Mt. Hermon Way block party.  September 2010-. Blogfinger photo. ©

Mt. Hermon Way block party. September 2010-. Blogfinger photo. ©


Surf fishing at the Manasquan Inlet. Oct. 9, 2015. By Bob Bowné. Special to Blogfinger ©.

Surf fishing at the Manasquan Inlet. Oct. 9, 2015. By Bob Bowné. Special to Blogfinger ©.  Click to enlarge.


Shawn gives it his best to catch a striped bass. He was at  the Manasquan Inlet when Hurricane Joaquin passed by..

Bob (Bowné)

MEGHAN TRAINOR   “It’s All About That Bass.”

Oh?   Oh!  Sorry Bob, I didn’t know you were talking about a striped bass fish.  I’m thinking, “Bob knows I’m all about that bass—-no treble!”

Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

By Stephen Goldfinger, MSW.  Blogfinger staff.

It is not uncommon that as one traverses the terrain of life, they suddenly discover that their wheels, as it were, have become mired in a morass of despondency and dissatisfaction. The seemingly well plotted course, programmed into their mental GPS, has suddenly brought them far afield from the sunny destination to which they’d expected to arrive.

One is bound to ask, how did this happen? And if they ponder the dilemma more closely, they would then rightly ask, how did I make the mistake of programming my mental GPS so inaccurately? The truth is that contrary to what we might like to believe, the mental GPS in question, specifically our own mind, is rarely, if ever, programmed by us alone. The programmers are invariably those countless influences surrounding us on a daily basis, whether friends, family, clergy, culture, the media and all the sundry authorities of various stripes who continually bombard our psyches with their incessant input of “data”. Before we realize it, it turns out that we have been following a map in which the delineated route is one not entirely, if even partially, of our own design, and then we wonder why the journey is not conforming to our happy expectations.

To bring this out of the realm of abstraction into the everyday, take for example, the case of a relatively healthy and active senior citizen who visits the emergency room with a painfully inflamed knee after tending her garden for too many hours. Upon examination, despite the attending physician’s welcome diagnosis that it is a relatively harmless injury, he finds it necessary to make comment about her gardening exploits and says, “I’m surprised that a woman your age is so agile.” Instead of the relief which she might ordinarily feel following such a fortunate outcome, the woman becomes depressed and begins questioning her ability to further engage in the hobby which adds so much joy to her life.

Did the doctor, with his offhanded yet “authoritative” comment, or in keeping with the former GPS metaphor, his programmer’s code, influence the map of his patient’s consciousness and thus affect the way in which she experiences and perceives the world? Yes, he did. Is one episode enough to influence the shape of her reality? Maybe, maybe not, however, this type of subtle yet influential “programming” of individual and collective consciousness is carried on perpetually if one is not aware that it is transpiring.

One should always be wary of letting other people’s interpretations of reality affect their own outlook, because when it comes to the spinning wheels of existence, mind truly is the great generator. To a substantial extent, the mind’s construction of reality is unwittingly shaped by others and based on that construction a whole host of variables such as one’s health and sense of well-being, one’s tendencies and world view, as well as the actual experiences which unfold on a day to day basis are altered accordingly.

Therefore, when that doctor told the patient he was “surprised someone her age was so agile,” that was his own mind-based interpretation being insinuated into her consciousness. Were the patient aware of the tremendous power and influence of mind, not only her own but the impact made by others’, she could have girded herself against such a negative influence.

The first and most critical step towards repossessing one’s own reality map, is to foster a vigilant awareness of the workings not only of one’s own mind but of others, via the perennial pathways of meditation, controlled breathing, quiet contemplation/reflection and self-inquiry all of which act as catalysts for such awareness. As an adjunct to these practices but not a substitute, traditional counseling can be of benefit to some. That said, this piece is not primer on the techniques of inner exploration, but merely a signpost intended to point the reader in the right direction. There are countless books and websites expressly created for such instruction which are easily accessible with a basic internet search.

Thus empowered, through regular practice and the sharpened insight which invariably follows, one should make unrelenting efforts to shield themselves from all negative mindsets directed from without while staying focused on the development and durability of all positive mindsets directed from within. More often than not, with a positive attitude, a bit of faith in oneself, and if one is so inclined, in whatever order of higher intelligence to which they subscribe, this vehicle of the body, motored by mind, will heed the direction of its newly minted map, carrying one to many a felicitous and delightful destinations.


This article is the first of a series called “Mind Over Matter—-Insights into Psychology by Stephen Goldfinger, MSW”  Stephen will explore “the power of mind, will and willingness to break through the seemingly impenetrable barriers of life..”

Stephen Goldfinger, 2014.

Stephen Goldfinger, 2014.

 Stephen Goldfinger is a graduate of the Dramatic Writing Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.  He earned his MSW from the NYU School of Social Work. Stephen is a writer who has completed 5 novels that so far have not been published.  Recently he has relocated to Asbury Park from Manhattan. Some of you might recall his photographs from NYC.  He is now our official correspondent from the City by the Sea.

Ppaul Eichlin with his Thunderbird. By Bob Bowné. October, 2015. ©

Paul Eichlin takes good care of his baby, a 1961 Thunderbird. By Bob Bowné. October, 2015. ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

We’ve been seeing a lot of Paul Eichlin lately. Not only does he play keyboard in the Casino, but Bob Bowné had been photographing Paul on the pier and with his favorite automobile, a 1961 Thunderbird.  Paul lives in Ocean Grove, and he likes to wax his car on Ocean Avenue.  I got to talk to him in person a few days ago while he was applying wax to his car, and he said that he has been struggling with the development of rust due to the salt air near the ocean.

