Friday, August 29, 2014

" . . . how & why reporters get Israel so wrong, & why it matters"

Parashat Shoftim, 5774/2014 edition

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Still recovering from vacation :) (aka Son Trek #2, part 6)

Part five here.

I haven't posted recently because:
~ I haven't yet finished uploading the last of our photos.
~ Posting from the office has its limits, since I can no longer edit posts on my office computer.
~ I haven't yet asked my son's permission to reveal his location, and I'm limited in what text and photos I can post without revealing said location.  I didn't reveal where he was living
when he was an undergrad, out of respect for his privacy and concern for his safety, but now that he's (a) over 30 and (b) living in a town with more than one institution of higher learning, it might not be such a big deal.  But he's a bit busy moving to a new place--his now-former landlord is trying to sell his previous abode--so I'm going to give him time to settle in before I pester him.

In the meantime, here's a nice bridge (photographed during this trip).  I've got a thing for nice bridges.

Quick tip for travelers with health-based dietary restrictions:
Don't just tell the restaurant staff that you have to check the menu because there are so many things that you can't eat.  If you specify your limitations, by saying, for example, "I can't eat wheat or dairy," you may find that the restaurant has gluten-free options and/or might be able to accommodate you in other ways.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Son trek #2, part five

Part four here.

Was too busy hanging out with our kid this past weekend to post, and the hotel in which we're now staying has a very slow connection, so further posts will have to wait 'til this weekend, back at home.

Quick (belated) congratulations to Talia Bat Pessi, of Star of Davida blog,on being nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, and thanks for mentioning me as a blogger who inspires her.  I'll add a link when home--it would take me 1/2 hour with this connection.  (Link added 8/21/14.)

Can't even add the photo of the day.  Sigh.  But we've enjoyed the trip immensely, especially the "seeing Sonster" part.  Later (assuming that this post actually gets published--if not, way later).

Thursday, August 21, 2014 update--photo of the day for yesterday--Waterfall in a State Park:

Friday, August 15, 2014

Son trek #2, part four

Part three here.

Photo of the day--Lake from tower:

Design disasters
I know from experience that hotels are designed for taller people.  It's really annoying that hotel desk chairs can often be raised only high enough that the top of the desk is roughly three inches below my collarbone.  But can someone kindly explain to me why hotel beds are so much higher off the floor than the average bed in a person's home?  This hotel takes the cake--the bed is so high that I have to be extra-careful to keep my legs almost straight when getting out of bed in the morning, lest I literally fall off the bed.

And what idiot made the decision to put the only full-length mirror directly in front of the toilet?

I didn't expect a travelogue to become the latest link in my "design series."

Off to check out the neighborhood(s)
First stop:  Meet our son for a quick tour of the physics lab.

Next stop:  Check out the Jewish neighborhood where he's currently living.  We hope to found one of the Conservative synagogues before we have to figure out how to get there for Shabbat/Sabbath services tonight and tomorrow.  And we're hoping to find a kosher restaurant or two, plus a kosher take-out place (so that we won't have to eat canned salmon for Shabbat dinner).  Not to mention that our son tells us that there's a gluten-free bakery in his neighborhood.  Yum!  Later.

Shabbat Shalom.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Son trek, #2, part 3

Part two here.

Photo of the day--Little lighthouse on a lake:

That's all folks--we drove from this lake to another, and tomorrow, we'll have to drive considerably farther from near the second lake all the way to "River City," so it's lights-out time.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Son Trek #2, part two

Part one is here.

Photo of the day--Mountains topped with rain clouds:

Food fun
At the entrance, we're pleasantly surprised to see an announcement that the restaurant offers gluten-free wraps and gluten-free pasta.  And the waitress is happy to provide me with a substantial serving of rice instead of potatoes.  But the best comes last--when I joke with her that I'm snitching the chocolate chips from the end of my husband's cannoli because that's the only dessert I can eat, since I can't eat dairy either, she returns two minutes later with a bowl of chocolate chips "that haven't come into contact with anything."  The chocolate chips disappear in roughly the same two minutes.  :)  Not until later does it occur to me that the chips themselves probably contained milk (though not enough to bother my tummy, fortunately).  But I'm so tickled by the waitress's kindness that she gets a little extra on her tip for bringing me the chips.

~ Pecan pie can be made dairy-free
And I'm happy to say that this one was, so I ate all of the pie filling (and skipped the crust).  Yum!

