Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wonderlust King

It must be my rather diluted Lithuanian blood because I really love the whole gypsy punk thing, especially Gogol Bordello. This is the second time (check out American Wedding) they have appeared on Music Tuesday. This is one band I want to see live. Such energy, they actually look like they are having a good time. And of course, Eugene Hutz (the mustachioed singer) was excellent in Everything is Illuminated, one of my favorite movies (and book). This live clip is from the Dave Letterman show. Did I say energy. Wow!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

U-Turns, DLM, U-Turns.

Hey, Driver License Man (DLM) you appear to be slipping up on the job. There are far too many tossers who feel they need to drive right into your lane before making a U-turn at a traffic light.

This morning I happened to have to drive to work around 9am instead of the usually quiet 6am. I got to witness someone taking such a wide run up to their U-Turn at the traffic light at Abba Eban/HaSadnaot here in Herzliya that they actually brushed the car in the next lane. This happened to the car right in front of me. Of course, the asshat in the U-Turning car drove off, while the poor fool in the scraped vehicle was stuck having to turn into Hasadnaot. He stopped in the middle of the road to examine the damage causing a huge hold up, much swearing and gnashing of teeth, while the perpetrator of this dastardly deed drove off into the sunset.

This DLM, is unfair. Driver's licenses need to be revoked. Punishment is deserved and should be meted out swiftly and painfully.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


1:41pm  I just received the following text from blackwifeo "Prepare yourself. I have changed the bedroom. :-)" Updates will follow.

5:30pm The bed is now at a diagonal stretching from the corner with the windows into the middle of the room. Blacknephewo's triangular table from hell is strategically placed behind the bed and holds the wireless router and phone and bedside lamp. It's a completely new look; in the nearly eleven years we have been here, I thought she had tried every conceivable combination, but we have never had the bed on a diagonal. I am not sure of the feng shui, but as they say, a change is as good as a blow to the head.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The End of the World has been rescheduled

You will be happy to note that even though "the rapture" did not quite happen on May 21st as planned, the end of the world has been scheduled for October. This rescheduling is good as it gives people time to sell their belongings on eBay.

And I always thought all the religious nutbags lived here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Going's On

That's it. I just put the finishing touches on my last essay for my MA, now all that is left is a thesis (I have more than six months for this). This essay in Critical Approaches to the Archaeological Heritage is probably the worst piece of work I have done so far. Even though I enjoyed the course and found it extremely thought provoking, I really struggled to get it done. I found a thesis adviser who is into GIS and archaeological visualization which is good because it looks like I'm going to do something about archaeological workflow and collecting 3D data on-site. It's an important topic and I've given myself the task of getting it all together before the next Megiddo expedition in 2012. So while I won't have class I will have plenty to keep me busy. I'm quite sad that it will probably be more work in front of a computer screen.

On the home front we have been living with the cutest kitten in the world in our bedroom.  She is truly a joyful little thing and relatively well behaved, although right now she is going a bit bossies and alternating between balancing on bwo's laptop screen like a tightrope walker and attacking everything in sight (especially her tail).  She will go to a good home soon (I hope). We all love her and can sit and watch her antics for hours, but we have enough cats, and one doesn't just get rid of the old to bring in the new - right blackwifeo.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lag BaOmer

It is well known that Lag BaOmer is my worst holiday of the the year. Tonight is the night that the screaming, teaming hoards of children burn anything and everything. They spend weeks stealing and stowing away any wood and supermarket trolleys that they can find and it all gets burned to night (including the trolleys). It's a disgrace. Tonight we will have screaming kids in the empty lots around our house and we will try sleep between the racket and the firecrackers. Tomorrow the air will be thick with the smoke of one hundred thousand bondfires still smoldering. Almost no one knows where the tradition of Lag BaOmer originated (there is of course no agreement on the true source). Why can't the city just organize a few big fires and let everyone join in? I'm not even going to talk about the huge fires that are threatening to burn down our house.

Tonight also happens to be the girl's High School Prom.  We took her to Herzliya dressed to the nines: in shoes she can't walk in and a dress that's the size of a head band. She looks hot. Now her big dilemma is does she come back to Raanana after the prom to hang with her posse at a bonfire or does she go to the "after party". This is not a decision to take lightly and something she cannot not decide on without having to call at least two dozen of her closest friends.

