Recharging

I’m going to give a brief update on my weekend since there’s one obviously glaring event that happened.

The Chargers lost. I watched the entire game at MadMex and although it was tough to watch for three quarters, my boys still gave the greatest offensive team ever assembled (statistically speaking) a run for their money. When they pulled within a touchdown with 4 minutes left I thought it was destiny. They had Peyton in a 3rd and 17 situation with ~3:30 left and two time outs. This was screaming “Team of destiny!!!” If they stopped them they’d get the ball with solid field position, two timeouts, the two minute warning, and an offense that was really clicking. They would have scored a TD in the waning seconds of the game, and gone for two to end the game then and there. I would have looked like an absolute genius.

However, instead of pulling off a huge upset and proving me to be the next coming of Nostradamus, they folded defensively and in the words of Alex, made me look like Nostradumbass. The worst part is that the line was 8 and they would have covered if I took the points, but I look even worse if I make such a bold claim, but then don’t have the stones to follow up on it. If I could go back and replay the whole thing, I would still take the Chargers moneyline (it would have profited $295!) Instead, I’m $100 poorer. To add insult to injury, the Saints BS last second TD on 4th and 9 made my Seattle -8 bet push which should have been a +25.

How else was my weekend you ask? Well, it was very different from the norm. I spent the majority of both nights in my basement getting extremely drunk. On Friday, Jared, Alex, and I drank a lot of beer and a fifth of Jim Beam while discussing music, social lives, push ups, and movies. The night concluded with fried egg sandwiches. I went to bed extremely drunk at ~2:30AM

Saturday was similar. Gourlay, Wacker, and I went to T.G.I. Fridays for the Saints-Seahawks game and a dinner with drinks. We bought a case of Natty Ice and went back to my house. Slade arrived along with a guest appearance by Alex B. The night was filled with ping-pong, football, and discussion about running, coaches, breaking bad, and girls. The night concluded with fried egg sandwiches. We went to bed a little after 4:00AM.

As always, a life post will end with funny gifs.

airplane baggage

dirty play

dog treats

elevator prakn

In on the Action!

I’m so confident in my Chargers premonition that I pulled the trigger on a $100 moneyline bet. When the Chargers win, I’ll profit $295. This is my first time making a real bet on sports. Sure I’ve bet $20 on the Super Bowl with friends or whatever but this marks my first real bet. As if my pride wasn’t on the line for tomorrow, a monetary incentive will spice things up even more.

I put $200 in the account so I have some more money to mess around with. I put $25 on Seattle -8 at home and the game is in the first quarter right now. I think it will win. I won’t bet the Pats Colts game because it’s too many points and I’m pulling for the Pats. I also don’t want to bet on the Panthers 49ers because I just don’t know who I think will win. If this weekend goes well I’ll continue betting next weekend.

If this weekend goes perfect I’ll have ~500 in the account which would be an awesome way to start my sports betting career. If it goes horribly then I’ll have one or two more bets to try and save me before I give it up. However, having money on these games makes them more interesting.

Next I just need Bovada to allow bets on Diamond League races, then I’ll really start making money.

Legalize it!

So as most of you may know, marijuana is now legal in Colorado. Yesterday at dinner my mom said something along the lines of “that’s bad” and although I hadn’t put that much thought into it, I immediately said “I don’t think so”. So in this post, I’m going to explain my thoughts on legalizing marijuana.

I don’t think it’s a bad idea for two main reasons.

I don’t think use with increase significantly just because it’s legal.
I could be completely off-base with this, but in my opinion I don’t see weed use spiking crazy high just because it’s legal. It’s so incredibly easy to get weed anyway that I don’t think legality is what’s causing people to not use it. Sure it’s not only not against the law, but generally easier to access now, but my thought process is that if you wanted to smoke before, you would have, and if you didn’t want to smoke before, you’re not going to now.

