Why Net Neutrality is Crucial

net neutrality

Now, as all of my phantom readers out there know, I’m a programmer by trade. I use the internet on a daily basis obviously, and I’m pretty much as tech-savvy as a person could possibly be. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m also a libertarian – and what I see from the right on the issue of net neutrality is downright embarassing. The politicians who are against net neutrality in this country appall me, because if you understood the issue as I do, you’d understand that anybody who’s against net neutrality might as well have a tattoo on their forehead that reads ‘I’m owned by a corporation’.

Can you imagine a world where internet providers can bundle different services and charge you differently based on what sites you visit? The Facebook bundle – $5. The Google bundle – $15. You want to access an adult website? That’ll be $50 a month, thank you very much. Without net neutrality, this is exactly what will happen. Net neutrality is the only way to keep the internet the way it is now – a brilliant network where free exchange of information can occur. If the ISPs can start separating traffic and bundling stuff together, then you’ll end up with an internet that is structured the same as cable. Sports package costs X, social media package costs Y, if you want access to ESPN you’ll need to pay a premium fee! It’s ridiculous to think about, and the politicians who’re against net neutrality are either too stupid to understand what they’re supporting, or their too corrupt to care (just look at Ted Cruz’s laughably ignorant take on the subject here).

What angers me even more is that there are so called ‘libertarian’ organizations out there that are opposing net neutrality, but really these organizations like FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity and such are just fronts for big corporate lobbyists and corporatism. Crony capitalism is becoming more and more of an issue in this country – large corporations pay minimal tax, hide their money in other countries and get subsidies from the government in all sorts of industries, whereas small and medium sized businesses struggle to survive because they don’t have the ability to bend the rules in their favor. As a libertarian, one of the things I reckon is most important for the continued success of the nation is to end corporatism. Both the republicans and democrats are guilty of it, and I could probably count on one hand the number of politicians that are in power that don’t have ties/links to one industry or another. Just take a look at this great infographic on the subject – it will make you weep for the future of the nation.

Anyways – that got a bit off topic, but the point is, for anyone who liked the internet in its current form and doesn’t want it to be drastically changed in favor of internet providers and cable companies,  net neutrality is an issue that you should be monitoring very carefully. If youve read this and you’re convinced, contact your congressman/senator. Sign a petition. Give money to the organizations that are fighting for your rights to keep the internet the way it is. Don’t be fooled either – these tax-evading, heavily subsidized corporations won’t go away until they get what they want, and their betting that regular Americans will forget the issue – that our attention span will be stolen by some other fight over some other issue and that we won’t notice when they try and sneak some ridiculous new law into place. Be vigilant, keep monitoring the issue, and eventually we’ll get some leaders in place who actually look out for what’s best for us and for the country.

 

 

Why Texas Barbecue is Undeniably the Best

barbecue

As every American knows (or should know), Texas style barbecue is undoubtedly the best kind of barbecue. Anyone who tells you differently, or extols the virtues of the North Carolina style barbecue (or sour meat, as i like to call it) or the Kansas City ‘super dry’ style over good old fashioned Texas style barbecue is probably a dishonest man who’s looking to trick you into putting some subpar meat into your mouth.

So, why is Texas style the best? Gather round, children – it’s time for a little education.

First things first – Texas barbecue isn’t homogeneous across the state. There are four ‘styles’ that correspond to different regions – Central Texas, East Texas, West Texas, and South Texas. I’m partial to the Central style myself – I like the rub of the Central style better than the sweet/sour tomato sauce they use in East Texas. Central Texan barbecue is characterized by the deep, smoky flavors and the incredibly tender meat – and one of the specialties in Central style is the brisket, which when done correctly is mind numbingly delicious (I’m salivating right now). One of the more famous places that serves this style is Franklin Barbecue in Austin – if you’ve ever been to SXSW or been to Austin for other reasons, it’s likely that you’ve heard of Franklin Barbecue and their ridiculously long lines.

