How to See, Capture and Share Beauty

encounters

How to See, Capture and Share Beauty 

Today, on Friday 13th, I turned 70 years young. Last week I wrote about my plans to celebrate this event with 700 friends, who would order my book, “42 Encounters in San Francisco.” You still have time to join the others who already have.

Last Friday I woke up before 6 am. The storm was expected to start the next day, and I decided to take a walk to the top of Mt. Davidson knowing that the sunrise might be special. It was still dark while I walked up there, and when I got to the top, the sky started to lighten up. I’ve been here many times and know that it takes about twenty minutes before the sunrise brings the light into our world. It is the highest point in San Francisco, reaching an elevation of 928 ft. The wait paid off in spite of the cold wind and frozen hands. When the sun came out, the sky started to fill up with bright colors, which changed by the minute. The beauty was intense, and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to be there and to capture it with my camera.

It is Margaret Wolfe Hungerford who wrote in her book “Molly Bawn” (1878), “It’s true that beauty is in the eye of beholder.”

The well-known naturalist and environmental philosopher John Muir pointed out, “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread.”

Years ago, we drove through New England in the Fall. Seeing incredible foliage I asked myself, “Why does this beauty exist?” Humans are the only ones who can really see and appreciate it. Now when I always carry my camera with me, not only can I capture, but I can also share my experiences with others.

My vision in producing “42 Encounters” goes further than just sharing my images and stories with you. As I wrote in the conclusion of “42 Encounters in San Francisco”, “I plan to use all of the proceeds from the sale of these books to create a fund that we will use to help young people and their parents learn how to see the beauty of our world through the lens of a camera (or a smartphone).”

I expect to do it with your help and I promise that you will become better photographers as a result.

Enjoy and Share on social media.

P.S. My offer to you to join me to take a journey to the highest point in San Francisco is open (as long as there is no storm). You just need to get up early and have a warm jacket (a camera is optional, but recommended). These four images show you the reason why.

Do Not Keep Me As A Secret!
Smile And Please SHARE It With A Friend!

Cheers,

Manny<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Signature

How to Make a Memorable 70th Birthday

encounters

How to Make a Memorable
70th Birthday

I believe that this going to be a special year for many reasons. One of them will take place in seven days from today. On Friday, January 13th, 2017 I am going to turn seventy years young. These types of events are often celebrated by throwing a big party, spending thousands of dollars for food and drinks, but then there is very little memory about it soon after. Instead, I decided to make this remarkable event memorable with seven hundred of my friends, who during the next seven days are going to go to Amazon.com and order my photo-book, “42 Encounters in San Francisco”.

You may have noticed that the number seven was repeated four times in my narrative – 7 days, 17 (as in 2017), 70 (my age) and 700 (the number of books to be purchased).

In the Bible, the number seven is the foundation of God’s word and was used 753 times. In the story of the Torah, the world was created in seven days, with seven days in the week, and God’s Sabbath is on the 7th day. In the book of Hebrews, written by Apostle Paul, there are seven titles that refer to Christ.

Since I am mentioning numbers, the number thirteen is sometimes connected with a particular day of the week – Friday the 13th. In Western superstition, it is considered to be unlucky day. There are various sources for these beliefs (you can find them online). But as far as I’m concerned, it is a very lucky day. First of all, I was born on the 13th, and the second reason is you – my readers, clients and friends, who will join me on this date to make my birthday memorable by giving yourself and your friends a present – my “42 Encounters in San Francisco” book.

If you already got this book, would you be willing to share on social media why your friends should join you in celebrating my birthday? If you haven’t bought it yet, just go to Amazon.com and read the reviews.

I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed looking through your latest book “42 Encounters” over the holidays. I have lived in San Francisco almost 30 years and your pictures around the city took me back to many pleasant memories.  Tying in the histories of different locales along with the rich citizenry of our fair city made this book a delightful romp.  I look forward to the next variation, as I’m sure it will make me smile all over again.

I guarantee you will enjoy this book as well as a special celebration of my birthday.

Enjoy and please share on social media.

P.S. These four images are from the sequel book “42 Encounters with Couples in San Francisco”. I’ve just forwarded all forty-two images and the text to my talented graphic artist Darren Young, who will make it into another beautiful book, which I will be able to finish with your help.

Do Not Keep Me As A Secret!
Smile And Please SHARE It With A Friend!

