Archives for December 2013

This Might Be The Last Post of 2013

Angry Man! / Spew Love

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs

Unless I am mistaken this was the last post I wrote in 2012 but I am not sure if it was good enough to merit a second look at. And though I am not among the Steve Jobs groupies I am a fan of the quote above which is why I shared it with you all again.

Shared it because if I can say one thing about 2013 it is the year I followed his advice and did things to make my life mine. Did things differently because the old ways weren’t working and I had to do it differently or accept the same old results.

Been sitting here listening to Sir Paul sing Band on The Run and am looking at that post I linked to and the others that I included it and wondering if there are things to be learned.

Trying To Still The Noise Inside

A few weeks back some friends were sharing holiday greetings with each other and one wished me peace and I just smiled because in so many ways it is the greatest gift for me.

That fire in my belly burns brighter and hotter each day and it pushes me to do more than just reach for the things I need and the things I want.

Stumbled onto Use Your Time Wisely and smiled because it speaks to me. Have to share this excerpt with you

Won’t be long before the Traveling Jack takes to the skies again. I feel it in my bones. Got so much to do and see and the changes keep on rolling. I keep working hard to take care of a million different tasks and am interrupted a million different times.

These interruptions are irritating and I am growing really impatient.

Some might say that the universe is trying to get my attention. I would answer by saying that I keep telling Joe Universe that I am listening. Got a cellphone, land line, Twitter, FB account and 25 email accounts. It is not hard to find me.

Wild to read it because when I think about 2013 I see all that I felt in 2012 coming true. I remember knowing that I would be moving to Texas and how I waited for it to happen.

On 13/31/12 I hadn’t yet received the job offer but I knew in my gut that I would and I spent a good part of the day and evening trying not to focus on it because I knew that sometimes what you know will happen doesn’t.

Yet it did and it was among the best things that have ever happened to me. Spent almost the full year in Texas but moved back to LA because I had a few things to take care of.

So now I am here in LA where I had thought I would stay and I am thinking about moving again, wondering if, how and when.

Angry Man With A Sign

It is hard not to laugh at that photo because sometimes I think we devote far too much energy to being angry and upset about ridiculous things.

I include myself as being among those who need to learn how to do a better job of letting go and just rolling with things. I think I have gotten better but sometimes I am certain my blood pressure explodes for silly things.

Time to let narishkeit be narishkeit.

Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you won’t see a good rant come from me because some things require it and because some times I have so much fun ranting it makes my blood pressure drop and that is not a bad thing either.

I moved to Texas because I took possibility and turned it into opportunity and now I look to take what I learned, what I did and what I became and use it to continue to be who I am and who I intend to become.

What Does Five Years On Twitter Do For You?


I stumbled onto a random tweet in my stream today that mentioned that today marks my five year anniversary of joining Twitter. If I hadn’t seen it I wouldn’t have been aware that today marked any sort of anniversary.

Most of that is because I am still recovering from celebrating my son’s 13th birthday and his Bar Mitzvah. Even though I can attribute some very good things to my having joined Twitter I can’t really compare the two nor do I want to.

But for what it is worth I can definitely say that both were life changing events, but Twitter pales in significance and that is as it should be.

Five Years Later

I can’t say that I have written a book or books about Twitter and social media but that is ok with me.  Fact is I referenced Mark’s blog and book because some of you are unfamiliar with Twitter and are unaware of what it has done and can do for people.

My experience with it has been exceptionally positive. I can attribute friendships, work and brand ambassadorships to it. That is important to me because when I look at the amount of time I have put into social media it is nice to see that there is a positive return on my investment.

When I look at Twitter and my experience I see it as the platform I used to build my blog and where I discovered that there was much more to blogging than I had ever really thought of.

Five years later I look back and laugh a bit because it started with the same sort of whim that led me to blogging.

How I Used It and How I Use It Now

Twitter has changed and so has how I use it. When I first started I was far more active and involved in engaging with others than I am now.

Some of that was because I had more time and I wasn’t as active on so many different platforms. There were fewer places to hold conversations and less homework for my children so it was easier to devote more time to it.

Today I find myself having to work much harder to make time for Twitter. It is not a great change and being less engaged has probably hurt my influence because influence in social media is tied into how active you are.

I know that it is not just me that has noticed the change because I have had multiple conversations about it.

Some of you have told me that you think Triberr is a major contributor to Twitter having turned into more of a broadcast channel but I am not certain we can break it down to just one tool.

Automation has impacted Twitter in major ways and that includes many tools that are not named Triberr. There has been a major influx of brands onto Twitter and that had an impact too.

There Are Still Conversations

I still have many conversations on Twitter and I still see many others that I am not involved in. The biggest distinction between now and then is you have to make more of an effort to make them happen.

Sometimes I think that the 140 character limit has made it more challenging because when you compare Twitter to other platforms it is sometimes easier to have a more in depth conversation elsewhere.

I find that happening quite a bit on Google Plus and Facebook but that doesn’t mean it is not happening on Twitter because it is. I know this it to be so because I still participate in those talks there.

What about you? Are you on Twitter? How long have y0u been on and how often do you use it? Would love to hear your thoughts.

The Finish Line Isn’t As Close As You Think

If you look hard you can see a  railing and a bench on the hillside. They are located in the Topa Topa mountain range and they overlook a valley.

I helped build and install the bench and railing. Unless my memory is completely shot (and it is not) the bench and railing were part of a number of construction projects I was a part of in the early 90s. You can figure that as being about ’92 so and as you can see from the date on the photo they are still there.



Sadly not all of the stuff we built is still standing but those items in the photo above are and that makes me smile. I have some great memories from that time that include not just the building/installation but time spent using the bench. Hopefully many others have enjoyed it too.

The End Of The Year Is Near

The end of the year is near. It is close enough to see but you can’t quite touch it yet. Been thinking about it a bit. Been thinking about how it feels a bit like we have been running a marathon and how some people start to coast when the finish line is within sight.

Been thinking about my days as a competitive swimmer and how the coaches always taught us to finish strong. Been thinking about how they told us not to coast in because the hard charger in the lane or lanes next to you might have enough left to over take you.

Never want to lose a race that way, never want to let over confidence kill the victory because you left off the gas peddle.

Been thinking about the drive to succeed and the push to do more than, to be more, see more, achieve more and how that applies here.

Been thinking about how hard it becomes to sit still, do nothing and just be.

Been thinking about how that is a problem because sometimes you need to shut it down and recharge your batteries and if you can’t stop you can’t ever benefit from the joy that comes with being alone with yourself.

Finish As You Started

I talk to the children about the importance of finishing what you  started and finishing as you started. We talk about what we want from life and how that relates to our willingness to work for it.

And on the verge of the new year I am starting to think about what 2013 was like for us and if it did what I wanted it to. Been thinking about whether I’ll look back fondly on part, some or all of this year.

Been thinking about it and reminding myself to finish strong, don’t want to lose the race at the end.

The Grinch Is My Hero

English: A sand sculpture of the Dr. Seuss cha...

English: A sand sculpture of the Dr. Seuss character The Grinch, in Key West, Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My head aches, my heart hurts and my eyes sting but I am still standing.

Actually things aren’t nearly as bad as that line makes them sound but I am exhausted in almost every way a man can be. Part of it is because I didn’t get to play ball this week or last and the lack of my second favorite exercise always impacts my mood.

But for those few of you reading these words on December 24 or 25th let me clarify that the Grinch is my hero and has been for years. There is something about that guy that scratches me right where I itch and a smart man pays attention to those things.

A Jew On Christmas

Some may ask what a Jew does on Christmas. You’ll probably hear the traditional answer of order Chinese and or go to the movies but me, well I am not doing either tonight.

Had Chinese earlier this week and unless I find a few more hours in the day I will probably spend a significant amount of time writing.

Found myself reading A Fool Frolics Freely and decided that I need to do something more with that.

This year proved that I still know things and that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction and today of all days proved that just when it seems you have seen virtually everything that can happen, well you haven’t.

I can’t say more than that because there are boundaries in blogging and only a fool ignores them. I may be a fool who frolics freely but I am not a stupid fool.

Is that redundant?

Really, a stupid fool sounds redundant to me but what the hell do I know, my brain is spent today.

Confession time

I am not one of those members of the tribe who secretly loves and listens to Christmas music. Please don’t misunderstand that to mean that I dislike it because that is not what I am saying either.

It falls into the same category as Chanukah music to me. I can listen to the songs a few times and then I am good for the season but the problem is all of this music is over played and it doesn’t take long for me to want to scream after I hear a few bars of it.

But old Jack Steiner must confess that he enjoys listening to Do they Know it’s Christmas ~ Band Aid 1984.

I don’t own it but if it comes on the radio and it always does I usually listen once or twice. Got some fond memories from that time and it just brings some of them back.

Although I need to add that it feels a bit strange to say 1984 and realize that more than a couple of years have passed.

I remember watching that Apple Commercial that aired during the Superbowl and wondering if in a couple of years we’d look at George Orwell’s story as being quaint.

Great Googly Moogly

Well dear reader I just received a telephone call that truly made my head spin so I am going to end this post here and now. Got to go process what I just heard and figure out what the hell just happened.

Someone thank the universe for helping me to live in interesting times because things just got…weird.

My Goal Is To Wreck Christmas

English: Photo of Jonathan G. Meath portraying...

English: Photo of Jonathan G. Meath portraying Santa Claus. Date approximate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All I know is that the clown who smelled like he had taken a bath at the local liquor store told me that he wanted to play hide the salami with her. I suppose that between the stench and his words I should have told my sister to fire him immediately but I was too busy laughing at the name I had given him, “The Fairy Fucker.”
The Flying Clown

It never occurred to me that one day I would have a use for a picture of a drunk Santa Claus. Never occurred to me that one day I would be viciously attacked and accused of trying to wreck Christmas because I said Happy Holidays.

Maybe it should have. Maybe I should have realized that man who beat up Tweedle Dee and was named the number one enemy of Cleveland should be careful because crazy things happen.

Newscasters engage in crazy commentary about whether Santa is white, Black or Asian and sometimes angry Jewish men talk about how There Are No Jewish Christmas Trees & Santa Isn’t Real.

But then again I have a long list of reasons why I hate the holiday season most of which have nothing to do with the submariner who accused me of being a drunk and suicidal Santa.

Time Passes and Tolerance Grows

Kind of funny to look back at some things and see how my thoughts, feelings and ideas have changed and or evolved.

If I remove my tongue from my cheek I will say my honest opinion is that the holiday season feels like an all out assault on my senses and I have a hard time understanding how anyone can honestly argue about a War on Christmas because it is all I seem to hear and see.

This year has been easier for me because there is no overlap between Chanukah and Christmas and no attempt by people to equate the two as being the same.

They are different and they have different levels of importance to those who observe them.

Won’t lie and say I have changed my mind about our priorities being mixed up. Still bothers me that we spend so much encouraging people to dig deep and help each other out because of the time of year.

Homeless still exist after January 1 and the hungry have empty bellies year round.

Drives me nuts to see such a focus on possession and less on more important things.

A Question of Dignity

Talked with my son again about the homeless guy I sold a pair of my shoes to. Happened two years ago this past August.

There was a homeless guy who lived under a bridge near our old house. I remember seeing him around the neighborhood. He was weathered, dirty and worn but always friendly.

One day we held a garage sale and he came by.

He looked through our stuff, picked up a pair of my shoes and took out his wallet.

When he asked me how much I told him I wanted a couple of bucks and he paid me and went on his way.

Can’t tell you what made my son think about that story today but when he asked me why I charged him I told him it was a question of dignity.

He wanted to pay something for the shoes and I wasn’t about to rob him of his dignity. A small transaction made it possible for him to own shoes that didn’t have any holes in them and retain some sense of being a person.

I think that is what bothers me most about this time of year is that we seem to forget about the person and focus on the possessions.

And that is not a lesson I want my children to learn.