April 19, 2019

Novel Passover Haggadah


Thought this was a pretty cool Passover Haggadah. 

Shaped like a wine bottle!

Sort of sets the stage for the four cups of wine at the Seder. 

I found this Haggadah in Israel, and I'm glad I got a few of them.  

Wishing everyone a joyous Passover and Easter holiday! ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 18, 2019

Impeach + AOC


I saw these two photos separately.

But I instantly realized that they belong together. 

Like peanut butter and jelly. 

Who is a bigger pee brain than AOC?

* She impulsively lost 25,000 jobs and $5 billion investment in NYC from Amazon (as well as about $27.5 billion in tax revenue over 25 years). 

* Her ridiculous Green New Deal wanted to rid us of farting cows and airplanes and didn't get a single yes vote in the Senate (even from her own party). 

* AOC stated that the three branches of government are the "the presidency, the senate, and the house" (Uh, wrong!). 

* Ocasio-Cortez boasts insanely that government deficit-spending doesn't really matter (hmm, I wonder is that how she handles her personal finances too?).

* She allies herself with fellow anti-American and anti-Semites like:
- Ilhan "(Schmilhan) Somebody Did Something [on 9/11]" Omar
- Rhasida "(Israel-Hater) They Forgot What Country They Represent" Tlaib
- Linda "Muslim Brotherhood" Sarsour

How did anyone actually vote for (or support) people like these to run this amazing country?  ;-)

(Source Photo: AOC is from Facebook and Impeachment is from me)
Share/Save/Bookmark

This Is What You Smell

Great sign at the nut stand at Sugarloaf Festival.
"This Is What You Smell!"

Hot cinnamon pecans or almonds. 

Wow, did that smell nice.

I got a tiny bag of the pecans, and when I opened it, the smell and taste that hot cinnamon really took over. 

Were there other smells present as well?

Probably, but I chose to focus on the cinnamon nuts. 

The other smells will have to wait for their special sign and appropriate attention to deal with it. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 17, 2019

Great Spider-Man

Love this painting of Spider-Man.

Like so many things, this superhero is better in colors (and not just red)!

He's also got two spiders on his chest, and as we know, two are better than one. 

I also appreciate how he stares down evil with the tilt of the head and those over-sized eyes. 

There is still plenty of evil in this world, and we need every superhero we can find to vanquish it!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 16, 2019

(Maybe) Stop Complaining

So this past Shabbat, there was a wonderful guest speaker at Aish, Rav Gav(riel) Friedman. 

He was a very lively speaker and with a lot of worthy teachings for his lucky audience. 

One thing he said that really stuck with me is about people that complain. 

People have hard lives!

As he said, "I don't know what each of you has been through."

But one thing that can help us cope with our challenges is our perspective.  

And then he said the following:
We need to be glad that we have something to complain about!

Huh, what does that mean?

Well, think about it...

- If you complain about your spouse, thank G-d that you are married (and have a life partner) to complain about. 

- If you complain about your job, thank G-d that you have a job (and income) that you can complain about. 

- If you complain about your food, thank G-d that you have food to eat (and sustenance for your body) to complain about.

And so on and so forth. 

Whatever we complain about, think about what you actually have (the big picture) and what you are complaining about (usually the little picture). 

Really, we have so much to be grateful for that we can easily just forget or take for granted. 

So next time your complaining, THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE that you are complaining about--you might stop yourself from complaining.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 15, 2019

The Passover Menorah

It's Passover this week, not Chanukah. 

So what's with the menorah?

Well my friend, John Akkus (of Akkus Silver Touch), made this beautiful piece for me. 

I love the fine handiwork of copper, brass, crystals, Jewish symbols (Stars of David) and bold colors of this amazing menorah. 

John sells his art at the annual Suglarloaf Festivals in the Spring. 

I am so glad I found this wonderful menorah--it is beautiful all year long (through Chanukah and Passover). 

Thank you John and nice job!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

Theater And A Bagel

We stopped in at the Flying V Awesome-A-Thon yesterday. 

How can anything "awesome" not be good? 

Flying V mixes it up with the arts and culture. 

They combine theater with wrestling!

Essentially, this group tries to add adventure and combat to the more staid dramatic performances. 

Anything that brings theater more alive is definitely a good thing. 

We got to sit in on the event organizers doing a live podcast and could definitely see their enthusiasm for "Shakespeare and training" and becoming a success story.  

Anyway, they did have some snacks at the event, and this colorful bagel was definitely the standout. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 14, 2019

Ilhan Omar - Laughing At Terrorism Against America

It's time to stop defending this anti-American hate-monger who sits in the esteemed House of Representatives.

