wildernesscat: (Default)
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View North from the Field Museum Your truly by a T-Rex at the Field Museum Fall in Chicago
View North from the hotel window View South from the Hancock Observatory Regina Spektor in Chicago Theater
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: (good)
Returned home after a crazy 2.5 week family vacation on the East Coast. So much ground covered, and so many things left out, like always. We went to Amish Country in PA, Washington DC, Niagara Falls, Manhattan, Brooklyn, several lakes, rivers and nature reserves, visited friends and family, amusement parks, and shopping outlets. It's all one big mess in my head right now. There are some photos I took, but they need to be sorted out (too many to show at the moment). Here's one photo for starters.



Taken at my cousin Alon's place in Delaware, it shows an outdoor firepit. It's a simple metal bowl on a stand, with firewood burning inside it. So simple, and so nice for spending time with friends in the backyard. Where can one get these things here in Israel?

wildernesscat: (efes)
I am very gifted in filling out forms, particularly American ones. One time, as I was filling out the CBP declaration before landing in Newark, I omitted the 'f' in my last name. I was tired and did a sloppy job. You can imagine what kind of procedure you're subjected to, if you don't "remember your own name".
This Friday, at the American consulate in Tel-Aviv, a similar story. I approached the 3rd station, and was politely greeted by the secretary. First question - What month were you born in? - April. - Are you sure? - Yes, I'm sure, I was born on April 15th. - Then why did you fill out March? - What??! - You wrote here that you were born in March. - I am sorry, I made a honest mistake. - Okay, let me correct that for you.
Damn those computerized forms. One scroll of the mouse, and the month changes. The rest of the interview was pretty standard. I'll get the visas this week.

wildernesscat: (wildcatdr)
Some pictures I took around Denver on my last business trip, one week ago.

Read more... )

wildernesscat: (danny_and_daddy)
Apparently I am one of the few people who really read those shop-in-the-air publications that airlines put in the back pockets of their seats. On yesterday's flight from Denver to New Jersey I discovered this gem ) of a picture. It looks like someone got artistic in the printed edition of SkyMall, and decided that the image would look better with the people standing on the left. The online version of this useful item looks fine, by the way.

wildernesscat: (shootdog)
Many cars around here have built-in wiring for iPods. People would just get into their cars, connect their iPod to the car stereo, and get full integration between the two systems. You can change songs using the controls on your steering wheel, and see song information on the stereo's display. Pretty neat.

wildernesscat: (wildcatdr)
[Poll #863711]

wildernesscat: (maniac)
Okay, so there's a new regulation for US-bound aircraft, that says "no liquids allowed in carry-on luggage". However, the guys at Ben Gurion's duty free apparently haven't heard about it. They keep selling you liquor, checking your boarding pass (which plainly states your destination) and sending you on your way. At the gate the flight attendants would then ask you whether you have liquids, you'd say "yes", and be promptly sent back to the liquor store to have the bottle stashed away for safekeeping. Now why, on earth, do I need this mess, which almost caused me to miss my flight? (Not to mention that I don't have a present for a friend in the US).

wildernesscat: (bearwalk)
I've just found out that Kinder Eggs are sold all over the world, except in the US of A, where they're banned by the FDA. I guess that American children are more prone to choking on small toys than other kids.

Via [livejournal.com profile] cleobatya.

wildernesscat: (wildcatdr)
Here I am, watching Desperate Housewives, and they tell us about Bree's weekly schedule. There's one day when she does her laundry, there's another day when she works in her garden, on yet another day she gets her groceries, and there's one last day (and here's the question) when she pays her bills. Now, I also have a house, and expenses, and I also have bills. But I don't allocate a whole day for paying bills every week. How come? What's so special about life in America that you have to work so hard at it?

wildernesscat: (wildcatdr)
Americans have to follow rules. They cannot bend them, go around them, or tamper with them in any way. Here's an example that illustrates it.

Most stores in the US offer the "money back guarantee". If you're not satisfied with your product during the first 30 days after purchase, you can bring it back in its original form and packaging, present the receipt, and have your money refunded. Many stores also offer the "price guarantee" policy, which will match a larger discount by refunding the difference. For example, if the store has a sale where certain products go at 50% off, and the next day the same products are 75% off, you're entitled to a refund of 25% of the original price.
Now this lady bought a whole bunch of clothes in a store (at a certain discount), packed them in her suitcase and was ready to fly back home, when she saw that the discount rates have increased overnight. She quickly went back to the store, presented the receipts and asked for the "price guarantee" adjustment. The salesperson said "I'm sorry, but we don't have a price guarantee policy in our store". "Fine", said the lady, "but you do have a money-back guarantee, don't you"? "Yes", said the salesperson, "we sure do". "Then please take these clothes and give me my money back. Don't put them away yet". The lady got her money back. "Now, you do have this larger discount in effect today, right"? The salesperson was happy to agree. "I'd like to buy back these clothes at the new discount". No problem. "Now why didn't you match the price in the first place?!" inquired the lady. "It's not part of our policy", insisted the salesperson.

wildernesscat: (wildsip)
Some curious material we got in an American-Israeli intercultural workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to improve the business correspondence between us and the Americans, and to make us look more ... ahemmm ... civilized :)



FUNCTIONAL LANGUAGE

Effective communication is partly a matter of knowing certain special expressions. Some of the ways we change the basic message, can however be generalized.

