Launched my own Honda Blog: newhonda.club

Currently, I am the Digital Marketing Manager for Hill Country Honda. As someone with an extensive digital background, I know how important it is for every business to build their online presence.

Before the Internet, a reputation was built through word of mouth (gossip). Today, while word of mouth still is a factor, much of what is said is online in forums, Facebook statuses, and reviews.

I decided it was time to promote my brand and dealership with my own blog. With this new blog I plan to chronicle dealership life and draw attention to important Honda news.

For example, Honda just announced that they will be extending the warranties for Certified Pre-Owned Honda vehicles. The new warranties will cover Bumper-to-Bumper 5 years or 86,000 miles and Powertrain 7 years or 100,000 miles. These extensions are significant as it means you will not have to worry about out of pocket expenses for the life of your Pre-Owned Honda.

So why newhonda.club? Well there was a sale going on and I got a great deal on the first year. A good sale always helps. Also I like purchasing short domains. Since most of the short .com domains are taken I’ve opted for the new gTLD (generic Top Level Domains).

Chase Your Dreams

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Laozi

Dreams dare to exist before the path to their attainment is made clear.

Fear of failure is a mental obstacle. Those who overcome fear achieve success.

Fear of failure is overcome by humility, the laying down of pride. There is no need to succeed on the first attempt. Not even on the final attempt.

The journey is the reward. Take this journey without expectations.

Empty the mind of expectations so it can experience discoveries.

Like a child, when every encounter is new, there is no fear. This is why children learn the most and adults stick to what they know. In these young minds there is no expectation of failure; there is no fear of it. The expectations of the old are limitations; clinging to mildly successful methodologies as they feel safer than the unknown.

Be bold, chase your dreams. When failure comes, let it excite your mind with a fascination on how to improve your next attempt.

Discovery is the fuel of innovation. It is the token reward to continue.

There is no greater joy than to learn something new.

There is no greater regret than to not have tried.

Mistakes are guidance markers for the next attempt. Do not fear them.

Celebrating the successes of legends while forgetting their failures misleads young dreamers to believe that the pathway to success is without struggle.

Anything worth achieving was attained at great sacrifice. This is its value.

If it were too easy it would not be precious, it would not be desirable.

Chase your dreams and you will find your treasures. What is dreamed about is treasured.

Those who dream of far away places, treasure the journey. For what is near is not as desirable.

Those who dream of riches, treasure what is difficult to obtain. For what they have is not as desirable.

Those who dream of achievement, treasure struggle. For what they have achieved was too easy.

Some dreams are unobtainable. Such as mirages and the end of the rainbow. These dreams are best avoided.

Goals that are not clearly defined are best avoided.

Defining Success

Some of us struggle with a never ending desire to be successful. Unless you’ve clearly defined it, success can be a vague goal that is more of a mirage than a destination.

I have personally struggled with this. When I read about Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, and others, I felt a strong desire to want to be great like them. My perception of their accomplishments and how they obtained them blinded me from the truth. Many of my childhood heroes had hard lives, obtained their successes by accident, or were later spun into a success story.

In other words, while I may perceive Scott Fitzgerald as a great author, he passed into the next life believing himself to be a failure. His greatness wasn’t appreciated until after he was gone.

Greatness; everyone is great, everyone is average. The trouble with equating success to greatness is the delusion that one can be greater than another. All are created equal. The limelight shifts between us, but ultimately we are all the same. We are both equal and unique.

While greatness can be measured by achievement; if attaining that achievement required a great sacrifice in another area of your life, recognize that compromise as what levels you off with others. Life is all about balance.

Being the absolute best at something comes at a price; a sacrifice in another area of your life. When looking at your life as a whole that sacrifice is what negates the success. Thus we are all equal.

Recognizing this equality is what will satisfy the unquenchable thirst for success. An overzealous drive can be let go of when one realizes that success is not all that it appears.

Wanting to be the best is an insecurity. The belief that one is in an inferior state and must obtain superiority to all others to be content. Once this desire has subsided one can be respectful and accepting of others and open without shame about one’s own shortcomings.

True success isn’t climbing to the top of an invented hierarchy; it’s accepting the shared equality with others and recognizing everyone’s unique greatness.

Building a Website for Free

Hangout with me long enough and I’ll help you launch your own WordPress blog or website. I’ll talk you into it somehow! I live and breathe this stuff.

This morning I helped my girlfriend Kara launch her blog at karajade2020.wordpress.com. Earlier this year I launched a co-authored blog with my good friend Charles at alwaysdeep.wordpress.com. And I helped my HOA launch theirs at inspirationhillsnet.wordpress.com. I’m on a spree because the list doesn’t end there!

