The World's Strongest Penis

My children provide a never ending source of blog fodder. The questions they ask, the stories they tell and the things that they do provide a steady pipeline of material. The hard part is that some of these stories seem to repeat themselves over and over, with just a slight variation on how they are told/come about.

This next story comes courtesy of the lad that the good people call "Little Jack."

He recently told me that he is the smartest boy in the house. When I asked why he explained that I don't go to school and that I have an "old brain." Anyway, the conversation meandered about and eventually led to our standard question and answer time. The "Q&A" session is something that we do on a regular basis. It gives him a chance to ask me to answer the burning questions on his mind and it provides me with a chance to try and pick his brain about his day.

The conversation about The World's Strongest Penis began as a discussion about how to use public urinals. That is a conversation that we have had a number of times. In a different post I'll have to rant and rave about how some women tried to teach him and the other boys to pee. It may sound ridiculous, but there is a reason for my irritation.

For now let's talk about how some of the boys at camp have helped educate him about all sorts of stuff, including new and exciting vocabulary words.

Son: Dad, Jake says that his mom told him that the penis is a man's strongest muscle.
Me: His mom and dad don't live together, do they.

Son: No, how'd did you know that?
Me: Just a hunch. What else did Jake say?

Son: He said that his dad had the most powerful penis in the world. I said that he was wrong and that you do.
Me: (Mental note to self: Add note to resume, "most powerful penis in the world.) Oh you did. I appreciate that, but you don't need to tell people that. It is a private thing.

Son: Ok, I'll tell him that you don't want to talk about your penis.
Me: That's ok. You don't need to tell him. In fact it is probably better that you don't discuss it.

Son: Why, are you embarrassed about your penis?
Me: No, I am perfectly happy with it. It works just the way it is supposed to. Remember when we talked about a broken penis. Everything is fine, it is just not something that we discuss with others.

Son: What about the doctor? Can we talk to the doctor about our penis?
Me: Yes, the doctor is fine.

Son: How about a policeman? Can we talk to the policeman?
Me: Only if you need to file a missing penis report. (Sometimes I just can't help myself.)

Son: Can people steal your penis? (you can't imagine the look of horror on his face.)
Me: No, I just exaggerating. No one can steal your penis. It is attached just like your arm or leg.

Son: But if you have an accident you can cut off your arm or your leg. What if you had an accident and you cut off your penis.
Me: Might be kind of hard to pee. I don't think that you have to worry about that one.

Son: You can't cut off Superman's penis unless you have Kryptonite.
Me: I have never thought about it, but I suppose you're right.

Son: And Iron Man is safe. You can't cut off an iron penis.
Me: Actually Iron Man is a guy who wear a special suit. Outside of his armor he is vulnerable.

Son: He better not take off his suit, someone might cut his penis off.
Me: He is a comic book hero, that kind of stuff never happens to them. Do you have any more questions?

Son: How strong is your penis?
Me: I don't know. It is not like your arms or legs. It doesn't have to be strong to do its job.

Son: Why did Jake's mom say that it is a strong muscle?
Me: I don't know.

Son: That doesn't make sense.
Me: You're going to find that life is full of things that don't make sense. Has Jake's mom said anything else?

You'll have to stay tuned for the rest of the conversation. In the meantime if you're interested in posts that are somewhat related you're welcome to read the stuff below.
Penis Talk Revisited
My Penis Died
More Questions about Body Parts
Great Moments In Parenting- Parts of our Body That Grow

One more Reason Not To Take Bus

(CNN) -- As horrified travelers watched, a Greyhound Canada bus passenger repeatedly stabbed and then decapitated a young man who was sitting and sleeping beside him, a witness said Thursday....


...Caton said the victim was sleeping with his head leaning against the window when the attack happened. Caton said he shouted at the other passengers, many of whom also were sleeping, to leave. "Everybody got off the bus. Me and a trucker that stopped and the Greyhound driver ran up to the door to maybe see if the guy was still alive or we could help or something like that," Caton said.

"And when we all got up, we saw that the guy was cutting off the guy's head. ... When he saw us, he came back to the front of the bus, told the driver to shut the door. He pressed the button and the door shut, but it didn't shut in time, and the guy was able to get his knife out and take a swipe at us," Caton said.
The world is getting crazier by the day.

Blogavoidance

Do you ever engage in blogging to avoid work? Do you find yourself racking your brain or scouring the web for that one perfect topic to blog about? Do you find yourself cursing out loud because you discoved that the topic you wish to discuss has already been covered by 6,354 other bloggers, and at least six of them did a better job than you.

If you answered yes to these questions you are clearly engaged in blogavoidance, also known as suffering from blogavoiditis. There is no cure, no hope and like this post, no point.

But I do have an answer for you. For little to no money down I will serve as a guest blogger for you. I will write a piece that you can place on your little slab of the net. I do not promise or guarantee that it will be educational, informational, witty or interesting, just that you will receive it.

Remember that all donations go to rebuilding Jack's Shack and are not tax deductible. They will make you feel, just what it is that you will feel I cannot say. It could be a thigh or it could be a wing. You might even feel swindled, foolish and or silly.

If nothing else you can rest assured that I am not going to use the money on anyone but myself. I am my own favorite charity. So go ahead and consider how you can make Jack have a better day. I'll be thinking of you. :D

A Few Places I Want to Visit

Here are a couple of places that I think that I'd like to see:

Worlds First Sandcastle Hotel

The next place sounds even cooler.
"A bar inside the trunk of a Baobab tree has tourists flocking from far and wide just to drink a cold brew in the amazing tavern. It was fashioned inside a massive 72 foot (22 meters) high tree in a garden in Limpopo, South Africa, for thirsty locals.

Grown in the grounds of Sunland Farm, the tree trunk is so wide it takes 40 adults with outstretched arms to encircle its 155 foot (48 meters) circumference. The trunk is hollow, but its walls are still up to 6.5 feet (2 meters) thick.

The tree has its own cellar, with natural ventilation to keep the beer cold.

Carbon-dating has determined the ancient tree to be about 6,000 years old. “This tree is likely to be older than the Giza Pyramids of Egypt.” said Heather van Heerden, owner of Sunland Farm."

For more information please use the following link: Worlds Only Bar INSIDE a Tree

Painful News Or News About Pain

Live Science is one of my regular reads. They usually have several articles that I find to be of interest. Here is an excerpt from an article about pain.

3. Migraines and sex go together

It may not eliminate the phrase "Not tonight, honey ..." but a 2006 study found that migraine sufferers had levels of sexual desire 20 percent higher than those suffering from tension headaches. The finding suggests sexual desire and migraines might be influenced by the same brain chemical, and getting a better handle on the link could lead to better treatments, at least for the pain portion of the equation.

4. Women feel more pain

Any man who has watched a woman having a baby without using drugs would swear that women can tolerate anything. But the truth is, guys, it hurts more than you can imagine. Women have more nerve receptors than men. As an example, women have 34 nerve fibers per square centimeter of facial skin, while men average just 17. And in a 2005 study, women were found to report more pain throughout their lifetimes and, compared to men, they feel pain in more areas of their body and for longer durations.

