Nov 25, 2011

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like grocery shopping. When I was a bachelor, I absolutely hated going to the grocery store. Because I never planned in advance, it seemed like I was always making trips to the grocery and I certainly never used coupons. My perspective on grocery shopping has changed now that Julie and I are working as a team. Julie, being great with child, needs all the rest she can get these days. I made a deal with her: if she would make a list and gather all the needed coupons, I would do all of the shopping. It’s worked out perfectly so far. I keep the trips short by using my male intuition (get in and get out). Julie is rested and I don’t go hungry…all is well!

This week, I love urban exploration. Julie and I were recently invited to a friend’s baby shower at a very nice facility in downtown Birmingham. During the shower, which was held on the fifth floor, I looked out over the city and noticed all of the run-down, forgotten buildings that seem to be on every block. I wondered what was inside of these buildings and remembered a website I came across that featured photos and stories about the crumbling, once-grand architecture of Detroit. From this site, I was introduced to the phenomenon that is urban exploration. Wikipedia defines urban exploration as “the examination of the normally unseen or off-limits parts of urban areas or industrial facilities.” A few days after the shower, I wondered if anyone has bothered “exploring” the abandoned buildings I had just observed. A quick internet search revealed that yes, people have. This amazing site is proof. It's really neat to see how buildings and rooms deteriorate. Be sure to check out the post on the old Bryce Hospital building, a former institution for the “insane”. I also recommend that you visit this site about a very cool exploration video of New York City. The video is long (almost 30 minutes) but well worth it.

This week, I don’t like Google+. Google+ (or is it Google Plus?) is Google’s answer to Facebook that was introduced this past summer. It generated a little buzz back then but has since gained very little attention. I recently felt compelled to determine whether or not my employer needed its own Google+ account, in addition to our Facebook and Twitter pages. To make this determination, I created a personal Google+ account to learn the ropes. I’d like to tell you that I’ve been able to explore all of Google+’s features, but I can’t. I have only been able to find 2 living people that I know that actually use Google+. But, I have been able to determine that Google+ is a confusing hodgepodge of features from Twitter and Facebook. Many people from all over the continent that I do not know have added me to their “circles”. What this means, I do not know. When signing up for my account, it became very clear that Google is on the way to becoming everyone’s go-to source for online activity, if they’re not there already. Google owns YouTube, Blogger and you probably use Gmail. Open a Google+ account and you’ll be able to incorporate social networking plus everything else under your main Google account (maybe that’s where the “+” came from). This takeover became even more evident when I noticed that all the photos that Julie and I have ever uploaded to this blog were made available for viewing in my Google+ account. It’s kinda creepy to realize how everything is so connected.

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