Snowden’s Truth–The Stuff of Nightmares

Hey everyone, it’s W! How was your New Year’s Celebration? Did it go with a bang? Lemme tell you how I spent my New Year’s Celebration: riddled with fear, panic, and paranoia! NOT a pretty sight but allow me to elaborate on why what was supposed to be a pretty chill day turning into one of the most terrifying days of my life.

It all began when I picked up on a friend’s movie recommendation. My buddy, Kyle, has been kinda bending my ear about this film that’s supposed to be pretty good. Inspired by true events, he says. Now, I dunno about you but I know that the “inspired by true events” films always add a LOT of drama to it to make it more erm exciting I guess. Normally though, there’s either a lot of embellishments or cultural appropriation going on (calling you out 21!) so I wasn’t particularly dying to see it. But hey, new year new me that sort of thing so why not give it a go?

So I tell him that okay, I’ll watch it and he hands me his copy of Snowden. So this film only came out around September 2016 but it must have slipped my notice because if I was aware of it then, I probably would have lined up in the theaters for it. No, really.

Snowden is about Edward Snowden, a computer pro that used to work for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and a former contractor for the US government who leaked classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA). The film follows his career from a kid who wanted to be in the army to someone who had to redirect his talents elsewhere because of physical injuries. The plot is pretty simple as it interjects the “current timeline” with the flashbacks of Snowden’s life and his progress in the intelligence field.

The reason why Snowden’s leaked information was so controversial was because it literally blew the hood off the covert mass surveillance the NSA and the US Government were perpetrating violating the inherent privacy of their citizens and basically anyone who pinged their interest.

What struck me the most was the information that apparently everything, and I mean literally everything, was being logged, recorded, and viewed by the NSA. A private and supposedly anonymous blog post? They know who you are. A private text? They’ve read it too. What terrified me the most was the fact that, if they wanted to, they could switch on your laptop’s webcam without you knowing about it. How’s that for terrifying?

Think your Facebook profile is safe? They literally only need to send a few sentences of their “justifications” as to why they need complete access to your profile and they’ve got it. Mind you, access isn’t limited to your wall information or your wall posts, or even your friend list–their access includes even your private messages. If you’ve ever geotagged your location or uploaded a selfie, they’ve got a clear file on you.

Ed Snowden knew all this while he worked for them, so you can say he has a big role to play in being complicit in the shady dealings and he suffered greatly for it. Going home and trying to live a normal life all the while wrestling with everything that he knew–things he couldn’t even talk to his girlfriend about without risking a felony.

So the film Snowden shook me off the “isn’t it nice how we’re all so connected” train and showed me the cold hard facts. The fact that we’re all connected made it so easy for an entity like the NSA to make use of national security as a justification to violate our privacy. Just how secure is our information? Why would they think it’s perfectly okay to read, log, and record our private correspondence and information?

Who are they protecting us from? These are the questions that wracked me after I watched Snowden. In a cinematic perspective, the cast was great–except maybe Shailene Woodley (but at least she’s kinda trying), the cinematography was excellent; it helped put the stress where it was needed and you really feel the weight that Snowden was carrying on his shoulders.

Currently, Ed Snowden is residing in Russia and it’s looking more likely that he’s never coming home. Think of him what you will but you can’t deny that he brought to light some facts that we really needed to know.

I highly recommend that you watch this movie, my friends.

W Rating: 8/10
Btw, there’s totally a sticker on my webcam right now. Thanks, Snowden!

An Unpopular Opinion About Movies

This has been rolling around my head for a while now so it’s time to let it out. They need to quit it with the live-action remakes of old animated movies and series.

It was great when they started with the 2007 Transformers movie–not going to lie about that. That first Transformers movie was done quite well. It gave movie goers a dash of something new in terms of the improvement in computer-generated imagery. It also tickled the nostalgia in the older people in the audience. While that was quite fantastic at the time, it inevitably broke the dam (so to speak) on the current flood of nostalgia and live-action remakes that we’re all swimming in right now.

