Can’t get away from faxes in this country…

Last night, we ordered sushi from Atza, which has a great online menu (it’s really a pleasure ordering from there, all online menu’s should be done the same way). It’s always nice to support Israeli businesses that are on the cutting edge of hitech.

That is, until the restaurant called us an hour and a half after we ordered and apologized that it’s so late, saying that the fax with our order fell off the paper tray and they didn’t see it until just now.

Seriously, fax???? It all comes back to that? This country is insane.

Side note: They were very nice, and super apologetic, and gave us some free goodies with our order. There’s no hard feelings.

Unicorns Are Not Important

 

This article is kind of funny, the way it decides to focus only on the super valuable startups (unicorns), but then excludes Facebook from most of the analysis because it’s just so super valuable (a super unicorn) that it throws all the rest of the numbers off.

 

I think the whole thing is just kind of money porn, and doesn’t really teach anything valuable or realistic.  I’d be much more interested if someone rewrote the exact same article, hit all the same data points, but instead analyzed all $10-$100 M exits, and dismissed everything higher than that as an outlier, the same way this article dismisses Facebook.  There’d be a lot more real-world lessons to be learned that way.

 

I came across something the other day that’s useful in exactly the way this isn’t:  Buffer’s monthly look at their numbers.  It’s a wide open window into a fledgling, newly profitable startup, with a valuation of a few million dollars (Exact numbers anyone?  I doubt there’s anything solid), and a clear documented process of exactly how they got there, and where they plan on going from there.  It’s a much more insightful and meaningful look into the world of startups, but unfortunately wont be shared as widely as this Unicorn article at TechCrunch, because it isn’t quite as “cool.”

Crappy Post

Hi! Miss me? I haven’t had internet in a while. I moved to Jerusalem, started a job, and have generally been very busy. I only just got internet in this apartment a few days ago. I even considered leaving that last post up as my last one, and closing down the blog. But… I decided against it. So here I am again, blogging better than usual! Well, maybe not better than usual, because this one kind of sucked, and it’s about to end. I’ll have a better one up in a few days, I promise.

To All Who Don’t Understand

When is the right time to make aliya? I guess you could say I’m paying for my decision to make aliya early. Already, I have friends who I thought I was leaving behind coming to make aliya. They’re mostly all better off than me, and have started with their lives. Most of my friends from high school (the 20% who aren’t in kollel), have one or two degrees, stable jobs, in some cases great jobs, houses, wives and children. I’m still in university, and will be for the better part of the next two years. And that’s just for a bachelor degree.

Needless to say, had I waited to make aliya, things would definitely be easier. In fact, I think that any person considering aliya, looking at his or her present situation, will always find evidence for pushing off aliya by another year or two (or ten). I don’t think there’s any stage in life where it wouldn’t be beneficial to wait. If you’re just out of high school, then it’s definitely advantageous to get a degree first. Making aliya with a degree is a whole new world over making one without, and roughing it in an Israeli university. If you already have a degree, why not wait until you have an MA, or an MBA? Israeli companies salivate over the prospect of an American MBA, and there’s always the option of telecommuting for an American company, an option much more feasible with a US degree. If you have an MA or an MBA, why not wait a couple of years to build up a nest egg? You can make more in a year in America than you can save in five in Israel. You might also want to get married in America. Why risk the Israeli singles scene? The American singles scene is something you understand, or even enjoy. What compares to the Upper West Side? Certainly not Katemon. On the UWS you can find a mate who compliments your American background, and who wants to make Aliya. After all, she told you so on the first date! You put together a five year plan, to save up money. Now you’re comfortable in Queens, you’re making money, you’re saving money, and you realize you can even start having kids and still save money. So why not? Have a kid or two.

