Open Thread: ‘Chanukah in Santa Monica’

(h/t commentor Geoduck)
You can never go wrong with Tom Lehrer.

What’s on the agenda this evening, apart from the candle-lighting?

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70 replies
  1. 1
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    It’s been a busy afternoon for the dog. All of the synagogues are west of us and the Jewish population to the east. People on his sidewalk need barking at!

  2. 2
    Phylllis says:

    Salmon on the grill and then The Long, Long Trailer on the dvr. Along with another snootful of eggnog laced with Rebel Reserve Honey.

  3. 3
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    I’m playing records and writing long overdue correspondence.

    Also trying to stay away from YouTube, where the video of my latest project has been viewed around 25,000 times and is collecting comments.
    Must. Not. Read. Comments.
    Lifehacker (Gawker Media) picked up the article and it’s getting annihilated there as well.

    Man, the holiday are upon us already!

  4. 4
    Schlemizel says:

    sick as a dog at the moment. trying to read on line & getting nowhere. trying to follow UoM womens hockey game audio but even that is tough as I drift in and out of consciousness.

  5. 5
    Schlemizel says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    Don’t let the bastards get you down.

  6. 6
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:


    Oh, Jeez. Sorry about that. Hope you’re well cared for and will recover soon.

  7. 7
    Yutsano says:

    @Schlemizel: Hopefully you don’t have the same sinus infection I’ve had all damn week. This sucker is a right pain in the tuchas!

  8. 8
    JPL says:

    @Schlemizel: Hmm did u get a flu shot? I just encouraged my son to get one today.

  9. 9
    Suffern ACE says:

    Am very close to buying a ford fusion. Odd. There are so many foreign cars out here that buying a ford car and not an SUV at that might be considered exotic.

  10. 10
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I drove a Fusion last week as a rental and loved it. Was in the plant where they’re made in October. I have a lot of confidence in that car.

  11. 11
    quannlace says:

    Been very grey, gloomy and foggy here for the past two days. So any extra lights, Hanukah, Christmas et al are most welcome.

  12. 12
    quannlace says:


    Damn, Sclmeziel, is it the flu? They said it was striking early this year.

  13. 13
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    There are so many foreign cars out here that buying a ford car and not an SUV at that might be considered exotic.

    If it helps, it’s made within an hour’s drive of the Sea of Cortez by people who speak Spanish. But seriously, there are few ‘Detroit’ cars in the mainstream any more. Everything’s become USA/Euro/Asian homogenized. For the better, I’d say.

  14. 14
    PurpleGirl says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: You know what — You conceived the project, built it, wrote the article and submitted it to Make for publication. That takes a lot of guts. I respect people who complete projects like that. Non-complimentary comments — feh, written by people who think they know it all but probably don’t have the guts to do actually do it.

  15. 15
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    I think the producers at CBS, must have watched Triumph of the Will too many times, Jesus the uber-patriotic jingoism in today’s Army-Navy game made me turn the damn thing off.

  16. 16
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:


    Non-complimentary comments—feh, written by people who think they know it all but probably don’t have the guts to do actually do it.

    Actually, critical comments are welcome in this case. I don’t design perfect things. I make showcases for ideas. The more people think they can do it better or differently the more successful I am. The whole point is to make people want to riff on a concept and make it their own. We’re training DIY Makers by stealth, goading them into developing their own creativity.

    ETA: wife is home. Gotta look busy. Cheers.

  17. 17
    PurpleGirl says:

    I finally went food shopping this afternoon. I was at the cashier when I realized I didn’t have my wallet with me. I put the shopping cart to one side, went home and got the wallet and then went back to the store and paid for the food. At least the store is only a few hundred yards from my building so I wasn’t a long walk.

    Now to cool down and then make dinner.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    Haydnseek says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: Just got back from the LA auto show. Cars are assembled everywhere skills and labor costs equal profits, from components sourced from all over the world. The new vehicles I saw at the show are much more energy efficient, while still being practical, that I can’t help being confident that the US auto industry will continue to prosper. Hell, my old VW GTI was assembled in South America, utilizing an engine built in Germany, a transmission built in Japan, and sold and serviced in the USA. I agree with RossinDetroit. It is better.

