On Human Balance

Balance is a big term these days. Who’s not for balance. What exactly then, is balance?

When it comes to balance in the makeup of the human body, the mere fact that one is able to stand on two feet may be proof enough that you have sufficient balance when it comes to negotiating the terra firma in the atmosphere of gravity. But, if you look at the general population of humans, you will notice a manifest level of architectural balance and order in the makeup of their bodies that is only a rough approximation of the design potential according the basic Anatomy and basic Physics.

Dr. Ida P. Rolf made this observation, [there is] “a single problem so prominent in their own structure, as well as others, that it has been ignored: they are off balance, they are at war with gravity.”

This proposition—that the balance in the structural architectural makeup of the body has a deep effect on health and performance—makes plain common sense. But, it is easy to move on from tacit assent and not give it any further thought. That one might want to do something about it gets passed over in the quotidian rush.

Balance is not a static end-point condition. It is a dynamic and living and evolving process. Like “health” it exists on a continuum. What passes for general health is too often merely the absence of symptoms. This may be usual; but it is most certainly not normal, however often the terms may be interchanged. The correlate to that in the domain of bodily “balance” would be the self-evident fact that one can stand on two feet. Is is minimal, but usual. Consider this question, how much of what passes for old age and decrepitude is attributable to the long term effects of living in an imbalanced body? The science may not be in on that, but we do have a full measure of common sense to draw on for the answer.

Here is a rather exotic image of balance. It is a depiction of Lord Krishna and the Nagas in Vrindiban. It is a complex and rich myth. It plays on many levels. I chose it to make the point that there are many signposts on the scale of balance. Plainly, young Krishna can surf with the best of them. Not only keeping his balance, but in command. The image also points to an inner balance that need not be commented on any further. Simply look at the serenity, it speaks for itself.

Rolfing New Jersey
Rolfer New Jersey
Structural Integration New Jersey
Rolfing Montclair, New Jersey
Rolfer Montclair, New Jersey
Structural Integration Montclair, New Jersey
To My Blue Collar Roots

Back When Dogs Could Talk
Wayne Kramer

Back in the day when dogs could talk
In the soft white belly of the beast
Dairy queen madmen chased the girls
And muscle cars ruled the streets.
Back in the day when dogs could talk
Dared to dream of something more
Not a place on the line to punch in time
Owe your soul to the company store.

Back when dogs could talk
Back when dogs could talk

In a chevy coupe we cruised and schemed
To rule the world thru rock and roll
And laughed till our sides ached at what we saw
And hoped we'd live before we got old.
Back in the day when dogs could talk
Dropped plenty acid, listened to coltrane
Pissed off our parents, angered the police
With guns and guitars both loud and profane.

J.Edgar Hoover's got his panties in a bunch
As the white panthers rise to the occasion
In black leather jackets and M-1 carbines
Reefer smoking and slogans blazing.
Not that I want to turn back the clock
Back to the day when dogs could talk
Were doing righteous work, we cannot be stopped
Back in the day when dogs could talk.

This goes out to all the people
that make their money
By the sweat of their brow
This goes out to all my blue collar workers,
All my loading dock workers,
All my carpenters, my plumbers,
My assembly line workers, my united auto workers,
Postal workers, city sanitation men,
Cab drivers, bartenders, waitresses,
All my state and federal employees,
My food service workers, gardeners,
Day laborers, tool and die workers,
Auto mechanics, child care workers,
Musicians and road crews,
Your’e the salt of the earth,
And I love you.
You are somebody.

Sarah Palin
Here she comes, here she comes. . . Again!

Shade begins to steal the light
Confusion throws another mystery
It's out of focus with eye
So now you wonder is this just a dream
Here she comes, here she comes
She's gonna cause a sensation now
And just between you and me
I think she'll soon have you temptation bound
Here she comes, here she comes
It's the moment you've been waiting for
See the face and see that smile
You've never seen the likes of her before
Suppose-who knows
She's not above suspicion
Is she-maybe
On some kind of secret mission-better listen
There's still some pieces missing
I sense-I feel
Trust my institution don't rush into your decision
Now here's a riddle in a rhyme
If she's the same how came she's different now
The same old eyes but not the shine
You know you're certain but you're full of doubt
Here she comes, here she comes
She's gonna have you at her beck and call
So why refuse, yeah why contend
When all resistance is impossible
This lady's serious make no mistake
Face to face and eye to eye
She'll cast a spell that you may never break

Confucius Say
[Some elderly neighbors on the Upper West Side of Manhattan were throwing out a large stack of Arizona Highways Magazines. I took them to read. Inside was a neatly typewritten sheet of paper with several Confucius Say jokes which are included below. A surprising and amusing surprise.]


