Young the Giant – Mind Over Matter

Young the Giant recently released their new album Mind Over Matter. I’m a huge fan of their first self titled album and don’t think it got the attention it deserved. My Body and Cough Syrup were the only two that received real play time. I think Cough Syrup is fantastic, but I could pick a few others from the album that were better than My Body (I Got, Apartment, Guns Out, Garands).

I’ve been listening to their new album a bit but have much more to do until I become familiar with every song. They released It’s About Time as their single which I think is average. The song that I like the most and have listened to the most by far is Mind Over Matter. They do a great job of keeping their “sound” throughout the whole album which is important. This is a band I will continue to listen to and look forward to new material.

Take a listen to Mind Over Matter if you’re interested.

My Routine

Everything I do Monday – Friday is part of the routine. That’s an extreme way of looking at it, but generally, that is indeed the case.

In college, I woke up 40 minutes before class every day and went to breakfast. Practice was at 4:00, then we ate dinner, then we showered, then we went to the library. After the library we returned to the suite and did whatever, but this was the routine five days a week.

Since graduating, I’ve again settled into a routine for the five weekdays. I wake up at 8:00, get to work at 8:30, take a 45 minute lunch at 12:15, and go home at 5:15-5:30. Once home I usually go on a run, then bro out, and I’m in bed by 11:00 every night. This works for me.

The routine keeps order in my life. In the past two days this was even more clear to me for the following reason: I was thrown off my routine and the result was poor.

Instead of sleeping in until 8:00 on Tuesday, I was up at 5:00 because my stomach hurt and I had diarrhea. Aside from that though, I felt totally fine. No fever, headache, or anything like that. However, once the beginning of the routine was off, trying to get back on track failed. When I got home from work I tried to go on a run because that’s part of the routine but I should have known better. I was on low sleep and dehydrated so the last mile of my 5.5 mile run was 9:07. The mile is also mostly downhill so it’s even worse than it seems.

I returned home after my run to continue my routine of eating dinner immediately after. I didn’t feel good though so I tried to eat dinner but only got half way before throwing in the napkin.

It was at about this point that it occurred to me, abandon the routine. It was a little late at this point to realize it but instead of doing what I normally do from that point out, I switched it up. I took a 30 minute hot bath which was calming and I didn’t go in the basement to go on my computer one time yesterday which is probably a first since graduating. I was in bed by 10:15 which is a record early. I woke up today after nine and a half hours of sleep feeling refreshed and I’m more or less back on schedule.

The point is that having a routine is good but becoming too dependent is bad. I like having my set routine Monday – Friday because everything is organized. Things happen as they “should” in my world. But when a wrench is thrown into the routine, don’t be so committed that you finish your run in 9:07 or waste quality pork that Nancy spent all day cooking.

This is Sportscenter – Super Bowl Commercial

I’m a huge fan of the ESPN commercial segments they run called “This is Sportscenter”. Here’s the most recent one that had me lol’in pretty hard.

This post is mostly about sharing the humor of the commercial, but also that when something isn’t broken, there’s no need to fix it. I’m sure ESPN has a big marketing team that sits around to try and think of commercial ideas. Somewhere along the way, they came up with this general idea for a string of commercials, the “This is Sportscenter” string. It’s very flexible, it’s generally funny, and it gets the point across (that SC is a great show).

This current set up is fantastic, and there’s really no need in my mind to change it. There will always be new athletes or new current events in sports to keep these commercials going. There’s no need to try and think of a creative idea for a commercial outside of this mold because this mold is perfect in my opinion. I’m glad ESPN has recognized this and has pumped out some of the best commercials on TV (right up there with Geico and Allstate). If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

1/24-1/26 Weekend

This weekend was very fun. It began on Friday with Gourlay and I going to see American Hustle. We wanted a low-key night so that we’d be ready for the radio 104.5 free concert the next day. The night fulfilled it’s purpose.

I woke up early on Saturday, went for an easy four mile run, then headed to Tom’s to begin pregaming for the concert. Twenty One Pilots was headlining and I’ve been dying to see them live so I was very excited. I began drinking around 11 and was getting pretty drunk pretty quickly. A group of my friends showed up and around 3 (?) we headed over to the concert.

I brought a water bottle with me although I was already pretty drunk. Due to the weather we all stayed in a bar until Twenty One Pilots came on. Somehow I got separated from the rest of the group and watched the whole concert by myself. Right behind me there were two girls and all I remember are two things, 1) I asked them if they wanted to drink and they declined and 2) the one girl had the most gorgeous blue eyes I’d ever seen. Needless to say I don’t think they liked me that much but I was rockin’ out with a few bros throughout so it was all fun and good.

Things are fuzzy around here but Alex, Ben, and I went to Del Rossi’s for a cheesesteak dinner. We went back to Tom’s where drinking games were being played. I was sobering up a little bit but the games made sure my drunk stayed. I won another McFadden’s happy hour so the plan was to head over there around nine. We had a sing along with the guitar which allowed me to sober up more before going out. We headed to McFadden’s around 9.

I was having a good time and feeling the drinks pretty good and then everything goes blank. I don’t remember leaving McFadden’s and somehow I got separated from the group. I remember eating a cheesesteak at Plaza Pizza by myself then it goes blank again. My memory begins to come back when I was roughly 2-3 miles away from Tom’s in the wrong part of Philly. My phone was dead, I saw no recognizable signs or street names, it was 20 degrees, and the only resource I had was a flask filled with vodka in my pocket. This was trouble.

I wandered around for what felt like hours. I asked probably five people where Spring Garden was but no one could give me a good answer. Eventually I hit a street I recognized and bumped into some people who told me where I wanted to go. I began sprinting in 30 second spurts trying to cover ground as quickly as possible.

After who knows how long I made it back to the house where I was greeted by everyone asking where I was. I couldn’t give them a good answer. I needed to sleep.

This morning was just hangovers all around. I attempted a 6 mile run but hit the wall 4 miles in and slogged home in 8+ minute pace. Regardless, it was worth it as yesterday was very fun. Next weekend is Wing Bowl which should be a fun time. Hopefully I don’t end up by myself this time.

And of course…

christmas tree owned


wat ballon


carol job


dog not amused

The Heat Will Cool

The Miami Heat are doing their traditional mid-season slump where they just kind of cruise along and beat some good teams but lose to some bad teams. They’ll have a blowout night then get blown out the next night. They’re all kind of on cruise control and concepts like “defense” or “hustle” don’t appeal to them. Dwyane Wade takes off whenever he feels like it. However the East is so incredibly weak this year that they’ll at least get the #2 seed without trying.

Now, once May and June roll around and playoff season starts, recent history suggests that the will Heat flip the switch and start playing like the great team that they are. These guys care about the playoffs, not the regular season. They have been to the Finals three straight seasons despite only being the #1 seed in the East one time. They are also the two time defending NBA champs. Most people who watch sports will probably think they should still be the favorite to not only win the East, but win the title as well – as the regular season is not an accurate indicator of the Heat’s post season success.

However, I’m going to take a position that has grown in popularity a lot this year – The Heat will NOT win the NBA finals this year. And, I’ll take it one step further by saying that they will not even make it to the Finals. I don’t know how divided this opinion is, but there are still plenty of people out there saying the Heat will turn it on when it counts. I would guess the slight majority think the Heat will win.

The Heat are an old team. In fact, they’re the oldest team in the NBA by average age. They keep doing this magic act of not trying, then picking it up when it counts but in the end, Father Time always wins. This is the season for the Heat where everyone will look back as the lost season. “They just didn’t have it that year”, “They were too beat up from the previous years”, “After winning two in a row they thought they were unbeatable”.

Father Time is not only aging the Heat beyond repair, but maturing teams like the Thunder and the Pacers, to name two. The passing of the torch is coming. While Lebron still has a number of years at the top, the Heat dynasty will end far before that. Obviously wherever he goes is going to be a contender, but these up-and-coming teams are hungry, and they want it now. Kevin Durant, as of late, is an absolute machine. He’s shooting over 50% and averaging 37 a game in 12 games for 2014. The Pacers have the best record in the NBA. There are about 10 teams in the West who could be the #3 seed in the East.

I’m thinking this is how it will play out. The Heat will get the #2 seed in the playoffs. They’ll turn it on and breeze through rounds one and two, as will the Pacers. But, because they won’t have played anyone paul georgewho gives them a challenge, they simply won’t be ready for the Pacers, who will be itching, and playing hard throughout. The Pacers took them to 7 last year and didn’t have home court. Also, the Spurs were one Ray Allen clutch 3-pointer away from winning it all, so it wasn’t like the Heat were dominating last year anyway.

EVEN IF the Heat make it to the finals, they’ll be playing the best from the West. Whether it’s the Spurs, the Thunder, the Clippers, the Blazers, etc. It doesn’t matter. This old-man team is going to be beat up physically after a likely 7-game series with a tough and physical Pacers team. The team out of the West will be young and gunning for their first title (unless it’s the Spurs). They’ll come full force to take the Heat out in a more-one-sided-than-everyone-expected series.

It’s only January, and a lot can and will happen in the next six months. But I don’t see the Heat making the finals this year, let alone winning it. I’ll be sure to bump this if it proves right. If I’m wrong, this post won’t exist in six months.

How to Say No

One of my tasks at work is looking into advertising opportunities for our products. This often results in phone calls which I’m more than happy to make. We give friendly exchanges, I ask about opportunities and rates, and the call ends with something like:

Me – “Okay, we’ll take a look and I’ll get back to you.”
Them – “Great, thanks so much Sam, it was a pleasure speaking with you”

These are pleasant phone calls. There’s a happy feeling in the air when you might do business with someone. They’re especially happy and friendly when they’re potentially receiving your money.

The call back however is 50/50. I very much enjoy calling people back and telling them we accept whatever the offer is. However, telling people no is a train wreck. 

This morning I had to call a man back and say more or less “Hey, sorry we’re not going to run the ad, we’ve had a bad experience with this type of thing before.” Any good salesperson will NOT let that be the end of the call. This morning I sat with the phone to my ear for roughly 3-4 minutes hearing about why we should reconsider and blah blah blah. The entire time I was just thinking of how I was going to still say no. Bottom line is, we’re not giving him our money. Even if I wanted to, I don’t have the power to tell him “you know what, you’re right, I’ll take it!!!” So he’s yapping on and on which is truly a waste of both of our time.

I’m like a nervous elementary schooler waiting for his cue at the school play. There’s a silence after the yapping. I’m on.

Yeah, you know we’ll keep that in mind, but for right now, we’re okay with what we’re doing.”

He throws in the towel. Whether he knows I’m not the man who makes the decisions, or he simply knows this call is not ending with money going in his pocket, the call concludes. With a defeated sound in the tone of his voice, he says:

Well, Sam, it was good talking to you again. I hope you guys will reconsider in the future. Have a good day.”

And like that, it’s over.

I don’t like to be the bearer of bad news in any situation, but in reality this is a good thing. It’s teaching me to say no. I don’t think I  have a problem saying no as it is, but saying no is never a comfortable thing. I’m getting good practice in for real life scenarios. With these phone calls, I actually don’t have a choice. This call was ending in a no no-matter what. It’s up to me to figure out the best way to get the message across, because I certainly can’t rewrite the message. This is just one of the many real life scenarios I face at work that will ultimately shape me to become a better human.

Another one of these

It’s never my intention to go periods of time without posting. I’m going to give a short life recap to fill this post.

Social: Things have been going well as I had a great weekend and have a number of planned events coming up in the near future. This weekend was a house party at the Reilly’s which was a nice change of pace from the bar. Saturday was BYO Bowling at Happy Tymes where I struggled in terms of bowling, but had a good time socially. We went to a bar after where John Ryder and I had a 2+ hour conversation that I would classify as the best conversation of my life. Sunday concluded with football which wasn’t great for my wallet (I bet the Pats moneyline) but entertaining nonetheless.

