2013 In Retrospect

2013 was a year of learning and re-learning for me. I had to re-learn who I really was because I had lied to myself for so long that I had forgotten. I had compromised so much of who I was to be something I could never be. That’s a mistake you, hopefully, only make once in your life. I had to be broken down to my lowest point so that I could be rebuilt on a stronger foundation. My original foundation was so flawed and fake it couldn't withstand the burden that was put upon it. But I’m a lucky guy - I learned really quick that my true friends and family had my back and supported me and without them I don’t know where I’d be right now.


A lot of learning came from learning not to be bitter and angry, but to be thankful. Strangely enough I've realized I am very thankful for 2013 even if it was one of the toughest years in a long time. If it weren't for 2013 I never would have figured out how far I had wandered from the path that was chosen for me. Which depending on what you believe and how you look at it - it was actually planned that way from the beginning. Oddly enough - I find comfort in that.

I’m looking forward to where this path takes me in the next 12 months - knowing that I can face it with a renewed focus, stronger foundation, and support from friends and family.

by Ben Pike

These Are Not Album Reviews

These are not album reviewsThese are, however, some of my favorite albums from the last year. I've made no secret of the fact that the last 12 months were particularly shitty, but thanks to support from family and friends - my life is now pretty awesome. You could say these albums were the soundtrack to my life on the road to being “okay” again. Hopefully if you’re going through something you'll find some solace in them as well... even if you aren’t - they are great albums in their own right.

by Ben Pike


It’s always fascinated me how we associate certain songs, albums, and even bands to specific memories and moments in our life.

Now that the weather is starting to turn colder I find myself drifting back to albums that I have always associate with colder weather. I suspect these albums have that effect thanks to several factors:

  1. They were during my very impressionable years on my musical taste (14-19)

  2. They happened to be what I was listening to when I turned 16 and started to get my first glimpse of independence away from home.

  3. Since my Birthday is in September - it’s around that time the weather starts to change and turn colder.

  4. They’re timeless classics in their respective genre’s.

Here are some albums that I will always associate with colder weather:

(hed) P.E. - “Broke 

311 - "311 (Blue album)

Extol - “Undeceived

Static-X - “Wisconsin Death Trip

Linkin Park - “Hybrid Theory

Hopesfall - “The Frailty of Words

What albums make up your “cooler weather” playlist?


by Ben Pike

What I expect to see in Microsoft's E3 2013 keynote

  • Pricing and availability. Pricing is rumored to be anywhere from $299 to $499 - expect a "subscription" only version that will feature a lower upfront cost, but require a monthly subscription to Xbox Live Gold. And as far as availability - expect "later this year" which code for "Fall/in time for Christmas".
  • Games, games, games, games, games, games and more games. Microsoft flubbed it with the last keynote by not really appealing to core gamers. I fully expect Microsoft to right the ship today. 
  • I'm hoping they'll provide more details on the pricing structure surrounding the used games as well as licensing to hopefully clear up some of the confusion.  
  • I expect some hints or outright announcement about a new revamped Xbox 360.
  • There have been rumors of a "set top box" version of the Xbox that's meant only for media streaming (à la Roku) but it's not expected to be launched until next year. 
by Ben Pike