What Command & Conquer Taught Me About Business
Aug201414

As I built my outline for this editorial, I nearly halted the piece altogether because of a little known gentleman named Sun Tzu – you may have heard of him.  While The Art of War is sitting on my home office desk’s bookshelf right now, I decided to follow through with this article because while there will be similarities, I am writing this through my own lens – a lens which arguably pulls the worlds of business and war together perfectly through maybe my most beloved gaming series of all-time, Command & Conquer.  While I am still a fanatic of the series, this post could easily be re-titled to encompass the entire RTS, or real-time strategy, game genre since fundamentally they are all pretty much the same.  That being said, as I approach the end of my MBA, and having been in the business world now for nearly six years, I bring you six key tenants that Command & Conquer has taught me about business – there are actually dozens more, but I’ll leave those for the comments!

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5 Subtle Life Lessons Learned from the Movie Independence Day
Jun201407

There are those handful of movies that when you see that they’re on television you’ll watch, even if you’ve seen the film a million times already.  Whether it’s late at night, or a lazy Saturday afternoon on the couch, if Bloodsport or Behind Enemy Lines comes on there’s a 99.9% chance my butt is not leaving the couch.  However if Independence Day comes on, that percentage just hit 100%.

But there may be something you didn’t know about Independence Day, which believe it or not will turn 18 years old this July.  Having just watched Will Smith and Randy Quaid expel the city-leveling alien force yet again this past week, I came across some very subtle life lessons – five of them, to be exact – that may just surprise you.

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How to Lose Your Job, If You’re a Lieutenant
Jun201406

Newly commissioned officers in the Marine Corps – and I can only assume this guide will translate to my counterparts in the Army – get absolutely inundated with leadership advice, and for good reason: they are about to take responsibility not just for some company’s new project or marketing plan, but for a platoon of Marines.  So why do they fail?  Where is the disconnect?

I would argue that the consistent theme of failure is actually more precise than many believe – especially at the entry level leadership position that is Second Lieutenant.  In fact, I would argue – and I will below – that there are six primary causes for relief of command at the platoon leader level, some stronger than others, and quite frankly none all that revolutionary.

What this article is not  is another guide on leadership advice, as there are plenty of those – in the past two months alone I’ve come across three different platoon oriented leadership guides on Tom Ricks’ Best Defense Blog at ForeignPolicy.com here, here and here.  Rather, this is a guide for new lieutenants on what not to do – from a practical, bottom-line-up-front perspective, when they take that first coveted step into platoon command.  The goal, or end state if you will (hey, I’m in the IRR), is to provide awareness to those wide-eyed, leadership advice-seeking sponges with gold bars on their collars so that they can focus their time on not only what they’ve been trained to do, but their most important task: leading Marines or Soldiers.

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Gaming’s Inner Demons
May201424

Gaming’s Inner Demons0

Posted like a champ in Live

I just stumbled upon Chris Hemworth’s artwork. It’s terrifying and beautiful at the same time. Like when you see a supercell over the plains in the Midwest. But at least these prints won’t tear down your walls – they build them up!

What I especially love about these prints is that they’re simple. It’s like a funny inside joke with a bitter aftertaste. But with a nice a frame if you want.

And today’s cross section of gaming and popular culture is widening every day. Recently, we found this gem: a Game of Thrones spirited SNES Super Mario Bros. 16-bit musical intro. Today, we find prints worthy of multiple rooms in our house. It’s a good time to be a gamer.

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Products We Want to Test: Flat-D Fart Neutralizer
May201417

So there I am, driving to work down here in Houston on Wednesday morning, jumping back and forth between my two morning radio stations, Mike and Mike on ESPN, and 94.5 The Buzz’s Rod Ryan Morning Show (Sorry Tebo, I’m getting Pandora TODAY), when Rod starts talking about a new product that they just received: the Flat-D fart neutralizer.  I know what you’re thinking: I thought it was a joke too, but then the company’s founder got on the air from Hawaii and talked about how his products actually work to essentially filter out the odor from your farts, so your office mates will stop throwing shit at you and running for the break room once your morning Chernobyl routine commences.  As a male, and someone who is probably more than slightly qualified in this area of life discussion, I want one.  More after the jump!

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Week In Review
May201417

Week In Review1

Posted like a champ in Laugh, Listen, Live, Play, Watch

You’re quickly learning that Slightly Qualified likes all things pop culture. Throw in military videos and gaming panache, and we’re probably one of the more eclectic websites you’ve had the pleasure of viewing. We’re a diversified portfolio of interweb goodness.

