Monday, May 30, 2016

What Is Your Space Number?

In passing a pay-to-park sign, it occurred to me how convenient it would be if we all had numbers corresponding to the space we took up in the universe.

The space number would be coded for different political philosophies, opinions about art, movies, music, recycling, and cats. The advantage would be when you met someone you could ask their space number and immediately know a bit more about that person.

I can imagine the bureaucratic hassle of trying to get a new number if an opinion changed. Imagine the equivalent of Patty and Selma of the Simpsons at the Space Number registry.

I suppose space numbers would be open to abuse by large corporation and therefore not a good idea.

Until space numbers are instituted, we will just have to get by with social media.


Monday, May 23, 2016

End Of School Year Post

The Daughter makes an appropriate expression of summation of this academic year.

The school year is slowly winding down, with another two weeks to go before the endless screen time fiesta starts in earnest. Sure, the kids will have camps and various activities, but summer means the kids have free time to spend as they best see fit.

Both kids are good students and are getting a fine education. Also true, both kids complain bitterly about the arbitrary and unfair nature of school -- having to interact with difficult people,do projects with those not on-board with their philosophies.

To the Daughter who just finished middle school, I tell her that nobody in the history of US middle schools has ever enjoyed her/his experience. There were some early 20th century reports of students enjoying middle school, but such turned out to be cruel hoaxes perpetrated by foreign nationals intent on undermining our American way of life.

To the Son, I tell him to go to school. It's his responsibility to go, whether he likes it or not. Added bonus: Now the kid is graduating from 5th grade and starts middle school next year, I can recycle my verbiage.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Video Updates Of/By the Kid(s) Whatever

"I think I feel some some shtick coming on," the Daughter says to no one in particular.

The Son has done a fine stop-motion animation of the moon phases.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tel Aviv Wave Diary Part 3

This is the final installment of my Tel Aviv Wave Diary.

The above picture was the last in the album and is the one that gives me the most pleasure. The surfer was my friend Ofer, who really lived for sport, surfing in particular. I framed this picture and gave it to him at his wedding.

Soon after he called to say that it was the best gift of all. He described the elements that made it the perfect shot -- the spray to the left of the board indicating a hard turn, the weight being shifted to the front foot suggesting a walk to the nose. Ofer had spent a good amount of time analyzing the picture, overlooking the obvious flaws of washed out color and grainy detail.

I love the shot because the wave is big enough to obscure the thick crowd of surfers on the other side of the wave, the whitewater providing good contrast for Ofer's dark hair and wetsuit.

With Ofter's high praise two years of impossible photography suddenly felt worthwhile and noble. 

When I was in Tel Aviv these pictures felt lifeless and flat, and I often despaired of getting any good pictures from the water. I have several albums from Israel of technically decent pictures of everything under the sun shot on land. Now as I look at these shots I feel I was onto something, the pictures bringing back the smell of the sea in the morning, the wetsuit hanging in my shower, the stash of repair resin under the sink. The life lesson for me is a basic one -- no thoughtful endeavor is ever wasted.



Tel Aviv Wave Diary Part 2

One of the aspects of my surfing life that I failed to document was the vibrant beach scene at Hilton Beach during my years of surfing there.

An early morning session might bring a sighting of the former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir taking a stroll with his bodyguard. He always returned my "boker tov" in a hale and hearty manner. So much for his bad reputation for public speaking.

In the afternoon MK Yossi Sarid liked to play backgammon in the shade of the lifeguard station.

I suspect there were plenty more big names around, not just politicians but celebrities of all stripes. I was generally focused on what was directly in front of me and I'm positive I missed all sorts of things.

This is one of my favorite pictures as it depicts a scene so often witnessed by myself that, at the time, seemed to hardly merit comment. Now I'm filled with wonder at the impossible excellence of such a situation: being able to paddle out with some good friends, catch a few waves, and just hang out in front of a beautiful cityscape telling lies and cracking jokes.