Tuesday, March 28, 2023

"Look For The Woman"


She's beautiful, bright (physicist researcher at Weizmann Institute, Israel, and at Cern accelerator project, Switzerland), basketball player (retired after injury), social - political activist, wife and mother.

* web picture

Dr. Shikma Bressler, is one of the leading figures in the recent protests against the government's judicial reform. She has even got arrested like a common criminal (was later released) during a demonstration on 23 March 2023.

In 2020, Shikma along with two of her brothers and two family friends formed what was known as the Black Flag movement protesting against Prime Minister Netanyahu - until the Benet government took over.  Also in 2020,  she appeared in Forbes magazine's list of 50 most influential women in Israel.

Anyway, after weeks of huge protests against the judicial overhaul intended by the new  government, the re-elected Prime Minister Netanyahu announced  he would postpone the legislation to give him time for broad agreement.

Shikma and her fellow leaders organizing  the protests, say they 'll be 'on the streets' until the overhaul is cancelled.

Shikma, you rock!

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

My Affair With Kiwi


Kiwi is an exotic, tasty fruit, packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. I like the flavor and its texture. The point is it doesn't like me; for some reason it upsets my stomach. 

At first, I suspected its rather high acidity, but then I found out that it does not have as much acid as citrus fruits, and I never had any problem with citrus fruits. No problems with other fruits high in acid either: grapes, tomatoes, blueberries.

* web picture

Its exterior resembles a potatoe, and this has given me the idea to boil it as I do with potatoes, Not bad, but no change  in the feeling of stomach discomfort. 

Anyway, I recently went into reading the info about it on the web. Kiwi has a lot of health benefits (good for heart, eyes, skin; fights diabetes, helps with weight loss), almost no side effects (except it might cause allergies in people allergic to other fruit or plants - and I'm not in that category). I might eat one or two fruits per day or week, so quantity is not an issue here either.

So what's special about Kiwi that prevents me from enjoying eating it?  Well, I don't know and until I do know, I'm sadly, giving it up.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023


Lately, I've been busy with my desktop computer. Its internal DVR wasn't working, so I had to take the whole thing to the Lab.

In one of my previous posts I mentioned that I prefer  desktop computer to  laptop. One of the reasons is that I'm sometimes able to solve problems that arise, by just replacing a cable or by opening the case to clean the fans with a compressed air duster, and check that  pieces are not loose or out of their slot.

Well, I couldn't do that now because of the warranty certificate. How come? If I don't manage to solve the problem of the DVR, and at the Lab they'll notice that I've opened the case and done things by myself, it might result in my warranty losing its validity.

I thought the technician was going to concentrate on fixing the DVR issue only, but he phoned me to ask permission to do a reset first, re-installing the OS . 

Anyway, he was probably so deep in the Reset that he returned the PC with the DVR problem...unsolved. I had to return the PC to the Lab.  In the meantime, I've  made a wrong backup of my blog's theme and lost the layout with its widgets. I felt very sad about it;  my blog ,started in year 2008, was unrecognizable.

 I worked hard on it for a couple of hours and , thank God, managed to restore it to the old theme and layout I'm used to. Still, I have to add and change some components that will enable me to perform certain functions.

As for the DVR, it got fixed at the Lab, but the content of my CD-s, belongs to the days of the XP operating system, and my present Windows 11  Media Player doesn't open them for me. So, I'll  have to work hard again, and try to solve the problem.

Hopefully, no more computer problems in store for me .

Wednesday, February 22, 2023



In  Hebrew, the word 'balagan' means mess, chaos, disorder.  There's controversy about the word's origin (Russia? Turkey?...), but I'm not going to go into this.

 It suffices to say that at my age I hate balagan. I can try and control 'balagan' at my home (not always successfully), but not the one outside it .

Since the last general elections we've got constant balagan: protests, strikes, violence (both verbal and physical). It's all too little and too late, as they say, and as I firmly believe - but, who wants to know...   

People constantly ignore things, they live each inside their own bubble, and then act as surprised.  No surprise here at all. As expected, 'demographics' won the elections.  So, all that remains to do is try to make 'a lemonade out of the lemon', IF possible.

One must add to the above political kind of balagan,  the fear caused by the recent earthquakes in the neighboring countries Turkey and Syria. We are not prepared for such a disaster , so blames regarding  apparently faulty structural condition of buildings, are already flying  over our heads, in all directions.

Actually, the big balagan started several years ago with the Light Rail works in major cities -  Jerusalem and Tel Aviv first. The Light Rail has lots of benefits, but I pity those who live close to the stations and rails during long periods of work to be done. What a mess! 

