From the Editor

Grown Up

 

 

“… and how she would keep, through all her riper years, the simple and loving heart of a child; and how she would gather about her other little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago; and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days.”

~ Alice in Wonderland ~

 

The summer days are gone; at least for now in New England; but the happy does not have to be gone, regardless of where we are.

I had a birthday last month, a very Happy Birthday thanks to the people in my life, who stopped to make it special; I am most grateful and I thank you.

I am not planning to write about each act of kindness, which made last month so special; but I am also not saying that before this column is over, I will not do exactly that. However, what I would like to share with you this month, are a few thoughts about being a grown up.

As I have written and spoken about in the past, it was Phil who first shared with me the reality of looking in the mirror and seeing this old person looking back at you, when you still feel like you are fifteen, though you are now say fifty-eight or eighty-eighty. It is a shocking phenomenon; and one which reminds you of the ticking clock.

My Father did not make it to fifty-eight, so he could not have told me about what I call Phil’s Phenomenon, and my Mother, I think started and ended her life bearing too many burdens to ever have felt the freedom and joy of fifteen; thus she too never told me about Phil’s Phenomenon. But Phil did explain to me that it was his body which finally betrayed him, that and the library becoming fully computerized; but that is a story for another column.

I have no scientific proof for anything I am about to say, thus anecdotal evidence will have to suffice.

Over the last few months, I have finally come to the conclusion that I am officially “grown up”. I actually have become what I am going to be; you know the phrase, when I grow up . . . well I grew up and this is my life. I do not know why it took me so long to realize that this is what my grown up life looked like, but it did.

One of the things which I have thought about is that no matter how old you actually are, I believe if we are doing this life thing right, we must continue to dream and wonder and hope and plan; and yes we also will continue to be broken-hearted and disappointed and overwhelmed and saddened. Unfortunately, getting older does not make us feel the pains of life less; regardless of our age, we still want to be loved and comforted and know that we matter to other living beings.

But there is nothing we can do about the fact that life comes with so many bumps and bruises; however, there is a lot we can do about living life in joy, despite sorrows. I believe we must choose to live!

Regardless of the circumstances, which we cannot control, we must choose to be engaged, and even when we are continually knocked down, get up and start again. Do not throw in the towel; eventually the towel does get thrown in, and there will be nothing we can do about that, but we should not quit before that moment. The disappointments come, but if we do not stay in the race, we will not be around to savor the victories and Happy Birthdays.

Being a grown up is hard; and it does not get easier with practice. The freedom we gain as adults comes with a very high price tag; and it and all of the other bills must be paid.

As a child we all sit around and talk about how things will be, in our lives, when we are finally the ones in control. Then one day we wake-up and realize we are actually in charge of our life, free to do whatever we like, as long as we keep our boss happy, take care of our home and car, meet the needs of our family and friends, and do what our bodies demand to keep working. It is a juggling act, and of course most of us skipped that juggling class in school; who knew we needed it?

The only thing which can make being a grown up easier is having people to share the journey. Yes, you will want to have someone to commiserate with when you are sorrowful; but you must also have many someone’s to celebrate with, even the small, tiniest of pleasures. If the people in your life do not grieve with you when you grieve or rejoice with you when you are happy, you need better people!

We should not live our lives forgoing the people and things which give us pleasure and purpose. The other day, Kate asked me if the plants, which sit on the windowsill in the kitchen, succulents acquired this summer during our trip to the west coast, made me happy.

I was rather excited by her question, because I had just been thinking about the cost, in terms of effort, which my garden demands; and very pleased to be able to tell her yes! I love seeing the plants grow and change; it makes me happy to watch these tiny living things thrive; just like it makes me happy to see the people in my life grow and thrive!

In many ways the things which I enjoyed in my youth, I still love: People, adventures, food, gardening, reading, music, art, talking, history, God, the road, learning, celebrating, home, and writing; oh my how blessed am I and grateful to Kate for giving me That Is All For Now, where I get to share my loves with you.

Am I happy with what I have done with my life thus far? No, I did not cure cancer; but in all fairness, I never imagined or strived to cure cancer. My goals were not that complicated, I wanted to love, travel, and write about experiencing life and be of some use to God.

Recently, a man whom I had never heard of, Jarrid Wilson, the co-founder of Anthem of Hope, whose work on staff, at a “mega” church, was dealing with suicide prevention, killed himself. I am not sure why, but I grieved his death. Immediately I began trying to understand why he had killed himself and who let him down. Of course I did not find any answers, they are not mine to find.

