Vol 1., February 2017

I’m writing this right in the middle of one of those Full House lesson moments. The piano and violin are going strong on this one. I think DJ and Kimmie just had a fight because DJ forgot her birthday and threw her a short notice birthday party. I really didn’t need to go in to that much detail, but here we are. Bottom line is that they’re friends again, and they’re about to go to town on some “hash brown cake.”

We are in to February, and I really have no idea where January went. All I know is that we are already a month down in 2017 and my son Ricky is now five-year-old. He will start Kindergarten after this summer, and I’m still dreading his first day of school. He’s been going to pre-school for two years, but this will be different.

I spent the evening getting the kitchen picked up, and we will see how long it lasts. It always seems to go from clean to disaster in like two or three days. We’ll see how this go around ends up.

Quick shoutout to my best friend Tippin who got engage to his girlfriend Brooke recently. These two are amazing and I can honestly say that I don’t think Brooke will try to murder him at any point, not intentionally at least. Super happy for those two and was honored to be asked to be his best man.

Chris


Music all over the place

I absolutely lover Apple Music and any other streaming service. It’s nice to be able to just listen to whatever song that pops in my head, but it’s even better having direct access to new music. I kind of keep my eyes out for new music recommendations and in the last few days I have found out about pianist Chilly Gonzales and the electronic group Sohn.

I learned about Chilly through an interview he did on The Nerdist podcast with Chris Hardwick. The dude is a genius when it comes to music theory and really provided some amazing insight in to music construction. He has worked with a lot of artists including Drake.

Sohn on the other hand comes from a recommendation from both Apple and Kevin Rose. As I’ve mentioned, this blog format stems a bit from Kevin Rose’s email newsletters and that was a group he mentioned. It just happen to be a recommendation on Apple Music as well. I listened to it on the way from work on Thursday and their new record really jams out.


St. Louis Football Club

143458C1-7793-4AB0-BE9B-3F2DD5EC0323_zpsw9c7ecc9.png

Today it was announced that the city has approved funding to move forward with a proposal that could bring a Major League Soccer club to St. Louis. St. Louis submitted an expansion request to the MLS commissioner, and there is hope that St. Louis will be one of four expansion teams brought in to the league. St. Louis is one of the bigger soccer cities in the US, and Busch Stadium has hosted more than a few English Premiere League teams including Chelsea and Manchester City.

article-2330067-19F7E93D000005DC-682_634x361.jpg

What really seems awesome about this is having a new beautiful stadium right by Union Station that would host the team. St. Louis does have a “minor league” football team, and one of the core owners of that is primarily involved with the MLS expansion process. I lived in Charlotte when they first go the Panthers, and it’d be fun having a team to cheer for at the very beginning of their history.


I’m ready for the weekend of having nothing planned, and I actually hope to catch some Manchester United soccer on Sunday. Obviously the Super Bowl is on Sunday and I think I’m more excited for the Stranger Things season 2 trailer than the game itself.

I hope you all have a great weekend, I think I’m going to throw some headphones on and lay in bed and take it easy.

Chris

Vol. 2, January 2017

It’s a weird stream of emotions today as I sit and write this. For most of this election cycle it was believed that Donald Trump had no shot at winning, and then he won. I sat and watched the inauguration ceremony and it left me with such a worried feeling. This feeling does not come from a place where I’m bummed my pick lost. It comes from a genuine concern that Donald Trump is not the right choice to lead a country.

I’ve watched some of the women marches today throughout the country, and it’s refreshing to see so many stand up against what he has said and believes in. At the end of the day he is our president, but it’s worrisome to watch him speak.

I watched his CIA speech, and it made me feel like he’ll suck up to whoever he is speaking too. He is tough behind a wall of supporters and his Twitter, but when he’s put in the room with those he has attacked, I feel like he will buckle and give in. This is most concerning when he begins his foreign trips and speaks with foreign countries.

Besides his policies, he is also an absolutely terrible public speaker. It’s no doubt we were spoiled by Barack Obama who not only had a charm and confidence when he spoke, but he always felt level headed. I don’t get a spit of that from Donald Trump, and that worries me. I don’t want to speak on the election any more after this as it is done and over, but I do really have a concern about the next 4 years.

