Monday, December 29, 2008

Monkey see, monkey do - MeMe

Since everyone's doing it and now that all of you jumped off a cliff and there's a nice pile of bodies to break my fall, banzai!

Book Meme:
The Rules: Grab the nearest book. Open the book to page 56. Find the fifth sentence. Post the text of the next two to five sentences in your journal/blog along with these instructions. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST. Tag five other people to do the same.

"However, it can also offer some performance improvement in cases when you know a SELECT statement will return only a single record (for example, if you include a WHERE clause specifying a value from a unique column). In this case, you can use CommandBehavior.SingleRow to inform the provider."

This is from O'Reilly ADO.NET in a Nutshell, a book I haven't looked at in at least 5 years. The thing is, my programming books, haven't really used any of them since I can just "google it", are in the printer stand which is closer to me than my bookshelf.

Seven Facts About Me:
The Rules:
1. Link to your blogger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people (if possible) at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

  1. I can read a 500 page book in Russian but my brain shuts down when I try read half a page of news.
  2. I have several terabytes of anime spread across DVDs, 3 computers and 2 external drives. After we finish watching a series, I can't bring myself to erase it.
  3. I almost always have 5 2lb sticks of salami hanging from the ceiling in my kitchen.
  4. Even though I liked the subject, due to my bad memory, I managed to fail every Biology test, quiz, midterm, final and regent.
  5. I wear a kimono for suedat shlishi and also if I don't go to shul because I'm sick or my wife is sick. I wear it even if guests are coming.
  6. Like a good muslim, I had my bris at 13. This may or may not have contributed to my name on my cell message being Mussa ibn Ibrahim. ;-)
  7. I hate gefirte fish. I'll eat it when there's nothing else. My neighbor mixes it with vegies and sauce. I bake A & B salmon gefirte fish in tomato sauce for Yom Tov. Other than those situations, never, no way, no how.

I'm not gonna tag anyone because I'm lazy and because everyone's doing this anyway.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sholom Zohor

Tomorrow, in my shul, 1749 Ocean Avenue, between L and M.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's a boy!

Born December 23rd at 3:59PM.  Weight, 7lb 15oz.  Ironically, Shlomik was also 5 days late and was 6lb 15oz.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Baby Registry

Amazon baby registry.
Also need Enfamil Gentlease and regular.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Hanukkah is the festival of clementines.

For eight days we celebrate these wonderful fruits. Stores and homes are filled with boxes and bags of clementines. People are eating them for breakfest, lunch, dinner and as a snack. Shuls are serving them for suedat shlishi, Chanuka parties and any other functions. Garbage bins are overflowing with orange peels.

Due to inability to say mezonos on clementines, we eat doughnuts which are similar in shape and whose sweet taste compliments the tangy taste of clementines. Though saying chamotzi on challah rolls would be an even greater elevation of this great fruit, it was decided that people would be too lazy to say the very long benching. We also light eight candles which is the minimum number of segments that a clementine has.

It's believed that this holiday was started because rabbis saw people getting sick due to the onset of cold and lack of enough vitamin C. While both the orange and the tangerine were considered, both of those were much harder to peel and more prone to contain seeds.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Flash Games - Charger Escape

Do you like horsies, unicorns and point and click room escape games? Well, even if you don't like horsies and unicorns, this game is very well done and is even logical.

Play Charger Escape

Thursday, December 4, 2008

No ma'am, I don't support banditry

This week there was something very interesting at Daf Yomi.  Too bad all those rabbis who are telling their students that all of them must go to kollel and working is evil never learned this.
This is from Kiddushin, page lamed (30) side beis (2).

The father is obligated to teach his son a craft.  From where do we know this?  Chizkiya said: "For the verse states: See life with the woman whom you love."  Life connotes craft (for a livelihood) and is here next to woman.  If "woman" is to be understood literally, then just as the father is obligated to find his son a wife, he is obligated to teach him a craft.  If, on the other hand, "woman" is to be understood allegorically to mean Torah, then just as the father is obligated to teach his son Torah, he's obligated to teach him a craft.

Rabbi Yehuda says that anyone who does not teach his son a craft, teaches him banditry.

Gemara asks if this is what he really meant and answers that what he meant was that it's as if he teaches him banditry.  Since his son doesn't know how to do anything, his only means for supporting himself is by stealing.

Gemara places Torah, wife and a job on the same level and obligates the father in all three equally.  No one comes to defend the father and say that he should get his son a rich father in law or that the son should steal money from the government or go collecting charity or sitting and praying onto G-d to fedex him money every month.  Just as you're supposed to teach your son Torah and to get him a wife, you're supposed to teach how to go out and earn an honest living.  The response of today's yeshiva rabbis is a two prong attack on this "fallacy".  One, condemn secular education, the one needed for getting a job, as evil and not part of Torah leaving.  Two, condemn working people as criminals who are wasting their time working instead of learning Torah.

My cousin works as prison guard in Colorado.  I was talking to him on the phone and he asked me "Did you know how many Jew are in prison?!", "Yeah, wanna know why?"

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand words

Here's the proof of the existence of the horror mentioned in my previous post.  I only scanned in three pages because of the fear that my scanner would commit suicide.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Will someone please think of the children!

Jacob Da Jew posted our kids' Parshat Quiz a week ago.  I found something even better.

A couple weeks ago, Mike In Midwood, was by my house for shabbat.  One of the things we talked about was yeshivas, as in where should I send my son.  I mentioned that I went to Chaim Berlin and that it had pretty good education.  All of our teachers, except for dee dee dee computer teacher who was probably someone's relative and knew as much about computers as the secretary, were public school teachers and knew their material.  Granted, it was 15 years ago and I was in grades 9-12, but I just couldn't believe Mike's claim that now it's much, much worse.  Until, that is, I found this gem in my shul.  The "rabbi" is rebbe M.J.  The whole thing is handwritten, apparently he doesn't know how to use a computer either.  I think his Ds look like Gs, or he's even worse than he appears...Also, it took wife and me a lot of rereading to decypher the horrible "penmanship".  BTW, those are not paragraphs, they're pages.

Dear Very Very special [choshev] parents [?].
Boroch Hashem An outher Wonderfull Happy SuGsesfull Week went true Every Tzadik is so Happy a Hall day in class in yeshiva What That is the Most inportent They Should Be Happy and The Happyness Will Bring [?] Good Rezults.

Now a little up date why your Tzadik is so exsiteit To Go To yeshiva To learn Torah! #1 When They Come in The Morning He is not skerd To Come There is no Prashair Rebbe is not Standing By the door with a SourFace Why DiD you Come So Late ITS All Ready "9:01" Next Time Waik up earlyair and Come Airleair!! U - Understand!!  The Wold in chinuch Has To No That its Never To Late!!!!!

We Even Have Time To Give Them To eat BeFor Davining And Learning Brakfast is Being Served Every Morning Bread Juice milk Hot CoCo Some Times WHen THere is "PainCakes" THe Last Few Days I Addit SomeTHink New its Corn Flakes - Y NoT!  THen WE STart Learning THe HayLiGe ToraH THe HayKiGe Alef Bais LeTTers THe FounDayTion OF THere LIFE!!!  WE Do IT Many Ways ON THe Big [next page] ALEF BAis CHart ON THe Bord - We Do it in THe  Alef Bais SayFers THe MAin THink is ITs Don WiTH Lov, MAke THeM LoV THe ToraH THaTs OUR JoB!!!!
LETs Be THem [mekarev] Kiruv Now!!!
ITs [some hebrew capital letters] Talking ABout [same hebrew script letters] I Can Right A Couple of SForim!!
And IF I Want To RiGHT IT ON PAper THe Copy MeSHin WiLL Have To Run FoR ourS!!!!! WHat I Have To Say!!

We Are NoW in Full Swing OF PracTeasing THe ALeF Bais LeTTERS THe Sonds OF EACH [nekuda] We ARe PuTTing ToGeTHer LeTTers WiTH N'KUDoS [ZU TZA A].........
We Do IT BoTH Ways THe puzzel Way And THe TaTe Way [my fingers hurt capitalizing the letters he capitalized so from here on all letters will be small] witch ever ever way he does it now is fine just watch him and lisin good how he pernonce's everything.

But I have great "Miricle" news to tell you l'kovod shabbos mvorchim chodesh kislev that a lot of tzadikim from the class are reading all ready like a tate b.h.!!!
I am not rushing at this time qw just have to cuntinyou practeasing and practeasing and practeasing like my Rebbe used to say practice makes perfect!!!!!!

yiras shomayim up date

yes there isint a day rebbe shouldint skrim say where is the yiras shumayim? And all [choshuv] parents should tell their that at home and all over where we go we most have yiras shumayim and no that hashem is all over in the winter in the summer ALL OVER!!
I will have to cut a little short on the news letter

The tzadikim want to make now oneg shabes "shabes party" they are all skriming "Pop Corn Pop Corn PopCorn...
I would like to take this uppertonity to wish all [choshuv] parents and family you should all have [hebrew here]

[on next page picture with following label]  Cloud in top of Suru's House

questions and answers of this week's parsha
1. whats the name of this week's parsha = [chaya sora]
2. how many years did [sara] live  = 127 years
3. how many [nisim] did hashem make in [sara's] house = 3
4. when [sara] used to light the candels for shabos. how long did it burn = from one shabos until the next one
5. when she used to bake the [chalos] for shabos what happend with the small peace ov doe = it got very big
(I didn't skip 6, it's not there)
7. what was in top ov [sara's] house = a cloud
8. what happend when [sara] closed her eys = the clouds when away, the candels burned out, the.
9. where did they put [sara] after she died = in the [meores hamachpeyla]
10. from whom did they buy [meores  hamachpeyla] = from mr [ephron]
11. how much (gelt) money did the [meores  hamachpeyla] coast = $400 silver dalers
12. what was the name of [avraham avinu's] helper = [eliezer]
13. what did [avraham avinu] tell for [eliezer] to look for yitzchok = [a kallah]
14. who gave the water to drink for the camel's = [rivka]
15. what did [eliezer] give for [rivka] for giveing the water = prezents
16. who was the [chosson] = [yitzhak]
17. who was the [kallah] = [rivka]
18. how young was. [rivka] when she got a [kallah] = 3 years young
19. what was the name ov [rivka's] father = [besuel]
20. was he a very good man = (no answer here)
21. did he want [rivka] shoud get mayrid to yitzchok = ov korse - not
22. what did he put into the plait = [?] poisent
23. what did the [malach] do to the plait = he chainged it around the end was [besuel] ate the poisent
(nothing skipped and pages stapled together, go figure)
85. how do you say a [bunch of hebrew words]
86. this belongs reely for [shevuos] time lets just try if your [tzadikim] know it.  please tell me
how do you say the sound of a [tzadik, shin, nun, etc]
what did hashem do with the [hey]
the rest the coming week [hebrew]

songs' of the week

yitzchok ovinu was the [choson] rivku emayn was the [kallah]
o-it was a nice [chaseneh]
o-it was a big [chasaneh]

And now my fingers hurt and I have a headache.  Barf.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What is porn

Talking about Quantum of Solace:

(10:51:57 AM) [friend]: i'll hope you'll enjoy it. If you like car chases and jumping stunts you'll like it
(10:52:42 AM) virwulf: i like parkour, district b13
(10:53:13 AM) [friend]: there were too little seduction scenes for my liking
(10:54:01 AM) virwulf: u heard of porn, right?
(10:54:17 AM) [friend]: no, what's that?
(10:56:08 AM) virwulf: it's when a man and a woman or 2 or more women or a woman and a couple of men or a man and a couple of women love each other very, very much and want to show everyone how much they love each other

Monday, November 24, 2008

Psychological Profile is the easiest online test I ever took. All you do is enter the url of your blog and it analyzes your writing to come up with your profile. Thanks goes out to FrumPunk for finding it.
Here are my results, with which I mostly agree:

ESTP - The Doers

The active and play-ful type. They are especially attuned to people and things around them and often full of energy, talking, joking and engaging in physical out-door activities.

The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time.


This show what parts of the brain that were dominant during writing.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sale Alert - Glatt Mart

Chicken Breast - $3.99/lb
Yams - $.49/lb
Ironically, the on sale yams look much better than the regular ones.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Derech Eretz

Last Thursday, my wife and I witnessed a new level of hutzpa from a yeshiva bochur.

We were returning home on a bus from, now weekly, visit to her OB. We were sitting on two of the three sits at the front of the bus that are reserved for the elderly and disabled. The third seat was occupied by a ten to twelve year old yeshiva bochur who was playing with his cell phone. At one of the stops, an elderly woman came in. First she stood in front of the kid to see if he will let her have the seat. Getting no reaction, she asked him if she could have the seat. What happened next was something I have never seen in my whole life. Not only did the little bastard not get up, he had the audacity to indicate to the woman that it's his seat and he was there first. It's too bad it's illigal to post pictures of children, otherwise this post would've been accompanied by a few good shot of the parasite.

The parents expect the yeshiva to teach their kids derech eretz and the yeshiva makes sure to teach them that anyone that doesn't look like them is no better than an animal.

My wife is 8 months pregnant. Who gives her a seat? Blacks and Hispanics. Frummies, at most, look up, see nothing interesting and continue sitting.

The day sucked even more because I lost my DS Lite, either at the OB office or on the bus.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Inner Peace

From an email from Harry's Black Hole:

I am passing this on to you because it definitely worked for me and we all could use more calm in our lives.

By following the simple advice I heard on a Medical TV show, I have finally found inner peace.

A Doctor proclaimed the way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started.

So I looked around my house to see things I'd started and hadn't finished and, before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of shhhardonay, a bodle of Baileys, a butle of vocka, a pockage of Prunglies , tha mainder of bot Prozic and Valum scriptins, the res of the Chesescke an a box a chocolets.

Yu haf no idr who fkin gud I fel. Peas sen dis orn to dem yu fee ar in ned ov inr pece.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dee Dee Dee

Today, I bore witness to stupidity of such caliber that usually you only read about it on tech support stories sites. But first, something from last month.

I come in for a service call and, as usual, there's something wrong with my program. Whenever they have problems, they wait until I come instead of emailing, not that I care. They have a new worker and she's entering data and is getting an error. I walk over and look at what she entered. 9.00AM. Huh? I ask her why is there a period after the 9. She tells me the computer told her to put it there. Excuse me? Apparently, someone probably, made a typo, at least I hope it was a typo, and since my program is web-based, the browser saved it for later. When she entered 9, one of the options it gave her was 9.00AM. There were, however, other options there too, like 9AM and maybe even 9:00AM, and yet, she continued to stupidly try 9.00AM and getting same error. Thankfully, she's not there anymore.

Now for today's story. Yesterday, one of the computers' connection was very slow. I'm sick and didn't feel like walking over. Today, after dropping off my son, I stopped by. The office is between my son's daycare and my house. The worker who used the computer decided to "fix" it herself. What do you do if your computer is slow? You take a monitor from another desk and switch it with yours. WTF?! And you thought all those stories about coffee cup holders are false, didn't you.

It was always amazes me how stupid and uneducated people. I can just imagine someone like her going into staples and asking which monitor is faster.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Day

Still don't know who to vote for?  This may change your mind:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Taxes under Obama

I got this gem in an email from a friend.  Enjoy.

Bar Stool Economics - only for those who drink beer!

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and
the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their
bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something
like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.

The fifth would pay $1.

The sixth would pay $3.

The seventh would pay $7.

The eighth would pay $12.

The ninth would pay $18.

The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed
quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the
owner threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good
customers, he said, 'I'm going to reduce the cost of
your daily beer by $20. Drinks for the ten now cost
just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we
pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected.
They would still drink for free. But what about the
other six men - the paying customers? How could they
divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his
'fair share?'

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if
they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the
fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being
paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested
that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by
roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out
the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing
(100% savings).

The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).

The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).

The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).

The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).

The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before And the
first four continued to drink for free. But once
outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their

'I only got a dollar out of the $20', declared the
sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,' but he got

'Yeah, that's right', exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only
saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times
more than I!'

