two visionaries visualizing.

A brief glimpse into the lives of two extraordinarily average individuals suffering from Non-Sequititis  

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Great Shirt.

Man, I feel good today. Do you know why I feel good? I’m wearing a great shirt. 

It’s a plain red v-neck; no frills, no special designs. But it just meets all the specifications of a great shirt. 

I find it rare to put on a shirt, or any article of clothing, that is both comfortable, functional, fashionable and well-fitting. This is probably a sentiment that girls can relate to far more. I feel for any girl that goes shopping and needs to buy just a shirt that fits and looks nice because it does not exist.

Shirts with buttons that don’t open anything, frills and rips and zippers - sure, they exist! Just go to Forever 21! A well-fitting, long-sleeved shirt? I guess you’ll have to ask your boyfriend to borrow one. 

As an aside, understanding this simple fact will help you to understand women far better. They always like to go shopping and can shop for hours on end because it takes that much dedication to compile a wardrobe that is even remotely useful. A guy can pop into the Gap Outlet, spend an hour and about $100 and walk out with a week’s worth of clothing that will dress him like a male model. A girl, under the same circumstances might find a pair of jeans that will fit better after a few times through the washing machine. 

A guy dressing himself basically comes down to three criteria: is it clean, will it match and is it weather/activity appropriate. I don’t think a single article of girl’s clothing can simultaneously match those criteria without a fuss.

So, again, due to endless hours trying to help my girlfriend find clothes that are good at being clothes, I have a greater appreciation for a shirt that truly is good at being a shirt.

Damn, I’m wearing a great shirt. Even if you’re having a bad day, if you’re wearing a great shirt, your biggest worry will be that you happened to wear such a great shirt on a such a bad day.

This post was inspired by a great shirt and written by Justin J. Milliner 

It’s really hard to find something when someone else put it away. It’s one of the downsides to living with a neat-freak if you’re anything but. 

I think of myself as a neat and tidy person, but sometimes I’ll slip up. But the neat-freak never slips up. You’d think that would be great, right? You never have to worry about picking up after every little thing because the neat-freak will just come in like a clutter vacuum when you’re not looking and take care of it. 

But that’s actually the problem. See, living with a neat-freak sometimes can be like playing a never ending game of hide-and-seek with random household items, particularly ones that don’t really have a set place for them to go. It’s like going on a scavenger hunt every time you need dryer sheets or a pair of batteries.

You have to use a bit of psychology here. The next time you find yourself looking for the can of compressed air that you know you bought just a week ago, don’t just try to figure out where it would be.Think of the last place you left it, then think of where the neat-freak would have placed it thinking it’d be easy for you to find.

That’s because the neat-freak means well. They don’t want you to have an anxiety attack every time you need a shoe horn. They put it where they think you’d put it (or at least should put it). 

I guess I’ll have to find a Good Housekeeping article to figure out a solution to this problem. It probably involves something you can buy on Etsy. 

Written by Justin J. Milliner, who can’t find a pen-light for the life of him.

Right Now.

Do you have a second to read this? Of course you do if you’re on Tumblr. Actually, if you’re on Tumblr, you probably really don’t have a second, but that’s when looking at GIFs is most satisfying, right?

Which is actually my point. The average internet viewer uses plenty of seconds they don’t have to look at GIFs of cats doing cat stuff and memes of Drake saying things he probably didn’t say, but sound romantic. The intnernet has kind of turned into a high speed version of what a child psychologist in the 1950s would think of as a worse case scenario for television. All this information is immediate and can be called upon at a moment’s notice, yet we use it more often than not to look at videos of puppies.

I digress. All of that is good for solving your boredom problem the way McDonalds solves your hunger (and not having diabetes) problem. But, they’re bad for guys like me who are pseudo-intellectuals that thrive attention and validation that need you to stop taking seconds to look at GIFs of funny lines from Friends so you can read things I write that I think are funny. Was that funny?

To get satisfaction from this post, you’ll have to read it. In the time it would take you to read just this far, you could’ve watched an entire library of funny Vines. 

But I digress again since I’m guilty of this too. It’s a blessing and a curse to be able to touch something and have it immediately give you what you want. Sometimes, I can’t even make phone calls. I’ll dial a number, and after three rings, I’ll completely lose interest in talking to the person I called. 

