Saturday, December 29, 2012


The wise man does at once what the fool does finally.



Hello Linda


It isn't difficult to be a wise person. Most of what we need to know is around us most of the time if we look and listen. The truth of things is as clear as daylight. So why do we get confused, make mistakes and act like fools??

There are many things that cloud over the daylight and it's very difficult often to know what they are. Fear, doubt, loss, laziness, selfishness, lack of time or money, ignorance and the belief that there are things over which we have no control are just some of the mini dragons that produce an inability to stop, look and listen, or at least they seem to.

Is it asking too much to remain calm in a panic? It probably is, even though the answer to whatever is frightening someone may be waiting for a calm moment to express itself. I think it was John Wayne who said that courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.

But we don't have to face dragons to show courage or wisdom. Sometimes the simplest things are the best things but they don't come out of human opinions and attitudes. We often have to saddle up against those. The voice of wisdom is telling us what's right, but we have to follow the intuition, the still, small voice.

When I was in high school a fellow student was injured in a football game. He suffered a broken ankle. He was treated and then sent to bed. There was a metal device which propped the blankets up over his foot to keep the pressure off of his ankle. We weren't close friends so I wasn't expected to visit him. But something, an intuition, a silent voice told me to pay him a call.

When I entered his room I found him in a lot of pain. He quickly asked me to fix the devise around his foot, it had fallen and there was pressure on his injured foot. I pulled open the covers and took the device off of his foot. I found that it hadn't been opened properly. I fixed it and put it back. He was very thankful. Going to see him when no one else was, was a small step for me but a big one for him.

Sometimes the things we do may not seem so wise at the time, they may be just ordinary actions. But the realization of the wisdom will come later.

DB - Vagabond Journeys

Never Give Up


Friday, December 28, 2012


The popular notion of an antithesis between appearance and reality has exercised a very powerful influence on scientific and philosophical thought.

Ernst Mach


Hello Sandy


There's an old saying, I don'[t know who originated it, that says an authority is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows all there is to know about absolutely nothing. Scientists who are poking their noses into dark matter and trying to discover a unified theory of nature are about as close to the nothing which is something as anyone can get. At least the nothing is something enough for mathematicians and physicists to chew on.

Now this vagabond is not against Science and the magical things it has done for the human race, still it must be very enjoyable for theorists to play with a multi million dollar collider to shoot atoms and particles at an unimaginable speed in the attempt to find something that may not be there.

I slash my way with a pen knife through the jungle of theories as written for the scientifically confused, such as myself. Standard Model, Higgs particle, weak bosons, the spontaneously broken, the comprehensive theory of nature, dark energy, string theory,the quantum mechanical theory and so forth have left me feet deep in a mud puddlde of thought from which I will emerge by reading a few Shakespeare sonnets.

But some questions remain. The theory of dark energy supposes that parts of our univwese exist in a different time and space condition from our own and therefore are unobservable; or that there is in fact another universe altogether with its own big bang. Are we alive in this universe and dead in that one? The tiny particles which race through time and space, running right now through your physical body, are so small they can only be identified by their behavior, their effect on other tiny particles. Furthermore it is an accepted fact that those particles will alter their behavior by the sheer fact of being observed, like an errant child being goofy until an adult walks into the room. Since that is so how can we be sure it's acting in a normal, natural fashion and not playing hide and seek with us? And lastly is the particle that is discovered at the end of the long collider tunnel simply what some scientist thinks and not a real thing at all?

Now I leave the mud puddle for the day as you ponder those mysteries of creation, or don't.


Dana Bate - Vagabond Journeys

Never Give Up..


Monday, December 24, 2012

'Twas the night before


(Burlington VT) Late shoppers reported seeing a strange light in the sky over the Saint Albans Mall. The FBI was contacted and an investigation was launched. Major Ferrett of the US Air Force was quoted as saying there was no Air Force activity in the area that might account for it. But a Professor of Astronomy at the University of Vermont said it was probably either a meteor or the aurora borealis, which is sometimes seen that far south.


(Springfield. MA) Police responded to a report of a strange aircraft gliding soundlessly over this central Massachusetts community. Observers described it a a long thin object in two parts. The longer front part seemed to be vibrating. Max Gudrun, a local resident, said he thought it was definitely some alien space craft and should be shot down. No action was taken.


(New York City) Panic ensued on the streets of NYC when a large flying object was seen circling the Empire State Building. It was feared an attack might happen to the building similar to what had occurred at the World Trade Center. The Mayor alerted the police and fire departments of the city, but after a while the space craft moved on toward the south and posed no threat. There was still a great deal of panic on the streets, however, and the Mayor alerted the Dept of Defense.

