Tag Archives: graduation

Tech Gift Ideas for Dads & Grads

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cobra. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’m not the best driver in the world, but I’m also not the worst. I’m okay with calling myself an average driver with average needs.

I stick to the posted speed limit, I yield to pedestrians, and I stay within the lines (not just in driving, but in coloring books as well).

There are certain features I wish my car carried with it – not the least of which is a warning light that would illuminate whenever I was about to obey the law and incite a fellow driver’s road rage. They’re probably working on that in a lab indirectly somewhere right now (along with edible turn signals since drivers don’t seem to use them for anything else).

Heading out with the family? Heading back to school? Dads (and grads) could use better tools to further enhance our driving experiences, but we’re not necessarily the kind who will pull over and ask for directions. Sometimes, you have to gift us with technology before we will accept it into our lives.

I was sent an Escort Max 360 radar detector, and my immediate thought was: “I’ve never felt like I needed one before, so how will this tool actually help me as a driving dad?” Then I saw the “Posted Speed Limit Data” feature and got very excited. Yes, this device knows the posted speed limit in your location and will warn you (unlike your car) when you’re going over.

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I’ve wanted something like that for the longest time, and I can’t tell you (as someone who respects the law) how genuinely excited I was to see this. Yes, it’s a system with dual front & rear detection, arrow indicators to point out the source of a radar, GPS-powered for rejecting false alerts, and lightning-fast data detection – but all of that intelligence means nothing if you’re playing fast and loose with the rules.

Yes, I’m a stickler – but that’s what keeps me (and others) safe on the road.

I also like planning ahead, so my trunk has a tiny kit with all sorts of emergency accessories in it. As soon as I saw the Cobra JumPack – Tiny but Mighty, I knew it would be a permanent part of my prevention pack. With it, you can not just rapid-charge your favorite mobile devices, but actually jump start your car multiple times (on a single JumPack charge). And it has a little LED flashlight built-in!

Okay, the smallest things often get me the most excited. Does your portable battery pack have an LED flashlight built-in? Didn’t think so. Oh, and it also comes with jumper cables – without any worry about needing another vehicle to help you start moving again.

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You don’t need to wait for a specific occasion to gift a dad or grad the right tech tools – they may not know that these experiences exist, so why wait another day to enable them to become a better-prepared driver?

I wouldn’t recommend waiting too much longer – because they probably needed these tech tools last week at some point.

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Autistic Graduate Made it Into an Institution: One of Higher Learning

Eric Duquette never spoke a word until he was five years old due to a severe form of Autism. Doctors warned his parents early on that the child would likely end up institutionalized due to his condition. The couple refused to accept that fate for their son, and worked with him every day on his speech and other motor skills. Recently, Eric graduated from high school in Rhode Island as the class Salutatorian. The speech in front of friends, family and classmates was humorous and touching.

At the beginning, Eric remarked that “Experts said I would end up in an institution. My parents thought differently. Today, I stand before you accepted into every institution of higher learning that I applied to. So in a way, I guess the experts were right about the institution thing.” That statement was met with thunderous applause and cheers from everyone in attendance.

Eric not only can speak the English language far better than anyone expected early on, he is also fluent in Spanish. He learned emotions the way some of us learn Calculus: through hard work and determination. “Do not let yourself be defined by your limitations, but rather abilities. Never underestimate yourself,” Eric quipped at the end of his speech.

This remarkable young man and his family worked to prove the experts wrong. They are a true testament to what can happen when you don’t accept what others believe of you, instead striving to make something even better of yourself. Eric will be studying Biology in college this fall, and we wish him the best of luck. I have a feeling that he will succeed far beyond anyone’s imagination.