Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 9

Today we took a cruise on the Rhine. It was lovely. We got to see some old castles and some lovely views of German wine country. It was a very relaxing day.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 8

We left our home stay families this morning and spent the day in Heidelberg. It was a nice town. I was able to get some chocolate for my wife so I hope it can make it back to the states without any melting or anything.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 7

Last night with my home stay family and I'm truly going to miss them. They are a lovely bunch of people. Today me and the other leaders had a BBQ with all of our home stay families in a private garden and it was an awesome time. We threw the football around and ate some awesome food.

The day started off at the school where we got to hang out with some German students and I even got to help teach a lesson about 9/11. It was interesting teaching history. The students enoyedus being in their classes. I enjoyed Ms. Heinrich's 5th year German literature class the most. The kids were adorable.

It's interesting to hear that Germany faces some of the same educational problems that we do and they have a completely different system. I have no complaints about my time in Germany.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 5

We started off in Luzerne. It was a nice town. We got to see the lion statue dedicated to the mercenaries that protected the royalty back in the day but ended up being slaughtered. It was an amazing statue. Then we walked across the old wooden bridge, one of the oldest bridges in the region. We then boarded the bus and headed to lunch. Thank goodness because I'm running on reserves. This trip is easily the best trim down I could do. Constantly walking with just enough food to keep you going. I'm not mad at that. This afternoon we're going to see some cuckoo clocks get made. Should be interesting.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 4

Today we did a service project. Chopped some saplings in order to build a maze,and  then we got some time to walk around Scuol. It's a nice town.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 3

I got up at 5 this morning. Still getting used to the time change but I was refreshed. Today we're going to go white water rafting so that should be fun. Even though, I'm not looking forward to the freezing cold Alp water we will be on but it'll still be a fun time. We also are going to take some time to walk around this little mountain village of Scuol.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day 2

We made it to Zurich with no problems. We met the Wyoming delegation at the airport as well as our delegation manager. Her name is Antje. We took a walk around Zurich for about an hour before heading to lunch which was a good hour away. Neither of the phones that people to people gave us worked so I'm sure we have some worried parents back home. As soon as we get a signal we'll let them know we're safe. I might have more luck if I can just get a wifi signal. The drive from Zurich to lunch is beautiful.

Day 1 p2p 2012 - up in the air

We made it out of dfw with no issues. The students are excited and starting to get to know each other. We won't meet the Wyoming group until we reach Zurich. We're on the way to jfk airport. First leg of our trip.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Since I'm not actively pumping out articles for Android Activist anymore I figured I'd still give the people a little of what they Android opinion. Today I'm going to take some time to write up some thoughts on the HTC One S. I've had this phone for about a week, thank you T-Mobilizer, and I've really enjoyed it. I'll go part by part and give you my ups and downs with the phone. Let's get to it.

First off, the phone is super sleek and slim. Maybe even almost too slim. It's hard to get a good grip on it and the material it's made out of makes it super slick for some reason. I haven't dropped it or anything, but I can see where a drop prone person may have issues with this phone. The overall design is nice and the phone is light, but with enough heft to make you know that you're holding a quality piece of hardware. A minor annoyance is the micro usb port being on the side instead of the bottom, but I got over that pretty quickly. Overall, build quality seems to be pretty stellar and since there's no removable battery or micro sd to worry about this slab of a phone looks like it could last a while.

Second, I'd like to hit on battery life before really diving in to the phone itself. The battery life is about average. I've been seeing anywhere from 9-14 hours on a full charge depending on use. If you've had a smartphone in the past I'm sure you have your own power management techniques for increasing the juice life, so my numbers may vary from yours. Again battery life is average.

Next order of business....what's under the hood? Ice cream M effin sandwich!! I really like what Google has done with Android. Having this phone ship with ICS was a good move, and I think HTC has listened to their customers somewhat. They have allowed ICS to be the main show and Sense has become a pretty decent supporting actor. Now, I still think I prefer vanilla Android, but Sense has yet to annoy me on this phone. The sense widgets and close integration with the ICS OS have been a nice union. Sense still takes over the dialer (I like the stock dialer better), the keyboard (I used to like the Sense keyboard, but I'd rather stock ICS), as well as contact management (it' so), and a host of other things, but it's not too intrusive. I haven't really found myself trying to claw my eyes out because of something that Sense is or isn't doing, but I think I may still need some more time poking around. One thing that I have found curious is the fact that I can use other launchers, but I've continued to use Sense even though I miss certain features out of other launchers. I don't know if it's a laziness on my part or if I'm really that content with Sense. I'm still trying to figure that one out. I'll give Sense ahead nod on their implementation of ICS.

Beats audio. It's a good addition, but if you download a good eq app or if you're running a CM build (I'm not sure about all of the other builds) you'll get the same enhancements. Even with a pair of Beats headphones the improvement is only slightly noticeable. I'm sure someone somewhere was jumping for joy when they heard about this. I say get a pair of quality headphones and you're good to go.

The camera. Hands down one of the best cameras I've used. It could easily be used as a stand alone point and shoot camera. The quality is top notch on stills and video. In low light you get a little degradation, but still far better than most. The shutter speed is almost non existent. The only time I noticed a full second between shots is when the flash is used. Other than that it is an amazing camera.

I miss my vertical app drawer. With this phone being carried by T-mobile, I expected that they would have some bloatware and it does. They have the normal apps they usually include as well as some HTC apps, but it's not big deal. You can choose to use them or not. It's up to you. There's enough internal storage so that it doesn't really bother me that much, but it would be nice to be able to get rid of them. You can search youtube or just about any Android site to hear about all of the different included apps, so I'm not going to go into each one. I just wanted you to know that they are on there and you have the option to use them or not. It's up to you.

Wifi calling is a nice feature and helpful for those on limited plans. I found that the quality is ok depending on your wifi connection. The closer you are the better it works. It good that it allows you to receive texts over wifi also, so you can really cut down on cellular use with this feature. You're also allowed to use your phone as a wifi hotspot, so that's always a plus. GPS loks on pretty quick and is accurate and steady with the GPS on or off. The "4G" speeds have been ok. Nothing to really write home about, but faster than my nexus one. No complaints here.

One thing that I've seen that's a bit of a concern, but should be able to get fixed with an update, is random reboots. I think it has happened to me twice. Just going on about my day and the phone just reboots. I'm not sure if I'm pushing something or if it's just a glitch. 

In summation, this is a great phone. It has a lot to like about it and I think anyone who gets one will enjoy it. I'm still tempted to get a Galaxy Nexus from Google, but I'll see how attached I grow to this phone. This phone is one that I think was built with the future in mind and I hope that it continues to keep pace. I'm really interested to see how this phone handles the next Google update. That could ultimately be the biggest blemish on this phone if it doesn't update quickly and smoothly. Until then I would tell anyone who's curious to get one and they won't be disappointed. Thanks for your time and feel free to leave some comments. If there is something you'd like me to try on the phone or if you have any questions about it, feel free to leave them here or on Google plus or twitter (@ogreen32). Take care .

Friday, February 24, 2012

The cloud

Here's a quick nerdy post. I needed to get a power point on the internet and it needed to be able to be accessible to others. I went to the cloud. I felt very 21st century doing this. First, I was using ubuntu, so I didn't have my office suite at hand. So, I downloaded a PPT from my district's website, then tried uploading to google docs, but the formatting was off. Then I remembered about skydrive from microsoft. I logged in, uploaded the PPT, clicked share and it provided me with a link. I then went to and shortened the link. Then I went to my google docs, wrote and assignment for my students. Posted the shortened link and will give the assignment tomorrow. IF the kids only used their school emails, this would have been a paperless assignment. We're getting close, but not quite there yet.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

My New Year's Trip

Me and a few friends went to a casino for New Year's eve. It was a nice time. They had a concert and countdown and TVs showing Times Square. Not a bad venue to ring in the new year. I'm not a gambler, so no money was lost or gained, so you don't even have to worry about asking. What I did want to mention was the clientele that I can across while at the casino. I'm not trying to talk about anybody or anything, just stating what I saw.

