Game Stop? Game Start.

Did you hear about the whole Game Stop drama/bullshit that happened? Yeah, pretty crazy. If you didn’t, the retail gaming second hand trading store, was super under-valued as a stock. So some of the big Wall Street guys were going to try and cheat them, is the short version. I’m not really a stock guy, other than my Best Buy stock that I won. But you all know you should buy stock low and sell it at a high price.

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Game Stop made all their money in the used game market. So I buy a game brand new for $60. I beat it in a month and I no longer want it. So I sell it to Game Stop for $30 credit toward a new game. They get the game and sell it again, for … $50. This process goes on indefinitely, making Game Stop new revenue over and over again. So can you see how a company like this actually is pretty profitable? So why did Wall Street think that Game Stop was going to be a shitty company to invest in and drive the price down, in a sense devaluing the company? Because they are assholes. So, the real reason why the gaming industry is NOT dying, is that you have some big players (literally) that are crushing the market. First off, Sony PS5 is basically a pipe dream for millions. And the Nintendo Switch is just a legend that one day you might find.

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Billions of people are still in need of entertainment, and what better method/vehicle than one that you can literally be/do anything a computer programmer can imagine. Now the thing that has changed how people play games is the fact you no longer have to go to the store to buy a physical game and you can download a digital version. How cool is that? No more lost games, scratched unplayable games, and it is better for the environment. This is the theory that Wall Street bankers were using when they thought Game Stop was going to eventually fail and die out. WRONG. Millions of gamers collect those physical games and actually have some pretty elaborate “man caves” or gaming rooms where they display them proudly. Other gamers do not want to be 100% reliant upon the internet to play their games. Oh. Darn. Wall Street assholes aren’t actual players.

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Skyward Sword Joy-con Controllers

Nintendo has been hard at work releasing their own games, and every day there are deals in the eStore. The other day there was an announcement that Nintendo will be re-creating the legendary Zelda – Skyward Sword for the Switch. This was originally released on the Wii and used the two game pieces, one as a shield and the other as a sword. It was pretty awesome if you ask me. They are also releasing a special edition new handheld joy-con pieces, which are already sold out. Skyward releases on my birthday, July 16th. Like millions of Zelda & Link fans, I will be adventuring in the land of Hyrule. Gamers are still in the dark when it comes to the next release of Breath of the Wild 2.

 

 

If you were not aware, this is a special 35 anniversary year for Mario and a new Super Mario game was released this month. I have not downloaded it yet, but it is a 4 player type game in 3D. Pretty crazy. If you are an original Super Mario fan, where it was 2D moving from left to right on the screen, then you will really like this one. When I was in Vegas they had Mario Kart in the video game areas, and each racer had their own machine. It was pretty cool.

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So if you are a Marvel fan like me, then you might still be sad that Tony Stark, aka Iron Man died. Fans all over the internet have speculated how he could make a come back. They bring dead people back in movies and television all the time. Flashbacks, memories, stories, … prequels. OR they can bring them back, or their voice in a new animated cartoon series on Disney+ called “What If?” In addition there is going to be an Ironman type of movie that shows what happens when bad people get Stark Technology. Loki will come to Disney+, which will be a weekly series like WandaVision. They are doing a lot of sequels, and some of the lesser cool characters, like Natasha and Clint will get their spin off movie. A new movie, The Eternals adds Angelina Jolie to the MCU and I saw Michelle Pfieffer in the line up as well. Black Panther 2 is in the works, but I guess it will be a twist with their king now dead. Do we see a possible sister taking the lead? Maybe.

 

And if things in Texas weren’t already miserable, residents have no clean water and are told to boil their water so they don’t drink any parasites. So needless to say there are millions of bottled water being flown into Texas. I actually find it hard to believe THAT many people are drinking tap water. We all know they drink sugary drinks, lots of beer, … I know of some people who never drink water. I know, how weird is that? Texans also have a variable or fixed energy rate. And if they picked variable, they can expect an electric bill in the thousands. In Colorado we have something similar, so in the summertime if you use more electricity you get bumped up to the next tier level and you pay even higher rates. Same is true for water. So a lot of people don’t water their lawns. If you choose the fixed rate option, your rates are initially higher than the variable rates but you don’t have to worry about spikes in your monthly bill.

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And they lied. WandaVision was NOT a full hour. I was left with even more questions, and had to watch the YouTube Easter egg video to see all the hidden clues. How many times do you see a “hex” symbol in the show? If you haven’t watched it, now you will start seeing them everywhere! I was right about Agnes. I love the funny “Bad Mom’s” actress. She IS from another part of the Marvel Universe!

 

 

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Hair Expert

If you know me personally, or you have been following my social media — back to the days of MySpace, then you know I have had short hair most of my life. In fact, I taught myself how to cut my own hair — with clippers, and I have also been cutting hair, unofficially since I don’t hold a license to use a pair of scissors. Crazy right?

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One thing that has remained true my entire life it that my hair grows super fast, at in incredible rate. If I had to pay a barber or stylist to cut my hair I would literally be paying thousands of dollars a year to keep my “high and tight” military haircut. Even when I would go on base, it was $10 for a haircut, and I would need one every week. I had to cut my hair as frequently as guys had to shave their beard/face. So when I approached my 40’s, like most men out there I started losing my hair. Mostly on the top and not at the back or sides. Why is this? There HAD to be a logical, scientific reason why this happened to billions of people. Men, women, teens, kids … no one was immune to hair loss. So, … what are some of the causes of hair loss?

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Well, I am not going to bore you with all the research that I have done, but I will give you one piece of really good advice. Oh yeah? What is that you wonder? Stop washing your hair with hot water, and take better care of your scalp. Hot water as we all know, causes the pores of your skin and scalp to open, making it very vulnerable. When you drown those pores with shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, styling products, you essentially are slowly killing your hair follicles. It’s not your fault. When you were a toddler sitting in a bathtub your mommy put “baby safe” shampoo on your head and let it soak. And then you continued to do that for your entire life. After so many years of abuse, your hair just gives up and dies.

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A few years ago I stopped with the weekly haircuts and focused on letting it grow. My instagram has the latest photos of me, and I have some incredible hair growth pictures. There are many things I did to live a new lifestyle that included a high protein nutritional diet, exercise, lots of sleep and being very gentle with my hair. I would cover it in public, little to no product, and only carefully washing with cold water and never letting my scalp get any “poison” on it. There actually is a whole movement called the “No Poo”, which people have ditched shampoo all together. I actually use Kerastase products, a company from Paris, the parent company is Loreal. It is kind of expensive, but at this point, my hair is totally worth it. So why am I calling myself a hair expert? Well, if you look at my hair where it is now, where it was when I hit my 40’s, you would be asking what did I do? In addition, I have an identical twin brother who does NOT have my luscious locks of hair. I am 47 1/2  years of age, and I don’t look it. I actually am proud to share my real age with people. So, with my youthful appearance and long hair, it has motivated me to begin planning my YouTube channel. Sure anyone can hit the record button the their smartphone and then upload it to Youtube. After watching hundreds of … less than entertaining videos, I have determined that there are several things that makes a video successful. It has to be pleasant to listen to, as well as look at. With lockdown and covid, it doesn’t take too long and you have watched every video of your favorite YouTube artist and you are hungry for more. I know, as I have watched every video of some beauty bloggers/vloggers/artists. Just like you, I’m sort of bored at times, so I think that there are some of my own friends … and fans that would love to see/hear/learn what I have learned about hair, skincare and make-up. I have learned a TON of things that I know other people would appreciate knowing as well. Guys can wear make-up and not look like a clown. They can wear it to just look amazing, so people notice them, and not their flaws. Discolored, UV abused skin is a flaw. Redness, dryness, and wrinkles are not exactly poster child material. So what products do I use and which ones do I like? A lot. And I am not on any PR lists, so everything that I try/use, I buy with my hard earned money.

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I have been a content creator for a really long time. Some of my readers hit my blog daily on MySpace and Xanga. Yes, I know I was much more active writing back then. I have also contemplated using video to maybe read some of my book. It is the one thing that is copyrighted that I have the right to read without getting sued by someone. Maybe I will do different channels — storytime, beauty/hair, educational, HR stuff. I don’t know how other artists do it, but I would like to be organized and have like an outline of the things I am going to talk about and cover. I guess you could say this was sort of my next level of teaching. I used to teach at an online college. This blog probably teaches people in a different way.

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If you are an artist or creator, can you make something that you can sell on Etsy as additional income? I know I will be buying on Etsy as it supports individuals versus the big box Fortune 500 companies. For those from the United States, they will be celebrating Thanksgiving. The day that they stole the land from the native american indians. Yeah, I have mixed feelings about that too. I like to be thankful every day. Thankful my family is still alive and safe. Thankful I am healthy and happy. There are many people who are grieving and my heart goes out to them. Personally I don’t think that people are taking the pandemic as seriously as they should. Stay home. Stay safe. Don’t touch anything in public. I open doors when my butt now, so I don’t have to touch the door handle. Hey, maybe YOU could be a content creator too. Maybe you could launch a YouTube channel on something you know a lot about. Everyone has something they can share. Maybe you have an awesome Thanksgiving recipe you want to share. My sweet potato souffle is always a show stopper.