Virginity like bubble, one prick - all gone.

Man who run in front of car get tired.

Man who run behind car get exhausted.

Man with hand in pocket feel cocky all day.

Foolish man give wife grand piano, wise man give wife upright organ.

Man who walk through airport turnstile sideways going to Bangkok.

Man with one chopstick go hungry.

Man who scratch ass should not bite fingernails.

Man who eat many prunes get good run for money.

Baseball is wrong; man with four ball can not walk.

Panties not best thing on earth, but next to best thing on earth.

War does not determine who is right, war determine who is left.

Wife who put husband in doghouse soon find him in cat house.

Man who fight with wife all day get no piece at night.

It take many nails to build crib, only one screw to fill it.

Man who drive like hell bound to get there.

Man who stand on toilet is high on pot.

Man who live in glass house should change clothes in basement.

Man who fish in other man's well often catch crabs.

Man who fart in church sit in own pew.

Crowded elevator always smell different to midget.

Dumb man climb tree to get cherry, wise man spread limbs.

Don't drink and park - accidents cause people.

State of pregnancy exist when woman takes seriously something poked in fun.

He who buries a man's wife alive, should not expect to sit at that man's dinner table without the subject coming up.

He who plays with self, pulls boner.

Baseball all wrong -- man with four balls cannot walk.

House without toilet is uncanny.

Man trapped in brothel get jerked around.

Man's wife his better half, his mistress his better whole.

Panties not best thing on earth, but next to it.

It is good for girl to meet boy in park, but better for boy to park meat in girl.

Man have more hair on chest than woman, but on whole woman have more.

Man who cut self while shaving, lose face.

Man who eats photo of father, soon spitting-image of father.

Man who lay woman on ground gets piece on earth.

Man who plays with self pulls boner.

Man who take sleeping pill and laxative on the same night will wake up in deep sh*t.

Man who pushes piano down mineshaft get tone of A flat miner.

Man who sneezes without tissue takes matters in his own hands.

Wise man never play leapfrog with unicorn.

Man who suck woman's tit make clean breast of things.

Man who walk in middle of road get run over by bus.

Wife not part of furniture, until screwed on bed.

Woman laid in tomb may soon become mummy.

Man who fall in vat of molten glass make spectacle of self.

Man who jizz in cash register come into money.

Man with tight trousers is pressing his luck.

Man who gets kicked in testicles, left holding bag.

Man who crosses the ocean twice without washing is a dirty double crosser.

Man who drive like hell, bound to get there.

Man trapped in pantry have ass in jam.

Don't sweat the petty stuff ... and don't pet the sweaty stuff.

Woman who wear jockstrap have make believe ballroom.

Woman who slides down banister makes monkey shine.

Man who scratches ass should not bite fingernails.

Man who tell one too many light bulb jokes soon burn out.

Woman who puts detergent on top shelf, jump for Joy.

Man who go to bed with sex on mind wake up with solution in hand.

Woman who fly in plane upside down has crack up.

Best Bar Mitzvah Ever!

Herman Greenbaum had suddenly come into a large sum of money when his small manufacturing company was acquired by a multi-national conglomerate. This was fortunate, as Herman's son, Izzy, had just turned 13 and it was time to plan the Bar Mitzvah.

In keeping with his new station in life, Herman calls up the fanciest catering company on Long Island and asks for their "free party planning consultation." The caterer arrives at Herman's palatial new house and begins to describe a number of possible options. With each suggestion, Herman shrugs and asks, "But can't you come up with something more unusual for my little Isadore?"

"Well," asks the caterer "is there anything in particular that your son really likes?" Herman thinks for a minute and then responds, "Well, he likes animals. We got him a cocky spaniel and he really loves to play with the dog." "Aha," says the caterer. "I think I have just the thing!" And, with the authority of a craftsman who truly knows his trade, the caterer describes his proposal:

"On the eve of the Bar Mitzvah, we will rent an entire floor at the Plaza in New York City to accommodate all of the guests. We will take them to the synagogue by limousine and then return to the Plaza for an elegant seven course formal dinner. Following the dinner, when they return to their rooms, where they will each find a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne and fresh cut flowers in a souvenir Steuben crystal vase etched with a likeness of your son and the date of the Bar Mitzvah.

