Hotel My Phone

Happy New Year
Photo by Eliot Hess

Scene one: You wake up New Year’s Day with the biggest hangover. You have no idea where you are and where your cell phone is. You want to ask the guy lying next to you for his phone so you can call home. Then you realize you don’t want your family seeing a strange phone number. They will know instantly that you have been very naughty.

Scene two: You have been out shopping for the day. You visited at least a half a dozen stores. It’s time to go home so you decide to call Uber. You can’t find your cell. You look through all your bags but it is no where to be found. You are willing to ask a stranger to use his or her phone in order to call your husband. Then you realize he only answers his cell if he knows who’s calling.

Happy New Year!

A new app, called Hotel My Phone, has just been created so that you can borrow someone else’s phone but still keep the identity of your own cell. I learned about this new app from Walt Mossberg of Re/code.

That’s pretty awesome.

The app works by storing your phone number and contacts in the cloud. That makes them available when you log in on a borrowed phone. Mossberg said, The company says that your information is completely erased from the borrowed phone when you log out, and that the lender’s data is also protected.”

Watch the video. The technical stuff is explained in detail.

Beating The Traffic

The weather was always the topic people defaulted to when they had nothing left to say. Now it’s the traffic. I can’t believe how many friends of mine focus on the comings and goings of traffic.

It seems the older we get, the more we hate traffic. We just don’t have the patience for it anymore. Perhaps it’s because it is almost impossible to get around in more and more neighborhoods in the United States.

According to the folks at EcoReco, an electric scooter manufacturer, people are fed up. They are looking for ways to get around the traffic. Among the alternatives to consider are either staying home or, in this case, an electric scooter. EcoReco makes units that are geared for older adults who want something safe and sturdy.

I’m not saying that most people of my generation are going to start using electric scooters in great proportions. However, you will definitely start to see older, early adopters using them in 2015. As the price comes down, and more people get the hang of it, this method of transportation will become commonplace in our country.

The electric-powered EcoReco Scooter uses solid, aluminum construction and is designed to fold up. Its battery pack can undergo more than a 2,000 charge cycles.

At $999, it allows you to ride it like a regular kick scooter. You can get a 10 mile range and has a 2.5 hour charge time. The drive controls are in the handlebars and consist of a handbrake, accelerator lever, start button, and a round LCD. The LCD shows speed, battery charge, and an odometer.

It would be so great if many of us started to use an electric scooter. It might even help us recapture our youth for a little while. For those with brittle bones, please stay away.

Home Entertainment

Image: DreamWorks Television

We admit it. We watch a lot of television. We also work full time, travel, go to movies and theater, read, visit friends and family, party, write a blog, shoot and process photos, participate in charitable causes, attend events, entertain, knit, shop, take long walks, dine out, and make daily calls to folks who are housebound for all kinds of reasons.

Yet, we have enough time to enjoy some of the best series on TV, or watch films at home that we didn’t see when they were first released. I often ask Eliot how we manage to do, what we do, and still have so much time to watch TV? I guess others spend countless hours cooking and cleaning.

We DVR everything. We have two DVR’s recording all the time. We rarely watch anything when it first aires. One of our best choices, exactly one year ago, was to buy two 60-inch Smart TVs for our viewing pleasure. It’s unbelievable how fast this year has gone. At least we thoroughly enjoyed many relaxing hours.

Several friends have asked me to recommend programs that we have enjoyed. The truth is that Eliot and I have enjoyed a long list of shows, including many from the BBC. If we have trouble understanding the accents, we turn on the closed-captioning. We learned this trick from my brother and sister-in-law.

Here is our list. We would truly appreciate you sharing yours as well.

The Americans-Amazon


The Fall-Netflix


Don Jon–practically porn–Netflix

Last Tango In Halifax–Netflix


Scott & Bailey–Amazon

The Affair–showtime


The Good Wife–CBS

House of Cards–Netflix

Orange Is The New Black–Netflix

Breaking Bad–Netflix

Happy Valley–Netflix


The Knick–Cinemax



Shameless –Showtime

Nurse Jackie–Showtime

Game Of Thrones–HBO

Diane Von Furstenberg-E


American Horror Story–FX

Mad Men–AMC


The Big C–Showtime


Subway Photos

A newspaper reporter from the New York Daily News told me that his publication received more photos of off-beat people in the subway than any other category. Most of the photos were submitted by the general public. Some of them are from other subway systems.

