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Trevor Dickerson

A Media Revival

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Sorry for the big gap in posting, I’ve been extremely busy between college, work, and volunteering at church this past week. I just wanted to give an update about some media-related things I’ve done before that I want to revive in the not-so-distant future.

 The first is my podcast. I had a podcast for a while, entitled “Evolution of Thought,” a show that was co-hosted by my friend Alex Legum. We were actually on a roll, averaging 350+ steady listeners each week. After a while, though, I just let it slip away and recorded the show less and less. They can still be found in the iTunes Music Store, so take a listen if you want. I’m bringing the show back, this time with a new name, new direction, and some exciting new guests that I’ll announce at a later date as they’re confirmed. Anyway, the show is now entitled “Complex Simplicity,” just as my blog is. At first, I thought this would work because it was just a cool name that incorporated an oxymoron, but when I thought about it more, it perfectly describes myself! A simple mind talking about complex issues! But all joking aside, I’m really excited to bring it back bigger and better than ever and really get some interesting topics and guests on. About a month ago, I contacted Jason Paige, the former Program Director for Q94, (WRVQ) who does voiceover work in many of the commercials you hear on the radio in Richmond on any and all stations. He’s the voice you hear in a lot of the nightclub commercials as well as for the King’s Dominion ones. I asked if he would do a voiceover for the music intro I already made. It sounds really professional and I can’t wait to use it. Stay tuned, I’ll post more details about the podcast in the coming days.

Another endeavor I’m aiming for is starting a community newsletter and distributing it freely across the Short Pump area. I actually did this a long time ago back when I was about thirteen years old, and it was called the Glen Allen Observer. I want to bring it back in a much bigger and obviously a much more mature and professional manner. It’s going to be called “Short Pump Panorama,” and I’ll have some advertisements to offset the cost of printing and make a little bit of extra money hopefully. If you’d like to write a column or just a one-time article for it, please let me know- I’d be happy to give you some space in there to share just about anything you want! The newsletter will compliment the website I started last year, (needs to be updated) The site is intended to be a mini of sorts, featuring a shopping guide, restaurant listings, movie times, etc. just in and around the Short Pump area. I’ve gotten one advertiser for the site thus far but plan to grow it in leaps and bounds in the next couple of months. I actually get a lot of traffic to the site because I have free advertising. It’s really a funny story. About two years ago I was driving along Broad Street and noticed printed on the Downtown Short Pump entertainment complex sign in front of the movie theater. For some reason, I went to the site when I got home, and noticed it was no longer up. I proceeded to register the name for only eight bucks because the developer, who used the site for promotional purposes, let it expire!

So anyway, that’s what I’m up to lately. Comments? Suggestions? Want to be a guest on the show or write for the newsletter? Let me know!

If I Had $330 Million Dollars

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So last week, driving to and from VCU, I kept seeing the Mega Millions billboard, growing all the way to $330 million by the end of the week. I’ve never played the lottery before, but I decided I just had to this time. First of all I was tempted all week by the billboard, but that’s a heck of a lot of money. I had to play. Friday night after I went out to dinner I bought ten tickets at the Short Pump Shell station, where someone bought a multi-million dollar ticket only a couple months ago. I was feeling lucky! I ended up matching two numbers on one of my tickets, but you need three to win anything. My dad played and won $7 for three numbers. Me? Well I’m just out ten dollars. Oh well. Anywho I kind of thought about what I’d do if I actually won $330 million. Here’s how I’d break it down:

– $50 million for my church (Glen Allen Community Church), who’s vision and goals I share to the deepest extent possible, to start locations and build buildings for any and all of their campuses, and expand the ministries all over Richmond, maybe even the whole state, and beyond
– $40 million to a few charities, distributed equally between the VCU Massey Cancer Center in honor of so many people I’ve known and loved in my life who have died of cancer, the Freedom House Homeless Shelter downtown, the Richmond SPCA, and Young Life because of how much it’s enriched my life and helped so many of my friends come to know Christ
– $10 million for International Christian missions projects especially in Africa, but all around the world
– $10 million to purchase a complete Mac video editing suite in my house and purchase field production equipment, as well as finance my first movie production, in which I’ll promote environmental issues such as stopping global warming
– $5 million to buy my parents, who have always done anything and everything to help me succeed in life, the beach house in the Outer Banks they’ve always wanted and talked about
– $200,000 to put myself as well as my sister through college, with extra money left over for all those extra living expenses life throws your way
– $60,000 for a new fuel-efficient hybrid car to reduce my impact on the environment
– $50,000 to travel all around the world and visit places like Italy, Australia, Greece, Lebanon, (the preceeding two because of their food!), Spain, and a few other places
– The remaining money would be invested and saved for the future

So there you have it… how I would use $330 million dollars! Guess I better keep buying those lotto tickets.

