What Thanksgiving Means To Me

November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving is upon us and it is time for all Americans of good will to give thanks for the blessings we have been bestowed with. But instead of giving the history of Thanksgiving, I will list some of the things that I am thankful for, in no particular order.

The first thing I’m thankful for is my family. No matter what happens I know that I can count on my family and they can count on me. We stick together through thick and thin and they are my best friends. I can talk with them about anything and they are always supportive of me. Family is supposed to be like that. In my opinion, if the Pilgrim’s families weren’t like that, America would not exist. Families kept the Pilgrims strong and willing to endure sacrifice to get to their ultimate end, which was a free country where they could practice their religion openly.

The second thing I am thankful for is my God and Savior Jesus Christ. I am thankful that He died for a wretch like me. I am a terrible sinner, deserving justice and punishment for my sins against God. But He, being a loving, merciful God provided a way that we might not need to face judgment. His Son’s death on the cross wiped away my sins and removed them as far from me as the east is from the west. Without Him I am nothing, with Him I can be anything. My past is forgiven, my future is sure. Nothing can happen to me that has not been allowed by Jehovah God, El Shaddai, El Sabaoth, The Lord of Hosts. I can live a justified life, and I will live for Him.

The third thing I am thankful for is the troops that serve night and day, ever vigilant, protecting us and the freedoms that we hold dear. As one once said, “It is not the poet that gives us the ability to enjoy words, but the soldier. It is not the reporter that gives us freedom of press, but the soldier. Everything that we now enjoy came through the blood of the soldier.” That is paraphrased a little, but the truth remains. We can thank God for the brave men and women who are serving our country overseas and here at home.

The third thing I’m thankful for is Ohio State football. Though I’ve never gone to OSU, seen a game from the ‘Shoe, or been anywhere close to Columbus they are my team. Six Big Ten championships, 1 national title in the past nine years, a growing and spectacular athlete in Terrelle Pryor and the ever-dominant defense. Next year we can easily be national contenders and we have a good chance of winning this Rose Bowl, which happens to be the first Rose Bowl Jim Tressel has gone to.

I’m thankful for friends that’ll stand by you. I have some friends that hold me up in my Christian walk and share my political beliefs as well. There’s not much else to say about that. But they are something, and someones that I’m thankful for.

I’m thankful for good health. My family has been healthy most of the fall and that is something I am thankful for. While we have practiced good hygiene such as washing hands frequently, sneezing into a tissue and then washing hands and not coughing into the air, overall our health is from God. Because health is wealth, we must be pretty darn welthy.

I’m also thankful that I live in America. With other countries regularly experiencing rioting, election violence, political prisoners etc. we can be thankful that we don’t have to deal with such things. Even with Obama and big government liberals running the show in D.C. we know that when we all get together we can kick the bums out on their bums.

So, I’ll end this little blog note. There’s pies to bake and turkey to prepare. While I won’t be doing as much of that, I will be doing much reflecting on all the things I have to be thankful for. So God Bless you, God Bless our troops, God Bless our leaders (and help them lead wisely) and God Bless America.

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Windows 7 Impressions

October 28, 2009

Well my friends, my computer now has an operating system. And what a glorious one it is. Less than two hours after starting the Windows 7 upgrade process that would transform my computer from a Vista dog to a 7 champ, I am done and most of my pictures, media, documents and favorites are back in place. And my impressions…

Stunned! Not at all in a bad way though as every good experience I have had with 7 is blown away be even more good ones. Granted, this is probably just the first impressions and I will probably find something wrong with the OS as everyone inevitably does. But at this moment Windows 7 is the best OS in a LONG time.

SPEED: The sheer speed of the OS is amazing. I can’t count how many times I sat and twiddled my thumbs while Vista did something SLOWLY. With 7 it boots faster, shuts down faster, resumes from sleep faster, transfers files faster and plays media faster. Everything that Vista did wrong in terms of speed and responsiveness 7 does right. Switching between tabs on Firefox has no hiccups like Vista did. Opening programs and the media player is faster. More things can be done with less processor usage.

LOOK: Basically the same as Vista which is good if you’ve been using Vista for years and need to keep the basic feel of the UI memorized. The new taskbar takes some times getting used to but I’m already finding it to be helpful and easy to use. The start menu looks exactly the same with the sole difference being the return of the word based icons for shutdown-sleep-etc. The icons and notifications bar on the bottom right hand side of the screen isn’t cluttered and the new functionality is impressive.

