The Desert Dogs Do Prada

Well it’s official as of this afternoon.  This year the Phillies will be part of the Glendale Desert Dogs participating in the Arizona Fall League.  Other teams making up the Dogs are the White Sox, Astros, Dodgers, and Pirates.

Glendale Desert Dogs

The Dogs will be managed by Bill Haselman, who is currently managing a Dodgers’ minor league affiliate, the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (don’tcha just love these team names?).  Don’t know the Phillies prop sects who’ll be on the team yet, but their hitting coach will be Nelson Prada, currently the hitting coach for a Phillies’ minor league affiliate, the Lakewood Blue Claws.

The Glendale Stadium (Cambelback) is a pretty venue for a game, as I blogged about two years ago.


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Incomparable George Benson

There are many fine versions of “On Broadway”, but perhaps none finer than this impromptu jam at the Cafe Wha? on Macdougal Street in Greenwich Village.  Occasionally I do miss those old college days, and hopping the “A” train down to the Village for a dose of spontaneity.


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments


Thanks to my friend, Dr. Dan Fortenbacher, for pointing out the latest Oliver Sacks piece – My Periodic Table, appearing in the New York Times Sunday Opinion today.  Although I identify with Oliver in numerous ways, I can only aspire to the clarity and artistic nature of his writing.


Sacks relates to the elements in a very intimate way, and he introduced us to his love of chemistry in general and the periodic table in particular through Uncle Tungsten.  I recall as a school child being enamored with chemistry.  My mother, who would buy me anything, took me to a toy store in Center City Philadelphia to purchase a primo chemistry set.  I still have correspondence somewhere that I received from DuPont in response to a letter I wrote them asking a question about the periodic table.  This prompts me to dredge it up.

Sacks personalizes the periodic table in today’s Times essay by using the elements’ numbers to represent his recent birthdays, an organic gematria of sorts.  Regrettably his ability to code these milestones will soon be coming to an end.  His penchant for observation will live on through the beautiful writings he has left behind.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Significance of Faigy Mayer’s Suicide

What statement, if any, does Faigy Mayer’s suicide make?  I originally learned to appreciate the depth of these conflicts through the writings of Nathan Englander.   It takes courage to address many of these issues.  Sometimes the discussion ensues through footsteps.

The very public way in which Faigy Mayer committed suicide was the antitheses of footsteps.  It was a running jump.  A leap of faith, or perhaps a leap away from faith.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The New Normal?

This news clip about last week’s one man targeted shooting spree in Chattanooga aimed at military sites describe him, according to his friends, as perfectly normal.

“By all accounts he lived a perfectly normal life” says the correspondent toward the end of the video.  A HuffPost Crime piece sheds a little more light. and is interesting reading.  Aside from what may have motivated the rampage, the word “normal” comes up again:

Two nights before the attack, he and some friends went joyriding in Abdulazeez’s rented gray convertible Ford Mustang, passing through the towns of Whitwell, Dayton and Jasper.  “Fast car on a rainy night. We were flying, doing tight turns and drifting,” said the friend, adding that they returned home at about 3 o’clock in the morning.  “He seemed totally normal. We made plans to hang out on the weekend,” he said.

Is this really the new normal?

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Can Compression Socks for Men Be Stylish?

So now that we’re all aging and aged, Baby Boomers should be driving supply and demand for stylish post-DVT compression socks.  Women have them, but what about men?  I mean seriously, Dude.  Don’t those camouflage shorts beg for something other than black dress socks?


So far guys seem to be taking the lack of anything fashionable in stride.  Cost is most likely a factor.  The neutral black or white style is about $10 a pair in the pharmacy, but the pairs with pizzaz are close to $40 — although I did find this snappy pair of his & hers Rejuva in argyle chestnut.  Seems like there’s a market there for some entrepreneurialism.  Shark Tank, anyone?


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Days of Ticho: Empire, Mandate, Medicine and Art in the Holy Land

At the Judaica House on Cedar Lane in Teaneck, NJ, passing time while Miriam was indulging in Cousin Leah’s special birthday celebration, I came across a most remarkable book published earlier this year.  Here is a beautifully done video celebrating the book’s launch in Jerusalem.

Apparently aficionados of Jerusalem are quite familiar with Anna Ticho by virtue of the Ticho House Museum on HaRav Kuk Street.  I have never been there, but note that the House has been closed since September 2014 for extensive renovations and due to re-open on September 10, 2015.


It is perhaps fitting, because Anna was a posthumous recipient of the Israel Prize for Painting (four months after her death in 1980), that Dr. David Reifler as an ophthalmologic historian chronicles how Anna’s husband played an integral role in helping to establish the field in modern Jersualem.  In this podcast, Dr. Reifler and museum curator Timna Seligman discuss the Ticho House as a tribute to the influence of the Ticho couple in and around downtown Jerusalem in their day.  They are memorialized by a street that bears their name (Ticho Street indicated by the green arrow on the Google map below), in addition to the Ticho House.

Ticho Street

Dr. Reifler’s book is a delight both for historians of eye care as well as historians of the transformation of Palestine/old Jerusalem into the new State of Israel.  Dr. Alfred Ticho was the first ophthalmologist to settle permanently in Jerusalem, and in doing so overcame many obstacles.  A special pearl appears on pp. 329-30, with excerpts from a speech delivered by Nobel laureate S.Y. Agnon – a neighbor and close friend of the Tichos, in honor of Dr. Alfred Ticho’s 60th birthday in 1943.

As an optometry student in the 1970s, I was introduced to conditions attached to famous names – many of whom Dr. Ticho studied under or crossed paths with in Vienna such as  Fuchs, Elschnig, and most notably his principal mentor, Otto Bergmeister.  Fuchs is known for his namesake corneal dystrophy; Elschnig for his lenticular pearls, and Bergmeister for his papilla.  Bergmeister’s papilla, consisting of a small tuft of fibrous tissue arising from the center of the optic disc, represents a remnant of the hyaloid artery that provides nutrition to the crystalline lens during its embryologic development.

Bergmesiter's Papilla

A remnant is often considered a fragment, something left over that bears witness to a material or structure of great complexity, significance or value.  Although there is no ocular remnant of Ticho’s name as there is with Bergmeister’s papilla, he could have justifiably attached his name to trachoma, a condition which occupied much of his professional time and for which he was internationally renowned.

Ticho means “quiet” or “silent” in Czech, but as noted in this superlative Jerusalem Post review, his life is no longer a well-kept secret.

Days of Ticho

Dr. Reifler’s work speaks volumes about a pivotal person, at a pivotal time, in a pivotal place.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments