Focusing on a healthier me

I hate being sick. Scratch that, I loathe being sick. And while I often reserve feelings of loathing for things such as a burnt cup of coffee, I think the act of being sick makes my list. That feeling of vulnerability which takes over when you can’t control your body is awfully humanizing. For the last few years i’ve been struggling to improve my health, but I’m definitely on the way there.

I reflect back to my study abroad adventure in Morocco – an experience that had me “under the weather” more often than feeling healthy. Before my trip, and in a last ditch effort to prepare, I picked up two $2.99 bottles of multivitamins. My reasoning? Well, i’d be eating preservative-free and nutritionally sound food in Morocco and I didn’t want to spend money on buying anything extra, plus all multi-vitamins are the same! Fast forward one month and I’m doubled over in the Sahara Desert.

I was a burden on my friends as I maintained my sickness for the next 2+ months, but I was also doing myself a major disservice. By putting nutrient-less multi-vitamins into my body, I was opening myself up to further sickness.

Regaining a semblance of health was refreshing, but, of course, I could never count on staying healthy for too long. Considering I often run my body down with little sleep/rest, I became more susceptible to illness and simply blamed it on a shoddy immune system. Illnesses that would take friends a day or two to kick off took me a week. Still, I used large discount bottles of vitamins purchased at my local CVS or Costco to keep costs low.

Every other aspect of my life appeared very normal. I spent at least 30 minutes on most days exercising at the gym, biking to work, or going for runs. To the inconvenience of my friends and family, I focused much of my attention on my nutritional choices hoping that healthy food would make me feel better, and sometimes it did. I was becoming a health freak.

Finally, in October, I was plagued with a four day bug. Instead of spending a wonderful weekend with friends, I spent it on a Futon trying to regain my strength to stomach a sandwich. That was it – it was time to make a health change. I was sick of being sick.

But then again, I thought everyone must feel this way.

Seeking to replicate the decisions made by the healthier people in my life, I made my decision to switch from lower-quality Nature Made vitamins to Shaklee vitamins. And the way I have felt since the switch blows my mind – I have more energy than ever before.

Nothing will ever stop all illnesses, but with many diseases being highly preventable by health choices made in life, I’m taking my best stab at remaining healthy.  And yes, I do still get sick, but I bounce back faster as well.

While I still loathe the feeling of being hit by a bug that slows me down and makes me feel vulnerable, i’m glad that i’m moving my life in the right direction. By focusing on my health, i’m able to do more than I thought I would be able to do with more energy. I’m taking control of my life. Are you in the same boat?



Ridiculously Bold Predictions about iPhone, iPad, iPod and iLense

The phone and tablet are slowly merging. With rumors that the iPhone5 is going to feature a 4.6” retina display screen, our fears and desires are confirmed. What does this mean for technology and our mobile future?

I’m going to make some pretty bold predictions that I’ll bet my first-born on.

1. iPod Touch and iPad will become synonymous

What I mean hear is that they will no longer co-exist. The iPod touch was originally Apple’s answer to dedicated hand-held gaming consoles. The iPod shuffle will exist for running enthusiasts. The iPad will shrink, but the iPod Touch will expand.

2. Tablets and smartphones will converge at the 6”-7” mark.

Yes, the Kindle Fire is already there, but I’m saying more power than what is behind Amazon’s supposed “iPad Killer”. I’m saying the power of an iPad with the size of a Kindle.  Larger versions will still be available, but this new base model will be considered the new iPod

The screen will be large enough to type and read on, but it will be small enough to slip in a purse or murse (man purse).

3. The iPhone and the iPad will converge

But the iPod Touch and iPad already converged? This will to. The sizes of tablets and phones are converging. While Apple won’t be the first to do it, they will once again do it the best. The name will remain the iPhone for its functionality. We’ll call the new smartphone-pad line : Smartpads

4. All new smartpads will be equipped with a Bluetooth headset.

So this is how the change happens. All new smartpads will be equipped with Bluetooth headsets (or something close to it). These small headsets will be part of the actual body of the phone. You will remove them when walking and talking down the street.

5. With 4G, all calls will have the option to video chat

This is how smartpads will work. All smarpads will have high pixel cameras installed that allow for easy Skype style calls. 4G will become increasingly prevalent and make for more personal phone conversations.

6. Productivity won’t die.

All smartpads will be equipped with a thin Bluetooth keyboard that allows for work to be done at all times. Larger screen sizes will remain for those in need, but most mobile work will be done on the smaller tablets. This will be the end of the traditional laptop as we know it and a move to tablet based life.

7. These Google Glasses will bring upon the next revolution. iLense

Google’s revolutionizing mobile devices as we know it. If Apple hasn’t jumped in the game, it will. And what does this mean? Rough prediction… the end of the iPod shuffle and a move to iLense. Just put them on and you’re ready for your run.

The first business to find a way to nail this concept will be the early winner and trend setter.

The mobile experience is going through monumental changes as we see the transformation of the smartphone and the tablet: the iPhone and the iPad

9 Best Success Videos: Your Daily Productivity Pick-me-up

Sometimes even the most driven people need some extra motivation to achieve their goals.

