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Showing posts from December, 2005

100 things we didn't know this time last year

Found these on the BBC . Here are a few samples. 6. WD-40 dissolves cocaine - it has been used by a pub landlord to prevent drug-taking in his pub's toilets. 7. Baboons can tell the difference between English and French. Zoo keepers at Port Lympne wild animal park in Kent are having to learn French to communicate with the baboons which had been transferred from Paris zoo. More details 8. Devout Orthodox Jews are three times as likely to jaywalk as other people, according to an Israeli survey reported in the New Scientist. The researchers say it's possibly because religious people have less fear of death. 9. The energy used to build an average Victorian terrace house would be enough to send a car round the Earth five times, says English Heritage. 19. The = sign was invented by 16th Century Welsh mathematician Robert Recorde, who was fed up with writing "is equal to" in his equations. He

What Do You Mean I was Shot

PORT ORANGE, Fla. (AP) — A man who woke up and found his head bleeding, drove to work and left a note for his boss before going to the hospital to find he had a bullet lodged in his brain, authorities said. When Glen Thomas Betterley, 53, noticed the blood Thursday morning he asked his girlfriend if she had struck him. Emma Lorene Larsen, 65, said no. Betterley went to Halifax Medical Center emergency room where he learned he had been shot in the forehead. While Betterley was being treated, police called Larsen and heard a single gunshot. When investigators arrived at the home, they found Larsen dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot to the head. Oy.

Surprise You are Pregnant

" A WOMAN rushed to hospital with tummy trouble , fearing she had eaten a dodgy kebab, was shocked to give birth instead, a British newspaper reported today. Helen Smitham, 25, of Distington in northwest England, had no idea she was pregnant when she complained of feeling a bit rough – with an iffy kebab thought to blame. Her mother rushed her to the nearby West Cumberland Hospital where she gave birth so quickly that doctors did not even have time to tell her she was expecting. Her baby son Deaton was born on December 24 weighing four pounds and 11 ounces (2.1kg) said The Sun , Britain's biggest-selling daily. "I had absolutely no idea," a stunned Ms Smitham said." How do you not know that you are pregnant.

It is Coming

It is coming, at least I think that it is. If I can grab a chunk of time today I will put together my 2005 end of the year recap. It might be a monster post or it might be a couple of paragraphs, only time will tell.

Do I Really Look Like That

Today I got a good look at myself and wasn't all that happy with what I saw. If you are like I am you might be wondering what made me do this or more likely you are wondering if you are too tired to go out and get a Krispy Kreme donut. Or you could be just staring off into the space, jaw partially opened in a semicatatonic state. Whatever. All I know is that today we went here to celebrate the big boys birthday . He had a great time which is really what I cared most about, but secondary to that is my own sanity and what little shreds I have left are cooked. I have learned to hate and despise these stupid games that the funcenters have. I am not talking about the video games because I can usually find a few that are interesting. No I am talking about the games that you play so that you can win tickets that will be redeemed for a prize. The games are rigged so that you can win more than a few tickets at a time and it really wouldn't matter if they were not because the good pr

Recently Written

Five Years Ago Random WebSites You Might Enjoy Tearing Toilet Paper on Shabbos And just for kicks two recent posts you might enjoy Do you Have Blog Envy? How Many Blogs Do You Read?

Five Years Ago

On December 29, 2000 my life was changed forever because it was on that day that I became a father for the first time. In what could only be deemed foreshadowing the little man showed up 2.5 weeks prior to his due date. His grandmother insists that I was born almost four weeks after my due date so maybe there is something to be said for his taking after me, we do things in our time. Initially I hadn't planned on blogging about this, not because it was unimportant but because I couldn't decide what I wanted to say so I was going to opt out of saying anything and write about other things. Sometimes I find myself speechless and I learned a long time ago that in those moments sometimes the better part of valor is silence. About 25 minutes ago he wandered out of bed and climbed into my lap. "Tomorrow is my birthday," he said. I smiled and picked him up in my arms. For a moment we danced around to Matisyahu (King Without a Crown- I love that tune) and enjoyed the mome

Random WebSites You Might Enjoy

Ever wonder what Ronald McDonald's wife eats ? For more information click here . Improve your vocabulary at My Favorite Word . I still like Science Mag's 125 things we still don't know . I hear voices from everywhere . Wacky Mailboxes What about The Worst Jobs In History .