Raffman posted about a crossfit chap who did 106 – scratch that – zero pull ups at once. He also talks about a 500 lb bomb that almost hit the wrong soldiers. Raffman also discusses a few iOS games like Knifehand and Wayward Souls. And to keep us in touch with our memes, he collected all kinds of fun ginger and Canada pics for your perusing enjoyment. Make sure you don’t miss out on Bill Murray impersonating Harry Caray either.

I had fun writing about some Pandora stations you probably should be listening to. We’re still quoting from these five movies and cannot, for the life of us, stop it. Technically, these were from last week, but make sure you pick up the new Black Keys album Turn Blue and three minutes of your life is a small price for watching Eric Bana in the Deliver Us From Evil trailer.

Our friends at Linkiest are covering everything from athletes to unicorns. LFGdating remains the only dating site for the gamer/geek/nerd in you. And Clumsy Crooks catalogues all things insanely stupid about criminals and their inability to do their job well.

Marines End Combat Operations in Sangin: A Reflection
May201406

When I got out of the Marine Corps in early 2012, only to transition from the beaches of Hawaii to the black ice covered roads of Chicago-land, I hopped on the local Metra train to take me downtown.  While I have a ton of friends downtown that I wanted to meet up with, it was a Monday morning, and I had to catch another train – this time Amtrak – to make the trek down to St. Louis to pick up my Jeep which had finally arrived from Oahu.  Six hours later – and only for a whopping $12 fare – I woke up in St. Louis, and hailed the first cab I could find.  The cab driver was a little more talkative than usual, and it didn’t take long for him to figure out I was in the military – while he did guess correctly that I was a Marine, he failed the civilian test when he asked, “we still have troops in Afghanistan?”  While I sadly have encountered a few other people that have uttered that same phrase over the last two and a half years, I have been pleasantly surprised as to how many civilians actually are familiar with Sangin.  You see, today marked a pretty historic day: earlier this morning the Marine Corps Times reported that the last Marines had finally departed one of the most dangerous places in all of Afghanistan – Sangin District.

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Maxim: “Camp Dwyer One of Five Most Dangerous Places in Afghanistan” /Facepalm
Apr201430

Camp Dwyer?  Camp DWYER?  If you just channeled your inner-Jim Mora (of epic Indianapolis Colts coaching press conference meltdown Hall of Fame – see SQ’s front page content slider for the awesome screenshot) as you read Maxim Magazine’s recent (?, there’s no date) military article “The Five Most Dangerous Places in Afghanistan“, then you’re not alone.  Did author Jaeson Parsons actually do any research for this article – like proper journalism calls for – or did he just assume that no one would care?  It’s readily apparent that he’s never been to the country he wrote about, but good grief, Camp Dwyer?  Hit the link below for even more absurdity.

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Apr201429

With the Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom) behind us, and Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom) all but over as we approach the 2014 deadline, Marines today will get more opportunities to do some really cool deployments, whether it’s more MEU’s or more chances to jump on deployments to Australia or what you’ll see in the video above – the Black Sea Rotational Force which features infantry battalions from 8th Marine Regiment.  While I never got to do a MEU out of 3d Marine Regiment, I did get a chance to deploy to Afghanistan during the surge, but seriously considered sticking around to be a part of the Corps’ first rotational deployment to Australia.  Heading the other direction to the Black Sea to work and train with the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian militaries would also have been cool, and with the Ukraine/Russia conflict getting hotter by the day, the training relevance there is growing exponentially.  Whether you’re an active duty Marine, a part-timer, a former Marine like myself, or just a civilian who likes to watch things blow up, this video will surely get you motivated.  Enjoy the video of 3/8 kicking ass in Eastern Europe, and as always hit the link below for more!

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Apr201428

Drunk food, at least at the moment when you and your friends stumble out of the eighth and final bar of the night, tastes like the best meal you’ve ever had in your life.  When you go there two days later for lunch however – and you’re dead sober – you can’t believe you actually ate that junk as you spit it out and apologize to your coworkers.  While I am American, I am only familiar with the usual choices we have after last call, like giant burritos, pizza, taco stands, and heck even late night bagels (thanks SIU!).  That’s what makes the above Buzzfeed video so cool: it only shows you what the most popular drunk food dish is in each major country.  Almost all of them I want to eat right now, but a few (looking at my hoser friends to the north in Canada) I would probably pass on.  Enjoy the video, and as always more comments after the jump!

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