Saturday, December 20, 2014

New Mystery/Thriller Novel

If you are a fan of the late great mystery writer, P.D. James, or the late French mystery writer. Georges Simenon or even, John Grisham, have I got a treat for you. My mystery/ thriller, "Dead in the Water," is in pre-production right now. The lead investigator, Lieutenant Morales,  is sort of a combination of James' Adam Dalgliesh and Simenon's Inspector Maigret, with a twist of Lieutenant Columbo thrown in for good measure. Partly set on a cruise ship in the Caribbean and in Miami, including Little Havana, the plot also features a trial attorney with some unusual clients.

As "Dead in the Water" comes closer to publication, I will include an excerpt in this blog. So, keep your eyes on this blog in the next few weeks. I know you will enjoy the book when it becomes available on Amazon and Kindle and in your favorite bookstore.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Swiss Colony in America

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit an Alpine village in Switzerland, but can't afford the trip to Europe? If so, I have the next best place for you to visit: New Glarus, Wisconsin.

New Glarus is a Swiss Colony established in 1845 by immigrants from the Swiss canton of Glarus. The original settlers left Switzerland because of a depression in the hand weaving industry that was the principal occupation of the immigrants.

Located about 40 minutes from Madison, where the University of Wisconsin is located, New Glarus is currently home to about 1700 residents. Most live on large farms in the lush, rolling hills of Wisconsin. It was those hills that apparently reminded the original Swiss immigrants of their own Swiss mountains and caused them to settle there.

There is a small town center where several restaurants and shops feature Swiss food specialties such as cheese fondues and genuine Swiss chocolates. FYI: most so-called Swiss chocolates such as Lindt are actually made in the US. A New Glarus beer is also available in the restaurants.

My wife and I recently stopped in New Glarus on our way back from visiting our daughter and her family in Minnesota. My wife's family was from that same canton in Switzerland, but they opted to stay in Pittsburgh. Certain of her distant relatives did continue on to New Glarus and we were able to find their name on a memorial in front of the town church.

So, if you are interested in Swiss life, make New Glarus a definite stop.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

CBS News: 60 Minutes Examines Mindfulness

 I have written a number of posts about the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of mindfulness. Today's "60 Mintutes" examined those benefits through a segment presented by Anderson Cooper. I highly recommend it for those interested in the way to experience mindfulness.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Lawrenceville: Hipster Heaven

 You have probably never heard of the neighborhood located in the East end of Pittsburgh known as Lawrenceville. But you will. Lawrenceville recently was named one of the top 26 neighborhoods for hipsters in the world by Business Insider. Other neighborhoods in the list included the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn and Shoreditch in London..This is quite an honor for this former blue collar neighborhood of row houses and steelworker bars where I grew up and lived for many years.

When I grew up there, Lawrenceville was basically known for two things: an explosion at the Allegheny Arsenal during the Civil War which killed almost one hundred women, men and children ; and the location of the birthplace of Stephen Foster, the 19th century composer of songs like Camptown Races ("doo dah") and My Old Kentucky Home, played before every Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

Located about three miles from downtown Pittsburgh, it is eminently walkable and served by excellent public transportation. The home of two large, public parks, it has always been a good place to raise a family. But a few years ago, Lawrenceville began to undergo a fundamental change in its character. Young people in particular began to recognize its potential. Houses were well-built and relatively inexpensive compared to other popular Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Millennials saw the potential in those homes and began flocking to Lawrenceville, where they plucked up those bargains and renovated and transformed them according to their taste.

At the same time, others saw the need for restaurants and other amenities to serve these new residents who had lots of available cash. What had been local dive bars were turned into gourmet restaurants. One of them, Cure, was recently named one of the best restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit magazine.

Lawrenceville had always had a thriving art scene. But with the arrival of these new hipsters, the arts flourished.  Many new galleries and studios were built in converted houses and former retail storefronts.

So, if you are a hipster (or think you are) or if you are just looking for a nice place to live and work, you might want to give Lawrenceville a look.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

MY EBook, How to Negotiate, Free on Amazon

For a limited time, my EBook, How to Negotiate, is available for free on Amazon. Follow the link below for your copy. It is a short book designed to give you the consumer in a nutshell the best way to negotiate deals every day at the supermarket, at the automobile dealer, the department store and even on the job. If you like, please write a review on Amazon to let me know what you liked
Thanks and enjoy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dark Chocolate Can Save Your Life

Do you crave chocolate, especially dark chocolate? If you do, you may actually be improving your health.  Recent studies show that regular consumption of dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure, lower bad cholesterol and actually improve cognitive function and memory particularly in older adults.

Considering Retrement?

If you are preparing for retirement in the next few months or years, you might want to read this article that first appeared in U.S. News and World Report and was recently republished in the Huffington Post.  I think that it provides had good blueprint for those considering retirement.