Imperfectly Perfect

When I was 27,  I bought my first house. Beautiful cabin in the Catskill Mountains.  Stream in the front yard.  All that. So the next weekend, my dad came up to check it out and help me clean up the place.

We were going thru stuff  and  tossing things into those big, black trash bags. I was sorting and he was holding the bag for me.

Then I came upon this vase.  He asked: “Why are you throwing this out?”

“It’s broken pop. Look it’s chipped,” I said.

The he fired back the game changer.

“Mike, the chip is what makes it beautiful.”

Have a great Sunday everyone. ~Mike

Feed their imagination too!

I feel bombarded. Spiderman Cheese Nips. Batman Doritos. Power Rangers Everything.  And on and on. Of course they want, want, want.

I choose to give my son the experience of these superheros…but with a difference. He gets his superhero experience on his lunchbox, not with the food’s that in it.    I started teaching at a rather early age that real superheroes need the best food to be…superheros!  So I have a small collection of superhero lunchboxes, water and juice holders and stickers.  So he gets the superhero experience without eating the superhero junk food.  Yes, that lunch box you see here is actually a Spiderman lunchbox, but it’s turned around so you’ll have to just trust me on this.

I have also seen too many apple and fruit slices come home brown  so I incorporate those into breakfast.  The whole thing seems to be working.  Now in third grade and 8 years old, my son is rarely sick, is 5’3″ and is growing so quickly, I could almost measure him daily.

No I don’t have a lot of time on my hands. I’m sure no one reading this does. And obviously everyone who reads Mrs. Q is doing their best to feed their children the best they can. I don’t sit on lunch review committees or am an activist that way.  I’m a one to one activist. Just me and my son. It’s great to see so many parents and caregivers take this so seriously. I’ve taken my son’s lunch seriously even when the lunchbox was almost as big as him!

A miraculous side note. Not once have we ever forgot his lunch. A big sign on the back of front door works wonders. Change it every so often so you don’t get too used to it.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve found that feeding my son’s imagination is one reason why he’s perfectly happy to eat lunch food that’s good for him. Even when I’m not around…well I can hope, can’t I? I invite your comments and thanks for reading! ~Mike

All snapshots © LaMonica Productions, Inc.

Twitter v. Facebook

Last week Patrick Barbanes asked what I thought was an interesting question: are you more comfortable on Twitter or Facebook? Sometimes I go with one word answers and sometimes I don’t. While I am comfortable anywhere, here’s my answer: I am partial to Twitter.

Lately it it seems like Facebook is changing their features and TOU so often, I feel like I am jogging at midnight in Central Park flaunting my gold Rick Ross necklace collection and I could get bumrushed at any time. Or as my friend @michaelcalienes said in a Tweet last week, “Another Facebook feature, another trip to the privacy controls.”

Yes I have a personal Facebook account and understand the value for my clients. I get that the Starbucks FB page has been valued (within a wild range) at about 12,857,142 million “Tall” drips.  But for me, personally, Facebook is kinda like Flickr with captions. Before the rioting begins, please hear it out. Thanks.

On Facebook, I really enjoy seeing pictures of my friends, their kids, families and travel logs of interesting places.  I love this picture of Cameron! I love Tami Stillwell’s #GoingGhana pictures. And on and on. I have caught up with some old friends, flames and other scuds from my past on Facebook but I have “met” few new people via Facebook.  Please guess how many new Facebook friends I have met IRL? One. But that was because of a Tweetup invite on Palo’s Facebook page. Other than that, those I have met on Facebook, I met through Twitter first. And I do not have a problem meeting people, male or female, young or old, black, white or even green.

Through Twitter I have met what could be several hundred friends and people that I have come to care for a lot.  On Twitter, I feel have widened what I call my “Chicken Soup Circle.”  That is the universe of people who could let me know they are sick and I would bring them chicken soup. Or vice versa.  Or if I could not bring them chicken soup, I could instantly post and reach out to about 1,000 of you and see who could help out. I’m sure Twitter folk would come forward double quick.

