Showing posts with label Death. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Death. Show all posts

April 17, 2020

Shabbat Shalom From Elmo!

Remember before Coronavirus when times where a little more innocent...

When we didn't have to worry about viruses spread by eating live or wild animals or that "escape" from weapons laboratories. 

It's good to be a little nostalgic.

Shabbat Shalom! ;-)

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 11, 2020

Now This Is Scary On Coronavirus

Latest Coronavirus news reported by Reuters from South Korea...

Virus appears to be "reactivated" after person is already cleared of it.

91 patients so far!

Is this the result of faulty testing or is this not your typical virus???

Folks, it does not look like we are in clear by a long shot on this yet. 

Be careful and stay safe!  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal and thank you to my sister with a PhD in biomedical science for sharing this with me)
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April 1, 2020

Pathogen Deaths - Worst Is Yet To Come

So maybe I am the only one who doesn't see how things are adding up.

But in the U.S. we have 4,000 dead from Coronavirus and 3/4 of the country (all the major population centers) are on lockdown. 

Yet, the projections are still for deaths in the U.S. to pile up between 100,000 to 240,000

How do you get from 4,000 to 240,000 with most people under lockdown?

The numbers of projected deaths were in the millions before the lockdown and social distancing, so yes the numbers are lower and better now. 

Still the escalating death toll is frightening in its magnitude of what is yet to come DESPITE the lockdown.

Moreover, the estimated death in the U.S. from the Flu was only 34,000 (2018-2019) and that's with everybody round and about doing their business.

My question is what happens after the (first) peak when they send people back to work and school?

There are still going to be people sick and contagious out there and the whole cycle STARTS AGAIN until we get the vaccine. 

And even after the vaccine, it may become seasonal like the flu or mutate and become even more virulent. 

It seems like there is plenty of reason to be cautious and concerned about what is yet to happen from here.

Then again we may be considered fortunate this time and actually beat this Coronavirus, but then again what happens when the NEXT really bad natural or man-made pathogen gets out? ;-)

Note: There are approximately 16 countries with deadly biological weapons programs. 

(Credit Photo: My wonderful so-in-law, Itzchak)
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March 30, 2020

Harris Teeter War Zone

Who would've thought that going to Harris Teeter would be a war zone. 

But this guy in the respirator mask is showing us how bad things can start to get. 

As an avid fan of the show The Walking Dead, I think we are entering TWD territory with the people walking around with their face's half covered and some looking sick with fear and worry or perhaps even with symptoms--who knows!

What is amazing is how things can go from boom to bust, and not just for our economy, but for life and civilization itself at the turn of a dime. 

Yesterday, I read how the CFO of Jefferies Group Investment Bank (NYC) died at age 56 from Coronavirus. 

Even as the Navy's hospital ships Mercy and Comfort enter the ports of Los Angeles and New York City to lend a hand and about 1,000 hospital beds each, it seems like more and more of these deadly cases are hitting the papers and social media every day.

Where does this sickness stop?   

What happens if the virus mutates again and become even more virulent?

How do we ever feel even remotely secure again?

Can we keep taxing our already overwhelmed healthcare system with more and more sick patients?

How long can we keep printing Monopoly bailout money (incredibly, there is talk of yet another multi-trillion Coronavirus stimulus bill even after we just passed this $2.2 trillion one last week)?

Eventually, as we all know circumstances can indeed overwhelm the health and financial systems, and even our governments...thank G-d we aren't there. 

But what we are all beginning to see in the midst of crisis is that "there" isn't really all that far away from "here."

...That life hangs by a truly thin thread. 

And because we can only do so much, this is where we really need to look up to the heavens and ask for G-d's help and mercy.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: my wonderful son-in-law, Itzchak)
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March 28, 2020

Don't Cough On Granny

So these are the signs of the times of Coronavirus. 

Pictures telling us not to cough on Granny. 

Cover your germy mouth!

Don't get the older and more vulnerable amongst us sick. 

I was in the elevator the other day, standing in the corner next to the elevator buttons. 

Someone else--an older person--gets on with a big (double size) shopping cart.

He's standing in the opposite back corner (kitty corner from me) with this huge cart between us. 

Then he starts yelling at me, literally, to "get in the corner!"

Ah, I'm already in the opposite corner. 

He's huffing and puffing angry that he wants me to literally get up against both walls. 

I was almost tempted to say something like maybe you should just get off and catch the next elevator Sir. 

