The Revivalists Are Worth Listening Too

Here’s another band that I think is definitely worth listening to. The Revivalists are out of New Orleans and have released a couple of albums, but their newest album Men Amongst Mountains is a hit. I imagine they’re named the Revivalists because they’re reviving a hip / soul style of music that isn’t around much.

If you can listen to the first 30 seconds of Keep Going without wanting to listen to the rest of it, I’ll be surprised. See for yourself (the Youtube version below is live. The hyperlink is their album on Spotify).

Here’s another gem by them called It was a Sin. Below is the recorded version.

Who Gives a Qua About Tim Tebow

Who’s Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow was a great college football player at Florida. As quarterback, he took them to two national titles, and won the Heisman.

Most knowledgeable NFL analysts basically say that with how he throws, he’ll never be a good NFL quarterback.

BUT! He’s determined to be one. After two years out of the league because no one would play him, he’s currently on the Eagles, and he might make the final roster… as the third string quarterback

What’s Tebowmania?

People go bonkers over Tim Tebow. Sports Center features him all the time. He’s all over Philly radio since he played on Sunday. He’s a top 5 figure in the NFL right now in terms of publicity… as a potential third string quarterback.

Tebow by the Numbers

Tebow BroncosHe had one miracle year with the Broncos where he won a playoff game as the under dog, but aside from that, he’s bad. Here are his career regular season numbers:

Completions / Attempts = 173/361
Completion Percentage = 47.9%
Total Yards = 2,422
Total Touchdowns = 17
Total Interceptions = 9
Fumbles Lost = 14
Passer Rating = 75.3

He has a good TD to interception ratio, but when you complete less than half of your pass attempts, you’re not an NFL starting quarterback.

So Why the “mania”?

Tebow MaddenI honestly don’t know. Was Tebow this popular in college? Here’s what I can gather.

  • He’s clutch. He “finds a way” to win.
  • He’s a hardcore Christian. Like it or not, that’s good for ratings.
  • He’s a “good guy”, and people like to root for the under dog.
  • He’s a good looking guy as well.
  • He’s a fantastic natural leader.

But Who Gives a Qua About Tim Tebow?

TebowingAs an Eagles fan, I don’t really care about him. He’s likely not going to make a meaningful impact on the team this year (he probably won’t make the team unless we trade Barkley). I don’t want to hear about him on the radio or on ESPN. It’s boring. It’s like watching the Entertainment Tonight.

I have no problem with him personally. But the way I feel about Tim Tebow is similar the way I feel about Matt Barkley. Nothing personal, but I just don’t really care.

The Eagles 2015 – 2016 season rests solely on Sam Bradford’s knees. If he’s healthy, we have a chance. Tebow could tear an ACL tomorrow and it would affect the Eagles Superbowl chances zero.

Who gives a qua about Tim Tebow?

 

Disecting “Steve’s” Comment

I wrote an angry post about Steve’s Prince of Steaks on Friday. One comment was supposedly from the owner and operator of Steve’s Prince of Steaks, Steve Iliescu. He said:

Steve's“Hey kid, ever consider that you and/or your girlfriend were too drunk to remember what they paid for one of our delicious cheesesteaks. None-the-less, please come in and tell them Steve Iliescu sent you, we owe you one. We’ve discussed this matter with management and things will be different.

Thank you,
Steve Iliescu
Owner / Operator
Steve’s Prince of Steaks LLC.”

Initially I leaned towards thinking it was real. But since then, I’ve been leaning the other way. I think it’s fake, but could be wrong.

Reasons to believe it’s real

  • I tweeted this @Steves and my facebook post was also @Steves. They likely got a notification and had the chance to read this. I don’t know how involved Steve is in social media for his company, but it’s not crazy to think he saw a tweet/post that was negative towards his business, and decided to read it / comment.
  • Who would waste their time doing this if they weren’t Steve? I don’t know.
  • The comment itself seems decently legit, spare some things that I’ll address.

Reasons to believe it’s fake

  • Steves2
    Where it all went down

    Calling us out for being drunk is an interesting tactic since I didn’t mention in the post that we had been drinking. Perhaps it was implied by the time it was posted and nature of the post.

  • Could anyone reading his comment could go into Steve’s and say “Steve Iliescu sent me” and get a free cheesesteak?
  • I don’t know what “We’ve discussed this matter with management and things will be different” means. Did Steve call the location and say not to argue with drunk people anymore?
  • But the main reason I believe it to be fake – the email he left on his comment was Steve@spos.com, which is NOT a real email address. Why would he leave the wrong email address? Wouldn’t he want me to reach out and apologize / thank him for taking the time to comment?

Bottom line

If it is in fact Steve who commented, I would promote Steve’s out the wahzoo. Bad exchanges happen, but the owner of a business reaching out to correct a poor experience speaks way more to their culture / philosophy than one bad experience. You can create some of the most loyal customers by how you handle a bad situation. If Steve actually commented, regardless of whether or not I get a free cheesesteak, I’ll be a big promoter once again.

If it wasn’t Steve, and they commented just for a laugh, then thank you, because you’ve given me content to post about.

Screw Steve’s Prince of Steaks on 16th and Chestnut

To end tonight, Hayley, Rob, and I went in to Steve’s Prince of Steaks for a nice end-of-the-night cheesesteak.

I had to piss, so as we got up to order, and I said “two cheesesteaks with whiz and onions, and whatever she wants“. I gave her my card to pay but they only take cash. Oops

SHE wanted an order of mozzarella sticks. Therefore the total order was two cheesesteaks and an order of mozzarella sticks, for roughly $27.

Rob paid $11 for his cheesesteak, and Hayley paid $16 for her mozzarella sticks and my cheesesteak. In the mean time I went to the bathroom. That’s all. That’s it.

I came back, and Rob and Hayley received their food. I sat by the receiver window for a few minutes and my cheesesteak didn’t come out. I asked the guy “We ordered a cheesesteak with whiz and onions, what’s up?“.

He informed me that my cheesesteak had not been paid for. He said “Your girlfriend came up here, paid for her’s, and that’s it”. That’s not it, she paid $16 which is way more than one order of Mozzarella sticks costs. It’s about what the cost of Mozzarella sticks and a goddamn’ cheesesteak cost.

I argued with the man, an overweight blonde guy with a goatee, and he refused to give me a cheesesteak. He said I’d need to pay another $10 to get a cheesesteak. Before I even had a chance to respond, security was on me and pushing me out the door.

I shouldn’t be pissed. I paid $0. But Hayley should be furious. She paid $16 for a $5 order of Mozzarella sticks and an $11 cheesesteak and only received the Mozzarella sticks.

If this gets even 1 person to not go there, then I’ve done more than I expected. Don’t go there.

I couldn’t find any pictures that displayed them sucking.

 

True Detective Season 2 – What The F*ck Was That

This post will contain spoilers

I’m not a big T.V. show guy, but the hype around Season 1 of True Detective had me interested in Season 2. I tuned in for all 8 episodes.

True Detective2

My thoughts on the season as a whole

Not impressed. I’d give it a C-. Glad I watched it once, but would not watch again.

I’ll start with why it wasn’t good – it was too god damn confusing.

I don’t mind having to connect the dots, but I was reading 1000 word episode recaps and still not understand things which made for a poor viewing experience. It was also slow. It took a bit to get going, and when it did “get going”, I didn’t know what was going on.

Although we were lead to believe that finding out who killed Ben Caspere, and why, was the most important part of the show, most of it did not seem to revolve around that.

My thoughts on the characters

  • Colin Farrell as Ray Velcoro – He was great. I liked every scene he was in. A necessary dose of comedic relief and a wildcard. The underdog you root for.
  • Rachel McAdams as Ani Bezzerides –  A little rough around the edges, but played the part well. Still hot even as a grungy type.
  • Taylor Kitsch as Paul Woodrugh – He grew on me a lot towards the end. I was a big fan and really bummed to see him die.
  • Vince Vaughn as Frank Semyon – Cast out of character from his normal funny-man. I actually thought he did an okay job, but there was too much going on with him. Too confusing to follow.

