prayer walking places

Before I left, I used to go walking along the seafront in Southsea, head out of my house and turn left and go as far as the rock gardens on South Parade Pier, or turn right and head around Old Portsmouth and Gunwharf. At the moment Rehavia Park is my blank canvas for speaking to the Lord on thanking him, giving him praise or asking for help at the moment. Walking in the park is nice as its usually full of families often having barbeques or people out with their dogs or jogging.

Shabbat on a balcony overlooking the city

Had Shabbat dinner (from friday) at a friends house on the other side of town, well a longish walk across the park along side the the Knesset (government building) Had some really good food, got to sit on a balcony across the city, the view was amazing. Whats more that balcony had a wooden frame built around it, so it could be used as a Succot tent, just throw a big tarpaulin over it.

Our team consists of people from US, Canada, Germany, South Africa, Australia and Japan, until now actually I was the only Brit but there another person joined this week.

Browser wars and customer’s data

Blogging some regular geek stuff today.

Just read this article on the register on IT techs working for Orange are getting into trouble for using Firefox at work.   Now I understand that you should follow company’s procedures for using software that’s approved, but for a lot of big companies still sticking with using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 6 (the browser that comes with Windows XP)  really need to start getting upto speed with their security.

Its well known the IE6 is incredibly insecure even with all latest updates and patches on, businesses must start moving on from using dangerously flawed legacy applications.

I went into my bank (Lloyds TSB) before I went away, and my records are being stored on a PC with IE6 with some kind of web based customer relations software.

Word up to Orange and Lloyds TSB and any other business using IE6 to keep my data, start looking at your security procedures.  I am not happy you could be putting me, the customer’s data at risk on such an obsolete poor excuse for a web browser.  If you are not interested, I don’t want to be a customer of you any more.

Firefox really actually should be an easy app to support and use in the work place.  True, some finicky apps will insist on ActiveX plug ins and wont work on anything but IE6, but this can easily be solved with a Firefox extension called IETab which can automatically render certain sites with URL filtering.

The ActiveX system in IE 6 (and 7&8) can let all kinds of uninvited nasties in your machine.  Firefox’s main security advantage is it doesn’t support ActiveX, but is easily scalable and can be customised by add on extensions, these can be locked out by making sure the user doesn’t have Admin rights of course.  Of course, no browser is completely secure but from supporting people in business and at home using Firefox, users generally take to it without much training and generally don’t tend to break their computer’s set up or get security problems really at all, plus you can use it under Mac and Linux as well.

By Jonathan Posted in it, work

The Shuk

Now, somehow I thought I visited this market before on my previous two trips to Israel, but I was mistaken as was confusing this with the more general sort of market held in the old city. This was different as this market is just food.

It was sunday midday and I was going to head to church about 5pm, the market is hugely hectic and full of shoppers looking for bargains, and young men pushing around trolleys of fruit and vegetables on to the shelves. To me this is the most fun part of weekly shopping.

Things here are just not what you expect. One man had what appeared to have large hand operated meat mincers, I am not sure if this was for mashing up baby food or for butchers for producing meat products. Behind him were various odd looking mostly rusty metal parts, maybe he was repairing and recondition these contraptions. Another sight was some workmen using an angle grinder to cut through some kind of redundant plumbing fitting on the wall, but without much regard for the safety of nearby shoppers the sparks off the tools where flying all over path and all over some meat put out in the stand close by. Some cheeky pigeons swoop down and start scoffing some of the tubs of corn, nuts, cereal and dried fruit sold for people to buy and and weigh themselves before the owner of the shop looks up from his newspaper and they are suddenly gone.

I want to get myself a falafel, but this particular counter doesn’t have them, instead I got some kind of shwarma a sandwich with omelette, fish and some kind of spicey sauce, and a malt drink, the 50 something man tells me to sit down on a small round table as he will bring it over, as he turns around his cigarette ash blows into my face, yuk. The food is really good though. He then flings the cigarette but carelessly into the middle of the market road where it just misses a box full of mostly paper rubbish.

