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Showing posts from December, 2006

"One Post to rule them all, One Post to find them,"

"One Post to rule them all, One Post to find them, One Post to bring them all and in the darkness bind them." Thus spaketh Jack, Bishop of Bullfrog and traveler in cyberspace. I am not a hobbit, a dwarf nor an elf. I am not from Numenor. No will confuse me with a balrog or Gandalf. I am just a blogger. It is Saturday night and I am going to try and hang up my spikes for the rest of the year. Instead of spending hours trying to prepare a complete end of the year post I am going to spend a little time listing some posts of mine (there are around 1,000) from this past year. They may not be my best, but they are those that caught my eye this final Saturday night of 2006. January Obsessed With the Blogroll The Many Layers of Hell Blog Disappointment Women and the Look of Death Charlie's Angels- Child of the '70s You Just Aren't that Funny Commenting on Comments A Question of Faith My Daughter's Favorite Book February A Boy Named Mookie The Oly

Shouldn't That Be Merman

You Are a Mermaid You are a total daydreamer, and people tend to think you're flakier than you actually are. While your head is often in the clouds, you'll always come back to earth to help someone in need. Beyond being a caring person, you are also very intelligent and rational. You understand the connections of the universe better than almost anyone else. What Mythological Creature Are You?

How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs

From for those who need to know: "Extremely fresh eggs will not peel easily. In fact, an egg that is just a day or two old is almost impossible to peel. As eggs age, the shells will peel more easily. It is advisable that eggs used for hard cooking (including Easter Eggs) be at least 2 weeks old before cooking for easiest peeling. Hard cooked eggs that are cooked slowly over low heat (and not ‘boiled’) will be more difficult to peel. Directions 1. Place eggs in a saucepan with enough COLD tap water to cover completely by 1 inch. Bring to a ROLLING boil over HIGH heat. Once the water is brought to a rolling boil, PROMPTLY reduce heat to a lower medium boil and cook an additional 10 minutes for a “hard boiled” egg. For a “soft boiled” egg reduce the time by a few minutes. 2. Remove from heat and IMMEDIATELY place eggs under ice cold water or in a bowl of ICED water to chill promptly to help yolks stay bright yellow. Chill for a few minutes in the cold water until

Studying For Bar Mitzvah Aids Football Player

Some of what makes Taylor Mays a precociously talented safety for USC can be traced back to when he was 13. There were months of intense study. Repetitive practice. And memorization of every nuance of his responsibilities. Mays was preparing for his bar mitzvah. The experience of reading from the Torah shaped him in ways he did not anticipate, ways that have helped him thrive as a person and an athlete. "I don't think at the time I really understood what that meant," Mays said of the ceremony that is a Jewish rite of passage into adulthood. "Now, looking back on it, I feel like I have come a long way in regard to maturity and becoming an adult. "I think that helped me do it." For the full story click here.

Blog Questions We Ask Ourselves

Originally posted here The title of this post is a bit presumptuous because I am assuming that I am not the only blogger to ask these questions, or maybe I am. 1) If you are an anonymous blogger would the loss of your anonymity stop you from blogging? Golda Leah touched upon this in her post today and many other bloggers have dealt with it. My own anonymity has been compromised and I simply refuse to stop writing because this is outlet means a lot to me. I am appreciative of the community I have become a part of and happy that I have been given the opportunity to learn. But there is no doubt that the removal of the veil changes a blogger's approach. What do you think? 2) Many blogs have regulars, you know they are the commenters that show up on most if not all of the posts. Sometimes those commenters disappear. Do you wonder where they went? Do you wonder if they think that your blog has jumped the shark , if you upset them or if there is some other exp

Old Posts Versus New Content

A few more housekeeping notes. From time to time I republish some old posts based. This is done based upon some arbitrary criteria. I evaluate the post and determine whether it makes more sense to refer back to it in a new post. Sometimes it does and sometimes it is better to let it stand on its own. Sometimes I feel that the post didn't get a fair shake and it is worth putting it out there again. I don't remember ever running out of things to blog about. However there are times where I just don't feel like putting in the effort to produce something new. Yes, your host is sometimes lazy. And there you have the short version of how I determine what to do. Any questions?

Old Saturday Night Live Skits

I just learned that NBC has placed many of its SNL videos online. You can find them here . It appears that they cover multiple seasons. I just watched the Buckwheat Has Been Shot news reports for the first time in years, as well as some other good bits. "Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger." On a sad side note, how many of these guys are gone now. Belushi, Radner, Hartman and Farley.

