How the iPad Improved My Guitar Playing

I just picked up guitar again 6 weeks ago and it has been incredibly fun. The last time I held a guitar in my hands was almost 20 years ago. Gosh! 20 years. Insane.

Looking back on that time, there was no YouTube, apps, or fancy tuners. It was just you, your guitar, and hopefully a teacher. Fast forward to today, and the hobby seems incredibly the same but also incredibly different. My iPad for instance has changed my approach, outlook, motivational levels, and speed of learning. Many thanks to this remarkable device.

Here’s how:

YouTube
There are so many guitar channels out there where you can play, practice, pause, play again, etc. It’s like having a guitar teacher just a few feet away. It’s an absolute game changer for anyone wanting to learn guitar. While we are on this topic, I happen to be a big fan of Marty Schwartz and Andy Crowley.

Guitar Tuna
I remember back in the day where I had to wait an entire week before my guitar teacher could tune my guitar. It was obnoxious. And, if I missed a week, it was even more painful. With apps like GuitarTuna and many others, tuning a guitar is simple and essentially painless.

Tab Pro
Similar to the above, I would have to wait an entire week to get a new piece of tablature from my guitar teacher or be willing to drop $3-$5 for a new tab sheet. Those days are gone. A few days ago, I spent under $20 to have an entire year of access to almost any song I would want to play. Absolutely amazing.

Yousician
If any of the above gets old, I can always switch over to Yousician – a Guitar Hero of sorts for beginners like myself. It’s so much fun. They basically gamified the guitar.

This one device has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for a hobby that I thought was strictly analog years ago.

Amazing.

Happy Father’s Day for a New Dad

This is a bit belated but I want to make sure I made note of this special day. Just a few weeks ago, I celebrated Father’s Day for the first time as a father. This day has a whole new meaning to me now that I have Stone in my life. I’m looking forward to many more in the years ahead.

My wife was also so kind to put this picture together for me. It now rests right next to my desk at work. I love it!

dad

These past 4 months have been amazing. I wouldn’t change anything.

The Importance of Ownership Statements

Most people don’t know this about me, but I was fired from my job back in 2006. It was painful. It destroyed my self-esteem. And, it practically killed my young career at the time. But…I bounced back. In fact, I would have never generated the fire in my belly to create the company I have today.

Looking back, I wonder how I propelled myself from that failure and the plethora of other shortfalls in my life and I think it has a lot to do with taking ownership after things settle. Rather than looking away or blaming others, I always have pointed the finger back at myself. My internal dialogue generally consists of ownership statements like:

“I was let go because I cared more about my side business more so than my employer.”

“I suffered a DNF at this Ironman event because I got lazy with my bike training.”

“I failed to hit our numbers last year because I didn’t teach my sales team better follow-up and close techniques.”

I obsess about owning my endings. Is it easy? Absolutely not.

Is it incredibly empowering once done. Yes.

The most beautiful thing about this exercise is that it makes you self-aware and savvier. It’s difficult but you become a better person in the long run.

Now, that I have made my confession…what are some ownership statements you would like to share?

The Mill Rogue

mill_rogue

I am loving this deck right now. Since I favor Rogue, this has given me another fun alternative and play style. If you are new to the concept, Mill decks basically force players into fatigue by making them run out of cards. It’s addictively fun when it works. And, there’s my biggest complaint.

In ranked and casual mode, I’m finding myself with about a 60/40 win rate. When I win, it’s glorious and more fun than usual. When I lose, it’s brutally humbling and almost shameful. And, in the Blackrock Mountain adventure, it got me through almost every boss with ease which only increase my love and admiration for the class and style.

The true standouts in this deck are Gang Up and Coldlight Oracle. That combination alone makes this deck really shine. King Mukla is also fun when played at the right times.

So much fun!

Here’s the deck I am using:

Mill Rogue

  • 2 x Deadly Poison
  • 2 x Coldlight Oracle
  • 1 x Shiv
  • 1 x Blade Flurry
  • 1 x Azure Drake
  • 2 x Preparation
  • 1 x King Mukla
  • 2 x Fan of Knives
  • 2 x Eviscerate
  • 2 x Sap
  • 2 x Backstab
  • 1 x Bloodmage Thalnos
  • 2 x Shadowstep
  • 2 x Vanish
  • 1 x Sludge Belcher
  • 2 x Deathlord
  • 2 x Antique Healbot
  • 2 x Gang Up

5 Hearthstone Twitch Streamers Worth Following

hearthstone_twitch_streamers

My nightly entertainment has mostly been comprised of Twitch these past few months. I love watching gamers do their thing and the Hearthstone channel is by far my favorite. I have had the privilege of seeing every major player who is active on Twitch right now and these are 5 favorites:

Ryzen
I’m a huge fan of the Rogue class. It’s generally my go-to class followed closely by Warlock. With that said, this is primarily the class Ryzen plays on his stream and he plays it well. If you love Rogue, you will love Ryzen. His Oil deck (in all its variations) is particularly amazing to watch.

Reynad
I find that most people like Reynad or dislike him because of his saltiness. Wherever your opinion sits, you still can’t deny his depth of knowledge and creative deck building. His introduction of Zoolock opened up a whole new world of Hearthstone for me back in the early days.

Kripp
This guy simply lives and breaths Hearthstone. He’s passionate about the game and I always learn a thing or two when watching him stream.

Amaz
This guy loves his Priest decks and he probably has the most energy then all of these folks. I love his enthusiasm. I love his commentary. I love watching him stream. Keep in mind, he generally streams in the early morning (U.S. time) if you want to catch him live.

DeerNadia
She is definitely my favorite female streamer. For starters, she knows what she is doing. Second, is a very well rounded player. No surprise that she is a member of Team Archon.

Those are some my favorites. What about you?