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Topics - shlonx

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Tech Talk / Memory Card folder problem in Canon camera
« on: December 13, 2017, 09:53:10 AM »
The SD card in my Canon camera still saves all the pictures to the same folder. How do I get ti to create a new folder, such as a differnet folder for every month?
I currently have 2307 files in one folder, and it's really annoying. Any help would be appreciated.

The camera is a Canon Rebel T5i.

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Tech Talk / Dell Active Pen - will something else work too?
« on: December 05, 2017, 12:23:07 AM »
I want to buy a stylus for a Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 laptop. Do I need to specifically buy a Dell Active Pen, or could I buy from a different company? If I can, does anyone have any recommendations?

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Tech Talk / Remote Starter for Cars
« on: November 19, 2017, 12:18:55 PM »
Has anyone here installed their own remote starter? What type? Was it relatively easy?

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Trip Reports / The Hasidics Abroad - shlonx's travels through Italy
« on: October 11, 2015, 04:52:41 PM »
This is my first trip report; I hope you enjoy it. I’m writing it mainly because I read through all the relevant threads and trip reports before planning my trip to Venice and Rome, and gleaned valuable information from them! So I’d like to add my two cents. Feel free to question, constructively criticise, or give feedback…

DISCLAIMERS:
•   Some of the historical/geographical facts related here are from what I remember from our tour guide, so I take no responsibility for their validity.
•   Some of the pictures are of mediocre quality, since I lack a DSLR and photographical aptitude.
•   “We” and “Us” might refer to both me and my wife, or the tour group.
•   Usage of people’s faces does not in any way indicate personal endorsement of their respective parties and/or ideologies.
•   I really did try to stick to proper grammar, of which I am a pronounced proponent, but may have lapsed on some occasions, especially, with my liberal use, of the comma, and
•   I might ramble on at times, not yet having perfected the finesse of trip report writing. Please excuse me. Other than that,

Enjoy!

I went to Israel for summer vacation, and afterward to Italy, first staying in My Kosher Hotel in Canazei in the Dolomite Mountains, and then going to Venice and Rome. I’m only writing about the Italian leg of my trip, because it’s the one that would be helpful, and is more interesting to boot ;-) (the Israeli one was quite standard: free nights in Waldorf Astoria, Mitzpeh Ramon, Meron, Tzfas, Teveria, the Golan and Galilee etc.). I booked the Canazei part with Ideal Tours, a Jerusalem-based travel agency, since their package included flights, transportation, daily trips and a tour guide, which meant I wouldn’t have to rent a car and drive around.
We travelled from TLV to VRN at 04:50 am on Tuesday, the 11th of August, with Neos Airways, a small Italian no-frills airline that mainly flies to holiday destinations. The guy at the check in desk in Ben Gurion felt bad about us having to pay overweight, so he gave us front row seats.

Our plane




After a morning landing, we davened shacharis in the airport, to the amusement of passers-by, and took a coach to a big parking lot in the outskirts of Verona, since they aren’t allowed into the city (which is the case in many places in Italy). Leaving the bus, we crossed a rather ugly looking river, and began walking down a wide boulevard, alongside a centuries-old wall that encircled Ancient Verona. We ended up near a marvellous Amphitheatre, built in 30 AD, and still in intact condition. It’s still in use for operas and concerts etc., and preparations for a production of Aida by Verdi were going on, with props (pyramids, sphinxes etc…) being lifted over the walls by crane.
Ate lunch (semi-stale sandwiches from Holy Bagels in Geulah) in the park nearby, and then strolled through a long avenue full of high-end boutiques and designer stores teeming with tourists toward the only Shul in Verona. There are soldiers guarding the area around the shul, but any auras of menace they intend to project immediately dissipate when one lays eyes on their hilarious headgear. The building was locked, so we couldn’t enter it, but it had a very imposing exterior, with nice stone carvings of mekomos hakedoshim (including, oddly enough, Yad Avshalom). The properties around the shul belong to the kehilla, and they make a lot of money renting it to the fancy stores. The shul is on a street named Via Rita Rosani, who was a local Jewish resistance fighter during WWII, and was the only Italian woman partisan to die fighting the Nazis ימ"ש.

Old City Wall
 


The Amphitheatre
 


Via Mazzini, the heart of the shopping district



Soldier guarding the shul
 


 The Shul
 









We then walked a few blocks to Casa di Giulietta, “Juliet’s House”, where the ball which Reb Romeo gate-crashed allegedly took place. It’s a “minhag” for people write their names and names of their loved ones on the wall, and also, lehavdil, to stick notes into the wall underneath the balcony where Juliet stood. We were jostled amongst tons of people passing in and out, so the Rebbetzin and I just peeked into the courtyard and left. There are no kosher food establishments in Verona as far as I know, but a few people bought fresh cut-up fruit, or smoothies etc. without the milk.  Back in the bus parking lot, we were accosted by former residents of The Dark Continent selling us selfie sticks for €5. They walk up to you, stick one a bunch in your face, and repeat “Selfie, selfie, selfie, selfie…” Well, one of the people in the group actually bought one, so I guess it works…

The wall of names
 


Anybody know them?




