Happy Father’s Day

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So it’s Shabbat and that’s one of the wonderful times to look at old photos in the albums and boxes. 


Yes, this was before digital photography!


I came across this art that my daughters had given to my father and mother when they were still alive–I think it was plastered on their refrigerator for a while. 


This photo seemed to bridge the past, present, and future for me. 


My parents are gone now to Hashem–already 2 and 3 years–and I still can’t believe it. 


At the annual Mother’s Day and Father’s Day–it’s just another time of year to remember how much I miss them all year long. 


For me now, it is also a chance to be grateful for my lovely children that G-d has so gracefully blessed me and Dossy with. 


Smiles, hugs and kisses, love and caring for one another–this is what life is all about.


Father’s Day to me is not about the gratefulness of my children to me, but rather of me to Hashem and them to be blessed to be a dad and have the chance to give back to such lovely children–to the next generation that greatly supersedes me and mine!


So I’m crunched in the middle in time between wonderful parents and beautiful children and as my dad would joke, it skipped a generation (hopefully, not really). 😉 


(Source Photo: My Girls)

Time Travel Is Real

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Sure, we can travel space…from continent to continent, into the depths of the oceans, and to the far reaches of outer space.


But can we also travel time?


Yes, and we regularly do!


Whether individually, in our minds eye, we go back and forth in time–remembering poignantly the memories of the past with regret or with joy and thinking forward in time whether worrying what could happen or eagerly look forward and hope for a brighter future. 


Similarly, as a human collective, we can travel back and forth in time well past our individual recollections and remember, celebrate, memorialize, or eulogize what came before us through generations and millennia and even plan great innovations, feats, and civilizations well into the future. 


Time is but a shadow that is cast off us from the our great Heavenly Father who shines his grace upon us by his creation and is himself timeless. 


In the shadow of time, we can glimpse the externalism of what supersedes our mortality and the significance of us as a speck in time amidst the greatness that lies across the reaches of space and time–that is the soul of the matter. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

To MARS and Beyond

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So excited about the new show called MARS (and yeah, it’s on National Geographic). 

I watched the season premier and it was awesome!

They did this cool combination flipping between the non-fiction of the here and now on Earth in 2016 with all the plans and advances being made to go to settle Mars someday, and the fictionalized future 2033 actual voyage and colonization there. 

The spaceship, rovers, colony are all pretty amazing and it seems so real like we’re practically there!

Elon Musk (SpaceX) does a nice job explaining the vision and the reusable rockets they are focused on to get us cost-effectively to the Red Planet and beyond. 

The imperative is clear for us becoming a true multi-planetary species, so that we drastically reduce (hopefully to zero) the risk of an extinction level event to humanity.

There was a good quote that I remember, something like:

“We go into the dark, so others can follow the light.”

The leap forward of us actually making it to and colonizing Mars is so mid-boggling great that just about everything else literally pales in comparison. 

Mars is just the first real step…after that the possibilities are truly endless. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to NASA Jet Propulsion Lab)

Losing Patience With Tech Progress

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We’re so close yet so far…that’s my feeling as I grow ever impatient with the pace of technological progress. 


We have cloud computing, but still everyone has their own private computing setups everywhere. 


We have mobile computing, but still can’t get get reliable service in the Metro and all the other “dead zones.”


We have social computing, but still people are so cliquey and nasty and troll and bully each other online and off. 


We have the Internet of Things, but still things don’t really talk to each other regularly (except our smart meters).


We have robots, but still they’re relegated to factory assembly lines. 


We have natural language processing, but still can’t get a meaningful conversation going with Siri.


We have 3-D printing, but still can’t get dinner or a pair of Nikes to appear from the Star Trek like “Replicator.”


We have augmented and virtual reality headsets, but still can’t go anywhere with them without getting motion sickness.


We have biometrics, but still have to sign the check.


We have driverless cars, but still there is a driver inside. 


We have networks of information, but still it’s subject to hacking, malware, identity and data theft, and even big time EMP knockouts. 


We have immunotherapy, but still haven’t beaten cancer. 


We have nanotechnology, but still we travel through life loaded down with material possessions.


We have food and biotechnology, but still one in eight people are going hungry. 


We have space shuttles and stations, but still can’t get a colony going on Mars.


We have big data, but still information is corrupted by personal biases and politics. 


We have knowledge management, but still more than 780 million adults are illiterate. 


We have artificial intelligence, but still it’s devoid of emotional intelligence. 


We have bigger, deadlier, and more sophisticated weapons systems and smart bombs to “protect us”, but still are no closer to living in peace and brotherhood. 


All this technology and advancement is great, except that we’re left hungrier than ever for the realization of the promised technology land, and are really only halfway there, maybe. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

How The Election Makes Me Feel

3 Stooges

Ok, this picture sums up my feelings about this election pretty well.