Chris


HALO 5: Guardians

image.halocdn.com.jpeg

To escape a bit of the contents news cycle, I have divided up my gaming time between NHL 17 and Halo 5: Guardians. I tend to mostly play sports games because when you have kids it is hard to invest time in to a campaign. When I play a sports game I know I can stop playing for a few weeks and not have to remember what has happened prior.

With that said I decided to dive in to playing Halo 5: Guardians on the Xbox One. I stick mostly to the campaign because after spending 10 minutes in multiplayer I realized that is far from what I sit down and play. Those folks are great!

It has been fun though. It’s an enjoyable experience, and it does bring back a bit of nostalgia from playing with my brothers and friends in my basement at home. That is actually how I spent my senior prom was playing Halo with some buddies in my parents living room. I was never a social dance guy, and I think I skipped our junior prom too because my band had a show at the time.

Anyway, I’ve only gotten in to about 7 missions, but it has been a lot of fun, and I look forward to continuing the campaign tonight once the kids go to bed. It’s nice to let you brain wondBeyoner a bit into an adventure.


MacBook Air Repairman here

I wish the above was full true, but I did successfully fix my broken keyboard on my MacBook Air. I believe something had spilled on it which prevented me from being able to use the row below the numbers. It was annoying, and I finally grew enough confidence to try and repair it.

Screen Shot 2017-01-21 at 5.20.51 PM.png

Let me tell you, when you have to replace a keyboard on one of these things, you have to completely take the puppy apart. The keyboard is sitting below the battery, and the speakers and everything else. It scared the heck out of me trying to take things off. It doesn’t help either that the connectors are absolutely tiny, and pulling too hard can damage various components. At the end of the day though, I was able to replace the keyboard and only lost functionality of one speaker. I can live with that, and know exactly what caused it. I pulled too hard on a cord to be frank about it.

This was the 2nd keyboard that I have replace on a MacBook, but the last time was on a MacBook Pro which looking back may have been a little easier than this one.

My next challenge is replacing an iPad mini 2 broken screen, but after watching videos on that, I may not take my chances on that one. Too much can go wrong, and I don’t trust my reconstruction ability.


Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters

63ccdb66ed12ce1364-0.jpg

Band of Brothers is one of my favorite series I have ever watched. It focused on Easy Company of the 101st Airborne during World War II. I am already a nerd for World War II stuff, but after watching the series and the interviews with the men involved, it made me more interested to find out more.

Major Winters was great at documenting his time during the war, and reading his time during this is addicting. I’ve listened to the audiotape version of this, but I also bought the paper back. I’d recommend checking it out and giving it a read as it provides some interesting insight into training before the war and his experiences during things like Battle of the Bulge and capturing Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s Bavarian retreat. If you haven’t checked out the mini-series Band of Brothers then I recommend you do that first. It is amazing and I’ve rewatched it numerous times.


The weekend continues on and today was filled with beautiful weather. I hope you have been able to enjoy it so far too. I’m trying to write here more frequently, and with my laptop fixed, that may help support the cause.

It’s getting dark here and right now Ricky and I are almost in the dark as he plays Snowboard Kids on N64. I need to pop some lights on and chill a bit.

No matter what your stance is on politics, the most important thing is to be kind to each other and probably more importantly, just avoid confrontations and debates on social media, it’s totally not worth it and you probably won’t change any minds. I’ve learned this from my debates on religion and it carries over the exact same way with politics.

Chris

Vol. 1, January 2017

Happy new year to all of you reading this blog. We have officially embarked on the year 2017, and I hope everyone was able to bring in the new year in a positive manner. I myself cannot complain as I was able to to spend with my little family, as well as my siblings and their families. It is rare that the entire Bumeter bunch get together, but Christmas is normally the most likely time for doing so. It was a blast!

As you can see that I am continuing with my new format, which sparks a bit of excitement when I decide to write. I think I’m already on a better pace in the last week, then what I was on during all of 2016. It’s early, and like a new relationship, it’s easy to get excited. I think however, my writing will be much more frequent in 2017. This format also allows me the ability to write sort of mini blogs on different topics, instead of just trying to focus solely on me. We’ve been over this I know, but just in case you didn’t read my last blog, I figured I’d give a bit of an update on that.

