Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tummy Tuesday, One Day Late

Two today: Her Ladyship and Missy.

Her Ladyship


Check out Lisaviolet’s site, which has more kitty tummies than you can shake a sprig of fresh catnip at.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Test

So I got this wonderful code from ChuBlogga, via Elisson, via Lisa at Lemons and Lollipops, for extending posts. Let’s see if it works.

I guess it works!

Making Out Like a Bandit

I had just gotten off one city bus and boarded a second. Putting my backpack on my lap, I prepared to relax for the last leg of my trip when I looked down and saw that one of its compartments was open. A rapid, quietly panicked inspection revealed that my wallet was gone.

Quickly I pressed the button to get off at the next stop so that I could begin retracing my steps. Maybe I’d forgotten to close that compartment and my wallet had fallen out. Maybe some honest person would find it and return it to me. After all, I thought, such things happen. I’ve had lost objects returned to me before—most recently my bus pass, by a very nice young man who was visiting here from the north. And I’ve had the privilege of returning some, too.

But I knew the truth. My bag had been completely closed only a few minutes before. Whoever the thief was, he was good. I hadn’t felt a thing.

Fortunately, there was only a very small amount of money in my wallet. Mostly, what I had to deal with now was not a nightmare but a headache: cancelling my credit cards, going to the police station to file a complaint, going to the offices of the Ministry of the Interior downtown to get a new ID card and so on. And, of course, buying a new wallet.

So far I have paid the various government offices several times the amount of money that the thief stole from me. Of course, my credit cards are of no use to him and could even get him into quite a bit of trouble if he is stupid enough to try to use them, since I cancelled them minutes after I discovered the theft.

The one who made out like a bandit here was my own government, not the thief.

Well, I guess that’s some consolation.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Cats of the Neighborhood

Not my exact neighborhood, but a nearby one.

Lovely Rita, the florist’s cat:

Lovely Rita, the florist’s cat

Tux with a veil of grass:

Tux in the grass

Hey, ’scuse me, lady—there’s a reason this is called a lounge chair! Now lemme sleep, willya?

Lounging cat

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

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tummy Tuesday #18

Her Ladyship washes her face, exposing her fuzzy tummy:

Her Ladyship

Thanks to Lisaviolet for founding Tummy Tuesday!

Friday, November 17, 2006

A Study in Stripes

Last week I met what I can only describe as a Kliban cat. Here he is, posing for the camera:

Striped cat posing

Love to get them skritchies ...

Kliban cat gets skritched

Shake, stretch and roll!

Stripey cat stretches

(Catch the 113th edition of the Friday Ark at The Modulator. The next Carnival of the Cats will be up at Mind of Mog on Sunday. A big hello to Mog, a big be-sha’ah tovah to her daughter Jill, and skritches to all her furries!)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Discovering the Urban Poet

I just found this blog via a comment at Meryl’s, and it knocked my socks off. So I thought I’d share it: Urban Poet. Read and be amazed.

(Urban Poet’s work reminds me of my late friend Ray’s writing. Maybe that’s why I like it so much.)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Float Like a Butterfly, Sip Like a Bee

Here are some bee pictures I took recently. Here’s a bee hard at work, stretching a leg:

Bee stretching a leg

Sipping rosemary nectar:

Bee sipping rosemary nectar

Going on to the next blossom:

On to the next one

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Spot On—and I Have Proof

I got this quiz from the wise and multi-talented Elisson.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Northeast

Judging by how you talk you are probably from north Jersey, New York City, Connecticut or Rhode Island. Chances are, if you are from New York City (and not those other places) people would probably be able to tell if they actually heard you speak.

The Inland North
The Midland
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

In my opinion, it’s spot on.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Give a listen to this online demo that I narrated recently, and decide for yourselves!

Tummy Tuesday #17

Last week, I met what I thought was a black cat—until she showed me her tummy.

White spots on black cat’s tummy

I know your secret, kitty! I know your secret!

(Check out the website of Lisaviolet, founder of Tummy Tuesday. She has lots of kitty tummies there.)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Furry Friday

And now for some lighter stuff: Cats! They make the world go ’round.

First, Little Brother and Big Sister from the colony at work. Here’s Little Brother:

Little Brother

Big Sister:

Big Sister

A tuxxie from downtown:

Downtown tuxxie

Check out the 112th edition of the Friday Ark at The Modulator. The next Carnival of the Cats will be at The Whole Kitten Kaboodle on Sunday.

Destroying the City in Order to Save It

I was in the northern part of Jerusalem this evening, and what I saw there appalled me.

So the Haredim are utterly set against the Gay Pride Parade? Fine—they have a right to their opinion, and I have no problem with their protesting in legal ways. But to destroy parts of the very city whose sanctity they claim to want to preserve, while endangering and inconveniencing large segments of the population, including children, is another thing entirely.

I felt as though I were walking through a war zone. There were trash fires all throughout one of the main streets, with crowds of young boys gathered around them. Although the atmosphere was tense, I got up my courage and took some photographs of the damage. No one commented except some children who asked that I not photograph them. (I did as they asked.) As I was photographing a trash fire that didn’t have a crowd around it, one young man told me as he passed by: “This is nothing. Wait until you see the fires we’ll build later tonight!”

(It made me want to reply: “It sounds like you’re really into this. Tell me, are you really protesting, or are you just out to have some fun?” But I decided that in such an atmosphere, and with a camera on my person, keeping my mouth shut was the better part of wisdom.)

Here is the bus stop where I had been hoping to catch a bus home. I ended up having to walk back into the center of town because, after this behavior, the buses in this part of the city had stopped running. It was a long, mostly uphill walk in smoky air, not at all pleasant.

Destroyed bus stop

Next to the bus stop was a destroyed lottery-ticket stand. It looks like someone isn’t going to be able to go to work and earn their living tomorrow.

Most of the fires I saw seemed to be magnets for small boys, with parents nowhere in sight. I told one boy who got too close to one of the fires: “That’s dangerous! Besides, you’re polluting the air of the Holy City. Don’t you care about that?”

His reply: “And you don’t think that what they’re trying to do is wrong?”

I tried to explain to him that even if he thinks it is wrong, that doesn’t make this particular response right. When he left, he had a thoughtful expression on his face. Maybe I got through to him at least a little, maybe not. I guess I’ll never know.

Finally, a trash bin near the bus stop where no buses came:

Trash bin fire

Also, as if we didn’t have enough problems on the roads here, the traffic lights in a main intersection were out, and the cars and pedestrians there were on their own.

How disturbing, and how frightening. I guess there really are people out there who believe that you have to destroy the city in order to save it.

Street Scenes

Two local street scenes:

A sidestreet downtown—check out that colorful umbrella!

Downtown sidestreet with colorful umbrella

A drive-in ATM on the sidewalk?!

ATM with motorcyclist

The Bet Shemesh Train Station by Night

At rest:

Bet Shemesh train station by night

The train to Tel Aviv arrives:

The train to Tel Aviv arrives

(Click on the photographs to see larger versions.)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Two Terrific Links

My friend Dale Baranowski of Consolidated Gemini sent me the following two links recently. One is absolutely hilarious and the other is simply fantastic.

In the “absolutely hilarious” category: Electronic Road Signs and Me—what one person did when he got tired of the electronic road signs in his neighborhood. Fans of science-fiction films will be delighted.

In the “simply fantastic” category: Music to the Eyes. Watch and be amazed.

Enjoy ... and thanks, Dale.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tummy Tuesday #16

Here are two tummy shots of Roo the leopard cub. (True, properly speaking, Roo’s not a cat. I’m sure that Lisaviolet, the founder of Tummy Tuesday, won’t mind.)

Spotty leopard tummy:

Roo’s tummy

Tummy with toy. (Check out those enormous paws!)

Roo’s tummy, with toy

Yes, I gave him tummy rubs.

Roo is shown here in his sleeping cage. It is always kept open and he can go in and out at will. Which he does, with a will—when he came out to greet me the last time I visited, he tried to eat my shoe.

(By the way, the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo is taking donations of old, washed toy animals for Roo to play with. For more information, contact them at jeruzoo [at] netvision [dot] net [dot] il.)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday Cats

And lots of them. I was in the downtown neighborhood of Nahlaot earlier this week. Nahlaot is a magical place, with gardens and old houses from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As you walk through it, you can forget that you’re right in the middle of downtown.

Like I said, there are lots of cats in Nahlaot. In fact, there are so many that the Jerusalem Society for the Welfare of Street Cats has plans to talk to the municipality about instituting a spaying and neutering programs like the one I heard about in Tel Aviv. Fortunately, awareness of the problem and humane solutions for it has increased a great deal over the past several years, so perhaps there’s hope.

Anyway, here are some of the cats of Nahlaot. (Click on any image to enlarge.)

I met these delightful fellows as I was doing an errand. Two orange, one black:

Cats in Nahlaot

Here they are in perfect formation:

Two orange cats in Nahlaot

Swish those tails, boys!

Two orange cats in Nahlaot

Some gorgeous green space in Nahlaot, complete with cat:

Green space in Nahlaot

Finally, this picture was not taken in Nahlaot. I took it outside the building where I work, where several of us care for a colony of cats. Here, Big Sister washes Little Brother:

Big sister washes little brother

(Check out the 111th edition of the Friday Ark, up at The Modulator. This week’s Carnival of the Cats will be up on Sunday at Crazy Meezer.)