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Showing posts from March, 2007

Apple Matzah Kugel

I love this stuff: 9x13 pan 8 matzahs Soak in hot water until soft. Drain but do not squeeze dry. Beat six eggs and one teaspoon of salt thoroughly Add 1 cup sugar 1 stick melted margarine 2 teaspoons of cinnamon Add everything to matzah mixture Stir in one cup of raisins and four large grated apples Bake at 350 for 45 minutes dot tip with margarine.

Schlafly: Married Women Can't Get Raped

Some of you may be familiar with Phyllis Schlafly , the arch nemesis of the feminist movement. To put it mildly her views on the role of women are controversial in many circles. At a recent speech at Bates College she asserted that married women cannot be raped by their husbands. At one point, Schlafly also contended that married women cannot be sexually assaulted by their husbands. "By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape," she said. This is not a view that I subscribe to. I think that a married couple has certain obligations and that one of them is to help their spouse with their sexual needs but not at the expense of one being completely subjugated to the other. Just to be clear the scope of obligations relative to needs is going to be subjective and based upon an agreement between the spouses. I wonder how many other people (read women) subscribe to her point of view. I know that there is an audience for it,

Blogging Resources

I always keep an eye out for blogging resources such as Beta Blogger4 Dummies . It is a site that is chock full of useful information that can be used to improve the look/functionality of your blog. Another site that I enjoy is Mandarin Design .

Darth Vader is watching you from Washington

"Darth Vader is one of the numerous carved grotesques on the Cathedral. Like gargoyles, grotesques carry rain water away from the building’s walls. Gargoyles carry away excess water via pipes running through their mouths; grotesques deflect rainwater by bouncing it off the top of their heads, noses or other projecting parts, and away from the stone walls. How did Darth Vader, a fictional villain from the Star Wars movies, end up on the wall of Washington National Cathedral? In the 1980s the Cathedral, with National Geographic World magazine, sponsored a competition for children to design decorative sculpture for the Cathedral. The third-place winner was Christopher Rader of Kearney, Nebraska who submitted a drawing of this futuristic representation of evil. Darth Vader was placed on the northwest tower with the other winning designs: a raccoon, a girl with pigtails and braces and a man with large teeth and an umbrella." Hat Tip: FraudWasteAbuse

A Few Thoughts About Blogging

In December of 2005 I wrote a post called Why I Blog . "Why do I blog. Why do I spend so much time sitting here at the computer staring a monitor that is filled with the fingerprints of tiny people. Why do I surf the net and engage in 21st century voyeurism. The very simple reason is that I derive a tremendous sense of joy and satisfaction from using words to express my thoughts. I have a great love for the language and I appreciate those people who can use words to construct a mental image. I appreciate their ability and craftmanship and wonder how it is they can take my mind and send it on a journey out of my body and into another world. For surely it is a bit escapist to sit at the keyboard and scroll down the pages and read about the lives and trials of others. And in a different way I find it comforting. I am part of a community of bloggers, a part of the overall blogosphere and at the same time I am also part of many other groups within the blogosphere. I am able to reac

Spring Is Supposed To Be About Renewal

Someone once claimed that native Californians could not and did not really appreciate the arrival of spring. I suppose that on the surface that might appear to be true, but that is really limited to a question of weather. If you spend months living a snowbound life amid gray skies I can understand how you might think that blue skies and sunshine are wasted upon us. On the other hand I see the start of spring as a period of growth and renewal. I know, that sounds pretty hokey. It is. But there is a lot of truth to it as well. Spring makes me happy because it brings so much promise. The start of daylight savings means longer days and we're that much closer to my favorite time of year, summer. Right now I am having a little trouble with spring because it doesn't have the same feeling of promise. Or should I say that the promises I hear whispering in the wind are not particularly exciting. I have more than a couple of friends/family who are battling serious illnesses and the p

