Monday, January 30, 2006

Cats on the Goat Farm

Last Friday, a dear friend of mine gave me a fantastic treat: she took me to a lovely goat-cheese farm in the Jerusalem hills. It’s called Havat Ya’aran—that’s “Ya’aran Farm” in Hebrew—and it is an absolutely beautiful place. The family who lives there built their home with their own hands, grows their own vegetables and herds the goats that make the cheese. They also have horses, chickens and olive trees. I don’t know whether they press their own olive oil, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they did.

The farm has a picnic area for visitors, and when my friend and I sat down there to have our lunch, we got a visitor of our own. Actually, we had spotted her earlier, curled up in a pile of straw in a corner of the horses’ stable.

Cat licking yogurt bottle

My friend shared her goat-milk yogurt with the cat, who accepted it enthusiastically and asked for more. When the yogurt was all gone, my friend let the cat lick the inside of the bottle, as far as her tongue could reach. The cat must be used to visitors because she is super-friendly. I guess we weren’t the first ones she’s shared a snack and skritches with, and we probably won’t be the last.

As my friend and I were preparing to leave, two more cats, probably our new friend’s littermates, came running toward us. One was particularly disappointed over having missed a yogurt snack, but we gave her plenty of skritches, which she received happily. When my friend took a picture of me at the entrance to the farm, this kitty did the figure-eights at my ankles, purring and meowing loudly for attention and quieting only when I bent down to pet her.

Cat at my ankle

Here she is, watching us get ready to go.

Cat watching from rock

Havat Ya’aran is in danger of being closed down, through no fault of its own. The family does not own the land, but was given the legal right to live there and make use of it. They have created a beautiful place and provide a good and healthy product. It would be a shame to lose this lovely farm. Locals, if you go to buy cheese there, please be sure to sign the petition in the store asking that the family and their farm be permitted to stay.

You can find more information about Havat Ya’aran (in Hebrew) in this Ynet article, In Search of Fine Cheese.

(Check out this week’s Carnival of the Cats at Laurence Simon’s. Laurence is pinch-hitting on very short notice—kol ha-kavod to him.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

So You Wanna Conjugate?

I’m talking verbs, people. Real, honest-to-goodness verbs. In Hebrew.

Jacob Richman has a great new site for learning how to conjugate Hebrew verbs. (Some knowledge of Hebrew is necessary.)

While you’re there, check out the rest of Jacob’s sites. They’re full of wonderful fun stuff, lots of information and things to learn.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Making Friends

I met this lovely red tabby cat on the way home from work today.

Long-haired red tabby cat

I decided to go closer.

“If I can’t see you, does that mean you can’t see me?”

Long-haired red tabby cat

“Oh, all right. I guess you’re OK, then.”

Long-haired red tabby cat

(The Carnival of the Cats will be up at Meryl’s later today. Yay, Tig and Gracie!)

Sunday, January 15, 2006


An almond blossom:

Almond blossom

Mallow blossoms (mallow is also called hubeiza or lehem aravit—“Arab bread”):

Mallow blossom

Below are mallow seed pods. This edible, nutritious plant was one of several that provided vital nourishment for the inhabitants of Jerusalem during the siege of 1947–1948.

Mallow leaves and seed pods

For those who are interested, here is more information about our wonderful mallow plants (and a recipe, too!) courtesy of Henriette’s Herbal Homepage.

Red Tape

Just behind my apartment building is a small grove of pine trees planted in 1981, in honor of former Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek’s seventieth birthday. (He was still mayor then, actually.) It’s a lovely, quiet bit of green where people can hear birdsong and enjoy a bit of nature.

Pine grove planted in 1981 honor of Mayor Teddy Kollek’s seventieth birthday

Today, as I passed that grove on my way home from work, I saw that most of the trees had been marked with red ribbons tied somewhere in their branches:

Pine grove with red tape in the branches

Another view of the pine grove and red tape

Still another view of the pine grove with the red tape

I don’t know how things were over here back in 1981, but these days the area where the grove is located is prime real estate. So I’m sure that the fact that the trees are marked with red tape is not the municipality’s way of noting that they need more fertilizer.

