Happy 13th Birthday Josh!

Son,

It’s hard to believe that you’re a teenager today. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 13 years since the day you were born.

Sometimes it still seems like it was just yesterday that your mom and I got our first look at you on a black and white screen.

You were smaller than someone’s hand and we could still distinctly make out your head, your arms and your legs.

As you grew in your mom we prepped everything for your arrival from Pooh Bear themed bedding to all the accessories and diapers that we’d need to take care of you when you were born.

To this day I can still remember every single detail, sound and feeling from the day of your birth. When the doctor took you out of your mom it seemed like it took forever for you to make your first cry. You let out a nice little cry though to let us know you were breathing just fine and as soon as you were tightly wrapped up you calmed right down. Little did we know that was just a sign of who you’d turn out to be, a very relaxed and calm kid.

As you’ve grown up you have filled our lives with a lot of wonderful and funny moments.

You’ve proven to be the world’s greatest sleeper. As a baby you slept one day for 12 hours straight. That’s a blessing for many parents, but it scared your mom and I. Turns out you were just fine, you were just tired. You’d eventually fall asleep in just about any place, from the bottom of the stairs in our first home to the doorway to your room, to the dining room table. When you’re tired you knock out and nothing can wake you.

One day you decided to change your own diaper which was great, except for all of the baby powder and diaper cream everywhere. It wasn’t fun to clean up but your mom and I had a good laugh and were impressed at your initiative.Of course we took photos to embarrass you with later.

There was also one day where you walked upstairs carrying a huge block of sliced cheese. You took a huge bite out of it and were making a meal out of it. You thought it was totally normal and okay to do.

As you’ve gotten older you’ve continued to impress your mom and I as you went to school. There seemed to be nothing that you couldn’t learn (as long as you were interested in it). You’ve excelled at math so much, so you’re doing far better at it than your Dad ever did.

You’ve developed an incredibly creative mind that comes up with the most interesting of scenarios and stories, as well as the most impressive of Lego creations.

From recognizing when people are sad, to coming up and giving hugs or back-rubs for no reason.You’ve become this incredibly sweet and loving kid whose empathy and caring seems to know no bounds.

Despite the challenges you’ve faced and continue to face in your life you keep growing, and becoming an incredible person. From tackling your autism, to having to deal with your mom and I divorcing. You’ve come out on the other end even better and stronger than you went into it.

You have grown into the strong, wonderful and incredible young man that your mom and I both knew you would become.

We both know it doesn’t stop there, and we see you continue to grow as you become the unbelievable man we know you will be.

Just remember son that you are capable of many great things. Push the limits, break the boundaries, and continue to prove that anything can be done with the right drive, heart and determination.

No matter what the outcome I will always love you. I’ll continue to help you learn from your mistakes, and give you twice the amount of love when you make them. My love for you is never-ending and unconditional.

When all is said and done remember that you are not defined by the things you do, or have. What matters is the love that you share with the world, and the wonderful impact you’ve had, and continue to have on everyone who’s lucky enough to know you.

You have many years ahead of you son, but today

Today, I celebrate….

I celebrate the day you were born.

I celebrate the day that God blessed the world with you.

I celebrate the day I was bestowed
the greatest title I will ever carry in my life – DAD.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOSH!

I love you and always will,

Dad

Google Squared…A New Way To Compare

Introducing one of Google’s latest enhancements…

Google Squared Search BoxNot sure how long Google Squared has been around for, but this could be very promising, especially for the real estate industry.
I typed in homes for sale and got the following:

Homes For Sale Search Results

While the search results weren’t the best, it’s a start. Even with its rudimentary form I’m still far more impressed with this than I was with Microsoft’s Bing.

The ability to search the web and compare items like this means it’ll be even more critical for REALTORS® to have a significant presence on the internet and to have their listings on as many platforms as possible. Those that do will benefit greatly.

What can’t Google come up with nowadays?

New iPhone…New Macs With Lower Prices…Safari 4

As we were showing off the new “My C.A.R.” iPhone app for the C.A.R. and REBS staff, Apple was rolling out their new stuff in San Francisco.

I have to admit it was a bit of a blissful geek moment to know that we were doing a demo at the same time as the Apple biggies..especially since they both involved the iPhone.

What would be really cool is to eventually see the “My C.A.R.” app get demoed at Apple’s WWDC as part of a keynote.
Maybe version 2.0?

Oh yeah…the Apple news.

So the big news from San Fran was the roll-out of new laptops with LOWER PRICES, the incredibly cheap Snow Leopard upgrade, Safari 4.0, and of course the much expected new iPhone 3GS.

So I could go on about all the nitty-gritty details but a lot of other blogs/websites have done that , my favorite Apple related sites  are AppleInsider and Mac Rumors.

I’m totally in love with my son’s iTouch and have downloaded app after app for it games for the both of us, and utilities for me.

I’m just waiting for the iPhone to be “officially” supported by the I.T. staff. I can get e-mail on the iTouch but since there’s no “official” support for accessing office e-mail like that I can’t give up my Blackberry. Once it is…it’s bye-bye Blackberry, hello iPhone!

It’s an incredibly brilliant device and the amount of apps available as well as the incredibly low price of them is astounding.

I think it’s great that Apple has brought the prices down on their laptops…it was much needed, especially with the BS Microsoft ads. While there was no “netbook” announced they did bring the price of the MacBook Air down significantly, that was another brilliant move.

Offering the Snow Leopard upgrade for $29…WOW!!!! One of the boldest moves I’ve ever seen a company make and another great shot at Microsoft.

I DARE Microsoft to offer Windows 7 upgrade for the same price!

Now I don’t totally hate Microsoft…it has its place in the world. After all we need a couple of competitors for us to get the best out of the tech market. Microsoft though continues to not listen to its customers and does what it thinks is right…that’s where it fails, and has been failing for the past 5 years.

It will be curious to see how yesterday’s product announcements bode for both companies. It’ll be exciting to watch…that’s for sure!

“My C.A.R” App Featured On Inman

Those good folks at Inman were kind enough to mention our wonderful new iPhone/iTouch app on their site here. and link back to my original blog post.

We’re getting a lot of great response to this and a lot of great questions. To answer a few…

1. Is this available to real estate professionals outside of California?

The application was developed keeping re-use in mind. It will be available for re-licensing by other real estate companies and REALTOR® organizations so they can easily put in the data that they want to share with their staff or members.

2. I’m a member of the California Association of REALTORS®, how do I get a copy?

The app was initially rolled out in pre-release format, and made available to the members who attended the business meetings last week in Sacramento. We’re going through the final approval process with Apple and once it’s approved our plan is to make it available through Apple’s App Store. Keep an eye on www.car.org and the C.A.R. Newsline for an announcement  once it’s made public.

3. How much will it cost me?

The app will be FREE for all members of the California Association of REALTORS®.

New “My C.A.R.” iPhone/iTouch App

Here’s a demo of the new “My C.A.R.” iPhone/iTouch app just announced at the C.A.R. meetings in Sacramento.

Right now it’s only available to those who are at the meetings but will be available through the Apple App Store later this month.

The video was put together by yours truly with help from Alan Arora and Ben Karp.

The voices are courtesy of C.A.R. staff members Rick Laezman and Stacey Katzin.