October 30, 2014

It's All In The Execution, Baby!

I took this photo on the left yesterday (while the one on the right is from a CD music set).

This lady was wearing this gorgeous shirt.

The words: "Hope, Progress, Change, Action. Yes we can Believe."

Aroud it were the tie-dye colors emanating like the sun,

It is very inspiring!

I was reminded of a similar 1960's slogan of "Peace, Love, and Rock & Roll."

Also good stuff and especially with the cool VW brightly painted minivan--who doesn't want that?

We all want great things from life.

The key is getting us from idea to execution.

Maybe not such a little thing, but that's what life is all about! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 29, 2014

From Hymietown To Chickensh*t

In 8 years of blogging, I don't think I have ever written twice about the same topic in a single day--but today, I am appalled. 

In 1984, Rev. Jesse Jackson (later the democratic Presidential candidate) referred to the Jewish people and New York as Hymietown

Roll forward to 2014, and we have "senior administration officials" who have called Israel's heroic Prime Minister Netanyahu a "Chickensh*t."


In 1624, Rembrandt painted this beautiful work from the Bible of Balaam riding on the way to curse the Israelites.


The problem for him was that an Angel of G-d stood in his path--his donkey saw it, but not Balaam!  (Numbers 22:21-39)


In Genesis 12:3, God says to Abraham: "I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse."


Of course, the Israelites have to be deserving of this and act according to G-d's word and by a strict moral code. 


For those who act shamefully, with arrogance before G-d, and unapologetically, and use their political platform to name-call, curse, and degrade Israel, no man ultimately needs to answer this, G-d provides the answer himself. 


Kudos to House Speaker John Boehner for speaking up against this grotesque, "disrespectful rhetoric" unbecoming the leadership of the United States of America. 


Congress should take up a vote unanimously condemning these disgusting, derogatory, Anti-semitic remarks--for those who bless Israel shall be blessed! ;-)


(Source Photo here via Wikipedia)

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Who Makes Change Happen?

Well if "Station Managers do not make change" (happen), who does?

Personally, I like to see everyone think creatively about what they do and how they do it--looking for efficiencies and to create positive change, where warranted.


Not change for change itself...but where requirements have changed or methods and/or tools have changed to create opportunities or mitigate threats. 


While there certainly are "tied and true" ways of doing things, we are an evolving species, and change is fundamental to survival. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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"Chickensh*t"?

Wow, what type of politician calls the Prime Minister of Israel, our "Major Strategic Partner," with an "unshakable bond," a "Chickensh*t"?

Yes, it's in the Washington Examiner today. 


Forget about being completely rude and disrespectful--how utterly impolitic!


Sinking to new political lows globally with our friends and allies--while the ratings sink (and sink) to new lows for these politicians. 


Imagine, Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu defends his nation by putting real boots on the ground in Hamas-run Gaza for the 50-days of fighting rocket barrages and terror tunnels, and builds apartments in Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel--Sorry, that is not Chickensh*t.


While domestically, we have been seen as in full global retreat, abandoning our bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, carpet bombing from the air in Syria and not punishing chemical weapons use (remember the "red line"), leaving key portions of Ukraine in the hands of Russia, seeking to forge WMD-losing deals with the devils in Iran, and watching the situation deteriorate as we "Pivot East" to Asia, and as we all know, much more. 


- Finanically--we can't balance a budget,

- Ebola Epidemic--we can't put together a sensible quarantine policy (while the States fill the void)
Imigration--we can't muster a realistic bill
Veterans--the scandal of not caring for our veterans is still scathing.

And the list goes on, virtually without end. 


Horrible name-calling and snubbing leaders on the world stage, let alone of our best allies and friends, is not only politically immature, but morally disgraceful--but psychological projection is a very real possibility.


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 28, 2014

^^^To The Six Million^^^

I am dedicating my 2001st blog post to my 6 million! Jewish brothers and sisters who were murdered in the Holocaust. 

May G-d have mercy on their souls and in their name bless us, the survivors, to do his holy bidding and good deeds. 


Thank you G-d for bringing me to this time and for all your enduring kindness. 


May you give me the strength and inspiration to carry on as a hopefully positive influence in this world. 


(Source Photo of Miami Holocaust Memorial: Andy Blumenthal)

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Yes, Awkward

This is a funny (-sad) one for the day.

This book was a New York Times Bestseller!

There is a book, a Kindle edition, a board game, a calendar, and a website to upload your photos.