Teddy Kollek is still around, but I don’t think we’ll be able to say the same for the grove planted in his honor approximately twenty-four years ago. It looks as though soon, yet another bit of Jerusalem’s dwindling green space will disappear.

What a shame. What a terrible shame.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Blue Suede Jews

Dave Bender of At Level Ground has written an article about The Elvis Inn, which is just outside Jerusalem, for the Atlanta Jewish Life Magazine. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Blue Suede Jews:

Set a bit off the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway, near the Kibbutz Neveh Ilan Guest House, is the shrine of shlock, the ultra in kitsch: the Elvis Inn gas station, restaurant, bar and grill and tourist trap, run by owners and brothers Amnon and Uri, along with Uri’s son, Amir, and several staffers.
While it’s certainly not Graceland, the neo-50s and 60s décor does get you in the mood, with a 16-foot-high golden statue of Elvis in the parking lot alongside the entrance, and a second even larger one nearby, with one arm raised, seemingly waving towards Jerusalem.
There are more than 1,000 pictures, posters, and postcards covering nearly every flat surface, sent by fans and like-minded Elvis lovers worldwide. There are also four life-sized Elvis statues scattered around the premises in various poses, sitting at a table, strumming a guitar, and, in general watching over the place.

The Elvis Inn has been operating for more than thirty years, and each year its owners hold a ceremony on the dates of Elvis’s birth and death.

The Inn has kept on through war and peace, tourists and terrorism, and innumerable impersonators ever since. The place has slowly grown, along with the ebb and flow of the tourist buses unloading wide-eyed visitors for a photo-op and snack.

But when they hold the memorial service, it’s not a staid affair. “Film crews from around the world show up,” according to Yoeli, with reporters from “China, Japan, the U.S. and Europe ... and [Israel Radio’s] Reshet Gimmel Network provides a live feed throughout the day.”

The inn has had some interesting guests so far:

“We were in communication with Priscilla [Presley], who was supposed to come for the ceremony, but cancelled out, apparently due to the intifada,” Yoeli surmises. Other guests were Elvis’s performance costume seamstress, as well as the man whose claim to fame was announcing, “Elvis has left the building” as concerts concluded.

Another group the intifada doesn’t faze, and arrives regularly, is a contingent of U.S. Marines. Yoeli says the restaurant has an informal agreement with the American authorities that whenever one of the Navy destroyers docks at Haifa, the crew visits the Inn. “When they arrive, it’s one big party. They see Elvis, feel at home, and we turn up the volume—some get up and dance,” Yoeli says.

Read the whole thing.

And Now, Some of the Local Flora

Just when my half-dozen readers thought I was going to overdose them with cat pictures:

Leaves and buds of the rakefet (cyclamen) plant:

Cyclamen leaves and buds

Here’s the tree in the front yard, briefly bare for the winter. (This picture was taken from the same angle I used for the one I took last summer.)

Tree in front yard in winter

Lobby Library

Seen in the lobby of an ordinary apartment building in Jerusalem:

Library in building lobby

It’s a real, live lending library. In several languages.

But wait! What’s that in the corner, all the way on the left?


Wow. Looks like an ancient tool from prehistoric times. Someone call the Israel Antiquities Authority, quick!

Friday, January 13, 2006

This One’s for Meryl

Meryl very kindly bribed me with a Tig picture to vote for her in this year’s JIB Awards, which were created last year by Dave of Israelly Cool. Then she added a picture of Gracie, and that finished me. No resistance left.

So, since one good turn deserves another, here are the some of the cats I met on my way home yesterday. It was a wet afternoon, immediately after rain, which is just when the cats come out. It’s quite the bonanza if you enjoy taking kitty pictures (and wasting lots of time).

This was a lucky shot. I took out my camera and got it ready quietly, out of the cat’s line of sight, so it wouldn’t run away before I had the chance to take the picture. (It didn't run away even after I took the picture.)

Cat on cloth bag

Meet Rita the tortie, who works at a florist’s shop, no doubt attracting customers while repelling rodents:

Rita the Tortie

Here’s a beautiful calico who qualifies as a cover cat in my book:

Calico kittycat

Finally, here is the long-haired calico cat I filmed briefly. Making friends ...

Long-haired calico cat

... and getting skritches.

The self-skritching kittycat

Shavua tov (Hebrew for “Have a good week”).

Friday Catblogging: The Self-Skritching Kittycat

I met this long-haired beauty on the way home today, and we made friends.

Here is a link to the video on

(Catch this week’s Friday Ark up at The Modulator. The next Carnival of the Cats will be up on Sunday at Niobium.)

Seen on the Back of a Scooter

Bumper sticker: Well-behaved women rarely make history;

I like.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Some New Additions

I’ve put a few new links on the sidebar for English speakers who would like to watch the local Israeli news in English on both Channel One (or Channel 33, which broadcasts a longer version) and Channel Two.

Courtesy of the forum, here’s how to get to the Channel One English news on the Israel Broadcasting Authority’s website:

Go to Go to TV Broadcasts >> On demand >> Channel 33 - English News Edition and then click on the camera icon and you’re done.

Or you can just head over to and click on the IBA News icon on the sidebar on the left.

You can watch the Channel Two news in English via the Jerusalem Post’s site or at Jerusalem Online.

You can join just about every Israeli in the country in keeping up with the current water level of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) at Ynet’s site. (Don’t you just love that rubber ducky?)

If you would like to watch traffic on the various parts of the Ayalon Highway in real time, head over to the Ayalon Highways website and click on “Live Cameras.” (This one isn’t on my sidebar yet. If you would like me to put it there, please let me know.)

UPDATE: I found a simpler way to get to the IBA news directly. The sidebar has been updated.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Surely you JEST

All right ... that may be an old one. Or maybe not. But since the Jerusalem English-Speaking Theatre has been around for twenty years already, I’m sure someone else thought of it first.

Back when I was in sixth grade, a group of actors came to our elementary school and put on a short play about Tom Sawyer. I remember several of the vignettes to this day. I also remember a few words from the opening and closing number:

Tom Sawyer—say that name again;
Tom Sawyer—everybody’s friend.

When I found out that some of my friends were going to be in JEST’s production of Tom Sawyer, I couldn’t help wondering whether this was the same show. Turns out that it was. (Talk about closing circles ... after nearly thirty years!) So I went to the show tonight and enjoyed it very much. I also felt like I knew half the cast; they were either friends of mine or their children. Neat.

(Maybe it’s time to start going out for shows again. It’s been too long, I think.)

Anyway, here are two pictures from the curtain call. Enjoy.

JEST’s production of Tom Sawyer—curtain call

JEST’s production of Tom Sawyer—curtain call

The gentleman in the white suit played the character of Mark Twain. Directly to his left (stage right) is the young man who played Huckleberry Finn. After the show, I went to congratulate that young man (one of the members of the cast whom I don’t know, actually), but he didn’t see me. Instead, he ran over to a friend of his and greeted him enthusiastically ... in fluent Hebrew.

I bet that was a first for a production of Tom Sawyer.

Only in Israel ... nakhon (right)?

UPDATE: The father of the young man who played Huckleberry Finn dropped by with a link to pictures from the dress rehearsal (and other JEST productions). Thanks, “Mr. Finn”!

The Great Escape

I dodged a bullet last night.

No, not in the literal sense. And it wasn’t even anything terribly serious. Just extremely unpleasant.

I don’t get migraines often, but unfortunately I am familiar enough with them to know when one is on the way. It starts with what I’ve come to call “the shimmer”—a shimmering point at the center of my visual field that gradually widens into a semicircle comprising a kind of line sketch (called the “fortress formation” if memory serves). Eventually this formation reaches the outer edges of my visual field, and once it gets there, the real fun starts. (I’ll spare you the description.) The initial process takes approximately twenty minutes to a half hour, so once the shimmer begins I know I have that much time to take the strongest painkillers I can find. Getting them into my system as quickly as possible makes all the difference in how I make it through the next several hours. Even with painkillers, it’s not so simple.

The shimmer began last night as I was getting ready for bed. Well, that’s convenient, I thought. I’ll take a strong painkiller now, go to sleep, and avoid the whole nasty experience.

And so it was. I woke up this morning refreshed, pain-free and very grateful.

But I still feel the after-effects—a bit weak, a bit off-center. Nothing serious, but enough for me to notice.

I also have a superstitious thought. I evaded last night’s migraine by going to sleep. What if there’s another one lurking around the corner to grab me when I’m awake?

Sunday, January 08, 2006

I Thought It Was Just a Small Benefit Concert ...

... and it was reviewed in Haaretz. Wow.

It looks like the reviewer liked it, too.

Professional musicians performed during the first half hour in the improvised synagogue situated in the building serving the Religious Scouts youth movement, and the audience was able to restrain itself. But when these four musicians were joined by a pianist and four amateur singers, who had previously sat in the audience and now began to sing magnificently, emotions ran too high, and a storm of applause filled the modest confines of the room after every piece. And when these nine adults were joined by two teenage girls and two younger girls, the crowd became ecstatic. In the end, the audience rose to its feet and cheered long and loud. There were shouts of “You were fantastic!” but this was only half the message sent to the 13 performers; the other half was: “You’re ours, and we’re proud of you.”

Just one thing, though: I wish that the reviewer had mentioned the song we sang. It was “Daughter Voices” by Jerusalem composer Mindy Kornberg (check out her album of songs for the cycle of the Jewish year, “Music from the Mountain”). “Daughter Voices” is a lovely song, exquisitely and intricately constructed, about the need to listen to the voices of women throughout Jewish history—voices that, too often, were silenced.

I was one of the four “amateur singers”—at least one of whom is a professional, and a choir director to boot—who sang “Daughter Voices.” (I also sang the alto part of Salamone Rossi’s “Shir ha-Ma’alot” and promptly fell in love with the piece. Now I want to hear everything Rossi ever wrote.)

I do hope we’ll get to do this again. It was fun.

Friday, January 06, 2006

A Flower for Shabbat

A flower for Shabbat

Shabbat shalom. May we hear good news.

By the way, I’m with Treppenwitz a hundred percent on this one.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Not Looking Good. Not At All.

This morning at work I translated several articles about Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s involvement in the Cyril Kern affair. One analyst believed that just as Sharon had emerged from other, similar scandals intact, he would come out of this one unscathed as well.

Now the television reports are saying things like “serious stroke,” “anesthetized and on a respirator” and “paralysis in lower limbs and bleeding in the brain.” Regrettably, it doesn’t look like he’s going to come out of this situation intact.

Whether Sharon makes it through the night or not, there are going to be some significant changes here by morning.

Monday, January 02, 2006

A Tour of the Promenades

Last Friday morning I went on a tour of the Jerusalem promenades sponsored by the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel (AACI). The tour guide was my friend Dani Barkai.

Here’s the route, taken from the AACI English-speaking tours page:

We’ll begin with the new Goldman Promenade encircling the old Governor's House in East Talpiot, continue along the Haas-Sherover Promenade and then through Abu Tor, Gai Ben Hinnom, and Yemin Moshe, ending up at the King David Hotel.

The tour was fantastic, and I’m not saying that just because a friend of mine happened to be the guide. I saw parts of Jerusalem that I had never seen before and learned quite a lot.

Here are some pictures from the tour. First, just off the Haas Promenade is a shaft dug two millennia ago, which is part of the complex system of aqueducts that served Jerusalem from Roman times until the mid-twentieth century:

Aqueduct mosaic

Here is the text of the explanatory mosaic in the photograph:

The aqueduct to Jerusalem was built during the Second Temple period and originally served the Temple only. It was in use up to the twentieth century. The aqueduct is an impressive engineering achievement. Its length is 61 kilometers with a gradient of 0.1 percent.

The next photograph is part of a mosaic that shows the aqueduct’s entire route, including significant landmarks:

Aqueduct diagram

From this spot it is possible to see the Herodion fortress. It’s the flat-topped mountain in the distance.

The flat-topped mountain in the distance is the Herodion fortress

Next, some early almond blossoms:

Early almond blossoms

Yet another bee on a rosemary blossom:

Bee on rosemary

Here is the windmill built by Sir Moses Montefiore. It was only in use for several months; unfortunately, the native wheat that grows here proved too coarse for it. Today it is a museum of the life and times of Sir Moses Montefiore, who lived to be 101 years old.

Sir Moses Montefiore’s windmill

As we walked, we found a large salt bush. The leaves are edible and are indeed salty—a good thing to know for hot days.

Salt bush

A panoramic view of Jerusalem, with a diagram at the lookout site to show us what we are looking at:

Jerusalem panorama with guide

This is the cable car that brought supplies across the valley to Mount Zion from the Yemin Moshe area during the War of Independence. Mount Zion was under a blockade then, and this rickety cable car was the only way to get supplies to the fighters. This was done at night, when no one could see the cable car; during the day it was lowered to the ground, where it could not be seen.

Cable car from Yemin Moshe to Mt. Zion

By the way, the name of the valley between Yemin Moshe and Mount Zion is Gei Ben Hinnom, otherwise known as Gehenna. That’s right: hell. This was the location in which, during the time of the prophet Jeremiah, the Israelites carried out the abominable practice of sacrificing their own children to the Moabite god Molokh. Jeremiah’s denunciations of this practice, which was eventually eradicated, survive in the Bible.

The mountains of Moab—present-day Jordan—are quite close to where we were, and on a clear day they can be seen from where we were standing.

Here is a view of the Old City with the City of David—King David’s original capital—approaching the foreground.

View of the Old City

The Jerusalem barrier:

The Jerusalem barrier

Finally, a black and white cat we met on the way.

Black and white cat

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Carnival of the Cats #93: Happy New Year Edition

Her Ladyship

Happy New Year and welcome to Elms in the Yard. I’m Her Ladyship.


And I’m Missy. We live with a friend of Rahel’s, and we’re ringing in the new year with this week’s edition of the Carnival of the Cats. ... Hey, Your Ladyship, why do we have to do this? What’s up with Rahel, anyway? Isn’t she the one who’s supposed to be running this blog?

Her Ladyship: Forget it—she’s zonked out from looking at all the kitty pics. So you can start assembling the links, and I’ll be back to check on you later.

Missy: That’s not fair! Why do I have to do all the work?

Her Ladyship: Because you’re young and strong ... and I am the senior cat in this household.

Missy: Thousands of cats in Jerusalem, and I get stuck living with a Siamese housemate. Sheesh. All right—here we go:

Laurence Simon at This Blog Is Full of Crap sends us a lovely New Year message via the Divine Grumpus, the late, sweet Edloe.

At enrevanche, Mister Gato looks down at the world in his new favorite spot.

Check out some belly action as ACM of Just Between Strangers presents Claws are for climbing.

Allan at AllanThinks gives us the soulful gaze of (Macy) Grey.

Benjamin at Benjamin the Blogging Cat introduces his friends Satchi and Simba. (Hey, how about a picture of Benjamin for the blog, too? The photo on the Profiles page is nice, but it’s just not the same.)

The handsome Ferdinand T. Cat at Conservative Cat shows us that the Other Cat is still on top of things.

Rhett of Melange is a skilled writer of love letters. Here is a note to his love, Sophie. Meanwhile, Nicky the Shy peeks out at the world from his safe place.

The Robot Vegetable at Far Cartouche presents Robin’s and Jonah at the Escher Tree and, at Middle-Fork, Tinker and Sabaki on the Lookout.

Meanwhile, over at Running Scared, Tom Takes Over the World, but I’m not complaining. After all, cats should take over the world, shouldn’t they?

Meryl Yourish delights us with Tig the Goofball, Parts One and Two.

Blueberry at Texas Oasis gives us Jax, the Shaved Cat. Ouch.

Sleeping Mommy sneaks a few dogs into her Friday Ark post. But don’t worry; there are some lovely kittypics there, too.

Ah, the Cats d’Elisson! Here are the Sweet Sisters, Hakuna and Matata. Do you know how many times a day Rahel checks Elisson’s blog for new pictures of those two? It makes me jealous. This week we have a bonus, too: The Mistress of Sarcasm’s lovely cat, Neighbor.

At Cascade Exposures, Pepper wins the Great Tissue War.

Storyteller’s kittycats at Scribblings wish us a Happy New Year.

At Pencil Roving, Mister Gato proves himself a benevolent feline dictator and a yarn expert.

Chuq at 7610 posts a feline whodunit.

The People’s Republic of Seabrook tells us No, I haven’t figured out how I'm getting down, thank you ...

Missy: Oh, man, am I getting tired! Your Ladyship, can I take a break now?

Her Ladyship: No.

