Monday, December 23, 2013

Doctors on the Social Firing Line

A few years ago, I had an experience with a urologist (Dr. Robert Sher of Urological Associates) that made me cringe.

And, no, I don’t mean the exam (though that wasn’t fun).

What I mean is that he suggested that I invest a chunk of money in a supplement which he didn’t disclose he had a financial interest.

That ticked me off.

So, I blogged about it and sent a letter to the Maryland state Board.

They basically told me to go away.

I had essentially forgotten about this incident until last night when Gary commented (3 times) on my blog post and sent me an email.

It seems like he had had an equally unpleasant experience with the physician.

On the one hand, this irritates me (perhaps even more than the original exam itself). That Dr. Robert Sher of Urological Associates continues to seemingly abuse his power and the fact that people, for a long time have simply trusted their physicians.

On the other hand, when I think about how I/we can fight back on something like this—and it’s clear that the “authority” approach of writing to the State Medical Board gets us nowhere, Google serves as the great equalizer.

When Gary commented on my blog, he did so because he found it by searching for Dr. Robert Sher of Urological Associates and my blog turned up on page 1 of the results.

This gives me hope.

As more and more people blog/share their experiences with doctors (at whatever level) AND as people google their physicians before going to them (like people checking each other out on FB or via Google before a first date), the sunlight brought upon these practices will be an equalizer.

It’s true for medicine…and any business.

Caveat Venditor. Let the seller beware.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Classic Israel Moment

For those of you who have been, this will make sense. For those of you who haven’t, it kind of sums up the Israeli mentality.

And, oh how I wish I had a picture. I’ll do my best.

Tonka and I were walking along Pierre Koenig St. in Jerusalem (a fairly busy street).

Coming down the street, on the outside lane, was a disabled woman (she had very short arms) and was smallish in general in her motorized wheelchair.

Again, this wasn’t on the sidewalk, it was ON the actual road. She was probably going 10-15 mph.

She was navigating the wheelchair using a joystick on one hand (which I think had a cigarette in it as well) and in the other hand, she was holding up the microphone part of her headset because she was talking on her cell phone.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Israel to London via DC

Isn’t that how everyone does it?

Just makes sense.

Get home on Thurs. night from Israel. Leave on Sat. night for London.

The thought of going straight crossed my mind, but then I saw the worst-case scenario.

We fly as a family from Israel to Istanbul.

The flight to London leaves 20 mins before the flight to DC (or whatever).

I go to London.

Then, there’s a mechanical failure on the DC bound plane and the NFO and kids are stranded in Istanbul for 2-3 days by themselves.

Better: just fly home, get them settled and use the plane time to my best advantage.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Israel—Crossing the country…in 60 minutes

Intellectually, I know that Israel is really small. We’re talking the size of New Jersey roughly.

Still, it’s pretty dramatic to start on the Eastern side of the country and then, about 1 hour later, get to the western side. It reminds you of the stark reality of the precariousness of the situation. The distance that a missile can cover in about, what, 10 seconds?

Zippori-Layers of History

We were based in Zippori, where we stayed at the guest houses of some 60-something, Baby Boomer, Americans who moved to Israel 30+ years ago. Not religious, but believers in the Zionist idea. What struck my brother-in-law and me was that this particular genre of person…grew up with a strong Jewish identity, but not religious per se is really almost a relic of history now. Fact is, there just aren’t that many American Jews who fit that mold anymore.


Panorama of inside of Crusader fort (Zippori, Israel)

A very short drive from the guesthouses (which we really liked save for the dogs that chased me like crazy when I tried to run and the rooster that didn’t get the memo that he is supposed to wait until dawn to start crowing) is the ancient ruins of Zippori.

It’s one of those places in Israel where the multiple layers of history all coincide at the same point. A Jewish settlement that was destroyed by Romans, the Roman town, infrastructure, mosaics, the fort built by French crusaders….all coming together.

What’s more, it was the home of the Rabbinic court, the Sanhedrin, for a time and it was where Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi codified the Mishna…some heavy stuff.

Add to that is the hill from which you can see for miles in many directions and really appreciate the geographic landscape of the Galilee.

Nahariya—German Jewish town gone askance

We decided that our best option for lunch would be in the seaside town of Nahariya, about 6 kms south of the Lebanon border.  I had been there in 1991 and remembered it as a very quaint, well-kept town. As I recall, it was founded by German immigrants for whom organization and cleanliness were important and the town reflected that. I also remember a boardwalk that was very pleasant.

