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Archive for July, 2013

Are You A Reunion Person?

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Recently I have noticed on Facebook a number of people going to high school and college reunions. This gave me a reason to think about my reunion history and desire.  When I think about high school, I really don’t have fond memories for a lot of reasons. The people I stay in touch with are the people I want to stay in touch with so I really don’t need a reunion to help me with that. In addition, I live thousands of miles away from where I went to high school and the date of the reunion is usually around Thanksgiving so it’s not convenient for me. So I would say ‘no’ to a high school reunion for sure.

College is a little bit different. Some of my closest friends are from college and we did go to our 10 year anniversary in the past. My hope is that we will be able to go again and see some friends that I haven’t seen in years.

As I get a little older I have certainly done a little more reminiscing and my days in college have meant more to me over time.

So I say ‘yes’ to college reunions.

Ok your turn:

  • Do you go to your high school reunions?
  • Did you enjoy yourself?
  • Were there a lot of surprises?
  • Did you go to your college reunions?
  • Do you plan on going to future ones?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention Sports Fans: What Is Your Favorite Stadium To Visit Regardless If Your Favorite Team Is Playing?

Monday, July 29th, 2013

I was thinking about how much I truly love Fenway Park and was wondering if others enjoy it as much as I do. Do non-fans of the Red Sox attend a game just to check out the stadium and atmosphere? That sort of question rolled around in my brain, and then I started to think about what stadiums I like to visit even though I care very little, if any, about who is playing. Here is my list so far:

  1. Dodger Stadium – wow – most people don’t realize but it is the third oldest baseball stadium
  2. Chesapeake Energy Arena – home of the Oklahoma Thunder – special place, stadium you can walk to, and every seat is close to the action
  3. AT&T Park – home of the SF Giants – wow – still impressive could go every week!
  4. Cowboy Stadium – I would go to watch Pop Warner football – size still amazes me
  5. United Center – home of the Chicago Bulls/Blackhawks – amazing, intense feeling

Your turn.

  • What stadiums do you go to if your team isn’t playing?
  • What do you think of my list?
  • What stadiums do you recommend that I add to my list?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Here’s A Few Ways To Keep Tabs On Your Kids…

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Everyone worries about their kids. Ok, some probably more than others. Here are 5 ways to keep some tabs on them and ease your mind all at the same time.

Life 360

Life360 has established itself as a leading app for everyone in the family to use together. You can keep tabs on all family members using the app and also see when kids have arrived or left their destinations. Used as more of a family communication device than a GPS tracker, Life360 also enables group messaging and instant VoIP conference calls to enable everyone to stay in contact.

Price: Free for iOS and Android

Amber Alert GPS

Created more as a dedicated kids’ safety device, Amber Alert GPS lets you track your child’s whereabouts and receive emails and texts if an alert is triggered (if they venture outside of a safe zone, for example). It even notifies you if your child comes within 500 feet of a registered sex offender’s residence and gives your child the ability to use an SOS button if they need immediate help.

Price: $220 for device and one year of service

Pocket Finder

PocketFinder is another GPS tracking option that offers features such as real-time tracking, alerts, safe zone designations and speed limit alerts in cars. PocketFinder works with a complementary iOS and Android app and also lets you view up to 60 days of map history.

Price: $149.95 + $12.95 per month for service


For parents who want to track their driving teens, Canary for iOS and Android is a helpful app for knowing your child’s smartphone behavior while driving. After installing the app on everyone’s phone, parents will get alerts with details on calls, texts, driving speeds and locations when the car is moving faster than 12 mph.
Unlike many other driving apps, Canary does not disable the phone, but gives parents an opportunity to see activity and bring it up directly with their kids.

5Star Urgent Response

The 5Star device does offer GPS tracking, but its real purpose lies in its emergency response system. In addition to tracking someone’s location using web-based tools, anyone who has the device has instant access to an emergency and medical alert system that gives access to response agents through the touch of a button. It’s a great safety measure for newly-licensed teens whose driving you may be nervous about when they’re on the road.

Price: $49.99 plus $14.99 per month for service

  • Have you used any of these?
  • What other apps have you used that you would recommend?

I really look forward to hearing from you. This is a very important subject. I am excited to hear your thoughts.

Twitter Fan? Yes Or No…

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Day after day we hear about celebrities tweeting what’s on their minds and in other situations we hear about a tweet that is taken back or clarifies their original tweet.  Recently I have noticed a trend that people are giving up their twitter account – no more tweeting for them.

What’s your position…?

    • Do you have a twitter account?
    • How often do you tweet?
    • How many followers do you have?
    • Did you used to tweet but is now a thing of your past?
    • You couldn’t care less?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention: Football Pool Participants… What Changes Would You Like To Make?

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

In a few weeks the first preseason football game of the 2013-2014 NFL season will take place and as we have done the past 3 years, we will be having a football pool on the blog. As of now, we have weekly winners and have two cumulative winners. All of those winners participate in a championship week where one champion is crowned.

We have always tried to add a few things over the years and I am curious if you think we should make any other changes.  Last year there were Thursday games and sometimes it was hard to get your picks in.

