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Showing posts from September, 2006

Do You Have An Accent?

So here is the question of the moment, Do You Have An Accent? Not clear on what the meaning is, take a look at this link. accent The latter part of the definition is really what we are talking about. The word accent in English is also understood to mean the pronunciation and speech patterns that are typical of a speech community; As a child I never realized that all people have accents, or should I say that it never occurred to me that people would think that my own speech has an accent. I grew up on the West Coast, Los Angeles born and bred. We didn't sound like people from Long Island, Brooklyn, Nashville or Alpharetta. And we certainly didn't sound like we had rolled out of Tel Aviv, JoBurg, Sydney or Mexico City. To be clear, I have always enjoyed accents. It tickled me pink to hear people speak English yet sound so different. In fact, there was a point in time in which I was disappointed that I couldn't speak with an English accent, but that was short lived. It

My Theme Song

Someone once suggested that life would be far more fun if we could walk around with a theme song. I kind of like the idea. If I could do it than I would want to have a rotation of songs to use. For example, here are the top five I would want right now: O Fortuna - Orff Hurt - Johnny Cash version Raiders Of The Lost Ark: The Raiders' March - John Williams Jaws Theme - John Williams The Empire Strikes Back: The Imperial March - John Williams

Do You Have Blog Envy Part II

It is close to a year since I wrote part I and not much has changed. I'd like to say that I have grown and matured a lot, but I am not so sure that it is accurate. I still have feelings of frustration. My best posts are often overlooked and for the most part there is at best a smattering of comments. That is not always the case. There are posts that draw quite a bit of attention and a chunk of comments from the readers, but not always. My position on why I blog hasn't changed. I don't do it for the comments. I don't do it with the hope of receiving a book deal. I do it because I enjoy it. But.... I am like so many others. I appreciate the comments. If someone wanted to give me a book deal I would certainly have to entertain it, why not. As I sit here in mobile office I can say that I was wrong. The blog has matured and has grown. I feel like I have a real rhythm and style. I know that I have a set of readers who visit repeatedly. I am still surprised that so

Just Some Links to Some Old Posts

There is a lot going on, so much to say and so much to write about and so little time. If you are bored with the current selection try one of these: What Do You Call Your Blog? The Story of Two Souls My Daughter's Favorite Book A Little Digestive Distress- Chicken Vindaloo I Had a Dream The Search For Answers About Ourselves The Most Time Consuming Part of Blogging Cheap Sunglasses The Supermarket Why I Blog

Funny Newspaper Clippings

Hat Tip here and here .

Road Show, Israel Style- Daniel Gordis

Daniel Gordis released another dispatch that is worth reading. Take a look at these selections. "Sometimes, a simple drive on a highway in the Jewish State is all is takes to restore perspective, to revive hope. A road, its exits, the places to which they lead and the history they recall – and you suddenly find yourself with faith in the future restored. If only all of us could take those drives. For especially light of these past months of grief and of disappointment, of coming to terms with the war that we lost (as a senior IDF general admitted publicly yesterday), what we need is perspective, a reminder of where the Jewish people was just decades ago, and how far we’ve come." And "And then, one day in the middle of the war, I was driving the Jerusalem - Tel Aviv highway. This time, staring aimlessly out the windshield, I found myself looking at the metal remains scattered alongside the road. I drive the road so often that I hardly ever notice them anymore, but th

Excerpts From the National Intelligence Estimate

The latest brouhaha is in regard to the leaked portion of National Intelligence Estimate that some people and news sources have used to prove that the current war in Iraq has made the US less safe. To refute this point the Bush administration has declassified more of the report. CNN has a copy here . I read it and wanted to share some selections from it with you. "We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere. • The Iraq conflict has become the “cause celebre” for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight. We assess that the underlying factors fueling the spread of the movement outweigh its vuln

How You Found Me

Here is a short snapshot of some of the search terms you used to find me: random thoughts yalla ya nasralla women's voices men hearing men and emotions whiskey lullaby song meaning anger management funny the nasrallah song justice scalia's thoughts on living constitution fish meaning prison jack is a sexy man meaning of currency dennis wolfberg dr.seuss and worth war two boy sit to pee giant asian hornet besheret vs. basheret besheret meaning to five will you walk with me and december 2005 shakira la tortura meaning meaning of birthday tai kwan leap story for kids that happened on yom kippur 3.13% the meaning of tears the giant asian hornet the hedyot blessing children incredible orgasms marni levine dead walking darren sherman j date

