iBlog

because everything from my generation starts with lowercase i.

the iblog has relocated

Looks like I’ve gone big time! Lol, nah not really. I have relocated though! You can now find me at this address:

http://www.iblogmobile.info

Same great blog, easier to remember name.

What are you still doing here? Click the link already!

the meaning of love

– noun

1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.

– verb

1. to have love or affection for: All her pupils love her.
2. to have a profoundly tender, passionate affection for (another person).

Love. One of life’s greatest mysteries. Over the generations the word ‘love’ has come to mean many things; however, the top two definitions for love as a noun and a verb remain the same. Why is it that no matter how we define or use love it manages to persist in being defined as an emotion?

Don’t get me wrong. Love is most certainly part emotion, but is that all it is? I would challenge you this holiday season to realize that love is something much greater than an emotion. I see love this way:

John 3:16 (KJV)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

How can I celebrate this Christmas without thinking about the one who made it possible for me to experience it? While we know he wasn’t born on December 25th, it is the day we have chosen to celebrate the birth of the one who came to die. It’s because the love of God that I am able to sit here in the comfort of my living room and write this post today. It’s because of that ultimate display of love that I am alive and well at this very moment. God loved us so much that he squeezed his infinite form and power into a vessel of flesh, and then not only experienced life from our point of view, but offered himself up to be abused and sacrificed that we might live.  That’s the meaning of love.

John 15:13 (KJV)
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Once again we see love as an action far surpassing emotion. The bible tells us that there is no greater display of love than to sacrifice yourself for your friend. Love is no mere emotion. Emotions fade with the moment; they can be influenced by the world around us. True love exists beyond the words “I love you”. It transcends your own desire for survival, and drives you to do whatever is necessary that others might live. That’s the meaning of love.

Ephesians 5:25
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

When I look into the beautiful blue/green eyes of my bride and tell her I love her, this is what comes to mind for me. I cannot say I love her, even in passing, and not fulfill this simple command. I stood before God and my loved ones and took vows that I will honor from here to eternity. How much should you love your wife? The scripture says we should love her as Christ loved the church. How much did Christ love the church exactly? We looked at that earlier. He loved us so much he died for us. He forgave us of those things we are most ashamed of in life. How imperative is it then that we extend this same level of love to the woman we pledge ourselves to? I would give everything I have to see that smile on her face… and would give my life if it would save hers. How could I not? That’s the meaning of love.

As you sit in the presence of those you love this Christmas, I hope this one blog post will drift to the top of the sea of information in your mind. Give thanks to the God that paid the ultimate price for your salvation, hug the neck of the friend that would follow you to the very end, and hold close the wife that you pledged your heart to.

God bless, and Merry Christmas.

some very iphoney decisions

The News

Today marks AT&Ts official release of the Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) for the iPhone. While the controversy has run deep from day one of the EDGE version release, the moment has finally come for iPhone users to be able to send picture and video messages. There are still some caviats you may run across depending on which version of the iPhone you’re currently sporting. Regarding MMS in particular here’s what you can expect based on your model.

iPhone 2g (aka EDGE) – MMS will not be supported on the first generation model of the iPhone. There is no specific reason why considering it runs the same software.

iPhone 3G – iPhone 3G owners will be able to send picture but not video messages as the 3G does not feature video recording capabilities. Unsure whether or not jailbroken (see below) devices will allow for it using third party recording software.

iPhone 3GS – The latest iteration of the popular handheld will support both picture and video messaging. Video messages will likely be limited to a certain recording length to prevent tying up network resources, though without a 3GS of my own I can’t be certain.

Jailbreaking

Since the release of the original iPhone there have been significant complaints regarding absent features on such an otherwise capable device. These upsets were the genesis of the jailbreaking revolution that led to unlocking the handset for third party software installation. A handset that had been jailbroken could suddenly install new applications not featured in the original device, such as messaging clients, games, internet browsers, and much more. I myself was a contributing member to this movement, having setup a website of my own to guide less technical users through the process. In fact, it’s how I earned my original 16GB iPhone 2g. In their second generation device Apple responded to the jailbreaking community by releasing the app store, which more or less made the practice obsolete for all except those seeking to use it on other carriers.

