The Dodgers of My Youth- That Infield

To the right I present to you a photo the Dodger infield of my youth: Ron Cey, Bill Russell, Davey Lopes and Steve Garvey.

As a child of the '70s they were a fixture that I relied upon. For 8.5 seasons they were a unit.

It never occurred to me that this unit would one day be separated. Back to that in a moment.

In those days I lived and breathed baseball. I knew every single player on the Dodgers. I knew their position, their batting averages and more. I loved to play that game.

I was an outfielder and truth be told Dusty Baker and Reggie Smith were the guys I looked up to more than the infield in large part because I thought that the outfield was just cooler than playing first or second.

But I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I liked The Penguin, Ron Cey. I liked him because he was a Dodger. As a young and impressionable boy just being a member of the team was enough to impress me, but in Cey's case there was a little more to it.

About 30 years or so ago he was one of a number of players who made an appearance at a local bank to sign autographs and press the flesh. I have strong memories of him and Bill Buckner taking the time to speak with me. They could have just signed the picture and told me to move on, but they didn't.

Don't get me wrong, they didn't spend a ton of time speaking with me but enough to make a lasting impression. Every now and then I think about telling The Penguin about that day at the bank.

You see for the last 15 years or so I have seen Ron Cey weekly at my gym. I pass by him in the locker room, wander by in the showers or see him entering or leaving the building. And in all that time I don't think that we have said more than the occasional hello.

In part that is because I respect his privacy. I never wanted to be a pesky fan and from time to time I have seen him patiently answer questions from others. In part it is also because I think that it might be odd to walk up to him dressed in nothing more than a towel and start flinging questions his direction.

Now I know there are at least two other Dodger fans that read this blog. You might be interested to know that Tom Niedenfuer goes to the same gym. We tried rattling him at the free throw line with a few choice comments.

But back to Cey. Maybe it is just because I am a five-year-old trapped in a man's body, maybe it is because I am a father now or maybe it is just because so many athletes appear to be jerks now but I am more appreciative now of that little gesture from so many years ago.

I suppose that I could write more about those days. I suppose that I could share the frustration of watching Reggie shellack the hell out of the Dodgers in the '77 series, or the excitement of watching a rookie Bob Welch strike him out a year later. Instead I'd like to share a short blurb about my Dodgers.
"The Los Angeles Dodgers of the 1970s were a team of winners. Three National League pennants and three appearances in the World Series (1974, 1977 and 1978) along with 910 victories (second-best decade in Dodger history) are certainly enough credentials for a successful decade.

Peter O'Malley was named club president on March 17, 1970 and his father, Walter O'Malley, assumed the position of Chairman of the Board.

In the 1970s, no Dodger team ever finished lower than third. In 1971, the Dodgers finished just one game behind division winner San Francisco. But in 1974, the Dodgers reached the top, winning the division and posting 102 victories, the most by a Dodger team since 1962. The Dodgers defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in the League Championship Series, three games to one, to earn a trip to the Fall Classic for the first time in eight years.

After 23 years, Hall of Fame Manager Walter Alston retired and handed over the reins to Tommy Lasorda, who became only the second National League manager to win pennants in his first two seasons (1977 and 1978). The results were carbon copies as his teams in 1977 and 1978 defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in the League Championship Series in four games, only to lose to the New York Yankees in the World Series in six games.

During this era, the Dodgers had an infield featuring first baseman Steve Garvey, second baseman Davey Lopes, shortstop Bill Russell and third baseman Ron Cey. The foursome began playing as a unit in 1973 and would spend a record 8 1/2 seasons together.

In 1977, the Dodgers made history when four members of the team hit 30 or more home runs: Steve Garvey (33), Reggie Smith (32), Ron Cey (30) and Dusty Baker (30). Behind the plate, catcher Steve Yeager was the picture of durability. One of the best Dodger catchers in history, Yeager played 14 seasons with the ballclub and was a tri-World Series MVP in 1981."

There they are again. The boys in blue, the men who made me want to be a pro ballplayer. I look at this picture and am reminded of a time in which life was far more simple.

Free agency hadn't wrecked loyalty to team and town and I could count on spending hours playing Pickle, riding my bike around the Valley and a freedom from worry that I gave up when my kids were born.

You see, part of why I like looking at this picture and reading these words is that it gives me a brief moment to look back at a very happy childhood.

Life was good.

I don't think that we'll ever see an infield like that again. We probably won't ever see that many players stay in one place for so long either. But I suppose that change is part of life. Nothing stays the same.

The Errand Boy

This is a fictional account of a person called The Errand Boy. He was a poorly educated but somewhat street savvy Joe with a chip on his shoulder and a carton a day smoking habit. The Errand Boy knew a million stories and they were always better than whatever it was you told.

If you talked about a favorite childhood memory you could be sure that The Errand Boy had a better story than yours. If you talked about places you had seen you could be sure that he would add his own two cents. He hadn't traveled all that much or lived in all that many places, but that didn't stop The Errand Boy from telling you about how much better his experience was.

And heaven forbid the conversation turned to women. The Errand Boy knew more and had had more women than Hugh Hefner, Casanova or any Don Juan. In his mind he was truly legendary. He didn't dream about dating Playboy Bunnies because he had done that. He didn't wonder what it was like to date strippers because he had done that. Orgies, twins, best friends, mother/daughter, whatever...It just didn't matter because The Errand Boy had a better story than you did. All you had to do was ask him.

The Errand Boy was good in a bar. Give him a smoke and a beer and he was much happier because that really was his speed. He loved to tell jokes and believe me, no one laughs harder at their own jokes than The Errand Boy.

There are many tales that could be told about The Errand Boy but few would give you as much insight into his character as this one.

One day The Errand Boy went to a small cafe and ordered a couple of slices of pizza. The Errand Boy sat outside and enjoyed a very plesant meal at a small table. As he finished eating he took a napkin and wiped a small patch of grease off of his chin and then stood up. He took a moment to primp himself and then turned around to march off.

As he turned he made a point of avoiding the trashcan that had been conveniently placed nearby so that the diners could dispose of their trash. Some people would think that this would have reminded him to pick up his own trash, but not The Errand Boy. Oh no, that is not his style.

Instead he stepped around the trash can and began to walk away. As he did an employee of the cafe ran outside and yelled out "what about my tip" but what he was really saying was "why can't you clean up after yourself."

The Errand Boy had a smart response to his plaintive cry and said "here is your tip, don't buy Enron."

