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Archive for February, 2007

An unexpected farewell

I found out this weekend that a man I know – just about my age – suffered a fatal heart attack/car accident. He leaves behind a dear wife, two adult children, and many friends with good memories and aching hearts.

I knew him for years, and valued his steady strength, though in the past five years or so we had very little contact. Some years ago, in a particularly stormy time, we were thrown more closely together and I was glad to have him at the oars with me. Bob Krenitski will be missed.

Death is bittersweet – for those of us parted all too soon from one who lived well, the pain is at least assuaged somewhat by glad memories and the knowledge of many lives impacted for good.

Update: I was blown away by the memorial service. What a legacy Bob has left behind – how many people he has touched! Some people achieve fame and fortune for the most superficial “qualities.” Others quietly go their way helping others without regard for publicity. The wider world won’t report on the life and passing of Bobby K, but his character speaks volumes. Those of us privileged to have known him are richer for the quality of his life.

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Finally!

Very little, very late…but at least it was enough for the kids to have some fun!

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Robot Insurance

Are you covered against the health threat of robots? If not…or even if so!…this hysterical spoof is for you…

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Why I despise “fashion”

BookofJoe highlights these fashions abominations that, apparently, the true avant-garde among us will gladly shell out thousands to wear…maybe once.

The amount of time, effort, and money expended on trying to appear “fashionable” is mind-boggling to me. Can someone please explain to me why it is important to bow down before the altar of whatever the latest trend is, cowering in fear that you will otherwise be thought out of step? Or worse, imagining that you will be envied for displaying such folly?

Nope. I don’t get it.

I’ve often speculated that a small cabal must meet together, with some degree of hilarity, in a secret European cave twice a year to determine that this season, (earth tones / long dresses / short dresses / three-button suits / stripes / baggy / tight / retro / incomprehensible) is in, and that those with more dollars than sense need to part with large sums of money in order to remain “fashionable.”

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Distant galaxies unveiled by Hubble

Stunning. See the entire scene here.

It was images like this – galaxies, globular clusters, incomprehensibly huge vistas with countless stars – that stretched my mind and imagination as a child. Reading science fiction was fun – seeing what was really out there was just as enjoyable, if not more so.

From NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day.

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Men and Depression

Newsweek has a cover story this week on depression in men. This excerpt pretty well sums up the problem…

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Six million American men will be diagnosed with depression this year. But millions more suffer silently, unaware that their problem has a name or unwilling to seek treatment. In a confessional culture in which Americans are increasingly obsessed with their health, it may seem clichéd—men are from Mars, women from Venus, and all that—to say that men tend not to take care of themselves and are reluctant to own up to mental illness. But the facts suggest that, well, men tend not to take care of themselves and are reluctant to own up to mental illness. Although depression is emotionally crippling and has numerous medical implications—some of them deadly—many men fail to recognize the symptoms. Instead of talking about their feelings, men may mask them with alcohol, drug abuse, gambling, anger or by becoming workaholics. And even when they do realize they have a problem, men often view asking for help as an admission of weakness, a betrayal of their male identities.

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That last sentence is telling. I had to hit the wall hard before being willing to admit that maybe I had a problem that couldn’t be controlled by force of will. Once my brain chemistry was corrected and my disposition transformed by use of an anti-depressant, I had to wonder how many other men suffer in silence. It’s not easy to break the macho code – even if the only one you’re trying to impress with your purported strength is yourself. I hope this article helps break down the walls for others.

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How a five-year old can make your day

I was in the midst of conference call this week, in my home office with headset on, when my 5-year old opened the door. Immediately recognizing the situation for what it was, he asked permission in a whisper to watch some TV show, which was duly granted with a head nod and silent gesture.

I heard little footsteps get about halfway down the stairs, then reverse field. Glancing over at the door, I see it slowly open, and a sweet-faced little boy comes back in with arms outstretched to give a hug and (quiet) kiss. Then, with a serious look, he quietly retreats back to the door, finger held to his lips in a self-directed call to silence, and slowly closes it.

I don’t know how long I’ll remember the substance of that particular phone call. But I’ll certainly remember that wonderful interruption for quite some time!

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