Best Thanksgiving present ever!

“Can I put a picture of your father and I in his casket?” my dad’s cousin Mike D’Amico asked me in 1989.  They were more like brothers than cousins.  He placed the picture on my dad’s heart.

Last night, twenty one years later, I received a link to video footage to my dad’s 2nd birthday and other  footage of my ancestors from the 1930’s!

I guess my Uncle Mike was right about one of his first toys as a two year old– a baseball glove.

Now my Thanksgiving is made. And no, I don’t expect you to sit through our family footage.

May your Thankgiving be with the one’s that you love the most. For some of you this Thanksgiving is going to be your toughest one yet. Maybe this is your first Thanksgiving without a loved one. My first one without my dad wasn’t easy. Same with the first Hanukah, Christmas, New Year’s, their birthday your birthday. And on and on.

But I promise, it will get better. Set a place at the table for them. Celebrate what you had with them.  Share stories. Laugh. Cry. Yes there is forever a hole without them, but only you can fill it. Maybe in 20 years some great family footage will show up in your inbox!

A Happy Thanksgiving to all!



At last, the 25 hour day

“There are not enough hours in the day,” the saying goes.

Well for many of us in the United States, we’ll get that extra hour when we turn the clocks back this weekend. I asked 100 people what they would do that extra hour. Here are the top line responses:

1) Sleep. By far this was the #1 answer. According to HealthGuidance, 11.1 percent of you did not get enough sleep in the last 30 days. Think it’s no big deal? Fatigue has been cited as contributing to the Exxon Valdez crash, the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, the nuclear accident at Chernobyl and the nuclear accident at the Three Mile Island. So get some sleep.  The BP oil spill? That was just plain greed.

2) Exercise. You can never be too rich or too thin.  I guess thin won because exercising came in at #2. It’s currently estimated that 97 million adults are overweight or obese in this country alone. Since the United States is the undisputed “leader” in obesity, exercising would be a good idea.  I always see tons of new faces at the gym each January, but they pull the disappearing act by February. Then they return for a week or two right before summer and then they’re gone again. You know who you are!  I hope the people who said “exercise” can do it and keep it up.

3) Spend time with family. In my highly non-scientific survey, this rang in at #3 and no wonder. I look around and see people who are over scheduled, stressed and stretched out to the max. So I was glad to see people assigning their extra hour to this. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all get back to a regular kitchen table lifestyle? Remember when Saturdays were days off? Life was good then. Except when we got dragged antiquing.

4) Write a blog post.  Actually, that was my answer and I was the only one with that response. This took me about an hour to write.  So why not put up a post?  Since I’ve already used up my hour, it’s your turn.

What are you going to do with your extra hour?



After all the intense but important 9/11 stuff, I ‘d like to share something with you on the lighter side.  Way lighter. I’ve made a slide show for you of our beautiful children from all around this great nation.

They were all kind enough to give me 1/60th of a second of their time.

So here’s to fake farts under the arm…

And I’d like to thank all the little people who made this possible.


Q: Should I watch this in HD on full screen?  A: Yup

Q: Should I comment and say which pic’s my favorite? A: Sure.

Q: What should I do if my video lags? A: Let it load and chill out!


It’s 9/12, now what?

A magical thing happened yesterday. As I saw it, human glue officially became stronger than human hate.

I wrote what I thought was a good post titled “Where were you on 9/11?” and instantly the comments shined brighter than the post itself. It stopped becoming my post and became our post. The response was global. Comments came from Australia. Bolivia. Poland. Romania.Germany. Montana. South Africa. Alaska. Spain. Someone said they were on the rocket launchpad at Cape Canaveral, FL. And someone wrote one sentence: “i was in new york in the twin towers…” (sic). And on and on.

I kept a pretty cool head while skimming the 500 plus published comments so far (I promise I will read them all). I kept my cool. Except two times. 1) When my brother (at left) shared his thoughts and 2) when my beautiful niece (right) shared hers. For those who didn’t read my original post, my brother is a fireman 19 miles outside of New York City and worked at Ground Zero. Grab a tissue and read what he had to say. Do an Edit > Find: Matthew LaMonica on yesterday’s post.

While the post was popular, I refuse to take a victory lap on the 9/11 issue. It’s not that kind of occasion.

There was one thing that left me uneasy–maybe more uneasy than I’ve ever been about this whole thing. On October 11, 2001, I welcomed my incredible baby boy into this newly changed world just 30 days after this all happened. Initial reports are good and he recently won “friendliest camper of the summer” award.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the men and women in our armed forces who let me safely tuck my son in at night. And especially those who never made it back alive. I’m usually a funnier guy than all this, but this is tough stuff. We can pull each other’s finger, yuk it up and have a good laugh together sometime soon.

For now I hope that anyone who read the 9/11 post from yesterday (or this one) will tell a friend and continue to share their memories.  Because I will guarantee you, you all knew where were that day. You all have unique story to share.

Where were you on 9/11?  And what are you doing to keep the spotlight burning? Peace be with you all. ~Mike

In case you missed the original post and comments, you can view it here: