Bowie

David Bowie died on Sunday as I’m sure you’ve all heard.

For whatever reason this quote and picture struck me.

Bowie

I feel like that picture captures that quote perfectly. He’s just thinking of all the amazing things he’s capable of. There’s not a doubt in his mind as to whether he can do something awesome or not, it’s just whether he will do it – he’s the one making that decision.

I was never a huge fan of Bowie, but I liked some of his music, and can appreciate his way of thinking.

He released the album Blackstar days before he died which I’m going to listen to today. Bye bye David Bowie.

New Record Number of Blog Views in a Day

This Twitter exchange happened on Saturday between Clay Travis of Fox Sports and Barstool Pres David Portnoy in regards to the origin of the 6-12-18-24. For the record, Clay Travis has 160,000 Twitter followers and Pres has 246,000.

Challenge

With Clay Travis somehow finding my blog and tweeting it, I got the following result.

Views

That’s 3,787 views on Saturday, a new record!

What does this mean? I don’t know. If anything it highlights how pathetic my blog traffic is 364 days of the year.

I assume nothing will come of it, but for some reason the 6-12-18-24 is becoming popular now. I tried to think of something to respond to those two about, but came up empty.

If there’s any course of action you’d suggest I take to become rich and famous from this, please comment.

2015 /2016 NFL Season Playoff Predictions

Round One

AFC

Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans

KC is the hottest team in the league right now, winning 10 straight going into the playoffs. Make it 11 straight. Houston’s defense is scary, and the team will only get better next year, but Andy is a good coach and has built this team, and its confidence, sky high. Is it bad that I genuinely root for Andy?

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinatti Bengals

Big Ben is a 2x Super Bowl champ, and playing like one. AJ McCarron is a tool.

Antonio Brown is the best receiver in the NFL. AJ Green had a pretty good year.

The Steelers are one of the best franchises in football. The Bengals are 0-7 in their last 7 playoff games.

It is incredibly easy to say the Steelers will win this game. But I’m going to say, much to Tom Brady’s pleasure, that Cincinnati wins this one. The streak has to end sometime. The fans are ready, and had Andy Dalton not gone down, this team would be a legit Super Bowl contender. Cincinnati wins in a close one.

NFC

Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings

Every team in the league should be scared of Seattle, including Minnesota. Minnesota is a good team. They have steady QB play, a great running back, a very solid defense… they’re good. But that’s it. Seattle has great QB play, great defense, and multiple play-makers (when did Doug Baldwin get this good?) on offense. Most importantly, they’re experienced. This is new for Bridgewater and most of the Vikings squad. Seattle wins, but it’s nothing to be ashamed about if you’re the Vikings.

Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins

There’s this thing where if you say the Packers are bad, then you’re stupid. Well the Packers are bad, and Rodgers is not playing well. People will say that it’s the playoffs and they have experience and Rodgers will pull through, but I’ve seen nothing to suggest that. The Redskins, and specifically Cousins, are playing good. They’re going to win this game. In fact, Washington -1 is my pick of the week for this week.

Round Two

AFC

Cincinatti Bengals at New England Patriots

Andy Dalton may return, but the extra week of rest will give New England and their beat-up roster enough time to pull this one out. I wouldn’t bet against Bill, Tom, and the boys after a week to recover and draw up a game plan against a not-that-intimidating Bengals team. The Pats advance.

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos

Quarterback play is key against a good defense like the Chiefs, and whether it’s inexperienced Brock or old and rusty Peyton, I don’t see either being sharp enough to put up a lot of points on the Chiefs. Likewise the Chiefs will struggle to put up points on the Broncos, but that’s what the Chiefs do. The Chiefs, on the road, will win this game.

NFC

Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers

This is a very difficult game to pick. Will the 15-1 Panthers really get bounced in their first playoff game? The Seahawks and the ~1 point they get will be a popular bet, but Cam and the boys have handled the pressure and rising expectations well so far. I’m picking MVP Cam to rise to the occasion and the Panthers D to keep Wilson and co. in check. Panthers advance.

Washington Redskins at Arizona Cardinals

The the Redskins are good, and Kirk is playing well, but Arizona is the real deal on both sides of the ball. The Redskins are outmatched and on the road. It will be a good learning experience, but Arizona wins this relatively easily.

Championship Round

AFC Championship

Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots

People have said all along the Pats have the easiest road to the Super Bowl. By this time, their squad will be closer to full strength. The Chiefs are a grind it out team, but I don’t think they’ll be able to keep up with a re-energized Pats offense. In a not so surprising pick, Tom and Bill go to the Super Bowl yet again.

For what it’s worth, if the Pats have to travel to Denver for the AFC Championship, I like them to win that game.

NFC Championship

Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers

Another very tough game to pick in the NFC. The Cardinals have been impressive all year, and they were my initial pick to win this, but the big loss to the Seahawks when the game sort of mattered is concerning. I think Cam will play great and lead his team to the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl L

Carolina Panthers vs. New England Patriots

Dec 7, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) against the New Orleans Saints during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Panthers defeated the Saints 41-10. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-180404 ORIG FILE ID: 20141207_pjc_ah6_439.JPG

This game will have little effect on Brady’s legacy but a huge effect on Cam’s. The Pats obviously know what they’re doing here, and will be mostly healthy, but I think the Panthers win this. For whatever reason, it just doesn’t feel like the Pats year, and it does feel like the Panther’s year. The Pats have just been a little off as of late, and this will be sort of their forgotten Super Bowl year.

My thought initially was that whoever wins the NFC will win the Super Bowl, so even if it’s the Cardinals or the Seahawks, I’d take them over whoever represents the AFC.

Can’t wait to see how right I am!

“I only give 5 star ratings”

“…I don’t give bad ratings because maybe that person was just having a bad day, or something tragic just happened to them.”

This is something a co-worker of mine said last night in reference to a terrible Uber driver.

I told her that I disagreed and that she should be giving bad ratings.

Online Reviews

Fair or unfair, online reviews have a huge impact on consumer decisions. So what are the pros and cons to this?

Pros

  • Consumers are guided towards good products / services.
  • Consumers are warned of bad products / services.

Cons

  • The reviews are coming from strangers who may have different tastes / perspectives.
  • The reviews could be complete lies.

But a crucial piece of that pro / con puzzle is left out when you only give good reviews and pass on the bad ones. In the case of Uber, every Uber driver would have 5 stars regardless of whether they’re good or bad. Meaning – you’d have a bunch of shitty Uber drivers giving a bunch of shitty rides to a bunch of shitty people who refuse to give shitty ratings!

I understand the thought process behind ‘Maybe they’ve had a bad day,’ but in the long run, if they’re good at their job, the good reviews will far outweigh the bad. If they’re bad at their job, they should be rated accordingly.

I try my best to live the phrase “Honesty is the best policy“. If I screw up, I’ll admit it and accept the consequences (a bad review). But when someone else screws up, I don’t feel bad giving a bad review.

2016 Goals

  • Write 250 posts for the blog
  • Get my own cat
  • Buy and actively play a keyboard
  • Go to three major-ish US cities I’ve never been to
  • Go to one country I’ve never been to
  • Invest some of the money that’s sitting in my bank account
  • Run 2000 miles
  • PR in anything running
  • Watch an American win a gold medal in a distance race at the Olympics
  • Break 100 in golf
  • Don’t break any bones
  • See a tornado
  • Cry from a movie
  • Go to at least five concerts
  • PR in bowling (212)
  • Visit the West Coast
  • Visit Gourlay in Richmond
  • Go to a Richmond Kickers game
  • Play for the Richmond Kickers
  • Be in the black from gambling
  • Accurately predict every game in the March Madness bracket
  • Advance my career
  • Buy a nice new suit
  • Be on a boat out on water with only one other person
  • Meet someone famous
  • Watch the Godfather and Scarface
  • Finish 1984
  • Win a race
  • Spend over $100 per person on a meal
  • Make people like me and this blog again

Surprise!

Weak first post to welcome in 2016. I lol’d more and more each time I watched.

A Year of Blogging – 2015

Some quick stats for how the blog did for the year.

Total posts – 212

Total bad posts – 211 (people told me the Fermi Paradox was good)

Total comments – 573

Total views – ~52,000+

Thank you everyone and have a happy new year!

Cat New Year

Tracking in 2016

I like tracking things. In 2016 I want to track something that I’ve never tracked before, and I want suggestions.

The trouble here is finding something that I don’t already confidently know, and something that’s worth tracking.

Examples I thought of that don’t work:

  • How much do I spend at Wawa each year – About $600.
  • How many poops do I take a year – A shade over 1000.
  • How long, in hours, do I spend in the car – Roughly 350.
  • How many times will people tell me this blog sucks – DK.

So I need to find some things that I really don’t know but want to know.

Somethings that might work:

  • How many songs do I listen to from start to finish? – Would be hard to track, but I’d want to know.
  • How many beers will I drink in 2016 (I’m the man!)? – I could guess kind of close I think, but not sure.
  • How many hours do I waste playing video games? – This has declined significantly since high school.

None of those “might work”s are good enough. I’ll need to think more.

Suggestions?

Three Movies – 1 Great, 1 Okay, 1 Awful

I watched three movies last week.

