Why You Should Use BallotReady.com For The 2016 Election

ballotready-logsElection Day is coming up faster than you think on November 8th. I must admit this election has been the most entertaining and the debates have been more ridiculous than any past Presidential debates. One of my favorite past times and till this day has been the SNL skits about the Presidential debate. My other favorite past times is going to vote and getting the “I Voted” sticker after I cast my vote.

Though we have allot of ways to get information for Election Day via Social Media, TV Ads and the internet a site that is a one stop shop on what you need to know about the election is ideal. This is where the site BallotReady is useful for all your election needs and more information in detail on candidates.

What is BallotReady?need-to-know

BallotReady  is a nonpartisan voter information company that is a free tool designed to help you vote informed on every candidate. BallotReady aggregates information from candidates’ websites, social media, press, endorsers and board of elections data for the latest, most accurate details about the candidates and referendums on your ballot. As of now BallotReady has reached 100,000 voters during primaries in 4 states with a goal of 1 million BallotReady informed voters across 25 states though out November. Continue Reading →

Happy Austin Beer Week and Drunk Mode App


Today is day 1 of Austin Beer Week (ABW)  and I will be celebrating with a beer the entire week which is from October 28th through November 6th. Tonight there will be a kick off ABW Party at Craft Pride starting at 7pm and its free admission. Continue Reading →

New Indiegogo Campaign – Soapberry

tree-to-tubI love crowd funding, I am always surprised with the innovated gadgets and products.  Today I learned about a new Indiegogo campaign that will be launching on 11/1/ 2016. The campaign is for Soapberry which is the the world’s most gentle soap.

Continue Reading →

Elgato Introduces Eve – the World’s First Wall Switch for the Apple HomeKit

eve-lightRecently I installed the Philips Hue Dimmer Switch: throughout my condo. I decided on the Philips Hue Dimmer Switch because it was the easiest to install due to it not having to be hard wired to the light switch. It was also less expensive but I was curious how other light switches compare.

Today Elgato launched the Eve Light Switch which is the world’s first light switch designed for the Apple HomeKit and is a more permanent installation versus my Philips Hue Dimmer Switch which runs on batteries. While wondering if I should go out and purchase the new Eve Light Switch I decided to do a comparison of both products before I change out one switch for the other. Below are my findings and  comparison of Eve Light SwitchPhilips Hue Dimmer Switch, and the Philips Hue Tap Switch to help you  make an educated decision on which light switch works for your home. Also below is the pricing and links to all three switches. Continue Reading →

Buzz Aldrin’s ShareSpace Foundation Awards Giant Destination Mars Map™ to Space Foundation

discoverymEarlier this month President Obama announced they have set a clear goal vital to the next chapter of America’s story in space. The main goal is sending humans to Mars by the 2030s and returning them safely to Earth, with the ambition to one day remain there for an extended time.

Per Obama getting to Mars will require continued cooperation between government and private innovators and believes we are already well on our way. He also stated that within the next two years, private companies will for the first time send astronauts to the International Space Station.

One of the many questions about Mars exploration is do we have a realistic map of Mars. Though we don’t have a highly detailed map what we do have is a 25 by 25 foot Giant Destination Mars Map™ that is located at the Space Foundation‘s Lockheed Martin Space Education Center located in the Discovery Center.  The Giant Destination Mars Map™ depicts the Mars MOLA image, which measures the elevation of the surface features of Mars, and it includes the landing locations of NASA Mars robots.

Currently the Space Foundation, in conjunction with the Mars Robotics Laboratory, is using the Giant Destination Mars Map™ for research to cover topics on map reading, latitude/longitude comprehension, topographical map comprehension, mission planning, spatial awareness, scale models and other Mars-related lessons. Within the next two years, private companies will for the first time send astronauts to the International Space Station.

Like a geek I love anything about space, I could watch hours of documentaries on the topic. I’m am stoked on the progress we are making to one day visit Mars as an American citizen regardless if we are astronauts or not.  We are in exciting times, if only we could figure out beaming my life would be complete.

Below is the Official Press Release with more information on the Giant Destination Mars Map™. Enjoy! Continue Reading →

Press Release: Monster Moto’s Mini Powersport Bikes and Go-Karts

moto-bikesChildren’s toys are so much cooler and hi-tech than when I was a kid and these products are no exception. Today Monster Moto announced their mini powersport line up of gas and electric powered mini bikes and gas powered go-karts. After checking out their product line I was very impressed that they had a pink mini bike for girls called “Muddy Girl.” This a great step in the right direction, I recall the days when there wasn’t many options for women.

The Go-karts are a different beast considering it needs to be rugged however a little bit of a feminine touch would be nice.  Currently they only have two colors, Camo and all black with bold red graphics. I am certain that they will expand this product line in the future.


I think this is an ideal Holiday gift to get the kiddos outside (like we did back in the day) instead of gaming inside all day. Below is the official press release with more information about the Monster Moto powersports line.

RUSTON, La. (Oct. 25, 2016) – Monster Moto, America’s premier powersports producer of off-road mini bikes and go-karts, is gearing up for the holidays with its complete line of gas and electric powered mini bikes and gas powered go-karts. The easy-to-ride mini powersports lineup offers outdoor adventure and limitless fun for kids of all ages, making Monster Moto products the perfect gifts this holiday season.

Launched in 2013, every holiday season Monster Moto products grow in popularity among young riders and adventurers and continue to be the perfect gifts for helping families ditch the electronics and video games to enjoy the outdoors. All of Monster Moto’s mini bikes and go-karts are made with high-quality, reliable components and are capable of delivering years of off-road fun and excitement.

Parents need not worry about spending extensive time assembling the products. Both the gas powered mini bikes and go-karts come 95% assembled and only need a couple of small parts attached with the included tool kit before it is ready to go. The E-Mini Bike also comes nearly fully assembled, needing only the handlebars attached and a full charge before its first use.

“At Monster Moto we know the holidays are very important for quality family time across the U.S., which is why we are so proud that our products create an environment of memory-making for families during this time of the year. We continue to do everything we can to produce top-quality mini bikes and go-karts that are easy to set up and work perfectly right out of the box,” said Alex Keechle, chief executive officer of Monster Moto. “Our customers rely on us and our products to help create special moments in a child’s life, and we take that responsibility very seriously in everything we do.”

Nearly all of Monster Moto current line of products are assembled in its new 100,000 square-foot headquarters in Ruston, La. Monster Moto is currently transitioning all of its assembly operations to the United States and the move has created new jobs while providing positive economic impact to the city of Ruston.

The move to Ruston and other strategic decisions by Monster Moto has provided a real boost in sales and brand recognition. This holiday season, Monster Moto is expected to hit a new milestone of 100,000 units sold.

Monster Moto currently has a variety of key partners that are supporting the custom patterns available on several Monster Motor products including Mossy Oak®, Realtree®, Muddy Girl®, and RCH Racing. Partnerships with several more top brands are already in development.

Monster Moto products are available at www.MonsterMoto.com and in hundreds of major retail locations throughout the country.

About Monster Moto

Monster Moto is a maker of high quality, affordable mini bikes and go-karts. By 2017, all of Monster Moto’s products will be completely assembled in the United States at the company’s 100,000 square foot production facility in Ruston, La. Founded in 2013, Monster Moto focuses on ensuring all of its mini bikes and go-karts are made with high quality parts and detailed attention to construction to help get kids outside to focus on the important things: enjoying the outdoors, exploring off-road, and making lasting memories with family and friends. Monster Moto stands behind its products with a 90 day warranty, and the company’s customer service center is open seven days a week. Monster Moto also has a 100% spare parts inventory as well as 600 service centers throughout the country. To learn more about Monster Moto, visit www.MonsterMoto.com or contact Media@MonsterMoto.com.

Bose virtual “F1 Garage Experience” and Fan Fest with Facebook

bose1stThough all the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix racing fun was at the Circuit of the Americas, they also had several other events in downtown Austin, Texas as part of the F1 weekend.  I attended 2 of the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix events over the weekend, the Bose virtual “F1 Garage Experience” and Fan Fest.

The first event I attended was the Bose virtual “F1 Garage Experience” in downtown Austin, Texas. The experience starts with putting on the new Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones and going into a dark room which was the size of a one car garage. Once it starts you are transported into the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team Garage. Before they start virtually working on the car to be raced the walls and floor light up with a timer, different 3D patterns of the race tracks and other images, and foot prints on the floor walking around the car that you are supposed to step on.bose-car-picWhile wearing the new Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones you can listen in on mechanics talking and also when they begin working on the car. Soon after hearing the mechanics chatting the floor lights with an outline of a race car and you can hear them beginning to work on the car.  At the end the car is ready to hit the tracks and the experience was over. Before I left I also took a few pictures of items on display and this car. All in all is was an awesome experience and I am now a HUGE fan of the Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones.

The following day I went to F1’s Fan Fest in downtown Austin where they closed off 3 blocks on the infamous 6th street for F1 fanatical who aren’t at the races. Fan Fest had live music, car displays, photos, exhibits and the activation booth from Facebook plus Bud Light, Topo Chico, Perky Jerky, and Advance Auto Parts booths.


Besides taking pictures and listening to live bands performing on different roof tops of bars I also checked out Facebook‘s VR Glass Room. I have tried the Oculus Rift many times for VR gaming demos but not for a VR experience of being in another country or in outer space. While waiting in a short line I was asked to take a picture wearing the Facebook branded Gear VR headset. I am convinced no one can look good wearing those. Even the most beautiful woman in the world would look silly wearing a VR headset.

While in line I started talking to the Facebook’s staff members to get the skinny before going in. The Facebook staff informed me the demo was using Gear VR hardware powered by a smartphone for the visuals and audio. That perked my curiosity and made me excited to have this new experience! When I entered the Facebook VR Glass Room I was quickly outfitted with a pair of Facebook’s implementation of Gear VR goggles and geared up for my 2 minute demo. Once it started, I started having the VR experience of being in different lands and outer space. It was amazing since everywhere you would turn (up, down, left right and behind you) it was as if you were really there.fb-fanfest

One of the Asian countries featured in the experience had you on boat (or canoe) and when you would turn behind you there is a person in the boat with you that seemed very real, somewhat spooked me out a tad. I do have to say that since I’ve experienced gaming demos on the higher-end Oculus Rift, the Gear VR’s graphics were not as crisp as I would prefer or have experienced in the past. Regardless the Facebook VR experience was amazing and got me excited to see what the future will hold for VR and Oculus.

I hope all that attended Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix had an amazing time in my hometown Austin, Texas and enjoyed our fabulous BBQ plus all the live music. As this was my first time covering the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix and events I had a blast! Till next year Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix fans!

Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix 2016 Starts Today!


Today is day 1 of the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix that is held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. The gates at the Circuit of the Americas will open each day at 7am. The 3-day F1 event will include performances by Taylor Swift and Usher with the Roots on the Super Stage.


On Friday the events at Circuit of the Americas will end by 6:40pm. On Saturday the Taylor Swift concert starts at 7pm and on Sunday the Usher with the Roots concert starts at 6.00. The concerts will be general admission and all holders of a Saturday ticket for USGP weekend (including the 3-Day GA wristband) will have access to the Taylor Swift concert.

For the schedule of F1 events at Circuit of the Americas click here and to buy a tickets plus directions click here.

If you are not going to the Formula 1 Grand Prix races there are still some events in Austin that are Formula 1 themed. Below are some events that are celebrating the Formula 1 races this weekend.



Time: 10:00pm – 4am

Where: 213 West 5th St, Austin, TX View Map


  • DJ Jake Brice
  • Chicken George
  • Go Go Garcia


  • Mixer Rogers
  • DJ Bigface
  • Chorizo Funk



When: 10/17/ 2016 – 10/23/ 2016


  • Monday October 17 through Friday 21st of October from 11AM to 5:30PM
  • Saturday, October 22, from 10AM to 8PM
  • Sunday, October 23, from 10AM to 6PM

Where: 323 Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701



Where: 6th Street between San Jacinto Blvd and Neches Street


  • 5 PM – 6 PM: White Ghost Shivers
  • 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM: Wino Vino
  • 8 PM – 9:45 PM: Boss Street Band
  • 10:15 PM – 12:00 AM: Flying Balalaika Brothers


  • 4:30 PM – 6 PM: Peligrosa’s DJ Manolo Black
  • 6:30 PM – 8 PM: Stella Cottrell
  • 8:30 PM – 10 PM: Riders Against The Storm – Body Rock
  • 10:30 PM – 12:00 AML Ducado Vega in celebration of Prince

I have already started celebrating Formula 1 weekend since Thursday where I attended the Chandon and McLaren Enjoy the SPARK with Jenson Button.chandon-event

The drink of the night was created by Jenson Button himself called SPARK by Jenson drink that is made with Chandon’s Brut.  It was delicious! I included the recipe in my post before the event but below is the recipe just in case you didn’t get a chance to read the post.

spark-jThe SPARK by Jenson


  • Ice cubes
  • 68 oz. dry gin
  • 17 oz. lime
  • 1 tsp. vanilla sugar
  • 06 oz. Chandon Brut
  • Twisted lemon peel

Directions: In a Burgundy glass filled with ice, pour the gin, add lime juice and sugar. Mix lightly and fill with Chandon’s Brut. Twist the lemon peel and flame it over the glass using a blowtorch.

During the event Jenson Button did an on stage interview and towards the end there was some Q & A plus you get to get a picture with Jenson Button himself. Here is a video after asked how he got started racing.

Here is another video ask Jenson Button what’s next after he retires from racing. He mentioned he was really into cycling and marathons; maybe that will be what’s next for him. Here is a video with him candidly answering the question.

The Formula 1 fun has just started and today I plan to attend the Bose “F1 Garage Experience” event and Fan Fest, say hi if you see me!

TONIGHT: Chandon & McLaren Formula 1 Cocktails with Jenson Button

Tonight I will be attending the Chandon and McLaren’s Enjoy the SPARK with Jenson Button event in Austin, Texas as we gear up for the 3- Day Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix. The event is in celebration of the newly formed partnership between Chandon and McLaren.


For the celebration Chandon has created two original SPARK cocktails inspired by drivers Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso. An original and elegant drink, the SPARK by Jenson is the newest twist to the classic English cocktail Gin & Tonic. Inspired by his Spanish Origins, the SPARK by Fernando blends spice taste profiles featuring pepper paired with grapefruit flavors. Below are the recipes and directions for The SPARK by Jenson and The SPARK by Fernando.

spark-jThe SPARK by Jenson Ingredients:

  • Ice cubes
  • 0.68 oz. dry gin
  • 0.17 oz. lime
  • 1 tsp. vanilla sugar
  • 4.06 oz. Chandon Brut
  • Twisted lemon peel

Directions: In a Burgundy glass filled with ice, pour the gin, add lime juice and sugar. Mix lightly and fill with Chandon Brut. Twist the lemon peel and flame it over the glass using a blowtorch.

spark-aThe SPARK by Fernando Ingredients:

  • Ice cubes to chill
  • 0.33 oz. pink pepper berried syrup
  • 1.35 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 2.03 oz. Chandon Brut
  • 1 chili pepper

Directions: Chill the pink pepper syrup and the grapefruit juice in the mixing glass. Strain the mixture to a flute glass and then add Chandon Brut. Garnish with chili pepper.

Chandon is one of my favorite wineries in Napa Valley to visit when I lived in the Bay Area. I love their wine so much I probably went there more than twice a year when I lived near there. I’m excited to try the cocktails inspired by drivers Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso attend the Q&A panel and also the meet and greet portion of the event.

This should be tons of fun or DANGEROUS since Chandon’s sparkiling and still wines are some of my favorites. I will be tweeting @nrpena, @cutegeek, and @hitechchic using #EnjoytheSpark plus post video’s I can catch on my youtube.

I will also be attending today or in the next few days the Bose “F1 Garage Experience” in Austin per my previous post and will post on the above channels as well.

My first Formula 1 experience is starting off awesome (even though I’m not going to any of the races as of yet). Stay tuned for my recaps of both!



Hot off the press…

Coach is celebrating 75 years of craftsmanship with a global online auction of 48 customized vintage bags beginning October 19th.  The auction will launch online HERE and will be available until October 28th at 5pm EST.

The collection includes newly restored, one-of-a-kind vintage bags and collaborative bags inspired by Lena Dunham, Debbie Harry, Kate Bosworth, Chloe Grace Moretz and more.

The first $50,000 in sales from this auction will benefit The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to ensure the preservation of fashion history and advance fashion as an art form.

Iconic and original Coach silhouettes, including the Duffle (1971), the Saddle (1972) and the Dinky (1980), were customized by hand for the auction according to three different themes:

  • Celebrity-Inspired Bags:  11 pieces featured in the auction are dedicated to Coach Executive Creative Director Stuart Vevers’s long-time friends and muses. Each of these bespoke bags references the individual’s character and personality, and is finished with a Coach hangtag signed by the muse who inspired it. These include the revered Debbie Harry, the ingenious Lena Dunham and the effortlessly cool Kate Bosworth. Other friends of Coach represented include campaign star Chloe Grace Moretz, model Dree Hemingway and more.
  • Bags Customized with Modern Icons and Motifs:  26 bags have been sourced and refurbished and then specially re-worked and crafted in Coach’s leather workshop in NYC. Each personalized bag reflects Coach’s history and quality, but is re-imagined for today’s modern Coach girl with unique design applications like fringe, patches and studs.
  • One-of-a-kind Bags matched to special items and one-of-a-kind experiences:  The last section of the auction features 11 custom packages of bags paired with the items that inspired them — a Duffle covered in pins is offered with the runway jacket it references, and a one-off ‘Dinky’ bag featuring a patched snakeskin version of Rexy The Coach Dinosaur is accompanied by a super-sized 3-D leather Rexy puzzle. Several lots create the opportunity for once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like attending a Coach runway show in New York City, or having a Coach bag named after you.


  • Stuart Vevers:  “This was a very personal project for me — many who gave their time and love to it are friends we’ve collaborated with since I joined Coach – so it felt like family. I am so happy to be able to support the cause of fashion scholarship and preservation by celebrating Coach’s own heritage and craft with these inventive, unique pieces.”
  • Lena Dunham:  “I have always been an admirer of Stuart’s aesthetic, and I am so honored to be part of Coach’s global auction benefitting The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I’ve always wanted to inspire a hoagie sandwich, but a bag is so much better.”