While jailbreaking an iPhone has always been a risky practice, Apple has recently gone out of their way to make it downright inconvenient or destructive. By adding code to iTunes that would block jailbroken phones from synchronizing or outright crashing their software, Apple showed their disdain for the mostly free community. I personally haven’t jailbroken an iPhone since my original iPhone 2g as everything I’ve wanted up to this point has been available via the app store. With this latest software update however, the question may once again be raised as to whether or not hacking your handset is worth it.

Why You Might Want To

If you’re an iPhone 2g owner there’s a good chance you’re mildly irritated that you were skipped over in the MMS release today, especially if you’re a power user that wants their device to do it all. If this is the case jailbreaking may be right for you. Here are a couple reasons that may push you toward cracking open the software for a little bit of tweaking.

1. MMS for 2g
As previously mentioned those of you sporting the original have been completely left out of the latest update. Never fear though, if you’re a little bit tech savvy and have a lot of determination, there are a number of websites that can guide you through jailbreaking your EDGE device and adding yourself to the mob of MMS users. Just google MMS for iPhone 2g and get ready to defy big blue man.

2. Video Recording
Unless you’re rocking the 3Gs with it’s hi-def video recorder, your iPhone 2g and 3G are nothing more than low resolution camera phones. You can forget about ever getting a software update that will allow you to record video, as Apple has already said that the camera installed on both earlier models can’t keep up with their standard of video recording. Plus, you know, why else would you buy the new model if an update could make your old one do the same thing? That’s where jailbreaking comes in. Using Cydia there are a number of recording apps available to you that can record upwards of 15 frames per second. While this isn’t exactly high definition video, it’s on part with lower cost handsets, and at least now you’ll have the option.

Why You Might NOT Want To

Granted, while some of us may find some value in giving it a go, the jailbreaking process brings with it a tremendous amount of risk. What jailbreaking essentially does is alter your devices factory firmware, programming into an entirely new set of instructions that Apple hadn’t originally planned on. Because you are altering such an important part of your phone’s software, there are a lot of things that can go horribly wrong. Some attempts have ended in irrecoverable software errors, while others have completely bricked (made unusable) their precious toys. Because Apple is constantly trying to keep on top of the latest firmware mods, you may one day plug your iPhone in and find the latest update has wiped everything off your handset, or blocked it from synchronizing all together. On top of it all jailbreaking voids your Apple warranty. If you break it while modding it, Apple won’t touch it, and you’re out an iPhone.

The Decision is Yours

Be it a 2g user who just wants to send picture messages, or a 3G user who just wants to capture those candid video moments, you have to weigh whether or not the risk is worth it to you. Having jailbroken my share of iPhone 2g units I can say that the margin for error is low when done by a knowledgeable hand; however, I’ve never risked it on my 3G because I like having my warranty intact just in case something else fails during my daily power use. Like I said earlier there are plenty of sites that can guide you through the process if you really want it, but standing where I’m at today, I can wait until I upgrade to the next one to get video.

I hope you found this brief iPhone update informative. I am now off to do something most likely more productive.

and today in the news…

Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift at VMA awards, crowd looks appalled, YouTube viewers call him names.

Obama calls Kanye West a biblical word for a donkey lovingly named Jack. Twitter leaks it to the world.

Obama makes another speech, then another, then another.Presidential public appearances now outnumber commercials on TV and radio.

Patrick Swayze dies of pancreatic cancer, very sad. Kanye West interrupts his death in parody videos and pictures immediately following.

Joe Wilson calls Obama a liar during a joint session of Congress, apologizes out of sheer class, offended Democrats demand additional apologies, Wilson refuses. Still no apologies from Democrats regarding eight years of vehement Bush hatred and public character assassination.

Psycho kidnapper and wife may have had more than one victim after having been caught in their last 18 year long abduction. Hell buys neighboring property in anticipation of their arrival.

Apple releases new iPod Nano with built in video camera. Signing final papers on ownership of the universe next week.

