The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Monday, October 31, 2005

My Bike Is Packed, I'm Ready to Go...

IY'H, I am leaving to Israel on Thirsday afternoon for my second bike tour in Israel. I took a short ride in Central Park on Sunday morning, mainly to check out my new set up (I moved my seat back about 1.5 inches) and to test out some new equipment (a mirror attached to my helmet (we will be riding in a lot of traffic at times), and some cold weather gear.

After the ride, I had my bike taken apart and packed in my travel case. Then I packed my own luggage with all my gear and clothes. I'm really excited again and I can't wait to roll up the Golan Heights next Sunday.

This year has been very different from last. Knowing what to expect makes things much easier. last year I had no idea and this year I'm a veteran. More than that was the impact of two events. First, my father's passing. Because I am in avel (mourning), I did not listen to music all year. It is infinitely more difficult to train on a spinning bike without music. It's just so boring. Second, in July we took on another foster child through OHEL, this time a ten week old baby. It has been an absolute delight and we are completely crazy about her but it has totally screwed up my training. She is the primary reason I missed every single long ride that I had planned on doing this summer and fall.

The truth is that I don't really care. I am still in very good shape and will probably be stronger than two-thirds of the on-road riders but, if I'm not, I still won't care. I'm looking forward to spending five days riding through the land, seeing the friends that I made on last year's ride and making new ones. And, to top it off, I have raised over $15,000 for Alyn Hospital so far and that is the main reason we are doing this ride.

If anyone would like to sponsor me go here and follow the prompts.

Since I will only be arriving Friday morning, it is unlikely that I will have an opportunity to look up my Israeli blogging colleagues this trip. Oh well, I hope to be back in January.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

One Week To Go...

Until the ride.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

MEME'd by Gil

Gil tagged me for the Meme (not that I know what that means). First, I am surprised that I am (still) on his radar screen. Second, I don't really have time for this. Besides the fact that I am swamped at work and the chagim are not helping, my basement (along with most basements in Woodmere) was badly flooded last Friday and I have been battling to get it dry ever since. But, since I am a team player, here goes (without a whole lot of thought).

Seven Things I Can Do.

1. Sing harmony on key immediately on hearing a tune.
2. Ski and ice skate very well.
3. Make my kids laugh even when they are in bad moods.
4. Write decently.
5. Flap and Quack (my term for shmoozing people in a work setting)
6. Be on time, especially to shul.
7. Ride my bike up nasty, nasty hills.

Seven Things I Can't Do.

1. Juggle.
2. Lain the Torah.
3. Swim fast.
4. Tolerate fools.
5. Even consider hitting my kids.
6. Imagine living without MHW.
7. Play an instrument (unless you consider bongos an instrument).

Seven Things I'd Like to Do.

1. Write a book about Fosterboy.
2. See Fosterboy live happily ever after and our little foster baby end up in the right place.
3. Celebrate my 50th anniversary with MHW; I'm almost half way there (then we'll talk about 60).
4. See all my children as happily married as I am and play with my great-grandchildren.
5. Still be doing this ride when I'm 75.
6. Purchase a really serious bicycle one of these days.
7. Move to Israel asap.

I hereby tag my chaver Ben, the smartest and funniest man in the Jblogosphere.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

New Year's Thoughts

I thought I'd take a brief moment to offer a couple of thoughts at this holy time of year.

1. Kibbudim: I heard this classic story from my brother, currently the president of another shul in the neighborhood. One of his well-to-do mispallilim called him to complain that he received his notification regarding his kibud (honor) for this year's Yomim Noraim (high holidays). He was upset because for the past number of years he had received an important kibud on the first day of yom tov and this year he was getting it on the second day. My brother told me the following story about this same guy (without telling me his name). A couple of years ago my brother was sitting in shul on Kol Nidre night while they were publicly announcing the pledges ( a repugnant custom that, thankfully, my shul does not practice). They announced, Announymous, $5,000. The guy sitting behind my brother tapped him on the shoulder and whispered, "That's me!". You can't make this stuff up.

2. Snoods. Ben had a thread on this a while ago and, after having spent a lot of time shopping in town for yom tov, let me add my two cents. Nashim Tzidkanios, I beseech you....Leave the snoods home. Would you go shopping in your pajamas or underwear? So why would you go shopping in your snood? It's the same thing. There. I got that off my chest.

On behalf of MHW and the rest of the MoC family, wishing you all a year of health, happiness, parnasah and Peace.