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.

December 15, 2007

Two broken things in one day

Filed under: productivity,random,technology,usability — howdoyoujew @ 20:51

I don’t remember if I became a fan of Mark Hurst because of his Good Experience Games or This is Broken or some other aspect of his good user experience work, but I am a big fan, as I’ve mentioned before.

Re: This is Broken, I ran into two egregious examples today:

  1. this packaging disaster, courtesy of ASAP software, recently bought by Dell:
  2. Horrible envelope waste

  3. the other item is the WiFi activation switch on the HP Pavilion laptop. first, let me just say that having a physical WiFi activation switch makes no sense to me, but that may just be my higher-than-average comfort with technology talking (I have no problem disabling network adapters via the user interface, for example). That said, putting the switch somewhere where it can be inadvertently toggled is bad design to begin with. This is the case not only with the pavilion, but with another friend’s Toshiba laptop that I dealt with some months ago. Anyway, the brokenness of the HP switch isn’t just in its location (the front panel of the laptop, where it can easily be accidentally flipped on/off). The bigger problem is its design, especially in terms of feedback. I haven’t been able to find a decent picture of it, but here’s a pic of a well-designed wifi switch:
    well-designed wifi-switch
    The switch on the HP is also a side-to-side toggle, but the little antenna icon is on one side, and an LED is on the other. That said, which position do you think is “on”? I bet more than 90% of people presented with that question would say the side with the icon. And we would all be wrong. Yes, the OPPOSITE side, the side with no icon or any marking at all, is the position that turns the wifi adapter on. The LED? Oh, that lights up either way. And no, not in the universally recognized red & green for “stop/no signal” and “go/signal”. No. This one is, if memory serves, blue and orange. Unbelievable.

The Spirit of Christmas

Filed under: Christianity,Family,funny,News,random,religion,television,video — howdoyoujew @ 20:31

No, not the animated short that spawned South Park. I’m bringing you this silly marketing gimmick from Travelodge in the UK:

Hotel chain offers a room at the inn for Marys and Josephs

…”The ‘gift’ of a free night’s stay is to make up for the hotel industry not having any rooms left on Christmas Eve over 2000 years ago when the original ‘Mary and Joseph’ had to settle for the night in a stable,” the company says on its Web site….

November 25, 2007

Holiday wish list

Filed under: random,technology — howdoyoujew @ 22:02

Dear Santa/Hannukah Harry (can’t be too safe),

I think I’ve been pretty good this year. Here’s my entirely unrealistic, pie-in-the-sky, lottery-winner’s gift list, in no particular order:

I’m sure I could think of things that are more, er… meaningful? But that’s what comes to mind at the moment, and really, isn’t the holiday season all about receiving gifts?
What? No, it isn’t? Oh… nevermind then.

November 16, 2007

Messing around with themes

Filed under: Blogging,random — howdoyoujew @ 17:28

I’ll be poking around and trying to find a new theme (design) for the site over the next few days (weeks?), so if you visit and it suddenly looks unfamiliar, fear not. The content will be as engrossing and fascinating as always; it’s simply the container that will change its appearance.

This one is called Andreas 08 3 columns, by Andreas Viklund.

November 6, 2007

This blog is all over the place, can you tell?

Filed under: funny,humor,random,video — howdoyoujew @ 17:18

Jewish stuff, family stuff, all sorts of other stuff. I don’t discriminate. Here’s French President Nicolas Sarkozy explaining why he walked out of the 60 Minutes interview broadcast in late October:


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.

May 30, 2007

I’m an Israeli man. Why don’t they write stuff like this about me?

Filed under: Good News,Israel,News,random,video — howdoyoujew @ 08:58


JERUSALEM (Reuters) – An Israeli man wrestled a leopard to the ground after it entered his bedroom in a desert college and tried to make a meal of his pet cat.

“He jumped on the leopard and pinned him to the floor, then his wife called us so we could take it away,” Amram Zabari, a local park ranger who rushed to the scene, said on Tuesday.

Arthur De Mosh, a 45-year-old tour guide at the college near Kibbutz Sde Boker in southern Israel, was awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of the leopard trying to eat his cat.

He freed the pet, which survived the ordeal, from the leopard’s clutches.

A local veterinarian, Ronnie King, told Israel’s Channel 10 television the leopard was suffering from malnutrition and probably entered the home looking for easy prey.

Experts said only 10 leopards live in the wild in Israel. The animal captured at the college was transferred to a veterinary hospital for treatment and then taken to a nature reserve.

May 3, 2007

Things I hear while wearing a kippah, #1

Filed under: funny,random — howdoyoujew @ 09:16

I’m thinking this is a good idea for a new website, but in the meantime, here’s my first entry:

Last night, in the parking lot at Costco while putting my purchases in the car, a man who was in line with me stops and says,

I’m glad… I’m glad you celebrate your Jew-ry.

I think that’ll have to be the domain:

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