As for the side characters there were too many and none of them were all that interesting. Did anyone know who Holloway (the black police guy who got killed at the end) or Burris (the white police guy who killed Woodrugh and Velcoro) were prior to episode 7? They ended up being some of the most important players in driving the plot, and I had no idea where they came from.

What confused me?

TeagueQuite honestly, anything related to Frank’s character was confusing as hell. Stan? The Catalast Group? The Regional Rail? Teague Dixon? Seriously, how many people knew the character Teague Dixon when the business card at the diamond shop had that name? This guy get’s his head blown off in the fourth episode and we’re all supposed to remember who he is.

Throw that in with the two children, the robbery in 1992, and Caspere’s murder / involvement in everything, and my head was spinning.

I didn’t know who the killer was even after it was revealed. As a some-what intelligent person who watched all 8 episodes from start to finish, there was so much I either missed, or was not explained well enough. Seriously, they showed the woman on the movie set for two seconds of one episode and that was it. The killers had less screen time than basically every other character.

So what did interest me?

  • My interest was piqued when Velcoro was shot at the end of episode 2. It seemed like the show had a chance. Not much else happened with the killer until the last episode though.
  • The sex parties were good. That was something that made sense – the whole blackmailing thing. It was a motive to kill Caspere at least, even though the murder didn’t have to do with that anyway.
  • True DetectiveI liked the group of Velcoro, Bezzerides, and Woodrugh working together at the end. That was fun to watch. Woodrugh was kind of the man.
  • The love interest between Velcoro and Bezzerides was good. I wanted that to happen earlier, and I wanted them to be together at the end. You had 20 minutes of the very last episode where they clearly liked each other, which was entertaining, but that was it.
  • Woodrugh being gay and his baby on the way was somewhat entertaining. I didn’t like his mom or the girl he was marrying though.
  • Velcoro and his son were great at first but that dragged on a bit.
  • Bezzerides and her dad was meh.
  • Frank and his wife were meh.

Overall

MFW the season finale
MFW the season finale

It was a way-too-elaborate plot line with some okay characters, relationships, and side stories.

Anyone else who watched all of it want to share their thoughts?

I Love Fight Song by Rachel Platten

PlattenSeriously. Every time I hear this song on the radio, it’s an insta-volume increase and steering-wheel drum session. Everyone has their guilty pleasures, this is definitely one of mine.

As someone who prides himself on liking “good music” (whatever that means), this kind of goes against what I usually listen to. I can’t explain it, but when I hear that chorus, it’s go-time. I think it’s her voice.

What songs are you sort-of-embarrassed-but-not-really-embarrassed to say you jam out to?

Sharing Thoughts About Sharing Thoughts on Sharing Thoughts

Laura had a clever comment on my last post about sharing thoughts on sharing thoughts.

As I’ve complained about before, running a blog is hard. Why?

  • When you don’t post a lot people say your blog sucks because you don’t post enough.
  • When you do post a lot people say your blog sucks because the posts suck.
  • When you post quality things that you put a lot of time into, most people say “meh”, and wait for your next shitty post.

cartoonIf there’s anything I’ve learned over my 6+ years of blogging, it’s that you can’t please everyone (cue comment “more like you can’t please ANYONE!“). Tom, being another long-time blogger with a similar audience will agree I’m sure.

For whatever reason, people are more prone to saying when they DON’T like something than when they DO.

But I welcome all feedback, positive or negative, so long as it is actual feedback.

I’m posting this because I haven’t posted since Thursday. Enjoy the shitty post.

Sharing Thoughts

When I wrote my last post, about how diamonds are stupid, I wasn’t sure of two things:

  • Whether I should push it more than my other posts
  • If I did, how people would react (or if they’d react at all, no one cares)

It seems stupid, but putting it out there made me feel good about myself, even before I saw the reaction. It’s something I feel strongly about, and whether people agreed or not, it felt good to put it into words.

The post got more blog / Facebook comments than any other post (not saying much), and most were quality comments actually talking about the topic at hand.

This is the power of social media. 30 years ago, if someone thought engagement rings were stupid, they didn’t A) have a platform to share it beyond the people they saw, and B) know if others felt the same way. Now, we can share it, and get feedback.

