Thursday, August 28, 2008

Apple Iphone Reviews: Evan Critics give Apple a pass on iPhone 3G woes.

I’m quoting the article below, with my personal thoughts in red. I just don’t get the problems people are having. Here’s an article from today which seems so stupid as to be not even worth writing, yet the Associated Press had nothing better to do apparently.



First an iPhone price cut left early buyers feeling foolish, and then came reports that some iPods were spitting sparks. Now the new iPhone 3G has been marred by bugs, spotty service, disappearing programs for the device and a veil of secrecy over software developers trying to broaden its appeal.


Spotty Service? Where? I DO have occasional laps in service but they are momentary and no worse than on my BlackJack or Razr. Disappearing programs? Nope. Veil of secrecy? Uhh… yeah. Who the hell ever gave you the impression the iPhone was open-source? They have a right to protect their software, even though it may irk me at times.


Such a string of mishaps and missteps might throw another electronics company into crisis. But of course, Apple Inc. isn't just another electronics company. Even as iPhone griping rages online, it looks like Apple's sterling reputation will emerge untarnished.


"The objective reality is that Apple does plenty of wrong," said Peter Fader, a marketing professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. However, Fader said, the company's loyal fans, and even casual users, have come to identify so strongly with Apple's high-end, individualistic vibe that they're willing to look the other way.

"Very few companies have this kind of iconic status where anything they do, even if it is mediocre, will automatically have a halo around it," he said.
Kern Bruce, a 25-year-old Web designer in Boston, waited in line for 13 hours to buy an original iPhone. He sold it to upgrade to a 3G.

"There was no going back at that point, but after I sold it, I quickly started to regret it," he said. Bruce's complaints echo countless Web forum posts: The device gets uncomfortably warm. Programs crash. And it so seldom connects to AT&T's speedier third-generation, or 3G, data network that Bruce carries the iPhone around with 3G turned off.

I run 3G, Bluetooth, and WLan apps constantly, 24x7, and mine never has any problems. From time to time it gets warm enough to notice that it’s more than just ambient temperature, but I’ve never grabbed my phone and said Wow that’s hot.. What gives?

And on the 3G issue; I hate to tell you guys, but it’s the 3G network, not the phone. I live in an area where I travel in and out of 3G coverage areas daily. For pete’s sake, what the hell is so important that you need to be transferring at 768K/second from your phone anyway? I’m what apple considers their power user I’d imagine. I run a full exchange client for over 670 contact, email, calendaring, etc. I also run Twitter, Facebook, Shozu, FlickR, Safari, read the news, blog, and occasionally even call people on my phone. Really guys.. get a life. If I need to send a 3MB file to someone I just send it, hit the home button, and put it back in my pocket. It’ll send in either a couple of seconds or a couple of minutes, depending on network availability.. no problems.


Apple, which declined to comment for this story, said little as complaints rolled in, then released a software fix it said would improve the device's ability to connect to 3G networks. Since then, users on various sites have reported no improvement.

Bruce, an Apple aficionado since the very first iPod, also recently returned a MacBook Air because it got too hot, and said his Apple cinema-display monitor sports burned-in images.

"They're skimping on materials, on testing things to gain market share, but they're kind of pushing away people who have been with the brand even when (it was) struggling," he said.
Yet when asked whether he'd abandon Apple, the answer was no.

Macs are "a lot better than the alternative, in terms of stability, viruses, being able to do high-end graphics work," he said. "I wouldn't tell people to stop getting Apple products. They make very good products."
The new iPhone marked an important shift in the company's relationship with software programmers. The first iPhone didn't let outsiders write legitimate software for the device, though hackers did so anyway. Apple reversed course with the 3G and gave outside programmers tools to build iPhone applications and sell them on iTunes.

But developers, too, are irked by Apple's secrecy and limits on the kind of programs they can design. An unusually restrictive agreement they must sign keeps them from comparing notes even with fellow programmers.

Ok, that caveat, I’ll agree seems to be a little extreme, so I’ll agree with that point. IF we are going to be allowed to develop apps, I would think collaboration would be a desired thing.

