Tuesday, November 28, 2006


I couldn't believe my eyes yesterday when I checked my bank accounts. They've gone and changed all the account numbers and never bothered to notify anyone! I asked about it yesterday when I went in to make a deposit and was told that they just changed all the software. Of course all the computers were down when I went in, so it was fun (not). I have to go in again today and intend to make a bit more noise about it. I also want to know where the charges are from. Imagine 1.31 shekels just to deposit a check and not even a post dated one! It's highway robbery in broad daylight. I know the local branch isn't at fault, but still. Can't even change banks. They are all the same here and no one ever does anything about their cartel like behavior. I guess we get what we deserve. I will have a go at them because I simply can't not.
I spoke to one of my old pals yesterday. I lost his phone number, but found his e mail addy and sent him a mail asking him to call so I could tell him about my kid's dad. He's still in touch with my daughter and knowing her like I do, figured she didn't bother to tell him. He's going to pay a condolence call on Wednesday and wants to take me in the hope of patching things up between us. I've decided not to go. She's going to have the make the first move. I'm just not interested in making it easy for her. I'm not about to forget that she didn't so much as call when my dad died or I had the heart attack. Nope, she's on her own.
We almost had a visit from the V.P. of the door company yesterday. Head Office is not pleased to put it mildly and want to meet with us. They got stuck on the way with something else and never made it up here. They will soon and won't I just enjoy it? Better believe I will!

Monday, November 27, 2006


The "brilliant" regional distributor made a huge mistake and decided to take us on in the newspaper. The dope took out a huge ad in which he announced that we no longer represent him! Of course he made it sound like he cut us lose rather than the way it really was. We cut him lose! Other than really pissing me off it's already brought us several new customers. Pardon me while I giggle! The paper had barely hit the news stands when he realized he'd made a colossal mistake and called Shmaryah to literally beg for his life. Shmaryah has actually learned something from me and was very calm, rather than being very Israeli and yelling at him. He told Motti that not only was the ad a mistake, it was full of mistakes, among them the fact that our business is in reality run by me, not Shmaryah, that we stopped working with him, and not the other way around, and that if he doesn't correct it, we will. And we will back it up with names of the customers he personally screwed over. This is so much fun, and it came at just the right time, when I'm in such a bad mood about my ex. I find myself crying at the least little thing. It's just so sad to know that he isn't with us anymore. I'm sad that he's gone and furious about it, as well. I'm aching all over for my son who is going through so much so far away from me, while being so proud of him for the way he handled it. I tried to call him yesterday but he didn't answer his cell phone. I'll try again today.
This is not a good time for anyone to get in my way.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

IZCHAK S. GOLAN 1948-2006

Aron called yesterday afternoon to tell me that his dad died. The minute the phone rang I knew. Aron was at his side and told me that he told him that everyone loves him, said the Shma Yisrael and he died. Itz was only 58 (the same age my mother was when she died). To say I'm shaken is putting it mildly. Knowing something like that is coming is all fine and well until it happens. I'm so going to miss just knowing he was there someplace in the States. We got on much better after the divorce and he did come visit me that day I got out of hospital after my heart attack. He had a nasty thing called hemophagacytic syndrome that is a very rare and nasty liver disease. I have no doubt that he got it from his days in the Israeli Navy when he dove in one of the most polluted rivers in the world. Poor Aron. It's been a bad two years for him. First my father, now, his. Hard as it was, it really is good that he was there for both of them. He won't have any regrets about not having been there. My tears well up every time I think of him saying the Shma for his father. That boy (30) is something special. Those of us who knew Itz are going to miss him. The fact that I couldn't live with him doesn't mean he was bad, it just means that we weren't right for each other. In the he found Terry and they were right for each other. I feel so sad for her.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


I may have mentioned that we've been having trouble with the regional distributor of the most popular doors in the country. We sold hundreds of their doors and not one was installed without trouble of some kind. Customers come in every day to complain and there's not much we can do because the regional guy is The Man up here. What I do is give the customers the phone and fax numbers of the head office and help them write a letter of complaint. Back before Shmaryah went to hospital I went to see Motti, and sat and listened to him tell me that it's all Shmaryah's fault, and bla bla bla. Shmaryah and I decided to stop selling those doors and to work with other companies until the issues were solved. Motti gave us a check for 13,000 shekels that bounced sky high and I should have returned it to him after he made it good but decided to hold onto it until the one for 19,000 cleared. Then I decided to hold it until he finishes all the doors still left to install to our satisfaction. A couple of the doors were ordered long before the war with installations dates from before the war as well. Two are still not finished.
Motti was in town yesterday and called me demanding the check. I told him straight out that he'd get it when the work was finished to our satisfaction. He got a bit testy, but I stayed cool as cucumber and after a few exchanges, simply said, "I've already told you, finish the work and I'll give you the check" and hung up when he was in mid sentence. I reported the exchange to Shmaryah and just didn't answer any more of Motti's calls. There's really not a thing he can do except finish up.
We have since discovered that we can make more money selling doors from other companies, and our sales have only gone up and with a higher profit margin to boot. We are using an installer that Motti fired because his sales have slowed down to close to zero since we stopped going through him.
I am having so much fun and am quite proud of me for how I handled him yesterday.
The big difference in profit comes from the fact that we ordered the doors through him, and got a commission. Now, we buy the doors direct from the companies we work with, install them ourselves (with Motti's fired installer) and make a lot more per door! In the end our customers get a door for less and we make more money!
I'd better get dressed and down to the store. I don't want to miss 'act two' of the Great Door Drama' Shmaryah is waiting for me to get there before he calls Motti and tells him a thing or two. I don't want to miss that!
I haven't had so much fun since I can't remember when!

Monday, November 20, 2006


Not long ago our local sewage contractor appeared at Gimp House bright and early in the morning. He informed me that my kitchen sink was not connected to the system and the water was flowing directly into the back yard. As I was on my way to someplace; work most likely, I told Orna to keep an eye on them. Now, I rarely use the kitchen sink-that's what I pay Orna for, so I didn't notice any thing odd. Yesterday when Orna opened the door to straighten up and do my laundry, she was greeted by a mini tsunami. After a short investigation, she discovered water spewing from the pipe under the sink and called me. I, in turn, called Shmaryah who was in the neighborhood working on a door, and flew over here. It seems there's a clog in the pipe on the other side of the wall. Orna called city hall and they told her they know nothing about it and told her to call the sewer guys who said they'd be along later. Of course they never arrived. I had a go by phone at the sewer guy who denied knowing anything about the kitchen sink and refused to come. Someone did connect the sink. I remember that and as the only contractor around who does that stuff is Partuk, he would be well advised to sort it. I'm concerned that it will overflow again when I'm not home, like it did yesterday, and I really don't need that. All that means is that I have to fight with City Hall and I'm really not in the mood. Partuk made a big mistake denying that he did the work. He did and I remember that quite well. So does Orna. Of course, I could just get my plumber over and make City Hall pay the bill, but, why should I? I really do have better things to do today, like sort the paper size issues on the new printer that I never got around to yesterday, and a few other minor issues. I'd best get started if I want to get anything done today.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Who said Canon is better than HP? Well, it could be, for that matter there are times when nothing is better than HP and I mean nothing-no printer at all is better than the frustration HP causes. This shiny brand new canon printer scanner is better only because it's smaller and I got it set up all by myself. I even got the ink in!! The only problem seems to be that A4 paper doesn't fit in the paper feed. A minor problem you say? To me it's a major one and I will get to the bottom of it today. It's just too insane! The most commonly used size of paper doesn't fit? I'm sure it does, just not according to the directions!
I got my beloved A Team screen saver back yesterday. It's not on Cannell's site any more, but after a long search on the interweb, I found it, and promptly downloaded it. Now this looks like MY COMPUTER. Now all I have to do is get my pictures in this one. I have them on various assorted disks lying around here. One is in the car. I'll get it out on my way to work and put the pics in tonight.
On Friday I announced my new work schedule to Shmaryah. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday mornings at the door store, Wednesday off and Thursday, Friday at the flower shop. It's flexible so that if I'm needed at one or the other, I'll just hop on Harley and scoot over. And no more 8-10 hour days. By law I'm only allowed to work 4 hours a day, so I'll be getting home earlier now. Things are quiet enough at the door store now that we've installed all the doors from the war and are working on new building projects. There's a lot less pressure now so I can slow down a bit and start to do personal stuff. There are a few projects here at Gimp House that need my attention and I'd like to start pushing them forward. Right now looks like a good time to start.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


