Monthly Archives: April 2016

Lazer Focus

 

Lazer Focus (Randyjw; April 30, 2016)

 

We often find our highest forms of expression in music. Bridging language barriers, it spans the divide to reach into our souls and to bring forward our humanity.

 

For years, music lyrics were often the first means used to broadcast the cultural mores represented within our society — the ones which our youths would most often like to see changed!

 

So, “message music” became a popular way to start a popular movement of the masses in protest of the ways society was presently operating. Folk music of the 1960’s and 1970’s expressed a subset of society’s displeasure of our war efforts in VietNam and toward authority, in general. Because radio reached a broad audience, the influence of mass communication became palpable, though often overstated (Many people still don’t realize that the “loud” voice that the mass media displays neither makes it, necessarily, the popular, nor the majority, opinion).

 

In any case, the modes and methods of the message delivery system may have changed, but the basic precept is still there, and always will be. People need to be heard. They need to feel that they are important, and that their opinions matter. They are the clarion call to wake us up to our mistakes and to correct our actions, before it becomes too late.

 

One such man, with important things to say, is Lazer Lloyd. He is a blues musician with a prescient message, no matter where you stand on the political spectrum. His latest release, “America”, puts together all the shortfalls we could express about this great nation, while still acknowledging that this is a good land, overall. The beauty in the fretwork, and the wording of the sentiments, express what I would’ve also brought up in past wrongs America has committed. On a personal level, to those we’ve hurt, or to those I might have hurt, as well, I would add, “I’m sorry”. This song was touching and I have to admit that I cried while listening to it. Please visit YouTube and click the black arrow in the white portion of the YouTube song identification area to see the lyrics while viewing the song video.

 

“The Bomb Shelter Blues” addresses the realities of being expected to live under the insane conditions imposed upon us in Israel, while others who have the power to stop and change this warring against us hypocritically do nothing and, instead, condemn those upon whom the bombs and rockets fall. I particularly like the message revealed when you click the black YouTube arrow at YouTube.

 

Giving away the surprise, “Back Porch” feels like a really great Indian-style instrumental piece, but simple lyrics about serving G-d find their way between the meditational meanderings of the acoustic arrangement. I really like this piece.

 

“Eye of the Storm” is a really good “L-rd Have Mercy” plaint, plain and simple. Hear the sample, below.

 

“New Year’s Blues (Tears For Dikla)” is a really mellow, really wonderful blues tune to chill out to. I think you’ll enjoy it. It’s on YouTube, for those who don’t have Facebook.

 

Here social justice in action via the Jewish voice (our concept of repairing the world, in Hebrew, called “tikkun olam” and via righteous works, called “tzedakah”, or “charity”, is prevalent as a precept in our traditions). Here a sampling of this in a YouTube link to Lazer Lloyd’s “Eye of the Storm”:

 

Eye of the Storm:

(https://youtu.be/CGlODsUCioU)

 

“Lazer Lloyd”, the album by Lazer Lloyd, was the Number Three Blues-Rock Album of 2015 (RMR). He also had the number two Blues-Rock song and the number six Blues-Rock song for the year, as well. His song, “New Years Blues (Tears For Dikla)” received over 3.1 million views on Facebook, was shared more than 33,000 times, and generated more than 14,000 comments.

 

Lazer Lloyd is now on tour. See his official website to verify dates, times, locations, updates and additions to the touring schedule – Go to: (http://lazerlloyd.com/)

 

Pennsylvania:

Erie – 04/30/2016 – Erie Harley/9:30

New York:

Buffalo – 05/01/2016 – DHU Strand Theater/7:30

Ohio:

New Lima – 05/02/2016 – RSVP for Location/6:00

Columbus – 06/01/2016 – Woodlands Tavern/7:30

Illinois:

Decatur – 05/22/2016 – Pop’s Place/3:00 – 6:00

Springfield – 05/23/2016 – Alamo/8:00

Kankakee – 05/24/2016 – Moose Hall/8:00

Chicago – 05/26/2016 – Buddy Guy’s Legends/9:00

Berwyn – 05/29/2016 – Fitzgerald’s/9:00

Indiana:

Griffith – 05/25/2016 – Wildrose Brewing Co./7:00

Wisconsin:

Silver Lake – 05/28/2016 – Benders/9:45

Michigan:

Petoskey – 05/30/2016 – Crooked Tree

Arts/6:00

Grand Rapids – 05/31/2016 – Open Source Studios/7:30

Indiana:

Indianapolis – 06/02/2016 – Slippery Noodle/8:30

Missouri:

St. Louis – 06/04/2016 – Beale on Broadway/10:30

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Bela Fleck: Throw Down Your Heart: Tales From The Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3 – Africa Sessions (CD)

 

Bela Fleck: Throw Down Your Heart: Tales From The Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3 – Africa Sessions (CD)

2009; Produced by Bela Fleck Productions Inc. Under exclusive license to Rounder Records. (http://www.rounder.com/); info@rounder.com

 

1. Tulinesangala – Uganda (2:50)

Nakisenyi Women’s Group

Chanting, clapping

 

2. Kinetsa – Madagascar (4:16)

D’Gary

Really cool. Appalachian banjo-like sounds. Reminiscent of a familiar song I can’t figure out. Violin.

 

3. Ah Ndiya – Mali (3:49)

Oumou Sangore

Bluesy start, progressing into Chinese/Arabic/funk-like stuff. Cutting woman’s voice.

 

4. Kabibi – Tanzania (2:30)

Anania Ngoglia

Woah… crazy-jazziness sounding like Elmo — No, not St. Elmo’s fire, but Elmo from Sesame Street! With xylophone-like accompaniment providing Caribbean island sounds and vocal runs up and down the scales (even they laugh at the end).

 

5. Angelina – Uganda (2:51)

Luo Cultural Association

Rambling safari-like trek with interplaying percussionist pluckings running around in the background. High-pitched ululations sound like human mosquitoes!

 

6. D’Gary Jam – Madagascar, Uganda, Mali, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Cameroon (6:15)

D’Gary, Oumou Sangare, Richatd Bona, Baba Maal, Vusi Mahlasela, Afel Bocum, Anania Ngoglia, Toumani Diabate and Friends

I figured I’d find Toumani Diabate on this compilation… I was indeed actively searching for another great production from him. This one is like a nightmare, but intriguing. You can’t stop listening, even though everyone is going off in their own directions, doing their own things. Strangely, it all blends together in a scary, compelling way.

 

7. Throw Down Your Heart – Mali (5:07)

Haruna Sumake Trio and Bassekou Kouyate

This soft instrumental sounds more like an Ali Farka Toure/Toumani Diabate collaboration, the kind I was hoping to find. Also Jethro Tull tune toward the end.

 

8. Thula Mama – South Africa (3:59)

Vusi Mahlasela

A little bit of bebop in an African vibe with English subtitles.

 

9. Wairenziante – Uganda (2:55)

Muwewesu Xylophone Group

Having once or twice picked up a pair of mallets, I can appreciate the xylophone/marimba dexterity exhibited here.

 

10. Bunibalal – Mali (4:32)

Afel Bocum

A standout of a song. Soft male voice, Japanese/Arabic intro, Irish-tinged, totally African.

 

11. Zawose – Tanzania (3:20)

Chibite – The Zawose Family

How can people make such sounds? And offbeat, too? By true musicianship and artistry. This one’s a trip.

 

12. Ajula/Mbamba – The Gambia (4:31)

The Jatta Family

Quick tempo, probably what many Western minds would automatically associate to African music.

 

13. Pakugyenda Balebauo – Tanzania (2:58)

Warema Masiaga Cha Cha

E.T. went to Africa, instead. Neat question-answer format with kazoo/didgeridoo loose-stringed backup.

 

14. Jesus Is The Only Answer – Uganda (3:24)

Ateso Jazz Band

I love this one so much. So happy and uplifting. Upper register music and vocals. You’ll be smiling with this one!

 

15. Matitu – Tanzania (4:19)

Khalifan Matitu

Xylophone only, building up with background stuff sounding like a rainfall in a dense, tropical forest.

 

16. Mariam – Mali (3:51)

Djelimady Tounkara

I don’t know if I know what this song wants to be. It just is what it is — Ole’!

 

17. Djorolen – Mali (5:04)

Oumou Sangare

Delta meets Asio-Africa in rather soulful ballad. Love it.

 

18. Dunia Haina Wema/Thumb Fun – Tanzania (7:13)

Anania Ngoglia

Find myself not sure if I like it, yet enthusiastically starring it, just as well. Obvious mastery of the musical instruments, as well as the vocal chords echoing additional instruments. Sounds like you’re privileged to listen in on a jam going on.

 

———————————————————————–

 

This album started as an idea, when Bela Fleck heard the sounds of African music coming from the computer of his musicians on the tour bus. Enjoying what he heard, he decided to investigate the origins of his preferred instrument, the banjo, in West Africa, engaging Sony to underwrite the affair. After the tickets were booked, the field engineers reserved, the details and logistics arranged… Sony backed out.

 

So much had already been riding on this venture. With everything in place, Bela couldn’t let everyone down. Not only is he a folk hero in pioneering banjo music and styles, he turned folk hero in helping his fellow musicians continue with the job for this project. He hired his half-brother, Sascha Palladino, putting the venture to visuals in a documentary release now available through Netflix, or via purchase at New Video, a part of Cinedigm Entertainment:

 

(http://www.newvideo.com/)

DVD Cat: NNVG158461

DVD UPC: 7-67685-15846-3

SRP: $26.95

DIGITAL CAT: NNVG1839

 

The album won two 2009 Grammy® awards for Best Contemporary World Music Album and Best Pop Instrumental Album. Standout tracks on this African collaboration include numbers 10, 14 and 17, as well as number 18.

 

He’s now on tour in North America, with the following states and dates – For more details and to purchase tickets, visit his friendly website at: (http://belafleck.com/shows/)

 

INDIVIDUAL VENUES:

with Louisville Symphony Orchestra: KY – 04/30/2016

with The Flecktones: IL, MO, NC, NH, OH, PA, VT – June

with Abigail Washburn: AK – May; UT, CO – July

 

FESTIVALS:

Colorado:

Telluride Bluegrass Festival with The Flecktones – 06/16/2016

Telluride Bluegrass Festival All-Star Jam – 06/19/2016

Rocky Grass Festival with Abigail Washburn – 07/30/2016

District of Columbia:

American Acoustic with Chris Thile – 06/24/2016

North Carolina:

Brevard Music Festival – 06/28/2016

Wisconsin:

Blue Ox Music Festival with The Flecktones – 06/11/2016

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Saying It With Flowers?

 

Saying It With Flowers? (Randyjw; April 28, 2016)

 

There are six varieties of pitcher plant, passive insect traps with nodding flowers often found along the backwaters of lakes and rivers.

 

The Sagittaria Montevidensis Subspecies Calycina has perfect flowers, male and female, and can be found in the state of Montana in North America. Much like the fossils found in the substrate of its former ancient grounds and through its civilizations, this version is known as the Hooded Arrowhead.

 

The Hooded Skullcap variety is an herb found in traditional medicine. Its extracts are under testing as an environmentally-friendly pest control agent. It grows well in manmade and disturbed habitats, and will be found in temperate zones of the Northern clime in the northeastern United States. The non-parasitic plant contains teeth in its leaf blade, and flowers blue-to-purple, with two prominent lips. It is lacking in spines, as well as bulbils (wait… what!?).

 

The maroon-collared Sarracenia Flava variety is found in the southern United States, down to Florida. It is now prominently featured as a prized plant in a famous Japanese garden.

 

Convert to Middle-East -speak, and that’s some incredible way to say it with flowers, isn’t it?

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The L-rd’s Sword

 

The L-rd’s Sword (Randyjw; April 28, 2016)

 

My better half

turned out to be

my dark half

in eternity

 

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Inspired by the poem of Tosha Michelle, “Cold Heart”, posted as a reblog on Paul McAleavey’s website, accessed 04/28/2016: https://wwwpalfitness.wordpress.com/.

 

Original Source, accessed 04/28/2016:

“Cold Heart”, by Tosha Michelle. Posted April 28, 2016: https://laliterati.com/2016/04/28/cold-heart/

 

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Quotes

Originally Created: March 1, 2016

Updated: July 10, 2019

I was inspired to create this post based on a quote found on a fellow WordPress blogger’s website. Her quote was so profound, I think it should become a world-wide statement. Perhaps you’ll help me achieve that for her and share with others. I’ll add to it when I find further inspiring quotes.

IMG_20160301_045306

“I am what I wasn’t then and I was not what I am now.” – Aditi Shukla, in “Relationships: Where Do They Stem From?”. Lyf & Spice; July 14, 2015: lyfandspice(dot)com

 

“And even with hard work most hopes and dreams won’t become true. But the chances do increment.” – Charly Priest, in “I Too Have a Cool Quote!”. Crazy Life; October 10, 2014: charlypriest.wordpress(dot)com

 

“The missing ingredient in a dish found lacking is love.” – Randyjw

 

“Life goes on n I go on..along with life.” – Jyotee (“Isolated Girl”), in personal comment to author, March 15, 2016, at: “Randy’s Recipes: Open-Faced (Or Closed) Curried Chili Sandwich”. https://newsnotes1.wordpress.com. For more Isolated Girl works, please see: jyoteeblog.wordpress(dot)com

 

“lover: what makes your friendship greater than my love??? girl: friendship is the reason of the smile etched at the corner of my lips when u make me cry..” – Anagha Murali, in “Friendship”. BooksCrazy Anagha: Its About Writing; April 26, 2016:

bookscrazyanagha.wordpress(dot)com

 

“(Your) Saying so doesn’t make it so.” – June 14, 2016 comment (partial) by Randyjw in response to blog author, Chris Nicholas’s post, “Humanism and Violence” (April 25, 2016) at The Renegade Press.com:

therenegadepress(dot)com

 

“On Zion: Abraham was the first Zionist.”

“On Zion (II): G-d, actually, was the first Zionist.”

– Randyjw, in “On Zion (II)”. News Notes 1; February 2, 2016:

https://newsnotes1.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/on-zion-II/

 

“#1: Is being helpful the most important thing in the world?”

“#2: No, but it certainly helps!”

– Randyjw, in “Be that Help-Meet”. News Notes 1; June 26, 2016:

https://newsnotes1.wordpress.com/2016/06/26/be-that-help-meet/

 

Impossible Peace

“How can we live in peaceful coexistence with someone, who won’t even let us live?”

– Randyjw, July 17, 2016

https://newsnotes1.wordpress.com/2016/07/17/impossible-peace/

 

“Are we attuned enough to the earth to live in symbiosis with it?”

– Randyjw, in “3 Quotes For 3 Days”. News Notes 1; January 19, 2016: https://newsnotes1.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/3-quotes-for-3-days/

 

“Are we attuned to people’s needs and feelings enough to have meaningful interactions with them?”

– Randyjw, in “3 Quotes For 3 Days”. News Notes 1; January 19, 2016: https://newsnotes1.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/3-quotes-for-3-days/

 

“A feral cat found me and I taught her how to interact with humans. The feral cat taught me that our relationship mirrors the expectations one can have in human-to-human relations.”

– Randyjw, in “3 Quotes For 3 Days”. News Notes 1; January 19, 2016: https://newsnotes1.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/3-quotes-for-3-days/

 

“Live like a tourist!”

– Randyjw; Comment at: “Three Unique Amsterdam Dates”. ScaleSimple.com; August 3, 2016: scalesimple.wordpress(dot)com

 

“We don’t think; therefore, we are not.”

– Randyjw; Comment at: “Wonderings Beyond Our World”. News Notes 1; August 26, 2016: https://newsnotes1.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/wonderings-beyond-our-world/

 

“Events, like memories, are fleeting. Live in every very moment.”

— Randyjw; Partial comment at: “A Bride”. iaccidentlyatethewholething.com; September 12, 2016:

iaccidentlyatethewholething(dot)com

 

On: Zero

It is what it isn’t!

— Randyjw; “On: Zero (or: My Life, In Comments)”. News Notes 1; September 12, 2016: https://newsnotes1.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/on-zero-or-my-life-in-comments/

and also:

Comment; September 12, 2016, at: Palinode (soubasse) by Robert Okaji at O at the Edges;

robertokaji(dot)com

 

“Like people, some recipes are forgiving; others are not.”

