Anyone who disagrees with Mr. Trump is now the enemy. We are conspiring against him. We are trying to take control of the media. We are trying to take control of the banks. He will resort to legal means to halt our First Amendment rights to freedom of the press. He says that we will do whatever is necessary to enrich our global financial power. Mr. Trump has now taken Hitler’s playbook word for word.

I heard a Trump supporter on the news today. He said: “So what if Trump groped some women. Doesn’t this country have more important problems to deal with?” 

No, we don’t.

Mr. Trump represents the resurgence of the 1930’s right here in our midst. HE is our biggest problem. He can thinly veil his racist nationalism all he wants. But this is National Socialist propaganda in 21st-century garb. He is no longer even being creative. He simply translates from the German. 

Since his supporters seem to think Mr. Trump is the Messiah perhaps he can bring Leni Riefenstahl back from the dead for a few last minute campaign ads.

I know it’s hard to believe but I agree with Donald Trump.

If someone takes daddy’s money and, with it, becomes an incompetent investor who ruins his businesses and the lives of the little people who work for him by making bad, poorly timed, real estate and aviation investment decisions then that person has the fiduciary responsibility to use every legal means available to protect his investors.

The little people are expendable because they are not major investors. And, if one is one’s own biggest investor then one should remind the little people that they should celebrate because they did not have their money tied up in bad involvements.

Everyone wins! Papa Trump would be proud of the destruction.

<This message was brought to you by the Center for Cynical Snark with funding from the Foundation for Weight Shaming Promotion, the Defense of Unethical Bankruptcy Fund, and you our members>

L’Shanah Tovah (Now… off to repent… Join me Donald, won’t you?)



The Pays de Caux is an area encompassing much of the Seine Maritime in Haute-Normandie in Northern France. It is a part of France that I have not visited but, if this desert is an indication of its beauty then, it must be amazing. The Tarte Cauchoise is one of the traditional tartes of this region, thus its name.

I’ve looked for a good recipe for a long time. Finally I have one courtesy of the family who owns and runs the Saint Honore Boulangerie in Portland. Because I’m a total amateur mine looks nowhere near as gorgeous and the one I was taught to make. Further, since the recipe comes from the family bakery in Normandy and I don’t know if I have permission to share it I won’t give you the exact proportions. But I will tell you the basics and show you the photos of my first, delicious if imperfect, attempt.

Basically, a Tarte Cauchoise is an apple tart that uses a puff pastry shell and an almond meal and creme fraiche based custard. The other ingredients are .eggs, sugar, corn starch, milk, and a bit of Grand Marnier. It’s traditionally made with golden delicious apples but, as you will see from my photos, I used several varieties of apple that I picked at my friends farm in Oregon.

So… here we go!

Start by taking a 10″ tarte pan and lining it with puff pastry dough and then parchment paper. Fill it with pie weights and bake it at 375f for about 15 minutes. If you are an actual competent baker (like my wife) yours will look a hell of a lot better than mine. None the less, here’s what I came out with. (Hey! You come make in for me next time!).


For a single tarte you will need 3 large apples. I selected mine from this wonderful assortment.


Whisk 2 large eggs in a large mixing bowl.


Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar.(I like mine a bit less sweet but that is also less authentic)


Add 1/4 cup of corn starch.


Add about 1 1/2 cups of almond meal.


Mix it all up.


Now add 3/8 cup of creme fraiche. (I make my own from whipping cream, a couple tablespoons of buttermilk, and about 12 hours of sitting out on the kitchen counter)


And 1 1/4 to 1 3/8 cups of whole milk.


Mix it again so that you have a nice almond custard.


Leave the custard alone while you peel and core your apples.


Cut each apple into 8 slices.


Remember the pre-baked tart shell? If the dog has not eaten it by now go grab it and fill it with the apple slices.


Add your custard.


Bake at 330f for 40 minutes and…

VOILA! You have an amazing desert from the glorious culinary history of Normandy!

Processed with Snapseed.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that I neglected to mention the Grand Marnier. That’s because I did not have any when I was taking my photos. (No the dog didn’t get it). You can add it to taste while adding the milk and that is what makes it authentic. I considered adding some Grappa but feared by oven would explode.🙂 I considered some Cognac but did not want to start a civil war🙂 I considered buying some Grand Marnier but I don’t think it comes in 1/8 cup bottles🙂 I decided to just leave that up to you!

