Dad of Divas' Reviews: May 2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

Hassle- free gift idea for Father's Day -- Camacho Cigars

Camacho Cigars has the perfect gift to fit any budget, the hip choice for Dad this year... The Camacho Torpedo Maduro Cigar is a full flavored blend. The look, feel and undeniable richness of this cigar leaves anyone who smokes it totally enamored with the experience it provides. 

Celebrity Dad's such as Marc Anthony and Hank Baskett are fans of the Camacho Collection.

The Camacho Torpedo Cigars can be sold single for $13 or in a full 21-piece gift-set for $274.

History of Camacho Cigars

From the Bay of Pigs to the mountains of Honduras…

Camacho and its producers play an important role in the history of the cigar. The brand was founded in Miami, in 1961, by Simon Camacho. In 1995, it was acquired by Caribe Imported Cigars, a company owned by the Eiroa family, originally from Cuba but now active in the USA and in Honduras. In October 2008, Camacho became part of the Oettinger Davidoff Group.
The Camacho story begins in 1961, the year in which Simon Camacho, forced into exile from Cuba, opened a factory in Miami and set about making cigars using tobacco of Central American provenance. His brand soon also gained an excellent reputation beyond the shores of the USA. Among its aficionados was the legendary British wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill, after whom Camacho had named one of its formats.
In 1995, five years after the death of its founder, Camacho was acquired by the Eiroa family.

The Eiroa Family

The Eiroa family has been growing tobacco since the early 1900’s. First, Generoso Eiroa, in Cuba but in the wake of the Castro revolution and subsequent nationalization of the tobacco plantations, his widow and three sons were forced to leave the country without a penny to their name and settled in Tampa, Florida. Julio Eiroa joined the Bay of Pigs invasion attempt as one of a force of Cuban exiles with the US Army. While his brother, Generoso Jr. worked in Nicaragua, Julio travelled to Honduras in 1963 on behalf of tobacco dealer Angel Oliva. There, as part of a government project, he laid the foundations for today’s extensive tobacco plantations belonging to the Eiroa family.
After his first year with the Oliva Family, Julio Eiroa decided to become an independent farmer. A decision that would prove to be one to change the history of tobacco growing in Honduras. Julio Eiroa year after year, would buy the government tobacco farms. Through commercial partnerships with companies such as Bering Cigars and US Tobacco, he would become the world’s largest Candela (the green leaf) tobacco farmer by 1972.

Foundation of Caribe Imported Cigars

In the 1980s, Eiroa returned to the USA and in 1987 began to build up Caribe Imported Cigars in Miami. The company produced two popular cigar brands: “Baccarat” and “National Brand”. These were later joined by a so-called cafeteria-cigar by the name of “Don Felo”, that sold for 20 cents, and in 1992 by “La Fontana”. In those days, production totalled around 2–3 million cigars a year and grew massively in the subsequent cigar boom years of the 1990s. The year 1995 saw the acquisition of Camacho Cigars by the Eiroa family, accompanied by the transfer of tobacco production for this brand from Nicaragua to Honduras.

Camacho becomes an important player

In 1998, Julio’s 26-year-old son Christian, who had gained his know-how and first experience on the family plantations in Honduras, became President of Caribe Imported Cigars. By the turn of the millennium and with the launch of the highly successful Camacho Corojo, the Eiroa family and their ventures had undoubtedly joined the leading players in the US cigar industry.

Flagship with premium products

The flagship Camacho brand is produced at Danli (Honduras) and is made up of series such as “Corojo”, “Connecticut”, “Criollo”, “Diploma”, “Select”, “SLR” and “Triple Maduro”. In addition to Camacho, the company’s product portfolio also includes “Baccarat* ‘The Game’” (Caribe’s bestseller), “Baccarat* Dominican”, “Don Felo”, “Don Macho” “La Fontana”, “La Fontana Consigliere”, “LegendArio”, “National Brand” and “The Repeater”,.
* “Baccarat” available only in The Americas

Camacho and the Eiroa family

The Eiroa family plays a central role in the history of the tobacco industry in Central America. Its most prominent member is the Cuban exile Julio Eiroa. His father Generoso, from Galicia, Spain, entered the tobacco business in the early 1900s.
Like many of the Cuban exiles from the tobacco business who had left their homeland in the wake of the 1959 Castro revolution, Julio Eiroa’s family built a new life for themselves in the USA. And like many tobacco growers, they also made use of Florida as a platform for their next move to Central America where, with extensive plantations in Honduras, they laid the foundations on which the family business would enjoy a splendid future.

Exile after the revolution

From the early 1900’s until nationalisation by the Cuban revolutionary government, the founder of the dynasty, Generoso Eiroa, grew various tobaccos – including a popular sand-coloured wrapper leaf – in the San Luis district of Cuba. It was there, on 11 January 1938, that Julio Eiroa was born, who was later to found Tabacos Rancho Jamastran and Caribe Imported Cigars. At the end of 1957, he left his homeland for the first time and in January of the following year took employment as an odd job man in the Perfecto Garcia Factory in Tampa that had been one of his family’s customers for forty years. On New Year’s Day 1959, Julio returned to Cuba. The revolution, however, failed to bring the hoped-for changes and in 1960 the entire family emigrated, “just for one summer”, as Julio recalls. It turned out to be a long summer: the Eiroas have never returned home to this day.

Mission Honduras

In 1963, Angel Oliva, one of Florida’s biggest tobacco dealers, sent Julio Eiroa to Honduras as part of a government-sponsored cultivation project. There, he developed unconventional solutions to overcome the problems he encountered on the “Rancho Jamastran”. To address the shortage of workers, he made use of compulsory labour by the inmates of the local jail. These proved to be more willing and more loyal than the local agricultural workers, who, with their frugal, self-sufficient lifestyle, saw no reason to work for money. To motivate them, Eiroa set up his factory shops where his employees could use their wages to buy everyday goods imported from the USA that were otherwise unavailable in Honduras.

Emergency landing and wheelchair

In the 1970s, Julio Eiroa owned the largest plantations of dark air-cured tobacco and Candela wrapper leaves. The entrepreneur always aimed for the skies, not just in his business life but also in his leisure time. He invested in an air transport company with six aircraft and acquired a pilot’s license himself. In September 1977, at the pinnacle of his business success, he sustained a spinal injury in an emergency landing with his private Cessna, which left him with a mobility impairment.

A foray into the dairy business

The severe accident failed, however, to put a damper on Julio Eiroa’s resolve or on his thirst for action. In order to safeguard the future of his children Justo, Enita and Christian, at that time just eleven, eight and five years old, he pursued new ventures and became involved for a while in the tobacco wholesale business and in a dairy project, with varying degrees of success, before returning finally to his original love and great passion. He became involved with Tabacalera Panamerica TAPANSA and produced the first cigars of his own in the form of “Baccarat ‘The Game’”, “Montoya”, “National Brand” and “Repeater” in 1987.

Back to Rancho Jamastran

After many years of ups and downs, Julio Eiroa had almost attained his goal. He grew his own tobacco, used it to produce his own cigars and owned the company responsible for the distribution in the United States, Europe and other countries around the world. With the purchase of Rancho Jamastran in 1987, together with all the disused installations from the project that had been the subject of his first mission in Honduras, he fulfilled his dearest wish. It was on this land that he set up today’s Campo Camacho and the Corojo Farm.

Succession safeguarded

Julio’s youngest son Christian returned to Honduras after completing his studies in 1995 with a Master in International Business Administration. Following a familiarization phase, he was given responsibility for purchasing and production during the major boom in the cigar industry in the 1990s. After the boom subsided, Christian returned to the United States to undergo further training in sales and distribution and then ensured that the turnover of the family company was able to withstand market pressure. Today, Christian Eiroa is President of Camacho Cigars in the USA and oversees the cigar production from five hundred acres of Corojo Seed wrapper leaves at home in Honduras. Julio and Christian Eiroa are convinced that it is these wrapper leaves that make the Camacho cigars stand out from all others of Honduran provenance.
With effect from 1 October 2008, Camacho Cigars has been part of the Swiss Oettinger Davidoff Group. Julio Eiroa has withdrawn from the operative business and concentrates on managing the plantations. Christian Eiroa remains President of Camacho Cigars.


1960 –– The Eiroa family leaves Cuba and settles in Florida (Tampa).
1961 –– Simon Camacho opens the first cigar factory in Miami.
1987 –– Julio Eiroa founds Caribe Imported Cigars in Miami.
1987 –– The Eiroa family buys Rancho Jamastran and produces the first cigars of his own in the form of “Baccarat ‘The Game’”, “Montoya”, “National Brand” and “Repeater”.
1992 –– Caribe expands its product portfolio with the “La Fontana” cigar.
1995 –– The Eiroa family acquires the Camacho brand five years after the death of its founder.
1998 –– Christian Eiroa (26) becomes President of Caribe Imported Cigars.
2000 –– Release of the “Camacho Corojo”; final push to become a major player in the industry.
2008 –– 1 October: acquisition of Camacho by the Oettinger Davidoff Group

Website Review - Abe's Market New Shopping Program

Online natural products marketplace Abe's Market ( today announced its new Share It discount program, giving shoppers an instant 10 percent off their entire order ­ simply by spreading the word to their friends and fellow shoppers.
Abe's Market features thousands of eco-friendly products for every need ­ including beauty and skin care, organic chocolates and grilling sauces, green cleaning, eco-friendly toys, natural pet care, recycled yoga mats, and more.

We're already sharing our lives through Twitter, Facebook, and more ­ why should shopping be any different? said Jon Polin, Co-Founder of Abe's Market. Let's face it: everything is more fun these days if you can share it with your friends. Our Share It program rewards you for doing just that ­ shopping for great products, and sharing your experiences with your friends online.

Shoppers on will see both the regular price and the 10 percent off Share It price for each product. In their shopping cart, they can simply enter the email addresses of three friends to instantly have 10 percent off applied to their entire cart ­ without any action required from their friends. Plus, the three friends each receive a coupon code good for 10 percent off their own carts. Shoppers can keep visiting the site to Share It with three more friends and receive the discount each time.