~ "Necessity is the mother of invention"
The prospect of just sitting there watching my husband demolish a super-sized dessert that, in the good old days, we would have shared was so unappetizing that I asked the waitress for a couple of those little jelly packets that they serve with toast for breakfast and spread them on the gluten-free crackers that I always carry in my backpack.

Most of the time, I manage.  But I do have to choose restaurants carefully.  Good old Friendly's, famous for its (kosher) ice cream, is no longer a good option.  Pizza parlors are just plain off limits.  And we did have to walk out of one restaurant when I concluded there really wasn't anything on the menu that I could eat.  But, having had a breakfast consisting of an apple and two gluten-free crackers all spread with peanut butter for breakfast this morning because peanut butter was the only gluten-free thing at the hotel, I now figure that I'll probably manage to gain weight while on vacation anyway.  :)

Travel tips
~ For your health's sake, always eat a piece of fresh fruit at the hotel breakfast, because that may be the only fruit you'll eat all day.

~ As I always say, "Never miss an opportunity"--one never knows when one will have another chance to use the ladies' or men's room.  Another woman I ran into recently had an even better way of putting this--she called it "preventative maintenance."  :)

Tourist trips
We were hoping to enjoy a visit to a Native American tribal museum, but it turned out to be closed on Tuesdays.  Major bummer, dudes.  :(  But we give manage to take a nice long drive through a state park, though we were afraid to try hiking any of the trails because of the on-and-off drizzle and threat of thunderstorms.  Here's one of the lakes that we saw:

A view from the gift shop
(where we kept our wallets in our pockets)

Later, we drove through the countryside, where we saw some sights not usually seen in the New York City area.  Click on this photo to get the full picture.

For those keeping score at home, yes, it's true that I've been able to shoot all these shots because I haven't done any of the driving yet.  My husband, having owned a car many years ago, is a much more experienced and better driver than I, so he drove yesterday because we had a substantial distance to cover and today because of the rain.  Fortunately for both of us, he doesn't mind driving, but I'm hoping to pitch in tomorrow, so off to bed I go.

Son Trek # 2

Original here.

Photo fun
Our son, the Physics PhD candidate, is currently a prisoner of his research lab--every experiment seems to take an entire day--and can't come home, so we're bringing home to him.  Here's a view that I shot with my cell phone--I'm getting better at this (more about that below)--along the way.

And here's the sunset special that I took just before I got a "low battery" warning and had to turn off my phone (boy, shooting photos all day sure uses up battery power):

Note:  I'm still hoping to get some tech help--I couldn't find much useful info on the internet.

Cell phones aren't made for "southpaws"
I send the Sonster my very first selfie--a photo of the Punster and me--before leaving, figuring that I'd better experiment with shooting selfies and e-mailing cell-phone photos while I'm still at home, and that wiseguy writes back, "Upside down."  Hmm, this has happened before.  Maybe I'm holding the phone the wrong way?  I turn the phone in such a way that I have to hit the photo button with my right thumb or finger, and voila, the photo comes out rightside up.  Conclusion:  Cell phone cameras are designed for right-handed people.  Look, lady, I know your left hand is your better hand, but you still have to keep your fingers away from the shutter--they're blocking the shot!

Gotta go--time to hit the road.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Ms. Low-Tech could use some help

It appears that Flickr and Blogger/ are no longer on good speaking terms--I can't post a link to a photo on Flickr that I don't want to embed on my blog for everyone passing my office computer to see.  If someone could enlighten me as to the current method of linking to a photo and/or a good website to use for my photos in order to enable linking, I'd appreciate it.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Back to bombs :(

How silly of me, to think that the bombing of Israel and the fighting in Gaza had ended.  Sigh.  "Jameel," a Magen David Adom volunteer, is live-blogging the war on his Facebook page here.

Let's hope for a Shabbat Shalom.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The walking wounded (NOT from war, thank heaven!)

Apparently, my usual non-leather shoes and my feet are no longer compatible--on Monday evening, I limped all the way to Tisha B'Av services and all the way home.   The minute we got back to our apartment, I switched to the only other pair of non-leather shoes I own, other than my bedroom slippers and flip-flops--the waterproof sandals that every visitor gets at the Cave of the Winds.  The front strap bears the legend "Cave of the Winds," and the heel strap reads "Niagara Falls State Park."  Maybe I'll wear them for Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).  Real chic for shul.  Not.  :)

Friday, August 01, 2014

The news is too depressing

IDF soldier presumed to be captured. :(

I hope and pray for the best.
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