  20. 20
    PurpleGirl says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: Okay, I can buy that.

  21. 21
    Raven says:



  22. 22
    cathyx says:

    Here is a great christmas light show at someone’s house, if you like that sort of thing. (I do)

  23. 23
    Rosie Outlook says:

    Congrats , Ross.

    Schlemizel, get well soon.

    Today is also National Brownie Day!

  24. 24
    jeffreyw says:

    I found some oyster mushrooms in the back yard today. Looking for recipes.

  25. 25
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m operating my holiday sweatshop (employees: me) this weekend to get ready for the company craft fair next week. Knitted ornament production today, gift tag production tomorrow. I’m VERY FRICKIN’ BEHIND, especially with the gift tags, but I did a lot of my “figuring out how to do this” thing last year, so I should be more efficient this year. Theoretically.

  26. 26
    Raven says:

    Today am Bohdi Day, Bohdi wanted you to know!

  27. 27
    Raven says:


    It was a good day L.A. everybody was a rocking have a good time
    Throwing out a peace sign throwing out a peace sign
    Well I woke up took something special made me feel kinda crazy so I had to
    Take a look around had to take a look around
    You know it felt kind of funny but it felt real good
    Everybody in the neighborhood smiling looking good they had it going on
    You know they had it going on you know the sun was shining and it shined on
    So I jumped on my Harley took a cruise through the neighborhood
    Cruising through the neighborhood

  28. 28
    Yutsano says:

    @jeffreyw: PASTA!! Just sauté those bad boys with shallots and garlic, deglaze with some white wine, add in some heavy cream and Parmigano, and serve over linguine. Mangia!

  29. 29
    Raven says:

    My my the option is a high risk offense.

  30. 30
    Raven says:

    @jeffreyw: Careful with that shit dawg, you’re in no position to be trippin!

  31. 31
    cathyx says:

    @Raven: And you accuse mclarren of not making sense?

  32. 32
    Raven says:

    @cathyx:Army had the ball driving for the first win in 10 years and fumbled. The people that give a shit knew what I was talking about. Besides, I never said he or she didn’t make sense, I said he or she was an asshole.

  33. 33
    YellowJournalism says:

    Observing how many grown men it takes to hang one ceiling fan at my in-laws’ house.

  34. 34
    Alison says:

    Tonight we light the first candle, tomorrow we get our Christmas tree :) I like being in a “blended” family around the holidays!

    Hardly blended, really. Mom is Jewish and I have always identified as such, Dad was raised in a Christian house but is an atheist who would be a Buddhist if he were to adopt any sort of organized religion/spirituality. But we always celebrated the commercial/Pagan/solstice-y side of Christmas when I was growing up (Easter too, but since the non-Jesusy stuff is very kid-oriented – baskets and all that – that stopped a loooong time ago [I am old]) and I have always loved it. So we have the menorah on one side of the room and the tree and other decor around, and it’s double the holiday goodness :)

  35. 35
    Raven says:

    @Alison: Then make sure to throw Bodhi day in there!

  36. 36
    Yutsano says:

    @Alison: Hanukkah Samayach from a cashew!

    (Catholic mom, Jewish dad, but raised in neither. Not surprising considering there were two people at their wedding.)

  37. 37
    prufrock says:

    @Raven: Watching the Army QB sob in anguish was one of the hardest things I’ve had to see in a sporting contest in quite some time.

  38. 38
    J. says:

    Happy Hanukkah, Bitches. (Warning: The linked-to video, which is very funny, contains language that is not kosher for kinder and certain bubbehs.)

  39. 39
    Suffern ACE says:

    @YellowJournalism: well of course it’s taking a lot them. Since you’re observing them they have to do it correctly. It would have been up a hour ago with the cracks covered with blue painters tape if you weren’t there.

  40. 40
    Wolfdaughter says:

    Anne Laurie:

    Thanks for sharing. I’ve been a huge fan of Tom Lehrer ever since I was a kid. “Be Prepared”, “The Old AEC”, “Vatican Rag”, etc., etc. But I’ve never heard “Hanukkah in Santa Monica” before. Fun!

