Ok, so PodCamp Pittsburgh is only a few days away and you need to figure out how many of the hundreds of iOS apps you absolutely must have to get the most out of your experience. Here is my list of must-have iPhone apps for a good PodCamp experience!
Facebook [free] – Well, duh!
Twitter [free] or Echofon Pro for Twitter [$4.99] – Twitter is good, but Echofon Pro let’s me choose which URL shortening service (bit.ly) and photo upload site (Flickr/TwitPic/Lockerz) to use. Twitter is a must for for after-class meetups! Make sure to tag your content with #pcpgh6
Bump [free] – Want to easily exchange contact information with the bump of a device? Available for both Android and iOS, Bump allows you to configure what information you want to send to someone as a virtual business card. Both people open the app and literally bump devices. I love this app!
Google+ [free] and LinkedIn [free] – If you’re into those sorts of things.
Reeder [$2.99] – Absolutely the best RSS reader. It also syncs with Google Reader–seamlessly.
Recorder [$0.99] – A good voice recorder if you want to capture any sessions. There may be better ones out there. This is just the one I have had forever. If I remember right, PodCamp is CC by-nc-sa.
Qrafter [free] – This is a great application to both read and create QR codes (that funny looking thing above).
And finally… well it looks like they don’t have it in the iTunes Store anymore. Since you’re in Pittsburgh, you HAVE to have a comprehensive guide to beer. You know, something that lists and rates beers. I need a suggestion for this one!
This weekend I refused to watch all of the September 11th stuff on TV. Even Suze Orman did a show on the financial ramifications of 9/11… OY! I can’t forget everything that happened that day and just don’t want to relive it. So, I decided to throw in the Blu-ray of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It is the ultimate campy movie, but about the third time through it, I picked up a great message. A song towards the end of the movie states a simple message, “don’t dream it, be it.”
Dreams don’t get us very far in live, do they? To often we have dreams of grandeur that simply remain as such. We don’t act on them. There are always excuses for not following our dreams. Sometimes you just have to say, “Screw it, I’m doing it. I don’t care about what others feel about it.” That was what my podcast was all about. I have forgotten that over time. It’s time to get back to fulfilling my dreams. Don’t just dream about being a popular podcaster, be one! Remember, everyone has their opinions, but you decide your success.
I guess the statement is so powerful because you just shouldn’t say that you are something. You have to be it. If you know a lot about social media, be a social media expert. You need to live the life of a social media expert. That is not easy. Unless you are willing to commit your entire life to that one thing, you will not “be it.” If you are not living that life, you will either stall or fail. You shouldn’t be afraid of failure as long as you learn from your failures. You certainly won’t earn money if you don’t “be it.”
I seem to be talking about myself… hmm… Actually, I have too many dreams to list here. Currently, I am not living any of those dreams. It’s time to pick one and life that life. I want to be something. I’m sick of just doing something to make money and just live to live. I want to live to love life.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user WandaWisdom (CC by-nc-sa). Check out here podcast.
I’m not into all of the September 11th remembrances. I choose to remember it in my own way–privately. This is the second of two essays I wrote soon after the towers fell. Enjoy… Jason.
Until today, I hadn’t really realized what an impact September 11, 2001 has had on the people of the United States, in particular, the lives of those who have lost loved ones. Television has been bringing us images from “ground zero” for nearly the last three weeks. The news report can’t come close to showing the emotional devastation of the whole series of events.
Today, at about half past noon while driving on Long Island, only 35 miles from the site of this horrific events of 9/11, I saw a funeral procession. Lately there have been more funerals in the area as people are coming to terms with the fact that their closest friends and family members are not coming home. Many people that live on Long Island commute to work in “The City,” either by train or car.
This funeral procession was unlike any that I have thus witnessed in my 21 years on this earth. Atop a shining red fire engine was displayed a coffin draped in the red, white, and blue of the flag of these United States of America. What a sense of pride, to die for the service of one’s country, to die while saving the countless lives of others.