I saw a Tweet a few months ago that went roughly like this: “I ran out of gas on the L.A. freeway. Call Freddie at and pls have him call me. He’s not picking up.” So I called Freddie. Poor Freddie!  Freddie said, “Thanks man, your like the 50th person to call.”  And that is my point. And my take on this whole thing.

Now it’s your turn. Sound off!  I publish and respond to all comments and opinions.  Last week, I received a real nice e-mail from one of my New York readers about my blog post and our blogging community. Here’s a piece of it: Mike, it’s fun to see blogs with such vibrant communities in the comments.” So be vibrant and have a great day! ~Mike

Names for baby…2010

So you’re having a baby? Congratulations and good luck! As of 5:00 p.m. yesterday, there are 309,991,646 people in the United States.

Of course you want your child to grow, stand out and do well. These days and in foreseeable days to come, so much of doing well will likely be how high your child shows up in internet searches like Google.  “Basically, you want to own the first page in a Google search,” says Craig Agranoff, co-author of Do It Yourself Online Reputation Management.

“It’s a good idea to do a Google search before naming your child and make sure it’s a safe and an easily ownable name,” says Agranoff.

It’s becoming more and more obvious that what you name your child will help them stand out forever…in both a good way and possibly, the worst of ways.  Last name Berkowitz? According to, there are 7,888 people with that last name. G’head, Google Sam or David Berkowitz. The entire first page is owned by the notorious serial killer. But how about going with Jay Berkowitz? Jay owns the top 4 results in a Google search performed at the time of this publishing…before you get to the mass murderer. And Jay’s such a heavy hitter, I’d stay a mile away from Jay Berkowitz as well.

Last name Jordan and want to name your kid Michael?  Well, they better be the real deal because “Michael Jordan” owns the first umpteen pages in a Google search.  So I feel sorry for the other 2,991 people in the U.S. named Michael Jordan. At least as far as search goes.

Frank Zappa was more of a genius and prescient than we all think. Long before there were first names like Apple and Rumer, there was Dweezil and, as I was reminded by Agranoff,  Moon Unit. Try beating them in a Google search. Ain’t happening. I also feel sorry for all the people in Cleveland who thought it cool to name their kid LeBron.

Even Hollywood knew the importance of a good (or bad) name long before Al Gore may or may have not invented the internet. It’s called stage names. Who is Reginald Kenneth Dwight? Elton John. Jacob Cohen? Rodney Dangerfield. And today, Artis Ivey, Jr.? Coolio!

So chuck the names for baby books and help make a name for your cherub even before they’re born. Stay away from Mary or James. They’re the most popular (read common) names according the the Social Security Administration. What if you’re already blessed with a child with a common name? Good parental advice might be  tell them them to jump off an emergency slide and quit in a flurry of profanities. Or grab a white board, show some librarian cleavage and fake quit. They’ll instantly own the first page in a Google Search. There’s a lot more to this but that’s it for now. Good ideas? Your comments are always welcome here. ~Mike

Active Tweeters!

Lawdy, is it just me or have more and more people been posting their workouts on Twitter?  Some of you can’t stand workout updates. Me? I love them! What a great thing!  So many more people are getting a move on. Of course doing 3 a days like @OGOchoCinco isn’t for everyone.

Whether you know it or not, it seems like a lot of you are taking the NFL’s advice.  And that is: “Play 60.” One of my favorite commercials. Maybe because it makes me think about all the stuff I do with my son.