On Amazon, there are also versions with awkward family holiday and family with pet photos.

I can't believe this is for real either. 

Awkward, indeed. ;-)
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No Way To Fight The Good Fight

Unfortuantely, like many things we do...we do it only halfway. 

While there is certainly a place for vetting issues, moderation, and compromise, often we are overly worried about the ramifications of going too far and thus don't go far enough to accomplish strategic goals.

Similarly, in a pendulum swinging out of control way, we may fluctuate and treat friends as enemies and pretend our enemies are our friends.

Whether in fighting terrorism and nation state enemies, ebola and other horrific diseases, and even righting the national economy...we don't lead, we hesitate or as many commentators have said, we lead from behind. 

ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbolah and more...all alive and still terrorizing.  

Russia, North Korea, Iran...not contained, and threats are growing, while questionable deals involving no less than WMD in some and territorial sovereignty in others loom on the horizon. 

Cancer, parkinson disease, and a dreaded endless list...killing our loved ones and research funding goes to political juggernauts. 

Our national deficit grows, social entitlements are skyrocketing and unpaid for, and we can't seem to manage our way out of a pending breadline. 

There is something to be said for making a real decision based on morality and inner strength, going all in, and achieving the seeming impossible...decades ago, we did it when we put a man on the moon and defeated the Japanese in WWII. 

Now we seem to fight with one arm tied behind our backs (sometimes two) and our eyes covered with hands stained in the blood of social favoritism, stealth corruption, and defeatist attitudes, and at the end of the day, with very little to show for it. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 27, 2014

Nice Wheels

Nice convertible outside Starbucks yesterday. 

Something very freeing about a big boat car, with top down, wind blowing through your hair, and everyone looking your way. 

Anyway, these folks were having a grand 'ol time--can you blame them--looks like fun. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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Be Relevant, Live!

"Hello Irrelevant. My name is Andy."

The photo above was taken today near a prominent university in Washington, D.C. 

When our youngsters in the Capital of the United States--the holders of future creativity and energy are feeling irrelevant--we as a country are in serious trouble. 

Yet, don't we all feel irrelevant at times?

We see and hear so much that is somehow wrong in the world and feel powerless to stop it, change it, or do anything about it that really makes a difference. 

Everyday we are witness to people's personal misdeeds that should never be done, let alone contempalted; large, medium, and even smaller organizations doing the wrong thing for profit or power; and governments making decisions for political reasons and not common sense reasons or for the good of the people. 

And how do we feel in all this -- relevant or irrelevant? 

Can we as people endowed with G-d's lifeforce and heavenly spirit, formulate a position that touches people's hearts and minds to do the right thing for the right reasons--and can we speak it articulately enough, loud enough, convincingly enough to make a genuine difference?

Just as a single example in today's Wall Street Journal, an editorial about Yucca Mountain, the place designated for nuclear waste disposal--that is supposed to meet safety requirements for the next "million years" (I think most of us would be happy if we achieve even half that estimate)--and has already cost us 30 years of study and $15 billion, but yet continues to remain stuck in a politcial quagmire--why?

I beleive we can all think of numerous health, safey, and wellbeing issues affecting us, our families, communities, and this country that are are in a similar state of paralysis and dysfunction. 

Why can't we move forward--is there no one relevant out there anymore?

We can't afford to let ourselves sink into feelings of despair, inadequancy, or irrelevancy to the great tasks at hand--whether from things like Ebola, ISIS, or financial meltdown. 

We must find our inner voices, our moral rectitude, and our courage to speak truth to power, to stand firm for right against wrong.

It's understable to feel irrelevant, but it's not sustainable to show it. ;-) 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 26, 2014

Between The Youngest And Oldest

My wife took this photo today.

We went to the Pastry Oven for some lunchtime chow. 

Three generations of Blumenthals--thank you G-d!

This is of me between my youngest and oldest in the family.

And of course, I am mid-life crisis! ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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Don't Worry About It--Yeah Right!

Lately, with the Ebola outbreak, primarily in Africa, but unfortunately also spreading here into the U.S., we are hearing refrains from politicians and pundits, not to be afraid.

- It won’t come here.
- It’s hardly contagious.
- Out health care system is superior.
- It’s all under control.

But what we are finding is that the reassurances are mostly empty words to calm a growing restless public, who are justifiably afraid, and see little to no action from their leaders.