When Bay raked in more than $700 Million for his Transformers movie, Hollywood took that as the undeniably solid gold signal that their audiences needed more nostalgia driven pieces in their lives and in the silver screen. Of course, Bay also took that as a go signal to dredge up even more of the favorites of the 90’s like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and even more Transformers movies. And let’s be honest, the subsequent giant robot movies he’s made have been one plot wreck after another. Don’t even get me started on the TMNT movies! Still oddly enough, it wasn’t just the likes of Michael Bay that got into the live-action remake bug.

Even the giant kid-focused Disney got into the swing of things with a live action remake of Cinderella. Emboldened by its critical success at the box office, Disney now plans on bringing most (if not all) of their animated films into a live action version. The likes of The Jungle Book were turned into CGI monsters that didn’t really bring anything new unto the table. If you’ve been living under a rock, you probably missed all the hype about the live action remake of The Beauty and The Beast. They even dragged Emma Watson in for this movie. Currently, Disney has been releasing teasers about Mulan, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King. Those childhood darlings are going to have their turn at being processed, repackaged, and shoved in peoples faces as “a fresh spin on a much beloved tale”.

So instead of coming up with actual fresh and original material, it seems that screenwriters, directors, and their producers are more focused on coming up with the next big live-action remake that’s jam packed with nostalgia that will have the South Park Member Berries just shrivel up and head on to Nirvana.

It seems like it’s a wasted opportunity for original tales and the undiscovered talents since they’re more than likely looked over in favor of what old thing can be made new again. The Renaissance period wasn’t called that because of all the rehashing they did of old works. They were called that because the artists all collectively pursued the new and undiscovered. I feel that instead of getting old stories, we should be getting continuations. We deserve to get ‘next’ and not be directed to what we’ve already seen and experienced.

So I don’t know about you but I feel that we’re missing out and I want and expect more.


The Psychological Effects of Music

The Psychological Effects of Music

I’ve been doing so serious research on this, so here we go:

Music is a known motivator in exercise performance. How it affects the exercise and the exerciser, exactly, is a subject of different findings because of the many research methods used. Yet, the one thing that is constant is music can be viewed as “enhancement drug.” Its effects are psychological.

Workout music is a necessity for many professional athletes. It helps them be at a peak performance and have a satisfactory workout. Nothing in the field of exercising has been as productive of a pair as the pairing or music and exercise.

Research shows music tends to distract the mind and body from the fatigue and pain when exercising. It elevates moods and creates a perceived lower exertion while increasing endurance during workouts.

It Inhibits Physiological Feedback

The body will show signs of fatigue after a given period of exercise. The point at which fatigue sets in varies from person to person. The muscles start having high lactate levels, the heart races to stabilize blood flow, and sweat production increases. All these are signs showing the body will soon need a break.

The introduction of music often inhibits the physiological signs by having a psychological effect on the brain. The music starts changing a person’s perception of the level of exertion during the workout session. This, in turn, makes it easier to do a few more weight lifting reps or run those 15 miles.

Music inspires and motivates; it has the power to transform and enhance a person’s workout. Music has a positive effect on how the brain functions and this then trickles to the rest of the body. When exercising, a person needs a feel-good feeling as a motivator when starting exercising and music tends to provide that kind of feeling.

The Right Music Is Important

Music is diverse, and it is that diversity that makes a particular type of music suitable for a particular form of exercise. For instance, soothing sounds can be views as workout music suitable for yoga and meditation when quick-tempo music suited for high-impact workouts such as lifting weights or doing aerobics or dance exercises.

With workout music, everything boils down to personal preference. House music and Hip-Hop are genres with a high tempo and both suit high-impact exercises. However, some people feel that Hip-Hop music is what gets them going while others prefer house or techno music. It all depends on the psychological effect of the music.

The emotions that the different music types evoke in a person. In some cases, the emotional state of the singer and even the viewpoint tend to have some degree of influence on how motivated a person will be when working out. Nevertheless, the lyrics of a song may not have a high impact as the tempo and rhythm.

Exercising is often tiresome, arduous, and boring; music is the external element that relieves the mind and body of these negative feelings. It is a master of distraction, especially when doing low or moderate intensity exercises. It may, however, have a less impact when used during very high-intensity exercise; but, the response to the workout music will differ from person to person based on the type and tempo of the music.

Tree Company Research

This past weekend was a 3-day one for me, as work gave me Monday off.  I wish I could say I enjoyed this weekend, but in all honesty, I did not.  The storm late last week knocked down a tree in the side of my yard, which not only bumped the power-line, but also caved in part of my roof.  One of the tree limbs even went through the attic vent duct, which I didn’t even think was possible because the whole is so small.  The attic in my house is not finished, so that part was not a huge deal for me (not an emergency anyways).  But, I didn’t want to wait until Tuesday for businesses to open back up.

I hopped online and started to google tree service providers in the area.  What I found was interesting and not exactly what I expected.  The majority of the companies on the first 3 pages of google had cookie-cutter, boring sites that really didn’t explain anything their arborists do or how they do it.  Basically, the sites just listed things like tree removal, pruning, trimming, etc., but didn’t share anything about the staff, such as their level of experience.  It’s not enough to just say your business is the best.  I feel that it needs an explanation as to why.

Yes, I did in fact read through 23 different websites until I finally found a tree service provider that looked a lot different from the rest, Joe Stevens.  Joe owns Albany Tree & Property Service, which has been around for more than 15 years.  He employs an experienced team of arborists that can handle any job big or small.  In reading through his site, I got the feeling that tree care is more than just a job to him and his team.  They seemed to care, so that’s who I called.

Joe and his crew showed up Saturday to give me an estimate and it was reasonable, so I asked them to start right away.  They knocked out the whole job in a few hours and cleaned up the mess when it was complete.  My roof is still in dire need of repair, so I’ll be calling a roofing contractor to fix that soon.  However, I was very happy with Joe’s tree service, and I share this simply to remind you to do your research before choosing a business that’s a good fit for you.  The people that care about what they do are worth every penny.

Tips for Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

It’s becoming a vital need to prepare you for the zombie apocalypse, so when the time comes, you are able to defend yourself. The world is rapidly changing and there have been various reports that certain parts of the world have seen outbreak of zombies. These zombies are the walking dead – average people that have become infected from our government’s virus research gone bad. Follow these 5 tips and you have a chance at survival.

1. Choose Your Weapons Carefully


Know that weapons you choose depend on the situation. Hide first, run later. When you run, you need weapons that you can carry or that fit in your backpack. When you hide, step up your game and bring some more heavy firepower.
Your weapons of choice could be anything from a knife (not recommended, Rambo) to fully automatic machine gun, to a flamethrower. Although the flamethrower seems appealing at first glance, remember that zombies don’t die easily. You’re going to need to go for head-shots, so choosing a weapon that can fire bullets with would be wise.
Where do you get all these guns you ask? There must be a local gun shop you can raid. Steal a truck, back it into the store’s front window and take all you can. Get back to your location fast and hide the vehicle.

2. Gather Food

While you’ve got the stolen truck, get to the grocery store, grab carts and collect as much dry food as you can. You’re not going to have electricity, so don’t bother getting microwaved meals. Zombie apocalypse, remember? You won’t have to worry about paying for any of this either since the zombies already decimated the city. Bring as much as you can and be prepared to ration it until help arrives (whenever that is).

3. Get Your Hands on a Medical Kit


Haven’t you ever played Call of Duty!? Everyone knows that when you’re bleeding out on the floor, you can come back to life if you have a med kit handy. Acquire lots of them. If they’re in stock, your local sporting goods store is a great choice. If you need to build your own, rip off some backpacks and head to the local hospital. Items to include:
– Non-serrated knife
– Adhesive tape
– A splint
– Soap
– Antiseptic wipes
– Elastic bandages
– Sterile Gauze

4. Build a Fortress

You were great at this as a kid. It’s time to use what you’ve learned. Use anything you can to lock down your location so that nothing from the outside can get in. Heavy objects, such as a couch or a refrigerator make great barriers when propped against doors and windows. Once you’re in, no one leaves, for any reason. Everyone tries to run and look what happens to them. If you have an idiot in the group that insists on leaving, restrain them for the sake of the rest of you. Your group needs a leader, so it’s time for you to take charge.


