Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Yard Sale 2.0

A year ago today my friends Jared, Michael, and Chad joined me in Vail to experience my quasi first time skiing adventure. I thought it would be nice to repost a blog I wrote shortly following that experience:

[March 30, 2008]

Have you ever wanted to see 260 pounds of love falling down a mountain? Well if you happened to be in Vail, CO this weekend you would have seen just that. I, of course under peer pressure began my first skiing venture at the top of the mountain with hardly any experience (thought I was too good for lessons). I started on the green slopes just trying to maintain balance and work on turning… halfway down the mountain I could still do neither. Actually I am becoming quite fluent in the skiing lingo, mostly due to the numerous seven and eight year olds skiing past me and yelling things such as, jerkface, yard-sale, totally newbie, tourista, and try the blacks dude…haha. Anyhow, I figured out that "yard sale" in ski lingo meant every time I wiped out my skis, goggles, camera, and poles were scattered about across the path similar to things being scattered in the yard for a sale. Of course only I would be so lucky to ski the mountain twice without ever arriving at the bottom of the mountain. About halfway down I so frustrated that I decided to take off the skis and walk down and being the smart person that I am I devised a pretty cool plan. I flagged down one of the EMT skiers and told them that I broke my ski and if they could give me a ride via snowmobile to the bottom I would be most grateful. –They didn’t take the bait, so I choose plan B. Just about 200 yards of where I was standing I saw an unusual ski lift back up to the top of the mountain. It didn’t strike me as unusual so I thought id ride back to the top and take another ski lift to the bottom to end this cold day in hell. Plan B was not so great. I ended up at the pinnacle of the mountain starring at two double back diamonds, winds of about 35mph, and alone. Needless to say I basically crawled my way down the damn mountain and at one point I was sliding on my ass faster than a skier (im lucky to be alive). I guess this leads me to the conclusion that skiing might not be my thing. Now, a day after this event I am absolutely positive skiing is not my thing in fact I never desire to do it again, I have decided to keep the curtains closed in my hotel room just so that I don’t have to see the damn mountain. This morning I spent 3 hours in the hot tub praying that God would have mercy on my frail body and just after lunch I thought was going to spend the rest of my life on the toilet because I was so sore I couldn’t get up. All in all it’s an experience I could have done without, but I did it.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Reflections on the GDC

The last game I played intensely was Ages of Empires for the PC and 007 (bond) for Nintendo 64 and that was almost eight years ago. I’m 26 years old and besides the constant reminders of my 10 year high school reunion looming later this year the gaming industry is the only industry I’ve come into contact with that makes me truly feel old and outdated. I’m beginning to think that the speed and adaptability of technology will one day cannibalize itself leaving us without the primal knowledge’s of our ancestors (i.e. not knowing how to make fire with two rocks) Here is what I found:

  • 65% of American Households play computer or video games

  • The average game player age is 35

  • 40% of gamers are female and 60% are male, Women age 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (33%) than boys age 17 or younger(18%)

  • How long have gamers been playing? 13 years. Among most frequent gamers, adult males avg 15 years for game playing, females for 12 years

  • 38% of homes in America have a video game console – including me! only because I was given games and had no console to play them on

  • Video Game: Best selling by genres/units sold: Action (22.3%), Family Entertainment (17.6%), Sports Games (14.1%), Shooter (12.1%), Racing (8.3%), Role-playing (7.6%)

  • Top Selling Video Games of 2008: 1.Mario Kart Wii (5.1 million units) 2. Grand Theft Auto 4 (5m units) 3.Madden NFL 09 4.Super Smash Bros: Brawl 5.Wii Play with Remote 6. Guitar Hero 3:legends of rock 7. Wii Fit 8. Rock Band 9.Call of Duty 4 modern warfare 10. Call of Duty world at war

  • 36% of heads of households report they play games on wireless devices (cell/pda)

Do you think Baton Rouge could be the next center of excellence for game development on open source platforms (iPhone)? I do. iphone apps average development time is approximately two to five months with an average cost of $50,000 to $250,000!

The View From Your Window

(title credit goes to Andrew Sullivan)

Good morning! - San Fran, CA

Friday, March 27, 2009

Game Developers Conference / San Fran, CA

Following Richmond I ventured to GDC, the one place every aspect of the gaming industry comes to forge a relationship in one central place—the Game Developers Conference at the Mascone Center in San Francisco. The magnitude of this industry can only be seen in eyes of gamers and enthusiast as they pass booths filled with this year’s latest technologies, games, platforms, and consoles. GDC=sum (of raw talent + a fierce passion for interactive (2nd life type) }media = multi-billion dollar industry. Pic from the floor

Teddy's Juke Joint

as you know, im new at this blogging stuff. I have been saving my blogs, when i should have been posting them! go figure. here are some of the ones that should have been posted over the past three weeks!

