An Israel Post Experience

In December last year, I ordered a copy of Swordpoint Miniatures rules from Gripping Beast. Typically, stuff from the UK takes about 2-3 weeks to arrive. Over the festive season, deliveries slow up. However, I only received a note to come and pick up my package last week. Since it appears to have been posted in the UK around the 4th of December, that’s over 8 weeks. Quite a delay. However, in the scheme of things, the delay is nothing. But, this is what my package looked like when I picked it up:

swordpoint1

You may see the edges of the envelope are somewhat frayed. In fact, they are not frayed, they are severed. Here’s what the package looked like when I flipped the front of the envelope open:

swordpoint2

I didn’t need to cut or tear anything; it was already ripped on almost all of the sides. And the contents have been washed, dried, crumpled, and generally beaten about.

If this had happened on the UK side, the package would have gone back to Gripping Beast. So, it looks as if Israel Post lived up to its reputation of not caring a bit about the stuff it delivers. What can I do? Not much. The rules are readable, though I have had to tear apart some pages that were stuck together. It’s not exactly mint condition. I feel as if I haven’t so much paid for post and packaging, as having paid for post, packaging, pulverizing, soaking, drying, and bending.

Thank you Israel Post.

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What’s a bit of bribery got to do with dignity?

He never lets on But I know 'cause he once told me He let me know a secret about the money in his kitty He's gonna buy a dinghy Gonna call her dignity

“He never lets on
But I know ’cause he once told me
He let me know a secret about the money in his kitty
He’s gonna buy a dinghy
Gonna call her dignity…”
Lyrics to Dignity by Ricky Ross of Deacon Blue
Image source: WikiMedia

From the You Could Not Make It Up department:

Bribe-taking ex-chief rabbi invited to speak on ‘Dignity of Rabbinate’
Despite pleading guilty to corruption charges on Tuesday, Yona Metzger was not disinvited to Thursday’s conference

Continue reading

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Quote of the Week

From the Elder of Ziyon:

“Everyone who has tried to explain historic antisemitism and its more modern version of anti-Zionism has missed the issue. The real answer is that some people simply are consumed with hate that is so pervasive, and so delusional, that it overrides any other human attribute including self-preservation. It cannot be explained any more than schizophrenia can be explained. It may be chemical.”

Harsh? Not after you have read the shocking narrative here.

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Job Interviews

bldng

One key part of the process of finding a new job, following on from me being made redundant by HPE, is going for interviews. I’m going to hold off from commenting on anything current, but there are a couple of historical interview stories worth relaying. Continue reading

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The lost art of Celtic spelling

As seen on a recent visit to Herzliya:

celltick

Obviously, it’s not actually a misspelling of Celtic, but it did stop me in my tracks and make me look. Celltick is another example of Israeli technology and know-how in the international world of telecommunications.

[I am tempted to do a drive by posting at some Scottish BDS site, like Celts for Palestine...]

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Goodbye 2016

It is not long now, and we will be saying goodbye to 2016, another year that has flown past like the proverbial rocket. The highlight for Susan and me was undoubtedly Sarah-Lee and Tomer’s wedding. Earlier in the week we saw some of the rough video – not yet edited into anywhere near final form – and the wonderful memories were refreshed. We have been so blessed, so lucky.  Here’s hoping for another great year for everyone, and that 2017 is a time of health, happiness and prosperity. Happy new year and Shabbat Shalom.

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Chanukah Sameach!

To those who celebrate the Festival of Lights – which has just started – Chanukah Sameach!

So good you can eat it - by Sarah-Lee

So good you can eat it – by Sarah-Lee

I see some donuts on the horizon…

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Continuing slaughter – on the roads

From a Ynet report dated yesterday:

Traffic fatalities rise in 2016

The number of fatalities in road accidents in Israel currently stands at 32,959, more than all the fatalities of Israel’s wars and terrorist attacks. Of that total, 5,038 were children.

For the fourth consecutive year, the amount of fatalities has increased. 2016 has thus far seen 328 Israelis die on the roads, 14 more than the same period last year. To put that into perspective, 100 more fatalities were recorded in 2016 than 2012.

2016 marks an increase of 15 percent in the amount of drivers killed and a 20 percent increase in the amount of train passengers killed. However, in contrast, 2016 registered a decrease of 16 percent in the amount of motorcyclists killed and a decrease of 10 percent in the amount of pedestrians killed.

Part of the explanation is provided:

In 2015, the state comptroller issued several reports detailing the failures of the government in dealing with the dangers of the road. The report was critical of the lack of effective speed cameras, Ministry of Transportation policies that paralyzed the National Road Safety Authority, the severe shortage of police officers in the traffic division and the lack of effective police enforcement of regulations for pedestrians.

The comptroller attacked the Ministry of Education for drastically scaling back traffic education in schools, particularly on motorcycles, scooters and electric bicycles.

There has been a new law put in place to try and cut down the number of accidents involving electric bicycles and youngsters. There is no sign of that having any effect in Ra’anana. Kids still ride these electric bikes dangerously; they often overload them, drive too fast on the pavement, swerve in and out of traffic lanes, wear no protection, and rarely have any lights. They might as well be wearing a sign saying “Accident waiting to happen.”

Therefore, so far as I am concerned, passing laws is not good enough. Without enforcement that law is a public relations pretense that action has been taken. Action? Yes. Effective? No. Waste of time? So far, yes.

But the real slaughter involves cars on the roads. As if to underline the statistics, this is from today:

Three killed, toddler seriously injured in car crash

Crash took place overnight Saturday after two vehicles collided on Highway 79 in lower Galilee; paramedics forced to pronounce death of a man and two women after being extricated from vehicles; toddler evacuated to hospital having sustained head injuries; another man and woman hospitalized in serious condition, two youths lightly wounded.

Tragic.

Something needs to be done.

The non functioning speed cameras are a disgrace. The undermanned traffic police situation is also a disgrace. The lack of a modern, efficient traffic court system is, you guessed it, a disgrace. There’s a gaping hole in the concern our lawmakers have for the people of this country.

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Galactic!

raceforthegalaxy

Last week was the return to my regular euro gaming session, and I was joined by Azriel, Nechamiah, Rosalynn, and Sheer. After some chat catching up on the last few months, we then spent some time deciding what to play before opting for Race for the Galaxy. Sheer and I had played it before, but not Azriel, Nechamiah, or Rosalynn.

Mechanically, Race for the Galaxy is easy to play. It’s a sort of turbo charged San Juan, with some added twists. But it is one of the hardest games to understand at first playing. There are several reasons for that. The main one is that a lot of the mechanics are on the cards as symbols, and the symbols are challenging to understand and get used to. Once you have played your first complete game, and have seen how the various symbols work, and how the effects interact, it becomes much easier. But, regrettably, that first game is tough.

Inevitably – because I am a really bad player of this game, though I quite like it – Sheer won quite comfortably. Rosalynn and Nechamiah were getting in to the swing of things well by the final rounds. However, poor Azriel suffered the worst, and was struggling even at the end. I don’t think he will ever want to play that game again! Nevertheless, it was great to get the group back together again, and get some gaming in.

Thanks to those who came for making it another fun night.

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