Saturday, February 28, 2009

Online Storage: Friend Or Foe?

I've always believed in backing up my computer files. After all, it just seems to make sense. Obviously if your hard drive "goes south" and it fries, you definitely don't want to lose any documents, pictures and important information. When I've worked on other people's computers, I always ask, "did you back up your files?" Many times the answer comes back, "No."

There are numerous ways to backup your files, that's a given. You can use your DVD-rom drive, flash drives, a second hard drive or an external portable hard drive. So, if your hard drive takes a dive, you have your data ready after your operating system is installed on a new drive.

However, there is a trend now that is a tad alarming to me. Many third party sites are offering online backup storage. It can range from anywhere of 2 gigs on up. You can upload your files to their site for safe keeping. But, I wonder, how safe is it really? That question isn't rhetorical. It's not like having a safe deposit box at the bank where only the signers have authorization to obtain the contents. I may be suspicious, but I'm not sure whether backing up online is good. How do we know that the site you are backing up to isn't snooping into your files? It's already a difficult task to stay ahead of phishing emails and more trying to get at information like your social security number, bank numbers and more.

Wouldn't it just be easier and actually safer to backup your files and put them in a secure spot at home? I know these sites are probably saying that it's completely safe. But who is to know? And...I'm going out on a limb here, but as we see a trend like this continue it could mean a lot more. I believe, and it's only a conviction, that when the anti-christ takes over, what better way to find out about people than on the net? Slowly we are losing security day by day. Everywhere you turn, technology is happening at a rapid pace. On one side, I like technology. The other side though can be alarming as I've already mentioned.

Well, it's something to think about anyway. Since I work on my family and friend's computers I always mention to them to backup important information. Personally, I find the USB external hard drives a good option if they are secured in a safe place and encrypted. Or, have a second hard drive installed on your computer and use an imaging backup system to save your info in case your main hard drive goes down. Recently, one of my drives failed, I'm glad I had a backup. I would have lost a ton of music that I had bought if I hadn't had that backup!

Just for fun here's a clip of the Sweet Comfort Band with "Computer Age" from 1981. We've come a long way from DOS that's for sure.

Computer Age

Friday, February 27, 2009

O'Reilly And The Ratings

I thought I'd end the week with some interesting news. Bill O'Reilly's newsletter email revealed some interesting things about the ratings. With all the hype about the new administration, it's interesting to note what networks did the best. Bill explains it well in this excerpt. I think that if you took a real poll with a good cross-section of the U.S., it would come out a whole lot different than what the left would have us believe. Be well.

(Quote) The TV ratings for February have been tabulated, and in the world of cable news, there is weeping among the left. The two networks that most favor President Obama, CNN and MSNBC, got hammered by the Fox News Channel, which is generally tougher on the president. In fact, Fox News was the third highest prime-time rated cable network in America, behind USA and TNT. CNN was 15th, MSNBC... a dismal 23rd. (End Quote)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Peter Strauss!

Peter Strauss is my most favorite actor of all time. Hands down! Ever since the first mini-series "Rich Man Poor Man" hit the air-waves I've been a fan of his ever since. His list of credits are so long it'll boggle you. He won an Emmy for "Jericho Mile" and has been nominated for so many other awards. Check out some of his credits at

Some of my all time favorites have to be: "In The Lake Of The Woods", "Trial, The Price Of Passion", and "Fugitive Among Us". Now, that he's slowed down his acting he really loves his gardening. He was a spokesman for "Miracle Gro" a few years ago as well. Sure, I have my favorites in actors but Strauss stands in a league of his own! Peter turns sixty-two today. So, I hope his birthday is a good one. I know his acting has touched me deeply in so many ways! Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lost 316

Last night's "Lost" was a great episode. About a week or so ago I had said that the time travel thing was starting to wear thin and "Lost" had lost a bit of its luster. Well, last night's ep changed all that to me. Some things became more clear. Just a few notables. The title of the ep was "316" which on the "Untangled" bit said it was from the Word in John 3:16. I totally missed that one.

There were elements that really stayed with me. It seemed a few of the characters were going back with selflessness. Hurley it seems was holding onto Charlie's old guitar. At least that seems to be the case. Kate didn't want to go but did it for Jack I believe. And Jack put his father's old wingtip shoes on Locke for the trip.

