Day 365: The Importance of a Second

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What a difference a year can make. About a year ago, I decided to write a blog post daily. While it has not always been easy to think up topics, I have definitely learned and expanded my interests during this exercise. I am not sure if I will continue this blog next year or start a new one, but I will definitely continue writing. Often times people wonder about tomorrow, but they never actually think about how long it takes to actually get to tomorrow. Our days can be broken down into hours, minutes, and seconds, and with each second we have a chance to make a change that we want to see for tomorrow. In order to make the future we want to see tomorrow, we must take a minute to begin working on the hour that will become the day of tomorrow. Each day of this year, as short as they seemed, added up to make the year that we are currently ending. As I look back on this year, I can see plans that blossomed well and others that fizzled out, and I have realized that the only difference between the two is the time that was put into preparation and execution. The plans that turned out well were well prepared and the others were thrown together foolishly. In the year 2016, I am going to make sure that I use the time that I have much more wisely, every second counts and I will treat every second like a fraction of my day rather than time to be wasted. This year went by quickly, as does every year, but that is no reason to let another second pass on working towards your goals and dreams. I am excited for this new year, not because it is new, but because I get another year to grow and improve the world that I live in. Happy New Year everyone! Thanks for reading along throughout the year.

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Day 364: NFL Week Seventeen Picks

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This is the final week of the NFL season, and I have yet to get every game right for a week. I have come close on a couple of occasions, but the goal of a perfect week has since eluded me. Last week I didn’t do well at all, I had my worst week of picks ever with ten incorrect picks. I won’t let a bad week hinder my progress so here is my final shot at a perfect week. In the first games of week seventeen the Texans will defeat the Jaguars, the Steelers will beat the Browns, and the Jets will defeat the Bills. The Patriots will win against the Dolphins, the Titans will beat the Colts, and the Bengals will defeat the Ravens. The Redskins will beat the Cowboys, the Falcons will defeat the Saints, the Lions will beat the Bears, and the Giants will end their season with a win over the Eagles. In the late afternoon games of this week the Rams will blow out the 49ers, the Panthers will win a close game against the Buccaneers, the Chiefs will win against the Raiders, the Broncos will blow out the Chargers, and the Cardinals will defeat the Seahawks. On this last Sunday of the season, most of the games have little importance, almost every game features two teams with nothing to play for other than pride, the Sunday night game is possibly the only important game this week. On Sunday night the Packers and the Vikings will be playing for the NFC North title, and I expect the Vikings to come away with a big win. This is the final week of regular season football, after this the real tournament starts, I can’t wait for the playoffs. 

Day 363: Next Year’s Technological Advances

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The year 2015 has been an interesting year in terms of consumer electronics. This year we saw a new Apple Watch, hover boards, and multiple different 3D interface devices, including a few that can be built at home. I know that tech gadgets aren’t for everybody, but with the great advances of this year I am excited for what next year will bring. The great yet somewhat annoying thing about new gadgets is how quickly the prices fall. A large television that was priced at $2000 can have a comparable alternative by the next year for a quarter of the price. Technology is getting bigger, better, faster, and cheaper, and it seems as though 2016 will be the most affordable year in terms of the sheer quantity of interesting gadgets. I have learned over the years that new technology is always around the corner, and while I have been known to be an early adopter of many new products, I often find myself enjoying the novelty of older gadgets. In 2016, I expect technology to make a massive shift into the scifi realm, and I think we will see some products that were once thought of as impossible. I don’t expect to see hologram phones just yet, but based on the technological advances of the past five years, something huge is right around the corner.

Day 362: Planning for the Future

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As the new year quickly approaches, I have found myself thinking about my triumphs and mistakes of the past year. It is always an interesting experience to look at your own life and make assessments on where things could have been done differently, but it is never fun to regret chances that were squandered. Looking over the past year I can honestly say that I am not dissatisfied with any of the decisions I made, however I can see areas in which more planning should have been taken into effect. The year 2015 was a year of “safety” for me, I really didn’t take as many risks as I usually do, and I found this year to be somewhat boring. I don’t necessarily think risks need to be taken to have excitement, but when things seem mundane they could represent a lack of planning. I know that most things in life cannot be planned, and that the plans of men often go awry, but when plans do go off without a hitch they usually don’t end up being boring. I have decided that while I know I can not control everything that comes my way, I will make a solid action plan for the major accomplishments I plan to see through in the year 2016. The year is nearly over and everything from the past is now firmly part of memory, the best and only thing anyone can do going forward is to make sure the mistakes of the past are not repeated and the plans of the future are well plotted out. I am eager to see the new things that 2016 will bring, hopefully my plans don’t falter and I won’t be seeing a repeat of the mistakes of yesterday in the story of tomorrow. 

