Mr. Starr-Street Goes to Washington

I moved to Seattle, Washington from San Francisco 5 years, 4 months, 13 days ago. When I moved here I had the intention of staying here 10 years and building up a career and buying a house. Well I received an offer to be relocated with the company I’ve been working for almost a year now to Washington DC and I accepted it. Tomorrow will be my last day in Seattle as my husband and I are driving from Seattle to Missoula, to Mount Rushmore, seeing friends in Wisconsin, family in Ohio and finally making it in my car to Washington DC next Sunday. We couldn’t be more excited for the opportunities, new adventures, and the next phase of the journey of our lives together.

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While I appreciate some of the great things which happened while living in Seattle, it never felt like “home.” There were some horrific people who formed organizations with the specific intention of making my life miserable here. There were also nice people and friends made along the way. I just felt that the negativity never outweighed the good in people here.

Thus begins a new chapter. We are moving from Washington to Washington, most likely leaving the former Washington behind for good. I don’t see any redeeming qualities in the people or places I met along the way and have no reason to ever want to come back to a community with so much compensatory hatred and need to tear down those they don’t like, often without ever getting to know the person first.

This of course is meant for the people in my personal life, I obviously wouldn’t be relocating with the company if I felt this way towards coworkers.

Here’s to a fresh start and new experiences every day.

Goodbye Seattle, wish I never knew you.

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Goodbye Google Glass

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 10.39.15 PMIt was March 27, 2013 that I got an @ mention on Twitter from, at the time, @ProjectGlass that I was chosen as one of the select eight thousand people out of hundreds of thousands who applied to become a Glass Explorer. This meant I got to pay $1,500 + $135 tax and pay for a flight to LA (or SF or NYC) to be able to pick up my own Google Glass. It felt like Christmas and a birthday wrapped together. I was EXCITED!

A few months later I got the DM from Google that I could finally pay for my Glass and book my appointment to pick it up. See at this stage the only way to get Google Glass if you won an invite with their #IfIHadGlass campaign was to visit one of their basecamps and pick it up. That same day flight cost me $328.80. So I was already in for $1964.80 and I hadn’t even gotten to touch the device yet.

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June 19th I fly to LAX, take a Lyft to the basecamp, get a hands on tutorial on how to use Glass by a Glass Guide, meet up with a friend in LA for drinks, and fly back that night. I couldn’t stop using it. The battery wasn’t as good as it is now, and I would burn through it using it all the time. I love the thing.

You’d never see me without it… well except for at work. Day 1 Hour 2 wearing it to work and my boss pulled me in for a meeting that someone complained I was live streaming everything from the company to the internet. I wasn’t.

But none of that has impacted my still wearing it daily, and while I wear it daily I almost never use it anymore.

I bought the prescription frames ($246.38), the stereo earbuds ($93.08), and even a custom skin ($10.98) for it during Pride in SF. I’ve invested $2,315.24 into a device I almost never even use anymore.

android-wear-moto-360-close-up-1200-80Now why don’t I use it? Well enter Android Wear. A smartwatch which you can talk to, get Google Now answers to, use to send and receive texts and emails, set alarms, get my heart rate, count my steps, give me turn by turn directions, and extend the functionality with hundreds of other apps. Hell I can even order a Lyft right from my wrist without ever touching my phone, and rate the driver afterwards. This smartwatch does a large majority of what Google Glass can do, however with my Moto 360 I get compliments on it on a near daily basis and no social stigma from those around me. I can’t say the same for Glass.

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I’ve also had to return my Glass unit 5 times for what I call #Foilgate. There is a foil like mirror at the end of the prism which gets delaminated and crinkled. Often this happens in sudden environmental climate changes, like stepping outside a warm office building to the muggy drizzly cold Seattle. I’m just got mine back from Google after shipping them for replacement 3 weeks ago. However, my warranty is expiring in December. Will they cover future delamination issues, or will I be stuck with a $2315.24 brick? I’m actually scared to even take it out of the box and as such it is sitting in a closet “New in box.”


I did say that I almost never use it. It is super handy when you want a picture quickly. Say a poster of an event you might want to remember or you are hit by a car and need to be sure you get their license plate  (which happened 2 weeks ag0), or you spot something in the store and want to text it to your partner asking if we should buy it. These are all times where I *could* reach in my pocket, wake my phone, unlock it, open the camera app, and take a picture, but I rarely do. It’s just so much simpler with Glass. *Wink* Done.

So my putting up Google Glass for now isn’t about the awkward social situations I’ve found myself in, its more because I just don’t use it enough to risk it breaking, delaminating, or worse before a commercial version is out and we can possibly switch to that or sell our current model for some money off the retail version.

I’ve been a part of the Glass conversation, environment, ecosphere since I knew about it. I run the largest Facebook group on Google Glass. I am often referred to as “Glasshole” or “glass” or “glass guy” when people think they are trying to be coy and refer to me without naming me directly. I feel like me giving up on something I’ve been SO passionate and vigilant about being able to use is in some part echos the sentiments of many of my fellow Glass Explorers. We just don’t use this thing anymore. I wish there were more (useful) apps. I wish a lot of things for the product, but it could end up like many Google beta programs and ride the wave into the sunet.

