Categories
General

Remembering September 11… 20 Years Ago Today

I was going to write my thoughts down in my private journal, but I realized I wanted to share my thoughts publicly.

I remember 9/11/01 like it was yesterday. I, like many, can photo-realistically replay the day over and over like a movie in my head. I can’t believe it’s been 20 years.

It was my sophomore year at the University of Delaware. I remember it. I don’t want to rehash it here. But I do want to remember all those who we lost that day.

I don’t want to debate whether it was an inside-job or anything. I just want us all to reflect. To take a moment and be real with ourselves. Let us all feel the emotions that come to us.

Some of us were affected more than others, but that doesn’t mean that we all don’t have emotions surrounding this day.

9/11/2021 was a day just like today. Blue skies, almost no cloud in the sky.

What hit me today was reading Jeff Jarvis’ post of his 9/11 experience.

I remember calling my step-mom after getting back to my dorm and watching the coverage. She worked in New York City. I remember the cell towers being inundated with people calling loved ones. I remember calling my grandmom who loved going into NYC to the museums.

I remember the girl in my Psych 101 class running out tears when Professor Giza told us all what we missed while in class that morning. Realizing that she might have just lost a loved one.

I remember after watching the news over and over and the loop of the towers falling, walking across the “beach” (green area between my dorm and the Perkins Student Center) to the Review (the student run, independent, newspaper), where I was a reporter. There was talk about heading up there. I had a chance to go. I’m glad I stayed back.

Just knowing what my journalism career would emotionally cause me later, makes me glad I made that decision.

I have a lot of journalism friends who covered the aftermath. Who went to the rubble. Who documented it and also went abroad to cover the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of my friends would win a Pulitzer Prize for his photos.

Let us never forget those harrowing moments and days. Let us not forget the aftermath, the “never-ending” wars that resulted. Let us remember the fallen and their families. Let us come together.

That’s all I emotional have right now. Hugs to all!

Categories
General

Vermont State Of Mind

I love Vermont. The beauty is unmatched and it’s so relaxing even if I’m working on stuff for the agency.

My parents have house at a top of the mountain in Weston, VT. It’s so peaceful and relaxing even with a crazy 8 year old.

This trip, albeit short, is a great reminder that after the year we had in 2020, getting away even for a change of scenery is key.

With 15 months stuck in the house together, it’s way to easy to stay that way and not venture out.

I’m so glad we did.

Categories
General

I Got Up Early

Today I got up early. I’m seriously shocked that I did. 5:25 am and I’m not writing at 5:40 am. I have to admit that I would have been still sleeping if my 40-year-old bladder didn’t wake me, but still, the fact that I stayed up and decided to come down and write — I’m proud of myself.

So many people tout getting up early with being successful. They say the richest and most successful get up early. This might be true for some, but I don’t think that’s why they are rich and successful.

Routines Change

A person who I admire, Amy Landino, wrote a whole book on morning routines called Good Morning, Good Life. It’s a good book that highlights what works for her in the morning. There are some great tips, for those who are early risers to start off productively.

Recently, Amy, who has a very popular YouTube channel and podcast, revealed that she’s stopped her morning routine and is letting herself sleep in.

At first, I found this curious. She’s been pushing the “wake up early and be successful mantra” for so long, why the change?

To be honest it doesn’t matter. Routines change — people change.

If we’ve learned anything from this past year (2020), nothing is written in stone. We have to roll with what’s given to us and figure out how to adapt.

You need to figure out what works best for you, your body, your work, your family (not necessarily in that order).

I still recommend picking up Amy’s book. It’s a good read and has some great actionable tips, but remember — you do you.

Ultimately, this post was a writing exercise, because guess what? I got up early!

Categories
General

World Opening Up

As the world opens up (well at least here in the States), I wonder how people are coping with the change after ~15 months of being in some semblance of lockdown.

I’m enjoying my time outside the “bunker.” But I’m still cautious about who I meet with. This might be because my 8-year-old son isn’t vaccinated yet. My wife and I both are. I go out to the market now and to my co-working space, with mask in tow. But, there is something I learned about myself during the 15 months of craziness.

I like virtual networking. I think I might like it as much as in-person networking. I can get more done with virtual networking. One downside is that the quality of the connection to the meeting software matters. You don’t have that issue with in-person networking. If you do, you should probably go to the doctor.

I know this is a bit of a ramble, but I’m curious, how is everyone else fairing?

Drop a comment below.

Photo by Dastan Khdir on Pexels.com

Categories
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

Categories
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
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.