Archive for December, 2008

Bush Vindicated; Claims Iraq Had Shoes All Along

Posted in Funny?, Politics on December 16, 2008 by frumpunk

President Bush last night claimed his decision to invade Iraq had been vindicated after US troops uncovered an arsenal of shoes on the outskirts of Fallujah.

More than 400 lethal shoes including sandals, pumps, desert boots and a solitary brogue were revealed as Mr Bush paid a final visit to Iraq to see if there was anything left. A White House spokesman immediately dismissed claims the US invasion had been based on Saddam Hussein’s alleged stockpile of chemical and biological weapons, adding: “No we didn’t, we said shoes.” “We did and if you heard weapons of mass destruction, that’s your problem. You might want to try using a Q-Tip. “The spokesman added: “We believe that many of these shoes would have been built in China with Russian laces, French-made heels and odor-absorbing insoles purchased through back channels via the west African state of Niger.”

British Prime minister Gordon Brown backed Mr Bush insisting many of Iraq’s shoes were slip-ons that could activated in less than 45 minutes. But France denied supplying Iraq with shoe components insisting its only exports to Saddam’s regime had been a 1994 shipment of humanitarian espadrilles.

Meanwhile the Kremlin said most of Iraq’s shoes had actually been bought from ex-US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld when he worked for Hush Puppies in the early 1980s.

For those of you who haven’t seen the video yet:

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Introducing The KPhone

Posted in Frum, Funny?, Girls, Heimish, Politics on December 14, 2008 by frumpunk

The lowly phone has made great strides in the past decade or so. What used to be able to double as a murder weapon in a game of Clue has become a complete media device that does everything but make calls and is small enough to choke a goldfish. But the problem with phones, as we know is that they’re trief. Everything about them is trief. The phone feature allows boys and girls to talk to each other, the text message feature is even more insidious, allowing boys and girls to write (badly) to each other, the camera allows boys to take pictures of girls, the alarm clock allows boys to wake up to go see girls, the calculator allows boys to work out how much money they need to take a girl out (this is also the reason bochrim aren’t taught math. The phone destroys all that hard work). I could go on. And I will; the wallpaper allows the boys to set the picture of the girl to look at constantly, the FM radio (only with added headset usually) allows boys to listen to girls sing, the world clock allows boys to figure out the optimal time to call girls who live far away, and internet allows people to visit this blog.

Previous attempts at a kosher phone have only been met half way. They did not include a camera, text messaging or color screen, but they did allow boys and girls to talk to each other. But now the next generation of technological advances has brought us the KPhone, the result of four years labor by the most hemish scientists at the Institute for Advanced Heimishness. I was given one of the first production models to try out. At first glance it seems to be the answer to everything. It is well constructed, the aluminum seems durable and fashionable. An attempt to type a text message on its smooth rounded surface yielded no results. It requires no batteries and does not require a cell phone tower to receive a signal. I made a call and was surprised at the overall fidelity and signal cleanliness. It has no camera or radio option, and internet is out of the question. This truly seems like an excellent device.

Some gripes though; the string, while giving excellent audio fidelity is not really long enough to facilitate long distance calls abroad, so calling Israel or Canada from it seems to be out of the question. Secondly, if your call is lasting a long time, it gets tiring holding the headset to your ear. This problem is exacerbated if the headset previously held pickles or garlic, as this can leave a lingering odor. I was later informed that this was actually a feature, part of a method to keep the sexes apart using a new trial of unattractive smells. Also, if the headset edge wasn’t fully rounded off by the can opener, you may experience some cutting and bleeding around the ear and head area. Bulkiness is also an issue. Due to the lack of wireless, you are required to keep both headsets with you at all times, as well as keeping the person you wish to call close to you.

Overall, its an excellent first attempt and I look forward to the second revision, which I’m told may include a third string and headset to allow three way calling.

Hat tip to Mikeinmidwood for the inspiration. This started life as a mere comment on his post.

