Monthly Archives: February 2008


sheep alertActually, it is a drab, rainy day and I’m feeling blah.  Cough, cough. There isn’t much newsworthy today, though Central LS submits this new kosher search engine.  (Try some searches for kicks…)

I know that it’s supposed to be spring and I should be feeling like a little lamb, out cavorting among the kalani’ot, but I’d rather bury my head back under the covers and hide. 

Central LS also sent this in via a comment to my previous rant; in case that link didn’t work for you, try this story about cell phone usage linked to salivary gland tumors.  I figured our ears would fall off first…

Northern LS submits this video.  Funny how the international press spends all their time talking about hardships in Gaza but not what it’s like living in S’derot.


A Plea for Quiet

Curb your noise!  It is another long day as I trek down to Tel Aviv for an STC (Israel Chapter) administrative council meeting.  The trip home is made even longer by a couple of knuckleheads playing music (and I use the term loosely) on their cell phones.  RANT MODE ON.

OK, here’s the deal.  Even if you are playing something gorgeous, like a nice sexy tenor singing Caruso

Qui dove il mare luccica
e tira forte il vento
sulla vecchia terrazza
davanti al golfo di Surriento…

(you get the idea), I still don’t want to hear it unless I choose to play it (or go attend a concert).  I’m listening to my own music, thank you very much, and listening to something played through the tinny little speakers on your cell phone is painful, to say the least. 

And if you have earphones on but the volume is cranked up so high that the sound is bleeding through to everyone sitting around you, then it is too damn loud.

And if you are sitting in a public place, laughing, shouting, slapping your friends on the head (“Geeeeevvvvvvvvverrrr!!!“), and throwing things at each other is not socially-acceptable behavior in most parts of the civilized world.

It’s called a cell phone, not a yell phone, BTW.  We really don’t want to hear the details of your business deal or argument with your spouse.  Please.  RANT MODE OFF.

60 Years

We’re getting up there: This is Israel’s 60th year.  Gill found this cute little slide show highlighting some of our achievements.  Extra fun: many of the companies mentioned are clients of mine.

Local Warming

Israeli hi-tech humor: Yossi Vardi may look like a farmer, but he is actually a major player in the local hi-tech scene.  Here he is on TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talking about a serious problem.

Israeli hi-tech diet: Most of the tech companies here offer great snacks to their employees.  Here is a glimpse inside the gastronomic world of an Israeli Microsoft development site.

VD update: A few of you were surprised at the “inappropriate” shorthand for Valentine’s Day, but it is an old US joke that is usually well recognized. A further update: shop owners in Saudi Arabia were threatened by the religious police, and warned that they may not sell anything red (roses, red packaging, etc.) for the holiday, as it is  “un-Islamic.”  Seems to me this is the most compelling reason yet to celebrate it…


To or not to :  Today is Valentine’s Day, and I always have mixed feelings about it.  First, it is a holiday named after a Catholic saint, so it hardly seems appropriate for us to participate in it.  On the other hand, it is a great excuse to receive flowers and chocolate, and I’m not stupid enough to ever look such gift horses in the mouth. 

When the Gregorian calendar rolls to a close, there are always lively debates here as to whether or not we should indulge in Sylvester (as New Year’s Eve is known in Europe), especially is it is named after one of the most aggressively anti-Semitic popes (and that’s saying quite a bit).  But somehow, no one seems to rail against Valentine’s Day.  One telling sign of what a blandly non-religious day of love this has become in the modern world is the contest running on Star TV, which exhorts its viewers (a big chunk of whom are Hindu or Moslem) to send an SMS explaining why their “wallentine” is special.  It is one of those quirky and uniquely Indian promos that seems to be half English and half Hindi. And if they don’t object, why should we?

Freddie as ZorroSo let’s go ahead and give an extra cuddle to our loved ones, eat chocolate, sip champagne, and indulge ourselves.  Nadine (who prefers a bowl of warm tuna to chocolate any day) wishes to send a special Valentine’s love message to her main squeeze, Freddie (shown here in his very sexy Zorro outfit).

Road Hazards

We may have goats on the road, but…  no falling mooseHat tip to Central LS.


Temple Israel blaze: My sister Tracy’s congregation, Temple Israel in Great Neck, caught fire.  Seems to be spontaneous combustion during renovation.  I was there in November 2006 and spoke to the full congregation about the war (Second Lebanon War).  Let’s hope they get back on their feet ASAP.