Leaving Verona, we began the long drive north to Canazei through the Po Valley, passing picturesque scenery the whole way; patchwork fields, beautiful apple orchards, prim vineyards with huge juicy grapes, and rocky mountains dotted with vibrant villages. All the while the tour guide was regaling us with stories about the history of Jews in Italy, and other interesting tidbits of information about the towns and villages we were passing. The tour guide’s decibel level was proportionate with the amount of people awake, so eventually his voice petered out…

Views from the bus
 











We stopped in Sirmione, a town famed for its thermal springs on the southern shore of Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy. The group split up into two motorboats and we went for a wild spin on the lake, with loud shrieks and frightened yelps from many of the passengers as background music (most of the group were in their 60’s…). Our captain was a cheery old Italian, doffing his white captains hat and graciously offering his hand to the “bella donnas” who were boarding the boat. One of the women proudly showed him pictures of her son, who is “also sailor” in the Israeli Navy. We saw ruins of a Roman villa, a castle complete with a moat and two drawbridges, the house where Maria Callas lived, and then the boat stopped at a spot in the water where we saw bubbles rising to the surface, indicating the spout of one the springs on the lakebed.

Leaving Sirmione, we carried on northward. Eventually, we caught sight of the Dolomites, a range of rocky mountains. Their craggy peaks are hewn into weird and wonderful shapes, due to erosion many years ago when they were submerged underwater.

Part of the Dolomites






[Scientists say that millions of years ago there was a prehistoric sea there blah blah blah, but I think the explanation is quite simple:
אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל בשעה שנשא שלמה את בת פרעה ירד גבריאל ונעץ קנה בים ועלה שירטון ועליו נבנה כרך גדול של רומי
This actually led me to wondering if I was allowed to make an עושה מעשה בראשית , since I had once seen in a sefer that the reason that we don’t make said bracha on the Dead Sea is because it was created afterששת ימי בראשית , so according to the gemara above, I wouldn’t be able to make a bracha upon seeing the Dolomites. I later did some research, and I takeh found this (see footnote):
]
In the evening we arrived at the hotel, which is situated in a little town called Alba, on the outskirts of Canazei. Soups and pastas, chicken, meat – the food there was delicious! They also had some vegetables which really were nutritious. Our room was clean and comfortable, with plenty of closet space and a balcony. Nice sized swimming pool, modern mehadrin mikvah (with a great full body shower, the one that has all those shpritzers everywhere, but a dear price of €10 per day), well-stocked shul, table tennis, lounging areas, and a nice big wooden deck off the dining room with beautiful views of the Dolomites – you could check their site for details  :D. The owners are Avi and Belinda Netzer, a very warm and welcoming couple who were always available with a smile. The maître d’, Luciano (sorry, no curled moustache), was nice enough to give us at a table on the deck where we ate our meals for the duration of our stay, even though the whole group were officially seated inside.

View of the back of the hotel:
 


Front/Side view:



Our room:
 


They are not as uncomfortable as they look…:
 


Lobby:
 


Our table:
 


The pool:
 



We were absolutely exhausted, having been awake for 36+ hours and running around the entire day, which is why we skipped the next day’s outing, instead resting and leisurely walking to Canazei – population around 1500, plus another 8500 tourists… We came back to the hotel for supper, and then retired for the night.

Canazei:
 






Traffic lady directing the cars:
 



On Thursday, we left to Lake Garda, a gorgeous lake surrounded by mountains around 2 and ½ hours away. First we stopped in to see the Cascata Varone, a pair of waterfalls; one in a cave, one outside. We got quite wet from the spray of the indoor waterfall, and heard Ivrit all around us. Every place we visited was full of secular Israelis. Be it public toilets in Venice, a lonely mountaintop playground near Canazei, or walking through the streets of Limone, they were e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e! You have to walk up a steep zigzagging path to see the outdoor one, so the authorities sweetened the deal by turning the ascent into a botanical garden, planting all the species of flora that are endemic to the region alongside the route, with classical music being piped through speakers. On the way back down, there were nice views of the lake, and from my vantage point it looked like someone had emptied a box of Kleenex into the water.

First glimpse of the lake:
 


Indoor waterfall (shoddy image – the lens got sprayed, plus I was being shoved by a bunch of sabras…):
 


The walk up to the outdoor waterfall:
 


Outer waterfall (it’s much bigger than it looks here):
 



We then drove to Riva Del Garda, a town on the northernmost tip of the lake. There was a medieval fortress in the lake right near the shore, which was built by the Scala family, who ruled the entire Verona area in the 13th and 14th centuries. The tissues turned out to be windsurfers and sailboats, since the harbour is situated between mountains and the breeze there is perfect for the sport. There are many windsurfing/sailing schools and centres along the northern shore, and the lake was bedecked with their students. The group dispersed, with the tour guide leading a short walking tour of the town for some, while others wandered around on their own. I chose to get my features grotesquely exaggerated by a caricature artist instead.