Wait is that the candidates or the way I feel?


Like the Three Stooges, the pathetic behavior of the candidates is completely crazy and outrageous. 


And who’s worse–corrupt  and scandalous or big mouth and offensive? 


We all have have our opinion, but maybe both types leave us dumbfounded and scratching our heads, and even not wanting to vote for either, at all. 


At this point, I think we are all probably somewhat embarrassed that this is the best our country has to offer.


With everyone hating on both candidates, but desperate to save their slice of the American pie, the put-downs, fights, and contempt have gotten completely out of hand. 


There is ZERO problem-solving going on, and we are in ridiculous mode, while the rest of the world spins out of control in the hands of terrorists, demagogues, as well as our global competition out there capitalizing on our incredible stupidity. 


I can only imagine the rest of the world watching our election play out–watching us–and thinking how did we ever get to be the superpower of this world? 


This is the tipping point for our country.


We brought so much greatness to the world, but what is left when we get to the point of candidates that no one can trust, let alone stomach. 


I think all we can do is pray that G-d sends an Independent candidate with true integrity and promise that everyone can really respect and rally around, and not have to settle for either bad or worse. 


A country that is 80% negative about its direction is called imploding and obviously that does not bode well for us or upcoming world events. 


Folks, this is going to take a miracle! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Technology Hope For The Future

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Ok, this gives me tremendous technology hope for the future. 

This 4-year old kid is working diligently on her smartphone, while her mom is shopping not far away in the clothing store at the mall. 

She didn’t seem to care about the clothes hanging all around her or the fun in the mall or really anything else at all…she was content with her tech!

And while I certainly believe in work-life balance and in kids being able to really jsut be kids, there was just something so amazing about the promise of technology, especially for those who are now growing up with it. 

After all, it was very cute how intent this kid was with all the technology power right in the palm of her hands, and I could easily see a budding CIO in the making here. 

And of course, with even better and more capable technology in the future. 

Through technology and belief, we can find hope in the impossible. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What Path Are We On This July 4th?

Over and over again, I hear people say that as a country we are on the wrong path.


According to recent polls, around 70% think we’re moving in the wrong direction!


Very pessimistic bunch or something more going on?  


Despite all the technology advances–from smartphones to video-on-demand, drones to 3-D printing–people are still feeling like things are a mess. 


And the upcoming election seems to have given everyone with half a brain, reason to pause. 


The world seems like a very dangerous place these days with a resurgent Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and ISIS with your guess as to where terrorism of the day will be hitting. 


Moreover, weapons of mass destruction are proliferating from nukes to chemical and biological weapons…can anyone say $350 billion in the next 10 years to modernize America’s nuclear arsenal


Deadly diseases from Ebola in Africa to Zika in South America are striking without warning and causing horrible sudden death and frightening birth defects in infant babies. 


The economy and politics of the world are grossly unstable with many banks now offering negative interest rates and Brexit tearing at the very core of the EU.  


Hundreds of thousands are dying in the Arab Spring and Middle East wars and millions of refugees are streaming to Europe and as far away as America. 


Ballooning national debts are leading to the looming bankruptcies of not only Greece, Spain, Ireland, and Puerto Rico, but also the 3 pillars of American entitlements: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. 


Unemployment shows at a deceptive 4.7%, but yet anyone looking for a job knows this is far from reality, and robots, artificial intelligence, and automation loom large over any future prospects. 


Racism and hate are all too alive and well as tempers seem to be boiling over in city after city, with or without police shootings precipitating things. 


Already as a kid, I always used to ask my dad rhetorically, “What’s gonna be?”


As an adult, I understand that this was a question born of the deterioration of the moral and leadership fiber of our society and a future that was far from certain in the inner city or beyond, along with the anxiety born of wanting to have some reassurance that things somehow would end up being okay. 


But things aren’t okay in our f*cked up world!


Especially with political jockeying to gerrymandering, from sit-ins to sequestration, from pork-barrel projects to outright fraud, waste, and abuse…the system is getting so broken. 


Now when I think in my head, what’s gonna be, my mom and dad are not here anymore to reassure me that everything will be alright, and frankly in this day and age, those reassurances would not even be able to ring true. 


We need change and hope, but perhaps we must look Heavenward for it to come, because down here, things are looking more like a creeping hell, than a heaven that awaits.  


But good people can help to change things…one good thought, word, and deed at a time. You and I can be influences for good, for a brighter tomorrow, for peace, for freedom and equality, and for prosperity for everyone that doesn’t buy into the status quo and the spin and lies that sustain it any longer. 


This is our magic wand to wave and wave and make good times based on values and faith return again. 😉


(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)