Monthly Archives: February 2016

Some thoughts on, well, I’m not sure. (Pictures Included)

Everything has seasons, and we have to be able to recognize when something’s time has passed and be able to move into the next season. Everything that is alive requires pruning as well, which is a great metaphor for endings.

Henry Cloud

I need the seasons to live to the rhythm of rain and sun.

Sophie Marceau

It’s remarkable how the same scene can look so drastically different only days apart. Doesn’t that kind of remind you of people? Depending on the mood they are  in or what they may be experiencing can change how you view them. Even though they may be the same, you get a different feeling or vibe with each one depending on how they present themselves at that time.

I took these pictures 5 days apart in the woods behind my house. It snowed on 2/23 and today is 2/28. It’s that time of year in the Hudson Valley of New York when you don’t know whether you are coming or going weather wise.


IMG_3766IMG_3762IMG_3771IMG_3770IMG_3757 - CopyIMG_3748 - CopyIMG_3762 - Copy

If anything, I hope that you enjoyed the pictures that I have taken. It is my hope that in the future, and as the weather continues to improve, I can include more photographs that I take on my hikes (or wherever).

Peace to you all!!!





Can’t we all just get along? (at least until November)

“I don’t have to agree with you to like you or respect you.”

-Anthony Bourdain

“A lot of lip service gets paid to being honest, but no one really wants to hear it unless what’s being said is the party line.”

― Colin Quinn

Disagreement is something normal.

-Dalai Lama

I vowed that when I started this blog that I would not discuss politics. By virtue of the fact that this is an election year, the discussions about who will be the next president have already begun. With the start of the silly season comes much discussion, debate and arguing. Unfortunately but predictably, the discourse has already turned ugly on both sides and it promises to only get worse as each side regurgitates its own set of talking points.

It is also unfortunate that I am not just talking about the candidates, I am talking about the everyday person. Yes, you and I. Your family, friends, co-workers and strangers are already robustly letting each other know what they think about each of the candidates on both the left and the right and it isn’t pretty.   

Why then am I writing about politics? I am writing about it because I want to make a plea to everyone out there today. If you are on the far left, the far right, a moderate, progressive or whatever you choose to call yourself, please read the following and join me in an attempt to make it through November without losing family or friends based on the ugly and often untrue statements or comments that are made during “friendly conversations.” Ok. With all of that said, here we go…

One of the greatest gifts we have is being able to live in a democracy and having the ability to speak our minds about where we stand on the political spectrum. In the years that we elect a new president, it seems that many more people seem to care about politics than in the off years. As spring turns to summer and summer into fall, the attempt to have our positions heard rises to disturbing levels.

With that discussion, of course, comes disagreement. Now don’t get me wrong, disagreement is a good thing as long as it is reasonable and intellectually honest. As noted above, the Dalai Lama says that “disagreement is something normal.” Let me give you some examples.

As you may or may not know, I tend to lean to the right when it comes to fiscal and military issues and to the left in regards to social issues. I like to think that I am more independent than anything else. Each and every time, however,  that I express dissatisfaction with something that President Obama has said or done, it is always insinuated that I am a racist. If I don’t support Hillary, I am then sexist. Could it be possible that I just don’t agree with you?

Sorry folks. Making fun of people (candidates and those you are debating with) and calling them a racist, sexist, homophobe, islamophobe etc. does not make you right, it instead shows your ignorance. You need to support your arguments with facts and not the usual race to blame everything on, well, race or sex. Falling prey to the name calling and the labeling makes you intellectually dishonest, thereby taking you out of the discussion.  

I am making a plea today for everyone reading this not to take the easy way out during this election cycle. Assume that you know and will meet people that have opinions that differ from yours. Let that other person be the one that makes the leap immediately to the negative. When you choose to share the lies and negative nasty comments  that you find on social media about any of the candidates, you make the choice to be part of the problem, and not the solution. You also show that your ability to to engage in a rational and productive political discussion is non existent.

Since this blog is shared on facebook, I am hoping that those of you who are reading this take what I have written to heart and join me in keeping this political cycle a decent and productive one. Electing a president of the United States is, in my opinion, is one of the most important things we can do as a citizen. Let’s not turn into savages as we do it, whichever side you are on.


If just for a day…

It isn’t often these days where you get to personally experience the kindness of strangers. Unfortunately for me, I have become very cynical towards people and have come to expect rude, inappropriate or indifferent behavior. I do not have much faith that people would act to help someone even if they were obviously in trouble. Now, before I go any further, I admit that I am far from perfect but I have made an honest attempt over the course of the last several years to treat people the way that I would want to be treated. Am I always successful in this endeavor? Not at all. But I like to believe that I am making a positive change in this area.

Today we were at the Danbury Mall where my daughter was getting a second hole pierced in each ear. Even after the piercing, she told us with a smile on her face that it hadn’t hurt and she was pretty surprised at that. However, as soon as she stood up, my wife saw that something wasn’t right. My daughter’s eyes had glazed over, she couldn’t speak, her knees began to buckle and she passed out. She and the woman working at the store gently lowered her to the ground and began asking if she was ok.

As this was happening,  a couple of strangers came over to see if she was ok. They were kind, considerate and spoke to my daughter as if they had always known her.

After several minutes I asked Hope if she wanted to try and stand up. She said yes and I helped her get to her feet. We walked out of the store I looked to my right and knew immediately that having her get up so quickly had been a mistake. She had the glazed look again and was mumbling incoherently. At that point she passed out again. Not that I wasn’t worried before, but I was really concerned now thinking that something was really wrong.

Security arrived and I asked them to call paramedics so she could be checked out by medical professionals. Once again, several people stopped and asked if there was anything they could do. They spoke with my daughter and asked if my wife and I were ok. A gentleman soon saw what was happening and identified himself as an EMT.

I think that I can assume that he either worked for a living as an EMT or as a volunteer in a local fire department in the area, but the fact remains that he did not have to stop to see what was going on, but he did. Those 5-6 other people who stopped to see what they could do to help didn’t have to, but they did. The EMT spoke to my daughter and waited until the fire department arrived to take over. As he was walking away, he seemed genuinely surprised when I stopped him, shook his hand and thanked him for taking the time to make sure that Hope was ok. Soon after that, the EMT’s arrived, did what they had to do, and told us that Hope would be ok.

My whole point in relating this story to you is that I am thankful that we still have people who care enough when they see someone in distress to stop and see if they can help. Of course it could have been the fact that she was 14 years old, but once again, they chose to stop to see what they could do to help. The concern was genuine and I genuinely appreciated their assistance. After the professionals arrived and they began to drift away, I made it a point to thank each of these strangers for doing what has unfortunately become behavior that can not be expected. That in itself is truly saddening. My sadness lies in the fact that it seems that people are so fearful these days (of so many things), that although they may want to help when it is needed, their fear does not let them.

I know that it may seem trivial, but it was heartening to have these total strangers approach us to ask if they could help. My faith in humanity has been restored, if only for a day.