Mac Vs. Windows: Have The Tables Turned?

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It’s long been known that Windows has been the operating system of choice for businesses, and the clear winner when it came to home computers, as well. Macs have been known to be associated with niche markets such as in education and for creative fields such as graphic design. But is the sturdy foundation that Windows built more than a decade and a half ago being chipped away by Apple? All recent indications point to yes. Here’s a small snippet from an article featured on the Apple Insider website:

The media frenzy surrounding the iPhone may have helped Apple claim a record share of customers for its portable line at the expense of its rivals Dell and HP, says a new survey from ChangeWave. An early August study that canvassed 3,665 of the financial research group’s existing members’ buying habits has revealed that nearly one sixth, or 17 percent, of respondents who had bought a notebook in the past three months had chosen one of Apple’s MacBook or MacBook Pro models. The gain was an “unprecedented” jump from 12 percent in June and eclipsed the Mac maker’s previous record of 15 percent set in January.

I bought a MacBook Pro in late June for college and I absolutely love it. I’ll never go back to Windows. Everything just works on a Mac. Adobe CS3 is running like a charm, iLife ’08, which I just upgraded to, is awesome, and Windows XP, installed via the Boot Camp Public Beta, runs faster and more smoothly than my previous eMachines (running XP with 1.5 GB RAM and an AMD Athlon 64 processor) desktop computer.

There are obvious disadvantages to running a Mac as well, such as software incompatibility (although the gap is quickly closing, especially with the move to Intel processors), peripheral incompatibility (such as camera memory cards that are factory preformatted for Windows), and a few other finicky things, but overall there are huge advantages to running Mac OS X. The software incompatability issue can be solved by installing Boot Camp as I mentioned above, which allows you to partition your hard drive and presents you with a boot screen allowing you to choose the OS you’d like to start up with.

Everything, in my opinion, runs more smoothly on a Mac simply becuase the same company that manufactures the computer also puts out the operating systems for their units. It just makes sense. I was a little concerned that I would be limited in what I was able to do with my computer if I purchased a Mac, but truth be told I’m able to do more than I ever thought possible on a PC, and in less time. The data proves this point, with Apple coming out on top when it comes to customer satisfaction:

No pun intended, but it looks like the “window” is closing on the success of the Microsoft empire. Bill Gates is set to step down from the company in the next year and a half, the company is looking into all sorts of new directions to diversify their business, and PC sales are slipping, most notably with traditional brand leaders such as HP and Dell. Here’s a comparison between Apple and Dell:

iPod and iPhone sales have generated a lot more interest in Macintosh computers, with users discovering just how user-friendly Macs really are. I’m excited to see what lies in the future for Apple, and what they will come up with next.

Leave your thoughts about your operating system of choice.

A Clean Slate

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So last Friday could most likely be described as a preview day of sorts, in terms of college. I had one class. I’ve had three so far today, with one more tonight, and still without much of any real homework for at least another class period, I’m sitting here in the Cabell Library waiting for Jen to get out of class so we can go to dinner somewhere around here. I’ve had Art History 104, Focused Inquiry, and University 101 thus far today, and I have Psychology 101 at 7:00. It’s now 4:50 PM and I’ve been down here since 11:00 AM. I’ll be here until almost 10:00. Monday is going to be my heaviest day by far. I like all my classes so far, though, and I’ve met a few more people, which has been a little easier because a good 80% of my Focused Inquiry class is also in my University 101 class, so I’ve talked a little with a couple of the guys I sit with in my first class in the second one. Everyone I’ve encountered so far has been very nice, and as much as I liked high school (mainly the last two), it’s so cool to be able to get a fresh start and have a clean slate in front of me.

Our New Kitten Joey! (And Other Quick Blurbs)

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So we had three cats. My parents said they didn’t want any more because these were enough to keep up with. So much for that. I came home last night to find the newest edition to our family, a white (with some tabby markings mixed in) kitten who’s foster mom named Joey. We liked the name so we kept it. He’s four months old and has the most affectionate demeanor. He’s tiny, about five pounds, and wild and rambunctious! So far we haven’t introduced him to the other cats… we’re going to wait about a week and let them get used to his scent (they’ve been coming up to the room we have him shut in). The woman at the adoption place recommended this in order for them to all get along better. Here’s some pictures of him from last night:

I started my first class at VCU yesterday, Focused Inquiry (basically English except they don’t call it English anymore, and I think it’s a little different). The professor’s really nice, kind of funny, and he had us do a group introduction activity to break the ice. I met a few really nice people. I think I’m gonna like it down there a lot. Monday will be the real test, when I’m down there from 11:00 AM until 10:00 PM, with pretty much all of my classes.

So I’m hopefully going to be able to keep my job, which I originally had as just a summer position. I made my case by setting up a more permanent workspace than I had before. I was originally on this big red leather couch, but then it got moved and I was left with only a rolly chair. So, I scrounged around everyone’s cubicals and was able to find a desk, docking station for my laptop, new flat panel LCD monitor, and a new mouse and keyboard. Not bad! Here’s my very first real office workstation (it’s not that cool I know, but hey I feel special I actually have a real setup there now!):

So I’m currently installing Adobe CS3 on my Mac… I had a problem with Photoshop installing correctly before, but it’s working now. It’s taking about two hours altogether because there are eight DVDs it comes with. I’m excited. Can’t wait to try it out. Here’s a screenshot from the installation:

Everything’s Changing

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This has been an interesting week thus far. Things are kind of stabilizing. Nothing was ever that wrong, and I appreciate all the comments and Facebook messages (of both concern and praise) I got from my “vent post” this past weekend. Everyone seemed to share my sentiment about the mess up at The Dominion Club. I might have written all of that to let off some steam, but I wasn’t exaggerating how things are at the club, and I’m obviously not the only one by far who feels the way I do.

So anyway, as the post title suggests, I’m in a season of change in my life right now. One obvious change is college. I start classes Friday, and even though I’m living at home, there’s still so much change around me. A few of my really good friends have left this week for their respective colleges away from Richmond, and it’s just weird right now. It’s strange to think that they’re not coming back until Christmas. I feel a little disconnected at the moment not living on campus at VCU, especially after visiting Jen’s dorm and seeing all the bustling activity going on down there, but I know I’m going to meet a lot of cool people who I’ll end up becoming friends with, so it’s not a big deal. I’ve already met some really nice people in just the few times I’ve been on campus.

So I made another change today, hopefully for the better. I switched from Sprint to Verizon. Now I know I’m going to get a bunch of fingers pointed at me if I don’t first make this disclaimer: I know I’ve always told anyone who asked me why I didn’t have Verizon all the reason I didn’t want it (I was happy with Sprint, Verizon has (supposedly) bad customer service, and their phones are slow because of all the software they cram into them), but I don’t think I’m being completely hypocritical by switching. I have plenty of justification for my move. Just about all my friends, those I call and text both a lot and a little, have Verizon. Plus, for some reason, Sprint’s service has degraded a lot lately. I’m not really sure why. You’d think if anything it would get better as they build more towers and improve their network coverage, but who knows. I’ve had it for less than a day as I write this, but already I’ve noticed that I have a very strong signal everywhere I’ve been, including at church, which has notoriously been a really bad dead spot for my old service.

Review of the LG enV:

The new enV by LGThe service is better, sure. But what about the phone? It’s awesome. I got the new model of the enV by LG. The battery performance is far better than my old phone (often I would charge my old Samsung Blade all night and the battery would die after normal use by dinnertime), not to mention it’s just really cool. It has a dual-interface, meaning you can use almost all of its features on the front of the phone without opening it (and frankly you can’t even tell it opens up on first glance), but when you do open it you’re presented with a full “QWERTY” keyboard and crisp widescreen LCD that, believe it or not, comes close to the resolution of my MacBook Pro’s screen. The 2.0 megapixel camera has a very good white balance, and pictures actually look like they were taken on a full-featured digital camera rather than looking like the bright, washed-out pictures most phones’ cameras (including my old Blade) produce. Video quality is better than on many phones, and Verizon’s mobile internet service looks great and runs fast. Email came through almost as fast as over my Comcast broadband at home. Overall, after an afternoon of heavy use, I’d give my new phone 4 1/2 stars out of five.

Storm Damage

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Well I finally have a WordPress. I used to have a Blogger. That’s that, no need to elaborate, might as well jump right into things. So last night we had a really bad storm, the third bad one in a week, and probably fifth in a month. The wind was rediculous. The trees were bent sideways and it had to be about 60-70 MPH. We had a gazebo out back by the golf course that we used for parties and get togethers. Notice the past tense “had.” It was bungee corded on all four sides to trees and was a pretty hefty steel structure with a canvas top. It even had a chandelier in the middle. It survived the past few storms, but this one did it in. Here’s a picture of the mess out back. It looks like a tornado came through at first glance.

Thoughts On VCU

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It’s almost 1:00 in the morning. I’m getting up for VCU orientation at 6:00 AM. I should be asleep. But as I lay here in bed with my laptop with what I can only describe as some kind of heartburn like out of one of those stupid acid reflux commercials featuring the people who resemble different foods. But I digress.

Besides the fact that I’ve eaten so horribly lately and caused stuff like this to happen, the other reason I’m awake is I have a lot to think about. In just about a month, I’ll be a college student. I’m living at home the first year, but everything is still going to change. I’m a little anxious.

Tomorrow will be interesting. I listed History as my major on my application because I submitted a portfolio of related stuff I’ve done over the years (if you know me well, you know what I’m talking aout… the newspaper articles and whatnot). I don’t want to major in History. I want to do either Graphic Design or Film. I’m not sure which yet, but I know I’m not going into History, and I’m going to consequently be sitting through introcutions to what classes I need to take to support what they think is my major of choice.

This summer, though it’s been the best I’ve ever had, has felt so weird. It’s so strange to think I’m not in high school anymore, and I keep forgetting I’m not going back. By the way, all you teachers and guidance counselors that told us that high school would fly by, I have a bone to pick with you. It seemed like an eternity and a half. Freshman year seems like it was in the Dark Ages.

Slowing It Down In Nags Head

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I’ve been in Nags Head on the Outer Banks with Jen and her family and Allie for the past week. I’m still there as I’m writing this. I just packed my car and we’re headed out in about an hour as soon as everyone else is ready. It’s been a really great week. I haven’t been this relaxed in a long, long time. See, when my family and I go to the beach with everyone like my grandparents and cousins, we’re always doing something. Going, going, going. We go out to dinner every single night, go see the sights and attractions, shop, and what have you. We haven’t done that at all down here and it’s been so nice. I’ve been down here more times than I can count… I’ve been coming at least once or sometimes twice a year for nineteen years, and I can’t remember the last time I just chilled on the beach for the whole week. It was the nicest thing just to do so something unstructured and unplanned. We were in this little oceanfront cottage in Nags Head as opposed to the huge Corolla houses my family and I usually stay in. This was much more fitting and it didn’t seem so overwhelming of a house. I loved it.

Still, I’m looking forward to getting back home and hanging out with a lot of people I haven’t seen in a good while when I get there!

This really is turning out to be the best summer of my life thus far.

A Long Time Coming

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The following was supposed to be published more than two weeks ago. It wasn’t. I’ll update about the Outer Banks and whatnot in a day or two.

   School’s over. Not for the summer, but forever. High school at least. I’m now officially a graduate of Deep Run High School. It’s both exciting and unbelievable at the same time. I can’t quite believe that it’s actually over. We’re all moving on to bigger and better things. It’s funny how everything has changed since graduation. People who I never really spoke to and who never really spoke to me come up and say hi when I run into them at random places. It’s happened at least five or six times. It’s almost like we feel as if there is no reason not to talk finally. I guess there’s just a different aura at school and things are different now that we’re plunging into the “real world.”

    In the end, I’m glad I’m staying in Richmond. I’ve lived here my whole life, but I’ve never really explored much outside the Short Pump area. Hanging out downtown, at Pony Pasture on the river, and the other places I’ve gone, I’ve really discovered how much I truly love this city.

    I start my first classes at VCU in almost exactly two months, but before that, I’ve got some awesome things lined up this summer. First off, I’ve finally got a job. I’m working in the Information Systems section of the Attorney General’s Office downtown. I’m doing things like deploying and imaging hundreds of new computers for office deployment, repairing employees’ workstations, and doing general troubleshooting with them on various everyday issues that may come up. It pays really well, and I have a set schedule working two full (8:30 AM – 5:00 PM) days on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I like having all my nights open.

    I’ve got a bunch of different trips this summer as well. First off, I’m writing to you now from Toronto, Ontario in Canada. I’m up here with Alex and her family for her orientation at University of Toronto. Soon after I get back, I’ll be headed to the Outer Banks with Jen and her family and Allie, too. I also might be going to Young Life camp in Lake Saranac, New York at the end of July.

    Just as an update, I know several of you have asked about the podcast I used to do, “Evolution of Thought.” The main reason I stopped recording it is I didn’t have any time near the end of school. I was also awaiting my new computer. I’m now armed (and dangerous) with my new MacBook Pro, packed with built-in podcasting and website creation tools. Macs make pretty much everything easier and are so much more intuitive than PCs. Expect the podcast to be back in the next couple weeks, and to return with a bang. The features in some of this podcast software are going to make us sound very professional, and with a built-in webcam and condenser microphone we have the ability to do on-the-go podcasts anywhere and even do some video podcast editions.

    One more thing. I’m pretty sure I’m going to do away with as my photo sharing site. I’ve bought a new .com name that I’ll tell you the name of when I get it up and running. I purchased a .Mac hosting account and will hopefully be able to store my entire photo archive on their servers. It will be much easier than before and the site will be far more interactive and easier to upload to. My photos, blog, podcast, and video sites will all be tied together into one site when I get it finished in the next week or two.