Well, I hope you enjoyed today in the news narrated by Matt’s wit and sarcasm :). I had originally had a longer post in mind but I had to plug these leaks in my brain first. Maybe next time.

the post you’ve all been waiting for

So that may have been a little bit of false advertising on my part, but if you’ve been one of the two or three people who still check in on me occasionally, this would actually be the post you’ve been waiting for. I spent a little bit of time trying to think what I would write in my first post after such a long hiatus, but nothing that ran through my head made the cut. I could of course go into a long political rant that a small number of my dear readers would eventually hate me for, but I’m just not feeling it tonight. In an effort to get the creative (yet possibly entirely uninteresting) juices flowing, I present you with this brief commentary on Apple products.

Apple products are like crack.

Addendum: Apple products are like chemically enhanced crack with the same addictive properties as oxygen.

There is a small number of things in my life that I find myself relying heavily upon every day, and that when they’re missing cause a lost feeling that is akin to a blind sheep wandering in a snow storm. I will exclude the obvious ones (God, my wife, life sustaining nutrients, blood, you get the idea) and focus on the issue at hand.

I had a guy offer me a fairly new Dell XPS studio laptop. It was very nice and actually specced out (referring to the hardware specifications for the less geeky crowd) higher than my MacBook. I thought about it for two seconds. In that brief amount of time I started with the logic of greater processing and graphics power, and then, before the logic could get two words in, a sorrow at the idea of my pet project not being at my side overwhelmed me completely. It was sad, pathetic, awkward, and a little scary all at the same time. Since when does a laptop, of which I have used and abused many, make me think twice about upgrading?

Then there was the iPhone.

Before I begin let me clarify what you probably already know: I have had more individual iPhone handsets than most people have ever even considered possible for someone to possess. I went through three today as a matter of fact. In all of these handsets I have only ever paid for one, and that was a while ago. Weird I know.

In case you cared to know at all here is my iPhone history:

1. Was bought a brand new iPhone 2g 16GB for hacking an iPhone for a customer of mine at Circuit City.
– Dropped this shiny new iPhone face down in the parking lot the next day shattering the glass.
2. Took shattered iPhone to Apple store that evening with tears in my eyes and was promptly given a warranty replacement.
– Dropped this shiny new warranty replaced iPhone in a toilet (clean!) a month later.
– Sold the water damaged carcass on eBay for $350 and bought a BlackBerry Pearl.
3. After several warranty replacements on my Pearl AT&T issued me a free upgrade to the BlackBerry Bold which I promptly hated. It had just come out on the market, however, and was in high demand. Enter the good idea.
4. Traded shiny new BlackBerry Bold warranty replacement (track ball issues) on craigslist for used iPhone 3g.
– Previously loved iPhone 3g screen stops responding to touch and crashing.
5. Receive shiny new warranty replaced iPhone 3g from Apple due to faulty touch screen.
– Drop shiny new warranty replaced iPhone 3g face down in parking lot, thoroughly damaging trim and chipping glass.
– Cosmetically damaged iPhone begins to exhibit problems with native applications crashing too much.
6. Receive shiny new warranty replaced iPhone 3g from Apple due to faulty software/hardware. Promptly buy hard case.
– Sell shiny new warranty replaced iPhone 3g on craigslist to explore other smart phone handsets.
– Go through the following phones (I probably forgot some): BlackJack 2, LG Vu, Nokia, BlackBerry 8110, RAZR, Palm Centro.
7. Contract upgrade comes along and I buy the reduced price iPhone 3g.
– Hard case leaves ugly marks on the trim and body of shiny new iPhone 3g.
8. Apple warranty replaces iPhone 3g for various hardware/software issues (AKA ugly marks all over, whacky Safari).
– Barter shiny new warranty replaced iPhone 3g for something I needed along with an unlocked BlackBerry Bold.
9. Trade unlocked BlackBerry Bold for the iPhone 3g. I planned to barter back with the BlackBerry in the first place.
10. Apple warranty replaces used iPhone 3g screen due to bad seals that led to dust under the display.
– New display has seals so bad that I can see phone internals through them, I promptly show it to the Genius.
– Genius issues new unit to try and make me happy, walks away.
– Take plastic off of new unit and am surprised to be staring at damage on the trim.
– Show it to another Genius who promptly hands me another unit.
11. Matt is happy.

Before you leave your mind boggled comment there was a reason I even listed that history in the first place. I have owned nearly every advanced phone ever made. Trust me, that brief listing didn’t cover 1/1000 of what I’ve had. In all of my exploring various technologies and brands I have never found another device like the iPhone. Even with it’s stunted features (we still don’t have MMS!!!) it is unrivaled in design and application availability. I do everything with it. I play video games, take photos, manage my calendar, email back and forth with craigslist buyers, post to craigslist, write blog posts when my MacBook isn’t handy, text my beautiful wife, and even lose weight.

Remember that Birth of a Fanboy post from earlier? Scratch that. Birth of a Fanboy Apple Dependent. How did this happen? For years I vied on behalf of PC supremacy, and now here I am thinking about how much I would love a copy of Snow Leopard. How truly pitiful I have become.

Now that I’ve written a nearly 1000 word essay on my strange affinity for Apple products I think I’ll go for now. I have my FarmVille farm to manage, Pirates to boss around, and Facebook posts that need my comments. Hopefully I’ll be inspired to write something unrelated to technology next so that the rest of the universe can nod their heads in gleeful agreement.

what part two?

If you were waiting for the continuation of my previous post labelled part 1 of my Camp Meeting recollection, I’m afraid it won’t be coming. While I intended to post it the following day, I waited far too long and the wittiness of it all eluded me. I think part 1 was the funnies bit anyway ;).

I can now proudly announce my absolute completion of Project MacBook. It took some time, some bartering, and some generous gifts, but I have finally completed everything but some minor cosmetic things that I’ll work on when I feel like it. I’ve had the motherboard rebuilt, upgraded the hard drive and RAM, installed a new top case (keyboard and mouse pad), and finally gotten a charger of my own. A little denatured alcohol and that cleaned up all the glue, grease, and nastiness from its brief visit to garbage land, and voila, what is practically a shiny new MacBook :). It was so much fun that I will be stating Project Inspiron today. My benefactor also found a Dell laptop that is in need of some Matt Magic, and I just got the power supply I needed today. Depending on how exciting this project is I’ll post information as I go.

I just had a birthday the other day and I am now officially 25. A quarter century. Wow. It seems like just yesterday I was complaining about having to go to all four periods of my Senior year. Yes I only had four. That’s what extra classes during Sophomore and Junior year buy you. On top of realizing that I’m narrowing in on such numbers as 30 and 40, I will also be celebrating my 3rd year of marriage to Danelle. It’s been work and it’s been fun, and there’s only more to look forward to. On that note I’ve gotta run.

post camp meeting report part one

So we’re home now and getting back to our lives. Danelle and I have actually been out of town for about two weeks, and it’s always interesting coming home. You’re excited to sleep in your own bed, but at the same time you’ve been enjoying the carefree nature of your out-of-town-ness and you’re not too eager to get back to the grind. Now that I’ve had a chance to organize my thoughts and cool my head a little bit, here’s the breakdown of our trip.

We left our house-sitting and headed toward Santa Maria at about 12:00, but not before a lively discussion about whether or not we had packed too much. Believe it or not I was actually in favor of taking more clothes than was needed. I know it’s scary, but please stop hiding under your desk; the world hasn’t ended. Bags tossed in the back of the truck we pulled in to Safeway for some fuel, then started on our way. The actual ride up was pretty uneventful except for our brief stop in Salinas where we got to spy the Blue Angels practicing for the air show that weekend. There’s nothing quite like the noise of a fighter jet flying overhead. If I was hiding in a cave somewhere, that would certainly freak me out. Danelle and I passed the time with some music and hilarity, and arrived at our hotel sometime around 3:30. Then it started to get interesting.

