Saturday, November 18, 2017

Malcom Young--AC/DC Guitarist

Malcom Young one of the 2 brothers that helped found the Australian hard rock band AC/DC has died.   Young, a rhythm guitarist, had been suffering from dementia and had left the group in the Spring of 2014.  Although his brother Angus was the more famous member of the group, Malcom had been described as the driving force behind the band.
Both brothers Malcom and Angus were born in Scotland.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Maple Valley Fire Levy Passes

A fire levy which previously failed despite warnings of cuts in fire and emergency services in Maple Valley is passing on it's second go round according to the Maple Valley Reporter.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Israel--Wrapping Up A Fabulous Trip

It's been over 10 days since I've returned from my trip to Israel and well over 20 days since the trip began. I've constantly posted pictures since the trip's beginning and continued posting well after my return and yet, I feel that I have so much more to share.
 My friend Joe and I traveled with our temple in Bellevue, because of the small number of us who were able to make the trip, we were joined by the Temple Beth El from St. Petersburg, Florida.  Within the two groups, there were contrasts.  The Florida group was lead by their charismatic and learned rabbi (bottom picture on right), we were lead by our Cantor David Serkin-Poole.  Each made valuable contributions to our visit.  The Florida group was all couples, along with a daughter and seemed to know each other well, while our group mostly left spouses at home and were getting to know each other.  Joe and I flew over and back on Air Canada's 787 (middle picture). 
It was on this trip that we realized how perilous this country's existence can be.  While we visited the Golan, we could see beyond the borders of Syria and Lebanon, both generally hostile countries toward Israel.  The trip gave us context into the media's coverage of the country. 
The two great cities Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are so close, yet so different.  Tel Aviv, is the stylish, cultural center of the country, it is where the State Of Israel was born and is recognized diplomatically as the "capital"    Jerusalem (top picture), little more than 50 miles away is so different.   It is the spiritual city.  It is the hub of three major religions, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.  The Arabs and Jews often coexist in harmony. You can often hear the Muslim calls for prayer throughout the day.  Arabs are often working alongside Jews.
Our guide Shari (bottom picture left) did an outstanding job teaching and reporting and helping us get to know the country that we love. 
There is a lot to be proud of in the State Of Israel, the country was developed from a desert to a fertile country and seems in many ways so peaceful, but being a young country, with so many security issues (you see soldiers both men and women throughout the country) there are so many questions.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Yad LaKashish

One of the last places we visited was Yad LaKashish, an innovative workshop for senior citizens, based in Jerusalem. 
Instead of resting in retirement homes, this program allow seniors to learn and perform crafts which allows them to feel a sense of purpose.  Their craft are sold at a gift shop and can also be purchased online.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Seahawks Win Game But Lose Sherman For Season

Thursday night football games have not been a popular event for players and this really came to light this week when Seahawk star cornerback Richard Sherman suffered an Achilles Tendon rupture ending his season.  The Seahawks won the game against the Arizona Cardinals, but there was almost no celebration as the team's greatest strength, it's defense, may be ordinary at best. 
Sherman has not missed a game since he entered the league in 2011 so there is little indication on how the team will play going forward.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Entertainment On The Kibbutz

You probably would not picture a luxury hotel on a kibbutz (Israel's social experiment), but between our time in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that's exactly where we were.  We spent a couple of nights at The Pastoral at Kibbutz Kfar Blum in Northern Israel. 
In the lounge, there was nightly entertainment.  This Israeli folk duo, was joined by a food server to sing the Leonard Cohen classic "Hallelujah".

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Astronaut Richard Gordon

Astronaut Richard Gordon, a Seattle Native who flew the Gemini 11 and Apollo 12 missions has died.  Gordon attended the University Of Washington at the same time my father did and could be seen in the one college annual of his that I could find in our house. 
Gordon walked in space in the Gemini 11 and flew around the moon in Apollo 12.  After retiring from NASA, he briefly became an executive for the New Orleans Saints Football team.

Havdallah Service In Jerusalem

After visiting the Wall, we had dinner at the Old Train Station, now a trendy Jerusalem shopping center.  We were joined by a newly married Anerican couple during the Havdallah (after Shabbat) Service.