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We had a fire. We were very very lucky. Lessons for all of us.

A hot bare light bulb in our linen closet touched our linens and they went up.

Our smoke detectors screamed. The flames were two feet high before I hit them with our new fire extinguisher.

The smoke was horrible. The dust is everywhere. The smell lingers on.

Had we not had a fire extinguisher, we could have died. We are five floors up. We are in an old building, lacking sufficient fire escapes.


+ Check your closets for lights. You don’t want 120 volt ones. Battery powered LEDs work just fine.

This is what our line closet now looks like:

+ Buy yourself several fire extinguishers. This is the one I bought from Amazon:

It’s $52. Buy several. (I bought three.) Cheap insurance. Click here.

I get “unknown” robocalls. So do you.

I hang up on them. Then I block them on my iPhone.

Look up Recents. Click on i. Scroll down.

There are oodles of robocall-blocking software. The software is too complex , too intrusive and not very effective.

The Washington Post did a big piece on how to block “unknown” calls.

“My test lasers in on one important question: Who was first at identifying the bad guys? I discovered no service could flag more than two-thirds of the calls on my list, in part because so many robocalls spoof their identities. Those are the calls that look conspicuously similar to your number, or that copy the caller ID of some poor soul who gets lots of angry return calls.”

And then there are the “unknown” calls you actually want.

For the Washington Post piece, click here. 

Classic Jewish humor

+ The waiter joke.

A group of five Jewish women are eating lunch in a busy cafe.

Nervously, their waiter approaches the table. “Ladies,” he says. “Is anything okay?”

+ The (loving) Jewish mothers joke

Three Jewish mothers are sitting on a bench, arguing over which one’s son loves her the most.

The first one says, “You know, my son sends me flowers every Shabbos.”

“You call that love?” says the second mother. “My son calls me every day!”

“That’s nothing,” says the third woman. “My son is in therapy five days a week. And the whole time, he talks about me!”

+  The hospital joke.

An elderly Jewish man faints and is rushed to the nearest hospital. A nurse tucks him into bed and says, “Mr. Schwartzman, are you comfortable?” Schwartzman replies, “I make a living.!”

+ The grandparent joke.

A Jewish grandfather takes his grandchildren to the beach. They’re playing in the sand when suddenly, a massive wave comes and pulls the smallest grandson out into the water. Panicked, the grandfather prays to God. “Oh God, please bring him back! Please let him live!”

Suddenly, an even bigger wave bursts out of the ocean, setting the little boy down right at his grandfather’s feet. He scoops him up into a hug.

Then he stares up at the sky and says, “He had a hat.”

+ The sports joke.

A yeshiva (Jewish school) decides to start a crew team. But no matter how much they practice, they lose every single race. Eventually they decide to send one boy down to the nearby prep school as a spy, to watch their winning crew team and find out what their secret is.

After a day of reconnaissance, the boy comes back. “Listen!” he tells his teammates. “I learned how they do it. They have eight guys rowing, and only one guy screaming!”

Harry Newton, who notes it’s ten years from the 2009 bottom in the stockmarket. “Said Mark Haynes on CNBC, “I believe we’re now at a bottom. The key to me is the 200 day moving average.”

I bought a few ZTS this morning. How could I have been so stupid to sell my precious ZTS during the late December crash? What a panic merchant!

  • Scooter

    In these parts, a fire inspection would have not allowed your fire to happen.

  • Bruce Miller

    But Harry,

    My Grand Mother Gerda once told me every one needs a permit to use a fire extinguisher. She say it was sorta like dialing 911 or dialing 9-11. She said not everyone has permission to use or dial somethings.

  • Lucky

    Sorry about your fire Harry…2 suggestions…1, get globes for any non LED bulbs…2, KILLS paint from Home Depot will cover and kill the odor from fires, just paint over the scorched part and anywhere smoke damage may smell…one coat will do it. If you don’t do the painting yourself make sure the painter uses Kills first THEN paint.