Thursday, June 28, 2007

stuff to think about

Well it has cooled off today from the 90-plus degree heat we had on Monday-Wednesday.

I hope that we appreciate the fact that we live in the United States, as Independence Day is coming up next week. We could live in other parts of the world, where we can't go around and worship as we like, work where want to and so forth.

A comment on WMVP: It pains me to say this, but I think that Mac Jurko & Harry will be broken up soon. McNeil was suspended for three days for a slur. He's gotten into too much hot water to feel comfortable there. I predict that he or one of the other members of that trio will be gone by March 2008.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Jewish centric post, singlehood and shul politics

It's Sunday, as I promised last week, I would have a Jewish-centric post. No mention of men being paid millions of dollars to play a boy's game.

1) I wonder why single women in the unmarried Orthodox world are reluctant to talk to men, just for the sake of practicing social skills. If one is in the Yeshivish world, I understand, however, for those on the Yeshivish-Modern bent or Modox Machmir bent, it makes no sense to pretend that you're a sixteen year old in Bais Yaakov. What good does it do you or the men you're trying to marry?

2) A shul/Beis Medrash that I attend frequently is leasing space from another shul. There has been talk of a possible merger, but there are complications. The Beis Medrash has purchased a building that's closer to Touhy , where it would be more convenient for some of its members. I heard that they are having trouble with zoning because if they can build a shul, then a whole bunch of mosques will go up. This is a problem that has to be solved quickly. As evidenced by the last Alderman election, this is too heterogeneous a neighborhood to take for granted. Personally I would be freaked out seeing mosques, it would be the equivalent of living in Montana or Idaho (states near where I grew up) and knowing that there were White Supremacists groups nearby.

Maybe we should consider going elsewhere so that the Muslims don't bother us. Skokie is an option but I think some of the Muslims might follow us there. One can hope that they aren't the types who want to convert the world into Sharia, but I would be leery of that.
ld be leery of that.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

sports centric post

For those who check out this blog for Jewish things, I will post something tomorrow or next week.

Anyway, now that baseball season is in full swing, I have some thoughts.

1) White Sox are a one hit wonder. While it was great for the City of Chicago that they won in 2005 (though not for die-hard Cubs fans), they are playing poorly.

I expect A.J. (aka Red-A!$%^&) to be traded as well as Jermaine Dye, the 2005 World Series MVP.

2) Despite the poor play in the NL Central, don't expect the Cubs to make a run. It will be those Redbirds from the city of St. Louis. St. Louis is a small town IMHO, Sorry if Missourians take offense. Its' metro population is around 2.2 million, which ranks it around 20th in the United States.

3) Interleague play is not interesting anymore, outside of New York, Chicago and Maryland and possibly Los Angeles/Orange County. We should have six interleague games a year, not 18. The Cubs play 12 and the Sox and all AL teams play 18 interleague games. That's nine games a year that the AL can't use the DH. Typical NL bogus pomposity about how "pure" their league is. I would use stronger language, however, due to the sensitivity of some of my readership, I will refrain from doing so.

4) Len Kasper stinks as a broadcaster. Chip and Stoney are ten times better than him. Chris Singleton should be whacked immediately and forced to work for the Charlotte Knights or Birmingham Barons with Mike MacDougal and the other subpar pitchers.

5)The New York Yankees are NOT going anywhere this year. Any team that gets swept by the Colorado Rockies (a subpar NL Loser team in a football mad city), ain't good enough for October.

6) Begrudgingly ESPN has done a good job in not being so eastern centric. This Sunday night it's game is Detroit at Atlanta and July 1st it's Minnesota at Detroit. That's a start. Put the Angels on Sunday night. They are really good.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

There are some good things happening

1) I like the fact that my friend from Israel who's in for a day called me. He's a Big New England sports fan (Pats, Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics). Right now, he could have two reasons to celebrate in the next eight months or so. Red Sox are in first and the Pats will be heavy Super Bowl favorites.

2) The Mariners are red hot!!!!!!! Five in a row and 16 of 21 to pull within three games of the Anaheim Angels. Sorry, won't call them the official name. Mariner potential All-Stars are Ichiro, Kenjii Jojima and J.J. Putz (pronounced Pootz, not like the Yiddish profanity). Kudos to Justin Verlander of the Tigers for throwing a no-hitter last night at Comerica Park against the Brew Crew.

White Sox are playing poorly. They can�t hit and other than Buerhle�s 100th win on Sunday, they don�t have much going. Cubs are a little better. Zambrano won on Monday and homered but he probably will be dealt to the Yankees in the end of July.

3) Spurs are boring us basketball fans to sleep. Let them and their Texan fans enjoy.
Perhaps they should be stripped of a draft pick or two.

4) On that note, Stern has done a bad job in enabling a goody two shoes team like the Spurs to win. Bettman is much worse though. Dryden for commissioner is the best idea.

On a Jewish note, go to for a story on Reishit HaGez or shearing the sheep. It happened this week in Israel. It's a pretty cool story.

That's all for now.

Monday, June 11, 2007

hockey thoughts, etc.

First Congratulations to the Anaheim Ducks for winning the Stanley Cup. I just wish that the Senators would have been more competitive in the series. Hopefully Ottawa will win next year's Cup. Right now, getting rid of Gary Bettman is more important. He has ruined hockey in the U.S. and in Canada.

Maybe a boycott is necessary. I don't know.

On another sports subject, the Mariners are playing the best they have in four years. They just swept the San Diego Padres in San Diego this weekend. They're 33-26 and 4.5 games out of first. Putz is really good and has 18 saves. He and Ichiro will be on the All-Star team this year.

Check out the Chicago Tribune this week for a letter on the "Israel-Palestinian conflict" by one of my friends.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

random thoughts

Well, my life isn't moving at the pace I would like it. Hopefully it will change soon.

In any event, I have rented some educational videos from the Library recently. A Good set of videos is a three part series on the 10 Days that Unexpectedly changed America, by the History Channel. They include the Massacre at Mystic, Shay's Rebellion, McKinley's Assassination and Elvis Presley's debut on National TV.
I think that the series was very well done. My only criticism is that they looked at the events through a somewhat politically correct lens or in a way that denigrated the people at the time for not thinking like 21st century Americans. For example, I thought they were a little too sympathetic to McKinley's assassin. To parents of kids in West Rogers Park or Skokie, who want their kids to learn more about American History, these videos are really good. I would suggest this to teachers and other educational personnel at Arie Crown, Ida Crown, Hannah Sacks and the Skokie Yeshiva High School as well.

I assume (rightly or wrongly) that learning about other cultures in the more �modern� neighborhoods is not an issue. That's why the comments are directed at Rogers Park/Skokie people, but for those living in places like Highland Park and Buffalo Grove, feel free to check these videos out as well.
Visit or for more details.

For Chicago sports fans, I suggest, The Best Chicago Sports Arguments, by John Mullin, sportswriter for the Chicago Tribune who covers the Bears beat. It is informative and somewhat controversial. He lists Chet Walker as one of the best forwards in Bulls history over Scottie Pippen. He thinks that Hack Wilson of the 1930 Cubs is the best right-handed hitter in the History of Chicago Baseball. You wouldn't get this opinion from someone who's between 22-38 years old who grew up with Sammy Sosa and Frank Thomas.

Onto Hockey: I haven't said much since the series started. Anaheim won the first two games in the Honda Center and Ottawa won last night at Scotiabank Place to make it a 2-1 series. Tomorrow night is game 4 in Ottawa and Game 5 is Wednesday in California. While I expect Anaheim to win the series, Ottawa will keep it closer because of their top line of Heatly, Spezza and Alfredsson (aka Alfie). Anaheim has better goaltending and they're at home. However, like last year, neither team is a dominant team like those of the 1980's or even the Red Wings of 1997-1998.

Speaking of Detroit, great job last night in game six against the Cavaliers. What a performance by Daniel Gibson with all of those three pointers leading Cleveland to its first NBA Finals trip. Of course, Lebron had a game for the ages on Thursday at the Palace. Besides Jordan's 63 against Boston and Baylor's 61 in the 60's that was one of the best playoff games of all time.

Cleveland is probably one of the least talented teams to make the finals in the last 25 years or so. The 1981 Rockets were Moses Malone and maybe Calvin Murphy and that was it. Good for the city of Cleveland, who has suffered some heart-breaking playoff losses. For some reason, they don't get as much attention for their playoff failures as Boston did or the New York Rangers did.