The Best $5 I’ve Ever Spent!

I do believe that the occasional homeless person we encounter is a test from God.

This morning as I was riding the red line a homeless person entered the car, held out his hat and went around to people hoping to get some amount of money.

Earlier in the morning I had been reading a chapter of “The Purpose Driven Life” where it said that one of the key things we need to do as followers of Christ is to love one another. That putting out love is one of the things that pleases God the most.

Having been inspired by what I read I decided to go into my wallet to see if I had some dollar bills.

When I opened it though I found I had two fives.

I’ll admit there was a little bit of hesitation to give out a five, it was more than I usually gave.
In that moment of hesitation the following things flashed through my head…

– My incredibly loving, strong, supportive and all around wonderful fiancee’

– My awesome and very healthy 14 (soon to be 15) year old son and 7 year old future step-daughter

– My amazing friends who have seen me through so much and stuck around no matter what

– My loving family, current and future

– My really great job that I’ve been blessed to have for so long with such a good company

– The many things I am fortunate to have as a result of that job…a roof over my head, healthy food, nice clothing, vacations, evenings out, a car and all the wonderful tech gadgets I get to play with

It was then that I very happily pulled out the five dollar bill and placed it in his hat.

Seriously…what is $5 compared to everything that I have? It’s nothing.

The homeless man said thank you, started to walk away and then looked down in his hat. I could see the surprise that came over his face when he realized I hadn’t tossed a dollar bill, it was more than that.

He then turned back around to me and said thank you many more times. He told me that I was a great person and that God would not only reward me in heaven, but had a wonderful place for me there. He then thanked me many more times and said “God bless you!” as he walked away.

For the incredibly small amount of $5 I not only helped someone out, I made his day. I reaffirmed his faith that there are still good people out there that care and demonstrated to God how DEEPLY THANKFUL I am for what I have.

That was the best $5 I’ve ever spent!

 

 

Happiness…Just Accept It

Happiness is a really interesting beast.

According to our founding fathers, we’re free to pursue it.
Based on the Will Smith movie, we’re allowed to misspell it.
Once we’ve got it we tend to question it and wonder if in fact we’ve found it.

Then we try and hold on to it so tight that we do stupid things and it slips away from us and we are off on the cycle of trying to get it once more.

Recently I’ve had a lot to be happy about. So happy that at times it seems almost surreal and I wonder how it could be happening to me.

Seriously the thought goes through my mind of “How do I deserve this?”, “Why would I get to feel as happy as I do right now?”.

I ponder if my happiness is true or just perceived. If it is true how much longer is it going to go on (aka – when is the bottom going to drop out?).

The fact of the matter is that I need to just listen to what so many people have told me, especially friends that have been INCREDIBLY RIGHT when I was so wrong and just enjoy it.

Don’t question it.
Don’t analyze it.
Don’t wonder why.

Just accept it for what it is, don’t try and make it something more (or less) and live in the moment.

Accept that I’ve worked very hard to make a lot of other people very happy. I’ve put a lot of good karma out there, and now I get to enjoy it coming back to me.

God has granted me this period of happiness because I’ve earned it and put a lot of my heart and soul into helping it come to fruition. I’ve also gone through a pretty deep, dark forest to get out to this beautiful clearing.

Now this is a bit of a challenge for an over thinker like myself, but it’s a challenge I fully accept and look forward to. The best part is as I take it on I get to feel things I haven’t felt for the longest time and some I’ve never felt before.

So today I thank God for this happiness (especially the people that are a source of this happiness), I choose to Just Accept It and will enjoy it for as long as I possibly can.

Thanks Steve Jobs…For Everything, and For Everything We Haven’t Seen Yet

As I was on a phone call yesterday I noticed the news of Steve Job’s resignation from Apple pop up on Facebook. My immediate reaction was that it was some hoax and that it would eventually be debunked.

The entire world now knows that Steve Jobs has indeed resigned as CEO from Apple and has moved to the Chairman of the Board position. Tim Cook who was an incredible COO and was acting CEO during Steve’s various medical leaves is now the new CEO.

Of course everyone and their uncle are chiming in on what this means for Apple, and wondering how Tim Cook will perform. I could spin all my ideas out there but in the end my belief comes down to a few simple words. IT WILL ALL BE FINE.

Walt Mossberg made the one point in this video on the Wall St. Journal’s site that everyone seems to passing over…STEVE JOBS ISN’T DEAD. So it’s not like Steve won’t be contributing his ideas and thoughts to Apple’s future.

While he’s still with us (THANKFULLY!) I still want to take a moment to take Steve Jobs for everything he’s done at Apple in his role as CEO.

For me Steve Jobs…
1. Gave me a reason to give the MAC a shot and move from being a PC to a MAC GUY. I’m such a MAC guy I say with all honesty…”You can have my MacBook back when you pry it from my cold, dead,lifeless hands”.

2. Came up with two of the most incredible ways to listen to music and movies, saving me from carrying binders of CDs and/or DVDs as well as be more productive.

3. Gave me my own little piece of real life Star Trek tech.4. Created a marketplace that opened a whole new economy, a new obsession for and in a way a new role for me at REBS.

5. Taught me how to give better presentations

Finally and most importantly…

Steve Jobs gave me a reason to get excited again about technology on a daily basis.

So thanks Steve for everything you’ve done and for everything you’ve done that we haven’t gotten to see yet.

I pray that you’ll continue to be with us for some time and that by stepping down as CEO you’ll be able to get healthier, spend more time with your family and be able to continue to be the incredible influence that you’ve been thus far. Here’s to many more years of Steve Jobs magic!

iPhone Tracking? It’s A Non-Issue.

Yesterday it was announced that your iPhone was tracking everywhere you’ve been and saving it to a file that’s copied to your computer when you synch your device.

Data Presented From Finders of iPhone Tracking

In case you haven’t seen the story someplace on the web, here’s an article about it on Mashable. It’s also now on the CNN home page – HERE

There are a lot of alarmists up in the air about this and Senator Al Franken has asked Apple to explain why it’s doing this.

I was going to write a wonderfully detailed blog post about it and why I thought it really wasn’t a big deal, but the incredibly smart and funny David Pogue beat me to it. Thanks for saving me some typing David!

In the end the only way someone can use this data and figure out where you’ve been is to download special software (which only shows some details) and pull this file off of your computer. As David Pogue put it “If your computer is that accessible, you’ve got much bigger problems.” He also makes a great point of saying only those that have something to hide, may have something to fear.

While you can’t change any setting to stop the tracking, you can (and I encourage you to) encrypt your iPhone back-ups. It’s incredibly easy to do and I’ve found some simple steps right HERE. Honestly everyone should be doing this from the get-go if they’re that worried about the security of their data.

If you’re really worried about the security of what’s on your iPhone you should have it lock and require a password to get into the device. Instructions on that are on the bottom of THIS PAGE.

I know some people feel like this is an invasion of privacy.
They have every right to feel that way.

To that I say in this day and age of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube along with all the “check-ins” being done your information and location is out there already.

There’s  nothing to hide!

For those that are still incredibly fearful I’ll recommend as do with everyone else –
DON’T PUT YOUR INFORMATION ON OR GET CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET. Despite any password you have or protection you think you have on it, there’s no 100% security when it comes to computers. If someone really wants to get to your data, they’ll figure out a way and will be able to get around anything you put in the way.

That’s just my opinion, as has occasionally happened, I could be wrong. 🙂

iPad2…Is It Worth It?

Last week Apple announced the iPad 2.

We knew it was coming. The rumor mill was running rampant and leaked shots were showing up all over the net. The first question a lot of people asked me was…

“WHAT DO YOU THINK?”

And my immediate answer was “It’s great”.

No, I’m just saying that because I drank any kind of Apple Kool Aid.

I’m saying that because I do think it’s great. When I heard there was an announcement coming I was expecting to be greatly underwhelmed. I knew the front and back cameras were coming, that was a given. But when I started reading down the list of what it did I was incredibly surprised.

Here’s what jazzed me the most…

  • It’s thin! It’s incredibly thin! I cannot believe how thin they go it. On top of that it’s got the same battery life as the original.
  • 1GHz Dual Core Apple A5 chip – Yes, I know the Motorola Zoom has a dual core processor. I’m just happy the iPad has one now too.
  • 9x faster graphic performance – Faster is always better!

The one thing that impressed me the most and I definitely didn’t see coming was
VIDEO MIRRORING

Now finally I’ll be able to display anything I’m doing on the iPad on a bigger screen. I can now travel and do presentations showing anything I’m doing. I’ll even be able to show actual apps. Yes!