I say this speaking from personal experience. I have smoked in the past, but would not say that I smoke weed. I’m not choosing to refrain because I might get in trouble if I smoke, I’m choosing not to simply because I don’t want to. Morally I see no problem with it and I generally don’t judge people who do smoke. I don’t think legalizing it will make people go from thinking it’s morally wrong to morally okay. It’s been around long enough that most have probably decided if they will smoke regularly or not. This is coming from someone living in PA. It’s been way more accessible in Colorado in recent years that this is a way smaller jump to make than in PA and I still don’t think it would make a huge difference.

We can stop acting like it will go away and start taxing it.
There’s no point to try and stop it. It’s too easy to grow and there’s too high of a demand for it to think it will ever go away. Why outlaw it despite the fact that it’s going to stay around and choose not make money on it? If my first assumption is true, it makes this benefit much easier to accept. After briefly searching for some figures, it would make the government billions on billions by stopping prohibition costs and taxing it.

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I’m sure there will be some negatives to this, but I’m curious about this, how it will be handled by everyone? If you don’t know someone very well, you wouldn’t be open about the fact that you smoke weed (at least I don’t think) until you get to know them better. Will it now be accepted in culture the way drinking is? You make ask a coworker to grab a drink after work but will that be the same as asking them to toke up after work? I don’t know what the culture is like in Colorado, maybe they’re already there, but I don’t see that happening in PA anytime soon.

I’m curious as to what other people think about this. This has obviously been a hotly debated issue in the past number of years and I feel like most people will have an opinion.

Decorative Pillows are Useless in Every Way

This is a picture the most useless and inconvenient things I’ve encountered since living at home.

0107141900

These are the “decorative” pillows that occupy my living room. They constantly switch placement depending on where people want to sit. We recently bought new furniture so the set-up of the living room has changed. I have to imagine these pillows came with the furniture because I refuse to believe anyone voluntarily spend money on these pillows. It may be hard to tell from this picture, but they’re extremely uncomfortable. The bottom two and top right one feel like they’re made of sand paper. It would literally hurt to have them against your skin. The top left one isn’t as bad but it’s still a very below average pillow.

Here is the current set up of my living room.

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There are five realistic spaces to sit. Three on the couch, and one on each chair. These pillows forcibly take up 1-2 spots, either on the couch or an entire chair (the blue one on the chair is a normal, comfortable, pillow). You may ask “why not put them on the ground?” and that’s a good question. In our house, we avoid putting anything like that on the ground because a cat will probably pee on it. So we’re forced to occupy a spot with these pillows.

They are absolutely useless. At this point, I would probably pay money to have them removed. Obviously I have the power to remove them myself, but I fear it would break my mom’s heart (hopefully she doesn’t read this) if I told her I thought they were stupid and we should throw them out. They serve no purpose. No one will walk into that room, see those pillows, and think “Man, this room went up a point or two because of those”. They will most likely go unnoticed until four+ people enter the room and seating becomes an issue.

These pillows defy logic. It would make me happier to remove them than to constantly have them around. But when we invest money in something, we feel attached. This is a sunk cost. Don’t take the last bite of the burger just because you paid for it. If it will make you feel awful, just throw it away, the money is already spent. We’ve already purchased the pillows, let’s just cut our losses and throw them out.

Can anyone explain to me why these pillows exist, let alone that people would pay money for them?

Using My Time

I have a lot of time on my hands, perhaps Too Much Time on my Hands (I’ve never watched that music video before but wow, it takes a great song and makes it seem like a joke). I’m contemplating committing myself to a task but would need to weigh my options before choosing one. I’m not going to say for sure that I’m going to take up one of these, but at the moment this is my list of things I think would be worth pursuing listed loosely in order of the probability that I actually do it.

Music

I already play guitar to a certain extent, and although my play has been limited the last four months due to my finger, it is something that I enjoy doing. However, I don’t actually know how to play guitar. Sure, if you give me a tab of a song, I can most likely play it, but I know very little in terms of music theory. This is a very plausible one however because I can already play the instrument and I have multiple resources who can help me. Jeff has been investing a lot of time into guitar and piano and my friends like Kurt and Mahony are very good musicians who could also help.

Investing

I have a good amount of money saved up and very little expenses at the moment. Sure in the next year I will likely have moved out and have significantly more expenses than zero, but I’m in a good situation financially right now. It would seem foolish to let all my cash sit in the bank and make .4% interest when I could be playing the market and trying to actually supplement my current income. Tom is a good resource for this because he has experience. My dad is also a potential resource and he has also introduced me to a book by Jim Cramer of which I read the first 10 pages or so and it caught my interest. However, I wouldn’t want to throw money around without knowing what I was doing. This would require a commitment to not only learn what to do and how to look at stocks, but also keep up with current events and what the market is doing on a day-to-day basis.

Cooking

This seems like an odd one and would likely require less time than the others, but I think it could be very useful. For starters, girls love guys that can cook. Next, when I DO move out, it would be nice to not microwave a chicken pot pie every night for dinner. Alex prides himself on his cooking and I admire that he is good in the kitchen. I think this is a very practical skill to have that would be useful in a ton of situations. I don’t need to be the Iron Chef or anything, but having a number of go-to dishes along with a general knowledge of how to improvise something tasty would be cool.

Learning a Foreign Language

Tom is actually in the process of learning German for his upcoming business trip. There’s a general consensus that learning a second language is a very useful skill and I would agree. If I learned another language I would almost certainly visit a country that spoke that language which would be pretty awesome. This is a big commitment because I wouldn’t want to half-ass it and kind of learn it then stop and forget everything six months later. I would also need to choose a language. I’d likely pick German just because I have a minor background there and Stortz is German. Rosetta Stone is a few hundred bucks which seems like a lot but if I was going to actually do this, I would want to choose a very effective method of learning.

Computer Programming

I’m very unfamiliar with programming but I’ve heard others highly recommend coding/programming. My knowledge of all this is extremely limited and basic. I also don’t really know anyone who does this so I have no idea A) if it’s realistic/worth it to do, and B) how time consuming it would be. This is probably the lowest on the list but if someone had experience and/or could talk me into it, my ears are open.

 

This post is more to organize my thoughts, get feedback in case anyone would like to speak to one of these, or take any other suggestions.

1/3-1/4 Weekend Post

For lack of better material I will very briefly recap my weekend, followed by some funny gifs and pics.

Friday night was great. I had an open bar to McFadden’s from 9-12. Alex, Jared, Josh, Scott, and Scott’s brother joined as we took advantage of cheap drinks for a few hours. The place was dead but good music and Ohio State vs. Clemson made for a quality experience.

Friday was also Jeff’s birthday and although we attempted to meet up with him, we failed. The night ended at about 2:30 with cheesesteaks and less than optimal sleeping conditions. Jared, Alex, Pat, and I slept on the first floor of Tom and Jeff’s place. It actually wasn’t bad but I woke up at 8:30 with nothing to do and couldn’t fall back asleep. I spent the next two hours reading the last 50ish pages of Once A Runner and playing electric guitar. Once everyone woke up we headed home.

After freshening up after the previous night, I headed over to Nick’s to play some FIFA. After an extremely dramatic win in game 5 of our best of 5 series, we headed downstairs to watch the Chiefs Colts game. The game itself seemed a blowout and we were ready to play more FIFA instead of watch the game. Fortunately we stayed and watched one of the biggest playoff comeback wins in history.

After that game I drove to Gourlay’s to watch the Eagles. I’ve been following the NFL very closely the last number of weeks and was very excited for this game. The game itself was exciting and the Eagles started to get going in the second half. You knew it wasn’t ideal when they took a one point lead with 5 minutes left. Everyone is expecting the last second field goal but that is the most annoying way to lose. Regardless, it was a good game and a great season. I see no reason why we shouldn’t be better next season.

I’m 0/2 in my playoff predictions but as long as the Chargers beat the Broncos or the Pats win the whole thing, I’ll consider my predictions and mega-success.

