Laughlin Life and "Phun Photos"
Monday, August 27, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Mark's 1/4 Century Birthday in Tel Aviv
We went to Tel Aviv yesterday with Ryan for Mark's 25th birthday. We were originally hoping to get there in time (things close for Shabbat) to see Tel Jaffo (archaeological site). However, the bus we took dropped us off at the train station instead of the central bus station, and the inner-city bus ride from there to Jaffo took longer than the ride from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. All that to say, we missed our stop, but it was too late by that time anyways, so we got off, Mark got a turkey shwarma, I got a cold Coke in a glass bottle (it's the best way to drink it - doesn't even compare to a can or plastic bottle), and we went to the beach just south of Jaffo.
After playing in the waves for a while, we packed up our stuff and walked north up the beach. There were lots of kids out enjoying themselves, fishing, running around - I was having fun taking pictures of all the fun they were having. I'm just a big kid myself.
We walked back into "town" and caught a bus to the central bus station, where we walked around for a while and tried (in vain) to find out where the Globus Theater was. Ryan was our Hebrew expert (once again), and we finally got a 144 (that's 411 here) operator to tell us the mall that it was located in. We took a sherut to Diezengoff Square, asked directions to the mall, and walked a number of kilometers to get there, but we made it in time for "The Bourne Ultimatum," which is what we wanted to see. Along the way, I was having fun taking pictures of all of the hilarious "Israeli signs" along the way. If any of you can interpret what that jean advertisement (?) is trying to say, I'll give you 5 shekels.
It was a fun day even though our plans didn't work out as we had hoped, but we all really liked the movie and the water :)
Thursday, August 16, 2007
My Very Rough Unfinished Song...
For those of you who didn't know, I enjoy writing songs in my spare time, but I have never been able to really perfect them or record them anywhere. I used to play open mics at the Placerville Coffee Shop when I lived in NorCal, but didn't continue in SoCal. However, I still kept writing and playing (for Mark) for fun. I still don't have any equipment - in fact I left my "real" Ovation guitar at home because I was worried about it surviving the trip to Israel, and I bought a very cheap acoustic guitar at a music shop (here) in Israel. Since I tend to forget some of the songs that I write, especially if I don't play them over and over again when they are new, I decided to start recording rough clips of them on my computer. I don't have an external mic, just the little pinhole-in-my-screen-internal-mic on my Mac, but it does pretty well :) So, this is a very rough version of a song I just wrote (and I cringe when I listen to myself miss notes), but I decided to suck it up and post it anyways. It might take a little while to load, but it works...I checked it.
Clip of a song I'm working on: Fragments
Sea of Galilee - Part One
On our first day near the Sea of Galilee, we drove to the Gal Allon Center (very close to Migdal - just north of where we stayed). Here you can see the ancient Galilee boat that they managed to salvage and preserve from the mud of the lake. They call it the "Jesus Boat," which Mark and I found rather amusing, but the reason is because it has been dated to about 2000 years ago. The whole archaeological process which they had to go through to excavate and preserve it was the most amazing part (and that it was actually successful). I'm not going to re-tell it all here, but you should visit the museum's website and click through the tabs for yourself (especially "conservation").
Gal Allon (Museum) Center
We continued driving north along the shoreline and visited Capharnaum (Capernaum). Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Matthew all lived in this village about 2000 years ago.
The following is Todd Bolen's explanation of this site from BiblePlaces.com. The pictures are mine though :)
The dating of this synagogue is debated, but it is clearly later than the first century. Excavations have revealed a synagogue from the time of Jesus with walls made of worked stone and 4 feet thick.
These earlier walls were preserved up to 3 feet high and the entire western wall still exists and was used as the foundation for the later synagogue.
[Events at] the Synagogue
Jesus was confronted by a demoniac while teaching here (Mark 1:21-27).
In Capernaum, Jesus healed the servant of the centurion. This Roman official was credited with building the synagogue (Luke 7:3).
In this synagogue, Jesus gave sermon on the bread of life (John 6:35-59).
The House of Peter
Excavations revealed one residence that stood out from the others. This house was the object of early Christian attention with 2nd century graffiti and a 4th century house church built above it. In the 5th century a large octagonal Byzantine church was erected above this, complete with a baptistery. Pilgrims referred to this as the house of the apostle Peter.
Here are the pretty millstones and flowers on the way out.
Next stop - Donkey in the fieldnext to a pink-roofed Greek church...and then the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter...the names they come up with for some of these places! I was going to create my own "The Church of the Ultimate Primacy of Sir Master Saint Peter 'The Rock' of Capernaum." I think Peter would have wanted a great name placard on his desk with this title :)
Monday, August 13, 2007
Catching up on our trip North (in February)
So, now that I finished Yam L Yam, I figured that I should put more pictures up from our trip to the North of Israel back in February. I left off with Megiddo (see the old posts). After Megiddo, we drove into the Tiberias area (Sea of Galilee) and eventually found our guesthouse just north of Tiberias is Migdal. First we drove our little car up a great 4-wheel mud road to get a great view of the Arbel Cliffs (behind the car) and the Kinneret.
I saw a black fox running through the grass and rocks up on the hill. Mark and I had a lakeside view from our room. After we checked in, we drove into the port area in Tiberias and walked around the promenade on the lake-front and looked at the boats.
We found a great restaurant that is actually built out into the water (called "Decks") , and you have a great view of the lake.
It was raining, and it was fun to eat our freshly grilled chicken and lamb kabobs and listen to the rain. After dinner, we walked around and found a cute coffee shop where we had some coffee/tea, dessert.
Then we went back to the guesthouse, played some pingpong (they had a table in the communal area - I think we tied), and went to bed.