Meet Chris Clackson, Hockey Player, App Developer

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John Royal
Meet Chris Clackson, hockey player, iPhone app developer.
It's been a strange season for the Aeros. They shot off to a quick start, having the best record in the league for the first month or so. Then the injury bug hit the parent club, and key player after key player got the call to join the Wild, leaving the Aeros depleted and relying on young players just recently arrived from the low minors.

Despite slumps, despite an inability to win games on home ice, or to win games that get into overtime, the Aeros are hanging in the playoff hunt with a record of 25-13-3-9 (62 points) and safely in second place of the West Division. They've developed an uncanny ability to win games on the road -- their 16-6-0-3 road record is one of the best in the league. And they've won two of their last three games, all on the road, which is a good way to start a record 11-game road trip.

One of the young kids called up to the Aeros is Chris Clackson. So far he's played just ten games with the Aeros. He doesn't have any goals, and he's got just one assist. He finished his college career a couple of years ago, and since then, he's primarily been exploring the realms of hockey's lower minor leagues with a few short stops in the American Hockey League.

But this isn't about Chris Clackson the Houston Aeros left winger. This isn't about Chris Clackson, the guy trying to establish himself in the AHL with a hopeful journey to the NHL soon to follow. This story's a little different. This story's about Chris Clackson, the iPhone-app developer.

The app is intended to be a useful little device for those out purchasing food, or who have food stashed in the refrigerator. It provides recipes and helps people save money. And it's just a little something Clackson came up with while in college.

"Back in college, me and my roommate came up with this idea to help us save money and save time grocery shopping, so we came up with the idea," the former Western Michigan student says. "It's called Grocery Time. It reminds you of any perishable food item you have, when it's going to expire, and it gives you meal solutions on how to use it. The application basically solves anything that revolves around grocery shopping."

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John Royal
He and his college roommate are working on an update which should be available soon. The update should allow Grocery Time to automatically develop shopping lists based on recipes one wishes to create. It should provide a list of about 1,400 recipes based on various food types and ingredients. And Clackson says it will all be tied in to FDA regulations regarding food expiration dates based on storage types.

He doesn't think what he's done is all that big of a deal. After all, anybody can develop an iPhone application. But the modest Clackson does admit that while anybody can create an app, not everybody can get through the Apple approval process.

"Anyone can create an iPhone application," he says. "The basis is that Apple has to approve it. You have to submit it to them. And if it's an unique idea that doesn't have a lot of competition or at least follows the guidelines of Apple, then they put it in the app store."

Clackson claims that he's not done with the iPhone app development game and that there's still more to come.

"I went to school at Western Michigan University for Finance, so I consider myself a little bit of a businessman," he says. "I have a few other things in the works. A little early right now, but hopefully I'm still here to talk with you guys about it then."

But for now, he's a hockey player with the Houston Aeros. The Aeros have 26 games left to play in a regular season which, hopefully, will lead into another long playoff run. And for now, Chris Clackson's primary job is to be a left wing for the Aeros.

He's more than just a hockey player, however. More than just the stereotypical dumb jock. He's a smart kid with some smart ideas, and who knows, if this whole professional athlete doesn't work out, he's got a bright future ahead of him in the iPhone app development business.

Read our tech expert Jeff Balke's review of the Grocerty Time app.

Follow Hair Balls News on Facebook and on Twitter @HairBallsNews.

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