I’m eager for 2017, and I look forward to writing 2016 for at least a good month or two before my brain really acknowledges it. I’m ready to get out of my comfort zone and try some new things, and maybe improve on those that are already in place.

Chris


 

The Winter Classic Alumni Game

photo-dec-31-1-40-08-pm

You may have seen in my last blog that I got some Winter Classic gear from my wife for Christmas. The annual Bridgestone Winter Classic game, which is an outdoor hockey game, was held here in St. Louis. The venue it was hosted in was the home of the St. Louis Cardinals, Busch Stadium. I didn’t exactly get to see the official game, but I did get to be in the stadium to witness the alumni game, which was pretty amazing.

It is an ongoing tradition to play the alumni game a day or two before the regular season game between the two participating teams. This year featured the St. Louis Blues alumni versus the Chicago Blackhawks alumni. What was fun about this was seeing some pretty historic players all on the same ice at once. A few key players that played for the Blues were Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull, Martin Brodeur and Bernie Federko just to name a few. There is a rich history with the St. Louis Blues, and the ability to see some of the greatest hockey players lace up the skates for a fun little game was amazing.

On top of seeing all of the great players, the fact that they held an outdoor hockey game in a baseball stadium was pretty incredible. I was a little skeptical about how well the set up would be portrayed in person, but there were no issues seeing the play on the ice. There was also something simply amazing about seeing Busch Stadium, normally a sea of red, now a sea of Blue. It was one of the coolest events I have ever been to, and cannot thank our friends Kim and Matt for giving us the tickets since they could not go. The support of St. Louis as a hockey town never ceases to amaze me.


A throwback gift of the parents

photo-dec-30-11-07-50-pm

When the holidays come around, my siblings all try to find something fun to give to my parents. My sister Casey is normally the one who comes up with the idea for us all to execute. Something we all remember doing when we were much younger was taking one of those old time photos. If you see above, I’m the young chap in the bottom left of the photo trying (and failing) to keep a serious face.I think I may have been about five years old maybe.

In mid to late November, a group text began saying how we should all try and get one of these photos done, but with each of our little families. My parents are big on having photos around the hours of us all so this seemed like a perfect fit. I also have to mention that they kind of have a bit of an old time/western theme to the things in their houses, so it was only appropriate that we shoot for that era.

My first thought about getting this done was how the kids would handle it. Anybody who has kids or has been in a photo with younger kids knows that getting them to do something on cue is close to impossible. The only thing I was optimistic about was the fact that the kids did not have to smile in these photos. The more serious you look, the better.

So we got down to the place in old St. Charles and had the photos done. We all got our costumes put on, and the photographer arranged us to look as western and awesome as possible. The result was an amazing portrait that was just one of the six my parents were given at my families Christmas, and something I look forward to grabbing a picture of, once they are all placed on the wall.

photo-dec-30-5-21-49-pm

It was a lot of fun and something I would love to do again sometime with my little family.


Sully: continuing my love for Tom Hanks

sully

As you probably saw in my last blog, I am in a major Tom Hanks love affair right now. I watched Captain Phillips last week, and last night I watched Sully. The film is yet another “based on actual events” type of deal regarding the passenger plane that landed on the Hudson River in I believe 2009. Tom Hanks plays the role of the heroic pilot that successfully landed the plane on the river after they hit a flock of birds on take off.

The movie was another great film, and there is something about how normal Tom Hanks comes off that makes me really appreciate his work. He is obviously portraying an actual person in the film, but the way he conducts himself always just seems like the most lovable, loyal and wise guy.

I have a few more films of his I think I want to watch before maybe I become all “Tom Hanks Out”, but he has to be my favorite actor, right behind Fred Savage of course.

Sully ($24.00 at Best Buy)


The Great Outdoors and Pokemon GO

a-walk

I took some time yesterday while my wife and kids were out running errands, to step outside and go for a lengthy walk. It’s something I rarely do as when I do go outside I tend to try and run. Last night I had the idea of turning on some music, bundling up and going for a walk to catch some Pokemon. I still play Pokemon Go, and I actually have been playing it more in the last few days, but the walk made for a perfect combination of relaxation and entertainment.

They have just recently opened up a new little cut through by our road that takes you behind a lot of the traffic areas in town, and leads you by a nice Lake with a bunch of soccer/football fields by it. The road is still fairly unknown and quiet and it’s paved with nice sidewalks that lead the way. I went out walking just as the sun was beginning to set, and it was one of the best times outdoors I have had in a while. Part of me wanted to walk all the way up to the Target that is in town, just to see if I could manage the cross walk traffic, but I chickened out and turned back. I also considered that I would be making the walk back in mostly dark, but mainly because I was chicken to try and cross the main road.

Regardless, the combination of just being alone with your head, while occasionally peaking at your phone to catch some Pokemon was fun. The thing with the park area, is that there really aren’t many Pokemon that appeared so I probably walked a good half mile just listening to music. It was super relaxing, and I didn’t think once about the 40 degree temperature. I again was bundled up pretty nicely in a snow cap and hoodie and sweats.

File Jan 02, 11 45 22 PM.jpeg

The entire walk just made me think how much I appreciated the walk, and how I feel like I could do that every day. Part of me feels like I could do it every morning, but when that alarm goes off, it’s hard to know you could sleep in an extra hour or so. It’s all discipline, but it was nice.

On the Pokemon Go side of things, I think I hatched about 5 eggs, with 4 of them going off all in a row. It was pretty awesome, and I think I even got a few new Pokemon I hadn’t had before. It was a great way to start off 2017, and I hope to do it much more.


I sadly have to go back to work tomorrow, but the recent holidays have helped rejuvenate me (if not spoil me a bit). I could take plenty of more days off, but I guess the money is not as good if you don’t have a job. I have built up a pretty decent amount of PTO time coming in to 2017, so maybe a small break for a week would do some good. I just know that a new year always feels like it brings new opportunities, even if those opportunities simply fall in to a different frame of mind. It’s too early to tell what 2017 will be, and there isn’t really a need to focus on that. The important thing is just living life day-to-day and taking excitement or difficulties as they come.

Let’s make 2017 Great ag- er……let’s uh have a great January how about.

Chris

Vol. 1, December 2016

The year is coming to an end, and I believe the consensus is that 2017 can’t be any worse than what 2016 has been. Of course, I don’t think anybody thought Trump would be president, so 2017 could be an utter shit-show as well.

I’m going to try and change the format of my blogs a bit. I’m taking the idea from how Kevin Rose constructs his newsletters. Instead of just filling up text with what my day or week has been like. I’m going to try and post more visuals and showcase a few different areas that have peaked my interest lately. One section may be dedicated to a movie or game.

Maybe another section goes to an organization tip I’m using. I think this will break the writer’s block I get when I try to write about just my life, which does not always have the most interesting elements. I’m not sure if I’ll post on a weekly basis, but at least once a month.

I hope you all had a great holiday!

Chris


Captain Philips: Tom Hanks can do no wrong

captain-phillips

I was bored in bed the other night, and I think Jen was still at work. The kids had fallen asleep so I started browsing the on demand movies. I came across the Tom Hank’s film Captain Phillips. A movie I knew a little bit of the backstory on (it’s based on a true story), but I never really took time to go out of my way to watch.

I’ve always been a big fan of Tom Hanks, but I wasn’t sure if this movie would hold my attention. I was even hesitant early on because of the accent Tom Hanks was using, but it was forgotten pretty quickly. The movie is about a cargo ship that is taken hostage by four Somalian pirates. I won’t spoil too much of the plot, and if you followed the story in the news, then you know how it ends, but the film was actually really good. I may be blinded by Tom Hank’s likability but for someone who doesn’t watch a lot of movies, I really enjoyed it.

I actually went back afterwards to see if it was far off from the actual details of the events, and was glad to see it was portrayed fairly accurately, though I’m sure a dose of Hollywood is sprinkled in.

Captain Phillips ($9.99 at Best Buy)


2016 Winter Classic: the dream of a St. Louis Blues fan

img_4067

My wife did a pretty excellent job with Christmas for me this year. St. Louis was chosen this year to host the 2016 Bridgestone Winter Classic. For those who do not know what that is, it is the outdoor hockey game that will be hosted at Busch Stadium. Every year a city is chosen, and St. Louis has been eager to get selected. The fact that the game will be against the Chicago Blackhawks is the cherry on top.

The only downside to the game is that tickets cost close to $300 (on the cheap side). As much as I’d like to dispose that kind of cash for the game, it would not be wise so I’ll stick to watching it at home. By the way, at no point did I realistically think I’d even have a shot at tickets even if I had the money.

Seeing Busch stadium transition in to a hockey stadium is pretty cool to see, and seeing that place sold out to watch a hockey game is pretty cool. I hope the Blues come out flying and beat Chicago, but it’ll be a great game to take in regardless.

https://www.nhl.com/blues/video/embed/2017-winter-classic-time-lapse/t-277437432/c-47487303?autostart=false

The game is January 2nd on NBC. There is still hopes for winning tickets to the game, so I’ll keep you updated if a miracle happens.


New Year’s Resolutions

It’s safe to say that I’m just as a guilty as any others when it comes to creating resolutions for the new year. I don’t know if I get more enjoyment in thinking about the ideas I want to accomplish next year, or if I really feel like I’m going to accomplish them. Regardless, I do it each year in hopes of maybe bettering myself just a little bit.

  1. Exercise 3x a week – doesn’t matter if it’s running/biking/weightlifting just do something!
  2. Give up the energy drinks
  3. Write more!!
  4. Produce more YouTube content
  5. Get the dogs socialized and take them on walks
  6. Continue to get the house cleaned up and organized
  7. Play through a few Xbox One Games (guilty of playing bits and never finishing stories)
  8. Read more books (this one has been an ongoing challenge for a few years
  9. Redesign my blog to look more professional
  10. Get out of my comfort zone and just try new things

I hope this blog picks up steam and I begin writing more. I have probably spent almost an hour writing this blog, and I have actually enjoyed it. Here is to 2017 and more blog writing. Have a happy new year and be good to each other.

Chris 

A Better Me and Break from Facebook (It’s not you, It’s Me)

We are on the cusp of entering 2017, and I have felt like the last 6 months (if not more) have been a blur that has lacked any production. I don’t write much, I feel like our house is constantly a mess and I feel like I’m not bettering myself as a human being/husband/father. I don’t think these areas that are in bad shape, but why not work to improve on them? I think evauluating yourself in different areas is important, but I don’t know that I’ve sat down and looked at it on different levels.

So I have some ideas of things I want to do to better myself as a human being, as a husband, as a father and also as the red Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger. Wait, let’s face it, I could not score anything more than being the blue ranger to be honest. Probably that lame kid version who drives the Jeep in that Turbo movie.

So below is a list of rambling ideas and “resolutions” (in no particular order) I want to take on for 2017, and some, start right away.

GOALS AS A DAD

  1. Get the kids on a more consistent schedule (Lunch/Dinner/Bed)
  2. Less iPad/More Imagination
  3. Move away from letting them watch YouTube
  4. Start introducing basic “chores” to them
  5. Have them sleep in their own beds (this means clean up their rooms)
  6. Get them outdoors more (weather permitting)

GOALS AS A HUSBAND

  1. More Date Nights
  2. Improve my communication skills
  3. Be more affectionate
  4. Compliment and Cheer on more (she works her butt off)
  5. Be more spontaneous and have adventures
  6. Spend less time looking at my phone in bed, and more hanging with her
  7. Make her feel as beautiful to herself as I see her every day

GOALS AS A HUMAN

  1. Drink more water – begin to ditch soda/energy drinks
  2. Eat healthier – eliminate fast foods
  3. “Dress to Impress” not that I have to impress anybody, but boosts self-esteem
  4. Begin blogging on a regular basis (Weekly)
  5. Get out more, enjoy “adventures”
  6. Tone up (maybe put on muscle) get rid of “dad weight”
  7. Budget money better
  8. Read more often
  9. Spend less time in the online world and more time in the real world (thus the Facebook break)
  10. Keep a clean house (this works for all 3 really)
  11. Take time to just sit in quiet for a few minutes every day
  12. Build more structure and schedule in my day-to-day life

The last year has made me feel a need for a much more minimalist lifestyle. It would be at a very beginning level, but I find the things that had major influence or interest before, now fall to the wayside behind just appreciating the important things in life. It may be a “welcome to 30” thing (8 months late) or just the changes that have come about the last year in my career and such, but I just feel like I want to embrace things that are more fulfilling.

So I think come morning I’ll move Facebook to deactivated and remove it from my phone and just enjoy the holiday season. Once the new years come, then I’ll evaluate things, but I remember not missing Facebook much the last time.

