Sunday, March 29, 2015

Blog Revival for Readers



Casual Reading in Warsaw
The problem I have been experiencing with blogs is that I often run out of things to say. I do not travel every month so travel blogs are a bit out of the questions (though I recently came back from excursions to Brazil and Mexico) and writing about my day to day occurrences is quite the drag. However, since I started working at HP and began a total daily commute of just over two hours, I have had time to read (devour) books. From history books like Paris 1914 by Margaret MacMillan to philosophical psych thrillers written by Bulgakov, I enjoy a wide variety of books that may (or may not) interest a reader. I have resolved to write my general musings and thoughts on the book. The format is along the lines of a book report to the dismay of my third grade self. The first review I will be writing will be about The Innovators by Walter Isaacson (the author of the Steve Jobs Biography). I will post it within the next two weeks!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How to Photograph @ Toronto Urban Photography Festival

After purchasing a Canon T3 DSLR I thought it was time to learn how to use it. This week is the Toronto Urban Photography Festival. Throughout the festival there have been numerous activities engaging both the novice and expert photographers. I decided to join them for a walk in High Park. I picked up a ton of neat advice! The festival is on until July 12th and I definitely recommend checking it out! For more information check out www.tupf.com. Now for your viewing pleasure I present you: DUCKS!


Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Only Board Games You May Ever Need To Play

Over the break I have had a bit of time to play board games, especially with the power outages that happened in Toronto. At this time, I began to think about how pointless certain board games are. Snakes and Ladders is entirely a game of chance, as is Trouble. Though games like Risk and Monopoly have elements of strategy built into them, luck still plays a significant role in winning. Out of all the board games I have come across thus far, three have stuck out as being particularly good at testing strategic thinking.

3) Chess- Known as the game of kings, it originated in 6th century India. It is played on an 8x8 board with each side consisting of 8 pawns, 2 rooks, 2 knights, 2 bishops 1 king and 1 queen. For those who are looking to learn I recommend checking out chess.com. The great thing about chess is that it can be played in as little as 10-15 minutes (though I would question the quality of game play). Chess is largely a tactical rather than strategic game though, which leads me to chess' oriental counterpart.

2) Go (Wei Qi)- Go is a 2 player board game played on a 19x19 game board. The purpose of this game is to encircle your opponent. The beauty of this game is though you may be outmaneuvered in one part of the board, one can redeem yourself in other parts. Go takes a while to play and the winner is the one who controls the majority of the board. In a well played game this may come down to just a few space. Go is easy to learn but difficult to master. Free apps are available for all smartphone platforms. I recommend Go for anyone who is looking for a new challenge.

1) Diplomacy- Diplomacy has been described as being John F Kennedy's and Henry Kissinger's favourite board game. It can be played with 2-7 players each assigned a pre-World War I power. To win one player must control 18 supply center states (you start with 3 or 4). To succeed, one must work with and against opposing players. There is no dice in this game and every movement by an army or navy is one space. If two armies head for the same space, they bounce back to their original position. Though this is my favourite strategy game at this time, it can take as long as 12 hours to play. What I can promise is that that 12 hours will be tense!

Have any board game suggestions? Post them in the comment section below!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Miraculous Movember Mustache Maintenance!

As good of a run as it has been, I am glad this Movember mustache is no more. The itchiness and the split ends were beginning to have a detrimental impact on my appearance.

This is what I wrote just after I shaved it off. Now that it's gone I miss it. I particularly miss the bizarre looks people would give me and the comparisons both positive (Ubermensch Tom Selleck twice) and negative (apparently Hitler though I do not see it) I would receive.

A mustache need not be a obstacle to leading a successful life. Ernest Hemingway had one, Otto von Bismarck had one, and you gentlemen can have one too! With proper grooming and maintenance, an exceptional appearance can be achieved to compliment your adventurous, on-the-go lifestyle! Below are some mustache pointers.

1) Shampoo and Conditioner:
How else you you think I achieved such bold and luscious eyebrows? Much like the hair on your head, the mustache on your face needs to be cleaned and conditioned to prevent split ends. 

2) Trim
If those split ends do occur on your mustache, best practices indicate trimming your mustache. Trimming will also give your mustache a cleaner, less bushy appearance.

