Can’t Get No Privacy

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Recently social media networks Path and Twitter have been in trouble for their privacy issues. Both sites apparently were uploading user’s contact book information to their servers without their knowledge, in order to help them find new friends and network better with one another. Facebook has been in and out of the news over the years for their privacy issues and are constantly changing them. But frankly this is all old news and I say so because this is social media we’re talking about. Enough is enough.

Social media networks are not meant to be a private affair. The goal is network with your friends and family, coworkers, colleagues, and etc. Nothing about it is private. If you post something online, it never truly goes away; someone can always access or find it. When a person chooses to sign up with Facebook, Path, and etc. you should just except a lack of privacy. Yes, uploading our contact information to their servers is wrong but it’s there in the fine print, we just don’t always choose to read it. When the pop-up asks you if it can access your personal information, anything is game.

Keep in mind, social networks aren’t trying to use your personal information or contact book info for some evil plan. They are just trying to help you find people on their site and make it easier for you to use. As users we can argue that these sites change their policies too often for us to keep up and even if it is true, there isn’t anything we can do about it (short of not using the site all together). So remember, social media sites can and probably will access your information at some point in time, it just comes with the territory.

Fitness and Eating Tips

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I’ve had several people ask me what I do for fitness and how I stay in shape. So I will lay out what I do and also what my diet looks like but keep in mind I am not a certified fitness trainer. I took some health and exercise classes in college and have learned a few things from friends who were trainers but that’s about it. The rest is just what I’ve learned from trial and error and the internet. So if you decide to use this information, do so at your own discretion.

First thing’s first. When starting a new workout regime, it’s important to take it slow, remain patient, and give your body time to rest and recuperate. It will take time for your muscles to build up and not be sore after exercising. What you eat is just as important but I will go into that in a bit.

Here is what a typical week looks like for me at the gym:

Monday: Weight Lifting – chest and abs. Total time 1hour-1.15mins.

Tuesday: Weight Lifting – biceps and triceps. Total time 1hour

Wednesday: Cardio – Treadmill run (amount of miles vary but try to do at least 3). Also some other type of cardio (bicycle, kickboxing, etc). Total time 45mins-1hour

Thursday: Weight Lifting – Legs and Abs. Total time 45mins-1 hour

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Same cardio as Wednesday’s

Sunday: start routine over again with Monday’s workout

Ok so that is generally what I try to stick to. Sometimes it varies: I need time in between workouts or I need less time so I start the routine over earlier. For each muscle I always do 3-4 sets and reps between 8-12. If you’re wanting to build muscle, do less reps with more weight. If you’re looking to get more tone, then do more reps with less weight. However for either type it’s important to do at least 3 sets because that’s how much it takes for the muscle to grow. If you have questions as to what exercises I do for each muscle, leave a comment below. Final tip, it takes a muscle about two weeks to adapt to a certain exercise move. So be sure to change the exercises you’re doing and the amount of weight every two weeks or so.

Now the second part that is just as important is diet. After every workout I have a post-workout recovery drink. You can buy these either at your local gym or a nutrient store like GNC. Serious bodybuilders also take pre-workout shakes and sometimes even during the workout but unless you’re entering the World’s Strongest Man contest, that isn’t really necessary. However the post-workout drink helps your muscles recover quicker and also gives it the nutrients your body needs. Second thing is, if you’re trying to lose weight, you must eat OFTEN. Crazy right? Eating 4-6 small meals a day (healthy meals at it) helps keep your metabolism up, which burns fat. When one skips breakfast or doesn’t eat till dinner time, their metabolism slows down and stores the fat. By doing this you won’t lose weight as fast and it’s not as healthy. So have 3 meals a day and then add in a healthy snack or shake in between meals. Now for meals, there are thousands of recipes and food one can eat. I recommend buying a health cookbook or get recipes online. But I generally stick to these foods: grilled chicken, baked chicken, tons and tons of fruits and vegetables (strawberries, grapes, apple, tomatoes, spinach), turkey, oatmeal, eggs, wheat bread, V8 juice, orange juice, green tea, lots of water, low fat milk, cereal, granola bars, and yogurt. Those are the foods I eat almost daily and most of my lunch and dinner meals contain some type of chicken for the protein.

Now for the foods that I don’t eat on a regular basis that aren’t necessarily good for me (but I do indulge a couple of times a week) include baked chips, crackers (Cheez-Its being my weakness), Monster Energy drinks, soup, ground beef, fried chicken, and M&Ms. There might be more but I can’t think of any right now.

For the foods I rarely eat and generally only do when I dine out or go to the movies (meaning I usually don’t keep them in the house) are sodas, popcorn, chicken wings, pizza, french fries, alcohol, and sweets (I actually don’t really care for sweets and only eat them several times a year). I also don’t eat frozen foods.

I know a lot of people love junk food, sodas, and etc but if you try hard you can quit eating food like that and eventually your body will adapt to the healthy foods you eat and won’t even crave the junk food. And last thing is, being in America we love to eat out. So try to limit your dining out and fast food to just a couple of times a week. And when you do go out, try to opt for the healthier entrée and sides: grilled instead of fried, fresh salads, yogurt, fruit cups, water or tea, etc.

So that is my (long, very long) post about my fitness and diet routines. For the record, I am nowhere near perfect in either category. Sometimes I get lazy and don’t work out or I opt for some hot and spicy wings over a grilled chicken salad. And there is nothing wrong with indulging in the “bad foods” once or twice a week (or even better, every other week) but unfortunately we have made it a daily consumption here in America. But if you can change your ways and really make it a lifestyle of being healthy, you’ll come to enjoy it and won’t even miss your old ways.

P.S. I have watched several movies on health food and highly recommend them: “Super Size Me” and “Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead.” Most people have seen SSM but FSND is also very informative and inspiring. If you have Netflix, FSND is on Instant, SSM is disc only.

iPhone 5

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Now that the iPhone 4S has been out for a few months, it’s time to look forward and speculate about this year’s model. While the rumors will fly till the day of release, there are some things we want to see on the next model.

1. Bigger Screen: All the elite smartphones have bigger screens than the iPhone 4S. While the iPhone’s screen has remind unchanged since it’s release (3.5 inches), Android phones (and a couple Windows phones) have screens ranging from 4 inches to 4.5 inches. The bigger screen makes it easier to type, read, watch videos, and simply do everything better. I believe a 4 inch screen would be a good upgrade but not too big for people with smaller hands.

2. 4G Connectivity. Verizon’s 4G network has been rolling out since 2011 and has a nice spread across the country and is constantly growing. AT&T is focusing on expanding their’s this year and again, most of the top Android phones have 4G. Another iPhone with only 3G would be a massive letdown and could stop people from buying one.

3. Improved Siri functionality. Siri is off to a great start and has its uses but it’s still in the beta stages. It has the potential to do just about whatever. Hackers have used Siri to adjust home thermostat’s, start car engines, and more. Other uses could be garage opener, control of house lights, and TV remote. Also, it still needs improvement on the phone itself such as opening apps, background noise cancellation, and etc. It would be great to see these potential uses come standard from Apple and not only available on the iPhone 5 but also for current 4S users through a software upgrade.

4. Better front facing camera. The VGA camera used mainly for video chat (and the occasional self-portrait) needs an upgrade: megapixels, lens, filters, all around need to be upgraded. Other smartphones have better front facing cameras so it’s time Apple stepped it up also.

5. Bigger storage. Let’s face it. Apple isn’t going to allow a memory card slot for expanded storage like a lot of smartphone manufacture’s do. So they need to make a 64GB phone, if not bigger. With more and more people buying videos and their iTunes library growing since the release of the originally iPod in 2001, we need more memory. 16GB is barely enough room for someone with a small-moderate music library (not including apps, photos, and videos) so it’s time for bigger memory.

