Archive for July, 2006

Help me out here, folks….

So, I’ve decided to head out to get some new music today. And rather than go to the store with something specific in mind to buy, I’m thinking I’m just going to head up to Mardel’s and just browse for a while.

However, one thing for certain I will not walk out of there without (barring them not having any stock) is Becoming the Archetype’s Terminate Damnation. I’ve come very close to buying it on iTunes several times, but I really don’t enjoy buying stuff on iTunes just on principle. They copy protect the files so that you can’t listen to them on any other player but iPods. Granted, I probably wouldn’t LISTEN to it on anything but my iPod or my computer, but I really have issues with them telling me what I can and can’t do with something I purchased and thus should have all rights to. I mean, if

Plus I like having the album art, and as of right now I don’t have any means to listen to anything that’s on my iPod in my car, other than simply burning a new CD. That and I wanna get out of the house for a while anyway.

So help me out readers. Give me some ideas for music. I’ll take anything into consideration.

Oh, and let me give you a little “sneak preview” of something to come…as early as tomorrow…. Click here!!

All from me for now folks. Look forward to your suggestions when i get home!

EDIT: Well, by the time I got off work, no one had left me suggestions. So I went up to Mardel’s and apparently they close at 6 on Wednesdays :-/ So I didn’t have time to peruse some new stuff anyway.

So I grabbed Terminate Damnation and on the way up, I saw a bunch of CDs that were on sale for like $7. So I grabbed Joy Electric’s Hello Mannequin and Bleach’s Audio/Visual. I almost got Showbread’s (or was that Showdown?) “No Sir, Nilhism is Not Practical”, but I wanted to listen to that one first.

Leave me your suggestions anyway. I’ll go back again.

Well….it IS my blog…I guess I can do this ONCE in a while….

And now for your reading pleasure….

…a blog entry about me rather than about something cool I found online, a political topic I feel strongly about, or a movie trailer I’m very much looking forward to see!

I spent the weekend in Waco, visiting all my peeps. I hung out with Josh on Friday, then again with him and Angie and her new roommate Mary. Mary’s gonna be a new freshman at Baylor this year. We actually spent a good chunk of the afternoon going through the new Science Building, since I was the only one of the group who’d been in there more than once. It was cool. We wrote Jesus Loves You on every dry erase board we could find that had a marker nearby. Antioch tagging, heh. I also wrote “Josh Henry was here” on a couple of professors doors (if they had some sort of paper taped to it, not on the doors themselves!), which made Josh miffed, but he’ll get over it. After that, Chris, Kelley, Courtney Waters and I went out to Lake Whitney and swam out there. It was nice. Water was a very nice temperature and we got there pretty late in the afternoon, so the sun wasn’t scorching us. Afterwards we headed out to Yianni’s, which was this greek place on I-35. Very good. I got some cheesecake for desert, and it enough would make me want to go back. Of course I enjoyed dinner also, but dang….good cheesecake.

Went to church on Sunday, which was like…a celebration of children. Not to say it was all kid’s stuff, it was also directed at parents too. Afterwards began the lunch location saga. First choice we settled on was Baris, but we found out it would be a 50 minute wait to seat everyone, so we switched to Fuddruckers. That didn’t work out either, because they’re closed for remodeling! Finally we settled on Cotton Patch cafe, which worked out just fine. I had some beer-battered fish and chips. It was delightful.

Just a brief summary of my weekend, yeah.

Oh and here’s the big news, My probationary period at work ends today. I passed. I’ve been told (by my Uncle Robert who also works here mostly)it’s a big huge thing, but really, it didn’t seem like that big a deal. My boss just brought me in and ran through a bunch of “yes or no” questions on a very outdated form. He told me it was just a formality, really.

So what exactly does that mean…I guess I just “made it” or something. Now I can take sick days if needed without fear of “how will this look when my probation comes”. Same for vacation time, what little I’ve accumulated. I could transfer to a different job opening in the company, which I’ve wanted to do, but there aren’t any openings in IT at the moment, which is where I’d like to go.

Guess it’s not really “big news” after all, but my family is making it out to be. So, yay for me!

That’s all for now. Back atcha later with something else cool.

Net Neutrality

I’d like to take this post in my blog to talk about something that’s very important to me that I don’t think a lot of people understand, and because of that, don’t really have an opinion on it. That something is called Network Neutrality, often simply called Net Neutrality.

The idea behind Net Neutrality is that the owners of the networks over which all the data on the Internet goes, the telephone and cable companies, have one job and one job only, deliver the data, no matter what it may be. An ISP’s sole job is to deliver what the consumer wants from whatever content producers he wants at the absolute best speed it can manage. Both consumer (you and I) and content producer (think Google, eBay, etc.) pay them for this service. The network owners have zero say in what gets delivered. This is how things are now. This, essentially, is Net Neutrality.

The service providers (the telcos and Cable companies who own these networks; AT&T, Cingular, BellSouth, etc.) would like this to go away. Their aim is to create a “Tiered” internet, where providers who pay more get better service on the network. If they want higher speeds, they can pay to access that part of the network. If you can’t afford to pay that extra fee, you’re stuck with everyone else in the “slower” internet.

Think about how utterly insane and ridiculous that is. The Telcos would have you believe that consumers will now have faster access to higher quality services. I say how about you let US decide that, not you. Because frankly, I don’t think you can be trusted with that. Of course you’re going to give your own online services this higher-quality connection. Can we trust you to do the same for your competitors? You’d give them the absolute same best-quality connection?! Your direct competitors? You won’t slow it down just the littlest bit? There is no incentive for them to not do this.

Let’s take some hypothetical examples here. What if, say, Xanga can’t pay the fee to get this second tier of superior service? We’ll be stuck with slower speeds trying to access our blogs. Or maybe they can, but their service provider wants to release their own blogging service. You can bet Xanga won’t get the best speeds, but their little blog service certainly will. Here’s another eye-opener. Xanga could very well have no choice but to pass the costs of this second-tier service onto us: Translation: They move more options over to “Premium account only”, or what’s worse, make us pay to maintain our accounts, all because they need to do so in order to not be second-class citizens on the Internet. They could of course not pay this fee, but then we’ll be stuck at slower speeds trying to read each other’s sites.

The telcos will tell you of course, that no one’s speed will be reduced, the second-tier customers will just get faster speeds. Uh, sorry guys, but we’re not stupid enough to fall for that. There is only so much bandwidth out there on the Internet now, and more providers and consumers using that Internet makes “traffic jams” more frequent. There’s two solutions: Telcos can invest in more bandwidth to allow more traffic, or they can make content providers pay to have more bandwidth. Which means less bandwidth available for those who don’t pay. Which means more traffic jams and slower Internet. Internet bandwidth is a zero-sum game, guys. If you make someone go faster, someone else has to go slower. It’s really that simple.

What about small companies who want to put out the next big thing, be the next big Google or eBay? Well, unless they’ve got a crapload of startup money, they’ll be forced to put their idea on the lesser-tier Internet, resulting in slow speed and a slow acceptance of their new idea, while the Telcos preferred little companies enjoy all the lightning speed they want.

I haven’t talked with David about this in a while, so I don’t know if he’s still running Purplehoodie Productions, his web-design company. The company who owns the server his web pages are on will have two options if the Telcos have their way and this Tiered Internet gets made: Number One: Don’t pay the fee to get more bandwidth and be stuck on the slow internet. Meaning all of David’s clients will have slower-loading webpages, and the consumers of said pages will not be happy. Number Two: They decide to fork over the cost of being on the “high-tier” Internet. They in turn, pass this cost onto the people who utilize their servers. David in turn must pay more for his domains and allowed bandwidth. Maybe he won’t be able to afford that, and Purplehoodie Productions goes under, or at the very least, is not as profitable. David might have to raise the cost of his services, and the end result will be less business for him.

This is an entirely hypothetical situation, but it could be entirely real if this passes. Do something about it and don’t let this atrocity of legislation go through. Save the Internet and support Net Neutrality.

Go to http://www.savetheinternet.com to learn what you can do. They have options to email your congressman and show you who is supporting Net Neutrality and who isn’t. Sadly, it seems Kay Bailey Hutchinson is against Net Neutrality. Write her and educate her about how wrong she is. Our other Senator, John Cornyn, has not come out with a position on this. Show him what position he needs to take if he wants your votes.

Read more on this factsheet
http://www.freepress.net/docs/nn_fact_v_fiction_final.pdf

The internet does not need profit-driven companies regulating it. It needs the free decision of the consumers. Support Net Neutrality.

Not enough "actual research"

One of the webcomics I read just concluded a very long epic storyarc which revolved around a war in Hell and how this event affected the world and the characters (who in any good fantasy epic, have to save it from destruction).

At any rate, I was perusing the message boards of said webcomic just to see how everyone was reacting to the conclusion, when I came across this sentence from someone discussing his overall feelings about the arc’s main villians.

“The demons of *comic title here* were unimpressive to me, too much Judeo-Chrisitian influence and not enough actual research for inspiration…”

I didn’t know really how to react to this statement at first. At first I had to laugh at the overall absurdity of it. But then I just felt shocked and really really sad.

The fact that he was unimpressed leads one to believe that he has done “actual research” on demons. I really don’t want to know what he considers an “actual” source for that, if “Judeo-Christian influence” (which I’m assuming means Scripture and probably anything written or spoken by those who trust and believe in what it says) apparently is not counted among that.

The Soundtrack of my Life….as dictated by a random internet survey and the shuffle setting of iTunes!

