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Acclimated

Our family has been in the Bay area for 2 full weeks as of right now. Friends both here and across the country keep asking what differences we see between our new and former environment. At this point I’m not sure what the major differences are. We spent most of our time working; me at the church office and Rochelle trying to setting up house and getting Malia squared away for school next year. I really enjoyed living in Houston, so I don’t want to set-up a good/bad  or better/worse scenario. Nevertheless I thought I would list some of the things I’ve observed  about our new life in Redwood City.

1. My commute is 352 steps. I’ve moved for 20 miles and 50 minutes one way to less than 5 minutes and I don’t even have to get in the car, even when it rains. I eat lunch at home with my wife and girls and I haven’t cranked the car in over a week.

2. Cali is laid back. I’ve been wearing jeans and tennis shoes to work for two weeks (partly because we’re in boxes still and partly because our washing machine is broken) and no one seems to have noticed. For a T-Shirt and blue jeans kinda guy, you gotta love it.

3. I really miss the Houston 10:00 news. Because of the time difference, the late night news doesn’t come on until 11:00 — like it does on the east coast. Though I grew up with film at eleven, I’m too old for that now. By 10:30, I’m out!

4. There are Apple and Mac stores everywhere. Here’s a list of companies I’ve driven by in two weeks: FaceBook, Apple, Yahoo, Intuit, and a few others I can’t even remember. Homeless people in the Silicon Valley have iPhones, it’s crazy! 

5. I can see the mountains when I take out my trash. Already I’ve stopped noticing the beauty of God’s creation and I really hope to put a stop to that. This area is gorgeous. I hope to not be in too big a hurry and miss it!

6. There’s more Christian presence here than some people would have you believe. California is not Texas, but so far the difficulties faced by churches in California are the same as Texas. 

7. No drive-thrus. Land is expensive here, so some places (I’m particularly thinking about Starbuck’s) don’t have drive-thru’s. That’s already a pain.

8. The cold here is a wet, penetrating cold. The temperature may say one thing, but not being acclimated, I’ve found that it takes me a while to get warm here.

Anyway, since so many people had asked about things I thought this might be a good way to get the word out. Enjoy your weekend everyone.

No Room For Ca$h!

The world is in trouble! Big, big, big, freakin’ huge trouble! The reason? No one takes ca$h!

In my seemingly endless curiosity and lust for the iPhone 3G, I stopped by my local Apple store today to check out the machine first hand. First, I was shocked that nearly a month after its introduction, there was still a sizable line to purchase the device. Second, going with my gut, I asked a Mac Specialist if someone had to purchase the iPhone with a credit card (for some reason, this is how the iPhone rolls). The answer was yes. You cannot buy an iPhone with cash or a check, only a credit card. Then the aforementioned Mac Specialist told me that you could purchase an Apple gift card with cash and then buy an iPhone with the gift card.

What?

You can buy the card  with cash but not the phone that you bought the card to buy.

What’s more, last week — while in Mississippi for my grandmother’s funeral — my mom went to the bank to buy a money order. At the window she was instructed that she could not purchase a money order with cash. Instead they asked her to deposit the money, they would then write her a counter check, and she could purchase the money order with the counter check.

Are you hearing this people?

They no longer take ca$h at the bank!

THE BANK!

My friend, Jesse Ward, had a simple statement as his “status” on Facebook a while back and I think it’s worth repeating.  It said, “Jesse Ward thinks society is losing control of itself.” Well, Jesse, I agree!

Tech and Web Odds and Ends

My brother, Richard, will soon be lining up in Raleigh, NC for his new iPhone 3G. I will not. Since my beloved Apple and their ill-advised choice for partnership, AT&T, have chosen to cut me out of the iPhone by offering it at “special” pricing (see previous post), I will simply keep rockin’ my Samsung.

The frenzy over the new iPhone is something to behold. Just “Google” the phrase “iPhone blog” and you’ll get a taste of the craziness. Sorry AT&T, your greed for $200 extra dollars from me is now costing you $440. Good business move!

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During the last week I’ve flirted with Twitter as I couldn’t sleep. It’s an interesting concept. One question though: What makes us think that other people want to know what we’re doing every minute of the day? Try and tell me what you think.

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If you’re on Facebook tell me something: Are all your “friends” really your friends? I think Facebook friends should be real, actual friends. Some folks are simply collectors.

What Is The World Coming To?

World leaders discuss the world hunger crises over an 18-course meal. Check it out here. (Of course, I just spent $13 on an Asian salad for lunch, so what can I say?)

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A church in my hometown of Atlanta is offering “Drive-In Church.” See it here. (Of course, a “church” cannot be drive-in by definition, IMHO. Or a web campus, for that matter.)

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I’m hyped about the new iPhone 3G, though it may be a while before I get one, but can you believe that in NYC, the line for the July 11 release, has been forming for nearly a week.

Why AT&T Is Stupid!

In May, after our Sprint contract was complete, Rochelle and I switched to AT&T. This move was made in anticipation of my switching to the iPhone 3g, which I had saved for for some time. The new iPhone has been listed at $199 – a price I was willing to pay. Today AT&T announced it’s pricing for the iPhone 3g.

Lo and behold, for old iPhone users the price will be $199. For people who sign-up new (after July 11), the price will be $199, but for people who aren’t eligible for an upgrade yet (new folks whose contracts are not upgrade eligible yet) the price is going to be $399. For the math challenged that roughly $200 EXTRA.

Well, AT&T will not get my money. Which is a stupid, stupid decision. Over the course of the next two years, AT&T will NOT get over $440 from me, because they want to tease out an extra $200. Does that make business sense? If someone was going to give you $440 for $200, wouldn’t you take it?

Perhaps they are counting on people ponying up the extra, but I won’t and believe most people won’t either. $199 is already too much to pay for a phone, and it took me a long time to save for it and convince myself that it was worth it. $399 is way too much. What’s more, I — and many others — simply don’t like to be cheated.

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