Unpaid Endorsements: My 4 Favorite iPhone Apps

By no means am I an iPhone expert, an App connoisseur, or a smart, capable person. However, I do have some super-helpful apps that I use on a daily basis that might be useful to you:

Beat The Traffic = Every single time I get in the car for my morning and evening commutes to and from Dallas, I check BTT. (Full Disclosure: I only have two or three possible routes — four or five if it’s absolutely ridiculous traffic.)

But the highly accurate red/orange/green road colors let me know which roads and intersections to avoid, and exclamation points highlight any accidents/major slowdowns. (You can report them as well.) I don’t really use any of the other features (daily alerts, etc.), but I’m sure they’re good.


Gas Buddy = You might have a favorite gas station or one that you “know” is the cheapest around…but you can know where the cheapest gas prices are with this app.

One big button to hit for GPS-targeting your current location, or just type in a zip code. It’ll give you a pretty long list of area gas stations which you can sort by price or location. I remember my dad trying to remember all of the various gas prices in our neighborhood, and this app makes it so crazy easy. Technology is awesome.


SoundHound = Driving. Great tune comes on radio that you don’t recognize. Tap to open SoundHound, tap to start “listening,” and it’ll name that tune in 10ish seconds. Read about the artist and then share what you’re listening to on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Also has the lyrics that will scroll along live with the radio, so it’s basically a karaoke app too.


MLB Trade Rumors = I started reading this site online several years ago for the latest baseball news and rumors. It’s a freakin’ empire now, and the app has all the site content updated instantly — which is great for fantasy baseball dorks like me.

Editor’s Note: I was reminded by @GalloSays on Twitter (Thanks Steve!) that the actual app name is not “MLB Trade Rumors,” likely due to MLB copyright restrictions. In iTunes, look for “Baseball Trade Rumors.”


What are YOUR favorite apps? I showed you mine, so show me yours (in the comments below)!

Rant: Speeding Ticket

Got a speeding ticket on the Dallas North Tollway this past Saturday. 76 in a 65 near Wycliff exit heading north.

Although I don’t think I was actually doing 76, I’ll probably just pay the fine or do the online courses (or both). Typical fine is $250-300 or so.

Sure, I could be stopping a burglary. But this looks more badass.

I call the judge today as instructed by the quota-filler cop who pulled me over. I get a mildly annoyed representative on the phone who takes my information and basically tells me to call back — that my ticket hasn’t been filed in their system yet.

So I’m supposed to call back. As if I don’t have a job and family and things to do, I need to keep calling back while I wait for the “system” to get updated.

FACT: I haven’t gotten a speeding ticket since 1997 on the Atlantic City Expressway. I was doing a 1.5-hour commute, and got caught doing 76 in a 55. THAT is a stop-worthy offense.

FACT: The “violation” I allegedly committed last Saturday was “Speeding 10 percent or more above posted speed limit.” So math-wise, here’s your lesson:

In a 75 MPH zone, you can do up to 82.5. (75 x .10 = 7.5; 75 + 7.5 = 82.5)

In a 65 MPH zone, you can do up to 71.5. (65 x .10 = 6.5; 65 + 6.5 = 71.5)

In a 55 MPH zone, you can do up to 60.5. (55 x .10 = 5.5; 55 + 5.5 = 60.5)

And so on.

I’m not sure why they went away from actually telling you how much your fine is on the ticket.

I guess it’s nice to give me an option where I can avoid getting “points” on my license — via the online courses.

It would be a lot nicer to either give me a cost up front or at least update your bureaucratic systems.

So I have to call back. You gotta be kiddin’ me.


The Big News

Well, folks, it happened. My Biennial Layoff.

Yep, for the second time in the past three years, I’ve been let go from my job. Each time, it truly was for economic reasons, though — so don’t go thinkin’ I’m just an unemployable hack. (OK, I’m a hack, but not unemployable.)

Back in ’08, I was part of a three-person layoff. It was actually the second set of layoffs out of a total of four within a year.

And now in ’10, I was part of a four-person layoff, which was the second or third within a year.

But shed no tears for good ol’ Harley. Because this one really drove home the new Golden Rule: “Be your own boss so nobody can fire you.”

So I will be freelancing for a time, seeking new full-time opportunities (or even contract gigs), until I am able to initiate The Plan. The Plan, in a nutshell, is my own agency.

This market (Dallas-Fort Worth) is teeming with industry. Tons of small and mid-sized businesses, crying out for a new face on the ad scene. And that’s just what I will be bringin’.

So if you’re reading this and you have a small business or your mom and dad do or your Uncle Bob does, please let me know if you/them/Bob is looking for marketing help. I’m all about integrity, creativity and results.

P.S.: Playing Mr. Mom is, by the way, awesome. Spending all this time with our twins is incredible, and one of the greatest things I’ve ever done.