Beach Wheelchair

Beach Wheelchair.jpeg

This was really nice to see.

Someone invented a beach wheelchair.

Thoughtful for people with disabilities.

Not sure how well it actually would work to try and push this over the sand dunes.

But I credit people for trying to help other people.

Too often, we only think of ourselves.

It’s inconvenient to think of those with less or with problems and in need.

But when we come out of or own heads, we can uplift ourselves as well as others to the beach or wherever else they want to go. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Doll For Every Worry

Worry 1 Worry 2
Some kids put their baby teeth under their pillow for the tooth fairy.



But in Guatemala they make Worry Dolls that children can put under their pillows, so they can be released from their worries and sleep better. 



If those were my worry dolls, I wouldn’t put them under my pillow and have a lumpy sleep and wake up to them once again, but rather I would throw them out the window, so hopefully they would be gone for good. 



Man, if only we could really get rid of our worries and problems that easily–I think they call it transference! 😉



(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Just Can’t Bear To Think

Whether though endless work, family activities, exercise, computer time, or whatever, people have a hard time just stopping to think. 

According to the Washington Post, a study in Science shows that people would rather do just about anything–including administer electric shocks to themselves–rather than having to just think for a little while. 

Fully 67% of men and 25% of women chose electric shocks over sitting and thinking for just 6-15 minutes!

People are “desperate for distractions”–whether through social media or smartphones and more.

This is why many ancient practices such as Buddhism, martial arts, yoga, and other disciplines teach meditation–sitting silently, without distraction, deeply in thought. 

People are afraid to stop their endless running, rounds of chores and activities, hustle and bustle, and just think about what they are actually doing and where they are going.

Sitting alone with yourself–you have to confront you!

  • Fears and anxieties
  • Life problems of all sorts
  • Mistakes and personal inadequacies
  • Bad habits and even dangerous addictions

Keeping yourself endlessly busy is an enabler to avoid sometimes painful reflection, introspection, and even necessary self-help. 

While you often hear that doctors recommend a certain amount of activity to keep physically healthy, I believe that similarly, mental and spiritual guidance would be for carving out time for physical inactivity and instead focusing on meditation and reflection. 

Perhaps, this is one reason that the Sabbath (kept in various ways by religions around the world) is so important to the mind and soul–it is a time to stop the work and daily mundane activities and instead focus on your spiritual side. 

Contrary to what you might think, refraining from all the activity may be one of the hardest things to actually do, but stopping and thinking (instead of just continuously doing), confronting yourself, and making life course corrections can be some of the most rewarding. 

Can you stop and think for just 15 minutes or do you need that next fix of compulsive distraction? 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Getting It In Writing

Getting It In Writing

So this is funny, this company, Knock Knock makes witty office supply products.

This one is a picture of file folders that say, “Useless documents to provide appearance of importance in meetings.”

They have another set of folders with, “Papers to shuffle endlessly thereby accomplishing nothing.”

These reminded of the importance of getting things properly documented, in writing.

Otherwise you get the unfortunate scenario that goes something like this when coming to agreements with others:

– Person #1: “If it’s okay, can I get that in writing?”

– Person #2: “You have my word. Don’t you trust me?”

The end result is an undocumented verbal agreement, and this is invariably followed, at some future time, by a disagreement, as follows:

– Person #1: “Well we agreed [fill in the blank].”

– Person #2: “I don’t recall that. Do you have it in writing?”

When someone refuses to give it to you in writing that is a clear warning sign, and bells and sirens should be going off in your head–loudly–that there is a problem.

The lesson is:

– Get it documented in writing, period.

– Documents are not useless even if some people use them to look important or they get caught in paperwork paralysis.

– Verbal agreements are a he says, she says losing game.

– Avoid getting caught without the documentation that spells it all out–and you can put it in one of these cool folders too. 😉

Note: This is not a vendor or product endorsement.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Shortsighted Government Is Selfish Politics

So I am at the pool today in Maryland.

This old man–looks about 100, yes really!–comes up to me and starts a conversation.

He says, you know what–my friend in California is 99-years old and he just got his driver’s license renewed–for 5 years!

Imagine that–can the State of California with confidence really issue a 5-year driver’s license to someone at that age and believe that both the drivers’ safety and public safety is provided for?

Yes, the problems at the Federal government level are ginormous–the national debt, the level of social entitlements, the “true” unemployment rate, the poverty level, our failing healthcare system, and more.

Still we cannot forget that some of the most important services that citizens get are at the State and Local levels of government–police, fire & rescue, transportation, community development, family planning, and more.

For government to function effectively–we need all levels to act rationally, responsibly, and with care for the people in mind–both short-term and long-term.

Issuing 5-year driver’s license to 99-year old individuals can have a devastating impact on someone family if that person loses control of their vehicle due to their physical or mental condition.

Similarly, issuing social entitlements (and they may indeed be needed) without a realistic plan for funding the system is irresponsible and can have a catastrophic impact to families around the nation when the system comes up short.

Government has to run with common sense–and stop setting up rules that are shortsighted and blind to the bigger picture.

Yes, people deserve to drive and to have medical care and so forth, but politicians should set up these systems, so that the people are really served, and not just their political agendas. 😉

(Source Video: Michelle Blumenthal)

Uh-Oh Trouble

Uh-Oh Trouble

So I’m “middle age”…and all of a sudden the last few months I am having trouble reading.