The New Inheritance

I was listening to NPR not too long ago and there was a guy on there talking about today's inheritance that today's youth are seeing. He made a very valid statement, "Today's parents are giving their kids their inheritance  while they are all still alive." That makes plenty of sense. He was saying that parents today are more often than not helping their children out far more today than they did in the past. He stated that parents are more likely to help their kids financially today rather than wait until they passed away to leave their kids a large inheritance. The more I look around, the more he seems to be right.

Parents are helping their kids out more. I see them allowing students to move back in after graduation, or upon maybe losing a job. Parents are helping their kids get houses and keep up with bills as more and more people are becoming unemployed and underemployed.

I thought this was a very interesting turn of events as many people seem to wait on their inheritance with bated breath. Now it seems as though more people are quite content being able to see their inheritance come to them as they try to start families or fall on hard times. Either way I think it's commendable that parents are there to help their children even as those kids become adults. I know this isn't in every case out there and there are still a butt load of inheritances still waiting to be had, but for those those that do get a bit now when they need it most, be sure to say thanks to the ones that are there for you in those times. "Thanks!" Take care.

How To Get Beyond Your Current Situation?

This post isn't so much what I think, but more of a way to pick the brains of others. Currently I'm thinking about another career, but I'm feeling a little unsure about how to do that. The first question I'm having trouble answering is "What do you want to do?". Truth is, I'm not sure. To the question, "What can you do?" the answer is an easy one....anything. But, anything doesn't get you a job or to another place in life. You need to have a plan. I seem to be falling short on that end.

I'm currently teaching. I like it, but it's not something I can do too much longer. I'm in a broken system, that underpays, under appreciates and over expects from its employees. Sure I'm happy to be employed and I know the grass isn't always greener on the other side, but I would like to not have to worry about a paycheck to paycheck living. I'm not sure if I want to go the full-time route with something part-time on the side or if I want to ditch it all together and go to something else? All that I do know is that I would like to move on from my current position and go on to better things. I'm currently trying to find or take any suggestions that I can get as far as how to do that. The next thing I'm not sure about is whether to go back and get more training. After getting one college degree and seeing where I am now, I'm very hesitant to go back again for some other degree or certificate that may or not pay off in the end. It's a very confusing spot to be in. I've even thought about my own business, but I think the logistics of it sort of scares me away from the idea and once again....I'm not sure what that business would be. Wanting to change careers in this job market is a very abysmal place to be in. Employers are taking their time hiring, if they're hiring at all. I'm also looking at going back to a starting/entry-level salary by switching from education to most other fields. My microbiology degree seems to be just dwindling and becoming less and less meaningful as time goes on.

So what I bring to you, are questions. Have you ever switched careers? If so, how did you go about doing it? Was it the right move? What advice would you give to someone trying to switch? I also welcome any other advice you may be able to shed on the situation. Thanks and take care!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Political Season and I'm back!!!

It's been a while, but I'm back on the grind. I've been writing down notes that I've wanted to share with you all, but I'm just now getting a chance to put them out there. I may make this one post it may be more. Heck, it's my blog so I can do what I want!!! Now that that's out of the way down to the nitty gritty. This will be my political blog. I'll put out some thoughts that I've noticed since this political season has started and we can discuss, so some of these thoughts may be a little dated, but still pertinent.

Ron Paul won't ever win an election. Not because he doesn't have the support or the money, it's because he talks. Ron Paul is good for about two sentences and then he falls off a cliff. I know a lot of people support him whole-heartedly and that's their right, but his views can't and won't win an election. Not because of his supporters, but because of the other people that he needs to vote for him. The conservatives, the old GOP voters, the moderates, they don't look at Ron Paul for his attributes, instead they look at him for his downfalls. When people become focused on what it is that you're not doing well, then you are all but lost. He has given a great showing and I hope that his run in the primaries will allow us to see the shortcomings of the political process and lead us to make it better.

I'm going to end this piece by simply saying, Ron Paul will not win, but we can learn from his efforts. I hope the country watches and learns that we can still put people up that we want to see in the running. What we need to find a way to change is the overall process. We can have corporations paying to put people in office. We all see where that has gotten us. It feels good to be back. Take care!!