Shepherdstown = Home

Here is a little video I put together to show off my great community of Shepherdstown, West Virginia.


The Red Elevator

This is my latest piece.  It is of the Trinity Episcopal church in Shepherdstown, WV.

If you die in an elevator, be sure to push the Up button.
- Sam Levenson


All hail our new leaders. Long live the droids.

There is a huge transformation going on in our world. We are changing things so fast that soon we will not be able to even keep up with our own creations.

be a mensch


Shepherdstown identified for pilot Entrepreneurs’ Cafe

Shepherdstown identified for pilot Entrepreneurs’ Cafe

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Shepherdstown is one of five communities in West Virginia identified by economic and community development group, Vision Shared, to pilot a program called the Entrepreneurs' Café. The program aims to provide micro-funding awards to entrepreneurs at the local level. The program is designed to replicate a successful micro-funding program in Huntington, W.Va. called Café Huntington.

Vision Shared will co-host a café launch event at The Station in Shepherdstown on Thursday, September 6, 2012 beginning at 6 p.m. During the event local entrepreneurs are invited to "pitch" their idea or project for funding. Attendees pay $10 for a meal, the opportunity to hear small business development ideas and vote on their favorite project. The winning entrepreneur receives the proceeds from the purchase of meals and a special cash award provided by Vision Shared for the launch event.

“The success of Café Huntington and its organizers willingness to help Vision Shared develop a pilot program spurs our ability to facilitate these programs around the state,” said Rebecca McPhail Randolph, President of Vision Shared. “We are very excited to introduce this concept in the Eastern Panhandle and underscore the fact that sometimes a little funding makes a big difference for an entrepreneur.”

The Entrepreneurs’ Café program is part of a long-term plan to develop the entrepreneurial climate in West Virginia by Vision Shared. In May 2012 the organization released a white paper with recommendations for encouraging economic growth and development through entrepreneurial education and activity. The white paper is available at

For more information about the event visit or email David Rosen at


New Commission Piece for Kate

Here is my latest commission piece for Kate...  It is of a church in Shepherdstown, WV.


Socialism, Capitalism, and the Terminator.

This is a very strange blog post for me, but I wanted to put this out there to see what your response is to it.  This weekend I watched this whole documentary about manufacturing in the U.S by PBS.  It was called America Revealed. So this documentary had great stats they were throwing out there about America and manufacturing (U.S. is the largest manufacturer in the world by far.  We manufacturer more now then we have ever in the history of America.)  The images they kept playing on the TV were of people watching robots manufacture.  How great is that!  We can do a lot more now because of our innovation as a humans.  I was so pumped after watching that show that it reaffirmed that we as Americans are Great!  We are great!  We are the leading innovators in the world.

So all weekend I was thinking about America Revealed and how manufacturing effects us.  Then on the way to work this morning while listening to Morning Joe on MSNBC I began to worry.  Who owns these robots?  Who should own these robots?  What if I could buy a robot to do my job?  How do robots fit into a capitalist society in 2040, 2100, 2200?  How do robots fit into a socialist society in 2040, 2100, 2200?

I consider myself a capitalist.  I love competition, I love working hard and reaping the rewards.  But, this whole thought process had me thinking.  What if we as humans could have robots do most of our work, or all of our work for that matter? If they were owned by the people as a whole, and all of us could benefit and relax  we could then work on more innovative ideas furthering human kind.  Would we be better off  that way?  Or would we be better off having a few of us owning the robots, while the rest of us have no reason to exist other than to serve those that own the robots?  If it is the second, would we tax the owners of the robots to try to give a minimum quality of life to the rest?  What reason would those few owners have to further human kind at the point they have full power?

At some point when we can afford to provide a high quality of life for all, we must transition to a socialist type of system.  I do not think this point is now.  I think we can not afford to provide everyone a high quality of life.  I think our government is there to to make sure that we progress towards that point as we as a society become more and more wealthy.  OK, that is my completely random sci-fi/politics induced thought of the day.  I would love to know your thoughts on this!  Please post a comment and let me know how off base I am.


MEME of Shepherdstown

Just so we all understand all the perspectives of Shepherdstown are. :)


What nobody tells people who are beginners

I have spoken with younger and older artists about creative humps and the frustration that it brings.  I have always asked them how they deal with it and how they surge past it.   I am a digital photographer but I love painting and drawing but struggle to accomplish what I can accomplish with my photography.  I feel Ira Glass truly sums it up here.  I want to thank Josh Stella for posting it this morning. :)
From Ira Glass . . .
“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
Ira Glass is the host and producer of This American Life. Click here for the full original video (runtime 5:20).


The Optimist Creed

Words to live by:

The Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself ...

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Shepherdstown,United States