Josh: The Podcast, Episode 75: Gratitude, racism and free bananas

We talk about hurricane recovery, racism in sports and where to get some free bananas in Savannah.

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Hurricane Irma
Savannah JEA
Racist banner at Fenway Park

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What gratitude actually looks like

Every time you hear about someone's peaceful journey to success, you're going to hear about gratitude.

You'll hear about waking up every day and being grateful for what you have. About a gratitude practice.

I'm not here to poo-poo that. I think it's important. I write about it once in a while.

You didn't get to where you are by yourself. The good things in your life, the bad things in your life, they all led you to today, and you had help the whole way.

If you're reading this, you're on the right side of the pavement. On top of the grass. Not among the dead. There's a thing to be grateful for. Also, you have Internet access, or a friend good enough to print this out for you. And you can read (or you have a screen reader, which means you can hear).

You're doing OK for yourself. That's all I'm saying. You may have some unhappy stuff going on in your life but hey, it's all a matter of perspective.

For as much as you say thank you to the universe, how often do you say thank you in real life? I've been fortunate enough to say thank you plenty, and to have people say thank you, even unexpectedly.

Here's a public thank you fest that happened recently; I'm going to assume it's among strangers, though I suppose I don't have any reason to believe Kotler and Sukel don't know each other:

So say thank you to people for the things you're thankful for. It's definitely a thing worth doing. And clearly people appreciate it. You can't beat that for value for your dollar (or effort).

Listen to "Episode 24: Let's Talk Gratitude" on Spreaker.

Gratitude, and another year

I turn 40 on Sunday (that's tomorrow, if you're keeping track).

I knew I wasn't going to do a "40 things I've learned in 40 years" post. That seems awfully arrogant. I started on a "40 things I've learned in my 40th year" post, figuring I'd point out that there's so much to learn. That still felt a little too BuzzFeedy.

Not that I have anything against BuzzFeed. Y'all seem like a great group of folks. And I know you have a serious news division, too, but too little, too late, I'm afraid. Just I can't even take your serious news seriously because you're making most of your money from listicles. Which are not as good as popsicles. Except the ones with pictures of dogs. And sometimes cats. Maybe if we're talking green popsicles.

I seem to have gone somewhere different. Sigh.

Anyway, I'm 40. I have nothing figured out. I have some advice if you want it. I have some insight if you want it. Mostly that's just from living through some stuff. Don't eat a pile of refried beans before you get on a fast-moving carnival ride. If you're going to be home later than you thought, call your mother or your wife or whomever needs to know. Use the Oxford comma sparingly, if at all.

These tips probably aren't going to change your life. Like I said, I don't have anything figured out. I've learned some stuff. I've learned a lot of it in just the past year. I'm pretty sure I'm always going to be learning stuff.

I can tell you, though, that I'm grateful to have made it this far, for the life I have and the people I get to share it with.

And thank you for being here. I appreciate it. Have a great week.


Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s a fun gratitude project

Normally, I'm not big on the Facebook birthday wall thing. I don't usually write on others' walls for their birthdays, and usually at the end of mine I just post a "thanks for all the well-wishes."

This year, I decided to say thank you to everyone who posted on my wall. Sixty-eight people wrote "happy birthday" on my wall, and I wrote some variation on "thank you" 68 times.

I don't know if Facebook makes that post public, but if they do, here it is.

Last time I took a typing test, I came in at 90 words per minute. "Thank you" 68 times is 136 words. You know how long 136 words takes to type at 90 words per minute? Under two minutes. It didn't take any time, and "thank you" means a lot.

Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your families, or your work, or your volunteering, but always remember to say thank you 🙂

Josh: The Podcast, Episode 72: Family eclipses politics (with or without the commas)

A brief, brief show about family and the eclipse, and maybe a little about Afghanistan.

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JKWD: Family
Trump's Afghanistan speech

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Lessons from Everlast and Joe Rogan, with some Teddy Roosevelt tossed in

Two drunk/stoned friends after a podcast. @ogeverlast

A post shared by Joe Rogan (@joerogan) on

Everlast was back on Joe Rogan's podcast recently. It was another one of those podcasts that I expected to enjoy but instead learned a lot (see my notes from Bert Kreischer talking to Robert Kelly).

Everlast is a musician and rapper; if you're my age, you know him from House of Pain. Need a reminder? Have an earworm. He's been dead on the operating table twice. He has an artificial heart valve. He has a daughter with cystic fibrosis. He recently watched his mother slide downhill with Alzheimer's and then pass away.

Fame doesn't make you immune to the problems of the rest of us, is what I'm saying.

The followng video appears during the podcast. It's a better 2-minute clip to start things. The full podcast is at the bottom of the post.

