Showing posts with label Home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Home. Show all posts

October 15, 2019

The Coming Great American Aliyah

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "The Coming Great American Aliyah."
If you just open your eyes and have faith, you will know that you will be going to Israel–the question isn’t if, but when! What G-d has decreed, no man can annul. There are three types of ways things will unfold for American Jews: Some will go to Israel on their own,”nicely.” Others will be going only when they absolutely have to–“not so nicely.” The third group will not be going–unfortunately, as difficult as it is to say, they won’t make it. While this is all about the fulfillment of messianic times, and we don’t know when precisely it will all transpire, I pray that people (including myself) will choose to plan intelligently for the future to make aliyah in good times, and that their shouldn’t be pain and suffering for the Jewish people in getting there, but rather that it is an amazing experience filled with endless blessings.

May G-d bring us in peace, prosperity, and health to fulfill His promise of the ingathering and to rebuild the Temple and bring Mashiach to the world.


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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January 22, 2019

Take Off Those Shoes

So this was pretty funny. 

We have a sign in our house that people should take off their shoes when they come in. 

Heck, it's part of being a neat freak and somewhat germaphobic.

But of course, the kids invariably don't follow the house rules and we get the shoe dirt all over. 

And guess who has to always clean it up?  

Well the other day, my daughter was looking to purchase a condo, and when she found a place she liked, she was walking around the apartment and saying:
When I have my own place, everyone is going to take off their shoes.

Hmm, when the place is yours and you have to clean up the messes, all of a sudden the house rules are in effect and big time.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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November 12, 2018

Beautiful, Peaceful Picture For Veterans Day

Today, it's Veterans Day. 

So I just wanted to share this beautiful, peaceful picture.

Let there be no war anymore!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 19, 2018

Net-Zero Energy House

Today, I had a wonderful opportunity to explore the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Net-Zero Energy House.

As its name implies the residential home makes as much energy as it uses. 

It is run by one of NIST's 7 laboratories, the Engineering Lab's Energy and Environment Division.

The 2,700 square foot home is super-insulated and hyper-energy efficient.

It runs on only 12,000-13,000 Kilowatt per year compared to a typical home that guzzles 40,000 KW. 

You can see the array of solar panels on the roof and there is a two-way exchange of energy to/from the grid as available/needed. 

There is also solar thermal water heater. 


The home simulates a family of 4 living there cooking, bathing, watching TV, etc. 

There are 600 sensors inside the house that monitor everything. 

The garage maintains the computers and controls for the research. 

Overall, I was very proud to see the wonderful scientific research being done here. 

It was truly impressive and good for the nation and the planet.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 7, 2017

How Much Can You Love Something?


Notice that the title of this blog is not how much can you love G-d or someone...

Those can be virtually infinite. 

I remember my dad was so devoted to G-d and his family. 

He used to say:

"I would go through fire for my family [and of course G-d]."

And we all knew from his daily actions that he meant it! 

But how about for things--how much do some people love their things?

I read today in the Wall Street Journal how David Rockefeller's estate of paintings, porcelain, and silver was slated to sell for $700 million!

That's a lot of prized possessions of [lovely] material things!

But even things that aren't so pricey are incredibly beloved to many people. 

In these photos, someone who must really love bowling has adorned their home and property with dozens of bowling bowls. 


Literally on the fence and in big piles as decoration in the yard all around the home. 

True, it's colorful, novel, and sort of interesting, but really you love bowling that much!

Yes, we are want to be comfortable with our special things especially when they provide good memories and sentimental feelings.

But whether a bowling bowl house or a Rockefeller estate, it's only truly worth something if there is G-d and loving people in it with you. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 12, 2017

Bull In A China Shop


For some reason everyone wants to face down the bull in the China Shop or on Wall Street. 

The bull is stubborn and when it gets angry, it charges and gores. 

So how heroic for the statue of little girl (below on International Women's Day) to be shown standing in front of him defiantly and not afraid. 

The truth probably is that we are all afraid in life. 

No one wants to get hurt or worse. 

The consequences of something really bad happening can be devastating loss--limb, body, mobility, property or even total person. 

And actually, the more we have in life, the more we have to (potentially) G-d forbid, lose. 

So when you have a spouse, children, a beautiful home, and a good job, that's when you get really, really afraid. 

Losing your precious loved ones and everything you've built with G-d's blessing and help can instantaneously be gone in the blink of an eye. 

Therefore, be careful before standing in front of a raging bull, you never know when you'll get walloped and bad. 

Bravery in the face of danger is noble and praiseworthy when doing true good and confronting evil, but just to be a big mouth or a know-it-all or to strut your stuff, you better forget about it--you've got a lot to lose and it doesn't take much for that bull to charge head on and do you a real big dirty! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal and here with attribution to AP)
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May 16, 2016

Pizza And Brew With Wonderful Friends

Yesterday, we had a beautiful little get together at our place. 

In the party room with pizza and brew and lots of nosh--almost reminded me of the "Chometz Party" we had a number of years ago in our old neighborhood (great way to clean out your kitchen pantry before Passover),

Many of our wonderful friends from Magen David Sephardic Synagogue came to visit with us and celebrate one year plus in our new home in Maryland. 

Truly some of the nicest and accepting people I've had a chance to come to know in quite some time. 

I want to thank our friends for coming and especially thank my dear wife, Dossy, who did all the heavy lifting to make the event so beautiful for everyone. 

One lesson was how to keep the pizza piping hot over many hours with people coming and going at different times--can anyone say melted cheese? 

Another was how to schedule anything this time of year with Mother's Day, Father's Day, Passover, Shavuot and Memorial Day holidays, Men's Club/Sisterhood/and other community events, baby showers, weddings, vacations, and more--gee, there almost wasn't a free Sunday on the calendar. 

Overall though, we had such a nice time with everyone, and Dossy is already asking about planning the next event and she says she is cooking, so watch out world! ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

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May 3, 2016

Cat Knob

So I just love this cat door knob. 

Carved in wood and a special tinge of African Egyptian art. 

Dark wood cat knob on light wood doors--looks warming and pretty classy. 

From the white glue in the background, it looks like it fallen off a few times, perhaps. 

But either way so cute--one of these on each on the French Doors. 

It's a nice home decor and style--and the big cat eyes are so handsome. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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April 26, 2016

Owl Mugs

Just wanted to share these three new owl mugs we got. 

One is orange, one is brown, and one is light blue.

The eyes are adorable on these cups. 

It's almost like a family the way they look together. 

All the other coffee/tea cups we have are now officially obsolete. 

These are the only ones getting any thirsty attention. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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January 1, 2016

Homesick or Heresick

It's funny, my dad used to tell a joke about not being homesick, but being heresick (wherever that "here" may be for somebody--they just want to get out of there)

Recently, at work though, I have found there are many people that don't want to go home at the end of the day--and it's not because they always still have so much work to do (although sometimes certainly they do). 

Yesterday, I asked someone at work--on New Years eve--what they were still doing there late in the day.

Someone with a fairly new baby at home, jokingly winced at me, and said something about it sometimes being better to stay a little later at work, because when he/she gets home, they start all over again with the spouse and kid(s)--like so many of us. 

It's strange to me, because I love and value home. 

And it's like the old rhetorical question about do you work to live or live to work. 

Just yesterday, in the Wall Street Journal, there was a book review about someone who opined about how home is where the heart is--and in anthropological terms--it's always been that way!

Home is our sanctuary, for ourselves and our beloved family, it is where we are "king of the castle," and where we do everything from shelter, comfort, reproduce, share, and generally love and care for each other. 