3) Wax
Once your mustache has grown a sufficient length, you should style it much like you would your hair. The ladies will appreciate you for it!

4) Proper Diet
A good diet is mandatory for a man to achieve the perfect mustache. The Vitamin Center recommends eating a diet rich in essential oils (ie flax seed), and with a hefty amount of Vitamin B & C. (Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, for medical advice, speak to a medical practitioner near you!) 

For my female readers: I cant ever expect you to understand a man's primal need for a mustache. If you need a nuclear option to discourage your male counterpart from growing 
their mustache, threaten to grow a deliberate anklet!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Minimalism, Value Investing and the Meaning of Life ("Synergies")

Investors and Minimalists may not seem to have a lot in common at first. When an investor comes to mind, the first thought may be a derivatives trader living out of a penthouse in New York, working on Wall Street, wearing Tom Ford suits. A minimalist may thought of as a modest, perhaps an impoverished individual. In the Mes Aieux's song Degeneration (a cool Canadian Quebecker folk band, check them out!), it describes a person who's ancestors were poor but eventually became successful, yet the song's protagonist is broke and considering minimalism to cope.

http://sylvanend.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/polish-train.jpg
Polish Train (taken from A Passion for Green Blog)
A Big House
Surprisingly the two have quite a bit in common. Investors, specifically value investors, look to buy less volatile securities that are currently under their intrinsic value to hold for the long run (a great book to read on the topic is the book is The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham). Though these investments do not generally provide large immediate returns, value investors like Warren Buffet have a track record of frequently outperforming the market in the long term. Minimalists make purchasing decisions based on what they need, not what they want. Purchasing necessities does not mean living out of a tin shack and dining off of the dollar menu at a restaurant. Minimalists purchase things that are not the cheapest but items which generate the greatest value. One of the blogs I came across stated that the author bought $300 shoes because they would last him a decade. Travelling need not be an expense when one is exploring new cultures and exposing themselves to new experiences. Travel is an investment in oneself (so is eating vegetables)! You do not have to be poor to be a minimalist either. When I was in Poland, I met a judge on a train who is a minimalist (check out his minimalist blog here). They, like investors, are seeking the highest return on their investment.

Time is a variable that needs to be taken into consideration for investment decisions. Are you getting the highest return? A great example of this was given on the Goldman Sachs Elevator Twitter Feed. When one worker declared that he wanted to watch the whole season of Breaking Bad, his coworker suggested that a pilot's licence can be completed instead. Often is it difficult to quantify the net benefit of free time. People generally know how much money they make an hour at their day job, but it is difficult to determine how high of a return a picnic, spending time with your children, writing poetry, exercising or cooking has.

Thus comes the meaning of life. Determine exactly what you need in life, the absolute necessities. Do you really need a job that pays well but is so draining that you neither have the time nor energy to spend time with family or friends? John Maynard Keynes predicted that in an advanced society, a person should not have to work more that 15 hours a day, though it seems as though work days are getting longer. Do you really need such a big house if you rarely entertain guests? Is a cottage you own worth the cost if you only visit a few times a year? Go out and make wise investments from spending time with family and friends, reading, and riding a bicycle to social and political engagement. Money and time are both finite resources, so budget accordingly.

Are you looking to learn more about Minimalism? Be sure to check out Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus' blog called The Minimalists. Also, big shout out to Sebastian for helping me set up my domain!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What is The Weekly Struggle?

Life can be a struggle. From buying a car to having a child, these decisions can have a significant impact on our lives. Truth be told, I am totally under qualified to provide you with any useful information on these topics. However, The Weekly Struggle is here to provide insight into awesome, random things (could I be more vague? Absolutely not!). For you, my reader, I will provide in depth analysis on these random topics!

My name is Gregory Rozdeba and I am a student about to make the transition into working life. Every week I will attempt to write about something fun and interesting. That's all! Whether it be travel, cooking, fashion or something even more random, The Weekly Struggle will provide valuable insights into everyday life. I strive to provide entertainment as well as thought provoking material.

If you would like to contribute to the randomonium, drop me a line through Google+ and if there is something specific you would like to see me tackle, leave a line in the comments section below.

If you're interested in seeing any of my previous work, check out my Austria Exchange Blog!

I will be posting every Wednesday evening. Enjoy!