Pokemon GO: A Love/Hate Relationship

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First and foremost, I want to state that I think this game is pretty awesome. I mean, it’s encouraging people to get out of their homes and exercise! It’s possible that Pokemon GO will do more for fitness than the whole fitbit movement (maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration… ha!). I have the game on my phone and have been playing loosely since it had come out. I see both positives and negatives. On the plus side, we have increased physical and social activity. On the negative side, we have people walking off of cliffs, getting hit by cars, and trespassing. That being said, this is a relatively new gaming concept and we’re in the process of writing social rules and norms as the game unfolds.

My wife and I own a small coffee shop in downtown Muncie, Indiana. Since the launch of the Pokemon GO game, we  have been inundated with flocks of people loitering outside our business. At first, we thought that this would be a good thing because it would bring more people to the downtown area. More people translates into more customers for downtown businesses! Or so that’s what we had initially thought.

It has, in fact, done the opposite for us. Now, I can’t speak for everyone, I’m sure that there are exceptions (there always are). However, we have not seen any surges in business. Players have resorted to driving their cars up to our shop, taking up our parking spaces, and blocking access to our normal paying customers. We have seen sales drop close to 20% on certain occasions based on this new phenomenon. What’s more, we are in a beautiful historic building with large pane windows. Pokemon GO players have taken to leaning on the windows and leaving sweaty back prints in addition to causing these windows to flex (they were not designed to sustain leaning). I want it to be clear that we love the game and think it is a fun new adaption of technology. However, we did not volunteer our space (which was designed to be a coffee shop) for these purposes. After much debate, we have decided that we are going to formally opt our location out of the pokestop index. We are opting out because there is no return of investment on this new traffic to our business. It is not adding any value to our downtown location. Instead, it’s encouraging loitering and has even turned customers away. We are paying rent, taxes, and etc, but we see no income from Pokemon GO and yet the game is costing us money. We have two stops on our corner of Charles Street & Walnut. In all fairness, I would love to see our pokestops moved to Canan Commons so that people will still be able to take advantage of a beautiful public space without hindering our normal flow of business.

So yeah, that’s basically my take on Pokemon GO. It’s a really fun game with a great concept. However, the users of the game need to be more mindful of their gaming ethics. The game boots up and reminds you to be aware of your surroundings. That message goes beyond your own safety, it means you should be mindful of all aspects of your surroundings. Please continue to play, be safe, and game responsibly. Much love!

What’s the point of a .com

What’s the point of even having a dot com anymore? Sometimes I feel like I’m holding on to my personal site and my studio site because I’m too unsure to delete them. That, or I feel obligated to keep them around as if I owe them something for being part of my life for a significant enough amount of time. Who knows… I could easily accomplish all of the same functions that these dot coms make via other social portals (tumblr, twitter, soundcloud, and etc). So why not make the jump? Well, that’s the big question. I feel like each time I approach this situation I have an internal pros vs cons debate that ends in a tie. By the end of it all I just get frustrated with it and go about living my life. So long as my website doesn’t become an outdated relic like the old Space Jam website. That, or for whatever reason, the price of the domain and hosting become a financial annoyance. One of those would surely tip this venture into the ol’ void of obsolete.

Studio Helper

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I’ve got a little helper in the studio today helping me lay down some bass lines. She’s in charge of pedal stomping. Also, I’m working on a new EP. Stay tuned.

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Making Time for Input

My list of books to read has been growing at an alarming rate. It seems I keep adding more to the pile without knocking any of them out. I have my various reasons and excuses… Being tired, working late, watching tv, aimlessly browsing the internet… You know, the usual excuses that we make to validate short-term instant-gratification entertainment. Then again, I supposed I have some more valid excuses as well. Since Lauren and I opened the coffee shop, it’s been difficult to find the time to sit down and read novels, listen to records, and watch movies. They aren’t kidding when people say that your business will be your life for the first five years. I mean, we’re just now approaching our second year and I’m just now getting to the point that I can dust off some of these paperbacks and feed the grey matter. These days we’re both making a valiant effort to work in more personal time. After all, it’s good to incorporate some play with all of that work… Even if you have one of the coolest jobs on the planet.

Anyway, I’m pretty stoked to start on the new additions to the Dune universe! I’m starting with Hunters of Dune. I’m about 100 pages in and can already feel my imagination muscles flexing.

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Tooth Pain Insomnia

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I haven’t had legit tooth pain in quite a while. I had forgotten how debilitating it can be. I have a rear molar that’s been causing me discomfort for quite a while now. The issue stems from a rogue raspberry seed that strategically positioned itself in such a way as to deliver a death blow resulting in a micro crack that causes pain whenever there is pressure or cold. I’ve gone to the dentist numerous times to try and remedy the issue. This last visit they installed a crown to see if it would help remedy the situation. No dice. I had the procedure done last Thursday and as of tonight it feels worse than it did before. So basically anytime I drink anything, it causes my entire jaw to ache. My tooth has a heartbeat. The pain makes it difficult to focus and is exhausting. I’m hoping to get into the dentist tomorrow to see if there’s anything else that can be done. If not, goodbye tooth. I’d rather it be gone than have to deal with this pain for another night. Besides, there are always implants if I ever miss it too much.

That’s all I’ve got for tonight. I was hoping to write some insightful posts on the coffee shop blog but I can’t focus. The only thing I can think about is getting this tooth out of my face. Now I’m just waiting on this ibuprofen to kick in so I can get some sleep.

Goodnight everyone!

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A Very Chao Christmas (Goodbye old friend)

My old friend, Chao, passed away a few days ago and he will be missed. He is probably best known around Muncie for his restaurant/grocery/gift shop known as New York House.

New York House occupied the space that is now home to Savage’s Alehouse. It was not a classy establishment and was not a place for suits. Or maybe it was…? Chao was friendly to all. There was no menu, just a question. Vegetarian? A simple yes or no is all that you had to specify. If you happened to be a particularly picky eater, this wasn’t the place for you. You got what you got and what you got was something delicious and affordable. It became a go-to for a myriad of artists, musicians, and other like-minded (or not so like-minded) individuals looking for an affordable meal made with loving and skilled hands. The experience didn’t end with your meal being served, it was usually followed up with an old VHS movie and a few stories from Chao. Always a memorable experience.

A while back I put together a Christmas show and potluck at NY House and it was probably one of the best memories I have of the place. After I heard of Chao’s passing, I started digging through old hard drives in search of any and all pictures of the event. Below is a gallery of what I was able to find. I apologize for the shitty pictures. My wife is the photographer and yet I was snapping photos.

He will be missed. RIP Chao.