Monday, October 11, 2010

Movin' Time Y'all

After much thought, I'm going to move over to Wordpress for a bit. I'll probably be back here eventually... just don't know when yet.

Thoughts From a Crazy Person

If you have any comments/complaints/concerns, let them be known in the comments.


Thursday, August 12, 2010


Hey everyone,

I've been asked by several people what it means when I say I have a "jailbroken" iPhone. So, I figured I'd write a blog post about it.

When someone jailbreaks an Apple device (as far as I know this only applies to the iTouch/iPhone/iPad users), they are in effect bypassing the approval system Apple uses to allows apps to be installed on their devices - the owner of a jailbroken iDevice can install applications that Apple did not approve of, and also change base system files (custom themes and the like).

Several weeks ago an Internet dweller named comex announced that his jailbreak method worked on current versions of iOS (the operating system that Apple's mobile devices use). In order to take advantage of the jailbreak, one had to visit in Safari on their device.

When you visit the website, you will see something similar to the picture below. Oddly, since my phone is already jailbroken it shows an error message instead of a "jailbreak now!" message. Don't ask me why.

All you have to do is slide the button, and then Safari downloads a .pdf file. Once the file is done downloading, Safari tries to open it. Here's where the witchery comes in. There is (or was, now - Apple released an update today fixing the flaw) a vulnerability in the way that Safari renders .pdf files that could allow someone to hide a program in the file, and have it run whenever Safari tries to open it.

The hidden program that is downloaded installs Cydia (see the pic below), which is a lot like a "black market" of apps. From here one can get many apps, from file viewers to Game Boy emulators. Several apps from Cydia allow the user to dig around in the guts of the device, seeing files that Apple never wanted you to see. Nothing scandalous here, but it allows an experienced user to alter system files that would change the "experience," as Steve Jobs would say.

That's pretty much it in a nutshell. I did this primarily so I could use Grooveshark on my phone, but two weeks later it got approved for the official app store. Figures.

I should also note that comex has made the method by which he created that .pdf file public. This means that anyone can create .pdf files like that for malicious purposes. As I mentioned earlier in this post, Apple has released an update to iOS fixing Safari's vulnerability. Only problem with updating is that you "un-jailbreak" your device. Looks like this is one of those "pick your poison" scenarios - each way you're losing something.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Post of Legend

As a supplement to my devotions, I picked up a book that’s been sitting on my shelf for quite some time. It’s a “3-in-1” book by Jerry Bridges – The Pursuit of Holiness, its Bible Study, and The Practice of Holiness. The first chapter of The Pursuit of Holiness dealt with holiness and its relation to sin. There were three points made, which I have written below.

-Our attitude toward sin is more self-centered than God-centered.

There are many times (too many) when I am tempted with sin and I look to myself as the one responsible for getting out of that mess. While there is responsibility that we have in our decisions on sin, we cannot view ourselves as the one conquering the sin or temptation. When I do so, I fail every time. The taste is bitter – I knew the sin was there, I saw it clearly, yet I still succumbed to it. I viewed it as a failure on my end to be a “good Christian” and conquer sin and its temptations.

Throughout the New Testament we are called to servants and slaves of Christ. What do servants and slaves do? They obey their master. They do not conquer, but obey. Likewise, we as servants and slaves to God are called to obey, not conquer. We cannot conquer sin – if we could do so, there would be no need for Jesus’ sacrifice. But by obeying God’s will and allowing Him to shape our life, and by doing so He conquers sin through us. This is something I must constantly remind myself as I am faced with challenges day by day….

-We have misunderstood “living by faith” (Galatians 2:20) to mean that no effort at holiness is required on our part.

After discussing point 1, it is easy to say “well I’ll just sit back and let God take care of all my troubles, then.” That is not a good place to be. We cannot change ourselves into a better image of Christ; however we have a responsibility to strive for the holy walk. Our attitude can either be one of “okay God, I showed up” or one of “here am I, send me.” In our heart, do we really want to be better servants of Christ? If so, we will be active in our walk. We will commune with God through prayer. We’ll learn about Him through His Word. We’ll reflect Him in our actions throughout life. This is what God calls us to, and we must submit ourselves to that – we cannot do so unless we are making an effort daily to put off the old man and put on the new.

-We do not take some sin seriously.

This is another big one for me. Each society has a different culprit in this, but the principle is the same. Speeding happens to be one for me that I do, mostly without even paying attention. When I exceed the speed limit, I am breaking the law, and defying the authority God has placed over me. What do I do when I speed? I shrug, and slow down to an acceptable speed. No harm done – I didn’t hit anyone, no one saw me, it’s all good. Or is it? Sin is sin – this is pointed out throughout the Bible. Why do we create a list of “lesser” sins, then? In my experiences with this topic, it’s so I can “get away” with sin, and not surrender my full heart to God. Because when I do that, I’m going to see a lot of things I don’t want to see. God judges all sin – actions that do not bring glory and honor to Him. As a reflection of God’s glory, why should my standard be any different?

