Happy 35th Birthday My Love!

My dearest Jenny,

Today I along with your daughter, step-son, parents, friends, family and everyone you’ve touched over the past 35 years celebrate a day that has wonderfully impacted our lives.

Over these 35 years you’ve accomplished so much and you continue to do so with each and every day.

You are an amazing mom to Kaylin, balancing love, patience, tenderness and caring discipline to help her become an incredible young lady. Being a single mom has not been easy with numerous challenges thrown at you, yet each and every one you’ve overcome while at the same time teaching Kaylin valuable lessons about life and love.

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You’ve taken that same incredible skill as a parent and shared it with Josh. I know he’s learned a lot from you already and has experienced every bit of that same love you give to Kaylin.

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Despite having a couple thousand miles in between you and your family you are still a supportive, caring and loving daughter, sister and aunt. You do everything for them that’s within your means and even then you’ll go above and beyond that. You may not be able to see them as often as you’d like, but they know how much you love them and how you’ll do anything within your power to be there for them each and every day.

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Friends like the ones you have are not easily gained, and even harder to keep. You are always there for them with a listening ear, a loving hug, cheers of support or a wealth of reasonable advice and guidance. You love them like an extended set of family, each and every day, with every Facebook post, phone call and text message you make. To them you’re not just a friend, you’re a sister to them all with a big heart and bright smile.

And then there’s the woman you are to me….

You give so much to so many others, yet you still manage to give me so much each and every day. I get everything they all get and so much more!

You are patient and understanding with me like no one has ever been before. I can seemingly drive you nuts, yet your love for me never falters.

You have shown me love.  Pure, true, wonderful and totally unselfish love that I thought was just something that was made up in movies.

You continually inspire me and help me see how much more I am capable of accomplishing. Just when I think I haven’t got anything left, you help me find that I can do so much more and then help me do it.

You have made and continue to make me a better man in every way shape and form.

I cannot wait until the day I get to call you my wife, and look forward to getting to spend the rest of my life with you.

Jenny, you are so much to so many people and none of us will ever be able to properly show or tell you how much you truly mean to us. Had it not been for that day 35 years ago that God blessed the world with you, life just wouldn’t be the same.

Happy Birthday My Love! May God bless you (and us) with many, many, many more!

Happy 15th Birthday Son!

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Today is my little boy’s 15th birthday!

While I’ve wished him Happy Birthday on the phone and on Facebook and we celebrated this last weekend, I had to blog about it too.

C’mon…what kind of tech Dad would I be if I didn’t blog about it?

While growing up I certainly had my dreams about being a Navy pilot or Astronaut, I also had a dream that not many young boys have. I wanted to be a Dad. Even moreso I wanted to have a son.

That dream was realized 15 years ago when Josh came into the world and was placed into my arms. I can still vividly remember every part of that day, from the way the weather was to the sounds and feelings I went through. It was and will always be one of the greatest moments of my life.

Over those 15 years we’ve had good times and we’ve had bad times. He and I have both grown in so many wonderfully different ways and we continue to grow every day. While like most teenagers he can be frustrating, the majority of the time he makes me incredibly happy and proud. He’s smart, he’s funny, he’s loving, he’s caring and he has an incredible spirit that I like to think is a result of the best parts of me.

I am proud and honored to be Joshua Tellez’ dad and happy to again celebrate a dream come true.

Happy Birthday (Son/Bugaboo/Buddy/Kid)! I love you and thank you for being my son. Love, Dad.

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. 🙂

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!

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

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A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2010. That’s about 6 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 43 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 168 posts. There were 318 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 111mb. That’s about 6 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was April 16th with 52 views. The most popular post that day was Do’s and Don’ts for Facebook Fan Pages.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, en.wordpress.com, twitter.com, photofocus.com, and linkedin.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for chris tellez, zipforms ipad, lots-of’-hugging’ bear, lots of hugging bear, and zipforms for ipad.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Do’s and Don’ts for Facebook Fan Pages April 2010

2

How I Plan To Use The iPad – Part 4 – Impact On Real Estate April 2010

3

S.A.F.E. Mortgage Licensing Act Test Prep April 2010

4

Happy Birthday Dad…I Miss You! August 2010
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5

Toy Story 3 Viral Marketing – Pure Genius! April 2010

Thank you all for helping make this blog a successful one. I look forward to coming up with and sharing more great content in 2011. Here’s to an incredible 2011 for EVERYONE!

Happy Birthday Dad…I Miss You!

Normally on my Dad’s birthday I’d give him a call, say happy birthday and see what he was up to for the day.

This is the first year I won’t be able to do that because a little over two weeks ago I had to say good-bye to him when he passed away.

Today would have been his 67th birthday.

I’m sure wherever he is, he’s celebrating and doing so in grand style, playing golf courses so brilliant it puts all of those on earth to shame.

As a way of celebrating his life I thought I’d share a few memories that I included in his eulogy as well as some photos.

Tonight I shall celebrate with a meal he’d enjoy (Prime Rib, Asparagus and White Rice – for dessert a slice of cherry pie with vanilla ice cream) and watch the movie that wound up setting the stage for a major portion of who I am…Star Wars – Episode IV – A New Hope. He and I saw a lot of movies together, but it’s that one that always meant the most.

So with that I’ll say “Happy Birthday Dad! I miss you, we all miss you so much and hope you’re getting to spend some good time with your old pet dinosaur. Ha. Ha. Ha.”

I love you Dad, wherever you are up there…

I remember his old red 2-door Toyota Corolla and the specialness of sitting up front with him. Anytime I drove with him, even into my teens he’d throw his arm across my chest whenever he had to stop suddenly.

I remember gaining my love of aviation when my Dad would take me to Flying Tigers. I’d get to see all the big planes and the inside of the flight simulators. Most of all I remember everyone calling my Dad chief.

I remember him taking me to the movies and introducing me to what would become a passion of mine later on…STAR WARS. Thanks to my Dad I can say that I was one of the few who actually saw it in the movie theaters.

According to my father he would buy a TV Guide and it would disappear. He’d buy another one and it would disappear. So TV Guides were mysteriously disappearing and he had no idea where they went. It was only later when they were checking out the piano did they find out that I had been taking the TV Guides and stashing them inside the piano.

Or there’s the times I apparently had an affinity for cat food and he and my mom would have to keep me out of it.

He and my step-mom Cathy drove all the way from Arizona to LA to come see me in a play I was in. He was there with a big smile and a loving hug.

I am going to miss his e-mails

I am going to miss his phone calls and hearing his voice

I am going to miss his text messages.

I am going to miss his comments on Facebook.

I am going to miss his big hugs.

I am going to miss talking with him about movies.

I am going to miss watching Star Wars with him

Dad, wherever you are…I love you, I will miss you and am so lucky to have had you for my father. Don’t be a stranger okay?

Communication…It’s Not Overrated

3 weeks ago my Dad went into the hospital for a simple out-patient procedure to put a stent in one of his arteries.

As the doctors went in they found out that things were a little more intense than they had thought. It turns out there were 2 other arteries that were blocked. One at 89% and one at 98%.

This simple outpatient procedure turned into a triple bypass.

While overall I think the doctors and nurses were incredibly talented and wonderful the one thing that was incredibly frustrating for me and my family was the communication or lack thereof.

There either wasn’t enough, or it wasn’t correct, or the message radically changed multiple times over the course of a day.

I know many people say that you have to push for information in a hospital, but in that scenario we were all kind of in a mini state of shock, not knowing what to expect or what to do.

So what if…

  • We didn’t have to push for information from those that we deal with?
  • Communication flowed freely so people were kept in the loop on a reasonable basis?
  • We made a little more effort to just keep others up-to-date?

I think we’d have a lot less stressed folks during already tense situations. They’d feel more in control of their world, and their life. It’s amazing how even if someone has absolutely no control over a situation, knowing what’s going on can make them feel in control. Not knowing what is really going on can scare the crap out of people. The fear of the unknown or the uncertain can even be downright horrible and painful.

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My mind now wanders to my REALTOR® friends and what they need to communicate.

When people are buying or selling a home it’s perhaps THE LARGEST financial transaction that someone will go through.
Even though it’s a financial transaction it’s fraught with emotions that can go from high to low in the course of minutes.

Home buyers and sellers want to know what’s going on. They need to be kept informed on everything that is happening to maintain some sense of sanity. They want their agent to get back to them in a timely manner.

Their satisfaction with the agent in a transaction can often be largely based on the amount of communication they did or did not get.

Place yourself in the shoes of the buyers and sellers who really don’t understand how the transaction really works. Take off your REALTOR® cap and be the buyer….na na na na na na….be the seller…na na na na na na.

Communication doesn’t have to start with the listing agreement either. Start your communication by having a blog and teaching your readers about the transaction, and what they need to know. Teach them about the communities you sell homes in so they know why they should buy a home there. Teach them some common things to look out for in a home inspection.

Keep the communication channels open and prepare them for their lifestyle transplant by e-mail, phone and even social networking.

If it’s between the hours of 8am-7pm respond within an hour or less to e-mails and phone calls. Even if you don’t have any new information, give them a call to let them know you’re working on it and give them a time that you’ll get back to them. If there is no new news, contact them to say there’s no update and set a new time to get back to them.

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Be realistic about the time you give them. Don’t underestimate how long it may take.

In my many years in I.T. I would often tell people things would be back up or completed later than I really thought it would. When I finished earlier it made them feel really good about me, my tech skills and my services. In those scenarios where I had unexpected issues, it gave me some extra wiggle room and still allowed me to deliver on time.

Communication in the end isn’t that hard to do and you never know, the simple update you give someone could do a world of good.

It certainly would have made a very scary situation, a lot less scary, not just for us but for my Dad. Having all the right info on a timely basis could have helped my Dad get out sooner, because instead of worrying he could focus on healing.

My Dad’s heart is doing wonderful while his lungs are taking some time to come back after a lifetime of smoking. Overall though he’s good, and he finally got to go home on Friday afternoon. He can now rest and relax as he watches the Golf Channel. Before we know it he’ll be back at full strength and back out on the fairway.

Internet + TV = The Multitasking Household

As I was perusing the web I found a report from the fine folks at Nielsen Online and their findings on how consumers are simultaneously using the Internet while watching TV. According to their latest Three Screen Report…

“In the last quarter of 2009, simultaneous use of the Internet while watching TV reached three and a half hours a month, up 35% from the previous quarter. Nearly 60% of TV viewers now use the Internet once a month while also watching TV.”

So what does that matter to REALTORS®?

It means your clients and prospective clients are trying to do more than even while catching up on their favorite T.V. shows.

They’re checking in to see what their friends, family and co-workers are doing on Facebook.

They’re reading blogs to get the latest gossip, news or information.

They’re jumping onto Twitter to see what people are tweeting about.

They’re watching videos on YouTube to see what everyone is raving about…yes, while watching video on their T.V..

It means that YOU need to be on the internet and have your information in as many places as possible.

This way when they’re watching T.V, they can…

Read your blog with the latest news on the real estate market or info on the communities you serve.

See what you’re up to on Facebook and find out about some of your new listings and listings that have been sold.

Look at your Twitter page to see if you’ve shared anything interesting or entertaining.

View video home tours of your new listings on YouTube.

So you’re a REALTOR® that’s already online and you’re pushing out news and information through the various sites?

Keep up the good work, and keep working on making the content worth reading.

For those of you not online and making the most out of these social media and social networking sites, it’s time to start using them. If people question why you’re doing it, tell them about stats like the ones above.

Just wait until the iPad really hits…then I think you’ll see the stats go even higher.

If you’re interested in reading the full article, check it out HERE.

Twitter Growth Continues & Facebook Still #1

Nielsen Online reports that Twitter continues to see incredible growth up 1,444% over last year and people are spending more time on the site.

You can check out the article by clicking HERE and also see how Facebook has retained its #1 social networking spot for the 7th month in a row.

So…REALTORS® finally ready to learn about how to use these tools and go where the clients are?