Humble pie always served cold Leaping to conclusions humbling



“Apologizing is different from begging, it doesn’t change your status, go ahead and get on your knees, spill tears if you got it, for the person you offended, if at all you had a place in their hearts, you’ll be totally forgiven and accepted.” Michael Bassey Johnson

Have you ever noticed that leaping to wrong conclusions and affirming to everyone you know that you are right and they are wrong almost immediately leads to a cold slice of humble pie usually served cold when reality eventually reveals that you were mistaken all along?

Reality has this uncanny knack of effectively biting a person on the butt and forcing him/her to eat a slice of that much dreaded humble pie.

This is usually the case when the party in question had been flaunting their knowledge freely about insisting that they are correct and the rest of mankind terribly wrong.

This situation recently happened to me when the washing machine in my apartment building broke down and was in need of repair. Sixteen suites depended on this workhorse to clean their clothes. This meant that washer-dependent  families would have to seek an alternative means to keeping their clothing clean.

During my time at university I suffered many unpleasant experiences using public laundromat facilities. Having to use such a place again even for the shortest period of time only brought back memories of badly lit, poorly managed and unsafe laundromats from my bygone days. 

Fellow residents encouraged me to try this laundromat and they even raved about how well it was managed. I, being correct, refused to listen to their suggestions until that point in time when I looked in my underwear drawer and discovered that my endless supply of white jockey shorts was desperately running low. It was time to take action or suffer the consequences in silence.

Early this morning this past week about nine a.m. I threw my dirty clothing into  the laundry basket and made tracks to this much referred facility. It was within walking distance of  my building and with each step I took physically towards the laundromat I psychologically made three steps backwards to detain my arrival there.

When I finally arrived there I was pleasantly surprised to notice that the inside and outside area ws clean and well-kept, there was more than enough lighting inside and the machines were well-kept and spotlessly clean and downright shining.  

The female manager at the service desk was friendly, helpful and proficient at her job. It was a scene from Laundromat Heaven. The place was spotless!

I finished my laundry in record time and told the attendant that she ran a top-notch facility. The photos above show the interior of the laundromat and the clean and friendly environment it houses.

The rat infested, poorly lit laundry nightmares from my earlier days were had become bad memories keeping me from using this high-tech laundry Eden.

This is my formal , public apology to all those folks who read my blog and recommended this place to me. You were right and I was wrong.

Next time I will definitely look before I lip.

Winter photography is exciting Look for unique in the mundane


“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”   Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

A  thin filigree of ice covers low-lying brush. An early morning coat of glazed hoar-frost provides perfect picture fodder for the ambitious photographer. You have to reposition yourself in many different angles to ensure the ambient light and any direct sunlight adds the magic and the panache you want your photography to emit.

This morning as I was walking home from the supermarket freezing in the cold I looked up as I paused at a pedestrian cross walk and noticed that a heavy layer of hoar-frost had transformed the dead bushes and snow crusted bramble into spectacular works of art.

I continued walking home slowly and kept observing how the  sunlight made the branches sparkle as if they were made of fine crystal. But this breath-taking observation only worked when I was standing in an angle that allowed the sun to do its highlighting task efficiently.

From another angle the magic and the beauty of the scene was absent. I had to step back a few paces, configure in my mind complementary shooting angles for the photos and then run home and get my camera to capture this momentary event.

You don’t really have to overly concern yourself that much with the more technical aspects of capturing  the scene as your camera will often time do this for you. .

It is more important to take the time and experience the magic of the moment taking a number of shots from different angles and then  with your digital camera preview screen evaluate your photos on the spot.If you like what you see take a few more in case you missed an important aspect of the scene.

There is digital editing software you can use that will help you technically enhance the captured aspects of your art work. But compose your photo through your camera’s viewfinder first and strive to capture the moment as you click the shutter.

The dead of winter does not mean that the outdoor world is devoid of life and animation. In this frozen realm the mundane becomes the spectacular only if you are looking beyond the frosty coverings of the season.


Holding a grudge consumes time Forgive, forget and then let it go


“Holding a grudge and harboring anger/resentment is poison to the soul. Get even with people…but not those who have hurt us, forget them, instead get even with those who have helped us.”   ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free


people who continually hold grudges miss out on the joy and juice of life. They are too busy concentrating all their efforts on a past injustice and not enjoying the excitement of the moment. This over fixation with the past destroys marriages, friendships and trust between colleagues. 

Here it is short and sweet: If you hate wasting gasoline because of the expense or the bother of refilling your car’s gas tank then don’t get caught in the trap of holding a grudge hoping that one day a payback will appear out of the blue. That does not happen.

Instead realize that:  we are all human beings;  prone to make judgement errors and bad decisions; will one day peeve someone off; and create a tension  filled situation based on a past mistake.

The amount of emotional baggage we end up lugging  around inside us only has detrimental effects not only to ourselves but to the people around us.

Couples are especially susceptible to this malingering mayhem which creates a divisive battle line between them and the rest of their extended family.

Situations in life often create blood pressure  raising instances. But after the dust has finally settled and the scene has returned to almost normal give yourself a break and forgive the wrongdoer. You’ll be lad you did. 

Remember that one day you may be on the receiving end of  a grudge.

Reflecting on the nature of man Eric Hoffer would be ideal guest



It is the child in man that is the source of his uniqueness and creativeness, and the playground is the optimal milieu for the unfolding of his capacities and talents.” —Eric Hoffer

A man reflecting on life. This man sitting on a cement step enjoying a cigarette could be labelled as a common man of no particular significance. Just a man wasting time on a step on a sunny afternoon. But he could also be a philosopher not merely watching the world pass by but mentally recording the way passersby interact in their world.


Eric Hoffer was the type of inspirational writer who wrote from the perspective of the common man. He was born in the Bronx of German immigrant parents. When he was young he lost his vision due to an accident and then miraculously regained his sight at age 15. 

For 10 years he was a Skid Row resident who was an avid reader, wrote occasionally and worked at odd jobs. At one time in his life he seriously considered suicide but changed his mind and became a migrant worker who travelled to California to find employment as a seasonal worker. 

He eventually worked as a longshoremen on the docks of San Francisco. At the same time, he began to write seriously. 

He once remarked, “my writing grows out of my life just as a branch from a tree.” When called an intellectual, he insisted that he was a longshoremen. Hoffer has been dubbed by some authors a “longshoremen philosopher.”[7]

Hoffer came to public attention with the 1951 publication of his first book, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. Concerned about the rise of totalitarian governments, especially those of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, he tried to find the roots of these “madhouse” in human psychology.

Explaining the world to a child They know more than you think


“When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.”   Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

Many times the innocence of childhood is interrupted by a parental death, divorce, war, disease and world-wide acts of terrorism and cruelty. That bubble of protected safety is jeopardized and parents scramble to right the universal wrong that is affecting their child’s future. They desperately strive to keep their offspring ignorant of the truth for as long as humanly possible They fail to realize that the child has a rough idea of what is going on.

In todays fast paced technological reality the truth is hard to keep hidden from even the youngest child. Cartoons advocate gratuitous violence; public shootings and acts of planned terrorism dominate the six o’clock news headlines; the friend next doors parents are going through divorce proceedings.

Explaining all this to a young mind who is itself seeking justification for its very existence on the planet is a tall order. But children absorb all this negativity like sponges and learn through osmosis.

Family tension in the home is experienced in the same innocent and accepting way as  the tragic events in the recent Paris massacre. Everyone is upset and concerned and the child wonders why Was it the cause of all the bad feelings?.

Even as adults we cannot fathom the logical reason behind it all. A meaningful dialogue between parent and child might not only clarify confusion for all parties but also help to solidify the family unit as an understanding  organic entity.

Take a few moment and have this special chat with your child. Not the sex talk. This one involves the way they see their world and their place in it. Their answers might surprise you.

Mine is a Heinz 57 neighborhood Cultural influences add diversity



“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”   Maya Angelou

My neighborhood is filled with cultural diversity. People from many nations live in close proximity to one another. Although the languages and the dialects vary markedly we all intuitively realize that living together and sharing space is an essential part of our reality. This is the way of the world and it works well for us.

There is no one discernible language or dialect spoken in my neighborhood. It is more of a cultural mosaic that works well for us.

We are friends, neighbors and parents. The homogeneity of many other neighborhoods loses out on the wide-ranging cultural differences and influences that makes this one special. 

There is no cultural chaos here. Only neighbors respecting the rights of  others to live their lives and enjoy their freedoms in peace.

The right to enjoy life.

The three phases of winter leaves Scenes meant to delight the eye



There is something magical about three you know – a trio is tight and nicely economical. — Ian Williams

I call this photo the three faces of leaves. The three tress on the left proudly display their three coats of winter weather. Neither ice,nor snow, nor sleet not hail prevents them from looking their very best. This threesome dramatically presents Mother Nature’s winter coverings.

This was the view from my patio door last winter when the weather turned harsh and many folks decided to stay indoors and keep warm and safe.

The trees in the school yard across the street seemed to huddle together for warmth, companionship and meager protection from the cold north winds.

At times I wanted to run across the yard and place a large woolen blanket around the trio.  The knee-high snow dissuaded me from doing this pseudo heroic but obviously foolish act.

In the spring the ice and snow disappeared and the trees emerged with a new covering of leaves and a determined attitude to survive another season.

Sometimes three is the lucky number.