What I’ve been working on

As I’ve mentioned before, i like sneakers.  I like the sight, feel, and smell of them (no, I’m not one of the guys on YT and IG you see licking the outsole of my kicks, but you get the idea).

One of the reasons I began recording my thoughts here was to help figure out what now?  My background is in Civil Engineering (roads & bridges) for which i’m grateful, but not inspired about.  While pondering this question, i kept coming back to my appreciation for those foam, rubber, and leather articles that go on our feet.

After a few conversations with close confidants, i decided to run with an idea i’ve bounced around in my head for the better part of a decade.  The result: Footwear Commodities Exchange (www.footwearexchange.com).

So what?  An honest question.  Sneakers are a big deal, and have been for quite some time.  With all things good, come individuals who seek to take advantage and profiteer.  Gone are the days of driving to the Mall or your neighborhood mom and pop store to scoop the latest pair of Air Jordan’s or Dunks.  Re-Sellers (an individual who makes a living buying up all or the majority stock of a desirable item, only to “re-sell” it for a considerable mark-up.  Think 100% – 200% of MSRP) have ruined things, camping outside of said establishments for days on end.  If you manage to sidestep the Re-Sellers, keep a watchful eye for the exploding counterfeit market.  Due to the swelling demand and ever shrinking supply, our friends in the factories of these multinational corporations have taken advantage of a golden opportunity: make “Grey Market”, “Replicas” (whatever the moniker, they’re fake) shoes and pass them off as authentic.  Some of these offerings have come so close to the real thing that even the most experienced eye can be fooled.

Footwear Commodities Exchange (FoComEx) takes a different approach to this shoe phenomena.  Shoes are a commodity (no different from silver, corn, or natural gas) that bought/sold/traded just the same.  The problem arises in the fact that there has not been a regulated and monitored exchange where business can be transacted safely and securely,   until now.

FoComEx not only provides a marketplace for users to buy/sell/trade footwear related commodities safely and securely, it offers the following:

  1. Zero Tolerance of Fraud and Suspicious activity
  2. Authentication & Verification Services
  3. Commodities Insurance
  4. Market base pricing history
  5. Commodities Futures

If you’re into sneakers, or just curious what this is all about, come see for yourself.

http://www.footwearexchange.com

fo_com_ex (on Instagram)

05.07.15 Quiet Time

12 I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.13 But when He, (R)the Spirit of truth, comes, He will (S)guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 He will (T)glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15 (U)All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.” – John 16:12-15 (NASB)

The Holy Spirit is a Christian’s personal guide in regard to the specific will of God in that individual’s life.  He speaks to the Christian on behalf of God, so there is no reason to doubt or fear his message.  His sole purpose is to glorify God the Father and God the Son, at all times.

Learning to discern, interpret, and implement the wishes of the Holy Spirit is crucial for any follower of Christ to be effective in his discipleship.

Roadshow on the sidewalk

On my morning walk I can across something fairly interesting:

Per Wikepedia:

Seeburg was an American design and manufacturing company of automated musical equipment, such as orchestrionsjukeboxes, and vending equipment.

Prior owner has a wide range in the way of musical taste:

If I had the money/space/time I would have hauled that thing home. 

Letting Go

So my children are away at Grandma & Grandpa’s for much of this week.  This is our first extended (longer than two days) time away from each other.  Initially the thought of having a few days without the crew around was quite appealing, but as is often the case, ideas tend to outpace reality.

It’s not just that I miss our daughter slicking into our bed at least twice a night, being awoken by the shrieks of our 9-month old son, or our oldest asking for cereal before sunup.  I realized that this is the first step in the process of letting go.  Our children will be with us only for a short while, as we try to teach them how to be a light to the world.  18 some-odd years seems like a long time, but it goes by quickly.  Our oldest will be 6 in December, and our is daughter will be 3 in two weeks, going on 14 it feels.  My role as their father is to make the most of these few moments, and pray that God makes up the difference.

Grandma has sent a few phone pics and informed us, that the children ask about us everyday.  That made me smile.

