Redbox – Text for Deals

Here’s a deal for the Redbox fans, you can get weekly/monthly free movies as well as half price rentals via codes sent to your smartphone. A quick moving deal that will expire this week!

If you use Redbox for your DVD movies:

 

  • From your SmartPhone text “DEALS” to 727272.

 

  • You will get a confirmation back with coupon and deals from Redbox

 

Don’t forget to download the REDFLIX app for your iPhone to get more Promo codes you can use!

The Perfect Storm Hits Home

Satellite photo of the Halloween Storm of 1991...
Satellite photo of the Halloween Storm of 1991, dubbed “The Perfect Storm”, an unnamed Hurricane. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the past few days, we have all been hearing of Hurricane Sandy hitting shore in on the Jersey Shore. Well guess who lives in the direct path of this landing zone. I do. I live about 5 miles from Sandy Hook and Seabright, NJ. Last year we got our dosage of an Earthquake and Hurricane (Irene) and this year (Mayan Calendar anyone?) we are getting the “Perfect Storm” Hurricane Sandy. I wonder if there is any correlation that both of these monster storms are named after in the female gender?

Hurricane Sandy has been called multiple names including “Frankenstorm” and “The Perfect Storm“. I sense that what we got last year with was just a taste of what an Hurricane can do.. Middletown, NJ  had many washed out roads and it took weeks to recover, including about 3 to 4 days of No Power!

As I write this posting, I can hear the winds starting to howl outside. I know that before the night is out, we will be losing power for a few days (at least). For the one’s that are not in the know, Leonardo, NJ, which is located in Middletown, NJ is notorious for power outages. The slightest sneeze from Mother Nature, we lose power.

Last year, My family and I bailed out and went to one of our relatives house in Somerset, NJ. Of course that wasn’t much help as my relatives also lost power during Irene. So this year, we stocked up and decided to ride this one out at home for as long as we can. We’ve been advised by our township via multiple calls and text messages to evacuate (optionally). So we decide to stay back and just ride out this memorable storm.. Let’s see how that goes.  I gotta hand it to Middletown township, they are on the ball with their notifications to their residents. I applaud the township for that!

So I’ve tied down as much as I can outside my house, so it doesn’t become a flying missile towards my house. Well almost everything, My summer furniture is still outside, and it’s covered. I hope that Sandy doesn’t lift that and toss the furniture into the pool.

What I remember about Irene last year was that when we returned to the Middletown area was that almost all the roads were eerily quiet and almost every major traffic light on the major highway’s in NJ State Highway 35 and NJ State Highway 36 were blinking.. and you could only make right turns on these roads. The police had blocked off crossing intersections so you go in a perfect square and never cross Highway 35 or Highway 36. Both of which go North South into and out of Middletown, NJ. Almost every store and restaurant (Even McDonald’s and Pizza Hut were shuttered shut).

From what I hear,  Hurricane Sandy will cause substantial more damage than Irene did. Well I guess, we shall see.

For the past 2 days,  there have been huge lines at gas stations and supermarkets have been packed. My wife was telling me that when she went shopping a the local Foodtown supermarket , she was scared to pull into the parking lot, as people were like driving like crazy in and out of the parking lot. It’s been like this everywhere in the surrounding neighborhoods of Middletown, NJ.

So here’s my choices for POA (Plan of Action) for the next few days::

  • If I don’t lose power (not likely), I can catch up on my Netflix shows and/or stay glued to the TV to watch the Sandy “special news bulletins” that are bound to be across all the local stations.
  • Go to Work .. Not a good move. Only bad things can happen If I do that, from both a logical or a parenting point of view
  • WFH – For those who don’t know that acronym, it’s commonly referred to when you Work From Home.
    • With this, I get the opportunity to annoy my wife and kids relentlessly. hmm..
  • Take my kids to Work.. Also not a good idea, as I know that they will get bored within an hour and just empty my wallet into the vending machines.
  • Do nothing, and just go with the flow and have fun at home.. Nah! that’s too easy..

Since I live only a few miles from Leonardo Beach, maybe, we can go there and watch the Waves crash ashore..Oh wait, that’s a bad idea too as NJ is in a state of Emergency..

So here we go friends, another year another hurricane! Time for me to get in a couple of episodes of “Sons Of Anarchy” on Netflix before I lose power!

