Fire Stripes on Buggy

Thought this VW with the fire stripes was pretty cool. 


Black, white, and red.  


Definitely a standout!


The only thing better is the VW van with the psychedelic hippie colors and fantastical images for hope and love.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

I Drive The Tractor

Thank you so much to Rabbi Schneur Kaplan for his wonderful speech today in Downtown Jewish Center Chabad synagogue, Fort Lauderdale.


He told the story about the boy who grew up in Israel as a chasid, but later left chasidism to work the land–he drove a tractor!


Years later, the young man rediscovers his religion and goes back to yeshiva to study, and he is excellent and surpasses many of his peers.


Eventually, he ends up in a one-on-one with the Rebbe–and he waits with baited breath for what the great Rebbe will tell him that will guide his life–will he become a great scholar, Rabbi, shaliach, or head of a Yeshiva.


Then the Rebbe speaks, and says:

“You will be a tractor driver”


The young man is shocked and goes back to studying Torah with even more determination and harder than ever.


Once again, he comes before the Rebbe, and he is anticipating what he will say.


Again, the Rebbe looks deep into his soul and says:

“You will drive a tractor!”


Sure enough, the man now understanding that he has to meet his particular fate head on, goes back to working the Holy Land and driving the tractor.


But in so doing he is able to do outreach to tens of thousands of people who otherwise would have never had the opportunity to be brought close to Hashem through Chasidism.


The message was that we are not all destined to be clones, robots, or do the same thing in life.


The Torah is our guide to serve Hashem and do what is right.


But each of us has our own mission in serving Him and we can achieve greatness and Holiness even when we drive a tractor or do whatever we do.


I am not a Rabbi, but in my own way, I try to raise my family–be a good husband, father, and prior a good son–and also to serve with integrity and a good example in my professional and educational endeavors.


It’s okay that I’m not a Chabad Rabbi doing outreach–that’s not me–although I did meet someone today from my elementary school, Manhattan Day School, that did become just that and we had a nice kiddish lunch with him and caught up together after services.


I am me–and I am okay with me.


I don’t have to be someone else–anyone else.


I can do good being me–and that is what I will try to do with each and every breath of every day.


Whether I drive a tractor (or this cool VW van with a big smiley face), we all serve our Maker.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Hippie Bus Menorah

Hippie Bus Menorah
I took this photo today of a Menorah made on the top of a VW Bus. 



Inside, the bus still had the seats, and outside it had these cute Hippie flower pedals. 



It was unique, fun, colorful, nostalgic and it rolls. 



Plus you can fulfill the commandment (mitzvah) of lighting candles at Chanukah time. 



What a novel piece of Judaica–love it! 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

It’s All In The Execution, Baby!

Hope Change Peace Love
I took this photo on the left yesterday (while the one on the right is from a CD music set).



This lady was wearing this gorgeous shirt.



The words: “Hope, Progress, Change, Action. Yes we can Believe.”



Aroud it were the tie-dye colors emanating like the sun,



It is very inspiring!



I was reminded of a similar 1960’s slogan of “Peace, Love, and Rock & Roll.”



Also good stuff and especially with the cool VW brightly painted minivan–who doesn’t want that?



We all want great things from life.



The key is getting us from idea to execution.



Maybe not such a little thing, but that’s what life is all about! 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Amazing 60’s VW Van

Band_kamp

Driving toward Rockville, I saw this incredible 60’s VW van with all the flaming rainbow designs for peace, love, and rock & roll.

It was parked on top of this bright orange and blue garage–not sure how it got up there.

I asked my wife to quickly snap a photo as we went by, and she was successful.

While I wasn’t even born yet, when this van would’ve been all the rage, I can still feel reminiscent for the times–when things seemed so much simpler and in a way, purer.

In my mind, it was a time when people rallied around democracy, freedom, human rights, peace and diversity.

While they didn’t know from personal computers, smartphones, and the Internet, people were full of hopes and dreams–perhaps that what ushered in all the great technology that soon followed.

(Source photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

>Stairway to User-centric Heaven

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This video was sent to me and I do not know the original source (except VW), but it’s great.

It shows what happens when you take the most ordinary daily activity (in this case a simple flight of stairs) and make it user-centric.

Even more, people will walk “the extra mile” when something is appealing to them.

Notice how an unused staircase becomes the preferred method–down and even up–over the escalator when people have a user-centric reason to switch.

This is brilliant and the true essence of what it means to enterprise architect our organizations, products, services, policies, plans, and so forth in a way that people can really use.

Further, technology is not only bits and bytes, but any tool we use to get the job done.

Life truly can be healthy, meaningful, and fun when it’s user-centric, visionary, and innovative.