  41. 41
    jeffreyw says:

    @Yutsano: Now there’s a thought!

  42. 42
    Raven says:

    @prufrock: Well, he played his ass off. . .in a high risk offense.

  43. 43
    Raven says:

    @Wolfdaughter: “Send The Marines” may be his best!

    Some dick has blocked it on youtube but here’s the lyrics:

    What with President Johnson practicing escalatio on the Vietnamese and then the Dominican crisis on top of that it has been a nervous year and people have begun to feel like a Christian scientist with appendicitis. Fortunately in times of crisis just like this America always has this number one instrument of diplomacy to fall back on. Here’s a song about it.

    When someone makes a move
    Of which we don’t approve,
    Who is it that always intervenes?
    U.N. and O.A.S.,
    They have their place, I guess,
    But first send the Marines!

    We’ll send them all we’ve got,
    John Wayne and Randolph Scott,
    Remember those exciting fighting scenes?
    To the shores of Tripoli,
    But not to Mississippoli,

    What do we do? We send the Marines!
    For might makes right,
    And till they’ve seen the light,
    They’ve got to be protected,
    All their rights respected,
    ‘Till somebody we like can be elected.

    Members of the corps
    All hate the thought of war,
    They’d rather kill them off by peaceful means.
    Stop calling it aggression,
    O we hate that expression.
    We only want the world to know
    That we support the status quo.
    They love us everywhere we go,
    So when in doubt,
    Send the Marines!

  44. 44
    PurpleGirl says:

    I’ve begun drawing up list of stores and places with holiday lights and/or light shows to visit one evening next week. I miss my friend having her car because we usually drove around parts of Brooklyn and Queens to see the houses with light shows.

  45. 45
    Yutsano says:

    @jeffreyw: And if you need some meat in there, crisp up some bacon or pancetta first. Though I’m a heathen and I throw the bacon grease out before I start cooking the veggies. It has a lighter taste that I appreciate.

  46. 46
    Raven says:

    @PurpleGirl: I have all these young friends who fled Athens for those places.

  47. 47
    Alison says:

    @Raven: I’ll see what I can do :)

  48. 48
    Alison says:

    @Yutsano: LOL cashew, I hadn’t heard that one before. My Jewish cousin married an Irish Catholic guy, so I guess their kids are cashews too!

  49. 49
    Raven says:

    I just torched a big ass pot of navy beans and collards!

  50. 50
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    Keep you chin up, friend; you’ve already done more than your critics. I’m a project person too and I’ve noticed that there are some people who just have to tear you down for anything that you planned and built yourself.

  51. 51
    Raven says:

    Two Dallas players in a DUI wreck, one dead the other on his way to the joint. The were both Illini players and Josh Brent, the driver and survivor had a DUI in college.

  52. 52
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    If people think I did it wrong, then people are thinking. That’s the point of MAKE Projects. To stimulate creativity. Any blog can tell you what cool smartphone apps to download. MAKE will show you how to hack a dead VCR into a programmable cat feeder. Or whatever you want done automatically.
    It takes the pressure off me to be perfect. I just have to make something decent and simple and help people adapt it for themselves.
    Now that this project has attracted so many eyeballs I wish I had used a more attractive beat up cigar box for it. The box was a rebellion against my last project, where I went through hell designing a fancy aluminum and plexi cabinet so it would look swell. I vowed to just slam the next build into whatever enclosure was at hand and to hell with playing machinist.

  53. 53
    Haydnseek says:

    Ya know Raven, there’s a reason why I like you. You get it. You’re an SEC guy, I’m a PAC 12 guy. Doesn’t matter. We came up in very different cultures. Doesn’t matter. You’re this, I’m that. Doesn’t matter. We both love great music and have seen it live. (What a concept!) You’re an Illinois/Georgia guy? I’m a Los Angeles guy, and we can still have fun here no matter what. (and the surf fishing on the SoCal beaches is excellent! thank you EPA!
    I like your posts and your photos. I’ve shown prints in shows and galleries in LA but I’m completely lost in the digital realm. I’m inspired to bend the learning curve downward. Best to you and yours…..

  54. 54
    Mnemosyne says:


    It makes more sense if you think of it as an intergenerational group activity — instead of playing a board game or a hand of poker, they’re installing a ceiling fan.

    If there are any teenage boys in the house, they will probably wander in at some point knowing full well that they’ll be “forced” to help. It’s part of the game.

  55. 55
    Raven says:

    @Haydnseek: We moved to Whittier from Chicago in 1957. My entire family lives in either the South Bay or Sherman Oaks. I have two giant posters of the Manhattan Beach Pier on my wall.

    Here’s a shot I took of the pier from about 7 years ago, we flew out for the holidays and went down for our morning walk to El Porto and the big south swell had moved in.

    Back to you with the best. . .

    eta, you ever see Which One’s Pink? my brother is the manager.

  56. 56
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    @prufrock: Agreed — it was cruel to focus on him. Props to those who comforted him.

    Now making Scallops with Tomato and Corn after a full day of watching football and practicing ice skating. I am to be a Party Guest in a production of the Nutcracker on Ice organized by my ice skating teacher. Most of the performers are about 40 years younger than me, so I don’t want to spoil their big day. Of course, I really wanted to be a rat, but am not good enough. Maybe next year.

  57. 57
    Raven says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: My latest project is growing a colony of demisted beetles to skeletonize my big redfish head.

  58. 58
    Haydnseek says:

    @Raven: I can’t believe this! Another Whittier person? After college, I lived in a ’20’s four-plex at the corner of Washington and Camilla. Whittier must have been amazing in the fifties. Even in the seventies, I remember seeing proper quaker ladies walking down the street in total Quaker Oats drag. I lived Uptown from ’75 to ’89, and these were some of the best years of my life…we thought it was all going to be different.

  59. 59
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:


    Oddly, I know what you’re talking about. Not your fault that I was eating when I read that. Where was the redfish caught?

  60. 60
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    You nailed it. My main interest is in re-purposing the obsolete in (hopefully) artistic ways. Some things come out bad, some come out okay, and when the stars are right I get to say to myself “Damn, I MADE that!” For me, those moments are worth all of the thrashing.

  61. 61
    Raven says:

    @Haydnseek: My old man coached at Cal High, The Condors! We lived on the corner of Mullberry and Rufus. We’d take 22’s up into the Puente Hills and shoot shit up. I have this clear memory of going to Saturday matinees and there was a way to folds a popcorn box and fire it at the screen. As soon as the joint got dark it would erupt.
    There was a Nixon’s Big Boy on the Blvd then.

  62. 62
  63. 63
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    When I was into skulls I let the ants take care of the meat and then let the thing bleach in the sun.

  64. 64
    raven says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Yea, I’m wondering what I got myself into. I ordered the kit from Carolina Biological supply but didn’t realize it’s just a starter and it’s going to take at least three months to grow a “hot” colony. I had to enlist a sitter for my flesh eating beetles over xmas!

  65. 65
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Trust the ants. I prepped and then sold animal skulls at gun shows back in the early Seventies when I found myself to be an unemployable Vietnam vet. My whole inventory fit into an ex-rental trailer towed behind a ’62 Ford pickup (Six cylinders and I used them all) and I could sleep on the seat of the truck.

    Saw the country. Learned a lot.

  66. 66
    Karmus says:

    Yeah, it’s funny how sometimes you don’t get the voice that stops you, “eh, don’t order the flesh-eating beetles. You’re just getting into something you’re going to regret.”

  67. 67
    Maude says:

    This is going to turn into a science fiction movie.

  68. 68
    Scamp Dog says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: I went ahead and scanned the first bunch of comments, and there’s nothing abusive! Which is kind of astounding for YouTube comments, come to think of it. It’s getting close to 25k comments, so there’s no way any single human being is reading all of them. Thus I am making no claims as to the statistical validity of my observations.

    Looks like a fun project, congratulations on getting it out there for the wider world!

  69. 69
    Currants says:

    Radical First Night with the Workmens Circle at Johnny D’s: klezmer!

  70. 70
    JGabriel says:


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