Because I wrote an article on these issues does not mean I’ve “mastered” them. I am working through these, and wanted to share my thoughts with you guys. As I continue to work through the book I will post articles like these if you guys find them edifying. They certainly help me to solidify the concepts of the book in my mind, and help me to meditate upon them.

Comments/questions/criticisms/complaints are welcome. :)


I'm late again

My "intellectual" post is still in the works, however it was delayed due to a rather awesome evening with some friends and lots of sushi. To hold you guys over till that post is complete, I present to you a man impersonating Ian McKellen singing Popeye the Sailor Man.

EDIT: Just realized you probably want to stop the music at the bottom of the page before you watch.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

Hey everyone,

Thought I'd post a quickie while waiting for the fireworks. Just wanted to wish everyone a great and safe Independence Day and send a thank-you out to our military and veterans!

(I'm still planning on that one post tomorrow. ;) )


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:K-Mart in Wooster

Thursday, July 1, 2010


I know NO ONE will believe me, but I'm going to legitimately try to revive this sorry blog. I've been working through some issues lately, but hopefully now I can devote some time to this.

I'm dabbling in Wordpress, and seeing how it fares against Blogger... I will keep you guys updated on whatever happens there, if anything. So far I'm having a horrible time figuring out the set-up (mebbe it's because I'm used to Google's super-easy menus), but if that gets set up, I may use it for something. Don't know what yet.

I updated my playlist. Below are the update notes:

-Re-added The Legend of Zelda (apparently the original track disappeared)
-Added an orchestral suite of Super Mario Bros
-Added "3-09 Overworld 1" from Super Mario Bros 3 (8-bit music OH YES)
-Added Hall of the Mountain King by Apocalyptica
-Added Pompeii by E.S. Posthumus
-Removed God Will Make a Way (track disappeared on Playlist)
-Removed Jurassic Park (track disappeared on Playlist)

I haven't watched any new films lately (Prince Caspian is going to be watched shortly), and my gaming has not been very in depth of late. I got Fallout 3 and Oblivion a month or so ago, and those games are pretty interesting. Steam's doing a crazy ultra-super-cheap Steam sale, and I picked up Tales of Monkey Island for next to nothing. Maybe I should do a review for it after I play it, and post it here...

I have been coming across several interesting points in my Bible study recently, and I'll make a post soon solely devoted to that. Until then, stay tuned. ;)

It's good to be back.


Edit: Apparently the Super Mario Bros. 3 track disappeared from Playlist... :(

Monday, May 10, 2010

My paper

This semester I had to write a forensic accounting report on identity theft. A couple people have asked me to post it up here so they could read it, so here you go.

--- --- ---

Identity Theft

“But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed.”
-William Shakespeare, Othello Act 3 scene 3 (Page)

Identity theft – in this day of technology, the term is used frequently. But what is identity theft, exactly? Identity theft is the term used to describe the occurrence when “someone uses [one’s] personally identifying information, like [his] name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without [the victim’s] permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.” ( People rely on technology for daily activities – school, purchases, social networking, among a multitude of other activities. We distribute our information with ease online, via purchases of goods and registration for services. However, it may come as a surprise to some that most identity theft is not started online. There are five primary methods used by identity thieves to acquire information: carding, dumpster diving, credit card skimming, shoulder surfing, and Internet scams. Notice that only one method directly involves the Internet. We live in an age of information – not all of that information is online. Each of the methods will be discussed in their cause, effect, and prevention.

Carding is first in the list, so it is the first topic covered. Carding (not to be confused with textile-related carding) is a method which involves the identity thief acquiring the victim’s credit card information, and verifying the validity of that information before using the information as intended. This method of identity theft is interesting in that it only requires the theft of the numbers, and not necessarily the actual card. One example is when the victim is out to eat at a restaurant. The receipt is put on the table, and victim places his credit card with the receipt and the waiter/waitress takes the card to process the receipt. What was happening at this particular restaurant was that the waiters/waitresses would take the cards into the back room and take pictures of the front and back of the victims’ credit card.

But what would the identity thieves do with that information once they acquire it? First, the thieves would verify the card information is valid. In the instance above, the thieves already knew the information was valid – however, that benefit may not come to all identity thieves automatically. Typically the thief charges a small transaction to the card, like a song from iTunes – something which can be easily accessed by the thief. If the transaction goes through, the thief will begin to rack up exorbitant charges on the card for any sort of expense. This is how the victims of the identity theft in the last paragraph discovered the scheme – small purchases they didn’t make for minutes on Skype, for example.

What are steps one can take to avoid being a victim of carding? One can be careful who has access to their credit card information as well as where the information is made visible, and one can keep a close eye on credit card statements. Today, most people can keep track of their credit card charges very closely via bank websites. This way, the victim of carding will be able to tell when the identity thief is verifying the card information. If the victim can spot the identity theft, he can then take the proper steps to prevent the thief from using that credit card to make the large illegitimate purchases.