In 2018, there’s no reason not to have your own blog or website. WordPress.com is free! So it doesn’t cost you anything. It’s a WYSIWYG, meaning you don’t have to learn how to code. The bar for entry has never been lower. You can always get fancier with your website, but keeping things free and simple works too!

Personally, I like having my own domain, configuring DNS Records, and managing my own @agarcia.tv email addresses. I enjoy it.

There was a time when it was more difficult. Today, it’s easier. It costs a lot less too. IT admin won’t tell you that because it’s their own job security that they’re worried about, but you could easily get away with launching a WordPress or Squarespace website for $96 or less!

Your student organization can launch a free site with WordPress. There’s no excuse not to be online! Every entity can now have their own website. There’s no cost associated with having one. Unless you want more features.

I remember hearing that a church I previously attended paid $40,000 for their website. It wasn’t mobile friendly, it was very hard to navigate, and it was rarely updated with new content. I now realize they could have just paid $299.04 for the Business Plan (the top tier) and still saved thousands! The site would have been mobile-friendly on day one and would have been easier to keep updated with fresh content.

Times are changing. Costs are diminishing. And while I could see this as a threat to all the hours I’ve spent learning how to do this stuff, I recognize that times change. And there will always be people who want it done for them. So if your business or organization wants a website, doesn’t want it to cost too much, but you don’t want to do it yourself, I’m always here to help!

Photoshoot at Castroville Regional Park

Kara and I just took some new profile photos at Castroville Regional Park. I have the same profile photo on my social media accounts since 2015; Kara thinks it is time for me to update.

IMG_4236_edit (Priime Analog) (Priime Leather)

I agree with her. I must stay current. Though I do not choose my profile photo lightly since I will use it across all networks.

The question remains, does the above photo beat the current one? This is a very subjective question. I suppose I’ll get used to the new one. Facebook has been bugging me to update my profile photo for some time.

Kara does not agonize over updating her profile photo. She updates her profile photos twice a month. If only I did not overthink everything!

Kara fell in love with these photos immediately. This one made it to Instagram. Another made it to Facebook.

IMG_4200 (Priime Crisp)

Now she is just waiting for me. I really need to update my profile photo. Out with the old in with the new. Yep, I think I am going to do it.

What do you think? Too much deliberation? I should right?

Hard Drive Formats

If you’ve ever wondered what to reformat your flash drive or external hard drive, you are not alone. There are several formats to choose from, but there is likely only a couple that will work for your needs.

Formats

FAT32

FAT32 is the most common format found on flash drives (also known as thumb drives, USB sticks, or jump drives). FAT32 is perfect for these small devices because the format can be read and written to from every major computer or device (including Windows PCs, Macs, and Linux computers).

There is only one problem with FAT32, it cannot save a file larger than 4GBs. That might be a problem if you’re working with video or have a large ISO file that you’d like to store.

exFAT

FAT32 is being phased out for exFAT that can store files larger than 4GBs. Unfortunately, older operating systems do not support exFAT and there may be some compatibility issues.

Just like FAT32, exFAT can be read and written to across many platforms, including Windows and Mac OS.

NTFS

NTFS is a Windows format that can only be written to by a Windows computer (unless special software is installed). NTFS is the format of choice for running a Windows operating system but isn’t ideal for flash drives.

HFS+

Like Windows, Apple also has their own format called HFS+. This format has been the standard for Mac computers and their external devices. This format can only be read and written to by other Mac computers (unless special software is installed).

This format isn’t ideal for devices that will need to be accessed by Windows and Linux computers.

APFS

APFS is Apple’s newest format. It will replace HFS+ in the coming years and will offer several advantages over the 30-year-old format. APFS is designed for solid state drives and will make all of Apple’s devices more compatible with each other. Apple TVs, Apple Watches, iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and iMacs will eventually all run on APFS providing greater security and speed in the future.

ext4

ext4 is the successor of ext3, the format used by Linux operating systems. This format cannot be read by Macs or Windows computers (unless special software is installed). Unless you are running a Linux operating system, you may never run across this format.

Making Friends on the Web

Some of us are introverts. I’m an introvert. I can spend a whole weekend inside working away on my computer and be surprisingly content.

Even though I’m alone at a desk, I still have the potential to make friends all around the world. I’ll never forget the time a girl from China messaged me on Skype. She asked me to help her with a Photoshop project.

She lived in Hong Kong. I don’t know how she knew I would be able to help with her Photoshop project… I had literally helped another student with a similar project that day.