The future holds a radio 104.5 free concert at the Piaza featuring Twenty | One | Pilots, which is one of my favorite current bands. I’m also attending this year’s Wing Bowl which should be a blast.

Running: My marathon plans are on hold as I sustained an injury about a month ago. After two VERY easy weeks, I’ve returned slightly. The Alumni Mile is on February 8th and I have changed my training to make sure I run as fast as possible there. If I were still planning to do a marathon, I would have taken more time off to fully recover, but at the moment I can put in about 30 miles per week which should be enough. Afterward I plan on recovering, then gearing up for the American Odyssey Relay and possibly a summer marathon.

Work: Solid.

Other: I’m reading books now which is new and a change of pace that I’m enjoying. Currently I only really read running books but plan on branching out soon. I recently completed all 515 levels of Candy Crush as well as the 65 extra levels in the Bonus World. That should open up some time. My finger is also healed enough to play guitar again so I’ve been picking that up once again. My fingers lost all their callouses so my fingers kill when I play and I feel like a noob, but it’s coming back.

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More and more I’m hearing compliments on the gifs that I show following a post like this. Here are some more that I hope you all enjoy.

i actually feel bad




shtting urinalk


shark eats

Richard Sherman Interview

I apologize for two football posts in a row, but I think this is worth talking about.

The Seahawks and 49ers game was hyped up a lot this week. These are two tough, physical teams who have made it known they DO NOT like each other. The game lived up to the hype as defense played a huge role with two huge interceptions for the Seahawks and six total fumbles in the game (two lost) resulting in four turnovers. Compare that to the Patriots – Broncos game where neither team threw a pick or fumbled the ball at all.

Social media was buzzing last night after the Seahawks – 49ers game, but not because of the game itself. Instead, social media went off on the Seattle corner back Richard Sherman for his post game interview (shown below).

I knew a few things about Sherman before this interview. The first thing was that he is pretty much the best corner in the league. The second was about his character. I’m a big fan of First Take on ESPN2 with Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless. I watched this segment where Sherman goes on and trashes Skip the entire time (this is the short version). Because I like Bayless a lot (Skip… not the other one), I was a bit turned off to Richard Sherman after this interview. I don’t know their history, but Sherman seemed really bitter and made things personal when addressing Bayless, granted he kept his cool throughout though.

Now to the interview from last night. People on social media were trashing him, saying he’s classless, a thug, etc. My opinion is this: Despite the interview being a little awkward, I loved it. This is the raw emotion that we don’t see enough in sports anymore. Everyone is so guarded about what they say because  of what happened to Sherman on social media last night. You let one thing slip out and you’re toast.

Sherman just made an incredible play to send his team to the Super Bowl! What type of response do you want from this guy? He’s clearly an emotional player, and one of the best. This type of reaction is not only what I would hope for, but what I would expect. There’s no doubt these guys were trash talking on the field the entire game. They were probably mouthing off to each other every single play. Then you put them in the position to make the BIG play with the Super Bowl on the line and one clearly came out on top. When I was watching it live I was worried he might drop an f-bomb on national TV but he didn’t, he was clearly just jacked up, they tested him and he passed with flying colors. Could he have been more discrete about calling out Crabtree? Of course he could have, but in the moments after the game I’ll give him a pass.

I’m also a huge fan of rivalries and nothing creates rivalries better than trash talking. Let the guy enjoy the payoff for his hard work and clutch play.

I’m cherry-picking here, but this is a good article that I agree with – 22 Brief Thoughts About That Richard Sherman Interview (I read this AFTER I wrote this post, so while it may look like I copied somethings, it was coincidental agreement)

*Also, let it be known that I’m only referring to his interview. Him making the choke sign was kind of a low move in my opinion.