East Texas style barbecue is sauce-based rather than rub based, and that area is more well known for its ribs rather than its brisket, and pork is much more popular, whereas in Central Texas beef is the favored meat. I’m not the biggest fan of the Eastern style – it’s good once in a while, but I much prefer the cleaner and more focused flavors that can be found in Central Texas. For this reason, I’m not super familiar with the best Eastern style BBQ joints.

There is also Western style BBQ – it’s also known as ‘cowboy’ style which uses direct heat rather than the smoking method that is popular in the rest of the state. Cowbow style barbecue is pretty rustic, but the problem is that (as far as I understand), the direct heat is too hot and isn’t really the appropriate temperature, so the meat can sometimes be a bit tougher than one would like. Southern style is very influenced by our Spanish speaking neighbors to the south, and is much more similar to Mexican style ‘barbacoa’ rather than anything you’d fine north of the border.

The main reason why Texan style, and specifically Central Texan style barbecue is the best is because it is undeniably the purest form of barbecue. No other region treats the product with as much respect – we don’t slather sauce on, we don’t cut the meat up and mush it together – if you come to Central Texas, you get meat at its very best – smoky, slightly spicy, full-flavored and tender. My personal belief – and no offense is meant here – is that the other regions use their various concoctions of sauces to hide the fact that they just don’t know how to cook meat like we do. Who am I kidding – offense was very much meant.

For those of you looking for more information about Texas (and other, inferior) styles of barbecue, this article on eater has a lot of great information.

 

11 Penguin

Dallas

Hi yall,

The first thing you may be thinking is – “what a weird name for a website”. Allow me to explain.

I grew up in Texas on 11 Penguin Street (don’t try to check on maps, there are a number of places that have this address), and when I was a kid I basically started using 11penguin as a screen name on AOL and other such ancient websites. I got used to the name, and it basically stuck with me through my teenage years and nowadays I basically use it for everything that I do online. I still live in Texas (although not at 11 Penguin any longer), and I’m a full time programmer and web developer. I called this site 11Penguin because that’s my online identity, and I plan to basically broadcast my thoughts to the world from right here. Things I may talk about include gaming (I spend far too much time gaming), web development and programming (and really anything else technology related that may be linked to my work/of interest to me professionally) and obviously the great best State of Texas. Also, as a red blooded american male, I am interested in both acquiring and eating meat – by acquiring meat, I of course mean hunting. By eating meat, I mean exactly that – and in particular I like a good old Texas style barbecued brisket – that North Carolina sour vinegar nonsense is not for me.

I occasionally may stray in politics on this blog, and if you don’t like it, well that’s too damned bad for you – ain’t nobody forcing you to read this blog. I’m libertarian leaning on most issues, but more than that, I’m a practical person – and practicality in something sorely lacking in American leadership at this moment. As far as I’m concerned, both congress and the white house are doing an awful job, and I feel like the American people should use the next presidential election in 2016 to vote every single incumbent out of office – maybe then we’d get some competent leadership from one of the parties.

There may be those of you who read this blog who might think that they know my identity in real life. I’d politely ask you to stop thinking about it, and if you can’t help it , then stop reading. The whole point of having this little corner of the internet to myself is so that I can broadcast my unfiltered thoughts and ideas to the world (or to whatever poor soul happens to be reading). It is by definition a narccisitic, vain exercise – I’m writing to nobody for pretty much no reason. If you happen to come across this blog via some absurd internet deep dive, you should know that the intention of the blogger here is not neccesarily for people to read it – that part is incidental. This is just a safe space for me to put my thoughts down on metaphorical paper – a place to rant about what I want, talk about the things I like, and so on. If you’re offended by something here or you think I’m wrong – well, I don’t particularly care. Feel free to contact me through the contact page, but if I were you I wouldn’t expect a response unless you send me something that is actually interesting to me.

Anyways, that’s all for now.

Texas is the best.

Barbecue is delicious.

11Penguin out.

 

Can Renewable Energy Out Muscle Government Regulations?

