Razors and Slow Boats from China

Last year in August as a result of a pulmonary embolism (PE) I was told that I should use an electric razor rather than a straight or blade razor because I had been placed on a serious anticoagulant (blood thinner)Coumadin (generic: Warfarin). When on this drug, if injured there is a danger of obtaining cuts that do not stop bleeding. In addition to being instructed to be cautious of any activity that might cause an injury, I was also told to limit my consumption of foods containing vitamin K (e.g., spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli, etc.) because it is a natural clotting agent. Since I eat mainly a vegetarian diet, that was a challenge but irrelevant to this story.

I did not take well to the idea of purchasing an electric shaver; the thought brought back painful memories of the one I received as a gift when I was a teenager. Certain that it was invented by a sadist, as it literally ripped the hair out, I promptly returned it to the Nichols Department Store and exchanged it for the latest Doobie Brothers and Grand Funk Railroad albums. However, after spending a few torturous days in the hospital, and winning the worst patient award, I decided last year to purchase a Remington Smooth & Silky® Shaver. Although I was pleased to learn that the technology had advanced to provide a pain-free experience, the product didn’t live up to its name. Continue reading Razors and Slow Boats from China


What’s Up with the Quality of Dell Laptops Lately?

You haven’t heard much from me in the past 10 days because I haven’t had time to complete the installation of all of my software on the new hard drive that Dell sent me. By the way, as I mentioned previously they insisted on sending it via my US mailing address which cost me $40 to FedEx here. Then FedEx charged me 180 shekels – approx. $50 – in customs fees to receive it! On top of that I had to Express Mail back the bad hard drive (approx. $20) to my brother Vincent in the US so he could remove the outer package and call DHL to pick up the package with Dell’s warranty replacement label on it because that’s the only way Dell would accept it! I’m not kidding, they told me I couldn’t ship it directly from Israel to them because they only accept the packages via a special arrangement with DHL and it has to be US-DHL, not from another country! For that $110 I bet I could have purchased a comparable drive here and had it much more quickly and conveniently. So much for warranty replacements from Dell.

Advice: Either bring an extra laptop and/or parts – or buy an international warranty from Dell prior to moving to Israel. Or maybe don’t buy from Dell at all. I don’t imagine I will after this one (that cost me $1800 in January 2007) has had major repairs twice in less than 3 months and my daughter’s went back 4 times during the 5 months she’s had it and still isn’t working (see Crash! There Goes Another Hard Drive)!


Week 16.71 – Lift Delivered

I know most of you are going to find this hard to believe but the day before Yom Kippur (October 7th) Sonigo delivered our lift! That made it 2 days short of 17 weeks!

Because of the timing of this delivery in the middle of the holidays we haven’t had time to unpack everything, but so far there are only a few damaged items: a coffee creamer was chipped, our metal office supply cabinet is pretty badly dented, and the nice wooden TV tray tables that Mom bought us for one of our anniversaries are all scratched up.

10/17/2008 Update: Photos have been added.

Continue reading Week 16.71 – Lift Delivered


Crash! There Goes Another Hard Drive

It seems inevitable that after 14 years of owning a variety of computers a lemon surfaces and I must suffer the consequences of another hard drive crash. This is one of the reasons why there has been an interuption in my blog posts. It has been so upsetting that I don’t remember the date of these screens. Continue reading Crash! There Goes Another Hard Drive


Our Sofas Arrived!

On August 5th we ordered two Valentino love seats from Dax in Talpiot, with delivery guaranteed within 30 days. We have since learned that there is no such thing as guaranteed delivery in Israel! We were not aware that our sofas were being imported. And like everything else these days, their delivery to Israel was delayed due to the “port slowdown” (i.e., gangsters at the port making demands for higher fees). Continue reading Our Sofas Arrived!


Unbelievable! Week 14 and Still NO LIFT!

Sunday afternoon we received an e-mail from Sonigo stating that our shipment had cleared customs and our final invoice was attached. In addition to the $3600 we paid them the day after they picked up our shipment in University Heights, Ohio we needed to immediately pay them $1566 in order for them to release our two lift vans to their dispatch department!

Monday morning I phoned Sonigo to discuss some charges I wasn’t clear about and to ask what day this week we could expect delivery. Michal told me that there aren’t enough trucks to deliver all the shipments this week so they were being scheduled based on when the money hits their bank account.

I made it the bank within half an hour, and then had to wait another 20 minutes for the only English-speaking personal banker because she was arguing with a Hebrew speaking man (who could have gone to one of the other two bankers, but…)
Continue reading Unbelievable! Week 14 and Still NO LIFT!


Labor Court Orders Workers Back to Work

Neil Krummer from Kef International Shipping announced last night (via the NBN e-mail list) that “The shipping situation has been remedied. Everything is back to normal, for now.”

Afraid to get too excited about this, I e-mailed Ed at Sonigo asking him to confirm the good news. Here is his response:

What a simple answer to a complicated question. Continue reading Labor Court Orders Workers Back to Work


Driving Lesson

Today we accomplished Step 4 (scroll down the page to #4) of converting our Ohio driver’s licenses over to the coveted Israeli ones.

A few days ago I posted a request for instructor recommendations to the Nefesh B’Nefesh list and the overwhelming majority urged us to contact Eyal Ben Harush.

I called Eyal on Tuesday and was surprised when he quickly set us up for a 1:30 p.m. appointment on Thursday. He cautioned me that this was just the driving lesson; it could be 6 weeks before our road test is scheduled.
Continue reading Driving Lesson