Facebook and Birthday

Lesson learned today.. Need to figure out a way to hide my birthday on Facebook. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the greetings I get from my dear friends and family, but.. I just feel older!

BTW.. lesson to be learned here, if you change your birthday multiple times on Facebook to prevent identity theft, you will be blocked from changes on this. You will have to call Facebook support to get them to change it for you.. Oh Well.. such is life..

I think it’s so touching that so many of my friends and family even notice my birthday on their feeds!

Holidays in India

Dad is going to India next week after 7 years.. Last time I went.. I got terribly sick and this lasted for almost 6 months. Lesson to be learned here is NEVER EVER drink milk products in small restaurants!

Even as I love food, I know this time, I have to watch what I eat and be very careful.

I’ll be partaking in a real Indian wedding in Mumbai. Yes, Indian weddings are not just one day of celebrations, it’s a culmination of a week long celebration with hundreds and at time thousands of your friends/relatives!

I’ll be blogging while I’m there with unique perspective on what changes I’ve seen over the past 7 years. I’ll try to make it interesting.. I’m trying to figure out how to do video blogging, but am struggling right now.. As a techie, I should know how to do this, but am still struggling with the right venue for the video blog..

I was thinking of Facebook Live, but that’s just too “Public”.

Any suggestions?

 

I’m thankful for

As another holiday season approaches, I’m on annual staycation during Thanksgiving week and have had a chance to reflect on things. I know I ramble and I don’t necessarily stay on point on my postings, but today, as a I sit here listening to some great music on my Echo device, I am truly thankful for many things in my life

What am I thankful for today and every day of my life?

  • My Family – My kids and my brother. They are the ultimate barometer of me as a parent and as how I’ve influenced their lives. As they have grown up, they continue to showcase everyday their independence and their ability to persevere.
    • The last few years have been difficult for them, but yet both my girls have thrived and become the young ladies I always wanted them to be. Resourceful and successful each in their own rights.
    • Over the past few years, I’ve started to see life through their eyes not only as my children, but as young ladies growing up in today’s society. My girls are truly my pride and joy.
    • My brother has been my rock for the past few years. For many years, we didn’t get along, but over the past few years, we have healed our relationship and become not just true brothers, but really good friends. Over the past few years, he has gone out of his way to support me emotionally as I rode my roller coaster of emotions. Spending time with my brother and his family in Texas (yes it is hot in Texas!), I’ve managed to maintain my sanity, and at the same time realize that blood is always thicker than water.
  • My Life – My life over the past few years has been chaotic to say the least. Many don’t know that I’ve been working on version 2.0 of me. Why? Well when you don’t truly appreciate what you have and fight to keep it, you tend to lose it. Well that’s what happened to me.
    • Many don’t know that I become a divorced dad over 2 years ago. After almost 24 years of marriage, my married life ended. The cause for the disintegration of my marriage was multi-dimensional. I won’t go into it here. Yet let’s say, that relationships will either fail or succeed with communications and compromise. If you and your partner are not are not able  work together on both, you will end up a part of the divorce rate which now exceeds 50%!
  • Rebirth – Divorce is like death and rebirth of the individual. Even as you are going through the various stages of grief for the loss of a relationship, you are always walking forwards and looking for that light at the end of the tunnel where the sun will shine through once again.   Oh yes,  I  have spent the past two years plus in various stages of grief (anger is the one stage that is pervasive and a consistent formula in my daily life). I’ve learned to cope with my situation with various mechanisms for introspection and several parts humor (mostly sarcasm which is my forte).
  • My friends – I have very few friends, but the friends I do have have shown me over and over again what the meaning of true friendship is. These friends have now seen the best of times in my life and been and the worst of times.  There are only a handful of friends that can be honest with me and stand by me in my times of need. My friends helped me to keep my sanity when I felt totally isolated and didn’t know when it would stop raining and the sun would come out again for my life.
  • Tennis – Playing tennis has enabled me to re-direct my negative energy into a positive force on the courts. I found that the more negative emotions I had, I focused more on the game to be a better player and focus on the game as a “safe place” for me to be in my darkest hours. At times, I entered into a Zen state when went on the court and all the grief, anger and the overwhelming angst was left on the court. I actually became a better player over the past few years!

As 2016 draws to a close, I’ve turned the corner into a new sense of individuality and purpose. Perhaps its just that I’m getting older, but perhaps being retrospective allows me some gain some perspective on where I’ve been and where I’m going.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone.. Be sure to tell your loved ones, how grateful you are that they are in your life and be thankful for everything you have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pokemon Go – I’m addicted

Last week when the Pokemon Go game came out, I was determined not to be the last person on earth to start playing the game.. As you can guess, in the past, every craze that happens on the APP scene, I’m the last one to catch on.

At work during lunch my friends were discussing Pokemon Go and I decided then and there that I’m not letting this train out of the station without jumping on it. Oh boy was that an early warning sign that I should not have ignored.

I downloaded, created my avatar and went forth.. within a few days.. after finally figuring out that I needed to earn my Poke Balls by going to Poke Stops, I was fully immersed in the addiction.

Here are the signs of Pokemon Addiction that you need Poke-Therapy:

  • At first all you want to do is see the Pokemon in your world and take pics of them using your phone.. but suddenly that’s not good enough, you want to take pictures of them in their environment, because it’s easier to capture them there.
  • Taking pictures and capturing one or two will not do, you want to capture them all! How dare these Pokemon’s enter my world!
  • You start having a panic attack when you can’t go after any Pokemon’s because you don’t have any Pokemon balls.
  • You are constantly looking for Pokestops so you can reload with balls so you have enough when the Pokemon’s come at you.
  • You almost break your (“If it’s not free, I’m not gonna pay“)  mantra and ALMOST break out the credit card so you can have enough Poke balls to capture as many creatures as possible. I have not gotten to this point yet, but I feel that I will be there pretty soon.
  • You break out into a cold sweat when you realize you don’t have any Poke Balls and that you can’t get more till you go out into the REAL WORLD and find the pokestops.
  • You want to get to the next level desperately and all you are thinking about is those Pokemon creatures and how you are gonna get all of them. This is where the obsession really begins!
  • You start asking complete strangers (ahem teenagers that will look at you with disdain) where is the nearest pokestop so you can get your fix of 2 or 3 poke balls so you can continue your hunt.
  • The line between reality and virtual reality becomes blurred when all you see are Pokemon’s all around you! When you are in the real world and instead of doing normal walks, all you do is stare at your smart phone and say to yourself –> “How can I be that far away from the poke stop? I need more!”.
  • You start “googling” –> “pokemon Go hacks” so you can get yourself to the next level as quickly as possible.
  • You join a team for battle and then realize you have no idea what it is to do battle in a poke Gym.. when you get to level 5 and join a team..
  • You walk heads down and expect others to get out of your way, be they cars of be they any inanimate objects (cars, poles) You almost walk into a pole, because you can’t seem to find the poke stop even as you are right on top of it!
  • You start writing notes to yourself and adjusting your schedule so you have sufficient pokemon and me time so you can capture more Pokemon’s and go up another level!
  • You power up your app and start crying when you see all these pokemon’s around you and you see the dreaded “No Poke balls remain” indicator on your phone.
  • The temptation to stop your car and look for poke stops so you refill on pokeballs is so great, you break out into a cold sweat thinking about it.. Yeah that’s happened to me over the past few days.

There are plenty more signs and I anticipate that there will be a whole new legion of Poke-therapy sessions and support groups that will form for addicts like me. I’d like to hear from you on what lengths you have gone to feed your addiction.

This morning a friend of mine sent me a few links which I’m gonna share with you which exemplify this global addiction and the Pokemon Go Craze:

The most important thing for me right now is that I’m at  higher level than both of my daughter’s and I’m not sharing with them my tricks. There I said it!

Yes they would destroy me on a regular basis on Trivia Crack, but now I’m cracked using Pokemon Go and I have no intention of losing this battle!

No Pokemon were hurt in the writing of this blog posting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Father’s Day 2016

Yesterday, was one of the best Father’s day I ever had in many years.. I got to spend a whole day with my kids! Spending a day together with my girls is the best gift I can ever get from my girls.

The day got off to a rough start when I missed the train from Hazlet, NJ to NYC… but that’s what happens when you don’t anticipate traffic from point A to B. The day almost got cancelled before we got started, but of course it was my fault as my lack of planning can always cause unnecessary chaos.