The Apprentice Just Jumped The Shark

I used to be a fan of The Apprentice but now I am not so sure. They have made some foolish changes. If you never watched the show the premise was very simple. Contestants engaged in various tasks hoping to win a position as an employee of one of Donald Trump's companies. Typically the contestants were presented with various business challenges and given limited time and money to try and develop the best possible solution. It was enjoyable to watch them compete and every now and then you might pick up an idea that you could incorporate into your own business. The first five seasons were all held in Manhattan. Being a big fan of LA I was excited to see that season six is going to be held in my hometown. And then I read about some of the changes. I n a compelling social experiment of haves and have nots, contestants this season will have to earn the right to live like Trump. Each week, the contestants on the winning team will get to live in a luxurious mansion. But contestant

It Said Some Assembly Required

In the aftermath of the holidays I think that I can speak for both Jewish and Christian parents when I say that I view gifts that have the words Some Assembly Required on the box in the same way that I view a colonoscopy . If you are familiar with the preparation for a colonoscopy you can probably appreciate just how exciting I find this to be: Thorough cleansing of the bowel is necessary before a colonoscopy. You will likely be asked to take a laxative the night before the procedure. In some cases you may be asked to give yourself an enema. An enema is performed by inserting a bottle with water and sometimes a mild soap in your anus to clean out the bowels. Any time you are required to shove something up an into a place that's primary use is an exit for waste you can be certain that the experience is going to be something that is less than pleasurable. If you are the nervous type you might find that your doctor/friends try and gloss over the discomfort by saying that one da

Chain Email Letters

The next person who sends me a chain email letter in which they threaten me with bad luck for not passing along their stupid fucking message is going to get blasted by me. Blame my bad humor on the time of year , time of month or whatever makes sense to you. I don't care. What I do know is that I despise these simplistic and moronic notes that promise me three wishes, true love and world peace, but only if I send the note along to the next 30 people in my address book. If you are sending these notes out then you are a spammer and not even a honest spammer. Hell, a real spammer just goes out and sends off these missives promising pills that will give me an eternal erection, stock tips, lotto winner and the 1,002,876 requests from kind hearted souls who need my help in securing money by helping to perpetuate fraud. At least those jackasses send these things out knowing that it is a flat out lie. You others just fill my inbox with stupid crap and think that if we only held han

General Housekeeping Notes.

I set up Things I Want To Remember as a storehouse for blog posts and thoughts. The thought was that it would be an easier way for me to be organized, at least as far as blogging is concerned. However for a variety of reasons I haven't been able to keep it going. So now I find myself at the tail end of the year wondering if I should delete the whole freaking thing. On the other hand I just might try to use it to produce another recap of the past year in blogging. I am still debating as to what to do about Fragments of Fiction . Do I really need both blogs to make this thing happen. The answer is no. I have been holding off nuking one or the other for sentimental reasons.

Former President Ford dies at 93

RANCHO MIRAGE, California (CNN) -- Former President Gerald Ford, who became president in 1974 after the resignation of Richard Nixon, died Tuesday at age 93. Ford, the oldest surviving former U.S. president, died peacefully at 6:45 p.m. PT (9:45 p.m. ET) Tuesday at his home in Rancho Mirage, California, according to a statement from his office. The cause of death was not given. Thank you for your service.

My Next Job

My next job will be driving one of these bad boys all around the country. I'll be the most popular guy at every stadium. On the other hand maybe I'll just opt to pick up one of the other bad boys listed at: Top 10 Coolest BBQ Grills (And Then Some!)

Some Posts That Are Worth Looking At Again

When you are as prolific as I am it is easy for posts to get lost in the shuffle. Here are some links/comments about a few that are worth looking at again. What Are Your Favorite Song Lyrics? -I Love Music The Day School Dilemma- Paying For Private School -If you are a parent then you are going to have to think long and hard about education. It is a tough decision. PostSecret - Just because. Children of the '70s Raise Your Hands - Whoa. The Salvation Army Bell Ringer Doesn't Like Me - I need to write part two. Our Most Effective Man In The War On Terror - I can't believe that this didn't receive more comments. The Agony of Defeat- Vinko Bogataj - Vinko deserves more notoriety. The Latest Dispatch from Daniel Gordis - Worth a second look. The Paradox of Choice and the Secret to Happiness - Outstanding And the most popular post of December having received more than 1,000 visits in the last week: A Full Metal Christmas

Anger- Do You Identify With These Lyrics?

