Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Crash Jewelry

Now here's something cool -- jewelry made from luxury cars that were damaged in minor accidents where nobody got hurt. And the jewelry, made for both men and women, looks good!

Christi Schimpke was working with metal as a jewelry designer when she moved her studio into her husband’s luxury-car body shop. Bemoaning the high price of metal needed for her art, Christi realized she could use scrap-metal from crashed cars as raw material for bracelets, arm cuffs, earrings, etc. Plus, the metals retain their original colors (e.g., Ferrari red) so they emanate the aura of these fancy automobiles. Cars used in Christi's jewelry include Ferrari, McLaren, Rolls Royce and Tesla. She's even made some things with crashed Harleys.

Go visit and take a look. And remember me at Christmas. :)

Friday, April 2, 2021

Spring Arrival

I like places when they're empty. I'll brave cold for solitude.

Old Westbury Gardens opened yesterday. Normally crowded in Summer, it was pleasantly deserted today. Of course flowers haven't bloomed yet but its many sculptures flashed eternal smiles. 

Best of all, I picked out a door for my future playhouse. :)

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

April Fool's Day

Tomorrow is April 1st and you know what that means -- time for an April Fool's joke!

I came up with one for this year. Robin is a big fan of "The Godfather," having seen it a hundred times. She's also fastidious about making her bed. Combine the two and... voila.

After she makes the bed in the morning, I'll sneak in and stick a (fake) severed horse-head under the sheet. She'll see a bump and wonder what it is. She'll pull back the sheet... boom!

I made the horse-head from an old stuffed animal picked up at a thrift-store. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Old Age

I never imagined being old. I still don't. But when certain realities hit, you can't deny them.

Here's an instructive fact. 75% of people believe they'll keep working after the age of 65 -- but the number who actually do is dramatically less, only 15%. That means our common expectations about old age are wildly off. Experiencing life in my sixties, I now see why.

We assume, inaccurately, that our physical and mental health will remain the same. It doesn't. Natural deterioration occurs. Even if you work at maintaining your health, you still encounter loss of strength, endurance and desire. And those are the lucky ones who avoid serious illness or injury.

Plus, weird things happen to your body. Functions stop functioning, hair grows in places never seen before and your sleep patterns change. The joke about old people eating dinner at 4 in the afternoon is based in truth. 

I was always a night owl but recently my body wakes up earlier and falls asleep earlier (sometimes right after dinner). Often I awaken in the middle of the night when there's nothing to do except browse the web with half-shut eyes. You eventually realize that you aren't in control of your body any more; it is driving the car. You're just a passenger hoping it doesn't hit something.

With these changes, enthusiasm and even ability to continue working weakens. Sure if you had the same energy you could keep working forever but honestly, you don't. Your energy flags, which diminishes the desire to push yourself. Retiring from work is the choice 85% of us make by age 65.

Nobody tells you this stuff. Or maybe they do and you simply don't listen. Time catches up to all of us whether we're ready for change or not.

Have you felt changes from aging?

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Made For Love

Three years ago I read and reviewed a good novel: "Made For Love," by Alissa Nutting. The book presents a funny story about our time. Its main character, whose father is in love with a sex robot, flees her bad marriage to a tech billionaire. At the time Nutting wrote the book she was a Midwest college professor.

A year later, Nutting and her husband moved to Los Angeles to turn the story into a television show. The show was picked up by HBO Max as a 10-episode series and starts next week. It will star Ray Romano, as the father with the robot, and Cristin Milioti whom you'll recognize from dozens of shows like "How I Met Your Mother." (Milioti grew up in Cherry Hill, NJ which is where my wife Robin is from.)

What this tells me is that dreams can still come true. One day you can be an under-paid teacher toiling in obscurity and the next a powerful entertainment executive rubbing shoulders with pretty actors in Hollywood.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Long Hair

I met an old friend for lunch today. I've known Jason for two decades; we were introduced through our mutual friend Geoff who's sadly now deceased.

I got to the restaurant first (Smok-Haus). Jason walked up to me... and kept walking. I called to him and he turned around. I asked him about passing by: he explained he didn't recognize me. He'd thought to himself, "that guy can't be Ralph; his hair is too long."

Do YOU recognize me?

P.S., The sunglasses are from 100% They're light, stylish and feel wonderful.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Pink Robe Travels

A few years ago I created a fun project. After posing on my blog with pink boxing gloves (to symbolize female strength) I offered to loan the gloves to friends for their own photos. And they accepted! Almost a dozen friends participated as we mailed the gloves around the world. It was a wonderful project that spanned over a year.

In January I did another amusing post with a bright pink feather robe (shown above). I channeled my inner Zsa Zsa Gabor to create an image of Hollywood glamour. (For those of you too young to know who Zsa Zsa is, click here.)

Later that month I offered the robe to others. Two close friends immediately accepted the challenge put their own spin on the robe. Instead of going glamour, they tried artistic (Megan) and dramatic (Sheila). 

It's fun to see what people come up with when their creativity is unleashed. A playful catalyst like this robe stimulates our imagination. What would you do with it? 

Megan, my dear friend in Tennessee, went artistic. Returning to a scene from her childhood (Dragon Park) Megan posed in front of a huge sea serpent. Long known as a badass, Megan brings feisty attitude to the robe. I love the many bright colors in her presentation.

My Canadian friend Sheila moved toward drama with the challenge, Visiting Craigdarroch Castle with her mom, Sheila coaxed her mother -- who trained as a dancer -- to don the robe for poses worthy of Dame Judi Dench. Sheila posted the pictures on her blog.

It's not too late for you to join the fun! Have an idea on how to use the robe? Just e-mail me and I'll ship it to you ( 

Let's keep this party going!