Nothing like a Morning Ride

PB020226wEach of us has stories to share about their week. We all have good days and bad. Some weeks are just ok, some are indifferent and others are amazing. For most of us the week is so busy we never stop. Just like little ever ready bunnies we keep going and going. Sometimes you feel like your on a schedule that never has a break. Picture a train pulling out of the station that has to be at the next stop at a scheduled time and then another stop and another stop and so on. When do we get off the train? When do we have time to think? to regroup? or just to reflect?
For me, each Saturday morning (with some exceptions) I gear up and go for a long bike ride. Doesn’t matter if is hot, cold, raining or windy, this is something I do for me that in the long run actually benefits everyone. Many say I’m crazy or obsessed, but the reality is I’m just driven by the fact that the ride helps clear my head, exercises not only my body but my mind and it also helps me appreciate that the simple things in life are sometimes the best. Becoming “one with nature” has a profound affect on me. Makes me appreciate that we live in a country where we can just get on a bicycle and go for a scenic ride (or walk, or run) and for the most part, feel safe and secure.
Each week brings a ride with a new adventure. The course may change but the goal remains constant, which is to unwind, forget about my troubles and get ready for the week ahead. There are plenty of weeks that squeezing in that ride can be challenging, but if you want something bad enough you will find a way to get it done. If it means getting up extra early or getting chores done the night before, you can make it happen.
So my advice to everyone would be to stop the train and get off and enjoy the land. Take advantage of all there is to see and do. You don’t have to get on a plane or take a long car ride, sometimes the best things to find are right out your front door. Our lives are short and before you know it we are to old to enjoy the simple things.
So I challenge you this week to take a long walk, a bike ride or a jog in the park. How about a hike to scenic location. Use that time to rediscover yourself and recharge your mind and body. I guarantee you will enjoy the experience. So no matter how your week turns out you will always have that experience to look back on.

Respectfully,

Steve Kohn

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Published in: on November 2, 2013 at 7:46 pm  Comments (2)  
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Digital assets, seriously….

To my cousin Fred I leave Grandmas wedding ring…..  To my good friend Homer, I leave my snowmobile and to my housekeeper, Alice, I leave my Facebook account.  Does this sound preposterous?  Well think again.  Have you ever given any thought about what is going to happen to all your social media content when you pass away.  It’s sad but, when you leave this earth, your posts, emails, blogs and photos remain in cyberspace forever.  Last time I checked, forever is a very long time.

Here are some questions you need to ponder. When you die, should your electronic trail also die? Does everything you created, digitally, have the right to stay when you are gone? Do you want to continue to live through cyberspace so future generations know about you?   These are becoming very important decisions to make.    Does Facebook have the right to pull the plug when you pull the plug?

We are probably the first generation that has had to tackle these questions.  Besides there being legal concerns I think there are some issues concerning what is morally correct.   Should this be a decision you should make; one your family should or do we allow the government to decide for us?

Take a moment to consider all the information you control with passwords.  I for one have my passwords hidden in secure locations.  Should you leave those passwords in your safe deposit box? Should you leave a copy in your will?  Maybe you should just make arrangements that when you are gone so are they.

What if someone managed to get a hold of your information after you die and pretends to be you?  It would be like you were posting from beyond.   This gives new meaning to communicating with the dead.   Well, so much for mediums and Ouija boards.

Now on the other hand, wouldn’t it be nice for your future generations to see what you were like and the things that you did?  You could be an inspiration for years to come, long after you’re gone.  Rather than open up the old family photo album you could just have a link to Great Grandpas Picasso album.

If this sounds too complex, you can even purchase digital asset management software.  This makes it easy to put all your personal information in easy to use formats and secure it safely.  Just think you and your digital assets will be resting safely in a cloud somewhere.  I doubt if it’s the same one, but you could be neighbors.

Many cemeteries now offer a service where you can have a QR code put on your tombstone.   Visitors can scan the code and be redirected to a webpage that shares predetermined information you have decided to share.   Why not take this a step further and allow people to write on your wall (that would be your Facebook wall) or upload photos for other family members when they visit.  No sure that you (the deceased) will see them, but I can’t guarantee you won’t.

I personally store all my files in a program called “Dropbox”.  How fitting would that be if my Dropbox files accompanied me when I’m dropped in a box.  Many people have requested to be buried with strange things like their Ferraris and Maserati’s and sometimes personal trinkets such as a necklace or a favorite piece of clothing.  Now many are requesting to have their iPhones and iPads.  Really, don’t they realize they will need to have a way to charge them?  I guess graveyards will now have to come with WIFI as an option.

Hopefully, you haven’t found this too morbid. It’s not something we like to talk about, but eventually you will have to give it some thought.  When setting up your will, please give thought to your digital assets.   We all eventually want to rest and “tweet” in peace.

Published in: on March 20, 2012 at 3:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Where are the goats?

For the past eight years my wife Linda and I make our annual trek to our secret hideaway, St. James Club, on the island of Antigua.   We fell in love with this tropic paradise and each visit brings us back to a life that is stress free and simple.  All the trials and tribulations of our life in New Jersey seem to fade away if only for a brief time.

One of the first things that usually greets us on the short drive from the airport to our destination at Mamora Bay are the goats that seem to graze effortlessly on the banks of the winding roads.    For some reason on this drive we saw no goats.  That was really strange.   What happened to the goats?

One of the reasons we come back here every year is that it’s always as we remember it,  Beautiful beaches, wonderful friends, good food and a feeling of belonging.   The days are simple and relaxed and the evenings are even more calming.  What more can one ask for.  No hassles  or problems to deal with.

Over the years we have seen subtle  changes but none that completely changed the ambience we have always cherished.   At home life changes at a pace faster than we want.    Here at our island retreat change is not something we want or anticipate.  Although change is inevitable no matter where one resides its amazing as we age how we just want things to remain the same.

I developed a routine many years ago that fit our island life style.   I would get up about 30 minutes before sunrise to take a nice walk to the top of a mountain and watch the sun come up.  I would then head back to our villa and place two towels on lounge chairs at our favorite palapa where we would enjoy the rest if the day.   This year we brought our good friends with us so the routine was changed slightly to include four lounges and towels.

Our leisurely morning always includes fresh made coffee on our patio overlooking the beach then a leisurely stroll to a fine breakfast buffet. We then walk back to our villa to enjoy the day under our palapa on the beach without a care in the world.

Well change sometimes happens when you lease expect it.  When we arrived back at our  Palapa last week I felt as if all of the coconuts in the tree above hit me in the head.  Apparently someone wanted to stake claim to our spot so our towels and personal items where taken and dumped to the side and they moved in.   Mind you this is an exquisite island destination not the Jersey Shore.   When I asked the invaders that blatantly laid claim to our spot what they did, all I received was attitude . No remorse, no apology…..nothing.   Needless to say I was VERY UNHAPPY!

I felt the stress level climb and the blood pressure rise.   Here I am thousands of miles from home having to call security.  Remember this is supposed to be a vacation not a turf war!   Security handled the situation wisely by bringing us more chairs.   I still lost the palapa for the day. I would of preferred the squatters being banned from the island; but that was just my anger brewing.

Has change finally worked its way to this remote corner of the Caribbean?  Has the place that has served as our peace and serenity retreat for all these years gone to crap?   Has the change in towel policy contributed to this  chair stealing problem? And/or perhaps there are not enough chairs for the amount of guests visiting the resort? Maybe I’m just getting older and cranky.  Today my personal space is violated. What will be next?

Seems we weren’t the only ones this was happening to.   Many of our island friends shared similar stories.   We all come to this island resort year after year because we have been made to feel special and would never expect anything like this to happen.

After a few days we all cooled off and our island adventures calmed.  We became more alert and guarded our spaces with a bit more precision.  Now in the morning our spot was reserved with a giant blow up killer whale.  Hopefully this was a sign that said “Don’t ____ with my space” .  I think the message was received.  No more issues .

I guess nothing stays the same and change will hit us when we least expect it.  Will this change how we feel about our peaceful hideaway?  Maybe a little, but we will be back.   You never know,  sometimes things change for a reason.  Sometime change can bring about better things and every once in awhile a change can make things go back to the way they were.   These are the things that make life an adventure

On the next to the last day of our trip I was returning from my walk down the mountain and I heard a familiar sound.  I turn and looked down the road and there they were, a huge heard of goats.  I came in close for a look and for that moment I felt reassured that even with change something’s can stay the same.