Sunday, December 29, 2013

Our Family Unplugged...

Top of the afternoon all...

I have elected to use Jennifer's title for my blog entry.  It is on the same thing.  I also have not read her entry.  It will give all of you a chance to see if we are or are not the same person.

We were amongst the very lucky.  Our power was down only for about 20 hours.  The house had gotten quite cold by the end of that time, registering at 12 degrees centigrade (54 degrees Fahrenheit).  We spent a good chunk of time in the den, with the fireplace going strong.  We went through about half of our stash of firewood.  The den smelled of smoke for days.

There was enough juice in the computers to watch a movie.  So we did.  As well, some of the kosher restaurants up in Vaughan were open, so we were able to have hot dinner.

Earlier in the day, Jesse and Gavi were listening to the radio in the kitchen.  Gavi had taken a toy horse and was using it as a guitar.  Jesse was 'playing' the harmonica.  I got wonderful video of the both of them.  See below.

We might have worked on a puzzle until the house got too cold.  I do not remember.

Anyway, after all is said and done, we had a lovely family day.  Being free of the computers, the phone, and all other manner of electronic device (with the exception of the radio and watching a movie) gave us the opportunity to talk to each other and enjoy each other's company.  Even the kids enjoyed it.

I am glad to report that most of the lights are back on in the GTA.  Our 20 hours of darkness was ultimately nothing compared to what others had to endure.

Also, we have to buy salt, non-perishable foods, and an assortment of batteries.  I have no clue as to whether we will be prepared for the next storm.  We will certainly be ready for the last one that came through.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Free Subscriptions!!

Top of the evening to all...

A friend was over tonight.  He helped me do something with this blog (thanks Bob).  Please do not ask me to help you accomplish it.  It would require more memory space than I currently have.

Anyway, at the top right, you can now sign up to receive updates from my blog whenever I write something.  This is really a personal relief.  I was dropping a fortune in postage stamps.

The downside is this: Canada Post is considering all sorts of ideas to save money.  With the demise of the written letter, it has become more and more difficult for Canada Post to stay afloat.  The USPS is also having this issue.  I fear that being able to have my blog delivered directly to your home will be the final nail in the coffin for both of these historic organizations.

Have a good night.


P.S.  Rest assured that if you choose to receive my blog via e-mail, I will not forward your e-mails to anyone...unless that person pays me a lot of money.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Allowance, Clean Rooms, and Creative Parenting...

Top of the day everyone...

Jennifer decided recently that she was no longer worrying about how clean the kids' rooms were.  This has led to a general, long-term state of disarray in their rooms.

Since she thinks this is a non-issue, it makes it difficult for me to make their monthly allowances contingent on the state of their rooms.

Please note - allowances have merit beyond getting money for chores.  They are useful for teaching kids how to budget.

There is a creative solution.  The creative solution is this.  I will give them their allowances.  If the room is not clean to some reasonable standard, I will give them their allowances in loonies, hidden throughout the room.  This will start on January 1st for the boys.  Keren is not quite as bad.

On February 1st, I switch to quarters.  On March 1st, I switch to dimes.  It really is a crying shame that the Royal Canadian Mint has ceased minting the penny.

Have a great day.


Appendix: Turnabout is fair play.  Jesse ordered some books on Amazon this evening.  He had a gift card, but went $30 over the amount of the card.  He paid me back.  He gave me a $20 bill, and 10 loonies.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Ok...Now It Is too Cold...

Good morning everyone.

I usually prefer biking when the temperature is just above freezing to about 10 degrees centigrade.  It is comfortable once I get moving.  I am not sweating buckets by the time I arrive.

It is further a matter of personal pride that I will ride in the dead of winter.  As long as the streets are clear, I will be out there.

No matter what the weather is, one day a week, I walk to my shul.  If I can do that, then it is fairly easy to ride the other six days of the week.

Over the last week, the temperature has not approached the freezing mark.  It is too cold.  I am starting to understand hibernation.  I am certainly more and more in favour of global warming.

Have a good day everyone.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

I Am Not Jinxing Myself...

טוב לכת אל בית אבל מלכת אל בית משתה

It is better to go to the home a mourner than to attend a wedding.  These are the words of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes).

I am not entirely sure as to the point of this quote.  My colleagues have commented from time to time that the house of a mourner tends to have better behaviour than do weddings.  I have seen some lousy behaviour in houses of mourning.  I am not entirely sure that their experience is entirely relevant.

That being said, the life of a rabbi tends to have many trips to the cemetery.  it does not have as many weddings.

I am pleased to say though that I have conducted three weddings over the last two months.  I have also been to one post-wedding feast.  That is more weddings than funerals for me.  I have enjoyed it.  It is wonderful to see couples with such big smiles, surrounded by people with big smiles.

Given my experience over the last two months, I must disagree with Kohelet.  I have thoroughly enjoyed all of these weddings.

Have a good evening.