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Showing posts from November, 2013

Happy Thanksgivukkah

The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah begins tonight, Nov. 27, 2013 with the lighting of the first candle in the Menorah. That means that the first day of Hanukkah is Thanksgiving. This has given rise to a new word: Thanksgivukkah!

I checked out the obvious question: How often do Hanukkah and Thanksgiving come together? The answer: Less than rarely.

Way back in 1861, the fourth Thursday in November coincided with Hanukkah. But that doesn't count, since President Lincoln did not declare Thanksgiving to be a national holiday until 1863.

When will it happen again?  Almost never.

I take that back ... With built in adjustments to both the Hebrew and Gregorian calendars to keep them “on track,” various calculations have determined that won’t happen again for somewhere between 70,000 and 78,000 years.

Why do the Jewish holidays seem to move around so much? For one thing ... we were wandering Jews for years ( no ... not the plant). Remember when Moses found us the only piece of the desert with…

What's the Difference?

Last night, Debbie and I had a discussion about calling each other when we are running late. Ever had one of those? 
By the way, Deb has really been great about taking care of me while I've been laid up with a busted knee (among my other medical problems). She's been running late for a variety of reasons which I totally understand. However, I took the opportunity to ask her something she asks me all the time ... "Why didn't you call if you knew that you were running late?" To which she said ... "I lost track of time." 
Ah hah! I said (to myself) ... "That usually doesn't work for me when I say that." But I knew it was better to keep that to myself ... or my other knee would be crushed too.
It started me thinking about those wonderful differences in marriages between men and women that make life interesting. I categorized three areas that we tend to "discuss". There are so many more but in the interest of time here are my three:

Giving Thanks

With the holidays upon us, I get into my Christmas movie binge and pretend to be a gentile.

I always felt like I was missing something growing up Jewish and watching all my gentile friends getting into the spirit ... and getting presents. Their families had the big Christmas dinners ... I was so jealous (since my mom didn't even turn on the oven because it would get dirty).

Last night I looked through Netflix for a good old fashioned Jesus movie for Debbie and me. You know ... one about a guy who loses his faith, gets hit by a bus, turns to drugs and alcohol, questions God and then is visited by an angel at Christmas (maybe when he walks out of an AA meeting) to remind him that he should be thankful for what he does have and, eventually, through adversity he gains strength.

This morning I thought I'd try it out on myself. So I thought about the days when I used to smoke and drink and gamble and stay out late ... now in adversity with my crazy medical problems I made up my new…

Happy Birthday Wayne

Today is my brother Wayne's birthday.

For those of you who have followed my blog, you know that Wayne passed away in 1995 from a malignant brain tumor.

He was 42 years old.

Over the last 18 years, Wayne has been in my thoughts just about every day. The last few months, I've spoken to him often for strength and for guidance. . I remember the way he lived his life. I remember how he continued on ... kept a positive attitude ... despite multiple surgeries, bone marrow transplantation and loss of bodily functions. He made a point of helping others in need of support during the years that he could.

He's still a great listener.

Happy Birthday, little brother. 
I miss you, man.

Click to buy my book: Home Movies

A Billion Reasons to Throw a Party

What a night!

Friday night at the Tampa Bay Forum was a great celebration for USF. The Unstoppable Campaign reached and exceeded the $600 million goal. Later in the night the BIG REVEAL showed the NEW goal ... $1 BILLION.

More than 500 guests and supporters donned their finest and joined us to celebrate.

Here are some pictures of the evening:

You would never know that they would play hockey on this floor tomorrow night.

TV Celebrities and USF Alum Ann Liguori and Kerry Sanders were the hosts for the evening.

The Pointer Sisters entertained the crowd ...we made them honorary Bulls at the Cocktail reception.

Campaign Chairman Les Muma thanked the crowd.

Co-chairs for the next phase of USF:Unstoppable $1 Billion Campaign Gordon Gillette and Tod Liewike "Get Excited"
Speaking of "Get Excited" ... President Genshaft closed the show with the Pointers.

And the crowd went wild!

We've Got Some Big Balls

Debbie took advantage of my frequent trips to TGH.

She ordered new furniture.

I completely understood when she told me. After all ... our furniture was at least two years old. Now to be fair, she always manages to sell our "old" furniture before I even notice it's gone. And I usually notice it's gone two years after she sells it.

I saw our newly furnished digs on Friday when I was discharged. Debbie had me stand in the garage for a few minutes before she did the final touches. She threw open the doors and said "TA DA!"

I looked around for a few seconds.

"Well. what do you think?"

"That's quite a pair of chandeliers that you got this time for the dining room table."

"Don't you just love them?"

"Those are some big balls."

"I know ... they give off lots of light."

"I think we might need sunscreen at dinner."

"Don't worry, I got dimmer switches for everything."

"Good ... no…


I just heard that I was entered into the Journal of Medical Oddballs for 2013. That's what one of my Neurosurgery Fellows told me on Thursday. It's his own journal that he keeps for those special patients for whom he has no answers.

I feel very special.

No one will be surprised to learn that I was admitted to TGH AGAIN the other day for the 3,487th time in four months. This time it was for monitoring a new drug they are giving me for a fib ... yes now I have a fib as well. As the heart guys were trying to figure out why my heart has been acting up ... the neuro guys were checking out the headaches that still are happening with a now normal head scan and MRI that I had done yesterday.

The good news is that these nagging problems are not life threatening. A fib is manageable and my brain is now functioning normally (well MOMBERG normal ... which is a hair better than Abbie Normal).

So .... today I will be discharged with yet more new drugs, which brings my total to .... um ..…

Great Grampy

Sammy had yet to see his great grandson, Cole. So Deb and I visited him at Menorah Manor to introduce him to Cole ... via Face Time.

He was sitting by himself outside of the gift shop when we arrived.

"Hi Sammy,"

He smiled and waved. "I like sitting here alone you know."

I pointed down the hall. "There is a program going on next door. Don't you want to go?"


I called Nikki and handed the phone to Sammy. "Hey ... Got a surprise for you. I'm gonna introduce you to your great grandson."

"What? You got pictures."

"Better than that ..."

Nikki was waving ... with baby Cole in her arms. ""Hi Grampy. Here's your great grandson."

"Where are you?"

"At home ... getting Cole ready for some pictures."

It took him a while to figure out what was happening but he was smiling from ear to ear. When he finished talking he handed me the phone. "Can you believe it?"


Did you know I wrote a book?

Can you believe the number of self-promoting ego maniacs that are out there? (please buy my book)

I have no patience for what I read today in Facebook or LinkedIn or blogs from  people who talk about themselves incessantly ... trying to get you to buy some product they are peddling.. (it's the greatest book you ever read).


Granted there are many choices in products these days (the author is so clever)

. But folks need to have some modicum of modesty and class (he's also devilishly handsome).

Times are tough ... I get it ... so it's not easy making a living. (it just costs a few bucks. Don't cheap out).

They will stop at nothing. (I'll come to your house to deliver it).

I've written a book, you may have heard ... but you will never see me stoop to these tactics. (remember I have been through brain surgery so have a little empathy).

Nope ... with me you'll never have to worry about false promises…