Insta-Who? Time for Pressgram


A few months ago I learned about a new app that was in development and looking to replace Instagram. I was immediately intrigued, because with all of the controversy surrounding Instagram and Facebook, having an alternative was absolutely necessary. And since this app was going to be able to post directly to WordPress blogs, I was even more interested. Being able to post to my own server meant that I would always know where my files were, and I wouldn’t have to worry about a service going out of business (see Posterous) after it was acquired by an internet giant.

Enter Pressgram. At the time I had a trip planned to Anaheim in the beginning of August and was hoping it would be available so I could get it up and running and have a photo blog of my trip. Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way, and I had to wait until the beginning of September to experience the app in all of its glory. The launch was a little bumpy, and the bugs are scurrying under the light of release, but it looks like it has a lot of promise. My own experience took a little troubleshooting to get it connected to my blog, but now that it is integrated to this blog, I expect it to be my go-to posting app for photos for the foreseeable future.

Remembering September 11th


It was twelve years ago, when the World Trade Center was destroyed and life in America was changed forever. Much of my own life has changed, though I’m not certain how much of it was influences by the events that occurred on that day. Twelve years ago, I had been in the Navy for less than 8 years, was married for less than 4 years, and was very much still figuring out my life. I suppose in that measure, much of the choices I’ve made since then were influenced by the state of the world at the time. I don’t normally do the whole “where I was” thing when these days come around, but given the day I might as well share my story.

At the time, I was stationed on the USS KINKAID (DD-965), a Spruance Class Destroyer that has since found its final resting place at the bottom the ocean. The ship had deployed in March of that same year and we were actually on our way back to San Diego, having just left Hawaii with extra passengers. It is a tradition, while on the last leg of a deployment, to host selected family and friends (referred to as ‘Tigers’) on the ride back to the ship’s home port. We were only a few days outside of Hawaii on the morning of the 11th, and as the crew was waking up for their normal routine, the news came over the ship’s announcement system. The Executive Officer delivered the news that the World Trade Center had been attacked. This information was surreal. It was hard to believe or accept that America had been attacked on its own soil. Disbelief turned into confusion and eventually, into concern. There was no way to reach out to our families and our own future was uncertain. Would we turn around and head back out, towards the Middle East to exact vengeance, or would we be allowed to return to our homes?

Unfortunately for the family members and friends that were riding the ship back into San Diego, the Tiger Cruise was cancelled and the travel back to San Diego was somber. For me and my wife, we had planned an extensive trip to Northern California, which was also now in question. But in the end, we returned to San Diego, under heavy protection entering the port, and were allowed to leave the ship and take our leave while other ships were in the process of deploying. While it seems so long ago now, looking back and reflecting, I can recall that September with clarity.

Much has changed in the time since that fateful day. My two children were born in the years following and I’m in the process of completing 20 years of service in the US Navy. I’ve been married for 15 years now and we’ve had our own home for over 3 years. Much has changed in America, as well as the rest of the world. It is important to reflect on that day and teach its importance to our children, as they will inherit the world we leave them.