Monthly Archives: July 2009

Name That Language

Challenge your ear: The EU has a new portal site (select your language to enter).  One of the fun resources is a list of all 23 official EU languages.  While it is pretty easy to recognize the biggies (French, German, Italian, Spanish), some are real posers.  Would you have recognized Maltese, for example?  (I am more than a little disappointed that it doesn’t sound like a yappy little dog.)  Check it out!

The economy explained: Yoram Bauman, the world’s only stand-up economist.

Geek Despair

When are brains not an asset?  When you are smart, mature women back in the dating scene.  Bad enough when you are in your 20s; try starting over at (gulp) 49.  If you are a college-educated woman with a white-collar profession, you are already going to intimidate most of the guys you meet.  The higher your IQ percentile, the harder it is.  Further, it’s a safe bet that you keep yourself in better shape, take more pains before that first date, and are more willing to “settle” than your male counterpart.  Statistically, there are more single women in the their 40s and 50s than single men (at least here).  A man of 50 is usually trying to snag a woman of 35 (or younger), not a woman his age.  If you add in a culture that is markedly short on social niceties, you have a recipe for disaster.

Motze shabbat finds me heading into a blind date.  We’ve talked a few times and I’ve seen a picture, but I’m not prepared for the incredible elasticity of truth.  It appears that “close to target weight” means having a third trimester pot-belly.  “Trying to quit smoking” translates into firing up a butt in front of me.  “Handsome” means scary teeth and hair sprouting out of the ears.  “Smart” means thinking that people are afraid of things because of liquid sloshing around in their brains (no, I couldn’t make that up), and that you can die from letting your dog sleep in your bed (which he knew because he read that some celebrity died that way).  Yes, and that polite smile frozen on my face means that I am screaming inside my head.

Ironically, this paragon of availability complained that all the women he meets are doctors and lawyers and too snobby.  (Translation: unlike me, they were not confined by the shackles of American politeness, so they didn’t bother trying to be nice once they met this troll.)

If the goal is to meet someone who is at least potentially compatible, why lie on your profile?  I have three theories:

  • They are not after a real relationship.  Nu, do you think that you’re going to charm some woman into a quick and tawdry affair if she meets you and is so disappointed?
  • They are either too lazy or incapable of reading your profile, so they have no clue as to how inappropriate you are.
  • They are so self-deluded that they think that they are smart, handsome catches.  (Years of instructing have confirmed this: women tend to underestimate their skills and level in a class, and men tend to overestimate their level.)

So clearly, I’m not the only pissed off, discouraged woman out there.  Luckily,  I don’t mind being on my own!

So share your best (i.e., worst) blind date story with us!

Patches, Work-arounds, and Add-ons

It’s good to be a geek: I’ve had my new Nokia E71 for a while now, and have been plagued with various problems that have been driving me nuts:

  • No way to sync with Gmail unless you have MfE (Mail for Exchange), and since I don’t work for a big company with an Exchange server, I’m SOL.
  • No way to sync with the old version of Outlook that I have (and don’t use, anyway, for a number of reasons).
  • Video playback gets progressively choppy and eventually hangs, so I end up having to remove the battery to reset the phone.

My local cell provider (Orange) was less than helpful.  Nokia’s own support didn’t even acknowledge that those problems exist, even though I found other people in various cellphone forums complaining of hanging videos.

Someone directed me to Ovi, Nokia’s free web-based apps for coordinating contacts, calendars, and to-do lists between the computer and phone.  It has some pretty tight limitations, but still gives me a synced calendar and contacts, which is tres important.

Another site talked about a DivX player for Symbian-OS phones, even if they aren’t DiVX-ready.  That, coupled with a little converter app, seems to be working.  I  installed the player onto the phone and used the converter to optimize a large (358 MB) video for the phone.  It was an extremely CPU-intensive process and took about an hour, but the resultant file (228 MB) worked flawlessly.  No delay, no out-of-sync video and audio, no hanging.

Before finding these solutions, I wasted about 12 hours attempting to kludge Outlook into working, and finding an MP4 splitter app, etc.  Lots of wasted time, but now my dog has been exposed to an expanded list of swear words.  (Which reminds me of the T-shirt company in Israel called s-Wear, which makes my anti-spam filter go nuts!)  But I digress…

So lift your glass in toast to all those crackers and hackers who use social networking on Web 2.0 sites to share info.  You are going to start seeing more and more tech support issues being solved by these savvy users, rather than by the companies responsible for the products.

There’s a Dog on My Pillow

Why bother with the special doggy bed? Terri only uses it during the day.  At night, my bed becomes her bed, and she has taken to hogging more and more of the pillow.  Nothing like opening your eyes and finding a doggy nose two centimeters away.  That’s a convenient distance for her, because she can give me kisses without having to move.

No matter how hot it is, she wants to mush up against me.

Curb your hedgehog: The critters are out all over at night!  We see three in just five minutes.  Terri is fascinated and tries to sniff them; I just know that she’s going to end up with a snout full of spines one of these days.  And this morning we catch a hyrax on the walking path.  Terri takes off in wild persuit, but those things can move.  Believe me, they may look like fat little lumps, but they can really zoom!

Blog on the Run

Yikes!  She’s back!  Well, I wasn’t really gone, but I’ve been sooooo busy.  Part of the frenzy is getting my new site,, up and running and seeing about porting the blog to my domain (not so simple, as I can’t use a folder).  Looks like the blog will stay here for the time being.

small full cow transparentMy business site’s oh-so-stylish logo was designed by Noam, one of my talented nephews (I have several).  Hey, it may be a business site, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t still have a whiff of cow about it.

The site is still being modified, but you can check it out and let me know what you think!

Adventures with Terri:It has been an action-packed month.  During the week of sitting shiva, Terri and I had several run-ins with jackals.  Last week, we pass an old Bedouin guy with his goats, and he asks if I want to sell Terri, and if she is a very expensive dog.  (Hmmm.  Nice to know that I have something to fall back on if the clients don’t pay!  Also makes a great threat when Miss Dogness decides to be naughty.)  And yes, we had plenty of naughty time this week: Terri climbed down a cliff to eat something (I couldn’t climb down after her to see what it was); she harassed a few hedgehogs and got hissed at for her trouble; she licked a baby and made it cry; she terrorized a large and cowardly dog; she rolled in something stinky; she ate goat poo; she got muddy right after a bath.  Sigh!

Happy birthday, David!  My dad celebrates his birthday today (82).  He’s in better shape than some 42-year-olds I know…  Mazal tov!