Here are 10 motivational videos that will make you want to do bigger and better things


There are some repetitive sequences, but success is repetition. Some videos couldn’t be imbedded, but click the links

The greatest successes come from those that seek to practice and improve.

If you’re looking for a pick-me-up, this is your chance


Secret to Success by Eric Thomas

“all men are created equal… some work harder preseason”


Steve Jobs Explains Success

How Great I Am


Don’t Give Up

Ray Lewis – Effort

“all I ever knew was effort… effort will get you noticed”


The Best Motivation


Will Smith shares his secrets of success

“but if we get on the treadmill together. There’s two things. You’re getting off first or I’m gonna die”


Motivation 2


Achieving Greatness


And finally


How bad do you want it? Success


Sacha Baron Cohen Ashes Seacrest and the Social Media World Goes Viral

For a moment, everyone was wondering what comedian Sacha Baron Cohen would do at the Academy Awards. Surrounded by two voluptuous bodyguards and in dictator-regalia, Cohen, in character as Admiral General Aladeen for his upcoming movie “The Dictator”, poured the “ashes” of deceased dictator Kim Jong-Il over American Pretty Boy Ryan Seacrest. As viewers gaped in awe and waited to see the reaction of Seacrest before deciding whether to laugh or scream, security guards rushed Cohen away from the awards ceremony.  While the stunt may end Cohen’s time at the Grammy’s, it is one of the most brilliant plans concocted to created buzz for a film.

While there were almost 6 million viewers for the Academy Awards, I was not one of them. However, within an hour of the event, there were videos floating around social media and news sources. I sat stunned in front of my computer at the viral video. It was brilliant! Cohen hit on everything I was interested in: our ridiculous infatuation with celebrities, buzz for his film, and the need to focus on global affairs.

If an average person dumped a pot full of ashes on another person, it would possibly be considered assault (a “salt”). But when a celebrity as well dressed as Seacrest receives an ashing, the world goes berserk. YouTube views soared into the millions and financial success for “The Dictator”[trailer], set to arrive in theaters in May, is sure follow.

As a PR guy, this is what buzz dreams are made of. Sometimes you need to annoy a few people for success; billionaire media mogul Donald Trump knows this. Of course he decided to chime in and say that he wished Seacrest would have punched Cohen. Sit down, Trump. While you’re trying to steal the PR moment and promote your own show, it’s actually further benefiting Cohen’s moment of glory. You can’t buy this kind of media attention. Furthermore, the Academy Awards benefitted from the added media coverage that the prank created.

Coincidentally timed to appear in theaters during this political season, Cohen’s satirical film, “The Dictator”, will undoubtedly bring needed attention to the current human rights atrocities and corruptness occurring in the world. Cohen’s antics, while often disgusting, are poignant for buzz development. Regardless of whether Seacrest was in on the prank, Cohen has re-set the bar for viral videos and his film will have “great success” as it reaps the rewards.

Do you think Cohen’s “ashing” of Seacrest was an appropriate PR stunt?

As was written for the Ampersand blog

To use or or to blog?

It’s not necessary for me to state the necessity for someone in PR to blog. However, I find myself divided between the platform to use

I’m bias. I love WordPress. To me, Blogger lacks the interface and Tumblr is for people that personally blog (and not for business) On the one hand, I want to fully be in control of my fate, hence . I bought the domain and I can control my fate. I can advertise (though trying to grab a quick buck is worthless to me… blog idea…) and I can make the site fully accessible. However, I do not get the same reach as my blog of I’ll have much less control and I will need to pay even more a month. I already have and changing the domain would be a headache. I like having a web site over just a blog. Plus, my current layout on looks awful

My decision will probably be something closer to domain mapping, taking my current blog and linking it to my website. I may buy a theme update as a way to make it more appealing, but not yet

This is probably my worst blog post ever, but it’s a debate i’m sure that others have

Cheap Holiday Deals Delivered Locally Through Amazon

Amazon single-handedly changed Holiday shopping with its use of a smart-phone mobile application Price Check.

What’s more dangerous to some business owners than the shoplifter? A customer armed with their iPhoneAndroid, or other smartphone device can not only find more affordable deals, but also make others aware of price differences. Minus the somewhat evil scheme Amazon incentive Amazon uses for price checking stores (Harvard Book Store’s Take), the online-seller is revolutionizing business (Forbes).

This application allows users to search Amazon’s database of merchandise by scanning the item’s barcode. If the barcode matches an item in Amazon’s inventory, the user is given a list of competitive prices and reviews of the product. Additionally, it allows you to disclose the store that you are viewing the item in.

Local businesses are crying out in frustration due to would-be customers using smart-phones to scan items and check for competitor pricing. The cyber attack is coming, but what is a small, local business to do?

