Posted by Thomas Sun, 26 Jun 2005 14:24:56 +0000

Did somebody ask me a while ago if they could use my photoblog to post their pics, or did I just imagine that?

Posted in General | 1 Comment


Posted by Thomas Sat, 25 Jun 2005 18:41:20 +0000

Well, I lost my baseball cap at Six Flags yesterday. A hefty bounty to the first person to call me and tell me that they know where I can procure several exact replacements. FYI, I’ve already checked a bunch of the bookstores online, as well as Inspirations, with no luck.

Good luck, and happy hunting!

Posted in General | 3 Comments

Is this all there is to life?

Posted by Thomas Sat, 18 Jun 2005 23:01:31 +0000

As I’m sure that most of you have noticed, I have gone to Church a total of once in the time that I’ve been here (just a tad over two months). And I would imagine that a majority of the people who have noticed this face don’t have any idea why. Why I would go from doing everything related to Church to doing nothing related to Church. From doing multiple Church activities during the week to none.

Well, to me at least, it pretty much boils down to me acting like a little kid towards God. Throwing something like a trantrum, or maybe more like holding your breath to try and get your own way. But not quite. Because I don’t think that I’m trying to force God’s hand to give me what I want. No, I gave up on that long ago.

The past week or so I have been thinking a lot about God’s justice and mercy. Somehow I convinced myself that being an heir entitled you to certain privileges. To me that’s been sort of like getting what you want. Getting those things that you think will make you happy. And for whatever reason, while pondering this my mind rested upon the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Mt. 20:1-16). There was this guy who owned a vineyard. He hired some other guys at the first of the day to work in the fields, promising to pay them a denarius, to which they agreed. The vineyard owner then went out several more times during the day to the market to find more laborers. Even at the eleventh hour, he hired more workers. Then he told his guy to pay them all. And they all received the same amount; the amount that had been promised to the workers who had worked all day. So, the workers who had worked all day thought that they deserved more than the guys who had worked very little. Now, there is a big part of me that when I read this, sides with the guys who thought that they deserved more than the other guys. But really, they didn’t because they had an agreement with the owner for their pay, and that agreement was fair.

It’s an odd thing to expect both justice and mercy at the same time. How is it that I do what I think God wants me to do and then expect Him to be just and give me what I want because I know that I am better for doing what He wants me to do than other people who aren’t doing what He wants them to be doing. Did that make sense to you? Like if you do God’s will, then He will reward you by giving you what you want. And if you don’t do God’s will, then He won’t. Yeah, that’s a better explanation… When in fact He really doesn’t have to do that. He doesn’t owe us another day. He doesn’t owe us another breath. And for me that has been a hard pill to swallow.

As I sit here, so far away from anywhere that I’ve called home, I wonder, “Is this all there is to life?”. Do we just go to work so that we can live in our apartments and watch our movies and eat our meals and save our money? It’s like we work to live and live to work. I don’t see the point. I work so that I can save so that I can buy things so I can try and relax from work.

I am slowly realizing how long I am going to have to stay here. It’s sinking in, but not really. It’s going to be years before I can put anything on my resume of any significance to “try and get a job that I’d rather have”. Even though I have no idea of what that in fact might be.

So, is this what I’m doing? Taking my ball and going home? Saying that if I can’t be happy with God and His rules, then I’ll just be unhappy without God and His rules? Because that’s much easier and has much less guilt involved.

I used to think that I was an oak. A guy who never questioned God and yelled up at the ceiling “Why?”. It’s hard for me to remember a day now when I don’t do that or at least want to. Actually, I take that back. I don’t do that too often because it has never worked.

So, is the sole reward of heaven at the end of your life enough reward to motivate you to do God’s will on Earth, if there were no other Earthly reward?

So when I say that I’m going to be here for a few years at this job to try and get where I’d like to be, I think to myself that then I must put my head down and my nose to the grindstone. And so the same with God. But I feel like I’ve been doing that for so long now. Not so much in the job, per se, but I feel like I’ve worked so hard for everything, only to get where? I’m not really sure. I have long expected some reward, but feel as though I’ve received none.

I guess that in the end I just feel like all of my hard work and all of my past faithfullness has been met with no reward. And so why then should I continue trying? How can I continue doing this if I’m already burnt out on it? If God is telling me now to continue with this mentality of to just keep going, doing the right thing, keeping my head down, how much longer can I go? How long will you work only to receive the exact same reward as the slackers?

I applaud you if you have made it reading thus far. And I apologize for all the spelling and grammar and writing mistakes. Please forgive me for I am not an English major and have no desire to proof this. As much as I would wish it to be well written, I think that I like it better to feel rough and from me, than polished and reworked. I know that I am guilty for not reading most people’s long blog entries, so I am happy that you have read this one. And hopefully you will know me better for having read it. I’m not quite sure why I have written all of this for you all to read. And I haven’t yet submitted it, but if you are reading, then of course I have. These things have been brewing for so long… Let us hope that I am granted some resolution and peace.

Posted in General | 5 Comments

Cookie’s fortune

Posted by Thomas Fri, 17 Jun 2005 01:26:22 +0000

A very attractive person has a message for you.

Posted in General | 3 Comments

More randomness

Posted by Thomas Fri, 17 Jun 2005 00:56:20 +0000

I totally saw another Aggie on the way to work today. He had Texas tags, was in a truck, and had both a 12th Man sticker and the Association of Former Students sticker. Nice. That makes like 2 that I’ve seen so far… But, unlike Mindy, I haven’t actually spoken with one, only seen them driving. Although the first one was the first day that I was/moved here. I was taking the U-Haul back and this guy randomly honks at me and gives me the thumbs up. Which I quickly realized was a gig’em since he had some TAMU stickers on his truck as well. It was a good feeling to see him that day. Like taking a piece of CS with me. But honestly, it is quite strange because pretty much nobody knows what Texas A&M is, how big it is, what an Aggie ring is, or anything about Aggie culture or traditions. I just suppose that it was folly to believe that everybody would know about us…

I just read Ashley’s away message, and read it, “The soul is heated by children.” When in fact it said, “The soul is healed by being with children.” I think that I like my version better. :)

AND, numero 3; Shane and Shane are playing in Georgia tomorrow (Friday). Too bad I have work and I would never make it on time, ’cause it’s like 3 hours away… :( I get my hopes up and then they are quickly dashed…

Ok. Off to bed…

Posted in General | 1 Comment


Posted by Thomas Thu, 16 Jun 2005 10:00:28 +0000

There is a reason that they call it work and not happy-play-fun-time.

Note to self:
Self, remember that the Yukon is NOT a sportscar.

Posted in General | Comments Off


Posted by Thomas Mon, 13 Jun 2005 23:18:00 +0000

Yeah, so my parents today totally fed my addiction to the West Wing by buying The Complete Season 4 on DVD and mailing it to me. WHOOP! Plus they got Gladiator, too. Awesome.

Posted in General | 6 Comments

Purring like a kitten

Posted by Thomas Thu, 09 Jun 2005 22:58:38 +0000

Wow, 2 hours later, I finally finish replacing the spark plug wires in the Yukon. Yay for me. The real test will be at 80+ MPH tomorrow on the way to work in the wonderful, heavy, and fast Atlanta traffic. I suppose that I shouldn’t have started at 8 at night, after a day’s work, and not too long before the sun goes down. Plus I hadn’t eaten anything since my late lunch (and I still haven’t eaten yet…). But it works now, and thanks to the advice from my Uncle, hopefully now it won’t sputter when I’m idling and have the air conditioner on. Like I said, tomorrow will be the test for sure. So, I sweated a whole bunch, didn’t probably drink enough, and wound up feeling a little queasy. And my pants are all dirty now. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get all of the dirt and grease out. Well, hopefully the dirt, maybe not the grease. But all of my pairs of jeans are looking pretty ratty. I really should buy some new jeans and shoes… and a haircut… hmm… Well, I thought about buying some jeans online, but it was going to take like a bunch of days, like a week or something, which I really wasn’t willing to do, since I really do need them now, and I don’t really want to wait a long time when I could just go down to the store and pick up a couple 3 pairs and take them home today. Why would I want to wait a week when I could just go down to the mall and pick them up. I bet they’d even let me try them on, which I bet they won’t let me do online… Are you still reading? Man, I must be spacing out some. I really should get some fluids and some food. But I really just wanted to get this done because I had put it off so much. For like since I got here, which would be like 6 weeks. So, it’s about time. Anyway, I just told myself that I was going to be productive in some area, and so since I’ve been meaning to do this, and since one of the guys mentioned that he would be working on his car this weekend, I thought to myself, self, you really should get this done. So I did. You know when you decide something, and then you know that if you don’t do it like right now that you won’t get it done at all, or maybe just put it off for like 6 weeks… so I was like, I’m in a good mood to do this now, even though it’s a super crappy time, and during the week, but oh well. If I do it now, I’ll get it done and stop putting it off. And if I don’t do it now, then it’ll be 6 more weeks of winter… er I mean poor idling. Still reading? I can go on more, if you want… Or I could get some dinner. Or both, or I could just stop for now, eat, and then write some more stream of consciousness. Or I could stop. I’ll go with that one. Hope you enjoyed the post. TTYL!

Posted in General | 3 Comments

It’s nice to be quotable

Posted by Thomas Sun, 05 Jun 2005 23:58:43 +0000

Arr! I’m a pirate.
It hit home.

Never think that God’s delays are God’s denials.
Hold on; hold fast; hold out. Patience is genius.

George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon

Posted in General | 3 Comments

Apple and Intel

Posted by Thomas Sat, 04 Jun 2005 14:44:09 +0000

Ok, I can’t resist throwing my hat and my two cents into the ring on this one.

Let me list the big players, so that I don’t forget to mention anyone: Microsoft, Apple, Intel, AMD, and Dell. Oh, and Best Buy.

There has been an extremely large amount of buzz going on about the possibility of Apple ditching IBM for Intel. And it always seems to me that nobody ever can really figure out why the big dogs do what they do. When in reality, it shouldn’t be all that hard to figure out because they are operating by some really simple ground rules. Make more money than the other guy. Make better products than the other guy. Make them cheaper than the other guy. Make your margins bigger than the other guy. Sell more units than the other guy. Pretty simple, right? :)

Apple’s market share for Q4 2004 was about 2.88%. And their Mac mini has seemed to have helped their iMac/eMac sales numbers for Q1 2005, jumping from 217,000 for Q1 2004 to 467,000 for Q1 2005. Which doensn’t sound too shabby, at least to me, anyway. Jobs has been looking to double their market share for quite some time. But since that article was published in 2002, their share has actually dropped. What they’ve been doing obviously isn’t increasing their market share and when they have radical departures from the norm, they shine (e.g. the mini and the ipod).

So, if I was Apple, what would I be trying to do? Gain market share in markets that I’m not currently in. Like the cheap, primary desktop market. Which is why I mentioned Dell earlier. More and more people everyday are fed up with Windows. As the masses become more technology savvy, they understand better that Microsoft does a crappy job of security and most other things, with no real change in sight. Apple can deliver features right now that Microsoft probably has planned for Longhorn, which won’t be released for several years. I dare say that the time is finally ripe for the masses to move away from the Wintel architecture, and I’d bet that Apple wants in on that. Apple doesn’t want the Lintel platform to be the next big thing. They want the Mactel platform to be the top choice of ma and pa consumer. Apple should be marketing a device that’s stable, the “world’s most advanced operating system”. Finally, an elagant, secure, and stable OS. Run on the latest innovations. It just works. Surf the future — safely. Enjoy an elegant, uncluttered workspace. This is what people want. Or at least that’s what Apple is going to try to get everyone to believe.

When suggesting a new computer for my friends or family, I usually recommend to them a Dell. Why? Because they can get a $399 computer that is far more computer than they should ever need. Why then do they usually wind up buying some white box from Best Buy? Because they don’t want to have to ship the damn thing all the way to Austin to have it worked on. They want to be able to take it back to where they bought it and have it worked on in a timely manner. Now, whether or not Best Buy actually does work on it is something completely different. What works here is the perception that all someone has to do is bring to back to where they bought it, and it will be worked on there, with no shipping involved. I don’t know if this is true or not, since I don’t particularly need Best Buy to work on any of my machines, but the premise is what sells.

So, if Apple is trying to become the new Dell, how would they accomplish that? Well, first they have to compete on the price. $399. The $500 mac mini was a great start, since thier normally beastly priced G5′s sell for $3000. I can’t imagine them getting away from the market that they have loved for so long, but are simply trying to sell a larger audience what they want, at the price that they expect (cringely article). Hence the change to Intel. Dell has been wildly successfull using Intel in their computers and has flirted with the possibility of adding AMD chips to their line, but that marriage has never come to fruition. So, if Apple has based a lot of their marketing on the fact that their computers are in fact super computers, worthy of export restriction, then why would they make the decision to lower their standards to those of the generally lower performance of Intel? Because Intel has market share. Because Intel has the ability to pump out the chips like AMD apparently can only dream of. Because Intel can undercut AMD on the next generation of processors, the dual core guys . Apple shouldn’t be concerning themselves with the penultimate performance rating. They are concerned with perceived value and cost (Source: ExtremeTech). Which is a battle that Intel is currently winning.

So, then Apple already started selling Mac minis at Best Buy. All they have to do is start selling a cheap, stable, elegant, fast, and secure platform at Best Buy, and the world is their footstool.

Maybe the new alliance between Microsoft and IBM for their new PowerPC chips has chased Apple away from IBM. As Dan Knight says, “IBM can’t produce 3.0 GHz G5 processors for Apple – but for Microsoft they can reach 3.2 GHz? It just doesn’t make sense.” And I agree with him. That doesn’t make sense. Maybe Apple didn’t really care too much about upping the MHz because they werern’t interested in continuing the line in its current form.

Ok, I just ran across this article from Cringely. It says a bunch of what I am saying, but he said it A YEAR AGO! I guess that we differ in that he thought that Apple would only sell their macs in Apple retail locations, but I’m guessing that they’ll let some other companies do that, since I don’t believe that their Apple stores did all that well. Look for Apple to get out of the hardware business, in both ipods and macs and get into selling software and music and movies.

We’ll see how close I am to the mark at the end of the week.

Posted in Technology | 1 Comment