Children Speak Out

My girl friend Mindi Lampert is a mental health counselor. She has just published this book which is filled with notes she received from children expressing their inner most thoughts. It’s a must read for anyone who wants to understand how children think. There are some amazing words under the cover.

Mindi has a Master of Science degree in Counseling. For the past 18 years, she has been counseling children in the Miami Dade County Public Schools. She is a psychotherapist with a private practice for adults, adolescents, and children. She is also a Florida Supreme Certified Court Family Mediator and an Adjunct Professor at Miami Dade College where she teaches classes on phychology and student life skills.

The reason why I’m writing about Mindi’s book today is because more and more of my friends are starting to have grandchildren. This book is an eye opener. It’s also a great gift. There is nothing else like it around. 


From The Author 

As I collected, assembled, and compiled this book, even after more than fifteen years of accumulating and reading these notes, there has not been a time when I wasn’t filled with an array of emotions. It’s the difficult and many times gut-wrenching feelings expressed that are the hardest to digest. The honesty of the children’s notes can be most overwhelming to read, especially as parents. There are many books on parenting. This is a different kind of parenting book. I wanted to bring you the voice of the children. This book has, in its most simplistic way, hopefully taught you what children want most from their parents. They want to feel safe, loved, wanted, accepted as they are, and mostly they want your complete and undivided attention, at least some of the time. I also hope that you have a better realization of how smart and deep-thinking elementary-aged children are. They understand much more than you can imagine. They have their own perceptions and beliefs when the family is going through a crisis, even if you don’t tell them anything. They have complicated and prolific minds. They long for an attachment and a connection to you, the people that are supposed to love them the most-their parents. With that richness of safety and love, the possibilities are endless. Lastly, for the thousands of children that will forever have a warm and special place in my heart for sharing their “Elementary Thoughts” with me, I will lovingly remember you always




Innovation From CEATEC

Quite honestly, I never heard of the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (also known as CEATEC)  annual trade show in Japan. It’s going on now. Japan says it’s their largest electronics trade show. 

The only reason I know something about it is because my fiend, Steve Greenberg, was asked to attend. He flew to Tokyo on Sunday. 

Robots seem to be the big attraction this year. Watch the videos for some miraculous  introductions. Also click on this CNET link for a more in depth story.

This is a great opportunity to see these products first. 

I Stand Corrected  

My long time friend, Rob Calem, felt I gave Skype’s language translation service too much credit for being “the ultimate” in this type of technology. 

Rob explained he covered this technology more than two years ago when it mainly worked with an old-fashioned phone.

Rob said. “I’m just saying that the Skype language translation service is not a breakthrough. Your headline is “The Ultimate In Language Translation.” I’d say the ultimate is something that works for everyone, including the many people in the world who don’t own a computer.”

Rob granted me permission to rerun the blog he wrote when he first heard about Lexiphone. The headline was, “Lexiphone  Launches Real–Time and Low Cost Foreign Language Translation Service for Old–Fashioned Phone Calls”

Click here to learn more. 

My Wish List Gets Organized 

Happy birthday Dad. You would have been 98 today. Miss you, love you…..

I feel like someone read my mind. I always wanted to organize all of my favorite things to do: read books, watch TV, go to the movies, restaurants, museums, hotels, etc. I like keeping lists. It makes me feel productive. 

The trouble is that I keep my favorite “things to do list” with all the other things I need to do. Everything always gets mixed up and I never have the time to do the proper research on the items I’m interested in. 

Then I heard about a new app in Tech Crunch that could be a great solution. Called “Soon,” the app organizes my bucket list into categories. But that’s not the bonus news. Soon actually posts additional information about each item. For example,  if I list a book, the app might add the author’s  biography, plot, and purchase information.  

Soon also has a social feature. You can follow your friends to see what they have on their lists. I love comparing notes. And I also absolutely love that Soon has a “trending” section which lists the hottest items in each neighborhood or city. It takes all of the guesswork out of what to do at home or when traveling. 

I just downloaded Soon. The following photos are the opening introductions. I will let you know if Soon fulfills my expectations. I certainly hope it does. If you try it, let me know your impressions. 


The Ultimate In Language Translation  

The newest feature being offered by Skype is going to open up a whole new world of communications. The software company is going to allow you to talk to people you could never talked to before because of a language barrier, Skype now has an on-the-spot language translation feature for users of Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10. 

You can now converse in one language and it will be automatically translated. To date, the following languages are involved: English, French, German, Italian, Madarin, and Spanish. It’s pretty amazing that you no longer need to learn a new language just to speak to someone. How awesome is that? 

Look out for the new translator button within conversations. There’s no word on Mac or iOS / Android support yet,  but the company expects it to happen very soon.

