Saturday, July 30, 2005

Just in case you ever doubted...

"You may not know me, but I know everything about you..."
- Psalm 139:1

"I know when you sit down and when you rise up..."
- Psalm 139:2

"I am familiar with all your ways …"
- Psalm 139:3

"Even the very hairs on your head are numbered…"
- Matthew 10:29-31

"For you were made in my image…"
- Genesis 1:27

"In me you live and move and have your being…"
- Acts 17:28

"For you are my offspring…"
- Acts 17:28

"I knew you even before you were conceived…"
- Jeremiah 1:4-5

"I chose you when I planned creation…"
- Ephesians 1:11-12

"You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book…"
- Psalm 139:15-16

"I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live…"
- Acts 17:26

" You are fearfully and wonderfully made…"
- Psalm 139:14

"I knit you together in your mother's womb…"
- Psalm 139:13

"And brought you forth on the day you were born…"
- Psalm 71:6

"I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me…"
- John 8:41-44

"I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love…"
- 1 John 4:16

"And it is my desire to lavish my love on you…"
- 1 John 3:1

"Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand…"
- James 1:17

"For I am your provider and I meet all your needs…"
- Matthew 6:31-33

"My plan for your future has always been filled with hope…"
- Jeremiah 29:11

"Because I love you with an everlasting love…"
- Jeremiah 31:3

"My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore..."
- Psalms 139:17-18

"And I rejoice over you with singing..."
- Zephaniah 3:17

"I will never stop doing good to you…"
- Jeremiah 32:40

"For you are my treasured possession..."
- Exodus 19:5

"I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul…"
- Jeremiah 32:41

"And I want to show you great and marvelous things…"
- Jeremiah 33:3

"If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me…"
- Deuteronomy 4:29

"Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart..."
- Psalm 37:4

"For it is I who gave you those desires…"
- Philippians 2:13

"I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine…"
- Ephesians 3:20

"For I am your greatest encourager…"
- 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

"When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you…"
- Psalm 34:18

"As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart…"
- Isaiah 40:11

"One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes…"
- Revelation 21:3-4

"And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth…"
- Revelation 21:3-4

"And to tell you that I am not counting your sins…"
- 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

"And nothing will ever separate you from my love again…"
- Romans 8:38-39

"I'll soon throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen…"
- Luke 15:7

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Kindness (via DrLauren.com and no, NOT Dr. Laura)

Here are some powerful quotations on kindness--something we can choose to offer this world, a richness we can share, no matter our state of material wealth or the state of world affairs over which we have no direct control. Kindness seems to be in short supply all too often.

"Do your part to change the world today--be kind. Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Plato

"You have not lived a perfect day, even though you have earned your money, unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you." - Ruth Smeltzer

"The best portion of a good man's life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love." - William Wordsworth

"Kindness is never wasted. If it has no effect on the recipient, at least it benefits the bestower."
- S. H. Simmons

"The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions--the little, soon-forgotten charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look or heartfelt compliment." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts." - Charles Dickens

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Best Chant Ever

Om Namo Bhagavate

Vasu Devaya

Translation:

Om is the name of that inside me,

which is aware of the Oneness of all things.

[via the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda]

Monday, July 25, 2005

The origins of Erie Street Entertainment

Had a really, solid full and happy weekend.

On Saturday morning and early afternoon journeyed to Caneeshis Lake. And I have completely spelled that wrong for sure. But essentially, it's one of what is called the "Finger Lakes" up here in Upstate, New York. Some of the others are Honeyoe Lake, Canadaigua Lake, etc.

Everytime I think of them, I think of The Dick Van Dyke Show, when Rob and Laura went to Lake MiniMaMooMoo in one episode - or at least they referenced that they did. Actually, now that I recall, Buddy and Sally worked a night club at one of these Lakes on the "QT" during a summer break from the Allan Brady Show (in another episode).

ANYWAY - I went to Caneeshis for a mini-reunion of some friends from Erie Street, where I grew up - the Monroe family, including Laura (who surprised me at a book signing a few weeks ago), and her sister Eva was there.

Eva, as SHE recalls, was my first love - who I apparently chased around the sofa when I was six and she was 11. And she even once called a local radio show I was on and relayed that story. I, of course, remember things differently. (SHE chased ME around the sofa).

All in all - it was AWESOME to see those people. When those reunion moments happen, you can help but feel something dramatic like, "I have LIVED! My life has not been a dream."

Well, at least that's how I talk to myself.

Either way - it was a great drive (about 45 minutes from Rochester), and since my trek to Albany last month for the Bewitched premiere, driving anyway is no longer an issue for me. I now embrace it (except driving in LA, that is).

Then, Saturning evening, I was invited to a high school graduation party of one of the children of my good friend Jim Heil, who I've known since 7th grade at St. Augustine's. He has six kids in all - and they're all great. Jim and I also went on to attend Aquinas High School together, and some of our classmates from Aquinas were also at the party. Tom Centron (and his wife Charlene), Jim Philbin (and his wife Sue). Don Bates. It was great to see them all.

