Sunday, August 29, 2004

Add a link, nuke a link

Bloggers occasionally go on hiatus. If I enjoy their work, I generally leave the link on my list. It may be a dead end, but eventually, the day comes when I click, and it is alive again. Then, there's the case of Michelle. Her idea of going on hiatus is starting a new blog. Since I don't like going through a day without reading her work, I've added her new blog link to my list. Check out Popped Culture.

Then, there are those who post so infrequently that I just grow tired of the wait. Such was the case with Pretty Girl in the Corner whose link has been removed to make room. "Make room?" you ask... how can you not have room for additional links? Simple really... I spend too much time already on all my daily reads. I simply don't have time to read another.
Surely they jest

This marriage was made in hell. Literally.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Happy Anniversary!

Happy anniversary to me! Laurie and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary yesterday. I had taken Friday, Monday, and today as time off so I could be well-rested and stress-free for the occasion. She has been off since last Monday, preparing for my step-daughter's wedding shower, and extended her vacation for a full two-weeks to encompass our anniversary. As we did for our 10th, we spent the evening on a romantic dinner cruise, which, although romantic and a cruise, was woefully inadequate on the "dinner" side of things.

The Pride of Windsor website talks about the dinner entrees that are served on the scheduled cruises, so you can imagine my shock when I discovered that the ONLY entree available on our cruise was pork stirfry. Not exactly the dish a Jewish patron expects to see!

At Laurie's suggestion, I've written them a letter, asking that they make some sort of restitution for the inconvenience and breach of their stated terms. We'll see where that goes.

Monday, August 23, 2004

The Olympics suck!

I never enjoy the Olympics. They interfere with my normal TV schedule, and let's face it... Canada is no powerhouse nation. It's not like there's much to look forward to. Still, I had high hopes for the Canadian rowing team, and I was certain they would do well with all the hype they had been generating. I'm sure glad I'm not a betting man.

On another front, I found myself rooting for the "local athletes"... those who lived within a few miles of my own home. Today, the last of those was eliminated from competition. There wasn't a single medal among them.

Please, let this end soon!

Saturday, August 21, 2004

New Section of links

I get asked questions by friends and family about computer security. I have, in the past, outfitted these people with trusted anti-virus, firewall, and anti-spyware tools. Nevertheless, the human engineering found in some of today's popup ads and spam are quite tempting. In an effort to be proactive and offer ongoing advice to those who seek it, I have created a new section of links over to the right. I won't be going hog-wild with this section. Rather, I'll try to find relevant, useful links that can be browsed by those with questions about their computer's security.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


I'm learning much about myself, as I learn more about my religion. I'm learning that I enjoy getting up in the morning to go to the prayer session. Whether this will last once the weather turns is anyone's guess, but so far, it's really a part of the day I look forward to. I'm learning more about the prayers, and am becoming more proficient at reading them aloud. My shyness at making mistakes is beginning to slowly disappear, not because I'm any less self-conscious, but rather, because the daily practice is making me better.

I had mentioned that my visit to the old synagogue had been enjoyable. I told this to the rabbi of that shul. He's the same rabbi who shows up most mornings at the community prayer meeting to join in. He's the same rabbi who visited my father while he was in the hospital. I've come to like this rabbi as a person, as well as respecting him as clergy.

Today, I discovered the rabbi has tendered his resignation. The cross-border commute that his wife (a U.S. citizen living in Canada) has to endure on a daily basis has finally reached the breaking point. She wants to leave the city, and he has obliged. In a way, it's good that he's leaving, since I'm beginning to know him better than I do my own congregation's rabbi. I've been feeling a bit of guilt that I have been praying with this man 5 days a week, while I continue to declare my allegiance to the other rabbi who leads me the other two days.

He has given the synagogue two months to find a successor. Hopefully, the new rabbi will be as nice a guy as this one.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Masterpiece Theatre

I rented Kill Bill volume 2 yesterday. I hadn't seen it at the theatre. I had seen volume 1, and it was just barely tolerable. Who knew I was so sensitive to gratuitous violence. I think it was the anime that really got to me. Anyway, I had heard such good things about volume 2, I just couldn't resist. What a masterpiece. Everything in this movie went counter to my expectations. Though in retrospect, I should have seen many of the plot twists, I am pleased to say I didn't; and that every one of them was a pleasant surprise.

Now, if only I could get my wife to watch it (she walked out of Volume 1 during the early anime sequences, thoroughly disgusted with the violence and utter evil portrayed on the screen).

Saturday, August 07, 2004

A stroll down memory lane

I'm still in the 30-day mourning period following my dad's passing, and as such, have been faithfully attending morning and evening services so that I can say Kaddish. There are two orthodox synagogues in this city... the main one, and the small one. I normally attend the small one, though, when I was a child, I attended the main one.

Today, the rabbi for the small synagogue was out of town, so I attended the main one. It was a stroll down memory lane in more ways than one. First, the immenseness of the building hit me immediately. The echos and stale air were as they had always been. I'm so glad I don't have to go there often. But there was something pleasant and familiar about this visit as well. Each rabbi and cantor have their own style of reading and chanting. When a congregation changes rabbi or cantor, often this signals the beginning of a new way of doing things. Familiar tunes give way to new tunes. Sections of prayer that were previously sung are now read dryly, and vice versa. Imagine my surprise when I realized that the current rabbi and cantor conduct services nearly identically to how they were conducted in my youth. I recognized virtually all the tunes, and various passages were sung/read aloud in much the same way as in my youth.

Although that made the visit to the main synagogue far more enjoyable than it could have been, I much prefer the small, quaint, understated atmosphere of the small synagogue, and will be glad when the rabbi returns next weekend.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Not much going on here

In contrast with the hectic change of pace that was the only constant through the last few weeks of my dad's life, things since his death have been remarkably boring. My days now begin with a visit to the local synagogue or community centre, where I find a mineon to say my Kaddish prayers. These sessions occur early enough during the day to get me back to my home in time to report for work at the regular time. After work, I take another trip to the centre for the evening prayers. I have been thinking about whether I will continue this ritual after my 30-day mourning period is up - except for forcing me to fall asleep earlier than I usually do, this has not been intolerable, and I even think there may come a time when my attendance at these sessions will make a difference to some other "new mourner".