Here’s a quick look at what’s been flying down my feed:

@jarret23 is hitting Crossfit and he’s recruited @MSURabbott  and @UlisesOrozco. @vicequeenmaria is beating on my local Bootcamp. @lapp can do a lot of pull-ups and is strong like Brahma Bull. @morewillie  is a side of sinewy beef. Ditto @eQuinn2010. Ditto @DaleBuchanan. @journeyofnow trains either at 10:30 at night or 4:30 a.m. Good luck with that. @malcolli is a controling shareholder in New Balance. @loritodd is back at the gym with a trainer. @brianbreslin is biking in Shark Valley. @rmedina is biking a lot but not in Shark Valley. @egabrewing and @Annush1 are running using the Nike thingy. @MichaelCalienes needs to provide me an update. @andyvitale is back on a washboard binge. Look at @amyvitale’s FB profile pic. Enuf said. @beagarcia is ripping up spin class. @SoFloBoJo is fighting the Outback. @vaughanlazar runs at ungodly hours for ungodly lengths. @KeithSoifer? Tennis Pro and Golf mix. @vanessamontes has 4Squared her butt off (literally) @LAfitness- sometimes at 11:00 p.m. What’s wrong with you child? @alishavera walks like it’s an illness although a recent event has sidelined her and we wish her a speedy recovery. @mklopez has been sweating out family issues and all of our best thoughts are with him and his family. @LoreLama is vying for Ms. Fit on Twitter. @lizscherer is the mayor of like 5 health clubs. @agustinap and @Rebekah Monsoon are constantly sore from bootcamp. Plus Agustina supplies the screaming audio track. I know @RoxyNBCMiami is doing something! @knowaging is frozen in time like Jaclyn Smith. @nakedpizza is all about the fit. @joelkodner has the 12 oz curls covered. @smashfit is the goldstandard. Ditto @MizFitOnline and @joycecherrier. @queenadrock is on it even with her grueling traveling. @Joeperz has never been more vascular. @repsychler hasn’t been out of shape for a day in her life.  I know @dorizinn is doing something, but doesn’t tweet it up.  Plus she burns 1,000 calories just thinking about Mike Stanton. @summerjoy is back at the gym. @travelblggr runs thru airports and at 4 a.m.! @jillianmichaels call me pls. @reddywriting blogs and walk/runs at the same time. @ctiedje is ripped, but that’s probably from chasing three kids. Dunno. @bsoler hates  running but sucks it up. @sanjayguptaCnn shed 20 triathlon training. @jillmeetswrld>run,run, run. @mdl914 does something…I forget. @gopalo blasts it out with high-energy Afro-Cuban Funk. @amandastewart does everything possible. @BruceTurkel has run ruts into the Grove pavement. @miamishines gets in shape by hanging with @iambrucejenner. @SueanneShirzay wrecks a good pedicure for a run. @steph_rose does some sick stuff and Crossfit. I’m thinking @mchamberlin runs but doesn’t tweet it up. @PalmBchGirl walks on the beach in high heels. @mashable has the strongest right wrist on Twitter from pasting links in (work with the joke Pete). @LizaWalton, Yoga. @JillyEnFuego>@ricari. @AllisonNazarian walks with her dog even tho walking with the dog is a pain (always finishes before 8 a.m) and she’s just about to break out her new asics running shoes. @missbeckla doesn’t say. @tedmurphy>marathons. @kcom walks everywhere. @Cessiec is at LA Fitness as I type this. @scottiardella>kettlebells and more (bruther is ripped). Lloyd is happy that @jeremypiven does yoga to keep his temper in check. @TwittsMcGee? Kayaking without sunscreen. @drunkbrunch runs around the Central Park reservoir. @elvisofdllas chime in. @mcuban has a pic of himself playing hoops, but I can’t tell. @AnaisabelGarcia will be getting back to crossfit shortly. @ericadurst swims, runs on the beach with daily mile. @JeffHechtAZ trains at (SETS) and we both taunt @terrellowens. @eastd is back to lifting but has cut out the grunting.  @chrisbrogan? Let me know.  @adamsconsulting is on the Social Media diet and looks great without makeup. @PGA_JohnDaly does The “Daly Workout.” It’s a special mix of lapband surgery, smoking  and he still hits longer than Tiger Woods. @OwenO is waiting for the storm to pass on a golf course. And @swimbikerunning? Fairly self-explanatory.

So that’s it for now. If I missed you, please ring in. A post can only go on so long. Me? I only train to eat more pizza.  ~Mike

P.S. Special thanks to @pbarbanes and @TheTinyJEWELBox for Thursday’s webinar.