Omar's words: 
When I was in college, I took at terrorism class....we learned the ideology...Every time the professor said Al Qaeda, his shoulder went back {in intensity/fear}...We are laughing his name.

Watch her video here mocking Americans about terrorists, Al Qaeda--the same who killed 3,000 people on 9/11.

This is just one of many instances of her extreme callousness, like where she recently said casually about 9/11, "Some people did something"--that something which was a mass murder terror attack on American soil. 

As we contemplate the hate-mongering of Ilhan Omar, we should think about what Luthern pastor, Martin Niemoller once cautioned: 
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
This isn't about left and right, but about hatred, bigotry, and racism at the highest levels, and we need to stand together against it. ;-)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

The Mitzvah of Vaccination

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "The Mitzvah of Vaccination."
According to the CDC, "Getting MMR vaccine is much safer than getting measles, mumps, or rubella"...for yourself, your families, your community, and for all the other innocent people out there who want to be and stay healthy, please get vaccinated; do your part as a good citizen and Jew.

Getting vaccinated–it is a mitzvah and please G-d, for all, a L’Chaim!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 12, 2019

Gotta Love FANUC


I love FANUC industrial robots. 

They are made by a secretive company in Japan and they are #1 in workplace automation worldwide! 

They have over half a million installed industrial robots around the world.

Their robots are on assembly lines making everything from "cars and smartphones to beverages and drugs."  They also are in Tesla and Amazon...so you know they are pretty much everywhere. 

FANUC has customers in 108 countries supported by 263 service locations. 

Their robots are made by...that's right other robots...80% is automated

These robots are strong, fast, and precise, and they can do dangerous work. 

This company is the future of jobs, productivity, efficiency. 

But of course, people are still the brains behind the brawn.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 11, 2019

Israel 4th Nation To Reach the Moon Surface - Mazel Tov!


What an unbelievable achievement for Israel. 

Even without a soft landing, Israel is the 4th country in the world to reach the moon surface.

The Moon Club of Just Four:
USA - The Most Powerful
Russia - The Largest by Landmass
China - The Largest by Number of People
Israel - The Holy Land!

Mazel Tov on this truly great accomplishment.

We are all so proud of you!  ;-)
Share/Save/Bookmark

Black Hole--What's Really Important?

Amazing beautiful photos of a black hole from 55 million light years (311 million trillion miles) away. 

It measures about 25 billion miles across--about the size of 29,000 suns. 

If this doesn't make you (with all the money, smarts, good looks, and ego to match) feel small, nothing will. 

We are but a speck of dust in this vast universe (maybe not even that). 

Perspective is in order for your life and what it means. 

Forget the money-grubbing and honor-seeking.

Realize what's really important is what you do in terms of choosing right from wrong and good over evil in every small thing you do.  ;-)

(Photo Credit: Event Horizon Telescope)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 10, 2019

Cats of Israel





Just wanted to share these photos of some lovely cats from Israel.

There are so many cats just roaming the streets, shops, gardens, and alleyways.

These don't run from people, but are part of the landscape itself.

Almost like a soul in each one that is living a peaceful life anew in the Holy Land. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 9, 2019

Solving Computer Problems

Funny T-Shirt on solving computer problems:

Does it work?

Did you screw with it?

Does anyone know?

Can you blame anyone else?

This little flowchart seems to capture so many issues in the office like:

- Accountability

- Problem-solving

- Doing the right thing

Oh, maybe that's a different flowchart. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 8, 2019

Extra Large Sizes

Obesity rates have been consistently growing in this country.

This is concerning for all sorts of health effects (including unfortunately Cancer). 

Many of us struggle with our weight and it is not easy to fight it especially given the processed foods and carbs all around us. 

The picture as of 2015 is that almost 40% of Americans are categorized as obese (versus a below average of 18% in Israel)  

In this context, this store sign in Israel for big and tall clothing was off the charts. 

Talking about extra large sizes for people...

Check out how many "Xs" as in XL this store is advertising? 

A full 11 Xs (after that I lost count)!

Hey, that is a large size for anyone. 

What does a size 11 XL look like.

Now that's something that I don't have a good picture of.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 7, 2019

@Strathmore With Violin Virtuoso Zoltan Maga





Nice time today at Strathmore Concert Hall. 

Listened to beautiful music by Violin Virtuoso Zoltan Maga and The Budapest Gypsy Orchestra.

Zoltan was amazing and he played the violin with expertise that I have rarely seen in my life.

It was as of the violin literally came alive in his hands.

His son, Zoltan, Jr. also played wonderfully and seems to be a "chip off the old block."

