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Showing posts from April, 2007

The Golden Age Of The JBlogosphere

The Golden Age of the JBlogosphere. I can't speak for anyone else, but it is one of those terms that catches my eye. Maybe it is because I am sentimental and I like to look back and see where I have been. In any case, it seems like every six months or so someone writes an introspective post about what the JBlogosphere used to be like. The first time I remember seeing one of these posts was at The Muqata . Old Jameel mused about what he thought was the watershed moment of the JBlogosphere as being some time during 2005. Today Treppenwitz became the latest blogger to speak of the Golden Age of the JBlogosphere. His timeline is a bit different . He refers to the golden age as being somewhere between 2003-2004. I suppose that you could say that what this shows is that a blogger's perspective is very much influenced by when they began blogging. I know, that wasn't very insightful nor all that profound, but it is interesting to me for a number of reasons. When I look ba

The Only Way To Fly

...the privilege of hanging out in this 26-square-foot bedroom with sliding doors, but then you get to stretch out on a 7-foot bed, the longest commercial airline bed in the world. Want to know more? Click here .

Smarter Than The Average Bear

LA Riots- 15 Years Later

One of these days I'll have to blog about this. I won't ever forget the riots. I drive through many of the areas that were affected on a regular basis. Some of the buildings still bear the scars of those days.

Wear Were You

Last week I reintroduced myself to an old friend. It is probably close to 15 years or so since I last saw this guy. Can't say that I recall how we lost touch or why. I just know that we did. During the last few decades or so there have been a handful of times when we ran into each other. And each time was punctuated by a moment in which I thought that maybe we would restore our relationship. You know, we'd get a chance at renewing the bond, but it never quite happened. After a while I must have just given up. Time passes and we forget how things used to be. The passion isn't quite so strong and memories fade. But there is such a thing as redemption. I know. I have seen it happen before. Can't say that I thought about it happening to me, but I am glad that it did. I followed an impulse and chased Alice into the rabbit hole. One thing led to another and I find myself sharing this time not just with you, but with the dear old friend I mentioned above. Want to see

Saturday Night Round Up

Things move fast and furiously around here. If you haven't been around here is a quick round up of recent posts: Thoughts For a Saturday Night Anti-Israel ads in Washington My Future Home The Name of My Blog Is Your Life What You Expected It To Be? Poop Patrol

Thoughts For a Saturday Night

I am listening to the theme for The Magnificent Seven. I love it. I have probably played it a million times. Every time it plays I can't help but visualize myself riding my horse Buck. Sometimes I am galloping and other times I am just wading through some stream on my way to the far side. I need to write the follow up post to the Poop Patrol. If I remember I'll call it "The Phantom Pooper." One day I need to write about the time I had to go dumpster diving to save a whole heap of Tallitot and Tefillin. I am getting killed in the JIBs. I have tried hard not to mention this. I don't blog to win awards and I won't change my style just to win, but I am competitive by nature. It is not easy to lose, so I console myself by saying that if I worked at driving traffic to the site I would probably be more competitive. All that being said there are far more important things in the world. One of the guys I play basketball is going back to Iraq. He says that he can&#

Anti-Israel ads in Washington

Commuters travelling on Washington DC's subway will be inundated with posters placed by an anti-Israel organization, the Canadian Jewish News (CJN) reported . The 'US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation' placed 20 poster ads showing "an imposing tank pointing its main firing turret at a child with a schoolbag walking along a dirt road," the CJN said. "'Imagine if this were your child's path to school. Palestinians don't have to imagine,' the poster states, before continuing to call for an end to US aid for 'Israel's brutal military occupation… paid for by US taxpayers like you,'" the report added. It said that "CBS Outdoor, the New York-based firm that places in-station advertising for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), at first refused to consider the poster, but eventually relented to pressure from WMATA and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)." Hasbara is never one of Is

The Name of My Blog

I have noticed that there seems to be a little confusion regarding the name of my blog. Some people think of it as being Jack's Shack while others understand it to be Random Thoughts- Do They Have Meaning? One of these days I'll have to do some work on more effectively branding this corner of cyberspace.

