Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cargo without clunkers

With this being the last weekend for the government's "Cash for clunkers" program to help people replace their gas-guzzlers with more fuel-efficient cars, gas mileage is much on people's minds these days. But what's long excited me is the idea of moving myself and my gear with _zero_ mileage -- moving things with just the power of my two legs.

I had some file boxes and books to move, today, so I attached my "Wide Loader" (see below) to my Xtracycle and got out some straps.

Here are a couple of more shots of the bike loaded:

I heard about a new kind of cargo bike option today, by the way. It's this company called CETMA Cargo that custom builds some very wild cargo bikes and racks like the one in the pic below (not sure how the guy in this pic intends on avoiding obstacles given the visibility issues!)

I'm enjoying what I'm doing, today. True, not the fastest way to move a few boxes, but I'm getting some good exercise in the bargain and having some fun to boot!
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Late adopter

My father, of blessed memory, loved high-tech and made his living working in that field. But, yet, he was no gadget freak -- he needed real convincing that a new technology, whether it be personal computers or email, really was worth adopting.

He's passed the late adopter thing (as well as the love of technology) on to me, so it was only yesterday that I finally took the smart phone plunge -- and at that it was, Minna, not me, who actually made the purchase. We have iPhones!

Late adopting, actually, despite what this guy says, is a pretty rational strategy -- the newest of the new is usually too expensive and too untested, and I've usually regretted the times I was an _early_ adopter (like with mp3 players; I brought one with me on my Israel year and 2000, and it was a real disappointment).

Anyway, I'm feeling pretty good about this iPhone so far. . . . I think I waited just the _right_ amount of time.

Thanks, Minna!

[X-posted to smamitayim]

Sunday, August 09, 2009

First tomatoes

These cherry guys are still green, but we did get our first two ripe tomatoes off of two of our full-size plants, today -- they were delicious!

Yeah, it's a bit late for the first tomatoes, but we got them in the ground kind of late. Well, and not really in the ground, too (as we have no ground). Here they are in their containers:

Some of the leaves, however, are looking a little sad, which had us worried with all this talk about an epidemic of tomato fungus:

I'm trying to stay hopeful, though and am looking forward to these guys turning red!

[X-posted to smamitayim]

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

A light unto the nations?

Murder in the name of a political or ideological cause has always struck me as the worst of all crimes. Yes, I indeed cry for the friends, family and loved ones of those murdered or wounded last night in this horrible shooting last night in Tel Aviv at a center for gay youth. But I cry, too, for all the people Israel and all the citizens of the State of Israel. We have a myth among the Jews. I use the word, myth, here not in its conventional sense (of a story that's not true). I use the word, rather, to refer to a core belief -- a story of faith -- that we tell about ourselves; that we tell to remind ourselves of who we really are: The myth that Jews don't kill Jews. The myth that for all our disputes and grievances with one another, that we settle them (or, more often, just learn to live with them) with words, not guns. NOT GUNS!

I do not know who this person was who, dressed in black and with an automatic rifle, walked into that basement room last night. But the wound left is deep and broad. It is a wound to all that our people have tried to stand for down through the generations -- for a reverence for life, and for shalom.

I still believe in the myth. I still believe we have a gift to give the world, a light to show. . . . But, today, it's harder to believe in it. It's harder to hope.

Oh, Lord, may it be Your will that this horror -- this pain -- will lead us to find a way back to following Your instruction, Your Torah of peace. Please, Lord, let it come now, speedily, in our days.