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Jeffrey Kaufman
And there were so many fewer questions, when stars were still just the holes to heaven...
And there were so many fewer questions, when stars were still just the holes to heaven...

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Currently in First Place

Hey now!
Just wanted to thank everyone for the votes. Although there are 8 DAYS LEFT of voting, and plenty of room to slip - we're currently in first place. Truly humbled by the support and kind words. If you haven't voted yet, what are you waiting for? (Here's the link: ). And if you have voted, it'd be great if you could ask a friend to vote as well. With that philosophy we should be able to DOUBLE our votes? Right? That makes sense.

Anyhow! Thanks a billion!

Photo: Yosemite 2012 #vote   #voting   #help   #yosemite   #yosemitenationalpark   #yosemitephotography   #yosemitephotos    #photo   #landscape  

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Help me out!

If you like this photo, go ahead and vote for it! Here's the link ! Obviously I'm not going to force you to vote for "Yosemite 2012". You can vote for whichever photo you think is best. However, I strongly suggest - if you value your life - that you vote for ours. Thanks, you rock.

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An acquaintance of mine approached me recently. He's one of those hardworking, New York City type of guys. Real nice if you get to meet him. He says to me: 
"Jeff, you're a smart man, why aren't you rich?"

"Funny" I said, "You're a rich man, why aren't you smart?"

Photo info: Friend of mine took this photo while we were in a tent in the middle of the desert; on an 11 day trek around Israel. After he got the photo that I wanted, I couldn't see for about 10 minutes from the brightness of the bulb. All in all, it was worth the blinding light.

Lao Tzu: Stuff I wrote in Philosophy courses during college

      Man is often found over-analyzing and searching for a meaning or truth. Most often, we look far and wide; many have perched in isolation at high altitudes and on sacred grounds. Rabbis, priests, and holy men alike bring themselves to reading bibles and Holy Scriptures. However, the answers we seek aren't in these Holy Scriptures nor atop secluded mountain ranges. A guide to living was not etched into a stone by a superior being nor was it written by an illiterate man in a cave. 

      On the contrary, most of the answers we seek are in a much simpler place. The answer we seek aren't supposed to be written and followed, but rather each situation is to be interpreted at the time of it’s relevance and we are to act accordingly. It seems that there should not be a written moral code of write and wrong, but rather man should internally know what is right and wrong at the time of a given situation.

      “The Tao that can be told of is not the eternal Tao.” If it is claimed that a written doctrine is omnipotent and should rule our peoples, then in turn, it is not that; for there can be no such doctrine. Furthermore, if an omnipotent power such as God is described, it is in turn, not God, for no such supremacy can be described.

Reading some old papers I wrote in college...
I wrote some interesting things

       A watch is found on a beach and the observe picks it up. It would be ludicrous for the discoverer to conclude that the watch was on this beach for eternity. However, a possible plausible explanation would be a watchmaker. There must be a watchmaker; it simple makes sense. This watch could not have organized itself; it is an inanimate object and lacks the intelligence to perform such an act.
       Just as a baby comes from their mother, and a theory comes from the scientists, the universe must also come from something that intelligently designs it. This is reason enough to believe such a being exists. Most educated scientists would agree that the universe is infinite and expanding to an even greater infinite. This proposal requires an infinite creator of the universe, for the fact that a finite being could not create an infinite universe.


Let me tell you a little story about my trip to Israel...

There was a very successful businessman walking along the pier in Bethsaida. Bethsaida is a small coastal town with not much else going on. The business man saw a young fisherman in a small boat sailing towards shore. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The businessman complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The local replied only a little while.

"Why don't you stay out longer and catch more fish?"

The fisherman said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs. The businessman then asked, "but what do you do with the rest of your time?" The Israeli fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, spend time with my wife, Daniella, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my friends; I have a full and busy life."

The businessman scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and I could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats; eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the processor and eventually open your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Tel Aviv where you would run your expanding enterprise."

The Israeli fisherman was intrigued and asked, "But, my friend, how long will this all take?" To which the businessman replied, "15-20 years." "But what then, after those 15 years what do I do?" The businessman laughed and said, "That's the best part! When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions. Then you would be able to do whatever you wish!"

"Whatever I wish?" the fisherman puzzled.

"Yes! You would have the means to achieve, do, anything you want! What would make you the happiest man?! What would you do if you had millions?"

"Well my friend, I don't know. I suppose I would sleep late," the fisherman said. "I would want to play with my children, enjoy their laughter. That makes me happiest. And I would spend time with my wife, because I suppose I would be quite busy during the 15 years of building that enterprise."

"Yes! You could do all this!" said the successful businessman.

"I suppose I would try and play guitar with my friends in the village, if they remembered me after those 15 years..." Then after a bit more thinking the fisherman asked, "Sir, this is what I do now. Why must I change anything?"

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Most candles burn independently, giving off light at their respective potential. But, have you ever held two candles close to each other to let their flames interact?

It's tough to say goodbye to an old friend today, but I can't help but think about some of the greatest conversations, thoughts, inventions, and life lessons we've shared.

Mike was one of those guys who, if you held his candle close to yours, would make you shine brighter, smile bigger, laugh harder - and what I treasured most, think deeper. 

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Israel in a nutshell...
Israel 2013
404 Photos - View album

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You are not your bra-size, nor are you the width of your waist. You're not the diameter of your biceps, nor the slenderness of your calves. You are not your hair color, your skin color, nor are you a shade of lipstick. Your shoe-size is of no consequence. You are not defined by the amount of attention you get from males, females or a combination thereof. You are not the number of sit-ups you can do, nor are you the number of calories in a day. You are not your mustache. You are not the hair on your legs. You are not the little red dress, nor the pair of designer jeans. You are no amalgam of these things...

You are the content of your character. You are the ambitions that drive you. You are the goals that you set. You are the things that you laugh at and the words that you say. You are the thoughts you think and the things you wonder. You are beautiful and desirable not for the clique you attend, but for the spark of life within you that compels you to make your life a full and meaningful one. You are beautiful not for the shape of the vessel, but for the volume of the soul it carries...

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The Masks We Wear.

We all wear a mask concealing our true identity; We easily turn into greatest actors and actresses in the attempt to deceive those who surround our very lives.

The mask we wear disguises much more then the face underneath it, but it hides who we truly are inside and protects our soul from being tainted and torn in shreds by the harsh judgement of others.
The smiles and laughter we display are clever devices hiding our pains and sorrows we carry within us. While the tears and heart break displayed for all to see only show the thin cracks of the mask we wear, allowing small portion of how we truly ache inside be seen from observers quietly watching for you to reveal yourself. And the choices and actions that we make are altered to be deemed adequate by our friends, family, and the strangers that seemingly enters our life. As the people get to know you, they are unknowingly are lied to, becoming friends with the illusion you created for them to see.

We continue pick from the array of masks we have, never deciding to wear nothing at all, leaving ourselves completely vulnerable. And sometimes, we wear our mask for too long, forgetting that we even had it on. One day we will look at a mirror and realize that we don’t know the person who is staring back. We will learn that the mask we have wore for so long became our true face, and the one underneath that has been to afraid to be shown to the world has become our true disguise. That it was hidden for so long that we have even forgotten the person we once truly were, and we’ll be afraid to know who we once were ourselves.

We all wear masks. I guess we just have to be brave enough to remove it one day.
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