Well, either my memory was incorrect or the town has changed dramatically. It’s not kind of run down and drab. It’s unfortunate. A lot of Russians seem to be living there—not saying there’s a connection between th1462278_10152074831089669_333051103_oe two—just an observation.

The most remarkable part of the city—and arguably the entire trip-was on our way into town. I was telling the kids about the city’s German origins and began by saying, “ok, we all know the bad things about German culture, what are some of the good things?”

Which is how I introduced things like organization and punctuality.

As we were talking, however, Nadia (age 5.9) said, “You know, I was reading in my book about Anne Frank and she was hiding in Germany.”

“Actually, it was Holland.”

She continued. “And there was a man, his name was A-dahn Hitler.”

“You mean Adolf Hitler.”

“Yeah, right,” she responded. “He wanted to be an artist, but he wasn’t very talented. Then, he decided he wanted to kill all the Jewish people.”

I turned to the NFO and said, “Did that actually just happen?”

Amazing what kids pick up.

Rosh HaNikra—Lebanese Border1484611_10152074855849669_525785566_o

A short (very short) drive up the coast and you reach Rosh HaNikra which is on the border with Lebanon.  It’s also the location of some magnificent grottos through which you can walk and admire how the sea and land have crafted some majestic pieces of art.

I had been there before, but wasn’t aware of some of the historical significance to the place until we watched a movie about it…located on a railroad track in a railroad tunnel.

Apparently, the British had designs on creating a rail network from Beirut (after they got it w/the fall of Vichy France) all the way to Cairo. The coast made the most sense, so they blasted 3 tunnels along the edge of the mountains separating Israel from Lebanon and where Rosh HaNikra is. They also built a small bridge over one gap in the land.

On the eve of Israel’s independence, some members of the Hagana (the pre-state militia) performed a stealth operation right under the noses of the British troops and sabotaged the bridge. The reason? There was concern that an invading force from the north would use the tunnels, bridge, and train tracks to transport weapons and materiel.

Now, the first tunnel (on Israel’s side) is open. The 2nd tunnel (at the border) is walled off—and a movie theater. And the 3rd tunnel? No idea.

From what they told us, it’s also the only place in all of Israel where it’s not a sandy beach, since the rock goes directly into the sea. And, I’m told, but not sure, that it’s the steepest cable car in the world (though not particularly long).

Kids loved it. We loved it.

Adventures on the Way Back to our Base—thanks to Waze

As I wrote, everyone in Israel uses Waze. Which is great, because you get reliable, real-time traffic information. You can also share information about broken down cars and speed traps.

However, after having Waze announce 4 times “Warning! Speed trap ahead” and seeing nothing, we simultaneously made the observation that maybe the police are using Waze and just letting it do the speed monitoring work for them.

But, that wasn’t all of it.

As we came down Road 6, Waze suggested an alternate route that would “save 4 minutes,” so of course, we took it.

After about 25 minutes, we came to a guardpost, manned by soldiers with a huge gate. We asked the soldiers if it was ok to go to Hashmonaim and she replied, “yes, you’re just going through the ‘Shtachim” which is the Hebrew word to describe the lands conquered in the 1967 war (with a few exceptions.)

We both had the same reaction…nervous. And “is this really a good idea?”

The soldier said, “it’s fine. Don’t worry about it,” but the NFO and I know enough to know that on any given day, it could be the day when some people decide to throw rocks (or worse) at cars with Israeli license plates.

It was dark and there were fewer cars. No houses, villages, stores, or gas stations. For about 12 minutes, we rode in total silence…my heart was definitely beating faster and my senses were fine tuned to both the road and the surrounding areas. I was on full alert. When you have moments like that, you are ridiculously focused. And I was.

As we came to the checkpoint on the other side, we saw about 10 men in their late teens, early 20s cross the road in front of us. Even though we were in site of soldiers, we held our breaths. It’s just the sad reality of life in the neighborhood.

Nothing happened and we made it back to our base, but it’ll be a while before I forget that feeling.

The 3 Israels

After the trip through the “Shtachim,” the visits to Nahariya and Tiberias, and the base of operations in Hashmonaim and meetings in Herzliya and Tel Aviv, it dawned on me that there are-at least-3 Israels. Maybe more.

