Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Holiday’s 10

With less than 300 shopping days until X-Mas, it’s time you started thinking about your giving for next year. Sure, it might be difficult to think of what you’re going to give, because most of the products you’ll be gifting to your friends and family haven’t even hit the stores yet, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t plan ahead. Some thing never change, no matter how much you believe in it, and it’s best to be prepared for these sorts of things and be able to get them safely out of your way so that you can focus on the important things. For example, you know that your aunt Betty is going to give you a highly fashionable sweater. Unfortunately, her idea of highly fashionable doesn’t encompass anything past 1986, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the opportunity presented here. Instead of waiting another eleven months to write the trite thank you that aunt Betty normally receives, why not write it now, and, after consulting with your favorite actuary, xerox an appropriate number of copies?

Good idea, I know, but it’s a bit cynical, don’t you think? After all, you’re a savvy, discriminating person (as evidenced by your reading this here humble blog), and is it really befitting for you to go that route? I think not. Better yet would be a visionary approach that combined the kindness normally associated with holiday giving with keenness generally attributed to hedge fund managers who have a bad Friday morning hangover. I would suggest that you look into a gift that says, “Really, I care about you and the sweater you gave me, and I’m so happy with it, and I can’t wait to receive another, and by the way I’m sending this one to the starving children of sub-saharan Africa who I’ve heard are in great need of fiber.” Isn’t that beautiful and touching? Even better will be the gift accompanying this message- a brand new Motorola H17 Bluetooth Headset. Aunt Betty will really appreciate this present, because now she won’t get a crick in her neck when she’s knitting you that sweater and talking on the phone at the same time, and who knows, maybe she’ll even present you with some hip and stylish outerwear next x-mas! OK, that’s going a little far, but just think of the possibilities…

147 comments:

Yossi said...

now what was this called again????
oh, yes. 'drumming up business' and 'manipulation'. am I learning?

The Real Shliach said...

Very good Yossi, soon you'll be ready for your next lesson: "Making readers into purchasers".

Crawling Axe said...

shubshcribing

sarabonne said...

Little does Aunt Betty know that those sweaters were made by the children working in a secret sweatshop in the bowels of my own school.
Art classes for children...snort.

The Real Shliach said...

CA: Yesh?

Sara: Do you get a cut?

Crawling Axe said...

I wrote a whole long rebuttal, but it was lost.

You know actually what happened? I clicked on the comment link, and a new window popped up. Then I started writing in it, but had to switch windows. And then I couldn’t find the original window. Because there is no freaking start panel, and when I clicked on the Firefox icon, the main page kept popping up. Pressing Alt+Tab or moving cursor in the corner to show the gay multi-window display also did not work.

So, my long response is sitting somewhere on my rabbi’s computer, next to sushi. Maybe Nava will send it for me, if she can reach the laptop.

Now I am trying to decide what’s more evil: Macs or Organic Chemistry. Both definitely look equally shiny.

The Real Shliach said...

If you press the control button when clicking on the icon in the bar on the bottom you will see it pop up and offer you a choice as to which window you would like to access.

Crawling Axe said...

Oh well, stupid control button. That’s Apple’s excuse to all the atrocities. No right-click? Control button. No multiple windows? Control button. Genocide in Darfur? Control button. Gay people not being able to serve in the army? Control button.

The Real Shliach said...

Or else you could just buy a mouse.

Why should gays be allowed in the army?

Crawling Axe said...

I already have enough mice. I just had a bunch born over the weekend that I need to genotype.

Because somebody needs to defend this country in style?

The Real Shliach said...

But are they magic mice?
http://www.apple.com/magicmouse/

Stop stereotyping! Until when will homosexuals be allowed to dress in whatever manner they want and not have to contend with this insane desire of heterosexuals to see them dressed fashionably!

e said...

your favorite actuary=e.

The Real Shliach said...

How long to you give her to live?

e said...

let her come back in a few years after I've finished learning all this stuff.

The Real Shliach said...

But what if she's dead already!

e said...

a great need for an actuary's services you will have then, no?

The Real Shliach said...

All I'm saying is, you'll have missed out on a golden chance for some quick cash.

Crawling Axe said...

Does it come in latex version?

The Real Shliach said...

The magic mouse?

Crawling Axe said...

Nu. What else?

Crawling Axe said...

Re: dress: huh? I thought homosexuals dress fashionably.

The Real Shliach said...

Do your regular mice come in latex editions?

That's just a typical heterosexual assumption you're making.

Crawling Axe said...

No, they come in cages.

I still don’t understand: can you right-click on this mouse or not? Even if you can, there is no middle button, so the mouse is useless for tabs.

I am making assumption that gay people dress well or that heterosexuals dress badly? Or that it is gay to dress well?

The Real Shliach said...

So why the question re: latex?

The whole point is that the whole thing is the user interface.

Both. Yes.

Crawling Axe said...

I was just wondering if there is a special edition for Mac enthusiasts.

So, can you or can you not have a middle button?

Am I too young to be suspicious of new technology?

Those are not assumptions, they are laws of nature readily observable and proovable. Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas (that one can be googled).

The Real Shliach said...

Are Mac enthusiasts known for their love of latex?

Ask someone who has one.

Yes.

Oh please. That's like saying that all Jews are rich and have big noses. Until when will this sexual profiling stop? Mr. Obama, tear down this wall!

Crawling Axe said...

I wouldn’t put it past them.

A middle button?

Saying that all Jews are rich is simply factually wrong. Saying all Jews are smart is not.

The Real Shliach said...

You obviously don't know Apple very well.

A Magic Mouse.

I beg to differ.

Crawling Axe said...

Most people in my lab are Apple users. Not to mention liberals.

Crawling Axe said...

You don’t think Jews as a rule are smarter than goyim?

The Real Shliach said...

Which would explain why you don't know them very well.

Perhaps. But to say that "all Jews are smart" is factually correct?

Crawling Axe said...

I know people in my lab well. Perhaps not as well as people in the local Chassidic establishment.

All the stupid Jews are exceptions that prove the rule.

The Real Shliach said...

Does anyone in your local Chassidic establishment use a Mac? Oh wait, I know the answer to that.

How many exceptions can you have until the rule is disproven?

Crawling Axe said...

Enough to make one applying the rules discombobulated.

The Real Shliach said...

Does that describe you yet?

Crawling Axe said...

Nope. When I meet a Jew, I expect him to be smart to some degree, and so far, I haven’t been disappointed too often.

Does this contradict what I said last night regarding Igros-writing practices? Perhaps...

The Real Shliach said...

How does one determine "smart to some degree"?

Perhaps.

Crawling Axe said...

Using a 12-point scale.

The Real Shliach said...

Where do you rate?

Crawling Axe said...

My 11-point rating on the humility scale forbids me to tell you.

Crawling Axe said...

Humbleness? One of those h-words.

The Real Shliach said...

Dang. How else shall I find out?

What are the others?

Crawling Axe said...

Hen.

When I came to the US, I was confused with everyone calling hens “chickens” (which in the version of English I was taught in Russia meant child hen).

Crawling Axe said...

How else will you find out how smart I am?

There is a perfect medium.

The Real Shliach said...

I'm going to skip that comment.

What happened to chess?

Crawling Axe said...

Chess only tests how well you hit a ball with a stick. Wait, that’s baseball. I meant, chess only tests certain aspects of your intelligence. Go is more well rounded.

Speaking of baseball, how come there aren’t any chess tea cups? And what kind of tea was that?

The Real Shliach said...

Says who?

There are. Just not in my house.

http://www.celestialseasonings.com/products/detail.html/latin-flavor-teas/cinnamon-apple

Crawling Axe said...

Says fMRI scanner. Nu, there are many web-site singing praises to the superiority of chess over go. Search and you shall find.

Crawling Axe said...

Why not? All Jews like chess more than baseball.

Ah. Nice.

The Real Shliach said...

Did you just say that chess is superior to Go?

Not true.

Crawling Axe said...

Mistakenly. I need some food.

Well, at least most chassidim. True chassidim. Can you see FR and the Rebbe playing catch on nittel night?

The Real Shliach said...

What does food have to do with it?

No, but only because it's too cold. Anyway, if you took a poll of Chassidim right now...

Crawling Axe said...

Blood sugar level ↓.

Chassidishkeit of our generation ↓.

The Real Shliach said...

Quite.

If only they'd had baseball in Russia...

Crawling Axe said...

They have a better version. Gorodki.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8wi4QCbC7o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HAKKLzzidk

Crawling Axe said...

1:55 in the last one.

The Real Shliach said...

What is this, bowling for dummies?

Crawling Axe said...

If you understood Russian, you’d know that it’s more difficult and requires more finesse and nerve control than bowling.

FR described in Likkutei Dibburim how Rebbe Rashab played in Gorodki with some goyim in Yalta.

Bowling for dummies is this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Tt3HVKmoW4

The Real Shliach said...

Well yes, I assumed.

Really? Where is that?

What is this, marbles for grownups? At least they have funny names.

Crawling Axe said...

Yalta is in Crimea.

Russians also have funny name. For instance, the name of the guy in the glasses is Vitaliy Frolov. OK, it’s not that funny. Actually, Poles beat Russians in funny names. But Russians beat Poles in the beauty of curses.

The Real Shliach said...

No, I meant where is that recorded.

Russians beat Poles for a thousand years...

Crawling Axe said...

Likkutei Diburim. I can try to find it.

Huh?

The Real Shliach said...

Excellent. I see we both have our homework for tonight.

Excuse me, only half a millennium.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poland%E2%80%93Russia_relations

Crawling Axe said...

Actually, I made a mistake. Gorodki is Russian bowling (or bowling is Western gorodki). Russian baseball is lapta: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapta_%28game%29

My question is more important. Knowing whether to unfriend all females on FB is more important than knowing whether Rebbe Rashab could’ve played lapta.

Btw, cold argument is nonsense. Chassidim went to mikva in ice water. Lapta would be nothing (if anything, playing it would make them warmer).

Crawling Axe said...

Wouldn’t it be amazing if it turned out that Russians invented (or inspired invention of) American baseball?

Crawling Axe said...

More like 300 years. Believe it or not, but medieval Poles (and Lithuanians) were not losers. They would regularly beat German knights.

The Real Shliach said...

Hmm, sounds like cricket.

I beg to differ :)

True this. Still, baseball is obviously far superior to lapta, so it's not really a fair argument.

Why do Russians like to think they're the source of everything?

The Real Shliach said...

Whatever.

Crawling Axe said...

Cricket sounds like lapta.

Baseball is not superior at all. This is a description of lapta:

“This folk game is one of the most interesting and useful games. Lapta requires resourcefulness, deep breathing, faithfulness to your group, attention, dexterity, fast running, good aiming and marksmanship, strong striking hands, and firm eternal confidence that you cannot be defeated. The lazy and cowardly have no place in this game.”

None of this can be found in baseball.

When was the last time I said Russian were a source of anything? Although “kiosk” is a Russian word. As well as “sputnik”. And “vodka”. On the other hand, “deoksiribonukleinovaya” is an English word.

e said...

What might this allegedly English word mean?

http://www.google.com/search?q=deoksiribonukleinovaya&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

Crawling Axe said...

It means “deoxyribonucleic”. Search for «деоксирибонуклеиновая».

Crawling Axe said...

Oops. I missed a «з».

http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%94%D0%B5%D0%B7%D0%BE%D0%BA%D1%81%D0%B8%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%B1%D0%BE%D0%BD%D1%83%D0%BA%D0%BB%D0%B5%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B0%D1%8F_%D0%BA%D0%B8%D1%81%D0%BB%D0%BE%D1%82%D0%B0

The Real Shliach said...

This folk game is one of the most interesting and useful games. Baseball requires resourcefulness, deep breathing, faithfulness to your group, attention, dexterity, fast running, good aiming and marksmanship, strong striking hands, and firm eternal confidence that you cannot be defeated. The lazy, cowardly, and Russian have no place in this game.

OK, not you, but virtually every other Russian I know...

Crawling Axe said...

Baseball is not a folk game. It’s a corporation monstrocity.

I don’t belong in baseball either, as I discovered in high school while playing it. My children are not playing baseball either.

The Real Shliach said...

This coming from the country that gave us the USSR.

Why must parents always visit their failings upon their children?

Crawling Axe said...

I never said I like all things Russian. Just those things that Jews played a major role in creating — i.e., culture.

(Actually, Jews created the Communist state too.)

It’s part of a process called parenthood. But in this case it will be a good thing.

e said...

wait a minute. this is an english word, but I gotta go to the Russian wikipedia to understand it?

Crawling Axe said...

It’s an English word in Russian language. You can go do English Wikipedia to understand it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dna

Crawling Axe said...

Actually, Russian language is the source of chaynik, pomidor, samovar (a very often used word in CH, I am sure), and... hmm... paskuda. Any more?

e said...

oh. so that funny word is DNA. And russians don't use an abbreviation?

Crawling Axe said...

That funny word is “deoxyribonucleic”. It’s DN in DNA. Russian for DNA is of course ДНК. Interestingly enough, Russians translate abbreviations. So, FBI is ФБР (Федеральное Бюро Расследования). CIA is ЦРУ. While in English KGB means nothing.

e said...

which way do you think is better?

The Real Shliach said...

Must it be either better or worse?

Crawling Axe said...

Would it be better if KGB was called CSS? Would it be better if Gamburg was called Hamburg and Moscow — Moskva? No idea.

The Real Shliach said...

Gamburg?

The Real Shliach said...

And "chassidish" people do say, "Moskva".

Crawling Axe said...

Gamburg = Hamburg in Russian. Russian language lacks some consonants (soft h and th come to mind) the way English lacks some vowels (ya, ye, yo, yu, yh) and palatalized consonants.

Actually, you could say Hamburg in Ukrainian. But then you would sound retarded.

There was a character ’arry the ’ermit in one of the best computer games, Quest for Glory 1 (VGA version). He lived in a cave, played cribbage and said a lot of words with “h”.

Re: Moskva — even those who talk (or worse) to motogs?

In any event, they probably say “Moskva” when referring to the ma’amor “Veyadaita Moskva”. They probably don’t say “my son went on shlichus to Moskva”.

The Real Shliach said...

I know where Hamburg is. The question is, why should I care how Russians pronounce it? That would be like caring how Americans pronounce Smolensk.

Probably. It's only a chitzoniyusdike thing, so naturally they'd run for it.

Ahh, chassidim say it with regard to the maamer, "chassidishe" people say it with regard to everything.

Crawling Axe said...

For the same reason you should want world peace and justice for the oppressed peasants.

I wonder how chassidishe people say “Dnieprodzierzhinsk”.

The Real Shliach said...

Nu, what's that reason>?

They say "Simferopel".

Crawling Axe said...

Because if you don’t, liberal people think lowly of your moral standing?

It’s literally like calling Atlanta Maryland. Literally.

The Real Shliach said...

And I care what liberals think because?

You mean Georgia?

Crawling Axe said...

Because if they think badly about you, it’s chillul Chabad.

I meant Baltimore.

Crawling Axe said...

I also sometimes confuse Philadelphia with Pennsylvania. Although I used to confuse Pennsylvania with Transylvania, which is a bigger mistake.

The Real Shliach said...

It's not a chilul Hashem if idiots think badly of me.

Ahh.

Only slightly.

Crawling Axe said...

But if you make them like you, you can impress them. For example, I always tell liberals that I believe in theory of evolution. Then, after they relax, I tell them I also believe G-d created the world in 6 literal days. Then, when they are confused and vulnerable, I quickly attack and take away their lunch mon... I mean, I mekarev them to Torah.

The Real Shliach said...

I really want idiots to like me and be impressed by me? What does that say about me?

How many Jews have you brought closer to heaven through this method?

Crawling Axe said...

That you’re sneaky and resourceful?

I wouldn’t want to brag. (Remember, 11 points on a 12-point humbleness scale?) But there was a student of Ponovitch yeshiva with whom I learned some Ranat and even excerpts from Ayin Beis.

The Real Shliach said...

Hmm, good point.

He was impressed that you believed in evolution and Genesis?

Crawling Axe said...

No, he was impressed that I laughed at his oiso-ha’ish story.

The Real Shliach said...

What's his story?

Crawling Axe said...

One time Shach was walking around with his right arm in a circle (his knuckles touching his hip and elbow sticking out). He was walking like this in a courtyard somewhere, back and forth, thinking. Eventually, his students asked him: “Maran, why are you walking like this?” He looked over to his arm and exclaimed: “Hey! Where is my watermelon?!”

True story.

The Real Shliach said...

What a guy, what a guy.

e said...

Saying "Moskva" isn't a chassidish thing. It's a Yiddish/European thing. There's this senior citizen who often eats at my aunt's house who speaks English with a very strong accent and is always mixing English and Yiddish. she might say moskva, but she ain't too chassidish.

e said...

It's very funny to hear an old lady with a Yiddish accent tell girls that they need to get boyfriends or laughing at off-color jokes.

The Real Shliach said...

I didn't write chassidish, I wrote "chassidish". Big difference.

Crawling Axe said...

Old ladies who speak Yiddish were once young girls who spoke Yiddish, some of them not much better than modern CH girls who get boyfriends and make off-color jokes themselves.

e said...

What are you talking about? Before the war everyone was holy and pure. It's the American shokoladnikes that ruined everything and invented off-color jokes.

Crawling Axe said...

Before the war people were holy and pure and laughed at off-color jokes. After the war (and coming to America) people became either saints or sinners.

Crawling Axe said...

People ate shokoladki back in Russia. The Rebbetzin once said that she was taught to say ’thank you’ when somebody gave her something, especially a shokoladka.

e said...

my grandfather got chocolate from the "alte rebitzin," i.e. the Rebbe Rashab's wife. And with the koach of the rebitzin's chocolate, he was able to become a founder of American shokoladnikism!!

this is not a laughing matter said...

People ate shokoladki back in Russia. The Rebbetzin once said that she was taught to say ’thank you’ when somebody gave her something, especially a shokoladka.

CA: your small-mindedness is pitiful. One can eat chocolate and not be a shokoladnik.

Crawling Axe said...

Who’s a shokoladnik? Someone who believes in conquering the world through the philosophy of chocolate? Kind of like Nestle version of a bolshevik?

this is not a laughing matter said...

Actually, I don't know. People always rail against the evils of the "amerikaner shokoldanikers" but no one every defined the term.

Crawling Axe said...

I think it’s people who eat chocolate on a regular basis.

I once knew somebody addicted to chocolate chips. I can tell you this: no Jews living in Russia ever suffered from such an addiction.

this is not a laughing matter said...

i've seen irregular chocolate eaters called "amerikaner shokoladnikers."

Crawling Axe said...

And this was not a racial statement?

The Real Shliach said...

Of course the Rebbe preferred rum balls.

Crawling Axe said...

Filled with Benedictine?

The Real Shliach said...

Did I say Benedictine balls?

Crawling Axe said...

Fair enough. I know the Rebbe didn’t eat meat balls.

The Real Shliach said...

Says who?

Crawling Axe said...

Rabbi Paltiel. They made him sleepy.

The Real Shliach said...

Where's the source for this? (I love meatballs)

Crawling Axe said...

You’re going to stop eating meatballs like a true chossid because the Rebbe did not eat them?

He knows it from the woman who made meatballs for the Rebbe and Rashag. Apparently, the Rebbe never brushed his teeth as a condition for marrying the Rebbetzin, so his teeth eventually fell out or were pulled out. So, he needed soft food. One time that woman made meat balls and inquired if they were to their liking. Rashag answered that yes for him, but the Rebbe had not eaten, since they made him sleepy and he needed to stay up the whole night speaking to people.

The Real Shliach said...

I'm skeptical. When did someone make food for both the Rebbe and the Rashag? And where does it say that the Rebbe didn't brush his teeth. The second point is more shocking, because there's a story that the FR once asked why the Bochurim didn't walk around with toothbrushes so that they could brush their teeth after eating their meals. I can't imagine that the biggest Chassid of the FR didn't brush his. It is known that the Rebbe had bad teeth, but I always attributed this to genetics.

Crawling Axe said...

Wasn’t that one of the requirements of marrying into the family — no foreign objects like braces or false teeth? Presumably something to do with Peisach and chametz. I am not sure what that would have to do with the toothbrushes. Rabbi Paltiel said that the Rebbe’s dentist always urged the Rebbe to brush teeth.

What’s so shocking about some woman cooking for both Rashag and the Rebbe? Presumably this would be after the passing of their wives.

The Real Shliach said...

Well, when I get confirmation on this...

Well, seeing as the Rashag's wife passed away a couple years after her husband...

Crawling Axe said...

1. I shall try to find the file.
2. a) The woman was his wife? or b) Rashag was eating meatballs after his passing?

The Real Shliach said...

1. Excellent.

2. Both scenarios are unlikely.

Crawling Axe said...

Didn’t Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi make kiddush long after his passing?

Crawling Axe said...

Somebody should make a chart of the conversation topics in this comment thread, with a new topic being marked by a different color. I wonder if there will be enough colors on a standard palette (I hope that’s the right word).

The Real Shliach said...

There's a difference between Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi making kiddush and the Rashag eating meatballs. Heck, the Rashag couldn't even communicate with the dead!

Hmm, interesting question. We should ask an artist.

Crawling Axe said...

Could Rabbi Yehuda?

Crawling Axe said...

Also, did the Rebbe ever communicate with the dead?

The Real Shliach said...

Could Rabbi Yehuda eat meatballs after his passing?

There's a famous story that after Yud Shevat (but before the next) the Rebbe and the Rashag were being driven home from the Ohel and the Rebbe asked the Rashag something along the lines, "So did you have a nice conversation with the Rebbe?". The Rashag did not answer in the affirmative.

Crawling Axe said...

I can’t believe you walked into that trap. FR was not dead, chv"sh!

Crawling Axe said...

Also, I believe the story was that there was a problem at TT, and Rashag consulted the Rebbe, to which the Rebbe responded that he would ask FR. To which Rashag later said: “I know my brother-in-law is an honest man” and “stepped down” as a pretender for the throne. Or so I heard from my rabbi.

The Real Shliach said...

Correct.

Nu, maybe that was it. I'm a bit hazy as to the details of this particular vignette.

e said...

adverse prices?

The Real Shliach said...

Adverse prices?

e said...

the spammer advertised adverse prices. Probably they wanted to write low. low=lowly=bad=adverse.

The Real Shliach said...

Ahh.

Crawling Axe said...

These spammers remind me of transposons.

Crawling Axe said...

They have a horoscope to the right of the article.

Crawling Axe said...

Oops.

Rabbi Lars Shalom said...

i was looking for something special