Thought Directory

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Philosophical Adventures of Robin Hood

Sort of a continuation to the short-but-sweet summary "The Thief Next Door"...

Greetings, classmates. I had already given you the normal book report version of the Robin Hood summary, so today I'd like to just talk about a few of my favorite characters. One of my favorite is friar tuck, who always seems to do just the right thing in a lot of situations. He's average height and wide, and has a merry countenance that can attract a friendly conversation ad infinitum. He also is an excellent sword fighter, one of the best archers, and has many dogs trained to serve him. Next up is Little John who, as you know, Is not so little at all. He's a head taler than any average man, he's well built and muscular, and he's the darned best sword fighter ever to cross through Sherwood Forest. He's not the brightest candle in the bunch, but what he lacks in wit he easily makes up for in honest, nearly fool-hearted loyalty to his friends, and, especially, his master, Robin Hood. Then there's Will Scarlet, who is a merry, slightly feminine, man. But his slightly girlish traits are just a cover-up for a witty scheming, and good fencing, yeoman. And how can I forget my favorite character of them all? He's my favorite because of his modest simplicity and his easy charm. His name is Much, and he was once the Sheriff's cook. The story goes that Little John had "entered the Sheriff's service", all the while scheming to simply get some food, eat, steal some stuff, and head back to Robin without the Sheriff knowing at all. Turns out the cook (Much) only had one meal left for himself, and planned to eat it. Him and Little John, being big men and needing quite a bit of food, decided to fight over it. When the long fight was finished with a stalemate, Little John asked his fencing-equal to join Robin Hood and his merry band of adventurers. Of course, Much excepted, and they left with quite a bit of loot, I might add.

Nathless, I do recommend this book for any reader as it can fit any taste with equal charm.

Your friend, classmate, comrade, and.... this outro is getting old :),

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Thief Next Door.

Witty, confusing titles are the best, agreed?

Wazzzzup, classmates? Yep, had to spice up the normal greeting.
Ever wondered how the most famous thief in myths and legend, Robin Hood, ever became the heroic outlaw he is to everyone? Read the book! That's what I told myself after finishing "Little Men". And so I started the book and wanted to give you a summary of it so far. Sound good?

Robin Hood, by Joseph Walker McSpadden.
The book starts out with stating that Robert Fitzooth was born in Lockesley town as heir of the Chief of the foresters there. Thusly, he was called Rob, or Lockesley. When he was a boy, his father was taken away under false pretenses of treason, and hung. Therefore, Rob grew up with his mother, aunt, and uncle. One day when Rob was coming of age, his mother told him of the fair that was going to happen in Nottingham town, and that, being that the boy was highly skilled with a bow, there was an archery contest. He left for the fair and coming upon a group of foresters, with whom he was enemies, he stopped as they laughed at his coming attempt at the fair. He wagered his head that he could hit a deer at an extraordinary distance. Upon the head forester's agreement, he shot the deer (not knowing that it was one of the kings deer) and scoffed of his winning. The head forester, much angry at his humiliation, exclaimed that he shot the king's deer ad that his life was forfeit. Rob hurriedly walked away, but the head forester took up his bow and shot an arrow that nearly hit Rob. Turning around, he shot and arrow of his own which hit it's mark and felled the leader of the foresters, which avenged his father's death (for the head forester had been one of the schemers in his father's demise). He was then labeled an outlaw and as he ran away down the road he happened upon an old widows house. The lady invited him in reluctantly, and said her sons were visiting. Her sons were strong, lithe men, whom Rob got along with charmingly. And upon getting Rob to swear an oath of fealty, told him about the their band of outlaws. They told him if he won the golden arrow from the fair's archery contest, that he would become their new leader, which they were in need of.

So there ya' have it. A quick summary for you, coming from your friend, classmate, comrade, and avid reader,

Friday, November 12, 2010

Little Men

Hello, again, classmates. Just wanted to give you a good summary on the book I've been reading this week. It's called "Little Men" by Louisa May Alcott. It's basically a sequel to the first book "Little Women" though it has little (some but very little) to do with the main characters from first book. It has three recurring characters from the first book that you might remember: Laurie, Jo, and Jo's husband whom she calls Fritz. As you might recall from the ending of the first book, Jo had started a school for young boys with her husband. Well this is where the second book takes place. The book starts with a homeless boy sent to Jo's school by Laurie (whom the children call Uncle Teddy, shortening his first name, Theodore, to the nickname Jo called him throughout his life). The boy's name is Nat, and upon arriving finds that the school is a pleasant place. Jo's maid greets him at the door and hurries him inside where she sits him in a chair to dry (it had been raining), while waiting he is greeted by Demi, Daisy, and Franz (Meg and John's boy and girl, and another young man who loves to read and write). He finds the three excellently agreeable and takes pleasure in their company. Daisy then takes him to see Jo, whom the kids call Mother Bhaer (A charming pun for her last name). Jo greets him, and upon seeing that the child is poor, and sick, and very kind, her motherly instincts kick in and she takes the new boy readily in as her new "cub". She baths him and gives him a bed and medicine and Nat is soon feeling right as rain. The stories go on thusly, with many lessons to learn throughout the book, with Dan (wild and courageous), Jack (sneaky and always looking for a "quick buck") Naughty Nan (name says it all) and quite a few others. This is a good book and I recommend that you DO read this book, whether as a sequel to the first, or by itself.

Your friend, classmate, comrade, or whatever else you wish to call me (within reason),

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Computer "Virus"

No not an actual virus. We have AVG for that...

Greetings, classmates. Sorry for the scare (if there was one), if you thought that I had an actual computer virus. It was just the catchiest title I could think of (after doing algebra.. blegh). Anyways, it goes pretty well with what I'm gonna talk about (or rather ramble on about aimlessly.. kidding) today.

The Virus that is COMPUTER:
If we each only knew one word in our entire life, oh, how we'd cherish it! We'd study every syllable, gain every piece of information we could from it, until we knew everything about it, and be all the better for the work we've done. But today we have millions of books and infinite information at the click of a button, and yet we choose  to learn nothing. We choose to sit with the lonely knowledge that we've managed to glean from something we think we were forced to go through. One day we will die from voluntary ignorance. Why? Because, instead, the very tool we could use to make our knowledge as expanded as that of Einstein, we instead use for our own materialistic and idealistically surface pleasures. The computer games, and the sites like Facebook, rid us of important face-to-face values and in the end can just make us grumpy and all the worse for having given in to our self-pleasuring nature. Things like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and many other sites like that, take away from even our personalities by making us forget that face-to-face chats, or even phone calls have actually more charm and turn out better and more fulfilling than the most high-tech chat-room. Now video-games, they're my weakness. I love to sit down and play computer for ours upon ours, even though that voice in the back of my head is telling me constantly "Get up, Jacob!", but i'm trying profusely to quit.
All in all the computer is fine in MODERATION.
Don't let it rule your life.

Your friend, classmate, comrade, or yea you get the point,

Monday, October 25, 2010

Demons of the Past

Once, there was a man who knew not his past, and, as he was wondering through desert, he happened upon a genie. The genie greeted him saying, "My dear master, the time has come for you to make your third and final wish." The man, obviously confused, asked him about the fate of his other two wishes. The genie laughed and said, "Well your second wish was to undo your first. Come, make your third wish so that I may be free." The man then wished for the one thing that could interest him in his current state, he wished to know his past. Hearing this, the genie again laughed saying, "Ah, but that was your first wish."

Your friend, classmate, and comrade,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Dork of the Day

Oh, my nerdy self...

Hey hey hey, classmates! I feel surprisingly good and witty today. The sun's out and bright, but for some reason I wish it would rain. I guess it's because I like the feeling of being closed in doors and the sleepy feeling rain gives me. As if all the troubles of the world could just wash away, be brushed off my shoulders with the the cooling breeze rain brings. But, anyways, today I bring to you a new segment of my blog (which I will now be updating regularly during the week and on the weekends like I'm getting paid) I call it "The Dork of the Day"
Yes I did use to many emphasis thingamabobs/whatchamacallits, fun isn't it? Anyways, I was going to teach you guys a few tips and tricks to truly making a video game (PC only) your own! I'm going to use an old game I used to mod: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic. That game used to be my favorite game of all time. So now anyways what I started of doing to make the game my own was activating the debug console. To do this on Windows XP this simply do the following: Open up your My Computer screen (easily accessed from the Start Menu) then click on your main disc driver (or whichever driver you installed your game to) then when the next screen loads click on the icon appropriately named Program Files. Next you need to find the Lucas Arts folder and click on that. When that loads, click on the options file (name may very) then when you get there simply scroll down the list until you find the gameplay options. Use a text editor to then edit in a line at the bottom of the gameplay section. The line you need to type is: EnableCheats= 1. Then startup your game and when you load a game simply hit the "~" key on your keyboard which should be found to the left of the "1" key and above the "Tab" key. There ya have it! You may now access the debugging console in Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic. Now this, as I've discovered, does not work on vista because it has special security permissions that will not allow the editing of a sponsored game's option file. Anyways, try that out and expect more from me as the day progresses.

Your friend, classmate, comrade, and gaming guru who is one with the force,

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


By Jacob A. Howard.

Dust thou sayest the sun is warm?
Canst thou sayest the rain is cold?
If thine heart can find it true,
Then true is what it is.

Dust thou sayest the day is bright?
Canst thou sayest 'tis cool at night?
If thine heart can find it true,
Then true is what it is.

Dust thou sayest the sky is blue?
And roses have an aesthetic hue?
If thine heart can find it true,
Then true is what it is.

Dust thou sayest the grass is green?
Canst thou say shadow has no gleam?
Dust thou sayest your opinion is true?
Well, sayest my heart that mine is too.

Your friend, classmate, comrade, and novice poet,

Monday, October 4, 2010

Torah Summary For This Week

A man of the earth.

Greetings, classmates. Today is a beautiful day here in Florida, mostly because it's nice and cool. You see we're on the hill that heads straight down to winter and it seems that Florida is taking the express train down this year. Anyways, I'm gonna give you guys a summary on this week's Torah.
Yes I mean Torah, as in, ya know, not Haf-Torah or Brit Hadashah, but just the Torah.

So this week's portion is called Noach (Hebrew for Noah), and of course, according to it's name, it's about Noah and the Ark. Now I'm not going to retell this week's Torah, that is for you to read, and I do suggest you read it. Now of course we all probably know the story of Noah and the Ark, the land was wicked, so G-d was gonna flood it and the only man who had any hope of turning from wickedness was Noah, so He told Noah to build the Ark and pack it full of animals. Terrible re-hash, I know, but, once again, if you want it in detail go read for yourself. So one key part is that the L-rd has an order for everyone to follow, from right to left, and everything in 7's, male and female. In fact if you read it over, you realize that G-d even said to bring 7 pairs of clean animals, male and female. So there's order for you. A pair of one male and one female animal, and seven of each pair. Why would He be so specific? Because He was establishing order, just like with Him telling Moses to rest on the seventh day, and take a sabbatical year on the seventh year. The language of his chosen people is read from right to left. That's order. Right to left, male and female, and the number 7. Anyways another thing is that when Noah and his family boarded the Ark, G-d shut them in.  Isn't that truly amazing? He Himself shut them in. Now when the Ark landed on Mt. Ararat, and Noah and his family left the Ark, G-d established his covenant with Noah. He said that he would never again curse the ground (flood the earth in this case) because of the wickedness of man. He said, and I quote, "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for G-d made man in his own image." What He said was that he would never again flood the earth, He would never again destroy every living creature as He had done, because man was wicked. He said this, and I quote, "For every man's heart is evil from his youth." So He would not destroy the earth again because, of course, we would again become wicked. So if he just kept destroying the world over and over again, man would never get anywhere. No, instead He set up a law, that if any man shed another man's blood, he would pay the ultimate price for said crime. He set up a law so that man would have a chance.
And we all have a chance.
That chance is with G-d and His Word.
The only question is:
What will YOU do?

I challenge every man out there, to be truly a man before the L-rd Himself. And it's a goal I set for myself everyday.

Truly, your friend, classmate, comrade, and brother in G-d,

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day Four of the Four Day Blogathon

Ah, failure is so sorrowful, but what can I say? Life happens.

Greetings, classmates, you're probably wondering "Where in the world have you been?" The answer to that would be: right here. Life happens, and sometimes I forget, or am to busy, or other things are higher on my list of priorities (I don't remember having one of those. Perhaps I should start.) but this time, which is why I'm disappointed in myself, I have no excuse as to why I did not blog on Saturday. I simply didn't. I hope you all can forgive me. Anyways, without further delay, I will give you a summary on Friday night's swing dance adventure.

Swing dancing was, oh so, amazing. As soon as we arrived and had parked, I hopped out of the car. My big sister, Terra, then taught me the basic step right there in the parking lot before we went in to the big building. It did not take me long to learn, maybe about a total of 2 minutes actually. Terra said I was a natural, and that itself was enough to bring my usual smug smile to my face. We went inside, and it was pretty hot in there. I mean actually hot. It, seriously, was burning up. Only two people were dancing (and they seemed pretty dang experienced might I add). So me, Hannah, Terra, and A.J. (Scott didn't make it) took a seat and waited for the lessons to begin. When they finally did... Well I will admit freely, I was so very nervous, but I got up from my seat and stood in the line, side-by-side, with the other guys. The lessons began and we were taught the basic step, the Jitterbug. As the night went on, I truly was a natural, or at least, that's what I was told. I danced with many girls, yes, and had a ton of fun. I also saw my good friend, Wesley, whom I introduced to everyone.

All-in-all, swing dance, was a load of fun and a might even be going back again this Friday.
Anyways, that'll be all classmates.

Your friend, classmate, comrade, and swing dancer :),

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 3 of the Four Day Blogathon!

Welcome to my blog, again, classmates. Yesterday, I momentarily forgot about swing dancing tonight, and was all "Friday just get outta the way! Let it be Saturday!" Oh would ya look at there.. it rhymed.. hey I'm a poet and didn't know it, I could make a rhyme anytime. Har har. Anyways, sorry for the moment of insanity, it's nice to have moments like those, it keeps you sane. Oh that's new... Insanity keeping you sane? Ok, enough of me going on about this. As I was saying: Then I realized that I was going swing dancing for my first time tonight, and was all "Nevermind, Friday, stay where you are!" So today we have an extraordinarily meaty blog post because of the following: I finish my 30 question "Get To Know Me" Q&A, I give you a short summary on the new book I've been reading (Among Malay Pirates by G. A. Henty), and I go on and on abut how excited I am for swing dancing tonight (Oh, you'll so enjoy that, I know).
So without further ado I give you the final 10 questions of my Q&A:

Q21: Most hated veggie?
A21: Carrots... Blegh.

Q22: Favorite pianist?
A22: Yiruma

Q23: What do you do when you're bored?
A23: Let's not go there... No I'm kidding. Play the piano, listen to music, get on the computer, etc. All in all, is   this question even viable? What do I do when I'm BORED? If we're doing something we're not really bored right?

Q24: Athletic or Intellectual?
A24: Intellectual, most definitely. Though I do enjoy sports and what not, I think a strong mind is as important as a strong body.

Q25: Favorite vacation spot?
A25: Disney world. Been there so many times, hope to go more than that in the future.

Q26: Favorite season?
A26: Winter, my friend, winter. The season to be jolly, for most people, is usually just the season for me to continue down my path to insanity, though.

Q27: Favorite dessert?
A27: Tiramisu from Jesse's restaurant, which brings us to Q28.

Q28: Favorite restaurant?
A28: See? Told you. Jesse's restaurant. Our little corner of paradise.. that isn't really a corner at all..

Q29: Do you have a pet?
A29: Why, yes. Dixie. My poofy mutt. I'll blog about her next week.

Q30: Your best/worst characteristic?
A30: Optimism is my best, annoying my mom, Hannah, and A.J. is probably my worst.

And here I'll add just one more for references sake:

Q31: Do you consider yourself insane?
A31: Yes, yes I do.

There ya have it!
Oh, I'm so excited for swing dancing that I could just dance. In fact, I will. One second... Ok I'm back, and I won't be doing that again. Anyways here's my short summary on that book I'm reading:

AMONG MALAY PIRATES by George Alfred Henty.

Once upon a time there were these two guys sitting on a boat-dock talking and wishing for something interesting to happen, when suddenly this big ship comes by, and, because of the pilot (who was distracted by the shiny birds), it crashed into a canoe that was drifting slowly in front of it. The boat was severely damaged and the crew was scattered into the water, but because they could swim like fish they were ok. The real problem was that the captain (who is badly injured) and his daughter (who is very young and cannot yet swim well) were still in the water. So the men jumped at the ready, took a small raft, and, to make a longer piece of the story short, they successfully rescue the captain (who is, apparently, also a tribal chief) and his daughter (also a tribal princess). His daughter is returned safely to the chief, who then thanks profusely saying he owes them his and his daughter's lives. The doctor comes in and tells the chief that if he is not quiet for a few weeks then his bones will heal slower. After a few weeks, the chief (Hassan) is ready to go and warns the men of the other tribal chief the men were assigned to protect, that that chief attacks and raids their lands and keeps their slaves as his own when they escape to his land.

I should have put a few spoiler warning signs before that. And because of this, I will go no further at the moment. Next week I'll write a continuation summary on the next chapters.
Now for those of you who didn't know, my birthday was on Monday. I got a lot of gifts including some money, which I used to buy an over-shirt for swing dancing tonight. I'll be posting pics of myself and other's on my Saturday blog post, but until then..

Your friend, classmate, comrade, or whatever else you wish to call me (I got one! Insane),

P.S. Insanity is just another word for genius.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 2 of the Four Day Blogathon!

Ah yes, I AM going to finish yesterday's Q&A, but also I will notify you that I am changing these four posts (yesterday, today, tomorrow, and the day after that) to a four day blogathon! Ending on Saturday with a summary on tomorrow night's journey to Pensacola Swing. Yes, I'm going swing dancing for my first time, but I'm not alone! I'm going with my big sis (Terra), my lil sis (Hannah at As Time Goes By), my big brother (A.J.), and Scott (a good friend of Terra's). But I'll save the ranting on about that subject for Friday and Saturday.

Anyways, the following is a continuation of my Get-To-Know-Me Q&A:

Q11: Favorite food(s)?
A11: Ya know what? I'll have to make that a blog post sometime cuz there's so many, haha. I'd have to say erm.... Probably beef lo mein.

Q12: Favorite book you've ever read?
A12: Eragon, and yes, I'm still waiting for him to continue his adventure.

Q13: What do you think is the most important characteristic a person can have?
A13: Kindness.

Q14: Favorite song(s)?
A14: I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire, by the Inkspots; and Must Have Done Something Right, by Relient K.

Q15: On a scale of 1-10, how important is physical exercise to you?
A15: 8, I guess.

Q16: Favorite person in history?
A16: John Adams

Q17: Favorite subject in schoolwork?
A17: Required reading.

Q18: What do you aspire to be when older?
A18: A cucumber :). No not really. Psychologist actually.

Q19: What foreign country do you find the most interesting?
A19: Switzerland! A hanger dinger dangen.

Q20: Favorite drink?
A20. Pib Extra.

See you tomorrow folks!

Your friend, classmate, comrade, Switzerland lover, or yaddah yaddah etc.,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Get-To-Know-Me Q&A

Greetings, classmates. It's been a while since I last posted, and I have no excuses other than disinterest. Pretty sad, is it not? Anyways... I realized that many of you know nothing more than what you can glean from my posts about me. So my idea was simply the following: a Q&A. With question's that I think are essential to knowing me I'm not going to go into detail on how I thought of it and what not, so I'll skip to the meat of it all. Here goes nothing.

Q1: Where were you born?
A1: Auburn, Alabama. The home of the hicks in my opinion. :)

Q2: What's your favorite color?
A2: Blue, of course.

Q3: Favorite show?
A3: Lost... even though it's over...

Q4:What about movie?
A4: Lord of the Rings is my passion.

Q5: Favorite type of music?
A5: Wow.. so many. Jazz, big band, classical, punk, alternative, etc.

Q6:Favorite band(s)?
A6: Relient K, The Inkspots, MxPx, etc.

Q7: Favorite poem?
A7: Charge of the Light Brigade

Q8: Play any instruments?
A8: Why, yes. Piano :)

Q9: Who is your hero?
A9: Raphael, one of the Ninja Turtles.

Q10: One thing you hate most?
A10: Hypocrites.

Continuing next time,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Well, as you all might expect from me, I'm going to once again give a commentary on this week's Torah. Not today though, that's work for Friday. Oh, but that's not all! Friday is a very important day. The day of atonement. Yom Kippur. It's a day where the focus is completely on G-d. A day to truly repent. Is there anyone who is sinless? G-d is, but any below Him are not sinless. And are we incapable of taking one day that he set aside for us to honor Him, to repent, to better ourselves? No, we are not. We are very capable indeed. Yom Kippur is a day of fasting. Fasting brings us closer to the L-rd. For those of you who need to know more about true and false fasting, I recommend reading this week's Torah. It is only two parts long- the Torah and the Haf-Torah. The scriptures to read are as follows: Leviticus 16; Isaiah 57:14- 58:14. Naturally, repentance, honoring G-d, and bettering ourselves should come everyday without fail. But Yom Kippur is especially important. It's like this, "I expect you to do this everyday but if it's not done this certain day I have especially laid out for it to be done on, then it is exceptionally bad." Yes, quite like that indeed. This Friday is a holy, holy day. Therefore I challenge everyone who reads this to take Friday to sit down, repent, and be with G-d this one day. Yom Kippur is also a day to study G-d's Word. So sit down and read up on the Torah, scriptures, Bible commentaries, Bible-study sections, anything of the sort. Make Friday holy by following G-d's Word. And remember to fast from 6:00 Thursday evening to 6:00 Friday evening. Be ready for a new commentary (I'm love giving Torah commentaries and I thought it would be special to give one on a holy day as part of my studying and to help people in their studying). Anyways, I'll be off. Thanks for reading.

Your friend, classmate, comrade, or whatever else you wish to call me (such as successful Torah commentator?),

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tom Swift and His Flying Lab

No, not a flying dog... sadly.. . 

Ever found a book that just made you feel like young. In this day and age kids just grow up to fast. Like me... I feel too old. I wanna grow DOWN (if possible please do notify me)! This book made me realize that kids even just two or three decades ago grew much slower and did not have the weight of worldly troubles on their shoulders. I don't know what happened to standards. During the last two decades it seems we've lost them doesn't it? Anyways, though I am just fourteen, I feel like I'm aging just too fast, and this book makes me feel like I'm one of those kids in the 50's or 60's. Cuz that's what kids my age read back then. OK so the story is about a young inventor (eighteen to be exact) named Tom Swift Jr. (his father's name is also named Tom Swift) who has designed and built a a huge flying lab called The Sky Queen. It has many area's inside including many labs and a galley. As the story starts a spy enters Swift Enterprises (the Swift's place of business and inventing) and holds a gun to the night guard's (Roberts') head. Stealing the plans for the new invention, super-Geiger counter, he makes a swift (ha-ha pun) escape. Tom and his father found out about this the next day and they explain why the super-Geiger counter is completely important and crucial to their mission, it ticks as an alarm when it has successfully  found traces of the substance it was made to find. Tom reports this to the police. The next day Tom and everyone head up in the Tom's personal plane and, upon testing the super-Geiger counter, realize that it is not a success in the slightest. Tom and his best pal, Bud, stay up most of he night working on an idea Tom had to make a machine that will work a million times more successfully than the super-Geiger counter. Tom's mother calls and they call it a night after finishing the machine up. They test the machine the next day and it is a complete success!

Continuing next time,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thoughts on the Torah

This week's Torah was excellent and really drove me to write my thoughts on it here. This week's Torah consisted of Moses completing the Torah script and "having it placed in the Holy of Holies next to the Ark of the Covenant", says the summary I read. It also tells that Moses(Hebrew- Moshe) requested of Joshua, his soon-to-be successor, to hold a meeting on the Feast of Booths(Hebrew- Sukkot; aka Feast of Tabernacles), where there will be a public reading of the Torah and a renewal of the Covenant (Mosaic Covenant). This is Vayelech, "and he went". He also requests that all of Israel take up the Covenant. So that explains why Sukkot is a renewal of our Covenant with G-d. Now if we look at it from this context: Yeshua(Jesus) was born on the Feast of Booths, therefore when he was born there was a renewal of the Covenant. Anyways, Moses says that if the Israelites sin, they will go into exile, and only through repentance will they be allowed their city again. This is Nitzavim, "standing". The portion Vayelech is derived from the verse "So Moses went and spoke these words to all of Israel". Nitzavim is derived from the verse "You stand, all of you, before the L-rd your G-d". In some years, including this one, these two portions are read together.

Portion includes:
Torah: Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30
Half-Torah: Isiah 61:10-63:9
B'rit Chadasha: Acts 19-23

Your friend, classmate, comrade, and Torah summarizer,

Yes I screwed up my signature, it will be on the next post, no worries.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Night-time Sit-down With The Family.

Tonight I sit here with a snack deciding to do a little night-time blogging of sorts. Tonight we're going to discuss the ups and downs of taxes.... As if. No not taxes.. We'll discuss my family. I decided, since I had nothing special on my mind this night, why not introduce the old fam living here with me. There's my father who is completely insane.... No, he's crazy a lot, but underneath the shell of insanity you have one of the wisest, kindest, most loving, business-minded men of all time. That's my father. A man who's there for you at every step. And a father ready to give any advice to his son who will hopefully grow to be just like him. You have a my mom (you know her as Kelly most likely) who, though she has yet to discover, she is, to my notice,  absolutely, the most brilliant, cheesy, kind, children-loving, G-d fearing, husband-loving, woman I know. She doesn't realize that she does everything with an air of perfection and organization and love. She is an EXCELLENT cook and she knows it too, though she won't admit it to herself yet. 5 star chef in my book, trust me. Next you have my sister, who... well.... Let's just say she doesn't exactly stay OFF my nerves, but hey, I guess it's kinda her job. What I know is she is wise beyond her years, she's beautiful to the point that it makes me angry cuz she's gonna have all those young men chasing after her one day. She can be random... Boy can she be random and funny and loving. And I know she loves me behind that teasing, aggravating shell that sometimes protrudes itself, because she sometimes shows it, and when she does, it warms my heart. I love Hannah with all of my heart as I do my mother and father, of course. Next we have my big sis, Terra who is becoming a WONDERFUL mother. Kinda have to feel betrayed though. Like one of your best friends joined the dark side or something. But she is becoming as good as her mother at being well... a mother. Next you have my brother A.J. whom I shared a room with for oh.... 10 or so years of my life? He is nutty, and random, and he can be kind and loving as anyone. Undiscovered in his own talent he is an artist. I love my brother. Next we have my dog... Dixie who is, well, for all intents and purposes, a rotten, lazy, treat-addicted mutt. But she is playful and the kindest dog I've met. She is the sweetest thing. When you're sad, she'll come and kiss/lick your face. She is also the prettiest dog in all of the south.

Well now... There ya have it. There's my family for ya. Now I've finished my snack and it's off to bed for me. Goodnight all and I hope you sleep wonderfully. I'll be blogging tomorrow again with the next part of mus'ad's adventure. I hope you all get a chance to talk to my mom and my sister who are also avid bloggers. Once again, goodnight.

Your friend, classmate, comrade, or... You get the point :),

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mission Quite Possible

I'm not going to make this a hyperbole, yet I'm not going to sit here in torpor wracking my brain for words fit to publish. I know what I'm here to say, and I know how I'm going to say it. On my first post "Do My Eyes Deceive Me?!" I stated what I was here for, and why I was blogging. I don't think I made myself clear enough or, further more, I did not make my mission defined enough. I'm here for many reasons. 1. Simply because I like doing what I do, and my mom and sis have a blog too so I figured "Hey, why not?" 2. I'm here to be a role-model for my posterity. 3. Because I want to do something out of the rife of my generation despite bad criticism and/or odious comments toward me.
In one of my posts "A Psalm of Life" I stated how we should all be heroes for our posterity. That's why it is absolutely my favorite poem without question. I'm here not because I am wiser than anyone, because I know I am young and people that are much older than me are much much wiser, but I humbly try my hardest not just for the previous generation, no, not exactly for them at all, but for the future. I sometimes sit and wish I could change many things in our world, though I won't list them so that there is no controversy on the subject. But don't we all wish to change something?? So why not act? Things can change sometimes with even a few simple, well thought up words, and I'm here to do just that. Now I stated before that I won't make this a LONG speech, but I do wish to make my point. If there is anyone out there reading this with some advice on how I should continue blogging or anything at all please comment it. It will be much appreciated. And I encourage every youngster such as myself to make something of themselves. We should not live in a world of slackers and underachievers. We all have a purpose in our lives, and, though some of us have yet to find it, we should never stop looking for it.
On another note, I will not be getting to the rest of Mus'ad's story until next week. Until then...

Your friend, classmate, comrade, or whatever else you wish to call me (within reason),

P.S. Help another and you help yourself.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Roots of Cynicism

Hello, my dear classmates. Today..... Is it Monday again?! Time flies, does it not? Beginning again. Today, I ponder on the roots of what we call cynicism. I would like to start by saying that though I AM opinionated, I will keep this post somewhat neutral and mentally distinguished. Moving on. . . Alright, well first I'll start off by giving a correct and easily comprehensible definition: Cynicism- The belief that others act purely out of selfish motives. Quite an absolute wouldn't you think? To believe that no one acts selflessly in their lives, and every motive is purely self centered. I will display my thoughts on if it is right to be this way or wrong. But, first, I will give a few reasons why we arrive at this belief in the first place and explain them to the best of my ability. Well there is the best reason: I'm sure there's many of you who have been stabbed in the back by someone who you might have thought actually cared about you. He or she did something good or bad, used you in the process for their own gain, and left you with a terrible view of the world and it's motives. I mean, sure, there ARE a good many of us who could get over it once, but there are another good many of us who just couldn't let it go, and further more an even greater number who have been scarred by it happening again or repeated times. The next reason is a possible upbringing. You could have had this belief drilled into your head at a young age or even throughout your life. It's hard to block out something from a family member, especially your parents. This reason brings me to to say that input and influence in our lives can change us... But only if we allow it. Those two reasons are the only ones I have pondered at the moment, if you have anymore, please comment them with an explanation. Moving on. These reasons are often the roots of cynicism. Honestly how could they NOT be? I mean if you actually sit and think about it you can only come to one conclusion. Either you're mentally scarred into thinking it or influenced and taught to. Either way, it brings us to cynicism. Now is it necessarily wrong to be cynical? In excess yes. But many, many people DO act purely out of selfish motives, do things that only benefit themselves. So practicing a little cynicism practically equals caution, plain and simple. Now cynicism in excess, to believe that EVERYONE acts purely for themselves, is completely wrong. You should never be too trusting, but you SHOULD give trust where it's due and to those you think are worthy. I know for a fact that it takes time to earn trust and it's easily broken, for as many given things in our world, it is very fragile. So I say cynicism in the lowest degree is once again plainly caution. But an excess IS wrong. That's the best I can tell you.

Your friend, classmate, comrade, or whatever else you wish to call me (within reason),

P.S. I will be continuing Mus'ad's adventure Friday, thanks for reading, have a nice day.

Friday, August 6, 2010

What is Good

"What is the real good?"
I asked in musing mood,
"Order," said the court;
"Knowledge," said the school;
"Truth," said the wise man;
"Pleasure," said the fool;
"Love," said the maiden;
"Beauty," said the page;
"Freedom," said the dreamer;
"Home," said the sage;
"Fame," said the soldier;
"Equity," said the seer.
Spake my heart full sadly
"The answer is not here."
Then within my bosom
Softly this I heard:
"Each heart holds the secret,
Kindness is the word."

I have no Yesterdays,
Time took them away;
Tomorrow may not be~~
But I still have Today. 

The question is not what a man can scorn, or disparage, or find fault with, but what he can love, and value, and appreciate.

If you have knowledge, let others light there candles at it.

I didn't find my friends; the good Lord gave them to me.

They might not need me; but they might,
I'll let my head be just in sight; 
A smile as small as mine may be
Precisely their necessity.

Love cannot be forced, love cannot be coaxed and teased.
It comes out of heaven above, unasked and unsought.

The universe is centered on neither the earth nor the sun..
It is centered on God.

I  can more easily see our Lord sweeping the streets of London,
Than issuing edicts from it's cathedral.

If you have built your castles in the air, your work
need not be lost; that is where they should be.
Now put a foundation under them.

I shall grow old, but never lose life's zest,
Because the road's last turn will be the best.

Just a few quotes of wisdom coming to you from your young philosopher.
Duly note: Hump of the Grump part 3 will be coming to you next week.

Your friend, classmate, comrade, or whatever else you wish to call me (within reason),

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Hump of the Grump part 2

As they were trotting down the path toward the enormous tent, the man decided to introduce himself. "I am Wafeeq Yasir" said he. Mus'ad groaned in response. When they arrived at the tent, Wafeeq hitched him to a post and walked off in pursuit of a potential buyer. Mus'ad grumbled and moaned and all-around complained to the utmost degree.. but to no avail. After two and a quarter hours, Wafeeq returned with a customer. The customer looked Mus'ad over lightly, and Mus'ad moaned and moaned. The man was taken aback by this and left. Wafeeq shouted after him. He then went searching for another customer and left Mus'ad to once again grumble and complain. This process repeated throughout the rest of the day. Finally late at night, right before the tent was closing, another man walked up. This one with a dark curled mustache and deep black eyes. He walked up and looked Mus'ad over quickly and skeptically. Mus'ad moaned once more, but the man gave him such a mean, cruel look that he immediately stopped. The man said he would like to purchase Mus'ad. Wafeeq quickly sold him, knowing that he wouldn't be able to sell him any other way. The man then introduced himself as Qutaiba. And the man then rode him down to a large castle-like structure and hitched him in a dungeon like stable. Sa'id was the man that controlled the dungeon/stables and brought Mus'ad water. Early the next morning, Qutaiba woke him up earlier than he'd ever been woken up, strapped a harness to Mus'ad and attached an enormous cart to his back. It was absolutely filled with random items and almost impossible t lug around by poor, poor Mus'ad... To be continued

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Hump of the Grump part 1

Hello, my dear fellow classmates, today instead of just my normal deciphering or words of wisdom, I will let this story give you what wisdom you desire. This story is about a very grumpy camel. And it goes like this: In the great dessert lands of Arabia, there once was a grumpy camel named Mus'ad, and this camel had a master named Arif. Mus'ad thought his master worked him very hard and would always grumble and complain. In fact he grumbled and complained so much that he was known to be the grumpiest camel in all of the desert. One day his master woke him up so that he could ride him to the market and he grumbled and moaned and complained SO much that Arif decided to come home before he was finished shopping. When they got back, Mus'ad fell asleep and Arif shook his head in disappointment. That night Arif decided something that would change grumpy old Mus'ad's life forever... He decided to sell him.  The next morning Arif once again woke Mus'ad up, and after much pressuring and pushing and hassling Arif once again rode him to the market. When they got there, Mus'ad was surprised to see that his master rode him past the normal stalls in which he did his shopping. They kept riding until they were at a bigger tent-like area. In that area there seemed to have a lot of animals of all sorts roaming inside a fenced in area, but what was especially striking to Mus'ad was that there was a ton of camels. Arif dismounted him and took off his saddle. Mus'ad was confused by his master's actions and even more so when Arif took a rope, tied it around Mus'ad's neck, and started tugging him in the direction of the fenced in area where a man dressed in an expensive desert-robe was standing, trading the money in a bag for a round of camels. Mus'ad, at that moment, knew his fate.... They walked up to the man and Mus'ad moaned and moaned. The man with the bag of money laughed at this sight. His master, Arif handed the man the rope which was tied around Mus'ad's neck, and the man looked Mus'ad over with highly trained eyes. He then took out a small bag of coins and handed it to Arif, speaking in the strange tongue of human's. Mus'ad then was tugged down the path to the tent...... To be continued.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Psalm of Life

    TELL me not, in mournful numbers,
        Life is but an empty dream ! —
    For the soul is dead that slumbers,
        And things are not what they seem.

    Life is real !   Life is earnest!
        And the grave is not its goal ;
    Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
        Was not spoken of the soul.

    Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
        Is our destined end or way ;
    But to act, that each to-morrow
        Find us farther than to-day.

    Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
        And our hearts, though stout and brave,
    Still, like muffled drums, are beating
        Funeral marches to the grave.

    In the world's broad field of battle,
        In the bivouac of Life,
    Be not like dumb, driven cattle !
        Be a hero in the strife !

    Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant !
        Let the dead Past bury its dead !
    Act,— act in the living Present !
        Heart within, and God o'erhead !

    Lives of great men all remind us
        We can make our lives sublime,
    And, departing, leave behind us
        Footprints on the sands of time ;

    Footprints, that perhaps another,
        Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
    A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
        Seeing, shall take heart again.

    Let us, then, be up and doing,
        With a heart for any fate ;
    Still achieving, still pursuing,
        Learn to labor and to wait.

What the heart of the young man
said to the psalmist.
The first stanza of the poem tells us not to complain about how we fail, and how we suffer, and how we think life's an empty dream. Because if we just sit around and complain, then we're practically good for nothing. Besides, we often mistake a blessing for a curse. The second says hat life is real, life is earnest, and we're not living simply to one day die. Our bodies were made from the dust of the earth and to that which it came it shall return, but our souls were not made from the dust so they will  not return to the dust. The third says that no future is ever promised, good or bad, but we should not let that deter us from moving on and improving day after day. The fourth says that learning is slow, and time passes quickly. And, though our hearts may be the bravest, we can do not to stop it. We WILL one day die and pass onto the next life. The fifth, my favorite, says for us not to be like dumb driven cattle in our lives and in the conduct and business of others, but to stand for what's right and do something, be a hero. The sixth once again reminds us not to trust any promises of the future, for anything is subject to change other than the Lord Himself. We should also let go of the past, for, well, it IS the past and we can do not to change it. We should act for today, act for other's, and act for God and he will bless us. The seventh brings us to remember the good men in history, not just John Adams and Abraham Lincoln, but the ones even further back such as Moses and Noah and etc. They left a good history, they changed things, and they left behind examples and wise words for us to follow. And we can do the same for others. Leaving our own footprints in history. And, with the eighth stanza, perhaps another walking down the same path that we were once on will learn from our mistakes and our examples and that path will then be, at least, easier. The ninth stanza closes up this fine poem by telling us to be up and doing and to keep our hearts and minds in check, and, also to work hard and be patient.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the amazing, poetic, bright, and wise man; gives us prudent words for all our young minds, hearts, and even souls to follow. To never trust the future, to let go of the past, to keep our heads out of the clouds, to act for God and for others (one in the same), to leave behind examples, and to work hard and be patient. But he introduces it so that the rhythm of the poem keeps us reading and also describes the rhythm of life. The good, the bad, and the in-between. Shouldn't we all be heroes? Shouldn't we all be looked up to by someone going down the same path we once did? Yes, and yes. But we can only achieve these things by following Longfellow's words, and more importantly God's word.

Your friend, classmate, comrade, or whatever else you wish to call me (within good reason),

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be,
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Invictus- William Ernest Henley

This poem works wonders for the people who are feeling down in our world. It brings them confidence and courage to do what's necessary. Henley gives a dark view of our world with this poem. The view is quite correct, unfortunately, because we truly are living through pain and suffering and death. But this poem gives us much hope because it reminds us of something, that we all have something inside us that nothing (pain, suffering, or even death) can conquer. Our soul is what keeps us anchored to this world, it is the solid, everlasting thing inside of us. And if we remember that, we can do pretty much anything. What the poem also tells us is that no matter who we have to go through, whatever trials we have to survive, nothing and no one can stop us. Because we are the masters of our fate,
We are the captains of our soul.
And I am your young philosopher bringing you a good view of this poem and reminding you that you are who you are and no one can change that.

Your friend, classmate, comrade, or whatever else you wish to call me (within reason now),

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Question of Hamlet

To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd.
To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect That makes calamity of so long life.
What Shakespeare (The creator of Hamlet and the words of wisdom in which he spoke), The most influential writer in all of literature,
meant by these well spoken words was whether it was nobler to live life through all the suffering and calamity or to commit suicide.
This choice is fairly easy to make for us now-a-days for our lives are a lot easier than Hamlets was (or well MOST of us).
Hamlet's mother had married his father's brother after his father had died in battle. His mother and  father were very much in love,
therefore Hamlet felt that his mother was betraying that love that she had for his father. When Hamlet spoke to his father's ghost he
found out that his uncle was the murderer of his father (by poison in the ears while he slept) he was mortified. This, coupled with the fact
that Polonius refused to let the fair Ophelia give into Hamlet's love, made Hamlet's life a wreck to say the least. So Hamlet, the noble hero of the story,
considered suicide..... Of course, he decided that he was going to live through the suffering and take his revenge on his uncle and his mother.
And, as in most Shakespearian plays, they all die. But the moral of his saying is that we should not ever even consider suicide no matter how harsh our lives may seem.
For, if we do good in our lives, then they may take a turn for the better. So in conclusion I think 'tis much nobler to live and fight for good in life. What will YOU do?

Your friend, classmate, comrade, or anything else you wish to call me (within reason),

You CAN Come Home Again

Today I quote the famous saying, "You can never come home again". This is not true. You most certainly CAN come home again and make it work. Whoever created this ridiculous saying must have had family troubles of his own. But today, I question not the sanity of coming home again, but rather I question the sanity of ever leaving home in the first place. And I know what some of you who read this might be thinking, "Oh, he's too young to understand", "He's never experienced it himself". Well, the last is true but the first I disagree with entirely. A young mind, though naive, is often the freshest and often mostly uncorrupted by worldly troubles. We also have a ton of time on our hands so why NOT ponder? Regardless, what I'm getting at is that I believe that you shouldn't leave home 'till your ready to leave. People now-a-days think of this in terms with insanity often pondering like this: "Oh, that guys still lives with his mom, what a dork", or in terms of women, "LOL, he is SO not my type. I mean, I don't want a guy who can't leave his mom". What people fail to see is that, though you might be in rebellion and have quite a few quarrels with your loved one's at home, at home you have EVERYTHING. You have a room, people that love you no matter what, food on the table, easily accessible advice, free TV, and often internet and a computer. Best thing is it's often ALL FREE, and if it's NOT it's usually only chores around the house, or a piece of your paycheck that is three times lower in price than most apartment rents. So I, your young philosopher, question the sanity of the people who question the sanity of the people who stay home! (I know.. confusing, right?) Now for those of you who are firm believers that you MUST go on your own at some point in your life, what I state today isn't me saying that you shouldn't get a job and eventually get your own place, for men well... It's what makes us men. So today I ask all of you to doubt for just a few minutes what ever rebellious thoughts your hopped up on now. Doubt for just a few minutes what you think you know. And it might just be enough to change your life.

Your friend, classmate, comrade, or whatever you wish to call me (within reason),

Monday, July 12, 2010

Do My Eyes Deceive Me?!

No.. Myself Does....

"This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!"
Hamlet Act 1 Scene 3

Deciphered meaning- You should always be true to yourself, night and day. For if you are.. You won't ever be false to any man....

A lie always starts inside of someone. Someone has to lie to himself to justify lying to another. This is the very roots of deception... Roots I have delved deep in many times... Deception starts inside of you and slowly... no... often quickly builds into a lie. So if you never let that deception build inside of you it never builds into a lie.
Ways to do this- There is only one... Be true to yourself and you will always be true to others. If you haven't noticed, from a few lies you've told yourself over and over again, the more you lie to yourself the more you believe your own lies. And if you lie to yourself your whole world becomes one of deception and fruitlessness. So my words of wisdom (what little I have but hey.. I try :P) don't let deception become your life. Be true to yourself and be true to others and you will be blessed.

Greetings, I'm Jacob (Hebrew- Ya'akov) and I will be your young and hopefully prosperous guide through what I call Christian Philosophy. Deception has been a good part of my life many times. But now I'm ready to stop fighting who I am and start becoming who I should and will be. It's time to start fresh and learn life's lessons. And to spare you the drag and pull, I will take you along with me. So think of me not as a guide, but as a friend and classmate in the school of life.

Your friend, classmate, comrade, or whatever else you wish to call me ( within reason),

P.S. Success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success.