All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Tuesday, 31 October 2006

Can You Relate?


In case you can't see the writing, the legend says:
"Exit 324 Closed. Sucks to be you, but I got fired today so don't expect any help".

Sunday, 29 October 2006

I Have Finally Made It Into The 21st Century

This is a bit of historic (nay, histrionic) post for me as it is the first written on my spanking new laptop (hooray I hear you cheer? Or maybe not). It's great having a portable pc, along with the freedom of being able to get my emails anywhere within reasonable reach of my wireless network.

Did I just mention wireless? That wonderful invention of the twenty first century?

Let me tell you about wireless (grunt, thump).

I'll say it three times:
Damn, damn, damn wireless.

It has taken me a day to set the bloody thing up. Don't get me wrong. There was nothing wrong with the equipment (besides the befuddling instructions which I still don't understand) - it was just the glut of totally incomprehensible material that I read on how to, not so much set it up, as secure it.

Oh yes.

Securing it.

I didn't have a problem finding the signal once I'd got the router configured (well, sort of). My laptop sprang to life...unfortunately to the keen attention of probably every other computer user in the neighberhood. Boy was I "unsecured"!

However, with the kind assistance of some people in the know (and a lot of swearing on my part), I have finally got this thing working the way I want it to. It tells me that I'm working on a secure connection and I have done as instructed, but I really can't understand why it is so tricky (no, read that as nightmarish) to set up a simple connection between two computers.

Now, I understand what a network key (please do not ask) as well as MAC thingy are. However, if you asked me to set it up again, I don't think I'd have an inkling of what I need to do.

Yes, I have made it into the twenty-first century but boy, have I aged in the process.

Friday, 27 October 2006

The Senator's Dilemma

While walking down the street one day a US senator is tragically hit by a truck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts,yousee, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the man.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the senator.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules." says St. Peter.

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goesdown,down, down to hell.

The doors open and he finds himself in the middleofagreen golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him..

Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviarandchampagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who hasagood time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises...

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.

"Now it's time to visit heaven."

So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours havegoneby and St. Peter returns.

"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven.
Now choose your eternity."

The senator reflects for a minute, then he answers:

"Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell."

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. "I don't understand," stammers the senator.

"Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, andweate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time.
Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable.
What happened?"

The devil looks at him, smiles and says, "Yesterday we were campaigning...... Today you voted."

Wednesday, 25 October 2006

Number 9, Number 9

How can it be that my Dassi, born only yesterday has already managed to reach her ninth birthday?

Where have I been?

What happened to that crying baby?

She celebrated her birthday by having her best friend stay over and this morning, engaging in a forty minute treasure hunt for the different components of her present - a mini video camera. Dana's taken them out to the theatre to see "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers", which I'm sure she'll love.

Happy birthday Dassi.
You're a star.

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

I Love This

I found this here.

Borat speaks Hebrew

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen substitutes Hebrew for Kazakh in his satirical movie “Borat.” The anti-Semitic Kazakh television personality, one of several satirical creations by Cohen, a British Jew, for his “Ali G” show, appears in his own movie next month. The opening sequence of the film was released Monday over YouTube.

In it, Borat takes leave of his ancestral village, telling one resident, according to the subtitle, “Doltan, I’ll get you a new arm in America.”

In fact, Cohen says in Hebrew, “I’ll buy you some kind of a new arm.”

Borat also parries with his wife in Hebrew.

The film covers Borat’s travels through the United States, revealing his own bigotries, sexism and backwardness as well as those of his subjects.

Appalled by the success of the character, Kazakhstan’s government has launched a counter-campaign extolling the Central Asian nation’s virtues.

Replacing Kazakh with Hebrew is a stroke of genius (granted that SBC probably can't speak a word of Kazakh).

Nice to see another member of our tribe doing so well, even if he's doing his best to piss off the Kazakhs, who, if they were clever, would laugh along at the joke instead of playing right into his hands.

With an abysmal PR machine like theirs, they deserve this movie.

Crabby Old Woman

When an old lady died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital near Dundee,
Scotland, it was believed that she had nothing left of any value.

Later, when the nurses were going through her meager possessions, they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital. One nurse took her copy to Ireland. The old lady's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the North Ireland Association for Mental Health.

A slide presentation has also been made based on her simple, but eloquent,
poem. And this little old Scottish lady, with nothing left to give to the world,
is now the author of this "anonymous" poem winging across the Internet:

Crabby Old Woman

What do you see, nurses ........ What do you see?
What are you thinking ........... When you're looking at me?
A crabby old woman .............. Not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, ............. With faraway eyes?
Who dribbles her food ....... And makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice, .. "I do wish you'd try!"
Who seems not to notice ........ The things that you do,
And forever is losing ........... A stocking or shoe?

