Category Archives: Ben

More Than Four Questions

Let me speak and I will feel relieved; I shall open my lips and speak up!

– Job 32:20

I chose to become Jewish.

Benjamin2There were a lot of reasons for it, but to summarize it, I searched for many years to find a system of worship that matched my beliefs about G-d and how He wanted me to worship.

What I never really counted on, although the truth is that I had always hoped for, was having a child of my own to which I could pass on my beliefs. By the time I was 46, I was pretty much resigned to the idea of not having my own child, and then on Thanksgiving Eve 2009 I learned that I was going to be a father. Read the rest of this entry

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Rainy Day Fun

As you probably know, California has been suffering through an extreme drought, so moments like today have been few far between. The latest Pineapple Express hit this weekend, and on Sunday I headed out on the porch to enjoy the rain. A few minutes later Ben came outside with me, and then wanted his water socks so that he could run in the rain. It didn’t take long before he discovered the river of water in the street. For the next 45 minutes he “rode the log flume ride” at his favorite imaginary Amusement Park. It was a great day!

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My Books -vs- My Office

KT-slate-03-lg-v2._V370656498_So the house is a mess as I started building my Home Office/Studio late yesterday. I have rearranged my various homes and apartments numerous times in my life, but this time it’s proving to be a challenge. With a four year old who is NOT at all happy with change, and with the idea that the other half of the space will now be his “bedroom,” to my knees and fifty-one year old back not remembering why I started getting rid of so many books a few years back, and it was not just because of the invention of the Kindle! By the by, the Kindle has now been declared bad. By bad, I mean that the Main Stream Media has decided that the device is both “uncool” and environmentally unfriendly. I’m serious. You can READ IT HERE Read the rest of this entry

Unemployment Begins

So it’s been a week since I quit my job as a Talk Radio Show Host. There were reasons why I quit that would be pretty obvious to anybody who has ever worked at a creative enterprise managed by disconnected and micro-management folks. Needless to say, it’s been an odd week, with moments of great stress and moments that feel like I dumped an 800lbs gorilla off my back. Its weird, since technically today is my first day unemployed. I have never been unemployed before, and frankly, it’s a weird feeling.

10628240_10205769696631766_511544609929551225_nI had originally decided that I was going to spend “a few weeks” – however that is defined – going Mr. Mom, which would be great. Ben and I have spent the time doing things like going to Kanga Zoom, getting haircuts, and even going to Wendy’s to get chocolate Frosty’s.

I have a couple of writing projects and a home office/studio to get set up so that some projects, like CONSTITUTION THURSDAY can continue. I have been asked by some to do a regular podcast, and I have a plan for a few months from now to go into business for myself. But for now, I am going to actually relax a bit. Read the rest of this entry

Losing Control

My prized annual pass

My prized annual pass

2014 was a year of learning to let go of things I cannot control any longer. So it was fitting that on the second to the last day of the year, we made our way to my favorite place, Yosemite National Park. I even bought an annual pass, since I figured that if I go just two more times in the next year it will pay for itself.

This place is just indescribably beautiful and interesting and fun. I lived here for nearly 15 years before I ever went, and now I wonder what was wrong with me? The very first time, in May of last year, we went over Tioga Pass on the way to Reno, after getting lost and ending up on the Valley Floor for an hour or so too. We went back two weeks later for a family picnic at the Cathedral Picnic grounds, where Ben threw rocks in the river and the ducks quacked for him. It was fantastic, and I have been waiting for an reason to go back. Read the rest of this entry

Video Killed the Radio Star

Like most boys, my son has a healthy and constantly shifting set of interests that includes, believe it or not, old MTV music videos. Luckily, we live in the 21st Century, the Age of YouTube. Since MTV no longer actually plays any videos, we can still find them on the interwebs, and there is nothing to compare to hearing my three year old son singing songs  used to sing along with back when MTV actually did play music. Like me back then, he will sit here for an hour singing and watching. It’s amazing.

And like everybody else who listens to pop music, he gets one song in his head and watches it over and again, learning more and more words each time through. Eventually he is sing-shouting at the top of his lungs that Video Killed that Radio Star.

Buggles-MTV-007Which is oddly appropriate given that the famous Buggles hit and first video ever aired on MTV is all about how technology will eventually take over the world and instead of using our imaginations we will sit at the kitchen table and watch moving pictures of the story the artist wants to tell. We can’t rewind, we’ve gone too far. Read the rest of this entry

First and Last

So the first day of 2014 is the last day of my vacation. The great thing about this time off has been that Ben and I have spent so much time together having fun, sharing the events of the Holidays and just flat out playing.

I think that he knows that it’s almost over, this morning it was as if he was trying to pack every game we’ve played into the morning. I started writing down all the things he was asking me to be and I kept saying, “No, I’m just your Daddy.”

About ten minutes before Cami got home and just as the Parade was ending, he climbed up in my lap and said, “You’re my Daddy.”

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So High, So Far, So Fast…

DSCN2718Ben is growing up so fast. It was what, a year ago that I was complaining about how unsafe playgrounds really are. Now he approaches new climbing stuff cautiously, looks it over and then tries it out. Within minutes he is climbing as if it were second nature.

I love how confident he is becoming. Like most three year old’s he is very demanding about “doing it myself, daddy.” It seems like just yesterday that he couldn’t walk and was tipping over full mugs of hot tea into my lap. Now he is running Cami’s laptop like a pro, watching and learning online.

I’m really proud, but I also miss that really little boy that always wanted me to hold him…

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Water Fun

Just having some fun with Ben, a hose and the brown spots on the lawn! Later we did Costco and a trip to the local “Train Water Park” (as Ben calls it), which is a really cool (get it?) feature here in Manteca right next to the Union Pacific Train line.

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You May Never Know…

My favorite story in the Tanach is the Story of Esther.

Yeah, she’s not my favorite character (Ahab), but her story is one of the most important lessons I have ever learned in life, and I am amazed how it comes back around time and time again.

It is simply amazing to consider how many people in my life were there for me in ways that they never understood or even knew about. People who perhaps thought one thing was happening, but in ways that they never saw accomplished other things.

Esther was told by Mordecai that G-d had put her in a specific place at a specific moment and that she may never know what becomes of things because of that. But she had to do what she could at that moment. What happens later is up to G-d. What happens right now was up to her.

There are two people in my life that had a bigger effect on me than they ever knew or had any reason to know. It would take days to tell the whole of it, but without them, there would be no Ben today. One gave me her friendship and a phone number. The other gave me a reason to believe again.

Looking around today I have to wonder two things. Who has G-d put there because I need them, and who has G-d put me there because they need me?

And when all is said and done, will I be like Esther and do what I can do at the moment?

 

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