Category Archives: birthdays and anniversaries

Rants ‘n Raves

Rave: Best wishes for a happy anniversary to two terrific parents

Rant: So don’t use your turn signal, you selfish, thoughtless, oblivious oaf!  Let me stand here, loaded down with bulging sacks of groceries, waiting for you to pass.  Then go ahead and blithely turn before reaching me. And another big rant for the moron who pulled out from the turnoff to Yuvalim and turned left right in front of me, forcing me to stomp on the brakes.  And you looked right at me before you did it, too, you idiot!

Rave: Dog. Empty peanut butter container.  Do the math.

Another Birthday

Friends don’t let friends blog drunk:  Oi, the joys of sushi and sake.  Last night’s birthday bash is great, with too much food, lots of laughter (despite discussions of how bad the next attacks from Lebanon will be), and a great haul of presents. 

Here we are at Bon Sai Sushi:
at Bon Sai Sushi

Janet and Renee share a blonde moment:

Someone call the SPCA: God knows that my dog would never support poel yerushalayim!  She’s a Macabbi dog! But it is cold in the house, and that is her most comfortable track suit.  I’m sure that this is illegal somewhere.

Hanukkah s’meach!  Happy Hanukkah to everyone.  I dispensed with the greasy soufgani’ot this year and ate various mysterious fried things last night.  I figure that takes care of my obligation to eat fried food for the season.  Blech.


Er, not: Bibi and Lieberman. They’re still haggling over who gets what, but it is pretty clear that we are looking at a Government from Hell.

We survived another Purim:  Cute pics.

Do not have a picnic in a mine field:  Duh.  We usually lose a tourist every few years when they ignore the signs, but this was a local. 

…and another tiyul tragedy:  How the heck can you drown in the world’s most boyant body of water?

Happy campers: Training at one of my local clients.  Love these guys.  They ask questions, participate, and roar at the jokes.  The boss has a dog on her lap the whole time.

Blubber Bunny Birthdays

Happy 14, Miss Thing:  Nadine, like good brie, is ripening.  She celebrates with some salmon pate (which, I might add, had one of the most egregious food-related puns on its label: pate-avon).  She might be fat, lazy, spoiled, partially bald, and sporting some disgusting lumps (the vet insists that they are harmless fat cysts), but she is our little dumpling and we love her to pieces. 

Life in Tel Aviv

New office: My office gets the start of a much-needed face-lift with new aronot(cabinets). The old ones were literally falling apart.  New cabinets are sturdy and attractive, plus since they are custom made, they contain a special cosy sanctuary for Nadine.  Maybe this will get her to leave me alone while I’m on those long STC conference calls.

So it is an exhausting few days of taking everything out of the old units and breaking them apart, cleaning, sorting through things, and putting things back into the new stuff.   Back-breaking, dusty, dirty, and as bad as Pesach cleaning at its worst.  I actually logged 5 km inside the house just going up and down the stairs, hauling, shlepping, toting, cleaning, and sorting.  Only part-way done, but am looking forward to a slicker, more pleasant work area.  The aronot were made by a local business, Jason v’Salim Nagaria (Jason and Salim’s Carpentry), which is one of those great examples of quiet coexistence that you never seem to hear about.  They arrive exactly on time, do a perfect job, clean up after themselves, and are out the door fifteen minutes before their estimate.  One of the guys is particularly bemused by the custom hidy-hole for Nadine.  Miss Thing is still boycotting the new aron, but I hope to win her over to it this Shabbat

The Guru of Graphics: Patrick Hofmann is back with another series of training on graphical literacy for technical communicators.  Being somewhat graphically-challenged myself, I am in awe of his ability to express complex concepts with simple graphics.  The course continues tomorrow, so I am staying down in Tel Aviv and basking in the noise, chaos, and choice of restaurants.  We all think Patrick is terrific, and he continues to be impressed by the level of interaction.  Yes, it is true: Israeli TCs are smart, fast, and unabashedly geeky, and God knows that we aren’t afraid to ask questions and even (gasp!) argue.  A presenter used to training in the Far East might find it disconcerting, but Patrick seems to love it. 

Lifesaver Cat

Nadine goes large:  For once, the spoiled fat cat does something useful.  She saves my life.  The combination of yesterday’s gusting winds and a drafty window blew out the flame under the kettle.  I’m off in my office, staring at something on the screen.  Nadine starts screaming.  I ignore her.  She keeps screaming.  I ignore her some more.  She comes into my office and whacks my leg a few times.  Harder to ignore.  At this point, I smell gas.  The entire ground floor is heavy with gas fumes.  I turn off the burner, open all the doors and windows, and count my lucky stars.  Miss Thing gets extra tuna for her bravery. 

Recycle your gadgets!  Old electronics not only take up a lot of room in landfill, but they contain a lot of toxic and dangerous components. Israeli recycling company Snunit is taking on the challenge with collection points for unwanted VCRs, TVs, computers, and you name it. They break the gadgets down into various components for recycling or safe disposal.  The company is located in the mercaz in Pardes Hanna, but there are various collection points around the country.  Hat tip to Northern LS.

Doggy Delight: Family birthdays get everyone together on Shabbat at Dag Dagan near Beit She’an.  Good food, good service, good company.  The best: they let dogs inside.  Lucy sits politely under the table.  I finally take her out for a “walk” (I carry her almost as much as she walks) around the kibbutz.  At a table near us, a young King Charles Cavalier spaniel is seated.  More dogs outside.  They are all quieter and better behaved than the human rug-rats.

Reunion Rumblings

bulldog crestGo, Bulldogs!  Some 30 years after graduating from Seattle’s Garfield High School, classmate Ben Slivka is trying to get a reunion off the ground.  All I can say is the school looks a lot different now than it did when I was there!

On one hand, I am very curious to know what has happened with some of my classmates.  On the other hand, I left Seattle in 1978 and didn’t maintain contact with very many people; I was one of the invisible, unpopular kids.  What will I have in common with people whom I barely knew 30 years ago?

So what do you think about reunions?  Fun?  A waste of time?  Depressing?  Has anyone here ever attended a school reunion?  Do tell… 

Travel Countdown

I’m leaving on a jet plane: Yup, less than a week to get everything done.  Too much to do.  I’m not traveling anywhere exotic this time, so I won’t need a traveler’s T-shirt (I’ll take one in black, women’s size S, please!).  I figure that I can still make myself understood in the States.  Hat tip to GS for the T-shirt and other cool gizmos.

Where’s the fallout?  I expected a lot more local fallout from the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, who was certainly one of the saner and more progressive politicians on the scene in Pakistan.  I guess there is really nothing to say; it is another case of rabid fanaticism snuffing out a moderate voice.

Me and SusanHappy birthday, Miss Thing!  You know who you are.  You have a birthday tomorrow, you live in Orcutt, and I have found the perfect present for you.  Have a great day.  Drink lots of water. (Dontcha just love those cool image effects from Irfanview?)

The Circle of Life

Meep 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.


Use Your Brain

shark hoaxPut your logic in gear!  I am often amazed at how otherwise intelligent people suspend all logic and reason when they sit down in front of the computer.  Case in point: a friend sends me some pictures and a story of a one-ton great white shark that towed (and almost sunk) a boat near Gray’s Harbor, Washington.  But the water in the Pacific Northwest is far too cold to support a great white (even with the ubiquitous El Niño running).  The snout shape is wrong, the dorsal fin wrong, and the story has more than a whiff of “Internet apocryphal.”  Two minutes of research is enough to confirm that this story, circulating for over two years, is, in fact, a hoax.  Don’t get me wrong—I wouldn’t want to run into a Maco (short-finned or otherwise), but let’s get our facts straight. 

When in doubt, check it out.  Snopes is a great source, and just using your noggin is often enough!

A tribute to moms everywhere:  Big chuckles all around from these basic truthsHat tip to whoever sent this to me.  I’m having a senior moment and can’t remember…

Speaking of senior moments:  We polished off a bottle of kava in honor of my birthday. I’m sure that it killed off my few remaining functioning brain cells… 

Bindy KittyBindi-boo (redux):  Nadine gets festive with a red jewelled bindi in honor of my birthday.  I take the rest of the pack with me to my Tel Aviv class on Friday, using them instead of gold stars.  Four students (those who had the best solutions to an editing challenge) end up with a bindi on their foreheads.  One poor guy heads out to grab a quick felafel during the lunch break, forgetting that he is walking around like a extra from a Bollywood dance scene.  Luckily, this is a group of youthful, energetic, and very clever students, so they are quick to see the humor in the situation.