On Sunday morning, I then attended the Christening of my friends Monica and Jeff's new baby Maya, who they adopted from Russia. They've been through so much in the last 18 months (and prior) to finalize the work for this beauitful child. SO happy that it all came together finally. They are such wonderful people. On top of that, they have a big beautiful family - and they live close by to Greenleaf Meadows - where I moved with my parents when we first left Erie Street (in 1977).

Clearly, its because of events like these three fesitivites that I am in Rochester.

Hollywood tries to create on-screen the joys of what I am living in real life. And they come close (The Andy Griffith Show, Avalon, The Miracle of Ordinary Days), but ain't nothing like the real thing - as opposed to the "reel" thing.

It took me a long time to get that. And maybe had I not met and worked with everyone I have ever truly loved, I might feel differently. But you can't beat conversations like this one I had on Saturday with Eva Monroe:

Eva: Remember, Herbie J, when we used to put on those 'shows' across the street on that stage in front of the warehouse?

HJ: "Oh, my gosh - yes."

Eva: "It's where you made your WORLD DEBUT!"

HJ: LOL!!!!

Erie Street Entertainment, indeed.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Syncroni-City

A media friend of mine in the heart of Rochester had been waiting to receive a package from me for ten days. Everytime I told him that I would put it in the mail, of course, something always came up.

So Friday (yesterday), I say to myself, "You know - I just need to drive downtown and drop the package off to him in person."

But each time I tried to leave the house, again, something always came up. A phone call, here, a howdy to a neighbor, there.

Finally, I actually find myself in my car, driving downtown, into the city. I find a great parking space near the renowned Geva Theatre, which is located close to the office building I need to visit.

I exit the car, and walk past Washington Square Park, where in the late 1960s and early 1970s, my sister and my cousins, then hippies, used to smoke weed (don't believe I just wrote "weed"), and sang Beatle tunes with their fellow flower children.

I reach the crosswalk to the building I need to visit and, before me, are two dudes who decide not to use the crosswalk in the proper way.

Naturally, I try always to do the right thing in life (smoked "weed" only once myself, a very silly experience - as I found I got higher from life than from "grass" - don't believe I just wrote "grass"), so I made sure that I stayed within the lines (crosswalk).

As I happily walk the legal way, I hear some guy yelp out, "Herbie J!"

I'm like, "Uh?"

I look over to my right, and there's my cousin Mary Sue's husband, Don, a city engineer, fixing a city light on the street.

I couldn't believe it.

"Hey, bro," Don goes on to say. "How the hell are ya', man?"

Backtrack: Mary Sue and Don own the main home at Waterport, to where most of my family from my father's side gathered a few weeks ago (which see previous Walton's Mountain posts).

"Don!" I yelp back. "Holy crow! What's goin' on? Hey, listen - how long you gonna' be here? I gotta go visit someone in that building over there."

"About ten, fifteen minutes," he says.

"Cool. I'll be back."

I then enter the building close by, ask the lobby security guard about the location of the office I need to visit. Journey up to the 17th floor, drop off my package to a little hottie receptionist eating her lunch at the front desk. I then journey back downstairs and outside to see Don, fixing away at the light-post.

We get to talking, and he's like, "Hey, Dude - you know that bridge near that we all jumped off to go swimming?"

"Yeah?"

"Well, they just posted a sign that says we can't do that anymore."

"Hmmm," I said, and then silently to myself, "Well, I figured that. It really was kinda of illegal." And besides that, I continued to say to myself, "Magic like that only should happen once, or else it wouldn't be magic."

We talk a little more, and I then give Don my best. He says something about everyone meeting in Indiana for Thanksgiving, and I walk back down the street to Geva Theatre and my car.

I start to drive past Washington Square Park and, in a moment, there I am again, on Don's tail.

I beep the horn, and for a half-a-second he doesn't know it's his cousin-in-law, who he just saw moments before. I then wave, he waves back - and I return to my keyboard.

How 'bout that, though, you know? That I see Don, just as I decide to deliver my package at that very same second, at that very same location, after so many failed tries and mailings? Right there in the heart of Rochester - my city...

My syncroni-city.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Uh...DUH!!!!!!!!!!

CHRISTIAN CATACOMBS MAY HAVE JEWISH ORIGIN
[via Yahoo News]

Michael Schirber Staff Writer LiveScience.com Wed Jul 20, 1:43 PM ET

The Roman catacombs are intricate labyrinths of burial chambers that were built roughly between the third and fifth century AD. They are considered among the most important relics of early Christianity.

But a recent study of a Jewish catacomb in Rome finds that it was started a century before the oldest known Christian versions.

In addition to the 60 Christian catacombs that have survived in Rome, there are two Jewish catacombs, which are distinguishable by the decorative artwork and inscriptions that were used.
"Jews were buried only with Jews and Christians only with Christians," says Leonard Rutgers of Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

But the fact that the catacombs are all constructed with similar layouts and architecture suggests a common origin. Rutgers and his colleagues have used radiocarbon dating to show that the Jewish Villa Torlonia catacomb was begun in the second century AD -- and perhaps even earlier -- making it the oldest known of the Roman catacombs.

According to Rutgers, the Roman pagans largely practiced cremation up until the second century, when -- for some unknown reason -- they started burying their dead. However, this was usually in family tombs, not catacombs.

