We are vigorously preparing for Gallia’s parents arrival. I’m strengthening the ‘Succah’ which we haven’t completely dismantled since Succot, so they have where to stay, and Gallia is feverishly rehearsing every day situations, repeatedly mumbling the calming phrases she intends to use to herself. It’s going to be interesting, what can I tell you. Anyway one thing’s for sure, I’ll be spending plenty of time at work. The timing is pretty good from my point of view. I’m trying to set a deadline for completing what I’ve been working on for almost a year now, and the sooner the better. With Gallia’s parents to baby-sit for the kids, Gallia will have a little more time to herself, and I can cram more working hours into these all too short twenty four hour days, that our lives are an accumulation of.

But, why talk about the future when the entire family focus has so dramatically been shifted to the past? Yes, thanks to ‘Hanchu’s’ most recent findings we have all been brought to the recognition that we are undisputed descendants of a fascinating dynasty, and we should all spend our time looking at old faded newspaper photographs searching for additional would be PLOTNIKS.

I don’t know about you people, but that’s what she spent her time doing when she was here. She even went to the grand canyon to verify that the Apache chief Geronimo is actually a cousin of ours. After all he did have eyes exactly like ‘Safta Ester’s’ as the picture clearly shows.

Geronimo had Safta Ester's eyes

Indeed, quite an amazing anthropological finding, and what a time to do it. On the 500th anniversary of both Columbus ‘s landing and the Jewish banishment from Spain… Suddenly it turns out that both were minor incidents compared with the landing of the first PLOTNIK in the new world. Yes indeed the first European was a PLOTNIK. The landing of Columbus, and the plight of the Jewish community in Spain were mere specks of dust on history’s stage, compared with the founding of the great PLOTNIK community in San-Jose, the truly first white settlement in the new world, and Hanchu has the proof.


I hope Hanchu will forgive me for continuing and disclosing ever more fascinating portions of this incredible saga. As she was rowing down the grand-canyon not deterred by the fact that the should-be-Plotnik Indians did not respond to Yiddish, she stumbled onto what future generations will continue sharing with their children, the same way that I am compelled to share it with you. In the fossilized footprints of a dinosaur she found a few black hairs just like Avrom’s!!! The dynasty goes farther back then anyone dared to imagine. Thus I sit here trembling with awe, attempting to share the glory of this find through the seemingly all-too restricted power of the written word to express true feelings. I hope that you get the better, and well deserved opportunity to talk to Hanchu in person, and share this valuable experience first hand.


Actually it was fun having them (Emanuel and Hanch) here. I’m probably getting soft as I rapidly grow older. The fact that the three days they spent with us, amounted to more than all the time we’d ever spent together in the past also helped, Nothing like closely knit families. The way things are going now we have a family get-together of some kind every month. To think that I used to make fun of Gallia that I had t o attend a ‘bar-mitzvah’ or wedding in her family six times a year. Here there are gatherings for much more mundane reasons. Next week we’re invited to the college graduation of some in-law of some fifth cousin of some third wife of some relation of Emily’s. I think that Emily is family, but only Hanchu knows for sure.


Well they’re back in Israel, and Gallia’s parents are packing, so what else is new? The kids started school. Tal went to first grade. Surprisingly everything went smoothly. Yeela didn’t give a damn, but then she rarely does. At first we were concerned about how little they learn at school, but as time went by things settled into a reasonable pattern. Yeela works with learning material from Israel, to keep making progress in mathematics. Gallia gives her Hebrew lessons. She reads Hebrew every day, and she’s probably at the same level as her friends back home. Tal is only getting started anyway, so it doesn’t really matter, and it’s too early to be concerned anyway.

Both the girls started taking piano lessons. To our amazement Tal really likes it, and practices very seriously. Considering the miserable flop of last year’s swimming lessons, it was indeed a surprise that she’s so cooperative. The two of them also take sewing lessons. Yeela started first, and made some very impressive suites (! ! ! ) for herself. Seeing this gave Tal the drive to try it herself. At first the teacher was a bit reluctant to accept a six year old to the class, but then she thought that Yeela was a bit young also. Gallia simply told her that they were both PLOTNIKs and the teacher did away with all her doubts.