(Trenton, NJ) A dispatch from the Governor's office notes that the Dept of Defense has advised the Governor to prepare for a possible UFO sighting, that a flying machine of unknown origin may be headed for New Jersey.


On another matter of this strange night, motorists reported a stampede of horses on the New Jersey Turnpike. According to the driver of one vehicle at the scene horses were pulling a wagon that had evidently lost its wheels. Sparks were flying from both sides of the wagon as it was pulled at great speed down the road. Traffic was backed up for about a half a mile when the strange team of horses and wagon disappeared. Someone said it took off and started to fly but that was discounted by others who said the horses probably just left the road and galloped onto a meadow. A bystander, Chuck Langley, claimed from his observation and experience that they were definitely not horses as he could see from the antlers. "I know a moose when I see one" he said. "Them was mooses."


(Bristol, PA) Police responded to a 911 call from a man, who didn't wish to give his name, about seeing a creature that looked like a Sasquatch covered in some red cloth on the roof of a neighbor's house trying to gain entry through the chimney. By the time the police arrived the Sasquatch was nowhere to be seen.


(Philadelphia, PA) Victor Sanchez of Philadelphia reported to the news that after retiring for the night he was awakened by some odd noises. Going to investigate he found some strange, brightly wrapped packages under his tree. The police were called who brought their bomb sniffing dog. Nothing unusual was found. Mr. Sanchez said he was going back to bed and would open them in the morning.


(Wheeling, WV) Residents report seeing a strange ......


"Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night."


DB - Vagabond Journeys

Never Give Up


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Winter Wonderland

Nature is filled with a limitless number of wonderful things which have causes and reasons like anything else but nonetheless cannot be foreseen but must be discovered, for their subtlety and complexity transcend the present state of science.

Robert Laughlin


Hello Bruce


Yesterday, Saturday, I went for a long necessary walk to the market. It was a cold and cloudy day with the devil's own wind blowing. It was very hard and on the way back I was wondering how often and how long do I have to prove my grit before life says "OK, Dana, you've passed the test and have earned the right to have a 7/11 open up across the street."? (New York City spoiled me with its conveniences.) Late in the afternoon the sunlight came bravely out but did nothing to temper the temperature or unwind the wind.

To add to my discomfort all the police cars, ambulances and fire trucks went reeling through all the main streets with horns blasting and sirens blaring. One would have thought the whole town was on fire. But it was just a traditional sound off celebration. I guess they were honoring the solstice or expressing their gratitude that the world didn't end.

Now I am glad to be out of the winter adventure and inside with my needs as I listen to the howling wind and rattling windows; As a final gesture of nose thumbing at the cold and nasty day, on the way home I bought a tub of ice cream.

Last Winter was such a surprise to us living in the Northeast. There were Springlike days even in January. I am wondering what life will be next month: snow. sleet. freezing rain, winds that blow the trash around and knock over anything not bolted to the ground? The Farmers Almanac, in its terse and mystic manner, says "temperatures below average" and you know what that means. It promises to be an ear muff, snow shovel, anti freeze, sidewalk salted winter wonderland. Those of you who live in the tropics, eat your hearts out.

But winter is my favorite season. No two winters are alike and they each open a year in a special way that somehow transforms the year to come in a design and character unforeseeable which can only be understood by the winter that gave it birth. I cherish the challenges of winter and face them with a sense of humor and a realization of promise. During the two and a half months from the end of New Years Eve until my birthday I ponder the wisdom in the sleeping trees, I hear a spirit in the wind and the percussive music of the crunching snow under my feet. I see memories written in the icicles. Winter is the new year. It's a time for humility and patience. It's the time for rediscovering ourselves, and it's the time to prepare for that rediscovery to blossom into life when the Spring comes at last. Winter is a wonder time.


Dana Bate - Vagabond Journeys

Happy Holidays

Never Give Up


Friday, December 21, 2012

My Christmas List

All I want for Christmas is:

A healthy body

A happy home

A nice neighborhood

Friends nearby

Something important and fulfilling to do

Is that too much to ask?

I'll settle for any one of the above.

DB - Vagabond Journeys

Never give up.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Music is the answer to everything.

Dana Bate


Hello Ken


After a day of troubles, computer and otherwise, which left me confused and irritated, I listened to a performance on my favorite radio station, WWFM in Trenton, NJ (also on the Web), of the Piano Concerto Number 4 by Camille Saint-Saens. Pascal Roget was the pianist and Charles Dutoit, the conductor.

The performance was so inspiring, beautiful and exciting it chased all my blues away. It will do the same for you if you listen to it carefully and give it the respect it deserves. I don't care if you don't like classical music or even if you don'[t like music in general, there is a magic carpet ride to other and better worlds to be taken and shared.

There are two things in this world that never lie: mathematics and music.

DB - the Vagabond

Never give up.


Monday, December 10, 2012

The Song

From Maoz Tzur, to Jingle Bells, to

Adeste Fideles, to Auld Lang Syne,

the world is singing. and we are the song.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Autumn Song

The Autumn sky says its good bye much too soon.

Dark clouds that could reflect the sunlight

Now stretch their fingers across the amber sky.

Amber, red and yellow leaves banish the summer's green.

The playground empties out too early.

The neighbor's children can be heard but not seen.

In the morning mother finds how cold the car door handle is.

She checks the kids for proper clothes.

The brisk wind sends dusky leaves dancing down the street.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Nathan, Don't Go

I always try to improve, to find new ways of expressing myself, to keep looking for truth and originality.

Burt Lancaster


Hello Sue


One day I was standing with a stranger on the corner of 48th Street and 8th Avenue. I was looking across at B. Smith's and I remarked that it was the only 2 story building on that stretch of the avenue. It was such a prime piece of property we wondered how long it would be before someone bought it up and built a high rise on it. As far as I know it's still there. We also remarked how in New York if you turn your back they take down one building and put up another and you forget what was there.

But the last time I was around 43rd Street I noticed that Al's Diner is gone. I think Al was open all night, but I went in at about 5 a.m. when I was responsible for the morning news on WQXR in the NY Times building across the street. One morning I saw a sign that he would be closed for repairs. And so he was, for about 3 weeks. When I went back he charged me 40 cents for my coffee instead of the usual 50. When asked he said he lowered his prices to celebrate his improvements. Now that whole block has been renovated and Al has retired.

In my lifetime as a New Yorker I have known the following things:

* The fabulous Penn Station torn down and an uninspiring replacement built.

* The original Metropolitan Opera House torn down.

* Grand Central Station completely renovated.

* Luchows went out of business.

* The Russian Tea Room went out of business and reopened.

* Times Square renovated.

* Yankee Stadium demolished.

* The Astor Hotel demolished.

* The building and destruction of the World Trade Center.

Just to name a few.

Now Nathan's of Coney Island is closed to repair the damage done by Hurricane Sandy. Will it open again? Millions of New Yorkers hope so. Nathan's has been open and serving its famous hot dogs 365 days a year for almost 90 years. How can it disappear? If it does, something else will open up and Nathan's will be a memory.

What is the lesson? Life is about changes, but it's also about improvements and finding new ways of doing things.. Luchows is gone and now something else is there. Al closed to make improvements The Metropolitan Opera House moved and rebuilt somewhere else.. The Yankees are still playing baseball.

Every corner of our lives can be a place for change, improvement and originality. We will find new ways and old ways will be forgotten. We don't need a hurricane to make it happen.

Vagabond Journeys

Dana Bate

Never Give Up



Saturday, December 1, 2012

On The Sidewalks

There is only oneself facing forever the problem of one's self discovery.

Lawrence Durrell


Hello Marty


Where I am is not my home. I don't like living here. I don't want to live here any more. I want to go to my home. But I don't know where that is.

My childhood was one of those unfortunate ones you sometimes read about where a child has to keep moving for financial or other reasons. I moved over 25 times before I left high school. As a result there is no place that I can identify as home.

One bit of knowledge I have as a result of that experience is that a home is a major source of support for anyone facing the rigors of understanding himself and establishing himself in the world. It's a safety net of sorts. As Robert Frost said "Home is the place where, when you've got to go there, they've got to take you in." But what is a person to do who has no home to go to when he's got to go there?

You sometimes hear about folks who never leave home. A man may grow up, have a job, get married and bring his wife home to live with his parents. Sometimes that even works out.

But the danger of growing up without a home is a major deprivation of a large facet of his identity. A man who has never had a home usually doesn't know how to make one because he doesn't know what it is. That's my problem. I used to joke that wherever my career took me as an actor I usually wanted to stay there. And that's why I ended up where I am now.

"Where are you from?" they ask.

"All over." I reply.

"Who are you?"

"I'm an actor." But even that's not good enough. I haven't been on the stage for almost 12 years. Without the badge of a home to cling to the puzzle of self discovery becomes more difficult. There is no place to go at Christmas time where an uncle might ask "How's your career going?" My career is in my back pack and only I know how it's going.

The thorniest questions and the hardest answers are worked out on the cement sidewalks of the city. Those who know me the best are those who have been on those same sidewalks and have tightened the knots that hold the cobweb together.

I took a long, necessary walk this evening on shaky legs, in the bitter cold. It doesn't matter to me. The discomfort, the exhaustion, the solitary struggle, they don't matter to me. And they would not matter to the fellow in the nice warm home that might have been mine. But I alone know where my heroism is. I discovered it.

Dana Bate

Vagabond Journeys

Never Give Up