Virginia Beach Color Run and More!

A few weeks ago, my wife and I went on a weekend trip to Virginia Beach so that I could participate in my first Color Me Rad 5k. This entry is about that experience and a critique of the restaurants that we ate at as well as the hotel that we stayed at.

The Friday before the run, my wife and I decided to look up some of the Triple D (Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives) restaurant’s in Virginia Beach. We settled on Flip Flop Grill + Chill, which seemed like a nice simple location for dinner. We kept the order simple because we just finished a decent road trip and I didn’t want to get anything complicated. I got the Cowboy Burger, a normal BBQ bacon cheeseburger. The difference is they have an amazing chipotle mayo that made mixed with the BBQ sauce and it was an explosion of flavor. As good as this burger was, it paled in comparison with the sweet potato fries, which were thin shoestring style fries with one major exception.  They were crispy, which anyone that knows sweet potato fries knows that this is almost impossible because of the sugars in the sweet potato.

The next morning for breakfast, we decided to try out Citrus for breakfast, which apparently is a difficult place to get into. Luckily, there wasn’t a wait because there were two tables. My wife always lets the waitress or waiter know if it our first time at an establishment. The waitress was amazing, giving suggestions about what she liked and not just trying to up sale us on something that was more expensive. I ended up getting the Lump Crab Omelet without the tomatoes, while my wife got a healthy sweet potato pancake dish that was amazing. The crab omelet was amazing and packed full of crab with every bite. Definitely keeping up the traditions that they made famous on the Triple D Show.

The Color Run was fun, but very much not organized properly. The Color Me Rad in Virginia Beach for 2017 was not properly organized and held early in the days leading up to the actual event. The confirmation email that was supposed to be sent to the runners to discuss the early packet pick up and the run start time as well as general information about the event was sent out about 36 hours prior to the event. I will admit that the weather leading up to the event was far from advantageous, what with having tornadoes touch down less than 5 miles from the course and having torrential rain hit two nights prior. That being said, the promise of “colors galore” and “a nineties kids’ nickelodeon slime dreams coming true” were far from present. There was no slime coloring, no liquid coloring, none of the stuff you see in the promotional videos about people being “hype” really. Though, there was the powder pigment being thrown and sold before and during the run as well as a large “explosion” of powder pigment coloring after the run was finished.

As someone that was not sure about how this run was going to turn out, I went there with all white (except for my socks), as shown in the above photo. The run was fun if only because of the people that were completing the run as well as myself. The result of the colors I had on me while trying to get covered in powder is shown in the following photo. I’ll allow you as the reader to determine what you think.

 

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Updates

New Posts coming include a weekend trip to Virginia Beach, a Color Me Rad 5k, and two different Triple D restaurant reviews from Virginia Beach establishments. In addition to these topics, I will post about my wife and I attempts to make our own soap at home. If you pay attention to this post, you will be notified about these future posts.

Why Can’t I Find a Job?

Recently I have been doing research for school as to why people can’t seem to find gainful employment or employment in general. I have found a number of different reasons why people can’t seem to find work. Joblessness is sneaking into the United States as a common and mainstream trend. About 50 years ago, the ability for individuals from different backgrounds to hold and maintain a middle class standard of living was possible with little more than a high school diploma. Over the past 10 years, there has been a steady rate of unemployment in the United States with an ever increasing wage gap. Who are the people that seem unable to find a job and why can they not seem to find employment? The two prominent competing theories behind high unemployment are inadequate-aggregate-demand hypothesis, which is the lack of demand for a particular skill or service leading to low demand of that type of employment, and the rise-in-structural-unemployment, which is the lack of employment due to the lack of available jobs compared to the population of potential workers. These two theories do not take into account other variables that commonly contribute to prolonged joblessness. This literature review analyzes research from various disciplines addressing the issue of prolonged joblessness into three different characteristics: personal demographics, technological advancements, and regional limitations for employment.

One of the first things that must be done when applying for a job is to fill out an application and providing personal information. Sherry Mong and Vincent J. Roscigno discuss in their paper “African American Men and the Experience of Employment Discrimination” the difficulties and pitfalls that minorities endure when searching for employment by dealing with jobs being racialized for serving other minorities as well as commonly being offered less on-the-job training. While discrimination on various factors is illegal in the United States, there are still discriminatory strategies being observed. Long-term unemployment has been found to concentrate itself among a minority of individuals that have gone through widespread periods of unemployment. In this instance, the cyclical nature of being unemployed is causing individuals to remain unemployed and unemployable. The people that tend to fall into a trap such as this are those possessing a high school education or lower, those without job accessibility, and household size.