We’ve been saving for a little bit to make sure that our trip to Camp Meeting was entirely paid for, and seeing as how I had not yet needed access to the saved funds, I hadn’t transferred them to the checking. This wasn’t an issue at all until I tried to check in. My first impression of the Quality Inn in Santa Maria wasn’t that great. The lobby looked “previously loved” and I was a little concerned about the actual quality of our Quality Inn room. I politely informed the girl behind the counter that I was checking in, and gladly provided my bank card and ID when she asked for it. At first she couldn’t find our reservation, and (with my driver license in hand) needed me to spell my last name for her a couple times, then re-explain that the reservation was under my wife’s name. At this point I’m not really inconvenienced because this is just the nature of life. Things don’t always go as planned.

She politely asks me if I would like to run my card as debit or credit, and when I say credit I am abruptly informed that their system does not distinguish between debit and credit. If my card is a debit card then it will simply be run as such. Ok, again no big deal. She then lets me know that since I’m running the card as debit (she just told me I didn’t have a choice) that there would be my room charge, plus 15% incidental fees (in case I abscond with the towels) billed to my card. The incidental fees will not be returned for 15 days. You know, in case I steal something and they don’t notice it’s missing for a while. At this point I’ve been standing there for about 20 minutes and I’m starting to get a little bit annoyed. To my surprise the girl hands the card back to me after a few moments and advises me that it has been declined. Declined? I haven’t even checked in yet!

After reminding myself that I’m a good Christian, and that I’m here representing Pentecost by using the discount provided for Camp Meeting, I calmly tell the girl that I simply forgot to transfer funds from savings, and that it will take only a moment. Because I’m a mobile kind of guy, I have an app for my bank on my iPhone, and within seconds the transfer has been made. I advise the girl that she can now try the card again. I’m still miffed that I’m being charged at the beginning of my stay instead of after, but we’re here and I just want to lay down before church. Plus Danelle is in a hurry to get to the restroom, which is no big surprise if you’ve ever been in a car with her before ;). By now the woman I’ve been dealing with has been joined by a rather rugged looking “seasoned” woman with dyed red hair. She’s also been giving me sideways glances that could make Einstein feel like a special needs kid. Woman A runs my card again, and lo and behold their card processing system goes down. Looks like it’s time for a phone call to corporate. Oh goody!

Woman A slides me my room key and Danelle walks in to see what’s taking so long. She asks Red if we can just check into the room while they’re sorting out the system issues, and with a chain smokers rattle she condescendingly advises Danelle that our card was declined. Now I have to explain this to my anxious wife. After bringing her up to speed in a couple of seconds, I look back at Red and tell her that I just made the necessary funds transfer and that I can assure her the card is fine. The near death rattle of her voice replies “We don’t know that.” If it was possible for steam to come out of someone’s ears like it does in cartoons, I would have fogged every window in the lobby. The manager must have gotten curious at the self righteous gurgling coming out of Red, and came to assess the situation. Red sees Danelle make for the door and cries out “Is she going to the room?” Yes, I calmly explain to Red with the manager present. We want to unpack our bags and get settled while your sort out your computer problem. The manager agrees and promises to call if there are any issues, and I haul my simmering visage out the front door after Danelle.

Danelle and I grabbed a couple of bags and made our way from our parking spot to our room. In order to enter the room area you first have to go through a side door that reads your room key and grants you access. When we approached the door a little girl was busily swiping her card over and over again, so I took advantage of the situation and just opened it for her. After using our own key on our room, I dropped off the first round of bags and headed back out to the truck to get the rest. I swiped my card at the side door and, to my burdened surprise, nothing happened. I swiped it again. Still nothing. Several more attempts. Still nothing. Aggravated to the point of insanity I called Danelle and had her come and let me in. I dropped off the bags and made my way to the front desk determined not to lose my cool on someone.

When I get there it’s just me and Red. With miraculous politeness I advise her that our room key doesn’t open the side door for some reason, and I would like to have another key. She takes my key with an inconvenienced look, swipes it through something under the counter, and lets me know that the card is fine. She then goes on to give me a five minute lecture on the proper use of a hotel key and card reader. You know, because being on of billions with a credit card, I may never have actually had the experience of swiping a card with a magnetic strip through a slot before. When all she gets is a contained fiery stare from me she proceeds to issue me two new room keys. Finally. I take my mysterious magical rectangles and approach the side door not really knowing what to expect. Of course I was right, and the new key opened the door without a problem. Gee, I guess I did know how to swipe it right after all.