But I held my tongue, in part out of sympathy for these elderly people who are obviously really scared (and maybe rightfully so) of the Coronavirus. 

Sometimes, I think to myself what if we were really hit at some point in the future with a very deadly bioweapon that was expressly designed to kill and to repulse any sort of countermeasures against it. 

What if the fatality rate was 1/3 to 2/3 of the population like in the Middle Ages Bubonic Plague or even higher like 100% of anyone that gets infected from a military-grade, genetically modified virus (similar to effects from Ebola). 

Maybe it's not good to ask what ifs, but if we are really going to learn anything from this, then I think we need to extrapolate from the relatively minor now to the potential major down the road. 

If you think we have hysteria, deaths, and $2.2 trillion U.S. impact now, this is just a glimpse of what could actually happen. 

We need to seriously rethink our disaster preparedness and response--big time.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 19, 2020

Coronavirus - Something or Nothing?

I don't know about you but I have found the communication about the Coronavirus to be absolutely confusing.

And the actions demonstrating unpreparedness, disorganized response, general chaos, and panic do not match the few calming words we are getting. 

No wonder everyone is panicking and the bottom is falling from the market.

On one hand:

- The officials tell everyone to remain calm, and there is no reason to panic. 

- Help is on the way.

- People are overreacting.

- Most people that get Covid 19 won't even know they had it or the symptoms will be mild (or maybe moderate)

- The death rate is "only" like 3 or 4% and it's mostly older people or those with chronic ailments anyway (as if these people don't matter). 

- Younger children aren't really getting it (although we don't know exactly why or the impact on pregnant women). 

- It's less contagious and deadly than the flu (wait, it's more contagious and deadly). 

- There are plenty of tests available for everyone (no, there aren't).

- It will be over in a few weeks when the seasons change and the temperature goes up. 

- A vaccine will soon be ready for testing and then distribution after 12-18 months. 

- The numbers of infected are going down in China--see they have it under control!

- Maybe we should allow investigative drugs to be used (or maybe not, the FDA thinks this is a bad idea).

- The impact to the economy will be over probably by August (or will it?). 

- It'll ALL be over soon.

On the other hand:

- We don't know what we're facing (people are routinely using the words apocalypse and armageddon). 

- This could be the "big one!"

- Is this a punishment from G-d (and is the Messiah coming)? 

- This has reached pandemic proportions. 

- We are declaring a national emergency. 

- This may have come out of a Chinese bioweapons lab.

- Also, China suppressed information and initial response on this making the outbreak worse. 

- "China should be punished for these things" (or some version of this).

- Cases are raising around the world. 

- The contagion is worse than initially thought (there are comparisons to the Spanish Flu of 1918 which killed around 50 million people)

- The death rate is higher than expected. 

- We don't know why or where certain people got Covid 19 from.

- The hospitals are already overwhelmed and are unprepared for a real surge of cases. 

- We need to "flatten the curve" so our healthcare system isn't brought to its knees. 

- We are already triaging patients and our doctors and nurses are working extra long hours and are exhausted. 

- We aren't prepared for this--our healthcare system and government has "failed us". 

- We're rolling out unprecedented economic assistance from the Fed, the Treasury...another trillion dollar deficit (no answer for how this gets paid, if ever...can anyone say runaway inflation in the future and lots of worthless dollars). 

- Washing and "Social Distancing" are paramount. 

- There is a run on toilet paper and disinfectants and these are either sold out or vendors are price gouging these items. 

- We are shutting down the country (workplaces, fitness centers, eat-in restaurants, entertainment, travel, places of worship, and any significant gathering of people). 

- The instructions to stay at home in "indefinite"!

- People are stuck in the house and worried about how long this will go on. 

- Some places like New Rochelle, NY are under quarantine and the National Guard has been called out.

- There is talk of a curfew and further measures of quarantine to be enforced under penalty of imprisonment. 

- The lines at the stores (Costco, Sam's Club, Supermarkets, Groceries) are out the door and the shelves are empty. 

- Amazon announces that they are running out on consumer stables!

- Businesses are suspending workers, moving them to part time, and laying them off. 

- The stock market is down by 1/3 and we're told that this could just be the beginning. 

- A recession is looming and the economic impact and duration is unknown. 

- Italy is on lockdown. 

- Borders are being closed. 

- People can't get home from abroad. 

- Cruise ships aren't being allowed to port. 

- Airlines are screaming for a financial bailout. 

- Navy Hospital Ships with 1,000 beds each are being deployed to the east and west coast. 

