Skip to main content

Be'er Sheva Burning

Be'er Sheva Burning
e.s. kohen


No, a two room apartment does not mean a two bedroom apartment. What it really means is an itty-bitty living room—dining room—kitchen—bathroom crammed right up next to a small bedroom that has no door. It means incredibly hot autumn days and freezing cold nights. It means paper towels taped over a hole in the front window that had all of the insulation necessary to keep small rabid kittens from crawling in at night.

It couldn’t have been midnight as I laid on my bed, watching my laptop screen light up half of the city of Be’er Sheva, somewhere in the Negev desert in Israel. It would shut itself off eventually, but of course that magic moment of blissful darkness wouldn’t happen until I was half frustrated out of my mind.

The shutters covering my bedroom window were tightly shut for fear of things that go bump in the night. But don’t get me wrong, even if my neighbors didn't occasionally launch random rodent-wanna-be-cats at my apartment, I still would want that window closed; my upstairs neighbors were divinely inspired to throw their post-rotted delectables out their window into a three foot walkway between a short concrete wall and  my wonderful accommodations. So, considering the aroma of rotting hygiene products, the former contents of a very active garbage can, and the occasional kitten carcass strewn about, I decided to keep that particular window closed.

I should have known not to answer the door in the middle of the night.  However, when someone is hammering on your door, yelling in Hebrew, then Arabic, in the middle of the night, something might just be amiss enough to investigate.

No one was there when I opened the door. After examining a carving knife just thrown out one of the windows above me, I proceeded to the other bottom floor apartment to see how much of reality I had lost touch of. I tossed the knife at what I think was a cat, (or a rather large and crusty rat), and started trying to decipher the myriad of curses being kindly exchanged between downstairs and upstairs neighbors.

Only God really knows what would happen if there was peace in the Middle East; I can see everyone killing themselves instead, and it would probably involve teeth. The downstairs neighbors were Jewish, (though the “real" religious Jews resented them). They were Hebrew at any rate, secular college kids, and living together even though they weren’t married. The Arabs upstairs redefined domestic abuse for me in ways I never knew possible. I could never tell who was getting the worse end of it. I mean, she could really holler, but was a horrible aim when she threw knives. He was the strong silent type. So, to say this situation was a little explosive would be totally insufficient.

The house was on fire.

I don’t have a clue what it was oozing down the side of the house–grease, liquid cat carcass, sewage, I didn’t really care. Just the same old, same old—except it was dripping down onto some lights bolted onto the house. Arabs above me, Jews all around me. All I could really decipher in the chaos of Hebrew and Arabic was that they didn't think I should be using the water hose to put out an electrical fire.

That’s when I noticed it. Someone had stolen the really nice long water hose that I had just bought and put this cracked and crumbling tube of malevolent irony in its place. I sprayed everything–especially the thorn bush. I slammed my door, laid in bed, and softly recited the curses the firemen started shouting when they arrived.

Popular posts from this blog

EncFS Hints

EncFS Hints Contents:What is EncFS?Using EncFS and Cloud StorageTermsEncFS CommandsEncFS Tools cmp.20141209 1. What is EncFS? EncFS is a "Virtual Filesystem" ... of sorts.  Encrypted files are placed individually within a folder, on top of an existing filesystem.
With special software, the folder containing the encrypted files is "Mounted"  as another drive letter, ( Z: drive), or as another mountpoint in a Linux/Unix system, (i.e. /mount/shdw). 2. EncFS Best PracticesWhen mounting/decrypting encrypted files, mount in RAM/Memory, or decrypt to a secure partition.Encrypt your swap drive, (Linux/Unix).Use EncFS to encrypt home folders, auto-decrypting on login.Use EncFS to encrypt files synchronized to cloud storage or with BitTorrent Sync.Use a "shdw" prefix/folder root, for mounted secure folders, or even secure source repositorie, (i.e., /mnt/shdw/dropbox-encfs, /mnt/shdw/luks-drive/source/apache-source, etc). 3. Using EncFS and Cloud Storage EncFS is i…



Heavy tattered curtains smothered the living room window; a heavy gust slammed the screen door against the mountain cabin. Hiding from the lightning, a small boy huddled in the corner, wondering when the daylight would be taken by the storm. I'm not afraid of the lightning, he tried.He closed his eyes at the thunder and then faded into nothingness as his page was thrown away. 
A black, cold iron wood stove stood isolated in its corner; a small ash bucket and a spilled wood cradle spotted the bare wooden floor. A young man watched from his stool, peering between the curtains with a rifle in his hand. What will run here from the storm, he wondered.  He slid a round into the rifle's chamber, turned, and then closed the bolt.  As he waited for what was to come, lightning tore through the mountain top, sundering soul from body—a page torn in half; the clouds crumpled, and then he was gone.

A few framed oil paintings, among a dozen unfinished, hung on the cabin's only inte…

Meta Security & Theosophy

Meta Security & Theosophy ContentsWhen Technical Debates Become ReligiousEquivocation in Technology: Meta DataEquivocation in Theology: Six Days of CreationThe Value of Accepting Ideas, "As Is"Conclusion cmp.20140704
e.s. kohen
1. Where Technical Debates Become Religious How do you know when Meta Data become real Data?  The answer is the same as asking: How do you know when an Electron will change state?  By observing it.

Slashdot vs, the NSA and Meta Data has yet another community mash-up regarding Meta Data.  As always, "Tin Foil Hat" conspiracies abound--but in this case justifiably.

From a Philosophical point of view--namely Epistemology, (even Memetics), for that matter, the International Community has completely failed to "Grok" the idea that "Meta" is a completely relative term.

When any scientific debate is abruptly thrown into the context of the Politics or Theology, the entire planet seems to devolve into manipulati…