5. Hold Position


Sit tight. Yes, this part always sucks, but now you have a chance to get to know each other. I hope you brought some people of the opposite sex. Diverse groups make for a better time. Too much testosterone or estrogen in one place makes everyone nuts. Keep in mind there are going to be a number of different personalities, some that may clash, all in one spot. Lucky you! Try to understand that everyone doesn’t handle death and destruction as well as you do…and they didn’t read this survival guide.
Inevitably, the zombies will come for you. Position the large weaponry in front and hold the line. Kill as many as you can. Each head-shot it worth 10 points, but whose keeping tracking.
Once the zombies overwhelm your location, it’s time to run.

6. Run

When there is no option left, you have to run away. This is the everyone for themselves part of the plan. Stick together where possible, but eventually the zombies will catch up. There will come a time when it’s either your life or the life of someone else. Be selfish and survive. Don’t pretend that you’d sacrifice yourself for some person you just met a few hours ago. Instinct will kick (thanks Darwin) and you’ll keep going, faster than before.

7. Find the Safe Haven
Think I Am Legend.  You are not alone in the world. You are not the only one that will be facing the Zombie Apocalypse. There are other survivors as well. Finding them is the problem. Get your hands on a radio. Look for lone survivors. Somehow, one of them always know where the safe haven is yet he or she always has a terrible sense of direction. Acquire them into your group and fight your way to freedom.
I sincerely hope this helps you survive the zombie apocalypse…if you even see it in time that is.


This is obviously fictional. Don't sue me :-)

Back Again

Hello world!  I am definitely overdue for a post. I’ve been slacking.  Things have been a little crazy in my neck of the woods.  I was laid off and I am once again on the grind for a new position. Onward we march, but I’m not discouraged.  There’s a learning opportunity here.  It’s called show up on time and make yourself invaluable.  I showed up on time (all the time), but I can’t say I was invaluable, so lesson learned.  Out of 4,400 people, 764 were let go over the past 3 months.  I probably should have seen this coming, but I was enjoying a nice, fat paycheck so I guess you could say the blinders were on.  The position was in HR.  I’m not a people person, so there’s another lesson learned – why did I choose this field?  Still not sure.

I took a role in HR as an analyst and had worked a large multinational corporation.  As you’d expect, I interviewed with a thousand people before I was hired and then I was introduced to the red tape.  It was a huge organization with layers upon layers of management and each manager with their own agenda.  It was rough up front learning everything because it was almost like people spoke a different language at the company, a technical one that I didn’t understand yet.  And, don’t even get me started on the training.  There was zero formal training, but there was hours and hours of people standing over me and me watching e-learning videos online, trying very hard to stay awake.  Don’t get me wrong, I was a 4.0 student, but I was expecting something far different from that.  The interviewers drew me in without telling me the whole story.  It got better though.  After a few months, I had a good handle on my role and started helping out colleagues and boom…management noticed.  Almost instantly, I was reassigned to a special project for the top dogs.  I nailed it and boom…promotion.  Wow, if it only was like this all the time.  I took my new role and enjoyed the freedom of choosing the projects I wanted to work on…until my boss was “realigned” (demoted) for being useless.  That’s a shame – I liked her and she gave me the freedom that made me actually somewhat enjoy work.

The new manager appeared and she was far different than the previous.  She was a dictator and I couldn’t stand it.  The first weekend after the manager swap, I went to NYC to visit a friend and I told him I needed to a change.  He asked what kind, and I said I didn’t know – just something.  “Move here.”  Genius!  I went back, applied to a few hundred jobs and starting traveling back and forth to and from the city to interview.  I landed one after a couple months (the one that just disappeared).  Here’s the thing though – the new role sounded great, just like the last one, but when you actually got into the role, it was not what they said it was.  So, the fact that I was laid off doesn’t bother me too much, especially since they’ll be paying me severance for the next month.  I’m just going to enjoy my preview of retirement.  What can be learned from all of this?  Choose your major carefully.  And, on a side note, big thank you and shout out to the leading pest control service beaverton or who hooked me up with an interview at a firm I think I might actually enjoy working at.  The future is looking bright.