"The next morning, the limousines will line up in front of the Plaza and, with an official police escort, will take everyone to JFK airport where we will have chartered two Airbus A380’s to fly the Bar Mitzvah boy and the entire Bar Mitzvah party to Israel. Each plane will be custom painted in colors and motifs of Izzy’s favorite animals.

There in the old city of Jerusalem, your rabbi will lead the boy through his Torah and Haphtarah portions. Following the ceremony, the guests will be chauffeured back to the airport where they will board the waiting Airbus’s for a champagne reception as the planes break the sound barrier in close formation.

"The planes will then land in Nairobi where the guests will be met by an entourage of elephants who will carry them on a safari through the great Serengeti preserve while three acclaimed photographers from the National Geographic snap pictures of your son and the guests with the exotic wildlife as cherished mementos of the occasion."

Herman is duly impressed and agrees that this will be a truly fine celebration for little Izzy.

Come the night before the Bar Mitzvah, everyone arrives at the Plaza. The freshly polished limousines are all lined up to take the guests to the synagogue. The dinner is more spectacular than even Herman imagined. Everyone is delighted with their accommodations. The next morning, the trip to JFK airport is led by a police escort with small Israeli flags fluttering from the back of the police motorcycles. The trip to Israel on the Airbus's is perfect. Little Izzy gets to read his Torah and Haphtarah portions with barely an error. The guests enjoy the champagne reception at the speed of sound and are delighted when they see the elephants lined up at the Nairobi airport. Off they head into the Serengeti nature preserve while a coterie of the very best National Geographic photographers snap photographs of little Izzy and the guests. Baron Ambrosia, THE Connoisseur of Culinary Consciousness, himself is directing the video production of the documentary underwritten by the History Channel.

But soon the entourage comes to a complete stop in the middle of the grasslands. The procession does not move. Ten minutes go by. Then twenty. Then an hour. The sun is hot and the guests are becoming restless. Finally, Herman grows concerned enough to instruct the handler of his elephant to have the elephant kneel down so that Herman can get off and find out what's happening. Herman walks up the line of elephants, reassuring the guests. As he nears the front of the safari, he meets the caterer who is coming in the opposite direction.

"What's going on??" asks Herman, his voice quivering with dismay.

"Now, now, Mr. Greenbaum," replies the caterer, reassuringly. "You will just have to be patient. There are two other Bar Mitzvahs ahead of us."
How To Write a Recipe

If you cook you’ve used a cook book. And, if you’ve used a lot of cook books, no doubt you are more than aware that there are many different ways to organize the presentation of recipes. It seems that every cookbook author has to come up with their own unique style. Some better than others.

The main peeve we have with a lot of cook books out there is the way they are formatted. Many are beautiful vanity pieces and make for better reading than for instructions in the kitchen in the moment when the fat is on the fire, so to speak.

For actual use in the kitchen many cookbooks are just plain difficult to follow. Have you ever had your hands full and had to scrutinize a recipe to find your place for the next step? So you know what we’re talking about.

This is a no fail, user friendly template for delivering a recipe that is easy to follow in the kitchen. A good recipe will have a story and the description/history/background at the head sets the mood and sells the recipe. Include that whenever you can. Also, give as much ancillary information as seems appropriate and/or necessary (i.e., how to serve/how to eat, accompaniments/condiments/garnishes, other menu items to coordinate with, wine/beverage pairings).

