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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Body language is a very interesting part of human interaction, and in my opinion it is the most important. Human Communication can be split into verbal and nonverbal interactions, and body language can often tell much more than verbal communication. During a conversation there are cues that allow the participants to understand how to properly proceed, often times these cues are nonverbal, and it is up to the people in the conversation to decipher the meanings of the body language. Many people believe that conversations are mostly verbal, but it is important to look at body language as it often tells more of a story than spoken words. The reason I like to look closely at body language is because the body can not easily lie, it is easy for someone to forgo telling the truth, but in order to fake body language a person must train their body to do the opposite of how they actually feel. It is not easy to understand body language, and body language alone can not tell the full story of an individual’s motives, but when you are able to connect verbal and nonverbal cues you can get a wider picture of the actual reason for each interaction. Humans are quite interesting, we are possibly the only creatures that are able to purposely hide the motives of our communications, while still giving ourselves away with actions. The best way to effectively interact with others is to understand that we don’t speak with words alone, body language is an important aspect of communication that needs to be taken into consideration whenever responding to or starting any conversation.
A pier is a disappointed bridge.
― Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot
I really enjoy this quote, it is a bit nonsensical but it gets an interesting point across if it is taken a certain way. A pier looks like an unfinished bridge, and something that is unfinished is usually a disappointment. The thing about a pier is that it was made to serve a purpose, it may not go as far as a bridge but that is because it isn’t meant to get you across the pond, it is meant to give a path to a boat. This quote can be seen in two different ways, on the one hand the pier can be a task or a goal, if you set out to complete a bridge and it ends up as a pier, then you will definitely be disappointed no mater what. On the other hand the pier can be seen as a person, we may have our aspirations to be a bridge, but if we end up as a pier we would be so disappointed that we would fail to realize that there is a greater purpose to a pier than to a bridge. A bridge has the ability to get a person or a vehicle to the other side, then its job is complete, but a pier can open up the entire world. A ship at a pier in a large enough body of water can connect to another pier that is miles away, far beyond the reaches of even the longest bridge, so even the disappointment of a pier can be much more than theof a success of a bridge. Life is full of successes and disappointments, but as long as you keep a level head and stick to the plan, even the biggest of disappointments can prove to be doorways to greater success.
I love the Christmas season, and that surprisingly hasn’t changed since my post elementary school adulthood has kicked in. As a child I believed that the best thing about Christmas was a combination of gifts and time off from school, but as an adult I have seen that there is much more to this holiday season. There are millions of reasons to enjoy the holidays but I will keep this post to my top 5 favorite things about Christmas and the holiday season in general.
Christmas Carols – I love those tunes, some of them can be a bit sketchy and all of them are quite dated, but I love having them blasting from my computer or radio. I especially enjoy modern versions of old classics that are done in a sensible fashion.
Christmas Cartoons – I know that I am an adult, but I will never stop watching my favorite Christmas cartoons. I particularly enjoy The Little Drummer Boy and Frosty the Snowman, since they remind me of my childhood and of all things Christmas. I know that some may categorize television Christmas specials with the cartoons, but I can’t stand cheesy and often disconnected holiday episodes of tv shows.
Holiday Light Displays – I love a great lighting display, one of my favorite things about this season is just driving around on a cool winter evening and checking out some of the lighting displays of my neighbors and of the city.
Christmas food – I love holiday foods but I especially love Christmas themed cakes, cookies, snacks, and meals. The holidays are a time when many people put on extra weight, and with all of these amazing treats available, I’m sure there will be several new members to each gym once the new year rolls around.
Family Time – As we grow older and move away from our families and homes, the holidays become much more important for catching up with family and old friends. Family is extremely important, I love that at least once in a year, I have a chance to reconnect in person with loved ones that I no longer see on a daily basis.
As I said before, there are millions of reasons to enjoy the holidays, and even if these reasons don’t appeal to you, I’m sure everyone can find something to brighten these winter nights. If it is possible, try volunteering during the holidays, it is an extremely rewarding to give to those who are in need of some help and to brighten the holidays for all.