Tearing Toilet Paper on Shabbos

This post here led to some interesting comments and questions both online and off. One of the questions that garnered some attention was this one. "Um? Could someone please explain the tearing of toilet paper comments to me?" As an answer someone provided this link which I reviewed as I do all links that come across my blog. Now I find a lot of this to be interesting, but I have to admit that trying to explain somethings such as this and the reason that they are encouraged or discouraged to be tough. Let's look at this section: What about tearing toilet paper when there is no option? Obviously one must prepare toilet paper before Shabbos. The problem arises when one has depleted the supply of tissues, torn toilet paper etc. or one is in a place where there is no pre-torn paper. For obvious reasons we will not discuss the various technical options that are on hand when there is no toilet paper

Final Tuesday Night Roundup of 2005

Today was a busy day so there is a little bit more material to cover. He Says it Better than I Would Munich- Spielberg Your Prayer Wasn't Heard Oh Chanukah- Some Assembly Required Jewish Mysteries-Our Connection and The New Year A Quick Flashback Versus New Material

Munich- Spielberg Your Prayer Wasn't Heard

Munich mastermind spurns Spielberg's peace appeal GAZA (Reuters) - The Palestinian mastermind of the Munich Olympics attack in which 11 Israeli athletes died said on Tuesday he had no regrets and that Steven Spielberg's new film about the incident would not deliver reconciliation. The Hollywood director has called "Munich," which dramatizes the 1972 raid and Israel's reprisals against members of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), his "prayer for peace." Mohammed Daoud planned the Munich attack on behalf of PLO splinter group Black September, but did not take part and does not feature in the film. He voiced outrage at not being consulted for the thriller and accused Spielberg of pandering to the Jewish state. "If he really wanted to make it a prayer for peace he should have listened to both sides of the story and reflected reality, rather than serving the Zionist side alone," Daoud told Reuters by telephone from the Syrian ca

Oh Chanukah- Some Assembly Required

"Oh Chanukah," he said exasperatedly. Ok, that is not really what I said and most of the time I don't refer to myself in the third person but tonight merited special attention. You see the toy manufacturers have taken great care to make the acquisition of their toys to be one hell of an adventure. It is not just a matter of purchasing a toy and spending a few minutes assembling it, oh no, it is much more than that. In order to assemble the toy you have to be able to remove it from the box and that is no easy feat. The box is sealed shut with tape and some sort of elephant snot glue and on the bigger boxes you can see that a welder took great care in making sure that the toy is sealed tighter than the hatch on Lost . The nice thing about being a Taurus is that I may not have grace but I did receive the strength of the bull and I can usually work a little magic on whatever it is I need to open. The big trick is not destroying the contents of the package and more impo

Jewish Mysteries-Our Connection and The New Year

I wrote this for the Jewish Connection but thought that as part of my end of the year recap it merited another look. I am an independent in many ways including both politics and religion. Every now and then someone decides to take a swipe at me because they think that I pick and choose. For example, I don't keep Kosher, but I would never drink a glass of milk with meat. There are other examples, but I don't want to make this post about me but about the mysteries of Judaism . That is the term that I used when speaking with a friend about his kollel and their outreach program to unaffiliated Jews/Jews who are unhappy with their shul. But it really is most applicable to Jews who do not have a real strong Jewish education and their approach to Judaism. What I mean by this is that Judaism is highly sophisticated and filled with layers and layers of ritual and for a lack of a better term obligations/responsibilities that we usually refer to as the 613 mitzvot. Add to th

A Quick Flashback Versus New Material

One of the consistent and ongoing challenges of blogging is being able to continue to post new content. There are some bloggers who refuse to post unless they think that their material is top notch and then there are others who slap any old thing up there. I fall somewhere in the middle. It is important to me to maintain a standard and level of quality but at the same time I realize that I am not always going to look at my work and consider it be my best. That doesn't mean that I think that I consistently posting second rate material, it is just that i understand that when you post as frequently as I do you are not going to be presenting Pulitzer prize winning material every time. That leads in to my next point and that is a response to those bloggers who want to know how to find more material for their blog. In my experience when you are searching for something to write about you have a number of resources. Stories about your life or people you know. Searchi


My mother remembers the Summer of '69 for many reasons. During the day my father had a full time job and at night he worked to finish his masters. In between he spent as much time as possible with my mother and his newborn son (me). A new mother has a lot on her plate and my own was none too happy when she learned about the murders that had taken place she was less than pleased to be home alone at nights with her baby boy. But time passed and she grew more comfortable as a mother and less concerned about the various bogeyman of the night. In time the family grew larger, a younger sister and then twin sisters joined our brood. At the grand old age of 30 my mother had four children ranging in age from 5 years-old to a little less than a month. During that time frame I went from having four grandparents and three great grandparents to just three grandparents. Within a year the numbers adjusted again as my sole surviving great-grandfather died and my grandfather remarried. The r

Addicted to Love

Have you ever been a part of relationship in which you were physically and emotionally addicted to a person. Have you ever found yourself so enamored and enraptured in them that you can get lost for hours just thinking about them. Have you ever enjoyed the sheer ecstasy of smelling their pillow, of basking in their scent. Have you ever been so in love that just holding their hand made you smile. Have you ever lived a dream.

Not to Label Myself

Not as descriptive as I would like it to be but it will do for now.

Call me Irreverent But..

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - When Bob Bernstein arrived at his coffeehouse to assess the scene of an early Christmas morning break-in, the one thing he noticed missing was the cinnamon bun that bears a striking likeness to Mother Teresa. Bernstein said he believes that the culprit is someone angry over the shop displaying the world-famous pastry, which has been preserved with shellac. A jar of money next to the Nun Bun was not stolen. "They went right for the bun," he said. "Unfortunately I think it's somebody who wanted to take it to destroy it." The Nun Bun gained worldwide attention in 1996 when a customer nearly took a bite of it before recognizing the revered nun in the folds of flaky pastry. Stories like this are just begging to be made fun of. Is it just me or at least once a year do we read about someone discovering that their Fresh & Fruity Rootie tootie bears a striking resemblance to the Virgin Mary. A couple of telephone calls later and

Unsolicited Advice from A Man to Men

Hi boys, I have spoken with a number of you recently about your troubles with the fairer sex . I don't have these conversations as often as I used to because so many of the fellas are married now. It is kind of surreal to me because ten years ago chasing girls was a major pastime. You remember. All those parties, nights at bars, set ups and random encounters here and there. Remember how we spent hours in the gym working out and talking about silly things and so much of that was silly. I smile when I think of those moments because those were times in which I reveled in my life and my freedom. That doesn't mean that I am not happy now because I am. There is nothing better than being a father, but it is a different sort of reward and happiness. So let us go back to my promise to share some unsolicited advice. It is free so perhaps that is an indication of the value but after a few years of living with women maybe I know a little something that will help you out. If you rea

Call Me Prude But...

I feel really old saying this, but what the hell are they thinking. 31 HOURS OF NON-STOP DRINKING By Stuart Patterson HOGMANAY revellers are being urged to join in a 31-hour drinking marathon at a nightclub. The bevvy session will last from 6pm on Hogmanay to 1.30am on January 2. Boozers will be encouraged to drink cheap shots around the clock and prizes will be handed out for those who can stay standing throughout the promotion. Apparently I am not the only one who sees a problem. Last night, nightclub bosses were condemned by politicians and anti-alcohol campaigners who accused them of encouraging binge drinking. Details of the event, at the Cube nightclub in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, were revealed after a study found nearly 40 people are drinking themselves to death in Scotland every week. The 31-hour drinking binge will be held in the 300-capacity nightclub thanks to a special licence."

The Right Thing to Say

In the background I can hear Willie Nelson singing Always on My Mind "Maybe I didn't treat you Quite as good as I should have Maybe I didn't love you Quite as often as I could have Little things I should have said and done I just never took the time You were always on my mind You were always on my mind Maybe I didn't hold you All those lonely, lonely times And I guess I never told you I'm so happy that you're mine If I made you feel second best Girl I'm so sorry I was blind You were always on my mind You were always on my mind Tell me, tell me that your sweet love hasn't died Give me, give me one more chance to keep you satisfied, satisfied Little things I should have said and done I just never took the time You were always on my mind You were always on my mind You were always on my mind" There is no real relevance to this song playing now other than I wanted to share it with you. In an earlier post I blogged a bit about skills/talents t

