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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 Art of Photography While Driving and How it Pertains to Politics

September 17, 2016 Leave a comment

roadway091716A great low-res pic of the roadway in from my car.

As you can see, my fancy new windshield wipers are working flawlessly.

… or maybe you can’t see.  It’s taken with my fancy $10 Vivitar key chain camera bought at Rite Aide 5 years ago. Beats my $2400 Fuji Pro2 any day 🙂

So why post a really bad photo from a camera where it’s in high debate that it actually has a lens in it?

Well, a bit of nostalgia …..it really capture images like those very crappy film camera you bought in the gum ball machines in the 70s and 80s – a really distorted, although recognizable view of what’s really there.

BTW …. before we go further, a little clarification for the thin-minded: I really didn’t take this while I was driving the car, I was stopped in a legal area to do so with someone behind me for safety. Why do I have to clarify that? … Well, because I’ve been around long enough to know if enough people read this, some of the more dim-witted will buy a few key chain cams and start taking pics around the ‘burgh in their cars while forgetting to actually drive their cars. I would feel bad about any accidents(well, not that bad … they’re the stupid idiots taking pics while driving their cars), considering I’d already have to deal with dumb questions like “how do I get the pics off the cam, it doesn’t have a screen”. I get the same question from people that buy modern day film cameras, failing to realize they bought a film camera (you can’t make that one up).

Ok … now past the incoherent babble, what does this even have to do with modern day politics??

Well, it’s exactly the same thing … a view that looks like what our founding fathers created, blurred a bit so you can’t see the details, but cheap enough you’ll but it anyway (when I did an art project with keychain cams I sold some of the pics at shows for $30 a piece … more than I ever sold with shots taken with my pro camera).

It’s sort of like reality shows (I’m REALLY hoping you don’t think any part of those shows are real), which our elections are starting to get like – well produced marketing with enough blur so you think you are really getting what you ordered until you actually open the box and find a really crappy picture of a road taking with a camera that cost three times less that what you just paid for the picture.

The art of photography and how it pertains to politics … it’s really an unsafe stupid way to get a really crappy blurry image of reality.

Realize what’s around you, look at what’s around you, make informed decisions, don’t let modern day marketing make the decisions for you.

This is our political contribution to the 2016 reality show (ooops … I mean election).

-SWB

A Senseless Day

September 19, 2012 1 comment

What is a senseless day to SWB?

Today.

The sun is out.  The air is cool. Everyone seems happy. The only real irritating news is of the 10th street bypass having construction near it soon, and that’s not really even irritating because we are so used to it. There is nothing to whine or rant about today.  that really sucks for this blog.

The only thing we can rant about is not being able to rant.

We’re even too used to potholes to care about that much anymore.

The politicians are all the same, so if we rant about one we automatically rant about the others in the same exact way, which nullifies any of our rant enough for anyone to actually really give a crap about it.

The rivers are flowing good, so we can’t even complain about stagnant water, or dead and decaying fish.

……… HELP US HERE!!!!!

-SWB (a frustrated weasel on a too nice of a day)

 

Enter The Weather

September 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Got a great raised garden started this year …

Veggies grew fast, flower buds abound …

Then …

The bees left, the critters ate the flower buds, and my new raised garden slowly became a wilting weed box due to the drought.

So, what happens now, you ask????

Rain …. lots of it.  Right at the end of the garden growing season that allotted me two tomatoes, one green pepper, and five micro-miniature carrots (think eating with tweezers).

So, WTF?

I mean I realize I live in Pittsburgh, but I’m a descendent of Italian and German immigrants that farmed any of the land in Pittsburgh they set foot on and usually ended up having way to much to eat (which became compost for next years crop).

A few peppers, tomatoes, and some carrots …. that’s what I got. Now I have to go buy my crap.  I feel cheated, my ancestors owe me at least a few bushels of veggies.

…. and enter the weather … rain … can’t even cut the grass (which was dead most of the summer).

-SWB

P.S. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…….

Construction Season Is Here … WoooooHooooo!!!

September 17, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s the time of year you’ve been waiting for ….. road construction season!

Wait ….

School has started …..construction should be over, because by some unwritten, but highly understood law – road construction only takes place during summer vacation season to fully enhance automobile driver road-rage.

But it’s still around …

Where have we found to be one of the bigger bottlenecks?

The parallel work on Rt65 and Beaver Street near Sewickley and Edgeworth.

I realize there has always been a ridiculous competitive spirit in Edgeworth to be better than everyone else … but now they are competing with PennDot. Go Figure!

Here is the main problems of the Edgeworth Road Crew competing with PennDOT:

1. They ALL WORKED …. the whole road crew worked.  If you are going to compete with PennDOT there are rules!!!

  • At least six supervisors doing nothing. Edgworth appeared to only have one supervisor, actually supervising.
  • Shovel leaners …… no less than 5.  Edgeworth had none.
  • Only one laborer actually working …. Edgworth had at least 10 to 12 people actually working on the project.
  • The path through the road construction should be clearly confusing to the point where you feel you are either going to go head in to another car or end up driving through a guard rail.  Edgeworth’s direction was well laid out.

Get the idea …… there are rules to this road work stuff.

What did they get right?  At least one thing:

  • Obstructions – Edgeworth did well, and obviously learned from PennDOT in this area.  The main road work is around the elementary school and was started (good timing learned from PennDOT here) right when the school year started. Well done, this is where Edgworth gave PennDOT some competition in the way proper road construction is to be done.

As far as Rt65 in Pittsburgh …. that ramp is completed – but we, here at SWB still take the detour, as it doesn’t feel right in PA at any point to get a straight shot to where we are traveling without at least 20 minutes minimum of detours.

-SWB

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

The Weiner Effect – and the lacking of spines in the world

June 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Well, this was a hard one (no pun intended ….. and if you thought it was, get your head out of the gutter!).  We had a difficult (better choice of word here) time figuring where to put this.  Should it be under Rants?  Should it be under Clueless Awards? Not sure …. hmmmm.  Finally we decided on “So Stupid it could happen”.

Are we going to get on Mr. Weiner (click here to read the related USA Today article if you are clueless on Mr. W) on his apparent bad choices in lack of appropriate coverage?  Nope …… got enough tabloids doing that (and they’re all thanking Anthony for providing the photos they don’t have to take hours photo-shopping).  So what are we going to do, you ask with a confused smirk on your face?

Get to the root cause, as SWB loves to do (we said we were going to clean up the blog a bit when Sophisticated Pittsburgh took it over, but we didn’t agree to look the other way when someone places a six-foot diameter lit up neon bulls eye on their own head).

The polititio’s (new word created by SWB this second … we’ll trade you for a BMW for the rights to the word once it gets popular), have been quiet around the world except for standard stuff … so we’ve been quiet. But …………. courtesy of Mr. Weiner (my wife giggles every time she’s hears his name …), we now have a reason to write.

Well, Mr. W (or whatever you are calling him now) made a mistake many are making.  That’s right, he’s human and made a mistake.  Unfortunately he didn’t have the common sense to realize that he’s under the view of a 3000 watt spot light at all times.  See …. we’re getting to a root cause of the problem, or at least a secondary root cause at this point … common sense.

Why is common sense only the secondary root cause to the problem of Mr. W having none of it to use while texting semi birthday suit pics on himself to someone other than his wife? Weight … lots of it.  The problem with weight is its controlled by gravity.  The only thing that keeps the weight of common sense from crashing to the ground and turning into a pool of single-celled useless sludge is a spine (of as us Americans like to call it … backbone).

A spine …. it’s that thing that keeps your body from collapsing to the ground.  Backbone … it’s that thing that keeps you life from crashing to the ground due to mistakes you make in life because they are corrected or contained by the common sense that the backbone holds up.

Where is one place we get that backbone?  School.  Yup. Early on in life many things started to build up our backbone, and one of then was our experiences in school. You made mistakes in school, whether it be to slander another and have to pay for it later.  You may have been made fun of and reacted in a bad way.  You may have done something inappropriate (which is the PC word for “you did something some parent of some kid didn’t like and complained about).  But …… you handled it, you learned from it, you build up a backbone from it, because those adults in charge around you guided you – but didn’t handle it for you.  You learned how to treat those around you with respect and courtesy and began to learn what was right to do and what was wrong to do by trial and error. That’s how a backbone gets built.  Nobody can build it for you … it has to be left to form by itself with guidance.  Forming a good solid backbone is not always meant to feel good.

So where is this going?

We may be wrong, but we’re going to say that Mr W is the product of one of those schools where students are meant to “feel good about themselves all the time” and every issue is handled by the adults in charge to make sure that the students know how to act appropriately and not make and other student not feel bad.  Yep … the “if Johnny goes home crying for one day, he’s going to be scared for life” attitude.

Great idea, but when a backbone is not allowed to develop because any learning via the normal “pain, hurt, and general unpleasentries of the world” is removed, a backbone will not be built, and if by chance it does get built, it will have so many holes in it the result will be eventual collapse. The collapse of a backbone leads to the definite collapse of a spine.

Where is this going? Well, if Mr. W had built up a better backbone early on in life, maybe he wouldn’t be bringing such shame to his family, spouse, political party, and adding to the shame of the country he is representing.

Our country a great one, not just because of the freedom, but because of the unique peoples it creates via the being the melting pot of the world. You get the development of top-notch technology, top-notch health care and more because of this.  Unfortunately many are beginning to see low-life politicians leading to the view of this country by others are a land now void of backbone … what people know and recognize as what built America, and one of the few things that can sustain it.

“So Stupid It Could Happen” is not the fact that Mr Weiner was dumb enough to do what he did, but the fact that people like him with a lacking of common sense to correct or contain the mistakes they make (in his case, the lack of ability to “Man Up” and deal with your mistakes before getting pushed into the corner and forced to do it).

Do we thinks that Mr. W is correct is apologizing and staying in his position so he can now try to build up a backbone?  Yes … second chances are necessary to build up character and even a backbone.  We’ll see where it goes.

Take a look at Mr. Weiner and you get an in your face welcome to the what is most likely the product of the now in fruition product of America’s new “feel good” education.

‘Nuff Said

-SWB