'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should
he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get
all the breaks!'

'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison.
'We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits
the poor!'

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for
drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without
him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they
discovered something important. They didn't have
enough money between all of them for even half of the

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college
professors, is how our tax system works. The people
who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a
tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for
being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore.
In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the
atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.

Professor of Economics,  University of  Georgia

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.

For those who do not understand, no explanation is

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Yeshiva Math

Here we see a prime example of why yeshivas need better math.

This sign makes no sense no matter where it's hanging.  Whether where it is now, on ave M or even if it would be a block away from the store.

Does the sign mean that the store is so great that after taking the subway there, you'll never want leave?  Or, perhaps, the prices are so bad that after your "$200" discount, you wont have any money left for the return trip?  Is the sign actually 18-22 years old, when the subway was $2, and was stuck in interdimensional limbo until now?  Does the genius who came up with this sign know that the bus costs the same as the train.

No matter how you look at it and what logic you use, this sign makes absolutely no sense.  Chuck another one for the great yeshiva edumacation system.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Inline commenting

Looks like Blogger finally added the one thing that was missing from the new inline comments form. To the right of the "preview" button there's now a subscribe link. This not only adds subscription to the inline comment form but is a great improvement over the current way of subscribing to comments. Now you don't need to leave a comment to subscribe to a post's comments.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

How I spent my holidays

My Yom Kippur besomim. I find a lemon with cloves stuck into it at random absolutely boring. It's so much more fun to make some kind of a design, like my lopsided magen david.

While you can make shehecheyanu on the same boring starfruit or sabra, it's not so hard to actually get something new and weird.
The scaly banana, don't remember what it's called, tasted like pineapple, but, left a stinging sensation on my lips and in my mouth. The dragon fruit was very good. It tasted more or less like a kiwi. The other fruit, don't remember the name, was somewhat sour.

The centerpiece of my semanim is always the rosh kever. Unlike the toothy lamb's head, I find the whitefish head absolutely disgusting. A lamb's head is more proper, tastes better and is a great way to freak out guests. And yes, I do make everyone eat a piece.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

You're not in Kansas anymore

Last night, I spent a couple minutes looking at the calendar in Mountain Fruit, trying to figure out what's wrong with it and why are they open on shabbat morning and on Yom Kippur.  Maybe it took me so long because it was 10PM, maybe because it was something I've never seen before.  The bloody thing was right to left!!!  Though at least they used Arabic numerals.

I've gotten calendars from different organizations asking for money and all of them were left to right, even if everything was in Hebrew.  I've never seen something like this before and never want to see it again, especially not in a store, showing store hours.  Are calendars in Israel printed like this or is this a very late, or very early, April Fools' joke.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Our shul follows the kabbalistic version of the order in which the simanim are eaten on Rosh Hashanah. It makes more sense halachakli too, why would you eat an apple before a date. The order is taken from Rabbi Yaakov Chaim Sofer's book Kaf Hachaim.

First, the brochot are made, haetz on the dates and haodama on the leek.

After the brochot, the order is the following:
  1. Silka (beets) - Sheyistalku oyveinu umastineinu.
  2. Karti (leeks) - Sheyikartu soneinu.
  3. Temarim (dates) - Sheyitamu soneinu.
  4. Kra (yellow squash) - Sheyikoru roa gzar dineinu, vayikoru lefoneiha zehuyoseinu.
  5. Rubiya (black-eyed peas) - Sheyirbu zehuyoseinu.
  6. Rimonim (pomegranates) - Shenarbe zehus k'rimon.
  7. Rosh Keves (head of sheep) - Shenihye l'rosh v'lo l'zonav.
Shana Tova!

Cafe Press - Sales report

Sales report for the month of September, 5 people bought stuff with my "Say no to BO" design and 1 person bought an item with my "Alternative Energy" design.

If you want to show your dislike for Barack Obama and support for John McCain, buy my Say no to BO design. If you're fed up with listening to Al Gore's psychotic rants or just plain don't like him, buy my Alternative Energy design. Who knows, maybe in an ironic twist of fate, it will actually happen.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Out of line

Friday, I went to the Coney Island avenue Paperific. I quickly got the few items that I needed and headed for the register. I spent around twenty seconds choosing a line and settled on the leftmost one. Half a minute later a woman comes over and the following conversation ensued:

Woman: I was after the woman in front of you.
Me: No you weren't, when I came here there was no-one after her and I didn't see you standing in line.
W: I was standing after her and then I went to get something.
M: Right, you left the line, your cart or basket aren't here and your stuff isn't on the conveyor belt.
W: But I was after her.
M: And then you weren't.
W: So can I pay?
M: No.

Was I being an asshole, yep, but so was she. She didn't just turn around to get something nearby, she went, with all her stuff, into one of the aisles and fully expected for her place to still be there. I should've told her I reserved the place when I came into the store.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

La Chevre

Just watched La Chèvre. Awesome comedy that brings together two of France's greats, Gérard Depardieu and Pierre Richard. Sometimes it's good to go back to the classics. The movie is in French with English subtitles and it's absolutely hilarious. Depardieu plays a private detective who's hired to track down a businessman's extremely unlucky daughter who's been missing for several weeks. He's partnered with Richard, an extremely unlucky employee of the girl's father, on the premise that their similar luck will aid them with finding her.

Gerard Depardieu starred in two American comedies, My Father the Hero and Green Card. I very much recommend everyone to see My Father the Hero, especially for the scene where he sings Thank Heaven for Little Girls. I became acquainted with Pierre Richard when a friend recommended I watch several of his movies which were very popular in Russia, Le Grand blond avec une chaussure noire (The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe), Le Retour du grand blond (The Return of The Tall Blond) and Le Coup du parapluie (Umbrella Coup). In all three comedies he plays a man who ends up in the wrong place, at the wrong time and is mistaken for, respectively, a secret agent and a hitman. If you can find these movies, watch them.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

T-SQL: Set Vs Select

First, let me just say that finally, in MS SQL 2008, you can declare and assign variables at the same time!
DECLARE @var1 [type] = [value1], @var2 [type] = [value2], @var3 [type] = [value3]
What's the difference between SET and SELECT?  SET sounds better and that's pretty much it.  With SET, you can only assign one variable at a time, with SELECT, you can do this:
SELECT @var1 = [value1], @var2 = [value2], @var3 = [value3]
Another great reason to use SELECT for setting variables is this:
SELECT @var1 = [column1], @var2 = [column2], @var3 = [column3
FROM [table]

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cafe Press - JBlogger

Is your neighbor harboring a secret life?  Are the people you see on the streets and in stores your secrets friends?  Wouldn't it be cool to have some way to recognize fellow jbloggers?  Here's my idea of how to solve this problem.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Your help is not appreciated

I just asked FrumSkeptic about her yidsense ads, if she made any money and how well they're paying. She mentioned that google closed her adsense. I'm guessing this was due to someone trying to "help" her.

I was talking to one of my friends and mentioned to him that I have adsense and that they pay per click. Then I had to tell him in no uncertain terms that he's not, under any circumstance, to go to my blog and click on the ads.

If you think you're helping your fellow blogger by clicking on the ads, you're not. Google's not stupid. They monitor who clicks, from what IP, at what time and if they came from a search or directly. If they see someone clicking daily from same IP and/or who came to the site directly instead of via searching or even if by searching but from same IP or same IP pool, they will close the account and they will zero out the balance. Though your thoughts are appreciated, you actions are absolutely not.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Rammstein - Kein Lust

I find this quiet hilarious.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Excuse me sir, that's my bagel you're trying to eat

I went to a bris today. Small shul in a basement. I get my seat, get my plate and cup. Make myself a bagel and pour some orange juice into my cup. Then I go to wash. I come back, some middle aged guy is just slipping into my seat.

Dude, do you see the bagel and the full cup? And the meal just started so it's not like someone left a half-eaten bagel and left. When I indicated to the guy that it's my food he's sitting in front of, he had the audacity to be upset about having to vacate my seat.

On the other hand, I again ended sitting at the rabbi's table for shacharit and not the first time too. For some reason, when I go to a different shul I end up sitting by the rabbi's table. The previous time it was by rabbi Gornish. Is it my fault that I come on time and take a sit at some table. And both times no one bothered to mention that it's the rabbi's table.

When the rabbi comes, I can either get up and move and acknowledge my faux pas or continue sitting because I was there first and it's the fault of the guy sitting next to me for not telling me it's the rabbi's table. Yep, I continued sitting there. Me, admit doing something wrong?! I'm not the one that's wrong, it's the rules that changed. ;-)

D'avino cement mixer music video

Shlomik absolutely loves this video

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


While not as entertaining as CowTipping, BlogRolling is quiet the worthwhile endeavor. It helps with acquiring new readers and also letting your current readers know of other blogs that you find fascinating or, at least, mildly enjoyable. There is, however, one drawback. Once linked, you become, in a sense, friends and your previously favorite activity of posting rude and disparaging comments is now very much frowned upon.

There's one aspect of blogrolling which I find extremely confusing. I have noticed, on several occasions, bloggers either asking if it was acceptable that they blogrolled someone or if they may do so. Would a blogger really reply that no, it's not acceptable and that he/she doesn't want any of the other blogger's readers happening upon his blog. Total absurdity.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Drunken Animals

Alcohol, bringing peace on earth.

Monday, August 25, 2008

ColdFusion - Stripping tags with rereplacenocase

When you want to output a part of an RSS feed or content that contains tags, you'll want to at least strip out the image tags. If you know that all tags are lowercase, you can use rereplace, otherwise, use rereplacenocase.

To get rid of all tags:
This regular expression searches for all patterns that begin with a <, have something in the middle that's not a < and end with a >.

To get rid of image tags only:
This expression is same as previous, except it searches for patterns beginning with <img.

To get rid of two or more specific tags:
This expression searches for patterns beginning with <img, <div, </div or <br. The reason I'm using * instead of a + is because closing tags don't have characters between the beginning pattern and the ending pattern.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pomegranate - 4 days later

I went to Pomegranate today because Paperific was already closed and Glatt Mart didn't have matjas herring. The management seems to have gained a little intelligence, not much, but it's a start.

Looks like they realized that produce goes bad fast and if no one buys it, they loose money. A lot of prices went down by as much as 30 cents. Stem tomatoes, $.69/lb. Both milks are now $2.99, still retarded but better than $3.29. The main point though is that after months of searching, I finally found Season's capelin black caviar. It disappeared from Paperific and Shop Rite after Pesach and was nowhere to be found. They have two sizes, 3.5oz and, I think, 2oz. The 3.5oz jar is for a an awesome price of $3.69.

The meat and fish still suck. They had a very pretty and well made shabbat sushi platter, that contained enough sushi for maybe two people, for the nice price of $60. Not gonna buy it even if it was half price.

The big truck that couldn't

It sometimes makes me wonder if New York truckers really love the The Little Engine That Could story. They've seen the sign about the height clearance, they know the height of their truck and yet they're sitting there behind the wheel and saying "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can" until half the roof of the trailer has been torn off. There's one crucial point that they seem to always forget, it was the Little Engine, not the Big Truck.

When I used to live on J and E 12th, almost every week you'd have a trucker that either was smart enough to stop a foot in front of the train and was now needing help backing up, or one who was stupid and who managed to rip off the top of the cabin and a good part of the trailer. When DOT finally put the clearance warning sign all the way on Coney Island, it helped, a little.

If the clearance is one or two inches, maybe you shouldn't try it, especially when your truck isn't fully loaded and you just inflated your tires. If the height of your truck is half a foot more than the clearance, dude, go back to school and learn some basic math.

Stupid enough to risk it? At least do it slowly and not at full speed. And if you see you're not going to make it, it's probably better to get a ticket for blocking traffic than to get your pay docked and to get fired for damaging, really badly, the really expensive truck you're driving.

Trucks may be impervious to collisions with cars but they're not as immortal as they think. When it come to concrete and steel, you lose. Reminds of the joke about an American nuclear sub demanding that the British lighthouse move out of its way.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Credit Cards and Ribbis

Friends occasionally ask me to buy stuff for them online.  Today, I thought of an interesting question.  Am I charging them interest?

All of my credit cards have cash back rewards.  Depending on where the purchase is made and with which credit card, the cash back is as high as 5%.  Let's say I order something for $100.  I'll charge the person I'm buying the item for, $100.  Here's the problem though, I'll get $3 back from the credit card, so the actual cost is not $100, but $97.  Even worse, Chase Freedom gives you 3% back on top 3 categories for that month and 1% back for the rest.  As far as I remember, there's no way to check which purchases are in the top 3.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pomegranate - leave your wallet at home

The new store Pomegranate is finally open. It's huge, it has everything, there's nice music and right now they're giving away free sushi and baked goods.

Pomegranate is a clean, fully stocked supermarket, with a capital S, what it doesn't have is good prices. Some items, like tea or stem tomatoes, are cheap. Most items are very overpriced. New Square orange juice, which most stores in the area sell for $2.59, is $2.99. Milk is $2.99 and up. Yogurt that all neighborhood stores sell for $.79 is &.89. Chicken thighs are $2.49/lb. While Mountain Fruit sells BBQ chickens for $7, here, they're $11 and up. They're not yet selling sushi but I wouldn't be surprised if it's gonna be more expensive than in glatt mart. They had Nature's Own apple juice on "sale", 2 for $4. This same juice is right now in Glatt Mart for $1.79. There's no lamb in the meat section and the meat itself, some cheaper, some same, some more expensive than the other stores.

Would I shop here? Yes. But you must be very careful about the prices and about the "sales" items which may be much more expensive than the other neighborhood stores.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bypassing sales tax in NY

Recently, the powers that steal your money started forcing online retailers that have any kind of office in NY to charge sales tax. The reason behind the move is that it will help NY retailers. If people have to pay tax online, same as in a store, they would go to the store instead. This was done not to force us to pay even more taxes, but to help the local economy. Apparently people, if both stores charge tax, would rather pay for gas and parking rather than get free shipping. Two of the stores affected are and The only one fighting them is currently has a printer that I want on sale. As was going through the checkout process, I noticed that while I'll get free shipping, I'll have to pay $8 tax. I don't think so. I went to and searched for the printer model. Guess what, uses as a portal for sales. Add to cart, go to checkout. Free shipping, no tax, and 3% back with my amazon visa. Take that you blood sucking parasites.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tisha B'Av - Those who know history are doomed to repeat it

My shul skips some kinot in favor of recounting stories of crusades, pogroms, Polish, Ukrainian and Nazi actions during WWII and other fun stories. Most of the stories are about religious Jews getting killed or committing suicide to sanctify G-d's name. Most stories are the same as the year before.

Every year I get really pissed off. Not just by the stories but by the "moral of the story" at the end of Shacharis. The "moral of the story" is that in these times, all we can do is pray. Most of the stories are about religious Jews. They prayed. Where has that gotten them? All of them were killed because they shared responsiblity for everyone else.

It says "don't rely on miracles." People have no problem applying this concept to work, food, marriage, etc. When it comes to defense, it's not what a good Jew supposed to do, he should pray and all will be well. All will not be well because it never was. Especially in New York, martial arts, guns, knives, etc. is a stigma. In Chaim Berlin, a classmate of mine asked the rabbi if a Jewish cop is allowed to carry a gun on Shabbat. The answer, "a Jew shouldn't carry a gun ever." Just once, I want to hear a Rabbi finish his speach with "in these times, all we can do is pray, and get a gun, and maybe get some combat training." Then again, working is also becoming something a good Jew shouldn't do. And when it comes to marriage, all you gotta do is say tehillim all day and you'll miraculously wake up next day married.

Tisha B'Av is for remembering, but what's the point of remembering if you don't do anything to prevent it from happening again. And even worse, what's the point of remembering, if you're going to move back to Poland, Ukraine, Germany, Austria, etc.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cafe Press - McCain 2008 and Political Haiku

I just made two new designs. McCain 2008 - Say no to BO and Political Haiku - Alternative energy. Check them out and if you like them, feel free to buy one for yourself ;-)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A chance encounter

Last Thursday, July 17th, after dropping off my son at day care, I went to Apple Bank to deposit a check.  As I headed for the exit, I heard a bank employee, who was walking in front of me, say that someone's window shopping and she's wondering what he wants.  I assumed she was talking about some hobo. I walked out of the bank and imagine my surprise when I found out that the aforementioned window shopper was, in fact, a goose.

The goose was walking up and down the sidewalk and looking into the stores.  What I wonder is where did he come from.  I've seen birds other than the rat with wings pigeons flying around, but they never landed on the sidewalk and they definitely never went for a stroll.

I didn't have time to hang around to see what happened, so I headed home.  As I was walking away, I heard a woman say that someone should call 911 or something.  How about calling a shochet.

In retrospect, this would be great advertising for a meat store.  "Our meat's so fresh, it'll carry itself" or "Our meat's so fresh, it's still alive".

Friday, July 18, 2008

Cafe Press - Ookami Kanji, Neko Kanji

A while back I created a couple designs and created free stores on cafepress to sell them.  I forgot about them and haven't checked if anyone made any purchases.  Today, for some reason, I decided to see what's going on.  Imagine my surprise when I found out that people bought six items.  Because of cafepress' sales report's limit of viewing only three months at a time, I'm not sure what sold.  I was able to find two sales, both were of my neko kanji on a cat's paw design.  Neko is cat in Japanese and kanji are Chinese character used in the Japanese language.

I made five designs.  Two Japanese designs, kanji for ookami (wolf) with a wolf's paw print as background and kanji for neko (cat) with a cat's paw print as background.  I also made three computer baby designs, one of which needs to be updated, if I ever get to it.  The three designs are "baby" in binary ASCII and year 2006 in binary in the form of a pacifier, "baby" in binary ASCII with hex code for blue at the bottom and "baby" in binary ASCII with hex code for pink at the bottom.

I've been thinking of several other designs but never got do to creating and uploading them because I thought nobody was buying my previous designs.  Maybe this will be the incentive I need to finally put them on "paper".

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Kamen no Maid Guy ringtone

I find Maid Guy's laugh from Kamen no Maid Guy anime absolutely hilarious.  I've finally gotten around to making a ringtone out of it and here it is.  Enjoy, ku ku ku.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Driving Lessons

I was talking with my friend yesterday and he mentioned that he was taking a driving lesson that day.  There are driving, highway driving and defensive driving lessons.  I got an idea for a new driving course.  The Drunk Driving Lessons.  Drunk drives cause a huge amount of accidents and deaths in America and the government is always trying to minimize drunk driving.  The problem is that they'll never be able to get rid of the problem.  Since they know that people will drive drunk anyway, they should offer drunk driving lessons where people will be taught to drive safer while intoxicated.  The government's reason for teaching sex in school is that since the kids will do it anyway, this way, they'll be at least educated about it and hopefully, if they do have sex, will use condoms.  Drunk Driving Lessons are the same, people will still drive drunk no matter what penalty they may face, why not educate them to drive drunk in a safer way.

Monday, June 30, 2008


Now I'm officially 30.  That really sucks.  People start expecting you to behave and tone down the crazy, not that I'm planning on complying.  There are a couple of pivotal dates before 30 like finishing college, hitting 25, getting married, having kids, not necessarily in that particular order.  Still, when you're in your 20's, even late 20's, you're still technically 20.  Once you hit 30, 40 is just one number away.  Your 20 something friends are now a decade away.  You're supposed to be mature and responsible.  You shouldn't take risks, you gotta watch what you eat and look after your health.  You know what, I don't wanna.  I don't wanna grow up, I'm a toys r' us kid.  I can be mature and responsible when I need to be, the rest of the time, insanity now, insanity later, insanity forever!

One positive thing about being 30 is that now I have a great excuse for not being able to do certain things in karate.  What do you want?  I'm old!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Stir-Fry Beef

This is a pretty fast and simple recipe and hard to screw up. The cooking time is under 10 minutes, though the preparation can be somewhat annoying. You'll need beef, fresh or frozen, shelled edamame edamame, bamboo shoots, teriyaki sauce and cooking ramen. For cooking, you'll need a wok and wooden, unpainted, chopsticks.

Take partially defrosted meat and using a sharp knife cut from it 1 inch squares, 1/8 inch thick. Marinade for 30 minutes in teriyaki sauce. Add the bamboo shoots to the marinade. Defrost some shelled edamame. Cook and drain the ramen.

Place the wok on medium to high heat. Add the beef without the sauce and stir-fry for 2 minutes making sure that both sides are cooked. Add bamboo shoots and edamame beans and stir-fry for a minute or 2. Lower the flame a little and add the ramen and teriaki sauce. Stir-fry for 2 more minutes, making sure that the ramen doesn't burn. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sale Alert - Glatt Mart

Prices are with a $10 non-sale purchase.

Peaches and Nectarines - $.69/lb
Tomatoes on the Vine - $1.29/lb
Givat Ice Pops (10pk) - $2.69
Hunts BBQ sauce - $.99
Plastic Plates - $4.99
Chicken Cutlets - $3.99/lb
Tuna & Avacado sushi - $3.95

Meat with bone, a lot of pieces are from flanken, the always cheap $3.99/lb

USPS doing their work

When I speaking with the local branch manager about the incident in the previous posts, he told me that they're doing their work and everything else is none of their problem. Here's another example of USPS doing their "work".

Monday, June 23rd, I dropped two netflix envelopes, into the same mailbox and at the same time. This was after the 9AM pickup and before the 3PM pickup. Netflix received one dvd on the 24th and the other on the 25th.

Since this was a Monday, I assume that most of the mail was dropped off on Sunday and Monday morning and was picked up and sorted by 3PM. There are very few mailboxes with 3PM pickup and also Monday was a business day so there shouldn't be too much mail to sort through by the time they got my envelopes. So what could possibly happen that would cause two pieces of mail that were sent at the same time to arrive a day apart? Incompetence. Let's not forget this is the same branch where I had to wait for around half an hour each time I came there, regardless of time of day, day of week or length of line.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Redirect after login

One of my pet peeves is sites that don't redirect you back after you log in. I can kinda understand a developer being too lazy to redirect back after session timeout or bookmark, but when the site sends you an email with a link and after logging in to view the link you get thrown somewhere else, that's completely unacceptable.

Do not send the url the user was trying to reach as a url variable. This is ugly and error prone. Sites that do this, forget to preserve the url if user enters incorrect username or password or tries to retrieve the password.

After verifying that the user is logged in and before redirecting to log in screen, save the current url as a session variable.
<cfset session.fromurl = cgi.script_name & "?" & cgi.query_string />

$_SESSION["fromurl"] = $_SERVER["REQUEST_URI"];

After the user has successfully logged in, assign the url to a variable and delete the session variable and then redirect.
<cfset variables.fromurl = session.fromurl />
<cfset structdelete(session, "fromurl") />
<cflocation url="#variables.fromurl#" addtoken="no" />

if (isset($_SESSION['fromurl'])) {
$url = $_SESSION['fromurl'];

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Plastic yisroel cups

Why settle for plastic stam cups when you can buy plastic yisroel and ensure that you Pesach is chometz free.

When you use plastic stam cups on Pesach, you face the real danger of using something that contains chometz. A worker may have been eating chometz and accidentally dropped it into the vat of molten plastic. A rodent, carrying chometz may have fallen in at any point of the manufacturing process. Would you risk drinking from something that may contain rat, or, worst of all, chometz?

At our factory, we have mashgichim stationed at every critical area of the manufacturing process to ensure that such accidents never happen. We pride ourselves on manufacturing the best, cleanest and chometz free plastic yisroel cups possible.

Don't give in to your yetzer hara, buy plastic yisroel!

USPS incident - Part 2

Tuesday night I filed a complaint online about what happened in the previous post. Today I received a callback from, I assume, the manager of the local post office, Midwood branch, on Coney Island between I and J. In no uncertain terms the manager informed me that my beliefs are my problem and they will not change their policies to suit me. He told me that not being able to sign because of a Jewish holiday is not their problem but mine. I asked him what would happen if the addressee would have a broken arm. He told me that he'd have to have someone there at the time of delivery to sign for the package. That's right, if you're disabled, too bad for you. It's your fault you can't sign for the package and the post office will not accommodate you because maybe you should have took this into consideration before deciding to become disabled.

