Tuesday, November 28, 2017


When my kids were ten and twelve, they had their first real loss to the great beyond. He was not even our cat, but the neighbor’s. But he thought he lived with us, and for as long as he lived, DD was adamant that we take in no other lest he stopped feeling at home. 

When Chester died, there was a period of profound mourning. The neighbors were even kind enough to invite us over for a remembrance, and shared some of his ashes with us. DD erected a memorial where she placed the ashes, and it’s still there today.

What stayed with me was something she said. “I’m so scared I will forget him.”

If we remember, they are not completely gone.

Today is a special day at my house. I remember three of the closest people to me who passed away on the same calendar day. They are gone from the blessings and tribulations of this world, but not forgotten. 

מילים: פניה ברגשטיין
דוד זהבי
שנת כתיבה: 1944

נִגּוּנִים / פניה ברגשטיין, 1944

שְׁתַלְתֶּם נִגּוּנִים בִּי, אִמִּי וְאָבִי,
נִגּוּנִים מִזְמוֹרִים שְׁכוּחִים.
גַּרְעִינִים; גַּרְעִינִים נְשָׂאָם לְבָבִי –
עַתָּה הֵם עוֹלִים וְצוֹמְחִים.

עַתָּה הֵם שׁוֹלְחִים פֹּארוֹת בְּדָמִי,
שָׁרְשֵׁיהֶם בְּעוֹרְקַי שְׁלוּבִים,
נִגּוּנֶיךָ, אָבִי, וְשִׁירַיִךְ אִמִּי,
בְּדָפְקִי נֵעוֹרִים וְשָׁבִים.

הִנֵּה אַאֲזִין שִׁיר עַרְשִׂי הָרָחוֹק
הִבִּיעַ פִּי אֵם אֱלֵי בַּת.
הִנֵּה לִי תִּזְהַרְנָה בְּדֶמַע וּשְׂחוֹק
"אֵיכָה" וּזְמִירוֹת שֶׁל שַׁבָּת.

כָּל הֶגֶה יִתַּם וְכָל צְלִיל יֵאָלֵם
בִּי קוֹלְכֶם הָרָחוֹק כִּי יֵהוֹם.
עֵינַי אֶעֱצֹם וַהֲרֵינִי אִתְּכֶם
מֵעַל לְחֶשְׁכַת הַתְּהוֹם.

You can hear it sung in this link:

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

GRATITUDE in Many Ways

It’s almost that time again, the time to give thanks, a.k.a. Thanksgiving.

There are studies that show living in gratitude makes a person happy(ier), healty(ier), and more productive. Did we need these studies to confirm what all cultures everywhere have long enshrined into their fabrics? Apparently we do. What the pious knew all along, the freethinkers needed academic research to prove.

Jews interject TODA LA’EL = Thank G-d into every other sentence.
Muslims do the same, only pronouncing it IL HAMDU L’EEL-LAH.
Catholics of yore used to say it in Latin, DEO GRATIAS
Budhists just say THANK YOU.

I will do my best to remember that Thanksgiving is not a meal or putting up with irritating relatives, as the modern ethos reports on it. It’s a way of being.

I thank G-d for enabling me to write here, and I’m grateful to you for reading this. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

This Day in History*

*November 14th, 1851

On this calendar date, one hundred and sixty-six years ago, Harper & Brothers in New York published Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

Many consider it one of the Great Books in the canon of western literature, certainly of North American books.

Confession: I never read it.

I even knew one of Melville direct descendants, the lovely Meredith Melville. I never admitted to her that I hadn’t read it. I had no excuse. I did read much longer books that book lovers think are must-reads (Yes, War and Peace) and I can’t say that whaling and fishermen are a turn off (The Old Man and the Sea, I did read that one) and really, I have no idea why some great books have escaped the net of my youthful reading, when either the schools I attended or my love of reading drove my cart. Some books just slipped by, and then slipped off.

Like Moby Dick.

But something has changed in me as the years accumulated. I no longer feel I should, or would. I can’t explain that, either. No excuses or “someday.” Call me Ishmael if you need to. That’s fine.

What great books have you not read? Do you still think you will?

&Happy Birthday, MOBY DICK&

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Daylight Savings/Standard Time & Website Statistics

It happened again. The time was changed on us. Today, Sunday, we were shoved back onto Standard Time. This reminded me of a post from five years ago. Let me explain.

When you have a website, you can get statistics on how many page loads there were on any given day. You can even see the general geographic places these “clicks” are coming from. It’s a free service, and if you want to pay more, (I don’t) there are sophisticated versions of it.

On Blogger this is automatically part of the site and easy to see if you click on the word Stats on your blogger panel on the left. You can set it up never to count your own clicks to your blog (I did) and get a more accurate idea.

This blog’s posts usual click numbers are modest by any standard. They range in a low couple of hundreds, with occasional posts not even reaching three digits. Some of the hits are real readers (like you) and some are random search engines that look for keywords.

I’m delighted that anyone visits. Bless you.

But there was one outlier early on among my posts. It was this one, on Daylight Savings Time. It’s not a great post, nor very informative. But it had a few thousand hits, well above the usual for my site. Looking at the origins of the hits, Blogger’s Stats said that many were from Russia.

At the time, this did not mean much to me. I assumed Russian search engines were combing the Internet for certain key words. So what? Surely, they are not interested in Daylight Savings Time, and most definitely not in my kvetchy rant about it.

The whole subject of Russian hacking has taken a completely new meaning now. My time-disturbed brain is wondering... Hey, Russians, will it happen again? C’mon down and look. For your convenience, I’ll even use Google Translate: Летнее время*

*Daylight Savings time in Russian, I hope.

I doubt it, because these Internet-combing algorithms must have long concluded this blog is useless for their purposes. But if I knew for sure, I would tell you.

And yes, I’m in the throws of adjusting to the time change, Kvetch-kvetch.