The Western Wall

Just got back from an All-You-Can-Eat Korean dinner with the family. Am I stuffed! It was a real treat for me because I haven't been eating beef and pork due to dietary precautions. But we need to celebrate every now and then. One thing about Los Angeles --- it's such an ethnic melting pot that we have gastronomical representations of every culture in the world. And I think I've sampled quite a few of them. Perhaps the worst food I ever tasted was pickled grasshopper. A friend had a jar of those black fermented exoskeletal insects floating in some black garlicky soup and I watched her chewing these with utter delight. I was foolish enough to ask her if I could taste it. I held this slimy morsel in my fingers. It smelled awful but my smiling friend said I should taste it and so I bit off its head. Well, it tasted worse than it smelled. Ooohhh! I let that bite swirl in my mouth for a minute ... mustering the courage to gulp it down but I feared it would contaminate yesterday's dinner so I gagged and spit it out. Word of advice: If you ever see a jar of insects, just remember Moses would rather starve than eat those things.

Sent by Naomi of North Hollywood, CA
Words of Wisdom

Forgive your enemy,
but remember the @ $^!&'s name.

Thanks to this week's winners:
Naomi of N Hollywood, Joji of Antipolo, Sang of Delaware, Tom of Pasadena, Thomas of Pasadena, Rey of Simi Valley, Rick of Chino Hills, Charlie of New York.

Western Wall
Contributed by Joji of Anipolo. Philippines

A female CNN journalist heard about a very elderly Jewish man who had been going to the Western Wall to pray, twice a day, every day, for a long, long time.

So she went to check it out. She went to the Western Wall and there he was, walking slowly up to the holy site.

She watched him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turned to leave, using a cane and moving very slowly, she approached him for an interview.

"Pardon me, sir, I'm Rebecca Smith from CNN. What's your name?

"Morris Feinberg," he replied.

"Sir, how long have you been coming to the Western Wall and praying?"

"For about 60 years."

"60 years! That's amazing! What do you pray for?"

"I pray for peace between the Christians, Jews and the Muslims."

"I pray for all the wars and all the hatred to stop."

"I pray for all our children to grow up safely as responsible adults and to love their fellow man."

"I pray that politicians tell us the truth and put the interests of the people ahead of their own interests."

The journalist then asked, "How do you feel after doing this for 60 years?"

"Like I'm talking to a wall."

The Hotel Clerk
Inspirational story contributed by Sang of Delaware

One stormy night many years ago, an elderly man and his wife entered the lobby of a small hotel in Philadelphia, USA. Trying to get out of the rain, the couple approached the front desk hoping to get some shelter for the night.

"Could you possibly give us a room here?" - the husband asked.

The clerk, a friendly man with a winning smile, looked at the couple and explained that there were three conventions in town. "All of our rooms are taken," the clerk said. "But I can't send a nice couple like you out into the rain at one o'clock in the morning. Would you perhaps be willing to sleep in my room? It's not exactly a suite, but it will be good enough to make you folks comfortable for the night."

When the couple declined, the young man pressed on. "Don't worry about me, I'll make out just fine," the clerk told them. So the couple agreed.

As he paid his bill the next morning, the elderly man said to the clerk, "You are the kind of manager who should be the boss of the best hotel. Maybe someday I'll build one for you."

The clerk looked at them and smiled. The three of them had a good laugh. As they drove away, the elderly couple agreed that the helpful clerk was indeed exceptional, as finding people who are both friendly and helpful isn't easy.

Two years passed. The clerk had almost forgotten the incident when he received a letter from the old man. It recalled that stormy night and enclosed a round-trip ticket to New York, asking the young man to pay them a visit.

The old man met him in New York, and led him to the corner of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street. He then pointed to a great new building there, a pale reddish stone, with turrets and watchtowers thrusting up to the sky.

"That," said the older man, "is the hotel I have just built for you to manage."

"You must be joking." - the young man said.

"I can assure you I am not." - said the older man, a sly smile playing around his mouth.

The older man's name was William Waldorf-Aster, and that magnificent structure was the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The young clerk who became its first manager was George C. Boldt. This young clerk never foresaw the turn of events that would lead him to become the manager of one of the world's most glamorous hotels.

"When you serve the customer better, there's always a return on your investment."
--- Kara Parlin

Videos of the week: (click on the picture)

Comedy Illusionist
Contributed by Tom of Pasadena, CA

Comedy Illusionist

The audio's not that great but the visual is incredible. My first thought was he used a ... ah you go ahead and watch!

Vodka Rules!
Contributed by Tom of Pasadena, CA

Russian Drivers

Asian drivers (especially in Alhambra, CA where insurance rates go up just because you live there) are notorious but they are nothing compared to these drivers in Russia. It's not just the vodka but also the slippery winter terrain. Really scary.

InterSpecies Friendships
Contributed by Rey of Simi Valley, CA

Interspecies fellowship

Seems animals get along better than some humans. My question is this: Have they always been like this or are we just seeing more of them because of video-sharing technology? Remember the DIsney movie "Fox and the Hound?" You've come a long way baby!

Senior Greeter
Contributed by Rick of Chino Hills, CA

Nordstum Greeter

This gentleman is an inspiration to us all. We should hear more stories like this.

Identity Theft Demo
Contributed by Thomas of Pasadena, CA

ID Theft Demo

Thomas is a security expert so he knows what this subject is all about. It's pretty scary how vulnerable we all are.

Deck of Cards
Contributed by Charlie of New York

Deck of Cards

We associate cards with gambling. But did you ever realize how much Biblical symbolism you can draw out of them as well? Fascinating video.

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