We had several power outages this morning. I reset the TV at least 4 times and no sooner did I get it reset than it went out again. I watched a few A Team episodes from the last season and at 1100 decided to get up, take Peg out and fire up the old computer. It (the computer) is still up to it's old tricks-the ones that supposedly had been fixed, but obviously weren't. I'll have to talk to the guy tomorrow. I also want him to sort the TV card so I can burn stuff from the TIVO. With any luck a new run of A Team should be starting soon and when it does, I'll be able to get all the episodes on disk from the TIVO and forget about the VCR tapes. That will be nice. I might even put the new printer up, maybe. I'm not in much of a mood for playing with hardware today. I also should recycle the air conditioner in the back room. I keep missing the guy who installed the new one that refuses to work on heat.
I AM going to have a bit of a rant this week on the local editorial page about the parking situation in town. City Hall's coffers are empty but they could fill up real fast just by enforcing parking laws, and then, just the cars parked on sidewalks, never mind the red and white no parking zones. Of course if they enforced all the parking laws, they would soon be able to distribute a dividend to the local residents! It's beyond ridiculous that people in wheelchairs can't use sidewalks because a car is taking up the whole thing, and mothers with babies in strollers have to go down into the street to get by. That's just plain dangerous. Yup, I think I'll work on that letter today. It's really coming together in my mind. The only reason parking laws are not enforced now is that all the jerks who would get tickets would go running to the mayor to get them canceled, and he's such a wuss he'd cancel them. If they were enforced and violators made to pay up, things would change real fast and people would start parking legally instead of any place they damn well please. I think I'll go write that letter right after I rummage around this machine for my old A Team screen saver. Cannell took it off his site. Jerk. It's in here someplace and I will find it!

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I was certain that I was headed straight for major trouble at the bank, but got lucky, real lucky, yesterday. Banking in this country is truly insane. Until a few months ago, sky high over drafts were not only allowed, they were encouraged. Big profits for the banks by way of high interest. Then, the government decided that we should live within our means and limited over drafts! These days overdrafts must be with in certain agreed to limits and anything over those limits can be returned not paid which can wreak havoc. My allowed limits are very high, so things should be ok. They were until yesterday when I realized that 2 checks were in danger of bouncing sky high. Not wanting that, I went to the bank and asked "What do I do now?" There's a little known escape clause that allows customers to sign up for a 10% safety valve, which means that if you are going be a little bit over, you can use that 10% to cover it; yes, of course, at a higher interest rate. Fine. It's covered. So I signed up for that! And the checks were paid. Now that I'm paying close attention to what's going on in all my accounts, things will start getting better real fast. I pretty much let things drift until the start of this month, but, no more. I now know exactly what is happening in each account and am keeping track in the business diaries in both stores and my personal one.
Yesterday was VAT day and Shmaryah thought we'd have to pay a lot, but somewhere in my gut I knew we wouldn't. As it turned out, VAT still owes us, so that was great! There's also a large amount still owed us from the war and both of those amounts will come in handy for my "Bank Clean Up Campaign" when they arrive.
I talked to my sawbones yesterday and it looks like the 'Great Toe Chop' will have to wait a bit. The hospital it was approved for is the one hospital my sawbones isn't licensed to cut in yet. He's working on it, and I should have a date sometime this week. And I so wanted to get it done right now. So I'll wait a little longer. It's just more pain, right? No big deal.
Other than that, I'm in a great mood. The banks and businesses are under control and the sun is shining, and I'm fine.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