"Jesus Christ, what is he doing? Building a hut out of toothpicks? It’s been ringing seven seconds!"

We can’t even communicate like normal people anymore. I like to play a game called How Long Can I Look at Something Other Than My Phone While Waiting for a Response to this Important Text.

I couldn’t tell you if I’ve ever won or loss because midway through the game I say screw it and open up Doodle Jump.

Until next time. Written by Justin J. Milliner in between glances at his phone.

#pipes #basement #infrastructure

#pipes #basement #infrastructure

A classic Conan clip, featuring machine guns, hard liquor and unexplained yelling.

"Music just doesn’t the way it used to," you’ve probably heard your parents (or an old soul like myself) say. Whether you think it for better or worse, you probably agree that "old" songs sound very different from what is on the radio today. 

Jack Stratton, key member of the incredibly cool and funky band Vulfpeck demonstrates in this video (and many other similar ones he’s upload) the main difference between music then and music now: live musicians. 

Stratton mapped out a “visual score” of the bass part played by James Jamerson in the iconic recording of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. Just one man, playing the bass, in a song you’ve heard dozens of times. 

But when viewed in isolation, you see how much one part can vary and how it changed with the music. The song wouldn’t have been the same if the bass part had been programmed - the way every instrumental part of most pop songs are recorded today.

Music is an immersive and living art form, whose liveblood is engagement. What makes great works of music great is not the notes, but how they’re played. Music, no matter how meticulously recorded and edited, can’t truly be great unless the improvisational and spontaneous spirit of a performer is there, reacting to and adding to the music.

What am I talking about? Watch the video and you’ll hear (and see) the difference that a live person makes in a recording.

K-Cup Prices to Go Up

Ah, jeez. According to an article on Slate, Keurig, the leading coffee brand for people cool enough to own a Keurig machine, they’ll be raising the prices of their signature k-cups by about 9% starting in early November. 

In the past several months, Folgers, Kraft Food Groups, and Starbucks have all raised their prices in response to a price hike in coffee beans caused by a fungus.

Enough said, right? When I first read the article, I was upset and I figured they were raising their prices because of greed or just because they could because they completely dominate the single-cup brewing market. But, then I found out it’s because of a fungus that is destroying coffee beans. 

Fungi have officially found themselves on my list of failproof excuses. No one will question you if you blame fungi. Say, for example, you wanted to take a day off of work. If you told your boss it was because you’re feeling a little rundown and overworked, as honest as it might be, you’ll probably just look stupid. 

However, if you told you boss you needed a day off because you “had a fungi situation..” and left it at this, I guarantee you that your boss would let you off without any further questioning.

Come November, I won’t even be mad about paying more for coffee. Why? Because of a fungus. Hey, I don’t care if it’s a shortage or because they need the extra cash to try to kill fungi - it’s all fine with me. Just keep the fungus away from me. 

Next time you need an excuse, try to slyly weave a fungus into it and let me know how well it works. I guarantee you’ll get results. 

Need a friend to let you borrow ten bucks? Say, “Hey man, could I borrow ten bucks? I need it to take care of this fungus-kinda thing..” Bam! You got ten bucks.

Quarter Life Crisis

You just graduated from college. For the first time in your life, there is no plan. It’s now entirely up to you what you do and for how long. Yikes! Depending on the day, you will feel either encouraged and excited, or flat out adject fear of the future.

Being an adult is a daunting task. It’s not like you can choose NOT to be an adult. Once you step out of school, you’re an adult whether you like it or not. And you will have to do adult things. What’s next? When do you move out and where do you move to? What kind of job do you need? Those are questions that every generation of twenty-somethings have had to face, but now the landscape of the world is completely changing.

The advice of your parents and their experiences are being increasingly irrelevant and antiquated. Blue collar jobs; old stand-by industries that generations upon generations have been able to fall back on, like getting a job in the postal service are now as uncertain as any other industry, victims of political red-tape and an economy that’s unsure of itself. New technologies and opportunities are cropping up, but don’t offer the stability or the money that you need. In almost any direction you turn in, there are more questions than answers. And that’s just getting any job. Forget about forging a career. You go to school for four years (at least) in the hopes that you’ll graduate into a job that will set you on the path to the career you worked hard in school to be in. But not so fast! Very often, newly grads simply can’t get a job in their industries. How long is too long to wait for something to open up before taking your life in a new direction?

