Tag Archive | Business

Planning Around the Sirens

I wrote this post while sitting in the library on July 20.

Last Friday (July 12) Yitzchak went to the store.  We kept Shlomo home just in case there was a siren, because his gan doesn’t have a shelter.  But, what to do? As I said previously, I can’t carry him down.  So Shlomo and I played outside during the heatwave, for an hour and a half, so that we would be withing Shlomo’s running distance of the shelter.

*We canceled a meeting in a neighboring city on July 10, because of the possibility of a siren while on the road, and not wanting to leave Shlomo in gan while both of us went to the meeting.  It’s not that we never have this concern about both of us being out of the city while Shlomo is in gan, but this time was a tad different, if you get what I mean.  So we canceled.

*Before we leave the house, we go through the route in our heads, to make sure that there will always be a shelter within a few seconds from us, no matter where we are on the route.

*Before Yitzchak goes to the store in the evening, we think twice.  What if there’s a siren while he’s gone?

*Yitzchak measured the amount of time it takes him to bound up the stairs.  If he’s at the bottom and runs to the top to get Shlomo, will we still have time before our minute is up?

*Yesterday (Shabbat, July 19) after the siren, our neighbors wondered whether they should walk their dog or if there would be another siren.  I errantly said that we usually had a few hours in between sirens, so it should be fine.  They left, and about ten minutes later I felt stupid for giving them bad advice.

*I’m sitting in the library (July 20), waiting for a long time to receive my 2-step verification code from Gmail.  I have a project to finish.  Behind me, the librarians are setting up an area for some kind of slideshow or video.  They debate whether to move the tables in the back of the room to somewhere else, just in case everyone has to run out of the room.

The irony of planning life around whether or not there will be a siren.  We don’t change everything, because we can’t change everything, because you can’t just stop life in the middle.  But it’s the little changes in thinking, planning, and how we do things that are the most poignant examples of what it’s like to live under threat of rockets.

Anybody who would like to help families closer to Gaza – those who have between fifteen seconds and a minute, and suffer rocket attacks several times a day, can take a look at Janglo‘s list of things to do to help.  There are also options for helping soldiers and helping the families of the reservists who were called up.

 

My Cell Phone – Again

1a. My cell phone broke again and I am unwilling to spend money on fixing or replacing it.  Bad phone, bad plan, too expensive.  We are looking to change plans, BUT our current plans came with phones and we are still paying them off (that is part of the plan, so that they get your money regularly for 3 years).  2 of the 3 phones we are paying for are almost done being paid off and broke a long time ago.  The third is Yitzchak’s phone, which also came with a new plan that we will probably have to pay some kind of fine to be rid of.  Just paying off the phones will cost about 900 shekels ($260, but over here it’s a lot of money), not to mention the other expenses.

broken phone, phone broke, touch phone, cell phone, phone1b.These other expenses are:

– At least one new phone, because the plan we had is a “kosher” plan that is locked to any other type of sim card (and it is legally locked and cannot be undone); preferably 2 phones because the only non-kosher phone we have is my brother-in-law’s and we don’t feel comfortable using it for a long time.

– Two one-time forty-five shekel fees to send the new sim cards for the new plan.

– A fine because we are breaking Yitzchak’s plan early (before the 18 month minimum).  It is a relatively small fine, but it’s still there and I don’t know how much it will be.

1c. In the end, this WILL save us money, though, because right now we are paying about 200 shekels and maybe more for a phone that doesn’t work and another phone with unlimited minutes.  And I hate that.  Our new plan will be with phones that we buy cheaper from a store and pay for upfront, along with two plans that are 10 shekels each.  Obviously, 10 shekels a month ($3) isn’t going to be a perfect plan but it’s cheap, reliable, and gives us what we need, even if we have to start using our home phone more (which is healthier, anyways).  The plan gives each of us unlimited texts but only 60 minutes talk time before it starts charging by minute.  But seriously – who cares?  That’s what a land line is for.  And since we are anti-social and usually talk only to each other, we can do that with texts, too.

So that’s the cell phone story.  Obviously, dumping a thousand shekels is a big deal.  This whole thing is a headache and a half but we will get through it.

1d. Not everyone knows that my phone is broken – I told my sister three weeks ago.  I told work.  I told a few friends that I ended up calling for some reason or other.  When I get my new phone I will text important people with my number and that will be that.

On the other hand, if Yitzchak gets his way and we do get him the unlimited plan (which I am against because I don’t like plans that go up after a year), then I’d like to nix the home phone.  But if we’re not nixing it, then we are fixing the jack in the living room, because the room that the phone is in is very inconvenient – and we don’t want the phone in our bedroom.  Been there, done that – and no.

So, that is the story of our phones.  Hopefully we will have a new, nicer, story soon.

2. Speaking of phones, Jajah is closing down in two days and both Yitzchak and I are kind of bummed.  Not that we used it so much anymore, or that they had suuuch a great price, but still.  They were good, and they’re closing, and it’s sad.  Bye, Jajah.  We will miss you.

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This is probably how some people in my family will feel after reading this admission.

3a. For goodness’ sake, I don’t know why I am posting this.  I have family who reads this blog and they don’t have our landline number, and we tell them that there is no option for them to call a landline.  Because, let’s face it – it is NOT an option. We have had enough calls from outside Israel at midnight or 1am, or even 5:30-6:00 am that it just isn’t something that we want to have happen.  (And it DOES NOT matter if we are awake or not at this hour; if we are awake then we are either busy, cranky, or both; if we are not then it is just plain rude to wake us up early.) No offense, but as a general rule a lot of times people forget to calculate the time difference, or just don’t calculate correctly.  I don’t have energy for that.  There is no reason that one of us should need to get out of bed in the middle of the night so that the phone will stop ringing and not wake everyone else up.

3b. And turning off the landline’s ringer isn’t an option – we always forget to turn it back on, until someone – or one of us – calls and says that they tried calling the house and there was no answer – and then the person at home realizes that the phone never rang . . . because the ringer was off.  The ringer can be off for a few days straight before we notice.  So, we just don’t turn it off anymore (and neither does Shlomo, because the switch doesn’t do anything obvious, so why move it?).  Also, we don’t have caller ID on our landline, and if there’s going to be an emotionally taxing conversation, I need the choice to refuse the call, or at the very least, five seconds to brace myself before answering the phone.  So no, it is not an option.  Sorry to all the hopeful and slightly hurt.  I hope you understand.  When we feel up to dealing with the consequences of giving out our home number, we will give it out.  Until then, we will do what is best for us.  There is always email, Skype, and loads of other options for anyone who wants to reach us.

And my apologies to the non-family readers who had to read part 3.  I will try not to subject you to this again, honest.  (I don’t do it often, do I?)

More Work-At-Home Ideas

I’m out of inspiration at the moment . . .

But here is a link that someone sent me, on a few more ideas of how to make money from home.  Some of them are traditional, others a little more creative.

Take a look, add your comments, and enjoy!

Just remember: Working from home isn’t for everybody.  It can be tough.  And as it says in the article, if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.  There is no magic money-making formula.

Groceries and Diapers

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Osher Ad

Late yesterday afternoon, Shlomo asked Yitzchak for a nap – and Yitzchak put him into his crib.  Yes, Yitzchak, I know Shlomo wants a nap – he asked me two and a half hours ago.  But, he’s not that tired, and if we want him to go to sleep early, he shouldn’t nap now.  No matter, what’s done is done – no reason to make a big fuss.