I was pleasantly surprised to hear Zoltan and the orchestra play a pretty mean Hava Nagillah!

Also, the Hungarian Ambassador was there to welcome Zoltan. 

It was beautiful at the end when they told how Zoltan does many charity concerts and donates hundreds of thousands of dollars to needy orphan homes. 

I shook Zoltan's hand, but I could tell he was very protective of his magic hands.

Truly, he is a master and you can see the skill from Hashem in him--it was amazing. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy and Dossy Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

Bar Mitzvah Speech Page 3

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Bar Mitzvah Speech Page 3."
I wondered to myself how come this bar mitzvah boy didn’t end his speech with the traditional thank you to: my loving mother and father, my dear grandparents, my annoying brothers and sisters, and all my terrific uncle and aunts who came from Israel, Europe, and Canada to be with me here on this special day? There was none of that, and I was puzzled — how can he not thank everyone who made this day possible?
This was a true lesson about always being prepared and resilient, because that is what true empowerment is all about. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 5, 2019

Batsh*t Crazy

So have you ever dealt with these types of people?

They are what is commonly referred to as:
"Batsh*t Crazy!"

Some telltale signs in combination:

- Loud

- Out of control (off the spectrum)

- Exaggerated thinking/delusional

- Feelings of victimhood/paranoia/anger

- Gesturing wildly 

- Fingers tightly extended or clenched into fists

- Banging on the table/wall 

- Sharpening facial lines

- Clenching of the lips/teeth

- Bugged out/staring eyes

- Dark, hallowed-out eye sockets

- Disheveled hair/clothes

- Unkept/dirty/smelly

- In your face/space

- Potentially violent/dangerous

When you are dealing with batshit crazy...watch out!

You can't reason with them. You can't confront them.  You can't evade them.  

They have you in their sights. 

Scary, right? 

BTW, I looked up the derivation of this term:

It come from "there is nothing at all going on upstairs"--such that the bells are no longer ringing in the church tower, and hence the bats are coming to rest there, and they have been there so long that the batsh*t has built up.

There is certainly a lot of batshit from what I can see! ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to geralt)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 4, 2019

Selling CRAP

I just thought this was an interesting acronym that Amazon uses for selling unprofitable knick knacks.

They call it:
CRAP

It stands for:

Can't Realize A Profit. 

Sometimes, you see people buying stuff, lots of stuff, and it's not important--often, it's all a lot of junk. 

But they like to shop--bordering on shopsholics' compulsion. 

Maybe they don't even have a lot of money for this stuff.

However, just the act of buying it--of having some control in their lives and some freedom of the purse--makes them feel good and buy and hoard more and more things. 

Likely it ends up in Goodwill, recyclables, the attic, or the trash. 

Is it crap?

Well you can't make realize a profit on it. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 3, 2019

Relax, It's Just Sex

Just thought this was a really funny-sad display in the window of this store in Tel Aviv. 

It says:
Relex It's Just Sex
Forget that Relax is spelled wrong. 

But advertising for sexual items in such a casual way...like it's sex and what's the big deal.

Maybe I am old school, where sex actually meant a deep personal relationship and emotional intimacy. 

...Where you partner was also your spouse and best friend.

Now--unfortunately--it's just sex!

I think as a society that we have lost something here. 

...Something important. 

If it's just sex, and it's just with anyone, then what does that leave for us with that someone truly special in our lives? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 2, 2019

On Taste And Smell

Just wanted to share this saying (translated from Hebrew) that I like:
On taste and smell, there is no argument.

What tastes or smells good or bad to one person versus another is not up for debate. 

Each person has their own taste buds and odor senses.

Some people may be more or less sensitive to different tastes and smells. 

So there is no arguing there.

You either like or you don't like. 

That's your prerogative!

Don't make a big stink about it. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 1, 2019

Victory Or Defeat

I was reading Vladimir Jabotinsky's "Story of My Life."

And there is this quote that I really like attributed to Kipling in it:
Victory or defeat: learn to accept both with equanimity since both are deceptions.
I just thought this is profound.  

We never really fully win or lose. 


Everything is on a spectrum. 

And where we think we are on that spectrum is often not even nearly correct. 

You think you won that one, but guess what someone else has outsmarted you and you don't even know it yet. 

Also, wins can be easily followed by loses and vice versa.

Things can turn on a dime and who's up becomes who's down--as the wheel of life turns and turns again. 

Recognize that you don't control everything--actually, the only thing you do control is how you react and behave.

Everything else is a test to teach you and help you grow. 

And as I heard from a speaker yesterday, "you can't make up in space, what you have lost in time."

Victory or defeat, both are deceptions. 

Only how you choose to act is the real win or lose. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark