# Monday, 11 October 2010

Chaya Devoira's hearing

No, she's not been in court, this is hearing of the audio sort!

Chaya Devoira had a hearing test today, and came home with only one hearing aid. Contrary to what you might think, this wasn't because she'd pulled the other out, but rather because the hearing was normal in one of her ears. There is still a slight loss in the other ear, but it's much better than it was when she got the hearing aids.

In fairness, the medical person (not sure what status they have, I wasn't at the test) said that this is the best time of year for hearing tests, as all the flu bugs have died off during the summer, and the weather hasn't gone wet or cold enough to allow them to breed again. We are keeping the spare hearing aid, and will see how she gets on over the winter. If she gets through the winter without any hearing loss, then we might get rid of the spare in the spring, and maybe even stop using them altogether.

Also at the meeting was the support teacher for the deaf, who has been working closely with the little lady since she got the hearing aids. She reckons that Chaya Devoira's speech is of high quality, and instead of teaching her sounds, we should concentrate on teaching her words. We are going to continue with the signing, as this has become a great help in her communication, but we are to play it down in favour of proper words.

All in all, an excellent report B"H.

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# Tuesday, 24 August 2010

New camera, and a cute picture of Chaya Devoira

Well, after about seven years, and almost 11,000 pictures, we finally decided to buy a new camera. Actually, that's not strictly true. We were wondering what to do with all our points from Tesco shopping, and had been disappointed at the selection of places that would take them around Carlisle (where we were going on holiday, which may get mentioned here one day).

Instead, we decided to spend some of the points on a treat, and used them against a new digital camera. Due to the amount of food our lot scoff, we had enough points to pay for most of it (holding back a few points for a post-holiday trip to Blackpool zoo, which might also get mentioned here one day). In the end, our posh new camera cost us a total of £11.94! Seems like a good deal :)

Predictably, the very first picture was of Chaya Devoira:

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# Sunday, 22 August 2010

Bless her little cotton socks

We went to the zoo last week. They had talks throughout the day, each one about a different animal. As we were wandering around, we heard an announcement that there was going to be a giraffe talk very soon.

This sounded interesting, so we wandered along. We watched the giraffes, and listened to the talk.

When it was over, we started to leave, at which point, Simcha burst into tears. When we asked her what was wrong she said...

"I didn't hear the giraffe talk!"

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# Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Proofreading is a Dying Art...

I offer these with more than the usual bucket of salt. They are supposed to be genuine newspaper headlines. As usual, I make no claims as to their veracity, but I can sure believe them!

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over

Miners Refuse to Work after Death

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant

War Dims Hope for Peace

If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile

Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures

Enfield ( London ) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges

Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge

New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group

Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks

Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half

Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors

Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

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# Thursday, 10 June 2010

Update after many months

Well, having not updated this blog for ages (about seven weeks, but it feels like a long time), I decided it was about time. Trouble is, it’s too late at night to think of anything witty to write (I know, should be in bed), so I’ll compensate with a cute picture of Chaya Devoira:

Chaya Devoira

This was taken on Chol Hamoed Pesach, on a trip to Catalyst, which is a science centre on the Wirral (North-West England for those of you not familiar with our local geography). Housed in an old chemical plant, it had a fairly tall tower, whose top floor had glass walls on all sides, giving a rather good view of the Mersey, one of the bridges over it and, well, lots of other really interesting things!

Chaya Devoira had a great time crawling all over the place at a pretty impressive speed for her rather diminutive size. She will often stop in the middle of one of these crawls and look up to see where she’s going. It was during such a pause that I caught this picture.

The only other exciting thing that’s happened in the Smile Gemach recently is the return of our fish tank. Rather sadly, we had to leave this behind when we moved, as it was deemed unmoveable. The people that bought our house were very pleased to keep it, and we never got as far as getting another one in the new house.

Well, the people in our old house decided (after two years of fish keeping) that they wanted the space for a toy cupboard, and asked if we wanted our tank back. They removed the fish and took them to a fish shop, and I went round and dismantled the tank and cupboard. Unfortunately, my rather impressive (if I do say so myself) background that I built for the tank (click here for a nice picture) had been destroyed when they were trying to catch the fish (they’re a rather active type of fish, and very hard to catch), but apart from that, it was all in good order.

I managed to get the tank fitted in to our new house by the next day, and it was filled with water and ready for fish. For various reasons, it took about a week before we decided what we wanted to put in it, and another week or so before I managed to get to see the person who supplied me with fish before. We have a great arrangement: he supplies me with fish for free, and I fix his computer, which had conveniently just crashed before I rang!

So far, we only have a few fish, as you have to give the tank some time to settle down before putting in the full stock. We currently have four Neolamprologus leleupi, and four Julidochromis transcriptus "gombi." We are intending to get four each more of these two, as well as about eight Pseudotropheus saulosi, one male (the blue one) and seven females (the yellow one). Why they can’t give them simple names like guppies and platies is beyond me! Still, they look very nice. The pictures below are linked directly from other people’s sites (click the links on their names earlier in this paragraph to see more), so if you can’t see them, it means the site owners have moved the pics!

Neolamprologus leleupi
Neolamprologus leleupi

Julidochromis transcriptus "gombi"
Julidochromis transcriptus "gombi"

Pseudotropheus saulosi (blue male, yellow female)
Pseudotropheus saulosi

Well, as I have now waffled on about nothing for far more time than I should, I’m going to stop. Who knows, I might get around to updating this blog again sometime this year!

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# Monday, 19 April 2010

Cute quote from Thomas Edison

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas A. Edison

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# Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Chaya Devoira is the Shabbos Mammy

As our regular reader knows, Chaya Devoira goes to school, despite being only 18 months old. It is an integrated school, catering for special needs children, but with a reasonable number of children who don’t have special needs.

As with pretty much every kindergarten/nursery/etc around the Jewish world, they have a Shabbos party on Fridays, where a boy if chosen to be the Shabbos Tatty, and a girl is the Shabbos Mammy. Last week it was Chaya Devoira’s turn, so equipped with a tichel she waved a candle around whilst her “husband” made kiddush!

Chaya Devoira is the Shabbos Mummy

Judging by the picture above, it looks like one of the other girls was also lighting candles, but no-one minded, it was gorgeous! I’m not sure how much Chaya Devoira grasped what was going on, but she had a great time!

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# Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Words fail me

My mother just told me that a woman put an ad in her local Job Centre for reliable domestic staff and she was told she had to remove the world "reliable" as it discriminated against unreliable women.

I refrain from comment.

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# Monday, 18 January 2010

Silver girls go shopping in the snow

A couple of weeks ago, a pretty heavy (for Manchester) snow storm hit us. The girls trudged off to school in the snow, and we set about our daily routine.

Around 10am, we had a telephone call from the girls’ school, saying that they would be closing in ten minutes, and please could we come and pick them up. Good job we were in eh?

So, wrapping ourselves up, we set off for school. As the Boss was due to do some shopping that morning, and was nervous about the snow, I went with her. We borrowed a neighbour’s sledge, as we couldn’t find either of ours, and off we went to collect the girls and take them with us to the shops.

As we came out of one of the shops, a photographer from one of the local rags approached us and asked if he could take a picture of Simcha, who was pulling the sledge along. Shayna Brocho didn’t want to be left out, so posed with her.

Someone cut the picture out and gave it to us...

Simcha and Shayna Brocho shopping in the snow

The quality of the picture isn’t so great, but that’s because I had to scan a crumpled piece of newspaper!

As always happens, life ground to a halt as the country was totally unable to cope with the snow. Nechoma Bryna was away at the time. She had gone to Lvov in Lithuania, to teach in a school there for a couple of weeks. She came home to find the entire country at a standstill due to the snow.

Having just come back from much deeper snow, and seen the local population carry on as normal, she wasn’t impressed! She did stop complaining about the cold though. Every time anyone commented on it, she said “Huh, this is nothing. You should have been in Lvov.” Apparently it was –15 degrees C when she was there. Ouch .

Predictably, the population of Manchester grew significantly over the next couple of days as the children made snowman after snowman. Our courtyard was so full of them that the cars couldn’t have got out, even if they hadn’t been snowed in.

Most of these snowmen were the usual variety, but one in particular caught my eye. This life-sized one was beautifully carved, and was actually a lot better than this photograph shows...

Impressive snowman

It was fun while it lasted, and a huge mess afterwards. And now it's all gone... except they're forecasting more for Wednesday evening!

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# Monday, 21 December 2009

My very first virus – I am proud!

A virus todayI had my first virus yesterday! No, I don’t mean a cold or flu, sadly I’ve had those before. I mean a computer virus, you know the type that other people get but I don’t ‘cos I’m clever! Well, I’m obviously not as clever as I thought.

For years I never bothered with a virus checker, as I figured they were for daft people who download all and sundry from all sorts of dubious places. However, clever people like me who never download anything dubious, and would only download from trustworthy places, such things as virus checkers weren’t needed.

OK, so this was a stupid attitude, but amazingly enough, I survived for years with it. I finally got an anti-virus program a year or two back, but often wondered why. It sits there checking things, but never finds anything. After all, I’m clever!

Well, yesterday, I clicked on a link in a very well-respected professional forum, and when the expected site appeared, so did a PDF file of rubbish! I couldn’t work out where the file had come from, and was rather surprised when my anti-virus started throwing warnings at me about deadly viruses on my system.

B”H, the anti-virus killed them before they actually hit the computer, so no harm was done, but it did provide a useful life experience, as well as an object lesson in not sitting on your laurels. Apart from squashing them, it can harm your computer.

Don’t know why I bothered writing about this actually. Mind you, I’m not sure why I bother writing about most things that I do, so why should this be any different?

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