Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Before Steve Jobs made the Ipod..."

I meant to unveil this information a while ago but since my comrade over at Cloud Nine is talking about "high tunes" and "high pods" i will pull up the caboose with this one. Most people are familiar with Steve Jobs, who is regarded as the resuscitator of the Apple brand particularly for his ingenuity-- in the form of the ipod. The ensuing revelation will validate why reading is paramount. There is a gentlemen by the name of Kane Kramer who had the rights to a patent back in 1979 for a digital music player that held three and a half minutes of music. No, this isn't quite the 60gb that ipods have elevated to but the concept is certainly mirrored. His sketch is the picture above, intensely similar to each and every mp3 player we have now. Kramer was forced to relinquish his patent in 1988 as he was unable to come up with the money required to hold his company afloat, it effectively went bankrupt. Kramer has never received a penny for his contributions to the development of the ipod and essentially all other mp3 players. Kramer has not acquiesced completely, he still looks to recoup some monetary benefits for his copyrighted drawing which bares a stark resemblance to Apple's iconic player.

The launch of the ipod in 2001 trails 1988 significantly, some would argue Kramer had time to re-build and execute his idea. But the unaware corporate and public forum has donned so many superlatives upon Steve Jobs regarding him as an ingenious technological pioneer, he may only be a fraction of that. He indeed deserves a trivial amount of credit for presenting the concept to the Apple brand, in a plan apparently succinct enough to be properly executed. The next time you see Jobs, ruminate this in your head, "he is renown for an idea that wasn't even his".

Its amazing how far ahead of the masses Kramer was, there was no such thing as a cd when he was working on his ideas, neither was there a tape (i believe). Think about how many ideas we get daily that we disregard and drown out, or ideas that we conjure up that never bloom outside of our own minds for the rest of the world to see. I know Kramer didn't make it happen completely but he took the initiative to execute his idea, that's where we commonly fall short. This informative and inspirational session was for free, courtesy of the 'Sofa.

Friday, October 24, 2008

New York Times Barack Endorsement


This is so serious im not even using a picture! This is an article written in the New York Times that essentially endorses Barack Obama from the vantage point of the collection of editors (therefore the whole newspaper). The article is astoundingly precise and keen as it evokes critical thoughts on your selection in November. The article stretches the insurmountable gap between the two candidates in a vanilla manner, not by crafty, eloquent wordplay. I felt it was really powerful and mentally jarring. Please Read! I don't get these goosebumps often.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Long & Strange Trip

I should not even be in the position to write this post but I am, therefore i will impart my experience upon the 'Sofa. I had to go to the courthouse today, for some aggravating traffic stuff. Pay attention as I detail the experience.

First, I get downtown at 8:20 a.m. or so and of course the parking is extremely sketchy and spotty, lot attendants looked like they just emerged from underneath a downtown awning and left their shopping cart to collect dollars from hurried and pre-occupied drivers. I did not park in any of the lots, for one because i did not have any legitimate amount of cash on me, and if i did I was going to at least attempt to fabricate a parking spot before i gave them any currency. So I found a meter and my mood was quickly reversed (I always have plenty of change, especially quarters). Although the meter actually took Visa, I happily fed my quarters into the machine until it flashed there is a one hour maximum. I was then dismayed, because I didn't realize that, perhaps in my blissful state i did not read thoroughly. I chalked it up and sauntered to the courthouse, when i got to the door and peeked in I reaffirmed to myself, "I knew it"-- the joint was packed! One of my first observations was that the people looked visually dilapidated minus a few here and there. I had on a suit and most people looked they were trying NOT to wear a suit. I saw everything from Jordan's to tattered and old Converse's that i haven't seen in YEARS... and trust me i know shoes. People wore dickie outfits, largely printed name brand items, and old dresses that look like they USED to be for the club. Its a good thing it wasn't hot outside because im sure someone would have tried to clandestinely shuffle in there with a beater on. This is wrong on my behalf but I looked at these people and thought, "I just can't see these folks voting".

But one of the funniest things is that everyone had to remove their belt to go through the metal detectors, hence everyone is walking around the courthouse in scattered pockets looking as if they are just getting dressed or leaving the bathroom, I thought that was hilarious! If you kinda squint your eyes at the payment counters you would swear that you were at some indoor festival, and the payment counters were concession counters. I felt so distant and excluded, i certainly did not need to be in there and i will put the stamp on that sentiment later.

So i eventually discovered after about 5 minutes and questioning what counter to approach to get my destination. I head upstairs to my courtroom and then i realize that i left something in the car, the bailiff or whatever they are said sure you can leave. I hustle back through the maze exactly how i remembered it back to my car, then i had an audacious revelation, "I can put more money in my meter". This was a blessing in disguise! So I do just that then i groundhog day-it back through the courthouse. Somebody took my seat but other than that i felt good. By now its about 9:00 and they are clearly not ready to start (why did they tell me to get there at 8:30?). I was perturbed all over again because although i extended my time they are clearly intent on whisking my precious minutes away, my rationale told me of course they are going to address my ticket last because that's the way the world works, right? Certainly as i thought up my self-fulfilling prophecy it happened that way. I sat through a bevy of stories but only one of them stood out. There was a gentlemen whose case was dismissed because the officer did not show up, he was trying to argue his ticket!? Then his daughter who was about 30 years old herself interjected from the benches and tried to co-sign her father, but they clearly are disengaged from the rest of world because everyone is telling them to be quiet and GO, Get OUT, you're free!

So i finally get my chance to speak my peace, not the result i was looking for but whatever... I already hate the police so nothing happened to sway me the other way. I pay my "court fees" and such and proceed out the door. As im walking past one of the security guards by the door a woman stops and inquires to that security guard, "who do i speak to if i want to press assault charges against someone". This affirmed the notion that i do not need to be here. Yeah, about that.... don't you go to a police station to do that?

So this journeys comes to a close as i reach my car and of course............. i have the inevitable parking ticket.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

OPEC and Oil Prices

I got this information via The New York Times and it vaguely perplexed me. Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has called an emergency meeting planned for Friday to discuss the price drop of oil while demand is falling. One of the chairmen said, the obvious response is to slow daily oil production, but they are looking to reach an agreement for a plan with more longevity. The price of oil is down by half since July, and oil prices settled at 79.89 a barrel on Tuesday, which is near the 14-month low it reached last week. Many independent experts believe the global consumption of oil will fall this year, the first time since 1993.

We have witnessed the oil prices fall sharply within the last few weeks, but the inquiry that must be made is why does the price fluctuate so heavily? The same methods are used to extract the oil and it is the same companies selling it. Ok, economics lesson: high supply + low demand = low price, low supply + high demand = high price. Experts also stated that it is paramount that they select an agreeable price, because pricing the oil too high will continue to reduce the demand by contributing to a global recession. OPEC is responsible for 40% of the worlds oil exports and they suspect that it will be difficult to get all of its members to abide by price cuts.

This problem can be alleviated by whomever the supplier is at the top if they stop trying to exaggerate their profit. Lets speculate that for the last 10 years Oil Company A has been extracting and supplying oil, but for the last 5 years A's clients have been increasing the amount of oil they purchase. Do you charge your client more money because they are buying more oil from you, usually its the opposite, the more you buy the better the deal. Sheer common sense will say that there is no shortage if OPEC is worried about demand declining, because if their supply was diminishing then they would welcome lower demand to keep them running longer. So why do they keep lifting the price? Granted, in the world there is always inflation but the rapid pace at which they were increasing was not consistent with the rest of the world. It was inevitable for their greed to devour them. If they never would have "gassed" (double entendre) the price up then there probably would not be such a clamoring for alternate forms of energy or a strong focus in another direction and they could have cruised along until, who knows, 2043.

In this world it is funny how everything balances out. The nerd eventually becomes the cool guy, just like the greedy soon become the needy. We shall see what happens, hopefully gas will remain consistent and reasonable. I just found this story highly riveting, the fact that they are worried about the oil prices being at the level where it probably should have been anyway. Less profit for the ones who have more than they can spend, i know, i've received the emails of the rich oil execs and their preposterous as well as hyperbolic lifestyles.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A House is not a Home...if nobody buys it

Florida's housing market is diving aimlessly and who knows where it will end. This is information via Forbes.com writer, Matt Woolsey (I just like that name so I had to chivy it in here). I am not in writing this to keep everyone in the mental doldrums but i have people in FL and I thought this was interesting and you will see why later. Housing prices in Miami dropped by 20%, Tampa 18%, and Orlando 17% in the past year according the National Association of Realtors.

