Weekend Update

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007 @ 12:28am

So my “goal” to bike to work is fairly reasonable. I did a test run this past Saturday to estimate my time, and it took me roughly 6 minutes to ride the 1.02 miles to work (not hitting any traffic or lights). I also ordered a new backpack to accommodate anything I’ll need (i.e. clothes, lunch) since my old one was falling apart. Once that comes in, I’ll be ready to go!

My CPU fan finally came back in today. After a couple of hours of fooling around with various hardware components my new PC is up and running, and quite fast. I’m enjoying the new hardware upgrade and can’t wait to try out something that will push it to its limits.

I Want to Ride My Bicycle

Thursday, September 27th, 2007 @ 6:04pm

Obligatory Queen reference here if you missed it. So I’m going to be trying an experiment over the next few months that I have been considering for a while anyway, I just now have extra incentive to do so. I found a program in Birmingham called CommuteSmart which encourages commuters to find alternative forms of transit, either by walking, biking, car pooling, or mass transportation.

They are now sponsoring a program where they will pay you $2 for every trip you make to work using one of their alternate forms of transportation, up to $120 during a 3 month period. Since I have a bike, work is only 1 mile away, and the average temperature has now dropped below 95F, I’m going to give it a shot. So to start it off, I will state my goals.

Starting in October (or later depending on when I get the program information back), my during the 3 month period is at least 40 trips. That means at the very least, 3 trips per week. I need someone to help keep me accountable and remind me. Don’t forget, not only will I be saving gas and money AND doing the environment some good, It’ll also help keep me in shape. So for those of you out there who are reading this, help keep me accountable!

More PC Updates

Saturday, September 8th, 2007 @ 9:02pm

Not to bore anyone reading this, since this is mostly for my reference to help remind me what I was looking at, I’m putting up some more finds that I’m considering for my new upgrade.

On the hard drive end, I’m currently looking at a 320GB Western Digital 7200RPM. It’s cheap, and probably provides more space than I’ll ever really need in the near future. Although, with something like this I can now rip my CDs at a higher quality than 192kbps and dedicate a whole partition to just that.

In the realm of processors, I feel like an AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Windsor 3GHz should do the trick. It’s just at 3GHz and still under $200, so you can’t really beat that.

I have not decided if I’m going to purchase a new graphics card yet, and I may hold off on that. I’m currently using a GeForce FX 5900, and it seems to hold its own pretty well. Although, I might be looking for a cheap TV tuner and a new case to house my old components as a home DVR powered by MythTV.

Motherboard Hunting

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007 @ 10:47pm

So I’m coming close to finally upgrading my PC after many years. I’ve been looking at motherboards, and may have narrowed it down to the following two selections. The ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe and the ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe.

The price range between the two is quite large, $129.99 and $179.99 respectively at the time of this post. While the latter is more expensive, it includes onboard wireless capabilities along with some additional raid options that the former does not offer. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Edit: I’m still looking around for motherboards at this point, as these two seem to have gotten mixed reviews (bad ASUS drivers, non-hardware RAID). I really liked my SOYO motherboard from back in the day, but I can’t seem to find those around anymore.

Update: Found a third motherboard to faceoff to the other two. An ECS KN3 SLI2 which seems to cheaper than both the ASUS motherboards I listed before with as much bang. And it can support up to 32GB of memory. Who knows why I would need that much memory anytime in the next few years, but you never know…


Friday, May 11th, 2007 @ 12:49pm

This is mostly for my reference (for a later date), but I thought I would put it here as well.

So I’m in the market for a new monitor… eventually (pending graduation, and then a job… not necessarily in that exact order). I’ve been using a 17″ Samsung SyncMaster 955DF CRT for say… about 6 years now. It’s been a nice monitor, but it’s heavy and starting to show it’s age.

Anyway, considering how good my Samsung monitor has been to me, I’m currently looking at what’s offered. And by far, the SyncMaster 226BW has caught my eye. It’s a 22″ widescreen LCD, with a sweet 2ms response time for a cool $300 price. And it’s gotten some pretty decent user reviews as well. The only 2 real “gripes” about the product is that the stand is not height adjustable, which really isn’t a big concern to me. The other issue seems to be is that there are three different manufactures of this monitor, there’s the A panel (produced by AOU), S panel (produced by Samsung), and the C panel (produced by CMO Chi Mei Electronics). Apparently there’s been a few issues with the other manufacturers besides Samsung, but I haven’t had a chance to really look and see what they actually look like in-store. Whenever I eventually pick up this monitor, I’ll post my impressions on what I think.

