A Season of Hope. We can have better days.

fullsizeoutput_3ea1The days are getting longer. Each minute brings us closer to summer here in the Northern Hemisphere.

Time does not have a rearview mirror or reverse. It can only move in one direction. We have HOPE for better days.

And you ask me what I want this year
And I try to make this kind and clear
Just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days
Cause I don’t need boxes wrapped in strings
And designer love and empty things
Just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days

So take these words
And sing out loud
Cause everyone is forgiven now
Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again

I need someplace simple where we could live
And something only you can give
And thats faith and trust and peace while we’re alive
And the one poor child who saved this world
And there’s 10 million more who probably could
If we all just stopped and said a prayer for them

So take these words
And sing out loud
Cause everyone is forgiven now
Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again

I wish everyone was loved tonight
And somehow stop this endless fight
Just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days

So take these words
And sing out loud
Cause everyone is forgiven now
Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again

From Gene Cernan, 82, the last astronaut to walk on the moon who returned to Earth with a message of “peace and hope for all mankind,”  to Chuck Berry and  Tom Petty 2017 took it’s toll. We could mourn these people or realize what they added to our lives and look forward to 2018. Those we have lost  

Happy New Year.




Thursday 12/28 was Good Riddance Day in NYC. It was sponsored by SHRED IT. A recycling company. With New Years approaching it is time to look around your house, apartment, room AND life and lighten your load.

Dig through your wallet or purse and find that relic receipt from August and recycle it.

In your life there are things that you must also get rid of. Bad thoughts or unhappy feelings need to be left behind.

Start 2018 FRESH and with a good positive outlook.

A Season of Hope. Keith Richards


WESTON – In a startling development for the Rock n Roll community, world famous Rolling Stones guitarist and songwriter Keith Richards was found alive on Wednesday. Crew members said they found his animated body sitting beside an amp, picking at a guitar and murmuring some incomprehensible melody. Shocked but elated, the roadies took Richards back to the dressing rooms and covered his old broken body with designer scarves and skull rings.



“It’s astounding” said longtime Rolling Stones roadie Steve Kruger, “to find him in this state is…well, it’s unexpected to say the least.” Richards, the grizzly-faced guitarist long thought to be the most likely person on the planet to next kick the bucket, was noodling on a 5-string fender when he was found miraculously still conscious. “At first I thought it was some 200-year old giant turtle that crawled in here, or a wrinkly sack of potatoes with somebody inside,” recalled Kruger. “But no! There he was, strumming away on a few opening chords to ‘Start Me Up.’ What I was seeing looked awful, but unmistakable. When I realized it was Keith, I thought it might be one of those holograms like they created for Michael Jackson and 2Pac at Bonnaroo music fest a few years back. But then I touched him and he screamed ‘what the hell do you want!?’, and I knew.”


Figuring that they might as well use him, the Stones management has decided to continue taking him on the road. “People still want to see him perform,” said Kruger. “And they’ll pay good money to see their favorite corpse up onstage, especially if he’s moving around and kind of sort of acting like it’s all still fresh and sexy. So now it’s kind of like we’re touring with some old museum piece, or your grandma’s music box, handed down from generation to generation, still spitting out a tune,” said Kruger. “And I’ll tell ya, Keith still makes a good noise.”

A Season of Hope. There is Beauty Out There- if you look.

The world is filled with beautiful and amazing things. You need to slow down to see slowdown and notice. It may be a flower growing in a trash filled vacant lot. It may be the white helmet volunteers in Syria. It may be a young girl with autism in Northern Ireland with the voice of an angel.


Girl With Autism Sings A Stunning Rendition Of ‘Hallelujah’

It’s not just good because she’s dealing with autism … It’s good because it’s good — really good.

This 10-year-old’s rendition of “Hallelujah” would have given Leonard Cohen himself chills. Turn the volume up and give it a listen.


Kaylee Rodgers, a student who has autism and ADHD, sang the solo part for the famous tune during her school choir concert at Killard House School in Donaghadee, Northern Ireland, and the performance went viral.

Rodgers’ voice is stunningly beautiful ― and she exudes confidence while she sings with her classmates. Tracy Rodgers, Kaylee’s mother, told the BBC that Kaylee’s music teacher, Lloyd Scates, played a huge part in nurturing her special talent.

“She always loved singing, but it wasn’t until she started at Killard House School that she really came into her own,” she told BBC. “[Mr. Scates is] like her safety blanket ― he’s amazing.”

Killard House principal Colin Millar told ITV that Kaylee was very shy when she started at the school. She “wouldn’t really read out in class,” he said. So “to stand and perform in front of an audience is amazing … It takes a lot of effort on Kaylee’s part.”

Go and find beauty in the world today.


A Season of Hope. Christmas Truce


This time of year we really need to put aside our differences.

When we say “PEACE ON EARTH” remember that peace doesn’t see race, color, or religion. I truly believe that 99.9% of all people on earth want the same thing.

A roof over our head

A better life for our children

A world of peace and prosperity.

To Love and be Loved.

Lets focus on our similarities not our differences.

100 years ago- PEACE BROKE OUT.

During World War I, on and around Christmas Day 1914, the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding faded in a number of places along the Western Front in favor of holiday celebrations in the trenches and gestures of goodwill between enemies.

On December 7, 1914, Pope Benedict XV suggested a temporary hiatus of the war for the celebration of Christmas. The warring countries refused to create any official cease-fire, but on Christmas the soldiers in the trenches declared their own unofficial truce.

On Christmas Eve, many German soldiers put up Christmas trees, decorated with candles, on the parapets of their trenches. Hundreds of Christmas trees lighted the German trenches and although British soldiers could see the lights, it took them a few minutes to figure out what they were from. Could this be a trick? British soldiers were ordered not to fire but to watch them closely. Instead of trickery, the British soldiers heard many of the Germans celebrating.

Time and again during the course of that day, the Eve of Christmas, there were wafted towards us from the trenches opposite the sounds of singing and merry-making, and occasionally the guttural tones of a German were to be heard shouting out lustily, ‘A happy Christmas to you Englishmen!’ Only too glad to show that the sentiments were reciprocated, back would go the response from a thick-set Clydesider, ‘Same to you, Fritz, but dinna o’er eat yourself wi’ they sausages!’

In other areas, the two sides exchanged Christmas carols.

They finished their carol and we thought that we ought to retaliate in some way, so we sang ‘The first Noël’, and when we finished that they all began clapping; and then they struck up another favourite of theirs, ‘ O Tannenbaum’. And so it went on. First the Germans would sing one of their carols and then we would sing one of ours, until when we started up ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ the Germans immediately joined in singing the same hymn to the Latin words ‘ Adeste Fidéles’. And I thought, well, this was really a most extraordinary thing – two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of a war.

British and German troops meet in no man’s land. Boxing Day, 1914. Photographed by 2nd Lt Cyril Drummand, RFA.
British and German troops meet in no man’s land. Boxing Day, 1914. Photographed by 2nd Lt Cyril Drummand, RFA.

At the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines across no-man’s-land, calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers. The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings and sang carols and songs. There was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a good-natured game of soccer.

Some soldiers used this short-lived ceasefire for a more somber task: the retrieval of the bodies of fellow combatants who had fallen within the no-man’s land between the lines.

The so-called Christmas Truce of 1914 came only five months after the outbreak of war in Europe and was one of the last examples of the outdated notion of chivalry between enemies in warfare. It was never repeated—future attempts at holiday ceasefires were quashed by officers’ threats of disciplinary action—but it served as heartening proof, however brief, that beneath the brutal clash of weapons, the soldiers’ essential humanity endured.

During World War I, the soldiers on the Western Front did not expect to celebrate on the battlefield, but even a world war could not destory the Christmas spirit.

Right now I feel many times we find a reason to have a fight and to fight a war. I think it is time we have a reason to wage peace.

Peace to All of you. Pass it on.


Even the SADDEST Christmas song can give you hope. Here is one of my personal favorites.

It is a song I tried to sing to my kids when they were little.




A Season of Hope. Coolest songs for an alternative Yule.

I found this article. Great songs. Some of my personal favorites and some I have to go and find.



The 20 Coolest Christmas Songs For An Alternative Yule

So this is Christmas? As we’re knee-deep in Yuletide adverts, Slade’s ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ and Wizzard’s ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’ are on heavy rotation. Fine if that’s your thing, but it may not satisfy those keen to celebrate a hipper festive season with more ostensibly cool Christmas songs.

Don’t get us wrong here. This isn’t a Scrooge-like attempt to knock the traditions any more than it’s intended to denigrate festive greats such as ‘White Christmas’ or ‘Winter Wonderland’. Yet, if Christmas is meant for one and all, then we feel it’s also fair to offer a gift to the more adventurous music fan. If you like a hearty slice of credibility to accompany your glass of festive cheer, here’s our selection of 20 cool Christmas songs, compiled just for you.

Weezer: ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’ (2008)
A short, sharp and faithful pop-punk take on the popular festive staple from the 2008 Christmas With Weezer EP. The record’s six tracks were originally recorded for Apple’s iOS video game of the same name.

The Smashing Pumpkins: ‘Christmastime’ (1997)
Recorded during the sessions for the band’s fourth album, Adore, but released on one of A&M’s star-studded charity compilations, A Very Special Christmas 3 – the third in a series of releases home to many cool Christmas songs.

