Music, Musings, Probably Only Important to Me, thoughts

Musing on Mix Tapes

Mix Tapes

Ah, the mix tape. Through it’s many forms: tape, CD, thumb-drive, hand scribbled note, .m3u file; it remains, to me, one of the most personal ways of audible expression short of actually composing a song or poem. A mix tape is the original “social media.” The mix (as it will herein be referred to) is a once often practiced, now sadly neglected, art and ritual amongst friends, crushes, significant others, new acquaintances, pen pals and strangers. Continue reading

Amusement, discovery, thoughts

If you think Verizon is rebranding, you got your head in the clouds

If you think Verizon is rebranding, you got your head in the clouds

verizon_logo change

Ok- so my friend Joe tweeted (about 20 minutes ago actually) about an alleged new branding campaign for Verizon Wireless. I looked at it and though, oh, this is… interesting… Even the Brand blog site Under Consideration picked it up.

Now, maybe I’m the sucker and Joe, UC and the rest of them are in on it- but some quick research shows this is totally bogus.

[UPDATE: I’m not a big reader of Under Consideration and apparently they pulled this with Ford last year, also upon closer look at the comments and the whole thing, this was pretty obvious… but my post here remains!]

Aside from being more of a stark out of character change than the Tropicana switch. The “announcement” website it particularly bare with no official link back to verizon, only “For more information, visit”

Another thing that’s an immediate redflag- The Who Is listing.

   Nuncio Nunez
   5618 Shoalwood Ave
   Austin, Texas 78775
   United States

      Created on: 30-Mar-09
      Expires on: 30-Mar-10
      Last Updated on: 30-Mar-09

   Administrative Contact:
      Nunez, Nuncio
      5618 Shoalwood Ave
      Austin, Texas 78775
      United States
      (917) 755-0750      Fax -- 

   Technical Contact:
      Nunez, Nuncio
      5618 Shoalwood Ave
      Austin, Texas 78775
      United States
      (917) 755-0750      Fax -- 

   Domain servers in listed order:

Who is Nuncio Nunez? Not someone at Verizon, that’s for sure… and, also definitely not something Verizion would allow itself to be tracked to. The domain was also registered two days ago, the first thing you would do is secure the URL, how could you plan the marketing materials otherwise?

Upon further inspection, I’m pretty sure Under Consideration is in on it. The website does not have ANY of the material they display except for the cloud logo and it isn’t anywhere on the Verizon site. The only other possibility is that Under Consideration doesn’t check their facts and received a mysterious email with all the promotional material attached which they blindly posted about.

Also, did anyone else notice that the guy in the top right of their “promotional material” doesn’t appear to be wearing pants or underwear for that matter…is it just me? And when were Crocks back in style?


Not to mention the phones they mocked the logo up on are ancient.


Amusement, Musings, Probably Only Important to Me, thoughts

On Flickr: Skin Wins or Sex Sells

Ok, this isn’t really anything new necessarily, but it was really interesting thing to see. A picture, good or bad, put a sexy girl in it and people will probably like it, or at least look at it a lot. This can be seen subtly in photo contests, where you have two magnificent photos going head to head, but the winner is probably the one with the attractive girl in it (I see this the most in DPChallenge). This is kind of a massively broad and general statement- but I’m just speaking on what I see often.

Like right now, I’m refilling my Flickr account (after having it deleted for unknown reasons) and posted this picture.
Club Life IMG_5372
Within a minute of posting, it had 6 views and now, within 3 minutes from post has another ten for a total of 16. I don’t really have a popular stream, all my other photos are still at 0 views, even the ones right before and after it in the stream. It’s not in any groups/pools and doesn’t have any leading tags. I’m not complaining really, just thought it was an interesting observation.

Maybe it’s not that our culture hasn’t evolved, maybe its just the contrast of content. When you’re looking through the public stream of sunset after sunset, rivers, fields, some cool lighting, peoples cousins and kids, then BAM! a white girls ass on a stark black background. The feeling of risk, like something shouldn’t be there. Oooo, this is kind of risque, lets click on it… I don’t know exactly- I just think the occurrence overall is worth noting.

This happened before too, and this photo is nothing spectacular, but on my old stream this exact photo had the most views and most frequent views on my stats (I had a Pro account) and was one of the photos with the most comments. But the comments weren’t “sexy girl”, “oh, I’ll fap to this”… They were “great photo!”, “beautiful shot”… people trying to disguise the fact that, hey, this photo is of a hot ass, I like it!

What are your thoughts?

