Legionnaire

The Battle of Carthage!

Wolfpack,

It’s finally here!!!

That’s right the Battle of Carthage video has finally been released. It took me a lot longer than it should’ve, but in the end I hope you all enjoy watching it as I much as I enjoyed making it.

Carthage

Men! Prepare for battle!

Also, this video did not originally start with the intention of coinciding with the release of the Hannibal at the Gates DLC pack for Total War: Rome 2, but now that I think about it, my video totally fits in well with the whole ‘Carthage’ theme that Creative Assembly is doing right now.

Anyway, just like last time I will do another double follow-up post(s) in regards to the video. The first one will be another more in-depth analysis of the real life historical event, while the second post will be a ‘making of’ video where I will highlight some of the difficult parts of the whole process as well as going over what new things I did this time around with Sony Vegas.

In the meantime, if you haven’t gotten a chance to check out the video yet, please do so. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Lastly, as always, if you liked what you saw then please comment, like, follow, subscribe, and share with all your friends and family.

Until next time!

TW1

Endnote: No assets from the ‘Hannibal at the Gates’ DLC pack was used in the making of this video. I have not bought the new DLC yet as of the time of this writing, 11:30 p.m. Central Time, March 27th, 2014.

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College Bar

My First Night Working At A Bar

Wolfpack,

I know I’ve been away for awhile now, and you’re probably all expecting that new ‘Battle of Carthage’ video to be done soon. Well, rest assured, it’s actually nearing completion. But in the meantime, I’d like to share with you a story from my own personal past that I just remembered the other day randomly and thought it was too funny to keep it a secret. So here it goes!

Back when I was in my senior year of college. I started working at a bar for the first time ever! It was quite an exciting experience and one that I learned a lot from. In fact, there were a lot of things that I NEVER would’ve expected to learn about. Such as the intricacies of how a bar functions and some more embarrassing things about our patrons.

This story is one of those about the customer(s).

How it always begins

Specifically, it’s in regards to female customers; college-aged, preppy, suburban, well-off, white-girl wasted, partying, living life on the edge type customers that we had a lot of.

This particular offset of our customer base had a tendency to make bathrooms…MESSY. I mean really, REALLY messy!

Bathroom

Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter

Now I had no idea that this actually happened before I was the guy who had to clean up after them. Because when I first started at my bar I was just a door guy. In fact, on my first night, I was working the door position that always handles the bathrooms. Going into it, I knew it wasn’t going to be a pretty sight at the end of the night, but what I didn’t know was that the chicks’ bathroom would be 1000x worse than the dudes’.

I mean seriously, come on! You usually expect the guys to be the ones who get totally hammered and make an obnoxious mess of the place. At least that’s the way all my friends were. Getting blacked-out drunk and then puking in the bathrooms/floors then passing out in a pile of it and finally peeing their pants while unconscious. Sorry for the mental images there, but I had to make a point. Anyway, turns out I was wrong.

Sure, the guys’ bathroom was no Garden of Eden. But other than some broken glass/spilled beer and bits and pieces of toilet paper on the floor there wasn’t anything else to clean up. It was a rather easy duty. So after I got done with that, I gladly walk on over to the girls’ bathroom thinking “…ha! This is gonna be so easy, piece of cake!”

WRONG!!!

The second I opened the door, I swear it felt like I had walked through a dimensional warp of some kind to an alternate reality where a full-blown battle had broken out that was fought between warring clans of sorority sisters and/or other college girl stereotypes. I mean the place was DESTROYED!

Aftermath

The first stall had the lights broken out.

The mirrors had makeup (I think) rubbed on it in ways that MUST have been on purpose.

Not only was there toilet paper, paper towels, and all other sorts of toiletries all over the floor, but it was IMMEDIATELY OBVIOUS that more than one person had deliberately thrown all this trash all over the place. Like entire rolls, including the backup ones that weren’t even being used, were disheveled and then rolled around on the floor.

Plus, the soap dispensers had half their contents dripping on the sinks/floor in such way as to make you think that somebody clearly just kept pushing the damn thing for the hell of it.

And there was even broken glass from empty Vodka bottles among other glass as well. But those bottles are damn thick!!! I mean you’d have to break one on purpose, it’s not like if it fell over from the counter that it’d shatter like that. NO! This was an act of intentional sabotage.

So after I managed to get myself together, much like a rookie recruit shell-shocked from landing on Omaha beach in Normandy, I began the long process of making this place squeaky clean. This was my job after all.