Not Much of an Update

Hey there!  Been super busy with work lately, so I haven’t posted much.  Lots going in my world.  Took a trip to Vegas this week.  It was out of control!  Las Vegas definitely lives up to its expectations.  The hotels would crazy expensive (but sick as hell), fast cars were all over the place racing up and down the strip between street lights, and the girls were wearing almost nothing…in broad daylight…everywhere, and there was a lot of blinding sunlight.  Sounds like Heaven right?  Haha.  Oh man, what a week it was.  I rented the new Shelby Mustang GT-H and raced that to the Grand Canyon at 132 mph – the thing flies and it makes noise you can hear from a long long way away, so you know it’s coming.  The good news is there’s almost no cops on the road because the area is so big to cover.  My radar detector did pick up some lasers though, so it had to be a UAV flying overhead (drone or something); that happened a couple times and my brakes got a workout.  I did cut the time to the Grand Canyon, where I was headed, by a good 30 minutes though, so that’s fresh.  As expected, the Grand Canyon wasn’t that grand…really just a big hole and some rocks.  It was kind of cool to see since it’s a nationally recognized thing, but not as amazing as I expected.  Driving that car was so much more fun.  8 hours of driving in one day sounds like a lot until you forget that you’re driving and you feel like you’re a live member in Need for Speed or Fast and Furious.  I was waiting for the chopper chase scene to start.  After I got back I was so exhausted, I dropped down on the bed for a minute and woke up the next day.  Who sleeps 18 hours???  Apparently, I do.  Spent all of Sunday at the pool with some girls I met.  Literally just walked away after saying bye to them and boom…she appears on Tinder.  I texted her the screenshot of it and she got a laugh.  Overall, I had a ballin’ time in Vegas. You got the 10% I can share, the other 90% dies with me haha.  Til next time.

Have To Write A Persuasive Letter

Seriously, read it and tell me what you think.  Would you donate after this?


Dear (Whoever):


I would like to tell you a little bit about a very important charitable organization in the Latham area.  The Salvation Army has been providing clothing for the less fortunate people of the Latham area for many years at a very low cost.

The Salvation Army is a non-profit organization.  It is currently struggling to remain active in the community because of rising taxes and a trend of decreasing support from the upper-class members of the community who had previously contributed greatly.

Over the past few years, I have been donating both money and time to the Salvation Army in an attempt to keep it in business.  Please consider helping to support the Salvation Army in its time of need.  Help of any kind is welcome.

Your Friend,


Yes?  Would you donate after reading this, or at least consider it anyways?

I’m attempting to round up some money for the local Salvation Army so they don’t need to close their store down.

List of Catastrophies

So listen to this.  Class has been done for a few weeks now. I was browsing through all my saved notes and papers and such from school and came across what you see a few lines below.  It was from English class.  I was an A student, so when the teacher tells the class to “peer review” each others’ papers, I get worried.  Why would I want a person flunking the class to be reviewing my paper.  As you would expect, I received the class clown for the peer review.  His was sitting on a solid D+ (I know because he told me), and he seemed quite proud of it, which I don’t understand.  He had a lot of feedback for me – grammar (to make it worse), new ideas (to go off topic), and even questions on the words I used (which he had to look up, but the average person would not).

I got my revenge without even trying.  Have a look at this:

  1. The author’s thesis is a one-sentence answer to the essay question.
  2. This thesis is one that a reasonable person might need to be convinced of.
  3. The introduction is worded in an odd way.  It needs to be made clearer.  The biggest issue is the first sentence.  The conclusion doesn’t really have anything to do with summing up the essay and bringing it to a close.  The conclusion needs to sum up the main points of each paragraph and tie everything together.  Lastly, I think the thesis needs to better address the essay question.  Currently, it talks about the aggressive nature of humans and the existence of a society where that is the case.
  4. Each paragraph has a main point, but not all of the paragraphs relate to the thesis.  There doesn’t seem to be much a transition between any of the paragraphs.  The ending idea of one paragraph should tie in to the starting idea of the next paragraph.
  5. The fourth paragraph is the most effective paragraph because it relates to the thesis.
  6. The weakest paragraph is the fifth paragraph because it is does not thoroughly explain the main point.  It needs more description and detail.
  7. The author uses some references, but he needs more of them.  Also, he needs to cite sources in APA format.
  8. The essay does not offer a critical analysis because the essay does not relate well to the thesis.
  9. I liked the forth paragraph because it made sense.
  10. Here are some errors:
  • 1st sentence- change “give” to “gives”
  • Thesis sentence- change “do to” to “due to”
  • The first paragraph’s topic sentence- Split it into 2 sentences after “affected” then say, “For example, according to the Darwinist theory,…”
  • 2nd paragraph (bottom)- change “posses” to “possess”
  • 2nd paragraph (bottom)- add comma after explains in this quote: “After Rousseau explains…”
    • APA format needs to be used in this essay.
    • This paper does not address all of the issues asked for in this essay.  It needs more sources too.


  •       Use more sources and cite them in APA format
  •       Add a cover page to your essay (APA format in Hacker book)
  •       Change the introduction to better answer the essay question.  Then, change the essay to relate to the new thesis.
  •       Cite the lecture as a report from a private organization.
  •       Read through to see if the wording of the sentences makes sense.
  •       Look for grammatical errors with spell-checker.

Has anyone else ever had this happen?  Maybe next time, I’ll request a peer review from the teacher’s pet instead.  My sanity may fair better.


My Last Week at School & Job Applications

Last week, I created a flag football team that I thought would be pretty decent (instead of applying for jobs like I was supposed to be doing).  I was astonished to learn just how perfect our team was.  As it turns out, our team’s practices and performances on the field convey a few different themes.

A secular world view probably best applies to sports.  From when we are young, we are told that practice makes perfect.  Actually, it does not make perfect, but it does makes permanent.  Good practice leads to good habits while the opposite is also true.  Another belief that I heard was that the more effort a person puts into something, the better the result will be.  When I selected my team members, I chose mostly my friends, but also people with different strengths, that I thought would work together well and better the team as a whole.

Our team’s first practice was Thursday at 3:00 pm.  We all met down on the lacrosse field for a scrimmage to determine the positions everyone would play.  After thirty minutes of playing, we realized that some people needed to be moved to different positions.  After that, we played a little better, but still could use some improvement.  Then, it hit me; we needed to improve our teamwork.  From then on, we kept our focus on playing as a team and playing to the team’s strengths, not the strengths of the individual players.  I believe that this secular view of football worked perfectly.  We practiced working together, as team, and we improved our ability to perform.  Apparently, our practices have worked because we have won all of our last three games against teams with people that were very much larger than our players.  I wish I could find a job with these guys, but I doubt that will happen.

football or job apps

Someone had to take the picture, so I couldn’t be in the shot.  If only we had a drone, or maybe a selfie-stick.

The religious world view of sports is a little different than the secular world view.  The first view that comes to mind from that perspective, relating to football is when a team is on their own goal line, with one down left to score and win or go home.  In this type of position, this view works perfectly because the team is essentially living on a prayer.  You see how I just quoted Bon Jovi there?  Also, most announcers say something along the lines of this when a team is in a must make situation: “They have to make this one.  The QB drops back and launches up a prayer.”  Once in a while, the team’s prayers are answered and the wide receiver makes the catch.

The second view that comes to mind when thinking about football occurs in the captain’s pre-game speech.  The team gathers in a tight circle and prays together asking for a win, after the captain speaks.  An interesting fact to point out is that not all people are religious, but all of the players participate or are at least present at the site of the speech.  This most likely occurs because of the fact that the pre-game speech is also a tradition.

Lastly, flag football relates to the “American Experience”.  The “American Experience” is about bettering ourselves as people.  The teamwork involved in each practice and game teaches responsibility and proper conduct as well as athleticism.  Responsibility and proper conduct help to better people by improving the way in which they act.  Athleticism works more literally, by improving a person’s ability to perform.

Flag football demonstrates the theme of a team.  Football can be viewed through a secular world view, a religious world view, or a combination of both.  Finally, the “American Experience” is about improving people and their state of condition; in my team’s case, flag football does exactly this because of the teamwork involved in practice and games.

With football in the bag, it’s time for me to start my job hunt.  I’ve been procrastinating on this since I still have some time at school.  I have a few faster classes that I need to wrap up in the summer, so technically, I don’t need to start looking for a job yet, but I really should.  I don’t want to stay in Jersey, so I applied to jobs mainly in New York and Boston.  I applied to Moody’s and Goldman Sachs in New York for a financial path. I’ll post an update as soon as I hear back.  Football will have to stay on the back burner for a bit.  Can’t exactly go pro.