Apparently, straphangers always have their smartphones on hand to capture unusual looking folks. Spectators can’t help but snap these opportunities. If you Google “subway photos” or variations of these two words, you will see some remarkable characters.

Meanwhile my girlfriend Sheri got her hands on some of these photos and emailed them to me. I wanted to share them with you.
Eliot swears this is the same guy that jogs in our upper Eastside neighborhood. I don’t think so. It is possible that there are two of them ?

It’s one thing to look a bit strange, but this behavior is definitely inappropriate during rush hour..

While I wouldn’t want to sit next to this person, I do have to admire the handiwork.

It doesn’t matter if this is a man or a woman, I want those legs..

No child left behind.

Pole Dancers.

Definitely not PC.

The gal texting may be calling the white coats.

This passenger wanted to make sure he got a seat.

Once you get a seat, you never give it up,

A cousin to Big Bird

Get a room

Simple pleasures.

A Big Gift In A Small Package




The silliest little things make me happy. My friends, Carlos and Nito, gave me what they described as just a “little something” for the holidays. Little did they know that their small- sized gift would be a big solution for my nightly challenge when I write my blog posts.

I usually start writing my blog on my iPhone. The research can take me a few hours. Many nights I’m in bed with all the lights out except for the shine of my iPhone. Then the unavoidable happens. I need to switch to my laptop to post a video or find a photo on my desktop.

I hate putting on my night table light because I’m afraid I will wake up Eliot. If I did, he would be annoyed that I was up so late. I usually go into another room with my laptop to finish my post.

Now my pals gave me a great solution, a USB laptop lamp. I plan to keep it plugged in all the time. It’s so cute but it has a big strong spotlight that allows me to see every letter on the keyboard. This is just going to make writing and posting so much easier.

This gadget may not cost a lot of money ($6.50) but it is a keeper.

Thanks, guys!

Give Me Sony, Or Give Me Death

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/73e/34894369/files/2014/12/img_3395-0.png Image: Sony

I’m not saying that Sony lied from the beginning but this is a clear case of when “opportunity knocks,” run with it! Having been in PR for most of my adult life, I think I have the advantage of knowing when something is real or manufactured. For those of you who don’t believe me, all I have to say, in the famous words of Joan Rivers is, “Grow Up.”

There is no doubt in my mind that Sony initially thought they received some notification from North Korea that they hacked their email servers plus threatened to attack theaters nationwide 9/11 style if they released “The Interview.” However, I’m sure just a few days later they learned that a disgruntled employee was the mastermind behind the whole event.

Sony was just embarrassed to admit they had fallen for the prank. After all, the President of the United States, had basically told everyone in the country that they had the right to see the movie. At this point Sony was not willing to make any retractions. They were too deeply involved.

If Sony is smart, no will ever find out the truth. They should just play dumb and pray that ticket sales at movie theaters, YouTube, and other digital services, generate record-breaking numbers.

This is what the Twitter community had to say.

Gabe Bergado @gabebergado
Did Seth Rogen just take a selfie with a point and shoot camera? Now we know this movie is totally fake #TheInterview

LiberalPaul @LiberalPaul
Apparently, the best way to get Americans to watch something is to tell them they cannot watch it. #TheInterview

David Johnson @DJtakespictures
For those of you watching #TheInterview at home, I’ll be driving door to door selling $18 bags of microwave popcorn and $10 cans of soda.

Patrick White @PatrickWhiteEsq
Well, that was one of the most brilliantly orchestrated marketing campaigns in history #TheInterview

Guy Endore-Kaiser @GuyEndoreKaiser
Sony has a site where you can watch The Interview for $5.99 and I can’t think of a single reason not to trust them with my credit card info.

