Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Since I am a newbie here there's noone to tag me, but since everyone does it I'll do it too. Another chance to say something about myself...

Book Meme

Here are the rules:

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

The only box left on the table wasfrom her sisters in Israel. It was a challah cover almost identical to the one she already owned.

No matter how spiritual Shoshie felt herself to be, she could not get over her feelings of disappointment. The only saving grace was that her parents had given her a gift certificate to her favorite store. At least she'd have one gift that she was certain to like.

This comes from Shidduch Secrets by Leah Jacobs and Shaindy Marks, the book suggested for reading by one girl I discussed some shidduch matters with. I am sitting by the desk where each book I have is on the same distance from me either it's on the desk or on shelves, so I decided to take a book I've read last. This particar part talks about imaginations that people have of their future spouses and how to get off this on everyday-life examples.

Sevent Facts About Me

Here are the rules:

  • Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.

  • Share 7 facts about yourself, some random, some weird.

  • Tag 7 people (if possible) at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.

  • Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

  1. I built my first website at 15, and at 16, I had a job as web-developer

  2. I have a very bad memory on names and faces, but I have very good visual and associative memory on page layouts and pathes, for example I managed to walk today from ave P in Flatbush to 12th ave & 55th st without any clue of street number I was going to. I also still remember some scenes from my life when I was just 2y/o!!!

  3. I love cats

  4. I have never watched a Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings movie

  5. When I was about 3y/o I knew it's AC/DC playing by first one-two accords

  6. During his childhood, I played with Legos a lot and always dreamed of engineering
    new cars; however, I feel like I pretty much accomplished my childhood dream through building websites

  7. When I am walking with people in the dark, I like to scare them! Don’t try this
    on me, though, because I hardly get scared this way - my reaction is too slow...

Since everyone is done with their MeMe's I have noone to tag

What did you get for your bar mitzvah?

Seriously, what did you get for your bar/bat mitzvah? Was it something you were always dreaming about or it was something you just had to get at this age, like Tefilin? I.e. Tefilin is a great present, but most ffb kids get it at the age of 13 de facto.

Since I just started this blog and it is personal blog with no topic I'll tell you little bit more about myself.

I personally got my Bris Mila for my bar mitzvah. This was my personal will and no one pushed me or even tried to force by explaining again why I need to get it. If I remember it right I was asked if I want and I answered yes, and I was asked if I was sure enough and I said yes again.

Since it we didn't have a mohel in the city I had to wait for couple of month for him to come. During this time I chose my name, unfortunately I did not choose it after anyone, but chose one that I liked.

When the mohel finally came I went and I withing couple of hours I was ready to go... to bed, because of anesthesia. I am sorry for going in details but it didn't hurt that much as people usually say it does, however at that point I wasn't that honest - it was fall and school already started and I used my situation to stay at home for about 5 or 6 weeks!!!

Btw, I've got my first Tefilin just a year later - there was an event in the shul - we've got new books (I think those were Arba Turim) and I was told to come too, but I wasn't aware why I had to come - everyone was saying that it will be surprise. I was too naive and believed that surprise if for everyone, but it came out that surprise was for me - I was presented a Tefilin

Year later I've got a brand new Tefilin, because mine became not kosher (it was old used one) and that is a Tefilin I put on everyday these days.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mechitzah on the wedding - part deux

Today in the morning there was a whole discussion started from mechitzah on the wedding. I didn't expect hearing that mixed sitting could be seen often on orthodox weddings. Somehow I have never seen this myself.
Regarding dancing - our Rabbi said it is prohibited to dance when there's no mechitzah regardless of being able to see girls dancing. 

But very fast this discussion went from having mechitzah as a result of pressure from parents (from one or both sides) to it's origin - parents who want and will rule your life if you let them just start. Noone wants to harm the new-born couple - they only want good, but at the end very high percentage of marriages end up divorced because of someone trying to help. This is a known issue (tech words :] ), you could say a high priority bug, but there's only one way to fix it - not let it happen in the first place. And this first place is your wedding, which is the first chance for you (two) to say no to any pressure from any side as long as at least one of two is against it. If you don't let them rule you now they will not be able to rule you later, but if you let - you're in a big trouble - you showed your weakness and they will remember it and use it.
Unfortunatelly this is a main thing people overlook.

But don't try to go against one side of parents and let others put their nose in your personal business - this will not only make harm mentioned above, but also may make your and your chosson/kallah's parents enemies for their entire life which is not much of fun either.

So shortly try to avoid any 'suggestions' as much as possible when preparing to your wedding unless you ask for it yourself and beizrat HaShem you will live in peace with your spouse, parents and in-laws.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

No mechitzah for dancing on wedding

Yes, how are you supposed to act in this case? I mean not mixed dancing, but a mechitzah that is 3-4 feet tall. I am already used to see no mechitzah during eating part and mixed sitting, but dancing is still considered serious tznius reason for ones not seeing others, right?

Should you demonstratively walk out of the hall, or just stay somewhere so that you don't see girls dancing? Should you at least dance in the first dance? Can you dance in the first dance if there's so much action is going on on the men's part that you just couldn't see girls dancing unless you get concentrated on looking at them? Or should you leave after chuppah saying that you have something more important than your friends wedding, so that you don't get to the point when everyone sees you eating, but noone finds you dancing?

I don't try to discriminate girls, and I find watching girls dancing as interesting time spending too, but there are some laws of tznius that we have to follow, right? Or this doesn't apply on weddings?

New experience

Being a part of the blogosphere for 3 years (passive, reading, but still), I consider myself to be a little bit accustomed to some things that are not usual for a regular world, but normal for virtual. Such as meeting with famous people on different expo's and conferences. I've also read about some blogger meetups... But I have never experienced that on my own, and more than that I've never even thought of inviting someone you don't know at all to some very personal event, such as Sholom Zochor...

Yesterday I was at some one's Sholom Zochor, someone who I do know. It was in the shul, something regular - people coming and leaving, people sitting and talking, people eating and drinking, people saying mazel tov and wishing good things.

I don't usually go his shul, even it's closer to my house. In three russian shuls in Brooklyn I find difference mostly in age of people attending it. His shul is more for married people, people who already found their place, their way in this life, they just need some oil to keep their fire on. Mine is more of pre-family age, still youngsters that are already on their track or getting there and need no kiruv, but inspiration to grow. Third one is for kiruv mostly, but I don't have much to say since I don't go there.

Back on the topic, I met there a man. He was american and I made a joke that he's probably the only one non-russian speaking. I asked him how he knows baal simcha and he answered through blogs! I expected any answer, but not this. This was first time in my life when I met someone who existed before only in virtual world!

PS. I'm not linking to the guy I've met for two reasons. First is because I really not sure about what was the name of his blog, even I think I've found it. Second is because I decided to keep my identity hidden writing this blog, so it'll be unfair to open it right away.
However if he'd happen to read this post, he'll definitely recognize me, but I don't think it'll change a lot, since he doesn't know me anyway.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Vista System Restore taking too much space

Yesterday (oh that's actually two days ago) my brother discovered that on his new laptop about 
70GB of space is used already of his 300 available.
After some tricks I discovered that 42 gigs are used by... System Restore!

I started looking for a setting to lower it's hunger but couldn't find one. At the same time I tried to explain to my brother why he needs it turned on and that this feature helped me couple of times in my life.

At some point I gave up on both. And before he'd force me turn it off I had to find some solution. I googled and found that unlike in XP you can't change amount of space used for System Restore and that by default it allocates 15% of the disk drive’s size or 30% of available free space on the drive, whichever is smaller. This is fine in my case - I have only 13 gigs free on my laptop out of 120, and SR doesn't use anything, but for him it wouldn't be a reason to leave it on.

For this I've found that you can use next command line (Start -> type cmd -> hit Enter) which will lower maximum used space to amount you specify:

vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /On=[drive]: /For=[drive]: /Maxsize=[size]

So if you want to set it to 4GB on disk C: you would type something like:

vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /On=C: /For=C: /MaxSize=4GB

That's it.

I just want to add that Vista doesn't suck that much anymore as it did two years ago. Esspecially if you use only it's basic features like moving files around, creating and renaming files and folders and so on. I don't use any other features - I have applications for everything - iTunes, Dreamweaver, Opera, Picasa and so on.
I don't see any reason to upgrade from existing XP to Vista, but if you get a new computer there's no reason to degrade it to XP - Vista is better and more user friendly with things like better file preview, better address toolbar and others.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Who am I

Let me introduce myself.

I am a Baal Tshuva, who moved to US around 4 years ago.
I've got my bris when I was 13, started to be Shomer Shabos at the age of 15 (big thanks to my Rov! for this) and started keeping Kosher at the age of 16. 

I have never finished any school I attended - I've quited russian public school after 9th grade, russian college after 1st year, high school of Yeshiva R. Chaim Berlin two weeks before graduation. I have never attended real college or university.

My career started when I was 16 as a web developer and system administrator, however having almost no experience I was not very successful in building websites at the beginning. I've learned a lot during the 9 month of working, until I moved to US.

Not to brag, but almost all my experience and knowledge of computers I've got on my own by trying and failing. Or trying and having success.

Right now I work in a small company in the city as a web developer.

I spend at least 15 hours a day, 6 days a week on the Internet and my life stops if I get disconnected.

The only thing I am not successful is at making friends. For 4 years of living in US I've got barely two close friends. By close I understand people you can share your thoughts and problems with, who will listen and try to help you. I beleive that I myself don't fail this criteria, though only people around can say if it's true.

I hate when people get better imagination of me than I am, really not knowing what I am. I hate when they see me once in a while, and then say "oh, he's so great, he'd be a so good husband" or "he's a tzdik, he's always helping people" and so on and so on. It may be true sometimes, but it doesn't mean that that's what I am always. What I mean is only those who know me very close know the reality and even they fail sometimes to realise that many things are happening only because of a habbit, good they or bad.

I like to make presents to people, but very shy at getting ones. I just love seeing people being happy because it makes me happy. Such a way of using people...

This is obviously not my full resume and many things will have to be said, but at least now you'll have some wrong imagination of who I am.


Having at least 5 or 6 results on the first page of google searching for my real name it is hard to keep your identity hidden. I was shocked when I saw other people being able to do it so I decided to try too.

This is also my third attempt to start a blog and this time I decided I won't have any particular topic for it. My posts will be about things happening around me, about tech stuff, about things I find online and about anything else that I'll like rubmling about.

So stick around and watch the show. It's...... Baal Tshuva Slowly on the stage!!!