Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Brett Gleason Album Review

Brett Gleason Album Cover
His voice is just delightful and unique, as well as his stage presence.  There is something about Brett Gleason's voice, that is distinctive, is raspy and deep, it is easy to identity and enjoy.

Brett's music is really of his own, some people had compared him with Tori Amos, probably on the use of the piano and the execution of melancholy tunes.

The resonance of his music strikes on the inner conflicts of human being, and the personal battles everyone faces with society and with our own self. Music as a form of a art, let the listener see the struggles and emotions of the composers.

Layer after layer, with the warped organ and the melancholic tones, but yet powerful melodies that show the inner emotional struggles. Humanity always dabbles in between social interactions and personal moments. There is always a struggle in between our own mind and soul, about the place what we have in this planet, as well who we are.

As an artist, there is a rich meaning behind his lyrics as they show some of his humanity and what he had lived. Below are the track list of Brett's album; as well in the link, you will be redirect it to buy his album:


Track list:

The Worst Part
Imposter
Calculated
Destruction
I Am Not
Polarity
Unruddered
The Thawing
Futile and Fooled
Idealize the Dead

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Year Later: Tapped Out Vs. Quest For Stuff A Review of Two Freemius

Special Intro Screen: Quest for Stuff- Comic Con Event
Tampa, (Fl) -- There are plenty of freemius around the different platforms; much of them can be related to Candy Crush and essentially any Zynga product.

Both of these games, appeared on the market a while ago, and while many bloggers as well other people rushed to made reviews about the games, I opted to wait a little bit longer and enjoy the games and see the differences.

I've been playing The Simpsons: Tapped Out for about two years, the first freemium that I didn't found obnoxious as Candy Crush or Farmville and its infinite clones.

Family Guy: Quest for Stuff, got my attention, albeit I really didn't expected anything within the word novelty for Quest for Stuff. The game itself is charming and it can be seen as an uncensored version of the eponymous television show.

Tapped Out, Special Intro Screen - Clash of the Clones
The premise of both games is essentially the same. As both games start with the destruction of the respective cities in the hands of the main character. Homer melted Springfield; and, Peter and Ernie the Giant Chicken destroyed Quahog during on their fights.

Is the job of the player to restore both cities to their former glories.

Both games have the original voices of several of their main characters, as well locations and premium items. One big difference, is that Quest for Stuff is capitalized to squeeze the players money, as one of the firs missions is to buy US$4.99 of clams (the game currency), while Tapped Out don't have such a stater mission.

Continuing with the premium trend, Quest for Stuff offers more useless items in their premium menu, such as a flower that looks as Stewie or palm trees that don't help to improve the job ratings. Probably the appeal of Quest for Stuff after all this time, lays on the commonality that fans have towards Seth McFarlane creation.
Quahog invaded by mutant Stewie

The dispute between if the originality of Family Guy against all the allegations that it has ripped elements from The Simpsons as well other television shows is extremely evident on the freemium game.

The problem is, that the freemium model as its with these two games is not new, the model was placed by Farmville almost a decade ago where the player could buy premium items, as well engage in events during the holidays and special seasons.

Tapped Out, stands out from the freemiums because on the special events wherever they had introduced a new character, they tie in the character into the mainstream universe of the show. An aspect that Quest for Stuff fails into bring new players as well to make the Family Guy more interesting.

The aspect of reinvention that  The Simpsons has developed due the creative team, is remarkable, as they know how to keep the show fresh almost 3 decades later. Which bring to the question beyond the game, what show will be there when The Simpsons ends.? Family Guy is not going to be, even if it has in own spot on the Americana culture.

Reward System in Tapped Out
Also, in Tapped Out there is a reward system, where the player will get money and at the end of the week he or she can get a Mystery Box which could include special prizes or just regular items of the game.

Quest for Stuff doesn't offer this either, as it focus mostly on daily tasks, which whenever the player finish the quests of the main stories after any minor or major update it don't give a replay value.

Probably, the key aspect to make Quest for Stuff more interesting could be on the replay value. Due it could find ways to make the player want more without pushing them to spend extra money, unless there is a special event on the horizon. It's almost a similar case with Candy Crush; a clone of Tetris, and the game itself is not complex, it's just to solve the puzzles and the players have five continues that renew every half an hour.

Simplicity could be the key, as these kind of games don't have to be fancy or bring any famous household names. Candy Crush is the main example that reached popularity over the last luster.

It was mentioned previously, that it's just a puzzle game, but due the simple gameplay it makes the player to crave for more.  The success lays on simplicity, as many players of freemius are casual and not hardcore, some of them are even willing to spend money if they find the game interesting.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

As with the Cultural Identity of a Hispanic Man, Marco Rubio's Pitch Don't Reflect Hispanics or the Middle Class

As many children and different immigrants, as the moment the have to relate to their family history, where they can deny about their roots or just sweetening the entire truth in order to gain adepts, all of this depending on the position of interest; in this case, politics.

Marco Rubio doesn't reflect the reality of many Hispanic immigrants, as well he doesn't know what is really to be a member of a community that has suffered through discrimination because they aren't born in the United States, as well the struggles into getting a job or being treated fairly.

One of the first fallacies that Marco Rubio presents it's his lack of denial or contradiction. As is with this article of the Washington Post, the version he gave about his family history was extra compelling, especially when he rose to prominence on 2009 by competing with back then Republican governor Charlie Crist.

Then his second fallacy continues towards on how he changes the truth, talking about his parents were peasants as it was expressed on the edition of  06/27/14 of the Miami Herald, "There was once a time when people like my parents, with limited formal education could still find jobs that paid enough to make it to the middle class."  Where in reality his parents had some degree of education and as many immigrants struggled to make it here in the country.

Even if he goes on the Republican nomination for 2016, there is no way Latino voters who actually followed his trajectory will consider him seriously. As he's been using Florida residents to humanize his ideas. Such as it was exposed on the Miami Herald, edition 06/27/14 where he placed a single mother of two to explain his childcare tax credits ideas and the creation of a Flex Fund (which I have to say it doesn't sound as bad idea, if a solution is found in order to avoid any medication fraud, as well any Medicaid related frauds that are common in Florida.)

One of the ideas that Rubio had exposed, and it could be a pivotal if he gets the nomination for 2016 is a reform in education what he calls "Student Investment Plans," in which he changes from a private firm to a public fund that would be destined to improve the quality of living on a nation scale, then his plan could work and won't benefit a private entity.

The problem with Rubio it is his credibility as instead of representing the people, he has opposed into the increasing of the federal minimum wage; arguing that it would cost jobs. The basis of argument if is not about loosing jobs, median class can't leave with US$7.50 an hour and there hasn't been other viable solutions over the years.

In Florida where the prices of land are expensive as well the cost of living is relative high opposite to low salary that is in the State. Still, Rubio's speech has been accepted enthusiastically by conservatives who are willing to expand the party's reach.

Rubio's with his contradictory family and his views about what is to be an immigrant, as well immigration don't reflect the reality many are living. As he sees immigrants as potential voters, as well families of illegal immigrants. As analyzing his logic, every-time he wants to approach to the Presidential aspiration or election times.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Me and My Shadows: An Open Letter About Depression

http://www.depressedchild.org/
The words I always remember from a close relative I will not discuss over here, as her memories of her aren't the best ones are "You are not suffering from depression, you are just a sensitive individual." I guess she was in the denial, that I was acting erratic and someone who was a psychologist treating me as if I was less than anyone else even if by age 17 I had three suicide attempts and the all the windows from the house had to be placed with bars for a long time without no proper explanation, with the exception that it was safer.

Safer for who.? She replied, for everyone inside. I couldn't understood back then, because we used to live in an eight floor, so many years later I assumed it was for me, to avoid doing something stupid as she mentioned several times later on my life.

The best way I can describe moments of my personality are as a puzzle who breaks in more than 100,000 pieces and it takes a lot of time to reassemble. All the cases are different, people know when I am having one of those moments because my personality simmers and I essentially become quiet; I am quite of an open book on how I am feeling and I barely hide anything.

Environment is a factor, and just every day that it pass that is well lived is a victory. Not many people realize that, they take everything for granted and just bitch about anything. I'd seen it on a daily basis. I get annoyed by how society is teaching the younger generations that everything is served on a silver platter and that they don't have to work for anything.

Life is too precious and yet when the shadows surround you you lose track of anything, there is no tomorrow, and sometimes is hard to find the light that will keep you moving in tunnel of darkness. Between 2012 and 2013, I had two attempts that I failed, the two reasons I didn't finish them were because I started to realized my own persona and potential; and I didn't wanted to leave alone the four people I call family, after my own abandoned me for who I am.

You learn to live with those moments and those shadows, and always medical help is there to help you, as well support groups, because you are not alone.There are nights where the nightmares and anxiety just strikes, and the nights become much as the days, a sleepless moment it is hard to keep some functionality going on.

Sometimes when you dream, you have moments where you see those somber times but times and living heal, not fully, but heal. You hear the voices that hurt you, the people who made you sad and those moments where you didn't knew what to do, at the end you wake up but some people they don't and they keep dreaming for all eternity.

Sometimes, I see my shadows, they are not as strong as they were a couple of years ago or even so all my life, I am just happy that I am able to keep breathing and living until the very end of my existence. Never leave people alone if you suspect something is not well with them, as life is only once and some friendships and family members would never come back.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Diamantes en El Cielo Translation of Diamonds in the Sky

This is a little experiment, but I decided to translate the lyrics of Rhianna Diamonds in the Sky, and after twitching the metrics of the song, the final result of the translation in Spanish is actually a beautiful song.

Diamantes en El Cielo
Por: Gustavo Simmons
Brilla tan fuerte como un diamante,
tan fuerte como un diamante;
mirando visiones de sirenas en el mar,
en donde habían enfoques de felicidad,
yo elegir ser feliz,
pero en donde tú y yo erramos diamantes en el cielo.
Tu y yo a primera visión,
vi la luz,
y sentí la energía del sol,
como si fuera una corriente de éxtasis
iluminas tan hermoso como un diamante en el cielo,
en donde vi la vida tan preciosa que tenias,

como el resplandor en el cielo.

Friday, August 8, 2014

An Open Letter to Pam Bondi

Dear Attorney General of Florida;

You probably won't read this, but there are plenty of other people who will. My name is Gustavo, or Gus for short; I am 30 years old and for the last six years I've been living in Florida, which also my time in Florida is annexed to my time in general in the United States. First of all, who do you dare to say and speak against marriage equality.? While both of your marriage lasted least than five years, the first one only two and the second one barely three years; and now you are going on your third one.

There is no sanctity on what you are doing, and is not very different from Kim Kardashian, Britney Spears or my cousin Carlos Martinez who is probably on his fifth and let's say that won't be his last. Yet, I could mention more cases, but I am not going to demerit someone. Who do you dare to call LGTBQ third class citizens.? By denying us basic human rights to be happy or in your case as miserable as you, because lets face it, we should be allow to divorce as many times as you.

Attitudes had changed since 2008, but I assume since you live in your little bubble you have no clue about what Floridians are thinking, living and aspiring. This is case is not about letting the supreme define, we know by the trend that the supreme court will overthrow your appeals, but let me tell you if you ever read me, this is not for the peace of paper that say two people are legally married, this is for the dignity of the LGTBQ individuals who had struggle all their lives for acceptance and validity of their own personas.

I guess you don't know what is to deal and live with depression, because you are a woman who came from a moderate privilege family, you were born in the country, you are white and you don't have an accent. I guess life it's easier that way, but not when you were born outside, you have an accent and you have ties with the LGTBQ community.

I can tell you my life has been a living hell, it's has become better but yet not in the way I want. All my life I had dealt with depression, I have three suicide attempts, much of my family shunned me because of who I am, they shunned in the name of God; but I do not hate religion, as I feel that an emotional part of a person is linked in the spiritual aspect they develop, albeit not everyone is privileged to say that because much of the Abrahamic religion discriminate against the LGTBQ.

You probably don't know about what is discrimination, you probably have no idea what is to lose everything and getting everything denied because of who you are. It's terrible that there are not laws protecting our community as a State level. We as community we are trying to make Florida a better place, that is well known and is positioned on an international level beyond Disney and the Keys; but we are feeling we are not being represented properly because of this witch hunt you and Rick Scott are executing.

We don't plan to leave Florida, we as a community we aren't going to be defeated by two individuals, I am just writing this open letter as way to express my voice and let ask you to do the right action, because you are not representing the equality in the constitution you are leaving democracy as a mere joke but nobody had said anything against, a 48 year old  woman who has no children and has a strange arrangement with her 61 year old fiance; times had change, and two adults shouldn't be ostracized for who they love.

I tried to contact you by phone, email and mail was impossible so this is my last resource, I really hope you read my letter. If you want to contact me my email is gustavocalvo@guscalvo.com

Thank you,
Gus

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Why I am Against SNAPS and WIC, and Why this Inequality Will Lead to an Inner Social Social War of the Classes in America

Photo by: http://www.theburningplatform.com/
I always believe that the government sponsored programs can be beneficial, if the families and individuals don't abuse them.

Then, there is the other side of the spectrum were people just find a way of life with these programs. We as people we can't be dependent of the government as an overly attached girlfriend is to her boyfriend of the day.

We as people, we should find a way to restructure what we have, and find a way to boost the different States local economies without an overly dependence of Walmart or other chains. The solution of the problem sounds easier than placing it into the practice, yet the hypothesis can be another story.

The money of the EBT cards is not from the government, and is a money that won't be invested for the improvement of the communities, is a money from private banks such as Chase, who are executing the control, or lobbying to their own interests by feeding the people. Due my line of work, I usually observe the trends of the shopper and I can infer what social class they belong.

It's quite terrible that the African and Hispanic minorities are the ones affected the most, but much of the customers that I see on this group feel proud  of the food stamps; then, there is another group of people, a more affluent one who drive Escalades as well BMW's but yet show no remorse of using the cards as well.

I am not scared of the so called international enemies, or as many conservator call them "terrorists", I am scared of a horde of hungry people taking the cities, but I am scared of the ignorance of the masses that think the solution comes from politicians. That is probably the aspect everyone should be scared of society, an ignorant person thinking he or she is right and feeling proud of those assistance.

Why I am saying this.? I have several anecdotes, one of them is last week the usual couponers were paying and complaining that the EBT was their own money, I wanted to scream at them "is not, and you shouldn't have it as you are teaching your children a way of perpetuate the ignorance statement that the government has to give you everything without you working your ass."

The EBT and the attitudes of the people, show that society has fallen into a self entitled perception that they are the supreme beings of the country and everyone has to give them tribute, just because they are existing. The newer generation aren't being taught how to be self reliant, it made me wonder why I a seventeen year old who clearly has the latest iPhone needs an EBT card,? or why a cardiologist who is in her uniform needs the WIC benefits.? While you can listen to their conversations about their wonderful lives.

If the government did background checks to every applicant, there wouldn't be such as mess, as is completely unfair that some people are suffering and some others are abusing this system. The consequences of having a society that is dependent, will make the country go into into ruins.