Nothing When your business practices are antiquated, the best thing to do is curl up in a ball and watch your business fail. You can always collect unemployment

Restrict smart-phone usage Let’s pass a law stating “No citizen should use their iPhone to search for discounts when in a place of business”, which could be beneficial for business. Model it after some repressive governments, after-all, Syria, North Korea, and Iran are doing well. Plus, it will weed out any customers looking to pay less than full price. While you may have a surplus of products because of your questionable business practices, you will have plenty of merchandise available to donate in the Holiday season.


Use a price-check system in which a person can show a competitor’s price as a way to receive a better deal. With the use of a sign, your business will make the sale and the customer will go home with a new purchase. Come Christmas time, you will still be in business and the customer will have their new gadget.

Imagine you’re selling HD Televisions at your Mom & Pop HD Television Superstore down the street and a customer approaches to tell you they want to buy your $1500 62 inch TV but at the Best Buy/Amazon price. You could say no, you could throw them out of the store, or you could sell the product for the competitors price. Your choice determines whether Amazon becomes the “local”, holiday store that everyone shops 

I love small businesses and I want them to succeed. For a local business to survive, they must adjust their marketing strategies and allow for competitive pricing in a world gone mobile

Politicians Weakly Interact on Twitter

Why are Politicians SO BAD at reaching their constituency?

I recently read SKM Media Group’s article on Politics and Social Media and, being the guy that gets excited by anything social media, the gears in my head started spinning. The blog entry covers social media usage by politicians. It highlights findings from the Pew Research Center stating that 81% of House and Senate members use a Twitter account, while only 18% of the 18-29 year old demographic do the same. With such a large percentage of our government representation on Twitter, they must know what they’re doing, right?

So, I set off to read some articles on the subject. One article, from the Corpus Christi Times, found that Republicans out-Tweet Democrats 2-1. While I don’t want to make generalizations about the social media prowess of all politicians, we can assume that the Republican Party matured after their social media-butt whooping in the 2008 election from President Obama.

Without the time to analyze all social media efforts, I will instead focus on the current US Senators from MA and the upcoming election.

@JohnKerry, the 2004 presidential candidate from the Democratic Party, enjoys name recognition for his political success. A quick review of John Kerry’s account shows that roughly 19,011 people follow Kerry. In response, Kerry “follows” 20 people on twitter, and, of those, three are from Massachusetts. Updates from the account sit at a miniscule 170.

In comparison, @ScottBrownMA has a following of 32,772, while he also has another Twitter account with 12,000+ followers, let’s imagine that those 12,000 follow this main account as well. Senator Brown therefore reciprocates by following back roughly 11% of his followers, (3,527). Brown’s account has sent out 1,146 updates.

In this comparison between Senators, Brown wins as he has:

  1. More Followers (people follow who they are interested in
  2. More Following (following hints that a person cares)
  3. More Interactions (it is more important to speak with than to speak at)

Conclusion 1: Senator Scott Brown connects with his audience better than Senator John Kerry

Let’s compare these two senators to the overall voting population of MA 4.2 million people. This is an article of assumptions, so let’s assume that ALL of the followers of these two senators are their MA constituents AND that a follower does not follow both senators. Then, @JohnKerry weighs in with .045% of the population while @ScottBrownMA has .078%. This is pathetic

If you follow politics at all, you know that an election is coming up for president, and, at the same time, for certain political seats. @ScottBrownMA is seeking reelection against @ElizabethForMA (Elizabeth Warren).

So what can @ElizabethForMA learn from the two MA senators? Well, as she is competing with Brown, she needs to do AT LEAST what  Brown is doing. I know she is raising money, therefore, she needs to put some of this money into Social Media outreach to let voters know that she is a viable candidate. I don’t watch local news stations, so she needs to reach out to a place I am, Twitter.  Her current twitter account is not doing enough (P.S add a photo to look human). Also, it’s very difficult to find her account. A simple Twitter search for Elizabeth Warren didn’t bring up her account

There are a many tools available to locate Twitter Accounts from MA. My recommendation is for Brown/Warren to not follow the antiquated methods of @JohnKerry, but instead update their campaign strategy to find people, like myself, on Twitter and interact with me. There are many more voters on Twitter than are currently being interacted with.

The candidate that reaches out through social media is the one that will win the election.

Overall Conclusion:

How can a Senator be  “one with the people” if he/she is not reaching out to those they represent? For me, I never email or write a letter to a politician. This idea is antiquated to me, much like phone books or rotary phones. I enjoy the immediate satisfaction knowing that my message has been sent and that it won’t fall into a junk mail folder. Am I alone? I doubt it. If either Brown or Warren wants to reach out to me, I’d be glad to advise your campaign social media efforts.

What do you think?

Criticism of my writing:

In this writing, I make assumptions that are incorrect. For example, there is no doubt in my mind that Kerry and Brown are reaching a smaller percentage of people than their account hints at. While Brown is doing a much better job, it is illogical to realize that they do not use the tools available to reach out. Creating a dialogue and representing your constituency is what these guys were elected to do in the first place. 

I didn’t cover Facebook in this entry as a way of making it more readable. I will cover this later 

Next time, I will write on how a politician can maximize their online capabilities.

Interested in finding your representative on Twitter, go to