Wednesday, June 14, 2017

One Must Have Faith...

Top of the evening to all....

Last year, we went to PEI on our way (sort of) to dropping Jesse off at school out in Halifax.  To get from PEI to Nova Scotia, we took the ferry.  It was a little over an hour and very relaxing.  Even better, there was a Cows ice cream right on the ferry.  My daughter was in heaven.

I was in Buffalo earlier this week.  as I often do, I had my bicycle with me.  While out and about, I discovered that Buffalo now has a bicycle ferry that goes across the harbor and opens up the entire southern waterfront.  If you remember the scene with the lighthouse from the movie "Bruce Almighty," that is the exact area.

In the fall, we will head east again to drop Jesse off.  We are going to take the ferry from Saint John, New Brunswick, across the Bay of Fundy to Digby, Nova Scotia.  Yet again, I cannot wait.  It must be the Navy person in me.  My mother keeps telling me that sailors do not get old.  They just get a little dingy.

Anyway, PEI, Buffalo, Bay of Fundy.

As I said, one must have faith.  One must believe.  I believe in ferries.

Good night everyone.


Monday, June 5, 2017

For My Friend....

Good evening everyone.

My friend died today.  She had not been well over the last year or so.  I suppose it is odd to call her my friend.  We never met face to face.

Cheryl's sister is a congregant of mine.  Some years back, Cheryl was having some personal challenges.  Her sister thought that she might do well to speak with me.  I was both flattered and nervous.

Cheryl had been hit by a car.  The recovery was slow and arduous.  It seemed that one of the few things she felt comfortable doing was knitting.  Together, Cheryl and I came to appreciate what she could do with her knitting skills.  Cheryl knitted.  She knitted mittens for cancer patients.  These were not people she knew.  Still, at their darkest time, a complete stranger reached out.  Cheryl knitted many, many mittens.  She will likely never know how much her efforts touched people.  After a recent death of a fellow knitter in my own congregation, we arranged to have the leftover yarn sent to Montreal.  I knew it would be put to good use.

We kept in touch by internet off and on after our initial conversation.  About a year after that chat, I found a small package in my mailbox at the office.  The return address was Montreal.  I knew what it was before I opened it.  Cheryl had knitted me a hat.  I smiled for the rest of the day.  Wow.  Years later, it continues to touch me, even though my daughter has since appropriated it.

In April of 2016, my son was hit by a car on his way to school.  Cheryl and her husband were sufficiently alarmed that they made a donation to Cycle Toronto in his honour.  Please note: my son walked away from that collision.

This year, I found another package in my box.  I naturally assumed that Cheryl's knitting needles, likely capable of going on auto-pilot at this point, had been at work again.  I was wrong.  There was a bag of Dove bar miniatures (yummy) from Cheryl's personal stash not for me, but for my daughter.    Please note: this chocolate is not available with kosher supervision in Canada.  Cheryl, I had purchased a bag of those chocolate miniatures to mail to you.  It was in my office with my full intention of sending them to you from all of us.  By the way, I was slow getting back to you.  My daughter's favourite colour is purple.

To Cheryl's husband Michael, her son David, her sister and brother-in-law Glenda and Alan, the Torah speaks of all of the craft work that was part of the building of the Mishkan, the traveling sanctuary that the Children of Israel took with them during their journeys in the desert.  Two of those crafts were weaving and spinning.  I am certain that had knitting been around in those days, it too would have been included.  I am certain that Cheryl would have been in the thick of it.  And in continuation of that m'lekhet Kodesh, that holy tasking of building the Sanctuary, Cheryl created tiny sanctuaries for countless people she did not even know.

Cheryl...I am one of those people.  You looked after me.  You looked after my family.  Thank you.

May her memory be for a blessing.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Shameless Solicitation...

Top of the evening everyone.

Over the years, I have ridden for the Zareinu school here in Toronto.  The Zareinu school is a school for children with significant educational challenges.  You can check out their website at for more information.  They raise a significant amount of their operating budget through a bike-a-thon.  I missed riding the last couple of years.  It is good to be back in the saddle.

The boys and I have signed up to ride 50k to raise money for the school.  We have to raise a combined total of $2500.  At this point, we have $376.  The ride is June 11th.

If you would like to support the school via us, the best bet is to go to the website and look up either Jesse Gorman, Gavriel Gorman, or me.

Oh this is so exciting!!  And I will be out on my hydrofoil of aluminum.

Thank you all.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Nothing to See Here - Addendum...

Good morning everyone.

Today, Pvt Chelsea Manning, US Army, was released from Leavenworth.  She was serving a prison sentence for conviction on 20 counts of espionage.  She had turned over countless documents at varied levels of classification to Wikileaks.  I remind everyone that Wikileaks is run by a man wanted for questioning for a rape in Sweden.  The man has been hiding out in the Ecuadoran embassy in London for several years now.  Former President Obama granted Pvt Manning clemency in the closing days of his presidency.

This is okay though.  For reasons that are lost on me, President Trump is not allowed to talk with his counterparts of other nations.

The hypocrisy of the reaction to the President is glaring today.

Have a good day.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Steed of Steel...

Top of the evening everyone...

Over the last several years, my family has heard me say that I will be on my steed of steel.  That is what I call my bicycle.

Well, now I have three bicycles.  I have a fleet.  One of the bicycles is not made of steel though.  It is made of aluminum.  I have to tell cuts the wind in a way that the other two do not.  It is such a delight to ride.  It is like being on a speedboat.

I have thus decided to call it my hydrofoil of aluminum.

I am wrapping up for the evening.

Have a good night.


Nothing to See Here...

Top of the evening everyone...

Yet again, the body politic is in a tizzy in the United States.  Apparently, President Trump revealed classified information to the Russian Foreign Minister.

And what was on page 2?

Folks, there are multiple levels of classification in the United States.  Sensitive, classified, top secret, top secret (special compartmented information), probably a few others, and President's eyes only.

In all categories of classification, the President is what we call the classifying authority.  That means that he has the authority to release any classified information at will.  That he might have shared something with a governmental representative of another nation is not at all without precedent.  It has been going on since time immemorial.  The most prominent example that comes to mind is when Prime Minister Begin directed that an assassination plot against Anwar Sadat be turned over directly to the Egyptians, instead of via the normal channels.  This led directly to President Sadat's historic visit to Jerusalem.

We can question his discretion.  We can decide that maybe we should have someone else in office come 2020.  That is perfectly legitimate.  There is virtually no crime whatsoever.

Nothing to see here.

Except that there is something to see here.  There was a crime committed, or at least a violation of trust.  How it is that a matter discussed in the Oval Office made it out to the press is of major concern.  It does mean that someone violated his/her clearance.  It means that someone within the White House just made an active effort to undermine the President.  This is major.

Mr. President, it is my strongest recommendation that you get control over the White House staff.  This is not the first unauthorized leak.  It is unlikely to be the last.

I am utterly disgusted with everyone taking every opportunity not to let this man be the President.  Get over it folks.  Like it or not, Donald Trump is the President of the United States.  You will do more to bring a bad name on the country by pouncing on every little thing he does than he will manage on his own.

Have a good night everyone.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

A New Noun....

Top of the evening everyone.

Apparently, there is a new noun.  I think it originated in England, which makes it the Queen's English.

Our new word, or so I thought, is 'mamil.'  This is an acronym.  It is short for 'middle-aged man in lycra.'

Lycra is the fabric from which cycling shorts are made.  It is stretchy, and really has no respect for my sense of modesty.

I rediscovered this noun earlier this week trying to find a blog.  Before I found it, I found a rather amusing article written by the spouse of a mamil.  Here is the link:

When I finally found the blog, the most recent entry started off by saying that Jewish law requires parents to teach their children to swim.  This is true, and can be found in the Babylonian Talmud in the tractate of Kiddushin.

Anyway, I would like to advise Jennifer that I am not headed down this least not yet...ummmm...I do not think so.  I do not see the purpose of having more and more expensive equipment, except in certain circumstances, and one must be prepared.

I am thinking about bringing one of my bicycles on our next trip east.  It is a wonderful way to get out of the car.  The boys and I rented bicycles last summer on PEI.  We had a delightful day.

I have also started reading a couple of cycling magazines on line.

I went riding on a longer ride last Shabbat.  Am I ready for a three-hour tour?  A three-hour tour?!  We will see how the weather is.

Apparently, men of my certain age are starting to take up cycling.  Good for us.  We can get out, see the world, or at least the neighbourhood, and do something for our health.  Go men!!

None of this hides a much greater issue.  The man in the article cited above was 41 at the time the article was written two years ago.  He is a mamil.  I am 47.  I am not ready to be middle-aged.

Easy riding everyone.