A Simple Solution

Psycho Toddler gets credit for making me think of this post. The clip below is one of my favorite scenes from any movie. I see it as a case of "Don't mistake the tree for the forest." Sometimes you can let your problems intimidate and overwhelm you. If you keep your head you can often find a simple and effective solution to the challenges you face.

Is Your Life What You Expected It To Be?

I am a dreamer. I always have been. My mother says that my preschool teacher was certain that I would grow up to be some kind of writer because I was always coming up with stories. I may not work as a full time writer but I still lay claim to the title. If I had a decent singing voice I might call myself a bard or jester. I wouldn't want to be a jester for a king. I do a good job of making people laugh, but I hate being told what to do. The first time the king pissed me off I'd stop juggling long enough to fling something heavy at his melon. I have several evening rituals. On my way to bed I stop to check on my children. In the dark I tell them again how much I love them and then I take a moment to watch them sleep. I don't think that I sleep that way anymore. You know, that carefree deep sleep of a child. As I stand there I cannot help but wonder what they are going to be like when they are grown up. What will they look like, what kind of work will they do etc. Mostl

I Was Infected with A-Z Meme

Felt like reposting this: That A-Z meme Biur Chametz tagged me with this little ditty. Accent: Not me. Born and raised in Los Angeles. Booze: Scotch and Beer with the occasional Bourbon. Chore I Hate: Doing the Dishes. Dogs/Cats: I love dogs, but cats are different . Feh. Essential Electronics: The Internet, Stereo/iPod Favorite Perfume/Cologne: Essence of Monkeytown Gold & Silver: I like brass. Hometown: Los Angeles Insomnia: Only when I can't sleep. Job Title: Bishop of Bullfrog Kids: 3 wives, 27 kids and six or seven girlfriends. Living Arrangements: Upright and breathing. Most Admired Trait: I don't know, you tell me. Number of Sexual Partners: When? Overnight Hospital Stays: I prefer a hotel. Phobia: cleveland Quote: She is not much of a boxer but she sure can dance. Religion: Sure. Siblings: Many Time I Usually Wake Up: When my eyes open. Unusual Talent: I can turn my skin inside out. Vege

Pirate Attacks Down Sharply

MSNBC reports that pirate attacks have dropped this year. If you are a fan of The Wiggles you know that Captain Feathersword is a friendly pirate.. But if you are like me you are quite disappointed. The sole reason I have participated in The JIBs is because it is part training to be a pirate. I have a pirate name: Captain Jack- One-eared Dog the Damned. Why else would I participate in Talk Like a Pirate Day than to be a pirate. I could be the latest in a long line of Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean . On the other hand fewer pirate attacks provide me with more opportunity, now don't they. I think that I shall have to mull this over for a while. Arrrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhh!

Dear Laker Management

Dear Laker Management, It has become apparent that the Lakers are in dire need of the services of an almost 38 year-old Jewish guy who can't jump any more, doesn't shoot all that well and isn't particularly fast. The last time I wrote you was in the early '90s. Back in those days I still didn't shoot all that well but I could still jump. Every now and then I managed to get a hand on the rim. Not only that but I had fast hands and good foot speed. A speedy point guard might have taken me off of the dribble but I always had a way to recover. But that was then. Now I fill out my uniform in a slightly different way. If you photograph me from the chest up you won't notice that much of a difference. Let me cut to the chase. The current team is lacking in many areas. I know that many of the players are banged up. I can see that they aren't quite 100 percent, but that doesn't excuse the lack of fire. I can bring all that and more. I am a hustle player.

The JIBs- Best Post

More often than not any time you see the abbreviation JIBs on my blog it is tied into some sort of criticism. This is one of those occasions in which it is not. Instead it is the inspiration for this semi-introspective post. There is a category in the JIBs called "Best Post" that caught my attention. In particular what I was curious about was trying to identify what I think the best post I have written is. The hard part is that choosing among my posts is a bit similar to asking me to pick a favorite child. I can't quite do it. I love all of my children...equally. Ok, that is not entirely true. There are posts that are superior to others. There are posts that I am proud of and some that I probably should have nuked. That is probably not all that different from most bloggers. Anyway, instead of making myself crazy trying to pick a favorite post I went to my default answer. Thanks to the magic of stats I am able to review the past three months and identify which posts

Poop Patrol

I live in an ordinary home in a ordinary neighborhood in an ordinary suburb. Most of my neighbors are pleasant people. They take pride in their homes and do a nice job of working together to maintain the neighborhood. This is not to say that we do not have our share of kooky neighbors. To the best of my knowledge we do not have any inhabitants who resemble those of 1313 Mockingbird Lane. I am pleased to say that during the six years that I have lived here there have been a handful of times in which I have been upset about the behavior of the neighbors. The most recent problem has been with some teenagers who like to park their car across the street from the house so that they can spend some quality time together . You try explaining to a six year-old why the boy is jumping up and down on the girl or why the car keeps shaking. But I digress. A new issue has developed and this does have my attention. Someone has decided to let their dog use my front lawn as their canine commode. Thr


Folks I have tried hard not to remark on the JIBs but I just can't refrain any longer. The real point of the JIBs is to promote Jewish/Israeli blogs, to help provide greater exposure than currently exists. The thing that I have always found distasteful about the JIBs is the campaigning that takes place. Some people are so concerned about winning all they lose their ability to blog about anything else. But if winning means that much to you than I guess that is how it goes.

Hanging Out With Dolphins

I am always surprised by how smooth a dolphin's skin is.

Miss America- More Than A Pretty Face

WAYNESBURG, KY. — Miss America 1944 has a talent that probably has never appeared on a beauty pageant stage: She fired a handgun to shoot out a vehicle's tires and stop an intruder. Venus Ramey, 82, confronted a man on her farm in south-central Kentucky last week after she saw her dog run into a storage building where thieves had previously made off with old farm equipment. Ramey said the man told her he would leave. "I said, 'Oh, no you won't,' and I shot their tires so they couldn't leave," Ramey said. She had to balance on her walker as she pulled out a snub-nosed .38-caliber handgun. For the full story please click here.

Bills Our Parents Didn't Face

It is almost a week since the VA Tech massacre took place. It is scary to think that in such a short time such a heinous event has been relegated to history, but that is how it goes. Time never stops moving, people never stop living. It is a hard lesson but real. A couple of days after the shooting I had a few of the guys I play basketball with split a pitcher of beer and chewed the fat about raising kids today. One of them told me that if he had to start over he wouldn't have kids. He said that he couldn't imagine having to " deal with what you deal with. " I smiled and shook my head at him. I wouldn't give up my children for anything. It is easy to look at the world and see the negative. It is easy to see the black and miss the light. I understand. I spend a lot time considering how to be as good a father as my father. I wonder how to live up to the standard set by my grandfathers. They were all men who worked and worked and worked to provide for their fam

The Telephone Bill

Sometimes I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to come up with a clever title for my posts. It seems rather silly to spend more time coming up with the headline than I do on writing the posts but sometimes that is just how it goes. I have always said that I write for myself but maybe I am lying. Maybe the time I spend trying to come up with a better headline is indicative of a latent desire to expand my readership. If you don't have a good headline no one bothers to read what you have written. On the other hand if you fail to provide good content you'll never retain the readers either. Go figure. AT&T just reached into my pocket and took out another chunk of cash. That is not really a fair description. It is not like they didn't provide a service. They did. Dear old Ma Bell is there to see that I have both internet service and a land line to use but it is getting harder to justify paying her. I use my cellphone far more than I use the land line. And I hav

I Am Alone

If you ask someone to describe what a large city sounds like you generally expect them to mention the sounds of public transportation and private cars- honking, squealing tires and screeching brakes. Depending on where they live they might mention street vendors or the hum of the lights. But rarely do they mention the silence. It probably sounds contradictory to mention the noise of the city followed by commenting on the lack of it. But I suppose that in part that is because the silence I am referring to isn't based upon your traditional auditory experience. It really refers to people who sit alone in their homes. The impetus for the thought comes from personal experience. Following a short trip out of town I returned home ahead of the family. It was close to midnight when I pulled into my driveway. The neighborhood was quiet but then again it normally is. Tonight it seemed even more quiet than normal. Perhaps the broken streetlight contributed to this. The night seemed extr

Almost Three Year Blogiversary Housekeeping Note

In a very short time we are going to celebrate our three year blogiversary. In order to provide you with the best possible experience we are going to be away from the blog for a few days taking care of some very serious bidness. Yes, that is right I am heading out to join Jameel on a secret mission. Europe will never be the same. In case you are curious we'll be giving cleveland a wide berth. I haven't gotten vaccinated in a while and I don't want to get sick. Sorry Ezzie . ;) See you around the blogosphere.

What Brings You Joy?

Given the somber tone of some of my recent posts I wanted something light so I thought that I'd bring this back for some more time in the sun. Ann receives credit for inspiring this post. If clicked on the link you'll see that she has a list of roughly 25 different things that bring her joy. I appreciate posts like that because I think that in the hustle and bustle of life we forget about what makes us happy. I don't know if I can come up with a list of 25 things that bring me joy. I suspect that I am going to miss the mark by a little or exceed it by quite a bit. It seems a little extreme to phrase it like that. Why should it be an either/or situation. Why does it have to be so black and white. The post about Mookie really hit me hard. It was a gut check that surprised me with how much it affected me. I can guarantee that part of this comes from being a parent. There is no greater fear than losing a child. I read the blogs of several people who have had this trage

A Few Thoughts About VA Tech

During my commute I either listen to sports talk radio or play CDs. Every now and then I'll flip over to the news or your run of the mill talk radio. I do it because sometimes I need a break from the news. I spend hours connected to the net and manage to read most of the newspaper so I don't feel the need to drown myself any further in news. But on special occasions I'll give up listening to Ray Charles or Laker Talk to hear your standard radio broadcast. It didn't take long for pundit and person to begin trying to come up with reasons why this happened and ways to prevent it from reoccurring. That is not surprising and I am not issuing any sort of criticism or judgment. In light of the tragedy it makes perfect sense that people would try to focus on things that they can control. But the problem here is that this goes beyond the scope of control. It is not a simple fix. There is no simple solution. Apparently they have found that the gunman had been identified b

Mac Vs. PC

After ten years my parents have given up on the great PC experiment. Their home is not populated by several Apple computers and I must say that I am impressed. I think that when I find some spare cash I just might have to do the same.

Gloria Gaynor- I Will Survive

Damn. I had this really witty remark to make and I can't remember it. And now I have got this goofy feeling. It is like coming up with a great retort to an argument, only you had the argument three days earlier. Feh.

VA Tech Massacre- A Hero Rises

I know that the title sounds overly dramatic, but what Professor Liviu Librescu did is admirable . JERUSALEM: A 76-year-old lecturer shot to death trying to save his students from the Virginia Tech assailant was a Holocaust survivor who later escaped to Israel from Communist Romania, his son said Tuesday. Relatives said Liviu Librescu, an internationally respected aeronautics engineer and a lecturer at the school for 20 years, saved the lives of several students by barricading his classroom door before he was gunned down in Monday's massacre, which coincided with Israel's Holocaust remembrance day. Librescu' students sent e-mails recounting the last moments of their teacher's life to his wife, Marlena, his son, Joe, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "My father blocked the doorway with his body and asked the students to flee," Joe Librescu said in a telephone interview from his home outside of Tel Aviv. "Students started opening windows and jum

Robbing Children of Their Innocence

My heart goes out to the loved ones of the victims of the VA Tech massacre. How many lives have been shattered. How many hearts have been broken because of this one person. It is a terrible tragedy. At some point I'll share my thoughts about an armed society versus unarmed, but not now. What really grabs my heart is the terrible problem of trying to explain tragedies like this to children. My own children are still quite young so until recently it was relatively easy to shield them from stories like this, but that is no longer the case. Out on the schoolyard my son is learning all sorts of new things. A simple trip to the grocery store presents challenges. All around us there are conversations about the sick man who killed all those people. The questions are starting to come. Why do people kill each other? Are they dead forever? Will they miss their mommy? Will they try to kill you? Will they try to kill me? I always knew that the day would come when I would have to try

Thinking Blogger Awards Irritate Me

One of the latest crazes to hit the blogosphere is the Thinking Blogger award. As I understand it bloggers are given the opportunity to offer an award to the authors of blogs who make them think. For some reason this rubs me the wrong way. It feels cheesy, stilted and contrived. Maybe it is because the participants are supposed to link back to the original blog. Or maybe it is just because I am jealous that I didn't come up with the idea.

I Can't Remember Grandpa

It is close to a year since my grandfather died. I miss him terribly. There have been so many times when I started to call him or wished that I could ask his advice about something. I always knew that the day would come when those things would be impossible, but I never quite believed it would happen. But it did. And then today a comment my daughter made really hit me hard. We were over at my parent's house looking at old family photos when we came across one of my favorite pictures. It features four generations of the men in my family. It is me, my father, grandfather and great-grandfather. My daughter couldn't quite grasp that the two year-old boy in the photo was her daddy. She kept pointing to the various people and asking their names, so I kept telling her. Eventually she looked at me and said "Grandpa died, but I can't remember grandpa." I won't lie. That one hurt. It is not her fault. She didn't mean to upset me. I cannot and do not blame

The Challenge of Using a GPS

I recently purchased a portable GPS for my car. It is a purchase that has been a long time coming. I am good with maps and as a native Angeleno I am quite familiar with the city and its surrounding. However I spend so much time outside of my normal haunts I needed to find a way to increase my productivity. The easiest way to do that was by grabbing the GPS. Now I don't have to pull over and plot a course. All I do is grab the address, plug it in and Jane tells me how to get there. Good old Jane has become a trusted friend. I listens to all my secrets and sometimes I think that she even laughs at my jokes. Ok, she doesn't really laugh at my jokes. But if I fall off the derech she is quick to point it out...aggressively. We have this ongoing fight. "Recalculating, recalculating... Please head towards the highlighted route." "Thanks Jane, I appreciate your confidence, but I am not really lost." At any moment I expect to hear her complain about men not

Jewish Mysteries- A Look Back

I was looking through the Archives and came across this and thought that I'd share it with you all. New stuff to come. I am an independent in many ways including both politics and religion. Every now and then someone decides to take a swipe at me because they think that I pick and choose. For example, I don't keep Kosher, but I would never drink a glass of milk with meat. There are other examples, but I don't want to make this post about me but about the mysteries of Judaism . That is the term that I used when speaking with a friend about his kollel and their outreach program to unaffiliated Jews/Jews who are unhappy with their shul. But it really is most applicable to Jews who do not have a real strong Jewish education and their approach to Judaism. What I mean by this is that Judaism is highly sophisticated and filled with layers and layers of ritual and for a lack of a better term obligations/responsibilities that we usually refer to as the 613 mitzvot. Add to that

Thank You Jackie Robinson

I have been mulling over how to honor Jackie Robinson because today is the 60 year anniversary of his breaking into the major leagues. I am not old enough to have seen Jackie play but I wish that I could have. It must have been incredible to see him steal home. However I am old enough to understand the significance of what he did and to appreciate the tremendous courage and strength he possessed. has a series called Remembering Jackie Robinson that I urge you to read. Here is another link to a series of information about him. Thank you Jackie.

Yom Hashoah 2007- Three Days In Israel

I'd like to say that this year I have come up with an incredibly moving and meaningful post for Yom Hashoah. I haven't come up with anything that really grabs me, but I do have a few comments. If you look at my Yom Hashoah post from 2006 you will see that I mentioned Iranian President Ahmadinejad and the threat he presented. Sadly we see that not much has changed. Iran continues to present a very real threat to the west. It is only a short time ago that they took the British sailors hostage.. Though they were released the message Iran sent and continues to send is clear. Sooner or later we must deal with Ahmadinejad. Any leader that continues to promote that the Holocaust was a myth is dangerous to all people, not just Jews. And sadly we see that the lessons of the past are quickly ignored and or forgotten. The British educational system is teetering on the edge. Look at this story from the Telegraph headlined: No lessons on the Holocaust "Schools are dropping con

Saudi Columnist On Right of Return & Refugees

Memri has a couple of interesting excerpts from a Saudi columnist. I'll borrow their introduction: In two recent articles in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassa , Saudi columnist Yousef Nasser Al-Sweidan argued that the Palestinian refugees' right of return is an idea that cannot be implemented, and that the only solution is for the refugees to be naturalized in the countries where they currently reside. Here are a couple of excerpts: The Right of Return - An Idea that Cannot Be Implemented In the first article, published March 5, 2007 and titled "On the Impossible [Idea] of the Right of Return," Al-Sweidan wrote: "...The slogan 'right of return'... which is brandished by Palestinian organizations, is perceived as one of the greatest difficulties and as the main obstacle to renewing and advancing the peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians based on the Road Map and a two-state solution. "It is patently obvious that uprooting the descenden

I Miss My Afternoon Nap

I don't know about you but old Jack loves to settle in for a short nap. I try to get somewhere around fifteen or twenty minutes of afternoon shut eye each day. Most of the time it serves as a relatively painless energy boost. Unfortunately today's shluff time was somehow lost and now I am feeling a little slow and very cranky, I miss my afternoon nap.

Spider venom to replace Viagra?

"New study conducted at Haifa's Rambam hospital seeks to determine whether toxin found in spiders' venom can be used to treat erectile dysfunction, after researchers found men who had been bit by spiders suffered from unusually prolonged erections." For the full report click here . Or you can always join me in singing "Spiderman, Spiderman, Does whatever a spider can. Spins a web, any size, Catches thieves just like flies. Look out! Here comes the Spiderman. Is he strong? Listen bud— He's got radioactive blood. Can he swing from a thread? Take a look overhead. Hey there! There goes the Spiderman. In the chill of the night, At the scene of the crime, Like a streak of light, He arrives just in time! Spiderman, Spiderman, Friendly neighborhood Spiderman. Wealth and fame, he's ignored— Action is his reward. To him, Life is a great big bang-up— Wherever ther

Gaming The Ecosystem Part II

Last January I wrote a post called Gaming The Ecosystem . It was a fluff piece in which I mentioned how one might move up the food chain faster. Well it seems that old NZ Bear's ecosystem has fallen prey to Global Warming as the darn thing hasn't been updated in months. And just when I had figured out how to try and jump up the ladder to become a Playful primate. Rats.

The Most Popular Post of The Past Six Months

I haven't done this in a while. The seventeen longtime readers of this blog know that I do this around once a month or so. Apparently I missed March but I did catch January. Today Is Link To Jack Day What Are Your Favorite Song Lyrics? How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs Saddam Hussein Execution Video Five Movies I Can Watch Over and Over Going Commando Why The Baal Teshuva World Irritates Me Morality Without Religion- A Comment to The Self-Righteous Saturday Night iTunes Playlist How Personal Should A Blog Be? and February. Haveil Havalim #106- Terrible Twos Edition What Are Your Favorite Song Lyrics? The Paradox of Choice and the Secret to Happiness The Day School Dilemma- Paying For Private School Children of the '70s Raise Your Hands yalla ya Nasrallah - song from Israel Three Days in Israel- Graphic Images The Ginsu Knife Today is Link To Jack Day Morality Without Religion- A Comment to The Self-Righteous And if you are as much of a stat hound as I am you can

Singing With My Kids

The kids and I have developed a little routine in which we sit down at the 'puter and do a little singing together. Sometimes we hit your traditional kids songs but for the most part we have been focused on music that has a slightly older demographic. Lately they have been sitting on my lap and joining me in a rousing rendition of Mud on the Tires . I say rousing because we're pretty loud. They're too young to be self-conscious about it so we just let her rip and go with it. The song starts out kind of slow. "I've got some big news The bank finally came through And I'm holdin' the keys to a brand new Chevrolet Have you been outside it sure is a nice night How about a little test drive Down by the lake There's a place I know about where the dirt road runs out And we can try out the four-wheel drive Come on now what do you say Girl, I can hardly wait to get a little mud on the tires Gradually it speeds up ' Cause it's a good ni

