Thursday, April 27, 2023


Wars are stupid and cruel, yet sometimes, so it would seem, inevitable.

On 25 April we commemorated Remembrance Day (Yom Hazikaron) for israeli fallen soldiers and also for victims of hostile acts.  On this day, my thoughts wander to a cousin of mine - Marcel (Moshe) Calacuda.  Marcel was killed in 1973, at the age of 26, in the  war with the Egyptian Army, near the  Suez Canal.


We were both born and grew up in the same remote, little town in northeastern Romania. We were not only cousins, but also neighbors; our families lived on the same street, in houses at close distance from each other.

Marcel was quite a naughty boy , but very loved for his energy, cheerfulness, and friendliness.  He came to Israel as a lad of 16, after graduating in Romania from a vocational school. During the first year he devoted himself to learning the new language (hebrew).  Next, he got drafted into the army.  After finishing his military service,  he started working  in a mould foundry, at Haifa Bay.

He was successful in everything he did.  :  military tasks,  work, sports (soccer mainly), public activity (for the benefit of the local youth, and the local council of the town) etc..

He got married in 1972, and wanted to build the family house  'with his own hands' .  Well, this plan, as well as the plan of enlarging the family by bringing kids in the world, got ruined by the war that broke out a year later, in 1973.

Marcel was burried in the military plot at the Kfar Hasidim- Rechasim cemetery., in Haifa district, northern Israel.

'May your soul rest in peace, dear cousin Marcel !'

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Pick a Song

When a famous, admired person (a celebrity) dies, people feel sadness coupled with envy. Sadness -  because  when he/she dies it is  as if a little part of us dies too. Envy, due to the fact that the famous person is going to be remembered and cherished  through his works ( books, songs, paintings etc..) for many generations to come.

Elvis Presley comes immediateky to mind in this category. He was a phenomenon. His songs are unforgettable! His voice and performance - unique!  

His israeli 'counterpart' , Zvika Pick, left us last august at the age of 72.  Pick was not only an iconic pop/rock singer but also a prolific composer. The song 'Diva' composed by Pick (lyrics Yoav Ginai) won first prize at the Eurovision Song Context in 1998.  He also composed songs for other more or less well-known singers and  festival contesters.

'Diva' - Eurovision contest 1998 (youtube)

Pick and his first wife Mirit Shem Or, a talented lyrics writer, have produced together some real music pearls such as Mary Lou, Mala Mala, Beyn haetzbaot, Elef Neshikot etc.. He composed the music, she wrote the lyrics. Very fruitful collaboration, which luckily, didn't end with their divorce in 1995.   

                        Pick and first wife in their younger days. * Web photo

It's interesting to note that  their three adult children are also a success: son a doctor, two daughters that have performed together as the  charming " Pick sisters" singers. (on a sidenote - one of the daughters is married to the american film producer Quentin Tarantino; the other to a 5 star hotel owner). 

                                                Zvika Pick - * web photo

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Motion Sickness

Usually, I'm not eager to go  on a cruise, as I might get sea sick . While on a bus or train I refrain from reading, as I might get a feeling of nausea or even dizziness.

Below is  a picture taken  years ago with me  (covered head) and a friend, on a ferry voyage  along the British channel from Dover to Callais.  I had a terrible nausea followed by loss of colour in my face.

seasick in the cabin of the boat.

I've never attempted to get to the bottom of 'motion sickness' or take medicines. I 've just accepted the situation. When feeling unwell, I help myself with doing what seems the right thing to do.  On a boat , I'l go to the deck for fresh air and look forward in the distance. On the bus, I'll look straight ahead or out of the window. A bottle of cold soda water may also prevent or reduce nausea.

I notice , in my case, that with age, there's significant decline in motion sickness, and that makes me glad, of course. Several years ago I went on a boat tour along the river Moskva in Moscow. Had no trouble at all.

boat tour on Moskva river

Recently, I 've incidentally come upon an article on the above subject by James Phillips, a researcher from Washington University. He explains 'motion sickness' as a conflict between senses (visual sense of the eyes,  and audial sense of the  inner ear) that interferes with the brain's processing of the moving information. He calls it 'mismatch'.

As a college student he experienced seasickness ; that made him decide to search it thoroughly and may be find  proper treatment someday. 

In the meantime, people use a variety of  more or less efficient means for preventing or stopping motion sickness, such as accupuncture wrist bands, skin patches behind the ear, herbs like ginger and chamomille, aromatherapy etc...

Friday, April 7, 2023

Security Guard


There's a dog statue near the entrance of a Vetcenter in an adjacent town. Whenever I'm around,  I stop to have a look at it. It is a well- made statue , and  it makes me smile ; it seems as if the dog stands there  in the position of a security guard:)

the display window of the Vetcenter

the dog statue "watching" the entrance

Dogs are good for security. The dog is an intelligent animal, capable  to  detect danger, especially due to its extraordinay sense of smell (300 million scent receptors!).  They say that properly trained, any breed can make a good guard.

Despite technology and its gadgets, dog protection of house and property will probably continue to be the favorite option. Barking of a dog may be enough to scare away potential intruders. Sometimes, even the mere presence of a dog might do that.

Here's something for the 'mural hunters':

I don't know what it says or means, but it certainly catches the eye.