Tuesday, December 11, 2007

gaming halacha

I had a monetary dispute with my neighbor (not the one we like) yesterday. He's Russian and not Orthodox, though he believes that he is religious in his own way. About a year ago he built a wall in between our properties without discussing it with me and then asked me to help pay for it. According to Jewish law, I am obligated to pay for a minimal fence that is acceptable in our neighborhood, so I offered to pay for that and he said that was fine. I was going to pay him in installments, so when I gave him the first installment, I brought a receipt for him to sign. He insisted that there was no need for formalities like that between neighbors and since we are both honest there is no need for it. I figured that since there is no record of me owing him any money, if I paid him and he said I didn't he doesn't have a case anyways, so I agreed in the name of neighborly relations.
I paid him 3 installments and owed him a little bit more and he came to me yesterday to see if I had it, and when I mentioned how much I owed him he thought it was much more. He said that they kept track and they have written down that I paid him twice and they have no record of a third payment. I told my wife and she remembered me coming home and telling her that now I only owe them a little bit more.
So I went back and told them that I only owe them what I thought I did and not as much as they thought I did. I told him that I paid them and the fact that they don't have a record of it isn't my fault. I also reminded them that I asked for a receipt and they refused so they can't complain that I am not paying what I said I paid. I honestly don't believe they are trying to cheat me, I think I gave them the money at an inconvenient time and they forgot about it. In the end we decided to split the difference. They're very upset because they believe I owe them more moeny and I'm upset because I know I paid and was stupid for not demading the receipt.

I was just thinking about how Jewish law would play into this. If we had gone to a Jewish court and I said I owe him a little and he says I owe him a lot then I would have to swear and pay him what I said I owed him. Today they don't make you swear so they would work out a compromise similar to what we workied out. However, I know the law. If I went to court, I would say I don't owe him anything, and then get off scott free and then I would pay him what I thought I owed him. In other words, because I learned Jewish law, I can game the system and he can't because he never learned Jewish law. That being said, anyone who spent time learning gemara would know that if he goes to court with a claim of partial owing that he is going to lose. He even knows the reasons behind it - people are not so brazen to say they don't owe anything when they owe something. They instead claim they owe a little bit to get them off the hook and then if they ever get money they will pay. Understanding that logic will present a problem to the court because now there is no psychology involved. I weill now be brazen and say that I don't owe anything because I know that if I don't, the system will take advantage of my honesty.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A matter of input

Recently I've been thinking about the decision making process in terms of freedom of choice as opposed to natural inputs that define your decisions. Freedom of choice, by definition, means that when you come to a decision point you can use your intellect, emotions, experience, randomity and whatever else you personally feel is relevant to actaully decide. Nobody is forcing you to make this specific decision and you can say that while logically A makes the most sense, I WANT to decide B. The problem is that it is impossible to have a completely objective view of any situation and the inputs you have received over the course of your life, including what you see as valid logic or valid emotional response might be something that other people see as illogical and/or an invalid emotional response. That means that your freedom of choice is severly limited by your experience. In other words, the more experience you have the less freedom of choice you have because your decision will be based very heavily on the inputs you have received over the course of your life. On the other hand, the less experience you have the more your decision becomes a factor of randomness and less a factor of real choice.

This indicates that true freedom of choice is very hard to come by, if it exists at all. Your choice is either a given (therefore not a choice) based on specific inputs or it is random which removes any value of having a choice. Unfortunately, this approach turns us into robots with a strong artificial intelligence module.

The question is, would it be possible for a machine, given 100% of a person's lifetime inputs be able to predict the choice correctly 100% of the time. As this is impossible to feed that into the machine, we will never know the answer.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

google and its discontents

First, there were the msn and yahoo search engines that seemed to have sold out to the advertisers. But as google overtook the motown auto industry in size, they too acquired a bad name in an information industry already humiliated by the consumer driven compuserve and aol. In the present era, collaboration has become the big word with consensus becoming more important than anything objective. Just like israrail, google's own success has become its greatest failure - in short, from producing the best hits to the hits that pay the most and/or that have gamed the engine the best in order to appear first. Information has become a second class citizen in an internet world financed by big business pr and advertising - call it seo for short. After all, it is only logical that the internet as the short tail of business should conquer the world, blinding it of anything real. Remember when consumer was king? That was before bill gates decided to play in the internet sandbox.

What's the solution? Let's use the same seo tricks and turn search on its head. Let's become enabled to search by comparing the types of search masks and phrases that produce the best results and then apply it specifically to what we want to find by gaming the game seo has been playing up to now. To do this, it would be advantageous to use the most perfect market of searches and results in the world i.e. google - but doing so by turning it inside out and upside down because, let's face it - google has become the biggest paid directory around. And anyway, microsoft had its day and then came open source; google has had its day and now comes change from it's disenfranchised.

Needless to say, if this can happen with google - then perhaps israrail will change for the better one day too ....

Thursday, November 01, 2007


I'm on vacation for a week. You would think I would now have time to update my blog, but I would doubt it. Next week my sister is gettng married at the interntional convention center in Jerusalem and we have the honor of hosting the party in our Galilean village from this evening until the wedding day. The whole family will not be coming to us because of academic responsibilities so we have a small group of 35 for shabbos including women and children. 

There is a strike of all Iraeli high school teachers going on. It is in the middle of the third week. They feel that because they are trying to teach our children the basic knowledge that they need to survive in life, they deserve a bit of respect and a proper paycheck. They don't have to work in the summer and get a nice break for holidays, so that should be worth something.

The prime minister announced that he has cancer the same day that there was supposed to be a big media expose on his corruption, so they postponed the expose. Coincidence? I think not. The big question going around is _ does he really have cancer and if so, did they hold the story until it was most politically beneficial for him.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

weekend in jlem

I'm sitting at my brothers place in Modiin waiting for my wife to come back so we can start the long drive home. Actually, it's shorter to drive home then it was to drive to Cleveland - in other words long is relative.
We spent shabbos in jerusalem with my mom and we had a very nice time. It was a little bit tense as my children are not used to being in a small enclosure with breakable (ruinable?) items, but that's life. I went to sleep at about 1:30 AM on Thursday night after a midnight shopping trip to go get vegetables. I had been on the road since about 6 PM and by the time I finished shopping, I was so fried that there was no way I was going to make it for a short visit to the old city, so I just went back to the apartment and went to sleep. I got my visit in to the wall the next morning. One of my kids woke up at 5:30 and decided he was going to start making a ruckus. I decided it was more worth my while to get up and I took him to the wall for shachris (morning prayers). After davening, I messaged my wife to see if anyone was up yet and she told me they were still sleeping, so I took the kid with me for a nice breakfast. Parking was free because they don't start charging at the meters until 8AM, and we were back at the apartment by then.
We headed off to the zoo to spend the morning, and I went to sleep lying on the ground at the children's zoo. I live in a children's zoo so I didn't feel I was really missing much if I didn't see it in that location.

Shabbos was very nice, we got to spend some quality time with the chosson (groom), which we enjoyed.

The baby was asleep on the floor after some crying and one of the kids just went and woke her up. ARGHHH
Have a good night.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

rabin - 12 years later

Yesterday was the 12 year anniversary of the death of Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin. I remember very clearly when I heard about it. I was in the US at my parents house. Shabbos had just ended and we were cleaning up. The phone rang, it was a friend of mine from NY (actually he is from Indianapolis, but he was living in NY). He asked me if I saw the news and I said no. He then told me that Rabin had been killed. He was very depressed about it because it meant Shimon Peres was the prime minister and that could only mean downhill for the political process. My thoughts at the time ran the gamut from "what horrible news" to "can it get worse then Oslo." I had heard the calls that the prime minister must be killed to save Jews from the horrible Oslo process. I don't know who had thought that it would actually make a difference. The political system is not run by a single man. Though in Israel everyone seems to think that it is. A national decision by Rabin, Peres or Sharon is not made on a personal whim, but only after polls, meetings, discussions etc...

Of course the other side of the coin is "Wag The Dog," which indicates that politicians in power will abuse their power without keeping the nation in mind in order to solve personal problems. But does anybody really believe that Clinton bombed a Sudanese pharmaceutical plant to change the public's focus?

I was written up in Globes. They did an article about American olim in hi-tech. It's in Hebrew, so it isn't readable by all of you. Let me know if you want to see the article, I have a PDF copy.

We're heading down to jlem for the weekend. Mom is here getting ready for the big wedding and the sister has a shaitel party (in nice language) on Saturday night that my wife wants to go to.

I still haven't tried the GlobeTask free trial, but it is getting rave reviews from 2 friends who have tried it. I just have to figure out if it is worth the money to have someone else handle the minor stuff and only focus on what needs me. The idea of a virtual assistant is very tempting.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Picking fruit at a U-Pick is like fishing in a stocked pond.

I know I haven't been blogging recently. I am just so busy.

A friend of mine tried out a virtual assistant service called GlobeTask, where he sends work to a virtual assistant for a very low price and it gets done. It's like sending your clothes to the cleaners, you just give them instructions either by email or phone and they handle all the details. He highly recommended it to me, I just have to decide if I have any tasks that I can actually delegate instead of doing them myself. Delegation is very hard because if you pride yourself on quality, then trusting anybody to do as good of a job is difficult to say the least. I am over-buried in work these days, so it is a thought. If anybody else has used GlobeTask or other virtual assistants and can comment on quality, please leave a comment.

The holidays were great and jammed pack. We had 2 sukkahs this year, as we did last year, one for eating and one for sleeping. The 1 night that we didn't sleep in it (we got back from jlem too late) it collapsed because of a non-normal wind. (If it was a normal wind, it wouldn't have been a kosher sukkah to begin with, which is why I assume it was an extra strong wind.)
We started off the holiday with my brother (and family) and sister (without fiance) coming up. I lost the Scrabble game by about 35 points, but I am out of practice so 35 points isn't so bad. Friday we went to the Carmel mountains for a hike through Little Switzerland. The tour book said it was a circular trail, but we realized that it wasn't exactly circular so we turned around in good time and headed back the way we came.

On Sunday we went to the Yehiam crusader castle for the big Renaisance Festival. The festival wasn't until Monday, but we went on the guided tour anyways. It was free because we are members of the National Parks. Sunday night we had a little Sukkah party in our sukkah and had 5 couples over for some nice socializing.

Monday was oleh regel day, we planned on heading down to Jlem and then to the bet shemesh concert in the evening. Sunday night, #4 threw up all through the night so we weren't sure if we were going to go at all. Monday mornign I gave the 3 older kids the option to go down anyways by ourselves or to do something fun in the north. They chose to head south. We had a great time and the kids had an amazing time at the concert in the evening. Going through the old city on Sukkos is unbelievable. it is packed with people and there are things going on all the time. This year there was a large concert in the Southern Excavation as well. We also tried to go to the hike in the City of David, but the lines were too long and the hike was 3 hours, but the kids really wanted to go in the water and the Shiloach river is part of the hike. So I decided to take them somewhere else where we could just go into the water. We went just outside of Ein Kerem in Jlem to a KKL(JNF) park called the Sataf. You can drive right over to the springs and there is a small pool of water there. The catch is that you have to jump 20 feet down to get into the pool of water. I watched someone else do it first to make sure that it wasn't dangerous and the girls wanted to go in, so I jumped in first so I could help them if they couldn't swim in their skirts and then the girls jumped in. They had a great time. The boy can't swim well enough yet, so he didn't jump in, but there is a little cave with water in it, that he crawled through, so everyone had a good time.

Tuesday we lazed around and Wednesday we woke up early to go fruit picking. After this experience I have decided that picking fruit at a U-Pick is like fishing in a stocked pond. We went to the river to pick blackberries. We walked through the water and after we finished eating the blackberries we gathered enough in the bag for blackberry pie. While we were walking around we found fig trees with delicious fresh figs. Hanging from a very tall tree there was a grape vine with clusters of purple grapes. I explained to the kids that we were not greedy and we would only take one cluster...if we could reach them. I swung a very long stick at a cluster and managed to knock some of the grapes into the river and the kids quickly pounced on them. I considered climbing the tree to get a cluster, but my wife was getting too nervous. After this experience I can't imagine going to a U-Pick and calmly taking the fruit from the tree.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

end of the year

The year is ending with a bang. It seems like the entire year is catching up with us in the last week. There were more then 60 soldiers injured in a rocket attack last night. This was not an unexpected event, the terrorists did absolutely nothing different then the last 2000 rockets that they have been sending off at us. Now there is a big debate about what to do about it and there will probably be a harsh military response. This is absolutely ridiculous. If there was no harsh response when the same rocket with the potential to kill civilians lands in an empty field there should be no harsh response when it hits soldiers or civilians. The government's stance is that it is ok for rockets to land in our territory. Rockets are dangerous and when you allow people to shoot them at you, then you may get hurt. This entire debate and harsh response should have taken place after the first kassam.

In any case, there is a lot to pray for this rosh hashana.
I'm not big on new years resolutions and while I really would like to post more often, I am finding less and less time to actually type what I want to type when I sit down at the keyboard and more and more what I have to type.

The holiday season should be a lot of fun, I'm taking off the middle days of Sukkos and hopefully we'll get some quality tiyuling done.

Have a happy new year. For those of you I didn't call and am not going to call, pray hard and remember that God is on our side, though he sometimes smacks us in the back of the head till we say Doh. It's just his way of saying he cares.

Shana Tova.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

its only wednesday

This week has gone just about as slowly as a week can possibly go.
#3 fractured his wrist on Shabbos when he fell off the bimba (baby scooter) he was standing on. Sunday morning was the first day of school (1st grade), so I got him all taken care of and casted by 10 AM and brought him to school. He only lasted an hour and a half. The poor boy was in so much pain, we just kept him on a constant aspirin drip for 2 days. Today he went to his first youth group meeting and hurt his arm again while playing soccer. His excuse for playing was "They convinced me."

Yesterday we went to the US consulate in Haifa to renew all the children's passports and make the littlest a US citizen. It didn't go very smoothly, with all the children yelling and having a good time while we finished up the paperwork, but he accepted W-2s as proof that I was in the US for a good number of years so we're all good.

I've been overbusy with work, there is just too much going on.

the "f's" of freedom and fanaticism

Two documentary "must sees" - you don't need a TV - over the last half year are:
The Trap: What Happened to Our Dreams of Freedom - Adam Curtis - BBC shown on BBC2 in three parts at 21:00 (UK) on 10,17,24 March 2007 and God's Warriors - Christiane Amanpour - CNN shown on CNN in three parts at 21:00 (USA) on 21, 22, 23 August 2007 in the following order: Jewish, Muslim, Christian.

Having searched for a comparison of the above whether on the net, blogs or commercial source, I am fairly convinced that the following is uncharted territory.

Summarizing these documentaries, Curtis' presentation is based on the idea of "the war coming home", the real world application of the cold war concept of game theory to all of society and its effecting of the emergence of market sovereignity over political choice (read "democracy") leading to the prevalence of freedom from security, dignity and meaning and thus to atomization, selfishness and nihilism (read "negative freedom"), Prozac (and CRM and ERP - my additions). The upshot is a powerpoint spreadsheet statistical and number persuasiveness underlying a newer development of gaming or conning the system bringing about such things as enron, the rich getting much richer and an almost absolute irreversible political corruption (as well as so-called customer service). Amanpour brings the phenomena of religious fanaticism under scrutiny in three flavors and in the following order - Jewish, Muslim and Christian. As this is more emotional territory, there is more blog ranting against her apparent moral relativism and editorial decisons of adding or subtracting material but if you read the August 20 transcript of her interview by Larry King, she places the term "illegitimate" in the right places and so I am led to believe that the programs reflect CNN's own global interests, not necessarily her own.

The programs overlap in the meaning of violence for the perpetrator (is it a transcending freedom or an audition for the world to come?. Or is it repressive or progressive?) and in the failure of politics and in religion's audition to fill that vacuum (except in the Russian Federation where "security, dignity and meaning" are chosen over personal freedom). Overall, the two programs seem to comprise an overall attack upon what I would term the behavioral materialists, were I to make some kind of Weberian joke on Marx. The message seems to be that as much as things spiritual and soul-ish have been disproven or factored out as not numerically significant and so nonexistent on the checklist, they are rebounding big time.

What it means locally may be an explanation of how much Israel is affected by what goes on outside. Making sense now of President Bush's compliment on Israel's democracy, it is supposed to be on the level of a demo freeware lite democracy, expected to be no more than the type built to make (or if need be, force) the world free.

Friday, August 31, 2007

hike and grape juice

Today we had a very enjoyable Friday. My wife had wanted to go to a short hike in the Golan and I had said fine as long as we leave early in the morning. This morning, i wasn't really in the mood to drive all that way for a short hike, so my wife suggested nachal kziv, our local default hike, but to go a little bit farther then we normally go because there is a bigger pool of water there. About 300 feet past the springs, the was a much larger pool of water and the kids played there for about 2 hours. We found blackberries and figs, which were delicious.

We headed for home and I stopped by Train Talk's house to pick up Die Hard 4, which we haven't seen yet. He has an abundance of gropes (purple grapes in my family tradition) and offered me a bunch, so we picked a plastic shopping bags worth. I decided to make graoe juice, but I don't have a gat and I wasn't in the mood of having the children dancing all over them, so I decided to try something new. I put the gropes into the food processor and turned it on full speed. After about 15 seconds, they were ready. I poured the mixture into the strainer, which very quickly got stuck. I wasn't sure what to do at that point until my wife came to my rescue. She suggested using a cloth diaper (unused) to squeeze and strain the juice out. The juice is delicious, but from what I understand it has to be used in the first day after it is made. So we will be drinking it all tonight unless I hear differently from someone else.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

political parties

Last night I was having a discussion with my 9 year old daughter about politics. She had brought up the subject because there was a newspaper on the table and she saw the name Olmert which looked like Voldemort, so she read it. So I told her there were political parties and the first one I mentioned was the dati leumi party. Then she wanted to know what dati leumi was. In order to tell her what dati leumi was, I had to explain that there were 2 groups of religious Jews today, the dati leumi and the chareidi. (Yes I know that conservative, reform, chasidic and Lubabvitch jews consider themselves religious, but for the purpose of this discussion, there are only 2 types of religious jews: chareidi and dati leumi).

We discussed the Jewish people having been given this land by God himself, and how he then took it away from us. Now we have it back and the question is whether the state of Israel is the end of the exile or just another part of it. The question being does the state have intrinsic holiness, and is the army a holy army.