The Roman Jewish community, which dates back to the first century BCE, would have likely chosen to bury rather than cremate their dead. The same would have been true for the early Christians. Perhaps because of a scarcity of land, these groups may have begun excavating the soft volcanic rock, called tufa, outside the city walls.

"Tufa is fairly easy to work with, and it hardens once it's been exposed to the air," Rutgers told LiveScience in a telephone interview.

Some of the catacombs extend for hundreds of yards and have multiple levels. Bodies were placed in niches, or "loculi," that were carved out of the walls. Rows of these loculi extend from floor to ceiling. Although an exact number is not known, thousands upon thousands of tombs line the hundreds of miles that make up Rome's underground cemeteries.
Rutgers' team carefully extracted pieces of charcoal from the layer of lime used to seal tombs in Villa Torlonia. The charcoal, which was burned to convert limestone into lime, is essentially the only organic samples that remain in the catacombs.

"It's very humid down there, so there are no bones left. They have all disintegrated," Rutgers said. "The charcoal survived because it was hardened in fire."

The dating of charcoal from several tombs shows a range of ages -- with the earliest near the catacomb entrance, becoming progressively later as one goes deeper down the long, dark corridors.

The results are described in the July 21 issue of the journal Nature. The authors stress that a similar sort of radiocarbon dating is necessary in Christian catacombs to confirm their uncertain ages.

Regardless of whether another catacomb is found to be older, Rutgers said that the larger point is that Jews and Christians coexisted peacefully for centuries and clearly influenced each other's cultures.Mock Trail for 'Da Vinci Code' Ruins Support Myth of Rome's Founding The Truth Behind the Shroud of Turin When Miracle Claims Tax the Spirit Burial Site Found Near Ancient Olympia Villagers Volunteer to be Crucified

Visit LiveScience.com for more daily news, views and scientific inquiry with an original, provocative point of view. LiveScience reports amazing, real world breakthroughs, made simple and stimulating for people on the go. Check out our collection of Amazing Images, Image Galleries, Interactive Features, Trivia and more. Sign up for our free daily email newsletter today!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Pope (The One Before This One) On Talent

"Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it.”

- Pope John Paul, 1-26.04

Monday, July 18, 2005

Herbie J's Helpful Hints for Health and Happiness

1] Drink water (the cup of life): All life comes from the water. The Earth is 70% water, 30% mass. So is the human body. See how the Universe made that clear for us? Use that law to your advantage.

2] Eliminate alcohol: Though a liquid, in many ways, alcohol is the opposite of water (it dries your skin, and causes your hair and your teeth to fall out). It is the cup of death.

3] Eat fruits and vegetables and eliminate meat (yes - even fish) - and dear golly-wog, whatever you do, please stop eating lobster (and increasing the boiling-trauma those suffering beings go through right before they die for someone's dinner).

4] Exercise: Walking and Swimming are really the best, easiest and least expensive ways to go.

5] Stay enthusiastic about every dream you have. Ideas that come to you are whispers from the Universe. To not follow through with your dreams, does a disservice to yourself, to those who will benefit from your achievements, and to the Universe.

6] Remain hygienically sound. In other words...be clean. Brush your teeth (use Listerine), shower every day (check under your finger nails), and wear fresh and laundered clothes (under and outer). In short, respect the way you look and dress to impress - yourself, others - and especially the Universe.

7] If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with.

8] Pay your bills and don't be cheap. Take care of your family, be generous with every individual and organization in any way that you so see fit, and share your money and your life enthusiasm with everyone you know.

9] Bless those who curse you, forgive those who hurt you, and pray for and love those who hate you.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Fact of Matter

How many more horrible, horrible circumstances are going to have to transpire before we all understand that the only things that matter are the relationships we have with one another on a completely human, personal level?

Hollywood does not matter.

Self-absorbed careers, such as those having to do with writing, acting, and singing (especially in the vein of American Idol) do not matter.

Nice cars do not matter.

Nice homes do not matter.

Look, ain't nobody, no-how, no-way loves money, nice things and the material life more than Herbie J.

Yet Herbie J also knows that none of these things matter.

There are those who experience tragedy and develop more their soul for the highest good of all.

Then, there are those who experience tragedy and seek only to fulfill more their own life - as if that was the lesson to be learned.

No, the lesson to be learned, is that we need to stop worrying about things that don't matter, employ our talents for the highest good of all those concerned, and share everything we have with one another. Share our time, our money (a real biggie), our homes, our good will, our very lives, right now. Not tomorrow, not when some other horrific tragedy transpires. But right now. Because if we don't, mark my words, things will only get worse.

This is the lesson. The victims of the recent disaster, and all previous disasters and wars (from every century), have given their very lives in hopes that we, the ones left behind, will begin to appreciate ours.

When exactly is that going to be? How many times are we not going to open our homes to people who have none? How many times are we not going to give jobs to people who have none? How many times are we not going to be happy for other people who are more successful than we are? How many times are we not going to be the reason for someone else's success?

And how much longer do we really think we have to pass this great, and yet so simple, "final" exam?

