Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It's Better Than Bottling It Up, Isn't It

It appears that I am "difficult" to live with. So I was sent to a "naturopath" yesterday. Seems I am always stressed and don't talk nicely (we've only been married 20 years, so what's changed?). The naturopath works out of a pharmacy, and my appointment was for 9am, so, of course, I was waiting outside at 8:50. The lady at the counter informed me she was running "a bit" late. A battered Mitsubishi with a tattered orange ribbon on the side mirror drove up at 9:30, by this time I was pacing, fuming, clenched jawed, mean and spitting fire. She left her car blocking the road outside (with the hazard lights flashing), ran in and apologized for the traffic (I asked if this was the first time she had made the trip at this time. She looked me straight in the eye and said she does it three times a week, but has struggled for the last few weeks to get in before 9:30 - remember my appointment was for 9.00). Needless to say, I was not as open-minded as perhaps I should have been.

She started by looking at my nails, tongue and eyes. Then she sat back, looked towards the heavens and produced the verdict. It seems I'm like a cat - I fall with my feet on the ground in any situation and from any height. That said, my intestines are full. They are pulsing with rotting, decomposing flesh. This is backing up my system and making me grumpy and stressed. I calmly explained that my stomach is rather active and constipation for me would mean voiding less than 7 times a day. She looked me in the eye and claimed "thats exactly what I said, you are not digesting well". My veins are stiff, and not "supple" enough. And my gall-bladder is not helping (It was removed in 2000). Oh, and I am not getting enough oxygen, I don't breathe enough. She promptly wrote down a list of what I cannot eat (basically anything that I like: no bread - not even whole wheat, no soda, no nuts, no oranges) and what I must (orange vegetables, wheat grass, and flax seeds). Then we got to the medications.

What a business this is. The consultation is free, but you buy the "drugs" from the pharmacy. In order to speak nice I need, Klintox (Detox advanced formula), Nolergi (scientifically advanced formula), Jarro-Dophilus (a mixture of 8 kinds of probiotic bacteria with no less than 4.4 billion organisms per capsule) and B-Rest. Without the B-Rest (which is "not-lost" somewhere in our house) the three magic potions came to a mere 380NIS.

At least its cheaper than marriage counseling.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hats for the Well Dressed

I had to go to the airport late Thursday to meet someone. Nothing surprising in itself, but while sitting and waiting in the arrivals hall, SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) got rather grossed out by a rather large religious fellow digging for diamonds in his head (through his nose). But, it was his hat that got me thinking. It was huge, black, decorated with some kind of fur. It was definitely his "top-shelf" hat. He must have been waiting to meet his Rabbi or something.

These guys care a lot about hats. I swear that El-AL has specially large overhead bins to accommodate hat boxes. They always travel with hat boxes. Nice ones too - you know how much I admire quality boxes. They never seem to care about the wife and 15 kids, but those hat boxes - man do they get pampered. They are always placed carefully in the overhead racks - never at the feet. If there is no room overhead, then they are clutched carefully on the lap for the full 14 hour trip from Tel Aviv to Newark. Someone told me that each sect has a different hat style (and supplier), thats how you tell them apart. Its like DNA typing.

Anyway back to the dude at the airport. He also had those heavy black rimmed "Clark Kent" style glasses. These signify many late nights crouched in bad light over biblical study books. Its been reported that you can buy these hats and glasses in specific sets. Package deals for the well dressed ultra-orthodox - hell of a business, I'll bet.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Box

I know this is the 80% blog. But on some rare occasions one comes across something that is just 100%. This week we received (after the expected delay of a week due to dealing with our 60% local shippers agents) a special piece of hardware from a customer. The hardware itself is cool, but the box it came in - 100%.

Check it out. Not only did they build this box specifically for the device, but they built an inner compartment that kept it safe and bolted down. The whole thing was put together with copper (coated) nails and lag bolts. They used top quality birch plywood sides and solid pine for reinforcement and for the runners. The blue foam provided shock absorption. I love this box, I would live in it. These guys even put a G-Shock indicator and a tilt meter to make sure that the contents arrived in good shape.

Excellence in any form, must be appreciated. Needless to say this shipment did not originate in Israel. We're just not worthy.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Speaking in Tongues

I have recently noticed an annoying trend. There is a certain set of native English speakers that insist on talking to me in Hebrew. As if after their 10+ years here in the holy land, they can only express themselves clearly in "Ivrit". It is so irritating. I never could stand those that somehow after a few months in England were talking as if they had attended Eton and Oxford. Or those ex-South Africans that try so hard to sound as though they had been born in LA.

