The Benefits Of Processed Food [VIDEO]

Building The Blog- Writing With Reckless Abandon

It has been almost a month since TheJackB set sail and we have enjoyed more than a few adventures together. Not unlike most new relationships we have had a few missteps that have been caused by poor communication or simple misunderstanding. We don't always recognize the signs that the other is giving off, but I have no fear for the long term because we're working on it.

Every day we take a few minutes to share our thoughts and ideas about where things are at and where we hope they will go. As we grow more comfortable together I have introduced some new toys and tools that I think will help this relationship grow. Slowly I have begun to really let loose and the words are beginning to flow as if the tap has torn wide open.

It feels good to write this way and I am confident that it is going to lead me to where it is I want to go. There have been moments where I have felt like TheJackB was hesitant but I have insisted that submission doesn't mean that there is a lack of equality at all. It is really a natural progression for us and as acceptance grows I feel our combined strength filling us with power and confidence.

In the coming weeks I hope to see us hit our stride and anticipate that it will yield significant benefits. It is not always easy for me to be patient. I have thoughts, ideas and feelings that cry out for attention. It sounds a little bit silly to describe as being so childlike, but the reality is what it is.

Regardless I am eagerly awaiting the future because from where I stand it looks quite bright.

TheJackB Broadcast System

Building The Blog- Community and Comments Edition

"We are by nature observers, and thereby learners. That is our permanent state.'
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The hardest part about building the new blog is my impatience with how long it is taking to build the community. That is not to denigrate, besmirch or demean those who are a part of it now. I am grateful for all who are there, just as I am grateful for those who helped to make this place what it was and what it is today.

The difference is that in the past I didn't care as much about building that community. This was something that I did for a hobby and because it was cathartic. TheJackB is different because I am interested in monetizing it. It is different because I have realized that writing is a huge part of who I am and who I want to be. It is different because I am actively trying to leverage the blog to make writing into more than a hobby.

So I find myself pushing to build the community and hopeful that more people will choose to be a part of it. It is not necessarily the smartest way to do things, the pushing. People don't like to be pushed and I understand that. Part of me finds it distasteful to engage in as much self promotion as I have. Yet if I don't do it than there is not reason to expect that anyone else will.

Therefore I have to step outside of my comfort zone and continue to work on marketing myself and the blog. I need to continue to look for more guest posting opportunities and continue to develop ways to increase my exposure to those who have never seen my work.

I don't expect to retain everyone. There are people who (shudder) don't like my writing. I know, it is so hard to believe that but they do exist. But there are also many who do like it and who are interested in being a part of the community that I hope to build.

So I am going to continue to do what I am doing to build the blog. And of course I am going to continue to look for people who can teach me more about this medium. There is never a point in time where you can or should stop learning. That is what I teach my kids and that is how I intend to live.

Building The Blog- Branding and Traffic Edition Part II

Patience isn't something that comes easily to me. The new blog has been live for all of two weeks or so and I can't help but notice the large discrepancy between traffic here and there. One could argue that this is due in part to my still posting here but that really doesn't provide a complete picture.

Quite a bit of the traffic that winds up here comes from the enormous number of links that have been generated through years of blogging. It is going to take some time for TheJackB to start to compare to this place and really that is ok. Because blogging isn't always that different from life, the moral of the tortoise and the hare is easily applicable here. Slow and steady wins the race.

That doesn't mean that there are times that I won't notice the distinction or be frustrated by it. But as I tell my children nothing good comes easily. Ok that is not entirely true, but there is a certain sense of satisfaction that is generated by building something from scratch.

It reminds me of Beta Dad's post about building trikes for his daughters. I think that what he did is awesome and it is the kind of gift that every father would like to be able to give to their children. I know my way around tools and can do quite a bit with my hands- but what he did is beyond the scope of what I can do easily.

Blogging is different. I have the skills and ability to build something special here, or should I say on the new blog and that is worth working on. So allow me to continue to beat the dead horse and encourage you to go visit my new cyber home and if you are so inclined join my Facebook fan page.