Saturday Night Roundup

Ok folks it is time for your Saturday night roundup and a couple of thoughts to share. My son is trying to sing along to King Without a Crown and is getting a little frustrated because " that guy talks too fast ." My daughter almost made me cry. She ran up to me and hugged my leg. When I bent down to pick her up she said "Da da, love you" and then she kissed me. That is the first time that she has said " love you " to me. Not that I ever doubted it, but it just caught me off guard. A plesant surprise. My son played his own role in making my evening. I was carrying him in from the car, his head lay on my shoulder and he snored gently in my ear. When I lay him down in his bed he woke up and called to me. "Daddy, I need my special blessing." My heart almost burst. One of my goals is for my children to understand just how important that blessing is to me and to make it important to them. It is a sign of my love and I want for them to des

Music of The Evening

For those who are wondering this is what I listened to this evening. Here is the list. Fins Jimmy Buffett Songs You Know By Heart Stuck in a Moment You can't get out of U2 All that you can't leave behind Time Stand Still Rush Retrospective II (1981-1987) Disarm Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream Diamond Dogs David Bowie Changesbowie Ruby Ray Charles Ray Charles Super Hits Watching The World david broza David Broza In God's Country U2 Joshua Tree Down On Me Big Brother And The Holding Company Sony Music 100 Years Under The Sea Samuel E. Wright Classic Disney Vol. 1: Pretty Thing Bo Diddley Bo Diddley/Go Bo Diddley If I Ever Lose My Faith In You Sting Ten Summoner's Tales Nice Work If You Can Get Billie Holiday Jazz Masters 12 Open Letter (To A Landlord) Living Colour Vivid Mothers Talk Tears For Fears Tears Roll Down (Greatest Hits 82-92) Same Old Song And Dance Aeros

Math- What Is It Good For

Math- What Is It Good For. It reminds me of Edwin Starr singing War. I suppose that I could write a good parody of this using math as the topic but I am not that motivated. In school I found math to be less than interesting. It could be because I reached a point at which it became relatively hard and the struggle to keep up impacted my desire to learn or it could be because some of my math teachers were less than stellar. I suspect that it was a combination of the two. I wasn't the best student but I wasn't horrible either. Early on I figured out how to job the session or in plain English I was smart enough to be able get by with relatively little studying. Most the courses were easy and unless I was really challenged I coasted. It was a mistake but that is part of growing up, learning from your mistakes that is. The ease with which most of my courses came to me was not useful for math because I found that I couldn't coast and it irked me. My fragile male ego was brui

I Must Not Be Symmetrical

Live Science has an interesting article about dancing . "Many people are attracted to hot dancers, and a new study suggests part of the reason is because their bodies are more symmetrical than those of the less coordinated. The researchers found that men judged to be better dancers tended to have a higher degree of body symmetry, a factor that has been linked to overall attractiveness and health in other research . The new study involved 183 Jamaican teenagers, ranging between 14-19 years old, who danced while their movements were captured using motion-capture cameras similar to those used in video games and movies to give computer-generated characters fluid movements. Women watching the recordings preferred the dances of men who were more symmetrical, while men were more impressed by the dances of more symmetric females. Women are pickier Interestingly, the male preference for symmetric females was not as strong as that of the female preference for symm

Stuff to Read

Friday Is International Lurker's Day Blogging With Reckless Abandon The Schmidt Sting Pain Index Matisyahu Video Misguided Notion about War Bush's Most Recent Press Conference Search Terms You Used to Find Me A Couple of Past Post's to Look at Again: The Car Salesman On the outside looking in

Blogging With Reckless Abandon

That is me. I blog with reckless abandon. I wade out into the surf and brave the swells. Out in the mighty blogosphere I float weightlessly, stare at the sky and let the current take me where it may. Sometimes the posts are political and some are personal. Some are funny and some are sad and the worst part is that sometimes the posts are these things but the intent is otherwise. My father used to be a fan of photography. In truth I suppose that he is still is but I don't see him engaging in it as much as he used to. Not that it matters. The point of mentioning this is that I remember being about ten and listening to him advise me on how to take pictures. Among the many things that he taught me was to remove the bad pictures from the album as it was a way to help maintain me appear to be a better photographer. Of course at that time he was kind enough not to point out that a large number of my photos had fingerprints, or should I say my fingers in them even when they wer

Matisyahu Video

King Without a Crown - It seems a little iPodish to me but I enjoyed it. But I have to say that I was less impressed with this performance. It might be because of the studio work that went into some of the other versions.

