Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Pictures Here

Pictures of the boys are up at the linked website (just click on the title). These pictures are the first pictures of the parents taken with new millenium technology (a digital camera).

Monday, December 26, 2005


Chanukah season has begun here marked by really pretty looking doughnuts that are suprisingly doughy and if they have filling its just a small blob. But the beauty of the confectionary sugar sprinkled on top. Every time it fools me into buying them.
Our landlord is coming today, hopefully to fix our heat which is blowing out lukewarm air (does the word lukewarm fit air or is it only for liquids?). With incredible irony we spent this morning cleaning the apartment so that our landlord isn't upset at us when he is coming to fix his broken heat. (Not the most sensical sentence but I needed the parallel italics.) The apartment really was a wreck because we had these 5 australian birthright girls staying by us for the weekend with their luggage for 6 weeks. Given the size of our apartment I think its pretty impressive that we were able to fit 5 more people in. And luckily the downstairs neighbors didn't complain about them making too much noise or anything. (Yet another person who should be our equal bc we both just pay rent but we live in fear of and avoid riding the elevator with)[and i just ended that fragmented sentence with two prepostions] Oh that reminds me, the other day i finally got to show off my english knowledge by editing one of the graduate students paper that he's submitting to a journal. No snide comments about my writing skills, i did an excellent job editing it. The only thing i didn't have the heart to change was his concluding paragraph that began: in conclusion the answer is yes, _____ has been proven to _______. THere was something that seemed a little too boisterous and not-scientific about that sentence. But who am i to come and strip all personality from his paper.
Rachel and Shmuli- i want to see pictures of the new house.
Joe-if you ever want to go to australia the birthright girls pledged everlasting thanks and hosting tradebacksies that you could negotiate for.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Did I Go Too Far In Saving Money Today?

I need the family's opinion on a minor etiquitte point. I had 15 minutes to kill before picking up Chaim from school, so I went to Main pizza and ordered fries. While there, I noticed that the table next to me had left a meal virtually untouched. I asked the guy cleaning it up whether I could take it and he said okay in a doubtful sort of way. Despite the less than glowing recommendation by the purchasers, the food was actually very good, much better than my undercooked fries.

I'm not terribly worried about germs, I cut off the part why the guy bit into it. And, the germs in half eaten food are relatively benign compared to the toddlers snot or worse I'm continually smeared in.

Nevertheless, I'm aware that asking for leftovers from other people's meals is probably against some social norms. I need an opinion for the service professionals in our family on what they think of it. I doubt the waiter minded, I left him a $1 tip on $2 of fries to thank him for the leftovers. But, did the restaurant owner mind? I wasn't going to purchase lunch, I wouldn't have had time to wait, and the food wasn't worth paying full price for.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Strange VeggieTales

Yesterday, Shmuli got a new Veggietales movie. It was "King George and His Ducky", and it was a remake of David and Bathsheba, except he stole a rubber ducky, and the guy survived, so he was able to apologize and give back his ducky. Otherwise, it was extremely close.

However, I was bothered by one thing. They decided that the moral of the story was "Don't Be Selfish". However, that makes the whole movie surreal. It's all very well and good to share rubber duckies, but sharing wives is definitely forbidden.

I think the real problem is that they're confusing two separate morals. It's a bad thing to be selfish (for most thing), but it's really a small sin. On the other hand, stealing is a much bigger sin. I have little problem with the king having a 100 duckies and some people having 0. The problem was that he had 99 and took the other guy's 1. (And of course the murder)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

20 Minutes of Wasted Time

As you may know the Yeshiva has Night Seder until 8:00 three times a week. On Thursday we have, in addition, a 20 minute speech on various topics. This week it was given by a rabbi known for giving short speeches based on gematriot. These are usually dubious but to give you a feel of what we use the time for here's a partial transcript (from memory) of what the speech was.
Rabbi: You probably think I can only give gematriot but I'm going to go farther than that and not give any gematriot in the speech. (applause) He started off by mentioning his second grade Rabbi was the one who told him about a lot of his chassidic ideas which he uses in speeches ( Admitting he was giving second grade level speeches). We see in our parsha that by the birthright it says Eisav ate, drank, got up, and left. This was transformed to he ate without a a brachah, he drank without a brachah, got up without bentching, and left without a yarmulke. (Editor's note by Yitzchak it uses the phrase he ate, and he drank and it doesn't mention a brachah said.) He said it was a chassidic dvar torah and then asked a Rebbe at the school who is a chassidic Rabbi if he had heard the idea and he replied no. The speech continued on with the importance of saying brachos and saying them slowly. Then he went on to an analogy. Rabbi: Suppose someone gives you a check with 3 zeroes and you say that's worthless so he adds another 3 zeroes and then you hand it back and he adds 3 zeroes. Finally he adds a 1 in front and now what is it? Audience: (several at once) A bounced check!
He then went on with the George H.W. Bush idea of telling us to be more like the Walton's who made a blessing before each meal. Finally he used a strawman argument within a strawman argument to make his point. He said the ordinary person who works from 9-5 if you ask him why he works he'll say to pay the bills. Then if you ask why pay the bills he will say "To have a roof over my head." Then if you ask why you need a roof they will say to sleep well. Then if you ask why you need to sleep well they will answer so I can get up for work. For a Jew its different because he's doing it all to serve Hashem's will. ( Of course if you continue that line of questioning it will also eventually be circular.) This is not only demolishing a series of questions and answers that no one would answer but also attacking them even though there's nothing wrong with the answers because he's working to maintain a quality of life which makes him happy.