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The Only Tool a Dad Needs on Christmas

Christmas morning for dads is all about opening and putting together the toys that Santa brought the kiddies. Dads need an assortment of tools to get the toys out of there packages (which have to be made by Homeland Security).

As you can see from the picture, I have a tool that does it all. It has a screwdriver, knife and a claw like cutter that can bust through the metal clips, wires and whatever else Santa's Elves throws at us dads.

Thank GOODNESS for this tool!

Happy Independence Day

Yesterday was the annual Point of Pines July 3rd block party. It's a time for my family and friends to gather on Revere Beach to celebrate the 4th (or the 3rd in this case). It's a massive block party with loads of food, friends, family and of course, fireworks.

The local authorities allow for the residents to set off fireworks on the beach, away from the crowds. It's quite the scene as there is about an hour plus of booms, bangs and colors.

Here's a quick volley from our location:

Happy 4th of July everyone! How are you celebrating?

Christmas Gifts for the Photographer on Your List

Photographers tend to be picky with their equipment so trying to get them a job-related gift can be challenging. However, there are some good gems that the photographer in your life would appreciate if they found it under the Christmas tree this month. 

Here are just a few that he or she will appreciate; will help him or her with their photography hobby (or job); and, not to mention, are pretty wallet friendly. 

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Spoil Yourself Around the Holidays

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During the holiday season we spend a lot of time thinking about and helping others. This of course, also means that we're also buying gifts.

Buying that perfect gift for your loved one, family member or friend makes you feel good. The smiles on their faces is the return on investment.

There are times, however, that amidst all the holiday sales, it's very tempting to spoil yourself with a gift or two or three or four. As I thought about what I would get for myself, I asked some of the Twitter and Facebook friends.

Here is what's on their wish list when asked, "What's the one thing you'd like to buy yourself for Christmas, but don't dare to?":

  • Apple products: iPad and Macbook Air
  • Nikon D7000
  • Scooter
  • Audi A5
  • Travel (Paris, trip back home to New England, etc.)
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Wii
  • XM Radio

From the list above, you can tell that most of my friends, colleagues, social media contacts, etc. are looking for the technology homerun, which is totally cool in my book.

I'd buy a supped-up iMac. What would you buy?

Fourth of July Memories

Me and the fam on July 3rdThis weekend I had one of the best Fourth of July's ever.

We didn't do anything too crazy nor was what the family and I experienced out of the ordinary.

Our Fourth festivities always starts with the annual Point of Pines block party. PoP as we call it, is a little neighborhood in Revere, MA where my mother has a house that comes deeded with a portion of Revere Beach (a private section that she technically owns). The PoP block party is always on the third of July. As a result, we call it PoP03.

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You Know You Are Getting Older When...

Ok, so 2009 is gone and we're smack dab at the front end of 2010. Last night I had a great time with my friends and family, chatting, eating, joking, drinking, etc. It was relatively low key, but a good time was had by all. The funny part for us adults is that the night is all about sitting around, eating and yapping it up until about 10 minutes before the ball drops. Everyone huddles up in the living room, we watch the now robtic looking Dick Clark and his younger king to the thrown Ryan Seacrest, count down the minutes to the new year.

At this point, the champagne is popped and glasses are firm in hand (we even pour a little for the kids that are still awake). Folks gather around the TV and they huddle up near their respective loved ones. The ball drops. We all count down from 10 and scream Happy New Year. Kisses and man-hugs are thrown around the room. Champagne is guzzled down. Some more hugs and kisses are dispensed.Kids go hog wild with noise makers and the like.

Then it's a wrap.

The clean up starts. Bags are packed. Food is put away. Dishes are washed or put in the dish washer. Cars are warmed up. Kids are bundled. Parents drive home.

That's pretty much New Years with friends, family and kids. Maybe it sounds like we're old because we're not at a club or partying until 4 am, but honestly, I wouldn't want it any other way.

The Annual Post Holiday Lazy Day

The day after Christmas in our house is one where we watch the dust settle. There are a ton of toys, cloths and "stuff" in every room of the house. Christmas is always a late night and the next day is one where we don't want to do a thing but be permanent fixtures on the couch. It's a tradition and one that I truly enjoy. In fact, I took a nap today (yesterday) and for those that know me, they'll tell you that I don't nap. Ever.

In fact, here's a shot of Jordan and I getting serious couch time.

What do you and your family do after Christmas?

A True Sign of Charitable Giving

Tis the season for giving, especially helping those in need. For those that stand outside and brave the elements to man those familiar red kettles from the Salvation Army, this is the time of year that they see the best in people.

In Clovis, New Mexico, an anonymous donor who is being called "The Cowboy," went the extra mile this year, dropping an estimated $8,000 - $10,000 worth of gold and silver coins into the kettle

This specific donation comes in handy as it will benefit the Clovis Salvation Army, that was in danger of severely missing their donation goals.

KOB-TV reported that Salvation Army officials will be looking to get the rare coins appraised in the very near future to see how much the rare coins are worth.

Helping Others is Good for the Soul

I've been in the PR/communications business for over 14 years now. I've covered some pretty interesting stories as a reporter -- some fun, some not so fun.

As a PR professional, I've had the same experiences. The dot-com era was great for me as a tech geek because all I used to pitch were stories about innovation. There has been times where we had to work really hard to develop angles for stories just so we can make then newsworthy -- a very tough assignment at times.

However, one of the great things about the PR business is that you get to meet a lot of interesting people who are doing some great things for those in need. That need can vary from under privileged kids, adults with substance abuse problems, those trying to squash homelessness and times where those who are very sick need a second opinion that can mean life or death.

Now, I typically don't write about my clients on my blog, but in this case I felt so compelled to do so because yesterday was a day that really put some things into perspective for me.

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