Child Two’s bat mitzvah

That was the big news this week. She did a marvelous job Saturday, everything was as good as it possibly could be (save the absence of the ordered sushi and bagels at the luncheon), and everyone went home happy, even me.

I got to play DJ at the evening party, which was a blast. The best part of my weekend, however, was my Torah reading and later speech.

I sang Numbers 20:22-24, in which God tells Moses and Aaron that they won’t enter Israel because they beat a rock. Oh, that God….

Here’s my speech. The standard font colour is what I had written before hand. I had to make some edits between the ceremony and my presentation; those are in black. I’ve edited out the names.

Inspired by the haftorah Ilana would sing this morning and the midrash she wrote, when I went to bed last night I vowed to sacrifice the first thing I saw this morning.

Fortunately, it was a bagel.

I’m surprised to be here. Many fathers think that, I’m sure. They think how time passes so quickly and their kids grow up and they’re amazed to be standing up here for their child’s bar or bat mitzvah.

Not me. I’m surprised that I was even invited to be here.

See, for the first two years of her life, Child Two was her mother’s child. All I had to do was hold her and she’d start to wail. This shocked me since I had gotten along so well with Child One, as she was known then, Child Two’s older sister.

Eventually, Child Two grew to be fond of me. We would make sure that she gave me a daily hug and I would get her to regularly clean my toes – which was my sneaky way of getting a free foot massage and, well, clean toes.

Once she grew up a bit and wised up, the toe-cleaning stopped – which is a shame because I have a hard time reaching my toes. Despite all that abuse, she still invited me here.

Child Two’s wisdom continued to accumulate and she became a great student. Teachers tell us she’s a perfect student, but I don’t see one-hundreds on every single one of her tests, so I’m skeptical. I try to teach my kids critical thinking that way.

I also try to teach my kids to duck behind cover to avoid incoming fire, be it candies or any other projectile. I’m successful at that, apparently.

Now, this next paragraph I wrote before I knew I’d wow you all with my Torah singing and outshine Child Two up on the bimah. For that, I have to thank Divvy for training me. She did a great job, eh?

I was going to say, “As if my attitude weren’t enough to bar me from this occasion, did you hear me singing? Would you let me do that at your kid’s ceremony?”

Yet here I am, and I have to say, Child Two, that in my own little way, I’m proud of you.

I’m also proud of my wife Elvi, whose superhuman effort made this weekend all it’s turning out to be. Without her, not only would we not have Ilana and her siblings to bring us so much joy, but personally I myself might instead be living in a large cardboard box.

There are many more people to thank, and I’ll let Elvi have the microphone and continue on our behalves.

I received many compliments on the speech but no jobs. Maybe I should try to get DJ work.


You learn a lot about yourself when you clean out your computer parts and cable drawer. I learned:

  • I collect a heck of a lot of phone cables.
  • Also Cat 5 cable.
  • I’m finally giving up on ADB connectors.
  • Except for one USB to ADB wire and the mouse for the Fat Mac in the basement.
  • I can’t yet bring myself to toss the 3.5″ external floppy drive.
  • I can get rid of the SonicWall router/firewall now that I’ve found its power adapter.
  • I have six eight archived internal hard drives to look through.
  • And one external hard drive.
  • Maybe I did have Elvi’s flashlight headband… or maybe it just re-appeared on her desk.
  • I can bring myself to toss the bulk of my destroyed and still beloved Thrustmaster FCS joystick (but I kept the pots and springs).
  • I have the strength to throw out my non-functioning expensive headphones instead of waiting for the day I’ll never fix them, in order to avoid new clutter.

Bonus job news:

Upon resubmitting my clip in the – ugh – traditional MS Word .doc format, I was hired by that publisher (I use that term loosely) I wrote about. The folks there accepted my first assignment without edits. Until I get into the swing of it, it’s only paying about $10 an hour but I should be able to at least double that with experience. I still have more lucrative irons in the fire.

Year-old hockey video

I finally bought a Firewire 400 to 800 adapter so I can start to move my videotape to digital media. I started with my oldest unconverted tape because were I to begin with the most recent, I probably would neglect the older footage forever.

The following clips show the last period of last year’s Hockey Montreal Western Division final. Every player you see in that game is a lot better now. It’s amazing to watch these kids improve by leaps and bounds year after year.

Bonus video:

OK, I couldn’t let that last comment go by without evidence. Here’s a video almost exactly a year later of mostly the same kids, now in Atom, playing an informal scrimmage after the season ended this past March.