The Problem with Social Networks

Monday, March 23rd, 2009 @ 11:18am

Ever since the dawn of social networks, I have always been hesitant to join the fray. When Facebook first came about, I resisted for as long as possible to join in. Eventually I saw some value in Facebook, and finally created an account. A similar situation occurred with Twitter, but I was able to some value in using Twitter and hesitantly tagged along.

Social networking does have some value and purpose, but one of the things that concerns me greatly is how easily information is released, and the questionable privacy loss that occurs when information is placed in the social network’s hand. It begs the question, “How safe is my information?” One of the key reasons why I host my own blog is because I feel it is very important that I hold the key to my information and decide how and when information is released. When I allow my information to be handled by someone else, I lose that privilege and stand a great risk to my privacy. Even still while I control the information on this blog, I am still very cautious in what personal information I post since the information is available freely to anyone.

This is why I try to limit the amount of information that is available on social networking, and I highly recommend others to do the same. I feel some sense of humanity is lost since so much information is available so freely and released with no regards of the consequences. I must admit, I do not have anything to hide but rather feel that certain freedoms of an individual are being violated or forgotten in this age of freely available information.

I don’t have anything against social networks outside of that, and I find both Facebook and Twitter to be great tools for communication and keeping in contact with people. My word of caution is just be careful in the information is released, because they’re no guarantee that the information will remain safe.


Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 @ 10:54am

I have a confession to make. I’ve fallen in love with the mid-west. There’s something about the vast open country that is so appealing to me. Sure, the southeast has its perks but is nothing compared to places like Colorado, Wyoming, and Washington.

But this brings me to something else that I’ve considered for the past month or so. Considering how dead the market here in Birmingham is for what I want to do, I have even more incentive to considering moving to another part of the country to help improve my opportunities. Aside from my church and family, there really isn’t much incentive for me to stay in Birmingham any longer and maybe a change in environment is really what I need to help push things along in my life.

For many years, I’ve had a set of goals that I wanted to reach by the time I was 25. That time is quickly approaching and I’m hardly any closer to those goals than I was 5 years ago. I’m clearly at a stalemate where I am at right now, and unless something new happens here in the next couple of months I am going to seriously start considering a new location. I still have plenty of time to come to a final decision, as my lease does not end until mid-August.

There’s still a lot of time for things to happen here, but I’m tired of sitting around twiddling my thumbs waiting for some magical event to happen.

The iPlunge

Thursday, February 12th, 2009 @ 10:08am

iPhoneEver since the iPhone was initially released, I have had my eye on the newest Apple toy. I initially thought that a plan would be too expensive, but found out that since I was already on my parent’s family plan, it would be just as simple as buying the phone and adding the data. Now one week in with my new phone, I wanted to post my thoughts.

One of the nicest things about the iPhone is of course its OS/software. The standard apps included with the phone are of course great, but the App Store is where this phone really shines. There are literally thousands of free and paid apps in the store covering nearly anything that you can imagine. Of course, having internet on the go is quite incredible as well, since I can now check my email or look up the latest movie times. It’s going to be hard to imagine not having this convenience as it was with my old phone. In addition to replacing my phone, I had been planing on replacing my iPod at some point anyway, considering that its battery life was waning.

Needless to say, there are a couple of things there are slightly annoying about the phone. Without some sort of film or protective case over the screen, this thing picks up fingerprints and dirt like you wouldn’t believe it. I also noticed that if you have two events on the same day at the same time, you only receive notifications for the first event.

With that all said, I must admit that I am very happy with my purchase and considering the small amount that I’m paying for it, the plan is well worth it.

Cell Phone Plans

Thursday, February 5th, 2009 @ 12:14am

Sony Ericcson Z525My 2 year contract with AT&T finally ran out last month, and I’ve been looking to upgrade my old Sony Ericsson phone as seen on the left. It’s been a decent phone, but has unfortunately had the screen go out several times during the two year period that I’ve owned it.

