Eulogy for My Father

The death of my father on March 7 (as well as that of my mother in 2012) helped me learn the true meaning of the word community. I truly appreciate the outpouring of caring and kind words from friends, most of whom never met my father but understand (generally first-hand) what it is like to […]

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Back Home Again – Losses and Gains

How fast do you lose upper body strength that took 15 years to attain? How many weeks can you go without practicing your instrument(s) before you sound embarrassingly bad? How long does it take to get over a major disappointment, regardless of the many friends who are telling you that you’ve done an amazing thing? […]

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My Writing (and Performing) Life

Today represented a positive step in returning to my “normal” life. Catherine deCuir, the talented singer with whom I regularly perform, came over (as she typically does on Tuesdays) to discuss upcoming gigs and rehearse a few songs. We also talked about the progress of the novel we worked on for two years. The Rabbi […]

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My Fitness Guru: Scooby

“You must have become very strong pushing that kart up all those hills.” You can’t imagine how many times I’ve heard that statement. Sorry, but no. I’ve read many articles stressing the importance of upper body exercise. Scooby Werkstatt is an online fitness guru whom I first found years ago via his website, scoobysworkshop.com. His videos are […]

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A Walk Around Lake Merritt

My day started at 6:30 am with a walk around Lake Merritt. Other walkers and joggers were already on the path around the lake and a number of people in small boats were sculling in the water. Canada geese and other water fowl were in abundance as well. When I moved from San Francisco to […]

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Thoughts on the Sabbath

From sundown Friday to sundown on Saturday is Shabbat—the Sabbath. It’s actually 25 hours just so we don’t start late or end too early. Since I started thinking about such things, I realized that of the Ten Commandments, for me the Fourth Commandment: Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, is one of the […]

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I have one word for you: Plastic

I have one word for you: Plastic. Plastic waste has been a concern of mine for decades. (I wrote a term paper about it in 2002 when I was taking a class in California Politics and Public Policy at Calif. State University East Bay in 2002.) On my walk through California and Arizona in April […]

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Two Weeks in Morocco

Sharon and I are in the city of Fez for 3 days as part of our 2.5 week Overseas Adventure Travel trip to Morocco. Part of today was spent walking through the Jewish Quarter of Fez, which was a fascinating view of an ancient society. We visited one of the two remaining synagogues–Shabbat services are […]

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A Slice and a Coke

This morning I looked at lifehacker.com as I do most mornings, and found a video episode of “How I Work,” which I particularly enjoyed. Scott Wiener operates scottspizzatours.com in NYC, and began his video with a reminiscence of how, as a boy, he’d bought his first lunch, a slice of pizza and a Coke, for […]

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Sh’ma Koleinu

Choral Director Rita Lilly (right) led the Lafayette Christian Church choir this morning in a wonderfully sensitive performance of my composition, “Sh’ma Koleinu” (Hear Our Voice). I was honored to be present for the service as Pastor Steve Borgard spoke of the tragic shooting in Pittsburgh, and Rabbi Jay Asher LeVine from Temple Isaiah delivered […]

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