Friday Findings 10/13/17

Happy Friday Readers!

I used to be mildly intrigued about the spookiness of Friday the 13th, but now I’m just excited for the weekend

What’s On My Mind This Week: The highs and lows of sports

This week, the New York Yankees overcame a 2-game deficit and won three in a row to eliminate the Cleveland Indians and advance to the ALCS. Cleveland was the best regular season team in the AL and won 102 games this year, following last year’s World Series appearance. Over the summer, the “Windians” rode an epic 22-game winning streak, the longest in baseball history. By contrast, The 2017 Yankees were a rebuilding project with muted expectations. Hats off to Joe Girardi and the nucleus of young ballplayers (Judge, Sanchez, Severino, et al.) who defied the pundits. We are now 4 wins away from the World Series– go Yankees!

https://www.mlb.com/yankees/video/share/yanks-advance-to-their-16th-alcs/c-1862763183?tid=8878548

Also this week, the US Men’s Soccer National Team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, losing to Trinidad and Tobago. What an epic fail… this loss is the defining legacy for the current generation of players on the USMNT. Now it’s time to CTRL+ALT+DEL

What I’m reading/watching/listening to:

Residente’s new self-titled album “Residente”. Residente ( René Pérez Joglar) is a rapper, singer, writer, producer, film director, and, with his stepbrother Visitante (Eduardo José Cabra Martínez) co-founder of the award winning rap group Calle 13. They have won 24 Latin Grammys, the most awarded to a single group in Latin music history. Residente possesses a Fine Arts degree and is known for his social and humanitarian work on behalf of UNICEF and Amnesty International (Thx to Drea for the find)

Album Background (Wikipedia)

A few years before the album’s release, Residente took a DNA test that revealed his roots trace back to 10 different locations around the World, including Armenia, Ghana, China and his homeland Puerto Rico. Such diversity inspired him to produce what would later result in a solo album, a documentary and a book released via Fusion Media Group (Univision Communications) under the same common title Residente. He signed a five-year production deal with the label.

The album was written and recorded over the course of two years and saw Residente travel around the world to the places where his roots are, including Siberia, Moscow, China, the Caucasus, France, Spain, England, Armenia, Ossetia in Georgia, Antigua, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Niger, aside from Puerto Rico.

In all those places, he worked with local, mostly amateur or unknown artists, some of which poor or affected by war. Despite this, Residente rejects the idea of it being a world music album because he “wanted to do something new”. All of them will be paid for their royalties. He also said:

“I collaborated with talented artists, artists that the musical industry doesn’t know of because they don’t pay attention to them, artists that make music without expecting something in return, artists whom I share DNA with, just how they shared their stories with me.”

About the album’s general sound, he said “at a sound level it is not the most organic [album he’s ever made], but the most real and precise. All sounds are from those countries, the drums, the voices, anything that sounds comes from that place.”

Parts of the pre and post-production of the album were done at Loisaida Center in New York City. Residente also worked at Electric Lady Studios in West Village.

The album deals with themes such as equality and unity. Though Residente’s initial approach to his trips were mainly musical, he was inspired by his conversations to focus on the subject of race. Despite being produced much before Donald Trump won the 2016 United States presidential elections, Residente admits its themes could relate to the scenario of the time of its release: “I think that… the topic now is even more relevant because of what is happening with Trump and not only Trump, because there’s a lot of racism around the world. […] We all came from the same place, even though we are different, we are equally different”.

Residente intends to release an English language version of the album and has already translated all lyrics with the help of Puerto Rican poet Urayoán Noel, associate professor at New York University. The effort will be put out depending on Residente’s satisfaction with it.

Great (not so) recent purchase:

Nevados Men’s Boomerang II Mid Hiking Boot ($32)

nevados mens boot

Do not overspend on branded hiking boots that can cost up to $200! I got a pair of these boots 3+ years ago and they have served me superbly on my hikes in the northeast. This is not a paid advertisement, and I do not get paid for these links.

My Photo of the Week:

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Hiking Mount Mansfield – 4,393 ft (VT) – Sunset Ridge Trail to the “Chin” of the mountain

What’s Biggie Smalls up to?

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Chewing on his bone, forever

Friday Findings 10/6/17

To my dear readers,

TGIF! What a sad/crazy week it’s been. If there is any silver lining from the Las Vegas mass shooting, it’s that we are finally talking about legislating “bump stocks” which can turn semis into autos for as little as $99. On Thursday, the NRA endorsed tighter restrictions for these devices. But talk is cheap, let’s get it done. What is a Bump Stock and how does it work? (interactive)

The Coolest thing I saw on RedditGas station worker takes precautionary measures after customer refused to put out his cigarette

What I’m watching/listening to/reading:  Comedian Anthony Jeselnik’s “Thoughts and Prayers” Netflix Special, about how people run to social media after a tragedy and make it about themselves

Great recent purchase: “Faturday” came a day early this week, courtesy of La Bergamote in Chelsea. Located on the corner of 9th Avenue and 20th Street, this Parisian inspired patisserie/bistro has a comfy neighborhood feel and offers an excellent assortment of croissants, pastries and desserts. I think it’s a great spot for a casual breakfast/brunch. I recommend the pain au chocolat, the croissant aux amandes and assortment of fruit tarts. The cappuccino and coffee are well made too.

My Photo of the week: “THE ONLY MAGIC I STILL BELIEVE IN IS LOVE”

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What’s Biggie Smalls up to? It’s October, and Biggie is ready for Halloween! Even though I can’t reveal his costume yet, I’ve included a preview of how he’s (usually) feeling:

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Friday Findings 9/29/17

Happy Friday!

  1. What I’m reading/watching/listening to: Admiral William McRaven’s 2014 University of Texas Commencement Speech – Make your Bed. A few years old at this point, but absolutely worth listening to. This is 20 minutes of pure inspiration. McRaven also published a book this year that still is on Amazon’s top read list. Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World
  2. Coolest Thing I saw on Reddit this Week: Woman Rescues Cat From A Storm Drain (“IT” Style)
  3. A Free and Essential Google Chrome Browser Extension: Hoverzoom. Hoverzoom let’s me preview videos and pictures from thumbnails and links. This prevents multiple tab bloating and is an incredible time saver.
  4. My Photo of the Week:IMG_3627 Paws Chicago is a spectacular organization dedicated to building No Kill Communities, ending the overpopulation of homeless animals, and developing sustainable solutions-based models to transform animal welfare. Their great work has been recognized and is most prominently reflected in the proliferation of super cool dog statues in Chicago (particularly along the Magnificent Mile). Specifically, they have a no kill mission,
  5. What’s Biggie Smalls Up To? A new crate pad for my bruiser + a Camo harnessIMG_3633

Friday Findings – 9/22/17

My dear readers,

Thank you again for taking time out of your day to read about my ordeal from so many years ago. I’m blown away by your sincere and compassionate reception to my “Suspended From College” post earlier this week. The catharsis that I’ve felt these last few days from sharing my story is dwarfed by your collective gratitude and words of encouragement.

We’ve all had our share of embarrassing, uncomfortable and dark times in between the Facebook worthy moments of pleasure, happiness and fulfillment. I know that there will be more of all of the above for us; let’s acknowledge and embrace these moments of imperfection, failure and vulnerability as a sign of our humanity. We’re alive and kicking!

Also, zombie walking (faces glued to our phones) is strongly discouraged.

Love, Jimmy

FRIDAY FINDINGS for the Week of 9/22/17

Hey readers! I’m introducing a regular column on my blog called Friday Findings, where I will share with you quick bites of content from the internet and from my life that represent my personal voice. I hope you find the content easy to digest, insightful, and funny.

I don’t get paid for any of the links I share, btw.

  1. The Coolest Thing I saw on Reddit: What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done in the Sims?wdi07txqyzmz
  2. What I’m Reading/Listening To/Watching: New Series on PBS by Ken Burns documenting the Vietnam War. http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/the-vietnam-war/watch/  This took 10 years to make, has 18 hours of content spread across 10 episodes. I’m only 2 episodes in, but the depth of conversation, media from both sides, and the political intrigue and complexity has eerie parallels to the present moment. Strong recommendation in limited doses (or as a bingefest if you are a military history nerd). Bonus: Sam Harris had a fantastic conversation with Ken Burns and co-producer Lynn Novick. Consider it director’s commentary.
  3. A Great Recent Purchase – Osaka 1.5 Liter Electric Quick Boil Gooseneck Water Kettle . $40 on Amazon – this mundane purchase has reduced my morning routine by 10 minutes. I no longer burn my hands clumsily making drip coffee – the long spout is great for making brewing teas as well when precision is key.
  4. My Photo Of The WeekIMG_3591
  5. What’s Biggie Smalls up to? Biggie went to the Vet this Thursday and learned that he’s 5 pounds overweight – time for some portion control! He’s a one-year old 55lb bruiser with diaper rash (from peeing on himself constantly) and a swollen left eye (from roughhousing with others, now better). Love my little man!IMG_3499