They also complain that Apple has limited their access to the iPhone's inner workings. For example, non-Apple programmers can't reach into a user's iTunes library and play a song or display cover art.
Apple has kept developers in the dark as to why some applications are rejected or, in rare cases, removed from the iTunes store without warning or explanation.

OHMYGOD! They won’t let you in to their operating system to screw around? For Shame! You can’t reverse engineer their iTunes application, which might possibly screw up thousands of users if you make a mistake and release buggy software? What bastards! How dare they protect their OS.

One such program let people use the iPhone's cell service to connect a computer to the Internet. Its developer, a company called Nullriver, did not respond to a message seeking comment, but wrote of its consternation on its blog.

Doesn’t it already do this anyway? (Can’t remember. Might have that confused with the HTC.)


DoApp, a small mobile-software company in Minneapolis, said it took two months for Apple to review and ultimately reject its 99-cent whoopie cushion application. Wade Beavers, DoApp's vice president of strategy, said Apple had never hinted that a program that mimics bodily functions would be considered inappropriate.

Nooooo. You mean a fart machine isn’t a valuable contribution to the telephony community? Please someone tell me why exactly some idiot would waste their time making a fart program for a phone? I’d really like to hear a good reason for this one. I’m glad SOMEONE banned the damned thing. Otherwise, I’d hear twelve year olds making fart-fone sounds all over town. Chances are they banned it because it’s STUPID, not because it’s inappropriate, though I agree with that too..

"Sometimes you feel like you're in line with the `Soup Nazi,'" Beavers said, referring to a "Seinfeld" episode in which a soup vendor capriciously banished patrons. "It's a really good deal to be part of the Apple thing, and you don't want to say anything to rock the boat. No soup for you! Your apps are gone!"

Beavers also grumbled about crashing Mac hard drives and terrible iPhone 3G service. Even so, he said he'd still buy Apple products on the strength of their design - and because Apple gave small companies like DoApp the same access to the iTunes store as industry big shots.

Baba Shiv, a professor of marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, compares Apple's fan base to Harley-Davidson motorcycle riders who pass over arguably higher-quality Japanese bikes.
The critical move that changed Apple's relationship with users was the launch of the iPod, Shiv said. Apple went from being a private luxury - a maker of niche products - to a mainstream one, and wormed its way deeper into customers' psyche.

"In the public domain, the coolness factor matters," he said. Indeed, an iPod "halo effect" is thought to be one big reason why Macs have boosted their share of the U.S. personal-computer market to nearly 8 percent.

Shiv said Apple's fans play down negative information to explain their relationship to the brand - and justify spending more for products that may not be better than the competition's.
Once that loyalty is formed, "the transgression has to be so egregious for someone to completely change the narrative," Shiv said. "If something like this had happened to Microsoft, the long-term impact would be much more for Microsoft than for Apple."


For the record, I’m not an apple fan. I love my iPod and I’m quickly learning to love my iPhone, however I hate their computers. Not possessing 92% of the global marketshare makes owning a mac in a PC world pretty stupid in my opinion when it comes time to be able to network and operate on common software. However, I do respect their dominance in the graphics market. Being a PC graphics designer from the old days, I have to admit they’re better built for graphics processing. 


I just don’t get all the problems people are whining about. I have about 30 apps on my iPhone and in the two weeks I’ve had it I’ve had 2 dropped calls (both in the same location that I always get poor service, so i attribute that to AT&T, not Apple) and I’ve rebooted it a couple of times just for giggles. Otherwise, it’s rock solid and works as advertised. Having said all that, I’d welcome some informed opinions, rather than spew from the AP wire.

