The beautiful FACES of Ames 2010

Chilly fall weather is finally moving in this week. However, last Saturday, Oct 16th, the weather couldn’t be more perfect! It was a beautiful 70 degrees sunny day and we were out @ Bandshell Park for FACES of Ames 2010. There were 60+ Ames businesses and organizations there to showcase the diversity of Ames, IA. One of the many reasons why our beloved hometown is a very special and awesome city!

Here are some pictures that we took from the event: FACES of Ames 2010

We have two simple goals that we wanted to accomplish with FACES of Ames, to connect with people in the community and to do something that will make them happy :)

Everybody loves temporary tattoos, right? Especially the no-mess, waterless, ones. So we brought and gave away ~400 of them!

Next we wanted to do something that can help everybody, regardless of age, reconnect with the hero inside them! So we used up all of the creative and artistic powers that we can muster to create Flarecaster Boy and Flarecaster Girl!

You can witness their evolution here: Flarecaster Boy & Flarecaster Girl – Evolution

We couldn’t be happier with the result! Throughout the day over 150 people, young and young-at-heart, were reconnected with the hero inside them and had their pictures taken as Flarecaster Boys and Girls! See all the pictures we took here: Heroic FACES of Ames

I think these pictures perfectly captured the essence of FACES of Ames! They showed the beautiful diversity of our little Ames community.

If you see a picture of you or your children, share them with your friends and families. If you want the high resolution originals, we’ll be more than happy to send them your way. Just e-mail with the numbers you see in the caption below the picture.

Finally, most people also love free T-shirts! So we give away 10 Flarecaster T-shirts :)

Here are the winners:

  • Yunnie Low
  • Carver Nebbe
  • Abbi Kris
  • Barb Gauger
  • John Tuohy
  • Charlie Kuester
  • AJ Sorenson
  • Becky Coppoc
  • Tiffany Walker
  • Jason Mamakos

Congratulations to the winners! And thank you all to those who participated in the drawing!
We will contact you to get your T-shirt size and address so we can mail you the T-shirts.

For all of you who came out and stopped by our table to learn a little bit about Flarecaster and all of you who is reading this post now, I hope we’re able to connect with you and brighten your day a bit, thank you so much for all your support! :)

Finally, we want to thank United Ames for organizing this event. We had a blast and we’re looking forward to FACES of Ames 2011!


10 2010

Zombie Resistance of Earth

If you’re reading this, you already know that zombie apocalypse is at hand. Zombies are taking over the earth one city at a time as you can see from this Worldwide Zombie Locator map! Zombie attacks in your area are imminent! But you have the power to help each other stay alive and survive!      

Yes, you’re on the right blog and no my brain is not fried after my 3 weeks absence :)      

My good friend, Dallas from Social Republick, organized the Des Moines Zombie Walk that was very successful last year. Not only did he manage to bring together over 100 zombies to roam around downtown Des Moines, the zombies collected bags and bags of winter clothing for the Central Iowa Shelter & Services! So, he’s doing it again this year!     

A few weeks ago we talked and he told me that last year, beyond the 100+ zombies there were many people who wants to get involved with the Zombie Walk but were not able to join the walk, there were also a lot of people who wanted to donate to the cause but there was no easy way to do so.     

Dallas has been very supportive of Flarecaster so he came to me to brainstorm a way to use Flarecaster to get more people to participate in the Des Moines Zombie Walk even though they may not be able to join the walk as zombies.    

So, here is what we come up with, the Zombie Resistance of Earth! In a nutshell it’s an alternate reality role playing game that simulates how we can use Flarecaster to help each other stay alive in the event of a zombie attack!     

Click to watch a short video message from the leader of the Z.R.E.

I hope you will have fun with it and help us support Central Iowa Shelter & Services.      

There are 2 ways you can participate and help our cause:      

  • If you have an Android phone, purchase Flarecaster to join the Z.R.E. and participate
  • If not, go to Flarecaster’s Dwolla Hub page to donate to the cause 

100% of the proceeds from Flarecaster purchase and donations from
September 10 to October 2, 2010 will go to Central Iowa Shelter & Services

Using Dwolla will make sure that more of your donations will go toward the cause, because they only charge $0.25 fee, and you are also supporting an awesome local business!   

We will also have a drawing to give away a lot of cool prizes for people who participates or make a donation. More information coming soon! Please connect with us on Facebook and on Twitter so we can keep you posted. 

So, what are you waiting for! Get started by clicking the image above to go to and watch a short video message from the leader of the Z.R.E.

You have the power to help each other stay alive!


09 2010

Ames, a city full of heroes!

Ames, IA was hit by a record breaking flood today.

Many roads are closed; many power outages; many people are forced out of their homes; significant damages around the area; then a final blow, no fresh drinking water for the next 5 days!