Walking With The Dead

The beauty of a child's desire to ask "why" is that it forces you to take a hard look at your own beliefs. Do you tell your daughter that she was carved from Adam's rib or do you explain that she evolved from monkeys. When my grandfather died this past June I knew that it would be a source of many questions for my son. So when I told him that grandpa had died I tried to do the best that I could to make it easy. At 5.5 there is no reason to overly complicate things, but at the same time I do my best to be quite honest with him. I don't want him to be afraid to live his life. I want him to savor and enjoy it and part of that comes from removing the mystery of the things that scare us. But that is easier said than done and not something that you can accomplish with the snap of a finger or the roll of the dice. One of the things that my son has been mulling over is the cemetery. It is a place that he was intrigued by. In his mind it was frightening, but at the

Is Your Blog Open On Shabbos?

A question for those bloggers who are Shomer Shabbos, but really for anyone who wishes to answer. If you had a choice would you close your blog for Shabbos? Does it bother you that people are reading/commenting upon it during Shabbos? The floor is open.

Vietnamese Israeli family takes a long trip 'home'

I thought that this was interesting. "In 1977, an Israeli cargo ship nearing Japan spotted a leaking boat crammed with 66 Vietnamese men, women and children out of food and water. They were among the hundreds of thousands of "boat people," fleeing their war-ravaged country following the end of the Vietnam War. Despite desperate SOS signals, the refugees' distress had been ignored by passing ships from East Germany, Norway, Japan and Panama. The Israeli ship picked up the weakened passengers and took them back to Israel. There, Prime Minister Menachem Begin authorized their permanent admission to Israel, comparing their plight to that of Europe's Jewish refugees seeking a haven in the 1930s. What happened to the Vietnamese refugees, and the hundreds that followed them, in "the land of the Jews"? In one of the opening scenes of the Israeli film "The Journey of Vaan Nguyen" (screening locally on Sept. 30), Hanmoi Nguyen, one of the origina

A Bad Job

And That Is The Way that it Was- A New Year's Reflection

So as promised I am trying to produce a relatively short state of the blog. It is not easy. There are so very many posts to sift through and I am getting started far too late to do this properly. But I'll give it a try and we'll see how it goes. Last September was filled with posts about Katrina, a post dedicated to Bob Denver , a rundown of my experience in the ladies room , information about firewalking, birth control, the Marx Brothers, where I am from, teenage sex, 31 years of friendship , Havana Gila , and some of my comments about the Southern Baptists . In October I wrestled about some New Year's thoughts and the usual animal story . We talked about whether you could have too much sex and interspersed more thoughts about my grandparents. There was also the post about actors with bad accents and of course I bored folks with more political commentary. There were also musings about the Akedah , Yom Kippur and more ranting about the Southern Baptists. My p

Ahmadinejad Says That Zionists Are Not Jews

Just a quick comment here. The Washington Post has a transcript of Ahmadinejad's news conference . It would be easy to call the man names, to say that he is a certified wack job, but it would create issues. In particular it is a huge mistake to view the man as being crazy. He is very deliberate in his approach. If you ignore the statements that are downright controversial it would be easy to minimize the danger he represents. Take a look at this: "Many governments and groups that had no role in World War II, regretfully, are impacted by the consequences of World War II." Every situation in the world is impacted by the past and it is simply foolish to pretend that we can ignore the things that took place. We cannot say that situation xyz was the responsibility of our grandparents or great grandparents and pretend that we do not have to deal with the outcome. We do. The question is to what extent. Life is often complex and things are complicated. But I don't wan

Jumping on Jameel's Coat tails

Ok, Jameel has compiled an end of the year review of his blo g. And now it seems I am inspired to try and follow suit. I make no promises as my time is restricted and I probably have close to a thousand posts to run through. Seriously, it is around that, give or take a hundred. For those who are wondering in the 2.5 years that I have been blogging I have constructed more than 4,000 posts. Not all of them are still in existence as some have been removed for various reasons. However, the majority are still up there. So we will see if old Jack can come up with the time and energy to take on this project.

