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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Country Cemetery

Reflecting Head Stone

Reflecting Head Stone

I was in Saunders County, looking for the Czech Presbyterian Cemetery.  Four miles west of Wahoo, NE, on state hwy 92, then 3 1/2 miles south and a 1/2 mile east.  By now, the sun was low in the sky and falling fast.

A small sign on the county road directed me down a narrow lane, like a tunnel between the tall cornfields on both sides.  A 1/4 mile down the lane I came upon the cemetery, tucked in behind the cornfields that crowded the county road.   There was still plenty of light to read the head stones in this very neat and well kept country cemetery.

The sun was just falling below the horizon as I was leaving, and a sharp light came into the corner of my right eye.  I turned and saw the sun’s reflection in this metallic coated head stone.  Was this a sign?

Thought for the Day:  It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.                                                                                                                                                Abraham Lincoln

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Jerico Law Enforcement

Jerico Police

Jerico Police

Jerico is in “Area A” of the West Bank, which is totally controlled by the Palestinian Authority.  While visiting, I noticed these two policemen at the end of the block.  I had read they are friendly to Westerners, non-Jewish of course, so I decided to check it out.

Palestinian Military

Palestinian Military

I approached them and asked (gestured) them if I could take their picture.  The young guy on the right got a stern look on his face and shook his head, “no”.   The jolly guy on the left, slapped his partner lightly on the shoulder, raised his hands, palms up, and said something that I interpreted as, “Hey!  What’s the big deal?  This stupid American will probably brag about us on Facebook.”

I took the picture, then showed it to them on the camera’s LCD screen.  Then the sober puss on the right broke into a big smile and said, “Numba One!”

The two men in the picture at left are Palestinian military, standing on the corner at the other end of the block.  I decided not to press my luck and took this shot using a telephoto zoom lens.

Thought for the Day:  Law stands mute in the midst of arms.                                                                                                                           Cicero  (106 BC  –  43 BC)

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Wailing Wall Collage

Wailing Wall - Jerusalem

Wailing Wall – Jerusalem

The Wailing Wall is the most holy site of the Jewish faith.  Formally named the Western Wall, it is what remains of the western wall of the Second Temple, the same temple where Jesus scorned the tax collectors and money lenders.  The entire Temple area was leveled by the Romans in 69 AD to quell the Jewish uprising.

My visit was mid-morning of a week day, and observed many things during the short time I was there:  men and women are separated in their worship at the Wall; most were conservatively dressed as Orthodox Jews; heads must be covered regardless of your faith; men back up several paces from the Wall before turning to leave; activities included praying, some singing or chanting, reciting scripture, studying, and religious ceremony, like Bar Mitzvah.

What impressed me most was the emotion emitted from the worshippers:  Their trance-like concentration, devotion, observance of and submission to their faith, piety, reverence, and homage to their ancestry.   I tried to bring out some of those emotions in this collage.

Thought for the Day:  Prayer is a good thing, but while calling on the gods, a man should himself lend a hand.   Hippocrates  460-377 BC

 

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Columns

Israel's columns

Ceasarea’s columns

While visiting Ceasarea (see former posts Ceasarea, Roman Amphitheater and Roman Aqueduct), I turned to the south and noticed the massive columns of an electrical power plant framed by the two Roman columns.  This is Israel’s largest power plant, located on the Mediterranean Sea about 50 miles north of Tel Aviv.

The columns of Ceasarea have been standing for 2,000 years, and I couldn’t stop wondering how this scene might change over the next two millenium.  How many columns will be visible from this spot in 4015?   I’d put my money on the Roman columns.

Thought for the Day:  Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate; now, what’s going to happen to us with both a House and Senate?   Will Rogers

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Summer Birthday

7th Birthday

7th Birthday

Last weekend, my grandson celebrated his 7th birthday down at the lake with four of his buddies.  It was over 90 degrees so the swimming was great.

Rope Swing

Rope Swing

The rope swing was their favorite activity by far.  One after the other, launching themselves into space hoping for a wet landing, seeing who could get out the farthest and make the biggest splash.

 

 

Water Fight

Water Fight

But before long, the competition heats up and they start fighting.  No fists, just water fights — all in fun.  It was a great way to forget about starting school the next day.

Thought for the Day:  I have often wanted to drown my troubles, but I can’t get my wife to go swimming.

Jimmy Carter

 

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Goats

First Milking

First Milking

There are lots of things to see at county fairs; this two-year old learns a bit about animal husbandry as she watches a goat getting milked.

Curious

Curious

 

At first she was puzzled and somewhat amused, but later seemed unsure of the situation.  Are you hurting her?  Is this really necessary?

Perhaps PETA is in her future.

 

 

Thought for the Day:  Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the cornfield.                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Jordan River

Jordan River baptism

Jordan River baptism

Israel today

Israel today

The Jordan River in the Middle East is best known in the Bible for the site where John the Baptist baptized Jesus.  In modern times the Jordan River is known for another reason.  The Jordan River has been part of a long-running border dispute between Israel and Jordan since 1967.

When Israel joined the United Nations in 1949, a large chunk of land on the west bank of the Jordan River (area on the map marked, “West Bank”) was part of Jordan, not Israel.  But, when Jordan invaded Israel in 1967, known as the Six Day War, the Israelis pushed Jordan back, and didn’t stop at the 1949 border, Israel pushed Jordan back to the eastern side of  the Jordan River.  The Israelis have controlled the West Bank ever since.

Our Holy Land tour stopped at a site believed to be where Jesus was baptized.  But for the bull rushes, the river looks like the Papio Creek in eastern Nebraska: not very wide, moving slowly and filled with silt.  A Jordanian military outpost was on the opposite bank, less than 50 yards away, providing a healthy dose of reality as we tried to imagine the site 2,000 years ago.

Thought for the Day:  The most heinous and the most cruel crimes of which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives.                                                                                                                                       Gandhi

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