A Late Night Story

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007 @ 12:54am

It’s late, but I just have to post this because I can’t really contain it. I really have started to cherish the quiet times I’ve had lately. It’s not because I’m depressed, or sad, or anything of those things. It’s actually quite the opposite! Even if that were the case it still doesn’t keep me from thinking how awesome our God is! It’s like my day doesn’t even really begin until it happens, I feel so energized and refreshed after doing so. Tonight even, I just took a walk out in the woods, in the dark and it was just amazing. The moonlight, the fireflies, the nice little crunching of leaves, all evidence of our Lord and Creator. I can’t even really put it into words…

I’ve been doing a lot of studying lately on different people in the Bible and the relationship between them and God. Mostly David, but he’s not actually the person I want to talk about. I actually want to focus on Gideon. I know we’ve all read and seen these stories before in Sunday school, but it seems like there’s something new to learn every time you look at them. Here are the Israelites, again being oppressed by some foreign nation (the Midianites). In comes Gideon, where God tells him he will use Gideon to free the Israelites from their oppression.

Now here’s the fun part of the story. After Gideon asks for some signs from God, Gideon gathered some people to go up against the Midianites. And of course, God intervenes and tells Gideon there are too many. I think at this point, I would’ve certainly have been questioning God at this point. “Too many people? You can never have too many people!” But of course, Gideon obeyed. 22,000 people left. 10,000 people remained. That’s a lot of people! Yet even after that, God still said there were too many and reduces it to 300. That just amazes me, an army of 300 against a whole nation? And of course, we know the rest of the story…

Just reading all of that made me really ponder, do I have the same amount of obedience that I would do something that would just seem… so insane? Gideon had some amount of courage to go into that battle… and faith too. While I might not be called to go into battle like Gideon, I do hope that I can demonstrate the same amount of courage and faith that Gideon did in all that I do, even when the world says that its wrong. I strive for that same boldness and courage… I hope in some way that this has inspired you in the way that it has inspired me…

It does kind of feel like an emotional roller coaster though… but even knowing that, I’m okay! Things have been really crazy (and busy) this semester. Projects, projects, projects… and a little bit of eating and sleeping between projects. But the other thing that amazes me is that Christ has experienced all that I have experienced… for my sake. Pain, sadness, happiness, joyfulness, tears, anger… many of these traits and Christ has experienced every one of them. I really do ponder why we don’t sometimes see, “…and Jesus laughed.” in the bible. We know that he wept (John 11:35) and got angry too (John 2:13-17) and faced temptations (Luke 4:1-13). I’m sure these other things happened. Yet he knows the pain we experience, and the sadness that happens in our lives. And rejoices with us when we are joyful, and grateful. And somehow, that just makes it all worthwhile.

Sorry for the long post, but if you made it through all of that congratulations! You deserve a cookie.


I Was Home Teached

Thursday, March 15th, 2007 @ 11:47am

Okay, so the title is a little tongue-in-cheek, but it does get the point across. I’ve been asked to share my opinion on what I think about homeschooling, so here is how I feel about homeschooling.

As a starting point, it’s hard to say what I have to say without a bias. I only have the experience of being home schooled aside from private school from K4-2nd grade, and my current experiences at a private college. I can not accurately compare my experience to that of one I might have received with a public/private school education.

As far as homeschooling is concerned, I did enjoy it. There are specific advantages to homeschooling that aren’t provided at your typical school. With homeschooling, you’re free to move at your on pace (be it slower, or faster) while not limited to the learning pace of other students in the class. Many times, I could be finished with the days work before noon, and have the rest of the afternoon to spend as I please. There were also some other local advantages that not every family may have, such as trips away from home. My dad for what he does, is required to travel a lot across the United States, and us being home schooled allowed us the distinct advantage to go with him where ever he went.

the downsides of homeschoolingThat’s not to say that there aren’t disadvantages of home schooling, I think there are actually quite a few. For starters, one does not gain the experience of being able to network with peers and friends, and out in the real world that’s exactly what you have to do. You need to learn how to get along with others, even those who you may not see eye-to-eye with, and if you’re home schooled for all of your schooling years, you may be in for quite a culture shock once you reach the college level. In short, there might be a lack of social interaction with others in your day-to-day activities. You also may miss out in some of the various activities that are provided at schools such as band, sports, clubs, and any other events that may normally happen at schools. I am aware that such opportunities do exist, where there are home school sports teams and home school bands, but the availability of such really depends on where you live and if there are enough people interested.

So what is my overall view of homeschooling? I am not a proponent of “pure” homeschooling. I believe that there should be a mixture of both schooling at a private/public school along with home schooling. At what points do you determine which they should attend? It really honestly depends on the child. The bible tells us,

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it. — Proverbs 22:6

At a young age children are easily influenced, and will listen to correction and guidance. I think home schooling at a young age is important, you can instill in them Godly qualities for when the time does come that you feel they are ready for a public/private education. At that point if you have trained them up to seek God first above all you should have nothing to worry about.

In a nutshell, that is how I feel about homeschooling vs a public/private education. I do not think that either one is better than the other, it really depends on the situation that you are in, and the key is if God is leading you to home school in the first place. If so, I strongly believe that a mixture of both will help to further that child’s education.

I Am Truely Blessed

Friday, March 9th, 2007 @ 4:42pm

This has been an absolutely amazing week. I have friends that are beyond what I deserve, but I am thankful for God allowing each and every one of them to be a blessing in my life. I feel like as I have grown closer to God this week, and those friends have certainly played a part in doing so. I would like to thank all of you for your prayers, and I pray as well that God will bless all of you as much as you have blessed me, and that I hope in some way I can be a blessing to you as well.

Needless to say, that doesn’t mean I’m still not busy. I have a lot of projects due next week, but thankfully spring break will be the following week, so I will look forward to the much needed break.

Please continue to pray for me as I continually try to seek God out, and do His will. I’m not perfect, I realize that that — but it is my goal to strive to be perfect, and follow the example that Jesus Christ set forward for us.

Psalm 30

Monday, March 5th, 2007 @ 8:48pm

Psalm 30:1-12

I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me. O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.” Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled. I cried out to You, O Lord; And to the Lord I made supplication: “What profit is there in my blood, When I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your truth? Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me; Lord, be my helper!” You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

This passage had spoke to me so much today, that I just could not stand to not share it with those who might read this. I have had an interesting time this weekend, but an experience that has brought me so much closer to God and understanding Him. I hope and prayer as the weeks come and go that this passion will not die down, and I will continue to seek him daily and that everyone will be able to see Him work through me in all of my actions, words, and deeds.

Knowing all of this, all other details of my life have become insignificant. It seems the closer I grow to God, and the more I seek Him out the more everything else falls into place. I can’t explain the peace that I have right now, I wish I could. It’s beyond explaining. I just know right now that I am thankful for each and every one of my friends and hope that I am, and can be a blessing to them for as much as they have been to me.

Even at this time, where I feel like I’m at a spiritual high, I still ask for prayer. Why? Because I’m human, and I’m not perfect. As long as that is the case life will have its ups and downs, and at sometime it will have its down again. I pray that I will continue to seek God not only in the mountain, but in the valley as well, that I will continue to seek him even in those times I feel as if I am far away from him.


Sunday, February 4th, 2007 @ 4:13am

Ah yes, sleepless nights. I’ve been sitting in bed for the past hour and half staring at the ceiling just pondering, praying, and contemplating about life in general. You can get a good bid of thinking done when you don’t have anything else to do.

To think that this is my last semester of college, it’s kind of strange. Many of my friends that I have gotten to know over the years, have enjoyed hanging around, and have come to love… I may not see them again a year from now as we each go our separate ways. Even though I thank God for every moment I am able to have with my friends, it is somewhat depressing to think that in the future I may not see them again…

I’ve also had time to ponder God’s plan for my life as well. I guess the question, “What do you want to do after you graduate?” continue comes up and does make me wonder what I really am going to do after I graduate. To be perfectly honest however, I really can’t say I know. Am I okay with it? Strangely enough, yeah. I can’t really explain it but for all my life I have known that God has a plan for me, even if He hasn’t revealed that plan to me. Because of that I can rest assured that even through the good times, and the bad times He will be there for me. There’s really no need for me to worry about what comes tomorrow, next week, or even next year for that matter. I just know He’ll provide, and that’s just comforting. Something amazing is in store, I just don’t know what yet.

But I’m not perfect. I still have my faults. Even knowing that, I do still tend to worry from time to time when I know I shouldn’t. Yet I pray every day for His strength, and His guidance, and most of all… patience. Patience probably is the hardest thing for me. Especially with how instant everything is in society today, everything happens now. I wish His plan would unfold now, I wish I did know what was going to happen in the future. Yet, even still He still has his reasons for not showing me the big picture. It does make you ponder upon the amazingness of God, and really makes you humble when you realize trite simple things are nothing to Him. It’s at that time when you remember everything is under His control, everything is in His hands, that finally peace returns. Our God really is an amazing God…

Change, that’s also another interesting thing to think about. Sometimes I wonder, “Am I really gravitating towards who/what God wants me to be?” Change is never an easy thing in itself, yet even still I strive to become more like Him every day, through all my failures, and my many short-comings.

For now, I will continue to ponder some of these thoughts while I attempt to sleep…