how to explain tweeting to my father

and other questions I got from him yesterday:

  1. “If I found some apple strudel in his freezer, and I defrosted it, can I re-freeze it? Actually, there were 2, but I’m eating most of one while we talked.” Yes; if it survived so long without noticeable freezer burn (“what’s that?”), it can be thrown back again. What about cutting it up into pieces so you can have some? “Why would I do that?”
  2. “Did you talk to your sister?
  3. Did you tell her she shouldn’t be talking to so many people?
  4. Did you tell her that she should take it easy after the long night in the hospital with your nephew?
  5. Did she tell you everything would be okay and did you believe her?” Yes. No. No; she’ll do what she needs to. No. Just you.
  6. “Did you talk to your daughter? Did she get back from Israel okay? Is everything set now?” Yes. She found a nice apartment with beautiful views and space–4 bedrooms. “I’m coming!” Yes, she’s counting on it.
  7. Why are there not enough personnel at the local post office and why are they hiring more at congress? How can I find out how many staff people there are in a congressman’s office? And what is Legistorm? And what is the tweet that they want me to see there? Why would I want to do that?

Okay, what?

I don’t know what Legistorm is and why do they want you to tweet?

So I walked out of the kitchen to my computer and found this:

About Us

LegiStorm launched in September 2006 to bring valuable information about the people of Congress to the public. We became widely known by being the only online source for staff salaries, financial disclosures, trips, gifts and earmarks. We’ve expanded our offerings to include the most accurate and up-to-date contact information and the most detailed intelligence on Hill staffers available.

Based on Capitol Hill, LegiStorm separates itself from other congressional information providers by the depth and quality of our research about the staff that are so critical to decision-making on Capitol Hill. While others struggle with the most basic information about the people of Capitol Hill, we go far beyond to provide educational backgrounds, employment histories, social media links, hometowns, hobbies and activities, family connections, and much more.

We are fiercely non-partisan. We receive no funding from any political group apart from their paid subscriptions to our products.

LegiStorm was founded to bring greater transparency to the workings of Capitol Hill and we are committed to creating products to help make our democracy work better. We provide basic information about congressional staff salaries and other information for free, on limited basis, as a service to the general public.

LegiStorm is focused on our clients and committed to meeting their needs. We’re still growing. We recognize that our clients are the experts in their fields and by working with them; we’ll create products and services that set industry standards.

So now, backstory: My father has been trying to go to the Post Office closest to him in LA for the past week. Every time he has tried to go in, the lines have been out the door. One day, it was actually closed, since there is only one woman working there and she had to go to lunch. Or something close to this. I wasn’t really paying enough attention to this story, I must admit. It kept growing, so then I tried to pay attention. So he was told that this was because of the cutting back in government. But then (and I really admit I don’t remember who told him about this site) he saw a headline that Gary Ackerman doubled his staff salaries before leaving office!

And that’s when it became personal. How can this be for real, if we’re getting shafted?

And what is this Storm Feed?

StormFeed

StormFeed

StormFeed gives you access to every press release and official Tweet from every office on the Hill, every time, in real-time. Miss something? No problem: StormFeed is full-text searchable.

Oh. Thank G-d!

That will make things easy for him!

So I actually proceeded to tell him about this week’s Torah portion (specifically Leviticus 14: 4) and the process of healing that the person afflicted with the condition known as tzara’at (poorly translated as leprosy, but it’s not a purely physical condition) had to go through, which included the gathering of two birds. When you hear birds chirping, and you don’t know what they’re saying, it sounds like nonsense. And the person who was afflicted with this tzara’at should know that what s/he said, especially if it was against someone else, was just nonsense. And so that’s what tweeting is; just nonsense.

“But when I hear birds tweeting, I look up and listen and am very happy.”

Oh, so forget about it. I forget that you live in LA and don’t hear birds all the time. So it is a treat for you.

So treat the tweets the same way you would something you don’t like.

Like cutting back postal workers while congressmen continue to live large.

Watch our, U.S. government; you have no idea who you’re dealing with!

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