Stuff That Makes Me Cry

2012-01-26 17.37.26Since having children, I have found that I am a much more emotional person. Prior to being a parent, I can’t remember the last time I cried or got very emotional about anything besides my wedding day (happiest day of my life btw). When stuff happens to your kids, it is a different kind of pain. The world puts a lot of hurt on each of us but when something is hard on your child, it is a different kind of pain that is hard to describe to people. If you have kids, hopefully you understand what I mean.

I came across this video on Youtube today which literally brought me to tears.

It has been a while since I have felt this way. The reason this video got to me was because of how much I was able to relate to it for a short period of my life. When my son Liam broke his leg at around 20 months old, 2 weeks before my wife gave birth to our second child, my whole world stopped. After his femur failed to set, all I could think about was that my little guy might not be able to walk normal and I assumed running would be something he could achieve after much therapy. Thankfully everything went well and though he had to learn how to walk again after the cast, he shows very little signs of ever having any issues. He outruns kids that are older than him. Nothing holds him back.

There were moments when I thought to myself, what if he lost his leg? What if it heals back wrong and he can’t run. There are many things you allow yourself to think and worry about. I am sure most of my issues with acid reflux come from the stress I allowed to affect me during that time.

2012-01-28 19.44.59I wish that this video had been around when I was going through that time. That time when my son came out of surgery in a hip spica cast and I died a little inside because I felt that I had failed to protect my son. A video like this would have brought me some hope during a time that I let fear of the unknown get the best of me. I bottled it up so that nobody else would see how afraid I was, but I had never been more scared in my life.

2012-02-08-14.28.25Nico’s Story is a marketing piece by Powerade and I know it will be a tearjerker for most, but for me it was more than that, because for a while there, I could relate. Thankfully my son was healed and does not seem to show any signs of issues from the break. It’s one of those things you just have to hand to God and trust that everything will go well. You ask as many questions as you can to the Doctors and do your research, but you trust that God has it all under control. When all you have is a horrible looking x-ray, all you can do is trust. Since he had his cast removed, he has not had another x-ray. Pictures help us understand, even if it’s an x-ray of your childs leg that looks like a snapped toothpick. I still find myself analyzing his leg as he walks or runs. Until he is an adult and is done growing, I will always worry about his leg.

Since becoming a parent, I have watched other parents lose a child to illness or tragedy. I thank God often for the healing my son has experienced knowing that none of us are promised a tomorrow.

After watching this video, I thought about posting it to Facebook, however it has been 2 years since my son broke his leg, so I thought this post would add some context. Thanks for reading/understanding.

Parents, hug your kids. Tell them you love them. Don’t allow anything to take priority over your family.

2012-02-23 20.57.31

This photo was taken the day we got home from the hospital with second child.

How to disable STB on a Samsung Smart TV

I have a Samsung Smart TV in my office. When I setup the TV initially I selected Comcast for Set Top Box (STB) because we have Comcast TV service. I should have skipped that because we don’t use it. I put an Apple TV in the HDMI 1 port and now every time I turn the TV on I get a window that pops up that says it could not connect to STB. I select Ok and then the message goes away. This is annoying to have to do every time you turn the TV on. For the life of me, I could not figure out how to get rid of that message until today, so I thought I would share that with you in case you are having the same issue. Essentially what the TV is doing is looking for the STB that you selected. Since you do not have it attached to HDMI 1, you get that error message.

Here is how you disable STB on a Samsung Smart TV.

  • Hit the Menu button on your TV remote. I used the original remote that came with my TV.
  • Then use the down arrow to get to System.
  • Use the right arrow to select System.
  • Use the down arrow and select Device Manager.
  • Select the Universal Remote Setup option.
  • There should be two options available, one of those options is probably your cable provider. On my TV, it said Comcast. For you, it could say Charter Communications, DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T U-verse depending on the service you selected when you originally set up your TV.
  • Select the Cable Provider Set Top Box (STB) option.
  • Select Delete (This will remove this STB from your TV)

Now your TV is STB free.

What to do when someone is impersonating as you online

cat-impersonatorYesterday, a friend of mine found out that someone had created fake social media accounts using photos of her family which includes photos of her and her husband and her kids. This person seems to be trying to create her own identity based on the photos she has downloaded from my friends blog and public social media accounts. Though this is scary when you find out it has happened to you, social media fraud actually happens all of the time.

The internet is full of sociopaths. Because you can hide behind computers and smartphones, you can create whatever identity you want. All you need is photos. You can get photos from anywhere, because we all share them publicly. Even though all of the major social media websites have privacy settings which allow you protect who can view your content and who can not, people still seem to leave it wide open.

The problem with social media is that we want everybody to see what we are up to. If we block too many people, nobody will see us. Because we want to be seen or heard, we leave things wide open, or close to it.

Here are some things to think about and do when someone is impersonating as you online:

1. This happens to many people who post stuff online. People with nothing but time on their hands do stuff like this to be able to craft a life they wish they had. This means you are doing something right because you apparently are reflecting a life that people would want to mirror. It is what happens when you post a lot of content including photos, names and other information to the “open web.”

The only way to avoid this would be to stop posting your content in the public arena. If you blog, it’s highly likely that your content is open to the public. Be prepared to be scrutinized by the internet which includes the full gamut of people in our world.

2. When you come across profiles or sites that appear to be impersonating as you, you should flag everything you come across and report it to the websites that it is posted on. This most frequently happens on social media sites so this is actually easy. Just flag everything and eventually the fake accounts will be closed. Get your real friends to flag the photos and profiles as well. The more reporting that happens the better. Make sure you encourage your friends not to bully the person. You can to remain the victim here. You or your friends could end up causing more of a scene then the one impersonating you did.

For the time being, I would also suggest that you go private with all of your social media until the situation is cleared up. You can also harness the power of your social network of friends to go after this person. You can tag, reply, comment and do all sorts of things with that person’s username to make it hard for them to exist using it without a trail of content following these accounts that describes them as fake.

3. Are you in imminent danger or this impersonator? Most likely not. It is probably some bored person who wishes they had what you have. The “hot chicks” of the internet who post selfies all day long have this issue quite often. People create fake personas using their photos so they could be looked up to by others. It’s like the movie, “Can’t buy me love,” but without the payment and the fake relationship. Thousands of people deal with this each day. All you can do is flag the accounts and contact the social media sites using the appropriate methods outlined in their Terms of Service. As long as people continue to crave attention and affection from others, this will continue to be a problem for those who choose to post publicly about themselves and their life.

It’s time consuming and annoying, but it’s what happens when you post publicly to the web. To prevent this, you could simply post privately and only allow your friends to see it but then you would lose the ability to help people you don’t know with your words. There is a trade off.

Alternatively, you could choose to post your text content publically and share your photos privately. Facebook and Google+ allow you to decide who sees your content on a post by post basis. Twitter and Instagram take an all or nothing approach by giving you one option to make your content private. People can either see your content if you approve them, or they are blocked from seeing your content in it’s entirety.

4. You can also contact the person at the profiles and let them know that a police report has been filed and they are looking into tracking the IP address that has been posting this content. That should be enough to scare them into deleting the accounts themselves. Actually contacting the authorities might not do anything at all unless there was an imminent threat. Sure this is lying to them, but it could scare them enough to close the account and move on to the next person. Chances are that this is not the first time they have done this. You would be surprised how many false identities people have gone through.

Post to your blog and other “public” places online that you have filed a report and an investigation is going into tracking the following accounts, list usernames and even link to the accounts, and then mention that they will be running an IP Tracer on the uploaded content. Social networks know which IP address was used to post content and Internet Service Providers (ISP) know which customer of theirs was actually using that IP. Though it is near impossible to actually do an IP Trace without the appropriate access and warrants and what have you, it could be enough to scare the impersonator.

Look through the friends or followers that these fake accounts have. See if there are any weird trends that look like there might be other fake accounts using photos and posts from other people. Look at the friends of those accounts and see if there are any “normal” looking profiles who seem to be friends of all of these people. Perhaps you can pinpoint who is behind all of this. However, this will be hard to do and may even be a waste of your time.

I have had run-ins with impersonation online. My company DailyAppShow.Com was copied to the point where all text content, photos and videos were copied over to a new website. I had clients contacting me asking if we make a copy of our website. I have been blogging and posting content online since 1995 and I have had to flag some accounts here and there. It comes with being part of the internet.

Lastly: Don’t lose any sleep over this. Sure it may be hard to clean up but it’s not the end of the world. I highly doubt you or anyone included in this impersonation are at any risk. The internet is full of people with antisocial personality disorders.

People will also jump to conclusions because they most likely have not heard of this happening to someone they know before. I saw someone post on my friends Facebook page that it is most likely a child predator and the post made it sound like my friend should lock up her children and prepare for the Lifetime channel to do a movie about what is happening to her family. This is not the case. Though you should take extra precaution just in case, it is most likely just someone online trying to be someone they are not. Allowing this impersonator to upset you is allowing them to win. They are probably not doing this to hurt you directly, they just want to be someone they are not. Like I said, this happens all day every day on the internet.

Here are some links to help you with reporting impersonation violations:

Have you had an experience with having some form of your identity impersonated online?

Six years ago I started a blog which turned into a top podcast

Daily App Show LogoI was an early adopter of the iPhone. I bought the first iPhone that Apple (AAPL: NASDAQ) made. I didn’t buy it on launch day, but I bought it a few weeks later. When Apple announced that it would allow developers to create apps that would run on their iPhone I was pretty excited. I knew that would open a lot of doors to bring technology to our hands and ultimately anywhere we go. When Apple announced that those apps would be sold in the same marketplace that music was being sold (iTunes), I knew that it would quickly become impossible to find good apps. Fast forward to today (2014) and I can say that was a spot on prediction. I am sure I tweeted about it at one point back then.

Daily App Show is a website and podcast that I started in early 2008 to help my friends find good apps. You had to download an app in order to try it. There was no other way to see what an app would do and to this day, unless you go to Youtube or the developers website, you still can’t. My plan was to review apps and put the videos up on Youtube for everybody to see. People could watch my videos on the app and hopefully that would help them decide if an app was worth their time. These days people will download an app even if it is $0.99 and try it. Back when the App Store launched, nobody wanted to risk it and a lot of people said that they doubt people would spend money on phone apps. So wrong they were!

DailyAppShow - Podcast - iTunes What's HotI started the website under the name, “The iPhone App Podcast.” The name has changed since then to Daily App Show. At that time, I did one video per day, hence the name. Now we post videos on several apps per day, tutorial videos, news, press releases and more. Daily App Show quickly became a source of revenue for me as I found ways for developers to get more exposure for their apps. As our audience grew, I continued to find new ways to get exposure for the videos we were creating. At one point, we were the #1 video podcast in two different technology categories in iTunes Podcasts. The technology categories are the most saturated podcast categories. Today, two of our podcast feeds hold a steady space in the What’s Hot section in iTunes.

Today, there are many websites doing what we do. There are even more Youtube channels. My goal with Daily App Show is still the same, “Create quality content that increases awareness for app developers.” Daily App Show has been able to achieve some pretty decent numbers. Here are just a few:

  • Youtube Channel: 8.1+ Million Channel Views, 11,300 Subscribers
  • Blip.TV Channel: 14.5+ Million Channel Views
  • AOL-ON Channel: 8.5+ Million Channel Views
  • iTunes Podcasts: 36+ Million Video Views

Daily App Show makes money but we put a lot of that money back into increasing exposure for the content we create. The DailyAppShow.Com website helps over 80,000 people each day find apps, learn how to use their device or answer a question they may have. We achieved this kind of traffic through content marketing. We have been creating content that people actually want since we started in 2008. That is the goal and will continue to be the goal of the site.

I am writing this just to showcase one of the projects that I started years ago that still to this day is performing well for me. I have set off to build many things, Daily App Show is one of those things that ended up working out. When you start something that helps people, and you do it well, it will grow. This “project” started out in the spare bedroom of my house and grew into something that helped me fund other projects and provide a comfortable life for my family.

If you are thinking about starting something, the best time to do it is now. If I had waited a few years to start this website, it would have been hard for it to grow. Since I started before anybody else was doing app reviews, I had a leg up on the competition.

Even with Daily App Show there has been a lot of trial and error. Trying to grow an audience and reach more people is hard. I have tried many things including a 24/7 live stream of our video content, which turned out to be a horrible idea. The key is to try things and measure their effect. Know when to kill the idea and move on to the next thing. Failing is ok; there is wisdom in it. Knowing when to kill something and move on is maturity, which takes time to achieve. Through all of my trials and errors I have learned a lot and that translates into knowledge I use to help consult other businesses.

In the coming months I will be releasing some free online courses that will help people start their online projects. I have been very passionate about this for a long time and have wanted to create some content for people who want to do what I did with Daily App Show.

Make sure to check back here or sign up for my infrequent newsletter.

Father & 7 Year Old Daughter Start Metal Band

This is awesome. I hope to do fun things with my kids like this. This guy, who is obviously a musician with a love for metal put a fun song called “I want pancakes” up on SoundCloud that he created with his 7 year old daughter. The lyrics are fun and the music is… well it’s brutal!

Here is what I like about this: A father is spending quality time building something with his child. She is learning about music, production, marketing and having an audience. What cool stuff to grow up already having exposure to. Right on Dad!

I love the Genre the music is listed under: Adorable Grindcore

“I want pancakes” Lyrics
I want pancakes
I want hot chocolate
I want cereal
I think that’s all I want
I want window
I want macaroni
I want pizza
Give them to me right now
There is a witch
I want to play a game, right now
I will never eat again but you will give me the ipod, I want to play a game
Ok I will play the game
No way, you are grounded
No I aint
Yes you are
hahaha
Quit your laughing
I don’t care, I will do what I want
No you won’t, if you do, you’re grounded forever.

You can purchase their album on Bandcamp: http://theironcouncil.bandcamp.com/album/werewolf
Check them out on Facebook. SockWeb

Your Kids Become You

I find myself in discussions with so many people about parenting these days. Though I have only been a parent for a little over 3.5 years, I now have three kids and feel that I am somewhat knowledgeable on the subject. Though I have not experienced the full range of joys, emotions and hardships that come with parenting, I do know that my children will show many of the same characteristics that they see me express throughout their time under my care.

I came across this video a while back when it came out and it brought me to tears. I watched it again just a moment ago and it once again put tears in my eyes. I know that my kids will pick up some bad habits from me but what really makes me sad is that there are a lot of people out there that are raising kids just as messed up as they are. I am going to be honest and say that each and every one of us is messed up in one way or another. We all have bad habits and stuff that makes us imperfect. What hurts is when I see people act horribly to other people in front of their children. Youtube is full of videos of it happening and I see it just about every time I drive through my town or go anywhere there might be many people in one place. It breaks my heart.

I don’t know of one parent personally that does not want more for their child than they had growing up. This is why I have a hard time understanding why some people are so bad in front of their own children. They don’t seem to understand that their child is a sponge and will soak up as much as possible from their parent, the one who is suppose to love and care for them the most. Though this video is a bit more dramatic than you see in real life it paints a picture of what many kids will grow up to become.

My parents were not perfect. I realize that I carry some of their bad habits. I also have many of their good qualities as well. I was raised to listen to and respect people and because of this, and a lot of God’s grace, I have been around some great people in my life. I have also made a lot of bad decisions as well. Nobody is perfect and I am not saying that I or anybody else will ever achieve this “perfection” that books try to teach us or parenting blogs try to showcase. What we do need to try to do, is try. I don’t think that people try very hard these days. We live in a selfish society. We want what “we” want. People just get in the way and our kids definitely get in the way of us getting what we feel we deserve. That is the mentality of many. It’s not my mentality, though I am not going to lie and say I have not considered what I could be doing rather than dealing with three screaming kids. I made a choice.

I made a choice to love my children. I made a choice to raise them to the best of my ability. Even when I feel like I don’t have anything to give, I know that they need me and I need to find something to offer them. I can not leave their upbringing to anyone other than myself and my family. I must surround my children with the influences I want them to have so they can learn what it means to be a trustworthy person and have integrity. Today the world believes that it is the responsibility of the school system and other caretakers to raise our children. We put kids in daycare for 12 hours each day because we “need” to work. We live in a world where we have to work. This is wrong, but for many, there is no other choice. The result, is broken kids who don’t know who they belong to.

My kids will grow up knowing they belong to me and that their number one source of earthly love will come from their Mother and I. I will curb my anger, frustrations or bad habits so that they have the best chance of becoming better than I. I will show them what it means to be loved each day so that they too can love others. When I get mad, I will show compassion and hold back immediate judgement so that they will do the same to people. I will teach them to value, so that they do not value money and things over people and experiences.

It’s going to be hard, but it’s worth it. If we are not being an example to our children who will? I would rather my kids have nothing but love and a roof over their head than tons of toys but no parent at home.

I can go on forever about this but I will digress and just say this…

I have messed up many things in my life but I won’t mess up my kids.