- Ebola has come here to Texas, Maryland, and New York.
- Experts now admit that you can even get Ebola from sweat on the bus, and they blame broken protocols (as yet to be identified) that inflected 2 nurses in Texas.
- Yes, our health system is superior, but we are mostly inexperienced with dealing with a true pandemic.
- Define, “It’s under control” as the CDC is now projecting 1.4M infected by January (and growing exponentially)!

This is like the old adage that we are always trying to fight the last war, and not preparing with an open mind for what the next one will look like.

Similarly, we fail again and again to predict the threats and risks that confront us...Pearl Harbor, 9/11, Depressions/ Severe Recessions, ISIS, and much more are evidence of this.

FDR said “There is nothing to fear but fear itself,” but this is dead wrong.

I am afraid that we are not fearing enough (or that even worse, we are afraid to fear)--when this is perhaps of as great, if not of greater importance to adequately preparing ourselves to the immense challenges ahead of us.

Fear can cause paralysis or even chaos, but fear can also drive intelligent preparation, innovation, and life-saving measures.

Lately, many have said to me that unhealthy eating or gun violence is what we should fear and act on, and I think this is truly narrow vision.

We can’t live with heads in the sand, because there are multiple issues that we must confront.

True, we don’t have unlimited resources to address everything 100%, but as I’ve been telling people, we can worry about multiple issues (and I certainly do), work to address them with common sense—in other words, walk and chew gum at the same time!

Everyone seems to have their pet peeve issue that they want politicians to address, but we don’t have the luxury of paying attention to those that big mouths, lobbyists or politicians elevate to fear factor status, and ignoring others that may pose real significant threats to us. 

Frankly, I would rather be a little needlessly afraid, but more thoughtful, prepared/protected, and ahead-of-the-curve in addressing issues, than fearless, foolhardy, not ready, and extremely sorry later. 

While Ebola may or may not be catastrophic to us, when you hear coldly, almost matter-of-factly, “Don’t worry about it,” while thousands are dying and many more horrific deaths are at hand, and we are told by the U.N. that there is no real plan if things continue to go south, then be afraid, be very afraid--and let that guide you to creative problem-solving, and not deer in the headlights inaction. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 25, 2014

What Will You Regret?

My friend used to tell me from his learning that no one on their death bed regrets not working more, instead what they regret is not spending more time with their loved ones (family and friends).

Think about it, could you imagine someone hooked up to IVs and palliative medicines saying, "Listen to me, one thing I've learned in this life is that work is it!"

Sure we should work hard and do a good job, but usually, it's the other way around, where people endlessly chase material things, wealth, power, and prestige...they work days, nights, weekends...and almost to hell with everyone and everything else.

Hey they say, with this beautiful excuse, "I've got to make a [good] living!"

So the people we love and should be caring about suffer, needlessly. 

So of course, it goes without saying that we regret the mistakes we made, the opportunities to do good that we missed, and the hurt we caused others. 

I have some colleagues though that I really admire...who work hard and do a damn good job--they are some of my best people, yet the funny thing is they put family first!

How can that be you say?

I don't know for sure, but perhaps because they know their real purpose in life, and live with balance (work-life, materialism-spiritualism, etc.) and true caring for others, they are able to be more sensible and balanced in getting their jobs done. 

Honestly, these are the people that are able to get things done--presumably at home and with community--but I see it with my own eyes, at work.

Another thing...

My older daughter the other day sent me an article about people sick (with cancer etc.) and dying and how they look back at life and one thing they wish is that they had appreciated their bodies more. 

I guess now that their bodies are sort of degrading with illness and age, they appreciate what they should've appreciated, but likely didn't before, their physical health.

Some of them said things like they wished they had exercised more, enjoyed sex more, spent time outside enjoying the beauty of the world more, and so on.

I've been thinking about this, about my body and my physical senses and what they mean to me.

What is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, the sweetest smell, the best voice or music I've ever heard, the most luscious taste, or the softest thing I've touched. 

It really is amazing the senses that G-d gave us and the beauty all around us that cradles us in this world.

We need to savor the great creation that G-d has bestowed on us and take care of those we love around us. 

Maybe that's why we fight for life, until we can't any longer. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 24, 2014

Psychotherapy, In The Beginning

Wow, I love this early photo of psychotherapy.

The girl is lying on some pillows on 2 chairs. 

The Freudian doctor leans over the girl and is yanking on his goatee listening intently...and analyzing!

A man, that I assume is the girls dad is in the background, hovering protectively and hoping she is feeling better soon. 

