Monday, December 27, 2010

Snowstorm December 26, 2010

A blizzard hit the east coast from the Carolinas to New England the day after Christmas, December 26, 2010. These pictures were taken on December 27th, the day after the snowstorm. Despite being a pain in the butt, the snow truly is beautiful!

I really would miss the winter without snow! I know some prefer the warmer climate, but the older I get, the more I prefer the colder weather and the miraculous snow!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Any Regrets? Not At All!

Tomorrow marks the passing of another year of life for me. I will enter another year since my birth some 52 years ago! (Damn that sounds so old)! As most of us probably do, I will think about what has happened over my years here on earth and wonder if there was anything I could have done differently. Of course there are things I might have done differently, but overall I HAVE NO REGRETS AT ALL!!! So I can honestly say, when I look at the picture posted here, that I would not change a thing! For if I changed anything, those 3 beautiful kids would not be in my life and I would be missing a blessing bestowed upon me!
I do not like to dwell of "ifs" because as I like to say, IF NEVER HAPPENS. If is such a small word in the English language, and if can never happen. So why think about it? Why spend time thinking about what life would be like if I did this or that rather than what I did?
The one thing I might have liked changed in my life is any pain I may have caused anyone in my "journey." I hope that I never "wasted" anyone's time by trying to figure out who I was along the way. It took me some 40 years to figure out who I am and what my life is all about. My journey has been a good one. And the blessings I have been given have been great!
My life today is good! I have what I need! I don't struggle with finances and I have never gone hungry or never had a roof over my head! My parents provided for me as a kid, and I was able to provide for myself as an adult. Fortunately I had lots of help along the way.
Since we cannot change what is, I won't contemplate what my life could have been like for too long! I am glad of the family I have, of the job I have, of the friends I have, and of the good fortune that has been with me as I journeyed this life!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

What's It All About? Maybe Christmas Has Shown Me!

I think we all from time to time wonder "what's it all about?" I know I do. I probably more than weekly just ask myself the question, "why am I here?" Events happen in the news, or I watch a tv show or read a story and I cannot help but dwell on why we are put on this earth, live how ever many years it is we live, and then leave. What is the purpose for this? What was my impact?
The world has many answers to this question. Some believe God puts us here to work for him to gain converts for some future kingdom we all go to. I can't see why an all-powerful, all-knowing God would have to use us for this reason. Why does God have to put an in between step into a process? Why not just put those who deserve to be in such a kingdom in that kingdom in the first place. Some believe are "aliens" transplanted here from some other society. If so, again, for what purpose; we are here for WHY? Some believe we are just a "product" of evolution or the natural life-production. But that too does not answer my question "why."
I often wonder what impact, if any, I have on others. Will my life have made any difference, and will anyone even remember me when I'm gone? It's pretty easy to see how a "famous" individual is remembered and made a difference. We all know the name George Washington. His time on this earth and his impact will be remembered a long, long time. We all know who Van Gough is! His works and his presence in this life will be remembered a long, long time. But me? Thus far in life I have not done anything that history books will write about! Like millions, no billions, no ka-trillions that have gone before me, I am not famous! (At least not yet).
So, why am I here?
I think I may have found the answer in a couple of lines written in Christmas cards I recently received. One card had this written: "Thank you for being a supportive, helpful, pleasant prescense in the office." Another card stated: "Thanks for being you and all your support." Both these cards particularly touched my heart, not because it was kudos to me, but because it really hit me: MAYBE THIS IS WHAT MY LIFE IS ALL ABOUT! MAYBE I'M JUST HERE FOR THIS REASON and nothing more!
We all walk pass through this life, and most of us will not be famous or well-known. But we all have a reason for being. We all have an impact on someone else! Perhaps it's just that simple and nothing more.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's That Time of Year Again!

