2048

Scott Beury showed me this game and for whatever reason, I’m hooked (at least until I beat it). There’s a simple 4×4 grid and you start with two blocks that each have a value of 2. You can press up, down, left, or right and move all of the blocks on the grid in that direction. When two blocks of the same value hit each other, they double in value. So a 2 block hitting a 2 block gives you a 4 block. Two 4s give you an 8 and so on and so fourth. The object of the game is to combine blocks until you have a block with a value of 2048.

The idea is simple, but the execution of a “strategy” is difficult. Although I’ve been getting “better”, I don’t really know what I’m doing to make me get close to a 2048 block. So far the best score I’ve gotten is 5316 with a 512 block. Most likely I’ll be playing this game a lot until I beat it. It’s very strangely addicting. Give it a try.

http://gabrielecirulli.github.io/2048/

 

*I beat it

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My Top 5 Meals

5. Seafood Club

salmon clubInspired by two recent clubs I had. The first was the Cheesecake Factory’s shrimp & avocado club. The second was a grilled salmon club from the Valley Green Inn. Clubs are a new discovery for me. I’d never had mayo until the last year or so. Now I eat it every single day for lunch (turkey & mayo on toast). Both clubs I previously mentioned are spectacular. I’m not as big a fan of bacon as most, but bacon and mayo really make the club sandwich in general. The toast needs to be crunchy as well. Few things hit the spot as well as this for me. This picture doesn’t do it justice in my mind. Worth noting is that Wawa turkey clubs are incredible in my opinion.

4. Taco Pizza from Randazzo’s Pizza

Obviously this is very specific, but I had to. Pizza has always been a neutral adventure for me. I’ve always liked it, but I was never dying for pizza. Sure there were some specialty slices that I enjoyed, but pizza was always just “good”. That was until I had Taco Pizza from Randazzo’s. This pizza is absolutely loaded. Two slices and I’m stuffed. There is such an explosion of flavor from all the ingredients. You can’t even pick out what you’re tasting, it all blends together in an incredible way. I put this specific slice, from this specific place, on a level above every other slice of pizza I’ve ever had. 100% recommended.
*I searched the internet for 15 minutes to find a comparable slice on Google Images but nothing did it justice.

3. Classic Cheeseburger & Fries

burgerOld reliable. You essentially can’t go wrong with a cheese burger and fries. Mine are always medium cooked with American cheese. Now that I eat ketchup with my fries, they have become exponentially more valuable when included in a meal. The kicker for me in this is how tasty the cheese is, and the fries. I want to be able to strongly taste my cheese with every single bite. I want my fries hot and crispy without being burned. BBQ sauce and bacon are both quality additions to any burger as well.

2. Eggs Benny

EggsbennyThis was an incredibly tough decision and initially this was my #1 without a doubt, but that’s why you write these things. My first Eggs Benny was a few years ago. I’d heard of it, but didn’t know what it was. I can’t explain why, but I saw it on the menu and thought “Why not?”. Little did I know what I had started. Eggs Benny is incredible. Two poached eggs on top of two pieces of Canadian bacon on top of two toasted English muffins drenched in Hollandaise sauce.

By far the biggest thing for me is not skimping on the Hollandaise sauce. When Hollandaise and the yolk after cutting the egg mix with one another, it’s orgasmic. You slop this up with all of your home fries or potatoes and you have one giant mess of a perfect meal. Also, you can do so much with it. Popular ones include Crabcake Benedict, Eggs Florentine (no meat, yuck), Eggs Norwegian (salmon), etc. If you haven’t had Eggs Benny yet, I strongly advise you go out and order one ASAP. If the picture doesn’t make your mouth water, I don’t know what will.

1. Philly Cheesesteak

What could rival Eggs Benny you ask? A great Philly Cheesesteak. This was an impossible decision, but I thought about it like this. If there was the cheesesteak pictured and the Eggs Benny pictured in front of me, and I had to pick one to eat, I think I’d take the cheesesteak.

Pat's CheesesteakI’ve never had one from a different city, but from what I’ve heard, they can’t do it right for some reason. For the full experience I get whiz and onions, and prefer chopped up meat instead of slices, though both are great. All variables in this equation are important. The meat, the cheese, the onions, and perhaps most importantly, the bread.Put these four things together and you have this shitshow of an incredible sandwich. I’ve had the standard Pat’s, Steve’s, Dalessandro’s, Jim’s, Tony Lukes, etc. though I’m sure there are plenty of hidden gems. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite because after each one I’m incredibly stuffed and incredibly satisfied. The only notable two I can think of that I haven’t had are John’s Roast Pork (which I’ve heard from multiple people is #1) and Geno’s.