Struggling With Pesach

In a short time Pesach will be here again. I am excited about it. It really is one of my favorite holidays but lately it has been quite a struggle for me. I am not really sure why but I have less motivation than normal to try and clean the house of chametz. I look around the JBlogosphere and I see many posts about the craziness that has enveloped their homes. One story after another in which mothers /wives speak of the challenge of getting the house ready and the fathers/husbands talk about how to keep everyone happy. Perhaps it is because I am short on caffeine. Or maybe it is something else, but I can't say that I know exactly what bothers me this year. On a different tack I can say that I am looking forward to the seders. My son has been working with me on the Four Questions as well as hammering me on the same question from last year. Abba, tell me why pharoah was bad. Tell me why the plagues happened. Tell me why the Egyptians killed the babies and why G-d killed their

LeBron's Castle

Sports Illustrated has a story about LeBron James' new house: AKRON, Ohio (AP) -- LeBron James ' 35,440-square-foot house under construction in nearby Bath Township is shaping up as a castle fit for a king -- with a theater, bowling alley, casino and barber shop. I have a question about it all. Who needs a casino in their own home. Isn't the goal to beat the house. Isn't that part of the fun. It seems to me that when you are the house there is no point in trying to beat it.

A Look Back In Time

Every so often I like to take a look back to see what grabbed my attention in the past. Here are some links to some of the thoughts/stories that rattled through my noggin during the end of March 2006. Iranian Policy- Understanding Their Thought Process American Inventor I Love Gadgets Poland Seeks Name Change for Auschwitz Teach Your Boy to Pee Like a Man It Felt good Why Men Don't Listen To Women

A Note To A Friend

Sometimes life hit us with surprises that are harder to deal with. Given your circumstances this song came to mind. On a side note I love the live version that Van Morrison did with Roger Waters. Hello. Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone home? Come on, now. I hear youre feeling down. Well I can ease your pain, Get you on your feet again. Relax. I need some information first. Just the basic facts: Can you show me where it hurts? There is no pain, you are receding. A distant ships smoke on the horizon. You are only coming through in waves. Your lips move but I cant hear what youre sayin. When I was a child I had a fever. My hands felt just like two balloons. Now I got that feeling once again. I cant explain, you would not understand. This is not how I am. I have become comfortably numb. Ok. Just a little pinprick. [ping] Therell be no more --aaaaaahhhhh! But you may feel a little sick. Can you stand up? I do believe its working. good. Thatll

Lampooning A Blogger

In the grand old blogosphere there are certain posts that are written, rewritten and recycled ad infinitum. Perhaps the most common is the one in which a blogger discusses how nasty things can get. Now depending on who they are they may go after people for being mean or they may go after them for being weak. This is not going to be one of those posts. All I am going to say is that I am continuing to receive fan mail and some bloggers have even chosen to devote entire posts to little old me. Now while I am flattered to receive all of this attention I am disappointed in them. It is not because they have upset or embarrassed me but because their attempt to lampoon me is so poorly done. If someone is going to take the time to try and do it they might as well do a proper job. As the source of evil in the JBlogosphere I deserve better than to be lampooned by the simple son. Give me someone who has a command of the language, insight and wit. I suppose that they tried, but a half wit is us

The Gaza Cesspool Disaster

At least six people died and many more were missing after sewage and mud flooded a northern Gaza Strip village Tuesday morning, officials said. The hospital in Beit Lahiya reported that an elderly woman, a 1-year-old baby, a 3-year-old child and a 15-year-old girl were among the casualties. Some 15 people were injured. The Bedouin village, Umm Naser, was flooded when the earth wall of a large cesspool sewage pool collapsed. Palestinians reported that 70 percent of the houses were completely submerged in the sewage, and residents said more than 200 people were still missing in the village of 3,000. Defense Minister Amir Peretz instructed the IDF to provide assistance to the Palestinians through the coordination mechanism in territories. Peretz ordered the army to prepare for a possibility of evacuating the injured to Israeli hospitals. A senior army officer, however, told Ynet that the Palestinians had no asked for Israeli assistance in the evacuation of the injured or

