Every once in a while I like to think about how I met the people I consider friends and acquaintances. William Butler Yeats, a famous Irish poet, once wrote, “There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t yet met,” I love that quote because it perfectly represents any relationship before an acquaintance is made. I met a few interesting people this weekend, and as I sit and reminisce about the fun times I shared with my new friends, I am brought to the memory of first running into these “strangers.” I have blogged before about first impressions and their importance, but during everyday outings little attention is generally given to first impressions. Most people notice small things about others wherever they go, but overall I don’t believe people are always putting their best foot forward at every landing. A routine trip to the supermarket doesn’t often lead to meeting people but a simple conversation in any setting can trump a first impression. The most important step in meeting anyone is speaking to or interacting with the person, there doesn’t even need to be a formal introduction since, I honestly think that is a waste of time, but anything can turn into a lifelong relationship. It is too often an occurrence that people allow their own biases and preconceived notions to have control over their interactions with others, and many friendships never begin because of these cases. The best way to meet people and make friends is to converse, you may not become friends with everyone, but you will surely never miss out on some great conversations.
I am going on an extended weekend trip and I started thinking about what I should pack in my bag. I have never been that great at packing a bag, so I decided I would take the lessons I’ve learned in my past packing mistakes and give a list of tips for packing a bag.
For starters know the climate of your destination, when you are going to a summer setting don’t pack a sweater or a coat. Don’t even wear a coat if you are going to a warm climate, when you get to an arid region, there is nothing worse than having to walk around with your coat in your hand, even if it is only for a little while.
Pack for your activities, I know that this is simple enough but most people do not plan accordingly for trips. The best advice I can give for packing is to make sure you pack for activities you will enjoy doing, being prepared is the key to effective packing and it saves money not having to buy what you left at home.
My last tip is to keep things you don’t need to a minimum, often times when doing last minute packing I have been guilty of putting too much of what I don’t need into the bag. Over packing wastes space, and leads to missing the important things. The best solution for the problem of over packing is to make a list of what you need for the trip, and leave out the things that you can simply purchase at a low price. I used these tips in packing my bag and I must say, I’ve never done a better job at it. Just abiding by these three easy tips will make any future trip much easier and a lot less stressful.
I think the Internet may have killed the hobby of collecting. Since the dawn of the Internet people have been trying to digitize everything, from currency to medical records everything seems to have a digital copy or equivalent. There was once an era when music CDs, movies, and comic books held value for a considerable amount of time, but today they are vastly devalued by the existence of digital versions. The digital revolution, though convenient to the consumer, does have its casualties, and they are mainly in the form of collectables. The value of collectable items has seen a sharp decrease due to the rise of digital downloads, and it is not because of a lack of demand for these items but an over saturation of their availability. There was once a time when people would have to search thrift stores and garage sales for their childhood favorites, but today they can just download it and enjoy appeasing their nostalgia from home, and at a considerable discount. Most items that were ever dubbed “collector’s items” are now just valuable to collectors, they are now only sought after by hobbyists looking to complete a collection, so they are no longer as valuable as they once were. The Internet makes many things easy for everyday people, but it also teaches a lesson to those looking to make money from their old trinkets. The lesson is that all new technology will inevitably bring change, but not all change is good for business.
One of my favorite animated movies is The Prince of Egypt, this movie is based on the biblical story of Moses, his birth, and how he was used to free the Israelites from Egypt. The Prince of Egypt is a fantastic movie full of musical scores and a compelling story, as it traces the exploits of Moses in a way that is easy to follow for children and adults alike. This movie, while not completely biblical, is possibly the best adaptation of the story I have seen in years as it ditches the Hollywood style of romanticization for a more humble and heartfelt approach of telling the story. The story of Moses has seen many different cinematic releases, most famously in 1956 with Charlton Heston playing Moses in The Ten Commandments, but few are as effective at showing the moral of the story as The Prince of Egypt. The recent film, Exodus, made an attempt to retell the story in a more modern dramatic fashion but in my opinion the director completely missed the point. In Exodus, Moses was portrayed more as an unstable barbarian than as an unlikely leader, the way Moses was portrayed somewhat cheapened the gravity of what he did in the story. While the Exodus movie is good, when taken as purely an action movie, it fails to effectively tell the story of The Exodus, as it chooses action of storyline. The Prince of Egypt is a great film for the family and a splendid example of story telling via animation. I definitely recommend the movie to anyone who hasn’t seen it. It is a great family film and viewers of all ages will find themselves singing along with the catchy tunes for weeks.
Growing up I was always taught of nine planets, we even had a clever mnemonic used to remember them, “My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas.” The first letter in each word denotes the name of one of our solar system’s planets in order: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. In the year 2006 the International Astronomical Union ruled that Pluto should be categorized as a dwarf planet and is no longer to be recognized with the larger planets. I have been upset about the ruling on Pluto for years, since it means my “mother serves us nothing,” but recent debates look to change how we see our planets. Over the past year there has been a push to revise the way we classify planets, which would effectively add Pluto back to our teachable solar system. I love the idea of bringing Pluto back into the list of planets, but it seems like the changes to our planetary classification system would also add several other planets to our solar system. Three of the largest “trans-Neptunian objects” aside from Pluto are Eris, Haumea, and Makemake, these celestial bodies are just a few of what may become the newest planets in our solar system. I will be eagerly following these planetary developments, hopefully we end up with a few new planets. I will start working on a mnemonic for the poor children who will soon be forced to memorize this new list of 17 or more planets in our solar system.