Of course, it’s not universally true, but in general

  1. the high-tech, modern Israel. Advanced, everything you would find anywhere else in the first-world and even more so. Cutting-edge.
  2. the “left behind” Israel. Places that are sorely in need of economic development and just a paint job.
  3. the “other” Israel. Which includdes:
    1. some Israeli Arabs
    2. the ultra-Orhodox Jews with 7, 8, 9 or more kids who are on welfare and live in poverty
    3. many of the Arabs who live in the Shtachim (but, I need to be clear, I’m not saying there plight is all Israel’s fault-it’s not)

The Peace Process, John Kerry, and Jerusalem

The NFO had to fly home a day early, so I was on point with the 3 kids alone. More on that later.

But, we took the opportunity for Paco and Nadia to reconnect with some classmates who had moved from Maryland to Jerusalem for a playdate. That gave me the chance to hear what their dad, Jack Kustanowitz, had to say about his perceptions of the Peace Process.

He had read my earlier post saying that “no one talks about the Palestinians. People are focused on Iran” and he agreed with it.

The sad reality, in his opinion, is that outside of Israel and the Arabs, no one really understands the situation, nor why it is intractable.

In fact, the night before, after my run, I was just thinking, “you know, there is just NO solution whatsoever.”

When all is said and done, it comes down to the question of: Can the Arabs who want to destroy Israel succeed or can Israel succeed in preventing that from happening?

Jack’s observations were spot on.

On the one hand, when “things are quiet,” and there’s no terrorism, most Israelis are of the mindset of “hey, things are good, why should we rock the boat and give the Palestinians a state?” Which leads to stalemate with Palestinians…which is what we are seeing now.

It’s only when terrorism occurs that people get frantic are inclined to talk (not all, of course, but some) because the same terrorism emboldens the hardliners even more. Which leads to a stalemate w/in Israeli society, so no progress occurs.

In either way, no progress occurs.

But, that’s not it….because the same lack of understanding about the Palestinians is at play.

Most Westerners think “it’s about settlements and it’s about Land,” but when they think about it, they think it’s about the land captured in 1967.

What they don’t realize is that it’s about the land “occupied” since 1948…that is all of Israel.

It’s just such a foreign concept. No one can comprehend that the US would come out with a position tomorrow of, “you know, we don’t want Guatemala to exist. And we mean, just erase the country. Give it to its neighbors and change the map.”

But that’s exactly what is wanted.

So, I suppose, in some respect it does come down to Settlements…if you are of the position that Tel Aviv, Haifa and Be’er Sheva are settlements that need to be uprooted.

So, in Jack’s estimation, if the relations between Israelis and Palestinians is like a repeating curve (think Sine wave), the objective for Israel is simply to reduce the altitude of the curve so that the periods of intensity are not as intense and just modulated.

Call me a pessimist.

The First Station and a Long Walk


Tonka and I left the Kustanowitz residence and headed to Emek Refaim where I said to her, “if there’s one place in Israel where there’s a high probability of my running into someone I know, it’s here.”

5 minutes later, straight out of ‘Father Knows Best,” I ran into Devorah Plotkin Walder. Yay.

Tonka and I then set out to follow the refurbished train tracks between Emek Refaim and Baka that are now a first-rate pedestrian area (it used to be an eyesore) and walked to the terminus which is called “the First Station,” because as difficult as it may be to believe, it was the First Train Station built in Israel (well, British Mandate Palestine) in the late 1800s. Now, it’s a great mall with shops, restaurants, etc.

We then walked back to Talpiyot (about 3 km) to vist a friend, Isaac Hassan, who has founded a co-working/incubator space designed to inspire all Jerusalemites (Jews, Arabs, etc.) to become entrepreneurs. You should check it out

Headed for Home: Appreciating the Kids

I always enjoy traveling to Israel. And, after the fact, I’ve always enjoyed traveling with kids. In the past, there have been moments of huge hassle—strollers, diapers, fighting, etc.

This time, however, was different.

Sure, they had their moments, but pretty much from start to finish—and I’m including plane rides, these guys were world-class troopers.

This trip was about and for them…and I feel like we succeeded.

I could see their wonder, their curiosity at every turn, their appreciation for the sites (ok, mostly) and the joy of the overall experience.

I could FEEL the family bonding taking place. And it was worth it.

It’s not easy-especially for someone who loves his work as I do-to slow down for this period, but I am so glad that I did. This was about creating a memory for a lifetime.

Most nights, when they eventually conked out, I found myself just staring at them as they slept, appreciating the people they were becoming. Similar in some ways, very different in others.

I love seeing the sibling partnership and camaraderie forming. Like the time when they were bickering in the backseat and the NFO said, “let them resolve it.”

Within minutes, they had reached the conclusion that it was more fun for them to sing songs together than fight and we were regaled for an hour with their chorus. A mental snapshot.

Even flying back with them (though I got them up early and the day was long) was fun. Sure, the 3 iPads helped, but when push came to shove, they moved when they needed to (e.g. our short transfer in Istanbul) and even slept in their clothes the night before our depature, thinking it would save us time during our early morning departure.

As you all know, in any travel experience, there are so many variables. In Israel, because of security, there are even more. Anything can throw you for a loop. There’s always waiting, no matter where you are, and no matter what, you have a choice.

You can whine and complain or you can open your eyes and look at the world around you, wonder why it is the way it is, and share your questions and opinions.

When you do that, you become richer.

And I really feel like that is something that my kids started to really understand on this trip. It is something I hope they take with them on the great trip through LIFE.


appreciating kids

Monday, December 02, 2013

Israel in 2013-Hannukah in the Land of the Maccabees

Unlike my personal and professional life, I take a very laid back approach to travel, particularly with kids.

Long ago, in my backpacking through Europe days, I gave up on the notion of “trying to do it all” and instead take a mentality of “whatever you are doing, you are doing in <place you are visiting>.”

Now, that doesn’t mean I just sit in a cafĂ© all day and 1474665_10152063551674669_2099422980_nwork on my laptop and, of course, try to marry this with my philosophy of “do things that are unique to <place you are visiting>,” but it’s a balance.

In short, my goal is “one big objective per day” and then everything else is bonus. I don’t want the travel experience ruined by the “we have to get here” mentality and not being able to appreciate the subtleties of a location like “what are rest stops like here and why?” or “how do people shop?” and more.

Ok, enough background. On with it.


We found the deal of the century on Turkish Airlines ($700 RT per ticket), which everyone universally agrees is a great travel experience, so I was of the mindset of “whatever we do in Israel, it didn’t cost that much to get us here Winking smile“. Plus, between it being Thanksgiving time and Hannukah, the stars were aligned…or should we just say that yet another miracle occurred.

Base of Operations

One of the challenges of any travel scenario is establishing your base of operations. Fortunately, my brother-in-law lives in Hashmonaim, which is near Modi’in. The location is ideal, about halfway in between Tel Aviv and Jeru974244_10152070041919669_1183148934_n (1)salem. The only downside is that Foursquare seems to think it is Palestinian Territory.

The Phrase that Sums Up Israel

I was entering the bank in Jerusalem and the security guard asked me a simple question: “Do you have a gun?”

I said “no,” and moved on.

But in that moment, you get a rich appreciation for the complexity of life here.

Agree? Discuss below.

Daily Goals

Day 1-Technology and Business

Knew it would be challenging because of kids’ jet lag (though I have to say they were absolute, 100% rockstars on the flight over. 3 iPads were deployed and the kids didn’t even get up once on the flight from DC to Istanbul—not even to use the bathroom).

As a result, the NFO was very accommodating in granting me one “business day.” Not only do I like this for the benefit of building the personal and professional network, but one of my favorite things in every trip to Israel is to understand how the Israeli business and technology sectors are evolving. As the home of Start-up Nation and the country with the 3rd largest number of public companies on the NYSE (after US and Canada), in my opinion, you can’t understand modern Israel without investigating this side of the story.

I was aided in my efforts this time by the indefatigable and unparalleled Jeremy Lustman, who heads up the DLA Piper office in Israel and is mega plugged in. He set up 2 solid meetings for me.

Israel’s prowess in technology based on military/defense needs continues (as it must) and I’ve lon1472422_10152070183129669_349431820_og said that the irony of the ongoing Arab war/vilification of Israel is that its existence is what gives Israel so much potential and wealth.

Places like Herzliya reflect this. With the names of pretty much every technology company you can think of on buildings, it’s a testament to the recognition of the world’s largest companies of this reality. The proof is in the dollars.

What I also saw, however, was that Israeli companies, which historically have been very weak at marketing are starting to turn that around.  It’s something I saw a few years ago and I think is a reflection of the natural evolution of the country’s business leaders. More international experience in terms of management and understanding of the expectations of what it takes to survive and thrive.

Day 2-Jerusalem of Gold

No trip to Israel is complete without a trip to Jerusalem, the ancient and modern capital of the Jewish state and the epicenter of Judaism as a religion.

Still, that emotion is overcome by the fact that, well, it’s really a hassle getting in and out of town by car. Still, we deal with it, right?

We stopped at Mahane Yehuda, the big, open air market, where all types of fruits, vegetables, fish, and more are sold. While the NFO and the kids walked through there, I was able to meet up with some longtime friends on Ben Yehuda (the main pedestrian mall) including Noa Choritz, Neil Gillman, and Gil Kezwer. 

I like maintaining relationships…that’s no secret, but I love hearing the diverse perspectives of th1468378_10152072541834669_401113543_oose who have lived here for a while. Some have become more right-wing (though I heard the best statement of all time from Gil’s wife, Randi who said, “I have become more right wing but I realize that it takes both wings to fly.”)

People and walking…those two things are fail safe ways to enjoy any trip anywhere.

After a short lunch at the Village Green (great vegan/vegetarian food), we set off on foot to the Old City, making our way down through the Shuk (market), we arrived in mid-late afternoon at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site and the last remnant of the 2nd Temple.

For many, it’s a spiritual place and a time for reflection. My last few visits there didn’t really hit that high mark for me. This time, after stuffing a special note into the Wall, as is the custom, my nephews, Paco, and I were sitting on some chairs watching people do their thing and I had a moment of spirituality myself, one where I felt the weight of Jewish history on my shoulders. I felt like I had to impart some of a sense of history, as my friend Jen Pearlman says “of living vertically,” so that these boys would really understand why this place was of special importance and why it needed to be protected and defended. 1464216_10152072681164669_534476813_o

An awesome feeling indeed and I did my best. A different type of spirituality, outside of myself, I suppose.

One of the things that always strikes me about Israel, but Jerusalem in particular is how you see Arabs going about their daily business and…no one really cares. They are a part of the fabric of life here. It’s stark primarily because of the opposite situation. I believe you would be hard pressed to find the capital of an Arab country where you would see religious Jews openly identifying themselves and walking with zero concern for their personal safety.

Day 3 and 4-Take It Easy

As Day 3 and 4 were Friday/Saturday, things tend to be a bit slower (well, hectic leading into the Sabbath) and then quiet (depending on where you are) on the actual Sabbath. We took the kids to a local park and then had a great time with my brother-in-law and his family.

Day 5-Go North, Young Man.

On this trip, I was determined that my kids learned that there was more to Israel than Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. On our previous visit, we had planned to go South, but, well, there was a war with Gaza, so we couldn’t do that.

This time, we thought our luck would be better in the North, so we went to Tiberias, on the Sea of Galilee (the lowest freshwater lake in the world), having a nice lunch on the promenade. On the way, we were struck by the beauty of the open land around it, the rolling, rocky hills and the agricultural wonder that has occurred there in the past 60 years.

Tiberias is one of the 4 holy cities of Judaism (Hebron, Safed, Jerusalem) and was the place where the Talmud (Jerusalem version) was codified because Jews couldn’t live in Jerusalem following the Bar Kokhba rebellion against the Romans in 135.

Unfortunately, for a city that has so much to offer, it really shows its age. It’s like the city got left behind by time and is stuck in the 1960s. What’s worse, in my opinion, it seems like they are leaving a ton of money on the table since the place is a mecca for Christian pilgrims (yes, I get the multi-religious semi-pun) because of the proximity of Nazareth, the miracle of the fishes, sermon on the mount, etc.

It’s a shame.

But not nearly as big of a shame as what happened to the tomb of Maimonides. Arguably the greatest Jewish mind of all time, he is buried in this city in a glorious tomb.

I was there about 20 years ago and it was marvelous and spiritual. Now, there’s a massive iron sculpture above it (which isn’t so bad), but the travesty is a white Home Depot-like fence that splits it down the middle and serves as the divider between men and women (since people tend to come and pray at his grave).

Now, I get that men and women are supposed to be separate during services and I’m ok with that, but this is a freaking grave…not a synagogue and the morons who put this piece of crap have turned a beautiful piece of art into nothing more than a utility. The opposite of how it should be.

It’s kind of like splitting the Mona Lisa down the middle and saying “ok, you can look at half the canvas and you’ll appreciate Leonardo just as much.”

Ugh. Embarrassing and silly.