Probably Only Important to Me, thoughts

Whr has my Flickr gone? [10/30/08]

I’ve had it- this is it, I’ve got to do something- because this is ridiculous. The thing is- I’m actually really sad about this whole fiasco because I really did love Flickr, but every day of this BS makes me more and more adverse to wanting to ever go back.

If you want to read about all that’s gone down- check after the jump.

[Please comment and Digg this story to show your support!]
Continue reading

Probably Only Important to Me, Reviews, thoughts

Is SPORE as sweet as everyone says it is?

The short answer: ABSOF$#KINGLUTELY.

Although I never played World of Warcraft, I had friends and coworkers who did- so knowing that-

take: WoW, The Sims, Sim City, Sim Copter, StarCraft, Age of Empires, Master of Orion, A little Command and Conquer and a little bit of the Fallout series and you get- SPORE, quite possibly one of the most addicting and entertaining games I’ve ever played.


Now, I haven’t really invested time into a video game since, Red Alert 2 (Which came out almost exactly 8 years ago, for those at home counting). Gathered I was pretty involved with Team Fortress 2 a few hours a week last year, it wasn’t anything to be worried about- I’d play for an hour or so, then put it down for a week. I stopped playing it all together without much hesitation.

Today, I played SPORE for nearly 5 hours straight without even fully realizing it. I went from the Tribal stage straight to space in one sitting. I allied tribes, killed my enemies, conquered a planet and expanded my galactic empire in one sitting. Too much? Yes. Worth it? Totally.

However, it is now 1am and I have accomplished little to nothing since I got home around 6:30pm.

Why is it awesome?

The Sodomizer

When you take it at the bare bones- SPORE is really just an elegant mash up of a MMORPG, RTS (real time strategy) and life simulation. You have attributes and can have allies and wars and interact with online players- but what makes it shine is the detail and complexity of the characters. There are virtually endless possibilities when creating and painting/skinning a character. Your choices directly and dynamically effect your gameplay. The options are astounding. You created every creature, every building, vehicle, space ship. It’s insane! The freedom within the creator is incredible too. Mash elements, stack elements, resize, control the appearance, angle, etc. It’s unbelievable.

The only thing is that I wish it told you that whatever you look like before the Tribal stage is how you are stuck looking for the rest of the game.

My Creature

The game play is great too! Now, I’m not sure if I have yet to actually interface with real online players- I know I’ve abducted some, but as far as allying goes- I’m not sure. Anyway- you should get it and you should play it. You can check out my player page here. Also, my user name is Dex110 and my planet name is Leroy. So join up. This game rocks.

Musings, thoughts

The GATTACAn age is approaching

GATTACA movie posterCan anyone say “creepy”? I mean, it is cool too. But imagine being told all the diseases and disorders you have or will/could have- along with a bucket full of other genetic info that one could argue is best left unknown…. the movie GATTACA anyone? Enter 23andme, and a few others. See the full story here (Wash. Post). But says

that its $995 genetic test will help clients find DNA-compatible mates who will smell sexier to them, have more orgasms and produce healthier children.

really now…. and by year 2023 this will be a government mandated approach to reproduction.

Oh, and you probably guessed as I joking thought to myself before I clicked the “about the founder” page and realized it was probably no joke: Some awkward engineer who probably never got laid in high school or much in college started this company after his frustration with “normal” dating sites and own efforts. I’m sure after endless nights staying up to watch reruns of “Love Potion Number 9” on Comedy Central drove him to devote his personal time to “love” research either scientific or psychological he decided why not make a profit out of the work he was already doing for himself… and get more money to put further research into giving himself an unseen advantage… ( I can just see him at a dance club secretly swabbing sweat samples off attractive women, sending them off to the lab, finding out the genetic code to make them attracted to him and with some chemistry create a specific pheromone enhancing cologne- then approach her the following weekend) through work, entrepreneurship and meeting some equally hopeless biotech/chemist people in college he created what you see now. The assumptions about him at least are further reinforced through the lack of any picture and none script signature (not like that’s a bad thing, I hate cursive). Now all this be satirical and speculative I still find i amusing that it was in fact created by an unmarried, presumably single male engineer.

At same time, good for him- I wish I could say I created something this cool- despite the creep factor.

How-To and Tutorials, Musings, thoughts

More little things: people are people too

You know, my upbringing is something I probably often take for granted but there are always these little things which blow me away that remind me how lucky I’ve been and how much better I was raised than even people double my age, let alone my fellow 20 somethings.

What I’m talking about here is Please and Thank Yous. Namely, in the scope of the food service and customer service industry. Just because someone is standing behind the counter does not revoke their right to common courtesy.

