Category Archives: Passion Projects

Info about my passion projects such as my poetry & films

Sneakerhead Starter Kit

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The Air Jordan’s I-XI. Photo Credit: Kavis Peak

Nowadays with the influx of retro sneakers released into the market seemingly every week, everyone who is lucky enough to purchase them considers themselves a sneaker head. As a 36 year old who’s been around appreciating, discussing, studying and buying sneakers for over two and a half decades, I laugh at those who think that having a third and fourth remix of several silouettes with wild colorways makes them a die hard sole coniseur.

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The Iconic Air Jordan I that started it all. Photo Credit: Kavis Peak

There are a few prerequisites to being a sneaker head. That may make me sound like a sneaker snob, but I don’t care.

So at the risk of sounding like a bitter old man , I give you the sneaker head starter kit. Without these shoes, I could argue the culture wouldn’t have exploded and thrived the way it has.

These are also historical kicks and they will never fail your style regardless of clothing fads. These also apply to the ladies, so fellas if you’re trying to get your BAE, boo or whatever the hell you call her, into the culture, you can start her off with these. Again, I’m just trying to help.

You’ll notice I didn’t put the Air Jordan 11’s or Nike Air Foamposite’s on this list. The reason why, they’re overhyped shoes. Don’t get me wrong, they are classics, but we all know those kicks aren’t the easiest to get your hands on or at a reasonable price.

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All white’s for the summer.

 

1.) Air Force Ones, may seem played out, but with the multiple color ways, textures and even styles that resemble boots, there’s something for everyone depending on their taste.

2.) Chuck Taylor Converse ox: any color of your choice, preferably a color you wear most.

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Chuck’s can be dressed up or down. Either way, your outfit will still be fly.

3.) Air Jordan III’s are the most popular of the 31 silhouettes. Don’t be fooled by the hype over the Jordan XI’s, It’s just hype.
The III’s look good no matter what colorway you get them in, but the black and cement ones rank near the top. Hopefully now that Jordan Brand has taken them out of the vault and released the “true blue” pair with the Nike Air branding, we can get same for the black and cement ones.

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My 1999 Air Jordan III’s before I started refurbishing them. Photo Credit: Kavis Peak

4.) AJ IV bred or white/cement. The coveted white and cement with the Nike Air on the back just made its return in February of 2016. The grey pops on the white body and that makes them look good with just about anything. I’m a die hard Ohio State Buckeye fan so these look good with my scarlet and gray or a pair of black or blue jeans.

The white/cement IV’s with the Nike Air branding made their highly anticipated return in 2016.

5.) Air Jordan V. This model has great design appeal with the 3M reflective tongue and the clear souls. The Black and silver releases every couple of years, so it shouldn’t be difficult to pick up a pair at some point. Unlike the rest of the kicks on this list it’s more difficult to dress it up if you wish, but depending on which color way you pickup, it can be the perfect cap to an outfit. These, the III’s and the IV’s were by far my favorite to hoop in.

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Yellowing has taken its effect on my 1999 pair of Air Jordan V Black/Silver. Photo Credit: Kavis Peak

6.) Adidas shell toes low white/black. Run DMC made them popular in the 80’s and they’re still a great casual/lifestyle shoe today. Just like a crisp pair of Chuck’s, these can always go with your Friday night best or Saturday afternoon brunch.

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If you don’t have these kicks in your closet, under your bed or in your shoe room, at some point in your sneaker buying career, add them; preferably soon. Your collection and style will greatly benefit from it.

2014 NFL Season Predictions (blame Madden NFL 15 if I’m wrong)

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Let’s see what Madden thinks. Photo Courtesy: goodgamepro.com

The NFL Football season finally kicks off tonight when the defending World Champion Seattle Seahawks host the Green Bay Packers. But, there’s no need to bother watching the 2014 NFL season (I’m kidding I’m watching every game possible), I can tell you what’s going to happen a week before the season kickoffs, thanks to EA Sports newest edition of Madden NFL. Yes, you’re right, I’ve been on this game too much since it released midnight last Tuesday. But, these results came strictly from CPU Simulation. I didn’t play one game so as to not skew the results.

