H3N2 Flu

H3N2 Flu

I haven’t been doing updates for 2 reasons.  Reason 1 is I have the H3N2 flu and it is keeping me flat on my back.  Reason 2 is there’s not much to say.  What would I write?  I spent the day in bed today?

Today is the first day my lungs aren’t making a rattle sound.  However, my breathing is weak and when I talk it demonstrates in my weak voice.

People at church have been helpful.  Sister Taylor brought us dinner the other night.  Sister Ward came and did the dishes and cleaned up in the kitchen.  Both acts greatly appreciated.

Unprecedented

This flu is unprecedented.  As a child I had mumps, both forms of measles, and evidently chicken pox too.  While this flu isn’t as painful as mumps, it’s kept me down as long.

It’s almost as bad as pneumonia.  It’s like having pneumonia without all the gunk in your lungs.  There’s still some stuff that I cough up, but it’s not quite as yucky as pneumonia.

When I saw the doctor, she asked about muscle aches.  To my surprise, and her’s too, I did not at that time.  Well, it was only a matter of time.  A couple of days ago my legs and back felt like I had just played a major soccer match.

Right before that, the fever hit for a couple of nights in a row.  Fortunately, it wasn’t a very high fever, but it was enough that it drained me.

Today I’ve felt the best since seeing the doctor.  That’s not to say I’m 100% better, it simply means today is an improvement.  I won’t be going anywhere today, or tomorrow for that matter.  I just hope that comes Sunday I’ll feel well enough to go to church.

What’s Helped

I’m fortunate that I don’t have the vomiting that others have experienced.  My nausea has been constrained to just that — nausea.  That said, I thought I’d list somethings that have helped…

  • NyQuil – One dose at bedtime has helped me sleep soundly
  • Lots of water and juice
  • Chicken soup
  • Herb tea
  • Antibiotics the doctor prescribed – I think they have kept this from turning in to bacterial pneumonia.
  • Albuterol – This has helped those wheezing attacks
  • Vaporizer – the moisture in the air helps keep the phlegm moving
  • Guaifenesin – it also helps cough up the phlegm
  • LOTS of SLEEP – If you have this, all you’ll want to do is sleep.  Don’t fight it.  Sleep.

Even Sicker

Even Sicker

Elizabethe is even sicker than I was.  She’s coughing and feels miserable.  She remembered we had some Nyquil and that seems to be helping her rest.  This is a nasty flu.

What I hate most about this bug is how runny it makes my nose.  If I lay on my back the snot runs down my throat and I feel like I’m drowning in my own snot.  It’s a horrible feeling.  And, if my head is down (nose to the ground), it isn’t any better.  The best relief is when I’m standing or sitting up.

Sitting

I’ve decided sitting is the best position.  So, I sat at my computer most of the day.  I can’t feel productive, however, because a stuffy head means a stuff brain.

The old saying, “You can’t keep a good man down”, didn’t take in to account stuff like this.    While I did manage to run to a store… twice (I had to go back to exchange what I bought), it wasn’t taxing to my body.  I’ll probably pay for it tomorrow.

Boredom

After a while, boredom sets in.  There is only so much you can do when you zapped like this.  I’ve been spending lots of time looking for ideas for print competition.  At least that feels productive.

Perhaps Not

Perhaps Not

The other day I reported I’m recovering quickly.  Perhaps not.  Both Elizabethe and I have this virus now.  We both are staying home from church and staying in bed.

My friend Matt is still struggling with this bug.  He caught it back around the 2nd week of January.  I hope we’re not in for a long struggle with it.

Print Comp and Pulp Fiction

I’ve been thinking of unique ideas for Print Comp.  I started looking at Pulp Fiction covers to get ideas for both names and images.

Do you realize how many pulp fiction novels have been turned in to movies or TV shows?

LOTS!  Perry Mason, James Bond, Mickey Spillane, and more.  Of course, there are many more that have titles so trashy they aren’t worth repeating.  Some of the covers are great, while others wouldn’t get you any points with the IPC judges.

I’ve been coming up with spins on the titles that relate to photography, and plan to do a series of “covers” with cameras.  For example, “Never Shoot Your Client”.  The double-entendre meaning of shoot should get some points with judges.  The next step is to create the image that tells the story.

 

Recovering Quickly

Recovering Quickly

I feel like I am recovering quickly from this upper respiratory infection.  Yesterday’s stay home and rest day is paying off.  All I did today was go to my networking meeting and I drove Elizabethe to her class at the library.

This is an irritating one, but I don’t want to end up with pneumonia like my friend Matt did.  So, I’m taking it slow.

Repeated Discussion

It’s a repeated discussion in our networking group why other business owners won’t join.  I’ve heard excuses from, “It’s too early”, to “I’m too busy”.  As to the latter, in one breath they say they are too busy, and in the other they complain about not getting any work.  Aye, yi, yi.  You can’t have it both ways.

Weather

The weather continues to be cold.  We haven’t got any snow the last few days, but the temperatures are so low nothing is melting either.  It’s just COLD.

I understand people in the southeast United States are getting colder than usual weather.  Places that usually don’t get cold enough to snow are getting snow.  Airports have closed and people are actually dying because of the cold.

Having grown up where it is cold it baffles my mind that people would let themselves get so cold they die.  I can understand getting stranded in a storm and getting hypothermia because you weren’t prepared.  It sounds like some emergency preparedness instruction is due.

Welcome Home

Welcome Home

Several people at church came and said, “Welcome home.”  It’s not like I was gone that long, but it is nice to feel missed and appreciated.  And, it is a big deal going to Israel for 10 days.  Some of these people will never visit.  I hope I can be their eyes (through my camera).

Right after Sacrament Meeting I was nabbed to play piano in Primary.  It was fun.  The kids were sure wound up, however.

Weather

It is cold today.  It’s in the low teens.  As a result, I came home from church and sought warmth.

My fingers, knees and toes are all cold.  I don’t remember my knees getting cold like this before.  It must have something to do with my baker’s cysts.

Dinner

At dinner I gave the sisters a 10 Argot coin from Israel.  I picked up several while I was there.  Most of them are going to grandchildren.

100 Argots make 1 shekel.  They don’t make 1 Argot coins.  The smallest denomination is 10.  They were worth about 3 cents at today’s exchange rate.

They are also about the same size as a 10 Shekel coin.  However, a 10 Shekel coin is worth about $3.  Unscrupulous shop owners may try to pass a 10 Argot off as a 10 Shekel coin.

Dang Snow

Dang Snow

I often welcome snow, but this dang snow is very COLD.  It started off at 9″ and is now about 12″ (and has stopped for the day.)  It took a while to clear the driveway because the snow would fall to the side of the blower and I’d have to go back for a second pass.

Someone posted a picture on Facebook complaining about the 18″ snow.  They showed two things in the picture that were points of reference:  1) a small snow shovel with a blade about 8″ hight, and 2) the 4″ clapboard on their house.  It was 12″, not 18″.

Snowstorms, like fish, are always bigger than reality.

Blog Updates

I’m working on blog updates for days missed while I was traveling.  It is a lot of work, but the feedback has been positive.

It is so cold in the studio that I can’t get things warm enough for my fingers to move quickly.  Brrr… this cold snap is a strong one.  However, I keep plodding (blogging) along.

Winter Projects

I have not touched my winter projects yet.  Of course, the year started with a 10 day trip overseas, and now I’m playing catch up.

One of my winter projects is a posing corner for my Phicen figures.  Elizabethe gave me a hard time that I wasn’t this interested when she was doing Barbie stuff.  Hmmm… I think part of it is Barbie is not realistic, and Barbie doesn’t pose well.

I ordered an older version that is hard plastic so Elizabethe can use it as a dress form.  The silicone ones are too expensive and fragile.

 

Toronto Traffic

Toronto Traffic

Toronto traffic sucks.  To save about $200 I decided to drive to Toronto and fly form there to Tel Aviv.  Let’s see how that worked out…

  • drive there – 3+ hours (This was because it was New Year’s day and no commuters on the road.)
  • Parking for 10 days in Toronto – about $270
  • Drive home 6+ hours (I’ve since learned it has some of the worst traffic in the world.)

Will I do that again?  Probably not.  I might do like my friends the Harmers did.  Fly to Toronto from Rochester and there to Tel Aviv.  I would have come out ahead.

On the bright side, I made it home safely.

Other Messes

I also came home to a mess left by a tenant who simply vacated on his lease.  I’ve never seen such filth in my life.  It looks like I have to replace a microwave oven, carpet, mattress and box springs, as well as paying to have it professionally cleaned.

We live and learn.  One lesson I’ve learned from this is if they are slow getting their initial deposit paid, you probably don’t want them for a tenant.

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Living in Filth

How do people live in such filth.  (This photo doesn’t do it justice.  That orange spot, center bottom is a bleach mark (and there are many) where he tried to clean the carpet with who-knows-what.  The sad part is, why bother cleaning the carpet when you live in filth?

To Do List

I have a major to-do list for today.  This is just one item.  I will be updating and adding updates from my trip in the next few days.

It’s nice that we don’t have Toronto traffic in Rochester, because I have some errands to run.

Northern Israel

Northern Israel

This is our last full day in Israel.  We leave early tomorrow morning to catch our flight home.  We’re heading to Northern Israel near the Lebanon and Syria borders.

I started the day going to the beach to watch and photograph the sunrise.  Matt and Becca took me up on my offer to be photographed.  So did Lehi and his sons Laman, Lemuel, and Nephi.  We were also joined by Mahonri Moriancumer.

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Matt and Becca
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Matt and Becca
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Lehi Finds the Liahona
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Nephi Rebukes Laman and Lemuel
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The Brother of Jared (Mahonri Moriancumer)
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The Sunrise On the Sea of Galilee
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Me Shooting the Sunrise

After a good breakfast…

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Breakfast Today

… we headed to Tiberias for Matt to see a doctor.  He’s been coughing a lot and we’re all worried that he’s getting sicker.  As a result, Becca found a place where he can get in this morning to see a doctor.

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John Ready to Head Out for the Day

We got to Tiberias, found the pharmacy and doctor’s office, and I hung out outside taking pictures.  I did go in for a short while to find they have Voltairan Gel for a fraction of the cost and over-the-counter!  (The USA is the only country according to my doctor that requires a prescription for this gel.  It’s for joint pain.)

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An Old Jewish Man Shopping

Church of the Beatitudes

The Church of the Beatitudes was the next stop.  I imagine the Sermon on the Mount covered much ground.  This church is located in the vicinity of where we suspect it took place.

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John Outside the Church
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Church of the Beatitudes
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In Latin

Banias

Banias is a spring and river near a place the scriptures calls Caesarea Philippi.  Some believe Jesus and his apostles frequented this area.  When you see it, you can understand why.  It is beautiful.

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The Falls
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Before the Hike Down the Canyon
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By the Falls

Sacred Sites

Sacred Sites

Today we visit several sacred sites.  We start with Capernaum, then where Jesus fed the 5,000.  From there we go see a 1st Century boat (like what Peter might have owned), Mount Tabor (the Mount of Transfiguration), and end with some good shawarma.

But first, a good breakfast…

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Kerei Deshe Breakfast

Capernaum

This is where Jesus begins calling his apostles.  This small lakeside village was the place of many miracles.

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A Monk Near the Gift Shop
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The Rules
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At the Entrance of Capernaum
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Our Group on the Shores of Galilee
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The Sea of Galilee
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Linda Putting Her Feet in the Water
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Matt and Becca on the Shores of Galilee

After Capernaum we drove a little west to where Christ would have fed the 5,000 from two loaves and five fishes.  It is also near here where the resurrected Christ came and told Peter to ‘Feed my sheep’.

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Christ Tells Peter to “Feed My Sheep”

John had a great idea.  He brought some bread and pieces of fish.  We partook and thought about that great miracle performed here over 2,000 years ago.

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John Breaks Bread Near Where Jesus Fed the 5,000 with Two Loaves and Five Fishes
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Loaves and Fishes

An Ancient Boat

We saw an ancient boat that dates back to Jesus’ time.  We couldn’t photograph the boat, but here’s a model of what it would have looked like.  All that remains today is a large portion of the hull.  It is preserved in a climate controlled room, and thus, they don’t allow photography in that room.

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Small Model of a 1st Century Galilean Boat

Mt. Tabor

This is a favorite of mine in the Holy Land.  It is here that Peter, James and John went with Jesus.  As Jesus prayed, they were witness to Elijah and Moses appearing and passing on sacred keys.

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The Group on Mt. Tabor
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A Monk Exits the Church

Dinner Time

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Linda Displays Our Bread for Our Shawarma
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Matt and Becca Photograph the Shawarma Toppings

Karei Deshe

Karei Deshe

We’re off to Karei Deshe today.  It is on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee.  The nearest city is Tiberias.

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Bye Jerusalem Traffic

In doing my studies on this area, Tiberias was a city Caesar Augustus (his step-father) named after him.  There is no indications that Jesus spent any time in Tiberias.  (I surmise this is because he was sent unto the Jews, and not the Romans.)

Not far the other direction is where Jesus fed the multitude, taught the beatitudes, and called his apostles.  The city of Capernaum is close by.  It is also where Peter lived.

Caesarea

On our way to our hostel, we stopped at Caesarea.  This mediterranean city was founded by Herod about 30 B.C.  and is named after Caesar Augustus.  This seaport city (its ruins) are spectacular.

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Becca and John by What is Left of an Ancient Statue
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The Amphitheater at Caesarea

We gathered at the bottom of the amphitheater for a group picture.  I got a kick out of the lady I asked to take the picture.  She complained that we were facing in to the sun.  I assured her I knew what I was doing, and so did my fellow travelers.

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Me, John, Linda, Becca and Matt – Caesarea

(By the way, you always want the sun to your subject’s back so they aren’t squinting and so you don’t have ugly shadows on their faces.)\

Inscription

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Inscription at Caesarea

I found this inscription intriguing:

“Pontius Pilatus, the prefect of Judea, erected a building dedicated to the Emperor Tiberius.”

is what they believe it to have said in whole.

The Port

The ancient port was an engineering marvel for its time.  Concrete that cured underwater was one of the marvels.

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The Ancient Port Area
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The Beach
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Aqueduct and the Five of Us Posing
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Aqueduct

And, check out these Segway tours!  That looks fun.

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Segway Tours

On to Armageddon

On our way to Her Megido (aka Armegeddon), we passed this sign…

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Route 66 in Israel

Who knew there was a Route 66 in Israel.  I can say I’ve driven BOTH.

Her Megido is an impressive site (and sight).  This mountain top city has been fought over many times and it is prophesied that the last battle will take place here.

From the Old Testament Student’s Manual I’ve copied the following.  My comments are in italics:

According to the prophets, some important events must take place before the battle actually begins:

  1. The house of Israel will be gathered from among the heathen (the Gentiles) and returned to their own land (see Ezekiel 36:2437:21).  in progress

  2. The land of Israel will be rebuilt and reinhabited by the covenant people (see Ezekiel 36:10–12, 33–36).  done

  3. The land will become highly productive and fruitful, even like the Garden of Eden (see Ezekiel 36:8, 29–30, 34–35).  done

  4. There will be one nation in the land of Israel again (see Ezekiel 37:22). in progress

  5. Jerusalem will be reestablished as the capital city of the Israelites (see Zechariah 1:16–172:1212:63 Nephi 20:46).  done

  6. Judah will become powerful in politics and warfare (see Isaiah 19:16–17Zechariah 10:3, 5–6). in progress

It is amazing to lookout from atop Megido.  The view is spectacular, thus, you can see why it is a military advantage point.

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Looking North from Megido

Mount Carmel

Our next stop is a new one for me.  Mt. Carmel is where Elijah and the Priest of Baal had their standoff.  Elijah challenged them to call fire from heaven. When they failed, he had them douse the alter with water before he called fire down.  The fire consumed the wood as well as the altar itself.

To my dismay we didn’t find much to see up there except for a nice view of the sunset.

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Sunset on Mount Carmel
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John and Linda at Sunset
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Me On Mount Carmel
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Matt Shooting the Sunset

Dinner and Our Hostel

We stopped for dinner on our way to Karei Deshe.  It is a little steakhouse just west of Karei Deshe and the English translation of its name is Angus.

I ordered lamb chops.  It is the first time I’ve had lamb (that wasn’t ground) in Israel.  I know that seems strange, but it is expensive here.

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Lamb Chops

We checked in to our rooms at the Hi Kerei Deshe Hostel.  It’s a nice place.  Furthermore, my room can sleep four!  That’s a bit of an overkill, of course.