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Op Ed

Minor Rant in Stereo



eclectic-novelty-signsI listen to a lot of music, much of it through headphones. Sometimes because I have to, like when I’m on the train or if my girl is watching TVBut a lot of the time I use headphones because I want to. I like the solitary feeling of that enclosed sonic space. It allows me to listen to the same song over and over again. Maybe I want to hear I Would Die For You by Prince on repeat my whole commute. Don’t judge my journey.

I have great memories of headphones going way back to my single digits. Dad had huge over the ear cans when I was a kid with a thick coiled wire that allowed you to go anywhere in our green shagged living room. I remember that blasting Santana’s Abraxas through those were like a portal to another world.

Years later in my teens I’d take long pouty walks listening to Synchronicity by The Police on my Sony Walkman. Eventually, the discman came along and I dug nothing more than cranking some Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Outkast, and They Might Be Giants at dangerously high volumes through my headphones. You got a problem with They Might Be Giants?

Every year it gets harder and harder to figure out which is the right and which is the left headphone.

Somewhere along the line something changed. I’m pretty sure it started with the iPod. Now, I love the iPod. I dreamed of being able to access the entirety of my music collection on a small device for years. When it finally came around, no one was as thrilled as me, but it brought with it a change to headphones that I just can’t understand.

leftI’m not talking about audio fidelity here. You can argue the pros and cons of compression till the cows come home. I’m talking about something a little more practical; labeling.

Every year it gets harder and harder to figure out which is the right and which is the left headphone. Take a look at your headphones after a few months of use. Can you even tell which is which anymore? Look at these Samsungs. Came with my phone. White, barely raised, tiny, hardly noticeable at actual size. Great setup for a penis joke but not a headphone.

Do I really need a flood light so I can tell which holes to put these in? I’m liable to stick them anywhere.


I can’t understand who benefits from this.

When I wanna get to the bottom of something, I think about who benefits and reverse engineer from there. For the life of me I can’t understand who benefits from this.

Look at these pricey discontinued Sennheisers. Even zoomed in I can’t get a sharp picture of the indicator. That R looks like a dot at 100%, trust me. Especially bouncing on the bus, yo.

Maybe we’ll get to the point where everything is Bluetoothed right to your ear drums or hard-wired into our colons, but for now I need solutions.

20141221_144259micro1These Klipsch headphones have two indicators. It’s too bad you can’t read either. See the indicator on the headphone wire itself? Dark grey against a darker grey?

And can you even see the other indicator? Nighttime happens, headphones companies. And dimly lit afternoons. You’d have trouble seeing these in the clearest light of day.

Wait, maybe it’s eyeglass companies that benefit from this?


And it’s not just in-ear headphones. These Velodyne’s over-the-ear cans have a small stamp in the metal on the inside of the headband that you can only see if you angle it towards Mecca.

Really? Do I have to draw large L’s and R’s with a permanent marker on all my headphones? How am I supposed to look cool?


Listen, I know a lot of stuff is going on in the world that’s super-important. Maybe ISIS shot down a Russian plane over Egypt. Maybe our next President will be a billionaire xenophobe or a narcoleptic neurosurgeon. In the grand scheme of things, blogging about headphones seems like whiny hipster bullshit… but to paraphrase Plato, music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, and flight to the imagination. That’s some important shit right there.


Rest Easy Eric Curran a.k.a M.C Krispy E



Almost every year for the past 6 years and on the same day, I’ve posted the same pic of me in the hospital  during my temporary and untimely demise  in 2015. A few weeks after I was back to “normal”, I asked Eric “Why’d you take the pics?” And he said, “I knew you would want to write about it if you lived.” Eric was right. Eric was often right and Eric always had my best interest at heart. I am going to miss my friend.

You ever meet someone and become friends immediately?! Well this was not the case with Eric. Before he was my manager at Morgan Stanley, I would often see this 6’4″, giant white guy walk up to the only black woman at work, say something then walk away without any hint of human emotion. Naturally I thought he was a jerk until I asked her “Yo, is that dude bothering you?” She laughed and proceeded to tell me he was a great person, which I ultimately got to experience first hand. Little did I know this Italian from Staten Island was more Brooklyn than most Brooklynites.

Eric was not with the shits!! If there were ever someone who lived their life in direct, honest and no uncertain terms, that would be Eric. He would ask me questions at work like “Why are the other consultants making more money than you?” I knew the answer to that question and so did he. Eric then proceeded to increase my salary by 15K. After arguing with all our managers that “You need to hire Alfred!”, they eventually did 1 year prior to the 2015 incident. In the hospital, one of my friends asked me, “What if you didn’t have health insurance when this happened?” I would be in debt for the rest of my life is the obvious answer. I still am in debt for the rest of my life but at least, it is to those who made sure I had a more enjoyable life and for that, I will gladly repay.