The mind, like the body, unfortunately can get sick. 

And we need to take care of ourselves and seek help to get better. 

Fear not the competent doctor who really cares and sincerely wants to help (and is not just in it as a pure business).

Pray that G-d guides him to heal you and give you strength in body and peace of mind. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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Is That Freedom?

This was a funny (-sad) picture I took the other day.

"Freedom Septic"!!!

That's what they name a port-o-potty?

Certainly a very strange and loose interpretation of what freedom means to some people 

(Uh, I prefer the Constitution/Bill of Rights version.)

Then again, check out this company's website at the bottom of their signs--I won't go there. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 23, 2014

Not Just Business


This was a funny sign on the parking meter.

"All May Park. All Must Pay."

Another way of saying this is like at the dry cleaners, "No tickee, no shirtee!"

This reminded me of a conversation that I was having with some colleagues about whether individuals or organizations can be evil?

(Note: True story, but I've embellished for the sake of demonstration.)

One colleague said, "Individuals are not bad, but people in groups definitely [often] turn bad!"

Another said, "No individuals can be bad, really bad--think of Hitler and so many others who have murdered, tortured, raped, enslaved, and impoverished--it's the individuals that can and do turn an organizational culture bad."

A third person replied that, "Indeed, it can be the other way around as well, where bad organizations make or encourage it's people to do the wrong things--whether for profits, power, or punishment."

Then someone blurted out, "Well, business is business, right?" In other words, it's okay to do something wrong because everyone does it in business--that's the name of the game and what you have to do to compete and survive!

Then I said sort of annoyed at what the last person said, "Business is not business--that is our test to be G-dly, moral, and ethical in all our dealings [in our personal and professional lives]!"

Of course, we don't always succeed--no one does/we are not angels--but we have to try every time, learn and grow and become better people. 

If you do wrong, you will pay--whether in this world or the next. ;-)
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Israel-America 2gether 4ever

The other day, I passed the prestigious George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and someone had quite prominently graffitied the wall with "Free Palestine."

But then yesterday again, we saw another terrorist attack strike Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel, and a 3-month old baby from America was murdered after being thrown 30 feet in the air and landing on it's head.

I applaud the GW students who came out today to celebrate the enduring relationship between the United States and Israel.

At the event, a banner hung high with the promise from President Obama, as of those similarly who came before in the Oval Office that "The bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable today, unbreakable tomorrow, and unbreakable forever."

Moreover, last month, the Senate unanimously passed a bill upgrading and declaring Israel a "Major Strategic Partner" of the United States.

The defense of Israel as a secure and sovereign nation is an imperative as freedom and democracy shine forth as a beacon of hope and peace for humanity.

May G-d bless the 2 countries and may their flags fly as one--2gether 4ever. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 22, 2014

BIG Smile

This was a nice big smile on the base of a light pole. 

It's funny, aside from the smile, the mouth on this reminds me of something very smart my daughter, Rebecca told me the other day.


She said, "Don't let your tongue be bigger than your mouth."


In other words, don't be a big mouth, watch your words, speak carefully and thoughtfully. 


Some very good advice, probably for most of us out there. 


Mr. Light pole, I have a feeling you don't overdo it with this, and maybe that's why you're smiling so much. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Walk Like A Chicken


So I've been reading about the use of virtual reality for the military veterans as a way to help the healing process of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

But this was something different yesterday in downtown D.C....


Using virtual reality to "See Life Through A Chicken's Eyes"--complements of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). 


So I go up and ask the attendant what this is all about. 


She says, "You can take the virtual reality tour and walk around a field as a chicken!"


She goes on, "Only we're having some trouble with the technology, so can you come back in 20 minutes?"


Uh, okay, but 2 things:


1. Yes, I do believe in ethical treatment for everyone (including animals), and no one should suffer where we can (and should) prevent it. 


2. I did just have some chicken (only Kosher, of course!) to eat just last week (and it was pretty good), and while I am curious to see the virutal reality, I can't make it back here in 20 minutes, but thank you!


Lesson: Treat all life compassionately, but I don't have to walk around as a chicken to see that! ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 21, 2014

Beautiful Berries

These were some beautiful berries in Downtown, Washington, D.C. today.

Seems a little weird for the latter half of October.

Anyway, we can enjoy the beauty of G-d's creations and nature.

But we probably should question those that are telling us that global warming is shlock science or a hoax--because it certainly is not looking that way--is it?  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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Waiting For You To Succeed

I love this on the sidewalk this week. 

"The World is Waiting for you to SUCCEED!"

Encouraging, inspiring, motivational, hopeful, purposeful, future-oriented, and more. 

Too often we can focus on the negatives--how hard things are and can be; how many obstacles and challenges there are to getting somewhere; the many failures along the way; the bullies, naysayers, competition, and power-mongers who don't want us to succeed.

But think about it...

When we overcome all these (with G-d 's help), the world is waiting for our success--our contributions, our building blocks, our ideas, inputs, innovations, and creations.

When we succeed in advancing things (and not just doing for self), the world benefits!

We can have a purpose and meaning to our lives--we are part of something bigger and greater than ourselves and our mortality. 

Everyone has to do their part for the world to succeed. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 20, 2014

The Grafitti Car

So you like your car with a little Graffiti?

Someone here did...it's covered bumper to bumper!


Wonder if this car also is one of those self-driving cars...so it's real special inside and out.


This car can be yours if the Price is Right...no that's a different show. 


Anyway, another day of more zany antics and styles coming to you from Washington, D.C. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Shining A Light On Your Privacy


Check out this special report...

~Half a billion~ downloads of the top 10 Flashlights Apps--the ones we all have on our smartphones--and guess what?

All/most are malware/spyware from China, India, and Russia that are spying on you!

Your contacts, banking information, even your location, is being intercepted by hackers abroad,

The cybersecurity experts Snoopwall (that conducted this study and are offering a free opensource "privacy flashlight") are recommending that you don't just uninstall these flashlight apps, because they leave behind trojans that still are functioning behind the scene and capturing your information. 

So instead doing a backup of key information and then a factory reset of the smartphone is advised.

Pain in the you know what, but these flashlight apps are shining a light and compromising your personal information.

Snopes points out that the flashlight apps may be no more vulnerable to spyware than other apps you download and that perhaps the screening process from the app stores help to protect us somewhat.

When the cyber hackers decide to exploit those apps that are vulnerable, whether for political, military, or financial gain, it will likely be ugly and that flashlight or other app you use may prove much more costly than the download to get them. ;-)

(Thank you Betty Monoker for sharing this.)
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October 19, 2014

Andy @ Apple Picking


Practicing my TV skills here...

And enjoying a good apple.

Just picked it at the farm. 

Nothing like being one with G-d, family, and nature. 

Nice time--thank you! ;-)

(Source Video: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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October 18, 2014

The Painter

I love this picture of this painter that I took in Florida. 

Each of the circles on the tree are part of his color palette. 

He is standing on a ladder leaning against the tree, and reaching for the red paint. 

It is so cool that the painter is part of the painting that he is making. 

The integration of the person with his creative work--he is one with it!

I can practically feel the love of this person for what they do.

And IMHO, they are very good at it. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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Welcome Ebola To America!

While our self-declared intelligentsia has decided to keep the commercial flights open to Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, experts are predicting that new ebola cases will reach 10,000 per week by December!

Moreover, the United Nations has warned that if Ebola is not controlled within the next 60 days, "the world faces an 'unprecedented situation' for which there is no plan."


But by the time, we get our political will and act together, who knows...


What isn't helping are publications like Bloomberg Businessweek, with another classic asinine article this time by Charles Kenny who writes--get this--that "A Travel Ban Is a Terrible Idea."


While Kenny acknowledges "Travel restrictions have a long history as a tool against spreading infection" dating back already to the Middle Ages, Kenny is concerned about the "trade-offs" of quarantining the source countries--"because the benefits of contact outweigh the risks"--i.e. "People want to travel to see family and friends, visits places, work, or invest."


Well Mr. Kenny, how about that people want to live and not die because of the irresponsible spread of this deadly virus? Two-thirds of the public, as well as many in Congress, and the media have already called for a common sense temporary travel ban. 


Kenny then goes on to exaggerate and talk about how laughable it is that we would "completely seal off the U.S. from the rest of the world" even though what we are talking about are just the countries where this deadly infection is currently raging. 


Further, Kenny is concerned not about containing the disease and protecting the more than 300,000,000 people in this country, but about the possibility that a ban on commercial flights "will deter people from volunteering to work in the region"--here again, Kenny ignores that specialized, trained people from the military, World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders, and more are already being deployed--although too little too late. 


Incredibly, Kenny even compares Ebola to the common flu, and intimates that since we don't quarantine for the seasonal flu, why should we do it for Ebola--uh, Mr. Kenny have you heard that Ebola has a 70% mortality rate!

Finally, Kenny says in his defeatist way, "We live in a global disease pool. In the end, once a disease begins to spread, there's no escaping an infection."


Hello Mr. Kenny, we have a responsibility to prevent and protect our people--there is no place for your throwing in the towel on all of us--what a shame that Bloomberg makes this dangerous rhetoric the Opening Remarks for their magazine. 


There is long established protocol of quarantine to stop the spread of infection--not that it would necessarily be 100% successful, but at least it would help contain and control the spread from getting worse, and we would learn to improve as we go along, and live to fight and save more lives now and in the future.


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 17, 2014

Closed And Closed

This is sort of hilarious.

Check out the signs on either side of the road.

- Right lane closed.

- Left lane closed.

Even more stupid, notice that the signs are reversed (the left closure sign is on the right side of the road and the right closure sign is on the left side of the road)...oops.

Thank G-d, there were three lanes--at least for a little while. ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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Time, Our Most Precious Asset

Albert Einstein taught us how this world is governed by space and time. 

Before we are born and once we are gone, space and time no longer apply--we are in G-d's realm.

Time is so important and precious, that even space is constrained by time--i.e. we cannot be in two places at the same time.

When it comes to time, we can never have enough and this pervades every aspect of our lives.

Here is a short list of how we are bound by time:

What Time Is It?

What Time Are We...?
Do You Have Time?
Can You Spare Some Time?
Who's Got Time?
How Many Times?
How Much Time?
Do You Remember The Time That...?
Where Has The Time Gone?

Time Is Precious
This Time is Different
Only Time Will Tell
If Only There Was Time
Wish I Had More Time
Time is Too Short
It is Time
Time is Ticking
Time Flies
One Step At a Time
Maximize The Time You Have
Stop Wasting Time

Decision Time
Time To Change
Timeless
Timeline
Time Bound
Time Heals
Time is Money
In No Time
From The Beginning of Time
Once Upon A Time
There Was A Time
Now's Not The Time
A Long Time Ago
Time To Getaway
Awesome Time
Great Time
Good Times
Bad Times
Marvelous Time
Excellent Time
Meaningful Time
Hopeful Time
Horrible Time
Depressed Times
Manic Times
Next Time
Time of My Life
Makeup Time
Time Out
It's About Time
The First Time
This is The Last Time
There Is No Time Like The Present
Between The Time
About That Time
Same Time
Different Time
Parallel Time
Past Time
Make Time
Use Time
Spend Time
Save Time
Best Use of Your Time
Take Your Time
Short of Time
Losing Time
Taking Time
Stealing Time
Don't Have Time
Some Time
No Time
Anytime
All of the Time
Every Time
Numerous Times
Exact Time
All The Time
At The Same Time
For The Time Being
Keep Time
Out of Time
Long Time
Short Time
Right Time
Wrong Time
Before It's Time
Now is The Time
Past Time
Present Time
Future Time
Spacetime ContinuumTime Travel
(Not) Enough Time
Most of The Time
It's The Only Time
Need More Time
Time is of The Essence
Tell Time
Local Time
World Time
Time Zones
Timetable
Timekeeper
Timekeeping
Time and Attendance
Overtime
Comp Time
Part Time
Full Time
Old Times
Modern Times
Wartime
Peacetime
Summertime
Wintertime
Springtime (wonder why there is no falltime?)
Setup Time
Time is on Your Side
Time of Redemption
Time of Mashiach (Messiah)
Time to Forgive
Time to Avenge
Judgement Time
Time Unfolds
End of Times
Confusing Times
Work Time
Busy Time
Down Time
Quiet Time
Meal Time
Bed Time
Nap Time
Starting Time
Ending Time
Almost Time
Happy Times
Sad Times
Holiday Time
Hopeful Times
Solemn Times
Special Time
Important Times
Tough Times
Structured Time
Lawless Times
Time of Doubt
Time of Birth
Time of Death
Time to Work
Time to Retire
Time Alone
Time Apart
Time Together
Me Time
My Time
Our Time
Family Time
Play Time
Party Time
Happy Hour Time
Game Time
Show Time
Movie Time
Real Time
Dinner Time
Lunch Time (no real breakfast time!)
Private Time
Time Stamp
Time Magazine

Thank You For Your Time ;-)

With special appreciation To Rebecca Blumenthal for brainstorming this with me--it was a fun time! 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 16, 2014

A Jewelry Kiss

I really like these Hershey's chocolate...earrings!

No, they are not really made out of chocolate., but they are in the shape of chocolate kisses!

There are different colors based on the gemstones of the person's birth month. 

There are also similarly rings and necklaces in the shape of the Hershey Kisses.

What a nice way to tell someone you love them and give them a jeweled, if not chocolate, kiss. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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"The Chief"

So swimming in Florida last week, I couldn't help but think about my years back at Eagle Day Camp.

First as a camper, then counselor, and finally lifeguard at this fairly large Orthodox Jewish children's camp in Rockland County, New York. 

As a camper, I hated swimming and the smelly, musty, and overcrowded locker rooms.

When I was only about 6-7 already, I told my parents, I would only go to camp, if I didn't have to swim--after a lot of fuss, I got them to agree.

But years later, I learned to love swimming--the gorgeous outdoors, calming water, and health and therapeutic effects. 

I worked with "The Chief" (Norman Garfield, pictured at left) for many years...he was a radio talk show host and actor, and in camp played the starring role of Chief Taka Zeis, last of the Gutta Neshamah (Yiddish for Good Soul) Tribe.

He entertained the children like no one else could--with made up chants of "Tzitsamagoo!", his silly outfits (notice the unmatched socks in addition to the feather hat), and to songs like "Let the Sun Shine In," he was always someone that could be counted on to safely watch the children swim, teach them, and make them laugh. 

One Summer, The Chief, encouraged us (the other lifeguards) to sign up for the Red Cross Swim and Stay Fit program, and I think I swam 20-30 miles in between lifeguarding over about 6-8 weeks. 

Those were some fun times with The Chief and some of my old friends like Mark Stadtmauer, Elissa Rothman (Brodsky), and many others. 

Today, just a few months post hip surgery, I once again appreciate the swimming, and try to go as often as possible for health reasons. 

I am thankful for those years and for the ones granted now. ;-)

(Source Photo: Who The Heck Remembers)
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October 15, 2014

Super What

First, I thought this was an advertisement for a DJ (there is a DJ Arturo).

But then I looked this up on the Net. 

On Twitter: "Christian man living in DC and shining a bright light on a dark world. The mask protects me and the ones I love from retribution."

So not sure what this really is:

- Vigilante ("None Violence") Crime Fighter

- Superhero wannabe

- Whistleblower

- Hot Air Blower

- Nut job

Anyway, hope you are lawful and one of the good guys! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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Want to Ride The Falafel Bus?

Falafel is a funny sounding food, but actually tastes pretty good. 

The best that I've ever had was in Tel Aviv with spicy falafel balls, hot french fries, and loads of creamy Tehina stuffed in the pita.

Only thing better is with juicy grilled schwarma, right off the rotating fire spit, and hot sauce, and for that try Max's in Silver Spring. 

One of my friends used to joke about the guy with an accent selling falafel, but who used to ring out (what sounded like), "Pizza and Palapel!" 

In terms of getting it from a curbside bus--only if it is hot and kosher. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 14, 2014

Not Exactly A Genie

Okay, we all like a genie in a bottle (with G-d's help) to grant us our wishes for the good. 

A colleague told me that if he had a genie in a bottle, his first wish would be to have infinite wishes; his second wish would be for all his wishes to come true; and his third wish would be that all the wishes would be free of ambiguity such that the intent would be fully clear--nice!

But this here is no genie...this is an umbrella in a bottle. 

Twist the top (handle) and pull it from the bottle (case) and whoola, an umbrella. 

Cute design, but when I tried to open the umbrella, it felt functionally, like a piece of garbage (IMHO). 

Oh genie, how about an umbrella that actually works and who cares if it's in a bottle or not. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 13, 2014

Purple Hair Day

This lady in line at Starbucks apparently likes purple, a lot. 

It seems a pretty common favorite among many women.

One that I know claims she ALWAYS wears something with purple.

When I saw her a couple of times seemingly without any purple clothing or accessories, I asked innocently, "So no purple today?"

She replied with a big grin, "Oh, it's there!"

Yikes, TMI--don't ask so many questions. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 12, 2014

Going With Happiness

We went to synagogue yesterday and the Sukkot celebration today at Chabad in Downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Such lovely warm and welcoming people--thank you Rabbi and Rebbetzin Schneur for your very gracious hospitality.