Second in the list is dumpster diving. This may not come to mind when most people think of identity theft, but it is a feasible way to acquire personally identifiable information. Pre-approved credit cards are the worst offender in this respect. Regarding them as spam, the victim tends to simply discard the pre-approved cards in the trash. The identity thief will then sift through the victim’s garbage to look for this information. Pre-approved card forms, credit card carbons, any documentation with personally identifiable information – these are what the identity thief looks for. The beneficial thing about dumpster diving, to an identity thief, is that the theft of the documentation isn’t readily noticed by the victim like the theft of their driver’s license or credit card would be.

The information the identity theft could obtain using this method has the potential for being far greater than the information acquired by carding. While carding would (typically) only provide the information for the specific account, dumpster diving could produce social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and many other pieces of information that would be valuable to the identity thief.

How does one prevent identity thieves from getting information by dumpster diving? The best way to prevent victimization via dumpster diving is to invest in a paper shredder. The dumpster diver hopes to find intact paperwork that contains personally identifying information. Before one throws out documents that contain personal information, shred the documents so that the identity thief would not be able to (easily) find any personally identifiable information on the documents. A cross-cut shredder is more efficient than a standard shredder, as the blades slice in two directions instead of just one, thereby making the job near-impossible for even the most dedicated identity theft.

Credit card skimming is a method that involves acquiring the information off of the black stripe on the back of a credit card by employing a “skimmer.” The skimmer reads the information contents of the magnetic strip, and stores it for the identity thief to view. The magnetic strip contains the credit card number, with which the identity thief can execute the crime.

Credit card skimmers have a very small form factor – some are even as small as a cigarette lighter. As such, they can often be indistinguishable if not looking closely. There have been reports of identity thieves posing as ATM technicians who replace legitimate ATMs with fraudulent systems that contain only a card skimmer and a display. (Walters) The card skimmer will save the information of the cards that victims used in an attempt to use the machine, and then the “technician” would take system away, putting the legitimate one back in place. The card skimmer would then have several numbers which the identity thief could research and use.

How can credit card skimming be avoided? One can keep an eye on his credit card – make sure he knows who is handling it, and how – the identity thief would not want the victim seeing him skim the card, so he would take it out of sight. Another method, as always with any form of identity theft, is to keep a close eye on receipts and match them to the relevant credit card statement. This will tip the victim off to fraudulent charges that occur from stolen information.

Shoulder surfing has been a tactic for identity theft and snooping in general for quite some time. It is, in layman’s terms, the act of “looking over someone’s shoulder.” This can be quite effective in the proper environment, such as an office or crowded area. For instance, when the victim is making a payment online, he may pull out his credit card to write down the number – the victim may not have his card number memorized. Or, the victim does have his card number memorized, and types it in on the computer. The shoulder surfer could walk by, take a peek, and memorize the numbers. The identity thief wouldn’t have to memorize all 16 numbers – the first eight are typically standardized by the card company (Visa, for example) but the second eight numbers are unique to the card. Sixteen numbers are very hard to memorize just by looking at them – focusing on the last eight, however, makes it easier for the identity thief to memorize the information.

The preventions of shoulder surfing can be difficult to implement in some instances – there are times when one needs to have his credit card out, or type it into an online form (where the number is in plain text so anyone can read it). However, one can cover himself by limiting who can view that information. When using the credit card, the potential victim can do his best to obscure the information on the card with his hand. When entering the PIN of the card for purchases, one can use one hand to type and the other to block the view of anyone who could be shoulder surfing. When processing online transactions that involve entering a credit card number into a form, it is a good idea to perform those transactions at a time and place where the instance of someone being able to shoulder surf would be limited (example – completing Internet purchasing at home, not at work).

Internet scams are what most people associate with identity theft. There are numerous ways in which identity theft can be committed via the Internet – since most of our daily activities tend to have the Internet involved in one way or the other via purchases or social networking, the Internet is a great place for identity thieves to gather information.

The prevalent method of Internet scam is what is known as “phishing.” Phishing is defined as “a scam where Internet fraudsters send spam or pop-up messages to lure personal and financial information from unsuspecting victims.” (OnGuard Online) This is done in three different ways – phone, e-mail, or pop-up messages. An example of phone phishing would be the instance earlier this month in Ellsworth, Maine. The Hancock County Police Department was receiving complaints that automated messages were being sent from Machias Savings Bank. The messages stated that the call recipient’s accounts had been compromised, and that the recipient needed to enter his credit card number to safely reactivate the account. (Trotter) The police advised local residents to disregard those calls as bogus – if one’s bank account was compromised, there would be no logical reason for the victim to provide his credit card number, or any other information over the phone (and many banks, if not all of them, would not ask for such information over the phone as a matter of policy).

E-mail phishing is another prevalent method of phishing. This form of phishing involves the same tactic as phone phishing – a legitimate-looking e-mail is sent to the potential victim, stating that for some seemingly reasonable reason, their account must be verified. This involves the victim sending in information, whether it is a user name, password, address, or any other identifying information. The potential victim of phishing would receive an e-mail that looked official, which would have the victim follow a link to a website where he would supply important account information. The webpage would look, feel, and operate like the real site, but it would direct all information to the identity thieves in charge of the site. This can be illustrated by an incident that occurred in Miamisburg, OH. Graduates of Miamisburg High School were receiving e-mails stating that in order to stay in the alumni group of the school, the graduates would have to go to the group’s website and pay a $20 fee. The real alumni group of Miamisburg, OH does not charge a fee of any kind – once one graduates, he is in the group. (Dayton Daily News)

Pop-up phishing (or advertisement phishing) is not seen as often, but it still used on the Internet. Websites can be set up and used for a certain purpose, but while on that site the potential victim sees a pop-up message appear on the screen. As an example, the pop-up could say something to the effect of “the ISP provider needs to verify this user’s account information in order to continue.” At which point, the pop-up would somehow have the victim enter the information. This method is not seen as much as its counterpart, advertisement phishing. An example of phishing ads are the banner ads that claim the potential victim has just won a new video game console, but must fill out a form to receive the prize. The information is then received by the identity thieves, and used for their purposes.

Pharming is a method of Internet scam that is more technology-oriented than the previous methods. Pharming involves the redirection of traffic from a legitimate site to a fake site, where information can be obtained from victims. This is typically done via installation of spyware or some other form of malware, which edits the hosts file. The hosts file is used by web browsers (on Windows computers) to associate IP addresses with web addresses (, for instance). When the malware edits the hosts file, it will change the IP address from that of the legitimate website to that of the pharming website. The IP address of is For sake of example, let’s say that the IP address of the pharming site is The malware would change the hosts file to say that the IP address of is – which would take all traffic destined for the real to the fraudulent website.

How does one prevent against these methods of identity theft? Carefulness is the key in this situation. Verify who is asking for the information – is the e-mail address from the place it claims to be from? Is the website address the same as what the bank has provided in its documentation? The identity thief who uses these methods thrives on the victim's ignorance. By verifying the web location and interested persons, it is easier to distinguish whether or not it is legitimate. If one is not sure, the best bet would be to call the bank (if the phishing is in relation to the bank), or check the documentation provided. Another method of prevention would involve what is known as a “phishing filter.” Anti-virus companies typically provide an “Internet protection” function in their software, which can often include a phishing filter. This filter is updated regularly as new phishing sites are discovered, and that list is used to block known phishing websites. By keeping a phishing filter updated and active on a computer system, the chances of stumbling across a false site are minimized.

Identity theft cases in the real world are plenteous. Whether the cause is from physical access to the information or via the Internet, identity theft is a very real threat. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that 9 million Americans have their identity stolen each year. ( As a whole, how can one protect himself from identity theft? As a general rule, caution is the key. Personally identifiable information should be treated as valuable as an asset – like a car or cash. Typically, one wouldn't be careless with his vehicle or cash in the sense of allowing people easy access to it. The same should hold true for personally identifiable information. By exercising caution when sharing personally identifiable information, one can help lessen the risk of an identity thief directly acquiring their information. The best place to start when securing personal information is to verify how accessible one’s physical documentation is. Social security cards, bank statements, registration information – all this information is precious to the identity thief. Place the paperwork in a secure location, like a lockbox or locking file cabinet. Any way to put a barrier between one’s documentation and unwanted eyes is strongly encouraged.

Keep an eye on accounts and request annual credit reports. This can help stave off the brunt of identity theft. By monitoring one’s bank accounts, one can notice when fraudulent charges are made, and can begin the necessary procedures to stop the identity theft. An annual credit report will show additional information, such as the companies that requested information on one’s account. For example, if the credit report showed that Joe’s Car Dealership had requested a credit report on the victim’s account, yet this person had not done any business with Joe’s Car Dealership, one would be tipped off that identity theft may be occurring.

Carefully maintaining the paperwork for all accounts is another solid habit that will help in the case of identity theft. Too much documentation never hurts – it can be a hassle at times, but it will make the fraudulent charges easier to pick out, as the victim can compare that charge against his documentation, and be able to spot fraudulent charges amongst real ones. Keeping track of receipts and other paperwork related to the transaction can help minimize the chance of losing that paperwork – and if misplaced, that paperwork could fall into the hands of an identity thief.

In this age of abundant information identity theft is a constant danger. By being careful of how one uses his information, closely monitoring transactions, and keeping complete records can help to minimize the risk of identity theft, and limit its overall damage.

Works Cited

Dayton Daily News. Article 11. 31 March 2010. 22 April 2010 . About Identity Theft - Deter. Detect. Defend. About ID Theft. 21 April 2010. 22 April 2010 .

—. About Identity Theft - Deter. Detect. Defend. Avoid ID theft. 21 April 2010. 22 April 2010 .

OnGuard Online. Phishing. February 2008. 22 April 2010 .
Page, The Quotations. Quote Details: William Shakespeare - A good name in man... 2007. 22 April 2010 .

Trotter, Bill. Article 9. 2 April 2010. 22 April 2010 .

Walters, Chris. Here's What A Card Skimmer Looks Like on an ATM. 19 April 2009. 22 April 2010 .

Monday, April 12, 2010

hey y'all check out mah new blag

Hannah and I set up a new blog, titled "The Story of a Prince and Princess." I figured I'd make an announcement here for any who are inclined to follow it - I'm not sure what we're going to do with it yet, but we'll keep you posted. (Wow, that's a horrible pun.)