9/11 – Never Forget

English: This is a view of one of the fountain...
English: This is a view of one of the fountains located within the site of the World Trade Center, which was destroyed on September 11, 2001. The two fountains, one for each fallen tower, are titled “Reflecting Absence” and were designed by architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit Ground Zero and the 9/11 memorial.  I have to admit, the absolute sadness that I felt when I was there, was overwhelming. This was the first time I actually visited the site where the twin towers stood and where there are two reflective pools with the names of those 3,000+ people that lost their lives on that fateful day.

I almost burst into tears when I saw the names of my former co-workers, friends and my boss who lost their lives on that fateful day.  These were people with whom I worked with for over 5 years. These were the people that I admired, respected and spoke to almost every day when I worked with them at Marsh when we used to work in Midtown, NYC.

To think that I would have been with them on that fateful day if not for my destiny, sent chills down my spine and shook me to my foundation. Sue Clyne was my boss during my last year at Marsh in the Mid 1980’s and she was truly a gem. She was the mother of triplets and one of the most outstanding and admirable boss I have ever had in my 25 years in IT. When I left Marsh & McLennan, I remember how happy she was for me as I had found a better career opportunity.

Larry Sumaya – He sat next to me in the next cube and his sense of humor was amazing. Only a thin cubicle wall separated us, and we had a day long conversation going on almost every day. He would joke at my lack of programming skills and I would joke at his carefree ways in life as well at work.

I knew at least 10 of the people that perished on that horrible day. Seeing these names at the memorial touched me deeply. I had to step back and sit in a quiet place for a few minutes and pray for these souls.

Tomorrow,  as we pay tribute to these heroes,  I promise to never forget and always remember this individuals  that lost their lives..

Here’s some background on the order of names that are listed at the memorial at Ground Zero

 

 

 

Natasha sings “My Immortal” with Evanescence!

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase
My dear friends, we need your support! Here’s a Mashup song “My Immortal” made today by my teenage daughter  Natasha (BharatBeat Idol) M with Evanescence. This is a Mashup contest on Facebook that Natasha has entered! Follow the link below and give her a big LIKE and a word of encouragement!!
http://www.facebook.com/Evanescence?sk=app_116272508446233&app_data=4549

As her proud Dad, please view the video on Facebook and vote for by giving a big thumbs up LIKE!

As you may know this 13 year old is quickly becoming a star in her community!

Dad

Black Monday – Possible of 300K of outages

I know everyone that reads Dads’ Taxi is very alert about Malware and virusus.

Tomorrow (Monday, July 9th) is when up to 300 thousand PC’s may go dark because of the “doomsday virus”. What does going dark mean? It mean you won’t be able to get on the Internet and update your Facebook status, or do ANYTHING on the internet.

Of course the media is hyping this possible situation to the max and trying to get everyone to be scared silly. Well on Dad’s taxi, we try to alleviate your concerns by providing you with links that were published on Yahoo that you can use to see whether your computer is/was infected. It takes 20 seconds of your time and any one of the links below will do the check for you.

The Taxi is providing these links as a courtesy to my legions of followers. Ok, the ten’s of follower’s I have!

Online security firms, Facebook and the FBI are offering free diagnostic checks for users whose computers may be infected. Here are links to several sites:

Malware check: http://dns-ok.us/

After you run the real time tester and you see the image below, your machine has been infected!

FBI: https://forms.fbi.gov/check-to-see-if-your-computer-is-using-rogue-DNS

DNS Changer Working Group: http://www.dcwg.org/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-security/notifying-dnschanger-victims/10150833689760766

McAfee: http://www.mcafee.com/dnscheck

Keep in mind, this malware was discovered and and baddies that originated this malware were arrested. The information was excerpted from the following Yahoo News Site:

  • The problem stems from malware known as DNS Changer, which was created by cybercriminals to redirect Internet traffic by hijacking the domain name systems of Web browsers.
  • The ring behind the DNS Changer virus, discovered in 2007, was shut down last year by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Estonian police and other law enforcement agencies.
  • Because the virus controlled so much Web traffic, authorities obtained a court order to allow the FBI to operate replacement servers which allow traffic to flow normally, even from infected computers.
  • But that order expires Monday, when experts say infected computers will face an “Internet doomsday.”

July 1, Start the second half of 2012, with new problems

I figured that the second half of 2012, would be better than the first half. I guess I was wrong. Yesterday, I spent all day at Great Adventure in Jackson NJ in the 100 degree temps with thousands of my closest friends. I took my daughter and her friend and of course everywhere I go, there will be something that happens to make the trip unique.

