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Showing posts from October, 2009

Blog Facts

Periodically I churn out a post with all sorts of data about this place. It is a never ending source of fascination for me, how people find this joint, what they read, where they come from etc. It is also a tool I use when I can't decide what I want to write about. So join me as we take a few minutes to review this useless but necessary information. The Most Popular Posts haven't really changed. They still include the usual items such as: The Duggar Family Revisited What Are Your Favorite Song Lyrics? The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants Too Much Information- The Girl in the Men's Room Teaching Children To Lose Gracefully Why The Baal Teshuva World Irritates Me Cover Songs- Part One As you can see it is the usual mix of personal and provocative. If it wasn't close to midnight I might engage in some real analysis of it. Keywords that led you here: Come back to me June random thoughts the heart wants what the heart wants Kabbalah quotes about beshere

Why Carve Pumpkins?

The story of the Jack o'Lantern comes from Irish folklore. Jack was a crafty farmer who tricked the Devil into climbing a tall tree. When the Devil reached the highest branch, Jack carved a large cross in the trunk, making it impossible for the Devil to climb down. In exchange for help getting out of the tree, the Devil promised never to tempt Jack with evil again. When Jack died, he was turned away from Heaven for his sins and turned away from Hell because of his trickery. Condemned to wander the Earth without rest, Jack carved out one of his turnips, took an ember from the devil, and used it for a lantern to light his way. He became known as "Jack of the Lantern." I found the story here , including a recipe for roasting pumpkin seeds. Another interesting fact to share , "Today, pumpkins mean big business at Halloween: U.S. farmers grow over a billion pounds a year, worth about $106 million."

Things That Frighten Me 2009

Every year I run a post that offers a list of things that frighten me. This list was composed around 2005 or so. As it says below some of these are still relevant and some are from the distant past. I probably should take a hard look and see if it is time to add or delete things. This a list of things that have frightened me in my life. Some are still relevant and some are not. But I thought that it might be interesting to just throw them all out there to see what they look like during daylight hours. P.S. I have explanations for all of these, but I may not include them on the list. Why? I just don't feel like it. :) The Dark. The Amityville Horror scared me. Oscar the Grouch Bigfoot- The one from the Bionic Man television Show. He gave Steve Austin plenty of trouble. The Creature in the Legend of Boggy Creek A couple of dogs that chased me on my paper route. The homeless guy from the park. V.L.- He and I got into a fight in high school. I pretty much kicked his ass up an

Mothers Love Their Mommies Too

It is Friday afternoon and I am staring at a blank screen. I have my iTunes on shuffle now. A New Game is Playing. It is good music for a football game, not so good for the topic. I click the button and up comes Golden Slumbers and  The End   by The Beatles.  It is more appropriate. "And in the end The love you take Is equal to the love you make." I just finished speaking with my father about my grandmother and my mother. Grandma is slipping away. Slowly pieces are being taken off of the table and it is becoming more evident that slips of the tongue are not exactly accidental anymore. My mother is tough as is her mom. But tough doesn't prepare you for watching your parents lose their invulnerability. Strength may help you deal with it, but it doesn't really make it easier to watch them become less than they once were. Grandma is 95, almost 95.5. Her great grandchildren are rooting for her and grandpa to hit 100. Truth is that her children and grandchildren a


   Download now or listen on posterous 2-14 The Night Is Still Young.m4a (5076 KB)    Download now or listen on posterous 05 _Knock the Cover Off the Ball_.m4p (2299 KB)    Download now or listen on posterous 08 A New Game.m4a (4253 KB)    Download now or listen on posterous 1-09 Hero Of The Day.m4a (4445 KB)    Download now or listen on posterous 2-03 Jackson.m4a (5569 KB) Posted via email from thejackb's posterous

My Best Posts Are Often Heartwrenching

Lately I find myself writing posts that are never published. The words make their way from my fingertips to the keyboard and then onto the screen, but no further. They appear as if by magic and disappear in the same fashion. I read them in silence and shake my head in disgust. They are filled with tired phrases that are awkwardly connected to each other. If they were capable of dancing they'd step on your toes and leave your shins bruised. There is no magic, no spark, no energy and no imagination to them. They are plain. They are dull. They are useless. I stop and stare at them and wonder why they are lifeless and limited. I see them and in my unhappiness I subject them to punishment inflicted by a big thumb on a delete button. Click, click, click and goodbye. My best posts are not always elegant in their struture and execution. They don't always have the sort of eloquence that I would prefer them to have. But they have a certain something, an energy that people can relat

