Zack and Yaffa Channeling

Zack and Yaffa’s last name is officially “Stern”, but they were channeling a special spirit this afternoon.  Zack’s mother Eva had a departing favor that she asked before passing away (at too young an age), and that was to be remembered.  Ironically Zack’s Hebrew name is “Zecharya”, and if one follows the custom of omitting the last letter as to not form G-d’s name, the Hebrew becomes the same spelling as the English “Zachary”.  Inherent in Zack’s name is the act of remembering, and this afternoon’s simcha will be memorable to us for many years to come on so many different levels.

Zecharya

IMG_1777

IMG_1566

IMG_1564

IMG_1569

IMG_1575-2

IMG_1570

IMG_1561

IMG_1563-2

IMG_1568

IMG_1576

IMG_1583

IMG_1585

IMG_1590
IMG_1594

IMG_1600-2

IMG_1602

IMG_1604-2

IMG_1605-2

IMG_1606

IMG_1614

IMG_1617

FullSizeRender-618

IMG_1621-2

IMG_1623

FullSizeRender-619

IMG_1629-2

FullSizeRender-621

IMG_1642

IMG_1645

IMG_1649

IMG_1650

IMG_1651

IMG_1659

IMG_1662

IMG_1665

IMG_1680

IMG_1701

IMG_1702

IMG_1705

IMG_1727

IMG_1747

IMG_1752

IMG_1756

IMG_1759

IMG_1766-2

IMG_1767

IMG_1773

IMG_1780

FullSizeRender-622

IMG_1788

IMG_1786

IMG_1784

IMG_1783

IMG_1821

FullSizeRender-624

IMG_1779

IMG_5460

IMG_5436

IMG_5440-2

IMG_5430

IMG_5428

IMG_5427

IMG_5433

FullSizeRender-625

IMG_1838

IMG_1845

IMG_1847

IMG_1854

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

If a Tree Falls In a Forest …

IMG_1296

… and there is no one around to hear it, did it make a sound?  Silly question, isn’t it.  Of course it emits a stimulus that makes a sound, irrespective of whether there was anyone around to witness the auditory event.  End of discussion.  Or is it?

A philosopher might argue that it hinges on your view of radical skepticism.

A physicist might posit that it emits compression waves, but not sound until the vibrations are interpreted as such.

In other words, the question isn’t so silly when you consider the cilia.

Cilia

After all, an individual with hearing loss can still experience a sound event by detecting compression waves.  Perhaps it all boils down to this:

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Kondo Rules

Uh-oh!  Giving books away is an essential step in Marie Kondo’s method to decluttering and organizing your personal spaces.  (It’s a good thing Miriam doesn’t read my blogs.)

konmari-cheat-sheet_57276b64b0331_w1500

But seriously … Dr. Christiane Northrup provides a nice snapshot of the Kondo deeds.  The challenge of course is not to let stuff accumulate in the first place that needs to be purged in your once yearly surge of Spring decluttering.  Easier said than done!

konmari tips

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

A Student of the Game

It’s wonderful to see a young man like Ian Happ, who won’t turn 23 until August, handle himself so well on a public stage.  After all, he was called up in band-aid fashion to a team that won the World Series last year and has largely the same roster.  He’s impressing their cerebral manager along with the rest of the Cubs’ brain trust, who would have sent him back to the minors by now had he not picked up where he left off in spring training.  And Ian in his interviews gives a hint of what makes him such an effective student of the game.

Opposing pitchers will adjust to his tendencies, and Ian in turn will recognize their adjustment and make his own corrections.  That is the nature of the game for players who are able to adapt successfully.  Here is an example, toward the end of Friday’s game :

IMG_1115

One of Ian’s calling cards is patience, and many of his ABs find him working to a 3 ball count.  But he won’t shy away from swinging at the first pitch if he thinks he can drive it.  In this at-bat, Ian goes in the hole quickly at 0-2, and swings and misses on a pitch in the dirt.  If he has any weakness at the plate, it’s in laying off those sinkers in the dirt that they’ve been throwing him on two strike counts.  No doubt that’s been pointed out to him, and no doubt he will learn to recognize that because he’s such an effective student of the game.

IMG_1056-2

Like all ballplayers, Ian has a routine at the plate.  As he steps away in between pitches, he holds the bat vertically on the midline, gazing at the barrel during a conscious breath and visualizing how he’ll make contact before re-setting himself in the box.  He exhibits an economy of movement, and a quiet confidence as he readies himself to recognize the pitch.

