wildernesscat: (kfaryona)
One of the results of being a veteran member of Postcrossing, is that you get postcards in the mail almost every day. The other week, someone's relative in town went to the UK, and sent them a couple of cards from London. Naturally, I got them all. The address was different, the name was different, but if it looked like a card, it went to my box. Over time I had no choice but to become a postman's apprentice, carrying cards to their respective addressees, getting to know many interesting people in the process. For example, I found out there's a family with the same last name like mine (I thought it was pretty unique here). And also, that there's an Estonian woman living a couple of blocks away from my house. I found out that some people lock their front gate (what for?), and some have a front door like that of a castle, with a small window that opens at face level...

wildernesscat: (danny_and_daddy)
- Hello, we are calling from the Shas party. Could you please say who you are going to vote for in the elections?
- That is confidential.
- Okay, can you say who you voted for in the previous elections?
- That is confidential as well.
- Mmmm... okay. Thank you.


wildernesscat: (good)
I saw a wonderful scene the other day in Chicago. A shabby looking guy was standing by the 7-11, just minding his own business. A smartly dressed lady approached him, and asked if he'd like anything to eat. He said yes, and they both entered. He took a few items from the fridge, and asked the lady if that was okay. She said sure, and paid for the stuff. The lady disappears, the homeless eats.

wildernesscat: (kfaryona)
This morning, as I was driving through Kfar Yona's main street, I saw a magnificent sight. A tractor knocked off the top of a fire hydrant, and a huge fountain appeared out of nowhere (yeah, just like in Hollywood movies). The tractor operator didn't know what to do, and how to stop this sudden eruption, but I made no mistake - drove through the downpour extra slowly, and gave my car a nice free washing. Sparkling clean!

wildernesscat: (kfaryona)
Kfar Yona is usually a quiet little place, and nothing is happening around here. However, last Thursday I witnessed a rather disturbing scene near the mall. A soldier girl was getting off the city-bus, and her big bag got caught in the door. She yelled to the driver to stop and release it, but he just kept on going for a few meters. Turned out the driver was an Arab, and some interracial insults were thrown both ways. Reportedly, he said things about her mother, and the stuff he'd do to her, and the others didn't keep quiet either. Eventually the crowd got a bit mad, and blocked the bus's way with their cars. The driver got barricaded within, along with a few of his passengers. Some youngsters got a few rocks the size of a melon, and hurled them at the bus. The front door got smashed in. Only after 20 minutes or so, the police arrived, and calmed everyone down. The passengers were released, and the damaged bus was escorted to the police station. That's as much as I've gathered, arriving a few minutes too late... So, what do you guys do for fun where you live?


Jul. 22nd, 2012 08:41 am
wildernesscat: (ilves)
The cellphone gods are definitely trying to send me a message. Two weeks ago my E72 fell into the toilet, and I barely rescued it (there were several failed attempts to turn it on again). But yesterday they have outdone themselves. The phone was forgotten in a pair of pants that went into the laundry. The washing machine had 15 minutes of uninterrupted fun with my phone until we pried it out, wet through and through. Externally the phone looks intact, so I am doing the de-waterization dance again. Will try to reconnect in 24 hours. Keeping my fingers crossed...

Update: Miracles still happen. The phone is fully functional! The only thing that got damaged was the display. Light intensity is much lower than before, and some "cloud" patterns appear in the background. Nokias live forever :)

wildernesscat: (cat_flag)
Went on an organized tour of the Old City of Jerusalem yesterday. The tour touched some the off-beat holy places, such as the Western Wall tunnels, the Temple Mount, the Abbey of Dormition, the tomb of King David, etc. After we had gone up Temple Mount and wandered around the vast paved platform, our guide shared a little story. (The place is controlled by the Waqf, and the issue of Jews going up the mountain makes them a bit queasy. Well, tough luck for them). In any case, the story goes like this: For some time, as the guide brought groups of Jewish tourists to the Temple Mount, a Waqf guard would come up to him, and tell him in a strict tone of voice: please remember that you're visiting a Muslim holy place, and are requested not to say anything that goes against Islam, is that clear? - Sure, perfectly clear, the guide would say. Then immediately, an Israeli policeman would approach the group and say: please be aware that you're on Israeli territory and are therefore allowed to speak freely on whatever subject you like, is that clear? - Perfectly clear, thank you. The same ritual would repeat day in and day out.

wildernesscat: (Default)
Went to the optometrist, again. Told him that I'm having trouble with the new glasses. The temple arms (sides) are too tight, and hurt my head. "No problem", the man says. Takes out a pair of pliers, and starts bending the arms. I was a bit surprised - "wow, I had no idea you could bend them like this without breaking them". "There's a difference if I bend them and they break, and if you bend them and they break", he said.


Feb. 28th, 2012 08:23 am
wildernesscat: (magician)
Yesterday I took the exam in "Medieval Hebrew" at the OpenU. The course turned out to be more difficult than I had initially expected, and I had to spend many hours on my home assignments. It was to my great surprise (after all that torture) that when yesterday I opened the exam paper, it looked distinctly familiar. They simply copied the "sample exam" from the textbook word for word!.. If only I had known that, I would have spent a lot more time solving it. Well, in any case, it was pretty simple. I didn't have to open the Bible even once, although it was okay to use it for reference. Next course - "Modern Hebrew". Now I just need to find a semester when they give it again.


Feb. 19th, 2012 02:31 pm
wildernesscat: (Default)
Fuerza Bruta ticket

Been there, done that. Crazy stuff, but imho could be made even crazier. I have a few ideas...

wildernesscat: (Default)
Soke Robert Clark, 1946 - 2012The head of WJJF, soké Robert Clark has passed away. He was the one who tested me on all of my black-belt exams. A remarkable person, our main source of inspiration and innovation. We will all miss him terribly.

wildernesscat: (good)
Alphabet10Scraping the bottom of the barrel, here is another alphabet card for my collection. This one is different in the way that it has different fonts of Hebrew on it, not just the regular block letters. Still, there is one card missing...

wildernesscat: (shootdog)
Lately I have enrolled in an amateurs' photo course, offered by the Groupon website at a very low cost. At this point in the course I haven't learned much new stuff, but this gave me an excellent excuse to go out and shoot more photos. Shoot, shoot, and shoot some more. That's the only way to improve. Last Friday we all made an outing to the Tel-Aviv port. Here are 8 photos which I consider the best of the lot (also entering them into a photo competition, hold your fingers crossed for me :)

wildernesscat: (maniac)
Better Place Center Launch 3rd MarchAfter having visited the Better Place compound about a year ago, I got another invitation to try out their new cars. This time the whole family could make it to Pi Glilot, so we took S's booster seat with us, and drove to Ramat Ha-Sharon. The place didn't change much, but the cars became "the real deal", not converted gas models. Our guide Tal was very courteous, knowledgeable, and not too pushy. We took the car for a spin in the city, and the missus was impressed. It goes from 0 to 130km/h in no time at all, and you don't sense all the noise and vibrations you'd expect at such speeds. The car is equipped with a state-of-the-art entertainment and navigation system that makes life easier for the electric car user. You can plan your trip precisely, taking into consideration the need to exchange batteries if you travel more than 160km in a single day. Battery exchange stations (will) exist in multiple locations across the country, and the exchange will take 4 minutes end-to-end, or so they claim. The battery is still pretty large, and eats away a large chunk of the baggage compartment, but one large suitcase and one small bag can still fit in.