At this point you’re thirty-two and you’ve got two kids. Maybe you’ve got another one on the way. Do you really think you’re still making aliya? (I mean, maybe you are. But you’re in the minority. Let’s not delude ourselves here.) To your horror (or perhaps bemused acknowledgement) everything you’ve accumulated in preparation for aliya has become an anchor to life in America. You love your job. You love your community. You love your wife, who’s beginning to have second thoughts about relocating. You love your kids, and you don’t relish the thought of them having to start school over in another language. You played all your cards right, and looked at the situation rationally at each and every stage, and decided every time that even though you definitely want to make aliya, it would simply be irresponsible to do so at this stage in your life, and you need another year or two of prep. And you were right every time! So where did you go wrong?

I’ll tell you were you went wrong. You went wrong because you simply want to make aliya. You don’t need to. It doesn’t hurt to stay in America. It doesn’t pain you when the plane takes off at the end of your yearly vacation in Israel. Living in America doesn’t make you feel like a fish out of water. And I don’t mean “fish out of water,” in the general, uneasy-feeling like you don’t belong sense. I mean the actual gasping for breath, dying because you’re in a hostile environment sense. If you did, you wouldn’t stay for a degree, you wouldn’t stay for money, and you wouldn’t even stay for love. After all, a fish can only love another fish. He doesn’t belong with the mammals. He doesn’t need to rationalize jumping back in the water. He simply has to, and damn the consequences.

Capital of Poland Before 1600

Looking for the answer? Read on…

I can’t curl my left fist into the gun shape. You know, the pointer finger extended outward, the thumb up? And every time you “shoot,” you push down the thumb even though that isn’t at all the way a gun shoots? So yeah, that. I can’t do it. I haven’t been able to do it, for as long as I can remember. For some reason, whenever I try, my pinkie finger sticks out, at a ninety degree angle from my hand. Just straight out there, as if without a care in the world. It looks stupid. (My right hand can do it with no problems). If I force the finger down, I can sort of wedge it under the ring finger and have it stay down, but I can’t accomplish it without manual assistance form the other hand.

I can’t think of any possible consequence this may have on my life.

SPECIAL NOTE – I notice that many people reach this post by way of google, because they’re looking for what the capital of poland in 1600 was. You must be dissapointed reaching this page and not getting the answer, so I’ll help you out – The capital of Poland until 1600 was Krakow, and the joke in Calvin and Hobbes is that Suzie asks Calvin during a test, Calvin clearly doesn’t know the answer, but is engrossed in a daydream and accidentally gives her the right answer. This post is about my inability to make the gun gestures that Calvin makes in that strip. Case closed. As thanks, you can click my ads, or buy this great complete collection of Calvin and Hobbes – a must for any fan.

Marlon Brando and Lag Ba’omer

A few years ago, I made a bet with a friend of mine over how long Marlon Brando was going to live. My friend said he wasn’t going to last out the year, and I had faith in the Godfather’s health. Brando lived, I won, and the twenty shekel was mine. I got greedy, though, and we went double or nothing for the next year. Sure enough, a couple of months before the end, good old Marlon kicked the bucket, and I lost my hard-earned twenty shekel.

I saw this friend again at a wedding tonight, and we decided to make another bet. This time the subject is me (though thankfully, not in death). I bet him that I could be engaged within a year, and he took that bet without hesitation (actually, his reaction was something like “a year? I’ll take that bet for any period of time…”). His faith in me was somewhat underwhelming. So here I am, without a girlfriend or even prospects on the horizon, with 364 days to go until next year, Lag Ba’omer. Wish me luck.

In other Menachem-related betting news, me and David are still neck and neck in our ongoing 50 shekel Omer-with-a-bracha bet.

Bonfire of the Vanities

What’s the point of Lag Ba’omer? Like, seriously, what does it commemorate? What does it celebrate? The day Rabbi Akiva’s students stopped dying? That doesn’t really make sense.

Rabbi Akiva had, near as I can tell 24,005 students. From Pesach until Lag Ba’omer, 24,000 of them died. So we have this big celebration on the day they stopped dying? If 99.98% of your students died of plague in a 33 day period, would you go out and celebrate with bonfires? (Bonfires? Where in our religion do we have that? Or anything remotely like that? It seems very pagan to me).