11penguin here again with another note to the internet. Prepare yourself for the best though, because this is going to be good. This week we as humans, will pull our collective jaws off of the floor. Elon Musk has done something so incredibly audacious and intelligent it begs to questions how it hasn’t happened yet. On top of it all, he chose to do it in Gods proudest place, the Texas we know and love. Using pictures of our state as a benchmark against the rest of the United states land mass wise, Elon showed how a minor land mass can power the entirety of the united states. Not too bad Mr. Musk. We always knew Texas was valuable, but those numbers just blew me away. So what exactly is the big stink about this revolutionary new venture and how does it relate to government sanctioned monopolies on the power industry?

Now as any good Texan, I appreciate the value of oil as a liberating and enriching gift from the heavens. It’s liquid gold that has set many people I know onto a path for success and wealthy life experiences. As a programmer though, I am driven by the data and the numbers which don’t look good for our once proud tradition.

The method that we’re even aware of this is revolutionary. Elon himself is a self taught genius. When asked how he learned so much about rockets for his rocket company Spacex, he responded simply with “I read a lot of books” and used plenty of internet resources to guide his education. These internet resources for education are again what has taught us bible thumping, oil slinging Texans, about the real dangers of global warming and the need for renewable energy solutions like the one Mr. Musk suggests. The lesson of self education using technology is a strong new theme these days. This can be seen in the professional world or on the entertainment side of things. You all know that I enjoy video games and can pull up this website for League of Legends guides or this one for elo boosting. Both are designed in some way to educate the user with video. Here an amateur can become a legend by educating himself when he or she is capable and interested. The results are drastic. It makes sense when I speak of it in this way though. Of course you can learn to play a game, but rockets? You might think you need school but I say this is preposterous. And Elon would agree. Access to information and time is all any of us need to become well informed.

Government sanctioned monopolies are contending here with a solid business plan. Users collect solar energy in batteries and then sell energy back to the grid during peak usage hours. This automated technique can turn any location into 100% renewable energy building. Even more so, it allows people to generate revenue by selling excess or investing in energy farms like it’s Giga factory. Of course, some local states prohibit this selling of energy. In fact, many refuse to let you even disconnect from the grid. Like a tax everyone has to pay, the real sinister nature of energy companies is about to be revealed. Unlike education on the need for this tools, the monopoly on litigation versus education in the renewable energy market is really what has be riled up today. It is obscene to think our government, republican or democrat, can allow this bastardization of moral imperative. This disgusts me. Now that Elon has given us all a chance to reliably and cost effectively live off the grid, I may just have to finally go find my own island getaway or foreign depot. Then at least I can claim not to support the lunacy of the state.

Termites Deserve to Die the Harsh Way

I hate termites and since they bothered me, I killed them.

Who loves seeing termites infest their home? The moment they occupy your house, you have no other choice but to crush them to death. I tried doing that once, but I failed. They just kept on coming back. I bought a termite solution in a local store, but it just didn’t work. At times, I just want to find where they hide and step on them individually. Sadly, it is not enough. Though I want to give up, I still want to make sure that they die in a harsh way and they don’t come back anymore.

One day, I stumble upon a friend and we happened to talk about termites as he has faced the same problem too. Luckily, he overcame the problem and is now termite free at home. He then recommended me a company that extinguishes termites in an instant. He said that he also tried other options, but they don’t work. When he hired the said company, they did the job in less than an hour and it was a job well done. Those insects never came back. He said, as they tried to fix the mess up, he even saw some of the termites shake their way to death. The solution solved everything from the roots. The mother of all termites died so there was no way for them to come back. The thought of seeing termites die that way really made me excited.

Getting the right help

Since my friend recommended a company to solve the termite problems, I did not have to research anymore. All I had to do was to call them and set up an appointment. They even have an emergency termite solution service. Thus, if you face the problem in the middle of the night and you can’t sleep, you just have to give them a call.

The only issue here is that the services are a bit expensive. However, if you really want to prevent termite damage, you won’t mind the cost of termite treatment. After all, you only need them once. They will solve the problem right away and you won’t have to go through the same issues over again.

Also, they provide warranty for their services. If the problem keeps on coming back, they can offer another round for free. Therefore, you are assured that you are getting your money’s worth. They also offer services for other insect related issues and not just termites.

Goodbye termites

The look on those termites “faces” when they shake to death really made me excited. I am sorry if I sound so sadistic, but they have made my life miserable. They have made me clean my house several times and even make me wake up in the middle of the night. Therefore, in as much as I wanted to be apologetic for their death, I am not. In fact, if they bother me again, I won’t mind spending a lot of money just to put an end to their lives. They deserve it.

Comparing Texas Politicians to Air Compressors: They’re More Similar than You Think!

One of the most popular performance art pieces in recent years happened in New York, where a woman sat down on a chair, and members of the audience were asked to sit in front of her and interact by touching. Personally, I could not wrap my head around the thought that is now called a performance or that it is art.

Texas has its share of art pieces, but it is not known as a place where modern art would be able to set its roots. There are collectors in Texas. However, these people are presumably rich enough to collect, but may not have the finesse to understand what art is. The state is full of all sorts of millionaires who got their money from all kinds of things. The country has aerospace interests, defense, oil and natural gas, cattle, as well as its own share of the IT industry. It is not uncommon knowledge that Texas Instruments, Hewlett-Packard and Compaq all had their starts in Texas.

No matter how many Texan millionaires and billionaires there are, they are no longer like the rich guys of the older generation. They no longer like to flaunt their wealth. The architecture of the state leans towards staid, and steady. It seems that this is a reflection of the way the people like their football, winning at all costs.

Small towns abound here. These are small towns in terms of population, but not in terms of actual land area. There’s a lot of land, and sometimes it feels that there is not enough people. This may explain the underlying sadness of the people. It would also explain the boisterous display these people get into when they meet their friends. It would also explain why art takes a back seat in these parts.

If the people were to be described in terms of art pieces, they would be works by Rodin. Metal, large, and life-like concerned with everyday ideas as if they were of importance. Considering the desert environment, this harsh climate does produce serious looking folks. It is hard to fathom what they are thinking. It is even harder to imagine them outside of their comfort zone.

The Texas mentality is more along the lines of an air compressor, (and it would be a viair 00073 70p heavy duty portable compressor) since we work quietly but efficiently. You’d have to read more than a few small air compressor reviews to find the air compressor model you like, true; and this also applies to choosing your favorite Texan in the realm of politics.

There is a lot to be said about a stereotype. Over the years, it has become fashionable to place a Texan inside a box and define him by the box he occupies. However, that no longer works. Lyndon B. Johnson has almost nothing in common with George W Bush, even though they were both Presidents from the state of Texas. In terms of what they are, it is irrelevant that they are both Texans. Bush has always tried to maintain a cool and clean demeanor, complete with a simple yet elegant use of language. LBJ on the other hand was always known to be the prototypical swearing Texan. He has been described as very creative with the way he lets loose a few choice words.

Bow Hunting vs Gun Hunting

Hunting is a time honored tradition in Texas. I’m a big hunter myself, and I hunt with both bows and firearms. A lot of people prefer one or the other, but I think the two require a completely different set of skills, and whether I go hunting with a bow or a gun will largely depend on two things. The first is obviously the hunting season – at certain points in the hunting season, bow hunting is allowed and hunting with a gun isn’t. At other times, it’s the other way around. When both are allowed, I’ll choose one or the other depending on what kind of experience I’m looking for.

As an aside, Texans are famous for their belief that the fewer laws and rules there are the better. I’m very much aligned to this philosophy. However, when it comes to hunting, I’m totally on board with all the regulations. Why? It basically comes down to supply and demand. There is a limited supply of game, and demand for hunting in Texas is more or less unlimited. I know people who would pretty much every free second they have hunting if it were allowed. If this were to happen, the supply of game would diminish – and not only that, the animals wouldn’t be able to reproduce. This would eventually mean that we’d lose the chance to hunt altogether. The fisheries and wildlife department is probably the most popular government department in Texas – we understand that their goal is to control hunting so that future generations can continue to enjoy the experience of hunting and fishing in the great outdoors.

