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WordPress

WordFest 2021

WordFest Live, run by A Big Orange Heart, is back for its second time! The inaugural WordFest Live was only in January. It was a total success that they wanted to do another one.

WordFest Live is a 24 hour WordPress virtual conference to help promote the open-source operating system and mental health in the WordPress community and beyond.

It’s free to attend, so really there is no reason not to.

Goldstein Media is proud to be a micro-sponsor, and I’m happy that I can volunteer for some of the time.

I’ll be posting more as we get closer to July 23rd.

Find out more here: https://www.wordfest.live/

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General

Not Sure What To Title This

That’s always a great way to start a blog post. 🤣

This past weekend as you can see from my last post, was a tough one. Johnny’s death hit me harder than I thought it would. 😥

He’s my age and has young kids. I guess that played a part in how down in the dumps I am. I also feel for Jessica, his amazing, strong, resilient wife. She’s an amazing mother too. A mom to 3 adorable kiddos. I can’t imagine what she’s going through right now. All I want to do is give her a HUGE hug and tell her that I’m there for her and will help out in any way I can.

Friday is the funeral. I’m still waiting on the details. It’s going to be anywhere from a 2 to 3-hour drive, but this family is worth it. I need to be there.

As I said, I wasn’t sure what to title this post. I think the title suits it.

I’m going to try and write more. I think it’s good for me to get my thoughts out.

Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

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General

I’m Mourning

A good friend’s husband just passed from brain cancer. He was around my age (~40).

He left behind a wife, 3 young kids, and a wonderful dog.

My heart aches for my friend and her kids. I just found out this morning.

Her husband has been battling brain cancer for years. And has put up a good fight.

He was a good man, a good husband, and a father.

I’m not sure why I’m taking it so hard. It could be that he’s so young. It could be that he left behind a family. It could be that I’m dealing with my own (albeit not even close to terminal) mishigas and I’m feeling just that much mortal today.

I’m not putting this out there for sympathy for me. I’m just want to talk about it put words to my feelings.

I just turned 40 last month, and I’m realizing that I’m no longer young. I might even be middle-aged (groan).

The stages of life are… Get Married, Have Kids, Grow Old, The Have Friends Start Die. This way too soon.

Having been brought up going to Quaker schools, the Quakers have a tradition of holding people in the light. That’s all I can do now. In the Jewish religion, you can say the Mourner’s Kaddish.

https://s3th.io/kaddish

I’m struggling, with this. I’m struggling because he was so young. It wasn’t sudden. It was coming. But… yea…

I’m sad, very sad.😪😭

I know this was a ramble. But I need to get this out.

Categories
General

Minecraft… An Escape

I belong to a great community of techy-type people called Indy Hall. I’ve known about the community since 2010 and it’s been around since 2006. It’s one of the first co-working spots in the US if not the World.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic started last year (2020), the community has been a great place for me to escape and be among people even though we couldn’t be in person.

Using the Discord App, Indy Hall has survived the pandemic where others have not.

So what does this have to do with Minecraft? Well, we have a Minecraft realm setup for Indy Hallers and friends. It’s great and an even bigger escape from the craziness of the world.

It was originally started on one member’s machines. When we realized how popular it was getting we moved to the official Minecraft Java Edition Realms.

Right now there are about 10 of us using it and it’s amazing the expansiveness of the world. The different so many different biomes to explore and recently, Nick, our trusty Minecraft gearhead set up a teleportation station so we can get to far-flung spots in the world. One of which is a huge mountain with waterfalls. Strangely even in 8-bit graphics, it’s beautiful.

Part of why I’m writing this is to share some of the screenshots from our world. Another reason is to share my enthusiasm for this community. Without Indy Hall, I’d be so much more down in the dumps.

Thank you Indy Hall, the community and the team, for all that you do.

See you on Discord and/or Minecraft.

If you’re interested in checking out Indy Hall, check them out at IndyHall.org.

Categories
The New Reality

The Pandemic Is Still Real… Still Here In Full Force

I saw this about Covid-19’s resurgence in the most populous states in the United States on LinkedIn.

This is not a political issue. Heck it’s being talked about widely on the biggest business social network. It’s a health issue. It’s about our health.

There is no vaccine for Covid-19. There isn’t even a good treatment for it right now if you get the virus really bad.

I, just like everyone else, want the world to return to normal, but I also want to be around to see my kid graduate high school/college, get married, have kids etc.

So it’s only been 4 or so months. Not even a year. I get that I’m fortunate enough to have a business that is thriving during this time. But regardless a dead customer isn’t a customer. It’s a body count.

This is serious folks. Let’s treat it as such.

Photo by Heidi Fin on Unsplash

Categories
The New Reality

Covid-19… I Get It

Seriously, I get it. We’re all sick of being stuck in our homes and not interacting with other people as much as we used to.

We want to get out. As humans were social beings — we want to be around each other and hang out.

But there is a deadly killer out there. There is no vaccine. there’s not even an effective treatment to make sure you don’t die from this virus.

I get it. I want to go back to my office. I want to go back to happy hours in person. I need a break from my house and my immediate neighborhood.

I missed the space between home and work. Yes, I worked from home from time to time. But having office space 10 minutes away helped exponentially.

But the virus is still out there. It’s still fucking killing people. I just saw a stat that the virus has killed more Americans then World War I. That freaks me out. And it should freak everyone else out as well.

People have stayed home for 3 plus months and haven’t gotten the virus, only to go out to the bar once and get it.

People are working on a vaccine as fast as possible. I don’t think it’s going to take 4 years. I think, just my opinion, we’re going to see if vaccine early next year. That’s when life can and should get back to normal.

Keep in mind, Covid-19 will most likely become a yearly thing, like the common flue, with vaccines having to be gotten yearly. But, like with the flu, we’ll have a jumping off point in the future.

Let’s all not forget that we’re still not out of the woods yet. Covid-19 is still a threat — a major threat.

Also, it’s not just about you and how you make it through it without much of anything. It’s the people around you they might not fare so easily.

Be be smart. Be safe everyone.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Categories
General

Our History… The Statues… Our Checkered Past

There’s been a lot of animosity surrounding statues lately. And in many cases rightfully so.

Christopher Columbus statues across the country are coming down or being boxed up, in a case of Philadelphia.

It is a time of reckoning about our past in this country. Symbols of oppression and hate need to come down.

But this is where I have trouble. I’m a history buff. I was a history major in college, along with journalism. I grew up going to see Civil War battlefields with my dad. I grew up amongst the remnants of the American Revolution.

Our past is spotty. There is no arguing that. I agree with taking down statues whose only reason is to remind people of white power and racism.

But I get concerned when history gets erased.

Being Jewish the Holocaust is burned into my brain at an early age. There are many who want to erase that past, but there are many reasons why we should not and cannot. But this post isn’t about that past. It’s about America’s history.

Today in the New York Times there was an excellent article about the statues coming down across the country. The author made a good point. Put many the statues in museums with documents detailing why they’re not erected outside anymore and about the history of these people. So that we can learn from the past, not erase it.

When some people in Philadelphia turned up with bats and firearms to protect a Christopher Columbus statue, we know we’ve got a problem. That’s taking your heritage way too far.

It’s a statue. If anyone knows a good Italian family, you know you can’t take that culture away from them. Nor would you want to.

Yet I’m the same breath, I struggle with taking down statues especially at historic places, like Gettysburg and other battlefields. I feel like the statues help explain what happened on these hallowed grounds. But having a Robert E. Lee statue from the 1950s in downtown Richmond is inappropriate.

Having Confederate statues in our nation’s capital building is ridiculous.

I’m not saying destroy these monuments. I’m saying put them somewhere where we can learn about the history behind the people depicted.

I guess where I stand is, take down these monuments, but preserve them so we can learn from them — our past.

Categories
General

On Defunding The Police…

Where to start. I have family that are police officers and in law enforcement. To my knowledge they are upstanding and honorable. That’s why defunding the police is such a hard topic for me.

Watching how the police deal with protesters angers me. Seeing how they are dealing with the press makes me seethe in anger.

I’m a recovering reporter, who covered the police as part of my beat when I worked for a variety of newspapers. I had a good relationship with those in blue, with whom I covered. But watching the interaction across the nation between police and the public makes me wonder if it was all just a show.

Lately, I find myself, when I see a police officer somewhere interacting with the public, reaching for my phone to record. Thankfully, I have yet had a reason to pull it out. But I know it’s only a matter of time.

I really don’t know how to form an opinion about defunding the police. I think there are times when the police are needed, but many of the times when they show up first, when they should be the last to be there. There are other services that should be responding first.

We have an Iraq War veteran with mental health issues (PTSD etc.) on our street. The police have shown up numerous times to his house. Mental health providers should be the ones showing up not the police.

I know this is a ramble, and hopefully it make sense.

This is where I stand, the police departments and the culture of policing have got to reform and evolve. The mentality of shoot first, ask questions later needs to stop. Police officers need to be held accountable for their actions. End of story.

No one should be above the law, not even those sworn to protect it. Police need to be held to a higher standard.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Keep the civil please.

Categories
General

I don’t know where to even begin #riots2020

I don’t even know where to begin. Covid-19 is still a real threat, but we can’t sit idle and not fight back against a police state taking hold.

The death is George Floyd is just one more example of the police being out of control.

I’m not saying that all police are bad, the majority, I hope, are good. But what we’ve seen over the last few days with the riots is that many of the police are showing their true colors.

Arresting Journalists Is NEVER Okay

Police arresting journalists who are filming them and the riots, even when the journalist identify themselves as press. This is unacceptable. Not only does it go against the 1st Amendment it goes against the Geneva Conventions.

Having been a reporter in my past profession, this treatment of the press has got to stop. But it won’t as long Trump is calling the Forth Estate the enemy. The press is not the enemy. It never was and never will be. What scares those in authority is that journalists hold them accountable, and they clearly don’t like that.

This Isn’t New

What’s happening to our country isn’t new. It’s been going on for awhile. It’s sparked up since Trump was elected and has only gotten worse.

Our country is in pain. Our country is in need of healing. The only way this can happen it’s those bad actors in authority are held accountable for their actions.

Sadly, I don’t think many of the bad actors in a place of authority caught on film are going to be held accountable for their actions.

We have a long way to go for healing. Changes are going to have to be made or we will never recover from this.

Categories
Work/Life Balance

Quarantine Life A Challenge For Sure

Quarantine life is definitely challenging.

The kiddo is obviously home and has to learn, wife has to find a job (she’s a real catch for any company looking for a business manager or biz ops person, hint hint), and I have to keep Goldstein Media well oiled and moving.

So far it’s being done, but not without a lot of stress.

I wish I could say that this extra time with my family is fun and relaxing, but it’s only the former sometimes and never the latter.

By the way, I refuse to call this “The New Normal!” There is nothing normal about this. It’s “The New Not Normal!”

How is everyone else doing?

(This was originally a status message on LinkedIn. Thought I’d post it here as well.)