So that’s my take on what the next iPhone needs. Please sound off in the comments below as to what you would like to see on the next model (no Android vs. iOS please ;)).

Nintendo & their lack of iOS presence

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There is an app for just about anything these days, except from one company, Nintendo. There’s no Mario or Luigi. No Yoshi or Zelda. No Mario Kart Racing. Yes, Nintendo has refused to develop games for the Apple App Store and I’m here to say, they are making a terrible mistake.

For the first time in Nintendo’s history, the company is losing money. Over the past two years they have lost hundreds of millions of dollars and the bleeding isn’t projected to stop soon. While the 3DS (portable gaming device) is finally picking up steam, it still isn’t enough to provide profit. Wii sales have slowed although this is due to the coming of the Wii U in 2012 but critiques and developers are on the fence about the new gaming console. So with lackluster sales, why not take advantage of the mobile platform ecosystem?

Nintendo president Satoru was quoted in September as saying the reason they refuse to enter the mobile platform is because they have a strong hardware team and believes that is what separates Nintendo from other companies. Not only do they make awesome games but they also make great consoles. And historically speaking, Satoru is right. Nintendo has always been a major player in the gaming console industry, even up to the current Wii. But the Wii was released in 2006 and in 2007 the iPhone was released and we all know how quickly the mobile platform took off from then on. The iPhone was a cellphone game changer but it also was a video game changer. People can now buy a $200 phone and have it do just about anything, include playing games. Sure, the graphics aren’t as good as a true gaming console nor is the game play as rich or in-depth but sales numbers show that people don’t care about that. Many popular game titles like The Sims, Need for Speed, Battlefield, Call of Duty, and etc. have made their way into the App store and people would rather pay $5 for $10 for those instead of paying $50-$60 for it on the Wii or Xbox360. Yes, there are your true hardcore video gamers (such as myself) who are going to buy the expensive consoles and $60 games. But fact is, we’re a dying breed and with the gaming industry in decline due to the recession, smartphone (and tablet) games are the future for the majority.

Nintendo doesn’t have to stop making consoles. They don’t have to compromise who they are as a company. But fact is technology is changing and they need to adapt. They could put Super Mario on the App store and I guarantee it would stay at the top of the charts forever (it is after all the #1 game franchise). And now with AirPlay and Apple TV, you aren’t stuck playing on your iPhone or iPad. You can mirror it to your big screen TV. Nintendo is losing billions by refusing to enter the mobile platform. Yes, developing games for the App store wouldn’t be as rich of an experience as it would be on the Wii. But most people don’t need or even care for the best gaming experience for video games. Most are casual gamers and iPhone games suit their needs.

RIM failed to adapt to the change in the cell phone industry and they are now in real jeopardy as a company. The iPhone recently took over as the most common cell phone in the workplace, not the Blackberry. I would hate to see Nintendo go the same route as RIM. Because when it comes down to it, consoles are always going to change and eventually be outdated. But Mario will never be outdated. Yoshi is everyone’s favorite dinosaur. People associate these characters with Nintendo first, not which gaming console Nintendo’s produced over the years. They need to change their way of thinking and even though they might not like it, smartphone games are here to stay and have nowhere to go but up.

Bucket List

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Read a tweet today about somebody making their own bucket list and it reminded me of The Bucket List with Morgan Freeman & Jack Nicholson. So naturally I decided to create my own. Granted this is a first draft and changes/additions will be made but I do hope it is something I can stick with and accomplish over the years to come.

