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Thinking Inside The Box

September 26, 2016 Leave a comment

thinkinsidetheboxYou read it right … “think inside the box”.

It’s the new buzz phrase around the water cooler (or Redbull dispenser – whichever you have).

Confused? Yes – Good. I don’t have throw my coffee cup away yet.

Here is a little bit the chew on. We’ve been thinking so hard “outside the box” since the latter 80s that, well, “thinking outside the box” is now THE BOX.

The idea behind “thinking outside the box” is doing things differently than everyone else, or truly failing differently than everyone else has been years before you to discover newer, better ways to do the things you do (hmmm … that sounds like a tag line for a really bad millennial commercial). Just to be specific … a really bad millennial commercial is one of those ones where you reach the end, and if there isn’t a company brand floating all over the screen you basically end up thinking “WFT????????????????????? (not WTF … see, now THAT’s being different – we think outside the box here at SWB on a regular basis).”

Considering I work in two ever changing tech fields (Information Technology and Sound Engineering), thinking differently with a good baseline of a solid box to sit new advances on is critical. It’s the only way solid advances are made – along with a little bit of user beta testing and QA processes. Oops, sorry, too many corporate words in that sentence … get over it, and don’t judge me (this is a free country and I’m allowed to enjoy my stereotype).

Want an example? (you guessed it, I’m going to pick on the millennial kiddies again):

Well, whether you like it or not here it is: The big news item on millennials is them living in shared housing. Guess what?  That’s hippie communal living ….. from the 60s. Yep, the newbies couldn’t think of anything but what was already done. If there a difference between the two groups?  Yes – the millennials, even though living in a shared enviro are still materialistic entitled nerds trying to look like they are helping the world by living in a shared environment (filled with many things created with manufacturing processes that are massively toxic). The hippies actually lived together to try and help each other live off the land and share resources, in theory bettering the world (then they discovered mini vans and some of them became hot soccer moms, so that ideal went south). Basically the hippies in today’s world became the box. The millennials are the box too, they just built one that was translucent so they could be in denial about being in it (ya know – if you can’t see it, it’s not there).  BTW …. lots of corporate people do that too.

To get a grip on things – thinking outside the box became the inside of the box and the only way to actually think outside of the box was to get back in the box thus avoiding the outside of the box standard issue thinking that was actually inside the box and in reality only a facsimile of the outside of the box which is limiting your ability to create and innovate inside the box while trying to claw your way out. Simple.

{{place confused dog head tilt here}}

This is not insanity … hang in there, we just bought a new bag of treats and we’ll give you one once you “get it”.

The latest big deal is gamification. See we’re already doing it here at SWB … you get a “treat” if you “get it”. Goal!!!

Keep in mind this doesn’t mean we have to “get it”, just as long as you do. We’ll have no idea what you are actually “getting”, but what the heck, we’re too old to care.

Gamification …. for those not familiar, it’s basically setting a goal and leaving a trail of chocolate chip cookies to it. For those that may have issues getting to their goals because they may be allergic to the chocolate, or the nut particles that may have ended up in the cookies … they can always get a second mortgage on their house to purchase an EpiPen from Mylan helping them get back on track.

Granted, with all of the millennials around me, I was starting to feel left out … so I ordered myself two boxes of trophies from Oriental Trading to make up for all the ones my teachers, coaches, and parents never handed out to me {sniff!}. I want gamification too … hopefully today’s trophy will be a Pez dispenser filled with cola flavored candies.

So, do you get it? … I know you’ve chewed a bit (and we do realize that might be your own tongue you are chewing … you might want to realize that too) … which means you have to be close to “getting it”. Remember, we have fresh treats.

Got it?

It’s all a game of making your outside the box thinking last long enough to allow you to make a difference before someone defines you as “the box”.

… or you can just grab a coffee, go fishing, and allow someone else to stroke out over it.

-SWB

  • Reality shows were initially created to give you a peak into someone else’s real life freeing you from the typically scripted shows with tons of writers … now the reality shows are massively scripted with more writers than a sitcom of the same length. Reality shows are now hated and have become a box that’s worse that the previous box.
  • A great film maker named George Romero was best known for creating an entirely new film experience – zombie movies. The Walking Dead did an excellent job of thinking outside the box and improving on George’s innovation in an actual TV series … then everyone copied and created endless amounts of copy cat zombie movies … enough to induce vomiting by 1 in 5 people on a daily basis. Overkill made an even thicker box that may never be broken out of.
  • IBM created and innovation called the “PC” by thinking way outside the box of their room sized behemoths that even large corporations struggled to afford. Others thought even further outside of the box making those “PCs” the mainstay of data centers, but drove that into a level of overkill that convinced IBM to go back to their old “in the box” creation “the mainframe”.  Guess what you are on most of the time when you use “the cloud”? BTW … the cloud is an innovation that’s been around since about the latter 80s.
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The big screen from the past taking on an 8mm cast.

September 14, 2016 Leave a comment

sewickley-theaterSo, the predictions of the big screen being gone due to the lcd bigs screens blowing them away seems to be much less of a valid vision in modern times.

The pic on the left is a new theater in a small community (Sewickley) being built from scratch containing a community room (for about 145), a 160 seat theater, and a 90 seat theater. along with that many communities like Lawrenceville, and Zelienople, etc have remodeled old theaters, or old buildings refitting them for theaters realizing that dinner and a movie in your own community is still better than dinner with a two hour wait at a corporate restaurant, moving to park again, and a thirty minute line for the movie, along with waiting in traffic to get our of the theater parking lot.

In other words spending a whole days with friends, dinner, and a movie is still loved a bit more than jockeying your car around to get to the dinner and a movie – spending most of the time complaining with your friends how long it took.

So, this is cool. With losing many traditions for families and friends, seeing one brought back (other than sports, drinking, sports, drinking, sports, drinking) is great. Even movie directors and film geeks are following suite in their own way … with a what was though to be dying along with the local theaters, the Kodak Super 8 film camera.

How so?

super_8_lcd_white_v1Well Kodak, thought to be a dying company is catering to the wishes of a current batch of film makers and directors that want to shoot with the inspiration of 8mm film, just like their mentors from the past did. Sort of like current artists producing vinyl, because they came to the senses and realized digital takes away from natural sound(unless you have a small super-computer the size that most medium level governments can’t afford). The pic to the left is (c) Kodak and a shot of their new hybrid super 8mm camera. You get a digital copy of the film from the film after it is developed. If you still shoot still film, you understand as a photographer that light passed through actual film differently than an lcd and images on paper differently than a paper producing more natural shading and color tones. The way an image is projected onto a screen is also affected by this. Surprisingly, even the newest of film makers have to be given credit for realizing this.

cluelesstrophyBut a clueless award has to be given to the movie industry as a whole to forced small theaters to invest 60k or more in refitting completely to digital …

 

but kudos to those theaters that decided to keep some of their old analog projection gearswbkudos2 in place – and even one or two new theaters are rebuilding and placing some of the older projection equipment to accommodate film makers truly wanting to use and project on film.

If you have a local theater reopening or remodeling, please support it … most of the films they most likely chose will be much better than the ones the corporate clones show (and most likely make it to Netflix free within a month anyway).

A couple of theaters to check out:

Support your local theater, and keep your family memories on film!

Add any local theaters you know of via the comments!

-SWB

 

The Mascot, The Poodle, Stereotypes, and the quest for readership

September 13, 2016 Leave a comment

brandycmYou guessed it … it had to happen … one of the pets of a SWB writer became the mascot.

Was this because of the old, wise-dog look of an 8.5 year old pup?

No.

Was it because she did something terrible, like eating the toy poodle sitting next to her and we’re trying to clear her name?

Possibly.

Here’s the truth … we’ll stoop as low as possible to get readership … as most blog owners will. It’s just reality. When you are competing against tens of thousands of other writers than can’t write, along with another ten thousand legitimate journalists with blogs, resorting to a pic of a cute pup enjoying the day at an outdoor coffee shop works …

at least with the women (yes, that was a sexist statement … we know it … but it’s true, so we’re still using it). We couldn’t find a football to stick next to the dog, so we know the guys will care less about the post (stereotypes are our thing).

No we didn’t feed the dog coffee, well … at least we didn’t until she held the poodle hostage.

Hmm …. actually, maybe we should have let her keep the poodle as a hostage as leverage to see if we could get her signed as the mascot for the Riverhounds (oh wait … they don’t make enough money yet). Maybe we can get a deal with the Steelers … on the other hand, they already have a dog (Ben).

We need a sports team that wants a mascot so I can make a ton of money off the last few years of this animal, buy a new house, and stop writing this crap.