But I must admit, I really want an iPhone. I’d love to have an iPhone. But the plans alone are at minimum $70/month. I’m not sure if I can use my existing plan and just add data plus the phone, but it is something I need to look into. In addition to having internet on the go, gps capabilities, and the app store, I’ve needed to replace my iPod for quite some time. I could easily kill two birds with one stone; provided that I could get an affordable plan integrated into my existing setup without having to split the line off from my family.

On another note, cell phone plans in general frustrate me for the value that is received in the end, especially with text messaging. AT&T at minimum offers 450 minutes for roughly $40. If I was not already with my parent’s family plan, I would’ve considered using a GoPhone plan, especially considering that I likely use less than 100 minutes a month; if that much. Text messaging infuriates me even more. If you are without a plan, AT&T charges 30 cents per text message received or sent! If you consider that AT&T limits characters to 160 per message, allow 96~ bytes for a header, you’re paying roughly $1,200 per megabyte, just for a simple text message! Even if you have their minimum text messaging plan ($5 for 200 messages), you’ll still be paying roughly $100 per megabyte of data. It certainly can’t cost them that much to send a simple 160 character text message!

I’m not saying that wireless companies shouldn’t be in it to make a profit, it just seems that as I look around at plans that they are more or less taking advantage of the situation and overpricing their services well beyond their value. I just wish something could be done about it, but at the rate plans keep increasing, I’m not sure it will…

O Job, Where Art Thou?

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009 @ 2:51pm

This is something I’ve thought about for a long time, but never really seriously considered it until recently. I’ve been searching for a job for almost a year without any success. I’ve had a few interviews here and there, and a couple of other prospects that unfortunately fell through. The market for what I’m looking for (i.e. web design/development) in Birmingham is just really bad. As a result of this, I’m beginning to seriously considering moving to another part of the country.

I’ve had some time to think about exactly what it is I want to do; I need something that involves more creativity than what I am currently in. When I first signed onto where I am working currently, I never planned for this job to be a long term. I was hoping I could put a year or two under my belt with some experience and move onto something else eventually. Unfortunately, given my search over the past 10 months, I am beginning to get the feeling that Birmingham is just not that place. I am going to need to move somewhere out west.

I’m not 100% on this decision yet, and am still allowing a couple of more months for something to show up here in Birmingham. But the longer I go, the more I feel that I will be unable to continue the work I currently am doing without finding another opportunity and fast. Web design/development comes to mind when I think of what I want to do, but I’m certainly willing to explore other options that are within my interests. If you know of any opportunities that I could possibly look into, please let me know.


Sunday, January 25th, 2009 @ 7:28pm

You’re here either because I redirected you from my old blog location (, I asked you to come here, or you just randomly happened to stumble upon this blog. Please update your bookmarks if you came from the old location to this new location, as my former location will be nixed in the near future. There’s been some major changes to the site, but underneath all of that you still have the same old blog. But let me briefly introduce you to the changes that have been made.

Firstly, the whole system is powered by Drupal, a PHP based content management system. As much as I loved Corento, I feel it was time to move on as some of the features of that system were somewhat limiting without some drastic changes being made at the core. Switching to drupal gives me the potential to plug in some interesting modules that can do lots of cool stuff.

One of the new features in place, is the new tagging system. I can tag posts with any number of tags and help categorize them for a later date. If you want to see all the videos or comics I have posted, or any blog posts relating to school, you can now do so. I’m really excited about this and am glad I am able to finally categorize my posts.

Additionally, there is a new comment system in place, which unfortunately means all previous comments are now lost and you will need to create a new account here in order to post comments. I really want to know what everyone thinks of the new site so please register and leave your thoughts!

For now, the site is very basic but I have some neat things planned for the site such as Twitter integration and other modules eventually. With the new system in place, it should be easier for me to post so I promise I will try and keep you more informed about what’s going on or what I find interesting.

I’m still in the process of moving everything else over (projects, about) but it will come with time. Additionally, if you were keeping updated via RSS you will need to point your reader to in order to stay up to date with any new posts.

