Christmas Eve = Hickory Farms

At our house, every Christmas Eve we have crackers, cheese, and sausage from Hickory Farms.  There’s no way to have Christmas Eve without them.  This year, the fine folks at Hickory Farms sent our house a little Christmas-Eve-Preview, their “Beef & Turkey Hearty Hickory Gift Box.”  Yum!

Believe it or not, it’s not too late to order and get your gift by the 24th.  But if you want an even better deal, how about getting your name in the running for this giveaway?

The Father Life & Hickory Farms Twitter Giveaway

We’ve got an extra Beef & Turkey Hearty Hickory Gift Box to giveaway.  All you need to do is send out a tweet with this text:

RT to win a #HickoryFarms gift box from @thefatherlife!

We’ll pick a winner after Christmas Eve and get the gift box shipped out right after Christmas… maybe even in time for New Years!

Good luck!

Ben Martin

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Sock it to the Homeless

Michael Jordan

Hey, it's a post about Hanes! That means I can use Michael Jordan's picture on this post.

Now that sounds incredibly insensitive, doesn’t it?  Actually, socks are the number one item requested at homeless shelters.  Hanes has a goal of donating 1 million socks (that’s 500,000 pair) to the homeless through The Salvation Army this holiday season.  You can help the process along by visiting the Hanes Facebook page and clicking the “Help Hanes Donate” button you’ll find there.  They will donate one pair for every click… so click away!

To make the whole process even easier, through the month of December we’ll have a link to get you started right here at The Father Life.  Because we care.

Ben Martin

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GIVEAWAY: Millennium Falcon 3D Owner’s Guide

Thanks to our friends at Scholastic, we’ve got three copies of the Star Wars Millennium Falcon: A 3D Owner’s Guide to give away.  All you need to do to qualify is post a comment below.  If you re-post this to your Twitter, Facebook, and/or blog, add an extra comment for each.  Three comments will be chosen at random after November 17, 2010 to receive a copy of the book!

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Not Everyone in the New Parenting Media (NPM) Is a Mom

I get a lot of bulk email directed to parenting-related media. That’s one of the great things about the growth of the New Parenting Media (NPM) – the websites and blogs that have sprouted like weeds burst on the scene in the past few years – everyone wants to reach us!  The downside is that most of those places still think the members of the NPM are just like the Old Parenting Media: all moms.  As a result, I get a lot of emails that, though they try to remain somewhat gender neutral, lean towards more “traditional” mom-like topics.  And then, once in a while, someone will completely forgo the pretense of gender neutrality and just say it like they think it: all of their contacts are moms.  Take, for instance, this email I received today:

Hi Ben,

Just because you are a mom, doesn’t mean you can’t be fashionable.  Introducing a brand new line of chic, comfort clothes!  Noctis Ink, LLC ( is the up and coming casual wear company.

Noctis is taking the fashion industry by storm, coming off its debut at Phoenix Fashion Week.  According to its creators, these clothes are designed to take you from the grocery store to dinner out, all while you feel fantastic!

Noctis’ motto is a twist on an old saying; if you feel good, you will look good!!

If you would like more information or perhaps an interview with Noctis’ creators, I am happy to help!

Thanks for your time and consideration!!

(Name withheld to protect the poor PR worker)

There you have it, folks.  I now have proof that I’m a mom.  Wait ’til the scientists hear about this one.  That guy from Oregon‘s got nothing on me.

Ben Martin

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Coca-Cola Tailgating Giveaway

We’re in the thick of football season, so it’s the perfect time for a tailgating prize pack giveaway! The Coca-Cola Company has provided us with the prize – valued at $200! Here’s what you get:

  • Rolling (foldable) Cooler
  • Long Sleeve T-shirt
  • Cinch Tote
  • Stadium Cushion
  • Cup
  • Nerf like footballs
  • 100 points for redemption on

To enter, just leave a comment below.  Leave an extra comment if you tweet this contest – and be sure to use the hashtag #mycokerewards.  One winner will be chosen at random. Good luck!

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Deans Dip Giveaway coming soon…

We’ll have our own Deans Dip giveaway soon at THE FATHER LIFE, but until then, check out this other contest from Deans on their Facebook page:

Here’s your chance to be the “Dipster of the Week”. Show us how much you love to dip! Check out the Deans Dip Facebook page, and submit a photo of yourself enjoying some Deans Dip at a party, lounging, tailgating, watching the game …whatever,wherever, however you enjoy some Deans. Every Week, We will pick our favorite photo and not only will you be featured as Dipster of the week but you will also get a chance to win Deans Pretzel Dip party pack.

Ben Martin

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Hanes “Back to School” shipment arrives, photography ensues

We placed a last-minute back-to-school order with a few days ago, and today the package arrived.  The girls modeled the clothes and generally were just silly, which is what happens when a camera appears at our house.  Photos below.  Before you get to the photos, though, I want to give you a chance to go on your own shopping spree.  I’ve got a $50 Hanes gift card to giveaway and it could be yours.  Just sign up for our mailing list and you’re good to go.  Here’s the form:

Your email:

Already on our list? You’re already in the running! Winner will be announced after 17 September 2010.

Cool Polaroid effect by

Ben Martin

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Finally Getting Around to Dove Men+Care

We have all kinds of products, books, movies, toys, etc., sent to us for review in THE FATHER LIFE.  It’s been that way almost from day one.  And, almost from day one, I’ve been notoriously bad at actually reviewing those products in a timely way.  Why am I saying this?  It’s not because that reality is likely to change.  Rather, it’s because tonight I finally used some of the Dove Men+Care product that was sent to me many moons ago.

