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Showing posts from May, 2006

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

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 th

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 wa

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 th

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

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 an

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 hab

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

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 t

Things That Irritate Me About Bloggers

This is an incomplete list and is strictly stream of consciousness. 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. Blogs that are illegible because of font size/color or an idiotic need to wRIte LIke tHis . 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. Bloggers that are not open to new ideas or concepts. 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. 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

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; tha

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

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 s

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 tur

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.

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