Goodbye Google Glass … at least for now.

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The Daily Show with Nick Starr

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[Update: Here’s the video and Behind The Scenes Photos] Okay that title might sound a bit presumptuous, but you have to say something to shock people into clicking on the link on Facebook or Twitter to read this… I mean blogs aren’t what they used to be. No one reads these long paragraphs anymore.

As some of you might’ve noticed, my partner Brian and I went to San Francisco back in May for a day. Flew in on a Wednesday night, were put up in a hotel, and flown back the next evening. My ticket was paid for by Viacom, the parent company of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Brian was able to go because a friend helped us out with a buddy ticket.

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Why was TDS flying me out to SF? Well turns out my public incidents with Google Glass caught their attention and the day that Google Glass was publicly available they started thinking about a segment gathering people who have had public incidents with Google Glass.

I spoke with them every day or so via email and phone till eventually  they said here’s your plane ticket and hotel. See you in 2 days.

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I wasn’t sure who else was going to be there or even who was going to interview us. Turns out they gathered a great cast of Glass Explorers.

 

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We all met, some or most of us for the first time in a hotel conference room where there were large lights, cameras, and a panel of 6 chairs. Some makeup and mic checks and we were ready to go. They sat me front row center and in walked Jason Jones from TDS. He sat in front of us and asked us questions for 3 1/2 hours. We all answered honestly and seriously, but this is The Daily Show. They are bound to turn it around and make us look funny, but we all knew that going into it. Everyone had a different reason for being there. Some to get their story out, some to help educate, and some because how many times in your life is The Daily Show going to seek you out? As in most of the interactions I have with others about Google Glass, I wanted to help educate what the device can and can’t do and explain the limitations and future for the device. Trying to show others why it is so amazing and how it will fit into their lives.

Well I can’t say if a few of these moments will make it in, but at one point Jason and I did a speed test to see who could Google him first. Him with his iPhone and me with Google Glass. At this point, I totally spaced his name and said, “Ok Glass, Google John.” He claims that he narrowly beat me, but also that, “He actually Googled the right person.” I also offered my Google Glass to him to try on and use, which he did and the producer seemed to really like that idea, BUT there was no cell signal nor WiFi where we were so he couldn’t actually do anything online with it.

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At one point he was stating that they are ugly as fuck and unfashionable. I tried to rebut by saying that they have been in Vogue and on various runways. He says, “yeah but you all still look like unfashionable douchey fucks.” I replied that, “Fashion is subjective” and he looks over at the camera and does an eye roll. I actually hope that part makes it, especially since I wear the same thing every single day it is a bit odd for me to be talking about fashion.

All in all it was a great trip and experience. We crammed in as many visits with SF friends as we could and tonight the episode airs. Set your DVRs, check Hulu.com tomorrow or The Daily Show’s website. No matter how the editing comes out, I had a great once in a lifetime experience and wouldn’t had changed a thing.

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I say all of this BEFORE I’ve actually seen the episode TONIGHT. I might have have a different opinion once it airs.

Seattle Weekly – Portrait of a Glasshole

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On January 2nd I received a Facebook message from Vernal Coleman a reporter for the Seattle Weekly. After all the horrific things posted about me on various blogs and articles as it related to the Lost Lake incident, I was hesitant to speak with him. He referenced the Lost Lake incident, but it seemed as if he had a different angle on the entire story and wanted to know my story, and how I felt it played out in the media.

I ended up meeting with him at Starbucks and spoke for a few hours. We would meet twice more, both times an hour or more to discuss various items as they related to Google Glass, my work life, my home life, social media, past events in my life, and many more topics. He eventually asked to meet with Brian Street, my partner of two years.

So much time had passed since our initial meeting that I wasn’t sure if the story would ever be told, but after some fact checking and a photoshoot, on April 8th my story came out in the Seattle Weekly. I read the entire thing online, then ran to the newsstand to pick up copies for family and myself.

The story told very well. It took up 5 pages of the Seattle Weekly. Brian said that he was glad that finally people are able to see the Nick that he knows. Not the person that people warned him about when he first moved to Seattle.

So if you haven’t read it yet, check it out here!

Brian Tyler Boydston

Last night I found out that a friend of mine killed himself after he was bullied for being gay. Brian Tyler Boydston and I started talking on Twitter, and eventually became friends off of just social networks. We would call and talk and text each other when we just wanted to chat.

With high college course load and social life we lost touch but still would send each other the occasional text or message.

Last night I found out that he killed himself after being bullied for being gay.

My thoughts go out to his friends and family.

It is horrible that there are people out there who would drive a person to such an act… People like Matt Lederer and Chris Mallgren need to be stopped! They suggest that gay people kill them self! Their words are hateful and evil. No one should ever feel the need to kill them self, let alone have people like Matt Lederer and Chris Mallgren telling them directly that they should commit suicide.