I got a kilo of plums, some pita breads, and best bargain of all a large half of a water melon, this item was just one Shekel (16 pence) Its funny in this country its generally cheaper to buy fruit and vegetables than to get a microwave meal. I really like the fact that prepackaged food is not really that easy to get hold of so everyone is encouraged to eat decent stuff here.

second day here in Jerusalem

Plane journey was not to bad, left on time, although my screen on the seat in front of me stopped working, pressing any of the buttons would not respond, the screen was just black, after a couple of presses of the alert steward button, someone came after a few minutes, he then pressed some of the buttons making me feel somewhat stupid. Got chatting to the guy next to me who was returning back to his home in Haifa as he had been on the way back from Los Angeles which required 3 different plane changes, so he was obviously very tired. Also spoke to a British girl who was only 18 but was bravely coming on her own to see some family here, so we chatted whilst waiting to go through security and waited as she went to buy a new mobile phone from kiosk in the airport, then we got a Sherut (taxi van) which gets you from TLV airport to anywhere in Jerusalem for NIS50 (£10ish) this is great as you can get to the door of where you want to go, but the taxi only leaves when it has enough people, and it took a few hours going all around different bits of Jerusalem dropping other people off.

My phone has decide to not work doing roaming here which is odd as its worked before. In my flat I share with an American called Josh, and once I arrived I had a Cellcom SIM card, some food, and few books and literature about the charity waiting for me.

Today I got up about 9.30, and don’t have to work till next week, so got a free day to take a wander and look around town. There was a demonstration on a road nearby for the release of the young 18 year old soldier who was captured by Hamas a few years ago, he is meant to be still alive somewhere in Gaza, so continued to pray for him that he will be released soon. Jerusalem has changed a bit since my last visit here in 2006, there’s a huge bridge held together by some steel wires, looks like a big expensive and ambitious design, its not finished as there were workman there as there is no actual road surface on it. In the middle of town there is a lot of work going on as well and its obvious a new light railway that is going to through the city is underway.

Its not easy negotiating round the city as the street signs are small and directional signs are a bit vague. As I was hoping to get to the Shuk (main market in the middle of Jerusalem) it became apparent as it was 1pm the chances are it will be shut already or soon because everything closes for Shabbat. I got a few items in this medium sized supermarket, but things like falafel or bagels were not to be found, and this shop like a few others for some strange reason do not sell drinks in bottles smaller than 1 litre. It was slightly worrying my carrier bag I had these items nearly broke half way walking through the park, think I must of walked a good six miles today in exploring the city, but not got see the juicy bits like the old city, the Shuk and the tomb of Jesus.

My room has wireless and Cellcom sim seems to work all ok, I also have a land phone as the international rates we have seems extremely cheap too. My housemate is making me dinner so will call this journal a night I think.

Flying London Heathrow to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion

Woohoo! Time for some airport lounge style blogging, even though all the wireless networks here are subscription only, I am just typing this into Open Office and uploading later.

My flight is going at 11.15 to Tel Aviv, getting up at 5 wasn’t so bad as for some reason I keep getting up early anyhow, but some how feeling hugely dehydrated and some tea and orange juice didn’t really help things, it go worse on the coach up here, but found praying and getting a bit more sleep seem to help things hugely.

packing for trip, seafront walking, other preparation

Went for a walk this evening, on the east side of Portsmouth, from Moorings Way, over to the seafront around Eastney Marina around to Eastney then to Locksway Road, St James Hospital and back to Moorings Way, must have been a good nearly 4 miles.

Only have a week till my flight, so probably going to miss the sea around Portsmouth. Got somewhere to put car for 6 months, so now need to fill in a load of forms to get the tax disc I bought a week and a half ago refunded, as well as insurance.

Now got to work out how to condense things I need for 6 months into a 20 kilos, or more accurate a 5 kilo bag with 15 kilos of airlines quota…