Thoughts, Philosophy, Life and Love

Category: Holiday Wishes

Another New year – 2020 Edition

As always, the new year bring about thoughts of the past, plans for the future, dreams of what we hope to accomplish and worries of things that might, or might not, happen.

This last decade was incredible and terrible. We had our first, and only, child. I lost many friends and gained very few to replace the empty places vactated by those departing. I had sickness that set me back, physically, quite a bit, suffered an incredible betrayal at the hands of someone I thought was a friend, and we lost my father-in-law in the closing months of the decade.

With past New Years celebrations, I, like so many before me and so many will continue to do, had fallen into the habit of creating a “New Years Resolution”. Those rambling self congratulatory promises that many of us make, to make us feel better about ourselves for a short period of time, and then make us feel bad when, typically about two months into the new year, we fall back into our old habits and forget those “resolutions”.

This year I have decided to actually MAKE the resolution a habit again, but not for anything new. I have decided to make a promise to keep doing something that I have already been doing, but to transition it into a lifestyle, going forward.

That resolution is called, simply… SCREW IT.

Many people that know me, know that I try very hard to help others. I have given so much of my time and energy to people that I do and do not know, to try and help them or help them help themselves. I do this never asking for anything in return and many times if someone DOES try to pay me back, I turn it down. I do that because I do not help people for my own benefit. Since I do not believe in a “Heaven”, I am not expecting brownie points for my good deeds to get some special table or audience with G-d or any other deity (yes, some may point out some implied hypocrasy in that I spelled G-d that way… it is out of respect and habit.) I do not think that, even if there IS a heaven, that it works that way anyhow.

But back to my point.

I have become tired of offering suggestions, helping out, putting my time out there only to not see the person, or persons, I am trying to help actually use, try to use, or appreciate the effort. I am also tired of not seeing some response from people that I try to help. No… I am not asking for praise or a pat on the back. I am asking for people to show respect for the efforts by improving themselves. Or by taking the advice or suggestions and working with them to try to make things better for themselves or those around them.

For example… if you come to me and ask me for advice to set up a page on LinkedIn for your job search and I help you, and I am talking about REALLY helping you, not just point out a couple things and let you go. But sit with you and walk you through everything and then, after all that, you tell me that you had your little brother do it for you… then yeah… I am going to be pissed.

If you ask me for help in getting a job, and I go out on a limb, find you a position and get you in the door and call in favors, and then you say, “Sorry, It’s not what I was looking for.” Then, again… pissed.

These are only two of a couple books of examples I have. And starting this year, it all changes. Altruism has it’s limits and this year, going forward, I have a limited supply.

I will still help. But the moment I see it is not going to be used by the person I am helping, or that the effort is going to be wasted, on my part, I am stepping back and saying…

Screw it.

Do I sound like I am being a little too harsh? Maybe. But we all know what I am talking about. If you are over 25 and have a good heart, you know exactly what I am talking about. Chances are that by 25, if you are one of those that feels good about giving of yourself, that you have had at least one time when someone asked for help, you spent your time with them, and then they went and did it their own way anyhow and, as seems to happen in the cases I recall, they fell on their face.

Yeah… that is what I am talking about, and I am done.

Yes… I know it is harsh. But I have my reasons. Mostly it is that I look at my life and see the investments I made in so many others at the expense of my own happiness and time. And while that is fine for family and the people close to me, it is not so much when I do this for people whose closeness is defined on what I can do for them and do not hear from them otherwise.

That’s all today.

Happy New Year and Happy New Decade.

President’s Day


Remember when there were two days commemorating the presidents?

When I was growing up, I remember school being closed for Lincoln’s  and Washington’s birthday.  I also remember that we did things like make stovepipe hats out of construction paper, and cotton wigs to look like George Washington.  There were also the obligatory beard cutouts for the ones that wanted to look like Abraham Lincoln as well.

When I was very young, we were taught the cliches about the presidents, as most 1st and 2nd graders are not apt to understand the details behind what really happened at Gettysburg or Valley Forge.   We did not care about Washington’s relationship with people like Lafayette and how that friendship is part of what saved the early United States.   We were more interested in the tales of Washington and the cherry tree and the stories about his wooden teeth.

But even with that early, and what may seem like silly, education, I worry that with the combining of the two birthdays, that there are some that are losing the understanding of why we celebrated those days in the first place.

A few years ago I was talking to someone I know and I met their daughter, a ten year old.   I asked her what they were doing for their president’s day holiday and she told me that they were going to buy a car, because that is what president’s day is for.  I asked her where she heard that from, and she told me, “The TV”.

This is sad in two major ways.  First because it tells me that if the school she is going to IS teaching about the meaning of the holiday, even if they are using it to celebrate all the presidents and not just the two that it was originally combined from, then they are not doing a good enough job at it.  Secondly, that their parents are not doing a very good job at teaching the child either.   Believe it or not, parents, education does not stop the moment the kids leaves school.

There is another thing that I thought of while writing this and that is that most holidays are suffering from the commercialism and sales aspect that has been assigned to them.  All the holidays seem to be getting lost in the commercialism morass these days.   I start to wonder if there will ever come a day when people will start to forget that July 4th is just about a day to go get a good deal on a big-screen television.  Or that Christmas is not one of the most important Christian holidays because you get really good deals on year end automobiles.

For me, and the way I am going to raise my son, President’s Day will be a day we sit and spend a little time talking about the past leaders of this country.  And yes, unfortunately, even Bush, Clinton and Obama.

Sempre Fi!

Happy New Year!

Can you believe it?


I can remember being a kid and thinking how far away that sounded.  Thinking that I would be 41 years old and then thinking; “Man, that is old.”

