Learning to Play Guitar

Since dad passed away, I've picked up the guitar. It's much harder than most think, but once you get down some basic chords, you can progress pretty easily. I have all the basic chords down and can rough out a few Beatles songs and Browned Eyed Girl. By no means am I ready for the stage, but I'm getting there.

The lesson here is that it's never too late to learn something. Don't say you can't do it. Just put some effort into it. Have patience. Ask questions. Seek the help of others. 

You'll get there. Just keep strumming away.

A Happy Birthday from Google

Today is my birthday. I have plans with the family and before we headed out, I fired up my Macbook Pro to see what was happening in the world, i.e. check email, Facebook and Twitter.

To my surprise, I was greeting to a Happy Birthday by Google:

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Just to make sure that I wasn't crazy, I asked my wife to check Google and she got the regular logo. I then clicked the logo and got this:

Thanks for the birthday wish Google.

I was Ralphie from "A Christmas Story"

One of my all-time favorite movies is "A Christmas Story." It's a holiday classic that I could watch over and over again. For those that knew me as a kid, they would say that I was Ralphie. I'd tell people all the time that this was true. They'd laugh and give me a little courtesy, but it would end there.

Well, here's the proof:

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Kindness Can Span Time

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Today I received a note from a Facebook acquaintance. This is someone that I knew in high school, but we never ran in the same circles, so to speak.

Here is his note:

One day, while at [high school], I was having a problem with a kid from another house. I don't remember who the punk was, but he was about to take a punch to the head from me. You stepped in, basically told the kid to [expletive] off, sat back down and continued to work on something in your notebook. I remember the look on your face (flat top, peach fuzz n' all - LOL) when you turned to look at me and said that if I ever had a problem, you had my back. Strange thing was that we weren't friends, per se. At that time, I could tell you were having issues of your own in school. But you went out of your way for me that day. I always respected you for that, but I never got around to properly thanking you.

So sincerely... thank you.

I honestly don't remember the incident he's talking about, but do know that around that time, I was done with bullying.

You see, in grammar school, I had some kids picking on me pretty frequently. I stood up for myself, but as things escalated, I really stood up for myself -- so much so that one day, the bullying stopped because the morons realized I wasn't backing down.

Around the time my Facebook friend is talking is about the time that I was done bullying and didn't like to see others get bullied, especially in high school. And, to be honest with you, this is something I would do without hesitation.

Now, while I don't remember this event per se, it is nice to know that my intervention stuck in his head nearly 20 years since high school. That's a long time to remember a small exchange like this.

Regardless, his note really brightened my day and is a clear reminder that while bullying seems to be in the news these days, it's been happening for much longer. The only way that it'll stop is if people stick up for each other. Obviously, kindness can go a long way and it seems to span time regardless of when it happened.

Lesson learned, so thank you my Facebook friend.

Boys that are Friends or Boyfriends?

kids-holding-hands.jpegMy daughter started first grade today and in her class around about four boys that she had in her previous kindergarten class. One of them, who my daughter calls her boyfriend, said to his mom today, “I can’t sit next to her because she’s too pretty.” And, in the same sentence, said, “I can’t go over there because her daddy is there.”

 

Yea, that’s what I thought you little punk! (kidding Max, you’re a good kid).

Seriously though, I realize that this is innocent but there is going to come a time where she is going to have a boyfriend and I’m going to be a mad man.

The End of Summer Sucks

Old Revere Beach, Revere, MABeing a father of two young daughters, every day during the summer is a blessing because it takes you away from the daily musings of the office as well as the typical stuff us dads tend to worry about — beer, food, football, etc. Kidding…we really think having a good home life for our family; ensuring that the finances are in order (current and future); spending time with other family and friends; and, enjoying every minute of life.

The summer is tee’d up for parents, i.e. an open invitation to do whatever you want with the kids — day trips, vacations, pool time, beach fun, backyard grilling sessions, bike riding, etc. It’s the time of the year that you really get to enjoy your family because it’s an active time.

Change the World

Here's the old crew from my former agency. Scotty, as usual, with a big smile on his faceThis week I got the horrible news that a former colleague of mine, Scott Emberley, passed away after losing a battle with cancer.  I worked with Scott for nearly six years at my former PR agency and after I left, we remained friends off and on.

Scott was a funny guy that infected everyone he came in contact with via his wit, smarts and sheer love of life. He was a ball of energy and always came to the party with a slew of jokes that would just make your belly hurt as if you were doing a million crunches.

Through Scott, I learned a lot about the creative side of the PR/Advertising/Marketing business; things like project management, blue lines, hierarchy of content, critical path, etc., etc. -- all the buzz words that came from the advertising side of the business (being that I'm a PR traditionalists to a certain extent).