I have never understood why some people are so enamored with conspiracy theories. I understand that some of these theories are quite interesting, but I have never seen the value of believing or even following these notions. My basic stance on conspiracy theories is that they are useless to anybody that is not directly effected by the event to which they pertain. Conspiracy theorists general bury themselves in the issues they feel are being covered up, and they ignore any other opinions on an event or idea. I know that these individuals fully believe they are correct on a situation, but it is unhealthy to continue to push an issue that most people just don’t care about. Most conspiracy theories are ignored by many because they solve nothing, if a conspiracy is proved to be true, it leads to many questions but never a solution. Conspiracies have been around almost as long as civilization, and while some have been proven true, the number of proven conspiracies pales in comparison to those that are still up in the air. I have never fully jumped on the bandwagon of any conspiracy, and while I have heard of some that seem plausible, I understand that a conspiracy will never lead to any type of positive change or solution. I will continue to respect those who believe these ideas, but as for me, I will stick to getting my news from the hilariously unreliable news media.
Today is National Coffee Day, a day for “caffeine addicts” everywhere to celebrate. I am not a coffee drinker, and I have said before that I think we need less “national recognition days,” but I do enjoy this day because it generally means bakeries will be handing out free goodies. I’m pretty sure everyone loves free stuff, but I don’t think it is really necessary to celebrate coffee. This day was created to promote the sales of coffee, but given its levels of consumption, I really don’t think it needed much promotion at all. I am not exactly anti coffee, but I always considered myself a morning person, so I never gravitated to the pot. I know that all of the available flavors and variations of coffee can be quite delicious, but I’d rather have a cup of tea in the morning if I’m in the mood for a hot drink. The caffeine in coffee is pretty addictive, and taking breaks from drinking coffee could actually bring on significant withdrawal effects, so it is wise to maintain a solid level of control while consuming coffee. Hopefully all of you coffee drinkers will enjoy this highly caffeinated day, try to go easy on those free cups.
I have posted about fantasy football once before, and about how it has nearly surpassed the popularity of actual football. With the NFL season less than a week away, I am in full football mode, and extremely excited for the fantasy season. Many people play fantasy football for money, I just find it to be a fun way to interact with the game, and to compete with friends. Fantasy football is on my mind today, because this happened to be the day my yearly live draft. In my league’s draft, we get together, eat some food, talk football, and of course pick our optimum team of players. Fantasy football isn’t merely about choosing the best player available, it takes time and strategy to pick the best team, it is also about picking any player available that can sabotage the hopes of your friends and rivals. I like to believe that I have the best team, but as with every game, it doesn’t matter how the team looks, performance is everything. I am in a full football “geek mode” today, so it is kind of hard for me to write about much else, but I really find it important to relax and play a game from time to time. I know fantasy football can seem frivolous to some, and foolish to others, but when it comes down to it, it is a fun hobby that many enjoy. I am glad that at this point in my life, I have the time to enjoy this hobby. I know that life can get crazy at times, but it is important to find something you enjoy and take a second to relax and do it. Football is less than a week away, hopefully my real and fantasy teams can both bring home championships this year.
Labor Day weekend is the unofficial last weekend of the summer. While summer actually ends on September 22nd, this weekend it is definitely the beginning of the end of summer fun. With college students already back to school, and everyone else soon to follow, everywhere you go seems much less like summer in spite of the still tepid temperatures. Many people use Labor Day weekend as a time to barbecue and spend time with family, I on the other hand like to just sit back, relax, and reflect on the summer fun that has come and gone. I know I have stated before that I don’t like extreme temperatures, hot or cold, so I really enjoy the transitional periods between New York’s most extreme seasons. As the city transforms from a tropical play land into a more mellow fall gallery, I love to remember the adventures of the summer past. This summer was quite eventful and definitely enjoyable, but somehow it always seems like it was not long enough. When I look back on the activities of summer, I realize that while they all lasted a perfect amount of time, the memory can never truly recreate the enjoyment of each moment. Memories are always great, but it is most important to make sure that each moment is given an adequate amount of time to be cherished. Summer is just about gone, hopefully everyone had an enjoyable time, and took the time to actually enjoy it since, much like summer, moments come and go, but the memory is never the same as enjoying a moment in the present.
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
It is honestly too easy to get upset at a ringing alarm, especially when you thought you would get enough sleep the previous night. This morning, as I was snapped from my sleep by the abrupt ringing of my alarm, I had to keep myself from expressing the extreme annoyance I felt at the time. I found that rather than enjoying the new day, I was stuck in a mode that desired the previous night’s sleep. I am generally a morning person, so I can quickly go from sleep mode to wake mode without a long period of grogginess, but this morning and the stresses of the approaching day lead to my temporary lapse in mood. This quote reminds me of what I am being granted with the rising of the Sun, and with the waking of my eyes each morning, I am really being given a privilege to change the world based on how I decide to approach it. When I think about the fact that there are people who are not able, and will not be able to wake up today, it makes it hard for me to actually be annoyed that I have awoken. There is always going to be trials and stress in life, but as with everything, there is no reason to dwell on the bad things, because there is too much to be thankful for in life. Good morning, make sure you enjoy this beautiful day that you have been given, no matter what the circumstances of yesterday may dictate.
Fantasy Football is a billion dollar enterprise, that may actually be more popular than the actual sport itself. In fantasy football, fans are asked to draft individual players from various teams, and build a team that can outperform their competition. The business of fantasy football has become huge these days, with several companies offering fantasy coaches millions of dollars to pick the right team, but in my opinion fantasy football is hurting the game. I am a big fan of fantasy football, and I understand that the NFL will continue to thrive because of it, but fantasy football has created a new generation of football viewers, who don’t care about teams or standings, all they care about is an individual’s stat line. In a sense it doesn’t seem too terrible for the league if people are watching at higher rates, but with the high interest in stats comes much lower interest in merchandise and actual game attendance. Fans go to games to watch their favorite teams play, so when fans begin rooting for players only, the lines of fandom begin to blur. I am a Giants fan, so I do get upset when I see other fans of my team rooting for rival players but I guess that is just the way of the future. Fantasy football is definitely here to stay, and though it is killing the way of the fan, I’m sure the NFL will gladly continue to capitalize on the money that is coming in and punch the fantasy football revolution.
I am pretty upset that yesterday’s post actually didn’t go through when I thought it did, I know I could always change the time but I feel like that would be inauthentic, so I’ll leave it as it is. I apologize for any inconvenience my timing may have caused my readers. With that said I am reminded of the topic of today, excuses. Excuses are statements that are used in order to lessen the blame upon an individual, or to justify an action, and frankly, I dislike using them. Generally speaking, excuses usually cause more damage than just apologizing for a wrong, since the hearer is being forcefully taken from the position of the offended. Whenever an excuse is used, the person being told the excuse has to understand an event that had nothing to do with them, and forgive the person at fault for not having control of the situation. The person who is actually at fault is placing the blame on circumstances that the person with the right to be upset can not comprehend, so they usually have no choice but to accept the excuse. I understand that excuses are basic social behaviors that are not always used in malice, but I just wish people had more tact when it comes to situations in which they use excuses. I am not one of those people who doesn’t accept excuses, because in all actuality, I understand that there are circumstances that just can’t be controlled by man, I just think people need to “feel the room” at times before coming up with an absurd excuse. Excuses are a part of life that we all have heard and gotten used to, I think everyone would be better off if we made sure our excuses are placed in a way that they are not doing more damage than the situations that called for them.
Creativity is always a leap of faith. You’re faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage.
A blank page is one of the scariest and most powerful tools known to man. When placed in the wrong hands, a blank page can bring destruction, but in the right hands it can be turned into perfection. It is never easy to create anything, but when you fearlessly face a blank page, it can become a great ally. A blank page or an empty slate, is the highway that leads to creation, and once the mind is on the right track, great things can be made. One of the most daunting aspects of creation is having an idea that needs to be expressed, but seeing nothing more than an empty space. I find it both terrifying and exhilarating to see an empty space waiting to be filled while I have yet perfected the idea I am trying to convey. Creativity in itself is always hard, because anything created has to be consumed by others in some way, and there is never a way to gauge how others will comprehend what you have created. Anytime you face an empty space or a blank page, the easy thing to do is leave it the way it is, but when you allow your mind to work with that clean slate, you are always more satisfied with your creation than the emptiness that once existed. It is always scary to start something from nothing, but no matter the outcome, it is always much more rewarding than letting an idea stay locked away in the mind.
Have you ever noticed how odd it is when a stranger starts talking to you as you ride on an elevator? I have always wondered why that method of transportation has always been the “international room of quiet,” it is as though there is an unwritten rule, that if you are in the elevator you have to wait quietly until you reach your destination. I have always noticed the silence of an elevator, and I wonder how this conditioning for silence came to be part of general social behavior. Does everyone quietly contemplate their destination, do they plan out their tasks for the day, are they hoping this elevator does not fall to their demise, or am I just standing there projecting wild notions onto the minds of those I have yet to know? The only thing that is clear in the minds of those partaking in elevator travel is that you must stay silent until you reach your destination. I find it strange that we have the ability to stand so close to strangers and not utter a single word, the same behavior can be observed on the subway, but that is a special case on its own. Every once in a while, a person I am sharing an elevator trip with makes a statement about the weather, and I courteously respond for a moment, only to return to a more awkward silence than the usual fare. For whatever reason, elevators are and will always be places of silent reflection, and any attempts to break the standard silence is often met with apprehension and deeper silence. I am sure there will come a day when people can freely speak while riding an elevator, but until that time comes, I will continue to follow the elevator’s odd rules of engagement, and just keep quiet.
Video games have definitely advanced since my youth, what was once a tiny man running on a screen with the ability to jump at the press of a button, has evolved into massive worlds with realistic looking characters who can be controlled to do just about anything. If somebody would have told me that one day I would be able to look at a game and not be able to differentiate the real from the fake, I would have said they were insane, but today’s gaming systems have shown the full power these developers now harness. I decided to try out the Xbox One this weekend, since I was once a big time gaming fan and I never actually played this now two year old system. At first glance this system looks like gaming has taken a step back, it is massive, like old school VCR massive, and honestly just based on the weight of the system I think they could have trimmed 30% off of the size. Once the console is turned on and after the somewhat lengthy setup, it is clear that it is no machine of the past. The Xbox One has the capabilities that were dreamed of in the past, and the processing power to do even more than it currently does, I never thought a video game system would ever reach the versatility of a computer but Microsoft basically nailed it with this one. The functionality of the system is great, but as with any platform, they live or die with software. The games on the Xbox One are exactly as expected, mildly entertaining and generic gameplay wise, but graphically stellar. It is almost impossible for developers to create a truly entertaining experience these days when they are so enamored with making a visual masterpiece. I have to say the thing I miss most about video games is how creative and entertaining they once were, but perhaps I am just getting old. I have to give the Xbox One a great rating as an entertainment device, but if you are not a “gamer,” save your money, it just doesn’t seem to be a must own device for an individual merely searching for a living room media center.