That out of the way I walk into the room and plop on the bed, ready for a little bit of crash time before I have to take Danelle to praise practice. After a little R&R, I start unloading clothing and pulling out the things I need to wear to church, as well as my shaving paraphernalia and tooth brush. I almost immediately start noticing things I wouldn’t expect in an Inn branded Quality. There were holes cut out in several places along the wall across from the beds. They were hastily patched, and no one even bothered to try and cover the fact that the wallpaper was cut out. On my side of the bed most of the bottom of the wall had been cut out, and pieces of mismatched sheetrock had been put in. Again without attempt to hide it. In the bathroom the sink was rusted through toward the top, and the tub had a large sheet of what I assumed was non-slip paper just kind of casually stuck into it. You now understand why I will forever refer to this chain as the Poor Quality Inn. By now I’m just too tired to argue, and I have to get ready for church, so I just leave everything as is and decide not to bother asking for another room. It’s probably no a whole lot better anyway.

After a few minutes of roaming around the room getting things together there was a knock at the door. Seeing Omar through the peep hole, I let myself out and struck up a conversation with him. As it turned out, the same dynamic duo that checked me into our hostel (yes ‘hostel’) told Omar that they didn’t accept debit cards at all, and sent him scouring around the city for a prepaid Visa instead. Wow, there simply were no words for the lack of service we had both thus far received. After talking for a little while, I headed back inside, got dressed, and Danelle and I made our way to the camp ground. Our frustration at the hotel instantly vaporized under the pressure of our excitement to finally be there. Because she was on the platform, I pulled the truck up behind the tent and let her out. I then headed out on foot to check in with Bro. McDaniel to let him know that I would be available for the graveyard security shift both nights of our stay. After our hellos I walked away with a smile on my face and stopped by the exhibit hall to see if the suit guy and fake watch guy were there this year. Unfortunately suit guy is now part of the southern district, and fake watch guy still hasn’t been back in two years. Oh well. Off to the truck to get it washed and grab some pre-service caffeine for Danelle.

I headed out the front gate and made my way down Broadway on a mission. I wanted a bank, a car wash, a Taco Bell, and a Starbucks. Wouldn’t you know all of those were on the same street within blocks of each other? Errands done I headed back to the big top and started looking up my friends. I connected with a few people, then settled in for the service, chatting with Bro. Len a little while during the always extensive preliminaries. After a while Nathaniel, Mom Hurst, Grandma Hurst, and Gary all joined me and the fun began. Than is of course a riot in any given situation, and him and I chuckled for a little while before I headed across the tabernacle to sit with Danelle. Bro. Kinsey preached like a whirlwind of fire, and the altars rapidly filled with hungry souls. I worked the altars a little, got a blessing for myself, and when it was apparent the service was at its end, started tracking down people for a dinner party. I managed to nab Josh before he got too far, and between Danelle and I we roped in Candace, Chelsea, Clint, Jesse and his wife, Adam and Misty, and all accompanying babies.

Because it was already late I managed to speed through Danelle’s tour of the exhibit hall and head over to Cool Hand Luke’s to secure us a table before they closed. We made it two minutes past closing time, but the prospect of so many guests prompted the manager to make an exception and give us a table. After hilarious and memorable conversation and good food, we let ourselves out of the restaurant as the last people to leave. While Danelle wanted to stay and chat for a while longer at the front door, I whisked her back to the hotel so I could change and head back to the grounds to begin my shift.

After a quick garment overhaul I drove over the camp and picked up the cart that Josh graciously leant me for my duties that night. I was still in need of a jacket and radio, so after a quick lap around I intercepted Bro. McDaniel and two other guards that had everything I needed. Alone and ready to rock I started to make my rounds. I hooked up with my friend Dave I met during security last year, and we caught up while we did our rounds. The night was pretty uneventful though, and after a while I found myself being the only one wandering around in a yellow jacket. Seeing as how it was about 3:45, I had been shivering for an hour, and my borrowed flash light was dead, I decided it was time to call it a night.