The trip to my sawbones went off without a hitch yesterday. He gave me the form I need to get things moving, and I'll take it ti the clinic here this morning. I want to get this show on the road and get rid of those pesky toes.
I got a few other things done as well. I took the cell phone that wasn't working to get it fixed, and while waiting for them to fix it, bought a snow suit! It's waterproof, warm, and I look like the abominable snow woman in it. It's brilliant and I'm ready for either of the Poles! I also returned a book that I bought a second copy of and picked up two others.I also found a few purple coffee cups to replace the one I broke on Saturday-very important. Can't drink morning coffee from a non purple cup, can I?
For some odd reason (it must be odd, right?) my air conditioner refuses to heat. I'll catch the A/C guy later and have him come sort it. It's not quite cold enough yet to use it, but it soon will be and I want it ready.
The flower shop move is coming along nicely and the last few things should be out of the old shop today.
I did something to my knee last night in bed and thought I'd have trouble getting up, but it sorted itself! It made a very nasty cracking sound when I turned over that really hurt, one of those sharp knife like hurts, but settled down when I got the knee pillow back in the right place. There's a sort of residual memory of that pain there now. Just what I need, another big pain! As long as it's letting me lurch along, it's ok, just a minor annoyance. Let's see. Anything else? Nope, not really, except my annoyance at having just about all my money tied up in the businesses and not having enough to go gallivanting around Europe, never mind pay back my brother and Kathleen! That last is actually more the government's fault than mine as they still haven't paid up on the war damages. At least for now, both businesses are ho;ding their own, and things are ok at the bank.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


I did it!! I got my favorites back and working on Firefox. Am I good or am I good? Don't know about the good part, but I am pretty damned chuffed about it right now. I'm just curious enough about the computer in the store to get dressed now and go check it out. I want to know if it was just this computer, or all of mine! I might even fire up the laptop later today just to find out.


And a few Grrrs for good measure.Firefox just isn't working right. All my bookmarks are lost and nothing I did yesterday helped. Talk about annoying. Of course, it had happen on Saturday, the day I watch all the TIVO shows and clean it up to leave room the next weeks recordings. Can't be in both places at the same time. I suppose I should be happy that one tech thing is working like it should, especially after all the trouble I had with it. It wouldn't be so bad if Firefox would save favorites, but it isn't even doing that now. if I can't figure it out in the next 5 minutes, I just might download Opera and give that a try.
I had planned to post about ex athlete gimps and pain, so, here goes.
Once upon a long time ago, I was a bit of an athlete, as in figure skater. Not Olympic level or any competition, but it was my passion. Still is, even though I can't skate any more. I used to skate for hours upon hours and only ever got injured once on the ice. Skates were more comfortable that shoes. I used to walk from home (7 miles) to town just to stay in shape, run up and down the stairs in the 16 story building in town and inflict other forms of torture on my body. All that leaves one with a pretty high pain thresh hold. So, if I say I'm hurting, I AM HURTING. All that abuse is what killed my knees, hips and back. The stroke didn't help any, but, had I not been in reasonable shape to start with, there's no way I'd be able to function through the pain even with the magic pills!
As the pain in my right foot is getting pretty bad these days, I am having the bad toes chopped soon. Better the post op pain which will go away than the constant pain every time I stand up. So, yeah, it's time to slice and dice those toes! But first, it's time to figure out what's wrong with my browser.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