No Doubt: ‘Oi To The World’ (1997)
Infectious, skinhead-style ska salute to Christmas. Originally the B-side to ‘Happy Now?’ from the Diamond-selling Tragic Kingdom.

Eels: ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas’ (1998)
Another gem tucked away on a B-side. In this case, the flip to ‘Cancer For The Cure’ from Eels’ acclaimed sophomore album, Electro-Shock Blues.

Amy Winehouse: ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’ (2004)
Amy Winehouse’s earthy, bossa nova-style version of Jimmy Boyd’s 1952 Billboard chart-topper was recorded live for a BBC Radio 2 Christmas Day special, The Gospel According To Christmas.


The Killers: ‘Don’t Shoot Me Santa’ (2011)
Collecting The Killers’ annual Xmas singles from 2006 to 2011, the digitally-released (Red) Christmas EP – featuring this track – was a charity record with the proceeds going to the anti-AIDS Product Red campaign headed by Bono and US activist Bobby Shriver.

Queen: ‘A Winter’s Tale’ (1995)
A dreamy, psychedelic beauty of a song recorded at the very end of Queen’s career with Freddie Mercury. It appears on the posthumous 1995 album, Made In Heaven.

David Bowie And Bing Crosby: ‘Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy’ (1982)
Described by the The Washington Post as “one of the most successful duets in Christmas music history”, Bowie and Bing’s transcendent version of this stellar Christmas song is actually a cover of a track first recorded by The Sound Of Music-inspiring Trapp Family Singers in 1951.

Beck: ‘The Little Drum Machine Boy’ (1997)
The self-proclaimed “holiday robot funk” of Beck’s seven-minute ‘Little Drum Machine Boy’ appeared six months after his landmark Odelay album, on Geffen’s Just Say Noël compilation. It’s got freaky Roland 808 drum beats, sleigh bells and cowbells, and it’s quite brilliant.

Tom Petty: ‘Christmas All Over Again’ (1992)
Rousing, widescreen anthem with a Jeff Lynne co-production credit and a touch of Phil Spector. It was included on another of A&M’s double-Platinum Christmas collections, A Very Special Christmas 2.

Lady Gaga: ‘Christmas Tree’ (2008)
A digital download-only festive rarity which liberally samples the classic Christmas song ‘Deck The Halls’. It cracked the Top 30 of Billboard’s Holiday Songs Chart, despite the lyrics’ sexual innuendos.


Blink-182: ‘I Won’t Be Home For Christmas’ (2001)
Originally recorded and issued as a radio promo in 1997, but only officially released as a single in 2001. It remains the Californian skate-punk stars’ sole Canadian No.1.

Bon Jovi: ‘Please Come Home For Christmas’ (1992)
Jon Bon Jovi’s emotive cover of Charles Brown’s 1960 Billboard chart-topper was originally another stand-out on A&M’s A Very Special Christmas 2 in 1992. Issued as a single in 1994 (under the Bon Jovi banner), it went Top 10 in the UK and Ireland.

Snoop Dogg: ‘Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto’ (1996)
Featuring a sample from Isaac Hayes’ ‘Do Your Thing’, Snoop’s festive treat appeared on a Death Row Records charity compilation, Christmas On Death Row.

Chuck Berry: ‘Run Rudolph Run’ (1958)
A bracing rocker in the same 12-bar vein as Chuck’s signature hit, ‘Johnny B Goode’. Has since been covered by artists as disparate as Bryan Adams, Luke Bryan, Grateful Dead and Slaughter And The Dogs.

Rev Run and many others   Santa Baby mix

The Kinks: ‘Father Christmas’ (1977)
From The Kinks’ underrated Misfits comes this hard-hitting, socially-aware rocker, wherein Ray Davies threatens to duff up the big man with the white beard unless he “gives my Daddy a job ’cause he needs one/He’s got lots of mouths to feed”.

Pearl Jam: ‘Let Me Sleep (Christmas Time)’ (1991)
Early – and extremely collectible – Pearl Jam single, later recorded live for the 2011 compilation album Pearl Jam 20.

The Pogues (Featuring Kirsty MacColl): ‘Fairytale Of New York’ (1987)
Aside from Bowie and Bing, the only mainstream hit on the list, but it more than earns its place among these cool Christmas songs. It’s impossible to imagine the holidays without ‘Fairytale Of New York’, which was, bizarrely, recorded on a sweltering summer’s day in August ’87.

Low: ‘Just Like Christmas’ (1999)
Usually known for funereally slow alt.pop, Minnesota trio Low released the glorious Christmas EP in 1999 as “a gift to fans”. It’s transcendent and opens with this blissful bout of unashamedly pure, sleigh-bell-assisted pop.

