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Monday, February 23, 2009

Full Mind Dry Heave

Too much stuff on my mind this morning to write a cohesive post.  Here's a peek at the leading edge of the log-jam:

1.  If Livni is trying to play hard-to-get, she clearly doesn't understand the basic rules of the game. Specifically, to have any hope of winning you have to have something that the other player [thinks he/she] can't do without.  Bibi has expressed a responsible desire to build a broad coalition, but he certainly doesn't need Kadima's 28 mandates to form a stable right wing government.  Strange how Kadima is able to keep their clothes on when negotiating with Jews, but with Arabs across the table they totally put out. 

2.  Lower back pain is right up there with tooth-aches for its raw ability to tear your world apart.  I'm currently trying chiropractic and excercise, and will soon be adding acupuncture.  If that doesn't help I may look into a permanent epidural and find myself a really tricked-out wheelchair.

3.  I am constantly blown away by the ingratitude and short-sightedness of people who complain about the lack of water and then when we finally get a good drenching rain they scowl at the sky and say, "Let it rain in the Kinneret".

4.  Is there some kind of [hopefully temporary] mental illness that keeps teenaged boys from realizing that their parents totally know when they are being conned?  Seriously, it's like bad dinner theater.  Go learn your lines... and make me believe, dammit!

5.  Watching a precious pet come slowly out of remission is only slightly less terrible than watching a human loved-one slowly lose the fight.  Call me selfish or cruel, but I'd almost prefer the 'Old Yeller' ending in this saga.

6.  Some of you may recall that finding an acceptable coffee preperation method and/or vehicle to keep pre-brewed coffee hot on Shabbat has been a bit of a holy grail with me.  Well, in one of the handouts that were on the table outside shul this past Shabbat, there was an 'Ask the Rabbi' section that dealt with the question "Can one use a coffee maker with a timer to brew coffee on Shabbat".  The answer made me exclaim "what?!" loudly enough during the Rabbi's speech that he began speaking louder for the rest of his 'drasha'.

7.  We can go months, or sometimes years, without seeing the inside of a cemetery.  And then in the span of a few days we suddenly find ourselves on the funeral circuit.  Is there a 'death season' that exists on some logarithmic calendar that I'm simply not aware of? 

Posted by David Bogner on February 23, 2009 | Permalink


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In regards to the back pain, I feel for you. My L5-S1 area has been messed up since 1994. Another Navy souvenir. If your chiropractor has an ultrasound machine and he hasn't used it on you yet, ask him to. There's also a stretching routine that involves lying on your belly and arching your back by pushing your upper body off the floor while keeping your stomach on the ground. Ask him about that if he hasn't prescribed it.

Posted by: Karl Newman | Feb 23, 2009 11:14:05 AM

So, you've decided to try the new Freudian blend coffee, I see. Good?

As a lower back pain sufferer since adolescence, I recommend this (it is the only thing that has ever worked for me). Bend over forward, relaxing down like you are going to touch your toes. Do not stretch. Let your spine and back muscles stretch as you let your body relax ever lower for at least sixty seconds. If you try it, you will feel better. (do I need some small print here?) It really works - promise.

Posted by: Kae Gregory | Feb 23, 2009 4:32:12 PM

Ouch... my sympathies... don't have any good tips for your back or otherwise, just hope you feel better soon.

Posted by: Chantal | Feb 23, 2009 4:47:11 PM

This is the second time in a week that I hear of a leniency regarding Coffee Makers on timers for Shabbat. Is God sending me a sign?

Posted by: Raz | Feb 23, 2009 6:09:41 PM

I'm sorry about your back, and about Jordan. And, no, it doesn't make you selfish or cruel. Quite the opposite.

Posted by: uberimma | Feb 23, 2009 6:21:46 PM

So sorry to hear about Jordan, my family went through this with a 17 year old mini-mutt named Nick. Trust me, it doesn't make you selfish or cruel, it makes you just the opposite to not want a loved one to suffer, whether 2 or 4 legged.