Missy: How do you say “slave driver” in Hebrew? Hey, wait—who are you? Aren’t you the Lady in Red?

The Lady in Red

Lady in Red: Yup. Why don’t you rest while I take over for a bit?

Missy: Thanks!

At Where the Dolphins Play, Gryphon leaps for joy.

Julie at blog gets some holiday visitors.

The critters at Watermark share their new year’s resolutions.

PJ at No Deep Thoughts shows us how getting good photos of Rhett and Rafe is a bit like ... well, herding cats.

At Mensa Barbie Welcomes You, Butterscotch shows off his New Year’s Eve hat.

Is Kali of Composite Drawlings really a food critic, or could she be on to something good here?

At maggies meanderings and shameless plugs, Carlos supervises the installation of a particularly important home fixture.

Feak of Bloggg tells us where to go to have fun. But can we believe everything we see?

Poor Gigolo Kitty is having a difficult time with his mistress on a diet.

Martin Lindeskog at Ego poses a question about feline heraldry.

Check out the great kitty links at eatstuff. Good news: Kiri is doing fine.

Her Ladyship: Well, how’s it going?

Lady in Red: Beautifully, only now it’s your turn.

Her Ladyship: What?! Oh, all right.

At pages turned, Ellie rests up from Christmas.

Bruce Mckay at Bigcatheads—The Blog shares an inspired painting.

Sergei of Music and Cats fashions himself a kitty cave, while Kimberly wonders whether people might not come to resemble their pets and vice versa.

Political Fred shows us Day 337 of Captivity.

Jinx of Manxmnews loves pillow nests. (Who doesn’t?)

Jennifer Smith at All Things Jen(nifer) shows us how nothing says Jen like a kitty hat.

Ollie Adamson of Life in a Silly Little Country shares his outrage over having been blogged by someone else. Wow, he sure looks bothered, doesn’t he?

Over at Catymology, Aloysius dreams of summer.

Leigh-Ann at The Blog Pound presents Day 16: all kittens, all the time.

Rosie shows us her cat bling. Cool!

Back at No Deep Thoughts, the fog really does come on little cat feet. Literally.

Sisu—or is that Lucie?—makes it all seem effortless, while Baby gazes into the distance at another cat we can’t see. Finally, everything comes out in the wash.

Over at StrangeRanger, Maddie’s been enjoying the holidays.

Eep at The Oubliette loves her new window bed.

Mean Ol’ Meany shares some cat blogging with teeth.

Even though this post by Wenchypoo doesn’t contain a kitty picture or RFOAC (reasonable facsimile of a cat), it deals with a most relevant subject for our human companions.

Bengals rule the roost at Life~Florida~Whatever. (A tip for carnival submitters: please send a link to the specific post you would like the carnival host to include. It’s also helpful to make sure that each post has its own link.)

Meanwhile, at Mind of Mog, Izzy sniffs a bush while Bazel and others brave the cold.

Zuleme at Caturday shows us some split-level catblogging.

Missy: Well, we did it! Thanks for your help, Lady in Red, and yes, you too, Your Ladyship. Don’t forget to check out the weekly Friday Ark at The Modulator for more kitty and other critter goodness. Next week’s Carnival of the Cats will be up at Pages Turned. Happy New Year, and laila tov (good night) from Jerusalem. May your 2006 be filled with good health, good news and lots of contented purrs.

Missy rests

Now I’m going to sleep.

Hanukkah 5766, Eighth Night

Hanukkah 5766, eighth night

Room with(out) a View

A temporary indoor synagogue has been put up at the Western Wall, presumably for Hanukkah or perhaps for the rainy winter season. Here is a view of the men’s section. The arched windows behind the Ark, in which a Torah scroll is stored, look directly toward the Kotel.

Indoor synagogue at the Western Wall: Men’s section

Here is a view of the women’s section, which is located behind that of the men—no view of the Kotel at all:

Indoor synagogue at the Western Wall: Women’s section

Why couldn’t the mehitza have been placed such that the women would be beside the men and not behind them, so that they, too, might have a view of the Kotel while they are praying indoors? Frankly, sometimes I think that those currently in control of the Western Wall would reorient the mehitza at the Wall itself to put the women behind the men if they could get away with it.