Monday, May 17, 2010

New Car!

Hello there everyone,
Well, I have some news - with the help of my parents and grandmother, I just purchased a new (used, of course - I'm not that rich) car!

It's a 2003 Saturn LW200 Wagon with 108k miles on it. One previous owner. It's red. It has a 4-cylinder engine, plenty of room, and some nice features. It also has a small dent, but no rust!

For now, my main reaction is nervousness, as I don't want to wreck it and have ruined a big investment. On the other hand, I am somewhat proud to own such a nice car (in my opinion, anyways). It may not be super flashy, but it's functional, and that's what's important to me right now.

Tomorrow morning I am also going in for my first day of work here in NW Pennsylvania. I'm going to be working outside, and rain is predicted...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Internet Privacy?

So I am wondering about this whole blogging thing.

Is it wise to put personal information (such as family details, where I live, where I work, shoe size, etc...) on this site? Not only is blogging a virtual tool (I'm not talking to you face-t0-face), but it's not a particularly personal medium. Sure, I can personalize the colors and pictures, but I'm not writing to an actual person. I'm writing to ... well, I'm writing to whoever reads this. And maybe I don't want you to know some of the more personal things about me.

Now I'm not going to put my social security number on here, and I'm not going to include any bank account information, but what can I say and what can't I say? Who's reading this, after all? Who is going to read it? Does it matter? What if some creeper is reading this?

Hmmmm. This is something I've wondered. If you have thoughts, please comment below. I would like to hear your thoughts about this issue.

Hasta lasagna,


Monday, May 10, 2010

McConnells Mill

Hey there folks,

[NOTE: I'm including a couple of pictures in this post - hopefully this visual element will provide some exciting stimulation. I took the pictures with my cell phone camera.]

So I finished finals! For a bit of a celebration, two of my friends and I decided to head out to the woods. We spent an afternoon at McConnells Mill State Park yesterday for a few hours of hiking, rock scrambling, cave-exploring, and overall nature appreciation. It was great. There are some really cool rocks, a sweet creek, and some small caves.
Oh the beauty of God's creation! I love exploring, and simply being outside to enjoy the great outdoors.

Being out in such a beautiful place also reminded me of my desire to build a log cabin. Maybe it's because I was named after the famed log-cabin-builder Abraham Lincoln, or perhaps it's genetic, but I have a very strong desire to build myself a log cabin. I was continually analyzing the landscape with log cabin possibilities in mind.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Final Finals

Hello everyone (whoever you are),

Well, it's that time of year again... the wonderful week of exams.

This year, there's a catch - it's my final round of finals!!! Why am I not motivated to study? (sarcastic tone attempted here)

Soon it will all be over and I will graduate with a degree in hand. Four years of hard studying and intense work, all for some letters (grades) and a piece of paper (diploma) - does anything seem odd about this situation? Well, I'm excited to be moving on into a new stage of life - adulthood. As a caterpillar transforms into a lovely butterfly, I am likewise currently transforming from an "pubescent adolescent" into an "unadulterated adult." (phraseology original) I now have more to worry about than ever - insurance, utilities, and the like.

OK, now back to goofing off before my finals tomorrow,
Over and out,

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Are blogs legit?

A blog is a virtual communication tool. Thus, does real actual communication occur? Or do blogs promote fake conversations? Why am I writing this?

Ahhhh... Let the theorizing begin.

First to define the terms. I will proceed to give you my jumbled and incomplete thoughts here. Some of what you will read comes from a jumbled assortment of pithy statements which I remember from Communication Studies classes (it's my minor at college). Let me try to compile it into a coherent thought.

So what do we (that is, Lincoln) mean by communication? Well, strictly speaking, communication is a transference of information from "sender" to "receiver." If not information, then what is being passed along? If not information, then why are you reading this? Now communication can occur through a variety of means - the two categories of language and body language come readily to mind. Perhaps there are more categories, but for now, we'll just look at these two. Within the category of communication-via-language, which is what we typically think of when we normal people talk about communication, we have subcategories. This is because our language communication is mediated through some form or another. For example, some communication is verbal/oral/auditory (aka spoken word, listening to the radio, hearing someone's voice, etc... you know what I mean), while some is written. You are reading this blog, but you could also read a book, a newspaper, or a text message.

But how is it mediated, and does this have an effect on the communication? Or to put it differently, is communication more real or somehow better when it is mediated differently? Some communication scholars believe so, and so do I. Example: Marshall McLuhan is famously regarded as saying "the medium is the message." That is, the way you communicate determines the message that you send. So I will be sending a different message to you by blogging than if you read a book I had written (which I have not). This may seem a bit vague or like it's a bit of a stretch, but I think that it is important to think about. If I send a message via text message, the intrinsic nature of that message will necessarily be different from a verbal face-to-face conversation, or a phone call, or a paragraph in a book, or a blog. Now others, such as Neil Postman, would modify that statement and say that the "medium is the metaphor." By this he tries to make a case that we don't communicate messages or statements, but fuzzy ideas. For more about this difference read his book Amusing Ourselves to Death. It's well worth your read.

Well, this is enough for one post. Electronic messages would not exist were it not for the communication technology which enables them to have a technology-based, deletable existence. If you want to, you can click the x on the upper right hand section of the screen and virtually erase my message. Or I might delete this post tomorrow. But enough is enough.

Marathon Madness

Well folks, this morning I completed my first marathon. It was a 26.2 mile adventure, and I am now walking like an old man.

I ran a clock time of 3:40:03 (from start to finish a 3:39). I started out with the 3:10 pace group, and ended up being passed by a lot of runners during the second half of the race.

Two notable lessons learned:
Concerning the mental aspect of running - although I was really struggling the last six miles or so, thinking that I was barely going to be able to make it, and watching people pass me right and left, I was motivated when I saw the 8:40 pace group pass me with only a few miles left. For the past several miles I had been mentally pushing myself to simply keep jogging, and having fallen so far behind my friend Seth (whom I had been training with and keeping up with), I kept telling myself to keep going despite the sight of other racers flying past me. So when the 8:40 pace group passed me, I tried to gut it out and stick with them for the last two miles. To my complete surprise, I was able to do it! This fact alone, despite my intense pain, inspired me to go even faster and see if I couldn't outrun the group the final few miles. Once I started going faster and passing people, I began to gain my confidence back, and spurred on by this accomplishment, I ended up nearly sprinting the final mile of the marathon. That's the typical competitive Lincoln for you. What a difference our mental attitudes can have - this lesson was learned afresh this morning in a new way.

Another interesting observation concerns the effect of cheering. Throughout the race as I passed by onlookers and supporters, I would let out a victorious holler and raise and pump my arms while passing by. While running past the several relay stations, where a couple hundred runners gathered waiting for their relay team members to arrive, I would lift up my arms and shout "let's hear it!!!" This would inspire a bout of enthusiastic cheering, clapping, and overall good cheer. I performed these and other goofy activities for most of the race. I do believe that this cheered everyone up, and helped them to run happier races.

P.S. - Also of note were the wonderful comments when running through the black neighborhoods. One man said to me "keep it up Slim, you're lookin' good!" I love that. It's encouraging and fun. There's only one word for it: soul.