My mom loved to tell me the story of how she met Eric. After they told her I was going to be in the ICU for some time, she told the doctor “Well I’m not going anywhere.” She then hears a voice from that back of the room that says “Well I’m not going anywhere either!” That was Eric and in true form, he was at that hospital every single day until I was discharged.

Eric passed away in December 2021 of stage 4 cancer. After feeling faint on his way to my bbq, he went to get checked out and was diagnosed. During the past 5 years, Eric lost his mom, twin brother and dad. I can’t even begin to imagine what that must have felt like but I’m glad that pain he was feeling is no more.

It’s been a bit difficult to deal with it to be quite honest and I’ve been writing this in my head for years but never had the bravery or grace to accept that my friend wouldn’t be here soon. I also can’t imagine what it must be like to lose your entire family nucleus unexpectedly. In true Eric fashion however, I would like this to not be about me but whomever has lost someone and has been coping. I’ve always intimated that my life would not be as enriched as it was were it not for the people in it. The problem with that is there is also no way to deny that it feels empty without those who helped craft your path. Rather than focus on the negative, I would rather focus on the examples of duty, family and emotional intelligence. All concepts reinforced by Eric that have led me to have successful relationships since I’ve put them into practice.

From being my manager to my business partner, writer, book editor, artistic director, and most importantly, my friend, I am going to miss you MC Krispy E a.k.a “Enrique Pollazo!” And although you told me Enrique means Henry in Spanish and not Eric, it was too late!

Sidebar. The day I was discharged, while everyone was deciding what was best for me, no one had remembered that I would need clothes in order to leave the hospital. Eric shows up (unasked) with all the clothes I had on the day I coded, laundered and ready to go. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve friends like this but i need to keep doing it! Sidebar complete.

Rest in Peace Eric. “Be Good.”

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Op Ed

And Knowing is Half the Battle…



I’ve seen Terminator references used to argue against Artificial Intelligence, foreign movie clips used to “prove” the pandemic was a well executed plan and baseless clips from folk with large media followings telling me all about vaccines and how I should interact with science.

My concrete and definitive conclusion is that the person least likely to make a mistake is the person with the most training / experience, not the person with the most social media followers / apprehension.

We put too much faith in what lies behind a screen instead of those who actually engage in the practice. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with paring common sense and common science.

I get it though. I like to take part in conversations too but if you aren’t willing to do any work further than clicking a share button simply because you just want to engage, you were genuinely more effective sitting on the sidelines.

I trust NASA more than I trust Rocket Racoon. I trust Tesla more than I trust Cyberdyne and I trust DOCTORS more than I trust my friends, celebrities and any other schmuck burger with a social media platform propagating nonsense.

SIDEBAR I don’t know if y’all heard of this thing called The Internet but its amazing! People mostly keep their booby pictures on it but it also has something called GOOGLE that you can use research stuff. Some of y’all should check it out. SIDEBAR COMPLETE.

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Op Ed

Robbing Hoods and Stopping Games



Ten bullet points for your reading pleasure:
  1. Every single time the stock market crashed, it was done by the “professionals.”
  2. If a group of folk can get together in a chat room and legally take BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM YOU IN YOUR OWN PROFESSION…IN DAYS, you may wanna reevaluate how professional you are.
  3. Retail investors had nothing to do with the Great Depression, Black Friday, Black Monday, the internet bubble or the housing bubble. That was Institutional.
  4. I’ve never seen so much call for regulation in the stock market from those who typically make the most money in my life. I believe the correct financial term is #BigMad
  5. They aren’t upset retail investors are making money. They are upset retail investors are making the market place volatile, making it harder for THEM to make money long term.
  6. Why was there not this level of concern when retail investors were losing their pensions and IRAs at all other instances?
  7. Why are hedge funds even allowed to use people’s pensions to short sell?!
  8. If you are using your rent or mortgage to invest in the stock market, you have bigger issues. #gambleholic
  9. Retail investors have never had a platform nor the income to throw markets off. They still don’t.
  10. No one has a problem with the rules until it works against their own interests.

Bonus: When you gamble, you could either win or lose. Investors don’t need to be CPAs to understand that concept.

Sidebar; Pay more attention to your money management!! Sidebar complete.

Happy Friday!!

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