Monthly Archives: June 2012

the more you know . . .


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Here are the top 10 ways people give away their power:

1. Asking others what they should do.

2. Thinking God decides who gets what.

3. Worrying about how their dream will come true.

4. Thinking they have dues to pay.

5. Attaching to unimportant details and outcomes.

6. Believing in soul mates.

7. Thinking karma or spiritual contracts are absolute.

8. Fear of anything, especially falling in love.

9. Waiting for their ducks to line up before acting.

10. Choosing to be unhappy.

these words come from mike dooley and you can find many more words of wisdom on his website, here.

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Prepare your mind to receive the best that life has to offer.
~  Ernest Holmes

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a nice jewish boy from the bronx


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this is my new friend, herman.  
herman is a self described “nice jewish boy from the bronx” and he was born in 1918. i met him a few weeks ago in a little park that divides the north and southbound lanes of park avenue at 96th  /  97th streets. i was waiting for a phone call before descending into the  ‘no cell  service zone’  at the 96th street train station, and the park seemed like the perfect place to catch a few rays while waiting.  at approximately 3:00 herman walked into the park.  the instant i saw him, i knew i wanted to meet this man. his eyes sparkled and he was so obviously full of interesting stories.  herman settled on a bench opposite me. he seemed so content.  after several minutes i began to walk around the little park and photograph some of the freshly bloomed hydrangeas.  i really wanted to photograph herman but thought he might find it a bit disconcerting for a complete stranger to be taking his picture.
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as i passed by herman’s bench, he looked at me and said,  “would you like me to take your picture?”   
“no, but i would like to take your picture”, i said.  
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he smiled and asked me what i would do with a picture of him.  i said if he let me interview him, i would put his picture on my blog along with the information he provided in the interview if he was willing to tell me a bit about his life, to which he agreed.
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herman began by telling me about december 7th, 1941. he had recently graduated from law school at columbia university and was reading in the columbia law library when the librarian approached him and gave him news that the  japanese had bombed pearl harbor.  being a “nice jewish boy from the bronx”, of course, the first thing herman did was to call his mother.  he realized right away that he would be drafted so rather than wait for the call, herman went directly to the government office and signed up for his military duty.  he was immediately sent to georgia for his first round of training and then on to texas and london for more. herman’s dad spoke german at home and therefore herman spoke the language fluently. he was ready to defend the u.s., armed with brains and german fluency, so they sent him to germany – which had to be quite scary for a nice jewish boy from the bronx.  i asked herman if he was scared. he responded by telling me that the nation was at war and he was willing to do what needed to be done to defend his country even if he had to go to germany to do it.   i didn’t say anything but i was scared for him.  he had no idea how long he would be gone or, i suppose, if he would even return at all.  herman left his girlfriend, asked her to move on with her life and went off to fight the nazis.
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herman worked directly with the germans and devised  reports on the effects of bombings in german towns.  the goal was to maximally damage the forces of evil with minimal damage to innocent people. he collected  information from the german people and used it to recommend bombing strategies.  herman knew he would ultimately be responsible for bombs that destroyed the homes and towns of the very people he was talking to.  i cannot think of a tougher job but herman had to keep focused on the higher good and protect the people he loved back home.
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our conversation weaved it’s way back to new york where herman ultimately practiced general law at his own firm. i have so many more questions for herman. he has over 93 years of stories to share.  today i will go to the park on 96th street and wait for herman to arrive at 3:00.
“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”
~ Confucius
 

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share it


When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in North Platte , Nebraska , it was believed that he had nothing left of any value. 

Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital. One nurse took her copy to Missouri . 

The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Assoc. for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem. 

And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet. 

Crabby Old Man 

What do you see nurses? . . . . . What do you see? 
What are you thinking . . . . . when you’re looking at me? 
A crabby old man . . . . . not very wise, 
Uncertain of habit . . . . . with faraway eyes? 

Who dribbles his food . . . . . and makes no reply. 
When you say in a loud voice . . . . . ‘I do wish you’d try!’ 
Who seems not to notice . . . . . the things that you do. 
And forever is losing . . . . . A sock or shoe? 

Who, resisting or not . . . . . lets you do as you will, 
With bathing and feeding . . . . . The long day to fill? 
Is that what you’re thinking? . . . . . Is that what you see? 
Then open your eyes, nurse . . . . . you’re not looking at me. 

I’ll tell you who I am. . . . . . As I sit here so still, 
As I do at your bidding, . . . . . as I eat at your will. 
I’m a small child of Ten . . . . . with a father and mother, 
Brothers and sisters . . . . . who love one another. 

A young boy of Sixteen . . . . with wings on his feet. 
Dreaming that soon now . . . . . a lover he’ll meet. 
A groom soon at Twenty . . . . . my heart gives a leap. 
Remembering, the vows . . . . . that I promised to keep. 

At Twenty-Five, now . . . . . I have young of my own. 
Who need me to guide . . . . . And a secure happy home. 
A man of Thirty . . . . . My young now grown fast, 
Bound to each other . . . . . With ties that should last. 

At Forty, my young sons . . . . . have grown and are gone, 
But my woman’s beside me . . . . . to see I don’t mourn. 
At Fifty, once more, babies play ’round my knee, 
Again, we know children . . . . . My loved one and me. 

Dark days are upon me . . . . . my wife is now dead. 
I look at the future . . . . . shudder with dread. 
For my young are all rearing . . . . . young of their own. 
And I think of the years . . . . . and the love that I’ve known. 

I’m now an old man . . . . . and nature is cruel. 
‘Tis jest to make old age . . . . . look like a fool. 
The body, it crumbles . . . . . grace and vigor, depart. 
There is now a stone . . . . where I once had a heart. 

But inside this old carcass . . . . . a young guy still dwells, 
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells. 
I remember the joys . . . . . I remember the pain. 
And I’m loving and living . . . . . life over again. 

I think of the years, all too few . . . . . gone too fast. 
And accept the stark fact . . . . that nothing can last. 
So open your eyes, people . . . . . open and see. 
Not a crabby old man . . . Look closer . . . see ME!! 

“I am not afraid of aging, but more afraid of people’s reactions to my aging.”
 ~ Barbara Hershey
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love, love, love!!!!


people do care!  people are good!!   i just love a good story the media is forced to share.  the good people of this world have raised over $537,000 for karen the bus monitor – and the donations are still streaming in!
this is karen:
karen makes $15,500. a year from her job as a bus monitor.  she’s 68 and rides the bus to help keep the kids safe everyday.  a few of the kids bullied karen and the video went viral on youtube.  some amazingly wonderful person named max had the thought that karen deserved a vacation from her torment, started a donation campaign on indiegogo and in just over 1 day has generated over $537,000!!!!

yay for karen!!!  yay for max!  - love to both of you. . . .

i wonder if karen will take max on her vacation?  

i am also wondering if max is single  . . .  

just some good news to start your weekend off with – enjoy!

“As much as we need a prosperous economy, we also need a prosperity of kindness and decency.”
~ Caroline Kennedy

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i want one!


how cool is this?  a giant post-it-note desk. 

(source)

i want the kind of brain that thinks this stuff up.

imaginary conversation:

stranger:  “what do you do for work?”

me:  “oh, nothing.  i invented the post-it-note desk. after that i retired & now i spend my time doing photography and philanthropy.

“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.”
— Jack London

should i fail to return . . .


it’s 91 degrees  and 1,000% humidity above ground, and i’m about to leave my air conditioned apartment and take the subway downtown.   i’m a little scared, although i have not heard of any subway / heat related deaths so far today and it’s already 1:15.  should i fail to return, i leave you with this; my favorite photo:

wish me luck.

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.”
~ H.H. Dalai Lama

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celebrating BIG time!


it’s been raining pennies from heaven lately.  i will get another today, i’m sure of it.  today is pop’s 110th birthday.  if you know me – or, you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know i talk to pop all the time.  some may think it’s a bit weird since pop passed away (from earth) in 1996, but he talks to me everyday.  i didn’t even talk to him every day when he was living.  yes, i talk to dead people.

i’m not concerned if people believe me and yes, i know that many don’t –  & that’s cool –  but recently i was telling my friend jeff about pop and how he sends me old ‘wheat pennies’ whenever i ask. i call them “one-cent-pennies”.  like most, he was a bit suspicious about whether i was being entirely truthful, i could tell by his expression.  for some reason i really wanted him to understand that i do talk to pop – and pop always answers.   we were sitting in a dunkin donuts up on madison at 97th street when i decided to prove this to jeff.  i told jeff i would ask pop to send him some pennies. i generally only ask for one, but given that jeff looked to me like he suspected i may be on crack, i thought pop should send more than one ‘one-cent-penny’.  jeff told me he hadn’t found a ‘one-cent-penny’ in about 10 years.

later in the day jeff called to let me know he had found two ‘one-cent-pennies’ in his closet.  he was convinced i had planted them.  i reminded him that i had not been to his place since we had the conversation earlier in the day.  jeff also found one under his bed.  several days later he put on a pair of pants he had not worn since last summer and called to tell me that pop was in his pocket!  i think he got the message.

so today pop would have been 110.  i keep several pictures of pop around the apartment and wished them all a happy birthday.  i thanked him for the good work with my friend jeff and then asked him for a one-cent-penny today – just for kicks!

this is how i most remember pop:

and here he is celebrating his 90th birthday:

thanks for the memories and thanks for the pennies, pop!  i love you.

“The past is never dead, it is not even past.”
~William Faulkner

the 1%


this is my dad.  he cracks me up.  mostly because he thinks he’s really funny and that makes me laugh.

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this is his favorite picture:

seriously.  he loves this picture.  he sends it to me all the time – e-mail and regular mail.

dad is a ‘do everything right’ kind of guy.  everything has to be done the best way possible – never just good enough.  the car must be serviced at the dealer because they will use the most expensive best oil.  they will also inform him of any unecessary additional maintenance that may be required to keep the car running optimally.  it would be completely impossible for dad ever not put something away immediately, leave a light on, a door open or a dish in the sink. he couldn’t possibly walk by a small scrap of paper or lint on the floor without calling one of his children down from the third floor to  stopping to pick it up.

dad is one of the hardest workers i ever saw. when i was a little kid, i remember dad leaving for work all dressed up in his suit every morning – when he wasn’t off in some foreign land looking for water so that he could bid on a well to drill. mom stayed home to raise the kids so it was up to him to make all the money for everything including 4 college educations that he paid for 100%.  i always wondered why grown-ups would sometimes say, “what do you think money grows on trees?”  i always knew money didn’t grow on trees, that’s silly.  it grew in dad’s wallet.

now, except for church and some golfing in the summer time, he is still always working on something –  whether it’s researching information for one of his (grown adult) kids, reading an instruction manual for his juicer, camera, phone, ipad or anything nobody else bothers with,  cutting the grass, washing the dog, vacuuming out the inside of the dryer, building or refinishing furniture for someone, shining shoes or volunteering for the knights of columbus, he is always working on something.  here he is doing something crazy working on the lawn:

in the early days he wore a suit to the office everyday. now he wears stuff like this.  go figure.

dad is always 20 minutes early on time for everything – no matter what – and he gets stuff done. he makes lists and actually checks off the projects in order of completion. who does that??

in all these years, i’ve never known him to yell gossip, lie, cheat or steal in any way. if he was mistakenly undercharged for something in a store, he would immediately point it out to the clerk.  my mother even thinks he actually tries to pay more for stuff he could get cheaper.

dad loves his family more than anything in the world and there isn’t a thing he wouldn’t do for us. growing up, i thought that’s just how all dad’s were – but  now i know –  i’m the one percent – and so is my dad.

i love you, dad!!

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.”
- Jim Valvano

your story here


you are invited to make up your own story about this image and send it to me.

:)

 

many thanks in advance!

“If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.”
~ Dr. Seuss 

“we will never share your e-mail address”


you have to love this tactic  . . .  tricky monster. . .

in order to apply for a job posted on monster.com you must answer the questions below:

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Living a lie will reduce you to one.” 
― Ashly Lorenzana