I haven’t worn glasses for over 14 years–since I had the Lasik procedure done.

Now, at the optometrist, he tells me, “Oh everyone ends up getting glasses whether you had Lasik or not.”

He says: “Usually, people need reading glasses starting between the ages of 42-45.”

Crud…back to those darn things again.

I remember in 1999 when I had Lasik, it was still a pretty new procedure, but my best friend and his wife had just gotten it and convinced me to go for it too.

Well, it wasn’t what I expected and when they clamped my eye open and the doctor tells me to stare at a the little red light as the laser comes up to my eye…I was thinking to myself…this is NUTS!

But it actually went from bad to worse.

As the doctor starts working on the first eye, all of a sudden, he goes, “Uh-oh!”

What type of doctor is this that says oh-uh, and what in G-d’s name did he do to me.

Well, he composes himself after pulling away and finishes, but then stops and says he’ll talk to me afterwards.

As it turns out, as he pulled on the eye, something called the epithelium, a piece suddenly flaked off the eye.

Nothing seriously actually happened–no ill sides effects, but those 2 words while under the laser, “Uh-oh,” really sent the shivers up my spine.

Let’s just say, while I am glad I didn’t have to wear glasses these last 14 years, the experience was a little traumatic.

I remember one other time in my life–when I experienced the Uh-oh moment–this time, I was actually the one uttering the Uh-oh.

It was right after I got married, and we had this cool idea that I would give my wife a haircut.

So, I start cutting and I’m thinking hey, this isn’t so hard…and it’s fun…and we also get to save money (hey, we were just starting out in life).

Then, I keep cutting and cutting not realizing how much I was taking off…at one point, my wife starts getting antsy and she says, “So how’s it going (knowing that something wasn’t right)?”

Then it hits me, I suddenly blurt out the big “Uh-oh!

My wife goes, “What did you do?”

Of course, I started to worry and couldn’t get myself to really say and instead I just start cracking up.

Then she knew I had really messed up…and boy was I in trouble then.

Uh-oh is a phase you never want to hear or say…it means trouble has arrived. 😉

Worry, Who Doesn’t?

Worry, Who Doesn't

Many people worry–they are afraid of all sorts of bad things that can happen.

And they ruminate on what ifs and what they can do about it–if anything.

The more people feel they have no control over a negative situation, the more they worry about it–they can feel helpless and hopeless–and this may even lead to depression.

I remember as a kid my dad telling me a story/joke about this–it went something like this:

One grandmother is talking to another.

She complains how her grandson always worries about going to school.

The other grandmother says, “Oh really, why?”

The first grandmother tells her that her grandson is worried because “The kids hate him. The teachers hate him. And everyone gives him a hard time.”

The other grandmother says, “So why doesn’t he go talk the principal?”

The first grandmother answers, “Because he is the principal!”

The moral of the story is that everyone has problems, and has worries, and it doesn’t matter who you are–whether you’re a kid in school or the principal in charge, a worker in the company or the CEO, and so on.

I think sometimes we lose sight of the frailty of all human beings and we think mistakingly that just because someone is successful or high up on the totem pole of life that they don’t have worries and problems.

Which reminds me of something else my grandfather used to say: “G-d doesn’t let any tree grow into the heavens.”

No matter how big a person gets, G-d reminds us of who is really boss–so chop chop on the tree and watch that big ego–we’re just people. 😉

(Source Photo of picture: Andy Blumenthal)

Baby Frog, See You Now

Baby Frog, See You Now

So I took this picture of this baby frog while hiking.

This was the first one we saw–on the foliage it completely blended in, but on the rocks we could see it clearly.

It was so little and cute–I had to zoom in to get this shot.

After this, it actually jumped under a log and I got an action photo of its hind legs in mid-jump–going what seemed like super-frog speed.

Once, I was attuned to the frogs color and motion, I was able to detect many of them in the forest today–all pretty much like this little baby.

It was interesting to me learning from this, how before we are aware of something–it’s as if it doesn’t even exist (even with subtle ribbits in the air); and after you are sort of clued in to the surroundings, you almost can’t help but see them.

To me, it’s like life in general, when you don’t see your own issues or life challenges, you can’t even begin to work on them because your virtually oblivious to them, but once you see yourself for what you are–warts and all–you can begin to work through your problems, as if you have almost transcendental awareness.

A little camouflaged frog, like subtle personal issues may be almost imperceptible in the forest of life, but against a contrasting background, you can get amazing clarity–to self-help and self-heal.

Cute little frog, I can see you now and your not jumping away from me anymore. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Get This Guy Off My Back

Backpack_head

This was another odd site around Washington, D.C. today.

A guy carrying around this bust on his back–almost like a backpack.

I don’t know who this figure is, nor what the writing says, but it certainly does seem to make some sort of a statement.

To me, while we all carry a lot of burdens in our life, I don’t think we should be weighed down by anybody or any one of them.

People can get on us about all sorts of things–work, school, and personal stuff–but we are better of taking it in stride.

They have their own problems and imperfections–they also are mortal and frail–and in some cases, they are less of a person than we are.

Whoever they are, don’t drag ’em around or let them get you down–hear them out, get their input, and then make up your own mind about things.

Remember, there are a lot of false beliefs out there, as well as people pushing their own agendas.

What you think is real, could just be another phony idol to get off your back and out of your life.

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)