How well does it work? Honestly, I don’t think one shower’s worth of attention is enough to address that question adequately, so I won’t.  If I find myself amazed by the product after some time, I’ll let you know.  Otherwise, I will say it’s interesting to see how they’re marketing the product through design.  One of the things I used tonight was what Dove is calling a “tool,” but which looks remarkably like those scrunchy-soapy-scrubby things my wife likes to use with body wash.  Instead of being pink/purple/some other girly color, this “tool” is a steely gray, and is has manly plastic grip.  It works fine, of course, but I was less interested in how it worked than how it compared to the ones I’d seen before.  This “tool” was definitely designed whith an intent to make a traditionally “female” product have masculine appeal.  Did that design work?  Well, I didn’t have any qualms about using it.  That doesn’t mean I’m going to buy another next time I’m at Walmart, though.  We’ll see how that folds out over time.

The other product I used was the corresponding body wash.  Not much to note here except that I liked that the scent of the product was relatively light and not overpowering.  It worked well enough that I’ll continue to use it for now, but it will take some time to determine if this is a product I’ll purchase in the future.

Ben Martin

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Check out Scott Lax, the latest columnist to join THE FATHER LIFE

Scott Lax is in an interesting position.  At age 58, he’s about to become a first-time-dad.  I’m sure a few of us young-ins could give him a tip or two about what to expect.  Even without that, though, he’ll be sharing his experience with us through his new column, the aptly named “First Time Father at Fifty-Eight.”  You can read his first installment, “The Long and Winding Road to Your Ultrasound,” at THE FATHER LIFE now.

We’ve put together a press release (and you know how much I love those) about Scott that reveals some more of his amazing life so far.  This one is worth reading, though, simply to get a glimpse of where Scott’s been.  It will make reading about where he’s going that much more meaningful. Here it is:


September 4, 2010


THE FATHER LIFE Magazine, “The Men’s Magazine for Dads,” will begin running a new monthly column, First-Time Father at Fifty-Eight, written by Scott Lax, an award-winning Cleveland area novelist, short story writer, filmmaker, playwright and journalist. Lax, 58, is expecting his first child with his fiancé, Lydia, 38, late this year.

THE FATHER LIFE is an online magazine launched in 2007 as a men’s magazine geared towards fathers. It rests on the notion that becoming a dad doesn’t mean that you stop being a guy with ambitions, interests, and good taste. Chosen by The Daily Reviewer as one of the “Top 100 Blogs on the Web,” THE FATHER LIFE has been written about in such periodicals as Business Week, Blogging Parent, and Cincinnati Parent, which called it, “a definite must-see.”

Lax will write about his life as an expectant first-time father of a certain age. His inaugural column, “The Long and Winding Road To Your Ultrasound,” will appear in the September issue of THE FATHER LIFE.

A former senior writer for Northern Ohio Live magazine, contributing editor for Cleveland Magazine, and book reviewer for Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer, Lax’s first novel, a Vietnam-era coming-of-age story, THE YEAR THAT TREMBLED, was published by Paul S. Eriksson, Publisher, in 1998. A Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Nonfiction Scholar, and Sewanee Writers’ Conference Fiction Fellow, Lax’s book was named one of the year’s “milestones in fiction” by the Denver Post, alongside works by Philip Roth, Jay McInerney, Andrea Barrett, Tom Wolfe, Stephen King and Anne Rice. His second novel, about an expatriate wine writer who travels from France to a small Ohio town to take revenge on a man he blames for the death of his wife, is being sold by Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc. Lax is also writing a book of short stories about men in crisis called THE CRACK: TALES OF THE GREAT RECESSION. He is the recipient of numerous journalism, fiction, and filmmaking awards, including being named “Midwest Filmmaker of the Year,” in 2002, for the feature film version of THE YEAR THAT TREMBLED, which he produced. The Ithaca Times called the movie, “the first important film of the year,” and the Boston Herald wrote, “Memorable…a touching glimpse into the lives of young people enmeshed in the political and emotional climate of the times.”

About THE FATHER LIFE, Lax says, “I told my agent I wanted to write a book about becoming a first-time father at fifty-eight, and perhaps do it initially in the form of a blog. That’s when she told me about an outstanding new men’s magazine primarily for dads. As soon as I read it, I contacted TFL’s CEO/Editor-in-Chief, Ben Martin.”

Lax, who worked as a salesman and professional drummer, performing with rock legend Bo Diddley, among others (though in 1978 he tried unsuccessfully to get an audition with Paul McCartney’s’ band, Wings), says, “While I’ve got a few years on many of the writers, editors and readers of THE FATHER LIFE, I look forward to learning from them. Maybe I can lend a perspective to younger dads, too. As fathers of young children, we’ll all be in this together.”

Ben Martin, who co-founded THE FATHER LIFE, is excited about adding Lax to the roster of columnists at the magazine.  “Our focus has always been to provide quality content that you simply can’t find anywhere else. Scott, with his strong, award-winning background, is exactly the kind of columnist we love, and we know our readers will, too.”

Visit THE FATHER LIFE MAGAZINE at  For more information, contact

Visit Scott Lax at


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Why is this man smiling?

Michael JordanBecause he’s a happy man, that’s why.  And because comfortable Hanes clothes make everyone happy.

This afternoon we in the Martin household did some last-minute back-to-school shopping with  We got some great deals, and the kids can’t wait for their stuff to arrive in the mail.

I’m betting you’ve probably got some back-to-school shopping to do, too, and to that end, I’ve got a giveaway coming up soon.  Watch for your chance to pick up a $50 Hanes gift card from THE FATHER LIFE soon.  Details coming soon…

Ben Martin

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