To start shopping ­ and start saving ­ visit

About Abe's Market

Abe's Market is the go-to destination for natural products online, giving shoppers the opportunity to discover amazing green products, and the unique stories behind them. Sellers on Abe's Market include mom- and dad-preneurs, corporate execs, father-daughter teams, celebrity manicurists, and others who followed their dream to launch a green business. Abe's Market brings them together in a marketplace that combines the feel of a local, organic market with the selection you'd expect from an online superstore. Shop Abe's Market for everything organic ­ from gourmet marshmallows to barbecue rubs, messenger bags, BPA-free bottles, and more.

Guest Post - 80% of 2009 College Grads Moved Back With Their Parents - How to Save Money?

80% of 2009 grads moved back home with their parents – How to save money when moving back and forth?

College grads are feeling the weight of the economy more than ever:  A recent poll shows that among 2009 college graduates, 80% moved back home with their parents after graduation.

It’s a difficult time of the year for both parents and grads, who with no direction and money, end up spending so much on the process of transporting their furniture back and forth.

For those moving long distance, it can be inconvenient and time-consuming to keep traveling to relocate their belongings. Once you calculate the additional costs of driving insurance, mileage, and the rising price of gas costs, moving back home becomes a nightmare.

So parents, here’s a tip:  Moishe’s Mobile is the affordable and convenient moving and storage solution for your undecided and unemployed college grads.

For as little as $79, Moishe’s can have a mobile storage unit delivered outside their place. Grads can pack the container at their own pace (there are no extra charges if they take longer than needed) and when ready one of Moishe’s professionals will come pick it up and take it to a secure storage facility.  There are a variety of sizes of containers, and monthly storage rates start at $60.

No driving, no hassle, and the best of all; more money to save throughout the job search.

About Moishe's Moving Systems
Moishe’s Moving and Storage was created in 1983. By 1990, Moishe’s became the largest independent moving company in New York City, with a host of movers, a convoy of red trucks and several storage facilities. Five years later, Moishe’s was the largest moving company in the Tri-State area. Today, Moishe’s has hundreds of employees, scores of red trucks and millions of square feet of storage which utilize state-of-the-art technologies to assure the safety and security of their clients’ belongings. Moishe’s operates regional offices across the country and has established six specialized divisions catering to the unique moving and storage needs of thousands of individuals, families and businesses every day.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Love of Wildlife, Nature and Bow Hunting Captured in Exquisite Coffee Table Book

Love of Wildlife, Nature and Bow Hunting Captured in Exquisite Coffee Table Book

Dennis Dunn, a man who has spent much of his life traipsing through uncharted wilderness, has created what some will say is a literary monument to share his love of the mountains, valleys, waterfalls, free-roaming animals, and companions he has enjoyed during his 40 years of hunting with a bow.

His creation, titled BAREBOW! is a nine-pound, 10 x 15 x 2 inch coffee table book, filled with 30 breathtaking full-page color paintings of wildlife in natural landscapes by noted artist Hayden Lambson, 37 wildlife pencil drawings by his artist son, Dallen Lambson, and 60 photos. The illustrations are interspersed among 104 personal stories of his adventures while bowhunting.

Dennis Dunn is a dedicated bowhunter and conservationist.  He produced this book with the goal of sharing his explorations and experiences as well as educating people about the heritage and purposes of hunting.

Barebow hunting is one of the most challenging outdoor pursuits and Dunn holds many hunting records.  He was the first archer to take all 29 species of legally huntable big game in North America by barebow, meaning without the aid of sights or other aiming devices.

Each of the 29 chapters in BAREBOW! focuses on a specific species and describes the behavior and habitat of each. There are misadventures and humor as well, and numerous animal sightings where he chose to use his camera rather than his bow.

On May 1, 2010, the Northwest Outdoor Writers Association gave BAREBOW! its First Place Award in the Book Category of their annual Excellence in Craft Competition.

An Archer’s Fair-Chase Taking of North America’s Big Game 29
By Dennis Dunn

List $95.00
ISBN 978-1-933245-13-3
Published by Documentary Media, LLC

For more information visit

About the Author

Dennis Dunn  graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a major in Romance Languages and earned a Master’s Degree in French Literature from the University of Washington.  Now retired, he has been a French teacher, a political party leader, and a securities broker. He is a life-member of many outdoor-oriented organizations and, in addition to hunting, has a passion for fishing, mineral collecting, skiing, opera, and his wife Karen.

What People Are Saying

Dunn’s appreciation for the rigors of the chase, for the country and the animals themselves, comes through on every page. This book brims with emotion. Besides celebrating trophies, it focuses on the adventure to be found in the wild. It's a book you'll show to people who don't hunt, especially to people who can't understand why others do.”
-          Wayne Van Zwoll, PETERSEN'S HUNTING

“This is a book to be read and pondered by anyone who treasures fine writing, holds a deep appreciation for wild places and the animals that inhabit them, or who seeks a full understanding of the special link between predator and prey that bowhunting provides.”
-          Jim Casada, SPORTING CLASSICS

“Dennis captures America's wilds like Jack London with the wit and humor of Mark Twain in more than 100 campfire tales. His words transported me into the wilderness of America such that I felt like I, too, had crawled on my belly up onto the back edge of an Alaska mesa to witness the majesty in a band of Dall's Sheep.”
-          Liz Madison, THE WOMEN'S OUTDOOR WIRE 

“Certainly most non-hunters who are lovers of fine books, fine art and fine storytelling will enjoy this volume immensely!  And, for all hunters—firearm or bow—it is definitely a must-read!”
-          Robert E. Speegle, M.D.

“Readers will experience the drama, suspense, humor, and spirituality that define hunting and wilderness exploration.”
-          Elizabeth M. Madison, Conservationist

“This book is chock-full of insights into ourselves—as human beings drawn to nature and to the hunt. The gifted and well-qualified author captures the complex, hard-to-describe spiritual connection man has with the natural world in all its beauty and diversity.  BAREBOW! offers a rare window: not only to better understand oneself, but also to enjoy the never-ending wonders of nature.”
-          John J. Jackson, III, Chairman, Conservation Force

Brian Sumereau, 11, of River Vale, NJ Wins “Invention Dimension” National Competition

Brian Sumereau, 11, of River Vale, NJ Wins Invention Dimension” National Competition
By Kids for Kids (BKFK), in collaboration with partners Toys”R”Us® and JAKKS Pacific, today announced that Brian Sumereau, 11, of River Vale, New Jersey has won the Grand Prize in the National “Invention Dimension competition. Invention Dimension, which ran from Oct. 1, 2009 to January 29, 2010, sought to unleash new ideas in toys, games and sporting goods. Brian beat out thousands of other contestants for his highly original new game, ‘The Puzzler,’ which masterfully combines logic puzzles with board games.
Yesterday, during a special Grand Prize Award Ceremony at the ToysR”Us international flagship store in Times Square, Brian was honored and celebrated for his victory.  Chris Byrne, AKA “The Toy Guy,” officiated at the ceremony.  As the National Grand Prize winner of ‘Invention Dimension, Brian received a $1,000 JAKKS Pacific Prize Pack plus a $1,000 gift card for a shopping spree at ToysR”Us.  Brian will also be flown out to the JAKKS Pacific headquarters in Southern California this summer for an opportunity to pitch his game to JAKKS’ product team.   
“It’s incredibly exciting to be here in New York City as the Grand Prize Winner of Invention Dimension! I really want to thank ToysR”Us and JAKKS Pacific, and BKFK for this great honor,” said winner Brian Sumereau.
Norman Goldstein, the founder and CEO of By Kids For Kids Co., added: “We’d like to congratulate Brian Sumereau on his ingenious new game, ‘The Puzzler.’ This challenging and fun new game is yet another example of the power of youth to inspire, create and innovate. I’m certainly looking forward to playing!”
As the Grand Prize winner, Brian also had the opportunity to recognize the teacher who was most inspirational in his invention process.  That teacher, Meryl Wolf, was present at the awards ceremony and received a $500 JAKKS Pacific School/Classroom Supply pack.
About Brian Sumereau
Though 11-years-old, Brian has already received recognition for his science fair exhibit, skillful handwriting, and poetry.  He is a member of his school’s band, Scrabble and Math clubs, and the Supplemental and Gifted Education program.
His winning idea indirectly came about when Brian first learned the game of Sudoku from his dad. He quickly became hooked on the challenging game and a further appreciation for puzzles and logic games naturally followed. One day, I was sitting around my grandma’s beach house, bored.  I decided to make my own board game from my love for puzzles.  I was thinking, how can I combine the two?” says Brian.  “The Puzzler” was thus born.
If he could spend a day with anyone, it would be Albert Einstein.  Brian also gets inspired by Thomas Edison and his own parents for being so supportive.  In the future, he wants to focus on engineering, stemming from his love of building complex structures: “I want to build a crazy rollercoaster, but I’ll probably not go on it!”  The budding engineer in him loves K’nex, which he first got as a Christmas gift when he was seven: “With K’nex, you can let your imagination soar.  You can make anything!”  Someday, he’d like to build carnival rides that no one has ever seen before.  But for the next five years, his plans also include starting a PowerPoint club and an Entrepreneur club at his school.
About Meryl Wolf
Ms. Meryl Wolf holds a BS in Education from Boston University- graduated Summa Cum LaudeMasters from NYU.

Ms. Wolf has been teaching for 18 ½ years, the last 13 have been in gifted education(SAGE) for the River Vale School System.(Roberge Elementary-Brian's School, Woodside Elementary, Holdrum Middle School)
About JAKKS Pacific
JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAKK) is a leading designer and marketer of toys and consumer products, with a wide range of products that feature some of the most popular children's toy licenses in the world.  JAKKS’ diverse portfolio includes Action Figures, Art Activity Kits, Stationery, Writing Instruments, Performance Kites, Water Toys, Sports Activity Toys, Vehicles, Infant/Pre-School, Plush, Construction Toys, Electronics, Dolls, Dress-Up, Role Play, and Pet Toys and Accessories, sold under various proprietary brands including JAKKS Pacific®, Play Along®, Flying Colors®, Creative Designs International™, Road Champs® , Child Guidance®, Pentech®, Funnoodle®, Go Fly a Kite®, Color Workshop®, JAKKS Pets®, EyeClops®, Plug It In & Play TV Games™, Girl Gourmet®, Kids Only®, Tollytots® and Disguise. JAKKS is an award-winning licensee of several hundred nationally and internationally known trademarks including Disney®, Nickelodeon®, Warner Bros.®, World Wrestling Entertainment®, Ultimate Fighting Championship®, Graco® and Cabbage Patch Kids. JAKKS and THQ Inc. participate in a joint venture that has worldwide rights to publish and market World Wrestling Entertainment video games. For further information, visit 
About By Kids for Kids Co.
By Kids for Kids® (BKFK®) is a platform that empowers youth invention, innovation and entrepreneurship. BKFK promotes youth social innovation and partners with leading corporations to inspire product development, crucial technology skills, invention, and innovation in young people from 8 to 22. BKFK provides a unique platform for young people to develop, showcase, and commercialize their products, inventions and entrepreneurship. BKFK's ‘cycle of innovation' develops critical 21st century skills in our nation's youth. The company provides educational resources- curriculum and challenges that promote social change, product development and entrepreneurial endeavors. Learn more:

Join the Fight Against Cancer

Did you know that prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in America, affecting 1 in 6 men?  I’m contacting you today on behalf of the Prostate Cancer Foundation to speak more about this shockingly true fact.  Just in 2009 alone more than 192,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 27,000 men died from the disease.  In fact, one new case occurs every 2.7 minutes and a man dies from prostate cancer every 19 minutes.  It’s estimated that there are more than 2 million American men currently living with prostate cancer!

The good news is that the Prostate Cancer Foundation is doing everything they can to raise awareness for early detection.  But your help is greatly needed in this fight too.  PCF has teamed up with sports legends Rosey Grier and Vida Blue in a new PSA campaign, “Why Can’t Men Be More Like Women,” that brings this important message to both men and women in a humorous and informative way.

To view this special announcement, please watch and share the video here:

Calling the Shots: Protecting Your Pet Against Over Vaccination

Calling the Shots: Protecting Your Pet Against Over Vaccination
Noted Black Belt Dog Trainer Robert Cabral Urges Dog Owners to Take Action On
New California Rabies Bill

Robert Cabral recognized for his revolutionary Black Belt Dog Training, has become the leading voice of reason relating to California Rabies Bill AB 2689. He has taken to the blogosphere and airwaves, urging pet owners to contact committee members and tell them to modify the bill ( “Its main goal is
to increase revenue, not protect the dog,” says Cabral. “We want to change that and make the bill more pet friendly.”

Introduced by Assembly Member Cameron Smyth, the bill will require annual rabies vaccinations and for puppies to be vaccinated at three months of age in "rabies areas" as determined by the State Public Health Officer -- violation is impoundment. “I’ve read the bill, and at its core the problem is requiring dogs to be vaccinated at too young of an age,” says Cabral. “Further, impoundment just means more dogs in our shelters.” He adds that the duration of the vaccination period is not clear – it’s either one or three years.
The statewide standard is and should be three years. There are countless tests that will confirm that the rabies antibodies work for long after the prescribed vaccination period comes due. However, the greater issue for dog owners, he says is potentially harming dogs by exposing them to harmful vaccination agents early in life as well as over-vaccinating them.

A simpler solution that Cabral proposes is “titer” tests on dogs to see if they carry an antibody to rabies, thus providing pet owners the option to submit medical titer results as opposed to vaccination. The costs could be higher, he concedes, “but many people would gladly pay to keep their dogs from being over vaccinated. Making these options available and allowing people to license their dogs in this way would still see an increase in license fees.”

Subsequent to contacting committee members, Cabral advises dog owners to perform due diligence on vaccinations. “Some, granted not all, are unnecessary and can be dangerous to our pets,” he explains. “Really, some ‘vaccinations’ are primarily geared at revenue generation, nothing else.”

Cabral highlights the work of the Rabies Challenge Fund and its research to determine the amount of vaccines needed to protect animals against rabies. Asking for changes in the proposed legislation, Cabral emphasizes, is the first step toward protecting the health of our dogs—and saving money on vaccinations that are unnecessary.

“The greater collective of dog owners has a strong and significant voice,” Cabral says, “We have to use that voice now out of love and respect for our animals.” For more information, call Cabral at 310-308-5555 or email him at

About Robert Cabral
Robert Cabral is a professional dog behaviorist and trainer with a background in Japanese Martial Arts. He applies many of those principles in his Black Belt Dog Training, a Zen-like approach to transform dogs with difficult behavior patterns. In addition, his passion is the nonprofit he founded called Bound Angels ( and, which is dedicated to giving a voice to animals, in particular those living in our nation’s shelters at risk of being killed: some for bad behavior, some just because they are no longer wanted.

Robert has worked with countless shelter dogs, and as a result of his work, these animals have found loving homes. He also serves on the advisory board for K9 Connection in Los Angeles where he tests their dogs and speaks to at-risk teens and those in foster care about animal behavior.

Big Dogs, Little Kids: Know the Rules and Save a Life

Big Dogs, Little Kids: Know the Rules and Save a Life
Black Belt Dog Trainer Robert Cabral Says How to Protect Kids and Pets

A “family dog” is often a rite of passage for many parents with kids. Yet many parents fail to consider that there can be dangerous and even fatal consequences if they choose a dog to keep their small child or children company.

“I see so many pictures on the Internet showing a large-breed dog such as a Rottweiler, pit bull or mastiff next to a baby or a small child,” says Black Belt Dog Trainer Robert Cabral ( “It’s not unusual to see the child on top of the dog
‘riding’ it.”

Big mistake, says Cabral. He points out that the dog may be fine with it — for the moment. It’s what happens next that is anyone’s guess. “If you show this picture to friends or post it on your Facebook or Flickr page, it gives the impression that it’s OK to put a child in such a dangerous situation.” According to the Web site, about 1,000 Americans per day are treated in emergency rooms as a result of dog bites. In 2007, there were 33 fatal dog attacks in the USA. Most of the victims who receive medical attention are children, half of whom are bitten in the face. The majority of dog attacks (61%) happen at home or in a
familiar place. When a child less than four years old is the victim, the family dog is the attacker half of the time (47%), and the attack almost always happens in the family home (90%). Cabral wants people everywhere to know that this is not OK, and that dogs and children are a very tricky if not potentially lethal combination. “Just winging it and hoping for the best puts a child and a dog at great risk,” he explains. He believes that no matter how good a dog is, why take chances? He recommends five general guidelines for families with small kids and a large dog:
  • Never lay a child on top of a dog or a dog on top of a child
  • Train, socialize and monitor all dogs regardless of size
  • Do not under any circumstances leave a child alone with a dog
  • Refrain from putting a dog and a child in a potentially dangerous situation, i.e. “riding”
  • the animal
  • Remember that no two dogs are alike. Do not assume that what is OK (for the moment)
  • for your pet would be OK with someone else’s dog or child.

For more information, visit or call 310-308-5555; or email

About Robert Cabral
Robert Cabral is a professional dog behaviorist and trainer with a background in Japanese Martial Arts. He applies many of those principles in his Black Belt Dog Training, a Zen-like approach to transform dogs with difficult behavior patterns. In addition, his passion is the nonprofit he founded called Bound Angels ( and, which is dedicated to giving a voice to animals, in particular those living in our nation’s shelters at risk of being killed: some for bad behavior, some just because they are no longer wanted. Robert has worked with countless shelter dogs, and as a result of his work, these animals have found loving homes. He also serves on the advisory board for K9 Connection in Los Angeles where he
tests their dogs and speaks to at-risk teens and those in foster care about animal behavior.

Just 25 Percent of U.S. Children Attend Summer Learning Programs

Just 25 Percent of U.S. Children Attend Summer Learning Programs,
According to “America After 3PM, Special Report on Summer

Survey of 30,000 Households Finds that the Parents of an Estimated
 24 Million Children Say They Are Interested in
Enrolling Their Children in Summer Learning Programs

For millions of children in America, when schools close for the summer, safe and enriching learning environments are out of reach, replaced by boredom, lost opportunities and risk.  New analysis of data from the America After 3PM study measures the extent of this problem, concluding that three-quarters of America’s schoolchildren do not participate in summer learning programs – safe, structured programs that provide a variety of activities designed to encourage learning and development in the summer months.  Yet, 56 percent of kids (an estimated 24 million) who are not participating in summer learning programs, would likely enroll in a program, based on parent interest. 

America After 3PM is a survey of nearly 30,000 households across the United States, commissioned by the Afterschool Alliance and JCPenney Afterschool in 2009.  The summer learning report, released today, is sponsored by The Wallace Foundation.  It finds that 43 percent of the estimated 14.3 million children who attend summer learning programs qualify for free or reduced price lunches.  But the unmet demand also is great for low-income children, many of whom are unsupervised during the summer months.  Nearly half of kids whose parents say they are interested in enrolling them in summer learning programs (46 percent) qualify for free or reduced price lunches.

“These findings are sobering, especially because we know that inequities in summer learning are a major contributor to the achievement gap between high- and low-income students,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant.  “When we leave children unsupervised during the summer, we miss critical opportunities to improve their academic achievement and we take away crucial supports like nutritious meals and snacks.  By not creating and funding enough summer learning programs, we are missing the chance to engage and educate millions of students during the summer, and instead are leaving them unsupervised and at risk.”

Grant urged lawmakers to fund 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which support afterschool and summer programs.  Other findings from the new study:

·        Thirty-five percent of African-American, 29 percent of Hispanic and 27 percent of low-income children attended summer learning programs in 2008, compared to the national average of 25 percent. 
·        Yet more than three in four African-American kids (77 percent) and at least two in three Hispanic (70 percent) and low-income (67 percent) kids would likely enroll in a summer learning program, based on parent interest. 
·        Eight in ten parents (83 percent) support public funding for summer learning programs.
·        Fully 95 percent of African-American, 91 percent of Hispanic and 90 percent of low-income parents support public funding for summer learning programs.

“If we are to overcome the achievement gap, we must find ways to increase opportunities for high-quality summer learning and encourage more children to participate in them,” said Nancy Devine, director of communities at The Wallace Foundation.

“The long summer break is a precarious time when many low-income children fall behind academically and lose the nutritious meals, supervision, and structure that school provides,” said Ron Fairchild, chief executive officer of the National Summer Learning Association. “This survey shows just how great the demand is for meaningful summer activities and that too many children are left wanting for quality programs – the very children who could benefit most if given the opportunity.  Policymakers and educators who are cutting summer programs should pay attention to these findings.”  The National Summer Learning Association is leading a new national initiative called A New Vision for Summer School, which seeks to replace remedial summer school with comprehensive and engaging programs.

