Troika (2004-2016)

2009_Holiday_Card_1Sad news, our dog Troika passed away at 1:30pm this afternoon (Wednesday, June 1, 2016) at home. She was a hurricane Katrina rescue and the three of us made a wonderful family for ten years. She was about 14, which is a long life for a big dog. She had been increasing ill since Vinny Allegrini’s death last March.

Troika had stopped eating and drinking a few days ago and we had a Vet come over to see her. Last night we cuddled in bed, and this afternoon two friends, Greg and Michael came over and she passed away peacefully.

Vet surmised an abdominal mass, which would have been fairly painless for her.

She had a great life! She was the “April 2016” calendar dog for PAWS-NY, the terrific volunteer organization that has made such a big difference to our family over the last two years. They provided volunteers to walk Troika morning and night (and to check in on me).

PAWS-NY would be a wonderful organization to donate a small gift in Troika’s memory

Response to PrEP with Truvada

Response to PrEP with Truvada

Of course I’m 100% sex-positive, but I do worry about (a) what sort of Truvada resistant stains of HIV we’ll breed, (b) Truvada is a strong drug and long-term effects could be pretty serious, and (c) a condom prevents all disease transmission; will increased bareback sex lead to a rise in Hep C, and other drug resistant STDs.

— Mark De Solla Price

I passed out, was non-responsive for 6 hours, hospitalized for 4 days

On Thursday 3/13 at 5 PM I passed out and fell in our bedroom on the RIGHT side of my back surgery area and was non-responsive for the next six hours.

Vinny called 911 and I came-to in the ER. I was in Beth Israel Hospital for four days, and got out late last night. Vinny was hospitalized for an overnight too.

They call my event a “Syncope” (pronounced SIN-CO-PEA and being medical-speak for any sort of passing out) and was probably the effect of the pain PLUS getting too dehydrated over a few days (and the toxic effect of the almost 300 prescription pills I take each week), PLUS adding an additional high-blood pressure drug and a “stress event” with our landlord — all this against my too long list of serious medical issues I am dealing with that make me more sensitive.

Many folks have asked if it had anything to do with my fall on 2/25 on my back surgery area with the resulting higher pain meds — we know it did NOT have anything to do with the Fentanyl pain patch or Oxycodone.

I am home resting comfortably, Vinny is doing well, and I have a week full of doctor’s appointments and tests, just to follow-up and rule things out.

I feel VERY loved by so many of our friends who went to such great lengths to take care of me, Vinny, Troika (our dog) while we were in hospital. THANK YOU ALL!

“The Interdependent Web of All Existence” First Unitarian Sermon

[ Order_of_Service_2013-08-25_v1.docx ]


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Order of Service


The Sounding Bowl calls us into the spirit of silence and meditation


Prelude “Chorale Denouement” from ‘Jazz Preludes’ by John Mehegan


Opening Hymn “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught*
from South Pacific by Richard Rodgers (Music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (Lyrics)

You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear,

You’ve got to be taught from year to year,

It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear,

You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid

Of people whose eyes are oddly made,

And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,

You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,

Before you are six or seven or eight,

To hate all the people your relatives hate,

You’ve got to be carefully taught!


* You are invited to stand in body or in spirit for those sections with an asterix.


Words of Welcome    Jacque Schultz


Lighting the Chalice*


Song of Hope*

From all that dwell below the skies

Let songs of hope and faith arise.

Let peace, good will on earth be sung

Through every land by every tongue.


Candles of Memory and Hope*



Welcoming Visitors, Newcomers and Fellow Congregants


Hymn 1064 “Blue Boat Home by Peter Mayer
Though below me, I feel no motion

Standing on these mountains and plains

Far away from the rolling ocean

Still my dry land heart can say

I’ve been sailing all my life now

Never harbor or port have I known

The wide universe is the ocean I travel

And the earth is my blue boat home


Sun, my sail and moon, my rudder

As I ply the starry sea

Leaning over the edge in wonder

Casting questions into the deep

Drifting here with my ship’s companions

All we kindred pilgrim souls

Making our way by the lights of the heavens

In our beautiful blue boat home


I give thanks to the waves upholding me

Hail the great winds urging me on

Greet the infinite sea before me

Sing the sky my sailor’s song

I was born upon the fathoms

Never harbor or port have I known

The wide universe is the ocean I travel

And the earth is my blue boat home




Hymn “Smile” by Charlie Chaplin (music), John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons (lyrics)

Smile though your heart is aching

Smile even though it’s breaking

When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by

If you smile through your fear and sorrow

Smile and maybe tomorrow

You’ll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness

Hide every trace of sadness

Although a tear may be ever so near

That’s the time you must keep on trying

Smile, what’s the use of crying?

You’ll find that life is still worthwhile

If you just smile

That’s the time you must keep on trying

Smile, what’s the use of crying?

You’ll find that life is still worthwhile

If you just smile


Sermon: “The Interdependent Web of All Existence

by Mark de Solla Price, Secular Humanist Chaplain


Anthem “What a Wonderful World by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss

I see trees of green, red roses too.

I see them bloom, for me and you.

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue and clouds of white.

The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night.

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky.

Are also on the faces of people going by.

I see friends shakin’ hands, sayin’ “How do you do?”

They’re really saying “I love you.”

I hear babies cryin’, I watch them grow.

They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know.

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world



Postlude “The Internationale by Pierre Degeyter (Music) and Jerry Engelbach (Piano Arrangement) *


You are invited to stand, as Albert Schweitzer put it, “In Reverence for All Life”


Benediction by Mark de Solla Price


# # #


Mark de Solla Price, Secular Humanist Chaplain

Jacque Schultz, Worship Assistant

Harrison Beck, Summer Music Director and Piano

Dawn Elane Reed, Drop-In Choir Leader

Rob Petrillo, First Unitarian Director of Congregational Services


This sermon will be available on


Mark talks about CitiBike for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Well, I was stopped on the street yesterday and was asked what I thought about the implementation of the new shared Bike system being tested in Manhattan.

A rather unflattering edit was broadcast on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Thursday, June 6, 2013.

For the record: I am in favor of the idea, but the placement of the bike racks caused many unintended consequences that could have been avoided with better communication. I gave the example of the steps that movie location shoots go through with posting notices and actually listening to and resolving complaints promptly. CitiBike has a website, but I have not heard of a single rack that has been moved — even ones that block handicap access.

Here is the clip. My 30 seconds of fame start 7:20 into the clip Daily_Show_2013-06-06_CitiBike



Mark and Vinny’s Marriage Vows

Marriage Vows

Vinny and Mark wrote these vows on a Summer day in Strawberry Fields, Central Park, New York City:

“As we reaffirm this sacred bond of marriage, we renew our wedding vows and pledge to do whatever it takes to celebrate life together, and live to the fullest in the present moment. We will strive to be brave when facing life’s challenges together, and we will laugh and love and hold each other often. We will do whatever we can to help each other to be healthy and grow along our own unique paths. We promise to always be supportive of one another with gentleness and love, and communicate honestly and openly, no matter what. We will create a wonderful home together that can be an oasis filled with serenity, happiness, and our love. And most of all, we will cherish this never-ending love for one another and for our family and our friends.”

(Mark and Vinny signed this in front of 125 of our family and friends and a rabbi on September 3, 1995.)

The Term Limits Hearings, Friday

The Term Limits Hearings, Friday

The City Council’s sergeants-at-arms ejected protesters opposed to changing term limits without a popular vote this morning, during testimony by, from left, Richard D. Parsons, chairman of Time Warner; Helen M. Marshall, Queens borough president; and a former Council speaker, Peter F. Vallone Sr. (Photos: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times)

• • •

No. 3: Mark de Solla Price, a writer, civil rights activist and AIDS advocate, quoted Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey as saying that the moral test of a government is how it treats those at the dawn of life (children), those at the twilight (elderly) and those in the shadow of life (the sick and the disabled). He said he has been living with H.I.V. since 1983 and has been medically disabled for two years. He called the current predicament “a perfect storm.” He concluded, “As a liberal Democrat, I urge you to be republicans, with a lowercase R, and to do the bold thing, in the best interests of the city and the voters, by extending term limits.”