The Digital Language Translator  

אני מדבר באנגלית עדיין זה שתורגם לעברית

Estoy hablando en Inglés pero esto está siendo traducida al español

Je parle en anglais encore cela est en cours de traduction en français

I’m speaking in English and it’s being translated into  —– by an app called the iHandy Translator

I used this app for years when I needed to translate one language to another. Then I forgot all about it. I’m so glad I rediscovered it because it’s new and improved. 

You type in the sentence you want to translate and then pick the language. You have 52 choices.

If you upgrade, the pro app will give you a speech translation and often used common phrases.



I plan to use the iHandy Translator to help me learn other languages.  It’s just so easy to use. If you search the App Store, you will see that there are many language apps. We live in a time when we should be taking advantage of all these electronic aids. Our ancestors would have loved them.


Or, learn a new language. 

Flying On Water Pressure 

In the last few months, I have been meeting up with a number of inventors involved in extreme water sports. They are all interested in developing new ways to thrill daredevils. While I’m keen to let the world know about some of these activities, I wonder how safe they really are. 

One extreme water sport that seems to be gaining momentum in year-round warm weather climates (Miami) is the Flyboard. I never heard of this one before, even though it’s been around for a few years. It basically rockets you several stories high out of the water. 

If you watch the two videos above, you’ll see the stunts that can be performed and how the Flyboard works. There is no question about it, this extreme water sports activity is not targeted to our age group. Hopefully, we have better sense then to try to be a rocket. I still wanted you to know what the young and strong are up to.

The Flyboard works on water pressure. The more water pressure that is applied, the higher the user gets. It also allows them to perform better tricks. Again, watch the first video for great demonstrations.

The Flyboard was created by French water sports master, Frank Zapata. He explains that the Flyboard is comprised of a rider platform that’s connected to a long hose and a water jet. To many our age, the Flyboard resembles a flying snowboard. To those who are under 50, the Flyboard is a great way to show off.  

Update On Expensive Electric Cars

The tech trades were buzzing today about the latest in electric cars. Here are two noteworthy items. 

Bonhams Auction House recently reported that one of the very first battery-powered electric cars, just sold for $95,000. The 1905 Woods Electric Style 214A originally sold for $3,000. That was considered very pricey at the time. The Woods Motor Vehicle Company was founded in 1899 in Chicago. The top speed of the Woods Electric at the time was about 30 mph.

  Fast forward. 

Tesla just became the only player in the high-end electric SUV market. Fully-loaded, the auto could sell as high as $132,000 or as low as $80,000. The Model X is expected to achieve sales of 50,000 cars in 2015 and 500,000 by 2020. There are 30,000 reservations for the vehicle. Americans love the falcon-wing rear doors.

In 1954, this was my mode of transportation. $12.00. 



Sweet Sixteen

Keurig Green Mountain is at it again. A few months ago, they announced a partnership with Campbell Soup and now they are entering into the soda business.   

Just what I need, more sugar.  Keurig is introducing a dedicated soda machine called Keurig Kold (they use “K” like the Kardashians). Prices run from $300 to $370. Ouch, that is expensive!

Keurig justifies the higher price because it eliminates the bulky CO2 canisters. The Kold machine also chills the soda, ice tea, and sports drinks, so no ice is needed. 

Keurig sells packages of four flavor cartridges from $4.49 to $4.99. Each drink is about $1.12 to $1.25

The company said the Keurig Kold produces a cold drink in just over one minute. ( Coca-Cola, Sprite, Coke Zero and other Coca-Cola flavors, as well as Dr Pepper). Keurig has developed some of its own brands. 

Okay,  this all sounds very exciting but my kitchen counter is already filled with all kinds of goodies. Keurig doesn’t want me to position the Keurig  Kold in the kitchen.
The company sees the machine displayed in the den, the family room, the bedroom, and the porch.  Soda machines always have to be in the vicinity of entertainment areas. 

I haven’t tasted the Keurig beverage yet, but I’m willing to bet it will be adored by current Keurig users. Amen ! 

Go Ahead, PhunkeeDuck 


I first saw a PhunkeeDuck two years ago, at CES, in Las Vegas. I didn’t think much of it then, but today is the third time in two weeks that someone whizzed by me on a PhunkeeDuck. This one was not going to get away. Watch the video.

What is a PhunkeeDuck? It’s a Segway without the handle bars. It’s a balancing bar on wheels. It’s a snowboard.  It’s a new form of transportation. 

Make sure you watch the video to the end. The gent demonstrating the PhunkeeDuck claims his 55 year old mother is using the PhunkeeDuck. 

The top speed for PhunkeeDuck is 12 MPH. One charge will last for over 10 miles. So, who goes first?