And now you know a little bit more than you probably care to know about The Errand Boy.

New Orleans Sinking

"WASHINGTON May 31, 2006 (AP)— Everyone has known New Orleans is a sinking city. Now new research suggests parts of the city are sinking even faster than many scientists imagined more than an inch a year.

That may explain some of the levee failures during Hurricane Katrina and it raises more worries about the future.

The research, reported in the journal Nature, is based on new satellite radar data for the three years before Katrina struck in 2005. The data show that some areas are sinking four or five times faster than the rest of the city. And that, experts say, can be deadly.

"My concern is the very low-lying areas," said lead author Tim Dixon, a University of Miami geophysicist. "I think those areas are death traps. I don't think those areas should be rebuilt."

The blame for this phenomenon, called subsidence, includes overdevelopment, drainage and natural seismic shifts.

For years, scientists figured the city on average was sinking about one-fifth of an inch a year based on 100 measurements of the region, Dixon said. The new data from 150,000 measurements taken from space finds that about 10 percent to 20 percent of the region had yearly subsidence in the inch-a-year range, he said.

As the ground in those areas sinks, protection from levees also falls, scientists and engineers said.

For example, the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, built more than three decades ago, has sunk by more than 3 feet since its construction, Dixon said, explaining why water poured over the levee and part of it failed.

"The people in St. Bernard got wiped out because the levee was too low," said co-author Roy Dokka, director of the Louisiana Spatial Center at Louisiana State University. "It's as simple as that."

The subsidence "is making the land more vulnerable; it's also screwed up our ability to figure out where the land is," Dokka said. And it means some evacuation roads, hospitals and shelters are further below sea level than emergency planners thought.

So when government officials talk of rebuilding levees to pre-Katrina levels, it may really still be several feet below what's needed, Dokka and others say."

So the question is, what are they going to do about it.

Scientists Say Arctic Once Was Tropical

This was kind of interesting.
Scientists Say Arctic Once Was Tropical

WASHINGTON May 31, 2006 (AP)— Scientists have found what might have been the ideal ancient vacation hotspot with a 74-degree Fahrenheit average temperature, alligator ancestors and palm trees. It's smack in the middle of the Arctic.

First-of-its-kind core samples dug up from deep beneath the Arctic Ocean floor show that 55 million years ago an area near the North Pole was practically a subtropical paradise, three new studies show.

The scientists say their findings are a glimpse backward into a much warmer-than-thought polar region heated by run-amok greenhouse gases that came about naturally.

Skeptics of man-made causes of global warming have nothing to rejoice over, however. The researchers say their studies appearing in Thursday's issue of Nature also offer a peak at just how bad conditions can get.

"It probably was (a tropical paradise) but the mosquitoes were probably the size of your head," said Yale geology professor Mark Pagani, a study co-author.

And what a watery, swampy world it must have been.

"Imagine a world where there are dense sequoia trees and cypress trees like in Florida that ring the Arctic Ocean," said Pagani, a member of the multinational Arctic Coring Expedition that conducted the research.

Millions of years ago the Earth experienced an extended period of natural global warming. But around 55 million years ago there was a sudden supercharged spike of carbon dioxide that accelerated the greenhouse effect.

Scientists already knew this "thermal event" happened but are not sure what caused it. Perhaps massive releases of methane from the ocean, the continent-sized burning of trees, lots of volcanic eruptions.

For the full story click here.

Rocky 49 Set to Debut in 2027

I am a creature of habit and routine. Much of what I do is predicated upon behavior formed many years ago in a galaxy far far away, at least that is what I claim. My mother says otherwise, she calls me rigid. But she is from Chicago and has this funny idea about pizza so what does she know anyway.

Anyway, this morning I read that the movie industry is working on Die Hard 4. I was pleased to see this because it is a small variation on their recent habit of remaking old sitcoms/movies. Why would I ever be interested in new ideas when I can see 17 versions of the Dukes of Hazzard.

In case you are wondering, Rocky 49 is going to star Sylvester Stallone as an aging former champion who decides to lace on the gloves for one last fight. Rumor has it that he'll be pitted against Julio Cesar Chavez or Roy Jones Jr.

Haveil Havalim Reminder

Bloggers and Bloggerettes,

Just a reminder that I am hosting the post Shavuout Haveil Havalim. If you have posts that you want me to include be sure to send them in via Blog Carnival, Conservative Cat or talk to jack at sbcglobal.net.

Happy Blogivesary To Me

This blog is an official toddler. Two years old and growing bigger, stronger and more powerful than ever. At last count it had generated more than 1,2987,356 pageviews and almost 2 million visitors.

Technically I am a day early, but I didn't feel like waiting.

When I first began blogging it was as a lark. I wasn't remotely serious about it. For that matter I am somewhat embarrassed at how awkward the early beginning was and how foolish I sound, at least much of it sounds ridiculous to myself.

But as I look back I can see that the elements of this blog were beginning to be formed in those early moments. There were stories about politics and comments about odds and ends that caught my eye. The inane and the not so inane were all covered.

It too some time to start to get my stride and to find a rhythm. I think that first post that really showed me what I could do with blogging was called Life is Challenging. It was the first moment that I really remembering opening up and sharing large chunks of myself. It was the first time on the blog that I felt vulnerable. It was exciting. It was frightening and it was energizing.

Now I began to see opportunity that hadn't existed before. Now I began to see that I could use this medium to learn more about who I am and what I am about.

You know, it is kind of funny sitting here at the keyboard trying to decide what to write. It is not all that often that I am stumped. I usually find it relatively easy to bang out the posts, but right now I am not all that sure what I want to say.

In part it is because I am taking periodic breaks to check the archives to see if there are any noteworthy posts to include or comment on. What I keep finding are posts that look inferior and are somwhat embarrassing. That is not designed or supposed to be a plea for validation.

I am still clear on why I blog. I do it first for myself, second for my kids, grandkids and third for whomever else cares to read me. But that doesn't negate the eye rolling or blushing caused by some of the crap I flung out of the monkey cage.

There are some other challenges with going backwards. Many of the stories that I linked to are no longer live. In theory they may be archived, but who knows and who has time to search for them. The end result is that many of the posts end up taking up space or lack the context and relevancy that the link would have provided. It is a bit of a dilemma.

So here I am, staring at the keyboard, stilll trying to figure out what it is I want to say. I think that in part it is because this feels like a moment that requires more serious comment and insight. It feels like I should offer more about what makes me blog and why, but at the moment the words seem to be choked up inside me.

I'll take a moment to stall and share some of my favorite posts with you. On the right side of the page are several drop down menus containing lists of posts that I find meaningful for many reasons. Here is an incomplete list of some of my favorites among those.
  1. The whole darn Shola Rhodes series. That was good fun.
  2. Sounds of My Youth
  3. The Many Layers of Hell
  4. The tears that do not fall
  5. Death- My Son Asked Me Not to Die
  6. Yom Kippur Thoughts and Musings
  7. The Story of Two Souls
  8. On the outside looking in
  9. What Do You Call Your Blog?
  10. A Little Digestive Distress- Chicken Vindaloo
Of course there are others. My posts are like my children, how can I call any one of them my favorite. In two years I have managed to generate a little more than 3500 posts.

I reckon that is a pretty solid number. The question is how does the quality rank compared to the quantity and the answer is that I just don't know.

It is probably getting to be time to try and wrap this puppy up. I am not sure if it did what I wanted it to. Maybe that is because I didn't have a well defined goal or maybe it is because I spent several hours in a hospital room with my father.

Funny how some things don't change. When I first began blogging he was deathly ill and they weren't sure if he was going to make it. With much gratitude I am pleased to say that he did and that this slumber party at the doc's office appears to be minor, but I can't help but worry a little.

Back to the blog and on to the future. Where do I want this thing to go and what do I hope it becomes. That is a good question. I'd like to see this continue to serve as a place in which I can continue to grow and learn more about life and myself.

I'd like to see it continue to serve as a medium to make new friends and learn more about the world around me.

And I certainly wouldn't complain if this turned into one of the most respected blogs on the net, but if it doesn't I won't be disappointed, ok, maybe a little.

In all sincerity, I appreciate your taking time to show up here and read the junk that I push out. You really have been a part of something special and I am grateful for the opportunity.

Thanks again for hanging out a bit. Just remember, I am the Bishop of Bullfrog and you are not.

If you don't recognize that reference go read the Shola series.

Lailah tov from Los Angeles.

A Little Digestive Distress- Chicken Vindaloo

I wrote a post called the The First Pregnant Man in which I mentioned that I went mad with desire for food. I put on an eating exhibition the likes of which hadn't been seen in quite some time.

If you are sensitive to bathroom humor or similar items you might want to skip the rest of this post because this is going to fall in the too much information for some of you.

The problem with eating like that is not just the caloric intake, but the radioactive fall out that comes along with it. My body just won't put up with it any more and after a while it decides that the best thing to do is to punish me for my iniquities.

This is one of the reasons why I don't eat spicy food all that often anymore. I still very much enjoy it but the result is most unpleasant.

There was a point in time when I had a lot of trouble accepting that I couldn't do the things I used to do anymore and like so many other people I engaged in a bad case of denial and tried to maintain my old habits.

For a while it had mixed results and then came the night of the Chicken Vindaloo.

I was out with friends at a new Indian restaurant. I'd provide the name but if they knew that I was still alive they might come after me with pitchforks and I'd rather not go through that again.

It started out innocently enough. I ordered a plain water, medium dry and hold the ice. As the waiter went around the table asking for our order I asked for a recommendation and he recommended the Chicken Vindaloo.

That sounded good to me so I asked him to bring me a plate. He smiled and asked if I wanted the spicy version. I smiled back and asked him how spicy it was.

"I can make it so spicy you'll have problems tomorrow morning," he said with that same Cheshire cat grin.

That was enough of a challenge to me to accept and so I did. If only I had considered my situation more carefully. You see I was in a small restaurant that offered a single restroom for all of the patrons.

I hate places like that. They make me uncomfortable and I tend to avoid them like the plague, but not that night. Nope, I was feeling bulletproof, invincible and nothing anyone said or did was going to stop me from enjoying my evening.

A short time later the waiter returned with our order and I began to enjoy my Chicken Vindaloo. It was great, just fabulous. I was quite pleased with my decision and dug into my meal with great relish and enthusiasm.

It was a mistake.

I hadn't been eating for more than ten minutes or so when I heard/felt a familiar rumble emanate from my belly. Apparently it was loud enough that the others at the table heard it too. Concerned looks were pointed in my direction but I smiled and waved them off. No need to be worried, this was nothing.

Seconds later I realized it was more than nothing and I flew out of my seat, vaulted over two tables and spun around two waiters. I needed that bathroom and I needed it NOW! Fortune smiled upon me, it was empty.

I jumped inside locked the door and fumbled for my belt like a newlywed on his wedding night. For a moment my fingers lost all coordination and I hopped up and down begging for a second longer. Finally I flipped it off and jumped onto the toilet.

Splash! For the first time in my life I cursed a man for leaving the toilet seat up, but that was the least of my worries. My entire rear end felt like it was on fire and I was most unhappy.

Simultaneously there was a knock on the door and a voice asking me if I was ok. It was the last thing I wanted to hear and I responded accordingly. In my best pirate voice I growled:

"There do be flames shooting out of my ass. It is a good thing that there do be water in the toilet. Arrgh!"

This must have made a great impact upon them as I heard/felt them step backwards and fall down on the floor.

For an undetermined amount of time I unhappily savaged the porcelain goddess and cried out to the heavens begging for relief. It was like a scene from one of those Lifetime for women movies. I alternately laughed and cried.

Finally the storm ended and I gingerly stood up and readied myself to exit the door. With great trepidation I reached out for the handle and turned it to the right. A soft push on the door and I was blessed with cool fresh air and the sweet savory scent of freedom.

I must have been quite a sight because as I shuffled back to the table a path opened for me. People moved out of the way as if I was Moses parting the Red Sea. When I got there I found a white take out box that had been used to collect the remnants of my Chicken Vindaloo.

It took great effort and care to pick that box up. I knew that the initial bout with the storm was over and that it would be dangerous to do anything that would upset the delicate ecosystem that had been established in my gut.

Outside in the cool night air a homless man approached and asked me for some help. In response I gave him my Chicken Vindaloo and wished him well. I don't know what happened to that guy. I don't know if he had better luck or if I was the only lucky one.

All I know is that the car ride home was fraught with suspense. I had to make many stops, but I don't think that I care to relive those or to share anymore of the story of the night I had the Chicken Vindaloo.

You'll have to excuse me now, my stomach is starting to hurt.

Monday Night Madness- The Roundup of Posts

Heavy blogging day here at the Shack:

Doubt is Healthy And Other Thoughts

When Elves Go Bad

The First Pregnant Man

Go And Comment On This Blog

Things That Irritate Me About Bloggers

Laws of return: diasporas as part of the state community

McCain is Not Sharon- Or is The US Israelized

This Blog Interests Me

This Song Just Grabs Me

Superman Returns Trailer

I think that should do it for now. No blast from the past this evening.

Doubt is Healthy And Other Thoughts

Ok, let's try and make this the final big post of the evening, punctuated by a healthy dose of lyrics and or mention of the music I am listening to.

"Call me a joker, call me a fool
Right at this moment I'm totally cool
Clear as a crystal, sharp as a knife
I feel like I'm in the prime of my life
Sometimes it feels like I'm going too fast
I don't know how long this feeling will last
Maybe it's only tonight

Darling I don't know why I go to extremes
Too high or too low there ain't no in-betweens
And if I stand or I fall
It's all or nothing at all
Darling I don't know why I go to extremes "
I Go To Extremes
Storm Front Released: 1989

Over at The Muqata there is an interesting post in which a guest blogger expresses their doubts about his belief in Judaism. I appreciate it on a number of different levels. One of the things that it reminds me of is my belief that doubt can be a positive thing. It can be used as motivation to inspire you to look inside and gain a deeper understanding about who you are and why you believe what you believe.

I am troubled by people who never question their beliefs. It is part of growing as a person to ask yourself why you believe as you do. As long as you don't allow doubt to prevent you from moving on with your life. Sometimes you just have to take a chance.

Psychotoddler recently lost his father. There is a very nice story about him that I urge you to check out here.

The last five songs on my iPod are:

Cry Baby Cry- The Beatles
The Analog Kid- Rush
Glamour Boys- Living Color
Don't Stand So Close To Me '86- The Police
Bitter Pill- Motley Crue

The Five Most Popular Posts on my blog as of this moment are

What do you Call Your Blog?
Some Quotes That Resonate With Me
Sounds of My Youth
Random WebSites You Might Enjoy
What Are Your Favorite Song Lyrics?

"I'm young enough to still see the passionate boy I used to be
But I'm old enough to say I got a good look at the other side
I know we got to work real hard, maybe even for the rest of our lives
But right now I just want to take what I can
Get tonight

While the night is still young
I want to keep making love to you
While the night is still young"
The Night Is Still Young
Greatest Hits Volume I & II Original Release: 1985

If I had to pick ten books and ten albums to take to a desert island I would be in big trouble, but I am going to do this exercise as a stream of consciousness thing.

Books
  1. The Fellowship of The Ring
  2. Lord Foul's Bane
  3. The Talmud (In the modern age it is safe to say that I could take it all with me)
  4. Robinson Crusoe
  5. The Iliad
  6. Don Quixote
  7. Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince
  8. The Sword of Shannara
  9. The New Way Things Work- Macaulay
  10. The Phantom Toolbooth
Albums

Ok, I am going to hedge on this one a bit and name artists. It is late and my brain is turning to mush, so this will have to suffice.
  1. Bruce Springsteen
  2. Johnny Cash
  3. Ray Charles
  4. Queen
  5. The Beatles
  6. U2
  7. Red Hot Chili Peppers
  8. Metallica
  9. Sarah Mclachlan
  10. Holst- The Planets
And there you have my stream of consciousness answers which begs the question of how much variation there would be if I was asked this at a different time. Good question, I haven't an answer, right now.

Lailah tov from LA.

"This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

It hurts to set you free
But you'll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die

This is the end'
The Doors- The End

When Elves Go Bad

The First Pregnant Man

It must be me because I am eating like there is no tomorrow. I can't figure out what the hell is going on other than I am eating like there are four of us. That must be it, I am pregnant with triplets.

I know you are busy scratching your head wondering how it is that I became pregnant. And I am sure that some of you are trying to figure out how it is with triplets. Well Poindexter let me point out that if I am the first pregnant man I am not going to settle for a single baby. Hell No.

When I break records I do it in a loud and outlandish way. It must be triplets.

Or, in much more exciting news to me I have found the fountain of youth and have rediscovered how to eat as if I am 19. Woohoo (that was said in my best imitation of Homer Simpson)!!!

Nineteen. Can you imagine what it is like to be able to eat with reckless abandon, without fear of calorie or digestive distress. Oh my sweet nellie. What I would give to see this as reality. If I were truly 19 again there is a lot that I would do.

Ok, stomach rumbled so loudly that the neighbor next door asked if everything is ok. Guess that I really am in my mid, almost late 30s.

In truth this age is pretty damn cool. I wouldn't give up my kids for anything, but I do admit to missing my metabolism.

Got to run and do another set of push ups. Back some other time.



P.S. If I ever leave this blog I hope that it will be without great fanfare and noise. Better to just sail off into the sunset and leave people wondering what fairy tale I am living.

Go And Comment On This Blog

Go And Comment On This Blog and then repeat.

Things That Irritate Me About Bloggers

This is an incomplete list and is strictly stream of consciousness.
  1. Blogs that are riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. It drives me nuts. I blog at a frantic pace and make few mistakes relative to the amount of content I produce but I am embarrassed by every missed comma, errant word etc.
  2. Blogs that are illegible because of font size/color or an idiotic need to wRIte LIke tHis.
  3. Bloggers who never respond to comments on their blogs or elsewhere. You don't have to be everywhere, but it is nice to show that you are not comatose.
  4. Bloggers that are not open to new ideas or concepts.
  5. Blogs that are populated by people who do nothing but insult and bash others. Look, I like, no love a good insult and am known to get off on infantile behavior but even I like to have the odd intelligent discussion.
  6. Splogs, or Spamblogs as they are known in some circles.
That is it for now.

Laws of return: diasporas as part of the state community

Jonathan Edelstein, also known as the Head Heeb has an interesting post that I missed the first time around. Anyway it is called

Laws of return: diasporas as part of the state community

Yes, it is a mouthful but it gives all sorts of interesting comments and information about diasporas and the laws of return relative to individual countries.

Here is a chunk for your consumption, but I do encourage you to read the whole thing:

"The existence of a homeland ideology necessarily implies a connection between the population residing in the homeland and their coethnics regarding abroad. This connection, however, may be expressed in terms of descent, cultural affinity or a combination of the two. The Serbian nationality law, for instance, defines the national diaspora purely in terms of descent from an ethnic Serbian emigrant. In contrast, Spain grants an immigration preference to Sephardic Jews and citizens of former Spanish colonies, thus defining its overseas population in terms of language and cultural heritage rather than ethnic origin. Still other countries such as Croatia and Bulgaria combine these requirements, permitting members of the diaspora to obtain citizenship upon proof of descent together with evidence of affiliation to the national culture.

Two cases merit special mention. The Israeli law of return, which is often described as creating a homeland based on blood kinship, actually belongs as much in the cultural as the ethnic category because it is open to people who are Jews by conversion as well as by belief. The complicating factor is that entry to the cultural group is mediated through religious affiliation, thus empowering religious authorities to decide who belongs to the Jewish cultural group and potentially excluding those with an affinity toward secular Jewish culture but not Judaism. Likewise, German immigration law, which once entitled ethnic Ostdeutsch to virtually automatic citizenship, has trended in recent years toward requiring language skills and proof of cultural attachment in addition to German descent.

The second axis, that of necessity, requires a diaspora of significant size as a threshold, but can also arise from several considerations. One such consideration exists where the national diaspora is either currently or historically persecuted, thus creating a presumptive need for protection. Another is where recent border changes have left a large coethnic population outside national frontiers, a factor that very likely explains the unusual prevalence of laws of return in Balkan and post-Soviet states. Finally, necessity may arise where, as in many post-Communist countries, a large exile population exists which was stripped of citizenship by a discredited government.

Countries that score highly on both the ideological and necessity axes are likely to have strong laws of return. This is evidenced, for instance, by the laws of Israel, Armenia and Bulgaria, all of which provide a virtually absolute entitlement to nationality and which are based on both a conception of the state as homeland and the existence of a vulnerable diaspora. One might expect, based on the same logic, that any future Palestinian, Chechen or Kurdish state would enact a similarly strong law in short order. Indeed, the draft Palestinian constitution of 2003, which is the presumptive foundation of a future state, already defines the Palestinian nation to include the descendants of refugees and protects them from deprivation of citizenship rights.

In countries that score highly on one axis but not the other - i.e., homeland states without diasporas in urgent need of protection, or vice versa - laws of return are likely to be less absolute, and to attach terms and conditions to coethnics' applications for nationality. These restrictions generally take one or more of four forms:

  • Limitation on the number of generations that can claim citizenship by descent. Such limitations, as in Ireland and Slovenia, usually require that applicants for nationality have at least one citizen grandparent, although there are sometimes mechanisms by which the right can be passed on to a fourth generation.
  • Limitation on the particular coethnic communities that can obtain naturalization, as in the Russian Federation where immigration preferences are limited to former Soviet passport holders rather than ethnic Russians living in the West.
  • Immigration preferences rather than an absolute entitlement to citizenship. Countries such as Hungary and Spain, for instance, might reduce or waive waiting periods or financial requirements, but reserve the right to deny applications for residence on a discretionary basis.
  • Creation of a second-class diaspora citizenship that confers the right to live, work and study in the country but not political rights. This type of partial nationality is largely a creation of the past decade and currently exists in India, Slovakia and South Korea, with a similar proposal currently being tabled in Lebanon.

The case of India is a particularly interesting one in this regard. India has a large and far-flung diaspora that, in many cases, has been subject to persecution. Nevertheless, India has historically not regarded itself as an ethnic state. Instead, it is a huge and diverse country with many cultural, linguistic and ethnic groups, only some of which have a large presence in the diaspora. As such, during the Congress Party era, India made no special provision for diasporic immigration."

McCain is Not Sharon- Or is The US Israelized

Sorry Andrew, I don't buy it or maybe I should just cite the Zasloff and the graph you cited.

"One of the brewing themes through Blue Blogistan is MSM's casual assumption that the Democratic Party is too far left to be trusted on national security. This outrages folks like Atrios, who point out that most Americans want out of the Iraq war and are trusted more on that issue than the Republicans. The Moose generally retorts that the Democrats can never win unless the public trusts them to wage the war on terror: the left's position on Vietnam consigned the Democrats to a lack of credibility on national security. And on and on.

At the risk of winning Wanker of the Day, I'd like to suggest that they are both right: essentially, US national security politics has become Israelized.

That phrase refers to the old saw about what the Israeli electorate wants from its government: a Labor policy carried out by Likud. Israeli voters recognized that Labor was right; that holding onto the territories was (and is) madness (both for strategic and moral reasons), and that ruling over millions of Arabs was not in Israel's interest. But they never trusted Labor to actually do it properly without exposing the public to violence. That had much to do with Labor's rhetoric than anything else. The one exception to this was Yitzhak Rabin, whose gruff manner and record gave him the title of "Mr. Security". (As Labor leader, he never lost an election).

The same thing has happened to the Democrats. The public recognizes that the Democratic approach on Iraq is correct, and that we are going to have get out soon. But they don't trust Democratic instincts on national security. They would prefer someone who is too willing to use military force to someone who is not willing enough. In short, they might not like George W. Bush, but they would rather have him than Jimmy Carter (who is the real culprit behind the Democratic image, not the Vietnam policy)."

"The public recognizes that the Democratic approach on Iraq is correct, and that we are going to have get out soon."

One of the reasons that I don't buy this is because this is far too simplistic. Get out soon and then what. What the hell happens after that. Do we just pretend that nothing ever happened. Lack of coherent thought and policy kill people.

This Blog Interests Me

Normally my liberal mouth wouldn't say things like Rantings of A Sand Monkey but I am not the MSM and I will use the name of the blog to describe it.

Read it, go ahead and try it. You might like it or you might hate it, but you'll never know unless you try it.

This Song Just Grabs Me

There are times when certain songs just wrap themselves around me. I am not sure what grabs me about this, maybe it is because I know people that could have written this. I don't know.

Hate Me by Blue October

"[message on voicemail:] Hi Justin! This is your mother. It is 2:33 on Monday afternoon. I was just calling to see how you were doing. You sounded really uptight last night, it made me a little nervous, and a little, well it made me nervous, but it sounded like you were nervous too. I just want to make sure you are really okay and wanted to see if you were checking in on your medication too. You know I love ya and take care honey. See ya. Bye Bye!

I have to block out thoughts of you so I don’t lose my head
They crawl in like a cockroach leaving babies in my bed
Dropping little reels of tape to remind me that I’m alone
Playing movies in my head that make a porno feel like home
There's a burning in my pride, a nervous bleeding in my brain
An ounce of peace is all I want for you. will you never call again?
And will you never say that you love me just to put it in my face?
And will you never try to reach me? it is I that wanted space

Hate me today
Hate me tomorrow
Hate me for all the things I didn't do for you
Hate me in ways, yeah ways hard to swallow
Hate me so you can finally see whats good for you

I’m sober now for 3 whole months it’s one accomplishment that you helped me with
The one thing that always tore us apart is the one thing I won’t touch again
In my sick way I want to thank you for holding my head up late at night
While I was busy waging wars on myself, you were trying to stop the fight
You never doubted my warped opinions on things like suicidal hate
You made me compliment myself when it was way too hard to take
So I’ll drive so fucking far away that I never cross your mind
And do whatever it takes in your heart to leave me behind

Hate me today
Hate me tomorrow
Hate me for all the things I didn’t do for you

Hate me in ways
Yeah ways hard to swallow
Hate me so you can finally see what’s good for you

And with a sad heart I say bye to you and wave
Kicking shadows on the street for every mistake that I had made
And like a baby boy I never was a man
Until I saw your blue eyes cry and I held your face in my hand
And then I fell down yelling “Make it go away!”
Just make a smile come back and shine just like it used to be
And then she whispered “How can you do this to me?”

Hate me today
Hate me tomorrow
Hate me for all the things I didn’t do for you

Hate me in ways
Yeah ways hard to swallow
Hate me so you can finally see what’s good for you"

For other posts on song lyrics check out here and here.

Superman Returns Trailer

Why is Judaism Relevant To You

This post first arrived here and was crossposted here. I thought that it might be interesting to combine all of the comments, or at least list them in one central place so that is the purpose of this post.

From my blog:
At 5/18/2006 2:09 PM, Irina Tsukerman said...

Judaism is important to me because despite some anachronistic elements, it provides a very good ethical and intellectual foundation relevant to this day.It is also a unifying element for our nation.
Judaism is important to me, because it provides a good ethical and intellectual foundation which has survived centuries and has remained relevant to this day. Moreover, it´s a uniting element for the nation.

At 5/18/2006 2:10 PM, Irina Tsukerman said...

Sorry, for some reason, it reposted twice.

At 5/18/2006 2:34 PM, miriam said...

I really can't say--why do you prefer your mother to same strange woman?

At 5/18/2006 2:35 PM, miriam said...

I meAnt SOME.

At 5/18/2006 3:18 PM, kasamba said...

Wow- i'd love to answer this if I wasn't soooo tired.

Rabbi tatz has some FAB answers for that!!

At 5/18/2006 5:04 PM, Jack's Shack said...

Irina,

I like that.

Miriam,

I think that it is a question that some people have never asked themselves.

Kasamba,

Catch a little shut eye and get back to us. ;)

At 5/18/2006 6:20 PM, JH said...

Many intermarried couples express similar sentiments. An answer that I believe is true but needs to be addressed delicately, is that the deficiency is not inherent in Judaism but in the Jewish spouse's connection to it.

Too much emphasis is put on the symbolism with losing sight of the WHY's. If Judaism is about asking questions then religion must be more than menorahs and latkes, seder plates and dancy mezuzahs. People need to learn WHY these things are done.

Doing so will bring about a fresh appreciation and a sensitivity that would hone their wish list for a potential spouse.

At 5/18/2006 11:32 PM, saus said...

holy canoli..

Let me preface by saying that I am not politically correct and I couldn't give two shits about the sensitivity of this topic to whomever, and there are converts in my extended family..

I'm about to double barrel.

If you are easily offended you best skip to the next comment.
----------------------------------


This to me is ultimate worship of self! My soul would not stand for it. I'm not crazy religious but I feel a weight of responsibility regardless.

The analogy I would give is someone who walks into a wonderfully decorated dining room, with an immaculately set table with all manner of delicious and scrumptious foods and simply sits down and begins gorging himself, nary giving even a thought as to how, who or why all this was provided, let alone thanking anyone.

People who feel that way have a profound inability to see beyond themselves, I imagine them as selfish brutes with no concept of history.

Judaism no longer seems relevant!?

I can't even absorb the egotistical pig headedness of that statement. An individual will come and go in 80 years, compared to Judaism we are all insignificant gnats.

Empires have come and gone, blown to dust, yet Judaism remains. it takes a real donkey to elevate himself above all that and pass such judgements. I'm not talking about my parents, I'm talking about every parent that has come before for over 5000 years.

If it were to end because of a generation or two of selfish me me pigs, what does that say about me, what does that say about you?

Not very much to be proud of I can tell you that, and I don't need to consult a Rabbi either. You either use it or lose it, but I am sure of this, when you lose it, you are NON the richer.

I would advise such a person to pick up a history book and see exactly what price has been paid on their behalf for this irrelevant thing called Judaism, and I'm not even talking about this past century, geez.

Link

Jack.. I'm sorry if this is offensive to you, if it is delete it!

Talibaner out

At 5/19/2006 5:12 AM, seawitch said...

Judaism is so very relevant! I am returning to the faith of my fathers. Practicing Shabbat and resting from all work is a privilege I look forward to every week. Passover is as relevant today as it was in the time of Moses.

My father and grandfather both intermarried. Because of that, I have missed out on a lot. There are times when I wonder what my life would have been like if I had grown up in a Jewish household surrounded by my Jewish cousins in Chicago. I feel that I have missed something wonderful in my life.

The daily prayers and services are filled with richness and beauty.

The dietary laws make you aware of everything you eat. Behind those laws is the desire to spare the animals as much pain as possible and not denigrate them.

My only regret is that I did return to Judaism sooner so that I could have raised my son and taught him. I have noticed when I'm at Friday Evening Services, he has been reading the books the rabbi suggested. He also participates in lighting the Shabbat candles and Havdalah.

I hope no is offended by my next statement. Being Jewish is more than just being born Jewish. You have to practice it. It should premeate every facet of your life, from ethics to justice to singing with joy.

At 5/19/2006 1:25 PM, Soccer Dad said...

May I recommend this by the late great Dr. Eliot Shimoff. (h/t Elie's Expositions)

At 5/21/2006 2:16 AM, Jack's Shack said...

Some good answers here, but I want to see more. I am going to bump this up again.

At 5/21/2006 5:48 AM, Mirty said...

I wouldn't write off interfaith couples. That's my 2 cents. I know of many interfaith couples who married as two religions and later the spouse converted to Judaism. I can look in the mirror and see someone who was in an interfaith marriage and later returned to Judaism.

Don't have a simple answer to the question. It helps to open the scrapbook my mother made and look at pictures of my great-grandparents. Funny how the big white beards disappeared (in my family) from one generation to another. That happened in the 1920's in America. Both my grandfathers were clean-shaven. Both their fathers wore long black coats and wild, untrimmed beards.

Then hats disappeared sometime in the 1950s. My grandfathers wore hats; my father didn't.

What do clothes have to do with Judaism? Clothes, food, manners, how we interact with others, honesty (we would hope for), respect (also).... Judaism is a religion with a very strong "ben adam l'chavero" (person-to-person) leaning. What you feel about God is also important, but how you treat others is more so.

I'm a very flawed Jew. I suspect many of us are. It's important now, in 2006, to broaden the circle, not make it smaller. We're still Jewish.

At 5/21/2006 6:21 AM, Stacey said...

Mirty's answer was spot-on.

Judaism is relevant to me because it is my heritage. I am less into the spiritual aspect of it, identifying more with its moral conscience and cultural aspects.

At 5/23/2006 11:05 AM, Darius said...

This is really interesting to me. You're asking questions with parallels for people who were raised as Christians but don't believe. I bet there are Muslims with the same issues.

What is a Jew, or Christian, or Muslim, minus the beliefs that divide us? I would venture that if our focus then turns from theology to finding the wisdom in our traditions, we'll find ourselves on a common path.

At the same time, from the outside looking in, my impression is that Judaism may be richer in tradition than Christianity. I mean, what's a "cultural Christian?" An atheist?

Sounds like a punch-line...

At 5/23/2006 11:15 PM, Jack's Shack said...

Mirty,

I wouldn't suggest writing off interfaith couples either, but I won't lie and say that I don't wonder about their children. I really do hope that they raise them to be Jewish and it doesn't always work out that way.

Darius,

Yes, it is a question that can be applied to a lot of groups. Sometimes I think that as people we don't spend enough time questioning why we believe what we believe.


And now from the Jewish Connection

  1. Valke2

    There is an obligation to make judaism relevant every 50 years or so (witness Steinsaltz English translation of Talmud).

    For me, Judaism is an open ended discussion. A mythic structure through which to access the Divine. It is not an answer to ultimate questions but rather a method of dwelling on ultimate questions. All I can say is that if you feel that it is not relevant to you, you need to come at it another way.

    Have you studied Torah? Talmud? Have you done so with a rabbi or a study group? Have you committed to bringing awe and wonder into the world?

    As for Halacha, I view the commandments like religious speed bumps. They cause us to pause througout the day and remember that this is sacred time. That even while doing the mundand -- driving the kids to school, working, etc., ever moment is, as Heschel describes, a small mosaic of infinity. Each mitzvah is an opportunity to appreciate the fact that you stand for something greater than yourself and to recognize the ineffable mystery of existence.

    Valke.

  2. Shira Salamone

    For me, Judaism is tradition and poetry, a "dance" around the synagogue with a lulav and etrog in my hands. For me, Judaism is beauty, a sukkah open to the sky, reminding us to be grateful for what we have. For me, Judaism is a teaching, from which we learn that it is our obligation to invite all those who are hungry to come and eat, even when we have only unleavened bread to share. For me, Judaism is song, an opportunity to raise our voices in joy. For me, Judaism is blessing, putting our hands on the heads of our children, hoping that they will follow in the ways of our ancestors and inherit all that I have just mentioned.

    Once upon a time, I had a friend who was single and childless. She gave a gift of Judaism to her next-door neighbors' children by paying their Hebrew School tuition. All Israel is responsible for one another. And we remember the stranger, because we were strangers in the land of Egypt. This is the inheritance and the joy that we owe to all Jewish children, and to ourselves.

  3. lvnsm27

    "why is Jewish survival so important?"

    It's important because we learn in Pirkei Avos that the world was created so we would learn Torah, follow the mitzvos, and do kindness. If the Jews didn't survive, there would be no Torah learning and that would be catastrafic because it is what makes the world keep existing. Plus, the Torah teaches us morality and lessons on how to be good people. Obviously we don't always act this way but if we stick to the lessons, then it works. Some may think that morality and good values are just commen sense, but it's not. Every society has it's own morals and values. Some are good like respecting people, and some are bad like hurting people for some reason. Who's to say to what's right and what's wrong. You might say 'Obviously it's wrong to hurt people.' But that specific society doesn't see that. In order for the world to truely know what to do and how to behave well, we need to learn it from G-d because since He is the only one that sees the whole picture and is totally objective, only He is able to say. And He has in the Torah He gave to us.

    Also we have to think about the oath that we made at Har Sinai. We Jews took an oath while at Har Sinai, to keep the Torah and mitzvos that Hashem gave to us. And so it's not something that's optional. It's our obligation. But it's benificial for us because it connects us to Him and that's what our soul wants and needs.

    As for the other nations, they can connect to Him too by following the seven laws of Noah and being good people.

  4. lvnsm27

    In regards to being relevant today, Hashem's Torah is eternal. Eventhough it may appear not adapted for today, it really is. We just sometimes don't understand how it fits with our needs today because we think we know what's best for us when really it's Hashem who knows what's best. And so we should trust Him(like a knowledgable parent) and look deeper into the Torah. You'd be surprized how many things it helps us with and is really needed. For example, interpersonal relationships, business ethics, peace in the home, how to improve our character traits, peace of mind, and other things.

  5. sharona

    In regards to it being relevant to today, Hashem's Torah is eternal. Eventhough it may appear like it's not adapted for today, it really is. We just sometimes don't understand how it fits with our needs because we think we know best when really it's Hashem who know's best. And so we should trust Him as a knowledgable parent and look deeper into the Torah. You'd be surprized how it helps with all kinds of things. For example, interpersonal relationships, business ethics, peace in the home, how to improve our character traits, peace of mind and other things.

Explaining War To A Child

This past week we celebrated Yom Yerushalayim. It is an important day to me as it is to so many others so I did what many do and spent a some time considering the import of the day and why I love Jerusalem.

I love that city if a fiery passion that was forged from personal experience, religious/cultural connections and a gut feeling that it is another home. When I wander Jerusalem it is not as a tourist, but as something more. That is a topic for a different time.

My son's school covers both secular and religious studies so I wasn't surprised when he came home to talk about Yom Yerushalayim. I decided to share the broadcast of the reunification with him as I thought that I would use it as a springboard for further discussion. Initially I was a little hesitant to do so, but that is in part because it makes me choke up a little and I didn't want to make this a heavy discussion.

But due to a convergence of events and the broadcast of the tape the conversation took a turn. My son asked me about how the Old City was lost and how it was regained. This led to a brief conversation about military service and who has done it and this is where life through me a curveball.

One of my son's grandfathers is currently attending the 40th reunion of his units return from Vietnam. The smart little boy made the connection quickly and wanted to know what happened in the army and why his grandfather had to go. He also quizzed me on what all of his other grandfather's did as well and thus began the conversation about what a war is and what happens during a war.

It was a challenge because I didn't want to give him any more information than he needs. He wanted to know why his grandfathers went and what would have happened to them if they refused. So I tried to explain what the draft was and why you might go to prison if you don't serve.

Then he quizzed me about what happens when bombs explode on people and asked what they do to fix them. In short order I found myself trying to explain why one grandfather was in combat and the other did not face it. I left out the part about the great grandfather who put in a request to serve overseas during WWII and didn't mention anything about the cousins who were wounded.

Somehow this conversation kept meandering all over the place and I found myself trying to avoid having to explain the difference between a popular war and one that wasn't.

We hit the question about why I didn't go to war. I told him that I was a little too young to worry about Vietnam and that I didn't have to go to the first Gulf War. I didn't tell him about how many friends and acquaintances I saw go, but I remember the goodbye parties far too well.

I didn't tell him about the guys at the gym who have rotated back stateside after tours in Iraq. I didn't tell him how lucky he is to have a grandfather who has adjusted to a normal life. Now the truth is that I don't know how long or how hard it was for him, but I do know that the boys I see are not right.

They have a look in their eyes that makes it clear that they have seen things that scarred them.

This is not an antiwar post. Sometimes you have to fight, but again that is a separate post.

Really what this post is about is the challenge of trying to explain to a child that people kill and maim others because that is part of how you win a war. It is not easy to answer those questions without getting too descriptive, at least not when you are asked as many follow up questions as my son asks.

It is not easy to lie to him when he asks if grandpa ever killed anyone, but I did. He is too young to hear those kind of things and when the time comes I'll revisit the conversation.

But the lad is observant and pays very close attention to everything around him. When he asked me if I would kill someone in a war all I did was answer that I would do what I had to do to come back home safely. The reality is that I don't really know what I would do, but I expect that my answer is probably what would happen.

In a different life I taught CPR and first aid and I saw gunshot victims. I have seen men and boys who were stabbed and I have come across a couple of car accidents in which the bodies hadn't been removed.

I remember those moments well enough to know that I can't really guess how the people who underwent combat feel, but at the same time I know what a broken body looks like. So I guess that this is part of why I take this conversation so seriously.

And the fact that we have been at war for most of his short life is not lost on me. I am grateful to our veterans. They have my sincere thanks.

But I'll tell you, this conversation with my son really was challenging.

X-Men 3- My short review

I took advantage of the holiday weekend to go see X-Men: The Last Stand. If you don't want to know any more about the movie stop reading here.

Just in case some people decide that they still want to see it I'll be somewhat oblique in my description.

The movie was enjoyable but disappointing. The effects were great and there was plenty of action, but they overreached on this one. Too many plot lines were under developed and I didn't like how they veered away from the original comic.

I would have narrowed the focus a bit and done more work on polishing it.

Anyway, I still enjoyed it and am happy that I saw it on the big screen.

Haveil Havalim #71 Live

Haveil Havalim #71 is up at WestBankMama.

Diaper Changing Dilemma

I am sure that some of my fellow parents can commiserate with me. It started out as an ordinary diaper change. I took the giggling child and placed her down upon the changing table.

The very same table that once engulfed her tiny body and now seems tiny. I used to pretend with her that she was an airplane that needed to land on an aircraft carrier. That worked really well when the difference in size between her and the table more closely resembled that between plane and aircraft carrier.

We must be feeding her well because the difference between them is minor. Another inch or so and she'll have to fold her legs in order to fit. Of course that presumes that the dear girl decided to cooperate and that is a bet that the oddsmakers in Vegas would take in a heartbeat.

10 to 1 says that as soon as I am fully engulfed in the changing procedure she'll decide move around. It won't be basic squirming. No this will be a situation in which entire body will shake and shimmy like a wet dog trying to dry itself off.

And like the flecks of water that are flung off of the dog I'll be concerned about errant specks of toddler poop flying through the air. Just what I need, my own homegrown Pearl Harbor. But I am a resourceful and experienced father so I have my own ritual.

The talking doll usually does a good job of distracting my princess long enough to wipe her cute butt clean and then slap that diaper on. The problem is that once children go vertical they really have limited interest in being placed in a horizontal position.

In respect to my own children that only happens if they are sleeping, otherwise being asked to maintain a horizontal posture is akin to torture. You should hear the shrieks. That is why the talking doll is so important.

So there we were, father, daughter, talking doll and changing table. Father and daughter did the distraction dance in which I gathered all of the necessary tools for a successful diaper changing operation.

I cannot stress how important the diaper distraction dance is. If the little girl realizes why she is being taken in the other room she'll try and flee. There are too many toys to play with, too many other things that interest her more than being changed.

Dad dances and sings and down she goes on the changing table. So far it is flawlessly executed operation. Daughter is momentarily distracted and we are fully engulfed in diaper changing duty when disaster strikes.

The last wipe is in my hand and this clearly calls for more than one. AWWWWWWWWWWWW! (you can fill in the second word, or if you are like me the third, fourth and fifth).

I was certain that there was more than one wipe but I was wrong. Red alert, Red alert. Danger Will Robinson! Danger Will Robinson!

Back in my salad days when I was a new and inexperienced dad I might have gone into full panic mode as this had potential to be quite messy. But now, I am an old hand at this so I grabbed the clean diaper and used it to finish cleaning the remaining mess.

It only took a moment more to grab a new clean diaper and finish the process. Disaster was averted, but it was close, too close.

I'd write more but the star of the story needs my attention. It is time to play. See you later.

Lightning Is About To Strike

Lightning is about to strike again, not a doubt in my mind that we're going to see it live and experience in 3D. Some lips are bound to ...