Why We Rock


It’s not often that I really think how far computing has come. It’s also not too often that I stop and think how hard we really work for our customers. Tonight I did. Quite frankly, our company freakin’ rocks! I’ve been deploying this OutReach program to our clients for awhile now, offering customers discounted labor rates for work that can be done remotely.  The economy is hard on small businesses now and we needed a way to allow people to afford to continue to support their computers while trying to save them money at the same time. Our solution is decreased hourly rates for customers who are part of our monthly OutReach program. Part of this service includes weekly updates to their computers, antivirus programs, minor bug fixes and removal of malware and malicious programs.  Additionally, we discount our labor by $35.00 per hour for remote work. As you can see below, I can work on five or ten computers at the same time remotely whereas I can only work on one at a time on-site. It’s cheaper for them, more productive for us, and all around a good deal.


It’s currently 6:49 PM and behind this blog screen I am remotely controlling six different client computers, performing updates, and doing general system maintenance. This is a screenshot of my desktop right now. Check this out. (Click it to see it full screen).




In short, I love my job.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

iPhone 3g Review: Things I’m looking for.

     After one week I’m still loving my new iPhone. I’ve found some limitations, but most of them are things I can do without. If you have suggestions, feel free to share them here or email them.


Things I really want:


Wireless Signal Indicator

I’m looking for something like NetStumbler or WiFiFoFum for the iPhone 3G. If you know of an app that searches out hotspots, let me know.


Voice Command Program:

Though I haven’t yet tried it on my iPhone, I’ve been told the voice commander interface isn’t present in the iPhone. I’d really like an app that makes this possible, though I’m pretty sure it would be a complete rewrite of the source code, so I’m not holding my breath on this one.


Wav/MP3 Ring Tone Application:

I have a few wav and MP3 ring tones I’ve located over the years that I just adore, but I can’t put them on the iPhone. Shak told me about a program that will do it, but I can’t remember the name.


Loopt to Work Right:

I’ve got a few friends using Loopt on their phones, which is really a pretty cool app, though very Big Brother in its design. Basically it broadcasts my current location to anyone on my friend’s list using the built in GPS feature. It’s accurate to about 300' feet or so. The only con so far is that I can’t add certain friends. It seems that if I have those friends on Facebook, the loopt application seems to know that and refuses to add them to my Loopt friends on the phone. I disabled the Loopt application on Facebook, because truly I just don’t want the ENTIRE world to be able to pinpoint my location anywhere in the world at any time they want to. However, for trusted friends and especially for work, it would be a great application. I could pinpoint my staff’s location in relation to the next service call and automatically know which tech to send on a job. I’m going to continue playing with it and see how it works out. Are you a Loopt user? Add me and we’ll test it out together.



How do you capture your iPhone screenshot again?


File Transfer Application

I know Apple disabled this feature on purpose to avoid the possibility of hacking their OS files (this didn’t work by the way…) However, purchasing a 200 dollar hard drive that you can’t access seems counter-intuitive. I just assumed this feature would be built in to the phone. There is NO drag and drop interface for the iPhone and the camera folder is even read-only so you can’t easily copy pictures from your computer to your iPhone without using iTunes, which I don’t want to do.


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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

California judge rules early cell phone termination fees illegal

I got this from Yahoo news this morning. I thought it was interesting. I’d like to see where it goes in the future.


In one of the most significant legal rulings in the tech industry this year, a Superior Court judge in California has ruled that the practice of charging consumers a fee for ending their cell phone contract early is illegal and violates state law.

The preliminary, tentative judgment orders Sprint Nextel to pay customers $18.2 million in reimbursements and, more importantly, orders Sprint to stop trying to collect another $54.7 million from California customers (some 2 million customers total) who have canceled their contracts but refused or failed to pay the termination fee.

While an appeal is inevitable, the ruling could have massive fallout throughout the industry. Without the threat of levying early termination fees, the cellular carriers lose the power that's enabled them to lock customers into contracts for multiple years at a time. And while those contracts can be heinously long, they also let the carriers offer cell phone hardware at reduced (subsidized) prices. AT&T's two-year contract is the only reason the iPhone 3G costs $199. If subsidies vanish, what happens to hardware lock-in? Could an era of expensive, but unlocked, hardware be just around the corner? It's highly probable.

Of course, the carriers aren't going to take this lying down. Early termination fees are seen as critical to business, so carriers are expected to look for ways to reclassify the fees (such as by calling them "rates," part of the arcane set of laws that covers the telecommunications industry). The industry is also pushing for the federal government to step in and claim oversight over the early termination fee issue, which would invalidate any state ruling. The FCC is generally more tolerant of such fees, though Chairman Kevin Martin has proposed a plan whereby the fees are decreased the closer you are to the end of your contract.

The FCC may also buy the argument that, since carriers are nationally based (and consumers can use their phones anywhere in the country), that a single policy should apply across the nation, rather than creating a patchwork of legislation that could lead to confusion and chaos caused by having 50 different policies.

Is the early termination fee dead? Not yet, but it's looking a little haggard.

LINK: Sprint early termination fees are illegal, judge rules


Monday, August 25, 2008

Out of Touch: Back to Reality 2.0

IMG_0038Well, it’s been 13 days since my last cyberfession.  Sorry for being away so long from everyone, but it’s been a really hectic two weeks. It’s the 25th of August and the first night I haven’t had company since the 13th of the month. That’s not to say that each and every day hasn’t been adventure packed and fun-filled, but I must admit it feels strange now that the adrenaline high is gone after almost two solid weeks of daily human interaction with family and friends.


As some of you know, my Mom, Step-Mom, and Hannah came up on the 14th and we all packed in the Jeep and went to my Dad’s for four days. We surprised him by bringing my sister Juniper who I haven’t laid eyes on but once in a decade. It was amazingly cool to be able to spend time with everyone together in one place. I’m only sorry that my brother couldn’t come join us. Having just recently moved to Alaska, it would have been nigh impossible for him to get back down here for something like that. He was missed though.


I’ll have time for all the stories later, but I thought I’d share a little of the event with you, so I here are the links to the pictures. Of course you can see them all in my Flickr account, but it might be easier to see the specific sets from this trip if I outline them for you a little bit.


Down On The Farm

(Photos of the animals we took while we were there. There are about 100 LOLCat descriptions that could from this album alone. )


Photos With Dad

(Just as it says, these are all the photos we took with Dad while we were there. There haven’t ever been many photos with my Dad and me so I guess I went a little overboard with the camera action.)


Family Reunion 2008

(These are just all of us, moms, sisters, nieces, nephew, guns, ammo, swimming pools, movie stars.. oh wait, wrong show.)



Monday morning we packed up and headed back from Beverly Hills, I mean Dad’s house, and life almost returned to normal. Mom and the girls decided to stay the night because we’d been on the road all day so we all stayed here and they left Tuesday morning to go back home.


No sooner do they pack up to leave than my doorbell rings and Shak is here! You all know we’ve been gaming and chatting with Shak for years, but it’s only the second time we’ve ever got to hang out with him in person. Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for me, his other friend he was on the east coast to see was unable to have visitors due to circumstances beyond his control, so Shak stayed six days with us and left this morning to stay in a hotel in Buffalo New York. He flies out in the morning for the sunny shores of California. I’m sure he’ll be glad to be back to civilization.


I didn’t get many pictures while he was here because he’s not the poser type… I’m more the poser type, but I did get to get a couple. We went out to dinner last night before he left and tried out the new Texas Roadhouse, shown in the photo.



What else has happened in the last week of consequence?

Here’s the short list:

  • I got my iPhone 3G. Lovin it! (Need more friends on Loopt though.)
  • Went shooting with Doc today for half an hour or so. Sat out in the barn for an hour and just talked while waiting on his new HP Laptop to get here that Bridget got him. I miss doing that with him. We can sit over a glass of sweet tea and talk for hours about our lives.
  • Read about 50 pages of LolCats this past week and laughed so hard I cried.
  • Took goofy pictures of my cats for no good reason.
    Cordy Roars in Indignation for being woken up.
    Nadia looks like she has better things to do that be bothered with us hoomans.
  • We fixed a computer that looked worse than a 1955 Chevy that had sat in the rain for 40 years.
    Yeah, that's RUST on the bottom. 
    Yup, that’s rust on the bottom. It came in as an AMD 900 MHz and left as a Pentium 4 1.9GHz. It felt like rebuilding a pinto into a mustang!
  • Watched some good movies with Shak and April. (“Street Kings”, “Definitely, Maybe”, and some others I can’t remember the name of.

And now, I think I’m seriously going to go to bed early for a change. I’m wonked, exhausted, and plain ol’ wore out.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rough Life

DSCF1036, originally uploaded by alornmage.

It's a rough life for kittens on a farm. Can't ya tell?

If you want to share this image, the img location is:


DSCN0033, originally uploaded by alornmage.

That sucker bit me.

If you want to share this image, the img location is:

Funky Chicken

DSCF1041, originally uploaded by alornmage.

This was just a cool photo of one of the chickens Mom took while we were down on the farm last weekend.

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Don't mess with tim when he's hungry

Thursday, August 07, 2008

HTC Tilt Goes Out The Door… Two Thumbs Down. The iPhone is in.

HTC. OUT! *points towards the door*

And Don’t Come back!


I’ve had it up to here (I’m pointing to my neck in case you can’t see me) with the HTC Tilt. I went back to AT&T tonight to join the iPhone bandwagon.  Sure, the Tilt looks awesome, has a slider keyboard for full qwerty comfort, but it sucks.

Cons for the HTC Tilt:

A) Has FOUR times the memory of my BlackJack, yet operates slower without any even software installed.


B) Flipping from Portrait to Landscape view lags the video card sooo badly. It’s 3 or 4 seconds before I can get the screen to flip and get decluttered.



C) When I dial a call, the digital keypad disappears, and I have to hit “Keypad” to get it back. I dial companies all day long, so most of my 587 person address book requires me to dial an extension. To do that I have to hit the phone button, then dial the number because the memory seek isn’t very fast so I’ve dialed most of the entire number before it’s matched it to my phonebook entry, then I have to hit talk. Then I wait for it to connect. Then I have to hit keypad again,which requires looking at the phone, and then dial the extension.


On my blackjack, I dialed the first “Pai” for Paige, someone I call every day for parts orders, then hit 353 for her extension, then I’m in. Requires WAY less work to dial.


D) Could the notifications screen be anymore annoying? If I want to see the Keypad button while the phone is at rest, I have to hit Power once to wake it up (stupid), then hit “Notification” to be informed of whatever WiFi hotspot I’m near, then hit dismiss, then hit Notifiction again to see how many text messages I’ve had since I last pressed the button, then hit Options, dismiss, then hit notification again to see how many emails I’ve received, then hit dismiss again, THEN I can hit keypad. It’s a phone chock full of notification options! I have indicators on the top of the screen for that. I can look and see I have voicemail, text messages, or emails.. do you really have to make me clear ALL the notifications every time I want to hit the Keypad button?


E) It’s slow as hell. The internet browser is great.. pretty fast too, but the response of the phone is horrible to input commands. I have to slow down to dial. Dialing my partner should take less then 3 seconds. Boom, boom boom, dial. With the Tilt, I have to wait about half a second for the keypad to accept my last key before hitting the next.. not the optimal interface for a person on the go.


F) The phone does NOT ship with voice commander. HTC and AT&T state that it does.. it does not. If you want voice commander (the ability to dial via voice command out of your phonebook) then you have to pay $40.00. Are you serious? $40.00 to microsoft for something the phone is already advertised to do out of the box?


G) GPS? No… the GPS is only an option if you want to pay AT&T another $10.00 per month for AT&T Navigator. Dude.. I’m using free DOJ satellites? Why the hell are you charging me for this?


Pro’s for the HTC Tilt:

A) Cleaning the oil from your skin off it is pretty easy, if you dig in the corners with a q-tip… otherwise, I’m jaded at the moment.


Cons for the iPhone:

I don’t know yet. I’ll let you know in ten to fourteen business days when it gets here.