You can access the blog via

I should have a new blog post up at the end of the week - no promises, as I have a Forensic Accounting paper to write... but I'm going to try yet again to revive this place.


Friday, April 2, 2010

A Story of a Prince and a Princess

This is a story of a prince and a princess. The prince lived in one kingdom, and the princess lived in another kingdom far away. One day, the prince happened to meet this princess through a mutual friend, who happened to be a princess at the nearby kingdom. The two began communicating by homing pigeon - that was the best form of communication back in the day - and they kept in frequent contact.

This prince liked the princess in the nearby kingdom - however, she did not like him very much. Upon discovery of this, the prince was very sad. He was very mad, thinking "who would not want me - I am the prince!" However, with help of the princess of the far away kingdom (by homing pigeon, of course), he was able to realize the folly of his thinking. For several weeks, the friendship continued. Then, something bad happened.

One day, the prince was preparing for his day when a homing pigeon arrived. Attached was a long note from the princess of the far away kingdom, saying how her betrothed prince had returned from a campaign in the far region, and had stated that he had no intentions of marrying her. The princess of the far away kingdom did not take this very well (well, okay - she was heartbroken), and told the prince (not the betrothed one) that she was going to jump from the tallest tower in the kingdom.

The prince, greatly distressed, sent a long letter back to the princess. The homing pigeon was fast - so fast, that the first recorded instance of the sound barrier being broken occurred at the wings of this pigeon. It was that fast. Anyway, the princess received the letter, read it, and reconsidered her stance.

However, in order to fully calm down the princess, the prince continued constant correspondence with the princess. This continued for two weeks, but not a lot of progress was seen by the prince.

After those two weeks, the prince had to go defeat a dragon terrorizing a nearby settlement. He figured it would only take a weeks, so he advised the princess of this and told her to consider her position on the subject. Oddly enough, the prince ended up slaying the dragon on day 1 and was bored for 6 days.

After this "week off," the prince checked up on the princess. She had thought about all that the prince had said, and realized her initial position of borderline suicide was not the best position in the world. The prince was greatly relieved, and their friendship continued to grow. There was a special element to their friendship - both of them had been there to pick each other up during some of the roughest times in their life. After several months of continued homing pigeon correspondence, the prince decided to meet this princess. After making arrangements between the two kingdoms, the prince began the long trek to the far away kingdom.

The trek was very long, and very straight, and very flat. The terrain was some of the most uneventful - but that's irrelevant. Back on topic.

Eventually, the prince arrived at the far away kingdom. The princess was returning from business, and was not home when the prince reached his destination. So, the prince accompanied the princess' brother (who was not a prince - kinda weird, but there's some technicality in there somewhere) to the outpost where the prince would be sleeping during his visit. After dropping off his belongings, the two began returning to the castle. On the way back, a homing pigeon arrived with a note from the princess - "where are you?" The princess' brother sent a note back saying "we're dead - sorry." The princess was not amused.

Once the prince returned to the castle, he met the princess for the first time. At first he didn't know what to do - he was so used to the homing pigeons that this whole "in person" thing was somewhat odd. After a few hours, though, the awkwardness was gone, and the visit was going quite well.

The two attended various social functions together, and spent most of the time talking and doing prince and princess kinds of things. One day, near the end of his visit, the prince began thinking. The friendship he had with this princess was one of a kind - and he thought he might be starting to like her.

However, the prince had had troubles with princesses in the past, and was wary about this. He began to pray, and then continued talking to the princess. It became clearer that this was no ordinary princess. So, he sent a homing pigeon back to his home kingdom with a letter detailing his visit so far, and the feelings that were beginning to take hold. The prince received a letter back, stating that the king and queen gave their blessing on his feelings.

So, the prince continued praying, and thinking, and praying. This occurred throughout the night - the prince didn't know when he got to bed - he knew that he stopped for a moment, closed his eyes, and opened them several hours later with severe stomach cramps and a sore jaw. He believed that this princess was the one - and decided that he would ask the king and queen of the far away kingdom for permission to court this princess. He arrived at the castle, and asked to talk to the king. The king, being fond of the prince, welcomed him to the throne room [not the lavatory] eagerly. It was there that the prince asked the king for permission. The prince, in later retelling of the story, did not really remember what he said - he just remembered the king saying yes before he was even fully finished asking for permission. The prince was excited, but scared - he still had to ask the princess.

It was a long walk from the throne room to the princess' quarters. Once there, he asked to talk to the princess alone. Again, the prince didn't remember what he said - but he did remember that smile slowly forming on the princess' face, that sparkle in her eyes... and that "yes." The prince didn't know what to do at first - his world had changed in the blink of an eye. From my research, it would seem the princess felt similarly.

The two spent the day together, but the prince had to return to his kingdom to take care of business, and the princess had to return to the school south of the far away kingdom. Needless to say, the prince and princess were very sad. It was a very long ride home for the prince... but then he found out that the princess would be coming to his kingdom in a matter of weeks. This made the prince very happy. He loved this princess, and was overjoyed to know she would be coming soon. (As one historian said, "When it comes to love, homing pigeons just don't cut it.")