I loved seeing Fionnula Flanagan as Eloise Hawking. She played Clothilde in the 1976 mini-series "Rich Man Poor Man." Side note: Tom (Nick Nolte) was staying with his uncle as a young man. They had a maid named Clothilde. Later in life, Tom named his boat Clothilde in remembrance of her.

Finally they did answer a few questions. But we have a long way to go. Still, all in all, a great episode. That's it for today. Sure, I probably have other things to write about but I'll save that for tomorrow! Be well all.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Fairness Doctrine?

(Quote) The Fairness Doctrine is going to make a comeback under the Obama administration. It just won’t be via Congress and it won’t be called the “Fairness Doctrine.” It’ll come via the FCC, involve restrictions on media ownership and content, and it’ll apply to the internet too. (End quote) Click on the link above for the whole article.

Okay, you know what this really boils down to? It's obvious that conservative talk radio dominates the airwaves. So, our poor liberal folks think they ought to get a fair share. Even if this goes into effect, I really wonder what their ratings will be like? Here's an idea. Grant the left a few hours a day, then hand it over to the right. Then have the ratings done and see what share each of the shows get. I think we would get a clear picture of what is going on.

It's not enough, to them anyway, that they dominate the American airwaves. I think the last line of the article says it best: So it’ll no longer be what the market wants. It’ll be what the left demands.

Final thoughts. They want to do this to the internet as well. Why don't they start with dealing with spammers, spyware creators and the scammers? Clamp down and put some harsh penalties against those who use the net as a means of scamming dollars from ordinary law obeying people. There's an old saying that goes like this: If you roll a bowling ball down a dark alley and you hear someone scream, you know you hit something! How true. I shouldn't laugh but I just thought of the old wicked witch of the west as she was melting, "What a world, what a world."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Caution: Possible Spoilers Ahead.

This post will NOT go into political differences that some may or may not have with President Bush. This post is intended to look at the "person" of George Bush. For the hate mongers who love to stir up trouble, go elsewhere. This doesn't include my faithful readers i.e. Cindy, Roger and more. Side bar: It's weird in a way, I can talk about Jesus all day and no one gets offended, but I say one thing about politics and you can see the torches coming! Funny world we live in. Okay, back on the message.

I admit I'm not a very big fan of some of Oliver Stone's works. However, it has never stopped me from watching JFK, The 4th of July and other works. The characters seem a bit contrived to me in this film exept for Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Banks (who happens to be one of the cutest and brightest actors I have ever seen).

Who really knows what goes on in the heart of an individual? Even the scriptures say that it is tough to figure out our own hearts. While watching this DVD it did hit a little close to home in certain areas. Bush was obviously a baseball fan, a runner and someone who had "daddy issues." (Even "Lost" had an ep that was called, "Even Cowboys have daddy issues.")

I think the movie showed the prez as someone trying to do right but got jilted many times along the way. It's anyone's guess as to who really messed up in certain areas. Two scenes really got to me. One, Bush is in center field and a fly ball is hit. He keeps looking and never ever sees the ball again! I just felt that it was a man that was still searching for his own soul. The other scene was a nightmare he had. He walks into the Oval Office and it's completely bare except for the presidential desk and chair. In the chair sits his father. His father taunts W. to a fight. As the scuffle begins, George wakes up screaming. Sure, I can make this all psychological. I just saw a man that was still looking for approval, and never got it. There are many who have "daddy issues." No matter how old they get.

Regardless of your views politically, I saw this movie and just felt so bad for the man. Now, in real life something happened on January 20th. Of course, my candidate did not take office. When I watched President Bush climb aboard Marine One, I have to admit I was very sad. There was a lump in my throat. I didn't like seeing him leave. Others I have heard of, cheered. Well, I guess many of us see things differently. Only history will reveal what really transpired during Bush's reign. You know, they are still reviewing what George Washington did! And that was a long time ago. At any rate, I enjoyed the movie from the human aspect. Sure, I know Oliver Stone and company wanted to portray him in a poor light. My speculation. At any rate, it showed me that all are human, and all of us someday will answer to a God who created us all. May the peace of Christ be with you all.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Look Back

I'll end the week on a positive note. Today, I was able to spend about an hour with one of my old buddies from my radio days in Rockford Illinois, Matt Kramer. If only the station managers knew of some of the pranks that Matt and I pulled on a lot of people including Joel our news director. We also pulled one on Ginger the secretary. I don't think to this day she would even know what Matt and I did. Oh by the way, it wasn't illegal, Matt and I just laughed so much our sides hurt.