The Comment Conundrum

Read about it over here.

Goodbye Debbie Friedman

Goodbye Debbie. I was one of the millions you touched and privileged to have once worked with you. You touched millions and impacted people in ways that cannot be measured.

JPost has a nice write up that is worth reading in its entirety, but here are two excerpts:

She started writing Jewish liturgical music as a group songleader at the Union for Reform Judaism’s Olin-Sang- Ruby Union Institute summer camp in the early 1970s, setting ancient texts to modern, accessible, singable melodies. She published more than 19 albums of music inspired by American folk music greats, using English and Hebrew lyrics and often, the simple accompaniment of a guitar.

Friedman performed to sold-out audiences at New York’s Carnegie Hall, as well as in hundreds of other cities around the world. Her musical version of “Mi Sheberah,” the prayer for healing, is used by hundreds of congregations across America. According to her website, Friedman’s music is performed in synagogues around the world more than that of any other modern composer.


and

Regardless of denominational affiliation, Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson of the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, who holds the Abner & Roslyn Goldstine Dean’s Chair at the school’s Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, said that Friedman “has an impact that transcends all the labels dividing Jewish life.”

“You can measure her reach by the [way] virtually everyone uses her havdala melody, often without knowing it,” Artson said, referring to the prayer marking the transition from Sabbath to a new week. “You can measure her impact by the fact that there is a rich profession of contemporary Jewish music when none existed outside the cantorate before her.

You can measure her gift by the way it feels natural now to learn and sing Torah in women’s voices and in women’s words. And you can savor her gift in the bountiful harvest of her enormous collection of spirited and spiritual songs.”

On a personal note, Artson said that Friedman “touched and elevated” his soul at every conference, adding that her extended ‘Kaddish De-Rabbanan’ sessions “reached the darkest recesses of my heart.”

“Debbie is, and remains, one of a kind,” Artson said.


Debbie Friedman Tribute video
The Latke Song- My kids love this

Friday's Theme Song: Let Me Hear You Scream

Let me hear you scream!

I'm black and bruised, beat up but still I take the blows
'Cause all I need is blood and sweat and skin and bones
I'll take this bait, resolve your case, nobody said it's easy
It's do or die, only the strong survive, get ready for the last stand!
Get ready, I'm your hangman!

Let me hear you scream like you want it!
Let me hear you yell like you mean it!
If you gotta, GO DOWN!
GO LOUD!
GO STRONG!
GO PROUD!
GO ON!
GO HARD OR GO HOME!
Let me hear you! (let me hear you!)
Let me hear you! (let me hear you!)
Let me hear you scream!

I'll pull you up and push you right back in your place
I'll take you down and wipe that smile right off your face
I'll watch you break, you're mine to take, don't blink, you just might miss it!
It's all or nothing, nowhere left to run, are you ready for the last fight?
Get ready with the war cry!

Let me hear you scream like you want it!
Let me hear you yell like you mean it!
If you gotta, GO DOWN!
GO LOUD!
GO STRONG!
GO PROUD!
GO ON!
GO HARD OR GO HOME!
Let me hear you! (let me hear you!)
Let me hear you! (let me hear you!)
Let me hear you scream!

[Guitar Solo]

Let me hear you scream like you want it!
Let me hear you yell like you mean it!
If you gotta, GO DOWN!
GO LOUD!
GO STRONG!
GO PROUD!
GO ON!
GO HARD OR GO HOME!

Let me hear you scream like you want it!
Let me hear you yell like you mean it!
If you gotta, GO DOWN!
GO LOUD!
GO STRONG!
GO PROUD!
GO ON!
GO HARD OR GO HOME!
Let me hear you! (let me hear you!)
Let me hear you! (let me hear you!)
Let me hear you scream!

Posted via email from thejackb's posterous

Building The Blog- Branding and Traffic Edition

The new blog is officially up and running. If you haven't been there you are invited to go visit and check it out. For the time being this one is going to remain open and semi-active. Most of the posts here will be a reflection of my thoughts and ideas about the transition.

It is both exciting and unsettling to have my own home online. I have spent an enormous amount of time working on this place and it shows. The work that I put in here has led to a number of business opportunities that I am pleased to say turned into paying jobs. Friendships have been created and it is fair to say that I have created some brand awareness and decent traffic.

The new joint doesn't have that yet. It doesn't benefit from being linked to from all parts of the world and web. It will someday, but not yet. If I compare it to a child I can't say that it is a helpless infant but it is not quite out of elementary school yet either.

Fortunately it has a good father who is carefully watching over it and with some TLC it will get there. The hard part for me is patience. I don't want to wait for it to grow. I don't want to wait for its page ranking to become more respectable. I don't want to wait for the traffic to be huge, I want it to happen yesterday.

But as I said over there I want to cultivate and grow relationships. I want to build a community. It takes time to do it right and that is how I want it to go. Measure twice, cut once as the old saw goes.

Thankfully it is fun and I find much of this to be not just educational but useful skills that I can apply to work situations. Speaking of which it is time to head back down into the mines so I'll have to say that I hope to see you at the new home real soon.

Building The Blog- Details Edition

The work continues on the new blog. Slowly the pieces are falling into place and I am growing more pleased with the progress I am making. While I can't say that has been exceptionally difficult I can't say that it has been all that easy either.

I have agonized over themes, designs and layout. I have spent time considering the structure and trying to determine what elements are required to make it work effectively for me. I suspect that to some extent I have over analyzed it and have tried to let some of it go.

Tried to let go because it is blog and to an extent success is based more upon luck and sustaining my effort than any anything else. There is a low barrier to entry to blogging so the field is exceptionally crowded. There is an enormous amount of noise and a ton of distractions. I am not competing solely with other blogs but with Facebook, Twitter and life in general.

Not to mention that I have limited time to work upon it. So I have developed a strategy and attitude on the fly. I have opened up the doors and begun to promote it. The reality is that if I had time and resources I would do far more than I have, but I don't have either.

So the prudent thing seems to be to open the doors and start focusing on the details. The basic structure is in place and that is cool. But now I need to figure out what issues exist that require my attention. There are some broken links in places that need to be fixed and I haven't been able to import all of the comments from this blog into the new one.

That is not a terrible thing, but I would prefer to have them there. I want it to be clear that there is a community that hangs out on the blog. I prefer that it not look like I have been stuck in a vacuum or trapped in cleveland. But at the same time I haven't changed my overall philosophy about blogging. You can't last at this game unless you really like it.

I do. I like it and I intend to continue. So for the time being feel free to keep checking this place out, but remember that my efforts are being focused on TheJackB. I hope that you will follow me over there and be a part of it all.

It is going to be fun. On a side note, let me give a shout out and ass kicking to my friend Ron who just outdid himself with his blog redesign. Dude, you just set the bar a little bit higher so when I finish cursing your name I'll have to see what I can do to push myself a little bit harder.

A Sneak Preview

I have been teasing you with rumors and words of the new blog for some time now. The purpose has been to hopefully gain your attention and interest so that you'll want to go check it out. But it has also been sort of a long goodbye to this place.

Yes, this joint right here holds a special place in my heart. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that it has borne witness to my greatest joy and deepest sorrow. It is where I rediscovered many things about myself. A place of learning and introspection. It has served as a vehicle for new friendships and at time been wielded as a cyber sword.

My first home and headquarters online it hasn't easy to decide to move to the new place. Truthfully I should I have done it a long time ago but didn't for a variety of reasons. In part it is because Blogger introduced a number of features that made it seem less important to move.

For a while I considered hanging up my keyboard and starting over fresh. The idea was to not let anyone know that I had moved. I wanted to see how much I had learned about blogging. I was curious to test my skills and see how fast I could build the new blog without any help.

I chose not to do that for a variety of reasons some of them business related and some of them were...just because.

Anyway, I am still dusting off the shelves and making some changes at my new home and have decided that it is clean enough to show off. So my friends if you are reading this post I invite you to visit my new home online. You can find it right here.

Add it to your reader, blogrolls, and fan it on Facebook if you so desire.

For a bit longer I will keep things going here- but you should expect that most of the time any posts that are put up here will also be at the new house.

Thank you for your time. I appreciate you more than you realize. I am still surprised that people take the time to read what I have to say, but thankful for it.

A Return To Normal

The midnight hour is fast approaching and I am wide awake. For months now I have been unable to fall asleep at what most folks would call a decent hour. It is not completely out of character for me as I have always been a night owl. Ask those who knew me in college and they will confirm that it wasn't unusual to find me up and about at all hours.

But that was then and this is now. I can't sleep through my political science classes confident that I will ace the exams. The mornings around here aren't quiet either, there are rug rats running through the halls. Little people who expect me to help them get ready for their day and that is ok with me. I may not be much of a morning person but I don't mind helping them.

These children of mine who insist on disobeying my orders to stop growing are tucked away in their beds, the picture of innocence. Tomorrow they return to school and normalcy shall return to life, or so I pretend. I pretend because I lost track of what that term means, normal.  Or maybe I realized that for decades I defined it as being something that I grew up with and saw on television or in movies. Two parents, a house, school, vacation, soccer practice and so much more.

Now I know that to some extent normal is a myth that is propagated by others. Ok, that is not entirely fair or true. What I really should say is that normal is something that is subjective. We define what that is and we provide the meaning. It is kind of a funny realization because I have this conversation with my children. We talk about what other children/people do and how their lives aren't necessarily weird. We talk about judging people based upon their actions and who they are, not what they appear to be. But that is a separate topic.

So it feels kind of silly to have this epiphany about what it means to be normal or to live a normal life. I can't decide if I am more tolerant or less. Maybe the frustration and anger I feel about some things is coloring my judgment.

What I know is that although I understand that there are things that are outside of my control I still sometimes fight to control them. I can attribute some of that to the things I see around me. When friends die from terminal illnesses you take notice. When contemporaries fight serious illnesses you take notice. It is a reminder that sometimes our grip upon life is tenuous. Sometimes my reaction is to grab on to those things that I can take control of and hold on tightly.

But I don't always do that. Sometimes I am perfectly happy to just let go. I get in the car and let it take me to wherever it chooses. Autopilot is a wonderful thing.

The rain means that the mountains that surround the city are covered in snow. It is very pretty. Sometimes I like to drive other to some of my thinking places and stare out at the world. Some days I stare at those snow covered hills and think of experiences I have had and those I wish to have. Other days I head off to the beach and let the sound of the surf soothe my soul.

Moments like these remind me of how grateful I am for my senses. In many ways I am a very lucky man.

Sunday Night Music

Getting the kids ready to go back to school tomorrow. After I finish dancing a jig and get them to bed I'll have time to put up some new posts here and on that other one. Got a feeling that I might revisit Daniel and Anne. Might even let you in on the URL for the new blog, oh the new year is filled with possibilities. In the interim here is some of the music that I have been listening to:

Into The Mystic-Van Morrison
Calypso- John Denver
Mess Around- Ray Charles
Gimme Shelter- The Rolling Stones
Home- Motley Crue
Californication- Red Hot Chili Peppers
Please Read The Letter- Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
Gone, Gone, Gone-Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
I'm In the Mood-Robert Plant and Alison Krauss

Building The Blog- Never Say This To Me

"I want to swim away but don't know how
Sometimes it feels just like I'm falling in the ocean
Let the waves up take me down
Let the hurricane set in motion, yeah
Let the rain of what I feel right now, come down
Let the rain come down"


When I realized that I have begun to dislike every picture I see of me it became apparent that it was time to make changes. Not a change, but changes because the reality is that the reasons that I grew to be unhappy with the pictures made it impossible to limit it to one.

The funny in a not so funny thing here is that this isn't because I don't like the way I look physically. I am not thrilled by my appearance, but some of that is due an unwillingness to accept that I am not 25 anymore. In fact regular visits to the gym have made a significant difference in my appearance. I feel stronger than I have in quite some time so that pleases me.

What doesn't please me is the look in my eyes. Unless you know me really well you won't see or recognize it. The anger and frustration- the lack of satisfaction and fulfillment are so obvious to me. The only reason that you have any inkling is because of the words that I share here. You don't see how I have withdrawn into a cave and pushed people away.


"As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way." Ralph Waldo Emerson

I know who is preventing my success and he is me. Yep, old Jack is the reason why he is not living the life he wants. That is not say that I have a particularly bad life because I don't. I have a lot to be thankful for and I am. I am also aware of my predilection for being hard on myself. Some of the challenges I face are things that have nothing to do with me or were outside of my control. Yet, it doesn't matter because I still beat my chest and wonder if there isn't something that I should have seen or done.

That last line is troublesome because I find myself walking the tightrope of responsibility. It is bootless and useless to beat myself up about what I could have done because...I didn't. And as I said in some cases it wouldn't matter because the situations were never under my control so it is reasonable to relax a little. That makes sense to me and I am working on it. But that tightrope of responsibility says that while I can ease off I must also accept a portion of accountability.

Although if I abide by the rules of the blog I need to continue to peel away the layers and ask for forgiveness. It is not from you or from anyone you know, but from me. I need to forgive myself for not being smarter, better, stronger etc. I am not good at it, but I am working on it.

"An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory."Ralph Waldo Emerson

Old Ralph Waldo was a very sharp man, far more than I gave him credit for. Of course my first exposure to him was when I was in the 9th grade and I didn't know a damn thing then. The problem of course is that I thought that I did and consequently created more issues for myself.  Back in the day we might have called it Schlattered, eh Shmata Queen.

Anyway, the point of the second quote is that there is a time for words and a time for action. Back during the early days of the space race scientists thought that they knew what would happen if they sent man up into the outer reaches of the wild blue yonder. They were pretty sure that their theories would pan out and the guys in the flying tin cans would come back safe and sound. So they stuck these men in suits, stuffed them into cans and attached them to big rockets that flew into space.

And as we know most of the time it worked- they went up and came back down in one piece. Action proved theory to be correct. But bringing it back to the egocentric ramblings of your author it means that if I want to make changes I can't spend years thinking about them. It means that it is better to move sooner than later. And that my friends has been a bit of a bear for me, I am slow to change and to make change. I have been prone to stay in my comfort zone.


"Always do what you are afraid to do." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson is dead on with this one. It is something that I know from experience is worth doing. Because even though I may be reluctant to make changes I have done so on many occasions. In some cases I have made more radical changes even though my I was truly uncertain. Quite often I have found that this has led to very good things and has helped me to avoid over thinking.

This is all tied into why I am going to leave Blogger behind and adopt Wordpress on a full time basis. It is also why I am not going wait much longer to unveil the new blog. While it would be nice to have the luxury of waiting  until it is perfect I don't think that will be smart or useful.

I don't need it to look like I have a crack team of designers and programmers working for me. There aren't any Application Engineers on the payroll, at least not yet.  2011 has just started, I need to save some goals for down the road.

Haveil Havalim #298




Founded by Soccer Dad, Haveil Havalim is a carnival of Jewish blogs -- a weekly collection of Jewish and Israeli blog highlights, tidbits and points of interest collected from blogs all around the world. It's hosted by different bloggers each week and coordinated by Jack.

The Velveteen Rabbi presents Top Twelve Posts of 2010.


Thejewishteen presents The Jewish Teen: The Rebbe Is Like The Pope.


The Rebbetzin's Husband presents Hypothetical question.

Antisemitism

Ariel Ben Yochanan presents Appeal for Pollard by Baruch Levy.

Culture

Here In HP presents JPiX Post Chanukah + Babies Edition and Calf, Swallow and Wind.

To Kiss A Mezuzah presents Is “Xmas” Disrespectful? 


Batya presents Katzav Rape Verdict, Are Other Israeli Politicians and Big-Shots Next? 

Humor

Our Shiputzim offers Kol oto halaylah.


Cosmic X presents Terrible Translation at Jpost.com.

Israel

Esser Agaroth presents The Jewish Unity Which Threatens The Left.


Joel Katz presents Religion and State in Israel - December 27, 2010 (Section 1) and (Section 2).


Esser Agaroth presents Women Of Valor (אשת חיל מי ימצא).


Israelity presents Open door policy and The Israeli at H&M.


Daniel Ben Shmuel presents The RCA Is (Still) Dead: Part II posted at THE JEWISH FIST: A Call to Resurrect the Jewish Scholar-Warrior of Old..
Cosmic X presents Katzav Convicted of Rape and Molestation and 80 ultra-Orthodox Jews Enlist Into IDF Intelligence.

Judaism

Paul Kipnes presents Celebrating Disability Awareness Month.


Chavi presents Feminism or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Mechitza.


Rivki @ life in the married lane presents Snip Snip ? Little Man's first haircut!  

Kashrut

Soccer Dad presents Trivia Question posted at The Volokh Conspiracy.

Personal

Batya presents Ladies, if you cover your hair for religious reasons, do you wear...? Poll Closed  


Just call me Chaviva  presents One Year Later.


You're Not Crazy shared Did Something Important Happen Yesterday?  


Minnesota Mamaleh presents Minnesota Mamaleh: About Guilty Pleasures.

Torah

Drew Kaplan presents Poetic & Difficult Language of Iyov.
 .
Rivki @ life in the married lane presents Torah Tuesdays: the Environmental Factor 


Parshablog  presents Yocheved His Aunt, and the Length of the Servitude.


That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of haveil havalim using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Baptizing the Bear

A little humor for you.

A Priest, a Pentecostal preacher and a Rabbi all served as chaplains to the students of The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

They would get together two or three times a week for coffee and to talk shop. One day, someone made the comment that preachingto people isn't really all that hard. A real challenge would be to preach to a bear.

One thing led to another and they decided to conduct an experiment. They would take a trip to the Smokey Mountains to go find a bear, preach to it and convert it.

One week later they reassembled to discuss the results of their trip.

Father Flannery, who has his arm in a sling, is on crutches, and has various bandages on his body and limbs, spoke first.

'I went into the woods to find me a bear. And when I found him I began to read to him from the Catechism.

Well, that bear wanted nothing to do with me and began to slap me around. So, I quickly grabbed my Holy Water, sprinkled him and, Holy Mary Mother of God, he became as gentle as a lamb.

The bishop is coming out next week to give him first communion and confirmation.'

Reverend Billy Bob spoke next. He was in a wheelchair, with an arm and both legs in casts, and an IV drip. In his best fire and brimstone oratory he exclaimed, 'WELL brothers, you KNOW that WE don't sprinkle!

I went out and I FOUND me a bear.

And then I began to read to my bear from God's HOLY WORD!

But that bear wanted nothing to do with me. So I took HOLD of him and we began to wrassle. We wrassled down one hill, UP another and DOWN another until we came to a creek.

So right quick-like, I DUNKED him and BAPTIZED his furry soul. And just like you said, he became as gentle as a lamb. We spent the rest of the day praising Jesus.'

They both looked down at the rabbi, who was lying in a hospital bed.

He was in really bad shape. He was in a body cast and had multiple lines running in and out of him

His colleagues looked at him and waited for him to relate his experience, looking up at the two men he said, 'Looking back on it, circumcision may not have been the best way to start.

Words On A Page

 Added a few words on a page, some well written, some less so but all with purpose in mind. Can't win the Pulitzer every time, for certa...