Taking New Jersey Transit and Path to World Trade Center is pretty exhausting.. I still don’t understand why they have escalators that don’t work on weekends in Newark, NJ Penn station.  By the time we changed trains from NJ Transit to PATH.. I was huffing and puffing and sweating profusely.

If you are traveling from NJ to NYC.. you always know you are going to be on the move and be prepared to spend money every step of the way.. I was shocked that PATH was now $2.50 for a ride.. I can remember when it was $1! Yet when you think of the NYC subway’s costing $2.50, this PATH fare just seem to be over priced!

Tip of the Day: If you are in NYC, make sure your Metro Card is loaded! This same card can be used on NYC Subways and Path!

When we finally got to WTC, I was in absolute awe at the changes and the rebuilding that has happened and is ongoing. WTC continues to evolve but for me it brought back memories and sorrow. I used to commute to work through the original WTC in the late 1980’s. Yes I’m that old..

When you are in NYC, your attitude just automatically changes.. Once a New Yorker always a New Yorker.. I grew up in NYC, went to school in NYC and worked in NYC for many many years. Yet if you are not used to the hustle and bustle of NYC, you will get overwhelmed by the speed of NYC (from walking to running to subways).  I felt that I was walking in slow motion and everyone else was walking in high gear!

My girls took me to a great “bottomless” mimosa restaurant on 14th street. I forget the name of the restaurant.. but needless to say.. I left very happy (if you know what I’m trying to say here!).. When you have enough Mimosa’s your happiness level goes up exponentially!

highline2Highline1

I think the highlight of my Father’s day was walking from 14th street to 30th street on the High line.. This is an elevated walking platform where trains used to run and now is an elevated park that runs for about 5 miles!

The art, culture and the ability to enjoy the various art and neighborhoods that surround the High Line is truly amazing.

I bet you are asking yourself.. what was the best gift that I got? Well it was given to be my younger daughter.. She got me a Dad’s Taxi tag for my car.. This made my entire day.. So if you see a car with Dad’s taxi in the back window.. you will know that it’s me!

Dad's Taxi Yes simple things like this can really make me happy!

By the time we returned to NJ, I was exhausted and I needed a few hours of nap time to recover.. This is when I truly felt old! I used to commute to NY for work in the 80’s and 90’s! Now just one day trip wore me out..

Well I’d like to hear from my follower’s on how was your father’s day.. For me, yesterday was one of the best father’s day I ever had!

 

 

 

 

 

Have you been hacked?

I found this really great sight while I was reading one of the daily emails I get.

Check if you have an account that has been compromised in a data breach

Just key in your email address, the system will tell you whether you email has been pawned off. Unfortunately for me.. my email was pawned in 2015..

I’m always changing my passwords so I’m safe for now..

Enjoy!

 

2015 – Reflections

As 2015 I’m reflecting on the good-bad-and ugly of 2015. As I reflect and think of how 2015 has been to Dad, I’d like to hear from my followers on their list of good-bad-ugly of 2015.

Remember this is  a PG-13 site, so let’s keep it ahem at that level.

So share with Dad your list of 2015 good-bad-ugly!

I’ll start:

Good:

  •  I took my kids on a 10 day vacation to Vancouver, BC and a Disney Cruise of Alaska.
  • My tennis addiction has increased.

Bad:

  • Bad – Most of the year, my finances were good.

 

Ugly:

  • Working through the justice system to deal with issues related to the home..

Your Turn!

Scam Alert: Fix My PC

scamalertOver the past few weeks, I’ve gotten a few calls from a notorious scammer from 800.843.0000. (DO NOT CALL THIS NUMBER IT IS A SCAM)

Now this scammer thinks I’m going to go over to my computer and give him access so he can steal my financial information. I don’t think so!

When I ask him for more information, he just repeats the same thing over and over again (as do I!)

blah_blah

Sir, please go to your computer, so I can help you remove the virus from your computer“.

So I ask him: “Which computer?”, to which he replies.. “Your personal computer“..

So I tell him “I have multiple computers, which one?”..

he replies “the one you are in front of

I say: “But I’m on my phone and not in front of my computer

He says: “Sir this is deep support (no relation to deep throat I assume), and we have noticed that your computer has a virus and we would like to help you”.

