Reading List 03/22/2019 Josh Sawyers No comments

What I’ve been reading this week

A long break from the blog, but here are some articles I’ve been reading this week:

Daily Thoughts 03/23/2017 Josh Sawyers No comments

SnapChat – HELP

I like to think of myself as pretty technologically advanced and willing to try new products and apps when they come out. On that note, I must say SnapChat is one I just don’t get. When SnapChat had their IPO and was all over the news I downloaded to check it out. I’ve really tried to use it, and most stuff I can pick up and start using right away. For a messaging app it just doesn’t seem very friendly. I’ve tried it for photos, and Instagram is better in my book. Maybe it is I’m not a big selfie guy? So someone help me, is that all SnapChat is really good at doing? I just don’t see myself turning the camera on myself and recording a video, or snapping a selfie so I can put dog ears on my bald head. This is coming from a guy that locked himself in a room and recorded 5 podcasts talking to just himself. I’m really open to trying new stuff, this is one that I’m just having a hard time grasping. Please fill me in on what I’m missing with SnapChat.

Did you click on the link above and now wonder more about this Chip “Stacks” McGee fellow. Here is a little more about him from a bio I found:

Chip “Stacks” McGee

Have you ever wondered who this Chip “Stacks” McGee fellow is? Where does he come from? How did they let him get a podcast? Well maybe this will shed some light on these questions.

I’d have to say it is pretty simple. I’m just a dude that loves poker. I’ve been playing poker in some form every since I can remember. My first memories are playing for my granddad’s pocket change when he would get off work. Then there was the days in college when we had our “big” $20 buy in games. After leaving college I had quit playing for a few years till I moved, and got in with a crew that had a weekly home game. This was about a year before the Chris Moneymaker boom when finding a good game was still pretty hard to do because it was not cool to be a poker player. One of the guys at the home game was talking about playing online and after checking it out I have been grinding at the tables for about 4 years and enjoying the growth of the game.

Since I was always reading about the news going on in poker and talking poker I felt is was time to get all this information out to all the poker players with iPods and mp3 players.

Chip McGee Fact Sheet
Best Game – Limit Holdem
Favorite Hand – 72 off suit
Favorite Player – Phil Ivey and Greg Raymer
What’s in Chip’s iPod when playing poker? – Jay-Z
Poker Highlight so far – Busting Chris “Jesus” Ferguson out of a Tourney on Full Tilt
Beer of choice – Rolling Rock
Year Chip wins the WSOP – Win ha…I just want to play in the WSOP once


Daily Thoughts, Reading List 03/20/2017 Josh Sawyers No comments

Where did Gen X go?

In the late 1990s and early 2000’s, I couldn’t pick up a newspaper, magazine, or flip on a new cast and not hear something about the slacker generation know as Gen X. We came after those baby boomers and were going to be the end of the world with our laziness and video game playing. Well now, those members of Gen X have hit their mid 30’s to mid 50’s and amount to a large amount of the productive workforce today. Is it just me that see the coverage of Gen X has fallen off the map? There are always discussions about  the Baby Boomers and how they are going to put a strain on healthcare or the new kids on the block, aka the Millennials and how they are soooo cool. After a little digging, I did find a Washington Post piece on how we are making our mark in the world. I guess when you are in the mortgage refinance and mini-van part of your life, it just isn’t as sexy to cover as much.

Thanks to all of you all that have been sharing articles with me. It makes my day when someone is thoughtful enough to send a good read over my way. Here are just a few:

Have a good week!

Reading List 03/12/2017 Josh Sawyers No comments

SWVA, Appalachia and Facts

Working on a longer post that still needs some development and more thoughts, but I wanted to share some of my weekly readings. I love politics, and Sarah makes fun of me all the time for watching Meet the Press. Many times I’ve seen talking politics on social media go wrong, and as a rule I try to keep my mouth shut (which I sometimes break), but saw this interesting article on Americans ignoring facts. I don’t see this as a left or right issue, just one when we get our mind set,  it is very hard to keep an open mind:

As a rule, misinformed people do not change their minds once they have been presented with facts that challenge their beliefs. But beyond simply not changing their minds when they should, research shows that they are likely to become more attached to their mistaken beliefs. The factual information “backfires.” When people don’t agree with you, research suggests that bringing in facts to support your case might actually make them believe you less.

