Turning Your Lights on with Google Glass

HA779_AV2 (1)Last Christmas I asked my parents for one thing, the Philips Hue lighting system to which they replied, “$200 for 3 bulbs?!?! We’ll give you a gift card to Apple instead.” Fortunately the Apple store was the exclusive retailer for this new lighting system. 8 months later and we now have 7 bulbs, a LightStrips, and Bloom light all which tie into our Philips Hue system. Oh we also have an iPod touch mounted to the wall running the iOS app 24/7 for easy access to the various light recipes. Needless to say we love the system and the ability to control our lights from anyway, and even have our own light recipe which turns on automatically when we come home, when it rains, and at sundown. Cool stuff!

How to get your @TweetHue lights to turn on using @IFTTT and @GoogleGlass

A post shared by Nick Starr-Street (@nick_starr) on

Enter Google Glass. Now there isn’t an official app for Philips Hue yet for Glass, but both systems can speak to IFTTT, a service where one event triggers another on different services. In this case, a text message to IFTTT triggers the Philips Hue lights to turn on/off or start a new light recipe.

To set this all up on IFTTT activate the SMS channel and the Philips Hue channel. This would also work with the Belkin WeMo channel as well if you have those light switches. Now add IFTTT as a contact on MyGlass with the sms number provided from IFTTT. Now simply say, “Ok Glass… Send a message to IFTTT… ” and then based on which IFTTT recipe you activated say the action. Here are a few great examples of texts to say to Glass and what actions occur (note you must say the word hashtag which Glass will resolve to #) :

https://ifttt.com/recipes/97572 – “… #HueOn” or specifically say, “hashtag hueon” to turn the lights  you chooseor all lights on.

https://ifttt.com/recipes/99316 – “…#off” to turn off all lights.

https://ifttt.com/recipes/111843 – “…#movie” to dim all lights to 20% for movie time.

https://ifttt.com/recipes/109384 – “…#hue <color>” where the color is whatever color you want all the lights to change to.

https://ifttt.com/recipes/93711 – “…#DanceParty” (my personal favorite) to start a color loop with all the lights.

There are a lot more recipes which exist and even more that you can create for yourself. So have fun… We might not have flying cars or self lacing shoes, but you can start a dance party at home with your heads up display!

*As a note this guide relies on SMS which Google Glass currently only supports through MyGlass Android app. You could follow all the same instructions with an email channel on IFTTT for use with an iOS device or Glass on Wifi instead of SMS & Android. 

One Year Seattleversary

It was one year ago … this very minute that I checked into my new home in Seattle, Washington. I lived in San Francisco for 3 years, 7 months, 9 days after moving there on September 22, 2007.

I’m glad that I moved to Seattle, and have enjoyed my time here. I am now back working full time for a major internet company making more than I ever have, am busy nearly every night with events with friends, and even host a weekly party at my place where my friends and I get together for drinks and sometimes games. I even experienced snow for the first time in my life!

I also have a TON more space than any place I lived while in San Francisco, and for the first time since living in Florida have my own bathroom! … I even have my own home bar that I’ve started as a pet project that I’m really enjoying…and in the next day or so, it will even show up on Google Maps!

I am so thankful for all my friends and opportunities moving to a new city has afforded me. In moving here I planned to be here for 10 years, then hopefully back to San Francisco or who knows where… so here’s to one amazing year down… 9 more to go!

Matthew Lush (@MatthewLush) Suggests Gays Commit Suicide

Matthew Lush, ‘An Internet celebrity who is also known as “gay god” (Urban Dictionary),’ in his most recent YouTube video titled Gay Talk UNCENSORED (at 4:46) was asked if he found himself married in a couple years. Matthew Lush goes on to reply that while he would like to be married by 25. Lush goes on to say, “I don’t want to be like 30 and alone because that would be really sad and I would just want to kill myself.Matthew Lush, I am 30 and alone… should I kill myself?

Start video at 4 minutes 47 seconds.

I grew up in a very Christian household, and thus felt I couldn’t be my true self when I was living there, and even after moving out. I was deathly afraid that if I went a gay bar someone might recognize me and it get back to my family and friends. I created a fake name when trying to meet guys locally. I even would drive over 100 miles each way from the Tampa Bay area to Orlando, Florida to go to gay clubs because I was afraid. Afraid of coming out, afraid of who I was, afraid that it was a sin and I would spend eternity in hell.

Nick Starr suicide

Because of my upbringing and fears, I wasn’t able to come out until after I packed up and moved into my car and moved all the way to San Francisco. I still didn’t even feel comfortable coming out until after living here 7 months. Finally May 19, 2008, when I was 27 (and a half) years old, I finally felt free enough to come out to not just myself, but family, friends, followers, anyone and everyone.

Because of this, I had a late start in terms of dating. I wasn’t married by 25 as Matthew Lush wishes he was, and find myself a 30 year old gay man living in one of the gayest cities in the world, San Francisco, and I’m not only single, but also have never even had a second date. I also have a vast history of depression, and suicidal ideations and even attempts. Hell someone even wrote a paper on my mental breakdowns as part of their doctorate. So, Matthew Lush, how is advocating a gay man at age 30 who is unmarried / partnered / single to kill himself in any way beneficial?

Matthew Lush is an advocate of gay suicide. He himself said that he would kill himself. So, Matthew Lush, would you like to drive me to the Golden Gate Bridge so that I can kill myself? I’m sure someone will return the favor on your 30th birthday if you are single.

#ItGetsWorse

(Images courtesy of Feast of Fun and BeforeiForget respectively)

Your Mom's Box

Famous last words of Opie and Anthony before they were kicked off the air … and a fitting title for this post. I’ve been in the social media “spotlight” every since the beginning days of podcasting back in 2004. I’ve had almost every aspect of my life discussed online…and in almost every case there were negative people bashing me and going out of their way to try to hurt me.

I’ve had:

  • My parents phone number listed on forums where people would call non-stop,
  • I had people fax naked pictures into my place of employment,
  • call my phone so much that I had to change my number a few times…and someone who worked for the cellular company I was with kept giving out my new number to these “haters.”
  • I had 2 of my tires slashed while waiting in line for the first iPhone.
  • I had people call up and pretend to have a job lined up for me when I was thinking of moving (thank God I didn’t fall for that one).
  • I had people anonymously (oh and that is the BIGGEST THING…is that they ALWAYS are anonymous…when I put my entire life online, you have to hide behind your fake username, email address, etc) email my place of work threatening to never go to the establishment again because they employed a homeless person like myself, when I was saving for my surgery.
  • I even have had someone call up the IRS and submit fake documentation that I was cheating on my taxes.

Most recently a few people have been texting me with personal information about my family, and myself. Here are the transcripts of the text messages being sent from a Google Voice number, once again showing the cowardice of the person hiding behind the anonymity of the internet.

As you can see the harassment has been non-stop and gotten worse over the years. I don’t need it, I didn’t ask for it, and I haven’t done a single thing like this to anyone else. The phone number I listed above is the FIRST time I’ve ever publicly given out information about another person who. I don’t even give phone numbers to mutual friends who ask me for them.

I am sick of this. I don’t know why people have all this extra time on their hands where they can sit around and try to fuck with me, but I am done with it. I am going to try to live my life for my self, and not for others. I want to try to back away from social media in a large role as I have been currently, and move into a more casual user. I am not going away forever, although that might be the best option right now. I just don’t want to have to deal with mean people any longer.

That all being said, there have been infinitely more positive people and friends I’ve made along the way, and feel free to keep in contact with me, thru DM or email, etc. It is just the people who are vindictive and evil who ruin it for everyone.

With all that being said….I’m out for a while….

Your Mom’s Box.

