2014 Holiday Gift Guide: Randy Stern
Sam Smith, In The Lonely Hour
Like most music lovers, I have been relegated to buying individual songs from iTunes rather than purchasing a full album. My reasoning has been the lack of real albums out there. That is, until now. I love Smith’s soulfulness and it shows on multiple tracks on this album. It will be tough determining how to play the entire album on which device (I’ve gone Android instead of iOS. Oy.), but it is a great album!
$9.99 and Up.
Available via iTunes Music Store, Google Play store and your local music retailer.
When you are separated by your workhorse, even if it was at your own hands, you miss it. A lot. I still believe that (a) MacOS is one of the best computer operating systems around and (b) it is worth the price of admission. If the worst hands in the universe did not accidentally destroy yet another old white MacBook, this would not be on this Holiday Gift Guide…heck, I was going to replace it anyway…
$899.00 for an 11-inch with 128GB of Flash Storage
Available via the Apple Store or other consumer electronic retailer nearest you
Switching to Android was an interesting idea. When you are used to a phone operating system that works well, you are simply used to it. This would become a debate worthy of bandwidth and acrimony, but let me publicly say that I miss my old iPhone, though missing my old MacBook is a deeper wound. To go with a new MacBook, one must enjoy the smaller iPhone 6, not the big one. In many cases smaller is better.
$199.00 for the 4.7-inch model
Available via the Apple Store, mobile phone carriers or other consumer electronic retailer nearest you
Southwest Airlines Gift Card
This year, I had the pleasure of finally flying one of the most talked about air carriers in the skies. I was very pleased. So pleased that I am flying them again. To spread the word about one of the fastest growing airlines out of MSP, why not give that person a Southwest Airlines Gift Card? Share the “LUV,” and give someone you love the gift of flight, with no baggage fees and so forth.
Choose any amount from $10.00-1,000.00
What Did Jesus Drive?: Crisis PR in Cars, Computers and Christianity by Jason Vines
If you want an insight on what this particular contributing writer has to deal with, a good read would help. Vines was one of the first public relations people I dealt with in covering the automotive industry, and he’s a firebrand. At one time, he responded to an ad showing a gay stereotype for one of DaimlerChrysler’s products in his own off-the-cuff way. However, his story goes beyond his automotive PR resume, as he covers his days at Compuware and Zondervan, along with his views on PR crises and how they were handled. It might not be a sexy book, but if you are interested in PR, this one could be rather juicy.
Available from Waldorf Press, Amazon.com or your local bookstore
Two years ago in my first Holiday Gift Guide submission, I sort of said that every man (and woman) needs a suit (or something business formal in dress). The rationale is simple: If you are going for a job or are working and will be in a business-like atmosphere requiring professional dress, you need to have something that fits! Let me emphasize the last word. An ill-fitting suit makes you look like you do not care. A tailor would help here, but a newer suit would help you win the day with clients and/or your superiors. Dress for success? You betcha!
Starting at $329.00
Men’s Wearhouse or other clothing retailers
2015 Dodge Challenger
For an automobile, it is not about the rational and practical that makes one buy a particular model. It is about the gut reaction to it. This is driven by the word “want.” In social media, we use that word singularly stating we are jealous or really want what that person posted on his or her timeline. If there was one car that made a huge impression on me (to the point of saying, “If I had the money, I would actually buy one”), it is this. I’ll take mine in Sublime Green, the R/T Scat Pack, please?
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Starting at $26,995 – actual model considered is $46,465
Available at your local Dodge dealer