Friday, February 26, 2010


So, American Idol is back. It has become a staple after football season is over. I am not much of a TV person, but it is an entertaining,sometimes emotional show and has promoted some unknowns to superstar status. As reality TV goes it is harmless--unless you are on the other end of Mr. Cowell's caustic comments.

Last nite,the rocker who left blamed it all on the judges and their lack of early feedback. He was young, but would have exited better if he owned his own lack of talent, poor song choice and lame performance.

I notice this a lot in everyday life. People blame other people, things, circumstances, situations...everything other than owning their own s__t.!

Most of the time it is best to be objective and simply say, "I messed up, failed, made poor decisions, etc". Most people want to present themselves in a positive light. In truth, we all mess up at times. The best way is to try to defuse the situation, apologize and learn from it.All we need do is to simply acknowledge our own mistakes. It is really easy, but for our wounded egos that get in the way.

We are not perfect. Every human being has made at least one if not 500 errors of judgment and poor choices. Instead of idealizing our role, let's realize our culpability and move on.

It wasn't the judges, Dude, it was YOU! It was also the guy standing next to you.He will go down next, unless he tightens and brightens up his act. The same applies to you and to me and to everyone.

Bye For Now,


Thursday, February 25, 2010


One of the things you don't need in life along with an IRS audit is a DUI.

Yet, each week I meet with intelligent, successful people who admit had they been stopped last Saturday or last Tuesday night they would have blown over the limit.

Denial is a powerful thing. It leads us into the blind alleys and cul-de-sacs of life.Don't believe me? Then just ask, Tiger,Bill,David,Michael,Lindsay and all the other apologists we have endured. There will be a new one within a week. I guarantee it! I will blog it. Let's be sure it is not you.

Check out the consequences of a DUI.A harassing night in jail. $10-20K in legal fees. Loss of your license. Your car locked up, perhaps twice.Limits to your mobility beyond a county or two. Fines and fees up the kazoo. Class and community service. Probation. Pee tests with a witness.A black mark on your record for life. Embarrassment among family and friends. Job and career implications. Headline possibilities, depending upon who you are.And this is assuming you don't kill someone or yourself.

The police are watching. They want to get you and make an example of you. Take a cab. A fifty dollar meter read is a bargain--even a $100 or more. Be safe, not sorry. DUI means Don't Undertake Intoxication--Do Use Intelligence. Be safe, be smart, be responsible.

Bye For Now,


Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Perhaps you thought all those Hooked On Happy blogs were idle chatter. Now comes a research project from Canada that showed those who were happier were heart healthier than those who weren't.

The authors concluded that sometimes you have to fake it till you can make it. Dr. Davidson of Columbia Medical center said, "If you aren't naturally a happy person,just try acting like one. It could help your heart."

I would agree, but add that people who aren't happy can seek out a variety of supports to help them overcome the issues that contribute to their unhappiness. This would enable them not just to "fake it", but to truly wrestle their demons to the ground so they can truly feel happy.

Our Tranquility Center helps people accomplish just that. Contact our Director,
Mimi Gegg for more info and a complimentary initial visit.We have a heart which ultimately will help yours.

Bye For Now,

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


The Tiger morphed into a pussycat on Friday as he tried his best to apologize and atone for his sins. To me he looked like a little boy who was caught going into the cookie jar too often and taking too much. In fact, the man did just that.His Mama's hugs and kisses hopefully salved some of his wounds. Glad to hear he is returning to Buddhism. He should have never left the fold.

He was the only confessor I ever heard to acknowledge hubris as the root cause. My old professor, Mort Feinberg, who played an instrumental role in my life, wrote a book titled, "Why Smart People Do Dumb Things". He talked about the Gary Harts of the world who said "Follow me anywhere," and was caught the next day in Miami (of course) on the yacht, Monkey Business with a hot babe. His race for the presidency was over. Dr. Feinberg concluded that hubris accounted for the majority of the reasons smart people messed up. Every person and especially every celebrity should read that book.

