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About Tom Stortz

Enjoying my last few responsibility free years left.

I’m Scared of BitCoin

If you bought $100 of bitcoin 7 years ago, you’d be sitting on $72.9 million now after new record high

Here is what BitCoin is defined as in Wikipedia:

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and a digital payment system[ invented by an unknown programmer, or a group of programmers, under the name Satoshi Nakamoto. It was released as open-source software in 2009.

Fuck banks. The system is peer-to-peer, and transactions take place between users directly, without an intermediary. According to a research produced by Cambridge University in 2017, there are 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users actively using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin. There is a part about mining which seems essential to BitCoin that I assumed was like mining in MineCraft but was incorrect.

What the Hell is Bitcoin?

Any type of digital currency where 1 unit jumps from $.003 to $2000+ in 7 years has me nervous. I’ve heard of Bitcoin before but never explored the viability in my real life. I’ve read it’s used for underground transactions for people who don’t want to leave any type of currency trace. I know for certain if I owned any BitCoin and it grew to the levels it is at now, I’d head for the hills with any profits. This type of currency feels to unreal to me.

Of course the alternative is to say that dollars are tangible. They exist. I don’t know about you but my dollars are all digitally secured in a bank. At least that’s what I’m told anyway. I’m not sure there is even much difference with what a digital currency is anyway. I’m pretty sure that the system for money is almost exactly the same as the rules of Whose Line Is It Anyway? “Where everything is made up and the points don’t matter anyway.

BitCoin feels to me like the hot stock I’ve ridden for years and as I wait for it to go higher, it loses 89% in a single day. Not sure if anyone has any experience with it but I’m curious to hear them? I do read that instead of 2–3% typically imposed by credit card processors, merchants accepting bitcoins often pay fees in the range from 0% to less than 2%. So they have that going for them. Also you should know that your cash out of BitCoin should be taxed.

I also get all my info from Reddit so here’s a popular Reddit comment:

Here’s why Bitcoin will fail:

1) The average person is not technical enough to understand how to properly manage and use a wallet. Sure, you can say “but no one understood the internet when it first came out” but the difference is that with bitcoin, you can’t afford to screw-up as you learn. Any minor screw-up can lead to you losing all of your bitcoins.

2) No consumer protections (i.e., charge-backs in retailer dispute cases). Bitcoin, by design, protects the seller, not the buyer.

3) No cashback rewards.

4) If you lose your private key, you’re screwed. Your bitcoins are gone forever and you have absolutely no recourse. Whereas if you lose your bank account’s password, there are many secure ways to recover your funds.

5) If someone somehow steals your private key and takes your bitcoins (say they hack into your phone or find it written in your physical wallet), you have no recourse. With a traditional bank, it’s not that easy to have your funds stolen and even if they were, there are ways to recover it.

6) After 8 years, there’s still virtually no major use of bitcoin in day to day consumer transactions. Sure, some retailers accept it, but how many people transact in it? The only “users” are speculative investors. And if a retailer does “accept” it, they’re not truly accepting it (as in holding to it) because they sell it back to the bitcoin exchanges almost right away, thus creating a wash.

7) No simple and straightforward method for how your bitcoins pass to your next of kin upon your death. And please don’t say you can add it to your will. As if someone would really be stupid enough to publish their private keys in a will and risk anyone with access to the will to take their coins before death.

8) Risk of governments banning the sale/purchase of bitcoin from exchanges as ransomware attacks become more prevalent (which they will) and the public sees bitcoin as a method of facilitating anonymous criminal activity (which is does).

9) No economical value for a consumer. Think about it…you buy bitcoins first (and pay a commission), use it to pay for goods, the retailer sells the bitcoin back to the exchange (and pays a commission PLUS the bitcoin wallet-to-wallet transaction fee) meanwhile you get no consumer protections and no cashback offers. Why would the average consumer opt for this?

10) Unconfirmed transactions are hitting all time highs. Yes, Bitcoin is experiencing delays and serious scale-ability issues.

11) Bitcoin wallet-to-wallet transfer fees keep going up.

By | 2017-05-22T15:13:48+00:00 May 22nd, 2017|My Brain|1 Comment

LeGarrett Blount Becomes An Eagle

LeGarrette Blount is best known for this:
The Ducks opened their 2009 season with a 19–8 loss to the Boise State Broncos. Blount ended the game with negative yardage (−5) on eight carries. Blount had been interviewed by a Sports Illustrated reporter earlier in the summer and was asked about the excessive late hits in the 2008 game in Eugene between Oregon and Boise State. He had been quoted that because of the way Boise State beat Oregon in Eugene they “owed them an ass-whoopin’.” In the 2008 game, Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was forced to leave the game after taking a helmet to the chin on a late hit by a Boise State defender. Oregon lost that game but the late hits were a topic of discussion as the teams prepared for the season opener against each other. Shortly after the game’s end, Boise State defensive player Byron Hout came up to Blount during the team’s handshakes and said, “How’s that for an ass-whoopin’?” Blount punched Hout, knocking him to the ground. Blount then hit teammate Garrett Embry, who was attempting to restrain him, in the helmet.

Other Blount Points

Do I think Legarrette will be good on the Eagles? Simply put – No.

He rushed for a career high last year, 1,161 yards, and 18 TD’s. This is with the Patriots. The Patriots make the playoffs every year and seemingly don’t care what personnel they have. DeMarco Murray, a much better RB than Blount, did nothing with the Eagles 2 years ago. I’m not even that impressed with his 18 TD’s last year. His rate of scoring from inside the 3 yard line was 12 of 17, 50%. David Johnson was 58%. Melvin “can never stay healthy” Gordon was 56%. Sure it’s better than Ryan Mathews schmohawk rate of 30% (4 of 13), but no one else was even close to 24 times inside the 3 like Blount (Johnson was the 2nd highest with 17).

The Birds have done a good job filling much needed offensive holes with Jeffrey and now Blount. As an Eagle fan, let’s subdue the enthusiasm from Blount. He’s a good signing, but he’s a role player, not an RB1.

By | 2017-05-18T11:48:21+00:00 May 18th, 2017|Sports|0 Comments

Being the Anchor

Last night was round 1 of our bowling playoffs after 32 weeks. We started back in September and have finally gotten to the nitty gritty. Sam had a race to run in Swarthmore at night that made it so he could only bowl 2 of the 3 games (which I’m thankful that he decided to roll). Since it was a best of 3, we were hoping to make short work. That didn’t exactly happen.

I’m going to detail this from my perspective so there are going to be a lot of I’s in the following paragraphs. This isn’t the best way to write to the reader but it’s my fucking blog so deal with it.

I came into this week feeling great. I drank a total of 10 beers over the past 3 days which is minimal despite how it appears. I drank 2 PBR’s pre game and hustled warm-ups because Sam was on short time. On the previous Saturday I had rolled a 276 so I had a lot of positive energy in my game.

Our team started off well…except for me. I rolled 2 opens to start the game but didn’t get down. I then rattled off 6 straight and the team was pumped  because we were all bowling well. The first game was a breeze as 3 of us were in the 200’s and we won by 40 pins as I recall.

We started the 2nd game off hot and through the first 5 frames had made up the handicap and were cruising. What happened next was a disaster frame as I missed a single pin, Evan split, and Sam and Jordan opened. The life got sucked out of us and the other team capitalized. We lost game 2.

During the short break before the 3rd game I saw Sam as he was leaving in the bathroom and said, “don’t worry Sam, I got this”.

I threw a 9 spare in the first frame and then the strikes started rolling. Every ball I threw was nicely targeted and hit the pocket with force. I was starting on the 26th board and getting it out right. The oil pattern had been carved exactly to my ball as luck would have it. I had thrown 8 in a row and the game was close. Weens was having some lack of experience issues and Evan and I were carrying him towards the finish line. It came down to the 10th and the opponent anchor had opened the 9th. All I needed was a strike and the game was pretty much clinched. I wasn’t nervous as much as I was in the zone. I rolled another perfect strike. The opponent rolled a strike and we were up 13. All I needed was 8 pins and we had advanced. I rolled another strike…and closed with another (jersey) strike for a 290. The final ball was the only one to miss the pocket.

