Thursday, February 08, 2007

Yeah, me again.

I know I keep saying "I'm back," and "NO, really, I'm back." And then, "Okay... NOW I'm back."

I keep thinking of the Robin Williams Live at the Met routine about Muammar al-Gaddafi:

Here's a man who had the audacity to say
"This is the line of death. You cross it, you die." {Pause}
"Okay, you cross this line, you die." {Pause} "Okay, you
cross this line, you die." "This line, you die." "Okay,
you're knocking on my door, I'm not coming out.
So okay. Here's the deal: MAYBE I'm back. We'll see.

"It is better to say little and do much," quoth the Avot D'Rabbi Natan (13:3). Or, as any number of motivational speakers and financial analysts will say it, "Under Promise, Over Deliver."

A couple of technical/administrative matters...

1) I've got a new address! Woot! I can still be found at, but please move all links, etc. to

Right now I'm using Blogger's FTP publishing, though I might switch to the Blogger custom domain system. I'm trying to suss out the benefits to each. I'm with the FTP version because I've got the hosting package and I can set up email addresses for myself here at Leading to...

2) I've got a new address (part deux.)! Woot! The hotmail account is now secondary to the new address. The following is obviously masked to avoid harvesting; lose the _ and ^ and # insertions, and translate the bracket-y bits:

fr_um^dad [at] frum#dad [dot] com

3) I was going to clean up the blog by getting rid of some old administrative posts and all the "I'll be right back" posts. But it turns out I didn't even apologize all that often, and when I did it was usually twisted into something worth keeping, if only for purposes of linkity goodness or administrative whatever. Also I don't like losing comments, and I'm a little obsessive about deleting anything. So they've stayed in, where they were. You can use the new Blogger tags feature to ignore them or whatever.

4) In order to help defray the costs associated with having my own site, etc., I'm going to sign up with AdSense and put Ads in the sidebar, once I figure out how. Sooner rather than later. I'm not morally conflicted about this, but thought it worth mentioning.

5) Technorati, Digg, buttons coming soon. I'm not 100% sure what good they are, but all the cool kids are doin' it.
          5a) Look, Ma! A link to my Technorati Profile!!

If I think of anything else, I'll be sure to say something.

Thanks for visiting. I hope you'll come back. (I hope I give you a reason to come back.)


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Hosed by the Google Dance

Grumble grumble grumble.

As of about a month ago, if you did a Google search for "Orthodox Jewish Father," this site would come up as your first hit. Not least because whenever I commented elsewhere, I would put in a Google Wangle, where the comment would end as follows:
{insightful, pithy comment}
Google Wangle: Orthodox Jewish Father
The link, obviously, would be to this blog right here.

Well... it seems that Google has tweaked its algorithm to down-weight the link text itself. It's an attempt, apparently to defeat the Google Bomb pranks. See articles here and here. (The second link is a NYT article, so you might have to register or something; think BMN.)

In the NYTimes article, the originator of the Bush/Miserable-Failure Google bomb implies some nefarious shenanigans in the tweak. I don't know if it's so, but if it is, could someone tell Google that I was bombing myself, and if they could put mine back, at least, that'd be cool.


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Thursday, August 18, 2005

I was going to be clever, but it turns out... no.

Blah blah blah Torah. Yaakov avinu (our father) and favoring one sibling over another and sibling rivalry and fairness. Blah blah blah deep Torah about joy and sorrow and mourning the destruction of the Temple and celebrating in times of happiness.

I haven’t been blogging for oh, the last nine months or so because every time I’d sit down and try to write about some profound Torah concept I’d picked up from my beautiful wonderful exquisite daughter Rachel I’d end up hitting the elephant-in-the-room thing that I wasn’t blogging about -- for reasons I’m also not blogging about. At least not right now.


Zugt mir a mazel tov!
(Yiddish: Tell me “mazal tov!”) (And I’m not even going to try to translate “mazal tov.”)

FrumBaby2 has landed. It’s a boy!

The bris is soon (IE"H), and I’ll give him a pseudonym shortly thereafter.

(IE"H = Im Ezras Hashem = With the help of Hashem.)

And then, hopefully, the elephant will leave the room and I can start writing again.

Love to all. Thanks for sticking with me through the dry spell.


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Monday, July 25, 2005

I know, I know...