Yet, back to work, many people these days don't want to go home to crying babies and dirty diapers, nagging spouses and the evening fights, encroachment on private spaces, and errands galore (it's a 2nd job almost)--cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry, and bills--or even just plain loneliness there. 

So people hang out at work--they schmooze, they snack, they Internet, they may go to workout, or they dilly and dally--just so they don't have to go home. 

As someone recently said to me, "It's quiet. I like it there. Nobody bothers me there."

They are homesick--not missing and yearning to be home, but some almost to the point of sick at the thought of going home. 

Work or anywhere else then becomes a refuge from the home that home is supposed to be. 

Sometimes it's just a temporary thing at home, sometimes it's more ongoing or permanent.

Everyone has a different home--for everyone it should be a true home. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 25, 2015

The Geometric Desk

Thought this desk was really nice. 

Professional, clean, hardwood, and very polished!

Not overly large, but I  liked the geometry of this thing, which made up for it.

The square draws on one side and the inverted cone on the other--very cool.

Great design, and seemingly good quality for home or office. 

Made in America? That would be especially nice (let's bring the manufacturing home!)  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 14, 2015

Moving And Emotional

So we are supposed to be moving in a few weeks, G-d willing. 

Not going far, but after 15 years in the same home, it's time. 

We found a place that we like and could agree on...following primarily the rule of thumb on location, location, location.

Lot's of places to shop, eat, workout, play, and pray. 

And close to public transportation...and of course, good 'ol work--his and hers.

As we're preparing for the move, there seems like a million things to do to get ready, but the hardest is figuring out what to take and what to leave. 

My friend told me to throw out half, and then come back and throw out the other half. 

You know what, a little extreme, but not a bad idea. 

So as I am going through things I bought or saved over the years, I am left scratching my head at what was I thinking for many of them, and for many of the memorable items that I can't believe any of this really happened. 

It's emotional looking back, and it's emotional looking forward--just different emotions.

Back--yes, where did the years go and with that regret for mistakes made, but also joy at things accomplished, lives touched, and beautiful memories made with people I really love. 

Forward--Oy, am I getting older (well, still middle age but...), there is excitement for what comes next, also some anxiety there--I hope all goes well, please G-d--and then there is the acknowledgement that it's not forever, and I better make the most of every moment of every day. 

My father used to tell me, when you are with those you love, you can live in a tee-pee and be happy...and I believe he was absolutely right. 

Moving to my next tee-pee with those precious to me...I don't care so much where, but just that we are together and happy. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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February 20, 2015

Learning To Compromise

My wife and I decided after living in the same condo for the last 15 years that maybe it was time for a change. 

There is a great area that we hang out in with workout, grocery, pharmacy, public transportation, and--most importantly to my wife--Starbucks--all right there.

So my wife made an appointment for us to look at this rental right above all the action....

The apartment was nice, modern, and best of all in this vibrant neighborhood--but on the smallish side (we would definitely be cramped) and with a substantial monthly. 

My wife, the perennial city dweller, loved it, and I didn't.

Next, my turn up, we went with a real estate broker to see a charm of a house--this was the one we'd "been waiting for," all these years. 

Solid, roomy, castle-like...but it would have some ongoing house maintenance things and was a little distance from public transportation (i.e. we'd mostly have to drive). 

This time, my wife hated it, and I loved it.

Back and forth--argue and debate--getting no where (this is a very egalitarian relationship--my wife tells me what to do!) :-)

Thinking about this, I say "Okay, let's compromise"--let's look for a more upscale and roomy condo that we can make our own but in the neighborhood she really likes (and yeah, I like it too). 

1-2-3, with a little searching, we find something online we like, and back to the real estate broker to make an appointment. 

This story is not over in terms of where (or if) we are going to move to, but along the way we continue to learn as a couple to get along, love each other, and of course, compromise. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 14, 2015

Extra Special Delivery

I took this photo in Washington D.C. of a bicycle messenger delivery with Valentines Day treats.

He was carrying an assortment of balloons and gifts (those are hiding in the basket under the balloons)!

What do you think chocolate, flowers, or something even more romantic?

There is enough hate and hostility in the world. 

It's wonderful when love is in the air and people show each other that they really care. 

Going home from a day at work, and what can be nicer than someone waiting for you when you get there. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 4, 2014

My Favorite Couch

This couch is awesome. 

I took this photo in Tyson's Corner many moons ago. 

If anyone knows where to get this couch, please let me know.

I want it--really!  ;-)
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November 3, 2014

Orange You Glad I Didn't Say Banana

Took this photo of this very cool looking Orange Fridge.

It actually comes in all sort of vibrant colors including pink, blue, and even "Union Jack."

Made by an Italian appliance maker called SMEG, whose tag line is "Technology with style."

I like technology, and I like design...so this is great stuff!

For home and Museum of Modern Art. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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September 7, 2014

That 70's Chandelier

So what can I say...I like this crazy pink 70's chandelier. 

It is not traditional, certainly.

But it is colorful, cool, and happy.

It needs the right furniture and wall accessories so as not to look cheap.

Feminine trendy and hippie nostalgia come together to light up the place.

Definitely not for everyone, but it's distinctive and makes you look--and that's the point. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 24, 2014

Driving Identity Theft

It's been only about 4 months since my mom passed, and now my dad becomes very sick from chemotherapy and ends up in the hospital for a week.

His red and white blood count were extremely low, but thank G-d, the doctors were able to save him.


However, he is in a drastically weakened state and now looks like he will need regular assisted living just to get by every day. 


This has been horrible to see someone who has always been so strong, smart, and there selflessly for all of us, to be in this condition. 


We found a nice place for him, but even the nicest place isn't his place and doesn't allow the independence he (and we all) always cherish. 


On top of it, I get a letter in the mail with more than half a dozen tickets on his car.


It's impossible, because he hasn't been driving due to his illness.


We run down to check his car, and sure enough someone stole his plates (and replaced them with another set). 


They did this to his car that has handicapped tags.


In the meantime, they are driving around through tolls and doing G-d knows what.


The police were helpful--they came as soon as they could--took a report, the plates that were switched onto his car, and dusted for fingerprints.


I will never forget standing there just after my joint surgery--when not three hours before, I thought to myself, maybe things are finally calming down. 


Hopefully, the police will catch whoever did this. 


In the meantime, I take comfort knowing that G-d is the ultimate police force. ;-)


(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

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May 5, 2014

Don't Swim Off Your Balcony


Amazing new dual 37 story residential towers in Mumbai, India called the Aquaria Grande.

And it features...glass balcony pools!

I doubt you can do laps in these things, but maybe nice just to cool off and enjoy your luxury living arrangements.

Wonder if this up to building code?

Also, if you don't swim, can you use it as an aquarium or perhaps for catching the fish of the day?  ;-)

(Thanks to Dave Zeppieri, Sr. for the post on Facebook)
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August 26, 2012

WATERgate



These were pictures of some water sculptures that I took at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. 

The waterfalls remind me more of the landscaping around Floridian high-rises or the water flumes at Walt Disney parks than of what you normally see around town, here. 

I liked these aesthetically and think we generally need more integration of nature and art into our urban (and often sterile) environment.

A little more green, a little more clean, and a lot little less crime and congestion--and don't forget a decent climate--those were some of the things that I look for in attractive places to live and to work. 

While no place is perfect, having grown up on the upper west side in Manhattan and then Riverdale (in the Bronx) and now in the D.C. area, let's just say that there are differences all around us. ;-)

Then again, as my father always taught me, you can live anywhere--if you have your health, family, and a good job. 

He's right, a place is just a place--and it's the people and love between them that makes it great. 

So water sculptures aside, give me a real home, and that's the best place in the world that I want to be.

(Source photos: Andy Blumenthal)

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