They'll tell you it's all worthy as it raises house value on the market. Maybe, maybe not. In the meantime, one lives near a considerable balagan, and that's hardly quality living. If you've got kids, it could also be dangerous to live close to road /rail works.

Anyway, there seems to be no 'responsible adult' around, so things look  rather bad.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Three Surprises and One Pink Martini

The other day, I bought a few small items and got unpleasantly surprised by the price I had to pay.  It added to my gloomy mood I was in since the earthquake in Turkey last week.

The first item was a tiny pack of  sewing needles.'These needles are made in Germany', said the saleslady. What happened to China, give me chinese needles - these are expensive, said I. She smiled; no chinese needles in her shop.

Next, I fancied a loaf of light, sliced wheat bread . Unlike standard bread, light bread  (fewer calories) is not under price supervision, so it's subject to  constant raise by the supplier- informed me the vendor. Got it. 

The third item was a bag with potatoes. In winter, I often eat boiled, mashed potatoes topped with cottage cheese, or some piquant topping like sardine in chilli sauce. I like the red potatoes grown in Turkey. Immediately after the eartkquake, here, at the grocery store they shamelessly raised the price of these potatoes , probably in expectation of  shortage and/or difficulty with importing them .

To cheer myself up, I turned to Pink Martini,  no, not the drink but the music - something dramatic with a drop of fun. The drama in the youtube video was provided by an old, powerful song (Amado Mio - my lover), great voice, and stunning performance of the singer, Storm Large. 

The drop of fun was provided by a short pianist ( the leader of the american, successful Pink Martini band)  attracting attention with his over energetic piano playing, and a taller, standing  trumpetist attracting attention with his long hair. The live audience added nice background to both , drama and fun.

After running the youtube video  a few times, I felt better.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

On Earthquakes and Buildings

On  Sunday, we were told a storm named Barbara was on its way  from Greece to Israel, and will hit us on Monday morning.   In the meantime, at middnight, a deadly earthquake occurred in Turkey and was felt in the whole region: Syria, Lebanon. Cyprus, Israel. 

On Monday, at about midday, a second quake struck. Thousands of casualties in Turkey and Syria. Countries are offering to send teams with humanitarian aid, but the wintry weather is not cooperating with the search and rescue efforts. Terrible  tragedy!

Turkey has had her share of earthquakes in the past, and has learned important lessons from them, yet every new quake is  surprising and devastating.

One thing is for sure, we israelis, are not prepared at all  should a major quake strike closer to us. There's a lot of talk about strenghtening existing buildings. Some of it has already been done here and there.  New buildings are checked, before approval,  for specially designed features that will make them earthquake proof  buildings. So they say. I don't know how seriously things are done, if at all.

There's ,of course, no complete immunity to these buildings, given the unpredictability of intensity and ocurrence of the earthquakes, but it's the best we can do to bring damage and loss of life to a bare minimum.

Anyway, things look quite scary.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Me and Influenza


I've always considered climate as an important factor that affects one's well-being and quality of life. ( long before the discussions on climate change).

I don't particularly like winter.  Although our winters are short and mild, nevertheless there are days I'll rather stay indoors because of the weather elements of wind, rain and cold. This fact annoys me. I feel my freedom of choice is threatened. It's the weather that actually decides for me if I'm indoors or outdoors and the proper activities that go with it.

I don't like summer heatwaves either, but they are mostly bearable and don't affect my health, whereas the cold and rain might do that. Winter brings with it the flu (influenza), and in elderly people various joint and muscle aches.

I'm glad to admit that during the last three years , probably because of mask wearing, no flu has hit me. That's a big relief as I used to get a very nasty form of flu (sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, watery eyes, fever), despite the annual flu shot. 

Thank God I can manage it with basic remedies: undiluted freshly squeezed lemon juice for the sore throat, saline nasal spray for the nose, ice for fever - and of course, hot soup and hot tea. Within a week, it's usually gone.

However, as I advance in age, the flu symptoms make me tired and vulnerable . If the mask is the solution - so be it. As long as it keeps the flu away from me,  I don't mind to be in the minority ; most people have already abandoned  mask wearing.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

My Kind Of Archeological Discovery

No bones, no skulls, no skeletons, no pottery, but silk and cotton. A few hundred pieces of exotic textile from 1300 years ago, has been found recently in a lovely place - in the israeli desert  (northern Negev) near Nahal Omer ('nahal' means river). The luxury fabrics were originally from China, India, and Sudan and meant to reach European places.

piece of fabric*

The first find in this area (considered part of the Silk road - a network of Eurasian trade routes) - came in 2018, but there was no money to start a serious excavation. Finally it became a joint project of israeli and german archeologists, and the funds were provided by the germans.

