The gang’s all gathered: It was an effort, but we managed to get a few of our moshavnikim crammed into jackets and ties. In Hebrew order (right to left): Dave, Charles, me, Larry, Dudu, Rebeca (back), Marilyn, and Waffa. Native languages represented: Hebrew, Arabic, English, Spanish, and one poor shmuck from the UK who thinks that he speaks English…
Here’s wishing all of you a happy, healthy, and harmonious 2008, filled with wonderful adventures, cute guys (or gals), and tiny dogs.
Good-bye, Meep: Our friends’ 18-year-old cat, Meep, passed away peacefully in her sleep. Meep (so named for her odd-sounding meow) had a good life, and was blessed with a loving family, a safe home, and lots of good food. Too many cats and dogs never experience that.
Hello, Lucy: We gather at Gill’s sister’s place for a mass birthday celebration. Me, my brother-in-law, my sister-in-law, and the twins, all had December birthdays. Also on hand is the newest member of the family, lovely Lucy, a powderpuff Chinese crested. One of the twins, Rona, gets a remote-controlled car for her birthday, and Lucy goes nuts chasing it around the mirpeset. Here’s the little fluffball in all her four-kilo glory.
Misquoted: Will Smith sets the record straight. You can officially go back to liking him.
Speaking of setting the record straight, Honest Reporting has a short clip of their highlights over the past seven years.
What you’re missing: Yup, there are interesting things here that you just might not see if you are living in The Old Country.
I glance over at the Egged bus in the lane next to me. The driver is reading the newspaper.
A public service announcement for road safety features a driver who cheerfully tells us that, during the rainy winter months, he drives 20 kph slower than the posted maximum. While I’m listening to this, a testosterone-poisoned knucklehead blasts past me at about 140 kph (in a 90 kph zone on a good day).
You get to listen to commercials for “oops” (those of you who understand how Hebrew speakers turn any initialization into an acronym will figure this out).
Earworms, anyone? The Germans first coined the term Ohrwurm (the annoying phenomenon of having a song or jingle stuck in your head). It is almost never something musically glorious, like Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor (though I once had “O We Like Sheep,” from Handel’s Messiah, with the added bonus of wilfully misinterpreting it into a nudge-nudge, wink-wink Vaudeville line). Usually, however, an earworm is some idiotic commercial or theme song from a sitcom. I end up with I Am Cow running through my head for about two days straight. It is very hard to focus on what your client is saying when you are thinking, “I am cow, eating grass, methane gas comes out my ass…” But I was surprised to learn that there is a connection between earworms and creativity. (And check out this article from Wired.)
So tell me: what song has been running through your head? The bitu’ach yashir jingle? Who Let the Dogs Out? The theme music from the original Star Trek series?
Work, work, work: I’m at various client sites almost every day this week. Busy, busy. It means that normal household stuff is getting ignored, and I’m spending way too much time traveling. Here’s what I have decided:
||You can control your time of departure and your route, stop along the way as needed, blast your own music, make phone calls without annoying other people, or just enjoy peace and quiet. You also don’t have to sit next to any hygiene-challenged people.
||Traffic, stress, and dangerous drivers.
||You can shluff, stretch your legs, read a book.
||Loud people. Crowds. The rudest passengers in the world who block the doors when you are trying to exit (Hof haCarmel is the worst!).
Holiday alert! Watch out for Santas running amok in New Zealand. Hat tip to Central LS.
Open mouth, insert foot: This time it is Will Smith who comes up with an astonishingly stupid comment. Hat tip to Northern LS.
Arab Christians pay the price: Ever since the PA has taken over Bethlehem and Nazareth, more and more Christians have been driven out by Moslem violence. In fact, Christian Arabs enjoyed more protection and security under Israeli law than under PA law. Yet recently, some churches internationally have been blaming Israel for the demographic shift! Aaron Klein has the story.
Further proof that the UK is not yet ready for the EU: They believe in UFOs.
You can’t do that in public: Nu? So where are the goats supposed to do it? Who comes up with these laws?
Peace and quiet: Idl Ad-ha (feast of the sacrifice) ends last night, so we hope that the surrounding Arab villages will stop having all-night parties for a while. I’m all for cultural diversity, but not when it cuts into my sleep.
The dangers of Dilbert: You could lose your job. What is this, the Taliban?
All quiet on the Western front: I guess everything is shut down in the Old Country, what with the Xmas lethargy. I recall sitting in a meeting at a client site a few years ago. The engineers were trying to call the site in Silicon Valley, and there was no answer. “It’s not Sunday, right?” asked one guy. We all shake our heads. “And I didn’t get the time difference wrong, right?” We all quickly do the calculation and assure him that it should be early in their work day. Finally, one guy says, “Maybe it is an American holiday or something: is December 25 anything?” Took me days to stop grinning.