This is A Reason To Commit Murder

Another one of those WTF stories: A MAN who tied up and strangled a mother of two after visiting her home to make a bondage video has told a court the victim was trying to force him to commit an armed robbery. Gareth John Bunce has pleaded guilty to murdering Margaret Wagner, 27, at her home near Warrimoo in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, in March 1997. Giving evidence during sentencing submissions in the NSW Supreme Court, Bunce said he had murdered Miss Wagner after going to her home in order to make a bondage video. He told the court he became angry when Miss Wagner produced two guns and asked him to hold up a service station. "If I had an atom bomb I would have blown it up then and there," he said. Bunce told the court the two then went into a bedroom where he tied Ms Wagner up with ropes before strangling her.

NY bus converted into oven for matzos

Here is some creative thinking you don't see every day. SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. - It wasn't your typical fire. When police responded to a report that something smelled of smoke in the middle of the night, they found an old school bus that had been converted into a supersized oven for Passover matzos — complete with a smokestack, exhaust fans and working fire. A building inspector said that while the bakery bus wasn't nearly up to code, it was "very creative." The derelict red-and-white bus, connected by a plywood passageway to a single-family house, was out of sight of casual passers-by in a Hasidic Jewish neighborhood and had apparently escaped the notice of authorities. Its owner, Rabbi Aaron Winternitz, said Monday he had been making the unleavened bread there for three Passovers and was eager to do the same this year, with Passover coming up in a week. Winternitz made them for his 50-member Congregation Mivtzar Hatorah. Observant Jews eat matzo during Passover

I Am The Source of Evil In The JBlogosphere Part II

In part one of this series I shared part of an email I received from one of my fans. It was an uplifting tribute in which my dear cyberFreud provided their analysis of all that is wrong with me. I must say that I was moved and flattered by the attention. It seems that the dear soul is trying desperately to garner more attention from me. Jackass, Your pathetic and moronic attempt to cover up your own shortcomings is transparent. In days past I would have printed more of their email but as I said below, I am lacking some of the blogging passion. I would have jumped on the attempt to make a joke out of transparent shortcomings but again I am lacking passion. It might have been good. Some snappy remark about buying new underwear or some such thing. But alas the blogging malaise has afflicted me and I haven't the words to share. So let me wrap this up by saying that if you want to make me the villain of the JBlogosphere I shall gladly accept your title in the same spirit that Reggi

Davening With Show Tunes

I opted not to write a whole post on this topic. I wanted to. I thought that I might but I am lacking the passion. So instead you can go to Treppenwitz and see what prompted my thought. One more comment about this. In my experience Havdalah and Adon Olam were the most frequent targets of being sung to an alternative tune, such as the theme to Cheers, Oklahoma or Back In The Saddle Again.

America's Top 50 Rabbis

Newsweek has an article about a list that was compiled of the Top 50 Rabbis in America. Here is the intro to the story: "April 2, 2007 issue - Last fall, Sony Pictures CEO and Chairman Michael Lynton got together with his good friends and fellow power brokers Gary Ginsberg, of Newscorp., and Jay Sanderson, of JTN Productions and started working on a list of the 50 most influential rabbis in America. They had a scoring system: Are the rabbis known nationally/internationally? (20 points.) Do they have a media presence? (10 points.) Are they leaders within their communities? (10 points.) Are they considered leaders in Judaism or their movements? (10 points.) Size of their constituency? (10 points.) Do they have political/social influence? (20 points.) Have they made an impact on Judaism in their career? (10 points.) Have they made a "greater" impact? (10 points.) This system, though helpful, is far from scientific; the men revised and rejiggered their list for months, and