We needed to buy diapers.  A few months ago, the brand that we usually buy changed their pattern.  With that change, the amount that the diaper absorbed also changed – for the worse.  Then, almost a month ago, when we had only one diaper left, I asked a neighbor to pick up diapers for us when she went out (obviously, I said I would pay her back), and because she didn’t find our usual brand, she bought a different one.  My neighbor picked up two packages, and they worked great.  So great, in fact, that we decided to only buy this brand from now on.  The problem?  Not every store carries them.  After Yitzchak had checked three stores, I looked at the company’s website. There I found a list of stores that carry their brand.  One of them was out of the way, but close enough to be worthwhile.

The connection between the first two paragraphs?  We were running out of diapers; Shlomo wasn’t going to go to sleep at his bedtime.  So, I decided that we should do our grocery shopping at Rami Levy, instead of Osher Ad (where we usually go).  And how, exactly, do we do grocery shopping?

Well, I’ve decided that we go to the store too often, and would save time and money by following a menu plan . . . and doing supermarket shopping once every two weeks (excluding milk, which almost always expires a week after you buy it).

For vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains (not grain products, grains themselves), we go to the shuk.  Yitzchak studies next to the shuk, so buying whatever we need from there is not an issue.  For everything else, we go to the supermarket, once every two weeks.  It hasn’t worked out perfectly – sometimes I go only after three weeks – but it’s going okay, and hopefully will get better.

We went to the store.  We did our grocery shopping, and our diaper shopping.  We did end up coming back later than we wanted to, but on the other hand, Shlomo went to sleep right away.  And we all know that either he would’ve stayed awake playing, or stayed awake in his crib complaining.  At least we avoided that and used our time for something . . . right?

Store Renovations

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A bakery in the shuk – not the one doing the renovations.

The convenience store seven minutes’ walking distance away did renovations recently.  They did not close; they simply worked while the customers were there.  When they had to redo the floor, they did it piece by piece.  They had their blowtorches going while they worked, with sparks falling all over the area.  Granted, they did a more superficial renovation than some do.  But, they never closed their store to do it.

One of the bakeries in the shuk is doing renovations.  They have been working on these renovations little by little, but now they have to do the tough stuff.  This is not a superficial renovation.  This is a complete renovation.  They have closed the parve (non-meat, non-milk) section of their store for the past two or three weeks, and it will remain closed for another two or three weeks.  In the meantime, their dairy store, adjacent to the parve store, is still open.  It is so crowded there that if you are behind the counter, you can’t move.  To find anything, you have to dig.

To cut their losses, the bakery is renting a store that used to be a hardware store, then a variety store, and is now closed.  They are baking from there, and shipping all their goods to the shuk, right across the street.  The reason they went to all this trouble?  The owner did not want to take a loan.  And it is common knowledge in Israel that if you close for renovations, you might have to sell soon afterwards.

People patronize stores.  If the store isn’t open, they go elsewhere, and may not come back.  This bakery has several stores in the shuk, so they have less of a worry than some others.  But, they still have to keep up their sales.  After the basic renovations are finished, the store will reopen, and they will be renovating while the store is open for another six or seven months.  In the meantime, another bakery in the shuk is selling some of their wares, for a cheaper price than usual.  It seems that they have distributed their wares to several different stores in the shuk.  Don’t ask me how, or how many.  I have no idea.

There is a meat store just around the corner from this bakery, also in the shuk.  They are closed for renovations, but are renting out the space just in front of the store, which is on a slight platform, to someone selling vegetables.

This is the way business in Israel works.  Any good American would take out a loan, close the store, renovate, and reopen with a grand sale.  The Israelis don’t want to incur such losses.  And so, renovations while the store is open are nothing even to blink about.  This is Israel.

Job Ideas

work from home, working from home, home business, home office, no daycare, work at home jobs, work at home moms, job ideasAs you know, I work from home, and the job I have now will not last forever (I am making workbooks, and there is a limited number needed).  So, I am always on the lookout for interesting and promising work-from-home jobs that are not scams.

