Sunday, October 31, 2004

I just did a sort/search of my personal contacts and found 21 people who live in battleground states (MN, OH, FL, PA, NH). I sent them the following letter. Feel free to do the same and/or forward.


Since you are living in one of the identified “Battleground States,” I feel an obligation to at least reach out to see if you fall into the category of “undecided voters.” My hunch is that you’ve made up your mind, but if there’s even an inkling that you’ll switch your vote, let me know if you’re open to a conversation from a Pro-Bush voter.

Here’s to the great democratic experiment.


Note: this actually worked..I found one and called him.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

It's the little things...

Watching her develop is such an amazing process. She now fully realizes when she has to extend her arms through a sleeve and does it subconsciously like all of us do.

She’s also great at keeping herself occupied. She can play with the same blocks and books for hours and not get bored.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Working at Microsoft...

Is kind of like being on the Yankees. You have a great track record and tend to win a lot. Some people love you. Some people hate your guts. And pretty much any player, if given the opportunity, would join the team.

The value of networking

About 14 months ago, with the help of a new friend, I started the DC chapter of a Jewish professionals networking group called the J2J network ( Our mission is simple: to strengthen the Jewish community by facilitating commerce among our members.


Our approach is to have an ongoing series of events and meetings where professionals can present themselves as experts in their fields, identify the types of customers they serve, and build relationships with other individuals who can serve as “virtual salespeople” to provide a referral-based channel for business development.  Furthermore, this network of individuals serves as a sounding board for ideas and a cost-effective way to obtain advice on a wide range of issues.


So far, we’ve created $2 million worth of business and countless introductions. I’ve personally benefited not only by introducing people to each other who share customer segments or goals, but also by growing and developing a large group of people who can offer me valuable advice on anything from tax planning to home buying and to whom I can provide tips and ideas as well based on my expertise.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Read the contract. One thing I've learned as we go through this home buying process is just that. Too often, we're rushed and we don't read the fine print. Do yourself a favor and read it. Make sure you understand it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Feeling the void

I missed my wife more during this trip of hers than any other previously. This was the first time she was gone since Calanit was born and because I had to do everything myself, I really began to appreciate her contribution to the family.  I guess in the past, when she was gone, it was like being single again. Yes, I missed her, but I had survived before her without her.  But this time, when I really experienced all that she does to help make this family run and I had the unthinkable thoughts of what I would do if she weren’t around, well, I felt a true love for my wife on a new level.

Monday, October 18, 2004

This parenting thing...

…is tough work. We made it and Calanit is alive and well. Tamar will be coming back this afternoon. I guess I was taking this test on a pass/fail mentality, knowing that if I took it for a grade, I’m probably get a C- from Tamar. If she graded on a curve, I might get an B+, since the standards are lower for me than for her.

After all, I did leave Calanit in her crib wide awake, probably hungry, as I slept. Of course I didn’t hear her, but for all I know, she was awake for 2 hours!  I also took her outside for took long and she got cold and didn’t read to her nearly enough.


On the other hand, she’s been fed, cleaned, and clothed and I managed to get her to synagogue on Saturday morning (mostly so people would be in awe of my single parenting skills!)


I’ve got a new degree of empathy for mothers and for how much my wife gets done.


I told Tamar that this type of experience is like Yom Kippur. Once a year, she should go away for a few days and leave the kid(s) with me. I’ll remember how much she does, be exhausted, and then it’ll be over, she’ll come back and I’ll go back to my old routine, but with a newfound appreciation..

Friday, October 15, 2004

I'm playing "Mr. Mom" for a few days-or really-single parent.

For the first time since Calanit was born, Tamar has left us for a few days. She's off at a dance camp and for 4 days, it's just the Pooka (aka the "Tonkee", "the Garhonka") and me.

So it's not a disaster yet. Fortunately Calanit's 1 day a week caregiver laid out enough outfits for the duration of the period and at least my daughter will be dressed in a matching format.

What I'm starting to appreciate is the amount of work that is required. Frankly, Tamar does the bulk of it, but we're talking about food preparation, diaper bag preparation, just watching her (she's in the other room right now, but with her mobility, I need to check her every few minutes to make sure she's not at the outlet or cords-fortunately she's very good at playing by herself), and man, it's tough to get anything else done, that's for sure. I usually exercise every morning, but w/o Tamar here, I can't get on the Nordic Track when I want, it needs to be coordinated with Calanit's nap. And lastly, I've got to go to bed earlier...this girl wakes up at 5am usually...and don't tell Tamar this, but for some reason (I promise, not intentional), the monitor in the baby's room was off, so I didn't hear her and somehow I just woke up at 6.41am and Calanit was just lying in her crib, wide awake. I have no idea how long she'd been up. Anyway, she's fed now.

You've got to be really efficient, that's lesson #1 on Morning #1.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Epochal Shifts of Time...

There are periods during life when the non-essential items just have to fall to this side. This past month has been one of them. Tamar and I have decided that now is the time for us to buy a house and as of last Wednesday, we have a contract on one. Nothing's final yet, but the inspection is scheduled for this week and if all goes according to plan (which if experience has taught me anything, it won't), we'll settle on 11/22. That's a pretty big step. My grandfather said to me once that the three biggest decisions you make in life are "whom you marry, when you have your first child, and when you buy your first house." They all involve major shifts in responsibility.

Speaking of shifts, I was speaking with Chuck Fox today and he said, "I think you're really an adult when you say to yourself, 'you know, it just makes more sense if I go to bed early.'" How true...

Calanit is 10 months old today and the big achievement of the past week was that we felt tooth #1 push its way through. "The days are long, but the years are short," sayeth my mother.

Balance...had a great talk with a friend, Felix Kushnir, while sitting in his backyard on an absolutely glorious Fall day. We were ruminating about the challenge that we felt as fathers between our desire to participate in multiple aspects of our childrens' lives (taking them to games, helping with homework, etc.), and the overwhelming pressure we feel to provide for them and our families in a financial way which requires, often times, absence from the home, or at the very least, an inability to pay attention while we ARE at home. Suggestions are welcome on how to manage this process.