Update: It would seem as if the threatening has not stopped….This is what was texted last night:

Was It Worth It?

This is the question I get most often it would seem. Is it worth it? Are you happy with the results? Can I see?

Well first let me explain. The healing process for such invasive procedures like I got is lengthy. Full results aren’t instant. In fact most cosmetic surgeons will tell you that you will only see 90% of the final results 2 months after the procedure. I’m right at 3 weeks as of today, but I can tell you that I am happy.

While the results haven’t magically turned me into a skinny twink or anything, the surgeon was able to remove problem areas for me and I am quite happy.

I have to wear a compression garment for another few weeks, in order to make sure things stay in place, and heal properly. See with liposuction or any fat or skin removal, they have to remove the connection between the skin and muscle. This takes times to heal the connection and drain the fluid which resides in these areas.

My stomach is flatter than its ever been…I can look down and don’t see any excess bulging, whereas before right around my belly button I saw a mass of fat that simply wasn’t going away. Also my love handles are greatly curtailed, and I feel better when wearing jeans. My chest was another area where work was done, and while it isn’t completely flat, I am not as ashamed as I once was to show off my chest/torso.

All in all, I believe that the entire process was worth the end result. I again, still am not even close to finished healing. I still am in pain when touched, and still have stitches which occasionally cause me pain.

As far as can I see it? Hell no…I am still black/blue/yellow and every shade in between with bruises. I’m sure in time I will feel even more comfortable, but that isn’t going to happen until the bruising goes away.

Thank you to everyone for your kind words and messages during my recovery, and an even bigger thanks to Michael Butler and his family for letting me stay with them before I returned to work a week after my procedure.

Nick/Tuck is TODAY!!!

Today is the day…I know that I said before that it was canceled, postponed indefinitely, etc….but today is the day. I found a surgeon who I feel more comfortable with than any other Doctor which I’ve spoke with. He understood my problem areas including my back, chest, stomach, etc. I am going to be starting surgery about the time this blog post hits.

If you want to send me some love/feedback/well wishes, etc please feel free to Twitter me (@NickStarr) or leave a message in the comments below. Thanks for everyone’s support in the months and months I’ve saved up for this. I’m so excited that the day is finally here!

Nexus One on AT&T

I wrote before about my problems returning my Nexus One phone, and while I didn’t find it to be the best phone on the market, it wasn’t HORRIFIC…I love my iPhone 3GS and mainly all of the apps that go along with having an iPhone…however, the iPad is coming out next month, and I’m going to get a 3G model. I’ll be able to run all my favorite iPhone apps on it, as well as the new fuller featured iPad apps…so…

Time for an experiment…I’m going to sell my iPhone 3GS on eBay, and purchase a new Nexus One for AT&T. I will have it in conjunction with my iPad, so I won’t lose all the great apps I’ve purchased since owning my iPhone. I am going to give it a full go…no safety net, no iPhone I can fall back on. Give the Android platform and Google a full go…for a few months that is.

Once Apple announces an updated iPhone, I will make my decision, and of course share that decision with you, on if I will upgrade to it, or keep the Nexus One. Stay tuned to my Twitter and here on my gripes, and

CANCELED: Nick/Tuck

If you follow me on Twitter (as you all should of course), you may have read yesterday where my surgeon canceled my upcoming, and when I say upcoming I mean the surgery was literally happening within 288 hours, surgery.

My medical Doctor here in San Francisco gave me a pre-surgery physical as my surgeon wanted. As I stated before on here, I have a health issue which ultimately will be the death of me. Its because I am not doing well based on my labs, that my Doctor decided to write a letter to the surgeon saying that while nothing may go wrong, my risk for infection could be greater, but may not be.

It’s because of this letter that the surgeon called me up expressing his concern with proceeding and said that I come back within 3-6 months if I am doing better at that time.