Here are some gifs/pics to make your visit more enjoyable

knight headshot

wtf

drugs

This one is mainly for Tom and Alex.
RE

dead liftan

Both Sides of Social Media

Social media has done wonders for the modern world. I highlighted in a post a few months ago how social media connected me and a close group of people to one of our running idols: Chris Derrick. Without Twitter, Facebook, etc. this wouldn’t be possible. Social media has surely opened doors.

rocky.jpgHowever, a friend of mine just posted something on Facebook about Saints fans planning a “Rocky Run” where they would run the Rocky steps, but had to cancel due to threats by Philly fans of snowballing, etc. I, personally, find this to be BS. Here is the article posted by a Philly.com that acknowledged the run and said “Saints fans have been encouraged to wear team colors and meet up with a couple of Times-Picayune photographers at 11 a.m. sharp, in case any of you Eagles fans wish to attend and take part in the festivities.”

On the Philly article itself online, I counted two comments that openly said they would do something, and two that implied they would do something. On Twitter, the first article highlights another four comments that more or less say they will be met with snowballs. These four tweets had a total of seven favorites and four retweets. These numbers are not really scaring me. A couple of stupidly prideful Philly fans mouth off in the least threatening way possible and the run is canceled.

The one guy suggested throwing door knobs at the opposing fans. Do you honestly believe anyone would do that? Where would you even get doorknobs!? These are the most empty threats I’ve ever seen. I mean, four negative comments and four stupid tweets?! That’s enough to cancel this thing!? If the comments were something more threatening than “Get your snowballs ready” then I might understand, but that’s not going to make me cancel my run.

This article will likely circle the internet and give Philadelphia an even worse reputation than it already has when talking about our sports fans. Are the handful of fans who said something stupid? Yes. I don’t like identifying myself with the Philly fans who would physically abuse or attack opposing fans. I for one would not show up to the art museum steps armed with snowballs. I don’t know where they get this classless pride from but it’s stupid. However, this is football, there’s supposed to be some tension. But to make it seem like the whole city was going to wait by the art museum with snow rockets is not accurate in my mind (that’s an exaggeration).

2013: A Year in Review

I checked back in the archives to see if I normally do an end-of-year post. In 2011 I did a summary of my running for that year but that’s the only post I’ve done acknowledging the end of the year. This year I’m going to do a personal recollection of personal events. Obviously a lot more happened in 2013 than what I’m about to post, but these were the big events in my life.

6-12-18-24
6121824I wanted to do this challenge because my teammates and I talked through it on countless runs, mostly about strategy, and I thought I could do it. I highly publicized this challenge in order to gain Twitter followers and blog viewers and it worked. It was a pretty fun challenge that people enjoyed reading, probably my most impressive one to date. It took a total of 15 hours and 23 minutes. If I could do go back and do it again, I would swap donuts for beer, 24 donuts was just too much.

St. Pedro’s Day
St pedroThis year’s St. Pedro’s day was special for two reasons. The first is that I have a scar on my leg that I will always remember. I was in the court yard and tried to hop up on the tree stand and totally missed. I smashed my shin on the concrete and fell face first in the mud. Literally the entire courtyard was outside and laughing at me. The second reason is doing push ups in Wismer while Mr. Wismer watched. I don’t remember that much of it but that was hysterical.

Graduation week
graduation nightMy roughly 10 days at Ursinus before graduation are a complete blur. I was drinking constantly. There has been no other time in my life that was similar. Senior week was a much lesser version. I would say I just derailed. Everything was a blur of Natty Ice, Tortilla Gold, and a ridiculous amount of fun. I was hungover for graduation but it wasn’t a particularly life changing experience. I would argue this was probably the best 10 day stretch of my entire life.

Laura and Brookes’ Wedding
weddingOn May 18th this year my beautiful sister and handsome brother in-law tied the knot. There was some normal drama and nerves leading up to the wedding but when the time came, the wedding was perfectly executed. The whole thing was a blast and sealed the deal for me in saying that weddings are, without a doubt, my favorite social event. Welcome to the family Brookes.

May 28th
office spaceI began my first real job on May 28th. I’ve been there ever since and although I don’t remember that day very well at all, it does mark a significant point in my life. I don’t know how long I’ll work for my current employer but they have provided me with a great job which is incredibly close to home. To be able to start working full time two weeks out of college in the current situation is not an easy thing to find and I was fortunate enough to have that opportunity.

