Never Any Rest In Life

First day in 15 weeks! that we went to a real store yesterday.

Dick’s Sporting Goods was open, but still not much else.

It was refreshing to look around again.

Nearly all the bicycles were cleaned out with people forced to do their own exercise routines these days.

People walking around mostly like they were on Mars.

Had some restaurants with just their patios open and people are sitting outside in the good weather.

Also, some eateries open for takeout.

Best part is still nature, and all the closures have brought us back to it.

This turtle was tanning in the warm sun on the rocks and swatting the snake away with its rear foot.

Sort of funny that even a turtle can never get any rest in life. 😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The 11th Commandment

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “The 11th Commandment.”

How many times do I hear about fellow Jews trying to “out-frum” (i.e. be holier than thou) other Jews: whether it’s in terms of Kashrut, Shabbat or even who stayed up the latest for the Passover Seder. Recently, when it came to coronavirus, I was more than a little shocked to read that someone actually attributed the disease to it being a punishment from G-d because women’s skirts are not being worn long enough. While certainly it’s good to be introspective and there is a strong concept of reward and punishment in Judaism, there is something about us Jews where we tend to want to go a little more and a little farther. In some cases, we are doing “hiddur mitzvah” (beautification of the Mitzvah) which is praiseworthy, but in other cases, we may be adding unnecessary “chumras” (i.e. stringencies) than can backfire religiously. My unequivocal preference is to follow my father’s teaching to me of the Rambam’s “Shvil Ha’zahav” (i.e. the golden path) and not go too far to the left or to the right, but keep a healthy middle of the road approach to life.


In the end, the number of commandments are what they are, and with 613 throughout the Torah, there is enough to keep us all busy going what is right with G-d and our fellow man. While we may like to overachieve in our careers, our education, and our pedigrees, it is not necessary to try to outdo each other religiously. Religion is a matter between us and Hashem and G-d knows what is in our hearts and counts up all our deeds according to His holy Torah with nothing added and nothing subtracted.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Shopping Up A Pole

Wondering if this is also part of social distancing. 


Shopping cart up a pole. 


No one else up there. 


Safe from Coronavirus, hopefully. 

 

Maybe some illusive toilet paper to be found in the sky mall? 


Desperate times calling for desperate measures or an anxious society is losing its mind. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Keep The F*** Away From Me

Social distancing is the new norm.


Shaking hands is a no-no!


Even in the park yesterday, they had a sign prominently displayed that read:

Thank you for practicing social distancing. Please stay 6 FT apart.


We might as well all just wear t-shirts or little reminder signs on each of us with:

Keep the F*** away from me!


That about sums it up without putting up a specific distance range. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Stock Market Pinocchio Style

Look folks, Pinocchio’s nose is getting longer by the minute.


The market continues on a tear, even while the economy is heading in the other direction. 


I know people have been conditioned to buy on the dips, but I’m not sure that applies while we’re in the middle (or maybe still just in the beginning) of a pandemic that has claimed 286,000 lives in just over 2 months (and that’s with a global shutdown)!


Somehow, there is a notion that when things start to reopen that all the problems will just magically go away, including the $3 trillion we just added to our national debt, all the bankruptcies being declared, and all the job losses that are becoming permanent. 


If you believe this, perhaps you’d like to buy the Brooklyn Bridge.


The greater fool theory is alive and well.  😉


(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

The Coronavirus Stock Market

I believe this photo best summarizes where we are with the Coronavirus stock market.


As they say:

Don’t count your chicken before they hatch.


This market has gotten way ahead of itself and the pending economic realities of the Coronavirus and the consequences of the trillions of response fund debt. 


Remember:


– The virus does not yet have a vaccine, and it is mutating and may become even more virulent!


– The deaths continue to soar in the U.S. with now over 75,000 dead in just two months.


– The deaths involve much pain and suffering both for the victim and his/her grieving loved ones. 


– The unemployment is at all time highs since the Great Depression. 


– Companies are starting to move from temporary layoffs to permanent firings and contraction, and many eventually to bankruptcy. 


– Profitability and gross domestic product are way down and may be even worse in the next quarter.

– Price Earning ratios are around their 10-year highs even looking out toward a possible 2021 recovery. 


– Restarting the economy does not mean a return to what was as the extreme trauma from the pandemic, shutdown, and social distancing rebalance us to a “new normal.”


– A second and third wave of Coronavirus may be as bad or even worse than the first. 


– The two biggest global economies of the U.S. and China are facing a deteriorating and toxic relationship.


– The lingering $3,000,000,000,000 that we just added to our National Debt is going to increasingly strangle our future economic outlook. 


– The election is in November and brings increasing instability and likely volatility. 


In summary, the term used by former Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan of “irrational exuberance” seems like a gross understatement when it comes to our current stock market.  


Get ready to see the froth come painfully off this drunken market–these eggs are about ready to crack.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Lockdown In Coronavirus

This photo is sort of what it feels like to be in lockdown during the Coronavirus pandemic. 


You’re stuck inside, but still have to keep everything moving anyway!


As we enter the next phase with people itching to go back out and “restart” life and the economy and the second wave where more people unfortunately get sick, we are really as they say:

Stuck between a rock and a hard place. 


That where bad thing can happen (G-d forbid) and it’s  never a good place to be. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Standing Tall

Thought this was a pretty cool statue at Baltimore Penn Station.


No people though on a Sunday or because of COVID-19. 


I imagine this is what a ghost town looks like. 


The statues stand tall but the remnants of the people are hiding in shelters.


End of times or a new beginning…we’ll see. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Matzo Ball Soup For The Soul

It’s a pretty well-known Jewish tradition that Chicken Soup is almost like an cure all. 


Our moms for centuries have preached chicken soup whenever you didn’t feel well or felt like you may be coming down with something. 


Hmm…I wonder if it even works on Coronavirus. Heck, I’d try it for sure. LOL


From an alternative medicine perspective, like it says on the package:

It’s penicillin in a pot.


Anyway, I thought this package kit of matzo ball soup was pretty cute. 


With the old lady that looks like she’s about to fall in the soup saying:

Good. Not as good as mine. But good. 


Hey, I guess there is no package matzo ball soup that is going to be as good as homemade. 


Especially as I was taught that the magic ingredient is not chicken, but love!  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Bacteria Vs. Virus–The Cure!

There is an old adage that:

The enemy of my enemy is my friend

Both bacteria and viruses are enemies of people in that they often make us sick. 

If they can make us sick, why can’t they be used to fight and make each other sick (i.e. destroy each other). 

Thus, bacteria can be our friend, if we use them to destroy viruses, like Coronavirus. 

Why can’t we create a “virus-eating bacteria” (and vice versa “bacteria-eating virus”) to destroy these little monsters that are infecting and killing us?

Let our enemies kill each other!  😉

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)