Monday, December 31, 2007

Last post of 2007

I'm standing here in old town Winchester waiting for the apple to drop and to see some fireworks. I wish that I was here with someone but at least I'm not stuck at home alone like I was last year. December 31st is always a tough night for me but I make it like the many many other singles out there.

God Bless everyone as we bring in 2008.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Shopping for Wii games

Since the N.E.S. passed on, I really have not been interested in console games. When the Super N.E.S. came out, I tried it for a while but adding buttons to the controller was really a turn off for me. This is actually the biggest reason why I've never really been into playing games on a PC. This changed a few months ago when I visited my sister and played her Wii. I was instantly addicted. Not only is the button problem solved but Nintendo has created an entirely new was to interact with your games and it's easy enough that my parents and even grandparent's have been in on the action. For Christmas, this was all I wanted and, by some miracle, it's actually what my parent's got me (and my dad didn't even run people over in the store to get it -- dont ask, long story).

I've been doing some shopping for Wii games and accessories, of course. Most of it is just window shopping because I really can not afford much and most stores are sold out anyway but I realized something when it came to shopping for games: retail stores have to be losing purchases from windows shoppers. If you go into a retail store to purchase a specific game, it's great but if your going in without knowing exactly what you want, you're probably not going to buy a game from them. The reason for this is the glass cases that they are all locked in. I found myself at Target and at Wal-Mart just browsing for games and when something sparked my interest, I wasn't able to read the description of the game because its on the back of the box. If your window shopping for games you basically need to consume an employees time for the duration and you dont want to do that, nor does the employee. I found myself heading home and looking online for games where I not only can read the descriptions but I can also find reviews on how other people liked the games. Maybe it's not instant gratification but at least you know you'll be getting a decent game.

While I can't really complain about this because it does end up saving me money, I am baffeled at how these stores haven't realized this. Retail stores are starting to face lots of pressure from online retailers because of the large price differences and you would think they would want to encourage the "browse around and buy what looks good" method of shopping but they fall short of that with those glass cases. I can certainly understand the shrinkage concerns but all of the games are already electronically tagged and they are certainly a lot cheaper than many other items in the store that would fit in your pocket much more easily than a DVD-size case.

For me, I think I'll be doing almost all of my Wii shopping online and possibly even subscribing to GameFly. Heck, used games isn't such a bad idea either and GameFly can offer me that too.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Living in the wrong era

As a kid we could walk to my grandmother's house and just walk right in even if she wasn't home. We didn't have a key - she just never locked her door. There wasn't a need and this was especially true to the people that grew up in their generation.

I keep feeling like God created me many years before I was born and just forgot to actually send me to earth. He finally remembered in 1980 but I was already at least 2 generations too late.

My life is just the same thing over and over again. It happens where I work, where I go to church, who I'm friends with, and even who I date. When someone needs help I put my all in to it. I always have the impression that whoever I'm helping will, in turn, appreciate what I am doing and will do the same if needed. While this was the way life was (and still should be) years ago, it isn't the case now. The result is I'm continually punished because I focus on caring about people but when I'm hurting not only is there no one there to help me, the people that I have been helping expect me to just keep going because they've grown accustom to whatever it is I'm doing.

So at a job, ill get the "this is business and that is personal" comment. The problem is that in order to be so passionate at work, I rely on all the good in my life but when there is a time of trial I end up going back down to average; average in the same standards that an employer will look for in a replacement. But because I put my all into something for a average pay doesn't mean I get a raise but it just means that the standards I get headed on go up. And these standards won't carry over to the next person they hire. No, they just apply to me without me getting any additional benefits. Naturally things go sour in the eyes of the employer and they generally end up disapointed in me. I end up back at square one. With people in my personal life, they just tag me as a horrible person and ignore anything that I did that was good for them. These are the things that turn me into a failure in everyone else's lives and, eventually, my own.

This is my life but its also an example of how society is in a downward spiral. The problem is that no one wants to stand against it because, well, you end up here writing this blog. For me, I don't know how else to live but I don't know if I'd want to anyway. Its just going to continue to be my life and all I can do is pray that I will someday find a girl who has this same problem. Of course I'm not holding my breath because they've all been with numerous guys in the past and have no desire to take a chance on me. Their solution to the problem is to change nothing but if they happen to find a guy that cares they just take what they can until it requires something of them. Once that time comes then the relationship with that vendor.... Oh, I mean person.... is over. We all hate corporate America but we live our lives with the thriving corporation as our bible. So what with that ancient book that was named "Bible" - we have new and greater things in our lives now.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Whack a Murdoch

It's a fun game but also a VERY serious issue. Play and have fun but please go sign the petition as well....

Thank You, T-Mobile

I just received this email which does make me feel a lot better about the situation.


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Subject: RE: T-Mobile/Twitter contradiction
Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2007 10:47:25 -0800
Message-ID:
In-Reply-To: <9E24A493-03F0-4117-9B99-950D8D6B4E0C@bibleboy.org>
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To: "Bob K Mertz" <@bibleboy.org>
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 18 Dec 2007 18:47:26.0413 (UTC) FILETIME=[6F15B7D0:01C841A6]

Bob,

Apologies for the confusion. The initial information provided was simply
misinformed. The information provided by T-Mobile yesterday is correct -
The Twiiter issue over this past weekend was due to technical service
issues between Twitter and T-Mobile that have since been resolved.=20

Regards,

T-Mobile USA, Inc.
Public Relations

---- Update ----
I later received this email which definately was a lot warmer than what I had been receiving from the president's office.

From: MediaRelations@T-Mobile.com
Subject: RE: T-Mobile/Twitter contradiction
Date: December 18, 2007 4:37:43 PM EST
To: bob@bibleboy.org

Thanks, Bob.
We certainly aren't trying to hide anything - we absolutely value our
customers and do our best to do right by them. As is today's tech age,
the misinformation spread like wildfire which contributed to the
widespread rumors. We took proactive measures to follow up on all
customer inquiries and media inquiries to ensure our customers had the
appropriate information.

Appreciate your note and happy holidays.

T-Mobile USA, Inc.
Public Relations

Can T-Mobile Apologize?

I received another email from T-Mobile. This time I'm not even entitled to have the name of the person it came from.

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Subject: RE: ***Ban No. 498717587- Assigned to Marianne - Twitterr***Confirmation Request
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We have since verified that this was a rumor. Please see the second
email that was sent to you yesterday. Thank you,=20

________________________________

From: Bob K Mertz [mailto:@bibleboy.org]=20
Sent: Monday, December 17, 2007 3:26 PM
To: Executive Response (ECR)
Subject: Re: ***Ban No. 498717587- Assigned to Marianne -
Twitterr***Confirmation Request


Marianne,=20
Could you please explain to me why you previously emailed me that
T-Mobile was blocking the Twitter service? The following email is
signed with your very name. I can not understand this.


To me this is an annoying example of a company that was once highly focused on their customers and good business practices losing touch with what matters. Minus the possibility that T-Mobile gave kick backs to many, including Twitter (which I highly doubt because Twitter has shown lots of responsibility and, therefore, have my trust), the "rumors" that T-Mobile was blocking Twitter were actually started inside of T-Mobile and were spread not only via Customer Service but also via the Office of the President.

Up until now, everytime I contacted T-Mobile with an issue, they went out of their way to apologize for any inconveince that I at experienced. Now that we come to this issue of a huge failure of communication on T-Mobile's part that affected hundreds (maybe thousands) of customers and their response is to cleverly word emails to conceal the truth. While some emails infer that they made a mistake, they show absolutely no remorse for giving such blatantly incorrect information.