In the last game we needed every single pin and I stepped up like I said I was going to. Yes this is a brag. It’s why I’m the anchor. It’s why we’ll never talk about who’s the anchor again. It’s stepping up in a spot where the team needs it and we bowl as a team. As Adam says, “team game”. This was my career game and highest series ever so I would lying if I didn’t say we are pumped for the 2nd round. I wouldn’t want to be playing us.

 

 

By | 2017-05-16T09:54:38+00:00 May 16th, 2017|Sports|4 Comments

Pics of the Past

My family went home for Mother’s Day and we were rummaging through old pictures. People love seeing how styles change so I’ll present to you some 90’s pictures to the early 00’s. I didn’t bring the Sam and I with dumb and dumber haircuts which had me on the floor but these will still be entertaining.

Halloween – Pretty sweet costumes made by our parents. If I wasn’t just crying, I’m about to be.

First Day of School – Notice my shoes in this picture. This was my favorite shirt.

First Day of School –  We were poor, my shoes didn’t change from the previous year. This was actually my favorite shirt. Laura had that pose nailed down. My mom said it was from a different day rather than year…

2nd Grade Project – The scan didn’t come over right but I wasn’t very creative as a kid. Art was my worst subject every single year. Upper left was a descriptoin of yourself which was smart, athletic, and I’m thinking small unless Spud Webb was my favorite player. JC and Cal Ripkin as role models. I obviously knew what I born to do at a young age. The Bobby Hurley player was a bit odd but I remember the 1990 Topps Bball set with draftpicks was my favorite set of cards.

Our Grandparents Motorhome – Plaid shorts with Shaq shoes. Nailed it.

Best Travel Baseball Team UD Has Ever Seen? – 40 game win streak.

TC Pre-Puberty – I make this point all the time in athletics that when you are young for your grade, you don’t stand a chance early on.

Golfing in High School Years – These old style golf shoes are so early 00’s.

By | 2017-05-15T16:20:29+00:00 May 15th, 2017|My Life|0 Comments

Wawa vs McDonald’s Sausage Egg and Cheese

Believe it or not, I’m growing tired of the Sizzli. The convenience of making your own coffee and getting the Sizzli in a mere minute is alluring. However, like everything else, you can grow tired of the same food over and over again that I was led a quarter mile down the road to McDonalds.

I don’t eat McDonald’s often. Maybe 5 times a year. I’ve had their breakfast before though and knew I liked it. I went through the drive thru and ordered a #2 with coffee. They asked me how many sugar and creams I want in my coffee which I was caught off guard by, but my quick thinking had me order the number 1. The price was $5.61 which was about a dollar more than the Sizzli / coffee combo I am so used to. I had to buy a new router (it increased my speed from 2mbs to 10mbs, whoops) so I sat in the Walmart parking lot and chowed down the sandwich which comes with a hash brown as an extra bonus. Here’s the review:

Price

As noted above the Sizzli coffee combo is about $4.60 but does not come with a hash brown. The McDonald’s meal comes in at $5.61 which seems a tad expensive for breakfast but not going to bankrupt you. With regard to value for the meal, I vote them both the same.

Draw

Taste

The Sizzli is a solid 5. It doesn’t knock your socks off but it provides reasonable sustenance. Since I can create how much cream and sugar I want in my coffee, its more personalized to me which is a plus. I give the taste of the Wawa coffee a slight edge. The McDonald’s sandwich is a bit better. There were black chars around the English Muffin which showed it was cooked properly and the egg is tasty. I give the McDonald’s sandwich a 7. Plus the hash brown combined with ketchup is a plus.

Mcdonalds

X-Factors

The lid on McDonald’s coffee is far superior to Wawa’s. I have no idea who is in charge of the Wawa lids but once that coffee gets swishing, it’s flying out of the top and on to nearby items. My coffee holder drinks much coffee from this spillage. The McDonald’s cup has a flip tab that stays shut and can be closed into itself. The drive thru process although I initially perceived as a disadvantage, may be an advantage. You don’t even have to get out and the time difference is minimal as long as no one is in front of you.

McDonald’s

Decision

The McDonald’s meal gets the nod. It comes down to the sandwich and the McMuffin is better than the Sizzli. More compact. Less soggy because the Sizzli gets killed by the heat lamps. Better taste. I prefer the Wawa coffee but it’s not a deal breaker. The hash brown gives the full nod as well because it’s gloriously delectable and unhealthy.

By | 2017-05-14T08:56:15+00:00 May 14th, 2017|My Brain|0 Comments

EPL Non-Playoff System Is Disgusting

I’m going to flat out say it that the English Premier League non playoff structure is why Britain lost the Revolutionary war to America.

British Stereotypes 

  • Bad Teeth
  • Well mannered
  • Witty and intellectual (think the Wolf from Fargo)

It seems odd to say that the future determined the past but there is nothing more emblematic about the Brits than this pitiful idea that the season champs should be determined by a point structure. So you are aware of what I’m talking about, Chelsea has won the league by week 36 of 38 and these last 2 weeks are only played to see what 4 teams qualify for the Champions league and who gets relegated. They may have even clinched weeks ago, who the hell knows.

Don’t try to defend this is a good way to decide who the league champions are. I’m purposely not reading any reason why the league may do this because I don’t want to be convinced otherwise. This is a perfect example of the Brits being spineless. We here in America love the playoffs. Pressure. Do or die. The cream rises to the top. Underdogs have a chance to knock off favorites (Leicester City was a fluke). The playoff structure is so American that it defines us as a country and shows why we now have 320 million people and the British are stuck at 65 million.

As an American who is mildly entertained by the English Premier League, this concept is such a turn off that I will continue to be mildly entertained. Do you know why I know who Kelly Oubre Jr is? Because he got knocked the shit out of Kelly Olynyk in a game that was meaningful. Athletes make names for the themselves in big games. The EPL doesn’t even have a championship game!  This is horseshit. Soccer loving people please comment on why I’m wrong here.

 

 

By | 2017-05-13T20:48:25+00:00 May 13th, 2017|Sports|2 Comments

Taking it to Comcast

My bill from Comcast was $236 this month and that didn’t sit well with me. I have all the movie channels except TMC , 2 DVR HD boxes, and supposedly fast internet. I watch a decent amount of sports and HBO so it’s worth it to me. I truly have no idea how people live without this type of package. I assume they read more or just don’t know what they are missing.

My good friend Evan works Q and A at Comcast. He answers questions which sounds like a pretty needed job at Comcast. Just kidding. QA as quality assurance for their apps. He actually has nothing to do with customer support I only wanted to include a human being to make this my experience more personable.

I called up and got a customer service rep and we were reviewing my package. I asked what my internet speed should be and he said 200mbs. When he said “200mbs”, I spit out my coffee and I wasn’t even drinking any. I did a speed check while we were on the phone and it was 2.0. I moved on to demanding that he discontinue my modem rental fee as I’ve been paying for 3 years and I have to had purchased it at this point. He was giving me a hard time so I told him that I was done talking to him and I want to be transferred. He asked if I would like technical or retention first. I said what the hell does it matter, give me technical suppor.

Technical was going through my account and told me there was an ingress on my account. I was like what the fuck is that? She said that it was put on there on April 17th. I asked what year? She mildly laughed and said she would have to get a rep out to me which we scheduled for Friday. I then asked for her to patch me to retention which she did.

When the new rep got on she said they can give me the same promotion without the sports package, which I only want for Red Zone, for $164 which is $20 less than my current bundle. Then I said this to her, “If you ordered a sandwich at a restaurant, and I gave you half a sandwich, you wouldn’t pay full price, this is what is happening with my internet speed. I’m paying for 200, and your giving me 2, I would like some compensation.” She was only doing her job and gave me a $40 credit which even though minimal, at least admits they are wrong.

All that being said, it took 50 minutes, I shaved about 30 bucks a month off my bill, got the new modem and X1 boxes, and have a technician to make sure I’m getting what I pay for. If I don’t make this call, I’m sitting here in the stone age waiting 3 minutes for this blog to post.