The new report provides data on the percent of children who participate in summer learning programs in each state, as well as the percent of children who do not participate but whose parents are interested in enrolling them.  It also measures support for public funding of summer learning programs in each state. 

The new report and state data are available online at

America After 3PM Special Report on Summer is sponsored by The Wallace Foundation. All data cited in the report are from the 2009 America After 3PM research, which was sponsored by JCPenney Afterschool.

Between March and May 2009, 29,754 parents/guardians responded to survey questions about their after school and summer child care arrangements during the summer of 2008 and the 2008-2009 school year.  RTi, a market research firm, conducted the survey and analyzed the data for the Afterschool Alliance.  According to U. S. Census data from 2007, the total school-age population is 57.3 million, which is the foundation for the national projections in America After 3PM Special Report on Summer.

The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children have access to quality afterschool programs. More information is available at

The Wallace Foundation is an independent, national foundation dedicated to supporting and sharing effective ideas and practices that expand learning and enrichment opportunities for all people. The Foundation maintains an online library of lessons at about what it has learned, including knowledge from its current efforts aimed at: strengthening educational leadership to improve student achievement; enhancing out-of-school-time learning opportunities including summer learning; and building appreciation and demand for the arts.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ultimate Father's Day Getaways: Cooperstown, NY & Borgata Hotel Casino

Those looking to skip the typical tie and cologne for Father’s Day should treat dad to an unforgettable weekend getaway.  Whether dad prefers the outdoors and baseball or poker and steaks, Cooperstown, NY and Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa are offering the ultimate Father’s Day escape.

In Cooperstown (3 ½ hours north of NYC) dads can live out their ultimate fantasy and play a round of golf with Baseball Hall of Famers during the annual Hall of Fame Classic Weekend (June 18-20).  The Baseball Hall of Fame and Otesaga Resort Hotel’s Leatherstocking Golf Course are offering dads the chance of a lifetime; some of the details include: 

  • June 18:  Attend an exclusive cocktail reception with Hall of Fame team captains
  • June 19:  Cooperstown Golf Classic.  Twenty-eight lucky golfers will have the chance to hit the links at the picturesque Leatherstocking Golf Course with Hall of Famers Gary Carter, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Harmon Killebrew, Phil Niekro, Mike Schmidt and Ozzie Smith
  • June 20: Two tickets to the Hall of Fame Classic, a seven-inning exhibition game featuring seven Hall of Famers and 20 retired major league stars in the Grandstand of Doubleday Field

Tickets for the Cooperstown Golf Classic can be reserved by calling 607-547-0310.   The 2010 Hall of Fame Classic tickets are also available for purchase: $12.50 for first and third base seats and $11 for outfield seats (8-ticket max).

Borgata is offering the “Raise the Steaks” package on Father’s Day weekend perfect for dads who love mouth-watering steaks, exciting games of poker, relaxing spa treatments and live performances.  Starting at $289 a night, dads can enjoy: 

Overnight accommodations in a Classic Room at Borgata or Club Room at The Water Club
·         $55 Credit to The Barbershop where Spa Toccare offers a tribute to masculinity with services including the Signature Hot Towel Shave
·         Poker Lesson at Borgata’s 85-table Poker Room – the largest in Atlantic City – for Dad to perfect his skills before trying his luck in one of the daily tournaments
·         $100 Food & Beverage Credit, which can be used at any of Borgata’s fine or casual dining restaurants, including Old Homestead Steak House or Bobby Flay Steak where Dad can savor the quintessential American entrĂ©e – like an NY Strip – any way he wants
·         $25 Beverage Credit for after-dinner drinks at B Bar, the high energy, ultra lounge in the heart of all the action or Borgata’s rock n’ roll tequila haven, Gypsy Bar
·         In-room gift including a HUGO BOSS duffle bag with an exclusive offer for their boutique at The Shoppes at The Water Club and amenities from Redken For Men

Meaningful Father's Day gifts that honor fathers and save lives

It’s often difficult to find meaningful Father’s Day gifts, and there are only so many bottles of cologne a man can use. This Father’s Day, the IRC is offering inspiring gifts that capture the true meaning of fatherhood – nurturing children as they grow into adults.

Through our gift site,, shoppers can purchase critical supplies for refugees and dedicate them to the special fathers in their lives. For $28, gift givers can purchase blankets to keep an uprooted family of five warm, in honor of the dad who always tucked them in at night. For $87, they can purchase a bicycle for a refugee to commute to work, and dedicate it to the father who taught them how to ride their own bikes.

Other gift options include:
  • Mosquito nets for a refugee family in Africa - $18
  • Rope and tarp that can shelter a refugee father and his family during an emergency - $54
  • Summer school for a newly arrived refugee child in the U.S. - $100
  • Carpentry tools that can help rebuild destroyed homes, providing privacy and safety for women and families - $182
  • Job training that provides the tools for a refugee to become self-sufficient - $330
The IRC will send a beautiful personalized card to the gift recipient, to let him know about the gift made in his honor. Please feel free to visit the site to view all of our gift options.

