Sunday, August 31, 2008


I'm not a big gadget but I've come across some pretty cool stuff during our moving preperations. First is the magic jack , basically you plug one end into your USB and the other end into a phone and waalaa you have a U.S. phone number and it only cost 20 bucks a year. I haven't plugged mine in, since we are sill in teh U.S. but some of my siblings have it and they don't seem to have any issues.

What really cool is the Slingbox , I've heard commercials for this and never thought it would work like they say. For the uninformed, a Slingbox is a device that one plugs into their cable at home (in my case, a frieds house) and plug the slingbox into the router and somehow I can watch my home TV on my computer. ANYWHERE..So I can come home from work on a sunday afternoon in Ariel, flip on the laptop and watch the Lions game, or whatever else is on Detroit television. I can pause, rewind or record up to an hour, and I have a TV Guide on it as well.

The picture is not crystal clear, still very watchable and will accomplish what I want it for.

So cool

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Thursday, August 28, 2008


I went to the Doctor with Nat today for her ultrasound visit (for those that don't know, she's pregnant) to be honest I wasn't so excited to head to doctors. But, being the good husband that I am, I went.

We sat in the waiting room for almost 40 minutes, then sat in a room and looked at grainy pictures that I had no idea what they were.

As we were leaving Nat asked if I was glad that I came.....

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Our apartment

We made the decision to find an apartment before we get to Israel, since our lift may get to there before we do, and pass up the absorption housing. We are on a E-mail list in Ariel that sends us Emails about different apartments that are available. The plan was that my lovely sister in law would be our agent and she was went to Ariel to look at some places.

We were told about one apartment that was in a nice location, price was perfect and the picture we saw looked OK, but it's tough to tell from pictures. For various reasons that apartment fell through. For the past few weeks Avi, our Ariel contact, has been telling us about a 3 bedroom apartment that is in the neighborhood we want, but the price was a bit high. When the cheaper apartment fell through, amazingly the price of the nice apartment dropped. At the same time a house came onto the market at a great price. but not in the right neighborhood, probably a 20 minute to the community that we want to live in. Not a terrible walk, but still kind of annoying.

Thanks to a lot of work by my sister-in-law and Avi it seems like we have an apartment in the neighborhood we want for a price we can afford.

For those who are wondering we have less then 3 weeks before we leave.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The move

At around 11:00 the night before the movers were set to come, I left a message for Alon at Omega, the company we used to ship our stuff, I asked to please call me first thing in the morning, we never heard from the movers, who were supposed to call us 24 hours in advance, and we had no idea what the story was with our lift. By 9:00AM I hadn't heard from the movers or from Omega.

Around 10:00 I called and talked with our customer service rep who said we should have talked with the dispatcher yesterday. Since I hadn't she put me through to him. I told him I had no idea when our lift was coming, he told me that they weren't sending the lift. They were bring a truck, they would load the truck, put it in storage for 30 days and then load it into the lift. I asked him what the cost for this would be and he had no idea, said I had to talk to Alon. I informed him that I wasn't happy with Alon, because he has yet to get back to me. I asked the dispatcher when the movers would get to our house, he wasn't sure said he would get back to me. He called 20 minutes later or so and said they should arrive at 2:30.

I finally got in touch with Alon around 1:00, he said that he was able to get 30 days free shipping, but the double packing would cost $675.00. I told him that was unacceptable, we specifically said we wanted to know a price before he put it in storage. He said that Natalie had told them a few times that we wanted to store our stuff, and once it is in the container they can't store it, so this is what they did. I told him that we also asked what the cost would be, and even as late as yesterday they couldn't tell us.

Then Alon told us that they were doing a survey of a guy in Detroit, who we had discussed earlier the possibility of consolidating our lift and hopefully saving money, and if his stuff would fit with ours then they would combine them. I told Alon that the other guys stuff wouldn't fit in with our 20 foot lift, and we spoke with the other guy a few weeks ago and he said he was going to do his own thing. Or, he still had a 20 foot lift reserved and he could have it sent to our house the following day, the movers would box everything then, and put it on the lift the following day. With this option we would still have the issue of our stuff getting to Israel before we do.

Alon said we should call the other guy and see whats going, if he would split the double packing cost then it wouldn't be too bad, and it would be worth it for us to do. I called the other, he had no idea anyone was coming to his house, I think he was out of town, and he told me that he is using a different company.

So I called Alon back and told him that the other guy isn't using his company so that is a non-issue. So we decided that we would have him send us the lift and we would have to give up on the free 1 month apartment, and find a place before we got to Ariel.

Around 4:00 the movers pulled in, and I was talking to the leader of the group and he said they were taking all the stuff back to Indianapolis with them. I told them what we had heard from Omega and he said he would check with his dispatcher.

Around 6:00 they started loading things in the truck, I called Omega left a message for Alon and then talked to the receptionist and told her I need to talk to Alon ASAP - she said he's working on it, she heard him say my name on the phone. By 7;00 the truck was pretty full, I got in touch with Alon, he said that he didn't want the stuff to leave, and he was leaving a message for their bosses, and he would be in touch with me when he found out what was going on.

At 8:00 the movers were finished packing everything up, and they took off for Indianapolis. They told us that it might get driven back to Detroit, or they may meet the lift in the middle somewhere.

At around 8:45 Alon called and told me that the lift is going to Indianapolis and will be packed there. We won't get charged for the double packing, and it should get to Israel after we do, but he didn't tell me when.

Tomorrow I will call him and find out of they packed the lift and if everything fit, since they didn't measure it. And if it doesn't fit exactly how will they decide what to leave in Indianapolis.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Moving Day

Tomorrow the movers are coming and packing up our lift. We are still undecided about the couches, although it looks like the will be moving with us.

So far I am very unimpressed with our moving company, they have been the most frustrating aspect of this whole experience. They are terrible at getting back to us. We called them almost two weeks ago to discuss the issue of the lift getting to Israel before we do, and they still haven't given us an answer. Nat spoke with someone the other day and she said that they may be able to store it for 30 days for free, but she wasn't sure, there may be a cost involved she would get back to us.

Today, we talked to them and they said that to store it wouldn't be free, but they didn't know what it would cost, and if we did store it we would have to pay double the handling fee, since they would have to pack and repack everything, but again, they didn't know what that would cost.

I'm not sure when they will know, but it had better be tomorrow because I'm not going to tell them to take our stuff and let us know what we should pay them.

We also don't know what time the movers will be coming out since they have never called us. Hopefully their moving skills exceed their customer service.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


Last night as I turned out the lights before going to sleep it hit me that this may be the last time I sleep in my house. Tonight is the first night that we have moved in with my parents. (not a great idea to move into a house with a pool during the 9 days). For the next two to three months we will pretty much be homeless. (Although, to be honest, I've always considered this my house also).

It hit me that this is really happening, we aren't just talking about making aliyah, leaving our friends, we are actually going through with it.

Technology is such, that we will have a local number and both Nat and I have computers with webcams, so once we get used to the time changes we will still be able to stay close with the friends we are leaving behind. But as nice it is to still be in touch it won't be the same. My close friends from here I met playing basketball with (I pretty much plan on using this strategy to make friends in Israel) luckily our friendships have gone beyond the court, we played football together:) but I know that no amount of technology can get us back on the court together again, without a long plane trip..or if we play XBOX Live, but the time difference would make that tough.

I told Jonah that he will be able to send video mail to his friends, but that won't be the same as running around playing and growing up together.

I know that this is the right decision for us.... I know that we will stay in touch with our friends, make new friends, our friends will make new friends, life will go one...but that doesn't make it an easy decision