The majority of T-Mobile's customers are not with T-Mobile because they have the best coverage but because they have the best customer service and could always trust what they were told by the company. Going forward I have to now question the reliability of the information that T-Mobile provides to me because if, in a matter as trival as this, you can't get their honest response and apology then when the matter becomes an issue much larger you certainly will not be able to rely on the answer they give you.

Another huge issue in this is a display of capability. While this issue is not "Net Neutrality" per se, there was a blatant display of "we can keep you from doing what you want because it's our network" attitude which is, in fact, a violation of the spirit of neutrality. Coming from a company that has signed on with Google's Android to provide "Open Platforms", the attitude is very conflicting. While it may be true that T-Mobile did not filter SMS messages to Twitter, the executive office displayed their lack of concern of preserving customers' ability to access the information they want.

I have personally loved T-Mobile up until now and I have stood up for them many times because I beleived in them as a company. I've requested information from T-Mobile multiple times to give them an opportunity to apologize because I want to continue to believe in the company but T-Mobile is unwilling to give me, or any other customer, that sense of security and that hurts. This is the type of attitude that I would expect from AT&T or Verizon but not the #4 carrier that is trying their best to gain their customers' support.

I, for one, and very dissapointed in T-Mobile and, while this may not make me cancel my contract, it certainly will make me consider what I do when my contract is up.

Monday, December 17, 2007

OMG, come on T-Mobile

Ok, so I wanted to turn this back into a personal blog but I just can not pass up posting this. I have received an email from the same persona at T-Mobile that told me Twitter was being blocked. In her email.... well, I'll just let you read:


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Mr. Mertz:

Twitter users are welcome to stay connected through T-Mobile service. Rumors that T-Mobile blocks the service are false. T-Mobile confirmed with Twitter that there was a technical issue between the two companies’ systems that temporarily prevented some customers from utilizing the service this past weekend. That issue has since been resolved and the companies are working to prevent such incidents from re-occurring.
Should you have any further questions regarding this matter, please feel free to contact Customer Care at 800-937-8997. Thank you.

Marianne Maestas,
Executive Customer Relations Specialist,
Office of the President,
! T! ! ! Mobile!
stick together


My God.... it was one thing to hear two different departments contradicting themselves but now THE SAME PERSON?. I really don't think I need to comment anymore

Final Thoughts on T-Mobile

With light of the posts that have been coming out today, I have to agree with most of them in the stressing that this is not a Net Neutrality issue. As a fellow blogger, I am asking that everyone take into consideration that this is my personal blog. Understand that I post things here for my friends to know whats up with me and this included the issues that I was having with T-Mobile. I did not post any of the initial posts with the intent that it would go as far as it has and, as such, I posted without serious investigation to the laws that govern SMS. I will admit that I incorrectly placed SMS into a "network" category rather than a "phone" category that it should have been in. While I agree that if T-Mobile was filtering Twitter SMS (which they were not) it would be in violation of the spirit of net neutrality, it is not an official or legal part of the debate.

This entire situation has shown many good things and many bad things. One thing that is a concern of mine was that many blogs and news site posted links to my blog and ran with it without even contacting me to confirm any information. It's actually just fine that the blogs didn't do that but the news sites, well, it's a little more of a concern. In fact, in this situation I think it went completely in the opposite direction. Almost all of the personal blogs that reported what I had posted actually confirmed the issue themselves. Even over at the Buzz Out Loud forum there was confirmation from another reader that he had received the same message.

The issue, going forward, is not about net neutrality but about customer service and executive offices quoting things that were blatantly incorrect.

It is now a very well known fact that the issue between T-Mobile and Twitter were, in fact, of a technical nature but this does not relieve T-Mobile of responsibility of the press that they are receiving and, in my opinion, the longer they go without making a statement, the more bad press they deserve. The fact remains that I sent an email to the executive office expressing my concern that T-Mobile was filtering Twitter, which I was told by a CSR at T-Mobile. The response to that email in a very harsh tone and, as we know now, full of incorrect information. I reported what had happened to me and, as fellow bloggers, it is your responsibility to fact check and confirm whether this is true or false. There are numerous people that did just that and there were many people that didn't.

Before I turn this personal blog back into just that, I want to give my final thoughts. First of all, mistakes are common in the blogosphere but facts are something that can be confirmed. The issue of filtering twitter may not be a part of net neutrality but the fact is the content of the email that I received. Secondly, it's be confirmed that the issue was of a technical nature and that has been resolved. The thing that has not been resolved is why T-Mobile responded in the way that they did. While I sit here asking bloggers to check their facts, I am reporting on a company that didn't do that and, for this reason, I feel that T-Mobile owes their customers an explanation of the situation.

T-Mobile has always been an incredible company in my eyes. Their concern for customer service has always been one of the greatest assets to the company and, as AlternaGeek reported, an amazing company for embracing new technologies. They continue to be my favorite mobile carrier. Some might say that can't be true because of the things I posted but the fact is the opposite is true. I want T-Mobile to address this issue because I don't want them to fall into the same category as the larger mobile providers that don't care about their customers. I believe that if a company is truly concerned about their customers they will investigate the things their own employees relayed and they will offer an explanation to their customers. If they stay silent then, to me, it would appear they really don't care what their customers think.

Just remember that if someone is wrong about one thing it does not mean they are automatically wrong about everything and this also means that if a company makes a mistake it doesnt make them the worst company in the world.

Happy Twittering! :)

This will be the last post that I make to my blog related to this issue unless I would hear additional communication from T-Mobile. Everyone is still more than welcome to contact me at tmo-vs-twit@blog.bibleboy.org or to leave comments on this blog. I am a personal blogger and it's been a fun few days but I need to go back to my roots which are real life and not the New York Times

A blogger attacks the blogosphere?

This really isn't totally related to the T-Mobile/Twitter issues but it appeared on the Twitter Blog related to my post(s) about T-Mobile. This really isn't an attack at anyone specifically but I'm just curious what people think about the situation and how people feel the Blogosphere works. There certainly is always the possibility of a blogger knowing what they are talking about and not knowing what they are talking about but, in my opinion, the blogosphere is the collective group of bloggers that back up and confirm each other. If every story on the internet right now about T-Mobile/Twitter was just a 100% copy of my blog, then this would be a completely different story. What happened is I seemingly posted to my blog first and people refered to it as the first story but numerous posts about this situation were related to people receiving the same email I received or, at the very least, the same response from customer service. There was even a post of someone claiming that a T-Mobile rep actually google'd my site and gave that email as their official response. Some confirmations occured on the Buzz Out Loud Forums while a good central point of confirmation after confirmation occured over at Satisfaction where Biz Stone himself said T-Mobile was blocking Twitter.


What does everyone think? I'm really curious to hear what the overall thoughts of this entire incident is. Please leave your comments below or email me at tmo-vs-twit@blog.bibleboy.org

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ice Storm

We had an incredible ice storm that started last night at about 1am and got really bad really quick. I was actually more scared last night than I was when I was in the hurricane that I experienced when I lived in Florida. This is something that I have never experienced before. This really didn't affect a large number of people near as badly as it did for us that leave on the mountain tops, but it sure brought disaster for enough people. I was without power for almost 20 hours and Allegheny Engergy is expecting that some may not have power again until tomorrow evening.

When I woke up in the morning everything was literally coated in ice. Large branches and entire trees fell and collapsed because of the extreme pressure of the weight of the ice and the trees that didn't break were bent (some in a complete rainbow shape). Long after the rain/ice stopped falling it still appeared like a hail storm because of the chunks of ice falling off of the trees. When I went to my car I literally had to hold a plastic lid from a large rubbermaid container to keep the ice from striking my head - and even in that short walk, enough ice hit that lid that I probably could have been knocked silly if I didnt have it. Even during this time there were still entire branches cracking and falling off of trees.

I took a lot of pictures of this entire ordeal and I posted the best ones in two seperate photo albums. All of you are welcome to take a look:

Ice Storm (12/16/07)

Ice Storm (12/16/07) #2

T-Mobile and Twitter - Not quite there, but trying

Its been a long 48 hours or so and it looks like we are on our way to a resolution but we're not there yet.

For the past 30-45 mins, I have been having issues with not only sending tweets but with receiving them as well. It appears that I'm not the only one that is still having issues. I think that there is enough information coming from Twitter's official channels to not worry about policy at T-Mobile for blocking Twitter but there definately are still some kinks that are being worked out.

It also appears that I am not alone in thinking that T-Mobile needs to make a statement regarding the events of the last few days. If there was policy made to block Twitter and then it was retracted, they need to own up to it and if there wasn't then they need to answer for their executive offices telling many subscribers incorrect information (this is quite different than a CSR giving false information). In either case, they really need to explain why people in the executive offices were responding to customer in very harsh emails and almost in a threatening nature. If you havent read the response I received from T-Mobile, please click the tmo-vs-twit tag below and find that email.

In any case, it is really awesome to see people pull together and stand up for something that is right and I am honored to have been able to bring this information to you and be part of this community. No matter what part T-Mobile was wrong in, it is important that consumers stop rolling over and playing dead... when that happens, we'll start gaining ground in technology advancements.

Again, you are welcome to contact me at tmo-vs-twit@blog.bibleboy.org with any information that you have or anything that you would like to share. Please also feel free to follow me on Twitter.

For now, I'm going to watch the ice fall around me and pray I dont lose power :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

T-Mobile and Twitter, Friends Again?

Update 07:41pm EST: I can confirm that I can now send some SMS messages to Twitter. Whether political or technical, the issue is going in the right direction. I still really am hoping for a statement from T-Mobile regarding what happened and, if the issue wasn't political, why the president's office was indicating (in harsh emails) that it was blocking Twitter.

Update: AlternaGeek reports "All is Well"

Update 12/17/07 08:15am EST: It certainly seems that everything is now ok. With Monday morning arriving there are no more (visible) complaints of anyone still having issues. It will be interesting to see how T-Mobile handles the PR nightmare they created for themselves. Here a few links of sites reporting the incident after resolution:
WAP Review
Mashable




Well folks, it looks like Twitter and T-Mobile may be friends again. A statement from a Twitter rep indicates the issue is technical and not political.

Personally, I am not sure that I totally believe that this was never a political issue. While I understand that it's a common occurence for CSRs to give incorrect information to customers, this is of a different magnitude. Many people have e-mails from T-Mobile's President's office that not only state they are intentionally blocking Twitter but followed up with threats of the $200 early termination fee. These emails are on top of many people who were specifically told this by numerous different T-Mobile CSRs.

The important thing that matters is that the situation be rectified but the issue that will still remain is why T-Mobile responded in the ways that they did to their customers. It has a funny taste in my mouth -- the taste that someone felt the pressure and reversed a previous decission but didn't want to admit that they made a mistake.

The problem isn't solved at this time so it does remain to be seen but solved or not, T-Mobile certainly needs to send an apology to their customers for the ill-worded E-Mails that were sent out from the president's office.

Friday, December 14, 2007

T-Mobile vs. Twitter (Links and ongoing updates) 12/15@2038

Last Update: 12/15/07 @ 8:38PM Eastern

Biz Stone has now officially announced that T-Mobile has shut Twitter off for good.

First, the important information. We need everyone to contact T-Mobile and explain to them the negative impact they have made in these last few days. Their customer service number is 800-937-8997 and you can email the President's office at rdotson@t-mobile.com. It is very important that we voice our opinion in this matter.

Now some links for your reference:

Personal Blogs:

Posts at Satisfaction:

People to Follow:

Twitter apps to help you cope:

Send TXT via phone:

Stuff to think about:


Please let me know if you have any other links or any additional information and I will be happy to update this information. For a complete list of my posts related to this issue, please go to http://blog.bibleboy.org/labels/tmo-vs-twit.html. You can email me at tmo-vs-twit@blog.bibleboy.org

Hope to see you on Twitter from T-Mobile sometime soon! :)

Response From T-Mobile

Update: To follow all of my posts related to the T-Mobile/Twitter issues, please click here.


From: ExecutiveResponse@T-Mobile.com
Subject: T-Mobile and Twitter
Date: December 14, 2007 4:49:07 PM EST
To: -----@bibleboy.org
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Dear Mr. Mertz:

My name is Marianne Maestas and I am with the Executive Customer Relations department of T-Mobile. I am contacting you on behalf of Mr. Robert Dotson in regards to the email that you sent him yesterday evening.

In your email, you express concerns, as you are not able to use your service for Twitter. As you have been advised, Twitter is not an authorized third-party service provider, and therefore you are not able to utilize service from this provide any longer. You indicate your feeling that this is a violation of the Net Neutrality.

T-Mobile would like to bring to your attention that the Terms and Conditions of service, to which you agreed at activation, indicate "... some Services are not available on third-party networks or while roaming. We may impose credit, usage, or other limits to Service, cancel or suspend Service, or block certain types of calls, messages, or sessions (such as international, 900, or 976 calls) at our discretion." Therefore, T-Mobile is not in violation of any agreement by not providing service to Twitter. T-Mobile regrets any inconvenience, however please note that if you remain under contract and choose to cancel service, you will be responsible for the $200 early termination fee that would be assessed to the account at cancellation.

Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Customer Care at 800-937-8997. Thank you,

Marianne Maestas,
Executive Customer Relations Specialist,
Office of the President,

Thursday, December 13, 2007

T-Mobile violates Net Neutrality? (Blocks Twitter)

Update: Apparently the email address for the customer service executive is rdotson@t-mobile.com and not rbotson like I first posted.

Update 12/14 @ 3:34pm: Twitter has confirmed that there is an issue on the satisfaction page (link below) but they don't indicate what the problem is. No one that I have been in contact with has heard anything from T-Mobile other than what we were told by customer service (that they are blocking twitter and/or they don't support short code)

Update 12/14 @ 4:58pm: I have received this response from T-Mobile. Very Upsetting

Update: To follow all of my posts related to the T-Mobile/Twitter issues, please click here

For the last few days I have been unable to send SMS messages to the Twitter service from my T-Mobile cell phone. This evening I decided that enough was enough and I called T-Mobile. I spoke with 3 different reps and would not let up until I got an answer for why this was no longer working. Finally I spoke with someone in Customer Relations and she felt strongly enough about this that she got a tech on the phone. After waiting for the tech to research the issue they came back with a response (and the rep I was spoeaking with was as outraged as I was). Their official response was that T-Mobile does not support third party messaging services and the reason why I am all of a sudden unable to send messages to the Twitter service is because their system "caught up to the bug." I specifically asked if this meant I should expect to never be able to send to Twitter again and the answer was yes.

I explained to the rep about Net Neutrality and, to be honest, she had been outraged from the start. She completely agreed with me that this was an example of T-Mobile picking and choosing who you can and can't use with your T-Mobile SMS. I also explained that I paid for unlimited SMS messaging and not selective unlimited SMS messaging. She, again, agreed.

The rep and I collectively agreed that this matter needed to be heard and she opened a "Voice Forum" request with the ID of 0623630. For reference to the people reading this, the rep that I talked to had the ID of 3828493.

One thing that I do want to request is that if anyone calls in to speak with someone or emails customer service, please do not speak negatively towards the rep that I spoke with. She was extremely helpful and very instrumental in getting the ball rolling.

Also, if you want somewhere to send an email, please use rdotson@t-mobile.com. It would be really great if we get a lot of people to write in or call in and explain the issues with their decission and how we object to any move that a company makes towards chosing what we can and can't do with a service we pay for.

Hope to see you on Twitter from T-Mobile soon! :)


Links:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

December Woes

I'm still alive. December really hasn't been that great of a month for me. It also seems that the tradition of my life totally changing every couple of years is about to hold true again.

Issue 1:
This county's health system sucks. The commercialization of health care is pathetic. Corporate America is about stepping on others to make money. When you apply this mentality to an industry about taking care of sick and dying people you can't expect it to work.

Issue 2:
I am outraged about the developement going on around my house. The building of stuff in Front Royal is sickening but they've gone a step further: they've already cleared 2 lots on each side of my house and today the building began in the lot closest to me. I haven't even lived in Linden for half a year and the place has changed so drastically already. This whole situation infuriates me beyond belief. I moved away from NoVA because I couldn't deal with this type of stuff and now they are invading me. The worst part about this is the fact that there are already a lot of houses on the market but of course the NoVA mentality makes you pathetic if you wear used clothes, buy a used car, or even live in a new house.

Issue 3:
What is the deal with this mentality from girls that no guy is capable of love. I am reading email after email, Blog after Blog, and having conversation after conversation that collectively puts guys down as a whole. I know many guys are assholes but if you believe that you can never trust a guy then you destroy the guys left that do actually care and rather than make the world a better place, you make it a hell of a lot worse - including your own world. There still are some guys that care who's hearts are continually broken because they are stereotyped as being "just another guy" and girls lose those guys because they can't trust and they can't make sacrifices for them. Even worse, those girls end up ultimately destroying those guys so that no one else can have him. This game between genders needs to stop or our world of hurt us going to start hurting more and more!

Monday, December 03, 2007

"This Christmas" / TobyMac

Joy to the world
Let heaven and nature sing
Let heaven and nature sing
Now Jonnie never got his wish on
December 25th
That's what he said when he left
the orphanage 9 years old,
but Jonnie was an old soul
Gonna spend his first Christmas in a real home (In a real home)
Showed me a picture that he drew the night before
Was a picture of a man standin' outside a door
I asked him who it was and he said
someone I only see in dreams
Comforts me when I cry myself to sleep

Father of the fatherless
Be with your sons and daughters
this Christmas This Christmas

Believe in angels' Jonnie asked me starin' at the sky
I said I do and saw a sparkle in his eye
Big brother for the weekend respondin' to the season
Took the chance that givin's better than recievin'
Two nights, a new family, some holiday cheer (holiday cheer)
We laughed and sang Came on a midnight clear
We gave, recieved, and as we headed to close
We looked to the heavens and it started to snow down blessings

Father of the fatherless
Be with yous sons and daughters
this Christmas
(You ain't livin' til you choose to give love
and joy and peace to one of His)
Father let us not forget
The children who are all alone this Christmas
(You ain't livin' til you choose to give,
you ain't livin' til You choose to give)

(James 1:27) Religion that God our Father
Accepts as pure and faultless is this
To look after orphans and widows in their distress
Merry Christmas everyone
Joy to the world The Lord is come
Let heaven and nature sing
Let heaven and nature sing
Let heaven and nature sing
Let heaven and nature sing

Believe in angels Jonnie asked me starin' at the sky
I said I do and saw a sparkle in his eye
9 years old, but Jonnie was an old soul
Gonna spend is next Christmas in a real home

"This Christmas" by TobyMac

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

God is a DJ

God is a DJ

This is really an awesome short film that makes you think about the things that happen and what they fix or break because they did happen.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

"Wait for You"

I never felt nothing in the world like this before
Now I'm missing you and I'm wishing you would come back through my door.
Oooooo
Why did you have to go?
You could of let me know
So now I'm all alone

Girl you could of stayed but you wouldn't give me a chance
With you not around it’s a little bit more than I can stand.
Oooooo
And all my tears stay
runnin’ down my face
Why did you turn away?

So why does your pride make you run and hide
Are you that afraid of me?
But I know it’s a lie what you keep inside
This is not how you want it to be

So baby I will wait for you
Cause I don’t know what else I can do
Don’t tell me I ran out of time
If it takes the rest of my life

Baby I will wait for you
If you think I'm fine it just ain’t true
I really need you in my life
No matter what I have to do I’ll wait for you

Been a long time since you called me
(How could you forget about me)
You gotta be feeling crazy(crazy)
Ooooo
How can you walk away
(Way) Everything stays the same
I just can’t do it baby

What will it take to make you come back
[Wait For You lyrics on http://www.metrolyrics.com]

Girl I told you what it is and it just ain’t like that
Noooooo
Why can’t you look at me?
You’re still in love with me
Don’t leave me crying

Baby why can’t we just, just start all over again
Get it back to the way it was
If you give me a chance I can love you right
But you’re telling me it won’t be enough

So baby I will wait for you
Cause I don’t know what else I can do
Don’t tell me I ran out of time
If it takes the rest of my life

Baby I will wait for you
If you think I'm fine it just ain’t true
I really need you in my life
No matter what I have to do
I’ll wait for you

So why does your pride make you run and hide
Are you that afraid of me?
But I know it’s a lie what you’re keeping inside
That is not how you want it to be

Baby I will wait for you (for you)
Ooooooo
Baby I will wait for you
If it’s the last thing I do

Baby I will wait for you
If you think I'm fine it just ain’t true
I really need you in my life
No matter what I have to do
I’ll wait for you
I’ll be waiting …

"Wait for You" by Elliott Yamin

Friday, November 16, 2007

As I've been babysitting this morning, ice been thinking about a lot. Its been really hard on me thinking about how I am 27 and have no sight of a wife in my future. Add to that the stuff going on with my grandfather and I start feeling bad. My mom wants to be a grandma and I want her to be one. Right now Lori and I are single and while Kari is engaged, I don't think there are kids in the near future there.
Right now I am blogging this as the sweetest baby of all time is sleeping on my arm. Its no wonder my mom wants this again. I really started thinking about me and my sisters and I also remember my dad telling me a little while ago about a member of our old church called them just to tell them that they were great parents - and they were. I think of where we are right now. Kari is the head coach of the YMCA gymnastics team. Lori is an elementary teacher - and not just any teacher but a specialist who helps children who are struggling with reading. As for me, I don't have huge groups of kids in my life but, despite how I feel sometimes, I have been able to deeply impact a few children. I just think about it and realize that my parents aren't far from Abraham and Sara who had more descendants than the sands on the shore. While my parents may not have technical grandchildren, because of who they are they have impacted hundreds of kids.... And those kids are going to impact even more.
This has to be one of the first Blogs I've written that really left me in tears. My life may not be the way that I wanted it to be but knowing that I just might be doing good in the life of this sweetheart sleeping on my (now numb) arm is more than I could have asked for. The same is true for my parents - they may have figured on having grandchildren by now but maybe someday in the (hopefully distant) future they will look down from heaven and realize that the world is a better place because of them.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I know that there is a reason that I am enduring what I am emotionally right now. Things that hurt but don't kill you really do make you stronger. I know that giving of yourself ultimately helps both those your giving to and yourself but it doesn't mean there aren't hurts and struggles along the way. It boils down to saying what you mean and meaning what you say. If you are going to be there for someone you really have to do it. Its hard sometimes but if you meant it then its what you want to do - and going through these struggles is what I want to do. I mean, no, I don't *want* the pain but I know that the pain is a requirement for a better life for both me and the people I am there for.