The Patriots and House Money

Jemele Hill on the ESPN2 show Numbers Never Lie has made it clear she believes that the New England Patriots are playing with “House Money” right now. She’s been saying this since they made the playoffs. This has been echoed by a few others as well. What they mean is that no matter what the Patriots do in this year’s playoffs is a bonus because given the absurd amount of injuries and controversy they’ve had to deal with, they shouldn’t be here in the first place.

I’m going to explain why that is wrong.

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Since Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994, the Patriots either have the most, or are tied for the most in the following categories: regular season wins, playoff appearances, playoff wins, super bowl appearances, super bowl wins. Those are ridiculous statistics. They have been the definition of excellence in the past two decades.

This year’s Patriots have had a very tough season. They’ve had many injuries, Gronk on offense and Wilfork on defense to name two huge ones, along with the entire Aaron Hernandez murder case in the off-season. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have reinvented the offense multiple times in the same season. They fought their way through every game and turned in a 12-4 record (they were robbed on two of those losses) to snag the #2 seed in the AFC. Some argue this is Belichick’s greatest coaching job and Brady’s best season considering the weapons he has.

So here they are, after constantly dealing with injuries and readjusting, they’re one game away from the Super Bowl. If these things happened to any other team you’d be shocked they made it this far, but with the Patriots, you’re almost expecting it.

When they see big names on their team go down, they don’t say “Well shit, season’s over.” For example, if the Eagles lost McCoy (their biggest offensive weapon), we’d have thrown in the towel half way through the season. The Pats lost Gronk (their biggest offensive weapon) AND five other notable players, yet they’re still doing what they always do, which is winning.

The Patriots are not playing with house money because to the Patriots, house money doesn’t exist. Playing with house money is something someone who expects to lose would say, AKA a loser, and the Patriots are winners. They make zero excuses. They do the most with what they have which you have to credit Belichick with. Just in the last two or three games they’ve transformed into this incredible running team who possesses the ball and grinds you down. When they had Gronk, Brady was a machine and their offense was up-tempo, high powered, and passing all over the place.

If you asked Brady after a hypothetical loss to Denver “Do you think you could have won without the injuries? Those ruined your season!” he would probably tell you that’s a stupid way to look at it. You don’t pre-prepare an excuse in case you lose. “Well we’re doing well, but if we lose, we have this fallback because some big players are out.” If you think you’re playing with house money, the thought that “losing is okay” creeps into you mind and that thought would never enter Tom Brady or Bill Belichick’s mind. And because those two are the undisputed leaders of that team, the entire team believes.

There is no such thing as house money to the Patriots. They’re winners. They always see themselves as a threat (if not favorite) to win it all, which is why they’re so goddamn good (and they have the greatest QB ever, Tom Brady).


DON’T PANIC — The Facts About Population

I doubt many will watch the following video, but if you have some time and the topic interests you, I found it worth watching. It’s a talk by Hans Rosling about the world’s population, poverty, and future.

I’ll sum it up briefly as this has also been a moderately debated topic as of late.

  • In 1963 the average number of babies born per woman was 5 (yet a divided world).
  • As countries have become more developed, that number has dropped to 2.5 in 2013.
  • However, the average lifespan has increased significantly (~20 years).
  • Bangladesh (they focus on this country for a portion) went from ~7 babies per woman in 1972 to 2.2 babies per woman in 2013.
  • 1 in 5 children died in Bangladesh before the age of 5 back in the mid 1900s.
  • Before 1800, about 2/3 kids died before they became parents.
  • Estimates suggest the world population will be about 11 billion in 2100, with a significant decreasing growth rate.
  • We’ve already hit the point of “peak child” meaning, there will be about 2 billion “children” from now until 2100.
  • Of the 4 billion “extra” people, 3 billion will come from Africa, and 1 billion will come in Asia. America and Europe will remain relatively the same.
  • “A house is not a home without a bicycle”… at least in Mozambique
  • About 80% of adults in the world can read and write (if not higher), which is much higher than most expect.
  • 85% of the world’s carbon emissions come from the top 3 billion people in the world.
  • It’s feasible that the top people can slow down their carbon use as the bottom people increase to make the world sustainable.
  • “The world is NOT as bad as you think”