Shackles, Chains & Facebook

Be honest with yourself and ask this simple question: “Are you a slave?”

slave
slāv/
Noun,historical
1.
a person who is the property of another and is forced to obey them.

“Property.” I like that word. Its bold, but honest. Lets take a look at that too.

prop·er·ty
ˈpräpərdē/
noun
1.
a thing or things belonging to someone; possessions collectively.

Do you belong to someone or something? First, I think we have to really put a microscope on what makes us ourselves? Over my years of learning I’ve come to this realization: my time and attention make a big part of who I am. Those 2 attributes usually are well developed traits that tell you everything and anything you need to know about yourself. Its a scary, ‘look in the mirror’ analysis.

I guess we can land at these 2 questions: Where do you spend most of your time? How do you focus most of your attention? I can’t help but think the majority of us combine time and attention in a major way to glowing screens. But that’s ok, we’re not slaves to screens, We’ve already established what being a slave is: “A person who is property of something or someone who exhibits time and attention to a particular item with no self control.”

Oops. Well, this is awkward. That kind of sounds like most people’s relationship with Facebook. But we’re certainly not slaves to Facebook. That would be ridiculous. We perform self control. We demonstrate human qualities that enable us to use these devices at will. Simple. We are fine.

Wait… did I just hear a phone vibrate. Is it bothering you not to check? Of course not, you have self control. It’s just a phone right? OK, lets take a break so you can look at it. Just real quick. It will only be a second.

Wait, its been 15 minutes, Where did you go? I mean, physically your still here. But mentally, where did you go?

Does that sound familiar to anyone out there? Lets refer back to our trusty definitions. It did kind of feel like you were forced to obey that notification. A little scary yes, but you got this. Still plenty of control. You say it’s a balance that must be achieved. Well, I agree with that notion. The issue is, balance is not judged. Balance is interpreted, it’s a vague line in the sand that waves of bad habit slowly wash away. Sure, you could sort of make out the line. But you can also pretend where you would like the line to be.

Enter the modern day slaves and Facebook, your owner. The ever-moving, pretend line where one minute we are secretly stalking only God knows, and the next we are posting some fake highlight reel photos of your life. You guys know this. Facebook is hardly real life, its more like a whimsical fictitious narrative. It sounds exhausting because it is and the majority of Americans have bought in. They’ve bought into the competitiveness of judgmental living and faux comparisons to their “friends.” They’ve bought into the notion that you could live on your own terms without face to face interaction and be better off for it. They’ve bought into their own slavery.

To be honest, it’s actually not so difficult to understand why.

Remember that line I was talking about earlier? The balance line? What I didn’t mention is balance is only achieved through some sort of discipline. Am I underselling the common person’s discipline? No, I’m certainly not. I had Facebook a long time ago. But when I was uncontrollably checking in and being the least productive human I could possibly be, it took more than discipline to leave it. Its obvious the majority doesn’t have that want or will. Look no further than their contentment with launching the Facebook app every 30 minutes and opening the door to a toxic hellstew. In other words, the majority are content to spend their time and attention to a pastime that fuels nothing but judgment and wrong motives.

You could say this post is crazy and I’m overreaching. I’ve thought about that a lot while writing. I’ve thought about the few who could execute Facebook properly and not abuse the service. Those people inspire me. Truth is, I have a place deep down in my heart for those who are “slaves” or who suffer from any form of “addiction.” So I guess that outweighed any other aspect of publishing this. Maybe I look at it like a call to help. Maybe if one person could make a change and release themselves from Facebook’s grasp, this all would have been worth it.

Let me explain simply, to be locked into your phone or social network the majority of time is bad no matter how you slice it. It’s really is no shock that recent studies have tagged Facebook with an unhealthy label.

Don’t believe me? That’s fair.

Do you believe them?

Exploring Facebook Depression

Facebook Is Bad For Your Health

Rigorous Study Confirms Facebook is Bad for You

Does Facebook Make Us Unhappy?

How Facebook Makes Us Unhappy

The Anxiety Of Facebook

Facebook, Linked to Depression in Studies, Plans Expanded AI to Prevent Suicides

Facebook Lurking Makes You Miserable

Facebook Confirms it Tracks Mouse Movement

Still don’t believe them? How about Facebook itself?

Facebook Admits Social Media Can Harm Your Mental Health

I hope that would be enough proof for something we all really know deep down is true. As many studies have suggested, the Facebook epidemic has such strong similarities to drug abuse and food addiction. Both are generally known to be bad for you, but both are performed at will by their participant as though there are no repercussions. It’s sad, really. I mean, tragic even. If we won’t help ourselves by having and executing the knowledge of whats best and not best for us, what about others? Thats my concern.

Checkmate. What about our kids? What about the next generation of humans? Do they deserve attention? Or do they deserve your leftovers? Did they choose to be born to enslaved parents who hang on every noise their phone makes? Truth is, no one has any idea what the repercussions will be for such a vast social network simply because a company of Facebook’s caliber has never existed before. Beyond the obvious privacy concerns alone, we must be proactive in preserving our attention and time. Because if you take time and attention away, what more are we than slaves to the most attractive, eye dazzling distraction?

Kind of sounds like present times.

I’m under the belief our kids deserve more. They deserve more than second placers to fake highlight reels, “likes” and status updates. They deserve more than parents who are slaves to attention and self gloat. Most importantly, they deserve more than to inherit an enslaved life. They deserve to make that choice on their own. Lets pray they can make the right choice.

If you take nothing else from this post, please understand this simple concept: if you’re attention is what molds you, if you agree attention is your most valuable asset (because Facebook most def. does) then do your self a favor and from now on, treat your attention with respect.

Simply put: 15 years ago, the internet was an escape from the real world. Now, the real world is an escape from Facebook. That sounds like modern day slavery to me.

Solution: Delete Facebook.

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2018 & Beyond

A new year is upon us.

For the past few months I’ve been pondering some thoughts regarding my energy, my time and ultimately, what I would like to exercise my concentration on. I want to announce some long needed changes to this site.

Most people hear the word “introvert” and equate it with shyness. If you’ve actually done any reading about it, you know that’s not the case. True introversion is a primary focus on one’s inner self, deriving value and meaning from that activity, as opposed to from the external world. Introverts can interact socially; they’re not afraid of social situations or interpersonal activities–rather they simply thrive more on solitary activities or with fewer people.

To the surprise of exactly no one who knows me, I’ve long understood myself to be this way. I’m totally capable of being social and thriving in those situations, but I prefer quiet environments, and more focused interactions with people. I also spend a non-trivial amount of time analyzing myself, my thinking, and my actions and trying to use this activity to learn more about myself, how I engage with the world around me, and how my actions affect other people.

I’ve always been a thoughtful person, even from a young age. But as I got older, different dimensions took shape and as my worldview continues to expand, the position where I place myself in the narrative of my life will often change.

Somewhere along the way I became interested in being someone on the internet. I started a blog, began using social media, and through those actions created an identity online, as so many of us have. It was great fun, I met a ton of terrific people, and explored new things with them. For about 10 years, it was a big part of my life, and somewhat how I defined myself as a person in the world.

But something changed in the past few years. I’ve found myself doing less online. Leaving social networks. Not publishing as many posts, and not beating myself up about it. All but disappearing from the public spaces I once inhabited, and reducing my voice to an occasional whisper in the dim of the dying night.

At the same time, I began focusing on other things. The balance of my life shifted. I began journaling even more, and making it a bigger part of my life than it had been. Actively reflecting more, and putting more effort into capturing my thoughts for myself. Talking about this with people, encouraging them to do the same. Always writing—because I do still love to write—but only for me, and not any other audience. Keeping those muscles in shape, but with a very specific purpose in mind. I use the app Day One on iOS and my Mac. I’ve talked about Day One to exhaustion but for good reason I believe. The app makes documenting your life so simple. The learning curve is close to nothing, and I truly believe the average person could use it and gain immense value in their life. So for the last time, go buy Day One right now… its like 2 bucks and fantastic.

I’ve tried to keep blogging, because I’ve had lots of people tell me they enjoy it when I do write, which is an amazing compliment and more than I could hope for. I mean, what better outcome could you have for writing something than for someone to say “I like that thing you wrote, thank you for doing that”?

But the fact of the matter is that I’ve lost whatever thing inside me made me want to write and put it somewhere on a steady basis, and I’m not sure why. I’ve lost the desire to do pretty much anything on the internet in any public capacity, and part of it is just who I am at the moment, and part of it is my ever-growing disenchantment with the rest of the world at the current time. So I’ve decided to just become an element of background scenery.

I wasn’t even going to write this post, but I figured I should. Because this isn’t me just being lazy and not blogging anymore, it’s a premeditated reflection on how I feel and why, what the effect of that feeling is, and how it manifests in my actions. Which exactly is the point. This is what I do. I’m just sharing this one with everyone, in case anyone gives a crap. (Presumably not, which is absolutely fine too.)

The internet is not the place it was when I started being really excited about it, and rather than stay here and complain about it like an old, cranky dude, I’m just going to leave it to other people for whom it’s still interesting.

I’m not disappearing off the face of the earth, I’ll still be around, and still work on deep, reflective blog posts that I enjoy sharing and hearing feedback on. I just don’t expect myself to churn in small post after small post. Week after week.

Like I mentioned in the beginning, the real life of less has already started for me. The discovery of minimalism and beauty of simpleness has already affected me greatly. It was only natural to reach my blog.

2017 In Review

The year has come and gone. 2017 was supposed to be the year of less. But, that didn’t work out as planned. God had another idea. This past year brought challenges, learning experiences and growth. On the site, I attempted blogging every day for 2 months. While it went well and really allowed me to grow as a writer, I ultimately succumbed to the exhaustion.

I was lucky enough to have 1 of my posts featured by WordPress editors again this year, which is a huge honor. Also, I received some fantastic feedback from listeners on some of my more challenging stuff. Of course, the kids videos did really well with site traffic and I was especially proud of Liam’s video this year. The age and trip experience combination was really magical and I worked extremely hard on his video to convey all of that. I am really proud of the result.

Once again, thank you guys very much for sticking around and reading my stuff. Although this site is designed for personal reflection and documentation, I am grateful for any readers that pass by.

As usual below are the top 10 (12) posts this year based on site traffic:

  1. The Search for Silence
  2. The Abyss of Human Response & The Las Vegas Massacre
  3. Liam Age 6 / Disney 2017
  4. Rewatching My Movie 10 Years Later
  5. Fidget Spinner & Rubik’s Cube: The Tale of Distant Cousins
  6. Attention as a Resource
  7. The Conversation Triangle
  8. The Bible, Completed
  9. Luca – AGE 1
  10. Hurricane Irma
  11. Our Trip to Connecticut (2017)
  12. 2 Days in Tampa w/ Jeremy

In regards to 2018, I have a post coming that will better explain the direction I am shifting to. Thanks to everyone who spent their time reading my site. I genuinely appreciate it.

Merry Christmas!

-Danny

 

2 Days in Tampa with Jeremy

My buddy Jeremy and I visited the city of Tampa last weekend. It was an event-filled blast from beginning to end. From countless conversation topics ranging from flat earth theories (for those keeping score, i’m still a round earther) to our place in the world, we had a throwback journey of sorts.

After a few last minute hiccups before leaving, we were off on the open road. Jeremy chose to drive, we pulled out of Georgia and the trip was on. The drive there was to take about 3 hours. Jeremy didn’t waste much time before bringing up ‘flat earth’ theories. This is a subject he has been passionate about for the last few weeks and I was open to having the discussion. He approached this topic quite interestingly though. His first question was: “prove to me the world is round.” I have my beliefs because we all are engrained with such. The world is round, the grass is green, the sky is blue, etc. So I understood where this was going. But interestingly, as I pondered his question, I came to the stark realization that all of my “1st hand, personally encountered” evidence of a physical round earth is mostly by faith in science and our intellectual higher uppers. Still, that didn’t change my opinion. But I am always open to information and the talk was fascinating if nothing else.

A side note here. You will notice that I mention a lot about “talks.” That’s because Jeremy and I always manage to have great, honest and open conversations about many, many things and various subjects. A bedrock of our friendship in many ways.

DAY 1

When we arrived in Tampa, the sun was shining and there was a cool breeze through the air. Another side note: Tampa is a gorgeous city. It’s super clean, like DisneyWorld clean. And everyone was super nice. We checked into our hotel which had an amazing skylight in the lobby and a lot of drunk military men. But i’ll get to that later.

We were starving, so we scoped out some local eateries and settled on an authentic french restaurant. The food was decent enough. I ordered a veggie melt sandwich with fresh salad (my 1st choice was not available). Jeremy had an ultra authentic french panini with like melted cheese and an egg on top. The real treat was desert though. Across the street we spied a little place with a colorful sign: ‘Dough Nation‘, what could this be? For those who know me, I am a cookie dough guy. And sure enough, this was a cookie dough and ice cream place. 3 scoops of cookie dough, 3 scoops of ice cream. The food dream was achieved.

After our eating endeavors, we realized we had a gap in the day. The bolts / Isles game wasn’t until 7:30 and here we were in the middle of downtown Tampa with 5 hours to kill. So we did what we always do. Find a movie theater. And boy did we.

The words CineBistro meant nothing to me before Tampa, now they are my life goal. If you didn’t gather by the name, Cine Bistro is an ‘upscale’ movie theater dining experience. I’ve been to these before. In Connecticut, Lindsey and I visited “The Gilson” and of course in Jax, good ol’ “Sun Ray Cinemas“. But this was a step up, everything at CineBistro was first class. Even after the film, exiting the theatre, they gave you a complimentary mint. Oh ya…..we saw Murder on the Orient Express, it was decent enough. But the CineBistro took the the prize.

After the film, it was Hockey time! The reason for the trip in many ways. We drove back to our hotel and walked to Lightning country. I was super excited simply because i’ve never been to a hockey game. The stadium was filling in with crowds and crowds of people. It was clear to me, Tampa was a hockey city.

My immediate impressions were as such: Hockey arenas are cold, hockey players are vastly underrated athletically, and hockey fans are awesome. The whole experience was such a blast. Jeremy’s knowledge of hockey helped a bunch with the aiding of my learning of the sport. To my surprise, my Islanders got a quick 2 – 0 lead in the first period and then padded on an insurance goal in the 2nd. This was borderline shocking considering the team’s records coming into the game. The Lightning had the best record in hockey, the Islanders are more of a middle of the pack team. After a major 3rd period scare, the lightning held on to 5 – 3 victory. The game was a fantastic time. We seat-hopped and ended up with some really spectacular seats also. It was an amazing experience.

After the game we were again starving and walk/ran to Bavarro’s Pizza. A place that Jeremy talked about for a long time. They closed at 10PM and we snuck through at about 5 minutes till. Their pizza was amazing.

We wandered back to our hotel only to be met by some drunk military peoples exiting their “Military Ball.” 1 man said some interesting claims about censorship and common day war practices. I would love to repeat his epic choice of words, but hopefully one day my son(s) will read this site, so I digress.

Back in the hotel room, more deep conversations occurred and I sort of watched a documentary on the Watergate Scandal while making a mental note to research more into Richard Nixon.

DAY 2

I woke up early and journaled my Day One entry, took a shower and read my daily bible amount on old fashioned paper, then a little Walden on my iPad. I headed downstairs to the Starbucks attached to out hotel and got some watered down Hot Chocolate and had a very interesting conversation about Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven, CT. I was wearing my Pepe’s t shirt and a man from CT saw and a conversation was sparked. He confessed to being more of a Modern Apizza guy. So ya, not everyones perfect. Nice guy, though

About that time Jeremy called me and was ready for some food. We went to a small breakfast place in the heart of downtown Tampa. I got the feeling this was a very “Tampa” place. Many locals, no thrills, good service, good food, huge Lightning flag reading: Go Bolts! on the back wall. I had an Italian omelette with home fries and some toast. Oh and a fresh glass of orange juice. Is there anything better than a free glass of OJ in the morning? Another great conversation ensued at the breakfast table regarding many topics. An excellent way to get the day started.

We set out to the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg. Admittedly, I knew close to nothing about Salvatore Dali, but whoever he was merited a huge museum. Walking through the Dali Museum I was struck by how talented the man was. I think the average entry opinion of Dali is how “crazy” and eccentric he was. Which is definitely true. But his fame wasn’t that shallow. Not even close. His work was simply amazing. I don’t mean he was amazing in the tortured soul/crazy looking paintings way. I mean, technically he was a brilliant painter that painted in ways my mind didn’t know were possible.

I was taken back by how thorough the Museum was with Dali and the details of his life. His backstory, origin, family life, wife and death all documented well. Even his transition from the Surrealism movement to more of a spiritual tone was documented impressively. The $24 price tag was well worth what I experienced. Also, the museum provided a VR tour of one of Dali’s painting which was the most amazing 3 minutes i’ve had in a long time.

Somewhere in the middle of all the this I realized how fortunate I am to have a friend like Jeremy. I would have never gone to Tampa on my own. Maybe, ever. But here we were eating the best foods and experiencing amazing things one after another. Honestly, buy all the goods and things you want, but nothing can replacement a good friendship and good conversation. Coincidentally, that’s a perfect transition into our last event.

So I haven’t really talked about this much lately, but I’d like to consider myself a minimalist. I know people hear that and get a super bujee feeling. But, really it’s anything but. The other main reason we came to Tampa is to see The Minimalists. They are a duo of two people who travel the world and talk about a movement called minimalism and how to simplify your life. Their movement has caught on and they now make a living in this lifestyle. On a personal note, they have inspired me greatly.

After we left the Dali Museum, Jeremy noted that the Minimalists coffee shop was actually somewhere near us. Sure enough, we looked it up and it lived about 9 miles away. Their show wasn’t until 7:30 that night, so we had a ton of time to kill. We pulled up at Bandit Coffee, I ordered a latte in an otherwise simple looking, clean coffee shop and we just talked. About everything: foods, diets, lifestyle. Why this, Why that. All in all, good stuff.

After a quick walk around a shopping area we both liked, we headed over to the Stratz Center, where the Minimalists would take the stage. We were a tiny bit early, so we hit up Bavarro’s Pizza again for an early dinner. We walked through downtown Tampa in the brisk, windy weather, sunsetting and reached our final destination.

What a show! The minimalists had some great advice as usual, and seemed committed to the cause as ever. I can’t speak for Jeremy, but I got an extra boost that I needed to do some more cleaning out for stuff I just don’t use. Their message is simple, but so hard. Get rid of stuff that doesn’t add value to your life. Seems easy, but good luck. Once you achieve some sort of minimalism in your life its like a drug. It keeps you coming back. Because its not really just throwing away or donating stuff, its living more efficiently and actually using 100% of your belongings. Crazy idea, huh?

After the show we hopped in Jeremy’s car and heading back for home. We both had long “back to the real world” days ahead of us. Looking back at Tampa, it was a great trip with an even better person. Sure, the sights were fun, the food was great and experiences was amazing. But the company of a great friend, having honest, open talks was my highlight. If I never get to go on a trip like that again, I am a better human for at least being able to have 1 trip that equaled 2 days in Tampa w/ Jeremy.

Liam – Age 6 / Disney 2017

Liam being 6 has brought many changes to our lives and his. First, Liam graduated k5 and made big strides in his last year at New Hope Christian Academy. After his summer break Liam would embark on his first huge challenge in life; changing schools. Not only changing schools, but in a big way, changing the type of school. He went from a small, private school to a much larger, public school. Lindsey and I were worried about this but unfortunately, we had little to no choice.

Liam surprised all of us with not only flourishing in the change, but doing exceedingly well at his school work. His resilience astounded me. He served as yet another great life lesson to me. I think we push aside young kids and our children and choose to write them off in so many areas in life, especially the life lesson department. For me, Liam keeps teaching me things. In his 6th year, He’s taught me change is tough but doable. This isn’t an earth shattering discovery. But a great reminder, especially when you see your own kid do it. He gave me strength.

As for this year’s video, there is an obvious change. The run-time. It’s long. 7 minutes plus. There is a reason for this. I don’t want to spoil it here. Just watch the video. Let’s just say I spent many long nights and early mornings at Disney’s Animal Kingdom hotel lobby editing and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

To a strong, resilient and gentle soul….Happy Birthday Buddy. We love you.

iPhone X Day

I woke per usual at 3AM EST to preorder my next phone. That in it self sounds ridiculous because it is. But us humans are prone to do ridiculous things. Also, per usual, my supposed silky smooth preorder process was anything but. To spare you the boring details, I finally got my confirmation email at 3:31 AM EST. That’s a lot of pull to refreshes on the Apple store app.

To be honest I wasn’t really surprised. That preorder process has never gone smooth for me. I’m always up at an ungodly hour, my devices are ready, and before I know it, people on twitter are saying what model they purchased and i’m still waiting for the store to open. At the end of the day I got in and my phone is set to arrive 11/17 – 11/24. The original launch date is 11/3. Considering dates fell all the way to December, I shouldn’t complain.

I settled on the black (space gray) iPhone X 64gb with Apple Care Plus. It wasn’t cheap, but also not extremely more expensive than what a regular iPhone would cost someone.
I think people get this confused because they are paying monthly on a phone (30 or 40 bucks usually) and for whatever reason, this particular model (X) was being lauded by its full price.

Days since my preorder have been interesting, though. My buddy Jeremy ordered one almost 24 hours after preordering opened and he is scheduled to get his sometimes in the next few days. I figure this was because he ordered through T-Mobile and not Apple, but this sort of thing was unheard of years ago. I’ve also seen people’s preorders jump dates from my expected ship date all the way to launch date. I’m sitting here twiddling my thumbs. No movement on mine.

I don’t care much anymore to be completely honest. There was a time in my life I would be sitting in a line at some Apple store somewhere at this very moment instead at home typing. I guess the rumor is true, you change as you get older. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited for a new phone. My current is almost 4 years old now. Thats the longest i’ve ever kept a phone. I’m proud of such an achievement, but the age is showing in more ways than one.

Happy iPhone day to all! If you’re getting a shiny new iPhone X today, enjoy it! If you’re not, you’ll be ok. You’ll get one eventually. After a little while, you’ll start looking up rumors for the next iPhone. Thats just what we do. But challenge yourself to enjoy the now instead of the next. After all, its what you’ve been waiting for.

The Abyss of Human Response & The Las Vegas Massacre

This wasn’t the time to stick your flag in the ground and fly it proudly. Unfortunately and predictably, thats what almost everyone did. It seems we live in a society that thrives on people’s opinions being heard and self righteous, boastful ideals being put on display, more so than prioritizing a basic human trait of sensitivity and humanity.

As if the massacre in Las Vegas wasn’t bad enough, how disgusting of a people have we become when the way the average person reacts is running to their side of the crowd, huddling up and playing follow the leader. Let me explain a little more clearly.

The cowardly, evil acts transpired on the night of Oct. 1 2017, and before Oct. 2nd turned my calendar, every social media or news outlet was filled with people who were attempting to state their case and dig their flag deeper in the ground. The Republicans or people who identify with the “right” attempting to preserve their guns and the rite to have them. The Democrat side of things or people who identify with the “left” rummaging to bash the media for not calling this a ‘terrorist’ attack because the shooter was white.

I’ve never been more embarrassed in my life to call myself a human. Listen, 58 souls died that night and guess what? All of them didn’t side with your political party, all of them didn’t have agendas that leaked out their nose. The majority of them weren’t like you.

But..

All of them most certainly had families. All of them were dads, moms, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, nieces, nephews, cousins. You get the point.

Or do you?

I’m not so sure the average person does anymore. Human’s revolting recital to act like an insensitive blob of thoughtless flesh has proven beyond astounding to me. How did we get here? When mass amounts of innocent people are killed by a madman, and as humans we just use the event as a pawn in our chess game to further agendas.

It’s disgusting, unacceptable and reality.

Do you care so much about what others think about you and your political stances that you gladly will use someone’s disaster as your benefit? These are questions EVERYONE needs to start asking themselves. In an honest, humbling manner. What are we as humans if we walk over dead corpses only to gain ground for our beliefs, political gains, and the idea of false-self fulfillment? The answer is quite simple actually, we’re not humans at all .

I understand there is a perception now that you as a person, are so important. So you flock to social media because you must be heard. But the reality is your not important. These victims are and were and you took their precious last moments and reflection/ respect time to walk all over them and spew your prideful ideals out of your selfish mouths. Is it too much to ask the average person to put aside their own motives and be sensitive to people’s lives and the families of the victims? I fear the answer is an astounding, despicable yes.

To the very few I saw respecting the victims, thank you. You are a light in a very dark place. To the majority who plainly showed zero respect, I would say shame on you, but you obviously lack the ability to feel shame.

Below are the majority of identifiable victim’s names, DOBs, and gender. Please spend some time in prayer or solitude for the families of these souls. To us they are just names, to their loved ones, they are so much more than we could ever imagine:

  • Ahlers, Hannah Lassette — 6/2/1983 Female
  • Alvarado, Heather Lorraine — 9/20/1982 Female
  • Anderson, Dorene — 4/16/1968 Female
  • Barnette, Carrie Rae — 12/16/1982 Female
  • Beaton, Jack Reginald — 12/10/1962 Male
  • Berger, Stephen Richard — 9/30/1973 Male
  • Bowers, Candice Ryan — 8/10/1977 Female
  • Burditus, Denise — 6/5/1967 Female
  • Casey, Sandra — 11/1/1982 Female
  • Castilla, Andrea Lee Anna — 9/29/1989 Female
  • Cohen, Denise — 8/2/1959 Female
  • Davis, Austin William — 6/20/1988 Male
  • Day Jr., Thomas — 10/29/1962 Male
  • Duarte, Christiana — 8/7/1995 Female
  • Etcheber, Stacee Ann — 2/26/1967 Female
  • Fraser, Brian S. — 8/20/1978 Male
  • Galvan, Keri — 8/20/1986 Female
  • Gardner, Dana Leann — 7/6/1965Female
  • Gomez, Angela C. — 12/26/1996Female
  • Guillen, Rocio — 12/20/1976 Female
  • Hartfield, Charleston — 5/16/1983Male
  • Hazencomb, Christopher — 9/27/1973 Male
  • Irvine, Jennifer Topaz — 6/6/1975 Female
  • Kimura, Teresa Nicol — 3/24/1979 Female
  • Klymchuk, Jessica — 5/1/1983 Female
  • Kreibaum, Carly Anne — 12/9/1983 Female
  • LeRocque, Rhonda M. — 8/29/1975 Female
  • Link, Victor L. — 9/7/1962 Male
  • Mclldoon, Jordan — 10/6/1993 Male
  • Meadows, Kelsey Breanne — 6/26/1989 Female
  • Medig, Calla-Marie — 8/8/1989 Female
  • Melton, James — 8/2/1988 Male
  • Mestas, Patricia — 7/25/1950 Female
  • Meyer, Austin Cooper — 9/18/1993 Male
  • Murfitt, Adrian Allan — 7/5/1982 Male
  • Parker, Rachael Kathleen — 12/16/1983 Female
  • Parks, Jennifer — 1/18/1981 Female
  • Parsons, Carolyn Lee — 12/28/1985 Female
  • Patterson, Lisa Marie — 6/26/1971 Female
  • Phippen, John Joseph — 10/25/1960 Male
  • Ramirez, Melissa V. — 11/29/1990 Female
  • Rivera, Jordyn N. — 7/22/1996 Female
  • Robbins, Quinton — 3/21/1997 Male
  • Robinson, Cameron — 1/1/1989 Male
  • Roe, Tara Ann — 9/1/1983 Female
  • Romero-Muniz, Lisa — 5/19/1969 Female
  • Roybal, Christopher Louis — 10/9/1988 Male
  • Schwanbeck, Brett — 1/31/1956 Male
  • Schweitzer, Bailey — 4/5/1997 Female
  • Shipp, Laura Anne — 5/9/1967 Female
  • Silva, Erick — 8/19/1996 Male
  • Smith, Susan — 8/24/1964 Female
  • Stewart, Brennan Lee — 2/19/1987 Male
  • Taylor, Derrick Dean — 9/25/1961 Male
  • Tonks, Neysa C. — 7/27/1971 Female
  • Vo, Michelle — 1/10/1985 Female
  • Von Tillow, Kurt Allen — 12/4/1961 Male
  • Wolfe Jr., William W. — 10/15/1974 Male

 

Thoughts & Impressions on Apple Event

In order of appearance:

Steve Jobs Tribute – Easily best part of the keynote. I had goosebumps when Job’s voice came over the speakers in that dark, intimate setting. Tim Cook was understandably, emotionally shaken. He delivered a well structured tribute for a well deserved man. Again, easily the best part of the keynote.

Apple Park Video – Very impressive. Very awkward. Don’t get me wrong, Apple Park is amazing. Every inch of the place looks like an Apple product. Obviously no money was left on the table here, Apple spared no expense in building this. So, in that instance, sure the video was great. Unfortunately it ran long for me. And by the end, it felt more like a “look what we did and you can’t have” video. Maybe thats just me, but after the first couple minutes, I’m thinking… “Are you guys just showing off at this point?” To which I’m pretty sure they would have answered: “yes and your welcome.”

Apple Retail Update – I like Angela Ahrendts a lot. I really do and I think shes doing great work…. But Apple Townsquares? Just stop. Its a place we go to give you money..

Apple Watch Series 3Solid upgrade in the Apple Watch line. I don’t love the price bump, but its Apple. Now we have an LTE enabled watch which I think makes sense, but the other side of me can’t quite connect the dots yet. Especially when cellular companies are selling me ‘air.’ Or more specifically charging me 10 extra dollars for use of the Watch on their network. A great reminder that I loath cell companies. All in all, same design, awesome new bands (sport loop) and good on Apple for pushing the line forward. If cellular means the world to you then update. If you have a series 2 and don’t care much about LTE, then sit this one out. Even if you have a Series 1 or 0, (like myself) I think unless cellular is something you’ve been waiting for for a while, then jump, if not. No worries and wait for next year’s redesign. (My opinion)

Apple TV – 4K, HDR, chip bump and SAME remote. Apple really? That remote is without a doubt one of the worst designed pieces of hardware to ever creep out of Apple. How in the world was this not redesigned and let out a 2nd time. 4k is great if you have a TV that supports it, HDR is the real winner here. Again, your TV has to support it, but HDR alone would make me upgrade if I had a TV capable. I’m holding off, but considering our Apple TV is our main way we watch our television, I’m happy to see Apple pushing their TV agenda forward.

iPhone 8’s – Its been the popular thing to bash these phones all because iPhone X was announced at the same event. Sure, the 8’s are less desirable for tech enthusiasts. But not only tech obsessed people buy iPhones. Apple knows this, and the truth is the 8’s are unbelievably great products. I really love the way the aluminum mixes with the new glass back. Also, the new gold color looks fantastic. I wouldn’t write off these phones just yet. I’m sure the demand will be a whole lot less compared to iPhone X, but these are solid upgrades which Apple should be commended for. Not to mention they feature almost every software upgrade that iPhone X does. iPhone X trumps 8 in hardware, sure. But there’s something to be said for tried and true, and the 8 is exactly that to the core: tried and true. I’m still heavily considering purchasing one.

iPhone X – The main event. I felt a very odd merging of emotions watching the unveil of iPhone X. Sure, I have been waiting for over a year for this phone, even published why I was passing on the 7 to wait on this very model. But as Phil Schiller was proudly announcing iPhone X I felt a sense of dread mixed in with my excitement. The lack of home button is really bothering me. I love my home button, specifically because I think its easily the best feature ever implemented on any tech product. And now Apple is ditching it. There is no denying how good iPhone X looks though. Its everything I thought it would be a year ago and in some ways more. I was little worried about Face ID and how well it would execute, but the hands on videos and trusted tech reporters cleared any doubt on that front. But one more gripe… That notch at the top of the display literally offends me. I don’t know how else to say it. It looks so out of place and so un-Apple. I get that Apple had no choice. That’s obvious. Internally, they can’t be thrilled with it either. But man, its rough to look at. Maybe using in real life changes things, but that notch. Anyways, bottom line for me is I’m excited to use it. As far as iPhone X as an over all product: Its obvious they believe in the design language and clearly is the future moving forward. Very impressive work for Apple.

My Verdict – I really enjoyed this event. A lot of it has to do with the Steve Jobs tribute in the new building. It just felt like an old school Apple event again. Maybe it was Steve’s voice. I don’t know. All the devices announced were impressive to say the least. The more interesting aspect of this event was wasn’t said though. No HomePod talk, no iMac Pro talk. Actually no Macintosh talk at all. Nothing ever mentioned. Thats kind of amazing to me. Amazing in a sad way. All in all, I’d say a solid day for Apple. They delivered on some heavy rumored products and high expectations of millions. But that notch though. Oh and by the way where in the world is dark mode?

Hurricane Irma

I currently am in the midst of Hurricane Irma. The rain is smashing against the windows and the wind, whistling seamlessly through the air.. I’m not sticking around for the worst of it though. I’m leaving for work in a few hours. I just wanted to document a little of this experience.

First and most importantly, Lindsey and the kids are safe about 6 hours north of here. They left yesterday morning while I was getting off shift work. We live in Kingsland, GA. We are very close to the coast and in the early days of this storm, the experts were reporting the eye was going to come right through here. Thus, we were under mandatory evacuation.  Since, Irma has changed its track and is currently hovering over the west coast of Florida.

My dad was down here visiting and had to book an emergency flight up to the safe north. So I picked him up and headed towards the airport. He was staying on Amelia Island or more specifically, right on Fernandina Beach. Dad said he wanted to stop at the beach to take a picture. To my surprise, it was extremely windy and the waves were about 6 feet high already. This was Saturday, Sept. 9 at about 9AM. The strength of this storm is amazing.

I came home and “prepared” our house as best as possible. Bringing in our grill, chairs, little stuff like that. Arriving home and driving through our neighborhood, I saw many houses boarded up. That gives off such an eerie feeling. Like an alien invasion was imminent. Anyways, yesterday I spent most of the day just relaxing, going for walks and keeping an eye on the storm. You know, taking it all in I’m a weather nerd, so as scary as this storm is, it’s equally intriguing to me.

I’ve kept the TV on to stay in the know. We don’t have cable, but some nice person is mirroring the weather channel live feed on YouTube. So that’s been great. Watching the destruction of the keys and Cuba has been very thought-provoking, though. Seeing devastation like this really puts things in perspective. Nature has a way of doing that for me.

Overnight, my sleep was interrupted numerous times by hard rain against our windows. When silence fills your home, I guess any noise is loud. That rain sounded violent. At one point around 3AM, I went outside. it was rainy, breezy and cool. Just my type of weather.

Today (Sept. 10) would be day 2 I guess. The storm is starting to pick up. The rain is coming down hard and the wind warrants a serious foretelling.  Hopefully everyone reading this is safe. I leave for work in a little bit and know we are possibly in for a long shift. Like I mentioned, this is only the beginning, but it looks as if Irma is delivering on the promises that a serious storm brings.

Tomorrow (Monday, Sept 11) is predicted to be the worst day for our area. Here’s to hoping it won’t be too bad and no one gets hurt. Make sure your loved ones are safe and take care of yourself.

See you on the other side.