I explained that we are somewhere in the middle of chareidi and dati leumi and for us it really doesn't matter because we are living here now and when mashiach comes he'll tell us if Olmert, sharon and their predecessors were the heads of the Jewish country or the country of Jews and whether it is a mitzva to serve in the army or only a civil obligation. I told her that in all of the wars of Israel there were miracles upon miracles, including in the war last summer against Lebanon. Because the chareidi do not believe that there is any holiness to the country, there point in being in the government is simply to protect their interests. The dati leumi, which believes in the holiness of the state is in the government to make sure that they keep the laws. (Of course it doesn't always work out that way, like the problem with El Al flying on shabbos, for example but I didn't bore her with extra details.)

And yes, he caused the Holocaust too (though how she came up with that question, I don't know) and there were plenty of miracles then as well, both for us and against us. The fact that it was possible to occur in civilized Europe is a miracle (bad for us) in of itself.

In any case, I don't know if she has any greater understanding of the situation, but I think I explained it to her on her own level answering her questions and not delving too deep into the muck.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

vacation tiyul

Its been a long day - I go on a little vacation and return and the whole place is shot to pieces. At least I had a nice vacation. My parents were in to meet my sister's fiance, so Thursday we had an engagement party. I heard from a number of people that I seemed to be in a bad mood, but it was after a long day of work and a 3 hour drive and I wasn't in a bad mood for any particular reason, so I have excused myself. We planned on sleeping in Jerusalem Thursday night , so after the party we left the kids sleeping under the watchful eyes of my parents and went to the kotel to pray. My sister-in-law (on the other side) has breast cancer and it is right before the new year (rosh hashana) so we thought it was a good time to pray. Prayers at the wall are always enjoyable and have some form of extra oomph or feeling brought about by the special location.
We returned to where we were staying and I couldn't fall asleep, probably because I had an ice tea on our way back from the wall and I'm not used to drinking caffeine at night. I fell asleep at 3ish and woke up at 10 to 6, which is when I normally wake up. I waited an hour for my dad to wake up and we went to the wall for morning prayers. (Two times at the wall and I am ready for the new year). We went with my mom to downtown Jerusalem to go shopping. It was a very successful trip, the girls got new skirts and I loaded up on meat from Matam Chafetz Chaim. They have great American corned beef and pastrami, which we don't get up north, and I also got some garlic pickles and a salami to hang, among other things. When we returned to the car I found a 250 shekel parking ticket tucked into the windshield wipers. As they say in Jewish, this too is for the best and I didn't let it get me down.
We drove 3 hours home after a pizza lunch and I got to have a nice long catch-up chat on the drive home with my little sister who I hadn't spoken to in a very long time. Now we're all bonded or something.
We got home a couple hours before shabbos and I got a call from a friend that his car broke down outside of Or Haganuz, a Breslover moshav, near Meron. I went out to pick him up (25 minute drive) and he wanted to (understandably) wait with his car until the tow truck guy got there. He figured the tow truck guy would give him a lift home on his way to Karmiel. An hour later he found out that the tow truck had a faster route to Karmiel that didn't take him by our village, so he was stuck again, so I went out to get him. He didn't get hit too badly, it was his exhaust that went. I had thought it was the transmission from the way he described it.
We discussed it on the way home and my theory is that right before rosh hashana God collects from everyone who owed him throughout the year. There is a great mishna in pirkei avot (towards the end of the 3rd chapter): (In the name of Rabbi Akiva) "The store is open and the storekeeper is around, the notebook is open and the hand is writing. Anyone who wants a loan can come and borrow. The loan officers are constantly taking payments, with and without your knowledge...." In other words, the collectors were in my neighborhood this week.

Shabbos was very nice, my brother and his wife came up with baby boy blue and we had a very nice time with them as well.

I took vacation Sunday and Monday so we could all have some fun. It is the last week of summer vacation for the kids, so it was good all around. I wanted to show my parents an old Syrian village which was Jewish in the times of the Mishna, so we went on a hike of Nachal Jalabon. This is a great hike and I recommend it to everyone. It is a little hard to find if you don't know what you are looking for. We had 2 cars, so we parked one on each side of the tiyul and started off. First we walked down the side of the mountain on a rocky descent. We crossed the stream and walked up to the overlook where you can see the first waterfall "Devora's waterfall" Above the lookout is the village of Devora (Dabura in Arabic) I looked all around for references of the prophetess Devora, but she was in the Shomron the whole time and never made it up to the Golan, as far as I could find, so it was probably not named after her.
After we wandered through the village and heard a story about the place from my dad, we headed down to the water. My wife and mother waited with the small children by the small pools of water while I took the older ones, my sister and my dad to the waterfall. We made it all the way to the pool by the waterfall, but the waterfall itself was hidden from view by the mountainside. It was rough going and the children couldn't have made it all the way over to the pool so we turned around and headed back to the small pools where the kids played in the water for a bit before we continued on our way. We went up and down across rocky paths until we found the second waterfall with a big pool of water. It was a bit of a climb to get to the pool, but we made it and jumped in the water. A refreshing swim and sitting under a waterfall after a long hike is all that. After the swim we hiked the rest of the way out including a killer uphill climb to reach the top. But we all made it. All in all the hike took us about 4 hours and is highly recommended. (Though my dad thought we were trying to kill him).
On Monday, on my oldest daughter's request, we went to an animal sanctuary called "Owl, all life" (my daughter yells that it doesn't mean that, but it does). The group goes to all the school's with various animals like snakes and iguana's and interesting lizards and stuff and they have a campus that you can go visit where they give you a guided tour and explanation of all the animals there. They also make pita, but the corn oil didn't have a kosher symbol on it. (It only had arabic writing). They offered to make us our own dough without any oil, but I didn't want to cook it on the same whateveritiscalled as the other ones were cooked on so we turned them down. I don't know what could be problematic about oil, but oil is processed, (except for virgin olive oil) so you really don't know. After the animal farm, we went for lunch in Tiverya (Tiberias) and had Shwarma and felafal. We said good by to my parents and sister who headed back to Jerusalem and found a nice quasi-private (very rocky) beach on the Kinneret to play in for an hour before heading home. It was a full and exhausting couple days.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Is the Likud/Feiglin a good choice

The klezmer festival in tsfat last night was very enjoyable. We took the kids with us and they all seemed to have a good time, except that they were so exhausted that we left fairly early. It went exactly as expected, the kids had a fight before we left and then whined about which seat in the car. As we were walking they each got annoyed that another one was walking in their way. We brought a stroller for #4 so that he wouldn't complain that he needed to be picked up the whole time and #5 ride the whole time in the front pack.
My wife planned the food very well, so we had a deli sandwich picnic before the music started, and then we walked around to hear the various bands. We left in the middle of Simply Tsfat because I really didn't want to carry the children all the way back to the bus.

Onwards to Feiglin. Yesterday the Likud had internal elections and the 2 front-runners were Netanyahu (74%) and Feiglin (23%). Netanyahu said afterwards that he was going to work to get Feiglin removed from the Likud and he would not allow him any influence in decisions or the Knesset list. He went so far as to instruct his supporters not to let Feiglin in the victory tent, where traditionally the winner sends next to the loser and gives his victory speech. How is it that Netanyahu can afford to alienate almost a third of his voters? 40% of the Likud turned out to vote. One (good) assumption is that 100% of Feiglin supporters came out to vote and everyone who didn't vote either assumed Netanyahu would win and didn't want to waste their time or didn't want to vote for either candidate, but didn't support Feiglin. That still gives Feiglin 17% support, which is very significant. However, there are other factors that have to be considered when looking at the Israeli political spectrum.

Lets look at this from the Likud's perspective.
The worst case scenario is that Feiglin left the Likud and went to another party. Probably 1/3 to 1/2 of his supporters would stay in the Likud because that is their "political home." Now he has 10% of the Likud going into another party. They have 2 choices, they can go into the NRP, which is their assumed natural home or they can make a deal with Lieberman and try to accomplish the same thing there. If they go to the NRP that would be great for the Likud. In the national elections, the NRP would most likely sign a coalition deal with the Likud then with any other party. The Likud would have to compromise on their platform a little to make a coalition agreement. This is much better for Netanyahu then if he had to change the Likud's internal platform for Feiglin's 20%. In either case he has the same number of votes and he has to compromise, but keeping them in the Likud presents a greater danger to him then driving them out.

If they join up with Lieberman, then there are real problems for the Likud, but again Lieberman needs the Likud to form any coalition. The issue between Lieberman and Netanyahu would be which one is slightly bigger so they can be the ruling party.
In summation, even if Feiglin is driven from the LIkud, the Likud has almost the same chance of gaining power as it did before. Lieberman would also be very hesitant to make a deal with Feiglin, when Feiglin's platform is to change the platform of the party to fit his people better. Lieberman would also be very happy if Feiglin was absorbed into the NRP because that is a good coalition partner for him as well.

In any case, the odds are that Feiglin will not bolt the Likud and therefore Netanyahu can easily afford to marginalize him. The media has been against Feiglin and will probably continue on that way. It is well known (whether true or not) that a percentage of Feiglin's supporters do not vote Likud in the national elections, they just joined the party to help Feiglin change the party's platform. That causes the core Likudnikim to look at Feiglin and his people as interlopers.

It might make more sense for Feiglin to work at building a stronger NRP, which can be looked at as the religious wing of the top right wing party and make his gains in coalition agreements.

For Feiglin to succeed in the Likud he needs to build greater positive media attention - and that will not be an easy thing to do.

Monday, August 13, 2007

klezmer festival

The tzfat klezmer festival will be heating up the evenings starting tonight for the next 3 days. Last year we went the last night of the festival and heard a band called Simply Tsfat, which we really enjoyed. This year they are playing on the second night (tomorrow), so I think we're going to go to that. The war last year began the day after the klezmer festival ended. We don't think they started firing rockets because they had enough of the klezmer music (tzfat is relatively close to the border), but we don't know.

This year we are considering bringing the kids with us. It will cost more bringing the kids then leaving them with a babysitter and it will be more of a hassle and more frustrating. But they will definitely enjoy the music and the late night stroll through tsfat so giving them that might be worth the whining and complaining that will be included in the jaunt.

If you are interested in the klezmerfest there is both an English website, and a Hebrew Website, which have the schedules. The hebrew website seems to have a lot more information.

Let us know if you are planning on being there and maybe we'll hook up

Sunday, August 12, 2007

summer weekends

One day my oldest daughter came home from school and was very upset. A girl in her class called her retarted. I asked her if she was retarted and she said no. I asked her if she would get upset if someone started yelling at her that her nose was upside down and green? She thought that was silly. I explained to her that when you know something is not true it might make you sad that someone is not being nice to you, but she shouldn't get upset at what was actually said because it was said by someone who obviously didn't know her very well. I think that is good random advice for everyone. It isn't always true, but it is a nice workable starting position.

We had a lot of company this weekend.

On Friday an old seminary friend of my wife's came up with with her husband and baby for a tiyul. They were staying with someone who I work with and that family came up as well. The friend's family lives in Montreal and is planning on making aliyah eventually, so they are checking out the countryside. They probably won't make aliyah until he finishes his MBA, (which he is doing part time so it will take a few years) and I think that is an excellent decision. The better prepared you are the easier the absorption process will be. We went to nachal kziv - the water was flowing and we had a very enjoyable afternoon.

For shabbos my sister came with her chosson. We had met him before, but this was the first time we got to spend quality time with him. I reckon it's nerve-wracking going to your fiance's brother's house for shabbos. We were nice and he did mostly fine. However, this was only practice. They have to go to America to meet the state-side friends and family before the wedding. One thing that people who get married learn is that there are certain things that they shouldn't share with their spouse. For example, when we were engaged we got together with a female friend of mine and I mentioned to my fiance when she asked about her, that I once asked her out and she turned me down. My fiance took that in the way that girls take those kinds of things to mean that I was still interested in her and put her down on the hate list.
I think (hope) my sister learned that there are certain things you just shouldn't communicate.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Yes heidi - this post is about fishing.
When I was younger I went fishing every so often. It was a primary activity when we went camping or on trips. By the grace of God, we never caught anything. Except once when my brother caught a rainbow trout in Colorado or Wyoming or some place in that vicinity. He named it Raymond and the father of the family we were with knew what to do with it so he gutted it and did whatever else you do to dead fish and then we each got to eat a little piece of Raymond.

Last night I went fishing in the Mediterranean Sea. A friend of mine has been stuck on fishing for a while and we decided to go. He had a cast and reel rod already and he bought a 12 foot sea rod for the trip. I don't have any gear. He also bought this dough as bait because they told him in the store that it would work.

We left the house at 9:30 PM and I forgot our flashlight. One other guy came with us and he brought the beer and sunflower seeds. I had piled up a bunch of wood for our fire and I brought that. We got to the shore in between Nahariya and Rosh Hanikra and set up (Just south of Betzet Beach). We sat and fished for a while and then got the camp fire lit up and sat around talking, drinking beer and eating sunflower seeds. It was an interesting mixture of Israeli and American culture.

At 1:00 AM we decided to head for home, so we packed up our gear and got into the car. As I got to the turn from the beach road onto the highway the police stopped us to find out what we had been drinking. I told them I hadn't drank anything. One of the guys in the car thought that I should have said I had 1 beer because there was nothing wrong with that. I explained to him that according to the gemara if you admit to partial guilt then you are suspected as to being guilty and if you completely deny then you are assumed completely innocent. The 3rd guy couldn't believe that I was using Talmudic reasoning to justify lying. From a psychological perspective it really wasn't lying. If I said I had 1 beer then they would have assumed that i meant I had 6. So saying 1 would have been lying. By saying I had none I was telling them that i wasn't driving under the influence of alcohol, which was the real question they were asking.

In any case, we didn't catch any fish and I was not very sad about that.

Monday, August 06, 2007


We had a very nice vacation. We didn't go fishing. Thursday we headed up to Nimrod's castle. It has nothing to do with the legendary Nimrod and was built by the Muslims in 1237 or something like that. The place was enormous and a long time ago it would have been gorgeous. They really put in a massive effort to make it look nice. We spent about 2.5 hours at the castle and then tried to find a place that the kids could jump in the water. We're members of the national parks association, so we thought we wouldn't have a problem, but the first place we went to, Charoshet Tal, said they give a 50% discount to members and they were only open for another hour. The second place we went to, Nachal Senir (Chitzbani), had just closed. So we decided to go to the campground at Kibbutz Dafna and let the kids play in the river there. The river running through the campground was about 2 inches deep. so it was perfect for getting your feet wet and somehow or other the children got soaked, but it wasn't much to speak about.
We met 3 other families there and had a nice bbq in the evening. The fathers took the walkable children on a flashlight hike through the kibbutz, though my littlest walker stopped walking int he middle then when he couldn't even stay on my shoulders any more threw up on me as I carried him. It was just a bit too late for him.
Friday morning, after a failed attempt to get a minyan going, we headed over to nachal hermon (lower banias) and hiked between kibbutz senir and moshav shar yashuv. The water was freezing cold and moving fast. It was a bit of a difficult hike for all the children, but everyone enjoyed themselves (especially jumping into the freezing cold water.) The hike was about 4 hours long and the kids got popsicles when we finished.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I took a vacation day tomorrow and we are probably going camping in the golan heights. We felt it is an appropriate time to go specifically now because Assad announced that he is planning on taking it back and this is like rubbing his face in it.

One friend who we are going with would like to go fishing on the trip. I'm not sure if my children can handle fishing yet, they wouldn't understand that it is actually fun to just sit there with the rod cast off and not actually "doing" anything.

A couple days ago, I was appointed as the co-chair of alumni relations for graduates of my high school in Israel. The next day one of my old classmates made aliyah and I called him to welcome him both personally and from the alumni association. Now I'm going to start getting in touch with all of these alumni who are living here and seeing what they are up to. That will be interesting on a number of different levels.

The IDF (Israeli army) has started making an issue out of people who refuse to serve in the army. There is a lot of public discussion going on right now about both the chareidi who refuse to serve because they are learning Torah and it is not a positive environment (though now with nachal chareidi it is becoming better) and left wingers who don't serve in the army because they are morally opposed. Then there are those who just feel the army isn't good for them, because they don't like sleeping in rooms with other people, need their TVs, ...
It is an interesting discussion to say the least.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

gan hashlosha

Mazel Tov. My sister got engaged on Friday afternoon to a nice Jerusalem boy (American born) named shlomo. This was the official engagement announcement, prior to that they had agreed to get married but would not call it engaged as my parents had not spoken to the boy yet and you can't marry a girl without asking a father for his daughter's hand. So they had a couple weeks of that awkward stage of being more then just dating but less then actually getting married.

This Friday we went to a place in the Bet Shaan valley called Gan Hashlosha. Gan Hashlosha is pretty much an oasis in one of the hottest places in Israel. There are huge pools of water and waterfalls that you can sit under. We spent 3 hours swimming there and the girls actually showed me that they know how to swim. We went into water that was probably 12 feet deep and we swam the length of the largest pool (Not all at once, we did stop at a number of places on the way).

I am reading Harry Potter 6 right now. I like to read what my daughter is reading so I know what she is up to and I don't think she is ready for this book yet. Book 5 started with the whole boy/girl relationship, and book 6 is not really taking it that much farther, but ... I have to come up with a good age that it would be ok for her to read about dating/kissing someone because you are mad at someone else.

Monday, July 23, 2007

tisha b'av

The 9 days culminates today with the 9th day of Av. The day that the bais hamikdashes were destroyed. The day that the Jews in the desert cried for no reason so God said (what parents everywhere have been repeating since then), "I'll give you a reason to cry."

For those of you fasting, have an easy fast.
For those of you saying kinos, try to actually read an entire one with the translation. Maybe it will talk to you.
(For those of you who don't know what kinos are it is the main cause for depression on tisha b'av Reading ancient depressing poetry that we don't understand.)

For those of you who are not doing anything for tisha b'av, please take a couple minutes and reflect on the state of Judaism as it exists today.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Day 4

Warning: Religious Post

Do bad things really happen specifically during the 9 days? I was discussing this with my brother who got into a car accident. He wanted to know what I thought about those people who got a "pass" during the 9 days and nothing bad happened to them.
Here is part of my general philosophy (I've heard bits and pieces of this floating around various rabonim, so it isn't completely made up) - If you include God in your life and attribute events that occur towards his presence then God makes his presence more visible. If you attribute events that occur to coincidence and you take a more natural approach to life, then God's presence is not as visible to you.
In other words, part of our freedom of choice includes whether we live a spiritual life or a natural life. One story that exemplifies this freedom of choice happened a number of years ago before we moved to Israel. We were in Toronto for shabbos and someone smashed my car window. It cost me $250 to fix and a bit of aggravation. We drove back home without further incident until we got to the border. My wife gave the border guard her temporary resident papers and he looked at it and said that it was expired. We talked to him for a bit and he said this time he would let us go, but normally it would be a $250 fine. I was struck by the fact that God had let me know in no uncertain terms that I had to lose $250 that weekend. It didn't matter whether it happened by my car being broken, bad paperwork or the refrigerator breaking.
However, it is just as easy (or maybe easier) to not relate the 2 events at all. Bad Luck on the car (what did you expect from Canadian hoolums), Good Luck with the border guards (they did admit that the immigration office was 2 months behind in their paperwork so there was no way for us to have gotten the current documentation).

I believe that if this time you say they are unrelated then you have chosen to diminish God's presence in your life and therefore the next time he won't make it as obvious. (ie the border guard will just let you pass without giving you a hassle and telling you how much you would have had to pay.) If you attribute it to God then you have chosen to increase Gods presence in your life. That lets you more easily see the connection between 2 events in a spiritual way.

During the 9 days, God spits at people, but only those people who have chosen to have God in their life will know that they got spat on. Not everyone gets spat on, but those that do got spat on because of the 9 days. Those that don't include God in their lives are more or less ignored by God. Personally, I prefer God to be involved all the time and I am willing to take 9 days of getting spit on in return for getting taken care of the rest of the year. We have lots of examples where things just happened to occur at exactly the right time or didn't occur until we absolutely needed them. (Like finding a job the week we ran out of money)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Day 3

I called a friend last night in California. They lived in Israel for a number of years, he joined a kolel that teaches kiruv and then they send the kolel families to places out of Israel in need of Torah. I actually hadn't talked to him since they moved away, though I have thought about them and wondered how they were doing. Last month his mother died, and I called during shiva to make a shiva call. The problem with making a shiva call to someone you haven't talked to in a while is that you feel like a real shmuck. It's as if you only call because you feel some sort of obligation, and then when you call you can't ask how he's doing or any of the other things you would have talked about if you had called at a normal time because the answer is he's feeling lousy and he thinks life sucks at the moment. So I called, spent an uncomfortable minute on the phone, offered my condolences and hung up. It's not the first time that I've made a shiva call to an oldl friend who I hadn't talked to in a while, s I decided on a policy that after a month or so I would call the friend back and talk to him about normal things.
I got his cell phone number and a good time to call him from his wife, who I saw online one day. Then I put off calling him for 2 weeks because I was busy until last night I decided that I was going to call. I waited until 11PM which is lunch time in California and I called him. I said hi and asked him how he was doing. He sounded a bit stressed and said, "You probably didn't hear the news" I asked what news. He said he was on his way to a funeral. His grandmother passed away that morning. Now I felt like a double shmuck, so I quickly said, I guess this is a bad time and I will call back another time.

Day 3 of the 9 days.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Day 2 and counting

I was talking to someone at work about the ways that we are sad during the 9 days, he had never considered things this way before so I thought I would share them with my readers as well.
1) We don't eat meat. This is to remind us of the korban shlomim, which was considered the ultimate happiness.
2) We don't listen to live music. This is to remind us of the levites who would sing in concert every day.
3) We don't go into water for pleasure. This is to remind us of the water that we entered to become spiritually pure before entering the Beis haMikdash (BhM).
4) We don't drink wine because of the wine that was poured on the altar.

Joe Settler wrote on the Muqata blog that he has a hard time with forced seasonal emotions, such as becoming sad during the 9 days. In a lot of ways he is correct because in our reality nothing has changed from last week to this week. There was no BhM then and there is no BhM now.
What we are doing by adding on these symbols of sadness is more then just making our lives less comfortable, we are putting the things that we are missing in front of us and saying, look this is what we used to have and we don't have it anymore.

With that you can begin to feel the loss, not because of an artificial forced sadness, but a sadness based on a reality check that we imposed on ourselves so that we remember what we lost.

Monday, July 16, 2007

8 dairy dinners

The 9 days before tisha b'av started last night. The past two years we had real tisha b'av experiences (as the deejays on the radio say "לא עלינו").
Last year, we got bombed. We lived as refugees in Jerusalem. Of course we did the refugee bit Jewish style, as friends and family took care of us pretty well.
The year before we were in Jerusalem for the fast and we decided to go back home in the middle of the day.
The first thing we noticed as we left the old city was our flat tire.
It went on from there.
This year we are hoping to have a meaningful, but uneventful tisha b'av.

Last night we went to a goodbye party for friends who are going to England for 3 years. I believe the concept is to help build the connection between Israel and out of Israel. I spoke of Jeremiah and exile and how appropriate this was to send them off during the 9 days. An Israeli spoke about what a great opportunity this was and how this is the best thing that could happen to anyone.
Different perspectives. I suppose if I hadn't lived in America I would probably want to experience the life outside of Israel. They are planning on coming back eventually, but 3 years is a long time and their kids will be teenagers when they are ready to return. It will be a tough adjustment both ways.

I was planning on going to a meeting of the local tzedaka group because we really want to get more involved and they asked us to come. Dinner was scheduled for 8:00 PM and the meeting was at 8:45. I figured that it is an Israeli meeting, it won't start until 9:15 and if I get there before 10 I will be there for most of it. That would have been fine, except that dinner works the same way as meetings and the Israelis didn't show up until 8:30 and then the women didn't like the way the table was set, so we went for a walk on the beach until they got it all set up... we left at 1/4 to eleven because of our babysitter and I completely missed the meeting.
It was a nice dinner and I got an electric sander from the guy leaving. In Hebrew it is called a mishayefet.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I had a fight with a guy at work on Thursday. He thought that it was entirely appropriate to ask me to do his work for him because he was very busy. Except that he didn't exactly ask me to do his work, he replied to an email that someone sent him that they should come to me to solve the problem and I would change the process if it needed it. I looked at the system from the perspective of the developer and it all looked like it was working. The problem was that the user didn't fully understand the process. So I said to the guy, the system looks fine to me and the user doesn't know what needs to be changed, if you would like any changes please send me a detailed change request specifying what you want. He replied to my email that he would expect that for small things I would know what to do on my own. I still had no idea what he was talking about, so I went to him and asked him to open up the screen and I asked him what I am supposed to know how to do on my own. It all looked normal. He said well if there was no problem then you should just explain to her how the system works. So I asked him if he had looked at this at all when she asked him the question. He replied that he figured there was a possibility that it was a system problem and even if it wasn't, at least I know how to use the system so I could explain how it works. I explained to him that I was also busy and that I would expect him to look at the issue and then decide if it is a bug in the system before sending a user to me. He failed to grasp the concept that we each have our own jobs and that I am just as busy as he is. If this had been the only time that he asked me to do his job that would be one thing, but its not. On previous occassions he has asked me to make sure the equipment in the conference room was working every time he had a meeting. I told him where the batteries were for the wireless keyboard, if he needed to switch them, and he sent back a nasty response. So I suggested that he should check everything an hour before his meeting and if there was a problem that he couldn't deal with then he could come to me and then it wouldn't be a problem in the middle of a meeting.
In any case, we yelled at each other for 15 minutes and then I went and discussed it with our boss. He agreed with me that it was inappropiate for the other guy to keep trying to pass off his tasks onto me. And today he had a 45 minute talk with him. At the end he said to me, it seems like he wasn't trying to pass off tasks to you, he just doesn't understand the line between your job and his. (We work in completely different areas.)

Tonight we are goin out to dinner with a couple that is going on shlichut to England for 3 years. Shlichut is when an Israeli family goes to "israelify" an area of "out of israel" and convince them to move to Israel. This family doesn't speak any English, so their absorption will be almost as amusing as ours was here. Because the 9 days starts today, we are going out for dairy :-(

Monday, July 09, 2007


Apparently, my anniversary was on Shabbos. I found out Friday afternoon about an hour before shabbos (when my mother called to wish me a happy anniversary) and I couldn't even go out and get my wife flowers because all the stores were closed. In my defense, nobody bothered to remind me.
10 years.
I've been with my wife for almost 1/3 of my life.
One question that people ask married people is what they think is the most important aspect in a marriage.
The answers that I have heard include the following:
  • communication.
  • who controls the money
  • individuality
  • common goals
  • food
  • sex
What I have found most interesting is that husbands and wives very often come up with exact opposites of what is the most important. For example, I believe that the most important thing in a marriage is not to hate your spouse. My wife believes that it is love. (I am more practical.) I have heard wives say that communication is the most important thing while the husbands say, it's better when we don't talk. Personally, communication does not rank on my list of relevant things about a marriage.

Anyways, we went out to a fancy restaurant last night to celebrate the occasion, Decks in Tiberias. There we feasted on lamb ribs, lamb steak and lamb kabob. For drinks we had the lemonana slushies and for dessert the pancake. The drink and the pancake were more then 1/3 of the bill. I would recommend to anyone going, to forgo dessert and drink water. If you are still hungry have another piece of steak for 35 shekel.

After dinner we headed down to the kibbutz lavi hotel for what has become an annual tradition. No silly. We visited people there. We actually got 2 for the price of one, because while we were sitting down and shmoozing (My spell checker says shmooze has a c in it, but what does it know) , Rabbi J walked in and sat down with us, which was a big surprise for both of us.
It's always fun watching rabbis network.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

daughter at work

Yesterday, I brought my daughter to work. I had a vry good reason for doing this, it was my wife's turn to have the 2nd daughter's friends over in the mother's camp she is part of and we didn't want the older daughter fighting with all of them and bossing them around.
We have stuff for children to do at work, we have 2 computers dedicated for children and YES, satellite television. As an aside, I read an article a while ago about how the russian olim relate to the television options. Russians read an H like we read an N, so from their perspective there are 2 options, "YES" and "NOT."
I didn't want my daughter using the children's computer, because it is in an office not near anyone and she likes to search the Internet. I'm not worried that she will look for inappropriate things, but I am worried that she will find them by accident. So I grabbed a spare computer and set it up in my office (one of the advantages of being the IT manager) and gave her enough desk space to color and do whatever she wanted to do.
It took her a couple hours before she got bored, but she was very good and we went out for lunch together. My wife asked her what I do all day at work and she said I write emails and talk to people (which is moistly what I do, I suppose) .

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


The telemedicine deal went through!!!!!
The work is part time and can be done concurrently with another job.
If you know any doctors who are licensed in the following states and would like
to augment their income, have them send their CVs and/or any questions to teledoctors@gmail.com

Feel free to post this message on your blog or forward it to your friends if you would like to help olim doctors.

You do not need to live in Israel to apply.

Immediate Needs:
New Hampshire

Monday, July 02, 2007

north american olim statistics

My brother called me up today and asked me hwo to figure out the average of olim from north america, given statistics he got from the Department of Absorption. I told him the average was 28. He still wanted to figure it out statistically, so I gave him a suggestion as to breaking down the categories and figuring it out with the numbers.
He called me 10 minutes later and said the average was 28 and he wanted to know how I knew. I told him that I made aliyah when I was 28 and since the world revolves around me, there couldn't be any other answer.

Next Sunday I'm meeting a future oleh in the high tech field so that he can network with me before making aliyah. I did this before I made aliyah, I met with a bunch of random people and I learned absolutely nothing. So I thought about what I could possibly tell this guy that would make it worth his time to come up to Haifa and talk with me. I realized that the only thing I have to tell him is that there are a lot of available jobs in Israel and that he can ignore anybody who tells him there aren't.

nice day for a picnic

Today is our company picnic, which should be a lot of fun. We had a company picnic 3 years ago and they made the whole thing treif, except for our family the caterer bought glatt kosher meat, special grill utensils and a separate grill, opened the packages in front of me and showed me . If I had known I wouldn't have gone. But I didn't know and we had a very good time, except for telling the children they couldn't eat most of the food and that they had to eat on paper while everyone else ate on china. (Why they would have fancy china in a forest picnic is beyond me, but they did).
This year we have 4.5 kosher people (minimum) and so they are making the whole thing kosher. We are also having the picnic before the 3 weeks start, which is also good religious-wise. Go Jews.

I didn't post yesterday before I left, so....
The picnic was very nice. We got there first (on time) so my kids got to run wild through the forest and claim it as their own before any other children got there. The activity was a competition between a number of groups in which we had to use team-building skills and intelligence to complete a number of physical and intellectual tasks. On example was we were standing on a rug (8 of us) and we had to turn it completely upside-down without stepping off of the rug. It included having everyone jump at the same time a number of times so we could pull out the part of the rug they were standing on.
The food was excellent.

Now that the President has resigned and we are stuck with peres as president it has been revealed that the main complainant consistently lied throughout the investigation. This is the reason the police felt that couldn't win on a rape charge and settled on a plea bargain. Why Katsav agreed to the plea bargain is beyond me, but he must have felt that they had something. Maybe he didn't want all his dirty laundry to become more public then it already was. Now that he will only be convicted of sexual harassment, he can become vice premier. At least that is the position being offered to Haim Ramon (according to a ynet report), who was recently convicted of sexual misconduct. At least they're not offering him anything important. It is the position Sharon created to get peres off his back.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I just saw an ad for the sale of the domain name jurjy.com and jurji.com
If you're going to take a name that is not based on anything, why would you buy it from someone. Make up something else that doesn't mean anything and buy that domain.
As of this moment, gonjers.com is available.
Publish Post

going to jlem

We're having a hoedown tonight in jlem, well maybe without the fiddle and the square dancing. The last time we were supposed to meet the sister's boyfriend they broke up the day before. This time we're not waiting for him to come up and visit so we're heading down south to get with the rest of the local family for an introductory dinner.

I'm starting to build up my professional network on www.linkedin.com if anybody would like to join, shoot me a message. It is more professional then facebook.

If at first you don't succeed...

I have been working on a business idea for over a year and a half now. As I listened to katyushas slam down last summer, the other CEO told me "The country of Texas stands with Israel." I've given up on it at least 3 times. Two weeks ago their CEO told me that he didn't see it happening. Yesterday he sent me an email saying, that maybe we can actually work this out. This is pretty much the last chance and I'm very excited about it.

Our former President admitted that he sexually abused the women he was accused of abusing. Now they are working out a plea bargain so that he doesn't have to go to jail. As I said before, we should not judge him until he is proven innocent or guilty. If he is admitting that he committed indecent acts, then we should throw him in jail for a long time. Plea bargains for political criminals are bad for this country. Now that he's admitted it, he can run for head of Likud.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

shekel and terrorists

When writing a price, is the shekel symbol before or after the number? I asked my secretary this question when I had to add a shekel amount to a report. She told me it goes after the number. So I put the symbol after the number. I showed her the report, she looked at it and said, "I told you after the number, not before the number." I looked at it and said it is after the number, I had put it on the right side after the number. She said that in Hebrew after the number is on the left side. I explained to her that the symbol is part of the number, so after the number would mean that it goes on the right side. In any case, all of the Israelis disagreed with me and said that after the number is on the left side, which is before the number from all other perspectives.

MK Rabbi Yitzchak Levi announced today that he would not have any problem freeing the prisoners who killed his daughter if it would bring Gilad Shalit home. He then qualified the statement in a letter he sent to the prime minister that any release of prisoners must be conditioned on them not returning to live in Israel, including the west bank/gaza strip.
On one hand, I am against this kind of idea. Letting people out of jail who have attacked you in the past and have no intention of stopping sounds foolish. Getting back one soldier, which is extremely important, for the price of a lot of terrorists who will try, as soon as they are released, to kill/maim more Israelis is not in this country's best interest. Sending them away tells arabs that the price for terrorism is a free ticket out of the west bank to a nice European country, where they will not sit in jail. They can still attack Israeli interests from their host country, including spreading hatred for Israel (in essence giving the PA hundreds of new ambassadors) and physically attacking Israelis who are traveling.

On the other hand, maybe we can send their wives and children with them and slowly emtpy out the west bank and gaza strip.

I would take a very hard look at where all the released terrorists from the last deal are today and what they are doing in exile. I'm sure someone must be keeping tabs on them.

Monday, June 25, 2007


This morning I got into my car a minute early and I got to hear the announcer recite Shema Yisrael, as is appropriate to say before the morning news. The rest of the news wasn't that great.

It seems like our prime minister has decided that now that Hamas has taken over the gaza strip it is the perfect opportunity to accept the failed abu as our returning peace partner. Now that we have seen that he has absolutely no control over what goes on in his land, we know that it is the perfect opportunity to offer him guns and armored vehicles. There is a slight chance that those weapons will not be used against Israel, and the prime minister is prepared to take that chance.

Does anybody know anybody who works in the Israeli Treasury department? I'm looking for a little free proteczia.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

just another day

I'm busy working on my new software for home care doctors. If there are any home care doctors who are interested in hearing more about the software, please drop me a note. The plan is to open source it, and charge only for the service I'm providing. I think we can provide a strong viable service for the home care industry, based on the software and including billing, marketing and business management as well.

I read in the news today that there was a car bomb in Hilla. One of our kidnapped soldiers is from that moshav. That kind of shocked me because Hila is a 5 minutes drive from our house, right in the back of Miilya, a village that has existed since the time of the crusades (with a crusader castle and all). After reading the news again, I realized that the Hilla that had been car bombed was actually in Iraq and our Hila is still safe and sound.

An older couple (in their 60s) from Las Vegas just moved to our village last week. They are not religious, though they do keep kosher and part of shabbos. He's originally from Oklahoma so he wanted a place that felt like home. I asked him, "Isn't Oklahoma kind of flat?" He said, "yea." They didn't know anybody when they moved in and for some reason they never emailed me to say they were coming, as most people who consider Maalot do. So we heard there was a new American couple so we brought over some cookies. Nice folks, and its good to hear proper English again.

My neighbor did his reserve duty last week and the report we got back was that they didn't feed him very well. I guess the Winograd report didn't make that much of a difference.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A sunny day

If anybody knows anything about or where I can find information on gambling laws in Israel, such as if a charity organization wanted to have a raffle, please let me know.

Ynet had an article that makes sense for the situation in Lebanon. It is along the lines of what commentor Bella Who was suggesting in that we give them a strong warning, while at the same time it is a warning with teeth and a demand for action against the perpetrators.

It seems to me that Israel is going to ignore it, which will just bring about more rockets.

In other news, the people of homosexual orientation (gays) are still planning on marching in Jerusalem. The last time they planned to do this there were a lot of threats of violence and then a war broke out. In an about face, the head rabbis of the black hat world have called on their people to refrain from protesting against the parade. They are afraid of what the police will do to their students. That is what is being said publicly. I believe that they want their students to be far away when the ground opens up to swallow them alive or if a large explosive happens to be planted on the path of the parade. Or something like that.

Syria has offered to allow the Jewish residents of the Golan stay there after it is returned. Someone just told me that a law in Syria forbids Jews from owning telephones.
On that note, I was talking to someone at lunch about the proposed State of Judea which was explored during the Gazan expulsion. I reminded him that one of the great tragedies of Jewish history was when the kingdom of Israel broke off from the kindom of Judea. It would be a mistake to try something like that again. Jews need to live together.

The weather is hot in the Galilee and the kids spent an hour in the pool today. Thank God and the parents for the pool.

Monday, June 18, 2007

tremping boys

Yesterday on my way home from work I gave a ride to 2 teenagers from Acco to Nahariya. We're talking as we're driving and one of them asks me if I know where Khanita is. I told him it is right on the border. He completely starts to flip out. What, they think I'm a fighter, are they crazy, there's no way. After he calmed down he explained that they told him he was doing gaurd duty on Khanita, and he had no idea where it was. Apparantly, he is in the army and not in a fighting unit. He wanted to know which border it was on. I asked him if he knew where Nahariya was? Because we were 15 minutes from the border at that time. He answers, how am I supposed to know? This is a completely Israeli kid, sefardi, wearing a kippa asimon, and he has no idea where in the country Nahariya is. I dropped them off and told him that the border was getting hot and he should enjoy his time in Khanita. Poor kid. I laughed the entire way home.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

a nice hike

I had a very enjoyable day today. By Thursday afternoon I knew that I was going to have to work late on Sunday because I was reworking the telephone and network infrastructure and that can only be done on Sunday evening. So I told my boss that I was going to be coming in late on Sunday and he obviously didn't have a problem with that. My wife graciously agreed to accompany me on a hike this morning (canceling her other plans) and we went down to nachal kziv, because the place I wanted to goto in the Golan was too far away if I wanted to get to work at a decent time. The kids were all in school and we went with the littlest, who went in the backpack for the first time.
We brought our flashlight because I was thinking of going into the cave, which I have been planning on exploring for a long time and haven't had a chance yet. But when we got to the natural springs (where the cave is), we decided to continue walking because we had never really been past the springs. It's a half hour walk without the kids and with the kids by the time we get there there is no desire to continue onwards. So we walked on for another hour. The forest was green and full. We saw a bunch of fig trees and a couple grape vines, though none of the fruit was ripe yet. The river was full of water and there were some pretty large fish swimming around.
Definitely something that should be done more often.

Tonight there were 2 katyushas fired at kiryat shmona, about an hours drive from us. The apologist government, with Ehud Barak as defense minister, have decided that it was a rogue palestinian group shooting them, not the hizballah or the lebanese so that makes it ok.
When will they wake up and figure out that any rocket coming from Lebanese soil is Lebanese responsibility. Lebanon allows groups to have rockets. If they can't control their population then we will have to control it for them. Any attack on sovereign Israel from Lebanon must be answered with attacks on Beirut. The people there will have to demand that their government prevent militants from using weapons.

If a group of Israeli militants tried to harm another country they would be hunted down with the full force of the Israeli military and police. There would be no excuses that it was a rogue group and there was nothing we could do about it. A government is responsible for anything that happens on its soil. If they can't handle the heat, they should ask someone else to do it for them.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

its getting noisy

I've taken a hiatus from blogging because I really have no time to write anymore. Work is keeping my overbusy right now. I have been taking on more responsibilities and I barely have time to breathe, let alone post.

The skies of our village got pretty loud tonight. We had dozens of low flying fighter jets overhead. I can't tell you which direction they were flying in because the military censor would be unhappy with me. Nothing is being reported in the media yet, so I don't think we bombed anyone. There were no loud booms, so we haven't gotten bombed. This might just be an evening out for the airforce boys. The wondows shook a little as one flew close by, but at least there was no sonic boom. That would have freaked out the kids.

In any case, the almonds are almost ripe and taste delicious. The girls school put on a nice performance for the parents last night and the principal announced that the school won an award in traffic safety. I think I'm going to talk to the principal about going for an academic award. If we start working on it now, we can probably get in good enough shape in 2 years to take math or science.

We are getting ready for shmita next year. Trying to learn all the laws involved.

I'll try to keep posting on a semi-regular basis. Obviously if the security situation heats up, I'll be letting you know.


Ynet reports that the air force is just training, and there was no security incident. It was 10:30 PM here, a good time for practicing flying in the dark.

Monday, May 07, 2007


My sister called me with an ethical question the other day. When I read Dilbert today, I felt that Scott Adams was listening in.
We had a very nice bonfire on Lag B'Omer. I didn't want to join the community bonfire because I didn't want to fight with my kids when they were done and everyone else was staying up longer. So we built a nice little bonfire on the edge of our cliff next to a neighbor's house. We had all the right ingredients for a good bonfire: marshmallows, hot dogs, potatoes and onions. The kids actually lasted longer then I expected and we left the bonfire shortly after 11.
The traditional/chareidi approach to lag b'omer is that Torah is light and rashbi represented torah so that is why we have a bonfire and he was such a tzaddik that there was never a rainbow during his life (to signify that the world should be destroyed, if not for god's promise). That seems to be a classic case of anti-zionistic revisionist history. The reason the romans forbade learning Torah upon punishment of death is because the leading rabbis at the time, especially Rabbi Akiva, were teaching Toras Eretz Yisroel, which was that only Jews should have governance of Israel and should not be subjected to foreign rule. When Rashbi was heard saying that everything the romans did was for themselves, he was not just talking politics. Rashbi was actively involved in the war effort. In other words, Lag B'Omer is a Yom HaAtzmaut type day in which we celebrate the battle to throw the Romans out of our land. Bonfires were used as military signals and the bow and arrow was the weapon of the day. Obviously this doesn't fit into the hareidi world view even though Rabbi Akiva and rashbi are both considered role models by the hareidi institutions.

Today I signed up for the shmita fruit and vegetable program. There is a 50 shekel registration fee and you get the hilchos shmitta book upon registration. Then every month during shmita they charge you 50 shekels and send you a 50 shekel coupon for use in their store. The food that they will have will be:
a) from the 6th year
b) otzer bais din
c) stuff grown not in or on the ground
Everything will be labeled as to exactly what type of food it is.

They have committed to having food within a 1 hour drive of us, though they believe that there will be a store in our village.

I believe the way otzer bais din works is that our farmers sell their fields to bais din and then bais din pays them to pick the fruit. Bais din then sells the fruit for the cost of picking it. The fruits have kedushas shviis on them and therefore you have to read the accompanying book to figure out exactly how to deal with them. It will be a fun and educational year. We have almonds, pecans, lemons, pomegranates and grapes if anyone wants to come during shmita and eat our fruit. We have 2 new cherry trees as well, but they will be orlah until the year after shmita, so you will not be allowed to take from them. I believe the law is that I have to put up a warning sign to protect people from eating orlah cherries.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

war report

We have a spot for our bonfire Saturday night. I cleared away the weeds yesterday with the kids and it should be a nice evening. My cousin is coming up to visit because she wants to be part of the happening at Meron on Saturday night. 300,000 people gather on the little hill to celebrate the death of Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai and the loss of the Bar Kokhba rebellion. This is a holiday that I have never understood.

The Winograd report is causing quite a stir in the political arena. I haven't finished reading it yet. I'm only up to page 17, which is the middle of describing the mandate of the commission. The report started ff with a pasuk from Yirmiyahu and a dedication to a girl who died in the war. Olmert has decided to stick it out instead of resigning. His claim is that he will learn the report and implement it. As far as I understand the report says that the leaders are egomaniacs who don't know how to lead and are too involved in their petty self-interests to be of any benefit to the country. I think the only way for that to be implemented after it is learned is if the entire Knesset is hung and new decent people are brought in.

Tzippy Livni, the 2nd in command asked the prime minister to quit so that she could be in charge. I heard an interview with someone who said that she couldn't quit because if she did there would be no one to take the prime minister's place when he resigned. That is the sad state of affairs.
Meanwhile the defense minister is making comments in the press, like , "wow. I did a great job" and completely ignoring what was written in the report.

There is a huge protest in Tel Aviv tonight asking for the resignation of those who the report calls "miserable failures." I'm not going because I didn't know about it until just a bit ago and I am busy tonight. Also I don't think he'd quit if all of Israel asked him to. He is insisting on being thrown out.

Azmi Bishara is being investigated for giving Hizballah information during the war. While we don't know the exact details and we are sure that most things mentioned in the media are not true, he did flee the country and has no intention of returning. With that, Balad will probably pick up another seat or 2 in the next elections.

Rhonda is in town, we haven't seen her in forever. She is coming to visit us with her new husband Nachman of Breslov and we are very excited to see them.

Last night I made a shiva telephone call to a friend who's mother very unexpectedly died in the US. I felt I should call, so I did. I didn't want to ask him how he was doing, because I knew how he was doing - lousy. I didn't want to ask him how his wife and kids were because the focus of shiva is on him and it isn't a social call. I couldn't exactly say, "man, this just sucks." Basically I said, I'm sorry I couldn't be there to comfort you in person and I said the traditional phrase of comfort, "May God comfort you amongst the rest of the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem." and then I hung up.

Monday, April 30, 2007

lag b'omer

In 15 minutes the interim report for the Second Lebanese War is due to be released. The prime minister received his copy almost an hour ago and was supposed to review the entire thing before it was released to the media.
I am actually planning on reading the report. I would like to know what Winograd thinks of the fact that my family spent our summer traipsing around Jerusalem. I wonder if he will quote my blog. I doubt it, but he might.
In any event, the prime minister is too seasoned a politician to go down with the ship. He's the kind of guy who will tell the women and children that the rescue boat is on the other side of the ship so they wouldn't crowd him while he tries to survive.

Also in the news today, Yossi Beilin contradicted the PM who said that he had the Knesset's full backing. Beilin sent Olmert a letter with all of Meretz votes during the course of the war. Of course, Meretz wanted to vote on Israel bending over voluntarily so Hizballah could not be accused of raping us.

We're trying to decide if we should have our own bonfire (and get the kids to sleep at a decent time) or join the community bonfire (and have the kids up all night). The problem is that our normal bonfire location has been taken over by weeds. To do the bonfire ourselves, we will have to clear the area and then go gathering wood. We'll probably make the decision tonight.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Today I insulted someone at work accidentally. His computer wasn't working and my technician reported it was because of viruses. In the follow-up email I sent him, I said that his computer was full of viruses and that he should use the anti-virus software (that he should have been using the whole time) from now on. I also included a damage report which , because there was no other damage just included the time that everyone who worked on it had to put in.

Apparently, when you tell an engineer that his computer is full of viruses that is one of the worst insults that you can lay on him. It says that he doesn't know anything about simple computer use and that he is a complete idiot for downloading all types of garbage without a thought for computer security. I found all this out because he went to my boss and told him how insulted he was and how he was upset because I said that everyone wasted all of that time because of him.

I apologized for saying it was full of viruses, I should have been more precise and mentioned that there were only 2 viruses. I also explained that the purpose of a damage report is to explain that even though he didn't lose any information and there did not seem to be any real damage, we still consider time to be very valuable. By the end of the conversation, he was much happier that we had talked and that I had explained myself. Sometimes I hate email, but I always prefer to have the written record.

I was thinking about Jews and Judaism recently. One of the things that slavery in Egypt was supposed to have done to us was forge us into a nation. Looking at non-religious Jews being proud of their Judaism, while hating the religion, makes me think that the Holocaust may have reinforced that. I think Jews were at a point where if they didn't want to be Jews anymore they were just slipping away. Judaism was a religion in Europe, not a nation. There were no secular Jews, Jews who didn't want to follow the religion just faded into society or joined other religions. Today secular Jews blast the country for the few religious institutions that are part of modern society (read weddings and no chametz on pesach). These Jews would never consider giving up their Judaism, rather they want to be Jews without Judaism, in other words a nation with no religion.

Apparently this is a good thing from a religious perspective, though without the religious aspects of our nation we would just fade away as history has proven time and again.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

yom haatzmaut

Yom Hatzmaut was a lot of fun. One of the highlights of the celebration is the candle lighting ceremony, in which someone who represents some group lights a candle and says who they are and why they are lighting a candle. I've never seen it but the ceremony at Mount Herzl is supposed to be all that. Anyways, this year is the 50th anniversary of our village and they asked me to light a candle as a representative of all the olim, past and future, who have and will come to build the village into the great town it is today. I thought it was pretty silly, but I got a lot of comments from people that actually consider it to be a big thing.
The first part of the evening was the special prayer which is culminated by the blowing of a shofar. There were a lot of presentations and speeches before we finally got up to the candle lighting ceremony and by the time I finally lit my candle it was 10:30PM. The next day at davening, most people were dressedin their yomtov finest and we sang hallel and heard the special haftorah.
I was asked if I was really participating because I come from a less Zionistic background and we generally don't say hallel on Yom HaAtzmaut (or listen to live music for that matter, because it is a time of mourning). I replied that we always pasken like Hillel and this day should be no different. (אבות ב,ה) .

My aunt was in visiting from Arizona and she enjoyed both Memorial Day and Independence day.

In the morning we went with 2 other families on a nice 5 hour hike around the base of mount meron. The kids did excellent, though they would have preferred if it was an hour or so shorter. The other two families both brought color-coded books on the flowers of Israel and when we saw interesting looking flowers we stopped to find out what they were.

We finally got back home around 4ish and started preparing for the big mitzva of the day - BBQ. We had about 30 people (including children) and tons of meat. Each of the participating families brought a lot of food. We had hot dogs, steak bits, chicken bits, steaks, bigger steaks, lamb chops, chicken wings, shnitzels and so on. The kids ended the eating by roasting their marshmellows over the grill.

Now life is back to normal until the next big holiday - lag b'omer.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

memorial day

Talk about a busy day at work, I didn't have a minute to breathe and I am in the middle of a dozen projects. It is much better then when I was sitting at work with nothing to do, and I threatened to quit, but there should be some sort of middle ground.

I just got back from a memorial day ceremony. Growing up in America, Memorial Day was the beginning of spring, a day to BBQ and big sales. I never really thought about it as a day to think about the soldiers that fell to build the nation and to keep the nation safe. I think it would really benefit the youth of America to understand what Memorial Day really means. Maybe now with the war being close to home and our soldiers losing their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, people will take a minute to think about it and educate their children on May 28.

The chief rabbi of our village spoke at the ceremony and talked about the Israeli professor in Virgina who gave his life to save his students. There was a prayer for the dead, the kel malai rachamim, and a video in which each person who died in the Israeli wars with a connection to our village had a picture shown and his name announced. At the end they announced the names of the people who were killed during the war last summer, including the arabic people from our sister village. We left when the boys started really complaining in the middle of the speeches.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

the lebanese

BTW, I've started facebooking now. So if any of you are on facebook, you can add me to your list.

The Lebanese are planning on taking Israel to court for reacting inproportionately to their kidnapping of our soldiers and firing missiles at us. The fact that Lebanon still exists after I had to spend the entire summer in Jerusalem tells me that we did not act proportionately enough. One of the raison de etres of a state is to protect its citizens, worrying about the enemy should not even come into the picture. They aren't even saying that Israel attacked them unprovoked. They are simply saying that 2 of our soldiers and a couple missiles are not worth the destruction that we caused.

I have some advice for the Lebanese. If it isn't worth the damage, don't start up. If they felt it was worthwhile for them to attack us, because we would only respond with what they felt was fair then there would be no such concept as Deterrence. The only way to keep people from attacking you is by making them assume that if they do they will pay for it a lot more then they want to. The only way to make them assume that is that when they actually do attack you, you make them pay more then they wanted to.

In any case, a friend of mine just came back from his reserve duty and told me that this summer's war will most probably be in the Gaza strip and they aren't really concerned with the northern border. I don't know if this should make me worry more because they will not be prepared on the northern border again or relax me because maybe they actually have decent intelligence.

new york to london

I generally ignore email forwards, but I glanced at this one and thought it was good enough to share with you.
Take 60 seconds to do this, I guarantee you will show someone else, it's too funny not to.

1. go to www.google.com <>
2. click on "maps"
3. click on "get directions"
4. type "New York" in the first box (the "from" box)
5. type "London" in the second box (the "to" box)
6. scroll down to direction #23

Now I also tried going to Jerusalem and it wouldn't calculate the driving directions. If everyone will please email google and tell them that you consider them racists and anti-semites because they didn't include driving directions to Jerusalem from the US even though they included driving directions to Europe I would find that amusing.
Dumb, but amusing.

Monday, April 16, 2007

holocaust day

My son came home from gan (nursery) today wearing a yellow star that said Jude on it. In fact, all of the kids were wearing the star except for one little russian boy and the other children were all throwing things at him yelling "sheigitz,sheigitz." Ok, that last part didn't happen, but it probably could have. When my wife tried taking the yellow star off of his shirt he got very upset and said, "but my teacher said I have to wear it."

Yes, it is once again Holocaust Day in Israel. This morning at 10AM a siren sounded and we all stood quietly for the 2 minutes that it went off for. Except in Sderot, where the children screamed and hid under their desks for the 4th time this morning. Ok, that last part might not have happened, but I don't know for sure that it didn't.

On the radio yesterday they were playing sad, dlow songs to get people in the mood of the day. In Israel if you want to know how you are supposed to feel on a given day you can always listen to the radio and the songs they are playing will let you know.

Yesterday I heard an interview with a Polish minister in which he complained that Israeli youth come to visit Poland and all they do is go to death camps. He felt that it gives a very negative impression of Poland to Jewish teenagers. If I'm not mistaken, Poland is the same country where a number of air force pilots got caught a couple months ago inspecting the local culture in their hotel rooms and were dismissed from their duties. That being said its probably better if we only send our teenagers to look at the death camps instead of introducing them to Polish culture.

My little brother had a baby boy today and I'm not going to write what I was just thinking.
You're all welcome.

In any case, as I've mentioned in the past I am not very pro holocaust day. We already have a Jewish holocaust day, Tisha B'Av, which is an all-inclusive Jewish tragedy day. I do think that it is great that Israeli culture keeps it in the public conscience. We must always remember that as Jews we will only be safe under the protection of God himself, in our own land when we are following the Torah as we are supposed to.

"May God avenge their blood", as it is said, so it is written and so it shall be done.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

long day

It's 9:45 PM and I'm still at work. I guess this is my own fault because my application screwed up the data. I just finished the function that went through the logs and put all the data back in the place where it is supposed to be and I'm waiting for the production supervisor to go through the numbers with me to make sure they are all right.

Anyways, back to Pesach. I didn't finish all my beer beforehand and I threw out a couple bottles. I wanted to burn them, but it wouldn't have worked. In the olden days we used to have a pre-Pesach beer party with a couple friends to finish them off.

I just heard that Dan is in the country. If anybody has a phone number for him, please send it my way.

Finally finished fixing the problems and I'm going home.
Have a good shabbos.