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Saturday, November 29, 2003

And The Name Is...

We had the bris for our third child this past Friday. He took it well, all things considered. We named him Chaim Eliezer after my father's father. Another point of interest. Last week's parsha (Torah portion) was Chayai Sarah (Genesis 23:1 - 25:18). First, the name of the parsha, "The Life of Sarah", alludes to the first name, Chaim, life. Secondly, the servant of Abraham that is sent to find Isaac a wife is identified with Eliezer.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Call Me Ishmael-NDP

After the provincial election, I blogged about how the NDP lost their official party status now that they only have seven seats left. As it turns out, there is some flap over this. It seems that they want the law changed yet again so they can be official again. However, the new government won't do it this time. Apparently, this poses a problem for the seven remaining members. Now that they are unofficial, they cannot refer to themselves as NDP in parliment, they have to call themselves "Independant". So, in protest, one NDPer, Marilyn Churley, has gone ahead and legally changed her name to Marilyn Churley-NDP. That'll teach them.

It's a Boy!

This past Friday, at 3:03 p.m. EST, my wife and I had our third child, a boy, weighing in at 7 pounds 10 onces (the lightest so far). The labour went by fairly quick. I went to work in the morning, only to have several people inform me that my wife was in labour. I went home and we all went to the hospital. Two hours after getting there, the baby was born. As is the case nowadays, my wife and baby are already home from the hospital. The old timers (that is, anyone who has had a baby before the 1990s) shake their heads and remember when the hospitals insisted they stay for four, five, or seven days mimimum. Now, if there are no complications, they want you out as soon as possible.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

No Kosher In The Name, Please, We're Kosher

Yesterday, a new kosher fast food joint opened in Toronto called Kosher King. It is the second kosher restaurant in Toronto by that name. What bothers me a bit about many kosher restaurants is that they have such uninspired names. How many kosher restaurants do you know with "Kosher" in the name? Kosher King, Kosher Express, Kosher Delight, Kosher This, Kosher That. How many kosher restaurants have "Glatt" in their name? How many kosher restaurants have "Jerusalem" in their name (usually pizza places)? Using the Kosher Restaurant Database at Shamash, I did a sampling of Brooklyn, NY. 21 listings with Kosher in the name, 8 matches for Glatt, and 5 for Jerusalem. For Manhattan, it was 16 for Kosher, 2 for Glatt, and 2 for Jerusalem. That's a total of 37 for Kosher, 10 for Glatt, and 7 for Jerusalem just for two boroughs of New York. Couldn't they come up with better names? It shouldn't be that hard.

Eclipse Local History Revisited

In a previous post, I talked about Eclipse's local history and my need to recover a file that I deleted from the local history. I was wondering if there was a feature in Eclipse that let me do that, instead of doing it manually. As it turns out, there is a feature that allows me to do that. If one right-clicks on the package or project that it was deleted from and selects "Restore from Local History..." you have the option of recovering any deleted file with any saved local version. Next time, I'd better read the docs.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Wanted: A Moderate Who Is Moderate

In yesterday's New York Times, Thomas Friedman wrote an article titled: Wanted: Fanatical Moderates. The "fanatical moderate" he is referring to is Yossi Beilin, an major player in the Olso Accords and one of the architects of the current Geneva initiative. I wrote a post on the labeling of "moderates". I was essentially pointing out that the label is generally mis-assigned to the point where it starts to lose meaning. This is another prime example of its misapplication. The reason why Thomas Friedman calls Beilin a "fanatical moderate" is because he pursues his agenda, which Friedman believes is moderate, in a fanatical way. No one disagrees with the fanatical part. What Friedman doesn't seem to get is that Beilin is no moderate. Why is a leftist agenda presumed to be moderate? As it stands, the Oslo accords are a disaster. They have not led to peace but to bloodshed. It was the fundamental flaws inherit in that peace plan that allowed the situation to deteriorate to the point where it is today. Now, there is yet another plan in the wings. It still has the same flaws. The only difference is that Beilin has no mandate, no support, and no authorization. Yet not only does he conduct the initiative in bad faith, but he has the chutzpah to try to force it through without the checks normally associated with democracy. That is not the initiative of a moderate. That is the initiative of an extremist.

Crane Knocked Over

Across the street from where I work they are putting up a two storey building. Today they had a large crane mounted on the back of a trailer. The crane became top-heavy and tipped right over. It very narrowly missed the construction office (thank G-d) but smacked right into the portable toilet and knocked it over. You can imagine the jokes people were cracking at work, imagining that there was someone trapped inside. Eventually it took them two other cranes to pick up this one.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Chretien Gone

Well, PM Jean Chretien is finally leaving, and was given a gala farewell at Toronto's Air Canada Centre (home of the Leafs and Raptors). I only managed to catch a very brief glimpse on TV when they had a performer from Cirque Du Soliel doing some strange dance in some giant latex ball. Hmm.. I wonder if was supposed to represent Chretien's political career? In any event, in Chretien's speech, he touched upon Canada's decision not to join the states in the Iraq war. Chretien, 69, got the strongest applause last night when he evoked Canada's decision not to participate in the war in Iraq, when he said that Canadians have never been more sure of who they are, and when he told the audience that if they remembered only one thing from his speech, it should be that Liberals must never lose their social conscience. Why is it that our national identity is defined by the fact that we opposed the Americans? This reminds me of a time a while back when some politician accused the ruling provincial government of adopting American policies. It seemed from his criticism that there was something inherently wrong with it because it was "American". But that is ridiculous. I don't assume the government adopted that policy simply because it was "American". So why should we oppose it because it is "American"? If it was a good policy, then it should be kept, regardless of origin. If it was not a good policy, then say so.

Saturday, November 8, 2003

A Narrow Bridge

Today in shul (synagogue), my father and I overheard a conversation behind us (don't worry it wasn't during davening [prayer]). The person was relating how someone gave him a friendly warning regarding his daughter (or some relative, I didn't fully catch the conversation) attending a certain university here in Canada. Apparently, the tension in the Middle East (read: Israel) has caused the situation to deteriorate on campus here and the person was warning what to expect from Muslim and pro-Palestinian "activists". His suggestion was that she shouldn't attend the university at all and instead attend another one. (Just for the record, no, it is not Concordia in Montreal.) My father, hearing this, got upset. She should be able to attend whatever university she wants to. Why should she be scared off? We have laws in this country. The person was using a "physiological number" on him. My father is 100% correct. Here in Canada, law and order should prevail. The rights of people should be held up. What happened in Concordia was shameful enough. It should never happen here again, on any campus. If someone breaks the law and violates someone's rights they should have the book thrown at them. I know this sounds very basic, but it is amazing how often it is overlooked. A Jew should never be afraid, in 2003, to attend a university in Canada. Or, as I summarized it to my father, Canada should never, ever become France. This incident also reminded me of the documentary of the Rutgers "Pro-Palestine" rally at brain-terminal.com produced by Evan Coyne Maloney. While filming the rally, a person approached him and asked if he was nervous. He asked back, "Why, do I have anything to be nervous about? Is that a threat?" The person wouldn't answer.

Tuesday, November 4, 2003

King of the Road

In San Jose, there is a dispute over a proposed name change for a street. It seems that some residents in the neighborhood of King Road are upset that the name will be changed to Martin Luther King Jr. Road. That reminds me of a little folk story about Chelm. In Chelm, there was a couple who had their first baby boy and were quarrelling over what to name him. The wife wanted to name him after her father. The husband wanted to name him after his father. Her father's name was Nachum. His father's name was... Nachum. He counter argued that her father was a horse thief while his father was a rabbi, so the boy should be named after him. They brought the case to the town rabbi. He proposed that they name the boy... Nachum. The rabbi added, if he grows up to be a horse thief he was named after the mother's father, if he grows up to be a rabbi, he was named after the father's father. So, I propose that they keep the name of the street and call it King Road. That way you'll satisfy everybody.

Saturday, November 1, 2003

Vote Quimby

Now that the provincial elections are over and done with, the upcoming municipal elections have resulted in more political signs dotting the landscape. On the way home tonight, I saw the funniest sign on someone's private lawn. Vote Quimby