Self Starter

Things of Note 

Self Starter

I was one of many people who wanted to learn something new in 2017 #newyearnewme.

But really.

Continuous self-improvement is a defining part of who I am, and I know that I am not alone here.  I wanted to throw this learning resource out to all two of you readers while we are still in the first month of the year:

There are links to all sorts of sites and apps that teach general education, technology/coding, creative, data, language, music, even dance.  My personal favorites are Duolingo, Codecademy, edX, and Khan Academy (this saved me in College Algebra!).  

As for the weekly recap, if you bet with me on the games this weekend I went 3-1 in my picks (now 5-3 overall) and the tease won easily.  More money in the bank for this beauty.  

We have a new President!  Whichever party you identify with, I urge you to be a proactive citizen.  Arguing, or baiting an argument, on social media is detrimental to everyone involved.  Follow your causes and support them however you can.  Write letters to the President and your congressmen, attend town halls if you're really hardcore, and network with people who are like-minded.   Some great resources (I found thanks to Crooked Media) to do so for the two major parties are:

  • - Quick summaries of upcoming and active legislation, and the ability to communicate with your representatives to make sure your voice is heard (MIDDLE).
  • RE:ACT - Weekly emails providing a list of concrete ways you can take action during the Trump presidency (LEFT).
  • ActRight -  Support different causes financially, follow them on social media, take action by signing petitions, and find ways to volunteer (RIGHT).
  • -And if you haven't registered to vote... Come on people. It takes 2 minutes. 

As far as the NBA stuff goes, All-Star picks were announced last night, and since I can't bring myself to talk about the Suns here are my picks:


G: John Wall, Isaiah Thomas

F: LeBron, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid


G: Russell Westbrook, James Harden

F: Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Marc Gasol

I just can't give it to Steph Curry over Harden and Westbrook.  He is unbelievable and is definitely an All-Star, but he is not more deserving than the other guys.  Marc Gasol over Anthony Davis all day, mostly because his team is actually winning.  Shout out to Kemba Walker, I sincerely hope he makes it this year, he deserves to be on this team.


Greenbay Packers +4.5 at ATLANTA FALCONS (I think they win outright)

Pittsburgh Steelers +6 at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

I honestly don't feel strongly about either of these picks, I might stay away this weekend.

Bonus NBA pick

Utah Jazz -6 over the DALLAS MAVERICKS


I am just about done with this show.  I watch it with Allie because it is her show that we watch together, and I appreciate how well it is made...  But enough is enough.  This week's episode was a total bore and didn't add anything to the overall arch of the characters or plot.  It felt like it was just trying to emotionally manipulate its audience into crying and thinking it's a great show.

WHAT I'M DRINKING: Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters Organic Siberia Blend

Loved this one.  A little smoke, chocolate and roasted nuts in the flavor profile.  I highly recommend this one for coffee aficionados.  Also, shout out to Mistobox!  I have been a loyal subscriber since the beginning and they have been helping me refine my coffee palate by sending me personally curated coffee shipments for years now.  

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: Revisionist History

Malcolm Gladwell started a podcast last year that takes alternative views of... well, history (and current events).  I was re-listening to his podcasts on education, and I think they're important for everyone to hear.  The three episodes were about the idea of capitalization (measuring how well America is making use of its human potential), how university endowments work, and educational philanthropy.

Final Thoughts

Honestly, this week started out with feelings of inadequacy.  Trying to plan time with friends and family, find time and energy to work out and enjoy hobbies, be a good husband, and heck taxes are even coming due...  It's tough.  Lately, nothing has been more frustrating than practicing bass for me.  I want to be able to do so much more than my current abilities permit, and the only way to get there is being diligent in practice.  

Good luck to everybody out there doing the daily grind.  Be present around your loved ones and don't strive.  Give yourself and others grace and it will go a long, long, way.



What a week.

The meme-iest brohood in America met a beautiful end.  I went 2-2 with my picks, so I didn't lose any money* yet.  The soon-to-be POTUS somehow made LL Bean a controversy.  I started learning some more music theory, specifically inversions (thanks for the help Chris Bandusky).  

The Suns can't seem to pull it together in the 4th quarter, but Devin Booker is reason enough for me to keep watching (28 points in the 4th quarter!).  Sherlock was even better this week, and this last episode already looks like it will be one of the best episodes in TV for the year.

Let's do some quick hitters:


ATLANTA FALCONS -4 over the Seattle Seahawks

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS -16 over the Houston Texans

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS -1 over the Pittsburgh Steelers

Greenbay Packers +4.5 at the DALLAS COWBOYS

So last week I made some easy picks going against backup QBs (Miami and Oakland).  I also gave into my hate for the Seahawks even though everybody knew they would cover.  And I took a risk on the Giants, I should've known that Eli was going to ruin me.

This weekend my biggest bet is going to be teasing the Patriots -10 and Packers +10.5.  Teases are for suckers, and this weekend I am a sucker.


Shout out to the bro for Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky.  Who says the Motherland can't make good whisky?


I had the privilege of playing with David Gungor of The Brilliance, and this week they released a third song on their upcoming album All Is Not Lost.  Check it out


How voice technology is transforming computing (The Economist).


Everybody should turn on two-step verification for their Gmail account here.  And here is some extracurricular reading: a great article on encrypting yourself here from Quincy Larson.

Final Thoughts

We are just about two weeks into the New Year.  One of my goals was to get this blog going, so far so good.  But I had others like working out more regularly, studying music theory, waking up earlier, etc.  

Just a little encouragement to everyone who made resolutions: don't try to be a perfectionist.  The most important thing that you can do right now is to get back up and persevere.  Build these habits into your life and don't let your goals slip away.  

I ate a donut today hehe.


*jelly beans guys, just jelly beans

With Regularity

Hi.  I am going to try to post here weekly to get used to writing in a (barely) public place.  Here's...

Things of Note.

Thank God 2016 is over.  This year I am going to try to regularly post here with whatever I think is interesting.  Sports picks, what I am consuming (coffee, restaurants, etc.), what I am reading, what I am listening to, what I am watching, and maybe some thoughts on current events and whatnot.

First and foremost, my biggest accomplishment in the new year is getting my wife to start watching Seinfeld with me.  Good habits take effort people, 2 episodes every other night is doing the trick for me. 

Secondly, 2017 is the start of a lot of ambitious goals.  I am keeping mine the same for the third year straight, this year I want to finally be able to dunk.

Speaking of dunking, man the Suns are tough to watch.  But, man, Chriss is going to be a fun player to watch.  I'll buy all of the stock on that guy.

Now on to the staples.

Picks (Home Team in CAPS)

HOUSTON TEXANS -3.5 over Oakland Raiders

Detroit Lions +8 at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

PITTSBURGH STEELERS -10 over Miami Dolphins

New York Giants +4.5 at GREEN BAY PACKERS

What I'm Reading: RC Sproul Chosen By God

Humility.  I'll be the first to admit that I offer strong opinions, but only on things that I feel I am knowledgeable about.  The subject of Reformed Christianity is something that I do not fully understand, and I am excited to work through this over the next week or so.  

What I'm Watching: Sherlock (BBC) The Six Thatchers

Loved it.  So happy that this show is back in my life.  It took a really interesting turn and I like the new direction that they are taking. Watch it here, or on the PBS apps for free.  Also, the Wifey and I are really happy that New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine are back from the holiday break.

What I'm Listening to: TOPxMM (twenty one pilots & MUTEMATH collaboration free here) and Childish Gambino "Awaken, My Love!"

What I'm Drinking: Coffee Fool Cremera/Fool's Dark Knight (50/50) and Press Coffee Roasters make a BOLD macchiato.

Final Thoughts

If you're looking for a good movie to watch that was nominated for a Golden Globe I will highly recommend Hell or High Water.  Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine kill it in this modern Western with undertones of America's dissatisfaction with the white collar financial world.

Have a good weekend everybody.