Trevor Stasik - About Me

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Busy With The Important

If you are visiting either of my blogs, Predecessor Pro or my page on Blogspot, you've probably noticed that it's been a long while since I've posted. I've had every intention of coming back to you with new ideas, procedures, information, anecdotes, brainstorms, and stories. However, I've been too absorbed in other activities that are more important to me. It's about choosing priorities and what has to take priority: Working for the wonderful nonprofit Make-A-Wish, studying and practicing my crafts (Project Management, Prospect Research & Management, Human Resources), and spending time with family.

Realistically, I have a feeling it may be quite some time before I get around to posting here again. So if you're interested in what I'm currently up to, check me out over on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/trevorstasik) and send me an invitation to link. You can also check me out on Twitter (https://twitter.com/tstasik).

It's been a journey, but we're not quite through yet. Until next time, take care.

P.S.  Oh, hey, if you have a few bucks to spare, consider giving to a local nonprofit. I highly recommend Make-A-Wish (www.wish.org/donate), but there are many worthy causes out there. Find one with a mission you connect with, get involved, and consider donating.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Book Review: Console Wars

I remember visiting my cousins when I was little. I was fascinated by the colorful images bleeping and blooping across their television screen in crystal clear 16-bit glory. There was a blue, spiked ball that was whirling to and fro, ricocheting off of walls, and raining down pain on the backs of his enemies. When that blue ball finally stopped moving, an edgy new mascot stood their impatiently waiting for the player to get him moving again.

Book Review:  "Console Wars"

It was somewhere around 1992 and the character on my cousins' screen was Sonic The Hedgehog. I was somewhat familiar with the Hedgehog from the TV commercials and the cartoon, but seeing it come alive in person was a totally different animal. I had an old, classic Nintendo at home. I had a copy of the amazing Super Mario Brothers 3 that I loved; I think I had purchased it myself with newspaper route money. However, this Hedgehog was far more lively than any dumb plumber. It was built from the ground up, designed to be a hip alternative to Mario.  At that time, I knew of the battle between Nintendo and Sega. It seemed a lot like the Cola Wars between Coke and Pepsi. It was a taste test.  I knew those commercials were telling me what was cooler and more fun.  As a kid, I had no idea the level of machinations that were going on behind the curtain. 

However, Tom Kalinski was intimately aware of all of the strategies and tactics that were being employed in the war between Sega and Nintendo.  You see, Tom Kalinski was the CEO of Sega during this most influential period in the second great wave of gaming consoles.  The book, “Console Wars”, follows Tom in his quest to pull a second-rate video gaming company best known for Altered Beast and Alex Kidd, into a top tier gaming titan.

The book is written in a narrative form, telling the story as it unfolds.  The writer, Blake Harris, has a writing style that is deceptively casual, allowing you to become engrossed in the victories of the Sega team while still being able to take away lessons in business leadership, communications, technology, and workflow. It had tons of great ideas about marketing and teamwork.

The book is separated roughly into thirds.  The first part of the book follows the retirement of the Sega Master System, the rise of the Genesis console, and the challenges of getting the first Sonic the Hedgehog Game done.  The next part deals with the overwhelming success of the Genesis over the Super Nintendo, the creation and release of Sonic 2, and the maturation of Sega team.  The last third of the book deals with the internal conflicts that allowed Nintendo to triumph, and planting the seeds of the eventual collapse of Sega consoles.

The version of the book that I read was on Amazon Kindle, of which I was grateful.  I imagine that a fictional book would try to streamline the number of characters, but this is non-fiction.  The book takes pains to include all of the real people that actually worked in the industry. It was sometimes easy to lose track of who was who. Fortunately, the Kindle has search functionality that made it easy to go back and refresh my memory when needed.  I appreciated that level of detail, even if it meant I had to work a little harder at reading it.

I would highly recommend this book. There is a lot to the book “Console Wars”; plenty of content.  It was a fun read, and if you paid attention, you might learn a thing or two. 






Note: Please view the Disclaimer page for all liabilities and limitations.

