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Showing posts from September, 2008

A Tale of Two Widowers

This is the sort of post that I struggle to write. I struggle because I have a story to tell and I want to convey the message in a particular way but I am not quite sure how to do it. It is a story of life and death, of the power and pain of love. It is moments like this where I wish that I could write music because such a tale deserves an appropriate soundtrack. A full orchestra that could impart the highs and lows of this story because I am not quite sure that I can do it justice. Since that is just not possible I am going to do my best to fumble my way through this. All I can do try my best to catch the Silver man, so here we go. Just a few short hours ago I was at a holiday dinner with my family. The table was covered in with a beautiful linen table cloth and adorned with china and silver. Several assortments of flowers were spread out throughout the table. And of course there were lots of guests surrounding the table. Now I could tell you about the peals of laughter emanating f

Bailout Fails- Partisan Politics While Rome is Burning

I think that my head is about to explode. A few minutes of reading about how bad the economy is and how both parties are blaming each other and my head will look it was hit with an axe. It is absolutely mind boggling to read anything other than we are all working together to fix the economy and to restore confidence. I don't want to hear another ^&Y%&$^&UY$ word from any of the jackasses in office that doesn't address how everyone is working together. Forgive me for being crude, you all need to shut the fuck up and work. This is not the time to point fingers and engage in the blame game. I don't care who drove the car into the wall or sailed into the iceberg. That moment has come and gone and now we are stuck dealing with the aftermath. I never considered myself to be a wealthy man, but I always figured that if I could hang on and keep adding a little bit to my portfolio eventually I'd be able to retire. Fortunately I am not interested in trying to do so

Monday's Music

Here is the afternoon selection of songs that I have been listening to. Baby Now That I Have Found You -Alison Krauss and Union Station Goodbye To Romance - Ozzy Osbourne Young Americans -David Bowie Let's Dance -David Bowie Do You wanna Hold Me? -Bow Wow Wow All I Ask Of You - Phantom of The Opera Under the Bridge - Red Hot Chili Peppers By The Way - Red Hot Chili Peppers (Side note, my friends would come rescue me too and vice versa.) If I Can Dream -Elvis Presley In The Ghetto -Elvis Presley Hey Hey What Can I Do - Led Zeppelin Going To California - Led Zeppelin Cry - Faith Hill Love, Reign O'er Me - The Who Shir Ahava Pashut - Aya Korem Hazy Shade of winter - Simon and Garfunkel Tom's Diner - Suzanne Vega Crossposted here .

A New Fear of Heights

I am beginning to wonder what the hell happened to the Jack I used to know and love. In the good old days that guy was relatively fearless. I won't be a total revisionist and say that there weren't things that frightened me because there were. But overall there weren't too many things that I wouldn't do because I was afraid to do them. I spent a lot of time climbing trees, buildings and all sorts of different kinds of objects. Had no problem going up a ladder. Ladders were simple, as long as I felt like they were secure I hadn't any issue making like a monkey. Within the last ten years or so I noticed that something has changed. Certain things give me a bad case of the heeby-jeebies and I find myself thinking foolish thoughts like, "damn, if I fall from here I might die." Although to be clear I am more afraid of paralysis than death. The thought of being confined to a wheelchair or bed forever makes my heart race far more than the thought of death. And

Private School Woes

It is a hair shy of 90 degrees outside, unless you are working inside your garage as I am. In that case you can add another 12 degrees or so. In any case I have chosen to take a short break from decluttering so that I can come and share a thought or two. Not unlike so many others my children are enrolled in private school. Each year I look at my bank accounts and I wonder how long I can keep this up for. Each year I say that I am going to spend more time exploring options for a less expensive option and each year I somehow manage to keep them in the school. If it sounds like a bundle of contradictory gobbledy-gook that is because it is. If you ask me to create a list of what I consider to be the most important elements of raising my children it is going to be simple and look something like this: 1) Health 2) Education 3) Love 4) Character It should be noted that this is intentionally a simple list that could easily be expanded and elaborated upon. But for the purpose of this post i

Same Blog- New Blogging Platform

It is almost 10:30 Saturday night and I am back at the keyboard sharing thoughts and ideas with all who venture down this dusty side street. I am perpetually in motion, or should I say that my mind is constantly whirring along. Stick a stethoscope on the side of my melon and you'll hear all sorts of clicks and whistles. It is not because of TMJ or any other sort of physical disorder, it is just how I operate. A million thoughts are always being processed. On this particular night I am busy exploring/considering moving this blog to a new platform. Since I am not a big fan of change I have decided to set up a blog over there that I will use along with this one. I figured that it would be useful to try things out to see what I think before making the big move. A test drive, if you will. For now I am going to try and use both platforms to get a sense of whether I like Wordpress more than blogger. I am going to try and do my best to drop new posts into both places, a little redunda

Goodbye Paul Newman

It seems that Paul Newman has died. He made a number of movies that I enjoyed, but like so many others I liked Cool Hand Luke the best. I have been trying to find some of my favorite clips to share with you. Thus far I haven't found exactly what I am looking for, but we'll use what we have. Cool Hand Luke Clip Here are clips from The Hustler - unfortunately the sound quality is a little rough. Finally, here is what CNN said : (CNN) -- Paul Newman, the legendary actor whose steely blue eyes, good-humored charm and advocacy of worthy causes made him one of the most renowned figures in American arts, has died of cancer at his home in Westport, Connecticut. He was 83. He died Friday, according to spokeswoman Marni Tomljanovic. Newman attained stardom in the 1950s and never lost the movie-star aura, appearing in such classic films as "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Exodus," "The Hustler," "Cool Hand Luke," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundan

He Should Have Used a Mohel

Talk about a routine circumcision gone bad. This story makes me cross my legs. But I have to ask why the man was put under for the procedure. LOUISVILLE, Ky . -- A Shelby County man and his wife said two doctors amputated the man's penis without his consent, and have filed a lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, Philip Seaton, 61, went to have a circumcision last October as part of treatment for a medical condition. Seaton said when he woke up from the procedure, he realized his penis had been amputated. If you read the full story you'll see that the doctors say that they cound cancer and made an emergency decision to remove his penis. The next line in the article just kills me: " "The lawsuit states that Patterson received consent to perform a circumcision and only a circumcision, and that Seaton did not consent to his penis being removed ." (emphasis mine) You think. Talk about waking up to a nightmare. I am not saying that to be cute or clever. I have read sto

Proof That We Don't Control The Media

My pals at Toner Mishap tipped me off to this tale of the Dreamworks assistant who has never met Rosh Hashanah. If you want you can head over to Defamer and read more there . Something tells me that Melissa is going to take a little flak for this one.

Goodbye Washington Mutual

My grandparents told me many stories about what their lives were like during The Depression and how lucky my siblings and I were not to have to worry about living through such a time. I always enjoyed listening to their stories about their childhood and can remember being really impressed at how they overcame hardship. Sometimes I wondered what it was like to live like that. It piqued my curiosity, but it would be an exaggeration to say that I really wanted to find out. It is like so many other questions people ask themselves, "what would I do if I witnessed a bank robbery. Would I try and be the hero or would I freeze?" Most of the time the honest answer is that you do not want to know. On the anniversary of 9-11 a friend looked at me and said that he was confident that we would have fought the hijackers. I think that I would have. If my family was threatened I haven't any doubt that I would hesitate to maim, disable and or kill the person(s) who were doing it. But I n

Why A Schedule is Important

Not unlike many people I am in search of that fabled state of balance. You know the one that I am talking about, that place where I feel fulfilled in all areas of my life. There have been moments in life in which I feel like I have had it, but they seem to be few and far between. I have these memories of the lazy days of summer in which my responsibilities included going to the beach, chasing girls and just hanging out with the boys. I was poor, but relatively happy, most of the time. Every now and then I'd find myself wishing that I was out school and making money. Oh, did I mention that in this fantasy it never occurred to me that I'd spend all day at the office and then come home and tear my hair out trying to figure out how to take care of household chores and errands. At least I don't really remember thinking about it, maybe I did. What I do know is that when I entered the workforce I began to have fantasies about being independently wealthy so that I could do whate

Search Terms That Led You Here

Every now and then I like to put together a post that shows the keywords that led you here. This time around I am going to include the keywords and what post they led to. Now that I see some of these old posts I find myself cringing, oy. Taking stock of life- Taking Stock of Life- A General Accounting Meaning bras- Bras That Do Tricks Upset shoppers "happy holidays"- Happy Holidays is An Appropriate Greeting what does it feel like to die- What Does It Feel Like To Die men's emotions- Men, Our Emotions and Dating significance of crotch- "Crotch Durability Problems" fortune smiles upon me- Fortune Smiles Upon me- Someone Else Wants to Make Me Rich how to bless telemarketer- More Fun with Telemarketers things to do in an elevator- Things to Do In An Elevator if you could read my mind lyrics meaning- A Story Using Song Lyrics Revisited Continued meaning of penis- She Broke My Penis

Using The Blog to Make Money

My Right Word deserves credit for tipping me off to this report about blogging which says that there are more than a million blog posts a day. Here in the U.S. more than 77 million people a day visit blogs. "Blogging has certainly “arrived”, said Technorati’s chief executive Richard Jalichandra, via VentureBeat. “Blogs are media. That is the difference now. They are as relevant as the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. The blogger with 5,000 readers may be just as credible a source of information for those 5,000 people as anyone else.” And how many unique readers does it take to make serious money out of a blog? According to Technorati’s report, a blogger can earn around $75,000 a year with a unique audience of 100,000. The mean annual revenue from blogging, however, is somewhat more sobering at just $6,000 which isn’t too bad when annual investment in a blog costs, on average, $1,800." Obviously most bloggers are not making anywhere close to $75K a year, but the

Man Goes to Court After Butt Stapled Shut

This story is too bizarre to pass up. "BALTIMORE - A West Virginia man is suing a Frederick County, Md., doctor for allegedly stapling his rectum shut during an operation, preventing the patient from defecating for 17 days," For more on the story please click here . On a side note I cannot help but wonder how long the man waited before going to see his doctor about this. Something about this story stinks. My apologies for providing this sort of crap for you to read.

Why Me? Rosh Hashanah Thoughts

Why Me? Why Me. Why me! Language is ever so interesting to me. Words can do so much to communicate thoughts and feelings. All it takes is a bit of effort to craft a sentence that let's the reader know what is on your mind. When you phrase it like that it sounds ever so easy. All...It...Takes...Is...A...Little...Effort. As if the failure to properly express yourself can be attributed to your not trying hard enough. I try. I try really hard. I won't lie and say that I do every time because I don't. I am lucky in that I can usually get by with less. But that can be attributed to years of practice and some sort of natural ability. Don't get me wrong, there are many others out there who are much finer writers than myself. I know and accept that. The trick is trying to outwork the others. The rub is knowing that with a little hard work I can improve. The question is merely whether I am willing to put in the extra effort. All of this is a long winded preface to some thou

A Round Up of Recent Posts

It has been a while since I provided a roundup of recent posts so I have decided to rectify that with this short synopsis. If you haven't been around in a while here is what you have missed. There is Water in My Ear Shopping Carts and Fire Trucks How Many Somedays Do We Get HH 183- Lost But Found Again His Ass Burst Right Into Flames When I Grow Up Advertising on The Blog I Talk In My Sleep And now for your blast from the past: Suha Arafat Wants To Share Her Wealth With Me Charlie's Angels- Child of the '70s On the Outside Looking In

There is Water in My Ear

There is water in my left ear, courtesy of my shower. If you ever wondered if I had anything between my ears this water is proof that I do. It won't come out. I hear it swirling around back and forth. It is making me crazy, this water in my ear. I tried to expel it by leaning to the left. After five minutes I began to worry that the cramp in my neck would never go away. David Blaine gets paid for performance art, like hanging upside down. I don't, I just get irritated. Tried shaking my head, but aside from making rattling noises not much happened. Pinched my nostrils shut and blew. Cleared out the right ear, but the left is still clogged with this infernal liquid. It makes me want to say Y$&***U#$*$%&*$#$. Oops, I just said #^&#&Y#^. Damn, did it again. Reminds me of Macbeth, "Out damned spot." Tried jumping up and down, but no luck. Heading out to take care of some business. With any luck this crap will be over soon. Ugh.

Shopping Carts and Fire Trucks

If you will, picture me muttering "Shopping Carts and Fire Trucks" to myself. I am sitting in front of a grand piano with a pad of a paper that is adorned with what looks like song lyrics. I can't help it, "Shopping Carts and Fire Trucks" sounds like it should be part of some cheesy song lyric about childhood. Or if you want to run with an entirely different image you can visualize me in a basement standing in front of four other men. We all have long hair and are wearing t-shirts with the name of heavy-metal bands upon them. Yes, I am trying to convince the lads that "Shopping Carts and Fire Trucks" is the name of our band, the one that is going to make us famous millionaires. Truth is that when I came up with the title for this post I hadn't had any intention of taking it in either one of those directions. Nope, the real impetus comes from the trip I just made to the grocery store and a basic observation about society. You don't have to

How Many Somedays Do We Get

(Playing in the background Moodswings - Chryssie Hynde) Quite a bit of my childhood was filled with being told by my parents that I would be able to do that someday . I don't have to close my eyes to hear it, all I have to do is think about it. "Dad, when I am going to be able to drive?" "Mom, when can I make my own bedtime?" "Mom, when will I be old enough to eat ice cream for dinner?" "Someday." Someday was always part of the answer. Sometimes someday was accompanied by more specific directions such as being told that I'd be able to drive at 16. That was followed up by "and someday you'll have your own car." Nice parenting trick that I use on my own children. Couch specifics alongside a nonspecific answer. But this post is about more than my childhood. In fact it really is more about the current moment in time and the issues that I am dealing with now. Most are no different than millions of other people. Most of them

HH 183- Lost But Found Again

Welcome to Haveil Havalim #183, the best of the Jewish/Israeli Blogosphere. This is a weekly blog carnival in which we cover a variety of topics including but not limited to Personal, Political (Domestic and World), Judaism and much more. This edition is called Lost But Found Again because of technical difficulties that occurred during production. I won't bore you with details, other than to say that music helped relax me so that I could reconstruct my work. For those who are interested here is a short snapshot of what I listened to: Mansions of The Lord Crying - Roy Orbison I Drove All Night - Roy Orbison The Thrill is Gone - B.B. King While My Guitar Gently Weeps - The Beatles 5th Symphony -Shostakovich Adagio for Strings, op.11 - Samuel Barber (This is the 9-11 tribute, very powerful.) Ten Years Kashmir II - Corner Stone Cues Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Soundtrack Part 8 - Howard Shore And now on to the carnival. If you have any questions please feel free to

Blogger Issues

There is nothing that makes me happier than watching all of my hard work disappear because Blogger is having issues. Every now and then I wonder if there isn't some sort of Blogger Gremlin whose sole pupose is to wreak havoc. Methinks it is time to go make him walk the plank.

Talk Like a Pirate Day

I be lazy this year. This be a retread. Arghh!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahoy there matey! It is Talk Like a Pirate Day ARGHHHHHHHH! I dost have a pirate name. Call me Captain Jack- One-eared Dog the Damned. Grab some grog and check out the many posts about pirates that have graced the Shack. Haveil Havalim- The Once & Future Edition - Contains a Pirate Post. Do You Have An Accent Pirate Attacks Down Sharply Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day The Jewish Pirates of The Caribbean P.S. If you dost be a slacker you can use the English-to-Pirate translator or face the pointy end of my cutlass.

His Ass Burst Right Into Flames

My buddy Attila is responsible for this post as he found the story of the incinerating toilet . Now before we get too far up the creak without our paddle let me say that the title of the post is intentionally inflammatory. But I just can't help myself. In fact if I didn't engage in the occasional attempt at scatalogical humor I'd have to raise a bit of a stink. Anyhoo, let's take a closer look. "ECOJOHN™ Sr is a waterless self-contained toilet that incinerates the waste into a sterile ash that needs to be emptied only a few times per year. Installing the Sr is also very easy. Simply connect the chimney system (than comes with the purchase), hook up the Propane and power connection, and the toilet is ready to use ." I am still laughing. It reminds me of a small variation on the old exploding cigar trick . I'll let you use your imagination as to what that picture might look like. ;) Sorry, I am sure that the product works exceptionally wel

When I Grow Up

(Playing in the background Child of The Moon - The Rolling Stones) My son once asked me how long it took me to decide what I wanted to be when I grow up. I smiled and told him that I'd give him an answer once I grew up. The expression on his face made it clear that I had provided him with the wrong answer. That little guy hitched up his pants and wagged a finger in my face. "Dad, I am serious." I smiled and told him that I was serious too. In some ways I feel very much like a big kid, except that I can't quite squeeze into Toughskins anymore. Do they still make Toughskins. Does anyone else remember them. They were jeans that we'd buy at Sears. They were tough, but not quite durable enough to prevent me from tearing holes in the knees. Eventually mom would have to sew a patch or two on them. I never cared all that much. As long as I could run and play I was happy. (Playing in the background  Molossus - Batman Begins) Some of my friends were lucky enough to gro

Signs That Your Relationship is Doomed

One of my great pleasures in life is providing people with tips and useful information that they can use to improve their lives. Our current topic is how to recognize signs that your relationship with your significant other is doomed. If you have a disagreement about dirty dishes and engage in any of the following activities you might consider looking for a new place to live. Biting Smashing picture frames across your partner's face. Attack them with a sword. Any one of these actions is probably a good indication that things are not good, but if you hit the magic trifecta of all three you can pretty much kiss him/her goodbye. Inspiration for this post comes from the good people at MSNBC .

I Talk In My Sleep

A bit after midnight I heard noises coming from my son's room and wandered over to check things out. The door was closed, but I could hear him speaking. For a moment I stood still and listened. Two thoughts were going through my mind: 1) What the hell is he doing up. He'll never be able to wake up for school. 2) If I find a stranger in there I am going to gouge his eyes and dislocate both of his shoulders. And now a comment about comments that I will probably receive about this. Yes, I know that the gun is the great equalizer, but I also know that shooting someone is not going to be as satisfying as inflicting debilitating pain upon them with my hands. And believe me, if someone breaks into my home I am going to send them out of here in a wheelbarrow. Raise your hand if you think that I am overprotective. Ok, put your hands down, you look really silly holding your hand up in the air. Besides I can't see you. All I can tell you is that watching or reading the news late

Tuesday Afternoon Tunes

CANTO DELLA TERRA - Andrea Bocelli Duet with Sarah Brightman Join Together - The Who The End - The Doors Here comes the sun -The Beatles Cry Little Sister (Theme From The Lost Boys) - Gerard McMann Extreme Ways - Moby Fire on Babylon - Sinead O'Connor Mustang Sally -Wilson Pickett Hold On, I'm Coming - Sam and Dave History Repeating -Propellerheads Feel Like Makin Love - Bad Company

The Right Stuff- Astronaut's Challenge

How much would it take to convince you to spend three months lying in bed. Three months in which the overwhelming majority of your day would be spent lying down. Eating, drinking, sleeping etc. CNN has the story about one man who did so in the name of science. "We know that bone loss in space is an extremely significant problem. Astronauts lose about 10 times more bone every month than a postmenopausal woman on Earth loses," says Dr. Peter Cavanagh, former director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Space Medicine. Bone loss occurs presumably because astronauts don't get enough load-bearing exercise in zero gravity. Cavanagh says that their findings may later contribute to new treatments for the millions of Americans who suffer from osteoporosis . Roderick Jones is doing his part to help further the field of skeletal health by staying in bed -- for 84 days straight. The 40-year-old chemist was in between jobs when he saw a curious ad on the Internet. He recalls reading,