November 30, 2019

Jews, The People of Thanksgiving

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Jews, The People of Thanksgiving."
This week was Thanksgiving (חג ההודיה), but for Jews we are already called, "The People of Thanksgiving. "We are named יהודים (Yehudim) after יהודה (Yehudah), the son of Isaac and Leah because Leah said (Genesis 29:35): "הפעם אודה את יהיה." ("This time let me thank G-d"). Also as Jews, we are not just called the People of  Thanksgiving, but we are actively supposed to say 100 blessings a day thanking G-d, so in the true sense of the word, everyday is Thanksgiving Day for the Jewish people.

Jews are the People of Thanksgiving not only on Thanksgiving, but every day of the year. We are thankful for being the chosen people and for our redemption and return to the Promised Land of Israel; we are thankful for the life and opportunities that G-d has given to us; we are thankful in good times and G-d forbid, in the bad times; and we are thankful because, yes, ultimately everything from G-d is for the good.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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November 29, 2019

Impressive Brightline





Just wanted to say how impressed I was with the new Brightline train system in Florida. 

Right now it goes from Miami straight to Fort Lauderdale and then to Palm Beach. 

I took it between Fort Lauderdale and Miami and it was a quick 30 minute ride--no traffic yay!

The trains are modern and sleek, and the stations were automated, clean, secured with guards and scanners, and had a beautiful lounge waiting area (and they announce the train arrival like 10 minutes before it arrives).

Also, the staff was friendly and helpful, and they even came around with a food cart. 

I understand they are adding additional stops for Aventura and Boca Raton. 

I would definitely take this train again--way to go! ;-)

(Credit Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

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November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving 2019: Inspirational Story



(Credit Video: Dannielle Blumenthal of Andy Blumenthal)
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November 27, 2019

Graffiti Art





I really love Graffiti Art!

Went to Wynwood Walls in Miami. 

The art is just fantastic. 

Better than the typical museum.

So creative. 

So big.

So colorful. 

So full of life. 

They took a whole rundown neighborhood and made it cool and great. 

On December 5, they will be opening  the Museum of Graffiti.

Can't wait to go back and immerse myself in it! ;-)

(Credit Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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November 26, 2019

A Song of Saul and David


Great song: David and Shaul from Ehud Banay's third album, ”The Third/Hashlishi”

The song is about the "bipolar" feelings of King Saul toward David (then the next king of Israel). 

Here are the lyrics:

כולם מזמן הלכו לישון

רק שאול ער, קודר
מרים לדוד טלפון

A late-night hour
Everyone is long gone to sleep
Only Shaul is awake, cheerless
He calls David up over the phone

אולי תקפוץ אלי, יא דוד
נפשי אגם שחור
תביא איתך את הגיטרה
כי באצבעותיך אור

Maybe you should stop by, Ya David
My soul is a black lake
Bring the guitar with you
For you have light in your fingers

דוד בא מיד רגוע,
מתיישב ומכוון
את המלאכה היטב יודע
עוצם עיניים, מנגן

David comes right away and he is calm
Sit down and tunes (the guitar)
The job he well knows
Closes his eyes, he plays

עשר אצבעות לדוד
קצה כל אצבע - קרן אור
כשהוא פורט על המיתר
הזמן זורם לו לאחור

Ten fingers David has
The tip of each one - a ray of light 
When he port on the string
The time is flowing backwards

שאול מבפנים קרוע
קרבות בתוך בטנו
אוהב-שונא, ומקנא
מכור לחברו

Shaul is torn inside
Battles in his stomach he has
Love-hate, and jealous he is
Addicted to his friend

דבר מה אפל נופל
השד חוזר להשתולל
סכין נזרקת באוויר
פתאום יש בין השנים קיר

Something dark falls
The demon is back to a rage
A knife is thrown in the air
Suddenly there is a wall between the two

דוד מתחמק משאול
אבל שאול לא מוותר
דוד שוכח וסולח
כששאול מתקשר
David is avoiding Shaul
But Shaul is not giving up
David forget and forgives
When Shaul call up
בוא שוב לנגן לי דוד
קח אותי לכוכבים
בוא שוב לנגן הלילה
שיר געגועים
Come again to play to me David
Take me to the stars
Come again to play tonight
A song of longing

בוא שוב לנגן הלילה...

Come again and play tonight..

בוא שוב לנגן הלילה
שיר געגועים...
Come again and play tonight..
A song of longing..

(Kudos to my Ulpan teacher, Rivka D. for sending me the video and to Izchak, my wonderful son-in-law, for providing the Hebrew/English lyrics)

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Birds Dropping In For Lunch

These birds decided to swoop in for some lunch. 