COMPATIBILITY: I was worried about my sound card being unrecognized after the Release Client couldn’t install my sound driver. But as soon as the setup process was done the familiar and somewhat irritating Windows bootup sound sprang from my speakers to a chorus of ‘Hallelujahs’. My antivirus program works well with an update coming tonight. Windows Update is already finding a few even newer drivers for my modem and wireless card, though they already work flawlessly. The real test comes when I try to install all my programs. We’ll soon see more about that.

FEATURES: There is no more movie maker, photo gallery or other of the sometimes maligned Vista programs. For the most part the Windows Live Essentials do a good job of replacing their Vista counterparts. Live Writer is one of the best new programs and I have written several of my blog postings with that tool. Live Movie Maker is kind of watered down but it’ll work if you need it to.

All in all, 7 is a HUGE improvement over Vista and I am now starting to kind of like the media player I mentioned in my other Windows 7 postings. Hopefully this OS will be a turning point for MS to make better and better OSes in the future.


Windows 7 Installation

October 28, 2009

Hello America, I am taking a break from politics for a moment to let you know that I am going to be upgrading my 2 1/2 year old computer to Windows 7 Home Premium. I have had good times with Vista, I have had bad times with Vista, I have had…. oooh, lockup! No I’m kidding. But now with Windows 7 released and my pre-ordered edition in my hands, I am doing a clean install and then reinstalling all my apps, software, media etc.

This is not really a full-fledged post, but more like a post to let everyone know that if I don’t post for a while, the reason is probably that my computer blew up and I am in traction. (Again I jest, but with Windows installations in the past, there have been some issues. I doubt mine will have any. But just in case…)

Anyway, expect another post highlighting liberal futility, big government foolishness and media bias soon. Maybe even today. But more like tomorrow. Either way, look anxiously forward to the moment in which I re-don my gloves and take upon my shoulders once more the mantle of leadership of youth conservatism.


Windows 7 Released

October 21, 2009

Tomorrow Windows 7, the replacement for the much maligned Windows Vista will be released to the general public. It is expected to wash away the public’s very negative view of Windows Vista, which was plagued early on with slow performance, driver issues and buggy hardware. Windows XP which was released 8 years ago in 2001 continues to be the most widely used version of Windows at over 65% of all computers in use. XP has remained popular due to the early reviews of Vista.

Vista has, to give it it’s credit, gotten much better with the advent of Service Packs 1 & 2. However, performance remains below XP on similar and even at times, better hardware. Driver issues still plague Vista systems for legacy software and hardware. Windows 7 is receiving much better reviews and certain versions, 7 Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate all include Windows XP Mode. XP Mode is a virtualized client that runs inside of 7 with a licensed version of XP Pro SP3. This is for professionals who rely on legacy applications that won’t run under the new Windows 7 core. New tech allows apps and software that runs inside XP Mode to integrate seamlessly with 7.

Windows 7 also has a notable feel of increased performance over it’s bloated and buggy predecessor. I personally have used both the Ultimate Release Client as both a virtualized machine and as my main OS and it has been excellent, booting and shutting down noticeably faster than Vista.

Now here is where the bad things come in. I’ll give my take on what I don’t like in Windows 7. First off the taskbar. Actually this falls in the so-so category. I like the jump lists and ability to pin things to the taskbar. But I don’t like the appearance and the larger buttons. To be fair, one can shrink them to Vista size, but it takes getting used to the new look and feel of them. The second thing I don’t like is the positioning of the ‘show desktop’ button. When you are used to the button being in one place since Windows 98, it is disconcerting to find it all the way on the other side of the screen. Lastly, the Windows Media Player 12 is somewhat of a nuisance. While it is a good thing that it supports more codecs than ever in the past, I actually like the ability to do a lot with my media right from the library tab.

Aside from that, Windows 7 is all things that Vista should have been. While I will miss Vista’s quirky tools like Movie Maker, Photo Gallery, Windows Mail and Meeting Space, I will be upgrading my system to Windows 7 in the weeks after tomorrow. Windows 7 is a large improvement in performance, aesthetics and overall just allowing me to do what I need to do without the incessant lockups and UAC prompts.