Anyways. My thoughts on hunting are as follows:

Hunting with a gun is much more results oriented, and in general, the point of hunting when you’re using a firearm is to net as many deer (or other game) as possible. While there is certainly technique involved in hunting with a gun, the honest truth is that it’s not that difficult to kill an animal with a gun. You go hunting with a gun when you want to feel that primitive, caveman satisfaction of killing something, then harvesting its parts for food or other uses. You go hunting with a gun to satisfy your inner caveman. If you want to learn more about hunting with a gun, check out Petersen’s Hunting – it’s my favorite online resource for hunting with a firearm of any kind.

Bow hunting on the other hand is a much more refined activity. The goal of hunting with a bow is not necessarily to net as many deer as possible – it’s not a results-oriented activity. Hunting with a bow takes tremendous skill, patience, and discipline. It’s about enjoying the process of hunting itself. This effect is compounded (pun fully intended) when you use a recurve bow (like I do). When I go bowhunting, I don’t necessarily expect to bring a hunk of deer meat home. I go bow hunting to focus, to clear my mind, and to get in touch with nature. If you just want to go out there and net a kill, then forget bowhunting. On the other hand, if you want to learn how to shoot, and maybe even learn something about yourself – well, I think bowhunting (and archery in general) might be more suitable for you. A lot of younger folks prefer using bows to guns these days, and while I’m a strong advocate of the second amendment, I understand their sentiment – to me, the two activities are almost entirely different, and you need to have a different mindset going in. To learn more about bow hunting, check out Take a Bow and Arrow. Also, if you’re looking for reviews of the best recurve bows, I’ve found their guide very accurate in the past.

Best BBQ Spots In Texas

No need to say that if you want great BBQ you better visit Texas. There are good BBQ spots all over Texas, but here are 3 BBQ spots that deserve special mention.

If you are visiting in the Dallas area and you are looking for some good BBQ head on over to Hard Eight BBQ. Hard Eight BBQ is located at 688 Freeport Parkway in Coppell. Coppell is a suburb of Dallas that is quick and easy to get to. This restaurant hollers “BBQ” from its big rustic exterior to its old west interior decor complete with a saloon. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating as well as quick to-go service.

The amazing BBQ is cooked in pits over mesquite wood. If one hasn’t been to Hard Eight BBQ before ask the grill master to provide you with an assortment of meats, so you are able to pick a favorite. Truth is with choices from ribs, brisket, turkey, to jalapeño sausage, all cooked to BBQ perfection you are going to love whatever you order. Probably better try the chicken or shrimp poppers while you are at it as well. I make sure to always have my portable vaporizer handy so I make sure I show up with my appetite. Then, there are great sides to pick from. Baked potatoes, stuffed potatoes, and corn on the cob all come from the grill. Also offered are mac n cheese, fries, onion rings, slaw, or potato salad. If you want to try and stay a little to the lean side they also have tossed green salad and fresh fruit salad. After all that there better be room for desert because they have fresh baked pies, cobblers and puddings and for drinking there are soft drinks, iced tea, bear, wine, and margaritas.

In the Houston area a great spot for BBQ is Bone Daddy’s BBQ at 17381 Tomball Parkway. This great BBQ restaurant has a sports bar atmosphere; shiny, upbeat, clean, and a bunch of flat screen TV’s for sports viewing. The service is fast a friendly with lovely servers in uniforms that show a bit of skin, but not so much to be offensive to most. To get things started get yourself some amazing onion rings, stuffed jalapeño peppers, or grilled chicken wings. They have a meat platter on the menu, which is a good way to go if you want to sample a bit of everything. Everything coming off the BBQ is amazing be it brisket, ribs, chops, or smoked chicken. Lots of sides to choose from as well such as beans, slaw, potato salad, green salad and even fried okra. They serve a great selection of beers and a full bar. Happy hour is from 2-7.

Last, but certainly not least is a recommendation for BBQ in Austin. JMueller Meat Co. at 2500 E. 6th Street is an absolutely necessary experience in BBQ. It’s conveniently down the street for The Austin Vape and Smoke Shop. The vision for this establishment is one great big backyard BBQ. The cooking is done in a trailer with picnic tables galore and lots of country music. Even though the proprietor is a 3rd generation meat master he dismisses that title and insists, “I cook for a living.” It is reported that he can be a bit surly, but that is part of the fun, and the food is so spectacular people keep coming back for more. The menu is fairly simple with brisket, smoked turkey, beef ribs, pork shoulder, pork ribs and beef sausage. The sides include squash, potato salad, and pinto beans. The establishment also serves as a butcher shop and specialty grocery offering BBQ sauces, relishes, seasoned meats, and handmade sausages. Anthony Bourdan visited JMueller Meat Co. and declared, “When it comes to beef ribs, JMueller just owns it.