Ian is a stealthy five tools player.  He isn’t flashy or demonstrative, which is why you almost have to be a student of the game to realize how well he does everything from running the bases to taking effective routes to the ball in the field.

IMG_1029

Above all Ian seems to be fitting in quite well with the clubhouse culture that the Cubs have cultivated, emerging as yet another catalyst on a team with enviable chemistry.

IMG_1046

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Cubs’ Slow Start is Ian’s Happenstance

AFL Ian

I first became emotionally invested in Ian Happ’s performance during the Arizona Fall League.  The kid is immersed, and goes about his business in a very professional way.  He seems adept at blocking out background distractions, and was learning the ropes on how to handle the media.  All that served him well as he opened eyes during spring training and began pounding the ball for the AAA Iowa Cubs.

The Big League Cubs are off to a rough start and, to hear their manager tell it, they’re lucky to be a .500 team a month into the season.  With position players struggling or banged up, the timing was right for Ian to be called up.  One can only imagine the pressure to perform in front of family flown in and a healthy representation of Cubs fans in the stands at the sold out  New Busch.  He immediately jumped into the frying pan, starting in right field and batting second, with Manager Maddon dispensing the advice to enjoy the moment, have fun, and not change anything he’s been doing.  Easier said than done.

I wasn’t there, but I was as nervous as if I were in the stands.  Even with ice water in his veins, Ian struck out his first time up.  The second time he looked more confident, and patiently drew a walk.  The third time up he reached base on an error by the Cardinals’ first baseman Matt Carpenter but, on a Busch call, was ruled out at second base for interference when he slid through and beyond the bag.  We can only speculate on what was going through Ian’s mind as the run scored on the play by Kyle Schwarber was erased.

But then, in the 7th inning, Ian redeemed himself big time.  Joining an elite coterie of players who homered in their first major league games, Ian barreled up the first pitch into the right field stands where it was promptly retrieved by a Cardinals fan.  Take that, Mighty Casey — there is joy in Cubville!  Though it was disappointing that the Cubs didn’t win, a potential new star is on the horizon.

Ian was quoted before the game as saying that he might wake up tomorrow and not remember what happened.  He was trying to slow everything down, to be in the moment.  Well, just in case there’s any amnesia in the morning, here’s some photo-documetation as seen on the little screen.

FullSizeRender-599

FullSizeRender-600

FullSizeRender-601

IMG_0924

IMG_0937-2

IMG_0938-2

IMG_0939-2

IMG_0940-2

IMG_0941-2

IMG_0942-2

By the way — that was the slide sequence at second base on Ian’s second time up after drawing a walk.  Here is the controversial “interference slide” sequence into second base after Ian reached first on an error his third time up.

IMG_0954

IMG_0955-2

IMG_0957

IMG_0958-2

FullSizeRender-602

And now, drum roll please …

IMG_0960

IMG_1421

IMG_1423

IMG_0974-2

IMG_0961-2

IMG_0963

IMG_0964

IMG_0965-2

IMG_0970

IMG_0971

IMG_0983

And what of the Cardinals fan who retrieved Ian’s first major league home run ball?  Present it to Ian’s mom, of course.  Happy Mother’s Day, Mary Beth!

IMG_0986

IMG_0981-2

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Twin Gymnasts Qualify for Nationals

Congrats to our granddaughters, Ayelet & Leora Goldstein, on racking up the points at this afternoon’s “States” in gymnastics, qualifying for the “Nationals” in their age bracket.

IMG_5016 IMG_5017

IMG_5023

IMG_5019

FullSizeRender-593

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Thank You to Dr. Robin Price

Robin Price

A big thanks to Dr. Robin Price from Utah who collaborated with Pam Happ and Dr. Daniel Press to put together a tribute to deceased members of family and friends of COVD (the College of Optometrists in Vision Development) at this year’s annal banquet in Jacksonville, FL that included my father.  The photos and highlights they extracted from the blog series I did about Dr. Israel Press shortly after his passing, set to Dan Fogelberg’s “Leader of the Band”,  were a touching surprise.  Here it is, as it appeared on the big screen …

FullSizeRender-584

FullSizeRender-585

FullSizeRender-586

FullSizeRender-587

FullSizeRender-588

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments