Showers

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Check out this tub/shower in Jerusalem’s 4 star Grand Court hotel.  It only covers half of the opening.  Huh? I found it virtually impossible to avoid a flooded floor after taking a shower.  No matter how hard I tried to … Continue reading

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Anonymous Joy

Rope Swing

Rope Swing

A rope hanging from a tree branch 20′ high on the bank of a lake is irresistible to all ages, especially on a hot summer day.  Swinging out over the water is exhilarating.   Letting go and dropping into the water takes a bit more courage … and how to swim.

This three-year old didn’t want to show his face, but was not bashful about showing his glee.  He swung out over the water and returned safely to land, giggling all the way.

Next year he might let go.

Thought for the Day:  Where fear is happiness is not.    Seneca

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Precious Metal?

Israeli Coins

Israeli Coins

I’ve found that in countries using currencies different from the US dollar, making change is not difficult until you get down to the small coin level.  The Israeli currency is based on the New Israeli Shekel (“NIS”), which has a rate of exchange with the US dollar of roughly 4:1; i.e. it takes 4 shekels to make a dollar.  In other words, a shekel is worth a quarter.

The 4:1 exchange rate is a much easier (mentally) than the British Pound, but it still becomes a problem when small change comes into play.  The smallest bill in Israel is a 20 Shekel note ($5) so you quickly get into the coins when buying a pack of gum. The top row of coins in the photo are shekels: ten, one and half-shekel coins.  Not pictured is the five and two shekel coins.  After that you get into agorat, where 100 agorat make a shekel.  The two coins in the bottom row are ten and one agora coins.

If a shekel is worth a quarter, then an agora is worth only 1/4 cent.  Whoa!  Like the US penny, how is it economical to even produce them?  Easy, the argorat are made of aluminum.  Bronze, nickel and steel are used for other coins.  Precious metal?

Thought for the Day:  The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.                                                                                                                                  Albert Einstein

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Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Rotunda - Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Rotunda – Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Located in the Old City of Jerusalem, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is the place that enshrines the location of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection.  The interesting thing about the Church is that it is maintained and controlled by six Christian denominations, the three predominant ones being the Roman Catholics (called “Latins” in the Holy Land), Greek Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox.   Disagreements between the denominations are never easy to resolve; e.g. a routine roof leak took decades to agree on the method of its repair.

Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Church of the Holy Sepulcher

The outside of the Church is not very impressive, as shown in the photo on the left.

Underneath the dome that caps the rotunda is believed to be the tomb where Jesus’ body was laid.  The wait to get inside the tomb was prohibitive, so I had to settle for the inspirational sun rays.  There is a large flat stone near the Greek Orthodox crucifixion altar where, according to tradition, Jesus’ body was prepared for burial.  Actually, I found more inspiration from the light shining on the architectural elements of the dome than I did from all the gaudy silver and gold decorations around the tomb and altars.

Thought for the Day:  All that glitters is not gold.     Latin Proverb

 

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The Open Championship

St. Andrews R&A Clubhouse

St. Andrews R&A Clubhouse

It’s early Monday morning and I’m watching the final round of the 144th Open Championship, normally played on Sunday,  but the Friday second round was delayed because of high winds.  Americans call it the British Open, but it has so much tradition and prestige that it is known around the golf world as The Open.   It is such a world-wide sport spectacle that I took off work today to watch it (oh, wait, I’m retired!).

St. Andres 1st tee

St. Andrews 1st tee

The site of the 2015 Open Championship is where golf was born, St. Andrews, where the “New Course” is twice as old as the USA.    St. Andrews has special meaning for me.  I was there in 2013, shown here with my wife-assisted selfie. I sat on the members’ bench (very briefly) shown above on the narrow veranda overlooking the 1st tee.  And, I have a picture of the Swilcan Bridge (click here), where Tom Watson stood this year on his final round of competitive golf.

I get goose bumps when I recognize places on TV that I actually saw at St. Andrews two years ago.

Thought for the Day:  If you’e going to be a player people will remember, you have to win the Open at St. Andrews.  Jack Nicklaus

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July 4th Campfire

July 4th Campfire

July 4th Campfire

After a full day of swimming, boating, fishing, rope swinging into the lake, decorating the parade trailer, riding in the parade, badminton, feasting on bar-be-qued pulled pork and chicken wings, it’s time to relax around the campfire, roast marsh mellows, eat s’mores, and watch FIREWORKS!

What a great holiday … my personal favorite.

Thought for the Day:     Ham:  Hey, you want a s’more?                                                                      Smalls:  Some more of what?                                                                                                                Ham:  No, do you want a s’more?                                                                                                        Smalls:  I haven’t had anything yet … so how can I have some more of nothing?                  Ham:  You’re killing me, Smalls!  These are s’mores stuff, okay?  Pay attention.                    First, you take the graham.  You stick the chocolate on the graham.  Then, you                     roast the mallow.  When the mallow’s flaming, you stick it on the chocolate.  Then              you cover it with the other end.   Then, you stuff.                                                                                                                                                                           movie:    “The Sandlot”

 

 

 

 

 

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July 4th Parade

Cedar Creek, NE Parade

Cedar Creek, NE Parade

July 4th parades are de rigueur across the country, but nothing is more Americana than a small-town parade (Cedar Creek, NE.  pop. 310).  No public funds are available for fancy float contests, judges’ grand stand, professional clowns, balloon artists, etc.

The parade comes about from a hand-made sign posted a week ahead of time at the only prominent spot in town, the local bar, announcing the time of the July 4th parade.  The residents take it from there, using their imagination to find unique ways to participate. My mom used to say, “Home-made is always better than store-bought.”

The parade route is lined with friends, neighbors and guests, everyone else who is not in the parade.  Besides throwing candy, water balloons and squirt guns are popular … and photographers seem to be favorite targets.

Thought for the Day:  If you’re not in the parade, you watch the parade.  That’s life.                                                                                                                                   Mike Ditka

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Fruit Pizza

Fruit Pizza Flag

Fruit Pizza Flag

One of our many family 4th of July traditions is the fruit pizza resembling the Flag.  Now that my two oldest granddaughters are playing a larger role in the yummy flag’s preparation, the tradition is becoming more beautiful every year.

God Bless America!

Thought for the Day:  Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.                                                                                                                                           Anne Frank

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