Hunting Big Game in Texas


Texas is will known across the USA for its great hunting of all types – big game included. I casually follow some of the more popular hunting blogs and have some relationships with them, so I’m always inviting other hunters to come by and hunt with me. This is the story of the first person that actually took me up on that offer – Wesley Levy from HunterInsight.

We had been chatting online for a while, and when I emailed him I eventually asked if he wanted to come down and hunt game with me. Texas is a very outdoorsy state, and there are many hunters that live here, so I assured him that he would be right at home.

There are plenty of different types of game to hunt in Texas, from White Tail and Axis Deer, Antelope and Sheep all the way down to some game birds such as Phesants and Turkeys. The hunting is so abundant and diverse here, many people are shocked when the first come down. The first thing that we did when wes got here though was head to a total tourist attraction (and something I find cool – cadillac ranch, which I snapped a pic of for this article.

Once the touristy stuff was out of the way, we got to chatting about hunting in Texas. One of the things that we mentioned was how difficult it was to find some land to hunt on. Being from the west, he’s used to many thousands of acres of BLM/USFS land to hunt on. Out here, it’s different and there is not a lot of public land. To get around this, a majority of non-Texan hunters pursue big game hunting by going to private landowners. A typical Texas landowner allows hunters to hunt on their land for a price – which depends on the animal and the time of year.

Even so, a majority of Texas residents have access to wildlife locations and national forests to hunt deer. A lot of out of state residents don’t, but since I had a friend coming down to hunt with me, he was able to get some insider knowledge and skip paying the landowner fee. The nicest part about this trip was that I got to meet another hunter that I only knew online at first . We had a great time, and a successful hunt!

In the state of Texas, a license to hung game is mandatory or you may end up paying hefty fines and face prison time for violating laws. Wes was able to fill everything out online, so that worked swimmingly and everything got to him before he traveled down here.

Hunting Opportunities and Conditions

Any hunter can have the opportunity to hunt big game in Texas, which is why I was so excited to show Wes around. Hunters can create their own adventures hunting or tag along with other hunting groups. Wild game hunting tours are also available in case you want to view game instead of hunt. As always, there are plenty of outfitters that will help you get that big trophy deer that you have been looking for?

One of the most essential factors to remember when hunting big game is to consider the kind of terrain and weather you’ll be expecting, and bring the right hunting gear. Texas has a varying terrains ranging from plains and forests to creeks and streams, with everything in between. Weather patterns vary all throughout the state as well. .

The “Golden Triangle” of Texas is a typically known for having small and big game in Texas. This region has numerous wild game around, and it is easy to secure a tag for this area. We decided to hunt here for a few reasons, one of which was that it was close to where I live so we wouldn’t spend most of the trip in the car.

Like many states, you’ll need to have hunters safety course completed, which Wes did. You don’t need to worry about where you took it though, because Texas has agreements with many states meaning their hunters safety will count for you in Texas.

If you’re planning to hunt big game in Texas, plan an early trip. Ensure you already have a hunting license in place and start planning your travel and accommodation. If you’re a fellow hunter, feel free to get in touch and I’ll be happy to take out you out chasing some game!

Hope you come back soon Wes, it was great to have you here.

NSA Spying Gone Too Far

A few days ago I watched the documentary about Edward Snowden called Citizenfour, and it deeply saddened me to see the reality and extent of NSA spying. The way the public is being treated is absolutely appalling and a like Snowden, who should be held up as a hero, is living in exile and probably fear of his life. I have been long researching the horrendous actions of politicians in this country, but the spying is by far one of the worst.

So, I am not taking action to protect myself and my family. One solution would be to go off the grid altogether and stop using all forms of electronic communication equipment. But to me this would mean leaving something behind that I love, i.e. the ability to access unlimited amounts of information and knowledge at the click of a button. Additionally, it will not solve the problem and stop our imbeciles in government to stop spying on the public.

Fortunately there are lots of nice people on the Internet that are willing to help someone like me, and I’m proud to say that I have taken the first steps towards protecting myself. The very first thing I have done is to use the Tor Project for a lot of my web browsing especially if I am not using my own computer. It essentially anonymizes your online activity including instant messaging and helps to stop outsiders learning from your online habits.

My personal computer at home now uses a secure VPN connection that I continuously switch between Switzerland, Holland and Finland. All three have far more stringent protections when it comes to personal online data and the VPN provider I use does not keep log files. So even if a government agency approached them with a court order to reveal information about me they would have nothing to provide. Sweet!!!

Next up was my voice communication. I have stopped using Skype and have also ordered a Blackphone from Switzerland which is essentially a Smartphone with built in anti-spying security. This is probably one of the items I am looking forward to most, as your Smartphone is always on you. Spying agencies can essentially determine your every move and potentially listen to what is going on in your location even when you are not on a call.

My home phone system was a different problem. I was hooked up to the good old fashioned phone line with an ancient phone, so I was pretty sure I was wide open to being spied on. First thing I did was order a VoIP adapter and signed up to a secure and encrypted VoIP provider. Then I reviewed lots of cordless phones and picked one with a built in answering machine.

This last part of my new secure comms system is not yet fully in place, but once I have it all set up I will post again with some of the details for others to follow. So far everything has been really simple to set up, I just need to figure out the VoIP adapter set up. I’d love to hear from readers about some other protections that are available.

Texas Summer Fun

If you like warm weather and staying active, then you have to check out Texas in the summertime. The Lone Star State is loaded with places to go and things to see, especially during the summer months when the sun is out and it stays warm all day and all night long. Here’s a closer look at some of the great summertime activities that Texas has to offer.

First up, there’s Schlitterbahn, which is widely known as one of the best water parks in the world. It’s a family-friendly place, but at the same time has rides that will attract thrill seekers. Of course, Texas is so big that there it actually has three different Schlitterbahn locations, making at least one of them easily accessible wherever in Texas you find yourself. Most importantly, considering how hot Texas summers can get, going to a water park is a great way to combat the heat and have a great time.

Sticking with the theme of water, give Sea World San Antonio a visit. There’s plenty of marine life to sea, not to mention the interactive shows that Sea World is famous for putting on that are both entertaining and educational for the whole family. Of course, that’s only part of what Sea World has to offer. The park also offers thrill rides for its visitors, including some that will give you the opportunity to get wet and stay cool in the summer heat.

A favorite of my friends and I has been getting into some team sports. We really enjoy football (of course, it’s texas after all), but we’ve also given quite a few other sports a try. We’ve tried paintball, and had a really fun time with that even though we were sweating quite a bit in all of our protective gear in the texas heat.

For something that’s a little more unique to Texas, you can go tubing on the Guadalupe River. It’s a cross between whitewater rafting and the lazy river that you’ll find at most water parks, and it’s done on a small, but fast moving river in the heart of Texas. It’s easy to rent tubes and find transportation to and from the river, and in between there’s nothing but basking in the summer sun while you go floating down a river.

For the slightly more adventurous types, there’s always windsurfing off of South Padre Island. Even if you’re not an experienced windsurfer, there are places to get gear and take lessons, allowing you to try a new and exciting activity in a picturesque location. Of course, if you are an experienced windsurfer, you’re not going to find too many places better than South Padre Island.

If you want to get away from the water, there are plenty of hiking, biking, and camping opportunities at Big Bend National Park. Just about any outdoor activity you can imagine is possible inside the park, as Big Bend is one of the most expansive national parks in the country, and if you can stand the heat and traveling all the way down close to the Mexican border, it’s a great place to visit.

