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Cable tie 2 - scissors 0

Been a couple of days. Mostly work, and mostly not overly interesting, but that hasn't stoppped me before, I don't see why it should now.

The weekend was mostly good. Rebecca and I went down to buy our new computer. The place we were trying to buy it from decided, when we got there, to do one more test, and something wasn't quite right, so they asked for another couple of days to check it out. What am I going to do? Say no? We also bought a couple of flash drives, and unfortunately, they are too short and don't quite fit in USB ports properly. This is fairly useless.

I bought Rev a hard disk, and we installed it. In the process, we had to cut a cable tie which was holding some power cables out of the way. I tried to cut it with a pair of good scissors. The blade broke off! Rev tried cutting it with a pair of scissors - the handle broke in his hand. Cable tie 2 - scissors 0. We then got the right tools for the job and it cut easily.

Saturday night was Tisha B'av. Tisha B'av is yet another example of the genius of the Jewish religion. There was a cartoon doing the rounds recently as follows: An American is standing next to a calendar with Sept. 11 crossed out. An Englishman is standing next to a calendar with July 7th crossed out. An Israel is standing next to a calendar which has been crossed out. For anyone who knows absolutely nothing about Jewish history, there tends to have been large quantities of persecution and other various bad things. Moreover, because of the values placed on literacy and documentation, the persecution tends to get remembered.

As bad stuff happens, a cross needs to be made on the calendar, because commemoration is important. Each cross gradually fades with time, depending on the magnitude of the wrong, and how strongly it resonates with the people. The cross marked on September 11 will probably remain on American calendars for some time, but it will fade. The genius of Judaism is that, rather than spoil the entire calendar with everything bad that has occured, the cross is arbitrarily placed on a single day - Tisha B'av - the ninth day of the Babylonian month of Av (the calendar used by Judaism). While the fading crosses will still be commemorated more by some than others, it means that there is a day for communal support for the community's past sufferings, and there are people there to support each other as they remember the parts of the grief-stricken history they need to.

So, Saturday night, Rebecca and I went to the service at Bentleigh Synagogue which is run for the entire progressive community in Melbourne. It was a very powerful and moving service.

Sunday, Rebecca and I went out to visit her parents, she spent time seeing a friend who was in from Abu Dhabi, and I spent time at Mum and Dad's place before going home.

Last night at scouts, the scouts made up a game not dissimilar from touch rugby or keepings off. The basic idea being that you run with the ball and if you are touched, you throw the ball (in any direction) and whoever takes the ball over the line gets a point. We then had the scouts build a construction to allow a ball to roll across the hall. Starting from the top of a tripod and mostly going through pipes. They did quite well. Next time we will try to introduce more complex stages, such as pulley systems and see-saws and the like.

And today, business as usual. Had the good news that a proof for my "hobby paper" is ready. This comes after Justin told me yesterday that one of my "real papers" is almost ready for the proofs to come out.

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"There's Klingons on the starboard bow"

"What's verse - it's the end of paternity leave"

"Mark - the first week"

"Mark - part 2"

"Mark Gerald Allen Lubansky - the birth"

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The Head Heeb - Jonathan provides a balanced view on various Israeli and (former) colonial states in less developed regions of the world.

The Bladder - a sports satire site. Well worth a look.

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