Oh, in case you were wondering about tonight’s “Fail Mary” rematch…..

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Green Bay Packers 22-Seattle Seahawks 25. Courtesy: EA Sports.

FYI, this exercise was done with injuries on and with the most recent roster update as of 9/3.

First up, your Division and Wild Card winners.
AFC North: Baltimore Ravens (11-5)
NFC North: Green Bay Packers (12-4)
AFC East: New England Patriots (13-3)
NFC East: Washington Redskins (11-4-1)
AFC South: Tennessee Titans (10-6)
NFC South: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5)
AFC West: San Diego Chargers (11-5)
NFC West: Seattle Seahawks (11-4-1)
AFC Wild Cards: Buffalo Bills (11-5) and Denver Broncos (9-7)
NFC Wild Cards: New Orleans Saints (11-5) and San Francisco 49ers (9-7)

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2014 NFL Award Winners
NFL MVP: Green Bay Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers, Passer Rating of 87.5, throwing for 4,003 yards on 67% completed passes to go with 25 TDs to 15 INTs.

Defensive Rookies of the Year: Houston Texans’ DE Jadeveon Clowney (AFC) 75 tackles, 12 for losses, 9 sacks and 1 forced fumble; Green Bay Packers’ DB Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (NFC) 118 tackles, 7 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles.

Offensive Rookies of the Year: Buffalo Bills’ WR Sammy Watkins (AFC) 53 receptions for 650 yards and 5 TDs; San Francisco 49ers’ RB Carlos Hyde (NFC) 221 rushes for 575 yards and 8 TDs.

Offensive Player of the Year: New England Patriots’ QB Tom Brady (AFC) 91.8 Passer Rating with 3,592 yards passing with 20 TDs and only 7 interceptions on a 66% completion rate; Dallas Cowboys’ QB Tony Romo (NFC) 91.0 Passer Rating with 4,246 yards, 26 TDs to 11 interceptions on 65% completion rate.

Defensive Player of the Year: Denver Broncos’ LB Von Miller (AFC) 125 tackles, 22 for loss, 19 sacks, 1 interception and 1 forced fumble; Seattle Seahawks’ LB Bobby Wagner (NFC) 137 tackles, 6 interceptions and 1 forced fumble.

NFL Coach of the Year: Bill Belichick (13-3)

Some key injuries to point out that may have affected the season. The Redskins QB Robert Griffin III only played in 12 games after suffering a torn ACL, also Browns Johnny Manziel was limited to 11 games after suffering a broken jaw while the Colts Andrew Luck missed 3 games.

Other key injuries:
Denver Broncos RE DeMarcus Ware had a torn achilles that caused him to miss the final 4 games of the season plus the playoffs.
Cleveland Browns LB Carlos Dansby missed 8 due to a fractured knee cap.
San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Matthews, missed 10 games with a broken femur.
Kansas City Chief RB Jamaal Charles, missed 11 games with a fractured knee cap.
Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch, missed 3 games due to a broken tailbone.

2015 NFL Playoff Results:

Wild Card Round: The playoffs kicked off with a rematch of Baltimore’s “Miracle At Mile High” from the 2013 Playoffs. This time the game was in “Charm City” where the Ravens sent Peyton Manning and the Broncos home 29-0. Meanwhile in the other AFC matchup, the Bills got a taste of revenge over Titans from the “Music City” miracle of the 2000 NFL playoffs, 17-16.

The theme of rematches continued on the NFC side where the 49ers enacted revenge from last season’s playoff loss to the Seahawks by sending the defending champions home, 19-16. In the third battle of NFC South rivals, the Saints squeezed by the Bucs 27-24.

Divisional Round: In the AFC, The New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills squared off for the third time this season. The Patriots took this one 20-17. In the other Divisional matchup, the Baltimore Ravens knocked off the San Diego Changers 20-16 to set up a third matchup in four seasons in the Conference Championship game against the Patriots.

In the NFC, the 49ers defeated NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Packers 33-18 on the frozen tundra, while the New Orleans Saints dismantled the RG III-less Redskins 38-20, setting up a matchup of contrasting styles between the 49ers ground and pound attack versus the aerial assault of the Saints.

Conference Championship Round:The New England Patriots got revenge over the Baltimore Ravens from their 2013 AFC Championship loss 23-20 and the San Francisco 49ers, playing in their fourth consecutive Conference Championship game, toppled Drew Bree’s and the Saints 27-13.

Super Bowl Champions: Just like Super Bowl 48, the NFC West dominated the show. In his return to the big game, Colin Kaepernick led the San Francisco 49ers to a 27-9 victory over Tom Brady’s Patriots. The vaunted 49ers D picked off Brady 3 times.

Super Bowl MVP: 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick

There you have it. Go ahead and bet on it, Just don’t call me if you lose. For the record, since the Madden series begin simulating the Super Bowl in 2004, the game has correctly predicted the Super Bowl Champion out seven out of ten times. So let’s sit back and see how correct my predictions are over the next six and a half months.

Let the Gaming Begin

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Madden NFL releases at 12:01 AM 8/26. Courtesy: EA Sports

Right now NFL gamers are concocting their best lies so they can call out sick from work, while chasing down alibis to verify their stories as they prepare to get lost in the newest version of EA Sports Madden NFL 15—it releases Tuesday at midnight.

As my own excitement builds about the latest installment, I can’t help but to reflect on how far sports games have come in the 29 years that I’ve been playing, going back to when I was a five year old kid playing my father’s Atari and Coleco Vision. The graphics, realism and sophistication in bringing the most realist simulation of the on field action blows my mind with these seventh and eight consoles (PS3, XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii, PS4, XBOX One and Nintendo’s Wii U). But also, it gives me a chance to look back at the hit games of yester-year that captivated my imagination even though graphically they’re Stone Age.

The nostalgia of the classic 16, 64 and 128 bits are the ones most tout as their favorites mostly due to the time period of their lives when they played them, but are also considered the best because of the simplicity of them. So with that in mind, here are my best (favorite) football video games of all time. You’ll notice a common theme with some, competition with Madden, which has none now and many feel that’s hurting the series.

Tecmo Super Bowl (Nintendo) ~ This wasn’t the first football simulation, it wasn’t even the first in this series, but it’s the one everyone who grew up in the 1980’s talks about. The LA Raiders (yes, Los Angeles for you young kids) were led by the most potent running attack in gaming history, Marcus Allen and Bo Jackson. It was hard enough for opponents to catch Jackson, that even if they got him in their grasps, he’d still break away. Without a doubt he was the best player in Tecmo Bowl history. Then there were the dominate teams; Joe Montana’s San Francisco 49ers, the up and coming Triplet led Dallas Cowboys and the incarnation of the Jim Kelly Buffalo Bills that eventually went to four consecutive Super Bowls. These teams and others didn’t have over hyped players with unrealistic ratings like in today’s games. The best teams were just the best teams, but unlike reality—and today’s games—you could win with every team.

Tecmo Super Bowl is the game most true football gamers still hail as their all time favorite. Of course it has it’s flaws. It’s not a true simulation and is very arcade, but go play it now and you’ll still get the same enjoyment you got over two decades ago. That’s why the last gen consoles attempted to update the game with better graphics, but without a licensing deal with the NFL, the rosters were filled with generic names playing for generic teams.

Courtesy: Numb3rtw3enty

College Football USA 96 from EA Sports (Sega Genesis) ~ Although there we two previous College Football games in this series, many would point to this one as the true birth of the NCAA College Football series we all fell in love with that has since been terminated (Thanks Ed O’Bannon!)

The was the first game with all 108 Division l-A teams—at that time. It was also the first time the big four major bowl games (Orange, Sugar, Fiesta, and Rose) were involved. The series introduced windowless passing and the 96 version in particular brought in a new passing mode that allowed gamers to choose from five receivers on every play. Speaking of plays, there were 400 to choose from, as well as new key features such as substitutions, injuries, audibles, spins, hurdles, dives, blocked kicks, interceptions and laterals that are extremely important video games or reality.

Courtesy: psuzeppelin5

NFL 2K (Sega Dreamcast) ~ Thanks to EA Sports decision not to publish the Madden Series on the Sega Dreamcast, NFL 2K from Visual Concepts, made a splash on the brand new Sega console which was first in what was called the sixth generation of consoles (Sega Dreamcast, Playstation 2, Nintendo GameCube and XBOX). Madden which was the runaway popular choice, found it a formidable foe.

Helping to usher in the new era of sports gaming, 2K sports a relatively unknown, gave us the blueprint of what was to come. Oh and Randy Moss—the 2K Cover Boy—who’s Sunday performances were video game like, was just as great in the game. This game got me through many of nights in my sophomore year of college, and cost me several valuable study time.

Courtesy: Courtesy: IGN

NFL Gameday from 989 Sports and Interactive Studios America (Playstation 1) ~ The game that was Madden’s top competition in the mid-90’s. I remember Gameday for it’s jarring hits, that if completed during a game played in the rain, would light up the field as if lightning had struck the victim. I would say this is what eventually led to the hit stick that Madden made popular. The game broke ground with the 1998 version, becoming the first to introduce 3D polygonal graphics.

On the negative side, I do remember the players being extremely bulky with everyone from QBs to O Linemen having the same build; Plus, the players moved awkwardly, but like in anything in life, it was nice to have other NFL gaming options outside of Madden.

Courtesy: drummerboygamer

NCAA Game Breaker by 989 Sports (Playstation 1) ~ Like its NFL big brother Gameday, this series was the alternative to the EA Sports NCAA Football series. The gameplay was similar to Gameday, and produced high quality animation and presentation. It was a precursor of what was to come at the turn of the century with the arrival of Sega Dreamcast, Playstation 2 and the Xbox.

Courtesy: Encyclopegames

NBA Expansion: Reservations for Seattle Plus One

It’s no secret the NBA wants to bring a franchise back to Seattle. It’s been in discussion since Oklahoma City owner Clay Bennett lifted the Sonics from the great Northwest in 2008 and successfully made them a staple in the Heartland. Former commissioner David Stern said he wished he would’ve accomplished it before leaving his post this past February and current commissioner Adam Silver says it’s on the top of his agenda to happen within his first five years at the helm.

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Sonics fans are itching for the NBA to return.

So, assuming Seattle is a no brainer to be the home of thirty first organization, you would think the league would be looking at adding a thirty second to keep the landscape in each conference equal, a la the NFL with its sixteen teams each in the AFC and NFC.

There have been rumors of Louisville, Kentucky, but in my honest opinion I don’t think a city who’s rich in College Hoops tradition would be a prime locale for the NBA. I’d also scratch Lexington, Kentucky and Storrs, Connecticut as well. So, here is my list of cities that could potentially become home for an Eastern Conference team. Like Seattle, three of them have deep NBA roots.

1.) St. Louis, Mo
TV DMA Market#21

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The “Lou” is a great sports town with NBA roots.

PRO: Once was home to the Atlanta Hawks for thirteen seasons (1955-1968), it’s where they won the franchises’ only League Championship and four Conference titles. The “Lou” is a great, proud sports city that already supports three teams in the four major sports (Cardinals, Rams, Blues). Two of them have won championships in the last fifteen years—Rams in 1999 and the Cardinals in 2006 & 2011. The city has also done well in hosting the NCAA Final Four (2005) and several other rounds within the NCAA tournament. And, if the Rams do get their wish and the NFL allows them to relocate to Los Angeles, the financial support will be there from the void left.

