Weekend commenters, please read this.
Links that made me think:
- This Freakonomics piece on forecasting oil prices, (echoing thoughts that are also well presented in the book The Drunkard's Walk.) explains is a general principle of forecasting, that holds true whether predicting stock trends or the weather. But not if you live in New England.
(While I enjoy and subscribe to the Freakonomics blog and loved the book,I wasn't surprised to find that I wasn't the only one who took some offense at some recent remarks about Boston. As if it weren't enough that we're already taking the blame for Global Climate Change this week.)
- In a poingnant and compelling post, TherapyDoc catastrophizes about her relationship with her daughter-in-law, providing a blueprint for intimate, honest communication. Would that we were all that mature. Turning the other direction in her family tree, her father combats time.
- It annoys me that this needs saying, but Frumhouse said it well.
- Ima Shalom worries about worrying too much while Grey Matter resolves to restrain herself. Twice.
- Samurai Mohel has a new rant about the shidduch crisis . His words are harsh, he has no solutions, and his tone made me wince. As someone who sits on a shidduch committee, I know that people can help one another without turning into the cardboard caricatures he describes. But, as usual, it's entertaining to watch his overzealous sword effectively skewer smugness and stupidity. He makes some important points. But not all compromises "produce hypocrisy and dysfunction."
- What are the global lessons or moral insights to be gained from this? What changes?
Links that made me wink:
Intersection of the real and on-line worlds
- I'm delighted that two of our favorite shabbat guests in real life have started blogging. I'd like to wish a belated "Welcome to the Blogosphere" to Greg, and a just-in-time welcome to Li Kim Grebnesi.
- Greg is a maven's maven, connecting foodies, philosophers, families and friends across the the world. His blog, Warm Duck Salad, is as eclectic, delightful and interesting as he is.
- Li Kim has been a dear friend for decades. We have know him since my husband and I were in high school. He has accomplishments and degrees in physics, philosophy and engineering, and is one of the best-read individuals we have met.
While, in person, Li Kim can be counted upon for an insightful and incisive, wry and original opinion on just about any political, historic, or philosophical topic (backed up, instantaneously and accurately, by a quote from Will Durant, Winston Churchill*, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer), his blog is devoted to a purely logical analysis of public debate.
Li Kim's Grebesni's Razor dissects publicly made arguments, isolating and identifying examples of logical fallacies contained therein. He's just getting started, and I'm celebrating his every entry.
- Crunchy Granola Mom is posting again. Which is good news. But, after moving 20 minutes away a few years ago, she is now attempting to sell her house and move hours away, which is good news for her family, but not for the many here who will miss her.
This puts me in a contorted and uncomfortable position, wishing the family every success, but not wanting their house to sell for our own selfish reasons. Having lots of empathy and experience with the pains and trials of long-term long-distance work-related family separations, I still find myself whining, "Nooooo! Don't GOOOOO."
I guess I'm going to have to say goodbye to the local soap delivery, too.
(To CrunchyGranolaMom: Refuah shelaima. To anyone looking for a great house in the Boston area, in a warm and welcoming observant Jewish community (that has an eruv, offers tuition and camp subsidies, and operates shuttle bus service to all the major Boston-area day schools), I reluctantly suggest you look here.)
Links about my sink:
A number of people in "real life" have asked for links relating to some recent kitchen repairs/renovations we made. I'm listing the products that I used, so I can point people here.
- This outdoor sink with water-powered retractable hose winderwas my link to sanity during the three weeks we were without water in our kitchen. It attaches to the garden hose, and allows for easy switching between a garden hose and an outdoor faucet/sink.
We didn't use it for drinking water, and there wasn't any hot water, but it made things so much more civilized to have a way to wash hands and dishes. It took about 10 minutes to assemble, and the retraction mechanism for the hose works beautifully without wasting much water.
I ran the drain hoses to a barrel under our deck, and recycled them to water the yard. Now that the water in our kitchen is flowing again, we look forward to using this in our sukkah.
- These are the sink faucets our plumber recommended They're wonderful. My husband, the eternal cynic keeps expecting the kids to use them from across the room to have a milk sink vs. meat sink water fight.
- We're also very happy with these under-sink water filtration units. They have a once-yearly($60) filter, filter to 0.5 microns, and have an elegant look. Since they work independently from the main faucet, it is possible to fill a glass of drinking water while the spaghetti pot fills.