Friday, July 15, 2005

A fascinating, fascinating near-death experience (via nderf.com)

Jean's Near-Death Experience

"I was 28 years old, single and living in Texas with my six year old daughter. I was extremely depressed, drinking heavily and felt that my life had no direction or purpose. I had completely lost my way and forgotten an experience I had when I was three years old. At that time, a ball of white/gold light came into my bedroom and communicated with me. Telepathically, it told me I had something to do toward the end of my life. I do not remember what it told me I had to do, but I do remember saying to the light, "That is beyond me, I can never do that." The light told me, "You'll grow into it." The Presence in the Light was sweet, soft, warm, loving, supremely intelligent and totally good.

"So here I was at 28, a mile off track, the Light experience forgotten and my loftiest goal was to become thin and marry a man with money enough to solve all my problems. One day I came home from work, exhausted, and lay down on the bed. My mood was bleak and I completely relaxed into a make-the-world-go-away frame of mind. I almost immediately fell into myself - imploded. I experienced a sense of speed like being on a toboggan - a whooshing sound - and fell rapidly through a tunnel of blue, satin light. At the end of the tunnel was a clearing and in it's center a "blue bag". The bag was organic and like the sac containing a baby. A birth sac. It's shape was organic and roughly pear-shaped, with an opening at the top. I floated to the top of the sac and when I did, "knowings" began to spew out of the bag. By "knowings", I mean a complete, four-dimensional understanding of a concept or idea without it's coating of words.

"Have you ever heard something a hundred times and then one day you "knew" what it meant?

"It is very difficult to describe my experience in words because it was pre-verbal. Anyway, the "knowings" were popping out of the top of the bag as thick and fast as popcorn popping out of a pan. I tried to grab some so I could take them back with me and put words on them so I could remember them. But they were too numerous and happening too fast to get hold of. I "knew" that what I had found was the sum total of all "knowing" or wisdom of all people for all time - past, present and future. All wisdom comes from this pool of collective knowing and all we learn goes into the pool for the use of everyone.

"I left the blue bag and immediately found myself high above the earth. I could look down and view the curvature of the earth, its colors and the shape of its waters and continents. I was not only above space, though, I was also above time. I could see the movement of the people and ideas that had shaped and been shaped by history. At each period in history, I experienced the total "feel" of that period, including its music, architecture, styles of clothing, political thinking and literature. It was like a vast march of people from different times with different world-views, all working together. Like removing the top of a gigantic piece of machinery and observing all the wheels, cogs and pulleys working together. On the surface we see none of this, but take off the top and we can see it. My vision took off the top. I "knew" that we are all connected with each other - like mountain climbers with ropes around their middles. When one of us falls, we pull the others down. When we climb up, we help others up. We're all in this together. I "knew" that what we observe as empty space between us is not empty. We are like marbles in a sheet of glass. You don't see the glass, you see the marbles. But the glass holds the marbles together. We are held together by an invisible substance that is around us and between us.

"It is invisible to us, but it is real. I saw that life on this planet was not random, there is a giant plan. The plan, however, is on a scale that is incompressible to us. Our minds are too finite to grasp it. I was shown a ball that was convoluted and contained all surfaces. For years after my experience, I looked for someone who could explain this to me. I would take a strip of paper and twist and attach the two ends together. "What is this?" I'd ask. Finally, years later, I met a physicist who told me it was a mobius strip. I told him I had seen a solid round ball that was like this mobius strip. The physicist said that would be a mobius solid. Pure mathematics has proven a mobius solid can exist, he said, but our three-dimensional minds could not envision one.

"I told him I had seen one. He just shook his head. During my experience, I was told that all time is "now" and all space is "here". I believe there was more to this middle part of my experience that will be revealed to me when the time is right.

"I moved from this vantage point back into that beautiful blue light. I came into the picture from the right, front and slightly at an angle toward the center. Before me, there was a group of "essences" of people. If you refined a field of flowers to a single drop of perfume, that would be the essence of the flowers. These essences of people were like drops of water in a bucket of water - they were individual, but collective. They were grouped together in a triangle shape - like bowling pins are set up - with the apex of the triangle toward me. There was one essence that stood slightly in front of the others. I had the sense that this one spoke for the others but was not in authority over them. As I came near them, I was immediately aware that this group knew me better than I would ever know myself, accepted me totally, and loved me completely.

"The love that came out from them washed over me in waves and was so pure and strong I could not hardly bear it. I was one of them and always had been. They knew it and I knew it.

"The one slightly in front communicated with my heart and mind and told me I could not stay, I must go back. The presence felt masculine, although I did not identify it as any known spiritual figure. I begged him not to send me back. He told me very firmly that there was something I had to do, but that they would be there for me and I could come back to them when I had finished my work.

"I immediately popped back outside and rose from the bed, with a deep down anger that I was back here. For weeks I was angry at having to come back, but then I set my self toward doing whatever it was I was supposed to do here. This experience changed my life and I made many worthwhile changes in my life as a result of having had it. I let go of some bad behavior and commenced a dedicated spiritual search that has taken me into all sorts of rich and interesting places."

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Porch

So many of us today are looking for that "something else."

Well, guess what? You already have your "something else." It's wherever you are, or whomever you're with, or whatever you believe in. There's nothing else to look for or look out for. You already have "arrived."