If You Can’t, Don’t

Posted in Rants, Weddings on December 14, 2008 by frumpunk

In Shul after mincha I saw a flyer that read like a modern piyut from Tishe B’av. A man telling how his life has been a living hell and now it’s his daughters wedding and it’s all he’s ever dreamed about, but he can’t afford it. He’ll be available for donations at the house of a prominant member of the community. In a local flyer I saw another solicitation for four separate couples, all of whom can’t afford the cost of their weddings.

And while I have all the sympathy in the world, I can’t understand what the cost of a wedding is. I understand the cost of making a wedding. I’ve been to enough lavish weddings, and worked at even more to know the costs can run into the hundreds of thousands. But if you can’t afford it, don’t. There’s no halacha to have a wedding dress, flowers, a hall, a full three course meal, a band, etc. All of these are things that make a wedding special and joyous, but if you can’t afford them why are you trying to? In the halachic sense, you just need something worth a perutah and a bride and groom. The chosson gives her the object and says “harey as mekudeshes li” and biblically, you’re married! Add to that a kesubah and two kosher eidim and there’s no disputing that fact.

I understand the emotions and the want to have a wedding the couple will remember. But even if you are soliciting money for a wedding, don’t make the wedding. If they’re so poor, give them the money to put a down payment on an apartment or other basic marital necessities. Blowing it on a one day party that will live only in photographs and cheesily recorded video is ludicrous.

There’s more wedding insanity that I’ve heard about recently, including the idea of renting a van to bring bochrim that I’d like to talk about, but that’s enough for discussion for now.

But then, maybe I’m just too emotionally detached from this? The glare of cold hard logic ruins my understanding of simchas and the finances involved?

Bah, Teenagers

Posted in Me, Miami, Rants on December 11, 2008 by frumpunk

Kids are awesome, aren’t they? They start off plump and cuddly then segue into something cute and constantly learning for the next decade or so. I don’t have kids, but I’m the second oldest of a family of seven, so for those of you in a similar position, you know what I mean when you refer to siblings from a somewhat parental viewpoint. But the kids get back at you, don’t they? They manage to end up as anthropomorphic adults of a sort, only stupider and with more acne. It’s a terrible thing and I don’t know why they do it. Spite, I guess, from being pushed around and told to go to bed at six when its still sunny. Because when you tell a child to go to bed, what he hears is “lie down in a dark room and don’t move for ten hours”. A few years of that can build up a decent amount of resentment in anyone.

So going to my original point, that being teenagers. It’s a good name for a band but a terrible period in life, at least at the start. It gets cool by the time you’re around seventeen, but then you’re a “young adult” so it doesn’t count anyway. My youngest sibling is now eleven and I’ve three siblings at various stages of teenagerhood. I say various stages, but they’re all equally annoying. It’s a sad thing for me that I’ll officially never have little siblings again. Sadder even for my mother, which might explain why she points out every passing female under thirty and unringed to me.

My parents have been ill for a couple of days, and that meant the job of driver fell to me. School drop-offs and pickups. Appointments and all that fun stuff. Basically spending hours a day in a car driving teenagers. And I don’t like it. I don’t understand teenagers, probably because I never was a teenager. I don’t mean that in the Matilda sense (“I hate children. Glad I never was one.”) but the realistic sense. I did pass through the ages of thirteen to twenty and made it out alive and relatively unscathed, but I wasn’t a teenager like they are today. It’s not just my siblings, all teenagers today are rotten little things. The internet has ruined them. We never had MySpace or Facebook, hence we didn’t devote an amazing amount of time to taking pictures of ourselves to post. We had AIM, MSN and the AOL Jewish Chat Room (good memories, “a/s/l”…) but it’s not the same. We weren’t image obsessed, the opposite, we were anti-image. If you wanted to look cool you had to bloody work at it, not just pop into Hot Topic or a website. I think Hot Topic was open when I was in high school, but it wasn’t the same anyways. Noone went there. And have you heard the music they listen to? It’s this vapid inane crud, with lyrics as deep as an Arkansas outhouse circa 1870. I listened to a lot of Smashing Pumpkins in high school, our music had heart. And even the inane crud of my day was relatively harmless, Backstreet Boys, Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray and all that. Now even the tween pop songs have lyrics that would be banned by Justice Potter Stewart back in 1964. And one last thing on music, the kids have it too easy. Back in my day, if you wanted an album you went out and bought it. Sure, you could download it. Over a 33.6kbps modem. Napster. And one song at a time. Now the kids can steal a whole album in the time it takes me to get out of bed in the morning. And CD’s. We lugged around our CD players and these massive CD cases. You had to if you were going somewhere and wanted a variety of music. Now these brats have more albums than Best Buy in a player the size of Kevin Federlines brain. We had iPods. sure. 5GB if you wanted. You just needed a Mac and $400 or so. Now the most expensive one is 160GB for $250. And I thought things got more expensive in time.

I’m sorry, I’ve gone completely off topic. I left my siblings behind ages ago and just went on a bitter screed about the youth of today, didn’t I? My point is that I was never a teenager, not like today. I wasn’t annoying, rude or demanding. I went through my teenage years with headphones in one hand and a gemorah in the other. I had my balance, never felt the need to lash out at authority figure for negative attention. Not much anyway. I don’t know, the kids aren’t alright.

Disclaimer: Post written at 2.15am. May not be coherent or worthy of posting. Apologies if my suspicions are correct and I’m just overtired.

21st Century Dreidel Version with Y-Love

Posted in Music, Yom Tov on December 9, 2008 by frumpunk

As Jews, we’ve always had a hard time during this season. While the world around us strings lights everywhere and gets to wear Santa hats we get to light a menorah and spin a dreidel. We can’t even decorate the house and deck the halls with lights, because that would be goyish.

Worst of all are the carols. Sadly, despite the plethora of Jewish musicians, they’ve all put their best efforts to Christmas songs, probably because that’s where all the money is. Everyone from Paul Simon to Barbara Streisand has had a Christmas song or album and they haven’t so much as thrown a musical latke our way.Well we still don’t have a truly joyous set of Chanukah songs to sing around the menorah (although Adam Sandler has certainly tried and come closest) but at least we get a cooler sounding version of that old classic, featuring a rap from the inimitable Y-Love (good question btw).

The album is called “Songs In The Key of Hanukkah” and is out now.

Big ups to Material Maidel for finding it first.

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Zombie Nazis!

Posted in Zombie Nazis! with tags , on December 7, 2008 by frumpunk

People often stop me in the streets and say “FP, you seem to have a pulse on all levels of cool. Why did that movie I watched recently suck?”, to which I respond with something about how I don’t watch movies because I’m not a shaygetz. Then I elbow them in the face. But I’m altruistic enough to offer an answer to their question somewhere in between the word “shaygetz” and the face elbow. The answer is, a serious and constant lack of Zombie Nazis in Hollywood.

Zombie Nazis are the greatest plot device ever, as voted by a world panel of leading environmental scientists and nutritionists, but they’ve been sorely underused up until now. A new movie coming out of Norway (I know what you’re thinking: Why does everything cool seem to come from Norway?) called “Dead Snow” has brought the plight of Zombie Nazis to the forefront of the world media. It has everything; Zombies. Nazis. Snow. Even Zombie Nazis. (Nazi Zombies are also a definite possibility. We’re not sure yet whether they regard themselves as Nazis first or Zombies).

The truth is, every movie would benefit from Zombie Nazis. Think of the last movie you watched. (Shaygetz.) Now think of it with Zombie Nazis. See how awesome it would have been? A great example is the last Indiana Jones movie. It sucked, something about aliens and commies. But imagine if Indy had been fighting Zombie Nazis! I believe the only reason they didn’t make it is because they felt the world was not yet ready for something so awesome.

In closing I would like to not only say the words Zombie Nazis three more times, but Zombie Nazis, and include a picture of some actual Zombie Nazis! Due to the observation that the weak of heart among you may not be able to handle the awesomeness, I shall link to them instead of posting them here.

Zombie Nazis! / Zombie Nazis! / And Zombie Nazis! run over by a snowmobile!

Late Update: The trailer can be seen here. I was already excited for it, but once I saw the tagline was “Ein! Zwei! DIE!” it kicked into a new level of awesomeness. I’m glad the comments have started to take off. I was beginning to think it was just me.

Some People Have All The Luck

Posted in Uncategorized on December 4, 2008 by frumpunk

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