After we returned to the offices, we sat down to talk business. I told Tal that I am totally for the "green idea" and there's no need to convince me that it's the best thing since the invention of sliced bread. "We buy it, totally", the missus and I said. But the question of price still remained. We asked why the car was so pricey, and he said that the initial production costs are high. Prices will probably drop in the future. This already made me suspicious (i.e. the price of the car I buy today will drop in the future). He said the car has great resell value, but that was a bit of a "cat-in-a-bag". We said we didn't want to get it just yet, but reserve the option for some time later in 2012, when things begin to get shape. He wanted us to lay down 2000 nis "to show that we're serious", but we obviously refused. Let's see that they are serious first. The bottom line is, that the deals that they offer today are not very attractive. I am afraid that in 3 years' time we'll be stuck with an unmovable car that nobody wants. Maybe if we could lease it via our employers it would be worth trying out. Until then, let's wait for a better deal.

wildernesscat: (Default)
6:30am, sunrise timeYoung calves getting breakfastThe best light of the dayView towards West, mount TaborCows don't like to be pettedThe orange ball is our guest room
Entrance to the inner yardA few decorationsThe owner's living quartersThe Church of the Transfiguration, mount TaborThe right wing of the churchThe main hall

Weekend at Shadmot Dvora, a set on Flickr.

A lazy weekend we took last week, without the kids. Just taking it easy and doing nothing :)

wildernesscat: (ilves)
A couple of days ago I happened to be in the emergency room of a big hospital in Tel-Aviv. My grandpa wasn't feeling well, so we took him in for some tests (it turned out to be nothing serious). At some point while we were in the ER, the security guy rushed in, and told all visitors to step outside immediately. Why the rush? There was an emergency resuscitation in one of the chambers, and they didn't want outsiders to interfere. Sure enough, we went through the large doors, and waited outside. Ten minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes passed by. Everyone was anxious to get back to their friends and relatives. Eventually the security guard came back and told everyone to please step back in. People rushed back into the ward, and one of the visitors casually inquired - well, did the resuscitation work out okay? The guard simply said "no".


Nov. 10th, 2011 04:27 pm
wildernesscat: (Default)
Point taken

"Where reason stops, faith begins". The defense rests, your honor.

wildernesscat: (dont_jump)
Last week my wife booked us a special kind of tour. Lead by Buki Nae, one of Israel's leading criminal journalists, the tour shows the "dark side" of Tel-Aviv. The man has been working the streets for over 20 years, and he's connected to everyone, starting from the chief of police, and ending with the last junkie at the the old central bus station. Full of stories, some funny, some scary, some shocking, always holding the 26 people of the tour at the tips of their toes. Riding in a private bus, we started at the Tel-Aviv port, continued to the Yarkon river, and then entered the center of the city. Met with some colorful characters: a famous past robber (Yoram Landsberger), a famous past male prostitute (Zalman Shoshi), and heard their sad stories. Then we had a whole strip club booked for us, including a short performance and an interview with one of the girls. Then a BDSM club downtown (it's called "the Dungeon", and it looks like one, with torture devices and all). Then a short overview of the night life of the Sudanese refugees at the old central bus station, complete with a coincidental police raid - we didn't get off the bus. Last but not least, an interview with some heroine-addicted whores nearby. That was the "cherry on the cake". If you ever want a reason why never to touch drugs in your life, you should see those miserable beings. Hovering at some place between a drug-induced dream and reality, they turn tricks for 30 sheqels. We stayed there for 10 minutes, which was way too much for my nerves. To summarize - there are some things that are better left under the rug of our conscience. Let someone else deal with them.

wildernesscat: (good)
The new dual-flush toilet from Plasson has a neat safety feature. If the float valve doesn't stop for some reason, the water doesn't flow outside the tank (and onto your precious floor), but goes down into the bowl instead. Why didn't they think of it before?

wildernesscat: (noanimals)
The famous (?) Israeli writer Etgar Keret is giving a lecture at my workplace next week. Anyone wants me to ask him any questions? I have no idea what to expect.


wildernesscat: (Default)
Danny Dorfman

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