Day 361: More than Nostalgia 

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Over this past week, I found myself playing games from my childhood and wondering why I’d ever stopped. I guess having my family together for Christmas brought on an extreme case of nostalgia, but it was much more than basic nostalgia. The old games are actually much more fun than anything available today. It’s funny that as a child all I wanted was the newest and brightest toys and games around, but as an adult I am fine with dusting off the old Nintendo or playing monopoly. Part of growing up is basically forming a state of contentment with the things you can’t change while changing the things you can, and along with that contentment comes a realization of what makes things enjoyable. When I was a child I always wanted the newer item because I thought it was better than the one I had, but these days I have realized that a shiny new paint job does not make an item better. It’s no great wonder that advertisers target children so often, it is easier to get a child to want a new item every year than it is for an adult, since most adults are accustomed to wearing the same jeans for years. I think the longing people have for the good old toys and shows of their youth is more than just nostalgia, it is the fact that the products of the past had more heart and were actually more fun than the products of today. These days everything is about glamour and pomp, but when it comes down to it, games were just more fun when nobody cared about how pretty they looked.

Day 360: My Top 3 Favorite Superheros 

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If you have been reading my blog for the past few months, you may have noticed that I am quite the superhero fan. I am not much of a comic book fan, so I don’t have an allegiance to any specific brand, but I do enjoy watching movies and occasionally reading about comic book heroes of all kinds. In this blog I will discuss my top three favorite superheroes of all time. It is somewhat difficult to narrow down my favorites from a list of hundreds of heroes, but I think the three I have chosen best encompass my affinity for comic book movies.

1. Spider-Man: Aside from the awesome ability to climb on walls, and a spider sense that warns him of danger, Spider-Man is just a kid from New York City. I always loved the way Spider-Man swung through familiar New York streets on a web, and as a kid, I found him to be one of the most emulable heroes around.

2. Ironman: Tony Stark was always a cool hero, he is a billionaire with a super suit that allows him to lift heavy objects and fly. I like Ironman because his character represents total arrogance, and it is quite funny to see an arrogant individual doing something as selfless as saving the lives of others. I have to admit, I thoroughly enjoyed the way Robert Downey Jr. portrayed the character in the films, as he did a great job in bringing to life the massive head of this great superhero.

3. Batman: My all time favorite superhero is Batman, and he is possibly the least super of all heroes. Batman is touted as “the world’s greatest detective,” and that is basically what he is. Batman is a super rich, regular guy in a bat suit, who goes around solving crimes and beating up villains. The great thing about Batman is the fact that he has no super powers, yet he still manages to outsmart and even defeat other characters who greatly overpower him. In a sense, Batman isn’t even a superhero, but in my eyes and the eyes of millions of people, he is the best ever.

Day 359: My Favorite People in History 5

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Merry Christmas Everybody, today is a wonderful day of joy and family togetherness. I know that everyone does not celebrate Christmas, but to me the lack of a Christmas celebration would be completely foreign. On Christmas my family and I celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and I know that he may not have been born in December, but this day just happens to be when we decide to celebrate the miracle. Whether you are a Christian or not, it is an undeniable fact that Jesus walked this earth and that he is one of the most inspirational people to ever live. The reason I have to say that Jesus is my favorite person in history is becomes he did what no other person could and he did it for everyone who ever lived. Jesus was able to draw multitudes of people without promising them any type of earthly treasure or amenity, and he is still one of the most quoted individuals of all time. Jesus showed the world how to love in a way that we still have trouble comprehending, and he managed to start a revolution without ever raising a sword. Today, we celebrate the anniversary of the day that the world welcomed the man who would change it forever. I believe that Jesus was the Son of God, and there are billions of others around the world who are willing to profess that same belief. It is amazing to consider that Jesus was just a baby in a manger some two thousand years ago, but today he is the hope of the world, and the promised messiah that many longed to see but few are willing to accept. This completes the series of my favorite people in history, Merry Christmas everyone, hopefully you enjoyed your day.

