Solar Eclipse 2017

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In honor of the solar eclipse tomorrow, the local grocery store was selling these cool celebratory pies!


Everyone is excited about this eclipse that is cutting a path across the U.S. 


The last one that did this was almost 100 years ago in 1918.


It’s a magnificent thing to see two amazing and large celestial spheres like this literally cross paths. 

“Hi sun.”
“Hello moon.”
“Nice to meet you!” 

We are so small in the realm of these universal things…it’s almost funny how big we think we are. 


Yet, we have so much ambition and desire to be bigger–to solve problems, innovate, and delve into the depths of the sea and to the far reaches of heavens.


You can blot out the sun, but we’ll still figure out all the details on precisely when, where, and which goo goo goggles to wear so we don’t hurt our eyes. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Don’ t Upset The Barista

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Interesting sticker on this guy’s smartphone this morning:

“Guns and Coffee”


And the Starbucks mermaid in the center is packing two pistols in her hands, instead of the usual fishy fins. 


Now the good thing about this particular guy was that he was also wearing a lapel pin from a prominent law enforcement agency here in Washington, D.C., so that was comforting. 


I’ve heard about the economic trade-off (“opportunity costs”) between “Guns and Butter,” meaning how much we choose to budget for defense vs. civilian goods/social entitlements.


But this is novel–“Guns and Coffee”–I guess you can have your coffee and your 2nd Amendment rights as well. 


What happens if you haven’t had your coffee yet, does the little mermaid shoot first and ask questions later? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Rain Spill On Building

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Just thought this was a really interesting photo. 


The way the rain splattered down the side of this building.


The water hitting only on top and then trickling down the side like a big spill. 


“The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain,” but in Washington, D.C., it falls down the side of the buildings in these weird artistic patterns.


When I was a kid, I remember when it rained, my father would tell me positively and jokingly, “Ah, we’re getting a free car wash today!”


Isn’t it amazing how G-d made the world where it rains, and provides us not only the water to drink and sustain ourselves, but literally a shower to clean our cities and wash away the dirty excesses. 


The ecosystem is just an amazing array of literally everything we need and with checks and balances to keep the goings-on of the world suitable for His children. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Happy Summer Shoes

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Summer is generally a sunny and happy time of year. 


People throw off the thick winter coats and  heavy boots and wear some nice sandals.


I saw this one lady wearing these happy, colorful sandals on the Metro. 


I’d expect to see these more in Florida or California than in stodgy Washington, D.C. 


They were pretty awesome–trendy, stylish, even comfortable looking. 


Fashion is self-expression and freedom.


It’s also artistic and a reflection of our culture and our desires. 


We need more color, more chance, more futurism from our fashion.


The clothes can shape not only our bodies, but the times we live in. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Wide Load @McDonald’s

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I took this photo passing a McDonald’s. 


It just seemed so perfect.


With this SUV parked right between the McDonald’s arches.


And on the SUV are two red warning flags sticking out from the sides with a sign on top that says: 

“Wide Load” 

And in the McDonald’s window is a smiley face and a $2.99 Happy Meal special. 


With the “fast food” unhealthy eating culture that McDonald’s has so long represented, what is there really to smile about except the cheap fixings. 


If you eat at McDonald’s too much or too long then like Morgan Spurlock in the documentary “Super Size Me,” who ate nothing but McDonald’s for 30 days and gained almost 25 pounds and felt crappy…unfortunately the sign “Wide Load” may be descriptive of what can happen.   


This isn’t a dig at McDonald’s per se (there are many fast food joints and things that we know aren’t necessarily good for us)…moderation in life is really key. 


Healthy eating, exercise, mindfulness, work-life balance, and generally taking good care of yourself is not just a nice to have, but important to our well-being.


Genetics aside, it’s the “Battle of the Bulge,” and it’s a lifelong pursuit to be healthy 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Like Removing A Nail

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So you always hear about the techniques used when people are being tortured…one of them being have their nails ripped off.


Ouch!


So this week when I had a ingrown toenail removed, I said jokingly to the podiatrist:


“Do you do waterboarding also?”


Ok, funny, not-funny.  Still got a chuckle!


But in removing the nail, the technique is really so amazing.


They inject the toe with a local anesthetic, but hey even the injections into a sensitive toe could be pretty uncomfortable. 


So before the injection, they spray you toe with a freezing spray, so you don’t even feel the injections.


When he actually removed the nail and chemically destroyed the nailbed so it wouldn’t come back, I didn’t feel a thing.


I mean, I literally didn’t feel a thing!


It was a wonderful feeling–whatever he did, however much it would’ve hurt–it didn’t.


I thought to myself in a wave of anesthetic and freeze-numbed delight, this is absolutely wonderful.


No pain, not even a pinch. 


I could sense everything going on around me, take it in, think about it, even mull it over again and again, and just smile. 


In a way, I thought how wonderful life would be to have the ability to think in the head and feel from the heart, but have no pain or suffering in the body. 


Yes, there are plenty of damning and painful thoughts, memories, and heartaches, but for the body to be numb (even momentarily) to all the bad stuff that actually felt pretty good.


How would it feel if the mind and heart also felt no pain and only bliss–I smiled even more. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Face The Fear

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I have to give my wife credit. 


She said something to me the other day that was really profound and had a deep impact on me. 


Something bad had happened and honestly, it was a truly frightening situation.


At first, it seemed like one of those negative surprises in life that brings bad news and you are at first sort of shocked. 


As things progress though and the news unfortunately doesn’t get better, but in fact gets worse, the shock turns to fear and maybe even panic. 


Oh shit, what do I do now?


Turn this way..no good. 


Turn that way…no good.


Retreat…not an option.


So I speak to my wife, and at first she says:

“Just look away.”

But I can’t look away…I can’t ignore a problem…my instinct is that I have to plan for it, deal with it, solve it. 


I go back to my wife, and she says to me:

“Face the fear, and walk through it.”

And I had to stop in my tracks at that. 


She was right–there is no use being fearful or worrying–I would face it and walk through it, and come out the other side better for it. 


That was some of the best advice anyone I think has ever given to me. 


Got to be strong, have courage, face the challenges in life, and “walk through it!” 


What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. 


Have to have emunah (faith), and realize it’s just a test. 


And the Almighty G-d is my shield and protector. 


It’s a test, but I can pass it with G-d’s help, and everything will be alright. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)