Please stop spreading hated! It is supposed to get better, but when people are telling you that you should kill yourself, how does it get better? These people need to be stopped!

2012 Resolutions

First … happy new year to everyone.

My first and foremost resolution in 2012 is to: Get a job!

I’ve been unemployed for the enteritiy of 2011, and really want to get back to work and find something I enjoy doing. This is the most critical and important goal this year for me… mainly because if I don’t, I’ll end up on the streets… and I don’t want that again.

Second goal/resolution is to: Get below 150lbs and stay there

It’s no secret that my entire life I’ve struggled with my weight, and only in 2008 did I decide to do something about it. The lowest I’ve ever gotten is 146, but I had a personal trainer then… I’d like to get below 150lbs (a goal which I accomplished before moving to Seattle this past year), but also to stay below that mark. It is kinda cool when you are the gym weighing yourself, and you only have to put the 100lb weight plus the slider vs the 150 plus slider.

Third and this seems like it is a reoccuring theme in these resolution posts is: To find a guy to date

I’ve given up almost totally on finding a boyfriend…I just don’t ever see anyone caring for me or even liking me long term to want to be my boyfriend… so I’d settle for someone who I can go out on more than one date with… Still trying to break that “never been on a 2nd date” curse.

All in all, I’m looking forward to 2012. I hope you meet and excede the goals you have for yourself this year!

This is me…

This has got to be one of the most thought out posts I have ever written. I never thought I would be writing this, but here it is…. When I moved to California, I had several agendas for leaving everything and everyone I ever knew. I wanted to be around the tech sector and all of the great people who are involved in the community out here. I enjoy going to all of the great Web 2.0 parties in the area, and I have made some great friends since being here.

I also wanted to find a job where I could feel free to express myself that would be an extension of all of my passions. I took the first job I was offered after moving and was very happy there, but I didn’t like that it was located 25 miles away from the city I drove 3,000 miles to be close to, and that I was living even further outside of San Francisco. I didn’t feel free to come and go as I wanted. Three weeks ago I gave my notice at my previous job providing 3 weeks of lead time for them to find someone to hire, and I could train my replacement before I left.

At the same time, I have accepted a job offer in a field which some may or may not understand. I mentioned earlier, I wanted a job that completely encapsulated what I care about, what I enjoy doing, and who I am. The job is essentially the same as the last company I was with, in that I am managing multiple servers, websites, newsletters, and all of the IT backend. I will also be handling AV aspects of the company, including video streaming, etc. This is a great opportunity to branch out my knowledge and passion for video which I has laid dormant since my high school days.

I really feel that my love of visual media, and love of technology management make this a great move in companies, but there is one other factor which plays into my choice in working for this company. The company is very involved in promoting the messages of safe and consensual sex between men. This is something I harp on daily on other sites where I write. I think the prevention of spreading sexually transmitted diseases is a message that needs to be expressed in the gay/bi/lesbian/straight community. This company provides a safe and secure location, as well as protection for everyone who visit their locations.

They also provide weekly testing and even someone who comes in and will sit down one-on-one to offer advice or someone to just talk to about your concerns. The company works closely with Public Health Departments, Community Based Organizations, county and state HIV/STD officials, the CDC (in U.S.), the research community (UCSF, UIC, CAPS) and many others – to create collaborative relationships which support and expand HIV and STD awareness and testing programs while also maintaining outreach initiatives that are effective, user friendly, and creatively inspired.

This is who I am as a person, and I don’t want to lie or be ashamed about that. Many people have asked me about this in the past, and until now I have been less then upfront and honest, mostly because I was afraid of what others might think. I now honestly don’t care. I have always tried to be a very open person about my life, and don’t know many people who openly admit to living in their car for over a year or any of the other crazy things I have done. I feel that in the spirit of being open and honest that I would like to express that I am gay. While I have never had a relationship with a guy, I feel as if I would be ready to if that opportunity presented itself. I don’t feel as if a person’s sexuality should stop you from caring about someone for who they are.

The company you work for should be an expression of your own passions, and I feel as if I have found one that has truly allowed me use my talents while at the same time not having to hide who I am. I understand that this news might shock some people, and others not so much. I have not said any of this sooner, because up until now I have felt too scared to. Even as I write this I am trembling. Due to the nature of who I am, and based on past experiences, I do not wish to disclose the name of the company which I will be working for, and hope that you can respect this. The company is very reputable and has offices in the US and Canada, which will allow for some travel with the job as well; something I am looking forward to greatly. I will be working in the heart of San Francisco’s Castro district and have found a place to live within walking distance of my new job.

That being said, I appreciate the support of those who have found out this information through various means, you have helped me more then you could know. This is something which is very difficult to do, and I am glad to have such great friends to help me through this time. I look forward to your comments and feel free to drop me a line anytime.

Thanks for listening,

Nick Starr