Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day Three

I am having a great time. Very busy and very tired. Today I came back to the kibbutz and was so exhausted I could not do anything but collapse on my bed. I slept for less than an hour and was able to function well the rest of the day.  Here is a picture of me with a professor (Finkelstein) on my back.

It is a wonderful experience, something that is hard to explain. Harder work than you can imagine, lots of young people around, but all intelligent and willing to learn.  It is very nice to feel wanted and to be able to do something that makes a difference, the software I wrote is in daily use.  It's 9:30pm and I'm sitting here in my kibbutz room. It's rather sparse, but functional. I share with two guys and it has been quite easy. They are friendly, considerate and easy to get on with. You should try it one day.

Monday, June 18, 2012

25 years

Today it has been 25 years since I married the beautiful bwo. You know, I have been enormously lucky in my life.  I lucked out with my family, with friends, with a job, pastimes, studies, on and on and on, but the single biggest luck was 25 years back. We had know each other for many years, and even though the future seemed set in stone, until that evening at Gan Oranim nothing was clear. Over the years we have had our ups and downs, we are very different people, but even through the hardest times we have laughed with each other and never stopped liking each other.

It was strange to wake up this morning at 4:05am in my room with two other guys and not next to my lovely wife of 25 years. We texted our wishes, and then she drove up all the way to the kibbutz to be with (dirty and dusty) me for a few hours. I truly lucked out. I love you bwo, forever and for always.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


My vacation has officially started. I would be lying if I said I was not filled with trepidation regarding the next three weeks digging at Tel Megiddo. I am worried about the physical strain, the heat, sharing a room with two others, the food, and all those sorts of things. I also have quite a lot of my own IP (intellectual property) invested in this dig. It will be the first time my applications will actually get a thorough workout. Hopefully everything will go smoothly. Still, I wrote them so I should be able to fix them.

Most people think I'm crazy to burn nearly a year's worth of vacation on hard physical work in the sun. But I love this. I am taking enough computer stuff with me to power a small third world nation. I just hope there is a decent place to set all this up. I promise I will keep you all up to date, and even provide pictures. Wish me luck.

You can check the dig out here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Meet Murphy

I always feel it's necessary to introduce our new appliances on the blog. This is Murphy Morphy Richards (try saying that three times fast), our new toaster oven. It replaces the old one that lost the Azziza battle.  Let's see how long Murphy lasts. Let's hope neither of them have heard of Murphy's Law.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Opening The Gates

My cell phone opens the gate at Megiddo. I jokingly told everyone that this was the biggest prize in Israeli Archaeology. You know you are necessary when you can open the gate to the Tel any time of the night or day. We were there at 5am yesterday morning to do some work, and all it took was a call to the secret number and woosh the gate parted (I felt like Moses parting the waters).

I had a good day, visiting the teams at Tel Jezreel as well. Their survey is progressing very well. And lunch at the Kibbutz was fantastic. Now I understand why they are such competitors in local rugby - they are well fed, these kibbutzniks.

One more week of work and then I'm off. After how tired I was yesterday when I finally got home after a busy week at work and on site, I am looking forward to the dig with not a little trepidation. 

Monday, June 4, 2012


You better believe it. Bwo actually bought one of these. As you innocently walk past, it whines and opens scaring you right out of your wits. Only bwo could think this is something one cannot live without. Not only is it smaller than the old bin, I bet the mechanism will not make it to the end of the month. On top of it all, it does not always open when you want, so you often have to stand around like a fool waving your trash at the machine commanding it to "open!". It does make a nice whirring sound though. Next we will have to have the voice activated shower.

I would much rather have a toaster oven, now that the Gretz was killed by Aziza the Destroyer.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Towfer Sunday

While spending time on planes, I watch movies. Lots of them. This way I keep up. But, lately there has been little for me to watch (especially after that incredible tear jerker about the Japanese dog waiting at the station in the snow for 9 years for Richard Gere his dead owner to show up). Recently I have taken to watch TV shows while in flight. I have never watched much 30 Rock, so I make it a habit on planes these days. Here is something cool from the show:
And here is another interesting bit of music. Alon (who has finally reached the age of consent) posted this clip of how English sounds to Italians (sort of like mock Swedish from the Muppet chef).

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Useful Day

I popped down today to visit some of the digs I have been working with. I was hoping that bwo would come with me, but she opted to stay at home and clean up after last night's Asian Fest. A pity (not the cleaning up part), because the visits made me feel useful.

First I visited JVRP (Jezreel Valley Regional Project) run by one of the area directors at Megiddo. They are trying out some of the code I wrote for the main dig at Megiddo in 2 weeks.  It is quite gratifying as the code seems to be working, which is always nice.

Then I visited Norma and her team at Kibbutz Jezreel. They are starting a survey on Tel Jezreel tomorrow and so were just getting settled in.  I helped a little with some of the tech issues they have. A Garmin eTrex hand held GPS is a cool toy for around $100. I will definitely pick one up next time I'm in the US. All in all it is very nice to feel needed. The stuff I have been doing is rather trivial and would probably make any of my squints wince (hmm, squints wince - a rhyme), but the archaeologists seem most grateful and it makes me feel good.

I am looking forward to the 17th when my vacation and the big dig starts. I can then pretend I'm an archaeologist (as they say: To my mother I'm an archaeologist, to my wife I'm an archaeologist, to my kids I may even be an archaeologist, but to an archaeologist, I'm no archaeologist - should be quoted with a nice thick Yiddish accent).

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Night

Here's Friday night dinner. Hot and sour soup, fresh spring rolls (rolled with carrot, fresh cucumber, sprouts, mint and basil) along with three dipping sauces, black pepper tofu stir-fried with broccoli (one of bwo's current signature dishes) and rice. Fresh fruit for dessert. You're invited if you are in the area. Yum, it's good to be home.