Last week, someone sent me an email linking, not to ten job offers, but to ten ideas for jobs.  While I obviously would prefer job offers, some of these were ideas that I had not thought of.  So, I am linking to their website (which, by the way, has several other interesting articles as well).

In other news, my phone line and internet are down – again.  I am blogging this from somewhere else.  Some of you may be wondering why I seem to have problems with the phone line and internet so often.  It’s a long story, but it boils down to this: It’s a big job to permanently fix the problem, and the technicians are lazy.  And no, we can’t switch phone companies unless we want a cable connection that won’t work in a power outage.

That seems like a sour note to end a post on.  Let’s try again: If you are interested in working from home, check out the site above to get a few good ideas.

To the Bus Stop (Jerusalem, Part IV)

We’ve finally reached the corner.  Now, we turn right, onto Agrippas, and start walking down towards the bus stop, to go home.  These bus stops used to be on Yaffo, where the train now is.  When they built the train, they transferred all of them to Agrippas.  Now the “bus stop” is no longer a [useful, not pretty] old shelter, with a sign on top.  It is just a sign post on a small sidewalk, where people waiting for the bus push and are pushed by the people walking on the street, or going in and out of shops.  In other words a too-small sidewalk became even smaller – without actually changing the sidewalk itself.

The corner:

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The store on the corner, selling newspapers (and beers, and cigarettes).

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And a restaurant with a tiny smokers’ area.  It keeps the restaurant smoke-free, but what about the rest of us?

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A store selling snacks . . .

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. . . and a store selling all kinds of drinks: soft drinks, alcohol, water, juices – you name it, they have it.

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We finally reached the bus stop.

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Next post: Waiting for the bus.  (Yes, I will eventually finish this series and get back to normal writing.  If you must know, I thought of this series for two reasons: 1) To help satisfy readers’ curiosity about life in Israel, 2) To help aid my writers’ block that will only allow me to write rants about how awful formula is.

Honestly, though, we all know that posting too many pictures in one post is never a good idea.  So, I’m trying to divide the pictures up in a sensible manner.)  But, if you are getting bored of this, let me know.

Through the “Fake Shuk” (Jerusalem, Part III)

We left off, in my last post, in the middle of the fake shuk.  Now we continue, all the way the end of the street.

This is the second turn into the main shuk.

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Then we pass another housewares/paper goods store . . .

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. . . and a store selling nuts and dried fruits (as well as the third, and last, turn into the main shuk).

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Someone else has just received a delivery . . .

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A store that sells legwear and accessories.  To the left is a store selling only accessories, with a wider variety of them.

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An outdoor cafe.  It seems a bit too fancy for the surrounding stores, but it is just as busy.

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A store selling kippas, the religious headcovering for men.  This store carries a wide variety – wide enough that someon from almost any religious stripe can find something in their style.

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And a new juice bar.  It is too fancy, and too American-style, for the surrounding area, which is probably why I have almost never seen anyone actually buying there.  Chances are, the chain (of which this store is a part) will go out of business soon.  I have to say, I’m waiting for that day to come.  Israel has its own unique flavor, and American-style stores just ruin that uniqueness.

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We will turn the corner in the next post.

Kind of Busy

logos, design, websites

One of the logos I designed for Shevas Legal Services.

So, I’m kind of busy at the moment, because my boss has finally sent me something to do. . . and in addition, I’m editing, proofreading, and pretty much completely redoing Sheva’s website.  It’s a big job, and I spent a lot of last night on it, and all of today.  I made a few new pages, about five different logos (four of them with more than one version), and did a lot of proofreading.

I guess it would less of a big job if I wasn’t so new to WordPress, website design, and creating logos.  Luckily, I had a computer course in high school that gave me the basics.  That, however, was years ago.  But doing Sheva’s website gave me an idea that maybe, if I practice this enough, I can actually make money off redoing websites – without paying for a course to teach me.  Maybe.  But for right now, I’m off to work – the work that I’m being paid for, that is.