Some general rules/checklist to follow:

—Include Description/Background/History
—Include, as appropriate, photos of finished dish and the intermediate preparation steps
—Include video if available for online recipe entries.
—List serving portions/yield
—Show preparation time
—Advice on sourcing hard to find/rare/unusual ingredients
—All the ingredients are listed in bold and bulletined for visual separation (or some other separating mark).
—List the ingredients in bold in the approximate order of handling.
—Suggest alternative and additional/optional ingredients.
—The amounts are indicated alongside each ingredient, non-bold.
—The preparation for use (e.g., wash, peel, dice/slice/mince) of the item is listed with the item or just below, depending on length of instruction. The expectation is that the preparation of the ingredients is a step in itself; that prep is a set of steps prior to assembly, and the (good) cook will want to have that chore(s) completed before going to assembly.
—Where an ingredient does double duty in a recipe and has different preps (e.g., onion half-slices, onion small dice) these will be listed separately and in what amounts, as . . . a) half slice and b) minced, and so forth.
—Cooking/Assembly is placed below ingredients in italics and indented.
—Serving/eating suggestions (especially helpful with unfamiliar dishes; e.g., escargot, borlengo, ortolan bunting [search “how to eat ortolan”])
—Accompaniments/garnishes (optional)
—Menu suggestions (optional)
—Wine and beverage pairings (optional)

The recipe below is for French Onion Soup (adapted from . . . ) The headers are for structure, not necessary in actual recipe.

1. Recipe Title
Traditional Classic French Onion Soup

2. Description/Background/History
The French are a nation of traditional cooks and once they have a good recipe, they see no need to update or change it simply for the sake of change. Classic French onion soup is a great example of how a relatively basic yet perfectly balanced traditional dish has stood the test of time and is just as popular today as it ever was.

The trick to making the best French onion soup is to begin with a good broth. Beef broth, also known as beef stock, is usually used in easy recipes for French onion soup and you can make beef broth from leftover bones when you have a roast. It is also important to caramelize the onions properly when making the best onion soup recipe. You have to allow them at least half an hour of slow cooking over a high heat to bring out the natural sugars. This makes the onions extra sweet and juicy.

The following easy French onion soup uses the traditional steps and techniques for the very best results. If you have some pottery onion soup bowls or traditional French onion crocks for soup, this recipe is nice served in them. If not, you can use another kind of serving bowl.

This easy French onion soup recipe is best served in French onion soup bowls. These bowls are deep and keep every drop of the soup warm until you have finished. This rich brown colored French onion soup recipe is topped with a layer of bread and creamy Gruyere cheese for an authentic finish. There are lots of easy recipes for French onion soup and you can alter the soup ingredients or topping ingredients but this photo shows how a classic traditional French onion soup recipe should look. Perhaps you have enjoyed this delicacy before in a restaurant but it is easy to make your own French onion soup at home too.

3. Servings
(Serves 8)

4. Preparation Time
Preparation Time: 1 hour

5. Ingredients Amounts/Preparation/Assembly
6 large sweet onions thinly sliced (approximately 6-8 cups)
3 T olive oil
      —Sauté the onions in the olive oil in a big, heavy bottomed pan, over a medium high heat. Cook them for at least half an hour, until they are well browned, but not burnt.
¼ tsp. sugar (optional)
     Add the sugar about 10 minutes after you start the process to help with the caramelizing.
2 cloves minced garlic (optional)
     —Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
8 cups of beef stock
½ cup dry vermouth, dry white wine or dry sherry
1 tsp. fresh thyme (1/4 tsp. dried thyme optional)
1 bay leaf
      —Add the beef stock, wine, thyme and bay leaf.
      —Cover the pan partially and let the French onion soup simmer for half an hour, to allow the flavors to blend.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
     —Season with salt and pepper and discard the bay leaf.
8 slices French bread, toasted
1 ½ cups grated Gruyere cheese
     —Ladle the soup into ovenproof soup bowls and top each one with a piece of toasted French bread.
     —Sprinkle the gruyere cheese on top of the bread and broil for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F or until the cheese is bubbling and melted.
     —Serve immediately.

6. Serving/Accompaniments
      —Serve along with crusty baguette and a leafy green salad. Pair with white wine dry-sweet scale to preference.

7. French Onion Soup Video

"Lucky Strike Extra": How to Eat Ortolan Bunting

Me First!

You know how in grammar school you have to all line up single file whenever the class would be leaving the room? In my school we would always be vying to get to be first in line, some more strenuously than others.

