Virtual Laughter – The Key to Happiness


According to a University of Vermont study of 10,000,000 tweets the happiest states are Hawaii and Maine.

The entire list is below.

The study was based on looking at the occurrence of happy words including "LOL" and sad words including profanity.

So does vitural laughter make you happier?


Your damn right it does :) 


1. Hawaii

2. Maine

3. Nevada

4. Utah

5. Vermont

6. Colorado

7. Idaho

8. New Hampshire

9. Washington

10. Wyoming

11. Minnesota

12. Arizona

13. California

14. Florida

15. New York

16. New Mexico

17. Iowa

18. Oregon

19. North Dakota

20. Nebraska

21. Wisconsin

22. Kansas

23. Alaska

24. Oklahoma

25. Massachusetts

26. Montana

27. Missouri

28. Kentucky

29. New Jersey

30. West Virginia

31. Illinois

32. Rhode Island

33. Indiana

34. Texas

35. South Dakota

36. Virginia

37. Tennessee

38. Connecticut

39. Pennsylvania

40. South Carolina

41. North Carolina

42. Ohio

43. Arkansas

44. District of Columbia

45. Michigan

46. Alabama

47. Georgia

48. Delaware

49. Maryland

50. Mississippi

51. Louisiana

Source: University of Vermont


Chris' list: Twitter happiness — MSNBC


Which states are the happiest people tweeting from? University of Vermont mathematicians analyzed the words used in ten million tweets to figure it out. Here's what they found: 5. Vermont; 4. Utah; 3. Nevada; 2. Maine; 1. Hawaii


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Don’t Drink the Water

One of the keys to happiness is having the basic needs satisfied such as food, shelter and water.

Here in South Orange we have issues one of the basics, maybe the basic of the basics, the water.

It seems that there is there is tetrachloroethene in it. So much in fact that two top officials from our water utility were just indicted for fudging test results to hide  the fact that there were such high levels of this chemical in our water. A chemical that according to t

he International Agency for Research on Cancer is a Group 2A carcinogen, which means that it is probably carcinogenic to humans.


Alex Tropey, the head of the Village Administration, has sent out a notice to allay the fears of the people but it did not work for me.


The letter said, in part:



All residents should understand that the indictment of Mr. Mansmann and Mr. Mowell did not come as a surprise to the Village.  Village Counsel was fully engaged with DEP, knew that a criminal investigation was in process and in fact provided critical evidence which led to the indictments.



and went on to say

I hope that this information addresses your concerns both with regard to water safety and progress made to permanently resolve this issue.

My concern is that the Village knew that there was a problem with our water supply and did not let the public know of the potential risks that we faced by using the water.

Bad move.

You can read the whole letter here:

South Orange Village President Responds to Water Controversy …


SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Village President, Alex Torpey, has released a statement regarding the recent controversy surrounding the East Orange Water Commission: Dear Resident: You h…


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Rahway River Flood Control – Be Very Careful

Mayors Council on Rahway River Watershed Flood Control Wed, 24 Oct 2012 07:00:00 GMT

The mayors of Millburn, Union, Springfield, Cranford, Kenilworth, Maplewood and Rahway and their governing boards approved the agreement and helped move the project to the implementation stage. joined together to work with the US Army Corps of Engineers and the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to focus on the development of a dry dam in the South Mountain Reservation between Campbell’s Mill Pond and Diamond Hill Pond.

Local Mayors Take First Major Step Toward Flood Control Thu, 25 Oct 2012 12:28:00 GMT

The proposal will allow the towns to move forward with plans to construct a detention basin upstream, at the South Mountain Reservation. Haimoff explained the name was changed to emphasize the regional aspect of the project. The townships joined together with the US Army Corps of Engineers and the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to focus on a dry dam in the reservation between Campbell’s Mill Pond and Diamond Hill Pond in 

Letter to the Editor: Take Action To Support Flood Mitigation – Speak Mon, 20 Aug 2012 10:30:00 GMT