Cheers,

Manny<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Signature

What Is the Difference Between Hope and Desire?

encounters

What Is the Difference
Between Hope and Desire?

We’re approaching the end of the old and the beginning of the New Year, which will happen the second the clock strikes midnight, on Saturday. Are you ready for the change? Have you spent hours or even days preparing for this happening? Have you made a long list of all the goals and desires, which you hope will happen in the New Year? According to the dictionary, “Hope is a feeling and desire for a certain thing to happen.”

In an article in The Wall Street Journal last week titled, “Michelle’s Trump Despair”, Daniel Henninger writes, “Every politician since ancient Athens has run on hope to win office and power. In 2008, Barack Obama’s “Hope and Change” was a brilliant slogan for his historic campaign.”

For me hope is just a word without power, unless there is an action plan to fulfill one’s desires. Some people call desires – goals. Many motivational seminars, or self-development books teach that to get results, we have to set realistic and attainable goals. But for the majority of us, Donald Trump’s goal of being elected President of the most powerful country in the world was neither realistic nor attainable. After all, there were others who had similar desires and hopes. If all of those very capable people could not fulfill their hopes, then what is the chance for us to succeed? Does this mean that the lists of our goals and desires that we’ve worked so hard to put together just waste of time? I don’t know about you, but I’ve made my list. In my list last year I wrote that I would produce two “42 Encounters in San Francisco” books. As you might know, the first book is out, and you can read the incredibly complimentary reviews on Amazon.com, and buy your copy. My second book “42 Encounters with Couples in San Francisco” is ready to be printed. But I need your help to make it happen. I promised my wife Elfa that I will only place the order for the next book when 700 books will be sold, so that I will have the necessary funds to print the sequel.

My desire for the next year is to complete two more books. What are your desires? Have you written them down?

As a bonus to my story, I will share with you my secret to getting things done; which I’ve practiced over many years. Are you ready?

Forget about having hope. Have dreams and desires and then put everything you’ve got in you to fulfill them. Be flexible and constantly learn through your mistakes, as well as your victories.

I recently shared my business dreams and desires for the next year with a friend. Hearing my goals, he pointed out that I’m limiting myself. To reach big goals, he suggested that I think big and expand my desires.

Make it a Prosperous and Great 2017! Enjoy and Share with a friend on Social Media.

P.S. To celebrate the Holidays, we drove to Los Angeles to be with our daughter, Tamar and our son (her husband), David. There I had time to write down my desires for the next five years. I also had some time on our drive back to take some images to share with you.

Do Not Keep Me As A Secret!
Smile And Please SHARE It With A Friend!

Cheers,

Manny<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Signature

What Christmas & Hanukkah Have In Common

encounters

What Christmas & Hanukkah
Have In Common

Christmas and Hanukkah were celebrated at the same time only four times, in the last one hundred years. The last time, was in 1959, when Hanukkah fell on December 25th, Christmas Day. The reason for this phenomenon is that they share different calendars. While the Jewish calendar counts the days that follow the lunar cycle, most of the rest of the world follows the Gregorian calendar, which was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in October 1582.

The reasons and history behind Jesus Christ’s birthday falling on December 25th, which is why Christmas is celebrated on that day, is full of mystery, since no one knows when he was actually born. His date of birth is not mentioned anywhere in The New Testament. His baptism as an adult was first mentioned at around 65 C.E. in the Evangelist gospel of St. Mark. Since then, there have been other speculations, but choosing the date December 25th has a different basis. During the time of Ancient Rome, the Pagans there celebrated the holiday Saturnalia, between December 1725. In the fourth century C.E., Christianity imported the Saturnalia festival hoping to take the Pagan masses in with it. Since there was nothing Christian about Saturnalia, the leaders of the church proclaimed December 25th to be Jesus’ birthday.

