Famous Last Words

Famous Last Words

“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”
[O Lord, why have you forsaken me?] ~ Matthew 27:46

… and Jesus cried out in a loud voice… ~ Mark 15:37

“Father, into your hands I commit My spirit.” ~ Luke 23:46

“It is finished.” ~ John 19:30

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Homeless Man Running Away From Home

(part one)

Anticipation of Running Away

Am I so excited about my trip to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado that I cannot sleep?

Lord knows I tried and tried before catching the Cali Zephyr. God knows that I had suffered from a rottenly, bitter 4 a.m. cup of java from the 24- hour Subway located across from the Amtrak office along San Francisco’s Embarcadero. I drank it only because I awoke in an odd, slumping posture and was cold, wet, and shivering.


I must have been sitting at the abandoned bus stop since 2:45 and dozed off for about 65 minutes.

I think the rattling sound of my teeth woke me up.

Prior to that, I found a dry, shielded spot adjacent to the vehicle portico of the Americano Hotel. There the unfriendly doorman woke me up. I thought that was the place for me to hide high and dry until the Amtrak ticket office opens at 6.

Before that I had found a lovely spot near the ticket office along San Francisco Pier 2 with a beautiful view of the Bay Bridge yet all lit up from its grand reopening last year.

My original plans for running away from home have run amuck. I had planned to spend my first late night and early morning hours in the Metrion Movieplex. When I arrived and tried to walk into theatre about 8:30, there were thousands of geeks walking out. Seems the AMC interrupted their regular business to let the Microsoft folks hold their conference programs inside. I was disappointed that I did not see three different movies last night.

Fortunately, I did see “Cesar Chavez” at the Daly City Century Theatre before getting on a BART train heading downtown. Even though it was not authentic, I thought everything but the last 10 minutes of the movie was excellent. Although the whole story took place in Delano and Los Angeles, California, the movie was really filmed in Mexico City and Sonora, Mexico.

All is well now as I sat again in the remarkable atrium of the Hyatt Embarcadero where I witnessed the Oakland A’s defeating Seattle in 12 innings last night while dining on banana bread pudding and a raspberry mint lemonade cocktail before trying to “hit the sack.”

By 7:30 a.m., it seems it is raining harder at the Emeryville train depot than it was in San Francisco at 1:00 a.m. when rain fell on my forehead and I started to get wet lying down taking a nap in front of the San Francisco Amtrak ticket office.

It is difficult to tell how sleep deprived I am. Last knight I kept getting woken up by private security patrolmen, hotel doormen, and the sound of rain falling on my head. Really the last seven days has only given me two nights of restful sleep.

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copyright MMXIV

- Max’s Scout Services & Communications -

(for musement only)

Senate Declares “April 1st” a National Holiday

Sacramento – The Senate voted by a 6 to 1 margin that “April Fools’ Day” be a national holiday in the U.S.

Votes of members who were suspended three days ago were not counted.

As Forrest Gump said, “Stupid is …”  With the prevalence of text messaging and other stupors of technology, America is becoming more foolish… thus reasons the elected officials.


earworms 2

Originally posted on Wandervogel Diary:

head 2

Four years ago, I wrote a post called “Earworms,” a short essay about how catchy tunes become stuck in your head and won’t go away. According to research, it happens to 90% of us at least once a week.

Now imagine that the distant tune in the back of your head suddenly becomes very real. A real singer. Real drums. Real guitar. Strings. Full volume. These are called musical hallucinations and some people suffer from them on a daily basis.

In the years since I wrote that piece, I have heard public radio and others cover this topic (usually from a scientific perspective), most recently in The New Yorker and last week on RadioLab. Here is a segment of the radio show that runs about 20 minutes:

Listen to the rebroadcast of RadioLab’s April 21, 2008 segment on “Earworms”

Nothing ever happened as a result of publishing…

View original 412 more words

Leptin and Ghrelin: The Connection Between Sleep and Weight Control

Obesity and sleep quality are big issues.

Did you know?
… about two very important hormones— leptin and ghrelin.



When we get inadequate sleep, our ghrelin levels raise signaling the stomach that we are hungry and need to eat.

At the same time, leptin, responsible for suppressing hunger, decreases resulting in over-eating. When we get enough sleep, our appetites are curbed and our metabolism improves.

At the same time, our bodies get to rest and recover from the day’s activities.

Expect “The Madness” in College Basketball


Imagine no less than 5 upsets in the Midwest Region. Hint: The winners will be made up of Senior-classmen at guard. Texas Southern could pull the shocker versus the Shockers.

Start with a 15-2 matchup and 2 other big upsets coming on Thursday.

1. North Dakota State Bisons over the Oklahoma Sooners.
2. Arizona State Sun Devils defeating the Texas Longhorns.
3. Manhattan will beat the spread over the defending champion Louisville Cardinals.


That is what makes March Madness 2014 special.

More fun upsets on Friday could be:
The hot Eastern Kentucky Colonels over the Kansas Jayhawks.
Texas Southern to surprise Wichita State.
The rolling Providence Friars beating the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Perhaps 3 upsets on Saturday and two more on Sunday.

Could a team from the state of Ohio (Dayton or Ohio State University) beat #3-ranked Syracuse in the Southern Regional?

On Saturday’s second round look for:
a) #2 Villanova to drop out of the tournament to the winner of the U. Conn – St. Joseph winner.
b) St. Louis Billikens to upset the defending champ Louisville or the Manhattan Jaspers.

In Sunday’s second round two #1 seeded teams will fall:
a) Kentucky Wildcats over the Wichita State Shockers.
b) Memphis – George Washington winner will be too much for Virginia.

66 schools will be reduced to 16 this weekend. Three of four top-seeded teams will escape to the “Sweet Sixteen.” Only one of the four will make it to the finals.

In summary, these upsets are very likely.

#15 beats #2: Eastern Kentucky Colonels (24-9) vs. Kansas Jayhawks (24-9)
#14 beats #3: Jaspers vs. Cardinals
#12 beats #5: North Dakota State vs. Oklahoma
#11 beats #6: Providence vs. UNC
#10 beats #7: ASU vs. Texas

#1 loses to #8: Kentucky beats undefeated Wichita State.

= = = =

The Midwest will be frought with the most upsets during this weekend of “March Madness”

Can you imagine a Midwest Regional being played in Indianapolis next weekend with Manhattan College, Mercer, Texas Southern, and Wofford? How exciting!

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copyright MMXIV

- Max’s Scout Services & Communications, LLC -

( for musement only )

Bah Humbug … Daylight Saving

For morning people, there is more darkness early beginning tomorrow.

Even cows don’t like Daylight Saving Time. Come Sunday morning, when the milking machines get attached to their udders a whole hour too early, the otherwise placid bovines on dairy farms around the United States will snort in surprise and dismay. They may give less milk than usual. They could take days or weeks to get used to the new milking schedules.

The Dreaded Time Change

The Dreaded Time Change

American Indians have a saying about the US government tradition:

“It is like cutting the top of a blanket, sewing it to the bottom, and believing that the day is longer.”

Hawaii is a grand state because they do not use this time-dishonest system legislated in the District of Columbia.

Business Compassion May Not Be An Oxymoron

In a presentation February 24, 2014, at Santa Clara University (home of a noteworthy MBA program):

His Holiness The Dalai Lama urged. “Companies should also teach compassion.”

By Bruce Newman

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama acknowledges the crowd before his talk on business, ethics and compassion at the Leavey Event Center at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif. on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014.  The event was co-sponsored by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University and Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. (Gary Reyes/Bay Area News Group)

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA – His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama brought his message of compassion and peace to one of the most cutthroat, competitive business centers in the world, telling a Silicon Valley audience Monday to put less emphasis on a materialistic life and adopt a sense of “mission.”

The 78-year-old Tibetan cleric spoke for 15 minutes under what turned out to be the very loose rubric of the program’s title, “Business, Ethics and Compassion” at Santa Clara University’s Leavey Event Center, then joined in a panel discussion on the same subject with local leaders of the compassion community.

Monks pay homage to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama before his talk on business, ethics and compassion at the Leavey Event Center at Santa Clara

Monks pay homage to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama before his talk on business, ethics and compassion at the Leavey Event Center at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif. on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. The event was co-sponsored by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University and StanfordâÄôs Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. (Gary Reyes/Bay Area News Group) ( Gary Reyes )

It wasn’t exactly Jesus overturning the tables of the money changers, but His Holiness seemed to have the capacity crowd of 4,000 hanging on his every word. That may have been, in part because the Dalai Lama is a bit soft-spoken and English is not his first language. Some of his words of wisdom were lost to the ages. Others were occasionally clarified by his longtime interpreter. But the audience, which included tech entrepreneurs, students, Buddhist monks — and a smattering of celebrities such as former San Francisco 49ers great Ronnie Lott, and recently deposed Men’s Wearhouse owner and spokesmodel George Zimmer — left the auditorium buzzing.

It was the conclusion of a three-day visit to the Bay Area that included similarly sold-out stops in San Francisco and Berkeley. After his public appearance Monday morning, the Dalai Lama continued his missionary work at the university, taking part in a discussion of “Incorporating Ethics and Compassion into Business Life” with such Silicon Valley stalwarts as Charles Geschke, co-founder of Adobe, and Jane Shaw, retired chairman of Intel’s board of directors.

Everybody was making nice, of course. His Holiness is a figure of such serene self-assurance that when Lloyd H. Dean, CEO of Dignity Health, made what amounted to a prostate exam joke, the audience seemed to hold its collective breath, until the translator had finished his lengthy explanation of the remark. When HHDL broke into a beatific smile, people burst out laughing.

The appearances here were conducted under tight security, provided by the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, which required everyone attending the sold-out morning event to be in the building two hours before the Tibetan spiritual leader arrived onstage. When he did appear, he looked into the bright spotlights and immediately donned his signature red sun visor. A representative of the school stepped across the stage and offered him a Santa Clara University visor, which His Holiness quickly pulled over his eyes, to applause.

The Dalai Lama receives that kind of blanket protection wherever he goes in the United States, but the presence of about 50 members of the International Shugden Community amplified concerns. They lined up across El Camino Real from the arena in protest. The group represents a different Buddhist sect that prays to another Buddhist figure, Dorje Shugden, a practice they say the Dalai Lama has banned to protect his own health.

“People believe he is a man of peace. In reality, he’s created incredible division with his words, with his speech,” said Len Foley, the protesters’ spokesman. “In India right now, there are placards on hospital and restaurant walls saying if you’re a Shugden practitioner, you are not welcome here. He’s forcing people to take an oath that they will not practice it. Because he’s the Dalai Lama, it’s very difficult for us to get the word out there.”

Inside, the winner of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize was being serenaded by children from the Living Wisdom School in Palo Alto, and a quintet of chanting monks from the Gyuto Foundation. When His Holiness spoke about business ethics, his remarks didn’t deviate much from what he might have said to any other group on any other day. What his followers receive as profound truths might be mistaken for bromides from a less exalted figure. But the Dalai Lama goes far off Buddhism’s central message, summarized in the Four Noble Truths, which deal with suffering, pain and depression — all conditions, it was suggested to His Holiness, that exist at companies where perks such as free meals often replace the freedom to simply go home.

The holy man talked about some people having “no respect for life,” and suggested companies “include teaching of compassion, teaching of warm-heartedness.” When he was asked by James Doty, director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism at Stanford University, about stress in the workplace, it produced one of the events most revealing truths, though this one didn’t get a laugh. The Dalai Lama, who has never spent a day working in an office, conceded his wisdom did not extend to the water cooler. “I have not much experience here,” His Holiness said.

Wishing You a Miracle Today

on this feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes:

- Holy Mary, Mother of God, Virgin Immaculate, you appeared 18 times to Bernadette at the grotto in Lourdes to remind Christians of what the truths in the Gospel require of them. You call them to prayer, penance, the Eucharist and the life of the church. To answer your call more fully, I dedicate myself, through you, to your Son Jesus. Make me willing to accept what He said.

St Mary

By the fervour of my faith, by the conduct of my life in all its aspects, by my devotion to the sick, let me work with you in the comforting of those who suffer and in the reconciliation of people that the church may be one and there be peace in the world.

All this I ask, confident that you, Our Lady, will fully answer my prayer. Blessed be the Holy and Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

St. Bernadette, pray for us

Let’s Fire St. Valentine: 5 Saints for the Married

Originally posted on Health & Family:

Of all the Saints to whom we could grant a special day to celebrate love, why did we choose Valentine, a dude who never even had a girlfriend, let alone a long term monogamous relationship? He was a priest who died young, after curing some blind girl of her sight and writing her a note, signed “your Valentine.” This is the guy who’s supposed to inspire tokens of enduring love? A guy who left a note before his abrupt departure?

View original 740 more words


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