Pro’s for the iPhone:

I DO know the GPS works independently of AT&T’s navigator package.. no fee to use it. It’s also amazingly fast to dial. As fast as I hit the keys, the phone responds, so I’m cool with that.


8 GB of storage is plenty, so I opted not to get the 16gb version. Nothing will replace my 80gb iPod anyway, so I’ve got plenty of music for the road. I probably will load some audiobooks on it though, just for kicks, especially if they’ll play over bluetooth.


No sweat streaks in the corner of the glass.. the whole top is flat so you can clean it easily with one swipe.


It charges off the same docks I already have for my 2 iPods, both radio docks, my car charger, my USB charger, and my FM broadcaster will all charge it, so I won’t need accessories any time soon.


So.. lemme recap. Bonuses for the iPhone over the Tilt are FREE GPS, easier to clean, longer battery life, 32 times the built in storage… need I go on?


Why First South Bank Rocks, and why the NC State Employees Credit Union Sucks!


First South Bank



I got a call about two minutes ago from Irene Berardi, who works at the Arlington branch, where I do my personal banking, informing me I had a debit coming through for $100.00 but only had $15.00 in the account. I had just gone to and paid my credit card using the online pay now feature. It shows me my bank accounts associated with the card and asks me to select the account from which to make the payment, based on the last 4 of the card number.


Apparently I was as idiot when I selected the account to pay from and selected the wrong one… just a backup savings account I keep for rainy day purposes.


Instead of letting the charge go through, charging me $29.00 for a bounce fee, AND running the risk of possibly denying the payment, she just called my cell phone and said “Did you know you have a charge going through on your account and you don’t have funds in that account to cover it?” I slapped my forehead and told her I must have chosen the wrong account to take the funds from, already picturing the problems this was going to cause me when I had to deal with Capital One.


“No problem” she says. “Do you just want me to transfer the funds from your other account?”

“Umm.. yeah. That’d be awesome… thanks!” I told her.


Done… crisis averted.


Did I goof? Yessir. Was it my fault? Yessir, completely.


Still, they are nice enough to assume you’re not a total idiot and they actually pick up the phone to call you and ask! I love that bank! That’s the second time something like that has happened in the four years I’ve been banking there


Hey! Credit Union! You might want to take lessons from the guys over at First South!


State Employee’s Credit Union

Why the credit union sucks!

Everyone wants to bank at the credit union; better interest rates, better online services than other banks, blah blah blah. So, I do. I finally got an account with the credit union a few years ago. Since then I’ve had nothing but problems.



Last week I sent my girlfriend by the bank with a check to deposit. I wrote the check to myself, from my business bank account at First South Bank and she was just to deposit it into our joint checking account so the bills I wrote online the day before would be covered.


I get a phone call on her lunch break, almost in tears, telling me the bank won’t take my check! In fact, they have a hold on all checks from me and I’m not allowed to deposit checks. What the F***? Now I cancel an appointment, leave my office, drive to the bank and lose my lunch break, and continue waiting for someone to get of their ass to provide us some customer service….


The lady pulls up my account and tells me “Oh. Mr. Jordan can’t deposit checks because there is a flag on his account. He’s in Africa.” I almost lost it right there!  I less-than-politely asked her if I appeared to be in Africa, or rather did I appear to be sitting in front of her pissed as hell because the teller is an idiot? She agreed that my presence in her office did indeed indicate my presence firmly within continental US borders and that she’s waddle over and try to solve the problem.


Apparently, there was a flag put on my account, at my request over three years ago when I went to africa. I put that on the account to inform the bank of my travels so I would be able to use my debit card while I was in Africa instead of having my account closed because of suspected fraud the first time I swiped my card from Cairo or something… Meanwhile, for the last three years I’ve been making deposits, withdrawals, and paying bills through that account… why in the hell some retarded teller can’t read her screen is beyond me, but NOTHING in that flag indicated that I wasn’t supposed to be able to deposit funds. To the contrary, the account flag said I was overseas and COULD make transactions from foreign countries if needed.


It took the credit union the better part of an hour to resolve this. In the entire time I’ve banked there the customer service has royally sucked! They act as if you should be honored to bank there and they never make mistakes.


In short: First South Bank Rocks. The NC State Employee’s Credit Union Sucks!

(back to work now)


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Never judge someone...

This is another of those I was sent by Keith. I can’t vouch for whether it happened or whether it’s just a nice symbolic story someone made up, but it just about made me tear up so I’m posting it.

'Some people!' snorted a man standing some distance behind me in the long line at the grocery store.  'You would think the manager would pay attention and open another line, 'said a woman. I looked to the front of the line to see what the hold up was and saw a well dressed, young woman, trying to get the machine to accept her credit card. No matter how many times she swiped it, the machine kept rejecting it.


'It's one of them welfare card things. Damn people need to get a job like everyone else,' said the man standing behind me. The young woman turned around to see who had made the comment.   'It was me,' he said,pointing to himself. The young lady's face began to change expression.Almost in tears, she dropped the welfare card onto the counter and quickly walked out of the store. Everyone in the checkout line watched as she began running to her car. Never looking back, she got in and drove away.


Several minutes later a young man walked into the store. He went up to the cashier and asked if she had seen the woman. After describing her, the cashier told him that she had run out of the store, got into her car, and drove away. 'Why would she do that?' asked the man. Everyone in the line looked around at the fellow who had made the statement.   'I made a stupid comment about the welfare card she was using.  Something I shouldn't have said. I'm sorry,' said the man.


'Well, that's bad, real bad, in fact.  Her brother was killed in Afghanistan two years ago. He had three young children and she has taken on that responsibility. She's twenty years old, single, and now has three children to support,' he said in a very firm voice.


'I'm really truly sorry. I didn't know,' he replied,shaking both his hands about. The young man asked, 'Are these paid for?' pointing to the shopping cart full of groceries. 'It wouldn't take her card,' the clerk told him.


'Do you know where she lives?' asked the man who had made the comment. 'Yes, she goes to our church.'


'Excuse me,' he said as he made his way to the front of the line. He pulled out his wallet, took out his credit card and told the cashier, 'Please use my card.PLEASE!' The clerk took his credit card and began to ring up the young woman's groceries. Hold on,' said the gentleman. He walked back to his shopping cart and began loading his own groceries on to the belt to be included. 'Come on people. We got three kids to help raise!' he told everyone in line.


Everyone began to place their groceries onto the fast moving belt. A few customers began bagging the food and placing it into separate carts. 'Go back and get two big turkeys,' yelled a heavyset woman, as she looked at the man. 'NO,' yelled the man. Everyone stopped dead in their tracks. The entire store be came quiet for several seconds. 'Four turkeys,' yelled the man. Everyone began laughing and went back to work.

When all was said and done, the man paid a total of$1,646.57 for the groceries. He then walked over to the side, pulled out his check book, and began writing a check using the bags of dog food piled near the front of the store for a writing surface. He turned around and handed the check to the young man.


'She will need a freezer and a few other things as well,' he told the man. The young man looked at the check and said, 'This is really very generous of you.'

'No,' said the man. 'Her brother was the generous one.'


Everyone in the store had been observing the odd commotion and began to clap.  And I drove home that day feeling very American. We live in the Land of the free, because of the Brave!!! Remember our Troops of Yesterday and Today!!! A great example of why we should be kind and patient. Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear. Never judge someone...until you have walked a mile in their shoes.

How all business phones SHOULD Be answered

Another of those I was sent, but poignant and I liked it:



Press '1' for English.

Press '2' to disconnect until you learn to speak English

And remember only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American Soldier.

One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Surf’s Up

Michelle sent me these photos and I thought I’d share. Hannah went to surf camp last week. My little baby’s becoming a surf rat!



Hannah poses with her board. Keanu would be jealous.



Ok.. we’re up.. up..





Ok.. I’m off to go audition for Point Break 2.


Note: You looked awesome out there baby! Keep it up! And thanks to Michelle for sending me the photos! I really appreciate it!! She looks great out there.