Grandpa, Dad and I

In the prior post The Pain In My Grandfather's Eyes I spent a few minutes reminiscing about my grandfather and an experience that I shared with him. This post should in theory be a little bit different, hopefully I won't muck it up too badly. Growing up I didn't know anyone with the same last name. It wasn't until I got to be teenager that I even came across someone with the same name and we couldn't figure out any sort of relationship. My grandfather was one of five but his only brother never married and never had any kids. My father's younger brother died twelve years ago. He didn't have any children either. So for those of you keeping score that made me the keeper of the line, a responsibility that is now being passed on down to my son. While I consider myself to have been very close with all of my grandparents, it was a little different with my grandfather. In part it is the shared name. In part it was because I remember the time after my grandmo

The Pain In My Grandfather's Eyes

It feels like forever since my grandfather passed away. I think that in part this is because he started to slip away long before his soul left his body. Some people claim that his mind had started to go and at just short of 92 it is not totally unreasonable. I disagree with this. His mental faculties were intact, but his emotional capacity to deal with a body that no longer functioned as he wanted to was worn down. Though we try to outrun the coming darkness there is a time in which we cannot maintain the pace and slowly the sun begins to set. In some respects it was like watching a row of dominos collapse. First his legs began to give him trouble and after a while he needed a cane to help him get around. That worked for a while and then his pelvis gave out, there was a fracture and a stay at a rehab facility. There were various hospital stays for odds and ends. Things that never would have slowed him down suddenly turned into issues and led to other issues. This is how it went

What I am Listening To Now

Here is snapshot of what is playing on my iPod now. Crawling Linkin Park In the End Linkin Park Blue Monday Orgy Hate Me Blue October Harry's Game Clannad The Adventure Angels & Airwaves Bring Me to Life Evanescence Precious Depeche Mode Burn Down The Mission Elton John May It Be Enya The Memory of Trees Enya La Soñadora Enya Insomnia (Monster Mix) Faithless If You Could Read My Mind Gordon Lightfoot Boulevard of Broken Dreams Green Day Knockin' On Heaven's Door Guns N' Roses Gollum's Song - performed by Emiliana Torrini Howard Shore The Breaking of the Fellowship (Featuring "In Dreams") Lord Of The Rings Soundtrack It's Been Awhile Staind Fire on Babylon Sinéad O'Connor Gone Away The Offspring Somebody Told Me The Killers Mr. Brightside The Killers Crazy Gnarls Barkley Joey Concrete Blonde Carry That Weight The Beatles Lay, Lady, Lay Bob Dylan The Fire Inside Bob Seger Nobody's Fault

Criticizing Islam

During the past year there have been numerous issues surrounding the Islamic world and the west. Daniel Pipes has an essay in which he comments on the controversy surrounding the pope and provides some background on the response of some members of the Muslim world to things that they find offensive. Pipes also comments on whether this was an intentional remark by the pope. Let's take a look: "Whatever the pope's purpose, he prompted the near-predictable furor in the Muslim world. Religious and political authorities widely condemned the speech, with some calling for violence. In Britain , while leading a rally outside Westminster Cathedral, Anjem Choudary of Al-Ghurabaa called for the pope "to be subject to capital punishment." In Iraq , the Mujahideen's Army threatened to "smash the crosses in the house of the dog from Rome" and other groups made blood-curdling threats. In Kuwait , an important website called for violent retribution against Cat

Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day

Arrr, welcome t' my blog. Today is talk like a pirate day . Aye. Aye, i encourage you all t' join in the festi'ities. Aye. Ahoy, if you need help speakin' pirate you can find assistance har . Aye, me parrot concurs. Or try this video: ARRRRRRRR! Signed, Captain Jack- One-eared Dog the Damned

2 siblings reunited after being separated in Holocaust

What a story. " After 65 years, in which each of them thought their sibling had perished in the Holocaust, and after they searched for each other in Israel and abroad, Hilda Shelik (75) and her brother Simon Glasberg (83) met Monday. With the help of Yad Vashem's website, the two siblings' grandchildren discovered that family members had indeed survived the Holocaust, even though they had previously been led to believe otherwise. "I am happy today. All the years that passed I didn't believe my family survived. Even when my grandchildren told me they had survived, I didn't believe it. Today I am happy," said Hilda. Their older brother, Karol Weiner, thought that Hilda perished in the Holocaust, and therefore submit a Page of Testimony to Yad Vashem in 1999 in Hilda's name stating such. About a month and a half ago, her grandchildren found the Page of Testimony written by Hilda's brother. Karol passed away the same year, without knowing that

Some Things I Know About My Readers

Oh the beauty of the blogosphere is the interaction with others you might not ever encounter. It is one of the things that I really enjoy. During the course of this interaction I have learned a few things about some of the people that hang out here. Here are a few nuggets: Visitors to the Shack are employed by such companies as: Disney Microsoft Canadian Defamation League Jewish Federation US Army US Navy Symantec Nortel GE 7-11 Job Titles/Professions include: Attorney Software Engineer Doctor Mother Zookeeper Certified Professional Schmuck Rabbi Public Servant Man Servant Retired Postman College Professor Favorite Flavors of Ice Cream Chocolate Chunk Monkey Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Vanilla Rocky Road Mocha Almond Fudge Creamy Delight Pretty nifty, don't you think.

The Jewish Pirates of The Caribbean

The Jewish Journal has an interesting article about Jewish Pirates. "But now a forthcoming book hopes to change that image by focusing on Ladino-speaking Jews whose piracy grew out of the Inquisition. "The Jewish pirates were Sephardic. Once they were kicked out of Spain [in 1492], the more adventurous Jews went to the New World," said Ed Kritzler, whose yet-untitled book on Jewish pirates will be published by Doubleday in spring 2007. Jewish piracy has been around since well before the Barbary pirates first preyed on ships during the Crusades. In the time of the Second Temple, Jewish historian Flavius Josephus records that Hyrcanus accussed Aristobulus of "acts of piracy at sea." Kritzler has studied pirates for 40 years, and said that the public is fascinated with them because they're "rugged individuals in a world of conformity. They carved their own identity, independent of the rules and strictures of society." But determining the exact n

Jack Tries To Start a Trend

As many of you know I am a summer camp junkie. I loved it. Camp was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Some of you understand and others think that I am a loser. Doesn't make much of a difference to me what you think, I am too busy worrying about holding a birthday party. During the Summer of my twenty-second year walking this planet I ventured off to a new camp that was located in a different country. To clarify, it wasn't a new camp, but it was new to me. I was part of a small group of three that left the land that we knew for the splendor known as Ontario. It was in Canada that we decided we would spend time. It was in Canada where we were completely unknown that we decided have a summer of fun, frolic and some debauchery. And it was in Canada that we decided we would try and start a new trend. The idea was that we would go to camp and try to convince all of the people there that if they wanted to be on the cutting edge they would use an expression we created.

The Birthday Party Dilemma

If you are a parent of young children you just might find that this post is applicable to you. But even if you are not a parent or your kids are older I encourage you to join me on my walk through the mental morass I call my mind. But please be careful. Beware the clutter and please I beg of you do not stray off of the path or feed the animals. The birthday party dilemma sounds simple. How many children can we invite to my son's party. Here is the rub, the party must include family, friends and of course the kids from school. There are two kindergarten classes. That works out to a total of 45 children. If you add the family (read cousins) you can figure that there is another 10 or 12 children. And then if you factor in the close family friends you can easily increase it by another 20. Yes, I said 20. For those of you who are keeping score this works out to be almost 80 children. It doesn't cover their parents and at age six you can guarantee that there will be at least

In Reference To The Pope's Recent Comments

I ran this next blurb last March , but it is appropriate for now as well. Here it comes, in its entirety: "In a more culturally confident age , the British in India were faced with the practice of "suttee" - the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. Gen. Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural: "You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks, and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours." This makes sense to me. It ties in well with stories about converts who face death sentences , riots based on cartoons or murders of people because of their ethnicity/religion . The time is coming when we are going to have to make a decision whether to push or be pushed.

A Plumbing Problem

The joy of owning your own home is sometimes tempered by the cost of maintaining your domocile. Sometimes they are minor irritants and sometimes they are larger and of greater concern. And certainly your response to the challenges that you face is in direct response to the cost and inconvenience you face relative to your own checkbook. At the moment the Shack is dealing with a plumbing problem that was discovered late last night. Plumbing problems are never fun, but those that are discovered closer to the midnight hour are even more troublesome. Listen carefully and you just might hear my roar of frustration. This just sucks.

Saturday Night's Alright For Blogging

If you don't know the musical reference in the title than you should find out. Don't ask me why because I don't have an answer. I always feel a bit unsettled, just before the Jewish New Year that is. I don't exactly know why. I have my suspicions. I have my ideas, but I don't really know if any of them are all that accurate. Maybe it is because I am antsy. Maybe it is because by nature I sometimes find it hard to sit still. Of course, I also am the complete oppposite of that. I can lie on a beach or hammock and just do nothing for hours at a time. I love to sit creekside and listen the water murmur and the whisper of the wind on the trees. I love to hear the roar of the waves. Today my daughter climbed into my lap and ordered me to read a book to her, so I did. Actually we read it about eight times. She turned and twisted so that she could look into my eyes and then she took her tiny hands and stroked my face. I melted. She kissed my forehead and said "I