And so I continued on. Sweeping first, then mopping, then mirrors and porcelain. And finally to the last task.

The dreaded tampon boxes!!!!!!!!!

Tampon

OH
MY
GOD!

You thought everything was bad before? HA! Wait until you get a load of this. See our establishment, like many other fine places of entertainment, understands that the ‘fairer’ gender has to deal with some physical responsibilities that others don’t have to worry about. In light of that little detail, our owners provided these little metal containers/boxes nailed conveniently within easy reach onto the stall walls for the ladies to dispose of the bio-hazard otherwise known as USED TAMPONS!!! The way it works is…they just put it into this box that has a brown paper bag in it, and then little old me comes in at the end of the end, picks up the damn thing, and tosses it out into the garbage can as quickly as possible before the Zombie Virus spreads to me. Simple right?

So simple that you’d think nothing could go wrong, right?

right???

WRONG!!!AGAIN!!!

On this night, of my very first night, I had the displeasure of having to pick one up by itself…WITH MY BARE HANDS!!!

Now how the hell did this happen you ask?

Simple, it was at the end of a long shift that required more energy than I had initially realized. And after dealing with the aftermath of the Battle of White-Girl-Wastedlingrad I simply didn’t have the mental capacity to recognize what I saw in that dark, danky little box. I figured it was nothing and quite frankly, at that point, I just wanted to get the hell out of there and go back home and sleep already. So, go figure, I reach in, grab it with my hand completely, then take it out, only to realize that it was wet and leaking some kind of reddish fluid into my palm.

And that’s when the sheer GRAVITY of the situation hit me. I had just picked up this dripping wet, used tampoon with my bare hands and some random girls’…OK you know what I’m not going to get into the details anymore.

It’s too traumatic, and I don’t want to have a flashback to that moment.

Plus, you get the idea now.

Anyway, after that I quietly finished the rest of my duties in solemn silence, then checked out and clocked out with my manager and left to go home,…but not to sleep.

This must’ve been what some poor Medieval peasant felt like when he saw a boil on himself during the height of the Black Death. Sheer Terror!

OK so hopefully you guys enjoyed reading that as much as I (sort of) liked recounting that. As I said earlier, I thought this story was just too good to be kept secret, especially considering that it was my first night on the job. I always wondered if other bar industry employees had similar experiences on their first shifts…

Anyway, if you enjoyed what you read then please comment, like, subscribe, follow, and share with all your friends and family.

Until next time!

TW1

 

 

 

Connectivity

Portability: Why Companies Need to Embrace Social Media Marketing and Advertising in a World of Increasing Smartphone Usage

Wolfpack,

For this article I wanted to go a little more in-depth as to why you should have a smartphone. This post will be a continuation of my previous post where I basically said that you should have a smartphone, but this time I’m going to focus on why companies need to understand that smartphones, in combination with social media marketing, will completely revolutionize the future of all advertisements.

Right now you may be wondering, “just how exactly are smartphones and social media revolutionizing the advertisement industry?” And the answer is, the same way it’s done in the movie Minority Report. Remember this?

Well now you do. See, in the universe that Minority Report takes place in there’s advanced technology that allows advertisers to identify each and every individual that walks by then send them a targeted ad. That ‘looks’ all cool and futuristic, until you realize that we basically have this capability right NOW!

That’s right, in our world today advertisers can and actually do cater their marketing content to specific people. This comes in the forms of those ads that you see on social media sites like Facebook. Have you ever noticed how they seem to change based on what you’ve clicked on recently in your internet browser? How about when you ‘Google search’ a specific company, product, organization, etc. and then the next time you log onto Facebook those ads either reflect the same companies you were just looking at or a similar product in the same industry? Well, that’s known as behavioral targeting, and advertisers do it all the time now. In fact, this is one of the biggest ways that Facebook (and by extension, all of social media,) has not only changed how the internet affects the entire world but also how they’ve made a boat load of money. Don’t believe me? Well go see for yourself.

For those that didn’t click on the link, that was Facebook’s official announcement on their own page that says that now anyone can use the ‘Custom Audiences’ feature to send their ads directly to their most likely potential customer base. Of course, none of this is really all that new. These types of techniques have been going on for quite some time now, but what is new is how increasingly popular and affordable smartphones have become. This, in turn, will lead to a proliferation of customized ads that can target their intended client base AT THE RIGHT TIME. And this is where I explain to you how smartphones AND social media combined TOGETHER means that you, as a company, need to really jump on the social media marketing bandwagon

connectivity

See, smartphones allow and pretty much encourage their users to be connected with their social media sites at all times, like 24/7; and when this happens that means that those same ads that were tailored ever so specifically for that very well-targeted audience will now pop up at just the right time for the guy seeing it to think to himself “You know what? Maybe I really do need that new pair of golf shoes.” This works for just about any sort of advertising by the way. Consumer products, vacation resorts, grass roots political movements, cult meetings, etc. And that’s the real magic happening right there!

Because, in the past, it used to be that those same so-called ‘behavioral ads’ weren’t all THAT effective since their major weakness was that a person could only see the ads if they were logged in on Facebook (or whatever social media site they use), and they couldn’t be logged on if they weren’t with a computer which meant that those ads would only show up at certain time periods. Time periods which may not always be most advantageous to the advertiser/producer, and that’s an obviously going to be an issue if you want your potential client to buy from you/pay attention to what you want them to pay attention to. Bottom line is, if you don’t time your ads well it won’t matter how good they are or how high the quality of your product or service is, because no one will give you the chance to prove those last 2 things. Honestly, they might not even be aware that your company/product/service even exists in the first place. But that’s all changed.

Now, the smartphone WILL show the ad in the user’s feed, and the ad WILL appear at the right time. Which means that the consumer WILL be aware of you, your company, and what you can do for them; leading to the undeniable conclusion that your sales, revenue, profit margins, etc. WILL go up.

And finally, we’ve come full circle. Just like how Tom Cruise’s character in Minority Report was practically getting spammed with advertisements directed specifically at him, social media and smartphones are also transmitting through a direct link to the consumer. A link that a smart advertiser, in combination with a far-sighted company, can take advantage of. Minus the whole ‘spamming’ part, of course.

Timing by Carl Lewis

Anyway, guys I hope you had as much fun reading that as I did writing it. Also, I hope that I was able to impress onto to you a few new things as well. And, as always, if you enjoyed what you saw then please like, comment, follow, subscribe, and share with all your friends and family.

Until next time,

TW1

P.S. I’ve decided to refer to my readers as ‘wolfpack’ for now. This is because my online moniker is TimberWolfOne after all and I like wolves because they are cool. Thanks, that is all!

Droid

The Droids are Coming: 2 Reasons Why You Should Have a Smartphone

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Hello Readers,

Today I’d like to talk about smartphones, and why you should buy one and keep it on your person at all times. So without any further delay, here are 2 reasons why:

1) A smartphone will keep you connected with the rest of the world at all times.

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It does this because it’s always with you. Ya sure, you could get the same information through a computer, laptop, or TV; but the problem is, those things aren’t exactly man-portable. You can’t take one with you everywhere you go. A smartphone, on the other, can pretty much go anywhere.

Working out at the gym? No problem.

Relaxing on the beach? Just buy one of those waterproof, shockproof, airtight cases and you’ll be good to go!

See, the sooner you realize that a smartphone is really just a computer and TV put into 1 small package with all the same communications capabilities the more you’ll realize how truthful this statement really is.

and

2) It’s an easy way of simplifying your life into 1 convenient device.

A smartphone can simplify your life solely because of mobile apps. You’ve already heard the phrase “…there’s an app for everything…”. Well, it’s true.

There are apps for you to write down your ‘to-do’ list, like Evernote! Which can double as writing down anything that you feel is important. Need to set a reminder for that important meeting you have next week? Put it in the app.

Just got a new idea for that book/screenplay you’ve always wanted to write?

Put it in the app.

Now here’s some other apps/functions you do with your smartphone that make life so much easier.

So as you can see, there are a plethora of very legitimate and professional reasons why you should have a smartphone. It’s just the smart thing to do!

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The Importance of Motivation: How having the Right Attitude is a Necessity for Success While Having the Wrong One Gaurantees Failure

Hey everyone,

Today I wanted to do a quick post about something that is of personal value to me. It’s about motivation and attitude. More importantly, it’s about having the right kinds of motivation/attitude, a.k.a., a positive one as opposed to a negative one.

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Now before I go any further, I’d like to tell you about the story of what led me to write this post. After that it’ll probably be a little easier to understand the value of a position attitude in life.

