Monthly Archives: November 2008

The Weekend Prior to Thanksgiving 2008

My latest poem – based on real events

The Weekend Prior to Thanksgiving 2008

I am thankful for my eyesight.
I am thankful for quick reflexes.
I am thankful for functioning brakes.
I am thankful for wine, though I sometimes drink more than I should.
I am thankful I didn’t drink another glass of wine at my friend’s house.
I am thankful for deer, they are a graceful animal.
I am thankful for cars, though if I walked more, I’d be in better shape.
I am thankful for my friends.

Oy Vey! Do we need to wait until Jan 20?

White House Hanuka invitation bears image of White House Christmas tree

The president and the first lady invited leaders of America’s Jewish community for a Hanukkah reception at the White House next month – but raised more than a few eyebrows by putting a picture of a Christmas tree on the invitation.

The message reads that the couple “requests the pleasure of your company at a Hanukkah reception,” written beneath an image of a Clydesdale horse hauling a Christmas fir along the snow-dappled drive to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

November 21: Other Reasons to Celebrate

(Just in case Gregorian Hanuka isn’t enough)

1877 – Thomas Edison announces the invention of the Phonograph
1920 – Bloody Sunday
1969 – First permanent ARPANET link established (between UCLA and SRI)
1995 – Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 5000 for the first time

1694 – Voltaire born
1920 – Stan Musial born
1945 – Goldie Hawn born

And today is: World Television Day (As set by the UN General Assembly)

Happy Hanuka!

Hanuka isn’t going to be celebrated for a month, but today is the day Hanuka would fall on if the Hebrew calendar weren’t used, and instead we used the Gregorian calendar, as the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev in 164 BCE fell on November 21.

Of course, Pope Gregory hadn’t been born yet in 164 BCE. (Jesus hadn’t been born yet.) Not only was there no such thing as the Gregorian calendar, Julius Caesar hadn’t invented the Julian Calendar yet.

Moreover, the Hebrew calendar wasn’t standardized yet. Each Hebrew month began after two people declared they saw the crescent moon. (So two different communities could be slightly off from one another, but each month there was a reboot.)

So November 21 is an estimate. The 25th of Kislev is an estimate too.

My favorite spellings of the word

Since the only proper spelling is with the appropriate Hebrew letters, any transliteration into the alphabet of a different language is personal choice, and should be based phonetically. I have seen others use these spellings – I didn’t invent any of them myself.

1) Hanuka – short, simple, and to the point.
2) Januca – a Spanish spelling. In Spanish, the inital-H sound is spelled with a J – as in Jalapeno.
3) Khanike – “KH” is a far better representation of the hard H sound than “CH”. This spelling also reminds people that vowel sounds aren’t universally agreed upon with Hebrew words.

There are other reasons to celebrate November 21, I am certain. But none could possibly be better than the Gregorian Calendar Hanuka, could it?

November 14: Reasons to Celebrate

On the theory that every Friday there are people desiring a reason other than “it’s Friday” to justify after-work celebrations. Here are some reasons for November 14th:

1922 – the BBC was born. Without the BBC we might not have Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (originally a radio show before it was a book).

1969 – Apollo 12 launched (2nd Manned Mission to the Moon)

1972 – the Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed 1,000 for the first time. (May it never get that low again.)

Mozart 1719
Sherwood Schwartz – 1916 (Creator of The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island)
Charles, Prince of Wales – 1948
Condoleeza Rice – 1954

And today is World Diabetes Day

For the record

I realize that it has now been revealed that “Palin thinks Africa is a county” is a hoax.

I could continue to believe it to be the truth, and continue saying that it is. There is established precedence for this.

People still insist to this day that Al Gore claimed he invented the internet.

There are also people who believe JFK once said, “I am a Jelly donut.”

Neither of these are true. You can read Gore’s actual quote, which is next to impossible to misinterpret, or read how JFK’s statement was flawless German grammar, by following the links. The Truth is Out There…but people will go on believing what they choose to believe.

But since I hope for Palin to disappear off the national scene — perhaps to run in 2012 or 2016 but to fail in the primaries and then never to be heard from again. Repeating this hoax just keeps her in my mind longer, and in the minds of the five people who read this blog, which is counter productive.