Misguided Notion about War

So the comments and criticisms continue to fly from around the blogosphere. Old Jack is a mean old man who refuses to say Merry Xmas and because of this I have been called Scrooge, asshole, jerk and accused of being Anti Christ . Personally I would prefer to be the AntiChrist in which case I would squash like bugs those 17 of you who make silly comments about what I term an imaginary war on Xmas. Now before you begin frothing at the mouth I want to address a couple of points and ask some questions. I dislike using the term war because I think that it is important not to devalue or cheapen words unnecessarily. Not to mention that right now there are thousands of men and women in the armed forces who are truly at war and harms way. They are mothers/fathers/sisters and brothers and some of them are coming home in body bags. It doesn't seem right to me to use a term like war for a cultural squabble. It also seems strange to me that

Search Terms You Used to Find Me

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My Daughter

Every day when I come home from work I am greeted with a big smile, a hug and the words "Da Da." I change from my work clothes into something more comfortable and go sit down on the couch. Within a moment of my sitting down my baby girl walks over and crawls into my lap. Tonight I sent her mother out with the girls and the children and I had an evening together. We read some stories and did what daddys and kids do. The kitchen is a mess and the house is a wreck but it was fun. That sweet little girl has a cough and a cold. Tonight she fell asleep lying across my chest, her head on my shoulder. Listening to a tiny snore I couldn't stop smiling. As she lay there sleeping there was a commercial in which a father gave his daughter away at a wedding. It must have caught my attention because my son asked me why I looked so sad. She is only 17 months so there are years and years to go before she gets married but for a moment I was sad. For a moment it was hard to think t

Things That Keep Me Awake At Night

Some of the things that keep me up at night are serious and some are not so serious. Here is a brief sample. By no means are they in order of importance. It is 1987 and I am on my high school swim team . We are at City Finals and I am competing in the 100 yard breast stroke. I swim in two different heats and end up tied for 24 in the city. Don't ask me how many because I don't remember and I know that there were a bunch who weren't able to qualify for the finals. I underwent Lasik five years ago but back then I was half blind. I sometimes wonder if I would have been able to really see what I was doing if I couldn't have moved up closer to the top ten. I missed out on being part of the top twenty by around a second. Public school versus private school . This is one that I agonize over. All I want to do is give my children the best in everything. I want them to have all of the advantages that I didn't have, but it is so very hard. I roll around in bed from side

Mexico Promises to Block Border Wall Plan

"MEXICO CITY Dec 20, 2005 — The Mexican government, angered by a U.S. proposal to extend a wall along the border to keep out migrants, pledged Tuesday to block the plan and organize an international campaign against it. Facing a growing tide of anti-immigrant sentiment north of the border, the Mexican government has taken out ads urging Mexican workers to denounce rights violations in the United States. It also is hiring an American public relations firm to improve its image and counter growing U.S. concerns about immigration. Mexican President Vicente Fox denounced the U.S. measures, passed by the House of Representatives on Friday, as "shameful" and his foreign secretary, Luis Ernesto Derbez, echoed his complaints on Tuesday. "Mexico is not going to bear, it is not going to permit, and it will not allow a stupid thing like this wall," Derbez said. "What has to be done is to raise a storm of criticism, as is already happening, agains

Fall in love and risk a police thrashing

"NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Outrage and protests mounted in India Wednesday after TV channels showed police officers repeatedly slapping, punching and pulling the hair of young women on a date in a public park in a north Indian city. Indian media reported one couple was so humiliated by the police action in front of TV crews they have not returned home. "Is falling in love wrong? Who gave the police the right to beat and hit people and misbehave in such a manner," a woman in Meerut city in Uttar Pradesh state told Aaj Tak television news. Since Tuesday, shocked TV viewers in India have been watching images of female officers pummelling and abusing crying young women in Meerut in what the media is calling "moral policing." TV footage also showed male policemen with sticks surrounding the scared women and taking them to women officers who beat them. Several of their male companions were beaten also. The police operation, termed "operation Romeo," i

Roundup Roundup Roundup/Popular Posts

Hey Folks, Here is what is new this evening and another look at which posts according to the statcounters are currently most popular. Floating on a Raft Alaskans eager for long night's journey into day Researchers Find Barbie Is Often Mutilated Most Popular Posts: Happy Holidays is An Appropriate Greeting Do you Have Blog Envy? Jack's Experience In the Ladies Room Five Books