Earlier, in 2017 (during an excavation that was going on since 2013), 3000 years old purple wool fragments from king David's era,  dyed in royal purple (argaman, in hebrew), symbol of high social status , and probably first evidence of chemical dye in the area, was found in the valley of Timna, place in the desert known as an ancient copper mine.

The dry desert climate was probably the reason for the good preservation of textiles digged up in the above excavations. 

The findings have a great historical and archeological significance as they help understand the techniques of textile development in those times. Moreover, they add information regarding transfer of goods between East and West.

A bit of trivia - cotton is the most comfortable of fabrics (softness, breathability, weightlessness); silk is the strongest natural fabric in the world. Ahmadabad is considered Manchester of India for its being the center of textile industry.

* web picture

Monday, January 16, 2023

The Deserted Bench


One of the saddest things we witness in our third age is disappearance of familiar faces of friends, neighbors, acquaintences. Some die, some go for an assisted living facility, some move closer to their children.

 There's a certain bench which whenever I happen to pass near it, I feel a twinge. It reminds me of two women, neigbours and friends, that regularly used to sit on it talking, gossiping, laughing. Sometimes, I would join them as they were a good source of the latest news in the area.

One of them died a few years ago; after that, the other one was not seen again sitting on that bench .  She recently moved to an assisted living facility. She didn't want to. At her age (80) she was still in good condition and quite independent.

However, a divorced brother of hers who had to leave his apartment to wife and kids, came to live at her big house. She was not happy about that. After three years of having him around, she decided to sell the house. She gave him some money to find himself a place, and joined an assisted living facility.

She couldn't believe it. Leaving her house, turned out to be one of her most happy days. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Urban Renewal (Pinuy-Binuy)


Urban renewal is a widely discussed and controversial program. It is a process intended to improve specific areas of a city. There are several terms related to urban renewal, the most known being 'Clearing and Building' (Pinuy-Binuy in hebrew), 'Tama 38'.

It's usually a slow process (it may take years) that involves getting permission from the residents, from the local and regional authorities, proper planning and consulting. If all goes well, the result is one of economic, social and environmental area revival.

The buildings in my neighborhood are about 60 years old. The plan is to demolish the old structures and build new ones, more spacious and with a promise of increase in market value. I would have preferred renovation, not demolition, as the basic construction is of good quality. Moreover I've got 3 air exposures and it's street faced (quiet inner street).

 In Pinuy-Binuy the apartment has to be evacuated for two-three years, and the resident displaced until the new building is finished. Not convenient to my age. I think, however, that according to the law the contractor has to offer a person of my age the option of an immediate new apartment in one of his other buildings, if available.. We shall see.

Lately, I've noticed some action which means the process is approaching and I'm quite apprehensive. There is always local corruption, conflicting interests, poor planning, and above all, the need to start downsizing towards the evacuation of the apartment.  Just the thought of it gives me a headache.

Monday, January 2, 2023

Prima Donna

I started the new year with  listening to some of Maria Callas' opera performances.

Her voice was perhaps, not the greatest, but her stage appearance was majestic, dramatic, and her smile - fascinating!  Maria Callas, the famous american born, of greek descent, opera soprano , had a vast classical repertoire which included operas of Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, Bellini etc.. brilliantly performed by her.

I often watch the youtube video with Callas in the Habanera aria from the opera Carmen by Bizet. It' s a treat; it gives me so much pleasure to see her and listen to her interpretation! ('habanera' is a cuban popular dance).

Her untimely death (at 53) was a big loss to the opera world. They said she died of a 'broken heart'. Her lover, Onassis, the shipping magnate, dumped her for Jackie Kennedy. 

According to letters found after her death, it would appear that she was abused by both, the ex- italian husband Giovani Meneghini , and by her greek lover Aristotle Onassis. It was believed that unlike on stage, in her private life she was a somewhat submissive person, and submissiveness usually attracts abusers.

The word has it that she was abused even by her parents! Who would have thought that about the greatest soprano of the 20th century!?

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Man and Metal


My mother Bracha ('bracha'  means blessing in hebrew, and she was indeed a blessing to her family) used to say 'man is the hardest of metals', 'man is stronger than steel' and other such sayings.  She was referring, of course, to the tragedies individuals or families go through, and yet they find the strength to stand on their feet and  go on with their life.

