Watch Out For That Gopher Hole

So this was funny this week. 


I hurt my back and leg and am going around with a (little) limp. 


So one of my colleagues at work sees me struggling-limping down the long hall here, and they say to me this funny thing:

Did you fall in a gopher hole?


I had to take an aback because I never heard that phrase before. 


Working outside the city here though, where a lot of people live in the burbs, and we regularly see all sorts of animals around campus, perhaps it wasn’t so outlandish a question.  


Anyway, as I’m limping, I can’t get that funny image out of my head.


I wonder if other people have fallen in a gopher hole and that’s why back problems are so common after all. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to annolyn)

Breaking The Paradigm

So a colleague has this sticker (with a do not image) on their computer that says:


“But we’ve always done it that way.”


They told me a funny story about the lady that made the ham with the head and tail ends always cut off.


One day, her daughter asked, “Why mom do you make the ham with the head and tail ends always cut off?”


The mother answers and says because “My mother always made it that way!”


So they went to her mother and ask the question and they get the same answer again.


Finally, they went to her great grandmother and ask, “Why do you always make the ham with the head and tail ends cut off?”


And the old lady takes a breath, pauses, and says, “Because, we didn’t have a pan big enough to fit the whole ham!”


Just thought this was a great lesson on critical thinking and also on “asking why.”


Change can be brought about by questioning underlying assumptions and historical ways of doing things and bringing an open mind and fresh light to it. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Devil Wolf Attack

So I had one of the scariest dreams that I’ve ever experienced–and it is a true story from just last evening. 


It was so completely real, I can’t even tell you.


There was a devil wolf that attacked me from the the back and literally jumped on me. 


It’s claws were wrapped around my neck and I could tell that with any movement whatsoever, they would immediately slice and sever my arteries completely.


His huge jaws were at the backside of my head, it’s hot breath searing my flesh, and his sharp gnawing teeth were ready at any moment to snap into my neck. 


His full weight, incredible strength, and evil presence were heavy on me and ripping into my back and shoulders. 


It was clear how close I was to the very end of it all. 


The pure evil of this devil wolf being and the ferociousness of the attack was the most fearsome that I could ever imagine. 


What happened next I will never tell anyone, except that I am alive to tell the story.


But this experience of undeniable and terrible evil so close and foreboding has left me a different person forever. 


There are forces of true evil out there–for sure–and we must never let our guard down for a second. 


But as Rabbi Nachman says, it is a narrow bridge, but with the good of G-d, we must never fear at all. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Efraim Stochter)

Beyond Money

Okay, I don’t impress easily, but I got to tell you somebody really did.


Tring to keep their confidentiality, let me just say this…


A couple returned some money to us, but they went truly above and beyond. 


They returned some money that technically they were entitled to, and I never would’ve imagined that they should give it back to us. 


When I saw the check and what they did, I really couldn’t stop myself saying how amazing this couple is. 


They are a religious Jewish couple, and I just feel that what they did was such a “Kiddush Hashem” (their behavior is a sanctification of G-d’s name in the world). 


Some people pretend to be religious on the outside, but inside their behaviors don’t reflect it. 


In this case, the people were generally religious not just on the outside, but on the inside as well.


Their doing righteous literally was uplifting for my soul to see that there really are such incredible people in this world. 


Yes, some people are bad–do bad–and we can get not only disappointed but depressed that they seem to thrive anyway. 


So to see the good in people–extra good–it renews my hope in mankind and in G-d Above who shows us the way and can inspire us to behave morally and ethically amazingly.  😉


(Source photo: Andy Blumenthal)

My Contribution To Love

So I saw a casual work friend the other day doting around what looked like his girlfriend. 


They looked really cute together.


And this guy is in his 60’s and lost his wife a number of years ago to cancer, so I was really happy to see him happy, and playful in love again. 


After a while, I took the opportunity to play cupid best I could. 


I told her how nice this guy was and how well he takes care of his customers. 


I ended by saying how we really love having him around and how it wouldn’t be the same without him. 


I could see him behind her smiling ear-to-ear–this lady really meant something to him.


When I saw him again today, I asked innocently, “so was that your girlfriend?” and like a young teenager in love, he smirked and nodded. 


It was obvious how much it meant to him that I spoke well of him to her. 


What can I say, I am really happy to make a little contribution to love–and I am really happy for them. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Folks Hating Folks

Love.jpeg

It’s sad how everyone is always fighting about everything.


And hating on each other…


Someone told a funny story the other day about this:

“She don’t like her.
He don’t like him.
And the supervisor says, I don’t like none of y’all, now get back to work!”


At the end of the day, we’re all different, and we’re all sort of the same. 


Maybe we have to look past the petty stuff, and learn to get along and get things done! 


At the end of the day, we’re all better off loving and getting it reciprocated–and so on and so on. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Sushi Socks Dating

Sushi Socks.jpeg

So this is a novel way to sell socks.


Roll them up and package them like a sushi roll. 


Socks are the colors and textures of various fish.


Not sure why anyone would want socks that mimic sushi…


Unless of course, you feet stink like raw fish!


My wife knows this true story about this one girl that I dated before I met her, and she came over to my parents house and was waiting for me. 


When I got there, she was sitting on the couch and her shoes were off. 


It was after a long day at work apparently, and her feet smelled worse than any fish I could imagine. 


Literally, I think I could’ve passed out right there on the floor. 


Date was over and quick, and I never forget those sushi feet. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Not Your B*tch

Dog Carriage

Another story from a friend of a friend in the office.