Last month someone I have known for 32 years died, and tonight, as I write this column, I have learned that someone who loved her died today. There is a sorrow in her death, not because of how she died, but because of how she lived. His death makes me sad because though he loved her, she did not love him back; yet he held on to life until she was gone. There is so much grief in the grown up world.

One of the surprises in life is that we run out of time; tomorrows become less certain and more limited. I hope I am only at mid-life, but I simply do not know; but I do have hope and hope is everything. That is all for now.

Poet’s Corner

Perfection – the Last Act of Rebellion

 

 

She knew it was an act of rebellion,

nevertheless,

she finished setting the table

and stepped back to take a look;

the linens, china, silver, crystal

and even the flowers

were all perfect,

exactly as she had envisioned it;

though she knew that she was all but

alone in her appreciation

for what lay in front of her.

The calls had begun almost instantaneous and

had been constant and consistent,

do not fuss she had been told

paper plates are so much easier,

and paper towels are fine

there is no need for glassware

or even silverware

paper and plastic will suffice

they declared

in a unanimous voice.

Perhaps,

they are all correct,

she thought,

as she walked around the table,

taking note of her handy work,

which would not be well received;

but then the whimsy of the centerpiece

suddenly caught her eye and

brought a smile to her face.

No she thought,

it is perfect,

just as it is,

regardless of what they will think;

the rebel homemaker

had struck again!

Dinner would be in courses,

the background music

would be soft and unobtrusive

coffee and desert

would be come at the end of the meal

and then everyone would leave the table

having dined

not just eaten.

Connected

 

Industry 4.0

 

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I remember, while in school, being fascinated by the Industrial Revolution; so much so that when I returned to visit my grandmother, in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, the roll of film, which I shot, was of smokestacks from Bethlehem Steel not of her and I.

The Industrial Revolution 1.0, mechanized and created industry, which altered the standard of living and benefitted the general population, like nothing had before.

Today we are at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution 4.0; welcome!

The Industrial Revolution 4.0 is known as Industry 4.0 and refers to factories with wireless connected machines and sensors, which interact with computers and are able to make decisions without human interaction. Industry 4.0 ushers in autonomous operations with machines that can predict their own necessary maintenance prior to breaking down. Supply chain management, predictive maintenance and data exchange between devices make up Industry 4.0, which will usher in smart factories, smart manufacturing, smart grids and smart cities.

But business is not the only one impacted from Industry 4.0. The home is also be infiltrated by smart devices such as mobile phones, 3D printing, sensors, wearables, and cameras, all connected, and seamlessly working together.

Industry 4.0 is complex, and provides us with new opportunities including how we live, work and interact with cyber-physical systems.

As a home improvement lover, I am amazed at how stores now have available cameras, thermostats, locks, appliances that all interact with the internet. Our homes have become small cyber-physical systems, which interact with very large businesses. As we adopt smart technologies in our homes and businesses, we are becoming one. We are interacting with unprecedented speed in one language, known as the Internet.

It is Industry 4.0 that has disrupted how we do business. Uber and Lyft have disrupted taxis and limos, because of an application that has globally been able to interact with everyone who has a smart phone. Telemedicine has disrupted traditional doctor/patient relationships. Streaming video has disrupted the entertainment industry and the list goes on. It is evident that the advent of Industry 4.0 has brought unprecedented changes to our lives.

I will always remember speaking with our neighbor Phil in Florida, as he discussed the changes that he had seen in his lifetime. Phil was born during the time of the Industrial Revolution 2.0, which included the assembly line, mass production, and electricity; he lived through the Industrial Revolution 3.0, which included the computer, that he adored, automation, and robotics, and would begin to see the dawn of the Industrial Revolution 4.0.

The question for today, as we marvel at the Industrial Revolution 4.0 is how do we stay safely Connected; because whether we want to be or not, we are all Connected through the Internet of Things, IoT.

The biggest challenge today is to understand the assets that are Connected to the enterprise or to our homes; the connections serve as a direct pathway into the global business community and into our personal lives.

In August of 2019, Microsoft reported that Russian hackers infiltrated “IoT devices to access corporate networks. The group leveraged weak security in office printers, video decoders, and voice over IP (VOIP) phones.” https://www.cfr.org/blog/cyber-week-review-august-9-2019

I always tell anyone who will listen to me that we cannot protect what we cannot see. Visibility has been the key to cybersecurity since its inception; and continues to be our number one issue. If we do not know which devices have access to our lives, we risk technology altering our life for the worse, instead of for the better, as it did during the Industrial Revolution 1.0. Stay safely Connected.

