January 29, 2007

Puzzle Day -- a different kind

It turns out that today is Puzzle Day -- mostly Jigsaw Puzzle Day that is, but people are using it as an excuse for all sorts of different puzzles (and we do love people who want to do puzzles!!!)

Here are some links about it:

Holiday Insights

Teacher Planet Resources

Reach Every Child

Clip Art

The Greensboro Children's Museum held National Puzzle Day Competitions: National Puzzle day honors puzzles of all sizes, shapes, and forms. We’ll have crossword puzzles, sudoku puzzles, and regular jigsaw puzzles. The entire family can enjoy this event so sign-up today for a day of fun!

Even the Square Dancers are getting into the act.

Square Books in Oxford, MS also had a crossword puzzle contest today.

The Appalachian School of Law Library (Grundy, VA) blogged a fun lawyer-related logic puzzle to separate

Vicky B writes, "This is National Puzzle Day. Puzzles come in all sizes, shapes and formats from easy word searches to building furniture. Imagine you are in the business of creating puzzles. What new type would you come up with? How many pieces would it have? How big is it? Do you need tools to assemble, or a dictionary to solve? Is there a prize for the first solver? Let your imagination puzzle the facts out."

and of course, zillions more sites out there talking about it ... hopefully you'll all take this opportunity to check out Silicon Valley Puzzle Day!!

Posted by Emily at 09:02 PM | Comments (0)

Miss America!

Mom just called to let me know that Miss America is on tonight!! How'd I manage to miss that news???

8pm on CMT

8:20 update - my net connection is down (i'm blogging from my phone) but sitting here in my tiara of course. my early money was on tn and wv...and of course i'll cheer for ca, ct, and wa and the 3 emily's. we'll see if they even make the top 10

8:40 update - the net's back up and there were nice emails from Mom and Lisa (who of course got to see the whole thing 3 hours ahead of me...) So I got a few home states to root for and 1 of the Emily's... Mom has promised a tap dancer for later as well...

Posted by Emily at 04:29 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2007

links for 2007-01-29

(Forgot to put this into de.licio.us, so here it is posted -- please come do puzzles with us!)

  • On February 24, 2007, there will be crossword and Sudoku tournaments for all levels, a giant Silicon Valley themed community crossword, workshops and wordgames. Prizes will be awarded in several categories. Registration fee is $20 for adults and $10 for s
Posted by Emily at 11:20 PM | Comments (103)

Welcome Madison!

We gave into our strong temptation to get a new friend for Bonnie/Mitzy and have brought home Madison from the shelter today.

According to her description, "She's a beautiful, six month old black and white female. Madison is a wonderful kitty who shouldn't be spending time in a shelter. This lovely lady deserves a home of her own. Indoors only please - her light nose is delicate! She's litter trained and uses a scratching post. And, as you can see, Madison is a very clean little girl. Visit the San Martin Animal Shelter to meet Madison. We think she'll be coming home with you when you do!"

Her official photo from them:
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Hopefully they'll get along and become good friends! (Plus, she's crossword puzzle colored!)

Some more photos of Maddie now that she's home:
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Posted by Emily at 01:33 PM | Comments (4)

January 27, 2007

Saturday Night Out

Trish, Ben and John came up to MH again for another fun night out. First dinner at the Mongolian BBQ and then off to the bowling alley, which was too crowded to bowl, so we went to their new area that has pool and bocce and played a couple of games of pool and then hit the arcade for air hockey and Dance Dance Revolution. A few camera phone photos -- I love how the first one caught the ball in action:

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Posted by Emily at 10:14 PM | Comments (1)

January 25, 2007

Training

In training most of today and tomorrow, working on meeting facilitation, creative thinking, ideation, etc., mosting using the models from Synectics.

Posted by Emily at 09:57 PM | Comments (11614)

January 23, 2007

links for 2007-01-24

Posted by Emily at 11:19 PM | Comments (822)

Puzzle Venue and OpEd

Kathy, Lisa and I checked out the venue for our upcoming Puzzle Day event yesterday. It was the first time I had been over there and the space is even better than I had imagined and I think it will be a fantastic place to have the event!

venue1.jpg

And Lisa has a great column in today's MH Times about the event (this link requires a subscription, but when it is cross posted to the Gilroy paper, which doesn't, I'll add that link in too).

Crossword Puzzle Lovers to Aid Library Public Art Efforts

Update: Here's the open link from the Gilroy Dispatch.

Posted by Emily at 07:22 AM | Comments (1)

January 22, 2007

links for 2007-01-23

Posted by Emily at 11:23 PM | Comments (0)

A few more Uncle Gene items

Some other random mentions I've found:

An adventure in textbooks, 1924-1960,
by James M Reid
on page 19:
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p. 20:
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Posted by Emily at 11:59 AM | Comments (0)

January 21, 2007

links for 2007-01-22

Posted by Emily at 11:18 PM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2007

New Counters (Finally)

Yay! At long last we have new counter tops in the kitchen and bathroom and can put everything back to where it belongs and actually use those spaces again. The kitchen seems much brighter and happier without the dark grouting that used to crisscross the counters, and in the bathroom we now have TWO SINKS (a high priority of mine). Here are some photos of the process and final outcome:

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Posted by Emily at 08:31 PM | Comments (0)

Wild World of Blogging

Here are my notes for today's presentation on blogging... to give it some structure, I decided to do an A-Z approach, but that leads to some odd entries. I also decided to use all my animal photos from the trip (and to fill in with random landscape ones with I hit letters that I didn't have animals for).

pdf version for downloading

Update: Back from the presentation, which was a lot of fun (a few technical glitches of course, but I managed to get through the slides and then show off some of the web sites afterwards). Here's a photo of the group from the end:
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Posted by Emily at 12:41 PM | Comments (3026)

January 19, 2007

Quiet on the blog...

Goodness, I've been terrible about blogging this week. S laughed that I thought it was ok to go a few days here without blogging after the trouble I dragged him through to find an internet connection some of the days on our trip so I could post updates (though it was fun to drive around downtown Jerusalem with my laptop scanning for a wifi signal... the whole downtown is a hotspot once I figured out how to find it). But this week has been a whirlwind of catching up and various projects. Put together the MH Friends newsletter on Sunday, am trying to finish up some presenation notes for tomorrow's presentation on blogging to the Gilroy Writing Project group (hello to anyone following the link here from there!), and of course there is puzzle day and our BBC meeting last night was a reminder of how much we need to do to finish pulling that together (so if you want to get involved, please let me know!). Add to that work, which has been crazy (2 weeks off leaves a big pile to catch up on, plus our librarian left so I'm learning to fill in on her duties until we hire a new person for that), and all the other things that have piled up here, and I can see why I haven't been blogging much... but I'll get back into the swing of things I'm sure.

I've added a few more days of photos to the trip but still have a few to go. If you're looking for the trip report, start here and you can follow the links at the top to walk through day by day.

Posted by Emily at 05:53 AM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2007

links for 2007-01-19

Posted by Emily at 11:23 PM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2007

Puzzle Day in MH Times

Our first bit of PR for puzzle day appeared in today's Extra Credit section of the Morgan Hill Times!

Puzzle Day at Sobrato High School

SOBRATO HIGH SCHOOL, 401 Burnett Ave., will be the center stage for Silicon Valley Puzzle Day 10am-4pm, Feb. 24. There will be crossword and Sudoku tournaments for all levels, a giant Silicon Valley themed community crossword, workshops and wordgames. Prizes will be awarded in several categories. Registration fee is $20 for adults and $10 for students, with a $2 discount for members of the Friends of the Morgan Hill Library. Proceeds will benefit the Friends of the Morgan Hill Library's "Beyond Books Campaign." A "marketplace" with food, puzzle books and other items will be available.


For a schedule, registration, directions and other information, visit www.svpuzzle.org.

Posted by Emily at 07:06 AM | Comments (48)

January 13, 2007

... and we're back!

Lots of photos and updates to come, but its nice to be home!!!

Reentering the country was much easier than we expected -- we didn't even have to split up into different lines because of our different passports. The only hangup was in Heathrow -- word of advice, do not buy any duty free liquids when you have a layover. Turns out in London you have to change terminals and go through security again, and are subjected to the liquid ban at that point even though you purchased them at the airport. So our brief layover in London was spent going through passport control there (in the long, non-EU line of course), racing upstairs and checking in our nice bottles of organic Israeli wine that we thought it would be nice to bring home (the last time I'll be buying duty free liquor I think), and arriving at the gate just in time to board (but luckily we had had our fix of Heathrow shopping on the way through 2 weeks ago, so I didn't have to miss out too much and Love Actually was one of the Video on Demand movies which always makes me feel better about Heathrow... and I did have time to buy a few Mars bars, which are the key to travelling in the UK -- and yes, they are very different from US Mars bars!!).

Mitzy seems quite suspicious, but hopefully she'll forgive our long absence and remember us soon. Time to dowload all the email, open up the piles of bills and belated holiday wishes, take a long hot shower, and get ready to catch up on everything we missed.

Posted by Emily at 06:40 PM | Comments (2)

January 12, 2007

Israel, Last Day

Today was our last day in Israel so we decided to make it as long as possible -- we have a really early flight tomorrow and would have had to leave for the airport at around 3 in the morning anyway, so we thought we would try to stay up at the bowling alley until then (its open until 2am). We'll see if we last that long (if not, there's a place to nap in the office). Its almost midnight here now, so there's not all that much longer to do. We've already bowled three games tonight but there's internet accesss and a pool table so we should be able to entertain ourselves pretty endlessly.

Today we got up in time to see Tomer off to the army (and of course I'll be posting photos of him in his full uniform once I get home). Then we picked up Hila and the three of us explored the Old City, buying lots of baklahva and having a fantastic lunch of more hummus and falafel. We stopped and had tea and sweets in one place and found ourselves sitting under a series of photos of Sadaam Hussein and Arafat so Hila wasn't sure we had made the best choice of place -- and besides, the baklahva there wasn't so great and they dropped the first glass of tea. As we left lunch it started pouring rain (again) which cut our visit short a bit, but it was a great experience to wander through the city and see all the people and crazy things for sale in the market. Afterwards we went back over to Hila's parents house and hung out there playing backgammon (Shachar and Hila) and ping pong (Dido and me) and drinking more tea. From there we went back to the house and packed up our bags, swung by Hila's house so she could change shoes and we could pick up her husband Amit and then we drove to Safta's for a big family dinner. Shachar and I left from there to pick Shimon up at the bowling alley and delayed there a bit because it was too busy for him to leave. We met a really interesting family and dropped the Dad off at the checkpoint down the street so he could move his car. They were an American family from Colorado, the Dad is working for Shevet Achim, a non-profit bringing children from Iraq for heart surgery in Israel. The family had just relocated from Jordan and their car still had Jordan plates so they were stopped at the checkpoint and walked the last 2 blocks to the bowling alley. It was their oldest son's 16th birthday, so the family was bowling to celebrate. From there we joined Safta, Rikki, Yair, Sari, Sharon, Ran, and Hila's brother for a wonderful stuffed chicken dinner (photos to come later as well).

Goodness... at midnight a huge crowd of people just came into the bowling alley, so we're going to try to help out. We'll be flying all day tomorrow and hopefully will be back online from home late tomorrow afternoon California time.

Updated from Ben Gurion Airport at 6:20 am (the flight boards in about 10 minutes), so more will be added later:
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Posted by Emily at 02:17 PM | Comments (1048)

January 11, 2007

Israel, Day 14

The trip is definitely starting to wind down and our pace has slowed considerably. Today we drove up to Tel Aviv and met with Shachar's uncle Yuval who runs a software company that makes Invoice By Click, a great tool for small businesses. After chatting about the software in his office, we went out to lunch at a fish restaurant that they apparently always traditionally go to. Then Shachar and I walked around the port area (which has been turned into stores and restaurants) and drove around some of the main areas of the city before heading back down to Jerusalem We stopped in at his great-uncles' nut and dried fruit factory -- his two great uncles were there and they were just wonderful to meet (hopefully the photos will come out of them, unfortunately I still don't have a flash). These are two of the brothers of his grandmother (Safta), a third lives in Vancouver and we hope to visit him there sometime soon now that we can travel internationally again (assuming our reentry on Saturday goes smoothly :)) Now we're at Shachar's Mom's and also hope to see Sharon and Ran and possibly Hila and Amit tonight, as well as Rikki (who we keep missing the past few days -- probably because we've displaced her from her bedroom at home so she's been elsewhere).

Update: in the end we ended up going to a great French restaurant with Rikki and Sharon.

Updated 1/14 with photos:
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Posted by Emily at 08:19 AM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2007

Israel, Day 13

We're back here in Jerusalem, where the whole downtown has free wifi access (though it took me a while to figure out how to access it). We're sitting in a coffee shop now called Kadosh which is owned by an elementary school friend of Shachar's (who unfortunately was walking out the door when we walked in). We ate breakfast in our hotel in Eliat, checked out and then made the drive back up North along the Dead Sea, driving past Sodom (where we saw a rocked named "Lot's Wife") and then came back up to Jerusalem and we've been wandering around downtown a bit. Tonight I think we're going bowling with Tomer and see what else is going on. Tomorrow it's back to Tel Aviv, Friday the Old City of Jerusalem and then we fly back SUPER early Saturday morning.

Posted by Emily at 06:24 AM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2007

Israel, Day 12

Hello again from Eilat. Today we visited the Underwater Observatory Marine Park (which wasn't all that exciting in the end) and mostly took it easy. We napped, walked along the beach, and now we're checking in from Aroma (the coffee place) with spotty wireless (too slow to get to my email or VPN to work) so I think we'll pack up now and find somewhere else to try from. I added some photos from yesterday and will have to work back through the past days as I go.

Photos added 1/10:
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Posted by Emily at 07:53 AM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2007

Israel, Day 11

Today was our first day in Eiliat, a resort town at the very southern tip of the country. We got up and had breakfast at our hotel (which is pretty rundown but did have a nice breakfast buffet) and then headed to Timna Park to see King Solomon's mines! I have a million photos to post later because it was a spectacular landscape and the first day that I could be out and about in the sunshine after all the rain that we've been having everywhere else. We saw old rock drawings, climbed up cliffs, poured colored sand into souvenir bottles, rowed paddle boats (though the tiller was broken so we went around in circles for a while and then gave up), had tea and sweets, and just enjoyed the park. I even drove for a bit of it (my first successful stick-shift driving -- it seemed like a good place to learn given that it was a deserted desert road and a rental car...)!!

After the park we went to the famous Yot Vata dairy store for ice cream (I had frozen yogurt with dates) and to take photos of cows (Ran's mother lives at the Kibbutz but we didn't have a chance to make contact this time around). Then home to the hotel for a rest, out to do some much-needed laundry at a laundromat (with a falafel and pita snack while we were waiting) and now we're about to see a 3D IMAX movie (mostly an excuse to use the free wifi in the lobby so I could post a couple of quick things).

We'll hopefully carve out some time tomorrow to post another round of photos as well...

thank you every one for following along and the nice comments! More postings to come over the next few days of our trip!

Updated with some photos (1/9):
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Posted by Emily at 09:44 AM | Comments (5)

January 07, 2007

Israel, Day 10

Just a placeholder until I have time for a proper post with photos. Here's what we did:

Drove through Be'er Sheeva to see Shachar's university and old haunting ground (though the campus has changed radically in the last few years and many of the buildings were brand new) then drove to Sede Boqer where we visited his favorite professor (who he had actually been working with since high school -- he went to an environmental boarding school in Sede Boqer and then returned there for grad school after studying at Ben Gurion University in Be'er Sheeva). We toured the lab that S used to work in and the gardens and greenhouses (mostly filled with cacti). We had lunch with Prof. Guterman and his wife and granddaughter and looked at some of his fantastic paintings which cover every wall of their house from floor to ceiling. We then drove to Nizana to see Nava (another grad school friend) who lives with her family in a small settlement right next to the Egyptian border. On the way, we stopped and bought goat cheese at a small farm (they are trying to develop a whole route of small wineries and farms to attract tourism, the goat cheese was excellent). With Nava we went to visit ruins of a Nabatian ranch and learned about how they irrigated by building up a series of walls and clay mounds that distributed the runoff water. We hung out with her for a few hours and then continued our drive towards Eliat, through a huge crater (which unfortunately it was too dark to see).

Updated 1/14 with photos:
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Posted by Emily at 10:36 PM | Comments (0)

Late updates

No net access yesterday, so yesterday's update (mostly Tel Aviv and Jaffa) will be posted next time I can get my laptop online. Right now we're on our Southern trip -- we've been to Beersheva and are visiting another friend before heading down to Eliat late tonight. Hopefully I'll be connecting from there...

Posted by Emily at 05:18 AM | Comments (2)

January 06, 2007

Israel, Day 9

[posted 1/8 from the IMAX theater in Eliat]

Followed Shimon and Sari to Tel Aviv where we visited Shachar's uncle Yossi and Anat (pregnant with a daughter they appear to be calling "blueberry" for now) and Itai. After touring their amazing house, we drove to Jaffa for lunch where we met up with Yossi's older son Daniel, Shachar's other uncle Yuval along with his wife Yael and their three daughters Michelle, Gal, Sheli (born 5 days after our wedding). Lunch started with a selection of about a dozen small salads (including the typical tomato/cucumber, humus, 2 eggplant dishes, calliflower, 2 cabbage ones, corn, and various other things) and wonderful warm pita (plain and topped with za'atar). If one of the small bowls was emptied, a refill appeared immidiately until everyone had their fill. In the mean time we all ordered our main dishes -- most people had fish (the restaurant's speciality given that we were right across from the beach). I opted for chicken on a skewer (shish, I learned, not kabob -- though I always thought the whole thing was a "shish kabob" -- turns out kabobs here are more like meatballs). Plus lovely fresh lemonade (with mint of course) and either turkish coffee or tea with mint afterwards.
After picking our car up from Yossi's, Shachar and I drove back over to Jaffa and, despite the rain (yes, it was still raining all day today, sigh), we walked around the old city, starting with the clock tower. Nearby there we stopped at a street vendor selling sofflab (sp) (one of a row of about 6 selling them from big urns). I added cinnamon, coconut, raisins and banana chips into mine and we walked around in the rain with the delicious (and thankfully very warm) treat - just the perfect thing in the cold wet weather. We went to the visitor center, read about the history of the town (mostly that it was repeatedly destroyed throughout its history) and watched the English video (with Russian subtitles). When we came out the rain had slowed down and we were able to continue the walk through the old neighborhoods, though all the art galleries were pretty much closed by then. We walked along the water, back to the car, and then drove through the city for a while (some of it on purpose, some I'm not so sure, but it was a great tour). We drove back towards Jerusalem, stopped in at Shimon & Sari's and then went and met up with Sharon and Ran at the Jerusalem Mall to see Happy Feet (English with Hebrew subtitles) and to wander around the mall a bit (checked out the bookstore of course). Since it was Saturday night and there were lots of beginning-of-the-year sales, it was utterly crazy and so we didn't stay long before my mall-aversion kicked in and I was ready to head back home. Unfortunately no net access here right now, so this will be posted later and back dated (I'm writing at 10pm Saturday night, but am not sure when we'll log in next to post...) Tomorrow we begin our big trip down to the South of Israel, where hopefully the weather will be much better!!

Updated 1/14 with photos:
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Posted by Emily at 10:28 PM | Comments (0)

January 05, 2007

Israel, Day 8

Well of course because I was so excited about seeing Haifa and remembering Mom's photos (which she wrote to say were from 1983) and how blue and sunny it was, we woke up this morning to absolute pouring rain. After breakfast with Faina (Beni's wife), we drove over to Haifa in time for the 10:45 tour of the garden terraces at the Bahá'í World Centre. Standing outside, we realized it was hailing. Luckily the rain and hail stopped just in time and we were able to walk down the 500+ steps and enjoy the amazing view (though it wasn't exactly bright and sunny and blue skies).

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After the tour, we met up with Shachar's friend Orly who he had met in California but who has since moved back to Israel and is now studying math and physics at the Technion (like MIT in Israel) so that she can combine it with her law degree and be a patent attorney. We had a nice brunch at Shany (another coffee chain). We dropped her back off at the campus and drove to Netanya (near Tel Aviv) to see Omer, who is in Israel visiting his family (yes, we just saw him in Colorado over Thanksgiving) and then drove back to Jerusalem.

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Tonight we're hanging out with some of Shachar's grad school friends. We're at Haggai's house now in Jerusalem (its still thundering and lighting outside, but is nice and cozy in here -- he's cooking dinner and I'm taking a moment to update all of you...) waiting for Hila (a different Hila) and possibly some others.

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Tomorrow we're heading to Tel Aviv to see Shachar's uncles and their families (hopefully the weather will pick up a bit... )

[Updated 1/17 with photos]

Posted by Emily at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

January 04, 2007

Israel, Day 7

Today we explored the North of Israel some more with Beni, visiting the Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee and Nazareth (where we stopped at a famous sweet shop for knafeh). Actually the whole trip has been, not too surprisingly, about food. On the way from his town we stopped at a roadside stand selling fresh strawberries and pita with Za'atar (one of our favorite spices that S puts on pretty much everything at home and which we stocked up on while we were here), then in Tiberias we stopped for a hummus and fava beans (and french fries) along with Turkish coffee, and by the Jordan River we stopped at a store selling all sorts of things made with dates and tried out some new things.

We also drove almost to the border where Israel meets Jordan and Syria (apparently a very safe border), where there's a nice spa that may need checking out on a future trip. Nazareth was really interesting to see -- lots of Christmas decorations (apparently there is still a small Christian community there) and all the signs were in Arabic instead of Hebrew so when I woke up from my car nap and looked out the window, it was as if we had switched into another country. There's a neighboring city that is the Jewish section, but the great knafeh is definitely an Arabic treat.

Now we're back at Beni's house where we hung out with his family (he and his wife have two adorable boys who like to jump on us) and I'm going to call it an early night and let the guys stay up and watch movies or something.

Tomorrow we're going to finally see Haifa, which I've wanted to visit since Mom brought home photos of the city when she was there (1980 or so?)

Updated 1/17 with photos:
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Posted by Emily at 10:48 AM | Comments (1)

January 03, 2007

Israel, Day 6

Tonight we're in Yokneam, near Haifa, staying with S's friend Beni (who I have spoken to many times over Skype from home). We packed up this morning, loaded the car and set off for the first of our mini-trips. I had a real Israeli post-office experience (and I thought people were bad in the post office lines in France -- Paul will no doubt remember some of our experiences being cut in line there) and a nice stop off at a bread factory where we stocked up on some wonderful fresh breads and chocolate rugala. Then we drove around some more, stopped at an Arab village which apparently boasted the world's best hummus and took hummus and falafels (the best falafel I think I've ever had) with us on the road.

On the way North from Jerusalem we stopped at the The Zoological Center Tel Aviv - Ramat Gan where S's friend from grad school Karen works. She took us "behind the scenes" at the zoo and we got to feed the giraffes and one of the elephants (I have a bunch of photos that will hopefully come out well of S feeding them). It was really tons of fun, and the place itself is really quite wonderful -- as soon as you drive through the gates the animals are right there coming up to your car. Then we drove through Caesarea and stopped for coffee before heading here to Yokneam.

Updated 1/17 with a few photos:
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Posted by Emily at 11:39 AM | Comments (5)

January 02, 2007

My OpEd

Oh, and the op-ed I wrote for the Morgan Hill Times (complete with my photo!) appeared in the Dec 27th issue:

A Call for Contributions From All Morgan Hill Artists (of course the title makes it sound like we want art from them, not to answer a survey, but at least it got published). There's also a typo in the first paragraph (but I don't think I submitted it with one, oh well). But I did manage to get a quick plug in for the crossword/sudoku puzzle day!

Posted by Emily at 11:46 PM | Comments (28)

GetTech in the Gilroy Dispatch

The Get Tech at the Library program is written up in the Gilroy Dispatch and I was interviewed for the article:

Library Entices Girls to Get Involved in Science

Santa Clara County Library grant writer Emily Reich Shem-Tov calls the program "bringing a piece of the Tech Museum to our local library."

"I actually wrote it for a class because I have been involved with the Tech Museum for many years," she said.

Shem-Tov attended library school and was looking to foster collaboration with organizations such as the Tech Museum. She took a grant writing class and talked to people in the Tech Museum as well as the libraries.

"It's just so exciting to see two great community resources reach so many more people together," Shem-Tov said.

Posted by Emily at 11:41 PM | Comments (0)

Israel, Day 5

Today we picked up Shimon at the bowling alley and the three of us headed down to Mineral Beach on the Dead Sea where we were able to float in the salt water, smear ourselves with the mud and soak in the mineral hot springs. It was significantly warmer there than it has been in Jerusalem and it was wonderful to be able to soak in a bit of sun (and salt) and to just sit and watch them play backgammon while we ate really good grilled cheese sandwiches on the deck. There may be some incriminating mud-covered photos later (but they are on Shacharś camera, so weĺl have to wait and see). Then we hung out out the bowling alley some more, had lunch at the restaurant next door (which Sś grandparents used to have their restaurant in but now is mostly a base for a catering company) and then headed back to Saftaś for another visit, where we met up with Osama, who I have heard millions of stories about and finally got the chance to meet. We had sachlab ( a hot drink made from vanilla orchid with coconuts and cinnamon and stuff) and chatted and then took him back to Shulaś where they played chess for a while. Shachar dropped him back near the check point to the West Bank and now weŕe over at Sharon and Ranś transferring computer files (and I of course am blogging). And now it appears to be dinner (yes, its 10pm here).

Updated 1/19 with a few photos:
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Posted by Emily at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)

January 01, 2007

Israel, Day 4

Today we picked up Safta and went to the hardware store (super grandson was replacing her leaking toilets) and the supermarket (which is always one of my favorite things to do in a foreign country) to get supplies to make the kubeh. Then we spent a couple of hours there and were joined by Shimon for our kubeh lunch. After that we picked up Hila, hung out at her apartment, saw her marionette collection and raided her music. Then we did a bit of site seeing, walking through the really lovely Mishkenot Sheanamin neighborhood, the first Jewish neighborhood settled outside of the walls of the old city (which had a great sunset view of the old city). After that we drove over to Hila's parents house (where we had been the other night) and are hanging out here and I am taking advantage of their very nice wi-fi connection to post photos while Shachar continues to download music and to challenge Hila to games of backgammon. (Its now 7pm here)

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Later tonight we're going out with Hila and Amit for tapas (since we all had such a nice time doing that in DC when they were visiting in July and John took us out near his office.

Unfortunately the flash has given out on my camera (ack) so you'll have to wait for any other inside or night photos until we get Shachar's photos developed at home and then I'll try to add some more in. Tomorrow we're going to the Dead Sea with Shimon (to a hot spring area apparently) so hopefully there will be plenty of opportunities for outside shots).

Posted by Emily at 09:02 AM | Comments (0)

The Bowling Alley

And finally (for today's mass posting set), here are some photos of Shimon's new bowling alley -- the most high tech one in Israel and a great space (with of course the world's best staff!)

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Posted by Emily at 08:50 AM | Comments (0)

Safta

Some photos from yesterday's visit to Shachar's Grandmother where she showed us some of the fantastic paintings, embroidery and other art works (including the one she's holding in the first picture, which is our wedding present) that she's made (and she just started artwork after retiring!). We spent the afternoon there today learning how to make proper kubeh soup (which was much better than our gallant attempt) though I got a lot of grief from Shachar's father and uncles for changing the 3000 year old tradition since she made it for me with chicken instead of beef (but it was still wonderful and it may start a new tradition (or at least occasional variation)

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and some photos from today's visit:

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Posted by Emily at 08:33 AM | Comments (0)

Miflezit

Photos from our pilgrimage to the Miflezit sculpture (actually called Golum, its a sculpture by Niki de Saint Phalle) on 12/30 -- I've been wanting to see it since we saw the film Sliding Flora at the Israeli Film Festival in San Jose in May.

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Posted by Emily at 08:17 AM | Comments (1)

Photos from the Market

Here are some of my photos from the food market in Jerusalem where we went on our first day visiting here:

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Posted by Emily at 08:00 AM | Comments (848)