Thursday, October 8, 2009

Window walking

This will be short. I went to kosher subway today to eat in the sukkah. When I brought my stuff in the sukkah I found that there's a table but no chair. So I walk out the sukkah and go straight to the first chair I see.. Boom! It takes me some moments to realize what has happened... I hear girls sitting in the sukkah burst into laugh. Then I realize that I actually walked into the window instead of the door! Next thing I understand that all peopes' attention is on me now.
It was the first time in my life I've been bleeding from my nose. So was it the time when I realized I don't know how to stop the blood - remember people saying to turn the head up and I remember people saying not to do that.. Boruch Hashem I have high quality blood - I think it took me less than 5 minutes to stop bleeding.
At least I made people laugh and laughed myself with them when I was back in the sukkah.

It reminds me of how I walked into the tree last year. I took few steps back, said "oh, I am sorry!" and only then realized it was actually a tree, not a person :) I didn't hit it that bad though.

So people - don't trust your eyes and always make sure you're going in right direction! A gute moed!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Don't judge me

I hate ranting. I try not to discuss what happens in Jewish world. I ain't an angel myself. If I want to vent there's enough stuff I can vent about myself. But...

But there's one day in the year when I get depressed not because of myself. It's the day when I go buying lulav, esrog and whole lots of stuff related here.

While esrog is what usually makes the price it's pretty easy to get through this challenge. All you have to do is to find an appealing, good looking, right color, nice/ideal form and shape, no black dots, no scratches from leaves, pitim/no pitim and so on. With these simple rules you have almost found good esrog. It's harder to check all boxes and to find one but at least you can take every one and look at it yourself first. After you found something you like, just go to the man checking esrogim and show it to him:

- Ummm, nice esrog! Really perfect one!.. {short pause, looking at esrog with magnifying glass} This would be expensive one, are you ok with budget?
- Yeah, how much is it?
- Where did you find it?
- There {pointing at the box aside from the main table}
- Look, I really can't give it for less that $$
- Sure no problem

This little conversation doesn't take longer than 1 or 2 minutes and both are happy: one got what he was looking for, another sold it for good money and helped a fellow jew.

Now you move to lulavim. The law is the law - don't touch the top two inches or you will have to take it regardless of it's quality. Accepted. You stand aside waiting for your time, not touching anything. Consider these two conversations:

{sales guy stands, holds a lulav in his hands, looks at it's top, looks at your esrog}
- How much are you paying for it?
- $$
- {half second pause} this is a very good lulav {hands you lulav he's holding}
{both are happy - one got what he was looking for, another didn't take much time and helped a fellow jew

{sales guy stands, holds a lulav in his hands, looks at it's top, looks at you, hands you lulav he was looking at}
- Here's good one for you! It's kosher O-U, O-K, Star-K - it's kosher!
- but...
- Don't look at it too much you'll get ain horah at it!

Obviously every year I get into similar situation described in the second conversation. Both take less than a minute, but second one make's me feel everytime like I am less Jewish than people around me. Look - I am not getting esrog for $10 although even here you can make nice conversation. I am paying $80 which is much higher than regular price in the store ($50-60). I didn't just to be upselled - I am paying for expensive stuff, obviously I don't need anyone to run around me, but at least treat me as everyone else in the store. If I wear jeans and color shirt it doesn't tell you much about me. Well, I can understand you are tired, but I was not hanging out the whole week with girls and going to clubs nor did I not come hour before Sukkos starts - I came in advance and I am also tired, I also just came from work.

What bothers me most is that it doesn't take you much effort to say something nicely, regardless of what you think. It doesn't take you longer either. In fact you may get rid of me faster as I will feel that you didn't just give me the first more or less kosher lulav, but that you gave me something good compared to when you make me feel like I am not given good stuff and you make me want to argue with you!

I just wanted to add that I really feel bad saying all this stuff about a yid, esspecially two days after Yom Kippur, but it's not my fault that Sukkos comes right after it...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Shidduch hiatus

The title says it - I am officially going on shiduch hiatus for uknown period of time.

New year is considered a time for new decisions and while oter ones were easy to go for, decide and even start applying some of them, this one was a much harder one to accept. 

I've been doing very bad from religious standpoint for quite a while with ups and downs but I was not successful at getting on the right track so far. Wishes and thoughts that I will be doing everything right when I find the girl as that will push me to be doing things the right way - that's all just dreams and not a right approach to things.

So it took me 10 days to decide. This means that I will refuse any option except two which are ongoing for the past few month -just because I doubt they will happen anyway. I will also try to shut any talks on this topic directly and indirectly related to me.

Hopefully it won't take me too long to overcome myself, my will and my yetzer but that will not happen tomorrow so all these things tend to cross the line between truth and hypocrisy.

Let's see what will come out of this.

PS. This is my last chance to ask for forgiveness from anyone I have offended anyhow, lied to, said loshon horah about or did something else that I must ask forgieness for. Please forgive me. 
Have an easy (and meaningful) fast! Gmar chatimah tovah!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, September 25, 2009

Older is more attractive or age is out of question

It's been long time since I've noticed for the first time that I get attracted more to girls that are older me than to younger ones. No, I don't discriminate by age, in fact I don't care much if ny wife will be 2 years younger or 3 years older than me if we match in everything else.

However recently I realized that it's not just coincidential that I was interested in few girls that are older than me and in much smaller number of who was younger. Talking to Moshe on IM I named whoever I was able to remember from the top of my hat and it came out as 3:1!!! Seriously I was able to name 6 girls older than me and only 2 younger. Besides that my very first shidduch date was almost year older than I (I didn't count her though).

May be it's a sign?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Superpower Memes follow-up

So over the past week a bunch of bloggers decided to speak up about superpower they would want to have. While some others decided to skip... (this is not a full list so sorry if I didn't link to you)

This erev Rosh Hashonah I was sitting in the bus on my way to Lakewood and I was rethinking many things that happened in the past few days. And for some reason I remembered about superpower memes that were going around.

While it is clear that my superpower was 100% evil driven, most of other people had their wishes based either on simple self-related topics or on better-to-be ones. So I was thinking about bunch of similar better-to-be superpowers which were intended to be able to better understand people, or to know what could hurt someone and get around that and so on. And that brought me to realization why we don't have these simple and so-great-have abilities which we could use everyday for good of the world. Why didn't Hashem give us something what we could use to help people around us, to be better people ourselves? Why did He decide that what we have is good for us and we don't need any better?

I think the answer is simple. Because as we could easily use these powers for good, we would have a bigger yetzer hora pushing us to use there abilities for bad. Do you realize how easy it would be to hurt a person when you know painful topic for them? Do you realize how easy it would be to do so many bad things knowing so much about surrounding us world?

So what I thought was that we should thank Hashem that neither we nor others have these powers that could bring more harm in to this shaky world! Thank You, Hashem, for not letting to sin more by limiting our abilities to what we have!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Must read! Dude's meme about superpower he wants.

Material Madel tagged me so my opus is following

Rule number 1: Read the rules.
Rule number 2: Write one superpower you would like to have and what you would do with it.
Rule number 3: Write why you chose that super power over everything else.
Rule number 4: Tag and link 7 people, and write why you think they will have an interesting meme.
Rule number 5: fix your broken links.

Here we go:

Rule 1 - check.

Before I start I should mention that MM is really observant about my pic. She says:

Dude with Hat - because with his profile pic, he's already got the whole 'mysterious spy' thing going on - and that intrigues me.

With her help my spy career is now over because you can't be a spy if others know this. Thanks MM! Very generous from you!

Anyway the superpower I really want is to be able to know everything about anyone I want when I want to. I.e. I don't want my head to be piled up with info about everyone. I want info to be well categorized by person, time and action with description/photo/video/audio recording and me to have easy access to this info. For example I could query for what shoes did MM wear yesterday around afternoon? Or why does Bad4 call herself Bad4? (well i know why, but it's still a good example) Or what did Hannah write in her personal paper diary today? Or what did Moshe ate for his lunch on August 5th? (not that I care much, but good example). Or list of all girls from NYC under 23 Altie was hanging out with when she was in Seminary... I think the idea is clear.

And if this whole thing about database is kinda over-thought, knowing stuff about people is real. Some of you know how I've found your home addresses, phone numbers. So don't be shocked if I call you at 3AM or knock on your door at 11PM. I am 99% sure I haven't opened email box of anyone who reads this blog so I am safe to talk about that... But I used to do that too. Stopped last year. Some of you know details.. Looking into other's windows is a really not nice thing to do so I don't have binoculars. But be sure I'll check you out in the mirror reflection of train car window (I am serious!)

Don't ask me though to do that for you - I won't. The only time when I succeed is when I am highly motived to find that info, otherwise I won't find much if person hides well.

Rule 2 - check

Rule 3 - check!

  1. Hannah - so what did you write in your private diary today, Hannah?
  2. Bad4 - I know already why you call yourself Bad4, but you are too successful with your blog with such bad name, so you are definitely hiding something in your left pocket (which you don't have because you wear skirt :P)
  3. MAK - I discovered you too recently to know too much about you, so you still have a chance to do some work for me and prevent me stumbling on things you don't want me to know too well...
  4. Moshe - not that I want to know what you ate on August 5th for lunch (and I doubt you remember it), but some things about you are really unclear to me!
  5. Something Different - why do I remember about you every time I cross E 12th and Ave M? (I have associative memory so ya know...)
  6. The Babysitter - your name suggests that there's some other dark side of you that I don't know about yet... Are you obsessed with robots because it gives you full control over them?
  7. Chana - do you have to do anything with Viznitz? Just asking...

Rule 4 - check!

Do I have any broken links? I am lazy, I don't even have a full blogroll, nor do I have a normal link section. So, behold! Point me at broken link and I'll fix it.

Rule 5 - check!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

SOLVED : Rosh Hashona dilema, need advice - III

This is a follow up on my previous two posts

So I spoke to my rov on tuesday, he said I should go to Lakewood and that I should sit down and talk to my family (tet-a-tet, not to all at the same time) and to clear up the confusion.

Spoke to my mom and she said that everything is ok, hope it is. Haven't seen my brother though, so he found news from mom. That's not the fortunate option, but I wouldn't discuss these things on the phone - I am not a phone person and everyone knows it. So I am still not sure what he thinks has made me to go to Lakewood. Based on the short phone conversation I had with him yesterday/today he's worried something is wrong but I am not saying that. That's my personality - I rarely discuss personal stuff with family and he knows it. He noticed that many times and he mentioned that too.

So now I feel myself guilty that I've left them without an option at the last moment. As of today I could've had my mom going to four seudos (thanks to Moshe), now she goes only to two because she won't go alone. My brother didn't sound so happy either. Plus I told him I'll cover expenses on stuff that was supposed to be brought to hosts, now he doesn't want me to do so because I don't go. I think like I'm getting too deep into details I shouldn't be..

So all in all everyone has to be happy and no one really is. Otherwise everything is cool. I looking forward to visit Lakewood after 3 years of hiatus and hopefully meet some people I know there.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Rosh Hashona dilema, need advice - II

Before I get to the follow up on this topic I'd like to make few remarks about my previous post:

  • First of all - I do not reread what I write. Whether it's an email, reply or blog post - I take it as if I was talking to person using my mouth - what's said could not be unsaid and what mistakes made (grammar or orthographic) could not be fixed. Not that I am really so principal, it's just that I'm kind of impatient to hit Send/Submit/Publish button. From this one come two more remarks:
  • I did not intend to show my family bad in any way. I totally understand that their lives are their lives and mine is mine and I do not try to mix to possible extent. The only thing that currently implies on everyone at home is kosher kitchen (with very lenient things sometimes IMO). It is easy to say and this doesn't go that easy on practice but getting through this you get to understand more and try to control yourself better so do I try too.
  • Nor did I intend to say something like "oh I'm so humble that I can't ask you, so please get my hint and act!". Although it does sound so it's not meant to. Anyway I must thank Dina for acting :) Thank you, Dina! I will crash one day into your seuda! (can't find better words, sorry!)

While all this said sounds very pathos and snobbish, the purpose of this post is to get update on what has happened during past three days

So as I said before this was my third Shabbos staying at home. Usually we have my little nephews staying Friday night and Shabbos, past two Shabbosim they were by us on other days. This Shabbos they were back on schedule. I figured that I'd wait till they go to sleep (for good reason so not be uncomfortable myself and to get less questions from kids which I wouldn't be able to explain easily to them) and then come and have my seuda. Went to shul, davened, found an interesting Chumash with commentaries of Tur, read entire parsha with all comments (probably haven't ever done so, although this parsha was really short and I read only Vayelech by mistake). Then I looked at the clock, it was only 9:15 so I figured I'd go to my yeshiva, see if I meet there anyone I know or just sit and repeat what i was learning when I was there.

On my way I changed my mind and went to Ohr Izchak yeshiva since they have artscroll gemoras. Then I figured that last time I went to this yeshiva on Friday night it was closed, so I decided that if it's closed I'll go zigzaging around the block like I do sometimes. Then I saw the door was wide opened. When I almost turned to walk into the door I saw there few kids and their mommy. I was shocked as I did not expect to see women in that section of yehsiva at that time, so I turned back and continued walking by the block. I haven't passed the end of building yet when it started to rain so I had to turn back and walk into yeshiva. It turned that there was some one's bar mitzvah seuda in the dining room and bais medrash was empty.

Over the time I've learned through gemora Sukkah first amud with all commentaries, rereading by few times if I wasn't getting the meaning, getting back to confirm and summarize details. It was 10:something and I figured it's time to start walking back. But I didn't even walk out from yeshiva seeing strong rain outside - I turned back to bais medrash. I did not take my rain coat so I had to stay in if I didn't want to ruin my suit. This time I did not want to do gemora already so I started looking through english book and my eye caught the word "relationships" - i looked at the book, its cover said "SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIPS AT HOME, AT WORK AND WITH FRIENDS" by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski. This is one of the topics I am always interested in for many reasons so I took the book and started reading. I stopped around 11, figuring that if it's not raining it's definitely time to move. So I closed the book, purposely did not put it back ("who knows may be someone will find it interesting tomorrow, too?") and walked out - it did not rain so I walked back home.

On the way back I wished everyone to be sleeping when I come home. My mom was not sleeping and she was shocked to find that I haven't eaten anything yet. This was my biggest mistake - to do something noticeably. At the time when I was walking back I definitely did not want to have anyone even thinking why I did not come earlier. Rain was my alibi, but it was not that good alibi as my mom knew it was not raining all the time and also I did not put it all that way right - I am a good thinker and I usually find ways how to get around with things I don't want to touch, but my strategy often sucks at details that I haven't thought through in advance.

Next morning my mom approached me when I was getting ready to go to shul and told me that "every one makes mistakes sometimes and that I should also be forgiving" clearly meaning that she took my yesterday's act as "being offended by our previous talk" which was not, or at least was not that bad to the point as she took it. For me this was a clear flag that it was my big mistake yesterday.

I've met someone I knew at shul next to my house and he generously invited me to him. Here I was not say "no" for a bunch of reasons so I went to him. When I came back home my brother asked me if I ate and I said yes, he asked me if I was sure - that was another flag of my fault - my act was discussed between him and my mom.

Now I really did not want them to anyhow discuss this because it had a high risk of getting me into situation of them feeling guilty and doing me chessed by making me stay at home for Rosh Hashonah by any means. This was not what I wanted and this was not what I intended. But this is what I got.

Sunday morning my brother called me to let me know that we're going for two seudos to his friend, including my brothers kids for one of them (they were there before and they liked it). Next question was like a punch:

- Will you find place for yourself by yourself or you need help?
- Yes, by myself.
- Are you sure? - Yes.

Now I am really between two fires because from one side I already made my mind to go to Lakewood for better, from other side I am here in front of the fact that everything is planned and there's a big feeling that it was arranged for me, not for them.

When my brother called I haven't spoken to my rov yet, so I didn't even know how to react. I called my rov but he did not pick up his phone - he was probably busy. Next time when I was about to call him it was 12AM in Israel so I sent him SMS instead. I am still not sure if SMS work between US and Israel so I don't know if he ever received it, but I had never gotten response. Now I plan to call him tomorrow morning from work and tell him over this whole story.....

This is one of those situations when I will learn a lot about how to not handle things, how to plan better strategy and how to act at certain moments. But this is not the situation I like to be in.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rosh Hashona dilema, need advice

So here's the problem - my family is uncomfortable with me spending Shabbosim at home (i.e. having meal at home) because this restricts them to what they feel like doing on saturdays. While this was survivable for the past 2 Shabbosim, it seems that upcoming Rosh Hashonah won't be like that since it's not one but two days of restrictions (while I am present at home).

From my side I've been always uncomfortable to spend Shabbos at home so for about 4 years I was always away from home most of the time (even slept in a different place until after this year's Yom Kippur). Even when I started sleeping at home I would not come home earlier than 11PM, including winter time.

There were some things going on in my shul recently which made me really uncomfortable coming there. Nothing personal, mostly global stuff, but I hate politics and I hate people changing accepted rules and I hate some other stuff going on there for the past few months - so I figured I'd stay away. I spent last two Shabbosim at home and plan to do so on this upcoming one.

So I just had this conversation which started from if I am at home for this Shabbos and ended where I am for Rosh Hashona. Until now I had two options:

  • Preferable - sleep at home and find places where to go for seudot (something I really hate to do - asking if I can come for seuda, probably doing so for the first time) and going with family for at least one seuda to my brother's friend - this is a key for staying home, because there will be at least something going on for the family plus according to my brother it's already a tradition that we go to his friend for Rosh Hashonah seuda as we did so for the past few years. If this was not in plans I would definitely get away to other town
  • Preferable for my family, convenient for me - go to Lakewood where I was invited to yesterday. Convenient for me because I don't have to ask people to attend to their seuda which I really feel uncomfortable doing. Plus it will be hosted by one Rabbi who I really like to go to for Shabbosim; so also highly enjoyable. Preferable for my family as they are not limited in anything due to lack of my presence.

So I am really confused now because I was thinking to stay in brooklyn for my family to participate at least some events (I was also hoping that may be I'd arrange other meals where they'd go too), but now I am being kind of nicely asked to disappear for the Holiday. Any ideas what should I do?

PS. I wish I had my Rav here in US so he'd be really into all details and would've gave me right advice, but he lives on the Holy Land.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wonderful things in Jewish Laws

this post was written few days earlier and was scheduled to publish itself automatically

Learning Hilchot Krias Shma I thinking about two amazing things.

First is Shaa Zmanit. What a clever thing! Just imagine our laws would be based on the regular clock. What a mess would be when people started using day light saving times! All our laws would have to be rewritten accordingly to the new clock system and we would have to follow one set of laws in the winter and another set of laws in the summer. Now add here that there are two jews and three opinions which is especially true in our days - during the last hundred years we've lost the last Poiskim who could set a psak din which everyone, or at least a major group of jews would follow.

Second thing is great for those who get up and daven after 7 o'clock in the morning (like me). Just a hundred years ago in many places zman Krias Shma would pass before 7AM (!) in the summer. After the day light saving times were introduced summer timess moved one hour forward, so now zman Krias Shma is before 8AM in the same places without violation of any halochos!! Isn't that wonderful?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Meme: 7 things i like

Recently, Ink Staned Hands tagged me in a meme about 7 things i like.

Well my list will be simple and predictable, but it won't be ordered by preference:

  1. Music - this one for me like cigarettes for smokers. I smoke more than two packs a day of music on a 6 days a week term.
  2. Make people happy - I just like to know that I've made a person happy. Sometimes I would even pay big money (read expensive presents) just to know I made a person to smile.
  3. To walk - I can walk miles and enjoy it if there's someone to walk with (dogs don't count)
  4. Watch people and/or know everything about the person - this one is tricky: besides just watching people on the train or in Starbucks, I've learned to look at people via anything what has a clear reflection if there's no mirror available (for example train windows) so people don't think I am staring at them. Sometimes I've done even worse things like reading someones emails but that was in a long past
  5. Trains - both real and toy trains. Every time I to New Jersey for Shabbos I start enjoying the trip the moment I find a seat next to the window. I love watching tracks, passing by trains, terrain and also bridges and houses. I wish toy trains were cheaper because even small models require few hundreds of dollars to be spent in a first investment
  6. Photography - this one is more of an unreleased feature of me, but it's in my genes - my father was a profession and very good photographer. When I've got my current camera few years ago I was doing hundreds of photos per event. Then after I started my current job many things have changed very significantly and it was one of the reasons I started taking much less photos (also I started to participate much less events). Currently I am looking to replace my camera with two: smaller one (preferably Canon SD750 but it's not on sale anywhere anymore and there's no analog for it even though I like Panasonics more than Canons) and DSLR (some beginner level camera, Nikon preferably, if not then Canon)
  7. Tech stuff - it would be hypocritical not to mention this. I has a large share in my life. May be too large. But that's an instrument that helps me earn living and give maaser... Also geeky things

I just wanted to answer to Something Different why many bloggers do memes - it's a lot about links to you and to your friends... Also Wikipedia has an interesting view on memes

Now I'll have to tag seven people here, but it will be hard because most of them were tagged by others already. Let's try with Little Sheep (it couldn't be that you don't have anything you like, LS!), Not Bad for Shidduchim, Frum College Girl, tembow, recently married too young to teach, Hadassah and not so material or not so maidel material maidel.


Thursday, June 18, 2009


Over the time I've learned to find answers on my own. Today it's as simple as searching Google, before it was some reading.
I knew there was noone to understand or to know the topic. Or there would be somebody willing to help but they'd make it more complicated so you'll end up looking for answer yourself anyway. Why waste time?
The only questions that I let myself to slip these days are stupidest ones that I find answer on as soon as I ask the question.

This is how I learned computers in and out, this is how I learned programming, this is how I had success at jobs over past few years. This is why I hate people asking questions that they may find answer for faster than it will take me to hear their question...
This is why I hate people creating a problem and bothering me before they find they could take care of it easily by themselves. Just a little brain work.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

1 reason not to host jQuery by Google

There are tons of articles on the web that tell you why you should load JS libraries from Google. All of them are based on the trust that Google never goes down, never fails. It's a true assumption - they have so many data centers in so many places around the world that if one of them goes down next one will just pick up traffic and users will not notice anything.

This week this belief was turned down. On Thursday, May 14th Google services were very slow or inaccessible for at least two hours in the morning. Some experienced this for even longer time. Some felt like apocalipsis is here - the Great Google is not working...

Basically we could survive without some of Google services - at least there's Yahoo.
But for those who had their sites depend on Google it was a big disaster! Forget about Google Analytics that almost everyone has on their site - this is usually loaded in the bottom of the page code so it didn't have much of impact on performance. But if you have used one of Google Ajax Libraries - you'd probably load that one in the header of your page. Or Google Ajax Search which is usually located on the top of the page. This is where things were going wrong! Lucky people like I had a high chance that their page will never load because browser locks all processes on the page while any JS script is loading....

What did we learn from here? There's no ideal service that doesn't fail. Until this Thursday I could barely understand why my company would not go for Google hosted code - "If we fail there's not much you could do. If Google fails - you're f**ked up!". It's better to depend on yourself and have your page load 50 miliseconds slower than have it not loaded at all...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Workspace

So here comes a pic of my current workspace (carefully cleaned out two days ago). Included: a hooked up laptop Dell Inspiron 1420 (bought in Jan '08), monitor Acer AL1917W (Jan '07), Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000 (if MS does something very good - that's mice!) and some 4 y/o speakers Creative (from Staples).

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Web Hosting experience overview

Updated in less than one hour after posting - dreamhost'ed website is down again. Down, i.e. not accessible from anywhere!

Here's a list of web hosts I've ever dealt with:

Bluehost (ref link, why not?) - Shared Hosting

4 years with them. Were questionable in the beginning due to thin network pipes but over the time they've built trust to them. These days I track them with Pingdom and they provide average uptime of 99.9% on a medium-to-high trafficked site. They come out to around $100/year which is cheap. Although they give you everything unlimited, you are limited to one IP address ($30/y) and one SSL certificate ($45/y from Comodo).

One of great things about them is their Live Chat and Phone Support - you can get most questions answered within 5-30 minutes and most things done withing 30-60 minutes. Unfortunately recently I started noticing some rudeness from time to time but it's still livable.

Other well known human beings on Bluehost - Frum Satire - the guy is on Wordpress and it seems he didn't optimize his set up well so his website is slow sometimes.

Server Beach - Dedicated Servers

My first official employee used them for Win based platform. They give you everything you want - private network, private IP addresses and so on. Very good connection in NY. Not so expensive to start in any level

Media Temple - Shared (GS, Grid Servers)

Not cheap, but highly praised by many customers. They are truly a temple - many people using them are as religious as apple users... I tried them but having a very low trafficked domain only fir testing ended up in slow access time.

Noticeable features - great custom Control Panel with great support for iPhone, Urchin software for stats (free for shared Grid Servers, gotta pay for DV - Dedicated Virtual). Very flexible. Ticket system is not very fast or at least for non urgent questions you have to wait for few hours to get reply sometimes.

Rochen - Shared Hosting

Give less give better - i think it's their headline. You get just 300MB for $8/mo but this is promised to be on Raid 10 - not bad for shared hosting. And you are limited to 1 domain! But do you really need more? Get 500MB and three domains for $12. There are few more options, if you are interested you can find it out by yourself, i'm not going to do full advertising for free :) Anyway I was with them for few month but have never launched there anything high loaded to try them out. Good memory anyway except i couldn't figure out why I had problems with file permissions.

1 and 1 (ref) - shared hosting and other options

Wanted to set up a blog for my friend. Something what would be independent from my movements from hosting to hosting and to make it all under her name so in case of something. Back then they were giving options for less $2/mo + free domain what was more than enough for her. I didn't like the way some things were arranged and managed in their system, but in overall I was satisfied. Never heard complaints from my friend either

Other human beings using it - Moshe. I spoke to him, he sounds happy

DataPipe - managed dedicated and colocation

Hosting provider at my current employee. Nothing much to say but IMO they are another example of old school overpriced a bit stagnated service.

Linode - VPS

There are companies that gain your trust somehow without these loud words anywhere. This is the case. For $20/mo an up you can get as much as you need. They give you self-managed system - on a given space you can build in minutes one or many of given systems. You are free to do almost anything including breaking your things. They've got data-centers in couple of different places in US so you can often choose the most closest and appropriate location. Good place to start with your VPS.

Dreamhost (ref) - shared and VPS

I used to think of this company as a very good service which has earned so many praises from their users for good. Recently I was looking for a hosting option for my shul's website. I couldn't host it on my main account because it required own IP address and SSL. On erev Yom Tov Pesach I somehow end up on dreamhost's frontpage where they offered first year for less than $10 (code 777). Obviously I went for it because I've read many good words about them from people who used them. Unfortunatelly two weeks later the server site was hosted on went down. Obviously shared hosting doesn't provide you email or sms notifications so I didn't know about this issue until on friday I was told to check website. All what was there - "It works" - one of standard apache pages. They have status blog but the last update was from the day before that they are working on backing things up. I filed a ticket and was replied backup process is still running. So I decided not to touch anything although it didn't make sense that backup is taking that long. Ok, it's Shabbos soon and I can't do much from work anyway - all backups are only local at home. Motzei Shabbos first thing I check website and find empty index of files in the top directory of website. All I had to say was "Mo*Fu*ers". No updates on my ticket. Coming home I checked out their status blog - updated lately on friday night all it said was sorry for lost data you'll get a message about refund. Great! Thanks for not f-ing up something more serious with thousands of visitors even on saturday. I file another ticket and only about 15 hours later I get reply saying that their backup was running broken and it's for good that it happened. Now I'm still in thought of switching from them...

Just few hours later after their last reply I notice that website is down again. Not accessible from anywhere, no pings, trace route, nothing helps. Soon after filing ticket with highest priority things went up again and I'm again in deep thoughts of wasting few hours to switch to another host. Because I'm not a kid to play Up and Down games anymore.

From good side they've got some interesting options in their custom Control Panel, easy set up for SSH, IP address and SSL. Many other options. 50GB of dedicated space for backups (managed by you, access by FTP) on another server. DB is also on another server - in my case DB was left untouched and I didn't have to rebuild it.

Hostings I'd like to try:

  • Mosso - cloud servers - sounds not expensive to try. From $11/mo and up. Backed up by Rackspace, sounds impressive... Who knows...
  • SliceHost - another not expensive self-managed VPS. Also backed up Rackspace
  • MediaTemple - middle-priced managed VPS from a highly praised company, still eager to try.
  • PinchHost - they followed me today on one of my Twitter accounts after I complained about dreamhost. They look like a not expensive but so far they have there some trust. I don't know why.
  • Yahoo Hosting - large company that gives some trust, but only when they switch to PHP 5. Come on guys PHP 4 is dead!!!

I'm going to add more stuff here when there will be something and update this post from time.
What if you change your mind and the way you of a person after every conversation with them? Not in a bad way, but just like your talking to a person you don't know and get a first impression of them, but here it's someone you know for a while and it's still like someone you don't know at all?

Friday, May 1, 2009


it doesn't really matter what text in russian say here.


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Unfortunate iPhone effect

You can quote them, disagree with them,
disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing that you can’t do, is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.

It's almost 2 and half years after iPhone was first announced. It is almost 2 years after iPhone was released. It is almost 1 year after iPhone 3G was released and I've got one (16Gb, black). It's less than two month before next iPhone to be announced officially.

There's one problem about it. In the past two years there was no phone released that would be better than iPhone, but only iPhone 3G. Seriously without any bias look at the market - there's no phone to really compete with iPhone. To say that, you'll have to use iPhone for a while and then try other phones. I did. I've had my hands on Samsung, Blackberry and LG. I've seen people use G1. You can't compare them by neither quality of build/materials nor quality of software. I am not talking about applications - at some point there will be quality apps for Android and Storm which can compete or be better in some functionality than same apps for iPhone - just give it some time and drive more interest of users. But I can't believe no one was able to come up with at least near quality even without being better! Well, you may think, there is Palm Pre. We'll see that one, but so far it looks that it's less intuitive and more messy. We can confirm it possibly on May 17th. But again in less then a month new iPhone is to be announced and Pre will lose it's pedestal (if it will ever gain it).

Until that date I have a problem with iPhone. Actually two. One is minor cuz I don't care about that much - too many people around have the same phone as you have. It's like everyone driving Bentley. What's the point in fancy thing if everyone has it?
Second problem is bigger - for the past 5 or 6 years I've got used to that there are phones and there are better ones. I have cellphone for four years and for three years there was always some better phone that you can plan on getting.
That's not the case with iPhone!!! If you get it you're stuck when there's nothing better. It's not ideal at all, it has a crappy camera (if you use it a lot) and no music over bluetooth (have you seen quality BT headphones?). But there's just nothing better! There's nothing you can dream about! Isn't that lame?

Addictions and addicts, with music on the background

There are many types of addictions one may have. Unfortunately it could be too well known smoking, alcohol and drugs. Besides these there could be sexual addiction (anyone?), music, computer games, internet, computer in general, long sitting in "beis a-kisei" and others.

From noted here I can highlight two as I am highly addicted to them - music and computer in general.

I always start from the end - especially magazines and books are most interesting in the end. I'll start from the second here too.
If I wasn't addicted I would be simply in the bed for the past two hours. I just can't live without computer. I can't concentrate if I don't sit by it for few minutes. There are times when I tell myself I'm done with work for today or no work today at all but I still get back to the screen every few minutes.
While looking up a link to my comment, i've noticed a relevant topic about life without technology.

Another addiction I mentioned is music. This is not a big deal on regular days - it's just almost 24/6 me listening to music would that be in my earphones or blasting so it's sounds well in the whole apartment. You could hardly see me outside without headphones - it helps me turn from surrounding world and bring some peace to my mind. I listen to music when I program - it helps me concentrate. I listen to music as a noise canceler in the train so I can sleep. I listen to music when I'm depressed and when I'm in a good mood.
These days are hard since it's sfira time when it's customary not to listen to music. There people who say you can listen to recorded music but I hardly accept these leniences. However it doesn't stop me from giving up sometimes and turning on something. Every year it's different (read my comment to get more details on previous years so i don't have to repeat myself). This year it's a choice of only listening to when it's really depressing or when I really need to concentrate on work. Either way it's only part of my playlist which contains depressive music and nothing happy; plus it could not go loud meaning that I would hear anyone talking to me when I wear both headphones.

So yesterday I was having really hard time on concentrating on my work and I turned on music. First it was a set of Eminem (just few songs) but soon it was switched to Dark Tranquility album "The Mind's I" - something I was rarely listening to unless it was in a random play of my entire iPhone playlist. Few hours later I realized that although this music did really help me to concentrate I can't recall most of what I was listening to - i.e. it was just making a comfortable background that didn't not bother me but at the same time it didn't get my attention. Something nearly perfect.
Something I was noticing before too but this time I made me think again on it's meaning - most of the time I don't listen to the music. I breath it. Like we don't notice how we breath i listen to music, but if we stop breathing we'd die - same if i stop music I'm not feeling comfortable anymore.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Madness in March - recap

Since I didn't get much of time to post during March I've thought I'll write at least recap of what happened during it.

There's no particular order.

For me March started from fast dating session. I don't know if I appreciate integrating of modern non-Jewish concepts into something that is at least a tradition which proved itself many times but since it was organized by a rabby whom I know I decided I'd go. Especially after turning down another offer with out even wondering about details...
I knew most of people there would be much older than me but I let it to be just a fun time spending. It turned out I knew like 7 or 8 from 15 girls there. I knew age of about 12 of them. I marked three girls just to have someone marked there but I didn't mark one girl I was thinking of cuz I assumed she's older than me. It turned out she was younger and she marked me. I didn't push anything forward after that so I've never went out with her though. I still think I need someone stronger than I and MO just won't work for me.

Next there was Purim. I don't like people getting drunk anytime but that's something that bothers me especially every Purim. I feel depressed and antisocial. I try to avoid places where people drink. I just don't believe they yoitze in most cases but I think they just get drunk because it's another reason to.

March 13 is always marked for me as my older brother's birthday, but also I have one tradition on this day for past 5 years - I start saying my upcoming age. For example officially I'm 20 until June but I already say 21.

I've got a new Twitter account - follow me at @btslowly

Last two weeks were a mental disaster - besides regular antisocial feeling I felt like I just can't talk to anyone - none would agree and everything would go wrong. Except for work stuff - that just goes on and I never have anything to complain about.
Someone actually was able to calm me down by just having a conversation online and I'm still very thankful to that person!

Regarding work - one of our devs quit in the first days of March and I'm now one on one with my head of department in our room :). We actually have one more full-time guy in Canada (he more there recently) and we now have first outsourced freelancer from Argentina. Cool guy. I've got bunch of extra stuff to take care of but he helped me a lot. I think I f'ed up seriously only once but not delivering project on due date which I set myself. That went far to top bosses but seems like it wasn't a disaster (I hope).

One of my friends finally finished his long road of giur! I am very happy for him!! Beizrat Hashem after Peisach he goes to yeshiva!

Unfortunately, my other friend's mother in law passed away in a very young age - she wasn't even 50 yet. Boruch Dayan Emes.

Over past 5 weeks I've met 3 non-native Russian speakers. Usually it's a rare thing to meet one person who'd all of a sudden would start learning Russian... I understand people learn French, Spanish, Japanese but Russian? Wth do you need it for?
So one of them somehow end up learning in Russian university for a semester or so. Second guy is my new colleague from Argentina - he learned Russian for 4 years just to know it. Third is a girl from frum blogosphere. She refused to tell neither openly nor in a private conversation how she end up knowing Russian but I'll leave it up to her.

This is a second post I wrote on my iPhone - kinda big deal because I often have things to day based on emotions (good or bad) and it's very important to write them down right away or they'll loose that taste which drives to write it down. That's how I didn't post like about 5 posts in March. May be it's good for some of them though...

Btw, iPhone!
First of all I've got new headphones for it Apple in-ear ones. They say these headphones incompatible with iPhone. Here's why: first of all they've got additional controls for volume which iPhone doesn't support. Second is that microphone is facing back so it doesn't catch voice as good as it's supposed to. I understand that they were trying to make controls more useful since you don't need mic for iPod 99% of time.
Another tidbit of the month is iPhone OS 3.0 - looks very promising because of copy/paste, full Bluetooth support, MMS (do you ever use them??), search and tethering. The last one does not mean we'll get it right after 3.0 is released but it's a big promise!
One advice - if you plan on buying iPhone hold until June and buy a new one for obvious reasons.

I might have forgotten something but this is most of notable stuff.

Friday, March 27, 2009

At the lowest peak of emotions...

It is all about depression and apathy. When there's no interests and no goals. When it's all about being alone and music in the ears.

When it's all about finishing daily work and there's nothing after, just back home (without any will) and next day back to work.

When nothing is cared about, not even money wasted or broken items at home that noons else would care about.

When you keep things to yourself and just silently fail instead if showing your anger. You just stop asking about something when you realize people can't do it easy even if you really need it.

When it's about getting to work at the last minute because there's nothing at night to leave earlier. When there are 5 days a week that don't differ from each other.

When it's all about constant analyzing what's going on, realizing certain things but not taking steps to fix them.

When playlist in the iPhone didn't change for almost six month and it's little bit more than 2100 songs playing morning to evening 5 days a week.

When it's about to refuse shidduchim realizing strange things why I am not good for shidduchim and why no normal girl would deal with me and when it doesn't have to do anything with money.

Then it means there's no motivation to change anything in mylife.

I don't like to complain usually, this is just emotional post, otherwise I would never post it anywhere.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Siddur for Blackberry Storm

This one is going to be short.

My friend recently asked me to help find Siddur for his new Blackberry Storm (he got it at work).

I am not familiar with Blackberry so I will just dump my findings:

First you may need to set up/fix Hebrew on Storm:

Resource 1:
It includes: Chumash, Tehillim, Rambam, Siddur, Targum, Mishnayos, Gemara / Talmud, Shulchan Aruch and much more for your BlackBerry.

Check out the instructions and desktop installation files at this link:

The installation files are also available OTA from your BlackBerry at:

PS. it's interesting to see how nusach Ari goes on the first place and Ashkenaz goes last one after three others...

Resource 2:
ASiddur is a siddur written in J2ME. This allows it to be used on many cell phones, Blackberries, Palm and Windows Mobile PDAs (with some extra software installed). When development is finished, ASiddur will be able to infer the correct text of each tefilla based on the date.

Download: (you will want a development version since it has scrolling fixed for Storm)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Translate and format phone number with PHP

Prior to writing some function that I plan reusing in couple of different places I often do a research at how other people solve my problem. Sometimes it saves time by giving an easily modifiable and customizable piece of code, sometimes shows how not to do, sometimes just lets me know where my personal solution would've failed and how to fix it.
Also my memory is not very good so I often forget functions I rarely use or haven't used at all but read it's docs.

This one got me really frustrated that most of solutions I've seen within first 3 or 4 pages on Google and with couple of different search queries (all together I saw over 50 solutions including identical) were written in a very long form, which did not add functionality to the code but even made it more limited for different variations of phone number 'spelling'.

In USA phone number can be at least written in these forms and there will be many other ways that I didn't think off (why am I supposed to think of every way phone number could be spelled if I am writing a universal function??):

+1 (800) 282-8623
(800) 282 - 8623

May be I was searching wrong but I didn't find a short all in one universal solution. I didn't find a solution that would be shorter than mine. But main thing that I didn't find was converting branded phone number (i.e. to it's numeric representation. Obviously I knew I can do it with a simple enough RegEx but I hoped I will see how other people do it.

So here's what I've got in the first place:

function _format_phone ($phone) {
$regex = array('/[^0-9A-Z]/i','/[ABC]/i','/[DEF]/i','/[GHI]/i','/[JKL]/i','/[MNO]/i','/[PQRS]/i','/[TUV]/i','/[WXYZ]/i');
$replace = array('',2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9);
$new_phone = preg_replace($regex,$replace,$phone);
if (preg_match("/^[1]?[2-9][0-8]\d[2-9]\d{2}\d{4}\d*$/",$new_phone)) {
return preg_replace("/^[1]?([2-9][0-8]\d)([2-9]\d{2})(\d{4})([0-9]*)$/", "$1-$2-$3", $new_phone);
} else {
return $phone;
function _format_phone ($phone) {
$new_phone = preg_replace('/[^0-9A-Z]/i','',$phone);
$new_phone = strtr($phone,'abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz','22233344455566677778889999');
if (preg_match("/^[1]?[2-9][0-8]\d[2-9]\d{2}\d{4}\d*$/",$new_phone)) {
return preg_replace("/^[1]?([2-9][0-8]\d)([2-9]\d{2})(\d{4})([0-9]*)$/", "$1-$2-$3", $new_phone);
} else {
return $phone;
Well, after bashing other solutions I accept that my solution is not ideal either. At least I'm concerned about IF statement containing check for RegEx while using preg_replace() twice. However I think it's much more functional and shorter than many others at the same time. At least in 7-8 lines it provides more functionality:
  • Cleanup all formatting characters
  • Translate letters to numbers
  • Format phone number to desired standard (very customizable)
  • Fail silently by returning original phone number if something went wrong

TinyURL with one line of PHP? Easy!

Everyday we learn something new. For programmers it's especially important so that we don't sour and stink like a month-old milk.

Yesterday I was looking for a better (read cleverer) solutions to build a TinyURL analog. Everyone find his own need to build such a service, I needed it to be able to share URLs in SMS (text messages), track usage and statistics and be independent from 3rd party solutions such as (one rule I learned at my job - you can't rely on anyone - even google may go down while you're up and your service should not be interrupted).

So saying that much I'm pushing away the solution which is really one line of PHP! To convert URL to it's short representation you need:
$short_url = base_convert($url_id, 10, 36);
To convert short URL to it's original you will need:
$url_id = base_convert($short_url, 36, 10);
This will return a numeric id of the long URL stored in the DB with following structure:
`id` int(11) NOT NULL auto_increment,
`url` text NOT NULL,
Obviously you will need little bit more lines of code to provide some type of interface for your application, but it's main part is done by magic of base_convert() function which converts regular decimal number (base 10) to base 36 which uses letters of English alphabet as additional digits.

And if you are so lazy that you can't even think about writing your own application utilizing provided function or you trully believe in Open Source - I also found a full listing of such application for you.

Just to break the silence

Unfortunately these days are pretty busy and I can't find a good moment to bring my thoughts in a right order and dump them here.

Anyways here's a short recap of past three weeks:
  • Week of Shabbos B'shalach:
    • My friend got a mouse. Real one. She waited for it for a while and sounded happy!
    • I finally happened to get out of town!!!! After a year or even more... Went to Perth Amboy and enjoyed it very much. Will use next opportunity to go there again!
    • Going to Perth Amboy involved taking train (not the subway) and this is something that I enjoy from only one thought about it. Almost missed my stop 2 hours before Shabbos...
    • Watched Coraline. Enjoyed. And had a thought that if we were looking for some new trend happening around us (like radio, phones, TVs, PCs and cell phones in XX century) then Coraline is definitely part of it. You would ask how? There's a new trend of movies coming which is made cartoonish but not for kids. And 9 will prove my theory [although I am linking to it's preview you'd better to watch it in the movie theater to get better emotions about it]. And one of the better sides of this very new trend is that it's not centered on scenes with sex which every regular movie today is just a must have. Tiring...
    • My mom went to Israel for the first time in her life!!!
  • Week of Shabbos Yisro:
    • Can't recall anything significant now
    • Found this video and find it amazing!
  • Week of Shabbos Mishpatim
    • Second OT! This time to Monsey. Went with my friend. Went to two families for seudos and both of them were great. Gave us (at least me) a lot of good emotions.
    • On motzey Shabbos we went to: New Square (Rebbe's Tish), Schmuz at Ohr Samayach (this one I enjoyed a lot) and Kiryas Joel (however we came there at 11 and didn't know where to go; we asked some chossid if there's any place to eat and he said probably everything is closed; so we didn't really see the town)
So that was a short recap of my social part of life. Now I'm planning to post one or two technical posts on my recent findings.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

BTS's view and reply on “Goyish” Music, TV, and Movies by Babysitter

This was supposed to be a simple comment on Babysitter's post, but at some point I realized it's to big for a regular comment and is good enough to posted as a reply in my blog. Especially after I didn't write here for a long time it was a good chance to fix this issue.

So Babysitter was writing about her views on non-jewish music, movies and TV. She's an FFB (not to hurt any one's feelings) and I wanted to add my 2 cents as BT.

So here's a copy of my reply:


From a BT point I'm more accustomed to non-jewish music. I should bring that at the age of 3 I knew AC/DC is playing on radio from first to second accords. Don't remember this myself but my brother recently told me this.

Anyway I think for the amount of non jewish music I listen to compared to jewish one I have more against jewish. Here are my points:

1) I hate these modern remixes of non-jewish music where new words were put up to make it sound jewish. It cuts my ears since I knew all this stuff in original. I know that our old Rabbeim used to take non-jewish music and that's how we have lots of nigunim today, but I would not compare Rabbeim of 200 years ago to people who of today's who try to kosher non-jewish stuff to make it appropriate for less modern masses. At some point I dreamed of finding some heavy metal styled jewish music but later I changed my point to "if you say that's tuma don't put it in a kosher pot". Though, I still appreciate open use of guitars on Shwekey's CDs (take Wedding Album for example).

2) As I mentioned before I trust to Rabbeim of 200 years ago who didn't write any songs for money. Today it's not that clear so many "inspirational" just doesn't make a cut for me since I don't know who wrote this, what was on in his mind at that moment, what was in his blood at that point (rare cases I guess) and how much of tzadik his is for the words in the lyrics. So most modern stuff is cut off for me except of Just One Shabbos and couple of others.

3) [this is not anti-jewish reason] I listen to goyishe music for my entire life, I grew up on it and there were days when it helped me survive through my long lasting depression. Today it is something irregular to see me without headphones or have my music turned off, however today often music for me is just a wall around myself which lets me concentrate on things I'm doing and forget about things around; I often don't pay attention to what exactly plays in my ipod and what words are being sang. Plus I know most of music (not exactly lyrics) in my ipod by heart.

I happened to share these views with one girls I was on shidduch with and then she said no. It is something very personal and doesn't have to be always shared with others as I learned.

As of my kids - I really don't want them to listen to crap I listen to so I understand at some point I will have to sacrifice most time of listening to it for my kids not take example of me.


Can't say anything particular about TV, since I didn't watch TV much after I got PC at 13 so can't say much. If this is allowed to kids it has to be explicitly monitored as there's less of safe stuff on TV today than things that just dump tons of spoiling dirt on people watching it. I happen to come to my friends house sometimes and she always has TV on so I can catch some things going on there.


Movies. Should be judged on per item basis. What I learned is that movies for teens dirtier than any movies for adults. Seriously. Adult movies usually concentrated more on certain idea than bed scenes and such stuff.

For example I have a friend who is also FFB but comes from a russian BT family which is probably not as strict as pure muli-generational FFB families. She goes to movies and Broadway shows sometimes.  She has a personal view on many things and more into serious stuff than into teenagers' interests. She loves Johny Depp, Alan Rickman, Adrien Brody and many other charismatic characters.
So looking at her I can't say she's got spoiled anyhow by movies she watched.

Don't think I was spoiled much by movies either, although I for sure watched less movies than her. I watched American Beauty when I was about 13 and re-watched it recently, watched couple of American Pies about 5 or 7 years ago. That didn't add much to my spoilness either.
Yes, I should admit I was more opened to many things that happen in a non-frum world during my teen age than most of FFB boys and girls, but if they watch movies except of type of mentioned here and in the Babysitter's post I don't believe there will be lots of harm.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sexual Abuse in Jewish Communities (Boropark, Williamsburg)

Shared by someone who was abused themselves and struggles now in their life. I though this should be shared for as much as possible.

However, prior to watching these videos, please take your time and read this comment as a disclaimer

(Part 1) Protecting those who advocate for Jewish Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse - Rabbi Nochem Rosenberg

(Part 2) Protecting those who advocate for Jewish Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse - Rabbi Nochem Rosenberg

(Part 3) Protecting those who advocate for Jewish Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse - Rabbi Nochem Rosenberg

Part 1: Rabbi Nochem Rosenberg Update - January 11, 2009

Part 2: Problems in Advocating For Sexually Abused Children in Brooklyn (Update: 01/11/2009)

Part 3: Fighting Against Sexual Abuse in the Orthodox World of Brooklyn (Update: 01/11/2009)

Part 4: Witness Tampering - Sexual Abuse in the Jewish Community (Update: 01/11/2009)

Part 5: Jewish Sex Offenders and Prison (Update 01/11/2009)

(Part 6) Discusses A 14-Year Old Girl who was Sexually Assaulted (Update 01/-11-2009)

Part 7 - Educating Children about Sexual Abuse - Rabbi Nochem Rosenberg (Update: 01/11/2009)

Part 8: Changes needed to end sexual abuse in Borough Park and WIlliamsburg (01-11-2009)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Shidduch mistakes (updated on 20090527)

  • Added links to two more articles
  • Added Chanie's recommendations from comments to the post
  • 2009/01/29 - added a link to Bad4's post
  • 2009/05/27 - added a link to another Bad4's post
There's a day for everyone when they go for the first shidduch date. Some take it easy, others get very nervous. I was pretty nervous not to f/up something. We all tried to find out from our more experienced friends how to act, where to go, what to say, what to ask, what not to ask...

Anyway we end up doing some mistakes that other just couldn't predict to inform us beforehand.

I didn't happen to go on many shidduch dates yet, but I made my mistakes and I noticed some mistakes that girls did.

Here's my list - it contains my mistakes, things I noticed from girls I dated and my friends' experiences:
  • Do not talk too much, let girl talk. This requires some strong self control, but this is a very good habit for any situation.
  • Do not talk over the phone - discuss everything on dates - this gives you more topics to talk about so that you will never sit and look at each other trying to find next topic.
  • Do not go shopping right before date - if you happen to go anywhere these bags may make troubles for you, also you'll be exhausted and tired and will not look as impressive as you want.
  • Remember about time - first date shouldn't be longer than 1,5 - 2 hours (probably my biggest mistake so far) - what if a girl would graze her foot and will be feeling her less impressing (or whatever word is better here) - never forget about your 'partner'. Also, what if he/she doesn't like you from the first time but hesitates to show that by rushing to finish as soon as possible?
  • Date after full work day is not a good case either, especially if it's a first date - tired person would not look attractive nor will be able to concentrate well.
  • Be dressed properly. Imagine you're going to meet with your future boss of some company in Manhattan - would you come in jeans and wrinkled and emitted (released?) shirt or in some old t-shirt? So why wouldn't you take a person you go on date with at least same level of appreciation?
  • Have a back up plan - what if the place you go to will get closed or will be packed with no place to sit? What if a girl will be late on her bus to Lakewood? What if she's flaishiks and you're going to a dairy place? Or vegetarian? Just be prepared...
  • Do not show if you don't like girl/guy you with. Just try to politely finish date faster, but don't just tell it in face. I also heard of guys seeing a girl from another corner, thinking that they don't like her and just disappearing! Remember that she also spent her time, so be nice and don't let her stand there with stupid look for another hour thinking you're late or she messed up with place you were supposed to meet at.
  • Be on time. This never hurt anyone, however making someone to wait for you is not nice and is a first item in the list against you. This is more for guys than for girls though.
Chanie added some recommendations in the comments:
  • If you're a brilliant girl, don't show it on the first date. It turns guys off.
  • Don't make dirty jokes on any date- it's inappropriate.
  • Don't tell the guy/girl that they're not the weirdest, craziest person in the world. Some will get insulted.
Did you get something to add? It'll be cool if you post in your blog and then we'll all interlink to all posts on this topic. By that we may be able to prevent future mistakes and help other who only start.

Useful posts by other authors:

I want a cat!!!

One of my hopes that will probably never happen is my wife to be into cats so we have one at home... I want a cat since my 2 y/o kitten died after he ate some rubber cap and doctors would tell us for a month that he's just sick as many cats during that month... Unfortunately to me I find that more girls here like dogs and I don't think that I've met unmarried girl who'd like cats.

Anyway here's a clip about a roomba robot vacuum riding cat... Have fun:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Post-conflict facts - email repost

Before reposting email sent to me by friend of mine, I wanted to share this cartoon illustration, found here

Email repost (no edit, only formating):

Global Islamic population is approximately 1,200,000,000 

ONE BILLION TWO HUNDRED MILLION or 20% of the world's population.

They have received the following Nobel Prizes:

1988 - Najib Mahfooz

1978 - Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat
1994 - Yaser Arafat:
1990 - Elias James Corey
1999 - Ahmed Zewai



1960 - Peter Brian Medawar
1998 - Ferid Mourad


The Global Jewish population is approximately 14,000,000

Only FOURTEEN MILLION or about 0.02% of the world's population..

They have received the following Nobel Prizes:

1910 - Paul Heyse
1927 - Henri Bergson
1958 - Boris Pa sternak
1966 - Shmuel Yosef Agnon
1966 - Nelly Sachs
1976 - Saul Bellow
1978 - Isaac Bashevis Singer
1981 - Elias Canetti
1987 - Joseph Brodsky
1991 - Nadine Gordimer World

1911 - Alfred Fried
1911 - Tobias Michael Carel Asser
1968 - Rene Cassin
1973 - Henry Kissinger
1978 - Menachem Begin
1986 - Elie Wiesel
1994 - Shimon Peres
1994 - Yitzhak Rabin

1905 - Adolph Von Baeyer
1906 - Henri Moissan
1907 - Albert Abraham Michelson
1908 - Gabriel Lippmann
1910 - Otto Wallach
1915 – Richard Willstaetter
1918 - Fritz Haber
1921 - Albert Einstein
1922 - Niels Bohr
1925 - James Franck
1925 - Gustav Hertz
1943 - Gustav Stern
1943 - George Charles de Hevesy
1944 - Isidor Issac Rabi
1952 - Felix Bloch
1954 - Max Born
1958 - Igor Tamm
1959 - Emilio Segre
1960 - Don ald A. Glaser
1961 - Robert Hofstadter
1961 - Melvin Calvin
1962 - Lev Davidovich Landau
1962 - Max Ferdinand Perutz
1965 - Richard Phil lips Feynman
1965 - Julian Schwinger
1969 - Murray Gell-Mann
1971 - Dennis Gabor
1972 - William Howard Stein
1973 - Brian David Joseph son
1975 - Benjamin Mottleson
1976 - Burton Richter
1977 - Ilya Prigogine
1978 - Arno Allan Penzias
1978 - Peter L Kapitza
1979 - Stephen Weinberg
1979 - Sheldon Glashow
1979 - Herbert Charles Brown
1980 - Paul Berg
1980 - Walter Gilbert
1981 - Roald Hoffmann
1982 - Aaron Klug
1985 - Albert A. Hauptman
1985 - Jerome Karle
1986 - Dudley R. Herschbach
1988 - Robert Huber
1988 - Leon Lederman
1988 - Melvin Schwartz
1988 - Jack Steinberger
1989 - Sidney Altman
1990 - Jerome Friedman
1992 - Rudolph Marcus
1995 - Martin Perl
2000 - Alan J. Heeger

1970 - Paul Anthony Samuelson
1971 - Sim on Kuznets
1972 - Kenneth Joseph Arrow
1975 - Leonid Kantorovich
1976 - Mil ton Friedman
1978 - Herbert A. Simon
1980 - Lawrence Robert Klein
1985 - Franco Modigliani
1987 - Robert M. Solow
1990 - Harry Markowitz
1990 - Merton Miller
1992 - Gary Becker
1993 - Robert Fogel

1908 - Elie Metchnikoff
1908 - Paul Erlich
1914 - Robert Barany
1922 - Otto Meyerhof
1930 - Karl Landsteiner
1931 - Otto Warburg
1936 - Otto Loewi
1944 - Joseph Erlanger
1944 - Herb ert Spencer Gasser
1945 - Ernst Boris Chain
1946 - Hermann Joseph Muller
1950 - Tadeus Reichstein
1952 - Selman Abra ham Waksman
1953 - Hans Krebs
1953 - Fritz Albert Lipmann
1958 - Joshua Lederberg
1959 - Arthur Kornberg
1964 - Konrad Bloch
1965 - Francois Jacob
1965 - Andre Lwoff
1967 - George Wald
1968 - Marshall W. Nirenberg
1969 - Salvador Luria
1970 - Julius Axelrod
1970 - Sir Bernard Katz
1972 - Gerald Maurice Ed elman
1975 - Howard Martin Temin
1976 - Baruch S. Blumberg
1977 - Roselyn Sussman Yalow
1978 - Daniel Nathans
1980 - Baruj Benacerraf
1984 - Cesar Milstein
1985 - Michael Stuart Brown
1985 - Joseph L. Goldstein
1986 - Stanley Cohen [& Rita Levi-Montalcini]
1988 - Gertrude Elion
1989 - Harold Varmus
1991 - Erwin Neher
1991 - Bert Sakmann
1993 - Richard J. Roberts
1993 - Phillip Sharp
1994 - Alfred Gilman
1995 - Ed ward B. Lewis


The Jews are NOT promoting brain washing children in military training camps, teaching them how to blow themselves up and cause maximum deaths of Jews and other non Muslims!

The Jews don't hijack planes, nor kill athletes at the Olympics, or blow themselves up in German restaurants. There is NOT one single Jew that has destroyed a church. There is NOT a single Jew that protests by killing people.

The Jew s don't traffic slaves, nor have leaders calling for Jihad and death to all the Infidels.

Perhaps the world's Muslims should consider investing more in standard education and less in blaming the Jews for all their problems.

Muslims must ask 'what can they do for humankind' before they demand that humankind respects them!!

Regardless of your feelings about the crisis between Israel and the Palestinians and Arab neighbors, even if you be lieve there is more culpability on Israel's part, the following two sentences really say it all:
If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel.
Benjamin Netanyahu

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Merhak Negia (מרחק נגיעה)

If you understand Hebrew or Russian here are 8 series of Merhak Negia (מרחק נגיעה)

The movie based as anti-haredi, but if you would be watching it from clearly frum standpoint you can notice there some problems and/or bad behaviours of our frum communities that bother a lot people who aren't there or were born there but end up being frum or between frum people.

PS. I would highly recommend NOT to watch this movie for not frum people, non-Jewish people or people with yet unstable views on orthodox Judaism.

Thoughts on music trends

Looking at my collection of music that is close to my heart (OK, may be that's said too loud) I can't really recall any good albums in past decade (from the day when Gregorian year started from number 2).

For the music I mostly listen to the best years were 80's, especially many good albums were produced in 88-91. I don't know why did it happen so, may be because of a serious changes in the world when free countries became less conservative, crime amount went down and former USSR burned as a match.

Looking at 90's there were many good albums too, well all not as good as in 80's, but there were many new bands born who were talented enough to produce music you would listen to again and again.

Unfortunately this is not the case for 00's. Look - there were enough of cataclysms to push things up if that's the real trigger for talents - 9/11, war in Iraq, Israel and it's 'life-loving' neighbours, recent accident between Russia and Georgia, russian gas and Europe, who learned how russians live during winters... You can go on and on, but where's my music? Gimme something I'd listened to for second time, please? It feels like oldies get too old and ungsters degraded so much that they can't produce any good stuff at all. Look at Metallica (I'm bringing a famous brand here), or at Briney Spears (well I'm not into her, except of Children of Bodom's cover on her's 'Oops I did it again' opus, but she's another famous person here) - they didn't bring any good stuff. Most of bands/singers I listen too sucked in 00's a lot.

I've got three questions: What's going on? and Will the entire genre die out in next decade like did most of popular styles of 50/60's? And if so, what kind of new music will we see in the wild?

Unforgiven III (by Metallica)

This ain't my most favorite song, but I like it's lyrics enough to listen to it couple of times during the week. Can't say it's about everyone but there's definitely something about me...

Can't guarantee you would be able to listen to the song due to latest way of YouTube fighting with unauthorized music, so here are lyrics of the song:

How could he know
This new dawn's light
Would change his life forever?
Set sail to sea
But pulled off course
By the light of golden treasure

Was he the one causing pain
With his careless dreaming?
Been afraid
Always afraid
Of the things he's feeling

He could just be gone
He would just sail on
He'll just sail on

How can I be lost,
If I've got nowhere to go?
Search for seas of gold
How come it's got so cold?

How can I be lost?
In remembrance I relive
And how can I blame you
When it's me I can't forgive?

These days drift on
Inside a fog
It's thick and suffocating

His sinking life
Outside it's hell
Inside, intoxication

He's run aground
Like his life
Water much too shallow

Slipping fast
Down with his ship
Fading in the shadows

Now a castaway
They've all gone away
They've gone away

How can I be lost
If I've got nowhere to go?
Search for seas of gold
How come it's got so cold?

How can I be lost?
In remembrance I relive
And how can I blame you
When it's me I can't forgive?

Forgive me
Forgive me not
Forgive me
Forgive me not
Forgive me
Forgive me not
Forgive me
Forgive me
Why can't I forgive me?


Set sail to sea
But pulled off course
By the light of golden treasure

How could he know
This new dawn's light
Would change his life forever?

How can I be lost,
If I've got nowhere to go?
Search for seas of gold
How come it's got so cold?

How can I be lost?
In remembrance I relive
So how can I blame you
When it's me I can't forgive?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

How to make firefox not to remember entered information into the form

Solution is really shorter than title of this post.


Add a random number to form name, so it will look like this:

<form name="review-788014185" method="post" action="#" id="reviewForm">

Random number is generated easily in most of programming languages. In PHP it would look like this:

<form name="review-<?=rand()?>" method="post" action="#" id="reviewForm">


I should say why did I bring this. I am working on a form where reviews could be submitted only with help of javascript. I know that it's not the wisest solution due to it's lack of accessibility and problems with usability, but I believe that there wouldn't be many visually impaired people visiting this particular site due to it's topic also I know that most of people have JS turned on.
So to make story short Java Script handles all submission process it doesn't change status of form (submitted/not) for browser. Firefox by default remembers what was entered into the form if you happen to simply refresh a page with F5 or Ctrl+R. See the problem? Although all data was passed to server browser is not aware of that it still thinks you're editing form so it saves all data for you. So i had to prevent it somehow. So I had to trick it and my trick was in having different name for the form on every reload.


Later I'd change it to a more sophisticated solution where JS also leaves a cookie with form ID so on every reload I would name form with the same name until it was submitted. On the event of submission I would replace this cookie with another one which says this user already left a review so I don't expect another one from them for another hour. Knowing this I wouldn't show a form. Simple.