How Do You Jew An educational, informational, conversational blog and (someday) podcast about Judaism, Jewish practices, customs, and rituals, Israel, and whatever else we decide to talk about.

June 20, 2010

I love it when a plan comes together

I just successfully upgraded my WordPress installation, which powers this blog, to the latest version (3.0, called Thelonius – see the complete list of major WP releases, all named for jazz musicians). I did this with nary a bump, very few changes in settings, and everything seems to be right.

My first activities with the new version was changing the theme of the site (the look & feel theme, not the content theme) to WP’s default for this version, called Twenty Ten, then changing the header image that appears on each page. While the default image is nice, I wanted 1) to test the waters and modify something and make sure it worked, and 2) to personalize the site imagery. To that end, you’re currently enjoying a (cropped) view of the Brandeis Bardin Institute, home of BCI, the summer camp for Jewish young adults that I attended as a camper (’95) then returned to as an advisor/counselor (’98). This small image hardly does the place justice, but it’s indicative and evocative of the campus’s beauty. I’ll write and talk more about this place another time.

For now, I’m going to call it a night. The plan for tomorrow is to begin documenting my participation with a good friend in The Jonah Project.

Edited on 6/23 to change post title. Because I can.

December 25, 2009

Holiday Greeting

Filed under: entertainment,funny,humor,Life Online,religion — Tags: — howdoyoujew @ 00:50

I was inspired to post this to Facebook earlier tonight, and I think Wil Wheaton had something to do with it:
Merry Christmas to all*, and to all a good night!
(*Some restrictions apply, see your spiritual advisor for details. If visions of sugar plums persist for more than four hours, seek help immediately. Not responsible for damage to chimneys, rooftops, cookie plates, and milk cups.)

February 9, 2009

Twelve minutes of excellence

Filed under: Blogging,Life Online,productivity,technology,video,work — Tags: — howdoyoujew @ 16:55

Seth Godin is a guy whose work I’ve been meaning to read/browse/digest for a while. This was an easily consumable chunk I thought I could handle in the middle of the day, and I wasn’t disappointed. If you are at all interested in social networks (online and off), technology, and people reaching their potential, watch this:

(via)

August 28, 2008

Funny, but No

Filed under: entertainment,funny,humor,Life Online,video — howdoyoujew @ 09:45

I’ve mentioned Shoebox before, particularly their “Funny, but No” cards – greeting cards that don’t make the cut, even for the slightly off-center attitude this “Tiny Little Division of Hallmark” generally displays. They used to just publish half a dozen or so examples once a week in written form. They recently updated their website and blog (which I enjoy almost daily), and they’ve now taken to actually mocking up the cards and presenting them on video, which adds to the comedic effect immeasurably, IMHO:

I hope “Special video edition” doesn’t mean you did this as a one-off job… Keep it up, you guys!

August 25, 2008

Our civilization is doomed, reason #7080-175903

I just got off the phone with a teller at my banking institution. I had to call in to transfer some money from our joint savings account into our joint checking account, and to my lovely wife’s checking account. I don’t need to tell you why, I just need you to understand that I’m talking about our own money, transferred between our own accounts.

The reason I called in is that I got an error message when I tried to transfer the money online, where we take care of probably 99.9% of our banking needs. The error number is the cryptic one in the title of this post, and the text of the error message was utterly unhelpful, saying only that if the problem persisted I should call my banking institution. It did, so I did. And the teller was kind enough to explain to me why I encountered this problem:

Apparently there is a Federal regulation that prohibits a customer from making more than six (6) electronic transfers per month from any savings account to any other account.

Let me rephrase that, just so we’re all clear on what’s going on here:

The government of these here United States has a rule in place that prohibits ME from moving MY OWN MONEY from MY OWN SAVINGS ACCOUNT to MY OWN CHECKING ACCOUNT more than half a dozen times in a month without walking into a branch of the banking institution that I’ve chosen to hold MY MONEY.

The mind, it doth boggle.

Then again, since money is an artificial construct that has absolutely no intrinsic value to begin with, what am I complaining about? Oh, yeah… my rights, that was it!

Well, I wasn’t using them anyway…

fucking fascists

June 23, 2008

HDYJ Podcast: Episode 1

Filed under: Blogging,Family,fun,Life Online,Podcasting,technology — howdoyoujew @ 13:33

So this newest version of WordPress I’m now running, after that wacked-out update, has this handy “add media” gadget right in the interface instead of relying on a plugin, so I’m going to try it with the already-recorded episode 1. If this works, I’ll come back at ‘ya with another show this week… Here goes nothin’: How Do You Jew episode 1

May 20, 2008

Punchline looking for a joke

Yeah, yeah, so I’m a parent now, so that’s supposed to make me all “mature” and “grown up” and blahblahblah?!

HA!

We took our daughter to the doctor yesterday, as she’s had a rash on her torso for several days that turned out NOT to be heat rash; she also displayed a decreased appetite over the last couple of days and was sneezing a lot, so we thought it was time. The nice people at Kaiser agreed it was time, but exactly WHAT time was still a matter of some argument (they gave me a 7:15 PM appointment, neglecting to mention that it was actually a 7:30 appointment and that they ask you to check in 15 min. ahead of time. Really? My daughter is 19 months old and we’ve made every appointment the same way for the last year and a half; I KNOW about the 15 min. rule, jackass. Thus we were at the clinic 30 minutes early instead of just 15, and the doctor still didn’t come in until after 8 PM, but who’s counting?).

Anyway, our angelic daughter again behaved perfectly and amazingly well for a toddler well past her bedtime and in a foreign environment, and when the doc (a very nice man with three names AND a roman numeral after his name!) finally checked her out, he quickly (after a peek at her rash and down her throat) diagnosed “hand, foot and mouth disease.”

I’ll let that sink in.

This is the same girl who’s had not one, but TWO perforated eardrums in the last month or so, as well as a bout of roseola. She can’t just get a common cold. No, she has to pick up the virus that sounds a lot like the one that causes Mad Cow Disease (it’s not the same; I’m just sayin’…).

The doc gave us this news with the sort of demeanor that kept me somewhat calm despite myself. He said it’s a viral infection and will go away by itself. Then he identified the virus by its official name, and I… well, I immediately knew I’d be blogging about it, for one thing.

Coxsackie.

Come on! Really?! Cock-sacky?

Now I don’t want to make fun of historically significant place names (OK, maybe I do, but let that go for a minute), and I understand that it’s derived from a Native American term, but there are limits to my restraint, people! I’m only human.

It strikes me that my generation of geeks is going to run into this more and more – life situations that make us giggle inwardly (or out loud) because of some pop culture association we make with an otherwise innocuous word, phrase, or visual. For me, it’ll usually be a Monty Python scene or line that’ll come up, or something from HHGTTG, Star Wars, or one of the other big- or little-screen or hardbound companions from my childhood/adolescence. But other times, like last night at the doctor’s office, it’ll just be a silly-sounding word that’ll make me turn into one of the boys from South Park, forever laughing at bathroom humor.

Coxsackie.
Coxsackie.
CoxsackieCoxsackieCoxsackie.

Heh.

May 15, 2008

Geeky, goofy goodness

I am going to HAVE to experiment with some of our own pics (too few and far between, unfortunately, since I’m usually behind the camera, but they’re around), but ManBabies.com is a treasure trove of silliness.

As is this collection of swapped grandparents and babies at SomethingAwful, dating way back to 2004.

Also tremendous is this Flickr set documenting The Secret Lives of Stormtroopers.

I also like playing with Legos.

I lovez the interwebs.

May 9, 2008

I’m smitten

With Twitter, and with Wil Wheaton.

I got a Twitter account a few weeks ago, and started following some friends and strangers and sending my own updates when I remember (not often enough). After I met Wil at a reading & signing at Mysterious Galaxy last weekend, I started following him, and he’s just as funny in under 140 characters as he is in his longer blog posts and books (I’m listening to Just A Geek in the car, and laughing out loud so much I’m beginning to worry about road safety).

Example: He’s off to Seattle for a con this weekend. Here are two Twitters from this morning:
wilw: Kenny Loggins was at the ticket counter near me. The girl checking me in was early 20s and had no idea why her cow orkers were so excited.
wilw: I was unable to see if his destination was the danger zone, but it was clear that he was alright, so there was no need to worry about him.

That made me laugh again, just copying and pasting it.

I’m such a geek.

edited to add: Wil posted the entire Kenny Loggins Twitter adventure on his blog.

May 4, 2008

A million kinds of awesome

Wil Wheaton is living the grown-up geek life. Since growing up geeky in LA, kickin’ butt as a writer in Stand By Me, then being the butt of countless jokes in Star Trek: TNG, Wil got to writing. Specifically, blogging. He’s got the gift, as a writer and a performer, not only to transport his audience to the setting of his stories (familiar snapshots of coming of age in LA in the 80s, playing video games & D&D, getting in on the ground floor of the PC revolution, and more, except for me without the acting bits), but to inspire people to tell their own stories.

He was in San Diego this weekend, and I got to enjoy his reading at Mysterious Galaxy and get his autograph on my brand new copy of his latest, The Happiest Days of Our Lives (a collection of posts from his blog). The setting allowed me to chat with him for a few minutes, letting him know about my absent friends (Stephen [who told me about Wil’s visit in the first place; thanks!], McHank, Paul, Cousin Alli… am I missing anyone?) who were bummed not to be there, and the theory Paul & I have about the Emperor’s limited vocabulary in the Star Wars movies, and my discovery of where the limitation came from (I think we’re all in agreement that “limited” is a good word for George Lucas’s writing aptitude, regardless of his other talents). Wil laughed easily and genuinely, like me. He talks like me, is excited about the same things I am, and I’m super excited to dive into his brain and explore the parts I know so well and those I don’t…

Awesome.

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