And so began the story of the prince and the princess. Chapters will follow soon... <3

It's pretty amazing

Well, this is pretty awesome. Hannah and I are sitting in the van right now, having an awesome one waiting for Paige to finish her doctor's appointment. Meanwhile, Hannah and I thought we'd share a picture with all you guys out in blogland.

Coming soon, preferably tonight - a story about a prince and a princess... Don't turn that radio dial!


-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, March 27, 2010

...yet again...

...I have not updated my blog. I apologize to my followers, as this actually has been something on my to-do list. I have the blog post pretty much written out, and hopefully I get it up before the weekend is out. We're fixing a bubble in my bedroom carpet right now, so the room is all over the place.

Oh, and apparently you can use landscape mode with this app...

Again, my sincerest apologies to you all. See you soon! :)


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Yet another tagging event!

Hannah tagged me, so here ya go!

1. High heels or boots? Boots! I apologize to all my transvestite followers out there, but I'm going to have to go with boots.

2. What time did you get up this morning? 9, I think. Somewhere around there.

3. What was the last film you saw? Beginning to end, I honestly cannot remember.

4. What is your name? Kyle

5. What is your favorite TV show? Probably the old Twilight Zone.

6. What do you usually have for breakfast? Pop-Tart, Doughnut, or Milk & cereal

7. What is your middle name's initial? A

8. What food do you dislike? Asparagus is a biggie.

9. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Who buys CDs these days?!

10. What did you do tonight? Cleaned up my room, went through my clothes, had dinner...

11. Favorite Clothing? T-shirts, blue jeans, and sneakers.

12. Anywhere in the world on vacation? Scotland.

13. Are you an organized person? I try, but sometimes things get in disarray.

14. Where would you retire to? Arizona. Nice and dry.

15 What was your most recent memorable birthday? 19th birthday - spent it at school from 9am-9pm.

16. What are you going to do when you finish this? Get back to cleaning my room.

17. What is your Birthstone? Pearl

18. Person you expect to read this first? Hannah, probably.

19. When is your birthday? June 2

20. Are you a morning person or a night person? NIGHT.

21. What is your favorite shoe style? I like Aesics... they're comfy.

22. Do you own any animals? Not anymore.

23. Any news you'd like to share? Going on a trip in March... :)

24. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? A F-18 pilot in the Air Force

25. What is your favorite flower? Never really had one... tulips, I guess. (Thanks Tiny Tim!)

26. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? March 12

28. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Purple, of course. (Wait - where's 27?!)

29. How is the weather right now? It is very dark.

30. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Mom.

31. Favorite drink? Mountain Dew and coffee.

32. Favorite restaurant? Red Robin's Gourmet Burgers

33. Hair color? Brown

34. What was your favorite toy as a child? LEGOs!!!

35. Summer or winter? Summer.

36. Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate.

37. Coffee or tea? Coffee – although good tea is hard to pass up.

38. Wish you were still young? I still am young!

39. Do you want your friends to comment on this? If they want to.

40. When was the last time you cried? November-December of last year, I believe.

41. What is under your bed? Stuff. A lot less than two weeks ago, which is a good thing.

42 . What did you do last night? Went to a friend's house for a church youth meeting.

43. What are you afraid of? Not being the man God wants me to be.

44. Salty or sweet? Depends on the day, I guess.

45. Best quality you have? Ask my friends – they'd be able to answer you.

46. How many years at your current job? A year and a half at the Stark State College Help Desk

47. Favorite day of the week? Saturday

48. What four people will you tag? Well, only two followers have blogs, and they've already done this. :(

49. Do you like finding out all this stuff about your friends? Most of the time, yeah.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Saw this on a couple other people's blags, figured I'd give it a shot.


Are you right-handed or left-handed? Right

Have you ever had anything removed from your body? My wisdom teeth, many moons ago.

What is the last heavy item you lifted? A water softener.


What is your salad dressing of choice? I usually don't have dressing... bad for ya.

What is your favorite sit-down restaurant? Red Robin's Gourmet Burgers.

What food could you eat for 2 weeks straight and not get sick of it? hmmm.... Burgers, probably.

What are your pizza toppings of choice? Pineapple, jalapenos, and/or bacon

What do you like to put on your toast? Butter, of course.


If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
Nope, I'd rather not.

If you could change your name, what would you change it to? I'd change it to Xerxes Snagglejorgen - just to mess with all the fellow phone support people out there.

Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000? Yeppers - I love hot sauce!


How many pairs of flip flops do you own? ZERO.

Last time you had a run-in with the cops? I don't think I've ever had a run-in with them, to be honest.

Last person you talked to in person? Mah momma.

Favorite Month? June. Not too hot, not too cold.


Mood? Tired.

What are you listening to? Grooveshark (E.S. Posthumus, more specifically)

Watching? The loading bar on my iPhone - OS 3.1.3 update...

Worrying about? Life... putting it in God's hands, though.


What’s the last movie you watched? ...beginning to end? None recently.

Do you smile often? I try.

Do you always answer your phone? Depends on who it is.

If you could change your eye color what would it be? Hazel is awesome - why change?

What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? I cannot say I've ever graced Sonic with my presence.

Do you own a digital camera? Yep.

Have you ever had a pet fish? I had a betta fish for a while, but after three years it ended up dying.

Favorite Christmas song? "Who is He in Yonder Stall?" is a good one.

What’s on your wish list for your birthday? Dunno...

Can you do push-ups? Sure can.

Can you do a chin up? Yeah... just not very many.

Do you have any saved texts? Yeah - I'm too lazy to delete them. And I have a lot of space on my phone.

Do you have an accent? A lighter east-coast one, yeah.

What is the last song to make you cry? "Ohne Dich" ["Without You"] It was a while ago...

Plans tonight? Chillaxin'.

Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom? Ohhhhh yeah.

Name 2 things you bought yesterday: Battlefield 1943 and some jeans.

You ever been given roses? Can't say I have.

Current hate right now? None right now. Hopefully never.

Met someone who changed your life? I would say so, yeah.

What were you doing 12 AM last night? Talking to a friend from college.

What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? "Already?"


How many televisions are in your house? 9 - only reason we have so many is for school.

What color cell phone do you have? Black. Because white is for posers.

What does the first text message in your inbox say and who sent it? Jonathan H.: "ok is it as good as the core 2???"

Who was the last person to call you? Hannah!

--- --- ---

If none of you know E.S. Posthumus... chances are if you saw any promotional videos for Sherlock Holmes, you've heard them. Kinda like a Hans Zimmer-ish kinda deal, except they aren't doing film scores.

This is new

Well it looks like I can do this from my iPhone now. Whether that means it'll be updated more often, I have no idea.

It doesn't even have landscape mode.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Story

I said I was going to tell you a story, so here it is.

I was born on June 2nd, 1990. I grew up in a newly Christian family, and attended Bethel Mennonite Church for the early years of my life. However, the teaching was shallow at best, and the atmosphere was almost too laid back. In an effort to find a church that offered more spiritual “meat,” we began visiting churches around 2000-ish, and came across many different kinds.

There was one we were visiting for a while, and I remember one evening a missionary from the Philippines came and gave a sermon. He talked about the status of his efforts in the Philippines, and where he was planning to go from his current situation. Near the end of the service, he mentioned an incident where his car broke down. By the end of the story, several random Filipinos had stopped to help get his vehicle back up and running. He said that they were all nice people, but they're missing the one thing that will get them to heaven – a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

From what I had come up around, I was accustomed to the “good people go to heaven” point of view. I was a good kid – not a perfect kid, but I never did anything like sneak bad stuff into the house or steal cars. “If good people don't go to heaven, where do they go?” I thought.

The missionary then explained that Jesus was the only way to eternal life (see John 14:6), and that any other way – including being a good person – would lead to eternal death and separation from God. Mr. Missionary had me at this point, but then he added in another bit which, looking back, might've scared me into it. He talked about the return of Christ, and how no human really knew when it would happen. I remember he said “He may come this month, He may come tomorrow, He may come before your bedtime – but if you are not one of His children when he comes, the only place for you will be Hell.”

There wasn't much after that – the prayer time started, and I began to think. I could be a good person all I wanted, but that would never get me into Heaven – and I had this sinking feeling that Mr. Missionary was right. So I began to pray. I prayed for forgiveness from the sins I had committed (which even for a young boy can be plenteous), and accepted for Jesus to be my Lord and Savior.

It's hard to really explain how relieved I felt once I finished that prayer. I don't remember the day, I don't remember the missionary's name, I barely remember the year – but I remember that moment in time when I accepted Jesus as my savior. And that, to me, is all that matters. The joy of knowing I was part of His kingdom was unlike anything I've felt before or since. I told everyone I knew at that church that I had gotten saved – and everyone was happy for me! I went home that night and began to wonder about how awesome it would be to be caught up in rapture with the Most High God.

I remember a couple days later, after school, sitting in my room watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I distinctly remember during the fight scene with tank, posing the question to myself - “Well, I'm saved. Now what?”

Unfortunately, I didn't properly address this question until much later in life.

Shortly after I got saved we found a church we liked, and are still attending – Heritage Baptist Church. I read my Bible, turned in my Sunday School homework, and filled in the blanks of my outlines, just as every good Christian does. However, it all became a routine activity – no real thought went into it, it was simply “something you had to do.”

This attitude persisted throughout most of my teenage years. In 2007, I got my first job working as an office assistant for Glick Real Estate. It was a 9 to 5 job at a small office. Looking back, I am rather thankful that while things that happened at that office may not have been the best thing ever, the people I worked with were Godly people, or at least very religious. One of my co-workers was a pastor, and was using his job at the office to make extra money so he could provide for the family. Kevin, the pastor, gave me guidance from time to time that really helped me in retrospect.

During that time, however, things began to change. My Bible reading began to trickle off to nothing. My prayer was nonexistant. And conversations about spiritual things? Pft, forget about it.

This translated into my work ethic. About a quarter of the way into my tenure at the office I began to get sloppy, and adopt the “why do today what you can do tomorrow?” mentality. To clarify, I wasn't doing a menial “collate this document” kind of job – it was my job to make sure real estate transactions got processed by the title company, and get the paperwork back. This was one of the bigger money-makers for the company. The pile of stuff in my “to-do” box on my desk kept growing.

Then one day I asked my boss' wife if it would be okay to download some files, stick them on a CD I had brought, and take them home (once I clocked out for the day). She said that would be fine, so I clocked out, copied the files, and went home. (I should explain – we had dial-up at home, and the office had broadband.) I continued to do this over the course of several weeks. However, one of the files I downloaded must have brought a virus onto the computer. I went back over everything I ever took home a bit after the fact and scanned everything with a fine-tooth comb, but everything came back clean. Anyway, it did a real number on my work computer. My supervisor, who goes to the same church I do and still keep close contact with, called my dad late a couple nights afterwords to give my dad a heads-up – I was going to get fired the next day.

My parents, to say the least, were not pleased. The next day my dad drove me to work, and went in with me. We talked to my boss, and he explained why he was going to let me go. First he talked about my work ethic, and how lax it had become. He explained to me that it was a critical function that I performed – something I really didn't realize, being the first job environment I was in. He then talked about my downloading deal, and asked me if I knew what the policy said about using the work computers for personal use. Much to his surprise, that was the first time anyone ever mentioned a company policy to me. I was given a copy of the company policy, and told that if I violated it I was out the door.

He then addressed my sloppy work ethic. He told me “I really don't care if you're flipping patties at McDonald's or working on a multi-million dollar project – do your job, and do it well.” He then gave me one week to clean up my act, or I was fired. I think having Dad there helped me get that one week – I tell him he saved my job for me. I cleaned up my work habits and began working like a maniac to keep my job. I did, and managed to get back the trust of my co-workers. However, even though my exterior habits had been cleaned up, my internal ones had not. My spiritual life continued to take a walk off a cliff.

Then August 2008 came. I began attending Stark State College of Technology pursuing the Cyber Security & Computer Forensics degree (my interest in computers and security went WAY up after my virus incident), and began working at the Stark State Help Desk as a student worker. That was when my spiritual life was truly ignored. Few people were religious, let alone Christian – most people lived ungodly lives in any way you can think of.

I was told that it would be very easy to just blend in with the crowd, and forget my spiritual walk. And whoever told me that was right. My Bible reading was already negligent – now it was gone completely. Prayer hadn't been voluntarily committed in a very long time. Christianity became my label – it had no other real meaning to me. All my thoughts about God and the Christian walk took a back seat. After all, I was in college now; I had more important things to worry about.

My conduct and conversations echoed this. My attitude towards my parents, my church, and life in general took on a rather ungodly perspective. My relationship with my family became strained to say the least, and I didn't want to spend any more time in church than necessary. I was “playing the part,” you could say.

That progressed until the summer of 2009, when Mom asked me when I was going to get around to joining the church. I had kept my general lack of a spiritual walk hidden from my parents, and was still playing the part when I was around the family. The way I had set up school and classes over the summer, I had a 9am – 12am class, and then work at 5 pm. So, I would sit around the college and do whatever I needed to do. When Mom asked me that, I began to think. In order to become a member at our church, we must give our testimony to the congregation. What would I say? Looking back over my life, I remembered that initial joy and eagerness to tell everyone about Him. But now, I'd put Him out of my life completely.

That night, I got on my knees and prayed. I didn't know where to begin – I'd done so much wrong, I'd kicked God into the closet of my life and left him there. I had sinned so much – not so much in action, but in thought and conduct. I didn't think God would take me back, but He did.

I steeled myself that night to serve God no matter what got thrown at me. I picked up my Bible and began reading it again. Not as “the book you're supposed to read,” but as God's Word, through which He revealed Himself to us. There was so much I missed all those years! And with those wondrous truths came a lot of conviction... I had a lot of work in front of me. Habits and actions I had thought nothing of for years now had to change. But I knew I was right with God, and that He would help me through it.

And so began my renewed walk with God. It has not been easy, but it has been totally worth it.

--- --- ---

...That is my story. There was more I was going to add that talked about recent occurrences, but I figured this was long enough for now. If you want to see it (which I don't mind), just let me know in the comments. :)


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I'm Not Dead

My my my, where does the time go?

Last post was in the beginning of December... a lot has happened since then. Friendships have ended and begun, a new year arrived, and a new semester started - not to mention the usual persistent personal struggles in my spiritual walk.

Apparently I lost a couple of followers during my absence - can't really blame 'em, seeing as I barely posted anyway. Hopefully I can try to get this thing on a somewhat consistent track, and see what happens. Classes are in full swing now, so I've been pressed for time. I guess if I didn't spend so much extra time playing Doom 3 and Flight Sim X, I probably could've gotten some coherent content on here.

As for that story I mentioned in a poll way back before the beginning of time... I was going to tell a fictional one, but I think a true story would work better. That should be here by the end of the week. Depends on if a snow day hits tomorrow or not.

Until next time,