Unpaid Product Review: Bombfell 

Logo for the company Bombfell

For someone who sure enjoys dressing up, I really do not enjoy the experience of shopping for clothes. At all. I’d liken it to a dentist’s appointment, except I don’t hate going to the dentist.

How you dress does have a huge impact not only on how others see you, but how you yourself feel. The right outfit–and it sounds dumb but it’s true–can fill you with confidence. And it doesn’t just have to be an outfit that looks good on you; it’s also important to make sure that it’s an appropriate outfit for the situation.

Given that I have to suit up every day for work, and given that I like to dress well, you can easily see how my aversion to shopping for clothes can create some challenges.

My wife picked up on this as well and signed me up for a service called Bombfell. Bombfell is one of those “We pick a bunch of stuff and send it to you every month” deals that have been really popular with the urban millennial crowd for the past ten years or so, and as with anything trendy, I’m immediately skeptical. But seeing as how Bombfell is free to sign up for, is free to quit at any time, and places no obligations on the customer to purchase any of the clothes they send, I figured I’d give it a shot.

And you know what? Three months later, I’m still using it.

A package from Bombfell. Note that the bag is resealable for times you want to return clothes.

So how does it work? Continue reading “Unpaid Product Review: Bombfell “

The Only Way Is Forward

There’s a funny thing about time: It’s a one-way street, theoretical physics and sci-fi aside. 

And it moves so fast

You are going to get old and die. There is nothing you can do about this. Stuff will happen between your birth and your death. And eventually the sun will expand, engulfing the entire inner solar system, up to and including Mars, in its fiery bosom, before exploding altogether. The end. 

But we have a few billion years until then. 

I saw a great line recently, something akin to “Your life is two numbers and a dash in-between. Make the dash interesting.” I like that. 

Born at point A. Die at point B. Kick ass between. We’re all in the same boat and no amount of potions and serums and computer programs will change this. 

So what does this have to do with anything? Well, we just crossed over into the year 2017 a few days ago, and while it’s pretty arbitrary, it’s just as good a time as any to take stock and plan ahead. 

That’s right: There’s nothing wrong with goals per se. And yes, the arch-cynic here is looking ahead. 

(Reminder: I did not do this in my New Year’s Eve post).

For the purposes of this site, I would like to continue writing about various topics of interest, only using personal experience as a springboard to interesting themes. Expect the writing schedule to be a little more “normal,” i.e. 1-2 posts per week. 

I would like to get some writing published in 2017. I have one novel in the hopper ready to go, another almost done, and my NaNoWriMo novel to finish (it turns out that 50,000 words represented the first half of my story). 

I’m thinking of following the examples of my pals Rawle Nyanzi and Russell Newquist, among others, and going the indie or self-publishing route. 
I also have some professional and personal goals, but again, won’t be sharing them here other than in vague terms as a launching point for something else. 

I’d like to revise some earlier posts. I have done a few, but there are plenty more to go. 

And as always, there’s the overarching question of “why?” Why do this? Why write? Here are some answers:  Continue reading “The Only Way Is Forward”

The Year The Masks Came Off: Celebrities, Lies, and Why It’s Good to Know Where Everybody Stands

112016-music-kanye-west.jpg

Entertainers should just shut up and sing right?

Nah.

In the past, I would have shared this attitude, but not anymore. First of all, I have no problem enjoying somebody’s art even though their politics may differ from mine.

What I dislike more is being lied to.

That’s right. One of the things I’m thankful for this recent year and a half is that peoples masks are coming off, whether their entertainers, public figures, or my fellow citizens.

I want to know peoples biases. I want to know people’s likes and dislikes. And I want to know whether they hate people like me or not.

You see, there’s a huge difference between a difference of opinion and outright hatred. The former is manageable. It’s possible to coexist with people you disagree with, because you can be civil. And there might even be areas of common ground. But even if there aren’t, it doesn’t mean you have to hate each other.

But if there is outright hatred? That’s manageable to. It lets you know who to avoid or who not to spend your money on.

I’m big into free speech. This is why things like the Hamilton/Mike Pence incident or Green Day once again popping their mouth off or Kanye West ranting and having mental breakdowns don’t bother me in the least bit.

hamilton-mike-pence.png

Colin Kaepernick another NFL players want to kneel during the National Anthem and be disrespectful towards this country? Fine. That’s freedom of speech. And if people don’t want to go to NFL games or watch them on TV, that’s freedom of speech too.

If Kanye West of Green Day lose fans, or have irreparably damaged their brands, oh well. That’s America. That’s the risk you take when you stepping into the arena.

Michael Jordan, a Democrat, apocryphally said “Republicans buy my shoes too” when explaining why he did not want to publicly support Harvey Gantt run against Jesse Helms in 1990.

Whether he said this or not, it’s obvious that Jordan’s lack of activism had something to do with his bottom line. Is this good? Bad?

It’s neither. It’s a personal choice. The same way consumers have a choice whether to spend money on things based on politics alone.