Unique Father's Day Gift Under $100

Men are by no means immune to the effects of aging on the skin. Exposure to the sun, environmental pollutants and internal stresses affect men and women indiscriminately. However, while the damage - loss of elasticity, wrinkles, decreased collagen production and dullness - may be similar, different biochemistry is at play.

Developed by a pharmacist, Chamonix all-natural skin care products are formulated with a potent combination of antioxidants, which protect skin from environmental damage. Our Blue for Men line, formulated specifically for the unique skin care needs of men, uses clinically proven natural ingredients to deliver scientifically advanced anti-aging protection.

Their skin care products treat wrinkles and other signs of aging effectively without causing undue irritation, because they contain no mineral oil, pharmaceutical preservatives or other unnecessary or harmful ingredients. And, they are never tested on animals. Also, they formulate, manufacture, package and print all of our products in America.

Their Gift For Him Package Includes:
Skin Rejuvenating Treatment (Info Below)
Instant Effects Wrinkle Treatment
Microdermabrasion (Info Below)
After Shave Balm

A $371.00 retail value, for $89.00!




Blue for Men with Copper Peptides
Skin Rejuvenating & Enzyme Revitalizing Treatment

The Blue for Men Skin Rejuvenating & Enzyme Revitalizing Treatment is designed to be the world’s most advanced peptide-based collagen boosting and moisturizing formulation for gentlemen.
    • Superb moisturizing with advanced anti-aging protection
    • Formulation specific to a man’s skin
    • Luxurious and effective, befitting everyday use
    • Softer, healthier complexion in days

KEY INGREDIENTS:  Copper Peptides, Grape Seed Extract, Matrixyl™

Directions for use:
Use twice a day, morning and night. For best results use with Chamonix's Blue for Men After Shave Balm.

Blue for Men Microdermabrasion Treatment

Microdermabrasion is a treatment used in dermatologists' offices and top spas to treat skin roughness, fine facial lines, wrinkles, acne, age spots, skin discoloration and small scars. Now you can get similar results at home at a fraction of the cost with the Blue for Men Microdermabrasion Treatment, which uses the same active ingredient (magnesium oxide) as doctors and spas but in an easy-to-use cream base. After a 2 or 3 minute application, you'll see remarkable results.

Directions for use: Apply to face in a circular motion using moderate pressure for 1 to 2 minutes. Rinse with water. Use only 2 to 3 times per week.

My Take on the ProductsI would not normally spend the money on skincare products for myself, but to be honest I was happy to get the opportunity to try out these products! I was amazed at how well these products worked, and how little you have to use to have it make a difference on your face. While the price may seem higher than others, I look at what some women pay on skincare products and say that this is a great deal!

I would recommend this to other men that are looking for a great, natural approach to skincare!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

Book Review - The Essential Performance Review Handbook

About the Book
Performance reviews can be one of the most anxiety-provoking aspects of work life—for supervisors and employees alike.  However, performance reviews are a fact of work life, and they can be effective tools to foster growth—not only for the employee, but for the company as well.  Retaining really talented employees is critical to the success of any business. Employees also need to know that their contributions are valued.

The Essential Performance Review Handbook will teach readers the elements to creating “pain-free” performance reviews, including:
  • Goal setting.
  • Effective observation.
  • Practical documentation.
  • Ongoing communication.

The Essential Performance Review Handbook is an easy-to-use resource for any manger.  The book contains guidelines, sample evaluation forms, and real-life performance-review problems and guidance in how to handle them.

The Essential Performance Review Handbook turns the writing of such appraisals from a tedious paperwork chore to a powerful management and motivational tool—a valuable new way of thinking about an old task.”
     —Robert Bly, author of 101 Ways to Make Every Second Count

The Essential Performance Review Handbook (ISBN 978-1-60163-113-8, pages: 224, price: $14.99) was published by Career Press. The book is available at Barnes & Noble, Borders,, and many other booksellers.

Career Press was founded in 1985 as a niche publisher of career directories that since has grown into one of the best-known independent publishers of its kind.  Career Press, which now boasts an active, strong-selling backlist of nearly 300 titles spanning careers, personal finance, business management, and study skills, will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2010.

For more information about The Essential Performance Review Handbook and other new releases, visit the Website of the publisher, Career Press, at

About the Author:

Sharon Armstrong has served as director of human resources at a law firm and several other organizations in Washington, DC. Since launching her own consulting business in 1998, she has provided training and completed HR projects dealing with performance management design and implementation for a wide variety of clients. She is the coauthor of The Essential HR Handbook.

My Take on the Book
I found this book to be a straight forward account of the positive approaches and steps that a manager could take in evaluating his or her employees. The book was full of great insights and provided many helpful step-by-step points that one could follow when evaluating another worker.

I particularly liked the section on active listening. This is an area that I am constantly working on (as many of us are as managers), so reading this gave me some additional tools for my toolbox as I would say.

Overall, the book has many ideas that I have seen before, but the format and straight forward approach was welcome and appreciated and I believe that any manager would find this book to be a great addition to their professional literary collection.

If this book sounds like something you would like in your own library you can find it on Amazon!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.