Please pray for me. I really need it.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

There was once a time that this Blog was a real source of encouragement because I had people that read it because they cared about me and they thought enough to leave a comment or send me an email. I know those times are over. I guess it doesn't stop me from blogging to the wall tho.

I just have really been struggling with some things and the biggest thing that's been hard on me is the realization that I'm really not good enough to help anyone. I really don't have anything to offer anyone. I am just a poor country not trying to keep myself alive. I don't have any money or any real posessions. Hell, I'm even extremely far from being an attractive person. I try so hard but I just never seem to make much of an impact on anyone. Anyone I try to help just seems to stick around long enough to see if I have something to offer and then run when they realize I don't. Do you have any idea how bad it hurts to not even be good enough to volunteer? Seriously... It hurts.

I know this is all my fault somehow and I know that many many people have it worse than me. That's all ice ever been told when ice been hurting. Seriously, if I really was worth something then someone trying to cheer me up would say that instead of having to use those lines.
I don't know. I'm just tired of feeling all alone in my battles. I try my best to help others with their battles but I guess if I fail at those, there really isn't a reason for them to help me with mine.

Yea, I know... This is life. Ill just keep being worthless and try to continue hiding it so I don't interupt anyones perfect life.

Friday, November 09, 2007

When a single mom goes out on a date with somebody new
It always winds up feeling more like a job interview
My momma used to wonder if she'd ever meet someone
Who wouldn't find out about me and then turn around and run

I met the man I call my dad when I was five years old
He took my mom out to a movie and for once I got to go
A few months later I remember lying there in bed
I overheard him pop the question and prayed that she'd say yes

And then all of a sudden
Oh, it seemed so strange to me
How we went from something's missing
To a family
Lookin' back all I can say
About all the things he did for me
Is I hope I'm at least half the dad
That he didn't have to be

I met the girl that's now my wife about three years ago
We had the perfect marriage but we wanted somethin' more
Now here I stand surrounded by our family and friends
Crowded 'round the nursery window as they bring the baby in

And now all of a sudden
It seemed so strange to me
How we've gone from something's missing
To a family
Lookin' through the glass I think about the man
That's standin' next to me
And I hope I'm at least half the dad
That he didn't have to be

Lookin' back all I can say
About all the things he did for me
Is I hope I'm at least half the dad
That he didn't have to be

Yeah, I hope I'm at least half the dad
That he didn't have to be
Because he didn't have to be
You know he didn't have to be

"He Didn't Have to be" by Brad Paisley

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A lot of times you hear people compare caring for someone to an investment... Personally, I think this is a horrible thing to say -- and its the attitude that I really need to adjust right now. When have you heard an investor put thousands of dollars into a company solely because he liked what the company does, even tho there was no chance of return? So are all these people telling us we shouldn't love someone that can't love is back?

The last couple of weeks have been really tough on me. Its really hard to put so much into someone or something and only watch things get worse. You try your best to cheer people up only to be reminded that your no one who could even think about making any kind of impact... Then you watch as the stupid little thing you worked at making just right turns in to just something else to hate. You walk through this life trying to give of yourself till you have nothing left only to be told your not caring enough or you did it all wrong.... You want so badly to believe you are worth something but you really can't find any evidence of that....

.... But why are you doing it? Well, if your doing it because your waiting for a return on your investmeny I suppose you screwed up pretty bad. If you are doing it because you care about someone and truly believe they are worth more than you are then your only making progress.

The few people that actually talk to me anymore know its not a secret that ive been totally drained emotionally. I do feel like ice lost my Joy. Its a hard thing dealing with people that everyone else used and thought nothing about them... But its something that sometimes your mind just has to yield to your heart regarding and your physical body just has to prepare for the stress that's going to have to be endured.

Sometimes people are just worth it.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Walk blindly to the light and reach out for his hand
Don't ask any questions and don't try to understand
Open up your mind and then open up your heart
And you will see that you and me aren't very far apart

'Cause I believe that love is the answer
I believe that love will find the way

Violence is spread worldwide and there are families on the street
And we sell drugs to children now oh why can't we just see
That all we do is eliminate our future with the things we do today
Money is our incentive now so that makes it okay

But I believe that love is the answer
I believe that love will find the way
I believe that love is the answer
I believe that love will find the way

I've been seeing Lisa now for a little over a year
She said she's never been so happy but Lisa lives in fear
That one day daddy's gonna find out she's in love
With a nigger from the streets
Oh how he would lose it then but she's still here with me
'Cause she believes that love will see it through
And one day he'll understand
And he'll see me as a person not just a black man

'Cause I believe that love is the answer
I believe that love will find the way
I believe I believe I believe I believe that love is the answer
I believe that love will find the way
Love will find the way
Love will find the way
Love will find the way
Please love find the way
Please love find the way

"I Believe" by Blessid Union of Souls

Saturday, October 27, 2007

This past week has really brought some anxiety with it. Between wondreing how I'm going to do without my one medicine because I can't afford a doctors appointment to my laptop finally completely biting the dust, to worrying about important people in my life..... I really could go on. I'm really worried about a lot of things right now but that's not the purpose of this Blog.

Since I have moved to Warren County I have really been liking it. I do really like my house and I really like the fact that it is back in the woods. I really like sitting at my computer and watching the squirrels run around outside my window.... Or the deer that share these woods with me as their home. The problem? Me forgetting to actually take the time to enjoy these things.

Right now I'm sitting on my back deck... The moon is shining through the trees, the breeze is blowing leaves on the trees... There is a dog barking in the distance.... Deer passing through my yard.... And the traffic on the interstate is off in the distance as a reminder that there is a time to be in that mess and a time to enjoy the blessing that God has given me by retreating from all of that mess at night.

Its amazing how nature takes care of it's self and yet we are constantly stressed and frustrated. The difference is that nature just let's things happen and we second guess everything that comes our way. We are such a proud species that we can control our fate, yet all we do is screw it up. We ignore our gut feelings in order to follow our human logic which is obviously flawed ... Only to some day realize that our gut feeling was right. And our logic tells us to learn from our mistakes but yet the next time our intuision tells us something, we promptly ignore it in order to find that it was, yet again, correct.

I really can not understand why we act the ways that we do and how we ignore evidence that we are bringing more problems on ourselves. I guess that's our pride again. We just don't want to admit that maybe we were wrong.

We have been given so much but we forbid ourselves to accept that because there is more out there. We forbid ourselves to enjoy what we have because it simply isn't "good enoug" despite the fact that it may be the answer to some dreams but the problem is there are now better dreams.

We forget to enjoy the blessings that are in our lives and we lose them because we just simply could not admit that that single blessing was "good enough"

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I've recently started a note on my blackberry of things that I believe I am.... I wanted to post what I have so far here.....

*
a computer geek
*
a compassionate person
*
someone who sometimes trusts people too much but still believes its worth it
*
someone who is easy to taken advantage of and usually is
*
a country boy
*
someone interested in the way the human mind works
*
someone who gets bored with repetitive chores
*
someone who wants the opportunity to create and innovate
*
someone who wants to make things better for as many people as possible
*
someone who weaps inside for people but tries to be strong for that person
*
someone who wants people to show him he is loved and/or appreciated without having to ask if he is
*
someone who truly loves God and wants to serve Him but seems to always screw that up
*
someone who does his best to be happy with what he has been dealt whether its good or bad
*
someone who puts others so far above himself that he forgets he needs to take care of himself as well
*
someone who would rather have hurt himself rather than hurt someone else
*
someone who is emotionally broken and feels that there is no one who has, or ever will, help his heart heal
*
someone who believes that, someday, everything will make sense
*
a passionate animal lover
*
someone that experiences emotions that can't be explained - especially when witnessing someone else's feelings being hurt
*
once a conservative but now more on the liberal side
*
someone that believes Christians are the biggest reason why the Church is seen as such a negative thing
*
someone that knows that preaching to a non-believer is one of the most ineffective things you can do
*
someone who never really seems to have someone to turn to when he needs it
*
a complete failure at most financial matters
*
adhd
*
someone who can't keep going on alone
*
someone who dreams dreams but loses them when he realizes that no one is interested in helping where he needs help
*
someone who would do anything for a friend but has trouble finding friends that would do the same
*
someone who feels worthless when he has nothing left to give
*
someone who can not stand to see a child hurting in any way - especially when its not needed
*
someone who can't understand the world but tries his best
*
someone who looks deep in to someone else to understand who they really are and ignores all the external actions that are usually the result of unfair circumstances that happened in their life
*

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I have been watching a lot of episodes of Judge Judy tonight and just laughing at the stupidity of people until this last one I just watched. The case was of a mom who was evicting her son from an apartment that she owned. Judge Judy found no reason for the eviction but it appeared that it was simply because she just didn't like the fact that her son was living with a woman that had a child.

I simply can not fathom this. My best friend is a single mother and she is one of the greatest people I know. Sure, she has shortcomings but don't we all? And maybe being in a relationship with a single mother would have additional responsibilities but these are expected and there are additional rewards to actually caring about a child - have you ever had one smile at you? I just can not fathom how someone could write off their own son because he cares about not only someone who has a child but a child as well.

What really gets me about this is something that always has bugged me. Sex before marriage is a "tolerable sin" but having a child is just a plain unacceptable sin? People place degrees on things instead of just seeing right or wrong. Gray areas exist inside peoples beliefs by what they hold true as right or wrong should be just that. Its like someone saying that breaking in to someone else's house is wrong as long as you don't take or harm anything. If you are someone that believes breaking in to someone's house is ok, well, I'm sure your not going to argue that stealing is wrong. You just can't skew consequences because of the result of something you believe wrong occurred. Furthermore, how dare you attack someone who actually has forgiven someone of their past. From experience I can say that its not always easy to recognize someone for who they are now rather than what they've done but I can also tell you that in doing that I have found treasures inside of someone's heart and mind that no one would have been able to find without actually caring about someone and her little girl.

I guess the bottom line is I care about my friend very much and if anyone accuses me for being wrong for that then it really is their problem and not mine.... While I know my mom (who actually wants to meet these 2) would never attack me for something like that, there is no way that I would respond any different to here than I would anyone else.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

YOU KNOW YOU ARE LIVING IN 2007 when...

1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.

2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is
that they don't have e-mail addresses.

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if
anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

7 Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the
screen.

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have
the first 20 or 30 (or
60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around
to go and get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile.
: -)

12 You're reading this and nodding and laughing.

13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this
message.

14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on
this list

AND NOW YOU ARE LAUGHING at yourself.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

"The rule is this: Christians are people who remember their own weaknesses and failure. They are under reconstruction. So they offer hope and forgiveness to people who fall and who need Jesus' healing grace and hope."
-- Donald M Joy
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
I honestly can't understand what has been going on recently. I have so many thoughts going through my head and so many things that I want to get on here but I sit down to write something and I'll get started but after typing a while I have to stop. It's not because my thoughts are not good because I really believe that they are but the problem is that once I get started and write a few paragraphs (or sometimes more), I feel like it's totally incomplete so I erase what I wrote and leave the computer.

Quite frankly, a lot of very strange things have been happening with me recently. I can't say any of them are bad but there is definately something different about me. I really do feel like God is about to push me in some new directions and, while this can sometimes make me nervous, I think it often makes those around me more nervous :) It seems when I hit situations like this it requires a huge leap of faith and is almost always something that defies logic. I often face people that lecture me and tell me how off-course I am.... I face people that run in fear because they want to defend me to the latter but they just aren't able to justify it themselves.... I have people that run away just because they don't want to deal with anything.... What I think the scariest part about this is is the fact that no one is ever really there to support me. Sure, God's in it.... but as far as anyone around me, it's all about second-guessing my actions, my beliefs, my intelligence....

What is really starting to get me is that over these years I've grown used to doing this stuff on my own (don't lecture me - I know God is in it - I'm reffering to physical surroundings) and it seems like I'm just training myself to be alone. I'm not fond of it.... I'm not fond of living in this awesome house by myself. I love where I live and I love helping people and being around people but the situations that I have been led in to and the (no doubt God-given) decissions that I have made have really pushed me away from... well, that's just it - I don't know. The only thing I'm really sure about is that being alone is something that is becomming a part of my life and I don't like it one bit.

I don't know where my life is about to go.... I never really do. I just really hope that maybe this is the change that God does that involves me actually finding someone who cares for me and wants to be around me and help me as much as I help her. There are plenty of people in my life for that I care for whole-heartedly but maybe sometime soon I will find the one that not only will do the same for me but actually DESIRES to do it.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

[Chrous]
It falls, apart, from the very start, it falls apart, seems like everything i touch, falls
aparty, everything around me, falls apart, when i walk away from you.

i wish i could but i dont, always keep the promises i've kept, i wish i could, but i can't,
always give, whatever i have left, and now its all so clear, doesnt anyone see whats happening
here?

[Chorus]

I know i should but i don't always say, what you want me to say, i know i could but i don't
always act, like everything's ok, and now its all so clear, doesnt anyone see whats happening
here?

[Chorus]

Everything I, have ever been made of, hates who i am, I'm so glad you waited, can't get my
mind, off how you could love me, i'm so behind, you're so far above me, and you'll always be
the wind under my wings, above me

I will not let it go to waste, I'm takin all, i got, and leavin' this place, and i, will not,
be takin' up space, i'll take my best shot, i'm pickin up the pace

"Falls Apart" by Thousand Foot Krutch

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I am still alive... Just have been really busy. But don't you worry, my mind has really been processing a lot so I imagine ill get a long thought provoking blog up soon :)

If your curious what I'm up to, check my twitter page

Thursday, September 06, 2007

If anyone pays attention to my sidebar on this blog, you might notice that my link to firefox is gone and is now replaced with an Opera button. This is for good reason.
Since the release of Firefox 2, it seems that the browser has become a lot more unstable and even more resource intensive. On a technical note, I think a lot of this has to do with the way firefox is interacting with flash. Either way, it just isn't a pleasant experience on either my Mac or any Windows machine I use. I had been using Opera Mini on my cell phone for a while and had been REALLY impressed with it so I figured I'd give the regular Opera browser a shot and I am really glad that I did. It really seems that I'm not alone either. I'd suggest giving it a shot and let me know if it works for you and how you like it. It's definately built with more security in mind and it's a lot easier to maintain.
Innovation delivered

If you have a smart phone, give Opera Mini a shot as well.
Opera Mini - Join the revolution, surf the Web on your phone

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Apparently I am really good at having girls fall asleep :)

This is Kendra's daughter, Kayleigh! We had a great day at the aquarium in Baltimore.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Viacom Accuses Guy Of Copyright Infringement For Showing Video Of Viacom Infringing On His Copyright

I just simply can not stop laughing about this.... it's gotta be one of the funniest news stories in a long time!

Ben S. was the first of many folks to submit to us this incredible story of Viacom's latest ridiculous claim of copyright infringement. As you're most likely aware by this point, Viacom is in the middle of a nasty $2 billion lawsuit with Google over what it alleges are videos that infringe on Viacom's copyright appearing on YouTube. Of course, in making those claims, Viacom has been known to be a bit too aggressive in taking down videos -- including some that clearly did not violate Viacom's copyright. This latest case, however, may be the most ridiculous.

VH1 is a Viacom property that has a popular TV show called "Web Junk 2.0." It basically just takes the more popular/funny/stupid clips that show up on YouTube every week and shows them on TV along with some goofy commentary from the show's host. I'd always wondered if Viacom compensated the owners of those videos -- especially given the company's position about YouTube. It turns out that neither Viacom nor VH1 compensate the video owners, or even ask their permission. It just assumes that it can use them. Most turn out to be perfectly happy (not surprisingly) to get this sort of free publicity. One guy thought it was so cool that he recorded the clip of Web Junk that featured his own video and posted that on YouTube so he could blog about it. And, in an incredibly ironic move, Viacom sent a takedown notice to YouTube forcing it offline. Just to make it clear: Viacom used this guy's work without permission and put it on TV. The guy then takes Viacom's video of his video and puts it online... and Viacom freaks out claiming copyright infringement. Effectively, Viacom is claiming that it's infringement of Viacom's copyright to display an example of Viacom infringing on copyright.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Risk more than others think is safe, care more than others think is wise, dream more than others think is practical, expect more than others think is possible.



--Cadet Maxim

Friday, August 24, 2007

Last night I got a parakeet that wasn't doing too well but was the cutest little boy in the world. He was so sweet. This morning he was curled up in the corner of his box and I gave him a pet and he moved but he wasn't very active.... He passed about an hour ago.... I didnt even have him for 24 hours and I'm a wreck.... when the time comes for Lisa, Cracker, or Bacardi to pass I really pray that there are people around me..... I can't even imagine

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Oh.... my.... God!

Verizon argues with fire chief that there was no fire

Ok, Verizon has become very good at pulling the wool over their customers' eyes. Our bills had never been changed and there have never been unneeded fees as well as other things that just plain never happened. They get away with this a lot......
..... but trying to cover up that there was a fire? Does anyone else think that thir ability to fool people has gone to their head?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I just have to take another moment to give a lot of credit to where credit is due. My banking experience at Commerce Bank has been more positive than I could have ever imagined. I have never seen a bank willing to actually put themselves in their customer's shoes and waive frustrating fees. Any bank I have ever dealt with tries to milk their customers for all they can get them for.... manipulating the ways transactions post for the sole purpose of assesing the most NSF fees, for one example. Commerce is completely the opposite... they actually look for ways to not charge their customers. I have had situations where they would make a deposit available sooner because of a paticular situation I was in. My most recent situation was a transaction not posting to my account on the day that it was supposed to.... this was the fault of the sending party and not Commerce Bank at all. As a result, a check card transaction overdrew my account. I accounted for the $35 NSF fee and today I just found out that when a check card transaction pushes you over the limit, they don't even charge you at all!

I really can't give enough praise to Commerce Bank! If you are in a state that they are (PA, VA, DC, NY, CT, FL) then you really need to set up an account.... you'll be glad you did!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

So here is an interesting observation which really isn't that surprising. I have been playing around on Facebook (yes, I have an account there now -- and no I will not be going back to myspace) and I was searching for people that went to Greensburg-Salem High School. Obviously I started with the year I would have graduated (Class of 99) and then went a few years in each direction and I realized there was an explosion of people in the class of 2001. Check out the number of people that are on Facebook by their class year:


  • 1996 - 3
  • 1997 - 7
  • 1998 - 12
  • 1999 - 21
  • 2000 - 18
  • 2001 - 45
  • 2002 - 47
  • 2003 - 82
  • 2004 - 94
  • 2005 - 101
  • 2006 - 138


It's obvious that younger people are more involved in social networking but I don't think it's the issue of technology that most think it is. It was really the early 90's that interest in computers really started taking off. Granted, I was interested in the 80's but the 1990's brought computers into everyone's home. I was the last person in my group of friends to actually get a "real" computer and that happened in middle school. Is it possible that it has to do with emotional attachment and filling a void that was created by technology?

The reason I left myspace a few months ago was simply because it is no longer what it was intended to be. People say it's a site to connect with people that you haven't seen in a while. When I first got my myspace account, that happened frequently but as time went on, it was obvious that it was drifting away from being that. Facebook, on the other hand, has a lot of ways to interact more but, more importantly, has important "social blocks" that help prevent it from becomming what myspace is now. For instance, there are no such things as "top friends" which means you don't have to pick favorites (which you are forced to do on myspace). You also have a lot more searching power on facebook but you are limited to who's profile you can actually view. You have to be a member of a network to see people's profiles in that network (unless they add you). You are able to search for anyone using very specific criteria but it blocks the ability to just randomly search for people and add them as your friends. Essentially, on facebook you have to know what you are looking for, where on mypsace you don't.

So what is the big deal about whether you are able to search for someone based on random criteria? Well, in almost all cases those random searches are for the purpose of filling a void that isn't being met in real life. So many people are hiding behind their computers now and they are not experiencing what life is really about. Technology is an amazing tool that allows us to connect with and keep in touch with people around the globe but at the same time, it is taking the focus of what friendship and relationships are all about. Giving someone "a hug" online will never be able to take the place of giving someone a real-life hug. We try to push the experiences that technology can give us and we create "features" that pull us away from what life was meant to be. SMS messages, email, instant messages.... we are tied to this network 24 hours a day because it's now not only on our computers but it's on our phones and other mobile devices. We are now even ordering pizza online to avoid having to talk to someone on the phone... think about it.... we're using technology to pull us away from a technology that took us away from physical interaction. Yes, phones did that. Instead of having to go to your friend's house and have a conversation you could now talk to them even though they were across town. Now that technology is progressing, telephone calls are too personal for us. Maybe this has a lot to do with why the online pornography business is booming.... we don't want to have to deal with relationships anymore so we see millions and millions of people turning to pornography which attempts to give sexual satisfaction without the ties of a relationship -- or even a friendship.

I am as guilty as the next person with all of this but I have slowly been realizing a lot of what I was stuck inside. The irony of the situation is that I lived in 3 different apartment complexes during the time I lived in Northern VA and out of all of that I met only one neighbor at only one of those. That's more than 2 years of living next door to hundreds of people and I met one. Now I live in the mountains where there are only 2 other houses visible from my house and in only a few months I know them both. Think about it -- where is technology at? It's in the cities... the higher the population is, the more technology is available. Where I live, I consider it a blessing that I can get a cable modem but in NoVA, you have countless options for getting faster internet connections and a lot less to do outside of the apartment or house. I love going to Shenandoah National Park because it helps me realize how much more there is outside of cyberspace. I realized how much I had been missing by being 100% embedded in technology and going to the park cuts me away from technology all together. To me, it is a blessing to not have cell phone coverage while I'm in the park -- it forces me to realize more about what the world is.

What changed for the class of 2001? I think it's probably the generation that really started losing touch of the importance of spending time together and how important other people were to our lives. There is nothing wrong with the fact that more and more people are using social networks or using cell phones or any other kind of technology. I use technology all the time and it is a huge part of my life but I'm slowly realizing that it's not the use of technology, but the motive of using that technology, that is important.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Senses start to falter
My vision is altered
There's a blind wind running
Through the trees
My memories
They deceive so cunningly

With no reply
With no reprieve
I try to chase what I believe
Into my mind
Where I lie - that everything's fine

But if I could...
turn around
And if I could...
hear the sound
And if I could...
feel the ground
falling beneath me

I don't want to tell you goodbye
But I don't want to tell you a lie
This thing...
This aching
Tears my heart and
Cuts me down to size
I don't remember
A time when things like this
Weren't so amiss
This abyss
I can't believe I'm so naive to this.

"If I Could" by The Echoing Green

Sunday, August 05, 2007

"Forgiveness is a decision; not a feeling"

Something just hit me... The prefix for- means to come before. Isn't it ironic that give is the second part of forgive. Hmmmm... I guess that means that someone can't earn your forgiveness.

"When you meet someone great like Alexandra you begin to wonder if your worth anything - and if I'm not, it was easier to blame you. But I know it's up to me to make my life something to be proud of.
-- Cory Matthews, Boy Meets World 6-05

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. - 2 Corinthians 7:8-9
Free, free, set them free
Free, free, set them free
Free, free, set them free

If you need somebody
Call my name
If you want someone
You can do the same
If you want to keep something precious
You got to lock it up and throw away the key
If you want to hold onto your possession
Don't even think about me

If you love somebody
If you love someone
If you love somebody
If you love someone, set them free
Set them free
Set them free
Set them free

If it's a mirror you want
Just look into my eyes
Or a whipping boy
Someone to despise
Or a prisoner in the dark
Tied up in chains you just can't see
Or a beast in a gilded cage
That's all some people ever want to be

If you love somebody
If you love someone
If you love somebody
If you love someone, set them free
Set them free
Set them free
Set them free

You can't control an independent heart
Can't tear the one you love apart
Forever conditioned to believe that we can't live
We can't live here and be happy with less
So many riches
So many souls
With everything we see that we want to possess

If you need somebody
Call my name
If you want someone
You can do the same
If you want to keep something precious
You got to lock it up and throw away the key
You want to hold onto your possession
Don't even think about me

If you love somebody
If you love someone
If you love somebody
If you love someone, set them free
Set them free
Set them free
Set them free
Set them free

"If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free" by Sting
Isn't it strange that a gift could be an enemy?
Isn't it weird that a privilege could feel like a chore?
Maybe it's me but this line isn't going anywhere,
maybe if we looked hard enough, we could find a backdoor.
(Find yourself a backdoor.)
I see you in line, dragging your feet
you have my sympathy.
The day you were born, you were born free.
That is your privilege.
Isn't it strange that the man standing in front of me
doesn't have a clue why he's waiting, or what he's waiting for?
Maybe it's me, but I'm sick of wasting energy.
Maybe if I look in my heart I could find a backdoor.
(Find yourself a backdoor.)
I see you in line, dragging your feet
you have my sympathy.
The day you were born, you were born free.
That is your privilege.

"Privilege" by Incubus

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

"I'm sorry Mr. Mertz but you are working at making something of yourself and being self employed. As a result, we can give you health insurance but we will not cover the list of ailments in this list. Also, as a result of working hard for yourself, we need to charge you more taxes because we have a lot of people who aren't working that need our help"

Sunday, July 29, 2007

While trying to avoid stereo typing, I think you can put people's personalities in to different categories. I think the biggest designation you can make are someone's attitude toward their own life as well as their outlook on life in general. In there I think you will find that most people feel that the world needs improved in drastic ways. The rubber meets the road un the person's response and there really only two directions to go. Some people mix both directions and end up going nowhere. They get close and then end up hanging a U turn and lose what progression they have made.

So what are the two directions? Ironically the basis is dependant on servitude. Most issues with the world are related to people's atitudes. The majority of these issues are because of selfishness (that is, the lack of helping others). We all have the choice of whether we are going to help someone despite the fact that they don't deserve it or we help them because we believe its the only way the world can become a better place.

This world is in moral decay because no one will help others. Its not this way because all of a sudden we don't deserve the help because we have never deserved it. The reason why we are in decay is because we all know and take to heart the fact that no one deserves our help. We become bitter and erase the fact that anyone has ever showed us grace. After developing this thought process, we come to the conclusion that everyone else owes us. Suddenly, we aren't helping anyone, not only because they don't deserve our help, but because they owe us.

The human race has written off the world. In our minds it is full of evil people and that's where we stop. We don't see that each one of those people are someone just like us who only needed someone to take a chance on them but never got it.... Meanwhile we sit here and argue why that person is less than us. We constantly explain how we would take a chance on someone who was in the same scenereo as us, we are presented with people that fit that description but in a different way, and then we punish that person for everyone else's mistakes - no matter how much potential we see in that person.

There are consequences for all actions but there is also forgiveness. If we can't forgive, then we end up hating everyone. We will never take a chance on someone else because we haven't forgave those that previously hurt us. This is what we are progressing towards. I'm sure we can all think of at least one teacher in school that really made an impact on us - and you can bet that teacher was someone that cared more about the students than the paycheck. The more we progress, the more the paycheck means to us. We fight for more money in a job that we are horrible at for no other reason than not being passionate about it. We work for the sole purpose of bettering ourselves and when this filters into education, healthcare, and other social fields, well, look around you.....

We need to stop asking who is going to take a chance on us. We've had people take at least one chance on us even if it was one teacher back in grade school and we didn't pay it forward. If we start looking for people to take a chance on then there actually might be a reason society should take a chance on us. So many people have served us with such selflessness and we can't even find it in our hearts to recognize it because we are so bitter about who didn't help us.

Friday, July 27, 2007

My stomach is completely in knots. This happens to me on numerous occaisions because I put so much effort in to caring about people who, if they care at all, only care when its convient for them. While I change my life for people everyone moves on with their lives as is and when I need to talk there isn't someone there for a simple conversation. Occasionally a conversation starts and in the end I am only reminded of how that person has a lot of problems and if I want to continue being "friends" I need to become perfect and have no problems of my own. As is my nature, I just hide my problems and take on everyone else's at the same time. Then there are the people that tell me I need to find friends which is nothing more than saying "bob, I have no desire to deal with your issues". Essentially: here's a quarter; call someone who cares.



It really is a horrible feeling knowing. That if I died right now I would leave this earth knowing that the only people that cared for me were my parents, one couple from the dulles campus, a guy in new england, and one friend I've had since 3rd grade.



I'm just more and more reminded of how I really don't fit in in this world. While there may be a need for me in this world, there isn't a place for me. On top of that I am constantly being punished because of the larger portion of the stereo type I can be classified in. I'm a man and a Christian. Both of those stereo types kill me right off the bat.



The thing is, there is nothing I can do except what I keep doing and keep helping those people I care about and let them continue to walk over me. I'm about serving and its all I want to do but I simply can not anticipate being served/helped.

Monday, July 23, 2007

When we went down to New Orleans to help after Katrina our purpose was to help people get to the point where they could help other people. This was how a group of less than 10 men was able to affect the lives of thousands. It was a great example of what I consider my theme song: "The Chain of Love" by Clay Walker. The only thing that we asked of the people we helped was that they helped someone else.
There were times that we also helped people that were bitter. Those people had no intention of helping anyone else but we helped them anyway because, in this case, they really needed to be shown love. I guess these were the times when we had to just trust that God was going to use the effort we gave.
Life is about helping other people and its what keeps us alive. Society is moving more and more towards "me, myself, and I" and the bitterness that people have is fueling this.
Its scary to me. No one interacts with people anymore and there is no care for anyone else. I feel like there is no hope but I keep trying and I have to keep trying and not expecting anything in return. Its worth more if your not expecting anything in return.... And I guess you don't get let down either.