Why Did The Python Cross The Road

This 18ft python should be slithering through the jungle. But yesterday on a country road in North Yorkshire it was going nowhere fast. A man out walking his dog got the shock of his life when he stumbled upon its body. Baffled police are trying to find out how the fully grown reptile wound up in the village of Cloughton near Scarborough, a million miles from its natural habitat. Ann Tindall, who lives nearby and also spotted the snake, said: "It was a real surprise to see it. You just cannot believe that something like this could be found somewhere like Scarborough. "We measured it and it came to about 17.7ft." Police said the snake had started to decompose by the time it was discovered. Click Here for the Full Story.

I Am A Gambler

Earlier today I saw a post in which someone remarked that they don't like blogs that are personal in nature. I found that to be kind of funny/interesting. I suppose that it is because my blog is so personal. It is my laughing place. It is my Tara, my place I come to think and express my thoughts. It is not the only place that I call home. It is not my only refuge. I find my basketball games to be quite calming. I thrive on the competition. I love to rebound. I think that Charles Barkley said that rebounding is all about having a stronger desire to get the ball than the other guy. It doesn't matter who said it, all I know is that I love to do it. It is my coliseum. It is my place to test my will against that of the other man. Younger, stronger, bigger, taller or otherwise. It makes no difference. Rebounding is about effort. It is about little details. You need to track the ball, anticipate where it is going to go and then plot the fastest way to get there. It is about determ

The Deeper Meaning of Harry Potter Stories

In a relatively short time the latest and final edition of the Harry Potter series is going to be released. As a fan of the series I am quite excited about it. It will be fun to learn how J.K. Rowling ties up the various loose ends that currently exist. Alongside the book are going to be a ton of analysis pieces in which amateur and professional pundits are going to deconstruct the book in an attempt to show the symbology of the book. There are many examples of this already. If you surf around the net you can find essays/blogs in which the authors claim that the whole store is an allegory for their particular faith. This is a different sort of analysis than the posts that speculate about whether Dumbledore is truly dead, whether Snape is good or bad etc. I find those types of posts to be kind of fun, but the others just annoy me. I don't want to waste time discussing whether Snape is equivalent to Judas or Harry's use of a wand is reminiscent of the great flood blah, blah,

I Killed The Easter Bunny

There is a saying that goes along the lines of " People Plan and God Laughs ." Typically you hear that sort of remark just after you finish telling your pal about how all of your hopes and dreams have gone to shit. It is a real feel good kind of remark. Personally I think that it ranks up there with telling a mourner that God has a plan for their wife/husband/son/daughter etc. If you have spent any time here at all you know that I just love dealing with the holiday season. I Hate The Holiday Season I Wished Death Upon Sant a Those are just a couple of posts in which I express my disdain for the chaos surrounding this time. Someone once asked me why I picked on Santa and not someone like Judah Maccabee. Well the answer is pretty simple. Santa is a jolly old fat man who is easily fooled by using the Moe from the Three Stooges school of fighting. Judah is a warrior who carries a sword and knows how to use it. What do you think I am? Crazy yes, stupid no. Ok, ok, ok, i

Immigrant Rights

2007 (AP) — Thousands of people marched through downtown on Saturday, demanding a way for the country's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants to become citizens and condemning President Bush's latest proposal. Carrying signs saying "Amnesty Now!" and "Love Thy Neighbor, Don't Deport Him," about 15,000 people danced to Mexican ranchera music, chanted "Si, se puede!" or "It can be done!" and passed large American flags over the crowd. Many were angry about a White House plan that would grant illegal immigrants work visas but require them to return home to apply for U.S. residency and pay a $10,000 fine. "Charging that much, Bush is going to be even more expensive than the coyotes," said protester Armando Garcia, 50, referring to smugglers who transport people across the Mexican border. Call me crazy, but I have a hard time feeling badly for these people. If you are an illegal immigrant you are entitled to be treated like