As much as I complain about Christmas and all the commercialism that goes along with it, I must admit it's probably the most fun and exciting time of the year! For me it all begins at Thanksgiving, which is my FAVORITE holiday of all. I like the simplicity (well, not necessarily simple for the person preparing the meal), and just gathering with family and loved ones to spend a day just saying "thanks" even if you never really say "thanks" during the day at all. (You know what the day is all about and you feel the "thanks" in your heart. At least I do). Then, I am ready to begin the Christmas season.

I was at a lunch yesterday with colleagues and we all reminisced about past Christmases, especially traditions as children. I think that's one of the reasons Christmas is so enjoyable for everyone: we all think back to "simpler" times and the fun we had. We all wish for those times again, and although we know it won't happen, for just a few minutes, for just a few weeks, we are there! Traditions continue because of the comfort this time of the year brings. Christmas songs are so well liked for this very reason. The songs take us back to a better time.

We rush to get things all done before that big day! We rush to get gifts for those on our lists! Holiday parties are fun! What better time to have a party than at Christmas? All again to bring us into our "comfort zone."

Life is tough! All of us have tragedies and hardships througout the year, but this time of year makes us feel good. And we all like to feel good!

So Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Is It Really That Important?

November 2, 2010 is only a little over a week away! It is Election Day, the Midterm Elections, as it is often called. Most people don't think it's very important! Most people say they only vote in the Presidential Election every four years! But this election is important!

Americans seem to be dissatisfied with the way things in this country are going. I am not saying all is well, but things are heading in the right direction, in my humble opinion. The stock market has been having much better days and weeks, manufacturing appears to be on the up rise, slowly but surely, and unemployment, although still way too high, is leveling off and slowly moving downward!

The Democrats, under President Obama's leadership, are moving this country forward. The recovery has not been as quick as many would like, but it is happening. And it's happening with real change! I know the mantra that Bush got us here is old, but it is TRUE! It took eight long years to get in the shitty shape this country is in, and it may take some time to get the US back out of trouble.

Many think the bailouts of the banks, auto industry, and other assistance cost way too much! I however, disagree! Imagine what this country would look like if the big banks and the big auto companies went totally under! Think unemployment is bad now? Imagine ALL of GM and Chrysler's employees being on the food lines! Imagine ALL the mortgages held by some of the largest banks going under! The Dems have put in place some real regulations on Wall Street! The Repubs want NO regulations! Just the thing that got us here in the first place!

Health Care in the US, often tauted as Obama-Care, is a PLUS for us! It did not go far enough, but it's a start! We cannot simply abandon it and go back! That's what the Repubs and Tea Party people want! "Leave mine alone! Don't fix it for the few!" That was some of the comments heard during the health care debate!

Bottom line: the Repubs don't care about anybody but themselves! The Repubs just want us to go backwards! That is why it is so important to vote on November 2nd! The vote is to move forward, or go backwards!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

This One Got So Much Attention

I thought I'd post it again!

The EVIL Catholic Church's History
Today’s Philadelphia Inquirer (Sunday, September 25, 2005) contained a front page story about the recent scathing grand jury report incriminating priests, and providing evidence of cover up by many high ranking officials The jist of the article , called Faith strong despite scandal, was that “Area Catholics are angry, but some call the idea of leaving the church unfathomable.” Many Catholics, the article stated, are disappointed, and even mad, but with a faith in God that is still strong, many would never think of leaving the Catholic Church.
I’ve got news for the many Catholics in the world. The Catholic Church, not to mention other churches as well, has had scandal and blood on its hand since its beginning. This recent sex abuse scandal is just another in a long line of embarrassing and illegal atrocities of men who call themselves Christian, and “men of God.”
Remember the Crusades? Remember the Inquisition? Remember the silence and even support of Hitler? Remember the many peoples conquered by the Catholic Church in the name of God? And now, think of the many children abused by the Catholic Church.
I do not understand how a “strong faith in God” equates to support of the Catholic Church, or any church that commits such heinous atrocities. God is God. He is not any one denomination or man-made institution. I have to say I know my Bible pretty well, but tell me where it says that God is the Catholic Church? Where is this “once a Catholic, always a Catholic” thing written? The God I believe in doesn’t require me to belong to any particular church group.
Would a God-fearing Christian continue to hold fast to any other organization that conducted illegal activity? If one belonged to a civic organization that decided to engage in criminal activity to increase its budget, would one think twice about leaving that organization? If a group a God-fearing Christian belonged to had several members committing sexual abuse, would that group still be supported?