I say: “which computer???”

We volley back and forth for a few minutes and finally I just hang up on the creep!

I’ve hung up on this guy a few times already.. but he just seems to love to call Dad’s Taxi and waste my time when I’m busy..

So next time, I’m going to have some fun and ask him to let me log into his computer so I can help him remove the virus on his machine? What do you think of that plan?

Since I have an evil streak: Next time they call me, I’ll tell the scammer  that I”ve been testing some nasty viruses on my machine and them calling me might have infected their computer via the SIP protocol (thank to my friend Mark W. for this one). Continue and harass them and reverse the call on them to ask if their computer has slowed down and they need to remove these nasty viruses simultaneously. otherwise their disk will crash!.. Won’t that be fun!

Ok.. so how do you defend yourself from these scammer’s and spammers?

  • Be alert.. No “Geek team” or “high tier support” will call you without proper knowledge.
  • Do not cooperate even if you think you do have malware or a virus on any of your computers.. If you have a Mac you are inherently protected.
  • Hang up.
  • List all your phone numbers  on the National Do Not Call Registry (Register All your numbers: Mobile/VOIP, etc..). You will have to provide an email address for verification purposes.
  • Follow the directions (You will have to certify your numbers with a valid email)

Just for jollies see how many others have been calling with the same numbers with the various variations on the scam by calling who is calling me via the directory of unlisted callers (NO this will not give you a virus or malware.. it’s a legitimate site!)

You will see that there are various spins on these scam calls. I particularly love the “IRS” one.. that is bound to work on the elderly.. or the ones that are gullible.

irscamNow excuse me as I just got a call  I need to get back to that guy who has issued a warrant for my arrest and is from the IRS. Because I really don’t want to get arrested by the Sheriff for being stupid and being scammed.. right?

Don’t get scammed! always be alert!

Apple Stores in China – Not!

I gotta say reading about the multiple  fake Apple stores in China was absolutely a riot! Even the employees didn’t know they didn’t know they were working for Apple. A few have closed but I’m sure there are a few that are still in business!

I truly wonder what will Steve Jobs do about these stores. I’m sure one will close and another will open..With the enormous popularity of the Apple line in China, it’s a catch-22 for Apple.. counterfeit stores versus immense revenue

What’s your take on this?

I saw this in Yahoo News and I’ve excerpted this exchange between an customer and a rep at one of the phony stores:

“Do you have a web camera for my Macbook?,” asked one customer.

“No, but our other store in Lujiazui should have it,” said the sales representative, referring to Apple’s genuine retail store in the heart of Shanghai’s financial district.

When approached, none of the staff claimed to work for Apple or that the store was an actual Apple Store. Customers appeared unfazed.

“I prefer to get my Apple products fixed here. It’s very troublesome going to the real Apple store in Lujiazui because not only do you have to pay to get repairs, but you have to make an appointment to see the sales specialist,” said Xavier, a 30-something expatriate who declined to give his last name.

“The prices are the same as the real store but the service is better here,” he added, before whipping out his two iPads to tinker with.

Tragedy in Brooklyn – 9 year old Boy Homicide Victim

This screengrab from MyFoxNY.com shows 9-year-old Leibby Kletzky, who was found dead in Brooklyn.

I was listening to the news this morning to a follow up to a story that has captured the headlines of the NY/NJ area. I was truly heartbroken when I heard of the outcome!

On Monday of this week, A Hasidic 9 year old boy was returning home from camp and he disappeared. This morning, the authorities  found the body parts of this child. What kind of animal would do this to an innocent 9 year old child.

This child was just walking 3 blocks to meet his mother. This is a true case for capital punishment. There were many videos of the boy walking but he just vanished after he was seen talking to a person in a sedan.

I’m sure many still have Casey Anthony’s trial fresh in their minds. I wonder what will happen to the animals that did this to child… From what I read, the 3 suspects that have been arrested are from the Hasidic Community. Of course this is just preliminary details, but horrific none the less.

My deepest condolences and prayers  go out to the family of this little boy.

What should be done to the “animals” that did this and I will continue to use this word because that is exactly what these individuals are that harm any child.

Dad..