This quote from Mr. Eichlin was about a week ago in a comment to Blogfinger, “This car is owned by myself, Paul Eichlin, who is also the keyboard player on the Boardwalk at Asbury Park. The car is a 1961 Ford Thunderbird which I have owned since June 1978. The car still has the original paint when manufactured in Sept.1960. The secret of the car’s longevity has been that it was kept out of the winter road salt most of its life. Rain Dance Car Wax and Armor-all keeps it young.”


Sandy Hook flier

Sandy Hook. By Paul Goldfinger.© 2005. Blogfinger.net

Sandy Hook. By Paul Goldfinger.© 2005. Blogfinger.net


Last weekend at Days

Days Ice Cream. Ocean Grove.  Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Days Ice Cream. Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©


Urban explorers. Atlantic City, NJ. Undated. Silver gelatin print. By Paul Goldfinger. © Blogfinger.net

Urban explorers. Atlantic City, NJ. Undated. Silver gelatin print. By Paul Goldfinger. © Blogfinger.net  Click to enlarge

STACEY KENT  (vocal) and JIM TOMLINSON  (tenor sax:)   from their album A Fine Romance

Paul Goldfinger photo. © Blogfinger.net

Paul Goldfinger photo. © Blogfinger.net

From the Historical Society of Ocean Grove:   “We just put together a short “news update” video for viewers of “Curiosities of Ocean Grove”. We give shout-outs to fans who’ve commented on our blog and Facebook page, and introduce a brand new museum exhibit on the “Summer of 1890”. It was curated by Dell O’Hara. Some of you already know Dell from her FANTASTIC women’s history walking tours of Ocean Grove (which we’re thrilled to say keep selling out and we’ve started adding more!)

“Take a moment to watch the video here. And THANK YOU for your enthusiasm!”

Editor’s note: These videos are very well done.  We have asked the HSOG to make them available for posting on Blogfinger.  If they do, we will publish them for all our readers to enjoy.—-PG



Ocean Grove at dusk. October 6, 2015.

Ocean Grove at dusk. October 6, 2015. Moe Demby. Blogfinger.net ©

Those who photograph along the Jersey Shore, particularly in Ocean Grove where we know the photographers and poets who have those keen eyes and ears that study the surf and understand how it is constantly changing.  That is why we post pictures and poems about a subject that never stops moving and never stays the same, from one moment to the next.

We recently posted another end of day image at the Ocean Grove beach  by Moe Demby  (scroll down to 9/29/15 ) and now here he is again, at dusk, mesmerized by the same sea shore which sometimes is at rest but other times is wild and unpredictable.     

“…..that peace is brief, that the ocean seldom rests from surging, its song a protest against the night’s silence.”

From Charles Pierre’s poem “Bradley Beach at Midnight” from his book Father of Water  (2008  Black Buzzard Press)

KARRIN ALLYSON    “And So It Goes.”   By Billy Joel.

Karrin Allyson

Karrin Allyson

Internet graphic

Internet graphic

Paul Goldfinger, MD, FACC.   Editor @Blogfinger.

Some of you have berated me for having a negative attitude regarding Obamacare. The truth is that many good things will come out of our new healthcare, but I am alarmed by the negatives which continue to slowly drip out the cracks and insinuate themselves seemingly overnight and unannounced into our experiences with doctors, hospitals, drug companies, etc.   I am concerned that the negatives will outweigh the positives and cause damage to our loved ones as they seek care.

So I will have an ongoing project to report on pluses and minuses as they occur. Here are two that appeared on my radar screen this week. Since I am no longer practicing medicine, I go by the experiences of family, friends and myself. Yes it is anecdotal but I also keep watch on the media, especially when clinical trials look at these matters, when doctors speak about the situation, and by watching the AMA reports which I receive regularly.  Hopefully some of you will share your observations.

Here are my recent findings.   It may not seem like much, but cumulatively, there may  be substance, and I do believe that smoke might indicate a fire.

#1. A man approached the front desk at a surgeon’s office. He asked that the surgeon’s report be sent to his doctor. He was told that he would have to pay $15.00 for that service.

Whenever a specialist sees a patient, it is his obligation to send a consultation report to the primary doctor. Ideally he should also call the referring physician. I believe that communication of this type is deteriorating because of the expectation that electronic medical records will fill that void, but they won’t because they are lacking in specificity, and when our society allows time-honored individualized medical practices to fall by the wayside in the interest of time and money, quality will suffer.

Patients should request copies of their consultation notes and they should read those notes carefully.   They should find a history, physical exam, test results, a diagnosis and a narrative discussion/analysis, with an individualized plan, regarding the problem;  and no one should be charged for those reports.

#2. A doctor orders a blood test for a patient. He orders it, not on a whim, but because it is needed for proper patient care. The patient goes to the lab and is informed that the insurance company may not pay for the test. He is required to sign a form to indicate that he may have to pay personally.

Subsequently he receives a bill for $115.00 from LabCorps for that routine test. Evidently the diagnostic codes supplied by the doctor did not justify the test.   The patient complained to the doctor’s office and asked that the bill be resubmitted by the doctor for consideration, using “better” codes. The office tells the patient that this is not the doctor’s problem. Ouch!

Sorry, but this is the doctor’s problem, and he should help so the patient doesn’t get stuck with the bill. This is an example of interference in the practice of medicine by insurance companies  and indifference on the part of the doctor.


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