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)

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.

01.19.15 Quiet Time

The Parable of the Rich Fool

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

14 Jesus replied, Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

16 And he told them this parable: The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.

18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.

Abusive Video Game Manipulation

I’ve been playing video games for over 20 years (man, that sounds bad). It used to be a fairly straight forward transaction: you played the video game, beat it, and then moved on. But lately I’ve noticed a disturbing trend.

Video games now have decided to keep you playing for as long as possible. They achieve this by applying a reward system. The more you play, the more rewards you obtain.  When you consider that many video games are played on mobile devices these days, and employ the use of “micro transactions” (they call it micro so you don’t pay attention to how much money you end up spending over time) and you can see the problem this can present.  Video games have always played on humanity’s addictive nature, but things have turned more sinister.

A deleted scene from the movie Indie Game does an excellent job of describing the phenomena as Abusive Video Game Manipulation.  I have to admit that I’ve fallen victim to these tactics.  (I play the game you see up there.  I know, I know).

Check it out and stay woke.