Who, resisting or not, .......... Lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding, .......The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking? ... Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse, .....You're not looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am .......... As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, ........As I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of ten ........With a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters ............Who love one another.

A young girl of sixteen .........With wings on her feet
Dreaming that soon now ......... A lover she'll meet.
A bride soon at twenty, ........ My heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows ............That I promised to keep.

At twenty-five now, .............I have young of my own,
Who need me to guide ............And a secure happy home.
A woman of thirty, ..............My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other .............With ties that should last.

At forty, my young sons .........Have grown and are gone,
But my man's beside me ......... To see I don't mourn
At fifty once more, ............Babies play round my knee,
Again we know children, .........My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me, ..........My husband is dead,
I look at the future, ...........I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing ....Young of their own,
And I think of the years ........And the love that I've known.

I'm now an old woman.............And nature is cruel;
Tis jest to make old age ........Look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles, ..........Grace and vigor depart,
There is now a stone ............Where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass .....A young girl still dwells,
And now and again, ..............My battered heart swells.
I remember the joys, ............I remember the pain,
And I'm loving and living .......Life over again.

I think of the years ............All too few, gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact .......That nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people, ......Open and see,
Not a crabby old woman; .........Look closer....see, ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within...we will all, one day, be there, too!

Monday, 23 October 2006

Shredding The Master

I've joined the forum on the Paul McCartney website and left a few messages of support.

I'm sure that some of the information coming out from the other side does have a ring of truth, but I find it impossible to believe that the man who wrote No More Lonely Nights, And I Love Her, Here, There and Everywhere or All My Loving was going around attacking his wife with a broken bottle or pushing her (whilst pregnant) into the bath.

The assertion that he made her walk on her hands and knees up a staircase doesn't make sense when you consider that he's spent the last five years or so campaigning for the abolition of (leg demolishing) landmines.

Paul McCartney is no saint (is anyone?) but at this time in his life, he really shouldn't have to be dealing with all this crap. He is Paul McCartney, one quarter of a band whose motto was "All You Need Is Love" and the idea that he did all those things to his wife is frankly ludicrous.

I hope this sorry affair can be sorted out as soon as possible so that he can concentrate on what he does best - creating beautiful music.

The sooner he's rid of her, the happier we will all be.

Sunday, 22 October 2006

Movie Review: The Departed



Martin Scorcese holds a very special place in my movie heart. I believe that he is one of the few directors out there, whose output constantly brims with quality and class.

With this in mind, I approached The Departed...

Apparently, this is a remake of the Japanese cop flick Infernal Affairs, a movie that I've heard of but never seen, so am unable to comment on how accurate or successful this Americanization is. What I will say is that the acting by the main protagonists is once again superb. Was I really watching Matt Damon shining in a role? I knew that Dicaprio could act, as can the always reliable Jack Nicholson, but Matt Damon? This guy is spot-on as the main character.

The script crackles with more than your average one liners and the story bristles along involving you from the very first frame. My only complaint is the length, which I feel could have been judiciously trimmed. Aside from that, this is Scorcese doing what he does best, telling a story with style, verve and humour - and extracting top notch performances from his stellar cast.

Recommendation: go see, but keep in mind that Marty likes his violence and there are some pretty bloody scenes throughout. If only he'd applied his talents to the editing process, this movie would have been ace.

Teacher's Rating

****½

Friday, 20 October 2006

The Brick Testament

I've come across a website that I'd like to share with you. Somebody has decided to recreate scenes from the bible in Lego. Fortunately, this has been done (with an understandable) tongue in cheek and the result is very very funny.

Here's a screenshot of Adam and Eve:


Have a look (and a laugh, particularly at the sections deaing with sex) here.

Warning: If you take your religious beliefs very seriously, keep well clear!

Thursday, 19 October 2006

Big Mistake

"Dickhead"

"You can't control a class"

"You're a terrible teacher"

These are some choice comments addressed to me today by some of my delightful Year 11 students.

Why the f*** did I go back in today?

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

300 Million

The population of the US (according to the US Census) now stands at over 300 million. Just consider the future Hollywood stars born on this very day.

...and to think that I could have made a really serious social comment instead!

I'm Feeling Yeuchy

I knew that when I finished off my classes yesterday, I’d probably not be in today as the cold virus was starting to get the better of me.
You know, the blocked nose, headache etc.

So here I am at home, relaxing and recharging my batteries. From experience, I’ve found that it’s best to take a day off when you don’t feel that great, as the kids, bless ‘em tend to wear you down - particularly when you feel yeuchy.

This is the first sick I’ve taken in ages and believe me, with the way I feel, I would really rather be in the classroom right now (although I am missing teaching 8J, which is not necessarily a bad thing…)

Monday, 16 October 2006

Presi-don't

I don't know whether or not the President of Israel, Moshe Katsav is guilty of rape and sexual harrassment, as suggested by the Israeli Police report released yesterday.

What I do know, is that Israel has enough things to worry about, without witnessing the one area of officialdom that really should be above politics.

The said holder must, in my opinion, immediately cease from holding office until the accusations have been fully dealt with. Any other course of action degrades both the State of Israel and any of us who still give a damn about her wellbeing.

I have to say that I am truly disgusted by what I am finding out about, through reading the (Israeli) media. Yes, Mr Katsav is still innocent until found guilty, but in reality, the whole sordid affair stinks to high heaven.

Chaim Weitzman, the first president must no doubt be spinning in his grave, alongside Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister.

We Jews should really know better.

Sunday, 15 October 2006

Season's End

Well, this evening saw the end of the festivities with the first stars announcing the return of normality to our daily lives.

I enjoy the Jewish festivals a lot. Starting with the New Year (Rosh Hashanah) on the first day of the Hebrew month of Tishri, we enter a time of reflection that doesn't really end until the 23rd of the month (or if you are in Israel, the 22nd) as we finish reading the fifth book of the Bible (Deuteronomy) and immediately flick back to the birth of the universe in Genesis.

However, too much of good thing is never healthy and so, now, we are ready to face the new year in the hope that it will be a damn sight better than the one we've just left.

The festival of Simchat Torah (literally "rejoicing in the Torah") is floating away as I write (unless you're reading this in the US!) and I feel a rush of relief that once again, I've come through the holidays...and can enjoy the other pleasures that life has to offer (like a full weekend!)

Thursday, 12 October 2006

A Time To Live

When I spoke to Dana this morning, she told me that a young man I knew of, had tragically succumbed to the brain tumour that had plagued him for the last year-and-a-half.

He was not yet 25 years old.

Later on, she told me that one of my oldest friends has finally become engaged to a Canadian girl. I couldn't be happier for him...despite the fact that he's totally written me out of his life (for no reason that I can comprehend) .

So one man dies and the other finds true happiness whilst I find out about both events on the very same day.

How can one reconcile oneself with such opposing pieces of news?

Does my joy at the engagement mean that I am negating the tragedy of the death? Alternatively, if I mourn the death of the young man, can I really celebrate my friend's engagement?

At this juncture in the Hebrew Calendar, we are about to read the Book of Kohelet - Ecclesiastes. King Solomon tells us that...

"Everything has an appointed season, and there is a time for every matter under the heaven.

A time to give birth and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to uproot that which is planted."

Maybe, this wisest of men holds the answer to my quandary, for today, I witnessed both the "time to die" and the "time to plant".

I guess that I need these "times" to make me appreciate what really matters in the overall scheme of things.

So I will mourn the death of the lad, but keep in mind the belief that this young man, were he alive would no doubt share in the joy of another human being finally finding his soul mate - and I guess that this is the only way to deal with this very human quandary.

Tuesday, 10 October 2006

Will Israel Bomb Iran?

This is a must see.
(Please click on the title of this post to access the site and once there, click on the"Latest Programme" link to watch the movie - approx. 40 mins)

The Glowing North

Is anyone out there not worried about the latest news from North Korea? More importantly, is there anything at all we can do about it?

These are scary times.

Iran, without a doubt, looked on with glee as North Korea allegedly fired its first nuclear missile (or maybe not, if you believe the latest from CNN) - in the face of world opposition. What the UN Security Council does next is therefore crucial to how our futures will be shaped.

North Korea must, and I repeat must be severely penalised for carrying out this terrifying act (irrespective of the outcome). Whether this takes the form of even more sanctions, or indeed military action (in whatever shape), the West cannot let the NK's get away with this act.

If we cowtow to them, we are giving the message that rogue states can operate in any way they wish, irrespective of how dangerous their actions might be.

Hamanejad...take note.

Ah Teachers...

What Happens When A Fly Falls Into A Coffee Cup?

The Englishman - throws the cup and walks away.


The American - takes out the fly and drinks the coffee.


The Chinese - eats the fly and throws away the coffee.


The Japanese - drinks the coffee with the fly, since it was extra with no charge.


The Israeli - sells the coffee to the American, the fly to the Chinese, and
buys himself a new cup of coffee.


The Palestinian - blames the Israeli for the violent act of putting the fly
in his coffee, asks the UN for aid, takes a loan from the European Union to
buy a new cup of coffee, uses the money to purchase explosives and then
blows up the coffee house, while the Englishman, the American, the Chinese
and the Japanese all try to explain to the Israeli that he was too aggressive...

Monday, 9 October 2006

I've Arrived

Today, a pupil alerted me to a carving that another student had made on the main door of my teaching room (he or she probably used a compass).

The legend read:

" Mr X Sucks Cock".

If a student feels the need to insult me in such a way, it means I must be doing something right and I'm really quite honoured.

Mr X has definitely arrived, but I hope the caretaker gives the door a good lick of paint by the morning because this isn't the kind of reputation I wish to foster, thank you very much.

Friday, 6 October 2006

I'm Evil I Am

I was entering the classroom to teach a Year 11 class and saw a technician fiddling around with my PC. It turned out he was given me a new machine to teach with...and it was now equipped with software to control all the other computers in the room.

I have to profess that the "kid in a sweet shop" expression pretty much describes my behaviour over the next sixty minutes.

Using the new software, I blocked the Internet on all the machines; took over the kids' computers and broadcast the whiteboard content on their screens; sent messages like "hello" to some of the PCs ; blocked the machines of any kids who were not on task (that was sooo much fun - suddenly their screens turned dark blue!) and basically tried out every feature available....to the understandable groans and sighs of many of the students, who just wanted to be left alone to do their work.

Aren't a terrible teacher? (especially since I spent the entire lesson with an evil grin on my face, working out new ways to control the machines).

I don't know about the kids, but this was definitely the most fun I've had in a lesson in the last six months.

Thursday, 5 October 2006

Off Duty

It has emerged that a Muslim policeman has asked to be removed from a job where he was guarding the Israeli embassy in London. Apparently, he has relatives in Lebanon and Syria and he's afraid of what they might think (or d0) if they find out what he's doing. He also objected to the Lebanon war (not the bombing of innocent Israelis of course - that would be asking too much wouldn't it?) .

So, let me get this right. A British citizen, employed by the British State is refusing a job because of personal ideology and belief. So, what will he do if he's on the beat and he witnesses an anti-Semitic attack by a bunch of Muslim youths on a Jewish kid (Israeli or not)? Whose side will he take?

I think this arsehole should be kicked off the police force ASAP. Whether you are a policeman or a Doctor, or dammit, a teacher, you must rise above ethnic tensions and do your job efficiently and professionally.

I don't want this man guarding the Israeli embassy. I also don't want him having anything whatsoever to do with the Jewish community. We need to know that the people in whom we put our trust and safety, have the professional ability to rise above any prejudice, irrespective of where his or her loyalties (or family) lie.

The Police Service is carrying out an internal investigation into this matter - watch this space.

No Excuses For Terror

I beg you to take 45 minutes out of your busy life to watch this illuminating documentary, made by a respected left-wing journalist, on how the anti-Israel views of both the far left and far right have merged together in the mainstream media and political echelons - to nothing short of disasterous results.

Please, please watch this.

Wednesday, 4 October 2006

My Fatigued Sat-Nav

My Sat-Nav has died, or rather, it has lost the will to look for a GPS signal (after an exhausting day, I know exactly how it feels).

I have sent it back to the manufacturer to be res-configured, thanks to the two year warranty that came alongside it.

Now I have to ensure that I spend the next month (whilst I await it's return) getting lost as little as possible.

Monday, 2 October 2006

The Amish And Yom Kippur

Well, I did the fast, got a thumping headache and drank four cups of tea when I broke it at 7.42 pm

However, my day pales into insignificance when I heard what happened to those poor Amish kids. I mean, what the hell is the world coming to, when a community as peaceful and pure as the Amish are subjected to this kind of cold blooded murder?

Yom Kippur, our day of atonement may be over, but looking at the behaviour of some people in the rest of the world, I strongly believe that other faiths need to instigate their own version of our holy day.

Amish kids lined up and killed in cold blood?

Oh my G-D.

A line was crossed today and now, we, the human beings who control this earth are in deep, deep shit.

Sunday, 1 October 2006

Yom Kippur

May I sincerely wish those of you who are fasting, an easy and meaningful experience.

Yom Kippur is our holiest day - let's get the most out of it!

Kids!

I’ve just asked my girls whether they have reading material.
Tali (aged 7 ½ ) answered:

“Yeah, cloth”.

Kids, doncha just love 'em?