5. Some animals don't feel our pain

Animal research could offer clues to eventually relieve human suffering. Take the naked mole rat, a hairless and nearly blind subterranean creature. A study this year found it feels neither the pain of acid nor the sting of chili peppers. If researchers can figure out why, they might be on the road to new sorts of painkilling therapies for humans. In 2006, scientists found a pathway for the transmission of chronic pain in rats that they hope will translate into better understanding of human chronic pain. Lobsters feel no pain, even when boiled, scientists said in a 2005 report that is just one more salvo in a long-running debate.

I Am Right, I Am Right, I Am Right

Do I always sound like Yosemite Sam. That is a little weird.

The Great Interview Experiment

I decided to participated in the Citizen of The Month interview experiment. I had the privilege of interviewing a new blogger, Marinka from Motherhood in NY.
1) Why did you start blogging and what do you hope to do with it?

I started blogging because I realized that I would never have the time, energy and patience to write a book. Oh, and the talent. I don't have specific goals in mind, I'm just enjoying the process right now.

2) What is the most rewarding part of blogging? What is the most disappointing part of blogging. Are there any topics that are off limits?

It's rewarding and amazing that anyone actually gives a shit about what I have to say, and when they respond, I do a little dance. A very little dance, because I am incredibly lazy and uncoordinated.

The most disappointing part has been that my husband has yet to say, "Hey, why don't you quit your job and devote yourself to blogging full time?"

As for off-limits, my husband hates it when I blog about him, so I suppose he's off limits. Good thing that I have another husband who doesn't mind when I blog about him.

3) What don't people know about you that you wish they did?

That I often confuse the words "yesterday" and "tomorrow" in English, Spanish and Russian.

4) Do you ever regret having moved to the U.S.?

Not for one second.

5) How did you learn how to speak English? Do you have an accent?

I've been thinking about writing a post about that soon. Oh my god, you can't read my mind, can you?

We lived in Italy for 5 months and I attended school that was supposed to teach us English. The teachers didn't speak Russian, so it was a total waste of time and none of us knew what the hell was going on.

When I arrived in NY, I went to an Yeshiva, and I literally just "picked up" English. Hebrew, not so much.

Most people say that I don't have an accent, but my husband thinks that I have an untraceable accent.

6) When you're not blogging, working, or playing mom/wife what do you do for fun? What would your perfect day be like?

I read a lot and I watch tons of TV. I think my perfect day would consist of being left the hell alone. With a beer.

7) If you had three wishes what would they be?

I'm assuming health, wealth, world peace, kids' happiness are all taken care of, right? So I don't have to waste my time on that.

8) Can I tell you about my last three dreams. ;)

Your timing could not be better! I just ran out of Ambien!

9) People seem to love or hate N.Y.C. What category do you fall into? Is it a place to live for a short time or the city you want to live in forever?

I love New York and I can't imagine living anywhere else. I have many friends who've lived in NYC for shorter periods of time and it makes me sad when they move, but the good thing about NYC is that almost everyone comes back to visit eventually.

I hope that I can live here forever, but it's expensive and sometimes very draining. So please send cash. Thanks!

10) Name your three favorite blogs?

It's hard to narrow it down to three. But the three that I love this week is Anymommy, The Bloggess and Wendi Aarons.

11) If you were stuck on a desert island and could only take five books and five albums what would they be?

Moby Dick, The Fountainhead, James Joyce's Ulysses, War & Peace and that book that it's all the Starbucks stores that's narrated by a dog. Because the only way that I'd ever read those is if I were on a desert island.

12) Disneyland or Disneyworld?

I've been to the one in Florida, before I had kids. Yes, my kids are completely Disney-deprived.

13) Coke or Pepsi?

Both and neither. I don't drink soda regularly. And I'm not sure that I could pass a blind taste test.

14) Thick or Thin crust?

Both! Slight preference for thick!

15) What do you hope to accomplish with this interview? Do you have any concerns about my post giving the wrong impression of you?

My goal is to accomplish something that I do best--blather on about myself. And until you mentioned it, I had no concerns about your giving the wrong impression of me. Of course now that's all that I can think about.

And Los Angeles Was Not Consumed- The Earthquake



I have been meaning to write a short post about the small earthquake we experienced today. But every time I try it seems that I am interrupted by someone who thinks that it is fun to say "what's shaking."

You know, that used to be funny. It used to be kind of cool, in the same way that Mr. Microphone used to be cool.

Anyway, if you didn't hear about the quake here is a short report from CNN. Let me share a few highlights from the report that warm the cockles of my heart. (Emphasis in bold is mine)

"This is a sample, a small sample," said Kate Hutton, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology.

"This is somewhere between small and moderate." She said there is a 5 percent chance the quake could be a precursor to a larger earthquake. After 24 hours, she said, that chance will drop to 1 percent.

Isn't that nifty, to know that this might be a warmup for the big show. Ok, here is some more about the earthquake that might interest you.

A 5.4 magnitude quake is considered by the USGS to be "moderate," which can cause slight damage to buildings and others structures. So far this year, 39 "moderate" earthquakes of between magnitude 5.0 and 5.9 have occurred in the United States, and 790 globally.

The last moderate quake to strike California was a magnitude 5.4 in April in the northern part of the state. A magnitude 4.4 struck the greater Los Angeles area in August 2007.

There is a 99 percent chance of California experiencing a quake of magnitude 6.7 or larger within the next 30 years, according to the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey, the California Geological Survey and the Southern California Earthquake Center and published in Science Daily in April.

"This earthquake reminds us to be prepared," said California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. "We were very fortunate that there were no serious injuries or property damage."

He said he believes the state is "as prepared as anyone can be. We have continuous discussions about that. We are fanatics about emergencies and to be ready."

The largest earthquake in recent years in California was a magnitude 7.1 in 1999, Hutton said. But it was centered in the desert, near Twentynine Palms, in a sparsely populated area.

Tuesday's quake struck about 11:42 a.m., according to the USGS. Its epicenter was about 2 miles southwest of Chino Hills and about 5 miles southeast of Diamond Bar.

The epicenter was about 7.6 miles deep, making it a fairly shallow quake, according to CNN meteorologist Chad Meyers. In general, earthquakes centered closer to the surface produce stronger shaking and can cause more damage than those further underground. But most Southern California earthquakes tend to be fairly shallow, officials said.

Those of us who lived through the Northridge quake can tell you that it was far bigger than today's temblor. If you want to learn more about that try reading USGS Response to an Urban Earthquake -- Northridge ‘94. Or you can read this summary:
"At 4:30 on the morning of January 17, 1994, some 10 million people in the Los Angeles region of southern California were awakened by the shaking of an earthquake.
The earthquake, named for its epicenter in the town of Northridge, was a magnitude 6.7 (M = 6.7) shock that proved to be the most costly earthquake in United States history.
The shaking heavily damaged communities throughout the San Fernando Valley and Simi Valley, and their surrounding mountains north and west of Los Angeles, causing estimated losses of 20 billion dollars. Fifty-seven people died, more than 9,000 were injured, and more than 20,000 were displaced from their homes by the effects of the quake.
Although moderate in size, the earthquake had immense impact on people and structures because it was centered directly beneath a heavily populated and built-up urban region.
Thousands of buildings were significantly damaged, and more than 1,600 were later “red-tagged” as unsafe to enter. Another 7,300 buildings were restricted to limited entry (“yellow-tagged”), and many thousands of other structures incurred at least minor damage.
The 10-20 seconds of strong shaking collapsed buildings, brought down freeway interchanges, and ruptured gas lines that exploded into fires. Fortuitously, the early morning timing of the earthquake spared many lives that otherwise might have been lost in collapsed parking buildings and on failed freeway structures
Related posts:

Fourteen Years Ago The Earth Shook
Adult Pajamas
Just Another Earthquake
It Was Disconcerting- Whoa!

We Still Carry The Pain of Our Past Part II

Following the completion of the last post I had intended to go to sleep, but I had a thought that I had felt like sharing. One of the things that I like about blogging is that to a certain extent it levels the playing field of life.

Out here in cyberspace you are not judged upon your looks, who you know, where you went to school or any of the million little things people use to assess and categorize each other. That is not to say that we are freed from being evaluated, not at all.

But there is something nice about participating in something in which you know that some of the more superficial things are removed. The blog you are reading might be written by the stud, the loser, the Prom King, the nerd or that quiet neighbor no one knows.

Our here in cyberspace you get the chance to interact with everyone. Out here in cyberspace the pain of our past doesn't have to haunt you as it does in the so called real world. No one knows if you stutter or smell.

All we know is what we read and the image that we compose of the author and I kind of like it. What do you think?

We Still Carry The Pain of Our Past

Another day has come and gone. The sun has risen, the sun has set. The end of the second day. As is my custom I went to my second shul and davened on the court of Spaulding, Nike and Reebok. There I bore witness to the pain and shame of the past for myself and for others.

If you're new to the blog let me help you catch up. I play pick up basketball three or four days a week. I use that and this blog as my therapy. It is where I blow off steam and try to forget about the challenges of the day.

Most of the time I prefer to play three-on-three or four-on-four, but every now and then I'll run a couple of games of full court. Unless you play in the league the teams aren't prepared in advance. We just split 'em up and have at it, well that's the theory.

The thing is that no one wants to lose so people try to do what they can to stack the teams. And as you might imagine there are players that people really don't want on their team because they just aren't good enough.

So what happens is that you sometimes get to witness the harsh reality of the elementary school playground all over again. Guys can be isolated and outcast. To be clear I have also seen some great moments in which people intentionally grabbed the less talented players and took them under their wings.
My friends, that is a mosaic of the black eye I received from one of the guys I play ball with. He was on my own team. Quite a teammate, isn't he.

On a serious note he is one of those guys who moves around on the fringe. He has some severe emotional issues, isn't particularly coordinated and has been hospitalized on a number of occasions. I know about his medical situation because he has boundary issues and shares things that he probably shouldn't offer so readily.

Most of the guys prefer not to play with him, because it is just too easy to get hurt. I have to be honest and include myself in that group. If I can avoid it I do, but sometimes I feel badly about it. Not just because of him, but a few other guys as well.

As we divide ourselves up you can see the anxious look in their eyes. They're nice guys, but they are just terrible players. Maybe I am projecting too much, but I suspect that they have had a lifetime of being picked last or not picked at all.

It makes me feel awkward. We're not children. We pay to belong and most guys just want to have a good game to take their mind's off life's challenges. It is not really our responsibility to try and make everyone feel good. There are times when I want to pick them, where I'd like to help make them smile by helping them.

Sometimes I have spoken up and done something and sometimes I have just stayed silent. Like I said, we're grown ups now. There have been times at the gym where I didn't get picked because the guys didn't think that I was good enough to play with them either.

But after more than 20 years of playing there it doesn't happen often. I usually play with the same group of guys so I am often guaranteed a space. To be clear, these guys on the fringes can always get into a game. It is not that they are completely frozen out of playing, but that can be a small consolation.

I suppose that what I am really saying is that the court isn't so different from the real world. Sometimes it is a place where the layers are pulled back and you see that we still carry the pain of our past.

SezWho- Trying Out a New Service

I decided to test a service called SezWho. Here is a short blurb about them:
"SezWho is a universal profile service for the social web that improves community engagement and enables content discovery to be added to blogs, forums, message boards and other social sites. SezWho works with most social media platforms without taking over the content on the site."
We'll give it a day or two and see what happens. Feel free to leave your own feedback as to whether you think it is a useful tool or not.

Plumbing Problems

One of the best parts of the weekend is the opportunity to take care of household chores. There is nothing that I like to do better than to clean up the garage, remove clutter and do the 1,987,862 other things on the list.

This weekend I received the gift of a backed up shower/tub. It is one of those things that I get to deal with once or twice a year. Dependent upon which shower backs up I can identify the source of the problem as being either tree roots or an accumulation of hair courtesy of the long haired ladies who reside here.

My initial solution to this sort of thing is try and clear the drain myself. I have a snake that I sometimes use or every now and then I may try a chemical solution. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

This time around I decided that I wanted to try a different approach. So I went out and purchased a hydraulic drain flusher that is similar to that shown in the picture here. It is a simple concept. Attach it to a water source and use hydraulic power to force the clog to clear.

Sounds good. Looks like it should work. Only in my case it didn't. We went from experiencing a slow draining shower/tub to a very.......very.....very.....slow draining shower/tub. It always warms the cockles of my heart to see that the solution has backfired and is going to cost more time and money.

So now I am waiting for my rooter guy and his massive snake to come clean it all out. Of course I looked into renting a snake and found out that it was ten dollars cheaper than having the rooter guy come here.

BTW, did I mention that he said that he'd be here two hours ago. It is ever so gratifying to see that my time is so valuable to him.

Mr. Rogers Lives On

Want to know why Mr. Rogers was such an intriguing and endearing fellow? Click here.

Cuil Takes On Google

If you spend any time reading the news you have probably come across Cuil. It is among the many contenders that have been trying to oust Google from their throne as king of search engines. They do have some things going for them that others don't.

Let's take a quick look at what the media reports. Here is a blurb from CNN/Money:

"SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Anna Patterson's last Internet search engine was so impressive that industry leader Google Inc. bought the technology in 2004 to upgrade its own system.

She believes her latest invention is even more valuable - only this time it's not for sale.

Patterson instead intends to upstage Google, which she quit in 2006 to develop a more comprehensive and efficient way to scour the Internet.

The end result is Cuil, pronounced "cool." Backed by $33 million in venture capital, the search engine plans to begin processing requests for the first time Monday.

Cuil had kept a low profile while Patterson, her husband, Tom Costello, and two other former Google engineers - Russell Power and Louis Monier - searched for better ways to search.

Now, it's boasting time.

Web index: For starters, Cuil's search index spans 120 billion Web pages.

Patterson believes that's at least three times the size of Google's index, although there is no way to know for certain. Google stopped publicly quantifying its index's breadth nearly three years ago when the catalog spanned 8.2 billion Web pages."

I suppose that you could say having Google purchase your technology gives you a certain cachet. But then again you could say that the purchase is also a way to stifle competition. For now I'll take the former approach and say that Patterson knows what she is doing.

Rafe Needleman offers a review of Cuil here.

"What this means, in the real world, is that Cuil results are automatically categorized. When you search for a common name, for example, Cuil will give you a result page where results for different individuals with that name are groups under tabs. It will also break out sub-topics related to each name. In Cuil's canned demo, if you search for "Harry," there are different tabs for "Harry Potter" and "Prince Harry of Wales." On the Harry Potter tab, you'll get further sub-links devoted to actors, Gryffindor dorm-mates, etc. "We have a strong ontological commitment," Costello told me, meaning that parsing search results into readable chunks is a very big part of the Cuil value proposition.

The service also displays images from Web results whenever possible. It all adds up to search results pages that are much more attractive, and useful, than Google's.

Another potential advantage of the context-based search is that it allows Cuil searches to be more respectful of user privacy. Unlike Google, which simply has to track every single click to refine its index, Cuil's context-based search does not. In practice, the distinction may be moot because Cuil will need to track clicks to see if their results are actually working for people, but it could serve as a marketable distinction.

Context-based indexing also presents a juicier target for search spammers, but as Costello says, "that's a success problem."

It's one thing to have a nice interface and show users good results, but the size of the Web index that the engine has access to matters a lot as well. And this is where Cuil makes its boldest claim. Costello says that the engine is launching with 120 billion pages indexed, well over the 40 billion he says Google has (although see Google's latest bluster about the company's power at Web indexing). Costello also claims that Cuil's Web crawler is three times faster than Google's, although it wasn't clear to me if he meant that is per search computer or for the entire system. Compared with Google's globe-spanning data network of data centers, some literally set up near dams so they can tap hydro power more efficiently, Cuil's two puny data centers hosting less than 2,000 PCs total will have to run pretty fast to outpace Google's crawlers."

I agree with assessments that say that it is going to be hard to unseat a behemoth like Google whose brand recognition is unmatched. However, nothing stays the same forever.

Part of what I enjoy about technology is how fast it can change. If companies don't work hard to stay ahead of the curve and to provide value they will find themselves in serious trouble.

If Cuil delivers what they promise they have an excellent chance to become a serious player.

What Makes You Happy

Today was a day filled with a number of highs and lows. It was the day in which we threw a birthday party for my daughter. She was so excited. All morning long she bounced off of the walls asking if it was time for her party.

I looked down into a pair of dark piercing eyes and promised that I would let her know when it was time to leave. She put a hand on her hip and admonished me not to be late. "Don't get stuck on the computer, the telephone or doing push ups."

(Side note: Her comment shows that I am doing a good job of being dedicated to my exercise program. And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.)

I promised that I wouldn't and set about to take care of a couple of chores. Soon enough the party girl was in her party dress and we were off. In a short time the guests arrived and four year-olds briefly took over the world. At least some of them did, there were several that never showed.

It irked me. I don't care or expect every kid to show up. Don't need to have a million kids to make my children feel loved. But I expect the courtesy of an R.S.V.P or a telephone call to say that you can't make it.

Her big brother surprised me by noticing that some of these kids hadn't made it. He made me smile because he was upset. When I asked why he told me that he was afraid that his sister's feelings would be hurt. I told him that he was a good big brother and that we need to focus on the important things.

That led to a discussion of what makes you happy. It seems to me like a bunch of his friends don't really know what makes them happy. They expect their parents to take care of everything. They can't play by themselves because without mom or dad they don't know what to do.

Inside this house that dog don't hunt. I can't tolerate raising children to be incapable of taking care of themselves. It is important and necessary to let them fail a time or two so that they learn how to deal with it at an early age. If you don't teach them how to cope the day will come when they will find themselves in hell.

The question of what makes you happy is one that I periodically ask myself. Every now and then I consider where I am heading and try to make sure that it corresponds with what makes me happy. Life is too short, too fragile and too hard not to. I try not to live in the past or focus on regrets.

But sometimes I find myself thinking about the road I didn't take. Sometimes I think back to that January day in Jerusalem. It is pouring rain and I am soaked, but I don't care. I am walking aimlessly through the city, but it doesn't matter. I have made the decision to go back to the states long enough to pack up my stuff and move back.

It didn't happen, for a whole host of reasons. It is bootless to cry about it. Can't say exactly what would have happened, but I have my ideas. I like to think that destiny brought me back. I like to think that something bigger is behind this, but I don't really know.

If you are wondering I didn't get into the deeper end with my son, but I did speak with him about how life doesn't always go the direction you think or want it to and why it is important to figure out what makes you happy.

Because if you know what makes you happy than you can act upon it. There are moments when it is cool to be spontaneous and to let the current take you where it will. But there are also times for action. I told him that when he gets older he'll understand some of this better and that there will be moments when it will pay to be bold.

Perhaps I'll share more on this later.

The Fight To Express Myself- Stories To Tell

Sometimes I feel like communicating my thoughts and feelings is an enormous struggle that is more trouble than it is worth. If you have spent any time reading the blog you know that this isn't a new thing. I like to think of it as being part and parcel of being a tortured artist.

However it seems to me that in order to be a tortured artist one must first be an artist. So I suppose that I should try and figure out how to pass myself off as an artist. We'll start with singing in which case torture is probably an appropriate description. If I were to sing you might feel as if you were being tortured.

On a serious tack there are a whole host of things that I wish that I could do that I am not real good at now. Singing is one of those things. I'd like to have the kind of voice that enabled me to sing songs that would make your heart feel like it was going to burst from your chest.

Better yet give me the voice and make me a piano virtuoso. Give me the skills to play/write songs that make the whole world sing. And yes I know who I am referencing.

But chances are that I am not suddenly going to gain either skill. The voice I have works well for a lot of things, but song is not one of them. At 39 it is unlikely that I am going to discover that I am an incredible musician. Not impossible, but not likely.

If I were a sullen, morose and bitter man I might spend time lamenting how unfair life is. Because let's face it, sometimes life sucks. In the movies the good guys almost always win, but that is why they are movies. In the real world the good guy watches as the love of his life shacks up with his nemesis and then discovers that he has some obscure cancer that ravages his body.

But since I am not that sullen, morose and bitter man I do my best to devise alternatives. I have stories to tell. My head is filled with images, movies of people, places and things that I want to share.

When I was younger I used to kid around with friends about writing a book and or producing a movie. But suddenly I find myself taking a harder look at this. Who says that I can't do these things. What is to prevent me.

If I can chase the Ironman, then I can chase after these things too. If you asked me what set me on this path I could point to a bunch of different things. I could share the story of the friend who watched the love of his life walk away. I can recite more stories than I care to admit about friends who died tragic young deaths as well as those who were a bit older, but not quite old enough to be spoken of as having lived a full life.

So it is really a number of things that are driving me. Is any of this significant. Is any of this meaningful. Well, I don't know if you'll relate to this or not. If you're making checklists of my pros and cons I can't say if this is going to add or subtract from your report.

I just know that life is short and that your job is to figure out what makes you happy. It is not something that anyone else can do. Not everyone figures it out, but if you do...

Using Art To Speak

So I decided to try using Wordle to provide a graphic rundown of some of the posts from this blog. I have done my best to provide links to the stories above the image.

It is an experiment of sorts. Let's see how it works out.
A Story Using Song Lyrics Revisited
A Story Using Song Lyrics Revisited Continued
the 
Johnny and June- A Rough Draft 
June 
Whether The Storm or Weather The Storm 
Notes For June- Fragments of Fiction 
More about JohnnyA Boy Named MookieThe Bearer of Bad Tidings- One Less Set of Footsteps

What Not to Do-Snakebites

Here at The Shack we appreciate stories about all kinds of animals. So when we find interesting news we like to share it. This afternoon we stumbled onto what not to do about snakebites.

Here is an excerpt that is worth a look.
"After 23 years as an emergency room physician, Dr. Mark Rabold still takes his business seriously but can’t help but wonder in amusement about some of the situations he’s encountered involving rattlesnake bites.

One of his favorite stories involves an anesthesiologist who had just recently moved to Montana. The guy ran over a rattler with his dirt bike, but the tire spun up the snake, which hit the biker in the stomach and bit him.

Then there’s the one — Rabold’s had so many patients he can’t remember if he treated this guy or just read about it —where a man was struck by a rattlesnake, and the guy’s buddy tried a home remedy to treat the wound.

“His buddy got the jumper cables and hooked him up to a giant battery for his semi, then fired up the engine. He probably had to put down his beer first to put the clamps on each side of the snake bite,” Rabold said, laughing. “The guy is screaming, yelling and seizing from this treatment; they thought it would somehow break the venom down.

“Someone actually did a study, and found that electric therapy doesn’t work. It’s just an interesting layman’s myth. This guy ended up with third-degree electrical burns.”

The reality of rattlesnakes is that they do cause a painful bite and their venom can kill a person, although that’s rare. But for every true aspect of rattlers, there are also plenty of tall tales."
From a slightly different angle The Week has a review of a book called The Snake Charmer. It shares the tale of Joe Slowinski’s encounter with a venomous krait. According to the review a bite from this particular snake causes your nervous system to shut down and death within four hours.
“For all its high drama,” said Eric Ormsby in The New York Sun, The Snake Charmer is at heart “a book about strangeness.” The snakes that Slowinski and his colleagues pursue are rare specimens, yet the scientists themselves are James’ most exotic subjects of all. “They have their own lingo, their own customs, their private codes,” as well as astonishing tenacity. When Slowinski stops breathing, his peers keep him alive for 24 hours with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation as they wait in vain for a helicopter rescue. Slowinski, meanwhile, calmly details the nature of his symptoms to his anguished friends. By dedicating his final hours to his chosen field, said People, he earned the “remarkable tribute” James has written."
And that leads to an off color joke that you may have heard.
Two friends go on a camping trip together. A short time after dark one of them has to urinate. So he goes over to the bush pulls down his pants and then he screams. He runs over to his friend and says, "Man I've been bitten by a snake on my penis call for help."

So his friend runs off to the car to call poison control to ask what to do to help his friend.

The doctor offers the following instructions, "You take a knife and make an x on the spot where he was bit, then you suck out the venom."

The friend thanks the doctor and runs back to his friend who looks up and asks, "What did the doctor say?"

His friend looks down and says " I am very sorry, the doctor says you're gonna die!"

Haveil Havalim #175 — Through the Eyes of Frume Sarah

Come one, come all to read Haveil Havalim #175 — Through the Eyes of Frume Sarah . If you want a preview just take a look at the Wordle below.

Bollywood

I rather enjoy many of the Bollywood productions. There is something quite enjoyable about watching the song and dance routines. Of course I haven't the foggiest idea what they are saying. One of these days I may create my own subtitles to go along with the videos, but for now...

And now we present Another Bollywood dance by Aishwarya Rai from the movie Nimbooda - Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.




and The video below is from: Bride and Prejudice - Punjabi Wedding Song

A Story About The Land Where I was Born

The Heavy Bag Work Out

Spent a while working out on the heavy bag in my garage. Covered in sweat, but feeling very good now. There is nothing like pounding on a bag to help you release your frustrations. It is one of those exercises that will leave you gasping for breath with your muscles aching.

Try throwing punches consistently for three minutes straight. It is not easy. I usually go through about a 25-30 minute long workout. One of the key elements, truly among the most critical is the music that accompanies me.

Here is a glimpse at some of what I listened to:

Wicked Garden- Stone Temple Pilots
Cowboy- Kid Rock
Chariots of Fire-Vangelis (This always makes me want to run a race in slow motion.)
Desert Rose- Sting
Baby Please Don't Go (1963)- Big Joe Williams
Just Can't Last- Natalie Merchant
Keep Hope Alive- The Crystal Method
Walk This Way- Aerosmith and Run-DMC
Girls, Girls, Girls- Motley Crue
Back in Black- AC/DC

Ok, off

Goodbye Randy Pausch

CNN shared the sad news that Randy Pausch has died. You may recall that I blogged about him this past April in a post called The Last Lecture- Remarks of a Dying Man.

The most important part of that post is the YouTube video of his presenting his Last lecture. It is well worth watching again so I'll repost it at the bottom of this entry. Before I do let me share an excerpt from the CNN obituary.

"Pausch was diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer in September 2006. His popular last lecture at Carnegie Mellon in September 2007 garnered international attention and was viewed by millions on the Internet.

In it, Pausch celebrated living the life he had always dreamed of instead of concentrating on impending death.

"The lecture was for my kids, but if others are finding value in it, that is wonderful," Pausch wrote on his Web site. "But rest assured; I'm hardly unique."

The book "The Last Lecture," written with Jeffrey Zaslow, leaped to the top of the nonfiction best-seller lists after its publication in April and remains there this week. Pausch said he dictated the book to Zaslow, a Wall Street Journal writer, by cell phone. The book deal was reported to be worth more than $6 million.

At Carnegie Mellon, he was a professor of computer science, human-computer interaction and design, and was recognized as a pioneer of virtual reality research. On campus, he became known for his flamboyance and showmanship as a teacher and mentor.

The speech last fall was part of a series Carnegie Mellon called "The Last Lecture," where professors were asked to think about what matters to them most and give a hypothetical final talk. The name of the lecture series was changed to "Journeys" before Pausch spoke, something he joked about in his lecture."

Watch the video, it is really worth the time.


Thursday Night Roundup

Here is what showed up on the blog today:

Using The Blog To Build A Community
Uh Oh, This Is Too Much Fun
The brain In Love- A Scientific Study
“Happy Flu” meme
Reasons Why I Am Not a Pulpit Rabbi

And here is a link to yesterday's roundup:

Roundup of Recent Posts

Altogether that should give you a ton of posts to sift through.

Using The Blog To Build A Community

Two events took place this evening that made me spend a few minutes engaged in more serious thought about blogging. The first was a conversation that I had with a friend about why I blog, and what purpose Facebook serves.

The second event was Leora's post The Blog Challenge. Upon reading it and the comments more carefully I decided that it was time to consider a few things;
1) What do I consider the most important elements of a blog to be.
2) Does my own blog meet the standards that I look for in other blogs?
3) What are the strengths and weaknesses of my blog?
Here is a bare bones list of what I want to see in a blog in order of importance:
1) Compelling content.
2) Community of readers that add to the blog.
3) A design/template that makes it easy to read and to interact.
Content is king. I don't care how cool your template is, if you don't have compelling content it won't hold my interest. And while it is always nice to have a ton of comments they can help and hurt you.

Many people rightly see their blog as a virtual living room in their home. If you have a home in which the guests are rude/obnoxious to others you'll find it very difficult to attract and keep other guests.

So I suppose that what I am really saying is that a successful blogger uses their blog to build a community in which dialogue about various topics take place.

If I take a critical look at my blog I think that it is fair to say that I haven't done as good a job building the community here as I could. Some of that is because I have a habit of producing an enormous amount of content. When posts keep getting pushed down the page you hinder the ability of the community to respond and engage you and each other on various topics.

In addition I could do a better job of responding to comments in a more timely fashion. That raises a side issue of sorts. If you generate enough comments it starts to become difficult to respond to those on your own blog and to leave comments on other blogs.

This has been a challenge for me for a while. If you take the time to read and comment on my blog than I try to extend the same courtesy to you. The trick lately is that I find myself jammed for time. It is hard to respond here and go to your blogs to reply.

I suppose that you can attribute this as a leading cause of why I am sometimes slow to respond to comments here. One day someone may pay me handsomely to blog or I may win the lottery and find time to do what I want on my schedule and things will change.

If the meantime I encourage you all to continue to leave comments and I'll do my best to reply in a timely fashion.

Uh Oh, This Is Too Much Fun

Juggling Frogs is to blame for turning me onto Wordle. I am having way too fun with it. The image below is my blog. Click on the image to make it larger.

The brain In Love- A Scientific Study

Here is a video that I found interesting. Here is the write-up about it:
Why do we crave love so much, even to the point that we would die for it? To learn more about our very real, very physical need for romantic love, Helen Fisher and her research team took MRIs of people in love -- and people who had just been dumped.

“Happy Flu” meme

I found the good old “Happy Flu” meme over at Daled Amos and decided to participate.






Reasons Why I Am Not a Pulpit Rabbi

To clarify, I am not a rabbi. Some of my friends call me rabbi and some call me a lot worse. ;) But it is true that at times I have considered becoming one. One doesn't have to have a pulpit to become a rabbi, but that is neither here nor there.

I suppose that I should provide some background for what prompted this post. I have many friends/relatives who are rabbis and have watched and or spoken with them about their experiences.

Not one of them has ever tried to dissuade me from joining the rabbinate. Come to think of it, they haven't really tried to encourage me to enlist either.

Anyway, there are a few primary issues that keep me from seriously considering this as a profession.

1) Politics, or should I say shul politics.

I hate playing the game. I don't want to be in a position in which I live in a goldfish bowl and have to worry about what people think.

Example #1:

Several years ago I went over to a dear friend's house to help build his Sukkah. It is quite pleasant to work with music playing in the background. We had to be cautious about what we played because the community likes to talk and it could get him in trouble.

Mind you, this was not gangster rap. It didn't really fall into salacious or prurient. It was a mix of classic rock. But he was afraid that members of the community would take issue with his choice, that secular music would cause problems.

Example #2

A different friend of mine ran into problems in his shul because one of the prominent members felt that he had been snubbed by my friend. It wasn't real clear what or how it happened, just that it had and that the macher was upset.

These sorts of things would make me crazy. The minutiae of my life is irritating enough without having a million congregants pick it apart. And not being able to speak my mind would irk me. I suppose that telling a congregant that his name should have been Korach isn't nice, but...

On a side note my son recently asked me to name some of the jobs I have had and I had to restrain myself from getting too creative. But he is only going to be a little boy for a short while so I did tease him a bit.

I told him that I used to work as the hole maker at a Bagel and Donut factory and as a Cookie Cutter.

If I have more time I'll come back and tell you more about that later.

Roundup of Recent Posts

Here is a collection of some of the recent posts we put up here:
Happy Birthday To The Dark Haired Beauty
A Story Using Song Lyrics Revisited Continued
Life Changing Moments
A Story Using Song Lyrics Revisited
Men Who Wear Pink
The Cubicle Celebrates 40 Years
Angry With G-d
Soon to Be Appearing at: First International Jewish Bloggers Conference
And your blast from the past:
Name a Song That Makes You Cry
The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants
Who Remembers Richie's Pizza?
Why I Quit Blogging

Happy Birthday To The Dark Haired Beauty

The midnight hour approaches and I am wide awake. Today we celebrated the dark haired beauty's fourth birthday. And like so many other parents I can't help but wonder how she got to be this age.

Really, it was just yesterday that she was in utero and we were wondering who would come to greet us. At this time four years ago she had been in the world for all of 20 minutes or so. I remember staring at her, counting her fingers and toes, confirming that everything was right with her.

One of the first things that I noticed was a ton of dark curly hair on her head. I remember smiling as I realized that if nothing else we shared the same hair color.

So here I am four years later, the proud dad of a girl that continuously amazes me. She was born with a mind of her own and has never been shy about showing it. She hasn't any problem telling you what she wants.

Last night she told me that she wanted to play with me and I of course said sure. I got to be the baby. She made me lie down on the couch and then covered me with a blanket. For the next half hour or so she alternated between telling me stories, patting my back and singing songs.

And did I mention that she tried to do my hair. For some reason she is determined to try and give me a pony tail. It makes me laugh. I wore a flat top for close to 25 years and then when it got a bit thin for that kept it cropped pretty short.

In spite of this the girl still tried to coax my hair into a clip and then some sort of rubber band thing, but to no avail. Her own hair is filled with the sort of curls that make women stop and stare in admiration. It falls to the middle of her shoulders, unless it is wet in which case it hits her middle back.

I told her that if she loaned me some hair I'd be happy to let her put it up for me. She said sure, as long as it didn't mean cutting it and then instructed me not to cut my hair for at least ten years. I asked her why she said ten and she told me that by then it would be long enough to give me a pony.

Per her request we took her out to her favorite restaurant for dinner. It was a great meal, at least I very much enjoyed it. She on the other hand decided to wear it. Ok, she didn't want to, but was graced with the gift of vomit covered clothing. Upon our arrival home we cleaned her up and put her to bed.

She then decided that we didn't have enough laundry to do and covered her bed twice in the remnants of dinner. Once again I cleaned her up, but this time I took her in my arms and let her rest her head on my shoulder. For a good half hour or so we sat on the couch and I told her stories until she finally passed out.

And now I can see her lying in her bed. She is asleep and hopefully will remain that way for the rest of the night. She sleeps the way I used to. Once she goes down she is out for the count. It is a deep, restful sleep that I can't seem to copy.

I find it relaxing to watch her sleep. I sit her wondering what she'll look like when she is older and wonder what she'll be like as a teen and an adult. Don't get me wrong, I want her to stay a child for as long as possible. Adult life comes far too quickly.

Oh, did I mention that I am having her brother trained in various disciplines of death. When the young suitors come the big boy and I will be ready for them. I know how those boys think, I used to be one. Do I really have to let her date. Oy, I can't think about this right now.

Anyhoo, the dear girl has gotten short shrift in this blog as it feels like I have spent far more time writing about her brother. So as part of my penance here are some links to some past posts about her.
The Princess Speaks
Daddy You Died
My Daughter's Favorite Book
A Big Girl Bed
Death Comes For Us All- When Do you Start Saying Goodbye
She Needs To Know About Boys
Penis Talk Revisited
His Penis Is In The Wrong Place
Dancing WIth My Daughter

A Story Using Song Lyrics Revisited Continued

This is part two of a A Story Using Song Lyrics Revisited. If you want to participate let me know and we'll figure out a way to make it happen. Remember, the beauty of cut and paste is that we edit and manipulate this over and over.

"I have to block out thoughts of you so I don’t lose my head
They crawl in like a cockroach leaving babies in my bed
Dropping little reels of tape to remind me that I’m alone
Playing movies in my head that make a porno feel like home
There's a burning in my pride, a nervous bleeding in my brain
An ounce of peace is all I want for you. Will you never call again?
And will you never say that you love me just to put it in my face?
And will you never try to reach me?
It is I that wanted space

Hate me today
Hate me tomorrow
Hate me for all the things I didn't do for you

Hate me in ways
Yeah ways hard to swallow
Hate me so you can finally see what’s good for you"
Hate Me- Blue October

"Well it's been ten years, and a thousand tears
And look at the mess I'm in-
A broken nose and a broken heart,
An empty bottle of gin
Well I sit and I pray
In my broken down Chevrolet-
While I'm singin' to myself
There's got to be another way

Take away, take away
Take away this ball and chain
I'm lonely and I'm tired
And I can't take any more pain
Take away, take away
Never to return again
Take away, take away
Take away this ball and chain

Well I've searched and I've searched
To find the perfect life-
A brand new car and a brand new suit
I even got me a little wife-
But wherever I have gone
I was sure to find myself there-
You can run all your life
But not go anywhere"
Ball and Chain- Social Distortion

"I have climbed the highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you
I have run I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
these city walls
Only to be with you
But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for"
I Still Haven't Found What I am Looking For- U2

"You say you want
Diamonds on a ring of gold
You say you want
Your story to remain untold

But all the promises we make
From the cradle to the grave
When all I want is you"
All I Want Is You- U2

"It ought to be easy ought to be simple enough
Man meets woman and they fall in love
But the house is haunted and the ride gets rough
And youve got to learn to live with what you cant rise above if you want to ride on down in through this tunnel of love"
Tunnel of Love- Bruce Springsteen

"Girl, you're blowing my mind 'cause I can't get...(Next to you)
Can't you see these tears I'm crying? I can't get... (Next to you)
Girl, it's you that I need. I gotta get...(Next to you)
Can't you see these tears I'm crying? I can't get... (Next to you)
I, I, I, I... I can't get...(Next to you)
I, I, I, I... I can't get...(Next to you)
Girl, you're blowing my mind..."
I Can't Get Next to You-The Temptations

"Maybe I'm a man and maybe I'm a lonely man
Who's in the middle of something
That he doesn't really understand
Maybe I'm a man
and maybe you're the only woman
Who could ever help me
Baby won't you help me understand
Oh, oh, oooooo, yeah, hey
Oh, oh, oooooo, yeah, yeah, ooo
Oooooooooooooo
Maybe I'm amazed
at the way you're with me all the time
Maybe I'm afraid of the way I leave you"
Maybe I'm Amazed-Paul McCartney

"But for now, love, let's be real;
I never thought I could feel this way
And I've got to say that I just don't get it.
I don't know where we went wrong,
But the feeling's gone
And I just can't get it back.

If you could read my mind, love,
What a tale my thoughts could tell.
Just like an old time movie,
'Bout a ghost from a wishing well.
In a castle dark or a fortress strong.
With chains upon my feet.
But stories always end,
And if you read between the lines,
You'd know that I'm just tryin' to understand
The feelin's that you lack.
I never thought I could feel this way
And I've got to say that I just don't get it.
I don't know where we went wrong,"
If You Could Read My Mind- Gordon Lightfoot

"I dont wanna talk
If it makes you feel sad
And I understand
Youve come to shake my hand
I apologize
If it makes you feel bad
Seeing me so tense
No self-confidence
But you see
The winner takes it all
The winner takes it all......"
The Winner Takes It All- Abba

"I love you in a place where there's no space or time
I've loved you for my life, yes, you're a friend of mine
And when my life is over, remember when we were together
We were alone and I was singin' my song for you, yes
We were alone and I was singin' this song for you, baby
We were alone and I was singin' my song,
Singin' my song, singin' my song, singin' my song
Singin' my song"
A Song For You- Ray Charles

"She's forty-one and her daddy still calls 'er "baby"
All the folks 'round Brownsville say she's crazy
'Cause she walks downtown with her suitcase in her hand
Lookin' for a mysterious dark-haired man"
Delta Dawn- Helen Reddy

Life Changing Moments

Yesterday afternoon I was asked how many life changing events I could identify. It sounds like a simple enough idea. Take a little time and write down the moments/events that changed your life.

I didn't want to focus on the obvious ones, such as the birth of my children. I am not minimizing them, they are all incredibly important. Rather I am trying to dig deeper and see what I can learn, if anything about myself.

It is an exercise that I expect I might try and do a few times so that I can compare my notes and see if my opinion about some things has changed. Before I get started a brief comment. Due to various events I don't feel as safe in posting some things here. It is not because they're illegal or wrong, they're just quite personal.

As I have mentioned in the past the loss of anonymity has impeded some of my ability to just share my thoughts here. Anyway, I am going to try and list a few and we'll see how and where it goes. I expect that it will be revised and refined many times.

P.S. For the moment this is not in order of importance:
  1. First day of kindergarten- G and I meet. 34 years later we're as tight as ever.
  2. January 15, 2003
  3. The death of my great-grandfather.
  4. John Hinckley's attempted assassination of President Reagan.
  5. Little League- 12 years old and I lead the league in homers.
  6. Reading Tolkien's books.
  7. Taking second place in a write-off for sports journalism.
  8. Winning first place in a writing contest.
  9. My first kiss.
  10. First love.
  11. Falling in love again.
  12. The first time my heart was broken.
  13. The last time my heart was broken.
  14. My first job.
  15. Summer of 1982, 1985, 1988.
  16. Spring/Summer of 2004.
  17. The 1996 Olympics.
  18. D's Death.
  19. My son's Pidyon Ha-Ben.
  20. Buying my house.
  21. The embarrassment I felt after I was laughed for my singing in a school play.
  22. My Bar-Mitzvah.
  23. Graduations.
  24. Israel 1995 and 1998.
  25. Memorial Day 2008.
And so the pressure is on. That list above is the first draft. It is soft and missing things, but what...

A Story Using Song Lyrics Revisited

In the early days of my blogging career I had more ideas for posts than time to write them. I probably should have made a point of keeping track of them by compiling a list, but I never really thought that I'd reach a point where I couldn't remember them.

Sadly, the great brain has reached a point at which it sometimes resembles a sieve or soft melon and the ideas just seem to leak out of me. Anyhoo, one of my bright ideas was to try and use song lyrics to write a story. You can read more at A Story Using Song Lyrics.

I am going to try and pick it up again. I'll probably come and back and edit it a time or two. Here we go:

"There are places I'll remember,
all my life though some have changed.
Some forever not for better,
some have gone and some remain.
All these places have their moments,
with lovers and friends I still can recall.
Some are dead and some are living,
in my life I've loved them all."
In My Life- The Beatles

"When I was seventeen
It was a very good year
It was a very good year for small town girls
And soft summer nights
We’d hide from the lights
On the village green
When I was seventeen"
It Was A Very Good Year- Frank Sinatra

"Billy left his home with a dollar in his pocket and a head full of dreams.
He said somehow, some way, it’s gotta get better than this.
Patti packed her bags, left a note for her momma, she was just seventeen,
There were tears in her eyes when she kissed her little sister goodbye.

They held each other tight as they drove on through the night they were so exited.
We got just one shot of life, let’s take it while we’re still not afraid.
Because life is so brief and time is a thief when you’re undecided.
And like a fistful of sand, it can slip right through your hands.

Young hearts be free tonight. time is on your side,
Don’t let them put you down, don’t let ’em push you around,
Don’t let ’em ever change your point of view."
Young Turks- Rod Stewart

"I've fallen in love
I've fallen in love for the first time
And this time I know it's for real
I've fallen in love yeah
God knows God knows I've fallen in love"
I Want To Break Free- Queen

"Look out kid
Don't matter what you did
Walk on your tip toes
Don't try "No Doz"
Better stay away from those
That carry around a fire hose
Keep a clean nose
Watch the plain clothes
You don't need a weather man
To know which way the wind blows"
Subterranean Homesick Blues- Bob Dylan

"Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time"
Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)- Green Day

"Look at us we're beautiful,
All the people push and pull but,
Let's just go out and ride,
Talk about the things we've tried
Look at us we're beautiful,
All the people push and pull but,
They'll never get inside,
We got too much to hide"
Beautiful- Moby

"The taste of love is sweet
when hearts like our's meet
I fell for you like a child
oh, but the fire went wild.."
Ring of Fire- Johnny Cash

"Babe, baby, baby, I'm Gonna Leave You.
I said baby, you know I'm gonna leave you.
I'll leave you when the summertime,
Leave you when the summer comes a-rollin'
Leave you when the summer comes along."
Babe I'm Gonna Leave You- Led Zeppelin

"I never will forget those nights
I wonder if it was a dream
Remember how you made me crazy?
Remember how I made you scream
Now I don't understand what happened to our love"
Boys of Summer- Don Henley

"Out on the road today, I saw a DEADHEAD sticker on a Cadillac
A little voice Inside my head said, "Don't look back. You can never look back."
I thought I knew what love was
What did I know?
Those days are gone forever
I should just let them go but-"
Boys of Summer- Don Henley

"Won't you please talk to me
If you'd just talk to me
Unblock this misery
If you'd only talk to me
Don't you ever change your mind
Now your future's so defined
And you act so deaf so blind
Come on, come talk to me
Come talk to me, come talk to me"
Come Talk To Me- Peter Gabriel

"Once there was a way to get back homeward
Once there was a way to get back home
Sleep pretty darling do not cry
And I will sing a lullabye "
Golden Slumbers- The Beatles

"And don't ask me where
All of the pain goes
'Cause you make me feel
That I don't know myself
You say that you want me forever
And I say that love is no crime
So tell me the names of the children
We'll have at the end of the line

So don't put your arms around me
And don't hold me tight
'Cause I could get used to
Your vision of paradise
And don't let me near the garden
Of earthly delights
'Cause I could get used to
Your vision of paradise
Of paradise
Of paradise

Just use your heart not your head
While I fall apart in my bed
I find myself aching for you
I feel myself breaking in two"
Visions of Paradise- Mick Jagger

"I wear this crown of thorns
upon my liar's chair
full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
beneath the stains of time
the feelings disappear
you are someone else
I am still right here

what have I become?
my sweetest friend
everyone I know
goes away in the end"
Hurt- Johnny Cash

"Huh, it's hard to believe
But you're gonna' miss this
You're gonna' want this back
You're gonna' wish these days
Hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna' miss this
You're gonna' miss this
Yeaahhhh... you're gonna' miss this..."
You're Gonna Miss This- Trace Adkins

"I remember holding you
while you sleep
ev'ry day I feel the
tears that you weep.
Looking out from my lonely gloom
day after day.
Bring it home
baby make it soon
I give my love to you"
Day After Day- Badfinger

"We started a story Whose end must now wait
And, tell me
When will our eyes meet
When can I touch you
When will this strong yearning end
And when
Will I hold you again
I feel the change comin'
--I feel the wind blow
I feel brave and daring!
I feel my blood flow
With you
I can bring out
All the love, that I have
--With you there's a heaven
So earth ain't so bad
And tell me
When will our eyes meet
When can I touch you
When will this strong yearning end
And when
Will I hold you again"
Weekend in New England- Barry Manilow

Men Who Wear Pink

Here is a partial transcript of a recent conversation with the queen.

Queen: I saw a man wearing a pink shirt today.
Jack: I like Rocky Road ice cream.

Queen: I am not a big fan of it.
Jack: What have you got against Rocky Road.

Queen: I don't have anything against Rocky Road.
Jack: That is good, it stains.

Queen: I am not talking about ice cream. I said I saw a man wearing a pink shirt today.
Jack: You squint an awful lot. Might want to get your eyes checked.

Queen: I know what I saw.
Jack: You only think you do and you know what happens when you think. I bet that he was wearing a white shirt that had been washed with a red shirt.

Queen: I don't understand why men wear pink. I am not a fan.
Jack: You're not an air conditioner either. 5-4-3-2...

Queen: Why are you counting?
Jack: I am waiting for you to catch up.

Queen: Catch up with what?
Jack: Catch up with your hamburger. What do you think, the stupid joke.

Queen: I ignored it.
Jack: Ignored what.

Queen: I am trying to have a conversation and you are being a pain-in-the-ass.
Jack: I got it. You saw a man you thought was wearing pink. I said that I like Rocky Road and told you to be careful that you didn't get any on your shirt or it would be stained. And unlike the pink shirt guy, it will be brown and people might wonder just where you have been sitting.

Queen: Pink and that other pastel crap that men wore in the 80s sucks. I like my man to dress like a man.
Jack: Which is why I don't wear a dress. More importantly, why are you stuck talking about things that happened 20 years ago. What are you in some kind of funk.

Queen: Sometimes I wonder why I talk to you.
Jack: I know why I talk to you. Charity.

Queen: (Censored to protect the innocent children who visit this blog.)
Jack: (In between guffaws) you do realize that you lived the majority of your life outside that burning river.

Queen: and you realize that people hate your town.
Jack: It is only because they are jealous.

Queen: Can we have a serious conversation?
Jack: You know, there are a bunch of ways to say that:

Can we have a serious conversation?
Can we have a serious conversation.
Can we have a serious conversation!

Queen: I am not playing games with you.
Jack: That's because I always win. You suck at Trivial Pursuit.

Stay tuned for part 2.

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 ...