I know a lot of people that have been out of school and either working unrelated jobs to their schooling, or are out of work entirely and searching. Is it stubborn to hold out and wait for a job in your career? And should you take an entry level, low paying job in your industry over a better paying and more stable job outside of your industry? Even if doing so means you’ll be living with your folks longer? And even if there aren’t any guarantees that the entry level gig will do anything for you in the future? Oh, God, my chest hurts writing this. I don’t know if it’s anxiety or I’m actually having a heart attack. Whatever it is, it’ll have to just resolve itself because my insurance is up in the air between my parent’s plan (that, despite Obamacare, still leaves me with limited coverage after leaving school) and whatever rinky-dink insurance I can get my way into. Adject fear. Terror. What am I to do?

First thing’s first - get a beer and find a friend to vent to. Chances are, they’re going through the same thing. Eventually, you’ll open up Facebook (or Twitter, or Instagram…) and you see a few posts from your friends. One guy is living out in the city, working (seemingly) happily in a new tech startup. Damn, he’s doing big things. Another guy is building a legitimate following in the increasingly legitimate field of blogging. Good for him! Yet another guy is snapping pictures of expensive looking drinks that he can afford. Wow!

Seeing all this, you can’t help but pick yourself up. Come on, if they can do it, so can you! You’re a part of the new generation. Yes, all hell is breaking loose and nothing is promised, but you’re young, smart and you have a degree and friends with connections all over the place. You can make things happen! Something no one has thought of before, just like your buddies on Instagram. You give yourself a pep talk and straighten out your resume. You revise your life’s plan and get yourself out there to do some interviews. You’re locked and loaded, with a fresh haircut to boot. You’ve gone from a little worry-wart, to Bruce Wayne suiting up to fight crime as Batman. All you need to do is latch your utility belt on and start up the Batmobile. You’ve replaced all that fear with ambition! Unbridled ambition and determination. You’re the next Steve Jobs. But also, Batman.

Whew, that was exhausting, though. Writing a resume in the right format and pretending you’re Batman really take a lot out of you. Plus, do you really want to lock up your young twenties with a nine-to-five job? Yuck. No one wants a nine-to-five. I definitely have nine-to-five-ophobia, which is a made up condition where you have a paranoid fear of committing yourself to a full time, day job.

So you cool it a little, keep trudging along until something, like getting another wedding invitation in the mail, triggers the anxiety to start again. It’s a cycle, that won’t end until you finally have a breakthrough, which could be instantaneous, but will probably take many years and hard work to develop. This cycle of fear and ambition is what I think we’ll eventually discover is a new, premature version of a midlife crisis. It’s an existential meltdown that I call “The Quarter Life Crisis.” And right now, the only known cure is happy hour. Who’s down for some two-fers?

 

There are a lot of unexplained things in life. Sometimes it’s easy to just blame them on the Illuminati or Tom Cruise. But I usually don’t go in for conspiracies. There has to be some concrete explanation and a lot of times it’s just a matter of digging deep enough.

Except with bank fees. For the past couple of months, I’ve sporatically been charged a $6 “maintenance fee” by Chase. I wouldn’t consider myself financially sound, but I can afford to write off six bucks. Plus, I worked in retail for a while, and was always appalled by what great lengths people would go through for such little money. So I let it slide for a while.

But last month, I decided that if I’m going to be spending $6, I might as well know what it is I’m spending it on. Chase is well within their right to charge me whatever fee they’d like. If I don’t like it, then I can just bank somewhere else, right? All I have to do is watch half an hour of television, and I’ll see at least three banks advertising “no fees” and something about convenience.

So after searching around the website and looking through my account history for the answer to my $6 question, I decided to call Chase and I spoke to a pretty sounding girl I’ll call Ms. Chase Employee.

"Thanks for taking my call, Ms. Chase Employee. I hope you’re well. I hate to be a bother, but I’ve noticed that I’m being charged $6 every so often in maintenance fees and I’m wondering what exactly it’s for and if there’s anything I could do to avoid it."

After about fifteen minutes of telling stupid jokes while answering Ms. Chase Employee’s questions, alternating between listening to hold music/advertising and listening to Ms. Chase Employee breathe and type things, we reached two conclusions.

A) There was no straight answer as to what I did to incur a $6 fee and why it isn’t every month, but

B) Ms. Chase Employee was more than happy to reverse the fee as a courtesy to me.