BB King once said that “the beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” I couldn’t agree with him more. Learning about The Blues has taught me much more than the origins of the blue keys and the art of the African American folk music. It has taught me that everyone at some point in their lives feel pain, sorrow, joy, and contentment and it’s only through expression of these feelings that we grow.
After weeks of downloading various blues artist and torturing my staff with my loud singing (that I consider at least top 12 talent in the American idol blues version)… I ventured to Teddy’s Juke Joint in Zachary, LA. Walking in was a truly unique experience of blacks and whites, even people of Indian decent in the corner; all tapping their feet and nodding their head at the rhythm being belted from a shiny electric guitar. I slowly made my way to the bar and ordered my favorite love potion, Gin (preferably Tanguray) and Sprite. The manner in which I was

served foreshadowed the night to come (see the picture). That’s right…one bowl of ice, one class, one sprite can, and a bottle of Tanguray—plainly spoke “make it like you like it.” Later in the night I had the pleasure of meeting the famous Teddy along with the artist of the night Larry Garner. Teddy grew up in the now Jukejoint and has added room after room to enhance the space and vibe of the bar. This hole in the wall is a true testament of preserving a culture of self expression, triumph in hard times, and the good things in life (fill in the blanks).

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Patrick Henry Land

[from Richmond,VA] So, I made a resolution in 2009 to become a bit more interesting. So… I decided to bite the bullet and blog. I think it’s a win win, as I become slightly more interesting and secondly its therapeutic and I get to forego $200 per hour for a therapist (double positive?). so, on with it. As you might know I’m an economic developer in Baton Rouge,LA and my organization takes 150 business leaders (for and not for profit) to similar/unique cities across the U.S. to generate interest in best practices/public policy that might be beneficial to baton rouge. This trip for me is all about stroking egos, however there are some moments where I can see value. For instance, today we visited the chapel where Patrick Henry gave is most famous speech “give me liberty or give me death” and not only was I bored out of my mind; I was completely embarrassed that my colleagues (said mildly) cheered like every other Medicaid recipient across our land (get the joke? Those taking the propaganda/handout). Here is the deal… the British imposed taxes on the colonies and the colonies decided to fight back so to protect decorum and rights (property, civil, etc…) , but what truly outrages me is that my colleagues have no freaking clues that today’s American government is more intrusive to our individual rights and liberty than Great Britain was during the day of Pat Henry and the Boston Tea Party(adjusted for inflation of course). When are we going to get mad? When is our Tea Party? That we have spent the future earnings of our children for just one more (just one more) hit of the bong? When are we going to realize that the $165 million of AIG bonus (although stupid and really freaking embarrassing) were made under sound contracts. AND just so you know… contracts are our medium for business/exchange. It is an important attribute in a capitalist society. Cheers! (I’ve decided that I’m not editing – just posting in the most unforgiving way—less stress-- less work--no editing).

ok wait.

i tend to right my blogs in as word documents (because my mississippi public education lends me to not being able to write without spell check!) so some of my post may not me the most timely!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Grand Isle

This weekend yielded an experience I shall never forget. My friends and I ventured to Grand Isle, Louisiana. The island is legendary for its location to the most plentiful offerings of inland and offshore fishing in all of the Gulf Coast. The three hour drive down set the stage for the weekend’s experience. As we passed small town after town the pains of rural Louisiana spoke plainly of a life of hardship and undeserved acts of god (hurricanes for those not familiar with God’s country). Lockport, Golden Meadow, Tarpon Pass, Galeano, town names not too much different than those painted on the side of Shrimp Boats along the bayous… Milky Way, Will Bordelon, Macy Emily, Saint Hatty. The thought of how these small economies survive fascinates me… I can only deduce it to something of the feudal society of Europe in the 1600’s whereby good people work tirelessly for the lords, in this case Sir Exxon, Lord Shell, and Father BP. Once on the Island we began the weekend with an adult beverage at the local watering hole known as “Arties” which offered the coldest beer, billiards, fried chicken and oysters—quite the unique combo. What impressed me most about this beautiful island are its truly amazing inhabitants. I had the pleasure of meeting Greta Dupre a resident of Grand Isle who afforded me the opportunity of learning and understanding the nature of “good people.” It was truly hard for me to comprehend a society whereby one is judged on character and not materialism, on mutual care for each other than covert Darwinism. This was the first place where I hadn’t been asked what I did for a living, who my parents are, what brand of shirt I was wearing, or for that matter why I was there. The only thing that mattered is that I showed mutual respect, didn’t take things to serious, and recognize that our time on this beautiful earth is short—try to have fun. The lesson of the weekend blended into the sounds of the juke box playing “Green Grass & High Tides” by the Outlaws-- Lyrics: “Those who don't believe me, find your souls and set them free
Those who do, believe and know that time will be your key
Time and time again I've thanked them for a peace of mind
That helped me find myself amongst the music and the rhyme that enchants you there”

Monday, March 2, 2009

Welcome to the inaugural posting of "Reduced Expectations" this blog will hopefully take the place of my imaginary friends. Don't get me wrong, I'm appreciative of their many years of support-- I think its just time to express myself to "real people" (no offense). Anyhow, someone once told me that the key to happiness is reduced expectations. I have applied this rule to life and at a minimum to every circumstance or event. And when I have been up happy... low and behold if I would have reduced my expectations I would probably be little more successful, kept many friends, and learned a whole lot more about humans-- as beings (original sin, etc...). So, here I am! Cheers!
*the above picture is of Free Mason, a portion of Chandelier Island off the cost of Louisiana/Mississippi