So I hope this is the lead in to many more blogs, and I appreciate if you’ve read this. What are some of the things you are working towards in 2017?

Just Writing

I don’t know how often I have just sat down and kind of wrote down my thoughts. I feel like when I write I tend to break it up in to topics. Maybe what I did over the weekend, and then what I would like to get accomplished and so on. I feel today like I’m just going to write. I feel like my “creative life” has taken a drastic non-productive turn, and I need to find some kind of creative spark.

I don’t think it’s any lie to say that the lack of challenging myself to write has not forced me to feel accountable for the blog. On top of that, I don’t really compensate the lack of writing with any other creative outlet. My day kind of goes as follows, work, get home and hang with the kids and make them dinner, probably watch some TV and then get the kids in the bath and ready for bed. Now, my wife obviously is a part of this, so I’m not saying I do all of this work. No, we probably switch off with things around the house and the kids. What I mean is that I don’t attempt to take a small section out of my day to try and do something creative. It’s a discipline thing for me.

The good thing is that a new year is coming up, and a new year brings the feeling of a “fresh start”. I like the idea of being able to track progress from the beginning of the year. Now, there is about a 50/50 chance that I will not follow through with what I want to do, but the likelihood of starting something fresh and creative feels more motivating. I also think I will start some kind of blogging goal like I had in years prior. It just keeps me in check and keeps me writing.

I would like to get some stuff done during December in terms of YouTube videos so I can try and maintain a micro-income from that. Working from home two days a week can help me hopefully maybe this done.

We shall see what I can do. I’m my own worst enemy with motivation and discipline and I want to fix that.  Hopefully I can get a schedule worked out for myself to build some consistency. I just need to change my entire “state of mind” on things. I need to bounce a lot of lazy tendencies I have and replace them with some more fulfilling activities or actions.

That’s all for now.

Current Song: “Ice Ice Baby” – Vanilla Ice

 

Typing Words

Wow it has been 3 months since I last wrote a blog. I don’t know if I’m incredibly surprised, but that is still a long time for me! I’ve lost the drive to write, and maybe it was burning out from challenging myself in different ways. I have really fallen behind on all online projects, but I’m not sure what the direct reason is. You would think with a more normal work schedule, that I would have more time, but that has not really been the case.

4815205632_632ee48a71_b.jpg

Today is an odd day because Jen has the kids with her babysitting so it’s just me until about 7:30pm tonight. I dropped in to Starbucks because I feel like I can sit here and blog without getting distracted at the house. I’m giving myself a time limit of 2pm and then I’ll head back home to work on some laundry and stuff around the house. I may try and make a YouTube video, just to get some much needed motivation to continue creating content.

There have been more than a few occurrences where I feel like I could ditch social media for a good chunk of time. I’m sure the political posts have some influence on that, but I also feel like I get to a certain point where I need a break. It’s almost like a social media refresher. I know I’m just like anybody else where I like getting notifications and comments from people if I post something, but I know they’re just a very short gratification, and don’t hold much weight to them (as they shouldn’t).

Unknown-1.jpeg

One thing I have been giving a ton of time too lately is this new Blink 182 album California.  Holy cow do I think it’s great. I wasn’t sold at first, and I’m sure it was the adjustment from Tom Delonge to the new singer. I finally am over that, and I am able to really just appreciate the record. I at first was just a fan of Bored to Death  and San Diego, but as I listened through it a few times, I found that the album is catchy as hell. I also think that the vocal compliment each other. I have taken a liking to track Sober  and No Future, but again there are very few tracks I don’t really like.

“I can feel my head
falling off my neck
I need something to keep going
So just take my hand
Only seconds left
The clock’s running our time’s coming”

Alright, so I think that’s good for now, as I hit my 2pm “deadline” and now I don’t want the day to go to waste and not get stuff done. I’m glad I sat down to write though. I end the blog listening to the song Forever Young by Bob Dylan. I don’t know if it’s because it remind me of Parenthood, which is one of my top 3 favorite shows of all time or if it’s just because it’s a positive uplifting sounding song. A good song for motivation I’d say. I’m going to throw my headphones on when I get home and get some stuff done. It’s back to work tomorrow, but until then I hope you all have a great Sunday!