Monthly Archives: October 2007

What We Leave Behind

The urge to purge:  Something about the loss of a friend of loved one makes me think about more than just the legacy we leave behind—I also worry about the physical detritus of daily life, the accumulated junk and clutter of years.  Will someone have to root through drawers of dusty concert programs and long-forgotten receipts?  Raise an eyebrow over that ugly cracked plastic dish shaped like an eggplant (that I’ve been meaning to throw out for three years)?  Wonder why you saved a nearly petrified stick of gum? 

We return from the funeral and Gill suggests a walk.  The loop around our neighbor gives us a chance to blow off some energy and think about Jamie.  When we get back, I am suddenly motivated to tackle my closet, and end up harvesting several bags of things to give away or throw out.

There is something almost cathartic in clearing out the junk.  Perhaps that is one of the reasons why I love watching shows like The Life Laundry, or dipping into sites like Life Organizers

Gill tries to cheer me up with an email that has been making the rounds.  Rather than violate copyright, I prefer to send you directly to the source, where Stuart Brown talks about the amazing images captures by nature photographer Norbert Rosing. If you haven’t seen these pictures of a polar bear playing with a sled dog in Hudson Bay, you won’t want to miss it.  There is something very healing in these images of joyful play.

Lighten your clutter, lighten your heart: 

The Art of Line Art

Cool animation:  Check it out.

A Sad Day

Jamie Kahn z”l:  We say goodbye to Jamie today.  Jamie was not only a terrific marcom writer, but a funny, vivacious, smart lady with (pre-chemo) wild blonde curls.  Our thoughts are with her family.

It seems very odd that on this same day, Prime Minister Olmert announces that he has prostate cancer.

California Fires

A real hot spot:  Having lived in SoCal for almost 14 years, I have many friends and colleagues there.  I also went through the Santa Barbara Painted Cave fire in 1990, so I know how terrifying this can be.  My thoughts and best wishes go out to all in the fire zone, especially those who have been evacuated.  Check out this interactive map of the fire sites.

Mumble Mania

Say what?  Kol hakavod to the volunteers who put together WordCamp 2007.  Turns out we are site of the first WordCamp outside of North America (yet again proof that Israel is way up there on the geek scale).

The only problem is that most of the presenters look like they’re 20, act like they’re 15, and speak too fast, too softly, and too garbled.  The current “cool” trend for the young crowd is to swallow half their words (but not apparently, their saliva) and to fall into a cadence of turning every five words into a question.

 “HiI’mAnatI’mgonnatalkaboutwidgets? Theseareallthepluginsyoucaninstall? It’sreallyeasylookwe’lldoitnow?”

Sounds like a bunch of Aussies speaking Hebrew.  And the screen font is incredibly tiny.  Still, it is a chance to pick up some new tips, get a different perspective, and meet some fellow bloggers.

Remembering Rabin

Yitzchak RabinLooking back in sorrow:  Hard to believe that it has already been twelve years since Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin z”l was assassinated.  Virtually all of us, no matter where we stood on the political spectrum, were shocked and horrified.  The week following his death was a blur of pain and confusion.  I remember being in the supermarket when Arik Einstein’s zeh pitom nafal aleiha came on the radio.  (This was the song Einstein wrote about it from the standpoint of Rabin’s widow, Leah Rabin.)  I watched a grown man freeze in the act of reaching for something in the dairy case.  He stood there, shoulders slumped, tears rolling down his cheeks.  In all the painful and horrible things that we have survived as a nation, this was one of the worst, because it was perpetrated by one of our own citizens.  Despite our savvy and experience in dealing with war and terrorism, we were sadly naive about the risks of political assassination from within.  It was a betrayal and a shock.

The amateur video that captured the moment is aired by Ynet.  It’s not pleasant to watch, as moments after singing a peace song on stage at a rally in Tel Aviv, Rabin descends to the waiting car.  Those three shots killed more than just one man; they killed part of the spirit of freedom and open debate, and watching the video, I can almost feel them slam into my body.

I remember one person commenting to me in those dark days, “Nu, you’re American.  You must be used to this.”  Tranlsation: all Americans live in the wild, wild west, with gun slingers roaming the streets and shooting political opponents on sight, so we have grown immune to it.  Oi!  

The entree strikes back:  Wild turkeys take to the streets in protest.  Hat tip to Central LS.

Dance Fever

Something to squalk about: My sister Denise shares this.  Make sure to have your speakers turned on.

The Issues of the Day

Annapolis, shmapolis:  Who cares that the next peace summit might be the make-or-break turning point for the Middle East?  The really hot news comes from the NY, where J.K. Rowling blandly outed Dumbledore.  This is sure to make Bible-Belters ratchet up their Harry Potter hatred to a new level.  Hat tip to Northern LS.

News with a real lift:  In other breaking news, Israeli biotech ones more comes to rescue of saggy boobs.  Two thoughts: what will happen at airport security screenings, and why exactly do pigs need underwire support? 

wordpressI’m off to camp:  The word in WordCamp 2007 refers to WordPress, not Microsoft Word.  WordPress is the blog host and engine that I use, and the full-day conference, the first in Israel, is this Thursday, 25 October. The day should be interesting—lectures, networking, and handy tips.  Maybe they can explain why text wrapping is often ingnored with my IMG SRC tags!

Driving Miss Crazy

Highway hi-jinx:  Driving home from the Akko train station, I find myself stuck behind the only mellow cabbie in the country.  He’s noodling along, barely hitting 80 kph.  Coming up in my rear view mirror is a normal taxi driver (i.e., aggressive, impatient, and hovering four millimeters from my bumper).  There’s a huge truck in the slow lane, so I can’t move over.  Ugh.

This little moment of joy is just a taste of The Shlepp: two days in a row that I go to Tel Aviv for meetings.  The day before, I shlepp down there with four colleagues squeezed into a small car.  We make good time until we are just north of Tel Aviv.  Then it takes us another 45 minutes to get to our destination.  Stressful, exhausting, and guaranteed to make you hate humanity.

Yesterday’s journey is almost worse.  I take the train and make the monumental error of trying to review a student project and end up feeling nauseated.  Motion sickness or crappy project?  Hard to tell…

Naughty, Naughty!

Gee, ya think?  Syria finally admits that the site targeted had nukes.

Do we hear wedding bells?  Suhu gets a new home from an admirer. At least she is sticking to type…