Steam Room Politics

Here is a short preview of a post I want to write.

What Should Children Learn in School?

Sometimes I spend the quiet moments of my life lost in thought about questions that I anticipate being asked by my children. Lying awake in bed I stare at the ceiling and think about what they find important and interesting and try to come up with an appropriate response.

An appropriate response, now there is the trick. I could use the fallback “because I said so” or defer to the “why do you think” trick and leave it at that. In fact, I sometimes think that time before I drift off to sleep might be better suited for dreams about me and her on that deserted beach, but that is a post for a different time. ;)

The truth is that I have come to really enjoy these exercises. Some of these questions deal with topics that I haven’t really considered in years and years. What might have worked for the 15-year-old boy I was doesn’t always work for the guy I am today. And so in the quiet of the night I find myself mulling over all sorts of stuff.

Lately I have been focusing on how to answer questions about school. All sorts of different topics are floating around inside my skull:

1) Why are book reports important?
2) Why should you know the names of the capitals of every state?
3) What purpose is there in knowing how to work with parabolas and hyperbolas?
4) Why should people read Shakespeare or any of the classics?

I wonder how many people can really come up with reasonable answers.

All of this talk begs the question of what sort of curriculum do I want for my children. If I had complete control what would I want included? Are there things that I would exclude? What is my bottom line? What is really important?

I can come up with general list, but just how specific can I get. I think that I might sit down and work it all out.

The Allure of Baseball

I suppose that quite a few children dream about growing up to become a professional athlete. I know that I did. For many years I had a fantasy that I would one day play left or center field for the L.A. Dodgers.

As a child it didn't seem to be too far fetched, it was a dream that was within reach. For many years I was among the best baseball players within my age groups, or so I was always told. It is kind of funny to look back and wonder about whether I was being told the truth or fed a line.

Memories have a funny way of adapting them to what you want them to be. When I think back upon those days here is what I know to be true. I had a very strong arm and good enough fielding skills that I was always placed in the outfield. Coach usually had me bat somewhere between third and fifth in the lineup.

When I was 12 years-old I led the league in homeruns, threw out two runners at the plate (from centerfield) and had a host of other cool things I could mention. All of this in conjunction with many years of playing ball that preceded this convinced me that I was probably going to make the majors.

I can't recall my parents or any adult in my family telling me that they expected me to make it. I don't really remember them splashing cold water on the dream either. So for a while I just played and imagined/expected that magically I'd find myself in the big leagues.

Somewhere during those awkward middle school/junior high years I began to learn that I wasn't as good a player as I had thought. Flipped into a bigger pool of competitors I found myself playing with guys who could hit it as far and or throw it farther. I ran fast, but they ran faster.

I was undaunted by this. Baseball players didn't have to be huge or tall like football and basketball players. I was of average size so this made me more comfortable. It also helped that I won most wrestling matches. Don't ask me how or why that is applicable, it is the logic of a child.

It is like asking that crazy chick from the midwest why she thought Culture Club would come play at her Bat Mitzvah. Sometimes you just do things and hope that they work.

When I think back on those days I remember so many things. One of those is how many stats I could recite. Now baseball lends itself to statistics. There are so many things that are measured, batting average, runs, RBIs, strikeouts, wins, losses, etc. I used to be able to rattle off all of those numbers about my team.

Even today I still have a pretty good grip on it, but not like I used to. It bothers me a little that I can't do it like I used to. I feel like I lost a little something.

But the sad truth is that my love for baseball seems to have diminished a bit. I don't seem to enjoy it the way that I used to, or maybe it is just that there are so many other things in my life that require my attention.

Every now and then I find myself playing softball with the guys. I still love the feeling I get when I run out on the field. I still get a charge out of that. I remember a few years back playing in a game when I really embarrassed myself.

During my first at-bat the shortstop shouted for everyone in the outfield to move back. My ego, duly stroked, compensated by taking a mighty swing at the first pitch. I was so ready for that ball, I was going to crush it. One little flick and I could send it right over their heads. It was so easy to see.

In my mind I planned on smacking it right over the left fielder's head. During my second at-bat I figured that I'd fool them by dropping the ball right in front of them. I felt so smug and self-confident. I am sure that I must have been smiling.

And then I took that swing and missed. I swung so hard that I suspect their might have been a sonic boom, or maybe that is the sound that all that blood rushing to my head made. I swung so hard I spun in a circle, but at least I didn't fall.

Duly chastened I fouled off the next two pitches and then hit a lazy flyball that was easily caught by the left fielder. I singled the next two time I was up and then lightening struck. Bam!!!

Fourth time at the plate, I was finally relaxed and just playing and that is when I smacked a ball into next week. It happened because I wasn't trying to kill it. All I did was go up and take a good lick.

It is funny, as I sit here typing I look at myself and see a guy who didn't get to live out that dream...yet. I still feel like I have a shot. Even though I know that a 39 year-old who hasn't played organized ball in more than 20 years is probably not the best candidate, I have this feeling.

Want to know a secret? I still feel like I could play special teams in the NFL. It is ridiculous to consider myself to be a full time player, but special teams, well you just never know. I bet that I can still beat the hell out of a kicker.

And now if you'll excuse me I think that I am going to go see what I need to do to try out for the Raiders. Or maybe, just maybe I may set my sights a bit lower and shoot for a college team. I still have four years of eligibility. You never know, guys older than I am have done it.

Something is Wrong

Something is wrong with me. Something is very, very, very wrong. The old body is doing all sorts of funny things, but I am not laughing. Aches, pains, creaks and whistling noises. A sore throat and a dull headache have decided to keep me company.

I don't feel right, but than again I can't say that I feel horrible. Not really sure how to explain it better than that.

Caught myself dancing with reckless abandon in front of the mirror. Is it just me or does Reckless Abandon sound like the type of name that Ian Fleming would come up with. He did come up with Pussy Galore and Truly Scrumptious.

Anyhow, the house was empty and the music was blasting and I just lost myself in it. The rules of the blog dictate that I be honest about things like this and well, let's just say that I have a body that was built for demolition and not dance.

Ask me to run through a wall, not dance in front of it and I'll be happier. Boy did I look goofy. Still there is something to be said for letting go and just giving into the happy moments when they strike.

This is the 81st post that I have written during the month of June. Eighty-one posts, whooweeee. Now I just need someone to decide to pay me based upon the number of characters I generate.

Going back to dancing, I have more rhythm than Steve Ballmer and I wasn't nearly as goofy as Patrick Dempsey doing the African Anteater Dance. Which for some reason reminded me of Airplane, I love that bar fight.

And that leads me to putting up a link to Clint Eastwood's fine Dirty Harry scene about his policy. Good old Dirty Harry, they don't make cops like they used to. Wow, just look at Clint then and take a look now and you can see that a little time has passed.

I sometimes forget just how long ago it was that some things took place. It makes me sound old to say that, but heck it feels like high school was last week.

That cute four-year-old daughter of mine saw a woman with very large breasts and said "wow, I bet that she could feed a lot of kids."

That girl of mine is something else. My father told me that I'll be lucky not to lose all of my hair by next year and he is right. She is fearless. Willing to climb any tower, bookcase, cabinet, structure whatever. And when you tell her that she is misbehaving she gives you a look that melts steel. Fortunately I wear an invisible suit that makes me impervious to that look o' death.

On the whole she is a good listener, but she does have her moments. Her older brother once pulled a toy out of her hands and received a big surprise. She took the toy right back and smacked him in the head with it. We had a long talk about why we use words and not our fists.