Getting Fined $1000 for Crossing the Ben Franklin
There’s no picture to go with this one. This was a completely BS situation that IS STILL GOING ON!!! I currently have a warrant out for my arrest in New Jersey. From what I can tell, Camden has just ignored our appeal completely and the “30 to 40 days to get back to you” has turned into well over 100. The money is one thing (We haven’t paid yet), but the big thing to take from this experience is how much of a joke the legal system is. To fine the five of us $1000 each for the “crime” we committed is insanity. There’s no way to have our case heard by anyone who will judge unbiased. They know that New Jersey is broke and will take any money they can get. Life isn’t always fair.

My Broken Finger
IMG1On September 6th, in a freak accident while playing basketball at Mondauk park, I broke my left ring finger. 6 weeks later, in a freak accident, I broke my finger again after they had removed the pins that they had put in. Here I am four months after the initial incident with five permanent screws in my finger and attending weekly physical therapy appointments. This was a high-cost, highly inconvenient thing that I’ve never really experienced before.

 

Honorable Mention: Winning my last college steeple race, graduation, Chris Derrick responding in the Support Monkey Rights group, installing Snapchat, Chad and Nikkii’s wedding, my business trip to DC/missing the train home, completing Breaking Bad. I’m sure there’s more but I can’t remember right now.

Not many “life” events have occurred since I began my job, but I do believe 2014 will have a number of significant events. I can think of two right off the bat: Moving out and running my first marathon. We’ll have to wait and see, but all in all I’m happy with how 2013 turned out.

My 2013 NFL Playoff Predictions

I’m going to give my moderately educated, highly biased prediction for this year’s NFL playoffs. Here we go.

Round 1

NFC

Game One: Eagles vs. Saints
Winner: Eagles
My Thoughts: Obviously this is kind of a homer pick but this will be a close game I think. The Saints are terrible on the road and the Eagles are getting hot at the right time. Brees will put up mortal numbers in the sub 30 degree weather and the Eagles will pull away down the stretch.

Games Two: 49ers vs. Packers
Winner: 49ers
My Thoughts: Aaron Rodgers is back but they needed a last second miracle play to beat the Bears who aren’t a super impressive team. The Niners are very well rounded with a great defense and I think they’ll handle the Packers relatively easily as the more complete team.

AFC

Game One: Colts vs. Chiefs
Winner: Chiefs
My Thoughts: After losing Reggie Wayne the Colts looked toast but have closed out well and after starting 9-0 KC cooled off big time. Most signs point to the Colts but I’m picking the Chiefs. Indy has a weak rush defense and Jamaal is a beast. Alex Smith will manage the game and keep them in it while the defense contains Luck and makes a big play or two down the stretch that will eventually seal the game.

Game Two: Bengals vs. Chargers
Winner: Chargers
My Thoughts: I’m picking the Chargers for three reasons. 1) I’m not sold on the Bengals as an elite team (though they already beat the Chargers),  2) The Chargers are on a four game win streak including a W IN Denver, and 3) I had a dream the Chargers would beat Denver in the second round of the playoffs two weeks ago and the stars are aligning.

Round 2

NFC

Game One: Panthers vs. Eagles
Winner: Eagles
My Thoughts: This pick is far more biased than the Eagles beating the Saints. After beating the Saints the Eagles will be so confident and prepared to take on the NFL’s best defense and we’re also one of the best road teams in the league. Go Eagles.

Game Two: Seahawks vs. 49ers
Winner: Seahawks
My Thoughts: This is an extremely tough game to call in my opinion. San Fran is kind of flying under the radar and they beat the Seahawks earlier this year (in San Fran) so they’re certainly capable of winning. I just don’t see this Seattle team getting knocked out in their first playoff game of the season, at home.

AFC

Game One: Patriots vs. Chiefs
Winner: Patriots
My Thoughts: The Patriots do the most with the least. Tom Brady is my favorite NFL player. Just like Manning and Denver did, Brady and the Pats will expose the Chiefs for being just a slightly above average football team.