Film’s Recommended by Marcial


 
 
This is a trading world and men, women and children, who cannot live on gravity alone, need something to satisfy their gayer, lighter moods and hours, and he who ministers to this want is in a business established by the Author of our nature.  If he worthily fulfills his mission and amuses without corrupting, he need not feel that he has lived in vain.
 
~ Phineas T. Barnum ~
 
How to Steal a Million, US, 1966, 127 minutes, classic comedy

Beginners, US, 2010, 105 minutes, comedy/drama
 
The Debt, US, 2010, 114 minutes, espionage thriller
 
Larry Crowne, US, 2011, 99 minutes, romantic comedy
 
Ed Wood, US, 1994, 127 minutes, comedy
 
Keeping Mum, UK, 2005, 136 minutes, black comedy

The Mouse That Roared, UK, 1959, 83 minutes, comedy

The Party, UK, 1968, 99 minutes, classic comedy

Fair Game, US, 2010, 108 minutes, political thriller

The Right Stuff, US, 192 minutes, Drama

The Black Balloon US, 97 minutes, Drama

The Tree of Life, US, 2011, 139 minutes, Drama

Shopgirl, US, 2005, 106 minutes, Romantic Comedy

12 Strong, US, 2018, 130 minutes, Military Drama

In Therapy, Brazil, 2009, 93 minutes, Comedy

Soul Kitchen, Germany, 2009, 99 minutes, Comedy

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, US, 1961, 114 minutes, Comedy

Queen to Play, France, 2009, 101 minutes, Drama

Castaway on the Moon, Korea, 2009, 116 minutes, Comedy

Eat Drink Man Woman, Taipei, 1994, 124 minutes, Comedy

Bride Flight, Netherlands, 2011, 130 minutes, Drama

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Sweden, 2009, 152 minutes, Thriller

Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi, Israel, 2003, 94 minutes, Comedy

Ladies in Lavender, UK, 2004, 103 minutes, Drama

Paper Moon, US, 1973, 102 minutes, Classic

Outsourced, US, 2006, 103 minutes, Comedy

Stranger than Fiction, US, 2006, 113 minutes, Comedy

Run Lola Run, Germany, 1998, 80 minutes, Thriller

Frida, US, 2002, 122 minutes, Drama

The Hours, US, 2002, 114 minutes, Drama

Garden State, US, 2004, 103 minutes, Comedy

American Beauty, US, 1999, 122 minutes, Drama

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, US, 2004, 108 minutes, Comedy

The Green Mile, US, 1999, 189 minutes, Drama

Rain Man, US, 1988, 103 minutes, Drama

Chicago, US, 2002, 113 minutes, Musical

The Upside of Anger, US, 2005, 118 minutes, Comedy

Scarface, US, 1983, 170 minutes, Thriller

The Notebook, US, 2004, 123 minutes, Drama

Million Dollar Baby, US, 2004, 133 minutes, Sports drama

Good Bye, Lenin!, Germany, 2003, 121 minutes, Comedy

Finding Neverland, UK, 2004, 101 minutes, Drama

Spanglish, US, 2004, 131 minutes, Comedy

The Aviator, US, 2004, 170 minutes, Drama

The Bridge on the River Kwai, US, 1957, 167 minutes, Action

Pulp Fiction, US, 1994, 154 minutes, Thriller

The Magnificent Seven, US, 1960, 128 minutes, Western

Zorba the Greek, Greek, 1964, 142 minutes, Classic

O Brother, Where Art Thou?, US, 2000, 106 minutes, Comedy

La Strada, Italy, 1954, 108, Drama

In Bruges, UK, 2008, 107 minutes, Thriller-Comedy

Whatever Works, US, 2009, 92 minutes, Comedy

Good Morning Vietnam, US, 1987, 119 minutes, Comedy

Awakenings, US, 1990, 120 minutes, Drama

Patch Adams, US, 1998, 116 minutes, Comedy

Captain Abu Raed, Jordan, 2008, 102 minutes, Drama

Bandits, US, 2001, 123 minutes, Comedy

Lucky Number Slevin, US, 2006, 110 minutes, Thriller

The Chorus, France, 2004, 97 minutes, Drama

Butterfly, Spain, 1999, 97 minutes, Drama

K-Pax, US, 2001, 121 minutes, Science Fiction

Winter in Wartime, Netherlands, 2008, 103, Drama, Suspenseful

Elling, Norway, 2001, 90 minutes, Comedy

Il Postino, Italy, 1995, 108 minutes, Drama

 


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