As for your back, I feel for ya. I'm sitting here with my back board straight and am still cringing every 30 seconds or so when I move just so...bulging disc between L3-L4. There's a book called Back Rx by Vijay Vad that I've found incredibly helpful. It outlines a stretching/strengthening routine that you can start as soon as you are able to get on the floor safely, belly down. It uses a combination of Pilates, Yoga, and Physical Therapy (you got your homeopathy and your allopathy). Give it a shot, I've seen marked improvement.

Or, if you can wait 'til this summer, I'm making Aliyah most likely in August!

Posted by: Jesse | Feb 23, 2009 6:50:02 PM

"Is there a 'death season' "

...and is it called 'winter'?

Posted by: David UK | Feb 23, 2009 7:21:00 PM

my genius massage therapist, who got me playing my instrument again after a bad shoulder injury when nobody else could, has me using a device called the "trueback". look online at trueback.com. i use mine religiously and wouldn't consider going without it, it makes a huge difference. i'd be happy to talk directly with you about it if you're interested.

Posted by: bratschegirl | Feb 23, 2009 8:51:31 PM

Concerning your back I sympathize. And about old Jordan too.

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Feb 23, 2009 9:05:56 PM

Hi David,

I've been suffering from lower back pain for quite some time myself. Chiropractor did nothing for me (actually made it worse at one point). Acupuncture was quite helpful in the short term as was seeing an osteopath (both through maccabi). The Alexander Technique also helped out. But the thing that has helped me the most was pilates. I've been seeing a private pilates instructor for about six months, it hasn't been cheap but my back (and tummy) is strong and I haven't felt better in years. Highly recommended.

Sorry to hear about Jordan. We just went through quite an ordeal with our pooch. She was diagnosed with tumors in her anal sacs and thankfully the cancerous cells did not spread to her lymph nodes and they were able to remove the tumors.

Posted by: harry | Feb 23, 2009 9:13:55 PM

Forget the back pain (my recommendation is shiatsu, I'm loving it), does this mean the problem with coffee makers on Shabbat has all along been with *stirring*? And here I thought it was with, I don't know, COOKING.

You can't eat ground coffee - well, I guess you can, but ick - and there's that whole brewing thing.

And as my husband pointed out, the sound of a coffee maker would *enhance* our Shabbat, not disturb it! :)

I have GOT to talk to my rabbi...

Posted by: Alissa | Feb 23, 2009 9:27:13 PM

David, I'm sorry to hear about your back... and very sorry to hear about Jordan.

Posted by: Rahel | Feb 23, 2009 9:38:20 PM

Much sympathy and empathy on the back pain plight. As I often say, it seems that 99% of why people see doctors is for one of two things: colds and back pain, and they're equally ineffective at treating both ("Try heat." "Try cold." "Try resting." "Try exercising.")

I'm pretty outspoken as being anti the whole "alternative medicine" thing (you REALLY don't want to get me started on homeopathy), but I can see trying ANYTHING when back pain flares up and conventional medicine can't do jack squat.

Posted by: efrex | Feb 23, 2009 9:50:15 PM

ok... about #4, having lived thru YOUR teenager-years, it's temporary - that insanity that doesn't know how to cover their ass! However, over the years, I've seen it resurface a few times!!! ;-P

::: ducking ::::

Posted by: val | Feb 23, 2009 10:01:50 PM

Re Coffee Makers: We had a shiur on this not so long ago, after one of the bochrim (your sort of fellow, David: 14 and a coffee connoisseur, must have fresh brewed in the morning) set up a coffee maker on a timer in his dorm room one Shabbos. The other boys called him on it and took the question to the Rosh Yeshivah.

The issues that the Rosh Yeshivah brought out aren't even discussed on the sheet you link to. According to the shiur the problem isn't stirring, or noise, or even leaving a pot of raw food on the fire before Shabbos, it is that the cooking won't even start until well into Shabbos. There is apparently a teshuvah from R. Moshe Feinstein that deals with it (no, I don't know where) and compares it to asking a non-Jew to cook for you on Shabbos. R. Moshe concludes that using a coffee machine on a timer is zilzul Shabbos, i.e. not Shabbosdik, and thus forbidden.

Posted by: The Observer | Feb 23, 2009 11:12:37 PM

Um, I hate to metion it but if you really did want to know what R. Moshe said about coffee makers on Shabbat, it would be really easy for you to find out. That is, IF you wanted to know :) I think you know what I'm saying ;) and where they live.

Posted by: Yeshara | Feb 23, 2009 11:35:23 PM

we use a melitta http://www.amazon.com/Melitta-640616-10C-Manual-Coffeemaker/dp/B000MIT2OK/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1235426232&sr=8-1
w/ klei sheinie - if your urn keeps the water fairly hot- you are in good shape- you can even preheat your thermal travel mug

ab/core strength training has helped my lower back

Posted by: roberti | Feb 24, 2009 12:13:51 AM

Those grind and brew type coffee makers are REALLY noisy, from what I recall - reminiscent of a vacuum cleaner, to be precise :-P

Posted by: tnspr569 | Feb 24, 2009 1:49:26 AM

So sorry to hear about the back pain. I hope it clears up completely and quickly.

I'm a fan of the Melitta-and-coffee-urn version of shabbat coffee, and also cold-brew methods, which act as a coffee-sense. Both of these are methods I'm happy to use also during the week.

Most drip coffee makers DO have a timer these days: both programmable start time and automatic shut-off.

Posted by: Juggling Frogs | Feb 24, 2009 4:13:32 PM

1. I didn't even know there could be a problem with coffee makers on a timer. How is that different than a thermostat?

2. My computer won't read your .doc file, can you tell us what it says?

3. We could probably help you more with your back problem if we knew what it was. Pulled muscles and tendons can be very painful but are different than disk problems.

Posted by: Fred2 | Feb 24, 2009 10:02:39 PM

From someone who believes the 4 food groups are caffeine, nicotine, saturated fat, and processed sugar, I KNOW coffeemakers! Of course as a non-practicig Protestant, I don't have Shabbat to worry about, but I DO tend to forget to turn things off, so a machine with a heater is NOT a good option.
The Cuisinart Programmable Stainless Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker can be set to make coffee at a particular time, AND it will keep a full pot drinkably warm for 24+ hours. The bad news is that the more you drink, the faster the remainder will cool. SO, set it to brew right before Shabbat, then drink it slowly, savoring the brew. Cuisinart also makes a grind and brew with the same stainless carafe, but I haven't tried this...yet.
Going without coffee is not a good thing...

Posted by: Renee | Feb 25, 2009 9:21:46 PM

I don't know if you've figured this out already (I took some time off blogreading and am now catching up)...but something I read here about coffeebags reminded me of the tea-ball my dad has. It's basically just a metal ball with holes in it, on a chain, that you open to put loose tea into and then use the same way as a teabag. In fact, I'm sure that's what everyone used to make tea before teabags were invented! So...is there a reason you couldn't use one of those for coffee? I imagine you'd need to fill it before shabbat, because it is a filtering device...but if you can use a teabag (with the usual kli sheini manipulations) you should be able to use that, I would think. One note, though -- I've learned that because of its filtering purpose, you can't take a teabag out of your tea once it's steeped as much as you want it. That would be taking the bad from the good, and with a special tool no less. I'm sure the same would apply here. You'd have to drink it with the ball still in the cup, or possibly pour the coffee into another cup. Of course, check with a rabbinical authority...

Posted by: Alisha | Nov 18, 2009 11:17:20 PM

i just love everything in here. That's why i kept coming back.

Posted by: zma | Nov 9, 2011 11:29:58 AM

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