Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Help Ukraine Refugees

I'm a middle-aged (ahem), happily married father of 3.

What I see happening in Ukraine makes me mad, but what can I do? 

Well, a friend of mine, who runs historic tours in Eastern Europe, dropped everything and began helping instead.

** Donate to this worthy cause at the JRoots website **

Currently, they are on the ground in Poland working on helping refugees. Amongst other things, they are working on securing hotel rooms for the next month and supplying kosher food to refugees. They are working hand in hand with the Krakow JCC who will be assigning the rooms as people arrive.

They are also helping the Jewish community in Lviv, including sending them generators so that they can keep the electricity and heating on even during the regular power cuts.

They are also sending the Lviv community blankets, bedding, and sanitary products. 

As my friend Zvi stated in a WhatsApp post:
Back at the refugee center in Krakow we found the team of volunteers in a giant human chain of box throwing loading a double-decker bus until there were no seats left. I loaded the top deck together with three young men who had fled Ukraine on the first day of the invasion. 


They are all helping those who have escaped but are constantly worried about their families who can't get out. 



Everyone you speak to here from Ukraine will tell you about their family members still there. There is no peace of mind for those who have managed to get across the border, just the constant worry about what's next and the worry about those left behind.


To make a donation to this worthy cause, please follow this link to the JRoots website.



Monday, February 21, 2022

We Need To Talk About Cosby

I've just finished watching the amazing documentary 'We Need To Talk About Cosby'.

I'm not black, I'm not American and I am not female. Watching this, though, really brought home to me how much of an animal he was. 

And Epstein.

And Weinstein.

And Louis CK.

And Kevin Spacey.

What's horrific is that I just found myself googling 'Hollywood rapist'. That shouldn't be a thing either. 

Watch We Need To Talk About Cosby, an exceptionally powerful and relatable documentary.

Excuse me whilst I go and dip myself in a bath of alcogel to get rid of the disgust and slime I feel about all of these 'men'.



Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse cases and here you can find details of the over 100 women who said they had been sexually harassed or assaulted by Weinstein. Also the 20 women he raped.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Exercise Made Me Vomit Until..

I've recently gotten back into serious exercise. For me, that means 30-45 minutes on an elliptical machine once or twice a day. 

The elliptical I chose is the NordicTrack SE3i. It is surprisingly rugged and takes a beating from my 'low center of gravity' profile.

I have to find the time between work, the kids, and general life and that means that more than once I've had my supper - and then been told that it is my turn on the machine! 

Each session on my elliptical is now up to 45 minutes so I'm trying to find good things to watch on Netflix. And there really is a lot of crappy TV out there! 

Anyhoo, just this evening I had my simple supper and was ready to sit in front of the computer for a few hours when I was informed that it was my turn to exercise. Awesome!

Then I remembered that I had just eaten and I had flashbacks to 'vomit runs' in my past. Not good. By ten minutes in I was feeling nauseous. I slowed down my pace and then decided to watch something more interesting to take my mind off things. 

Ultimate Beast Master was my savior. It is a reality series with mildly insane presenters but top-rate athletes who try and take on an ever-changing assault course. 

And just like that, my nausea left.



Monday, January 24, 2022

TV Shows That Are, 'Slightly Different', But Worth Watching Anyway

So last time I wrote about Netflix shows to watch. Now its HBO shows that are, how do I say it? "Easy to write about"?


Starring Olivia Colman and David Thewlis.- need I say more? We know it is going to be amazing already. It's a dark comedy, crime, romance. with interesting twists and turns, both in the script, and in the production. 

Landscapers tells a unique love story involving a seemingly ordinary British couple who are actually swept up in a fusion of love, murder, betrayal, and Gerard Depardieu.

 5/5 would recommend

Will Smith’s ‘Best Shape Of My Life’ 

Will Smith? Love the guy. Funny, interesting, 'real', and now he is trying to get rid of his Dad bod. Awesome. In fact - ME TOO! However, I don't have unlimited resources or a trainer, psychologist, and cook on hand. I know, crazy eh?

So how is this classified as interesting? Because with all of his money and ability and pressure from society, he still fails. 

Losing 20lbs in 20 weeks? Easy as pie..

Yes, I will be watching this show.

Read this article about the show too, it has some very interesting ideas about what Will could have and should have done differently. 

Celebrity Substitute 

This isn't a new show, but one I just found. The show is for kids with virtual learning classes who are getting bored of their teachers. Instead of their normal teacher presenting the class, it's a celebrity! 

Ken Jeong explains Your Guts
Karlie Kloss Explains How Computers Work
Terry Crews appears as well, but watch it to find out why!



Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Netflix: What to Watch, January 2022

I've had a lot of time to watch TV recently. We don't have cable, just Netflix and other online channels. 

Netflix is my favorite by a long way, they just have the better shows.

So, what to watch right now:

After Life. Ricky Gervais, the genius BUT there is an amazing supporting cast, they even outshine Ricky at many points.

It's hard to explain, but I laugh, and I cry, and then I laugh again. Watch it.

Tiger King: The Doc Antle Story.

You thought that Joe Exotic was more bonkers than a Tasmanian devil on steroids? Just you wait until you see behind the craziness that is Doc Antle. 

Narcos Mexico

This isn't just another rehash of the original, Colombian-based Narcos, but the story of the fights within the Mexican cartel, as well as their downfall. 

Each season has a different perspective, that interweaves, and don't be surprised when old friends from the original Narcos turn up. 

So go off and watch these awesome Netflix shows.



Thursday, December 30, 2021

It's been a while

My apologies. It's been a while. 

I've been busy with work, family, and getting my life back on track. 

And drinking coffee. Lots of coffee.

As his Arnoldness has repeatedly stated - I'll be back.



Thursday, November 4, 2021

Merry Xmas Adverts in November

Yes, it's the beginning of November so it's the Great Game of Ads in the UK.

In 1st place is John Lewis


 I'm not crying - you're crying! Disney you Mother Truckers! 


Seriously, I'm not crying. Much.... 

 Now this one, from Boots, was a bit odd. But enjoyable... 




Monday, June 21, 2021

In Honor of Pride Month Here is a List

I love Facebook.

Simple really. it connects me with friends and family around the world and I get to judge people from the safety of not being anywhere near them.
I recently put up a post stating that Israel recognizes same-sex marriage

It got 55 reactions - nice.
But it also got, for the first time, a 'missing context' addition.
Let me just clarify, I see (and actively seek out) much more controversial stuff on Facebook. There are friends of mine who are so Facebook naughty that they are banned more often than they're allowed on the platform - I'm looking at you, Ken and Larry.
The truth is very simple. I did not want to be a naysayer and post something like 'Israel recognizes and respects same-sex marriage, as opposed to the Palestinians who recognize and then kill the happy couple'
I didn't want to say that Hamas or the PA throw gay men off rooves, or that they drag their bodies through the streets behind motorbikes, or that officially there is a 10-year penalty for being gay (not sure how that works).

There was no mention of the fact that in the Palestinian National Authority, selling land to Jews is a crime punishable by death. That has nothing to do with LGBTQ rights, it's more about how the death penalty is still used there.
So Facebook used independent fact-checkers, which on the surface is awesome. And then I saw that it was USA Today. The last time I read that paper it was literally 8 pages. Not 8 pages on sport or on politics, just a total of 8 pages.
So Mr. Facebook, below is what I originally wanted to say. But now I'm going to state, categorically:
Palestinian security forces in the West Bank and Gaza routinely used torture and other ill-treatment with impunity - source Amnesty
Consensual same-sex sexual activity is criminalized in Gaza and the West Bank and is punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment - source Amnesty
Well done Facebook, by criticizing my innocuous, flippant image, you made me more aware of just how horrific the LGBTQ community life is in Gaza and the West Bank.
Now go do something about it.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Starting at the End

The rise of antisemitism has led to me feeling very uncomfortable indeed. With hatred and fingers being turned to Israel the arguments that turn antisemitism into anti-Israel rage could/should/would be silenced now. 

Here is the ending. 

Let's see how much hatred spews at Israel now that their democratically elected ministers have office. 



Sunday, May 9, 2021

Refreshingly Simple

We recently moved house, a nightmare with its own 7 levels of hell, which is then plagued even further by the standard phrase 'do we really need this? Why do we still have this?'

We found wedding presents still in their original wrapping. We were married in 2006....

We found puzzles we'd slaved over, glued together and then left untouched for over a decade.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is a children's book by Laura Numeroff. Quite simply, if you give a mouse a cookie, he's going to ask for a glass of milk. When you give him the milk, he'll probably ask you for a straw, and so on and so forth.

It's a slippery slope and one that we all go down now and then. The main trick to break this downward spiral is to stop, think and wonder 'why is this process the one we use?'

Think about it, is the way we do things the best way, the easiest way or just the way we've always done it?