St. Louis is twenty first on the TV DMA Market list. Only Seattle (Market 13), Tampa (Market 14)—Orlando is technically their team—are higher markets without a franchise.

A St. Louis team could compete in the Central or Southeast division of the Eastern Conference.

CON: The Scottrade Center where the Blues plays its games will be twenty years old this fall and has not been renovated into the state of the art arena the NBA desires their franchises to have. Arena quality has been cited as reason why the Sonics were moved from Seattle and building a new one was at the center of the Sacramento Kings potential move the last couple of seasons. Another potential con would be, if St. Louis fans would support another winter sports team. Hockey is a big draw in St. Louis and could make it too competitive for an NBA team to be successful.

2.) Columbus, Oh
TV DMA Market #32
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Columbus’ downtown area has thrived since opening Nationwide arena, which would benefit the NBA.

PRO: Columbus is a die hard sports city and the largest in the “Buckeye State.” City leaders and fans have actively and publicly attempted to get on the NBA radar by sending letters to Commissioner David Stern during his tenure and receiving a reply. There was also a website created to state the city’s case.

Although it’s a football first town, fans have successfully supported expansion NHL (Bluejackets, 2000) and MLS (Crew,1996) Franchises. There is also already a state of the art arena in place that is only fifteen years old and seats 19,500 for a basketball game. Nationwide Arena has hosted a handful of Buckeye basketball games and first and second round NCAA tournament games. It’s also located in an expanding vibrant entertainment district.

Columbus is thirty second on the TV DMA Market list. Even though it’s low, it’s still higher than Oklahoma City which is forty first and has done very well, especially for a city that was once thought of as a college town because of its close proximity to the University of Oklahoma in nearby Norman.

While Columbus has supported the NHL well during the winter months, hockey still hasn’t become too dominate in the area that an NBA team would struggle to draw fan support. Now that the novelty of having a major pro sports franchise in town has worn off, attendance has dropped from an average of over 18,000 to 14,500 since the Bluejackets inaugural season in 2000-2001.

A Columbus franchise could compete in the Central division with the Cavs, Bulls, Pacers and Bucks.

CON: While Cleveland is a two hour drive away, pro hoop fans in the 614 are lifers when it comes to the Cavs. “Buckeye City” is known as a College town, several minor league pro basketball teams haven’t had much success there. Fans also didn’t turn out when the Cavs hosted training camp and preseason games in the city even when they had LeBron James in his first run with the organization.

3.) Pittsburgh, Pa
TV DMA Market #23

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The “Steel City” has die hard sports fans that support their teams, but would the NBA be one too many?

PRO: The Burgh has a very supportive fan base for their three major pro sports franchises, including lean years, see the Pirates from 1992-2013. The $321 million Consol Energy Arena where the Penguins play is only four years old and is just the type of facility the NBA pushes for their teams to have.

Much like St. Louis, the Burgh is in a top twenty five market, that means big revenue dollars to the league. Don’t think market size won’t play a factor in the decision of where an expansion franchise is placed.

One thing we know for sure is that the uniform color scheme will include black and gold, just like the other pro teams in town. The Pittsburgh franchise could compete in the Central division of the Eastern Conference.

CON: During the winter months hockey dominates in the Steel City. It possibly would be too much for a Pro Basketball team to overcome to have success and be a big draw. To make matters worse, the city doesn’t seem to really support their top college hoops program, the Pitt Panthers.

4.) Baltimore, Md
TV DMA Market #27

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Baltimore has deep basketball roots and was a longtime home of the Bullets, now Wizards franchise.

PRO: Was once home to the Washington Bullets, and currently home of two of the four major sports (Ravens and Orioles). This is a major basketball scene. Several of the top talent on the pro and college level have come from “Charm City.”