You could always tell a lot about how people were made up temperamentally by how they would negotiate the daily quest to be first in line. There were the purely physical types [from later on, in high school, I’m remembering a certain sophomore who would get to daily mass first and park himself squarely and immovably on the aisle, in the first pew. I vividly see him even now hanging on for dear life as the other boys tried to get him to move over into the pew and out of his precious perch. The object of all this? Well, the fellow that sat in the first spot, in the first pew got to get to lunch first. The good Jesuits saw what was happening; and, after this went on for a while, they called pews to be the first to exit at random. Groans, all around.]Back to grammar school and the other kinds of kids. There were the opportunists who would lay back and wait for an opening. The politicians, trying to talk their way into place [what’s changed there?]. Then those who would just let the whole play unfold and take what was left after the chickens were through with their contest over top spot in the pecking order.

I do have to observe, isn’t that scene of a bunch of little brats pushing and shoving for first place more than a little like social life in the world in general? Do we live in a barnyard with a lot of other animals, like chickens scurrying feverishly to be first to gobble up the kernels farmer Jones tosses out in the morning? Are you living like the point of being alive is to get to the end of your days with the most stuff, or the most experiences, or the most sterling reputation, or the most historical impact, or… go ahead, you add something yourself. But, the real art—we are human beings, after all— is to do that and not appear to be doing it. Wrap it in the cloak of righteousness, or intellectual excellence, or patriotism, or religious zeal. Who could criticize that? Certainly not Oprah, or Donald Trump, or Sarah Palin, or Osama [has] bin Laden. I might be a little off topic; but, if the shoe fits, you’ll wear it. You are going to die, don't you know? So, unless you can afford to have your body, or your head deep frozen for some better day in the brave new future, best to ask yourself what’s it all about. Huh, Alfie?

Back to school. My grade school was Immaculate Conception in the once Poletown section of Detroit, Michigan. The good folks over at General Motors Corporation razed that whole entire neighborhood of social stability and cohesion so they could put up a Cadillac factory to further their quest for first in the automotive world. The good Dominican Sister in charge of one of my early year classes saw the madness we would descend into every time a line needed to be formed. So, one day she imparted this lesson: “Now children, you know that our dear, blessed, sweet suffering Lord Jesus said that ‘the last shall be first’ [to the everlasting kingdom of heaven, specifically]. I want you to ponder that when we form a line the next time.” So we did. We really did. Really took it to heart.

Next time we were directed to get in line, no one could be seen fighting for first in line. No, the fight was for last in line. Same as it ever was.

Confucius, that great expounder of the verities of human existence, once intoned this precious wisdom, “He who break wind in church, must sit in own pew.”

The Blue Chair

He lived alone for years after his dearest darling wife had passed away. Then one day, he went too, just short of 100 years.

Everything was sold away. Except for an old blue chair.

The chair was there when a young man brought his new bride home. A wedding gift, made for them by his father.

Often in their early days it was their love nest, and he would hug and kiss her while she nestled softly in his arms. It supported him as he waited eager and nervous for the news of the birth of his son; and, then again, his baby girl. So many times he would sit there helping to prepare the dinner vegetables. His specialty was string beans; laying a sheet or two of an old newspaper on the table to catch the trimmings.

It gave a trusty lift for reaching burned out light bulbs. He told stories there with the grand children sitting at his feet. He even stood on it once and conducted an orchestra as a concert blared on the radio. It served for a fair share of spankings to naughty children. So many times he sat there at the kitchen table mourning the loss of his dear bride.

The blue chair was there for it all, a witness to a rich life of times and people. Now, after all that, it was standing abandoned at the curb waiting for the trash pick-up.

One morning as I walked by, it spoke to me. It promised a wonderful story of times and people.

The chair had lost none of its gracefulness, even for the chips and the worn paint. The color too, had lost none of its beauty. I took it home. It’s an old chair and fragile, so I sit on it reverently.

It was true to its promise. As I sit there a story is unfolding. Not of detail and color and shape, from other times and people. But my own life. Sitting there, simply present with me, silent support as my own memories loose their fascination and concern.

Always in its long life a friend, and now to me.

Shifting Fan page
If you find your image on this page, rest assured it is only a temporary condition. From time to time someone else will hold the place of honor. Just for fun. So don't get all out of joint thinking you are being singled out. But, if the shoe fits, you can wear it. And while you're wearing it, dance to some old school rock.

Shifting Fan Page Alternate
If you find your image on this page, rest assured it is only a temporary condition. From time to time someone else will hold the place of honor. Just for fun. So don't get all out of joint thinking you are being singled out. But, if the shoe fits, you can wear it. And while you're wearing it, dance to some old school rock.