Below are some examples of how to "soften" your communication.

  1. Using would, could or might to make what you say more tentative
    • “That is unacceptable” - “That would be unacceptable”

  2. Presenting your view as a question rather than a statement.
    • “That is too late” - “Isn’t that too late?”

  3. Read more... )



    FUNCTIONAL EXPRESSIONS


    How to …

    Opinions

    Asking for an opinion
    • What’s your opinion of …?
    • What’s your position on …?
    • What do you think of …?
    • I’d like to hear your views on …


    Read more... )



    And remember - whenever you want to convey an unpleasant message, wrap it into something positive from both sides ;-)
wildernesscat: (wildcatdr)
When I was in Colorado last month, [livejournal.com profile] missmokie and I visited the Buffalo Bill museum on Lookout Mountain. This was an exciting opportunity for me to get to know a prominent part of American history (having watched all those westerns on METV and all). At the exit from the museum, they were giving away Buffalo Bill timeline leaflets in many languages. I looked through the list and to my dismay, didn't find Hebrew. It turned out that the timelines had been translated by visitors who had volunteered for the task. Not thinking twice, I decided to translate the timeline into the Holy Language. And so I did, mailing it to the museum a couple of weeks ago. This morning I received the following e-mail:

Mr. Dorfman, ... )

So this is how I made myself an inseparable part of the great Western heritage :)

wildernesscat: (wildcatdr)
And one more thing. Remember the airboat ride? Here's how it feels, more or less.



That's the captain with half a finger missing. Guess who has the other half.

wildernesscat: (wildcatdr)
Finally, the whole bunch of 48 images from the trip to Florida. A slideshow is also available.

wildernesscat: (seedling)
When I was at Lookout Mountain, I got a whole bunch of gifts from their giftshop. I bought a cup with the Colorado flag on it, a bison wall thermometer, and a bunch of blue spruce seeds. Although every website and every gardening group says I don't have a snowball's chance in hell, I'll try to grow it in my back yard. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

wildernesscat: (Default)
On Sunday night, which was my last day in Denver, I wanted to connect my airline's website, continental.com. I needed to check in at my return flight, and select the good seats on the planes. Unfortunately I had no internet connection available, so I asked [livejournal.com profile] missmokie to help me find an internet cafe downtown. Neither she or I knew Denver well enough, so we just drove through the empty streets, trying our luck. Eventually we stopped near a big glass building that looked promising, and went in. The place turned out to be the Colorado Convention Center, and people were just leaving the place. I approached the receptionist and asked, if she knew of an internet cafe nearby. She said she had no idea. We were about to leave, when [livejournal.com profile] missmokie pointed me to the billboard, which said, black on white, that there was an internet cafe inside the building, in zone D. I asked the woman, whether we could use that for 5 minutes (explaining my special circumstances), but she laconically asked whether I belonged to the convention. Obviously I didn't, so she suggested I checked in by phone. That was an opportunity for me to sneak in, so I asked if they had any public phones available. She waved in the general direction of the convention center, and we quickly marched in. Zone D wasn't very hard to find, and the internet cafe was smack in the middle of it. I quickly found a vacant spot between the "suits" and started clicking away. [livejournal.com profile] missmokie waited in the waiting area, so we'd draw less attention. I was done in 10 minutes, and hurried out. Nobody was the wiser. Now why do people have to draw the "Israeli" out of me?

wildernesscat: (wildcatdr)
One day I was driving down the I-70 on my way to Denver and stopped at a gas station. I wanted to buy a bottle of water that cost 97 cents. Together with taxes, that came off to $1.05 or something. As I went rummaging through my wallet for small change, the cashier said "just give me a dollar, I have some cents in the penny tray here". At first, I didn't get what she was talking about, but then I understood the concept: People toss their small coins into the tray, so that some other customer may use them if they're a few cents short. Why don't they have the same sort of thing in Israel?

wildernesscat: (Default)
As I already said to [livejournal.com profile] missmokie, Americans would sometimes respond to "thank you" with an energetic "you bet"! Like, I say "thanks for all your help", and the other person just goes "you bet"! I wonder what they mean by it. It's not "you bet you've got to thank me", is it?

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Danny Dorfman

January 2017

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