Hey, don't forget to enjoy the rapture. I just hope that none of the creationist are left behind.

Bwo and I spent the weekend addicted to Angry Birds (check out the browser version at chrome.angrybirds.com). I know we are very late to the party, but its been worth it, destroying pigs is so much fun.


Another incredible piece of engineering. It took four days to set this up and 1 take, no CG, no nothing. I think the Japanese will go far. Thanks Eddie.


Thursday, May 19, 2011


Tomer posted this on his FB page.  I am not exactly sure what it is but as one of the comments say it's "magniv". I did not post any music on Tuesday so this is instead.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Board Ice Machine

Two things. Tonight was my last board meeting as chairman of the school board. I complain a lot (what's news) but in truth it has been a learning experience and I come out of it much enriched and perhaps with a little more patience. I am happy that Heckle and Jeckle got to go to this excellent school and am ecstatic that their school days are nearly over. There are some things I won't miss, but in all it has been a good experience. Get involved with your kid's school - it's important.

Secondly our fridge conked out yesterday.  We have been battling with a tripping GFI (you know the blue ground fault trip switch in the electrical closet) for more than a week. The boy has been frantic because each time the house trips, we lose internet. So he implemented a thorough diagnostic investigation using a binary search method over all the circuits in the house.  It turned out (after about 5 days of annoying power outages) to be William the Fridge. We unplugged it and when we tried to plug it back in a few hours later it tripped out the house immediately. Now the ice machine has been acting up recently and making these huge icebergs that could sink the Titanicand and much fewer nice ice cubes: it seems the tripping was connected to this.

Now we needed to find a good fridge repair person. Carmito, the very female squint admin, suggested we try www.midrag.co.il It seems it's a consumer driven web site where people recommend repair people, you know what I mean. So bwo looked up and called a recommended chappie, he came over within two hours, checked it out, pulled out the ice machine, charged us 180NIS and thereby fixed our fridge. Nice. It seems the repair guy has to pay midrag 25NIS of his 180NIS, but they then call up and ask us how the service was and add our feedback to his grade on the site. Nice. He even gave us a tax receipt (no nonsense about us getting a 15% discount if we pay cash, while he makes an extra 50% because he does not pay income tax). What can I say it seems it at least deserves a 83%, I can't give them more because now we don't have any ice.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Suzie, Suzie Creamcheese

One of the strays had kittens in the corner of the yard. Five in all. They are all as cute as only kittens can be. But we noticed that one was not doing as well as the others. It was laying around and did not have the energy that its siblings seemed to show. Then two nights back it was clear that there was something seriously wrong. The boy went out and instead of them all scurrying off as soon as anyone came close, the sick one just lay there. So he brought her in. I was surprised when she was still alive in the morning, but she was and bwo took her off to the vet. She had an upper respiratory tract infection and a temperature. She got some shots and was sent home. Since then she had been steadily improving and charming every one of us. You cannot help but love a kitten. We named her Suzannah, Suzie for short.

Also do yourself a favor and check out this web cartoon.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Check this out

You will need a html5 ready browser (google chrome) to see this, it's worth it as is where the web is going. So check this out (music from the Album Rome).

Thanks for pointing this out Yuval.


I have an idea for a star up. I know I shouldn't put it out on the interweb as someone could skit the idea, but seeing as there are only 2 or 3 of you who read this I don't suppose it's a big problem.

It's called the be'desk. Basically it's a bed that is also a desk. There is a place to plug in your laptop and a swinging tray thing (like in a hospital) where you can place the laptop and mouse, along with a screen that can be swung back out of the way when not in use. There are also built in slide out drawers for all the paraphernalia (pens, pencils, staplers, scissors and headphones) a trash compactor for wet garbage and a paper shredder (a composter would be greener by I have not yet solved the odor issue). There will of course be multiple sockets for chargers of cell phones etc. Most importantly, there will be a partition that can separate the be'desk user from her poor spouse, so that he can actually get into his side of the bed without having to move bags, books, laptops, clothing and sometimes dishes (all this is completely hypothetical of course and not some sort of personal commentary on my life).

The be'desk is just the thing for that internet savvy power user who favors the horizontal. I even know a world class beta tester.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Vegan Black Metal Chef

Yuval pointed me to this cooking video. I figure the boy would like it.