 

 

By | 2017-05-13T20:04:37+00:00 May 13th, 2017|My Life|1 Comment

New Music 5/13/17

Since 2 people said they read my post about what’s hot as new music, and actually liked it, I’ll continue because I stay up to date on new music. I follow the new songs every Friday, I listen to Advanced Placement on AltNation, and I check AlternativeAddiction for the latest tracks. No I don’t know the pop world that well. On to the music.

Paramore – Rose Colored Boy & Forgiveness
The new Paramore album was released and I haven’t had a chance to go through the all the tracks. I have listened to a few though and I like what I hear. I like the lyrics of “let me cry a little bit longer, I ain’t gonna smile if I don’t want to…” in Rose Colored Boy. Hayley Williams has a good voice and I like the beat. I’ll probably write about a few more as I get a chance to listen to more. I’ll add Forgiveness as a slower track that sounds nice.

Dispatch – Begin Again
4k views! Talk about an older type artist that is doing a great job distributing their music. This is the formula! Release a new track every week to give people a taste and then drop the album. This is the 3rd great track from Dispatch and I would 100% give the album a listen. Do you realize how hard it is for an artist to get people to listen to the entire album? Same type of slow build up to a flowing song which is well sung. 2 thumbs up.

Imagine Dragons – Whatever It Takes
On the opposite side of listens with 5 million in 4 days is the becoming over-hyped Imagine Dragons. The good news is that this song has a little more excitement to it. It sounds like Dan is caring a bit more than just churning out the songs. The sound is similar and different at the same time. Still not as original as they were when NightVisions came out but that’s just what happens when you create a popular song.

Magic Giant – Jade
For a band I’ve never heard of, this song delivers. If this group blows up, you saw it here first with 197 views on YouTube. The 2nd verse where it starts picking up with, “Hey Jade, go save the day…” is well done.

It’s not out yet but the Miley Cyrus song Malibu is not bad. The Katy Perry song Bon Appetit is fucking horrible. Good god, if she didn’t have that rack, she should be buried to stop these songs. 91k downvotes!

By | 2017-05-13T10:35:46+00:00 May 13th, 2017|Music|0 Comments

Swing For The Fences

This goes right up there when Bovada writes, “your balance is running low” and I have $0.41. Thanks.

Aside from this little chuckle, I’ve been too busy to keep up with the blog. Jeff went away for 2 days and I’m stuck here at work. I’m not complaining, just haven’t had the time to blog. I’ll be back at it in no time.

Great music out by the way. New Paramore. The new Imagine Dragons “Whatever It Takes” is fire flames.

By | 2017-05-12T13:31:51+00:00 May 12th, 2017|My Brain|0 Comments

Thank You Sir!

I hate writing posts like this because they make me come off like a phony. As if I’m playing the system when in fact I do this genuinely. Here’s my little trick, adding the word sir to people who aren’t normally called sir displays a sign of respect which isn’t shown nowadays. Here are some examples:

  • The gentleman who makes my sausage, egg, and cheese in the morning always asks if I want saltpepperketchup. I’ll reply with, “yes, please” and then a few minutes later he’ll hand me my sandwich. I like saying, “thank you, sir.” Now I guarantee he doesn’t get a lot of appreciation for his excellent sandwich making skills. I’m not saying this makes his day, but it’s noticeable.
  • Today I went to pick up some food and there was a man waiting to the right of the cash register. I couldn’t tell if he was waiting in line or if he was figuring out what to order. I was picking up so I went to the front ahead of him to pay. As such, he looked perturb I cut the line. Once I noticed what I did I said, “I’m sorry sir, I didn’t realize you were waiting in line, my mistake.” It’s hard to get mad at people who show the sincerity and respect like this.
  • The final example also happened today in the same time frame as the guy before. A woman comes rushing back in the door with here take out in hand and says, “whr R may FREE noodlz? Dey alwayz giv me may FREE noodlz!” Now her strategy also worked because she did indeed get her free noodles. Our methods of dealing with people vary slightly.

Treating people with respect isn’t rocket science. People just don’t do it so when you actually know how to, you get results.

By | 2017-05-10T18:38:27+00:00 May 10th, 2017|My Brain|0 Comments