Going Back

This past weekend my wife and I were in Baltimore for my friend’s wedding reception.  Devin is one of the few people I still communicate with from undergrad.  He was one of my groomsmen for our wedding.  He and his wife did a destination wedding in Jamaica last December.  Though it would have been a great time traveling to the Caribbean, Monica and I weren’t able to go.  The stateside celebration was a great opportunity to come show our love and support for their new union.

Monica and I planned to arrive a little early to take a look at the campus; an impromptu reunion if you will.  Although it was night, we could see drastic changes.  The new student center, Engineering buildings, and off-campus housing made me a tad envious of the current students.  But much of the old charm remained.  Like Soper Library.  I’m guessing it’s abandoned now, or at least being used for a different purpose.  One of the peculiar features of this building was while the elevator buttons allowed you to select floors B-10, the building only had 4 floors.  Soper Library is special because this is where Monica and I had our first “date” 15 years ago (wow; can’t believe I just typed that).  And then there was the Refectory.  Many a meal was had here, as well as heated debates on topics ranging from who had the better diss track?: Nas or Jay-Z, to Operation Iraqi Freedom.  As we drove through campus, all these forgotten memories came rushing back.  I constantly amazed at how the mind just stores these things for what seems like forever, only to recall them at a moments notice.

The reception was pleasant; glad to welcome Devin as his bride into the fellowship of the ring.

First (Real) Snow of the Winter

Got our first snow of the season here in Norfolk Monday night. Didn’t venture out, just a few shots from the window.

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And Tuesday morning:

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I got to hand it to The Tide maintenance crew. They were out early Tuesday clearing the tracks and platform so commuters wouldn’t skip a beat. Also to the good folks at Harris Teeter on Colonial Ave. They did the amazing feat of opening up all checkout lanes to assist shoppers trying to get home Monday night.

That moment when you over think it, and everything falls apart

It’s been over 36 hours, but I’m still in disbelief.

By now you’ve probably heard that the New England Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX by defeating the Seattle Seahawks, 28 to 24.  Much of the game was pretty ho-hum, until the final 3 minutes.  The Patriots took the lead on a go ahead touchdown, leaving the Seahawks a little over two minutes to orchestrate their own comeback.

Seattle by luck, skill, serendipity, or whatever you want to call it managed to get to the Patriots 1-yard line, with a little over a minute to go, and a time out.  All the Seahawks had to do was travel 3 feet, breaking the plane of the end zone, and the likelihood of them winning a second Superbowl in as many years was all but secured.

But that’s not what happened.

There’s a debate raging about who is to blame for what occurred next.  What is certain is that the worst play call in Super Bowl history (and probably NFL history, given the gravity of the situation)  ensued.  Instead of handing the ball off to their All-Pro “Beast Mode” Running Back (Marshawn Lynch) who was having his way with the Patriots defense, the Seahawks decided to attempt a pass play.

From the 1-yard line.

With less than a minute to go.

In the Super Bowl.

Patriots Corner Back Malcolm Butler jumped the route and intercepted the pass.

Game over.

I was speechless.  Why?  Why would the Seahawks decide to do such a foolish thing?  Anyone familiar with pro football knows as the field get shorter, the difficulty of completing passes increases exponentially.  There was no reason to take such a risk.

Over the past day and half, I’ve tossed this dilemma back and forth in my head.  I’m not a fan of either team (go Giants!) but I was mortified by the events that took place on Sunday.  All the hard work, training, preparation, and luck it takes to make it to the biggest game on the biggest stage, and it evaporated just like that.

I’ve been where the Seahawks were on Sunday Night before.  The obvious solution is staring you in the face, but you think you’re too cleaver.  You’re trying to cover all the angles, attempting to solve “a riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma“.  But often times in life, things are as straightforward as they seem.  There are no angles, no catches, no provisions, just action.

It takes a lot of courage and self-awareness to make the obvious choice.  There’s a sense of humility and surrender in doing the logical thing in the moment.  Our hearts may tempt us to do the grandiose, over the top; kind of like an in your face to everyone who ever doubted you.  I know, I’ve been there.  It feels good initially, but then better judgement washes over you.

Wisdom has taught me, keep it simple son.