I found this legendary information online, as well as other legends about the reasons Jews celebrate Hanukkah, which commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 167 B.C.E. According to the tradition, Jews had risen up against the Greek Syrian oppressors led by the Maccabean brothers. It is called the Festival of Light because of a miracle that took place. After entering the Temple, Jews discovered that the oil needed to light the Menorah was damaged and only one vessel survived. It was supposed to last for one day, and instead it lasted eight days. As a result, there is a tradition to light a special candelabra called a Hanukiah, which nowadays appears in various forms, as long as there are eight light holders, plus one more, called the shamash. Candles replaced oil in the majority of them. The ninth candle, the shamash is the server to light the rest of the candles; one light a day, adding one more every day until all nine are lit on the last day. With both Christmas and Hanukkah there is a lot of light. In the center of San Francisco in Union Square a huge Christmas tree stands next to big Hanukiah. And yes, there something else they both have in common – presents, a lot of them. For some of you one of them could be my photo story book “42 Encounters in San Francisco”. Some of my readers have bought twenty books to give as gifts to their friends and relatives. The good thing about the book is that it can be a gift for other celebrations as well, and this is what all the holidays have in common. To find out what makes this book special, just go to Amazon.com and read the reviews and then order one (or a few), as long as supply lasts.

Enjoy and Share on Facebook.

P.S. There are a number of reasons why holidays, which bring light into the darkness, take place in the winter. One of them is so that I can take photos and to share them with you.

P.P.S.

My daughter Tamar, who edits my stories, suggested the following:

“If you would like to share this with your readers, there’s a great song from The Stephen Colbert Christmas Special, which aired in 2008, called Can I Interest You in Hannukah.

Do Not Keep Me As A Secret!
Smile And Please SHARE It With A Friend!

Cheers,

Manny<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Signature

From Solitary Confinement in Prison to UC Berkeley.

encounters

From Solitary Confinement in Prison
to UC Berkeley.

“The qualities that get people into prison may not be so different from the ones that get them into college.” Those are the words of Danny Murillo, who spent much of his life in prison, including many years in solitary confinement. I found out about him while reading an article in The New Yorker, “Out and Up” by Larissa MacFarquhar.

Murillo was born in the United States in 1979. Both of his parents came from Mexico. At fifteen, he was selling crack cocaine. Soon after he was arrested for kidnapping, carjacking and robbing a drug dealer. He was tried as an adult and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. As a validated gang member, he was put in solitary confinement, where he spent five years from 2005 to 2010. To help rehabilitate inmates in solitary confinement, and to not lose their minds, jail authorities put a box filled with books in the cell. After reading mostly fiction books, he had a conversation with an inmate in another cell, who encouraged him to read other, more substantive books. Though he never finished high school, reading help him discover a world he never knew existed. After reading “The 48 Laws of Power”, he thought, “Yo, I’m gonna be a fxxxing smart-ass criminal. When I go home, I’m gonna set up this drug empire and I’m gonna fxxxing make bank.””. But then, he read about Zen Buddhism, which made him feel that he didn’t need money anymore. After reading more, he decided that he wanted to get out of prison and to stay out. To get credentials, he started to take courses by mail. Another inmate there agreed to tutor him with math. They worked for two hours after dinner nearly every day for nine months, while yelling back and forth to each other from their cells. After Murillo was released from prison, he enrolled in Cerritos College. Now, he is a student at UC Berkeley.

There he met another fellow who had a similar background. Together they decided to create the “Underground Scholars Initiative”, an organization, which helps people like themselves, who are still in the prison systems or released, to become educated members of society, and never go back.

Our brain is very powerful and flexible at the same time. You might have heard of the expression “GIGO” – garbage in, garbage out. I am changing this expression into different “GIGO” – good in, good out. Regardless where you want to be in life, it requires effort. You just have to make a decision. Reading books might help (especially if it is “42 Encounters in San Francisco”)

A while back, I made a decision to put together a photo-story book to help bring a smile to your face. This was quite an effort on my side. Your share is much easier. Just go on Amazon.com, type “42 Encounters in San Francisco” or my name and voilà, a few days later you will have it at your door. If you haven’t made up your mind, and still need presents for the holiday, please READ the reviews of some of my readers.

William Miller
“This little gem was a pleasure to read. I enjoyed the excellent photos of San Francisco accompanied with thoughtful commentary interspersed with pearls of wisdom. This would make a great Holiday gift for family and friends.”

Vivian Holley
“There is something in this little gem for everyone. It is whimsical yet serious, beautiful yet it’s our city – everyday. It is eye opening and most of all, Enjoyable!”

Enjoy and Share with a friend on Facebook.

P.S. I decided to share with four images that for various reasons did not end up in this book.

Do Not Keep Me As A Secret!
Smile And Please SHARE It With A Friend!

Cheers,

Manny<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Signature