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August 28, 2006

Life Is Too Short

This past weekend I had the pleasant experience of experiencing life, and the harsh realities of knowing that with life comes death.

This past Friday came the birth of a new child for my good friend Heath and his wife Becci. Their first child, Becci and Heath were ecstatic with the arrival of baby Emma, as she was showered with much love and attention from family and friends who came to catch a glimpse of her tiny smile.

In talking with Heath, he was exhausted and drained at the same time, undergoing the labor process with Becci. In talking about Emma, he shared his emotions and love for her that only a parent can show towards their child. We discussed the future, and as how most protective dad’s are with their daughters, Heath joked around about how Emma was not to date until she was 30 years old, and would have all potential dates screened until the point of being scared to death. He discussed college, and other things he and his wife had planned for her. Most importantly, we discussed health, as Emma was a beautiful healthy bouncing little girl, so vivacious and full of life.

On Saturday, came the uneventful day where I had the chance to witness death. While at home, a firetruck pulled up to my block and hurried into my neighbor’s house where her daughter who had recently graduated high school was directing them upstairs. Moments later came the arrival of a Medical Examiners truck, which usually points to some tragic event. It was tough to watch the events transpire as other family members had arrived, and to see the son of my neighbor out on the front lawn being consoled as he stood on the lawn crying while on the telephone.

You couldn’t help but feel for this family, and pray for them during this rough time in their life. After awhile, a gurney rolled out of the house with what was obviously a deceased member before being loaded on to the Medical Examiner’s truck then driven away.

It was certainly a weekend of two separate families experiencing different emotions in regards to life and death.

It also brought about a time to reflect and think about my own life, with all my future hopes and accomplishments, thoughts of family, friends, and other loved ones.

If anything can be learned from this weekend, it’s to continue to follow your dreams, and never forget about those around you who you care about. Never be afraid to let them know how you feel. Most importantly, live your life without any regrets and when that time comes when your end is near, you’ll know that you’ve lived your life as it was meant to be.

August 24, 2006

Community Blogs

I’m ready to open up the X10 Community Blogs to people willing to test it and provide feedback. I am especially looking for people who have experience with the Live Journal format or something similar. If you are interested, leave a comment on this blog post and let me know by Friday so I can provide you with the link to access the Community Blogs.

August 23, 2006

Let’s talk fishing!

Reading Owen’s blog post from yesterday regarding his recent fishing excursion brings back so many memories similar to fishing trips I’ve taken in the past… I guess every “fisherman” has great stories to tell, and usually, most of them don’t involve catching anything edible, or much less alive!

Last year my cousin Dale and good friend John decided to take John’s boat out for a day of catching trout on the lake. John was a very avid fisherman, as for Dale and I, let’s just say that we try… Most of Dale and my fishing trips usually end up in disaster one way or another, and usually require a first aid kit or a visit to the hospital… In fact, Dale and I are so confident in our inabilities to fish that we tell John “Wer’e bringing you down with us!”

On our drive to the lake John kept telling us about how well we would all do, and how confident he was that he could help cure our fishing jinx.

We arrive at the lake and eventually get the boat into the water. As we are floating out in the middle of the lake, we finally arrive to John’s “favorite spot” where we cast the rods in anticipation with hopes of catching the “lunkers”. In the meantime, John is so confident that we will catch something that Dale and I sat there in awe listening to “fish tales” from John’s past in the same lake for we were wanting to believe that this could happen to us too! Five minutes go by….. No bites…. Ten minutes go by…. Still no bites… Finally, after 15 minutes, John shakes his head in disbelief and mutters something to the extent that maybe “we were bad luck.”

After a couple hours of floating around, we did manage to have some success. One time as I was reeling in my line, I could have sworn I felt a tug. As I attempt to reel in my "trophy catch", I was bringing up to the surface what felt to be dead weight. There was no resistance, but it felt extremely heavy, and was coming up to the surface very slowly! “What is this thing?” I say to everyone. Everything possible started to go through my mind – could it be a big catfish? Is it a dead body? It was at that time I started to get worried. Do I really want to bring this thing to the surface? Maybe I should just cut the line! I would hate to surface a body! No way in hell I’m removing the hook from that thing! Finally about 5 minutes into it with my fishing rod about to snap, my catch is ready to break the water’s surface --- there it was in all it’s splendor…. The anchor to the boat!

We decide to pull up the anchor, since I had already surfaced it and move to another spot. We continue fishing without much luck. Then before the end of the day we decide to try our last spot. Dale and I each grab an oar to start paddling about 200 yards away. We knew we had been fishing for awhile and were somewhat tired. We were paddling away and it seemed to take forever to get to our spot! As soon as we arrive awhile later, John reminds us to toss the anchor over to keep us from drifting. As Dale and I look over the boat to find the big deadweight, I follow the line tied to the boat as it goes into the water. We had never pulled the anchor up! This is why we were paddling so slow. John almost fell off the boat from laughing so hard, and Dale and I looked at each other like two idiots each wanting to laugh, but feeling very stupid.

Since that day, we’ve been invited to go fishing with John merely to provide entertainment. What can we say? Next time though, I’m hooking up an Xcam to record our excursion. If anything, we may not have caught the lunker we wanted, but we did manage to catch a few laughs.

August 18, 2006

We're A Crazy Bunch...

