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.

November 24, 2007

My amazing offspring…

…except that, well, you know, she isn’t my offspring in the literal sense of that word. Regardless, she IS amazing, and I happily take credit for her attitude and disposition, seeing as how I’ve been co-responsible for her since the moment she was born. She had a rough night last night, up a few times to eat, crying, not her usual self. She woke up for good at 5 AM, hung out with us in bed for a while, then participated in our morning routine getting ready for Shabbat at Ohr Shalom, where both I and my lovely wife were scheduled to read Torah, so we were obligated to go. She didn’t go down for a nap before we left the house, rested in the car for a short time on the way down there, remained awake the whole length of the service, and maintained her standard good mood throughout.

She catnapped on our way out to Coronado to hang out with Doda Shlomit and Dod Dave and Ben Dod Jonah, woke up promptly after we parked the car, and was up the entire afternoon and evening until about 6 PM, again, with a smile on her face the whole time. She ate like a champ the whole day, and that, in combination with how long she’s been awake, plus the fact that we’ll be keeping the house a little warmer tonight than it has been lately, makes us hopeful that she’ll sleep through the night, as was her habit since the age of 3 months.

All I want to do now is sit and veg in front of the TV. It’s rare that I get like that, but tonight is one of those evenings. If we can’t find anything good on live TV (we only have basic channels) we’ll certainly find something online.

Oh, yeah… This morning at shul I delivered an oral version of the drash I wrote up the other day, and it was well-received. Good times.

November 19, 2007

Playing around online

Filed under: Blogging,education,fun,Life Online,productivity,SDSU,technology,work — howdoyoujew @ 23:38

My buddy Avraham has provided a lot of great intellectual (kosher) meat for me to chew on ever since we met in grad school way back around the turn of the 21st century (can you believe it’s been that long, dude?). He challenged me again recently by asking how I keep up with news of emerging technologies and trends (and which technologies I thought were setting the most prominent trends), and in the conversation that ensued, he reminded me of Netvibes, which I’d signed up for when it was first introduced, but hadn’t played with at all. It may have been David Pogue, it might have been one of the editors of BoingBoing, or it could have been someone else entirely who turned me on to netvibes originally, but I just didn’t take the time or have the inclination to mess around and explore too much.

Well, leave it to Avraham to prod me into action by 1) asking my opinion as an expert user (ha!), and 2) appealing to my ego by telling me he wanted to add my blog feed to one of his netvibes tabs. I figured out the latter task and recognized right away the signs of an impending addiction coming on. Thanks, man. Thanks a lot. Please don’t forget to come visit me when I’m in rehab.

November 14, 2007

Linking, reading, commenting, calendaring, working, relaxing

Filed under: Blogging,Family,Life Online,movies,productivity,technology,webcomics,work — howdoyoujew @ 23:03

I have to go back to my webcomics post from the other day to add links.

I have to let my family and friends know I’m updating the blog regularly and I’d appreciate it if I got some readers and comments.

I have an account with Gootodo, a terrific web-based to-do list application created by Mark Hurst, who I’m proud to know. I have to start using gootodo more, and more efficiently. The week of the wildfires was more disruptive than I previously thought, so this week and next (which is short due to the Thanksgiving holiday) are busier and more packed than usual. I got an account with Jott, too, which I’ve used a couple of times and like, and it might be helpful in conjunction with gootodo: think of something I need to do, and if I’m not in front of a computer, call Jott with a reminder to add the item to gootodo. So far I’ve been using my Treo‘s calendar for personal reminders, but I need a system for work stuff.

I have to stop feeling guilty for watching fluff like Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer when I want to veg out and relax at the end of a long day. I’m going to try to offset the fluff with stuff I should have seen already, like Network (Blockbuster’s one copy was checked out when I went the other day, so it’ll wait) and Say Anything (waiting for me and Jenn to find time together).

Hey, I’m glad we had a chance to have this little talk. It’s been really helpful! Thanks!

November 10, 2007

The origin of this domain name

Filed under: Blogging,Family,history,life cycle,Life Online,Parenting,Podcasting — howdoyoujew @ 21:54

When I first started posting here in April 2006, I put up some divrei Torah I’d delivered over the last few years, and then I very briefly talked about why I got the domain and how I planned to start podcasting “soon.” While I haven’t accomplished that last task, I’m still working on it, and I thought I’d take an opportunity here to mention the origin of the name.

In early 2006, my lovely wife and I began talking classes to qualify us to become adoptive parents through the county of San Diego. The classes were primarily intended to address people adopting kids coming out of the foster care system, and mostly kids who’d been in that system for several years, which didn’t apply to us (we’d asked to adopt an infant). Also, much of the information delivered in the classes (27 hours of classes) fell firmly under the “common sense” category of parenting and life with which my lovely wife and I are oh-so-familiar and to which we subscribe wholeheartedly. Of course, much of the population is averse to the practice of this philosophy, which is why the county needs to deliver it in bite-sized chunks and very simple language over several weeks to the good people who want to make the lives of children born into unhealthy situations a little bit better.

In other words, the classes bored me silly. I gathered very quickly that if I didn’t bring my laptop or some other distraction to help me get through the classes, we would become ineligible to adopt through the county altogether because I would end up assaulting someone to try and pound the stupidity out of their head (remind me to tell you sometime about the moment of enlightenment I was involved in one evening, attempting to explain to one remarkably dense individual in the class why drug use by a biological father doesn’t have the same effect on a developing fetus as use by the biological mother during pregnancy) . So bring my laptop I did, and also some scratch paper and a pen.

And so it was on one evening, shortly after the classes began, and shortly after I was inspired by a particular moment in Adam Curry‘s always evolving and always excellent podcast the Daily Source Code, that I began brainstorming with myself possible names for my own domain and blog/podcast name. I knew it would have a Jewish theme, but I also knew it would touch on myriad other topics and would itself evolve over time as my curiosity drove me and my interests meandered. I was aiming for a name that wouldn’t lock me into a particular path and would allow me to question everything, something that Judaism encourages. That interrogative and open-minded spirit caused the phrase “How Do You Jew?” to pop into my head, and I knew immediately that I had my domain name. I reserved it that night through GoDaddy, and the rest is… well, yet to be written/spoken aloud.

November 7, 2007

Comics 2.0

Filed under: fun,humor,Life Online,technology,webcomics — howdoyoujew @ 23:54

I’m pretty tired of the 2.0 thing, but I figure it’s good for search engine bots, and I’m not above using the technology to my advantage.

The first section I always used to turn to in the paper (and still do on the rare occasions I read a newspaper) is the comics. A couple of years ago, because I no longer had access to a newspaper regularly, I started reading my favorite comic strips online. They included (and still include, to some degree, in no particular order except the order in which they come to mind):

These are just the current strips (that is, ones that are still being produced) I was into. Of course, I was and remain a devoted fan of Calvin & Hobbes and The Far Side (thank you to my lovely wife for the complete boxed set of the latter as last year’s Chanukah present). Still, that’s not a long list, and that’s primarily because comics…well… most of them suck. And the business model of the syndicate business newspaper comics artists are forced into sucks (I actually paid for a year of access to King Features’ Daily Ink so I could read my favorites online, but it finally dawned on me that paying $15 to some conglomerate to read three or four comic strips was absurd).

Around the time I had this epiphany, I somehow discovered some web comics, including Sheldon, which at the time was itself syndicated, but which shortly after I started reading went exclusively online. Since then, I’ve amassed a hearty catalog of comics I read pretty much every day (or every day they’re published, whichever is more frequent), to wit:

Anyway, you get the idea – look how long that list is, and look at the variety of subject matter and diversity of artwork in that group. This tiny list is not even scratching the surface of what’s out there; it’s simply all I have time for in my day. The best part of being a webcomics fan is the relationship every reader can develop with the artists/writers. I’ve exchanged emails with several of the artists responsible for the comics on my list, and I look forward to meeting many of them at ComicCon next year.

Go explore the webcomics universe. I guarantee there’s something out there to match your unique sensibilities.

*Note: I will add links to all the comics at another time. It’s too late right now and I have to get to bed. Done.

November 5, 2007

Google is awesome. Google is also a little scary.

I need not elaborate on Google’s awesomeness. The scariness: crawling my blog within five minutes of my posting last night’s entry. MY site!? I knew it had been crawled before, when I first got the domain and started blogging, but I had no idea the bots were persistent and wide-ranging enough to grab my random rants so quickly.

I discovered this while trying to find a page with the lyrics (original and/or translation) of Naomi Shemer’s incredible “Oh Captain My Captain – Ho Rav Chovel” immediately after posting. I couldn’t, but the search query “shemer oh captain my captain” returned my entry from last night as the fifth result out of 313.

In personal news, I stayed home with Hadarya today, as she spiked a high (104°F) fever last night. We took her to the ER, where she was diagnosed with roseola, a condition that sounds far cuter than it is. Then again, it’s essentially a benign condition that essentially goes away on its own as long as we control the fever, so there’s that. Looks like Grandma and Auntie Kimber will take babysitting duties tomorrow so Jenn and I can both go to work. Jenn has a minimum day at work (every Tuesday), so she’ll be home around noon, and we’ll see how things progress from there.

This weekend is the Breast Cancer 3Day, where I’ll be rejoining my veteran partner Lloyd on the Gear & Tent Crew (Truck G – The G Spot!). I can’t wait to get up in time to be at the fairgrounds on Friday morning at FOUR AM! Yay. Seriously, it’s a terrific event, and I’m excited.

I wrote that letter to the community shaliach that I mentioned yesterday. I’ll post a follow-up when warranted. Now we have to try and get some rest, since we may have another long night in front of us. This is the part of parenting nobody tells you about or talks about much, but I would suffer much more to prevent harm to my child.

November 1, 2007

One-a-day, like vitamins.

Filed under: Blogging,Family,fun,life cycle,Life Online,Parenting,Podcasting,random — howdoyoujew @ 22:31

Thanks to my lovely wife‘s pointing it out to me, courtesy of our lovely friend Aaryn posting about it, I’ve joined in the madness that is National Blog Posting Month, affectionately known as NaBloPoMo. Perhaps this will prompt me to establish a regular posting schedule, which in turn will drive me closer to my ultimate goal of podcasting, which is why I got this domain in the first place.

For my first trick post, I’ll note that I’m working on turning Hadarya‘s car seat to the forward-facing position in my car. She’s over a year old, which is the minimum age for that, and I’m tired of not being able to see her while I’m driving. I also think she’ll enjoy car rides far more, especially in my car (which is lower to the ground than Jenn’s), facing forward.

When I’m done with that, I’m going to sync my Treo. Sound exciting? No? Well, perhaps when you learn that I’m adding software to it that will let me use this as a ringtone, you’ll understand why I’m excited.

Oh, and I got my brand spankin’ shiny new Jawbone today. Thank you, Aliph people! You know how to treat your customers.

July 12, 2007

Random thoughts

I ought to be blogging more. edited to add: and I ought to fix/edit my sidebar contents.

I had a productive day at work today, with a “third time’s a charm” situation regarding videotaping a presentation given by our esteemed young employer relations specialist and a rep from SDG&E. Then the day was made more productive by a quick, off-the-cuff conversation with our bright associate director as I was on my way out of the office for the day. It’s very true that a great deal of learning (if not most of it) is accomplished outside the classroom, and that holds true for work as well – some of the most innovative, helpful ideas are reached not during formal “work” time, but in these side conversations, at informal networking happy hours, etc.

Hadarya was a little ornery this afternoon/evening, after a lovely time at the swimming pool. She was fine in the pool, but then didn’t have much of an appetite at dinner, then was very unhappy in the bath, which is extraordinarily odd for her. She went down for the night a little later than usual (with Ima), but has been sleeping soundly for the last couple of hours, so I’m looking forward to a good day tomorrow (end of her second week at the excellent SDSU Children’s Center).

I’m frustrated at the lack of time I think I have for things like updating our flickr site, blogging and podcasting, and other “leisure” activities, but I also know it’s more a matter of time management than actually not having the time. I wonder if Avraham’s sending me this link earlier today was a bit of divine intervention? I don’t know if I need the additional tool, having become a Bit Literacy junkie, but I’ll be examining my options more closely.

Having just written that (after a break for a family obligation that we’ll talk about another time), and having read a bit of Steve Pavlina’s stuff, I realize that this site and blog can serve as my vehicle for journaling, with the added benefit (?) of having other people chime in on my goals, activities, and writing, something that may serve as an additional incentive to improve myself.

I really want to go to Comic-Con this month. I’ve wanted to go for a few years, and this year, as a fan of a bunch of webcomics whose creators will be here in town for the festivities, I feel it’s the right first time. I want to take Hadarya, because I think it’ll be awesome-sauce to have some of the artists I enjoy so much sketch her now (and when we return in the coming years, as I hope to). So this weekend I’ll try to figure out if I can still get in, how much it’ll cost, and check with my better half as to the feasibility of this venture.

Most daunting part of this post? Going back and adding all the links.

June 5, 2007

Hear my voice!

Filed under: fun,Life Online,Podcasting,technology — howdoyoujew @ 14:00

As previously noted/promised/predicted, Adam Curry played an audio comment I called in on episode 612 of the Daily Source Code (click on “Play” or “Archives” and choose episode 612) on Friday, June 1 (start listening at minute 8 if you don’t want to hear the whole thing), and then started episode 613 with an intro I recorded for him. Woohoo! I also got a nice comment from another esteemed podcaster who enjoyed the “Shabbat shalom, everybody!” moment on 612, which is another poke in the tush to actually get the show I’ve been planning for so long off the ground. Keep checking in for that, please.

Those wacky Israelis!

Filed under: funny,humor,Israel,Life Online,technology,video — howdoyoujew @ 09:53

Makes me proud. What’s lacking in pacing and production values they make up for in creativity. – Supermarket 2.0
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