There's some drunk babble. It kind of runs off the rails at the end. But there's a lot in here. You don't need to listen, but if these snippets move you, maybe at least hit play on that video at the bottom and give them a play.

• Be open to learning something new
• Culture is like an operating system; we gain perspective by loading new operating systems (visiting different cultures)
• Half-truths are turning people against each other
• Americans right now are part of the biggest reality TV show ever
• If you want to be a leader, you must let go of ego
• Sometimes you have to call out the bullshit
• It's easy to pick a team and then fight for it. It's more difficult — but more important — to find common ground
• Think for yourself
• Take a step back
• Be compassionate. Sometimes people need to feel whatever it is they're feeling
• There are injustices in the world
• Anger doesn't serve you
• Sometimes there's a glitch in the matrix and you just have to deal with it
• Your life is normal
• Some people fight battles you'll never see
• "Compassion is the thief of joy" —Theodore Roosevelt
• Get joy out of what you do
• Show gratitude to those who helped you become who you are
• Invite inspiration in
• We need community
• Be happy when others are successful
• Find people to push you to be better
• Respect those who paved the path for you to be able to do what you do
• Don't become old and bitter
• Let people enjoy what they enjoy
• Let art evolve
• The way we've always done things is not a good reason to keep doing them that way
• Whatever you do, do it your way
• Get out of your own way
• Manage your attention the way you have to manage oxygen on a spaceship
• If it's not relevant to your life, it's taking up too much room
• Don't focus on things that rob you of energy and time

Here's the full podcast:

Josh: The Podcast, Episode 33: Happy Thanksgiving

For the record, there has never been a Thanksgiving dinner plate at my house that was this neat and organized. If you're the kind of person who makes a neat, organized plate at dinner, you should maybe decline an invitation to Thanksgiving with my family. Not because we're not lovely people, but because your need for organization will be flailed and you'll probably starve.

Really short episode from the parking lot of the Creators' Foundry today, just to say thanks, remind you to shop local and to not just feel gratitude, but show it as well.

Creators' Foundry / Creative Coast
1 Million Cups
Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse
Cowboy's comment to my Facebook post
JKWD episode on gratitude
Buy Local Savannah

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Josh: The Podcast, Episode 27: Hurricanes Blow


No ads or politics, just gratitude for weathering Hurricane Matthew well.

City of Savannah Facebook
Tybee Island Facebook
Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Twitter
Chatham Emergency Management Twitter
Ben's Grill & Tap
Nick from Ben's on Brew / Drink / Run
Green Truck Pub

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Hey there! It's February, 2018, and we're rebranding the podcast. The first episode of the Better Humanhood podcast is coming soon! You won't have to do anything! The episodes will come in the old Josh: The Podcast feed.

All the Josh: The Podcast episodes are archived below so you can catch up, or listen again to your favorites. Go here for the JKWD podcast.

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Better Humanhood Podcast Episodes:
Episode 1: Being a mensch
Episode 0: Statement of Purpose