- We're sending $1,000 checks (or something like this) to people below a certain income level (maybe $65,000).

- Taxes are supposedly being deferred (although not filing of returns or estimated taxes yet).  

- People are wearing masks everywhere (but we are being told only the sick ones need to wear it and we see everyone in China wearing it and of course our first responders and medical professionals, so which is it).

- Primary voting is delayed in some states and there is question whether the November Presidential election will also be delayed.

Summary:

Does anyone know WTF is going on around here???

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 30, 2020

Your Expiration Date

So I was talking to someone about their challenges in life.

And they said something that really hit a chord:
You never know what your expiration date is!

What an interesting way to say you never know when your time is up.

They used the phrase "expiration date" like we so commonly see on food and medicine products. 

You know when you read the label and it tells you to discard after a certain date. 

So people are like all these other goods that have a date stamped on them.

We have a date stamped on us (maybe it's on our forehead or some other less conspicuous place), and we just can't see it. 

Yet, we need to live every day as if that expiration date is coming due. 

Because like that stale food in your fridge or the old medicine in your cabinets, everything and everybody has a shelf life.

So you better live every day good and meaningfully before your expiration date comes due. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 21, 2019

Nightmares All Night

Been watching the HBO miniseries on the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster. 

HBO has done an excellent job with showing what happened. 

Maybe too good...I was up with nightmares all night. 

Last night's episode 3 showed in gory detail the initial causalities from the facility and first responders suffering with acute radiation syndrome, and was completely horrifying. 

In the end, the people were in unimaginable pain and were left as mounds of decomposing flesh from the cellular degradation rather than recognizable human beings.  

(The photo here was just a precursor to that end state.)

The ultimate death toll has been estimated at between 10,000 and more than 100,000. 

The effects of the the radiation was described in the show as like trillions of bullets penetrating everything it comes in contact with for the next 50,000 years.

So far we've had Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima (2012)...OMG, let's hope and pray that we don't have any others, because this was truly looking at hell on earth. ;-)

(Source Photo: Official Trailer here)
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May 8, 2019

Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day) @JCC Rockville

Memorial for the 23,741 fallen soldiers and 3,150 victims of terror. 

Brave, strong, and dedicated to the survival of Israel. 

May their memory be a blessing!

Also a beautiful video my daughter, Minna sent to me. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 25, 2019

An Early Death

So I received an email last night from the teacher of my Ulpan class. 

She was passing along a message from a wonderful man in class letting her and us know some terrible news.

His son suddenly and unexpectedly died at just 28-years old this past week. 

He wrote about how tragedy like this impacts a person and family, and that obviously he didn't know when he would be coming back to class. 

The message from this man who had just prematurely lost his son in the prime of his life really hit me. 

Life is so tenuous--where everything truly hangs in the balance by a thin thread. 

You can think you are building a fortress of success where no one and nothing can touch you, hurt you.

But life has its own catapults, battering rams, siege towers, and explosive moments in store.

You can't really plan for these things, and you are never ready when they happen. 

Having to bury a child is not the normal way of the wold, and the pain of this is unimaginable. 

A child is the culmination of all our efforts and represents the future, even while we are the past. 

I am so sorry for what happened to my friend from class and I wish him my sincerest condolences and that no one should have to go through such tragedy any more. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 24, 2018

Iron Maiden Torture


Check this out. 

This is called an Iron Maiden.

It is from Nuremberg, Germany. 

This one is from Medieval times, but they were apparently still around even in the 19th century!

It has 14 spikes on the inside that were designed to pierce the eyes, throat, and heart. 

People placed for torture and death in the Iron Maiden sarcophagus would be completely mutilated. 

Is this one of the reasons that so many people suffer from claustrophobia?  

I remember seeing in a movie where someone was placed in a dungeon cell, but this one was carved into the rock wall horizontally. 

The prisoner would be forced to lie down in it with iron bars caged over the side vertically. 

S/he could not sit up, roll over, or move. 

Can you imagine the sheer terror and torture?

How people could be so evil and inflict such suffering on others and often for crimes like heresy is extremely hard to understand. 

Why in G-d's name does anyone call it the "good 'ol days?" 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 19, 2017

Never Ever More Vulnerable

So we have never been more technology advanced. And at the same time, we have never been more vulnerable

As we all know, our cybersecurity have not kept near pace with our ever growing reliance on everything technology.

There is virtually nothing we do now-a-days that does not involve networks, chips, and bits and bytes. 