There is no doubt I would not have this as my #1 if I didn’t live where I live. The cheesesteak is legendary in Philly. It’s a tradition, a point of pride. I have a deep personal love with Eggs Benny, but the cheesesteak extends beyond.

Two BAD Commercials

I wrote two posts somewhat recently about commercials. One said how the Sportscenter ones were great and the other said how the Geico ones were great as well. When referring to the Sportscenter commercials specifically, I said there was no reason to change the “This is Sportscenter” format because it works. Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken.

However, there is a series of commercials out now that have been following the same format and I think they went from average to awful. Below is the latest installment of the DirecTV commercial series.

These commercials were funny in the beginning because they worked the shock factor. You didn’t see the ridiculous scenarios coming. Now, everyone has seen these and sort of knows what to expect. When I first saw this one a week or two ago, it caught my attention from the start because I recognized the set-up and the voice. I watched with moderate anticipation to see what happened. I thought it was awful. I didn’t even smile. These particular commercials have lost their pizzazz. Sportscenter should keep doing their “This is Sportscenter” series because it’s still working. These DirecTV ones are not. At this point, they’re beating a dead horse.

The next commercial is such an obvious DOUBLE knock-off that I insta-lost respect for DISH TV. Watch below:

First, they use the idea of an animated animal that acts like a human. Sound familiar? Geico has been OWNING this idea for years. First they have their standard gecko, then they introduced the pig, and how could we possibly forget the amazing “HUMP DAY!!!” Camel. Geico has been running this bit for years, successfully I might ad (pun intended).

Now, DISH comes in with the Hopper and this lame Kangaroo who has an Australian accent. But wait a second, this Kangaroo sounds strangely familiar. Australian accent, and it’s a GIRL? I mean how obvious are they trying to make it. This kangaroo sounds EXACTLY LIKE FAT AMY. Fat Amy became this big phenom after Pitch Perfect and the character has extended beyond that movie. She’s become a personality, and DISH stole it completely. “I love working!” as sarcastically as possible. How is that not Fat Amy? Besides the fact that the commercial sucks, they stole their ideas from other people.

I will not be changing my cable anytime soon.

 

Walk of Shame

It’s been a few days. This weekend was great.

Friday night began with Alex, Jared, Dan, Kurt, Josh, and Scott coming over. The night’s pregame began with games of Kan Jam and ended with ~ 30 games of knockout which was way more fun than I expected. As the night continued we headed out to Magerk’s which was pretty low key but a good time.

Saturday was more of the same. We played a lot of Kan Jam and knockout before heading inside due to the colder weather. We played a few drinking games and eventually were presented with the option of going to Manayunk for the night. It was getting late and I was iffy, but Jared, Scott, Dan, and I opted in and headed down. I met up with Ryder and we all hung out at a bar and had a good time.

I woke up this morning in need of food. I exited the house we slept at and headed towards a diner that Gourlay and I had been to before. I asked for Eggs Benny and they didn’t have it, I was unhappy. It was at this point that I ran into trouble.

My phone was dead and I didn’t remember where the house we stayed at was. It was 7:30 in the morning and I had a decision to make: Take a cab home to Upper Dublin which would probably cost $30-40, or walk home. At the time of the decision, I didn’t really realize how far it was, but I don’t regret my decision to walk home. I had nothing on my agenda and plenty of time to kill.

I headed out of the diner at ~8:00 in the brisk 44 degree overcast weather, and for the next three and a half hours I sang songs at the top of my lungs while walking over 12 miles to my home.

I got home, insta-napped, and have been a waste of life since waking up. All in all though, the weekend was a very good time. Back to the grind! Enjoy the gifs.

raptor

 

swings fail

 

dog croc

kick to pool

45 Ultimate Tips for Men

I’m sure some of you have already seen this, but here’s something I found shared on Facebook and thought it was worth the read: 45 Ultimate Tips for Men. Bold means I strongly agree, and I put some comments next to some others.


1. Go for women you perceive to be ‘out of your league.’ You’ll surprise yourself.
2. Never have sex with anyone that doesn’t want it as much as you.
3. Never hit anyone unless they are an immediate threat.
4. Every hat should serve a purpose.
5. Never take her to the movies on the first date.
6. Learn to wet shave.
– Had to look up what ‘wet shave’ was, and realized that’s what I do?
7. Nothing looks more badass than a well-tailored suit. – 
I’m starting to realize this.
8. Shave with the grain on the first go-around.
9. Always look a person in the eye when you talk to them.
– Starting to realize this one too.
10. Exercise makes you happy. Run, lift, and play sports.
12. Brush your teeth before you put on your tie.
13. A small amount of your paycheck should go directly to your savings account every month.
14. Call your parents every week.
– We’ll see if I do this after moving out, I’ll try.
15. Never wear a clip-on tie.
16. Give a firm handshake.
17. Compliment her shoes.
18. Never leave a pint unfinished.
19. If you aren’t confident, fake it. It will come.
20. You can tell the size of a man by the size of things that bother him.
21. Be conscious of your body language.
22. The only reason to ever point a gun at someone is if you intend to shoot them.
23. Always stand to shake someone’s hand.
24. Never lend anything you can’t afford to lose.
25. Ask more than you answer. Every likes to talk about themselves.
– Starting to realize this as well, it works. 
26. Keep a change of clothes at the office.
27. Buy high quality tools, so you only have to buy them once.
– As Tom said, buy Stortz Tools.
28. Manliness is not only being able to take care of yourself, but others as well.
29. Go with the decisions that will make a good story.
– I started doing this in college, and it actually works pretty well. 
30. When you walk, look straight ahead, not at your feet.
31. Nice guys don’t finish last. Boring guys do.
32. Find your passion and figure out how to get paid for it.
– I’m never going to get paid for running a 15 minute 5k
33. Don’t let the little head do the thinking for the big head.
34. No matter their job or status in life, everyone deserves your respect.
35. The most important thing you can learn is personal responsibility. Bad things happen, it’s your job to overcome them.
36. The first one to get angry loses.
37. Do what needs to be done without complaining. It won’t help speed things up.
38. Never stop learning.
39. Always go out into the public dressed like you’re about to meet the love of your life.
40. Don’t change yourself just to make someone happy, unless that someone is you.
41. If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.
42. Luck favors the prepared.
43. Women find confidence sexy as hell.
44. Do whatever you want to do in the life, but be the best at it.
45. No one is on their deathbed wishing they spent more time at work. Enjoy your life.

Adult Heater 2014

I’m on quite the heater right now, and all are sort of specific to being an adult (i.e. nothing like FCing Knights of Cydonia or Platinuming Inferno III, though those things are still cool). Where to begin.

Running

For the first time in about six weeks I feel like I’m somewhat in shape. After taking three weeks off after the Alumni Mile, I was very very out of shape. It took me 16 days of running to finally feel like I’m in shape again. Yesterday I ran 6 miles averaging 7:03 with a 6:20 last mile and today I ran 7 miles averaging 7:00 with a 6:35 last mile. It’s been a while, but I’m finally feeling okay while running. I’m racing a 10k on the 12th and then the AOR at the end of April which will hopefully be a nice build up to a summer marathon.

Work

My conference last week was a success and exceeded my expectations. To make things even better, my boss had a call with a person from the company that we recently partnered with. This is the same company whose party I attended in DC this Friday where I was drinking and dancing a lot. The woman on the phone said I was a hit at the party and that the person who sends emails for them wants to send emails on our behalf specifically because of me and how much fun I was. Hard to beat that! Things in general have been going well at work.

Tax Return

I got my tax return in the mail yesterday and found out that I’m getting $1,215 back for 2013. Last year I think I got a little under $300 and spent most of that on Tortilla Gold. This year I plan on putting it to good use and buying some equipment for my big move. What big move? I’m glad you asked!

My Big Move

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about moving out. That post sparked a conversation between me and Alex about trying to find a place to live together. We looked around a bit and, long story short, his dad just purchased a nice house in Manayunk which Alex and I will be renting out from him. As of right now, it looks like we’ll be moving in at the end of May/beginning of June. As I said in the moving out post, this is a benchmark to becoming your own person. I’m very much looking forward to this.

Girlfriend

After two and half long years of being single, I’ve finally found someone!!! Oh wait, no I haven’t, still single.

spring

In general, life is going well at the moment. The weather is turning, the birds are chirping, and I’m happy to be alive.

My Days in D.C.

I’ve arrived safely home after my four day trip to Washington D.C. and will give a breakdown here.

The Conference

The reason I went to D.C. in the first place was to attend the Nonprofit Technology Conference. I drove down with a co-worker on Wednesday afternoon and arrived around 4:00. We set up our booth and then I went on a nice run through the area. Afterward we headed to a local pub for dinner and called it an early night. Thursday morning to Friday afternoon was filled with occupying the conference booth where we talked to potential clients, and eating nice food. Before the conference, I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to answer the questions that people asked but things actually went really well I thought. It was strangely fun talking and interacting with new people in that setting.

