us in the future. Our struggling power infrastructure throughout the world, rampant capitalism that will keep you shelling out money to stay on the grid, and an economic structure that impedes creativity more than allowing it will be a tough task to handle for sure. Everyone has their vision of the future. What role do you have in it?

As Always… Knock Hard… Life is Deaf…
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Nerd Update


Personal digital assistant
Image via Wikipedia

Check out the resources section for your fill on nerdy topics. Recent additions have been in electrical engineering, free Autodesk software for students, web design, writing, music, etc. If you have a site or even sites you would like to share please let me know. I'd like to have a useful archive at our disposal here.

Remember to check delicous.com, Resonate.TV, Engineering For Change, ReCareered blog, and the ever funny Hyperbole and a Half blog. That will have to do for now. I'll be back with some articles of interest to me soon enough. Until then this will have to suffice.

As Always... Knock Hard... Life is Deaf...
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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Time

CREAM OF WHEAT, BOYS PLAYING FOOTBALLImage by George Eastman House via Flickr

What entices people so much about the Super Bowl? Is it the chess match of strategy between the defense and offense? Is it the spectacular plays or hard hits? Perhaps it’s the struggle of the players themselves. There are plenty of stories generated during Super Week. The heart and soul of entire cities meet for a clash of the titans. Redemption of a quarterback and the true rise of a certain star are set to unfold. A certain pride is put into the fandom. Steelworkers throughout Pittsburg are clamoring for another championship. The Packers have a fandom deeply rooted throughout the citizens of Green Bay. Speed, strength, strategy, and a little luck will dictate the end. Football is chess match my friends. It’s not just guys playing a game out there. It is a mental war played out by each sides cast of characters. A strong running game, spectacular passing attach, strong defensives, and wily cornerbacks will have to work in unison to pull off what is sure to be a widely watched event.  

With the impeding disagreement between the players union and the NFL owners, this could be the last game we will get to see for quite a while. I believe both sides will come to an agreement before the beginning of the next season, as it would be foolish to leave money sitting when nobody is watching, and football will resume. This impending doom and gloom however serves a great backdrop for soaring ratings during this Super Bowl. Just think about the staggering numbers and money made from sells from television ads and sponsors.

Football is a business founded on a deeply enjoyed game. Entertainment is great business and the stories that accompany them are real. We can relate to the drama both on and off the field. The drama on the field is what sells the most. It is what the NFL sells. Blowouts don’t keep the seats filled, but then again once the tickets are sold does it really matter? Drugs, crime, sex, alcohol, injury and other problems seem to follow players. This makes the players lovable or despised, but either way you can relate in some form or fashion.

Unique fact about current football: 40% of NFL fans are now women. That’s right, women. Which means football night is now enjoyed by everyone! Awesome right? Yes it is! Especially for the business end of the NFL. Which points to why there should be no fretting over if there will be football next year. If you find yourself wondering what it could be like though, watch the movie The Replacements. It’s not great, but proves the point that it may not be the same people but the drama of football will still live on.

Now enjoy the game, the entertainment, and remember that greed may cause some of the distractions but will also serve why it is guaranteed to resume next year. So grab some pizza, some snacks, a couple of drinks, and prepare for a showdown between these two teams on the sports grandest stage. Let’s hope the commercials are good as well.

As Always… Knock Hard… Life is Deaf…
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This World Makes No Sense

The Knight's DreamImage via Wikipedia

That’s right, and you know it. Life has its moments of grand clarity, blurry doses, trembling excitement, and dismal accords that mix together oh so well. This mixture, this human concoction, is where we live. The highs and lows of life are normal. There is no soma holiday; there is no everlasting state of suspended grace. If this was true, it would never feel real. It would feel like a dream, which means that your brain is stuck in a delta wave pattern. You would be sleeping, never awake nor alert enough to notice the subtle changes going on around you. Dreams are great, but alas they are not real.

You know the joke about someone pinching you to make sure you’re not dreaming; both from a too good to be true dream or a freaking heart racing nightmare? Well I’ve been pinching for a while now, and it seems all too clear that I’m not dreaming. Things are often scary, tough, and make no sense. It feels as if I must be dreaming, but I know otherwise. It hurts when I pinch, I can feel it. Just as I can feel the disgust, the anxiety, the happiness from trivial gains, and the anger at even more trivial losses.