Bon Appetit!

Hi everyone,

I typically don’t use this forum to ask you for things but this is an exception. Many of you have seen this on Facebook and Twitter but for those of you who just follow my blog directly I’m reaching out to you too.

A little over a year ago a friend of mine took his own life. He was an amazing man. No one would have suspected that he had depression problems. I’m often reminded of this and of just how little we can sometimes know about the inner struggles of others.

I’ve been on mild anxiety meds myself for a number of years. I can’t imagine taking ones own life but I certainly know what it’s like to be an amazing guy (haha) who struggles emotionally. So, I always wonder what craziness is actually possible and what I can do to prevent it.

So, in memory of my friend John, tomorrow Patt and I are participating in the Portland “Out of the Darkness Walk” to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

If you are inclined to help me to blow my fundraising goal out of the water please visit the following link.

My Out of the Darkness Fundraising Page

I’d sure appreciate a few more contributions before tomorrow.

Love y’all!


Not only do I not despair but I’m a very blessed guy. Here are a few examples of why:

  • Cindy and Tom and Laura and Adam let me be wing-man to the true chick magnet, Cooper.
  • My sister’s daughter Jessica has just moved to Oregon and I now have a next-gen family member to hang with.
  • My cousin Cheryl’s kid Rachel and her wife share their awesome sons with me.
  • My friend Traci has allowed me to be part of her son’s lives ever since I’ve known her and, in the wake of the tragic early passing of her husband has opened their lives to me daily.
  • My niece, Denise, allowed me to help her when she was young until now when she has a clan of her own. From the days when I could buy her her high school class ring through her wedding day, and into married life, she is among the brightest lights ever.
  • In fact, Denise’s brothers and parents have been among the coolest family of all time.
  • As president of my Synagogue I was given the great privilege of being allows to feel as a parent to dozens of kids.

These are just a few wonderful things I think of every day. These are people who open their lives to me and give me the joy of participating with their children. These are some of the reasons that I feel no despair. I feel shared love.

So… wanna hear my philosophy of life as a dude without kids? It’s this:

  1. You don’t always get what you want. You get dealt cards and you play the hand you are dealt with as much joy, skill, and competence as you can.
  2. You get chances every day to make decisions. You can like or dislike them in retrospect but you must take responsibility for them without looking back.
  3. People have intrinsic value. Children are people. Therefore, children have value.
  4. Being the best human you can be has the highest value. Children are in a process of emerging as fully developed humans. Therefore, raising great children has the highest value.
  5. Sometimes the universe intends for you do do something you did not expect. I don’t have kids but, had I, I might not have been their for Denise when she wanted her class ring, I might not have been able to drop everything to help Traci with the boys when she was dealing with a loss, I might not have been able to serve the kids of my synagogue. Etc. Etc. Etc. So, perhaps my path in life was to help other kids. How could that be anything but a blessing!
  6. Live in the moment. Take the kindness and generosity of others and embrace it with love.
  7. Don’t feel bad about one thing when you can feel good about the million others that surround you.
  8. Ignore any religious doctrine that makes you feel lesser for not being “fruitful and multiplying”. It’s silliness and it just screws with your mind. Remember how shallow the gene pool would be if everyone followed the ancients.
  9. If you want kid-joy then take responsibility for finding kids who need the joy you want to share. Help other’s children grow and take ever second you have to do that as a sacred gift.
  10. Live not for what isn’t; just live for what is.

What all of that means to me is this:

Some people don’t want kids. I did. Things are different than I’d planned. That’s no reason to go crazy. It’s totally cool to have periods of melancholy; I am, after all, human. But, there is no value in looking backward when, living in the moment, I can find someone whose children need exactly what I can share at every turn.

So, to sum it all up…

Yup. I sometimes feel sad when I see other people who have the kids and grandchildren I’d once envisioned. But, that is a normal thing and there are millions of moments when things are just fine. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a few down moments compared to millions of up ones. Every day I look forward and, if my path in life is to help other people’s kids then fine by me, the most important thing is to use the blessings that surround you to keep repairing the sorely damaged world.

Whoever’s kids inhabit that world in the future, if I can make it better for them and make a few of them better for it then I’m a happy guy!


We’ve established that the word “despair” blows me away and that you don’t need to feel sorry for me. So, why should you give a shit about me and my lack of grandkids, at all?

The first answer is easy:

Love is not binary. Feelings are not binary. Emotions are not binary. In fact, love, feelings, and emotions are not even discreet. These elements of our life are continuous functions. So, just because I’m not suicidal does not mean you shouldn’t care. I want your love and support.

The second answer is more complex:

To me, a part of examining one’s life in an open forum is to help others learn by sharing experiences. I share many things here and on Facebook and Twitter that are really no one’s business but my own. I choose to share my shit, not so you will feel sorry for me, but so that we can learn from each other.

  • I guarantee you hate some of my posts.
  • I guarantee you smile at at least a few.
  • I guarantee you don’t know why the hell I share some things I do.
  • I guarantee I piss you off.
  • I guarantee that, at least on occasion, you think about the value of compassion, the need for personal responsibility, and the value of integrity. Those are the 3 pillars that support me and…
  • I guarantee it helps ME to get shit out of my system and to embrace your feedback.

As Socrates reminds us, “The unexamined life is not worth living“. I embrace that in a public way both for me and for anyone who cares. So, it’s good for us all if you care.

The fact is that caring about other people, while holding myself accountable for my own actions, is the foundation of my life.

I used to think I was an Objectivist. Then I found how much joy I got from helping other people succeed. I gave up the Objectivist path because if lacked a notion of benevolence. Then my friend Nathaniel Branden (of blessed memory) started speaking of benevolence at Objectivism conferences. I’ll still never be an Objectivist because it conflicts with some of my Reform Jewish values. But, from it, I learned to take responsibility for myself and to recognize that making one’s self the best one can be DOES help others succeed! it does so because one may stand as a role model and because there is nothing wrong with bringing others along for the ride. So, when I paired that with my Jewish notion of benevolence I came up with a value system that works for me.

That is why you should care about me and my desire for children. Because my hope is that taking you along for the ride will make us all better people. Helping all of us to become better people is why I see those of you who share your children with me as an extraordinary blessing. It provides both the giver and the receiver the opportunity to help others through responsible action.

More on that is coming soon…

Okay y’all, I said on Facebook that I’d write a post like this and here it is.

A few days ago my very good friend Cindy met me and Patt for coffee. She brought with her, her grandson Cooper. I totally dig the kid, his mom, and yes grandma. I posted on Facebook that I wish I had kids and grandkids. Among my main points was how blessed I am that my friends and family allow me to be part of their families. A few people got that. Some did not.

Let’s start with the folks who feel sorry for poor, melancholy, Steve. I need to clarify something: You don’t make me feel any better by telling me I can adopt kids or be a foster parent.

I’m fucking 56 years old. There is a very important woman in my life (in fact the most important thing in my life) with whom I’d like to spend time before one of us keels over. I can barely stop myself from continually working now. I doubt that putting kids through college at 70 or 80 is a good retirement strategy. One can not change past bad decisions by making present bad decisions. Thanks for the thoughts, though. I know that they come from your heart.

Second, please don’t go overboard in trying to psychologically deconstruct me. I may need a therapist to do that but I’ll forgo the amateur (though clearly, lovingly, well-intentioned) deconstruction. I received an email from someone telling me this:

I waited so long for my children that I was in despair, despair of much the same kind as yours is.

I am NOT in despair. To me the word “despair” is huge. It means something like “I don’t have kids, how horrible! I’ll kill myself if I don’t have kids”. Dudes! That is NOT me!

I have no sense of despair. Sometimes I have a little melancholy but that’s not a bad thing. It certainly is not despair. There are lots of things I wish I had; mostly money related. But I despair over none of it. As long as I have Patt, there will be no proper use of the word “despair” in my life. So, get over that one. I promise to let you know if I’m ever in despair.

Now, though I love them all very deeply, you know what I think about people who feel sorry for me. The more important thing, though, is how I feel about ME.

Stay tuned.