Birdman

Grade: A-

birdmanAs someone who has never seen the allure of super hero movies, this one hit home. Celebrities do it for the money. Why work on something that will be expensive, stressful, time consuming, and a potential shot to your reputation when you can star in a super hero movie that will make you millions (even though it will be lost among the dozens of others)? The name of his hero – Birdman – just shows how ridiculous the super hero movies have gotten.

Michael Keaton having this alter-ego was a really clever way of showing this. He’s constantly battling himself and what others think of him, something everyone can I identify with.

Also, Edward Norton played his character incredibly well. Any scene with him was must-watch, though I thought more would happen with him and Emma Stone (still not a fan of Emma Stone).

The whole thing really well done. I would definitely recommend this.

Boyhood

Grade: C

BoyhoodThe concept is cool. The movie is not. For those who don’t know, they show the life of a family with the same actors over 12 years. So the boy essentially grows up on camera. 

It tells the story of what families go through. It shows all the typical, and some not-so typical, milestones that kids, adults, and families encounter, good and bad.

That’s all well and good, but it was just boring. It’s 2 hours and 45 minutes of nothing. Nothing happens. That may be the point of it, who knows. But my thought is that if you shot this in one year with different actors playing the characters at different ages, this movie would have been a dud and never talked about.

Trainwreck

Grade: D

Where to begin.

  • TrainwreckAmy Schumer does a good job of making you hate her character by the end.
  • Bill Hader is okay.
  • Lebron sucks as an actor.
  • John Cena was great for the short time he was in the movie.
  • The dad dies which somehow causes a fight between the sisters – random.
  • Amy’s job / boss is over the top.
  • Amy basically tells Bill to fuck off for no reason then cries about it.
  • They magically get back together at the end through a way-too-long dance scene.
  • This isn’t your normal 90 minute Rom-Com, it drags on for 125 minutes.

It’s the same story we’ve seen 1000 times already except told from the female perspective. There was nothing different or special about this movie, and I don’t get the hype around Amy Schumer.

I don’t understand why it has such good reviews.

Sam and Gourlay go to Europe

I’m writing this post strictly as a recap of our trip.

Intro

Just this, for 7 hours.

plane
Just this, for 7 hours.

It was 9:20PM on Wednesday, December 16. Gourlay and I were seated in our plane about to take off for London. We were due to arrive around 9:00AM the next morning.

The plane ride sucked because my screen was the only broken one out of like 300 screens, so I watched Gourlay play games. We got there and the next six days and six night were ours.

London

LondonLondon was my least favorite city on the trip. There was a lot to see, and we saw most of it, but I felt like an outsider. We struggled to make friends and overall got the impression that people weren’t very friendly. The city itself was nice.

Social life is different there. Everyone goes to the pub for a drink after work (and I mean everyone) and things end early. Both nights we went out around 6 or 7 and tried to get dinner and a beer and it was impossible because every place was packed with people who were just drinking.

I’m sure if we knew people there or had a better guide, I would have liked it more, but I wasn’t blown away by London. The highlight was the casino. I won like $500 playing war, like, the kids game.

Liverpool

EvertonLiverpool was better. We arrived just in time for the Everton vs. Liecester City game which was awesome. For some of those people, Everton is their life. They lost, which was a bummer, but when they scored a goal, the entire stadium erupted. A unique sports experience that I recommend to all.

StrawberryThe city itself is a bit rundown, but I found the people to be nicer. The second day highlight was the Beatles tour. We learned a lot about the beginnings of the band, the members, their houses, and got some good pictures along the way.

We didn’t stay super long, but it was a good stay.

Chester

The best picture I took from Chester
The best picture I took from Chester

This was the best stop of the trip surprisingly. We showed up with low expectations, but had been drinking along the way, so we were ready to have fun.

We had conversations with probably a dozen people in the short time we were there, and it was the homiest of all the cities we visited. It helped that we won a combined ~$250 from NFL games. I got pretty drunk and we ended the night with fried chicken and fries which was disgusting.

Go to Chester.

Dublin

bangersDublin is a pretty fun city. There’s a lot to do, a lot to see, and a ton of people. The food was pretty good, specifically the Bangers & Mash we got at Slattery’s (our spot). I should also mention that the girls in Dublin were astonishingly good looking.

We toured the Jameson factory which was about the only “touristy” thing we did. Dublin was great, but by the end, I was ready to head home.

Overall

It was good to experience a very different cultures from across the ocean. I’d never been anyone but the US and Canada, so I’m slowly opening up to more places. I can’t say I was totally blown away or definitely want to go back, but I was very happy to go and thought we had a pretty good time.

Big thanks to Gourlay for planning the majority of the trip.