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Shabbats this summer

Because I'm crazy:

5/25: Silver Spring, MD (and for Shavuot too)
6/1: Philly (Minyan Tikvah, and a wedding Sunday!)
6/8: Boston (and a wedding Sunday!)
6/15: Philly (no plans yet)
6/22: Philly (and possibly New York on Saturday night to Sunday)
6/29: Wilmington, DE (and a wedding Saturday night!)
7/6: Philly (no plans yet)
7/13: Brooklyn
7/20: DC
7/27: Philly (no plans yet)
8/3: Philly (Minyan Tikvah)
8/10: Rindge, NH
8/17: Schwenksville, PA

Yes, that's 13 straight weeks where I might be home for Shabbat less than half the time. We'll see how nuts I actually am...

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Rituals and signs of the approaching summer

  • Opening day
  • The first time I wear shorts out of the house
  • When they fill Rittenhouse Square's fountain with water
  • When I find out who's playing at Folk Fest
  • When my Folk Fest volunteer committee asks me if I'm working this summer
  • My first raspberry
  • My first blueberry
  • When I put my winter comforter away
  • The NHL playoffs
  • Finishing all the season finales
  • When both of the above are done, and all that's left to watch is baseball
  • When Friday night services end and it's still light out
  • When the 7-day forecast doesn't show any highs below 70 (21°C)
  • The first time you can find parking in Center City on a Friday afternoon, because everyone's left for the beach
  • When people walking outside start wearing brighter colors
  • When you can see the arms and legs of the people walking outside


Seriously love this time of year.

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TV

In honor of Parenthood's renewal, my current TV watching:

Current shows, in approximate order of how much I like them
1. Parenthood
2. Sherlock
3. Arrested Development (yes, it counts as current, dammit)
4. NCIS (yeah, yeah)
5. Girls
6. House (got back in it to see the last half-season)
7. Suburgatory
8. New Girl
9. Modern Family (would be higher if Cam weren't so annoying this season)
10. Glee
11. Law & Order: SVU
Honorable mentions (shows I'm kind of halfheartedly following a bit): Happy Endings, Don't Trust the B---- in Apt 23, Best Friends Forever

Past shows, actively watching or between seasons
1. The Wire
2. Srugim
3. In Treatment

Past or present shows I might watch back seasons of at some point
1. Parenthood
2. Sports Night
3. Friday Night Lights
4. Freaks and Geeks (seriously still haven't seen it)

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(no subject)

http://xkcd.com/1043/ is sad to me. Why couldn't LJ or DW have taken off like Tumblr? Is it just because it's harder to post cat macros and other dumb photo-based memes on LJ/DW? I bet it is.

Once again, sad that there's nowhere on the internet where more than a handful of my friends posts and reads long-form personal posts. There used to be, and it was awesome.

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(no subject)

Not feeling well. Put on sweatpants and walked outside to head to Walgreen's to get some random antihistamines to try. Ran into someone I know, who I haven't seen in awhile. Found myself walking with him for a block. Explained that I wasn't feeling well and was headed to Walgreen's, as a way to excuse my attire.

Excuse my attire? When it's sweatpants? What has happened to me?!?!?!

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BZ was right

Yes, BZ was right. At least about me. With this post, I am announcing my decision to become a "1-day yom tov (1DYT) Jew", rather than the "2-day yom tov (2DYT) Jew" I've been (with some exceptions) up until now. This is effective immediately and indefinitely. This is a decision I am not taking lightly at all, and I'd like to write a bit about the background of the problem and my thought processes leading up to this decision.

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OK, so that's where I've been for awhile. There are 1DYT people, and they're following a legitimate minhag. I adopted their minhag when it comes to Shavuot, but I still accepted the reasoning, the nod to history and messengers, when it comes to 2DYT for the other non-Shavuot holidays. So what changed?

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And I'm confident in my status as an authentic, independent, actualized participant in the living conversation of Jewish law, practice, and life.

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February of awesomeness?

So I've had a freaking blast the past month or so. I'm still not that good at February or March, but the combination of the mild winter and keeping super-busy has apparently kept my mind off of the late-winter doldrums at least to some extent.

This weekend, for example! Friday night I was invited to IFE & AE's for dinner. That was awesome, because we've become rather good friends in the 7 months since I've met them, but for various reasons they hadn't had people (that I know of) over for a Shabbat meal yet. They have an amazing house, and make chicken with Terra chips. When a friendship is based around Shabbat meals, there's a certain extent to which it doesn't seem real enough until you've each been over the other's place, and I'm glad we've reached that point. Then, on Saturday, rather than just relaxing like I'd planned, RC had me over for a last-minute cholent lunch. I had meat twice this Shabbat, which I haven't done in as long as I can remember. Seriously, it might be 5 years since the last time.

Post-Shabbat, I decided to bail on a pre-Purim party because I had a big day today. And today! I went on a "Hidden Philadelphia" hike through tunnels and bridges in Center City that I didn't know existed! It was amazing! DS leads hikes every so often, and I've never been before, but I'm so glad I went. Actually getting out and doing something physical for once, triggering my latent sense of adventure, exploring my beloved city, and being social in a way I'm not usually. (Aside from when I go to retreats and conferences, most of my socialization happens with people I already know, at meals or services or smaller parties or whatever. I never go to bars or big parties, and rarely go to events I'm not running. Meeting new people! Outside my comfort zone! And liking it! What the hell!)

Afterwards, went to a Princess Bride viewing party (still one of the best movies ever). And then left when the movie was over to visit another friend and help teach her how to lead services (even though she basically already knew). Even that was fun and a bit of an ego boost -- apparently there's this skill that I not only have, but have strongly enough to teach it to someone else in a strong and coherent way! It felt amazing.

So now I'm home and exhausted, but wanted to take some time to write up about my weekend and the past month before it fades into the background.

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Concerts: 3 (Mates of State, The Wild Bohemians (a local Fat Tuesday supergroup), and Heartless Bastards)
Overnight guests: 3
Parties/meals at my apartment: 2 (monthly-ish game night too!)
Times eating meat: 4 (WTF? That's so much!)
Spectator sporting events better than the super bowl: 1
Times seeing out-of-town friends: Over and over...

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Password management: KeePass

I asked on Facebook last week about password management tools, and have been playing around with one ever since: KeePass ( http://keepass.info ). I rather like it, and I figured I would share what I found.

KeePass version 2 (not to be confused with KeePassX) runs on Windows (via .NET), Linux (via mono), and OSX (also via mono), and it has some community-contributed versions for mobile devices. I've tried it so far on Win XP, Linux Mint, and KeePassDroid for Android 2.3.

First of all, it's fully free and open source. The "free" part, in terms of not having to pay money, is nice. But the "open source" part I think is vital for a security program like this. The source code can be and has been fully vetted by programmers, so we know there are no secret backdoors, security holes, or anything along those lines. (Of course no software is fully secure, but open source software has the best chance to be free from already-known problems, and has the best chance to quickly fix problems discovered in the future.) Given that I am creating a database to store all of my passwords in one place, a "single point of failure" if you will, I would not trust anything less than fully open software.

Now, with that out of the way, here's what it can do:

* Store an arbitrary number of passwords. With each password, you can store a username, URL, tags, notes, and so on. You can file passwords into folders within the database if you like. The passwords can be your existing ones, or...

* You can create passwords with it. You can set rules to match the rules of a given site (min/max characters, optionally allow or disallow capital letters, numbers, symbols, etc) and just click a generate button. There's also a neat feature called "generate additional entropy", which assures you a "more random" password, but really it's just fun to wiggle your mouse around for 15 seconds because a program tells you to. By default it hides passwords, but you can always show them. You can also one-click copy a password. But the coolest way to actually use the passwords is...

* Global auto-type. When you're logged into your KeePass database, you can press ctrl-alt-A (or whatever key combination you set) when you get to a login screen for a website. It will detect which website it is, and automatically fill in your username and password for you. It can take a small amount of trial and error to get set up for a given website, which I find easy but which you may not want to do. In that case, you can still use the regular copying feature.

* The database is stored in a single file. I keep it in my Dropbox folder, so it's automatically synced across my work and home computers and half-automatically to my phone. You can unlock the database with a single global password (and for the love of all that is holy please make this your most random, most secure password ever), or you can set a "key file", a random other file on your system that you have to choose instead of a password (and for the love of all that is holy please don't ever edit or delete the key file). I wish you could also use securID or something like that for further authentication, but it is what it is.

And that's all! I think it meets all of my needs, and I'm gradually shifting over to using it for most of my websites. I recommend you try it if you're looking for something like this! And even if you're not looking, how much longer will it be until the next time you get one of those "we've been hacked" emails from Zappos, Dreamhost, your bank, or someone else?

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