Monthly Archives: February 2010


Predictions For The Game? 2

I’m thinking it’s going to be another physical one out there with the United States getting an early lead but Ryan Miller can only be super-human for so long.

Canada should eventually breakthrough and the let the scoring commence. A good back and forth game would be nice but I certainly wouldn’t mind a one-sided Canada blowout.

I’m thinking the final score should be 4-3 Canada with Sid the Kid stepping up big time… you guys have predictions?


The Two Headed Think Tank

I definitely put off recommending blogs in the segment “ABG Recommends” much longer than I would have liked but as this week’s snowpocalypse allowed me to get some work done, I’ll recommend one now. This one is called “The Two-Headed Think Tank” and its co-written by Niko Gkionis and Matt Friesen who were both teammates in Belgium for a little while.

Niko Gkionis is a professional soccer player who currently plies his trade in the Belgium 3rd division for Excelsior Veldwezelt. Born and raised in New Jersey, Niko probably likes MTV reality television shows just as much as I despise them but we can both agree to like sports of all kinds. He graduated with a degree in Chemical Biology from Stevens Institute of Technology. I saw Niko play for two years when I first came to Stevens and he’s still probably one of the best players I have seen play in D-III all these years later.

Matt Friesen spends his days in the rain of the NW playing soccer for the Kitsap Pumas, members of the NW division of the USL’s PDL. He’s pretty much been a West Coast boy his entire life as he was born in California, raised in Oregon and attended Whitworth University (in Spokane, Washington) graduating with a degree in Computer Science.

At first I wasn’t sure how this blog was going to work out since one of the two guys takes a relative topic in the sports or entertainment world and puts up their view and the other is left to reply in the following post. It is quite a novel idea and I haven’t seen too many other blogs like it that post a reply to one of their own posts.

According to Niko,”the blog touches on a lot of the major sports news since that is what we mostly talk about. Soccer is a big subject on the blog of course and we have some nice debates back and forth since Matt and I sometimes have differing views on soccer.” They have touched on topics from American soccer to Tiger Woods to even a mention of the television show “Jersey Shore”.

It has been quite refreshing to see a different style of narrative on a blog with rebuttals and sometimes contrasting styles instead of the usual boring single-person blog (myself included) and if you’re looking for that type of perspective from two guys who are in their early-to-mid 20’s, this is the blog for you. The blog is still relatively new as they started in January of this year but they have been pretty good in updates with about 10 topics with a rebuttal for each to keep things fresh.

So if you are looking for some healthy banter, make sure to give them a visit. I have links to the blog at the top and bottom of the post along with their Twitter handles if you so desire.

Essential Links:

Blog URL: Two Headed Think Tank

Twitter: Niko Gkionis, Matt Friesen

Niko Gkionis is a professional soccer player who currently plies his trade in the Belgium 3rd division for Excelsior Veldwezelt. Born and raised in New Jersey, Niko has a strong affinity for MTV reality television shows and sports of all kinds. He is a educated man as well who received a degree in Chemical Biology from Stevens Institute of Technology. http://twitter.com/ngkionis

Matt Friesen spends his days in the rain of the NW playing soccer for the Kitsap Pumas, members of the NW division of the USL’s PDL. Been West Coastin’ his whole life, born in California and raised in Oregon. Matt attended Whitworth University and holds a degree in

Computer Science. He enjoys reality television, GOOD music, and sports, just sit back and listen to what he has to say.


Why Bullying Exists In Schools

This is one of the best descriptions of why bullying exists to a much greater extent in an educational environment as opposed to the professional world that I have read in quite a long time:

People often think bullying is a result of kids being kids. Its not. Its a direct result of placing them in the school system with its rules and authority apparatus. If you placed adults in an identical environment you would end up with bullying as well.

One of the main differences between school and the adult world is, in school if kids fight they will both be punished. You will often hear “I dont care who started it”.

In the adult world, whoever attacks is guilty of assault and the other person can defend themselves and will not be punished at all.

In the adult world, if someone is annoying you, you can get up and walk out. In school, you are essentially a prisoner.

Also, the school staff has to see with their own eyes an act of bullying. If a teacher sees a student punch another student, they will likely do something. If a student tells a teacher they were punched nothing will likely be done.

In the adult world, courts believe the testimony of victims.

Bullies are just kids who are using the system to their advantage. And thats only human nature. To stop bullying, what needs to change is the system so bullies are no longer rewarded and encouraged by it.

ClassicalFizz (Reddit)

This was always my belief as I went through the public system and if you know me, you know how much I love the public school system.

I think the perspective one has to take is that you never ever start a fight but don’t be afraid of finishing one. That probably has a tendency to have some consequences but sometimes you have to let your kid take a stand while still trying to teach them violence isn’t always the answer.


2010 Homebuyer Tax Credits

It wasn’t really surprising to hear that home sales declined nationally in December 2009 as the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit were set to expire and right on cue, Congress extended them to people who have signed a contract by April 30, 2010 on a new home (and closed by June 30, 2010).

I know we are looking to purchase a home relatively soon and hopefully everything should get wrapped up quickly so I don’t think this deadline will be an issue for us. For those of the homeowners who may have already owned a place in the past three years, there is also a rebate for them but it is a little less than the $8,000 rebate for first time buyers.

The official name of the tax credit is “The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009” which has been extended into this year has established a tax credit of up to $6,500 for qualified move-up/repeat home buyers (existing home owners) purchasing a principal residence after November 6, 2009 and on or before April 30, 2010 (or purchased by June 30, 2010 with a binding sales contract signed by April 30, 2010).

The federal income tax credit for homebuyers has been extended and expanded to now include homeowners who wish to “move on” after 5 years of living in their current property, as well as first-time homebuyers.

  • First-time homebuyers, or those who have not owned in the last three years, can receive up to an $8,000 tax credit
  • Homeowners who have lived in a current home consecutively for 5 of the past 8 years can receive up to a $6,500 tax credit
  • Income limits are now $125,000 for singles, $225,000 for married couples

 

 

For more information, feel free to visit http://bit.ly/5D6mKg and review the 2010 Homebuyer Tax Credit details or check out a whole number of different places that have same information available..


Minimalism In Things

“When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you, but because, in that brief moment when the coin is in the air, you suddenly know what you are hoping for.”

Obviously my roommate Brian will argue me on this because that is all he likes to do on every argumentative statement. Oh well, he is still considered a Poster Boy around here.

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