Showing posts from January, 2019

Move over, Richard Cory: A lonely life

Anyone who has been listening beyond the ping and vibration tones of his smartphone the last few years has heard that the use of this technology is increasing loneliness in its users. Of course, the technology has increased our awareness of others, and activities of our families and friends, as well. We know more; we want to know more; we crave such knowledge, and yet, the double-edge sword of information and loneliness is apparent. 
Every study highlights this sad consideration. From San Francisco (CA) Statue University, this report from April last year, “Digital addiction increases loneliness, anxiety and depression.” The author of the report, Lisa Owens Viani, cites “new study published in NeuroRegulation, San Francisco State University Professor of Health Education Erik Peper and Associate Professor of Health Education Richard Harvey argue that overuse of smart phones is just like any other type of substance abuse.”  The report also noted “In a survey of 135 San Francisco State stu…

Bias and bigotry, the jury is out

1) Start by reading this article fully. 

LAS VEGAS, Nevada --  A man suspected of being in the U.S. illegally shot and killed four people in Nevada over the past two weeks, including an elderly Reno couple, authorities said, and the slayings added fuel to the immigration debate.

Wilbur Ernesto Martinez-Guzman, 19, from El Salvador, has been jailed in Carson City since Saturday on possession of stolen property, burglary and immigration charges. Authorities said they expect to file murder charges against him in Reno in the shooting deaths of a Washoe County couple and in Douglas County in the slayings of two women in Gardnerville.

Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong said federal immigration authorities told his office that Martinez-Guzman was in the country illegally. Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not have details on his entry into the U.S.

The investigation is ongoing, the sheriff said, and it was too early to comment on a possible motive.

Investigators who had been tracking Mart…

If I could speak with Geoffrey Edelsten

I only know of two women, Brynne Gordon and Gabi Grecko. My guess is that in your 75 years you have had more than these two. Of course, there was that four-year marriage to your first wife, Leanne Nesbitt. But the recent two are the most public in the last few years here in Australia. And although I'm an American living here in Oz the last 20 years, I've never had the occasion to run in your circles, nor you in mine. 

But I've heard about you and your medical career. I've heard about these two women, each approximately 40 years younger than you, and each very beautiful and buxom and American. Each has had a very public career and public persona that the media love. Again, I don't know either of these two, and wish them only the best.

And I only wish you only the best as well.  You got back together with Gabi in November, the news here reported. That's got to be a joy for you. Listen, your activities since the 1980s are well known. You introduced 24-hour-a-day, me…


I imagine we all have suffered this sometimes-crippling emotion. We anticipate something or long for it, or dream of it, put our time and energy into investing to make it happen, and for whatever reasons, it just doesn't happen. Johnny was supposed to call Sylvia back and he didn't do so. The boss told me he was going to give me a raise, and that never eventuated. Millicent promised her neighbor Maurice she would watch his plants and water and care for them while he was away on holiday, and she forgot. Several of the plants died. As a result, Sylvia, and I and Maurice all experienced disappointment. 
Psychology Today said in 2012 after love and regret it's the 3rd most commonly experienced emotion. According to the old adage, “disappointment is expectation divided by reality.” I visited the PT website to find some significant advice and some well-worn chronology to the emotion and consequences of disappointment. And I was not disappointed.  The trail is wide and the content…

A call to live wholeheartedly before God (a study on Malachi chapter 2)

Given at St Swithun’s Anglican Church Pymble (Sydney) NSW Sunday 13 January 2019
Introduction Shalom! Thank you to Peter Robinson, chairman of Jews for Jesus Australia, who is taking the communion part of the service, to Brian, with whom I had a good meet up on Thursday, and to Roger, your lead pastor, who trusted me enough to take the sermon part of the service, and then went on holiday. We’ve had a great relationship over the years, and I really value our friendship in Messiah. 
Thanks to each of you here in the nave as you have gathered to hear again from God’s Word, the Bible. Last week, you began a series on the Jewish prophet Malachi, as Roger spoke about God’s love and a call for each of us to respond to live in God’s love. This week, my assigned text is chapter 2, and the assigned topic is a call to live wholeheartedly before God. This is a great chapter in the Bible; full of pointed clarification, full of directed admonition. Not so great a chapter if you are living wrong, be…

Taking stock... ah, January

It's that time of year for keeping the shop open while we count everything, every book, every mezuzah, every prayer shawl, every candle... so that we can adjust our records to what is accurate and we can order what we need to re-stock. And all across the country, there are stock-take sales; I guess folks would rather sell items for a discount, than count those same items. And that makes sense to me in a way. It's all about saving time. 
We have 800 products in our little shop and they are diminished as a result of the end-of-year sales, and people who bought goods to give for Hanukkah or Christmas, or just to restock their anointing oils or CD collection. 
Stock. Goods. Inventory. I like taking stock. Not only here at the bookshop but also in life.  Lately, I've been making lists, all kinds of lists: gratitude lists, to-do lists, wish lists... you know, the kind of stuff that New Year's Resolutions are made of. But those aren't quite enough. I'm taking stock of m…