– – – – – Your Life: The Soundtrack – – – – – – – –
So, here’s how it works:
Open your music player (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, etc).
Put it on shuffle.
Press play.
For every question type the song that’s on.
When you go to a new question press the next button.
Ready?
GO!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Opening Credits:
Calling On You – Stryper

Waking Up:
All of Me – Project 86

Falling in Love:
Remain Silent – KJ-52 and DJ Maj (ok that may just be THE weirdest love song ever)

Fight scene:
Frontline – Pillar

Breaking up:
The Great Northern Cave – Final Fantasy VII soundtrack (that fits…it’s a very dark and foreboding tune)

Getting back together:
Sing-Along Song – Stryper (HAHAHAHAHA)

Secret Love:
The Cheat is Not Dead – Strong Bad Sings and Other Type Hits (AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA_

Life’s okay:
Ugly Day – Five Iron Frenzy (oh that’s just funny)

Mental breakdown:
Supertones Strike Back – OC Supertones (AHAHAHAHAHA if I’m having a mental breakdown EVER it would be to this song)

Driving:
Chase the Sun – OC Supertones (I guess that works)

Flashback:
Caught in the Middle – Project 86

Partying:
Hello McFly – Relient K (wooooo party!)

Happy dance:
Ribcage – Demon Hunter

Regretting:
Bowtie Jerks – Ill Harmonics

Long night alone:
The Tide Begins to Rise – Demon Hunter (there is no more perfect song for this category)

Death scene:
Under My Skin – Skillet (ooooh I likey)

Ending credits:
The Praise Track – This is Love: Presented by The Cabin Boyz (hahahaha awesome)

War in Israel….what does it mean for the followers of Christ?

If you haven’t been paying much attention to the news lately, you might want to start doing so. I know, most media is so flamingly biased towards liberalism it’s rather painful to watch, but you can find plenty of sources online which aren’t. I particularly recommened http://www.drudgereport.com

Because there’s a new front of war that has begun in the middle east. The militant islamic group Hezbollah, which controls Southern Lebanon, launched a raid into Israel which resulted in the deaths of three Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers and the kidnapping of two more.

Israel has called this act a declartaion of war and has launched military assaults into Lebanon, knocking out Lebanon’s airport, destroying bridges and roads leading to Syria, and imposing a full naval blockade on Lebanon’s coastline. Hezbollah’s response was a barrage of rockets launched into northern Israeli towns. Most of the citizens have now fled to bomb shelters

All this comes after the report of Hamas militants kidnapping an Isreali soldier, and Israel responding by launching an incursion into the Gaza Strip, which the Palestinians currently control.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade, another group of Palestinian terrorists operating out of the West Bank (also known as Judea and Samaria) who seek the destruction of Israel recently announced that they will be launching rockets into Isreali lands close to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. They have repeatedly come out and said their goal is to rain rocket fire on every part of Israel, and claim to have the ability to produce rockets in northen Samaria, a claim which the IDF denies.

Sources:
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=51022
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20060714/D8IROI9G0.html

So, take a look at the map below. As you can see, Israel is under threat from three different sides.
Click here to view the map

Not a good posistion to be in. Especially considering the fact that Iran and Syria, both of which have called for Israel’s demise as well (and believed to be financially backing and providing military hardware to Hezbollah and the Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade), are not far away from getting drawn into this conflict as well.

Israel has stated that Syria could very well be the next target of military force, given Syria’s support of Hezbollah and hosting the political leader of Hamas. Iran has warned that if that happens, it will be seen as an attack on the entire Islamic world and that a “fierce response” would occur.

Iran, as you all know, is working very hard at developing a nuclear weapons program. Exactly how far along they are is anyone’s guess, but most reports state that they are already enriching weapons grade nuclear material. So it’s not too far off.

Israel, now more than ever, faces threats of their destruction on every side, and it is slowly becoming more apparent that her enemies are gaining the means to destroy the nation. We as Christians know this cannot and will not happen. It’s entirely possible that this conflict will eventually signal the beginning of the Tribulation, the time before Christ’s return.

Be in prayer about this. And be informed about it. But most of all be in prayer for the lost. Pray for opportunities to share. Pray for courage to speak your mind. Everyone you know is a potential follower of Christ, and the time when they can choose may very well be running out.

Severe Linkitude

Welcome to those of you who may have just read my post on my xanga.

As you can see, the color scheme of this place is very similar to it, because I edited my xanga colors to resemble this place.

As you can see, I’ve added a large number of links over there to the right, organized by category. I recommend all of them.

I would like to spotlight Ask a Ninja, a website I recently discovered. I suggest you check it out, because it is hysterical. Click the link over there in the list to visit them.

If you’re wondering how to comment, just click the link below the post that says “0 comments” (it may say 1 comment or 2 comments, you get the idea).

After typing your comment, you can then select “other” from the choices to merely leave your name (and a website if you like). Then hit publish and you’re good to go!