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Showing posts from April, 2006

How Do You Make a Baby?

I always knew that at some point in time the question about how to make a baby would arise, just not when. When my son asked I took a deep breath and considered how to answer it. He is just short of 5.5 so I didn't see a need to give him too much information, but at the same time I didn't want to shortchange him. I am not embarrassed or bothered by the question. It is age appropriate and just one of a thousand questions a day that he asks me. I have a standard response to almost all of his questions that goes something like this "what do you think?" The purpose is for me to try and understand how much he has heard about a particular topic. Once I understand what level of understanding he has it is much easier for me to provide an appropriate response. The first time he asked we were in my car. I was stopped at a red light on Ventura Boulevard. Somewhere behind me or to the side there was a car emitting a loud booming noise. The bass must have been deafening fo

Rally For Darfur

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- Thousands of people joined celebrities and lawmakers at a rally Sunday urging the Bush administration and Congress to help end genocide in Sudan's Darfur region. "Not on our watch!" the crowd chanted as a parade of speakers lined up for their turn on a stage on the National Mall, the Capitol serving as a backdrop."The personal motivation for a lot of us is the Holocaust," said Boston-based Rabbi Or Rose of Jewish Seminarians for Justice. "Given our history and experience, we feel an obligation to stand up and speak out." If I am not mistaken the last time I saw Or Rose was about 15 years ago on a basketball court, but that is neither here nor there. What I know for certain is that I feel as an obligation as a person, as a father and as a Jew to speak out about Darfur. What I know is that Africa is the forgotten continent. It is a place which is perpetually in trouble in large part because the world just doesn't care. Th

Samuel L. Jackson

He is one of my favorite actors. Time has a good interview with him. Not as in depth as I might like, but some cool quotes nonetheless. In particular he relates his thoughts about how a Jedi should speak. Time: Did you end up saying, "I want these m-----f------ snakes off this m-----f------ plane?" S.J. Yeah. It's kind of difficult to watch me in a movie and not hear me say mother------ once. I wanted to say it in Star Wars, but you just can't say that kind of stuff. Jedis don't talk that way. Master Yoda would have been most displeased. ;)

An Illegal War

They are fighting an illegal war." It is a term that I have heard for many many years and I can't remember a time where it didn't sound strange to me. From a personal standpoint I happen to think that there are times when war is merited. We usually refer to those moments as a moral war but I readily admit that this sounds somewhat strange to me as well. Think about it. Is there a country in which murder is legal. I suppose that one could argue that enemy combatants are killed and not murdered. There are rules of warfare but I still find some of this to be strange. When it is moral to drop bombs on other people, to destroy their homes and their way of life there is a bit of an issue. I suppose what I am saying is that terms like moral and illegal are not so easily applied, at least not from my standpoint. The world is a funny place. I may have to blog about this some more later.

There Are No Bargain Matinees Anymore

I love going to the movies. I always have, the Drive-in, the theater, whatever. They are all good. Give me a big screen, padded seats and a great sound system and I am pretty happy. I almost never walked out on a movie. A bad movie is like a train wreck, it is hard to look away. It used to be that the biggest challenge was trying to sneak in some food. I certainly didn't want to pay through the nose for popcorn and candy, especially if I hit the bargain matinee. Those were usually somewhere between $3.50 and $5. What was the point of paying more for the food than the movie. Back in college my girlfriend and I found a place that charged a buck a movie. For poor college students it was an outstanding find. We loved it and spent many happy hours there. Alas I haven't found anything close to that place in years. For a while the weekends provided the standard $5 fair, but that seems to have disappeared. More and more chains have raised their rates into the $7 to $10 range and

Dreams Fulfilled and Unfulfilled

I really should be responding to the comments. I have blogged about this before . I still maintain that the most time consuming part of blogging is responding to comments. If you want to garner decent traffic it is also one of the most important things that you can do. Typically I try to reply in the evening. The challenge with doing so is that sometimes I find that I am just so tired that it is tough to blog and reply. It is not really fair, but sometimes fatigue wins and I don't respond or I give a very short reply. Nonetheless I very much appreciate the comments, thank you for your time. It is appreciated. On the subject of dreams there is always the question of how to fulfill those. What do you do to turn fantasy into reality. How do you bring the image in your head to life. Are you someone who is more content to dream or are you resourceful enough to turn fiction to fact. At my nephew's bris some friends of my parents looked at my kids and laughed. They called my

You Never Know When You'll Need This

I am a gadget guy. I just love all the doohickeys and doodads. I always have. I just found a couple more items that I can add to the list of things I might need one day. The first is The Portable Bar. I first learned about it over here . Thanks to the fine folks at JustInCase I am now confident in my ability to hire myself out as a party on wheels. And you know, there is never enough of those. Here is the thing that really gets me going. Thanks to Random Good Stuff and The Poop Report I have become familiar with the work of Marcel Neundorfer. The good man has helped to design games you can play at the urinal . This seems like a no brainer to me. If you are going to serve as a traveling bartender than you might as well bring along some games to entertain the guests wherever they may be.

Michael Totten Goes To Israel

As many others have blogged about Michael Totten is writing about his experience in Israel. It is worth reading. Here is a nice long excerpt . "TEL AVIV - After living in an Arab country for nearly six months, arriving in Israel came like a shock. It startled me from the air. Whoa , I thought, as I looked out the window of the plane over the suburbs of Tel Aviv. If the border were open I could drive down there in a short couple of hours from my Beirut apartment. But this place looked nothing like Lebanon. My Lebanese friend Hassan calls Israel Disneyland . I thought about that and laughed when I watched it roll by from above. Trim houses sprawled in Western-style suburban rows like white versions of little green Monopoly board pieces. Red-tiled roofs somehow looked more Southern California than Mediterranean. Swimming pools sparkled in sunlight. I felt that I had been whisked to the other side of the planet in no time. The airport shocked me as well, although it probably

Comic Books Find Religion

"Four years ago , we learned that The Thing is Jewish when he was shown praying in Hebrew over the body of a friend he had sought to protect. (“It’s just ... you don’t look Jewish,” a surprised character tells the enormous, destructive orange rock-man, who explains to another character that he never said anything about it because he didn’t want to embarrass other Jews, seeing as he was, after all, an enormous, destructive orange rock-man.)" Call me a geek but I found the story to be interesting. Please note that the selection I chose is but a small part of the overall story. Now if you really want geeky you can click here to find out the religious affiliation of many superheroes.

Immigrant boycott aims to "close" US cities

" LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pro-immigration activists say a nationwide boycott and marches planned for May 1 will flood Americas's streets with millions of Latinos to demand amnesty for illegal immigrants and shake the ground under Congress as it tackles reform. But while such a massive turnout could make for the largest protests since the civil rights era of the 1960s, not all Latinos, nor their leaders, were comfortable with such militancy -- fearing a backlash in Middle America. "There will be 2 to 3 million people hitting the streets in Los Angeles alone. We're going to close down Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Tucson, Phoenix, Fresno," said Jorge Rodriguez, a union official who helped organize earlier rallies credited with rattling Congress as it debates the issue." Fine. I don't know that this is going to work out the way they hope it will. I suspect that this will polarize the issue further and create more problems than it solves. "We wan

How To Build Company Morale

I am shocked, positively shocked that this backfired. Do I sound like Captain Renault speaking about Gambling at Ricks. ;) FRESNO, California (AP) -- Lawyers for a woman spanked in front of co-workers as part of what her employer said was a team-building exercise asked a jury Wednesday for at least $1.2 million for the humiliation she says she suffered. Janet Orlando, 53, quit her job at the home security company Alarm One Inc. and sued, alleging discrimination, assault, battery and infliction of emotional distress. Employees were paddled with rival companies' yard signs as part of a contest that pitted sales teams against each other, according to court documents. The winners poked fun at the losers, throwing pies at them, feeding them baby food, making them wear diapers and swatting their buttocks. "No reasonable middle-aged woman would want to be put up there before a group of young men, turned around to show her buttocks, get spanked and called abusive names, and told it

How to Deal With Writer's Block

Here are a couple of tricks that I use to deal with writer's block. 1) Surf the net and post interesting stories. The trouble with this one is that I enjoy doing this anyhow. Or maybe that is a good thing, maybe that helps to make you think that the well never runs dry. 2) Respond to email scams and post transcripts of conversations. Again, the issue with this one is that I do this anyhow. 3) Produce a short roundup of links to posts that other bloggers have written. Hmm... I see value in this. It is not really a trick at all. Part of the reason I blog is for the dialogue and this is part of the interactivity of blogging. 4) Write stream of consciousness posts that ramble on about this and that. Ok, many of my posts ramble on. I suppose that there is no real difference. 5) Make fun of cleveland and other small midwestern towns. 6) Regurgitate old posts. Now the truth is that I have run some posts over and over again because I thought that they deserved more

Just Some Random Thoughts

It was drizzling outside. The sky was overcast and through the tinted windows of the bus it appeared to be a little later in the day than it was. As we cruised through Jerusalem I was lost in thoughts of the past and the present. I was listening to The Cranberries sing Zombie. "Another head hangs lowly, Child is slowly taken. And the violence caused such silence, Who are we mistaken? But you see, it's not me, it's not my family. In your head, in your head they are fighting, With their tanks and their bombs, And their bombs and their guns. In your head, in your head, they are crying... " In a strange coincidence as Dolores O'Riordan sang the second verse there was a very loud thump. It startled me and I jumped. I looked outside the window and saw a bunch of kids throwing rocks at the bus. That was the source of the noise. One of their rocks had hit the bus. Had it been an open air bus I might have been more disturbed by the rock. It certainly sounded like it

Standing Room Only- The Crowded Skies

Flying is way too crowded. I don't know about you, but I don't like the idea of being herded like cattle. " The airlines have come up with a new answer to an old question: How many passengers can be squeezed into economy class? A lot more, it turns out, especially if an idea still in the early stage should catch on: standing-room-only "seats." Airbus has been quietly pitching the standing-room-only option to Asian carriers, though none have agreed to it yet. Passengers in the standing section would be propped against a padded backboard, held in place with a harness, according to experts who have seen a proposal." What a lovely idea. One more selection for your consumption. "Perhaps the most extraordinary example of a new jet that could accommodate features unheard of previously is the Airbus A380. There is so much available room on the superjumbo that Virgin Atlantic Airways is even considering placing a beauty salon in its premium-class section. (N

An Old Joke

A United States Marine was attending some college courses between assignments. He had completed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the courses had a professor who was an avowed atheist and a member of the ACLU. One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, "G-d, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes." The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, "Here I am G-d. I'm still waiting." It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Marine got out of his chair, went up to the professor and cold -cocked him; knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold. The Marine went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students were shocked and stunned and sat there looking on in silence. The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the

Yom HaShoah

It is Holocaust remembrance day. May I point out that the lovely leader of Iran has this to say: " Ahmadinejad , in a wide-ranging news conference that included international journalists for only the second time since he took office in August, said anti-Semitism drove Jews out of Europe into Israel. "We believe that Jews like any other human beings have the right to live in happiness and prosperity and to benefit from security," he said, according to a CNN translator. "Allow them to go back to their own fatherlands and countries." The Palestinians and Germans, he said, are being "blackmailed" and forced to continue making amends for a war in which the present generation played no part. And, as he has done in the past, he appeared to question whether the Holocaust took place. He called Israel's regime artificial, saying it was established in the late 1940s on a "story" and "to this day, it bloodies and kills defenseless people."

Two Kinds of Pain

Life offers two types of pain, one physical and one mental. Man still hasn’t found a tougher prison than the one he encages his mind in. There is no greater pain than the mental anguish we inflict on ourselves and there is no tougher warden than the person we see in the mirror. For some there is no midnight reprieve, the governor doesn’t offer clemency. There is only one way out and no two people can share the path. We all live in our secret worlds, but some of us never have the strength to leave our shelter and walk under sunny skies. I used to. I used to live in a place I called paradise. I could look out on the world and from my window and gaze upon waters that called out to me. Deep blue seas that embraced me like a child in the womb. The seas were always calm and at night they would gently rock me to sleep. But it wasn’t real. I didn’t live on a boat. I didn’t live on the beach or remotely close to the water. It was all an illusion, a mindfuck that I created to make myself

I Had a Dream

I had a dream. I dreamt of a place that I had never been to but always wanted to live in. You were there and your arms welcomed me to a place that until then had always lived inside me. You unlocked the passion and the fire that burns inside me. You helped me to remember that love is meant to sting, that to be apart is to feel an ache that no drug can touch and to be together is to know the meaning of union. You are my drug of choice, an addiction that I cannot give up. My air and my blood, the wind that fills my sails and were I to lose you I would be forced to revisit that dark place that I used to live in. I would be hollow inside, an empty shell and who knows what might choose to occupy that place. I knew the day that we kissed that life was going to be different. Few people understand because so few have had the experience and even then few walk that path. When you walk through fire you risk being burned but you also open yourself up to untold rewards. When just holding ha


This is the tale of a beard. It is not a long tale. For that matter it is a whisker or two short of being too long. Cue polite laughter at tired joke. It is one of the privileges of being a father. Bad puns told repeatedly at family events. If you read the manual you’ll see that it is next to the line that says you don’t have to take out the trash until you have been asked more than two times in an hour. I am currently cleanshaven. It is a state that I enjoy but not one that lasts as I have a beard that is quite active. It is one of the perks of having darke features. My shadow shows early and often. I can grow a full beard in around three weeks or so. It is not really of much value to me. I suppose that if I really wanted to adjust my look it is something that I could do with a certain degree of ease, but it still isn't all that valauble. One of these days I may discover a way to make money from it, but for now I am still looking. In the interim I'll continue to grow a b

Don't Monkey Around

"FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) -- Police hunted Monday for chimpanzees that escaped from a Sierra Leone preserve and mauled a group of local and American sightseers -- a rare attack that left one local man dead and at least four other people hospitalized. The U.S. Embassy warned Americans against traveling to the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, from where the chimps escaped before the Sunday attack on a taxicab filled with Americans and others. The Sierra Leonean driver died as the chimps ripped his body apart and the three Americans were treated at a local hospital for minor injuries, a top police official, Oliver Somasa, said. Another Sierra Leonean man in the group had his hand amputated after the primate mauling, Somasa said. U.S. officials had no further comment. The Americans were in Sierra Leone to help construct a new embassy building, Somasa said." Oh my.

Sometimes I Feel Like this Too

What I Fear

I have been playing around with how to write this post for quite some time now. I t touches upon many things that I have previously written about . It is not something that I want to write about. It is not really something that I want to think about, but I don't know how to ignore it because if I do I cannot possibly fix it. And if there is anything that I know about myself and about life it is that if I do not try to fix things I will not be able to live with myself. Whenever I have a problem I try to boil it down to its most simplistic form and then I attack it. In this case the challenge in front of me is how to help my father and my grandfather. Two years ago my father had a major illness during which he suffered a major heart attack and underwent a triple bypass. The doctors uniformly agreed that he beat the odds and that they expected him to die. It was a major event and not totally unforeseen. Part of the reason that they think that he survived is that he

Time for a Bris

Have to get moving to my nephew's Bris. Probably won't be much in the way of new posts for a bit, or maybe there will. Good Shabbos to all and welcome back to those ending their Passover break.

A Few More Random Musings

I like to debate and I like to argue. I like to get the last word, but what does it all matter. I sometimes hold a grudge. I like Pepsi and I like coke. When I was a younger man, so much younger than today I never need anyones help in any way. But I still needed ice cream. A good pizza, a good beer and a clear summer night- this is the recipe for a good time. I miss being able to eat with reckless abandon. I miss being able to survive for months at a time on 3 hours sleep. I don't miss being a poor college student. People I would have liked to have met: King David, Samson, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Shoeless Joe Jackson, David Ben-Gurion, Casey Stengel, Harriet Tubman, Teddy Roosevelt, Ghandi, Winston Churchill, Julius Caesar, Leonardo Davinci, Galileo, Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, JRR Tolkien, and Benjamin Franklin. There are others. If I had a hammer there might be a hole in the wall I am staring at. Three Blind Mice, see how they run. What

A Little Reader Feedback

Here are some of the recent notes I have received from readers. Dear Jack, You used to be funny. What happened? -Sam Dear Sam, You used to have hair. What happened? Regards, Jack (could be considered a funny retort, or just snarky.) Dear Jack, Why don't we see any pictures of you? Thanks, Misty Dear Misty, Don't take this the wrong way, but I wonder about people with porn star names. -Jack Dear Jack, Is that your wife wearing the cockroach? -John Dear John, No, it is my brother Franz Kafka. Dear Jack, Stacey's blog needs updating. You usually pretend to be her and you. What are you going to do about it? -Sam. Dear Sam, Congratulations, you made it on this list twice. Now if you only made sense we might have something to work with. -Jack Dear Jack, Why doesn't your penis talk to you like Neilochka ? Regards, Your elbow Dear Elbow, I used to be funny without resorting to dick jokes. Or didn't you read Sam's comment from above. -Jack

Texas college bars students from posing for Playboy

"SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - Baylor University in Waco, Texas, which bills itself as the world's largest Baptist college, has threatened to discipline female students if they pose for Playboy magazine, which is trying to recruit models from the college. Playboy photographers came to Baylor's hometown seeking models for a photo spread on women of the Big 12 college athletic conference, of which the college is a member. Baylor Vice President for Student Life Samuel W. Oliver sent an e-mail to women students this week warning that any who "associate" with Playboy would be subject to the university's disciplinary processes. "Playboy is clearly antithetical to Baylor's mission and associating with the magazine would be a violation of the code of conduct," Oliver wrote in the e-mail. University officials said punishment could include suspension." Am I the only one asking how they would know if one of their students posed in the magazine.

Some Stories That Grabbed Me

I am just shaking my head. Phony doctor arrested after fake breast exams "Broward Sheriff's Office deputies arrested a 76-year-old man Thursday who they say was going door-to-door in a Lauderdale Lakes neighborhood offering free breast exams. Two women accepted the exams, BSO officials said. At about 9 a.m., BSO investigators say, Philip Winikoff drove to an apartment complex near the 3200 block of Northwest 40th Street. Carrying a black ''doctor's'' bag, he walked up to the building and told a 36-year-old woman that he was in the neighborhood offering free breast exams. The woman let Winikoff, of Coconut Creek, into her apartment and the phony doctor began the exam. The woman told police that after Winikoff touched her breasts, he moved his hand to her genitals and further assaulted her. Realizing he was not a doctor, she called BSO, but Winikoff had already left her apartment and found another victim; a 33-year-old woman in the same complex. Dep

Blame Bush & Blame The Republicans

I am physically tired and mentally spent. I feel out of sorts. I wasn't happy with my seders. I have some repairs that need to be made around the house and I am tired of getting screwed at the pump. There are two basic reasons for this, at least if some of my friends, fellow bloggers and citizens are to be believed. All of the ills of the world can be blamed upon Bush and the Republicans. Wow, I feel so much better. Just having written that makes me feel like the weight of the world has come off of my shoulders. I don't have to take any personal responsibility for anything. I can ignore prexisting conditions and just shrug my shoulders. I didn't vote for Dubya. I didn't ask for this. It was those other guys. You know, the ones that hate everyone who isn't white, drive big cars and want to live in a caste system. I don't have any accountability because I am not a red state denizen. For that matter it is perfectly acceptable for me to point my fingers at the

The Perfect Gift For Your Wife/Girlfriend

Customers Scurry to Buy Designer's `Roach Brooch' "A piece of jewelry that features a live hissing cockroach attached to a chain has brought his Utah boutique a lot of attention -- and sales. SALT LAKE CITY — Designing for his first fashion show, Jared Gold understood that a unique piece of jewelry could draw a lot of attention to both his work and the wearer. His eye-catching creations are alive. And they're cockroaches — 3-inch-long Madagascar hissing cockroaches bejeweled with Swarovski crystals and attached by a chain to a pin.The "roach brooches" are free to crawl around on a blouse or jacket, attached to a limiting lead. They hiss when upset and, unless the wearer is careful about the roach's feeding schedule, they can soil your couture clothing. A curiosity for sure, but when Gold revived the idea this year for his Salt Lake City boutique even he was a little surprised by the result. He can't keep them in stock. "Oh, there the

How Do I Respond to This?

As the phone call ended she said "Have a big one." What does that mean? What is she referring to? Was it a slip of the tongue or intentional. Is this the newest fad in greetings and salutations. Is it similar to cool, groovy, awesome or tubular. Does my ignorance show my age. Am I just not cool enough to get it. Maybe it is nothing. It probably is. Whatever, it threw me for a moment.

Songs I Enjoy Driving To

I am really too tired to do a proper job on this, but I can't seem to fall asleep so I figured what the hell. Here is an incomplete list of songs that I enjoy listening to in the car. Some of these tunes are cause my foot to get a little bit heavy on the peddle and others just help to pass the time. So let me grab the iPod and see what we have here to share with you. Charge of the Batmobile - Batman (Original Motion Picture Score) Attack of the Batwing - Batman (Original Motion Picture Score) Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting) - Elton John Hotel California - The Eagles America - Neil Diamond Going Back to Cali - LL Cool J A.M. Radio - Everclear Who Needs Information - Roger Waters (Ghost) Riders In The Sky - Johnny Cash Where The Streets Have No Name - U2 We Will Rock You - Queen Babe I'm Gonna Leave You - Led Zeppelin Back In Black - AC/DC Battle Without Honor or Humanity -Battle Without Honor or Humanity Beds Are Burning - Midnight Oil Behind Blue

If I had a Swimming Pool

I would want to own one of these . I like it. Can you say pool party.

I Was Infected with A_Z Meme

That A-Z meme Biur Chametz tagged me with this little ditty. Accent: Not me. Born and raised in Los Angeles. Booze: Scotch and Beer with the occasional Bourbon. Chore I Hate: Doing the Dishes. Dogs/Cats: I love dogs, but cats are different . Feh. Essential Electronics: The Internet, Stereo/iPod Favorite Perfume/Cologne: Essence of Monkeytown Gold & Silver: I like brass. Hometown: Los Angeles Insomnia: Only when I can't sleep. Job Title: Bishop of Bullfrog Kids: 3 wives, 27 kids and six or seven girlfriends. Living Arrangements: Upright and breathing. Most Admired Trait: I don't know, you tell me. Number of Sexual Partners: When? Overnight Hospital Stays: I prefer a hotel. Phobia: cleveland Quote: She is not much of a boxer but she sure can dance. Religion: Sure. Siblings: Many Time I Usually Wake Up: When my eyes open. Unusual Talent: I can turn my skin inside out. Vegetable I Refuse To Eat: Brus

On this Day- From

Today's Highlights Tuesday, April 18, 2006 Hayley Mills Source Spotlight: Pollyanna is 60! Happy birthday to Hayley Mills , the child star of Pollyanna and The Parent Trap . Born into a family of entertainers, Mills was only a year old when she made her movie debut, in the film So Well Remembered , starring her father, Oscar winner John Mills . She won a special juvenile Oscar for her role as Pollyanna (1960), but didn't even know about it until her parents told her several months later. In later years, Mills acted on TV and on the stage, making her off-Broadway debut in Noel Coward's Suite in Two Keys in 2000. Quote: "My relationship with Pollyanna is a very personal one, because Pollyanna got me through my childhood." – Eleanor Porter