Category Archives for thoughts

Facebook, “Elections” & Bi-partisan Ignorance

I’ll get this out of the way first, this post isn’t about whether or not I like Romney or Obama because I don’t like either but that is not the reason my Facebook friends make me concerned. Every time there is a debate or something political in the news one side of my peers goes on a social media birage of why their side kicked the other side’s ass and 100% of the time no body actually looks at the facts.

The most recent VP debate is a perfect example. The common consensus among Facebook’s Democrats was that Biden performed better during the debate than Ryan. After watching the debate as unbiasedly as I can, the only reason I can honestly see was from his “performance” not at answering questions but for attempting to seem above Ryan with his consistent laughter and smug smirk. He completely looked like a clown and I’d be seriously concerned about having this man 1 bullet away from running this country. I don’t agree with Ryan’s views but at least he presented himself in a more Presidential fashion.

This in itself is, in my opinion, the biggest problem facing America right now, Bi-Partisan politics. People pick sides and will defend that side to the grave no matter who the candidate. We pride ourselves as being the “Land of the Free” and having a true democracy but yet we have one of the worst election systems possible. Two parties and that’s it. Sure there are other candidates out there but despite their best efforts they can’t get recognized on the tickets, by the media or even by the debate commission.

That’s right, the Commission for Presidential Debates whose own website states:

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) was established in 1987 to ensure that debates, as a permanent part of every general election, provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners.

Oh I get it, by excluding candidates such as Gary Johnson and Jill Stein you are providing the best possible information to viewers. Makes perfect sense to me, just like a flying pig. Hard to believe the general public let’s people like this who claim to be non-profit & non-partisan get away with such garbage. We as a people should be more thirsty for facts and fairness as opposed to being sponges for whatever garbage the media wants us to hear.

A real problem I get from my social media feeds is that I don’t think people understand half the issues, at least the important ones. Our country is at a critical juncture and I fear this election is going to be won by social issues & civil liberties instead of critical economic issues. I have my opinions on gay marriage, birth control and the other social issues but I don’t believe they are the main issues at this point in our history. I’m not saying they aren’t important but not critical that they should be the issues deciding the Presidential Election when our economy is in the toilet, unemployment is remains at a high point of my lifetime (~8%), and government spending and taxation is through the roof.

I hope people go out research the issues on their own, meaning not on Obama.com or Romney.com. Romney is lying. Obama is lying. Do your own research and understand what is important for this country at this point in time. For me, it took me a visit to isidewith.com along with some of my own research to really understand the issues and who I support. For the first time ever, I financially backed a candidate and I am proud to say that I formulated my own opinion that isn’t based on a particular party or biased news sources.

If Romney & Obama supporters would open their eyes and see that every election we are talking about the same issues and realize that these two candidates are just like every other pair of candidates that have come before them in recent years, pawns for Big Government. The issues never change because the pawns never change. Bigger government is not the answer that will bring the United states of America back to its once prosperous state and until people stand up and shout the system will not change. No more bi-partisan politics, no more corrupted debate commissions & no more un-informed voters. We deserve better. We should demand better.

A wasted vote is an uninformed vote.

If CISPA passes I’ll be moving all of…

If CISPA passes, I’ll be moving all of my personal information off of Facebook and onto this site. For some reason CISPA doesn’t have nearly the attention and uproar SOPA did.

The Demise of Google and Facebook

*I figure I should probably start updating this blog again. It has seen probably a dozen iterations over the years and thanks to p2, here’s a new one.

Anyway, a friend of mine sent me this Forbes article about the next generation of the web and how it is very possible that Google & Facebook won’t be around in 5 years. Personally, I agree and here’s why: As the article mentions, the web is changing into a mobile platform with more and more devices connected to the web from the palm of our hands, our usage patterns are bound to change. Google relies on search and Adwords for 80%+ of its revenue which makes them extremely susceptible to lose market share fast. The company they should be concerned most with? Apple. Apple has already bought a mapping company to integrate into iOS thus removing the need for Google Maps integration and I predict their next movement to build or buy a search engine (DuckDuckGo for example). If Apple puts their own brand of search on their devices they will massively impact Google’s traffic numbers. Microsoft and Internet Explorer dominated the market for so many years because of their tight integration, now we’ve seen Safari’s growth numbers rise b/c of the increase in Mac and iOS devices. It is only a matter of time before Apple takes their cut of the search market.

Facebook is also under a lot of heat right now b/c as the article states, their lack of ability to monetize mobile traffic. They just don’t know how to make money with their app other than with FacebookAds. This is a big problem for them but the one benefit they have is search. Facebook has the data and eyeballs to create their own search engine based purely on the number of shares for content, Fan Page size and other social metrics based on the activity of its users. This is somewhere Google was trying to go with Google+ because they know the impact of social is going to be the future of content. Link based algorithms won’t be here for ever.

That is my thought and I wanted to get it down in writing for the future but this prediction has one caveat; We make it past Dec 21, 2012!!! Below is the 10 second Too Long; Didn’t Read version.

TL;DR Google is in trouble if Apple ever decides to leverage it’s platform with its own search. Facebook is in trouble of not knowing how to monetize mobile but has an out if they develop a quality search engine.

Random Hot Tub Conversations

LE and I are here in Breckenridge, Colorado and after a long day of skiing/riding we obviously decided to sit in the hot tub to relax.  Well 20 minutes in our fellow guest at this BnB joins us.    The conversation goes from tourism, land deals, oil and mineral rights, politics, cars, future of energy, London, taxes, military and back to oil and land. It was a good 2 hours of semi-intellectual conversation (mostly buy the other guy) but there was some really interesting things brought up that I wanted to remember/share.

Some background, the guy is 50+ born and raised in the UK but has lived in Fort Worth, Texas  for 20+ years, enough to refer to the USA as ‘we’ and ‘us’.  He never actually disclosed what he did but at one point said he runs an oil and gas company in Texas and between that and his stories of travel, high-society friends and business in general, I’m pretty sure he’s very well to do.

Some interesting points talked about:

– US M1 Abrams tanks, the big ones used in the Middle East, run off turbine engines (jet engines basically) and they last an average of 2 weeks in the desert. The cost to replace one of these engines: $750,000 each.  The US has replaced them so many times and have gotten so good at it, the military mechanics can do it in an average of 40 minutes.  Ridiculous!

– He has a friend who bought a high building in Ft Worth, someone wanted the building and those people had been using his mineral rights w/o knowing.  Their inquiry into buying his high rise brought this to his attention.  They settle out of court and the guys sells his building and rights for well over 10x what he paid for them.  He turns around and buys 23 square miles of land in Jackson’s Hole, Wyoming which happens to be the most expensive real estate in the US today. Total dollars spent in taxes on the sale and purchase =$0!  Apparently there are some laws if you sell some commercial real estate you can reinvest that money into real estate in 90 days and pay no taxes on the sale.  Mind = blown.

– Electric Cars are going to present a bigger problem in the future with battery waste and believes they are not the future. Too many additional problems as well (charging times, battery life, battery waste, range etc).  Natural Gas cars and trucks are the future.  Burns Clean, USA has more natural gas then we know what to do with it which makes it dirt cheap. Chevy and Dodge coming out with natural gas truck models soon, maybe this year.

– Ford has versions of its cars in the UK/Europe that run on small diesel engines that are faster than their US counterparts and get 50+ mpg.  New model will break the 70mpg mark. US diesel is too dirty for these cars. Sad.

– He drives a car that gets 5mpg and he and his wife use 1,000 gallons a month but “we produce it so I should probably use it.” 

– Rick Santorum scares him.

There was more but we are going to eat now and I have to leave something for conversations when we get back. Needless to say, It was an interesting 2 hours. I love talking to smart / interesting people. 

Being Old

I was playing hoops today at the outdoor courts at NC State and started thinking about being old.  It is funny how no matter what age you always think you are old.  When you get into high school you think you are all grown up. When you get into college you look back at high school kids and think they are young and now you’re really an adult. And when you are in your 20-30s you look at the college kids and think they are just kids.  The only thing I could think of is that we only have a limited perspective of where we’ve been and how far we’ve come.

Why do we always feel the need to be old? 

Public Service Message – Turn off Pinterest on Facebook

Everyone loves Facebook but not everyone loves Pinterest and the quickest way to annoy your fBook friends is to auto-post anything you ‘Pin’ on fBook.  So do us all a favor and turn ‘Add Pinterest to Facebook Timeline’ OFF.

It is as easy as going to edit profile and scrolling down until you see this option

Can’t shut it off tonight

99% of the time I can fall asleep anywhere anytime under any condition but on that rare occasion my brain actually works it goes a mile a minute. I’m hoping if I type this out I’ll be able to shut down instead of listening to my dogs snore for the last 2 hours.

Here goes:
– somehow somebody needs to develop an app that will type out your internal monologue/stream of conscience. Bonus if it could do it in pictures. How much more interesting would Facebook be?!!!

– I’m seriously addicted to kickstarter. Between that and shark tank on ABC I’m constantly thinking about stuff to make and sell. The guy who created the clean bottle, which is a simple water bottle that opens at both ends for easy cleaning is making millions selling $5 water bottles! The Internet is amazing. Assume you had a simple $5 product, how easy would it be to make 1,000 sales with all the people in your social network and their networks. Pretty easy right?! Quick $5,000. Imagine if it catches on?!

– I need to Do more and think less

– speaking of thinking I have another app idea. If anyone reads this tell me if it makes sense. An app to track the things you like. Example; I drink at least one cup of green tea a day but I really don’t know much about them but I’ve found a few that I like and some I don’t like. I take a picture of the ones ive tried , mark it as like/dont like, tag it, write what I like about it or dont and file it away under green tea. So next time im in the store I can pull up my list and see which ones I want and which to avoid. Could be used for anything! Beer, wines, hotels, apps, meals etc etc. My personal inventory. I’m sure there is a way to make it social but I havent thought that far into it but might be nice if you want to bring someone a tea and could look up what they like.
Question- how to monetize

Whatcha think?

– this is the sort of thing I think about all day

– I wish exercise was fun. I really want to get in better shape but the gym is so boring. If I could play something fun and get in shape, I’d do it everyday. Saturday football and hoops at grand slam have been great lately. And i feel like i really worked out. I need more! Suggestions?

– I’m starting a list of things I want for the house: new garage opener, projector for garage bar, platform for theater room second level couch, area rugs, runners, dog door… I’m forgetting a few things.

I just realized there are a lot of questions in here and I’m pretty sure only 3 people will see this. (hi wife, Thomas and Evan)

Ok time to try to sleep.

2012 Resolutions

Well I think I did a pretty bad job of keeping my 2011 resolutions and that is mainly because I can’t even find the post with them!

Hopefully This year will be a little different thanks to tumblr!

2012 Resolutions:

  • life journal daily 
  • tumblr/blog often 
  • de-clutter (closets, clothes, house) and keep them that way
  • finish my mancarage (Mancave + Garage)
  • start Yoga classes w/ the wife
  • read more
  • learn more about my family 
  • get my domain portfolio in order
  • spend money smarter or not at all
  • finish WUR and PR (another project)
  • Plan a big 2013 vacation (China?, Asia?, So. America?)
  • No more soda (unless its in a mixed drink 🙂 ) / More water
  • do more to help my wife with her goals and projects
  • get organized
  • Take More photos
  • eat smaller portions

2012 Resolution Details:

Life Journal Daily – You can see my thoughts on this here

Tumblr/blog often – See Above

De-clutter (closets, clothes, house) and keep them that way – Frankly, I have way too much stuff and don’t need or use half of it.  I’d rather have less quantity and more quality. It will also help us get more organized. It may be me but I always feel better when i’m more organized.

Finish my mancarage (Man cave + Garage) – I want to get this one checked off by spring. We started late last year and did a lot to clean and paint but still need to de-clutter this and get better organized before I can epoxy the floor, install the projector and setup the awesomeness

Start Yoga classes w/ the wife – This is something we’ve talked about for awhile but haven’t followed through with yet. I’m pretty sure it will help my body loosen up and recover from all the activities and sports as well.  

Read More – I’m positive this was on my list last year and I think I did a pretty good job but I think I can do better. Reading = get smarter, getting smarter = better at Words with Friends! 🙂

Learn more about my family – Particularly my Dad and Mom because they both have excellent stories that I’d hate to miss out on. Every time I hang out with my Dad for an extended period of time I find out some of the wildest stories and I’m sure there are more.

Get my domain portfolio in order – I have A LOT of domain names and I either need to get them online, sold or removed from my portfolio.  It is a huge project and I’ve been putting it off for a too long.

Spend money smarter or not at all – This goes along with the general theme of these resolutions. Less is More. Quality over Quantity. Get Organized.

Finish WUR and PR (another project) – These are my 2 largest potential projects and I’ve had them lingering for far too long. When I get them completed and operational I think it will free me up to do other projects that interest me

Plan a big 2013 vacation (China?, Asia?, So. America?) – We were thinking about taking a big trip this spring break but I don’t think it is a good idea to hurry it, so next year it is. Also I want to make sure the wife and I vacation more this year. There is so much to see and explore.

No more soda (unless its in a mixed drink 🙂 ) / More water – I don’t drink that much soda as it is, but I really feel any is too much.  It doesn’t add anything to my body (other than lbs) and I can really tell a difference in how I feel when I go long periods of time w/o soda (longest is 2.5 years) and it is definitely better and everyone needs more water.

Get organized – This is the general theme in our house and I think we will both push to get our life more organized & efficient.

Do more to help my wife with her goals and projects  – This is the most important one to me.  My wife wants to do more with herself and I want to make sure I do everything I can to help her whether it is job, school, DIY, fun, or health related, the more productive she feels the happier she’ll be and that is always my #1 priority. 

So let’s get it on 2012, let’s see what you’ve got!

New Year, New Tumblr

Once upon a time I had a pretty good blog going but I never really kept it up for a variety of reasons but mainly because it didn’t have a purpose or at least I didn’t recognize its purpose. Now that I’m older, wiser and definitely sexier, I have a better understanding about why I should keep this up.  I believe journaling your life daily is a good healthy practice.  

In a society where we are always going and life seems to be going faster and faster. Slowing down and taking the time to sit down and write out some thoughts (long or short) gives us a chance to reflect on the person we are and helps direct you towards the person we are trying to be. It doesn’t matter how you journal your life but the act of writing it out will give you something to look back on and see if you like the life you’re leading and how to help create the one you want to be leading.

I’m trying tumblr mainly because I LOVE the Tumblr iPhone app and think it will be a good platform for my randomness. 

-Ev