Day 358: ‘Twas the Night before Christmas

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Today is Christmas Eve, and as I think about this day I often remember the old poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas. The poem is about Santa’s arrival at the home of a child on the night before Christmas. A Visit from St. Nicholas is an extremely charming poem, however I often wonder how it is possible for children to still believe in Santa Claus. With all of the technology available today, I find it odd that kids are not as jaded as their teen counterparts, but many of them still believe in good old Santa. When I was a kid I never had a chance to believe in Santa Claus, because I had older siblings who didn’t allow for much childishness, and also I may have been too clever to think an old man would climb into my window to give me gifts on Christmas. These days, more and more people seem to be against telling their kids about Santa Claus, and while I am not generally in favor of kids believing in Santa, I feel like part of childhood should be exploring and figuring things out. I don’t plan to tell my future children that Santa exists, but if they want to believe he does, I would rather not tarnish their beliefs unless it is completely necessary. When I think about Christmas, I don’t think about presents, or about a jolly old man spreading joy, Christmas is a time to spread the joy of the life we have been given to those who feel they have no reason to be joyful. Try to be nice this Christmas, it isn’t about getting the last toy or pie on the shelf, tell everyone you see Merry Christmas, you would be surprised by how much those simple words mean to a person who is down. Merry Christmas everyone.

Day 357: NFL Week Sixteen Picks

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There are two weeks left in this football season, and as the year dwindles down so goes my chances of perfection. Last week was one of my best weeks yet as I managed to select 12 correct games out of the 16, and I hope to build on that success as I race towards a perfect week. This week starts with a Christmas Eve matchup of the Raiders and the Chargers, I expect the Raiders to start their Christmas on a happy note with a big win. Saturday’s game features two teams vying for the NFC East title, with the Eagles facing the Redskins. I expect the Eagles to win the game and to keep their playoff chances alive. On the Sunday after Christmas the NFL gave to me, a full slate of action packed games. In the first Sunday game the Dolphins will defeat the Colts in a close one, the Buccaneers will defeat the Bears, and the Chiefs will dismantle the Browns in a blowout. In a northeastern grudge match between the Jets and the Patriots, I expect the Patriots to come home with a win. The Cowboys will defeat the Bills, the Panthers will beat the Falcons by a large margin, and the Lions will defeat the 49ers. The Texans will defeat the Titans in a shockingly playoff relevant game, and the Steelers will defeat their long time rival Ravens. The late afternoon games look to be quite exciting, even though all of the teams playing are not in playoff contention. In the first game, the electrifying Jaguars offense will win big against the porous Saints defense, the second game will be a defensive battle but the stronger Seahawks will defeat the Rams, and in the final afternoon matchup the Cardinals will defeat the Packers in a very close game. The Sunday night game features the Vikings and the Giants, and while my head wants to pick the Vikings, I must go with my fandom and choose the Giants, hopefully they can keep the playoff hope alive. In the final game of the week, we have a Monday night matchup of the Bengals and the Broncos, while both of these teams are playoff bound, injuries have considerably hurt their team depth. I expect the Broncos to win this game due to their strong defense, however this game will have an incredibly low combined score. There is only one week to go after this one, I think this week seems like a perfect time for a perfect week. Merry Christmas Everyone, enjoy the games. 

Day 356: NFL Suspensions 

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During this past weekend of football there were some fantastic games, and there was no game more interesting than the game between the undefeated Panthers and the Giants. The Giants were down by 28 points in the second half, and they managed to fight back to tie the game in the fourth quarter, ultimately to lose the game by three points. Aside from the action going on during the actual matchup, there was quite a brawl going on between two of the stars of the game. Odell Beckham Jr and Josh Norman seemed to be having their own personal battle, which led to multiple personal foul penalties and dozens of penalty yards. There is speculation about the events that caused all of this animosity and while no official report has been made available publicly, the outcome of the game’s extracurricular activities will be the one game suspension of Odell Beckham. The Giants will be missing their most explosive offensive weapon for a crucial Sunday night game, and I don’t think the NFL correctly assessed the situation before handing down the punishment. I understand that the league wants to show that they do not play favorites when it comes to punishing players, but they already failed in proving this point by allowing Odell to complete the game. Both Norman and Beckham should have been ejected from the game on Sunday, but since the NFL wanted to keep its stars on the field they allowed these players to literally fight each other throughout the game. Perhaps it is due to poor officiating, or a lack of control by coaches, but these players should have been dealt with before the league had a chance to step in. I know that I am speaking from the point of view of a Giants fan, and that I am personally upset with the fact that Beckham will miss a game, but I think the league should have at least punished both players for their roles in this scuffle if anyone at all. I don’t condone the actions of Beckham, but I do believe that it takes two to fight, and the fact that the league only punished one combatant is a bit alarming. The NFL needs to better instruct their officiating crews when it comes to fights on the field, if the league doesn’t want players in this already brutal sport to fight, then they must start ejecting them before the fights escalate. The NFL is a contact sport and players get emotionally heated, I don’t think a suspension is warranted in most cases, especially when two players are allowed to “duke it out” all game long. Hopefully Beckham will win his appeal this week, or else Sunday’s Giants game will be much less interesting and competitive.