Something is wrong. I just read this post and tried to figure out who wrote it. It can't really be me. I can't be this guy. I am still 19 and living the life. Did life have to go so quickly, there is still so much to do.

Sunday Morning Music

A quick snapshot of what I have been listening to this morning.

White Rabbit- Jefferson Airplane
Ubuhle bakho- Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Graceland- Paul Simon
You can call me Al- Paul Simon
O sole mio- Three Tenors
Born To Hand Jive - Sha-Na-Na (Grease)
Adagio for Strings, op.11-Samuel Barber (video is from the 911 tribute)
Requiem For A Dream
Linger- The Cranberries

Haveil Havalim #171: The Packing for Camp Edition

The Ima has come through again with Haveil Havalim #171: The Packing for Camp Edition.

Coping With Sick Parents Part II

This is the intended to be tied into a post I wrote this past February called Coping With Sick Parents. When I wrote that post it occurred me that I know many people who had the misfortune of losing a parent while still in their early childhood or young teens.

I felt bad for their loss as I know from my own experience just how lucky I have been. Until my mid thirties I had most of my grandparents and even at 39 I am still blessed to have two. And I feel very fortunate that my own father survived a major heart attack and triple bypass four years ago.

But this isn't about my own luck. This is more about what I have seen from watching my parents help their own parents and things I have seen from my friend's struggles. So there is nothing scientific about this, just my own observations.

Coming to grips with your parent's mortality can be a brutal and heartwrenching experience. For the most part age doesn't matter, meaning even if you are in your sixties it is not easy to watch mom/dad start to deteriorate.

Some people cannot deal with this. No matter how hard they try they simply cannot cope with seeing the man they viewed as superman reduced to wearing diapers. So they run away and make any number of excuses as to why they can't spend time with them.

As you can imagine this can place enormous strains upon their relationship with their siblings and other family members. But even good coping skills can be tested. I have seen a couple of situations in which siblings engaged in battle and open warfare about the best way to help their parents.

It seems obvious that this would be the time in which the family pulls together, but life doesn't always work that way. To be clear, I am not making a value judgment about this. Having been through my own situation I know how tough some of it can be.

When you see your father on life support and unable to participate in the discussion about the best course of treatment it is hard to be impartial and objective.

But let's move away from that for a moment. I want to focus on my own grandparents. They're 94 and in a couple of weeks are going to celebrate their 74th wedding anniversary.

During the past five years I have seen a steady progression healthwise and not in the direction I want. On the whole their mental faculties are good. They're still sharp enough to know what is going on. They follow the news and are abreast of current events, but their is slippage.

Their memories are starting to give them a bit of trouble. My grandfather prided himself on knowing dates, birthdays, anniversaries, whatever. Name the person and he knew it. But he has lost a bit of his edge there, and the sad part is that he knows it.

I say sad because he is aware and bothered by what is going on

He recently told me that "the golden years are for shit." When I asked him to elaborate he told me that he was frustrated because he can't do what he wants to do. He said that he tires too quickly to enjoy some of the things he used to do and that he is scared to death of my grandmother falling down because he can't pick her up anymore.

"Jack, the day you realize that you can't protect your wife like you're supposed to is not a good day," he said.

I did my best to make him more comfortable. At his age he deserves some more peace of mind, but there is only so much that I can do.

From a different perspective watching my parents deal with their own parents has had its own lessons. I have to give them credit for the love and care they have shown. When the time comes I will have a hard act to follow.

But I am quite concerned about the strain it has placed upon them. They are paying a heavy price for the love and devotion. And while I would be the first to say that parents like children are invaluable, I also have to say that there are limits to what is reasonable.

Or maybe that is just my own fear that this will negatively impact their lives and I'll lose my parents sooner than later.

If nothing else I am definitely aware of my own parent's mortality. I don't consciously live in fear of their dying, but having a sick father does keep the thought in the back of one's mind.

It is hard not to wonder what else I could be doing to help improve things there.

North Pole Could be Ice-Free This Summer

I am somewhere in between those who say that global warming doesn't exist and those who say that it does and that the Earth will explode next week. My bottom line is that I think that we need to do more to live a green life than we are now.

A hybrid car is in my future.
Ice at the North Pole may disappear completely within the next few months for the first time in 20,000 years.

Arctic sea ice is now retreating so quickly that scientists say there is now a 50-50 chance that it will have gone completely by September.

The Polar regions have been the first to show the critical changes brought by global warming and it will be a hugely symbolic moment if the North Pole is left surrounded by water.

The sight of ships able sailing to the Pole for the first time would be seized on by environmental groups as an example of the consequences of a failure to take action on a global scale to combat global warming.

The Arctic is seen as an important indicator of the potentially catastrophic changes that scientists say will come as the planet warms.

Scientists who monitor the Arctic say the volume of Arctic ice peaked in March and has been in dramatic decline since.

"There is supposed to be ice at the North Pole - not water," said Mark Serreze of the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in Colorado.

The Centre has been predicting that the Arctic Ocean could be virtually ice-free by 2012 but that point may be reached within months rather than years.

The extent of the ice stood at 5.59m square miles in April - 0.24m square miles more than it was in 2007 - but still less than the 1979-2000 average for April.

Although there is more ice than this time last year, the average decline rate through the month of April was 2,300 square miles per day faster than last April.

"Taken together, an assessment of the available evidence points to another extreme September sea ice minimum. Could the North Pole be ice free this melt season? Given that this region is currently covered with first-year ice, that seems quite possible," the Centre says in its latest bulletin.

First-year ice - which has replaced much of the thicker ice formed over millennia - is thinner and more vulnerable to melting,

More Cleaning Out The Archives

Been dusting off more stuff around here. Here are some more old posts that are getting the chance to breathe clean air again. Boy, is some of this cheesy.
Love Makes You Feel Alive
Besheret- The Concept of Meeting the Perfect Mate
Life is Precious- Live it Well
The Music Played While You are On "Hold"
Random Quotes

The Frustration of being Good but not Good Enough

A Graphic Message- It Stinks

Love Makes You Feel like a Fool

I stumbled onto these quotes and decided to share them too:

Casablanca
Rick: Don't you sometimes wonder if it's worth all this? I mean what you're fighting for.
Victor Laszlo: You might as well question why we breathe. If we stop breathing, we'll die. If we stop fighting our enemies, the world will die.
Rick: Well, what of it? It'll be out of its misery.
Victor Laszlo: You know how you sound, Mr. Blaine? Like a man who's trying to convince himself of something he doesn't believe in his heart.

Captain Renault: What in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?
Rick: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.
Captain Renault: The waters? What waters? We're in the desert.
Rick: I was misinformed.

Rick: Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.

Rick: Last night we said a great many things. You said I was to do the thinking for both of us. Well, I've done a lot of it since then, and it all adds up to one thing: you're getting on that plane with Victor where you belong.
Ilsa: But, Richard, no, I... I...
Rick: Now, you've got to listen to me! You have any idea what you'd have to look forward to if you stayed here? Nine chances out of ten, we'd both wind up in a concentration camp. Isn't that true, Louie?
Capta
n Renault: I'm afraid Major Strasser would insist.
Ilsa: You're saying this only to make me go.
Rick: I'm saying it because it's true. Inside of us, we both know you belong with Victor. You're part of his work, the thing that keeps him going. If that plane leaves the ground and you're not with him, you'll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
Ilsa: But what about us?
Rick: We'll always have Paris. We didn't have, we, we lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night.
Ilsa: When I said I would never leave you.
Rick: And you never will. But I've got a job to do, too. Where I'm going, you can't follow. What I've got to do, you can't be any part of. Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that. Now, now... Here's looking at you kid.