As I previously mentioned, technological advancements are causing more people to lose employment opportunities. It is not a secret that there has been tremendous growth in production because of robotics and automation. Andrew McAfee discussed in his TED Talk lecture that while it is great that androids and robots are doing more work and freeing up human beings from drudgery, they are also taking away jobs and income from the people that have traditionally performed those jobs and tasks. This form of outsourcing jobs is one of the biggest factors that modernization has played in the eradication of available employment. The concept of modernization was discussed by Shelly Irving who described how industrial and technological developments have created areas of economic devastation that thrived on factory and production jobs. The lack of employers in certain locations leads to the third common factor dealing with joblessness in the United States.

The final point of discussion for joblessness in the United States is the regional limitations for employment. The regional limitations refer to both employers’ inabilities to offer employment in certain parts of the state and country as well as individuals’ inability to travel to a place of employment. The job market is not the same across the country as can be noted by looking at different job fields such as technology, pharmaceutical research, coal and fossil fuels. Job accessibility is defined in “Exploring the Connections Among Job Accessibility, Employment, Income, and Auto Ownership Using Structural Equation Modeling,” as the ability of workers living in an area to access jobs in all nearby regions. The rapid growth in modernizing and robotizing production in factories lead to rapid decentralization of jobs in many American cities, especially those in the Rustbelt states.

With these three factors weaving an intricate design in the way employment possibilities fluctuate in the United States, it is easy to see that the cause of prolonged unemployment is not a simple explanation. With these variables being discussed, it is clear to see that the two prominent competing theories behind high unemployment are in serious need of revisions. It is important to note that while the unemployment rate is still remarkably low, there is still a large population that is unemployed.

One of the biggest and most important ways to fix this problem is to publicize and offer more educational opportunities to people looking for work. I am not saying that they have to have college degrees or take on that type of debt. There are many hands-on skilled labor jobs and jobs that offer on-the-job training for employees. In addition to this, there are online programs that offer free services and training from computer and tech savvy jobs. I have attached some links to the resources that I know about.

Goodwill Community Foundation

Goodwill University

Great Nonprofits

I urge those that read this to share the information to help any that you may know find employment.

Homemade Cereal and Granola Blend

I have been making my own granola since about mid way through 2014. I have tried different combinations of ingredients, but haven’t really been disappointed. I am sharing one of my new recipes that will allow you to save money and eat healthy. Most if not all of the ingredients in this recipe can be substituted  for similar items. This granola can be added to a cereal similar to other popular brands, but much cheaper (here’s looking at you Honey Bunches of Oats). I added the half the granola to a oz. box of Special K Original.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. chopped Pecans
  • 3 cups Old fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 3 tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 cup flax seed meal
  • 1 cup Toasted Sweetened Coconut Flakes
  • 1/3 + 1/4 cups Coconut Oil (melted)
  • 1/3 cup Honey
  • 1 + 1/2 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar (packed)

Materials

  • Large baking sheet (17.25×11.5×1 in is the size that I used)
  • Parchment Paper
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Rubber spatula

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven at 325 °F (163 °C)
  2. Gather all of the listed dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Mix well to incorporate all the ingredients.
  4. Add the first 1/3 cup of coconut oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, and honey to the dried ingredients.
  5. Mix the ingredients until all of the ingredients are wet and stick together. Slowly add the remainder of the coconut oil in order to coat all ingredients. wp-1488512204561.jpg
  6. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. This makes the handling and clean up of the granola much easier.
  7. Spread the granola mixture over the covered pan evenly to prevent burning. wp-1488512178219.jpg
  8. Place pan in oven for 30 minutes. Remove the oven from the pan and slowly and carefully stir the granola and spread it evenly on the pan again.
  9. Replace the  granola in the oven for an additional 15 minutes.
  10. Remove pan from the oven and allow the granola to cool and harden. The longer the granola sets the larger the clumps will be when breaking it up to enjoy or to add to the cereal of your choice. After the granola has cooled, enjoy!

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The Roles of the News and Media Agencies

I have been trying to find the best way to say this, so I am going to do so without swearing, which is difficult, because this is getting exasperating. The media’s job is not to suck up or be complacent when questioning subjects of an article.