Then, quite suddenly, I was 41 and then, almost as suddenly, I was wishing everyone Happy 2010.

Can you remember all the things that we were supposed to have accomplished by this year?  All the advances that we were supposed to have made by now.

Instead we go into 2010 with a bad economy… a president that seems hell bent on suffocating the very system that got him elected and screwing the rest of us in his personal quest for a universal medical coverage program that a growing majority of Americans are objecting to.

I sincerely hope that this year ends better than it is beginning, and that come November, the PEOPLE stand up and take back THEIR country from these hacks.


Merry Christmas

I would like to wish all of you out there that celebrate it, a Merry Christmas.

It has been a tough year and I hope this holiday… no… this CHRISTMAS season finds you well and healthy.


For me there is just something exciting about Halloween.  It is not so much the day itself, though I will say that it is an under appreciated holiday.

Maybe it is just something as simple as the fact that it represents, to me at least, the change of seasons.  A time when there starts to be that little nip in the air, that little bit of electricity that you feel in the air letting you know that winter is on the way.

When I was young and went out for Halloween, fulfilling that seasonal childhood quest for candy, I remember the slight bite in the air.  Not quite cold enough for a jacket, yet there is that chill.  Then you have the smell.  You know what I am talking about.  There always seems to be that SMELL of winter in the air on Halloween, with the smell of a wood fire burning some where out there which just adds to this.

I would have to say that of the holidays throughout the year, Halloween and Thanksgiving are my favorites.  Christmas has never meant too much to me, it was always someone elses holiday, not mine, being Jewish.

Then there is the festivities of the day itself.  The company that I work for always has a pot-luck on the day of, or the day before, if it falls on a weekend.  There is also the outfits that people wear.  I have always been intrigued by what people chose to wear for that day.  I suspect that sometimes it is fun, but then there are times that I think that people dress to reflect something of themselves that they normally hide away, except this one time each year, you get to try your hidden face on the world under the guise of fun. As Billy Joel says:

“Well we all have a face
That we hide away forever
And we take them out and
Show ourselves
When everyone has gone…”

Reflections on another Christmas past…

Alright… did someone get the license plate number from that truck that hit me?

Oh…  Wait, that was just Christmas and New Years day…  Never mind.

This last Christmas was interesting.  While people everywhere were touting that this was going to be a bad season because of the economy, that did not seem to stop too many people from shopping their hearts out.

Since Naty and I decided to spend our holiday money on joining in to buy yarn for her mother, Lydia Ayers, so that she could crochet hats and scarves for the local American Cancer Society, we did not get to truly experience the holiday cheer of others.  That glorious feeling of going to a store with a couple thousand other people all with that feverish, almost maniacal, quest for the perfect gift, that just happens to be the same thing that everyone else wants.  You know the one… the Miley Cyrus/Hanna Montana gift set with the complementary self esteem killer for girls of all ages.  The racially neutral GI Joe with non-lethal weapons and his United Nations K-Y Jelly.  The politically correct Trivial Pursuit where every answer is the right one, simply because you tried.

Anyway…  Our only experience with the holiday shopping was our forays into the grocery stores.  You see, I like to bake… yes, me… not my wife.  I am a guy that likes to cook…  get over it.  In the stores, there was nothing but people… wall to wall people… looking for everything.

I am not a pleasant shopper.  I can only deal with large groups of people for so long before I start turning into an a$$hole.  There is no other way to say it, so there it is…  That is me.  When you combine two of the things I hate the most, shopping and large clusters of people, then you are looking at me changing into a person that no one, not even my loving wife, wants to be around.

I made no trips to the malls or the department stores this last season, not even for the great post-holiday holocaust that is called a After Christmas sale.  There was just no way that I could deal with the crowds without looking at some mandatory jail time.

Maybe it is my age, but it seems as though this time of year is losing it’s appeal to me.  It is hard for me to find anything truly enjoyable in it anymore that has not been exploited by commercial entities to the point where there is almost no fun in it anymore.  Even Hanukkah is being commercialized more and more, though not nearly as bad as Christmas.

In short, and finally, this is why when people ask me, I tell them that my favorite holiday of the year is Halloween.  I truly think that Halloween is the most fun day of the year… there are no gifts, there is little fanfare, and we get to see into the heart of what people see themselves as.

Another new year!

In the infamous words of Kosh, on Babylon 5… “And so it begins…”

Another year.  Another chance of success, disappointment, money, loss, etc…

We all go into every new year with high hopes for how the year will play out and what we will and well not do throughout that year.  Unfortunately there are many of us who become lazy or complacent and chose not to do anything more than what we are already doing, which is little or nothing.

I have a few goals this year… entering more pictures in the fair as well as entering my cranberry sauces.  Getting a table router so that I can proceed with my efforts to become a somewhat accomplished wood worker.  Most importantly, complete my studies and become a Master Mason (At the time of my writing this, I am a Fellowcraft Mason.)

Every new year is a little bit of terror and a little bit excitement.  Personally I feel pretty good about this next year.

It is my hope that you all have a wonderful year and may everything you pursue find you successful.

Happy Independence Day!!!

Or as it seems to be known nowadays as: Happy “another-obscure-holiday-that-lets-us-mark-everything-down-and-draw-in-people-looking-for-deals” Day.

I wonder how many people remember what today is all about… the real meaning of the holiday.

To all the men and women out there serving all of us in either the capasity of the military or in keeping the peace.  Sempre Fi and Ooorah!

For everyone else…  thank a soldier, policeman or fireman today.  They all deserve it.

Happy Father’s Day

For all you Dads out there…

Happy Father’s Day.

My very best to all those Dads, present and past, at home or over seas. 


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