I Just opened Firefox and all my favorites are gone, and worse than that, it won't save any! In all the years I've been using it, that has never happened. Maybe I should reboot? I think I will after I post this.
It was one busy week, and I had planned to use today to catch up, not futz around with computer giltches! Looks like I don't have much choice.
Yaacov has gone and developed pneumonia, which is very not good. Stubborn male that he is, he refused to go in hospital for proper treatment. I can understand that. Yaron (oldest son) is leaving tonight to go back to the States and he wants to spend every second possible with him. He's a darling guy, our Yaron is, and we had a lovely visit on Wednesday. It's a big secret that his inlaws are springing for a ticket for him to come back in December. Even Yaron doesn't know yet! I pray that Yaccov will make it til then. We won't know for a while if the radiation helped or not. I thought is did for a while, but this pnuemonia isn't encouraging.
Poor Etty is on the verge of a complete psychiatric breakdown similar to the one she had 30 or so years ago when a child she was taking care died in her care. This is so not good. I must be better about calling her every day after Yaron leaves. Of course, I'll keep up my weekly trips and go more often if needed.
Shmaryah is out of hospital and managing pretty well with his bad, and I mean BAD back. The flower shop is taking shape nicely. We are just about moved out of the old one and the new one looks great, and is doing well business wise.
I finally got around to talking to my brother and I am so proud of him. They've moved into their Bubba House and I think there's a chance he just might take care of it. The big difference is that he found it, he bought it, it's his, and there are no strings attached. Long ago our father helped him buy a house, but, there were so many strings attached that he never really felt it was his. This one is, and he sounds so very proud of it. He was even out in the yard working! It turns out that very thing I was afraid of is what got him off his butt and out of there. There was a fire in the laundry area of that crap old apartment house on a day when they had the baby. He bought the Bubba House the very next day and moved them out the next weekend. Good boy-You tell him, Robbie!
I went to the dentist yesterday and the craters are healing just fine. I told him the story of how I brought our nation union to it's knees and he was so impressed that he gave me a free tooth! The far left upper tooth is the first one that broke and it's actually ok except for being broken a bit. He built a new one on the old one. He did that on my first visit to the one on the far right and that one cost me 350.
F***K I just broke my favorite coffe cup. F***K. That was me shrieking you just heard. Right, the dental work is under control, so, on Monday, it's off to the sawbones to see about getting some pesky toes chopped off. It's not a good time for that, but is there ever a good time? It really needs doing, so I'll just get it done and pray that I won't have to go anywhere in the 3 days afterwards.
That's about it for now. There's a lot more I'd planned to write about, but I have a cup to pick up or rather, pieces of a cup, a dog to bring in,and a computer to reboot. I might be back later.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Now, there's a word for you. If I had my English-English dictionary to hand, I'd copy the definition, but I don't. We all know what it means. We also use it to excuse us from not doing things we know we should have done, like call, write or visit some one. Is there an age thing in the equation? When I was young and healthy, I was busy all the time, but somehow I got around to everything no matter how busy I was. These days, I just don't seem to get half of what I want to do done. It's partly a function of being tired.
Personally, I am more than willing to accept having been busy as an excuse (meaning to excuse) anyone who tells me they were busy, while at the same time loathing to use that word to excuse myself. I owe so many people emails(at the least) since I got back from the great adventure over the Pond). People that I adore and love. Ok, the first two weeks after I was back, I was still exhausted, and barely got to the computer. Then, I just got busy and now, even though I'm still busy, there really is no excuse for not sending e mails, except that I'm embarresed by how much time has gone by. Busy just will not cut it as an excuse. And I'm tired of saying how bad I am to these same people, because they already know.
Promise to self-"I will e mail Alice, Ellen and Jonathan tonight." I will, busy or not.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Forget about calling me Spike. Wrong Way is much more suitable after yesterday. After getting things sorted at the bank, I came home to get the car, grabbed Legs and went to Orange to sort a few cell phone issues. At a bit before noon thirthy I took the Door Store keys to Lavana to give to her som Omri who was on his way to keep the Door Store open while his dad's in hospital and I was on the Haifa run. I took the new shortcut Yaacov showed me last time and by some miracle got to their house in good time. We left and on the way to Haifa things just fell apart. I'd only gone to Haifa that way the one time, and sailed past the turn to Haifa. Ok, we have plenty of time. After that, I took every wrong turn possible and a few that weren't possible in Haifa, which I actually know quite well, having worked there in the dim and distant past. They've gone and made a bunch of streets one way and generally screwed things up. In the end we got to the hospital 20 minutes early. He didn't want to eat anything and I wasn't about eat away from home with those craters in my mouth, so we headed for the nursery. He asked if I wanted to go by way of Tel Aviv to which I replied, "No, Gaza!" in reference to my first drive to Eilat back in the 80s when I took a wrong turn and we found ourselves in Gaza. I did ask Yaacov to warn me about traffic lights and upcoming turns. We got to the Nursery in good time, called Lavana for her to tell him what she wanted me to bring back for the shop. We got that organized and headed out. I got to town spot on 1900 (closing time) and directed closing the Door Store, took Omri to help unload the stuff at the flower shop, took Lavana to deliver flowers in Metula, where I promptly took a whopper of a wrong turn and we found ourselves cruising the security fence between Israel and Lebanon. Oops. We finally found the right house, and got ourselves out of there before the security types could stop us and went to deliver an arrangement at a kibbutz that has some great greens that she likes to cut and use in arrangements. She found some 'bird of paradise' to cut too, and we scarpered out of there. We got back to town without incident or getting lost, and I fell into bed.
Today all I have to do is sort out some billing issues, talk to Visa, take Omri to visit his dad in hospital, and bring the other car down to town. It will be interesting to see how I mess it up. There are days when it's not always fun to be me, but it sure is interesting!