View Trevor Stasik's profile on LinkedIn

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Predecessor Pro - Visit my new website and blog

Hi there! I wanted to cut the ribbon and make a formal announcement about the opening of my website and blog, Predecessor Pro.  I wanted to make sure everyone knew about the official rollout of my most curious blog on genealogy, research, and history. My intention is make these topics less intimidating and more accessible. I hope to show you that this kind of thing can be fun and interesting, and that you can do it too.

Predecessor Pro - Grand Opening

The website is located at www.predecessor.pro and also at www.predecessorpro.com.  Please visit and take a look at a few of the blog posts that I've put up.  Feel free to check out my About page to learn more about me and the website.  In the future, I also hope to provide some products, services, and books of my own on the site. 


This is just the beginning of what I hope will be a continuing conversation between us. I expect to have a new blog post up on Predecessor Pro each Monday. If you have any ideas about posts that you would like to have me write about or if you have any questions, please email me at trevor.stasik@gmail.com.  I look forward to seeing you at Predecessor Pro.  I hope to see you there. - Thanks, Trevor Stasik




Note: Please view the Disclaimer page for all liabilities and limitations.

View Trevor Stasik's profile on LinkedIn

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Addams Family Pinball

In honor of the ongoing Addams Family Kickstarter that is happening now (you did know there's a Kickstarter, right?), I'd like to talk a little about my history with this lovely machine and about my obsession with pinball. 

Addams Family Pinball

I would, of course, like to preface this discussion by saying that I don't have a problem. I can stop at any time. I am a fan of pinball, but I am not an addict or an extremist. Please ignore my nervous laughter as a sign of confidence. Seriously though, pinball is awesome. Digital pinball is great, buy nothing beats the real thing. 

I guess I should really start the discussion that you all came here to hear. I remember a long time ago, way, way back, when the arcade at Oxford Valley Mall had actual games. I'm talking about real fun games that ate your quarters like they were Pac-Men on a power pellet bender. This was a time of killer games like the Donkey Kong, Hard Drivin', and Street Fighter II. However, there was always a row of pinball machines against the wall. This is where I was first introduced to their Addams Family. 

I suppose if you cranked up that old time machine and took me back even further into elementary school, you might catch me watching an Addams rerun on the old, crackley tube TV set. On the other hand, maybe not. As a little kid, I had been more partial to the less sophisticated knock-off known as The Munsters. I suppose I needed to grow a bit too be able to appreciate the wit of Gomez and Morticia. 

So there it sat in the dark and noisy arcade. Little did I know about the pedigree of this table. At that time, I just knew that it looked like fun. It was a tough game to get on, as there was always an older kid jamming out on the machine. This game had everything you could want in a pinball. It has actual movie actor voices, it had the Addams Family theme song, and it even had a box where the hand Thing would grab your ball. 

So when I could sneak a game in when the older kids went to get more quarters, I would hop on. As my flipper technique was sorely lacking, these games usually didn't last long; and since my Levittown Express newspaper route money didn't stretch very far, I never played as much as I would've liked. 

Fast forward about 5 years, and I was in the United States Navy. 1996-97 had me stationed in Orlando, Florida learning about nuclear physics at Power School. There was a place called the E-Club there on base. I seem to remember that there was lots of low-quality greasy pizza there that would hit the spot between classes and studying. However, the real reason for me to go to the E-Club was to de-stress while playing some of the arcade games that they had. 

There were a couple of video games that I liked, especially the fighting game, Marvel Super Heroes by Capcom. It was always a hoot to hear Captain America shout, "Final Justice," before taking an opponent apart. The video games were shiny and crowded, but there were always a few pinball machines that were available. There just weren't gobs of people lining up to play them, which meant easier access to me. 

I seem to remember that they rotated machines quite frequently. The E-Club was the place where I first set eyes on the epic pinball masterpieces Medieval Madness and Attack From Mars. It was also the place where I got to play that sad excuse for a pinball Sega Star Wars. It was also where I got to experience the Addams Family pinball again. It was like an old friend that was coming to visit and give me a hug. I remember the multiball with fondness. 

So, in closing, I implore you to check out the Addams Family Kickstarter. Find and support your local pinball establishment where one still exists. Have a great rest of your week!