Gallia is honing her get-something-for-nothing skills. She’s getting better at it by the day. The following is a sample receipt, one of the many that she brings home:

10 children sweaters $100.00

12 pairs of socks $94.00

8 men’s underwear $64.00

Total…………………………………… $258.00

Clearance discount -$70.00

50% off clearance price -$127.00

15% off – special reduction -$17.50

17.5% of Thanksgiving sale -$18.25

New Total ……………………………. $45.25

20% reduction for credit members -$8.00

33% minorities reduction -$15.00

Final Cost……………………………… $22.25

Now two weeks later she decides that 7 pairs of men’s underwear are actually redundant, after all I wear only one, and returns them only to get their full price in return. So now she has $56 dollars to her credit, minus the $22.25 that she originally paid for the goods. The final balance is:

10 children sweaters $100.00

12 pairs of socks $94.00

1 men’s underwear $8.00

The store pays you back $33.75 !!!

It takes a while to master the tricks of the trade, and indeed few have become fully qualified in the traits of these seemingly miraculous barter exchange techniques, but Gallia is clearly close to revealing the quarks and Taos of the anti-money theory of relativity. Hell, even Einstein ended up figuring that even though time is relative, it’s also money. Gallia figured out that money too is relative Which leaves Daniel and your truly the two males of the family lingering in the shadows of their surrounding successful females.

Osmo is coming along nicely. He’s becoming more of everything by the day. One of his many improving abilities, is his ‘Houdini’ disappearance stunt. That he manages to do in quite a scary manner. The problem is that the little fool hasn’t figured out a way to reverse this stunt, it’s up to the unhappy audience to search for him feverishly, and rescue him from his would be plight. There’s nothing smart about what he does. He simply picks a direction and starts running. As he improves his speed and endurance, he reduces the time it takes him to get to the first corner beyond which he cannot be seen. After he makes it to the first corner it’s any body’s guess where he goes. I’ll spare you the details about the specific cars he’s been found checking. I wonder where he got the idea in the first place?

The sweetest part of a young child’s development is its use of the spoken language. Osmo is an average speaker, nothing compared to his sisters before him, but then his blue-green eyes will make up for that. The unique thing about him is that he likes to talk to the moon as he takes his evening disappearance walks and sees how it disappears and re-emerges from behind trees and houses. He has a vocabulary of a few hundreds of nouns and verbs. He refers to himself in the second form (out of respect probably), and he seldom uses negations as that’s his default assertion form. For example ‘Le’ehol’ means I don’t want to eat. When he uses a noun it usually indicates the positive form e.g. ‘huhutza’ means ‘I want to go out, you should follow me or else…’. A few other phrases which might interest you are: HALLACH – means ‘I just destroyed it’. HALLAS – mean ‘I’m finished’, this goes along with the traditional brisk rubbing of both palms. HARA – means ‘this is shit, I won’t eat it’.

We moved him from a crib to a small child bed. He never slept in his crib. We actually had a crib standing in the kids room for a whole year and it served the purpose of nothing other than a garbage collector. One would ask where Osmo slept for a year, and the answer is ‘our bed’. We figured that maybe we could lure him out of our bed with a bed of his own. The trick worked, but with a catch. As long as he can see his bed, he’s willing to go to sleep in it. This implies that Gallia can put him to sleep in it, but when he wakes up at night the dim light just barely enables him to see the bulk of our bed in the next room…

That’s three kids that grew up in the wrong bed. As you know we’ll be giving ourselves one more chance to get it right. If it doesn’t work this time I don’t think we’ll try again. After all it would have been the best effort anyone in the PLOTNIK family had attempted since the turn of the century.

As for me I finally have a definite deadline for a would be definite product. This sound a little strange, but that’s the way things are. We’re trying to develop something that’s different from many traditional network management products. It turned out that the idea was a little too far fetched for the people who are usually in charge of defining products to grasp. The only choice we had left was to develop an almost complete product just to achieve a mutual understanding of what it is that we’re trying to do. What remains to do now is wait for final definitions and time tables for delivery. I hope they’ll agree with most of the things that are already in place, and that we’ll be able to ship at the end of the winter.

If the project proves to be successful, it’s anybody’s guess what the next step would be. There’s no point speculating now. The coming three months will require some very hard work, which brings me back to where I started, and this is where I end.

I’ll write again when winter melts into spring.