Banana cinnamon protein shake

Banana cinnamon protein shake

[editied! oops forgot the whey protein in the recipe, see below]

While I was looking around online for some new smoothie and protein shake recipes, I found a link to Hugh Jackman’s wolverine workout routine and diet. Contained in the article was a protein shake that had banana, crushed cashews and cinnamon. I adapted it a bit, added a little bit of greek yogurt, and was very pleased with the taste.

Crushed Cashews

Crushed Cashews

So without any further delay, I present you with the rough recipe

Banana Cinnamon Protein Shake

  • Small handful of cashews. Crush the cashews with a mortar and pestle or blender until they have an almost powdered consistency like the above picture.
  • 1/4 cup of greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cup of skim milk
  • 1 Banana
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 2 scoops vanilla whey protein
  • Generous dose of cinnamon (to taste)

Mix it all up in a blender and enjoy. The cinnamon really adds a nice touch to the nuttiness of the banana and crushed cashews. I added a few shakes and thought it was too much at first glance, but it turned out really nice.

Thine own self

Are you the person that you promised yourself you would be when you grew up? How many compromises were made on your way to adulthood to try to make your life work?

I’m not talking about the insignificant things like that time you promised yourself you’d have your own private jet by the time you were 25. I’m talking about the goals in your life that you swore you would achieve because they would make a difference. The things that keep you up at night begging for someone or something to show you the way.

My father got into a bad car accident that ended his career at GM. Since he could no longer do his job there, he chose to spend his new found spare time getting an education. His path at the university led him to work on a pilot project to study homelessness in the Buffalo, NY area. The whole team, my father included, genuinely wanted to find root causes for this disease and flesh them out. They did a bunch of data collection and statistical analysis that got published and I still see pop up and referenced in modern studies on the homeless and poverty.

But I was so stupid.

I was a child. I had no idea the importance of the work my father was doing. I remember him bringing many less fortunate people to our home and letting us meet the people they were trying to help. I remember being with him while he was working at the soup kitchens and shelters. But I was selfish. I wondered why all these strange people we’re allowed in my house. I wondered why they smelled so bad. I was ashamed.

As I grew into a teenager, I learned that I had a natural talent for computer programming. It was the one place I could go where everything was sane and made sense. I got a programming job. I worked to make someone else’s dreams come true. I worked to make their businesses run more efficiently and to eliminate really unnecessary repetitive labor. I started my own consulting business. I worked on phone systems, anti-malware software, online restaurant ordering systems, large e-commerce deployments, white hat vulnerability analysis. I got lost in the software. I got lost in the creation process itself. I got good at it.

Then one day I lost my father. He passed away at home relaxing watching TV. He was 60 years old.

When the time came for his funeral, I was completely disconnected from the world. I could barely stand to look anyone in the eye. I shook hand after hand, heard all the apologies, and I held it together pretty well most of the day. But as the day dragged on, something happened that I wasn’t expecting that caught me off guard. There were people everywhere I didn’t know. They weren’t my family, or my father’s friends that I had known. They were people that my father had helped through his work with the university, or his volunteer time teaching middle schoolers about computers, or the half a dozen other things he was doing just to make people smile.

I broke down. I didn’t know my own father. I didn’t know myself. This man was the genetics, the nurture, and the reason why I had a strong drive to help others. I had wasted so much time just being his son. I could’ve asked him so many questions. If only I could’ve grown up a little bit faster we would’ve had so much to say to each other. The things he never bragged about and talked about defined him, and are what I would later realize drive me. Now he was gone forever.

My father left me with something that I will never ever abandon. We are put here to help others. We are here to make a difference while we can. Whatever skills we are given are meant for that purpose above all others. In the end, no matter what we earn, or all that we conquer the only traces we leave behind are the actions that we took to help lift up others.

Can 3d connectivity be molded and formed into a 3d social galaxy that connects people in ways that have never been explored before? I think it can. I believe virtual worlds and VR will lead to technologies that help people. I think we’re headed for an age where you can sit down, strap on your headset, and sit down next to your parents and loved ones from oceans away. We’re headed for a time when we can share a full 3d valentines card and a rose in realtime with our spouse even though we were forced to travel on business in February. We will finally defeat spatial separation and its role in keeping us apart.

But I get so frustrated sometimes. I just want that time to be here. I want to see that the work I’m doing has lead up to my final goals being fulfilled. To know that finally something I’ve done is helping people feel less alone on a massive scale. Going through all the motions of modern business is just something that has to be done to get there. In the process I will not lose myself. I will be true to my most precious goals in all that I do. To thine own self be true.

A world distracted

A world distracted

As an owner in a virtual world venture, I am tasked with not only predicting the future directions of virtual world consumers and virtual reality, but also to make decisions that we hope will be able to help guide the course of things to come. These times will be seen as the infancy or pre-infancy of a new mega industry. The exact date and time the VR renaissance will finally come, I do not know. For me, the technology to provide an immersive and provocative experience is already here, but for the general population current technology may not be enough. Only time will tell.

I am about half way through Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, and while it is a very entertaining novel, it definitely doesn’t seem to be predicting the best possible outcome for the future of mankind. I am left wondering if the real world that he describes wasn’t the result of the creation of the metaverse. In Show Crash, it seems that the real world was neglected and left to degenerate to the point where no real order exists. The world is governed by incorporated factions that dole out reward and punishment as they see fit. Did humankind get so wrapped up in the metaverse that they forgot about the real world and left it to the highest bidder? Could we be so blind?

Or was it the other way around? Maybe the state of the world he describes led to the popularity of the metaverse. People left with no way out a horrible existence chose instead to bury themselves deep in an alternate reality that they could have more control over. Maybe when it came down to it, this irrational, imaginary, and impossible world became more real, more feeling, and more acceptable to them than the real one. We see this already with both virtual environments and games. Sometimes they provide a sanctuary from an unbearable burden, a temporary relief from pain and suffering.

But they can do so much more.

My drive to simulate all I see comes from an admiration and a love of the natural world around me. I want to be able to stare at my computer screen and be reminded of the wind through the trees, the call of the birds in the sky, and the waves lapping at the boats in the harbor. But through all of my work I force myself to remember that the real world is the one that needs our time and talents the most. For every innovation we should always try to find the way that it fits into the puzzle of making the world a better place. We can not lose ourselves to distraction and allow the most important world to fall apart around us.

If we notice the world is getting to be a place we want to escape from, the answer is not to escape, but to do our best to fix what we see going wrong around us. Those of us designing games and simulations have a responsibility to do our best to extend them and come up with ways to fix problems with reality, not just create the perfect distractions from them. Use your environments to bring people together to accomplish their real life goals and solve some problem they all may have in common.

In games and VR, we all get to be heroes, save a friend, rescue the princess, and even save the world. The real world needs to see those qualities from us as well. The real world needs more heroes.