I was reminded of that recently while reading in the news about president Biden. He lost his first wife and their girl in an accident, and later in life he lost one of his two sons to cancer. And yet, not only did he go on with his life, but entered the field of politics, a highly controversial field, which required particular strength of character.

Ruth Dayan, the first wife of general  Moshe Dayan, former  Minister of Defence of Israel, died  in 2021, one month before her 104 birthday. She died at home and at her own 'initiative' (stopped eating). 

Her life was  interesting but rather tragic. 

The husband had constant extra-marital affairs, so she divorced him and got a career of her own in fashion and social/peace  activities. She became quite an inspiration for women.

One of her two sons, a very talented actor, writer and movie director, got into drugs (as far as I  could remember ,it happened after his father, the general, died and left almost his entire estate  to his second wife, nothing to Ruth and their 3 children). Ruth, already at an advanced age, had to be strong not only for herself, but also to help her son control his depression, and prevent further deterioration.  She was always there for her children and grandchildren.

Her daughter (83), the eldest of the three children, a writer and active politician, yet a heavy smoker, had been struggling during the last decade with  lung disease. 

Ruth was predeceased by both her sons who died untimely. I guess  she was afraid she might have to bury her daughter too, and decided to put an end to life's playing a farce on her.

Wishing you all a wonderful 2023!

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

The Weather of Together

 So far, the weather here is fine; so I get a little depressed when I read in your blogs about snow and freezing cold.

Luckily, the descriptions of decorations, ornaments , greeting cards, gifts, food, and other Christmas preparations are very, very heart-warming and eye- pleasing!

The December holidays: Christmas. and our jewish Hanukkah -  are family holidays, celebrations of togetherness, lights, gift-giving, good food. 

 The Christmas tree with its colorful lights  and the Menora with its eight candle lights, illuminate our lives and uplift our spirit.


Christmas tree and gifts

Here are some nice rhymes to go with 'weather' and 'together':

'As long as we are together /who cares about the weather'?

'You can be as cold as the winter weatherbut I don't care as we are together' 

I will help you get better/ when you feel under the weather

* web pictures

Sunday, December 4, 2022

The 'Hashish' Mystery

On the 22 of November, dozens of packages containing many kilograms of drugs washed up on the beaches of the Mediterranean, from northern Israel (Naharia, Haifa, Tirat Hakarmel, Zichron Ya'akov) to its center (Tel-Aviv, Rishon- Lezion).

At first, there was panic ; fear of packages containing explosives. So, the police were called to inspect them and look for additional packages. Next, the dumped stuff was transferred to a police lab.

Could be it was a failed smuggling operation of packages tossed from a passing ship for locals to collect. The other possibility is that the israeli owner was trying, for some reason, to get rid of the illegal drugs and threw them into the sea.

So far, we haven't heard anything from the police, and that's frustrating.

I recall something similar in the past, but it was on a much smaller scale, and  long before the talks on cannabis'  legalization.

Anyway, this kind of happening causes security panic, and it might damage the marine fauna (the packages of marijuana were non water proof).

* web pictures :

                                       package on the beach

Friday, November 25, 2022



I believe in ice therapy. Ice reduces pain and swelling, prevents inflammation after a fall, and might cancel the need to go to the ER. I sometimes apply ice even when logic tells me warmth will be more effective. Logic tells one thing, experience tells another. In certain cases it's possible to have both, alternate cold and warm for the best result.

Of course, one has to be patient and careful about applying ice, in order to avoid frostbite (caused by ice applied directly on the skin),  allergies, or worsen existing pain. Icing session between intervals, should be limited to  10- 20 minutes to avoid tissue damage.

I keep several cold gel packs in the freezer, and that serves me well. I've seen on Amazon site ,though, some devices for knee and shoulder ice therapy, that might be worth buying, just in case.

My first major use of ice occured several years ago after I fell  on my arm, on the pavement. and got my right shoulder badly hurt.  I decided not to lose  time by going to get medical help, but reach home, and start immediately applying ice  to reduce the throbbing pain and prevent inflammation.

I went to the doctor  two weeks after the fall, pain free and able to use my right arm, though with some degree of restriction. The ultrasound revealed only a tiny fissure for which I was prescribed physiotherapy for four weeks, twice a week.

Back to the title of the post - two wise little words indicating  at-home treatment for injuries:

RICE = rest, ice, compression, elevation ;  PRICE = protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation.