Monthly Archives: September 2010

Hardware Wars

Why do these things always come in clumps?  My computer has been making terrible noises, leading me to suspect that the hard drive is on its way out.  But then it started crashing at odd times, giving me the Blue Screen of Death.  The final death was (dafka) when my dad attempted his very first Skype call to me.  The video card died in a rather spectacular manner and I couldn’t even reboot.

So off I trot to my trusty techie guy, who yanks the card, cleans out the accumulated dust, and tests it sans-video card.  Works OK, so I schlep it back home, hook it up, and get those dreaded BIOS error beeps (and no boot-up).  So it’s over to the laptop for some quick research in beep patterns.  Hmmm.  Why would it work there and not here?  Could it be that something got loosened in the car ride?  Let’s yank the top off and take a squint…

I poke and prod around in there a big, wiggle things, check that the SIMs are set properly, wonder why the hell I have a firewire card (and doesn’t that tell you how old my computer is?), cross my fingers, and try to boot.  Oh, lovely.  We have lift-off, but now the keyboard is fried.  Time to root around in the closet for the  spare keyboard…  So there are a cables running all over, and I haven’t fully assembled everything again, but it works.  I feel absurdly pleased with myself, as if I have outwitted some evil mastermind.

A Moooving Factoid

From the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs: (And yes, we have one…)

Israeli cows produce the largest amount and highest quality of milk in the world Israeli cows have the world record in milk yield. Their average milk output is higher than even Dutch and American cows. What’s more, Israeli cows produce 40% less methane gas than that produced by cows in other nations. The lower emission has environmental significance, as methane gas is considered the principle contributor to global warming.

Don’t Tick Me Off

Do you want extra foam with your tick?  Despite the monthly flea and tick treatment, Terri still picks up a few hitchhikers on our walks.  The ticks particularly love to latch on to the wiry hairs near her nose, and are difficult to remove.  Terri, despite being a Pretty Good Dog, hates having those hairs tugged or pulled in any way, and won’t sit still long enough for me to carefully remove the offending parasite. In the ensuing struggle, I crush the tick, leaving half of it still attached.

Clearly, ticks taste terrible.

Terri spends the next half hour drooling and foaming at the mouth.  She paces through the house (leaving a sad, wet trail), works her mouth as if chewing gum, and drools some more.

The Year in Statistics

Fun and interesting facts: Yediot Achronot ran a multi-page spread right before Rosh Hashana about where we are as a nation, some demographic data, and some curious trivia, all wrapped around a lovely photo of what is dubbed our most international battalion, part of the Paratrooper corps. These guys range from Sabras (born in Israel) to guys who have only been here a year.  Countries of origin include Guatemala, Ethiopia, France, United States, Kazakhstan, Argentina, Romania, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, and Scotland.  Each is saying Happy Rosh Hashana in his language. Here’s a part of the picture:

Some interesting demographic data:

  • Our entire nation consists of 7,645,500 people (up 1.8% from last year).
  • 4.1 million (71.7%) are Sabra’im (born in Israel).
  • 5.77 million Jews, 1.56 million Moslem Arabs, and about 315K other (Christians, Druzim, etc.).
  • Life expectancy is 79.7 (men) and 83.5 (women).  (Compare that to 75.7 and 80.7, respectively, from the US.)
  • The most densely populated place in the country is Bnei Brak, with 21,031 people per square kilometer. (Compare that to 4,200 for Gaza!)
  • Here’s my favorite one of all: in the past year, 2.5 million Israelis made international flights.  Granted, many of these are repeat travelers, but stack that up against the US, with a population of 310 million and only 68 million passports issued!  Yes, that is right; only 22% of Americans have passports.  Shocking.

A quiet Yom Kippur: Apart from the usual hot spell that seems to always arrive in time to make the fast more difficult, it was a quiet day.  Terri refused to repent for her many sins, which include lunging, chasing cats, eating garbage, rolling in stinky things, eating cow poo, carrying mouthfuls of kibble onto the bed to eat, horking up on the sofa, and shedding.  Of course, I can’t question the wisdom of Wendy Francisco. May we all have a year with more wagging and less barking.

Say What?

Ironic bread: Davidovitch Bakeries is nice enough to print this lovely little nutrition pyramid on their bread label…

For those of you who don’t read Hebrew, the base of the pyramid, above “daily physical exercise,” specifies “products from whole wheat.”  Of course, this is on a package of white bread.  (Don’t be fooled; קמה חיטה כהה is not whole wheat flour, just white flour with about two microns of bran left in!)  So we have to assume that to follow this healthy Mediterranean diet, we can’t eat Davidovitch bread.  Oh, the irony. 

Don’t rely on your spell-checker (yet again): From a mobile phone app site.

Ahmed from Namibia, using a Samsung s8300
August 6, 2009
i was very disappointed with this version 3. when i installed Ht on my s8300 it overwrought my standard google map and now the accuracy is far off. version 3 is absolutely Crap. the older versions were better.

Damn.  Don’t you hate those overwrought apps?