Every single day I wish I that I lived in England during the middle ages. Why? For many reasons. One of the most important reasons is the accent. The current English accents have evolved greatly over history, so today's accents, along with speech patterns, are much different than those of the Elizabethan Era. Imagine hearing people actually speaking with an Elizabethan era accent - it was the same time as Shakespeare, so that should give a hint as to how it sounds... unless Shakespeare's writings were overly poetic compared to that era's actual speech.

Anyway, to get to my point, there is such a place to hear this accent. Where is it? Heaven? Probably. But also in Virginia - Chesapeake Bay, to be exact. It was settled in 1686, and currently has a population of about 600 people, most of whom speak with an Elizabethan accent. Since the island has been mostly cut off from the rest of country since settlement the accent hasn't suffered from outside influences. It also hasn't been artificially changed. Accents, particularly English accents [in England], have evolved for one main reason: women. Many of the changes in that accent can be attributed to women changing it for "fashionable" reasons. For example, I believe it was about 75-100 years ago that women began dropping the "t" in the middle and end of words in order to sound more "stylish." Naturally, men followed the women, and we now have the current [mostly] T'less English accent.

So, back to my point, but really a different point: Let's go to Tangier Island. Besides the accent, there are other aspects which bring you back in time. Check it out on Wikipedia. There are only two bed and breakfasts there, and you've got to rent a bike to get around. You can take only a boat or small plane to get there. Let's go!

I have to unarguably state that Tangier Island is probably the best place in all of America.

Man, America is fun.

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For the first 22 or so years of my life, I was, to my own detriment, scarf-averse. I never judged others for wearing scarfs, I just felt that it wasn't my lot in life to wear one. For some reason, probably because my father never wore a scarf and only my mom and sister wore them, I thought it wasn't for a man to do. It wasn't that I was afraid what others would think, it was just that I was under the impression that it was a "girl thing." I thought scarfs were like makeup or jewelry or a purse. Boy, was I wrong. I had no idea that men wore them nor how useful they could be.

In the past few years, I've come to realize the importance, the usefulness, and the life-saving abilities of the scarf. No longer do I believe that scarfs are just for women. No longer do I believe that scarfs are just as useful as a pinky ring. Most importantly, no longer is my neck cold.

Scarfs can keep us warm. They keep both men and women warm. They are also fun and soft. I have two cashmere scarfs. I love them. I also have a black one and one with blues on it. I am not an accessorizer, mainly because I don't care about colors and don't want to spend time thinking about clothes and matching, but scarfs? I like a good scarf. One rule, unless both your winter hat and scarf are black, under no circumstances should they match because that is too much accessorizing for a man. For this reason, and so I never have to think about matching, I have only one hat, a black one. I have two jackets: a sporty one (that I bought today) and a nicer one - they are both black. One pair of my shoes are black, most of my gloves are black, and I typically wear black pants to work. Black is good. So, with everything else normally being black, a scarf can add some liveliness to your day/mood/outfit.

I know of four ways to tie a scarf, all of which I utilize depending on my mood/weather/energy level:

I have very affectionately given the following names to the different scarf-tying methods: A. "The Drape," which is just letting the scarf hang evenly down your body from your neck. There's B. "The Drape and Swing," which is where you let half the scarf hang down the front of your body and you swing the other half around your neck and it hangs down your back. Then there's C. "The Tie," where you fold your scarf in half, drape it over your shoulders, then tuck the loose ends into the fold. Last, there's D. "The Wrap-and-Drape," which is where you wrap the scarf fully around your neck once, then let it drape down your front. I've posted pictures of the four methods throughout this post. Can you spot them?

Scarfs can add a lot to your life. Please don't rule them out.

P.S. I am pretty sure that Batman isn't actually wearing a scarf but that he is being chocked with a rope by a villain. Nevertheless, it kinda looks like a scarf. So, therefore, Batman wears a scarf.

P.P.S. What an awesome bacon scarf.

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While browsing the hilarious failblog.org, I noticed an advertisement on the right of the screen. It was for big, round, squishable stuffed animals at Squishable.com. They are awesome. How could anyone not want one of them?? I don't even know what I'd really do with one... I'd probably use it as a pillow and throw it around, but it would definitely be awesome pillow-usage and throwing around. On the website, there's a picture of a woman carrying her squishable animal in an ice cream shoppe. That is unacceptable for two reasons: 1. Because it is stupid to do that, and 2. You will probably get ice cream on your animal, and no one wants a sticky, ice-cream-stained stuffed animal.

Anyway, Look at this sheep. How great is it? It's sold out, though, because everyone wants one. At $38 a piece, each stuffed animal is pretty expensive, so you're essentially paying $38 for a really fat, stuffed animal -- so you'll get a little bit of fabric and a bunch of stuffing for your money. If I were to buy one, I'd probably buy this sheep or possibly the rooster.

Maybe it's possible to make your own one of these? It would only cost... pretty much nothing. Maybe in a week or so, after this initial impulse to buy one of these crazy things disappears, if I still actually want one, I'll figure out how to make it myself. It should be very easy. I think I might actually do that.


P.S. For my subscribers: As you surely have noticed, these posts are emailed to you at about 1 am. They are sent out automatically by feedburner.com, not by me, and I am not normally even up that late. So, now you can sleep easy because you know I am getting to sleep at a normal hour and not suffering from blog-induced insomnia.

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Few things terrify me. I would consider myself nearly fearless. Yup, fearless. However, for some reason, while simultaneously fascinating me, bees, hornets, and wasps absolutely terrify me.

I've never studied hornets or wasps, so perhaps they aren't as incredible as bees, but I took an entomology course at UMass a few years ago and studied bees in a good amount of depth. They are unbelievable. Why are they unbelievable, you ask? For so many reasons. SO MANY. Here are a few:

  • When a bee finds a source of nectar, it flies back to the hive and does a specific dance to alert the others to both the presence of the nectar and how to navigate to its location. I believe the dance is called a "waggle dance." I've seen it on video. Yeah, wow.
  • Bees do a second dance for another reason, which I can't remember anything about. Also amazing, though!
  • Bees make their way around outside the hive, both distance- and location-wise based on the location of the sun. They keep track of the sun's location in respect of their hives.
  • Bees are supposedly gentle, but since I always run away from them at first sight, I've never actually had the chance to test this.
  • And so many more reasons. These four are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head.
So, now you may be asking, why am I terrified of bees? I have no idea. I was stung when I was little, but that didn't cause any trauma, just a little pain. I will never forget, however, looking down at my calf and seeing a bee standing on my leg ready to pierce me with its stinger, then while it was stinging me, running away screaming and crying. Maybe that's why I'm so scared of them now? Who knows.

Anyway, I don't have nightmares, either... except about bees. I've had reoccurring nightmares throughout [nearly] my entire life, where I was holding a bee between my pointer finger and my thumb, feeling its tiny hairs and its buzzing, and knowing that if I let the bee go, it'll kill me... or at least sting me really badly. Normally at a point before I let bee go, I would wake up in a cold sweat...

Bees. Hornets. Wasps. Maybe it has something to do with the mix of yellow and black because I am not scared of beetles, ants, or any other insect. I did once see a European paper wasp. That was scary. Luckily, I was able to kill it with bleach and a tennis racquet before it killed me.

After telling a friend about my fear, he alerted to me to the existence of the Giant Japanese Hornet. It makes me want to cry, but I can't stop thinking about it.

Oh man, these Giant Japanese Hornets are scary. I am glad those don't live around here, otherwise I would move, or at least I would buy a bubble and live in it. I would become a bubble boy just to get away from these hornets. I bet they could sting right through the bubble, so it would have to a high-tech bubble. Still, the point is the same: I will probably become a bubble boy at some point in my life.

After writing most of this post and searching for a pictures of bees, wasps, and hornets, I've come to realize that I am more scared of wasps than any other insect. How was I able to discover which insect I feared most? The answer to this question, a question that I've been asking myself for many years, has eluded me until now, when I viewed pictures, side by side, of the insects which I fear. The wasp definitely made me cringe the most, thereby winning the title of scariest thing alive.

The moral of the story? Do not become obsessed with, study, or love that which you fear, or else you will become a bubble-person.

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Movie Commitmentphobia

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 | | 0 comments »

Occasionally, I can be indecisive. Consistently, when it comes to watching movies, I am totally indecisive. Choosing a movie to see, and pay for, at the movie theater doesn't cause any problems for me. I choose those movies within seconds. However, watching movies at home? Not so easy. It's a huge commitment. I was able, when I had cable, to watch two hours of tv without any indecisiveness involved when choosing shows. But when it comes to movies, I've been known to spend two hours debating which movie to watch, only to realize that the time has somehow become 1 am, and I have still not decided on a movie, then I just have to go to sleep since it's so late.

That being said, it is semi-depressing to now realize how much time I've spent debating which movies to watch. Probably hundreds, if not millions, of hours.

But, what if I choose a movie that is awful? That would be the ultimate media-related disaster, and I, and everyone else, too, should fear that outcome. I would rather debate for two hours than watch a terrible movie.

Maybe it comes down to the fact that I am risk-averse. The upside of choosing a movie? Two hours of pure awesomeness. The downside? TOTAL DISASTER. I wont risk it. Why? Simple: Pure cinematic-awesomeness is ephemeral, while TOTAL DISASTER lasts FOREVER.

So, the logical conclusion and lesson from both this post and my risk assessment? Don't ever choose a movie to watch. Ever. Be indecisive, or you may discover that, while watching an awful movie, your life completely fell apart.

(beware of total disaster)

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What? Doga.

They say that a dog's personality mimics or reflects that of its owner. True? I don't know. I do, however, know that if it is indeed true, I will own one high-strung dog.

So, I was reading a news website a couple weeks ago and stumbled across an article entitled, High Strung Dogs Chill Out with Dog Yoga. First, I thought to myself, "That's ridiculous. What fool would sign up their dog for yoga?" Then I read the article and nearly immediately discovered that the creators of yoga for dogs creatively coined this activity "Doga," a cleverly put-together portmanteau. Needless to say, I continued reading, thanks, solely, to my monomaniacal obsession with portmanteaus.

Doga isn't just some daycare-type activity where you drop your dog off and go grocery-shopping. You actually do yoga with your dog. As much as I don't have the patience to do yoga and can't bring myself to actually go to classes, for some reason I think I would actually attend class if I were going to go with my dog.

I think Doga may calm both me and the dog down - as one participant believes it does for her. It obviously makes sense that it would relax you, at least for a person. I don't know how much a stupid dog could really gain from practicing yoga... unless it was some sort of guru-master yoga dog.

Now my next step? Get a dog.

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I just got back from a Stop and Shop enlightenment.

As I was browsing the bottled water aisle, I asked the lady who was stocking other items how much a certain brand of water costs. Right after I asked the question, I noticed the price. It was about $6.99 or so for a 24-pack. So I said, "Oh, I found the price, thanks, anyway." At which point she responded, "That's a really good price." My first mistake was responding to that outrageous claim by saying, "Um... not at all. That's a horrible price." Then she responded with some unintelligible words about it being an okay price and working at Stop and Shop. After about 10 seconds of back and forth banter about the quality of the price, she began to explain to me why goods are so expensive; she blamed China. She said that it's so expensive to ship the goods over to the United States that prices, in turn, are raised so much. However, I think she forgets the task of the "market" in capitalism. If it were cheaper to produce the goods here, in this case, plastic bottles, they would be produced here. Therefore, since the goods are produced in China, it stands to reason that Americans are actually buying the goods at cheaper prices since those goods are still being produced in China. (The "horrible" price I was referring to was in relation to the other cases of bottled water).

Another flaw in this lady's reasoning had to do with tariffs. She stated that tariffs are partially responsible for such high prices. Tariffs do make goods more expensive because a tariff is a tax on a good that an exporting country must pay to have that good imported into a certain country, thus dissuading particular countries from exporting to other particular countries and persuading countries to produce goods on their own. For example, a while ago, a tariff was placed on Chinese paper being imported into the United States so that more paper would be produced in the United States. I rejoiced because I am big fan of tariffs and not of outsourcing. I think we should have a closed economy (yes, I know that would spell out disaster for the United States, but if I could start this country over or start my own country, it would be closed). However, that tariff on China made semi-big news because there aren't really any tariffs on goods from China - that's what free trade is about (and obviously something of which I'm not really a fan). So, her reasoning that tariffs are responsible for high prices of all goods? Wrong. Because there are essentially no tariffs in existence.

So, I thought to myself, this lady has thought a little about economics, and good for her since I love economics.

After her tariff rant, she told me that she was an economist, and that is the reason why she's familiar with these economic concepts. Most unlikely, but possible. She did have a heavy Russian accent, so it's possible that in Russia she was an economist and the only work she can find here is stocking shelves. Sad, but unlikely, because an advanced economics degree, especially with experience as an economist, in any country, transfers over very well to the United States as long as you speak English. She spoke English very well.

Then, she told me that she's working as an Undercover economist. She said she's just working at Stop and Shop to learn about goods at the consumer level - the lowest level. I guess that's reasonable. I mean, Barbara Ehrenreich, a successful journalist and writer, somewhat did it in the Nickel and Dimed, where she went undercover and worked as a waitress, a maid, a cashier at Wal-Mart, and a few other places, to see if she could survive on minimum wage. Ehrenreich, however, kept her secret identity a secret, unlike this lady at Stop and Shop.

So, I wonder, was this lady absolutely crazy or... well, I'm sure she was crazy, but maybe she really wants to write an book on her experience with goods and consumers. Good for her, either way. If she is indeed crazy, then she's probably enjoying her job as an "undercover economist," so that's nice. And, if she is really is an undercover economist, then even better. It's a win-win for her. Mazel tov.

This experience makes me wonder even more... how many Stop and Shop employees are undercover? Are all of them undercover? Is this some sort of conspiracy? Who would have thought the lady stocking bread and water was a clandestine journalist who threw herself into the unsurvivable world of minimum wages in order to write an expose on... what would she write it on? The fact that minimum wage is not a living wage is no secret, and numerous exposes, books, articles, papers, etc., have already been written. Who knows. I guess I'll have to wait for her book to be published to find out.

Maybe the baker is journalist for Bon Appetit magazine. Or maybe the guy selling lottery tickets behind the customer service desk is really a lobbyist for some anti-gambling group. Who knows. I guess I'll have to wait for their books and articles to come out, too.

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Kosher Food in Prison

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 | , , | 4 comments »

I wonder, Is it possible to get kosher meals in prison? In the workplace, employers cater to religious persons, because its the law and they want to be accommodating, maybe it's the same in prison. I doubt it. Since the food is all mass-produced the answer is probably no... unless it's a Jewish prison, which doesn't exist outside of Israel. Would jail chefs cook special food for one lone kosher-keeping Jew in his prison? I would hope so.

What if I end up in jail for some reason? Not that I would ever break the law, but what if I'm framed? What if some ingenious criminal frames me so perfectly and elaborately that my lawyer can't prove my innocence? Then what? I'll be stuck in a prison cafeteria eating... I wonder what the halacha (Jewish Law) has to say on the issue of what to eat in prison. I'm sure the ruling would be that if you are imprisoned and there's no alternative to unkosher food, you'd be able to eat the unkosher food so you wouldn't die. However, since your food options are so limited, should you avoid the worst unkosher culprits? Besides the occasional pasta, the only protein sources in prison are meat, so what would you do? You need protein.

I hope I don't go to jail. Please don't frame me.

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I wish walking sticks and canes were still in style. Not the wooden or plastic ones people use to hike or are ones that are in any way truly useful, but the type used in the 19th century in England by the upper class because they were fashionable.

This picture was the best I could find. I'd want a black cane with silver decoration instead of the one pictured, but the top hat shown is acceptable.

I'd take the cane and wear the top hat everywhere. Top hats add a touch of class to your life, not to mention add an extra foot to your height, which wouldn't be so bad. And canes? Oh, man, I can't even begin to express how much an awesome, black and silver walking cane would improve your life.

So, with a combination of a top hat and a cane, I would be unstoppable. Totally unstoppable. All day, I would just roam the streets in the huge hat with the cane thinking about how awesome it is to have that beautiful hat and cane.

I do not have many regrets from my life, but one of them is that I never rented a top hat and cane along with any of the tuxedos that I rented for the proms I attended. I do, currently, own my own tux... maybe I should make the outfit complete and make some purchases...

The only annoyance regarding canes is that when you carry it around, you now have only one free hand. That is a big issue since I like both my hands free. However, since, for hundreds of years, people managed to deal with the use of only one hand while using the other to carry a cane, I think I can get used to it, too.

There are no issues, whatsoever, with wearing a top hat [all the time].

That settles it, one day I will buy a cane and a top hat. Wait for that day, because, my friends, that will be a glorious day.

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I never pay retail prices for anything... ever. There are always ways to pay nearly nothing for nearly everything. However, there is one thing I pay retail price for. That is having my tennis racquet restrung (including the strings). Why do I pay for this? Because I can't string a racquet myself since I don't own the machinery. Besides, you buy the strings and stores string the racquet for free. So, I paid $35 or so for a new (totally amazing) grip, a restringing, and new strings.

My tennis racquet is a masterpiece of awesomeness. I would take it everywhere with me if I could. Maybe I'll take it to work and just let it sit beautifully on my desk. It would probably distract me, though, and all day I'd most likely just stare in awe at its captivating perfection.

Was it worth the $35? Oh yeah, totally. The racquet, with the new (kung-fu-like) grip, will finally stop slipping out of my hand from sweat while I'm in the middle of a point. Plus, I had the string's tension adjusted to 57. What does 57 mean? It means awesomeness.

I cannot wait to play another match with my captivating racquet.

P.S. my shadow (behind the bottom of the racquet's head) looks like the cookie monster.

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YES. Candy Corn!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 | , | 3 comments »

That is my hand holding a 3 pound bag of unbelievable kosher candy corn imported from the great township of Teaneck, New Jersey, courtesy of my mother.

In case you are a new reader of my blog, see this post: Candy Corn Secret, so you'll understand what I am so happy.

Nuff said.

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The Torah View of Man

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 | , | 0 comments »

Every day, I receive emails from Aish.com. One of those daily emails is entitled "Daily Lift" by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin. I really liked this "lift" from August 4th, and so I thought I'd share it. Perhaps it will offend you for some reason? I hope so.

Daily Lift #369

The Torah View Of Man

From the Torah viewpoint humans are the goals and the purpose of the entire creation. Without the Torah perspective, there is no essential difference between a human and a donkey.

Someone looking at the world from a completely secular viewpoint has no basis for the value of man. On the philosophical level, man would have no more inherent worth than any other piece of matter.

(Gesher Hachayim, vol.3, p.52, Gateway to Happiness, pp.118-9)

If you liked this email, I'd encourage you visit Aish.com and subscribe to this daily email yourself. You can always cancel if you decide you don't like it. But these emails are REALLY short, as you can very well see, and its always nice to get a little bit of Torah in your inbox.

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The Importance of Sideburns

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 | | 0 comments »

Ever since that serendipitous summer at Camp Maplewood about 13 or so years ago when I first realized the awesomeness of sideburns, I have always wanted them. A counselor, whom I thought was the "coolest guy ever," had sideburns. So, I decided right then and there that it was going to be one of my goals in my life to have sideburns. (I continue to have sideburns because I think they are awesome, not because I think that guy was awesome).

I had a little issue though, because what 11-year old can grow sideburns? I circumvented this problem by simply growing my hair on sides of my ears extra long... (a little like peyas). Issue solved.

As I grew, so did my actual sideburns. No more fake, wannabe-sideburns. I had the real thing. Looking back at photos, I noticed that during the summer after my first year of college, I nearly had muttonchops... that was a big mistake. Sorry.

Over the years, I have developed perfect sideburns. Currently, they are a little too short for my liking, but that will be remedied very shortly.

Every single morning I look into the mirror and smile at how awesome my sideburns are. I truly appreciate my sideburns and my ability to grow them. When other aspects of my life aren't going so well, I think to myself, "Hey, I've still got sideburns. It seems that G-d is still giving me something to hold on to." Then I continue on my awesome day because I have sideburns.

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Are you Unique?

Monday, August 11, 2008 | | 0 comments »

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This post will be the first of many devoted entirely to ninjas. Why? Because ninjas are unstoppable. That's why.

(Click the picture to enlarge it so you can find the four stealthy ninjas)

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This video about Iran, I feel, is apropos (yup, I heard a rabbi use that word about 3 years ago, and since that day I can't get it out of my head. However, when I use that word, it just sounds pretentious, so pretend I used one of its synonyms, "relevant") to Tisha B'Av, which started tonight.

Tisha B'Av, Hebrew for the "Ninth of Av," "Av" being one of the Hebrew months, is a day that recognizes many of the worst tragedies befallen by the Jewish people that occurred, specifically, on that day. From the denial of the Jews' entrance to Israel in 1312 BCE, to the destruction of both the first and second Temples in 586 BCE and 70 CE, respectively, to the beginning of the deportation of Jews to Treblinka from the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II, hundreds of thousands of Jews were slaughtered on this day alone (millions of Jews died as a result of all the events occurring on this day). So, a mournful day, indeed, today is. (sorry for the awkward sentence, but sometimes I occasionally speak like Yoda, and apparently type that way, too).

Back to this video on Iran. Since today is a sad say, it is a day Jews demonstrate our sadness by focusing on... sad things. So, I've embedded the video, Jews Undercover - Iran, by Journeyman Pictures, for you to watch. Although parts, toward the end, are [a tad] uplifting and positive, the general message is that although Jews are becoming more devout in Iran, its still Iran.

Being 13 minutes long, it's a relatively long video for someone with the average American attention span, or at least the average person who watches videos on youtube. So, not relatively, it's a short documentary about the Jews that are still left in Iran and how they live their lives, Jewishly. Before watching this video, I was under the impression that there weren't any Jews left there, but minorities are "protected" under Iran's democratic law, so 1/4 of Iran's Jews are still there.

So, learn something, be sad, and watch this video:

If you can't watch it in my blog, click here to watch it on the youtube site.

Did you like it? Good answer.

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Hello. I am starting a new business, in my free time, which I have a lot of. That was a beautifully constructed sentence.

Anyway, I am starting a business. It will be fantastic. My company is called TravelPaks. Soon, I will register the name with the state. I already own TravelPaks.com.

Startup costs? I'll basically have only costs associated with setting up the website and a few products, so about $200, plus whatever fees are associated with registering a business. I've set up my business model so that I'll incur costs only after the sale to the customer is made, initially at least.

What is TravelPaks.com? I'll be selling travel packs (but I spell it paks because that's cooler [incidentally, not typing the "c" is much more fun and saves a ton of time, too]).

When traveling, it's a huge hassle to carry, organize, remember, and pack big bottles of shampoo and conditioner, soap, cleansers, a toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. So, you instead, you can buy a travel pak from travelpaks.com with everything prepackaged! It's easy, convenient, small, unforgettable, inexpensive, and looks awesome. So far, I've planned out 6 different toiletries/travel paks, 4 pak-add-ons, and 6 extras. Some paks are already ready to be assembled and sold. I'm now just waiting for the samples of different types of bags from a couple of suppliers... then I'll be ready to go!

What are the paks I'm selling, you ask? Good question.

  • Basic Pak
  • Deluxe Pak
  • Men's Pak
  • Women's Pak
  • Airplane Pak
  • Relaxation Pak
As profits soar and I become more familiar with the market, the suppliers, and running the business, I'll create more paks.

I think it's worthwhile to note that I've somewhat based my business/sales model on In-and-Out Burger's menu. I used to frequent this unbelievable non-kosher establishment when I lived in San Diego and before I kept kosher. Their model is, in my words, "Keep it simple, very simple."

I have also given myself a title. My title is CEA. Chief Executive Awesome. I think it flows nicely.

And that, my numerous readers, is my business, in a nutshell... or a blog post, rather.

You now may be asking:
  • Why don't people just use the items from hotels?
  • Can't they already buy things like this online?
  • Can they take your items on a plane? Are they TSA approved?
  • Who would spend money on something like this?
  • Um... your idea is stupid, yes?
  • Since when do you know how to build a website? I've seen your blog layout and it's pretty clear you have no website-building talent...
  • How will you market this?
To all those questions, and to any other questions you may have... my answer is:
"I do have perfectly and ridiculously satisfying answers to all your questions, but I choose not to share them with you. Instead, most of your questions will be answered when my website is launched. For those of you who are eternal pessimists and believe you can foresee* my business's failing outcome, you should also foresee that I will destroy you."

I would like to end this post on a note of destruction. So, fin.

*did you know that a synonym for "foresee" is "foreknow"?? Awesome.

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I always keep lists. Lists of everything. Things I want to buy. Things I want to do. Things I have to do. People I have to call. Places I want to go... etc.

I'd like to share my latest list of awesome products.

To preface this list, you should know that I have an an obsession with backpacks, for some reason. I have different backpacks for different scenarios, which I'm sure everyone does to some degree, but by the time I'm a crotchety old man, I plan to have accumulated hundreds of backpacks for all my different needs. My collection will consists of a backpack for backpacking around a country, one if I'm hiking, one if I'm traveling in luxury, one to carry my stuff (mainly food) around town, one to carry lots of stuff around town, one for my computer, one weird looking one, one black one (in case I want to be in stealth-mode), one green/camouflage (in case I'm in a jungle), and so many more. I could go on forever, but I digress...

So, soon, I will buy some of these awesome things:

The iStraw. An emergency water filtering straw! It even filters out the bacteria... absolutely amazing.

The Juno movie soundtrack. Have you seen this movie? You can't help but smile when you hear its songs.

I definitely need speakers for my computer since I can't ever hear what I'm listening to, and seeing as though I'm saving money by not having cable and by just using my computer as a TV, I think it's okay to spend some money on speakers. Anyway, what better ones than these?

I've already got a 1 Liter Sigg bottle, but a smaller one would be more convenient when I don't want to carry my huge bottle with me everywhere. It also saves money in the long-run because you don't buy new bottles, you just reuse this one. Plus, and most important, it, being aluminum, somehow hinders the growth of bacteria.

Weirdest backpack ever. If somehow a ninja turned into a backpack, it would be this backpack.

Greatest backpack ever. Totally transparent. Look at that guy riding the escalator. He's probably the greatest person of all-time. I will buy one of these backpacks.

For some reason, my mom never bought a normal bread toaster, but instead, a toaster oven. It has been my dream for many years to own and use a regular toaster. This dream may come true, and in a transparent fashion, thanks to Dyson, who produces this promethean piece of kitchen art.

I love the Even Stevens show; it's definitely one of the best Disney TV shows of all-time. A few weeks ago, the Even Stevens movie was on the Disney Channel and was an hour and a half of pure hilarity. My minuscule DVD collection will be complete once this piece of comedic genius is added to its shelf.

That's the list for now.

Sometimes little things can enhance the quality of your life. Although I don't spend much money on material things, I realize that, sometimes, purchases can enhance the quality of your life. So, before I buy anything, I ask myself, "Will this actually improve my life in the long-run?" Most of the time the answer is "no," so I don't buy it, but if it will, depending on a few other factors, I buy it. That is the lesson from this post. It's financial lesson #1.

Speaking of financial lessons, I've deleted my personal finance blog, so I may include, from time to time, some personal finance posts. You'll enjoy them. Yes you will.

Back to awesome products... actually, not back to awesome products because I am done writing this post.

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I am almost somewhat kinda famous. Really. Well, not really.

But, if you type in The Greatest Site Ever in google, my blog appears on the second page. Here's a screenshot (click to enlarge):

I would like to thank my loyal readers, my fans and fan club, my stalkers, my family, my friends, and you, for boosting thegreatestsiteever.com's google rankings when you search for "the greatest site ever". On June 30th, it was placed on page 10, and today, page 2. Without all my readers, my blog would remain readless. Yup, readless. I just officially created that word. (readless = unread)

For accomplishing this feat of placement elevation, I would like to give some of my loyal readers a gift. Yes, a gift. And not just any gift, but a supremely coveted piece of Americana...

If you would like, I will give the first three readers who respond to this post a free @thegreatestsiteever.com email address. Imagine that! All you have to do is email me at the address above and to the right or click here . It's as simple as that! You'll be famous, too! People who see your email address will say: "WOW. You have the greatest email address ever! And you're associated with thegreatestsiteever.com? You must have some pretty powerful connections." At which point all you have to do is nod and everyone within visible distance of you will be in awe. Total awe. It happens to me all the time.

So, go ahead, email me.

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My Favicon

Sunday, August 03, 2008 | | 0 comments »

One of my first tasks as a professional (unprofessional) blogger was to create a favicon. What is a favicon, you ask? Well, take a look to the left of the this web address on the address bar. See the weird smiley face? Yup, that's it. That, my friends, is called a "favicon." I love it.

I love it so much that I want to share an enlarged version with everyone. Before I do that, though, I want to answer a question that you probably didn't ask: "How did you create this beautiful and professional image?" Well, I used MS Paint, the most basic, featureless tool of the master web-designing novice. I have since, though, upgraded to a program called Paint.net, which is still pretty basic, but offers a plethora of more features, looks nicer, and is oh so much cooler. ANYWAY, I don't remember how I actually created the favicon. I think I downloaded a program to convert it to the necessary type of file. If you really want to know, send me $5 and I will do some research and tell you.

So, the moment you've been waiting for... my favicon. Here it is: large, somewhat in charge, and exposed in au naturel:

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Sunday, August 03, 2008 | , | 0 comments »

What is awesome? Wakerupper.com. It is totally amazing.

Last week I decided that instead of setting an alarm, I would try a wake up call. I also didn't want to pay for this wake up call. So, I googled "Free Wake Up Call" and Wakerupper.com came up. I tried it, but my phone didn't actually wake me up since the alarm volume was set low, so Wakerupper left me a voicemail, which was fine. So I tried it again later that day and played around with some options. I programmed it so that my own recording is what I hear when wakerupper calls me. It worked perfectly every time.

Using the website is so easy and intuitive. It's also totally free, as far I can tell. If I get a huge cellphone bill from Verizon, I'll let you all know. Anyway, you can schedule calls for anytime, not just wake up calls. Soon, I'll begin using it to remind me to do things at certain times, or I'll set it up to call me when I'm out with someone I don't like so I'll have an escape route.
This website is ingenious.

Here's a screenshot (Click it to enlarge):

You can schedule a test call to sample this service before you sign up. I would recommend that. MAN, this service is awesome.

Another great website is kukuklok.com. It's awesome, too, but not as awesome as Wakerupper.com. It's an online alarm clock. It's very simple, and it offers about four or so different sound options for alarms. My favorite is the rooster, especially since the other sounds are so annoying that I'm afraid my body will force itself into a coma rather than wake up as to avoid listening to those sounds.

Here's a screenshot:

P.S. I love using screenshots.

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Mmmh... Lavender

Thursday, July 31, 2008 | | 1 comments »

The other day I arrived at the Boston Public Library at Copley about 20 minutes before I was supposed to me a friend there. It's just impossible to anticipate when trains will come, so I left my apartment early and stepped onto the train platform just as a train was pulling in. Perfect timing! Anyway, across from the library and right at the Trinity Church was a small Farmers Market, and since I had some time to kill, I thought I'd do a little perusing. All the baked goods and pastries looked amazing, but were totally unkosher, so I had to painfully pass up those purchases. Finally, when I was almost done checking out all the tables, I saw one table with bags of lavender seeds. Then I remembered how the smell of real lavender is supposed to help you relax. So I bought a small bag for $2. Then a lady suggested I buy a baby sock, put the lavender inside, seal it, and use it as a "sachet," which is apparently just a fancy word for bag-filled-with-stuff-that-smells.

Then today, I bought some inexpensive baby socks, a 4-pack for $2, at Walgreens, and I was good to go.

The only problem with this plan is that I don't know how to sew... or I didn't know how to sew. I do now, thanks to this website, and after 10 minutes of sewing, I am now a professional.

Now, the moment you've all been waiting for... my finished bag-filled-with-stuff-that-smells. (I refuse to use the word "sachet").

The moral of this story? Since I bought a 4-pack of baby socks and only used 1, I have extras. So, if anyone needs 3 baby socks, make me an offer (the offer should consist of you taking them for free). That is the moral.

The second moral is that you can make what I made for $2.50 or you can go buy the exact same thing in a store for $15. I would suggest the former, especially because of the satisfaction factor.

The third moral is that lavender really does help you relax... I think.

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I just read over the credit card benefits for my Visa Signature Card. They are amazing, especially the one that covers whatever I buy from an alien attack. If an alien spacecraft (only a "spacecraft," not an alien him or herself) destroys a TV that I buy with that credit card, Visa will reimburse me for it or repair the damage. Fantastic! I am totally covered! I should start using this credit card just so I can own things that are insured against an alien attack.

Here's a screenshot with the PDF from Visa to prove it: (Click it to view a larger and legible version of this tomfoolery).

I hope aliens do attack just so I can take advantage of this sweet benefit.

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Since my opinion is objective, I can definitively state that dogs are better than cats:

"Dogs are better than cats."

The 9 Most Important Reasons Why Dogs are Better than Cats:
  1. All cats are evil, all the time, in everything that they do. Everything a dog does is innocent, even if he or she bites you. A dog will bite someone only out of love, whereas a cat bites and scratches out of hatred.
  2. Cats always have an ulterior motive (probably something evil). Why do dogs do everything they do? Because they love you.
  3. Cats are sneaky, mean, and vengeful. Dogs are kind, loving, and forgiving.
  4. Although cats' motives are always evil, a cat's specific evil goal of his or her evil act is unclear. Ask yourself, "Is this cat's act part of a larger plan to destroy me or is it an individual act of hatred?" Alternatively, everything a dog does is transparent. You always know why a dog does something, and it is always to make you happy.
  5. Cats are out to destroy you. They are always watching you and plotting. Always. If you ever see a cat casually watching you, know that you aren't being "casually" watched, but instead intensely observed. Dogs watch you because simply seeing you makes them happy.
  6. Cats are scary. Dogs are not.
  7. Cats can be elusive, dogs cannot.
  8. Dogs do funny things. They are like comedians that follow you around all day for free, telling hilarious, G-rated humor. Cats, on the other hand, have funny things happen to them, and are more like that friend in your high school social group who everyone laughed at, but then when you got older you started to feel bad for him for all the bad things that happened to him. Cats are that guy.
  9. Cats have very sharp claws, abrasive tongues, and stupid faces.
Although there are hundreds of more reasons why dogs are better than cats, I think these are the 9 most important and easiest-to-grasp reasons.

Lastly, look at this disgusting-looking cat and the cute, little dog (a papillion).

Now, unless you are completely irrational, you should be convinced that dogs are better than cats. If, when it comes to decision making, you tend to make your decision based on intellectual and logical arguments, then the 9 reasons should have appealed to you and swayed you in the direction of dog-loving and cat-despising. If you tend to base your decisions on emotions, then the above two photographs should have appealed to you. In addition to displaying the vastly disparate levels of beauty of these two animals, the pictures also reflect the levels of integrity, personality, and love that the respective soul of the average dog and cat have reached.

Please remember this old (or new, rather, because I coined it) adage: Dogs build, cats destroy.

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Eggs are edible. Edible things are fantastic. Ergo, eggs are fantastic.

I like to eat eggs. They are very healthy despite their bad cholesterol-related rap. The newest... news is that eggs are good for you. That being said, eating eggs the same way (over-easy, scrambled, hard-boiled, etc...) can get boring, quickly. So, I decided to do some research on the many different methods of cooking eggs and share some of my findings with my millions (billions?) of readers.


Over-hard (my favorite)

Steam-basted (No picture, sorry)

The Omelet






I love eggs.

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