Closer Than You Think
This is the travel poster I designed for the unknown overseas college student. I was hoping that she would study the layers and learn how shadow effects worked. (Insert eye roll here)
uiw-mac-lab-communication-art-aaron-garcia-geekdom

The day she reached out, I had accidentally turned my Skype settings to allow anyone to message me. At first, I was surprised that someone from Hong Kong was trying to message me. I thought she might be a scammer. But, she quickly mentioned the Photoshop project and because it paralleled with what I had helped another student with earlier that day, I listened.

At the time I had a work-study job at UIW where I helped students with creative projects on Mac computers. I really enjoyed sharing what I knew about Final Cut Pro X, Photoshop, WordPress, and Apple computers in general with students and faculty. They would ask me how to do this and that, each time I somehow knew the answer.

I’ve spent more than a decade with my eyes on a screen. If the computer were a physical world, I could say I’ve seen many countries. I’ve learned how to edit videos, photos, extensively explored Excel’s capabilities, configured DNS Records, run virtual machines, created ISOs, recovered deleted files, experimented with steganography, generated strong passwords, used Terminal, made PDFs searchable with OCR, converted various file types, created encrypted archive files, opened a Bitcoin wallet, designed a font, I’ve installed many operating systems, and the list continues.

For as much time as I’ve spent alone on the computer, the Internet has introduced me to many new people who I’ll never meet in person. I’ve held conversations with Londoners and Asians. I use software from Canada and Switzerland. I’ve made friends and had many arguments with people from around the globe on social media.

I’ve found that I prefer making friends. Skip the politics, there’s more to life than that.

I recently commented on K.C. Wise’s blog blackbunchedmassmom.com. I read her about page, which will inspire improvements to my own. I feel as if I know her, even though I’ve only read a few posts and her about page. It was a great post, inspired profound reflection, I recommend giving it a read.

While there are those who insist meeting in person is a prerequisite to forging a lasting friendship… I point out that for the heavy thinkers — it is our thoughts, our souls that are boundless and can travel across the world; echoing into time.

Obama needs no introduction. With as much as we’ve seen him and heard him speak, it’s like we know him. Social media gives us the opportunity to experience a similar phenomenon mutually.

So if you want to be my friend, simply comment on my blog and follow me on Twitter. The Internet is the world’s largest mixer. We may know how easy it is to argue with a complete stranger, but how about transforming strangers into friends?

My 100,000 Photos

When asked if I’m a photographer I typically respond, “Well I have 100,000 photos on my camera roll.”

11490007-00-00-01-951

You see, I recognize that there are better photographers out there. They’ve mastered the art of manual settings. They know how to compose an image, not just capture what they see.

agarciatv-45197 (Priime Cocktail)

My style is point and shoot. I capture what I see while trying to get the best angle. I don’t mess with makeup or ask my subject to pose a certain way. I’ve messed with manual settings only when absolutely necessary. Sometimes, I add filters.

undefined goal (Priime Chiaroscuro)

I photograph everything. Even my food. I capture life experiences. I take photos of my girlfriend. I photograph what’s in front of me to share it with others or just to save it for all time.

25105569082_1f35b6af2d_o (Priime Nice)

Many of my photos never see the light of day. I snap it and then it remains unappreciated on an Amazon Cloud server somewhere in a distant land.

Sometimes I publish photos 6 years later on Instagram; those are always fun.

I capture memories and history; preserving them for all time.

So if you ask if I’m a photographer, well I’m not a snooty one. I know the tools, I’ve used them quite a bit. As far as my skill level — I’ll let you judge.

WordPress.com Introduces Free Images

Now I don’t have to go upload my own or download from pixabay.com, though I highly recommend them.  This new feature drops another exclamation point behind Why WordPress.com is Better, a post I published recently.

How to Add Free Stock Photos to WordPress.com

How to Add Free Images on WordPress
Searching for Stock Photos in WordPress
Choosing a Free Stock Photo as Your Featured Image

Adding a free stock photo to your post or feature image is incredibly easy! For adding images directly to your post, click add and choose the third option, “Free photo library.” You’ll then be greeted by a blank pop up. Use the search bar to search for photos relating to a keyword.

Since I am writing about free stock photos, I decided to search for “photo.” I chose one of an iPhone taking a photo of a sunset because I take a lot of my photos with my iPhone.

To add a stock photo as a featured image, click on the featured image panel on your right, click choose featured image and then click the WordPress icon on the top left of the popup that appears.

Now that I can add free stock photos this easily, I’ll likely blog more! The featured image is my favorite part of blogging. I can’t explain it, but I just love choosing gorgeous stock photos and writing a post to accompany them. Perhaps that’s the visual artist in me. I admire images.
Hope you found this post helpful if so let me know in the comments! I know I’m really going to enjoy this new feature.