So this happened at work one time a while back. My co-workers and I were socializing during some down time, and we got to talking about a video game that 2 of my co-workers liked to play a lot. The game was called ‘Kerbal Space Simulator’ or something to that extent. It was essentially a space-flight/engineering simulator. The player has to digitally build a working spaceship inside of a VERY realistic digital world and then test it. Anyway, the main point was that only a pretty intelligent person could be successful at it, which these 2 co-workers of mine were. But, there was one issue.

When I asked them the question of “Why don’t you guys ever try to design your own games?” They flew off into a variety of reasons why they would never be able to do it. All this self-doubt and negativity just came pouring out. They said all of this, despite the fact that the 2 of them were actually pretty well-versed and familiar with the Java and Javascript programming languages as well as HTML and CSS. That’s basically all the foundation that you would need to start game development, and yet these 2 still wouldn’t even entertain the mere idea of giving it a shot. And that’s when it occurred to me.

That these guys were the perfect real-life example of how the WRONG attitude will absolutely KILL all hopes, dreams, aspirations, or even potential for success. Think about it, if even 1 of these guys had actually given it a legitimate effort he’d probably be on his way to a much more comfortable life of luxury. I mean we have ‘Flappy Bird’ which took the creator all of 2 days to make and netted him a gross DAILY revenue of $50,000 before it was taken off the market. If that game worked out so well, there’s no reason why 1 of these guys couldn’t have at least gotten their foot in the door with a game development company or some other IT firm once they had built up a decent portfolio of their work. And yet, my co-workers NEVER even tried to.

Which is exactly why after having been out of high school for the better part of a decade now, those 2 were still living with their parents and working in a wage-job that was clearly meant for students. And that’s my final point!

That when you become a naysayer, you become your own worst enemy. You end up never growing yourself as a person either intellectually or professionally. You end up doomed to a life of financial dependence on your parents as well as an ever-decreasing level of social status. Let’s face it, when you’re close to 30 yrs old and still basically being where you started when you first graduated high school; you’ve become a social pariah. People are not going to want to associate with you, but this could all be different, if only a positive outlook on life was built into these 2.

So bottom line guys, please for your own sake, keep telling yourself that you can do it. That you can succeed. That you do have what it takes. Because the alternative means dooming yourself to an ever-lasting cycle of failure.

That’s all I have for this post, I hope this truly affected you for the better. And please remember that if you liked what you saw then please comment, like, follow, subscribe, and share with all your friends and family. Thanks and take care!

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Until Next Time,

TW1

3 Ways to Improve Your Productivity

NOTE: This is a writing sample that I submitted to the same receiver as my previous post on ‘Checklists’.

Checkees,

               Have you ever wanted to improve your productivity? Ever realized that you totally just wasted a half a day doing pretty much nothing? Well, here’s a special article for all of you who want to become more productive.

                So this article will consist of 3 easy but effective ways of improving your productivity. All 3 of these methods can be done with absolutely ZERO external help of any kind. So without any further delay, let’s start off with:

1)      Exercising More

It’s common knowledge that exercise improves your physical health, but did you also know that exercise can increase your capacity for productivity? Yes, that’s right, strenuous physical activity actually has a beneficial effect on your cognitive skills.

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The exact processes that happen are by far too complicated, numerous, and varied to go into detail here, but this guy’s article gives you a pretty good idea of one of the basic concepts behind it all. In layman’s terms, your body actually has more energy when you exercise compared to being sedentary. This is because when you exercise, your body increases the production of a certain sub-cellular structure known as the Mitochondria. These little guys are what is commonly known as the ‘Power Plants’ of your cells, and rightfully so, they produce ATP which is the chemical that your body uses as energy. Here’s a simple way of looking at it. The more exercise you get the more Mitochondria you have, and the more Mitochondria you have the more ATP there is. More ATP means there’s more energy to go around in your body, and a lot of that energy goes to your brain which ultimately means now you can pay attention for longer, stay awake without drowsiness for longer, and process information quicker. And there you have it, how exercise improves productivity.

While we’re at it, here’s another study that shows that it also helps with employee motivation, satisfaction, and output capacity when implemented by management in the workplace.

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2)      Focus on 1 thing at a time, i.e., Don’t Multi-task

This next one might come as a bit of a surprise, but it’s still true nonetheless. Multi-tasking actually hurts your productivity, so instead, focus on doing one thing at a time. You might be wondering, “how can this be” I mean, after all, doesn’t it logically make sense that if you work on 2 or more tasks simultaneously you’re going to get all of them done faster than if you do it in a linear fashion? Not exactly, and here’s why.

