Howdy y’all! I would come right out and ask you how your week is going, but this past week has just felt like one of those weeks that…it’s not a bad week, but you’re certainly not getting anything done. I might argue that this coming week is going to be the same, but at the bare minimum I have a film that I have to shoot. I guess I’m properly back to work.

Speaking of film, I’ve been watching a few scary movies lately, trying to find something that will scare me. I’m convinced at this point that a movie will never be able to do it. A movie can freak me out well enough, but when movies attempt to be scary, all I ever do is laugh.
It’s going to have to be something real life that really gets me creeped out. The real life paranormal is something that people like to fight over quite a bit, and it usually boils down to whether you’ve experienced the paranormal or not.
Now, I’m a skeptic of the paranormal, even though I may have experienced it myself. The fact is, I really have no idea what I saw, but…well, let’s start from the beginning…
I used to work at a golf course, and as the days drew to a close, there were always numerous activities for which we had to set out onto the course. One of the things that we typically had to do was go out to the driving range one last time, jump in the “picker”, and clean up the range for the night. I always liked this job because it let me put my iPod on, and just drive around for a bit, while everyone else actually did work. By the time we went out for these final duties, we were all closed up. There was one night I can remember when I was out there taking the end-of-day picking duty, chugging along and listening to my music, when I see a golf ball bounce past me. I thought, “what the hell”, and spun the cart around to aim its lights at the shooting area. There, right smack dab in the middle was some guy hitting balls into the range. I yelled at him that we were closed, but he seemed to ignore me. I think I cussed at him under my breath, and went back to picking in my little rolling cage. I kept my routine moving along, and noticed at one point that he had gone. I finished my run, packed up all my balls, and headed back for the cart barn. Once I returned, I remember asking my co-workers something like, “Was that a Gold Member you let out there? What the hell?” “What are you talking about?” one of them replied. “That dude you let out on the range,” I said, “he was hitting at me for a while.” My coworkers looked at one another and said back to me, “Dude, we didn’t let anyone out there. Why would we? We picked up all the balls from the tee after we dropped you off.”
I decided not to question them any further, but they reckon that I saw a ghost out there, hitting balls in the darkness. I could argue against them all day long, that it’s entirely possible that this person bypassed the clubhouse and just ran out to the the driving range from the road, but no real golfer would hit his own balls out into the driving range. So, like I said before, I don’t know what I saw. It could have been an idiot golfer, roguely taking to the range in the dark and dispatching a box of balls that he payed for…or that I saw a ghost out there working on his backswing. I would wonder what kind of lost soul would spend part of his afterlife working on his slice at night, but I bet that my dad might haunt the course every now and then once he’s gone.

Ghost Golfer

I’m also told that my current workplace is a great place to be if you want to be quite spooked out at night. Most of us are all heading out to our cars when the 4’o’clock whistle blows, and I don’t really know anyone who would stay out there past 6, at least in the warehouse. I don’t know why anybody would come back at night, but evidently a few of my coworkers know that this place makes all kinds of strange noises at night…and that’s also when the critters decide to come out. What kind of critters do we get? Tarantulas…huge spiders. Yea, you won’t find me staying after hours out at the warehouse. I was waiting on the bus at school the other day and saw a spider roaming around that was about the size of a half dollar. I don’t think I could have nope’d out of there much quicker.

Speaking of things that I’ve seen out on campus, there’s a new fad going around. What is the deal with these shark backpacks that I’m seeing everyone going around with?

Shark-Backpack

This is possibly the most retarded looking thing I’ve seen, unless you’re still in elementary school…and in that case, it’s actually kind of cute. But I’ve seen dozens of people walking about their higher education with these gaping idiot sacks on their backs. This fad may already be on its way out, but it has me wondering…what other fads have we bought into in our careers as human beings, and which are the ones that we are most embarrassed of?

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Who remembers buying into Beanie Babies, either with the understanding that they were going to be worth a ridiculous amount of money later in life, or that they were just ridiculously cute. Yea, I bought a couple when I was a kid…and I think as attention deficit natured as I was I abandoned them almost immediately. I ripped the tags off, didn’t care at all about their potential monetary appreciation after they got back home. Nope, this fad was over even quicker than it came for me.

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Just the mention of this should cause quite a few people to cringe…Tamagotchi. Yea, be honest with yourself…you probably had one. I think I actually had 2. I think I also remember pitching a fit one day at school when my extremely rare evolution went toes up on me. Ah, to be young again.

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Alright, do these look familiar at all? If you say no, and you were a 90’s kid, then what the hell were you doing with your childhood? I’ll make it easier, how about this…

pogs

Yes, Pogs…proof that kids will buy anything if it’s colorful enough. I did it…in fact about five years or so ago, I tried to single-handedly bring Pogs back. That campaign lasted for all of a week, and then I took my Pogs and put them back where I found them, in a dark corner of my childhood closet.
Pogs, it was like the 90’s equivalent of playing marbles. Someone repackaged and glossed up the idea of marbles and unleashed it on us and we ate it up. Whoever can take that simple concept and repackage it today is going to make millions.

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Alright, this is one that I’m honestly not that embarrassed of, because this is where I kind of discovered that writing could be fun and worthwhile leisure activity, and certainly where began my affinity for blogging.
I think the more embarrassing thing here is the prospect of going back and looking at the frustrations of our preteen minds. Fear not though, I just went back looking for my old xanga page and found this message…

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So evidently if you haven’t been back for 5 years or more, which most of us haven’t, then our archives haven’t been saved as they shift over to a 2.0 version. Thank goodness.

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Oh yes, I haven’t forgotten…pants with zip off legs. I had two pairs of these that I bought from Old Navy. Oh jeez, I can do one better than these transformer trousers…

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The classic Old Navy Performance Fleece Vest…God, now that’s a trip down memory lane. I think my entire family bought into this thing…in fact my dad still does. My only problem with this thing now is that…well, it’s a vest. If your chest is cold, I bet your arms are cold too. Go invest in some sleeves.
Alright, one more…

4-charizard

Yea, I went there, Pokémon cards. 90% of all nerds have owned at least a booster pack of pokémon cards, whether or not they’ve actually played in a match. Somewhere back in that same closet where I shoved those Pogs, I’ve got a small collection of these gathering dust in their protective cases. I want to show off some of my nerd feathers real quick. If I went home and went through that collection right now, somewhere in there I’d find these…

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If someone were to look up the origin of these two cards, it will be revealed precisely how much of a nerd I was as a kid.
You know what though, back in the day when I liked Pokémon and such, I was horribly made fun of. This was back when the understanding was that being a nerd was something not to be proud of, and nerds were at the bottom of the social food chain. This was back when I let my tormentors have that power over me, and let them know that their words and teasing were painful. It’s easy to look back at these items and resent them based on the association to the bullying that was received on their behalf.
I don’t resent them though, because with age comes knowledge, and the understanding that who you are, and what your obsessions are, are nothing to be ashamed of. In middle school, I was ashamed of being a nerd…and I nearly let it end me. But years later, it dawns on me…nerds are the ones that are actually moving forward, and looking ahead. Nerds are always thinking, and creating, and making the world a better place. Nerds are who are gonna be running this place, once we’re old enough…and fearsome we will be, for we are many.
One should never feel ashamed for doing what they love, or loving what they do, and that applies to all facets of life…accept if one wears those shark backpacks outside of elementary school. What the hell are you doing?

Well, I think I’ve led myself perfectly into a topic I introduced a number of weeks ago, and have been wanting to come back to for a while.

Nerds of the Future
A look at future technology through the eyes of a Nerd

Last time, I talked about what ideas I and others had for where the future of cars and ergonomics were going. Part of moving forward though is looking long and hard at what we have today, and trying to imagine what wouldn’t have any place in our future. Look at sci-fi movies right now, and try and find what similarities the scenery shares with your living room. I’d imagine that most of your live space will be replaced. So, today I want to discuss…

What, in 10 Years, Will We Not Use?

Yea, I’m not even thinking ultra-future, I’m just thinking in the next 10 years. Just think about the kinds of advancement we’ve made in the past 10 years. Think back to your life in 2003…it was about at that point that flip phones were becoming popular…the Nokia brick phone was probably still the most popular cell phone at the time. Think about that for a second, and we’ll get started.
Most people these days are watching their television on some sort of big flat panel display. Our TVs are becoming the hub for all our entertainment; it’s where cable/satellite programing is, our game systems run to it, and most of our best stereo systems are linked into the brain that feeds everything to the TV. Plenty use the TV as a computer display as well. Everything goes there…and I think we can do a lot better than a flat panel display. I bet in 10 years we’ll have 3D projection systems that will begin to replace our 2-dimensional TVs that can at best simulate 3D. I’m thinking we’ll have some sort of projection display that will shine a 3-dimensional spherical or cubical image up from a device affixed to a stand or the floor that will finally give us an image with proper depth. I bet the fidelity won’t be that great, but we’ll be able to create Star Wars-like holograms in our homes.
Talking about cell phones earlier reminds me of something else we’ll do away with. Home phones. Most 20-somethings nowadays have already dispatched with having some sort of land line phone in favor of just using their cell phones at all time, for everything. I think this will be a more generational thing. What I mean is I don’t see our parents or grandparents ditching their land lines, but this generation will just never adopt the concept.
As data storage continues to get smaller and smaller, we will eventually depart with physical data storage devices all together. That means that CDs, DVDs, and other forms of discs will fall to digital downloads and data streaming. We’re there now. Virtually anything that you can still buy packaged in disc form today is also available as a download. Name your product; music, movies, games, software…hell, even books…we’re there. What’s left to be done is full conversion. I said it in myself in this blog sometime around E3 that I was hesitant to make the conversion away from physical media, but in the past month I’ve bought 2 or 3 games in the Xbox Live Marketplace, a couple of albums via iTunes, and about 5 books on my Kindle app. My only real holdout is for movies…I’ll still go out and try to find a new DVD when it comes out, but that’s because movies take up a lot of hard drive space, and downloaded movies still aren’t quite as portable as DVDs…but that’s changing fast.
Physical keys too will be eliminated very soon as well. The last place that I lived in before I moved to where is current had electronic door locks and keys like this…

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They didn’t exactly go sans key, but the new electronic method made the area very safe. And I feel like anyone that hasn’t seen a modern key fob just isn’t getting out anymore. Most cars already don’t need keys anymore, except in extreme circumstances…in which case you can deconstruct the fob and the key is hidden inside.
With all the the buzz in Washington over SOPA, PIPA, and whatever else is trying to fly through right now, we stand on the precipice of legislation over the regulation of the internet. I feel like at some point in the next 10 years, some sort of legislation will slip through that will regulate the internet in some small way, and that has to happen so that it can be declared unconstitutional by the supreme court. Give it time, unregulated internet is coming, I do sincerely believe. Because one way or another, I don’t see our population sitting in complacency with the government being able to look over our browsing shoulders and judge us over our activities with any legal precedence.
I mentioned earlier that CDs and DVDs are quickly becoming antiquated, and really I feel that all forms of non-solid-state-drives will quickly become a thing of the past. Disc based computer hard drives have become outdated for most functions, required seek time to find the correct position on the hard drive. SSD is faster in every way shape and form, and is becoming small enough that it is now feasible to base whole computing platforms on it. MacBook Airs are all SSD, and so will be the new Mac Pros that will come out later this year.

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The physical storage capacity might not be that much right now, but think about what flash drives were like 10 years ago, versus what they are today…and 10 years from now…
As much as possible as well, we want to stop killing trees, and from my point of view, as a college student, the first way we can stop doing that is by eliminating text books…in favor of an app version, tablet version, or some form of digital download. This kind of goes with my digitizing of the physical medium argument earlier, but a different spectrum on to which it can be applied. Several semesters ago, I bought the digital version of my Spanish book, and could use it on my tablet. I’ve got another online version of a book this year…and strange enough, it was the only version of the book for the class that I could find.
One last thing that I can include here…and I’m asking y’all to make a bit of the imaginary stretch for me…toilet paper. I know what you’re thinking, “Slow down there, CVSleen! We like our butts clean!” However, if any of my audience is Japanese, or an aristocratic female, you’re probably on board. A visual is probably necessary, so…

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I can’t speak from experience here, but it is my understanding that most modern Japanese establishments and homes are converting to this style of toilet. And the same way that bidets can polish up your delicate lady parts, these things can (if I can believe several well traveled comedians and entertainers) accurately tidy up your turd cutters as well…see that first picture up there. Toilet paper is wasteful and unnecessary, except to maybe dry off. I’ve wondered for a couple years now why this hasn’t caught on in the States yet, and definitely think that, in the next 10 years, it could and should.

I’m probably getting a little too radical there, so I’ll put a lid on it for this post. But if there is anything else you think is on its way towards technological extinction, feel free to share it with me here.

Alright my minions, go out and manage your mischief.
I would like to note though before I go that, the semester has picked up, and the workload is getting pretty thick. I’ll do my best to keep a weekly entry rolling out, but some weeks I might just be too bogged down to make it happen. I’ll apologize ahead of time if my posting becomes sporadic, but I need to push for the good grades. Remember my mantra…

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

– CVSleen

Pizza Pods with Basil Pesto Marinara Sauce

Pizza Pods with Basil Pesto Marinara Sauce

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