Send a U.S. Soldier a Snickers!

Halloween Candy for the Troops

WANTED: YOUR SURPLUS HALLOWEEN CANDY! — If you’re in New Hampshire, I’m collecting “extra” candy this week for Operation Care For Troops, a group that sends care packages to our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. I’m headed to Target and CVS tomorrow to get bundles of half-price candy — if anyone wants to help, please message me.

Many times I hear that empty phrase “Thank you for your service,” said to U.S. soldiers. I think it’s better to send them Snickers.

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Filed under Candy for the Troops

Jeb Bush Thinks Supergirl is “Hot” (Maybe We Picked the Wrong Year for the Superhero Primary!)


Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush named Supergirl as his favorite superhero at a campaign appearance last week, telling his audience that actress Melissa Benoist “looked pretty hot.”

During the 2012 New Hampshire Primary, I guided my then 9-year-old son on the campaign trail as he asked the candidates about their favorite superhero and why.

Bush’s predecessors were a lot more careful with their answers. Take a look:

I know his campaign ended badly, but Herman Cain’s Kryptonite answer and the warmth of his response still makes me smile. (You can read my original analysis of our Superhero Primary at The Atlantic.)

In any case, Ari and I are also looking forward to watching Supergirl, which was created by the same producers as “The Flash,” our can’t-miss-show-of-the-moment!



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Filed under Election 2012, Election 2016, Excuses to Dress as a Superhero, New Hampshire Primary

Thanks a Zillion From the Garnick Justice League!

Hanging with the Batmobile at the CHaD Hero 5K and Fun Run.

Hanging with the Batmobile at the CHaD Hero 5K and Fun Run.

Special thanks to all my family, friends and co-workers who supported The Garnick Justice League in this year’s Fun Run fundraiser for Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD).

Even though the Incredible Hulk (seated) and WonderGirl didn’t share my intense level of enthusiasm for seeing the 1966 Batmobile, it was a worthwhile event for sure.

If you meant to donate to the CHaD Hero, but didn’t get my email pitch or forgot to follow up, you can still help out this awesome cause here.

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Filed under Excuses to Dress as a Superhero

Dream On, Donald: Why Does Trump Defy the Wishes of New Hampshire’s Favorite Rock Star?

Hey, Donald Trump, want to win the New Hampshire Primary?

For starters, don’t piss off Aerosmith.

Lake Sunapee’s Steven Tyler and his lawyers asked you nicely to stop playing “Dream On” at your rallies, and you said you found a “better song.”

So what’s the better song?

At your Oct. 16 rally at Tyngsborough Elementary School (so close to NH, we’re claiming it as our own, like the Pheasant Lane Mall), you played “Dream On” multiple times on your mixed tape. I also heard “You’re the Best Around” from the Karate Kid soundtrack.

You know who played that before? Newt Gingrich at his 2012 fifth place New Hampshire Primary victory party. It’s bad karma.

Steven Tyler warned you. Pick another song.

Steven Tyler: Stop Dreaming On. (Courtesy of Ilya Mirman Photography)

Steven Tyler: Stop Dreaming On. (Courtesy of Ilya Mirman Photography)

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Filed under Election 2016, New Hampshire Primary

Why Do More Kids Choose Lacrosse Over Baseball?


A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION – More Major League teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates, are taking a page out of the Minor League promotional playbook and letting kids run the bases after weekend games. (Mine got there before the stampede!)

Want insights on why more kids today prefer playing lacrosse over baseball?

That question has haunted me ever since my days as a volunteer Little League coach. And I got to ask it to Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington during my ongoing quest to visit more “foreign” ballparks (outside of Fenway Park.)

You can read my interview with Huntington in this month’s New Hampshire Magazine. Relevance? He’s the son of NH dairy farmers!

P.S. Pittsburgh’s PNC Park is the most impressive ballpark I’ve visited to date.


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Filed under New Hampshire Magazine, Sports

Please Do Not French Kiss the Giraffe

“Giraffic Park” at the 2015 Rochester (NH) Fair.

This is what I learned from my recent visit to the Rochester Fair: Mouth-to-mouth, human-to-giraffe contact is so common that it warrants the professional printing of signs to warn the public.

The dire warning begs the question – Just who are these people who want to have a “Lady and the Tramp” moment with a wild animal they just met seconds earlier?


In any case, I’m squeamish about having a giant tongue cover even my hand in giraffe saliva, so I’m leaving the feeding to others.

But record-breaking carrot sales aside, I do wonder why the carnival just won’t let these majestic animals eat without having to touch all those dirty human hands. Who knows where they’ve been.

(On a somewhat related note, here’s a fascinating Slate commentary arguing that zoo lions and tigers should be fed animal carcasses instead of processed meat.)

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Filed under Animal Rights

Tourist Dress-Up Debate: Is it “racist” to try on a Japanese kimono?

HANDS OFF THE SILK - In a recently canceled Boston Museum of Fine Arts promotion, visitors were encouraged to try on a Japanese kimono and pose with the famous painting, (Source: MFA)

HANDS OFF THE SILK – In a recently canceled Boston Museum of Fine Arts promotion, visitors were encouraged to try on a Japanese kimono and pose with the famous Claude Monet painting, “La Japonaise.” (Source: Museum of Fine Arts)

The Boston Museum of Fine Arts just stopped letting visitors be photographed in kimonos on “Kimono Wednesdays” because of a few protestors charging that the dress-up event is culturally insensitive.

As a lover of kitschy photo-ops at museums and tourist attractions, I’m horrified.

My street cred? I’m the curator and co-founder of “Tacky Tourist Photos,” a travel website celebrating this practice around the world.

I thought the MFA’s promotion was clever and respectful of Japanese culture and would have exposed many outsiders to history and art they might not have bothered paying attention to otherwise. In Kyoto, Japan, there are lots of studios that invite tourists to go through the lengthy process of dressing in traditional Geisha and Samurai garb.

I’ve also met tourists who have had fun channeling Pharaohs in Egypt, Vikings in Sweden and Sumo wrestlers in Japan. I’ve personally had the honor of dressing like a Canadian! While on Prince Edward Island, I met Japanese and Chinese women who posed in red braids and straw hats and said they dreamed of visiting the land of Anne of Green Gables.

Anne of Green Gables costume booth at the Confederate Bridge on Prince Edward Island.

Anne of Green Gables costume booth at the Confederate Bridge on Prince Edward Island.

I share my disappointment in the MFA for not standing up to a few protestors – as well as challenge the idea of “cultural appropriation” in general – in this opinion column for The Globe and Mail (Canada’s national newspaper).

A snippet:

“Only a few generations after the Second World War, when Japan and the West viewed each other through the lens of brutal racial stereotypes, our first impressions are no longer Pearl Harbor and P.O.W. camps. My immediate associations with Japan are anime, baseball, comic books and video games. Go to any comic book convention and you’ll find that Japanese culture is worshipped.

I’d like to think that part of that cultural transformation is due to trying on each other’s clothes.”

I know it’s the journalistic equivalent of smacking a hornet’s nest with a baseball bat, but I also humbly propose 5 objective criteria to determine whether a costumed photo-op is offensive or not offensive.

If you appreciate fun travel photo-ops, whether they celebrate cultural or historical themes or not, please consider immortalizing your snapshots in my “museum.”

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Filed under Excuses to Dress in a Kimono, Journalism Assignments, tacky tourist photos