"Forgive, sounds good Forget, I’m not sure I could They say time heals everything But I’m still waiting I’m through with doubt There’s nothing left for me to figure out I’ve paid a price And I’ll keep paying I’m not ready to make nice I’m not ready to back down I’m still mad as hell and I don’t have time to go round and round and round It’s too late to make it right I probably wouldn’t if I could ‘Cause I’m mad as hell Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should" Not Ready To Make Nice -Dixie Chicks

Would You Turn Down A Billion Dollar Offer?

AT 22, Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard dropout, is being labelled as the next Bill Gates. But even the Microsoft founder might have hesitated before blowing the chance of a $1.6 billion (£819m) offer for his fledgling business. Zuckerberg, founder of the Facebook social networking website, has told Yahoo!, the internet giant, that $1 billion is not enough to sell out. Now leaked documents suggest that Yahoo! was willing to raise its bid to $1.6 billion. Facebook, which he launched as a service for Harvard students in 2004, has become the seventh busiest website on the internet, and with 13m users is the second biggest social network in America. It has also become popular on British campuses, partly because it allows users to ensure that only people from their own university or place of work are put in touch. However, it has also been blamed for carrying abuse about students and tutors. In one case, an Oxford University don found that someone had created a false profile in his name, clai

James Brown- RIP

Reports out of Atlanta are saying that James Brown has died at the age of 73. There are a lot of things that can be said about James. For now I'll just focus on the music and say thank you for some great times. Updated: Here is part of the CNN obituary. ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- James Brown, the legendary R&B belter, a singer and songwriter who created a foundation for funk and provided the roots of rap, a man of many nicknames but a talent that can only be described as one of a kind, is dead. Brown died early Monday at Atlanta's Emory Crawford Long Hospital of congestive heart failure, his agent said. He was 73. Brown was in Atlanta for a dental appointment when he fell ill and was admitted to the hospital over the weekend for treatment of "severe pneumonia," said his agent, Frank Copsidas. "It appears what happened is that he did die of a heart attack as a result of his pneumonia," Copsidas told CNN Radio. Brown -- known variously as "the Go

Keyword Searches- How You Found Me

Every so often I like to share this information with you. Here is a partial list of recent terms that led people to the blog. sex internet talmud dennis wolfberg meaning of happy holidays three days in israel funny thoughts telemarketers ladies urinal shmata loves shack throw me a rope tunstall meaning letters about xmas full metal christmas sex with a rabbi burning christmas trees python happy holidays in different languages hummer school bus I hate the holidays Baal teshuva random thoughts Frum Sex rabbi kolko

The Giant Squid

This is pretty cool. TOKYO, Japan (AP) -- A Japanese research team has succeeded in filming a giant squid live -- possibly for the first time -- and says the elusive creatures may be more plentiful than previously believed, a researcher said Friday. The research team, led by Tsunemi Kubodera, videotaped the giant squid at the surface as they captured it off the Ogasawara Islands south of Tokyo earlier this month. The squid, which measured about 24-feet long, died while it was being caught. "We believe this is the first time anyone has successfully filmed a giant squid that was alive," said Kubodera, a researcher with Japan's National Science Museum. "Now that we know where to find them, we think we can be more successful at studying them in the future." Giant squid, formally called Architeuthis, are the world's largest invertebrates. Because they live in the depths of the ocean, they have long been wrapped in mystery and embellished in the folklore of sea

The Day School Dilemma- Paying For Private School

My name is Jack and I am a recovering father. It is not a joke. As a parent you are always recovering from something that your children have done, might do or are doing. It is a never ending battle to maintain your equilibrium. In my mind's eye I like to imagine a lumberjack in one of those logrolling contests. The log spins one way and then suddenly it spins another. I am forever working hard not to fall off of the log. It is not easy, there is always something. And like so many things in life much of the spinning is financial in nature. This is not the first time that I have blogged about this. I started to search for the initial entry, but I never did stumble across it. However I did come up with this little ditty from last March . "All of this begs the question of when does sacrificing for your children cross the line of reality and common sense." It is a smart question and one that I am finding hard to answer. I am a big proponent of education. It is an inves

The 50 Greatest Cartoons

Over at CityRag I found a link to the 50 greatest cartoons as voted upon by the animation industry in 1994. It includes links to videos of most of them. Here are a couple of my favorites: Betty Boop Minnie the Moocher Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century

Chanukah is About to End

And so here we are at the tail end of another chag. Chanukah is about to end. It makes me a little bit sad, always does. The end of summer does the same thing to me. It is not the idea that there are no more presents. That doesn't really make much of an impact upon me. Sure, I love to see the look on the faces of my kids as they unwrap their gifts, but this is different. One of the things that I love best about this holiday is watching the kids as we light candles. There is this indescribable look on their faces. I love watching the reflections of the candlelight dance in their eyes. I love to hear my baby girl say the blessings. She stomps her little feet and marches in circles with this huge smile on her face. And then just as we are about to finish she grabs my hand and raises her arms so that I can pick her up. For a moment we stare at the lights while she absentmindedly strokes my face. It is moments like this that make me want to stop time. My son stands up so very s


How many people here read PostSecret ? It is kind of a cool site. You know you head over there and read the postcards people send in with their deepest and darkest secrets. Here is my confession. For the past six months I have been part of a team of people scattered around the country that send in fake secrets. You'd be surprised how hard it is to write these cards. I have developed a formula that seems to work. I'd share it but it wouldn't be a secret any longer. Shh......

My Theme Song

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch. You really are a heel. You're as cuddly as a cactus, You're as charming as an eel. Mr. Grinch. You're a bad banana With a greasy black peel. You're a monster, Mr. Grinch. Your heart's an empty hole. Your brain is full of spiders, You've got garlic in your soul. Mr. Grinch. I wouldn't touch you, with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole. You're a vile one, Mr. Grinch. You have termites in your smile. You have all the tender sweetness Of a seasick crocodile. Mr. Grinch. Given the choice between the two of you I'd take the seasick crockodile. You're a foul one, Mr. Grinch. You're a nasty, wasty skunk. Your heart is full of unwashed socks Your soul is full of gunk. Mr. Grinch. The three words that best describe you, are, and I quote: "Stink. Stank. Stunk." You're a rotter, Mr. Grinch. You're the king of sinful sots. Your heart's a dead tomato splot With moldy purple spots, Mr. Gri

Chanukah- Too Many Presents!!!!!!!

My house is overflowing in presents. Too many presents. Too many gifts that beep, whistle, scream, shriek and geshrei. There are worse problems to have, I know. Believe me, I am quite thankful for what I have. I am especially thankful for our good health. Today I learned that an acquaintance was in a major auto accident and is now paralyzed. I have few real problems and for that I count my blessings. But that only goes so far. I still have to deal with the problem of too many gifts. It is the blessing and the curse of a large family. Everyone gives the kids something. Having dealt with this before I made a point of going through old and unused toys with the kids. We gave away a bunch. We got rid of all sorts of stuff and like the cat in the hat it has come back. I am tempted to try and set a moratorium on gift giving, but the question is how to make it happen. Who do I tell not to give the kids anything. Who won't be offended. Who won't ignore my wishes. See, I can a

The Salvation Army Bell Ringer Doesn't Like Me

Now I know that you are going to be surprised to hear this, but during a recent trip to the store I was accosted by the bell ringer for the Salvation Army. Army : Sir, could you spare some change? Me : Not today. Army : Just a little would help. Me : A little would help me too. Army : Perhaps you can give something small. Me : Perhaps you might like to give me something small. Army : Sorry, I can't help you today. Me : No problem. I can't help you either. Army : My refusal shouldn't stop you. Me : Stop me from what? Army : From making a donation. Me : It is not going to happen. Army : Just give something. Me : Ok. How about some advice. Army : Seriously, just give me something. Me : I am serious. Give me something first and I'll consider it. Army : That is not how it works. Me : Oh really. Army : Yes. Jesus asks that you give and when you do you are rewarded. Me : I don't think that you want to go there with me. Army : Why? Don

The Python Versus The Alligator

The residents of the shack are nature lovers and interested in science. As you may recall we have blogged about pythons that tried to eat alligators , sheep and alligators that have eaten people . Now we are pleased to provide you with some more news about pythons in the Everglades. EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, Florida (AP) -- "SNAKE!" Hearing this shout, Skip Snow slammed on the brakes. When the off-roader plowed to a halt, he and his partner, Lori Oberhofer, leaped out and took off running toward two snakes, actually -- a pair of 10-foot Burmese pythons lying on a levee, sunning themselves. After slipping, sliding and tumbling down a rocky embankment, Snow, a wildlife biologist, grabbed one of the creatures by the tail. The python, Oberhofer says, did not care much for that. "It made a sound like Darth Vader breathing," she says, "and then its head swung around and I saw this white mouth flying through the air." Snow saw the mouth, too -- the jaws open

Our Most Effective Man In The War On Terror

Every time I see a picture of Ayman al-Zawahiri it makes me think of how Lt. Frank Drebin handled Gorbachev in the video below. For that matter look how effective he was in dealing with other terrorists and two bit dictators.

Rocky Balboa- Confession Part II

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about my desire to see the upcoming Rocky Balboa movie. Since that day I have redoubled my efforts to get myself back into fighting shape. I have resumed lifting weights each day and am pushing myself, although not so hard that I haven't enjoyed sufganiyot and some gelt. But given how hard I have been training I am not worried about the extra calories. If you want some insight on how I continue to motivate myself click here and scroll down to the links called training , pep talks and knockouts . When I am not at the 'puter or the gym I cruise the parking lots at Costco and Trader Joes and or wish people Happy Holidays . That always gives me more fodder for the fire

Readers Come And Go

One of the things about blogging that I have noticed is that readers come and go. I recognize that there is nothing profound about this, but I find it to be interesting. I suppose that I should elaborate upon this idea. If you get involved in following the various stat checking tools (stat counters, Technorati, etc.) you begin to notice that there are certain people who consistently appear at your blog. They may not always comment, for that matter they may never do so, but they still follow your work. The seventeen longtime readers are well aware that I check my stats on a regular basis, maybe too consistently. I won't say that I cannot help it, but I really do find it quite interesting to see what is moving here. Which posts are the most widely read, what keywords are used to bring people here etc. Anyway, from time to time I notice that some people have dropped me and I am usually curious why. I wonder if they got bored, if I offended them or if they just found better thing

It Is Juvenile, But It Bothers Me

I know that this is juvenile, but it bothers me when other cars pass me on the freeway. Ok, that is not entirely true, it doesn't always bother me. But sometimes it just grates on my nerves to see the guy driving that sports car that I could never afford go ambling by like I am standing still. Even worse is watching the girl in the beat up clunker pass me. Confession of the moment. Sometimes if I see a car trying to pass me I'll speed up so that they cannot. Go pass someone else, my fragile male ego can't always take it.

The Chanukah Meme

Amy Guth is doing a Chanukah blog tour in which she is visiting a variety of bloggers who have taken time to fill out here meme. I am not always great about answering meme's honestly, but I'll do my best here. In case you are wondering who else is participating on this particular day they include the following bloggers, none of who I am familiar with. Maybe that will change. Want Some Cheese With That W(h)ine? True Ancestor The Shalvster Not Chosen, Just Posin' 1. Quick! You must turn a plate of latkes into an upscale gourmet delight (as if they aren't already?). What would you add to them to dress them up, flavor and/or garnish them? I would be quite careful with this. I like the standard latke, but I suppose that I might consider something that added some spice to them. A little Tabasco sauce. Come to think of it, spicy latkes sound pretty damn good. 2. What is the dumbest thing you've ever heard anyone say about Chanukah? Hmm...That is a hard que

The Agony of Defeat- Vinko Bogataj

If you were a child/teen living in the US during the '70s chances are that at some point in time you came across or watched ABC's Wide World of Sports . The link takes you to a page that offers a video the opening to that show. Jim McKay offered the following narrative against a montage of athletes performing in their various sports: "Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition… this is ABC's Wide World of Sports!" The key part of that was always the line about the agony of defeat. Why? Because of Vinko Bogataj . He was the skier who had that awful crash. More than 30 years later he has become one of those people that stands out from our childhood. Apparently the man has done ok for himself , which is a good thing considering how his misfortune made him the butt of so many jokes.

Trolls, Antisemites and More

The beauty of blogging is that you just never know who is going to decide to come and visit your blog. Some of your guests are going to be delightful and others are going to be less delightful. Some of them are going to have manners and some are going to be examples of the worst that man has to offer. No exaggeration. I mean that wholeheartedly. People will say anything, especially from the safety of their keyboard Now there are things that you can do try and monitor/moderate the discussion among you and your guests. Technology offers all sorts of tools that you can use to maintain a civil discourse. I have made a point of not using most of those. The problem with applying filters is that it sometimes catches people that you prefer would be allowed to roam the premises. That is not how I want this blog to operate. It is an open forum in which virtually any comment is allowed to stay. That doesn't mean that I do not reserve the right to remove comments for any reason whatsoever.