  • Should we get rid of the Thursday game and have the deadline be on Sunday?
  • For anyone who enters their picks after the Thursday game, should we count it as a loss and let them play the rest of the games?
  • Should we have some winners broken down by age? Gender? Or somehow should we have a couple’s pool?

I would rather not make it to complicated but if there are some small, fun changes that are easy to administer and aren’t too costly, I would love to hear those suggestions.

I look forward to reading your comments.

Words To Remember… Which One Is Your Favorite?

Friday, July 19th, 2013

I must say that when I got this email (thanks Uncle J) it really made me pause to think. I think every one of these pictures gave me in-depth thoughts into my life. I hope it truly does the same for you. The question is… which one is your favorite?

I was truly torn between three of them. I guess in the end I have a tie with the third and last one. I really couldn’t decide and both of them are so true in one’s life!

Now your turn,

  • Which one is your favorite?

I look forward to your comments.

Time For A Road Trip! Where Have You Gone & Where Are You Going?

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

I must admit. I love a road trip – getting in a car and driving hundreds of miles with a destination in mind and plenty of surprises along the way. There is nothing like visiting an odd museum or a funky restaurant along the way. Some of my favorites have been:

    1. Boston to Florida – 1500 miles. I did this every year in my 20’s when I drove my dad’s car to Florida for 23 straight hours with my buddies
    2. Boston to Montreal – only 300 miles but my family used to do this at least 3 times a year growing up to visit my Mom’s family – tons of car games and fighting over the middle head rest
    3. San Francisco to Los Angeles – one of my favorite trips of all time which included a spur of the moment tennis match with my college roommate in Carmel, CA
    4. Boston to Chicago – way back in 1973 when my family moved there.  It was probably more about the excitement of moving to a new city and a brand new house more than anything.

Ok your turn.

    • Do you have a favorite road trip?
    • Do you have any road trips planned for this summer?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Sorry, I Think Cashiers Need To Be More Creative/Strategic!

Monday, July 15th, 2013

All grocery and retail stores have done a really nice job training their staff to engage the customer. It appears that everyone trains the same way and has them ask the same questions:

    • How is your day going?
    • Are you doing anything special tonight or over the weekend?

Sound familiar?

I never get any other question. Do you? And I don’t understand why not. In a time where customer service is so important, why not stand out? Isn’t this the perfect time to stand out!? Separate yourself from the competition and who knows, may be learn something from your customers.

If I owned a retail or grocery store the questions would be different for sure:

    • What is the one thing you love about our store?
    • If we could improve one thing, what would it be?
    • Is there a product that you wish we had?
    • We are looking to add to our staff – do you happen to know anyone who is looking for a job?

I think every one of these questions has meaning, helps engage the customer, separates us from the competition and with a little luck thru one of the answers, helps move the business forward.

What do you think?

    • Do you like the new questions?
    • What questions would you ask if you owned the store?

I look forward to reading your comments.

As I Get Older, It’s Not About Weight. It’s About…

Friday, July 12th, 2013

I will let you in on a little secret. I weigh myself every day. Call me crazy, nuts or whatever other words that you would like to use, but it is a true part of my morning routine. Over the past few years I have been lifting weights more than I had in the past, and I have noticed that my weight isn’t going down. I have also noticed as I get older that my mindset has shifted along with my weight.

It’s not all about weight for me. It’s more about how I look and feel! If I don’t feel good or the weight is moving in a different direction, I ask my buddy C.H. (who is a personal trainer) what machines I should work on to feel a little bit better and distribute the weight in different areas.

I am sure many of you realized this little “Aha!” moment decades ago, but I guess I am a little slower than the average bear.

  • Do you weigh yourself every day?
  • Have you noticed a shift in your weight distribution?
  • Do you work on those areas different than you have in the past?

I look forward to reading your comments.

My Cousin Needs Help. Do You Have Any Advice?

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Last month my cousin (good luck A.L.) started a new job in a new industry. He’s a smart guy and solid salesperson but other than buying or selling his house, he isn’t an expert in real estate. Rather, he’s a guy who has interest in selling real estate and is now doing just that in beautiful Boston, MA.

A few weeks ago, his wife (nice teamwork J.L.) sent out an email announcing their business and asked for people to keep them in kind if they were thinking about buying or selling a house. On his third day he went on his first appointment and is close to getting his first listing. Sounds like some early success to me!

Many of the readers have bought/sold homes and probably know some great realtors. I’m sure some have had great experiences and perhaps some have had not-so-fantastic experiences with realtors.

I was hoping we could share and build a list of things that he could use as he is building his business.

From a buyer standpoint:

  • What is the best approach a realtor took to get your listing?
  • Was there a marketing activity that a realtor did that really caught your eye?
  • Why did you give your business to the realtor you picked?

From a realtor standpoint:

  • Was there value in attending Chamber of Commerce Meetings?
  • How important is it to partner with mortgage companies?
  • How important is Zillow?
  • Where is the best place for leads?

Please take a minute and respond. I am excited to have your comments help him in his new business.

Thanks in advance.