my "pretty" lunch
Originally uploaded by tray
first off, before i get into the “meat” of my blog entry, it’s cold. it’s really cold! i spent an extended weekend in corpus christi, tx… where the coldest day was 72 degrees. (and my sister kept saying “it’s chilly today!” and i wanted to hit her. hah!) i took a bunch of pictures (obviously) and i got some of them online already, i’ll add more later. (i would do it now, which is what i usually do.. but then i get distracted by 209847809736567 other things and never finish my blog entry. so i’m going to focus on one thing at a time. hey maybe this herbal “focus formula” really is working. hah!) i’ll make sure to blog a link to the pictures.. or even chose some of my favorites and add them here.
for some of my friends in my “everyday life”, and twitter, you’ve heard me say that i was going down to corpus christi to visit my b-mom and siblings. (wow. you can tell i’ve never had siblings.. since i keep spelling the word “siblings” wrong.. thanks spell check) it was a fun trip. i even met more of my b-family that live down in texas. it was fun having siblings to
pick on hang out with. my brothers and my b-mom all assisted in keeping me out too late and losing sleep. it was so much fun, and it was a really great vacation.
but one of the things that i noticed while i was down in texas (ok.. i remember realizing this every time i visited texas… but every time it still shocks me) was the amount of “jesus fish” cars and big mega churches. but then in the same breath.. i notice lots of really BIG cars with only one person in them…. a lack of urgency to recycle, re-using shopping bags, and save gas! at first i was thinking, well, maybe i’m just from a very “weird” area where this is such an important thing… but then i began thinking of comparisons and metaphors. Christians should be the first people to see the urgency of recycling, saving energy and caring for the planet. why? because GOD created this earth and has given us all these beautiful gifts to “take care of” for GOD. so why were there so many “Christians” that would chose to slap GOD in the face and say “no.. we don’t want your creation to remain beautiful…”
while i was driving home today… i thought of an analogy. lets say a mother has a young child. and that young child spent hours creating this beautiful work of art with their own hands… paint… crayons… whatever. and they even signed their name on it. and they were so proud of this beautiful artwork. and they ran up to their mother and with a huge beaming smile, hands this artwork to her….
and she rips it up and throws it away.
that’s what we are doing to our earth. GOD was so proud of this beautiful artwork.. and we continue to “rip it up and throw it away.” we are too busy to separate our recycling. we are too forgetful to remember to bring a shopping bag with us when we go to the store. we want to drive cars that use more gas than they need to (just because they are bigger and faster… even though a smaller car would be fine for just the one or two people that ride in it.. i mean. yes. some people need more room for people or stuff or work etc… but not everyone needs an suv or a truck. i know this may come as a surprise for some people. for example… i can fit my whole drum set and everything else i need in my little car) we leave lights on… we buy “new” stuff even when our “old” stuff still is perfectly useful… etc.
i know i’m not perfect. but i’m really trying to care for the earth. i even brought my little cloth shopping bag into target the other day. the lady at the cash register looked at me crazy when i said “i brought my own bag.” i also have just started switching out all my old light bulbs with energy saving florescent bulbs. i recycle more stuff than i throw in the trash. (really! i have twice as many recycling bins than the garbage. and they fill up much faster) and i tend to not buy things that aren’t in recyclable packaging. i also try to buy most of my food from the locally owned organic food store… so that i’m not buying foods that have used up gas by being shipped across the country.. or the world. and i always try to buy “fair trade” chocolate.. because people really matter too. (just because we are the richest country in the world, doesn’t mean we can step on the hard and honest workers of a “poorer” country.) and it’s really not that hard to make these little steps in the right direction. our world has a long way to go… and we all need to keep encouraging each other to continue making positive changes. because each individual (and their actions) matter in this world…
/me gets off soap box.
sorry. that is just one thing that i am passionate about. GOD provided this beautiful earth and beautiful people to live amongst.. and i want more people to be able to enjoy this beautiful gift that GOD has given us.
and lastly.. i voted today. i didn’t get a sicker. and that makes me sad.
so now that i’ve had my chumby for a while now, i’m finally getting the chance to write a review about it, so here goes nothing
first off, let me explain a little bit about the concept of the chumby. the official chumby website explains it as “your personal internet player. there’s always something good on.” but i didn’t really understand what that meant at first either. basically it looks like an oversized hackie sack, with wi-fi, speakers, usb ports, a touch screen and a motion sensor built in. you plug it in, activate it, and let it run flash-based widgets. it’s all set up to be open-source in software and hardware… so all in all, you can basically make it into what you want it to be.
so how does it work? well it’s pretty simple to set up. you activate it by visiting chumby.com, pairing it up to your account (similar to how you pair up a bluetooth headset to your phone… you only have to do it once and then they can talk to each other) and then setting up channels. a channel is basically a loop of widgets. you can put as many or as few of these widgets in a channel as you want, and you can create as many channels as you want as well. and then you can have this thing on your desk, your night stand, whatever. also built into the chumby is a clock (which automatically gets its time via internet), and alarm clock, and even a music player (just plug your ipod in, and let it play music through it’s speakers, while charging your ipod at the same time)
so.. what are my thoughts about my chumby? was it a good use of $175 off my paycheck? i believe so. i really enjoy the idea of this. i’ve found some really great widgets, heck i even really like it as an alarm clock to wake me up in the morning. (and actually, i’ve spent more on an alarm clock before, with less features… so for me $175 was a very reasonable price for this technology) i also like being a part of the “early adapters” group, when i can afford it. but some things i noticed so far that need improvement. 1) if you have a lot of songs on your ipod (which i do) it will ‘hang’ on that because the music player is too heavy for the little processor of the chumby. this fault has been noted on the message boards, and i’m sure they are working on a “lighter” music player to address this.. so i’m not worried. 2) also sometimes the chumby freezes up on a processor intensive widget. which is fine, since the thing isn’t meant to be a “processing powerhouse” by any means… but that does point out the limits of the widgets that you can use for the chumby. 3) if you are in a wireless network that requires that you log in via a browser (not one that has a password to join the network, but one that you physically have to open up a browser and log in) you’ll run into problems joining that to the network. because there is no real “browser”, it doesn’t allow you to log into a website. you can easily set it up on most wireless networks though, and then, even when there is a password on the network, you can have it remember your network profiles and log in automatically.
with that all said, i think it’s an amazing little device, and a great idea. the construction is great (it’s even fallen out of my loft a couple times, and just bounces back… what a little trooper ) and the widgets are way fun. i’ve found that i really enjoy the traffic widget, weather bug widget, and even a couple games. i also enjoy the flickr widgets (there are a couple of them, from what i’ve found) as well as the twitter widgets (there’s at least two of those as well) so even if you wanted to just use this to display random pictures from your flickr account it’s still worth the money! (heck, digital picture frames are gonna cost you $60-250 anyways.. and there you’re limited to what’s on the card in the frame.) i enjoy the fact that it is very “open” in it’s creation, so many people are jumping on board and helping create great widgets and improvements to the chumby. all the widgets and updates are free, so you really can’t go wrong by buying now. it’s also very easy to learn, and very low maintenance, since it can just go and entertain itself all day
so that’s my review on the chumby. thanks to the chumby people for creating a great product, i’m happy with my chumby, who’s name is “chumby wumpus”, btw. (you know.. like that old game hunt the wumpus, that i used to play on my old texas instrument gaming system… maaan that game scared me. but i digress)