Energy
Transportation
Agriculture
Banking
Commerce
Health
Defense
Manufacturing
Telecommunications

If ANYTHING serious happens to cripple our technology base, we are toast!

From a crippling cyberattack that disables or hijacks our systems, steals or locks down our data, or creates massive chaotic misinformation flow to a EMP blast that simply fries all our electronic circuitry--we are at the mercy of our technology underpinnings. 

Don't think it cannot happen!

Whether it's Wannacry ransonware or the Equifax breach of our privacy data or the Kaspersky Labs hidden backdoor to our top secret files or North Korea threatening to hit us with an EMP--these are just a few of the recent cyber events of 2017!

Technology is both a blessing and a curse--we have more capability, more speed, more convenience, more cost-effectiveness than ever before, but also there is greater vulnerability to complete and utter death and destruction!

This is not just a risk that life could become more difficult or inconvenient--it is literally an existential threat, but who wants to think of it that way?

People, property, and our very society is at risk when our cybersecurity is not what it must be.

It's a race of defensive against offensive capability. 

And we can't just play defense, we had better actually win at this! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 16, 2016

Death With Dignity

It is amazing that still in the 21st century there is not widespread acceptance and legality of physician-assisted suicide. 

Even the term voluntary euthanasia (from the Greek meaning good death) is still considered taboo--similar to using the term radical Islamist.

People are afraid to call a spade a spade and deal with life's complexities and harsh realities. 

All through history, mankind had the code of conduct and honor that when someone (person or animal) was mortality wounded by nature or in battle, they would be "put out of their misery."

This is called COMPASSION!

Yet, in modern-day civilization, extremist PC-ness (politically correctness) dooms even such a basic fundamental act of decency toward one another. 

Like with radical Islam, the fear of saying it and admitting to a war against extremist and murderous religion ideology cannot be fathomed and so "leadership from behind" mandates that we close our eyes and pretend the boogeyman isn't really in the room--even if it means continuous losing in the global war on terror. 

Similarly, with euthanasia, poor excuses for leaders fear that once the genie is out of the bootle, people will just be committing arbitrary acts of suicide left and right. 

Unfortunately, these weak people in leadership positions are not leaders, but rather cowards who force others to suffer whether by the hands of terrorism and war or by the unnecessary and cruel suffering for people with the most horrible illness and disabilities in society. 

In 1988, "Dr. Death," Jack Kevorkian, provided assisted suicide to someone with the horrible, Lou Gehrig's Disease, and in turn, he had to spend 8 years in jail for second-degree murder.

Fortunately, there are now already 5 U.S. states where "physicians cannot prosecuted for prescribing medication to hasten death", where individuals that "have a terminal illness as well as a prognosis of six months or less to live." These include: Oregon, Vermont, Washington, California, and Montana (when mandated by a court ruling).  

Similarly, overseas in Switzerland, associations like DIGNITAS, provide services "accompanying dying patients at the end of their lives and assistance with suicide."

The person must have a: 

- "terminal illness" and/or an 
- "an "unendurable incapacitating disability" and/or 
- "unbearable and uncontrollable pain."

The end is made reasonable and humane by having a in-depth evaluation, followed by at least 2 face-to-face meetings with doctors, getting a prescription for the medicine, setting a mutually agreed date, having loved ones at their side, and self-administering the fatal dose of Sodium Pentobarbital (NaP), usually 15 mg by swallowing or administering by gastric tube or intravenously.

The medicine is "lethal, fast-acting, and completely painless"--after taking it, the patient falls asleep within a few minutes and passes peacefully. 

Having seen my own mother suffer horribly with Parkinson's Disease, I know that voluntary euthanasia would not only have been the merciful thing to do, but the right thing to do to help people. 

Political correctness and fear of doing what needs to be done is no excuse for prolonging the suffering of those that want to exercise their right to die and who deserve their final peace. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 30, 2016

What Do We Fear More?

So it's Halloween tomorrow.

It's a holiday to remember those that have passed. 

In modern times, it has become a holiday of ghosts and ghouls, spooky and scary.

People dress up often in ghastly costumes, party hearty, and go door to door, trick or treat.

With fright night, I ask myself, are we more afraid of what we don't understand from the spirit world or perhaps of what do understand from people in this life?

Certainly, the supernatural and the spirits--elements of what's awaiting for us on the other side are things we don't really have tangible experience with or understand...we are afraid of the unknown.

But in this world, we are familiar and encounter bad people and deeds, and unfortunately have to deal with them, but it never becomes easier or less scary to confront these.

Sure, we understand that not everyone is good, and not everyone has the best impulse control--people do rotten, horrible things for selfishness and greed or simply because they can't stop themselves.

How scary is it to run into and have to deal with people that can and will do almost anything--maybe without a conscious thought or remorse for doing wrong...perhaps, they might even enjoy hurting others, taking what doesn't belong to them, forcing their will or themselves on others, and doing unthinkable acts of crazed violence and evil. 

We are definitely afraid of people like this...they are out of control, and don't add up for those of us who think in terms of a soul, conscience, an everyday moral compass, and a seeing and hearing L-rd above

So life is scary, but death awaits us all as well. 

And as my dad used to say, no one has ever come back to tell us what happens over there. 

He had the most faith of anyone I know, and I understand we are supposed to have faith that we are going to a better place, but like coming out of the mother's womb into this world, when we die, we are coming out into a whole new place altogether. 

New things are scary and going from the physical world to the spiritual one, I assume can also be a little earth shattering--where exactly are we going and how will we be judged when we get there? 

Of course, I hope that I will be with my family and with G-d and bask in his eternal light. 

Thus for me, I find myself less scared of ghosts and metaphysical things, but the evil that people can bring, behind ghoulish smiles and with hidden agendas, telling lies and fooling us of their evil intent, that is scarier than any ghost or goblin, any time of year on Earth or beyond. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 6, 2016

Style From Head To Toe

 
So I took these photos of two young fashionable men. 

The first had a very cool "Death" cap on.

And the second had the reddest pair of sneakers, I've ever seen. 

Both were stylish standouts!

To me, the hat confronted the scariness of death head-on (excuse the pun) or that the person is themselves, in a sense, death to anyone that starts with them or gets in their way--it is not only bold in terms of the big white letters, but in terms of the courage to face the harshest of all our realities. 

Then to the shoes, going red and untied, spoke to me in terms of looseness, comfort, and ease with yourself--you are who you are and the world be darned!

Both the cap and the shoes are in your face and make a statement of cool nonchalance and the daringness to confront "whatever." ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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June 5, 2016

Amazing Will

So this is amazing Will. 

He is a veteran who was disabled and is missing a leg. 

But that doesn't stop him from going to the track with his beautiful son to play ball and do some laps. 

In a few short moments he switches between his regular walking prothesis and the carbon fiber running blades for playing and working out. 

All I could say to Will was how amazing he is. 

And he is amazing Will for what he can do despite any disabilities--he turns his disabilities into abilities!

And he is amazing Will not just because of his name and his service to his country and his devotion to his family, but because of his willpower.

Will is determined to succeed no matter what. 

Not to compare, but I thought to myself what excuse do I have with my titanium hips.

Get the heck around the track for another dozen Andy!

And I did, and I am losing weight and getting back to myself. 

I think the lose of both my completely dear parents the last couple of years was more than traumatic for me. 

But they would want me to heal and to be me again.  

I know they are watching and I want to make them proud. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 29, 2016

Better Than A Cadaver

So I'm at the doctor's office for a checkup.

The doctor tells me to lie down on the exam table. 

There is also a 3rd year medical student in the room as part of her training. 

The exam starts and there are all these devices for checking things out. 

It's feeling a little tense. 

I jokingly say, "I feel like a cadaver lying here (being studied)."

Then the medical student says, "Oh you smell much better than a cadaver! I just took that class."

Oh, how comforting is that--smelling better than a stinkin' dead person whose been embalmed!

At which point, there is some ridiculous talk about dead people and formaldehyde, body odor, and decay.

This was quite a lively visit, but I hope it was helpful to me and to medical science. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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April 9, 2016

It's Got To Be

So I read a book review the other day that I haven't been able to get out of my mind. 

The book was by an atheist who had 2 near-death experiences. 

And while for other people, they see the light at the end of the tunnel--and are reunited with family loved ones and are in bliss from being with the Heavenly Father...

This guy saw nothing but blackness and said it was empty and nothingness. 

And he was dead serious about it. 

He said there is nothing after we die, absolutely nothing. 

Now, while I have always believed in life after death and even in reincarnation if we still have more growing and learning to do, I had heard others say contrary beliefs in the past.

One guy in synagogue when I was a young adult used to say, "When you die, you're as dead as a dead dog!"

Lovely thought (not), but I never took any of that seriously. 

Yet, this guy's book somehow got to me on a deep level. 