Vin Scully- The Greatest Baseball Announcer Ever

As a native of Los Angeles I have been privileged to listen to some of the greatest announcers you could ever find, Dick Enberg , Chick Hearn and the great Vin Scully. I could easily dedicate an entire post to each man in which I could laud their skill and their ability to paint a picture with words, but it is Spring Training now and that means baseball. And if you are talking about baseball you have to think of Vin Scully . Scully is an artist. He is a virtuoso, a true wordsmith and he doesn't suffer from the problems that so many other announcers have. He is able to tell stories without detracting from the game. He knows when to speak and when not to speak. At a later date I might write a longer post praising Scully but right now I want to go in a different direction and share a memory. The year is 2001. It is a warm summer evening and my seven month old son is teething. Inside the condo I am doing all that I can to try and ease his pain. I sing, I dance, I give him a te

Voices of The Fallen

Newsweek has a special section called Voices of the Fallen . It is composed of letters/videos/audio recordings that the families of fallen vets shared. Regardless of what you think of the war it is worth taking a moment to look/listen. These people gave their lives. We can honor their memory. Click here .

Music For a Saturday Night

Instead of listing each song I listened to I'll provide a list of the artists. Van Morrison with Roger Waters Bruce Springsteen Ray Charles Danny Elfman Elton John Billy Joel Limp Bizkit Daler Mehndi Robert Plant Red Hot Chili Peppers The Killers Tom Jones Bob Dylan

I Am The Source of Evil In The JBlogosphere

It has been a while since I last shared fan mail with my beloved 17 readers. And now I am pleased to present you with a fragment of one of the greatest testimonials that I have ever received. Dear Jackass, The reason that so many people hate the jblogosphere and the jibs is because of jerks like yourself. if you leaned how to be a mensch maybe your children wouldn't be so bad and your wife would love you more. Why don't you take Ezzie and go away..." Hmm... I mulled over how to respond to this. I played around with printing the entire email, but it was missing something called grammar. That presented a problem because it was so poorly written that I didn't think that people would be able to stomach it. So while I sit here beaming with the pride I derived from your accolades let me share something with you. I am not sure that Serach would appreciate my taking Ezzie away. Not that it wouldn't be good for him to be exposed to real sports teams. Ask Stacey about

Iran 'seizes' 15 British sailors

Things continue to stay heated with Iran. There may be some confusion about whose waters they were in, but on the other hand I still think that Iran is testing. It is a dangerous game they play. Iran 'seizes' 15 British sailors LONDON, England (CNN) -- An Iranian naval patrol seized 15 British marines and sailors who had boarded a vessel suspected of smuggling cars off the coast of Iraq, military officials said. The British government immediately demanded the safe return of its troops and summoned Tehran's London ambassador to explain the incident. The Royal Marines and ordinary naval officers were believed to have been apprehended by up to six ships from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy who claimed they had violated Iranian waters. British naval officials said the sailors, using small boarding craft, had completed an inspection of a merchant vessel in Iraqi waters when the Iranians arrived. Commodore Nick Lambert, commander of the HMS Cornwall -- the frigate fr

The Lovers

You are The Lovers Motive, power, and action, arising from Inspiration and Impulse. The Lovers represents intuition and inspiration. Very often a choice needs to be made. Originally, this card was called just LOVE. And that's actually more apt than "Lovers." Love follows in this sequence of growth and maturity. And, coming after the Emperor, who is about control, it is a radical change in perspective. LOVE is a force that makes you choose and decide for reasons you often can't understand; it makes you surrender control to a higher power. And that is what this card is all about. Finding something or someone who is so much a part of yourself, so perfectly attuned to you and you to them, that you cannot, dare not resist. This card indicates that the you have or will come across a person, career, challenge or thing that you will fall in love with. You will know instinctively that you must have this, even if it means diverging from your chosen path. No matter the diffi

I Am Going To Die & Other Random Thoughts

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of sitting through a parent/teacher conference for all of my children. It really was a pleasure to hear their teachers provide glowing reports. I am an honest parent. I know that my kids have their moments and I know that they are not always angels. But if you believe their teachers the bulk of their misbehavior comes out at home. My son's teacher had many good things to say, but one thing stuck out. She told us about how loyal he is. She said that he looks out for his friends and that he is sensitive to their needs. I was and am proud of everything else she said too, but the loyalty struck a chord with me. It is a trait that runs deep within my family. My siblings and I are fiercely loyal, especially to each other. So it is gratifying to see that the children have picked up on this. The expression about being loyal to a fault is a good description of me. If we are tight I am going to be there to help you, even when you are playing the fool.

This Disgusts Me

Animals behave like this, people do not. BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi insurgents used two children as cover to get through a checkpoint in Baghdad and then blew up the car while the kids were still inside, a U.S. general said Tuesday. The car went through a checkpoint Sunday and parked by a market across the street from a school, said Maj. Gen. Michael Barbero, deputy director for regional operations in the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Two adults jumped from the car, leaving the children in the back. Moments later, the car exploded, witnesses said.

Whose Reality Is it Anyway

An acquaintance and I had a discussion about our personal philosophies. We have a difference of opinion about how to go through life. This person offers a view that goes something like this: "I expect the worst from people and when they do better I am pleasantly surprised." My view is a little bit more optimistic. I don't spend much time considering what people are going to do because I am working on my own plan. My life works because I make it work, not because I am surprised or disappointed by others. Pleasant and unpleasant surprises are just part of life. It really depends on your response. That leads to the next disagreement. I said that I don't want negative energy around me. I don't need it. This other person says that they don't believe in any of that and accuses me of wanting to live in my own reality. Well isn't that what people do. Don't we all live in our own reality. Don't we all have our views on life and how the world operat

Jack's Experience In the Ladies Room

Originally posted here . Sorry for the lack of new stuff, been kind of busy. I have a dysfunctional digestive system . I write about it frequently as I have done here , and here . That probably gives you more information than you wanted, but I am going to continue on and regal you with one of my many tales of the loo. For those who are interested in my motivation in writing about such things part of this stems from my embarrassment/anger/frustration regarding this little problem. I like to make fun of it because I feel better, and yes Shmata Queen I know that one day I should get a colonoscopy. Frankly I have the exit system down so making it an entrance bothers me greatly. This particular incident took place a number of years ago. I had been going through a spell in which my stomach had been doing quite well and had been more relaxed and adventurous in what I was willing to eat. On that fateful day I had taken on a chilidog and some coffee. Under the best circumstances it was n


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Every now and then I come up with another screwy combination of words that I use to describe blogging. Blogadaisical Blogapathy Blogfusion and Blogstration Blogrisma And now I present Blog Habayit or Blog Ha-Bayit.

DovBear's Quality Proposal

The grouchy old bear says : So far not one big blogger has written to tell me that s/he is willing to help judge the proposed quality awards . I don't understand their indifference. Our blogs are successful (in part) because smaller bloggers read us, and link to us. I can't understand why the big bloggers aren't willing to return the favor by helping to organize a contest that recognizes high quality posts, written by smaller bloggers, and rewards them with links and traffic. I am a cranky cynic who appreciates Dovie's idea but is not so sure about the concept. The idea of having a panel read/judge posts is not a horrible idea. It certainly has merit. The issue is more along the lines of trying to determine who the panel members should be. You see the fact that someone has a big blog is not indicative of quality writing. Some bloggers have managed to grow based upon the community that has formed around them. It is kind of the dive bar concept. You don't go th

Walgreens- Unfair Pricing

Over at the Freakonomics blog they have a post that is quite disturbing. Many of his patients, he explained, must pay for their drugs out-of-pocket, and yet even the generic drugs at pharmacy chains like Walgreens, Eckerd, and CVS could cost them dearly. So Wolf began snooping around and found that two chains, Costco and Sam’s Club, sold generics at prices far, far below the other chains. Even once you factor in the cost of buying a membership at Costco and Sam’s Club, the price differences were astounding. Here are the prices he found at Houston stores for 90 tablets of generic Prozac: Walgreens: $117 Eckerd: $115 CVS: $115 Sam’s Club: $15 Costco: $12 Those aren’t typos. Walgreens charges $117 for a bottle of the same pills for which Costco charges $12. I was skeptical at first. Why on earth, I asked Wolf, would anyone in his right mind fill his generic prescription at Walgreen’s instead of Costco? His answer: if a retiree is used to filling his prescriptions at Walgreens, t

Flying The Unfriendly Skies

A British Airways passenger was refused compensation and told by the airline to "get over it" after a corpse was placed in the row where he was sitting last week. Paul Trinder, 54, a businessman from Brackley, Northamptonshire, spent more than £3,000 for a first-class ticket from Delhi. He awoke during the flight to find that cabin staff were propping up a dead woman almost next to him. "The stewards just plonked down this body without saying a thing," he said. "I remember looking at this thin, sparrow-like woman and thinking she was very ill." The woman had been in economy class when she died soon after the plane left Delhi. "She kept slipping under the seat belt and moving about with the motion of the plane," Mr Trinder said. "When I asked what was going on, I was shocked to hear she was dead." Mr Trinder, who was kept on board the plane when it landed and questioned by police and a c

A Survey For My Jewish Readers

I received a request to post a link to a survey. More info on the survey: The study looks at issues regarding Negiah (premarital touching) and Niddah / Taharat HaMishpachah (family purity). Niddah and Negiah play an important role in the every day lives of Jewish men and women. The collection of handbooks on this topic grows from year to year, yet we know very little about how Jewish couples, men, and women experience and observe Niddah and Negiah. Anecdotal evidence and our previous research have led us to conclude that many couples and individuals are experiencing difficulties with this aspect of the Halachah. We are inviting the Jewish community at large to participate in this important survey to shed light on these difficulties and explore some ways to address them. Given the intimate nature of these matters, this brief, online survey is totally anonymous, and no identifiable information is collected. If you are interested in participating please click here .

New Indiana Jones Love Interest

Cate Blanchett is in negotiations to star opposite Harrison Ford in the long-awaited fourth installment of the "Indiana Jones" series, her publicist confirmed Saturday. "She is in negotiations, yes," publicist Lisa Kasteler told The Associated Press. She did not elaborate. Filming is scheduled to begin later this year, with Steven Spielberg on board to direct. The movie is being produced by " Star Wars " creator George Lucas ' Lucasfilm Ltd. Click here for the full story I am keeping my fingers crossed that this turns out to be a good movie. Raiders is still my favorite of the bunch.

It Is Only Two Bucks

This past Tuesday morning my son tried to convince me to let him skip school so that he could come to work with me. It was an intriguing offer. I love being a father. I love spending time with the kids and little Jack does nothing but help me learn more about the world around me. As a child we spend endless hours asking "why" about anything and everything. We are still young enough that the world is consistently filled with wonder. We haven't become worn down with worries or jaded by repeat experiences. So it really is refreshing to be around the kids. Even though it is sometimes hard to consistently be barraged with questions it is a job that I relish. On the third shelf of my third bookcase there is a book called "The Way Things Work," copyright 1973. My father bought it so that he could use it to help teach my siblings and I about the world. It is a book that I have always loved. It holds nothing but good memories for me and for a long time I looked for

Chest presses, not breaths, help CPR

In a different life I spent a number of years teaching CPR and First AID . Chest compression — not mouth-to-mouth resuscitation — seems to be the key in helping someone recover from cardiac arrest, according to new research that further bolsters advice from heart experts. A study in Japan showed that people were more likely to recover without brain damage if rescuers focused on chest compressions rather than rescue breaths, and some experts advised dropping the mouth-to-mouth part of CPR altogether. The study was published in Friday's issue of the medical journal The Lancet. More than a year ago, the American Heart Association revised CPR guidelines to put more emphasis on chest presses, urging 30 instead of 15 for every two breaths given. Stopping chest compressions to blow air into the lungs of someone who is unresponsive detracts from the more important task of keeping blood moving to provide oxygen and nourishment to the brain and heart. Another big advantage to dropping th

Pesach Soda/Shamrock Shake

Off the Broiler caught my eye with two different posts. The first is about Kosher for Pesach coke. Kosher for Passover Coke: Its the Real Thing Baby For many of us this isn't all that much of a novelty, but it grabbed me because it reminded of a post I want to write. Jews who observe Pesach have to adjust our regular diets to comply with the laws surrounding the holiday. In many homes the seders are well planned, elaborate meals that are a tremendous pleasure to eat. Sometimes the meals that come in between are not so well planned so one finds all sorts of culinary challenges. Tied into this is the effort made by some in the food industry to create Pesadich food products that resemble their leavened brothers. In recent years I have noticed that they seem to be having more success. The end result is that there is less of a distinction between the two. This begs the question of whether this is a good or bad thing. But like I said that is a post for a different time. The next

A Blog I Enjoy Reading

I have often said that I enjoy blogging because of the interaction with people I might not normally get to meet. It is not your basic voyeurism, it is more than that. It is a chance to look through the window and see more than half dressed people. It is a chance to get to know and understand these people in a way that you might not ever have the opportunity to do. Long time readers of the blog might recall reading my posts. You Should Be a Rabbi Parts I and II . In them I discussed some of my thoughts about the rabbinate as well as mentioned my interest and appreciation for NY's Funniest Rabbi . Fortunately the good rabbi is still blogging so I am still able to enjoy his posts. A short time I stumbled onto the blog of yet another rabbi. It is called Rabbi Without A Cause and it has become a new favorite. I appreciate the honesty and the consistency with which he posts. Read about how the big scary rabbi has a problem with women. Hey, do you think that anyone is going to f

I Love The Soundtracks to 'Westerns'

It is a little after 9 at night and the Shack has grown quiet. All of the children are sleeping and god willing they will stay that way, safe and sound all night long. It is time to bang out a few posts and unwind. So here I am at the keyboard, or should I say that I feel like I am out on my horse. The headphones are on and I am listening to Elmer Bernstein's theme to The Magnificent Seven. I love it, as I do most Westerns. You can blame it on my father. I spent a few hours here and there watching Shane, Rooster Cogburn, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly and The Magnificent Seven among others. It is easy for me to close my eyes and picture myself riding across the Ponderosa. It is not hard to imagine myself walking through a set of swinging doors into the Six Gun Saloon. I'd tell the bartender to give me a shot of whiskey, shoot a steely eyed glance about the bar and wait for the first fight to break out. Because you know that sooner or later some hombre is going to try t

Rosie Irritates The Hell Out of Me

She has become one of those love or hate figures in American society. It is kind of a sad thought. She is an entertainer who has clawed her way into a position in which she can pontificate about whatever strikes her fancy. Now granted that describes quite a large number of people, but at the moment she is the one who has attracted my ire. She doesn't deserve a long post so I'll keep this relatively short about what annoys me. There are people who are so angry with Bush that they will oppose anything he or his administration does. They engage in a "cut off my nose to spite my face" mentality that I find to be unacceptable. Listening to her defend Khalid Sheik Muhammad is revolting but she does it because she thinks that it will help her hurt Bush and company. I am not a fan of Bush but I am practical and I understand that even when I disagree with our leaders it is better to help/hope than to demean and denigrate. I suppose that is part of it. I just find Rosie t

Jews With Blogs Awards

I forgot to mention that Jameel received a prize in the illustrious JWB (Jews With Blogs) awards . You can find out more here . Or if the link doesn't work try this URL:

Jack's Recipe For Fun

Dear Reader, If you ask those who know me best they will all tell you that I am a connoisseur of fun. Wherever I go I can come up with a surefire way to beat boredom. I have all sorts of nifty tricks. If you really want to chuckle join me in a toy store. But for those of you are who not lucky enough to spend time in person with me I'd like to share this recipe for fun. It is a personal favorite which is why I have been doing it all week long. Are you ready for this? Jack's Recipe For Success: Take several small children and give them the stomach flu. Make sure that they are tired, cranky and able to spew out strange smelling liquids all over your home. When you are covered in said strange smelling liquids remember to laugh out loud because not everyone is fortunate enough to wear their toys like you do. That is pretty much it. The rest is up to you.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Confesses

In the next few days we are going to be reading quite a bit about this. We'll have to see if how things shake out. I won't be surprised to see a few changes here and there. In the meantime here are some excerpts for your consumption. " I was responsible for the 9/11 operation from A to Z," Mohammed said in a statement read during the session, which was held last Saturday. The transcripts also refer to a claim by Mohammed that he was tortured by the CIA, although he said he was not under duress at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo when he confessed to his role in the attacks. In a section of the statement that was blacked out, he confessed to the beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, The Associated Press has learned. Pearl was abducted in January 2002 in Pakistan while researching a story on Islamic militancy. Mohammed has long been a suspect in the killing. Using his own words, the extraordinary transcript connects Mohammed to dozens of the wors

The Future of Europe

Daniel Pipes ( ) offers several potential scenarios regarding the future of Europe. I encourage you to read the whole piece. Here is a short excerpt for each scenario: Muslim Rule - To sum up: this first argument holds that Europe will be Islamized, quietly submitting to the dhimmi status or converting to Islam, because the yin of Europe and yang of Muslims fit so well: low and high religiosity, low and high fertility, low and high cultural confidence. [2] Europe is an open door through which Muslims are walking. Muslim Rejection - Or will the door be shut in their face? American columnist Ralph Peters dismisses the first scenario: "Far from enjoying the prospect of taking over Europe by having babies, Europe's Muslims are living on borrowed time. … predictions of a Muslim takeover of Europe … ignore history and Europe's ineradicable viciousness." Instead, depicting Europe as the place "that perfected genocide and eth

Viral Posts, Memes, Blog Things

Blogging provides a great forum for watching the effects of viral marketing. viral marketing An online advertising approach that functions somewhat like word-of-mouth. The "viral" refers to how quickly it propagates, but its purpose is not to cause damage like a computer virus, but to make an offer available to the masses. The ad is disseminated via links in e-mail, blogs and Web sites that all point to some service or product people might want, whether free or paid. ( I find the viral aspect of this to be fascinating. A short time ago I blogged about Visual DNA . I had seen it over at Mark's place and found it to be interesting. In a relatively short time a number of my readers had their own posts about it. That was about a week ago. Since then I have seen it on a hundred different blogs. I am fairly confident that it was on a hundred blogs long before I stumbled upon it. Of course I'd like to say that I was among the first

Illegal Aliens

I don't know about you but the description of people as illegal aliens has always struck me as being kind of funny. It is not really a laugh out loud, guffaw kind of funny. It is more like a bemused smile. Perhaps it is because I think in very graphic terms. I picture these little green men in a spaceship landing in the middle of some cornfield somewhere. It is similar to people describing the land of the burning river as being civilized, a bit of a misnomer.

A Bathroom Surprise

In a past life I was involved in a high powered corporate job. During the time at Megacorp we were given all sorts of extracurricular training. Much of it was the typical rah rah stuff that so many companies ply their employees with. Don't get me wrong, some of it is pretty good stuff. Upon occasion I was even able to take their advice and immediately apply it to my life. One of these days I'll share more about my experiences at Megacorp, but for now allow me to reminisce about what one motivational speaker shared at a sales meeting. He told us all that success in life was solely based upon having a positive attitude. "Smile at every surprise and they will always be positive experiences Well color me disappointed and pissed off with that advice because no matter how hard I try it doesn't translate well into each situation. Sometimes it is hard to put the happy spin on the events of your life. One day I was unpleasantly surprised to learn that someone had stolen