Xerø @Ecksearoh
Wow #TheInterview was horrible. The Koreans were actually trying to save us from that awfulness.

J-DIEZEL (@JDiezelFitness)
#The Interview was exactly what I thought: American propaganda at its worst. Vulgar, unfunny, immature humor. Why Hollyweird why

Jared Carson (@CarsonJared)
Seth Rogen surprised moviegoers at a midnight screening of #The Interview in #LosAngeles…

Christmas Eve Photos

I just received my very own selfie extension arm. Here are our first pictures. My great nephews joined in. Say hello to Ari and Ezra. The four of us had so much fun figuring out how to take the photos..



My total for the day.

Eliot capturing the lifeguard station on Miami Beach

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/73e/34894369/files/2014/12/img_3184.jpgMet this couple from Boston on South Pointe Pier. They sit back-to-back for an hour each day enjoying the view.

My first boy friend Mel, 55 years later. He visits me at least once a year from Bologna, Italy, where he now lives. How’s that for devotion? Wife Nadia next to him.

This Santa prefers Jewish women.

The Emails Of Dead People

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/73e/34894369/files/2014/12/img_3267-1.jpg Image:

I have never been able to delete the name of anyone who has died from my email list. I just can’t do it. If I delete a person’s name, I feel like I’m erasing the fact that he or she ever existed. I need the name listed so I can be connected forever.

It all started in 2006, when a business associate, suddenly died during a meeting in the conference room of a big name advertising agency. She keeled over after suffering an aneurysm. Bernice Kanner was 57.

Bernice was well known in the advertising business. She wrote a marketing column for New York magazine for over 10 years plus she was the author of scores of business books.
She also did some free lance work for HWH PR, my agency, so we were pretty close.

The first time I saw her name on my email list after her death, I stared at it for a long time. It was like having my own personal memorial service. It’s been that way ever since. I like to stop to stare at her name when I’m scrolling my list because it reminds me to be grateful and thankful for whatever I have.

I have hundreds of names on my email list and still keep at least 10 people who died over the years. I only keep those that I was personally friendly with. I sometimes even keep an email message that I got from the deceased. I can never get rid of the one from Karen Fisher. She wrote several beautiful emails to me after my dog, Coco, died. They were so comforting at the time and still are today.

My big regret is that the Internet didn’t exist before some of my other very close family and friends left this world. I would have liked to have seen their names on my email list as a reminder how fortunate I was to have had them in my life.

I’m not at all interested in adding others to my email memorial list. In fact, I’m truly grateful for each day that goes by without hearing any bad news. I thank my higher power.

Selfie Extension Arms, The Hot Holiday Item


I took both these photos at Merrick Park, Coral Gables. FL, on Sunday. I found it interesting that a gal was sitting alone taking pictures of herself.

This morning, I came across a young couple using the same kind of selfie stick to take a picture of themselves on a pier in South Pointe Park.

Everywhere I go now, I’m seeing more and more people using selfie extension arms (SEAs). It seems to be all the rage. It’s so popular that there is a severe shortage of SEA’s this holiday season. Again, I don’t know how this trend started, but I want in. It occurred to me that a SEA could help me with some future business opportunities.

I needed to find one. I put Eliot on the case. Best Buy and Radio Shack were out. He found two different units that are possibilities on Amazon. He bought both because we are not sure which one will be available before New Year’s.

I want to use a SEA for DigiDame blog posts, CES booth visits and stories that I plan to write for others in the future.
My question is, “why do we all suddenly seem to need an SEA?”
If I would have seen someone using a SEA in the past, I would have thought he or she was eccentric. Now I think they are totally cool.

Here is the brand, specs and price of the SEA I bought. It’s the Satechi: Selfie Bluetooth Extension Arm Monopod for individual and groups. Up to 3 feet away. The controls are on the monopad and it weighs 5.6 ounces. Its foldable design makes it compact (9.6”) and portable enough to fit into a backpack, carry-on bag. One can also attach it via the included wrist strap to a belt loop or backpack strap.

Available at: and Price: $39.99 Website: