Gustav Klimt’s Tree of Life, with Vespas. 

I won’t go into more of this than I need, but I cam across a video clip of the Craig Ferguson Late Night Show that has really stayed with me, since viewing it last night. Last nights show was already pre-recorded, but Craig decided that he needed to address the recent event and he did so in a very touching and masterful way. The story is on Jezebel.com and you can view the link by clicking here, Craig Ferguson Forgoes His Monologue for a Soulful Rumination.

Upon reflecting on my last post, which was published about 24 hours (or so) before this tragic business, I believe that something inside of me felt that those word were needed. Not exactly those words, but that the intentions they were seeking that needed to be pushed out into the world and, I hope, gain some traction in what needs to happen without our world. We need compassion for another and to honor the fact that we are human and that there is value in that single fact. If we forget this, what becomes of us? As Craig Ferguson put it best, “We’re all diminished by this”.  (more…)

Happy Memorial Day, for those reading this blog in the states!

This is a day of honour, thanks, and remembrance for those who have served and for those who have been lost in battle.

I hope that your extended weekend has been a lovely one and please be safe out on the roads.

Yesterday was also the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, so there was a great deal of dairy-type foods around the dinner table this past weekend. So many holidays! I don’t understand how so many people here are so tiny with all these holidays and the foods that come with them.  I know I’m not as tiny as I was when I arrived last September.

Preparing for Summer Rides: 

As it is basically summer now for most of us, be sure if you own a vespa(ECT.) to keep in mind the harshness of the sun during your rides out. Today I was out on a morning ride and found a field of sunflowers to shoot. When I was done with the photos, I felt effects of heat exhaustion and had to rest in the shade for about 30 minutes before I felt okay to drive again. (This was after drinking water and re-applying sunscreen, while shooting the photos. High for today is 37°C in Rehovot! Whew.) I’ve never been so thankful for those random Israeli Bus Stops in the middle of nowhere than I was earlier today. They are so random!

This Israeli sun is fierce and doesn’t play around no matter what you are doing, so remember that if you plan on doing traveling here in Israel during the summer months (starting around mid-May through October).

 A good, basic list of things to keep with you on summer rides:

  1. H2O! Water, y’all. Don’t leave your house without at least a good amount of water. I try to at least have about a liter on me, when I go out on rides outside the city.
  2. Cell Phonefor the unexpected at basic level. Don’t forget your cell phone on rides, more so if your out solo!
  3. Gloves, not only to wear as protection gear, but the tops of you hands are constantly exposed to the sun. Sunscreen will help, but the sun (after some time) will begin to burn your hands.
  4. SunscreenDON’T leave home without it if you are going for a longer ride. Bring it regardless of what you are wearing and even if you have darker skin tones that can take more sun. The areas that people forget about when applying sunscreen and often get burned are: the back of the neck(somehow always gets burned), behind the ear-neck area, the upper chest area, “T-Zone” on face, top of your feet (if open shoes), and top of your hands. The top of the feet section is one that a lot of people forget about, so if you are going out of the city for a longer ride and have open shoes, make sure to rub in that sunscreen everywhere. ALSO: the tops of your legs, above your knees. Depending on what you are wearing, this part of your legs with get a lot of sun on rides also.
  5. Sun Glasseswhatever kind works best for you. Riding facing the sun or as the sun rises/falls will present some visual difficulties and you will want to make sure that you are always able to see what you need to see. Whatever works best for you and allows you to comfortably see all that you want to see while driving is good enough for me.
  6. Helmet, one word: Bugs. There are more bugs in the air during the summer months and they hurt your face. A full face helmet might be too hot for you, but try to get a helmet that has a visor that protects at least till your chin area. Trust me that a big bug hitting your face at those speeds isn’t fun.
  7. Tissue or towel, this item is good to have around if you like to clean up during rides. Stuff gets on your face when you ride, depending on your helmet. Tissues help with this. Those wet towelettes are great way to cool down and clean off at rest stops also.
  8. Little snackthis isn’t a must but you never know if you’ll get hungry. Depending on the length of your trip, not as important as the others.
That is my basic list of things I try to always keep in the vespa seat bucket out on rides, beyond what I keep in my bag of course (insurance, driver’s license, ECT.). All of this usually fits, with room to spare, in the seat bucket and doesn’t get too hot from the engine. It really isn’t that much once you pile it all together and shouldn’t take up that much extra space, so bring it along!
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Is there anything that you would add to the list that you find useful out on summer rides? Share the wealth below in the comments, as your tips might help other riders as well.
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Happy riding, everyone!

Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut: The Siren יום העצמאות 2012

Two-minute nationwide siren sounds at 11 A.M. to commemorate the 22,993 IDF soldiers who died during their service. Todays’s services came a day after a ceremony for Israel’s fallen soldiers was held on Tuesday evening on the eve of Memorial Day in cities across Israel.

I follow a blog that I have really enjoyed reading and wanted to share their post today about ‘The Siren’.

From Vov, over at Importantlytrivial.com:

“As the double days of Israel’s Yom Hazikaron (Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day) and Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel’s Independence Day) have arrived, I once again find myself reflecting on the meaning of this juxtaposition of official holidays, one representing the ultimate sadness of a people; the second, the ultimate national joy.  Continue reading