Politics and business go hand in hand. So does marketing, friendships, organizations (even the nonprofits), social issues, and just about anything else one could imagine. The often thought separation from work and personal life only exist in one’s mind. Everywhere you turn is a ticking time bomb. Driving down the road you have to worry about the mental state of the other drivers. We even give TV shows to degenerate losers, people who make horrible decisions, those that chase the coattails of the social elite, and even those who spend their husband’s money. Where is the character in that? We send all the wrong messages to people, and then wonder why in the hell we are in the predicament that we currently find ourselves in.

I have some quick questions for you. Is it more important to gain social standing or an education? Are trends a way of life? Is it acceptable to live off the system? Is tolerance a choice? Why do political parties hold the keys to government offices? Why do we laugh at those you run independent? Why does rent cost more than owning a house? Is profiling wrong? Are stereotypes unfair because of the negative light or the fact that they are often times true?

I shall stop there. This provides sufficient fuel to start the cogs to turn and points of view to burn. The haves and have nots are what it boils down too. The only commonality I ever see these days is greed. I’m really no different, but at least I realize this. I’ve been called an idealist, as if that is a bad thing, but I suppose it’s true. I’m just curious as how you make sense of the world. Are you willing to stereotype yourself or admit that it’s a complex problem compounded by the natural enemies of the human condition. I see greed, personal integrity issues, and tongue in cheek necessity these days. Play one against another or keep them just happy enough to play ball.

As Always… Knock Hard… Life is Deaf…
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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Okay Let's Talk

Knock OutImage by Severin Sadjina via Flickr



A few things are on my mind as of late. I've had a ton on my plate recently and am happy to say that things seem to be settling down now somewhat. With that being said, it seems more apparent now than ever before, that sanity or the lack of has taken complete control. 

For starters people love to put others down. Elitism of the nth degree, which I seem to suffer from as well, has reared its ugly head once again. I can’t tolerate those who see it a necessary task to belittle someone for no other reason than to stroke his or her ego. Educational elitism is the topic I’d like to discuss real quick.
Colleges are like a rash (they are everywhere), and those that buy into the hype that their institution always has, is, and will be the best program in the world are sadly mistaken. I’m sure the best CEO’s all went to Ivy League colleges’ right? Wrong! They are highly recognized institutions of learning, but the standard in which attending merely grants the graduate infinite wisdom is erroneous. The same goes in engineering (MIT and Georgia Tech), music (Berkley and MI), law or medical (Harvard) and the list goes on… I’m sure you get my point. For a baseline remember that JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs… fun stuff right? Bright leaders, great pedigrees, highly touted credentials, and still epic failure.  

What really matters is what the person can actually do. I’m amazed that the hiring process in many technical fields comes from an extremely simple test, or just verbally. Performance and achievements speak bounds. What really matters comes to the unseen, character driven qualities a person brings to the table. It takes passion for the field a person is in, the integrity to do what is right, and enough common sense to not do something tragically retarded like get greedy or sloppy.  It’s a lifelong endeavor and it defines the person you really are.

So when people decided to jump on students at a particular college and mock their attempt to pursue their dreams, I’m compelled to get offended for that person. It takes a certain drive to learn something, and there are several different ways to do just that. Some people learn from academia through the traditional process of scouring countless pages till their eyes bleed. Others learn more from the hands on approach. Well welcome to the difference of tech schools and colleges. Both produce intelligent people; however, the best is up to the candidate.

People have their own paths, views, strengths, and weaknesses. Financial reasons often dictate a person’s choice of school, but those reasons have nothing to do on their abilities. The typical sports fan approach of school greatness is based on fandom, and shouldn’t hold much more power than that. To belittle someone’s goals, no matter how lofty, is merely a foolhardy closed mindlessness that shows poor self-control and profound soft skill incompetence. That should be enough for me to let this obscure offender to wallow in disgust, but I’m just not that big of a man. The greatest thing to come from it is an often unseen catalyst that will hopefully propel the insulted person to do more than the insulter.

I’ll end this rant here for now. I hope you all share my views on this. If you don’t, that really sucks for you. Education is individual, personal, and lifelong. Never make it personal (in a negative nature) or you will find yourself staring down a five finger death punch. 

As Always… Knock Hard… Life is Deaf…
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