All posts by Tony

Hello! I'm Tony. I'm a Husband, Father, Friend, Blogger, Country Radio DJ, and proud Dance Dad. Faith, Family, and Technology...this is what matters to me and it's what I write about here.

Forums: Learn, Help & Make Friends

Have a hobby?  Something that interests you?   Something you are passionate about?   Chances are there’s a forum out there for you.

Forums are online communities of like-minded individuals.  They are a place to  discuss and learn.   You don’t have to worry about your sex, race, economic status, or anything else.  The only thing that matters is your willingness to join in and your contributions to the conversion

I am a member of several forums.   Each one with their own distinct identity and rules.   Some I am more apt to hang back and just take in what others have to offer.   Others I am an active participant.   One even made me member of the month one time which eventually led to me helping to moderate it.

Through forum participation I have learned so much about one of my hobbies;  Android smart phones and tablets.  I’ve been able to use that knowledge to help others.

Probably the most important thing I have realized through forum participation is that people from every corner of the globe are all essentially the same.  When you strip away stereotypes and preconceived notions you can really get to know someone and appreciate what they have to offer.

I now consider a fun loving, airplane flying, race car driving Frenchman my friend.   I enjoy the pictures of orchids from a forum friend in Denmark.   I  share a love of coffee and exchange K-cup recommendations with a friend from the U.S. who met his wife in a forum.   I’m happy to say she’s a friend too.  I am amazed at the bravery and pictures a friend who climbs and works on cell towers for a living has shared.   I prayed for those affected by Hurricane Sandy after hearing firsthand accounts from forum friends.  I could go on and on about the people I’ve met and the things I have learned.

There’s an app available for both android and i devices that makes forums fun wherever you go.   It’s called Tapatalk.  It’s not hard to set up and I actually prefer to use it to interact with forums instead of using a PC.  You can find the Android version in Google Play and the iOS one in iTunes.

My advice would be to use Google to find a forum of a  topic that interests you.   Spend some time reading what others have posted.   If it seems like an informative and fun place to be, read up on the forum rules,  introduce yourself, and start participating.

Do you participate in online forums?

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Stop Wasting Your Commute


According to the U.S. Census Bureau the average commute time in America is 25.5 minutes. Mine is higher than that coming in at 40 minutes each way. That’s an hour and twenty minutes of my day spent sitting and accomplishing nothing more than listening to the radio or podcasts and making the occasional phone call. Sitting in traffic can be extremely boring, especially when you could be doing more productive things. One of my friends recently got that tired of sitting in traffic, he decided to purchase an electric scooter to get himself to and from work. He seems to love his new transport, he doesn’t have to wait in traffic and he can get some fresh air after sitting at his desk all day. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the e scooter commute method, perhaps I’ll have to do some research into it. An hour and twenty minutes every day is a lot of time that could be spent doing something beneficial and purposeful.

Tom Corely’s “20 Things The Rich Do Everyday” got me to rethink my commute. As part of the list Corely notes “63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% for poor people”. This simple statement got me thinking about how I could better use my commute.

I haven’t started listening to audiobooks yet but I have used the time to work on another of the habits that Corely shared: “80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this”.

My goal of creating this website and blog was realized after quietly thinking about it while commuting. Now I spend some of this daily time thinking about blog topics.

So, how can you stop wasting your commute? Turn off the radio. I know that might sound shocking coming from a guy who makes his living in the radio industry but seriously, turn off the radio for part of your commute.

We have become a society of content consumers (radio, television, internet, etc.) but are lacking in creating our own content or thoughts.

The first thing I’d suggest you do during your now quiet commute time is pray. Spend some time talking to God. Don’t worry about saying the words out loud and looking crazy to the person stopped next to you at the stop light. God knows what’s on your heart and mind. Simply collecting your thoughts and lifting them up to God silently is all you need to do.

Another thing to do with your quiet time is to form your own opinions on current events. We are bombarded with the opinions of other people (talk show hosts & talking heads) on a constant basis.

Many times we take those opinions on as our own without really giving them much thought as to how they relate to our lives and our faith.

My final suggestion would be to use the silence to reflect on your goals and how you can achieve them.

Don’t have any goals? Now would be a really good time to think about what you’d like to accomplish in the next week, month, and year.

I’m starting to rediscover just how much you can get done if you have a goal in mind. From my own experience I can tell you that spending a little quiet time each day where you can just let your mind wander is very calming. It’ll take your stress down a notch.

So go ahead. Try it. Turn off the radio for part of your commute. Just remember to turn it back on. I still have to support my family.

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This Season’s #1 Tech Gift

It’s getting close to Christmas and chances are you have a few people on your list that you’re just not sure about what to get them.  You might consider getting them what I consider to be 2013’s top tech gift.  It’s Chromecast from Google.


Chromecast connects to your wifi and allows you to “cast” or “stream” content from your smartphone or Chrome browser to your television.    It is a USB powered dongle that plugs into the HDMI input on your tv.  It comes with cords to plug it into the wall or a USB jack on your television to supply it with power.  Set up is a breeze.  Plug it in and a screen will pop up and walk you through the process which takes only a matter of minutes.  It might take you longer to find where you wrote down your wifi password than to set up Chromecast.


Once set up you can use a growing list of apps to send content to your television.  Currently, you can get content from Netflix, Pandora, Google Play Music, Google Movies, HBO Go, Hulu Plus and a few other sources with more to come.  It works with Android, iOS, and Windows so it more than likely supports all the devices and computers you already own.

We’ve had a Chromecast in our house for a couple of month’s and it has become a big hit.  I love it because it’s new, techie, and can play movies from the Chrome browser on our PC.  My kids like playing YouTube videos with it and my wife has used it to get caught up on TV shows by streaming them right from the show’s/network’s website.

Perhaps the biggest reason I think Chromecast is this season’s #1 tech gift is the price.  It’s only $35.  You can order it from Google or Amazon, or walk into any Best Buy, Wal-Mart, or Staples.

Do you have a Chromecast already?  What are your thoughts on it?  Do you agree that it’s this season’s #1 tech gift?

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