Friday, December 28, 2007

Cats around Town

As I got off the bus from work yesterday, I saw a small cat colony near an apartment building. Camera bait!

Here they are, with a lovely tuxxie in the middle:

Three cats


Wrestling match

The tuxxie lifting a forepaw:

The tuxxie

The sweet tabby winking for the camera:


The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the Cats, which will be hosted by the king of catbloggers, Laurence Simon, before he hands it off for the new year.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Eighth Night

Eighth night, 5768

Until next year!

Check These Out

Yes, I realize it’s pretty late in the holiday, but it isn’t over yet. So:

Women and Wonder: A Family Hanukkah Website. It has great stories from Jewish sources and features terrific music, too.

Lights: The Miracle of Hanukkah, an outstanding short animated film now available on DVD. (Full disclosure: I know the creator of “Lights.” But I saw the film, and fell in love with it, long before I met her. When I finally did meet her, it was in a context that had nothing to do with the film, and I didn’t find out that she had made it until some time afterwards.)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Who Guards the Garden Hose?

Gray and white cat guards the garden hose

“I do. That’s who.”

Check out the current edition of the Carnival of the Cats, up soon at Bad Kitty Cats.

My Unexpected Hanukkah Present

It’s one I hadn’t exactly planned on, but...

Broken glasses

Good thing I have my computer glasses. The world is in a bit of a soft focus right now, but it’ll do until tomorrow morning.

And they’re bifocals, too.


UPDATE: Got an eye exam, the old frames soldered and the new frames and lenses should be ready in a few days. But by the time all that was over, I was feeling so dizzy and ill that I couldn’t go in to work. I guess the computer glasses didn’t work so well as spares after all. Oh, well.

Sixth Night

Lights, camera, blog!

Sixth night, 5768

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Parakeet in the Park

I walked home through the park the other day and saw Mr. Parakeet, who graciously allowed me to photograph him.

Mr. Parakeet

Making Up for Lost Time

Now that Blogger has gotten its act together once again, here are the photographs from the last several nights of Hanukka, including this one.

Second night:

Second night, 5768

Third night:

Third night, 5768

Fourth night (taken in daylight, before Shabbat):

Fourth night, 5768

Fifth night:

Fifth night, 5768

May we have an abundance of light this year and every year.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

First Night, First Light

First light of Hanukkah 5768

Blogger’s not letting me post photos for some reason. (Its Preview feature is also not working.) So I’m using Flickr and getting used to a new way of doing things.

In the meantime, Happy Hanukkah!

Toot, Toot

I never thought I’d see this happen.


But of course this isn’t just about tooting my own horn. Yesterday was Ray’s yahrzeit. It’s been two years since he died.

If there’s any accomplishment here, it’s mostly Ray’s. I had the easy part; all I had to do was sing and skedaddle. Ray was the one who put the whole thing together, note by note, breath by breath and track by track, working extremely hard for hours, days and weeks, putting his whole heart and soul into it.

And it’s not only that, of course. Ray was my friend.

I will always be grateful to him. And I will always miss him.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Another Must-Read from Treppenwitz

Go read this... but first, make sure you have some tissues handy.

Shabbat shalom.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lady in Red, Sunbeam Hunter

Need a sunbeam? The Lady in Red will hunt one up for you.

Looks like she has spotted her quarry:

Looking up at a sunbeam

The quarry:

Rainbow sunbeam

Ah! It moved. Look out, Lady!

Sneaky sunbeam

Patience, patience...

Lady notices sunbeam



Here she gets one on video:

Isn’t Lady a great sunbeam hunter? I think so.

The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the Cats.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Scooter Snoozer

(Click to embiggen.)

Kitty on scooter

“Goin’ my way?”

The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the Cats.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Way to Go... Green!

My dear friend Joanna started a forum about organic foods and environmental issues just a few short weeks ago, and already she’s made it into Israel21c:

Other Israelis are also helping to make a difference in the way their fellow citizens are informed about protecting their surroundings. American immigrant Joanna Katzen recently established a website forum for English-speaking Israelis concerned about the environment, interested in organic foods and similar issues. (A parallel site for Hebrew-speakers has been around for a while.)
“The response has been amazing,” she told ISRAEL21c. “Over 100 people joined within less than 48 hours. The forum is apolitical. I hope the exchange of ideas, and thoughts will promote organic farming, responsible consumerism, spirituality and holistic thought. If we can bring about a change in the way people treat the earth; if we can expose more people to this lifestyle, who knows how this ripple effect can affect our lives, hopefully even the prospect of peace in the Middle East.”

The article also mentions Linshom (“to breathe”), a Hebrew-speaking website dedicated to making sure that Israel’s no-smoking laws are enforced.

In other good news—cat-related, no less!—a local cat-welfare organization is about to begin a spaying and neutering program in one of Jerusalem’s downtown neighborhoods.

Slowly but surely, we’re making progress.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

In the Clutches of the Skritch Monster

Lady in Red, beware! The Skritch Monster is coming to get you!

She’ll skritch the top of your head...

Head skritch

... rub your ears...

Ear rub

... skritch your chin...

Chin skritch

... rub your fuzzy tummy...


... watch you knead the air...

Kneading the air

... and listen to you purr.

Listening to Lady purr

Yes, the Skritch Monster is coming for you, Lady in Red. Be relaxed. Be very relaxed.

The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the Cats.

More Bee Pics

Take a sunny day, add a few flower bushes, and what do you get? Camera bait!

Here are some more bee pics. Here’s one on an elecampane bush. If you look closely (or enlarge the photo by clicking on it), you can see the pollen baskets at the bee’s knees.

The bee’s knees

A bee on a lavender stalk. Note the knees.

Bee on lavender blossom

Back to the elecampane bush: the face of a bee.

Face of a bee

I think this may be my best bee shot to date:

Bee on elecampane blossom

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Friday Ark and The Carnival of the Cats

The Friday Ark has sailed! On Sunday, the Carnival of the Cats will be at CatSynth.

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.