It’s very close to Washinton D.C. but, anyone who lives in this area will tell you these city aren’t really that close. Many estimates have the drive at an hour and ten minutes in relatively light traffic. Plus, New York and L.A. both have two teams, and while they are the number one and two markets in America, the DC area is eight and Baltimore is twenty seventh. As I’ve written already, DMA market size is a plus for this area when it comes to revenue. I think they can sustain two franchises within a forty one mile distance. It could also create a much needed rivalry. The NBA could use the model the NFL has with the Ravens and Redskins.

This team could compete in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference.

CON: The one major arena—Baltimore Arena—has been opened since 1961 and as recently as 2008 was considered to have outlived its shelf life. Like a couple of the cities on this list, the lack of a state of the art arena will not be appealing to commissioner Silver and his advisors. However, the city and it’s leaders are in talks about constructing a new arena which they hope will attract a pro basketball franchise or other leagues such as Arena Football and the NHL. Discussions have put the new arena at a cost of $300 million and that would definitely be of interest to the NBA.

5.) Kansas City, Mo
TV DMA Market #31

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The Sprint Center is the crown jewel of Kansas City.

PRO: Once home to Kings franchise for thirteen seasons from 1972-1985, it was the last stop before moving to Sacramento. Kansas City doesn’t have the NHL for the NBA to compete against. Unlike half the cities on this list, they have a state of the art arena. The $276 million dollar Sprint Center opened in 2007 and can seat 18,972 for basketball games.

A Kansas City franchise could compete in the Central or Southeast division of the Eastern Conference.

CON: Does Kansas City want pro basketball? Like St. Louis they had a franchise and have never made a huge case to get another. The city was rumored to be in the hunt for the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans and Sacramento Kings when both considered relocation before settling their issues. Many have questioned if there’s a fan base for Pro basketball. Kansas City strongly supports it’s Chiefs during the fall and the Royals during spring and summer. It be nice to see this great sports city show off for a winter sport like basketball.

6.) Nashville, Tn
TV DMA Market #29

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“Music City” could play the right tune for Commissioner Silver.

PRO: The “Music City” successfully supported the Houston Oilers when they moved into town in 1997, even securing a new stadium for the team in 1999 which is still the now Tennessee Titans’ home. The city has also been home to NHL’s Nashville Predators since their inaugural season in 1997-1998. Nashville was rumored to be in the hunt to draw an NBA Franchise before being awarded the Predators.

The Bridgestone Arena, the main venue in town where the Predators play, opened in 1996 and seats 19,395 for basketball. It has played host to the SEC Men’s basketball tournament and several Men’s NCAA Tournament sessions as well as the 2014 Women’s NCAA Final Four. The arena has undergone several million dollars worth of renovations as recently as 2007, which should be appealing to NBA brass.

The Nashville franchise could compete in the Southeast division of the Eastern Conference.

CON: Unlike with Columbus and the Bluejackets, the NHL has already gained a seventeen year grip on the city. The Predators are very popular and the NBA may not want to take on that challenge, much like in Pittsburgh and St. Louis on this list.

So what are some other cities you think would be a great landing spot for a thirty second NBA franchise?

“My Sole Love” Webisode

This is the first in a series of webisodes that I will post from my first feature documentary “My Sole Love.” The documentary is a celebration of sneaker heads’ collection and the culture. Each webisode is a snippet of what you can expect from the final feature film (still in production). In the coming months we’ll also showcase many of the top sneaker boutiques in the country from Central Ohio to Georgia to South Florida. We’re still looking for other sneaker heads to be a part of this project. If you’d like to be involved, contact me on Twitter @Mr_Kavis_Peak or Kavis_Peak_Films@yahoo.com. Thanks for watching.

Very Best,
Kavis

“My Sole Love” Trailer

Here is the first trailer for my first film “My Sole Love”. This documentary is about shoe collectors and their passion over what WE call art. Many people don’t understand how or why someone would spend $150+ on a pair of leather. This film will answer that question and several others people outside the sneaker world should know. Sneaker heads are no different from car, comic book, dollhouse or art enthusiast. It’s all about love. SOLE LOVE.