I failed in my job as the designated bag carrier and the follower of the girls

  1. Lost my girls when they got stuck on huge line using the “Flash  Pass”. I waited and waited for over an hour for them to return from the ride and when the didn’t return, I went to the other rides I “thought” they might be going to. Needless to say this was a very bad decision.
  2. My daughter’s BFF, lost her phone on the Superman ride, because we didn’t want to repeat #1. We’ll see if the park finds the phone when they sweep the grass where the phone fell.

At least nothing we do is without some adventure, especially when we are at Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ. These follies pale in comparison to my day today, the first day of the second half of 2012.. Read on  for my car follies of June 1!

The day started well with a few hours of tennis with my buddies, but the fun ended quickly with the car issues that I got involved with right after Tennis. So think, I’ve already been playing a few hours of tennis when everything below happens in real time.. So much fun, such little time, for Dad’s taxi of life.. Onward and forward.

Today, my older’s daughter’s car (Nissan Sentra) died on the NJ garden state parkway about 15 miles from her destination. Of course, I decided to go see what I could do.. Knowing full well that I have zero auto mechanic skills, I anticipated the worst and of course I got it.

When I got to mile marker 103 on her car was indeed stalled on the shoulder. I got in and of course, the car started. I knew then and there, this was way too easy, knowing my luck and how mechanical things when they are in my hands. My daughter took off in my car and I decided to drive her car home..

Of course within a few miles of me driving the car, the car died again and I was stranded on the side of the road with no place to go and my “check engine” light telling me the obvious. Normal people would have just waited for a parkway tow, but I wanted to press my luck, to see just how stupid I could be. Of course within a few minutes the car starts again and I take off headed towards home (Exit 114 – Middletown NJ) or as they refer to in the parkway towing lingo – mile marker 113.5 on the service road headed north bound.

After making it to mile marker 113.5 after an hour from mile marker 103.7, I was within eyesight of escape from the parkway.. I knew, my car wouldn’t make it to the exit, so I called parkway tow and AAA to tow my car from the side road after exiting my purgatory on the Garden State Parkway.

After an hour, Parkway tow shows up and this is where my luck goes from bad to worse. The tow truck driver pulls up ahead and he tells me, “he himself is out of gas and he can’t help me”. So now both of us are on the side of the road disabled.

Then I made a brilliant decision. I guess the heat finally got to me. I decided to cancel my tow and make a run for the exit (about 1/2 mile away) with my car which starts and can go a few  miles (if I’m lucky) at a time. Aren’t you waiting with bated breath  what happens next?

I think the Sun God was shining on me (literally) and I was make it through the one lane exit and make it to place where I could wait for the AAA tow.. When I got to my final resting spot, I felt like I had just won the battle of my car.. My wife and daughter came by with a half bottle of water so I could hydrate.. Yes a half bottle of water. Don’t ask.. I didn’t.

So the wonderful AAA driver comes and gives me the “free” tow to the service station with my disabled car..I anticipate that over the next few days, I’ll be spending quite a bit of money so my darling daughter can be mobile and be able to drive her friends all over NJ.

Here’s the lesson of the day that I learned..

  • Always have an emergency kit in every car. Jumper cables, flashlights and whatever else that you may need to self diagnose your car issues.
  • Don’t sit in your car when you are waiting for Parkway Tow on the NJ Garden state Parkway, Stand safely on the passenger side, so you enjoy the cars whizzing by you at high speeds.
  • The “Check Engine” light is there to tell you, you have a problem buddy, fix it..
  • If you have any older car, make sure you have AAA. the one time you need a tow, it will pay for itself.

By the time I got home, needless to say I was peeved. Yet I really didn’t know who I was peeved at. My daughter (for not knowing whether her check engine light was on before yesterd), My wife (for bringing me a half bottle of cold water, knowing how long I was out there in the heatwave),  or myself for letting all of the above get to me.

There is a silver lining.. I was home safely with the water that was not drinkable (oh, I didn’t tell you about the water main break in Monmouth county that continue to cause a water emergency in Monmouth County!).

I decided to make this day complete, the best thing I could do was take a nap and jump into my pool and be entertained by my other daughter, who just wanted to have some pool fun with her dad! Of course doing this wiped out all the events of the day that really made my day an experience to be shared on Dad’s Taxi!

Let’s see how much it costs to get my older daughter on the road, because as you know, she will never use the spare mini-van (which also has a check engine light on), That of course is not “cool dad”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer of 2012 -Here we go

So as we head into the summer of 2012, my wife and I have been working on plans for vacation (multiple revised agenda’s) and plans for the kids. Of course my soon to be Non-Teen makes her own plans so she’s no longer accounted for in our plans. Our newest teen is ready for her US Open tennis classes and her extra curricular “education” at Rutgers! Let’s not forget our planned trip to Dallas..