It was hard not to feel a little sad for the Tiger whose tank had run pretty dry. Even sadder for his beautiful wife and children, other family, friends, etc. I think when you are that large a media darling it is important to address your demons before they are made public. The same goes for every man/woman.

Though we are suckers for regret and remorse I think we are tiring of the late and manicured apologies. They begin to sound like broken records, written by spin doctors to save someone who has put him or her self in harms way. It is time we stop the glop so no confessions or apologies are needed, public or otherwise.

The question remains who will get the first Woods interview--Walters or Winfrey? Or will it be the King--Larry that is? Surely, they are fighting over the spoils.

Personally, I hope he just returns to his family and golf and calls it a ball or two that unfortunately strayed into the woods! Hopefully, from this point on he will shoot straight because the paparazzi will follow him relentlessly hoping to catch him with a babe in the woods. Don't do it Tiger--Just (DON"T) do it! Maybe, that is what your Nike shirt should say from this point on.

We are rooting for you to make a comeback. You have done it on the golf course. Now do it where it counts the most!

Bye For Now,


Monday, February 22, 2010


One Thursday and Friday I quoted a comment by Joe Klein (TIME MAGAZINE, Feb22,'10) talking about Sara P. Here is the entire quote:

"...How's that Hopey-Changey stuff workin' out for ya?...
It was the signature line of the her speech,which rocked the
joint--and then, slowly,began to rock the national political
community. The speech was inspired drivel,a series of distortions
and oversimplifications,totally bereft of nourishing policy
proposals-- the sort of thing calculated, carefully calculated,to
drive lamestream media types like me frothing to their keyboards...
I will not deride her. Because brilliance must be respected,
especially when it involves marketing IN AN ERA WHEN IMAGE ALMOST

Drivel? Distortions? Oversimplification? Words that apply well beyond the political arena. Words that have always applied to the political arena! Words that typify many promotions, schemes and scams. In an era where image trumps substance,we as voters, consumers,investors and just plain people struggling and striving to survive, succeed and avoid getting ripped off need to do the following:

Know what we are committing to and how we are making that
commitment. This blogger once "signed" a cell contract by initiating
the service,even though he had no clue there was a contract,
nor the terms of it. This was with a global corporation of
seemingly high repute.

See the universe, not with rose colored glasses, but through
those that focus on details, fine print and a doubting Thomas
mindset. Caution trumps image and the imaginative/creative/conniving
ways of white collar executives/criminals.

Last week I switched from my 90's dictum, "It's not paranoid to be
paranoid these days", to "Paranoia is essential! This counters the
"distortions" cited above."

Part of the protection plan I am encouraging is that you do your
homework and research things thoroughly. Ask many questions. Think
about what the marketing promo, politician or investment advisory
isn't saying. Check it all out over the web,with objective and
knowledgeable people and others who have done,used,bought into or
otherwise have experience in the area in question.

Finally, we need to be able bodied warriors in the fight to
protect ourselves. It takes time and patience,but I have found that
phone calls and letters to the higher ups eventually right the wrong
or correct the inequity. The internet offers excellent opportunities
to offer feedback and out the dangers that lurk about ( think Angie's
list and other sites). Ultimately, legal battles may need to be
initiated. The point is we are not powerless. We have modern day
slingshots to fight the Goliaths of the world.

None of what I am saying needs to be seen pessimistically. It is part of a world that has become image conscious, if not obsessed (think designer stuff,brilliantly branded and selling for ridiculous prices). Or think about 12 year old girls looking like pop or porn stars in much too short shorts,make-up and bra straps showing,independent of whether they even need a bra!(what are their parents thinking?). Or, for that matter, our seemingly collective obsession with tattoos as image makers/markers.

The real point is that we can still be happy and optimistic,yet cautious in approaching important decisions and commitments. Most importantly, we can conduct ourselves -- our lives,families and our work honorably. We can be committed to being substantive even though that area is losing popularity in the mainstream.

I also predict that we will see a return to substance over image in the next few years. As we wise up,pay attention, out the drivelers, distorters and oversimplifiers,I believe there will be a return to integrity,responsibility,respect and honesty. Substance will become the next image to promote, alongside green and organic. Let's just hope and pray this happens before the next presidential election-- or I am really moving to France--YOU BETCHA!!

Bye For Now,


Friday, February 19, 2010


Yesterday's blog quoted Joe Klein saying re Sarah, "Because brilliance must be respected,especially when it involves marketing in an era when image almost always passes for substance."

I read that to mean that we have reached a point in our society where superficial, marketed well, sells better than substantive, marketed less well. This very idea is what leads to successful ponziacs and flimflammers of all types and persuasions, ripping us off and fleeing the scene. This is also why those in the lime light are paid millions for endorsements of products--at least until their personal images get destroyed by some pratfall or another.

On a personal level it hits home. My advisers are constantly saying,"Nail a sound bite without being too wordy. No one has the patience or attention span to read/listen to your wordiness." "You need to update your 90's website. People click on and then off as they are turned off by how outdated it is." I say, "well I'm not a youngster either, but my maturity and the substance therein, has value.

Now I am starting to wonder about all of that. Perhaps we have entered an age where image talks and substance walks. If that is so, I am profoundly saddened by that awareness. It not only takes away from the meaningfulness of life in the 21st century, but paves the way for the Sarah P's of the world to win many over with a "You Betcha!" It will never be "workin' for" me!

I will however, update my website so that the world will be willing to view the substance contained within!

Could it be that we are now living at a time when everyday is Super Bowl Sunday commercialism? I think so. Tomorrow, let's talk about how we can protect ourselves from that mentality that is eager to persuade us in one way or another...for their gains.

Bye For Now,

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I keep telling myself to stop getting sidetracked by politics and get back to the mindly matters of our times. However, our minds these days are heavily influenced by our political bodies! During troubled times we look to our leadership to bring us, like Moses, to the promised land. Too often all we get from our leaders are promises that never land!

So this morning I was reading a Time magazine article about Sarah P, a political operative that scares me. She is the Alaskan equivalent of a bull(actually a bear) in a china shop.

Her opening line at a speech,(actually a $549 a ticket gathering), "How's that hopey-changey stuff workin' out for ya?" Politically, it is pure, unadulterated genius. Realistically, it is a bit daunting and more than a bit terrifying. I believe she is posturing to have the huddled masses and assorted asses take her to the Republican ticket as a Presidential candidate and if the Dems don't get their act together, she has a shot of moving her snowmobile and rifle collection right into Pennsylvania Ave. I can hear her State of the Union speech already. As I have said before, if she wins I move to France, which is OK with me too.

What intrigued me about the article by Joe Klein, titled, "It's Her Party (February 22, 2010) was his line, "Because brilliance must be respected,especially when it involves marketing in an era when image almost always passes for substance." Think about that statement. I will return to it tomorrow.

Bye For Now,


Wednesday, February 17, 2010


For those of you who called and complained about my obscene blog yesterday, please read it again.

For those of you who felt my sexual affairs President, was demeaning please review your history. Leaders have large libidos, even those whose members were not so large. I mean members of their cabinet, of course!

For those of you who felt that two Presidents and a mix and match political representation was ridiculous, you might be correct. However, since our present system does not work very well, why not give it a try. You just never know.

However, my main point, which some missed, was that we as citizens need to lower our expectations while simultaneously not believing all the candidate hype,thereby relieving them of the burden of bsing us to get the job and then fail to get it done.

I guess I am suggesting that politics needs to become reality based--not like on TV, but like in real life. Not likely to happen,but we can always dream, can't we?

Bye For Now,


Tuesday, February 16, 2010


As a kid I remember being happy that it was a no school day.I can even remember when it wasn't lumped and there was Lincoln's and Washington's Birthdays separately. How's that for dating myself? As a younger adult I can recall not caring very much about the day(s), one way or the other.

At this stage of life I have some other feelings. We have had some great Presidents and some less than great. Many have accomplished major improvements. Others have overcome some severe crises,while still others have made fools of themselves and us--some repetitively.

Frankly, I just don't think it is a doable job and any sensible person would not apply and spend so much time, energy and money pursuing that title. While it gets you into the history books, it doesn't leave time to read many. The odds of failing are much greater than the odds of succeeding. Witness President Obama's rapid fall from the top of the mountain to a much lower position.It must be hard to go from being loved to being hated so rapidly. Usually, it takes several years for someone to fall out of love--especially when President's Day falls so close to Valentine's Day.

I'm no pundit, but I think we need three Presidents. One for National Affairs;one for International Affairs and one for sexual affairs. Just kidding about the third. Traditionally, one President has handled all those responsibilities and irresponsibilities simultaneously. Kidding aside, just as some large corporations have co-CEO's, we need co-Presidents.One should be a Democrat and one a Republican. Now that is non-partisanship. Then again, what the heck do I know?

Bye For Now,

PS. Each would have A VP. The Democratic President would have a Republican VP and vice versa. It would either work to overcome party politics,once and for all, or it would lead one to assassinate the other group. Truth be known anything would be better than the clustermuck we now have.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Friday I talked about discovering, Care of the Soul, by Thomas Moore, after all these years. Annonymous informed us that there is a web site and new book coming.

His wisdom is obvious, but so hard to implement. Here are some more of his wise observations:

We could all be Freud to our own experiences. Taking an interest in the soul is a way of loving it. The ultimate cure...comes from love and not from logic. (That's worth repeating).

Love of the soul asks for some appreciation of its complexity.( I second that e-motion)!

...As we open ourselves to see what our soul is made of and who we really are,we always find some material that is a profound challenge.

...Your character will never change radically,although it may go through some interesting transformations.( and I would add important transformations!)

As we stop to consider what is happening to us and what we're made of,the soul ferments...

Here I will add, like fine wine, we can evolve and grow richer and finer as we age.We simultaneously,become simpler and yet more complex. Tanins and toxins are replaced by well rounded and balanced flavors as we mature, if we mature. Not all do, but those who care for their Soul are more likely to do just that. I hope you chose that at this point in your life.

Bye For Now,


Friday, February 12, 2010


Someone gave me a book in 1994 that jumped off my bookshelf today and I began reading. The title, Care of The Soul,by Thomas Moore, a therapist, works for me without even reading a page.

He presents a model that says,

Care of the soul is a continuous process that concerns
itself not so much with "fixing" a central flaw as with attending
to the small details of everyday life, as well as to major
decisions and changes.

In care of the soul, we ourselves have both the the task and the
pleasure of organizing and shaping our lives for the good of the

This is precisely the antidote and salve in world run wild. Can't wait to read on and share.

Have a caring for the soul weekend. Not just yours, but those you love.

Bye For Now,


Thursday, February 11, 2010


The other day I said, "Paranoia is essential."

Today someone sent me an email about a major company giving away a free laptop if you sent their email to 8 other people.I was one of 8. Somehow, I don't think the laptop will be arriving anytime soon. But somebodyu just got 8 addresses they can sell or otherwise abuse.

I'm sure they have a way to track those 8 addresses and if I were to send to 8 and so on.

I ask people not to send me pass it on emails as I typically don't like them, don't trust them and don't send them on. The email buck stops here! It needs to stop with you as well.

As I have previously written the internet is filled with schemers and scammers. I get the emails all the time and don't even open them. They want to give me free money, gifts, trips and love. There is no such thing as FREE!. There is such a thing as freeloaders. They are parasites who feed off others by not having a conscience.

I read the other day that in 2009, 150 ponziacs failed. I wonder how many are still going strong.

Watch your back. Please watch mine too!

Bye For Now,


Wednesday, February 10, 2010


When I encourage you to keep a low profile and take care of yourself, I am not discouraging your helping others. I believe in self-first, not self-ish!

A recent Time Magazine article called POWER OF ONE (2/15/10)described a man who witnessed aid workers in 1999 throwing bread on the floor for people caught in a crisis. He was offended by those images off people fighting for the bread and decided to do something about it. He invented a survivor's kit that included a ten person tent,blankets, pans,a stove, water, food,crayons and coloring books, etc.

He approached his local Rotary Club with the idea.Since '01 they have raised enough money to send 75,000 boxes to more than 100 disaster zones. By January 30th they sent 5000 boxes to Haiti. This is a nice story about people helping people.

Each of us has the power to help others less fortunate than ourselves. Hopefully, we can find a way to use it generously and caringly.

Bye For Now,


Tuesday, February 9, 2010


On Sunday morning I asked myself what I would say if I were coaching a super bowl team. Though I don't know much about football, right before we headed for the field I would say:

Today will shape the rest of your life. Give it your all. Try your hardest.
The past is history. The future is unknown. Today, this very moment, is all
you have.

I have faith in you to do your very best and try your best to reach your
full potential. Don't think about it. Just do it. Let your instincts guide
your way.

Watching your feet while you dance or play the game of your life will trip you
up. Just take it to the goal posts. Don't let anyone get in your way.

Play fair and play clean. Don't hit hard unless you are provoked.Be an
honorable hero. Do us and yourself proud.

Know in your heart of hearts that you have tried your best and went all in
for the good of the cause. Though you might not win the trophy, you
may just score a few points for your team and yourself.

Get out there and kick some butt. Just make sure you don't kick yours!

Funny enough, that is the same talk I would give to you and me. You may not be playing in the big game, but you are playing in the biggest game of your life. Give it your best shot tomorrow and everyday.


We can learn a lesson from the WHODAT? nation. Play like you are the underdog. Take a chance every now and then. Give it your very all. Believe the WHO can still perform. Go for it!

Bye For Now,


Monday, February 8, 2010


Or is it really the tidy bowl woman? You won't understand this blog unless you read the one on Friday. Feel free to go back one step and review that.

The question is who can save us? Some will say it is President Obama while others will say that is not possible. Others might say it is both houses of Congress. Still others might put the burden on the UN, although that has been a somewhat impotent body since its inception.

Perhaps others would look hopefully, not to one person, but to the collective forces of humanity,although our collective consciousness doesn't always point in the same direction. Carl Jung would be quick to point to our collective unconscious, but for the fact he died quite a while ago.

Many would say our only savior is the Lord him/herself. For those who believe it must be comforting to know he will guide and protect us,although sometimes we might wonder if s/he is paying attention. Let us pray, well hope, that the believers are right. I like Harold Kushner's (Why Bad Things Happen To Good People) explanation that Gd is not a micro manager.

Frankly, I don't believe in the tidy bowl man/woman any more than I believe in the Tooth Fairy or Santa. I believe it is our individual responsibility to protect ourselves from the swirling waters of the toilet bowl in which we live. Hang on! Keep your nose clean and look both ways before you cross another's path. Today I read that in '09 there were over 150 failed Ponziacs in the US. Watch your back and your wallet and try not to swim in dirty waters. Instead of looking for a savior, become a saver!

Try your best to stay optimistic about your personal self, while keeping a less than close tab on the world in which we live. As I have previously said sometimes watching soaps on TV is better than watching the news.

More the rest of this week.

Bye For Now,


Friday, February 5, 2010


As I said in Monday's blog, the world and our country are not in such great shape. We try hard and we are pretty smart, but a variety of forces ranging from human greed, our propensity as people to do glop (see previous blogs and and even Mother Nature can wreck havoc with our dreams, goals and aspirations. In that sense, too often we are left swirling around the toilet bowl of life hanging on for dear life.

Then comes the super bowl and similar events(i.e.,Avatar,etc). Silly, exaggerated and hyped as they are we need them. They distract us, at least temporarily, from our angst, pain and worry. For several hours Sunday evening most eyes will be focused on THE GAME. The privileged will watch and root from the comfort of their home. The super rich will go to the game and deal with crowds,traffic,overpriced drinks,drunks and the like. But all who watch will not think about their finances,two wars,The President, other politicians,ponziacs, Haiti, the low value of homes,the worth of a dollar and the unemployed.

We won't be able to avoid thinking about Katrina and the New Orleans disaster a few years ago, but they will finally have their chance to shine in the sun. May the best team win and may we all have a peaceful,enjoyable and attention grabbing eve. Come Monday morning we can get back to the harsh realities (optimistically) and hopefully get a little help from the tidy bowl man!

Bye For Now,


Thursday, February 4, 2010


In today's decayed and at times, depraved world we need to insulate ourselves beyond just not reading the news.

It is helpful to keep a low profile. That means no Facebook, etc., which by the way, many can access as they check you out. Google your name and sometimes some of your Facebook comes up as well as parts of your friends. Many companies can access those sites as they screen you for a job. Watch the pics of you stoned, drunk, seminaked, etc.They may impress your friends and depress your parents, but they will not seal the deal on that job you desperately need.

Also, hang with safe, trustworthy people. Check them out pretty well. Bernie and Scott's friends thought they were the best, not the worst that they turned out to be.

Remember my 1990's proclamation, "IT IS NOT PARANOID TO BE PARANOID THESE DAYS! And that was 15+ years ago. Today I would say, "PARANOIA IS ESSENTIAL."

More tomorrow.

Bye For Now,


Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I just turned off Nightline with those words ringing in my head. I actually said them out loud.

It was, once again, the John Edwards love child expose. Every where we look we see disloyalties.

After writing Monday's blog on Friday afternoon I went to the gym. I realized my less than positive feelings were influenced by two negative experiences with financial organizations legally stealing from me. An oxymoron if I ever heard one! I started to feel as if I let readers down by being so negative.

Then I read the paper--yes, in the steam room, for those of you who follow that kind of stuff! Every page was a rag. Not because of the moisture, but because of the shocking revelations. I won't reiterate what I read, but it was about new and old ponziacs, new and old crooked politicians and a whole assortment of cover ups, rip offs and less than honorable efforts.

So, my first rule of self-protection and survival is:


Remaining dumb may be the smartest thing you do!



Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I interrupt this series on a world that is not working very well to commemorate J.D. Salinger who died last week at age 91.

His "Catcher in the Rye" book was required reading in the 50's in College. Who among us didn't identify with Holden Caulfield- an inhibited,insecure, introvert, alienated by what he viewed as a hostile and overwhelming world. Think of how he would feel today,relative to yesterday's blog or today's news!

I never realized that J.D. was himself an inhibited introvert who stopped publishing in 1965 and remained a relative recluse.

None-the-less, for those of us he captivated by his few books and articles-- because they described us-- his contributions were nothing less than special. In some ways, he reassured us that our insecurities were OK and appropriate and thereby normal for our times. He was our therapist at a time when we didn't have one.

I salute him and thank him and wish him safe passage. He made a difference. That is all one needs to do to deserve tribute.

Bye For Now,


Monday, February 1, 2010


I began this blog in March '09 with the subject as my guiding principle.

Much as I would love to start off 2010 with a blog filled with hope and positivism it would not be in keeping with that goal.

Reality suggests a collective loss of confidence in the systems of our world. Reality suggests that those who try to lead us often try to deceive us. Reality suggests that we are surrounded by greedy and unscrupulous people. Reality suggests we need to read the fine print, check every bill and keep looking over our shoulders. Reality suggests endless wars and global insecurities, countless debt personally and as a nation and piss poor leadership--mostly self-serving SOB's, pretending to care about us. We have become so smart and we behave so stupidly, so repetitively. I'm no economist, but I believe it is likely that ours will tank again in 2010 as illusions crumble and realities turn less than optimistic.

I plan to try to help us all cope with all of this by drawing from my articles, "The World Doesn't Work Anymore: A Manual for Survival," which can be found on my website Funny enough I wrote them years ago. I actually began a book in the early 90's by that title, but became so depressed by Chapter 3 I abandoned the project.

We need to work at maintaining a personal positiveness and peacefulness despite the walls of the world around us falling down.But, it does require serious work. It don't come easy! Realistic optimism implies hope, despite the realities with which we must deal. I'm hopeful the next several blogs will help you to do that.

Bye For Now,