The After Party

At the conclusion of the conference, Dan picked me up to get settled into his place before I attended an after party on behalf of my company. I had no idea what to expect but I had to make an appearance to represent us. If things got ugly, I could leave early. I arrived at about 7:30 and stayed all the way until 11:00 until the party ended. When I walked into the room I knew exactly zero people. There were definitely some awkward parts but I met a few people from our partnering company and did my best to be social. Once the dance floor got going I found my groove and the night was fun.

Two Days & Two Nights

After the party I met up with Dan, Gourlay, Todd, and Dan’s roommate Evan. We went to a few bars and concluded the night shortly after I met up with them. The next morning/day was a trip through D.C.. Gourlay, Todd, and I walked around the city for a while and ate some quality food. Night time hit and I was hurtin’ from a lack of sleep. In a desperation move, I drank my first ever cup of coffee. I drank it black, finished it in 10 minutes, and didn’t notice a difference in my feeling at all. However, once we got drinking I began to feel okay. The night was normal and concluded with a $6 slice of Jumbo Pizza.

Today was a tourist day. Dan, Gourlay, and I walked miles and miles around D.C. to see the white house, the capitol building, the Washington Monument, etc. After a few hours Gourlay and I packed up and headed home.

Overall

The trip was fantastic. Between the conference and going out in D.C., the whole thing was a great experience, albeit exhausting and quite expensive. These are the days that make life exciting and break up the norm. I’m sitting here on Sunday night a few hundred dollars poorer, a few pounds fatter, with a few hours of sleep to catch up on, but it was absolutely worth it. Also, I apologize for having no pictures, but I don’t feel like doing it right now as I’m going to go to bed.

On the road, again.

I’m writing this email from a hotel room in Washington D.C.

I’m in D.C. for the NTEN conference and today consisted of travel and set-up. A colleague and I made the trip down a little before 1:00 and arrived about 2:45 later although it felt like much less.

After checking in and setting up our booth, I went on a nice six mile run through parts of the city and on an “exercise trail”. Afterward we headed out to a local pub for dinner and although the service was subpar, the food exceeded expectations.

I’m sitting in my hotel room alone right now in my boxers watching some NBA games. I could see how life on the road is enjoyable though I could also see it wearing on you time after time. Fortunately, I have little travel experience so this is more exciting for me than anything.

I’m at this conference until Friday afternoon at which point I’ll be heading to Dale’s to hang out for the weekend. I did that last time I came to D.C. and this time should only be more fun as we have the whole weekend to hangout as opposed to a single night. Gourlay will also be joining which should make things extra spicy. I probably won’t be updating with much quality content, but keep checking back just in case something crazy happens to me.

My Sleeping Woes Continue

It’s no secret that I’ve had sleeping trouble. Lately however, it’s gotten worse and I want to try and do something about it. I am generally in bed, ready to go to sleep 8.5-9 hours before my alarm is set to go off. I’ve started running again, which I figured would make me more tired, however that hasn’t been the case. On a normal night, I would guess that I fall asleep about 45 minutes after I get into bed.

On Saturday night, I stayed in, didn’t drink, and went to bed around 12:00. It took me a full 90 minutes to fall asleep. Last night was a similar story. I got in bed a little after 11:00 and it took me 75 minutes to fall asleep.

It’s so frustrating. I just lay there thinking about whatever and a half hour will go by and I’m no more tired then when I got in bed. I’ll change sleeping positions 5-10 times. One will feel comfortable for 10 minutes and then I feel like changing.

I wrote a post a while back about Slade’s suggestion of counting backwards from 200 and how I thought it was working. Perhaps I’ll give that a try tonight, but I’ve done it before and frankly, I just don’t enjoy doing it. In high school I would get anxious about it. I would check the clock a half hour after getting into bed and my heart would start beating faster because I still wasn’t asleep. I’m at the point now where I don’t get anxious, but it’s just annoying that it consistently takes a long time. It makes me not look forward to going to bed.

So I’m asking for solutions. I don’t like the idea of becoming dependent on something like Zzzquil, but maybe I’ll give it a try? Maybe I need a new mattress? I’ve tried listening to music, and that doesn’t seem to help, but maybe I’m listening to the wrong music (generally a mellow Jack Johnson album)? I don’t usually eat to close to bed which I know can be troublesome. Do they give professional help for this? I’m sure there’s something out there as I can’t be the only person with a problem like this.

What the qua should I do? I’ll Google some answers after this. In hindsight I should have done that before writing this post, but it’s already done.

Alaska is….

For the final time…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bogdan Vladimorivich Lisachenko!

Bogdan