Maybe because I lost my beloved parents over the last 2+ years and am still deeply mourning them, and the only thing that can possibly console me about that is the notion that I will one day be reunited with them and see them again. 

So the opposing idea that it's really over--that I will never see them again--experience their love and laughter again--is beyond my comprehension--it literally blows my mind in a bad bad way. 

Also, I said to my wife, if this atheist is by any chance right (not about G-d) but about there being no afterworld, then what is the purpose to anything we do--who cares?

Without G-d, without Divine will and justice, and a world-to-come, there really is nothing but darkness and not just after we die, but now too--because it would all be purposeless. 

No, I cannot believe that!

The atheist saw nothing afterwards, because he believes in nothing--it's a measure for a measure. 

For those who believe that there is more, much more--there really is. 

It has to be that way...for anything to make sense. 

For us to try so hard. 

For us to go on.

For us to have a purpose.

For there to be justice.

For there to be us. 

My dad used to tell me that "No one has ever come back from the other side to tell us what's there."

So it really is the ultimate mystery of life...but I choose to believe in life now and in life later. 

The miracles of my own life and those around me show me again and again that there is design, there is order, there is a plan, there is a purpose and I will find mine. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 5, 2016

Warning 613

As per my prior posts in November and December, we are continuing to see the mystical 613 (representing the number of commandments in the Torah). 

This morning, on the Washington, D.C. Metro, see the time showing (above upper right). 

The whole family is seeing this, as I got a note from my daughter just a few minutes ago looking at online classes at Lynda.com and one of the classes had 613 views. 

Even to me (normally a critical thinker and healthy skeptic), it seems beyond regular explanations for the frequency and locations that we are seeing these signs. 

Also, last night I had a scary dream about what seemed like the end of times--it was almost like The Walking Dead, with people running to the countryside amidst chaos and destruction all around them. 

As tensions heat up between major Sunni and Shiite rivals, Saudi Arabia and Iran, and "Axis of Evil" Iran unveils a 2nd underground depot with missiles capable of carrying nukes, and ISIS continues their jihadi rampage leaving 80% of Ramadi in Iraq destroyed at a cost of $10 billion, a new Jihadi John replacement is executing British hostages in Syria, and there are escalating superpower tussles with Russia and China--it is not hard to see just some of the potential dangers in our times in terms of escalating conflict, terrorism, and war. 

What is the future for us all, I do not know for certain, but all I can tell you is there appears to be warnings all about, and the question is will we heed them or not and then what is the outcome--it should be with mercy and for blessings. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 17, 2015

Work-Family Is A Word

This week I learned something about "work-family."

Yes, work is not family--it's your job.

But on the job we meet people that influence us, change us, and sometimes inspire us. 

Not everyone has a positive impact on us--some people we work with are bad, unbalanced, selfish, biased, and abusive--they bring their personal craziness into the office. 

But some are truly good people out there--and they leave a lasting impact. 

This week was the first time I experienced someone in my group passing away suddenly. 

She was at work Monday and Tuesday--we had talked and joked.

I remember she wore pink on Tuesday and it matched a pink stuffed animal on her desk--she looked happy or at peace. 

By early Wednesday morning, I was getting texts then calls that she had passed away (I simultaneously let my boss know). 

One day she was there in the office (and had been for some 30 years) and the next day she was gone.

But there was something special about this lady and how she interacted with the team. 

She seemed to touch people far and wide with her outreach, caring for others, joking around, and good spirit despite whatever challenges she herself may have been going through.

When she passed this week, people were in my office and the halls crying--they loved this lady, their coworker and friend.

At 9 AM, I gathered the broader team to announce her passing. "One of our own has passed." I spoke and then went around offering others to say a few words, which some surely did. 

At 10 AM, I sent a notification of the passing to the people in the entire building (and others associated).

Later in the day, there was a toast to her and more speeches from up and down the chain to remember this good lady as well as to pull together as a team to support each other.

By the next day, things had quickly moved to care for the family, packing her office things and memorializing her, as well as provisions for some grief counseling. 

[Note: I am blessed with an extraordinary high-performance team, and this passing was not only a shock but added to the intensity of the work we do and how much of it there is.]

Once we have all the funeral arrangements, then next up is sending out an broader department-wide notice--and a large attendance for her is expected. 

What I learned is that while work itself can be productive and meaningful, through doing good to others and sincere personal interactions on the job, there can be bonds formed that can have a personal impact on people and bring tears to their eyes. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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