Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bees ’n’ Bugs

While I waited for the bus to work this morning, I noticed an elecampane bush in flower. The bees were busy working the blossoms, and I decided to continue my quest for the perfect bee shot. A bee in the air:

Bee in air

On an elecampane blossom:

Bee on flower

Then I noticed this critter. It looks like a bee, but it isn’t. Notice the stripey eyes; bees have solid black eyes. Also, it didn’t take off or fly like a bee. (Hmmm... does that make it a wannabe bee?)

Bee lookalike

Farther down in the bush, well camouflaged, was a grasshopper. I only noticed it because it jumped near me.


(Click all images to enlarge.)

(Now that I think of it, this makes a good Hallowe’en post, because I’m bug-phobic. Yup, bugs scare me. The bigger the bug, the louder the scream. But please don’t get any ideas. If you want to hear me scream, just ask, and leave the critters outside where they belong. OK? Thanks. Whew.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Breakfast for the Downtown Crew

When I passed the restaurant again this morning as I left work, I saw one of the workers there come out with two cans of cat food and an aluminum pan. He got to work straightaway as four members of the local colony crowded round:

Breakfast time

Kitty symmetry again: two silvers, two grays, and they’re even on the same sides!

Kitty symmetry

A view from the rear. One of the grays is looking at me.

Gray checks me out

Now one of the silvers checks me out:

Silver checks me out

One of the grays finishes eating and starts washing up:

Time to wash up

I couldn’t resist adding these last two photos. Here, three of the cats look up as passersby make a bit of noise:

Three look up

Here, the cat who didn’t look up before is looking up now.

One looks up

Friday, October 26, 2007

Downtown Kitties

They’re waiting for the restaurant to open.

Cats waiting for the restaurant to open

The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the Cats.

Monday, October 22, 2007

From the Forty-Ninth Floor

When I had to go to Tel Aviv for a narration job last week, I decided to head in a few hours early and spend some time at the top of the circular Azrieli Tower (there are also a triangle and a square), looking down on Greater Tel Aviv from the observatory. Here are some pictures I took while I was there.

(Click on any photograph to see a larger version.)

Looking out to sea:

Looking out to sea from the Azrieli Tower observatory

Another angle:

Tel Aviv from the Azrieli Tower observatory

The Ayalon Freeway:

The Ayalon Freeway

Looking out toward Ramat Gan and the Diamond Exchange:

Looking out towards Ramat Gan

The Tel Aviv North train station is at the center of this photo:

The Tel Aviv North Train Station

A guide you can hold in the palm of your hand. This little gizmo plays recordings that tell you exactly what you’re looking at, plus a good deal of background material:

A guide in the palm of your hand

Finally, the elevator showing the number 49 just before it began its descent. If you look carefully, you can see the photographer from at least two angles—and no, I didn’t plan it that way!

The elevator about to begin its descent

Oh, yes, the voice-over job went just fine.

Kitty in the Knesset

From the I Kid You Not Department: Israel TV news has just reported that a cat was spotted in the Knesset cafeteria sink after hours.

From what I could see on the security camera footage they showed, it was a tabby. Maybe some kind-hearted staffer, or even MK, will give it a forever home.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Virginia the Shop Cat

Yesterday, when I was at the pedestrian mall downtown, I saw this torbie beauty:

Virginia the shop cat

She was outside a store that sells model cars. Turns out that she lives with the proprietor, whose home is close by, and her name is Virginia. She has a son who prefers to stay home while she spends the day with her human companion at his store. The proprietor told me that once, when he had to go home four times during the course of the day, Virginia accompanied him back and forth each time.

As we can see here, they love each other very much.

Virginia enjoys skritches from her human companion

I hope I’ll be seeing Virginia again. She’s sweet, and I have a weakness for calicos.

The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the Cats.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Got a Bee in Your Bonnet?

No, but here’s one on a flower:

Bee on flower

(Click to embiggen.)

Can I Grow One of Those?

In a patch of wild cucumbers, no less.

Computer component in wild cucumber patch

So what fertilizer does one use for such plants? Do they carry the sanctity of the sabbatical year?

(Seriously, what is it?)

This Is Just Wicked

Ever work with a director who really gets into micro-managing?

This is a wickedly funny video starring my old college buddy Charles Ilardi, who pioneered the film studies major at our alma mater. Full credits here.

(For those who want or need to know: It is clean, though it hints at risqué behavior at the end.)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Birthday Kittypics

Several friends of mine had birthdays recently—two on the same day.

One is Laurence Simon, the King of Catbloggers. Another is Elisson of Blog d’Elisson, whose cats I would love to meet one day. Back to my own neck of the woods, a very dear friend of mine celebrated her birthday on the same day as Laurence’s.

Since all three are Jewish and have cats of their own, I am posting some photos of Israeli cats in their honor. First, a tabby and a tuxxie in the grass:

Kitties in the grass

Next, Lady lounging on the sofa, looking for all the world as though she is sleeping off the carousing of the night before:

Lady sleeps it off

Next, a kitty on the tiles:

Kitty on the tiles

Ad me’ah ve-esrim (till 120) to all of you!

The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the Cats.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Sabbatical Cat?

The year of shemitta, or the sabbatical year when fields in Israel are supposed lie fallow, has just begun. Produce that grows in Israel during the sabbatical year must treated with special reverence, since it has what is known as kedushat shemitta—the sanctity of the sabbatical year. There are all sorts of rules about how one is supposed to care for one’s garden during this year, what produce one may buy and even how one should treat their peels, rinds and cores, since produce that has kedushat shemitta may not be disposed of in the ordinary fashion.

I need to ask my local rabbi: what do I do when I find a kitty growing in the planter?

Missy in the planter

More about the sabbatical year here.

The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the Cats.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Cycling to Sderot

On my way to work this morning, I passed by a bicycle ride about to start:

Team OneFamily starts the bike ride to Sderot

It wasn’t just any bike ride. This was the Team OneFamily trek to Sderot. (More information at the link above.)

I saw people of all stripes getting ready to ride, including a religious woman who wore a kerchief under her helmet and a cut-off skirt over her cycling leggings.

It was so special to see all these people headed for Sderot on their bikes. Made me wish I were going, too.

Gold Mine in a Bookstore Window

One of the many bookstores downtown changes its display every week or so. Each display has a theme. This week’s was—you guessed it—cats! (Click on the photo to embiggen.)

Cat books in bookstore window

In my opinion, one of the books should not be there. But the rest of them look terrific. A veritable feline gold mine in print!

(The window next to it was full of books on classical mythology—for me, a double-header.)