40 Is Too Young to Die

I feel a bit like I was punched in the gut. I logged onto Facebook and read about the death of an old friend. He wasn't someone that I was close to, but we grew up together and shared some good times. If you went through some old photo albums you'd find pictures of he and I. Forty is too young to die. It is an age that we often hear used as a benchmark for getting older, but it is not old. It is not old by a long shot. So I am sitting here staring at the keyboard, wondering. I don't know all of the details, but it wasn't an auto accident, a plane crash or any sort of thing like that. Those are tragedies but I find them easier to accept. Easier because you can look at them and say that they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Terminal illnesses, sudden heart attacks and the like defy that sort of explanation, at least for me. I stare at Facebook and see an entry about his untimely death. A bunch of comments from mutual friends of ours and shared mem

What Are your Favorite Song Lyrics?

I remember telling she who is the song of my heart about my love affair with music. I remember the hours we spent sharing, exploring and learning about new music with each other. I remember a million hours of music and the unadulterated joy we took in sharing it with each other. Spend a few minutes sifting through the archives and you will find untold numbers of posts that are tied into music in one way or another. A while back I asked you to share your favorite lyrics with me . I am here to do it again. What moves you? What makes you laugh or cry. Share it here with us. Past posts that might be of interest: Name a Song That Makes You Cry Part One Name a Song That Makes You Cry Part Two

The Bills Keep On Coming

Sammy O extended his arms over his head and sighed aloud. It was another Monday morning, not even 9 am and he was already counting the minutes until he could leave the office and go somewhere else. It didn't really matter where, just somewhere else that wasn't here. In a different time he would have left work and gone straight home. In a different time he would have smiled the whole way home, eagerly anticipating the warm greeting that he would receive from his family. The kids would have screamed in delight, "daddy's home" and his wife would have given him that smile that she saved for him alone. He wouldn't have made it three feet before those giggling kids would be climbing all over him. They would rolled around on the floor in a big heap of laughter. And then he would have threatened to punch them all in the nose. The girls would squeal again with laughter and take off running and he would have chased them, all the while threatening to tickle them unti

Another Confession: The Physical

I am writing this post from within the playroom. It doubles as an office. Most of the time it is a great place to work, except when the kids are home. Of course when they are home it is hard to work anywhere. Those little rascals have a way of finding me, no matter what I am doing. Not that I am complaining, it is nice to see their smiling faces. The playroom serves as good motivation for me. If I find myself down or at all depressed I can change my mood simply by standing up. With one step to the left or right I can virtually guarantee that I will step on a toy. Doesn't matter whether the room has been cleaned or organized, I always manage to find the one toy that didn't make it back to where it belongs. And as a bonus it always manages to inflict an inordinate amount of pain. Whatever it is, there is a guarantee that it will feel as if someone has taken a vice grip to tender parts of me. Fun stuff, stepping on a toy. Even better when they break. Not only do I get to enj

I Broke My Nose, maybe

I think that I might have broken my nose last week. Took a look at the symptoms that the good folks at The Mayo Clinic   list on their site and found myself nodding my head to a few of them: Pain or tenderness, especially when touching your nose. Bruising around your nose or eyes. Crooked or misshapen nose Difficulty breathing through your nose Hmmm..., my nose is a bit tender and I have a nice shiner over my left eye. The old shnozz is a bit crooked, but I have broken it more than a couple of times so it hasn't been straight in years, if ever. And let's not forget the breathing thing. It is a bit off, but I am not sure if it is really any worse than it has been for years. Ask those that have had the pleasure of being around me while I am sleeping and they'll tell you that I snore. Ask my roommate from that famous summer of '85 and he'll you that it was my snoring that led to a major fight. Every night he'd wake me up and complain that I was snoring. Ea

A Collection of Old Posts

Airing out the archives again: Foreboding- Lurking In The Dark There is No Handbook for Life Do You Live Your Dreams Heart Breaker or Heart Broken I Want To Die I Dance Alone Bad things Come in Threes Married To the Wrong Woman Married To the Wrong Woman Part II

