How Do I Choose?

So I thought this was an interesting topic for the sermon on Shabbat by Ben Shemony. 


It was about how we are confronted in life with whether to follow our impulses or our values. 


I think there is a lot to this topic…


Some may see it as the little good angel standing over one shoulder and another bad angel standing over the other trying to convince us what to do when it’s decision time.  


Others may be perpetually torn between temptations or pleasures of materialism and the flesh versus of pursuing what you know to be spiritually good and right in this world. 


Either way, as human beings, we are a complex make-up of both body and soul.


Do we give in to temptation and do what feels good–more money, more food, more clothes and jewelry, more houses, cars, and yachts, more vacations, more carnal pleasures from the proverbial “wine, women, and song” or do we pursue the path of spirituality, serving our maker, caring and giving and doing good for others and the world?  


It sounds simple, but our impulses tell us one thing and our values tell us another. 


Are we being selfish or selfless?


Perhaps, too much of anything is bad for us–even too much giving and selflessness–we need to care for ourselves too–we are mortal, we have needs, we have to nourish ourselves, and we need to live. 


But you can’t be a glutton or a slave to your impulses–you can’t take and not give, your can’t indulge until you make yourself sick, or take at the expense of and harm to others.


Like all things in life, there is a need for balance.


Certainly our spirit should guide our animal. 


If and when our animal is dictating to our spirit then we are in real trouble. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Have a Heart: Leadership With Heart

So many of you already know my leadership mantra. 


It’s all about:

Leadership With Heart


That means understanding that workers are human beings. 


Yes, they should act as professionals.


But also, they are people with imperfections and problems.


Whether they are fighting addiction, debt, illness, mental health issues, family problems, abuse, or personal loss. 


Life happens.


And it’s not always pleasant. 


Unfortunately, it seems like we are tested all the time. 


Therefore, good leaders, real leaders…lead with heart. 


They focus on the mission, but also empower, develop, and have empathy for the people. 


Think of the people you know in leadership positions today. 


Are they leaders with heart or heartless sons of guns. 


Who do you want to follow into the future?  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Computer Sentiment 1984

So I found this book in an IT colleague’s office. 


It’s called: “The Unofficial I Hate Computer Book”.


It was written in 1984, and like the George Orwell’s book by that name, it is a dystopian view of technology. 


The back cover says:

Computer haters of the world unite: It’s time to recognize and avenge the wonderful advances we’ve made thanks to computers–excessive eyestrain and headaches, irritating beeping noises, a one-ton printout where once there was a six-page report, a “simple” programming language you can’t understand without five handbooks, a dictionary, and a math degree.

The book goes on with illustration after illustration of unadulterated computer hate and associated violence. 


– Dogs dumping on it (see cover)

– Contests to smash it with a hammer

– Hara-kiri (suicide with a knife) into it

– Skeet shooting computers that are flung into the air

– Shotput with a computer

– Tanks rolling over them

– Sinking it in water with a heavy anvil

– Boxer practicing his punches on it

– Setting it ablaze with gasoline

– And on and on, page after hate-filled page.


So in the last 34-years, have we solved all the annoyances and complexity with computers and automation?  


Do the benefits of technology outway the costs and risks across-the-board?


How do security and privacy play in the equation? 


I wonder what the authors and readers back then would think of computers, tablets, smartphones and the Internet and apps nowadays–especially where we can’t live without them at all.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A New Type Of Chocolate Chips

chips

Ok, dieting is hard enough with all highly processed food out there these days. 


And everything is carbs, carbs, and more carbs…it’s literally poison for the body. 


But when you go into the store and see Lays chocolate covered potato chips…this just brings you to the verge of sin. 


The top are milk chocolate covered potato chips, and the bottom ones are dark chocolate covered ones. 


Choose your poison?


This is definitely a new type of chocolate chips…Hershey’s eat you heart out. 


I told my wife pleadingly, “Can’t I just taste one?” 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Globs of Fat

 

fat-jpeg-2

So I went to get my flu shot today in the office. 


Yes, it’s that time of year to start getting ready for Winter and all the germs that come with it. 


Anyway, while I was at the health center, they had this model of what body fat looks like. 


It was sort of just laying right on the table in the waiting room–yeah a big ick! 


It said:

“Globs of Fat

This glob represents the look and feel of 5 pounds of body fat.”


And this thing was enormous, bigger than someones hand, maybe even two hands. 


There was some text about another 1 pound piece of body fat, but I didn’t see that lying around anywhere (and frankly the 5 pound glob was enough to get the point without comparison). 


This fat demonstration would make practically anyone want to chuck the carbohydrates and forever.


Pizza, pasta, bread, rice, potatoes, cereal, crackers, cookies, cakes–be gone!


Having recently done this myself, I can really appreciate how important this is and also how hard it can be. 


The food industry has us addicted to this crap and really it should be illegal. 


The high carb diet in America is truly of epidemic proportions and is potentially catastrophic to our health and longevity.


The only thing that glob of fat is good for is tossing it out the window and into the garbage dump. 


A high carb diet that makes people fat is death and we want to live! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Seaweed Success Diet

Seaweed

Ok, I am going to let you in on a little secret. 


Part of the success of my diet. 


This is us checking out at register. 


The cashier is tallying up dozens of Wasabi Roasted Seaweeds.


The stuff is a great healthy snack. 


I had read for years now how the healthy Japanese diet includes plenty of seaweed and fish. 


And I have been imitating their knowledgable ways. 


And it is working, thank G-d.


Of course, the wasabi flavor gives it a little kick too. 


Do yourselves a favor and get rid of all the disgusting carbohydrates in your life. 


They are poison from an industry that wants you addicted to their garbage foods. 


Get back to basics like fish, meat, vegetables, and that includes plenty of seaweed. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What’s Your Vice?

Sins.jpeg

So no one is perfect.


And no matter how outwardly pious the person, everyone inwardly has some hidden (or not so) vice or excess that they must learn to tame.


Here’s a top 23 list:


Substance Abuse

1) Cigarettes

2) Alcohol

3) Drugs


Greed

4) Food

5) Money (e.g. gambling, hoarding)

6) Materialism (e.g. homes, cars, boats, planes, jewels, clothes, etc.)


Obsessive Compulsive

7) Work

8) Sex

9) Popularity (e.g. talking, partying)

10) Religion 

11) Sport

12) Control


Anger

13) Violence

14) Abuse (e.g. verbal, emotional, physical)

15) Rape 


Callous

16) Indifference

17) Tardiness

18) Laziness


Egotistical

19) Selfish

20) Boastful


Crooked

21) Lying

22) Cheating

23) Stealing


Think about the people you know–love ’em or hate ’em–and is there anyone that doesn’t have one of these to some extent or another?


And for those of you wondering, my vice is, of course, pizza! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)