Maybe the Pirates (they’re resembling a country dog now …. lay on porch, do nothing).

… or the Penguins (wait …. I can’t pick on them – Mario only lives a mile from where I’m writing this, and he’s bigger than I am).

Dreams.

Yes … she ate the poodle – said it tasted like cat hair.

-SWB

P.S. We hope you enjoyed the mindless sanctuary your brain went into when you were reading this – it will help your therapist enjoy your next session.

P.S. P.S. PLEASE tell your friends you actually read this garbage … the more people we dumb down, the smarter our blog looks 🙂   Cool, huh? Modern marketing at work.

Switching Positions – Crazy Mocha

September 12, 2016 Leave a comment

cr-first-day-picAlrighty, then ….. for all those loving to jump to conclusions, this article isn’t about making lifestyle choices or anything of the such.

Sorry to disappoint y’all … so ya can jump back from whatever conclusion you landed on (or skip reading this post and pop in your “Office Space” VHS tape .. which will probably be more entertaining).

Anywayz (we’re adding “z’s” to then end of lots of words to appeal more the Millennial generation) :-),

The pic is the view of the new Crazy Mocha store in Sewickley, PA. Now, for a SWB article, does this have a point at all?

Yep.

The blog, when it was on Apple’s web hosting site (yeeeeaaaarrrrs ago) was started with it’s first post in April of 2006 and the posts for years after being written at the Crazy Mocha in Southside when the company had a few stores to speak of. At least two other national blogs and twenty to thirty long time running local blogs were started that year in that Crazy Mocha location.

Now, the newest gem of the store chain – the relocated site in Sewickley PA site has opened for it’s first day with the chain now having way over 30 stores in multiple states (not bad for a local Pittsburgh company, right?)

In honor of Crazy Mocha providing such a beautiful new store, SWB thought it might be a good time to re-kick Screaming Weasel (not to mention with some inspiration from the latest literal bridge burning of the Liberty Bridge).

Check out the new store if you get a chance – even if you don’t live in the area … it is well worth the stop in to another location to celebrate and support a local company.

If you can’t get out to Sewickley – stop at another Crazy Mocha and tell them you saw the post!

-SW

Out Of A Coma

September 17, 2012 Leave a comment

We’re back …. or at least out of a coma.

Slightly after our little stint of “help” from the folks at Sophisticated Pittsburgh on upping our number of blog writers, they in fact lost many of theirs.  In other words people got real jobs, go married, or just disappeared of the face of the earth at SP.  As a result, we are coming back to our original self.

So, about our original self. The blog experimentally started in 2005, and was moved to .mac via the Apple iWeb.  We started writing around the time that PittGirl, CafeWitness, and others started and gained one of the top growing blog rankings ending up with 2000 readers per day, across 15 countries while on the .mac site.

That actually scared us, considering the amount of vomit we spewed out in those days along with the other rant blogs.  I’m not sure we’ll be as harsh these days, but we’ll try.

BTW – while we were hosting on .mac, Apple kindly asked us to move our site due to their product not being originally made for the amount of throughput we were getting.

So, around Spring of 2008 we moved to WordPress.

The Weasel is back, and we will be blowing word chunks as far as possible.

Cheers

-SWB

Review: BD’s Mongolian Grill SouthSide Works

February 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Yes, a chain made it into one of our ‘fine dining’ reviews.  We were invited to the rehearsal run for the opening on Mongo (apologies to the local owner, but the nickname just stuck), so we decided to send our tech and his wife. That’s how we treat some of our contributing folks to local perks, and get some reviews ourselves. We honestly didn’t think we were going to review on this site, as the review was initially destined for the Screaming Weasel blog we acquired. But …

Sometimes you just get surprised.  We aren’t going to sell Mongo as a five star restaurant, or tell you about some celebrity chef that showed for the opening, or anything even close to that.  What we are going to say is it’s unique, and that’s why we reviewed here.  The creators of Mongo, and the local owner that had enough vision to bring it here deserves our attention.  When our tech came back with the photos from lunch and his opinion of the establishment, we reviewed the info and agreed with him that we might want to consider placing the review here.

Read the rest of the article on Sophisticated Pittsburgh!

New Blog – Confused Words

September 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Screaming Weasel would like to invite you to check out a new blog by one of our former listing author’s.  Please Click Here or on the image to read on ….