Dirty Harry
Clint Eastwood (Harry Callahan): I know what you're thinking. Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?

Clint Eastwood (Harry Callahan): Well, when an adult male is chasing a female with intent to commit rape, I shoot the bastard. That's my policy.
John Vernon (The Mayor): Intent? How did you establish that?
Clint Eastwood (Harry Callahan): : When a man is chasing a woman through an alley with a butcher's knife and a hard-on, I figure he isn't out collecting for the Red Cross!

My Theme Song

(This post originally appeared here but I felt like bringing it back and adding to it.)

Someone once suggested that life would be far more fun if we could walk around with a theme song. I kind of like the idea. If I could do it than I would want to have a rotation of songs to use.

Granted some of these are a bit long, but what the hell.

  1. O Fortuna- Orff
  2. Hurt- Johnny Cash version
  3. Raiders Of The Lost Ark: The Raiders' March- John Williams
  4. Jaws Theme- John Williams
  5. The Empire Strikes Back: The Imperial March- John Williams
  6. Requiem for a Tower, Movement 4
  7. Bolero-Ravel
  8. Hate me [Blue October]

Maintaining The Status Quo

The status quo sucks.” - George Carlin

Everything is in a state of flux, including the status quo.”- Robert Byrne

Status Quo- Isn't that code for I have a severe cranial rectum problem- Bathroom Wall Philosopher.

Emailing Your Way Through The Friendly Skies

I have been eagerly waiting for the day when we are able to use the Internet while enjoying a plane ride. Just in case any airline execs happen to read this let me be clear that my comment about enjoying air travel is intended to be sarcastic.

Air travel has quickly deteriorated into something that used to be quite fun into a major pain in the ass. We pay more and receive less for the privilege of being locked inside a flying tin can. Since this post is not designed to be a rant about flying I'll wrap up this section.

But before I do let me express a few more thoughts. It is more than a little irritating to see the numerous ways you ding us for a few bucks more, especially the latest trend of charging for luggage. I'd rather you raise your fares so that you can resume offering food and other services as part of the flight.

Even though I know that I am still being charged $5 bucks for a stale bagel I'll feel better not having to shell it out on board. Anyway, enough on this and now on to the story.
"DALLAS, Texas (AP) -- American Airlines says customers will be able to test in-flight Internet access on two flights beginning Wednesday, with broader service expected to begin in the following couple of weeks.

Facing record high fuel prices, airlines are looking at entertainment and information services as ways to make a few more bucks per passenger.

American plans to charge $9.95 to $12.95 for Internet service, depending on flight length.

The test with technology partner Aircell LLC will begin on one flight from New York's Kennedy Airport to Los Angeles and one return flight, said Doug Backelin, American's manager of in-flight technology. The test service will be free, he said.

The airline would not say on which flights it would conduct the test.

American is among several companies preparing to offer in-air Internet service.

Aircell is also working with Virgin America, and JetBlue Airways Corp. started testing free e-mail, instant-messaging and some Amazon.com services aboard one of its planes in December.

The airline will begin charging for Internet service soon on its Boeing 767-200 jets that fly from New York to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami.

Passengers will be able to use e-mail and instant messaging and to download video and connect to secure networks on notebook computers or other wireless devices such as smart phones through three wireless access points on the plane, said Dave Bijur, an Aircell executive."

One more thing. I'd prefer not to allow cellphone use during the flight as I shudder to think of being forced to listen to that sort of noise for six hours.

In The Weeds

There was a time when they reveled in their secret world. It was their happy place. It didn’t matter what was going on in the outside world because they could always find solace and comfort in each other and their world.

For a long time Johnny held a secret fear that this island of hope was a figment of his imagination and that even if it was real, it wouldn’t last. His prior experience had taught him that you couldn’t rely upon that overwhelming feeling of being in love to last.

Sooner or later it would fade and reality would hit and the bright hues would be replaced by more somber and serious colors. Occasionally those happier shades would reappear, but just for brief moments in time.

For a long while Johnny waited for that moment to come, but it never did. Each day he woke up with a smile knowing that June was going to be there smiling back at him. After a while he began to relax and he bought into the possibility that maybe that this time really was different.

For a long while things were really good and life went swimmingly along and then it happened that Johnny and June found themselves in the weeds. At least that is how Johnny saw it. Inside his mind instead of holding hands and walking through lush, verdant green hills they were in the weeds.

A host of little things had crept up and tarnished some of their shine. June apologized over and over for it. She told him that she hoped that she wasn’t a disappointment and said that she was in a funk and she wasn’t sure when it would pass.

Johnny knew what it meant to be in a funk. Truth is that June had helped to pull him out of an extended funk. So he figured that he would do what he could to stand by her and help pull her out. And he tried, oh yes, he tried.

But being in a funk was new to June and she pulled back from him. Where she had always looked to him for help, now she found herself holding him at arm’s length and refusing to let him in to her heart. To be clear, she hadn’t really banished him. Her feelings for him hadn’t changed, she just couldn’t quite figure out how to deal with her funk.

And so Johnny found he and June wandering through the weeds. Those lush green hills were now pockmarked with brown patches and the path to the top of the hill no longer went straight up. Instead it snaked around and was peppered with rocks and thorny bushes.

Still, this wasn’t enough to make Johnny walk away. He wasn’t afraid of being cut and bruised. He didn’t fear having to work a little bit harder for her. He had long since decided that she was a part of his life that he never wanted to say goodbye to.
Inside a small office Johnny stared at a computer screen that was decorated in small yellow post-it notes. He was a technical writer who spent large chunks of his day translating the words of engineers into terms that laypeople could understand and then apply courtesy of the user manuals he wrote.

The work wasn’t especially exciting. There weren’t too many ways that you could describe how to correctly insert a widget into the skeezit without over-torqing the solenoid valve.

The thought made him snort out loud. Every now and then he considered ways to make it more interesting. He used to wonder if people would take the directions literally and whether he could use the manual to make them play Twister. A couple of words to encourage them to do their best to imitate the people in figure one and who knows what could happen.

Maybe, just maybe he could adapt the positions from the Kama Sutra and adjust them a bit. Some people were so gullible he was sure that it would work. The hardest part was not being able to film the end users because unless you did you’d never really know if they correctly followed the directions given in the guide.

Even that could be overcome. Thanks to the wonders of technology he could install nano-cameras in each guide that would automatically turn on and record all that happened around them.

The thought made him giggle, even though it was ridiculously impossible to execute. Ignore the creepy peeping Tom aspect of the cameras and the gazillion dollar lawsuit that would inevitably follow it, there was just no way not to laugh at the idea.

A loud knock on the door interrupted his daydream. His boss was standing in the doorway. He tried not to roll his eyes. As her short stubby legs propelled her forward into his office Johnny hoped that she hadn’t magically gained the ability to read minds or any other sort of psychic gifts.

Shelly was 45 years-old and in desperate need of a fashion makeover. Someone needed to tell her that tight jeans were the province of teenagers and women who were not more than 40 pounds overweight.

Ok, that wasn’t entirely fair. Some women could get away with that, but usually they were taller than her. At 5’4 she just didn’t have the height or the long legs to disguise the extra luggage she was hauling around.