Had I kept the thoughts about engagement rings being stupid to myself, I’d conform to society and buy a ring. Now that I’ve posted it, and had a lot of people agree with me, it helps me and them feel less weird about it moving forward.

The moral of this story is, start a blog. They’re awesome.

Diamonds are for Suckers – Why I’m Never Buying Diamonds

I understand diamonds serve purposes outside of jewelry. This post only addresses jewelry.

Are diamonds special?

Yes. Diamonds have a special characteristic – they’re the hardest material on earth. Nothing can cut through diamond. Diamond can cut through anything.

What does society use diamonds for?

diamond_PNG6692For the complete opposite purpose that they’re actually special for. Diamonds are decorative, a symbol of status. They never cut through anything. They stay on your finger, around your neck, or through your ear for others to see.

The engagement ring.

This type of ring is purchased by a guy to tell a girl he wants to marry her. The girl wears the ring. It doesn’t do anything aside from tell other people that she’s spoken for, and make people gush over how pretty it is.

This tradition does not go back thousands of years. It goes back less than a century, when De Beers (yes, the biggest diamond company in the world) started an ad campaign. How convenient. The company who mined 90%+ of the diamonds at the time tried to convince us that we should spend a lot on them for a made up reason, and it worked. Prior to that, diamond rings had some relevance, but not even close to today’s standard.

So how much do we spend on these rings?

The rule of thumb is three months salary. Are you shitting me? If you make $40,000, that’s a straight $10,000 on an engagement ring. What wife would want their husband to WASTE that kind of money on a ring when it could be put towards, oh I don’t know, a house? The wedding? Their future kid’s college fund? Their favorite charity? Retirement? Anything that provides more joy and practical value than an engagement ring (which is basically everything)?

De BeersI would NEVER want my future wife to spend $10,000 (or $1,000) on a made-up symbol of commitment unless we were extremely wealthy. Spending that money doesn’t prove she’s any more committed to me than she already was. I’d hope we’re getting married because we love each other, not because we’re willing to spend an insane amount of money on something that does nothing for the other person.

Also, do you know the number one thing couples fight about? Money. Shocker. Why are you wasting money on a ring if you’re going to fight about it later?

Bonus: these diamond rings don’t hold high resale value. You normally get less than half of what you spent on it if you try to trade it in.

But why do we pay so much for diamonds if they don’t do anything?

Because we’re brainwashed into thinking we have to. The demand for diamonds as jewelry is 100% artificial. It’s a made-up tradition (a $75 billion per year tradition). A couple of great business minds made up a ton of bullshit that said if you don’t buy a girl diamonds, you don’t love her. Generations of people have bought into that philosophy and diamonds are a must in this culture, and it’s bullshit.

Jewelry is a made-up way of quantifying love. If you don’t receive a nice ring, you’re not very loved. It makes those with big rings feel important, and those with small rings feel self-conscious.

What would you guess each of the rings below cost?

Diamond Rings

The ring on the left is diamond and sells for about $3,000 (pretty cheap for an engagement ring).

The ring on the right is cubic zarconia, and sells for about $100.

Would any girl even know the difference? Furthermore, would they even care? Some might care, some might not, but none of them should care. Give me one good reason for caring. Wouldn’t you rather get the $100 ring and $2900 towards your 401k than the diamond ring that looks the exact same?

Why aren’t we giving these cubic zarconia rings to each other? It’s not like people do anything with their diamond rings that this fake one can’t do.

Where does this leave me?

I don’t want to purchase expensive jewelry for anyone. Ever. I’ll spend plenty of money on other things for the people I love, but expensive jewelry is not one of them.

Will my future wife understand? If she doesn’t, would I really throw away the relationship? At the same time, do I want to marry a girl who would refuse to marry me unless I bought her a ring?

The biggest issue would be this – how do I explain to a potential father-in-law that I think engagement rings are a stupid waste of money and I’m not going to buy one for his daughter? I haven’t had to cross this bridge yet.

Could I afford a ring? Yes. But there’s a famous quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world“. This is a change I want to see in the world.