It was funny to see the people go scrambling from the table.

The birds were completely unabashed and took their time over the chow. 

One couple in the corner had ordered this truly enormous meal (don't worry, I was good and ate only the salad).

Each of them had a full lunch plate PLUS in the center of their table was "The Volcano" of nachos, cheese, chili, guacamole,  sour cream, and jalapenos. 

That was certainly no bird food with The Volcano punching in at 3,500 calories!

I have no idea how any two people could possibly eat that much food.

Probably good that the birds decided to drop in.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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November 25, 2019

Surfing USA Beach




Even when you fall down, you should always rise up again!

(Credit Videos: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 24, 2019

Ferrari Motor Furniture



This was very cool. 

The first is a coffee table for the living room.

The second is half of a nice desk.

Both are made out of working Ferrari engines.

The coffee table goes for $50,000.

And the desk goes for $75,000.

I will told that this is a bargain based on what a working Ferrari engine goes for. 

In a sense you can take your table for a spin around the block...LOL.

Truly the engine (and not just design of the car) is a work of art. 

It merits being a centerpiece of your office or home. ;-)

(Credit Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 23, 2019

The Life and Legacy of Sarah

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "The Life and Legacy of Sarah."


The Rebbetzin explained beautifully that when we live a good life, not only does our soul live on in the afterlife, but our good deeds continue to have an influence in this world even after we, ourselves, have passed.

We should never underestimate our influence in this world, and that what we say and do reverberates like concentric circles that spread out from the source farther and farther. Moreover, while you might not think that what you do matters all that much or is a big deal, you never really know the outsize impact that it can have. Therefore, even while Sarah had passed and Abraham mourned her, the truth is that her legacy of the great Jewish nation was only just beginning!


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 22, 2019

Tuna Salad - Eating Healthy

Intermittent fasting is going, thank G-d well. 

When I broke my fast today, I had a healthy salad with tuna fish. 

Dieting and eating healthy, and feeling good about it!

All the processed food is completely addictive and 100% poison!

Broke the addiction and I don't plan to go back to the corrupt food industry fools that don't care for atom about the people, but rather just the profits. 

Fruit, vegetables fish, nuts, seeds, and tea. 

The fleecing of America by all the processed food players--it's disgusting.

I'm detoxing and I am grateful to G-d for helping me through this and showing me the way! ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 21, 2019

Not WHO They Seem

People may all sort of look alike. 

But they are not all the same.


It's NOT a matter of race, religion, color, sexual orientation, etc. that is important.


But rather it's what is inside people's hearts. 


Some hearts are pure in intent (even if not in every deed). 


Others are sullied with hate and abuse of others just because they can. 


But why hurt others when you can help them?


People are not all the same. 


Inside they are different.


Luckily G-d looks at the inside; the outside is just the packaging. ;-)


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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November 20, 2019

Plea For A Wireless World

If anything screams wireless...

There has got to be a better way.

One day people are going to laugh their heads off at they way we did technology.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 19, 2019

Pool Poop Galore

So I was at the pool going swimming, doing my laps.  

It was very busy there with lots of people of all ages. 

All of a sudden, I hear some screaming. 

Then the guards come over and tell people they have to get out of the pool, pronto!

There's been an accident. 

No, not someone getting hurt.

Someone had a bathroom accident in the pool.

The director of the pool is going around explaining to the inconvenienced swimmers that:
"Someone pooped in the pool."

Not exactly an eloquent way to say it, but it gets the point across. 

What is worse, it was on the side of the pool where the adults were swimming!

Next come the lifeguards with the nets and they are literally scooping swathes of this sh*t out of the pool. 

I see it literally spans almost a half length of this olympic pool. 

What a crappin' mess. 

Luckily I got almost all my swim in--yes, I am dedicated!

And then took a long hot shower with tons and tons of soap. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 18, 2019

Types of Project Management Office

This is a quick breakdown of the 3 types of Project Management Offices (PMOs).

  • Enabling (Supportive) — Provides best practices, templates, and tools “as needed,” and compliance is voluntary.
  • Delivery (Controlling) — Adopts framework or methodology, policy, and repeatable procedures, and a certain level of the standards are enforced.
  • Compliance (Directive) — Establishes strict standards, measures, and control over projects, and these are highly regulated.

A good place to start is with an enabling/supportive PMO and then progress to a more delivery/controlling model. Generally, a compliance/directive PMO is for more highly regulated organizations.

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal and concept via CIO Magazine and Gartner)
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November 17, 2019

OPTIMISM vs pessimism

So I thought this really matched my philosophy to a T on optimism and pessimism. 

As Joel Rosenberg put it in his book The Ezekiel Option, "In the long run everything would turn out fine...but tomorrow could be a disaster."

In short, this equates to:

I'm a strategic optimist, but a tactical pessimist. 

My mom used to say, "If I am pessimistic, I'll never be disappointed." LOL

I think though when we have faith then we know that truly, in the end everything is for the best and will be okay.

In the short term though, there are challenges to face and these can be tough indeed. 

- Strategically an optimist. 

- Tactically a pessimist. 

Plan for the worst, hope for the best. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 16, 2019

Avraham, The Ultimate Mensch

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, "Avraham, The Ultimate Mensch."
The Rabbi asked why did Hashem who is omnipotent even need to create us? And he answered because in G-d being the ultimate good, He “had to create us”—this in essence being the ultimate expression of good by sharing that goodness with us to learn and be good as well. In short, what could be a greater good than extending that opportunity to be be good to others.

Like our forefather, my Hebrew name is Avraham, and for me personally, this has been a critical life lesson: learning to see challenges as opportunities to learn, grow, and consistently be a person that tries to do what is right even when it is hard or the lines seem to be grey. In the end, I believe that G-d put us in this world in order for us to choose good over evil and demonstrate kindness to others. With the Torah as our blueprint, and Avraham, our forefather, as our role model, we must apply the great teachings of the Torah and always strive to act as a proper mensch!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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November 15, 2019

Pelican Shabbos

Shabbat Shalom says the Moo Moo Cow.

Shabbat Shalom says Leo The Lion.

Shabbat Shalom says the Gefilte Fish. 

Shabbat Shalom says the Long Beak Pelican. 

(Photo Credit: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 14, 2019

D.C. Living

I can't believe this home is in Washington, D.C.

More like Florida.

All we need is a palm tree or two.

Plus a little pool in the back. 

And we're good! ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 13, 2019

Weird Face Bag

This bag is too weird.

Not a man and not an animal--it's some sort of beast. 

It has a crazy face on it with a gnarly mouth and green bug-eyes. 

Is it watching for pickpockets? 

Wonder if it bites the hand that tries to go inside the purse. 

I can't look at this thing anymore. 

Make it go away! ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 12, 2019

Spider Man D.C.

This so reminded me of...
Spider Man, Spider Man, Does Whatever A Spider Can.

Veterans Day must be a great day to get your windows washed. 

Or to spin a web of intricate proportions in D.C. politics. 

Either way aside from the windows, what of significance is actually getting resolved in our partisan capital?

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 11, 2019

Artechouse = Art + Tech + House



This place was really cool in Washington, D.C. 

Artechouse = Art + Tech + House. 

Great immersive technology, art, music, dance, and light show. 

Highly recommend it!

This exhibit "Lucid Motion" was by Japanese artist Daito Manabe X Rhizomatiks Research.

They also had a nice augmented reality display. 

Had fun with the clan. 

Hope you enjoy!

(Credit Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 10, 2019

Harriet And The Underground Railroad

We saw the movie Harriet today. 

Obviously, it was about Harriet Tubman and her rescuing the slaves through the Underground Railroad of secret routes and safe houses. 

She was an amazing heroine that they even called her "Moses" for her rescuing the black slaves from the southern plantation where they were sorely abused in every way. 

Even though she herself was a runaway slave who made it though a100 treacherous miles from Maryland to Pennsylvania to Freedom, she went back over and over again to save others. 

The movie said she saved 70 other through the underground railroad and then in the civil war led the black troops to free another 750 slaves!

Her courage and faith through it all was truly inspirational.

I was so glad when she carried a gun and shot at her nemesis who enslaved her and her family before he could kill or capture and torture her. 

She didn't kill him, but she told him in no uncertain terms that people were not meant by G-d to own and enslave other people!

We need more people like Harriet Tubman in the world who fight for what's right and clearly know the difference between good and evil. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 9, 2019

Making The Impossible, Possible

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Making The Impossible, Possible."

Even though the Jewish people are a tiny minority in the world, through our faith, determination, and the help of G-d, we are able to survive against all odds, contribute to the world far beyond our mere numbers, and succeed in truly incredible ways. From Einstein, Freud, and Marx to Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Ellison, we are a people that punches way above our weight.

I believe the lessons of faith and determination is one that we can all take away from the tests of our forefathers in the Bible to the flourishing modern State of Israel and to how we live our own lives today. G-d tests all of us, and if we go forward and answer His calling with a full heart and perseverance, G-d will help us to succeed above our wildest of dreams and even beyond the very laws of nature.


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 8, 2019

Chocolate Dreaming

Don't know about you but these looked pretty darn good at Costco.

"Chocolate Dream"

Chocolate cream, whipped cream, and chocolate cookie.  

Now, how could that be bad?

Dreaming chocolate...

It reminds me of the other day when I saw someone daydreaming.

I said to him, "Are you okay?"

He replies, "I am far away!"

It sounded good, so I said, "Can you take me with you?"

Got a good laugh from him.  ;-)

(Photo Credit: Andy Blumenthal)
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Righting Wrongs To Sephardim

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Righting Wrongs To Sephardim."
The initial waves of Aliyah beginning in 1882 were driven by the persecution and pogroms, and later the Holocaust, in Europe. Thus, Israeli society initially built up their institutions and power centers around these Ashkenazi pioneers. Immediately after 1948, when Sephardic refugees were expelled from the Arab countries en masse, Israel was overwhelmed with as immigration influx that virtually doubled the Jewish population in Israel in the first three years of its existence. Unfortunately, the newly arrived Sephardim were relegated to a substandard housing and economic situation, which then persisted for many decades.
In Jewish society, however, there is no room for ethnic discrimination and inequality, and the formation of a Sephardic political party in 1984 was a crucial milestone in Jewish social and economic justice. For almost 30 years, Shas was led by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the former Israel Chief Sephardic Rabbi and spiritual leader, and Shas has remained one of Israel's top political parties.
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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November 6, 2019

Beautiful Moroccan Chandelier

Just wanted to share this beautiful Moroccan  chandelier. 

Thought this really adds life, color, and culture to any room. 

I love the mosaic of glass pieces and their vibrant colors and interesting shapes. 

Set into the brass holders this stunning chandelier is a standout and lights up not only the room, but also perhaps even our lives. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 5, 2019

Hearts and Stones

I love the saying by Rav Zvi Yehudah Cook:
There are people with hearts of stone, and there are stones with hearts of people. 
The people know who they are, and the stones reside where has G-d set them. 

In the final redemption, the peoples' hearts will turn back to Hashem and the stones with hearts will rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 4, 2019

Prevent Problems From Becoming Crises

I heard this saying and thought it was good:

Problems that are left unattended have a habit of becoming crises. 

I suppose problems exist for us to confront and deal with them, so we can grow ourselves. 

- There is no running from problems.

- There is no hiding from problems.

Problems can follow you with better than laser-guided GPS and they will find you out.  

The only option is it face the challenge head-on and the earlier and more productively the better. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 3, 2019

Key Federal Financial Management Terms

Below are some key Federal Financial Management Terms:
  • Authorization: Act of Congress that permits Federal programs or activities to exist and recommends funding levels.
  • Appropriation: Act of Congress to provide Federal agencies with budget authority to obligate government to future outlay of cash for a specific purposes and period of time. 
  • Commitment: An administrative reservation of funds by the financial controller or resource manager triggered by a procurement or purchase request.
  • Obligation: A legal reservation fo funds that binds government to future expenditure and outlay of cash from the Treasury triggered by the signing of a contract, travel order, credit card transaction, etc. 
  • Expenditure: Issuance of a payment disbursement by electronic funds transfer, check, etc. 
  • Outlay: Payment of cash from Treasury to vendor to liquidate a financial obligation.
These should be helpful in understanding the Federal financial management processes. 

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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November 2, 2019

Pyramid of Emotional Intelligence

I really like this Pyramid of Emotional Intelligence (EI). 

It starts at the bottom with your own personal self-awareness--knowing who you are, including your beliefs, values, priorities, needs, and dreams, and being able to express this. 

Next level is your personal self-control--being able to manage your feelings, control your actions, and cope with challenges and adversity. 

Moving to the social level is then social awareness--having a consciousness and respect of others, their feelings, thoughts, motivations, needs, desires, and rights.

Finally, at the top is relationship management--the ability to actively listen and empathize, assert and influence, be patience and unconditionally accept differences, develop trust, give and take, collaborate, and manage conflict.

Most people work on developing these areas of the EI their whole life, and it is definitely a pyramid worthy of the climb. ;-)

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

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November 1, 2019

Give Me That Fridge Handle

So we got a new stainless refrigerator. 

A cause for celebration!

It get's delivered and afterwards, I notice that the door handles are installed unevenly. 

I call the store and they agree to send their guys out to us again to fix it. 

Well, the handles were on the wrong doors and they switch it so that now they look even, but in the process, they break the handle on one of the doors so that only the top is attached to the door and the bottom is blowing in the wind (and ready to scratch the door). 

With this second installation debacle, I call the store again and not a happy camper!

Three calls later, the store agrees for me to come over and literally take the handle of the fridge on the showroom floor to replace my broken one--which I promptly did!

Third times the charm...no more broken door handle. 

As for the one in the store, let's just say you can only open the left door for now.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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