Friday, October 25, 2013


TGIF.  Hope y'all had a great week.  Thinking we see some fireworks by the end of the month.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


So the poem  "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost describes the choice one makes when deciding to take the tried and true or create your own path.  I attempted my own but it seems that has gotten me lost.  How do I make my way back to the tried and true?  Do I have to retrace my steps all the way back to the beginning?  Does this mean I must relive all of the wrong decisions again and again before things get right?  Do I have to make a shortcut and another new path to lead me to the correct way?  Does that just cause me to get further lost? 
"Because it was grassy and wanted wear".  That is definitely not the right reason to try your own way.  With the amount of information we now have at our fingertips, its pretty clear that anything original must be truly Divine Intervention or way beyond our understanding that the forces of nature create a perfect situation. 
No, I want to get stuck in traffic.  That means I'm heading in the right direction.  How do I turn around?
Thank you for letting me take a few seconds of your day.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Dancing in the Streets

"Summers here and the time is right...."

My kids ended school on Friday and now Summer has come in like a fireball.  Hitting the mid-90's regularly on the temperature dial with that 9 on the UV scale.  Doing wonders for my leaking car radiator, but that's neither here nor there.  My youngest has Lacrosse Camp this week.  Hoping my time and money are well spent with an athletic scholarship in 7 yrs.  Should be a nice ROI.  Anyone VC want to back me?

The oldest is signing up for Driver's Ed.  Spending 32 hours in classroom training learning about the road rules.  I remember back in the stone age when we had to sit in simulator training and then getting behind the wheel with the teacher's foot firmly on his brake.  We had a girl in our car who instead of starting the ignition, hit the wipers, every time. 

Need to hit the bricks and raise some serious cabbage so I can pass along the leaking radiator on to the new driver and get myself the 1974 Camaro that Jim Rockford drove all over LA.  Now that had some serious muscle.  Although the new KIA ain't so bad either.

Thank you for letting me have a few seconds of your day.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

I've Seen All Good People

A buddy of mine texted me today as he was filling up his gas tank.  Him and his wife were on their way to take their daughter to freshman orientation.  They were freaking out as that was the day the two of them met 28 yrs ago.  I remember that day.  My buddy and I both graduated from the same high school and heading off to the same university.  Since this university tended to have an early admission schedule, we spend most of our senior year of high school going to the beach, playing Strat-O-Matic baseball, shooting hoops and of course going to the plethora of high school parties with all of our buddies.  We weren't goof balls, but lived just on the edge without going too far.  Homecoming that year was spent at his house as we fondly remember our in depth discussion with local law enforcement, his younger sibling's anxiety, as well as the barrage of known and unknown guests who came and went all weekend. 

That summer he had an early orientation and mine was a few weeks later.  His future wife also lived near us so things were in motion for them to get together before we headed off to school.  The rest, as we say, is history.  They married two years after graduation and then soon started a family.  All of us went overboard with the bachelor party and then at the wedding reception as one does as the first from their group graduates to the next level of adulthood.

We stay in touch mainly through social media as life happens to all of us, but the events and memories from nearly 30 years ago still feel as new and exciting as they were then.  I guess that is the miracle of the human mind is that it can refute Einstein.  Add time and distance to a certain event it tends to get stronger, not weaker, no matter how fast your life is projecting through the universe.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Overture of 2013

RUSH was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Watching the festivities on HBO last night, a few things went through my mind.  Geddy Lee in his simple analysis described his partners and himself as a working band.  After 39 years and 40 million records, I have to say they are the most successful working band of all time.  To realize that much success and still have the same passion you did when first starting out is truly amazing.  Those three individuals came together and the audience found them.  They did not adapt to current themes or flashy trends.  Just play what they thought was good, to the best of your ability, and the art will be appreciated.

Watching them belt out Spirit of the Radio in front of a mostly Hollywood packed house, was typical of the boys from Up North.  Their music wasn't for the Top 40 DJ's/TV hosts who play the latest hot number by a so-called musician who's lyrics speak about cool area codes and self promotion and who's instrument is an MP3 player pushed in front of them from the industry. As RUSH says: "For the words of the prophets were written on the studio wall and Concert hall."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Born Under a Bad Sign

The title song has one of the greatest lines. "If it weren't for bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all."

“It's not whether you got knocked down; it's whether you get back up.”
Vince Lombardi Jr.

These days I need about 2 hours to clear the cobwebs from my 20 years of knocking myself down.  It never surprises me that being your own worst enemy is absolutely true.  The mind is a dangerous thing, but if controlled, can do wonders.

Looking forward to getting back up again.

Thank you for letting me have a few seconds of your day.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Heart of Darkness

After 3 games, the Mets have two wins and a bucket load of extra base hits.  Passover has ended and my colon is relieved.  The world has started to resemble past years when a few small events puts the machine in motion. 

What I'm talking about is a crazy dictator shouting about nuclear missiles, a small country closing its banks to depositors and then giving them a haircut, a massive liquidation in commodities, and a few central banks putting the printing press in overdrive.  Markets have responded with a first quarter jump to new highs as money flows chase performance.

Besides that, everything is groovy.  Not.

Thank you for letting me take a few seconds of your day. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Opening Day

Once the winter ends it seems the world becomes a nicer friendlier place.  Is football the evil spirit that leaves and gives us a chance of renewal?  I doubt it, but maybe more than a coincidence. As the great George Carlin remarked, "Baseball has extra innings, Football has sudden death."

To name baseball a pastime seems like a perfect description.  Most of us my age, look back on Little League as probably your first team sport.  You got the uniform, tried to wear the hat to school everyday, and didn't really care too much about winning.  My specialty was hit by pitch.  Seems my on base percentage was way out of whack to my batting average if you know what I mean.

Back on the East Coast, every night of the week you can grab a few innings of a game either on the radio or TV.  My AP Biology teacher would determine the difficulty of the weekly quiz depending on how the Yankees were playing.

Maybe because I am older and living in Texas, it seems that attachment to baseball has really disappeared in our society.  The biggest sports news is spring football.  Kids definitely relate more to Football and Basketball as their players have a lot more marketing dollars behind them.  But life is a lot different now then 25 years ago.  The pace of a baseball game lingers for hours, and the announcers are trained to spin yarns about games long ago.  It ain't Xbox for sure.

But the weather is great.  March Madness is a week away. Then, Opening Day.  It's uncanny how the calendar rhymes.  As I will be telling the story of Exodus at my Seder, I will also tell the story of Game 6 (1986 for you non-Mets fans), if there are any listeners.

Thank you for letting me take a few seconds of your day.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

FWIW, Its not a tumor.

No, I did not get a call from my doctor this week about test results, and I did not watch Kindergarten Cop.  I did get a call from my brother who has accepted a tenure track position at a large research University.  His specialty is microbiology and his research will focus on breast cancer.  This followed up a discussion I had this week with a colleague about possible triggers in our bodies to certain behaviors.  Whether food, alcohol, smoking, etc...  The present day belief that we all will get some kind of cancer if we live long enough.

This got me thinking to other similar plans the human body has in store for us.  I know that at age 40 my ears became the sole grower of hair as the head proceeded to end that process.  Now why would Neanderthal man need to grow hair out of his ears?  Was there some kind of insect that would try to harvest itself inside the human brain?  Was the atmosphere full of radioactivity that hair follicles protected our vital organs?  Or is it a combination of synapses that determined our heads are not as important as our ears as we age?

As our research finds more answers and we develop better treatments, the demographics of our population will not resemble the ones of our grandparents.  Both of my parents died before the age of 72, however it will not be a surprise if my grandchildren surpass that by at least 30 years.  A lot of the work I have been doing with retirees, has been planning for the long haul. 

With so much of today's world tied up in technology such as smart phones, digital TV, and social networks, how does that translate to our elders?  Are we bifurcating society into the Tweets and the Tweet-Nots? Will we see a day when the senior citizens rise up and refuse to text?

Thank you for letting me have a few seconds or your day.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Four Score and .....

So went to see Spielberg's latest historical piece, Lincoln last night.  An early scene when a couple of new recruits as well as veteran black soldiers are speaking with Honest Abe and repeating his words from the Gettysburg Address.  His reaction is to move them along back to their companies and kind of laughs at the idea that they would have memorized his speech.  The rest of the movie we see how Lincoln uses his position as Chief Executive to push through his agenda as well as his struggles on all fronts.

What I really got out of this was his concentration on the end game.  He focused on a single large opportunity that he felt would move the country forward.  Everything else was trivial.  He totally bought into his belief and as the countries leader, felt that it was his obligation to move forward. 

There are two Presidents who I remember in my lifetime who had to play similar roles.  Reagan had his Supply-side trickle down economics.  Coming out of a recession, putting those theories to work including tax reform, interest rates came down and the economy exploded. Using the increased revenue, Reagan outspent the USSR and watched the wall come crumbling down.  Of course not everyone was able to rise up and participate, but that would be impossible to orchestrate from the White House.

George W. Bush came into office after the largest expansion of global growth since the Industrial Revolution.  Things were getting soft and then the country was attacked.  He had to put the economy to the side and focus his leadership on the War on Terror.  We could let things stay soft at home, but to lose focus on the position of the US on the world stage, would have made thing worse over the long run.  Mission Accomplished, was a bit premature, but as President, you have to move those chess pieces based on probability.  That is the name of the game.

What will we be looking back on in 87 years from today?  What moves are the leaders of our country making now to keep the United States a prosperous and strong world leader?  If you want my two cents, well, they are not up to the challenge.  Things may change, but Hope is not a strategy that has worked in the past, and probably won't in the future.

Thank you for letting me take a few seconds of your time today.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Why Not?

So, I grew up in a typical surburban Jewish home where my religious education ended on my 13th birthday.  Whatever I learned, was quickly put away into those childhood memories that pop up every once in a while to remind you that once upon a time, far away in your past, there were events that somehow were supposed to mold you into the adult you are today.  Sure I could parse my way through a prayer here or there, and most other reform congregations that held events for family members also played the same tunes, so I felt some connection.

After I got married, we lived in a nice part of NY that had multitudes of more serious of my faith.  I'm not talking about Boro Park or Riverdale, but a good enough size to have a couple of Kosher butchers and 6 or 7 houses of worship. The crowd we hung out with were from the Camp Ramah/USY with a touch of Solomon Schechter. That kind of sent me into a deeper introspection of what Judaism really is and what's in it for me.

For those of you who do not have children, its hard to describe the change you go through.  You start to look back on your youth, and make decisions on doing the opposite.  Not that it was bad, but you always want more for them.  My platform was looking back into Europe in the 1930's.  It did not matter if you were not practicing or were a full out frum, if the name fit, you were getting the yellow star of flair. So why not?  Why not show your kids that being a Jew was difficult and different?  Why not stop with the bacon cheeseburgers and pepperoni pizza?  Why not spend 3 1/2 hrs every Saturday listening to the classically trained hazzan spout the same tunes over and over?

Trying to get on the Kosher train, Shabbat observance, Daily minyan treadmill is not a few steps here and a few there.  It seems to be no-limit hold'em; show me your cards or fold.  For many years wanting to play at the big table but not having the self confidence to step up and buy in, creates a pseudo-Judeo movement.  That's where I am today.  No pork or shrimp, Minyan on Sunday morning, if no kid's activities on Shabbat, then I'm in.

Thank you for letting me take a few seconds of your time today.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Mayans got it wrong

Well, 2012 ended and 2013 began and we are still here.  I've got a couple of observations to post over the next week or two, so stay tuned.  It's Sunday morning so got to get on my horse and off to minyan.  Explaination coming later.