Props to Gervis Menzies for sharing this photo from the University of Michigan of the hashtag #goblue written in the sky. Even though I’m a Syracuse fan for life, I can dig this.
Monthly Archives: September 2012
My presentation from iSummit 2012 on defining your social media hedgehog. In social media, analytics are useless without goals and objectives to tie them to. This lays out three questions anyone can use to begin thinking critically about their social media strategy. Here are the slides.
Looking for how to add a header photo to Twitter? Just update your app and follow these steps
Step 2 – choose edit header image
Note: I’m typing this on an iPhone. There may be errors in formatting, but I’m speaking at iSummit today and the OCCC only has $13 wifi access…forget that.
It’s funny when a long journey comes to an end. We realize the amount of opportunities that could be around every corner and are filled with the the satisfaction that comes along with “achieving.” I never thought I’d feel this way about becoming an American citizen and getting my little blue book A.K.A. American passport. But, that’s pretty much how I feel.
My good friend Nick had the idea to put this experience on digital paper. So that’s what I’m about to do.
In the next who-knows-how-many words I’ll recap the literal process I’ve gone through. I’ll quickly hit a few legal standings I proudly held, “Illegal Immigrant” included, and explain the steps I took to go from “resident” to “soon to be citizen.”
Let’s jump in. In the span of over 12 years my legal status has been upgraded, downgraded and manipulated from Tourist, to Illegal Alien, Refugee and Resident Alien. At this point I’m a few weeks away from having my citizenship interview and test. Side note, the citizenship test is like stepping back into into your middle and high school classrooms. I’ll share some sample questions in a bit.
As I worked my way through the Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors that is the legal system, I was given a social security number, work permit, various types of visas, a green card and endless amounts of letters from my friends over at the Department of Homeland Security. Nice people.
To make it happen, there were a lot – A LOT – of interviews and appointments to go to, and documents to fill. The amount of paperwork can be intimidating for most, myself included, but it’s much easier to work through than one would assume. Don’t think it can only be done with or through expensive lawyers – you can do a lot of the leg work yourself.
Now, I became a resident once my dad became a citizen – about 8 years after first hitting Sunny South Florida. Before I got my shiny “green card” I was under political asylum, meaning a refugee. Through this process I got my social security and work permit.
The paragraphs above are only my story. There are a million ways to ultimately become a citizen, sadly, all intricate, with very strict parameters and requiring a lot of time and dollars.
I digress. After becoming a resident, which means I have almost as many rights as a US citizen, I had to pay 5 consecutive years of taxes, spend at least 6 months of every one of those 5 years here in the States, and then I:
- Mailed in the application, copies of both sides of my “green card”, 2 “passport” photos I had taken at a CVS and a check for $680 ($595 filing fee + $85 biometrics service fee AKA getting my fingerprints taken).
- Received a letter from my homies at the Department of Homeland Security. It came within a month of them receiving my application packet, with a specific appointment date/time.
- Attended the appointment, where they took my picture and all my fingerprints. Since I checked out fine the nice lady at the desk gave me a Practice Workbook with the info on American history, government and English I’ll be tested on. I need to start studying.
- Received a letter with my next appointment, it’s a few weeks away. There I’ll be interviewed by an immigration officer and then be tested on the topics I just mentioned. Here are some sample multiple choice questions:
- Name one war fought by the United States?
- Who is the VP?
- What did Susan B. Antony do?
So, I’m at a point where the finish line is just a few feet away. After my interview/test I’ll receive another letter from my compadres requesting additional interviews or, hopefully, a scheduled date for me to come in and pledge allegiance to the United States of America.
I’ll let you guys know how it all pans out once it’s the “day of.” And then the other “day of.”
On September 11th 2001, I was at Durgee Jr. High School in Baldwinsville, NY. Around 9 or so I was sitting in Madame Mincolla’s French class next to Kara Carrino. We had just settled in and were taking out our verb sheets to practice French verbs. This was one of my favorite classes because Madame was a sweet older italian woman who made the class fun, and she was the type of teacher who always was “real” with us.
There was an announcement of a Code Blue, which is basically a generic emergency lockdown. She waited for the phone to ring, and immediately after picking up the phone you could tell something weird was happening. The whole class was looking around talking to each other wondering what was wrong, and she actually raised her voice and told us to quiet down so she could hear.
After she hung up, she came to the class and calmly said…the World Trade Center in New York City was bombed by terrorists…we’re all going to stay here a little longer before we move to the next class. (This was before we found out it was actually plane crashes, a little bit of panic on the telephone I assume)
Moving from class to class it was a conversation between the entire school about who had family, or what other connection were shared, and the fear that comes with that. I knew a few friends who had family in the building, and (obviously) an entire nation rallied around the cause and came together closer than we may have ever been.
Today, take a moment to remember. Never Forget.
For the guitar player on the go, there are a ton of possibilities for mobile amp simulation which I had the pleasure of writing up in this Mashable article. But you still need a way to get your sounds in the machine! IK Multimedia iRig Stomp is the first stompbox-style guitar and bass interface that fits right in with your existing pedalboard allowing you to connect your instrument to your iPhone/iPod touch/iPad and incorporate your mobile amps and effects into your live rig.
· Compact, durable yet lightweight, aluminum-cast enclosure integrates easily into any traditional pedalboard.
· Can be used inline with other effects pedals or directly connected to amplifiers or PA systems using regular ¼” guitar cables with no need for adapters.
· Large input gain knob provides precise adjustment of the signal for perfect guitar and bass levels.
· Active battery-powered output circuit improves headroom, especially when used with high-gain amplifiers in the AmpliTube app, reducing feedback and crosstalk when recording.
· The bypass switch allows engaging or bypassing the AmpliTube app chain of effects – like a traditional stompbox – for seamless integration into any existing rig.
· Ultra-compact form factor can be easily carried on the road.
· Features a 3.5mm/1/8” jack for silent practicing with headphones.
· Includes AmpliTube FREE app from the App Store® and can be used with any other guitar processing app that uses the iOS mini-jack including Garage Band®.
I had four guitarists come in and mess around with it and they all loved it. From the sturdy construction to the slick black box look this is a really fun piece of gear to have in the kit. Honestly, it runs only about $60 bucks too, so if you’re someone looking for a gift for the teen guitarist in your life this Christmas, it’s a way better choice than a PS3 game.
I’m giving away the iRig Stomp used in the video above to one lucky person. All you need to do is leave a comment below and let me know why you should win. If you’re a musician, leave a link to a track too and I’d love to listen to it.