In this fast paced world of ours, we tend to forget about the simpler things. And we should not. For so long I thought that Hollywood was "the answer." It is not. For so long, I longed to be a "star," without realizing that I already was one - as are we all. We are all the stars of our own lives. And the simpler the life, the better.

Barbeques, peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches, and sitting on the porch after a delicious meal with your family and/or friends - these are the true treasures of life.

Getting the bigger house doesn't work. Buying the 5th car doesn't work. Aspiring for anything to be the "answer," doesn't work.

Believe me, I know.

If you own a home, and you're attempting to aspire to anything in the new year ahead, and if your home doesn't already have one, I strongly suggest you construct a porch. For a porch is a bridge - a bridge to gentleness, tranquility, and the positive attributes of both solitude and community.

The Porch has disappeared in the last two decades or so. Only rarely now, along with its distant siblings, the Sidewalk and the Street Lights, is it slowly returning. All too many new homes are still being built with only patios - in the back (which began with the great migrations to the suburbs in the late 1950s and 1960s).

Backyard patios are fine, and they serve their purpose. But nothing holds together a life, a family, a flock of friends, a neighborhood, a community, a town, a city, a state, a country, a world, a universe - nothing holds it all together more - than a porch.

In the front.

So instead of maybe purchasing that 6th vehicle, or building that new eight thousand square-foot home (as opposed to the six thousand square foot one you already have now), build a porch.

But whatever do, don't enclose it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Am I the Man from Atlantis?

Greek island hosts three-day conference on Atlantis myth

[VIA YAHOO NEWS!]

Mon Jul 11, 2:47 PM ET

An international congress devoted to the myth of the lost continent of Atlantis opened on the Greek island of Milos, attended by seismologists, geologists, geographers, philosophers, historians and archaeologists from five existing continents.

"We're not trying to establish whether Atlantis existed or not, or to agree on a definite location, which would be presumptuous for a tale that has existed for over 2,500 years," Spyros Pavlidis, a professor of palaeoseismology at the Aristotelio University of Salonika, told AFP.

"Our objective is to hear all hypotheses, take stock of all reliable data, and examine the sources of inspiration," he said.

Pavlidis, one of the congress organisers, said that contributions from some speakers were rejected for being "too fantastical."

The seismology professor personally sees in the Atlantis tale told by the fourth century BC Greek philosopher Plato "an allegory on the decline of a civilisation, with the hint of a true story at its core."

But he admits that most of the participants, who include independent researchers as well as university academics, in the three-day congress "are leaning towards believing the story, and seek to find the city."

Contribution themes range from "The quest for Atlantis: the utopia of an utopia" to "Atlantis was Israel".

Monday, July 11, 2005

Am I Julie's Younger Brother?

Clearly, the things that bring me the most joy in life are not only free, but simple. Simple treasures, really.

Believe me, no one loves money or material beauty and nice things more than I. But I also happen to think and KNOW that those things don't make you a better person. (Unfortunately, of course, there are those who do.) Rather, I believe that God, the Universe, or however you wish to name the Creator of All Things, wants His/Her children to be as happy and fulfilled as possibile in this visible world - as long as we keep our priorities straight, keep God first in our lives, and then share our good fortune with others.

That, to me, is really the whole point and LESSON of existence.

ANYWAY, suffice it to say, I embrace the "simple treasures" of life, many of which have become lost in the hustle of today's frantic pace and interactions.

Wherever I have lived (on Erie Street, in Greenleaf Meadows, Santa Monica, etc.), I have always designated myself as the one who organizes the parties, barbeques, etc., whether I've lived in a neighborhood home or a particular building's apartment.

So much so, that I am sometimes referred to as Julie's younger brother.

Who's Julie, you say?

Julie McCoy, of course, the Cruise Director from TV's The Love Boat.

With clip board in hand, she organized the weekly and daily events for those on staff and vacation on The Love Boat. Mostly, too, of course, she served as Cupid between wayward, orld or new lovebirds.

Minus that latter aspect of her personality, I'm the one who definately embraces the opportunity to hold a community together. Whether it's nightly coffee hour, or Sunday barbeques, I make sure to inspire others in my living vicinity to revel in one another's happy converation and friendship.

I attempt to stress the importance of community - how it's become so lost in today's world - how even the subtle joy of going for an ice cream up the corner or at the lake - has somehow dissolved today.

I seek to REsolve that - to restore the harmonic essence of who and what we really are. We may be divided, literally, physically. And our opinions on politics and religion may be opposingly diverse. But we cannot deny that we are UNITED by SPIRIT. The HUMAN spirit.

"UNITED"? "UNITY"? "HUMAN"?

Put it all together, and whattaya got?

That's right: "COMMUNITY".

"Now, you're cooking with gas," as my father used to say.

So go take that "gas" and light up a barbeque for your neighbors.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

BEAM Town (via Yahoo News & Space.com writer Leonard David)

Teleportation: Express Lane Space Travel

Written by Leonard DavidSenior Space WriterSPACE.com

Fri Jul 8,12:06 PM ET

Think Star Trek: You are here. You want to go there. It's just a matter of teleportation.
Thanks to lab experiments, there is growth in the number of "beam me up" believers, but there is an equal amount of disbelief, too.

Over the last few years, however, researchers have successfully teleported beams of light across a laboratory bench. Also, the quantum state of a trapped calcium ion to another calcium ion has been teleported in a controlled way.

These and other experiments all make for heady and heavy reading in scientific journals. The reports would have surely found a spot on Einstein's night table. For the most part, it's an exotic amalgam of things like quantum this and quantum that, wave function, qubits and polarization, as well as uncertainty principle, excited states and entanglement.

Seemingly, milking all this highbrow physics to flesh out point-to-point human teleportation is a long, long way off.

Well, maybe...maybe not.

A trillion trillion atoms

In his new book, Teleportation - The Impossible Leap, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., writer David Darling contends that ""One way or another, teleportation is going to play a major role in all our futures. It will be a fundamental process at the heart of quantum computers, which will themselves radically change the world."

Darling suggests that some form of classical teleportation and replication for inanimate objects also seems inevitable. But whether humans can make the leap, well, that remains to be seen.
Teleporting a person would require a machine that isolates, appraises, and keeps track of over a trillion trillion atoms that constitute the human body, then sends that data to another locale for reassembly--and hopefully without mussing up your physical and mental makeup.

"One thing is certain: if that impossible leap turns out to be merely difficult--a question of simply overcoming technical challenges--it will someday be accomplished," Darling predicts.

In this regard, Darling writes that the quantum computer "is the joker in the deck, the factor that changes the rules of what is and isn't possible."

Just last month, in fact, scientists at Hewlett Packard announced that they've hammered out a new tactic for a creating a quantum computer—using switches of light beams rather than today's run of the mill, transistor-laden devices. What's in the offing is hardware capable of making calculations billions of times faster than any silicon-based computer.

Given quantum computers and the networking of these devices, Darling senses the day may not be far off for routine teleportation of individual atoms and molecules. That would lead to teleportation of macromolecules and microbeswith, perhaps, human teleportation to follow.

Space teleportation

What could teleportation do for future space endeavors?

"We can see the first glimmerings of teleportation in space exploration today," said Darling, responding to questions sent via e-mail by SPACE.com to his home office near Dundee, Scotland.

"Strictly speaking, teleportation is about getting from A to B without passing through the points between A and B. In other words, something dematerializes in one place, then simply rematerializes somewhere else," Darling said.

Darling pointed out that the Spirit and Opportunity rovers had to get to Mars by conventional means. However, their mission and actions are controlled by commands sent from Earth.

"So by beaming up instructions, we effectively complete the configuration of the spacecraft.

Also, the camera eyes and other equipment of the rovers serve as vicarious extensions of our own senses. So you might say the effect is as if we had personally teleported to the Martian surface," Darling said.

Spooky action at a distance

In the future it might be possible to assemble spacecraft "on-the-spot" using local materials.

"That would be a further step along the road to true teleportation," Darling added.

To take this idea to its logical endpoint, Darling continued, that's when nanotechnology enters the scene.

When nanotechnology is mature, an automated assembly unit could be sent to a destination. On arrival, it would build the required robot explorer from the molecular level up.

"Bona fide quantum teleportation, as applied to space travel, would mean sending a supply of entangled particles to the target world then use what Einstein called 'spooky action at a distance' to make these particles assume the exact state of another collection of entangled particles back on Earth," Darling speculated.

Doing so opens the prospect for genuinely teleporting a robot vehicle--or even an entire human crew--across interplanetary or, in the long run, across interstellar distances, Darling said.

"Certainly, if it becomes possible to teleport humans," Darling said, "you can envisage people hopping to the Moon or to other parts of the solar system, as quickly and as easily as we move data around the Internet today."

UFO connection?

If indeed we are to become a space teleporting civilization, what about other advanced civilizations circling distant stars? Perhaps they have already mastered mass transportation via teleportation?

One might even be drawn to consider that mode of travel in connection with purported UFO visitation of Earth.

"Any strange comings and goings are candidates for teleportation, although you would obviously have to eliminate all mundane explanations first," Darling responded. "According to reports, some UFOs do appear and disappear quite abruptly, which would fit in with the basic idea of teleportation," he said.

Darling said that interstellar teleportation would be one way to circumvent the light barrier, "although, as we understand the process now, you would need to make a sub-light trip first to set up the teleportation receiver and assembler at the destination."

Quantum teleportation, Darling pointed out is the kind we can do at the subatomic level in the lab today. And that requires equipment at both ends to be able to work.

"Extraterrestrial intelligence that is thousands or millions of years ahead of us will certainly be teleportation experts," Darling advised, "if the technology can be implemented at the macroscopic biological level."

What possible outcome, then, from ET successfully tinkering with teleportation?

"We might expect advanced aliens to be occasionally beaming in to check on our progress as a species," Darling concluded.

Visit SPACE.com for more space-related news including videos, launch coverage and interactive experiences. Explore our huge collection of Image Galleries, view our Image of the Day and Amazing Images. Follow the latest developments in the search for life in our universe in our SETI: Search for Life section. Sign up for our free daily email newsletter today!

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Saturday, July 09, 2005

(Bewitched) Sign (ing) of the Times

My book signing for Bewitched Forever transpired last night at Barnes & Noble in Rochester's Greece Ridge Center.

It went well. We sold over 30 books (which is very good for this market), 6 DVDs of Bewitched: The Complete First Season, and 4 soundtracks of the Bewitched feature film.

However, the truly great moments of the evening, is when people starting showing up from my past and freaking me out.

Top of the list - Miss Ganzini - my 8TH GRADE TEACHER!!!!!!!!!! - who I haven't seen since 1973!!

As we relished in the memories of the past, as well as the joy of the moment, I mentioned how, on the day of graduation, low those many years ago, she gifted each of her students with a quote, caligraphized in a scroll. The quote she chose for me was from Emerson, who said:

"No man an island. No man goes his way alone. Whatever we send into the lives of others, comes right back into our own."

Translation: Miss Ganzini knew I was a smart ass - and she was trying to help me. She was attempting to offer me some good advice about the laws of karma - and how we have to be careful how we act and what we say to people.

Bottom line: I'm still a smart ass - and I still open my mouth way too much than I should - but I'm all the more careful than I would have been - had not Miss Ganzini "gifted" me with that quote three decades ago.

And I told her all of that last night. Clearly, it made an impact on me - as I remembered it, and I think I've also enjoyed quoting Emerson (though I never really knew who the hell he was) all these years to make me look and sound "smart".

Another person who showed up from my past was Laura Monroe, older sister of Eva, who was one of my first crushes. I reminded Laura how Eva used to chase me around the sofa at her house to try and kiss me. And we both laughed because, of course, Eva tells the story differently. Apparently, "I" was the one who chased Eva around the sofa and tried to kiss HER.

Needless to say, seeing Laura and talking about Eva - and all of our friends from that era (growing up on Erie Street) - inspired us to plan one of two events:

I will be surprising the Monroe family on July 23rd for a picnic at their cottage on Canisious Lake (more shades of Walton's Mountain - see previous posts) - and Laura and I have decided to hold an Erie Street reunion (to include the Monroes, the Burlinghams, the Smedleys, etc.).

Can't wait for both.

Also at the signing were my good friends Jeff and Monica. We met at the wedding of a mutal friend few years ago. We hit it off immediately. It struck me that he looks like Chandler from Friends, and that her name was Monica - the same as Courtney Cox's character on Friends (who's married to Chandler). So I call them the "Bings" (TV Monica and Chandler's last name).

Anyway, Jeff and the real Monica brought their son Alec, along with their new gorgeous big-ol-blue eyed new baby Maya, who they long awaited to have in their family - via a VERY challenging and drawn-out foreign adoption process in Germany.

But all's well now. Their family is complete.

Another person who showed up last night was Jon - a former acting student of mine from RAPA (Rochester Association of the Performing Arts). He's in his early twenties now, and as I'm signing a book over to him he's telling everyone about the time I made him cry (in class, when I was pushing him too hard to live up to his potential).

And everyone else in line is like, "Oh, please - join the club. He's made me cry, too."

And I'm just sitting there, signing, with this dumb-ass smile on my face, "Well, it WAS a beautiful evening."

Then Lori showed up with her two beautiful children. Damn - another missed window for a beautiful marriage. But she never knew I was interested in her. And besides, we met when we were both working for my my friend Lou. He had a thing for her - and he told me to stay away from her. He was half-kidding, half-serious. But like an idiot, I listened to him. And I don't think I've ever told Lori that story. I will though.

Other than that, my very good friend Andrea was there (she is a talented performance artist who, with her true love of many years, Peter J. Scahill, have a popular entertainment troupe in the area), my good friend Marti and her beautiful daughter Chlohe, my sister Pam and brother-in-law Sam, and a whole list of other wonderful friends and Bewitched fans who showed up.

It was a beautiful night and for now, will go down in my personal and professional history as one of the happiest Bewitched-related events I've ever experienced.

Time "immortal". ;)

Friday, July 08, 2005

Return to Walton's Mountain

Well, I really don't believe it.

I went back to my family reunion in Waterport, NY - only two days after I left it.

In the old days, we would visit Waterport maybe once at the onset of summer and then, again, at summers' end.

But twice in the same week?

Unheard of.

I actually drove 50 miles back down Ridge Road West (towards Niagra Falls, by the way), through Clarkson, Holley, Albion, and I think some place called Gaines. I then looked for the Eagle Harbor/Waterport Road sign, and turned left.

Drove four miles down that road, turned left again at Hanlon Road - and there it was...my beautiful family's acerage of homes, woods, water and brush.

From every angle, once again, you saw sprawling farmland - and animals.

John-Boy would be proud.

Shoot - forget John-Boy.

Herbie J is proud.

Next time, I'm taking some of you with me.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Doing "Time" on "Walton's Mountain" - and LOVING it!

Journeyed to visit relatives at their summer home in Waterport, New York for the Holiday Weekend.

It was awesome. Used to alternate my summer days as a kid between Waterport and Honeoye Lake (where one of my other relatives also had a summer home).

It's amazing about these places, Waterport, in particular. However life changes elsewhere, time seems to stand still in Waterport. The same beautiful scenery was there, just as I remembered it as a kid.

Yet, what used to be just one home belonging to my father's sister on acres of land, has now transformed into several different homes sprawled across the same acrerage. You visit there now and it's like Walton's Mountain.

Everyone knows your name. Judy-Eddie was there. And the Malopsies still live up the road. But Terri has since moved a way. Had a thing for her.

Those of us who did arrive - we all went swimming in an old quarry a few miles away - and then jumped off what was about a 50-foot or more-so bridge closer to home. Last year I dove off that bridge. This year I just jumped. My arm was hurting a little bit from, now don't laugh, talking too much on a new heavy, 1940's style retro-phone that I purchased a few weeks ago. The freakin' receiver weighs a ton!

I was also a little bit concerned about being in the sun too long. I used to worship the sun - and used to tan to black. But one day, a few years ago, I looked in the mirror, and the sun-tan didn't look so good anymore. At some point, you just start to look old - and a tan MAKES you old, by aging your skin. So I keep outta the sun as much as I can now.

Also, too, I had naired the hairs on my back, the stuff stayed on too long, and a rash formed. So soaking my back in the sun did not seem like a good idea at all.

But other than those two issues, I had a great time.

We all played games (cherades, etc), not for money, just for fun. No one cared about how anyone looked, or what labeled clothes we were wearing (or not wearing).

Just exactly how stupid are we that we worry about that shit all the time (re-read earlier post: The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off)? VERY stupid, that's how stupid.

Anway, I wanted to stay longer but I had to get back to Rochester for a little more Bewitched press (radio interviews, etc).

Maybe I'll journey back later in the week (possibly tomorrow).

We'll see.

Meanwhile, of course, I've made some keen life observations, the main one of which is:

Time doesn't stand still.

We do.

If we're not careful.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A friend's review of my Bewitched screenplay....

Hi, Herbie:

I just finished reading your script, and LOVE it! It is just as I thought it would be - a wonderful, magical fairytale. Maybe you can adapt it into a children's book and find an illustrator to add some beautiful pictures? If, for copyright reasons, you wouldn't be allowed to do that, maybe you can create a new character and use elements from your script that would not be associated with Bewitched, or come up with new ones? That actually would be better, because then when the book sells like crazy, the showbiz folk will take notice and want to make it into a movie. That would be poetic justice, wouldn't it? Just something to think about.

Either way, you have a great gift for dialogue. It's charming, clever and funny. You paint "word pictures," and I was easily able to visualize what was going on in the script. No bumps.

Where did you study screen writing? Have you ever tried to sell any other scripts? If you have, and weren't successful for whatever reason, maybe the credit you received for being a script consultant for "Bewitched" will help you - if it's what you want to do.

K

Friday, July 01, 2005

A MESSAGE OF LIGHT FOR THE HOLIDAY

Every Holiday (i.e. Christmas, Easter, etc.) I send out my repeat "Messaoge of Light" email with increasing request each time. Now that I'm blogging, of course, I will just post it here, in honor of the Fourth of July. Here goes:


A MESSAGE OF LIGHT FOR THE HOLIDAYS

In the beginning, we were all one big ball of light. Then a few of us decided (through the gift of God’s free will) that we needed to separate into billions of tiny balls of light. Then a few more decided that we needed to take physical form. Sooner, than later, we found ourselves divided by all kinds of issues (with no answers) that we created, not God. So, now we have to create the circumstances (i.e. Earthly challenges with which to learn life lessons and/or reincarnating until we get it right - learning that love is the answer to everything) so we can return us to where we started: Together, united as one - back to God.

Here's a quick guide: Christmas and Easter are symbolic messages of whom and what God is in our lives. God comes to us as we believe Him to be. If we are Christian, then we believe Him (and will see Him) as Jesus. Muslim? Allah. Buddhist? Buddha. And so on, and so forth, and so good. Jesus was God Incarnate on Earth. As the Son of God, He was and is the Awesome Deliverer. As the Son of Man, He was and is everything that each of us should aspire to be in/on this Earth realm. As a Human Being, he was one of the kindest to ever have lived. As a Historical Figure, he was a genius. Jesus' life was a living parable...a parable similar to those he was so fond of dispelling while he was on Earth. The Birth of Jesus is symbolic of the Birth of the Christ Consciousness in each of us. The Resurrection of Jesus, is symbolic of the Resurrection of our Hearts, Minds and Souls to our Higher Consciousness.

Joseph Campbell was right. Look to the message behind the myth, myth, here meaning, story, a.k.a. Bible Stories. This doesn't mean that the Bible stories are myths, as in fantasies or as in never happened. No. Indeed, they were real and did transpire. But they transpired as history and parable, and we must concentrate on the latter as lesson for the development of our souls. In doing so, we must not employ judgment. Rather, we must love and respect one another, ignore our differences, and concentrate on what makes us the same - which is God.
God doesn't give a flying fig if you're Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Black, White, Straight, Gay, or Martian. We're all on different paths that lead to the same destination. Once again, back to God.

It's that simple, and it's not difficult and it has nothing to do with hate, for there is only love. It has nothing to do with death, for there is only life. After what we call death, there is only more life, and that has nothing to do with division and the end of the world. For there are only new beginnings, and unity, linked by God.

Therefore, hold on to God, and let go of the world.

Happy Holidays!

Herbie J