But, why, Oh why, do you think that I will ever answer an English mother tongue, Hebrew wannabe in anything other than English. Clearly once you set up a default language at the onset of a relationship, you do not change it. No amount of "Mah Nishmah's" or "Eich Atah Margish's" will get me to talk Hebrew to someone I have spoken English to since we were born. Naal Raback!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Talk into the Phone

Yesterday while at the supermarket I could feel something messing with my karma. I noticed a BIT (beaut in training - needs further explanation, but not now) in her skin tight leopard skin leggings and high heel boots and frilly pink top shouting into her cell phone which she held away from her ear and in front of her sticky florescent scarlet lips. Of course, her cell phone was on loudspeaker and all the Hypershuk could her her riveting discussion with her "best" friend. I shuddered and walked off, selected my veggies and went to stand in line to wait my turn at being abused by the surly ex-KGB torturer who now is punishing the world because while she used to be a brain surgeon in Minsk she is now a lowly cashier. Anyway, the beaut (truly she is not in training any more, she probably is dean of the faculty), still deep in conversation with "Lenava" sidles up next to me and without missing a beat, shout in my direction "I only have three things, let me go in front of you".

She continues her discussion while giving me the beady eyeball. I take a deep breath while thinking furiously of something smart to say, but all my shell shocked brain can come up with is. "if you stop talking on the phone, I will consider it". She petulantly signs off her call all the while complaining about the "antipat" that is ruining her buzz. I let her in front and try not be blinded by the miles of leopard patterned buldgey butt. As she pushes past, I asked her why she needs to let the whole world listen into her discussions on the cell phone. She sizes me up with a bloodshot eye encased in blue mascara and says "you don't want me to get cancer, surely?" What can one say!

Monday, April 7, 2008

One Foot in the Grave

This whole growing old thing is overrated. Used to be, that I cared about a whole lot of things, big things like world peace, sex and rock and roll. Now the only thing that is really exciting is food. Even waking up in the morning hurts. Now to top it all off I have this "ageism" thing to worry about.

We are hiring here at work. Each day we try to find to a few more potential squints to join our merry band gazing hypnotically into fingerprint smudged LCD screens. Its not easy I tell you. Between the draft-dodgers and psycho-killers there are very few, only slightly mental, candidates out there. It seems recently that some of these are over 40. One foot in the grave in our business. Even if they pass all the tests and the daunting HR interview, we probably will not be able to hire them because they are not fun to party with. Its all quite exhausting for an old fellow like me. If I had to interview for a job here now, I'd never make it I'm just too old.

I think I'll go blend up my lunch and have a nap, this high-tech world is clearly for the young.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Israeli Browser Discrimination

Now I'm pissed off. What is this crap that I can't even go to the arrivals/departures page at Ben Gurion using my spiffy macbook pro. Can you believe this 80% country. So now not only do I have to use a Windows machine to go to my bank's web site, but also to look at the airport arrival and departures. When I called up to complain about this, I was told by the fool on the line that it works perfectly on her computer. She had never even heard of a "dafdafon" (browser in normal people's tongue) that was not "explorer" (pronounced Exxxplorrrerrr). She thought I was joking and suggested I use the phone service.

I hope Microsoft is paying off all these Israeli sites to force us to use Explorer 7. I really do not understand why its so hard to make a generic site that works with all engines. What topped it all off today was I took the old way to work at 6:30am. I got stuck for about 10mins at the train crossing in Kfar Shmiriyahu and no train even came by. I walked in to work sat down at my machine ready to fire off a nasty email to the boss of Israel Railway, when I started up my browser and googled to the correct page I got a pop-up "This Page is Only Supported using Windows Explorer 7 - click here to install or upgrade". AAAGgggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh someone need to pay for this.

Its not lost if you don't look for it

It appears that I come from a family that has a lot of theories. My brother, bless him, has a theory that there are three certain ways to lose weight. If no one sees you eating it, you ingest no calories. If you eat off someone else's plate you will stay slim. And most importantly, all the calories move to the piece of cake left on the serving plate, so keep cutting increasingly smaller pieces (caloric migration).

I have a wonderful wife (she's the only one who writes comments to my blog, anyway). She also has theories. Its not lost if you do not look for it. Now there a are lot of things that are currently "missing" in our house, like the new headphones I bought her, but they are not lost, because she has not started looking for them yet. Its incredible how long things can stay "not lost" in our house. We have not lost chequebooks, shoes, millions of forms and papers, cutlery, knife sharpeners, medicines, credit cards, passports etc. all over the house. We just can't use them temporarily, but they are NOT lost.