Substantive post, no really, any minute now. really...

But right now, I have to say...

(Something Very Good Has Happened)

Something... Wonderful.

There's been a glitch, but I feel confident that it's only a minor one.

Mazal Tov.


UPDATE: I told you it was just a minor glitch.

PS: Welcome Visitors! I've had a serious uptick in hits, most coming from Danae's site. Sorry I don't have anything fresh for you, but Yes is a world should give you an idea of what I do here, or More than animals . And for those of you with less religious interests, I should probably point out FrumDad gets Political

Thanks for stopping by!

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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

I'm Ba-ack!

No, I didn't trip and fall off the continent. No I haven't given up on this blog. In fact, my problem's the opposite; I have this off-topic political post I want to write, and every time I start drafting it I get so wound up I end up making no sense. Even thinking about it now, I'm getting all... grrrrr...

Anyway. I'll probably do an interim post because Rachel's been so awesome and excellent in the past few weeks and she's got me thinking about the nature of laughter and some other Torah subjects. That kind of stuff is, after all, what my few (but dedicated) readers keep coming back for.

That and when I bash Luke Ford over at Protocols. But I only do that for the traffic spike.

So, I'm back, and I'm checking in. Sorry for the absence.

While I'm at it, though, I'm going to plug:

The subject this month is adaptation. I'm not a hundred percent sure that this is on-point, but I'm going to submit my previous The Biggest Lesson post for this one.


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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Shakespeare: the pause that refreshes!

Orlando:     Who stays [Time] withal?
Rosalind:     With lawyers in the vacation; for they sleep between term and term, and then they perceive not how Time moves.

William Shakespeare, As You Like It act 3, sc. 2
(Thank you, Bartleby.)

Which is to say. . . I'm going on a little vacation. I don't know if I'll be able to get in front of a computer for an extended period of time until after Labor Day.

I've got a few posts brewing, though, so don't go disappearing on me, now. Check back in a bit. Have a good week!

(And to any of my friends, colleagues, or compatriots in New York: Don't get stepped on by the Elephants, and watch out for all the dung.)


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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Two Dollars! I want my two dollars!

New Content! I want my new content!

Where is it? (Work x Busy^Very) + (Family issues) = One of the worst weeks ever.
But with Tisha B'Av past, and the countdown to Elul... Hopefully this week.


Someone pointed out to me that I wasn't being very fair to myself. I haven't put up a new post recently, but I've been a commenting fiend this past week or so. Probably the most interesting is this post over at The Lazer Beam. The comments are blog-like in their chronology, so to get the real feel of it, you have to start at the bottom.

I want to respond once or twice more and wind that discussion down. I come off sounding like a religious fanatic, which I guess I am, but it reads as somewhat intolerant, which I don't think is a fair reflection of the truth. Let me say for the record that I've known a number of people who claim to be atheists who are fine upstanding folk.

On the other hand, why does that sound so much like, "Some of my best friends are ______."


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Thursday, July 01, 2004

Noodlin' and Doodlin' and like that

Just checking in. I'm working on a post or two, but I'm also noodling around with the formatting and stuff. Learning about this stuff on the fly brings me back to the heady days of my geeky youth.

[UPDATE] You can see I've made some changes. I know my side-bar's a mess; I just imported chunks of the old one whole cloth until I can figure out this "style" business. It seems pretty cool.

I accidentally ate the old comments, but I'm going to figure out how to put them back up, just so I can import them into the new comments, then get rid of them. So sorry to the commenters who've been lost. It's temporary (I hope).

I changed the "description" above, but I want to hold onto the old text, so here it is:
All of a sudden, I'm a father. . . and as is true of many of the best things in life, all of my preparation has left me entirely unprepared. This is a space for me to figure out What I'm learning, and what I'm teaching, and what I'm chosing to leave out. Here I can tie a string to my hopes and wants and thoughts and hold them up to the breeze and see if they're kites or stones, or (on their best days) balloons and birds. I know I love my daughter with heartbreaking completeness. Here is where I can try to understand what to do if that's not enough.

"Children aren't happy without something to ignore,
and that's what parents were created for."


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Friday, June 18, 2004

Oh, yeah, and...

I almost forgot.

Happy Father's Day.

It's not such a big deal to us frummies; Thanks and recognition and honor to your parents shouldn't be a once-a-year thing, so every day is Father's Day and every day is Mother's Day. But it's still a warm tingly feeling. This will be my first one where I'm an actual father.

I'm thinking maybe I can just get Rachel to give my gift to my father, and leave me out of it.



Thursday, June 17, 2004

Me Llame Lame-O.

I've been a busy little blogger this week, but not on my actual blog. Most of the time I should have been working on my post for this week I spent commenting on other peoples' posts. (If this were a blog of a different color, I wouldn't be ashamed of the manner in which I've comported myself in this thread.)

I had planned on staying late at the office today and post, but I jsut got a call that means I'm going home in the next half hour or so. It's good stuff, but it requires my physical presence.

So, just call me Lame-O, for another meta-post rather than an actual post. Maybe Sunday or Tuesday (Monday's busy!) I'll try to revamp the look of the blog, and the sidebar. But, y'know, maybe not, too.

Have a good weekend, and a gut Shabbos to those to whom that's relevant.


PS: I don't know if my Spanish is correct. I could have titled the post "Je m'appelle Lame-O," but then I'd miss out on the cool visual alliteration.

PPS: There's gotta be a word for that, when the words don't actually start with the same sound, even though they start with the same letter. Anyone know?

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Monday, April 26, 2004

(More) Administrivia

and more blog-to-blog linkage!

Just a little something about my vision, here. I'm hoping to do about one substantive post a week. I'm shooting for Wednesday or Thursday, but sometimes it'll go to Friday or Sunday.[fn1] I'm hoping to ramp up to two or three updates weekly, as I get more facile. And sometimes I'll just be busy at work, and it won't happen, and I'll feel guilty and miserable about it. It's complicated by the fact that G doesn't even know I'm doing this, so I can't disappear for a couple hours on a Sunday to write these entries.
[fn1:] Not Shabbos (Saturday), because even though it's theoretically possible to make an entry Saturday night after sundown, Motzei-Shabbos (Saturday Night, lit. Exiting of Shabbos) is more a spend-time-with-your-wife time than a spend-time-with-your-blog time.
This week I'm hoping for either another substantive entry or for a chance to do something with my sidebar. I want to organize the links and keep the BlogRoll to a minimum. But we'll see.

I bring this up now, because BlogPatrol tells me I have a few actual not-me readers. Not a lot, but that's fine. At the end of the day there's a strange dynamic here, anyway, since I'm really writing this for myself, but I need the conceit of an audience -- and the responsibility of an audience.

Not less than that, though, one of the coolest parts of the traffic blip is that I have actually gotten a few pieces of feedback -- Yay, Pea! (John, props below) -- which is tremendously exciting. I feel an obligation here to point out that I might not (probably won't) respond to all/some of the feedback I get, and like that. It's not that I expect ye olde flood-o'-mail, it's just a general time-management issue I have, but probably no one reading this doesn't have a comparable situation.

Speaking of feedback... Right now I'm using BlogExtra BackBlog for comments. But I did a quick Google search and came up with a few other possibilities. Before I start mucking about with my template, though, I'm willing to hear if anyone has an opinion. It's gotta be free and work with BlogSpot. Easy is better, too.

Also speaking of feedback, and of organizing my links: I've sort of started using this page as a de facto homepage, and in addition to TTU (see this post) one of the blogs I jump to almost every day from here is It's another blog I'm a little leary of mentioning, because it's better than mine, but what are you going to do? Also just like TTU, this post is the "closer" post, the one that made me realize I would be coming back again.

We now return to our regular content -- you know, the one about being a father, not a blogger.


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Monday, April 19, 2004

Sorry About the Hand-Wringing.

(was Sorry about the Rambling Post below.)

UPDATE: blah blah blah. I really am quite taken with myself, aren't I?

Long story short: I had put up a post, called Good v. Expeditious part I that was, in a word, lousy. In a few more words, it was a rambling, annoying, unfocused piece of frumious uffishness that (most important) was going to take a long time to get around to saying what I was interested in saying.

I had originally edited that post and included an apology for it here. But then I realized that was kind of dumb, since I'm actually in charge of this site and can, if I want to just edit things.

So I did. I took down the bad content, put up a placeholder with a (blessedly short) explanation, and took down the long-winded apology for the bad content and put this here instead.

I am keeping this from the old post, because it still has pertinence:

"In the good news/bad news department, BlogPatrol tells me I've gotten a few hits that weren't from me or people near me who left their computers logged in. Yipee! Of course, the hits peaked before I had updated with anything but the housekeeping and the "I'm too tired" post, so there wasn't any real content since March, and then I got one or two hits with the Good v. Expeditious part I post up there, which (as I've mentioned) was totally lame, so I don't know if anyone's coming back. But we can always hope. There's also the fact that if I start getting traffic I have to leave off the "woe is me, writing to no-one" plaintive whinging that I've gotten used to.

Sorry about all the hand-wringing.



Friday, April 16, 2004


(was Good v. Expeditious, part I)

Please read the apology above for an explanation of the weird content shifts that have been going on here recently.

Or, skip this post, skip the apology, and you're missing none of the FrumDad experience. Trust me.

Ahh... forget it.

As noted in the update of the "Sorry" post above, I've decided that the intellectual honesty angle was a smokescreen.

When I was in college I had a professor who used to circle what he called "sweetheart sentences" on students' papers. They were sentences that contributed nothing and should have been edited out, but of which the student was so enamored that they (the sentence) had stayed in.

So basically my blustering about "intellectual honesty" and so on was just my reluctance to un-publish anything I had given the time and effort to writing.

But blogging isn't just about self-publishing. It's also about self-editing.

Because I linked to them already, and on the conceit that it matters, I'm keeping these links in this post:

This Normal Life
Daniel Gordis' dispatches (Gordis archives here)
pyrrhic victory.


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Friday, April 02, 2004

A little housekeeping

Listen, all conceit aside I realize I'm talking pretty much to myself. My brief and occasional reviews of my blogpatrol stats have made it quite clear that, pretty much, there are maybe two of you, and I've been 'bot-crawled maybe once.. So the next sentence, which was going to be the first sentence of this post, is a little silly, but here it is anyway.

You may have noticed I've changed my blurb, above. It wasn't really accurate anymore, and since I did all of three posts while it was accurate, I thought the best option was to change it.

For the sake of completeness, though, I didn't want it to just disappear into the ether, so I'm including it here:
We're having a baby. This is the space for my rants and raves, musings and meanderings, and all things related to being a father. This is a space my wife doesn't know about -- and where you don't know my wife -- where I can launch the flotilla of my fears and hopes and where I can see what sings (and what sinks) without waterlogging my marriage.

"If you are a dreamer, come in . . . "
The old quote was from Shel Silverstein (bio and some poems). The new quote is from Ogden Nash (bio with poems and some more poems).

Also, you may notice on the sidebar that I've started a blogroll. Right now it's a bit disorganized and haphazard, but hopefully I'll get around to making it nice-nice soon. Until then, though, please feel free to click around in it.



Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Happy Birthday!! (a little late)


Well, it's been quite a while and then some since I've last updated the blog. I have, of course, a string of excuses, but at the end of the day it doesn't matter. I'm back now.

Since last we visited our intrepid explorer, then, much and much has transpired.

The biggest news, of course, is the news you might have anticipated.

(drumroll and fanfare. . .)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . We had the baby.

(And here, you have to imagine the super-deluxe-big-giant wahoo! that is only tempered by the fact that if I did that every time I thought of this simple, miraculous fact, people at work would get really annoyed.)

Well, G had the baby, I did the driving, and some cheerleading, and a fair amount of praying.

In early July 2003 we were blessed -- and there's really no other way to think of it, really -- with the most perfect wonderful beautiful baby girl. To say that I'm overjoyed would be to grossly understate the matter.

Stories to tell, stories to tell. And thoughts to think and so on. Much as I would happily indulge my desire to make this an "all about the baby" blog, I didn't start it with that in mind, and will try to avoid kvelling [fn1] too much.
[fn1:] kvell: Yiddish, meaning to beam with pride or enjoyment.
So anyway, though, she's pretty much perfect.

Just as I keep G's real name masked here, I'm not going to go blabbing my baby daughter's name, either. But I'll call her Rachel, sometimes R.

So, happy birthday, R. I hope -- I pray -- that I'll be a good enough father to you. I certainly think I love you enough.

Sorry this post is about nine months late. I've been a little busy staring at you with awe and wonder.