In other words, fighting the ill-informed with facts is like fighting a grease fire with water. It seems like it should work, but it’s actually going to make things worse.

Even more than politics, I love Southwest Virginia and the Appalachian region. So anytime I can read some article about the history of the region, economic development, or some hillbilly hit piece on how uneducated, impoverished or any other stereotypes “big city” journalists write, I must consume it. Here are a few from this week:

Also started The World Is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy by David M. Smick. Only made it to chapter 1 so far, but very interested to read after some time has played out since the book was written.

Oh in other news I saw a deer today

A post shared by Josh Sawyers (@jsawyers) on

Have a good week!


Daily Thoughts, Reading List 03/03/2017 Josh Sawyers No comments

Frickin Laser Beams and Breaking the Law

I’ve been lazy this week and only posted once, so on this Friday’s installment of What I’ve Been Reading, I better bring it. I’m pulling out Lasers, Tim Tebow, and incriminating stories of my youth. To get started, let’s make sure everyone is awake with the perfect cup of coffeeIt is good to know with my $24.99 Mr. Coffee maker I’ve been doing it wrong for all these years. No wonder I’ve never been a morning person.

How about a bird bath in Montana where the water is so toxic that they are thinking about protecting birds by installing lasers and propane canons? It seems that open pit former copper mines and birds don’t mix too well. Last year over 3000 Canadian geese died when they landed on this body of water during their migration. Pretty bad when a mini Star Wars missile defense system has to be installed because the water is so polluted.

Now on to a more positive note with a story about Tim Tebow, wait we’re going back to a negative note as ESPN blast him for trying to give baseball a go. I get it the odds are stacked against Tebow ever seeing the field in a Major league game, but when this is the message he is able to deliver I don’t know how any of this process can be called a failure:

Tebow Surprises Reporter With Awesome Answer

Tim Tebow has arrived at spring training, and he's already making headlines.

Posted by The Wildcard on Monday, February 27, 2017

Hometown gets some great coverage in this article from New Republic, and a good interview with the owners of my favorite brewery in town.

“St. Paul embraces new ideas,” Jennifer Bailey says. “We’re not just sitting back and saying ‘Well, we live or die with coal, and we’ll just turn into a ghost town.’ No, we’ll make a way.”

Virginia just made it legal for robots to make deliveries. This is where I incriminate myself, as I’ve been making deliveries with the Sear’s Catalog Omnibot as far back as 30 years ago. It started out with trips from my bedroom to the kitchen requesting soda and snacks to be placed on the Omnibot’s tray, and then returned to my room. There may have even been some trips made outside to other homes in Rolling Hills back in the 1980’s. If you have any old grainy VHS footage please destroy as I’m not sure what the statute of limitations is on illegal robot deliveries.

 A little bonus for you since college football is only 174 days away now. Time to put everyone on notice in the SEC after almost 10 years reports are the Gators might have not one but 3 QB’s next seasonYou heard it here first Gators 38 – Vols 17, back to being Gatorbait in 2017.

Daily Thoughts 02/27/2017 Josh Sawyers One comment

Pay It Forward – My Involvement in Dante Virginia

For a Monday, it has been a busy but very productive day. I had a couple thoughts on my mind for today’s post, but never really got the time to sit down and fully develop them. So instead I’ll tell you about what I have been working on this evening. Grants, grants, and more Grants!

As some of you may know and some of you might not, I’ve been working with the Dante Community Association to help revitalize Dante. We’ve got some really big visions, but right now we are in the trenches trying to get some practical projects completed. The first project we are looking to knock out is a playground for the youth, and we’ve been fortunate enough to receive a $15,000 grant to get us started. The project is likely going to run double that, so we’ve all been working on other grant options and fundraisers (click on that link and you might be able to help) to allow us to complete this project. Like I said we have some big plans and have already been helped out by Virginia Tech with some wonderful design concepts, but still have a ways to go.

I’ve never lived in Dante before, so why did I get involved? Both of my maternal grandparents are from Dante, the first home my parents lived in was in Dante, and that home happened to be in the same hollow where a certain blue-eyed girl I feel in love with lived too. So while I’ve never had an address in Dante I find I’ve got many ties to it and is holds a very sentimental place in my heart. If you’ve read to this point I might as well hit you up, we’ve got some momentum started but still could use a lot of help, so if you up for a challenge we’d love to see you volunteer. Message me, call/text or email josh @ dante dot org if you would like more information.