So after I glowed over the incredible new iPad, the question I got next was….

“ARE YOU MAD ABOUT HAVING THE OLD ONE?”

No. It’s been a great device that has saved me in so many instances. Most recently I spent 3 hours at a car repair shop and got a good amount of work done without having to lug a laptop and battery adapter. It’s still a great device and if you don’t need the latest greatest I’d go pick one up while Apple clears them out.

So then comes…

“ARE YOU GOING TO GET THE NEW ONE?”

Yup. I’m sold. Count me in.

So then what about my old iPad? Oh I’ve figured out a way to move on up to the iPad 2 and get money for the old one?

How’d I do that? You’ll have to check out my blog post on blog.car.org tomorrow where I’ll let you know about some options for trading in your old iPad so you can get the new one.

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Seriously? More Than Meets The Eye…

Get your full nerd/geek on in the theater with these Transformer 3-D glasses that you can use while you watch Transformers: Dark of the Moon this July.

Read more about these here at www.electronichouse.com.

While I am generally mocking them, there’s a good chance my 14 year old will be sitting next to me wearing one of these when we go to see the movie. Only way you’re getting these on me is for a large chunk of money.

Seriously??? They’re All Gonna Laugh At You!

I can read your mind...

This won’t help you with your stress…it’ll just increase it from everyone laughing at you with this on your head.

My Blackberry Is Not Working!

Love those Brits!

Many thanks to Betty Thomas for passing this one on to me!

Volkswagen:The Force – This Is So Me As A Little Kid…

When I was a kid our Star Wars costumes were these cheap plastic things that ripped so easily if you bent the wrong way. Had they had a costume like they have now, this would have been so me about 30 years ago.

Of course costume or not doesn’t stop me from trying to pull Jedi mind tricks on people.

:::WAVING HAND::: You will visit my blog again, and again, and again…

Verizon iPhone, At Long Last…Now Let The Domination Begin!

Back during the whole iPhone 4 “antennagate” issue, Apple held a brief press conference to address the concerns about the iPhone 4’s antenna. During the Q&A Steve Jobs said something to the effect of them having an AT&T as well as a Verizon cell tower on the Apple campus. The immediate question that came to mind was “Why the heck would they have a Verizon cell tower on the Apple campus, unless the iPhone is Verizon bound?”.

Sure enough the iPhone is coming to Verizon at long last, and on February 10th Verizon users will rejoice in the joy that is the iPhone.

Rumors Finally Confirmed

So with the iPhone now finally being available to the millions of Verizon customers I am going to make the prediction that by the end of the year the iPhone will be the dominant smartphone in the market. Let me tell you why…

1. While the Android is a fine device, it’s establishment has come from a couple of different fields.
– The folks who wanted an iPhone but didn’t want AT&T service, so they settled for
what they could get.

– The folks who like to tweak, hack, customize and modify their smartphone OS
without having to worry about “jailbreaking”.

That first group is an incredibly LARGE group and now that they can get an iPhone on Verizon you’re going to have a lot of converts. Not just internally from Verizon but from T-Mobile and Sprint as well.

2. The iPhone just works, you don’t have to do anything special to it, you connect it, you synch it and voila it works!
– A lot of tech guys will say that you should be able to do whatever you want
with  your OS and hardware. While this is fine for those that understand
computers to their core, the majority of the computer using public just wants
things to work. They want to turn it on, make their calls, text their friends and play Angry Birds.

3. Apps..there’s MILLIONS of them on the iTunes app store.

With a choice of networks, a choice of data plans and the fact that AT&T and Verizon are THE DOMINANT cell carriers it just seems a no brainer.

Now before you say that I am an Android hater, RELAX. I believe the Android is a very good device and yes I have spent some time with it. It’s great if you like being able to tweak settings and making it do all kinds of fancy stuff. But based on how I’ve seen my non-computer savvy friends use it, it’s more than they want or will ever need. Even me as a long time computer user I find that it’s more than I feel like dealing with anymore.

As for the Blackberry. I actually used to be a Crackberry addict. RIM had their chance and failed miserably not just with the touch hardware but the OS and its ability to run apps. As always it’s great for making calls and sending e-mails, but that’s it and I suspect all it will ever be good for.

We’ll see how things are at the end of the year and if I’m wrong I’ll admit it. This though is one tech prediction that I think I’ll nail.