A person has someone working for them who hasn’t been working out all that well. 


Basically, the staff person is having challenges simply getting their job done. 


The boss asks what the problem is and if there is anything they can do to help the person be successful. 


The staff person blurts out to their boss that “Nothing is wrong–I just don’t want anyone to say I’m your b*tch!”


For all the possible reasons for not doing your job this one was quite a shocking one. 


Sure people have challenges–not everyone is good at everything and it’s not always a right fit, but being worried about what other people think about your doing your job…uh, not a very good excuse. 


Seems like something the boss is not going to be able to really fix…maybe a shrink. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Flashback Holocaust

Holocaust -Prints
So I wanted to share this amazing and scary story (true) that happened to me a number of years ago. 


I went with my daughter to visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. 


One of their exhibits is of a cattle car train used to transport Jews in the Holocaust to the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp. 


I remember how frightening it was to see this actual train car (the likes of which I had previously only seen in the movies) where hundreds of thousands of people were herded aboard like animals for the torturous trip to their ultimate murderous and inhuman deaths. 


At the exhibit, I’m not sure that I was supposed to do this, but being a very tactile person, I reached out to touch the train car, maybe partly because I could not believe this was the real thing where such human horrors had occurred. 


Immediately upon touching it, something happened to me–for a moment, everything went black and then I experienced an intense flashback (like being transported back in time and place) to literally being there with the actual people stuffed into these cattle cars–without food, water, sanitation, or enough air to breath–and I could see up close their anguished faces, and actually hear them screaming.


First, I thought I have a vivid imagination and that all the studies on the holocaust and my family being survivors had really had an impact on me. 


But then something else happened to me. 


When I left the Holocaust Museum, I started to get a crazy sharp pain in the side of my neck. Not a soar throat, but like my throat just wasn’t working right. 


I tried to sort of ignore it, but over the course of the day, it got worse and worse, as my breathing was becoming ever more difficult, and it felt like I was actually choking to death–my life was in danger. 


I was rushed to the hospital emergency room, and at first they weren’t sure what was happening to me, and so they started a whole series of tests. 


Crazy enough the tests revealed a deep tissue infection right in the side of my neck, and based on the danger to my breathing and swallowing, the doctors came in to talk with me about doing emergency throat emergency. 


I couldn’t believe what was happening–out of the blue, I touched that death car to Auschwitz and next thing I know, I had a severe tissue infection and my life was hanging by a thread. 


Again unexplainably, but thank G-d miraculously, overnight the dangerous infection literally just disappeared as mysteriously as it was born into my neck tissue–the doctors could not explain it!


The Holocaust which claimed six million Jewish lives–men, women, children–in perhaps the most evil and hideous human event in history, and felt like I had just been transported back in time and touched not just the car, but the actual history and event itself. 


I am left with this mysterious event in my life, it was scary and dangerous, and when they say don’t touch the exhibits, I think I will listen next time. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Someone I Know And Didn’t Know

Be Batman

So this is a true story…


I am on the crowded metro coming home from the office, sitting facing backward and toward the middle of the car. 


There is some noise and rustling coming up from behind me, and I see people’s heads turning and startled looks on their faces. 


I turn around to see what is going on…


Someone in a wheelchair is screaming to get off the train. 


However, he is caught about halfway in between the closing metro doors, and can’t get back in or out and off the train. 


There is one guy who was apparently standing by the doors, and he is trying to get the door open, but can’t budge it.


Everyone else on this busy train seems just frozen, almost as if time had stopped (really). 


But the double train doors are wedged into the larger and smaller wheels (for hand turning) on the side of the wheelchair. 


The person in the chair is still calling out for help and to be released from the clasp of these heavy doors around him–in his seated position, his lower torso from his thighs down are positioned outside the train, but his upper body is still on the train. 


The conductor is trying to move the train again and again…and it’s not apparent whether the failsafe mechanism for the open door will work as the train is lurching forward and the doors are sort of vibrating in this quick open/close fashion. 


Then, I see someone spontaneously jump out of their seat.


They are racing to the wheelchair jammed in the doors.


I see them first try and push open on the left side…but it’s still not budging.


Then, they try and pull the other, right side, open towards them…but it’s to no avail as the forceful doors are wedged in on around the chair. 


With everything around them a blur of seats and faces, the person turns their head looking around for another way…


They see like a target standing out in the distance, an emergency intercom on the front wall of the train.


The person lunges toward it and hits the round button.


The conductor who is still fidgeting with the doors to get them closed and trying to move the train ever forward comes hastily on the speaker, but apparently not connecting the call to him with what’s going on with the doors and wheelchair says “Yeah, what’s the emergency?”


The person catching himself, musters the words to say into the comm device, “There is a wheelchair stuck in the train doors– OPEN THE DOORS!”


The conductor immediately reacts and the doors pull apart from both sides, and the wheelchair almost falls forward, the disabled person sort of thrown from the train, but finally on the platform, and wheeling themselves as quickly as they can towards the elevator to get away from this whole situation. 


With nothing left to do, the person who helped, let’s out a deep breath and is visibly shaken, but also glad to see the person in the wheelchair safe and on their way. 


As he is walking back to his seat, he realizes there are a lot of eyes on him that were just a blur before. 


At the same time, over the speaker system comes the relieved voice of the conductor with a simple “Thank you.”


I see the person sit down, calling his wife to tell her what happened, he starts to silently cry. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)