Cart returned I headed to my truck, drove around to gate seven, dropped off my jacket and radio, and headed back to the PQI to grab a few hours sleep before morning. The first day of camp was a success, and after some time with The Secret of Monkey Island nostalgia on my iPhone, I crashed into a deep sleep.

the birth of a fanboy

Being an IT Consultant by trade I work every day with PCs, and very little with Mac. As a matter of fact, I’ve harbored a secret malice against the Apple spawn for all these years because of their foolish spending on more expensive and consistently inferior hardware. Add that to the fact that I hadn’t used an Apple since high school, and we’re looking at a die hard Microsoft Zealot.

Enter the iPhone. I was fortunate to have gotten my first iPhone expense free due to my problem solving persistence, and once I realized what an amazing piece of hardware it was, I was forced to take another look at my anti-Apple opinions. Unfortunately I was still unable to lay my hands on any other kind of Apple hardware, and with the death of my original iPhone 2g, and subsequent purchase of my BlackBerry, my faith in all that is PC was rapidly revitalized.

Enter the iPhone 3g. My shiny new BlackBerry Bold presented me with a myriad of unpleasant issues, and as a reminisced about the seamless and innovative interface of my iPhone, I posted an ad on CraigsList to trade the Bold for another iPhone. I had a response to my ad in moments, and was quickly on my way to San Jose to make the trade. Once that iPhone 3g was in my hot little hands the flood of Apple friendly emotions quickly rushed back into me, and I began to question my loyalty to Big Bill.

As with anyone who questions their faith in something I wavered for quite a while back and forth. A client of mine dumped a Dell that had been pretty badly damaged, and I refurbished it into a lean mean Vista machine. Unlike many of my professional peers, I thoroughly enjoyed the new look and feel of Vista. Once I turned off some of the annoying features, and streamlined the way stuff was organized it was a pleasure to work with. Sadly the foray into Vista was short lived and I reverted to an older machine running XP again in the name of expediency.

By a stroke of luck a friend of mine needed some repair help with one of his clients, and offered up an older iBook as payment so I could play around with the Mac OS X. I was pretty much sucked in after that. My attempts at hackint0sh had all failed and my iPhone generated Apple lust quickly jumped at the opportunity to have a Mac around. The deal sealed I took the iBook home and started to poke around a little. Sadly the PowerPC technology was a huge disappointment in an age of multi-core intel processors, and the iBook ended up being little more than a glorified web browser, minus the ability to play flash videos. So it was back to my trusty dusty Dell, MS faith shaken but not broken.

Then the phone call happened. My friend found a trashed MacBook at work and asked me to take a look at it and see what kind of trouble it would be to get it repaired. I took it home, got it apart, and quickly realized why it wouldn’t turn on. The machine had been fed a can of Coke and the entire unit was fried. With a new logic board costing $1000 from the Apple store, and a used one costing what a new MacBook would cost I gave him my analysis and asked if I could keep the burned out machine. He graciously let me keep the wreck and I started the lengthy refurbishing process. The first thing I replaced was the RAM and a few other components. I was able to get the machine to start on battery but it wouldn’t power using the AC adapter. I took it to the Apple store and had it analyzed for a couple days, and due to the spill damage on the logic board they refused to work on it. Yay.

A little bit dejected but full of rascally determination I took the MacBook apart and started buying and replacing power related parts. When all that failed I took a long shot and gave the logic board an alcohol bath to remove any corrosion and liquid from the contacts. Put back together it still didn’t work, so I looked around for additional ways to get it repaired. I was facing a massive amount of money to bring this Mac back from the dead, so I was thrilled when I found a place that would actually work on the logic board one chip at a time. I didn’t have the cash for the repair, but I called the shop up and dropped it off anyway. A week later I got the great news that the power issue had been resolved, and turned my Dell in to cover the cost. Five minutes later I was wholly converted, and rapidly possessed with the Apple Fanboy spirit.