• • •

Night On The Town Can Be Arranged

This is a local mirror of:
From The New York Times Published: February 3, 1985; retrieved: May 26, 2014

If possible, please reference the original URL above; for print download in PDF format


Published: February 3, 1985


By Alvin Klein

FOR all the cultural and gastronomical treats served in the state, sometimes Connecticut residents want a night or a weekend ”on the town,” and that town is Manhattan.

And people who can afford it often want to be pampered – with choice theater tickets, restaurant reservations and a limousine in waiting.

With that in mind, Mark de Solla Price of New Haven formed Preview Guild, an entertainment consulting organization to perform such services for individuals or corporations.

Members of Preview Guild pay a $55 annual fee that entitles them to call the guild anytime with questions about shows or restaurants. They are charged $100 an hour for the time Mr. Price and his five-member staff spend arranging a night out for them, not including the price of events and meals. Nonmembers pay $150 an hour, in addition to the cost of the items, such as tickets and restaurant tabs.

Whatever the occasion, Mr. Price said he is prepared to coordinate it.

“We haven’t come up empty- handed yet,” he said.

Among the events Preview Guild has coordinated was a weekend for six members of a prosperous Texas family who were visiting New York and wanted to see the Thanksgiving Day Parade in style.

Mr. Price booked a private breakfast at a restaurant with a view of the festivities, complete with video monitors. Later in the day, a dinner of the traditional turkey and trimmings was delivered to the hotel where the family was staying. The entire weekend, which included tickets for a Broadway play, cost $10,000 – including the cost of hotel rooms and entertainment.

Mr. Price’s organization also receives a 10 percent commission from all arranged attractions, such as restaurants and booking agencies. or suppliers. such as florists.

Usually, an evening will consist of a client and his entourage dining out, attending a show, ballet or musical performance and then club-hopping.

Thus, Mr. Price is constantly in touch with Manhattan’s trendy restaurants and discotheques, as well as the more established ones. Such connections are necessary so that Preview Guild’s patrons can “get through the huge throngs, especially if they are not used to the New York hustle and bustle,” he said.

Mr. Price’s customers are “mostly corporations and the multi-millionaire crowd,” he said.

Coming up are a luncheon for group of investment bankers and a dinner party that will involve the presentation of a gold-plated elasticized stocking to the new president of an orthopedic-hosiery company.

“That won’t happen until March, and between now and then, I’ll be an expert on how to have a stocking gold- plated and mounted,” Mr. Price said.

Explaining the genesis of the Guild, he said, “In Connecticut, people were calling me up, asking for ideas and information about where to go and what to do. They needed a service.”

Consequently, Preview Guild, which started out as a service for Connecticut residents, has evolved into a more expansive information resource.

“Our customers want a concierge – and we’ll do it all smoothly: the tickets, the cars, the flowers,” he said.

At age 24, Mr. Price, who studied to be a chef, was an aspiring actor, worked at a computer concern in Stamford and co-produced the musical “Tallulah,” calls himself a “generalist,” a “host,” a hired “friend, yenta, Dutch uncle, adviser,” and a “matchmaker.”

“We match people up with what’s best for them,” he said.

Preview, the bimonthly newsletter published by Preview Guild, contains arts news and play and restaurant reviews.

In his lineage, Mr. Price numbers “a great-great-grandfather who built the St. James Theater in London and a great-great-uncle who was the composer of the Harrigan and Hart shows. He was Ned Harrigan’s father-in-law.” “Harrigan ‘n Hart,” a musical about the famous vaudeville team which originated at the Norma Terris Theater in Chester, opened on Broadway this month.

In the Manhattan loft from which Preview Guild emanates, Mr. Price holds Monday evening get-togethers for clients and members – a salon of sorts. “People tease me and say I aspire to be Gertrude Stein,” he said.