I emailed Simcha Felder,, and Michael Nelson,, regarding both incidents. If you live in Brooklyn and don't want the same thing to happen to you, do us both a favor and send them an email, referencing these two posts, and ask them to change the USPS signature policy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

USPS discriminates against religious Jews

Today, June 10, 2008, 2nd day of Shavuot, a USPS employee has shown a great insensitivity to Jewish laws and customs.

While I was in shul, a USPS worker attempted to deliver a package. My wife answered the door and informed the man that it's a holiday and she's unable to sign for the package. A UPS or FedEx delivery man, as they have done before, would have graciously left the package inside the door. The USPS delivery man told my wife that if she won't sign for the package, he's not gonna give it to her and that I'll have to go tomorrow and pick it up myself. Now I'm gonna have to waste at least 30 minutes tomorrow, waiting in line, to get something that was supposed to be delivered today.

You should all be very careful about breaking the arm with which you write. If this guy comes to delivery your package, your package will go back to the post office and even may be shipped back. Broken arm? Cast? Too bad for you. No signature, no delivery, no soup for you!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sale Alert - Avi Glatt

Avi Glatt on Coney Island and Quentin Road has a sale on fresh fish.
Salmon - $4.99/lb
Tilapia - $3.99/lb

Chicken thighs are always $1.45/lb

Friday, June 6, 2008

Bad parenting

Today, Shlomik asked me for a cookie. A big cookie, at least 4" in diameter. I gave it to him and I'll give him another one later. Why would I give my 2 year old a big, not healthy cookie instead of something that's good for him? That's because I'm a bad parent. I've managed to convince him that rice cakes are cookies. Who needs a small cookie, when you can have a cookie that's at least twice the size and is always soft!

I don't have soda in my house or any of those sugar filled snacks that parents so love to give to their kids. The group that my son goes to has home cooked meals and snacks, a big reason for why he's there considering the price they charge. No sugar snacks at home and no sugar snacks in day care and when my dad picks him up from group and they go for a walk, the cookie is a saltine.

Right now, he's sitting on my lap and eating another one of his favorite snacks, raisins.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Summer Special from Bank of America

From June 1st through August 31st, Bank of America will be giving 3 points per dollar on groceries and gas for its WorldPoints customers. Starting from 25,000 points, this becomes 3% cash back. Time to put away your other 3% back credit cards and start using your WorldPoints credit card.

Some of my friends say that it's too much bother to juggle cash back credit cards, going for that top dollar return. I get over $600 back per year, they get nothing.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Digital picture frames on shabbos

I was looking through the google analytics stats for my sites and noticed something very peculiar. Someone ended up on my main site by searching for "digital picture frames on shabbos". What I really want to know is the reason someone might search for this. Did some frummy decide that for some insane reason picture frames might be a problem on shabbos? Why would it be a problem? I can't even come up with a bad excuse, forget about a good one. Air conditioner is not a problem, neither is the crock pot or water urn. So what's wrong with a digital frame?

I have a digital frame which I turn on specifically for shabbos. Once I started using a digital camera, I don't make prints anymore. After everyone's been complaining on and on about no pictures of my son from the day he was born, I decided that a digital picture frame is cheaper and more innovative than printing pictures. After I bought the frame, I bought frames for our parents so they would also get off my back and stop asking me to print pictures for them.

A digital picture frame is a great gadget to have. Buy one, at least 7", loaded with pictures and place it within view of your shabbos table!

Monday, May 26, 2008

I'll be nicer if you'll be smarter

I get a call Saturday night at 10:45PM, that's almost 90 minutes after shabbat was over. It's a woman from shul and someone told her that I know something about tomorrow's BBQ. What BBQ?

Now this woman has called after 10 before and I told her that she's not to call even after 9 and if she wants to reach me or my wife, we both have cell phones and email. I tell her that I don't know anything about any BBQ and why is she calling me at 11 when she knows I have a 2 year old kid and when I specifically told her last time not to call after 9. She has the nerve to tell me that it's not actually 11, it's 10:45. I was pissed off when I picked up the phone, now I'm pissed off more. It's been 90 minutes since shabbat was over, why is she calling now? Why is she calling at all about something that will be tomorrow night and no I don't know any details. So she gets all defensive and is like "well, I made a mistake but you shouldn't talk to me that way." FU, if you're stupid and inconsiderate and do things without thinking, I'll talk to you however I want to make sure you never call here again.

There's a shirt I'm always planning on buying and never manage to, maybe next time there's a sale. On the shirt it's written, "I'll be nicer if you'll be smarter."

Friday, May 23, 2008

Cured Salmon

Here's a quick, fun recipe for making your own lox.

You'll need fresh salmon, make sure it looks nice and red and not spoiled when you buy it. Kosher salt and sugar for salting and for spices, I'm currently using dill and dry mint.

Remove skin from the salmon pieces. Mix together 3 parts salt and 1 part sugar and sprinkle on both sides making sure there's a nice even layer. Very sparsely sprinkle dill on both sides. For each side, crumble 1 dry mint leaf with your fingers and sprinkle on top of the dill. Cover with another plate and refrigerate for 24 hours. Check the salmon occasionally and remove any liquid from the plate.

To make the cure salmon resemble lox, place a 1lb metal can, for example, of tomato sauce, on top. The sugar to salt ratio can be varied as long as there's at least 2 parts salt to 1 part sugar. For flavoring you can also use parsley, crushed black pepper or any other spices you like.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Stewie annoys Lois

Every time Shlomik sees this, he wants me to play it over and over and over and over...
In the end he also says "hi" and laughs.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Colorful dreams

There's an urban legend that most people dream in black and white. Why an urban legend? Because everyone I asked said they dream in color. I'm pretty sure that all my dreams are in color and I don't recall ever dreaming in black and white. Supposedly, you would be unable to read in your dreams and the letters would appear as gibberish. I don't remember seeing books or newspapers in my dreams, but I do remember signs with numbers and letters and they were quiet legible.

One weird thing about my dreams is how I fly. I once dreamed I was able to fly by flapping my ears. No, this was not after watching Dumbo and it was actually very difficult to do. My usual way of taking to the skies is gliding like a ninja. I would jump up and kinda glide forward and downwards as if I had a glider attached to my back. Ironically, these dreams were before I watched Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Naruto.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Jewish Schools List

My new pet project, the discussion is here.

The site is now up.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Yet another hoax

My dad recently told me about a virus called Invitation. The worst virus ever that destroys your computer. When he told me that he heard about it on Davidzon Radio (Russian radio), I told him it's bs since Russian radio will repeat anything from anywhere without actually bothering to check the facts. He was quiet upset by that so I decided to prove him wrong.

Originally, he didn't remember the name of the virus. I went to Symantec's viruses and risks page. Nothing there above level 2. He still didn't believe me, apparently Russian radio is more informed about viruses than Symantec. This week I finally got the name of the virus out of him. He also said that they mentioned that CNN is calling this the worst virus. CNN knows one virus from another? Anyway, off to snopes I go and guess what, it's there and so is the CNN quote. This "virus alert" was issued by Boris Talis. I assume he received an email, read it, and like all the other retarded little sheep forwarded it to all his friends and warned his listeners on the radio too.

Not one of these starfish, no brain and too many hands, ever checks the facts. Reads the email, screams "OMG!" and feverishly forwards to all of it's friends and acquaintances. Half of these hoaxes aren't even believable. And even if the starfish doesn't know about snopes, there's google and educated friends that it can ask. They never do. And it gets worse when one of those things works on the radio.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Text Twirl

Having trouble with Text Twirl? Here are some combos that you can quickly enter at the beginning of your round:

tea eat ate eta, teas eats ates seat
spa asp sap pas, spas asps saps pass
are era ear, ares eras ears sear, sera
art rat tar, arts rats tars star tsar
top pot opt, opts post pots spot stop tops
pat tap apt, pats taps apts spat
sup pus ups, sups puss
sue use, sues uses, sued used dues
tin nit, tins nits
bin nib, bins nibs
tan ant, tans ants
ten net, tens nets
ore roe, ores roes
doe ode, does odes
lie lei, lies leis
ale lea, ales leas sale
car arc, cars arcs scar
bar bra, bars bras
eon one, eons ones
tin nit, tins nits
fer ref, refs
dos sod, sods
ash has
hes she

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fool me once

I never learn. I'm allergic to cats and dogs. I also love cats and dogs and will play with them even though I'll be sneezing and itching afterwards. I'm also allergic to food by brisim. I can eat cereal with milk at home. I can eat cheese, eggs, fish, coffee, I even eat raw fish and home made cured salmon and yet almost every time I go to a bris, I get indigestion. It can be bad or mild but it's almost always there. What I can't figure out is is it something in particular or is it a combination of things.

Today we had a bris in shul and as always I set down to eat. Yep, I never learn. And again I left the shul feeling bleh. I had karate right after the bris. I didn't want to skip, however I made sure not to bring the sparring gear and to come late enough to miss the warm up. It wasn't too bad though I was spacing out and messed up the kata. Will I eat by a bris next time? I sure will.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Price Alert - Mountain Fruit

The week before Pesach I was in Mountain Fruit. I bought Ora's Organics Herbal Tea. These were new teas and for some reason weren't in the computer. The cashier turned around and asked the cashier behind her for the price and was told it was $2.49, the price for Wissotzky tea. I told her that's the wrong price and that the price is $2.19, she changed. Fast forward to today. The same exact scene was played and I think it was even the same cashier. The teas are still not in the computer and just like last time she turned around and asked for the price and was told it's $2.49.

This has happened to me in Mountain Fruit way too many times. The sales prices are not in the computer, not on the day the sale starts and not on the second day either even though the prices are posted above the products. The cashiers pretend not to know the sales prices even if the sale has already been going on for a week. On one occasion, the cashier refused to go check or change the price. There was a sale on chocolate around Purim and I took a couple different ones. Not only did some of them scan in under the wrong name but also the wrong price. I told the cashier that they were on sale and she actually had the nerve to start arguing with me that some are and some are not. I told her that the sign above them said all of them were on sale. She refused to go check and told me I'll have to speak to the manager. I said ok. She continued sitting there looking at me and waiting for me to pay. I told her to call the manager because I will not pay and not leave. The manager told her to change the price. Later that week I went to buy some more of that chocolate. It was still in the same location, same flavors and same sign above them and again they scanned in under the wrong price.

Is this due to negligence or is it being done on purpose? I don't know. However, considering how frequently this happens, you gotta wonder.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Better Cooking

Recently I bought a new frying pan from Amazon. Today I finally went to toivel it and decided to use it to cook dinner. I made stir-fry with BBQ sauce. The frying pan is hard-anodized aluminum and this thing rocks! Cooking and cleaning is a pleasure. One thing I like about it is that instead of one long handle it has 2 steel ones, comes with a lid and is oven-safe up to 450 degrees! You can start cooking on the stove and move the whole thing into the oven, or the other way around.
I seriously recommend this to anyone who likes stir-frying.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Pesach now, Insanity later

Just had a conversation with one of my psycho frummy bal tshuva friends. This guy goes to feel good lectures and listens to tapes, however, when it comes to learning halacha, looks like it's too boring for him. This is actually the same conversation, about the same topic and the same store I had with him last year. He wanted to get something to eat and asked me if I know of any places that are still open. I told him he can get sushi on avenue M or if not too lazy, drive to Shoprite. Shoprite is, I'm pretty sure, owned by a Jew and sells sushi under a good hashgocha. He tells me that he's not sure if the owner sold the chometz properly so you can't buy sushi there. What?! I tell him that, one, there's a good hashgocha there and two, sushi is not chometz, though soy sauce is. His reply is that the hashgocha is only there for the cooking and you can't trust them to make sure that the store sold chometz properly and that you can't buy sushi because chometz might not have been sold properly. No point arguing with this guy since he's not much interested in learning halacha, he loves chumras though, so I just left. Last year he said he wants to ask a Rabbi, same thing he said this year and same thing he'll say next year.

There are plenty of books and online sources for halacha. If you want to know, you can find out or you ask a rabbi or go to a shiur. What infuriates me is that these people don't know halacha, gonna argue with you because you're not a rabbi and apparently know nothing because of that and they're not gonna bother asking or finding out themselves. One happy thought is that for them, ignorance is not bliss. Out of their own stupidity and stubbornness they're going to make their own lives worse.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Let there be light

Before the fun at the first seder, read the post below, we had some fun at home. On shabbat, in our dining room, the light bulb decided to suddenly burn out. I live in the basement and have an air conditioner blocking most of the window so even in the middle of the day having no light is a problem. We use oil and it was still burning during the second meal so we had some light. For the first seder we went to shul, the second seder, however, was going to be a problem.

Around half a year ago, one of the bulbs for the oil got broken. I tried looking in all of the seforim stores in the neighborhood but they were only selling tiny bulbs and the big ones that we use were only available a month before Chanuka. In one store, I was recommended to use the cup for neriot. Now these things are small, ugly and way too thick, so no way. I looked around the house and lo and behold, the solution was standing among my wine and liquor glasses. For Fathers Day, my wife got me two shot glasses with the word dad on them. The shot glasses were a decent size, square and the word dad was in pewter on one side. This was perfect! Until Chanukah I was using a real man's candlestick.

On Pesach, those very useful Fathers Day's presents were put away. Luckily, I had three shot glasses that my mother-in-law brought from Florida that I never managed to toivel and they were never used and were standing in the bookshelf in my son's room. They were round and painted but what can you do. The second meal of first day was spent in front of six candles. For the second seder, I needed a havdolah candle. One shot glass plus oil, plus two wicks, equals one havdolah! We also found seven wax candles and used three at a time for having more light for reading of the haggadah. A can from from palm hearts, turned upside down, was used as a candle holder.

We have two nice, silver candle holders and a glass one. Personally, I prefer the shot glasses to the silver. Not only do they take up a lot less space, but they are truly unique. I'm thinking of getting another square shot glass, preferably same size and style as the ones I have, putting away the silver and always using these man's candlesticks.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Easy Money

Chase has an awesome offer. Credit card that gives you 3% back for your top 3 categories for each month. These include grocery stores and gas stations. In addition, you get $50 after your first purchase. I just signed up. This is much better than my Citibank dividends card which only gives 2% and a maximum cashout of $300 per year. I hope Chase doesn't have a limit on how much of your earned cash back you can redeem.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Holier than thou

Every year, for the first seder, we go to the shul's community seder. This year was no exception. I'm famous for bringing my own wine, always having a corkscrew, bringing my own cups, home-made morror and, for the past two year, sashimi. This year, unfortunately, I forgot my sashimi at home, though one of my friends brought some cured salmon, a recipe I replicated for the last two days.

We had a family in shul, they stopped coming a while back, where the wife was quiet known for her frumminess and her isms. This year, they decided to join the seder and were sitting right behind me. I overheard her asking someone else at their table to open a bottle for her because their minchag is not to open bottles. This was on Yom Tov. I just couldn't let that go. I turned around and asked her why would she say something so ridiculous as not opening bottles on Yom Tov?! She told me that they used to go to one family when they were becoming religious and that family didn't open bottles on Yom Tov and since they're following their minchagim, they also don't open bottles on Yom Tov.

I told her a story of mine about me and another guy going to a shabbaton. Our host was this psycho frummie bal teshuva who kept telling us how humble he is by become frum, even though his father's a millionaire. He spent the whole shabbat telling us about how humble he is. He also decided to educate the stupid russkies about hilchos shabbos. Apparently you're not allowed to remove a dirty plate from the table, unless you place a piece of bread on it. He was presenting this as a halocha. This is what you get when someone thinks that if he learns gemorah, he doesn't need to learn halochos. This guy, however, didn't have a minchag of eating suedat shlishi, even though it's in gemorah too.

I told the woman that the point of my story is that there are minchagim and there are personal chumras, frequently based on ignorance. A minchag is something that a lot of people do and it's generally accepted, this is quiet the opposite of a personal chumra. She told me that it is so a minchag and since their friends have followed it, they will follow it too. Incidentally, I'm pretty sure her rabbi will disagree with her on this. This quiet pissed me off and I told her that her friends don't know halocha and based their chumra on ignorance and that she doesn't know halochas either. She harrumphed and turned to her table.

Opening bottles on shabbat is a hotly contested topic with many holding that you can and many holding that you can't. Sephardim are allowed and even by ashkenazim, many agree that if the bottle cap will be thrown away or is punctured, opening is ok. I have not heard or been able to find any opinion that says you can't open bottle on Yom Tov. Uneducated frummies will always find some way to make their life difficult.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Pesach Stir-Fry

Wok + chicken cut into small cubes + bag of frozen California style vegetables + BBQ sauce = Pesach Stir-Fry.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Those Who Hunt Elves - Ежик и туман

Another one of Shlomik's favs. He loves the tank in this one.

Tokyo Mew Mew - Sugar Baby Love

Shlomik's current fav.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Chicken thighs for Pesach

I use a small wok for most of my Pesach cooking. One great way to use it is for chicken cut in 8 or chicken thighs. The wok is just the right size for 4 chicken thighs. I like to use apricot or cranberry based chicken sauce, half a bottle or about 9 oz. To shorten the cooking time, cover with a narrow, tight fitting lid that should rest about half an inch above the chicken.

Chag Kasher V'Sameach!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Appleseed: Ex Machina

Just watched Appleseed: Ex Machina. The movie is good though some parts are cliche. Though it's better to watch the first movie before watching the second, the plot holds on it's own. The animation wasn't as good as it was in Final Fantasy: Advent Children, but it was very well done none the less. Faces and hair could've used some work.

I liked the movie, except for one thing. I watched it in Japanese with official English subtitles. The subtitles were just bad. Instead of translating from Japanese into English, a lot was reinterpreted with extra words and even sentences added. Apparently the American public is too stupid to follow the story and understand what's going on without help. This is why I prefer fansubs. Even when the translation is done by Japanese fans with spelling and grammar mistakes, it's still the true original version as was envisioned by the writers and producers. Translators should translate and not reinterpret the text to fit their idea of how it should sound. Unfortunately, my Japanese vocabulary is limited to at most 150 words which means I still have to rely on the subs.

To all the fan subbers, for all your hard word, domo arigato gozaimashita!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


We were watching Nana-TV today, the episode where Hachi and Nana go to see a Trapnest concert. During the song, subtitles in romanji and English were displayed. Though I noticed this before, this time I really started thinking about how much Japanese language naturally fits singing and karaoke.

Karaoke was created in Japan. I believe that the structure of the language plays a big part in Japan being the origin of karaoke. Japanese language is syllabic, all words are made up of single consonant and vowel pairs, occasionally, a consonant is added at the end of the word. This type of structure allows for songs to be sung either fast or slow or syllable by syllable and to have any individual syllable be stretched out and still sound normal.

Japanese alphabet, kana, is also syllabic. Instead of each symbol representing a letter as it does in other languages, it represents a syllable. As opposed to English, kana is a lot easier to read. Kana consists of about 50 characters. While in English you need to know how to pronounce letter combinations and words you don't know may pose a problem, in kana, you're just reading individual syllables which, in turn, form words.

In karaoke, either the word or syllable is highlighted. In English, the syllable can be between 2 and 5, or more, characters in length, in Japanese, it's just 1. Even when displayed in romanji, Japanese words written with English letters, words are easy to read and pronounce even though you may not know how to read Japanese or know what the words mean.

Here's to Daisuke Inoue, Kanpai!

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I just got a huge sense of accomplishment. For about two months I wanted to install gotalkmobile on my phone. I got a Data Error 905, Attribute Mismatched on each jad link. I got a can't display content error on each jar file. Copying the files to PC and from PC to the MicroSD was also fruitless. I tried contacting tech support. Had to wait one month for a useless reply. Finally, remembering a post about incorrect info in the jad, I decided to repackage it myself. One of my friends helped me find a jad generator, JADgen. The error was in the file. There were 4 lines that wrapped to next line and were saved that way. After putting them back on their respective lines and changing the install url to that of my site's, I generated the jad file and uploaded both files to my site. This time, the install ran without a hitch.

The install problem occurred on my Katana DLX. If you also get a Data Error 905, Attribute Mismatched, you can download the fixed version from my site. If you get this error from another application, feel free to contact me and I'll help you repackage the file yourself.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Fitna watchers in danger.

If you've watched Fitna on LiveLeak, you may be in danger. Al Qaeda operatives hacked LiveLeak last night and have obtained IP lists of people who watched the video. It has become known that there are also secret Al Qaeda operatives employed by many internet service provider companies. Several have been caught but more are still operating. They have been able to match the IP lists to ISP's lists of users and addresses. LiveLeak, working with government agencies and ISPs, have posted a list of affected ISPs. If your ISP is on this list, it's important that you contact your local law enforcement immediately.
You can view the list here.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ранетки - Мы Ранетки

Step Up

Last week we saw Step Up 2 and this week, Step Up. Even before seeing the first movie I was disappointed with the second. The scene at the beginning and the scene at the end were good, everything in the middle, not really. The feeling I got was that the movie was made for ten year olds.

Step Up was very well done. I really liked the sequence in the beginning, portraying the difference between ballet and street dancing. The scene where Tyler walks through the school does a great job of showing this kid who's in an element that's completely foreign to him. I got the sense of him walking though sort of a museum, looking at the other students, with them not seeing him. As opposed to the second movie, the first movie had a believable storyline, the character interaction was smooth and the scenes flowed naturally instead of jumping here and there. The characters didn't spontaneously change their nature like in the second movie, but when change was needed, it was gradual and believable. The behavior of the director of the school and her interaction with the main character was a lot more believable and natural then what happened in the second movie. One mistake that they made in the second movie, I believe, was having the same person being the director and the teacher. The interaction between the main character and his original friends was also a lot more believable than in Step Up 2. The relationship between them is clearly shown and their reaction to the main character's dancing is understandable and doesn't appear as selfish as it does in the second movie.

The first movie was good from the beginning and until the end. The second movie, watch the beginning and the end and skip the rest.

Friday, March 28, 2008


The syntax for cross-table update in MySQL is somewhat different than T-SQL. Personally, the way it's done in MySQL makes more sense.
UPDATE table1
SET col1 = t2.col1, col2 = t2.col2
FROM table1 t1 JOIN table2 t2 ON =

UPDATE table1 t1 JOIN table2 t2 ON =
SET t1.col1 = t2.col2, t1.col2 = t2.col2

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Japanese Hamantashen

As I said before, I make my own shalach manot. This year, some people are getting what you see on the left.

This is an onigiri, which, incidentally looks like hamantashen, especially with the Season black caviar in the middle. Onigiri comes from the word nigiri which means grip. Most of you should be familiar with sushi-nigiri or as it's incorrectly called in America, sushi. What Americans call rolls, is sushi-maki, sushi is sushi-nigiri and sashimi is sashimi.

I'm not going to explain how to make sushi rice. I bought a Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy rice cooker, expensive but worth it. To make onigiri, you need sushi rice, nori and stuffing. I use either black or red caviar or rolled anchovies with capers. I like to use cling wrap when shaping the rice.

Take a sheet of nori. Nori sheets are not square but rectangular. Fold and tear or cut it in half so that the halves are wide. Separate each of those into three more pieces. Spread out a piece of cling wrap on a plate. Sprinkle some salt. Place rice in the middle. The amount of rice will depend on how big you want the onigiri to come out. Form the rice into a triangular shape. Make a deep indentation in the middle with your index finger and fill it with a stuffing of your choice. Fold the piece of nori around the onigiri with the shiny side out. Wrap the onigiri in cling wrap, add a drink and your shalach manot is done.

Onigiri can also be made into a ball or any shape you like. An interesting idea is to shred some chicken breast or turkey, mix it with rice and make an onigiri out of that. This way you don't even need to add stuffing.