At work, I coordinated an Asian Cultural Show with huge cast of volunteers and performers. I have to admit, this was my accomplishment for the year.

Oops, forgot the US Open in Flushing Meadows.. And if we have time, we can actually enjoy the pool..

Mom has finalized her plans for her big “50” celebration which will of course be international (literally) this year. By this I mean, spending time with her sisters on a long deserved cruise in Europe.

What do I look forward to? Sitting quietly and floating in the pool and listening to the silence as I ignore all the tasks that  I haven’t done!

Last week, I was in NYC as a tourist with guests that I had and I have to admit that seeing NYC from a tourist perspective is much more enjoyable then showing the NY attitude that I’m famous for.

  • I visited the “happy place” in Grand Central Station, and almost plunked down $700 for an iPad 3.
  • For the first time I actually spent time in St. Patrick’s Cathedral to really soak in the beauty and the majestic environment of this church.  I could have stayed there for the whole day!
  • Went to my favorite Indian Fast Food place on 6th Avenue and 39th street – The Kati Roll Company. No trip is complete to NYC without having some Kati Rolls!
  • Walked up 5th avenue to Central park and after only going 1/10 of the way through the park decided that we had had enough!
  • Spent over an hour in Macy’s at Herald Square. You gotta check out Mickey D’s on the 7th floor.. what a deal, satisfying 2 cravings in one – Shopping an Junk food!

So as I think about how I’m not paying for all the plans that have been planned by my wife and kids over the next few months and  that I can’t afford, I think again… This is why I go to work every day!

Life, insanity and hiatus for Dad’s Taxi

ImageAs you can see from over the past month, Dad’s taxi has been on hiatus. Life as I know it has been high gear both at work and home and that’s added to my writers block. Ugh!

ImageAt work, in addition to my F/T job managing a testing team, I’m also the President of an employee resource group for Diversity. Basically full jobs are being done by one person with one salary..I actually find both roles challenging, but I find that my priorities are becoming more and more convoluted every day! More ugh! Of course the challenge is not in doing both roles, but in keeping my sanity in the process.

At home, my younger daughter has been performing at a talent show in Middle school as well as keeping all of us on our toes as she becomes more of a talented performer at a ripe old age of 13.

Add all of this to the fact that my writers block is ongoing, it ends up that Dad’s Taxi is in hiding and no new posts are being written. Oh things do happen in my life that are blog worthy, but if I really want to continue blogging this long term writer’s block has to end.

Indo US FlagOh I almost forgot, in the back of my mind is my other passion is falling to wayside. That of course is BharatBeat where I’m still trying to work with my co-founder to establish a niche both on Facebook and do a full redesign of our main site

Last week I was in Atlanta and I gotta tell you, it was just as chaotic for my business life, but I actually got a great blog posting idea that I’ll be putting up soon, it’s called “The Boot”!

On this Memorial day, I sit here and realize that either my life is evolving into more daily chaos both emotionally (let’s not even start with this issue) or I’m just starting to realize that my insanity is not just at work but it encompasses all of my life.

Of course I can continue to write about nothing, or I can open a new venue to define how truly unbalanced my work & life has become. This of course has tremendous risks associated with it as I’ve found out that many of my followers are both at home as well as work. Hmm, how do I deal with that?

This weekend was opening the pool and the un-official start of the summer season, with 3 months of fun in the sun and pool work. Yet I constantly ask myself the following question:

How would you answer this question?

“Am I having fun yet?” – Most of the time the answer is yes, but when start taking myself too seriously (as I do a lot these days), I truly wonder when the fun really begins.If not this I constantly say to my self with my inside voice “Stop this train, it’s time for me to get off!”

So for all my followers, tell me if you think I made any sense in this litany of nothingness and how I defined the hiatus that I see my self being in on an ongoing basis.. Don’t be shy, feel free to tell me what you think!

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Blog of Nothingness

Today my older daughter reminded me that I haven’t blogged in weeks and I realized that she was right. I guess instead of finding reasons to blog, I keep finding more reasons not to. I think that’s pretty pathetic, but it’s a lot easier to procrastinate that “I’ll do it it tomorrow”, then actually sitting in front of my laptop and putting my vast knowledge of nothingness into words..

I keep on searching high and low for topics to blog about but all I have flashing through my brain is flashes of nothingness.  Instead of flashes of inspiration, all I seem to get is flashes of the good life if only I could win the lottery! When the Mega Millions jackpot hit half a billion, all I could do was just imagining myself hiding for a few weeks when I win. Of course that was just wishful thinking, since the probability of winning itself one in a billion!

Just like an episode of “Seinfeld”, I spend hours and hours doing nothing (if watching Netflix can be considered nothing), that my daily decompression routine has gotten almost monotonous.

Has my life gotten so boring that the best part of my day is watching recorded episodes of The Big Bang Theory. One thing for sure I’ve become addicted to this show. I watch the same episodes over and over again and find the references to geeky things so amusing. The culture of my time (70’s and 80’s) and my addiction to comics and all the geeky things I did growing up, just keep flashing across the screen when I watch this show.

I have to admit, watching Sheldon, Penny, Raj, Howard and Leonard,  interact just gives me such pleasure, it’s starting to impact my nap time when I come home from work! I find that I’m searching the TV listings for more episodes for me to record.. Currently I found 2 episodes per day to record, but of course there are many more daily episondes! I think the true stars of this show are the characters of Sheldon, Penny and Raj.. Of course you can choose to disagree..

Now on to why I haven’t been blogging..

Reasons for NOT blogging on a regular basis:

  • I’ve been searching high and low for topics to blog about and keep searching. I can’t write about work, because we all know that employer’s troll the web looking for what their respective employees are writing about..
  • Being opinionated, doesn’t give me the right to constantly write about the  wife and kids, who could easily give me endless topics to write about.. I just don’t think it’s right to constantly write about my family who on a daily basis continue to amuse me..
  • Using the excuse “too busy to blog” can be useful, but we all know, Dad can always blog about something or another.
  • Just logging in to see how much SPAM is in your SPAM folder  is disturbing. Today’s count was 48..
  • Blogging takes too much effort, whereas I could just be sitting around doing nothing or thinking about doing nothing! This is a lot more enjoyable than paying bills and realizing how much deeper I get into debt every day.. depressing huh? Who wants to read about that? No-One…

I guess I can ramble on and on for a few more paragraphs of nothingness, but I think it’s time to watch another episode of.. drum roll please.. “The Big Bang Theory”.

I think that my next obsession will be watching “Lost” or “How I Met Your Mother” on Netflix! After all I’m only one season behind for

Here are some of the shows I’m hooked on courtesy of Netflix:

  • Weeds – Watched the first 6 Seasons
  • Being Human (US version) – Watched the first 13 Episodes
  • Rescue Me – Watched the first 7 seasons
  • Sons Of Anarchy – 3 Searsons
  • How I met Your Mother – Still on Season 1
  • Lost – Re-Watching from beginning

What are some of your favorites? Feel free to share..

Of course I could always write about my new found joy of gardening, or playing (More like Losing) to different people “words with friends” on my iPhone, or the other things I can do to waste time..

Dad..

 

Where I’ve been

It’g been a pretty crazy few weeks. Every time I decide I need to write a post, something comes up to distract me. Life continues to keep me in the fast lane, that even a seat belt wouldn’t have slowed me down. With doing double duty at work and spending time with the kids at home, I’ve wanted to put on the brakes to stop, but have not been able to do so! So here is a summary of where I’ve been over the past few weeks. Pictures to follow!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve attended multiple marrow drives for a friend nephew and went to NYC this weekend for St. Patrick’s day Parade and festivities. My first parade in NYC! Gotta admit this was truly the highlight of this year for me.

We must have walked over 5 miles in NYC! You know when you are getting old when a 5 mile walk stays with you for days. Oops, forgot the few hours of tennis.. I could remember the ancient days when I could do this and be ready to go at it the next day.. oh well such is life..

Have you ever been to Georgetown Cupcakes and Chelsea Piers! Gotta admit, eating cupcakes and hitting Golf balls was never this fun! Walking in NYC and seeing the throngs of people is just uplifting and shows what life is and how fast it moves.. Just look around if you are in NYC!

We of course went to the happiest place on Earth (of course it’s the Apple store anywhere, but this one is in historic Grand Central Station!), is such a treat! Of course this place is not so happy when your iPhone gets smashed and you have to shell out money to replace it the next day.. that’s what happened to my daughter.. oh well, such is life..

I have to admit that the Marrow drives were the most rewarding! It’s the first time I felt that I gave back to the community and am now thinking of other ways I can do more of this. If you ever want to save a life, this is one great way to do it. If you are between the age of 21 – 61 this is an excellent opportunity!

It’s been a pretty hectic few weeks and I could write pages and pages on each of the activities above as everyone know’s Dad is never one to be word shy…

Spring starts on Tuesday Morning at 1:41 AM… Ready for it?