For all the squints who have little kids and little sleep read this (you will need a facebook account).

I hate driving

I hate driving now more than ever.  The last two times I have had to drive home from work it has taken at least an hour. Today it took an hour and twenty minutes, Monday, erev Yom Haatzmaut, it took me an hour and a half.  I can walk it in an hour and 15 mins. Today it seems someone drove into a tree on Yerusalayim and it blocked the street for an hour. Monday, was just a lot of traffic.

I am not sure what to do any more, I dread getting into the car to come home. The traffic is the reason I get to work before 6:30am, at least at that time I don't need to fight too much. The driving is definitely messing with my life.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mel's Chick

Blackwifeo was doing a job for Mel. She was helping him get his eBay store together. He sells Tshirts etc. Anyway, he brought over this mannequin, we call her "Mel's Girl". She has been hanging around for a few months, wearing different clothes from time to time. She stood on the table for a while, then in the corner of the lounge. She spent the last week or two watching my computer screen in the office. She really bothered Azziza though. We never understood what the issue was, till finally one day, Azziza disappeared upstairs and came down with a pair of undies. She demanded that bwo dress Mel's girl. So you have the before and after pictures. It's all about modesty.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Barmitzvah

Phew, the weekend is finally over and I can relax at work. Mostly it was Edan's Barmitzvah - He did an excellent job leading the services and reading his torah portion. We were all very proud. Still it was quite a busy weekend.

It started Thursday morning with a trip to the Wall in Jerusalem. We left home at 6am and arrived at the Wall at exactly 8:30 - just in time to wait for the Bar Mitzvah area to be freed up. We got lost about three times on the way in, and I had to park up the side of a mountain in the blazing heat. The ceremony at the wall was nice - the Conservative movement uses the part of the wall exposed in the archaeological park on the right hand side of the wall for their ceremonies so as not to contaminate the "real" Jews at the wall. It is nicely presented and besides the other people having their Bar Mitvahs it was quiet. Still it took a while and eventually after the required photos we trudged up the hill and took the car to Corene's place on Derech Beit Lechem (after getting lost twice). There we ate bagels and swallowed headache pills before setting out back home (getting lost on the way out of Jerusalem once again). All my passengers had a good sleep in the car, as I managed to get us home with no problems. I did not go to work. I took my headache to bed.

Friday started very early with chopping fruit salad (I have a new theory as to how a good fruit salad is like a rock band that I will explain one day) and cutting vegetables for salad and antipasti. We then cleaned the house (with Azziza), installed the new dishwasher (It works wonderfully), set up tables, made antipasti and set up BBQs etc for the evening do. 7pm we went off to shul. Interesting service at the South-American-Conservative-Congregation-Next-to-the-Post-Office-on-Opsterland. The Rabbi (I think he is a Rabbi) gave a surprisingly coherent sermon (so he probably isn't a Rabbi), especially entertaining as he switched seamlessly from Hebrew to Spanish with nary a blink. It was all about pluralism in religion and the history of the second temple conflict between the Pharisees and the Sadducees along with a call to get involved in protecting our rights to practice religion as we see fit. After the service we rushed back home to make sure all was running smoothly for the guests. The food was good (I think), the deserts excellent. Barry only drinks Laphroaig. Bwo and I collapsed around 10:30pm and left the family and Gili to clean up, which they did. Nicely.

Saturday morning 9am saw us back in Shul. Edan did his bit with an endearing confidence and style. I was shocked at getting a second aliyah (the first being at the wall) and after stumbling through the brachot got to look at the hand written words in the Torah scroll once again. We enjoyed more bagels at the brocha after the service and got a ride home as the kids (atheists that they are) could not wait to get home and nap after an exhausting day in Shul (all that standing and sitting gets tiring, you know). We were all so drained (emotionally) that we took it easy and napped off and on the rest of the day.

So that folks was my weekend. Quite hectic. Oh and I had a birthday Friday - the new dish washer is the bomb, but as bno said, it does not load or unload itself.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Being a humanities major!

This is the sort of thing that blacksono thinks is "cool" - How I came to work at Wendy's

And one wonders if he is depressed!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How did they know?

How did they know that this is exactly what I have always wanted for my birthday - a dishwasher. (No need to panic, the rest of you have till Friday to find suitable presents (only kidding)).