Nor did it help to have a hairstyle that could be best described as resembling something a rat would live in.

Add the sweet scent of 30 packs a day and a guarantee that she’d wear a top that looked like a refugee from the kitchen curtain factory and you had a recipe for disaster.

Old Saturday Night Live Skits

NBC has opened the video vault so that you can watch some of your favorite SNL skits online. Cheeseburger,Cheeseburger,Cheeseburger,Cheeseburger,Cheeseburger...

A Quick Roundup of Recent Posts

If you haven't been around lately here is what you have missed:
Sprinklers
Too Much Caffeine Can't Be Good For You
Untapped Sources of Energy
Guitar Hero
I Need A Job Like This
Why Would you Have a Pet Skunk Anyway
Soundtracks
Feedback From The Shmata Queen
Fiddling With Facebook
Vocabulary Time Part 8
I'll Miss You George Carlin
The Best Break Up Songs Continued
And your blast from the past:
The Sins of the Father Are Visited Upon the Son
What Actor/Actress Would Play you in a Movie?
On the Outside Looking In
His Homework is My Homework

Sprinklers

(Music accompanying the post Our House- Madness or CSN&Y. Your pick,)

Ah the joys of home ownership. People often laud the many benefits of owning your own home and on the whole I do agree with them. There is something quite pleasurable about being master of the castle, however large or small it may be.

My own domicile is a very fine house. Built as part of the post WWII housing boom it has survived multiple earthquakes, riots, floods, fire and brimstone, mass hysteria etc. In short it is a house that is old enough to have a few aches and pains.

A few years back we survived the chaos and mess of a kitchen remodel. It was without question one of the best things we have done to add value to this place and it made a great background for the artwork I call Hand in The Kitchen. Did I mention it is where I store my Ginsu knife.

If you're still reading you're probably wondering what the hell the title means. Why would I call it sprinklers. Well, I am glad that you asked. Since we are taking the long way home I'll link to a post I did last year in which I listed some things I want to do to the house.

If you read it carefully you'll see that I said that the joint needs new sprinklers in the front and back. My Jack, you take an awfully long time to get things done. Well, there is some truth to that, but I also have a tremendous excuse. The fabulous city notified me that they were going to redo the sidewalks and that in doing so they would kill many of my sprinklers. I decided that since they were going to kill the sprinklers it didn't make any sense to do the work twice.

And so I waited. It took the city a long while to get to the sidewalks, and then a good while longer to fix the sprinklers they killed. In turn I moved them down the list of priorities and took on other projects.

Anyhoo, today I decided that I was tired of having a sprinkler issue and made my way to the hardware store. Am I the only one who misses Builder's Emporium. At the fair store I sauntered up and down the aisles and suffered great angst about purchasing a number of items that were not on the list of things I had come for.

In the end I settled down and purchased just the things I needed to fix the front sprinklers. An hour later and voila, the sprinklers were working as a team and not as individual units. For the sake of posterity and future reference there is a still a lot of work that needs to be done. Frankly I need to gut the front and back yards and redo the whole system as the existing is antiquated.

That is a job that I can do, but I think that in the interest of time I'll probably hire someone to take care of it. While there is something quite rewarding in working with your hands, it is also quite nice to come home and have time to do things other than dig ditches.

Too Much Caffeine Can't Be Good For You

While I certainly understand how and why this is happening it is an issue that concerns me. So many people are pushing themselves to the limit. It is a recipe for major problems.
Americans are consuming caffeinated beverages as never before. In fact, energy drink sales skyrocketed in 2007. The sale of Rockstar, which contains up to 360 mg of caffeine per can, compared with 80 to 150 mg per serving for coffee, rose 38.9 percent in 2007, according to Beverage Digest. Red Bull sales rose 19 percent.

All this caffeine consumption has given rise to growing numbers of "caffeinated moms." A study by an independent nonprofit research group, The National Sleep Foundation, found that more than 65 percent of moms drink caffeinated beverages to get through their day.

"I can definitely say without a doubt that I am addicted to caffeine," said Sarah Kripal, mother of two from Lincoln, Nebraska. "I need about four energy drinks, three cups of coffee and a six-pack of soda every day."

Untapped Sources of Energy

A columnist for Slate wonders if she can use her chest to power an iPod. Now this isn't the kind of information that most of us would go searching for; but you never know when you might make an appearance on Jeopardy or be stuck on a desert island in desperate need of power.

And for now for your consumption:
"It turns out that the physics of breast motion have been studied closely for the last two decades by a gamut of researchers, most of them women. LaJean Lawson, a former professor of exercise science at Oregon State University, has studied breast motion since 1985 and now works as a consultant for companies like Nike to develop better sports bra designs. Lawson was enthusiastic about my idea but warned it would be tricky to pull off. You would need the right breast size and the right material, she explained, and the bra itself would have to be cleverly designed. "It's just a matter of finding the sweet spot, between reducing motion to the point where it's comfortable but still allowing enough motion to power your iPod," she said.

Lawson explained that breasts move on three different axes: from side to side, front to back, and up and down. The most motion is generated on the vertical axis. Naturally, the bigger the breast, the more momentum it generates. "Let's face it—if you're a double-A marathoner, you're probably not going to get that iPod up and running," Lawson said. Measurements compiled by Lawson and her colleagues show that a D-cup in a low-support bra can travel as much as 35 inches up and down (35 inches!) during exercise, while a B-cup in a high-support bra barely moves an inch."

Not quite as much as fun as the story about the mohel who beat the speeding ticket, but...

Guitar Hero

I am not a musician. I don't play any instruments least of all guitar, but I have always wanted to learn how.

This past weekend I discovered that I am one of the millions of people who love playing Guitar Hero. It is a video game in which you replace the joystick with a guitar and play along with popular rock tunes.

While I was familiar with the game and knew basically what it was I had never had the chance to play it. Frankly until I tried it I hadn't had much if any interest at all in it. But I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun it was.

For those who are curious about which version I played it was Guitar Hero Aerosmith. It wasn't easy for me, I need some practice time. Had a little trouble with Walk This Way, did better with Sweet Emotion and not too bad with Dream On. Still, it is going to be a while before anyone mistakes me for an expert.

And given that I don't own a system that I can play the game on it is probably going to be a while before I get time to devote to it. But I can see spending a few bucks on this at some point in time.

I Need A Job Like This


Where In The Hell Is Matt 2008 -


P.S. Old Matt has been covered here a few times.

P.PS. While searching for the old links I stumbled onto some old posts that I decided to air out again.

I need more fiber and more time off- Another list of stuff
I Repeat Myself-Or Welcome to the Department of Redundancy Department
A Few Odds and Ends To Share with you
She is a Butterfly

Why Would you Have a Pet Skunk Anyway

This guy has some serious issues.

VAN BUREN, Ark. — A man accused of assaulting and tying up his mother because he was reportedly mad about the death of his pet skunk has been arrested in Waldron, authorities said.

Authorities say 35-year-old Scott Tolles Sullivan was arrested early Saturday in Waldron. He is being held without bail in Van Buren. Authorities say he hid from police in an attic and was arrested after police shot him with a bean bag gun.

Sullivan's mother, 56-year-old Maria Sullivan, called police Wednesday night after freeing herself from duct tape and rope, authorities said. Maria Sullivan told police that her son became upset when he learned that her dog killed his pet skunk.

Soundtracks

I ran out of time to put together the post I wanted to so instead I am going to provide a brief list/links of some soundtracks that I really enjoy. My apologies for not being as detailed about the actual cuts.

The Last Of The Mohicans- Theme
The Last of The Mohicans- No Matter Where You Go I will Find You
Theme from "Harry's Game"- Clannad
Raiders of The Lost Ark
Narnia Soundtrack: The Battle
The Lord of the Rings - Evenstar
lord of the rings main theme
Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship Reunited
Slash - Solo GodFather Theme- Ok, that is a version of a soundtrack.

It is getting late. I'll add more to this list later.

Firefox 3

I upgraded Firefox 3 over the weekend. Thus far I am a bit underwhelmed by it. Perhaps it is because there are some weird issues that seemed to have cropped up since then.

More on this in a later post.

Feedback From The Shmata Queen

Some of the 17 long time readers of this blog are aware that the president of my fan club is the semi-retired, no longer twenty-something blogger known as the Shmata Queen. Having fled the land of the burning river for sunnier parts and a brighter future she has taken it upon herself to serve not just as president but chief critic of the blog.

About once a week I receive extensive feedback about the content of this blog. She has no compunction in telling Old Jack that she finds the videos to be boring, doesn't like large chunks of my music and wishes that I watched better movies.

Most recently she has taken it upon herself to tell me that she is bored with posts about basketball. It doesn't matter whether it is about the NBA, NCAA or my pick-up games, she says that she is done with it. I told her that she is a cranky old broad and that she ought to loosen the top button of those jeans, because surely that is what affecting her judgment.

And as you might expect I was forced to duck repeatedly. The woman is a master of flinging that heavy, oversized handbag with great force at me. Most of the time she strives to hit my head, but thanks to my pick-up basketball game I am still nimble enough to avoid her strikes.

In fact there was one time where she swung so hard she spun herself in a complete circle and it was only because of my chivalric catch that she didn't land on her backside. Of course I should add that I wish that I had that whole on thing on camera because America's Funniest Home Videos would surely have given me ten grand for it.

You know part of the beauty of the queen is that she is a colorful old gal who never ceases to provide me with an unending stream of blog fodder. There are a number of stories that I always keep a rough draft of because you just never know when they might be applicable.

And now if you'll excuse me I think that I better go purchase some body armor because when she sees this little ditty she'll most likely do her Mama Bear impression. And don't let her fool you, her teeth are sharp and she does have a nasty bite. ;)

Fiddling With Facebook

I have intentionally been reluctant to get real involved with Facebook. I have such limited time that I have been hesitant to give away chunks large or small to things that don't seem to have a solid payoff for my involvement.

Still, I am always interested in learning more about social networking tools that can be used for networking and reconnecting with friends and family. So with that in mind a short while back I found myself setting up shop there.

The process of adding friends reminds me of the concentric circles that form on the water after skipping rocks. When I first signed up the people I sought out were those who are closest to me. In my mind there was no reason to haphazardly add names to the list. I wasn't interested in having more friends listed there than anyone else.

In fact, I am still not, but over time I have found that it was impractical and unrealistic to try and limit it so dramatically. Gradually I reached out to people who weren't part of that inner circle and was in turn contacted with friendship requests by many others.

One of the interesting things I noticed from all this occurred because of one of my sisters. She has her own Facebook so periodically I have gone over there and looked at her list of friends. I am always surprised by how many names are unfamiliar to me.

She left home quite some time ago and has made a life for herself in a new city so it makes perfect sense that I wouldn't know everyone on her list. Still, it seems a bit strange not to know them. I am the big brother. I have spent all of her life watching out for her and here I am wondering who Bob Delaney, Kim Connors and Jonathan Weissman are.

Anyway, I understand from her that one of my nephews and a niece have asked if they could do something like Facebook. I don't know if they really understand what it is all about, they are still relatively young. But what I do know is that this is another sign that their childhood and that of my children is going to be dramatically different from my own.

I'll save the value judgment for a different time. Just suffice it to say that it is a reminder to me that I need to stay on top of technology. They're growing up with it, absorbing it the way I used to absorb baseball statistics. I don't want to be the old man who hasn't a clue what is going on. I am not trying to be the cool dad either, just don't want to look around and feel like a dinosaur living in times that are not his own.

Vocabulary Time Part 8

It is vocabulary time again. Here is part one, part two, part three, part four, part five, part 6 and part seven. As always we'll try not to repeat ourselves.

Also, I noticed that I made a mistake last time and didn't list the definition of the words alongside them. I'll rectify that lower down in the post. Here are your new words:
Otiant- idle; resting.
machicolation- n. apertures in parapet or floor of gallery for firing upon persons below. machicolate, v.t. furnish with these
Secern- To discern as separate; discriminate.
prothalamion -A song in celebration of a wedding; an epithalamium.
a capite ad calcem-From head to heel.
ad internecionem- To extermination.
Abusus non tollit usum-Wrong use does not preclude proper use.
ad captandum vulgus-To attract or to please the rabble.
From part seven
Ollendorffian- in the stilted language of foreign phrase-books.
gerascophobia-a morbid, irrational fear of, or aversion to, growing old.
bathysiderodrophobia-the fear of subways, undergrounds or metros.
hormephobia-Fear of shock.
cacoethes loquendi- the irresistible urge to speak.
cacoethes scribendi-.the irresistible urge to write

I'll Miss You George Carlin

Updated Monday Morning

Breaking news reports that George Carlin has died of heart failure at age 71.

Here is a link the CNN obituary and an excerpt:

"But he was probably best known for a routine that began, "I was thinking about the curse words and the swear words, the cuss words and the words that you can't say." It was a monologue, known as "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television," that got Carlin arrested and eventually led to the Supreme Court.

The "Seven Dirty Words" bit, which was initially recorded for 1972's "Class Clown" album, prompted a landmark indecency case after New York's WBAI-FM radio aired it in 1973.

The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the justices ruled 5-4 that the sketch was "indecent but not obscene," giving the FCC broad leeway to determine what constituted indecency on the airwaves.

"So my name is a footnote in American legal history, which I'm perversely kind of proud of," Carlin said. "In the context of that era, it was daring."

Carlin was one of my favorite comedians. If memory serves the first comedy album I owned was AM/FM.

He had so many outstanding routines. BTW, these are NSFW.

Stuff

Seven Words you Can't Say on Television


Icebox Man- Used to crack me up. There is a better version of this, but I couldn't find it.

Rest in Peace George.

The Best Break Up Songs Continued

Hi folks,

I am still soliciting submissions to The Best Break Up Songs post from earlier this week. Here is a partial list:
On My Own from Les Miserables
Split Screen Sadness by John Mayer
What Was it Like by Mary Chapin Carpenter
Now you see me - Lee Ann Womack
The Grand Tour - George Jones
Who says your can't have it all - Alan Jackson
Alway something there to remind me - Naked Eyes
Give me some more. What else should be included here.

More Abuse by Teachers

I saw this story on CNN the other day and frankly it made my blood boil.
(CNN) -- School administrators in Ohio voted Friday to begin the process of firing a middle school teacher accused of burning a cross into a student's arm and refusing to keep his religious beliefs out of the classroom.

The Mount Vernon School Board passed a resolution to terminate the employment of John Freshwater, an eighth-grade science teacher for the past 21 years.

Freshwater, according to an independent report, used an electrostatic device to mark a cross on the arm of one of his students, causing pain to the student the night of the incident and leaving a mark that lasted for approximately three weeks.

According to the Ohio Department of Education, the student's family has filed a lawsuit.

Freshwater was also reprimanded several times for refusing to move his Bible from his classroom desk and teaching creationism alongside evolution, according to the 15-page independent report. The report also cites evidence that Mr. Freshwater told his students that "science is wrong because the Bible states that homosexuality is a sin and so anyone who is gay chooses to be gay and is therefore a sinner."

More information can be found here including a signifcant excerpt from the report compiled by the firm that investigated this case.

"The key findings of the report are quoted below.

•Mr. Freshwater did burn a cross onto the complaining family’s child’s arm using an electrostatic device not designed for that purpose. While there did not appear to be any intent by Mr. Freshwater to cause injury to any student, he was not using the device for its intended purpose. Contrary to Mr. Freshwater’s statement he simply made an “X” not a “cross,” all of the students described the marking as a “cross” and the pictures provided depict a “cross.”

•The Ten Commandments together with other posters of a religious nature were posted in Mr. Freshwater’s classroom. Most were removed after Mr. White’s letter of April 14, 2008, but at least one poster remained which Mr. Freshwater was again instructed to remove on April 16, 2008, but did not do so.

•Several Bibles were kept in Mr. Freshwater’s classroom including his personal Bible on his desk and one he checked out of the library placed on the lab table near the desk. Other Bibles that had been maintained in the room were removed by the time the investigators viewed Mr. Freshwater’s room.

•Mr. Freshwater engaged in teaching of a religious nature, teaching creationism and related theories and calling evolution into question. He had other materials in his classroom that could be used for that purpose."

This just makes me shake my head. Abuse by any one in a position of authority is wrong, but when it involves children...

Great Moments In Driving

Click Here.

He's Baaack! Haveil Havalim #170

Soccer Dad did an excellent job of hosting Haveil Havalim #170.

I Have Stories to Tell

My mother says that when I was in preschool the teachers would tell her that I had a very active imagination. I think that it is a fair assessment. I have stories to tell. There are a million tales percolating inside the melon that sits on my shoulders.

I think that part of what I love about blogging is that it provides an outlet for that creative portion. It offers a place where I can try to tell my stories and I am quite appreciative of that. I just get off on trying to spin a yarn about this and that.

There is something very intriguing about trying to find a way to use words to paint a picture. I enjoy the challenge of trying to take the story I see inside my head and export it in a fashion that others can appreciate. It is not always easy to do.

If I had the time I think that I really would work on writing a book. I'd like to take my Fragments of Fiction and weave them into something more. I'd like to take them and build a layered tapestry of the tale that is in my heart.

Writing provides a lot of opportunity for doing so, but I'd love to have the opportunity to do so in film as well. There is a project inside me, actually many. I'd love to translate the mental baggage into both print and movie form.

It would be so interesting and exciting to be able to combine the two. Maybe I should play the lottery, because if I won enough I might find the means to do it all.

Every now and then I have this urge to grab my dad's Super 8 and go to work. Every now and then I think about what story I would tell first and how I would frame it. Where would I film, what would I film, how would I do it. All questions I ask myself.

And of course I'd have a ton of fun coming up with a soundtrack to accompany it.

So there you have a short summary of a big dream of mine. I can't say what the future hold, but I can say that I chase my dreams. I am patient and determined. Can't say that I have lived all of them yet, but there is still quite a bit of time. At least I hope there is.

Now that I have jinxed myself I better look twice before crossing the street. It wouldn't do to be hit by a bus or contract some sort of terminal illness, but it could make a good story. Ok, excuse me for a bit, I need to mull this over.

Report Cards

I just finished reading my son's final report card and I can't stop smiling at what was a glowing review. His school provides a comprehensive breakdown in which they offer a grade for various skills. Those marks were outstanding, but they aren't what made me smile.

The thing that did it for me was the one page writeup his teachers provided about him. In short they said that he is a mensch, that he is a boy of great character and that is what makes me happy. Sure, it helps that he received excellent grades for his academic performance, but I really am more concerned about the intangibles.

Academics are important. It is critical that he masters the skills that they pass along there. Math, science, English etc, they play a huge role. But I never doubted his ability, biased or not I know that he is smart enough to handle the work.

But it is the character issues that I am most concerned about. The ability to interact with others is more than just icing on the cake. Those are the skills that enable you to do more than just float through life.

Sure it is important to have all of the academic tools. One day he'll join the workforce and those academic skills will help ensure that he does his work well. But it is the social skills that will make the difference. The ability to know when to speak your mind and when to hold your tongue. The ability to work independently is important, but so is knowing how to be a team player.

Because in reality skill is not necessarily as important as luck or who you know. We all know of people who are in positions that they don't really deserve, but because people like them they make it work.

As far as the big kid goes, I am thrilled that he has a handle on both sides. Life can be rough, so you need to have as many resources as you can muster.

Spiders on Drugs

I always enjoy these Nature shows.

Sarcasm Seen as Evolutionary Survival Skill

Oh really. I never would have guessed.

"Humans are fundamentally social animals. Our social nature means that we interact with each other in positive, friendly ways, and it also means we know how to manipulate others in a very negative way.

Neurophysiologist Katherine Rankin at the University of California, San Francisco, has also recently discovered that sarcasm, which is both positively funny and negatively nasty, plays an important part in human social interaction.

So what?

I mean really, who cares? Oh for God's sake. Don’t you have anything better to do that read this column?

According to Dr. Rankin, if you didn’t get the sarcastic tone of the previous sentences you must have some damage to your parahippocampal gyrus which is located in the right brain. People with dementia, or head injuries in that area, often lose the ability to pick up on sarcasm, and so they don’t respond in a socially appropriate ways.

Presumably, this is a pathology, which in turn suggests that sarcasm is part of human nature and probably an evolutionarily good thing.

How might something so, well, sarcastic as sarcasm, be part of the human social toolbox?"

For the full story please click here.

Some Links To Check Out

Ok, it is 3:30 and I still can't fall asleep so I decided to do an impromptu roundup. Before I get into that let me remind you that Soccer Dad is making his triumphant return as host of the next Haveil Havalim.

Over at NY's Funniest Rabbi check out Today's Thoughts.

Pillage Idiot has the scoop on the Mohel who Beat a Speeding Ticket.

I asked for your help in compiling The Best Break Up Songs.

The Rebbetzin's Husband discussed Ethnic Cleansing.

A Whispering Soul is still silent.

Therapy Doc discussed Dissociative Identity Disorder. Right now I'd like to identify with my bed.

Frume Sarah is Objective, Reflexive, & Subjective.

And now I am going to try to get some shut eye, again. If I can't manage it than I'll probably do something with Fragments of Fiction. See you in a couple of hours.

Jack & The Hulk

Don't make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I was angry. Or should I say don't make me drink coffee late at night or you'll find me watching cheesy '70s television at 2 AM.

Ok, I used to love this show, but really I'd rather be asleep. The morning will come far too soon and I'll feel like hell. Unfortunately I am wide awake, so here I am. For those of you who never had the privilege to watch Bill Bixby play the role of David Banner, here you go.

The Best Break Up Songs

Ok folks, it is time for another round of tell Jack your favorite songs. In this case I am curious to hear what your favorite break up songs are.

And if you don't have a favorite break up song let me know if you have a favorite lyric.

I Was Robbed Again

It is a little more than three years since I wrote Daddy, They Have Mommy's Purse. It is the story of how some people stole money from my family and robbed my son of some of his childhood innocence.

The reason I bring it up is because today I found out that I am again the victim of robbery. There is nothing like being violated to brighten your day and make you smile. I suppose that I should tell you what happened, at least to the extent that I can.

This particular story involves my car, but fortunately very little money. Not unlike many people I have a small compartment that I use to hold change. It is generally filled with an assortment of nickels, dimes and quarters that I use when needed to fill parking meters or whatever.

I usually make a point of filling it whenever I notice my pants pockets starting to hang six inches lower than normal. If when I walk I sound like a cat with a bell around its neck I know it is time to dump some change into the drawer.

So this afternoon I opened the compartment and was prepared to lose some silver when I noticed that Old Mother Hubbard's cup board was bare. Initially I figured that a member of the family had decided that they had need of the change and had forgotten to mention that they had taken it out.

Unfortunately this was not the case. Someone else is responsible for stealing my three bucks or so in change. Someone else decided that it was ok for them to help themselves to my possessions. I am not angry about the amount that was stolen, it is not going to make or break me.

It is the principle of the matter. It is knowing that someone was in my car rummaging through my possessions and that they felt comfortable enough to take what was not theirs to remove.

So I have been trying to determine when it happened. I am trying to figure out if I lost the change to an unscrupulous parking valet or if someone else managed to enter my car and leave with their ill gotten gains.

I tend to think that it was a valet, but I can't say for certain. Actually I hope that it was a valet because in the grand scheme of things it bothers me less than thinking someone else was in my car. I hope that they really needed the money. I hope that somehow it made a difference in someone's life.

It is goofy, but it makes me feel better to see it that way. Because the other side makes me pretty angry. The other side makes me want to take my size 12 boot and apply it to their behind.

In the end it may have been an insignificant amount of money, but their actions impacted more than them. In spite of my attempt to keep this tale from reaching little ears I was overheard and forced to share the story. And now that much more of my children's innocence has been taken.

Don't ever forget that one grain of sand may be inconsequential, but a billion make a desert. The little things add up.

CNN Reports Men Responsible For All Relationship Issues

CNN has one of the most ridiculous articles I have read in quite some time. The premise of the article is that there is a lack of equity in the division of labor around the home and that as a result women bear an unfair load.

Let's grab some excerpts and see what is contained within.

"I am very turned on when he's doing housework," says the 36-year-old Camden, Delaware resident, a middle school teacher.

"If there's a sink full of dirty dishes, he knows I'm going to take care of that before I want to get intimate. If he wasn't helping with the housework, I would not find that very attractive."

Simmons' attitude is pretty typical of married women, researchers say. They like it when their spouses share the household chores, but also find that -- paradoxically -- a husband may also create more work for them, or not contribute as much as women would like. In other words, science has once again proven what many people already suspect: Relationships take work, especially when it comes to keeping a happy (and tidy) home."

This doesn't provide a real breakdown of who is doing what around the house, just a suggestion that there is an imbalance. But if you ask the author science has proven this theory to be more than supposition.

Not only is there no breakdown of responsibilities to analyze, it doesn't spend any time discussing what happens if one of the spouses is a stay at home parent. The article then goes on to discuss how doing chores around the house may lead to more intimacy. Ya know, some people would argue that someone is trying to use sex as a tool, but we'll ignore that too. Let's take a look at some more of what was written.

"When a man does housework, it feels to the woman like an expression of caring and concern, which then physically reduces her stress," says Joshua Coleman, a San Francisco-area psychologist and author of "The Lazy Husband: How to Get Men to Do More Parenting and Housework."

"A guy can be completely stressed out and want to have sex to burn it off, but women are not wired like that," says Coleman, who is also a member of the Council on Contemporary Families, a nonprofit research organization. Instead, he says, women need to feel relaxed in order to feel sexy -- and it's hard to unwind when there are chores to be done and a husband who's oblivious to them.
Blah, blah, blah. Who pays this guy for such insight. Women need to feel relaxed to feel sexy. They'd never see sex as a way to relax, they can only put out if there are no dishes in the sink.

But the best part of those two paragraphs is the last sentence "and it's hard to unwind when there are chores to be done and a husband who's oblivious to them."

Talk about editorializing. Why not just call all men lazy and insensitive. Why not indulge in promulgating stereotypes, I guess that it helps to sell more books.
"Now, the bad news: The same research found that men create, on average, seven more hours of housework a week for women. That extra work may not be as obvious as doing the dishes or mowing the lawn. So-called "emotional labor" -- tasks like writing holiday cards, scheduling doctor appointments and planning family gatherings -- is too often left to wives, says University of Michigan sociologist Pamela Smock.

"As long as the invisible labor is borne by women, things aren't going to be equal, even if surveys show they are," Smock says. Such work can be a major source of mental stress, she adds."

There are a lot of questions here. It doesn't account for how many hours each spouse works outside of the house. I know a lot of families who are lucky enough to have a stay-at-home parent. They're all women. And since they stay at home with the children they're usually the ones who take the kids to see the doctor, which is why it is only natural for them to make the doctor's appointments.

You could also make the case that since they don't have a boss looking over their shoulder it makes sense for them to make arrangements for family gatherings. But of course that sort of data is not included in this article as it makes it much harder to blame men for relationship problems.

The rest of this article is really just more of the same. "Poor women, they have such mean husbands. If only they did something to help them they'd prance around the house with smiles plastered across their faces.

I wonder why they didn't spend more time talking about the division of labor. I'd call this narishkeit, but perhaps they could have talked about who handles repairs of household items and automobiles. Who takes care of yard work. If you are going to engage in stereotyping why not go for broke.

Blah, blah, blah. Articles like this just make me role my eyes. The bottom line is that every relationship is different and unless you are in it you can't really say what is going on.

The Lakers Crash and Burn

Well the freaking Celtics destroyed the Lakers. It reminds me a bit of '84, but back then the boys in purple and gold did a better job than the current edition.

Funny thing, a few of the '84 Celtics have made their way into positions as general managers. Why is that funny? Because they managed to execute some personnel moves that only benefited the Celtics and did nothing for the other team.

More specifically, former Celtic Kevin McHale just happens to be the G.M of the Timberwolves, you know the team that sent Kevin Garnett to the Celtics for nothing. Let's take a look at the result of that trade.

Minnesota lost their best player and finished the year with a record of 22-60 as opposed to the Celtics who rolled to a record of 66-16.

Garnett made a huge difference to that team, as did the addition of Ray Allen. Remember that last season the Celtics had a record of 24-58.

Anyway, they played harder, they played with more desire and more consistency than the Lakers. Bottom line, they deserved it more. I have to give them credit.

For Laker fans the good news is that we got back to the championship sooner than we expected. It is a young team that is awaiting the return of Andrew Bynum. If all goes well he'll come back healthy and we'll see benefits from that and the experience gained from this year.

For now, it is over until November.

Keywords For The Week of June 16

I meant to run this yesterday. Here is a partial list of the keywords that were used to find the old blog. Some of these are just really bizarre.

bonsai kitty
worlds fastest 95 year old man
meaning of obsessed
meaning for penis
do you swallow meaning
mathematical sciences meanings
origin of the liger
take it, take it, now smell it
if i am not for myself, then who is for me?
jim croce operator lyrics meaning
teachers thoughts on homework
what's the meaning of led zeppelin hey hey what ca
the wiggles greeting cards
scooby doo audio clip
saturday night live cheeseburger skit
meaning of hugs
election prediction model
how to deal with failure
woman stuffs snake down pants
nesiah tovah
apple computers vs. pc
characters in thank you jackie robinson
meaning of courtesy
jack, why are there eight twisted and bent paper clips on your desk?
does true love ever die?
meaning of schnappi
what to say to a man during phone sex
how do men urinate
when to leave a loveless marriage
soulmates aren't real
one more kiss and june will be mine forever

Sometimes the Bull Wins

"Matador Jose Tomas had a lucky escape yesterday when he was gored not once, but TWICE during a bullfight in Madrid.

The 32-year-old, who is widely considered one of the best bullfighters of all time, was competing at the Las Ventas bullring in the Spanish capital when he sustained his injuries.

Tomas, who received medical treatment at the scene, sustained one groin injury that looked exceptionally painful."
Want to see more? Click here.

Blogging About Blogging

Leora's post Why Blog? Why not! serves as the inspiration for this post.

Some of my favorite posts are those in which I let myself ramble and roll about this and that. I enjoy the free association and just letting the current take me where it will.

As I write this Dancing Queen is playing on iTunes. It doesn't take much imagination to picture the almost famous Ann Stacey skating in circles around the skating rink. Does this date me. Does talking about 70's disco music and the epitome of 70's music make me old. Makes me think of Austin Powers in Goldmember. They did a whole bit on the roller skating thing.

One more thing film lovers, did you notice that A Fifth of Beethoven was playing in the background. Just how many people did Aunt Brenda teach how to Do the Hustle.

But enough about all that, this post is supposed to be about blogging and so it shall be. Many of us bloggers get into the game with dreams of becoming legends of blogging. We shoot for the stars and hope that one day millions of readers will choose to hang on our every keystroke. Perhaps that is why posts about blogging are always popular.

At least that has been my experience. Blog about blogging and it is a hit. Anyway over the years I have written quite a number of posts about blogging, some of them have even been interesting and worthwhile. ;)

This past March I promised to go back and review some of what I have read and comment on whether I still feel the same way. I try to do my best to uphold my promises (even if I do operate on my own time schedule) so here are a few comments on each post.

How Long Will You Keep On Blogging?- I didn't really comment on how long I intend to keep blogging, but I expect that my usual answer still stands. I'll keep going until I no longer enjoy it.

Building The Blog-I can't say that there are a ton of things that I would do differently, at least not for this blog. The primary one is that I would have come up with a much better title for the damn thing. Beyond that, for a personal blog the list I came up with still suits me.

Blog Questions We Ask Ourselves- I still consider giving up my anonymity. I sometimes wonder if it would really change the nature of what I write. In the early days I was certain that it would be far too problematic to be out there, but now I am not so sure. I suppose that the main issue I have is what impact it would have on my career.

While I very much enjoy having readers, I'd keep writing with or without them. I have written almost 430 posts this year. Remember, it is about quality, not quantity.

Blogging for Ego, For Experience, For What- Still the same, but I wonder if I am repeating myself way too often. Welcome to the department of redundancy department.

How Many Blogs Do You Read?- I read fewer blogs than ever. My free time has really shrunk so my ability to read has made me far pickier about what I check in on. If you are on the blogroll than I probably check in on you. If you used to be on the blogroll I probably still check in, just less frequently.

How Do You Not Run Out Of Material- That is easy. Even though I recycle material I always find new things to discuss. The kids are always doing something worth chronicling. There are always gadgets to cover, politics to mention and the adventures I have in daily life.

Commenting on Comments- I am no longer lurking challenged. Maybe I have less to say or maybe I have just grown up, but I find myself leaving fewer comments than ever.

Just a few more words to share with you. If you are new to the blog and interested in seeing what other inanities I have come up with you can click on the label and find all sorts of other nifty things to look at.

Alternatively you can look on my sidebar at the drop down menus. There are three called: Personal Favorites, Judaism/Religious Thoughts and Blogging. There is all sorts of stuff in there, why it is chock full of posts you'll wish that you had written yourself. Or perhaps you'll wish that had that last five minutes back.

Go on now, take a look.

5 Superpowers Science Will Give Us in Our Lifetime

Articles like this are guaranteed to get your attention because who doesn't want to know about 5 Superpowers Science Will Give Us in Our Lifetime.

If you review the list you'll see comic book heroes like Wolverine, Spiderman, Ironman, Jean Grey and Sue Storm listed along with powers that they have you and you may one day get. If you ignore the insouciant tone of the writing you can see that there is some pretty cool stuff coming down the pike.

But I can't help but wonder, what superpowers do I really want and do I have to settle for just one. Why can't I try to gain three or four. Do I have to promise to be good. Must I take an oath to use the powers for the common good.

Hmmm.... The possibilities are endless.

Related Posts:
You Too Can Be Like Wolverine
Which Hero Would You Want to Be?
My Favorite Superheroes

Do The Hustle

This was too funny not to post. Times like this I am glad that I am not ten years older. Oy.

Live Blogging Game 5 Lakers-Celtics

Live blogging the first quarter of the Lakers-Celtics game. Once again the Lakers are dominating the game. Once again I shake my head and my fist and beg the purple and gold to give their fans 48 minutes of this energy/intensity.

I hate the celtics and can't stand the idea of losing to them. It is one thing to lose to a superior team, but they are not. They simply are not better. But they have done a better job of maintaining intensity and playing with hunger and desire.

That combination puts them over the top. Truth is that I don't dislike these guys with the same intensity as I did during the '80s, but those players you loved to hate. These guys, not so much. Still that doesn't mean that I want them to lose any less.

The hated ones haven't won a championship in 22 years. There is a reason for that and let's hope that they wait another 22 years.

Still, the chances of that are slim. The Lakers inconsistent behavior has placed them in a very tough position. If they come back and win the series that will help mitigate the sting of that last loss. Win the series and no one will talk about that loss, lose and you guys get to play goat for years to come.

The Jewish Role in Creating Comic Book Heroes

One more quick hit and run post. This story is running on Ynet:

"The exhibit ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950, at My Jewish Discovery Place Children's Museum in Plantation, Florida is bringing comic book heroes back to life for a new generation of fans, the Miami Herald reported.

The report mentioned that the first superhero - Superman - was created in 1938 by two Jewish boys, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Bob Kane and Bill Finger, also Jewish, created Batman in 1939. Then came Captain America in 1940 from Jewish artists Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.

Museum Director Debbie Hochman was quoted by the Miami Herald as saying that the exhibit is a chance for children to learn not only about well-known comic book heroes and how they began but also about the people who drew them.

''They are heroes in their own right,'' she said.

'Nazis were the villains of that time'

The report said the exhibit, which originated at the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum in Atlanta, came from various private and institutional collections and is traveling throughout the United States.

'When I saw it, I fell in love with it,'' Jewish Museum Executive Director Marcia Jo Zerivitz told the Miami Herald regarding the Breman exhibit. "I didn't know these (characters) were created by Jews.''

The report said the works displayed in the exhibit are all original and explain the genesis of aforementioned cultural icons and many others, like Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman."

Past posts about comics include:

Comic Books Find Religion
The Science of Superheroes

BTW, Meryl gives the skinny on the new Hulk movie with

Hulk say Hulk movie smash!

Lightning Is About To Strike

Lightning is about to strike again, not a doubt in my mind that we're going to see it live and experience in 3D. Some lips are bound to ...