So here I sit, MacBook in lap with some minor repairs remaining (topcase needs replacing due to a shorted mouse button, hard drive is too small), iPhone in pocket, and the iBlog before me an Apple Fanboy. I am one of the few PC Techs that brings his MacBook to the jobsite instead of his ThinkPad. So is the story of my Apple conversion.

LOL, I hope that was as much fun to read as it was to write.

lost time recap

I’ve been away from the old blog for a while, so here are some photos to catch you up on where I’ve been. I have to be honest, God is good, and taking care of me all the time. Like the old song says, “Thank God for saving me.” Enjoy!

Here’s a little description for you of each photo for you from left to right and top to bottom.

1) Here’s a big fat Epic Fail for you that I captured myself. I caught this little sign going through a McDonald’s Drive Thru on the 4th of July. Apparently Mickey D’s doesn’t really know how to spell, or much of anything else in regards to signage, lol.

2) Here’s a shot of my MacBook logic board before its denatured alcohol bath during the failed Project MacBook.

3) Adam deftly displaying the LB right before it went into the big pot.

4) The LB after a solid scrubbing above a tub of now very dirty denatured alcohol.

5) MacBook minus the LB. Not much to it with the most useful bit taken out.

6) Do you suppose if I ate this mushroom it would make me grow bigger?

7) Danelle, somehow managing to to get more and more beautiful by the day.

8) Oh yes, at Ghirardelli’s we’re number one. And don’t you forget it…

to parents

How many stories have we heard about dead beat dads, absentee moms, and just all around bad parents? Probably way more than you really care to think about. Far too many people come from bad and broken homes, and as sad as it is there is another tragedy that stems from so much misery: good parents, the unsung heroes.

In the middle of all the sorrow and chaos brought about by the actions of bad parents, the greatest malady is the ommission of the actions of loving mothers and fathers from every corner of the globe. Mom and Dad, this is my tribute to you.

From my earliest of memories he was my super hero. There was no obstacle too great for my father, nothing broken that he could not fix, and no enemy he could not defeat. The power of his gaze put both fear and admiration in my heart, and as far as I was concerned he could leap tall buildings in a single bound and catch bullets with his teeth. Going to work with him was an adventure, not a trial. There was always some new skill to learn, some awe inspiring thing to do with my hands. I learned how to use tools, create things that appeared in my mind, and looked forward to every second I could follow him around or ride in that big work truck.

As I grew older I started to find heroes in other places, but Dad was always around when I needed a real one. The time came when I lost my appreciation for his strength and guidance, but as the years have passed I have traded my open adoration for a silent admiration. I never saw him afraid, I never saw him flinch in the middle of our greatest hardships, and I have learned to be thankful for every one of those moments, even the times of correction. He really did know better than me, and I’m glad I have grown enough to see it now. Thank you for providing for me, thank you for knocking me onto the right track when I drifted off road, and thank you being the father of my family, a role too often abandoned in our “enlightened” society.

Mom you were more than just a mother, but also a force of nature. You whirled about in a seamless grace bringing harmony to any of my stormy seas. You were there to kiss it better, put band-aids on my knees, and act as an impromptu firefighter when my curiosity literally burst into flames. I watched you love your husband and children with everything inside of you, and have found that you have imparted that same bottomless heart to me.

Where would I be if it wasn’t for your prayers? What would my future hold if you hadn’t dedicated me first to God and his will? I shudder to think. You held me when I wept through my toughest decisions, and weren’t afraid to stand stone faced before me when I was determined to ruin my future. Truly these mere words cannot illustrate all that I owe to you.

To the both of you, thank you. Were it not for your unwavering sense of direction and responsibility I would not be a fraction of the man I am today. The values and principals that you based my upbringing upon stand fast in my heart forever. Because of you I have rooted myself in godly principal and truth, and have found the path to his purpose for my life through your persistence and prayers. I hope that one day I will make you as proud a parent as you have made me a son.

Remember the good parent today, and tell them how much they mean to you too.