In regards to President Trump, I have this to say, “SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP!”

For the entirety of the presidential campaign, you and your team have demanded more out of news agencies when reporting on the actions of President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and the rest of the Democratic party. Ignoring the fact that they WERE covering the Clinton Campaign, the fact that you have had so many different and questionable things happen during your campaign, led to more and varied news coverage.

After not giving a press conference for 60 days after winning the election, you don’t get to complain that the information that the press had was not accurate. It is up to you and your team to set the record straight.

Today, the White House decided to keep CNN, BBC, and other news agencies. Until I can walk into the White House and ask Donald Trump a question that I have, the news outlets are the only way that I can get the answers I want. That is the Role of the Media, to act as the voice of the people when questioning the actions and motives of the elected officials and especially those not elected. If you are under the impression that the media is supposed to be nice and kind to everyone, you should maybe pay attention to news as a whole and not allow your team to sugarcoat how you are really viewed in America.

For the people that claim to love this country and always preach about their second amendment rights and don’t have a problem with the president violating the first amendment, I question your loyalty to this country. I haven’t always agreed with the Presidents of the United States during my lifetime, but this is the first one that I outright worry about. I wonder what he has done to receive such blind loyalty from the “base”?

Why Does Nomenclature Affect Perception?

One of the biggest issues that I have with the current affairs of the news industry is the insult of the term “fake news”. I was listening to the radio the other day and heard a great comparison. If you take the word gun and put any adjective in front of it, it doesn’t have nearly the same effect as placing fake in front of it. Think about it.

Small gun, big gun, dangerous gun, broken gun, toy gun… The list can go on and on, but if you place fake in front of it, the entire concept of the gun is changed. The same thing happens with the word news.

In the past, news has been described as left leaning news, right leaning news, conservative news, liberal news, slanted news, old news… Again, this list too goes on and on. But with the concept of fake news, there is the connotation that the news is outright trying to deceive the masses and alter the facts to be falsehoods.

Before the recent elections (2016) there was really only a couple of fake news organizations that I had heard of, and of them almost all were outright explicit satirical fake news. (I am talking about sites like The Onion and Duffleblog.) Everyone knew that the information and the stories on these sites were not meant to be taken seriously nor were they trying to be something that people would read for anything but amusement. This concept of fake news has morphed into outright deplorable trash.

People read information from what they believe to be reputable sources. Some people have developed such cognitive dissonance with the fake news outlets that nothing will sway them. For evidence of this, just look at the pizzagate incident that happened after the 2016 election. Attached are two coverage article from opposite sides of the liberal-conservative isle.

CNN Coverage of Pizzagate

Fox News Coverage of Pizzagate

What can we do about this scary trend of pointless fake news? My idea is spreading the truth about what fake news actually is and not calling any news organization that we disagree with fake with no facts to back-up the claims that prove its in-authenticity. That’s my plan, what will you do to fix this mess.

Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself

I used to be this guy.

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It was a hairier time.

I am in the works of getting my Associates in Computer Science with the hopes to one day work for a company to help make and produce the things that made me the person that I am today. I have a couple ideas right now for games that I would like to make, though they shall stay in my head for the time being.I am here to share my opinions (obviously) about things that I find important. This just so happens to be video games. I am a rather experienced gamer, even though I am only in my early 20s. I have played and owned a numerous amount systems and games. I first started my love of the products with the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). Since then I have owned an Atari 2600, SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System), Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance, Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, Nintendo GameCube, Sony Playstation 2, Xbox 360, Xbox 360 Elite.

My name is Jack Crain on XBL if you want to add me.

I plan to do the one thing that seems to be missing from most magazine’s reviews and rating systems. Blunt honesty. I don’t care about what the game’s producers did in the past and I won’t be influenced. Hell, I’ll destroy them and advertise them all at the same time. Loud mouthed (Strong keyed) is what I am bringing to the table. Keep in touch. I willnswer any question that you may have and post.

Now I am a different guy.

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I have matured in the past few years. I served for 6 years in the United States Army, I spent a lot of time getting to know people from all over the United States and different parts of the world. I have studied different languages and been around different cultures. But the most important thing that has probably changed about me over the years is my willingness to take a second to think about a topic instead of just spouting off my opinions without doing any type of research.

This might be one of the most important things that we as a nation and a race, the human race, could and should do. I plan to continue to discuss various topics (more than just games and movies) as well as some of the recipes that I try and those that I create. Stay Tuned!