See our brains are not designed to focus on more than 1 thing at a time. In fact, if you try to you’ll either do a poor job on all tasks that you attempted to do, or you’ll simply end up having your attention so divided that it actually takes you longer to finish then if you had just put your mind to 1 task at a time. Here’s the American Psychological Association supporting my claim. Just to emphasize, that was a bunch of psychologists, who study the human mind for a living, basically telling people that they should really only dedicate themselves to one thing at a time if you want to get done with all your tasks on time.

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3)      Reward yourself…when you reach your goals

And finally, we get to our last tip of the day on how to improve productivity which is…to reward yourself when you reach your goals. This tip is basically a 2-for-1 deal. The first part is that you have to set goals for yourself. Which checklists are perfect for! Now when you set your goals there are 2 rules to follow. The first one is to be as specific as possible, and the second is to set challenging or lofty goals. Read this for an explanation why. For those of you who didn’t read that, it’s because setting vague goals means it’s easy for you to get off track while setting easy goals equates to you not actually putting in a legitimate effort.

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Now here’s the second part about rewarding yourself, which is positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is basically rewarding someone for doing something. The common view is that of giving a dog a treat for obeying a command like “sit” (technically, in psychology, the official definition is much more different and varied, but we won’t get into it here for the sake of simplicity). Well, it turns out that this also works on us, humans. So once you’ve set your goals and accomplished them, go ahead and treat yourself to whatever your heart desires, within reason of course. In fact, the whole ‘positive reinforcement’ thing has been shown to be quite effective in the workplace as well. This article details just exactly how that can happen. Because the employee will naturally want to work harder when he has high morale, a high sense of self-worth, and feels like they fit-in there. Bottom line is…use checklists to set goals for yourself and then reward yourself once you achieve them.

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Citations

·         http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-pozen/exercise-productivity_b_2005463.html

·         http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00140138108924900#.Ux4GxoWwVvB

·         http://www.apa.org/research/action/multitask.aspx

·         http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/bul/90/1/125/

·         http://smallbusiness.chron.com/positive-reinforcement-important-workplace-11566.html

The Number 1 Reason Why You Should Use a Checklist

NOTE: The following is a writing sample that I submitted as part of a portfolio representing my skills, abilities, and capabilities for writing and blogging.

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Hey Checkees,

 Why should you be using a checklist? Simple, because you are human! See, being human means that you will make mistakes like forgetting things. Well having a checklist can and will prevent that from happening. But before we get into the merits of checklisting, allow me to delve quickly into the memory process. This will help you understand, later on, just how exactly a checklist combats the kind of forgetfulness that we are trying to eliminate.

Right now, please read this. If you didn’t click on the link, no worries, I’m about to explain it all right now. In the bottom half of the 2nd paragraph we learn that “Forgetting typically involves a failure in memory retrieval.”. What this means is that a lot of times when you forget something, it’s not actually gone or lost forever; what’s really happening is that the information you were looking for is buried somewhere and your brain just simply can’t reach it or can’t recover it at the time. I will use an analogy to make it easier to understand.

It’s like looking for a file through your hard drive that’s ‘missing’ only to realize that it was actually deleted and left in the recycling bin.

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So how does this relate to checklists?

Easy, checklists prevent memory retrieval failure from happening, because the checklist IS the reminder. You write down what you need to do. Then as you accomplish each one, you pull out the trusty old checklist and cross tasks off the list one by one. Each time you do that you get a quick glance at the rest of the list, thereby reinforcing your memories of the tasks that still need to be accomplished. It’s undeniably simple.

To go back to our analogy from before, this would be like what if every time you sat down in front of your computer, and went to look for a file, a Word document pops up that instantly reminded you of the file location. Convenient right?

Now if that hasn’t convinced you of the usefulness of a checklist. Please allow me to direct your attention to a real world example of checklists saving both money and LIVES even. I am, of course, referring to Dr. Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifest. Many of you are already familiar with this book, but for the others I’ll give a very brief and simplified summary. Basically, Dr. Gawande conducted an experiment about hospitals that used checklists and then measured the resulting differences. His conclusion, revealed a 36% decline in complications as well as a 47% decrease in deaths. A synopsis of his experiment can be found here. So if the humble checklist can save lives, don’t you think it’s at least worth a shot for you?

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Citations

·         http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/p/forgetting.htm

·         http://www.edutopia.org/groups/science-technology-engineering-mathematics-education/95928