Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Deflategate: Simply Deja Vu For The Pats

It appears the New England Patriots have been in the negative spotlight for the past thirteen seasons. None of those seem more monumental than Deflategate currently.

It seems everyday since the AFC championship, new evidence and information has surfaced resolving this entire scandal. There are so many that want to see the Patriots buried. They have become the villain overtime.

This NFL team out of Foxborough, MA has at least six such incidents to their credit since 2002, most notably Spygate and the changing of the Tuck Rule. It's either the Patriots aren't learning or someone is out to get them, and their quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Bellichick.

Also, the NFL doesn't plan on any punishment until after the Super Bowl. Right now all that will appear to happen are fines and loss of draft picks. It doesn't seem long ago where the New Orleans Saints were torn apart in Bountygate and head coach Sean Payton was gone for a year. However the evidence was clearer.

The questions still remain: why does this keep happening to the Patriots? Also, will it end? Either the Pats have to clear their name forever, or face the consequences.

I am not taking a side as the evidence, while strong, isn't strong enough to doom them yet. I do know it has taken away from their ability to focus on their Super Bowl opponent: the defending champion Seattle Seahawks. Also, the public and the NFL fans need to know if this simply a constant stunt by the media to keep the Patriots relevant, to say that they can't win legitimately. Time will tell.

Do you think the Patriots were knowingly involved in Deflategate? How does New England keep their image clean moving forward?

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Ship Has Sank! Seven Ways You Know The Relationship Is Over

Well you're probably wondering whether the "ship" is worth saving or is it damaged permanently. This doesn't mean just a romantic relationship. It could be a friendship, partnership, or most any type of bond ending with the suffix "ship". You're probably at odds whether or not it's really over and should you move forward. Here are a few ways one can know.

1. It has become more one sided.

The person involved only sees or talks to you when it's convenient for them, and they always want something. It's no longer give and take. It's take and take, and take again. This is extremely unhealthy.

2. One of four major factors keeps breaking down

These four are: honesty, communication, trust and respect. These are all vital for any "ship" to stay afloat. Once the point is reached where you cannot do this, you should have a definite answer.

3.  They cut themselves out of your life.

You no longer hang out, talk, or even like each other's statuses and pictures on social media. At this point, it's like trying to water a plant that has already died. Resuscitation isn't going to help when they have already pulled the plug mentally.

4. Tension is high

That good feeling and vibe you once got about them has vanished. You feel uncomfortable and on edge around them. Also, one can feel unsafe and sick.

5. No effort on their part

The bond has been broken and they are not trying to address nor fix it. They are not trying to work on the "ship".

6. Both of you have changed/evolved.

Life happens , both of you start simply growing apart from each other. This isn't always a bad thing either. It basically means the "ship" has ran its course.

7. You feel more alive when they aren't around.

This is the polar opposite of #4. Their presence makes you feel awful, while their absence has no impact on you or a great impact. You then realize that it is time to part ways.

OK I believe you all got it now, if you didn't before. So don't lose sleep and play Clue in your head. It's no murder mystery. Discernment is a wonderful trait to possess, and having this helps determine who should be in your world.  You can then live a more peaceful, happy life.

Are there other ways not listed that you can tell if a "ship" is about to sink? Care to share any personal experiences?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Creating An Alternate Workout Space

One's workout can easily be deterred by a number of factors such as climate, finances and not having the resources to properly exercise, even if you're at the gym.

Having a home/alternate workout space is crucial and doesn't require much space, time or money. Here are some pointers to help you along the way.

1. Utilize your living room, hallway or even bed.

And of course I don't necessarily mean that last one in a nasty way.

Seriously, if you can find space to do drills such as crunches, dips, and pushups, there's a start. You can stay active and at little to no cost.

2. Have a steady library of workout videos and YouTube videos.

I mentioned this last year in my article "Cabin Fever Workouts". DVD packages such as Insanity, P90X and anything by Jillian Michaels allow you to carry your workouts anywhere you have access to a TV and DVD player. Better yet, YouTube is full of exercise and conditioning videos and circuits.

3. Buy certain equipment but don't feel the need to break the bank.

Plenty of people buy weight sets, cardio equipment, basically their own home gym. That is fine and good as long as you can afford and use it. However, all you really need is a mat or a large beach towel, a jump rope, a broomstick for good mornings, and some heavy equipment that is more inexpensive. Also , if you have access to the woods, buy yourself an ax or a hatchet. One of the better workouts is cutting wood and someone always needs some wood for various reasons. 

4. Run/walk/jog outdoors.

Even in cold weather, this is good, free and easy cardio. You're staying active and you're not even sacrificing space.

5. Do plenty of yoga, pilates and/or PiYo.

All of these exercises are low impact but effective and work well inside of your home. You don't need much space, yet you're still getting loose and sweating and getting a good core workout.

One has to be creative and always thinking to stay in shape. Workouts get old quickly and you always need plenty of options.

What are some other ways that you workout in the home or outside of the gym? What does your home workout space look like?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

TV review: Empire

Mid season/winter premieres for new and popular shows are often very exciting. Thus far, one of the best new television dramas is Empire on FOX.

One would think at an initial glance that this is another cliche' music drama. Heck in the past we have had flops such as Platinum, and current shows such as Love and Hip Hop. However, this show stands head and shoulders above all those before it. Empire is compelling, with great singing, acting and crisp storylines.

The show centers around music mogul Lucious Lyons (Terence Howard) and his family which includes his fiery ex wife Cookie (Tarajji P. Henson) and their three adult sons. Just as his record label is set to go public, Lucious is diagnosed with a terminal illness and must choose one of his seed to run the empire. His eldest, Andre, is your straight laced, preppy, business type. The middle son, Jamal (Cookie's favorite) is homosexual and has a smooth voice similar to Maxwell or John Legend. The baby boy, Hakeem, is a rambunctious, controversial rapper.

All of this is a good formula for an hour drama. It seems people can't get enough of these types of shows and I can see why. When you follow them from the beginning, they are easier to appreciate and keep up with because all of the storylines unfold in front of you and you're not playing catch up.

So do yourself a favor, give ABC's Wednesday night comedic lineup a break and tune into Empire, 9pm on your local FOX station. There can definitely be something about this show that you can love.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Drew's Review of The Interview

Many of you are very familiar with the controversy surrounding the movie The Interview starring James Franco and Seth Rogen. It is a farce comedy centering around North Korea dictator Kim Jong-Un. At first he was outraged when the movie was scheduled for an October release. Then after being pushed back to Christmas Day, Sony studios pulled the plug in the wake of a hacking and possible terrorist threat. Sony, after the urging of several fans, decided to put the movie in limited release. Last week it became available on digital download, on-demand and pay-per-view.

I already wanted to see the movie before all of this. Given the drama, I wanted to see it even more.

I purchased it from pay per view last week and was not disappointed at all. I am a fan of spoofs, farces, and Franco and Rogen's on screen chemistry. All of this kept me laughing out loud. I watched it twice and gave it an A+ rating and a 4.5/5 rating.

James Franco was magnificent as a "Talk Soup" style TV journalist, and he and Rogen's antics were hilarious and brilliant. It wasn't a filthy or overly silly comedy, but simply a film that makes you laugh and allows one to neglect their serious side. They of course busted on North Korea for their way of life and how leaders such as the Kims are revered and seen as bigger than the Almighty.

This is definitely a cult classic and definitely took advantage of the negative publicity to create buzz. The Interview is a feel good story as well as a sharp, cool comedy.

So do yourself a favor and go ahead and watch The Interview. You will laugh, you will be puzzled but you will be entertained. And hey, it's ten times better than Pineapple Express.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Things To Pack Two Of In Your Gym Bag

Yep it's that time of year again: the beginning. Gyms and fitness centers everywhere are packed out with the New Year's Crowd. However, newbies and veterans alike always forget something that is vital to their workout or regimen. The difference is that forgetting something will easily discourage a newbie or a seasonal person.

This is why I pack extra of quite a few items. Here are some accessories you should have at least two of in your bag.

1. Workout shirt

Let's say yours gets too sweaty or even lost. Or for those that like to coordinate their outfits, there may be a better shirt in your bag.

2. Shoes.

You want to have proper footwear when working out, especially if you're doing heavy cardio. It never hurts to have another pair of tennis shoes.

3. Shorts/pants

This is mostly for temperature reasons. You may find yourself too hot or too cold. Therefore, prepare for any condition in the gym.

4. Water bottle

You must stay hydrated and while you may have left your fancy blender bottle at home (I have one also and love it) , you can still have an extra bottle to turn to. I actually have about three-four water bottles, and they need not be fancy. An empty 16 ounce bottle will do.

5. Earphones

Most of us aren't going to forget our phones. However we may forget our headsets so we can get into the zone in private. Or worse, your earphones may fade out on you. Either way, have multiple sets of these to complete your multiple exercise sets.

6. Towels

Even if your gym provides towel service, bring a couple of extra hand towels and even a regular towel. These are all found at affordable prices at Walmart and Dollar General. Like water bottles, you can't have enough of these.

7. Socks

Very important for various reasons. One main one is you may be doing yoga or pilates where you remove your shoes. You then realize you don't have decent socks on.

There are many things that we all carry into the gym with us to make our workouts more effective. Work with your collection and keep backups, especially if you don't live close by.

What are you always forgetting to bring to the gym? Are there any items that I omitted that you would add?