 

— Randyjw. “On: Food and Forgiveness”. News Notes 1; September 16, 2016:

https://newsnotes1.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/on-food-and-forgiveness/

 

“The Littlest Footstep Can Leave The Deepest Impression”

 

— Randyjw. “The Littlest Footstep Can Leave The Deepest Impression”. News Notes 1; December 20, 2016:

https://newsnotes1.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/the-littlest-footstep-can-leave-the-deepest-impression/

 

“Sometimes we only realize the gifts we have been given when they have been taken away; so we must always remember from Whom we’ve received these gifts, and to appreciate what has been given us.”

— Randyjw; December 30, 2016. Partial comment at lookforthelights….

 

Behold, at that time
I will deal with all them that afflict thee;
And I will save her that is lame,
And gather her that was driven away;
And I will make them to be a praise and a name,
Whose shame hath been in all the earth.

 

– Zephaniah 3:19; JPS, 1917.

 

 

matzati et she’ahavah nafshi

 

for love is as strong as death,
   its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
   like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love;
   rivers cannot sweep it away.
– Excerpts, from Song of Songs, which is of Solomon. Version translation by New International Version (NIV).

 

 

The initial value of their investment, Vi, is only a few years of youth but the final value, Vf, is a life of luxury.

JOHANNA PIAZZA

The Shelf Life of a Trophy Wife

(April 12, 2017 from dictionary.com)

 

“Outside, beyond what is right and wrong, there exists a vast field.
We will find each other there.”
– Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi, 13th Century

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ACT NOW! UNESCO Executive Board Erases Jewish Ties To Temple Mount | Simon Wiesenthal Center

Source: ACT NOW! UNESCO Executive Board Erases Jewish Ties To Temple Mount | Simon Wiesenthal Center

 

 

Additional Reading (September 29, 2018):

United with Israel Staff. “Netanyahu: If UNESCO Wants to Fight Anti-Semitism ‘It Must Stop Practicing Anti-Semitism’” unitedwithisrael.org; September 27, 2018:

 

https://unitedwithisrael.org/netanyahu-if-unesco-wants-to-fight-anti-semitism-it-must-stop-practicing-anti-semitism/

 

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Defending Odedi

 

Defending Odedi (Randyjw; with corrections 04/28/2016)

 

As it happens in the internet world, one person’s expertise in one area might lead you to the discovery of interesting facets of another subject. So it is with writers for web sites and information researchers, as well as it is for purveyors of fine reading materials in leisurely pursuit.

 

Thus it was that hard-working Odedi, by happenstance, ran across my WordPress blogsite, NewsNotes1. He is a wine reviewer with an ever-expanding corpus of followers engaged in kind reparte’ about wine at his blog: https://winesipping.wordpress.com/, with the exception of one commenter, who chose to unsubscribe from his website.

 

Apparently, he does his homework beyond the expectations of any casual commenter about the subject. By proactively seeking out every little reference regarding wine that he can unearth, he uncovers new avenues and gleans additional information supportive of his knowledge base. That’s how he ran across my website, due to my mention of a charoset preparation for Passover I made utilizing Manischewitz Concord Grape wine.

 

And, I’m glad he did, because it gave me the opportunity to peruse his website in kind and to read several articles he had recently written about several white Californian wines he had sampled, and his reactions to the same. I found his reviews engaging, highly knowledgeable, and well-written, to the extent that I commented whether he had written professionally for wine magazines, and if he were not — at least yet, at this point in time — that he, indeed, should be doing so for the forseeable future.

 

Better still was the engaging commentary supplied by wine lovers, distributors, store owners and others, who lent his wine site an authoritative and approachable forum in which to communicate one’s passions and experiences, or lack thereof, in the subject.

 

Now, I’m not an oenophile, and I have no raging passion for wine: I actually can’t stand dry, white wines and decidedly reason to differ why anyone would prefer such a wine, over, say, a nice, Concord grape with plenty of sweetness and full-bodied, fruity flavor. However, I do recognize the passion for grape-growers, and all that entails.

 

I share, though not latently, an interest in that passion. I secretly admire the heritage of grape cultivation and the arboreal-horticultural similarities to the studies of botany, geology, soil and earth sciences, climatology, grafting, and other aspects that go into wine production that the end result must ostensibly cover. Equally interesting are the wine producers and their vineyards — their so called “stock”-in-trade.

 

Though I haven’t researched it, it stands out firmly that some, if not the earliest, mentions of grapes comes from the Holy Land, in Israel, found in the pages resident of the Old Testament, related as the foundation of the Jewish religion described within its pages therein. The fruit was so large, it required another to bear it between them, and the iconic image became emblazoned on all communique’s emanating from the Israeli Ministry of Tourism for such a long time, that, eventually, they have been changing the logo continuously over the past few decades.

 

Nazirs were ones who abstained from the grape products, and our King Solomon emoted poetical on the pleasures of its essences. The Psalms of King David and friends speak of the desire to be able to rest, each man, beneath his fig and his vine, without the need to war for our existence on earth. These first known odes to the grape originate among the Jewish tribes of Israel. The stuffed grape leave has long been a staple of Middle Eastern and Greek cuisine.

 

Wine-making goes back thousands of years in Israel. Huge vats and presses, as well as the amphorae, the vessels of clay made for the storage of other items, as well as clay seals and stamps, have been excavated from Israeli soil, attesting to the veracity of its thousands of years of production original to Israel.

 

Why anybody, especially in today’s day and age, would attack a wine reviewer for including numerous Israeli wines among his reports, is beyond me. Such a commenter showed up at Odedi’s “winesipping” website and proceeded to comment, rather vociferously, about Odedi’s lack of a personal biography attesting to his related credentials at the site. Another additional comment, seeming to require and, almost demand, it of him again was made. The commenter, traderbillonwine, seemed rather intimidating, to me. That is why I am writing this post about it. He also made his displeasure of his reportage on the many Israeli products at his site seem like an offense for taking a more prominent place among his listings than he felt was deserved.

 

Pardon me, Sir. Perhaps the Minnesota weather has had you snowed in for a time and you haven’t realized that Israel’s award-winning wines have taken top billing in international judging competitions worldwide, and that boutique wineries in Israel’s emerging new wine markets are gaining top prizes and are finding their way to tables in fine-dining establishments and into the dark holds of winecellars everywhere.

 

In fact, Israel saved France’s wine industry, as France saved Israel’s, long ago — or so I’ve been told. I don’t know. I only worked at a wine and liquor store for a few weeks as a subcontracted individual helping people with their carts, and occasionally leading people to their selections, or to added help from the store personnel more qualified to answer their inquiries. It did give me an opportunity to read the wine industry magazines in the lunchroom while on my breaks. I do notice the similarly-styled descriptions found in these trade sources matching the nuanced descriptions found in Odedi’s views. I don’t know why this one gentleman would take such offense, as such.

 

Perhaps he’ll blow it off as a blowhard commenter and let it pass, the steam of its negativity spiraling itself to nowhere. It’d be a good idea. As for me, I’m gonna do what I do, whether I do it “well” or otherwise; I am going to comment on its inappropriateness, as a seemingly thinly-veiled “stab” (to use a poor choice of words, but which carries its weight of significance well) on an individual who deals with Israeli products made from (*gasp!*) Israel.

 

The fact that he does or doesn’t post a personal biography with his personal details in it for the eyes of all, sane and insane, to see in a public space in no way refutes his abilities to continue to post his reviews online for the mass public to enjoy. That he can wrest the industry, much like Israel has done, away from its cartel-like vice around the industry might grate at the “fine sensibilities” of those who have tried to hold its closely-guarded secrets against the vest.

 

I do feel that opening it up, being more transparent, has actually revived an old-heritage institution. It might be time, Sir, for you to see the light… or the rose’… or the red… or the Syrah…

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Randy’s Recipes: No-Nut Charoset/Berry Good Passover Compote/Pesach Shake/Citrus Passover Salad/Charoset So-Smoothie

 

Presto, Change-o !!!

 

My own personal preference in making charoset includes adding a nut to the dish, such as walnuts; however, as some people have nut allergies and I didn’t have nuts to add to the recipe, I made it with ingredients on-hand. This recipe serves one for the First Night and the Second Night. It is the result of my Passover preparations with a limited pantry, and not necessarily the best charoset recipe, ever. Maybe I’ll work on that, future and G-d providing…

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No-Nut Charoset (Randyjw; April 24, 2016)

Ingredients:

Approx. 5 medium-to-large apples (actually, the more, the merrier), any type of your choice (I used Red Delicious)

Several ounces of liquor/wine of your choice (I used a sweet wine: Manischewitz Concord Grape Kosher For Passover wine — it comes in other flavors, such as raspberry, or cherry, as well)

Ground cinammon

Sugar, of any type of your choice

If using: Nuts, any of your choice (I like walnuts, but almonds and pecans, or other nuts would be delicious, as well)

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Pare the apples. If using a knife and leaving some inner apple attached to the skin, it will leave them more moist. If using a vegetable peeler, the skins will become quite thin and more crisp. I used the thicker method, which leaves them a bit rubbery and more to the chew, but you can experiment and see which, if any, you prefer (you don’t have to use the skins, at all).

 

Chop the skins (small, fine, or a bit larger — your preference) and place on a baking tray. If using nuts, you can add them here, to make candied nuts; or, use them in the main mixture of apple, below; or, add them to each batch!

 

Sprinkle cinammon and lots of sugar on top.

 

Toast in the oven (or toaster oven) until crisp, but not burnt. Keep an eye on them; they cook fairly quickly as the sugar heats up and kindof carmelizes.

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On a cutting board, chop the apple innards, minus the core, which should be discarded, and the seeds, which should be planted ❤

 

In small batches as you proceed, pour a bit of Kosher for Passover wine (other liqueurs work fine: Cognac, Brandy, Chambord (yummy raspberry and honey liqueur), Plum, Cherry, Muscat, whatever your preference might be. Please note that these non-Kosher liquor choices nullify both the Passover/Kashrut designations. Any item, or recipe, should be verified Kashrut-acceptable by strict Rabbinic sources, of which I am not).

 

You can use nuts here, or add them into the above mixture, as well (or do both)!

 

Last minute at serving, sprinkle the apple skin mixture over the light apple innards, leaving two distinct, unblended, separate flavors, allowing the individual to mix to the extent that their preferences desire.

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The first photo is actually the combination, innards hidden from view by its covering. With leftovers and time, the flavors will meld, anyway.

 

After two days, almost all the charoset was gone, eaten by yours truly.

5.1 Yums Up

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Berry Good Passover Compote (Randyjw; April 24, 2016)

 

Ingredients:

 

No-Nut Charoset (see recipe above)

Mixed fruit (I used a frozen bag of mixed berries and bananas, but you can use fresh fruit, canned fruit, or frozen fruit of your kind and preferences. If using frozen fruit, cut open bag and rinse frozen fruit. Pour out fruit into a bowl to thaw. Drain and reserve liquid from frozen fruit for Pesach Shake; see recipe, below)

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Combine ingredients.

Enjoy!

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3.7 Yums Up


 

Pesach Shake (Randyjw; April 24, 2016)

 

Ingredients:

 

No-Nut Charoset (see recipe, above)

Reserved Liquid from frozen fruit of Berry Good Passover Compote (see recipe, above)

Milk (almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, rice milk, or substitutes also exchangeable and encouraged)

Dollop of fruit from Berry Good Passover Compote, if desired (see recipe, above)

Fruit jam, preserves, marmalade or dessert topping, to flavor and thicken

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Combine all ingredients.

Enjoy!

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3.7 Yums Up


 

Citrus Passover Salad (Randyjw; April 24, 2016)

 

Ingredients:

 

No-Nut Charoset (see recipe, above)

Berry Good Passover Compote (see recipe, above)

Lime Yogurt (lemon, or other flavors also work well)

Additional fruits, as desired

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Combine ingredients.

Enjoy!

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3.8 Yums Up

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Charoset So-Smoothie (Randyjw; April 24, 2016)

 

Ingredients:

 

No-Nut Charoset (see recipe, above)

Berry Good Passover Compote (see recipe, above)

Citrus Passover Salad (see recipe, above)

————————————————————————

 

Process ingredients together in a blender or food processor until pureed and smooth.

 

Add a dollop of whole fruit from Berry Good Passover Compote (see recipe, above).

Enjoy!

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3.8 Yums Up

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Kitty’s Kin

 

At long last, I’ve managed to capture a photo of the neighbor’s cat, which I often mistake for “Kitty”. Kitty roams around several streets that connect through backyards and fences — the no-boundaries world of lithe and agile creatures that flatten themselves under four-inch clearance fences and squish themselves through three-inch narrow slats. I don’t really know where she goes or who she knows; only that one girl used to feed her, but nobody else could. Now, I think she’d sample the fare door-to-door to see who has the best dinner on offer.

 

Kitty wasn’t elusive, but she used to turn tail at human approach. I was getting her used to human affection, but I could tell when she’d been around others who might have been more rough, and her behavior would become more skittish. I hoped that by turning her more people-friendly, that she could become more pet-friendly. She was doing pretty well, and there were a few times where I felt she was regressing into her more feral ways (she is a feral cat, after all. I know it’s hard to believe after looking at pictures of her curled up on my chest, but it’s taken much patience and work).

 

I’ve felt, at times, that sometimes she was lost back to those ways, again. Sometimes, I miss the old kitty — her proud, feline, majestic countenance so reminiscent of the king of the jungle. At times, I wonder if I did the right thing by trying to get her sensitized to humans. I think so, but I can only wonder.

 

Nowadays, she is again reverting toward her freedom to be an outdoor cat, with occasional stop-overs for her needs. It pains me that she doesn’t want to stay with me very long (but sometimes will grant my pleas for a good cuddle). She knows what I don’t want her to do inside (scratching my luggage), and seems to snub her little black-hearted nose at me with her blatant disregard for my wishes. We didn’t have a good day today. She even saw me coming down the path and skedaddled somewhere else.

 

I called to her and found her under one of the vehicles… But, again, fool my eyes! This was Doppelganger Kitty. This is apparently the not-so-nice neighbors next-door’s cat, which seems to occasionally get out and wander around. No collar. Her whole forepaws were extremely dirty and she’s looking skinnier than Kitty, who is neither fat nor skinny. Kitty sometimes seems a little thin at times, but this cat definitely is a bit skinny, if you ask me (and it’s an indoor cat, mostly).

 

So, here I was trying to coax “Kitty” out from under the vehicle. After awhile, I got down to look under the vehicle, and there was Kitty, coming up alongside this other cat. Aw. I’m happy that Kitty has her Kitty buddy. I personally feel pretty sure that they are related, and Kitty got the short end of the stick by having to be the feral sibling to a home pet. I even think I’ve seen one of the parents, who I think is this great, big long-haired black-and-white Tom-looking cat — another regal being.

 

But meanwhile, Kitty has been missing in action as a pet surrogate and taking to living away from humans as much as possible (as she always has). Her stand-offish behavior, though, has been worrisome and not boding well for either of us. It’s obvious she prefers her own kind for companionship over humankind, but she depends on humans to help meet her needs and can’t live completely wild, it seems. I don’t know.

 

Anyways, when I saw them together, I went to get my camera, but Kitty had walked away and sat outside near my apartment, so I was only able to get a picture of the twinsy-cat by herself. In-person, or, er, in appearance, I can hardly tell them apart. In pictures, they don’t look that much alike. Only with a good look up-close at the nose, can I know that I’m addressing the wrong cat. And then again, they walk differently. Kitty has always seemed to have had a sore hip and walks with a somewhat affected gait, which gives me that indication. The other cat walks with a kindof hunched-up back with sortof stiff legs moving quickly with little steps.

 

So, here at last they are — Kitty and Doppel (ganger), my new name for the other cat:

 

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Doppel (ganger): above

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Kitty: above

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Pesach Sameach

Pesach Sameach !!!

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Happy Passover !!!