I am aware of the housing conundrum across the nation and I chose Florida for a reason, aside from the truth that I found this article. I am not casting that off (trust me i live in Michigan), but approximately a year and a half ago I remember my dad enlightening me on how frivolously they were building homes in Florida, and that is not the case in states like MI or OH. At the time there was an excess of houses compared to the people buying. He talked about how a lot of construction companies were slowing production if not ceasing plans in multiple areas. This article reminds me that nothing happens in a vacuum and this is something that has certainly been on the way for a while, especially when you couple that with the dire economic straits. But how much expansion or growth did these companies in Florida prognosticate? I percieve that some of this could have been alleviated by the braintrust of construction companies and housing agencies. Too often we wait until a problem arises before we decide to fix it. Not to mention that we have to hold these decision makers accountable for the decisions that they make. I do not know what is taking place at the top of the aforementioned organizations but I hope that whomever the operating officer may be, they are being held accountable. On the other hand i don't like to dwell on the past, once it happens, its done. Now there needs to be an effort to make progress, and hopefully we can learn from our mistakes and not make the same one next time.

I am no economic or housing savant, but I do operate the Sofa which is poised to take over sooner before later.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Joe Budden- Star Inside of Me

I wasn't going to put this up, however i was urged to do so. This is a rendition from one of my most enamored music artists, Joe Budden. The song is called "Star Inside of Me". The cinematography was done by a stellar individual as well by the name of Rik Cordero (shout out to my cousin MIKE and 10th Planet Productions). Its a song that has a lot of meaning and a cool concept behind it, one that i presume people need to hear. Besides this guy is essentially the other Wallo, him and I share quite a bit of ideas and thoughts. I contend that more encouraging messages need to be brought to the forefront and im going to assist in that endeavor. Everything in hip hop isn't the greatest but some things are for universal ears and everyone should hear it. The regulars know how we do it on the sofa.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pop Champagne like we Won a Championship Game

-I know what it says across the picture- +This picture is from last night though+

But they didn't win a championship game. The Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels last night in the first round of the MLB playoffs, after the game they were popping champagne corks and wearing goggles like the rings were sitting on the table and ready to be handed out. Now the Rays did the same thing after beating the Chicago White Sox a day earlier.

The goal of the MLB baseball season is to win the pennant (championship) not to just get in the playoffs or win the first round. Not only am i disturbed by their actions but i am unsettled by the fact that there was champagne sitting there for them to pop. Which notes to me that someone anticipated a series win and prepped the room. Just so that everything is clear I want everyone to know that you don't get any team rewards for advancing in the first round. Maybe some players have a clause in their contract to get more money when they reach a certain plateau like 30 homeruns or 100 Runs Batted In, but that is no team accomplishment and you wouldn't be popping the corks because you are getting more money. For the Record no team has advanced to the World Series yet. A coalition needs to be created to stop the senseless use of champagne, Im going to spearhead this thing and im counting on my friends to jump in any minute, right guys? {Remember when KT yelled out the window in Goddard to that guy and expected us to help him if the guy came upstairs}. Im done, im going to a place where there are no mosquitoes!

Monday, October 6, 2008

O.J.'s Requiem

Alright Orenthal James is not dead but his brain certainly is. I deemed his latest story mundane because most people just consider O.J. a lost cause as I do, but then i read THIS...he had an acquittal party planned. I don't know if he is that pompous or if he is that dense. If you are presently unaware O.J. was convicted on armed robbery and kidnapping and could face up to life in prison. But that's not what im on right now. For a sixty something year old man he is the most mentally inept senior citizen i have ever had the opportunity to hear of. Its so ironic to me because i look at people in the 60's range as generally experienced if not exceedingly wise. But he clearly has missed his portion of wisdom (hopefully i can get his portion so that i can have double).

The story states that Thomas Riccio, an associate of Simpson, invited a couple of respectable individuals to an undisclosed location during an in studio interview as the trial was coming to a close. Phil Ramos, a Las Vegas police officer who has given expert commentary and attended the trial said "He's been predicting a hung jury". I believe the saying is counting your chickens before they hatch. Wouldn't that alone bring you bad karma. I think it is important for everyone to learn from their situations whether they are good or bad. When it is good you say "what did i do to make this happen" and when its bad "what can i do so this wont happen again". It is evident that there was nobody in O.J.'s life to "ground" him, I know that people throw that phrase around often for celebs but it fits right here. His mentality allowed him to continue to put himself in these positions, and he didn't bring his Perspective Glasses to the party, which would have advised him to stay as far away from the legal system as possible. He has to know that their are plenty of folks that want to devour you. Anyhow I just had to get that out of my system, I want everyone to get wisdom, cause i love yall.

Who Can You Help Today?