Dropkick Murphy’s   The seasons upon us

Fountains of Wayne. Valley Winter Song


A Season of Hope. Cherish our Differences 

Our strength is in out differences.

Have you ever heard the story behind this highest selling Christmas carol? Robert May was an advertising executive that first wrote the poem “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” in 1939 as an ad gimmick for a local department store. 10 years later, May’s brother wrote the music. The song was turned down by Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore, but Gene Autry recorded it. Today “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is the highest-selling Christmas carol, at more than 25 million units.

Do you know why the carol is so loved? You might say that it’s the courage and fortitude of Rudolph, the apparent hero of the story. But the real charm of the carol is found at the heart of what the carol is really about—grace! Despite that Rudolph was clearly an outsider and an apparent reject due to the glowing flaw of his shiny red nose, Santa chose him. When the fog rolled in and the moment became critical, Santa called on Rudolph, the reject reindeer with the big, weird, red nose to lead the pack. What everyone else saw as weakness, Santa saw as the vital component of strength to accomplish his purposes.

We each have things that make us unique. Instead of trying to hide those things and viewing them as a weakness, lets view them as a strength. Not just in ourselves but in others.

I was the weird kids growing up. I was the gymnast in a town full of football players. Look at me now! If I had listened to those who wanted me to blend in and conform I would not have be contributing to the lives of thousands of children.

As an employer, I am looking for people who are individuals but share our same passion. It is those differences that add spice to life and make Atlantic Gymnastics an exciting place.

Cherish the differences in those around you. Appreciate each indivual.

A Season of Hope. The Next Generation


Today marks an anniversary of one of the worst days in America. The day a man with a gun walked into a school and killed 20 Children and 6 Adults at Sandyhook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct.

I cried that day and the world cried with us. What happened next was an embarrassment. What happened next was, nothing…. Nothing happened. We as a country failed to pass a common sense gun law. We didn’t do a thing.

We, as a country, seem to love our guns more than our children. For you Gun nuts who think the country would be better if there were more guns. FUCK YOU. Stop reading. Go away. You are hopeless. You are a sheep who is being lead by the NRA and what you read about on your right wing conspiracy blogs. If you are so tough, you should stand up and say, “Enough!” we no longer live in the wild west. So I say again, Fuck you. You don’t have to look these parents in the eye when you see them at a gymnastics meet.

I have raised my children in a world where school lockdowns have become common. Where another school shooting, drive by shooting, shootings in churches, movie theaters, and playgrounds have become common place.

You know who I have hope for? The next generation. Their voting patterns show that they want REAL change. They do not want to raise their children in a world where politicians and right wing media can deny science. Where the president elect can make up facts and deny the truth.


This is NOT a Clinton/ Trump thing for me (I supported Sanders in the primary). I look and see that the 18-24 years olds largely did not vote for the climate change denying, NRA and KKK supported pussy grabber.

So yeah, I have more HOPE for the next generation.


A Season of Hope. For those no longer with us.

I had a different plan for what I was going to write this morning.  Then I started thinking about my friends and family who are no longer with us. The pain will always be there. Is it odd to find comfort in the pain? It is how I remember them.

I went to see my niece in a play the other day. It breaks my heart to see her and her brother because they look SO much like their dad who passed away.

My friend Jeff who just lost his mother asked, “How do you continue on when the person who built your heart is gone?”  

There are no simple answers. Life is comedy and tragedy. The minute you are born you spend the rest of your time on earth either living or dying. I believe in the Butterfly Effect. Your parents gave you more than life. They taught you lessons. Your job was to continue and teach those around you.  As a parent there are three things that I wanted to teach my children. The “3 R’s” 

  • Respect
  • Reliability
  • Resilience. 

We want our children to respect others and to be respected.

We want our children to be reliable. To be that person that others turn to and can count on.

We want our children to be resilient. To bounce back. I want my children to be a super ball. As children we remember the awe, how can this little ball store so much energy to bounce so high? bb0273915d14e24a6ec801a138f012f8

That is what I want from my children and, my friends, that is what your parents would want from you.  Today, tomorrow, this month. BOUNCE. Bounce so high you touch the stars. Bounce so high others look at you in awe and wonder, “how can someone store so much energy they can go so high?”

That is the most important lesson. That lesson, I hope, will give you hope and hope to those around you.

I love you both and hope that you can bounce.

What is dying?
I am standing on the seashore.
A ship sails to the morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
She is an object and I stand watching her
Till at last she fades from the horizon,
And someone at my side says, “She is gone!” Gone where?
Gone from my sight, that is all;
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as she was when I saw her,
And just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her;
And just at the moment when someone at my side says, “She is gone”,
There are others who are watching her coming,
And other voices take up a glad shout,
“There she comes” – and that is dying.