I have to begin by stating how excited I am about my Duke Blue Devils winning the Men’s Basketball National Championship, not only did they win, but they won with the exact score that I predicted in yesterday’s post. Congratulations Blue Devils, let’s make it two years in a row!
Today I decided to visit the New York International Car Show, it is a showcase of some of the auto industry’s most magnificent works. I am generally not a car person, but this show got me pretty excited for next year’s vehicles. The international car show is like a zoo for cars and a playground for grown men, as we get to sit in and play with vehicles we dream about owning, or plan to buy someday. I had some favorites in the show, but of all of the makes available, I was most interested in seeing next year’s edition of the Audis. I love the engineering and style of Audi vehicles, but seeing the showcase of brilliant automotive technology today has me questioning my prime choice of vehicle. I stated earlier that I am not a car person so rather that trying to describe the cars I saw, I will leave you with a few photos of my favorite cars from the event.
Today is a big day in sports, while the Major League Baseball season started yesterday with the Cardinals taking on the Cubs, today all other teams get a chance to play. My impressions of yesterday’s game were mostly positive as I love that baseball is back, but it seems like the Cubs just can’t shake their losing ways. The Cubs were shutout yesterday in this seasons inaugural game, and it is starting to look like all of the big changes they made in the offseason won’t help them win a championship this year. The Cubs have not won a championship since 1908, and while I would love to see this “curse” broken, the team needs to believe they can win before they start winning. I know there has only been one game, so I will hold further judgment until at least June, the Cubs will have plenty of time to figure things out before I chide their performance. The team I am most excited for this year, is the New York Yankees, the Yankees have been struggling the past few years, but barring any major injuries, I feel they may have a chance make the playoffs this year. All baseball fans have a strong opinion of the Yankees, and given the fact that the team is very old, the haters have been quite loud in their opposition. I am optimistic this year because the team is extremely talented, and as long as they stay healthy, the Yankees will be a formidable opponent to any team in the MLB.
The last event going on today that will round out this full day of sports is the college basketball championship game, The two teams who have made it to the final game are the Wisconsin Badgers, and the Duke Blue Devils. I have been extremely vocal in my support for Kentucky as they were the most talented team in the tournament, but Wisconsin found a way to defeat them in the Final Four. I really like the Wisconsin team, but I am a Duke fan and I will roll with the Blue Devils, the score of the game tonight will be 68 – 63 with Duke winning the championship. I hope all of the events going on today are enjoyable, and I hope every sports fan out there enjoys the action today.
Today is Easter, it is the most significant day of the year for Christians. Some people may think that Christians are a judgmental bunch, but that is just an extreme generalization. I am a Christian who does not fit the mold of what many people think Christians are, I respect all individuals and know that loving one another is the most important thing. I dislike that all Christians are generalized to be a certain way, when most of us are completely opposite of what the media portrays. I celebrate Easter because it is essentially the birth of my faith, faith is something that goes far beyond opinion and intellect, and that is why it can not really be effectively argued. Faith is seen by some as irrational, because it is the full belief in something that you can not rationally understand. In my opinion you have to have faith to really believe anything, without it you have no beliefs, and without beliefs, it is impossible to think beyond what you are told. Easter, to a Christian, is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, which is the start of and central belief of Christianity. We believe Jesus’ death and resurrection is an example of what true love really is, as he died for those he loved, and came back to show he was who he said he was. I strive to show love and respect to everyone, and yes I fail at times, but that’s part of the journey called life, and part of myself that I work to change. My job here is not to change people, but to show them who I believe in, and through my actions get them to want to know who he is. I will spend this day reflecting on what Jesus did, and do my best to be the best person I can be, and share the love that was given to me.
Furious 7 was a “thrill ride” from start to finish. The Fast and The Furious movie franchise, which was once about cars, is now completely action, and I must say I couldn’t be more excited about the switch. I started watching this movie series around the forth installment, after it took the turn from a driving movie to more of a heist movie, and I was instantly hooked. I will not be releasing any spoilers about the film, all I will say is any Fast and Furious fan will love this movie. One of the stars of this film, Paul Walker, passed away during the making of this film, and I came into the theatre wondering how they would portray his character and how his final performance would honor his legacy. This movie was an inspiring tribute to Paul and the filmmakers perfectly captured his character, and the man behind the character. As for the film, it was just as anyone would expect, an overly dramatic, high energy action movie, full of unbelievable stunts, and physics defying movements that left me both awestruck and saying “how?” The action scenes and the writing of this movie perfectly blended all seven movies into what could possible be the final film in the franchise. The movie flowed smoothly, weaving in action and drama, leaving few if any lulls, and keeping me glued to the screen throughout. I honestly have no problems with the film, and I would recommend it to any adult who enjoys action movies, if you are on the fence about Furious 7, see it, it is well worth the money.
I am one of those people who loves to travel, but I am not really the biggest fan of sightseeing. When I travel I am more interested in interacting with the people of whatever region or country I am visiting, because they are actually the most interesting attraction of the region. I know that sounds weird but, have you ever realized how quickly things change in only a few years? In this technological era you could visit a country twice in as short as five years and find that you are experiencing completely different things, and seeing very different sights from what you observed on your first trip. The museums and ancient artifacts of different cultures have lasted for centuries, but each individual who lives and has seen the changes in their country only lasts about 90 years, and has a story that only they can really tell. When I travel, I like to get a sense of the heart of a country, and people are the element that makes any society move. Next time you travel, try and get to know some of the “townies,” not only do they know the best foods, but you can also learn some interesting things about the location you are visiting.