Game Two: Broncos vs. Chargers
Winner: …Chargers
My Thoughts: I’m strictly picking this based on the dream I had. I called this via Twitter before the games on Dec 22 so I’d be a pussy if I backed out now. The Chargers needed a lot to happen to make the playoffs and it happened. The missed field goal and multiple bad calls yesterday convinced me that my dream is destiny. Peyton is the best regular season quarterback of all time but he won’t be able to handle the team of destiny.

Round 3

NFC Championship

The Game: Seahawks vs. Eagles
Winner: Seahawks

My Thoughts: This is the easy way out. The Seahawks are the best team in the NFC (NFL?) and they’re incredible at home. The Eagles are too young and inexperienced to win this David vs. Goliath battle. Plus, Seattle will likely have Harvin back by then which only helps them. However, the noise shouldn’t effect the Eagles play calling due to their high usage of visuals, so this game may be closer than most people would expect.

AFC Championship

The Game: Patriots vs. Chargers
Winner: Patriots
My Thoughts: The team of destiny is only supposed to take out Manning, not Brady. Tom Brady will cruise to his sixth super bowl appearance.

Super Bowl XLVIII

The Game: Patriots vs. Seahawks
Winner: Patriots

Get used to it!

My Thoughts: I simply love Tom Brady. With no Eli Manning to luck-box his way to another super bowl, Tom will not miss another opportunity to cement his legacy as the GOAT. While Seattle is no stranger to the cold weather, Brady thrives in it. He will show once again why he’s the greatest. His best receiver is Julian Edelman!!! If the Patriots win this year’s Super Bowl with the roster they have, it will one of the greatest runs in NFL history. The fact that they went 12-4 is incredible by itself.

Full Speed Ahead!

As a joke yesterday, I tweeted a link to my old blog as a “Throwback Thursday”. I went through and skimmed through maybe 20 posts before I said to myself “Wow, this is really awful.”

When I look back to my old blog as a senior in high school or a freshman in college, I can’t imagine why anyone would consistently read it. It was the same boring content regurgitated over and over again. Go back and read a few for yourself. I talk about my races, my drunk weekends, and school. Aside from a few drunk weekend stories, none of that is very appealing to anyone. I’d have a post where each paragraph is dedicated to a different idea each time. The whole thing was unorganized, poorly written, and most of all, boring.

The list of tags from my old blog. The bigger they are, the more often they were used.
The list of tags from my old blog. The bigger they are, the more often they were used.

I’m aware the current status of my blog is not the best of the best, but I personally think it’s come a long way. I’ve always said that I keep posting because I enjoy it and to more or less keep a personal history of myself. When I look back, I think it’s done just that. When I look back to my posts from freshman year, they’re a direct reflection of the person I was. As I’ve grown and evolved as a person, my blog has transformed with me. So in a sense, it’s not just the stories that are told or the thoughts that I’m putting out there that act as the personal history, but the progression of those stories and thoughts over time.

This led me to a question, am I transforming the blog because I’m growing as a person, or is the blog transforming me which has lead to the increase in quality? I think it’s a mix of both.

Maintaining a blog is not an easy task. While there are times when I’m overloaded with so many “good ideas” for posts that I can’t get that all out, more times than not, I sit in front of a blank screen saying “I haven’t posted in two days, I NEED to write something.” It’s changed the way I look at the world. When I broke my finger, for example, one of my first thoughts was, “Perfect, this is going to be great blog material.” I look at everything with this blog in mind. Any major current event is potential blog material, any new song or artist that’s taking off, is potential blog material.

I guess the point of this post is to reinforce the idea of why I keep blogging. While those posts from 4 years ago are hard to read for multiple reasons, they acted as a stepping stone to where the blog is today (generating hundreds of views a day by people googling a pornstar or the word “boner”). I think both my blog and Tom’s blog are at their peak (one higher than the other) and will only continue to rise. Maybe I’ll look back in 4 years at the posts I’ve been putting out recently wondering how I could be so stupid. Until then, full speed ahead.