Showing posts with label Sleep. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sleep. Show all posts

May 31, 2019

Tie Dye Hammock

Loved this tie dye hammock by Enonation (Eno) from Australia that I saw at REI. 

It's called "DoubleNest," so I guess that means it fits 2 people. 

So open, colorful, and inviting to rest and relax in. 

Sillily, the store only carries the hammock and not the stand...so good luck with that. 

Also REI clumsily filled this gorgeous hammock with Nalgene bottles--on sale 30% off!

Uh, if you make even the nicest stuff look like junk for storage, you're not gonna get the brand image you want. 

Anyway, the hammock was awesome!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 12, 2019

Daylight Saving Time S*cks

Daylight saving time makes NO sense. 

It does NOT save us a lot of energy as designed. 

Call it the wrong assumptions or bad science.

The law requiring daylight saving--switching the clocks ("Fall Back" and "Spring Forward") is archaic and needs to be repealed. 

We're messing with people's sleep cycles and their health. 

People waking up groggy all over the country, feeling crappy during the day, and losing much needed productivity.  

How about we repeal this stupid law NOW and not waste any more time on the squabbling politics of the day?  

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 23, 2019

Fire Alarm, Now What?

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, called "Shabbat Menucha." 
Friday night–the start of the Shabbat–oh, thank G-d we made it (and TGIF). Usually such a wonderful time to catch up on some extra sleep from the whole week of work. But last night it’s different…the fire alarm suddenly comes alive and the voice over the loud speaker tells everyone to exit the building immediately. It is 1:00 AM in the morning.

Carrying a head cold, medicated, and sleepless, this is what happened to me.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 23, 2018

Going To Bed Hungry

So lots of people like to drink tea. 

But the other day, a nice person was telling me how they drink tea all the time. 

It's not just that they like tea, but there was an important true story behind it. 

You see, they said, when they were young growing up in a foreign country, they often didn't have enough to eat. 

So instead, they had resorted to drinking lots of tea. 

They went on to say, that as children, they often had to go to sleep hungry. 

It is truly a wake-up call for those of us who, thank G-d, have what to eat and so much choice and plenty in this great country. 

Not everyone in the world is so blessed to eat heartily and go to sleep with a full and satisfied belly. 

It is especially saddening and tragic when we are talking about innocent children in this world. 

As we go from the workweek to the weekend, perhaps it is a good time to reflect on how much we have to be grateful for and to wish blessings of peace, health, and prosperity on all our fellow mankind, here and all around the world. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumethal)
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January 9, 2018

Cat Nap

What a great place to take a cat nap!

So many gorgeous cats in Israel. 

They don't run away either. 

So friendly and happy. 

Sort of got a feeling like they were old souls inhabiting these cats. 

Old souls are very often wise souls.

Cute and wise cats.  

Enjoy!

(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)
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December 29, 2017

When The Wires Get Crossed

So the flight coming back from Israel was technologically challenged. 

I'm sitting toward the front of the plane...more room, that's good.

But there are a bunch of families with small children and babies...and that ends up being bad. 

The flight attendants bring out this contraption to hook up a crib device to a front wall of the plane for the parents to put the baby in to sleep. 

But there ends up being one small problem.

The overhead lights are seriously messed up.

This passenger with the baby tries to use his button next to his seat to turn the bright reading lights off--this is like row 10 or something. 

But when he hits the lights off button--instead the lights go off in row 22. 

And they stay on in his row keeping his baby awake and crying virtually the whole flight.

The stewardesses are going crazy trying to figure out where the "wires got crossed" here. 

When they go to row 22 and ask them to turn off their lights--thinking maybe that will turn off the lights in row 10 that is keeping the baby up and crying--but instead that turns off the lights further in the back of the plane in row 30-something. 

This was a really bad comedy going on this plane.

The baby keeps crying and crying.

The stewardesses keep running around trying to figure out how to get the lights working where they are supposed to be working.

And the parents are frustrated as hell trying to calm the baby and get some rest on this lengthy, cross-ocean flight. 

Needless-to-say, all the other passengers trying to get some rest weren't thrilled at this ridiculousness going on.

The plane got us home, but the electrical system didn't inspire any confidence and kept the baby (and us) up almost the entire flight. 

When you think that this was just the lights--oh boy!  

Because what if the wires had gotten crossed between something important like the accelerator and the brake instead?  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 14, 2017

My Realness and My Dreaminess

Just a quote from the show Homeland that I wanted to share:
"My dreams have a realness...
My Reality has a dreaminess..."
This is so true!

Dreaming and reality have a definite touchpoint and carryover between them. 

In Judaism, their is a saying that:
"Sleeping is one-sixtieth of death."

Life-sleeping-death all exist along a continuum. 

The elements of our being cross all three of these domains. 

When we are alive, there are elements of dreaminess--and it often doesn't feel quite real. 

When we are asleep, our dreams can often seem so real that we actually feel them and physically react them--we may even scream and wake up an incredible fright. 

When we are dead, I believe that we live on--that our soul never ceases--that it is a part of our everlasting G-d. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 31, 2016

Driving Your Organization Off A Cliff

So life is generally supposed to be a series a peaks and valleys. 

There are highs, but also lows.  

No one and nothing can perform at peak all the time. 

Like the commandment to keep the Shabbat, everyone needs a rest. 

And studies have shown that getting a healthy dose of sleep, pause, and rest in life is healthy.

When we force ourselves or others to perform past their "designed" limits, then we risk a breakdown. 

Machines break and people can break. 

The risks are either explosion or implosion: some people can frighteningly "go postal" and others end up on psychiatric medication or even sick and in the hospital. 

What is key to remember is that you can push the limits of performance so far, but then no further without a healthy, recuperative rest period and down time. 

If you want to raise the bar on yourself, others, or your organization, you need to do it strategically so there is a surge forward and then a normative recovery and energy buildup again. 

As we all know, life is a marathon and not a sprint, and the journey is as important as the destination. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Alan Levine)
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April 30, 2016

Gopher At The Metro

This was a funny picture of a gopher's a*s.

The gopher's is climbing along the side of the Metro. 

In NYC, they have rats almost this size.

Thank G-d, in Maryland, it's more about bunnies, gophers, and deer. 

Not sure how this gopher gets any rest next to the trains zipping in and out of the station.

Maybe if you burrow further enough underground, you got a decent snooze zone. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 25, 2016

To The Salt Cave

So had a new experience and went to the Salt Cave in Bethesda (a second choice if you can't get to the secret superhero crime-fighting Bat Cave).

It was a large room filled with Himalayan salt for experiencing all the spa's "healing" effects.

Supposed to be good to breath in all the minerals infused from the pink salt "micro climate" air and also for exposure to the skin.

It was fairly dark in the cave except for some recessed lighting behind some of the salt stone walls.

The chairs were these weird beach chairs that you could recline in, but it would've definitely been worth it to have some fancier cushioned seating to more fully relax in and to match the spa ambiance that they were selling. 

In the background was relaxing meditation music and we were closed in the salt cave for 45-minute to enjoy the dark quiet salt effects. 

It must've relaxed me, because when I got home, I had a Buddha face on and took a nice post-spa afternoon nap. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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January 21, 2016

I Think I'll Just Take A Snooze--Right Over Here

This was a funny photo in the mall this weekend. 

We are passing by this mattress store. 

The sign over the bed says:

"See and feel how a Sleep Number bed adjusts to you"

This family is apparently trying out the new mattress. 

They have made themselves quite comfortable--and they sort of just continue to lay there and lay there.

The guy looks like he's watching TV and the mom and daughter are playing something. 

We take a stroll around the mall and eventually (maybe 20 minutes later) pass back by this store.

Guess what? These people are still laying on the mattress, and they haven't budged an inch. 

They don't look homeless or anything. 

Not sure if this Sleep Number is adjusting to them or they are still adjusting to the Sleep Number.

Honey, can you pass the cover. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 21, 2015

Heads Down December

This was a funny photo I took on the Washington, D.C. Metro.

The guy in the center seems to be listening to some music, but everyone else is nodding off and has their heads down. 

End of the year, right before the holidays maybe people are a little burnt out and need to refresh their motivational juices. 

Anyway, this is not good for the "see something, say something" culture in the age of terrorism that we are living in--these folks are not seeing anything in this groggy state. 

To a heads up and brighter new year. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 15, 2015

Dress It Up With Your Blanket?

I took this photo in Starbucks in Washington, D.C.

This woman is waiting in line for coffee wrapped in a sheik light blue blanket covered with Minions and the UK flag. 

Apparently, this is a new fashion trend that is catching on--as I saw a second young women in the street "wearing" a blanket (not a coat) and walking with what looked like her boyfriend. 

This fashion statement is a little weird in light of the homeless people around town that frequent the street when it gets cold wrapped in these horrible dirty wool grey blankets.

But the blankets these young women are wearing are not shawls, sweaters, coats, and are far from grungy, but rather they are sort of colorful and playful.  

The blankets give the impression of course, as someone still in their PJs, just getting in or out of bed or just casually lounging around because they can.  

Depending on how you look at it--cool, relaxed, and fun or lazy and time to turn yourself over and go back to sleep.  

You never know what sparks the next fashion craze--it could be like SpongeBob says, I want my blankie! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 2, 2015

Insomnia Hurts Like Hell

Insomnia is a horrible ailment that many people suffer with and they do this in the dark and in silence. 

Because when the rest of the world is sleeping, you are lying in bed like a log awake--and not sure how you going to get to sleep or stay awake the next day.

What follows are sleepless nights, sometimes groggy days, and anxiety about even going to bed at night. 

How do I know this?

I've been battling insomnia since my hip's deteriorated painfully, and I had a number of hip replacement surgeries, and a lengthy recovery process, including lots of swimming. 

Despite melatonin, warm baths, and even some sleeping meds, my nights were filled with plenty of staring at the ceiling alternating with tossing and turning in bed. 

I was almost at the point of giving up hope on being able to sleep normally again, and then something occurred to me. 

Stop the meds and just pray!

Over a few days I weaned off the sleep meds, and was feeling really crappy and headachy. 

But the real difference was when I got into bed, I remembered and recited the prayers of my youth from before bedtime. 

And I added for G-d to please help me sleep normally again.

The very first night...I slept perfectly!

Now, it's been three nights in a row--in Judaism, we call that a chazakah (something that is established). 

I am so grateful to G-d for returning me to restful sleep-filled nights--thank you Hashem!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 11, 2015

A Doll For Every Worry


Some kids put their baby teeth under their pillow for the tooth fairy.

But in Guatemala they make Worry Dolls that children can put under their pillows, so they can be released from their worries and sleep better. 

If those were my worry dolls, I wouldn't put them under my pillow and have a lumpy sleep and wake up to them once again, but rather I would throw them out the window, so hopefully they would be gone for good. 

Man, if only we could really get rid of our worries and problems that easily--I think they call it transference! ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 28, 2014

Asleep During The Speech

Short story...so this nice gentleman came from the house of worship to visit my dad in assisted living over the holidays.

The man talked about the speeches the clergy gave and how he only understood the basics, and the rest was sort of over his head (hey, I can definitely relate to that too...we all can). 

Perhaps, this points to how important it is to talk to the people (and not over the people)--making it relevant and stirring--although it's probably not easy to give a speech that resonates well with everyone. 

Anyway, there are good speeches, and then let's face it, there are speeches that could be better. 

Afterward, my dad and this man joked about how they've seen some people actually fall asleep during the clergy's speech...yes, this is obviously not very respectful, but sometimes people just doze off perhaps because it's hot inside with all the people, and they work so hard during the week that they just are relaxed and off they go.

My dad goes on to tell this joke:

The clergyman is giving a speech from the pulpit.

All of a sudden he notices this guy sleeping in one of the pews.

The clergy says to the man's neighbor sitting next to him, "Can you please wake him up?"

The worshipper responds, "You put him to sleep, you wake him up."

Then my dad let out a really nice, healthy laugh...it was good to hear (the other guy was laughing with him). 

On a side note, my dad said something else funny and insightful today:

"It's not easy getting old...it takes many years!" 

Amen to that.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 20, 2014

Bittersweet Green

So lately, passing by Sweet Greens in the morning has not been so sweet.

The tables outside are being used by those unfortunately with no place to sleep. 

When I see the homeless people under the Sweet Green awning lying on the tables wrapped in ripped clothes and blankets trying to get some much needed sleep, it is completely heart breaking. 

At the same time, I wonder about the health and safety for people who come later to eat on those tables that only hours earlier were somebody's bed for the night.

Not a good situation all around...and can never understand why a wealthy society such as ours can't feed, cloth, and shelter ALL its citizens--so they don't have to sleep at Sweet Greens anymore. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 2, 2014

Die Bed Bugs, Die

So our daughter went off to college and brought us home a present--bed bugs!

This was the worst--at first we didn't understand why we were getting itchy bites.

Eventually, with some research and inspection, we figured it out

We tried to treat it ourselves--powders, sprays, encasements, and more--all to no avail. 

We also threw out all the bedding and even the beds.

We were losing sleep and patience--big time. 

We finally hired a serious exterminator who brought in these huge heaters and blasted our place for about 6 hours at something like 140 degrees. 

That should kill those and any other buggers bothering us.

When I got home--it was an oven and I couldn't even change my clothes because the workers were still here at it. 

I spent 5 hours cleaning up afterwards in the boiling house and even with all the windows open, it was like an oven and impossible to sleep last night--tossing and turning.

It was hell, but hopefully it's over--may I never see another vermin like this again. ;-)

(Source Photo: here, although Lynnwood is not the company we used, you get the idea)
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March 12, 2013

Tough Day!


This was just too much on the D.C. Metro today.

This lady is sitting with her badge and bag and a red pillowcase wrapped around her head with a blue shirt hanging out the top.

Of course, everyone around her is just like so what--as one guy holds on and another lady is on the phone yapping. 

When it's been a tough day, it is time to go home wrapped in a little solace--just make sure to breath between stops.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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February 1, 2013

Hold That Smartphone!


So coming home yesterday, there is this lady sprawled out, sleeping on the Metro.

Lots of people sleep on the train...especially after a long day and when the weather is the pits out there.

However, this lady falls asleep with her smartphone just lying out on her lap--no hands on--just plop sitting on her skirt. 

A couple of guys to my right start laughing and then saying what's that lady doing--someone is going to steal her phone.

They nudge another passenger standing in front of the lady to tap her and let her know.

The passenger begrudging does it and then the guys yell over from a couple of row away--"Hey lady! You better hold on to your phone or someone's going to grab it and run!"

The lady opens her eyes sees the phone just sprawled out on her lap, fidgets with it for a moment, and then of all things--she just falls right back to sleep again with the phone laying there unattended. 

These two guys on the train are roaring about it--one starts saying that he saw someone grab another person's device on the train just the other day and run right out the train door with it. 

At this point, the lady is sound asleep and now snoring away on top of it and her smartphone is rising and falling with her laborious breathing. 

Hey folks, this lady may not have gotten enough sleep the night before, been drinking a little too much, or may not have been the brightest bulb to begin with--but we've all got to be careful out there--hold unto your valuables and your smartphones is quite that. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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