Josh: The Podcast Episodes:
Episode 79: Hiatus; see you in April!
Episode 78: Vegas shooing, self-love and racquetball
Episode 77: More oomph in your day, more love in your week
Episode 76: Culture vs. politics, and a new year refresh
Episode 75: Gratitude, racism and free bananas
Episode 74: Of hurricanes and immigrants
Episode 73: Show some love today
Episode 72: Family eclipses politics (with or without the commas)
Episode 71: Your racist friend. Plus: team people
Episode 70: Immortality, nukes and Trump chicken
Episode 69: The Mooch, the muse and showing up
Episode 68: Health care! Creativity! Routines!
Episode 67: Frogs, health care and Dudesons
Episode 66: What we're reading
Episode 65: And we're still talking about intellectualism and discourse (sigh)
Episode 64: Health care, jury duty and the American Prohibition Museum
Episode 63: Find that one thing — a conversation with Jeffrey Sass
Episode 62: On compassion and love
Episode 61: Balance and being in the world
Episode 60: Kaua'i oddities, plus love > fear + anger
Episode 59: No one gets out of this life alive
Episode 58: Hiroo Onoda and the art of purpose
Episode 57: On a chair in the sky
Episode 56: 100 days and "Iko"
Episode 55: Shortcuts
Episode 54: Mistakes, bad guys and Bill O'Reilly; plus, March for Science
Episode 53: Thanks for a year; plus baseball, health care and the flu; Passover and the Luv Guv
Episode 52: Talkin' Baseball
Episode 51: Language, AHCA and no apologies
Episode 50: Telling stories
Episode 49: St. Patrick's Day in Savannah
Episode 48: There is not a finite amount of awesome in the world
Episode 47: Our crazy brains
Episode 46: The repressive/regressive left, Milo, art and superheroes
Episode 45: Chillin
Episode 44: Presence
Episode 43: Participate
Episode 42: Now we know
Episode 41: Stay Vigilant
Episode 40: Black helicopters
Episode 39: Ethics, facts, nuance and where we need to get
BONUS episode! Getting silly with Jenny Shear and Kelvin Ringold
Episode 38: Chris Malone returns
Episode 37: Alison Donaghy
Episode 36: Ash Said It!
Episode 35: Maximiliano Campos
Episode 34: Time keeps on tickin'
Episode 33: Happy Thanksgiving
Episode 32: A Bill of Rights problem. Plus: Creativity, fear and hard work
Episode 31: Parsing the election
Episode 30: Running, voting and rambling
Episode 29: Empathy
Episode 28: Peaceful transfer
Episode 27: Hurricanes Blow
Episode 26: Debate talk (sigh) and Hurricanes
Episode 25: Dan Lovell (Part 3 of 3)
Episode 24: Dan Lovell (Part 2 of 3)
Episode 23: Dan Lovell (Part 1 of 3)
Episode 22: Chris Malone
Episode 21: Back in the 912! With beer!
Episode 20: 2016 goals check-in
Episode 19: Time out
Episode 18: A monologue about dialogue
Episode 17: Nothing is irreversible (well, almost)
Episode 16: A Viable Third Party By 2020?
Episode 15: #FreeMilo, flag-burning, the RNC, intellectual property and more
Episode 14: Here come the conventions!
Episode 13: Declaring Independence
Episode 12: Hello, Birmingham. Plus: Kids shooting kids (again)
Episode 11: Halfway to
Episode 10: Get on team people, and maybe pontificate less
Episode 9: Setting the agenda, plus a new podcast
Episode 8: Books, the media do their job and how you can help the show
Episode 7: Gun Control and Summer Beers
Episode 6: American Cockroach Awareness Week
Episode 5: Kelvin Ringold stops by
Episode 4: On running, neighborhood improvement and Trump's army of bullies
Episode 3: On revolution and creating
Episode 2: Of Earthquakes and Gardens
Episode 1: Impossible
Episode 0: Introductions

On Christmas, thoughts on religion and political correctness

Hey, if you're celebrating today, happy Christmas.

I'm not celebrating. As a Jew, I've been not celebrating Christmas for 38 years now.

It's not that I hate Christmas (though, I'll be honest, a bunch of the stuff that it'd be nice to have in the house is waiting until next week because I do hate the mess retail outlets are for the couple of weeks leading up to Christmas), it's that Christmas isn't an everybody thing.

It's not a war against Christmas, any more than your insistence on wishing me a merry Christmas is a war on me more here). I intend to have a very nice December 25, actually. It involved waking up early, having some coffee and some eggs, kissing my wife as she headed off to work, getting this blog post up and then getting to work myself.

I suspect it will be a fairly quiet day at work, beginning with photos from Mass at the Vatican, then parades, then a Knicks game, and about half time in the Cavs game I'll be done and heading off in search of some Chinese food.

Maybe this is a time to talk about the war on Christmas. You know, because a movement toward political correctness is a direct exclusion of Christians. No, it's not, really. It's meant to be inclusive of everyone. I suppose a proper greeting might be, "Merry Christmas, happy Chanukah, happy Kwanzaa, happy New Year and enjoy whatever else you might celebrate this season." It's a little cumbersome, though. I don't see it catching on.

You may have seen this one floating around Facebook:

That's not bad, unless you're among those who think it's just a group of Christians trying to get everybody to just go back to "merry Christmas" and be happy about it.

I don't care. I'm probably not going to wish you a merry Christmas unless I know you celebrate it. Otherwise, just deal with my, "have a great day," because that flow chart includes tolerance — gratitude, even — for that, too.

Maybe it's a good time to talk religion, too.

The BBC asks if religion might disappear someday. More people, after all, are stepping up to admit they're atheists, and to state they don't need a deity to be able to live a moral life. Some people call this Secular Humanism.

I believe those folks who can live a moral life without a God figure looking over them. Me, I'm a primitive monkey. I need to believe there's something bigger than me out there. Not to fear, not to blame, but just to say, hey, thanks, I'm doing all right down here, and I'll get better.

On the one side of it, there's Kevin Smith's film "Dogma." The assertion is that God gets a little miffed that everyone's just out there speculating and killing each other. Enter Sam Harris, who basically says, "Not all religions are equal, and some of y'all really need to cut the shit." Those are my words, by the way, not his. Go read him and listen to his stuff. He's a really smart dude, don't let my watering his ideas down steer you away.

I think we're getting into rambling territory here, so I'll leave you with some Nat King Cole and a fire to warm your day. Happy Christmas, if you're celebrating.