Here at X10 Wireless Technology, Inc Headquarters, many of the employees are rejoicing over the fact that today is Friday. After a good week of working hard, we’re all looking forward to a couple of days of R&R.

I wanted to provide a recap for how the week went, and also provide some insight on what happened at the office.

Sara – A copywriter working on the x10sentinel.com site got stung by a bee this week. You may have read about it on a previous entry in her blog. She sits across from me, and that day she spent the day with an ice pack on her swollen lip. I gave her the nickname “Lips,” and she threatened me with bodily harm. Today, Sara was featured in Comedienne Barabara Sehr’s Xactly blog and it made her day, swollen lip and all.

Marko – One of our web designers was recently featured in an article on x10community.com entitled Meet Team X10.com. He was pretty excited about it, and I’m really glad, as he truly does work hard and deserves a lot of credit for his work. Today, Marko has been stuttering on the phone a bit and having good laughs about it. He attributes it to him being “German.” If you had the chance to read his latest blog, he summed it up by saying “It’s Owen’s fault…” (his graphic merchandiser).

Owen – Owen designs graphics for Marko. He too sits across from my desk and when I look over he’s usually jamming to some tunes on his iPod. Owen is now our music critic, taking over the role after the departure of Lindsey, a copywriter from a couple of months ago. If anything, Owen usually takes the blame for everything that happens at X10.com, in fact, because we are able to use him as our scapegoat, it usually makes us feel better about ourselves. Thanks Owen…

Nonetheless, it’s a been a good week at work, and I’m glad that these guys are able to provide some humor to my day. After what happened this week, I can’t wait to see what happens when we get back from the weekend!

August 17, 2006

Meet Team X10.com

Today, I launched a new feature on the Community website called Meet Team X10.com, where we give you the chance to get to know the people behind the scenes at x10.com. You’ll get the chance to meet the web designers who bring you the sites, we’ll bring you up-close with the customer service team who you converse with when you call our customer service lines, we’ll even bring you up close with our company executives, to find out what makes x10.com tick! This is a great way for you to learn more about us at X10.com!

The first article in Meet Team X10.com is with one of x10.com’s finest web designers Marko Wollschlaeger. Marko has been with x10.com since January, and is already credited for his web designs which are pleasing to the eyes, simple to maneuver, informative, and very professional.

Already with four x10.com websites under his belt, Marko is also lending a hand with the other designers throughout the X10.com company. We are pleased to introduce to you one of X10.com finest, Marko Wollschlaeger.

August 15, 2006

The "Insert X10 Here" Video Contest Has it's First Winner!

It's taken awhile, but we finally have our first winner! The X10 Community is proud to announce that YouTube user SuitmanIM is the recipient of our first up to $500 shopping spree at X10.com!

Using his creativity, SuitmanIM impressed the judges with a very good video submission showing us how he uses his X10 gear!

It's as easy as that to win your share of the prize! All you have to do is break out the video camera for your chance to win!

Anyone and everyone is eligible. If you want to learn more visit our group on YouTube at www.youtube.com/group/x10here. All it takes is a bit of creativitiy, and you can be enjoying your share of prizes from the X10.com Vault!

August 11, 2006

What’s on tap with the community side?

Hi everyone, I just wanted to provide an update on the community side to let you know what is/will be happening this coming week.

This weekend we will be the filming of our new X10 commercial. I am working on the logistics at this very moment to get the shoot location, the actors and the products lined up. If everything goes as scheduled you’ll be seeing the new commercial online very soon.

For the community website (x10community.com), we are just about set to launch the new Community Members Blog, this is just undergoing its final touches, and the goal is to get this launched as soon as possible. This is a project I’ve focused on the past week, and I’m really excited to open this up to the community members. I’m expecting to read a lot of great blog postings from everyone, so get ready, because it’s your turn to let us know what is happening!

On the Affiliate side of things, I’ve been working hard to update many of our manuals to provide you ways to make the most profits possible by advertising X10 products on your websites and newsletters. If you want to learn more about our Affiliate program, the website can be found at www.x10affiliate.com … If you need more information, you can always shoot me an email at michaelm@x10.com, or go the Affiliate board on our forum.

I hope you all have a great weekend! Keep checking back for some great things to come!

August 10, 2006

It's no party without an iParty

With the recent craze in MP3 players, and specifically the iPod, it seems like many businesses have found a way to help Apple advance its product by creating peripherals and different devices for it. Not to be outdone is the X10 iParty, a device that plugs directly into your iPod allowing you to send your music (by wireless signals) to your stereo. Now, without a ton of expensive equipment to purchase or setup, you can play your music loud and share it with your friends.

So far, the iParty has been a great hit and people who own it love it! There's no need for big bulky docking stations or expensive gear, you simply plug in the device and you are good to go. If you are looking for an affordable way to expand your music, look into the iParty!

August 07, 2006

The Community Blogs Are Almost Ready!

Last week I posted a blog entry announcing the upcoming Community Blogs, which would be your opportunity as a Community Member to share your thoughts regarding home automation or home security.

The X10 IT and Community Teams have been hard at work preparing the site for launch! Soon, you will have your chance to have your very own blog!

We are definitely looking forward for this opportunity to hear from many of you. Check back soon to sign up once we launch the NEW X10 Community Blog site!