 

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Your voting dollars could actually be a lifeline for a family in need. Go buy something or a lot of things on Etsy today. Take one day of NOT going to Walmart or Amazon and instead go to Etsy. A thousand thank you’s from every artist. You can also buy gift certificates from you local small businesses as holiday gifts that will totally help that business make it through the pandemic.

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YouTube TV

In the world of sales and marketing, it is a proven fact that is is easier to sell more to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. When I was a sales leader at Best Buy, we focused on organic growth.  That is, taking the existing customer base and simply increase the average sale by $10. Which would result in millions of additional revenue company wide. In theory if a customer is already happy, then they will also explore other products and services.

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So as you know I have been a regular subscriber to YouTube Premium (no commercials), and I decided to explore their other product, YouTube TV. Why you may wonder? I decided it was a better alternative to traditional cable. In my case, it was Dish Network, Echostar. It was years and years go that I initially signed up with them, and my technology was old, my dvr was full, and I was being charged WAY too much for what I was getting. I was paying over $150 a month for cable channels that do not have any new programming due to COVID. Not their fault, but I find myself reaching for other online entertainment, including my recently renewed Netflix DVD movies that now show up in my mailbox twice a week.

I no longer go to Redbox as the DVD feature is so much easier than having to leave the house to go to an actual physical Redbox. YouTube TV gives you a DVR library for cable channels like HGTV, and all the local channels like abc, nbc, cbs, fox, and a ton of other cable channels, all for just $64.99 a month. I also get live streaming for almost all the sports channels. I get college football live, and it saves all the Husker games for me to watch whenever. If you weren’t aware, the Mandalorian season 2 has started again on Disney+.  I make sure to watch a couple of movies a month so I get my moneys worth. American Express platinum members get $20 a month credit for streaming services. So, technically I’m not paying for it, but I still want to use it on a regular basis. You can stream YouTube TV on 3 devices at a time, so that really isn’t a problem, since who watches tv in three rooms at once? I mean, if you have a large family, then some people just might have to share. Darn. When I was a kid, everyone in the house watched ONE tv and we argued and fought over what we watched. Kids these days are just spoiled.

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ICYMI – Tech Update – Sony Nintendo Apple

Sony has announced two different versions of the Sony Playstation 5. One will be a digital download only, and the other will include a blu ray disc drive. The biggest accomplishment, yet one that is well long overdue, is the upgrade to the SSD – solid state drive – removing the old spinning technology that was the sad result of gamers sitting “LOADING” screen.  This feature alone has already caused pre-order big box giants to crash. Unlike Nintendo who has proprietary games, like The Legend of Zelda, Sony does not have anything for at least a year. Xbox had Fable, … and most license their games/software to make more money.
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With billions of gamers confined to their already safe man caves and basements, Chinese based Nintendo giant has reaped huge profits with their revolutionary Nintendo Switch. If you are unfamiliar with this little gaming genius piece of hardware, it triples as a handheld, small tabletop viewscreen, and also connects to a big screen via HDMI. Computer monitors can easily be converted as previously they only served VGA. This can be a big thing if kids are in their own rooms with no tv. Crazy as it sounds, not all kids are so privileged to have those luxuries. The Switch has a plethora of games via their download e-store, however, you will quickly fill up the 32 gigs that the device comes standard. I personally have been rocking my Wii U, as it has been impossible to find one in a store. So naturally it put me on a mission to find one in a retail store. After months of hitting every discount store in the Rocky Mountains, I did find one. No, I’m not kidding. I’m totally serious. It was in Rawlins Wyoming, last one of course. And THAT was the day I forgot my credit cards, so unfortunately I would not be able to get the extra year warranty from American Express. I did have just enough cash to buy the last one, and the latest Super Mario game.

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Members of the Cult of Mac:
Is your phone nagging you to upgrade like mine? It should be, and after watching some YouTube launch release videos, I decided it might be a good idea. I have the iPhone 11 Max Pro, in green, so decided I wanted my device to feel all shiny and new again. It is downloading the update as I type. One of the cool new features is sending a voice memo to someone via Siri. I’m not a iOs reviewer, there are already dozens of guys that do that. I do love my iPhone, and as a veteran in the wireless industry, I can say it will always be one of my wireless devices.

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As you know, I am not sponsored by anyone, and I only recommend products and services that I endorse. I do not own a PS4, but I am still rocking my PS3!  Rumor has it the PS5 may be backwards compatible, so you will want the disc drive model.

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