Slow reading day today outside of grant guidelines, but I did get a chance to read one good article:

Reading List 02/24/2017 Josh Sawyers No comments

What I’ve been reading this week

TGIF, and what a beautiful Friday it has been, mid 70’s on February 24th is a true gift. I rode the bike to the post office at lunchtime in shorts and flip flops. Can’t say I’ve done that often in Winter.

Some good reads from this week:

And a little string therapy to wrap up the week:

Daily Thoughts 02/23/2017 Josh Sawyers No comments

Number 3 This One is for You Dale Murphy

I hate the Atlanta Braves!

I loved the Braves up until August 3rd, 1990 when Dale Murphy was sent packing to the Philly’s. So why after all these years do I still hate the Braves? It really isn’t about them dealing Murphy away (which was a bad trade), but more of crushing the value of loyalty. Up until then I never imagine an act like that could take place, how could you give up on someone that gave you blood, sweat, and tears every game. And to top it all off this is right when the Braves are on the verge of success, just let Murphy taste a little of that success as a reward. Everyone growing up in my age group remembers watching those bad Braves teams on TBS, and the one shining star on the team was Murphy. Two MVPs, consistent stats in a dead ball era, and just being a great face for a franchise and role model for kids gone with a trade for Jeff Parrett and Jim Vatcher. How could the Braves do this to my baseball hero?

Since then Murphy and the Braves have reunited, and I’ve come to grips with the “business of sports”. Yet to this day I’ve not been able to forget or forgive the Braves for teaching me a valuable life lesson. Stay loyal, stay true!

And sorry Chance the Rapper there is only 1 #3.



Daily Thoughts 02/22/2017 Josh Sawyers No comments

On a Roll Now Made it to day 2

Watch out now I’ve made it to day two with a new post. Well, a new post on the blog but one that has been on my mind for the last couple weeks. You may have seen me post on FaceBook a couple days ago asking about filter bubbles:

Many of you may say what is a filter bubble? Good ole Wikipedia says:

A filter bubble is a result of a personalized search in which a website algorithm selectively guesses what information a user would like to see based on information about the user and, as a result, users become separated from information that disagrees with their viewpoints, effectively isolating them in their own cultural or ideological bubbles.

This thought of being spoon feed what we “like” all the time and never even knowing about alternative options. Maybe this concerns me as I love what I don’t know so much. I try and make it a point to consume opposing viewpoints, and in general try new things. I plan to dig deeper into this subject as time allow. So far I’ve been able to find a lot of information on what causes filter bubbles, but nothing that shows how we avoid them as curation becomes more advanced. I did run across this quote by Thoreau, and maybe that is the answer: To never stop looking!

Daily Thoughts 02/21/2017 Josh Sawyers 2 comments

First Post

This site has undergone many iterations and platforms. I’ve written some bad HTML from scratch to host Joomla, Tumblr, and probably 3 or 4 other platforms (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, it is okay just geek talk there) that I’ve forgotten by now on this domain in the past. It really has never had a direction, I just thought it was good to own your name as some day it would have some value. Likely that will be the case one day, but the value has to be added.

My goal is to capture my thoughts whenever I can and if that has some monetary value one day– great, or if in 20 years it will just be cool to look back and see what I was thinking on a random Tuesday in 2017 that will have some value to me. Of course, I’ve been doing this for over 10 years on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms, but it is time to own the system. Will people flock to the site? no. Will I still have to share on all the social media sites if I want anyone to read my posts ?yes. But this is going to be my online home. I’m going to keep things simple in design and focus more on content. It may not be a lengthy post each time, and likely I will be very random with a spelling and grammar issue here and there.  I have all the intentions in the world to use this a sounding board and write on some of my thoughts, or issues that are on my mind at the time. I would love to tell you that I’m going to do this daily, we’ll just have to see how that goes.

If you clicked over from somewhere to read this thanks, and here’s to the journey!

Thought of the day:

“Don’t become a wandering generality. Be a meaningful specific.” — Zig Ziglar