Throughout the day I read many tweets from people who are saddened by what they see happening in Ames. I saw many stories about the damage and devastation. So, I’m not going to talk about that!

Instead, I want to talk about how proud I am of Ames and its residents! I saw a city full of heroes today and it warms my heart. Here are just a few examples why:

  • Before 10:00a.m. this morning, the city already had so many volunteers signed up to help that they don’t know where to send additional volunteers. Many volunteers were asked to register and be on stand-by as more help are needed over the next few days with clean-up efforts. You can see some of them in action in this video:
  • My neighbors helped a lady whose car was swept away by water on the road near our neighborhood.
  • On Twitter …
    • So many people are relaying timely and important information such as street closings, shelter locations, the water boil order, locations where people can get water, etc.
    • A guy, all the way in New York, had the foresight to tell a friend in Ames to fill her bathtub with water, hours before the city issued the order to boil water.
    • People offering help and asking if others are doing ok.


I’m sure there are so many other ordinary people performing heroic acts out there that I didn’t see or hear about. People helping other people, whether they know them or not, without asking for anything in return! I’m also sure that there will be no shortage of heroes stepping up in the next few days as we begin the clean-up efforts.

If you still have any doubt that you have the power to be a hero, that together we can create a world full of heroes, I hope this little city and its residents opened your eyes and removed your doubt!

Bravo! Great job Ames! I am so proud to live in a city full of heroes!

If you witnessed other heroic acts here in Ames today and over the next few days, please share. :)


08 2010

What is a Heroic Act?

Close your eyes for a minute. Form a picture in your mind of someone performing a heroic act.

What do you see?

Do you see a soldier in battle fighting for our freedom? Do you see a firefighter rescuing a baby from a burning building? Do you see someone standing up to a bully to protect the weak?

Most of us probably think of someone who helps others without regard for his or her own safety.

Encarta Dictionary defines heroic as:

  • courageous – showing great bravery, courage, or determination
  • large or extreme – large, extensive, or extreme, often daunting in aspect or done in response to a desperate situation


Because of this perspective, we often shortchange ourselves into thinking that we can’t perform any heroic acts, that we don’t have the courage to be a hero! It is one of the reasons why we froze or turn into spectators when faced with an emergency situation.

In reality, all of us can be a hero! You are a hero in many people’s eyes! You just don’t realize it.

I believe that a heroic act does not have to involve risking your own safety. It does not have to require great bravery, courage, or determination. And it does not have to involve something extreme done in response to a desperate situation.

A heroic act is simply the act of helping others without expecting anything in return.

Anybody who helps others without expecting anything in return is a hero in my book!

Simple acts such as volunteering to cook at a shelter, visiting an assisted living community to spend time with the residents and entertain them, running or walking to support a charity, giving up your seat in the bus to someone who needs it more than you, and loving your children, parents or spouse are heroic acts!

So, be proud! Own the fact that you can perform heroic acts, that you are a hero! Go out there and look for every opportunity you can find to help others!

By training yourself to recognize and perform heroic acts every day, I believe that the next time you are faced with an emergency situation, you will not freeze or turn into a spectator, you will have the courage to step up and save lives because you know that you are a hero!


08 2010

The call everybody dreads, especially parents

My wife and I are blessed with 3 beautiful children. When we became parents, our children became our world. We love our children and devote our life to them. We sacrifice our needs in order to give them the very best and insure their well-being.

If you’re a parent, I’m sure you already know what call I’m going to talk about in this post, the call that every parent dreads the most. Some of you, like me, may even have had nightmares about the call. They are not the kind of nightmares that you get after watching horror movies, but the kind that give you cold sweats and stay with you for days after you had them.

If you’re not a parent, you may also dread such a call involving your loved ones – your parents, your brothers or sisters, your spouse, your boyfriend or girlfriend, even your best friends.

What call is it? It is a call from the Hospital or the Police Department to inform us that some harm has fallen onto our children or our loved ones!

Why are we so afraid of such a call? I believe that it is because it made us feel powerless.

Such calls are usually made long after the incident that caused harm to our loved ones happened; when we no longer have a chance to help our loved ones avoid the incident. No matter how hard we wished, we can’t turn back time! All that we can do is accept the fact and do our best to cope and get through it.

What if there is a way for you to be immediately alerted the moment your loved ones are in an emergency situation? Would you want to be alerted immediately?

For me, the answer is a definite Yes!

Why? Because it will give me a chance to make an impact, to do something that may alter the outcome of the incident and potentially keep my loved ones from harm.

If I live nearby, I may be able to quickly come and provide assistance or first-aid. If I live far away, my parents live over 10,000 miles away, I can call someone nearby, neighbors, relatives or friends, to provide assistance or to call local emergency services.

This is one of the reasons why I created Flarecaster.

How about you? Would you prefer to continue to dread the call?


07 2010