 

 

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Ruach Shoah

 

Ruach Shoah (by Randyjw; April 21, 2016)

 

Three baby boys

were wrested from their Mothers

arrested by the brownshirts

spirited under cover

 

Onto the trains they boarded

arrivals yet unknown

some were sent to slave camps

yet in their pockets sown

 

A locket, a locket

A locket for my pocket

Somebody else to rock it

gently to sleep

 

Since I do not know their stories

and it’s often hard to tell

I imagine that their very lives

were torn straight out of Hell

 

The feeble and the able

were sorted left from right

Cacophanous like Babel

around the dead of night

 

The vice of hatred tightened

around the Jewish born

Tossed like last night’s refuse

upon the tresses shorn

 

Yet red and brown and gold and grey

were pressed with utmost care

upon the tiny picture

of a mother hidden there

 

No time could change the outcome

the utmost loving stare

the life so full and vital

forever frozen there

 

A locket, a locket

A locket for my pocket

somebody else to rock it

gently to sleep

 

The grabbing hands all strangers

passed one from host to host

to keep from Nazi danger

the children of the lost

 

Six million lives of Zion

had perished in the flame

their children sole survivors

of families without name

 

But in their garments’ hemlines

were sown with love by Moms

who knew their fates now rested

in memories of their sons

 

These golden hearts presented

a chance to live anew

Their placement represented

their love, which only grew

 

A locket, a locket

A locket for my pocket

someone else to rock it

gently to sleep

 

Beyond the bounds of body

their spirits shining bright

reminding these young men now

to live their lives aright

 

Their love escaped beyond the Pale

and shone from heights above

though ending in the showers

their souls’ eternal love

 

were given to their children

into G-d’s trust and watch

and through His mighty power

He set it with a catch

 

A locket, a locket

A locket for my pocket

somebody else to rock it

gently to sleep

 

The heart now dangled firmly

on golden woven strands

around the baby infants

who came from Holy Land

 

And some could see the horrors

forced on the very people

who taught them of their G-d,

resulting in their steeples

 

In untold words of thanks

they sing in songs of praise

for none can raise their voices

beyond their darkened graves

 

A locket, a locket

A locket for my pocket

somebody else to rock it

gently to sleep

 

Beneath three dusky habits

their names by need erased

Aside the sewn-toy rabbits

their forms were gently placed

 

The nuns became the servants

the mother’s kindly face

for none could let these children

ameet the self-same fate

 

A locket, a locket

A locket for my pocket

somebody else to rock it

gently to sleep

 

So growing up with Christians

these three boys lived and grew

cloaked with the saving religion

that saved a very few

 

Yet now they’ve each reached manhood

and bear these tales to tell

and gaze into the locket

whose life had borne them well.

 

A locket, a locket

A locket for my pocket

somebody else to rock it

gently to sleep

 


 

There were no lockets. This is a tribute to the three men whose lives were part of the escape from Nazi terror. Each have a similar bearing in that each man had, indeed, been saved by nuns. This fact is all I know and all that I have been told, pretty much, by the men who have relayed these events to me. Perhaps it is all they can bring themselves to tell. One is the sole surviving descendant of one of the Jewish men who fought against the Nazi terror at their ghetto in Warsaw. Another was my Mother’s work manager and hails from Canada. The third is a beloved person by all who meet him. I chanced to meet him through a program he continuously volunteers his efforts to in Israel. It is he who accompanied me on my first trip to Jerusalem. I am honored.

 


 

 

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Warsaw, Arising

 

Warsaw, Arising!

 

If I haven’t already done so, then I think now is the time to tell you the story of my friend. For his family’s privacy and mine, I have omitted any references to his first or last names, as a measure of precaution and security.

 

As I have been, and seem to be still in the process of being, hacked, you can understand my reticence to continue sharing details that would play into the hands of the hackers. Meanwhile, I have occasionally had previous instances of similar sorts, whereby it prevents me from continuing to communicate with this individual, and others, especially those in Israel. Nevertheless, they are still my friends (although perhaps they’ve decided that someone that won’t correspond and/or talk with them is unworthy of their friendship; and, on that, I suppose they’re right. So, thanks a bunch, hackers…).

 

My friend is somehow one of the only surviving descendants of one of the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, who fought the Nazis with Molotov cocktails and any way they could from the imprisoned confines of their Jewish ghetto in Warsaw. They held out for quite a time.

 

He had a heck of a time trying to convince authorities of his ancestry, given that his entire family was now gone and couldn’t verify the relationship; the same goes for identity documents and paperwork. Imagine being robbed of this information eighty years ago when computer databases were only punch-cards, and the concentration camps were barely holding pens for the Jewish subjects of their Nazi (and other collaborators’) murderers.

 

It has been a difficult journey for him. He served in the U.S. military and fought for others’ freedoms, as much as his ancestors tried very valiantly to fight for our Jewish ones. He is a kind and gentle soul, without a prejudice to his being.

 

He came for a visit to Jerusalem, where I was situated at the time, to collect some items that he was going to be able to secure for his growing family through the donations of a charity. I had also heard of another charity he could try to avail himself of, so I plotted the course of travel with my maps, and we managed to find our way around, just fine. I have difficulty recalling now, since it was so long ago, whether we made this in one trip, or several, but I recall his wife coming for a visit, too, and I think I recall them both being there. Maybe not; maybe she came at a different time; I don’t remember.

 

It was Passover, and we sat in the open air inside the walled Old City of Jerusalem on a rooftop with sites such as Migdal L’David (the Tower of David) and the Temple Mount of the Beit HaMikdash as our backdrops. I had picked up a beautiful, illustrated hardcover Haggadah, a book about Passover used by Jews during their recounting of the holiday commanded them by G-d to recall every year, and presented it to him as a gift, so that he could share the mitzvah to do so annually with his children. G-d loves a barbecue, and so did we!

 

Nothing could have been sweeter under His eyes than to see His saved children (one by adoption, and one by brazen luck and faith) recounting the miracles He did for us in Egypt while we were yet slaves, and He brought us out to be His people; and now we had a chance to be grateful to Him and thankful for Him for all that He has done for us.

 

And on our way, we went to the charities. He was able to pick out some clothing for his kids and some sheets for his bed, as well as receiving a few pots and pans. At one of the charities, he received a Bible. It was a good one. I was a little concerned that, since it was mostly a Christian-based organization, it would be also a Christian-leaning religious item, as well. No, it wasn’t. It was beautifully acceptable to one of the Jewish faith. It had been donated by a Japanese gentleman.

 

Knowing that I had just mentioned my need to have a Bible for the tourism classes I was taking, my friend insisted that I should have it. I thanked him, and also wrote a letter to the donor, which I mailed to the charitable organization, relating the story of my friend, the individual to whom the Bible had been given (and through his own generosity, had gifted it to me). I mentioned that my friend was worried about a possible cancer diagnosis, which I had said I would update them on (and didn’t wind up doing so, unfortunately; so, I guess this is my “official update”, if you’re out there) — it turns out he was blessed, and didn’t have cancer, after all (and now I believe it is I that does… See what happens in the universe?).

 

Since I was not a recipient of the charitable items being given out, I was made to wait in the lobby (I guess to preserve anonymity to its recipients) as they went inside the large area where the donated items were stored. I will never forget my utter dismay and sadness regarding what happened next. A gentleman, speaking Russian I believe it was, was questioning the meaning of the scene painted in the painting which hung on the wall next to where he sat.

 

Religion was a casualty of the Communism which swept Russia. A woman explained the story of Moses and the Israelites as they experienced the miracle performed at the parting of the Sea for them to pass through it unharmed. I cried then, and still do, that this man had been denied even the most basic, cursory knowledge of his religion.

 

There is now rejoicing in Heaven, and in Israel — this man has been brought home — to his Land and to his religion.

 

Happy Passover. May we merit His blessings for the coming of the Moshiach, and may we say, “Amen”. And as we always say… “Next Year In Jerusalem”!

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Into Better Space

 

What if we were all to plant fruit trees and vegetables in open, available spaces? We could green the environment and make it a better place. The plants would absorb the carbon dioxide released from our breath, and we would breathe the purified, filtered air of the oxygen released as a byproduct of plant synthesis. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

 

We could help alleviate hunger in the world if there were enough fruit-bearing trees and vegetables along the wayside, where one could just reach up and pluck the fruit from the vine. It’s a mitzvah to help the poor. G-d, in the very first pages of Genesis, in the Bible, has already set these life-giving gifts on our planet to the world to sustain its life. Are we taking advantage of that?

 

No, I feel we lack the direction and the compass G-d set for our course, to take his ball that he made, the earth, and to “run with it”. We’ve “dropped the ball”, so to speak, in using the gifts he’s put into our dominion to create good stewardship of the planet. If we planted free food, and if people had the good heart to care for it and leave some for others to enjoy, and not monopolize their findings, then many would no longer have to suffer needlessly.

 

Ruth was able to glean the overflow of Boaz’s harvest and, thus, feed both herself and another. Boaz’s generosity fed she and others. If we have a field, we are to allow others to take from its corners, if needed, in order to feed themselves. We ought to try to remember that it was G-d, initially, who gave us this gift of free food — and we would deny that of another?

 

Often, we plant landscape flowers, or let complete areas become concrete “jungles”. Urban planners, though, are now incorporating more green spaces in the built environment. We’ve learned that people suffer in entirely man-made spaces devoid of living flora. We need nature to survive.

 

Israel has a goal of reforestation of the desert land it is situated on. Its citizens have been intimately involved in its restoration for thousands of years. In recent times, we have created organizations, such as Jewish National Fund and Zo Artzeinu, which plant trees in Israel. Volunteers help come and do the planting. We celebrate and remember a life with the planting of trees in honor of individuals, and in their memories. It makes a nice gift to know that a tree was planted in your loved one’s name in Israel.

 

This doesn’t have to be solely an Israeli endeavor. Why couldn’t Africa do so and create a greener savannah throughout the plains? I know they do some of this, and, actually, Israel helps in their work, as well. But, why couldn’t this become a global movement? It actually could very easily become one. Sow a few seeds: it could be sunflowers; it could be watermelons; perhaps strawberries. Soon you’ll harvest sunflower seeds and your own strawberries. Propagate a plant cutting, and grow something new in the ground. I did. I took an overgrown vine plant given as a gift to our family, and made a clone plant; one grows in a pot, and the other grows from the earth.

 

Soon, we’d have the planet G-d intended for us to have. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

 

Other Reading:

Berkowitz, Adam Eliyahu. “Global Warming Prophesied As Punishment For Not Building Temple”; Breaking Israel News.com, May 5, 2016: http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/67074/scientists-warn-extreme-weather-make-middle-east-uninhabitable-within-100-years/

 

The article by Mr. Berkowitz contains a link to a source, the Max Planck Institute, provided for additional interesting reading on the subject of a proposed prediction of weather characteristics this agency expects to occur, which see, here: Lelieveld, Prof. Dr. Johannes, et al.; Homepage/Research/Research News/More Climate Refugees From Middle East And North Africa: “Climate-Exodus Expected in the Middle East and North Africa”; from other originating sources (dated April 23rd, etc.); posted May 2, 2016 at Max Planck Gesselschaft site: https://www.mpg.de/10481936/climate-change-middle-east-north-africa

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Celebrate Your Princess

 

Pamper your special someone, or even yourself, with the royal treatment, retiring in style for the evening in your bedroom inside an Irish castle set amidst lush scenery: perhaps along the shoreside of Lough Meelagh for two evenings from which to set out on the Western coast from your five-star stay on the estate of Kilronan Castle and Spa. Forty-nine acres are yours to explore of wooded land and lawn surrounding this ancestral domicile of Irish royalty, Colonel King Tenison.

 

You’ll squire your Princess from there to the next destination: the Cabra Castle hotel. On an even more-expansive 100 acres set in Lakeland Country, said to be called so due to its many lakes, this 19th-Century four-star property is known amongst the best of castle wedding venues. Being that a castle wedding, especially in Ireland, is tops in consideration for choice destinations, speaks volumes.

 

You won’t have missed out on the quaint and cozy villages, having spent the first day among the thatched cottages and small-town setting of Adare, where townsfolk populate the local stores with their crafts and wares. Learn about coats of arms, ancestry and the royal history of the region at the Heritage Center, and other areas throughout Ireland. The evening will be enjoyed in 44 acres of woodlands in four-star comfort at Fitzgerald’s Woodlands House Hotel. Spoil yourself in finery in the awarded dining room and spa; indulge in a Jacuzzi, a swim in the luxurious 65-foot pool, or in the warm mists of the steam room, amongst many other options available to you. Know that your breakfast will be taken care of for you here, as you begin your journey (solely at this location).

 

Live like a King on your final evening’s conclusion to a wonderful six-day incursion. Enjoy archery, falconry, clay shooting, tennis, or an 18-hole championship golf course at your 5-star lodging at Dromoland Castle. Complete with rounded tower, the castle and grounds come equipped with a leisure center, providing the relaxment expected: Jacuzzi, sauna, and 17-meter pool. Award-winning restaurants are never far from hand.

 

Incredibly, this amazing journey is only $799.00. There really isn’t any fine print matters to speak of, although of course there is fine print, other than that the rates are based on travel for two, may require departures on certain dates and places, baggage extra, and the usual (check the ad/site specifics). It does include round trip airfare plus taxes, the six nights’ lodging mentioned, one breakfast, and manual transmission economy rental car.

 

It is one sweet deal, for one sweet Princess (and her pea)!

 

See this special offer brought to you by Travelzoo, offered in its April 13, 2016 weekly Top 20 deals, or go to the tour package operator, Great Value Vacations (and mention Travelzoo) to purchase this sweet deal!

 

I’ll start you off with this preliminary information to send you on your way:

 

Travelzoo:

http://www.travelzoo.com/

 

6-Night Ireland Castles and Manor House Vacation For $799.00:

http://www.travelzoo.com/vacations/ireland/-799-Castles-of-Ireland-6-Night-Adventure-w-Air-2240487/…

 

Great Value Vacations:

https://www.greatvaluevacations.com/

 

Castles and Manor House Vacation:

Package ID:  PK-GC4P-ICMHV-SNNAIR

https://www.greatvaluevacations.com/vacations/castles-and-manor-house-vacation?duration=6

 

Related: Itkowitz, Laura. “Ten Gorgeous Castles in Scotland”; April 20, 2016, Architectural Digest. Copyright 2016, Conde Nast: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/castles-in-scotland. (initially viewed via 04/30/2016 repost on msn.com.)

 

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Bow, Wow! And, How!

 

Bow, Wow! And, How!

 

Here’s a fun and easy way to give freely to dogs and cats in need. Freekibble.com, started by a young girl named Mimi Ausland, created a trivia game as a way to help people help animals in need. By going to the site and answering some fun multiple choice questions,  dogs and cats can receive free kibble food and cat litter. Whether your answers are right or wrong, you’ll discover some fun and helpful information. Just keep clicking through each following question for maximal benefit to the animals. Visit Freekibble.com, or Mimi’s other site she came up with, Freekibblekat.com, and you can learn a little and love a little — a little animal, that is!

 

See Freekibble.com:

http://www.freekibble.com/

 

The official food sponsor of Freekibble.com is Halo, co-owned by Ellen DeGeneres. They have helped to provide the dogs and cats in homeless shelters with millions of bowls of food since their beginning (*tinkly-bell angel sound*). Halo is presently seeking an outside public relations agency or an individual public relations consultant on a contracted part-time-type (15-25 hour) basis (independent, non-employee) via Indeed.com (advertised April 12, 2016), which looks really interesting. Respond by May 15, 2016.

 

Please see Indeed.com to view the specific requirements and how to respond (in the keyword search, enter: PR Star for Halo, Purely for Pets in the search box):

http://www.indeed.com/

 

Here are some follow-through links I clicked on for this article:

 

The Shelter Pet Project: Many furry friends await a caring forever home; maybe you can find one here?:

http://theshelterpetproject.org/

 

The Animal Rescue Site / Greater Good: Cool Pet Products! Items purchased here show how many bowls of kibble are contributed to help needy animals. There are several excellent t-shirt designs I really like: the pink shirt which says ‘In the event of emotional breakdown place cat here’, and a drawing of a curled-up cat is sprawled across the chest area; the henna design t-shirt is pretty cool and incorporates some cat paw prints in it; the paw heart design on the baseball t-shirt is really pretty, and there are others, too.

 

The most gorgeous coat, starting at $33.99, is the Sunshine Daydream Hooded Jacket in the brick color (also available in purple) Item #38153. It’s handmade in Nepal, fairtrade, and akin to envy-inspiring, like Joseph’s coat was! It has pockets and a sun on the front, but here’s the utmost: It funds 28 bowls of kibble at Freekibble.com (sponsored by Halo, remember); and, not only that, if you enter the promocode GIVEACOAT, then Soles4Souls, which donates coats and shoes to needy people in the U.S. and abroad, will donate a coat to someone in need!

 

Please see The Animal Rescue Site / Greater Good:

http://theanimalrescuesite.greatergood.com/store/

 

Halo’s foodline and philosophy is to create organic good-for-pets products, offering a full range of flavors, styles and products, including herbal grooming products, supplements and treats, in addition to stews, kibble, and shredded styles of various real meats, like rabbit, venison, fish like salmon, and others. It sounds great, but as their slogan says, it’s “Purely for Pets”!

 

Now, if only there were a free Middle Eastern food program for people-folk, like us, called “Free Kibbeh” (dot-com?)!

 

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Yiddish Folksongs: Orchestra of the Jewish Theatre Bucharest (CD)

 

Yiddish Folksongs: Orchestra of the Jewish Theatre Bucharest (CD)

 

Conductor: Chajim Schwartzmann; International Passport; Laserlight Digital 15 185. (p) 1990 Delta Music Inc., Los Angeles, CA, 90064. © 2002 Delta Entertainment Corporation; 1663 Sawtelle Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90025. Laserlight Digital is a registered trademark of Delta Entertainment Corporation. According to Wikipedia.org (accessed April 11, 2016), the company filed for a reorganization under Chapter 11, and decided by mid-2008 upon liquidation, including the sale of 170 music licenses. The dust jacket website for Delta Entertainment didn’t come up in my search, but, instead, I found this very interesting website from the digital library at the University of Pennsylvania, listing extensive notes corresponding to the album and CD, including transliterations of the Yiddish, and other unique information:

(http://digital.library.upenn.edu/webbin/freedman/lookupalbum?catlg=B-051(a))

 

Wow, does this take one to another era. It’s a good thing, too, because nobody’s culture should be systematically eliminated, as the Germans tried to do to the Jews by barring their participation in the arts in Germany during various phases in their history, but especially during the Nazi regime, leading to the murder of six million Jews.

 

Each song represents the European settlement period following our expulsion from Spain, ordered by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492. Heading East across Europe, we settled mainly in the areas of Germany and Poland (Russia would do the same, transferring us to a slim area of its territory called the Pale of Settlement, essentially the first Jewish ghetto).

 

Generally blessed with a sardonic sense of humor and optimism, we infused our song during this period with appropriate emotion reflective of our inner drive to rise above our situations. And yes, despite the worst, we have.

 

  1. A Ngindl (2:49) – female
  2. Gei ich mir spazim (1:48) – female
  3. Leig ich mir mein kepale (3:05) – female
  4. Iamce ram ciam (1:35) – man / Really good
  5. Di Mame is gegangn (2:27) – female
  6. Inter a klein Beimale – male
  7. Di Warnicikes – female / I hear something about “schmaltz” (fat) in this
  8. Ein mul ti ich si banaien (2:42) – male
  9. Lomir singen ciri bim, ciri bom (2:43) – male and female
  10. Wus dergeisti mir di lurn (3:22) – male and female
  11. Oi Awram (1:16) – female
  12. Di Mame kocht Warenikes (1:43) – male
  13. Mamaniu, liubeniu (3:53) – female / The best “Oy!” at the end
  14. Mit a Nudl un a Nudl (2:17) – male
  15. Asoj wie-s is bitter (2:40) – female
  16. Bin ich mir a Schneiderl (1:25) – male / Good representation of humor and emotion, like Italian
  17. Meheteineste meine (2:29) – female
  18. Wus-je wilsti? (2:13) – male and female

 

Singers:

1, 7: Rochele Schapira

2, 3, 5: Nuscha Grupp-Stoian

11, 13, 17: Leonie Waldmann-Eliad

4, 14: Dorian Livianu

6, 9, 10, 18: Bebe Bercovici

8, 12, 16: Carol Marcovici

9, 10, 15, 18: Trici Abramovici

 

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Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: Dust to Gold (CD)

 

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: Dust to Gold (CD)

 

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Party (p) © 2000 Real World Records Ltd. Licensed exclusively to, and manufactured and distributed by: Narada Productions Inc., 4650 N. Port Washington Road, Milwaukee, WI, 53212. All tracks published by Womad Music Ltd./EMI Virgin Music Ltd. The dust jacket website reference doesn’t fully connect, so please see Real World Records for info: (https://realworldrecords.com/artist/458/nusrat-fateh-ali-khan/)

 

The liner notes say that Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s hometown was Lahore, Pakistan. It becomes complicated, as much like Israel (known then as “Palestine”) had been partitioned to carve an Arab state from its midsts (known as “Jordan”), so, too, had India been partitioned to carve a Muslim state from its midsts, known as Pakistan (not to mention that India had first fallen under Colonial occupation and rule by the British). According to Wikipedia.org (accessed April 10, 2016 and applicable to the rest of this information): (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nusrat_Fateh_Ali_Khan), the ancestral Khan household was situated, prior to Partition, at Basti Sheikh, in the city of Jalandhar, East Punjab, British India (now in Punjab, India).

 

Ali-Khan was born, after Partition, on October 13, 1948, and grew up, then, in central Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan, finding early affinity in the family tradition of Sufi devotional music, known as Qawwali. He ascended to leadership of his family Qawwali party upon the deaths of his father, and afterwards, also, an Uncle, and gave his first public performance, via a studio broadcast recording, during the annual music festival known as Jashn-e-Baharan, arranged by Radio Pakistan.

 

He only lived to age 48, expiring of a heart attack in London, England on August 17, 1997, awaiting a kidney transplant, due to renal failure.

 

His music has garnered multi-national awards, and he is known as a pioneering force in world music. He partners with Ofra Haza in the song “Forgiveness”. While I can only recall his utterance in this mostly instrumental song as a singular one, it is, nevertheless, a good one. Both he and Ofra solely, and soulfully, wail, using their voices non-lyrically as instruments.

 

I had not, yet, discovered his rendering in “Forgiveness” prior to hearing this “Dust to Gold” CD, and so my opinions were proferred as a neophyte to his music. Had it been the reverse, perhaps I would have heard him in a more-flattering context; as it were, I did not. Frankly, I feel that this music is a fail. Much as the failed process of alchemy whereby the synthesization of precious metals, like gold, is attempted to be created through dust or other materials, the synthesization from “Dust to Gold” in this music, simply put, doesn’t work.

 

  1. Khawaja Tum Hi Ho (Master It Is Only You) (Rajasthani Hindi) 15:44 – The inside jacket explains that this song, sung in a female persona in the classical style, praises a Sufi saint. I find it an annoying semblance of a screaming, dying cat.
  2. DATA Teira Durbur (Master In Your Court) (Urdu) 16:21 – This song also praises a Sufi saint, and may be even more annoying than the first. Oy!
  3. Koi Hai Na Ho Ga (There Was No-One, There Will Not Be Anyone) (Urdu) 15:08 – Apparently not. This song praises the Islamic “Prophet”, and has a more familiar tune. Interestingly, it mentions Aksa mosque (Jerusalem), but makes no mention of the Dome of the Rock (Al-Aksa is the small, silver mosque on the Temple Mount; the Dome of the Rock, the familiar representation of Islam in Israel, is not actually a mosque).
  4. Noor-E Khuda Hai Husn-E-Sarapa Rasool (The Light of G-d is the Embodiment of the [Islamic] “Prophet”) (Urdu) 17:09 – Praises the Islamic “Prophet”. Also more familiar; almost hypnotic.

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Me, Yente

 

Me: Yente.

 

You: Tsar-man.

 

Welcome to my little version of our newish village set, not in the hinterlands of Siberia, nor in the Pale of Settlement of the Ukraine, but here, in the heart of a village known as Greenwich. Yes, the village of Greenwich of New Amsterdam, here in these new lands of our settlement.

 

Here in our tiny part of the world, in our town where our streets are named On Broadway and Off Broadway, the multitudes bring you the best of their worlds, in this small mid-town slice of our lives.

 

In newish New York, our village presents: Fiddler On The Roof, a drama and musical based on the short stories of Sholem Aleichem, of life in Russia, experienced through Jewish eyes, as they witness the slow collapse of Russian society as a barely-tolerated minority under Tsarist rule, to experiencing the overthrow of old values as Russia hurtles toward Communism, and the Jews are continually taunted and harrassed until they are eventually driven out and expelled from their homes.

 

While fictionalized, the events portrayed are based on true history and happenstances which befell the Jews here, in these days, as has happened to them in other places and in different times.

 

Fiddler On The Roof vividly portrays these events with music which has fallen into our musical vernacular almost as familiarly as the psalms we recite from our prayerbooks. I wish I had had the opportunity to hear the strains of Sunrise, Sunset played at my wedding, which my father never got to attend.

 

I played the part of Hodel, though, in my grade school presentation, and that he did get to see. You, too can see the mystical musical, now running again on Broadway. There are many ticket agents which can handle your ticket purchases in this entertainment capital of the United States, as well as sites which can arrange other package deals for you to visit museums or to see Lady Liberty/Ellis Island, the United Nations Building, Central Park, Greenwich Village, Fifth Avenue, or other exciting junkets. New York is a particularly fine place to visit in December for the holidays and for the New Year, to watch the drop of the ball in Times Square.

 

I visited the website of Broadway.com and ran across a seven-page plethora of stage shows and musicals set to run both on- and off-Broadway for the next year and possibly into the following. I can’t vouch personally for any of them, but the ones which seemed promising to me, or, in reality, are the ones I’d probably enjoy seeing myself, are:

Kid-Friendly (per website descriptor):

  • Fiddler On The Roof: On Broadway; Musical
  • Aladdin: On Broadway; Musical
  • Gazillion Bubble Show: Off-Broadway; Musical
  • The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe: Off-Broadway; Play

Adult:

  • Cirque du Soleil / Paramour: On Broadway; Dance; Musical
  • The Color Purple: On Broadway; Musical; Drama
  • Trip of Love: Off-Broadway; Musical
  • Motown The Musical: On Broadway; Musical
  • Sistas: Off-Broadway; Musical
  • Black Angels Over Tuskeegee: Off-Broadway; Drama
  • Newsical The Musical: Off-Broadway; Musical
  • Hello, Dolly! (Starring Bette Midler!): Broadway; Musical
  • Charlie And The Chocolate Factory: On Broadway; Musical (Not Designated Kid-Friendly?)
  • Frozen: On Broadway; Musical (Not Designated Kid-Friendly?)
  • Come From Away: On Broadway; Musical
  • Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical: On Broadway; Musical
  • Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker: Off-Broadway
  • Metropolitan Opera: Turandot: Opera

See Broadway.com to verify listings, venues, dates, times, availability, etc. Subject to change:

(http://www.broadway.com/shows/tickets/)

 

Kitty adds her own personal recommendation:

 

IMG_20160407_000846

 

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Job Opp: Dog Blog and Cat Mog

 

Another great job opp rolled into my inbox on Indeed.com this morning, and it’s a Community and Content Creator position for Redbarn Pet Products in Long Beach, California. I can’t tell whether it’s a remote or on-site position, but based on lack of that detail being mentioned, and based on further gleanings from a cursory tour at their website, I would hazard a guess that it’s likely a local presence at the headquarters — but that’s just a probability. Who knows what further possibilities exist unless one explores the potential?

 

The job seems like something that any one of us in the WordPress blogging community, who also happens to adore dogs and cats and dreams of a paid job with a real company, might envision as the perfect wish-fulfilling opportunity. As like most job descriptions for this type of work, the general parameters are to basically write and curate content of the particular subject matter, build relationships with the appropriately relevant sites and people, generate positive and enhanced associations, relations and sales, etc., and have some general affiliation, proficiency and efficiency with the essential skills and assets to get the job done. That’s my overview/assay of the general requirements in such a job; as for the specifics, you can visit the sources.

 

I briefly visited at the company website and found there an engaging story about two friends who met playing hockey and built up their business over the years. It’s a good story of the American Dream, based on the transplanted vision of these lifelong Canadian pals who set out to create a product they could take pride in. Their emphasis of the values they espouse permeates the overall culture presented with their offerings. Their ingredient list and plant ownership, both in the U.S. and in Paraguay, seem to parallel the oversight and involvement of their efforts emulating their mission. It also adds to their general appeal that they additionally help animal shelters and different organizations and people who are also trying to help animals.

 

This is the take I come away with from a brief visit at their site. I guess more would only be able to be gathered from having direct exchanges with the company itself, and so I’m limited in that matter and respect. You’d have to find out more for yourself.

 

You can go to the Indeed.com job site and do a company search for “Redbarn” to pull up the listings and details for the position, if you’d like. Here’s a link to Indeed.com as a starting point from where to search:

 

http://www.indeed.com/

 

And here’s a link to Redbarn Pet Products via their main home page. You can read more about the company, visit their Career listings, and more:

 

http://www.redbarninc.com/

 

  • The Indeed.com position references a position from about 1-1/2 to possibly 2 days ago, perhaps, and, additionally, is NOT listed specifically as an available position at the company’s Career listings on the website. So, your diligence is required in reference to all these matters.

 

Good luck and happy blogging!

 

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Shalom Aleichem: Peace Be Unto You

Shalom Aleichem:

Peace Be Unto You

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IMG_20160405_050514

 

 

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Another Attack

 

Yet, again, I’ve had another attack against me — this time the Cloudfront.net computer virus. Between G-d, life, and humanity, I seem to be erring on the side of Job (Iyov). Some people would say it’s the dark side trying to gain a foothold; I think I’d have to agree with that assessment — Supernatural, human, or even just plain super-human (!)

 

Fight the good fight, folks; things are getting pretty funky. You know, the yacks at Anonymous were threatening a take-down of Trump on April 1st, and it just so happens that I made it known that Trump is my man!

 

I don’t really understand their worldview, though. I mean, I can totally understand that they don’t like ISIS. Check. We’re in agreement, there. They also don’t like the KKK. Triple checkity-check and do a little dance step — I’m there. Great; they think bias against Black people and Jewish people should have, like, never happened. AS IN NEVER AGAIN. Yup-a-mundo. So, what is up with Trump? Don’t they get that he’s also against all that? I don’t know.

 

That’s the problem of people having too much power who are vindictive. They don’t fight fair. They may be doing things whose end might be the hoped-for outcome, but they don’t play by the rules. They make their own. Same as terrorists who won’t fight war in a gentlemanly fashion — Yeaahhh — right…. I think that went out with the Nehru jacket and Madras pants, except that somebody forgot to tell the rest of the civilized world.

 

I wonder how they feel about the Apple versus FBI saga? Did Anonymous even offer to hack the terrorists’ phone in that incident? If so, why? If not, why not? Does that constitute a certain honor among thieves?

 

Do they consider themselves to have integrity? Do they? How did they feel about Edward Snowden? So many issues! I feel like a first- or second-grade teacher, with these questions… Is this the new Common Core curricula?

 

What are their ethics, if any? How would you feel if you were personally attacked by them? Why should they attack you? Don’t you just try to live your life, too?

 

They notch it up, just like terrorists do. To the EXTREME degree. Except that terrorists really go over the edge.

 

So, what happened? Did I bring all these attacks somehow upon myself? Was I just too patriotic, whether for Israel or the United States? That goes over like a lead balloon, these days…

 

Was I just too Jewish? That seems to be a big crime, as well… Especially on college campuses and in the uncivilized salons of European parlors in whispered tones. Here’s a really succinct article about anti-Semitism in academia to give you an overview of what that’s like for Jews, these days (Hausman, Matthew, M., J.D. “Gross Hypocrisy Or Willful Complicity: The U.S. Campus: Free Speech Is Hardly Being Respected; Anti-Semitism Is”; April 2, 2016. Arutz Sheva / Israel National News.com):

 

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/18660

 

Did I continually press all the wrong buttons? And, if so, was that figuratively, or literally?

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For My Mother

 

For My Mother (by Randyjw; April 3, 2016)

 

The beautiful piece of your heart and life

which you opened to another

touches them in ways in which

it always seems to matter

 

The wellspring of my eyes is turned

in seeing that you bother

Consider what I’ve seen and learned

The yearnings of a mother

 

Your days of toil upon the floor

to clear each path before

the soil from our wayward path

and what will lie in store

 

The dreams you set into our mind

we never leave behind

and when in time we reach the line

and take our turn in kind

 

Each small and heartfelt victory

the labors of your youth

Through days of untold hardships

you rebirth our lives anew.

 

———————————————————————–

Thank you, Mom.

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a special thank-you to the inspiration found in the lovely words of poetess, Diana, whose inspiring work gave me cause to leave and create my own inspired work, above. Thanks, Diana. View her work at:

https://holisticwayfarer.com/

 

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