Link:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1067367405/pinball-arcade-the-addams-family


Note: Please view the Disclaimer page for all liabilities and limitations.

View Trevor Stasik's profile on LinkedIn

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Redwoods

Have you ever done Toastmasters before?  Toastmasters is an international speaking organization.  I recently joined an affiliated chapter and had to give a speech.  For my speech, I chose to speak about the Redwood trees.  Well, I thought that I would post the text of my speech here.  Hopefully you find it informative and enjoyable.

Redwoods 

Good morning!  The National Geographic biologist and explorer Sylvia Earle once said, “Look at the bark of a redwood, and you see moss.  If you peer beneath the bits and pieces of the moss, you’ll see toads, small insects, a whole host of life that prospers in that miniature environment.  A lumberman will look at a forest and see so many board feet of lumber.  I see a living city.”  It is the importance of these ancient cities I would like to speak of today.

Now - Stand up.  Come on, I want all of you to stand up.  Take a look around the room for a moment and imagine if every single one of you stood on the shoulders of one another.  How tall do you think you would be?  60 feet tall?  Maybe 75 feet?  Even if all of you stood on your tippy toes, you wouldn’t be tall enough to reach the height of the mighty redwood tree. 

Next, I’d like you to go ahead and put your arms up and stretch out.  You feel that burst of oxygen that is filling your lungs.  There’s a good chance that oxygen came from a tree, and a tree the size of a redwood can produce enough oxygen to support the breathing habits of 11 families of four each year. 

One last thing I would like you to do, turn to the person to your right.  Shake their hand.  Turn to the person to your left.  Shake their hand.  Do you feel a spiritual connection?  For centuries, people have felt a spiritual connection to these towering giants as they journeyed through forests. 

Okay, please feel free to take a seat as I tell you more about the last few centuries with the Redwoods.

What is the Redwood tree?

The Redwood is a hardwood tree that has been around for over 100 million years.  In that time, it has changed very little.  There are actually three different kinds of Redwoods.  The Coast Redwood is located along the western edge of California, and the Giant Sequoia is located in the central, eastern side of California.  There is also a shorter cousin, the Dawn Redwood, which is located in China.  The tallest of the Coast Redwoods hides in a difficult to access area of the Redwood National Park known as The Grove of Titans.

As mentioned earlier, these are very tall trees; actually the tallest in the world.  To demonstrate how tall these trees can get, the tallest tree in the world is called Hyperion, a Coast Redwood,which stands at 379 feet tall.  That is higher than the top of the Statue of Liberty and the U.S. Capitol Building.

These trees are among the longest lived organisms on the planet at over 2,000 years old.  Something interesting that was recently discovered was the source of this durability.  Scientists have found that the Redwoods have a unique genome structure that has 6 different sets of chromosomes, which have allowed to it adapt and overcome diseases that have destroyed other trees with fewer chromosome pairs.

Speaking of Scientists, did you know that scientists have found that the redwood is one of the fastest growing trees in the world.  Redwood clones are being grown in every continent except Antarctica. 

Who cares about the Redwood trees?

Scientists are one of the many groups that care for the Redwoods.  There are so many unique properties held within the genetic code of the Redwood, that scientists want to protect that biodiversity.  Ecologists care for the Redwood tree, understanding how it acts as a canopy protecting the animals and plants from excessive sunlight.  The branches, holes, nooks and crannies create homes to protect species during long winters.  Park Rangers and recreationists protect these trees to ensure that the peaceful relaxing environment lasts throughout the ages.  Even responsible lumber companies are getting into the act, cultivating populations of new Redwoods to replace those that were cut down in the past.

You can care for the Redwoods too.

Learn as much as you can.  Visit our national parks.  Rising up over every living organism on the planet is a species that can fill you with awe.  Let people know how being in the shadow of these giants makes you feel.  The Redwoods are trees of epic proportions, standing taller than national monuments and living longer than the Roman Empire.  Everyday people like you and me can tell the story.  These trees have the ability to teach us about ourselves. 


So, stand up.  Stand tall.  Stand strong.  Stand with the Redwoods.




Note: Please view the Disclaimer page for all liabilities and limitations.

View Trevor Stasik's profile on LinkedIn