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!

 

 

Got A Happy Thought?

I have always loved the character of Peter Pan.

First of all he could fly. Really, of all the powers I could have flying would be the first one I’d want. No more TSA security screenings, no more traffic, seriously I think it’s the best power to have.

Second, he personified the idea of enjoying life to its fullest. Something that seems very hard to do nowadays for many.

in the book by the brilliant J.M. Barrie, Peter teaches the children that to fly all they need is a little pixie dust and to think of a happy thought.

In the pseudo-sequel Hook by my hero Steven Spielberg, Peter Pan has grown up and become a cold hearted business man who is now afraid of taking chances, fears everything and doesn’t know how to relate to his children. He has become the exact opposite of everything he stood for and seemingly lost his true soul. He has lost all of his happy thoughts and is grounded from flight by reality and responsibility.

While I think that reality is incredible important to keep in mind, you still have to live. It’s one thing to be responsible and to be an adult, but it doesn’t mean that you need to be that way all the time nor do you have to carry it to such extremes that you make everyone around you miserable.

Life is so short and as a popular quote goes “each new day is a gift, that’s why they call today the present”. I’m not saying you need to go about your life with reckless abandon or no responsibility at all but to ground yourself completely and not let your soul breath is as I learned in my own life, no way to live one.

I for a period of time in my life became too grounded in reality. I lost the freedom and joy I had once afforded myself from time to time and became so serious and intense that I made others miserable. I had not just grounded myself I had firmly planted my roots in the ground and become a weed. I had lost my happy thoughts and was shriveling up.

I chose to pull myself up and get more out of life. Over the past 6+ years I have slowly pulled myself from the ground and have slowly but surely found the things in life that made me smile and am now feel more free than I can remember feeling in a long time.

I have a job that I am passionate about and work with some pretty remarkable people that challenge me in so many different ways and help me continue to grow.

I am the father I wanted to be with a son that knows he is loved to no end.

I am a friend who people want around them.

I am a person who is trying to make a difference in the world and knows that every little thing counts.

I have learned that perfection is great for many things but you don’t have to nail it every single time.

I have learned that failure brings on success.

Over the course of the last couple of months my girlfriend Jenny and her daughter Kaylin have helped me know what it is to be loved for exactly who I am. They have reminded me that it’s okay to be the geeky dork that I am, to be silly, to laugh until it hurts and that it’s okay to sing out loud and to dance as if no one else is around.

They along with Josh have become my happy thoughts and I have learned how to fly again.

So what’s your happy thought? What gives you strength? What drives you and helps you fly?

Let me know what gets you off the ground. Perhaps your thoughts can help remind those that lost them of their own and together we can help them start lifting off the ground because we all deserve to fly.

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.

Creative Freedom – A Change of Direction

Yes, it’s been an incredibly long time since I posted anything here, and to be honest it’s been a little painful for me, writing is an outlet for me, writing allows me to express myself in ways that I can’t in person or just don’t have the opportunity to.

Much of what I’d wanted to post or say couldn’t go out as appearing as any point of view or example of the organization I work for.

This site has never been supported by or endorsed by my employer. It is my personal site that I pay for with my own buck and invest my own personal time in. The points of view on this site has been and will always be MINE and MINE alone.  Nonetheless I’ve gone through the site, making minor changes here and there, removing certain language that might imply that this site is in any way endorsed or supported by my employer.

Moving forward I have decided to perhaps be a bit more open, a bit more frank, a bit more honest.Some posts will be short, others may be long diatribes.

I want to make it clear that any future posts I make are posts from my point of view and the feelings/ideals that I have at that point in time.  They are solely from my point of view. In no way shape or form does my employer support or share my point of view. Many will likely disagree with what I say. Some may wonder what point it has at all. Others may agree with it and stand along side me in support.

That’s the beauty of the internet, the wonder of how our culture has developed where so many can share their voice with so many others. You aren’t always right, you’re not always wrong, it just is and no one can take that away from you.

So we’ll see where we go from here, but at least today I feel like I have a little more freedom, I can be a little more me and right now that’s who I need to be. Me.

An Open Letter To George Lucas

Dear Mr. Lucas,

Last night the web was afire with news that two audio changes and one special effects change had been made to your original Star Wars Trilogy.

As you’ve already come to know, those of us that hold Star Wars near and dear haven’t been crazy about the past changes. You also know how much we wanted the trilogy to appear on Blu-Ray in their originally released versions. So to find out that you had chosen to further alter the movies that shaped our childhood was a kick in the gut to the majority of fans that have made Star Wars what it is today.

I do want you to know Mr. Lucas that as someone who has personally enjoyed writing, and shooting and editing videos as one of my favorite creative outlets I totally get the whole idea of having a vision. I fully appreciate wanting to go back to correct things you wished you could have done differently if you had the technology or time to do it. These movies have been like your children and you wanted nothing but the best for them. Completely understand, and respect it.

To date though nothing I have done has had the impact on culture, society and lives that the Original Star Wars Trilogy has had.