What’s new?

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 @ 9:19pm

Sorry for the drought, but I haven’t had anything really exciting happen in the past month or so. But its a new year now and time for new opportunities!

Expect some changes here sometime during the next few months. I’ve been tied to Coranto ever since this blog’s incarnation and I feel its time to move on. I’m kind of limited in the things that I can do and I want a little more flexibility in management so I’m going to start researching some other CMS packages that are available out there. In addition to that, I feel that since no longer has relevance I should move the blog to something more permanent, like A redesign is probably in the works as well since this design is beginning to become narrow with the higher resolutions of monitors.

In the meantime, I will shortly be headed for Salt Lake City for snowboarding so I’ll be sure to post pictures and any interesting stories, until then…

Residential Associations

Friday, December 5th, 2008 @ 9:07pm

It’s time to rant.

I understand the purpose behind residential associations, and I have to say it could be a good idea if the so called “power” of members of the board was not abused. I have the feeling that there are at least a few members on the board who are on a power trip and have nothing better to do than to annoy and harass members of the community.

Let me explain: As some of you know, I have lived in a townhome community for the past 3 1/2 years. I’m sure several of you have received “tickets” for violating the rules of the community. Parking here is quite an ordeal as the streets themselves are poorly designed and are quite narrow, not really adequately designed to allow traffic here, but that’s another story.

Anyway, over these past 3 1/2 years we’ve received so called minor infractions on our record for parking, usually over silly things like blocking a mailbox (when we’re not) or parked on the grass (when the front bumper is hanging over the concrete pad by 2″). We’re quite sure it’s always the same person as we’ve had several run-ins with a neighbor across the street, but has not been anything other than a somewhat minor annoyance.

Until now.

Sometime around late August, my roommate’s car had broken down and he had it parked in the driveway until late October until I finally got him to move it to an overflow parking area so we could use the garage. Keep in mind, this parking area is away from anyone’s house and is rarely full. We thought it would be fine until we recently started getting notices complaining about the car being parked there for an extended period and that any parking here was only for day-to-day use. I figure it’s really not that big of a deal, ask him to move it a couple of times then not press the issue, since I don’t really care.

But here’s where the crap hits the fan. After a second notice we find that his passenger side car tires have both been slashed, which we find highly suspicious due to the fact that we already have someone complaining about nearly every little thing that we do so it should not be a coincidence that his car was vandalized. But it gets better, we find out that a week later his car was broken into, the electrical system ripped apart in addition to his radio stolen.

I’m normally a pretty understanding guy, but this has to stop. I don’t care what kind of problem you have with a person but vandalism is certainly not an answer, and I intend on pursuing this and finding out who it is. I hope whoever did this realizes that there is a potential for jail time in addition to hefty fine.

Needless to say, I’m tired of putting up with all of the crap that goes on here and the board with strict out-of-line senseless rules. I will be gone next year, and I will make sure to inform our land lady as to exactly why.

No More 10k

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008 @ 12:39pm

Well, I try to do something and it seems that something always gets the best of me. Unfortunately, my allergies had to intervene and threw my training schedule completely out of whack, so it looks like I won’t be able to compete in the 10k Vulcan Run this coming November.

I guess there’s always next year…


Monday, September 22nd, 2008 @ 11:45am

I’ve been running off and on for the past year or two just to keep myself in shape, but haven’t really had anything to work towards. I’ve decided this year I am going to have a goal to work towards, so I’ve decided I’m going to participate in the Vulcan Run on November 1st. I haven’t run a 10k before, but I’ve been able to run close to a 5k (3 miles) in about 30 minutes.

I’ve been pacing myself at the moment and doing around 2 mile runs a couple of times a week. 6 miles seems like quite a stretch at the moment, but I think with enough time and dedication I’ll be able to pull it off. I still have 6 weeks to go, so I figure if I add half a mile a week I’ll be doing very good. I’ll keep things updated on this blog to help track my progress.