Finally, if all you want to do is kick back, relax, and do some fishing, Texas has you covered. Freshwater game fish like bass are popular in Texas, and just like everything else in that state, they come awfully big, giving you a chance to reel in a whopper. If that’s not enough, Texas has enough coastlines to produce saltwater fishing as well, so if all you wan to do is fish, Texas is the ideal place to be.

Reasons Why Texans Love Outdoor Activities

When you think about Texas, you will always remember about outdoor activities. Texans are big fans of anything outdoors. From trekking to a simple picnic, you can always find Texans doing something outside. This is also the reason why a lot of people travel to Texas just to experience an authentic outdoor adventure.

The best sceneries

You will surely love going outside if you know that you can see breathtaking views. These sceneries are perfect for those who love taking photos. They are also perfect for those who just want to relax and appreciate the beauty of nature. From beautiful mountains to the luscious green forest, these sceneries are one of a kind.

Tons of activities

If you are adventurous, there are places across the state that offer zip lining. You can go for wall climbing or mountain climbing if you dare. You might also want to check out parks and recreation centers. There are a lot of sports centers and golf clubs. Anything that you can think of can be done when you are in Texas. If you don’t have enough time to do all these adventures, then you can just choose from among the local parks in the area. You can also bring your baby with you. Just make sure that you have the best jogging stroller from http://www.toddlervirtues.com. You can also order a double jogging stroller through this site if you want your exercise to be more comfortable and fun. Whether you are up for activities or just some quiet time alone, Texas has something in store for you.

The best weather

In most parts of the US, cold weather can be felt all year round. Well, it is obviously not the same thing in Texas. It is a state where the sun always shines bright. Therefore, if you wish to have a more relaxing temperature and a perfect one for outdoor activities, then you must consider visiting Texas. You don’t have to visit tropical countries just to experience a sunny day.

The Texan spirit

Over the years, Texans have excelled in outdoor sporting games. They have also shown that they are the authority when it comes to outdoor activities. In short, it is in the spirit. Texans will always keep that spirit within them. This is why when you visit Texas you will not just love the state because of its amazing views, but also because of its people. You will always have the energy to go out and have fun because you know that you will always have these energetic people who will be with you in your journey.

Give it a try

If you are still not convinced, then go ahead and just give it a try. When you are there, you will then understand everything that is written here. No matter how exhausting these activities are in the end, you will definitely love them. In fact, once you have tried them out, you will go for these activities over and over again.

The Life and Times of a Texan

Hello, everyone. I hope all has been well wherever you call home. What a week we have had around the world — there is so much evil and violence everywhere! Sometimes I really wonder what is going on and how things become so bad. The world has not always been this evil like it is now. It gets harder and harder each night to watch the news, especially all the stuff about ISIS. All you ever see or hear is something bad going on somewhere. In this country or another one. It is just hard to find a good place to call home nowadays. I do think that my beloved United States of America is still the very best country to live in by far. Things would be better if our government would step up to the plate and be leaders.

Instead, they try to make everyone happy. That’s why we have 1/3 of Americans living on government assistance. When you are a person of power you are not always going to make everyone happy. There are going to be times when you make others mad by doing the right thing! That is why it is hard to be a leader. The great ones always make the right choices.

The other day I was talking to a longtime friend of mine about all of this. He agrees with a lot of what I say about our country and our world. He is very technologically minded and is always getting the newest electronic gadgets. He has recently bought some products from one of the local sip trunk providers and he said it did make the difference in his phone quality. I am thinking about making that same purchase. He always has good ideas that I end up borrowing from.

We also talked about this upcoming weekend. We are having our first big get together since we bought our new home. I love hosting events. Mainly because I get to fire up the grill and have some barbecue. I have never seen a person mad at a barbecue. It is pretty hard to be mad smelling the smoke and hearing the sizzling of the meat. You know Texas is the best place for barbecues. The only other state that I have been to that can almost compare to Texas is Alabama. My cousin lives in Alabama at some Oxford Apartments. It is always a great trip out there when we go and visit him and his wife. That is something that I look forward to every summer. I always like to show him whose barbecue is better. He suffers from low testosterone but is working on increasing his testosterone levels. In the meantime I just remind him that my T is as solid as my grilling skills. You know what people say? Everything is bigger in Texas!