Your movies have inspired the countless dreams of many who believed that anyone could do anything if they seized upon “THE FORCE” within themselves. So many of those folks are working for you today helping inspire the dreams of others.

Your movies have brought out the good in others and created charities that might not be in existence had it not been for your movies. Thanks to Star Wars we’ve got the 501st who has taken part in countless charity events across the globe raising much needed funds and bringing smiles to children in hospitals. Together they and the R2 builders club created R2-KT to help fulfill the wish of a young Star Wars fan. Even after Katie’s passing, R2-KT has gone on to help raise the spirits of sick children and raised money for charity.

Finally your movies have had special meanings in the relationships between parents and children. They’ve been proudly shared by your original fans with the children they have today.

On a personal level the original Star Wars trilogy has had a significant impact on my life in ways that most would have never thought.

Star Wars was one of the first movies my father took me to and is one of my most precious movie going experiences that I hold near and dear to my heart. After my parents divorced and I didn’t see my Dad as much, seeing that movie together and sharing the love of the film brought out the happiness in an otherwise really unpleasant time in my life.

I saw my father less and less and eventually felt like my father could care less about me. When I saw “Return of the Jedi” the scene where Vader saves Luke and destroys the Emperor had a special symbolism for me. I viewed the Emperor and his shocking bolts as the pain and torture of everyday life, from the people who picked on me at school to not having my Dad with me everyday. I always wished that my Dad would come in one day and save me like Vader saved Luke.

While my relationship eventually broke down to the point where I didn’t see or talk to my Dad for 6+ years, Star Wars was always a happy memory. In 2007, I eventually wound up talking to and seeing my father again. While he couldn’t make the pain of the past not happen he apologized for not being there and promised to be a better father. For me, he finally saved me like I hoped he would.

Last year, my father passed away. Before he passed I was fortunate enough to be able to spend time with him. He was unconscious but I knew he could hear me. So I sat there with him and watched the original Star Wars one last time. A few weeks later I celebrated his birthday as I sat with his little jar of ashes and watched the original Star Wars once more.

Since the day my son was born I have shared my love of Star Wars with him and it’s become one of his favorite things. He most recently and very patiently waited multiple times over one hour to ride the latest version of Star Tours. I showed him the R2-KT painted on one of the Starspeeders and explained how so many wonderful people came together to help make a little girl so incredibly happy.

Mr. Lucas, I can’t think of a single other set of films that have had the impact that your original three films have had. It was the originals though, not the ones jazzed up with additional special effects. Your films are classics and snapshots of days when people painstakingly created detailed models and paintings to help bring these films to life. Your fans LOVE the originals in all of their glory. We don’t need CGI additional audio, or modified audio to make them better, they were PERFECT just the way they were.

I would like to honorably and respectfully ask that you let the original trilogy be the original trilogy. Restore them to their full brilliance, let us see every detail in HI-DEF, let us hear every note with absolute clarity. Let us remember our childhood, relieve our memories and cherish the moments we originally had. Bring back the Trilogy that inspired and continues to inspire millions of your fans all over the world.

Thank you for your time,

Chris Tellez
Star Wars Fan Since 1977

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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More Geek Posts…Now at the New Official C.A.R. Blog Site

Love my blog posts? Love the information I share? Looking for more?

Look no further than the official blog site of the California Association of REALTORS®!

No, it won’t be duplications of the blog posts here. It’ll be fresh, new content.
It will be content that’s “EXCLUSIVE” to the C.A.R. Blog!

It won’t be as often as here, but when one is posted it’ll be worth it.

The cool thing is, there’s lots of other great content that’s getting posted to the C.A.R. blog from my various colleagues.

You’ve got the master of words, Josh Sharfman who is bringing all kinds of great tech stuff.

Then you’ve got the queen of numbers, Sara Sutachan keeping you up to date with the latest market data.

Of course there’s going to also be posts from our C.A.R. social media organizer/maven/princess, the always charming Lindsey Moss.

In addition to these three fine folks, there’s also great posts from our communications, legal and legislative departments.

So what are you waiting for?

Go and check it out, and check out my first post on speeding up your iPad and iPhone!

Another Oscar Ceremony Goes Into The History Books…

Another Oscar Sunday has come and gone and now comes the post-Oscar analysis.

I managed to correctly pick 17 of the 24 awards. Amazingly two of my wild guesses for Animated Short (Lost Things) and Short Film (God of Love) were right. Not bad but still under my highest of 20 of 24.

A few thoughts on last night’s show…

* While I liked the show and was impressed by how tight they kept it, it was altogether just ho-hum. Loved the stage and and the arches of video though. Very cool!

* James Franco, great actor but horrible award show host.

* Anne Hathaway, great energy which frequently got sucked away by James.

* Kirk Douglas, you’re still the man!

* Best Picture montage  – Could watch that a few times.

* Best speeches – Melissa Leo, Tom Hooper, David Seidler, Natalie Portman and Colin Firth

* The closing with the kids from PS 22 was heart warming to begin with, it went to absolutely unbelievable when the winners from the night came out on the stage behind the kids. 24 statues that prove that dreams do come true.