Although his family is at what they will consider the lowest point of their lives, they must be proud. They will look back at the fireman’s death and realize how proud they are to have had someone die in the line of duty, for our country, in the worst single disaster on American soil. To die while saving the lives of others is the most honorable thing one could ever do. Not only do firefighters put their lives on the line, but they sometimes go beyond that line and actually lose their lives, just to save others.
The last few weeks have been an emotional strain on the entire country. We’ve seen a skyline destroyed along with the lives of 6,000+ individuals and their families. The families, like the skyline, will be rebuilt, but will never be the same. Wounds leave scars, as they should. A traumatic event is to be conquered, but at what cost?
More people will lose their lives in this uphill battle. Many more will pray that peace comes swiftly. It will come at a price. We have to stand together and support our leaders. One thing we must NOT forget is the people who have gone before the rest. Those people willingly gave their lives to save others.
The emotions that the passing of a coffin riding high atop a fire engine will be with me forever, etched in my mind as a reminder of the few and the brave that save our lives, every day that we live. I’m proud to know that people risk their lives for us because we are Americans. That one tie that binds us all together is our faith in America. Pride was on that fire engine today, looking at me, making me proud to be an American.
I’m not into all of the September 11th remembrances. I choose to remember it in my own way–privately. This is the first of two essays I wrote soon after the towers fell. Enjoy… Jason.
America is the land in which we live. It is the home of the free and the brave, the rich and the poor, the wise and the lame, the incarcerated and the hungry, the persecuted and the wicked, the old and the young. We must not forget all that we have and what we do not have. We have the freedom to walk down the street and to worship (or not) what gods or idols we choose. We don’t have snipers watching us at the grocery store and we don’t get strip searched at the airport. No one will take away our freedom.
This country as we know it was created by immigrants to escape religious persecution. We cannot deny that innocent people died in our colonization. Both white man and the dark skinned lost lives. Later our country gained its freedom at the hands of wealthy slave owners. More innocent lives were lost. Over the next two hundred years this nation would be ravished by war both on its home front and abroad. All of this to achieve what we would call “the path to peace and tranquility.”
Today, as a result of terrorist attacks, we are at war again. More than we care to admit lost their lives because we had a false sense of safety and security in our lives. War is not a thing of the past. Again and again it shows up to solve conflicts that can not be solved peacefully. This is due to the human spirit. People often do not want to accept the beliefs and practices of others. Some believe that feminists and homosexuals are incarnate of the devil and should be called to answer for their sins. For others, it’s the African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans that should suffer.
I am here to say that the only sin is that of harming, either physically or mentally, the well-being of another person. Whether to protect our beliefs or not, it is never right to harm another person or to put another in harm’s way. We don’t have to all agree that capitalism is the way of the civilized world, but killing many thousands of innocent people is not the way to prove one’s point. There are alternative ways to confront issues that do not involve violence. These must be considered first.
There comes a time when retaliation is a necessary evil. That time is now. We must all stand united, as Americans. Whether black or white, gay or straight, rich or homeless, fat or starving, strong or weak, Republican or Democrat, Christian or Jew. United we will stand against these cowards to overcome the acts of terrorism which have fallen upon us. This is the time to stand up and fight back.
Together we must come together to protect our God-given rights. Killing the human body is a simple task, but killing the human soul is not. I quote a song, “As the Grains of Wheat” by Marty Haugen: “… so may all your people to all the ends of earth be gathered into one in you.” That shall be our mission, to be united under one banner, the banner of the American people.
This banner doesn’t have to be a religious, spiritual, or ethical one, but needs to be a global banner. “…when all creation shares this feast with you.” Everyone believes in something. That thing can be money, one’s self, music, a god, a culture, or a cause. The “you” can help to unite us. If we believe in something enough, it can give us hope, tranquility, and a reason to live. As long as we are not guided to harming the innocent, what harm can come of worshipping Buddha, Jehovah, Jesus, or the sun.
Let us unite as Americans, the citizens of the United States of America. We may not worship the same God; that shall not put us apart. Instead, let it bind us together in victory. For we are all begotten of the same being, be it God, protozoa, or the man on the moon. Our faith is what gives us the strength to go on. And on we must go, forward in the light, into the darkness, to bring our songs of praise and sing our battle cry:
…god [that which gives us faith] bless America, our home sweet home…
“We shall overcome, we shall overcome.” We will overcome the death, destruction, and hatred to rally as one people “… under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.”
Yesterday, The Bilerico Project asked people to bombard House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office with requests to more forward on House Resolution 3017 (aka. HR 3017 or ENDA). This bill would effectively end workplace discrimination of gays and lesbians. Representative Barney Frank introduced the bill last year and has been introducing such legislation since 1994. The bill uses language to end workplace discrimination based on:
- Sexual Orientation – defined in the bill as “homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality.”
- Gender Identity – “means the gender-related identity, appearance, or mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, with or without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.”
The law, if enacted, would extend the federal guarantees that are afforded to people on the basis of race, religion, creed, sex, etc. It is time that these basic civil rights are afforded to LGBT individuals.
For too long we have complacent in thinking that we would be safe from being fired or offered a job because we are gay. In this day of LinkedIn, facebook, twitter, blogs, etc. we are making ourselves easy targets for employers or potential employers to discover our sexual orientation or gender identity. I equate this to displaying a rainbow flag tattoo on a visible spot on our bodies.
I for one am one to not hide who I am. But I do firewall my personal and work lives. LinkedIn and my gmail account are for work professional purposes only and everything else is personal. Just a simple Google search will find out that I am gay.
Why does this matter? Some people are afraid of gay people because they do not know us. Others are outwardly homophobic because they are protecting their true homosexuality. Still others are just racist and/or ignorant bastards. Did I mention that many also use their political party or religious affiliation to justify their homophobia?
Enough of that. There is one thing you must know about the bill. The least reported facts are what workplaces are included and excluded from following this potential law. This law would not pertain to uncompensated volunteers.
Organizations which must follow the law.
- Private companies with 15 or more employees.
- Federal and State governments.
- Some non-profit organizations (namely, labor organizations).
- Any company that must adhere to a certain parts of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
- Presidential appointees.
Organizations exempt from the law.
- Non-profit, 501(c)(3) religious institutions.
- Any “corporation, association, educational institution, or society” that is exempt under the religious discrimination provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
- Any of the Armed Forces such as the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard (due to “don’t ask, don’t tell”).
- Private clubs such as the Boy Scouts of America as decided by the Supreme Court.
The law provides several protections based on sexual orientation or sexual identity. Check out the law for a comprehensive list. In short, we need to pound Pelosi to have her get this resolution to the floor of the House for a vote. It is my understanding that there was a sit-in yesterday outside her offices. Good work ladies and gentlemen!
The proposed bill, HR 3017.
Thanks to Sue for pointing this out!
I was asked to create a blog post for today that deals with my thoughts or feelings on stopping discrimination at the state level. I wholeheartedly agree that the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is not meant to be a place to dump discriminatory legislation to ban same-sex marriage. The state’s Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote Tuesday on a piece of legislation that will further along the process of making Pennsylvania another state that bans same-sex marriage. Instead of “preaching to the choir,” I am going to tell you why we shouldn’t have equal rights. What is it that makes LGBT individuals different from breeders so we deserve to be treated differently? I’m here today to figure that out.
- While on dates, gay men split the bill. While I am told that men are expected to pick up the tab for their lady, gay men “go dutch.”
- We will never be able to be abstinent because we can’t get married. Unless one cares to be an 80 year old virgin or a Roman Catholic priest, abstinence only sex education does not apply to lesbians and gays.
- We don’t have “normal” sex. Well, duh! Gay men have sex with other gay men. What’s the problem with that? Please do not go on some biblical tirade. Sodomy is defined as a sexual act that cannot lead to conception, in the bible this is sometimes construed as “spilling one’s seed.” Technically, according to Genesis 38: 9-10, the Lord will put you to death for such a crime. Anyone who has ever participated in fellatio, cunnilingus, masturbation, mutual masturbation, frotage, heavy petting, anilingus, bestiality, dildo practice, or who has used a contraceptive device or medication shalt[sic] be put to death.
- We do not have the traditional male-female problems to deal with in a relationship. I got an “F” on a paper because I had difficulty in describing the gender-based struggles between straight husbands and wives. The gay men in the world would say this, “Women are from Mars, Men have Penis.”
- Some of us engender our own stereotypes. It is most certainly true that a large percentage of gay men love pop divas (Cher, Madonna, Liza, etc.) and show tunes while a large portion of straight men “adjust” themselves in public (ghastly). But did you know that a higher percentage of straight men are pedophiles than gay men? Stereotypes do not discriminate.
Where does that leave us? Well, numbers 1 and 4 above seem to be the only major differences between straights and gays. Numbers 2 and 3 can’t be included because nearly every one of us on this planet practices more than just the missionary position number before we’re married. Number 5 also can’t be used against us because both sides have their own stereotypes (the fey man versus the macho man).
Since when have people in the LGBT world been so deserving of discrimination in the workplace, at churches, in parks, in Vegas wedding chapels, and in the hearts of those who consider themselves “loving and caring”? Never. In fact, many of these loving and caring people who are so altruistic that they want to protect the influences of the fags from the little children are pushing this issue. Frankly, going dutch and not reading “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” is hardly a solid foundation to stand on.
Ignorance, racism, sexism, misogyny, intolerance, blind faith, misguided values, morals, hatred, and bigotry are what we face here. Please tell your state representative to vote to allow gay marriage. At a minimum ask them to bar a constitutional amendment from going forward. While this post has been a little tongue-in-cheek, I hope you see how similar gays and straights really are. This topic is usually approached from the viewpoint to showing our similarities, but I believe that it is easier to list our differences… which are few, indeed.
I will leave you with a list of the types of men who are allowed to be married in this country. Is it worse to let loving, caring LGBT individuals marry?
- The cheating man known for inseminating the country-side can be married.
- An abusive husband that beats his wife nightly can be married.
- A man on the “down low” who has unprotected sex with a male prostitute then spreads HIV to his wife can be married.
- The politician who has sex with men in an airport restroom can be married.
- A man serving several life sentences for raping then killing women can be married while in prison.
- The man facing deportation can get married.
- A female vocalist can get married while drunk and high in Vegas.
- A male-female couple that met over the Internet can get married, including mail order brides.
- A straight couple who fell in love can get married after knowing each other for only one day.
- A woman can marry a man and divorce him the next day just to take his money.
Paula and Norm Cable at Kelly's Wedding
When people hear the term stepmother they often add the word evil before it. Ever since the days of Snow White and Cinderella do we associate stepmothers with being wicked. My second stepmother was far from any of those stereotypes. She was the most caring and generous person you could want to know. Paula was part of my life for more 16 of my nearly 30 years and passed away this morning at the age of 66. She always trusted me and treated me as an equal and was totally accepting of my coming out and I think helped others along the path towards my acceptance. She understood that being gay is not a choice but a true personality trait.
Paula was a respiratory therapist at the local community hospital for decades. In total, she worked at Warren General Hospital (Warren, PA) for 34 and 1/2 years until her hereditary back pain condition got the better of her. She spent her life helping others in an altruistic manner, giving her patients quality care and helping them to preserve their dignity in times of peril. She was never one to shirk duty or responsibility.
Paula was not one to complain openly about the pain she experienced daily. She lived through it and provided for me a role model to follow when I developed my debilitating facial pain condition. Whether I knew it or not at the time, her sheer determination to not let the pain keep her down had an impact on me. Being fixated on a chronic pain condition will get you nowhere. Yes, you have to live with it, but also through it. It may just be a trait of those in her generation, I do not know.
There are several things I will remember most about Paula: her obsession with cleaning; her constant washing of laundry; her complaining about my dad not putting things away like his keys after work; her love of her cat and dogs; her constant worrying; and her calling my dad an asshole. There were happy and sad times but we always seemed to get through them. She doted on her cat, Honey, and their two dogs, Chi-Chi and Cloie. I will always be reminded by her insistence that Chi-Chi was her dog. Yes, they had his and hers dogs.
2 and 1/2 years ago, Paula contracted an rare form of kidney disease. It was basically an autoimmune disorder in which the kidneys are attacked by the white blood cells of the body. The body’s defense mechanisms killed her kidneys. Since this could not be stopped by the traditional means of immune system suppression, it led to her requiring dialysis. She survived those few precious years on paretoneal dialysis four times daily at home. I never heard her complain about the repetition of this vital task. That is part of who she was.
Paula and Norm Cable with Dogs 2003
Paula Darleen Phillips Rodgers Cable is survived by a daughter, granddaughter, aunt, husband (my father), and step-child (me). She was preceded in death by her first husband, George of 30 years, her mother, a son-in-law, and a half-brother. Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends. We are comforted, though, by the fact that she is no longer suffering and that she is now reunited with those in Heaven whom have passed before her.
I know that people like to send flowers, gift baskets, and such at the time of someone’s death. Please, save your money. If you want to do anything, I would suggest a small donation to the National Kidney Foundation [site] [CharityNavigator rating] or the American Kidney Fund [site] [CharityNavigator rating]. You can also leave your condolences via my contact form or via the toll-free number (if in the US or Canada) at 877-272-5848 ext. 1. I will share your responses with my family.
We can only hope that better forms of early diagnosis and treatment may be found for kidney disease. Dialysis and transplantation are, frankly, both grim realities. For my stepmom’s condition the only treatment was to give her massive doses of prednisone to shut down the immune system so that her it would stop attacking her kidneys. If there had only been a better treatment option and testing for her type of kidney disease…
We must put research money into finding cures for autoimmune conditions. Yes, better treatments are available for the money making diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, but not these lesser known types of illnesses such as chronic kidney disease and my trigeminal neuralgia. Stem cell therapy needs to be researched along with possibility of treating these problems with some of the newer drugs. The main problem with testing the “biologics” or any other types of drugs is that if they do not work, the patient ends up with zero kidney function.
Paula was a loving and caring individual. She constantly worried about the safety of others. She supported me in many ways while I was growing up. Paula is now at peace. She is with her maker in a place without back pain and without kidney disease and all its complications.
At Podcamp Pittsburgh 4, I just got to meet and speak with Joe Hoeffel who will be running for the governor’s office in Pennsylvania. He is running as a progressive Democratic candidate. I’m not sure what that totally means, but am interested in seeing where he stands on LGBT issues. An aide told me that his website will be up soon.
The aide says that he is pro- anti-discrimination and for LGBT rights, including gay marriage, although I would love to officially confirm that off-the-cuff statement. Due to the current leadership in the state, I questioned him more on state issues than LGBT issues. Our current governator [sic] is seemingly anti-mental health and pro- Philadelphia and LGBT rights.
The first thing I did was ask him if he would do more to promote PA to businesses. I especially am concerned with getting businesses to come back to small towns. I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania and would love to see more work on that front. People there need fair paying jobs. He actually knew of my hometown, Warren, which I found interesting. It is a great place to hunt, fish, boat, hike, and climb. It’s also the home of the Kinzua Dam and Reservoir which keeps Pittsburgh, among other places from flooding.
My next line of questioning had to do with state run mental health care. My mother worked at a state mental institution for 23 years, so I have become concerned with a few issues like the closing down of the state hospitals. This leaves many people who have serious issues out in the cold. When a state hospital closes, the patients get placed in group homes where they don’t receive quality care. They may also end up being taken care of by relatives who don’t want them and do not know how to treat them mentally or physically. If a patient doesn’t end up in a group home or family home, they will be on the street. Most of those people will end up in the prison system with terrible/no mental health care.
Mental heath care needs to be focused on patient care by trained professionals. Group homes are mostly hire affordable staff with a low ratio of registered nurses or doctors to patients. This leaves them with basically little to no quality care. I propose that we need a standard of care for the mentally ill people who are in group homes. He found that to be an interesting idea and hopes he takes it to heart.
BUT… politics being politics, at the end of the day getting votes is all about baby kissing!