The Beauty of Fall

Fall! Probably my favorite time of the year! The summer heat and humidity are gone! The days days are warm, but not unbearable, and the nights cold, but not bitter! There's a smell in the air that is clean!

I reached out for my morning newspapers today, and the cool air hit my body! I took a deep breath to feel the coolness inside my lungs! AHHHHH!!! I love it!

Friday, July 23, 2010

President Obama: Please Stop Tiptoeing Around the Repubs

By now I'm sure everyone has heard the story of the firing of Shirley Sherrod from her position at the Department of Agriculture this past Tuesday. This was followed by an apology from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and eventually President Obama himself. Ms. Sherrod has been offered a new job at the Agriculture Dept., but she has not yet accepted.
This entire incident came as a result of a conservative blogger, Andrew Breitbart's posting of her speech on the web and a showing on the Bill O'Reilly show on Fox. Mr. Beitbart's motive was to get back at the NAACP's claim that the Tea Party had racist elements.
I think the reason for most of the controversy is that the Obama Administration has so far been afraid to stand up to the conservative GOP, and in doing so, felt they needed to react immediately to claims of racism without getting the entire picture. I say emphatically that I support President Obama, but it's time he stop worrying about hurting the feelings of the GOP and just do what he was elected to do! President Obama needs to tell the GOP to go pound sand and move forward with his agenda!
Please, President Obama, learn from this experience!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Is It Worth It?

September 11, 2001 is a day that will live in our memories forever! It was a tragedy, none that the US has ever experienced on its own soil! More than 2,700 people lost their lives in the attack on the World Trade Center.
That event 9 years ago began the entrance of the US into Iraq and Afghanistan in a fight against terror, one which the US as also never seen! Since the US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, over 6,000 men and women have died!
Has it been worth it? I do not mean to belittle that tragic 9-11 event, but how much longer does the US continue to lose lives fighting this "war"? The US is fighting terrorists? How? What will be the victory signal? How will the success be measured?

We are fighting the terrorists over there so we won't have to fight them here. We've heard this since George W. got us into this mess in 2001! The US is about to leave Iraq, and has increased it's battle against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Are these the terrorists we are fighting? What if the US is successful in wiping out the Taliban in Afghanistan? There aren't terrorists in other countries? Yemen it appears, may be the newest hangout for Al Qaeda? Don't forget Somalia, the Philippines, and all the other places in the world Al Qaeda flourish. Maybe even in parts of the US?
So we fight in Iraq and then in Afghanistan, then where next? It is a never ending battle. Will the US move from one country to the next in the war on terror? What a waste! As I hear almost everyday of another casualty in Iraq and Afghanistan, I cannot help but wonder what a waste!
Bring the resources- men, women, and money- back to the US and really make our borders safer. Put the resources into overseas intelligence and truly fight terrorism. Bill Maher has said it time and time again, and I'll repeat it: You cannot fight terrorism with war! It just won't work, and more and more lives will be lost!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

No Support Until They Support Me

If you're like me, you get mailings from your political party all the time. Today I received a mailing again from the New Jersey Democratic Party Victory Fund. Because of my impatience with the Democratic Party recently, both on the federal and state level, instead of contributing to a party, I will decide which individuals I will support. Also, I will return the mailing with not only no contribution, but an explanation of my disgust.
The following is a letter I returned to the New Jersey Democratic Party Victory Fund:

July 8, 2010

New Jersey Democratic Party Victory Fund
PMB 1992
1977 North Olden Avenue
Trenton, NJ 08618-2193

To whom it may concern,

When the NJ Democrats get some backbone then perhaps I will contribute to a “victory party.” When the NJ Democrats stand up to the bullish Governor Christie then maybe I’ll contribute to a “victory party.” When the NJ Democrats fight for marriage equality for all NJ citizens, then, and only then will I give my hard earned dollars to support a “victory party.”

NJ Democrats had a recent opportunity to stand up to Governor Christie’s ridiculous 2.5% budget cap! Instead, they caved and gave in to the Governor’s idea. You can call it a compromise! I call it Giving In! The NJ Democrats could have held firm on the 2.9% cap by not allowing any amendment vote to go to the people as the Governor wanted. The NJ Democrats could have forced the Governor to the 2.9% or no cap of any kind. However, they gave in!

Months before the November 2009 election and the defeat of Jon Corzine, the NJ Democrats were poised to institute gay marriage in NJ. As soon as Corzine lost, the Democrats lost their backbone and gave up! Marriage Equality died in NJ because of the cowardice of the NJ Democrats!

I will only support those individuals who stand up for what Democrats believe in: equity for all, compassion for all, and justice for all!

Thank you.

If you feel the same way I do, I ask that you do something similar. I don't always type up a formal letter, but most times just jot down a few words on the return contribution form.

Monday, June 07, 2010

My Weekend Conference

I spent this past weekend at the American Aerobic Association International/International Sports Medicine Association (AAAI/ISMA) "2010 One World" Conference in Atlantic City. The conference was comprised of various "stars" in the health conditioning field such as Rob Glick, Shaun "T" Thompson and Leslee Bender. (Sure, I have never heard of these people either until recently. Rob Glick is a star trainer on "Exercise TV" and has many fitness videos. Shaun "T" has appeared on numerous TV shows and danced with Mariah Carey. Leslee Bender is the founder of the Bender Ball Method and The Pilates Coach, and also stars in over 25 DVD's and infomercials). My training for the weekend mainly took place in a classroom setting with Todd Bezilla, DO, who specializes in personal training. He was an excellent speaker and very full of knowledge.
In addition to learning where the Flexor Digitorum, the Soleus, and the Vastus-Intermedius muscles are located (the forearm, the inside of the calf, and the thigh), we studied how the brain sends signals to the muscles to do their thing, how to design strength and conditioning programs, and client assessment methods among other things. I also picked up some of those more interesting facts along the way. Here are just a few:
1. I heard the word, "homunculous" spoken again. A homunculus is a "little person", a miniature, fully formed individual. One of the diagrams we viewed was a homunculous. The first time I heard this word was just a few weeks ago on "The Big Bang Theory" when Sheldon, the brainiac, referred to Leonard as a HOMUNCULOUS!
2. According to Dr. Bezilla, the best remedy for most ailments we face is the CTHD Prescription, or better known as the Calm The Hell Down method! Most of the problems of most of the people walking around is they are too stressed and need to learn to Calm The Hell Down!
3. Muscle cells develop through what is known as Hypertrophy, they thicken, as opposed to hyperplasia, which would be an increase in the number of cells. (This is generally not a good thing as cancer is caused by hyperplasia). Fat cell, however, grow both by hypertrophy and hyperplasia; they increase in thickness and number. Then the increased number will continue to increase in number as well!
4. Taking one's pulse at the coratid artery, the pulse you feel in the neck, can result in a lowering of one's blood pressure, and if one pushes too hard on the coratid artery, one can cause passing out!
5. Muscle is not grown during a workout! It is grown during sleep! So anyone who brags about always working out and never sleeping is a fool! How much sleep do we need? Depends on the individual. One should feel rested after waking, and be able to make it through the day. If you're falling asleep at 2PM, you probably did not get enough sleep. Some people need alot of sleep, some only need a shorter amount, and some need naps throughout the day.
6. Buddy got Back! It's better to have a big butt than a big belly! Proud of that beer belly, you know the big, hard belly alot of people have! That is a sure sign of trouble brewing down the road. It's a sure indication of heart problems to come!
7. You can indeed blame your parents for alot of your abilities and weaknesses. Genetics plays a major role in the muscle fiber types we have. There are fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are needed for those sports/activities that require quickness and bursts of speed. Then there are slow-twitch muscle fibers that are better for endurance type activities. Your ability depends on these muscle fiber types. No matter how hard you train, depending on the type fiber your body is mostly comprised of, you will not excel if you don't have the correct muscle fiber type!
8. There are 2.2 pounds per kilogram! Good info to know.
9. Overtraining does nobody any good! As a matter of fact, it causes just the opposite desired effects. Again, if someone brags because they work out 8 hours a day, they are probably overtraining and doing themselves no good whatsoever. They also are at risk for injury. Moderation is the key.
10. I am left-eye dominant. We did a little test to find this out. Ask me sometime and I can explain it to you.
That was my exciting weekend!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Summer Certainly Has Hit South Jersey

If you like Summer, it's already here in Southern New Jersey! Or so it seems! I realize Memorial Day came a bit late this year, but the temperatures have been very much over the norm. Hurricane Swartz commented the other day that we were 13 degrees above our normal temperature for this time of the year. That's fine, but if in July we are 13 degrees over the normal temperature, it's going to be HOT!! I say, "Just enjoy it while you can!" Think back to December, January, February, and March when South Jersey had record snow and you'll appreciate the heat!

Monday, May 31, 2010


Went and saw Sex and the City 2 last night. It was light, enjoyable, and funny. Definitely not as good as the first movie, but fun nonetheless. Will it win an academy award? Definitely not! The girls, still soul mates after all these years, start off at the gay wedding of Standford and Anthony. Liza Minnelli definitely steals the show with her rendition of Single Ladies. Then, it's off to Abu Dhabi for a stay in a luxurious, and I mean luxurious $22,000.00/night resort. But The Arab Emirates culture eventually gets the best of the girls and home they return, not too happy. (There has been controversy among the arab and Muslim world, and after seeing the movie, I understand why). But all ends well as is to be expected, and the lives of the ladies continues.
I believe the real meaning of the movie, from beginning to end, is that every relationship is unique! Every relationship, whether it be that of a same-sex couple, a single, sex-crazed female, a childless couple who consider "days off" from the marriage, or working mothers who find it extremely difficult, has its own rules. Each couple, or individual, must make up the rules that best fits their lives and circumstances. Also, families are unique and individual as well.
In our society, fortunately, we see the uniqueness of relationships and families everyday. The blurring of the past traditions is somewhat confusing and hard for some to grasp. Tradition is important, but we cannot stop the hands of time. No matter how much one dislikes it, society is in constant change and evolution. Nothing can remain the same. We have to realize this and move on with society as it changes.


To the men and women of the US military I say, "Thank you! Thank you for the freedoms that I have!"

Now, repeal DODT!! And then end DOMA!! Marriage equality for All!!

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day celebration everyone!

Monday, January 18, 2010


I have been doing a lot of thinking lately and I have come to one conclusion: I AM A LIBERAL!

I believe that one of the most important roles of government is to create a fair playing ground for everyone, regardless of background. It shouldn’t matter if you were born to parents living in a mansion by the lake, or a shack in the Hood. All should have the same opportunity to make it in this country! If that makes me a Liberal, then I am a Liberal!

I believe that the US Constitution provides the same rights to all the People of this great land, regardless of whether or not I agree with anyone’s position on an issue! I may not like what someone is doing, or I may not agree with how someone lives his life, or who someone loves, but he is entitled to the same rights to life, liberty, and happiness as I am! If that makes me a Liberal, then I am a Liberal!

I believe that this country needs to take care of the less fortunate! I do not believe in simple “hand outs,” but if someone’s situation has placed them in a less than optimum position to succeed, we need to give whatever assistance we can! If that makes me a Liberal, then I am a Liberal!

I believe health care in this country is a right, not a privilege of the few! I believe every US Citizen is entitled to affordable, or free, healthcare! There is no reason whatsoever that a country as rich as the US does not provide the necessary health care for it’s people! If that makes me a Liberal, then I am a Liberal!

I have read a lot recently that mainstream America is more like the Sarah Palin’s Rush Limbaugh’s, and and Dick Cheney’s of the world, than the Ted Kennedy’s and Bill Clinton’s, but I say that the majority of Americans believe in justice and equality for all! I believe the majority of Americans feel disenfranchised and have given up hope that what they feel means anything. The majority of Americans doesn’t think they can make a difference.

Yes, I have to admit that I AM A LIBERAL! And I am DAMN PROUD of it too!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Battle For Marriage Equality Continues

The fight for marriage equality continued yesterday, this time in California, as a court case challenging the Prop 8 vote banning same-sex marriage in California, began. Geoff Kors, from California Equality, gives his position on the debate.
Essentially what the challenge is trying to prove is that Prop 8 is Unconstitutional. Yes, Federally Unconstitutional. The opponents of Prop 8 who brought this lawsuit, contend that the US Constitution does not allow any single group, racial, religious, or a particular sexual orientation, to be discriminated against. Prop 8 discriminates! Regardless of what the Court in California rules, this will likely be appealed to the US Supreme Court, which could make all state laws forbidding same-sex marriage invalid.
Keep up the fight!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

What A Disappointment!

In November, when Jon Corzine lost the NJ State Governor's race to Chris Christie, the Democrats in the legislature lost their balls! The Democrats have decided to forget about doing what is right and are now more concerned about what they need to do to get re-elected and continue their political careers.
This became evident today when the State Senate voted against marriage equailty in NJ. The Senate, by a vote of 20-14, just one vote short of a victory, defeated the Gay Marriage bill that would have move NJ forward in providing all its citizens equality.
I would like to thank those Senators, Democrat and Republican, that voted for marriage equality, and inform those who did not support marriage equality that the time will come, with or without them, that NJ will have marriage equality. The NJ Supreme Court ruled that NJ must allow full marriage equality, and Civil Unions do not afford that! This battle will now be fought in the courts, and the LGBT will prevail! Lambda Legal is already preparing the fight!
NJ.Com reported how they voted. I am particularly saddened by Van Drew's vote! He of all people should understand the wishes and desires of the LBGT community. Thanks Senator James Whelan! And thanks Senator Bill Baroni for crossing party lines and supporting this measure!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy 2010. Wishing You The Best!

Welcome 2010! A new decade! The start of a new beginning. Here's wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!
While I watched the revelry in Times Square on television, I wondered how and why a date in time is important! What makes January 1st all that? After all, it's just a date. Why not June 1st or some other date? Duh! It's more than just the turning of a new page! It's the "getting a new calendar" time! (By the way, I still haven't bought a 2010 calendar for home and it's driving me crazy. Hopefully I can find one 1/2 off at the mall this weekend). June 1st or any other first day of the month is just turning page, not taking the entire calendar down and putting it away or throwing it in the trash. I guess January 1st represents a new beginning! A time to put away the old and bring in the new! A symbolic gesture, to say the least, because after the celebration of New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, the clock just continues. Has anything really changed? Come Monday January 4, 2010, I'll go to work and continue in the same routine that I did just the week before. But the new year year brings a new hope that things will be better, or even better if you had a good last year.
I wish everyone a very Happy New Year and a prosperous 2010. I am not only speaking in terms of money, which we all could use a nice boost in, but health, family, personal decisions, etc., etc., etc. I don't know what tomorrow brings. It could be my last day! But we as humans, for the most part I believe, have that tendency to hope that tomorrow will be better. And for everyone, I hope it is too!