HERE’S HOW THIS COULD HAD GONE DIFFERENTLY:

My surgeon wanted to do the physical, but since I was having the procedure done in Florida, it was easier for me to have the physical in San Francisco. I will now be looking for a surgeon either within the San Francisco area, or go with my second, and more expensive choice, in Florida, but have them do the physical.

EVERY SINGLE DOCTOR I SPOKE WITH…and I believe I had 6 consultations with various Doctors said that my condition wouldn’t be an issue in performing the surgery, or recovery. It’s because of one gray-ly worded letter from my medical Doctor that this entire thing has been put on the shelf. BTW, I have already called my rep at Kaiser and asked for a change in Doctors. I never want to see the face of the man who made 7 months of sleeping on the streets all a waste.

I am not sure how I will proceed. I might look for an apartment, and just continue saving and hope in 3-6 months I am ‘better’ and able to have the surgery, but more likely I will continue living on the streets in order to save up the extra ~$3000-5,000 needed to have the surgery done with a different surgeon, keeping my medical Doctor out of the loop.

I WILL HAVE THIS SURGERY WITHIN THE NEXT 196 DAYS…I DON’T CARE IF I HAVE TO CUT MYSELF OPEN IN ORDER TO HAVE IT DONE, IT WILL BE DONE!

Updated: A History of Dating…

I updated the History of Dating Nick post with the following new content. There is far too much to say about Jim, so keep your eyes out for a whole chapter in my book, but for now here is a brief summary of the three most recent guys I’ve dated…oh and that is THREE dates… since November…that is an average of one date every 38.6 days…or less than one per month.

Below is the updated info:

Jim – Jim started following me online around Pride 2009, where I had a very large break down mentally. Not the best time for a possible boyfriend to start reading about your life. One day he saw me on the Muni, and sent me an email on Facebook later that day. We hung out a few weeks later just as friends, getting to know each other, etc. He was kinda seeing this other guy at the time, and I didn’t want to impose or be a “home wrecker.” Our friendship blossomed, and we held hands one day. A few days later, I asked him out on a date. He said yes, and I remember him saying he enjoyed bowling. We went bowling on our date, grabbed ice cream, and just enjoyed each other’s company. A few days later, he said that this couldn’t continue due to a number of concerns he had. We stayed friends, and things eventually became romantic again, then he stopped it again…this happened about five more times (thus far as of writing this on Feb 24th). Every time with us getting close, sometimes kissing, sometimes more, sometimes less, and then almost as if he were to awake from some dream, his feelings would just as suddenly snap, and he wouldn’t even want to be friends. Jim is the closest I’ve gotten to any one person in San Francisco, and quite honestly since my best friend in high school over 10 years ago. I am uncertain of the future we have as friends, but I am hopeful that eventually we can work past these feelings we have and be friends.

Adam In Toronto – I met him the first night of a work trip in Toronto in the beginning of November 2009, we talked at The Barn and I ran into a guy I met the previous Toronto Trip, Phil. Adam and I hit it off and hung out every day while I was up there. We finally went out on our first and last date a few hours before I had to fly back to San Francisco. We sat down, had dinner, talked about our lives, goals, etc, but alas he lives in Canada, and I can’t immigrate there. He did come to San Francisco a few months later in February 2010 for 3 days, but things weren’t as we both remembered them, and it was a very strained trip…no dates, just showing him around SF and trying to not kill each other. We remain friends and hopefully will be able to stay that way for life, as for a relationship, I don’t see it in the works.

Leo – You can read all about the date with Leo here…let’s just say that he was already seeing someone else at the time, and at one point in the date even had him join us. Epic fail (on his and my part to be honest).

In all of this, with every single guy…I’ve been the person asking them out on a date. I’ve never in my entire life been asked out. That fact alone makes me realize that Nick/Tuck, and maybe in the future moving to a new city is something I might need…yet another new start and lease on life. Who knows what the future hold, but I am almost certain given my track wreck record, it isn’t anything good, and most certainly doesn’t involved someone who cares or loves me.