I can think of two celebrities who manage to go about their politics publicly without being arrogant asses about it: Denzel Washington and Gary Sinise. Washington, a Democrat, and Sinise, a Republican, support their causes and candidates and yet retain their status as non-controversial, beloved actors because they are respectful to the public at large, who ultimately pay their salaries.

It’s a simple equation for celebrities: Don’t insult your audience. And yet . . . Continue reading “The Year The Masks Came Off: Celebrities, Lies, and Why It’s Good to Know Where Everybody Stands”

Bowie, Zappa, and Prince: What We Can Learn From Music’s Wonderful Weirdos

Not too long ago I posted the following poll on Twitter:

Okay, barely anybody responded. That’s not the point. The point is that these three men, David Bowie, Prince, and Frank Zappa, were all viewed weirdos or oddballs for their music, their styles and tastes, and their personal lives. But what if those weirdos were on to something?

What if those weirdos were really only perceived as “weird” because the rest of us are so boring?

Maybe being weird let these three men break free from the shackles of conventional wisdom and achieve success on their own terms.

I admire these three men greatly, both for their musical talents and the way they lived their lives (minus the drugs in Prince and Bowie’s cases). Their lives have been examples to me, and are more similar than they may appear on first blush.

Whether you like their music or not, the lives of these musicians teach some lessons about life and business that can be applied to scenarios outside of the music world.  Continue reading “Bowie, Zappa, and Prince: What We Can Learn From Music’s Wonderful Weirdos”

Millennials: We Are a Symptom, Not the Problem


When you have children, your thoughts turn towards the generation gap. The most visible example of this is the current case of Millennials versus everybody else.

Hello Im a MillennialFull disclosure: I was born in 1981, so depending on who you ask, I’m either a Millennial or a Gen-Xer. But my parents were young Boomers (too young to be hippies) who had me at a very young age, so I tend to lump myself in with the Millennials despite being a good 15 years older than many of them. As such, I’ll be using the pronoun “we” when referring to Millennials.

“They’re spoiled!” the conventional wisdom goes. “They’re entitled! Mentally fragile!” And so on.

In other words, it’s trendy to bash Millennials. We all do it. But stop and think: We didn’t emerge from the womb the way we are.

In fact, it’s pretty clear that bad choices made by the older generations have created the millennial “monster” they now fear. And that monster doesn’t like them either.

And you know what? The older generations totally deserve it.

Further, it seems like a lot of Millennials are waking up and getting wise to our situation and how to make it better.

In order to fix a situation, you need to diagnose the problem. The issues facing Millennials are those that have formed every person since the dawn of time. People are a product of their parents and the society in which they live.

Parents

The parents of Millennials meant well in a lot of ways, but to be fair, did overly coddle their kids. But these parents–many Boomers, some Gen-Xers–were coddled by their parents, who also can’t escape blame.

A large part of this coddling is the belief that the good times will continue forever just because, and you’re owed a decent standard of living for just existing. 

Bad habits get formed. The wrong lessons get taught. Safety and security become virtues.

Yesterday’s rebels became today’s conformists when it came to raising their children.  Continue reading “Millennials: We Are a Symptom, Not the Problem”

Book Review: Gorilla Mindset by Mike Cernovich

Mike Cernovich is a madman. Whether you know him from his free-speech activism, his podcast, his upcoming documentary Silenced, or his journalism and political punditry, Cernovich does everything at one speed: full-blast.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that he has one of the best Twitter accounts around.

But believe it or not, Cernovich first made a name for himself by writing about mindset at his blog Danger and Play and and in his book Gorilla Mindset.

Gorilla Mindset

People either love Cernovich or loathe him, but I’m here to review Gorilla Mindset on its own merits. I’m not alone in finding this book highly inspirational and thought-provoking. More importantly, it’s useful.

Let me tell you what I mean.

Continue reading “Book Review: Gorilla Mindset by Mike Cernovich”

A Note on Resilience

A small plant growing through the cracks in a sidewalk.

The roar won’t stop. Neither will the humming. It starts in my fingers, running all the way through my body, to the amplifiers and out into the sea of faces before me. The air was electric, buzzing with an energy aching to explode.

It’s the cheering, that happy roar like the approving screams of a hundred-headed god.

The author of this blog on stage playing a Fender Precision Bass

Even if the cheering wasn’t for me specifically, it didn’t matter. It was for something that I was a part of. We all believe in the primacy of the individual, but there is no feeling like connecting with hundreds of others through one of the greatest forces at humanity’s disposal.

The lights, the movement, the energy, the synergy, it’s more powerful than any drug. The best part about it is that it’s free and it’s legal. It builds you up and it doesn’t break you down. But it’s not any less addictive.

The thing about adulation and attention is that the feeling it gives you cannot be found anywhere else. And when you have that taken from you, either through the your own actions or those of somebody else, you’ll do whatever you can to reclaim it.

Or so one would think. Continue reading “A Note on Resilience”