In the picture above are some of the guys I miss from the station. There's Dan Reinhard, me, Matt, and Mike Gearhart. You could say that especially Dan, Matt and myself were pretty tight. I could tell some stories that would knock your socks off but I won't. Well, two anyway. Matt made up a liner for Joel that said, "There will be frost on your pumpkins tonight!" I still laugh at that. Kind of an inside joke but if you think much about it, you'll get it. Then, the other time was when Dan was holding an Aerosmith CD called, "Get A Grip." With a boyish smile he kept saying to me, "Don't ya just love it?, don't ya just love it?!" I still laugh over that. He was so excited and grinning so much. I was laughing because he was so animated. And after all, that CD was contraband! However, we were in a Christian station and I tried to act all "holy" and pretend I didn't like it. However, I really did! Man, I miss those guys.

Matt and I talked for about an hour by phone. At one point I became a bit somber as I missed my buddies from that time period so long ago. Sure, I have friends now and God has been good to me in spite of some things that have happened in my life. However, good memories are always a treat for me. You can see it in the picture. Matt and Dan were two guys that could always get me to laugh. Even though life can take us on many different roads, it's nice to look back once in awhile and remember some fond things of years gone by. It's good to know Matt is doing well. I was shocked at a recent pic of Matt. He cut his hair and I didn't think it was "The" Matt Kramer. Now, if I can find Dan. Another close friend of mine from that time span is Doug our old engineer. We had thought about doing some kind of reunion with the guys. That is one I'd definitely look forward to. In that pic, I look so young. Well, I was.

If you remember some old friends in your life, why not give them a call or write a letter. You might just make their day. Have a good weekend everyone and don't forget to "Get A Grip!"

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lost Seems To Be "Lost"

I haven't missed one episode of "Lost." Even though I feel it has waned a bit, it is by far the best thing going on TV these days. I cannot believe I have all these channels and nothing decent to watch. I don't like sports, so-called reality shows, game shows and the ilk, but I do love the Discovery, History and Biography channels. That's why I keep a stash of DVD's I love, just in case!

Last night the whole time travel thing started to get a bit old. That is, unless they tie in all the pieces to wrap up the loose ends. I loved it a lot better when the mystery was involved. I don't think they should have "off'ed" Charlie. Rose and Bernard are dead weight and I could really do without Ben Linus. Just don't like the guy at all. Okay, in real life he might be a cool guy, I just don't like his character.

If they explain the number deal and the black smoke monster thing, I'll be happy. Actually my favorite moments of the show are the real "human" emotions that come through. Like when Kate tells Jack, "I've always been there for you." Or when Sawyer sees Kate and you can see the pain in his eyes. Plus, the one that gets me the most is when Des and Penny finally talked by phone. The evidence of love was apparent and that was one of the best scenes ever!

JJ Abrams is a fantastic story teller. The caveat to me is that he tends to lose it towards the end. He did that in "Alias." It kind of drifted into, well, nothing. I'm hoping there's some great pinnacle of truth or reason that finally wraps up the whole story. Did I mention the black smoke thing? Ha.Well, all in all, it is just a show. But, it still intrigues me even though it has lost some of its luster. And since I really dislike all so-called reality shows, "Lost" IS the best thing going. Let's hope that Abrams can pull it all together for a great ending. To be fair, it's easy to be an armchair critic. I do love Abrams' work even though he loses steam at times. I have my own version of how it should end. I see the survivors flying off the island, all together, and as they look back at the island, you can hear an overdub of the "whispers" and all fades to black. Hey JJ you hearing me dude? Ha. Echoes of Hurley there. Be well all!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Jonah Days

I always try to be honest. Well, with the Lord's help I do my best to be honest or not to say anything. Recently, I've had the good fortune of reconnecting with an old friend of mine from years ago. Our "chance" meeting was one that really cheered me up that day. I found out that this dear brother had been through some of the same things I have been through in the past decade. This prologue brings me to the main subject matter.

I used to be a legalist. And to be fair, I still have to be careful not to fall into that trap again. While fighting legalism, a person can become a "legalist" by fighting legalism. Oh the paradox. While working at a CCM radio station back in the nineties I had another announcer named Dan L that worked along side me. As I think back on this man "now", I realize that I had really dropped the ball. He had tried so hard to get me to show him some attention. Well, I was too busy with my daily activities to give him "time of day." He even brought in a card with a painting by Renoir to give to me. I quickly looked at it, and tossed it aside. I brought this up for a very special reason.

This man was reaching out to me. But, I was too busy being caught up in my own life to show him the kindness he deserved. To this day, it still bothers me that I shunned him. It wasn't intentional, it was that I was too concerned about my own life to care about him. He needed a friend, and I failed to be there for him. If I could ever find him again, I would repent for my callous attitude towards him. God knows I've already repented to the Lord for the way I ignored this part-time announcer.

In Philippians 2:4 it says, "Do not be concerned about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others." ISV. Obviously that verse isn't dealing with being a busy-body or a gossip but clearly shows a poignant point. We all do look out for our own things which seems clear enough, but God would want us to care for others along the way. I have found out, the hard way, that if I become too busy to care for others, then I have become too busy!

We all know the old sayings too. "Christians are the only ones who shoot their own wounded" etc. You know something, that is really true. So, point one is clear, we should help others. Two, when you go through something horrible in your life, you find out very quickly who your real friends and who aren't. Michael English is a prime example. The world and especially the so-called "caring" Christian community dumped him like a hot potato when he failed. If you haven't read his book, you should. When a person stumbles, and it is their fault, they will have to live through consequences even though God forgives the sin. My friend Steve said that he hopes that Michael English won't go through the rest of his life apologizing all the time. When I talked with Michael in a pastor's office sometime back, he just hugged me and told me that he was glad I never rejected him.

The person that I had reconnected with had some similar issues in his life as I have in mine. He reassured me that the way he got through it was to "throw himself into the arms of Jesus." We have spent a lot of time recently talking over the way "organized religion" gets in the way of true believing. does. So many treat others in the church as if they have leprosy. I want to make the next point clear though: I believe in church. However, I don't believe in a church that will abuse their gifts or talents and make you bow to a system of works that they think is biblical. My friend I mentioned above recommended one of the best books that has been around for years called, "The Subtle Power Of Spiritual Abuse." If Christians are getting tired of abuse in the church, why do you think non-believers don't want anything to do with it?

I know that I am learning to walk softly around hurting people. I say that I am "learning" for we never truly totally "learn" everything in this life. In hindsight I know that I'd do things a bit differently when it comes to the man I mentioned earlier that gave me the card. Below I attached a music clip from Gordon Jensen's song, "Back In My Jonah Days." I think it really goes along with what I've tried to say. I hope I always remain open to the hurts and needs of others. I have a lot of learning to do, but I think I've learned a little along the way. May the peace of Christ be with you all!

Back In My Jonah Days

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day

Well, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, hence, according to "official" Groundhog rules, more winter! Before I delve into my real subject matter, I have always thought this tradition was a bit backwards. "If" the groundhog sees his shadow that means that the sun must be shining. With that in mind, it would seem to equate the sun shining with warm weather. But, it means we'll have more winter instead.

Okay, I admit I'm not a football fan. Oh, I might follow an occassional Green Bay game but that's about it. I didn't know who was even in the Super Bowl! So, I watched one of my old favorite movies last night, "Groundhog Day" with Bill Murray. Yes, we know that it's a comedy but there are certain scenes that were extremely sad. When Bill Murray finds out that the homeless man had passed away, he made sure the next day that the man was fed! To me the whole emphasis on the story is how one man finally gets it right! To me, that's what the whole epiphany is about.

Some trivia notes. By the way, I am one of those that read "liner notes" from CD's, watch all the credits at the end of a movie, ad infinitum. Most of the movie was actually filmed in Woodstock Illinois. Woodstock is just east of my old stomping grounds of Rockford where I lived for ten years. I really liked Rockford! Now, in Rockford there is a quarry there. From my understanding, the scene where Bill is in the truck with the groundhog and decides to drive it over the edge into the quarry was filmed in Rockford. Every time I would drive past that quarry I would think about that scene.

It was great to watch that old movie again. Yep, I passed up the Super Bowl to watch the movie. However, the Steelers might have a "Groundhog Day" thing happening. Is it the sixth time they have become Super Bowl champs? Go figure. Well, kiddies, that's it for today. Stay warm and have a good week.