(These are in no particular order; simply as they come to mind)

1. Skydiving

2. Bungee Jumping

3. Ride a motorcycle

4. Visit Hawaii

5. Visit Alaska

6. Visit New York City

7. Travel overseas

8. Participate in at least one mission trip per year

9. Participate in at least one major physical activity event per year

10. Coach basketball on some level, no matter how small

11. Find a good business idea & run with it (own my own business)

12. Invent my own iphone/ipad app

13. Own a jet ski/waverunner

14. Go snowboarding

15. Perhaps, just perhaps, learn to play the electric guitar

16. Learn to Tango & do the Waltz

17. Go snorkeling

18. Swim with sharks

19. Go on a helicopter ride

20. Visit the Grand Canyon

21. Ride the largest roller coasters in America

22. Go whale-watching

23. Go on a Safari in Africa

24. Visit Niagara Falls

25. Travel to Australia/Visit the Sydney Opera House/Meet a kangaroo

26. Race a cheetah 😉

27. See Mount Rushmore

28. Ride a cable car in San Francisco

29. Visit the original Starbucks in Seattle

30. Travel to all 50 states

31. Become very, very good at playing pool

32. Start a collection of either classic lunch boxes or coffee mugs

33. Extend my collection of Fossil watches

34. Meet my two favorite bands in person, Breaking Benjamin & Sick Puppies

 

For now, this is my list. I will add to it overtime as I think of other interests or come across them. Leave your comments below to let me know if you share any of the same interests!

The Great Provider

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As I was driving to work today, I suddenly felt the need to thank God for all he’s giving me. Two jobs, a new car, roof over my head, supportive family and friends, and all the little stuff, God has truly bessed me and I couldn’t be more thankful for it. I certainly stumble and falter in my walk with him but he always provides what I need. Thank you God.

This morning, and every other morning this week, I slept right through the alarm and didn’t wake up until at least an hour later. Because of my job I work till 10pm (although this will change in a couple weeks) and don’t go to bed until 1 or 2 in the morning so naturally I sleep in. But because of the heat, I have to get up early in the morning to run or else it’s too hot to do so after 10 or 11am. So I have definitely been slacking in the running department, which is why I can’t wait for some cooler weather. Once that weather comes, the marathon training is in full swing. I do enjoy running (and exercising in general) so I’m looking forward to more consistency there.

Rented a few movies from Redbox in the past week: Limitless, Cedar Rapids, and Battle: Los Angeles. Out of the three, Limitless was definitely my favorite. Cooper delivered a great performance, as did Dinero and some others. Storyline was simple yet solid and it had some great thrills. Really does make you wonder what we could do if we could use the full capacity of our brains. The other two movies were good but I’m glad I only paid a $1 for them instead of the $10 movie ticket. Cedar Rapids was your typical comedy and Battle: LA your typical action movie. Horray for Redbox.

Looking forward to this weekend, as Johnette and I are going out on the boat with some friends to have some end of summer fun! And of course, we are hitting up “our” restaurant Buffalo Wild Wings tonight :). Hope everyone’s weekend is good.

P.S. I’ll be moving into my new apartment around the 15th or so, so I could definitely use some moving volunteers! 🙂

“Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein

Back in Blog

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Well eh, it’s been almost two years since I blogged and how I have missed it! Not sure what happened but I guess the time got away from me. For a quick little update (although this is info most people know by now), I have graduated from SHSU (Eat ’em up Kats!) and moved back to Big-D. How I’ve missed thee! It feels great to be back in my hometown (well what I consider my hometown) and be among family and old friends.

Unfortunately the job search has been bleak at best. I do have a job working security (full time) at the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind but obviously this doesn’t have career aspects to it. But it pays the bills for now and I’m also pitching in @ St. Marks with their extended day program in the afternoons so for now I am ok. But I will continue to search for something bigger and better. For those wondering, I am still keeping law enforcement in my scope but no departments in the DFW area are hiring right now and most likely won’t until beginning of next year. I’m also looking into private investigation work and whatever comes across my inbox. But I am good for now and should be moving into my own apartment hopefully in September, October at the latest.

I will try to blog more now because I do enjoy it and posts from here on out will consists of more random topics such as book reviews, music, tech gadgets, and etc. Whatever interests me or I am currently diving into, I will try to blog about.

I will leave you with a quote from a book I am currently reading: “How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.” – Benjamin Disraeli

 

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