Can I get my MS on? Motivational speaking. Before I delve into this, a lady at Panera Bread ask me if I was a psychiatrist this week. I responded and said in a way "yes". However I urge everyone to ponder for a moment; who can i help today? Not in a random way either, I want you to think about your talents and what you are good at and offer them to a friend or a family member. People need to be outlets, resources, or avenues for other people and their talents if they can help them. There are so many talented individuals that never get to come out of the water for air. I understand that some people are not motivated but most people want to do productive things they just don't know the path to tread.

I usually don't like talking about myself but here we go. I think about myself and I reflect on how good it felt to help someone else excel and/or proceed. I have assisted with biographies, press releases, album reviews, company profiles, and etc. My principle for doing so was just to help advance whomever I was helping, understanding that we are more productive as a unit then we are individually. And suppose they advance a great deal in their field and they need more writing work, then they said I know the perfect person, subsequently I bring someone along when i need help and the web of excellence just keeps expanding along with your resources. We should all be familiar with the phrase "there is strength in numbers", we need to execute that. Here is a harbinger for what is blossoming in my life (you guys get the exclusive): I was trying to work on my logo for my company and I was having a tumultuous time, one day i abruptly realized my brother is extremely artistic and i have a friend that does graphic design such as web pages and logos. Then it occurred to me that i have another friend who has his own branding company and has created logos for others as well. Aside from them i have a host of close friends/family that have an excess of talent. I easily have enough around me to start an empire and its the same way for a lot of us we just don't realize it or take advantage of it.

So my behest today is to take the initiative and offer help to your fellow man and start the web of excellence. If you read this blog post then it was written for you specifically. "One man dreamt of becoming something while the other stayed awake and became"

Its all mental: Instru, Funda, Detri

Once upon a time there was a guy, a guy that worked for Southwest Airlines, a guy that worked for Southwest Airlines and smuggled cocaine aboard 388 flights. The man was a baggage handler down in Houston, and he moved the "work" routinely from Houston to Baltimore. Much to the authorities chagrin, he has been doing this since 2001, *for the record this is 2008. He has recently been caught and detained and is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, however he could succumb to a life sentence. The story alluded to the idea that he was not caught with cocaine on him, however he was discovered coming off of a flight with $79,122 on his person.

A couple of bullet points here: How bad does this look for Southwest/Airport security? In fairness I read that a lot of employees don't go through the same rigors that mundane traveling patrons undergo. The ensuing point is, why didn't he stop in 2004, 2005, or 2006? If he has enough gwap (money) to walk around with eighty G's then he is clearly doing it for the thrill of the chase. But some would simply call him greedy. Getting caught is an issue, but the larger issue is the mentality that many people possess. Let's talk strategy for a moment. Follow this example: you have an individual from an impoverished background with little options and they decide to traffic illegal substances and in the course of a year they progress from O's to Keys (ounce to a Kilo, don't ask what you are thinking) and now they are playing with heavy paper or multiple G's like this man was. Usually the authorities don't care to catch nor do they look for the small time guys. So why wouldn't this person get out the (drug) game once they get their finances together, since they were fortunate enough to make it this far and cover that money in legal money i.e. a business or something. Good question right? Like Jay-z said "said that i would stop before i even started, when i got to one brick then the game i will depart with, got to one brick then i looked to the sky like, sorry God i lied but give me one more try". The irony of selling drugs is that it's sort of like using them, its an addiction.

So I shake my head at this whole story but in large part due to the mentality. I think the quality of one's life depends on their mentality, you can be the pioneer of a fortune 500 company, lose it, and have your world crumble. Or you can build it, lose it, and say "its nothing" I'll do it again because I built it and i can build it again. Just a difference of mentality. However back to the morals, do the right thing like Spike Lee said.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Palin lost in Question?

I usually don't dabble in political fodder and/or banter, but this startled me when I saw it. Everyone has a portrait in their mind of what leadership looks, sounds and feels like, it may not be the exact same across the board but there is a general consensus. I also understand that there are different leadership style but...Palin does not look like it. During this question she looks like an aggressive deer in the headlights, as if to say I'm lost but I'm going to bully my way out of this. Initially I curbed my thoughts and wasn't going to say anything, however I then gathered my reality and said this woman is contending for second in command, for the whole nation. Not acceptable. I said maybe she didn't quite grasp the question but then the interviewer clarified and restated, and her answer was still bogus. Please ignore Diddy, he has money, free time, and an understanding that he can say what he wants to say. The REAL interview begins at around 0:19 and you can shut it off once that interrogation is over. I have never spoken to to McCain but I am merely curious to see what strategy is. I'm sure the republican delegates are intelligent individuals, but they are not doing an effective job of making the public see what it is they saw in Palin. Anyhow check it out.