Terrible Halloween Costume


I try to be the guy I want to be when I am with her, but it doesn't work. We ran our course, sailed the sea and saw the things that we could, and now two ships sail where one should be

Ice skating bear kills Russian circus hand

MOSCOW, Russia (CNN)  -- A bear on ice skates attacked two people during rehearsals at a circus in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, killing one of them, Kyrgyz officials said Friday. In the incident, which happened Thursday, the 5-year-old animal killed the circus administrator, Dmitry Potapov, and mauled an animal trainer, who was attempting to rescue him. "The incident occurred during a rehearsal by the Russian state circus company troupe which was performing in Bishkek with the program, Bears on Ice," Ministry of Culture and Information director Kurmangazy Isanayev told reporters. It is unclear what caused the bear to attack Potapov, 25, nearly severing one of his legs while dragging him across the ice by his neck. Medical personnel were unable to save Potapov, who died at the scene. The 29-year-old circus trainer Yevgeny Popov, who attempted to rescue Potapov, was also severely injured, according to doctors. Add this to the list of ways I do not want to die. I re

Riding The Mommy Blogger Gravy Train Part II

Somewhere around my fifth blogiversary I found myself thinking more seriously about whether it was time to hang up my keyboard. It wasn't as much fun anymore and I felt like my writing reflected that. But since it coincided with my 40th birthday I wondered if outside influences were affecting my feelings so I decided to try and shake things up. So I set out on a blogging walkabout. At some point I stumbled onto some of the mommy blogs and started flipping around there. I hit a bunch of daddy blogs as well and found it kind of interesting. You know us parents, we love to exchange the war stories. As I tooled around I noticed that there were a ton of blogs that were holding giveaways and or providing product reviews. I wasn't completely unfamiliar with this, but I hadn't paid any attention to it before. It changed in part because of one blog. I can't remember the name but I was astounded by how bad it was. It was a combination of video and written posts that were ju

I Should Be Sleeping But Instead I am Listening To Music

One - U2 With Mary J. Blige With Or Without You - U2 All I Want is You - U2 City of Blinding Lights - U2 Where The Streets Have No Name - U2 My Love Will Not Let You Down  - Bruce Springsteen Happy  - Bruce Springsteen Boulevard of Broken Dreams  - Green Day Young Turks  - Rod Stewart Jack & Diane  - John Mellencamp Dreamweaver  - Gary Wright Gotta Be Somebody  - Nickelback Latika's Theme  - Slumdog Millionaire The Man Who Couldn't Cry  - Johnny Cash Can't Get It Out of My Head  - ELO Telephone Line  - ELO

The Beginning

I was almost 25 when I left the city of my birth. It was time to go, time to move on and get away. There were new experiences to be had and the pain of what I had once been, what I had once had was too much. Everywhere I looked there were signs of the glory and the fall. For most of my life I had been a scrapper, never afraid to fight, never willing to give up and not smart enough to get out. It was a self imposed punishment for sins that I had committed but was unwilling to discuss. It is not much of a description, not very colorful at all. In fact it is rather ordinary, but that is ok, I am ordinary and I prefer it that way. If you stuck me in a crowd full of people you would be hard pressed to pick me out. It was like that in school, never did or said much in class. No need to draw attention to myself I did what I needed to do to get through and nothing more. And for the longest time that had been enough, an average, nondescript existence. It suited me fine to be a guy who pun

Private School Blues & What is a High IQ Worth Anyway

A dear friend and I had a long discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of private school. The premise of this discussion was whether private schools offer a real and significant advantage over public schools. It is a timely question. Both of us have children attending private schools. Both of us are public school graduates. Both of us have done ok for ourselves professionally. We may not be wildly successful and or bathed in wealth, but we are ok. As responsible parents we are interested in doing everything that we can to help our children. Education is of paramount importance to us. We want our kids to have the best that they can possibly get. Material things can be taken from you, but a good education stays with you forever. There is no disagreement between us about this. The real question that we struggle with is the financial aspect of paying for school. It is a significant sum and one that you cannot ignore, at least we can't. So we sit there and ask ourselves

Maybe I Should Go Back To Sleep

I threatened my microwave oven this morning. Yes, that is correct, I threatened an appliance. I told an inanimate object that if it didn't stop beeping at me I was going to tear it out of the fucking wall and throw it through the window. Not very grown up of me, was it. But the family had long since headed out the door on their way to school so I didn't have to worry about being a role model. And yes I was well aware and still am that this inanimate object was simply doing what it was programmed to do. I had a bad dream. I don't remember what it was or why it upset me, just that it did. And unlike my kids I can't go running to mommy and daddy to ask for a hug so that I feel better. Well, I could. I could call them and tell them that I am upset. They'd listen to me. It doesn't take any effort to visualize it. My abba would take the phone and tell me to stop screwing around. Those bright blue eyes of his would give off one of those piercing glares that use

Behind Blue Eyes

No one knows what it's like To be the bad man To be the sad man Behind blue eyes No one knows what it's like To be hated To be faded To telling only lies But my dreams They aren't as empty As my conscience seems to be I have hours, only lonely My love is vengeance That's never free No one knows what it's like To feel these feelings Like I do And I blame you No one bites back as hard On their anger None of my pain and woe Can show through But my dreams They aren't as empty As my conscience seems to be I have hours, only lonely My love is vengeance That's never free When my fist clenches, crack it open Before I use it and lose my cool When I smile, tell me some bad news Before I laugh and act like a fool If I swallow anything evil Put your finger down my throat If I shiver, please give me a blanket Keep me warm, let me wear your coat No one knows what it's like To be the bad man To be the sad man Behind blue

How To Build More Traffic to Your Blog

Reprinted from here . Run around cyberspace and insult everyone you come in contact with on their blogs. Come back to your blog and insult them some more in the hope that they will come and visit. Post banner ads promoting your site as a resource for free sex, viagra and penis enlargement. Hire an African Elephant to march through Manhattan with a sign promoting your blog. Tell people that if they sign a petition on your Blog Obama will be recalled. Tell people that if they sign a petition on your Blog gay marriage will be abolished. Send press releases to major media groups announcing your new reality TV show about a person and their blog. Create a virus that forces computers to make your blog their homepage. Not legal, but it could be very effective. Hire DovBear to create a P.R. campaign for your blog. Ignore dumb and idiotic lists like this one.

My Daughter

I caught my daughter dancing to Wind It Up . It was a little bit different from watching her dance to She is a Butterfly . She was shaking her little hips at me and laughing. I gather that she found the expression on my face funny. That little girl loves to stir it up with me. I suppose that it is just more proof that she is my girl. I have to admit that for a moment I was transfixed by it all. Sat there trying to figure out where she learned how to move like that. The little stinker told me about her boyfriend and waited for my reaction. I remained silent and she tried to up the ante by telling me that he knows Karate. It was foreshadowing of a time to come. Some day in the future, some time many years from now there will be a boy who isn't just a friend. Some day this boy is going to have ideas about my daughter. I am not going to fool myself and pretend he won't. I was that boy and in some ways still am. G-d willing I won't be like the father in this video . Don

Are Bloggers Cliquey

I am Jack. I am 40. I am a father. I am a friend. I am a husband. I am a writer. I am who I am and that is all that I am, thank you Popeye. Some people will look at that first line and analyze the order in which I listed things. Don't bother. It was random. Periodically I break out of the Jblogosphere and go wandering. It is kind of nice to get out into the general blogosphere and smell the fresh air. True, the deli sucks and they don't know how to bake a good challah, but there are some good things out there. I drop in on other blogs and look around. I check them out and leave comments. I try to make them relevant to the discussion. My job isn't to be a spammer. I don't always stick around to see if they get a response, but sometimes I do. Sometimes I find the topic to be really interesting and I am generally interested in the discussion. Many times my comment is ignored. I don't take it personally. They don't know who I am, haven't a clue as to what

He Put The Gun In His Mouth

Just a quick blast for Fragments of Fiction He lay slumped on the floor nursing a bottle of Jack Daniels and a nasty cut over his eye, not to mention an assortment of bruises and one hell of a knot on the side of his head.  They said that with age came maturity and wisdom, but they forgot that sometimes anger trumps wisdom. It had been a long time coming, this slide into oblivion. Oblivion was as good a description for his destination as anything else. It was easier to think of oblivion than to admit that he was engaged in a deliberate path of self destructive acts. How else do you describe picking a fight with three guys in a bar for no reason other than you hate yourself. They had been sitting at a table talking amongst themselves. He might not have had any issue with them other than they made eye contact. The guy had given him the stinkeye. Wasn't that how they referred to it on that television show. Between the pounding headache and the fifth of bourbon he had finished be

Yep, I have Horns

I like that line.I think it can be classified as Original Jack, but I am not positive. Could be that I heard it somewhere and it just stuck with me. Wouldn't be the first time something like that happened. Weird stuff happens to me, like the knife breaking into two pieces . It wasn't thrown on the floor, it was dropped from about three feet or so. It is around 14 years old. My inner geek loved the line about having to find Elrond. A good Elvish smith could fix that thing in a jiffy. I'd use it to protect the ring bearer and end up with my own kingdom. Not too shabby. Although the way things are going right now it could be a bit more challenging.I did look in the mirror and I noticed that there are indeed horns growing from my noggin. So maybe I am a goat. But I don't intend on being one for long. Matter of fact I am a Taurus so perhaps it would be fitting to have a set of horns on my head. Horns could be useful. Just think about navigating through crowds at plac


Just a few words I threw together for Fragments of Fiction. Needs some work. At the moment I feel like I like my life alone and apart, I know what it was like to live in sunshine and all I do is wander through darkness no moon, no stars, just black and I stub my toes on things I can't see and branches scratch my face and I trip and stumble I can't go back all I can do is keep walking until I hit daylight.

Ways To Woo Women #287

Fellas, I am here to help you in your efforts to woo the women. When you go a courting you want to bear a few things in mind, women love to dance and they love men who can sing and dance. You can use the men from the videos below as role models. You can thank me later.


"They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." -Edgar Allan Poe "If I am not for myself, who is for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when? -Hillel "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." Ralph Waldo Emerson "If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me." Ralph Waldo Emerson "He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it." Douglas Adams

Time Management

The dark haired beauty is sitting in a tent, er excuse me, in her secret hideaway that no one knows about. It is the same secret hideaway that is located five feet behind my chair. Tomorrow she'll go back to school or I'll lose my mind. Don't get me wrong, I love that little girl like nobodys business. She means more to me than words can express, I even share my Beef Jerky with her and if that is not love, I don't know what is.  Last week she was truly sick. She had a fever that kept coming and going and a double ear infection. Here at the home office she was frequently parked next to me, but spent large chunks of that time sleeping . Two trips to the docs to confirm that she didn't have H1N1 and a bit of worry ate up large amounts of time. A low grade fever yesterday and some caution kept her home today. The just in case theory played a role in all of this. You know, we'll keep her home just in case there is something still wrong. Not to mention that last

The Bedroom I Grew Up In

It is Sunday night. The Dodgers are getting pounded by the Phillies and I am watching it all from the flat screen inside the bedroom I grew up in. My children want to know why grandma and grandpa let me have a television in my room and I won't do it for them. I laugh and tell them that when I was their age we didn't have a color TV. It was a small 19" black and white unit that came with those rabbit ears we used for antennae. Not to mention no remote, DVR or DVD player. Haven't lived here in decades. Feels strange to say that, but it is true. The room that I grew up is no more. The furniture, posters, books and trophies that helped make this room mine are long gone. It has been painted and there is a new wood floor. All that remains are the memories of what once happened inside this place. A thousand memories of my childhood are wrapped up inside. Enough things happened inside here that even though it serves as my mother's office I haven't any trouble pic

The Difference Between Blog Friends and Real Life Friends

Sometimes friends of mine who are unfamiliar with blogging ask me questions about who reads my blog and why. They want to know what I write about, how I come up with ideas and if I get nervous about getting into trouble somehow. The story never changes. I tell them about how I started this blog on a whim, just an impulse and how it changed my life. That last bit sometimes brings about an eye roll or two, but that's ok with me. If I wasn't intimately familiar with it all I would probably do the same. I explain to them that blogging provides one of the best outlets I have ever found for expressing myself. I talk about how it allows me to learn more about myself and about others. I talk about how it is has helped me through some dark times and very tough moments. It has been a great tool for chronicling my life and the family. The place where I rediscovered my love for writing/ And of course it is a place where I have made some good friends. It is an interesting thing, the f