The development of a detention dam in the South Mountain Reservation is also one promising solution. The hydrology studies have determined close to three feet of water during peak storm conditions could be The next major project the US Army Corps of Engineers is also in the midst of evaluating are improvements to Lenape Park and river capacity downstream. Numerous alternatives are being evaluated including well respected local engineer Greg Sgroi’s 

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The extended family

Family is a key to Happiness

My family is the #1 key to my happiness. First and foremost is the immediate family, the wife and kids. Mine are great and I feel my main focus in life is to make sure that they are happy. That’s a lot of pressure but as we all get older I am realizing that it goes both ways. They are looking out for me as well and that makes me well, happy. As fond as I am of the good old days when the kids were little and so dependent on their parents it is great to see their independence blossom at the same time as their caring. My grandmother used to say that you never knew how good you were at parenting until you see how the grand kids turn out. My Mom seems pleased at this point.

Then there is the extended family. My wife and I are each one of six children. Our kids have 10 aunts and uncles even before you throw in the husbands, wives and cousins. Sometimes it get a little daunting to keep in touch but then I think of my grandfather. My grandfather was in the signal corp in WWI and he worked for ATT as one of the pioneers. He was also a HAM radio operator. He was a communications guy. He had 46 cousins spread out all over the country and he kept in touch with each one of them by letter. Some have speculated that this was just to ensure that he had a free place to stay but I think it was to keep the family if not close than at least in touch. I bet doing so made him happy. I have been trying to reach out to my family on a more frequent basis. You know you are not doing enough when you call and they ask who died. I need to work on that.

So for the Family influence on my happiness I need to be a better family member which in part means knowing when to give and knowing when to receive.

Coming up next: My Health


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I worry too much which negatively affects my happiness. I have to constantly remind myself of the writing from that unknown author that there are only two things to in life to worry about:

Whether you are well or whether you are sick.

If you are well, then there is nothing to worry about (see below*). But if you are sick, there are only two things to worry about: Whether you are going to get well or whether you are going to die.

If you get well, then there is nothing to worry about. But if you die, there are only two things to worry about: Whether you are going to go to heaven or whether you are going to go to hell.

If you go to heaven, then you have nothing to worry about. But if you go to hell, you’ll be so busy shaking hands with all your friends, that you won’t have time to worry!

So, Why Worry?

Be Happy

*Of course I just had my annual physical (which was two years over due). I stressed out for two years for nothing as all the poking, prodding and testing came back normal. So I guess for me, even if I am healthy there is something to worry about and that is getting sick. But still I am better off knowing sooner rather than later if something is wrong so I promised myself and my doctor that I would see him within the next year.

The doctor sent me the test results in a letter that said all tests are normal. I posted this on the refrigerator blog along with all the pictures of the nieces and nephews right next to the dog food coupon as proof of my normalcy and as a reminder of my promise to myself.

Be Happy

Don't Worry - Be Happy

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Top Ten Things to Work on for Achieving Happyiness

finding happinessOK. So I am a middle aged hetero white guy who is wrestling with that crisis thing that all of us boomers seem destined to go through. The angst, the restlessness, the depression and the sense that there should be more to life. Plus for me, there is the guilt. I am so blessed with so many wonderful aspects of my life that I feel guilty for feeling depressed. That must be that Judeo-Christian guilt thing that we all seem to come hard wired with.

Anyway, I have a plan. That plan is to examine what it is that I think I need to work on in my life to find happiness. I have put together a preliminary top ten list. Preliminary because I reserve the right to alter the list when necessary and top ten because the bottom ten or the top six would just seem so wrong or incomplete.


1. My Family

2. My Health

3. My Faith

4. My Home

5. My Pet

6. My Hobbies

7. My Living in the Moment

8. My Job

9. My Being a Better Person

10. My Making of Good Memories

For now, I think this is what I need to work on the get happier. In the next upcoming blog posts I will go through my list, item by item and expand on each item. I want to delve deeper into why I think the item is important and how I will go about working on improvement.

Stay Tuned.

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