Oh, good. I got my $6 back.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened to me or someone else I know. I’m beginning to think that large companies have a department of people whose job it is to come up with fees. A fee coordination department.

I wouldn’t mind being one of those guys. 

I think it’s about soccer. I’m not sure, but it looks very cool. 

(Source: piqueque)

The Trip.

Everyone has an idealized version of how they want to present themselves to others. For me, it’s a cross between Sean Connery as James Bond, Johnny Carson and a turtle. Either way, even for a guy like me that prides himself on being funny, it is hardwired into my brain to avoid tripping at all costs - unless it’s on purpose. 

The other day, I tripped devastatingly up a short flight of stairs. I was in a large group of people, and walking away after saying my goodbyes. So picture this - I’m in the stereotypical “waving-bye-while-walking-away-pose”, when unexpectedly a flight of stairs shows up. 

My first thought: “Oh, jeeze. I almost forgot about these stairs I need to walk up. Better make sure I don’t trip.”

Now, with a first thought like that, you would think that I put myself in position NOT to trip, right? If there is any anti-tripping thought you can have, that one is it. I was aware of tripping potential and I understood what needed to be done to avoid the tripping. 

Alright, so here’s what happens next. I trip. But I trip in a very understandable way. The building I was in was constructed in a hilly area, so every so often, there are these little flights of stairs as you enter a portion of the building that’s a little higher than the other. I’d say it’s no more than six short steps. 

At any point, I could have simply stopped moving and reassessed my situation. But, would Sean Connery as James Bond do that? Nope. 

The steps are shorter than what you’d assume to be step height, so, with my left foot - my leading foot - I completely miss one step and stub my foot on the next step up. Okay, that’s (relatively) normal. What happens next is that you fall forward a little and catch yourself with outstretched arms. 

HOWEVER - this is when things took a turn for the worse. In order to fall forward and be able to catch yourself you need:

a) two functioning arms

b) the awareness that you are falling so that you outstretch the aforementioned arms, and, 

c) a foot on the ground. 

So if you’re tripping with your left foot, you need your right foot on the ground in order to catch yourself from face planting. 

Let’s recap. I wasn’t paying attention to where I was walking, so some stairs came up sooner than I thought. I think I’m Sean Connery as James Bond, so I start waltzing up the steps without looking. I trip on my first attempt to land on a step. I start falling forward, expecting to catch myself.

Except, I still haven’t really looked at the steps, so I still don’t know how tall they are. My right foot swings and misses at a lower step, completely missing everything. It sort of reminded me of when I played baseball. I now have no choice but to allow my entire body to land flat on the stairs. And I start sliding down, belly first. 

At this point, I’m in pure panic mode. I haven’t had a chance (since I’m Sean Connery as James Bond) to stop and think about what’s happening to me. My mind races with possible explanations for why my entire body is sprawled across steps and sliding down. Sinkhole? Tumor? Bear attack? All of it is possible. 

I feebly yell, “Oh my God!” since that’s an acceptable response to learning of either a sinkhole, a tumor or a bear attack. 

I land at the bottom of the stairs and roll a little. My Sean Connery as James Bond senses kick in, and I figure I have to try to roll. This doesn’t make sense. 

I start saying something else, probably the beginning to The Lord’s Prayer. 

Incredibly, I stand up to realize that not one person had realized the catastrophe that had befallen me. So, I walk up the stairs and decide to write this blog post.

Firstly - I’d like to apologize for not keeping up to date for a while.

Secondly - I’d like to introduce you to Grant Green; a very talented and very underrated guitarist. I’m not sure exactly why he isn’t as well known as other contemporaries, whose careers he overlapped (like Wes Montgomery before him and George Benson after him) though that might be the reason in and of itself. 

He was a very gifted, but straightforward player that tended to adhere closely to melodies and keep away from complex chromatic solos. This resulted in songs that were infectiously funky with melodies that grabbed you - or in this case, ballads that spoke sincerely. Less is more with Grant Green. 

Take a listen to this whole album - it’s a nice one called “Alive” and it was recorded live at a club in New Jersey. You can feel the energy of the atmosphere in every note. 

More from us soon, I promise. 

You can find this on Long Island. #beach #sunset #rocks #clouds

You can find this on Long Island. #beach #sunset #rocks #clouds