Not that I don’t understand the reasons for why the fanatics who did this, did this. It’s just that I don’t agree with it at all.

That night, we stayed in a quaint Zimmer-style cabin near Moshav Zippori (itself a historic place). I really liked it.  Relaxing, peaceful…and great wi-fi. Winking smile

Day 6-Onto the Heights

When you see the Golan Heights up close and think about the military challenges that faced Israel in the 1967 war, you can’t help but be in awe that they were able to accomplish what they did.

Today, the vistas are breathtaking (even with the fences that identify live minefields), but under heavy fire? Going uphill?

Are you kidding me?

Once you get to the top though, it’s like the Great Plains…flat, peaceful, few trees, serene. I felt so at peace when we arrived in Avnei Eitan, a cooperative of about 100 families calmly situated in, well, the middle of nowhere…and about 10km from the Syrian border. 

The reason for our visit to this outpost was the “Automatic Dairy” where the cows go through a machine called the “Astronaut” which is, well, just fantastic.

Each cow had an RFID chip around its neck and it enters a massive machine 3 times per day. The chip tells the machine which cow it is. The machine knows things such as how much milk the cow gave last time and the entire history of the cow. Frankly, it’s and Electronic Medical Record for each cow (they can do it for cows, just not website).

The cow is on a scale, so the weight is recorded and the proper amount of food is distributed.

Meanwhile, 4 suction cups are attached to the udder of the cow but only after the teats have been cleaned with a brush (like a car wash) and their exact location targeted and pinpointed by laser. As each of the 4 compartments are drained, the suction cup drops away until all are done. The teats are washed with some anti-biotic spray and the gates open (even if the cow isn’t finished eating). Precisely 17 seconds later, a shock is delivered in order to encourage the cow to leave.

Of course, after the first few times, all of the cows leave at the 15 second mark. No muss, no fuss.

This technology, which costs about $150,000 has enabled the dairy to move from 10 cows to 75 with very limited additional increase in manpower. In fact, our tour guide told us that now she is able to leave the dairy, w1460622_10152072301334669_165643528_ohich she wasn’t able to do before (or someone had to be there) and they can manage/measure the entire process…from their iPhones!

I loved this tour as it reflects the ingenuity and spirit of innovation that is Israel.

On the way up to the Heights, I was telling the kids about the history of the 1967 War and the challenges of scarcity/resource allocation and how “necessity is the mother of invention.” (I also introduced them to the Knesset-Israeli parliament process and they quickly understood why it was such a challenge!)

The machine isn’t Israeli-made (it’s Dutch), but the point was made and they saw how the operation of the dairy could scale because of technology (something I am always happy to have them see!)

Gamla-The afternoon took us to Gamla, aka “The Masada of the North,” a secluded location that served as a refuge for Jews who were trying to escape Roman persecution. Tragically, the 9,000 people there all died, choosing suicide instead of slavery at the hands of the Romans when their situation became desperate.

We took a moment to hear from my brother-in-law about this time in Jewish history while on a 1 hour long like over the hills and terrain, absolutely breathtaking and well worth it. Joined by a longtime friend, Shmuel Goldman-a resident of the Golan-we had a chance to just soak in the earth.

Over 20 years ago, before a trip to Israel, a family friend gave me her advice about how to experience it. To this day, I remember it: “Walk the Land.”

And I do, every time I am here.

Other Observations

  1. New Highway 6 is great.
  2. A few people talked about Iran. No one talks about the Palestinians.990667_10152059797499669_655580464_o
  3. I still can’t understand why coffee from pretty much any shop in Israel is better than most places in US. Certainly better than Starbucks (which isn’t in Israel, btw. They gave up and left due to strength of coffee culture).
  4. I popped a Golan SIM card into my Nexus 4 and had connectivity everywhere. Great stuff.
  5. Waze is even better in Israel because EVERYBODY uses it. Really helpful for crowdsourcing traffic.
  6. As some of you know, I enjoy checking in on Foursquare. Not only can I find friends and suggestions in the area, but it’s a diary for where I go. I was a bit disappointed to see that the Golan Heights, according to them, are part of Syria and Hashmonaim, where my brother-in-law lives is part of Palestinian Territory.

No need to worry…I sent the issue along. We’ll see what happens.

Ok, I cranked this out all in one day. Random stuff that I will realize that I forgot and report on last few days to come.

The Story of Stuff

I’ve shared this before, but it’s worth sharing again…More powerful is the one on bottled water