The drawing doesn’t even remotely resemble me, so I’m not afraid to share this picture  ;D:
 


The fortress:
 


Riva del Garda:
 


The busy lake:
 








A sport for all ages…:






After a while we got onto a chartered boat, and sailed to Limone. The boat ride was fabulous: deep blue sky, rich blue waters, green mountains on either side – mamash ah mechayeh!! Limone is a village on the western bank of the lake, and its name comes from the lemons the town used to cultivate. By now the growth of lemons has moved to southern Italy (think Yanever esrogim) but the town retained the name, and the association; the citrus fruits were everywhere! It is a very quaint place, with steep cobblestone streets, cute houses, and vibrant flowers growing everywhere, but not much to do there other than shop.

Limone:







Souvenir shop:



Lemon liqueur, anyone?



Streets and street signs:










We then crossed the lake to a place called Malcesine, and visited an old mansion and a castle built on a huge rock which both belonged to the Scala’s. The coach picked us up there and we returned to the hotel.


Malcesine, with the castle in the centre:



Our tour guide, Aryeh:



Sundial:



Street:



View of castle from underneath the outcrop; try breaching THAT!:



אלא לראותם בלבד – Can’t imagine eating those…:




Friday morning we headed to Marmolada, the tallest and most magnificent mountain of the Dolomites (and the 9th tallest in the Alps), at 3343 metres high (it can be seen from Venice on a clear day). It is the only one of the Dolomites to have a large glacier, and was part of the front line during The Great War. The Austro-Hungarian soldiers carved tunnels and caverns into the glacier where they hunkered down, while the Italians were on the other side. Hence, there is a small but fascinating museum full of artefacts and belongings that are revealed as the glacier melts. We took three cable cars up; including one of the sheerest trips I have ever taken on a cable car! Rosh Hanikra claims they have the steepest cable car in the world?  They haven’t seen Marmolada’s. Once we got to the top, we were in for a disappointment – it was very cloudy. Couldn’t see much at all, which was quite upsetting. I got to walk/slip/fall on the glacial ice, though.

Entrance to the cable car:



The rather dirty glacier:



View from the top:









Museum:





Cable Car:




After descending, we walked through a lovely canyon to a small town called Sottoguda, which had well-preserved chalets and other buildings from more than a century ago. It has models of people scattered around, representing what life was like in the olden times. There was also a carpentry shop, full of wooden souvenirs, and a blacksmith selling his metal creations. Bought a cute cow-figure toothpick holder, and then returned to the hotel.

Canyon:



The olden days: the women slaved away cooking, cleaning, and feeding the animals…



…while the men attended to the more important errands.



Wood souvenir shop:











Blacksmith at work:



The store:



One of his masterpieces:




Shabbos entered, accompanied by a Carlebachesque davening, which was followed a delicious meal on the deck under the stars. At the morning meal, we heard a nice speech by a Rov of a moshav in Israel, who related a dvar torah besheim Professor Nechama Leibowitz. After the seudah our tour guide led those who were interested on a short walk in the vicinity of the hotel, which was quite boring, and we returned for a nap. Before mincha, the Chief Rabbi emeritus of Turin, who currently lives in Milan, gave a fascinating derasha about the Italian gedolim and minhagim, and its special nusach (more about that when I get to Rome, bl”n).
The next day we joined my brother and his family, who were also in the hotel, for a family trip to a nearby mountain with alpine coasters and playgrounds. We cable-carred up into a cloud, and discovered that the rides were temporarily closed, due to the inclement weather. We waited for the mists to dissipate somewhat, then had some fun. I don’t recall much of that day, as my memories of it are quite hazy  ;)… Went to sleep early, as we had a full day ahead, leaving to Venice first thing after breakfast…

In case you’re not sure…



On cloud nine…






To be continued, iy”h...

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Tech Talk / How to connect RCA cables to Binding Posts
« on: September 01, 2015, 09:29:35 PM »
Hi,

I bought a Sherwood amplifier recently, thinking that the speaker output plugs were RCA. Lemaaseh, they are weird things called binding posts. What do I do if I buy speakers that have RCA cables? Do I have to cut off the male adapters, shear off a bit of the wire casing and wrap it around?

Or can I get speakers whose cables lechatchila go into the binding posts?

Any help would be appreciated....

Thanks.

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General Discussion / My Heritage
« on: May 21, 2015, 10:54:46 PM »
Does anybody here have a Premium account with My Heritage?

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