- This is the out-of-production ClearTap faucetthat we loved so. (Ours were chrome, not white). It served us well for eight years. I'm still surprised that it is off the market, with no equivalent substitute. All the on-line places that claimed to have these in stock, eventually cancelled our orders. (Anyone out there who needs a case of American Standard F-20 filters, please let me know. I can use the cabinet space.)
The outside sink made washing the dishes look fun enough to inspire a volunteer.
Links for future tink(ering):Crafty projects and DIY tutorials to try
- This post by ProfK makes me want to mount one of those word-a-day calendars in the kids' bathroom.
- This Inkjet Transfer Stamping tutorial made me reconsider discarding my old inkjet printer.
- Am considering making little lampshades like these out of something water-resistant for the sukkah lights this year. I have a supply of old place-mats that might work for this. Or bits of old vinyl tablecloths. Or duct tape. (Can I use the words "decorative" and "duct tape" in the same sentence without chumming the water for the snarks?)
- An explosion of pop-up book tutorials (via MAKE Magazine)
- Mapufacture must have been the 11th item slated for LifeHacker's Top 10 printable paper productivity tools so it got its own post.
Links that made me blink:
- Cookie Chip Chocolates made me do a double take!
- How much chutzpah* is required to removed and publish a person's prayer from The Wall? (* Vered's comment compels me to clarify: I'm referring to the bad "outrageous and obnoxious lack of boundaries and respect for civilization" kind of chutzpah, not the admirable "backbone and moxie" kind.)
- If this is true, it is an outrage. I can only say that the situation described is totally counter to my experience in any of the Orthodox communities in which we've lived. (More reactions, here.)
- In a fit of schadenfreude I enjoyed every guilty minute of both Cake wrecks and LovelyListing
Links that prompted ink:
Articles and posts that sparked comments and replies
- Lion of Zion's preface to a post about leining ("leining" is the ritualized public reading of Torah) reminded me of a recent point made by Seth Godin.
Earlier this month I finally convinced my husband to listen to Seth's Purple Mooand Free Prize Inside! on a recent road trip*. I have listened to a number of his books, and just as he does with his blog posts, he advances interesting and new arguments using fascinating examples without fillers or repetition.
(*The road trip was to meet my newest nephew, Baby Newbie. Mazal tov to his parents, my sister Kosher Newbie, her husband Dr. Newbie, and to Young Master Newbie, in his new roll as a big brother.)
- I ended up deleting my comment in this thread, because I thought it too harshly worded. (Especially during the Three Weeks, when we're advised to be particularly careful to avoid divisive language.)
Let's just say that if someone demands to be remunerated for attending a social event, I'd recommend the hosts resign themselves to interpreting such a request a a "regret" and resign themselves to giving the caterer a smaller number of attendees. Those who arrange their guests' transportation out of love and with an open hand, rather than as a result of extortion, are generous and praiseworthy, going beyond what anyone should expect, much less demand.
And the idea, suggested in the comments and perhaps culturally acceptable elsewhere, of separate tiers of (adult) guests, with some meriting the "first class" meal and others offered the "steerage" treatment, makes me cringe. I see no problem with the "kids' buffet" that offers pizza or hamburgers to minor children (and a few stow-away husbands) saving them from the trauma of cuisine. However, treating single adults as children is beyond objectionable.)
There is a Jewish custom called "Sheva Brachot", which fills the new couple's first week with casual ritual meals. A requirement for each of these meals is a "new face", someone who hasn't eaten with the couple that week. This provides an opportunity to celebrate with those who didn't attend the wedding. These meals needn't be lavish or expensive.
After the financial issues are addressed, there is plenty else to negotiate.
(I penned and then deleted about a dozen responses to this heartbreaking post, without submitting any of them. Some conversations should not be held electronically. I can't help thinking (hoping?) that if father and daughter were in the same room together, or even on the telephone, the result would have been healthier.
I doubt the resulting on-line analysis-by-committee has made the situation better.)
- Both The Rebbetzin's Husband's discussion of "Dress Codes and Dress-up Judaism" (Part I and Part II) and this thread about talking during davening at Hirhurim prompted me to comment and read replies obsessively all week.
While I haven't changed my mind (quick summary: "dress up and shut up" ) I've gained a better perspective and appreciation for contrary opinions on both of these issues.
Links that made me link:
Worthwhile links and items I've recently forwarded to others
- Current economic conditions have sparked some great budgeting idea posts. Articles about frugality are always timely, but money is but one of many resources. I enjoyed this article about managing the "Idea Budget".
- I wonder where my son's duct-tape kippah fits in this list.
- I received half a dozen e-mails publicizing this survey. It's part of a study about the propagation of the Hebrew and Yiddish languages. They're looking for Jews and non-Jews to participate. It took about 5 minutes, and had some questions that made me smile. If you have a shtickle zman*, give it a click.
* shtickle = (Yiddish) an small, inexact amount ; zman = (Hebrew, Yiddish) time
NOTE: These words weren't on the survey, so learning them won't skew the results!
- I hope Ahmed and Jameel stories become a regular feature of The Muqata. I await the next installment. And for the next chapter in Treppenwitz's story of making aliyah, for which the lack of suspense dulls not the appetite.
- Ima on the Bima's weekly Parsha Haikus make me smile. (Having attended the birth of this feature, it's been great fun to watch it grow!)
Who else sees the potential for a book in this?
- I have to admit, I'm getting a little jealous of all these bloggers who are getting to meet one another. Leora just came back from Israel, where she spent time with Mother in Israel, who, like Batya, just returned from visiting New York.
Jameel, Treppenwitz, and who-knows-who-else are flying round trip, courtesy of Nefesh b'Nefesh, as part of a huge blogger meet-up in Israel, featuring Rabbi Gil Student, My Shrapnel, Yisrael Medad of MyRightWord, and many others.
Meanwhile, back in the U.S., Ezzie is busy planning a shabbaton in New York in a joint effort with the folks who run Beyond Teshuva.
It's like a whole world of parties, and I have to sit home alone. But that's okay. Don't worry about me. I'll just sit here in the dark.
- GeekDad pointed to an expanded version of Asimov's Rules of Robotics that made me laugh.
- Introducing, Nadneda, who voices the Quest for Balance with humor and wit.
Links for food or drink:
- I want to try making these cookies, using a pastry bag to form the cookies. (New dairy cookie recipes are always welcome, but are particularly so during the upcoming Nine Days, where meat is prohibited.)
- Cheesecake Brownies and Zebra Cakes are going on my short list of What to Bake next week. These also are from Baking Bites.
- I never thought of adding feta to tabouli before. It sounds yummy.
Links that made me pink:
Aw, shucks! Thank you for linking to Juggling Frogs
- I'm grateful to the reader who pointed out that Universal Hub linked to my rain barrel post, especially because it led me to check out their fantastic and very frequently updated Boston-focused blog. (Apparently, I'm not the only one enslaving fish. ) While Universal Hub is new to me, I should have known about it, as I've been referring people to Adam Gaffin's Wicked Good Guide to Boston English for, like, foevah.
- Nay Nay, a new contributor to DIY Planner (a website I've spent countless hours exploring over the years, an inexhaustible supply of productivity resources and ideas) for the kind words about my capture tools and Rolodex hacks. (Here is the annotated flickr link to my hybrid system mentioned in the comments.)
- Cold Brew coffee was featured in
- Thanks to Jack for including my knife block in Haveil Havalim #173 eventually named "The Evelyn Keyes Edition.". I'm not sure my post has much Jewish content or interest, but it was nice to be included. Esser Agaroth did a fantastic job with #174 full of important and difficult issues in a difficult month.
- RivkA's kids are getting a bit too busy to uncamp with her. At least she knows how many she has, and they aren't sending her letters like these. (Completeness compels me to include this , but with a warning for those who refrain from music during the three weeks to hit the mute key first, as there's a soundtrack.)
- This month's Kosher Cooking Carnival was served up by Soccer Dad on a fast day!
My husband was out of town that morning, so my teenage son was caught unawares at the end of synagogue services when someone suggested he sponsor the kiddush (festive repast).
- Thank you, Andrew.
- Overdue thanks to:
- Janeel Messenger for linking to the Frankendress post
- To Little Frumhouse on the Prairie for the touching mention with memories of her Grandma Ann
- To a flurry of recent links in various languages I can't read about my homemade cookie cutter instructions and various doll house information
- and to Jameel who said (a long time ago) that this blog inspires him. The feeling is mutual, Jameel.