It blows my mind when I’m waiting in line and someone comes up to the counter and says something like, “gimmie a bagel” or “I want a muffin”… and I stand there waiting, not only in line, but just waiting for a… “please”, saying it to myself.

Depending on the situation, I’ll glance at them with somewhat a questioning or disgust ridden look and say “please?” but unfortunately doing that seems to be pretty dickly and I don’t feel like ostracizing myself in addition to the fact that calling someone out like that (unless you’re training them, see below), I think overrides the courtesy in itself- they missed their chance to be nice and were a dick, but that’s no reason you should use it as an opportunity for you to be a dick (of course their are exceptions).

The whole time this is going on I hear in my mind my mom, my aunts or dad repeating the word for an eternity in my past as kid. Recounting every time I made a request without it. Whoever I was with would stare me down and say in a firm tone, “please.” And I would then, shamed and guilty, look at the person who I just ordered from and repeat, typically with a frail, embarrassed tongue, “please”.

Just like you teach a puppy not to bite, you teach a child his please and thank yous. It’s elementary and standard. No one likes a dog that bites, so who would like a person that didn’t have those standard social building blocks?

It kills me sometimes. It’s interesting too. Because typically I dislike the person who lacks the etiquette than feel bad for their lack of training. I think even if you missed the boat at home, by the time you’re in college you probably should have picked that up. Then, I really don’t like adults who miss out on the words, sometimes sensing a disproportional and unjust sense of entitlement in their face and air. You do know the person you are talking to is human. You remember the golden rule right? Do onto others…

Another excuse that doesn’t fly with this lapse is not being in a good mood. I heard this from someone once, I don’t know from who, but I know I heard this- something along the lines of, Taking out your bad mood on other people shows a lack of character- or to translate to a positive. It takes a strong, solid character to not take out your misery on others. E.g. You are having a terrible day and then getting short with the cashier at your local Dunkin Donuts. = Poor Character Maybe they got your order wrong? Ok, people make mistakes. Deal with it in a respectable manner and get over yourself. If you need to look at it in another way- no one is important enough to ruin your mood.

Another thing that this kind of tales towards is my theory behind food service (and customer service, but mostly food). It’s echoed a bit in the movie Waiting… ha, but none the less, here are some basic principles briefly outlined.

1. People who serve food or work are just as human as you are. = People are people too.
2. Never fuck with anyone who handles your food.

Using those two principles you should never have any problems, spit in your food, over priced meals or extra waiting time. Gathered there is the occasional rotten apple on the other side of the fence- meaning people with crappy courtesy serving you. But honestly, in my experience, that’s rare. People like that typically don’t find themselves in, or at least don’t last long in, the service industry.

Don’t be a dick
Start a conversation
Say please and thank you
Ask how they’re doing
Use common freaking courtesy… just think

And although you shouldn’t expect anything in return, because you should be nice regardless. Who knows, keep that up and you could end up with free meals, an extra scoop of ice cream or a new friend.

So, thanks mom and dad and aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins from brining me up right.

(I see my up bringing as a kind of communal experience with a medium size family as I have (3 older cousins, 3 aunts, 3 uncles, 4 grandparents, 2 parents) This whole talk about training also brings back those memories of the white stucco house and the steep back staircase going up into my Grandma’s house, it was so easy to run up the stairs in excitement and leave that now far away door open, just to be greeted by Zaidy, or aunt or cousin who would then ask me- “Hey, do you live in a barn?”)

Musings, thoughts

Small things can have large influences.

It’s all about the small things (IAATST).

I feel as though a stopper in my mind has been released. As though, my chi can now flow freely. Specifically, I’m talking about today when my violin teacher suggested a small change in my shoulder rest. As if a damn was broken or a magical key opened a door. Everything about playing became easier, my bowing felt better, my back, shoulder and neck felt more natural and relaxed. It was fantastic. Now, I’m not saying I can play a concerto all of a sudden. I’m just saying that that one gesture/suggestion allowed me to play more comfortably and thus better. Then giving me a certain sense of accomplishment, ultimately putting me not just in a better mood temporarily but a whole new mindset almost. As if a giant weight had be lifted from more than just the violin aspect of my life. But everything was a bit clearer.

Now, honestly, I’m not always or usually all this revelationy mumbo jumbo-y. But it was fantastic, I just feel so much better all of a sudden.

It could also be in contrast to how completely off I’ve felt the past few days as well, but regardless.

Anyway. My point is this, nothing new, but worth repeating-

Never neglect the small things.

Nor take for granted or disregard. The small things are the keys for everything big. They typically are what make it happen. So take care, slow down for a second if you can, and re-evaluate, look at each little piece and build it back up. If you can make the foundations stronger, than the entire building will be better for it.