My wife and I both cried at the services and in getting in touch with our inner Torah spirituality.

Somehow, Chabad brings out the best in others, and they did it with us as well.

Here I stood next to the picture of the Rebbe and I looked into his eyes and was strengthened.

I remember many years ago, Dossy and I went to visit at Chabad headquarters in Crown Heights, New York and we received a blessing from the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

He told my wife to always go with happiness ("B'sever panim yafot").

Today was a little fulfillment of that. ;-)

(Source Photo: Dossy Blumenthal)

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For The Love Of Pizza

So I was at an eatery (not this one) in South Florida. 

I order a sandwich, and I must've been in a little mood.

The waiter says to me, "Do you want it with everything?"

And I smiled and said, "Yeah, especially the everything!"

Then when we were done eating, I get up to pay at the counter, and pull out my plastic. 

The cashier says to me, "We only take cash."

I smile again and now playing with her respond, "Well, I only pay plastic, now what do we do?"

I was only joking around as I pull out the few bucks of cash I happen to have in my pocket (note: I rarely even carry paper money in the age of technology).

As I left, I thought about the brief exchanges and sort of laughed to myself. 

It doesn't pay to take a hard and fast line with people...

Much better to be flexible like, "What would you like on your sandwich (we have X, Y, and Z)?" or "Cash or credit today Sir?"

Being all or nothing just provokes an occasional smart aleck to pay a little back. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 11, 2014

See It Change

This was a pretty cool effect at this hotel (The Sonesta) in Fort Lauderdale, where we stopped to cool off for a few minutes.

In the lobby, they have these wavy lines over the entire walls and doors where you come in. 

But what is even better is that the lines change color.

Here you can see three pictures of a door in the lobby.

One minute they are pink, next orange, and then yellow. 

The funny thing is I barely noticed it when I was there.

It is was such a subtle change.

Maybe that's the way to make change really take in your life--incrementally, rather than violently and abruptly.

Then instead of withdrawal and personal convulsions, you have a new and hopefully better you! ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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High-Tech Dance Shoes


These shoes are called Kangoo Jumps.

They provide the high-tech bounce for dancing, running, or other exercise.

This video is from their 2014 International Festival in Florida that I had the opportunity to watch.

Amazing what the participants were able to do and the fun they had.

I'd like a pair and to be able to kick up my heels like that too. ;-)

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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Taking A Bow

Wow--this is some an awesome piece of art!

Aside from the beauty of it, what do I think about looking at this?

Something like this:

Some people take a bow in arrogance and self-aggrandizement, while others are bowed in humbleness and grace.

Those who see only their own greatness fail to see all those people, factors, and most importantly, G-d's mercy that enabled them to achieve what they have. 

We are but agents of the heavenly maker above who endows us with creativity and the ability to capitalize on it. 

We should be bowed in thankfulness to G-d, but unfortunately all too often instead stare in the mirror admiring our own image that we imagine is so talented and successful because of who we are and what we ourselves have done--that we can't even contain our bursting self-satisfaction in wonderful selves. 

Yes, it's good to recognize when we do something good and when we make mistakes so that we can learn from them, but G-d is not only our one-time maker, but he gives us the knowledge, skills, abilities, and good fortune to succeed in what he wills. 

I remember being taught in Jewish day school that not a leaf falls from a tree without G-d wishing it--that G-d is not only the creator, but is intimately involved every moment with us and the world.  

Like the most brilliant computer that can calculate gazillions of calculations a second, G-d can orchestrate the fates of all his creations in a just and masterful way that takes everything we do and don't do into account.

May it be G-d's will to endow us with what we need to succeed and for us to be deserving of it, and to recognize from where it all comes and not be so in awe of ourselves that we fail to see our innate limitations and mortality that is us. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 10, 2014

What Is The World Coming To?

This sign from a business on trendy Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale...for real.

Pay for the water you drink, the air you breath, and the doings you leave behind. 

Money makes the world go round, but what happened to love, friendship, and brotherhood. 

It only goes as far as the restroom apparently! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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Selfie Heaven

So this lady found out how to take the best selfies.

She has an extendable stick with an adjustable ball head that attaches to her smartphone, and a separate remote control for snapping the photos.

Here she is with the camera snapping away.

I looked it up on Amazon and this device is only around $6.

For a completely ego-centric society without friends, why not get this doodad and you too can take selfish selfies all day long. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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